The death of Canon Rawnsley . . . removes a figure which in certain ranges of public duty and usefulness was of national significance. But most of all his intimate personality and earnest zeal for all good causes will be most missed in his beloved Lakeland, with the abundant literary lore of which he had steeped himself during a residency there of close upon 40 years. He was a man of great energy, and his clerical duties alone, as Residentiary Canon of Carlisle and Vicar of Crosthwaite, Keswick, would have taxed the resources of most men; but he found time to engage in a wide field of public and social activity; he was at the head of more than one national movement; and during his long span of years in the Lake Country he was the busiest man in it with his pen, composing sonnets with facility upon any striking aspect of scenery that caught his practised eye, or upon the hundred and one passing events of the age and time in which he lived. When occasion demanded, his muse would take a somewhat higher flight, and in the course of the war he composed many stirring ballads on the heroism of our soldiers and the justice of the cause for which they fought. The touchstone of his literary work was always a very close contact with life around him, and especially the life of the homely dalesmen, with whom he spent the best years of his ministry. There was no one better known in the wide stretches of Cumberland and Westmorland.
(Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 1920, 29 May, p. 10.)