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List of Eggington Vicars

The interior looking west July 2013
The interior looking west July 2013

Advowson

Eggington was formerly a chapelry in the parish and peculiar of Leighton Buzzard. It became a separate ecclesiastical parish only in 1810, the advowson being held by those parishioners who were householders.

Since 1937 Eggington the Vicar of All Saints, Leighton Buzzard, was also the Vicar of Eggington. Then the Ouzel Valley Team Ministry was created early in the 21st century and Eggington now [2013] forms part of that ministry, along with Billington, Heath and Reach, Hockliffe, Leighton Buzzard and Linslade. Within the team the Vicar of Heath and Reach also ministers to Eggington. The advowson of the church is now in the hands of the Ouzel Valley Team Ministry Patronage Board.

Panel from the central part of the east window July 2013
Panel from the central part of the east window July 2013

List of Curates and, from 1810, Vicars

  • Henry Lamb, curate: 1704;
  • Potts Davies, curate: 28th August 1749;
  • Samuel Clarke, curate; John Wilson, B. A., on the death of Samuel Clarke, licensed Curate on his own petition, as Vicar of Leighton Beaudesert: 13th April 1798;
  • Humphrey Drape, B. A., on the death of Samuel Clarke, licensed Curate: 14th July 1800;
  • John Camberlege, licensed curate on the resignation of last incumbent, resigned 6th April 1859: 23rd August 1843;
  • John Hurnall, M. A., on the resignation of J. Cumberlege: 25th June 1859;
  • James Sunderland: 1892;
  • John Edwin Parkin: April 1933;
  • Arthur Thomas Stephens: November 1937;
  • Stanley John Forrest: May 1943;
  • John James Frank Scammell: 1954;
  • Peter Whittaker: 1982;
  • John Anthony Lovett Hulbert: 1992;
  • Grant Fellows: 2003;
  • Jenny M.Cappleman: 2007;
  • Noel McGeeney: 2013.

The south porch January 2013
The south porch January 2013

Visitations

Volume 81 published by the Bedfordshire Historical Records Society (2002) is devoted to returns made during episcopal visitations to the county by the Bishop of Lincoln in the early 18th century, edited by former County Archivist Patricia Bell. It throws some interesting light on non-residency and the general state of the church in the parish. At this date it was common for a rector or vicar to not live in the parish he nominally served, often because he had more than one, and so employed a curate to undertake their parochial duties for him. The first two returns for Eggington are included in those for Leighton Buzzard, because at that date Eggington was a chapelry in the parish of Leighton Buzzard. The last is a separate return for Eggington only. The returns are as follows:

  • 1706: “The Hamlet of Eggington 28 families [25 inserted] Souls 100”. Details were as for Billington, i.e.: “divine Service and Sermon are used every Lord’s day, and £20 a year paid for it out of the Town lands of that Hamlet”
  • 1709: "Mr. Joshua Pulford junior Licensed Curate 16 September 1709 … To the Hamlet of Eggington an estate has been left of about £60 a year. The Inhabitants differ about the disposal of it, and it is now in Chancery to be settled by order of the Court”. There were 20 communicants in Eggington of which 14 received at Easter last".
  • 1717: "Edward Hall the curate wrote: “I reside at Occliffe, but a little Mile from this place … None unbaptized that I Know of. Some not confirmed. No Adults baptized. Divine Service is performed once every Lord’s day. [sacrament] Six, or Eight times in the year. Forty that sometimes receive; usually twenty that receive, about that number Easter last”.

The organ July 2013
The organ July 2013

Ecclesiastical Census

On Sunday 30th March 1851 a census of all churches, chapels and preaching-houses of every denomination was undertaken in England and Wales. The local results were published by Bedfordshire Historical Records Society in 1975 as Volume 54, edited by D. W. Bushby. The return for Eggington chapel was made by the perpetual curate, J. Cumberlege, who noted the following pieces of information:

  • The chapel had 65 free seats and 65 others;
  • Afternoon congregation had been 72 with an additional 58 Sunday scholars;
  • The averages for the preceding six months had been 50 with 45 Sunday scholars in the morning and 70 with 50 Sunday scholars in the afternoon.
  • “One alternative service with Tilsworth morning and afternoon, the best averages I can remember. The sittings are for adults, some of the scholars sit on forms in the Chancel”.

The interior of the south porch July 2013
The interior of the south porch July 2013