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List Of Little Barford Rectors

The font February 2010
The font February 2010

The following list of Rectors of Little Barford is as complete as records will allow. The advowson of the church was always in the hands of the Lords of the Manor. However, in 1389 it was noted: "Patron Cecilia la Breton, the wife of William de la Mare.  Advowson in litigation between Benedict de Cokefield and Margery his wife, Johanna de Leyham and Olive de Leyham, Ralph de Bello Campo [Beaulieu] of Eton, by reason of the wardship of Isabel, younger daughter and heir of William, brother Ide de la Mare and the said Cecilia la Breton, to whose presentment on this occasion the others consented".

From 1947 to 1957 Little Barford shared the same incumbent as Eaton Socon, following the sale of Little Barford Rectory. From 1957 Little Barford shared an incumbent with Tempsford, then from August 1973 Little Barford was united with the Tempsford and the church given into the care of The Churches Conservation Trust.

Since 1999 Little Barford and Tempsford have had the same incumbent as Blunham, Great Barford and Roxton in what is known as the Riversmeet Benefice, part of the Ivel Group Ministry.

 Saint Denys vexillum February 2010
Saint Denys vexillum February 2010

The list of Rectors of Little Barford is as follows:

  • Richard Palmer: 1225 - chaplain;
  • Fulco de Norton: 26th June 1389 - subdeacon;
  • William de Bykelburg: 27th May 1303 - chaplain, on the death of Falco;
  • William de Aula;
  • Gerard de Sudbyr: 20th March 1329 - clerk, on the resignation of William de Aula;
  • Thomas Newman;
  • Roger de Staunford: 17th March 1336 - Rector of Middelenete, diocese of Chichester, on exchange with Thomas Newman;
  • John Tredegold: 16th August 1349 - priest, on death of de Staunford;
  • John Walsokne;
  • John Hamond: 27th March 1385 - priest, on the death of John Walsokne;
  • Robert Mariot: 7th July 1387 - priest, on the death of John Hamond;
  • John Poule: 12th June 1399 - priest, vacant;
  • Richard Wykyng - 1st September 1406 - priest, on exchange with John Paule;
  • Robert Maryot: 16th July 1407 - Rector of Eltisley [Huntingdonshire], on exchange with Richard Wykyng;
  • Simon Verdun: 28th April 1419 - chaplain, on the death of Robert Maryot;
  • Laurence Aylemer: 30th June 1435 - chaplain, on the resignation of Symon Verdun;
  • John Irener: 31st October 1454 - on the resignation of Laurence Aylmere;
  • Thomas Taylard: 28th June 1475;
  • John Wellys: 13th November 1475 - on the resignation of Thomas Taylard, last Rector;
  • Richard Wermouth: 22nd April 1479 - on the death of Thomas Willis, late Rector;
  • Henry Mores: 18th May 1496 - priest, on the resignation of Richard Wermouth;
  • Richard Harberd: 7th November 1498 - clerk, on the resignation of Henry Mores;
  • Henry Sevyer: 12th July 1499 - priest, on the resignation of Richard Herbert, he had a pension of four mares;
  • Richard Trigg: 8th February 1506 - priest, on the death of Henry Sevyer;
  • Thomas Merrell: 1st February 1549 - clerk, on the resignation of Richard Trigge;
  • George Walley: 1559;
  • John Price: 4th February 1561 - clerk, on the death of the last incumbent;
  • John Price: 22nd Feb 1566 - clerk, on the death of last incumbent;
  • Leonard Nightingale: 7th December 1571;
  • Henry Ridley: 19th October 1585 - M. A.;
  • John Pain: 19th October 1609;
  • John Pittam: 1617;
  • Jonathan Sandley: 1627;
  • Robert Payne: 14th November 1635;
  • Robert Pierson: 1655;
  • Robert Guidott: 15th June 1661;
  • Richard Newcome: 1665;
  • William Merriden: 11th May 1678;
  • Thomas Sayer: 2nd January 1691 - B. A., on the cession of William Merriden, priested by the Bishop of Lincoln on 31st December 1684, also Curate of Cripplegate in London;
  • Thomas Gardiner: 29th August 1710 - M. A., on the death of last incumbent;
  • Robert Bamford: 3rd September 1711 - B. A., on the death of Thomas Garden, died 21st August, buried 24th August 1720;
  • Jacob Mallabar: 29th September 1720 - M. A., on the death of Robert Bamford;
  • John Gamble: 23rd March 1733 - L. L. B., on the death of Jacob Malabar;
  • Thelwall Salusbury: 19th May 1764 - on the death of John Gambel;
  • Thelwall Salusbury: 8th August 1770 [L. L. B., on the cessation of the said Salusbury;
  • John Blakiston: 4th January 1776 - B. A., on the resignation of Thelwall Salusbury;
  • William Alington: 8th July 1809 - M. A., on the death of John Blackiston;
  • John Alington: 30th August 1822 - M. A., on the resignation of William Alington;
  • Nathaniel Royds: 26th July 1864 - M. A., on the death of J. Alington;
  • Frederic Charles Chambers: December 1906;
  • Samuel St. Aidan Baylee: April 1912;
  • Julius Hugh Alington: 1919;
  • Geoffrey Russell Ellaby: December 1937;
  • Edward Alfred White: March 1941;
  • Norman Ernest Stephen Johnson: November 1947;
  • Frederick James Wells: 1957
  • Thomas Purchas: 1971.

The Holy Family detail from the north aisle window February 2010
The Holy Family detail from the north aisle window February 2010

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 returns for Little Barford are as follows:

  • In 1709 the return was very scantily compiled. The Rector of the time, Thomas Sayer, was also Curate of Cripplegate in London and so, presumably, spent most of his time there. He died in 1710. He did note that there had been twelve or thirteen communicants the previous Easter.
  • By 1712 Robert Bamford was rector. He noted: "The Rector lives in the Parsonage House. None unbaptized. Some not yet Confirmed. Divine Service twice every Lord's day, once Litanie and Holy-days". Communion was administered four times a year - presumably Easter, Whitsun, the Sunday closest to Michaelmas (29th September) and Christmas. About twenty two received at the preceding Easter.
  • In 1717 Bamford was still living at the Rectory without a curate and none of the other details regarding services had changed. He noted: "There are about 20 Communicants in the parish. 15 or 16 usually communicate - about that Number at Easter".

Saint Denys window in the north aisle west wall February 2010
Saint Denys window in the north aisle west wall February 2010

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 Little Barford church was made by the Rector, John Alington, who noted the following pieces of information:

  • There were 100 free and 20 reserved seats in the church;
  • General congregation had been 37 that morning, with 28 Sunday scholars
  • The average congregation for the preceding months had been fifty adults and 28 Sunday scholars - the total population was 112.

Ornamental woodwork over the door into the vestry February 2010
Ornamental woodwork over the door into the vestry February 2010