Skip Navigation
 
 

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community archives > Lower Gravenhurst > List of Lower Gravenhurst Rectors

List of Lower Gravenhurst Rectors

The church from the south March 2014
The church from the south March 2014

Advowson

Volume III of The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire was published in 1912. It noted that the first mention of the advowson of Lower Gravenhurst church is in the reign of Henry II (1154-1189) when it was given by Simon de Beauchamp to his new foundation of Newnham Priory. The priory was dissolved by Henry VIII (1509-1547) in 1541 and the advowson went to the Crown, which retained it until the redundancy of the church in 1972 when the parish was united with Upper Gravenhurst, though a William Tailor presented Richard Joye “by grant” in 1550.

The Archangel Gabriel March 2014
The archangel Gabriel March 2014

Rectors of Lower Gravenhurst

  • R. de Gatesdena: before 1247;
  • Elyas de Evesham, clerk: before 1247;
  • Ancelm de Etton, subdeacon: 1247;
  • Robert de Nassington, subdeacon: 1251;
  • Robert de Ouray, subdeacon, on the resignation of Robert: 1261;
  • Nicholas, called Scort, chaplain, on the death of Robert Corye: 24th February 1287;
  • Hugh de Swafham, clerk, on the death of last Rector; presented in minor orders, then ordained subdeacon and instituted: 27th May 1290;
  • Richard de Bodekesham , clerk, on the institution of Hugh de Swafham to be Vicar of Ryhale [possibly Ryhall in Rutland]: 18th September 1294;
  • William de Tullesworth, deacon, on the institution of Richard de Bodekevesham to be Rector of Fillingham, [Lincolnshire]: 13th November 1296;
  • Roger de Keleseye, chaplain: 14 January 1313;
  • Robert de Waterton, priest, on the institution of Roger de Kelleseye to be Vicar of Haxeye [possibly Haxey, Lincolnshire]: 13th February 1317;
  • Robert de Suthewyk;
  • Reygner de Brampton, priest; on resignation of Robert de Suthewyk: 17th January 1342;
  • John Gerlaund of Eynesbury, priest, on the death of Reigner: 13th May 1344;
  • Robert de Suthewyk, priest, on the death of John: 18th August 1349;
  • Richard atte Brigg of Elstow, acolite, on the resignation of Robert de Sothewyk: 8th February 1350;
  • William de Hawenes, priest, on the resignation of last the Rector: 7th March 1354;
  • Robert Tayllour, priest, on the resignation of William Hawenes: 9th August 1396;
  • Robert....., parson: 1405;
  • Robert Steventon: 1408;
  • William Crepill;
  • John Mounford, priest, on the death of William Crepill: 13th June 1454;
  • Simon Chaumbirlen, priest, on the death of John Mounford: 4th April 1460;
  • William Barnard, priest, on the resignation of Simon Chamberlen: 17th April 1497;
  • James Wall, priest, on the resignation of William Bernard: 16th November 1501;
  • John Hutton, priest, on the resignation of James Walle: 20th December 1504;
  • Edmund Flechard, priest, on the death of John Hutton: 7th January 1506;
  • Edmund Wodward, chaplain, on the resignation of Edmund Fletcher: 11th October 1507;
  • John Deirat: 1527;
  • Richard White;
  • Richard Watson, priest, on the resignation of Richard White: 4th November 1533;
  • John Hosyer, priest, on the death of Richard Watson: 5th February 1539;
  • Richard Joye, clerk, on the resignation of John Hosier: 1st May 1550;
  • John Mackbrayer: 17th March 1554;
  • John Palmer: 4th June 1554;
  • Richard Fell, clerk, on the deprivation of last Rector by Mary I: 15th August 1555;
  • John Wistowe, clerk, on the deprivation of last Rector by Elizabeth I, presented on the petition of Richard Wistowe: 27th July 1563;
  • Ralph Anterbus, clerk, on the death of the last Rector: 19th April 1567;
  • Richard Fawcett, clerk; de jure vacancy, presented on the petition of Saint John's College, Cambridge; he resigned 10th Apr 1573: 5th January 1568;
  • John Kytchener, clerk, presented on the resignation of the last incumbent on the petition of Mr. Chapman: 20th April 1573;
  • Nathaniel Kitchener MA of Saint.John's College, Cambridge, on the resignation of the last incumbent; his will is dated 13th November, proved 20th November 1621: 26th March 1604;
  • ....Sherley, parson: 1620;
  • John Hughes MA: 26th March 1624;
  • John Lisle, minister;
  • Thomas Abis MA, on the cession of the last Rector; his will dated 10th December 1693 was proved 2nd June 1698 and he was buried 14th April 1698: 31st June 1666;
  • Richard Berrow AM, clerk, on the death of last incumbent: 21st April 1698;
  • Peter D'Aranda, clerk, on the cession of the last incumbent: 26th December 1699;
  • George Storey, clerk, on the death of Peter D'Aranda; he died 16th May 1765: 20th November 1739;
  • William Rouse BA, on the death of George Store: 21st June 1765;
  • John Francis Stuart, clerk, on the death of the last Rector: 25th December 1792;
  • John Webster Hawksley junior, clerk, on the death of John Francis Stuart: 7th January 1834;
  • James de la Hooke BA, on the cession of John Webster Hawksley; he resigned 2nd June 1842: 27th February 1836;
  • Charles James Wade MA, on the resignation of James de la Hooke: 14th July 1842;
  • Thomas Collisson, his son was killed in World War One: November 1896;
  • Harry James Baylis: September 1916;
  • Frederick Coxwell Young: May 1930;
  • William John Mills: May 1940;
  • John Anthony Benton: 1956;
  • James A. Yates: 1962

Hourglass stand on the rood screen March 2014
Hourglass stand on the rood screen March 2014

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 Lower Gravenhurst are as follows:

  • 1706: “Not above 8 or 9 families in the parish. Among these there are no Dissenters of any kind. No Papist or reputed Papist lives in it”.
  • 1709: “He lives in the parish, but not in the Vicarage House. Families 10. Between 40 and 50 souls. No Disenters”.
  • 1712: “The Rector resident in the parish, not far from the Church of the Nether Gravenhurst. Divine Service twice every Lord’s day in the 2 Churches, which are near to each other, vide Gravenhurst Superior … Communion thrice a year. About 12 or 13 usually receive”.
  • 1717: “There are about eleven Familys, none of them Dissenters … I reside at Upper Gravenhurst … There are some not confirmed … The Publick Service is read in the Church once every Lord’s day … The Sacrament is administered 3 times in the Year. There are about ten Communicants. About six received last Easter and about that number usually receive”.
  • 1720: “There are about eleven Families in the Parish, none of them Dissenters … I reside on my Cure of Upper Gravenhurst … Unbaptized No … The Publick Service is read every lord’s day in the Afternoon … The Sacrament is administered 3 times in a Year. We have about 10 Communicants, about 7 of whom receiv’d last Easter”.

Corbel preserved on the south wall of the nave March 2014
Corbel preserved in the south wall of the nave March 2014

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 Lower Gravenhurst church was made by the rector, C J Wade, who noted the following pieces of information:

  • The church had 89 free sittings and 36 others;
  • Morning congregation had been 58;
  • There were 49 Sunday scholars;
  • Average attendance for the previous twelve months had been 55 in the morning and 90 in the afternoon
  • Average numbers of Sunday scholars for the previous twelve months had been 60 morning and afternoon.

“Alternate service with Upper Gravenhurst”.

Cross carved into the altar March 2014
Cross carved into the altar March 2014