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List of Stagsden Vicars

Stagsden church from south-east September 2007
Stagsden church from the south-east September 2007

The following list of vicars of Stagsden is as complete as historical references allow. It is important to remember that before the 20th century it was relatively common for vicars to be pluralists (that is holding the living of more than one parish) and absentess, the majority of their pastoral work being undertaken by a curate.

Since 1984 Stagsden has been served by the same priest as Oakley and Bromham. The churches remain separate with their own services, Parochial Church Councils, churchwardens and other officers.

  • Reginald de Stacheden [Stagsden] - 1229 [chaplain];
  • William de Bedeford [Bedford]- 1230 [chaplain];
  • Henry de Haregrave - 25 Jan 1268 [chaplain; on death of William];
  • Henry de Albodesle - 28 Oct 1272 [chaplain; on death of Henry];
  • Gervase de Lathebur' [Lathbury] - 6 Oct 1273 [chaplain; on death of Henry de Albodesle];
  • Ralph de Loutthon - 18 Jan 1274 [chaplain; on resignation of Gervase];
  • John Germeyn - 21 Jun 1290 [chaplain; on death of Ralph, last Vicar];
  • John de Elnestowe [Elstow];
  • William de Lubbenham - 9 Jan 1300 [chaplain; on death of John de Elnestowe];
  • William le Porter - 28 Mar 1313 [of Elstow; chaplain; on resignation of William];
  • Richard Dengayne - 13 Sep 1327 [priest; on resignation of William Porter];
  • Hugh de Elnestowe [Elstow] or allt Brigge - 5 Oct 1329 [Vicar of Willingale [Essex], by exchange with Richard Engayne];
  • William Whiry - 12 Feb 1338 [of Needingworth [Huntingdonshire]; priest; on resignation of Hugh allt Brigge of Elstow];
  • John Page;
  • John Denton - 7 Jan 1391 [priest; on resignation of John Page];
  • John Cantyng;
  • John Bray - 16 Feb 1409 [capellanus; on resignation of John Cantyng, exchanged to Rectory of St.Cuthbert's, Bedford];
  • Richard Brown - 10 Sep 1411 [priest; on resignation of John Bray of Cotherstoke, exchanged to Vicarage of Little Addington [Northamptonshire]];
  • Richard Worthyng - 8 May 1412 [priest; on resignation of Richard Brown, exchanged to Rectory of Creslow [Buckinghamshire], to which instituted on 25 Oct 1409];
  • William Hardepeny - 2 Oct 1415 [of Frampton [Dorset?]; priest; exchanged with Richard Worthyng for Dagnall Chantry, Edlesborough [Buckinghamshire]];
  • William Grassi;
  • Thomas Legger - 15 Oct 1439 [priest; on resignation of William Grassi];
  • Thomas Spenser - 22 Jul 1441 [priest; on resignation of Thomas Legger];
  • Thomas Goodsone - 19 Sep 1446 [priest; on resignation of Thomas Spenser];
  • Thomas Warner - 16 Aug 1472 [on resignation of John Goodson];
  • Robert Croftonn - 28 Jul 1497 [priest; on death of Thomas Warner];
  • Thomas Millme - 2 Nov 1502 [priest; on resignation of Robert Crofton];
  • Robert Skynner - 22 Sep 1515 [priest; on death of Thomas Wilmy];
  • William Saunderson - 19 Feb 1535 [of Campton; chaplain; on death of Robert Skynner];
  • Robert Slingsby - 20 Jul 1545 [capellanus; on death of William Saunderson];
  • John Burwey;
  • John Barrow - 5 Jan 1579 [recusant, i.e. Roman Catholic];
  • William Paine MA - 27 May 1592 [buried 11 Jul 1612];
  • William Roberds BD - 25 Nov 1612;
  • Johnson - 1613;
  • Roger Hunte [minister; buried 2 Mar 1622];
  • Thomas Foxcrofte [clerk; buried 15 Jun 1631];
  • Thomas Judkin MA - 18 Jun 1631 [clerk; held in plurality with Turvey from 1635];
  • William Judkin [clerk; will dated 26 Sep, proved 5 Oct 1652];
  • John Todd BA - 17 Jul 1661 [clerk; Pembroke College, Cambridge 1660];
  • John Draper BA - 19 Mar 1676 [vacant; held in plurality with Farndish until 1694; deprived 1712];
  • Benjamin Rogers - 22 Dec 1712 [Sidney College, Cambridge; on deprivation of John Draper; value £12/13/4; in plurality with Curacy of Goldington];
  • John Teape AM - 18 Aug 1720 [on cess. of Benjamin Rogers; buried 5 Jun 1723];
  • Thomas Tipping AM - 22 Jun 1723 [on death of last Vicar; held in plurality with Biddenham from 1730];
  • Robert Stokes BA - 5 Apr 1758 [on death of Thomas Tipping];
  • Thomas Richards - 24 Sep 1759 [clerk; on resignation of Robert Stokes];
  • (Thomas Hornbuckle BA - 6 Jun 1762 [Emmanuel College, Cambridge; ordained deacon, to cure of souls]);
  • Thomas Richards MA - 1 Jun 1769 [on cess. of Thomas Richards];
  • Edward Stone MA - 18 Apr 1799 [on death of Thomas Richards; of Wadham College, Oxford 27 Mar 1767; Vicar of Horsenden [Buckinghamshire]1769; JP for Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire; Rector of Hartwell with Little Hampden [Buckinghamshire] 1883; died at Lovell's Hill, Windsor [Berkshire] 15 Feb 1811 aged 66; buried at Wingfield [Berkshire]];
  • William Stephen MA - 9 May 1811 [of St.John's College, Cambridge 1805; on death of Edward Stone; also Vicar of Bledlow [Buckinghamshire]];
  • Hon.Alan Brodrick MA - 18 Apr 1867 [of Balliol College, Cambridge; on death of William Stephen];
  • W.H.Jackson: 1879;
  • Edward Ernest Nickisson - Jan 1917;
  • Walter Alexander Limbrick - Nov 1932;
  • Noel Bonavia-Hunt - Jun 1937;
  • Alfred Victor Boyle Morgan - 1956;
  • Leslie George William Lenton - 1960;
  • Niklaus Wehren - 1973;
  • Derek Vincent Draper - 1984;
  • Andrew C.M.Tweedy - 2004

Volume 81 published by Bedfordshire Historical Records Society (2002) is a series of episcopal visitations edited by former County Archivist Patricia Bell. They throw an interesting light on the state of the church in each parish. In 1712 the Vicar, John Draper reported: "None Come to Church un-baptized. Many not Confirmed. Divine service once every Lord's day...Communion 3 times a year. But 4 received at Easter last. In 1717 Benjamin Rogers reported: "My lord, I reside at Bedford, Your Lordship having granted me the favor [sic] of a dispensation; because my Living being small, and not sufficient to maintain my family...My lord, I know of none in my parish who come to Church but what are baptized. But there are some few which are baptized and of Age to be confirmed, bu tare not. I never did baptize an Adult Person. My Lord, the public Service of the Church is read duly once and but once every Lord's day, in the morning one Sunday, in the afternoon another, and the reason is, because I have the cure of the Church at Goldington. My Lord, I catechize so many as are sent (which I heartily wish were more) every Sunday in the afternoon immediately after the second Lesson. they learn no other Catechism whereby they may the better understand that of the Church, that I know of. My Lord, the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is administered in my Church Three times a Year, at which I think I never had above Nine Persons. How many communicated last Easter, I cannot now exactly remember, but I believe about five or six".

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 Stagsden church, made by the curate, V.S.Wilkins, notes accommodation for 250 in the church and lists attendees as 71, with 96 Sunday Scholars, in the morning and 141, with 105 Sunday Scholars, in the afternoon - grand totals of 167 and 246.