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List of Westoning Vicars

Mary Magdalene detail from the south aisle window February 2010
Mary Magdalene detail from the south aisle window February 2010

Advowson

The advowson of Saint Mary Magdalene was granted to the nuns of Elstow Abbey by Henry II (1154-1189) along with the church of Hitchin [Hertfordshire]. When the abbey was dissolved in 1539 the advowson of Westoning was held by the Crown. In 1630 Lady of the Manor Mary Farmer died in possession of the advowson, having, it is surmised, been granted it about 1615. The advowson remained the property of the manor until a succession of Law of Property Acts in the 1920s effectively abolished manors in all but name. The patron of the living is now [2010] the Lord Chancellor on behalf of the Crown.

Eagle lectern February 2010
Eagle lectern February 2010

Since 1936 The Vicar of Westoning has also been the Rector of Tingrith. the two churches retain their own parochial church councils, churchwardens and parish officers.

Christ and Mary Magdalene from the east window February 2010
Christ and Mary Magdalene from the east window February 2010

List of Vicars

The following list of Vicars of Westoning is as complete as records will allow.

  • William - 1245 - chaplain;
  • Roger de Foxton;
  • William de Undele - 31st October 1312 - chaplain, on the death of Roger de Foxton;
  • Robert de Hangynton - 14th June 1349 - priest, on the death of William]
  • John Pratt;
  • Richard Atte Croft - 21st October 1375 - of Tadmerton, priest, on the resignation of John Pratt;
  • John Alleyn - 20th October 1394 - on the death of Richard Croft who died in his vicarage Friday, Feast of Dionysus last [9th October];
  • John atte Hurne - 4th July 1399 - chaplain;
  • Henry Heynore - 2nd October 1399 - priest, on the resignation of John Atteherne, who exchanged to Brandon Rectory, Norwich [Norfolk];
  • John Martyn - 28th June 1401 - on the resignation of Henry Heynore, who exchanged to Bolton Mundesy Vicarage;
  • George Gilbert - 26 Aug 1401 - chaplain, on the death of John Kyng;
  • George Taylour - 1401;
  • Richard Bayford - 22nd April 1411 - priest, on the resignation of George Taillour, who exchanged to Rushenden Vicarage [Rushden in Northamptonshire?];
  • John Cook - 25th December 1411 - Vicar of Henlow, who exchanged with Richard Bayford;
  • Thomas Stayndrope - 24th February 1419 - priest, on the resignation of John Cook who exchanged to Baswynthorp Rectory [Bassinghtorpe in Lincolnshire?];
  • Nicholas Mason;
  • John Coke - 20th November 1439 - priest, on the resignation of Nicholas Mason;
  • John Veysyn - 19th June 1448 - priest, on the resignation of John Coke;
  • Henry Faukener - 20th April 1453 - priest, on the resignation of John Veysyn;
  • Batholomew Kynyow - 27th November 1464 - priest, on the resignation of Henry Faukener;
  • Robert Casour - 22nd February 1504 - priest, on the death of Bartholomew Kenowe;
  • Oliver Lylly - 23rd September 1508 - chaplain, on the resignation of Robert Cosser;
  • Henry Richards - 16th January 1516 - chaplain, on the death of Oliver Lylly;
  • Thomas Newman - 30th September 1517 - on the resignation of Henry Richards;
  • William Whalley - 14th August 1522 - chaplain, on the resignation of Thomas Newman;
  • Radulphus Manfield - 19th December 1547;
  • William Edlynson - 4th July 1554;
  • George Higbyd - 7th December 1560 - clerk, on the death of last vicar;
  • John Sandall - 16th July 1556 - clerk, on the resignation of the last vicar;
  • William Sterry - 14th January 1597;
  • John Norton - 23rd August 1614 - moved to Welton [Yorkshire] by February 1623;
  • Josiah Lamplough -c. 1620;
  • William Rawlins - 1664;
  • Henry Hunt - 23rd January 1674 - on the death of William Rawlins;
  • Henry Hunt - 29th March 1682 - B. A., on the resignation of Henry Hunt;
  • Henry Smyth - 11th January 1711 - A. B., on the death of Henry Hunt;
  • Thomas Cox - 6th August 1713 - A. M., on the resignation of Henry Smyth;
  • Robert Arnald - 1720 - curate;
  • John Matthews - 26th May 1724 - A. M., on the resignation of Thomas Cox;
  • Richard Reddall - 4th February 1746 - M. A., on the death of John Matthews;
  • Thomas Floyd - 19th March 1764 - clerk, on the resignation of Peter Reddall;
  • Thomas Greaves - 14th December 1768 - clerk, on the death of Thomas Floyd;
  • William Jeffreys - 8th October 1778 - clerk, on the resignation of Thomas Greaves;
  • Richard Hitchin Whitehurst - 27th April 1792 - B. A., on the death of William Jeffreys;
  • Thomas Pearse - 20th June 1823 - M. A., on the death of Richard Hitchin Whitehurst;
  • Arthur Henry Pearse - August 1891 - M. A.;
  • Edward Trevor Bird - Dec 1899 - M. A.;

The grave of Horace Hammond January 2010
The grave of Horace Hammond January 2010

  • Horace Hammond - Sep 1902 - B. A., died 2nd May 1912;
  • Charles John James McCormick - October 1912;

The grave of Evan Llunwerth Jones Roberts January 2010
The grave of Evan Llunwerth Jones Roberts January 2010

  • Evan Llunworth Jones Roberts - July 1936 - died 1957;
  • Alfred Samuel Wright - 1956
  • David Baron Tanqueray - 1969;
  • David James Woodley - 1972;

The grave of Malcolm John Hill January 2010
The grave of Malcolm John Hill January 2010

  • Malcolm John Hill - 1978 - died 1993;
  • Margaret J.Bettis - 1994;
  • Nigel L. Washington - 2007.

 Jesus from the south aisle window February 2010
Jesus from the south 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. From evidence below Henry Smith and Thomas Cox were evidently both non-residents. The returns for Westoning are as follows:

  • 1709: "None come to Church un-baptized. Many not Confirmed.Communicants about 50. Of these about 12 received at easter last. Many seldom or never receive at all".
  • 1712: "The Vicar lives at Tingrith, a little mile distance, where He is Curat [sic], and a better conveniency for his Boarding. Divine Service once every Lord's day, the other time at Tingrith. Communion 3 times a year [these were, traditionally, Christmas, Easter and Whitsun]".
  • 1717: "By reason of the snalness [sic] of the Income, and necessary Repairs about the House and Barn, I am aobliged to accept of a Curacy till I can finish all necessary Repairs, which are going on as fast as the Income will allow. For I save not a Farthing out of it. The preacher in my absence receives £18 per annum tho' I am in the parish 2 or 3 times in the year, for 6 weeks or 2 months together, and perform all the Church Duties myself. No Adults Baptized since the last Visitation. The publick [sic] service is performed twice every Lord's day by the Vicar, and two Sermons likewise. In his absence, but once. At easter last Thirteen Persons were Partakers of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, which is administered at the 3 Great Festivals".
  • 1720: "The reverend Mr. Cox Vicar of Westoning is at or near London in an ill state of health. His Curate Lives at Ampthill, his name is Robert Arnald. He has been curate about a month, his allowance is £18 per annum. The pblick [sic] service is performed once every Sunday one Sunday in the morning, the other on the afternoon and so by turns. The Sacrament is administered three times every year. To the other particulars I am a stranger, being Lately come to the Cure".

 Pulpit February 2010
Pulpit 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 David W. Bushby. The return for Westoning church was made by the Vicar, Thomas Pearce, who noted the following pieces of information:

  • Sittings: "not able to ascertain, very unequal arrangement";
  • General Congregation: 67 in the morning, 137 in the evening "Lecture at School".
  • Sunday Scholars: 134 both in the morning and afternoon and 39 in the evening
  • The average figures for general congregation were 65 in the morning, 150 in the afternoon and 50 in the evening.
  • The average figures for Sunday scholars were 145 in both morning and afternoon and 48 in the evening.

The vexillum February 2010
The vexillum February 2010