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List of Goldington Vicars

The church from the south-east about 1910 [Z1130-51-2]
The church from the south-east about 1910 [Z1140/51/2]


Volume III of The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire was published in 1912. It noted that the first mention of the advowson of Goldington church is on the creation of Newnham Priory, the advowson being held by the priory from creation to destruction by Henry VIII (1509-1547) in 1541.

In 1541 the Crown conferred the advowson on Urian Brereton, then in 1549 to Sir George Brooke, Lord Cobham. Cobham’s son, William, was attainted for treason by James I (1603-1625) in 1603 and imprisoned. The advowson was taken back by the Crown and sold to a man confusingly named Duke Brooke the following year.

In 1606 Brooke alienated the advowson to Sir John Spencer. His daughter, wife to the Earl of Northampton inherited it. The last mention of it as owned by the earls is in 1654, in 1661 it was given to Henry Heron and Thomas Heyhoe. William Bedcott had the advowson in 1663 before alienating it to Nicholas Luke.

In 1681 Elizabeth Langdale, wife of the previous vicar was patron. The next presentations of vicars were by: John Sanderson Hawkins in 1715 and 1718; George Blundell and Benjamin Rogers in 1728; Robert Collins in `743; Ann Collins in 1747 and Ann and Elizabeth Collins in 1749.

The latter two women sold the advowson to the Duke of Bedford in 1755. At some point between 1877 and 1897 the advowson was passed by the dukes to the Bishop of Ely and reverted to the Bishop of Saint Albans when Bedfordshire moved dioceses in 1914.  

The church from the south-east June 2017
The church from the south-east June 2017

List of Vicars

  • Elyas de Evesham, instituted by Hugh of Wells, Bishop of Lincoln: 1209;
  • William de Kerdingtone, chaplain: 1228;
  • Nicholas, chaplain: 1229;
  • Fulco, chaplain,on the death of Nicholas: 1258;
  • Stephen de Gares, deacon, on the resignation of Fulco: 27th March 1274;
  • Thomas de Walkern, chaplain, on the death of Stephen: 10th July 1292;
  • John de Irtelingburg, clerk, on the death of Thomas; “in minor orders, but now ordained and instituted”: 21st December 1297;
  • William de Lobenham, chaplain, on the death of John de Erthlingbury: 25th February 1299;
  • Ralph de Emberton, chaplain, on the resignation of William de Lubbenham: 15th February 1301;
  • Gilbert de Foulstowe, chaplain, on the death of Ralph: 18th June 1309;
  • William de Estwik, chaplain, on the death of Gilbert: 14th June 1327;
  • John Dover;
  • Richard de Pisseford, priest: 28th November 1353;
  • Richard Baynell, priest, on the resignation of Richard: 26th February 1352;
  • Richard Welde, Vicar of Abbots Langley [Hertfordshire], by exchange with Richard Baynell: 1st April 1359;
  • William Cordewaine;
  • William Petyt, priest, on the resignation of William Cordwaine: 3rd May 1391;
  • John Barre of Bedford, on the resignation of William Petit: 7th November 1392;
  • William Horwurth, chaplain, on the resignation of John Barre, who exchanged to be Vicar of Great Paxton [Huntingdonshire]: 3rd March 1400;
  • William Thorley, Vicar of Mersk, Diocese of York, by exchange with William de Hurworth: 10th November 1406;
  • John Wryght, chaplain, on the resignation of William Thorley, exchanged to be Rector of Little Loughton [Buckinghamshire]: 17th May 1408;
  • John Brotherton;
  • John Wryght, Vicar of Ravensden, by exchange with John Brotherton: 20th June 1421;
  • William Overton;
  • John Candelesby, priest, on the resignation of William Overton: 8th March 1439;
  • John Jarvas, on the resignation of John Candelesby: 3rd May 1440;
  • Thomas Bylman, priest, vacant, 13 February 1443;
  • Robert Drury, priest, on the resignation of Thomas Bylman: 29th January 1450;
  • John Gryggys, chaplain, on the resignation of Robert Drury: 13th October 1453;
  • Nicholas Ardwyk, priest, on the resignation of John Grygges: 2nd May 1460;
  • John Pateman - 15 Mar 1461 [priest; on resignation of D.Nicholas Ardewyk];
  • Richard Churche - 19 Nov 1475 [vacant];
  • William Duffyn - 2 Mar 1481 [priest; on resignation of D.Richard Churche];
  • John Stewart;
  • William Farraund - 30 Jan 1500 [priest; on resignation of D.John Steawrt; pension of 40/-];
  • John Eggerton - 2 Feb 1505 [priest; on death of D.William Ferrauntt];
  • Oliver Gregson - 8 Aug 1509 [on resignation of D.John Egerton];
  • Alexander Symson - 24 Sep 1510 [on resignation of D.Oliver Gregson];
  • Henry Dyke - 25 Oct 1512 [on resignation of D.Alexander Symson; witness to will in 1543];
  • Robert Watson;
  • John Kyng - 6 May 1533 [capellanus; on death of D.Robert Watson];
  • Edward Guse - 9 Feb 1548;
  • Edmund Hyne;
  • William Bowes - 4 Jul 1554 [clerk; patron Urian Brereton; [vacant by deprivation of Edmund Hyne, last Vicar];
  • Sir Richard Harrys - 14 Oct 1557 [priest; on death of last Vicar; patrons Sir Uryan Brereton and Lady Jane Bray, his wife];
  • Thomas Penbridge AM - 11 Dec 1573 [clerk; patron William Brooke, 10th Baron Cobham];
  • Edward Mollyns
  • John Johnson - 4 Jan 1579 [vacant by resignation of Edward Mollyns; patron William Brooke, 10th Baron Cobham];
  • Oliver Roberts MA - 1583 [patron Lord Cobham; buried 4 Apr 1625; vacant by reason of the acceptance of a second benefice by the last Vicar, D.John Johnson];
  • John Knapp BA - 8 Dec 1621 [clerk; patron William Compton, 1st Earl of Northampton];
  • Thomas Poynter AM - 23 Jan 1660 [clerk; patron the Bishop by lapse];
  • Richard Bedcott MA - 8 May 1663 [on cess. of Thomas Pointer; patron William Bedcott, gentleman; will dated 22 May, proved 9 Sep 1676];
  • John Langdale MA - 21 Jun 1676 [on death of Richard Bedcot; patron Nicholas Luke, gentlemanordained priest 14 Jun 1674 by Humfrey Henchman, Bishop of London; buried 17 Jun 1681; will dated 22 May, proved 9 Jun 1681];
  • Robert Hawkins BA - 27 Jun 1681 [on death of John Langdale; patron Elizabeth Langdale, widow; buried 2 Mar 1714];
  • Thomas Jessop - 12 Aug 1715 [on death of Robert Hawkins; patron John Sanderson Hawkins, gentleman; value 8/9/4.5];
  • Henry Odell AB - 19 Mar 1718 [on cess. of Thomas Jessop; patron John Sanderson Hawkins; inducted 28 Mar 1718; buried 19 Jul 1728];
  • Barwell Collins - 25 Oct 1728 [clerk; on death of Henry Odell; patrons George Blundell esquire and Benjamin Rogers, clerk];
  • Edmund Bentham AM - 30 Mar 1743 [on death of Barwell Collins; patron Robert Collins of Trinity College, Cambridge];
  • Robert Collins AB - 23 Oct 1747 [clerk; on resignation of Edmund Bentham; patron Ann Collins, spinster; died 16 Aug 1749, aged 27];
  • John Saunderson Am - 31 Oct 1749 [clerk; on death of Robert Collins; patrons Ann and Elizabeth Collins, spinsters];
  • John Morris AM - 24 Mar 1759 [on death of John Sanderson; patron John, Duke of Bedford];
  • Thomas Hornbuckle AM - 22 May 1766 [clerk; on resignation of John Morris; patron John, Duke of Bedford];
  • Thomas Hornbuckle MA - 31 Jul 1794 [on cess. of Thomas Hornbuckle; patron Francis, Duke of Bedford];
  • Charles Abbot DD - 1 Apr 1803 [on death of Thomas Hornbuckle; patron John, Duke of Bedford];
  • Philip Hunt LL.D - 11 Nov 1817 [on death of Charles Abbot; patron Francis, Duke of Bedford];
  • Thomas Roy MA - 1 Sep 1828 [on cess. of Philip Hunt; patron Duke of Bedford];
  • William Monkhouse MA - 24 Feb 1835 [on death of Thomas Roy; patron Duke of Bedford; died 14 Jun 1862];
  • William Henry Bond BA - 20 Aug 1862 [on death of William Monkhouse; patron Duke of Bedford];
  • Francis William Bradney Dunne - Mar 1897;
  • Louis Philip Smith - Jun 1922 [formerly Louis Philip Schmidt];
  • John Percival Page Gorton - Dec 1939;
  • Christopher Mackonochie - Jan 1947;
  • Denis William Janes - 1958;
  • Ronald Gavin Henderson Cooper - 1962;
  • Peter Hill - 1969;
  • Kenneth Mervyn Lancelot Hadfield Banting - 1979;
  • Trevor Maines - 1995;
  • Richard L Howlett - 2005

The church from the south-west about 1910 [Z1130-51-4]
The church from the south-west about 1910 [Z1130/51/4]


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 forGoldington, which suggest a degree of pastoral neglect,are as follows:

  • 1706: “The parish hath 45 families in it. Among these are 10 persons who dissent, all Baptists, having a Meeting-house here.
  • 1709: “Families 60, Souls 260, of which about 36 dissenters, Anabaptists. They have a public Meeting and assemble on Sundays between 30 and 40 in number … Two Adults baptized since the last Visitation. One comes to church yet Unbaptized. Some not confirmed. Communicants between 30 and 40. There are many of Age who seldome, or never, receive at all”.
  • 1712: About 50 families, of [whom] about 7 of Dissenters. The Vicar resides in his Vicarege House. None Un-baptized; some not confirmed. Divine service once every Lord’s day, and commonly on Litany and Holy days. The other time at Cople … Communion 3 times a year; about 23 received at Easter”.
  • 1717: completed by Benjamin Rogers, the curate “There are about sixty Families in my Parish, of which about twenty are Dissenters, mostly Anabaptists … There is an Anabaptist meeting house lisens’d where no great Numbers of People assemble every Sunday morning and Evening, taught by  Benjamin Skinner … I do not reside upon my Cure but at Bedford, which is a Mile from it, having obtain’d a dispensation from Your Lordship which I shall be ready at all times very thankfully to acknowledge as a great favor. Unbaptized My Lord, I know of none; but there are some Baptized persons of a Competent age for Confirmation not yet confirmed. I never did baptise an Adult Person … The Public Service is read once duly every Sunday; oftener than which I cannot read it because of my Church at Stachden [Stagsden]. Nor was it read oftener by my Vicar’s Predecessor who held it about 30 years [i.e. Robert Hawkins 1681-1715] … Sacrament My Lord ‘Tis administered Three times a year, at which there are commonly near a Score; and as far as I can remember that was near that Number communicated last Easter … I do this affair [give notice of sacrament] as the Rubric directs, and do commonly press the duty of coming to the sacrament in my Sermons at the time of giving notice thereof. I have refused the Sacrament to no Person”.
  • 1720 completed by the vicar, Henry Odell: “We have about 50 famelys. Of these we have about 13 familys dissenters, I suppose Independents. We have one Licenced Meeting house, and they assemble every Lords Day, tho’ not in great numbers, I suppose about 40 or 50, and one Benj: Skinner is their Teacher … I do personally reside, and live constantly in my vicarage House. I have no Curate … The Publick service is read twice every Lords Day … The Sacrament of the Lords Supper is administered three times in the year, but I intend, God willing, to have it four times in a very Little time. We have about 30 communicants, and about that number last Easter”.

 The church from the south-west June 2017
The church from the south-west June 2017

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 Saint Mary’s church was made by the vicar, William Monkhouse, who noted the following pieces of information:

  • The church had 180 free seats and 70 others.
  • General congregation was 43 in the morning and 127 in the afternoon.
  • Sunday scholars numbered 105 in the afternoon.

“This number is about average”.