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List of Sandy Rectors

Parish vexillum May 2010
Parish vexillum May 2010


The advowson of the church of Saint Swithun is first recorded in 1209 when Roger de Beauchamp held it. By 1240 it was held by Caldwell Priory, Bedford. On Caldwell's dissolution in 1536 the advowson became the property of The Crown. In 1541 it was granted to John Burgoyne who alienated it to Richard Braithwayte and Thomas Spencer in 1586. John Spencer, who owned Sandy Manor then purchased it and the Lords of the Manor were also Patrons of the Living until 1809

From at least 1814 until at least 1829 the patron was George Cooke Yarborough. Since then the advowson has been held by the Pym family of Hasells Hall. The current patron [2010] is Lord Jonathan Pym.

The font May 2010
The font May 2010

The following list of Rectors of Sandy is as complete as records will allow.

  • Richard de Newenham; c.1209 - clerk;
  • Robert de Haia:1244 - subdeacon;
  • Peter Peyure: 1245 - official of the Archdeacon of Bedford;
  • Henry la Suche: 4th August 1267 - subdeacon, on the death of Peter Peyuere];
  • John de Harington: 26th June 1303 - priest, on the death of Henry la Suche; the Prior and Convent of Caldwell had presented Ralph Bomund, clerk, but it appeared that he held also the churches of Antingham and Welborne [Norfolk] without a dispensation and was therefore disqualified by Council of Leyden;
  • William de Bedewind: 2nd June 1306 - acolite on the institution of John de Harington to the Rectory of Herpeswell;
  • Robert de Norton: 5th June 1316 - deacon, on the resignation of William de Bedewynd;
  • John de Barton: 24th November 1319 - priest, on the resignation of Robert de Norton;
  • Richard Pyrie: 3rd January 1360 - "of Welleford", priest, on the death of John de Barton; died 13th August 1398;
  • John Stratton - 21st August 1398 - chaplain, on the death of Richard Pyrie;
  • Thomas Ruggeley: 6th March 1399 - Rector of Eynesford [Kent], by exchange with John Stratton;
  • John Lyly: 9th January 1419 - exchanged his benefice of Saint Leonard's, City of London, with Thomas Ruggle;
  • John Hertepole: died 7th November 1432, he has a brass in church;
  • John Derby: 23rd December 1432 - clerk, on the death of John Hertill;
  • John Kekilpeny;
  • Thomas Kirkeley: 18th May 1455 - Master of the Rolls; exchanged Brighteston [Isle of Wight] with John Kekylpeny;
  • Robert Abdy M. A.: 17th April 1459, on the resignation of Thomas Kyrkeby;
  • John Dey: 18th June 1483 - priest, on the death of Robert Abdy;
  • Thomas Ingilby: 5th February 1484 - Bishop of Rathlure, Ireland; on the death of John Dey;
  • Robert Spenser: 8th July 1499 - clerk, on the death of Thomas Ingilby, Bishop of Rathlure;
  • Thomas Burgoyn: 1534 - also Rector of Hildersham [Cambridgeshire], his will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in 1551;
  • William Bill: 19th March 1551 - on the death of Thomas Burgoyne;
  • William Welles: 20th December 1561 - clerk, on the death of William Bill; resigned 26th January 1574;
  • Thomas Noke B. D.: 13th October 1573 - on the resignation of William Welles;
  • Bartholomew Chamberlaine: 4th October 1593;
  • John Bickley M. A.: 26th November 1600 - on the resignation of Bartholomew Chamberlaine; buried 2nd January 1628;
  • Robert Symcotes: 4th January 1628 - buried 5th February 1638;
  • Paul Micklethwaite D. D.: 8th April 1639 - on the death of last Vicar,  buried 6th August 1639;
  • Francis Walsall: 13th August 1639 - on the death of Paul Micklethwaite, prebend of Saint Peter, Weston, one of the Royal Chaplains; his living was sequestered on 3rd August 1644 by reason of his long absence and residence at Charles I's court at Oxford during the First Civil War;  his will is dated 2nd September 1661; buried 7th September 1661;
  • Francis Palmer A. M.: 6th February 1662 - clerk, his will is dated 2nd September 1680, proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 15th March 1682;
  • Jonathan Hooker M. A.: 18th July 1682 - on death of Francis Palmer, ordained priest 19th December 1679 by Henry Compton, Bishop of London, buried 6th September 1722;
  • John Slatter A. M.: 24th January 1723 - on death of Jonathan Hooker;
  • Lewis Monoux A. M.: 5th December 1729 - on the resignation of John Slater;
  • Philip Monoux M. A.: 3rd April 1771 - on the death of Lewis Monoux;
  • Harry Cooke M. A. : 3rd May 1814 - on the death of Sir Philip Monoux, clerk;

John Richardson about 1910 [Z1306/99]
John Richardson about 1910 [Z1306/99]

  • John Richardson M. A.: 21st September 1858 - on the death of Harry Cooke, died 6th September 1913 in his 91st year;
  • Arthur Sloman: December 1913;
  • Thomas Hammond Strong: 1920;
  • Charles German Hooper: November 1946;
  • Leonard Grey Colls: 1953;
  • Desmond Benjamin Moore Warren: 1963;
  • Eric Edward James Rowland: 1979
  • Derwyn G. Williams: 2000

The pulpit May 2010
The pulpit May 2010


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 Sandy are as follows:

  • In 1709 the Rector, Jonathan Hooker, noted: "Many not Confirmed. Communicants about 100. Of these 80 received at Easter last. There are a great many of Age, who yet do not Communicate at all".
  • In 1712 Hooker noted that he lived in the Rectory and that he held services twice every Sunday "once Litany and Holy days". Communion was administered four times a year, presumably at Easter, Whitsun, the Sunday closest of Michaelmas (29th September) and Christmas "More than 100 Communicants, of which about 60 usually receive. At Easter near 80".
  • In 1717 Hooker was still living at the Rectory and had no curate. He believed there were a number of "competent age" who had been baptized but not confirmed but did not know for certain. He continued to hold two services on Sunday and one every Wednesday, Friday and holy day. He now had about a hundred and twenty communicants of who mabout eighty usually received "I suppose about ninety did communicate at Easter last". The return for 1720 shows no substantial changes from that of 1717.

Angel in the chancel May 2010
Angel in the chancel May 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 Sandy church was made by the churchwarden, Charles Pope, who noted the following pieces of information:

  • The church had 361 free seats and 259 reserved;
  • The general congregation that morning had been 111, with 259 in the afternoon. There had been 133 Sunday scholars in the morning and 102 in the afternoon.

Lady Chapel window detail May 2010
Lady Chapel window detail May 2010