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List of Tempsford Rectors

The  font August 2016
The font August 2016


Volume II of the Victoria County History of Bedfordshire was published in 1908. It noted that the first mention of the advowson of Tempsford church is a grant to the Priory of Saint Neots [Huntingdonshire] by Robert de Caryn in 1129. In 1389 the right was sequestered to the Crown, on the occasion of the war with France because Saint Neots was an alien priory, that is, its mother house was in France. It has remained with the Crown, with a few exceptions, ever since.

From 1957 Tempsford shared an incumbent with Little Barford and the two parishes were united on the closure of Little Barford church in 1973. Since 1999 Little Barford and Tempsford have had the same incumbent as Blunham, Great Barford and Roxton in what is known as the Riversmeet Benefice, part of the Ivel Group Ministry.

Sedilia August 2016
Sedilia August 2016

List of Rectors

  • Richard Burnard, clerk: 1222;
  • Hugh Oilly, clerk and subdeacon: 1242;
  • Hugh St. Roubur, clerk: 22nd July 1288;
  • Adam de Novo Castro [Newcastle], clerk, presented on minor orders and now ordained subdeacon: 27th May 1290;
  • M. Geoffrey de Brunne, chaplain, on the death of Adam de Novo Castro: 3rd September 1305;
  • Robert de Everdon, chaplain: 20th December,1314;
  • Ralph de Longo Campo, priest, on the resignation of Robert de Everdon: 22nd February 1316;
  • William de Dorso Usto, acolyte, on the death of Ralph de Longo Campo: 13th September 1321;
  • William Constable, subdeacon: 12th July 1349;
  • Peter de Hermodesworth, clerk, on the death of William Constable, 3rd August 1382;
  • on 6th August 1382 William Constable revoked his resignation of the church
  • John Schyrbourn, priest, on the resignation of William Constable: 26th October 1382;
  • Robert de Ravendale, priest, on the resignation of John Shirebourn: 4th December 1388;
  • John Redhorde, Rector of Littilbury, diocese of London [Littlebury, Essex], on exchange with  Robert de Ravendale: 19th March 1389;
  • Henry Maupas: 7th May 1391;
  • Richard Henry, on the resignation of Henry Maupas: 23rd October 1393;
  • Robert Fossard, chaplain, on the death of Richard Henry: 28th December 1410;
  • Edmund;
  • Thomas Bole, on the death of Edmund: 4th March 1422;
  • John Rudyng LLB: 20th December 1456;
  • John Wardale LLD; his will was proved in P.C.C. in 1472;
  • John Geffrey, on the death of John Wardale: 24th May 1472;
  • Robert Crake, on the resignation of John Geffrey;
  • Thomas Philipp BA, clerk, on the death of Robert Crake; he was a  Chorister of Magdalen College, Oxford in 1492: 21st June 1501;
  • William Manley MA, on the death of Thomas Philipp MA: 21st September 1541;
  • Valentine Taylor;
  • John Price MA, on the deprivation of Valentine Tailor: 26th March 1562;
  • Thomas Rokes MA, presented on the resignation of the last incumbent: 18th March 1569
  • William Clarke: 19th September 1593;
  • Roger Parker: 23rd May 1597;
  • Geoge Eland STB, on the resignation of the last incumbent, presented to the rectory of Kettlethorpe, diocese of Lincoln, in 1598: 26th March 1600;
  • Thomas Noke MA, on the resignation of George Eland: 15th January 1608;
  • Laurence Sanderson, clerk, buried 9th December 1611;
  • Francis Cook - 6th July 1619;
  • Michael Walker: 1620;
  • Gyles King, clerk, one of His Majesty's Chaplains Extraordinary: 8th April 1623;
  • Edward Rolt, presented 29th April 1659 by Richard, Lord Protector: 28th May 1647;
  • Anthony Huish MA: 25th July 1660;
  • John Hough STB, ordained priest 22nd September 1678 by John Bishop of Oxford: 13th January 1687;
  • James Wild MA, on the promotion of John Hough to the Bishopric of Oxford; he was buried, 3 May 1702: 2nd June 1690;
  • Thomas Sandys MA, on the death of James Wild: 1st October 1702;
  • Christopher Erye BA, on the resignation of Thomas Sandy: 22nd December 1711;
  • Lewis Monoux MA, on the death of Christopher Eyre; dispensation dated 28th June 1743 to hold Sandy Rectory with Tempsford: 7th July 1743;
  • Philip Monoux MA, on the death of Lewis Monoux: 30th April 1771;
  • Edward TanquerayLLB, on the death of Sir Philipp Monoux, Bart., clerk: 30th March 1814;
  • Henry Cotesworth MA, on the death of the last incumbent: 3rd February 1847;
  • William Gifford Cookesley MA, on the death of Henry Cotesworth: 6th November 1868;
  • William Williamson: December 1904;
  • J H Ward: November 1936;
  • Alfred John Watkins: February 1945;
  • Cecil Vaughan Lawson: September 1947;
  • Frederick James Wells: April 1951;
  • Thomas Purchas: 1971;
  • David Kenneth Williams: 1981;
  • Peter W Ricketts: 1986;
  • Richard D Seymour-Whiteley: 1993;
  • Barbara Eveling: 1999.

The pulpit August 2016
The pulpit August 2016


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.

Extracts from the returns for Tempsford are as follows:

  • 1709: “None come to church un-baptised, several not confirmed. Communicants about 120. Of these about 22 received at Easter last. There are at least 8- who have not received once these seven years.”
  • 1712: “20s per annum left to the Rector for a Sermon upon Easter Monday, to the poor 5s, both by Mr Wats. By Henry Wallis 10s a year to the poor. By Mr Brumsall £5 now in the hands of Isaac Thomas. By Henry Edwards £10 if his sister (who has been missing ever since the Great Storm) cannot be found. The Rector resides partly here and partly at Aston his other living. When he is absent his Curate resides in the Rectory house. None come to church unbaptised. Divine Service twice every Lord’s day… Communion 4 times a year.”
  • 1717: “Mr. Eyre is Rector and resides at Aston in Hertfordshire. I am Mr Eyre’s curate and live in the parsonage house and am allowed forty pounds per annum. I know of none that come to church that are unbaptised. There are some of a competent age that are not yet confirmed… The public service is read twice every Lord’s day except when I supply for a neighbouring Brother that is not well or absent… The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is administered four times in the year and generally between thirty and forty. We had last Easter about 35 communicants… Susan Jeaps has done public penance in the church.”
  • 1720: “Mr Eyre, Rector, resides (being one of the Masters) at Winchester. My name is T. Jessop. I have lived in the parsonage house more than six years, have a License and am allowed 40 pound per annum… The public service is read twice every Sunday morning and evening unless I go to assist a neighbouring Clergyman that is sick or gone a journey.”

 The pulpit August 2016
The pulpit August 2016

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 Bedford Historical Records Society in 1975 as Volume 54, edited by D.W. Bushby. The return for Tempsford was made by the Registrar, R. Barker, who noted the following pieces of information:

  • The church had 140 seats
  • An average of 50 adults and 30 Sunday School children attended the morning services
  • An average of 100 adults and 40 Sunday School children attended the afternoon services  

The south door August 2016
The south door August 2016