St Peter in the Rushes


The site of the church of St Peter in the Rushes lies in a small enclosure, surrounded by fields with a fish pond near by. It is within 150m of the junction of the three parish boundaries of Rempstone, Costock and East Leake and from this it might be supposed that an early Saxon church once stood here to serve the three villages. Visible signs of its existence are the remains of the old graveyard which is about three quarters of a mile to the north west of the present church of All Saints in Rempstone village.

The only pictorial evidence of the church, as far as is known, is a minute sketch on a map prepared in 1768 at the time of the Rempstone enclosure. It shows a church with tower and nave at the end of a carriage-way leading from the Ashby to Rempstone turnpike road created a few years earlier in 1762.

Among reasons advanced for abandoning the old church were that it was decaying and in the intervening years from its foundation the village had coalesced some distance away, to the inconvenience of the villagers, so that with the advent of the enclosure it was decided to allocate land for a new church much closer to the village centre. Shortly afterwards a faculty was prepared. The new church incorporated materials recovered from the dismantled church.

Archaeological evidence showed that St Peter in the Rushes consisted of a nave, chancel, north and south aisles and a tower, unlike the new church, which has a tower adjoining a nave with an apse at the east end. Parochial visitation books of the archdeaconry records held at Nottingham University confirm the presence of two aisles in the church; for the churchwardens of Rempstone were told in July 1729 that

‘... the south [a]isle must be pointed with mortar where awanting ... and a new table of Marriages must be fixed up and a double style made at the entrance to the graveyard ...’

To ensure that this work was carried out they had to bring a certificate of performance to the Visitation in Nottingham in the following October. By 1735 it was decreed that

‘... the roof of the church porch and the north aisle be repaired, also the roof of the steeple ...’

There is no mention of a church in the Domesday survey of 1086. At that time Ralph de Buron [Byron] held lands in Rempstone and in the adjoining village of Costock. The land in Costock was under William de Cortingstok, his man or tenant. Andrew, probably his son, gave two bovates of land at Costock to Lenton Priory, founded c1108. Confirming this gift to Lenton Priory, Andrew’s son Robert de Cortingstok, additionally granted the churches at Costock and Rempstone to the priory, with a great curse against any who sort to annul his gifts. The existence of a Norman church at Rempstone was in all probability within two generations [50 years] after Domesday, say by 1140. The founder of this church is not known but the gift of the church to Lenton Priory by Robert de Cortingstok would point to this family. Neither is the dedication of the church clear as the wills of two rectors in the 15th century refer to the church as All Saints. Was it known as St Peter in the Rushes before it was acquired by Lenton Priory or was it, as has been suggested, rededicated with this name after the Reformation when it passed into private hands?

An early reference to the church is in 1171 in the reign of Henry II. From this date until the close of the 18th century, seven pence was sent yearly to Southwell Minster at Whitsuntide as the Pentecostal offering. In the early reign of Henry III (1216-1272) the de Cortingstok family were paying the prior and convent of Lenton two shillings annually for two bovates of land in Costock and for the advowson of the churches of Rempstone and Costock, enabling this family to propose incumbents to these churches. Normally this would be with the approval of the bishop, but the Cluniac house to which Lenton Priory belonged, had obtained permission to be ruled directly by the Pope. The incumbent would therefore be appointed or approved by the prior and convent of Lenton or by the mother house at Cluny in France.

In 1231 Walter Gray, archbishop of York, confirmed to Lenton Priory the annual pension that the priory had received from former times from churches mainly in and around Nottingham. St Mary in Nottingham, the highest contributor, paid 15 marks [£10], while the lowest payments came from Barton, 5 shillings, Costock 2 shillings and 1 lb. of pepper from Rempstone. In a similar list sent to the king in 1334, 1 lb. of pepper from the church of Remeston [One of the various spellings of the village.] had changed to 20 pence.

The Pre-Reformation Clergy

The presentation by the prior and convent of Lenton of Tho[ma]s ... ing, chaplain, on 18 February c1230/1, salve pensione [without loss of pension, ie stipend], is recorded in the register of Walter Gray. He was followed by Thomas de Penyngton, cap[ellanus] [chaplain], instituted as rector on 26 January 1234/5. The next rector is known only by his first name, Guy. He was presented before 12 November 1267 for on that date, Gydo, rector of the church of Rampeston was involved in a suit with auditors at the archbishop’s palace at Cawode, near York. They required him to fulfil agreements made in two documents they alleged he had signed. He agreed that his seal was on the first but the clause about the pension was omitted when read over and sealed. The other document, he said, was sealed with an old seal that he had lost. A year later, as rector of Rempiston, he was one of twelve clerics at the purgation of Thomas of Raley, held at Blyth, who was accused of the homicide of Bartholomew, called Tortus, slain long before at Oxford.

On 22 September of the same year, 1268, the following local acolytes were listed amongst those aspiring to priesthood; Will de Boney [Bunny], Rob de Rempeston and Will de Kingston. (Acolyte is a stage in the hierarchy of the ministry of the Church - the highest of the “minor orders”.)

In 1275 a payment of ten shillings was made from Rempstone church, part of a shortfall collected from some churches. Nothing is known about Ralph de Wilverton who was instituted by the archbishop of York on 20 June 1279, by lapse, caused by the vacancy at Rempstone lasting for more than six months. He was followed by John de Lyva, (Dolyua, Dolyva, Dolina), subdeacon, who was instituted by the prior and convent of Lenton on 25 August 1295 and in 1302 fined 40 shillings for non-residence. However on 14 February 1302/3, notice was given to the dean of Bingham that the sequestration for the fine of 40s imposed on Dolina following the last visitation, by reason of the comperta [a fact discovered during a visitation], had been relaxed. Later in 1303 a notice was sent from Cawode, to the sequestrator in the archdeaconry of Nottingham and to the dean of Byngham confirming the relaxation of the sequestration in the fruits of the church of Rempeston, imposed for the non-residence of Sir John de Dolina, the late rector, absent in the service of the count of Savoy. Ties remained between the king and the count of Savoy stemming from Eleanor, wife of Henry III, who favoured many of her relatives from this small country on the French-Italian border. One of her uncles, Boniface of Savoy, became archbishop of Canterbury from 1245-73.

The prebend of Eaton, endowed with the church of Eaton near Retford, was founded on 30 January 1290/1 by Archbishop of York, John le Romaine - it would seem with Gerarde de Seseriaco, (Sesinaco) in mind, as he was then collated (ie instituted by the Archbishop’s gift) to this benefice. There is confirmation by the chapter of Southwell of the archbishop annexing the church of Eaton to Southwell Minster, and making it a prebend. The collation to the vicarage was reserved to the archbishop for this time but afterwards the patronage was to belong to the prebendary of that prebend. The residing vicar to be treated as other vicars and to this end Gerard de Seseriaco, whilst absent, was given lease from the prebend of Eaton provided two marks a year were given for a vicar to the church.

In December 1302 Master de Sesiriaco, clerk, was to be admitted, on the presentation of the prior and convent of Lenton, to the church of Rempeston, with a grant of the custody of the fruits of the same till Easter, so that in the meantime he got himself ordained subdeacon. He had letters dimissory, that is, letters from a bishop authorizing the bearer as a candidate for ordination, for the order of subdeacon. Probably because he was not instituted until 6 April 1303 he was given leave to study for a further year on terms in a new papal decree.

Gerard de Seseriaco most likely derived his name from Ceyzériat, a little south of Bourg, (Département Ain) in France. Besides the prebend of Eaton he also claimed the prebend of Beckingham in the church of Southwell. Gerard was one of the attorneys nominated by Amadeus, count of Savoy, and is mentioned in royal letters of 21 November 1299. He was Archdeacon of York in 1304-7.

Hugh de Willyghby (Wilhgby, Wilghby), clerk, was instituted and inducted 10 October 1309 to the church of Rempston on the presentation of the prior and convent of Lenton. He was given letters dimissory for all orders, and licence to study for three years, and not to be compelled to proceed to higher orders than that of subdeacon. In October 1312 his leave was prolonged for another year. Hugh de Willyghby resigned for the vicarage of Willoughby on the Wolds where he was instituted 5 June 1320 by the prior and convent of Wirksop. On 20 May 1329 he freely resigned from Willoughby having been inducted into Ruddington church (presumably actually Flawford) shortly before on 12 May 1329. He was appointed to the prebend of Barnby, at York 3 July 1338, his successor in the stall being appointed in 1347.

Gilbert de Pontefract (Pomfrayt, Ponfreyt, Ponte fracto, Pounfrett, Punfrit, Puntefreyt) was granted licence to study at an English university for 1 year in September 1320 and 2 years in September 1322, with the comment that if he does not spend time at a university he must proceed to all holy orders at the statutory times, without the requirement of a vicar. Nevertheless he was given a further 3 years for study in October 1324. On 10 July 1317 he had been granted papal reservation of a benefice value 20 marks in the gift of the prior of the Cluniac convent of Lenton in the diocese of York, notwithstanding his fellowship at Merton College, worth 50s a year. And in 1320 was rector of Rempstone, till death, which had occurred by March 1328/9.

None of the next three rectors listed by Torre and Godfrey; Thomas de Sherburn, John de Loudham and the repetition of Hugh de Willyghby, were in fact rectors at Rempstone. Thomas de Sherburn was actually the father of John de Sherburn. It was through the provision of papal authority that, John, a poor clerk, was to be inducted by the dean of Bingham into the personal possession of the church at Rempstone and a full account was to be given to him of all the fruits, rents and income due. He was instituted on 10 March 1328/9. In 1334 he obtained a licence to study for one year and is probably the first rector of those so far listed who actually resided at Rempstone, until that is, 26 May 1359 when he resigned in an exchange of benefices with William de Hakthorp and was presented to the church of St Samson, York. In 1379 he was admitted as chancellor to the cathedral and died before 1410, still at York.

The next incumbent listed by Torre is John de Loudham with the cryptic note that he resigned. No date is given. According to the register of William Melton, John de Loudham was inducted into the church of Ruddington (Flawford) on 3 November 1323 as an acolyte and on 14 April 1329 he left Ruddington church for Bingham church.

As for Hugh de Willyghby and late vicar of Willoughby on the Wolds supposedly instituted on 12 May 1329 this is clearly impossible as on that very day he was being inducted into Ruddington church and two months before, as noted above, John de Sherburn was already rector of Rempstone.

After exchanging benefices with John de Sherburn, William de Hakthorp became rector on 17 June 1359. This was in the king’s gift by reason of the temporalities of the priory of Lenton being in the hands of Edward III on account of the war in France.

William de Denby who was educated at Oriel College, Oxford obtaining a BA in 1355 and BTh before 1381, was senior proctor of the university 1358-9. He was granted a papal dispensation to be promoted to all orders, notwithstanding illegitimacy and in 1361 was ordained subdeacon, deacon and on the death of William de Hakthorp became rector of Rempstone on 18 November, 1361. Later in the same year on 18 December he was made a prebendary of Dale Abbey, Derbyshire. He became chaplain of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, admitted 18 May 1366 and vacated after August 1375 and was master of the hospital of St Mary’s for the poor at Greatham, Durham, admitted after August 1372; still there in August 1375. In that year he was given permission to choose his confessor and to have a portable altar. A papal letter c.1375, probably 1372, for reasons given below, was sent to William de Denby, rector of Rempstone in the diocese of York, It concluded, ‘... Since receiving the above dispensations, [Including additional dispensations not listed here], he has obtained provision from the present pope of a benefice with or without cure of souls in the common or several gift of the bishop, prior, and chapter of Durham...’

John de Batisford, parson of the church of Pightesle, in the diocese of Lincoln, was presented on 28 August 1372 to the church in the king’s gift due once more to war in France. On this occasion it was on an exchange of benefices with Master William de Denby. Shortly after this it is likely that William de Denby moved to Durham where, on 16 May 1381, he was appointed vicar-general of theology by the bishop, Thomas Hatfield and subsequently granted papal provision of a benefice in the common or several gift of the bishop, prior, and chapter of Durham on 8 August 1395.

Again in July 1379 on account of the war in France, a Richard de Osset was presented to the church of Remston in the diocese of York in the king’s gift by reason of the temporalities of the priory of Lenton being in his hands, but the Patent Roll unfortunately does not clarify this further. However on 14 December 1383, Benedict de Gotham, cleric, was instituted under the patronage of Richard II. This is the date given by Torre, Godfrey gives 4 December 1383. The Patent Rolls for 1383 show that his presentation to Rempstone church was recorded on 30 October 1383 and allowing for the time for this to take effect Torre’s date of 14 December is the more likely for the institution.

No information was found regarding John Barston the next rector listed by Torre with the note that he resigned. No date or patron is given and in view of this he has been omitted from the list of incumbents of Rempstone church.

The 15th century was marked by a rapid turnover of incumbents. The exchange of benefice noted previously became a flood with many of these changes taking place yearly to the extent that in this century there were 19 rectors. This was not due to plagues as has been claimed, for in nearby Gotham, which was under manorial control, there were just six rectors during the century. Up to 1418 Torre gives details of the destination of some of the resigning incumbents. One of those moving elsewhere in Nottinghamshire was David Foxe, instituted at Rempstone on 24 October 1418. Shortly afterwards he resigned for the church of Cotgrave, in exchange with William Coker who was instituted at Rempstone on 28 January 1418/19.

During this time many of these priests are known by name only but some such as Alan Kyrketon left their mark in history. He was rector of Rempstone for just ten months in 1418 when he resigned for a chantry in the church of St Martin’s London. Rector of Rawreth, Essex c1414 he was granted dispensation to be bound for seven years not to be promoted to holy orders. He was a king’s clerk by 1420 and had a long career gaining extensive benefices in France and England and on separate occasions was canon of York, Rouen, Chartres and Lincoln. Another was John Castre (Castle, Castell). In the list of masters of Oxford University College John Castle is found about 1413. He was instituted at Rempstone on 24 April 1428, remaining for less than two years. He too was possibly the king’s clerk of this name. Among the posts he held after obtaining a doctorate in theology was chancellor, ie law officer to the bishop of Lincoln, 1323-24 and precentor of York, the cathedral choir leader from 1436-57.

Richard Spence possibly ailing when he was instituted on 13 March 1429, for he desired by his will dated St Anne’s day 1434 to be buried in the chancel at Rempstone. He was followed by John Stable instituted 3 August 1434, rector for about 20 years before he died, his successor being John Toralde LL.B. capellanus, late rector of Leake, instituted 27 April 1455 who resigned a few years later when he was collated to the prebend of Sacrista at Southwell on 3 January 1458/9. William Rath LL.B. capellanus, was rector of Rempstone in 1455 and for the next 18 months. He acted as proctor for the provost of Oriel College, Oxford and was consulted by Peterborough Abbey in 1451.

John Ironmonger, who became rector on 14 December 1461, requested in his will dated 9 October 1472 to be buried in the chancel at Rempstone. He was followed in rapid succession by John Hylton, capellanus, instituted, 23 October 1472, Richard Elkisley, capellanus, 11 March 1474/75 and William Willymote, 16 August 1476. At the end of this century Robert Bond, who was first bursar of Magdalen College, Oxford in 1480, was instituted to the rectory of Rempstone vacated by the death of William Willymote and in the archbishop’s patronage by lapse of time 26 November 1497. Possibly he was moved by the archbishop as previously he had been at Claybrooke, Leicestershire, where Thomas Honeylove, a layman cited Robert Bond, perpetual vicar of Claybrooke for unlawfully obtaining tithes from him. In 1502 he resigned from Rempstone to become vicar of Wandsworth, Surrey.

William Steele was rector at the time of the Reformation. Inducted 11 April 1503 he died before 1547 presumably having survived the drastic religious changes particularly horrendous for the prior and one of the monks of Lenton Priory who were brutally murdered on trumped up charges in March 1538. The next year Henry VIII granted the site of Lenton Priory and its demesne to Sir Michael Stanhope.

The Valor Ecclesiasticus, a survey of church property carried out in England and Wales undertaken following a parliamentary decree in 1535, records the taxable income for Rempstone church as £13 2s 8d of which 26s 3d, one tenth, was paid as tax. Little had changed in this nominal valuation since that of the Taxatio Ecclesiaticus of Pope Nicholas c.1291 when an income of 20 marks ie £13 6s 8d is recorded. As late as 1718, in a list of livings in England and Wales under £80 per annum laid before Queen Anne, the value of Rempstone in the King’s Book was £13 2s 6d with a yearly tenth of £1 6s 3d deducted as tax. Earlier in 1650, a Parliamentary Commission reported the annual value of the rectory to be £70.

Rempstone Chapel.

Robert de Rempston in 1237 obtained a licence to have a private chapel served by a chantry priest within his manor but parishioners were not to be allowed to worship there to the prejudice of the mother church and the chaplain had to swear fealty to the rector. In 1267 Lenton Priory granted permission for Robert de Rempston to have a chantry chapel at Rempston manor under the same conditions. One of the few chaplains recorded was that of Thomas Moys, presented by Edward III on 24 March 1370, the gift being his as the alien priory of Lenton was then in his hands by reason of war with France.

In 1400 Henry IV issued a commission for work to be carried out at Rempston for the repair of the manor of Thomas de Rempston, steward of the king’s household, who had a distinguished career in the king’s service. Under, Henry V, Sir Thomas de Rempston led out a small force of men at arms and archers at Agincourt. Margaret, widow of Sir Thomas Rempston the elder, Sir Thomas Chaworth and Sir William Babington and their heirs and assigns and other persons obtained a licence on 1 March 1447 to found in honour of the Holy Trinity, the Virgin and All Saints, a chantry of a chaplain to celebrate divine service daily in the chapel on the manor of Rempston for the good estate of the king and founders and for their souls after death and for the souls of Henry IV, Thomas Rempston and all the parents and of Thomas and Margaret; the chaplain to be capable of acquiring lands and rents and of pleading and being impleaded in any court. Licence also for the said founders to grant to the chaplain in mortmain 100s a year fee from the lands late of the said Thomas in Rempston and Hickling.

It may be noted that even the income from the chapel at Rempstone was included in the Valor Ecclesiasticus for the messuage and 2 virgates of land of Elizeus (Ellis) Soore, chantry priest in the chapel of George Stapleton, knight. It was valued at 20s from which 2s tax was paid.

The Chantry Certificate return of 1548 reported that the chantry at Rempstone was in the manorial chapel of George Stapleton esq., half a mile distant from the [old] parish church. However, under Edward VI the old chapel in the present village of Rempstone was seized and suppressed under the pretext that it was a chantry.

The Post-Reformation Clergy

The Patent Rolls of 1548 state that in June 1547 Edmund Randolf or Randall, late of Bunny, clerk, chaplain, or ‘soler’, vicar of Bunny and rector of Rempstone was one of many persons to receive a pardon of all offences to the end of the reign of Henry VIII. He has not been listed before as a rector of Rempstone.

William Boothe (Bouth, Bothe), whose patron was Edward VI, became rector on 7 May 1550. Torre (and Godfrey) state that this was on the death of William Steele but this may be in question in view of Edmund Randall mentioned above. There is further confusion for the Patent Roll dated 12 February 1550/1 records that a James Wheatley was presented to this church. In 1551 the church had formed part of a large grant to Sir Thomas Darcy, vice-chamberlain of the king. Did he try to have this rector nominated to the church? In the event William Boothe remained rector until 1575 for he desired in his will dated 24 February 1574/5 to be buried in the choir at Rempstone church.

The church next passed into the hands of the Stapleton family who, by descent by marriage from the De Rempston family, now held the manor at Rempstone. In the time of Elizabeth the Stapletons sold the manor to Field who in turn sold it to the Armstrongs.

On the death William Boothe, Henry Stapleton sent a letter to York, 21 April 1575, proposing the presentation of George Bullen. George Bullen wrote to York appointing a proctor, 1 September 1575 and at York there is a note of his admission at Rempstone on 15 October 1575.

John Aldrede was instituted on 1 April 1579 under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth. However, shortly after, he resigned to become rector of Ratcliffe on Soar, 1 February 1579/80. The patronage then reverted back to the Stapleton family with Henry Stapleton the patron of William Thorpe, cleric, who was instituted on 19 March 1579/80. He was also the parson at Costock. In 1583 Henry Stapleford, who died in 1586, noted in his will that he had

‘... bought and placed in his chuyrch a great chest , with three locks upon the same, and ther in have put tenn poundes, and one paper book; my will is [that] the chest shall remayne in the church so longe as yt will last, to kepe the paper booke and money in, when yt shall not be lend [except] as heare after followeth ...’ [The money to be lent to persons in Rempstone for three years at most with directions about lending it.]

Richard Smith & William Whatton, churchwardens of Rempstone were brought before the Archdeaconry Court of Nottingham, 12 March 1594/5

‘... because their church is in decay and they want bibles, the paraphrase of Erasmus, the book of public prayer issued on the authority of the Queen and two tomes of homilies required by the aforesaid authority [and were] ordered to repair the church and to provide the books by Trinity Sunday.’

Anthony Major was instituted on the death of William Thorpe on 28 February 1595/6. His patron was William Stapleton. On 15 October 1597 he brought an action against John Collington of Cortlingstocke for defamation, he having inferred that the rector was a drunkard more fit to preach over a tankard than in the pulpit. Anthony Major was among the list of clergy summoned for a visitation on 15 January 1607/8. He was buried at Rempstone, 8 February 1632.

Hugh Armstrong MA, was instituted at Rempstone on 16 February 1632/3 on the presentation of Leonard Foster and Gervasse Armstrong. Previously he had been presented to the living at Thorpe in the Glebe on 8 April 1625. His patron there, Gabriel Armstrong, was possibly the previous rector of that church who had resigned before 1625. Hugh Armstrong absented himself from Rempstone church, for reasons unknown, as he was reinstated through lapse on 3 August 1638 by Charles I. He died before 1643.

Church restoration between 1635 and 1640 included an altar rail, no rail having been found at Easter 1635. An order for the rail was placed on 15 September 1635 and completion was certified by 27 February 1635/6, the probable cost being the £1 10s spent in 1635. Amounts for the following years were: 1636, £6 13s 4d; 1637, £1; 1638 not available and 1639, 13s 4d.

Nathaniel Cony, cleric, was instituted on 10 June 1642, his patrons were Gilbert and Gabriel Armstrong. He either ceded his position at the interregnum of the Commonwealth (1649-60) or he had died.

Thomas Boyer was born at Rempstone, the son of Richard Boyer and went to Loughborough School. When 16 he was admitted as a pensioner at Christ’s College, Cambridge matriculating in 1645 and gaining a BA in 1648-9. During the Commonwealth he was a minister and member of the Nottingham Presbytery and officiated at Rempstone church. When Charles II became king, he conformed and was instituted on 18 October 1662 as rector on the presentation of Gilbert and Gabriel Armstrong. The Hearth Tax returns of 1664 show the rectory to be the second largest dwelling in the village with seven hearths. Ten years later the rector was absent from the village as his wife paid 16s for eight hearths. There were then a total of 42 dwellings assessed for this tax, four of which were excused. During this time he was presented at the Archdeaconry Court of Nottingham ‘... for his parsonage house being out of repaire and for taking away a Barne of three bayes of a building from the parsonage aforesaid and converting them to his own use.’ On 22 November 1670 he was ordered to rebuild and repair before Michaelmas.

In 1676 the rector returned that there were 139 inhabitants in the parish of age to take the sacrament; there were no papists but there were no less than 17 others who either flatly declined to attend communion or wholly absented themselves on those days when required by law to communicate. He was buried at Rempstone, 16 August 1689.

Thomas Boyer was followed by George Goodman who was instituted in 1669 and buried at Rempstone on 2 August 1695. His gravestone which had been removed from the church burial-ground was later discovered in the village and is now fixed to the wall of the new church.

John Bellamy’s patron at his institution in September 1695 was Elizabeth Armstrong. In 1697 he bought the advowson of the church from the heiresses of Gabriel Armstrong for £400 and then sold it to Dr James Johnson the master of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge for £260 in 1703. He resigned by 1702, the last time that his signature occurs in the parish registers, and as John Bellamy Esquire he became patron of the next rector, Robert Marsden BD, who was instituted on 28 August 1702 and whose monument and long epitaph giving details of his life still stands in the old grave yard. Robert Marsden was born 2 July 1668 and baptised at Walton, Liverpool. On 12 October 1683 he was admitted as a sizar at Jesus College, Cambridge and matriculated in 1684, scholar 1686, BA 1687-8, MA 1691 and BD 1700 becoming a fellow of the college from 1693-1703. In August 1692 he was ordained priest at Norwich and two years later was vicar of St Clements, Cambridge, 1694. He became prebendary of Southwell, 1713-48 and archdeacon of Nottingham, 1716-48. He died 24 August 1748.

Robert Marsden gave a close in Rempstone called Little Grange to his successors, rectors here, forever under the obligation of paying yearly on or about St Thomas’s Day, (21 December), 50 shillings to 6, 8 or 10 of the most needy inhabitants, always including amongst that number the parish clerk and the teacher of the church catechism.

Edward Bell was instituted in February 1748. His patron was the Master of Sidney Sussex College. Terriers were submitted in 1759, 1764 and 1770 just prior to the demolition of his church. These were signed by the rector and churchwardens and a few residents. In 1764 the surplice fees for marriage with licence was 5/- and without a licence, 2/6d. A churching and burial were each 4d.

In the 1764 inventory the rector wrote:

‘... Belonging to the church are three bells, two common prayer books, a book of homilies, two register books, one surplice, a carpet, a pulpit cloth, a communion table cloth, a napkin, a cushion for the pulpit a silver chalice marked Rempstone 1732, a flagon and two plates, a bier and ladder ... The clerks wages are a peck of barley for every yard of land, a penny each farmer and two pence from each cottager yearly. The church yard is fenced with a hedge which is maintained by the parish.’

In the 1770 terrier it was stated that the parish was charged with the repair of the church and churchyard fence and the rector with the repair of the chancel. This charge may have influenced the design of the new church which has an apse in place of the chancel. The clerk was appointed by the rector. His wages were 58 pecks of barley paid by the farmers and 58 at 2d at Easter for every cottager and 1d for burial and marriages with banns and 2s 6d with licence. In the church were three useless bells.

Shortly afterwards the church was dismantled and the materials used in building the new church of All Saints in which the rector continued to minister.