For this church:
Eastwood St Mary
List of Incumbents
The Torre Manuscripts (Bodleian Library, Oxford) suggest that John Barbour, who was instituted rector of Eastwood in 1371, was probably ‘he of the same name who by that date had resigned the Mastership of Bawtry Hospital’. Barbour exchanged the vicarage of Basford with Richard de Halom on 25 Feb. 1377/8.
In 1567 William Allerton, rector of Eastwood, was tried at the Archbishop of York’s Court of Audience on ‘charges of adultery, brawling, haunting of alehouses and failure to preach’. The Visitation Court Books at the Borthwick Institute at York provide an interesting story of the wayward parson. The charges brought against William Allerton are that he lived in fornication and unclean life with Margery (or Margaret, the last letter is obscured by an inkblot) Taylor for a period of seven years. He first came to Eastwood in ‘the first year of the reign of the present Sovereign’ (Queen Elizabeth I, 1558) bringing Margery Taylor with him, who he commonly called Dame. They were boarded to a house in the town, because the parsonage house was then leased out to a farmer. Afterwards they moved into a little house of only one room, standing alone, and belonging to the parsonage. It was alleged that in-between their two beds, there was only a painted cloth separating them. There they continued to live under suspicion of fornication. When the rector regained possession of the parsonage house, they moved in. There was some ‘commotion’ among the parishioners of Eastwood regarding the suspected immoral lives of the parson and Margery and, apparently motivated by local opinion, the parson gave part of his goods and gold to Margery and ‘willed her to go away’. Margery was having none of this, however, and would not consent to go away, saying that she would rather have him than his gold. She returned the rector’s money. Margery had to be constrained by the Constable, and a guard was put over her both day and night, to prevent her from committing suicide, or at least, inflicting serious injury upon herself, which it appears she had threatened. Margery confessed her sins to the parishioners of Eastwood, and the rector declared that he was willing to marry her. To appease the parishioners and probably to assume a cloak of respectability, William Allerton left the parsonage house and moved into a local alehouse as a lodger, ‘Where he is as evil spoken of and as much suspected as before, for the man of the house go every morning to his work leaving the parson and his wife in bed, with neither lock, bolt nor impediment between them’. Allerton was clearly a man of some character. He ‘is a brawler and scolder, to the great disquiet of all the parish, a haunter of alehouses both Sunday and every day alike, an evil example and offence to many’. He was not excommunicated for his indiscretions, but probably absolved after penance, for his will categorically states that he was rector of Eastwood at the time of his death nineteen years later. The will also mentions his wife, ‘Agnes’ and children. We do not know what happened to Margery.
Peter Lalouel, a French Huguenot refugee, took the Oath of Allegiance and Supremacy, and was inducted to Rector of Eastwood. He was a remarkable person, known to have been able to speak and write three languages (French, Latin and English). In his day the records were very well kept. His handwriting is clear and neat. He would be the last of the parsons to reside in the old parsonage connected to the church, for in 1711 he recorded that a fire in ‘the parsonage house’ destroyed, among other things, the old registers of christenings, marriages and burials.
Peter Lalouel resigned from the living after thirty-eight years of ministry in the parish. He died in November 1729 and was buried at Eastwood. No monument has survived to mark his resting-place. He prepared the records very well during his ministry. Never before had they been so clearly written. Peter Lalouel married Martha du Rouille and their son, Henry Peter, was born in Eastwood on 7 October 1692.
Maurice Pugh did not live at Eastwood. He employed a curate, John Cooper, who lived at Greasley. Pugh also held the living of Calverton, and he made several appearances in court during his lifetime. On 7 October 1747, at Nottingham, Maurice Pugh, clerk, of Calverton, was indicted ‘for keeping a dog used and accustomed to run and bite as well the King’s Subjects as their goods’. Three years later, on 3 October 1750, he was charged with assault and battery on Joseph Marshall, for which he was fined one penny by the Justices at Newark.
It would appear that at least one of his parishioners was not content to allow Mr Pugh’s aggression to pass unheeded for, at Newark on 17 April 1765, indictment was found against James Hallam, a weaver of Calverton, for a misdemeanour in sending a challenge to Maurice Pugh, Clerk, ‘to fight him with Swords and Pistols, to the great Terror and Damage of the said Maurice’. On 17 July following, the Court was notified that the case had been removed by Certiorari (ie a writ issuing from a superior court calling for the records of, or removing a case from a lower court.).
Although ‘obliged to reside in his vicarage at Calverton’, since 1742, he visited Eastwood fairly regularly; this is evident in the number of occasions on which he signed parochial documents. Besides being the Rector of Eastwood and Vicar of Calverton, he was also the Curate of Nuthall from 1730 to 1732, Curate of Papplewick from 1735 to 1740, and Rector of Runwell, in Essex. The Nottingham Journal paid tribute to him on 1 November 1766: ‘Last Saturday (25 October 1766) died at Calverton, near this town, the Rev Mr Maurice Pugh, Vicar of that Parish and Rector of Eastwood in this County. He was also Rector of Runwell in Essex, a Living of near £300 per annum, which last he enjoyed about four years.’
A R C Leaney was born 8 June, 1909, a graduate of Oxford University, (BA 1932, Diploma in Theology 1933; MA 1939; BD 1952; and DD 1966). He was ordained into the ministry in 1933, and held various parochial appointments until 1939, when he enlisted as a captain in the Army Chaplains Department. On discharge, he was inducted to the Rectory at Eastwood, and was known to come to the parish in army uniform. Having served for nearly three years, he left Eastwood, eventually appointed Chaplain, later Vice Principal of Ripon Hall, Oxford (1952-1955). Subsequently, he was appointed Lecturer in the Department of Theology at the University of Nottingham in 1956, and in 1972 his position was Professor and Head of the Department of Theology, at the University of Nottingham. Leaney was the author of several publications and articles, including The Gospel According to St Luke (A & C Black 1958). He was a regular contributor to the Church Quarterly Review, Expository Times, Scottish Journal of Theology and inter alia, New Testament Studies.