St James Church
List of vicars
The value of the church living in Tytherington
A typical living in the 13th century was maybe £10, from which relief
for the poor and upkeep of the church took £4. In 1650, Tytherington was
valued at £60 p.a. Compare this with the rector at Charfield £40, the
curate at Chipping Sodbury £14-5s, the vicar of Wotton-under-Edge
£25-6s-8d., and in Thornbury, which included chapels at Oldbury,
Falfield and Rangeworthy, the vicar received £80. At the end of the 18th
century, here in Tytherington, the vicar's income was £80 or £90 p.a.,
but he paid a curate £30 to look after the parish. In 1829, the curate
here under a benevolent vicar, Rev Mr Green, was paid £50 p.a.
At the time of the 'Glorious Revolution' (1688), an estimate gave
average incomes as: Bishops £1300, esquires £450, gentlemen £280,
lawyers £154, naval officers £80, eminent clergymen £72, lesser
clergymen £50, shopkeepers £45, farmers £42-10s.
William Jones, vicar of Tytherington from 1615, was the first on record
to enjoy the financial rewards of holding more than one benefice at a
time; he was also vicar of Tibberton, N W of Gloucester. He was followed
by William Elbridge, rector of Wynstone, then a separate parish four
miles south of Gloucester. My personal interest was aroused by the note
in the flysheet of the church register that his institution to the
vicarage of Tytherington had been by the Lord Bishop of Gloucester `at
his house at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London'. I turned to the book
written by my grandfather, 'St Giles, Cripplegate', J J Baddeley 1888 and
found this: 'John Pritchett, one of the most noted pluralists of his
day, held, at his death in 1681, in addition to the Vicarage of Saint
Giles, the Bishopric of Gloucester, the living of Harlingdon, and a
stall in St Paul' Cathedral. During his Incumbency the Great Plague
raged at its highest in Cripplegate, and one is hardly surprised that he
retired from his Parish during this time'. He fled to the country;
meanwhile, three of his churchwardens, the Parish Clerk and the Sexton
all died at their posts.
When the patronage passed to Peter Hardwicke, his nephew John Shellard
was instituted, followed by his son Thomas who acquired the additional
livings of Rendcombe, Sopwith and Uley, all rectories. His successor,
James Hardwicke was the last of the pluralists, retaining the rectory of
Photograph above taken in July 1963 shows a Church gathering with seated
Rev. Neighbour, his wife and Churchwarden Bob Williams A
youthful John Williams is far left!
This list is more accurate as far as the 19th century than that on the
board in the church:
1177 Gilbert Cumyn,
1275 — c 1309 Robert of Wych,
?1309 — 1330 William de Wyke,
In 1330 Llanthony Abbey obtained the advowson; Reginald de Pyriton
resigned as Rector and was ordained as perpetual vicar.
? — 1377 Richard Gay,
1377 —1380 Richard Reydone,
1551 William Yate,
Between 1553 and 1558
Thomas Grene, Lawrence Vause, John Greneway, John Randall.
1570 Thomas Price,
1578 Hugh Powell,
1581 — 1615 John Lacy,
1615 — ?1662 William Jones,
1662 — 1678 William Elbridge,
1679 — 1708 Thomas Birt,
1709 — 1735 Samuel Hall,
1735 — 1749 John Shellard,
1750 — 1785 Thomas Shellard,
1785 — 1817 James Hardwicke,
1817 — 1830 George Wade Green,
1830 — 1881 William H M Roberson.
After this the church board is correct. I can find no record of `Thomas
Harris 1736' listed in the church; he was perhaps a 'stand-in'. This
list has been gradually compiled from the Llanthony Priory Register,
Hockaday abstracts, Society of Thornbury Folk Bulletin Feb. 1956,1572
terrier, Smyth's Men and Armour, Trans. BGAS 1964 `Survey of Church
Livings', church registers and Hardwicke family documents.
For the first 300 years: Bishop of Worcester, Priory of Llanthony. After
the Dissolution in 1535: The Crown (1558 Queen Elizabeth, 1603 King
Alford family: 1615 Edmund, then John.
Verney family: 1662 John, then Sir Grevill.
Bridges family: 1679 Guy Lawrence, 1709 George Bridges.
Hardwicke family: 1729 Peter, then James, John, George, and until after
1856, Thomas and Henry with Priscilla (Morris).
Rev George Taswell to c.1890, W A Lockee to mid-20th century, then
Martyrs Memorial Trust
During the hundred years of absenteeism and pluralism from 1725, it was
the custom for the vicar to appoint a curate to officiate for him at
most of the church affairs. The following list has been compiled from
the church registers and Bishop's Transcripts. 1724-30 John Hodges,
1732 -34 Samuel Bennett, 1749-55 John Woodroffe, MA, 1754 Thomas Lloyd,
1756-63 William Moseley, 1764-76 James Buller MA (also curate at
Thornbury, see note below), 1776-79 John Evans, 1779-85 T. Jones,
1792-1807 John Williams, 1808-1810 Thomas Thomas, 1811- 1815 Joseph C
Helm MA Oxon, 1815-1818 Thomas Smith.
I (Alan Baddeley) have compiled a list of churchwardens almost
complete from 1682 to 1734, patchy to 1839, complete from 1847 to 1929.
It is too long to reproduce here , as the practice for centuries was to
have a change of churchwardens each year. Not until the 1840s does the
arrangement change, no doubt due to the lifting of responsibility for
administering the Poor Law. Then we find John Smith of Malt Farm
churchwarden for 14 years from 1847 to 1860, James Pullen Cornock of
Newhouse Farm serving for 18 years to his death in 1887, and then from
1903 to 1915 a partnership of W P Cornock (who had already served for
the previous seven years) and H C Pearce from Lower Farm, Itchington.
George Pearce was churchwarden for 23 years, but Robert Williams at
Brook Farm easily broke the record for long service, having served over
The church has been faithfully served by its clerks. The Shield family,
in turn John, James, James, James and Samuel covered the years from
about 1730 to 1872. Then came Thomas Tratman 1872-1892, George Kingscott
1892-1928, followed by Bert Davis and, until his death in 1975, Frank
Church Communion Plate
1. Gift of Sir Grevill Verney (Patron): chalice 1655, with Verney arms
engraved, 7'/2" high, with paten 51/4" in diameter.
2. Gift of Rev G W Green (Vicar): credence paten 1826 (by William
Bateman I) 8" in diameter.
3. (probably) Gift of Rev. John Bingley (Vicar): chalice and paten 1900
(chalice 5 1/4" high, paten 4 1/2" in diameter).
Spotlight on a Curate
The following extract comes from `Thornbury, A Study in Gloucestershire
History', W A Caffall. The Vicar of Thornbury was writing in 1763:
`I am just now in one of the pleasantest spots in the Kingdom, with the
worst Parsonage House. My curate lives in it and I board. My curate,
whose name is Buller, has three children all bred to the sea. His eldest
son James is about thirty, he writes well and understands accounts. As
the father is not in great circumstances they are obliged to seek their
own fortunes, and accordingly James Buller set sail last April for
Bengal where he intends to reside...' The Rev James Buller, MA, was also
curate in Tytherington.