Church Life



St James  Church

Tytherington Vicars

List of vicars from 1578

Parish Magazine

Church & Chapel Covenant

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.

Church incomes
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 Sopwith.

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:
1155 Symeon,                                                               
1177 Gilbert Cumyn,                                                       all Rectors.
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 James).
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 35 years.

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 Pitt.

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.