The History of Tewkesbury

By James Bennett

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2015

CHAPTER XIV.

INCUMBENTS OF TEWKESBURY

PRIOR to the dissolution of the monastery, Tewkesbury was a rectory of considerable value; its emoluments were enjoyed by the abbot and convent, who appointed, from their own fraternity, a stipendiary curate. King Henry the eighth alienated the whole of the possessions of this church, which comprised most of the great and small tithes of Tewkesbury, Southwick, Ashchurch,[258] and Aston-upon-Carron, and the whole of those of Walton Cardiff, Fiddington and Tredington. The king reserved to himself the right of presentation, but the revenues being sequestered, the patronage was not worth retaining. As the crown therefore could not find any one who would accept this empty preferment, the parishioners, who had before been compelled to purchase the church and stipulate for its future repair, to prevent its demolition, at length found that they must also provide a clergyman at their own charge,[259] or suffer the public worship of God to be wholly neglected. It appears that the bishop of the diocese

182HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY. 

sometimes appointed a curate, at a small salary, which the towns-people were expected to provide, and at other times the inhabitants were wholly dependant on the clergy in the vicinity of the town, or on the casual attendance of clerical strangers, for the performance of the services of the church.

King James the first, in 1608, granted the rectory of Tewkesbury to Francis Morris and Francis Phelps, reserving to the crown the advowson and right of patronage, and merely charging the rectory with the payment of £.10 annually to the minister. This property subsequently devolved to Edwin Skrimshire, esq. whose conscience it appears would not suffer him to enjoy the property which had been wrested from the church; he therefore, in 1683, conveyed the tithes of Tredington and Fiddington to trustees, directing that, after the payment of £.12[260] to the minister of Tredington, £.12 to the minister of Ashchurch, and the £.10 before mentioned as having been granted by James the first to the minister of Tewkesbury, the residue should be appropriated towards the better maintenance of the officiating minister of the church of Tewkesbury. In consequence of this important augmentation to the living, the inhabitants petitioned the king, that the advowson might be given to Mr. Skrimshire; but this request, as might have been anticipated, proved unavailing. Under the powers of the Tredington and Fiddington inclosure act, land in lieu of those tithes has recently been allotted to the minister of Tewkesbury.

The benefice is now styled a vicarage, though the incumbent appears formerly to have been usually denominated "minister". It is still in the gift of the crown,[261] is situate in the diocese of Gloucester, and in the deanery of Winchcomb. The bishop holds a visitation triennially at Tewkesbury, and in the intermediate years there is an archidiaconal visitation.

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The living, with the readership[262] annexed, is now of considerable value.[263]

Of the early incumbents of Tewkesbury we have little information: their names are not even recorded in the registry at Gloucester, nor in the archives of the parish.

The first minister, subsequent to the reformation, whose name we have been able to discover, was John Davis; he, in his will, dated 1543, is designated "priest".[264]

In 1546, William Parsons described himself as "secondary" of Tewkesbury.[265]

Richard Drake, "curate" of Tewkesbury, in 1552, bequeathed by will to the church, 3s. 4d. and to the poor of the town, 3s. 4d. [266]

In several documents, in the registry at Gloucester, the name of Sir Stephen Berde[267] occurs: in one of them, dated 1554, he is called "secondary"; in 1556 he is described as

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"curate"; and in another instance he is styled "vicar" of Tewkesbury.

Sir Thomas Nott was "curate" in 1557: his name occurs in his official capacity in two wills,[268] in the registry at Gloucester, dated in that year.

In the register of baptisms, for 1597, and in two subsequent years, the name of "Ri. Curteis, mynister", is frequently found.[269]

 HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY.185

In 1628, the Rev. John Geree, A.M.[270] held the living; he also enjoyed it in 1641, although Nathaniel Wight styles himself minister in 1634, in which year his signature is attached to some licenses which he granted to his parishioners, permitting them to eat flesh during Lent. Mr. Geree appears to have been considered too orthodox for one of the two great religious parties which at that period divided the kingdom, and too heterodox for the other. He called himself "a preacher of God's word", and removed from Tewkesbury to St. Alban's, about 1645.

After the secession of Mr. Geree, the names of Richard Cooper and R. Wilkes sometimes occur in the parish registers; it is thought however that they were only assistant ministers, as it is stated, in a small work, printed at that period, that Mr. Geree was succeeded at Tewkesbury by the Rev. John Wells, "a godly preacher", formerly of Gloucester Hall.[271] Mr. Wells

186HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY. 

was a zealous defender of Cromwell's power, and an active and useful instrument in the hands of the presbyterian party. Calamy has erroneously ranked him among those who were "ejected or silenced after the Restoration": the mistake originated perhaps in the circumstance of the Rev. Francis Wells being ejected from this church, at a subsequent period.

The Rev. Thomas Burroughs,[272] a staunch republican, was minister in 1650,[273] and for several years afterwards.[274]

 HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY.187

About the year 1657, a Mr. Lewis[275] officiated here, but he probably never held the benefice.

In 1661, Mr. Robert Eaton was minister of Tewkesbury. In the registry of his death, which occurred in 1668, he is called a "godly minister of this parish".

In 1669, the Rev. Cuthbert Browne was elected minister of Tewkesbury.[276]

In 1674, the Rev. Francis Wells, ancestor of the late Dr. Wells, of Prestbury, near Cheltenham, held the living; and was deprived for non-conformity.[277]

188HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY. 

In 1687,[278] the Rev. Robert Eaton, son of a former incumbent, died whilst he was in possession of the benefice; although the names of John Matthews and Samuel Edwards occur as preachers in the preceding year.

The Rev. John Matthews was inducted to the benefice in 1689, and held it for thirty-nine years. In the early part of his ministry he sometimes denominated himself "pastor", at other times "minister", and subsequently "vicar". A prosecution was instituted against him during the time he held the living: the specific offence with which he was charged is unrecorded, and from his retaining his situation many years afterwards, it may be inferred that the object of his accusers was frustrated.[279] He resigned the living in 1728, and died in the following year.

In 1728, on the cession of Mr. Matthews, the Rev. Henry Jones, A.M. was instituted to the benefice, but he died shortly afterwards.

 HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY.189

The Rev. Penry Jones, clerk, succeeded his brother, in 1729, and held the vicarage until his death, which happened in 1754.

The Rev. Henry Jones, A.M. son of the before-named Henry Jones, was instituted to the living on the death of his uncle, in 1754. He was also perpetual curate of Tredington; and died in 1769, in the forty-seventh year of his age, having held the vicarage fourteen years.[280]

In 1769, the Rev. Edward Evanson, A.M.[281] was, through the interest of Mr. Dodd, M.P. for Reading, presented to the vicarage of Tewkesbury, by Lord Chancellor Camden. He soon afterwards obtained the vicarage of Longdon, in the county of Worcester, in exchange for the vicarage of South

190HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY. 

Mims, near Barnet, which had been given to him in 1768; and about the same period he was presented to the perpetual curacy of Tredington, by the bishop of Gloucester.[282] Shortly after Mr. Evanson's appointment as vicar, he expressed his dissent from some of the essential doctrines of the church of England; a change of opinion which eventually brought him into much notoriety. On Easter Sunday, 1771, he chose the doctrine of the Resurrection, as taught in the first epistle to the Corinthians, for the subject of his discourse, at Tewkesbury; from the manner in which he treated it, he gave great offence to many of the most respectable of his congregation; and this displeasure was much heightened by some alterations which he constantly made in the Apostles' Creed and other parts of the service of the church. A prosecution was subsequently commenced against him in the Consistory Court of Gloucester, which was carried on for a long time, and at a great expense both to Mr. E. and his prosecutors. The criminal facts with which he was charged were, that, in two private conversations, as well as in a sermon preached upon Easter Sunday, and in a pamphlet entitled "The Doctrines of the Trinity", and also in an answer to a letter sent to him by his prosecutors, he had offended against the fourth, fifth and sixth canons; and, both in the sermon and pamphlet, against the 13th of Eliz. c.12, s.2; and that, in two verbal alterations and two verbal omissions, in his performance of the public service, he had several times transgressed the fourteenth and thirty-eighth canons. The court having granted a commission to examine evidence, it was opened

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with great formality in the abbey church, April 6, 1774; it was continued by adjournment at a tavern until the 16th of the same month, and six and twenty witnesses were examined in support of the prosecution. The cause came to a hearing before the Bishop and the Chancellor of Gloucester on the 16th of January, 1775, but Mr. Evanson's proctors declined entering into the merits of the case, and took exceptions as to the regularity of part of the proceedings: the court over-ruled these exceptions, and ordered the parties to go into the merits. To this order the vicar's proctors appealed to the Arches-Court of Canterbury, and the appeal was heard before Sir George Hay, in Doctor's Commons, on the 26th of May, 1775. The Dean of the Arches, after having heard the proctors on both sides, not on the merits but on the exceptions, pronounced for the appeal, and dismissed Mr. E. from all further judicial proceedings in the cause, and condemned Mr. Havard, the promoter, in costs. Mr. Havard afterwards appealed from this decree to the Court of Delegates, and the cause was argued at great length in Easter and Trinity terms following: the judges reversed a part of the decree of the Court of Arches, and assigned the cause for a further hearing. Through the whole of this protracted suit, Mr. Evanson enjoyed the legal assistance of Mr. Wedderburn, then solicitor-general, (afterwards Lord Rosslyn), free of all expense; and was also, in 1775, appointed his domestic chaplain. Mr. Evanson, in conjunction with a curate, performed the church service, alternately at Tewkesbury and Longdon, until the year 1775; when he left his curate at Tewkesbury, and went to reside wholly at Longdon. In 1778, he published the sermon, which had given so much offence, with an affidavit of its literal authenticity, accompanied by "An Epistle Dedicatory to the worthy Inhabitants of Tewkesbury who defrayed the Charges attending his Defence". This it appears he did, in consequence of his opponents having published "A Narrative of the Origin and Progress of the Prosecution against the Rev. Edward Evanson", which was drawn up by the late Neast Havard, esq. town-clerk of the borough; who afterwards published "A Word at

192HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY. 

Parting; being a few Observations on a mutilated Sermon, and an Epistle Dedicatory to the worthy Inhabitants of Tewkesbury, lately published by Edward Evanson, M.A. to which are added the Arguments of Counsel in the Court of Delegates, touching Mr. Evanson's Prosecution". Previous to the appearance of these publications, Mr. E. resigned his livings, upon which the prosecution against him was immediately dropped, and Mr. Havard was of course saddled with the costs. Mr. Evanson retired to Mitcham, where he undertook the education of a few pupils; the father of one of them, Colonel Evelyn James Stuart, son of Lord Bute, settled an annuity upon him, which was regularly paid until the time of his death. His last days were spent in privacy at Colford, in the Forest of Dean, where he died on Sept. 25th, 1805. Dr. Chalmers, the compiler of the General Biographical Dictionary, affirms, that Mr. Evanson was "one of the most determined opponents of revealed religion in modern times"; and Mr. Gilbert Wakefield, in his Letters, calls him "a notorious and confirmed heretic". His biographer, in the Monthly Magazine,[283] says, "however widely Mr. Evanson might differ from other Christians in points of speculation, he was himself a decided believer in divine revelation"; and in a letter, written by Mr. Evanson, a short period before his death, dated from Clifton, where it appears he had gone for the recovery of his health, he observes, "the surgeon tells me that I may obtain relief, but God knows how far he may be right, and I am not at all anxious about the event: at the age of seventy-four, life begins to be of little value, either to myself or others, but my future prospects are full of comfort". Whatever may have been Mr. Evanson's errors, in matters of religion, he is universally allowed to have been a man of very considerable learning and abilities: he appears also to have been honourable, humane, and benevolent; and, in domestic life, highly exemplary.

The Rev. James Tattersall, A.M. had the vicarage presented to him, on the resignation of Mr. Evanson, in the year

 HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY.P193

1777, and he retained it until his premature and melancholy death in 1791 [284]

The Rev. Robert Knight, A.M.[285] was instituted to the living in 1792; he held the rectory of Baynton, Worcestershire, as

194HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY. 

well as the vicarage of Tewkesbury, from that period until 1818, when, with the consent of Lord Chancellor Eldon, he exchanged with the Rev. Charles White the latter preferment for Mickleton[286] cum Ebrington, in the county of Gloucester.

Mr. White, the present incumbent, was instituted in June, 1818;[287] he was soon afterwards presented to the perpetual curacy of Deerhurst, and, on the death of Dr. Welles, late vicar of Prestbury, was appointed rural dean of the deanery of Winchcomb, by Bishop Ryder.

Notes
[258] William Reade and his assigns had a grant from the abbey of Tewkesbury of "all their tithe wool and lamb" of the lordships and manors of Ashchurch, Newton, Walton, Fiddington, Aston-upon-Carron, Northway and others, from the 16th of Jan. 30 Hen. VIII. for eighty years. - Records in the Registry of Gloucester.
[259] A petition to Cromwell's parliament, in 1650, from the corporation of the borough, states "that they have, for above fifty years, at their own charge, by way of benevolence, maintained pious and learned ministers, who constantly did and still do preach twice every Lord's Day".
[260] This sum was, in 1828, by an amicable arrangement, augmented to £.18 per annum.
[261] The benefice is valued in P. Nich. with the chapels, at £.5S. 13s. 4d.; but is not in charge in the king's books.
[262] The corporation of the borough has the appointment of a reader or assistant to the minister of Tewkesbury, and although the vicarage and readership are not necessarily enjoyed by the same individual, it has been the general custom for a long period to unite them. The small tithes and easter offerings are attached to the readership; and at the time these were devised by Mr. Geers, a Mr. John Pearce was reader, and also master of the free grammar school, but was never minister of the parish. As the small tithes of Tewkesbury would obviously be very inconsiderable, and the easter offerings of all such as could reasonably be expected to pay them, would amount to little, they have not been demanded within the remembrance of any one now living; but, as a compensation to the vicar, a collection has always been annually made for him by the church-wardens.
[263] See Appendix, No.22.
[264] His will is in the registry at Gloucester.
[265] Ibid.
[266] Ibid.
[267] The title of Sir was formerly given to priests in holy orders, who had not taken their degrees; whilst that of Master was given to those who had commenced in the arts. Hence Fuller, in his Church History, quaintly says, "More Sirs than Knights". Shakspeare, in "The Merry Wives of Windsor", calls a Welsh parson, Sir Hugh Evans; he has also a Sir Topas in "Twelfth Night", and Sir Oliver in "As You Like It". Spenser, in more than one instance, designates a priest Sir John. Bishop Percy says, that the title of Sir was appropriated to such of the inferior clergy as were only readers of the service, and not admitted to be preachers.
[268] As these wills are interesting, and relate in some degree to our subject, we shall here subjoin the substance of them: One is that of Sir John Assum, priest, dated April 7, 1557, who bequeaths his body to Tewkesbury church; and to the same church a vestment of blue silk, an awlbee named a stole, and a fañell belonging to the same vestment; another vestment of yellow silk, an awlbee and a fañell belonging to the same; a ehrysabull of tawny velvet, two fañells of the same, with the stole and fañell; an awlbee, with fañells of gold, with imagery work upon the same awlbee; an amys of the same, and a stole and fañell belonging thereto, wrought with arms; a cloth of red and green silk, with the fringe, to hang before the high altar; a pall of black velvet, to serve for the use of the poor people as well as the rich; an altar cloth, for the high altar, of diaper; and a cross, with a foot belonging to the same cross, and a relic hanging upon the same. - The other will is that of Thomas Coke, of Tewkesbury, clothman, dated April 21, 1557: he bequeaths his tenement, with a garden, and its appurtenances, in the occupation of Richard Matthew, at the rent of thirty shillings per annum, lying in the High-street, Tewkesbury, to John Butler and Wm. Phelowe, bailiffs of Tewkesbury, and to T. Witherstone, Wm. Cole, Wm. Aly, and Richard Caryk, burgesses, their heirs and assigns for ever, to the intent that the bailiff's of Tewkesbury, for the time being, and the major part of the discreet burgesses of the said borough, shall apply the same to the reparations of Tewkesbury church, or to such other uses concerning the church, or God's service, as they think fit; holding the said lands of the lords of the fee at the service usually due for the same. The residue of his lands, together with the leases which he had for a term of years, he bequeaths to Joyce his wife, for her natural life, or until the leases expired, if she should so long live; after her decease, to William his son; and if he die without heirs, his wife to dispose of the premises towards the foundation and erection of a free grammar school, or the foundation of a chantry, or some other charitable use, to continue for ever.
[269] In one of the parish registers, of the date of 1599, during the season of Lent, the Allowing entry occurs: - "I graunted a license to William Phelpes, being then extremelye sicke, to eate fleshe, which license to endure no longer tyme then during his sicknes. "Ri. Curteis, curate of Tewksburie".
[270] Mr. Geree, during the time he resided at Tewkesbury, published, (by authority of the House of Commons), a pamphlet against Separate and Independent Churches, called "Vindiciae Voti"; and also a sermon, entitled "Judah's Joy at the Oath, laid out for England's Example in embracing the Parliamentary Covenant with readiness and rejoicing". The sermon he dedicated to Nathaniel Stephens, esq. M.P. for the county of Gloucester; and it is stated, in the preface, that above four hundred inhabitants of Tewkesbury entered into the famous protestation or covenant, for the defence of the protestant religion, (which the House of Commons agreed to and individually signed in May 1641), the day after the discourse was delivered. Mr. Geree was also author of another tract, entitled "The Character of an Old English Puritan or Non-Conformist", published in 1646. From the tenor of this work, we may infer, that Mr. Geree was one of that class of religionists which Sir P. Warwick, in his Memoirs of the Reign of Charles the First, terms Church Puritans: - "whilst the church puritan opposed the more canonical churchman, the knave puritan overthrew both". - In a singular publication, entitled "The Great Evil of Health-Drinking", printed in 1684, it is said that the "worthy Mr. John Geree hath written a tract on purpose against Healthing".
[271] In this work, which was printed in 1657, and entitled "The Winchcomb Papers Reviewed, &c. for the use of Gloucestershire", Mr. Wells is said to be an "independent", and a "most eager disputant". It contains "A true Account of a Dispute at Winchcomb Parish Church, Nov. 9th, 1653", where the Rev. Clement Barksdale, of Sudeley, and the Rev. Mr. Towers, minister of Todington, both orthodox divines, publicly argued with the Rev. Mr, Helme, minister of Winchcomb, the Rev. Mr. Wells, of Tewkesbury, the Rev. Mr. Tray, of Oddington, the Rev. Mr. Chaflfey, of Naunton, and Colonel Aileworth, a justice of peace, who were all termed puritans, the following question: "Whether it be lawful to minister and receive the holy sacrament in congregations called mixt, (or, in our parish churches?}" The proceedings and arguments on this occasion are interesting, but the dispute ended, as might have been expected, without either party being brought to a change of opinion.
[272] By an order of the "committee for plundered ministers", dated July 1, 1646, the yearly sum of £.20 out of the impropriate rectory of Queinton, and £.30 more out of the impropriate rectory of Child's Wickham, in the county of Gloucester, sequestered from the Lady Fermor and Henry Fermor, esq. her son, recusants, were directed to be paid for the increase of the maintenance of the minister of Tewkesbury, as his income had been previously but £.10 per annum. And as the cure of the church was very great, the parish containing 2500 communicants, it was further ordered, that £.50 a year should be paid out of the profits of the impropriate tithes of Whitefield, in the said county, sequestered from Henry and Thomas Cassey, esquires, recusants, for the maintenance of an assistant to the said minister. - There being however no assistant appointed to the minister, it was, by an order of the same committee, dated Feb. 26, 1650, directed that the £.50 a year from the impropriate rectory of Whitefield should be paid, with all arrears thereof, unto Mr. Thomas Burroughs, minister of the church of Tewkesbury, until an assistant should be appointed. Tewkesbury Corporation Records.
[273] In a register of church livings, temp. Cromwell, 1654, it is said, that Mr. Burweighes, a preaching minister, was incumbent of Tewkesbury; that the value of the vicarage was £.10 stipend, and a donation of £.3; and that the parish contained a thousand families. - Lansd. MS. 459.
[274] During Mr. Burroughs's ministry, banns of marriage were published in the market-place, and weddings solemnized before a county or borough magistrate: parties of the greatest respectability, from all the neighbouring villages in the counties of Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford, where markets were not held, flocked to Tewkesbury for the purpose of being thus united. In the old parish registers are numerous entries similar to the following: - "Memorandum, that a publication of a consent of marryage betweene William Parsons, of Tewkesbury, and Mrs. Jane Lechmere, of Hanley, in the county of Worcester, was made in the market-place at Tewkesbury, on the 17th day of March, 1654, and on two market-dayes in the two next weekes following. And afterwards, that is to say, on the 9th day of Aprill, 1655, they were marryed and declared husband and wife by Mr. Lechmere, a justice of the peace for the county of Worcester, in the presence of Mr. Langston, Mr. Warwick, minister of Hanley, &c."
[275] The notorious Ralph Wallis, "the Cobler of Gloucester", in his book entitled "More News from Rome", sarcastically laments that a clergyman should be allowed to "preach, as sometimes Dr. Lewis did, at Tewkesbury, and shew the reason why Melchizedeck was priest and king, - because the priest's place was a beggarly place, like Tewkesbury, it would not maintain a man, therefore he was king of Salem".
[276] The following entry appears in the corporation books: - "10th May, 1669. It is agreed, by the common council, together with several other inhabitants of the town, that Mr. Cuthbert Browne, clerk, is elected minister of this town, and to receive the moiety of the rents due to this borough out of the rectory of St. Ishmael, in the county of Pembroke, and £.10 out of the rectory of Tewkesbury aforesaid, together with £.1 per annum out of Mr. Poulton's house".
[277] In 1678, the common council resolved, that, for preventing the present inconveniences which the town is under for want of a preaching minister, Mr. Wells be requested to resign. Mr. W. affirmed that he had committed no fault that deserved suspension, and refused to resign; upon which, the common council ordered, that such course should be forthwith taken against him, as might cause his deprivation. The chamberlain was afterwards ordered to pay Mr. Wells so much of the salary of £.10 from the rectory of Tewkesbury, as was due to him at Michaelmas, and also £.11. 5s. which was due to him at St. Paul's tide, from the tithes of St. Ishmael's, provided he would resign his cure; and that, upon his resignation, "the common council should give him a fair character according to his deserts". - In 1679, it was ordered, that the town-clerk should proceed upon the articles he had exhibited against Mr. Wells, to cause his deprivation, at the public charge; and that ten shillings a day should be paid by the chamberlain to such minister as might be procured to preach at Tewkesbury during the vacancy. - Corporation Records.
[278] In the register of baptisms, for 1678, it is said, that " Mr. Matthias Maid, church-warden, gave a surplice to the parish, which had been without one ever since 1641, in which year it was torn by Richard Morgan, glover".
[279] From the corporation books it would appear, that the dispute was principally between the minister and the corporation, respecting the readership, which is in the gift of the latter. Whilst the prosecution was pending, the corporation retained in their hands the whole of the rents of the property at St.Ishmael's, a moiety of which belongs to the minister; and in 1705, they presented a petition to the Lord Chancellor in favour of Mr. Richard Cox, whom they recommended to be minister in the room of Mr. Matthews, in case of a vacancy. In the year following, the corporation resolved, "that Mr. Richard Cox, M.A. who has been reader of divine service in the church of Tewkesbury since the death of Mr. John Pearse, by the order of Mr. Bailiffs and consent of the chamber, is now confirmed, elected, nominated and appointed reader of divine service in the church of Tewkesbury, and reader and assistant to the curate or minister there, and to have and enjoy all stipends, wages, salary, and profits thereto belonging". The matter having been at length left to the decision of the bishop of the diocese, his lordship, in 1710, recommended that the moiety of the rents of St. Ishmael's should be forthwith paid by the corporation to Mr. Matthews, according to the will of Sir Baptist Hickes, in order "to put a final end to all differences, and to establish a firm and lasting friendship between them and the said Mr. Matthews". This recommendation was adopted, yet notwithstanding, in 1712, Mr. Samuel Savage, clerk, "who had officiated as reader since Mr. Richard Cox's time", was elected to that office by the body corporate.
[280] During the ministry of the Rev. H. Jones, an "impudent footman", of the name of George Williams, who was an Unitarian, in the service of Mrs. Bromley, a highly respectable inhabitant of the borough, caused great uneasiness to the pious vicar. He was a regular attendant at church, on Sundays, and invariably left his seat while certain portions of divine service were performed; by his manner of opening and shutting the doors, both when he quitted and when he returned to his pew, he always contrived to disturb the congregation; and his behaviour at the ministration of the Lord's Supper was particularly offensive. In the year 1765, Williams published a pamphlet against the doctrine of the Trinity and the liturgy of the Church of England, entitled "An Attempt to restore the supreme Worship of God, the Father Almighty". Although he was only the nominal author of the work, yet as he was supposed to have some abettors and advocates among the more respectable part of his parishioners, Mr. Jones felt it his duty to communicate the circumstances to his diocesan, the celebrated Bishop Warburton; and through the kindness of George Worrall Counsel, esq. of Gloucester, who has the original in his possession, we have been furnished with a copy of the reply of this distinguished prelate to Mr. Jones, dated from Bath in 1764. (See Appendix, No.23). Shortly after this period, Williams left Tewkesbury, and afterwards resided at Overbury, but was subsequently one of the Rev. Edw. Evanson's staunchest supporters. A few years before his death, which happened in 1789, he printed and published what he termed "his creed", - a foolish rhapsody, which had not even the merit of originality to recommend it.
[281] Mr. Evanson was born at Warrington, Lancashire, April 21, 1731, and received his education under his father's eldest brother, who was vicar of Mitcham, Surrey. At fourteen years of age he was entered at Emanuel College, Cambridge, where, in 1749, he obtained the degree of B.A. and that of A.M. in 1753. At this period he assisted his uncle in the education of pupils, and became his curate.
[282] Bishop Warburton, in a letter to Bishop Hurd, says, "the Chancellor has given the vacant vicarage of Tewkesbury to one Evanson, of your college, whom I have instituted; and as he introduced himself to me in your name, I have given him some expectations of a perpetual curacy in the neighbourhood, in my gift, to help him to pay his curate of Tewkesbury". In a subsequent letter, however, he calls him "a conceited innovator". Bishop Hurd, in a note on the above passage, says, he wished to serve Mr. Evanson, on account of his being of the same college with him; and observes, "he afterwards addressed a printed letter to me, of which I took no notice". - Warburton's Letters.
[283] Monthly Magazine, Dec. 1805.
[284] He was the third son of the Rev. James Tattersall, rector of St. Paul's, Covent-Garden, and of Streatham, Surrey, by Dorothy, daughter of the Rev. William De Chair, and sister of the Rev. Dr. John De Chair, rector of Little Risington, Gloucestershire. While on a visit to his brother, the Rev. William De Chair Tattersall, at Wotton-under-Edge, he was thrown from his horse and dragged a considerable way with his foot hanging in the stirrup, by which accident several of his ribs were broken, and he was otherwise so much bruised, that he expired in about an hour afterwards. He was buried at Wotton, where the following well-merited tribute of affection has been placed to perpetuate his worth: - "Sacred to the memory of the Rev. James Tattersall, A.M. vicar of Tewkesbury, who died by a fall from his horse, May 9th, 1791, aged 38 years. Strength of judgment and sweetness of disposition he received from nature; to these he added the support of sound religious principles; and this union of good qualities, with the best acquirements, produced an amiable character, and an exemplary life. His brothers, the Rev. John Tattersall, and the Rev. William De Chair Tattersall, (vicar of this parish), impressed with the deepest sorrow for his loss, and impelled by the sincerest affection and gratitude, have caused this monument to be erected". - Mr. Tattersall's eldest brother, John, was vicar of Harewood, Yorkshire, and a king's chaplain; his brother William was also a king's chaplain, rector of Westbourne, Sussex, and vicar of Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, for upwards of fifty years, and died March 26, 1829. The latter gentleman published, in 1791, a Version or Paraphrase of the Psalms, adapted to public and private devotion, originally written by the Rev. J. Merrick; in 1795, he also published Improved Psalmody, in three parts, the music of which was printed with types; and subsequently, two volumes of Psalms, with new engraved music.
[285] The Rev. Robert Knight died on the 23d of July, 1819, aged 53, at Trevenon, near Llandrindod Wells, Radnorshire, shortly after his arrival there for change of air. He had previously resided for many years at Newton, Glamorganshire, and was brother of the late Colonel Knight, of Tythegston Hall, in that county. Mr. K. was a man of strict integrity, and was possessed of considerable literary attainments: in addition to several smaller works, he published, in 1818, "A cursory Disquisition on the Conventual Church of Tewkesbury and its Antiquities", nearly the whole impression of which was soon afterwards destroyed by a calamitous fire in Messrs. Bensley's printing-office. He was, early in life, a cornet in the seventeenth regiment of light dragoons, and received the half-pay of a cornet until the time of his death. The fortunate manner of his obtaining two crown livings at once is somewhat singular: Lord Chancellor Thurlow had promised him, through the medium of a friend, the rectory of Baynton, but before he had been inducted thereto, or had even been to view it, the vicarage of Tewkesbury became vacant. Mr. Knight immediately waited upon his lordship with the information, solicited the living of Tewkesbury in preference to that of Baynton, and obtained a promise that he should make his own election. After he had inspected both, he intimated to the chancellor that the income of the two would be barely sufficient for a proper maintenance, whereupon his lordship surprised the applicant by informing him that he might take them both! The chancellor resigned the seals a few hours afterwards; he had therefore probably thought that he might as well hare the satisfaction of disposing of both preferments, as of leaving the patronage of either of them to his successor.
[286] Mr. White was presented to the vicarage of Mickleton in the year 1797, by the then Lord Chancellor; and on his lordship's death, was appointed domestic chaplain to his widow, the Countess Dowager of Rosslyn.
[287] When the Rev. Charles White obtained the benefice, there was no vicarage house attached to it. The present residence was completed in the year 1827, under the worthy vicar's immediate superintendence, and according to his own designs. Towards the purchase of the land and the erection of the house, £.852 was raised by voluntary subscription; the governors of Queen Anne's Bounty gave £.600, and also lent £.340 on mortgage of the living, with the usual condition, that three per cent, interest and five per cent, redemption should be annually paid until the loan was discharged. In the list of subscribers appear the following names: J.E. Dowdeswell, esq. M.P. and John Martin, esq. M.P. each, £.150; the lion, and Right Rev. Dr. Ryder, bishop of Gloucester, £.125; Wm. Dillon, esq. £.52. 10s.; General Dowdeswell, J.M. Barnes, esq. and E.W. Jones, esq. each £.50; the Hon. Mrs. Yorke, Mrs. Mines, Philip Godsall, esq. Samuel Barnes, esq. and J.S. Olive, esq. each, £.20; John Hurd, esq. and Joseph Longmore, esq. each, £.10. 10s. , Mrs Martin, Thos. Vernon, esq. John Terrett, esq. and Mr. John Moore, each £.10. Various smaller subscriptions amounted to £.63. 10s.

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in October 2015.

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