Rectors and Vicars

The first reference to a priest at Badby comes from early in King Henry III’s reign, when a charter refers to John de Newbolde as Chaplain of Badby.  The list of rectors and vicars below starts in 1265.  Whether it starts with the first rector is not known.

 In 944, King Edmund I of England granted an estate comprising Dodford, Everdon and all of Badby with Newnham, to Bishop Aelfric of Hereford. Many of the 42 boundary descriptions in the charter can still be traced.  After Edmund’s murder in 946, the estate was returned in 948 to Croyland Abbey by his brother, King Edred.  Abbot Godric II of Croyland gave Badby in 1006 for 100 years to Norman, son of Leofwine, Earl of Leicester, a great military officer under King Edred.  The Danes attacked and prevailed in 1013 under their King Sweyn who died in 1014.  He was eventually succeeded by his son Canute.  Canute later transferred it to Norman’s brother, Earl Leofric of Mercia, who was married to the famous Godiva.  In turn, Earl Leofric gave the lordship of the manor of Badby and Newnham to the Benedictine Abbey of Evesham, for the remainder of the 100 years lease. However after many disputes, the land and church remained with Evesham Abbey until Henry VIII’s reformation.

 In 1285, Abbot of Evesham John de Brokehampton sought a licence from King Edward I for appropriating the rectorship and hence its income, but it was not until 1343 that the first vicar could be appointed.

 Sir Richard Hyne was vicar from 1501. The title ‘Sir’ was given during the later years of the reign of Henry VII to those who had studied for the priesthood, but not taken a degree and in some cases those who had not even matriculated, so that they could be enrolled as priests. This process helped make up for the shortfall of priests that had become of great concern to the church due to pressure resulting from a great increase in the population – gradually worsening under Henry VIII, after the Reformation.

Sir John Pratt was appointed vicar by Henry VIII, for the stormy years when the Church of England broke away from Rome.  Edward VI pressed forward the removal of images, colour and stone altars; Mary restored the Pope’s jurisdiction and Elizabeth I became supreme governor of a protestant version of the catholic Church of England.  Nowwith Christ Church Oxford holding the rectorship, the majority of the incumbents from 1597 were graduates of that college. The puritan trend took hold firmly in Badby, both Christ Church Oxford and the Knightleys were strong followers.  Vicar Raphael Heywood’s ambivalent attitude succeeded in steering a path through the major changes to keep his recalcitrant flock within the fold of the established church.  His son, Thomas, was also vicar during times of upheaval.  He was deposed by Parliamentary appointees for 14 years in the middle of his 28 years incumbency.

 In the 143 years between 1776 and 1919, there were only three vicars, all serving long periods.  In 1919 curate Revd Ralph Cornish became vicar at the request of the parishes and no replacement curate has been appointed since.

 In 1982 Revd Roy Dooley took over the added responsibility of priest in charge of Fawsley.  After he sadly took his life in October 1989, a reorganisation came about that was agreed five years earlier.  A united benefice was formed comprising the parishes of Badby with Newnham & Charwelton with Fawsley & Preston Capes, to which Revd Stephen Adams was instituted and inducted on April 22, 1991.  There are still five separate parochial church councils in these “Knightley Parishes” for the incumbent to chair!


 1265     Henry de Cokenato                                                 Patron:  Crown

From at least the 12th century, the church at Badby and its chapel at Newnham had been controlled by the Abbot of Evesham but in 1265 there was a vacancy in the abbacy, so the crown made this appointment.

1266      Giles de Audenard (or Aldenard or Oudenarde or Egidius de Audenard)

He contemporaneously worked in the state department of the King’s Wardrobe for Henry III and Edward I and thus was mainly absent from the parish. He was also rector of Marsh Gibbon 1275-6.

1280      John (or Johannes)  probably de Audenard (Also Rector of Marsh Gibbon 1276-1307)

He was presented by Bishop Oliver Sutton of Lincoln who became bishop in 1280. There is no record of his institution.  It is possible that John received papal provision to the benefice (although there is no record of such published in the  Calendar of Papal Letters), or that he was instituted during the vacancy of the see between the death of Bishop Gravesend in 1279 and the consecration of Bishop Sutton in 1280.  His incumbency ended with his death, which must have taken place shortly before the institution of Gilbert de Geytington on September 22, 1285.

1285      Gilbert de Geytington                                            Abbey of Evesham

By 1285 the Abbot and Convent of Evesham had regained control of the Advowson.  Gilbert de Geytington was a clerk in minor orders who was ordained at Lincoln and appointed to Badby both on 22nd September.

1306      Reginald de Wikkewan

1316      Thomas de Evesham                                              Crown

The Abbey of Evesham again had a vacancy and the crown appointed a senior state official in the King’s Chancery, (he was Master of the Rolls in 1341), to the benefice.  Although Thomas could seldom have lived in Badby, he probably initiated the rebuilding of the churches in the two parishes and a parsonage house at Newnham.  The priest he left in charge of Newnham, John le Whyte seemed to lack supervision and was fined in 1338 for robbery and assault!



1343      Reginald Musard                                          Abbey of Evesham

1365      John Horne (or Horn or Hern)

He obtained the vicarage of Badby by exchange with Reginald Musard, who succeeded him as Rector of Bradden.  He was probably already elderly as seven years later he was replaced as too infirm to continue.

1372      John Etyingdon (or Etyngton)

1376      John Bassett (or Basset)

1410      John Botyngdon (or Botyngton)

1440      Thomas Bramfield (or Brannfeld)

1471      William Pedington

1497      Thomas Knyght (or Knight)

1501      Sir Richard Hyne (or Hinde or Hynde)

1543      Sir John Pratt                                               Crown

1561      William Bowen                         

1566      Thomas Halliday  (presented, but there is no record of his ministry)  

1567      Thomas Sharrocke (or Sharrock)                  Bishop of Peterborough

1571      Thomas (or John) Blackmore(or Blakemore or Blackamore)

1596      Edward Spendlove(he may not have taken up the living)             Crown

1597      Raphael Heywood (or Haywood)                            Christ Church Oxford

                        (simultaneously vicar of Harringworth from 1601)

1639      William Strode

1642      John Watson

1643      Thomas Heywood (son of Raphael)

1646           Thomas Daukes (not ordained)          Parliamentary Committee

1649           John Winston

1660      Thomas Heywood                                        Christ Church Oxford

                        (reinstated and simultaneously rector of Rushden 1666-70)

1670      Mark Innes

1686      John Smith

1690      Thomas Edwards

1708      Samuel Hartman (also Perpetual Curate {= rector} of Daventry 1707-16)

1716      Thomas Cotton

1743      Gilbert Repington

1749      George Marshall

1753      Enoch Markham (or Marcham: simultaneously rector of Stockerston,                                      Leics  1757-69 and Master of Oakham Grammar School)

1769      William James

1776      Thomas Cox

1816      Thomas Green

1871      William Scratton

1919      Hubert Ralph Athelstan Cornish                   Bishop of Peterborough

1932      George Ruthven Thornton

1935      Leonard Henry Haydn Green

1951      Charles Frederick Witham

1971      Roy Wilfred Dooley

                        (additionally, priest in charge of Fawsley from 1982)



1991-1997                Stephen Paul Adams

1998-2008                Michael David Petitt

2010-2019                Susan Ann Faulkner

      2020-                                Malcolm J Ingham

GPS 29/04/2020 (updated 4/2/2020 by FW)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.