St. Andrew's Church, Aycliffe

Incumbents List

taken from SALTIRE, St. Andrew's, Aycliffe, Locality, Treasures, Incumbents, Records, Exterior

with kind permission of Valerie Brown

Incumbents of Great Aycliffe, St. Andrew's Church, Aycliffe

Incumbents List in St. Andrew's Church, Aycliffe

courtesy David Lewis



Clergy (1085 – 1995)

A framed list (30” x 22”) hangs inside the Church of St. Andrew , on the south column of the tower, listing the clergy of the Parish of Great Aycliffe for over 900 years. It was compiled and presented by Miss Louisa Wilson, sister-in-law of the Rev. C. J. A. Eade (1880 – 1926) and the author of the “Annals of Aycliffe”. The authorities she consulted were the Surtees Society and Hutchinson ’s “Histories and antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham”. The whole list was revised up to 1964 by the Master of Sherburn Hospital. The 1975 – 1995 section was completed by Mr V. Brown of Aycliffe Village in 1998. The list differs slightly from those in the Baptism Register – 46 (last page) and articles by Fordyce, Hutchinson, McKenzie and Surtees.

Incumbents of Great Aycliffe

A. D. Rectors res.=resigned the living, ob.=died in office



1085 Aldredus, Preost de Acle.

c.1095 Thoma Clericus de Acle.

c.1129 Gamul, Clericus de Acheleia

A. D. Vicars

1554 Willm. Bennet, S.T.P. ob.

c.1210 Dm. Ricardus, Vicarius

1212 Thomas, Persona de Acle ob. .

c.1226 Dm.Johannis, Vicarius de Acle

1276 Alanus c.

c.1290 William de Cestria

c.1300 Walterius, Vicarius de Acley

c.1303 Johannes de Hoton, res.

1306 Robertus de Wolveston

1312 Ricardus de Hoton ob.

1329 Henricus de Lutrington res.

c. 1340 Wm. De Alverton ob.

1349 Heronceaus, Prior de Acley ob.

c.1357 Robertus Karles res.

1382 Johannes de Acley ob.

c.1396 Willm. Barton, ob.

1419 Willm. Doncaster , res.

1420 Willm. Paxton, res. res.

1424 Johannes Taylor ob.

1443 Thomas Radclive res.

1446 Willm. Blomesley ob.

1461 Robertus Hartipole ob.

1475 Robertus Hoode ob.

1476 Radulphus Hamsterley res.

1488 Jacobus Hareson ob.

1510 Thomas Patenson ob.

1520 Cr opher Werdale, L.L.B. ob.

1533 Cuthbert Marshall , S.T.P. res.

1550 Lancelotus Thwaites, L.L.D. res.

1584 Robt. Throckmorton ob.

1619 Radulphus Richardson, A.M ob.

1632 Thomas Carr D.D.,S.T.P., ob

1641 Daniel Cardwine res.

1645 Georgius Spooner, A.M., ob.

1679 Francis Blakiston ob.

1694 John Lisle, M.A. ob.

1723 Willm. Forster, A.M. res.

1725 Bryannus Turner, A.B. ob.

1738 Thomas Richardson A.B. ob.

1755 Abraham Gregory A. M. ob.

1773 James Robson, M.A. res.

1806 Dickens Haslewood, A.M. ob.

1831 Willm. Smoult Temple res.

1835 John Davie Eade, A. M. res.

1880 Chas.John Aylmer Eade A.M ob

1927 Alexr.Hamilton Patterson, M.A

1936 Chas. James Lockyer res.

1940 John Willm. Heap res.

1949 Arthur Howell Bowen, B. A. ob.

1964 Wm. John Frank Kerby,LTh Res.

1975 Mervin Shorthouse res.

1980 Michael William Tipper res.

1983 Thomas Patrick Duffy res.

1989 Piers Damer Davey res.





The following notes have been taken from Wilson , 1927, (pp.24-97)


1085 Aldredus: c.1095 Thomas and c.1129 Gamul would have ministered in the little stone church, founded in pre-Conquest days.

The change from Rectors to Vicars took place in the early thirteenth century when Sir Thomas de Amundeville handed over the manor of Acle to the Convent to provide for the services of a Chantry priest. “This was followed by the impropriation of the Rectorial tithes by the Convent, the parish priest’s status was consequently altered to that of Vicar of Acle and his stipend much reduced” (Wilson, 1927, pp. 25, 26). With this change in status some vicars were absent from their parishes for long periods, leaving the spiritual needs of their parishioners in charge of priests at the Chapels of Ketton, Rykenhall and Nunstaynton, together with the two Chantry priests at St. Andrew’s church.


1212 Thomas, persona de Acle, granted his Manor of Graystanes to the Convent and was a member of the prominent local family, which came to be known as de Amundeville. During his Incumbency the church was considerably enlarged, with the addition of the south aisle and the extensions to the Nave and north aisle, allowing the three storied tower to be built. Sir Thomas de Amundeville may have founded the Chantry of St. Mary the Virgin in the new south aisle at this time.

1276 Alanus was involved in a legal wrangle with the Nuns of Monkton who refused to pay tithes for the ViII of Staynton. Eventually they were exempted.

c.1290 William de Cestria appears in the Patent Rolls (1290) as 'a parson of the church of Great Acle , going to the Holy Land with Otto Grandison for 3 years'. He was also one of Edward I's chaplains and a trained lawyer involved in the new valuation of all benefices - Taxatio Ecclesiastica (1290 - 91). In 1292 he withdrew from the Vicarage to act for five years as a substitute for the Prior of Runcival in the French Pyrenees.

c.1303 Johannes de Horton was appointed Master of the Hospital of Barnard Castle in 1305. This extra post caused him to neglect the provision of three weekly services for the Nuns of Monkton. They complained, he was fined 12 marcs and resigned the Living and was paid a pension of 'civ silver pence'.

1312 Ricardus de Hoton's Incumbency was marred by the many years of Scottish invasions, which resulted in the burning of Woodham and the Prior's new house at Ketton and caused the famine years of 1315 and 1316.

1382 Johannes de Acley - Professor of Sacred Theology and an eminent member of the Amundeville family. From 1373 he was 'Prior Oxoniae, in loco nostro cumini in Stokewelstreete situato'. This was Durham College , later to become Trinity College , Oxford , which had been founded in 1290 by the Convent of Durham and consisted of 12 novices and a Superior . From 1381 - 85 he was also Prior of Holy Island and Rector of Kimblesworth. Of his Incumbency we have but one detail attesting to the 200 year lease to the Nuns of Staynton. In 1387 he was transferred to the Cell at Wearmouth, recalled to Durham in 1390 and for thirty years was Prior at Coldingham.

1419 William Doncaster was a trained lawyer involved in the disputes with Scotland over Coldingham. He held the Living for one year, moved to St. Oswald’s, Durham , became Dean of Auckland and then became Vicar of Meldon in Northumberland.

1424 Johannes Taylor held the Living for twenty years but in 1435 'obtained a Papal sanction to absent himself on the score of age and the unhealthiness of the climate'.

1476 Radulphus Hamsterley D.D. was a student at University College , Oxford ; Fellow of Merton College; Principal of Alban Hall, 1482 - 1501. Between 1487 and 1488 he resigned his benefices of Wilton Gilbert, Kimblesworth and Aycliffe, moving on to become Master of University College, Oxford . He was buried in Oddington church, Oxfordshire in 1518.

1488 William Browne was Vicar for 30 years. He was away for several months in 1499 and Bishop Fox addressed a monition to him to return to the Parish.

1520 Christopher Werdale LL.B. was Vicar of both Aycliffe and St. Oswald’s, Durham until 1533. In 1529 Parliament had forbidden the Clergy to hold pluralities but Dr. Werdale was exempted in virtue of his status as Doctor of Divinity.

1533 Cuthbert Marshall M.A. Pembroke College , Cambridge . D.D. in 1523. After a varied career he was recommended to the Vicarage of Aycliffe by Bishop Tunstall He was involved in Henry VIlI's quarrel with Rome in 1533 and provided a Preface to the 2nd edition of the King's 'Primer'. As an Archdeacon of York he signed the protest to the King when he was about to marry Anne of Cleves and helped to quell the Rising in the Northern Counties in 1539. From 1539 - 45 he was Proctor for Convocation at York which would have discussed the Chantries Act 1545. He was buried in York Minster in 1549/50.

1550 Lancelot Thwaites LL.D. Resigned the Living at St. Oswald’s to move to Aycliffe but still held the Living at Egglescliffe. During his Incumbency the final act of despoiling the church of St. Andrew and removing the Chantry of St. Mary the Virgin took place. He died in 1554.

1554 William Bennet D.D. Prior of Finchale. First occupant of the 4th Prebendal Stall when Durham became a cathedral in 1541. In 1547 he was Vicar of Kelloe, which, together with Aycliffe, he held until 1579. He married and had three sons (who all settled in the parish of Aycliffe) and one daughter. He was involved in framing the allotment of tithes to the 12 Prebends of the new Cathedral and was one the few Aycliffe Vicars to be buried in the churchyard in 1583/84.

1584 Robert Throckmorton. Aycliffe was his only Living since clergy were

required to stay in their parishes during the troubled times after the Reformation and the Rising of the North and to enforce the strictest discipline on their parishioners. He was married with one son baptised at St. Andrew's church on 1st June, 1600 . The Parish Register records his burial on 27 February 1618/19 .

1619 Radulphus Richardson . His parents were married in St. Andrew's church on 12 August 1576 and he was baptised there on 19 November 1581 . In 1608 he became an MA at Christ Church College , Cambridge and by 1610 was a Curate at Chigwell in Essex . He was married in St. Andrew's church on 18 April 1615 and a full account of his Induction on 17 July 1619 , as Incumbent, appears in the Parish Register together with the signatures of twenty two parishioners. The Burial Register shows that he was buried on 1st March 1632 .

1632 Thomas Carr D.D. was educated at Giggleswick Grammar School , founded by a member of his family in 1512, and Jesus College , Cambridge . D.D. 1630. He became private chaplain to Sir Thomas Wentworth - later Earl of Stafford - under whose influence he obtained both the Rectory of Huggate, Yorks and the Prebendal Stall (lately vacated by Peter Smart) in Durham Cathedral, 1631. King Charles I, however, insisted that Thomas Carr should live nearer to Durham and stipulated that within two years he should be no more than thirty miles away. When the Living at Aycliffe became vacant in 1632 he, somewhat 'ruefully', accepted but still held his other living at Huggate. His Incumbency at Aycliffe was to prove very difficult due to the occupation of the victorious Scottish army, the trial for impeachment of the Earl of Stafford (his patron) and a great deal of trouble from Peter Smart and his supporters, who eventually succeeded in ejecting him from the Living at St. Andrew's church 'Broken in spirit and fortune and was buried at St. Ann's, Blackfriars'. Peter Smart was offered the Living but 'absolutely refused it and desired it might be conferred on Mr. Carwardine'.

1641 Daniel Carwardine for two or three years held Livings in both Darlington and Aycliffe during the years of strife between King and Parliament. He then transferred to the parish church of Ealing where he died in 1645. He was followed by Robert Wilkinson (not mentioned on the Incumbents' List), who was born at Brafferton and appears in the Aycliffe Baptism Registers, 18 November 1604, as does his son who was baptised 12 December 1650. During his short ministry Parliament made an Ordinance on 3 January 1645 for 'the abolition of the Book of Common Prayer and for the establishment in its place of a new Directory for the public worship of God was passed '.

c. I 652. George Spooner was born in Manfield Vicarage, North Yorkshire and was educated at Sedbergh School and St. John's College , Cambridge - where he became a Fellow. He arrived in Aycliffe in 1650, was officially recognised Vicar in 1652 and his marriage appears in the Registers for St. Andrew's Day, 1654. It is thought that Aycliffe had been the headquarters of the .Scottish army and much needed to be done to restore the Parish. In 1659 his stipend was raised to £80 a year. He was responsible for new bells in the tower in 1664 and his notes on a scheme for acquiring funds for rebuilding the churchyard wall appear in the Parish Register (see also the churchyard section, p.49). Unhappily, he died before work could begin.

1679 Francis Blakiston was the son of Captain Robert Blakiston of Old Elvet, Durham . His baptism appears in St. Oswald's register on 13 June 1654 and at the age of fifteen he entered Peterhouse, Cambridge . He was 25 when his Induction took place on 31 July 1679 . His name appears in Dean Granville's diary 12 February 1680/81 when he is summoned before the Dean and Chapter for 'striking Richardson, our Porter and felling him with his staffe in the very midst of the Quire'. (The Rev. Robert Carr was appointed his Curate in 1688 and immediately applied himself to the task of rebuilding the churchyard wall using almost the same scheme as that of the Rev. George Spooner). In 1694 he resigned his Living and moved to the Rectory of Whitbum where he died in 1704.

1694 John Lisle M.A. spent the last thirty years of his Incumbency in Aycliffe. It was the practice at that time for pew seats to be bought and sold and hehad the great misfortune to be involved in all the disputes which arose. Because more than one family shared a pew these arguments sometimes had to be settled in court. One such case involving Mr. Francis Hutton of Woodham appears, in Latin, in the Parish Register for 1721 (see Pews/Galleries section, p.! 06).

1725 Bryan Turner B.A. Vicar at a time when the population was growing and attendance at church was imposed by law. To provide more seating in church, plans were drawn up and a Faculty granted in 1726 for the erection of a gallery under the tower, and later extended into the first bay of the Nave, at the west end of the church (see Plan-Pews/Galleries section, p.110).

1773 James Robson M.A. educated at Lincoln College , Oxford and buried in St. Andrew's churchyard in October 1805.

The following abbreviated information appears in Crockford's Clerical Directory:

1835 John Davie Eade M.A. 1830; Deacon 1828 by Bp. of

London; Priest 1829 by Archbp.of

York; Curate Moor Monkton,

York; Priest in charge Witton-Ie-Wear; Hon.Canon of Durham 1847; Rural Dean; Vicar Aycliffe 1835 -1880.

Buried in St. Andrew's churchyard. During his Incumbency the first gallery under the tower was removed and another gallery built in 1840 in the north. aisle. He also abolished the buying and selling of pews.

Charles John Aylmer Eade

1880 Charles John Aylmer Eade Trinity College, Cambridge, MA 1870; Ordained 1870; Priest 1871 Chichester; Curate of Midhurst 1870 - 73;Gainford 1873 - 75; Aycliffe (for his father the Rev. J. D. Eade) 1875 - 80; Vicar of Aycliffe 1880 - 1926.

He planned the huge restoration of the church in 1881182 which succeeded in opening up the interior and the uncovering of its Saxon origins. The longest serving Vicar in SI. Andrew's history, he is buried on the north side of the churchyard with other members of his family.

In 1928 the Rev. A.H. Patterson organised a 'Memorial to the Rev. C.J. A. Eade' which resulted in subscriptions towards a brass plaque. This was placed on the south wall of the Chancel, to the east of the Priest's door. The dedication reads 'Sacred to the memory of Charles John Aylmer Eade, Vicar of Aycliffe 1880 - 1926.

Born 11 October 1845 . Died 28 November 1926 '.

1927 Alexander Hamilton Patterson

St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge; MA 1877; Ordained 1874; Priest 1875 Durham; Curate of Bywell St. Andrews 1874 - 77; Ass. Inspector of Diocese 1877 - 78; Hon. Canon of Durham 1910; Officiating Chaplain of the Forces 1915 - 18; Vicar of St. Helen’s, Gateshead 1894 - 1927; SI. Andrews, Aycliffe from 1927.

1936 Charles Jones Lockyer Jesus College , Oxford ; MA 1910; Chancellors School , Lincoln 1907; Deacon 1908; Priest 1909 Lincoln; Curate of SI. Mary and St. James, Grimsby 1908 - 11; Rector of Yarloop 1912; Curate of Dunston 1913 - 18, St. John Forres 1918 - 19, Leadgates 1922 - 24, Beamish 1924 - 25, Stanhope 1925; Vicar of New bottle 1925 - 36, Aycliffe from 1936 (N.B. Charles James on Incumbents' List, p.15, is incorrect).

1940 John William Heap St. Aidan 1914; Priest 1918 Durham ; Curate Annfield Plain 1917 - 21, Ven. Bede, Gateshead 1921 - 24. Holy Trinity, Gateshead 1924 - 25; Minister St. Andrews, Blackhall 1925 - 30; Vicar 1930 - 40; Vicar of Aycliffe from 1940 .

1949 Arthur Howell Bowen St. David's College, Lampeter; Licentiate in Divinity 1929; BA 1930; Deacon 1930; Priest 1931 Durham; Curate St. John the Evangelist, Darlington 1930 - 33, Christ Church , W. Hartlepool 1933 ~ 37; Chaplain Mission to Seamen, Avonmouth 1937; Vicar of Aycliffe from 1949.

1964 William John Frank Kerby Univ. of Durham; Lth. 1931 Chichester; Deacon 1931 Chichester; Priest 1932 Durham; Curate of Shotton 1931 - 34; Miss. at Tela 1934 - 35; Curate of Cathedral Miss., Belize 1935 - 36, Bocas del Toro w. Almirante 1936 - 37, H. Trinity, Hartlepool 1937 - 38; Vicar of St. Mark Millfield, Sunderland 1938­54. Dalton - le - Dale 1954 - 64. Aycliffe from 1964.

1975 Mervin Shorthouse b. 1914; Edinburgh Theol. Coll.; Deacon 1947; Priest 1948 Durham; Curate of Greenside 1947 - 50, St. Margaret’s (& St. Johns, Nevilles Cross) 1950 - 52; Perpetual Curate of Chopwell 1952 - 55; Vicar of Cornforth 1955 - 75, Aycliffe from 1975.

1980 Michael William Tipper b. 1938; Univ. of Hull M.Sc. 1961; Emmanuel & St. Chad’s College, Saskatoon 1972; Deacon 1973; Priest 1974; Canada, 1973 -77; Rector of Amcotts, Lincs. 1977 - 79; Priest in charge of Luddington and Garthorpe 1977 - 79; Rector of Sask Gateway 1979 - 80; Vicar of Aycliffe from 1980.

1983 Thomas Patrick Duffy Clifton Theol. College 1955; Deacon 1957; Priest 1958 Bp. Morris; In. C.of E. in South Africa 1957 - 60; Curate of Christ Church, Addington, Durban 1960 - 62, St. Pet. Pietermaritzburgh 1962; Vicar of York w. Ravensworth, S. Africa 1963 - 64; Curate of Mildenhall 1964 - 66; Rector of Mooi River 1966 ­69; Vicar of St. Mary Ascension Island 1969 - 73; Rector of St. Barn. Port Elizabeth 1973 - 78; Chaplain St. Andrew, Gothenburg 1978 - 80, Chaplain Mission to Seamen, Gothenburg 1978 - 80; Rector of Acton and Lt. W Gt. Waldingfield Diocese St. E. 1980 - 82; Vicar of Aycliffe from 1983.

1989 Piers Damer Davey

b. 1957; Durham Univ. B.Sc.; College of Resurrection Mirfield, 1980; Deacon 1983; Priest 1984; Curate Heworth St. Mary, Durham 1983 - 86, Bamard Castle w. Whorlton 1986 - 89; Vicar of Aycliffe 1989 - 95, Chilton Moor from 1995.

The Parish of St. Andrew was subsumed into the Team Ministry of Great Aycliffe in 1996 together with St. Clare, Newton Aycliffe, St. Francis, Horndale and St. Elizabeth, Woodham.

1996 Peter Alan Baldwin, Team 'Rector of Great Aycliffe.

1997 (part) Nicholas Chamberlain, Team Vicar of St. Francis, Horndale.

1997 - William Ernest Lionel Broad, Team Rector of Great Aycliffe. (October 2001 ­installed as non - residential Canon of Durham Cathedral).

1999 - Mark Allsopp, Team Vicar of St. Francis, Homdale and St. Andrew, Aycliffe Village .


The Revrd John Lisle, Vicr of Aycikliff was buried December 22, 1722 (page 246in Parish Register)

A daughter of John Lisle was buried October 25, 1697. (page 213 Parish Register)


William Robson, son of the Rev. James Robson, Vicar of Aycliffe, was buried November 5, 1793. (page 211 Parish Register)

James Robson, Vicar of this Parish, died October 12, 1805 and was buried October 16, aged 76 years.