The Benefice.

Gedling Church, from the North.
Gedling Church, from the North.

IN the account of the Manor of Goisfrid Alselin in Stoches and Ghellinge (Stoke Bardolph and Gedling) in the Domesday Survey of 1086, it is stated that "There is a priest and a church, and one fishery, and two mills of twenty shillings, and thirty acres of meadow." The position of the church is not stated, but it was most probably at Gedling, where, in the present church, evidence of Norman work may still be found. Further the entry in the Domesday Survey suggests that the church and priest existed even in Saxon times, the former occupying the same site as the present edifice.

Pope Nicholas the Fourth, to whom the first-fruits and tenths of all benefices belonged, granted the tenths, in 1288, to King Edward the First for six years, in aid of an expedition to the Holy Land; and in order that their full value might be collected, the King caused a valuation roll to be drawn up under the direction of John, Bishop of Winchester, and Oliver, Bishop of Lincoln. This valuation was completed in 1291, when the Church of Gedling was stated to be divided, the part of Edmund being of the clear annual value of £136s. 8d., out of which the Prior of Shelford received an annual pension of two shillings, while the part of Thomas in the same church was also valued at £136s. 8d., the Prior of Shelford receiving therefrom an annual pension of thirteen shillings and four pence.

The manuscript collections of James Torre, the York antiquary (died 1699), in the possession of the Dean and Chapter of York, contain the following references to Gedling Church:—

"The Church of All Hallows, of Gedling, consisted of two rectories, viz.: the rectory of the Mediety of the church belonged to the patronage of the Bardolfs, and from them descended to the Lords Cobham, and Sir William Phillips, Knight, temp. Henry VI., and after it was twice forfeited to the Crown, and was by it (Henry VIII.) given to the Stanhopes, Knights. And the rectory or vicarage of the other Mediety was given to the Priory of Shelford, which received out of it half a mark pension per annum while it continued a rectory, but being appropriated to them on the 2nd Ides of November, 1310, William [de Greenfield] Archbishop of York, ordained a perpetual vicarage in this Mediety, and that the portion thereof should consist in the annuity of twelve marks, payable at Martinmas and Pentecost, to the vicar for the time being, who shall be presentable by the Prior and Convent of Shelford, and shall likewise have for his mansion those two areas lying together on the south side of the church, whereon the Prior and Convent shall build for his habitation, one hall, two chambers, pantry, and kitchen, and a stable for two horses, and that the Prior and Convent shall have entirely the mansion of the rectory of that Mediety, and shall repair and new build the chancel of the church appertaining to the same Mediety. Also find books and ornaments to the same belonging, and pay the Archdeacon of the place his dues, also synodals, and all other burdens incumbent on that Mediety. But as for Papal desmes and other annual impositions extraordinary, the said Religious and Vicar shall pay them ratably to their proportions.

On 5 February, 31 Henry VIII. [1540], the King granted to Michael Stanhope, Esquire, and Anne, his wife, [inter alia]the Rectory of this Mediety belonging to the Priory of Shelford."

With regard to the ordination of a vicarage at Gedling in 1310, it should be noted that in 1268 the Papal legate imposed a restriction upon the appropriation of churches to any priory or other monastery, and made an order that all religious, exempt and not exempt, Cistercians and others, who held such churches, should present a resident vicar for institution by the diocesan, providing him with a sufficient portion out of the endowment, and a house with a garderobe and chimney after the French fashion. Usually, the dependent vicar received "a robe of clerical suit," and daily rations when near a convent. Thus it came about that, while there was a rector in full enjoyment of one mediety, the Prior and Convent of Shelford were rectors of the other mediety, and maintained a resident vicar with the stipend and other emoluments already enumerated. It may be mentioned that the "annuity of twelve marks" in the fourteenth century would be equivalent to £192 at the present time.

A more detailed account of the sources from which the emoluments of this benefice were derived during the first half of the fourteenth century is furnished by the Nonae Roll. This was a subsidy of the ninth of corn, lambs, and wool in every parish, granted by the Parliament to King Edward the Third in 1341, as an aid in his wars with France. At an inquisition taken at Nottingham on the Sunday next after the Feast of St. Gregory the pope, in that year, before the Prior of Shelford and his associates, the venditors and assessors of the subsidy of a ninth of corn, fleeces, and lambs, and of a ninth of chattels in cities and boroughs, and of a fifteenth of all foreigners and of dwellers in forests and wastes, lately granted to the King in the County of Nottingham, John de Waynflet, of Southwell, Richard de Herthill, of Calverton, Peter de Wyke, of Upton, Richard Ingram, of Gedling, John de Burstall, of Burton, Thomas de Whatton, of Stoke, Robert de Halm', Henry de North well, Peter Lysurs, of Muskham, Roger Pilley, of Gedling, Elye Cressey, and Roger Julyan, of Holme, declared upon oath, that the Church of Gedling was divided, that the part of Edmund was taxed at twenty marcs, the pension of the Prior of Shelford in the same part being two shillings; that the part of Thomas was taxed at twenty marcs, the pension of the said Prior in the same being worth 13s. 4d.; that the ninth of corn, lambs, and wool in the same was of the true value of 28 marcs and no more; that the land and meadow which are [dos]are of the annual value of five marcs, and the tithe of hay and altarage seven marcs. Thus the church was rated at 40 marcs (£26 13s. 4d.)divided into two equal portions.

The Taxation of Pope Nicholas the Fourth held good for the purpose of the taxation of all benefices until 1536, when a new ecclesiastical survey was made upon the dissolution of religious houses, in pursuance of an Act of Parliament (26 Henry VIII., cap. 3), which gave the first-fruits and tenths to the King. In this survey, known as the Valor Ecclcsiasticus, or Liber Regis, the commissioners under the Statute returned the Church of Gedling as being divided into two rectories, of which the first part was appropriated to the Priory of Shelford, George Ellingthorp being Vicar of that part. He had a house, and was entitled to the tithes of lambs and fleeces, pigs, fowls and eggs, flax and hemp, and certain other things, including a portion of hay in Colwick, which, together with oblations, amounted in all to the clear yearly sum of £616s. 4d. The other part of the Rectory of Gedling was held by Brian Menell, who is described as Rector. He is recorded to have had a house with glebe land, and was entitled to the tithes of corn and hay, lambs and fleeces, pigs, fowls and eggs, flax and hemp, and certain other things, including a cottage and 'molendino brasiatico' (? malt-mill), which, together with oblations and Easter dues, amounted in all to £14 5s. 11d. per annum; but out of this the Rector had to pay to the Archbishop of York two shillings for synodals, and to the Archdeacon of Nottingham 3s. 9d. for procurations, so that his clear yearly stipend, at that period, was £145s. 11d.

During the Usurpation, the following inquisition was taken at the Shire Hall, Nottingham, on August 14th, 1650. "The priory in Gedlinge" refers to the Vicarage of the first mediety previously referred to:—

"An Inquisicon indented taken att the Shire Hall in Nottingham in the County aforesaid the fowreteenth day of August in the yeare of our Lord God one thowsand sixe hundred and ffiftie before John Hutchinson Gervase Pigott Robert Reynes Nicholas Charleton and Clement Spelman Esquiers by vertue of a comission from the Keepers of the Liberty of England by authoritie of Parliament vnder the great Seale of England to them and others directed and to this Inquisicon annexed by the oathes of Brian Cumberland gentl John Walker gentl Richard Astlyn Edmund Lillie William Greene ffrancis Haynes, Thomas Greaton Thomas Lupton Richard Birkehead Humfrey Hallam Thomas Wheatcrofte John Bradley and John Bettison good and lawfull men of the said Countie who beinge sworne and charged to inquire of the sevall pticulers in the same comission menconed say vpon theire Oathes as followeth (videlt) that in the Wapentake of Thurgarton & Leigh in the said County there is

[Then follow the various places (the first of which is Blidworth) until we come to Gedlinge.]

Gedlinge cum membr

The priory in Gedlinge cum membris impropriate and wthout Cure of soules beinge the Inheritance of the Earle of Chesterfeild and in sequestracon for his delinquency and nowe in the possession of William Alvie Gervas fforman and Thomas fibster ffarmors thereof from the State is worth by the yeare fowerscore pounds p Annu And the Rectory or Parsonage of Gedlinge aforesaid whereof the said Earle is Patron is supplied by Lawrence Palmer Clarke the psent Incumbent who hath the Cure of soules there and is an able Orthodox preachinge Minister preachinge twice everie Lords day and Chatechiseing which Rectory is of the yearely value of Sixe score pounds and the said Mr.Palmer receives the pffittes thereof to his owne vse."

According to the Inclosure Award, p. 12:—

Philip Earl of Chesterfield and the persons in remainder were Patrons of the Rectory and Parish Church of Gedling, within the Deanery and County of Nottingham and Diocese of York, and intituled to the presentation of the Rectory thereof, and also are Impropriators or owners of one-half of the Tythes of Corn, arising and yearly renewing within the open arable Fields in the same Parish.

Rev. William Smelt, Prebendary of Southwell, present incumbent of Gedling, intituled to the remainder of the Great all the Small Tythes arising within the same Parish, and also to certain Glebe and lands containing 58 acres.

We are informed by Curtis (Topographical History of Nottinghamshire, an unfinished work, published in parts, circa 1843-4, p. 108) that "The Earl of Chesterfield is patron of the Rectory, which has a glebe of 300 acres in Gedling, with nearly 200 more in each of the adjoining hamlets of Carlton and Stoke Bardolph; present net income £1,075, and there is a glebe house."

We are informed by the Rector that "to the Rectory and Vicarage of Gedling 593 acres of land in Gedling, Carlton, and Stoke were awarded in lieu of tithes—190 acres have been sold or transferred for the endowment of the two new parishes of St. Paul's and St. George's in the township of Carlton." Thus the income of Gedling Rectory is now derived from the rents of the remaining 403 acres of glebe.

The following lists of the Incumbents of Gedling are compiled from Torre's Manuscript Collections in the possession of the Dean and Chapter of York, from the Registers of Archbishops Gray and Giffard published by the Surtees Society, from the parish register, and from monumental inscriptions in Gedling Church.


Thomas Beck, clerk, was instituted, 4 November 1248, to a mediety of the church of Gedelinghes, at the presentation of the Prior and Convent of Schelford.

*     *     *     *     *

Hugo de Kercolston, instituted 19 November 1310. Patrons, the Prior and Convent of Shelford. Died.

Robert de Crorabwell, "pauper clericus," instituted 4 August 1331. Same patrons.

Thomas de Saxindale. Same patrons. Exchanged for the Vicarage of North Muskham, also in the patronage of Shelford Priory, with

William fil. Rad. de Clypston, instituted to Gedling, 21 September 1364. Died.

Robert Pygott, instituted 8 July 1369. Same Patrons. Died.

John de Landeforth, instituted 21 August 1369. Same patrons. By his will proved, 23 April 1394, John de Landeforth, Vicar of the Mediety of the Church of Gedling gave his soul to God Almighty, St. Mary and all Saints, and his body to be buried in the Church of Gedling.

Richard Arnall, instituted 31 March 1394. Same patrons. Died.

William de Holbek, instituted 23 July 1431. Same patrons. By his will, dated St. Richard's day 1450, and in which he is described as Vicar of the Parish Church of Gedling, he desired to be buried in the Church of All Saints of Gedling.

Richard Willoughby, instituted 6 January 1450-1. Same Patrons. Died.

George Wilkinson, instituted 23 May 1478. Same patrons. Resigned.

Robert Helmsley, instituted 20 September 1478. Same patrons. Resigned.

Walter Dreffeld, Canon of Shelford, instituted 28 February 1491. Same patrons. Died.

George Ellingthorpe, Canon of Shelford, instituted 13 May 1513. Same patrons. He occurs as Vicar in the Valor Ecclesiasticus of 1536. He subsequently resigned.

Nicholas Bateman, instituted 29 November 1546. Patrons, Assignees of the Prior and Convent of Shelford. "1561-2.

Nycholas BatemanVicar of Gedlinge, was buryed xviij daie of Januarie." (Parish Register).

Henry Lees, instituted 20 December 1556. Patron, Dame Anna Stanhope, widow. Died.

George Stoughome, instituted 22August 1557. Same patron.

John Marbury. "1573. John Merburie, Vicar of Gedlinge, was buried y« ix of Aprill." (Parish Register).

John Wilson, instituted 25 April 1573. Patron, Thomas Stanhope, Esquire. Died.

Nicholas Hancock, instituted 1 December 1578. Same patron, then a Knight. "1604. Nicolas Hancocke vicar of Gedlinge was buried y« xij* daie of Aprill." (Parish Register).

William Stokes, instituted 13 June 1604. Patron, Margaretta Stanhope, widow. "1644. Willmu' Stokes vicar, was buried ye15th Day of February." (Parish Register),

[Note:—After the death of William Stokes no names of further Vicars are to be found in Gedling register until the memorandum of the induction of Richard Chenevix as Vicar and Rector in 1734 is reached.]


South view of Gedling Church.
South view of Gedling Church.

William de Lexington, clerk, was instituted, 28 November 1248, to a mediety of the church of Gedelinghes at the presentation of Sir William Bardolf, reserving to the Prior and Convent of Schelford their pension. In the register of Archbishop Gray there is a confirmation to the prior and convent of Scelford [Shelford]of a yearly pension of half a mark from the mediety of the church of Gedling, in their presentation ; half a mark from the church of Lexington; half a mark from the church of Burton [Burton Joyce]; a stone of wax from the church of Kelum [Kelham]; and, after the death of P. [sic] de Lexington, rector of Gedling, and Matthew, rector of Lexington, each of these churches to pay a mark as a pension.

John de Mailing, clerk, was presented to 'the church of Gedling' by Sir William de Bardouf, 29 September 1272. From Bingham, Archbishop Giffard sent a letter of inquisition to the Archdeacon with order to the official of York to give custody of the said moiety [sic] to the presentee until further order, if the inquisition should be in his favour.

Edmund Bardolf, instituted 5 March 1288. Patron, Sir William Bardolf.

John de Halvehton, instituted 27 August 1294. Patron, Dame Juliana Bardolf.

Alexander Claggele, instituted 20 May. 1322. Patron, Dame Isabella Bardolf.

Henry de Stanford, instituted 24 January 1325. Patron, Sir Thomas Bardolf. Resigned for the Church of Elston, Lincoln Diocese.

John de Glaston, instituted 19 October 1330. Died rector.

John de Clareburgh, instituted 24 September 1349. Patron, Agnes, widow of Thomas Bardolf. Died rector.

William Lews de Burton Bendith, instituted 7 February 1361. Patron, Sir John Bardolf.

Thomas de Leverton. Died rector.

John de Hoveden, instituted 31 July 1369. Patron, Philippa, Queen of England. Died rector.

Richard de Killam, instituted 11 November 1379. Patron, William Bardolf.

*     *     *     *     *

William Brampton, instituted 9 November 1411. Patron, Johanna, Queen of England. Resigned for the Church of North Willoughby, Lincoln Diocese.

Richard Plane, instituted 15 February 1428. Patron, Sir Reginald Cobham. By his will, proved 1 May 1455, he desired to be buried in Gedling Church.

Thomas Garwell, instituted 16 October 1455. Patron, John, Viscount Beaumont. He resigned for the Church of Linwell, Lincoln Diocese.

Thomas Dokilby, instituted 27 March 1467. Patron, John, Earl of Northumberland. He resigned.

John Aleyn vel Thomas Kewer alias Aleyn, instituted 18 July, 1476. Patron, King Edward the Fourth. Resigned.

Roger Stowe, instituted 8 February 1479. Same patron. He died intestate, and administration of his goods was granted, 18 May 1481, to Simon Drake, gentleman.

Nicholas Widmerpool, instituted 4 March 1480-1. Same patron. Died rector.

Brian Maynell, instituted 18 June 1507. Patron, the Guardian of William, Viscount Beaumont. He occurs as Brian Menell in the Valor Ecclesiasticusy 1536.

William Gyles. He was deprived, being succeeded by

Robert Collinson, instituted 9 July 1554. Patron, Anna Stanhope, widow. By his will, dated 1 May 1586, he gave his soul to Jesus Christ and his body to be buried in the chancel of the Church of Gedling, before his stall. "1586. Robert Collenson, parson of Gedlinge, was bu : ye xiij daie of Maie." (Parish Register).

Henry Bromley, instituted 17 August 1586. Patron, Sir Thomas Stanhope. He resigned.

John Walton, S.T.B., instituted 24 September 1589. Same patron. Died rector.

Christopher Forman, B.A., instituted 21 July 1603. Patron Margaretta Stanhope, widow. From 1604 to 1640 the several pages of the Register are thus signed:— "Christoferus Forman Rector Eccl'ie de Gedlinge. Gulihelmus Stokes vicarius ibid'." His burial is thus recorded:—"1640. Christopher Forman Parson of Gedlinge was buried the Eight day of Maie."

Lawrence Palmer, instituted 3 November 1640. Patron, Philip, Earl of Chesterfield. In the Register we find the entries of burials for 1641 and 1642 certified by "Lawrence Palmer Rector de Gedlinge. Willm Stokes vicar, ib'm." In the Parliamentary Commissioners' Report of 1650 he is described as holding this mediety (See page 37 ante.) In the Register after the entry of a burial on 11 November 1653 is written:—"Thus far recorded by Law: Palmer Minister of Gedling," the entries of BirthsMarriages, and Burials during the continuance of the Commonwealth being made by officials styled "Parish Registers." His burial is thus recorded:—"1681. Mr. Lawrence Palmer Rector of the mediety of Gedlinge was buried the 3rd day of February."

James Jolliffe, instituted 1682. Patron, Charles Russell, Esq. "1703. Mr. James Jolliffe Rector of the mediety of Gedling was buried Aprill 21th."

Richard Wood, M.A., instituted 1703. Patrons, Catherine, Elizabeth, and Bridget Wood. Prebendary of Lichfield; also Prebendary of North Leverton in the Collegiate Church of Southwell from 1721 until his death. He died 7 October 1734, aged 70 years. M.I. south wall of chancel. His burial is thus recorded:—"1734. Richard Wood Rector of Gedling was Buried Oct: 11." (Parish Register.)


Richard Chenevix, D.D., instituted 1734. The parish register contains the following memorandum:—"N.B.: The : Revd Mr Richard Chenevix was in full possession of the Vicarage and Rectory of Gedling on Novr 17th 1734." Patron, the fourth Earl of Chesterfield, whom he accompanied when he went as Ambassador to the Hague, and in 1745 (then D.D.) to Ireland when he was appointed Lord Lieutenant. The Earl appointed him to the first vacant Irish bishopric. He was consecrated Bishop of Killaloe in 1745, and translated in the following year to the See of Waterford and Lismore, which he held until his death, 11 September 1779, aged 81 years. He bequeathed the sum of £300, with which £5509s. 2d. three per cent. Consols were purchased, the dividend of which, amounting to £1610s. 2d., was formerly (Charity Report, Vol. XX, 515) distributed in small sums of money or coals amongst the poor of the three townships of Gedling, Carlton, and Stoke Bardolph.

Richard Kirkby, M.A., instituted 1745. Same patron. Died 10 February 1784, aged 68 years. M.I. in chancel.

William Smelt, instituted 1784. Patron, the fifth Earl of Chesterfield. "The rector, Mr. Smelt, who married the earl of Chesterfield's sister, lives here in a good house, with a comfortable living for the support of a numerous and lovely progeny." (Throsby, iii, 15.) He was a Prebendary of Southwell from 1791 until his death 22 August 1823, aged 78 years. M.I. in chancel.

Charles Smelt, instituted 1823. Patron, the sixth Earl of Chesterfield. Buried at Gedling, 14 December, 1831, aged 46 years.

Charles Williams, M.A., instituted 1832. Same patron. In 1833 he published a pamphlet of 28 pages entitled "Gedling, Considerations on the Present State of the Church, by C. Williams, Rector of Gedling." Died 24 July 1866, aged 81 years. M.I. in chancel. His unbounded benevolence is remembered to the present day.

Hon. Orlando Watkin Weld Forester, M.A., instituted 1867. Patron, his nephew, the seventh Earl of Chesterfield. Canon Residentiary of York, and Chancellor 1874-1891He succeeded his brother, in 1886, as fourth Baron Forester, of Willey Park, co. Salop. He resigned the Rectory of Gedling, 29 September 1887, and died abroad 22 June 1894, aged 81 years.

Hon. Alberic Edward Bertie, M.A., instituted 12 November 1887. Patron, the Earl of Carnarvon.