Teversal (continued)

Early English window (north side of chancel).
Early English window (north side of chancel).

The whole of this doorway has been apparently rebuilt, and, as before stated, seems to have been decorated with the patera some time after its erection, when the third style of Norman sculpture was in vogue. At what period the curious collection of Norman capitals was inserted is a matter for speculation. The oak door is ancient and interesting, though whether the original door or not, it would be hard to determine; it is matched in quaintness and antiquity by its key.

During the reign of Henry III. various alterations were made: the nave arcade and chancel arch were built, and either the aisles were then pushed out, or, if they existed in Norman times, that on the south was enlarged, and possibly the south nave arcade altered to suit the then prevailing style. These various alterations would take some time, and styles was rapidly changing, hence the features left are not quite uniform in character. This is seen in the nave arcade, where the arches are round on the south, and pointed on the north. The half columns abutting on the chancel arch and tower respectively, are semi-octagonal, while the intervening columns are circular, with the exception of one on the south, which is a cluster of four large rolls with fillets. The capitals have good moldings, those on the south being plain, while those on the north have the characteristic ornaments of the Early English period, viz., dog tooth and Hail head. The north side is richer than the south, the arches having hood molds with heads which serve as bosses, while the base of each spandril of these northern arches is decorated  with sculpture of a Romanesque In the chancel wall on the north side is a small lancet window now blocked up, which recalls the fact that from Norman times windows had been gradually getting higher and higher without increasing their width, until they became mere slits, necessitating the placing of three or more together to obtain light, thus laying the foundation of the glorious window tracery of the best period of Gothic art. In the north-east corner of the north aisle is a bracket of the same date as the nave arcade ornamented with nail head; on this is placed a head which may have been removed from the north arcade when the gallery was built. In the wall of this north aisle is a doorway with a corbel head, now blocked up.

Enlarged medallion of priest on Norman doorway.
Enlarged medallion of priest on Norman doorway.

The Decorated period, lasting through the reign of Edward II. and Edward III. seems to have left no mark on Teversal, unless we are indebted to this time for the two-light window on the south side of the chancel. It remained for the 15th century to make the next change. Then the present tower seems to hare been constructed, the north and south walls being built on the western bays of the nave arcade. One other church in the Deanery had this peculiarity, viz., Skegby, at which place the church is said to have originally been built without a tower. The plain tower of Teversal recedes in stages, and is surmounted by a parapet of later date. This same century saw the present roof put on the church, the insertion of the east window, in the chancel, and three others in the south aisle wall, now restored. In the reign of Henry VIII. came the clerestory windows, now restored, being three two-light on the south side, and two on the north, and possibly the smaller window in the south wall of the chancel. After this, Teversal has the mark of its great family left on it, for in 1617 the Molyneux family vault was made under the south aisle. Then came the old oak pewing, pulpit, etc. In 1684 the square windows would be inserted in the lower part of the tower, and a window east of the south aisle, the latter having on it IM. 1584 X, and that in the tower the Molyneux cross. About this time is the date of the exceedingly fine family pew. Such pews were introduced in the 17th century, and called forth the denunciation of some of the clergy, as one says: "Stately pews are now become tabernacles with rings and curtains to them." This particular pew is a fine specimen; there are few such in the country. A richly panelled ceiling, with the Molyneux arms in the centre, is supported by twisted colums such as were generally in use during the last half of the century. The carving on the capitals of these columns and elsewhere is of a rather rude description as though executed locally. Between the columns are rebated divisions, but whether these have been glazed or not it is now impossible to say. At the back of the pew a door gives entrance to a box-like compew," and it is quite likely it was used by servants of the Molyneux family. It will be noticed that the large pew is provided with a lock, for no sooner were pews alottedj than people tried to get security from intrusion. When the ordinary pew holders followed the example of the lord in the matter of locks, considerable friction ensued in many parishes. The communion table is Jacobean ornamented with a band of guilloche ornament under the table, and on the stretchers; the legs are plain circular renaissance columns. In addition to these alterations probably the 17th century saw the present belfry windows inserted.

Scattered about the church will be seen fragments of incised crosses, fine specimens of which are to be found on the south wall of the church—under the tower, while others occur in the porch.

A complete list of rectors from the year 1571 is contained in the register. Their names and the number of years they held the rectorship are as follows:—

Richard Morley, buried 1609, 38 years.
James Mason, buried 1638, 29 years.
William Smithson.
Thos. Kaye, buried 1676, 21 years.
Francis Chapman, buried 1715, 39 years.
Edward Wilson, buried 1752, 37 years.
Septimus Plumbtree resigned 1761, 9 years.
Henry Bugg,  buried 1773, 12 years.
Thomas Hart, resigned 1778, 5 years.
Charles Plumtre, resigned 1792, 14 years.
William Rawlins,  buried  1828.
George Holt, buried 1828.
James Rawlins, resigned 1831, 2 years
Charles John Sympson, resigned 1837.
John Charles Stapleton, buried 1877, 40 years.
George Frederick Morgan, buried 1887, 10 years.
Tufnell Saml. Barrett, buried 1903, 17 years.

As there is no date to the death or removal of William Smithson, it is very probable he was deprived of the living after having held it for about 17 years. Edward Wilson who was buried at Bath, rebuilt the Rectory at Teversal. In 1778 the living became void in consequence of Thos. Hurt being inducted into the living of Bishop Hickington in the county of Warwick. Wm. Rawlins, who resigned in 1828 went to Hartborne, Northumberland. George Holt, who was vicar of Cuckney, never read himself in. He was inducted on the 30th June, 1828, by proxy of the Rev. James Rawlins (powers of attorney having been first obtained) in consequence of severe debility occasioned by mortification in his right foot, from which he died on August 24th, 1828.

Charles John Sympson was vicar of East Drayton. A very remarkable case was that of John Charles Stapleton rector for 40 years. During the whole of the time he held the living he suffered from a mental infirmity, and never came to reside in the parish. George Frederick Morgan was curate in charge, and resided in the rectory for 28 years before being appointed to the living which he enjoyed for 10 years. To the above list we may add those given by Torre:—

1280, Thomas Barry.
1301, Will de Thornetoft.
1304, Stephen de Thornetofts.
1344, Walter de Burgo St. Peter.
1349, Rad de Temple.
1357, Job de Chaddesden.
1361, Tho de Tunstall.
Ric de Tutbury.
1367, Tho de Roleston.
Peter de Wyndeley.
1411. Will Webster.
1412. Tho Warsop. Will Robyn.
1430, John Hawson.
1484, Tho Spalton.

In the early part of the 14th century the living was in the gift of the Bishop of Durham, the Lords of Ersby, later in the century, and the first mention of the Molyneux family having the gift was in 1609. In the Patent Rolls, the following entries respecting Teversal rectors appear :— 1316, January 28th, Lincoln. Protection with clause volumus for one year for Stephen de Thornitoft, parson of the church of Tyveresholt. Jan. 30th, Westminster, 1377: pardon to John Shyrard, vicar of the church of Roteby and parson of the church of Toweresholt for not appearing to answer Thomas Brown and John Roughele, both of Querndon, on a plea of debt of £20. The name is also spelt Sherard, for in the same year (Feb. 10th, Westminster) pardon was granted to John Sherard of the church of Thrisholt (they were not very particular in these times about the spelling) county Notts., for not answering Nicholas, parson of the church of Grinby, county Lincoln, of a plea of debt of £40. This rector it will be noticed does not appear in Torre's list, and whether he held the living before Peter Wyndeley, or after, we have been unable to trace.

The following is a list of the bells and the inscriptions to be found on them:— No. 1. "Campana  sacra fiat  Trinitate Beata, 1683."  T.AV.I.C. wardens. Molyneux arms. No bell mark. No. 2.  "Ex  dono  Roger  Grenal  armiger." Obt. Septe. A.D., 1554."  "Sit nome dm Ihv Bedictu." Henry Oldfield's bell mark. No. 3. "Gloria  in  excelcis deo."  P.H.   in squares surrounded by  a  band  of  cable ornament. No. 4. "The gift of Sir John Molyneux." "I was new cast and added to me in 1758." Molyneux  arms  on  this bell. No. 5.  "The gift of Sir Charles Molyneux, Bart., 1758"  No mark.