Holy Trinity church and Rectory, Kimberley.
Holy Trinity Church and Rectory, Kimberley.

The list of the ancient Clergy of Kimberley, taken from the Torre Manuscripts, is as follows:—

1298. Feb. 23. Joh. de Kynmerley. Patron, Robt. de Kynmerley.

1304. Decr. Joh. de Curtenale (died). Patron, Robert de Kynmerley.

1346. Augt. 17. Ths. West de Malton. (Resigned for the Vicarage of North Kelsey, Linc. Dioc.) Patron, Nicholas de Canteloupe.

1348. April 4th. Joh. de London (died). Patron, Nicholas de Canteloupe.

1351. Jany. 7th. Tho. de Shepeley ye! Shilpeley. (Resigned for the Vicarage of Selston). Patron, Nicholas de Canteloupe.

1364. Feb. 14. Joh. de Arnbale. (Resigned for the Church of Letheley). Patron, Prior and Convent of Bella Valle.

1368. Augt. 3d. Philip Helwe. Resigned. Uoh. de Kymerley died). Patron, Prior and Convent of Bella Valle.

1396. July 25. Will. de Broghton. Resigned. Patron, Prior and Convent of Bella Valle.

1398. Nov. 17. Richard Webster. John Gate-less, resigned for the Vicarage of Billesfeld, Linc. Dioc. Patron, Prior and Convent of Bella Valle.

1401. July 4th. Robt. Bassingham. (Will. Hawberks) resigned for the Church of Hareston, Linc. Dioc. Patron, Prior and Convent of Bella Valle.

1403. Jany. 28th. Robt. de Swepeston. (Joh. Ashe) resigned for the Church of Elmedon, Lond. Dioc. Patron, Prior and Convent of Bella Valle.

1413. Decr. 22d. Will. Twyford. Resigned. Patron, Prior and Convent of Bella Valle.

1414. July 17th. Hen. Brese. Resigned. Patron, Prior and Convent of Bella Valle.

1416. April 23d. John Smyth. Patron, Prior and Convent of Bella Valle.

1424. Feb. 23d. Fr. Tho. Gloucester, Canon of S. Trinity, London. Patron, Chapter of York, by lapse.

Only three of the ancient Clergy of Kimberley died there and ten others resigned, leaving only six of the Clergy to be accounted for, who probably were not incumbents but assisting chaplains. These circumstances speak for themselves. It may be that the sphere was a disheartening one, and it may be that the Patronage was in fault. We leave it there. The Parish of Kimberley was after that united to Greasley, as the Mother Church (from which it probably was an offshoot at its beginning). We have given the date of it before. Probably among the scanty householders of Kimberley the cottars will have been the largest number of them at that time at Kimberley. The Borough Records help us to incidentally recover a few of the early names. John Barley was sued for trespass by Richard Redswell, bellfounder, on Dec. 10th, 1433; William Archer was with others a witness (on June 28th, 1442), to a grant of John Wolaton, of Nottingham, to John Heron, Esq.; and Nicholas Whiteley was one of the Jury who sat at the post-mortem inquisition of Robert Strelley, Knight, as seen in Hemshell, &c., &c. We deplore the deep mist which, more or less, hangs over this and all other parts of the Parish of Greasley, and which in respect of probably most interesting details is impenetrable; but the same regret is felt by all writers of the histories of ancient Parishes. It is to be hoped that all incumbents will at least now take care to set up a kind of Parish Chronicle, in which may be recorded the chief events, if not more, of every year, which Chronicle may be left from Incumbent to Incumbent as Church property, and preserved in the Parish Chest.

If Kimberley had much increased up to the time when Throsby wrote, it had made much more progress up to 1866 when we first knew it, and though the traces of bygone rural charms were then still in evidence, and the advancing township bore still tinges of the fair and interesting village character, yet the spirit of enterprise was abroad, and energetic men who then strove honestly and hard, have by this time earned the deserved reward of industry and thrift; and not only arrived at competence and even wealth; but the respect of the public, and confidence and trust in their private and business dealings are willingly dealt out to them.

Perhaps we may be permitted here to have a glance at the industries of Kimberley long before the township acquired that prominence which now belongs to it. The earliest industry throughout the land was that of the plough. The Kings of England were strict in their requirements to maintain the cultivation of the soil, and that arable land should not be converted into pastures, otherwise villages would become depopulated from want of agricultural labour, and the monarchy would lose archers and others, to come with their Lords to the battles of their Kings. But Henry VIII.’s spoliation of the Monasteries had an unexpected effect. The men to whom the King granted the confiscated lands were not only vandals in respect of sacred buildings, but to save the cost of labour let much land go into pasture. Times had changed and were changing. It was too late for Queen Elizabeth to redress the evil by her ordinances. It was not much heeded. Then small bits of farmlands became merged into larger ones, and the larger ones into still larger, for farming in early days did not pay badly. One hears even now from living witnesses of times, when some farmer or other would have taken things comfortably, knowing such as one or two fields of his farm would pay his then small rent. But rents could naturally not remain the same when the purchasing power of money had acquired more than twenty-fold its former value. It was besides a great benefit to the country when rents were raised, because our mother-earth was then more generously treated than it had been to yield better returns; and more especially of late years, when the industry of agriculture had passed through a long and severe crisis, it was seen that the British farmer was still the man of energy, that could hold his own against adversity and competition, (though no doubt not a few of them had for various reasons to go to the wall). No doubt Kimberley had her experience both of the better and of the worse side in this matter, and yet in the, midst of her other industries and commerce she holds out in agriculture still, and what is more, shews some of the best treated farms in our neighbourhood. We do not say that there is not some grumbling here and there, but which is the time when grumbling was not. Is it not said to have become a birthright? After all, the old classic fable of a vineyard owner’s legacy to his sons of “dig, dig, dig,” has turned up a treasure. We do not all find the same amount of it, but most find it in proportion to their best endeavours, and what agriculture still means to the country is best understood when a year or two of bad seasons make a loss to the commerce and industries of the country of millions of pounds in each year. Unfortunately foreign competition has forced the farmer to embark more freely upon stock-raising, and for good or evil to avail himself of the use of labour-saving implements and machinery. Hence the farm labourer and his children are drifting into towns, and nature’s compensating balance works out, that the farmer and the village life are not the better for it; because the few of that toiling class which remain on the land feel themselves to be of so much greater importance than they have been, and may be, become proportionately more independent, besides having to be much better remunerated for their labour. The mining industry was another one, which for years of time obtained throughout the Kimberley district, and gave occupation to many who now must seek it in other Collieries, since those of Kimberley are worked out.