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Rectors of Cliddesden and Farleigh Wallop

St Leonard's Church, Cliddesden

Wills of the Rectors of Cliddesden

A church at Cleresden is mentioned in the Domesday Survey,[1] although the first known rector of Cliddesden is Henry Frocard[2] whose incumbency ended in 1315. The list of rectors who followed Frocard includes seven incumbents in the years 1348-9, suggesting the ravages of the Black Death, and shows Benedictine priests serving the parish prior to the Reformation.

From 1579 Farleigh Wallop was joined with Cliddesden and rectors were inducted to both rectories; the parish was known as Cliddesden cum Farleigh (amongst other variants).

This small Hampshire parish was not immune from the political and religious upheavals of the 16th and 17th centuries. John Cooke was deprived in 1562,[3] presumably his papal sympathies making him unwilling to accept the 1559 Elizabethan settlement of religion. Cooke later became rector of nearby Dogmersfield where he died in 1595.[4] Edward Mooring was ejected in

1644-5, replaced by Martin Morland during the Puritan Commonwealth, and reinstated in 1660 at the Restoration.[5] Morland was appointed rector to Wield, close by, but was ejected in 1662 and moved to Hackney, Middlesex, where his house was licensed for Protestant worship.[6]

Patronage of Cliddesden was in the hands of the Wallop family from the early fifteenth century and several members of the family served as rectors: William in 1320, Thomas in 1470 and the Honourable Barton Wallop in 1770. An example of pluralism, not uncommon in the eighteenth century, Barton Wallop held a series of Hampshire livings and the Mastership of Magdalene College, Cambridge, all in his family’s gift.[7] His appointment at Cambridge caused consternation as his ‘crass ignorance and rackety life-style were well known’.[8] ‘Providence, assisted by Wallop’s heavy drinking,’ relieved the college of their unwelcome Master when he dropped dead suddenly in 1781.[9]

Nine wills or inventories survive for rectors who were ministering in Cliddesden at the time of their death. They provide an insight into the lives and interests of the clergy involved, of particular note is their generosity in legacies to the poor of the parish, the endowment of the school and other charities.  David Davies' library is the subject of a separate article.

glossary is attached of unusual words.


1552   Thomas Lodge, will and inventory

1673   Edward Mooring

1678   John Chisul, inventory only

1731   William Dobson

1759   Richard Exton

1770   Benjamin Woodroffe

1803   Christopher Fox

1813   John Garnett

1840  David Davies

[1] Great Domesday Book , folio 47v.

[2] J.I. Powell, The Parish Church of St. Leonard, church leaflet, 2004.

[3] Henry Gee, The Elizabethan Clergy and the Settlement of Religion 1558-1564, Oxford 1898, 285.

 Clergy of the Church of England database, Person ID 45486, accessed 6.6.2013.

[4] Will of John Cooke, HRO 1595B/09.

[5] A.G. Matthews Calamy Revised, Being a Revision of Edmund Calamy’s Account of the Ejected Ministers and Others Ejected and Silenced, 1660-2, Oxford, 1934, 335.

[6] Will of Martin Morland, TNA, Prob 11/380.

[7] Peter Cunich, David Hoyle, Eamon Duffy & Ronald Hyam, A History of Magdalene College, Cambridge 1428-1988, Cambridge,1994,179-184.

[8] Ibid, 182.

[9] Ibid, 183.




Content derived from research undertaken as part of the Victoria County History project