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The Rectors of Cliffe at Hoo

By Canon Scott Robertson.

Reproduced by kind permission of the Kent Archaeological Society.

 Canon Scott Robinson's excellent work is left intact but to also include the results of the recent research which may be seen as written in red.

THE Rectory of Cliffe has been held by many men of marked distinction. Two of them were called to the high position of Lord Chancellor of England; five attained episcopal dignity, and of these two became Primates, one at York and the other at Canterbury. Eleven rectors of Cliffe were archdeacons, and three were Deans. As the manor of Cliffe, with its extensive marshes, belonged to the Priory of Christ Church, in Canterbury, and the Priory claimed exemption from tithe for all its manors, the rectors were sometimes in bad case. Mr. J. B. Sheppard* says that they became rich or poor according as the tithes of these rich pastures were paid or withheld. He adds that, in the thirteenth century, many rectors in succession demanded tithe from these marshes, and the convent refused to pay anything, alleging that their manors were universally exempt. The Christ Church Register D contains many records of these disputes, respecting which Archbishops, Popes, and delegate Judges intervened, but without effect. Mention of riotous outbursts of the parishioners against two rectors, John de Bruyton and John de Bishopston, will be found below. At length, from very weariness, a compromise seems to have been arrived at.

We cannot ascertain with any accuracy what was the value of the benefice in the Middle Ages. In the Taxatio of Pope Nicholas, A.D. 1291, it is valued at £73 6s. 8d. per annum. In the “King’s Book“ it is entered at £50 per annum. A Commonwealth Survey made in 1649 estimates it at £200 a year. In 1664, however, it was returned as having formerly been worth £800; but, at that time, only £200. Hasted says that, in 1797, by mutual agreement, the parishioners paid to the rectors £500 per annum, in lieu of tithes. In 1889 the tithes were commuted at £1891, but from that income £100 per annum is now allotted to the vicar of Holy, Trinity, Maidstone, and £150 to the vicar of Bredhtirst. By ancient custom, the rector was bound to give, to each applicant at the rectory, on St. James's Day, a mutton pie and a loaf. About A.D. 1795, however, the incumbent found means of compounding permanently for this dole, which had sometimes cost £15 per annum.


The Cliffe Paten

The Rectory house has always been a very important adjunct to this benefice. Its ancient hall, built in the fourteenth century, still remains, and the original doorways which then led to the kitchen and butteries are even now in daily use. Its high pitched roof, open to the ridge from the floor, is gone; in its upper portion a bedroom storey was built in 1679. The hall was then divided into two rooms above, and two below. Twelve years ago, however, the late Mr. Lloyd began to restore the ground-floor of the ancient hall to its pristine condition. His printed description of the undertaking is extremely interesting.
See our article on the 'Old Cliffe Rectory'.

Many curious fragments of carved and moulded stonework, of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, were discovered during the work. Some of them had evidently formed part of the chapel, erected by Dr. Laurence Fastolf in 1348, and consecrated by the Bishop of Llandaff. Its altar was dedicated to Saint Laurence. Among the debris found about the house was a large fragment of a crossed coffin slab, of moulded stone, probably of the fourteenth century.


1229
RICHARD DE WALLINGFORD'S name is the first that has become known to us of those which should be inscribed upon the roll of rectors of Cliffe. He effected a composition with the monastery of Christ Church, Canterbury, respecting the tithes of its marshes in Cliffe. This agreement was formally concluded, and settled, at a court held in the parish church of Boxley, in May 1229. We know nothing more about Richard de Wallingford.

1254
HUGH DE MORTIMER was rector of Cliffe in 1254. In that year, without binding his successors, he, for his own tenure of the rectory, released Christ Church Priory from paying small tithes on their manorial lands, and from great tithes on their sheep-cotes and mills. He was a man of great legal acquirements, a graduate of Oxford University, and Provost of Oriel College. Nevertheless the Chroniclers tell us that he was born in Poitou. We first hear of him in A.D. 1246 when he was an officer (probably "the Official") of the See of Canterbury. Before Boniface had been installed as Archbishop of Canterbury, while he was still "elect," or “designate," he crossed the Channel early in 1245-6. Before quitting England, he directed Hugh de Mortimer to see that the available woods on his See-lands were cut down and sold, and that tallages and collections were made in the archdiocese. Mortimer served, during his lifetime, as Official of the Diocese, as Vicar-General thereof, and as Chancellor, successively. During his tenure of each of these offices his name appeared upon the list of persons "who, for services rendered to the convent, received annual pensions from the Prior and Convent of Christ Church.

His principal preferment, probably, was the important rectory of Orpington, which gave him jurisdiction over St. Mary Cray, Hayes, Downe, and Knockholt. Of that great manor, as of the manor of Cliffe, the monks of Christ Church were the lords. He retained the benefice of Orpington from 1253 to 1276, and he may have entered upon it some years before a.d. 1253. During that year he founded a Chantry at the altar of St. Mary within Orpington Church, and endowed it richly with land purchased by himself. The deed of foundation mentions that he had a brother, William de Mortimer, for whose soul prayer was ever to be offered by the Chantry priest whom Hugh had endowed.

Mortimer became Archdeacon of Canterbury, but in what year he was appointed the records fail to specify. There is extant, however, his mandate to the Archdeacon's official for inducting the Abbot of St. Radegund into corporal possession of the Church of Alkham. It is dated in March 1258-9, and I should suppose that he was then Archdeacon of Canterbury. He remained Archdeacon until 1275 or 1276. It is said that, in 1259, he held the St. Pancras Prebend, in St. Paul's Cathedral, and adjudicated between the rector of Hayes and the prior of Riselep, between whom a controversy had arisen.

The position of Vicar-General and Official of the Archbishop seems to have been relinquished by him in 1272 or 1273. The business of those offices he had frequently transacted at Orpington. There, during the year 1270, he held his court in the Hall of the Rectory, to hear a cause concerning Horton Priory.

After the death of his patron, Archbishop Boniface, in A.D. 1270, Archdeacon Mortimer, following the example of his predecessor, Simon Langton, exercised his power as Ordinary in a manner which was considered by the monks of Christ Church to be an infringement of their rights. He seems to have acted in league with the powerful Abbot of St. Augustine's, and probably at that Abbot's instigation. The acts complained of were his appropriating the Church of Preston to the Abbey of St. Augustine, and the Church of St. Margaret, in Canterbury, to the Hospital of Poor Priests there. Expecting his action in this matter an agreement was at length made, for his lifetime, between him and the monks of Christ Church.

 In what year Hugh de Mortimer died, we cannot say. We know that it was on the 4th of' October, and probably in the year 1276. We believe that he retained the rectory of Cliffe to the last, but of this we have not seen any direct proof. There is in Cliffe a manor called Mortimer's, alias Blue Gates, which may have been purchased by this rector. After his death it was possessed (temp. Edward I) by John Mortimer and Gunceline de Cliffe.

1277
RICHARD DE STRATFORD seems to have been instituted to Cliffe Rectory in 1277, probably in succession to Hugh de Mortimer. He made an agreement with Christ Church, respecting the tithes of their lands, in November 1277. It is a curious fact that, acting as Official of the Prior and Chapter of Christ Church, during the vacancy of the See in 1278-9, Stratford forbade the Archdeacon of Canterbury to exercise those rights, of Provincial and Diocesan jurisdiction, which his predecessor Mortimer had claimed and exercised as Archdeacon. The matter was carried into the Court of the See of Rome, but the cause was stopped by the death of the Archdeacon, Robert of Yarmouth, at Rome. Stratford did not long retain the benefice of Cliffe.

1283
PHILIP DE WYLEBY was rector in April 1283, when he came to some arrangement with the Canterbury monks as to their tithes. He Avas one of the Judges of the Court of Exchequer. This incumbent of Cliffe became a baron of that Court in the third year of King Edward III. (1274-5), and -was appointed Chancellor of the King's Exchequer eight years later, in March 1283

1288
JOHN DE BESTANE (Doctor of Canon Law) was collated to Cliffe by Archbishop Peckham, at Slindon, on the 13th of November 1288. The ceremony was witnessed by Master Luke, Treasurer of Hereford, two Friars Minor, John de Ravenstone, and John de Kelvesden, together with Clement Charlewood and the Archbishop's relative, Walter de Peckham. Bestane had at that time held the Archdeaconry of Salop during twelve months, having been collated to it by a Kentish man, Richard de Swinefeld, Bishop of Hereford. He retained it not long, but resigned on the 1st of August 1289. This rector of Cliffe was a personal friend, chaplain, and table-companion of Archbishop Peckham, who twice granted to him letters of safe-conduct during the autumn of 1291.

In the year 1298, when the officials and servants of this rector went to collect the autumnal tithes of certain lands in the parish, the occupants caused them to be opposed, beaten, wounded, and driven away empty-handed. Not only so, but the aggrieved parishioners followed them even to the rectory with a crowd of men armed with offensive weapons. There, these armed men kept the rector's chaplains and servants constantly besieged, so that they could not leave the house to attend divine service, or collect the tithes. The mob likewise scattered the tithe sheaves, and caused sheep and other animals to trample the tithe com under foot. Archbishop Winchelsey therefore desired the Bishop of Rochester to cause sentence of excommunication to be published against the offenders, in every church near Cliffe. Undoubtedly these troubles arose out of a contest between Christ Church and the rector, respecting those lands of the monastery for which exemption from tithe was claimed.

 After Dr. Bestane had been rector for fourteen years, he became so infirm, weak, and impotent, that the Archbishop found it necessary to appoint a coadjutor, who should exercise all the powers of the rector, acting in his stead. This was accordingly done on the 21st of August 1302. The institution of coadjutors for incapacitated incumbents preceded the mediaeval custom of causing such incumbents to retire upon a pension. A coadjutor in the Middle Ages was almost identical with a modern “curate in sole charge." In fact the intruded clerk soon came to be denominated “Curator," instead of ”Coadjutor ;" and thus he was in title as well as in office the forerunner of the curate-in- charge.

1305
JAMES DE COBHAMProfessor of Canon Law, and Chancellor of the University of Oxford, was the distinguished ecclesiastic whom Archbishop Winchelsey appointed, as coadjutor to Dr. Bestane, at Cliffe in August 1302. This gentleman seems to have been a brother of Henry, first Lord Cobham, and of Thomas, Bishop of Worcester ; and he held the family living of Cooling, which adjoins Cliffe. He was Chancellor of the University during four years 1300-4. When Dr. Bestane died, James de Cobham was collated to succeed him. This took place before the 28th of April 1305. In order that he might hold Cliffe with Cooling, Dr. Cobham applied to Pope Clement V. for a licence of indulgence or dispensation, which was granted. It is edifying to observe that thus, at the commencement of the fourteenth century, a wholesome check was laid upon the system of pluralities. Scandalous it is, however, to find that the Popes who could thus license pluralists, became greedily forward in heaping English benefices and dignities upon Cardinals, and other officers of the Papal Court, who never saw the parishes or cathedrals in England wherein they held preferment. When Archbishop Reynolds made a Visitation of the diocese of Rochester in 1314, he summoned Dr. Cobham to shew cause why he should not be deprived either of Cliffe or of Cooling. The dispensation of Clemency, however, satisfied all enquiries, and the Archbishop granted the necessary certificate for the continuance of the pluralist's enjoyment of both benefices. James de Cobham died, holding both livings, in December 1817.

1317
JOHN DE BRUYTON, Canon of Wells and of Exeter, and Chancellor of the diocese of Canterbury under Archbishop Reynolds, was by that Primate collated to the rectory of Cliffe, in December 1317. He was probably a native of Bruton in Somersetshire. In June 1315 he had been sent by the Primate to the diocese of Ely, as one of the Archbishop's Proctors, to hold a Visitation thereof. He retained Cliffe rectory not more than ten months, so he probably never resided upon it. The rectory of Lyminge had greater attractions for him; perhaps because it might permit of closer attendance in the household of the Archbishop, who had a manor-house at Lyminge. He exchanged Cliffe for Lyminge in October 1318. Preferment flowed in quickly upon Bruyton, w^ho became Treasurer of Wells Cathedral in February 1318, and obtained a Canonry at Wingham in October 1320. He was also Rector of Saltwood and one of the Chaplains of King Edward II, When the Archdeaconry of Canterbury became vacant it was conferred upon Bruyton by King Edward II. in April 1323, and he was collated to it by Archbishop Reynolds on the 2ud of August. Pope John XXII. , however, interfered. He required this dignity for his predecessor's nephew, Raymund de Farges, Cardinal Deacon of St. Mary in Cosmedin. The Pope therefore issued a Bull revoking the Archbishop's collation of Bruyton, and rebuking the Primate for having collated him. Cardinal Raymund was inducted to the Archdeaconry by Papal Mandate, dated Nov. 19, 1324.

It is remarkable that with respect to Lyminge also, Bruyton came somewhat into contact with the same Pope's habit of providing for Roman Cardinals, out of the revenues of English benefices. John XXII., who occupied the Papal throne from 1316 to 1334, thrust into the rectory of Lyminge, as successor to Bruyton, his own nephew. Cardinal  Gaucelinus de Ossa. This Cardinal came to England as Legate, and seems to have propitiated the favour of Edward III., who forbade the exaction of the triennial tenth from any of the Cardinal's benefices. He obtained and held simultaneously, three Prebendal Stalls in England, and no less than six English rectories, among them being Hollingbourne and Lyminge in Kent. This Cardinal was also rector of Northfleet, from 1320 to 1324

1318
ADAM DE MURIMUTH, D.C.L., a Chaplain (clericus) of Archbishop Reynolds, must have been quite a young man when he exchanged the rectory of Lyminge for that of Cliffe at Hoo in 1318. As he compiled a valuable History of England, which covers a period of seventy-eight years from 1302 to 1380, he must have lived at least sixty-two years after his institution to this benefice. Young as he was he had already held two valuable benefices before he obtained Cliffe. His talent and legal attainments were undoubtedly great. His career forcibly illustrates the attitude of mediaeval prelates with respect to Holy Orders. I have been so fortunate as to discover the record of Letters Dimissory by which Archbishop Reynolds authorised him to obtain Deacon's Orders and the Priesthood from any Catholic Bishop. They are dated on the Ides of March 1314-5, but he was then already rector of Hayes in the deanery of Croydon, although not yet in Deacon's Orders. His preferment to the Archbishop's benefice of Lyminge followed quickly, in the same year 1315. After the lapse of three years he exchanged it for Cliffe, in October 1318. It is possible that he retained this benefice for nearly thirty years, but we have no record of his resignation.

During the reign of Edward II, he was employed upon foreign embassies; as in 1314 and in 1324. His legal attainments were utilized by the Prior and Convent of Christ Church. The manor of Cliffe belonged to that body and was probably visited annually by some of the chief monks. We know that Prior Eastry was there in 1327; and we find that he employed Murimuth as a Counsel for the Priory, allowing him an annual pension instead of repeated fees. There was, however, in the deed of appointment a clause which provided that if the learned Counsel should obtain a benefice of specified value, through the influence of the Convent, his pension would cease. On the death of Prior Eastry, applied for arrears of pension; but the new Prior pleaded the saving clause as exonerating the Convent from liability. This we learn from Mr. J. B. Sheppard's admirable Calendar of the Christ Church Register K, under date 1333. Nevertheless the Chapter ultimately granted to him a gratuity of £10. Two years later, in 1335, he and Robert Hathbrand (afterwards Prior) were appointed Proctors to represent the Chapter in Parliament. Dr. Murimuth served as Vicar General under Archbishop Stratford. In 1340, he also acted as Commissary for the Bishop of Rochester, Hamo de Hethe.

In the London Cathedral of St, Paul, he held a Prebendal stall for many years. From that of Neasdon, which he obtained in 1327, he was promoted to the Harlesdon stall, but in what year we cannot ascertain. He was a Canon of Exeter Cathedral in 1327, when he and another member of the Chapter went to the King to announce the death of their bishop, James de Berkeley. Murimuth was Precentor of Exeter in 1328 and 1335, and probably he held other preferment’s of which I have not found any record. His History of England is a standard authority for the period of which it treats, which was that of his own lifetime. Constantly do we find modern writers, like Dean Hook, citing the authority of Adam de Murimuth, as he was considered to be the most eminent of the continuators of the work of Matthew of Westminster.
 

1357
LAURENCE FASTOLF, one of Archbishop Meopham's Chaplains, was a rector of Cliffe, to whom his successors were much indebted. When he was collated to the benefice, however, or when he vacated it, we cannot ascertain. In 1331 he obtained the Prebendal stall of Twyford in St. Paul's Cathedral, which he still retained in 1349. He seems to have been in close attendance upon Archbishop Meopham during his last illness. Upon Fastolf devolved the duty of announcing the decease of that Primate to the Prior and Chapter of Christ Church. The letter which he wrote upon that occasion is still extant. To him the Prior addressed his reply, respecting the funeral ceremonies.

His sphere of usefulness was by no means limited to Kent. We find that the Prior and Convent of Ely appointed him one of the two Proctors who represented them in the Convocation and Parliament of 1335-6 at Westminster. He would there meet Adam de Murimuth (his predecessor at Cliffe), who similarly represented the Canterbury Priory of Christ Church. That Fastolf must have had much influence with his contemporaries, we may gather from the fact that Edward III. (when at Perth in July 1336) employed him, with another canon of St. Paul's, to contract in the King's name a royal loan for £60,000.

 Notwithstanding his many other engagements, Fastolf did much for his Kentish benefice. He rebuilt or enlarged the Rectory House at Cliffe. To it he added an oratory chapel, which was so far completed in the year 1348 that he obtained a licence for its altar to be dedicated. As his Christian name was Laurence, he determined that the dedication of the altar should be a lasting memorial of the good work achieved by him for the benefit of future rectors of Cliffe. It was dedicated to his patron Saint Laurence; and the ceremony was performed by John Pascal, Bishop of Llandaff, during the vacancy created by Archbishop Stratford's death. This Bishop of Llandaff acted under a commission issued by the Prior and Chapter of Christ Church, who employed him to ordain candidates for Holy Orders, and to consecrate churches, during the vacancy of the See of Canterbury. Subsequently, in 1349, Archbishop Islip granted his licence, permitting Fastolf to use this Oratory.

Like so many other rectors of Cliffe, he was an accomplished lawyer, and in 1348 the Christ Church Chapter appointed him joint Auditor of Suits or Causes in the diocese, during the vacancy of the See. In this appointment his colleague was Richard Vaghan, Archdeacon of Surrey. Together they were sent to Maidstone, in November 1348, to make a searching visitation, on behalf of the Prior and Chapter of Christ Church. The College of All Saints had not yet been founded, but they were empowered to visit the Parish Church of St. Mary and all its appendant chapels; to summon and interrogate all the clergy thereof, and such of the people as they thought fit; and to set in order everything that was irregular. The Commissaries, thus empowered, found their mission anything but pleasant. When they approached Maidstone Church its doors were locked, and they were received by a jeering mob, whose threatening words and looks caused them to fear for their personal safety.

This Laurence Fastolf was probably a member of the well-known Norfolk family of that name; and perhaps he may have been a brother, or near relative, of Thomas Fastolf, who was Archdeacon of Norwich in 1344, and Bishop of St. David's from 1353 to 1361. Mr. I. Grey Lloyd has suggested that the chancel of Cliffe Church was rebuilt, and that several decorated windows were inserted in the nave-aisles, about the middle of the fourteenth century. If so, the work may, most probably, be ascribed to the good offices of Laurence Fastolf.

1357
WILLIAM DE ISLEP alias JOCELYN was collated to this benefice on the 11th of March 1357-8 by Archbishop Simon Islip. He did not retain it, however, but resigned the living on the 30th of November. It is extremely probable that he was a near relative of Archbishop Islip; perhaps a nephew or a brother. He became rector of Merstham, Surrey, in May 1356; and he was then holding, in the Primate's household, the confidential position of "cross- bearer” to his grace. We know not what his further career was, but he seems to have held the Prebendal Stall of Bedford Major in Lincoln Cathedral in 1379.
Archbishop Simon Islip was the uncle of William de Whittlesey, a future rector of Cliffe, and the family took their name from the Oxfordshire village of Islip. In 1410, at St. Mary the Virgin, Church of England church for Brampton Ash, Northamptonshire William takes his place as the new rector.
 

1358
ADAM DE HOUTON, LL.D., of Oxford, immediately succeeded Islep alias Jocelyn, being collated to Cliffe upon the 30th of November 1358. He vacated it five months later, exchanging with the rector of Croydon. A distinguished lawyer and diplomatist, he was advanced to the Episcopate in 1361 as Bishop of St. David's, where he built a college. He was called to the exalted position of Lord Chancellor by Edward III. (January 11, 1376-7), and retained that high office until October 29, 1378. Bishop Houton died in 1389.

Adam Houghton (died 13 February 1389), also known as Adam de Houghton, was Bishop of St David's from 1361 until his death and Lord Chancellor of England from 1377 to 1378.

A Doctor of Laws and an advocate of the Court of Arches, he was also sent on missions to France for King Edward III. In April 1377, with the Caroline War going badly for the English, Edward sent Houghton to seek a peace settlement with Charles V of France, but in June Edward died, and Houghton was recalled. In 1380 he helped to negotiate the marriage of King Richard II to Anne of Bohemia.
It was long reported, by a local tradition dating at least from the 16th century, that Houghton had been born in Dewisland, or the immediate neighbourhood of St David's, although from his name he is plainly of an English or Anglo-Norman family. There is a long-standing local claim that the farm of Caerforiog, in the parish of Whitchurch, Pembrokeshire, was his birthplace, and this is stated as a fact in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, although Wilkinson's The Chancery under Edward III reports that there is "slender evidence" for it. In 1856 a small medieval building survived at Caerforiog, then in use as an outhouse, which had a doorway with an ogee head, possibly dating from the 14th century.

He was educated at the University of Oxford, and by 1340 had graduated Doctor of Laws. In 1338, an Adam de Houton, clerk of Oxford, was accused of wounding a man named John le Blake of Tadyngton, and Anthony Wood thought it likely this was Houghton.

Houghton gained the office of precentor in St David's Cathedral, to which he was admitted on 26 December 1339. In June 1344, Houghton and Geoffrey Scrope were in dispute with the university of Oxford over elections. He resigned as precentor about 1350, and had become a king's clerk by 1352. On 18 July 1355 he was admitted an advocate at the Court of Arches. In 1360 and 1361 he was in France on business for King Edward III. On 20 September 1361 Pope Innocent VI provided him to be Bishop of St David's, and he was consecrated a bishop by William Evendon, bishop of Winchester, at St Mary's, Southwark.
Houghton received possession of the temporalities of St David's on 8 December 1361 and was consecrated to the diocese on 2 January 1361/62. While bishop, Houghton endowed the choristers and was the first founder of the cathedral school. In 1365, with John of Gaunt, he founded, endowed, and began to build the College (or chantry) of St Mary, with the object of increasing the number of clergy and choristers, and later built the cloister which connects it to the cathedral. Although he appears to have worked conscientiously as Bishop of St David's, from 1363 to 1367 he was simultaneously receiver in parliament for the trial of petitions.

He also served on a Royal Commission appointed to settle disputes at the University of Oxford,and at some point in his career he was in the service of the priory of Arundel.

On 11 April 1377, two months before the death of Edward III, Houghton was appointed Lord Chancellor of England. The most likely cause of this is that he was chosen by John of Gaunt, whose friend he was, and that his very obscurity and lack of political and administrative skill recommended him to Gaunt. His speech to the opening session of the parliament of January 1377 was noted for its tactlessness. Two letters from Gaunt to Houghton survive which begin "Our reverend father in God, and our great friend..."
At this time, the Caroline War, a phase of the Hundred Years' War, was going badly for the English in France. Houghton immediately took the head of a commission sent to France to negotiate for peace with Charles the Wise, but when in June Edward III died, he was called home. Under the new king, Richard II, Houghton was reappointed as chancellor on 26 June 1377, but he was replaced by Lord Scrope on 29 October 1378.
In 1380 Richard II sent Houghton to begin negotiations for his marriage to Anne of Bohemia. These were ultimately successful.
From 1379, Houghton and William Nicoll, prebendary of Llanddewi Brefi, were embroiled in litigation at the Roman Curia which dragged on until 1382. Houghton made a Will on 8 February 1388/89 and died a few days later, on 13 February, at St David's. He was entombed in the chapel of his new college, but his tomb was later destroyed and his remains were moved into the cathedral in 1965.
 

1359
WILLIAM DE WITLESEYE, rector of Croydon, nephew of Archbishop Islip, was collated to Cliffe on the 30th of April 1359. He had twice held the Chilton Canonry at Wingham, for a few months, during 1352-3, but he finally exchanged it for a Prebendal Stall at Chichester in January 1353. Dean Hook, misled by Battely, makes a slight slip in stating that "he was rector both of Croydon and of Cliff;" the fact being that he simply exchanged the one for the other. He graduated at Cambridge, from Peterhouse, but he attended a course of lectures at Oxford also. His first ecclesiastical dignity was the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon (June 24, 1337). In September 1349 his College called him back to Cambridge, to be its Master. Devoted to the study of Canon Law, he went to Avignon to gain experience in the Papal Courts, whereat he was made Proctor for the See of Canterbury soon after his uncle became Primate. That Archbishop afterwards promoted him to be his Vicar-General, and advanced him to the Judicial Bench as Dean of the Court of Arches. In the diocese of Lincoln his uncle had been an Archdeacon, a Prebendary, and Vicar-General, consequently we are not surprised to find that William de Witleseye obtained the Prebendal Stall of Bedford Major in Lincoln Cathedral on the 12th of October 1356. This he retained about four years. After the death of John Shepey, Bishop of Rochester, October 19, 1360, the monks of St. Andrew's Priory quickly elected Witleseye to be their Bishop, on the 23rd of October. He had been their neighbour at Cliffe for eighteen months, and was previously well known to them. There was consequently no difficulty in obtaining his election. Without doubt the more practical members of the Rochester chapter suggested to their confreres that by selecting the Archbishop's favourite nephew and legal adviser, they would ultimately benefit their monastery. Nor does this anticipation seem to have been vain. Witleseye's election was confirmed by the Pope on the 31st of July 1361; the temporalities of the See were restored on the 25th of December; and he was consecrated on the 6th of February 1361-2, in the chapel at Otford, by the Primate his uncle, assisted by Richard, Archbishop of Nazareth (suffragan acting in Canterbury), and Thomas, Bishop of Lamberg (suffragan acting in London). On the 24th of October 1363 the Archbishop restored, to the monks of Rochester and their Bishop, the patronage of Boxley parish church, a boon which they had long desired, and which their new diocesan obtained for them from his uncle.

Witleseye resigned the benefice of Cliffe before he vacated the poor See of Rochester. His successor was appointed before Christmas 1363. On the 6th March 1363-4 the Bishop was translated to the richer See of Worcester. He held it until his elevation to the Primacy on the 11th of October 1368, by a Papal bull, which confirmed the election made by the monks of Christ Church, at the request of King Edward III. This ex-rector of Cliffe occupied the Patriarchal Chair of St. Augustine until 1374, when he died on the 6th June at Otford. He is said by Dean Hook to have been a man of commanding presence, eloquent, and discreet, who must have been greatly surprised by his elevation to the Primacy, if of modesty he possessed a single spark.

Once at least after his promotion to the Episcopate did Bishop Witleseye visit his former benefice of Cliffe. When his successor had incurred the displeasure and forcible opposition of his parishioners, a tumultuous assembly desecrated the parish church. Consequently, the Archbishop of Canterbury deputed Bishop Witleseye to proceed to Cliffe and reconcile both the church and the churchyard. This he did in February 1363-4, celebrating mass at the high altar, and preaching to the people from the text, "I am sent to the lost sheep."

1363
JOHN DE BISHOPSTON had been appointed Archdeacon of Nottingham in June 1351, by the King, who very soon afterward cancelled his appointment. In 1359 he became Chancellor of the King's Exchequer. He succeeded Witleseye in the rectory of Cliffe in 1363, when some proceedings respecting tithe, and others connected with penances imposed by him, aroused the wrath of his parishioners to such an extent that at Christmas 1363 they endeavoured to waylay the rector as he went from his rectory house to the church. Failing to catch him, they besieged him in the church, and severely maltreated some of his attendants, chaplains, and servants. These brawlers were summoned to appear before the Archbishops' Court, at Charing, to account for their conduct, and to hear sentence thereon. Sentence was deferred until February, but meanwhile they would be debarred from Divine Service and Sacraments, as the church had been desecrated. So they asked for an earlier day, that their excommunication might not be so prolonged. Ultimately public penances were imposed upon the ringleaders, and Bishop Witleseye reconciled the Church. Richard Rain was condemned to carry a sheaf upon his shoulder publicly, and to offer it at the high altar of the church, together with the sum due for tithes from his fields, unjustly withheld. Bishopston resigned the rectory of Cliffe in 1366.

1366
JOHN DE KEPESTON was presented to the rectory of Cliffe, by King Edward III., during a vacancy of the See of Canterbury in 1366, and was collated by the Prior and Chapter of Christ Church on the 16th of September. He was a simple presbyter from the diocese of Chichester, who seems to have had influence at Court. This, however, was, for some reason, overturned, and the King, after the lapse of one year, recalled his presentation and dismissed Kepeston from the benefice on the 25th of October 1367. It is probable that this rector was closely connected, in blood, with John de Kepeston and Alice his wife, who, in 1347, obtained possession of a tenement at the Causeway, near Arundel.

1367
ROBERT DE WALTON, Chancellor of Chichester Cathedral, was presented by King Edward III., to the rectory of Cliffe, before the temporalities of the See of Canterbury had been handed over to Simon Langham, the new Archbishop. That Primate admitted the new rector to the benefice on the 26th of October 1367. This clergyman is styled “dominus" only, and lacks the title "magister," we must therefore suppose that he was not a graduate of either University. Influence at Court, not special learning, probably obtained for him this preferment, which followed within eight months after he had obtained the Chancellorship of Chichester Cathedral. It is remarkable that among the few articles of property bequeathed by his will we find some defensive body-armour. A haubergeon, a bascinet, and some leg harness are specified. He held the benefice for nine years, and probably resided much upon it. His grave was, by his own desire, made just inside the choir or chancel of Cliffe Church, close to the entrance or screen door.

1367
ROGER DE SUTTON, LL.D., rector of Black Notley, in Essex, was collated by Archbishop Sudbury to the rectory of Cliffe on the 20th of Oct. 1376, as a mark of personal affection. Probably the attachment existing between this learned doctor and the Primate prompted Sutton at once to exchange Cliffe Rectory for that of Charing, where the Archbishops had a manor-house at which they frequently sojourned. What occurred in his new parish at Charing it is not our province here to ascertain, but in April 1377 he received a mandate directing him to institute an enquiry into the excesses of his parishioners. Dr. Sutton seems subsequently to have become rector of Ramsden Belhouse, in Essex, which benefice he held at the time of his death in 1388.

1376
THOMAS THEBAUD (THEOBALD), of Sudbury LL.D., was probably a brother of Archbishop Sudbury. The Primate's parents were Nigel and Sarah Thebaud or Theobald of Sudbury. Before Simon Sudbury had been six months in the Archiepiscopal See he collated Thomas Thebaud to the good living of Bishopsbourne (20 Sept. 1375), which Dr. Thebaud  exchanged, thirteen months later, for the rectory of Charing (19 October 1376). This he held for a few days only, as he exchanged Charing for Cliffe on the 23rd of October 1376. Expecting his incumbency, the only particulars we can ascertain shew that, in February 1377-8, some important difficulty was raised, respecting tithe of wool in the parish. The suit was finally submitted to the arbitrement of two Commissioners, Master John Barnet, Official of the Court of Canterbury, and Dr. Nicholas de Chaddesden, Dean of the Arches.

1378
THOMAS DE LYNTON was collated to Cliffe at some time after 1378, but I cannot ascertain the exact date. He was a man of erudition, and seems to have been a courtier, but I think he was not an University graduate. He held a Canonry at St. George's, Windsor, from January 1377-8 until Nov. 20, 1387. In his will he speaks of the stipend due to him as Dean of Windsor, but I doubt whether this is not a slip of the pen. The Prebendal Stall of Newington, in St. Paul's Cathedral, was conferred upon him in 1381, Nov. 12th, and he was Treasurer of Wells Cathedral in 1383-4. What connection he had with Ely I do not know, but he possessed a complete suit of the Bishop of Ely's livery, which he bequeathed to the Rector of Hoo St. Mary, Master Henry Parterigg. Lynton seems to have been a diligent student of the Bible, and possessed a number of books and commentaries bearing upon that study. All of these he bequeathed to the Prior of Wallingford, a man likeminded with himself in love for such study. Other books of great value he left to the Collegiate Chapel of St. George at Windsor. They were (1) his own Missal, (2) Rationale Divinorum, (3) Magister Historiarum, (4) Legenda Sanctorum sive Legenda aurea, (5) Liber Decretalium, and (6) Liber Clementinarum.

He died at Stoke Newington in November 1387, but he directed that he should be buried in Cliffe Church, within the choir door, at the entrance to the chancel, near the tomb of Robert de Walton, a former rector. Over his grave he desired that a marble stone should be placed. His interest in Cliffe was further evinced by a legacy of £10 wherewith to purchase a Missal for the church. As this sum would be fully equivalent to £50 of our money, we can appreciate both his liberality and the costliness of church-service books at that period. This rector of Cliffe was probably a brother or near relative of Master John Lynton, who was Registrar of the Arches Court, and rector successively of Tunstall and Eynsford.

1387
ADAM DE MOTTRUM, who was collated by Archbishop Courtenay to the benefice of Cliffe on the 28th of November 1387, was a Doctor of Laws and a Licentiate "in Decretis." He occupied a judicial position as Chancellor of the diocese under his patron, Archbishop Courtenay, who so confided in him as to make Mottrum one of the executors of his will. Ten years before his collation to Cliffe, he had been placed by Archbishop Sudbury upon a judicial commission appointed to hear the matrimonial complaint of Margery Derford against John Brewes. His legal attainments obtained for him preferment in several dioceses. At one time he was Archdeacon of Ely ; later, he became Archdeacon of Canterbury, July 28, 1390. He then resigned the rectory of Cliffe.

When Archbishop Courtenay took proceedings against the disciples of Cliffe in May 1382, Mottrum acted as his commissary in the matter. He occupied a Prebendal Stall at York in 1397, from March until October. Then he obtained the Precentorship of Salisbury Cathedral.

It is possible that he practically (though not apparently) bartered away his Archdeaconry of Canterbury in exchange for a Stall at York, as he vacated the one and obtained the other during the same month, March 1396-7. In the previous year, during a vacancy of the See, he had exercised that jurisdiction as Archdeacon which had been claimed by his predecessor, Hugh de Mortimer. He thus authorised the appropriation to Maidstone College of the rectories of Sutton, Linton, and Farleigh, on the 6th of March 1395-6. He likewise in 1396 presented an Incumbent to the church of West Hythe. Dr. Mottrum died in August 1415.

1390
JOHN DE GODEWYK, LL.D., was collated to Cliffe by Archbishop Courtenay on the 6th of January 1390-1 at Croydon. He was an intimate friend of his predecessor, Adam de Mottnim, who survived him, and to whom Godewyk bequeathed his bed of arras with its tester and all appurtenances. He was a native of Godwick in Norfolk, and possessed a small estate at Bicton, Salop.

About 1364, he exchanged a canonry at Southwell for the church at Croydon, which, to quote his own words, was dedicated to his "special lord and patron Saint John the Baptist." Nor was he unmindful of the parish he had left. In his will he bequeathed forty shillings to Croydon Church, and fourpence to every mendicant parishioner there. Probably he had been employed upon embassies, or on other business, by King Richard II; at all events that monarch presented a gilt cup to John Godewyk, who bequeathed the royal gift to Archbishop Arundel. According to the custom of the time, he made use of blank pages and margins of books by writing upon them important notes and memoranda. His copy of The Decretals was thus utilized; and on a blank space therein he wrote down a list of books which he desired to bestow upon the new College at Rushworth in Norfolk, founded in 1360 by Edmund Gonvile. This list he shewed to his executor, and in his will he simply directed that his wish, thus made known, should be carried out after his decease. The love of his native place was not weakened by the fact that his preferments had carried him to places of abode far away from it. God had prospered him, and so his heart yearned to benefit the place of his birth. He therefore bequeathed, without stint or limit, such funds as should be needful to wholly reconstruct the parish church of St. Nicholas in Godwick. His friend and executor Master Robert Hallum knew the place, and had promised to see this good work consummated.

Practical goodness of heart is evinced by his will, made on the 18th of April 1397, a day or two before his death. To the fabric of Cliffe Church he bequeathed forty shillings ; to every mendicant parishioner there one shilling, and a like sum to every tenant on his Bicton property. He had instructed his executor Robert Hallum, canon of Sarum, not only to distribute alms to every person present at the obsequies celebrated immediately after his death, but also to buy beds for the poor, a very unusual exercise of kindly consideration. Robert Hallum (who ultimately became a Cardinal) is styled "my son and friend" by    Godewyk. Perhaps he had been educated in Godewyk's household, or at his expense; according to the benevolent custom of that age, when all wealthy clergymen and many laymen thus cared for the training of young men of merit.

1399
RICHARD RONHALE 18th October 1399. He was ratified as parson of the churches of Clyve, in the diocese of Rochester, and Aldington, in the diocese of Canterbury, Prebendary of Driffield, in York Minster, and Prebendary of Bekyngham, in the collegiate church of Southwell. 
8 Feb.1400     Confirmation of letters patent granting him 50 marks a year for life.                       
 

1403
NICHOLAS RYSHETON may have been rector of Cliffe soon after the death of good rector Godewyk. He made a composition with the monks of Canterbury, which appears in their Christ Church Register A, on fol. 232, under date 1403. If that year fell within Rysheton's incumbency, it becomes very probable that the chancel was restored and newly roofed by him. The chancel roof formerly bore the arms of Archbishop Arundel, who held the See from 1396 to 1414. This proves that the chancel was restored during that period of eighteen years. Dr. Godewyk's kindly nature could lead us to suggest that this work was done by him; but, as he died in April 1397, the probability is that Rysheton was the restorer, if he was the rector in 1403.

1413
JOHN PRENTYS

1445
WILLIAM BICONYLL , LL.D., held the rectory of Cliff e at the time of his death, in the autumn of 1448; but how long he had been incumbent we cannot ascertain. He was a Canon of St. Paul's, having been instituted to the Prebendal Stall of Eald Street in November 1445. In the diocese of Canterbury he was well known as an ecclesiastical lawyer. Dr. Biconyll was elevated, by Archbishop Stafford, to judicial position as Commissary, Official of the Court of Canterbury, and Chancellor of the Diocese.

1448
WILLIAM CLEVE, LL.B., succeeded Dr. Biconyll, being collated hither by Archbishop Stafford, on the 4th of November 1448; and he retained this benefice until his death, twenty-two years later. One year before his decease he was installed as a Canon of St. Paul's, in the Chiswick Stall, but he resigned it before the end of the same year, 1469, in exchange probably for the rectory of St. Nicholas Cole Abbey. He died in 1470.

1471
WILLIAM UTTYNGE, S.T.P., was one of the first rectors of Cliffe who had graduated in Theology. Doctors of Canon Law and Doctors of both Laws abound among the previous incumbents of this benefice, but I am not aware that any Professor of Sacred Theology had ever before been collated to it. Archbishop Bourghchier commissioned Dr. Utting to act as his deputy at the installation of the Prior of Christ Church (John Oxney) in 1468. The long address then made by Utting is still extant. He seems to have been rector of Chartham, and the benefice of Cliffe was given to him by Archbishop Bourghchier on the 26th of February 1470-1. Dying in 1481, he was buried in the chancel of the parish church of Lambeth.

1481
OLIVER KYNG, LL.D., of King's College, Cambridge, a Londoner (who passed from Eton to King's in 1449), French {i.e. Foreign) Secretary to King- Edward IV (1476- 83), and a Canon of Windsor (1480-96), was collated as Utting's successor on the 4th of July 1481. A man of versatile talents and a courtier. Dr. Kyng obtained much preferment. A canonry in York Cathedral was conferred upon him in March 1479-80, six months before he received his Windsor stall. At York he held two stalls in succession (Botevant 1480-8, and Fridaythorp 1488-90), but he relinquished his canonry there in December 1490. A Prebendal Stall at Southwell was added in November 1480; so that he received three canonries during one year and held them all. Two years later (17 April 1482) he was made Archdeacon of Oxford; in 1487, Archdeacon of Berks; and, in 1490, Archdeacon of Taunton. In 1487 he likewise became a Canon of St. Paul's, holding the Rugmere stall from May 2nd, 1487, until 1493. He was Dean of Hereford in 1491. When elevated to the See of Exeter, he vacated in 1492-3 the Archdeaconries of Oxford and Berks, a Canonry at St. Paul's and one at Southwell, but he retained until his death his Canonry at Windsor and the Registrarship of the Garter. Whether he did or did not retain the rectory of Cliffe I cannot ascertain. When he died, in 1503, he was Bishop of Bath and Wells, having been translated to that See in 1496. The existing Abbey Church, at Bath, was commenced by Bishop Kyng.

 The rectors of Cliffe had a Peculiar Jurisdiction by which the wills of their parishioners could be proved before them, the churchwardens of Cliffe could be sworn in at their Court, and many other acts of an ecclesiastical-judicial character could be performed by them. Consequently they had an official seal, wherewith instruments issued from their Court were sealed and verified. In November 1501 we hear something of this seal in a neighbouring parish. At the settlement of a disputed cause, respecting the right of Patronage of the benefice of St. Mary in Hoo, the official of the Peculiar Jurisdiction of Cliffe was present. A seal was required to be affixed to the decree of Settlement by the Master of Strood Hospital. He, not having a seal with him, borrowed that of the Cliffe official, who sealed the certificate therewith.


WALTER GREEN 1509 - 1535

1535
NICHOLAS HEATH, D.D., rector of Hever since February 1531-2, was collated to Cliffe by Archbishop Cranmer on the 2nd of February 1534-5. He was born in London, circa 1501; became a Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1521, a Fellow of Clare Hall in 1524, and almoner to King Henry VIII. Dr. Heath was employed on Foreign Embassies in 1534-5. He assisted Cranmer in translating the Bible, and he received further proofs of that Archbishop's confidence in additional preferments. Bishopsbourne Rectory and the Deanery of South Mailing were conferred upon him, in 1537; the former on the 6th of September, the latter on December 23rd ; and the Deanery of Shoreham followed on the 23rd of May 1538. Dr. Heath became Archdeacon of Stafford in 1539; but he was consecrated Bishop of Rochester in the chapel of London House, on the 4th of April 1540, when Bonner was consecrated to the See of London. As Bishop of Rochester he assisted at the consecration of Thirlby, Bishop of Westminster, in Henry the Seventh's Chapel, Dec. 19, 1540 ; he was the chief consecrator of Knight, Bishop of Bath (May 29, 1541), and of Paul Bush, Bishop of Bristol (June 25, 1542). In February 1540, Dr. Heath had resigned the Deanery of South Mailing; receiving, however, a pension of £15 per annum out of its revenues for his life. To supplement the small revenues of the See of Rochester, Bishop Heath was allowed to hold the benefices of Shoreham, Bishopsbourne, and Cliffe. When he was translated to the See of Worcester, he resigned Bishopsbourne in March 1543-4, but he obtained a licence to hold for five years Shoreham and Cliffe, in commendam with his new See. Ultimately, however, he resigned them, at the expiration of that period, in 1549. As he refused to take the oath of supremacy exacted by the Government of King Edward VI he was committed to Fleet Prison in December 1550; and he was deprived of the See of Worcester in October 1551. From the Fleet he was removed, in July 1552, to the house of Bishop Ridley, whom Dr. Heath called the most “learned of the Protestants." Upon the accession of Queen Mary she restored him to the See of Worcester, made him President of Wales, and when she deprived Archbishop Holgate of the See of York Bishop Heath was appointed to the northern Primacy. His election thereto was confirmed by Pope Paul IV in a Bill, dated June 21st, 1555. Two months later, on the 26th of August, he welcomed at Greenwich Philip, King of Spain, when he came to wed Queen Mary. The pallium was delivered to Archbishop Heath in October following. Queen Mary appointed him to be Lord Chancellor in January 1555-6. When Cardinal Pole came to England, he was received at Westminster Abbey by Archbishop Heath, and seventeen bishops. Subsequently, the Cardinal was consecrated, as Archbishop, by this former rector of Cliffe. When Elizabeth ascended the throne, Dr.Heath, on the 17th of November 1558, declared her title to be clear, and directed her to be proclaimed queen, immediately; yet he would not crown her; and his refusal to take the oath of supremacy caused him to be again deprived. Committed to the Tower in June 1560, he was not kept in prison more than two or three months. Having purchased an estate of about 500 acres, at Chobham in Surrey, he retired thither, and passed the rest of his days in quietude and peace; not without honour, for the Queen came thither to visit him once or twice. Dying in 1579, he was buried in the chancel of Chobham Church. While he was Lord Chancellor, he issued the writ for the execution of his old friend, and patron. Archbishop Cranmer. Two hundred and seventeen persons were put to death, for their religion, while he held the Great Seal.

Heath was born in London and graduated BA at Oxford in 1519. He then migrated to Christ's College, Cambridge, where he graduated BA in 1520, MA in 1522, and was elected fellow in 1524. After holding minor preferments he was appointed archdeacon of Stafford in 1534 and graduated DD in 1535. He then accompanied Edward Fox, bishop of Hereford, on his mission to promote a theological and political understanding with the Lutheran princes of Germany. His selection for this duty implies a readiness on Heath's part to proceed some distance along the path of reform; but his dealings with the Lutherans did not confirm this tendency, and Heath's subsequent career was closely associated with the cause of reaction.

In 1539, the year of the Six Articles, he was made bishop of Rochester, and in 1543 he succeeded John Bell at Worcester. His Catholicism, however, was of a less rigid type than Gardiner's and Bonner's; he felt something of the force of the national antipathy to foreign influence, whether ecclesiastical or secular, and was always impressed by the necessity of national unity, so far as was possible, in matters of faith. Apparently he made no difficulty about carrying out the earlier reforms of Edward VI, and he accepted the first book of common prayer after it had been modified by the House of Lords in a Catholic direction.
His definite breach with the English Reformation occurred on the grounds, on which four centuries later Leo XIII claimed that the Anglican priesthood was not valid. The question was over the Ordinal drawn up in February 1550. Heath refused to accept it, was imprisoned, and in 1551 deprived of his bishopric. On Mary's accession he was released and restored, and made president of the Council of the Marches and Wales. In 1555 he was promoted to the archbishopric of York, which he did much to enrich; he built York House in the Strand. After Gardiner's death he was appointed lord chancellor, probably on Cardinal Reginald Pole's recommendation; for Heath, like Pole himself, disliked the Spanish party in England. Unlike Pole, however, he seems to have been averse from the excessive persecution of Mary's reign, and no one was burnt in his diocese. He exercised, however, little influence on Mary's secular or ecclesiastical policy.
On Mary's death Heath as chancellor at once proclaimed Elizabeth. Like Sir Thomas More he held that it was entirely within the competence of the national state, represented by parliament, to determine questions of the succession to the throne; and although Elizabeth did not renew his commission as Lord Chancellor, he continued to sit in the privy council for two months until the government had determined to complete the breach with the Roman Catholic Church; and as late as April 1559 he assisted the government by helping to arrange the Westminster Conference, and reproving his more truculent co-religionists. He refused to crown Elizabeth because she would not have the coronation service accompanied with the elevation of the Host; and ecclesiastical ceremonies and doctrine could not, in Heath's view, be altered or abrogated by any mere national authority.

Hence he steadily resisted Elizabeth's acts of supremacy and uniformity, although he had acquiesced in the acts of 1534 and 1549. Like others of Henry's bishops, he had been convinced by the events of Edward VI's reign that Sir Thomas More was right and Henry VIII was wrong in their attitude towards the claims of the papacy and the Roman Catholic Church. He was therefore necessarily deprived of his archbishopric in 1559, but he remained loyal to Elizabeth; and after a temporary confinement he was suffered to pass the remaining nineteen years of his life in peace and quiet, never attending public worship and sometimes hearing mass in private. The queen visited him more than once at his house at Chobham, Surrey; he died and was buried there at the end of 1578.
 

1549
EDMUND CRANMER, Archdeacon of Canterbury (1534-54), and Provost of Wingham Collegiate Church, was coated to Cliffe by his brother the Archbishop. The formal act of admission was performed by proxy, on the 2nd of July 1549, when Hugh Cartwright, gentleman, acted as Edmund Cranmer's proxy. Eight months later, he obtained a Canonry in Canterbury Cathedral; and two years earlier he had been collated to the rectory of Ickham. It is recorded of him that he was a man of singular integrity, and a married priest. His marriage was an offence for which, in Queen Mary's reign, he was deprived of all his preferments. Summoned to appear before the Bishop of Dover (Richard Thornden) and Dr. Henry Harvey, Vicar-General, on the 15th and 10th of March 1553-4 in the Chapter House of Christ Church, Canterbury, he acknowledged and defended his marriage. He was deprived of his benefices, and fled to Germany, where he survived several years. As he graduated B.A. at Cambridge in 1513, he must have been about 60 years old when he fled.

1554
HUGH WESTON, S.T.P., a native of Leicestershire, was probably born in the parish of Burton Overy, where his family had been settled for several generations. Entering Baliol College at Oxford in 1526, he graduated as B.A. in 1530, and obtained a Darby Fellowship at Lincoln College, of which he was rector from 1538 to 1556. In 1540, he proceeded in Divinity, and when appointed Lady Margaret Professor, his lectures were very popular. His powers as an orator and preacher were great; but he was ever reputed licentious in his mode of life. His opposition to the Reformation prevented his advancement under Henry VIII. And Edward VI., but it is said that he was rector of St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, in 1543, and Archdeacon of Cornwall in October 1547. Dr. Weston had Queen Mary's Letters Patent presenting him to Cliffe, and he was instituted on the 2nd of April 1554. He had, in the previous January, been appointed Dean of Westminster, and Archdeacon of Colchester. When, however, Pakenham was made Abbot of Westminster in 1556, the Queen gave to Weston the Deanery of Windsor. His stedfast adherence to the Roman faith, and his bitter opposition to the Reformers, fully merited Queen Mary's warmest gratitude. When presiding at the examination of Bishop Hugh Latimer, in 1554, Weston told the good prisoner that he had himself lain six years in prison. Under Queen Mary this rector of Cliffe intruded himself (as confessor) upon the last moments of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, and of Sir Thomas Wyatt, the unfortunate Kentish knight, when they were beheaded; one on the 23rd of February and the other on the 11th of April 1554. The duke twice thrust Weston down the steps of the scaffold, to rid himself of his obnoxious presence. He was elected Prolocutor of the Lower House of Convocation, and when Archbishop Cranmer was examined at Oxford, in April 1554, Dr. Weston presided over the Commissioners, appointed by Convocation and the two Universities, to dispute with the Protestant Archbishop. Before the same Commissioners came Ridley and Latimer, upon whom also arguments of dissuasion were urged by the eloquent and learned Dr. Weston. To him Archbishop Cranmer entrusted his letter of appeal to the Queen's Council, but when Weston had carried it only halfway from Oxford to London he read it, and was so dissatisfied with the contents that he sent it back to Cranmer, instead of carrying it to its destination.

His licentiousness was such that Cardinal Pole deprived him of the Deanery of Windsor in December 1557. Weston appealed to the Pope, and was going to Rome, when he was seized, and confined in the Tower of London. While there, he made his will in November 1558, bequeathing his property for pious and public uses. His directions respecting his funeral, and the prayers to be offered for his soul, were numerous and minute. He desired that masses should be said for him by the Master and Fellows of Baliol College, by the rector of Lincoln College, by a chaplain of Oxford University, by the parish priest of Tslip, and by the parish priest of Burton Overy. After the accession of Queen Elizabeth, Weston was discharged on bail. He died in the following month, December 1558, at Wintour's, in Fleet Street ; and was buried in the Savoy.

1556
EDMUND ALLEN, a Norfolk man. Fellow (1536) of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and Chaplain (1549) to the Princess Elizabeth, succeeded Weston in this benefice. Elected Bishop of Rochester (under a congé-d'elire dated July 27, 1559) he died before he had been consecrated, and was buried in London, August 30th, 1559.

He became steward of Corpus in 1539, and not long after obtained leave of the society to go and study abroad. He became, according to John Strype, a great proficient in the Greek and Latin tongues, an eminent divine, and a learned minister of the gospel. He was in exile during the reign of Mary I; but Elizabeth I, on coming to the crown, appointed him one of her chaplains, gave him a commission to act under her as an ambassador, and promoted him to the see of Rochester, which however he did not live to fill. It is said he was buried in the church of St. Thomas Apostle, in London, 30 August 1559.
He translated into English De Authoritate Verbi Dei by Alexander Aless and in 1543 works of Philipp Melancthon while he was abroad. He also wrote A Christian Introduction for Youth.
 

1559
EDMUND GHEAST, or GUEST, S.T.B., a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, born at Northallerton, in 1517, was collated to Cliffe by Archbishop Parker on the 29th of January 1559-60. Upon the same day he was elected to the vacant See of Rochester, to which he was consecrated on the 24th of March following, with Bishop Jewel, who was then consecrated to Sarum. In 1559 he had been appointed Archdeacon of Canterbury. He held that dignity and the rectory of Cliffe, in commendam, with the Bishop of Rochester, and Queen Elizabeth made him her Almoner. Many previous incumbents of Cliffe had obtained this benefice through their great ability as lawyers, but Dr. Guest won it by his great power as a divine, quiet and humble, but judicious and deeply learned.

 In a disputation held at Cambridge before King Edward's Visitors, on the 24th of June 1549, Guest was, like Grindal, one of the four selected disputants against the corporal presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper. In 1551, he received the King's licence to preach, and became Vice-Provost of King's College. He was one of the eight Protestant divines who were chosen to dispute with the Marian Bishops in Westminster Abbey, before the two Houses of Parliament, on the 31st of January 1558-9, and two following days. Archbishop Heath, a former rector of Cliffe, and Sir Nicolas Bacon, the Lord Keeper, "kept the lists” on that occasion. When Secretary Cecil selected a committee of divines who should revise the Liturgies issued during the reign of Edward VI., Parker was ill, and Guest was appointed to take the leading place. Upon the completion of their work, it was Guest who wrote to Cecil the explanatory letter, which accompanied the revised Liturgy, when it was forwarded to the Secretary of State. Its text has been printed by Strype in his Annals, i. Appendix xiv, and by Proctor in a note to his History of the Book of Common Prayer, pp. 54, 55. Guest's influence had been paramount in the revision, and the book as it left his hands was too Protestant for the Queen, and the Secretary of State. They caused to be introduced into the ornaments-rubric some of those words which have latterly been so pregnant with difficulty. Guest had provided simply for the use of the surplice, and of no additional Eucharistic vestment. Ambiguous words, since fruitful of strife, were introduced into the rubric before the revised book was authorised by Parliament. He signed the Book of Advertisements, in 1564; and during that year he accompanied Queen Elizabeth to Cambridge, in August. He was a Lent Preacher at Court in 1566. Guest's letter to Cecil in that year has often been quoted.

While Dr. Guest held the small Kentish See he assisted at the consecration of six English bishops. After rather more than eleven years' tenure of the See, he was promoted to that of Salisbury, where he succeeded the learned Bishop Jewel, on the 24th of December 1571. He then vacated the rectory of Cliffe and the Archdeaconry of Canterbury. Bishop Guest died on the 20th of February 1577
and is buried in Salisbury Cathedral.

1572
JOHN CALVEELEY, LL.B., held the benefice of Cliffe for several years, but whether he was the immediate successor of Bishop Guest, or not, I have failed to ascertain. In 1574, when John Bridgewater was "deprived” of the Archdeaconry of Rochester, Mr. Calverley was appointed to the vacant dignity. Two years later, in 1576, he received additional preferment, the fifth Prebendal stall in Rochester Cathedral being then conferred upon him. His tenure of the stall was very short, as he died (holding the rectory of Cliffe) during the same year.

1576
GEORGE ROWE, M.A., was collated to Cliffe on the 11th of December 1576, by Archbishop) Grindal. He was at that time a canon of York, as he held the Stillington Prebend in York Cathedral from the 25th of October 1571, until his death in December 1578.

1578
WILLIAM WILSON, S.T.B., succeeded Mr. Rowe, and was admitted to this benefice, on the 12th of January 1578-9, by Archbishop Grindal. He graduated at Oxford, and was a man of deep erudition, a scholar and a courtier. Within six years after his collation to Cliffe he was promoted to a Canonry in St. George's Chapel at Windsor, on the 10th of December 1584, so that we must suppose him to have been a persona grata in the eyes of Queen Elizabeth. He had graduated as Doctor in Divinity before he received this appointment. Seven years later, the second Prebendal stall in Rochester Cathedral was conferred upon him, in 1591. Nor was that the only cathedral in which he held preferment. He became Chancellor of St. Paul's Cathedral during the reign of James I., and at his death he held the Eald Street Prebendal stall. Dr. Wilson, in 1614, gave to the parish three pieces of land producing an income of £6 per annum, to be thus distributed: — forty shillings each to the poorest and oldest widow and widower in Cliffe, and forty shillings to be doled out among the poor. This good rector died on the 15th of May 1615, and was buried in St. George's Chapel, at Windsor. Of his curates, here, Thomas Uppington was buried, Dec. 6, 1578, and William Gell was married, Sept. 9, 1583.

1615
GERVASE NIDD , succeeded Dr. Wilson, being collated to Cliffe by Archbishop Abbot, on the 15th of July 1615. He was likewise rector of Sundridge, and when he died, on the 13th of November 1629, he was buried there. During his incumbency we learn the name of another of those hardworking clergymen by whom the parochial duties of Cliffe were actually discharged. It is quite evident that during the six hundred and fifty years, throughout which I have traced the names of the rectors of Cliffe, the majority of them could not have been active parish priests in Cliffe. Dignitaries of legal and ecclesiastical distinction, having each of them other preferment’s, they must have left parochial duties to their assistants whom we call curates. The names of these good but humble men are, for the most part, lost in obscurity. However, we know that under Dr. Nidd the parochial curate in 1616-27 was Mr Roberts. The names of some subsequent curates are on record; they will be mentioned in due course.

1629
GRIFFIN HIGGS , S.T.B., who succeeded Dr. Nidd, was born at South Stoke, in Oxfordshire, in 1589. His father, also named Griffin Higgs, was a son of Nicholas Higgs, whose family belonged to Gloucestershire. Educated at Reading, he was entered at St. John's College, Oxford, in 1606, and there, under Richard Tillesley's tuition, distanced all his competitors. His Latin verses in honour of Sir Thomas White, founder of the college, are still extant. In personal appearance Higgs was as short and insignificant as his name, but he obtained a probationer's Fellowship at Merton College in 1611, and was an efficient Proctor in 1622. While he was a Fellow of Merton, he served two small parishes in the neighbourhood of Oxford. In 1627, Mr. Higgs was appointed chaplain to Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, sister of King Charles I., and resided at The Hague, when performing the duties of his chaplaincy. While there, he attained the degree of Doctor in Divinity, in the famous University of Leyden, a.d. 1629-30. By the influence of Archbishop Laud he was brought to England, collated to Cliffe rectory on the 15th of February, 1629-30, appointed Chaunter or Precentor of St. David's Cathedral, and in 1638 Dean of Lichfield. He was likewise one of the chaplains of King Charles I. At Lichfield he generously spent much of his income on the adornment of the Cathedral. The pulpit in Cliffe Church bears the date 1636; perhaps it was given by this generous rector. His benefice at Cliffe was sequestered from him in 1645, and he then retired to his native place. South Stoke alias Stoke Abbot, where he died on the 16th of December 1659, and there he lies buried. Dean Higgs was of a generous temperament. He bequeathed £600 to be devoted to the purchase of land which should produce £30 per annum, as an endowment for a Free School at Stoke. His library, which he left to Merton College, seems never to have got there. En route from Lichfield to Oxford, it was stopped and kept at Stafford, where it remained. His curate at Cliffe in 1630 and 1631 was the Rev. John Robinson.

'Higgs was born in the parish of South Stoke in Oxfordshire and was baptized in the parish church there on 28 October 1589.' Once the property of Eynsham Abbey (hence the alternative name of the parish, Stoke Abbots), the manor and living belonged in 1589 to Christ Church, Oxford. The Higgs were an established yeoman family in the area. Griffin's mother was Sarah Paine, daughter of a family of similar status from Caversham near Reading. But Griffin took his Christian name from his paternal grand mother's family, who were Bartons from Weobley in the Herefordshire Marches. 
Griffin Barton was Griffin's great.grandfather.' The only effigy of Higgs is the bust on his monument in the chancel of South Stoke parish church.

Anthony Wood recorded that Higgs was short in stature,3 but an entry in Higgs's diary for 20 March 1638 noted that the measurement for the' divine's gown ',which he had ordered, was 4 feet and 10 inches, excluding the seams and collar.~ This might suggest an almost average height. To this description might be added his square face and bulbous nose, features clearly indicated by the bust. 

Higgs had at least two brothers and two sisters who survived childhood. His elder brother was called Barton, and the younger Nicholas. Barton  married and had a large family who benefited from their uncle's will. Higgs's two sisters, Mary and Magdalen, both married local men, a Jemmett and a Wilder respectively. Of Higgs's youth little is known. He went to Reading School and from there came up to St. John's College, Oxford, as a commoner in the Michaelmas term of 1606.s He was not matriculated, however, until 4 July 1609.

The College regime was rigorous, if diligently followed. In 1609 whilst Higgs was an undergraduate, the College sought to improve its teaching by requiring every undergraduate to dispute three logic questions, unaided, against three B.A.s, but this may have been a not unwelcome task for Higgs because (if Wood is to be believed) he was a keen disputant. The students’ spiritual life was taken care of by daily recital of morning and evening prayer and, according to a College Order of 1602, by four general celebrations of Holy Communion annually. Higgs’s tutor was Richard Tillesley, who was elected College Librarian in 1608. It is doubtful whether the University regulations were followed to the very letter, but there was a formidable list of scholastic texts to master (Linacre being the only concession to the new learning), and according to the Nova Statuta of 1565, the candidate for the B.A. had to dis­pute and to respond both twice.

Some activities which Higgs followed as an undergraduate may be noted. Two are known. Most colleges at this time enjoyed amateur theatricals, especially in the Christmas vacation, when due to indifferent communications many students remained up at Oxford. A record survives of the entertainments at St. John’s during the Christmas vacation of 1607 - 08, Higgs sub­scribed five shillings towards the expenses, and his tutor gave ten. It was once believed that Higgs was responsible for the account of these revels, preserved in the same volume as the texts of the plays; but their editors have disproved this, Higgs’s other activity was the composition of Latin verse, and he wrote a life of the founder of the College. It is preserved in the same volume as the account of the revels.

Higgs took his B.A. on 28 June 1610, only three other St. John’s men seem to have graduated with Higgs. None of these achieved any fame. The next step for Higgs was to seek a fellowship to support further study towards his master’s degree. From St. John’s he turned to Merton College where he was elected a probationer fellow on 1 August 1615 and an actual bachelor fellow a year later, on 10 October 1612. He was not the only fellow of Merton to have taken his first degree elsewhere. Of the twenty-three fellows who elected him, only five had been undergraduates at Merton. None, however, was a graduate of St. John’s. Higgs satisfactorily completed the course and took his M.A. in June 1615 - 17 He had already been appointed a College praeiector in Greek,'8 and on 9 July 1617, he followed up his M.A. with ‘ variations’, three theses defended in the College—a philological one, a philo­sophical one and third on ancient history. In December 1620 the College awarded him its Bickley Exhibition, worth £4 annually.10 Meanwhile Higgs spent some time on further Latin versification. His first published piece was in [622 in a volume upon the death of Warden Savile. Another was published in Carolus Redux in 1623, and he contributed two more to occasional volumes in 1625.11

After he had become a Master in 1615, Higgs was soon taking his turn in the various College offices. In 1616 he was elected third Bursar for the ensuing year.11 Annual turns as a dean or a bursar followed. He was Principal of the Postmasters (the College’s scholars) in 1622 and in 1624/ Simultaneously with his first tenure of that office, he was also one of the Proctors, his colleague being Stewart of All Souls, and a speech which Higgs made to the University, probably in that capacity, exists in two recensions. In the summer of 1623 Higgs accompanied the new Warden of Merton, Sir Nathaniel Brent, on the annual inspection of College properties. On 9 March 1625 the College, learning of the death of their incumbent at Gamlingay in Cambridgeshire, offered the living to Higgs, who accepted. He did not vacate his fellowship at once, but stayed on for a year during which he was the first Dean and accompanied the Sub-Warden to London to nego­tiate business concerning ‘ The Stonehouse a College property in Knightrider Street. Part of the property belonged to the Royal College of Physicians, who had vacated it for more commodious premises and let it to a sub-tenant. At the end of that academic year, Higgs vacated his fellowship and left Merton for Gamlingay.

He did not leave empty-handed. On 13 August 1626 the College resolved to lease him the rectory of Diddington in Huntingdonshire. The lease itself was not made out until 8 February 1627, and the actual lessees, presumably acting as Higgs’s assigns, were William Simonson, William Adkins and John Wilder. Whilst in the Netherlands Higgs often wrote to these three, presumably in connection with the property. The lease was renewed on 20 January 1650.

Higgs’s incumbency at Gamlingay is almost a blank. He presumably settled down to the work of a country' parson. It is reasonably certain that he did reside there, unlike some of his predecessors,31 for his diary many years later contained a note of his sending keys to Mr, Crockford to open a desk there to discover what papers he had left behind in it.34 It may also be assumed that whilst at Gamlingay, Higgs maintained some acquaintance with Laud, who by 1628 had become Bishop of London, and a person of great influence. Higgs resigned Gamlingay on or before 14 March 1630, when the vacancy caused by his resignation was reported to the College. He acquired his next English living by being collated to Cliffe-at-Hoo by Archbishop Abbot. This stage in Higgs’s career has been subject to some confusion because there are two places in Kent with the word ‘ Cliffe ’ in their names. One is Cliffe-at-Hoo, about five miles north of Strood amidst the Thamcs-side marshes below Gravesend. The other is West Cliffe, alias St. Margaret-at- Cliffe, perched on the chalk cliffs next to Dover Castle. Hasted, in his survey of Kent, placed Higgs at West Cliffe. In this he was uncritically following Wood, and the Dictionary of National Biography follows Hasted. However, Higgs was collated to Cliffe-at-Hoo, a living in the gift of the archbishops of Canterbury, on 15 February 1630.37 This was a valuable living, especially because it was a peculiar exempt from archidiaconal jurisdiction, the in­cumbent holding his own court in matrimonial and testamentary causes. Very probably Higgs never resided at ClifTe, but it is possible that he visited it in June 1630 when he waited a few days at Gravesend for a fair wind to sail to the Netherlands. Higgs’s curate at Cliffe was John Robinson, who was there in 1630 - 39 and still in August 1638. Having returned to England from the Netherlands in 1638 to become Dean of Lichfield, Higgs did not relinquish Cliffe, but kept it until sequestered on or before 7 August 1644.

Whilst Robinson was caring for Higgs’s flock at Cliffe, their rector was chaplain to Elizabeth, ‘ Winter ’ Queen of Bohemia and daughter of James I, then a refugee with her family in straightened circumstances in the Netherlands. This is perhaps the most interesting period in Higgs’s life and it is fortunate that four holograph diaries survive to illustrate it. Even so, much remains open to conjecture.' (Morrish 1966)
 

1645
SAMUEL ANNESLEY, D.C.L., to whom the parish and church of Cliffe were sequestered when Dean Higgs was removed in 1645, was a gentleman of good family in Warwickshire, son of John Aneley, or Annesley, of Haseley. His cousin, Arthur Annesley, Viscount Valentia, was created Earl of Anglesey, in 1661, and became Lord Privy Seal. Dr. Annesley's father died when Samuel was but four years of age; consequently his mother had the sole care of his education and early training. He was entered at Queen's College, Oxford, during Michaelmas Term 1635, when only 15 years of age. At Oxford he was notable for his abstinence from intoxicating liquors, his general beverage being pure water. His political opponents called him "dull but industrious." Desiring to act as chaplain on board the ship Globe, under the command of the Earl of Warwick, he sought Episcopal Orders, and received them on the 1st of December 1644, says Calamy. For preaching power Mr. Annesley seems to have attained considerable reputation. He was only 25 years of age when he was appointed to Cliffe. His enemies said, "He preached long and loud, and got Cliffe, worth £300 per annum." The parishioners were at first disposed to resent very strongly the deprivation of Dean Higgs. It is said that they repeatedly assailed Mr. Annesley (as an intruder) with pitchforks, stones, and roasting-spits, seeking to terrify him from remaining in Cliffe. He seems, however, to have shewn courage, patience, and a truly Christian spirit. Again and again he assured them that nothing should frighten him away from Cliffe; but when he saw that his ministry had fitted and prepared them to entertain a better pastor than himself, he would then leave the parish. Having a judicial position, through the Peculiar Jurisdiction of the rectors of Cliffe, he sought, and through the Earl of Pembroke obtained, at Oxford, the degree of D.C.L. in 1648. Some of his former colleagues at Queen's College were irate at this, and Dr. Barlow said, “If Annesley could have told the meaning of Pandectæ, he should have had my support;" but he believed that the new Doctor was ignorant even of such a rudiment as that. The House of Commons appreciated more highly than Dr. Barlow the talents of the new D.C.L. That House appointed him to preach before the Parliament, in St. Margaret's at Westminster, on the 26th of July, 1648, and his sermon was afterwards printed "by Order." Exactly a month later, he went to sea with the Earl of Warwick, as chaplain; but after three months spent in the Navy, while the Parliament's ships chased those which had gone over to Prince Charles, he returned to London in December. He seems to have been unanimously chosen in 1652 to be “Preacher” at St. John's, Friday Street, in London, and in 1658 he was appointed “Pastor “of St. Giles, in Cripplegate. "At Paul's" he was the preacher in 1654, on the 3rd of September; and in 1655, on the 25th of March; but his actual appointment as "Lecturer of St. Paul’s” seems to have been made in 1657. On the 9th of November 1655 he preached in London, before a large gathering of Wiltshiremen, who were citizens of London, The discourse (on 1 Chronicles xii. 38-40) was published with this title: — “The first dish at the Wiltshire Feast." Eight other Sermons were published by him between 1654 and 1676. Some collected into a volume were entitled “The Morning Exercise at Cripplegate." Being ejected from Cripplegate Church of St. Giles for Nonconformity, in 1662, Dr. Annesley was silent for some years. Under the Indulgence Act of 1672, however, he established a chapel in Little St. Helen's, Bishopsgate Street, London, at which he ministered until his death. It became a great centre of Nonconformity. Monthly meetings of ministers were held in its Vestry for Latin disputations in Divinity. His family was so numerous that on one occasion, when asked their number by Dr. Manton (who was baptizing a child of Annesley's), he replied, "Two dozen or a quarter of a hundred." At Cliffe, his son Samuel was baptized, November 30, 1645; and his first wife, Mary, was buried there December 2, 1646. His daughter Ann married the Rev. Samuel Wesley, father of the celebrated Dr. John Wesley; the eldest daughter, Judith Annesley, married Mr. James Fremantle; and another daughter was the wife of John Dunton the bookseller. Of Dr. Annesley's sons we hear only of one, named Benjamin, as surviving him. His life has been written more than once; and to the first record of it was prefixed a Funeral Sermon by Dr. Daniel Williams. A character of Annesley, written by Daniel De Foe, is extant among De Foe's collected works. Dr. Annesley, with his numerous engagements in London, must have relinquished Cliffe several years before the Restoration. Probably he occasionally revisited the parish, for at so late a period as 1688 he is said to have been at Cliffe. He died on the last day of the year 1696, in the 77th year of his age.

1652
HENRY HOLCROFT, a Fellow of Clare Hall in Cambridge, and a son of Sir Henry Holcroft, of East Ham in Essex, seems to have succeeded Dr. Annesley in the cure of Cliffe about 1652. He retained his position there until July 1662, when he was inducted into possession of the parish church of Patcham in Sussex, by Samuel Cherry, “minister of the Gospel in the city of London." There is no truth in the statement that he abandoned his living rather than conform to the Liturgy and Articles of the Church of England. On the contrary, he survived, as incumbent of Patcham, until 1712 ; when he died, at the great age of 92. He was buried in a vault under the chancel of Patcham Church, on the 16th of December 1712.

1662
NATHANIEL WYLYE appears to have been collated to Cliffe in 1662, but he held the benefice a very short time. The curate in 1662 was the Rev. Henry Roberts.

1663
GEORGE STRADLING, S.T.P., was admitted rector of Cliffe on the 13th of November 1663, and retained the living for a quarter of a century. Archbishop Juxon died on the 20th of June, and was succeeded by Bishop Sheldon, on the 11th of August, 1663; yet, oddly enough, the record of Dr. Stradling's collation appears in the registers of both Primates, under the same date November 13th. He was the fourth survivor (but actually the eighth) of the sons of Sir John Stradling, Baronet, of St. Donat's Castle, Glamorganshire, and entered Jesus College, Oxford, as a Commoner in Lent Term 1636, when fifteen years of age. In the Lent Term of 1640-1 he was "Junior Collector of Bachelors of Arts," and in 1643 he obtained a Fellowship at All Souls, which he retained throughout the troublous times of the Rebellion and Commonwealth, when he is said to have commanded a troop of Royalist cavalry. So great was his Chichester. Eight months earlier the London benefice of St. Bride's, in Fleet Street, had been added to his other preferments, several of which lie enjoyed until his death, on the 19th of April, 1688. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, five days later. In Kent he seems to have been vicar of Sutton at Hone, as well as rector of Cliffe. In 1679 this Dean of Chichester, Canon of Westminster, and Canon of St. Paul's turned his attention to the state of his rectory-house at Cliffe. Archbishop Sancroft issued a commission of inquiry as to the condition of the old kitchen, the old well-house, the fodder-house, and the vicarage-house. The vicars of Higham and Hartlip, with the rector of High Halstow, and Isaac Blake, Esquire, of Strood, came over to view the premises, in May 1679. They recommended that the vicarage -house, being useless, should be demolished; that the old kitchen and well-house should be taken down, and that the materials of the demolished buildings should be utilized for the repair of the fodder-house, and other portions of the rectory. They suggested that, by inserting a floor and ceiling in the lofty hall of the rectory-house, that ancient apartment should be divided into two stories of rooms, two above and two below the new ceiling and floor. These alterations were carried out by Dr. Stradling, who caused the hall to assume the appearance which it had when the late rector, Mr. Lloyd, took the benefice in 1869. Dean Stradling's wife was Margaret Salter, daughter of Sir William Salter, who held at the Court of King Charles I. the singular appointment of “Carver-in-Ordinary “to the King. They were married on the 3rd of November 1666, at Iver in Buckinghamshire, not in the parish church, but in the chapel of Sir William Salter's residence, Richings House. Mrs. Stradling's mother, a daughter of Edward Croft, Esq., of Hereford, was the widow of Sir William Smith, Knight, when Sir William Salter married her. Dr. Stradling's children, Margaret and George, were both baptized in Westminster Abbey, the former in 1670 (July 1), and the latter in 1671 (Dec. 5). Mrs. Stradling, their mother, was buried in the Abbey, on the 1st of October 1681. A volume of Dean Stradling's Sermons was published in 1692, with a Preface by James Harrington. During the period of Dr. Stradling's incumbency we find that there were at least five successive curates of Cliffe. Their names occur thus : —in 1663, Rev. C. Nairne ; in 1664, Rev. James Nairne; in 1670, Eev. Robert Topp ; in 1679, Rev. Richard Cater; in 1687, Rev. W. Carmichael, who died on the 18th of October in that year. Probably, after the death of Dr. Stradling, there was some delay in appointing a fresh rector. It is said that old Samuel Annesley came back for some reason, and is mentioned in the Register, in 1688, as “S. Annesley, parson."

1681
GEORGE GREEN, D.D., seems to have held Cliffe benefice for half a century; a period far greater than it had been enjoyed by any of his predecessors. Nevertheless we know very little about him, save that he had been a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. In 1730, Dr. Green caused the roof of Cliffe Church to be taken down, newly laid, and the lead new cast. Two years later he repaired the chancel, putting on a new roof, inserting a ceiling for the first time, and rebuilding the east window. At the same time he caused a ceiling to be placed over the nave. In the year 1735, for use at the Holy Communion on Christmas day in that year Dr. Green presented to Cliffe Church a silver flagon, and two silver patens, weighing altogether 53 ounces and 14 pennyweights. Thus was he a permanent benefactor to the Church and parish of Cliffe. Dr. Green died on the 15th of October 1739, aged 84, and lies buried in the parish church of Wilby, Suffolk. Among his curates were Edward Turner, in 1711 ; T. Allet, 1719; Ra. Leigh, 1720; W. Baler,  1725, who had been minister of Barnwell, Cambridge, and who was buried at Cliffe in 1727; John Francis Allen was curate in succession to Baker ; Thomas Hall seems to have been curate of Cliffe during 25 years from 1730 until 1755, when he died. Many entries and memoranda in the Registers are signed by Thomas Hall. He served under four successive rectors, Dr. Green, Dr. Blomberg, Mr. Jebb, and Mr. Darell.

1739
WILLIAM NICHOLAS BLOMBERG, S.T.P., vicar of Fulham, was collated to Cliffe by Archbishop Potter, on the 7th of November 1739. He obtained a. dispensation, dated 2nd of November 1739, which authorised his holding both benefices together. Dr. Blomberg died in 1750.

1750
GEORGE JEBB, B.D., was the next rector of Cliffe, but he did not hold the benefice much more than one year.

1751
EDMUND DARELL, LL.B., succeeded Mr. Jebb, and retained this rectory about four years, from 1751 to 1755.

1755
JAMES HARWOOD, M.A., who was also vicar of Dartford (from the 6th of November 1755, until his death), succeeded Mr. Darell in the Cliffe benefice during 1755, and retained it until the 15th of February 1788, when he died. Among his curates at Cliffe were Walter Owen (1758) ; Lewis Jones (1759); /. Home (1759); William Lewis (1760), who lodged in Rochester, at the Old Deanery; W. Chester (1761) ; Walter Owen again (1764); Vincent Green (1767); R. Fountaine (1771-8).

1778
JOHN SIMPKINSON,
M.A., vicar of Cobham, in Surrey, was collated to Cliffe in August 1778, and retained it until he died (aged 80) March 17, 1815. His curates here were, inter alios, W. Shaw and M. Weddell (1787-1812). To his memory the parishioners erected a monumental tablet in Cliffe Church.

1815
CHARLES BURNEY, D.D., born at Lynn Regis, educated at the Charterhouse and at Caius College, Cambridge, well known as a Greek scholar and a successful schoolmaster, held Cliffe for two years only; being admitted to the benefice in 1815, and dying in 1817. He was not ordained until he had past middle age ; he then held successively the benefices of Hernehill  (Kent), Hinton Parva  (Wilts), and St. Paul's, Deptford 1811-17, where he died on the 28th of December 1817, aged 60. The Deptford rectory he held together with that of Cliffe; and, not long before his death, he obtained a Prebendal Stall in Lincoln Cathedral. Dr. Burney was likewise Chaplain in Ordinary to King George III. His library of 385 manuscripts, and nearly 14,000 volumes of choice books, was purchased by the nation, and is now in the British Museum. It included the Townley, 13th century MS. of Homer's Iliad (the oldest extant) ; two MS. copies (of the 14th or 1 5th centuries) of the Greek Rhetoricians; two early Greek MSS. of the Gospels; a fine Greek MS. of Ptolemy's Geography; 166 editions of the works  of Euripides; 102 of Sophocles; 87 of Homer; 74 of Aristophanes ; 50 editions of Demosthenes ; and 47 of Æschylus. No less than 700 volumes of newspapers, in a complete series from A.D. 1603 to 1817, formed part of Dr. Burney's remarkable library. It was purchased, by Parliamentary grant, for £13,500. This rector of Cliffe was the second son of Dr. Charles Burney, the eminent musician and composer, who wrote the General History of Music, and who was organist of the parish church at Lynn Regis, when his son Charles was born there in December 1757. The parishioners of Cliffe testified their respect for Dr. Burney by erecting a memorial tablet for him in their parish church.

1818
JAMES CROFT, M.A., was the next rector of Cliffe, and he held the benefice for 51 years, from 1818 until the 9th of May 1869, when he died. This gentleman, who married a daughter of Archbishop Manners Sutton, graduated B.A. from St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1807. By Archbishop Manners Sutton he was collated in 1812 to be rector of Saltwood, where he dwelt during the greater part of each year. Being likewise Archdeacon, and Canon, of Canterbury, he resided the rest of the year in the Cathedral Precincts. At Cliffe, like many of his predecessors, he seldom appeared. Among his representatives there, were the Rev. John Hamilton, whom he, in 1839, appointed vicar of Lynsted, Kent; the Rev. Edward Allfree, who in 1850 became rector of St. Swithin's, Cannon Street, London ; and, 1850-69, the Rev. E. H. Lee (now rector of Chiddingstone, but for some time vicar of Boughton under Blean). While Mr. Lee was curate in charge, much was done towards restoring the transepts and tower of the church; and in 1862 the peal of six old bells was recast by Taylor and Co. of Loughborough. Two new bells (No. 5, weighing 8 cwt. 2 qrs. ; and No. 8, weighing 14 cwt. 2 qrs. 18 lbs.) were added in 1864. Some account of the work done in the church under Mr. Lee's auspices will be found in
Archaeologia Cantiana, XI, 158
.

1869
HENRY ROBERT LLOYD, M.A., was instituted to Cliffe on the 30th of September 1869, and retained it until his death, on the 30th of January 1880. He had been chaplain to his uncle, Archbishop Longley, to which circumstance he was indebted for his preferment, first to St. Mark's, Kennington, and then to Cliff e (to which Archbishop Tait presented Mr. Lloyd out of respect for the previous Primate). A native of Kent, born at Woolwich on the 9th of August 1809, Mr. Lloyd was the son of a Welsh gentleman, John William Lloyd, Esq., of Danyrallt, Llangadock, in Carmarthenshire. His mother was Anna Maria, daughter of John Longley, Esq., once Recorder of Rochester. He married a daughter of the Hon. Edward Grey, Bishop of Hereford. This rector of Cliffe graduated B.A., in 1831, from Trinity College, Cambridge, and was ordained by the Bishop of St. David's to the Lectureship of Llangadock in 1833. The Rev. Newton Smart, rector of West Grimstead with Plaitford, Wilts, who had married his cousin, made Mr. Lloyd his curate from 1839 until 1841, when the incumbency of Taliaris, Carmarthenshire, was given to Mr. Lloyd, by his brother-in-law, William Peel, Esq. He subsequently held the benefices of Carew in Pembrokeshire, South Benfleet in Essex, and Owersby in Lincolnshire successively, until his uncle the Primate promoted him to St. Mark's, Kennington, in 1864. Mr. Lloyd was the first rector who had resided at Cliffe, during the present century. He restored the rectory-house, partially restored the chancel, and was instrumental in effecting the erection of new schools — one for 90 boys, and another for 150 infants; and in causing the nave of the church to be reseated with open benches. A description of his work in Cliffe Church will be found in Archaeologia Cantiana, XI., 150-152. Mr. Lloyd's health compelled him to be frequently absent from Cliffe, and the curates who then took charge of the parish were: — his son, the Rev. loriverth Grey Lloyd, M. A., now vicar of Wiston, near Haverfordwest;  the Rev. Samuel  Goclher, M. A. ; and the Rev. Edward Mayo.

1880
STANLEY LEATHES, D.D., whose numerous writings are well known, was presented to Cliffe by Archbishop Tait on the death of Mr. Lloyd, in 1880. He is the son of the late Rev. Chaloner Stanley Leathes, rector of Ellesborough, Bucks, a scion of the old Cumberland family whose patronymic appears in Lake Thirlmere's alternative name " Leathes Water." Having graduated B.A. in 1852, from Jesus College at Cambridge, Mr, Leathes obtained the first Tyrwhitt, University, Hebrew Scholarship in the following year. After serving as curate at Salisbury for two years, 1856-8, he became attached to the great mother parish of St. James, Westminster (Piccadilly), in which he filled various positions for many years. In 1858, he married the youngest daughter of the Rev. J. M. Butt, vicar of East Garston, granddaughter of Dr. George Butt, a chaplain to King George III., by whom he has several children. He was Select Preacher at Cambridge in 1865; Boyle Lecturer in 1868-69-70; Hulsean Lecturer at Cambridge in 1873; Bampton Lecturer at Oxford in 1874; Warburtonian Lecturer at Lincoln's Inn in 1876-80. He has been Professor of Hebrew in King's College, London, since 1863; a member of the Old Testament Revision Company since 1870; and a Prebendary of St. Paul's since 1876, The University of Edinburgh conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor in Divinity, in 1878. Dr. Leathes is now Examiner in the Text of Scripture and the Evidences of Christianity to the University of London. He is endeavouring to complete the restoration of the fine old parish church of Cliffe. May full success crown his highly commendable efforts.

 
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