The Records of St. Bartholomew's Priory and St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield: Volume 2. Originally published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1921.
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CHAPTER XVII - THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY (Second Half)
John Deane, Rector, 1544–1563.
We have now to consider the rectors of the parish church of St. Bartholomew the Great. From the time of the suppression of the monastery to the close of the sixteenth century there were six rectors; during the seventeenth century there were four; during the eighteenth, five; and during the nineteenth, four.
The parish church had had, no doubt, its parish priest from the twelfth century, and there was no break whatever in the continuity at the time of the suppression, for John Deane was priest there before that event, in 1539; (fn. 1) he is described as parish priest in 1540, and in 1544 he was created the first rector by the king for the term of his life. By the latter year the nave and also the parish chapel (fn. 2) had been pulled down, so that Deane, as parish priest, must have taken possession of the conventual church as the parish church, some time in the year 1543 or earlier. Probably in 1542 the building up of the west end of the quire on the pulpitum wall was begun, and the north arch of the crossing on the top of the existing stone screen.
We have shown (fn. 3) how John Deane continued his work as parish priest and rector during the Dominican occupation until the second suppression by Elizabeth in 1559; we have now to consider the records of the four years until his death in 1563. John Deane had held his post through the varying and momentous changes of the twenty years between 1539 and 1559; and he continued to hold his post through the scarcely less momentous first four years of Queen Elizabeth's reign. As nothing is recorded to the contrary, we may assume that Deane conformed to the Act of Uniformity and the Act Supremacy passed by Elizabeth's first Parliament.
Deane was always known as 'Sir' John Deane, a complimentary title given to the clergy at that time, as 'Reverend' is to-day. He thus describes himself in his deed of statutes of the Witton Grammar School, (fn. 4) which he founded by Northwich in Cheshire:
'I, Sir John Deane, prest, one of ye sones of Laurence Deane, late of Shurlache, in the Parisshe of Davenham, in the countie of Chester, Prebendary in Lincolne, and person of Great Saint Bartholomewes, neare Smythfeilde, in London, ffounder of the ffree Grammar Scole at Northwyche, in the countie of Chester aforesaid, erected in the Name of Jesus, at the feaste of Sainte Michell tharchaungell, in the yere of our Lord God a thousand ffive hundred ffyftye and aightte.'
The prebend of Lincoln, to which he was installed on the 13th January 1551/2, was that of Buckingham. (fn. 5)
The initial letter 'I' in the above statutes contains his illuminated portrait. (fn. 6) He is depicted there in his academic gown with a fur tippet, a scarf and a doctor's cap (p. 298). The details of the face are almost undistinguishable, but the portrait was probably entirely conventional. His right hand supports a closed book and from his left proceeds a scroll which is carried overhead, and contains the legend 'Miserere Mei Deus et averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis. Amen.'
It was in the year 1558, during the occupation of the Dominicans at St. Bartholomew's, that Sir John Deane founded this Grammar School at Witton. The deed of feoffment by which the endowment was made is lost, but there is a copy in the British Museum, (fn. 7) dated the 26th October, 4 & 5 Phil. & Mary. He had for long been connected with the parish of Northwich, for he says in his will that he was born there. In the year 1548 the sheriff of Cheshire certified to the Court of Augmentations that 'ij chalices and one other of Northwyche parish church' were 'in the hands of Sir John Deyne, preste'. (fn. 8)
Sir John Deane was a man of property, as will be seen by his will, and had possessions in Northwich, some of which at any rate he acquired from the king after the suppression of the monasteries. Thus in the royal grants in August 1543 occurs: (fn. 9)
'John Deane, clerk, grant in fee, for £54 of two salt pits (salinas) formerly in tenure of Wm. Sudlowe, and now of Thos. Sudlowe, (fn. 10) and two more in tenure of George Sudlowe in Northwich, Cheshire, which belonged to Basingwarke monastery (fn. 11) with the lead (estimated at 40 "les weightes" in each two) and a messuage in tenure of Thos. Bromfelde in Northwiche. Oteland 17th July, 35 Henry VIII.'
The township of Witton is contiguous to the eastern side of the town of Northwich, whose buildings extend into Witton. The school was built in the Witton churchyard. It was endowed by Deane with lands in Wirral, and houses in Chester, parcel of the estates of the dissolved guild or fraternity of St. Anne in Chester.
From the statutes we learn that the master was to be a graduate of Oxford or Cambridge, and that his stipend was £12 a year. The scholars were to be taught 'the good literature both laten and greeke, and good authors such as have the veraie Roman eloquence, joyned with wysdome especyally Christayne aucthours, that wrote their wysdome with clean and chaste laten, eyther in verse or in prose ffor my entente is by ffoundinge of this schoole especiallye to increase knowledge and worshippe of God and our Lord Jesu Christe and good lyffe and manners in the children'. (fn. 12)
Another of the statutes is on 'Old orders and customs to be observed':
'Also to th'ende that the schollers have not an evill opynyon of the schoolemaister, nor the schoolemaister shulde not myslyke the schollers doinge for requiringe of customes and orders, I will that uppon Thursdaies and Saturdaies in th'afternoones and uppon hollydaies they refreshe themselves. And that a weeke before Christynmas and Easter accordinge to the olde custome, they barre, and keep forth of the schoole, the schoolemaister in such sorte as others scollers doe in greit schooles: and that as well in the vacacons as the daies aforesayed, they use their bowes and arrowes onlye, and eschewe all bowling, cardinge, dysinge, quytinge and all other unlawfull gaumes, upon payne of extreame punnysshement, to be done by the schoolemaister; and that every scholler have and use in the churche his prymer, wherein is contaynd the vii psalmes, the psalmes of the passion, and suche like.' (fn. 13)
In the year 1893 the pupils of the Witton Grammar School presented to St. Bartholomew's a memorial slab inlaid with brass and inscribed to the memory of the founder of the school. This now lies on the floor of the church, near his grave, on the south side of the sanctuary. (fn. 14)
As rector of Stanmore Parva Sir John Deane had enjoyed a yearly stipend of £6 13s. 4d. As rector of St. Bartholomew's his stipend was £8, as allotted to him by the Court of Augmentations, but this was superseded in 1544 by the endowment of the rectory with the glebe houses in Bartholomew Close amounting to £11.
We learn from his will that for some time before his death he occupied part of a house in St. Botolph's (Aldersgate) parish, but we cannot identify it. In 1544 he had a lease of a dwelling-house with a chamber above in Petty Wales for which he paid a yearly rent of 6s. 8d. (fn. 15)
There are but few parochial events to chronicle during Deane's rectorship after Queen Elizabeth came to the throne. Lord Rich was the dominating personage in the parish at this time, though he probably was then mostly resident in Essex. We record elsewhere (fn. 16) the agreement the Corporation, after many endeavours, eventually obtained from him in the year 1561 as regards the water supply, which after serving the parish also served the hospital.
In the same year (1561) came to a successful end the dispute, which commenced in 1559, with St. Sepulchre's parish as regards paying the subsidy of the fifteenth granted to Philip and Mary in the year 1558.
The collectors of the parish of St. Sepulchre lodged a complaint before the barons of the Court of Exchequer (27th October, 1 Eliz.—1559) (fn. 17) that whilst they were assessed for the tenth and fifteenth the parishioners of St. Bartholomew the Great, though rightly assessed at £20, refused to pay. On the advice of the Court the collectors distrained for the £20 by seizing a silver cup belonging to John Everton of St. Bartholomew's. (fn. 18) The parishioners of St. Bartholomew's therefore complained to the Court, whereupon a commission was appointed to inquire into the matter.
Briefly stated, the commissioners found that the parish ought not to be a contributor to the subsidy with the parish of St. Sepulchre: that St. Bartholomew Close had always been a parish of itself, having its own parish church and services within that of the monastery and distinct from St. Sepulchre's: that they ought not to pay and never had paid any money to the collector of St. Sepulchre's: that no sum of money had been paid to the fifteenth from the parish of St. Bartholomew the Great and that the inhabitants were not taxed thereto, and finally that it was so before the suppression of the monastery.
After that, the parishioners of St. Sepulchre's having four times failed to appear before the Court, a writ of summons was issued to them to appear on the 2nd May 1561 to hear judgement. It was then ordered by the Court that the collectors should give back the distress they had seized, and that the parish of St. Bartholomew the Great should be released from the £20 assessed and charged upon them; and also from any future sums towards any fifteenth and tenth that might be granted to the queen. Thus the parish of St. Bartholomew the Great obtained a continuance of the exemption from paying and collecting subsidies granted to the monastery in the year 1440. (fn. 19)
Some three months before Sir John Deane's death, which occurred in October 1563, the church of St. Bartholomew the Great was nearly brought to total ruin by the action of Edmund Grindal, Queen Elizabeth's first bishop of London, in trying to strip the lead from the roof of St. Bartholomew's for the benefit of St. Paul's: it was due to the queen's first secretary that this threatened calamity was averted. The matter arose thus:
On the 3rd June 1561 the spire of St. Paul's Cathedral was struck by lightning, and, together with the roof, which like the spire was of wood covered with lead, was entirely destroyed by fire. It was difficult to obtain sufficient lead for covering the new roof, so Bishop Grindal, on the 3rd July 1563 wrote the following letter. (fn. 20) It is addressed 'To the honorable Sir William Cecill, Knight, Secretarie to the Queen's Majesty'.
'Bycause some have dyed lately neare my house here (fn. 21) I dare nott come to the Courte to speake with you, nottwithstanding I shall praye you to have your furtherance in this matter folowynge, wh. I have communicated with my L[ord] Keper [Bacon] who semeth nott to mislyke off it.
'St. Bartholomew's churche, adioying nynge [nigh] to my L. Riches house, is in decaye and so encreaseth daylye: it hathe an heavie coate off leade, (fn. 22) which would do verie goode service for the mother churche off Powles: I have obtyned my L. Riches good wille, and iff I coulde obteyne my L. chieffe justice (fn. 23) off ye K[ings] benche and Sr. Walter Myldemaye's assente, I wolde nott doubte to have the assent also of the whole parisshe, that the leade might goo to the coveringe off Powles.
'Now remayneth only this scruple, How shall the parisshe be provideff off a churche? That is thus answered. Ther is an house adioynynge (fn. 24) which was the Fratrie (as they tearmed it) a verie fayre and a large house, and indeede allreadye, iff it wor purged, lacketh nothing butt the name off a churche; well buylded off free stone, garnisshed within rounde abowte with marble pyllers, large windows, etc. I assure you without partialitie, iff it wer dressed up, it were farre more beautifull and more conveniente than the other. It is covered with good slate. If we might have the good leade, we would compounde with my L[ord] Riche for convertynge the sayd Fratrie to a churche and we wille also supply all imperfections off the same, and nott desyre thee parisshe to remove tyll the other be meate and conveniente to go to.
'We think that the matter is very reasonable, for what is more reasonable than that the children shoulde clothe theyr naked parentes? Owre churche is Matrix Ecclesia (as the Canons tearme suche churches), which is all one with Mater.
'I praye you let us have your helpe in it, to my L[ord] chieffe justice and Mr. Myldemaye, iff they be difficiles, and also iff you shall think it conveniente to moove Queen Majestie (wh. my L. Keper thinketh not amiss) lett us have your helpe that waye also.
'I will repayre to you when the Courte comethe to Richemond or att some other conveniente tyme, to understande what you think goode.
'Godde kepe you
from London 3 Julii, 1563.
Yor. in Christe
Sir William Cecil's reply has not been found, but from the following letter from the bishop it would appear that he was not favourable to the scheme. A letter addressed: 'To the honorable Sir William Cecil, Knighte, secretarie to the Queen's Majestie':
'I received yesternight beinge the XIth off this Julye a letter from my LL. for makynge a Certificate off the state of my diocese, wch. I will answer (Godde willynge) with all possible spede. (fn. 25)
'I have received also from you 3 letters, the firste was concerning S. Bartholomews, and a certificate off the convocation.
'Re S. Bartholomews, I meane nott to pulle downe, butt to change a churche, more comodiouse than the other, onlesse strawnge opinion should arise, that pr yers were more acceptable under leade, than under sclate
[The remainder of this letter is on other matters.]
I comittee you to Godde
from Fulham XII Julii, 1563.
Your in Christe
Edm. London.' (fn. 26)
Reference is made elsewhere to the description given above of the frater. (fn. 27)
As already stated, Sir John Deane died in October 1563. An inquisition taken the year following found his niece Alicia, daughter of his brother Richard, his heir. (fn. 28)
His will, (fn. 29) which is too long to give in extenso, is dated the 6th April and was proved on the 22nd November 1563. In it he describes himself as 'person of the parishe churche of Greate St. Bartillmews nighe West Smithfeilde London'; he willed his 'Bodie to be buried by the righte side of the Chappell late Mr. Blage's Chappell and nowe Sir Walter Myldmaye's Chappell within the Quire of greate Saynte Bartillmews where I have allredie made my grave' . . . 'with funeral expenses honest and not sumptuous'.
This is the Sir Robert Blagge to whom we referred as an inhabitant of the parish. (fn. 30) He was probably a lifelong friend of Rector Deane, because he was born (he tells us in his will) at Northwich, as was Deane. Sir Walter Mildmay's tomb was originally opposite Rahere's in the sanctuary; the right side of it would therefore be in the position in which the memorial slab to Sir John Deane has been placed. Deane bequeathed 'to the pore houshoulders in the pishe where my bodie shal be buried xxs.', also 'to the pore houshoulders in Northwiche where I was borne fyve markes', also 'amongst the pore ffolkes in saint Bartillmews Spitle xxs.' and 'to the prisons of nugate ludgate the kinges benche and the Marshalsey everie house of them vs.' . . . 'To Katherine that dwelte with Mr. Doctor Barthelet xxs.' (probably an old servant). 'To Margerie Storke, my tenant's doughter of the halfe Mone three poundes and my kowe (cow)' . . . 'To Thos. Storke her brother three poundes and my mare and her coulte.' He also willed his executors should give to the poor at the day of his burial £10 'in breade and money'. He bequeathed to his cousin John Deane a ring of gold, having the two letters of his name graven thereon, and £20 in money towards the charges of serving his livery. To Margaret, late wife of John Lambe, and then wife of Luson, the lease of certain tenements in Paradise in St. Bartholomew the Great parish, or, if she died before the expiration of the lease, then to Ellen Oxey her daughter. To his loving friend Richard Durante, gentleman, and his wife £6 13s. 4d., to buy black gowns, and his 'velvet jacket, and a gold ring weighing three pounds (sic) having a death's head to turn about on it'. This Richard he made the principal executor of his will concerning his movables. He bequeathed to Thomas Temple, his boy, £10. To Brian Storke and his wife and their children £5 for black gowns and coats, and all the movables in the parlour where he lay at the time of his death and his coverlet. To all his servants in the house 10s.
As regards his lands and tenements, he left to his godson and cousin, John Deane, son of Richard Deane, in tail, his four Wicke houses in Northwich, Cheshire; also his tenements in Shortlache, Cheshire, and Haies Croft or Cannon Crofte, near a land called the schoolmaster's land in Northwich, his lands and tenements in Barmton in the parish of Budwoethe, Cheshire, sometime belonging to Norton Abbey, the issues of rents and yearly profits to be distributed amongst the poor scholars of his free school and parish of Wynton.
He left to John Deane, his cousin, and his daughter Dorothy two tenements in the parish of St. Botolph, Aldersgate. To John Sudlowe all that part of the house wherein he (John Sudlowe) then dwelt, as it was then divided from the part which Sir John Deane himself had lately occupied, in St. Botolph's parish; together with six other tenements south-west of the same house. He left to Brian Storke and Alice his wife all his tenement called the Half Moon together with the parlour chambers and shop thereunto belonging adjoining which were three little tenements in the parish of St. Botolph on the north side of the Half Moon, from the issues of which Brian and Alice were to keep and bring up one Gilbert Hobson until he was twenty-four years of age, to whom they were also to pay £23. They were to give yearly 10s. in coal, wood or money, amongst the poor householders of St. Bartholomew the Great parish on Christmas Eve with the advice of the churchwardens of the parish. (fn. 31)
He demised to his godson, John Sudlowe, son of Thomas Sudlowe, that part of the house which he had himself lately occupied in the parish of St. Botolph, together with five cottages in Long Lane adjoining the same house. (fn. 32)
He bequeathed to Richard Lambe the son of John Lambe all his tenements called Petywales, in the parish of St. Bartholomew the Great, then in the several tenures of the said John Deane, clerk, Augustine Turner, Rowland Belmer, Frenchman, William Anger, Frenchman, Mother Mighee, widow, and Thomas Collins; and also two tenements south-west from the Half Moon in St. Botolph's parish in the tenure of Nicholles and Purforde.
He appointed John Deane, Richard Durante, and Brian Storke executors of his will and John Sudlowe, overseer, who also with Richard Lambe and Robert Oxey, alias Norries, were witnesses.
There was a codicil in which he bequeathed to the reparation of the parish church 26s. 8d., to John Sudlowe and his wife £5 to buy black gowns, to each of his servants in St. Bartholomew's and St. Botolph's parishes a quarter's rent; to his cousin Alice Barlowe of West Chester a girdle with a pendant of parcel gilt. To Sir Henry of St. Sepulchre's a lined black gown and 20s.; to Thomas Carpenter 10s.; to Twite his godson 20s. Thomas Bryan and Marjorie his sister had died since he made his will in April, so he gave Marjorie's portion to Elizabeth Bryan her sister, and to his cousin Oliver Bendford and to his son (Sir John's godson) his mare and colt in Culleston in recompense for his cow. He also gave to 'myne hoste Brian Storke' one of his kine with the option of buying the other of his executors. The will was proved 22nd November 1563, by John Deane and Richard Durante, executors. (fn. 33)
Ralph Watson, Rector 1565–1569.
After the death of Sir John Deane in October 1563, it would appear that about two years were allowed to elapse before another appointment was made.
Hennessy says that Ralph Watson was appointed some time in the year 1565, and that he died in June 1569, (fn. 34) but he does not give the source of his information. Newcourt gives the name only, (fn. 35) and no dates at all.
Watson's presentation and institution are not entered in the episcopal registers, as is the case with all his successors; but Grindal's register, (fn. 36) when recording the institution of the next rector, states that the rectory was 'vacant by the natural death of Randulph Watson, clerk, the last rector'.
There are no further references, either to the rector (as such) or to the church during this period in the public or in the parochial records; as the earliest parochial record dates only from the year 1574. Before he was rector of St. Bartholomew's Ralph Watson was the vicar of Heston, Middlesex, to which he was presented by King Edward VI in February 1551/2; a benefice which he resigned in the year 1560.
If Lord Rich, the rightful patron of St. Bartholomew's, did not, as would appear, present within six months, it is possible that Watson may have been presented by Queen Elizabeth by lapse for that turn, as in the case of David Dee in 1587.
Robert Binks, Rector 1570–1579.
Seven months after the death of Ralph Watson, on the 6th January 1570, Robert Binks, clerk (variously spelt Binkes, (fn. 37) Bincks, (fn. 38) and Binckes (fn. 39) in Grindal's register and Bynkes in his will), was instituted to the rectory of the parish church vacant by the death of Ralph Watson, the last rector; to which he was presented by Robert Lord Rich, (fn. 40) the second baron.
We have no records concerning him or his doings other than that in the year 1579 he granted a lease of two of the glebe houses to Morice Pleman. (fn. 41) It was during his rectorate, on the 9th May 1574, that the following inventory was made which, with the churchwarden's account of the period, from the 9th May 1574 to the 9th February 1578, all on one sheet of paper, is the oldest document in the parish safe. (fn. 42) This list is of some interest as it shows what vestments were in the church at this time, in accordance with the ornaments rubric inserted in the Prayer Book by Queen Elizabeth in the first year of her reign (1559).
'Certayne things appertaining to the churche as followethe:
|Imprimis||A Comunion cloth of redd silke and goulde.|
|Itm||A Comunion coppe of silver withe a cover.|
|Itm||A beriall cloth of red velvet and a pulpitte cloth of the same.|
|Itm||Two grene velvet quishins.|
|Itm||A blewe velvet cope.|
|Itm||A blewe silke cope.|
|Itm||A white Lynnen abe (fn. 43) and a hedd clothe (fn. 44) to the same.|
|Itm||A vestment of tawney velvet.|
|Itm||A vestment of redd rought velvet.|
|Itm||A vestment of grene silke with a crosse garde of red velvet.|
|Itm||A crosse Bannor of redd tafata gilted.|
|Itm||Two stoles of redd velvet.|
|Itm||Two white surplices.|
|Itm||Two Comunion table clothers.|
|Itm||Two Comunion towels.|
|Itm||One olde Bible.|
|Itm||One great booke.|
|Itm||One olde sarvice booke for the minister.'|
By the same churchwarden's account we learn that the levelling up of the floor of the church was done at this time, for the largest item in the account is as follows:
'The charges of the raisinge of the flower of the said church and new sittings and mendinge of the pewes xili. xixs. viiid.' (fn. 45)
The bells also were put in order, and 8s. was paid for a new bell wheel, 1s. for repairing another, and 11s. 6d. for new ropes for all the bells. (fn. 46)
The rector died in 1579. In his will (fn. 47) dated the 15th August of that year he described himself as 'Robert Bynkes, clerke, parson of the parish church of Great St. Bartholomew in West Smithfeilde in the suburbs of London'. He left 'all and singular his goodes cattells chattels bothe reall and personelle . . . leases plate jewells brass pewter linnen naparie beddinge implements and stuffe of household whatsoever . . . within the parish of St. Bartholomew as elsewhere' to his 'nephew Robert Bynckes, taylor'. As the will was not proved letters of administration were granted.
It would seem from this will that rector Bynckes left neither wife nor child.
James Stancliffe, M.A., Rector 1580–1581.
James Stancliffe, clerk, succeeded and was instituted on the 2nd April 1580 'to the rectory of the parish church of St. Bartholomew the Great, vacant by the natural death of Robert Bincks, clerk, the last rector' to which he was presented by the Hon. Robert Rich (fn. 48) (the second baron) the patron.
We have no records concerning this rector other than that he was a fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. on the 2nd November 1570, and M.A. on the 21st June 1575. (fn. 49) He occupied the position of rector for only eighteen months, resigning on the 10th October 1581.
John Pratt, B.A., Rector 1582–1586.
On the 6th April 1582, 'John Pratt, clerk', was instituted to the rectory of the parish 'vacant by the spontaneous resignation of James Stancliffe, clerk, the last rector' to which he was presented by Robert Lord Rich (fn. 50) the patron (that is the third baron, the second baron, his father, having died the year before). Newcourt (fn. 51) records that he graduated B.A. from Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Rochester, and priest by the Bishop of London (Aylmer) on the 29th September 1579.
No records of his doings have come down to us other than that in the year 1583 he granted three leases of the glebe houses, two for forty years and one for thirty-nine years. He was chaplain to the Lord Chief Baron, Sir Roger Manwood, who was living in the parish. (fn. 52) A letter from Manwood to Sir Walter Mildmay, dated the 14th November 1586, forms the second oldest record in the parish safe of St. Bartholomew's. (fn. 53) It complains that a Mr. Neale (fn. 54) had withheld a subscription to a rated order. (The administration of the Poor Law was at that time in the hands of the justices, and was not made parochial until 1601.) The letter is in the cursive hand of the Elizabethan period and is somewhat difficult to decipher (pl. XCIV, p. 265). (fn. 55) It runs thus:
'To the Right Hon. Sir Walter Myldmaye, Knight, one of her Mates most honorable pryveye counsyll—May yt pleas yr honr contrary to yr dyreccon and note under yr hand, Mr. Neale refuseth to pay the xv ls. for hymself, and the x ls. for you, and knoweth by Mr. Ffinche and this bearer appoynted collector that my xx ls. is payd and by my menys (means) Mr. Colleshilles x ls. also, his wth drawing doth hynder and staye all the rest of the collection. his pretence is that a surplusege wyl be, which is no cause of stay or breache of the rated order, ffor after things dew payd for I undertake yr honor shall see and dyrect thaccompt and surplusege which shall remayne and therefore his pretence ys answeryd. Myself would not have my word touched for a ffarre more valew, and Mr. Neale dyd as well gyve his word as I whereof he ought to be carefull and not by his backwarde wylfullness to hynder the hole. The Remedy only is your advertisement unto him presently to accomplyshe the order taken according to yr note and rate. This xiiiith of November 1586.
yr friend & servant
Evidently Sir Roger was very angry, but six years later he was himself deprived of office for various malpractices.
Sir Walter Mildmay at this time had been living in the parish for twenty years. It was this year (1586) that he had, together with Sir Roger Manwood, served on the commission at Fotheringay to try Mary Queen of Scots, who was executed on the 6th February following.
John Pratt, the rector, resigned after being at St. Bartholomew's for about four years. He was admitted to the vicarage of Newnham, Herts., on November 13th, 1586, which we may assume was about the time of his resignation of St. Bartholomew's. He resigned Newnham the following year in favour of the vicarage of Norton, Herts., which he held until his death, which occurred some time before February 1633. (fn. 56)
David Dee, M.A., Rector 1587–1605.
On the 15th June 1587, David Dee, clerk, M.A., was instituted to the rectory 'vacant by lapse of time to which he had been presented by the illustrious and dear princess Elizabeth Queen of England, for this turn the true patron'. (fn. 57)
David Dee was a Shropshire man and a great-grandson of Bede Dee, a great man in those parts. (fn. 58) He graduated B.A. from St. Mary Hall, Oxford, 19th November 1568, and M.A. the 12th July 1572. On the 8th February 1577/8 he was licensed to marry 'Marciam Roper, spinster', and by her he had children, one of whom, Francis, was Bishop of Peterborough in the year 1638. In 1580 he was made Vicar of Sherborne, Dorset. His successor at Sherborne was not appointed until 1585, (fn. 59) but whether Dee remained there so long is not clear; for one Ursula Garrett, a well-to-do person, living in one of the glebe houses (fn. 60) in her will dated the 5th July 1581, (fn. 61) after desiring to be buried 'within the parish church of St. Bartholomew', bequeathed among other gifts to the church, 10s., and also to 'Mr. Dee preacher' 10s. That this was the future rector is suggested by the fact that later in the will (probably in 1584, the year the will was proved) occurs 'witness of the reforming of certen things in this will, David Dee, minister', but he is not described as Vicar of Sherborne. Anyhow, it would seem thereby as though he had some connexion with St. Bartholomew's as early as 1581, the year after he was appointed to Sherborne. In 1587, as stated above, he was made rector of St. Bartholomew's and on June 27th, 1598, he was admitted to the prebend of Consumpta per mare in St. Paul's, but he resigned it before the 13th December following, (fn. 62) for what reason does not appear.
It was during David Dee's rectorate, as was shown when dealing with Cloth Fair, (fn. 63) that the great amount of building took place in the parish; but whilst these building operations were going on the rector was engaged in lawsuits with the tenants of the glebe houses, as already described. (fn. 64) From these proceedings he would seem to have been of a litigious disposition; and if the evidence of Ann Lupton, one of the defendants, is reliable he had also other faults. In her demurrer, in the year 1590, Ann Lupton said that the action was grounded on no just cause but only on Dee's troublesome disposition'. And later, in a reply to his 'insufficient' answer, she said that he, pretending to be in Holy Orders of priesthood and a minister of divine service, had very greatly abused his position (and had done something which the mutilated condition of the document renders illegible); but nothing repenting of the same foul offence he had committed other diverse unlawful acts and demeanours as well within the parish as elsewhere; and when Dee said that he had so carried himself that none could have cause to accuse him of any offence, she replied that his 'troublesome and lewd behaviour' had been certified to the Lord Chancellor by various honourable personages and inhabitants of the parish, which assertion she promised to make apparent to the court at the hearing; and she further stated that these parishioners had beseeched the Chancellor that Dee might be deprived and removed from the parish, 'a matter which would generally well content the parishioners'.
Thomas Crane, another defendant, also alleged that the complaint of Dee was devised more for law expenses than for any just ground of suit.
That David Dee was deprived and removed from the parish as requested by the parishioners of the Lord Chancellor in 1605 there is no doubt, because the episcopal register states (fn. 65) that Dr. Westfield was instituted 'on the deprivation of David Dee'; though we have to say with Newcourt 'for what cause we find not'. (fn. 66)
That Dee was not quite without friends in the parish is shown by the fact that Evan Meredith in his will (already referred to) (fn. 67) bequeathed him 40s.; apparently Meredith could not write, as he sealed the document instead of signing it, Dee witnessing his 'mark'. This will, which is dated 1601, is the first instance we have met with of gloves being given to mourners at a funeral. He says, 'I give to my speciall friendes which shall accompanie my bodie to the funerall to the number of twelve persons to each of them a paire of gloves of five shillinges price. And to other my neighbours and frendes two dozen paire of gloves at the price of every paire fower shillinges, and two dozen paire of other gloves at the price of everie paire three shillinges. And two dozen paire of other sorte of gloves at the price of two shillinges a paire and three dozen pair of other gloves at twelve pence a paire to be given and distributed at the discretion of my executrix and overseers' (the total cost being £15 12s.). He also left £10 to be bestowed in a banquet at his burial.
David Dee lived for some fourteen years after he left St. Bartholomew's, for the date of the grant of administration to his son Daniel was the 3rd February 1619/20. (fn. 68)