Records of Kendale: The pre-Reformation rectors and vicars of Kirkby-in-Kendale

Pages 35-42

Records Relating To the Barony of Kendale: Volume 3. Originally published by Titus Wilson and Son, Kendal, 1926.

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1190 (fn. 1) Achard, parson.

He was a witness to the confirmation by Benedict de Penington to the Hospital of St. Mary of Conishead, of the church of Muncaster and the Chapel of St. Aldeburg. Farrer, Lancashire Pipe Rolls, 360.

1210–28. Nicholas Fitz Robert, rector.

Gilbert Fitz Reinfrid and Helwise his wife confirmed to the monks of St. Mary, York, inter alia the Church of the Holy Trinity of Kirkeby in Kendale, circa 1210, Nicholas being one of the witnesses. (Mon. Anglic, iii, 566.) In May, 1228, he occurs as "Nicholao filio Roberti rectore ecclesiae de Kirkeby Kendall" when witnessing the grant of abbot Robert and the convent of Furness to Archbishop Gray of the moiety of the church of Millom and the church of Kirkby Ireleth with its chapels. Arch. Gray's Register, Surtees Socy., vol. 56, p. 161.

1245–56. Roger Pepyn, rector.

In 1245 he received an indulgence to hold one benefice besides the church of Kirkby in Kendale. (Cal. of Papal Registers, i, 221). On 5 November, 1246, as rector of the mediety of the church of Kirkbiein-Kendale he received a grant of land from Ranulf d'Aincurt in Natland. (Dods. MSS., 149, fol. 142; also Records of Kendale, i, 167). Indult granted by the Pope in 1256 to Master Roger, called Pepin, sub-dean of York, to hold his subdeanery and prebend, together with the church of Kirkeby-in-Kendale. Papal Letters, i, 338.

He died in 1266. On 10 February, 1266/7, archbishop Giffard notified the dean and chapter of York of the appointment of Sir G. de Salisbury to the subdeanery, in the place of Master Roger Pepin, deceased. Archbp. Giffard's Register, Surtees Socy., vol. 109, p. 152.

1267–72 Adam de Northfouk, or Norfolk.

Letter undated from Archbishop Giffard to the Masters of Arts of the University of Cambridge. We would gladly serve the University in which we were brought up. We gave the living of Kirkeby-in Kendal to Adam de Northfouk' according to papal provision; to this your chancellor, John de Asgarby, objects. We are ready to hear what he has to say without fear or favour, and are astonished at your letter about these matters. (Archbishop Giffard's Register, Surtees Socy., vol. 109, p. 201.) In 1272 there are letters of protection for Master Adam de Norfolk, parson of the church of Kirkby-inKendale. Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1272, p. 639.

1285–90 Alan de Easingwold.

The relations between the Archbishops of York and their suffragans at Durham were seldom harmonious. Anthony Bek, the bishop of Durham, a wealthy and ambitious prelate, rendered little obedience to his metropolitan, while his official, Alan de Easingwold, appears to have done all that he could to foment the enmity. In 1285 Alan nominated himself as rector of the church of Kirkeby-in-Kendale, whereupon the archbishop, John le Romeyn, promptly expelled him.

Legally the rectorship remained vacant for several years, and, as according to the Lateran Council the collation to a benefice, after a certain lapse of time, devolved upon the Apostolic See, the archbishop applied for and received as a special privilege from Pope Nicholas IV the right to collate Sir Walter de Maidstone. This he accordingly did on 11 January, 1289/90, and on the 25th he issued a second injunction to the archdeacon's official to induct Sir Walter into a mediety of the church. (Archbishop Romeyn's Register, Surtees Socy., vol. 123, pp. 341, 343). But Alan supported by many friends continued to usurp the rectorship, receiving all the tithes and preventing Sir Walter from entering in upon his duties. Whereupon the archbishop after issuing a third injunction (9 March, 1290/1) appealed to the King for assistance. On 8 June, following a mandate was issued to the dean of Lonsdale and Kendale and to William de Lancaster, rector of Grasmere, to proceed against those who had disturbed Sir Walter in his possession of the church, (ibid., 347). The archbishop then instructed bishop Bek to denounce Alan de Easingwold as excommunicate and make it known that he could not act any longer in his official capacity. Bek, however, refused to take any notice of this order and deliberately retained Alan in his office, whereupon a mandate was issued on 24 August, 1291, demanding the bishop to give satisfaction within eight days and to appear at York on Friday after Michaelmas. Ibid. pt. ii, xxvi, 96.

Again on 31 October, 1291, another mandate was issued to the dean of Lonsdale and Kendale and to William de Lancaster, rector of Grasmere, to go to the church of Kirkeby in Kendal in company with two or three of the neighbouring rectors or vicars, and warn Lady Margaret de Ros, Sir Ingram de Gynes, William de Wyndesour, Gilbert de Brunolvesheved, Roland de Thornburgh, and the other parishioners of the said church, to pay within 15 days all the oblations, obventions and tithes, both great and small, belonging to the mediety of that church to Sir Walter de Maidstone, the rector, from the time of his collation. Likewise a monition to Gilbert de Brunolvesheved, sheriff of Westmorland, to remove Master Alan de Easingwold's men who were intruded into the mediety belonging to Sir Walter, and to restore to Sir Walter all tithes, etc. Ibid., 348.

On 3 March, 1293/4, the dean of Lonsdale and Kendal was informed of the absolution of Alan Kaboche, John son of Benedict Gernet and Roger Wyppe, from a sentence of excommunication for intruding into the church in the name of Master Alan de Easingwold. And on 9 April, 1294, a commission was issued to Sir Walter de Maydenstan, rector of a mediety of the church of Kirkby in Kendale, and William de Kendale, rector of the chapel of Gressemer, to absolve those others excommunicated for intruding and to impose suitable penances. Ibid, i, 350, 351.

On 16 February, 1294/5, the secular power was invoked to give effect to the collation of Sir Walter to the church of Kendal when a mandate was issued to the priests, clerks, and parishioners of Kendal to obey Sir Walter as their rector and not Master Alan de Easingwold who had been excommunicated. Ibid. i, 351, 352.

It may be that we get the final points of this story, first in a commission, issued in 1295, to certain persons to try those who broke the houses and carried away the goods of Walter de Maydenestane, parson of a mediety of the church at Kirkeby-in-Kendale, while he was on the King's service in Wales, and secondly in a plea made by Master Alan against Richard le Orffevre and others for assaulting him at Kyrkeby in Kendale. Records of Kendal, vol. i, p. 12.

1290–1297 William de Hamelton, archdeacon.

For a long period the rectory had been divided into two medieties, the one being held by some high official in the abbey and the other by someone more resident. So here we find William, as an absentee, holding one mediety and Walter de Maidstone, as resident, the other. See the Antiq. Taxatio of Pope Nicholas IV, quoted hereafter under Kirkby Kendale.

On 5 December, 1288, William was installed as archdeacon of York. (Archbishop Romeyn's Reg. Surtees Socy., vol. 123, p. 81). An indulgence was granted to him in 1290, at the request of the king whom he served in the chancery, to retain the archdeaconry of York in addition to the churches of Embledon, Micheldever and Sawbridgeworth and the moiety of Kirkeby-in-Kendale. Cal. Papal Registers, i, 517.

William de Hamelton, archdeacon of York, and others, executors of the will of Hugh de Kendale, in 1297, impleaded Ingram de Gynes that he render to them£24 which he has unjustly detained. (De Banco Roll, Easter, 118, m. 186). He died at Fountains Abbey on 15 April, 1305, but apparently he had resigned the mediety previously as on 4 April, 1301, Mr. John de Roderham was collated to the mediety.

1301– John de Rotherham.

On 7 April, 1301, a mandate was issued to the official of the archdeacon of Richmond to induct Mr. John de Roderham, clerk, into the mediety of the church of Kirkeby-in-Kendale. Records of Kendale, i, 128.

1290–1306 Walter de Maydenstan or Maidstone.

On 26 October, 1293, a mandate from the archbishop in obedience to a royal letter of the 19th inst., ordering his official to compel those in arrears to pay the arrears of the tenth to the prior of Nostell, who had been originally appointed collector of this tenth in the archdeaconry of York, but had been superseded by Walter de Maydenestan, the king's clerk, who had not levied the arrears, and was in his turn superseded by the prior. Archbishop John le Romeyn's Register, Surtees Socy., vol. 123, 39.

On 30 March, 1294, Gilbert de Sancta Cruce was appointed perpetual vicar of Kendal, as penitencer in the archdeaconry of Richmond. Ibid. p. 351.

Reference is made to Maidstone in the Pat. Rolls, 23 Edward 1 (1295) where he is described as "parson of a moiety of the church of K. Kendale." In August, 1301, the archbishop, John le Romeyn, sent three letters to the king denouncing Walter de Maydenestan and others as excommunicate and praying the king to remove him from the church of Kirkeby-in-Kendale. Records of Kendale, i, 128.

In 1306 he was elected canon and prebend of York and was licensed to hold the mediety of K. Kendale and other benefices in England and France, he not being in priests' orders. (Cal. Pap. Registers, ii, 6, 12, 13.) He probably resigned soon after this and before the chapter of York finally consented on 25 September, 1307, to the appropriation of the church, to the consolidation of the two medieties and the institution of a Vicarage. Records of Kendale, vol. i, 129.

On 7 October, 1313, he became bishop of Worcester and died on 28 March, 1317.

1302–20 Roger de Kernetteby.

He apparently commenced with a mediety of the Rectory but ultimately became the first vicar. On 18 October, 1302, notice is sent to Roger that the bishop of Carlisle would reconcile the churchyard of Kirkeby-in-Kendale polluted by the shedding of blood. Records of Kendale, i, 129.

In 1309 a commission of "oyer and terminer" was issued to certain persons, on the complaint of the Abbot of St. Mary's, that Walter de Strikeland and others assaulted his servants, sent to carry the tithe corn and hay of his church, and also Roger de Kerneteby the vicar, and the other chaplains and clerks appointed to celebrate divine service in that church, hindered them in the discharge of the same, trampled down and consumed his corn and hay and took away the horses from his wagons and impounded them. Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1309, 129.

In 1312 he was a witness to an exchange of lands at Natland, (Records of Kendale, i, 169), and in 1315 to a settlement of a suit between Sir Walter de Stirkeland and Sir Matthew de Redmain. Ibid. ii, 121.

In 1316 we find a confirmation of a grant to Roger de Kernetteby, vicar of the church of K. in Kendale, of the custody during the minority of the heir, of two parts of the lands late of William de Ros, together with the Knights' fees, advowsons of the churches, etc., to hold until the full age of the heir together with the marriage of the heir. (Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1316, 452.) In the same year there is a grant to Roger "de Kendale," king's clerk, of the custody of the hospital of St. Leonard without Kirkeby, in the king's gift by reason of his custody of the land and heir of William de Ros of Kendale, decd. (ibid. 551). In 1320 William de Thweng demised to farm to Roger de Kerneteby, vicar of the church of Kirkeby-in-Kendale, the manor of Helsington with the park, to hold for 13 years from Martinmas, 1320, for seven marks for the first six years and eight marks for the last seven years. Records of Kendale, 1, 141.

In 1323 he was presented to the church of Dufton, Cal. Pal. Rolls, 132 1323, p. 343; also Bishop Halton's Register, ii, 209.

1344 William de Slaytburn, vicar.

Presentation of William de Slaytburn on 12 March, 1344, to the vicarage of the church of Kirkeby Kendale. (Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1344, p. 217.) On 30 March following there is a notification to Robert de Woodhouse, archdeacon of Richmond, that the king has revoked his presentation of William de Swyneflete, king's clerk, to the vicarage of the church of K. Kendale, as void by the death of William de Slaytebourn, because the latter is alive and well. (Ibid., 220).

1344– John de Bokham, vicar.

On 25 May, 1344, was issued a Commission to the Bishop of Bisaccia (fn. 2) to ordain Master John de Bokham to be perpetual vicar of the parish church of Kirkeby-in-Kendale. (Richard d' Aungerville of Bury Register, Surtees Socy., vol. 119, p. 62.) In 1345 the king issued a ratification of the estate of John de Bokham, as vicar of the church of Kirkeby-in-Kendale. Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1345, p. 467.

1352–93 Thomas Squier de Seynesbury, or Saintbury, vicar.

In 1352 he received an indulgence, as vicar of Kyrkeby-in-Kendale, to pursue his studies for five years at an University or whilst residing at the Roman Court. Cal. of Papal Registers, iii, 464.

In 1366 Thomas de Stirkeland, Knt., enfeoffed Thomas de Seynesbury, vicar of the church of Kirkeby-in-Kendale, and others, with certain lands, and by deed dated on Thursday next after Easter, 40 Edward III, the feoffees granted the premises to Sir Thomas for life with remainder, etc., etc. Records of Kendale, vol. i, pp. 206, 215, 224.

On 25 April, 1371, we find a pardon to Thomas, vicar of the church of Kirkeby-in-Kendale, of his outlawry in the co. of York, for not appearing before the justices of the Bench to account with the abbot of St. Mary's, York, for 100 marks which he received of the abbot's money, he having now surrendered to the Fleet prison. Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1371, p. 66.

In 1384 the presentation of Thomas Squier of Seynesbury to the vicarage was renewed by reason of the temporalities of St. Mary's Abbey, lately void, being in the king's gift. Ibid., 1384, p. 436.

In 1393 William de Blenkansopp and others enfeoffed Thomas Swyer of Seynesbury, perpetual vicar of the church of Kirkeby-inKendale, and others, to hold certain lands and tenements in Bannisdale in performance of the will of John de Ros, etc. Deed at Levens as printed in Records of Kendale, i, 234.

1407 William Clynt, or Clinton, vicar. (fn. 3)

"Magistrum Willielmum Clynt vicarium de Kyrkeby," was an executor of the will of Sir Richard Burgh, dated 1407.

1418 Nicholas De Preston, vicar.

Presentation of Nicholas de Preston to the vicarage of the church of Kirkeby-in-Kendale. (Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1418, p. 169.) In 1421 he was perpetual vicar of K. Stephen, bachelor of canon law, and had dispensation, being of noble birth, to hold for life one other benefice. In 1422 as priest of the diocese of York he had an indulgence for a portable altar. Cal. Papal Registers, vii, 216, 224, 325.

–1421 Thomas Greenwood, vicar.

On 20 June, 1396, archbishop Scrope gave Greenwood, then only an acolyt, letters dismissory that he might be ordained. (Scrope Reg.) He was presented by the Crown to Heysharn on 29 March, 1396, (fn. 4) (Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1391–6, 712); was instituted 5 April following (Harl. MS., 6978, p. 171) and had ratification of his estate therein on 3 October, 1397. (Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1396-9, p. 199). On 5 February, 1409/10, he was instituted to the Rectory of St. Michael's, Ousebridge, this he relinquished in 1413, when he became vicar of K. Stephen. On 5 March, 1415, he was made Vicar-general to Henry Bowet, Archdeacon of Richmond (Bowet Reg.). Greenwood held in succession three stalls at York; obtained the prebend in St. Sepulchre's chapel, Bishop Norton, Thockrington, Grindale and succeeded Scrope in Knaresborough on 7 September, 1418, which he held together with his 3 prebend in Lincoln and the vicarage of K. Kendale till his death on 2 May, 1421. (Harl. MS., 6978, fol. 18). He was buried in the south aisle of the choir of York Minster. His Will is printed in Surtees Socy., vol. 45, p. 61.

1421-1439 Richard De Garsdale, vicar.

On 1 June, 1421, Master Richard de Garesdale was instituted to the vicarage of Kirkby-in-Kendale on the death of Thomas Greenwood. (Harl. MS., 6978, fol. 18.) In 1431 Thomas Stirkland, Knt., enfeoffs Richard Garsdale, vicar of the church of Kirkby-in-Kendale, and others of his manor of Sizergh. Dated 10 June, 9 Henry VI. (Records of Kendale, vol. i, pp. 42, 148.) On 10 November, 1437, we find him, as vicar of the Church a feoffee with others, see ibid., ii, 194.

1439– Thomas Bryan.

He resigned the vicarage of Beetham and on 15 July, 1439, was presented to the vicarage of Kirkby-Kendale by the abbot and convent of St. Mary's, on the death of Richard Garsdale. Bryan died in 1449. Mem. Ripon, Suttees Socy., vol. 78, 231.

–1451 George Neville.

Son of Richard Earl of Salisbury and brother of Richard Earl of Warwick. The king presented him to the Rectory of Warton on 5 June, 1451, when he resigned the vicarage of Kirkby Kendal Chetham Soc., vol. 60, p. 225.

1520-1550 Thomas Maynes.

In the Valor Ecclesiasticus, 1535, Thomas Magnus is incumbent of Kendall Vicarage. In the Act Book of the Bishop of Chester, we find the presentation of James Pilkington to the vicarage of Kendal vacant by the death of Thomas Magnus, 26 January, 4 Edward VI.

During his vicariate we find the names of several of the chantry priests, as:—

1530 Sir John Nourdall, Sir William Walker and Sir Miles Harrison, priests. "Sir Miles Herryson to have the serues or chantre in my (Strickland) quere in Kendall Kyrk, after the death of Syr John Bourdall." Among the witnesses, "Syr William Walker my gostly Father and parish prest of Kyrkby-in-Kendale." Records of Kendale, i, 153.

1537 Sir Robert Applegarth and Sir Walter Browne, priests. On 9 February, 1537, Sir James Leyburne writing to Cromwell says. On Sunday last past sundry persons of no substance and the parish priest of Kendal Church, Sir Walter Browne, being second curate there, did bid the beads in the church and prayed for the bishop of Rome as Pope against the will of the 24 appointed for the weal of the church. About a month before, the said misruled persons, about 300 in number, did cry all at once and bade cast the other parish priest, Sir Robert Applegarth, and the 24 into the water for refusing to name the bishop of Rome to be Pope, etc. Records of Kendale, i, 73, 75, 81.

1542 Sir Henry Halled, a chantry priest at Our Lady Chapel within the parish Church of Kirkbie-in-Kendall, made his Will on 9 February. 1542, which see hereafter under Kendal.

1546 In 1546 Sir John Garnet was incumbent of the chantry of St. Christopher; Sir Edward Strykland of the chantry of St. William; Sir Robert Byrse of the chantry of St. Anthony; Sir Robert Wilson of the Guild of the Trinity; Sir Alan Shepherd of the foundation of Thomas Ros, Knt" and Sir Adam Shepherd was incumbent of the chantry called St. Mary in the parish church of Kendall. Ibid, 85-87.


  • 1. The dates given in the margin do not represent the actual length of their tenure but simply the years of which we have record.
  • 2. Of Bisacium "urbecula Italiae" in the old Neapolitan territory.
  • 3. This is uncertain as the word 'Kyrkeby' is not distinctive and the reference is lost, yet the writer thinks it to be correct as a Sir Richard de Burgh who held lands in Strickland Ketel had recently died.
  • 4. There is some confusion here as the year commenced on 25 March, so that unless he was presented before his ordination, the date should be 1397.