A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 10, Westbury and Whitstone Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1972.
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Before 1095 Walter of Gloucester gave the chapel of Quedgeley to the church of St. Owen, Gloucester, which, with its dependent chapels, was part of the endowment of Llanthony Priory by Walter's son Miles, Earl of Hereford. (fn. 1) The chapel of Quedgeley was called a chapel of the church of St. Owen in the 12th and 13th centuries. (fn. 2) In the 12th century, however, the chapel was given an endowment of land for its priest, (fn. 3) who was on occasions called a vicar in the Middle Ages. (fn. 4) Although the living had long been an endowed one, in the 18th century it was claimed to be a donative, exempt from archidiaconal visitation, in which the minister had no freehold. (fn. 5) In 1843 it was augmented out of the impropriated tithes, (fn. 6) and was thereafter deemed to be a rectory.
Margaret de Bohun was said to have granted the advowson of Quedgeley to Llanthony Priory, (fn. 7) and the right to nominate chaplains descended with the ownership of the manor, the lessee of which was charged with finding a chaplain and maintaining the chapel. (fn. 8) When the manor and the rectory estate were separated (fn. 9) the patronage of the supposed donative descended with the rectory. (fn. 10) After 1843 the owner of that estate, Mrs. Curtis-Hayward, was patron of the benefice, which had itself come to be called the rectory, (fn. 11) and the advowson descended in the Curtis-Hayward family (fn. 12) until it passed to the bishop in 1963. (fn. 13)
In the 12th century Margaret Mautravers granted a yardland and 30 a. to the chapel and priest of Quedgeley. (fn. 14) The chaplain in the 14th century had 22 a. and the small tithes, (fn. 15) but such an acreage of glebe was not afterwards recorded. In 1613 the minister was said to have a house and c. 1 a. of glebe, and also, in 1680, certain tithes and a rentcharge from some tithe-free lands. (fn. 16) The rentcharge may represent a rent for former glebe, which would have been tithe-free, or a permanent commutation of tithes, or the result of an arrangement initiated by Robert Greville, Lord Brooke (d. 1676), whereby the great tithes were to be leased to the minister for 70 years. (fn. 17) Sir William Dodington built a house for the minister, (fn. 18) which was replaced in the mid 19th century by a larger two-storied house, later the rectory, of stone with a gabled roof of slate. Later additions were pulled down c. 1962; (fn. 19) the site of the earlier house was visible a little to the north. The living, said to be worth £66 in 1603, (fn. 20) was returned in 1650 as only a stipend of £12. (fn. 21) It was worth £40 in the early 18th century (fn. 22) and £60 c. 1775. (fn. 23) In 1843 Mrs. Curtis-Hayward gave £115 a year from tithe-rents to endow the benefice, which received the capital sum of £200 from Queen Anne's Bounty. (fn. 24) The rectory was worth £185 a yearin 1870. (fn. 25)
The chaplain of Quedgeley c. 1370 was a graduate. (fn. 26) In 1551 the minister's learning was not quite satisfactory; (fn. 27) in 1593 one of two men listed as curate of Quedgeley was a preacher though not a graduate, while the other was 'not learned but in life honest'. (fn. 28) John Makepeace held the living 1661- 1712, (fn. 29) but was said to have been out of his senses for many years before he died. (fn. 30) There is no evidence that any of the curates in the 18th century lived in Quedgeley. In 1750 the curate also held a living in Lincolnshire, and services then were held alternately in the morning and afternoon. (fn. 31) In the late 18th century at least one curate lived in Gloucester. (fn. 32) There were frequent changes of curate in the earlier 19th century. The first incumbent after the living became a rectory was for a time non-resident because of his health and paid a curate to serve the parish, (fn. 33) but later lived in the parish as did his successors. (fn. 34)
Margaret de Bohun gave 4s. rent and Robert of the Field gave 4 a. to maintain candles. (fn. 35) In 1549 the Crown leased two half-acres of land given to the church for the repair of the chalice and for salt to make holy water, (fn. 36) and a lease of 1576 dealt with land called Lamp Half Acre, Salt Half Acre, and Taper Land. (fn. 37)
The church of ST. JAMES, also called St. James and St. Mary Magdalene in the 12th century, (fn. 38) is a small building of ashlar with a Cotswold stone roof. Before 1857 it comprised a chancel, nave, south aisle or chapel opening from the nave, and a tower with a spire at the west end of the aisle. The nave extended west of the tower. The chancel is said to have been of the 13th century, with an inserted 15th-century window. (fn. 39) The south aisle is of the 14th century; it opens to the nave by a single chamfered arch dying into the wall, and the east and south wall have each a two-light window with restored tracery. The south window contains fragments of ancient coloured glass. (fn. 40) The aisle has a panelled roof with carved bosses and coats of arms of the Barrows and the Arnolds. In the early 18th century the south aisle belonged to the Barrows of Field Court in Hardwicke, (fn. 41) whose right to attend Quedgeley church caused a dispute, and an alleged riot in church, in 1532. (fn. 42) The tower appears to have been built after the aisle, in the late 14th century: it is of two stages, with an octagonal broach spire in ashlar, and an external stair-vice at the north-west angle. The tower arches to the aisle and nave have hollow-chamfered orders. The tower had served as a porch, but a north porch was added before 1857. (fn. 43)
In 1857, to designs by H. Woodyer, the chancel and nave were rebuilt and a north aisle was added, (fn. 44) opening to the nave by an arcade of three bays in 13th-century style. The timbers of the trussed rafter roof of the nave seem to have been re-used. An organ-chamber and vestry were added on the north side of the chancel between 1887 and 1891, (fn. 45) and a timber south porch was added to the tower.
Of the 16th- and 17th-century inscriptions recorded in the 18th century (fn. 46) there survive a brass of 1532, in the chancel, for Frideswide (Fredeswid) and Mary Porter, daughters of Arthur and Alys Porter, a crude stone inscription over the south door for Richard Barrow (d. 1563) and Elizabeth (d. 1584), wife of James Barrow, an inscription for Richard Barrow (d. 1651), and an elaborate mural monument for William Hayward (d. 1696) and his wife Eleanor (d. 1684), the earliest of a number of memorials in the church to members of the Hayward family. In the churchyard a raised tomb with a plain cross, thought to have been 12th-century, (fn. 47) had been broken and removed by 1967. The plain cylindrical lead font, perhaps of the 12th century, has been encased in an octagonal stone font with mosaic panels. (fn. 48) The pulpit and lectern incorporate some decorative carved wood of the 15th or 16th century. Five of the bells are of 1732, a sixth had been added by 1870, and two more were added in 1891. (fn. 49) The plate includes a chalice of 1652, a large plate paten of 1672, and a credence paten of 1691. (fn. 50) The registers begin in 1559 and are largely complete.