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see also Churchwardens

Note: Biographies included where available.

1227Simon de Messenden
1230Robert de Bissopslegh
1263Robert de Melkele
1273William de Haselbech
1287William de Rowell
1328Stephen Brown
1337Andrew Brown
1342Henry de Scaldwell
1349Andrew Brown
1373William Bosell
1374William Astell
1382John de Scarle
1385William Melchborne
1386John Harry
1410John Spore
1421William Chaloner
1450John Edwyn
1454Richard Palson
1476William Willis
1494Laurance Kynge
1495Henry Wollaston
1501Thomas Webster
1525William Freysby
1529Roger Speid
1531Robert Forster
1536Ralph Hatton
1541Thomas Barton (ejected 1554)
1554Roger Massey

source: A History of St Giles Church, revd 2007


Sir Thomas Strongintharme
Vicar of Desborough from 23 Jan 1561/62, resigning 31 Aug 1568.
Vicar of Pytchley from 24 Aug 1568.
Probably died 1585

source: Bishop's Visitation


Elias Okeden
Vicar of Lilbourn from 23 Jul 1567, resigning 6 Jun 1569.
Vicar of Desborough from 31 Aug 1568 probably until 1570.

source: Clergymen of Northamptonshire


Richard Davies, Davis or Davys
BA 1564/65, MA 1569, both at Oxford University.

Vicar of Desborough for over 55 years. Married Mary Wymonde at Desborough on 23 April 1575. Buried at Desborough 28 Mar 1626 aged about 89 years (possibly an error and should read 84 years). 

sources: Register of the University of Oxford vol 1; Clergymen of Northamptonshire


Rowland Tampion
Bachelor of Arts of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
Ordained deacon 3rd June 1626 and priest on 4th June 1626

sources: Alumni Cantabriensis part 1 vol 4

1643 - 1645

not yet known


Richard Hooke
was born about 1612, the son of Francis Hooke of Northampton, and baptised on 6th Dec 1612 at St Peter's, Northampton. Matriculated 1st Feb 1632/3, New Hall Inn, Oxford. Bachelor of Arts 1635 (Oxford), Master of Arts 1641 Christ's College, Cambridge, by incorporation from Oxford.

Appointed minister at Boughton, Northamptonshire, 30th Aug 1644. Vicar of Desborough from 1646. Subsequently vicar of Moulton (presented by Oliver Cromwell) 1655-1661 but at the Restoration he was displaced in favour of the ejected vicar Edward Bagshaw.

He was probably vicar of Rothersthorpe from 14th March 1661, and rector of Creaton from 10th Sept. 1661, but was again ejected in 1662.

He taught school at Creaton and afterwards at Northampton, where he was a licensed Presbyterian preacher from 1672-5.

He married Mary Rolston, a widow, at Stoke Albany on 19th Jul 1646. He died in 1679 and was buried at St Peter's Northampton on 30th June 1679. His widow, Mary was buried beside him 8th Feb. 1691[?]

sources: Alumni Cantabriensis part 1 vol 2; Biographical Register of Christ's College 1505-1905, and of the earlier foundation, God's House 1448-1505, v1 1448-1665, CUP

1648- [not yet known]

Matthias Smyth was vicar of Desborough from 19th May 1648 (written in the Parish Register of Christenings)


Robert Askew

source: A History of St Giles Church, revd 2007


Thomas Browning
was born in Essex (probably at Coggeshall) about 1633. He joined Wadham College, Oxford, where he matriculated (formally joined the University) on 14th November 1650. He became vicar of Desborough in 1657, the year before Oliver Cromwell died, and four years before Charles II was crowned. When the Act of Uniformity was introduced in 1662, Browning was unable to comply with its requirements and he left the Established Church. He was invited to lead the Independent Church at Rothwell, though he spent at least one period in Northampton Gaol for preaching the Gospel. In 1672 he was licensed as a Congregational teacher. He died on 9th May 1685 and was buried at Rothwell.

sources:The Christian Witness and Church Members' Magazine 1863; Annals of Evangelical Nonconformity in the County of Essex by Thomas William Davids, p586-7. Jackson, Walford and Hodder, 1863

1663 - 1685

1686 - 1694

William Lightfoot

source: A History of St Giles Church, revd 2007


George Bagley
was born about 1664, the son of Samuel Bagley of Hazelbeach, Northamptonshire. Educated at Guilsborough. Admitted sizar at Christ's College, Cambridge, 27th October 1682. B.A. 1686-7.

He was vicar of Naseby, 1689-1717 and, overlapping with this, also vicar of Desborough in 1695 and Rector of Isham from 1710-1730.

Alumni Cantab. also mentions a Samuel Bagley, born in Desborough, who was admitted sizar at Clare, 6th July 1713. Samuel would have been born about 1695 and may well have been George's son.

sources: Alumni Cantabriensis part 1 vol 1

8 June 1696 - 1727

Armand Dubordieu
A Frenchman and a protestant exile from Montpelier, he was born about 1672. He was admitted sizar at Christ's College Cambridge on 31st January 1690/1. He achieved his B.A. in 1694/5 and M.A. in 1716.

He was ordained deacon in London on 17th February 1694/5, and priest in Peterborough on 6th June 1696.

His first appointment was as vicar Desborough, in 1696; he was also vicar of North Weald, Essex (1715-1733) and of Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire (1716-1733). He apparently gave up his ministry in Desborough in 1727, but continued to hold the other two appointments until his death.

He died on 25th August 1733, aged 61, and was buried at Sawbridgeworth.

sources: Alumni Cantabriensis part 1 vol 2

06 Mar 1727/8 - 1772

John Clendon
was the son of Thomas Clendon, vicar of Kilsby. He was baptised on 22 April 1699 at Broughton, Northamptonshire.

He was admitted to Trinity College Oxford on 14th January 1717/8, aged 16, achieving his B.A. in 1721.

He was ordained deacon at London on 20th May 1722 and licensed deacon of Fenny Drayton, Leicestershire, the following day.

John was ordained priest at Bugden on 31st May 1724 and licensed curate of Lissingham in Lincolnshire the following day. On 1st February 1726 he became schoolmaster of Lissingham.

On 6th March 1727/8 John was appointed vicar of Desborough, remaining there until his death in 1772.

sources: Isham Longden No II Vol LIX and the Clergymen of Northamptonshire

28 Dec 1772 - 1776

Thomas Barnett
was born about 1716, the son of Thomas Barnett of St Margaret's Westminster, gentleman.

He was admitted to Christ's College, Oxford on 28th May 1733, aged 17. He gained his B.A. at Wadham in 1737, and his M.A. in 1739.

He was appointed vicar of Rothwell on 31st July 1741, adding the curacy of Desborough on 8th September 1748. On 28th December 1772 he was appointed vicar of Desborough, remaining vicar of both Rothwell and Desborough until his death on 27th March 1776. He was buried at Rothwell the same day.

sources: Isham Longden No II Vol LIX and the Clergymen of Northamptonshire


Zacharaiah Rose
was born in 1742, the eldest son of the Rev. Zacharaiah Rose, rector of Fornham St Martin and of Whepstead, Suffolk. He was baptised on 24th February 1742 at Fornham St Martin.

He was admitted sizar at Clare College Cambridge on 3rd April 1759, achieving his B.A. in 1763 and M.A. 1776.

He was ordained deacon at Norwich on 12th August 1764, and priest on 21st September 1766.

His first appointment was as curate of Fornham St Martin and of Icklingham in 1764. He was rector of Cranford St Andrew, Northamptonshire, from 1772-1775.

He was vicar of Desborough from 1776-1778, then rector of Draughton and Cransley from 1778 and rector of Broughton from 1782. He continued to hold the latter two appointments until his death on 6th July 1790 at Broughton where he was buried.

sources: Alumni Cantabriensis part 2 vol 5


Samuel Murthwaite
The son of the Rev Peter Murthwaite of Cumberland, Samuel was born at Gilcrux in 1733. He was schooled at St Bees and Cockermouth, then admitted sizar at St John's College Cambridge on 18th April 1752. He achieved his B.A. in 1756 as 12th Wrangler, then his M.A. in 1759.

Samuel was ordained deacon (Lincoln) on 23rd Deb 1755, and priested on 19th September 1756.

He was curate of Upton and Leighton, Huntingdon from 1755 to 1758, and vicar of Desborough from 1778 until his sudden death in October 1789 during a visit to a gentleman at Halifax.

sources: Venn database (sourced from St John's College Admissions; Northants Clergy; Gentleman's Magazine 1789, II. 956)


Thomas Sisson
was born about 1752 in Yorkshire, Thomas was educated at Leeds Grammar school. He was admitted sizar at Emmanuel College Cambridge on 30th December 1771, achieving his B.A. in 1776, M.A. in 1779, and was made a Fellow in 1778.

He was ordained priest in Peterborough on 20th December 1778.

He was appointed rector of Wallington, Hertfordshire in 1782 and continued to hold this appointment until he died there on 31st December 1837, aged 85.

In addition to his ministry at Wallington he also held appointments as vicar of Desborough (1790-1800) and vicar of Chippenham, Cambridgeshire (1805-1837)

sources: Alumni Cantabriensis part 2 vol 5


Horace Salby Cotton
Nothing else known as yet, other than that the Clergy List for 1841 shows him as the vicar of Desborough, installed in 1800, with a curate: George Rugg. The latter appears to be a misprint for George Bugg:- in 1837 Joseph Toller published and printed "A letter to the Rev. George Bugg, A.B., Curate of Desborough, Northamptonshire: Containing a Summary of the Principles, Objects and Means of Radicalism by Member of the Kettering Radical Association"

source: Clergy List 1841; Google Book Search


George Bugg
was born about 1771. The 1841 census shows him living with three young women of the same surname aged about 25-30, presumably his daughters and/or daughters-in-law.

By 1851 he was rector of Wilsford. The census shows him living in Kingston upon Hull, with his daughter Elizabeth and two servants, one of whom was born in Desborough.

source: Pigot's Directory of Northamptonshire, 1841; England & Wales censuses

1846 -1881

William Wilson
William was born about 1813 in Winton, Westmorland. He married Elizabeth Hodgson about 1841, in Rochdale, Lancashire. They had two children whilst they were living there: Mary Jane, born 11th October 1842, and Augustus Charles Hodgson, born 10th November 1843.

He was awarded his BA by Queen's College, Oxford, in 1836.

He was ordained deacon in 1837 and priest in 1837, both by the Bishop of Chichester. He was appointed Vicar of Desborough in 1846. Prior to this he had been curate of Methley and Rochdale.

source: England and Wales Censuses; Crockford's 1868


Robert Douglas Leonce Clarke
was born about 1849 in Blackheath, Kent, the son of Leonce Louis Desire Clarke and Charlotte Miller. He was admitted, pensioner, at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge on 7th October 1865.

He achieved his B.A in 1869, was ordained deacon at Canterbury in 1870, and priest at Peterborough in 1871. His M.A. followed in 1874.

In the 1871 census he was lodging in Willesborough, Kent, where he was curate. Other curacies followed in the next 7 years.

From 1878-1880 he was vicar of Laxton, then in 1881 he was lodging in Aldershot as a curate - the Corpus Christi Register shows that he was a "Wilberforce Missioner" from 1880-1882.

He became vicar of Desborough in 1882, holding this preferment until 1885, at which time he was appointed vicar of St Lawrence's Northampton. From 1888-1892 he held a number of curacies. In 1892 he was appointed vicar of Belgrave with Birstall, Leicestershire. He remained there for 6 years during which time he married Rosina Robertson Rouse (born 1857 in Edinburgh).

In 1892 he became rector of Fringford, remaining there until 1910. After another couple of years he was appointed rector of Cherington, Gloucestershire, this appointment lasting until 1919.

sources: England and Wales Censuses; Corpus Christi Register of Members; The Times


H F Johnston
Johnston was the curate of Stoke Bruerne, near Towcester, before he was appointed vicar of Desborough in 1885.

sources: The Times Thursday, Jul 02, 1885


Edgar Campbell Channer
Edgar was born 1849 in St Pancras, London, the son of Alfred Taylor, clerk, and was baptised on 6th February 1849. He was educated at Tonbridge school then admitted sizar to St John's College, Cambridge on 10th October 1867.

He received his B.A. in 1871, and M.A. in 1879. He was ordained deacon in 1872 and priest in 1873 (Exeter).

He held a number of curacies from 1872 to 1886 including Halwill in Devon and St Luke's, Hammersmith.

He was vicar of Desborough from 1887-1894, then vicar of Ravensthorpe with Teeton and Coton from 1894 to 1911.

He died in December 1937, at Bedford, and was buried at Leamington.

sources: Alumni Cantabriensis, part 2 vol 2


Percy James Boyer
Percy was born 31st July 1859, the son of Henry Boyer. He was educated at Merchant Taylor's School then Balliol College, Oxford, 1879-1884. He obtained his B.A. in 1883 and M.A. 1886.

He was ordained deacon in 1883 and priest in 1884.

He had curacies at St Mark, Peterborough (1883-1886), Narborough (1886-1888), Benhilton (1888-1892) and Cranbrook (1893-1894).

In 1894 he was appointed vicar of Desborough, staying there until 1903 when he became vicar of Rothersthorpe (1903-1913).

sources: Register of Balliol College


Alexander Sutherland Lindsay

Alexander was awarded his BA by Keble College, Oxford in 1882.

He was ordained decon in 1883, and priest in 1884 (Canterbury). He held curacies in Maidstone (1883-88) and Kettering (1888-93).

Lindsay was rector of Cranford St Andrew with St John from 1893 to 1903, when he was appointed vicar of Desborough. In 1908 he was appointed vicar of St Andrew, Leicester.

sources: The Times, Jul 16 1903; The Times Apr 04 1908; Crockford's 1908


Charles Lewis Heberden

Charles was born 9th March 1872, the third son of the Rev. John Heberden.

He was admitted at Selwyn College, Cambridge, on 1st October 1890. He was awarded his B.A. in 1893, and M.A. in 1899.

He was ordained deacon in 1895 (Peterborough), and priest in 1896. He held several curacies - Whitwick, Leicestershire (1895-1898), St Margaret's, Leicestershire (1898-1899), Castor, Northamptonshire (1900-1902), and St Michael's, Northamptonshire (1902-1908).

He was appointed vicar of Desborough in 1908, remaining there until his death on 14th April 1911.

sources: Alumni Cantabriensis, part 2 vol 3; The Times, Thursday Apr 16, 1908


Henry James Theodore Eacott

Henry was the son of the Rev. Caleb Eacott.

In 1921 Eacott, vicar of Desborough, was appointed rural dean of Rothwell II, in the diocese of Southwell.

In 1922 Eacott was appointed vicar of Market Harborough.

sources: The Times, Monday May 23, 1921; The Times, Friday, Oct 13, 1922