Woodborough’s Heritage

Woodborough, a Sherwood Forest Village, recorded in Domesday

Buckland’s 1896 Book - The History of Woodborough etc.



Authorities:  Torre MSS. York.   Liber Albus Southwell.   Leach's Southwell.


WALTER LE MAUCLERC, not the first Prebend of all, for there were Prebends before the Conquest, is the first Prebend of whom I have any information. Rev. R. H. Whitworth, Vicar of Blidworth, informs me that in 1220 a dispute about the Prebend of Woodborough was referred to Pope Honorius, who confirmed it to Walter le Mauclerc, or the Bad Clerk, but the Archbishop on account of non-residence gave it to Thomas de Ripon. He was Bishop of Carlisle from 1223 to 1246, when he resigned. He appears to have been a man of unscrupulous and grasping mind, and as death drew near he endeavoured to make his peace with God by taking the habit of a preaching Friar at Oxford, A.D. 1248, probably on the day of his death.

"Die vero Apostolorum Petri et Pauli Episcopus Karliolensis Walterus apud Oxoniam seculum quod diu et multum incoluerat Cum suis salutans scecularibus prædicatorum fratrum habitum et ordinem . . . suscepit."

"But on the day of the Apostles Peter and Paul, the Bishop of Carlisle Walter at Oxford, bidding farewell to the world in which he had lived long and well and to his worldly goods, assumed the habit and order of the preaching Friars."

Besides trouble in securing the Prebend of Woodborough and the See of Carlisle he also got into trouble while Treasurer under Henry III.

"Anno 1223 Walterus Malclerk sive Malo Clerico consecratus est ad hunc præsulatum (sc Karliolensem), quem anno 1246 se parum legitime consequutum agnoscens, Juni 29 abdicavit et Fratris Prædicatoris habitum sumpsit Oxoniæ, in quo reliquum ætatis transegit."

"In 1223 Walter Mauclerk or Bad Clerk was consecrated to this see (sc, Carlisle), which in 1246 he admitted that he had obtained illegally and resigned on June 29 and took the habit of a Preaching Friar at Oxford, in which he passed the rest of his life."

"Angliæ vero cum interea Thesaurius esset sub Henrico Tertio, non solum munere illo derepente est exactus, sed ad rationes revocatus 100 librarum debito oneratus, cum aerario nihil a se deberi contenderet. His malisremedium quæsitans Roman voluit proficisci. Sed a Regiis ministris in litore, ne navem conscenderet impeditus est, quos earn ob causam Rogerus Londinensis Episcopus excommunicavit et Wigomiam properans, ubi loci ea tempestatate Rex agitabat, in Regis ipsius præsentiâ excommunicationis earn sententiarn a se latam denuo confirmavit."

"But when meanwhile he was Treasurer of England under Henry III, he was not only suddenly expelled from that office but called to account and charged with a debt of £100 though he contended that he owed nothing to the Treasury. Seeking relief for these troubles he wished to go to Rome. But was prevented from embarking on the coast by the King's Officers, whom for that reason Roger Bishop of London excommunicated, and hastening to Wigomia, where at that time the King was staying, forthwith confirmed that sentence of excommunication passed by him in the actual presence of the King."

"Walterus vero, quo pacto hisce molestiis se postea expedivit non compertum est. Satis sane verisimile est, contentionum hujusmodi et certaminum pertæsum, potius quam conscientiæ stimulis agitatum pontificatum deposuisse, Obiit Octobris 28, A.D., 1248."

"But how Walter afterwards cleared himself of these troubles is not known. It is very probable that, tired of such quarrels and contests rather than smitten by the prick of conscience, he resigned his Bishopric. He died October 28, A.D., 1248."

In the Liber Albus, p. 135 , there is a letter from Archbishop William de Melton ordering a collation by proxy to the Prebend of Woodborough in 1327. It seems that Simon de Curia Majori or Curtemajor ¹ acted as proxy for one John de ——-. But as I cannot read all the words this Prebend must be left doubtful.

1: Liber Albus. Southwell p. 135 ². (This is also known as the White Book)

Littera pro installatione Canonica per procurationem Willelmus permissione divina Eboracensis Archiepiscopus Ang1iæ primas dilectis in Christo filiis salutem gratiam et benedictionem.

......prebendam de Wodeburgh in Ecciesia Southwell vacantem Symoni de Curtemajor theologiæ.....conferendam vobis mandamus firmiter.....eundem Symonem in . . ·. . . et canonicatum admittentes Johanni de..... prebendarn prædictam Symonis nomine stallum in choro et locum in Capitulo assignetis, quod vestrum est..... in hac vice..... exsequendo. Valete. Datur apud..... vii Septembris pontificatus nostri anno duo-decimo.

2: The Latin quoted above, as well as being incomplete, is now thought to be inaccurate, the page number 135 is thought to be 134.

ROBERT DE BRIDLINGTON, 1330 was also Prebend of South Newbald in York Minister, Rector of Chaworth, Notts., and of Elmley, Yorks.

JOHN LASCYLL or LACY. His Vicar Choral was Robertus Dyson, who complained at the Visitation of 1475, that his salary was in arrear in default of Mr. Lacy the Prebendary of Wodborough, his Master. Dyson was one of the gardiani or cuftodes fabricæ till 1502. cf. Registrum Capituli. Southwell. p. 256.

"Xus Dyson.  Non solvitur eidem stipendium suum in defectu magistri Lacy, Prebendarii de Wodborough, magistri sui."

"Christopher Dyson. His salary is not paid to him by default of Mr. Lacy, Prebend of Woodborough, his Master."

RICHARD NIKKS, 1492, was Archdeacon of Exeter 1491, but resigned in order to become Vicar General to Richard Fox, Bishop of Bath and Wells, afterwards of Exeter and Durham. He succeeded his brother William, as Archdeacon of Wells, 10th July, 1494, which dignity he relinquished to Francis Archbishop of Byzantium and Prince of the Empire, 30th December, 1500. He was also Canon of Windsor in 1497, and Dean of the Chapel Royal. He purchased the bishopric of Norwich in 1500, by payment of 5,000 ducats to the Pope. (A ducat was worth 8s. in money of that day.) During his Bishopric he conducted a series of visitations of the religious houses in Norfolk. The York MSS, p. 1000, says he "died at Norwich with the report of a reckless and dissolute life." He was Bishop for 36 years and died 14th January, 1536, and rests at Norwich. His name is also spelled Nykke, Nikke, Nyx, but Nykke is the correct way, as his own handwriting testifies. Lord Powis says, "Nykke, ita enim nomen propria ejus manu conscriptum vidi."

"De mortuo Jano (prædecessore) surrogatur Richardus cui utcunque a nive nomen videatur inditum, adeo nihil erat nivei in pectore, luxuriosis cogitationihus plurirnum æstuante, ut atro car-bone libidines ejus notandæ videantur, si vera sunt quæ de illo a Neuillo perhibentur. Antequam e vita excederet per multos annos oculis captus cæcus interiit anno 1536 cum proefuisset Ecclesiæ Norvicensi annos totos 36."

"To the dead Janus succeeds Richard, in whose heart, though his name seems to be derived from "snow," there was so little that was "snowy," as it seethed with luxurious thoughts, that his lusts ought to be branded with black charcoal, if the things are true which are told about him by Nevillus. Before he died he was blind for many years and died blind in 1536, having presided 36 years over the Church of  Norwich."

The Canterbury Register says: "xix Feb. (sc. an. 1536) obiit dominus Ricardus Nyx episcopus Norvicensis pater et benefactor noster." - "On Feb. 19 died Richard Nyx Bishop of Norwich, our father and benefactor."

JOHN WIGMORE, 1499, was previously Prebend of North Leverton which he resigned to become Prebend of Woodborough.

WILLIAM CARPENTER, 1499, was also Prebend of Lincoln and Ripon. He was Prebend of Beckingham in 1494.

GEORGE DUDLEY, 1507. He paid 19s. 4d. as his admission fee. "Solvit pro admissione Magister Dudly ad præbendam de Woodboro in ecclesiâ collegiatâ de Southwell. xix s. iiii d. [19s. 3d.]"   The prebend was then worth x(li), xvii(a), ix(d) [£10 17s. 9d.]. He was one of the Prebends who, with the Archbishop of York, the Vicars Choral and the Chauntry priests surrendered everything to Henry VIII in August 1540. In 1543 the Church was re-established by Act of Parliament, but in 1547 it was suppressed by the Chantries Act of Edward VI. In the Certificates of Chauntries, No. 37, Record Office, the Prebend was valued thus:

"The Prebende of Wodboroughe xiiii(li) vi(s) vii(d) viid ob. [£14 6s. 7d.]  Wagis; viz: to the Vicars Choral of this prebenbe iiii(li) [£4]. Procuracyons and visitations every third yere to the Chapitre of Southwell ii(s) ii(d) [2s. 2d.] ob. iiii(li) ii(s) ii(d) [£4 2s. 2d.] ob. And so remayneth clere unto George Dudley Prebendarye there & of the age of—yeres x(li) iii(s) x(d) [£10 3s. 10d.]"

The Chauntry Commissioners thereupon assigned to George Dudley for life an annual pension of six pounds legal money, with the provision that it should become void if he should be promoted to ecclesiastical preferment of the clear annual value of the annuity. He had then been prebend for 40 years and must have been an old man. He probably died before the Church was re-established in 1558. It is to be noted that no deduction was made for the Wages of a Vicar-Parochial at Woodborough, but the village was clearly not neglected by Dudley, as the Parish Registers commence in his time.

MATTHEW TORTE was Vicar Choral to John Adams, the Sacrist Prebend at the time of the suppression of the Canons by the Chauntries' Act of 1547. The Minster was then made the Parish Church, John Adams being made Parish Vicar at a salary of £20, and Mathew Torte, his Vicar-Choral, with Robert Salwyn, being made "assistants to the cure" at £5 a year each. At the Restoration of the Canons in 1558, Matthew Torte was made Prebend of Woodborough, for in a deed of 22 April, 1568 (Register of Leases) he appears as Prebendary of Woodborough and probably as a residentiary. In 1547 he was described as "of the age of xl yeres, sober and honest, having a small benefice." In the Torre MSS, "Mathew Torte was instituted to the Church of Hockerton which he held till his death, 1576. On 5 Jan., 1576, this Mathew Torte, parson of Hockerton, made his will, proved 8 July, 1576, whereby he commended his soul to God Alm. and All Saints and gave his body to be buried in the Church of S. Nicholas in Hockerton, in the S. side of the Chancel before his stall," and further, "12 May, 7 Eliz., Mathew Torte, preb of Wodeburgh, dimised unto Edw and Tho Foster of Epperstone for the term of 99 years and rent of 3(li) [£3] mansion or Farme-place of the prebend of Woodburgh (called the Netherhall) with all the lands thereunto belonging (wh Edw Abp of York confirmed on 8 Aug 1567.)" His tombstone was broken during a recent restoration of Hockerton Church.

HUMPHREY FOWLER, 1576. The Southwell Reg. II, p. 315, records an "indenture made between Humphrey Fowler prebend of Woodborowe and Thomas Barker, Clerk and Vicar of Southwell of the little toft or croft in Southwell known by the name of Woodborowe prebend of eight shillings a year to be paid at Michaelmas and Lady Day, June 18 in the 30th year of Elizabeth."

JOHN CHADWYK, 1625. Thoroton under Woodborough says, "Ex Regist. paroch. de Woodbor. In the year 1597, Feb 27, James Chadock or Chadwick, son of John Chadwick or Chadock, was baptized." The entry still exists and occurs in the ordinary course, so that there is no apparent reason for its selection by Thoroton unless James Chadock the infant was related to John Chadwyk the prebend.

PETER MEASELL, 1631, was probably prebend at the time of the Regicide. Of his fate I have as yet found no record.

FRANCIS LEEKE was collated to the Prebend of Woodborough with vote and voice in Chapter on October 9, 1660 and was admitted by mandamus of Charles II on October 11. He was formerly Rector of Hawton, Notts, and on June 3, 1650, had been "discovered to the then Court of Commissioners for Notts as liable to sequestration for delinquency. The charge was proved, his estate sequestered and he compounded and paid his fine. His discoverers were John Weaver and William Featherstone of Southwell who petitioned on 9 Feb., 1653, for 1/5th of Leake's fine to which they were entitled by an order in Parliament of 8 Aug. 1650." [Record Office. S.P. Dom. Committee for advance of money. There are many papers about the case and in Committee for compounding.] In 1655 we find him Schoolmaster of the Free School in Southwell for in that year on Nov. 27 he presented a petition for appointment and "sallary" and was ordered to get a certificate from Mr. Burton, Mr. Chadwick, Mr. Cave, Mr. Floyd, Mr. Hook, Mr. Palmer or any three of them certifying his fitness and so to be made master. His tomb still exists in the Minster. "Franc: Leek Prebend: de Woodborow. Sepultus 17 die Decemb: 1670 inter Mariam Flower, viduam, priorem uxorem ad sinistram et Margaretam Leek secundam ad dextram. Resurgemus."

ROBERT AYDE, 1719, was Rector of Barnburgh, Yorks.

HONOURABLE ROBERT SHERARD, 1761, afterwards Earl of Harborough, was also Canon of Salisbury, Rector of Teigh and Rector of Whistoe. In 1773 he resigned all Church preferment except Salisbury. His portrait is at Pusey. He was not a man of great ability but was deeply attached to his daughter Lady Lucy and she held and could use the key to his somewhat undemonstrative character. In 1790 she married Sir Thomas Cave of Stanford Park. In 1798 she married the Honourable Philip Pusey, by whom she became the mother of Dr. Edward Bouverie Pusey. On the wedding day Lord Harborough when it was his duty to give her away, resolutely lay in bed without at the time assigning any reason. He could not bear the wrench of parting with her a second time. He died in 1799. To his mother’s family Pusey was principally indebted for that intense natural affection which did so much to shape his life and colour his writings. But she also seems to have done more than any other person to give a character and direction to his thoughts about religious subjects. She used to talk to her son as if she represented a religious temper which had belonged to her race in earlier times. "All that I know about religion," Pusey used to say, "I learned at least in principle from my mother." (Life of Dr. Pusey.) Robert Sherard subscribed £200 towards the building of the Residence at Southwell.

The Rev. EDWARD GARRARD MARSH, 1821, was the last of the Prebends who were suppressed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1841, but he lived and received the income till 1862. He had a living at Aylesford in Kent. At a great dinner at Oxford after the battle of Waterloo, when crowned heads were present and the toast was given "King and Church," he got up saying, "In this ancient University, whose motto is 'Dominus Illuminatio Mea,'   the toast has always been 'Church and King' and I give that toast," and that toast was drunk.


JOHN ANYON'S signature occurs twice in the Parish Registers in 1736.

THOMAS ALLEN, 1736, was one of the three original Trustees of Wood's Endowed School with the Rectors of Lambley and Epperstone, as appears from the Charity commissioners' reports. He was also Vicar of Calverton and Blidworth.

MAURICE PUGH was Curate of Woodborough and Vicar of Calverton from 1741 to 1766, as appears from the Registers of both Parishes, on the fly-leaves of which he made many interesting entries. He built a Vicarage House at Calverton and died there in October, 1766.

WILLIAM LEYBOURNE, 1766, was Curate of Woodborough which was then separated from Calverton. Without resigning Woodborough, he became Vicar of Upton on Ap. 22, 1773; and also of North Wheatley on Ap. 18, 1776. On Oct. 22, 1778, he resigned Halam and took Edingley. He served Woodborough so badly that the Churchwardens presented him to the Southwell Chapter and complained to the Archbishop, who consequently ordained Richard Oldacres, the Master of the Endowed School, a "literate person," to be Stipendiary Curate to the Vicar Parochial.

CHARLES FOWLER, 1784. I have no information about him, but according to the Southwell Registers on April 21st, 1831, an exchange was allowed between the Rev. Charles Fowler and the Rev. Thomas Coats Cane as Curates of Woodborough and Morton, but I think this must have been only temporary.

SAMUEL LEALAND OLDACRES, 1840, son of Rev. Samuel Oldacres, succeeded his father, Rev. Samuel Oldacres, as Stipendiary Curate and Master of Wood's Endowed School in 1837. On the death of Rev. Charles Fowler he became Perpetual Curate or Vicar-Parochial in 1840. (Southwell Reg.) He was educated at Emmanuel College Cambridge, and was ordained deacon in 1833 and priest in 1833 by the Archbishop of York. Some account of his Church Restoration has already been given, and 1 shall give more about him under the account of Wood’s Endowed School. He died in 1876 leaving a widow and one daughter who still survive (1896). During his life the Southwell Prebendal Livings were assigned to the Bishops of Manchester and Ripon, prior to the formation of the See of Southwell to which they ought to be restored.

FREDERICK GOODE SLIGHT, 1876, was appointed by the Bishop of Manchester (Fraser). He was educated at S. John's College, Cambridge, and was previously Curate of Tonge, near Manchester, and the Parish Church at Bury. In his time the Endowed School House was purchased and adapted as a Vicarage by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and the new Schools were built by the order of the Charity Commissioners to comply with the Education Act of 1870. A full account of this will be given under the account of Wood's Endowed School and some account of his Church Restoration work has been given. He suffered much from ill health and died suddenly at Bournemouth, leaving one daughter.

WALTER EDWARD BUCKLAND, 1891, was the eldest son of Edward Copleston Buckland, of H.M. Treasury, and grandson of Dr. William Buckland, sometime Dean of Westminster and first Professor of Geology and Minerality in the University of Oxford; he was also nephew of Frank Buckland, the well-known naturalist. Having been educated at Winchester and Keble College, Oxford, he was ordained Deacon in 1876 and priest in 1878 by the Bishop of Winchester (Harold Browne) and licensed to the Curacy of Alton, Hants. In 1878 he was appointed Vicar of Beedon, Berks, by Sir Robert Loyd Lindsay, now Lord Wantage, where he remained 13 years. While Vicar of Beedon, the complete Restoration of the Church was carried out by subscriptions at a cost of £1,300. He married Ada Murray, the fourth daughter of Mr. Mansfield Parkyns, of Woodborough Hall, in 1886 at Woodborough Church. On the death of the Rev. F. G. Slight the parishioners of Woodborough petitioned the Bishop of Manchester to appoint him Vicar of Woodborough, to which the Bishop (Moorhouse) assented on condition that Lord Wantage gave him the presentation to Beedon. The exchange having been satisfactorily arranged, he commenced duty here on Easter Day, 1891, and was publicly instituted in Woodborough Church on Easter Thursday by the Bishop of Southwell (Ridding) under whom, while Head Master, he had been a Commoner at Winchester. Some account of the Church Restoration under his superintendence has already been given. He was elected second on the Poll for the first Parish Council in 1894 and head of the Poll in 1896 for the second Parish Council. He was also Rural District Councillor in 1895-6, in which office he took an active part in opposing the attempt of the Nottingham Corporation, to take the water of the Dover Beck by sinking a deep well at Grimesmoor. In 1896 he was offered the Vicarage of East Malling, Kent, by Mr. W. L. Wigan, an old college friend, which he accepted.


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