History of Leatherhead Parish Church, St.Mary & St.Nicholas
Known Incumbents

This page last updated 17 Oct 2011
This website is maintained by the
Friends of Leatherhead Parish Church

Please note that the list is not necessarily continuous.

1086 Osborn de Eu  
1100-1286 Colchester Abbey appoints Rectors  
1259 Simon  
1279 Faulk Lovel  
1286-1341 Rectors appointed by the King  
1286 Hugh de Kendal Clerk of the Chancery involved with the expulsion of Jews from England 1290
1289 Henry de Durham probably a Clerk of the Chancery
1303 Alexander de Conners Received Licence of Non-Residence 1305 "by command is continually busy with the King's business"
1324 Robert le Hoton Rector of Wevington 1330
1330 Stephen le Blount a Clerk of the Wardrobe, buried at Leatherhead
1340 Thomas de Crosse Keeper of the Wardrobe and later King's Chamberlain
1341-1541 Rectors (Vicars 1346 onwards) appointed by Leeds Priory  
1345 John Olaver  
1346 William de Harple  
1349 Thomas Plomer died in March of Black Death
1349 Reginald de Goderynton died in April of Black Death
1349 Thomas de Halghton came in June 1349
1375 Henry Warthull  
1377 John Alleyn  
1378 George de Aperdele his family owned property in Mickleham and Leatherhead
1381 Thomas de Great Ocle  
1387 Henry Derby June 17 1395 - John, Bishop of Glasgow comes to reconcile the church after 'pollution by bloodshed'
1401 Roger Long  
1402 John Rothewelle September
1402 John Herde  
1408 John Galeys  
1414* Thomas Clerk last vicar registered
1417* John Lowthorp exchanged out
1417-1420* Robert Whitmore exchanged in then back
1420* John Ashwell exchanged in
1425* William Gerey exchanged out
1425* John Brown exchanged in
  some records missing (loss of second part of Bishops Beaufort registers 1415-46)  
by 1446* John Myssendene died 1451
1451* John Burtley first vicar in next register
1468 Thomas Trott  
1471 Otho Michel  
1476 John Curteys  
1486 John Cothowe  
1489 John Westby  
1491 John May  
1506 Thomas Abel died 1506
1507 Thomas Clyfford  
1510 Robert Russell  
1541 Leeds Priory suppressed - Advowson passes to Dean & Chapter of Rochester Cathedral  
1557 William Walkeden Not licensed to preach: Elizabeth I's Government was so afraid of rebellion that only two priests in each deanery were licensed: he resigned 1561 - he had recently married without permission
1561 Simon Tysse replaced by the Bishop for 'lapse of presentation'
1571 John Vaughn In 1584 Vaughn was said to be a 'common resorter to alehouses' and given to 'typling and gusling'; one day he had to be 'led home' because of drinking too much
1590 Richard Levytt Well educated, he was the former Vicar of Twickenham.
In the early 1600s a Star Chamber case over the payment of tithes refers to his 'painful and diligent teaching over many years'.
Deprived in 1646 by the Cromwellian government, when he was aged over 90 - the area was strongly Royalist
1646 Thomas Mell Previously curate of the parish, a Dissenter and not in Holy Orders, but ordained in accordance with the Act of Uniformity 1662
1671 John Frank  
1679 Robert Hanbury  
1689 Robert Johnson Held the Living for 63 years; in 1707 he was adjudged poor enough to receive money from Quenn Anne's Bounty, a charity set up to assist poorer clergy
1752 Robert Laxton rebuilt the Vicarage: epitaph in Church
1767 Samuel Markham Virtually non-resident: no proof that he officiated more than once (1774) after 1771.
In the period 1771-97 there were 17 successive curates
One of these, Mr Durnford, was host to the 87 year old John Wesley on the night of 23rd February 1791. Wesley gave the last of his 42,400 sermons in a room in Kingston House. The following day Wesley returned to London: within the week he was dead.
1797 Richard Harvey  
1804 James Dallaway a noted historian and antiquarian, buried in the churchyard
1834 James Barker resident for only four months of his incumbency
1836 Benjamin Chapman Started first National Schools for the education of the poor.
Reredos to High Altar is in his memory
1871 Thomas Thompson Griffith Built a new vicarage and secured restoration of the church in 1873.
Precentor of Rochester Cathedral 1859-71
1876 Frank Ernest Utterton Further restoration in 1891.
Showed great social concern. Archdeacon of Surrey 1906, buried Leatherhead 1908.
Stained glass in east window of Chancel in his memory
SN Sedgwick, curate 1897-1905
1907 Edward Jackson Nash Precentor of Rochester Cathedral 1889-1907
1910 Thomas Frederick Hobson Headmaster of King's School, Rochester 1901-9, buried at Leatherhead
1926 Gerard Hartley Buchanan Coleridge  
1944 Frank Arundel Page  
1959 Kenneth Vernon James Ball  
1971 Alexander Dorner Morris Honorary Canon of Guildford Cathedral. Served in WWII at Bletchley Park and in Colombo. Preached in the Parish Church on the 50th anniversary of his priesting.
1989 David John Eaton Served as Rural Dean: appointed Incumbent of United Benefice of Leatherhead and Mickleham in 2001. First vicar able to appoint women clergy. Honorary Canon of Guildford Cathedral Oct 2002.
2009 Graham Daking Osborne Rector

History of the Parish Church (1998) p17-19
History of Leatherhead (1988, Leatherhead &
District Local History Society: editor Edwina Vardey)

* thanks to John Morris who writes (via Linda Heath, 2006): A list of your local vicars will often be found [as in the case of Leatherhead] on the wall of your parish church or in your local history book. It has almost certainly been prepared from the series of registers of the Bishops of your diocese.

A complete set of registers will record the appointment of everyone of your parish priests. It will sometimes record the reason why the position is vacant; the death, resignation or transfer of his predecessor. Unfortunately, some of the registers have been lost in the passing centuries. In the diocese of Winchester, that is Hampshire and Surrey (the old boundary including London as far as Southwark) the register from 1415 to 1451 is lost. Most parishes have a 36 year gap in their records but these gaps can be reduced.

In the Middle Ages many items were referred to Rome for approval. There might be a dispute referred to a papal court, if a priest were born illegitimate he needed permission to take a benefice, if a priest wished to hold two parishes he needed permission. Look for your parish in the indexes of the Calendars of Papal Letters and Petitions.

If a priest wished to exchange his parish with a priest in another diocese this will be recorded in both registers. Priests holding benefices in more than one diocese will also be mentioned in more than one register. Crockford's Directory gives a complete list of the bishops of all the English dioceses. It is easy to obtain a list of bishops for the period of the gap.

Many of these registers have been printed with useful indexes and are available in libraries of national importance. I live in Leatherhead and our local history society covers Ashtead, Fetcham and Bookham as well. What have I discovered? Firstly, the Papal Register records a dispute between the vicar of Leatherhead and the Priory of Leeds in Kent over his remuneration. This dispute was settled in 1446 and reduces the gap by five years or more. I have also found records of exchanges of parish which have added four previously unknown vicars to the list. These exchanges were recorded in the register of the Archbishop of Canterbury.