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Roxton Church

X396-192 Roxton church about 1900
Roxton church about 1900 [X396/192]
 

The oldest part of St.Mary Magdalene's church (unless the north wall of the nave is earlier) is the early 14th century south arcade, though, as the list of incumbents below demonstrates, a church was in existence prior to that date. The chancel, nave and south aisle are all 14th century and a south chapel was added in about 1330 but has since been pulled down and replaced by a modern vestry. The tower is 15th century in date; also of this date are the remains of the rood screen which were repainted in 1974.

 Roxton church again Mar 2007
Roxton church March 2007

Nonconformity was strong in Roxton, in part due, probably, to the influence of the Metcalfe family who owned the Roxton Estate. Charles James Metcalfe built a Congregational Chapel in Roxton in 1808 and enlarged it in 1825 in a wonderfully rustic style. This strength of nonconformity led to a neglect of the parish church which, by 1847, was described as being in "a miserable condition". Between 1848 and 1849 the church was restored by W.G.Habershon at a cost of £1,200; the roofs were repaired, the chancel arch rebuilt, the north porch removed and new pews installed in the body of the church. The church was once again re-seated, and re-floored, in 1887 and the tower, secured by iron bands in 1848, restored in 1890. The east window received stained glass in 1926 and the vestry and organ chamber were added in 1931-1932.

Most of the notes on the structural history of the church can be found in greater detail in Bedfordshire Historical Record Society Volume number 77 of 1998 Bedfordshire Churches in the Nineteenth Century: Part II: parishes H to R, put together by former County Archivist Chris Pickford from numerous sources some held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service and some held elsewhere or published.

 Roxton church Mar 2007
Roxton church March 2007

The benefice was united with Great Barford in 1736 and remains so today. Since 1999 the united benefice has also shared an incumbent with Little Barford, Tempsford and Blunham. 

List of Vicars

- William - 1215-1220 [capellanus];
- William de Newetun - 1235 [capellanus];
- William de Undel [capellanus];
- Giles de Watford - 1259 [capellanus; on death of William de Undel];
- Augustine de Hecham - 5 Apr 1275 [priest; on death of Giles de Watford];
- Robert Blanchfrunt - 19 Aug 1286 [capellanus; on ingress of Augustine de Hecham in orders of Friars Minors];
- John de Elington - 8 Jun 1307 [on death of Robert Blanchfrunt];
- John de Everton - 19 Aug 1316 [capellanus; on institution of John de Elyngton to Rectory of Aspeden [Aspenden [Hertfordshire]?];
- Roger de Graveleye - 7 Jan 1333 [priest; on death of John de Everton];
- Henry;
- Henry de Charwelton - 1 Sep 1349 [priest; on death of Henry];
- William Broket [deacon];
- Richard de Kempston - 20 Mar 1368 [priest; on resignation of William Broket, exchanged to Rectory of Sibesdon [Sibson or Sibstone [Leicestershire]?];
- Geoffrey de Bythern' - 19 Feb 1370 [priest; on resignation of Richard de Kempstone, exchanged to Rectory of Cranford St.Andrew [Northamptonshire]];
- John Hogges;
- William Smith - 5 Nov 1375 [priest; on exchange with John Hogges to Vicarage of Hitchin [Hertfordshire]];
- Ralph Hayward - 2 Sep 1388 [priest; on resignation of William Smyth, exchanged to Rectory of Woketon];
- John Couper - 15 Aug 1389 [priest; on resignation of Ralph Haywarde, exchanged to Vicarage of Great Gransden [Huntingdonshire]];
- John Gamelyn;
- John Bayton - 24 Jan 1400 [capellanus; on resignation of John Gamelyn, exchanged to Rectory of Estbitham];
- John And[rew? or Aud?] - 26 Nov 1403 [priest; on resignation of John Baynton, exchanged to Rectory of Blatherwycke [Northamptonshire]];
- Hugh Parke' - 21 Feb 1408 [capellanus; on resignation of John Aude, exchanged to Rectory of Gaxton [Caxton [Cambridgeshire]?];
- William Typper;
- William Edwarde - 15 Nov 1444 [priest; on resignation of William Typper];
- William Pope - 24 Oct 1445 [priest; on resignation of William Edward, exchanged to St.Leonard's Hospital, Bedford];
- Henry Rudyng - 25 Aug 1464 [priest; on resignation of William Pope];
- Richard Hyndeman LLB - 28 Dec 1470 [on resignation of Henry Rudyng, exchanged to Hospital of St.John the Baptist, Bedford];
- Thomas Trent - 26 Apr 1472 [on resignation of Richard Hyndman];
- Robert Halam DD - 18 Jul 1516 [on death of Thomas Trent];
- John Whalley - 9 Mar 1521 [capellanus; on death of Robert Halam];
- Edward Hunt - 28 Nov 1527 [clerk; on death of John Whalley];
- Gilbert Hatley - 30 Apr 1555 [clerk; will dated 9 May 1557, proved 15 Jun 1557];
- John Smithe - 25 Mar 1557 [1558];
- William Froste - 5 Apr 1560 [clerk; on resignation of John Smith];
- Robert Broke - 14 Jan 1561 [clerk; on death of last incumbent];
- Anthony Hopkins;
- John Haveringe - 10 Nov 1562 [clerk; on death of Anthony Hopkins];
- Joseph Wolstenholme MA - 17 MAr 1602 [on resignation of last incumbent; married Margaret Havering on 12 May 1603; buried 17 Nov 1641];
- Oliver Halfhead - 1641;
- (Daniel Smith - 1654?);
- John Mabbison - 1662 [clerk];
- George Ferne - 17 Aug 1663 [clerk; on cession of last Vicar];
- Heritage Badcocke - 17 May 1665 [clerk; on promotion of George Ferne];
- Richard Hale BA - 8 Jun 1669 [on cession of Heritage Badcocke; buried 17 Aug 1684];
- John Rewse BA - 31 Dec 1684 [on death of Richard Hale; married Grace Sampson at Barton on 14 Dec 1693; buried 18 Sep 1720];
- (Thomas Dresser AB - 30 Aug 1706 [deacon; acted as curate]);
- William Penson AB - 23 Feb 1720 [1721] [on death of John Rouse];
- John Key - 17 Jun 1728 [clerk; on cession of William Penson];

- union of Roxton with Great Barford - 1736;

- Newman Hughes - 1 Jun 1736 [clerk; vacant];
- Nathaniel Crutchley MA - 20 Mar 1740 [on death of Newman Hughes];
- William Morgan BD - 20 Apr 1744 [on death of Nathaniel Crutchley];
- William North MA - 26 Mar 1747 [on cession of William Morgan];
- Charles Mason - 23 Jun 1748 [clerk; on cession of William North];
- Marwood Place BD - 10 Jul 1761 [on resignation of Charles Mason DD];
- Richard Newbon BD - 19 Aug 1763 [on cession of Marwood Place];
- Thomas Sharp BD - 20 Jul 1764 [on cession of Richard Newbon];
- William Cumming MA - 27 Sep 1765 [on cession of Thomas Sharpe; married Anne, daughter of Rev.Barwell Collins, Vicar of Caddington];
- James Hassell MA - 26 Sep 1778 [on death of William Cumming];
- William Ward BA - 4 Oct 1780 [on cession of James Hassell];
- Roger Buston BA - 24 Feb 1789 [on death of William Ward];
- John Clarkson MA - 16 Aug 1817 [on death of Roger Buston];
- Thomas Peirson Richardson MA - 2 Jul 1847 [on death of John Clarkson; resigned 14 Jul 1874];
- Carleton Greene - 9 Jan 1875 [on resignation of last Vicar];
- William Frederick Pym - Jan 1914;
- Alexander John William Pym - Jul 1920;
- John Stuart Must - 1961;
- Frank William Warnes - 1968;
- Norman Jeffery - 1978;
- Geoffrey Norman Dobson - 1986;
- Lawrence Blanchard - 1993;
- Barbara Eveling - 1999