Penistone Rectors and Vicars

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Rectors and Vicars
Window close-upMr John Ness Dransfield
(henceforth 'JND') published his great book, 'A History of the Parish of Penistone' in 1906. It can be found in Penistone Library (not for loan) and downloaded in various formats from From this and other sources in Penistone Library, we can form a short list of most of the old vicars/rectors, with much more detail in the table below. Don't be put off by the often wild variations in spelling, which was very variable in olden times.

Penistone Rectors
Up until the first vicar of Penistone Church was appointed in 1413, rectors had been local landowners.

Penistone Vicars
This list up to 1809 has also been incorporated into table below.

This list was in JN Dransfield's book, but please see the table below for much more detail and many of the missing names.
Please also take a look at the history of Penistone Church.

Advowson (or 'patronage') is the right in English law of a patron (avowee) to present to the diocesan bishop (or in some cases the ordinary if not the same person) a nominee for appointment to a vacant ecclesiastical benefice or church living, a process known as Presentation. In other words, only certain people (historically the land-owners) have the legal right to appoint the vicar. In English law, 'Quare Impedit' was a writ commencing a common law action for deciding a disputed right of presentation to a benefice (an advowson). It was typically brought by a patron against a bishop who refuses to appoint the patron's nominee as a priest. (Wiki is sufficient for this explanation).

The CofE Glossary explains that every parish has its patron, who may be an individual, a corporate body, the bishop, the archbishop or the Crown and this often comes down through history. Patronage is essentially the exercise by the patron of his right to present the new incumbent of a parish for appointment by the diocesan bishop. Although it can no longer be sold (as it once could) the right of patronage is treated from a legal standpoint much like property; it can, for example, be bequeathed.

1226 and Who Knows What
This data comes from 'Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: Volume 6, York', as scanned for 'British History Online'. This will probably be very informative to somebody, but not me. It looks like a knitting pattern for a poncho.

M. Godfrey of Ludham (fn. 47)
preb. unident., list 50

Abp.'s clerk by 17 June 1226 (Reg. Gray p. 9); rector of moiety of 'Pengston' (? Penistone, W.R.), pres. 26 Aug. 1228 (? 1229) (ibid. p. 26; cf. pp. 56, 57, of 2 Sept. 1232 and 15 Feb. 1233). First occ. as prec. 21 Sept. 1249 (Reg. Gray p. 261 n.) and perhaps earlier, 1244 × 49 (Cart. Guisborough II no. 704; cf. Reg. Gray p. 252 n., of 1245 × 49). Occ. as prec. and official Nov. 1252 or 1253 (Chart. Fountains I 423). Last occ. as prec. 20 Aug. 1253 (Cart. Treas. York no. 11). Dean by 21 June 1257 (list 2).'

1229 and All That
... and a fun story in the local folklore, about competing churches. Penistone had two rectors at this early time until the then Archbishop of York, Walter Grey, consolidated them into one. JND suggests that the possible rivalry between the two lends some weight to an old story about two competing sites for Penistone Church.

One story went that work done which was on one site during the day was 'spirited away' during the night, to another site which became the current Penistone Church, the alternative site being eventually abandoned. It has been supposed that the competitng site was on Snodden Hill. Also, a small and ancient chapel near Chapel Lane that was in ruins during the time of Rev Hough's ministry (1690 - 1771) might well have pre-dated the church. Its stone was plundered to repair the church walls and porch.

JND asserts that stone slabs forming benches in the porch are 13th century tombstones from the old chapel. One wonders if the current housing development near Chapel Lane might produce some ancient bones and artifacts.

The Rectors and Vicars
Stained glassThese sources are referenced in the table below in the 'Src' column.
No.2 might have errors, as it lists ministers for Denby Chapel of Ease before it was built. It also omits Henry Swift.

Special thanks to Rev David Hopkin (universally known as Father David) for explaining many ecclesiastic and historical matters.
Hopefully, the CCEd Glossary and the CofE Glossary will help with abbreviations in the 'Type' column.

Year Src Penistone Upper Denby Patron Type Office John N Dransfield's and Other Notes
  These were Rectors until Vicars started from 1413.  
c. 1190 1 William Hugh          
1229 1 Geoffrey de Ludlam       Rector Geffrey de Loudham in another document. He later became the Archbishop of York.
1230 1 John Fitz-simon
de Rupibus
        The 'Fitz' part of his name would have referred to some illegitimacy in his line.
1230 1 Hugh Frassel       Rector Likely to have been one of the two joint Rectors.
1282 1,3 Henry de Burton       Rector JND has the name as de Barton. Another source gives the date as 1281. He resigned.
1294 1 John Clarel          
1295 1 Boniface de Saluzzo          
1313 1,3 Richard de Walton       Rector  
1313 1,3 William de Neville       Rector  
1331 1,3 Richard de Rotherham       Rector  
1349 1,3 William de Stainton       Rector  
1358 The rectory was given to St Stephen's College, Westminster, this year.  
1363 1 William de Denby       Rector  
1375 1 William de Stainton       Rector  
1413 1 Richard Conningston       Rector  
1424 1 William Clatton       Rector  
  These were Vicars after this point  
1413 1,3 Thomas Bryan       Vicar Resigned.
1418 1,3 Robert Pullen       Vicar Robert Pullen or Pulleyn, Died as vicar.
1458 1,3 William Wordsworth       Vicar Appears to have been a friend of Pullen/Poleyn. According to 'A History of Penistone and District' by Prof. D Hey (first page of Chapter 5): 'In the reign of Queen Mary, Leonard Wordsworth was found guilty of ridiculing Catholic practises. In 1554 he received penance in Penistone Church: ... for that he did misuse hyme self in the ... pulpite, and also that he did misuse hym self otherwise in castinge water in the church after the priest casting holie water.' Later Wordsworths were fervent puritans.
1495 1,3 Robert Bishop       Vicar Resigned
1498 1,3,6 Ralph Amyas       Vicar Elewhere listed as Robert Amyas.
1517 Martin Luther (1483-1546) posts his 95 Theses on the door of Wittenburg Cathedral, in protest at the Catholic doctrine of indulgences. This is the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
1526 William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536) publishes a translation of the New Testament in English.
1534 Henry VIII becomes supreme head of the Church in England in November this year, breaking away from Catholicism.
,, ,, 1,2,3 Robert Watts     Vac (Death) Perpetual Vicar Died 22nd July 1542. Bequeathed 40s to buy hangings and ornaments for the high altar. Also gave a pair of Organs and a playing book for the Organ musician. Gave one of his best gowns to Sir William Addye and his daily gown to Sir George Bilcliff.
1536 William Tyndale burnt at the stake for heresy. His final words were: "Lord! Open the King of England's eyes."
Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Between 1536 and 1540, Henry VIII disbands monasteries, convents, priories and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland.
  Most of the following entries (Latinised names) were drawn from The Clergy Database.  
1545 1,2,3 Harbert, Johannes     Appt (Institution) Perpetual Vicar John Herbert, instituted 21st Oct 1545.
1550 1,2,3 Skires, Robertus     Appt (Institution) Perpetual Vicar Robert Skires (or Stires), instituted 4th March 1550. This date comes from two sources, while the Clergy Database has 1551.
1560 1,2,3 Croslande, Willimus   Ralph Bosvile Appt (Institution) Vicar William Crossland, instituted 12th August 1560. Died here.
1560 2 Skyers, Robertus     Vac (Death) Vicar Robert Skires repeated in Source 2. ‘Vacated by death’.
1564 2   Thorneye, Thomas   Libc Curate  
1564 2   Corney, Thomas   Libc Curate  
1570 2,3 Unknown,     Vac (natural death) Vicar  
1570 1,2,3 Bosvile, Thomas   Godfrey Bosvile
(Bosvile, Godfridus)
Appt (Institution) Vicar Thomas Bosvile, inst. 9th Sept 1570.
1570 1,2 Bossewell, Thomas     Libc Vicar Same person, another spelling. There are some Boswells buried in Castleton churchyard who might be connected. Died here.
1574 1,2,3 Sotwell, Johannes   Godfrey Bosvile Libc Vicar John Sotwell, instituted 2nd April 1574.
1574 2 Unknown,     Vac (natural death) Vicar  
1574 2 Bossevile, Thomas     Vac (natural death) Vicar  
1574 1,2,3 Sotwell, Johannes     Appt (Institution) Vicar  
1576 2   Ticklebye, Simon   Libc Curate  
1592 2   Wilson, Thomas   Libc Curate  
1592 2 Sotwell, John     Libc Vicar  
1597 2 Sotwell, Johannes     Appt (Resignation) Perpetual Vicar  
1597 1,2,
Goodwin, Georgius   Presented by Anthony Goodwin, clerk. Appt (Institution) Perpetual Vicar George Goodwin, instituted 5th August 1597. Died as vicar.
1597 2 Sotwell, Johannes     Vac (resignation) Perpetual Vicar  
1598 2 Dickson, Martinus     Appt (Collation) Vicar  
1598 2 Sotwell, Johannes     Vac (resignation) Vicar  
1602 2 Goodwin, Georgius     Vac (natural death) Vicar  
1602 1,2,
Oley, Franciscus   Presented by Godfrey Copley of Plumtree Appt (Institution) Vicar Francis Oley A.B., Instituted 23rd July 1602. Resigned. Source 1 has both 'Olney' and 'Oley'. He is 'Otley' in the 1619 entry.
1619 1,2,3 Rookes, Jona   Presented by John Savile Esq. Appt (Institution) Vicar Jonas Rook, A.M., inst. 16th April 1619.
1619 2 Otley, Franciscus     Vac (resignation) Vicar Appears to be the same F Otley.
1619 1,2,3 Rooke, Jonas     Subsc Vicar Jonas Rook, A.M..
1627 A 'Chapel of Easement' opened in Denby, dedicated to 'The Greater Glory of God, in honour of St John the Evangelist'.
See Heritage Inspired and notes below this table.
c. 1627 1,3   Charles Broxholme Godfrey Bosville (2nd)     A 'very zealous puritan minister'. See footnotes about Denby Chapel.
1633 1,2,3 Booth, Matheus     Appt (Institution) Vicar Matthew Booth, Instituted 3rd Sept. 1633.
1633 2 Rooks, Jona     Vac (natural death) Vicar Jonas Rook.
1633 2 Boothe, Matthew   Presented by George Burdett Esq. of Denby. Subsc Vicar Matthew Booth, Resigned the same year he was instituted.
1635 1,2,3 Twotell, Peter   Pres. by Edmund Ogden of Bullhouse, or George Burdett Esq. of Denby. Subsc Vicar Peter Toothill, Instituted 15th August 1635. There is an error here. Source 2 gives George Burdett Esq. as presenting.
1635 2 Booth, Matheus     Appt (Resignation) Vicar  
1635 2 Towtill, Petrus     Appt (Institution) Vicar Peter Tootil again.
1635 2 Booth, Matheus     Vac Vicar  
1642 1,2,3 Broadley, Timotheus   Presented by Sir William Savile of Thornhill Appt (Institution) Vicar Timothy Broadley AM, instituted 27th June 1642. Son of Rev Nicholas Broadley, Minister of Cawthorne, and buried there.
1642 2 Towtill, Petrus     Vac (natural death) Vicar Peter Tootil again. He died as vicar.
  'During the Commonwealth, there was an usurpation by non-episcopal ministers'
This related to the English Civil War. The record of vicars was often broken during this period, as one might expect.
1644 7 Unknown.
Possibly Peter Tootil.
      Vicar An un-named vicar (and schoolmaster) had been driven out of Penistone in the 'Day of Protestant Fury' near Easter. He was never to recover his health or wits again and died soon after.
1647 1,6 Dickenson, Christopher         From the diary of Captain Adam Eyre of Hazlehead, about Christopher Dickinson, it was said that... 'upon the removall of Sir Francis Wortley's garrison from Penistone and during the tymes of trouble, hee intrudeth himself into the Ministery at Penistone'. Other diary entries suggest that he was not well received.
1649 1 Didsbury, John         John Didsbury, Source 1 calls him. Not in the clergy database (2).
1649 1,3 Swift, Henry,
often spelt 'Swyft'

Omitted from the C of E clergy database website.
  'None but the people'   Vicar Henry Swyft around 1649 without being presented 'By any real or supposed Patron' but by the choice of the Parish. Swyft stayed on as Vicar after the Reformation in spite of continuing to be non-conformist. He was a friend of Oliver Heywood who also preached in Penistone. See notes below this table. Henry Swift, 1621-1689.
1657 8   John Crooke     Minister A native of Sheffield, John Crooke settled in Denby. He was a puritan and non-comformist in 1662. He retired to Wakefield then died in 1687. For some time there was no settled minister in Denby after Crooke. A second attempt was made to connect the chapel with Cawthorne, where Christopher Walbanke was minister.
1664 2,8   Walbank, Christopherus   Appt (Licensing) Curate As minister of Cawthorne, Christopher Walbanke secured a certificate recommending him to the people of Denby as an orthodox, godly minister, attentive to the canons and constitution of the church. It was signed by Sir Gervase Cutler, Thomas Barnsby Esq., Loy Kett, vicar of Silkstone, Henry Bubwith, Rector of the Mediety of High Hoyland, Henry Lewis, clerk, and others.
1665 8   Kent, Timotheus     Minister Timothy Kent became minister of Denby in 1665 and continued until his death in 1691. For his epitaph, see footnotes.
1666 2 Birds, Georgius     Appt (Licensing) Curate  
1670 1,2 Didsborough, Gerard     Subsc Curate  
  After the Restoration of King Charles II:  
1690 1,2,3 Hough, Edmund     Subsc Vicar Edmund Hough, instituted on the presentation of the King and Queen, William and Mary, in default. Died as vicar 26th Aug 1717, aged 54, while on a visit to Mr Wilson of Broomhead Hall. His wife Sarah survived him until 1748, at the age of 81.
1692 2   Batty, Gamalieh   Subsc Curate  
1699 2,8   Norris, William   Subsc Curate Elected 1698. Bryan Allot followed Norris, date unknown.
1717 A dispute arose about who had the right to present the next vicar of Penistone. An 'Inquest de jure patronatus' was held 5th March 1717 in Wakefield Church to settle the matter, before John Audley LL D. The fourteen people of the inquest were half of clerks and half of laymen. Three gentlemen each claimed patronage: Sir William Savile, Lionel Copley Esq. and William Bosville of Gunthwaite. The latter was declared 'the true and undoubted patron', with Edward Jackson the rightful vicar of Penistone.
1718 1,2,3 Jackson, Edvardus   Presented by William Godfrey Appt (Institution) Vicar Edward Jackson, instituted 14th March 1718. Ceded the living.
1718 2 Jackson, Edward     Subsc Vicar  
1722 2 Jackson, Edvardi     Vac (cession) Vicar  
1722 1,2,3 Cockshutt, Thomas   Presented by William Godfrey Appt (Institution) Vicar Thomas Cockashutt, instituted 13th June 1722. Also vacated by cession.
1727 2 Allet, Bryan     Appt (Licensing) Curate  
1728 2 Wood, Georgio     Appt (Licensing) Curate  
1731 2,8   Perkins, Jonathan   Appt (Admission) Curate Ref. 8. calls him Jonathan Parkin.
1739 2 Cockshutt, Thomas     Appt (Resignation) Vicar  
1740 2 Cockshutt, Thomas     Appt (Institution) Vicar  
1740 2 Cockshutt, Thomas     Subsc Vicar  
1740 2 Cockshutt, Thomas     Subsc Preacher  
1740 2 Cockshutt, Thomas     Appt (Licensing) Preacher  
1740 2 Cockshutt, Thomas     Vac (resignation) Vicar  
1746 2 Rowley, William     Appt (Licensing) Curate  
1747 2 Rowley, William     Appt (Licensing) Curate  
1748 2 Phipps, Samuel     Appt (Licensing) Curate  
1751 8   Phipps, Samuel     Minister Samuel Phipps, settled in Denby in 1751. Ref 8. refers to him as successor to Jonathan Parkin. John Brownhill followed on, date unknown.
1761 2 Cockshutt, Thomas     Vac (cession) Vicar  
1761 1,2,3 Phipps, Samuel   Presented by William Godfrey Appt (Institution) Vicar Samuel Phipps, instituted in Penistone Church, 1st June 1761.
1769 2 Horsfall, Joseph     Appt (Licensing) Curate  
1789 2 Tinklar, Thomas Dennison     Appt (Licensing) Curate  
1790 2 Whitelegg, Thomas     Appt (Licensing) Curate  
1798 2 Phipps, Samuel     Appt (Resignation) Vicar  
1798 1,2 Goodair, John     Appt (Institution) Vicar  
1798 2 Phipps, Samuel     Vac (resignation) Vicar Samuel Phipps Died this year.
1799 2 Goodair, John     Appt (Institution) Vicar  
1799 2 Goodair, John     Vac (cession) Vicar  
1804 2 Hayton, John     Appt (Licensing) Curate  
1809 1,3,7 Naylor, Martin         Martin Naylor of Wakefield, instituted 1809. See 1829 below. He lived in Wakefield but visited Penistone on St John the Baptist's day every year to preach and to 'make himself eligible for the Wordsworth charity'.
1812 2, 7 Howarth, John     Appt (Licensing) Curate Died 6th March 1824, aged 36. A memorial tablet to his name can be found over the south door of Penistone Church. He was noted for setting up Penistone's first Sunday School in the church and for stopping a bear-baiting in Thurlstone. (Ref 7)
1824 2 Hurst, John Day     Appt (Licensing) Curate  
1829 2 Sunderland, Samuel     Appt (Licensing) Curate Samuel Sunderland, According to a picture in the vestry, he was curate from 1830 to 1841, after which he became the vicar until 1855.
1829 ? (Rev Naylor continues)   Lord Macdonald   (Vicar) Genuki (1829): Vicar is Rev. Joseph Martin Naylor at this time and the Curate Rev. John Day Hurst. Not necessarily the year of institution. By 1834, Rev. Joseph Martin Naylor is still in the pulpit with Rev. Samuel Sunderland as Curate.
1834 2 Bronwin, Brice       Vicar Brice Bronwin was in office this year. Not necessarily the year of institution.
1837 1,2 King, Thomas   Hon. G Bosville lord of the manor and patron of the vicarage, as heir of the late Lord Macdonald.   Vicar Martin J Naylor, D. D. of Wakefield.
1841 1,2 Sunderland, Samuel       Vicar Rev Samuel Sunderland, Vicar 1841 to his accidental death in 1855. See 1829 and details of his memorial stone below.
1855 1,2,4 Turnbull, William Stephenson       Vicar (4) Rev Canon William Stephenson Turnbull. Inst 20th Oct 1855, to 1913. Churchwardens: Fred Crawshaw, Benjamin Goldthorpe and William Burks.
1913 1 Chetwynd, Hon Walter JB.       Co-adjudator Hon Walter JB Chytwynd, 1913 to 1915
1915 1,4 Whittingham, Richard Piers       Vicar (4) Piers Whittington, Vicar 1915 - 1923.
1923 1,4 Carleton, Edward Barrington       Vicar (4) Rev Canon EB Carlton, Vicar 1923 -1938. Churchwardens: Colonel Charles Hodgkinson, Edward L Ferral, William Vernon.
1938 1,4 Wright, Edward Denzil Chetwynd       Vicar (4) Rev EDC Wright, Vicar 1938 - 1942. Churchwardens: Charles Hinchcliffe, Joseph Y Carnelly, James Durrans.
1942 1,4 Buchanan, John       Vicar (4) Vestry photograph has the name Rev F Buchanan, Vicar 1942 - 1953. Churchwardens: George Porter, Frank Julian, Charles Hinchliffe.
1953 1,4 Place, Ralph Harrison       Vicar Rev RH Place, Vicar 1953 - 1956. Churchwardens: James A Wood, Ernest F Creswick, Frank Julian.
1955 othr Hobbs, HJ         Ordination Service in Penistone Church by the Bishop of Wakefield, to ordain: Rev HJ Hobbs (Penistone), Rev WD Lewis (Lightcliffe) and Deacon PG Hooper.
1956 1,4 Blackledge, Alexander Roden       Vicar Rev AR Blackledge, M.A. Churchwardens: Major Albert Clark, George Frederick Morior Porter, Ernist Jubb.
1965 1 Mattews, Roy Ian John       Vicar Rev Roy Matthews, dates not on photo. Churchwardens: Major Albert Clark, Arthur Bloodworth, John W Taylor
1973 1,5 Baxter, Richard David       Vicar Rev Canon David Baxter, Vicar 1973 - 1980. From Penistone, went on to become Canon Precentor at Carlisle Cathedral.
1974 4 Chetwynd, Edward       Curate Fr Edward Chetwynd, Curate 1974 - 1975.
1974 4 Mortimer, Philip       Curate Fr Philip Mortimer, Curate from 1974.
1975 4 Wilson, Nigel       Curate Fr Nigel Wilson, Curate 1875 - 1977.
1975 4 Pettit, Simon       Curate Fr Simon Pettit, Curate 1975 - 1978.
1978 4 Carlin, Bruce       Curate Fr Bruce Carlin, Curate 1978 - 1981.
1980 1,5 Norton, John Colin       Vicar Rev JC Norton. Was a monk from South Africa. Originally involved in the anti-apartheid struggle with Archbishop Huddleston and others, including Rev Desmond Tutu. Went back to Mirfield after three years.
1983 1 Turnbull, David Charles       Vicar Rev DC Turnbull, Vicar then became the first team Rector for six churches. Not related to the earlier Turnbull.
1986 A Team Ministry was formed of the parishes of Penistone and Thurlstone.  
1986 1,
Turnbull, David Charles       Team Rector Rev DC Turnbull. From Penistone, also went to Carlisle to become an Archdeacon. Not related to Canon Turnbull from the century before.
1986 1 Macpherson, Anthony Stuart       Team Vicar Anthony Stuart Macpherson.
?? 5 Midgley, George       Team Vicar Appears on an undated vestry photograph as Rector, Fr George Midgley, with Vicar Fr Wm Lamb, Reader Anne Parr, Reader Jean Daykin and Churchwardens, James McIntyre and Ann Jagger.
?? 9 David Baxter       Team Rector Went to Carlisle after Penistone. Fr David recollected that he the first Team rector, followed by John Norton and then David Turnbull.
?? 9 John Norton       Team Rector Went to Mirfield after Penistone.
?? 9 Fr George Michelin       Team Rector  
Current 4,5 Hopkin, David       Team Rector Rev David Hopkin. Churchwardens: Maureen Faxon, David Johnstone, Maggie Stubbs, Margaret Crossland, Sharon Unsworth.
,, 4 Parr, Anne       Curate Rev Anne Parr, listed in 'The Bridge' church magazine as Assistant Priest.
,, 5 Marchant, Neil       Curate Neil Marchant, ordained 25th June 2016, first service was at 3pm, Sunday 5th July 2015.
              The new Diocesan Bishop, The Rt Rev'd Dr Pete Wilcox, Bishop of Sheffield, visited Penistone Church on Saturday 24th March 2018

Vestry Photographs
These give information on the vicars and churchwardens of the most recent years but some of the later dates are missing. A large photo from 1978 shows the Church Choir with: Vicar Fr David Baxter, Readers Alan M Jones, Alec Dixon and John W Taylor, Curate Fr Bruce Carlin and the Organist Martin Beaumont. A photograph labelled 'Mission 1995, has: Rector Fr George Midgeley, Vicar Fr Harold Jones, Canon Retired Fr Desmond Proberts, Missionary Priest Fr Steven Cotterill, with Readers Anne Parr and Jean Daykin. The writing on some other photos was difficult to read.

1627 Denby Chapel
Denby was a Danish settlement dating back to the 9th century, mentioned in the Domesday Book. It was originally part of the Parish of Penistone whose church was built around 1200. There was no other place of worship in that vast moorland parish embracing Denby and villagers had to walk or travel in carts to Penistone.

Denby ChurchThe journey by parishioners from Denby to Penistone Church had often been perilous in winter, when travel was on cart tracks or muddy paths over rough ground. This is a time long before good roads were laid down. In 1626, thirteen parishioners had drowned while trying to cross the waters of Scout Dike. This led the Denby parish to apply for a licence from Tobias Matthew, Archbishop of York, to build their own chapel. The licence was granted in December 1627 and allowed Religious Ordinances 'Without prejudice to the vicars of the Parish of Penistone', but not Holy Communion, as the busy Archbishop had been unable to comply with the request for consecration.

From JND (Ref 1, p 33, above):
'Wide as was the Parish of Penistone, no place of public worship had arisen within it, except the Parish Church, before 1627. In that year the inhabitants of Denby and Gunthwaite united in the erection of a chapel, which was placed near to the principal seat of population, and application was made to Archbishop Toby Matthew to consecrate it, and grant his licence that divine service be performed in it.'

The 'Chapel of Ease' in Denby was opened and dedicated to 'The Greater Glory of God in honour of St John the Evangelist'. It had strong links with the Grammar School, whose staff conducted limited services there from time to time. It is interesting that: 'The principal encourager of the work was the second Godfrey Bosville ... ' (of Gunthwaite), as an earlier Godfrey Bosville had been responsible for blocking a path which was used by parishioners to travel between Denby and Penistone (p. 32, Ref 1).

The Path Dispute
The first G Bosville had been involved in diverse suits with his neighbours, at a time when the country was part-enclosed and boundaries and footpaths were often disputed. A bill was exhibited in the Court of the Lord President of the North, by William Turton, John Claiton and Edward Woodcock of Denby, complaining that they had enjoyed a foot way from Denby to Penistone (to attend Penistone Church) but that, 'On the 23rd of October last 'one Godfrey Bosville, of Gunthwait, gentilman, of his extorte might and power,' stopped the said path, and also one leading to Thurlstone. As allegedly poor men, the petitioners prayed redress from 'A man of great maistershipp and friendshipe.'

The second Godfrey Bosville perhaps sought to mend any distress caused by his family. In 1627, he placed in Denby Mr Charles Broxholme, a very zealous puritan minister. Hunter's (Ref 8, page 352) included text from 'De Spiritualibus' by a Mr Bagshaw. Part of it reads: 'He was a gentleman born, and so as one reckons of the lesser (and lower) nobility. His brother was a parliament man, in and for some place in Lincolnshire. Providence brought him into the ministry; and, in the exercise of it, unto Balpar in derbyshire, Gunthwaite in Yorkshire, and Denton in Lancashire, and so to Buxton, noted for its bath, but never so honoured as when he and some of his excellent successors were as preachers and pastors here' (... and so on). They liked him.

Broxholme's brother John had been MP for the City of Lincoln in the 'Long Parliament'. The reference to him being 'a Parliament man' was relevant, following the turmoil of the Civil War.

Ministers in Denby
Broxholme's successor was Daniel Clarke, who married a daughter of George Burdet, Esq. and became minister at Kirkheaton. A Mr Miller and others officiated in Denby from time to time until 1657, when John Crooke of Sheffield settled in Denby. He was a puritan and non-conformist in 1662. He retired to Wakefield then died there in 1687. For some time after he left Denby, there had been no settled minister.

A second attempt was made to connect the chapel with Cawthorne, where Christopher Walbanke was minister. As minister of Cawthorne, Christopher Walbanke secured a certificate recommending him to the people of Denby in 1664 as an orthodox, godly minister, attentive to the canons and constitution of the church. It was signed by Sir Gervase Cutler, Thomas Barnsby Esq., Loy Kett, vicar of Silkstone, Henry Bubwith, Rector of the Mediety of High Hoyland, Henry Lewis, clerk, and others. Timothy Kent became minister of Denby in 1665 and continued until his death in 1691.

Kent's epitaph (Ref. 8.) in the old Chapel, not quite as displayed here. The original text was centred:
Christum olim venturum hic praestolatur TIMOTHEUS KENT, Artinum Magister, et hujus ecclesiae nuper Minister.
Pastor probus, fidelis (si quis alius) vigilantissimus: concionator assiduus, utilis, facundus, argumentorum tamen acumine et pondere quam verborum lenocinio et jactantia, potentior. Vir bonus et elogio melior: atque non potest marmor, propriae virtutes et amicorum desideria loquentur.
obiit Aug. 21, anno Dom. 1691

Other successors (Ref. 8.) were: Gamaliel Battie, William Norris, elected in 1698, Bryan Allot, Jonathan Parkin (spelt 'Perkins' in another source), Samuel Phipps, who settled in Denby in 1751 (also listed as a vicar of Penistone Church) and John Brownhill.

The old Chapel building from 1627 gradually fell into disrepair and all but the tower was pulled down in 1844. A new, larger church was constructed in 1845.

Rev William Wordsworth
As he lay dying on 12th January 1495, Father William Wordsworth asked for a 'Bulder Bridge' to be built, for which he gave 'twelve silver pieces'. He had been the Penistone vicar for forty years. Boulder Bridge was built over the River Don at Spring Vale. It is likely that the bridge (now listed) was rebuilt in the eighteenth century. (See the 'Penistone Guide' booklet, which is published locally from time to time).

Rev William Stephenson Turnbull
According to JND's book, after the protestant Reformation of 1862, Rev Turnbull revealed his latent leanings towards being highly ritualistic. This upset the parish for many years. Mr Dransfield is vehement in his book about what he regarded as romanising interlopers enjoying the pay of the Protestant Church.

To Rev Samuel Sunderland
A memorial plaque to this vicar is affixed above the vestry door in Penistone Church (in capitals throughout). The nature of his accidental death is not explained. The words are:
'To the memory of the Reverend Samuel Sunderland B.A. Vicar of this Parish. Who was accidentally killed on the 18th day of July 1855, aged 48 years. This tablet is erected to his memory by his attached and sorrowing parishioners, as a testimony of their deep regret for his loss. His whole ministerial life of nearly 26 years was spent amongst them, and both as a Pastor and a friend. By his devoted labours and earnest affectionate spirit, he endeared himself to them, and proved himself a faithful servant of his Lord and Master, by whose unexpected call he was summoned so suddenly to his rest.
'The Memory of the Jest is Blessed'

'Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh'.

Henry Swift - A Particular Dissenter
Side chapelAround 1649, Puritan vicar Mr Henry Swift (or 'Swyft') came to Penistone looking for a living in the Church of England. Swift had been a friend of Oliver Heywood, who had often preached in Penistone. Ours was a non-conformist area and the local populace took a liking to Swift. He was remarked in Torre’s Collections as having ‘Come in by the usurped powers and consent of the parish’, what we might call 'a man of the people'. He had also been a graduate of Cambridge University.

Sir Thomas Wentworth was the first Tory magistrate in the district following the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660 and was uneasy about Penistone's non-conformist ways. Along with many others of the time (and particularly in our area), Swift would not follow the prescribed form of service. He would not wear the surplice or follow the mandatory Book of Common Prayer.

The 19th Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church (The 'Council of Trent', from 1645) was held to reform and clarify doctrine. It repudiated Protestantism and led to the issuing of a Catechism in 1566, which described the faith and morals of the Catholic church in a simple form. Swift refused to teach children the catechism. He was ejected from Penistone Church on St Bartholomew's Day 1662 and soon imprisoned for three months in York Castle. Sir Thomas imprisoned him three times in as many years. Many of the ejected ministers found refuge at Bullhouse Hall.

With the support and protection of local dignitaries, Swift preached to many large congregations and was evidently well-loved in the area. One of JND's newspaper cuttings (a letter from Rev. Edmund Hough to Ralph Thoresby, 16th March 1696-7) describes it thus:
'After his liberation he returned to his charge, which, by some unadvertance of the persecuting party, he held until his death, 1689, having been minister 40 years.' He died in bed on 31st October 1689. Also: 'During his imprisonment, the Rev. P. Naylor, ejected from Houghton, Lancashire, afterwards at Wakefield, preached frequently for him.'

His grave was near the East window of Penistone Church until its stone was removed for some work in the graveyard and was propped up in an unsafe position by the door. An anecdote is that it became broken into several parts in 1981, possibly by the inept use of machinery. After several visits, I have not been able to locate it. From Rev Hough's letter, we can learn of the inscription:
'Here was interred the body of Mr Henry Swift, Nov. 2, 1689, aged 66 years, and having been minister of Penistone 40 years.'

A new Act of Conformity (19th May 1662) came into force prescribing the form of public prayers, administration of sacraments and other rites of the Established Church of England, following the rites and ceremonies in a new 'Book of Common Prayer', which most people would not had seen. That same year, more than 2,000 clergymen refused to take the oath and were ejected from the Church of England in the 'Great Ejection'. JND says about 3,000 were ejected. This established the concept of 'non-conformity' affecting a large proportion of English society for the next century and a half.

From the new King William III (of Orange, 1650 - 1702), the 'Act of Toleration 1688' (1 Will & Mary c 18) received royal assent on 24th May 1689. This was the same year that Henry Swyft died and it granted some degree of freedom to non-conformists after a long time of suppression. Nonconformists could then have their own places of worship and their own teachers as long as they accepted certain oaths of allegiance. Dissenters continued to be excluded from political office and universities.

Bullhouse Chapel
About the time of Rev Henry Swyft, it bacame unclear who had a legitimate right of presentation for the vicar of Penistone. The default position would be for the king and queen to present the next incumbent and Rev Edmund Haigh was installed in May 1690, following Swyft's death of 1689. This lapse in the right of presentation was resolved in 1717, by inquest, in favour of William Godfrey of Gunthwaite. The local historian John Ness Dransfield held the opinion that Wm Godfrey did not have the best claim in this matter.

Elkanah Rich built Bull House in 1655, which we now knoe as Bullhouse Hall. He had a pew in Penistone Church until Swyft died. Most churches in those days had box pews for the more elevated citizens to use, with a name-plate on each box. They were treated as personal property that could be passed on in a will. With the mid-19th century church reforms, box pews were generally replaced by bench pews for anyone to use.  Not liking the style of Swyt's successor, Rev Edmund Hough, Elkanah had a new chapel built near to the house. This would continue the popular, non-conformist worship and many of the ejected ministers found a place of refuge there.

The Act of Toleration was passed in Parliament in 1689, giving non-conformists the freedom to worship when and where they liked, under licence and provided that they pledged to the oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy but rejected transubstantiation (where the bread is the body of Christ). This new Act applied to Church of England dissenters but was designed to exclude the Roman Catholics. Bullhouse chapel was licenced as a place of worship on 18th April 1692.

The first Vicar, in 1692, was Rev Daniel Denton. He proved popular and attracted a good congregation of perhaps 200. He died in 1721 and was buried in the chapel yard. William Halliday is in JND's cuttings as being minister in 1740 and domestic chaplain to Hans Busk of Bull House. Rev Benjamin Shaw was a minister of Bullhouse Chapel from 1748. He died 28th September 1771. His successor is not known but the names of Reyner and Lewis occur in Chapel records without dates. Thomas Halliday from Keighley (educated in Daventry) was minister from 1772 until 1793. He failed as a businessman in connection with an Iron Works (likely to be Hepworth) in 1810, after which he became a preacher in Diss, Norfolk.

Halliday's successor might have been Rev Reyner from Northowram. Formerly a Sheffield merchant, John Hewett was a Bullhouse preacher 'in the Methodist New Connexion' (dates unknown), then a preacher in Penistone, ultimately to become a Unitarian. He relinquished the ministry and resumed business. Bullhouse went into decline after this time, with just a Sunday service. A schoolmaster of the name of Morton had granted £10 per annum to the Chapel on condition that the minister or schoolmaster should be a Wesleyan. Bullhouse was in Wesleyan hands for half a century.

An interesting article in the Barnsley Chronicle had some notes about Bullhouse Chapel from an unspecified Penistone Almanack (11th Nov 2016 - by Carolyn Thorpe). It explained that the interior had been wainscoted in oak, square panelled from local trees and that the high-backed pews were peculier to the period. It also referred to careful restoration work over the years of its wooden features and the 'quaint oak pulpit'. The article goes on to say that the hall and chapel were rescued from decay owing to the Hinchliff family. When the raised platforms had been removed for renovation in 1905, ten gravestones were discovered below, belonging to the Rich family with dates from 1700 to 1709. See also the Bullhouse Chapel page (link below).

The Book of Martyrs
Regarding the non-conformists, Penistone Church is supposed to have a 'Book of Martyrs' to be kept in perpetuity. On page 15 of JN Dransfield's 'History of the Parish of Penistone' (link below), you can discover that, as at Bradfield and Stannington, a copy of the Book of Martyrs was kept in this church. It was given by the same hand which presented the copy to Bradfield, John Shaw, the ejected vicar of Rotherham, as appears by this inscription:

"This second volume of the Book of Martyrs was given by John Shaw, of Rotherham, clerke. May 19, 1666, unto the parish church of Peniston, there to be constantly kept, to be read by any of the inhabitants of that parish, or others that desire there to read therein. And the good Lord give a gracious blessing to all the readers and hearers of it there read. So heartily prays the donour hereof, John Shaw."

The actual text of the book may be found on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL). For further reading on the Book of Martyrs, please see John Foxe at Wikipedia.

Rev WS Turnbull
This article relates to the long service to the Penistone Parish by Rev WS Turnbull, Born 28/4/1827, Died 9/8/1913, aged 86 years. He was in his 59th year of marriage. The following appeared in the 1914 Penistone Almanack, 'Reprinted from Church Times, August 22nd' (from 1913)

Canon WS Turnbull MAWilliam Stephenson Turnbull, Vicar of Penistone.
On August 9th, 1913, there passed away William Stephenson Turnbull, Senior Canon of Wakefield, and for fifty-eight years Vicar of Penistone. He was born April 28th, 1827, son of Dr. Turnbull, a well known Huddersfield physician. After spending some time at Huddersfield College, and reading privately with a tutor, he entered Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he graduated Junior Opt. in 1850. He was ordained in 1852 to the curacy of Carlton-in-Lindrick, then in the diocese of Lincoln. Less than three years later he was presented by Mr. Bosville, of Gunthwaite, to the parish of Penistone, in the diocese of Ripen (subsequently in the diocese of Wakefield), and to the adjoining chapelry of Midhope, in the diocese of York. Here for fifty eight years he remained, refusing many offers of preferment.

The parish of Penistone is in area one of the largest in the country, comprising many hamlets in its thirty square miles. Canon Turnbull used to say that the only priest he knew with a larger charge was Gray of Helmsley. During the fifty-eight years, four additional Mission Rooms were opened and two churches were built. At Thurlstone, where for many years a Mission Room had been in use, a church was built in 1905 through the munificence of the Misses Bray, of Horbury, and a separate parish was created. A Chapel-of-ease was built in 1856 at Carlecotes, by Mr. E. Chaprnan. Much later, a School and Mission were given to Langsett by Sir Lionel Pilkington. A room was set apart for Celebrations at a farmhouse at Snowden Hill; and services were held in the Council School at Oxspring.

Perhaps the outstanding work was the restoration of the parish church of St. John Baptist. Fresh from the traditions left at Cambridge by Benjamin Webb and John Mason Neale, William Turnbull, himself a churchman of the school of Keble, sought to improve the old pre-Tractarian interior of the church. This was done in 1862. He further took an active part in all matters of public interest in the town. He built five schools. For years he was Chairman of the District Board and a magistrate. After his jubilee in 1906, increasing years began to tell a tale. Priests to help in the parish were not forthcoming, less through any fault of the Vicar's than through the unsystematic methods of the English Church. An old man of 80 years could not work single-handed what is an impossible parish.

In 1909 the churchwardens sought to precipitate a crisis by presenting the Vicar on the technical grounds of inefficiency and neglect. A Commission sat under the Act of 1838 and decided that there was no neglect and the inefficiency was due to lack of assistant priests. Subsequently, the necessary clergy were found in the Rev. J.S.B. Brough (now of the S.P.G.) and the Rev. E.J. Martin; and the aged vicar was able to spend his last years in peace.

He was buried in the churchyard of Penistone, on August 14th (1913), the officiating clergy being Rev. Canon Walsharn How (Vicar of Meltham), the Rev. Canon W. Romaine Hervey (Rector of Barnsley and Rural Dean), and the Ven. W. Donne (Archdeacon of Huddersfield).

William Turnbull was one of a school now disappearing, kindly, courteous, and generous. He had outlived his generation, and much of the modern democratic spirit of the Church was strange to him. He never understood it. In his day he had been a figure in the Church; one of those who sought to bring the atmosphere and ideals of the Church- revival into the rough hill-sides of the Pennines. On his soul may God have mercy.

In Conversation with Fr David Hopkin
This took place between myself and Fr David in June 2015 and it touched upon the Team Rectors, the church structure and some history. Partway through perhaps half an hour of talking, I remembered to start a sound recording, with Fr David's permission. Some points of interest in the recording:

The incumbent is legally responsible for the fixtures and fittings of the church and the buildings, shared with the Church Council. What was once called the Freehold, which gave the incumbent a sort of ownership, became 'Common Tenure', as a shared agreement between the incumbent and the Bishop. This fits better with the law of the land and employment rights. These days, the Bishop has more rights over the incumbent but they would normally work together in a common agreement. Incumbents who were in place as Team Rector from before around 1992 could continue in the older freehold arrangement, untouched leagally, until they reached 70 years old. They would effectively have full control.

Historically Denby Dale came under Penistone but some of the old traditions have continued even though the parishes have changed over time. The incumbent of Penistone (currently Fr David Hopkin) continues as 'patron' of Denby Dale.

From Fr David's memory, the Team Rectors of Penistone Team which started in 1986 were:

A few links related to this page.

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