Prebendaries & Vicars of Bitton

For much of its history, Bitton was a prebendal church. The Prebendary was responsible for the church and received its income. The prebend was founded within the Cathedral Church of St Mary at Salisbury where there was a specified seat. The Prebendary was also the Rector of the parish and appointed, in his place, a vicar who was resident. It is not known exactly when the prebend was founded, but it was in existence in 1291 during the valuation of Pope Nicholas when it is noted as Rector Ecclesiae de Button. The house, now known as The Grange, was originally the Rectory or Prebendal House. Some of those who held the position of Prebendary were distinguished men, and while they probably visited Bitton regularly to hold court and for other administrative reasons, many would have been more conspicuous by their absence. The prebend was abolished under the Ecclesiastical Commission Act 1836 although this took some years to implement.

Prebendaries or Rectors of Bitton

    Appointed Reason for departure
1. William de Sardenc 1303 Died
2. Richard de Wynton 3 December 1303 Died
3. John de Winchelsey 11 Dec 1304 Resigned
4. Robert Ayleston 15 February 1321
5. John de Wynkelie 2 August 1347 Resigned
6. John Godwyke  26 Jan 1394 Resigned
7. Robert Hallum
8. Galfrid, Crucadan literis Apostel 22 November 1407
9. Roger Harewell 20 September 1420 Resigned
10. Thomas Bubwith 12 July 1428 Resigned
11. William Vance 24 October 1447
12. John Doget Resigned
13. Ralph Heathcot 8 February 1485
14. David Hopton Died
15. Ralph Langton 23 January 1491 Died
16. John Gunthorp 4 October 1492 Died
17. Thomas Holes 26 July 1498 Died
18. George Woolfitt 11 July 1531 Died
19. Robert Ryve 6 July 1534 Died
20. John Sprinte MA 10 September 1573 Resigned
21. Meredith Morgan MA 10 February 1577 Died
22. Henry Cotton 4 December 1612 Resigned
23. Thomas Leech 23 March 1614 Died
24. Anthony Hawles DD  26 July 1616 Died
25. Thomas Hill 23 January 1663  Died
26. Richard Watson  15 December 1671 Died
27. Benjamin Johnson 19 January 1684 Died
28. Edmund Jeffrey Resigned
29. Richard Eyre MA 19 February 1691
30. Ralph Freeman DD 11 February 1745
31. Matthew Spry MA 9 November 1772 Died
32. William Coxe MA 26 July 1792 Resigned
33. Thomas Henry Hume MA 2 May 1799 Resigned
34. William Lewis Rham MA 3 December 1806 Resigned
35. William MacDonald MA 29 September 1807 Died 24 June 1862


Registers of the Bishop of Worcester for the prebendal Vicars of Bitton
The date of foundation of St Mary’s is unknown but it was certainly a church well before the Norman Conquest of 1066. The identity of its priests is however unknown before the thirteenth century and the establishment of the prebend.
Although the prebend was established in the Cathedral Church of Salisbury, Bitton was within the Diocese of Worcester from its foundation in 679AD until the Reformation.

Year of appointment   Patron (prebend) Reason for departure
1270 Galfridus de Compton, Capellanus Adenulf,  Rector Resigned
1295 Eustachius de Button Rie de Sotwell
1319 Hugo de Cyeestre, Diaconus John de Wynchelsy Resigned
Roger Hermer Resigned
1328 Thomas de Bruyton Areeston  
1338 Reginaldus de Pyryton Romesbury, Preb
Richardus Franceys Died
1348 Johannes de Alta Ripa, Prebiter Walter Waleys
Johannes Hauterine   {Exchanged for }
Richardus Acard          {Shrivenham     }
Philip Died
1360 Johannes Cok, Presbiter Walter Waleys
1362 Johannes de Burgo, Capellanus Henry le Despencer Prebendi de Button
Thomas de la Barton Segrave}     Exchange       {
1371 Thomas Franceys                     }                         {
Nicholas Danyel       } Exchange   {
1377 John Brandenynggt }                  { Godewyke
1382 William Shawe, Capellanus Godewyke Exchanged
1385 Nicholas Peverell Godewyke Resigned
1385 John Gowk, Priest Godewyke Resigned
1387 Thomas Erne Godewyke
1392 William Ingelby, Priest Godewyke Exchanged
1400 Walter Eymer, Vicar of Burford Linc Hallum Exchanged
1404 Walter Haclyng, alias Wyot,                      Rector of St Michael, Bath Hallum Died
1404 Thomas Staunton, Priest Hallum Exchanged
Galfudus Roger Crucadam Herchell
1421 Johannes Taylor, Rector of Notgrove Harewell Exchanged
1444 Phillippus King, Rector of Tarent Bubwyth Resigned
1453 Humfridus Clerk, Capellanus Vance Died
1481 Johannes taylor, Capellanus Doget
Edwardus Owey Resigned
1524 Jacobus Powet, Capellan Halls
1529-37 Richardus Bond, Vicar Resigned

Diocese of Gloucester – founded 1541

Date of appointment   Patron (prebend) Reason for departure
12 October 1554 William Beckwyth, Clerk R Ryve Resigned
8 April 1555 William Moseleye R Ryve Died
11 June 1564 Thomas Mynthorne           Buried at Bitton 1582 Hugh Powell Died
9 November 1573 William Sprinte, Clerk John Sprinte
6 September 1582 Lewis Evans, BA M Morgan Died
23 March 1617 John Burnley, BA               Buried at Bitton 1627 And. Atwood Died
23 June 1627 John Carpenter, MA         Buried at Bitton 1662 F Leech Died
8 November 1662 Henry Hoskins, MA Anthony  Hawles Died
23 February 1684 Richard Towgood MA B Johnson Resigned
11 November 1691 Edward Parker BA             Buried at Bitton John Seymour, the elder Died
3 August 1714 John Stockwell, MA           Trinity College Oxford Richard Eyre Resigned
25 December 1715 John Eade BA Richard Eyre Died
7 March 1719 Robert Eyre MA Richard Eyre Resigned
20 June 1724 Richard Barry Jr MA         Buried at Bitton Richard Eyre Died
20 March 1766 Charles Elwes MA Ralph Freeman Died
20 April 1796 William Coxe MA Himself Resigned
13 July 1798 John Adey Curtis MA         Buried at Bitton William Coxe Died
14 July 1812 William Batchelor MA William MacDonald Died
4 March 1817 William MacDonald MA Himself Resigned
10 July 1823 Maurice Hiller Goodman MA William MacDonald Resigned
5 November 1835 Henry Thomas Ellacombe MA Buried at Bitton 1885 William MacDonald Ceded
3 April 1850 Henry Nicholson Ellacombe MA Buried at Bitton 1916 William MacDonald Died

Diocese of Bristol, founded 1896

Year of appointment    
1916 Frank Henning William Taylor MA
1940 Lendon Bell
1949 Albert Jenkins BA
1966 Henry Edward Baker
1970 Harold George Wood
1974 David Holloway
1978 Louis Ward
1980 Canon John Porch  Benefice of Bitton, Warmley and Syston
1987 Canon George Mitchell
2002 Canon Paul Denyer
2014 Jeremy Andrew


Robert Hallum, Bishop of Salisbury
The prebendal seat in Salisbury Cathedral