St Luke's Church List of Vicars

A list of vicars is inscribed on the wooden board on the south wall of St Luke's Church. The list here gives information in addition to that shown on the board. It was collated by the late Ray Lagden, Duston historian, with added provenance and a few observations by the St Luke’s Churchyard Research Group.

  • Walter de Alto by composition with Ralph, abbot of St James between 1158 and 1176, was permitted to hold the Church of Duston as long as he continued as a secular priest, on condition of paying 5d. yearly for services at the alter of St James abbey.
  • William de Northampton
  • Warine, chaplain, presented by the abbot and convent of St James, at the time of the ordination of the vicarage, 1227.
  • Warner, chaplain, July 1232.
  • Giles de Brunham, presented to the vicarage of Duston, with the chapel of the blessed Margaret annexed, 1259.
  • William de Ken, chaplain 1260
  • Richard de Welton, priest, 9th March, 1274-5.
  • Robert de Blockele, deacon, 8th July 1274. He resigned the following month, and obtained the vicarage of Bozeate.
  • Albred de Bondon, priest, 26th July 1274. He resigned for the vicarage of Spratton, another of the abbey benefices.
  • Walter de Desebur, priest, 9th February, 1278-9.
  • John Baret of Isham, chaplain, 31st January, 1310-1311.
  • William le Clerk
  • Geoffrey Capes of Gt. Preston, priest, 10th January, 1349-1350.
  • Robert le Gray of Bosgate, priest, 28th November, 1365.
  • William Assheby, priest, 8th June, 1380.
  • William Rode. (St Luke’s Church reached its present size.)
  • Edmund Cook, priest, 15th March, 1437. He resigned the following year for the vicarage of Rothersthorpe.
  • John Cristyan, priest, 16th March, 1438-9.
  • Richard Frankysh, priest, 19th December, 1444. He resigned in1449 for the vicarage of Bozeate.
  • (Duston was part of the Diocese of Lincoln originally.)
  • John Keppyng, priest, 7th October, 1449, by the Bishop of Lincoln.
  • Sir Robert Shipley, priest,by the abbot and convent of St James, 28th October, 1497.
  • Sir John Wyzate, priest, 9th June 1503.
  • Sir Thomas Copull, prior of Caldwell, 22nd March 1506.
  • Sir James Robert, 9th October, 1510. By will dated December 1532, Sir James”Roberd,” priest, bequeathed his body to be buried in the churchyard of our blessed lady in Duston ”nye unto the crosse,” to the abbot of St James 2s.; to every canon there, being a priest, 12d.; to every novice there 12d., and recites that Lord John Dossett, abbot of St James, owed him £10 5s 0d. and also 13s 4d. for a horse.
  • Sir Robert Parke, chaplain, 6th October, 1515. By his will dated 25th June, 1519, he desired his body to be buried before our lady in the body of the church within the abbey of St James’, and bequeathed to the lord abbot for his second mortuary, a cow, or else a gown; and a penny dole through the town of Duston on the day of his burial.
  • Sir Nicholas Taylor, 1st July, 1519, who occurs in the ecclesiastical survey of 1535 as “Nich. Tailo.”
  • Sir Thomas Atherbery, chaplain, by George Gifford, by grant from the abbot and convent of St James, 1539.
  • (The Giffords [or Giffards] obtained the abbey post dissolution)
  • Hugh Paladie, 1552, on whose deprivation.
  • Edmund Townshend was collated by the bishop of Peterborough by lapse and instituted 16th October, 1554. He was also the rector of Yardley Hastings.
  • (note change to Peterborough diocese.)
  • William Yens (or James), was instituted 10th March 1560-1, on the presentation of Thomas Hunt, and Alice his wife.
  • Antony Reynolds, buried here 15th November, 1616.
  • Edward Warren was instituted 20th November, 1616, on the presentation of the Rev. Robert Catelin (rector of Wootton). “He was buried here 16th January, 1617,” and
  • Edmund James was presented by Sir Ralph Rich (afterwards 2nd Earl of Warwick) and instituted 27th March, 1617, on whose decease
  • James Lewis, A.M., was instituted 8th November, 1642, on the presentation of Daniel Reading, gent.
  • ------- Coales, 1659, on whose cession,
  • Edward Pierce, A.M., was presented by Mary Reading, and instituted 3rd December, 1662. He was afterwards rector of Cottesbrook. On his resignation
  • John Russell, A.M., was presented by Mary Reading, of Northampton, widow, and instituted 21st October, 1663. The two succeeding incumbents also held the vicarage of Dallington:
  • John Woodford, A.M., of Brasenose College, Oxford, instituted 19th December, 1678, and buried here 9th June, 1706 and
  • Thomas Danser, A.B., of Queen’s College, Cambridge, instituted 11th October, 1706, on the presentation of Thomas Coke, Esq., (vice chamberlain of His Majesty’s household per estate map 1722,) and buried here 30th October, 1738. His successor
  • Thomas Grieve, A.B., was instituted 19th Manch, 1738-9, on the presentation of George Lewis Coke, Esq., and buried here 6th January, 1745-6,when
  • George Beet, A.B., was presented by the same patron, and instituted 20th June, 1746. He was also vicar of Naseby, but resided at Harpole, where he was curate for many years, and died 4th May, 1768. He was succeeded by
  • John Clarke, A.M., rector of Collingtree, who was presented by Sir Matthew Lamb and instituted 14th July, 1768. He resigned Collingtree in 1778, but held the vicarage of Weston Underwood, in Buckinghamshire, with this benefice, and was master of the free grammar school at Guilsborough, where he resided and died 1st March 1811, at the advanced age of 87 years. He published “Christ’s nativity, the good tidings of great joy to all people,” a sermon preached at Collingtree, 1762 .(during his time, work was carried out on the south side of St Luke’s.)
  • Joshua Greville, A.M., of Trinity college, Cambridge, was instituted 19th July, 1811, on the presentation of Peniston, Viscount Melbourne. (For whom the 1840 vicarage was built.)
  • Robert Henry Cox, B.A., 1851. (iron ore found on Church land, first restoration 1854.)
  • Peake Banton, 1863, by whom the stained glass in the west window was given
  • (founder member of Northampton Central Museum, major church restoration period).
  • Conrad Rbt. Barker, M.A., 1891.
  • William Cockin Richardson, M.A., 1897, afterwards Rector of Benefield, Northants (retired to Sunningdale, Berkshire, responsible for the new lychgate and for removing the exterior plaster from some church walls.)
  • F.B.A. Williams, M.A., 1907, afterwards Vicar of St Matthews, Leicester, and Rector of Wymondham, Leicestershire. (Died August, 1932).
  • William Dewhurst Pearson, M.A., 1913, who died at Duston Vicarage, December 1926.
  • A.E. Averay Jones, M.A., instituted 5th May, 1927, by Dr. Claude Blagden, Bishop of Peterborough.
  • L.A. Thompson L. Th. 1935
  • John H. Butcher 1943
  • James W. Royan L.Th. 1953 Bes L. F.S.A. Scot.
  • Eric Buchanan B.A. 1964. (major church work, removal of pews, stonework restoration, drainage improvements, churchyard restored).
  • Peter Garlick, A.K.C. 1979 (restoration continued).
  • Dr. Nigel Dent 1996
  • Neil Purvey-Tyrer 2002 - 2007
  • Alan Baines 2005


Ray Lagden gratefully acknowledged the help derived from the following books in the Local Room of the Northampton Public Library.

  1. Architectural Notes, 1890-1892. Edited by D. Reynolds and E. Bradbury.
  2. Baker: History of the County of Northampton.
  3. Whellan’s Northampton.
  4. North: The Church Bells of Northamptonshire.
  5. Bridges: History of Northampton.

See Also

Tour of St Luke's Church.

Survey of Memorials at St Luke's Church



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