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Rectors of Hethersett

Below is a list of rectors of Hethersett from 1260 to the present day. See also the history of the parish church by clicking here.


1260 - Ralf de Somerton 1454 - John Dyconson 1702 - John Amyas
1300 - Robert de Dryby 1484 - Robert Smethurst 1704 - John Murrant
1327 - Gilbert de Scrobby 1507 - John Philip 1736 - John Berney
1334 -  Hugo de Bernak 1515 - John Wayn 1782 - Bartholomew Edwards
1341 - Roger Faber 1532 - Thomas Smyth 1820 - Jeremy Day
1346 - Robert Bishop 1541 - John Barrett 1855 - William Collett
1349 - William Bassett 1542 - Christopher Wilson 1903 - John Still
1350 - William de Ketteringham 1554 - Edward Jackson 1914 - Frederic Jarvis
1384 - Lambert de Frampton 1573 - Miles Hunne 1931 - J. M. La F McAnally
1385 - John Christmass 1596 - Joshua Hutton 1943 - S. J. Titterton
1387 - John Serjeant 1609 - Thomas Hunne 1948 - H. L. H. Townshend
1393 - Thomas Saunders 1617 - William Warren 1950 - R. G. Heawood
1398 - Robert Bosage 1639 - Edward Mitchell 1959 - D. J. Turner
1408 - Roger Wright 1647 - Philip Tennyson 1966 - L. R. Kingsbury
1429 - John Atte Dam 1660 - Thomas Jermy 1972 - Michael Sexton
1433 - Thomas Ryby 1670 - Thomas Church 1987 - Brian Llewelyn
1452 - Roger Brode 1673 - William Lock 1995 - Diane Lammas
2013-  Derek McClean

The following information about Hethersett Rectors is taken from the Hethersett Parish Magazine. Most of the details below come from the writings of the Rev Frederic Jarvis who was Rector from 1914 until 1931. Here we reproduce what Rev Jarvis had to say about various Rectors. It should be noted that Rev Jarvis does not include every rector and sometimes his dates are at odds with the dates above which were taken from the board inside St Remigius. It should also be noted that often Rev Jarvis uses different spellings. We have stayed with the spellings used both on the official noticeboard in the church and in Rev Jarvis' writings.

RECTORS of HETHERSETT - Parish Magazine November 1920

It may surprise some readers to know that at one time there were two Rectors of this Parish, although there was only one church. The Income of the Benefice appears to have been equally divided between two incumbents. One was called Rector of Tateshale's Mediety after Sir Robert de Tatashale who was the Patron. This was afterwards known as Cantelofe, from which we probably derive the name Cantley, the church being called at that time the Church of Cantelofe. The other was called Rector of Fitz-Ralfe's Modeity, after Sir  Ralf Fitz-Ralf, the Patron. The Rector of Tateshal's Mediety appears to have inhabited the Rectory and had a hundred acres of land which was valued at fifteen marks and a half.

It is proposed as space permits in the Magazine to give a list of these Rectors of the Parish, stating whatever information it has been possible to gather concerning them. The earliest record at present discovered is in the year 1260, and from 1260 to 1433 the living was held sometimes by one and sometimes by two Rectors. In 1433 the two Medieties were perpetually united and have remained so until the present time.

It is probable that there was a church in Hethersett prior to the year 1260 as the parish is mentioned in the Doomsday Book, where it is called Hederseta, the capital village of this Hundred, the name meaning the seat or place or most public road entering the Hundred. The place was also known to exist in the days of Edward the Confessor, when it belonged to one of the Barons named Olf. But as the nave of the present church probably dates from the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century, we may suppose that the existing records relate only to the time since the present church was built.

RECTORS of HETHERSETT - Parish Magazine December 1920

In the introduction last month it was wrongly stated that whilst there were once two Rectors in the parish, there was only one Church. My attention has been drawn by one of our readers to an authority who states that Cantalofe or Cantley anciently had a  church (All Saints) and its site is still called the old Churchyard. I find this corroborated  by a second authority who states that there was "one church with 60 acres of glebe worth 5s and one other church with 8 acres of glebe worth 8d." There may possibly be some in the parish who can point out the site of the old churchyard, which is believed to be close to the railway line.

Rectors of Tateshale's Mediety

1260. Ralf de Somerton. He was rector for 40 years, but nothing more seems to be known of him.

1300. Robert de Drilby. He was appointed by Joan Tateshale, the Lady of the Manor, and Patroness of both medieties and he held the two medieties united during his life time. In 1305 Lady Joan made over the advowson, or right to appoint the rector of both medieties, to Sir William Bernak, whose effigy is in the church behind the organ.

1349 Robert Bishop. He appears to have resigned after a few months

1350 William de Keteringham who again held it united to the other mediety for his life time

1352 William Hille or Hulle  of Ketteringham of whom nothing is known except that he resigned in 1384

1384 Lambert de Frampton - Son of Thomas de Frampton, who was appointed by Sir Ralf Cromwell Knt, the Lord of the Manor. He was rector for only one year.

1385 Sir John Christmass. The Rev Sir John Christmass was the private chaplain of Lord Tateshale, or Lord of the Manor of Tateshale, whose name is given above.

1393 William Bassett

1398 Robert Bosage

???? John Rygges. The actual date of this rector's appointment is not known but he succeeded Robert Bosage.

1427 Thomas Ryby, who in 1433 was also appointed rector of Fitz-Ralf's mediety, since which date the two medieties have remained united.

Rectors of Fitz-Ralf's Mediety

1300 Robert de Drilby, who was appointed by Joan Lady Tateshale to both medieties for his lifetime.

1325 Sir John le Curson. The name of Curson seems to have been connected with the parish for many centuries and occurs repeatedly in the old Parish Registers. At the present time there would appear to be almost a clan bearing the name who may possibly claim to be descendants of this Sir John, who was for two years Rector.

1327 Gilbert de Scrobby. Presented by Sir William de Bernak

1334 Hugh de Bernak, probably a relative of the patron.

1341 Roger Smith. He was a son of Edmund Smith, a resident of Hethersett, and was appointed by John de Bernak. He resigned the living five years later.

1346 Robert Bishop. John de Bernak, the Patron, was now dead and John, his on and heir, was a minor. Edward III appears to have been his guardian and presented the living to Robert Bishop, who was already Rector of the other modeity.

1349 William Bassett. He was buried in the church and gave books and corn to it in 1383. He did not remain at Hethersett until his death, but appears to have exchanged about the year 1383 with the Rector of Cranwich. During his incumbency the two medieties were united.

?1383 William de Ketteringham, by exchange as above. He died in 1386 and was buried in the chancel.

1387 John Sergeant. He was presented by Ralf de Cromwell, Lord Tateshale, but in 1393 he exchanged with the Rector of Weasenham.

1393 Thomas Saunders, by exchange as above.

1408 Roger Wright, presented by Maud Cromwell, Lady Tateshale.

1429 John atte Dam. He was presented by Sir John Tiptoft, Sir William Phelep, William Paston and Oliver Groos who were feoffees of Ralf Cromwell, Lady Tateshale. He resigned in 1433 and at that date, at the desire of the above mentioned Ralf Cromwell, the two medieties were perpetually united and ever since they have continued as one Rectory.

The names now given are of the Rectors of the consolidated Medieties of Hethersett and Church of Cantelofe, as it appears to have been called. Unless something of special interest is known, only the name and date will be given.

1433 Thomas Ryby (already referred to)

1452 Roger Brode

1454 John Dyconson who resigned after 30 years

1484 Robert Smetherst. An interesting piece of information is recorded in connection with this gentleman's incumbency. It appears that he had a brother, John Smetherst, a yeoman of the Crown, who was buried in the church "before the Rood." This would seem to mean that the beam running across the eastern end of the nave above the chancel arch (which is probably the old Rood beam) originally held the figures of Christ on the Cross and St John and the Blessed Virgin on either side, as now protrayed in the east window. Investigation of the beam might find the sockets in which these figures stood.

1507 John Philip

1515 John Wayn. He was priest in charge of st Mary Magdalen's Hospital in Colchester and exchanged with the above.

1532 Thomas Smith. John Wayn seems to have been a rolling-stone for he exchanged again with Thomas Smith who was Rector of East Mersey in the London Diocese.

1541 John Barret. Resigned the next year

1542 Chris Wilson. For reasons not given this Rector was deprived in 1554.

1554 Edward Jackson

1573 Miles Hunne. Deprived in 1596.

1596 Joshua Hutton. Presented by Queen Elizabeth.

1603 Miles Hunne (restored). It appears that certain charges had been brought against him and that he was deprived whilst a General Enquiry was being made. In the answer he made to the Enquiry he stated that "there were 200 communicants in the parish, that he held it with Forncett St Mary and St Peter, one Benefice though two distant churches, valued at 20. That he was Chaplain to Lettice, Countess of Essex, and as such was a licenced preacher, and had been so 30 years, and that Thomas Flowerdew, Gent, was Patron here."

1609 Thomas Hunne M.A. Erasmus Hunne B.A was his curate. Thomas Hunne was presented to the Living by King James I, but as the King had no legal right of presentation he was forced to be reinstituted in 1615, Thomas Greenaway being the real patron.

1617 William Warren M.A. The King appears to have been sufficiently interested to usurp the right of presentation again, and the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas had to intervene a second time.

1620 William Warren M.A. Probably a son of the above

1639 Edward Mitchell

1647 Philip Tennison. He was in addition Rector of Foulsham and Archdeacon of Norfolk, but was turned out of the living in the Rebellion, In 1654 Cromwell appointed committees in each county with power to summon incumbents before them to enquire into their characters and capabilities. If they were found guilty of any offence or of encouraging dancing or play acting or of speaking irreverently of Puritans, or of using the Prayer Book in public service, they were to be ejected, and Archdeacon Tennison was one of many to suffer in this way.

1654 Jeremiah Coleman. Presumably a Puritan

1658 Thomas Moore Junior. He published a pamphlet called "Breach upon Breach, or an acknowledgement of Judicial Breaches made upon us, occasioned by sinful breaches made among us with Instruction, Admonition and Encouragement, yet to turn to Him that smites us; being the sum of what was delivered at the Funeral of Mr Jeremiah Coleman, late Preacher of the Gospel at Hetherset in Norfolk, Feb 18th, 1658. Published in quarto at London in 1659 by Theo Moore Junior, his successor there." He was presumably also a Puritan, as he was turned out of the living at the Restoration in 1660.

1660 Thomas Church

1673 William Lock MA

1702 John Amyas, who held it united to Melton All Saints.

1704 John Murrant M.A. It was during this incumbency that Dr John Gostlin, then patron and also President of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, gave the patronage to the College and the Master and Fellows of the College have been the patrons since that date. John Murrant was a Fellow of the College and held the living united to St Clemen's in Norwich

1736 John Berney D.D. He was Archdeacon of Norwich, Chaplain to the Bishop, Rector of the two consolidated Rectories of the Saxlingham and of the Rectory of St Clement's, Norwich. He died at the age of 83 and was buried in the church, where his tombstone can be seen at the end of the north aisle.

1782 Bartholomew Edwards

1820 Jeremy Day who is still remembered by a few of the oldest inhabitants (sadly not anymore - editor)

1855 William Collett M.A. Hon. Canon of Norwich Cathedral, during whose incumbency the chancel was rebuilt.

1903 John Still M.A, R. D. Hon Canon of Norwich Cathedral. He died in church on August 9th, 1914 after celebrating at the altar.

From Our Own Research

Rev Frederic Jarvis 1913-1931

Frederic Jarvis was born in or around 1887 and his birthplace is given variously as either Grimston, Freebridge or Cromer.

In the 1891 census he is recorded as being three years of age and the son of John and Fanny Jarvis. At the time he seems to have had five siblings. The 1901 census has him aged 14 and lists his parents as John and Frances (presumably also known as Fanny) Jarvis.

He was educated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he gained a Bachelor's Degree (BA) in 1910 and a Masters' Degree (MA) in 1913. He was ordained a Deacon in 1910 and priest in 1911.

From 1910 to 1912 he was Curate of Blakeney with Glandford and Cockthorpe and the 1911 census shows him living in a household of 13 people at Blakeney Rectory. From 1913 to 1914 he was chaplain to Gonville and Caius College and came to Hethersett as Rector and served the village from 1914 until 1932, apart from his year of service as an army chaplain on the Western Front. He subsequently became Vicar of Wymondham and was responsible for writing a history of Wymondham Abbey and served the town until 1953 when it is likely he retired. He was also an honorary Deacon of Norwich Cathedral.

Frederic Jarvis died on 18th November, 1959, at St Andrew's Hospital, Thorpe, just outside Norwich. The value of his effects were put at 8,309 2s 6d (8,309.13p). At the time of his death his address was given as Bennetts, Hethersett, and his telephone number was Hethersett 343. At the time the village had its own exchange.

We also know that Frederic was married and had at least one daughter. As far as his war service is concerned, he left for France on 27th December, 1916, leaving behind his wife, Dorothy Eleanor and a baby daughter Marion. At this point he was said to be 31 years of age (there seems to be a slight discrepancy in his age as outlined in various censuses).  He was 5ft 9in tall and weighed 147 lbs (10 stone 7 lbs), He was passed fit for duty as a Temporary Chaplain 4th Class to H.M Forces, with the relative rank of Captain at a payment of 10 shillings (50p) a day. All his transport was free of charge. 

Rev James McAnally 1932-1942

The Rev James Mortimer La Fontaine McAnally introduced himself in the parish magazine and was to spend over seven years serving the village before the outbreak of the Second World War. Like his predecessor he was to write extensively about war and the part it played in Hethersett. The Rev McAnally was married with a daughter Rachel Mary. Rachel married Donald Dashwood on 21st December 1940 and died on 8th May, 2001. Rev McAnally had a very varied career. He was born in 1888 which made him 44 when he moved to Hethersett and 51 at the outbreak of the second world war.

He was educated at Keeble College, Oxford, gaining a BA degree in 1909 and a Masters Degree in 1913. He was made a deacon in 1911 and a priest in1912 and was curate at Wymondham from 1911 to 1913 before working at Edgbaston in Birmingham from 1913 to 1916 and Eton College from 1917 until 1921. He was Rector of Newdigate in Surrey from 1921 until 1927 and Rector of Haslemere in Surrey from 1927 until 1932 when he moved to Hethersett where he stayed until 1942. He was also vicar of nearby Ketteringham from 1939 until 1942. He moved to Alton Barnes in Wiltshire where he stayed until 1945 when he became vicar of Netherbury with Solway Ash in Dorset. He served there until 1953 and was curate in charge of nearby Stoke Abbott from 1949 to 1951 and Rector from 1951 to 1953.

He was Rural Dean of Beaminster in Dorset from 1948 to 1953 before moving to St Edmundsbury and Ipswich from 1953 to 1956 and that saw him living in Southwold. He was Rector of Spexhall with Wissett in Suffolk from 1956 to 1958 before being awarded the living of Shotesham in 1959. He was curate in charge at Worstead and at Westwick with Sloley from 1962 to 1964. It is likely that he died in either 1976 or 1977.