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Advowson of the Church


During the whole period that the Manor of Clifford was vested in the Abbey of St. Peter, the advowson of the church pertained to it, but it will have been noticed that in the grant of the manor in 1562 to Charles Rainsford the advowson was reserved.[1]

After a diligent search we have been unable to discover the grant from the crown. It so happens that the volume of the index in the Record Office to such grants during the period in which this grant would probably have been made are imperfect, some pages being missing.[2]

What seems to be still more remarkable, we cannot find any institution to the benefice from 1494 to 1574, when the Queen presented, though we have searched the Episcopal Registers of Institutions both at Worcester and Gloucester. On the 20th January, 20th Elizabeth (1677-8), Charles Rainsford presented in his full right. How this right accrued we know not, perhaps it was for that turn only, for by an Indenture inrolled in chancery, dated 8th May, 23rd Elizabeth, 1581, Henry Best, scrivener, and John Wells, citizens of London, sold, inter alia, the advowson of the church of Clifford to Edward Grevill, of Milcote, co. Warwick, and Johan his wife, and the heirs and assigns of the same Edward for ever. Nevertheless, we find that by an Indenture, dated 30th Dec., 1598 (40 Eliz.), also inrolled in chancery, that Sir Edward Greville sold the said advowson to John Woodward, citizen and ironmonger, his heirs and assigns, and by another Indenture dated 24th February, 1609-10 (7th James), Sir John Woodward, Knt., son and heir of the aforesaid John, deceased, sold the advowson, &c., of the said Rectory of Clifford to John Wells and Marten Freeman to the use of Sir Henry Rainsford, his heirs and assigns for ever.

It would appear that there must have been some dispute with respect to the title. This is further indicated by the irregularity of the presentations and institutions which occurred. It will be observed that King James presented, by reason of lapse, a clerk, who was instituted 1st February, 1608, In the meantime, viz., on 6th November, 1606 (4th James) an Indenture was made between Sir Arthur Ingram, Knt. (who now first appears), John Eldred and Marten ffreeman, before mentioned, of the one part, and Sir Henry Rainsford of the other part, whereby the said Sir Arthur Ingram, at the request of the said John Eldred and Marten Freeman, and in consideration of a sum of money, sold all that Rectory or Advowson of Clifford, with appurtenances, which theretofore was held by the before mentioned Henry Best and John Willes, to the said Sir Henry Rainsford and his heirs and assigns for ever.

The advowson, after having for a considerable period, exactly how many years we cannot say, been held in gross, now again became attached to the manor, and so continued until the manor itself became dismembered, but it so happened that no one of the Rainsford lords ever again had an opportunity of presenting.




1274. id. Dec. Robert le Wise[3], Rector of St. Mary's, by the Friars Minors, was collated by the Bishop to the Church of Clifford to hold in commendam.
1324. id. Nov. Thomas de Bradewalle[4] was admitted to the Church of Clifford upon the presentation of the Abbot and Convent of St. Peter's, Gloucester.
1344. John Kyngcot[5] is named as Rector.
1349. June 31. John de Wynchecombe[6] was instituted to the Church of Clifford upon the presentation of the Abbot and Convent of St. Peter's.
1361. Sept. 11. Richard Bundy[7] was instituted to the Church of Clifford, void by the death of John the last rector.
1391. Feb. 18. William Wayte[8] was instituted to the Church of Clifford upon the presentation of the Abbott and Convent of St. Peter's (Glouc.)
Not known. John Bokeland.
1458. June 16. Thomas Jolyffe[9] was instituted to the parish Church of Clifford Chamberer, void by the resignation of John Bokeland, same patrons.
1465. Mar. 21. Richard Skardeburgh,[10] Bachelor in Theo. was admitted to the Church of Clifford Chamberer, void by the resignation of Thomas Jolyff, same patrons.
1467. Jan. 29. Hugh Chesewell,[11] M.A., was admitted to the Church of Clifford Chamberer, void by the resignation of Rich. Scardeburgh, same patrons.
1494. Dec. 2. John Dorseley[12] was admitted to the Church of Clifford, void by the death of Hugh Chesewell, same patrons.
1501. Edward Frocester, S.T.P., was presented to the Rectory of Clifford upon the death of John Dursley by Abbot Braunch and the convent.[13]
1542. John Brown,[14] Clarke, would appear from the Parish Registers to have been rector or resident curate in this year.[15]
1574. Nov. 4. Walter Roche,[16] A.B., was admitted to the Rectory of Clifford, void by the resignation of (blank), upon the presentation of the Queen pleno jure.
1577-8. 20 Jan. Richard Faune,[17] was admitted to the Rectory of Clifford, void by the resignation of Walter Roche, upon the presentation of Charles Rainsford, pleno jure.
1578. July 2. Edward Vernon[18] was admitted to the Rectory of Clifford, void blank) upon the presentation of the Queen.
1585. Dec. 3. Hugh Powell[19] was admitted to the Rectory of Clifford, upon the presentation of Queen Elizab., by lapse.
1585-6. Feb. 9. Edward Vernon[20] re-instated by order of the Court of Arches, and Hugh Powell removed.
1609-10. Feb. 1. John Salisbury,[21] A.M., was admitted to the Rectory of Clifford, void by the resignation of Edward Vernon, on 3rd Nov. 1609, upon the presentation of King James I., by lapse.
1646. John Albright[22] is described as rector as early as this year.
1661-2. Feb. 7. Jaspar Maris[23] was admitted to the Rectory of Clifford, void by the death of John Salisbury, upon the presentation of Henry Dighton, Esq., plena jure.
1667. Nov. 18. William Watts[24] was admitted to the Rectory of Clifford, void by the death of Jaspar Marts, upon the presentation of Henry Dighton, Esq., pleno jure.
1687. Nov. 4. Christopher Smith[25] was admitted to the Rectory of Clifford, void by the death of William Watts, upon the presentation of William Smith, jun., pleno jure.
1729. Sep. 22. Richard Dighton, A.M., was admitted to the Rectory of Clifford,[26] void by the death of Christopher Smith, upon the presentation of Richard Dighton, Esq.
1733. Aug. 22. Robert Goodall was admitted to the Rectory of Clifford, void by the death Richard Dighton, upon the presentation of Francis Keyt Dighton, pleno jure.
1735, July 30. John Martin, Clerk,[27] A.M., was admitted to the Rectory of Clifford, void by the resignation of Robert Goodall, Clerk, last incumbent, upon the presentation of Francis Keyt Dighton, pleno jure.
1776. July 19. Stephen Mason, Clerk, M.A., was admitted to the Rectory of Clifford, void by the death of John Martin, Clerk, upon the presentation of Lister Dighton, of Clifford Chambers, Esq., pleno jure.
1787. Aug. 18. John Brewer was admitted to the Rectory of Clifford, void by the death of the last incumbent, same patron.





The ancient Church of Clifford Chambers is dedicated to St. Helen. It was of Norman architecture, as shewn by various remains, and originally consisted of nave and chancel only, with N. and S, doors, and so has remained to our own time, though there would seem to be some addition to it made in the 13th century, external to the north-eastern end of the nave, probably a chapel, but this has long been swept away, most likely in the 15th century (Plate II., fig. 2). Remains of a pointed arch, about 11 ft. in span exist in the north wall, the jambs of which were simply chamfered, but close by, on the east side, is a small shaft about 4 ins. in diameter, with base and capital, the latter being enriched with the cable pattern in the hollow. It is difficult to see the purpose of this shaft in its present position, and possibly it may have been brought hither from some other part of the building.

The arch has been walled up and a Perpendicular window of four lights opened through it. This may be an indication of the date of the removal of the chapel. In the north wall, at the western end of the chancel, was a rectangular low side window, formerly known as a lichnoscope, but the precise use to which such windows were applied is still an open question among ecclesiologists. Many symbolisms have been attributed to it. This window, it may be remarked, commanded a view of the altar. The chancel arch in its original state was low and narrow, as this feature in all Norman churches were, and the windows were also narrow, but usually deeply splayed on the inside. From the 13th to the 15th century no changes of any consequence would seem to have been made in the structure, but during the latter period considerable alterations would appear to have been effected. The whole of the fenestration of the church was changed. The narrow Norman windows "were removed, and were replaced with large windows of three or four lights, with tracery in the head of Perpendicular character. A tower in the same style was built at the west end of the nave and a timber porch was erected at the south door. The font would appear to be of about the same date. It is peculiar in form, being septangular with a circular bowl 18 inches in diameter and 14 inches deep. The north door has been walled up, but, probably, this was not done until a later date (Plate II,, fig. 2).

Again, about the end of the 16th or beginning of the 17th century further alterations took place. The roof was removed and re-erected at a fiat pitch, and the walls were surmounted with an open parapet of debased gothic architecture, which still remains, and about the same time, or perhaps somewhat later, other changes, chiefly of a ritual character, were made. The altar, if it had been removed, as probably was the case, was restored to its original position against the east wall of the chancel and railed in, in accordance with Archbishop Laud's Injunctions. There still remains in the chancel the ancient piscina, which is of a rather unusual type. It has a semi-octagonal basin, supported on a shaft attached to the wall. The chancel, previous to the recent "restoration," was lighted by a large four-light Perpendicular east window, two single-light windows on the north side, probably Early English, and two two-light windows of the same period on the south.

The 17th and 18th centuries saw other changes introduced. A new carved oak pulpit with sounding board, and reading desk, were set up, as were high square pews, displacing the ancient open benches, some few of which, at the extreme west end, remained underneath the gallery in 1884, which gallery it was found necessary to erect to provide accommodation which had been absorbed by the great square pews.

Such was the state of the church in 1886, when, from its general disrepair, Mr. J. Cotton, of Birmingham, architect, was called upon to examine and report upon it. He found it, from a long period of neglect and mismanagement, in a condition of great dilapidation and weakness, and very damp and unwholesome, whilst the cutting away of the north wall of the chancel for the erection of the Rainsford monument had so weakened the wall that serious bulging had ensued, and the practice of burials in immediate proximity to the walls, especially those of the chancel, had resulted in serious settlements, endangering the stability of the structure.

The result was a determination to carry out a thorough restoration of the sacred edifice, and we have all learnt by this time what that means. Architects are not content with simple restoration, they must make some improvements of their own, and generally destroy some of the most interesting and characteristic features of the ancient structure committed to their charge.

As to the necessary repairs and removal of modern excrescences we shall make no remarks. The principal alterations that have been made are the extension of the chancel several feet eastward, making its length disproportionate to that of the nave; building a new organ- chamber and vestry room combined on the north side of the chancel, with a passage leading to it from the exterior passing the priest's door, and taking down a portion of the north wall of the chancel, opening it to the vestry room; removing the low side window from its original position and making it to open into the vestry, taking down the western wall of the chancel and original Norman chancel arch, and building a new arch nearly the full width of the chancel, "to", in the words of the architect, "better connect and open up the chancel to the nave, which", he hopes, "will constitute a very great improvement in the interior". There is no chancel screen.




There are five Bells in the tower which were all recast by Matthew Bagley in 1771, except the fifth, which was recast in 1773, as shewn by the following epigraphs. The Bagleys were bell founders at Chacombe, in Oxfordshire. An account of the family is given by the same person in "Beesley's Banbury", p. 93.


1   M. B. MADE ME : THE LEADER : OF : THIS : PEALE : TO : BE : 1771
3   M. B. MADE : MEE : 1771 : JOHN : SMITH : SMITH : WILLIAM : COOKS : C.W.

Running borders, as figured 90 and 94 in Ellacombe's Church Bells of Gloucestershire, surround each bell.[28]



The most rare, curious, and beautiful ornaments belonging to the Church of Clifford is the ancient Church Plate, which were brought to light on the occasion of the visit of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society to the church on the 11th August, 1887. With the obliging permission of the Rector and Churchwardens it was exhibited at the Society of Antiquaries soon afterwards by Sir John Maclean, with the following description, where it attracted much attention. And it is considered that from the rarity of such objects, duly authenticated, it is desirable to describe it with some detail in the Transactions of the Society for the information of its members. (Plate III.) These ornaments very much resemble the beautiful chalice and patten at Nettlecombe, described in 1867 by Mr. Octavius Morgan in the Archaeological Journal, Vol. XXIV. p. 73, and, two years afterwards, beautifully illustrated in the Archaeologia, Vol. XLII., Plates XXI. and XXII.


The chalice is 6¼ ins. in height, and the bowl, which is 4¼ ins. in diameter at the brim, and 2¼ ins. in depth, is in form like that of the Nettlecombe example, which Mr. Morgan describes as "between a cone and a hemisphere, that is the bottom round, "whilst the sides continue straight and conical", a form, he says, "which is indicative of its date". The stem is hexagonal, divided by a knot in the usual manner, the ornamentation of which very much resembles that of the Nettlecombe chalice, except that the six facets are flat and lozenge-shaped. The first of these bears a cross pattee, and the other five the letters IESVS in gothic capitals in sunken panels, which appear to have been originally filled with enamel, the root is hexagonal, and of the mullet shape, measuring 4¾ inches from point to point, these points being guarded by crescents to prevent them from catching in the altar-cloth (fig. 1), the extreme breadth of the foot being 5½ inches. On the front panel of the foot is a representation of the Crucifixion, the arms being bent as on the Nettlecombe example, and there is a sprig of foliage in each angle at the bottom, but not so full or ornate as in the example referred to. The ground is roughly "hatched", and, probably, was originally filled with enamel.
Knap on the foot of the Chalice
Fig. 1. Knap or point of the foot of the Chalice.

The stem of the chalice and the knot, together with the mouldings, which are plain, the Crucifixion, the mouldings of the foot and the crescents, are gilt, as is also the inside of the bowl, the gilding extending over the brim 1/3 of an inch. This chalice falls in FB of the classification of Messrs. W. H. St. John Hope and, T. M. Fallow. It weighs 11 ozs. and 16 dwts.

The paten is 5¾ ins. in diameter, the margin being surrounded by a plain line moulding with a brim ¾ of an inch wide. Within this is sunk a six-lobed concave depression about 3/8 of an inch deep. The marks of the centres for striking the lobes still remain as on the Nettlecombe paten, and the spandrils are filled with radiating ornaments, similar to those on the example just cited, except that there is no central boss. In the centre is the vernicle, but this differs much from that at Nettlecombe in the form of the nimbus and in other details. In this case the nimbus would appear to be of a lunar form, extending as far as the ears, and below a circle surrounding the head, which is hatched, but seemingly too shallow for enamel. Beyond this, rays on a hatched ground extend to the margin of the centre circle. The paten would also appear to have been parcel gilt, viz. the outer moulding, the ornaments filling the spandrils of the lobes, and the vernicle. The weight of the paten is 3 ozs. 16 dwts. 11 grs. There is a fleur-de-lis on the nimbus.

With respect to the Hall Marks, this plate would seem to be unique. There are three stamps: 1. The leopard's head crowned, the crown being of the earliest type, as pointed out by Mr. Hope in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, Vol. XI., page 426. 2. The date letter is a gothic capital R in Mr. Oripp's Table I., 3rd edition, the same cycle in which is placed the Nettlecombe vessels under B, which marks the year 1479-80 as the R does 1494-5. 3. The maker's mark appears to to be an eagle's or a vulture's head. All the marks are alike on paten and chalice, shewing that they were made by the same craftesman, and in the same year. The vessels are somewhat larger than the Nettlecombe examples, both are perfect and in excellent condition.

Very few articles of ancient altar plate now remain to us. I believe that ten years ago there were scarcely half a dozen massing chalices known to exist, but since that date several others have been brought to light, and within the last three or four years considerable additions have been made to them by antiquaries, and especially are we indebted to the energy and perseverance of Mr. W. H. St. John Hope in this branch of inquiry.

Patens are more plentiful than chalices. They were not in the reign of Edward VI. and Elizabeth so ruthlessly destroyed as the latter. The chalice and paten which are now submitted for inspection are among those of the earliest date. Setting aside the few funeral chalices found in the coffins of bishops and priests, the chalice and paten found in use at Berwick St. James, Wilts, in 1879, is supposed by Mr. Micklethwaite[29] to be of the 13th century. It is, of course, not hall-marked, nor is there, I difidently [sic] venture to think, anything else to indicate so great an antiquity. There is a chalice at Hampton Bidware, co. Staff., to which circa 1350 is assigned. The next earliest is one at Gouthland, co. York, to which the date 1450 is given. But the ealiest dated chalice with its paten as yet found are those at Nettlecombe, to which we have frequently alluded above, and these are - if the date assigned to the Nettlecombe example be correct - just 15 years older than those to which I invite your attention as, at least, the second earliest dated altar vessels known to be in existence. In two respects are these unique. There is no piece, that I know of, of any other plate in existence made in the same year, or by the same silversmith.

Besides the ancient plate described above, there are a flagon and two cups. They bear the hall-marks used for standard silver between 1697 and 1720, viz., the lion's head erased, and the figure of Britannia. The year letter is a court-hand V, indica- [sic] the year 1715-6. The maker's mark is PA, surmounted by a fleur-de-lis with dot in base, which is the mark of Humphrey Payne. There is a large flagon at Winchcombe by the same maker. The flagon at Clifford is of the well known tankard type, 8 ins. high. The cups are bell-shaped, with paten covers, 5¾ ins. high. The arms of Dighton impaling Keyt are engraved on each piece. This plate therefore was, doubtless, presented by Richard Dighton, who died 1738 (see pedigree, page 60). There are also two plates of pewter for collecting alms.




In the chancel are some interesting sepulchral memorials, the most important of which is that to Hercules Rainsford, in armour, and Elizabeth his wife, dau. of Robert Parry, Esq., with the figures also of two sons and a daughter. It consists of engraved Brasses, which, until the recent restoration of the church, were inlaid on a slab 4 ft. 6ins. by 1 ft. 10 ins. on an altar tomb at the east end of the nave, where the deceased probably was buried. His wife survived him, and very soon afterwards remarried, as we have seen above.[30] The pulpit partially rested on this tomb, concealing the figures of the children, except their heads. On the recent restoration of the church the tomb was found to be much decayed and inconveniently situated, consequently it was taken down and the Brass was removed and set up against the chancel wall, the entire figures of the children being exposed.

Hercules Raynsford (as the name is here written) is represented bare-headed, his hair cut short and his head resting on his helmet. His moustache and beard are of moderate length. Around his neck and wrists are slight frills. A gorget of plate reaches to the chin, the paldrons have their upright edges scroll-shaped, brassarts of plates; with plain coudieres, protect the arms, and a cuirass covers the body. At this period civilians wore trunk-hose, and this was also adopted by men in armour, and the skirt of mail disappeared. Trunk-hose were large breeches, well padded, puffed and slashed. As this stuffing was not of sufficient firmness to protect the thighs, to the projecting rim of the breast-plate or cuirass, were hinged tassets, which somewhat fulfilled the functions of the tallies so conspicuous in earlier armour. These tassets consisted of a series of small plates rivetted together, and may be considered to be the last remnant of the skirt of taces. In this example the plates of the tassets are of a rectangular form. Steel armour encases the remainder of the legs, and his genouillieres have elegant rosettes. Large rowelled spurs are screwed into the heels, whilst the sollerets with very wide toes complete the suit of armour. Around the waist is a narrow strap, from which hangs obliquely, another to which is attached, a long sword on the left side. On the right is affixed a short dagger, or misericorde.

Elizabeth Raynsford is represented as wearing a close fitting hood, cut square in front, her hair being brushed back under it, with a lapet, or veil, falling down over her shoulders behind, and a small tight-fitting ruff about her neck, apparently tied with a ribbon in front, the ends of which fall down. Her gown is somewhat close-fitting about the body and arms, and close at the wrists, which are finished with small frills. The skirt appears to be plaited, and is open in front, shewing a handsomely-embroidered petticoat underneath. A girdle encircles the waist, tied in a bow in front, and her shoes have broad toes.

The figures stand ereet [sic], the lady being on her husband's left side, they are mutually turned a little towards each other. Their hands are joined in the attitude of prayer. On the plate beneath the feet is the following inscription:

Here lies Buryed the Boddy of Hercules Raynsford Esquier Lord of this Mannor who marryed Elizibethe Parry, Daughter of Robert Parry, Esquier, by whome havyin issue too sonnes and on daughter died the second daye of August ano Dni 1583, and in the year of his age 39.

The children are represented lower down on the slab, the two boys underneath their father. Their hair is cut close. They have little frills about their necks, and wear long gowns down to their feet with sleeves hanging from their elbows. Their hands are joined as those of their parents. Their shoes are square-toed, Their faces are slightly turned to the left, towards their sister, whose figure is shewn below her mother's. She is represented three-quarter-faced turned towards her brothers, her dress being very similar to that of her mother.

Above the head of Hercules is the full achievement of arms of fifteen quarters, with helmet crest, and mantling. The arms quartered are those of - 1. Rainsford; 2. Wylcotes of Wylcott; 3. Wyllycotes of Tew Magna; 4. Mollins; 5. Hall; 6. Glanville; 7. Lions; 8. Greene; 9. Scocathe; 10. Wakested; 11. Arderberg; 12. Purcell; 13. Berwicke; 14. Shershall; 15. Pratell; the blazon of which we have given post p. 99, but the marshalling is somewhat different. Above the head of Elizabeth is a shield Raynsford, differenced with a crescent, impaling three boars' heads, erect, couped 2 and 1. (see Plate IV.)

Elizabeth Raynsford, the daughter of Hercules (the little girl figured on her father's monument), married Edward Marrowe, as described below, and was buried at Clifford, as was her little babe a few weeks afterwards.[31] She was commemorated by a brass in the church, two pieces of which are mentioned by Haines as "loose", and Mr. Cecil T. Davis, writing in Sept. 1885, says: "the two pieces of brass plate, forming this memorial, are lying loose in the church", sizes 2ft. 7 ins. x l0ins., and 1ft. 9ins. x 6½ ins. The church has since been restored, and they have now been set up against the north wall of the chancel. The lady is described as having hur hair brushed back from the temples, and wearing a French hood of the shape popularly appropriated to Mary Queen of Scots, but this is nearly hidden by a huge calash which covers the head and shoulders and falls down behind the back nearly to the ground. A stiff ruff encircles the neck, but no frills are worn at the wrists, instead a neat cuff appears. She wears a large loose gown, and an embroidered stomacher, peaked in front, relieves the plainness of the rest of her costume. A slight farthingale supports the weight of her skirts, which barely reach her ankles. Low thick soled shoes, with a rosette in front, complete her dress. She is represented standing slightly turned to her right, and carrying on her right arm a little babe wrapped in swaddling clothes. Over its head is thrown a small hood, a little ruff is round its neck, and on its breast is a plaited bib.

On the other piece is this inscription:



In Rudder (page 375) mention is made of another piece of brass, on which is a scutcheon: Baron and fermme, argent, a fess engrailed sa. betw. three maids' heads couped proper, for MARROWE; and: arg; a cross sable for RAINSFORD.[33] This has now been annexed to the effigy, but a portion of the shield is still missing (Pl. V.)


He married Anne, Daughter and Coheyre
of Sir Henry Gooder,
of Polsworth in the County of Warwick, Knight,
With whom he lived 27 Yeares,
And had Issu three sonnes.
William died.
Henry married Elenor,
Daughter and coheire of Robert Boswell,
of Combe in the County of Southampton, Esq.
and Frauncis .. .....
Henrico (heu charum caput) Herculis
Fil. Rainsforde, Eq. Aur. hujusque diem
Vixit villae Domino, ingentis animi
Viro, nee ideo prudentis aut mitis minus
Ad honesta quaecumque nato, ad meliora
Regresso fratri Charissimo
(& quod pulchrius)
Amico cum lectissima & luctuosissima conjuge ejus,
Eoromque (Guliel. Fil.) Gooderus tanti vix
Damni & superstes, dum suis & suorum
Lachrymis indulget
Moerentiasimus P.L.
Nee minus exultat Memoria exemplo

  ( Charitatis  ) Cuius    ( Uxor, familia amicorum consensus
Tantae -   ( Industriae  ( Patriae patriaeque Colonia Virginia.
  ( Pietatis  ) Testis    ( Deus

Nee sibi exoptat aliud monumentum. ad
Meliorum famam quam quod tantarum
virtutum, testis sit


Here lyeth the Body of WILLIAM BARNES, ESQ.
Lord, whilst he lived, of Talkon, alias Gadlington,
in the County of Worcester,
which he gave to his Nephew
and of the Moiety of the Mannor of Wincot
in this County and Parish,
which he gave to his Son in Law
Lord of the Mannor of Clifford)
He married, and having lived with her 36 years,
died Sep. 24, 1622, aged 76.[34]

There were formerly two hatchments against the wall of the chancel bearing the following arms, but having become greatly decayed they have been taken down. There is now no memorial whatever in the church of the family of DIGHTON, except the arms on the altar plate.

1. Quarterly: Ar. a lion pass. betw. 3 crosses patte fitchy gu. for DIGHTON - 2 and 3, az. a chev. betw. 3 Kites' heads erased or. for KEYTE. 4 in the first: impaling, quarterly, 1st and 4th. Erm. on a bend. sable 3 Eaglets displayed or., SELMAN. 2nd and 3rd Erm. on a fess sable 3 Mullets or., LISTER. Crest - A lion's gamb or. holding a cross patee fitchy gu.

2. Quarterly 1 & 4 DIGHTON, 2nd and 3rd three falcons ar. ducally crowned or, on an escutcheon of pretence for Keyte as before.

Upon a marble tablet, surmounted by an URN, draped, is the following inscription:


Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out. - John VIII., v. 6.






An answer to the Instructions sent to the Minister and Church-wardens of Clifford Chambers in the County of Gloucester

For directions to make an accompt of all Charitable guifts within the said Parish, to be Registered in the office of the Lord Bishope of Gloucester, as followeth:

Imp's Sr Hugh Ohasnall, Clerke, heretofore did grant and enfeoffe vnto several Inhabitants of Clifford aforesaid fower Messuages or Tenements Scittuate and beeing in Stratford vpon Avon in the County of Warwicke, one whereof is in the High Street there, now in the occupation of Thomas Nason, one other of them in Bridge Street there, now in the occupation of Christopher Wharinge, one other of them in a Street called the Eeley Street in the occupation of Widd' Parr, and the other of them in a certain place or Lane called the Ohappel Lane, now in the occupation of Richard Marshall. The Rents and yssues thereof were and are to be Imployed: (vizt for an Obit to bee kept in the Church of Clifford aforesaid on Midlelent Sunday yearely, giveing to the Priest ffowre pence and to the Clerke Two pence To pray for the Soule of the said Sr Hugh and all Christian Soules, and towards the refreshing of the said Inhabitants of Clifford at the said obit, And in meate for them vpon the Monday and Tuseday in the Whitson weeke yearely, to be bought after such sort and as it hath beene heretofore laudibley vsed, six shillings two pence over and besides Six pence before granted to the Preist and Clerke there, making vp the sume Six shillings Eight pence, And the residue of the yssues and Reveanues of the p'misses to the Inhabitantes of Clifford and their successors & the same to be accompted for And thereupon to be put into safe keeping And finally to be Imployed & bestowed in payeinge of Tenths & ffifteenths or Taskes hornishinge of Soldiers towards the Kinges Warr, and such other charges whereby the said Inhabitants may be exonerate of the same, or be Imployd in such other meane or weale as by the said, Inhabitants shall bee thought meete hereafter.

To ye 3 The yssues and profits thereof haue beene made vse of accordinge to the intent of the doner (except sixteen pounds fowre shillings & five pence thereof which, in the yeare of Our Lord 1666, was delivered into the hands of Henry Dighton of Clifford aforesaid Esqr by William Case, one of proctors of the said Parish and resteth detained in the hands of the said Henry Dighto

Item There is a House standing in the churchyard of Clifford aforesd called the Church-house built by the Inhabitants of the parish and anciently enjoyed by the Parishioners who in former time granted the same to tennants who paid Rent to the Proctors of the. Parish for the publique vse of the Inhabitants vntill about nine years past the said Church-house was seized by the said Henry Dighton, and by him is still detained, And hath received Six pounds Rent for the same which Rent now rests in his hands

Item Thomas Jackson of Clifford aforesaid decd gave by his last Will & Testament one hundred pounds for a free schoole for the Children of the Parishioners to be taught by a Schoole-master, moreover he gave fifty pounds that the vse & benefitt thereof should be to the vse of the Poore of the said pish, and the Executors of the said Thomas Jackson gave other fifty pounds more to the same vse making vp the sum of Two hundred pounds with which said Two hundred Pounds the said Executors purchased Lands to the value of Ten pounds p Ann lyeinge and beinge in Tiddington in the Parish of Alveston and County of Warwick, now in the occupation of William Godwin

Item Henry Toms of Clifford aforesaid decd gaue Ten dozen loafes of Bread to the value of Ten shillings to be distributed to the poore of this Parish vpon good Friday yearely for euer, for pformance thereof hee charged or tied Three Tenements he had within the Burrough of Straford upon Avon aforesaid, now in the tenure of Mr Hunt, hauing the Tenements of Mr Stephen Hunt on the north side, and the Tenements of Henry Cawthery in Old Stratford on the south side of them, And is distributed accordingly

Lastly The Deeds and Evidences relating to the Bequests of the said Sr Hugh Chesnall and of the said Thomas Jackson are now secured in the Chest standing in the Chancel of the Parish Church of Clifford Chambers aforesaid in the said County of Gloucester. Written and made under the hand and Seale of William Watts, Minister, of Clifford aforesaid and vnder the hands of other the said Parishoners the nine and twenttyth day of October, Anno Domi, 1683, Anoq Regni Regis Caroli Seci in Angt &c. tricessimo quinto.


WILLIAM CARLE ) churchwardens WM. WATTS
WILLIAM SMART The 16li 4s 5d above
GEORGE MORRIS mencioned was before
  my time, but pceive
Exh' 30 Oct 1683 if it may be true by
  an Inquisition thereof
  shewed me and exe-
Memdm There is a Certificate dated cuted at Stow before
26 Decr 1704 shewing that there the Comions for Chari-
is an exact Terrier of the Glebe table vses.
Lands in the Parish Chest.  

There is also in this Registry a Terrier of all Messuages & Tenements Glebe Lands & other appurtenances belonging to the Church & Parsonage dated the 26 February 1677.[35]




[1] Rot. Pat., 4th Elizab. Part.
[2] It appears, however, from Abbot Braunche's Register (Gloucester Cathedral Lib.) that the abbey presented one Dr. Frocester in 1501, who, doubtless, was duly admitted, and we have inserted another name found in the Parish Register.
[3] Bp. Giffard's Reg., fol. 47 (Wore.)
[4] Bp. Cobham's Reg., fol. 36 (Wore.)
[5] Stratford-upon-Avon Mun. Records.
[6] Wolstan de Braunsford's Reg. II., fol. 13 (Wore.)
[7] Bp. Bryan's Reg., I., fol. 36 (Wore.)
[8] Bp. Wakefield's Reg., fol. 89. He is named as rector in Stratford-upon-Avon Mnn. Records in 1410 and 1413.
[9] Bp. Carpenter's Reg., I,, fol. 145.
[10] Bp. Carpenter's Reg., 191.
[11] Ibid., fol. 216. He is named as rector in the Stratford-upon-Avon Mun. Records in 1469.
[12] Bp. Morton's Reg., fol. 57.
1513. William Sklatter, chaplain of Clifford, was taxed at vjs viijd. Bp. de Giglus, fol. 99.
[13] In 1533 Abbot Parker sold the next presentation to the benefice to Sir William Kingston, Knt., and his son. Sir Anthony Kingston, Knt.
[14] Glouc. Reg.
[15] 1542. Charles sonne vnto John brown clarke was bapt. 10 Oct.
1548. Richard sonne vnto John brown clarke was bap. 14 Aprill.
1550. Hellyn dawghter vnto John brown clarke was bapt. 6 June.
1551. Anne dawghter vnto John brown clarke was bapt. 2 October.
1546. Thomas sonne vnto John brown clarke was buried 20 Decr.
1551. Agnes dawghter vnto John brown clarke was buried 26 Decr. p.e.
There were several other children of a John brown baptized between the years above stated, but he is not described as clerk.
[16] 1575, Mary, dan. of Walter Roche, minister, was baptized. A Walter Roche was the Master of the Grammar School at Stratford in 1569, and was succeeded by Thomas Hunt in 1571 (Stratford-upon-Avon Mun. Records).
[17] Glouc. Bps' Reg.
[18] Ibid.
[19] Ibid.
[20] Ibid.
[21] Ibid. John Salisbury's bond for institution dated 20 Dec., 7 Jas.(l609).
1619, Alice dan. of John Salisburie bapt. 3 Aug.
1628. John son of John Salisbury bapt. 8 June. p.b.
[22] 1646. William son of John Albright, Rector, bap. 29 Sept.
1650. Mary dau. of John Albright, Rector, bap. 17 Sept.
He was, without doubt, one of the Puritan intruders.
[23] Ibid. We do not know the date of the death of John Salisbury, but Jaapar Maris signs the Register as "Minister" early in Dec. 1660. He, doubtless, was also an intruder, but confirmed. In the Register of Burials we find the following declaration: The booke of articles of ye Religion of ye Church of England I Jaspar Marts Rector of the parish church of Clifford Chambers in ye countie of Gloucester did read on the Sabaoth day, viz., ye sixth day of April 1662 at the Parish Church of Clifford aforesaid in the end of morning prayers and do approve allsoe & consent vnto those articles. In witness whereof I have subscribed my name. Attested by eight parishioners.
Mr. Jaspar Maris Rector of the Parish Church of Clifford Chambers in the County of Gloucester, Bach. of Arts in the University of Oxford, obiit ye 10 day of Nov. and was buried ye 12th aged 71. p.b.
[24] Glouc. Bps' Reg.
1682. Mary the wife of William Watts, parson, was buried 28 Feb.
1687. Mr. William Wates buried 21 October. p.b,
[25] Glouc. Bps' Reg.
1700. Susannah, wife of Christopher Smith, parson, was buried 27 July. 1729.
Mr. Christopher Smith was buried 23 April.
[26] He was the son of Richard Dighton, born 10th August, 1705, was of St. John's College, Oxford, and buried at Clifford, 7th June, 1732.
[27] He was rector also of Buckland.
1793. May 22. Arthur Annesley, Clerk, was admitted to the Rectory of Clifford, void by the resignation of John Brewer, Clerk, last incumbent, upon the presentation of Lister Dighton, Esq.
1803. May 25. Arthur Annesley, Clerk, was admitted to the Rectory of Clifford, void by the cession of the said Arthur Annesley, upon the presentation of the same patron.
1845. Mar. 13. Francis Annesley, Clerk, was admitted to the Rectory of Clifford, void by the death of Arthur Annesley, Clerk, last incumbent, upon the presentation of Thomas George Tyndall, of Holton, true patron fr that turn.
1879. July 31. Francis Hanbury Annesley, Clerk, M.A., was admitted to the Rectory of Clifford, void by the resignation, on 24th May last past, of Francis Annesley, Clerk, the last incumbent, upon his own petition.
[28] Ellacombe's Gloucestershire Bells, p. 10.
[29] Proc. Soc. Ant., VIIL [Ed: VIII?], p. 155.
[30] Ante p. 66.
[31] Elizabeth, wife of Edward Marrowe, Esq., was buried 29th October, 1601. Francis, daughter of Edward Marrowe, Esq., was buried 7th Jany. 1701. - Parish Register,
[32] See Plate VII.
[33] We are indebted to Davis's "Gloucestershire Brasses," (Nos. LXX. and LXXVI.) for some of these particulars.
[34] This Inscription, as printed by Rudder, must, we think, be inaccurate. The name of the wife is altogether omitted, though she is referred to, and we conclude the omission must have arisen from carelessness on the pait of the transcriber for the press. The epitaph cannot now be verified, for the gravestone, unfortunately, no longer exists. Wm. Barnes's wife was Elizabeth, the daughter of Robert Parry, and relict of Hercules Rainsford. (See Rainsford, ante p. 91)
[35] See Kelly's Directory of Gloucestershire.



The above is an extract from:

A History of the Manor & Advowson of Clifford Chambers and some account of its possessors

by Sir John Maclean, F.S.A., V.P.
Vice-President of the Royal Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland,
Hon. Member of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, &c.


Reprinted from the Transactions of the Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, Vol XIV, Part I.


[Transcribed by David Parsons in October 2002. The Annesleys of Clifford Chambers are his ancestors, and the book has been preserved by his family]