Vicars of All Saints Church, Coddington



Coddington History Group currently has information on curates, incumbents and vicars of the parish from c1578. Before 1860 Coddington was not a separate living, but was attached to that of East Stoke. In between 1864 and 1922 John M Dolphin and Charles Penswick-Smith each served the parish of Coddington for over 25 years. From 1922 we were allied first with Newark St Mary's and then with Barnby-in-the-Willows Churches. Rev Peter Wright, who died recently served Coddington for more than 35 years.
Coddington History Group would be very pleased to hear from anyone with personal memories of any of our 20th Century vicars – but especially those with memories of Peter Wright.


Before 1860

Curates / Officiating Ministers before Coddington was ‘divorced’ from the East Stoke Benefice in 1860:
1578-1628 Richard Gymney, vicar of East Stoke, Coddington
(Presentments 1578-1628, 1598, 1602, 1603, 1622, 1632, 1634)
1587-89 Richard Hardall, Coddington curate (Presentments 1587, 1589)
1609-13 Charles Slack, Coddington curate (Presentments 1609, 1612, 1613)
1620-30 Robert Breedon, Coddington curate
(Presentments 1622 (1620), 1625, 1626, 1629, 1630)
1663-1671 Nicholas Smithurst, Coddington curate (Presentments 1663,1671)
1664-84 Michael Smithurst, vicar of East Stoke, Coddington (Presentments 1664-75)
1676-1714 Francis Clarke, vicar of East Stoke, Coddington (Presentments 1676-1710   1684, other sources 1690 – 1714)
1715 - 1716 H (Thomas) Jarrand, vicar of East Stoke, Coddington
1718 - 1749 Francis Bainbridge MA, vicar of East Stoke, Coddington (Parish records 1718,1719, 1720, 1749)
1743 Archbishop Herring’s visitation return states that Coddington only had a service once a fortnight and Holy Communion was celebrated three times a year. Francis Bainbridge was a non-resident vicar of three other parishes, and had been accused of seriously neglecting Syerston. (Yorkshire Archaeological Society records, 1930)
1751 Thomas Wakefield, vicar of East Stoke, Coddington
1798 John Manby M.A., vicar of East Stoke, Coddington
~1801 Edward Henry Hoare, vicar of East Stoke, Coddington
~1804 -  William Bartlett, B.A. vicar of East Stoke, Coddington (Parish records 1804               1815, 1816. 1819, 1822, 1823, 1828, 1833)      
1801 - 1861 A series of curates or visiting ministers (almost 40 different people) have signed the Parish register or officiated at services in this period. Some of them only appeared once, but these appeared on several occasions:
Thomas Mounsey (1804-7)
William Bartlett, the Vicar (1815-16, 1819, 1822-23, 1828-29, 1833)
H J Stevenson (1833-35, 1837-38, (John) 1862)
William Barry (1826-28)
James Footitt (1839-41)
William Handley (1854, 1858)
In 1842 John Hutchinson of Stoke had written complaining of the slackness of Church practice in Coddington. (Letter held by the vicar Rev Peter Wright and reported in 1973 ‘Aspects of Coddington’ by Jill Nesbit).
1850 - 1851   Rev Lawrence J Parsons
(an unmarried, 26 year old, lodging with William Booth at The Homestead on Balderton Lane.
1852 - 1853 Rev William Kirkby
(conducted services in the period May 1852 to Sept 1853)
1855 - 1858 Rev Frederick Taverner
(who conducted most of the services in this period, and left a detailed sketch map of the village, noting who lived where and how many children they had.)
1861 Rev Cooper Lewty (also 1859)
(who on census night 1861 lived in household ?71? lodged with Joseph Booth and his widowed mother at The Homestead, household ?70?)
Vicars after Coddington became a separate Benefice in 1860
1860 Rev Cooper Lewty became the first incumbent
1863 - 1890   Rev John M Dolphin
1890 - 1922   Rev C Penswick Smith
Reports of the value of the living in Trade Directories varied:
1864 Whites: The living is a vicarage value £90, in the patronage of Lincoln Cathedral and in the incumbency of the Rev John M Dolphin. James Thorpe, Esq. of Beaconfield House, gives the incumbent £30 per annum to preach an extra sermon on the Sabbath, there being service here twice a day...
1869 Morris & Co.: The vicarage, in the incumbency of the Rev John Maximilan Dolphin.BA is valued at £97 per annum, with residence, and is in the patronage of the Bishop of Lincoln.
Whites 1872 directory states that a new parsonage is being built. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners built the vicarage in 1874 for £1600 (£1000 raised by subscription and a grant from Queen Anne’s Bounty).
1885 White's: … the living was valued at £300/year and was in the patronage of the Bishop of Southwell.
In 1928 the living was said to be worth £309/year.
Vicars/Curates after Coddington was united with St Mary Newark, 1922
The Parish was united with St Mary Newark in the gift alternately of the Crown and the Bishop of Southwell. In 1932 the net value of the living was valued at £550 with house - it had been held since 1931 by Rev Canon William Hay (DSO, MC).
1928 -1936 Rev John Nutbrown
1938, 1941 Rev Sydney Cyril Bulley MA.
In 1941: The joint net value of the living was £600. Since 1936 it had been held by the Rev Alfred Parkinson BA OF St. Chad’s College Durham, Hon canon of South Muskham in Southwell cathedral, rural dean of Newark, who was a surrogate and lived at Newark. The priest in charge (at Coddington) was the Rev Sydney Cyril Bulley MA. (Later Archbishop Bulley)
1942 Rev Basil A Whitworth (living at the Vicarage) is the priest in charge of All Saints.
May 5 1948 - Newark Advertiser reports:
With fitting dignity and ceremony the Rev George William Clarkson was installed as Vicar of Newark and Coddington yesterday evening in succession to the Rev L.M. Charles-Edwards.
A large congregation was present in the historic parish church when the Bishop of Southwell Dr F. Russell Barry conducted the institution. The Bishop referred to the "distinguished men" who had been incumbents in Newark during the past. It was with great happiness he said that he brought a personal friend of a long standing as the new vicar to begin a "new chapter."
Dates and order of vicars since 1948
(these need to be confirmed and the order is not certain):
An 1881 stained glass window in Coddington Church records: Frederick Vernon Bussell - 13 years Vicar of this Parish. A charity commission document related to St Leonards Hospital, Newark dated 1887 lists him as the deceased vicar of Balderton.
1941           Rev Bulley
                 Basil A Whitworth
                 Harry Dight
                                          John Blore (1st to live at the Gables)
                Philip Coulton
1950           Rev Lancelot Hepper Craddock-Watson
1957           Michel Usher
                   Houlton (stayed a very short time, could possibly be a typo for Coulton)
1961-1997   Rev Peter Wright
1950 Rev Lancelot Hepper Craddock-Watson (living at The Gables) is the priest in charge of All Saints.
Michel Usher (who married Christine Handbury)
1957 The trade directory doesn’t identify anyone as the priest in charge of All Saints. Michael H Usher is living at The Gables, Main St. There is also no reference in the 1961 directory to Michael Usher.
Coddington grave inscription: Michael Hugh Usher, Priest (born 14.12.1925, died 18.9.1984).
Benefice of Coddington and Barnby-in-the-Willows created
1961-1997   Rev Peter Wright
1998 Coddington becomes part of the parish of Balderton. Rev William Thackrey Priest-in-charge
1998 Rev William Thackrey and Rev David Anderson, Curate.
The Reverend Peter G Wright
1961 Rev Peter G Wright appointed as vicar of new Benefice of Coddington and Barnby-in-the-Willows.
In 1962 Rev Peter Wright bought the land (opposite Manor Dairy Farmhouse) on which Ashfields now stands from James Hollingworth for building a parson house (but he was not living there in 1987).
Rev Peter Wright was the vicar who ‘some years ago’ lent Rolph Vernon the logbook used for his book on the Victorian School (dated 1987). The logbook was found in 2010, safe in the Church safe.
He achieved his ambition of outserving both his predecessors Rev John M Dolphin and Rev C Penswick-Smith. Peter Wright retired in 1997. He died in 2004 and was buried at Coddington - the Church packed to overflowing with villagers celebrating his life.