St. Mary’ Church, Nonington, the 1938 guide and more.

Much of the following information is taken from a booklet published in 1938 by the then vicar, the Reverend Roger Bulstrode, who in turn used sources such as the Reverend Sidney Sargent’s ‘Brief Notes’ of 1912 and research undertaken by the Reverend Wilfred Powell, both earlier vicars of St. Mary’s.

On the history of St. Mary’s Church the booklet says:- “The parish church, dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin, has been the centre of faith and worship for more than 700 years. Nonington was originally a Chapelry of Wingham. On the foundation of Archbishop Peckham’s College at Wingham in 1282 it was made a separate parish, and served by a chaplain appointed and paid by the College. On the suppression of the College in 1547 all its property fell to the Crown. In 1558 Queen Mary granted patronage of the benefice, with that of the Chapel of Wymynswold, to Cardinal Pole, Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1596 Edward Boys, Esquire, of Fredville, bequeathed the small tithes to the Parson of Nonington and Wymynswold on condition that he should preach in Nonington at least once a fortnight. Wymynswold parish was later detached from Nonington in 1852”.

On the south wall of the nave of the church is a plaque with a list of incumbents of the parish researched
and compiled by the Reverend Wilfred Powell (1926-1937).

1282 John de Cnoville

1485 James Bowes

1507 John Rogers

1509 Roger Tolus

1514 John Cooke

1518 John Grene

1524 Thomas Piers

1526 Robert Nayle

1557 John Robinson

1557 David Robson

1567 John Melvyn

1580 John Domerichte

1595 William Brownsmith

1607 William Tye

Anthony Field (d.1626)

1611 James Hathway

1652 Samuel Wells

1695 William Lun

1705 Edward Lun

1765 Robert Greenall

1771 Bladen Downing

1818 Charles J. Burton

1821 Isaac Mossup

1835 Maurice H. Lloyd

1845 Thomas Harrison

1853 Matthew Enraght

1856 Algernon Coote

1871 Sholto Douglas

1873 Frederick S. C. Chalmers

1885 Frederick N. Carus Wilson

1889 John Piggot

1891 Sydney S. C. Sargent

1926 Wilfred Roberts Powell

1937 Roger Bulstrode

Additional notes on previous incumbents listed on the board.

1283 Galfridus de Nuningetun, ordained Deacon (Priest 1287). 1325 Theobald de Underdowne, Chaplain, grants 100 acres land and 40 acres pasture and 13s. rent in Goodnestone and Nonington to Thomas de Bonyngton. 1327-8 Stephen Esole, of Nonington, admitted to order of Acolytes. 1349 John Kemp, of Nonington, instituted priest to Sellindge. ** In the long gap of 200 years the names of certain clergy occur in connection with Nonington, but without evidence of their having charge of the Parish. They are- 1377 Richard Tonge ?. 1447 John de Stopindon held Ratling Canonry (died about 1447). William and Edward Lunn, father and son, were also Rectors of Denton. Robert Greenall was also Vicar of Waldershare ! 


A brass memorial to John Cooke is in the Chancel and a mural tablet to Anthony Field (north of Chancel) extols his merits in Latin and English, with many plays upon his name, such as:“Loe here lies a Field whom once the Lord hath blessed With gifts of Nature learned arts and grace The fragrant sweet smell of this most fruitful Field A sweet remembrance of his name doth yield’.

 “Although he is here described as Gregis Christi Pastor, there is no conclusive evidence that Anthony Field was in fact vicar. James Hathway appears to have been re-appointed in 1626. Can he have been ejected, and his place taken pro tem by Anthony Field ?” A Boys family marriage settlement of 1626 mentions a piece of land known as “Clerk’s Acre”, the annual revenue from which was given to the Parish Clerk as part of his wages as: ‘To Anthonies ffields occupied by Anthonie ffields clerk’therefore it appears thatAnthonie ffields was in fact parish clerk and may have taken over as vicar temporarily. From the 15th to late 17th centuries the Boys family were the main land owners in Nonington and neighbouring parishes. St. Mary’s contains some Boys family monuments.

3 thoughts on “St. Mary’ Church, Nonington, the 1938 guide and more.

  • December 1, 2014 at 09:42

    Thanks..your work is fascinating in its detail and a great achievement..I just thought that the iron hut mentioned by Catherine Marsh must be the derelict one! Less glamorous to think it became a loo!

    I still can’t work out where the orphans were accommodated .!.but great toknow they were family of the cholera victims and ended up in our house..

    Mr Piggott appears on the Clergy of the Church of England database as being Nonington Curate in 1669. I hesitate to dare to question Rev Bulstrode.

    Thanks for all of this ..I have only searched the vicars who lived in the vicarage…an interesting group..regards Rick

  • March 28, 2014 at 13:51

    John Piggot is not listed on the wooden board in the church as a vicar at this this a correction of that list..he is much much earlier.

    Also ( since we live in Hatchetts) I find the orphanage section very the metal hut they played in the one near the railway bridge at Snowdown colliery do you think
    Regards Rick

    • March 28, 2014 at 16:57

      The list I’ve got is from the Rev. Bulstrodes 1938 pamphlet. The metal hut was, I understand, the toilets for the old Snowdown Working Mens Club that was there before the newer one was built across the road.


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