History of the Parish Church of WIllingham
F.J. Bywaters, M.A., Rector (Honaray Canon of Ely Cathedral)
The parish church of Willingham, dedicated to Saint Mary and All Saints, consists of a clerestoried nave with north and south aisles, a chancel with sacristy, tower with pinnacles and spire, and a porch on the south side. The sacristy, screens, roofs, and wall paintings add to its general interest, and to-day it is one of the finest in the county.

A few stones with architectural details of great interest survive from the church or churches which preceded the existing building. During the restoration of the chancel, carved voussoirs, caps, bases, mouldings and angle shafts, evidently from a rich doorway of the Norman church were found built into the walls. In addition to these fragments, a portion of a rough shaft with cubical capital attached was found; this is most probably work of the early eleventh century, and came from the Saxon Church which preceded the Norman.

This Saxon capital is in the porch, built in on the south east side of the door, above the quaint corbel with two faces carved upon it.

The Saxon and Norman fragments, including some billet and other mouldings, will also be found in several places in the porch.

By far the most interesting survivals of the Saxon period are to be seen in the south wall of the porch, where there appears to be a Norman pillar of three sections with chevron markings, with base and cap. Examination of the back of this, preferably with the aid of a mirror, will reveal plaitwork design of the Saxon period. Dr. Cyril Fox (Anglo-Saxon Monumental Sculpture in the Cambridge District) concludes that the upper section is part of a grave cover, and the two lower sections parts of a standing cross. Part of the same or a similar grave cover will be seen in the wall above. When Elsin was Abbot of Ely (981-1016), Uva gave the village of Wivelingham or Wyvelyngham as it was then called "to God and St. Etheldreda for ever." He confirmed the donation by his last will, in which Leofsin the Alderman, Elsin the Abbot, and all the brethren at Ely were witnesses. Was the cover from his grave? Doubtless during the reconstruction of the church under Norman control in the twelfth century, monuments in the churchyard were cut up into blocks for refashioning, and by singular good fortune these few fragments, shewing sufficient carving to give us an idea of their character, have survived.

The present church dates mainly from the early Decorated period, but when the restoration took place, traces of Early English foundations were discovered in the nave, with aisles of six feet six inches internal width running the whole length of the nave. The lancet window at the west end of the south aisle was part of this church; but, judging by other foundations, at a still earlier time the nave was only half its present length, ending at the third columns of the existing nave.

The lower parts of the walls of the chancel were found to be of the Norman period, with thinner walls of a height marked by chamfered clunch facing of the thirteenth century, and the remains of lancet windows. There are also parts of Early English windows built into the east and west walls of the south aisle. The whole of the south wall of the chancel was rebuilt from the foundations, each stone being numbered and placed in its original position.


The nave is of six bays with plain arches. The piers are uncommon, their section being formed by the amalgamation of four octagonal shafts with moulded caps. There are six clerestory windows, with another in the eastern gable, probably inserted later to give light to the roof.

The double hammerbeam roof is of the finest Perpendicular work with thirteen compartments on each side. Cole says that from the devices carved on the rafters, a cross, a saltire, and two arrows in saltire, with crowns, mitres and mullets in other places, it would seem "as if some Bishop of Ely with an Earl of Oxford were contributors towards the building of this church."

The position of the wall posts in relation to the clerestory windows and the wall paintings, which are undoubtedly earlier, and the narrowed compartment at the west end indicate that it was ordered by length and width, but with no reference to windows. The cornices have applied mouldings and the braces have spandrels filled with pierced tracery of varied patterns.

Thirty-six of the hammerbeams have angels restored to them, and it may be helpful to tabulate them with their symbols. They are numbered from east to west, with the letters a, b, and c, the latter being the lowest.

South side 1a, Crescent moon. 1b, Scourge. 1c, Musical instrument (serpent). 2a, Hands clasped in prayer. 2b, Hammer. 2c, Musical instrument (harp). 3a, Hands crossed on breast. 3b, Reed and sponge. 3c, Musical instrument (trumpet). 4a, The sacred monogram I.H.S. 4b, A cross. 4c, Musical instrument (tabret). 5a, A sword for St. Paul. 5b, An ox winged for St. Luke. 5c, A winged eagle for St. John. 6a, A pilgrim's staff for St. James the Great. 6b, A club for St. James the Less. 6c, A flaying knife for St. Bartholomew.

North side. 1a, A star. 1b, A spear. 1c, Musical instrument (horn). 2a, A scroll. 2b, Pincers. 2c, Musical instrument (trumpet or serpent). 3a, Hands clasped. 3b, Three nails. 3c, Cymbals. 4a, The labarum of Constantine on shield (the two first Greek letters of the word Christ). 4b, The crown of thorns. 4c, Musical instrument (lute). 5a The keys for St. Peter. 5b, A winged lion for St. Mark. 5c, A man for St. Matthew (this angel, having fallen as a result of an explosion caused by the collision of two bombers, is on a chancel window sill). 6a, A cross saltire for St. Andrew. 6b, A carpenter's square for St. Matthias. 6c, A crazier surmounted by a cross for St. Philip.

It will be recognised that two upper angels on the first four beams on either side bear the symbols of the Passion, the lower musical instruments; and the fifth and sixth series symbols of the Apostles and Evangelists.


The pulpit of the Perpendicular period is pentagonal standing upon a pentagonal shaft, with an embattled abacus as cap. The shaft was at some time Cut down considerably and the proportions have consequently suffered. The panels have carved spandrels of varied designs, and the bleached character of the oak has been caused by the removal of green paint. Some of the old pews with "poppy bead" ends are still in use as choir benches on the west of the chancel screen.


The handsome brass eagle lectern of excellent craftsmanship was given in memory of Squadron-Leader Frank Thompson Flower, R.A.F., 1955.


The early Perpendicular font is octagonal, but it appears to have been always near a pillar, as the side next the pillar is plain, while the seven other sides have quatrefoils. The alternate faces of the stem are panelled in two lights, with quatrefoils in the base.


The interior is noteworthy for the three large arched recesses on the north, west, and south, that on the west having a window inserted, with hood mould and labels. The eastern arch has a single deep moulding, but the piers in the jambs are fine octagonal ones, having richly moulded caps with battlemented abaci. The marks of bell ropes can be seen, possibly dating from the time when it was unsafe to stand immediately under the bells as they were rung. There are also the old stone seats around the jambs, belonging to an age when in the absence of other seating the "weakest to the wall" was the advice given to those unable to stand for the services. The clunch has proved attractively soft to very many who from the seventeenth century onwards have deemed it necessary to "carve" their names or initials thereon.


In describing these, tribute must be paid to Dr. M. R. James who made a communication on them to the Cambridge Antiquarian Society in 1895, and to Mr. C. E. Keyser for a paper in the Archaeological Journal of June, 1896, also to some photographs taken at about the same time. Study of these, with careful examination of the paintings by day and night under varied lighting conditions has led to the realisation that certain features visible some sixty odd years ago are no longer to be seen, and that others were overlooked or have since been revealed.

In order of execution they may be dated:- Thirteenth century (circa 1260). Design and figures in the splays of Early English lancet window in the south aisle.

Fourteenth century. Diaper work and shields in the eastern part of the north and south walls of the nave; St. Christopher, St. George and the Dragon, on the north wall of the nave.

Fifteenth century. The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the north wall, the Visitation and Assumption on the south wall, and the Last Judgment on the gable and south wall of the nave.

Sixteenth century. The Apostles, the Virtues, and the Commandments, etc., on the nave walls, and the designs and lettering on the east and south walls of the south aisle.

East Gable-above the chancel arch. The Last Judgement. The upper part, our Lord enthroned as Judge, has been destroyed by the insertion of the window, and the roof timbers conceal part on each side. The groundwork is green, and on both sides of the crown of the arch are nude figures rising from their graves. Above are clouds and stars, and on the north side an angel blowing a trumpet. Below the spandrel of the roof on the same side is St. Peter in a red robe and with a halo, ushering the blessed into Heaven. Among them is a bishop with a mitre. On the south side are the monstrous jaws of hell with red flames emerging, and on the south wall is a demon with tail, horns and winged arms, holding a chain which no doubt is encircling the condemned and dragging them down.

South wall from east to west. The Visitation. St. Elizabeth on the west is saluting the Blessed Virgin to the east of her. Her head is covered, while that of the Virgin is bare. Each has a yellow nimbus, and wears a white dress with a blue cloak lined with ermine. Above are two scrolls, in which are left enough letters by which "Magnificat anima mea Dominum" and "Benedicta tu in mulieribus" can be identified.

On the wall around, also on the north side, a rich diaper design of roses and leaves or pomegranates in shades of red remains, interspersed with shields bearing (a) the Crown of Thorns, (b) the Five Wounds of Christ-Hands, Heart, and Feet and the blood flowing, (c) a tau Cross with two scourges.

In the first spandrel are fragments of a black-letter text and a pendant basket with a border.

Between the second and third shields is part of the lower portion of a painting, probably the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. The bottom part of the dress of a figure in an ermine robe is surrounded by rays and clouds, with a crowned angel at the foot. The fingers of the left hand can be seen on the edge of the robe.

Above the second arch are traces of a large figure, one of a series of Apostles of post-Reformation date, but they cannot be identified with certainty as the symbols in nearly every case are obliterated.

Traces of early red lettering are visible above the third pillar, and fragments of a border. The apostle above is probably St. James the Less, with club.

Further west are (1) Faith, holding in the right hand a chalice, and a cross in the left, (2) Hope, with an anchor, (3) a naked child, one of two which Charity shelters in her robe. Her right foot can be seen.

Within heavy borders in the spandrels above the fifth and sixth pillars are parts of seventeenth century blackletter texts, below another apostle whose left hand and feet are visible. The first phrase of the fourth commandment is readable. Two other features call for comment-a portion of another border running perpendicularwise through the letters and in green, and part of a redletter text beginning with "M " above the iiij, and portions of redlettering between the black; also, remains of border and text on the last spandrel with red and blue design on the chamfered edges of the arch similar to that on the fourth arch.

On the tower wall on the south side are remnants of another painting. Was this Fortitude, leaning against a tower? Surely a fitting position for her. Justice and Prudence are on the north wall and there seems to be no room for another Virtue there.

North wall from west to east.

Justice with a sword and scales is fairly clear. Next is Prudence with her mirror, and below a red cable border with text.

St. George and the Dragon. This is the largest painting in the nave and has a cable border. The figure of the saint is very faint, but the legs of the horse, its tail extending beyond the border on the west, the broken lance, the dragon under the legs of the horse, and the sword uplifted to administer the coup-degrace are visible. In the top left hand corner are buildings, and the king and queen of Egypt looking down from their castle; the princess and lamb cannot now be seen. The cable border enclosing the picture is bold enough, and above the forelegs of the horse can be seen part of a later black border which probably enclosed a text.

Next, above another red cable border is part of another apostle, and further to the east, St. Simon, the serrated edge of whose saw can be seen on his right running down from the angel on the hammerbeam towards his feet.

St. Christopher. In most other churches where the picture is found, it is on the north wall immediately opposite the door, so that it should be the first object upon which the eye of the worshipper might fall as he entered the building. The position here is much farther eastward.

The Willingham painting is tall and narrow, the figure of the saint being about eight feet high. He has a beard and turban, a red tunic and a green cloak, carries a pilgrim's staff, and has both legs bare below the knees with a garter round the left knee. He is travelling from west to east, and holds the Infant Saviour, not on his shoulder as usually portrayed but on the left arm. The Christ has his right hand uplifted in blessing, while the left holds the orb with palm and fingers downwards. Fish can be seen in the water.

The Annunciation. This is very faint, but the angel with sceptre is on the left of the wallpost. and "plena" of "Aye, gratia plena, Dominus tecum" is quite plain. Above the Blessed Virgin kneeling on the east of the wall post, holding a scroll, can be seen "ancilla" from "Ecce ancilla domini." Here the diaper work interspersed with shields commences, as on the south.

One shield to the east of the St. Christopher is visible.

To the west of the window above is an apostle, his left hand holding an open book. The blackletter text within a red cable border has a basket pendant beneath it. It is an abbreviated form of the tenth commandment, and below is a quotation from Psalm 44, verse 21. "Shall not God search this out, for he knoweth the secrets of the heart?"

Unfortunately the projecting part of the organ case and pipes cover another shield with the arms of the see of Ely; gules, three crowns or. The crown in the base has a sceptre in it. Above on the right were traces of a draped figure, which may have belonged to another scene in the life of the Virgin, and a figure of an apostle, with a staff and wallet, possibly St. James the Greater.

The consecration cross is on the wall of the chancel arch.

South Aisle. The remains of frames, blackletter inscriptions, and patterns can be seen on the south aisle wall, and on the east wall of the south aisle. At the west end of this aisle are parts of the heads of two crocketed canopies with shield. No traces of the tinctures remain. The splays of the lancet window have a masonry pattern with six petalled roses and two saints. They may both be female, but the one on the north has a less slender figure than the other, and the foot is broader; the dresses are dissimilar. The one on the south has part of the drapery of her red and yellow robe over the left arm; the left hand holds a book, but the right arm is covered by later masonry. The figure on the north has a white dress, a red cloak with yellow lining, a book in the left hand and two palms in the right. Mr. Keyser dates this painting about 1260.


South Aisle and Chapel. The roof calls for little comment. The wall posts in most places are over but do not rest upon the old stone corbels which are mutilated, and there is no room for the attachment of angels, though it looks as though it was intended that some carving should be attached, if indeed the roof has not been denuded of it. The easternmost central boss has an angel bearing a shield with a cross.

This chapel was the chantry chapel of the de Brunne or Bourney family, and the tomb is probably that of one of its members, but prior to 1640, the three shields had lost their emblazonment, so there is no definite evidence for whom it was erected.

On June 20, 1392, Richard the Second gave a "licence, for five marks, paid to him by John de Brunne, for the alienation in mortmain by him of one messuage, thirteen acres of land and one meadow in Wyvelyngham, not held in chief, to a chaplain to celebrate divine service daily in the chapel of St. Mary in the church of Wyvelyngham for the good estate of the said John, for his soul after death and the souls of his parents, ancestors and others." (Cal. Pat. Rolls. 15 Rich. ii.)

The initials on the screen, window splays and tomb are pro-ably those of boys who received instruction in the school when the chapel was used for this purpose in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The Chapel was restored and refurnished in memory of Ethel Warboys in 1957, and an old altar slab found broken in the floor of the Ely Chapel was incorporated in the foot-pace under the new altar of African walnut. The piscina has a trefoiled canopy, and another piscina is utilised as part of the window sill of the second window of the south aisle.

The screen is described in the section on the screens.


The roof is more elaborate and of lighter construction than that of the south aisle. The wall posts seem to be reduced in number by half, and the stone corbels which remain are smaller and much lower in the wall. The fretwork in the spandrels is particularly graceful, and the cornices have had superimposed angels and other decorations. Colours on the eastern portion are still clear, and the bosses are less conventional. One has a heart with a wound mark, and that over the screen has a grotesque face which at first sight appears to be foliage. The easternmost beams are coloured alternately red or grey with fernlike design of the opposite colour. On the chamfered edges of the arches is the same pattern on similar groundwork, and there are considerable remains of decorative colouring on the soffits and round all the arches of the arcade. The organ stands on the old altar step, and the door on the east wall leads to the roodloft stairway, which is not built entirely in the wall, but has its own peculiar external casing. There are two canopied tombs side by side, having ogee arches and carved finials, and bold cusps, but no crockets.


The church contains the most complete series of screens in the county, and that on the north side enclosing the Ely Chapel is of special ecclesiological importance. The design is particularly graceful. The tracery is of the earliest curvilinear type, supported upon turned shafts, with delicately moulded caps, bases, and bands. The dado panels are plain, but much of the old colour remains, chiefly on the west and south. On the south side panels in the nave, there is a considerable part of a diaper pattern of four green popinjays on a red ground with a floral centre. It has been estimated that this screen is probably the oldest in the country and dates from about 1320. There are double doors on the west and south. The rood screen has only the dado of the original remaining. The lower panels retain a certain amount of colour, but the white is much later than the red and green, having been applied when the church was whitewashed. In fact the three screens, or what was left of them and incorporated in the box pews were painted white. The upper part has been reconstructed from a drawing made nearly two hundred years ago, when an estimate for repairs was furnished by a local carpenter named Berry. Unfortunately this drawing has disappeared. There is some fine carving in the panel spandrels, and it is worthy of close examination. On the left is a man with fingers opening his mouth and stretching it to enable his tongue to cover his foreshortened body. At the ends of the tracery are many faces, grotesque and otherwise. The spandrels of the doors appear to have been copied from the originals, for the rose and star and crescent on the south side were taken from the part of the old screen door. The rose is typically English, and the star and crescent were the badge (not the crest) of Richard 1, John and Henry III.

The fish on the other door is symbolical of our Lord. It was employed with great frequency in early Christian art. The caps of the jambs of the arch were cut away to allow the fitting of the canopy of the screen, and traces of the fixing of supports from the arch to the figures of the rood are still visible.

The Perpendicular screen surrounding the Brunne chantry contains some noteworthy features. The rectangular lights on the west contain simple tracery, and some of the red, green and gold colour remains. The carving in the spandrels on the south side in the chapel is especially delicate. The heads at the ends of the tracery in the easternmost section are modelled on those of the rood screen, and the faces in the westerly portion on the same side are semiconcealed in foliage. The dado rail is duplicated, and shews a continuous series of pierced quatrefoil openings. There are double doors on the west and north.

On the beam are faces, those on the side next the altar being those of the living creatures of Revelation 4. 7-a lion, an ox, a man, an eagle.


The Chancel. The east window, which took the place of one of five lights of the Perpendicular period, was at the restoration modelled on an earlier fourteenth century window, of which many stones were found in the walls. The niches contain the Blessed Virgin on the north, St. Etheldreda with a model of Ely Cathedral and her pastoral staff on the south. The altar and retable are new, each with polished stone for mensa and shelf.

The piscina and sedilia are remarkably fine, consisting of four trefoiled arches or arcades under a horizontal string course. The mouldings are deep and bold, the arches rising from shafts with moulded caps. The piscina occupies half of the eastern section. There seems to have been a fire at some time, as the stones show traces of scorching here and on the north side, where there is an arched recess, which once contained a tomb. An ancient grave slab from which the brass has disappeared is near, and is probably that of a rector or priest connected with the church.

The aumbry, with doors restored in 1957, is further west than is usual. The windows have hood moulds, and some on the south have the original labels, while the thirteenth century lowside window, formed by the continuation downwards of the two lights of the window above, with a transom forming the division is an interesting survival. The rebates for the shutters and the old ironwork remain.

The east window of stained glass in memory of the fallen of the wars 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 was dedicated in 1952.

The splendid proportions and spaciousness of the chancel are unimpaired by modern choir stalls, but the eleven restored clergy stalls with the four return stalls are upon their old stone plinth foundations. The miserere seats have no carving beneath, and the ancient and modern work can easily be identified. Ordinations were held at Willingham frequently from 1340 onwards, and we have records of large numbers admitted to the various orders of the ministry. On one occasion there were two hundred and ninety three candidates. The scene in the chancel on these occasions must have been imposing, and it may not be out of place to suggest a reason for the choice of this church and chancel. The Bishops of Ely had a manor here from the creation of the See of Ely in 1108, and since that date have been the owners of the advowson, retaining it after the manor was sold by Queen Elizabeth I. Apart from this proprietary interest, it must be remembered that until 1754, the only carriage road from Ely to Cambridge ran through Haddenham and Aldreth to the bridge and causeway and emerged in Priests' Lane. The road from Cambridge through Histon and Rampton joined it, so Willingham was a convenient centre both for the Bishops and the students from the Cambridge Hostels.

The roodloft door has been restored, and the absence of the sixth stall on the north side shows that the space was occupied by the support of the gallery leading from the door to the loft. The roof has stone corbels, and they happily indicate the period of restoration. Examination with fieldglasses reveals lettering (printed in brackets) giving the clue to the subjects of the carvings. On the south side from east to west are : -

1. Edward White Benson (Edw. Cantuar), Archbishop of Canterbury 1883 - 1896. 2. Lord Alwyne Compton (Alwyne Ely), Bishop of Ely 1886 - 1905. 3. King Edward VII (E.R.) 1901 - 1910. 4. The Reverend John Watkins (J.W.) Rector 1890 - 1906.

One the north are:- 1. Frederick Temple (F. Cantuar), Archbishop of Canterbury 1896 - 1902. 2. James Russell Woodford (J. R. Eliens), Bishop of Ely 1873 - 1885. 3. Queen Victoria (V.R.), 1837 - 1901. 4. R. H. Carpenter (R.H.C.), Architect.

The angels on the south are holding a crown, a book with a cross on the cover, and an organ; those on the north a cross, a chalice and a harp.


The doorway on the north leads into what is believed to be unique, a sacristy entirely of stone. It measures fourteen feet from east to west, and is nine feet five inches wide. The remarkable high-pitched roof is supported by three stone arches which might be termed beams, rising from corbels with grotesque heads and abaci, and pierced above by tracery with foliated cuspings. The piscina has its stoup mounted on a shaft attached to the chancel wall. The presence of a piscina does not necessarily imply that the building was used as a chapel, though the square headed window on the north would have served admirably to light an altar. The priest and his assistants washed their hands before celebration at any of the altars of the church. The east window is placed at a higher level, and appears to have been heavily barred at one time, while the west window with a square head is high in the gable. An engraving of the interior of the sacristy will be found on page 284 of Lysons' Cambridgeshire (1808). The external view reveals a building of graceful proportions.


The porch with stone seats on either side has the niche, shaft and part of the base of the holy water stoup in the usual place. The east and west walls respectively are divided into large arches, two on either side, furnished with hood moulds. The roof is similar to that of the south aisle, with similar incompleted wallposts. The inner door has very deeply cut mouldings which run through to the floor, there being no jamb shafts. Mention has been made of the Anglo-Saxon and Norman stonework.

The carved heads on the east and west arch intersections are like those in Rochester Cathedral. The blind-folded head signifies the Old Testament, and the mutilated one with a finger to the eye the New Testament. "Whereas I was blind, now I see."

The outer door has an empty niche above it, and the labels of the hood mould are worth notice. The porch has a plain stone parapet.

To the west of the porch, under part of the sill of the adjacent window which has its drip stone partly covered by the porch wall, there exists what looks like the lower part of an old doorway. The tower and spire of Barnack stone are of no great magnitude and not elaborate, but of exquisite grace and symmetry. There is an elegant low embattled parapet, within which the spire begins on a square base, but the angles are chamfered off to an octagon above. The cardinal faces of the spire are wider than the intermediate faces, to allow room for the large and effective spire lights, and at the angles of the tower are pinnacles from which flying buttresses reach to the spire. The six buttresses of the tower are extremely graceful and unobtrusive. A western door way is now blocked up.

The north aisle has no parapet and no outstanding features, but the brick staircasing of the roodloft calls for special notice. It has four irregular sides of red brick, and the bricks of the angles, apparently made specifically for the purpose, are most uncommon, and of different sizes. There is a singular ancient window light of one pierced stone, and a peculiar modern stone roof.

The external view of the sacristy is very striking. There are five buttresses, three on the north, and one at the east and west ends adjacent, with a rich moulding encircling them and the three walls. The roof, also of stone, curves out gracefully at the eaves, forming a perfect slope for taking off the rainwater, and the ridge has an embattled cresting. The chancel has an embattled parapet of red brick with stone casing, and on the south side is a well-moulded priests' door. On the south aisle walls, only two old gargoyles remain, with a few dripstone labels and a sundial; the south aisle has an embattled stone parapet.


Bells. Prior to 1924, there were five bells in the tower. They were cast by Joseph Eayre, of St. Neots, and had the following inscriptions:-

1. Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God. 2. Blessed are the Peacemakers. October 7, 1755. 3. I.H.S. Nazarenus Rex Judeoruxn Filj Dei Miserere mei October 7, 1755. Jos. Eayre fecit. 4. The first time these five bells rang was for Thos. Wallman's wedding. Joseph Eayre St. Neots fecit. 5. John Gooch Rector, Thomas Brand and Thomas Wallman Churchwardens. 1755.

It is stated that the inscription on the fourth was sadly premature, for Mr. Thomas Wallman died a bachelor. A stone to his memory is in the floor of the church. In 1924, the bells were recast with the old inscriptions, and a sixth with this inscription was added:- This bell was added to the peal 1924 in memory of Anna Thoday, née Norris; a daughter's tribute to her mother and her birthplace. May peace reign. On the fifth: Recast 1924. A. C. Hair, Rector, H. C. Frohock, J. Huckell, Churchwardens. The casting and recasting and the new steel frame were the work of John Taylor and Co., Loughborough.


A chalice 6½ inches high, with bowl 4¾ inches wide and 3½ inches deep. In bold letters after a cross is: "For the town of Wyllyngham." The cover, 5 inches in diameter is dated 1569.

A paten of silver 9¾ inches in diameter. On the edge is engraved: "Winellyngharn Parish." The plate mark is that of 1684. A flagon highly engraved, 6¾ inches high, has this inscription on the base: "Ad majorem Dci gloriam, et in piam memoriam Dilectorum iii Christo dormientium Ecclesiae de Willingham. D.D. Joh: Watkins, Rector. A.D. 1899.


The first volume Consists of sixty-eight parchment leaves measuring 141 by 6 inches. The first bears the title: "The Churche Booke whearin are contained the names of all those that have bene christened, married and buried in Wivelingham since the yeare of our lord 1559-Soli Deo sit gloria." The book is well written throughout, and contains entries from October 1559 to Michaelmas 1653. The second volume has fifty parchment leaves measuring 191 inches by 7 inches. The first leaf, of which, as in the first register, a part has been cut off, has the title of the book, and the appointment of Francis Kendricke, gentl. as "Parish Register." The last leaf has some entries of collections on brief, and the other leaves contain entries from 1653 to 1725 including some curious notices of interments of Dissenters or "fanatics." The third volume has forty-eight parchment leaves, 181 by 71 inches, with records of Baptisms and Burials from 1726 to 1812, and of Marriages from 1726 to 1754. There are also several notices of the collations of Rectors and the appointments of schoolmasters and sextons. The fourth volume contains the marriage entries from 1754 to 1768, and was provided under Lord Hardwicke's Act. It is 13 by 81 inches, has a printed title page, the rest being entirely in manuscript, and has 21 parchment leaves. The other volumes are books of printed forms.


1301 John de Rede
1302 Richard de Abindone, Canon of Salisbury and Wells
1318 John de Everisden
1319 Alan de Hotham
1324 John de Ellerker, Canon of Beverley and York
1339 William de Hauberge
1342 Adam de Lynham
1370 Robert de Sustede, LL.D.
1377 Roger de Weston
1447 John Sugden, M.A.
1452 John Newhous
1475 Robert Williamson
1495 John Rumpayne, M.A.
1545 Lancelot Ridley, B.D.
1554 Thomas Parkinson, B.D.
1585 William Smith, D.D., Master of Clare College
1601-12, Provost of King's College, 1612
1615 Jerome Beale, D.D., Master of Pembroke College, 1617
1630 John Buckeridge, M.A.
1647 Edmund Mapletoft, M.A., Archdeacon of Ely
1647 Nathaniel Bradshaw, M.A. (intruded)
1662 Thomas Wren, LL.D., M.D., F.R.S., Canon of Ely and Southwell
1679 William Saywell, D.D., Master of Jesus College, Canon and Archdeacon of Ely
1701 Nathaniel Naylor, B.A.
1706 James Martin, M.A.
1738 James Reynolds, M.A.
1753 John Gooch, D.D., Canon of Ely
1804 George Henry Law, D.D., F.R.S. Bishop of Chester 1812
1812 Sir Henry Bate-Dudley, Canon of Ely
1824 John Brocklebank, B.D.
1843 John Graham, D.D., Master of Christ's College, Bishop of Chester, 1848
1848 Robert Phelps, D.D., Master of Sidney Sussex College
1890 John Watkins, M.A.
1906 Charles Hannibal Crossley, MA.
1923 Andrew Campbell Hair, M.A., Hon. Canon of Ely, 1933
1937 Frederick James Bywaters, M.A., Hon. C.F., Proctor in Convocation,1947-1959, Hon. Canon of Ely from 1949, F.R.HistS., 1962

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