Skip to main content

Early Period - Vicars of Badsey and Wickhamford

In early days, ecclesiastical matters were the responsibility of the Abbot of Evesham, who appointed the curate or chaplain.  Until the dissolution of the monasteries, both Badsey and Wickhamford were chapelries of the mother church in Evesham.  In 1291, the value of Badsey and Wickhamford was given jointly as £15 6s 8d (source - Victoria History of the Counties of England).  But it appears that Badsey and Wickhamford, although connected, had separate curates.  We know nothing about the holders of this office throughout the Middle Ages, whether they were local men from the Vale or men from the establishment of the Abbey.  The only names which remain from the earliest days are those of Thomas James in Badsey and Nicholas Wyke in Wickhamford, who held office at the time of the dissolution.

When the abbey lost the right to appoint at the dissolution of the monasteries, alternative provision had to be made for the care of souls.  On 15th August 1542, King Henry VIII granted to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster the “rectories of Badsey, Aldyngton, Wykenford”.  The scant documentary evidence which is available tends to indicate that Badsey and Wickhamford had separate Vicars until 1681.  The exception appears to have been in the late 1550s when Thomas Scollowe and Thomas Weston were Vicars of both Badsey and Wickhamford, following the deaths of Thomas James of Badsey and Nicholas Wyke of Wickhamford within a short time of each other.

On 4th July 1546, Westminster surrendered the advowson (ie the right of recommending a member of the clergy for a vacant benefice) to the King who on 11th December of the same year granted it, with the rectory and church, to the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, Oxford, who were the governing body of the newly-established College there.  They have continued as rectors and patrons of the parish to the present day.

The following is a list of Vicars about whom information is known.  Information has been provided by Tom Locke, Val Harman, Terry Sparrow, Maureen Spinks.