The Living of North Cerney, Gloucestershire

The village of North Cerney is situated in Gloucestershire a few miles north of Cirencester. University College bought the living of the parish in 1753, out of the fund created in 1714 by John Radcliffe for the purchase of advowsons (see UC:E17/3/MS2/6). It was one of several livings thus acquired in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The College made its first presentation to the living in 1780. The incumbents appointed up to 1938 were almost all former members of University College, and are listed here:
            
1780–92    John Alleyne (Fellow 1754–80)
1792–1826    Matthew Surtees (Fellow 1780–94)
1827–75    Thomas Dawson Allen (Fellow 1811–28)
1876–1908    Peter Goldsmith Medd (Fellow 1852–77)
1908–36    Edward W. N. Oldridge de la Hey (matr. Univ. 1885)
1936–8    James Dugald Forbes Woodhouse (not a member of University College)
1938–51    Allan Riccarton Tudor-Craig    (matr. Univ. 1911)

None of the later incumbents had any links to this College.

The papers relating to North Cerney include title deeds, some photographs, and some correspondence, much of which relates to attempts to amalgamate the parish with two neighbouring ones in the 1920s and 1930s.

Catalogued in June 2015.

    UC:E21/D1 - TITLE DEEDS

As the following deeds make clear, the title to the advowson of North Cerney was disputed from the 1730s to the 1750s. It would seem that different descendants of the Poole family, who had originally owned the advowson, had conveyed it to different people, either through incompetence or dishonesty. As a result of this confusion, the living was left void between 1730 and 1736. Even in 1753, when University College acquired the living from what would appear to be the rightful owners, account had to be made of the rival claimants.

UC:E21/D1/1    31 Jul 1734
        Grant
        Parties:
        1.    William Parry of Easton Gray, Wilts., Esq., son and heir of Jane Poole otherwise Parry, widow, who was daughter and heir of Richard Poole of Newnton, Wilds, who was heir of Richard Poole of Newnton, and who was the wife of William Parry of Easton Gray, decd.
        2.    John Gyse of Rendecombe, Glos., Esq.
        Property: The parsonage, rectory and church of North Cerney, Glos., and the advowson of the same.
        Consideration: None.
        Comments: This deed is set out as a deed poll rather than an indenture.

UC:E21/D1/2    27 Sep 1736
        Articles of Agreement
        Parties:
        1.    John Coxe of Lincolns Inne, Middx., Esq.
        2.    Sir John Gyse of Rendcombe, Glos., Bart.
        Property: The advowson of North Cerney.
        Comments: This document sets out the in detail earlier history of the advowson of North Cerney. In 1683, William Poole of London, Merchant, had presented John Coxe, uncle of 1, to the living of North Cerney. In the late 1720s and early 1730s disputes arose between the families of 1 and 2 over who had the right of ownership to the advowson, thanks to some confused or deceitful actions by members of the Poole family, but now 1 has agreed that 2 is the rightful owner of the advowson.

UC:E21/D1/3    18 Jan 1736/7
        Bargain and Sale
        Parties:
        1.    Sir John Gyse of Rendcome, Glos., Bart.
        2.    James Pitt of Gloucester, Gent.
        Property: The advowson of North Cerney.
        Consideration: £750.
        Comments: Note here the contents of UC:E21/D1/4 below, which show that in fact 2 only paid 1 £300, the remaining £450 being treated as a debt owed by 1 to 2.

UC:E21/D1/4    18 Jan 1736/7
        Conveyance
        Parties:
        1.    Sir John Gyse of Rendcomb, Glos., Bart.
        2.    James Pitt of Gloucester, Gent.
        Property: The advowson of North Cerney.
        Consideration: £300.
        Comments: 2 notes that 1 has served 2 and his father for several years as an attorney, and that he owes 1 £450. 2 agrees that, in return for receiving this advowson, and for his further payment  of £300, he now releases 1 from any further claim on the money he is owed.

UC:E21/D1/5    20 Sep 1739
        Mortgage
        Parties:
        1.    James Pitt of Gloucester, Gent.
        2.    The Revd. John Webb of the same, Clerk.
        Property: All 1's properties in the manor of Maismore, and the advowson of North Cerney.
        Consideration: £1350.

UC:E21/D1/6    3 Nov 1741
        Grant
        Parties:
        1.    James Vaughan of Newnton, Wilts., Gent., brother and heir of William Vaughan of Newnton, esq., decd.
        2.    (a) The Revd. John Harris of Weston Birt, Glos., cler.
            (b) Jane his wife, daughter and one of the younger children of Jane Parry, late of Easton Grey, Wilts, decd.
            (c)–(f) Richard Parry, Mary Parry, Alice Parry, and Silvester Parry, the other younger children of James Parry now living.
        3.    John Coxe of Lincolns Inn, Middx., Esq.
        Property: The advowson of North Cerney.
        Consideration: £200 from 3, to be divided equally between 2 (a) and (b), 2(c), 2(d), 2(e) and 2(f), and 10s from 3 to 1.
        Comments: In 1727, Jane Parry had granted to Charles Coxe, father of (3) the right to next two presentations at North Cerney, on agreement that when the living next fell vacant, Coxe would pay £800 for the perpetual advowson. Parry then left her rights in the advowson to William Vaughan, in trust for her children. 1 and 2 now sell all their rights in the advowson to 3. It is unclear how this transaction relates to the sale of the advowson by Sir John Gyse to James Pitt in 1736/7, unless these descendants of Jane Parry still assumed that they had some rights over the advowson.

UC:E21/D1/7    after 29 Mar 1750
        Undated copy of the will of James Pitt. He bequeaths to Joseph Atwell, one of the prebendaries of Gloucester Cathedral, Nicholas Webb of Gloucester, gent., and Thomas Ratliffe of the same, Esq., all his freehold, leasehold and copyhold lands, as well as the perpetual advowson of North Cerney, in trust, to sell them all after his death for the benefit of his heirs.

UC:E21/D1/8    14 Sep 1753
        Lease for a Year
        Parties:
        1.    (a) The Revd. Joseph Atwell, DD, Chancellor of Norwich and Prebendary of Gloucester Cathedral.
            (b) Nicholas Webb of Gloucester, Gent.
            (c) Thomas Radcliffe of Gloucester, Esq. (the devisees of James Pitt).
        2.    John Browne, DD, and Master of Universiy College, and the Fellows of the same.
        Property: The advowson of North Cerney.
        Consideration: 5s.

UC:E21/D1/9    15 Sep 1753
        Release
        Parties:
        1.    (a) The Revd. Joseph Atwell, DD, Chancellor of Norwich and Prebendary of Gloucester Cathedral.
            (b) Nicholas Webb of Gloucester, Gent.
            (c) Thomas Radcliffe of Gloucester, Esq. (the devisees of James Pitt).
        2.    (a) Rachel Pitt of Gloucester, Widow of James Pitt.
            (b) The Revd. James Pitt of Tainton, Oxon., Clerk.
            (c) John Pitt of Gloucester, Gent.
            (d) The Revd. Nicholas Pitt of Gloucester, Clerk.
            (e) Rachael Pitt of Gloucester, Spinster (2(b)–(d) are all children of James Pitt).
        3.    John Coxe of Lypiat, Glos., Esq.
        4.    John Browne, DD, and Master of University College, and the Fellows of the same.
        Property: The advowson of North Cerney.
        Consideration: £1220 from 4 to 1.
        Comments: 1 sell the advowson to 4, as trustees for 2. 3 has a claim on the next presentation of the living, but now yields it up to 4.

UC:E21/D1/10    17 Sep 1753
        Assignment of Mortgage
        Parties:
        1.    The Revd. John Webb of Gloucester, Clerk.
        2.    (a) The Revd. Joseph Atwell, DD, Chancellor of Norwich and Prebendary of Gloucester Cathedral.
            (b) Nicholas Webb of Gloucester, Gent.
            (c) Thomas Radcliffe of Gloucester, Esq. (the devisees of James Pitt).
        3.    (a) Rachel Pitt of Gloucester, Widow of James Pitt.
            (b) The Revd. James Pitt of Tainton, Oxon., Clerk.
            (c) John Pitt of Gloucester, Gent.
            (d) The Revd. Nicholas Pitt of Gloucester, Clerk.
            (e) Rachael Pitt of Gloucester, Spinster (3(b)–(d) are all children of James Pitt).
        4.    John Browne, DD, and Master of University College, and the Fellows of the same.
        5.    Francis Fawkes of Furnivals Inn, London, Gent.
        Property: The advowson of North Cerney.
        Consideration: £1350 from 2 to 1, and 5s from 5 to 1.
        Comments: Now that his mortgage has been repaid, 1 passes his rights to the advowson to 5, who will hold it in trust for 4.

    UC:E21/C1 - CORRESPONDENCE AND RELATED PAPERS

UC:E21/C1/1    6 & 15 Sep 1753
        Two letters from John Pitt (address, Gloucester) to John Browne. Pitt (one of the sons of James Pitt; see UC:E21/D1/9–10 above). discusses arrangements for the execution of the deeds relating to the conveyance of the advowson of North Cerney.

UC:E21/C1/2    28 Feb 1789
        Statement, prepared by John Alleyne (F. 1754–80; Rector of North Cerney 1780–92) on the value of the rectory of North Cerney, and the amount of money he has spend on repairing the parsonage.

UC:E21/C1/3    1793
        Bill presented to Matthew Surtees (F. 1780–94; Rector of North Cerney 1792–1826) for preparing a survey and valuation of the rectory of North Cerney.

UC:E21/C1/4    29 Sep 1837
        Copy (undated) of an agreement concerning the commutation of tithes of the parish of North Cerney.

UC:E21/C1/5    20 Apr 1842
        Letter from Thomas Dawson Allen (F. 1811–28; Rector of North Cerney 1827–75; address, North Cerney, Cirencester) to Frederick Plumptre. Allen reports that everything is now settled with regard to the commutation of tithes, and hopes that the College will pay the expenses for the commutation, not least because Allen has been involved in an expensive lawsuit of his own on the matter.

UC:E21/C1/6    Jul–Oct 1890
        Letter from Peter Goldsmith Medd (F. 1852–77; Rector of North Cerney 1876–1908; address, North Cerney Rectory, Cirencester) to the Master, concerning a proposed exchange of land between the Rector of North Cerney and Lord Bathurst. He encloses a letter from Lord Bathurst’s representative, and a detailed specification of the lands to be exchanged.  Medd encourages the College to agree to the exchange.

UC:E21/C1/7    2 Nov 1906
        Official notice from Peter Goldsmith Medd of his intention to sell a portion of the glebe land (specified).

UC:E21/C1/8    1 Oct 1907
        Letter from Peter Goldsmith Medd (address, North Cerney Rectory, Cirencester) to A. B. Poynton. Medd reports that he has finally sold the portion of glebe land.

UC:E21/C1/9    15 Nov 1926
        Letter from Sir Michael Sadler to A. B. Poynton. Sadler encloses for Poynton a report on a visit made by himself and L. W. Grenstead (Fellow 1924–30) to North Cerney to discuss a proposal to combine the parishes of North Cerney, Bagendon and Rendcombe. The advowson of Bagendon is owned by Jesus College (a list of the livings owned by Jesus College is also included with this letter), and Sadler wonders about purchasing the living, perhaps by exchanging it with Flamstead. Nothing came of this plan.

UC:E21/C1/10    Oct 1926–Jun 1935
        Bundle of correspondence concerning proposals to unite the parishes of North Cerney, Rendcombe, and Bagendon. The main efforts to do this took place in 1926/7, 1932, and 1935. The correspondence includes reports made by Sadler on a visit to North Cerney in November 1926, and on his attending a Commission of Inquiry to discuss the possible union on May 1932. The proposal was opposed by North Cerney and Bagendon.  [70 items]
            Correspondents include Edward de la Hay (matr. 1885; Rector of North Cerney 1908–36), G. E. Rees (incumbent of Bagendon), A. E. W. Hazel (Principal of Jesus College), Sir Michael Sadler and A. B. Poynton.

    UC:E21/P1 - PHOTOGRAPHS

UC:E21/P1/1–7    n.d. (mid-20th cent.?)
        Seven black and white photographs of the exterior and interior of the church of North Cerney. The subjects of the photographs are identified on the back of each one.
        Size: All 190 by 290 mm.