The Living of Tarrant Gunville, Dorset

Tarrant Gunville is a village in Dorset near Blandford Forum. The College bought the advowson for this parish in 1747. It was the first living purchased by the College from a fund created under the will of John Radcliffe in 1714 for the purchase of advowsons (see UC:E17/3/MS2/6). Unfortunately, the College had a very long wait on its hands before it could enjoy its patronage, because the incumbent, Edward Fleet, who sold the advowson to the College, did not die until 1797. On the other hand, the advowson cost the College rather less than any of the livings acquired at this time, so perhaps the price paid reflected the College’s awareness that it might have to wait a while for a vacancy to occur.

Since 1797, the living’s incumbents to 1957 have been as follows:

1797–1827    Francis Simpson (matr. 1774; Fellow 1781–98).
1828–72    John Watts (matr. 1812; Fellow 1817–29).
1872–88    James Lee Warner (matr. 1855; Fellow 1866–72).
1889–1900    William Henry Hitchcock (matr. 1851).
1900–4    Gerald Mottram Hutton (matr. 1882).
1904–26    John Lewis Rhys (not a member of University College).
1927–57    Arthur Brashaw (matr. 1919).

Brashaw was the last incumbent to be attached to this College.

The papers relating to Tarrant Gunville include title deeds, correspondence, and papers on the finances of the living. They were all found in the archives during the stocktaking of 1993.

Catalogued in November 2015.

    UC:E19/D1 - TITLE DEEDS CONCERNING THE ADVOWSON

UC:E19/D1/1    30 Sep 4 Eliz I (1561)
    Copy dated 16 Apr 1715 of Bargain and Sale
    Parties:
    1.    William Devenyshe, son and heir of Thomas Devenyshe, late of Westhampnet, Sussex, Esq., decd.
    2.    (a) John Swayne of Blandford Forum, Dorset, Gent.
        (b) Agnes, wife of 2a.
    Property: The manor and lordship of Tarrant Gunville, and the advowson of the same.
    Consideration: The consideration is not written into this copy.

UC:E19/D1/2    20 Apr 1693
    Conveyance
    Parties:
    1.    Richard Swayne of Tarrant Gunville, Dorset, Gent.
    2.    Sarah Dring of Brewton, Somerset, widow.
    Property: The advowson of Tarrant Gunville, Dorset.
    Consideration: £500.

UC:E19/D1/3    20 Apr 1693
    Declaration of Trust
    Parties:
    1.    Sarah Dring of Brewton, Somerset, widow.
    2.    Joanna [sic] Webb of Brewton, Clerk.
    Property: The advowson of Tarrant Gunville.
    Comments: 1 declares that the £500 paid in UC:E19/D1/2 above was given to her by 2, that the advowson has been given to her in trust for 2 and his heirs, and that at the next vacancy 2 will make the appointment to the living.

UC:E19/D1/4    6 Dec 1697
    Extract from the will of Sarah Dring of Brewton, Somerset, widow, in which she leaves the advowson of Tarrant Gunville to her daughter Elizabeth Dring in trust for Joanna Webb.

UC:E19/D1/5    21 Feb 1699/1700
    Copy of the will of Joanna Webb of Brewton, Clerk. Webb bequeaths the advowson of Tarrant Gunville to his son Thomas.

UC:E19/D1/6    22 Feb 1699/1700
    Bond
    Parties:
    1.    Elizabeth Dring of Brewton, Somerset, spinster.
    2.    Joanna Webb of Brewton, Clerk.
    Consideration: £1000.
    Comments: 1 is bound to 2 to carry out the conditions attached to the bequest of the advowson of Tarrant Gunville set out in her mother’s will.

UC:E19/D1/7    10 Nov 1716
    Mortgage
    Parties:
    1.    (a) Thomas Webb, son and heir of Joanna Webb, late of Brewton, Somerset, MA, decd.
        (b) Margaret Webb, widow of Joanna Webb.
        (c) James Druce of Brewton, Innholder.
    2.    Charles Bull of Compton Pauncefoot, Somerset, Gent.
    Property: The advowson of Tarrant Gunville.
    Consideration: £200.

UC:E19/D1/8    14 Jan 1717/18
    Mortgage
    Parties:
    1.    (a) Margaret Webb of Woodcox Farm, Somerset, widow, and eldest daughter and one of the co-heirs of Sarah Dring.
        (b) Thomas Webb of Woodcox Farm, sone and heir of Joanna Webb, late husband of 1a, and heir apparent to 1a.
        (c) James Druce of Brewton, Inndholder and husband of Elizabeth Druce, decd.
        (d) James Druce of Brewton, eldest son of Elizabeth Druce, who was the other co-heir and youngest daughter of Sarah Dring.
    2.    Charles Bull of Compton Pauncefoot, Somerset, Gent.
    Property: The advowson of Tarrant Gunville.
    Consideration: £300.
    Comments: Some further conditions as to the further lending of money on the advowson are set out in a piece of paper attached to this deed.

UC:E19/D1/9    14 Jan 1717/18
    Bond
    Parties:
    1.    (a) Thomas Webb of Woodcox Farm, Frome Sellwood, Somerset, Gent.
        (b) Margaret Webb of the same, widow.
    2.    Charles Bull of Compton Pauncefoot, Somerset.
    Comments: 1 is bound to do for £600 to perform the covenants in the mortgage UC:E19/D1/8 above.

UC:E19/D1/10    13 Jun 1720
    Conveyance
    Parties:
    1.    (a) Margaret Webb of Woodcox Farm, Frome Sellwood, Somerset, widow of Joanna Webb, and one of the two daughters and co-heirs of Sarah Dring.
        (b) Thomas Webb of Maiden Bradly, Wilts., clerk, son and heir of Joanna Webb by 1a.
        (c) Elizabeth Webb, daughter of 1a.
        (d) Mary Webb, daughter of 1a.
        (e) James Druce the elder of Brewton, Innholder.
        (f) James Druce the younger, son and heir of Elizabeth Druce, who was the other daughter and co-heir of Sarah Dring.
    2.    Charles Bull of Compton Pauncefoot, Somerset. Gent.
    3.    Henry Walker of Stafford, Gent.
    Property: The advowson of Tarrant Gunville.
    Consideration: £900 from 3 to 1b; 5s each from 3 to 1a and 1c–4, and to 2.
    Comments: 1 sell the above advowson to 3. 1f is currently under the age of 21, and will arrange to execute this deed once he reaches that age.

UC:E19/D1/11    Jun 1720
    Order from Thomas Webb to pay £900 in connection with the conveyance UC:E19/D1/10 above.

UC:E19/D1/12    23 Mar 1740/1
    Conveyance
    Parties:
    1.    (a) Samuel Walker of Whitchurch, Oxon., Gent.
        (b) James Druce the Younger of Brewton, Somerset, Gent.
    2.    Edward Fleet of Lockerley, Hants., Clerk.
    Property: The advowson of Tarrant Gunville.
    Consideration: £1160 from 2 to 1a and 5s from 2 to 1b.
    Comments: 1a and 1b, who never executed the deed of 1720 (UC:E19/D1/10 above) sell the above advowson to 2.

UC:E19/D1/13    23 Mar 1740/1
    Bond
    Parties:
    1.    Samuel Walker of Whitchurch, Oxon., Gent.
    2.    Edward Fleet of Lockerley, Hants., Clerk.
    Comments: 1 is bound to 2 for £2200 to perform the covenants in UC:E19/D1/12 above.

UC:E19/D1/14    10 Jun 1741
    Grant of Presentation
    Parties:
    1.    Edward Fleet of Lockerley, Hants., Clerk.
    2.    Samuel Eyre of Broughton, Hants. Doctor of Law.
    Property: The advowson of Tarrant Gunville.
    Consideration: 5s
    Comments: 1 grants 2 the right of appointment on the next vacancy to the above living, so that 2 can appoint 1 to it.

UC:E19/D1/15    31 Jan 1741/2
    Extract from the will (proved 7 Jan 1742/3) of Samuel Eyre, Rector of Broughton in the diocese of Winchester. Eyre leaves his property to be divided between his brother Edward Eyre and sister Elizabeth Lee.

UC:E19/D1/16    9 Mar 1741/2
    Mortgage
    Parties:
    1.    Edward Fleet of Lockerley, Hants., Clerk.
    2.    Samuel Eyre of Broughton, Hants. Doctor of Law.
    Property: The advowson of Tarrant Gunville.
    Consideration: £500.

UC:E19/D1/17    9 Mar 1741/2
    Bond
    Parties: Both as in UC:E19/D1/16 above.
    Comments: 1 is bound to 2 for £1000 to fulfil the covenants agreed in UC:E19/D1/16 above.

UC:E19/D1/18    29 Apr 1743
    Assignment of Mortgage
    Parties:
    1.    Edward Fleet of Lockerley, Hants., Clerk.
    2.    (a) Edward Eyre of Chelsea College, Middx., Esq.
        (b) Elizabeth Lee of Southampton Row, St. George Bloomsbury, widow.
    3.    William White of Southampton, Mercer.
    Property: The advowson of Tarrant Gunville.
    Consideration: £500 from 3 to 2.
    Comments: 2 are the heirs of Samuel Eyre, now deceased. Meanwhile 1 has now been appointed to the living of Tarrant Gunville.

UC:E19/D1/19    29 Apr 1743
    Bond
    Parties:
    1.    Edward Fleet of Lockerley, Hants., Clerk.
    2.    William White of Southampton, Mercer.
    Comments: 1 is bound to 2 for £1000 to fulfil the covenants agreed in UC:E19/D1/18 above.

UC:E19/D1/20    21 Apr 1747
    Draft of agreement concerning the conveyance of the advowson of Tarrant Gunville to University College, with a list of documents attending the title.

UC:E19/D1/21    27 Apr 1747
    Copy of Articles of Agreement
    Parties:
    1.    Edward Fleet of Gunville, Dorset, Clerk.
    2.    John Marshall of University College, Oxford, Clerk.
    Property: The advowson of Tarrant Gunville.
    Comments: 1 agrees to sell the above advowson to University College for £1000.

UC:E19/D1/22    25 Sep 1747
    Bargain and Sale
    Parties:
    1.    Edward Fleet, Rector of Tarrant Gunville, Dorset, Clerk.
    2.    Robert Eyre of Newhouse, Wilts., Esq., Excise Commissioner, eldest brother and heir of Samuel Eyre.
    3.    William White of Southampton, Mercer.
    4.    The Master and Fellows of University College.
    Property: The advowson of Tarrant Gunville.
    Consideration: 5s (from 4 to 2); £500 (from 4 to 3); £500 (from 4 to 1).
    Comments: 1 sells the above advowson to 4.
        This deed is covered with pencil annotations as if it was being used as a draft for a later document.

    UC:E19/D2 - LEASE OF PROPERTY IN TARRANT GUNVILLE

UC:E19/D2/1    18 Mar 1799
    Lease for 60 Years
    Parties:
    1.    (a) The Hon. Charlotte Chapman of Tarrant Gunville, Dorset, widow of Anthony Chapman, Esq.
        (b) Richard Chapman of Beaumont Street, Middx., Esq., (both are devisees of the will of Anthony Chapman).
    2.    The Rev. Francis Simpson, Rector of Tarrant Gunville.
    Property: A piece of waste ground at Tarrant Gunville between the garden wall of 1a and the boundary of the rectory (as shown on a plan drawn on this deed).
    Consideration: 6d a year.

    UC:E19/F1 - FINANCIAL RECORDS

Most of these papers relating to Francis Simpson (Rector 1797–1827), in particular to his concerns over the size of the poor rate to be paid in the parish, and to ensuring the construction of a grand new rectory (which would prove somewhat burdensome to his successors a century later).

UC:E19/F1/1    n.d. (c. 1800?)
    Copy (annotated by Francis Simpson) of the Poor Rate levied within Tarrant Gunville in 1749.

UC:E19/F1/2    n.d. (after 1788)
    Copy (by Francis Simpson?) of the Poor Rates levied within Tarrant Gunville on 7 Jun 1788.

UC:E19/F1/3    n.d. (19th cent.)
    Note, attributed to F. C. Plumptre, on the alterations made to the Poor Rate at Tarrant Gunville in 1794.

UC:E19/F1/4–8    7 Apr 1795–23 Mar 1797
    Five lists of assessments made for individual parishioners and landowners. UC:E19/F1/4–7 are for the payment of the Poor Rate, and UC:E19/F1/8 for paying for sailors in the Royal Navy.

UC:E19/F1/9    20 Dec 1800
    Copy of an order from the Lord Chancellor permitting money from the Linton Fund to be used both to augment the stipend of Francis Simpson as Rector of Tarrant Gunville, but also to pay for the rebuilding the rectory there.

UC:E19/F1/10    16 Nov 1802
    Draft letter from Francis Simpson to William Hanham, Overseer of the Poor, on the size of the poor rate to be paid in the parish.

UC:E19/F1/11    n.d. (1802?)
    Notes on alterations to the poor rate at Tarrant Gunville, apparently related to UC:E19/F1/10 above.

UC:E19/F1/12    1803–6
    8 receipts for payments made by University College towards the rebuilding of the rectory at Tarrant Gunville.

UC:E19/F1/13    30 Nov 1818
    Letter from Francis Simpson (address, Bristol) to William Crabtree. Simpson thanks the College for sending him his annual augmentation to his stipend, as he will make sure that his successor has evidence for this.

UC:E19/F1/14    5 Feb 1824
    Letter from Thomas Fox (address, Beaminster) to Francis Simpson. Fox encloses a presentment for Simpson concerning his being a witness over a case of trespass at the next meeting of the Quarter Sessions.

UC:E19/F1/15    1828
    Solicitor’s Bill for University College in relation to expenses incurred by John Watts (matr. 1812; F. 1817–29) when he was installed as Rector of Tarrant Gunville, in particular in relation to leasing out the glebe land.

UC:E19/F1/16    1838
    Dossier of documents bound together relating to plans to effect a voluntary commutation of tithe at Tarrant Gunville.

UC:E19/F1/17    1841
    Memorandum titled “Deficiency of Cropping at Gunville”, concerning problems with raising tithes in the parish.

    UC:E19/C1 - CORRESPONDENCE

UC:E19/C1/1    Dec 1887–May 1888
    Envelope of correspondence relating to a dispute between the College and John Wordsworth, Bishop of Salisbury 1885–1911 (21 Sep 1843 to 16 Aug 1911), concerning a presentation made  to Tarrant Gunville in 1888. In December 1887, the College had agreed to sell the living of Tarrant Gunville to John Spencer Price (a copy of the draft conveyance is at UC:P1/7/D1/1). In January 1888, before the purchase was completed, the College living of Beckley in Sussex fell vacant, and the College moved the current incumbent of Tarrant Gunville, James Lee-Warner, there, so that Robert Townson, a candidate proposed by Price, could be installed as Lee-Warner’s successor.
        Unfortunately, Bishop Wordsworth disapproved of such an agreement which he deemed simoniacal, and in May 1888 he refused to institute Townson  to the living. The College considered taking the Bishop to court, but eventually withdrew, and permitted the Bishop to appoint his own candidate, William Henry Hitchcock (who happened to be a member of University College). Meanwhile the sale of the living to Price fell through.
        The letters in this envelope relate to the early stages of this story. Correspondents include Charles Fyffe, James Franck Bright, E. J. Payne, and John Wordsworth, Bishop of Salisbury [15 items]

UC:E19/C1/2    Jul–Nov 1888
    A second envelope of papers concerning the disputed presentation made to Tarrant Gunville in 1888. Correspondents include E. J. Payne. [17 items]

UC:E19/C1/3    30 Dec 1891–1 Feb 1892
    Envelope containing four letters, all but one from William Henry Hitchcock (matr. 1851; Rector of Tarrant Gunville 1888–1900), on plans to sell some of the glebe land at Tarrant Gunville.

UC:E19/C1/4    15 Sep 1907
    Letter from John Lewis Rhys (address, The Rectory, Tarrant Gunville, Blandford) to A. B. Poyton. Rhys reports on the restoration of the Church, and how pleased he is with it. He enclosed a letter (lost) from James Lee-Warner (matr. 1855; F. 1866–72; Rector of Tarrant Gunville 1872–88), and reports on a meeting with what must be Charles Medd (matr. 1857; F. 1864–74), and hearing tales of Lee-Warner’s regular threats of resignation at College meetings when he was a Fellow.

UC:E19/C1/5    Dec 1923–Jul 1934
    Large bundle of letters, addressed either to Sir Michael Sadler or A. B. Poynton in his capacity as Bursar, concerning Tarrant Gunville. Subjects discussed include a possible union of benefices in the Tarrant Gunville area, the filling of a vacancy following the resignation of John Lewis Rhys (a process made more protracted by the debate over the union of benefices), the sale of some glebe land in the nearby parish of Tarrant Rushton, and repairing a well at the rectory.
    Correspondents include Sir Michael Sadler, A. B. Poynton, A. S. L. Farquharson, L. W. Grensted, Kenneth Leys, St. Clair Donaldson, Bishop of Salisbury 1921–35 (11 Feb 1863 to 7 Dec 1935), John Lewis Rhys, William Sheldon Hadley, Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge, 1912–27 (d. 25 Dec 1927), Martin Linton Smith, Bishop of Hereford 1920–30 (4 Jul 1869 to 7 Oct 1950), Cosmo Gordon Lang, Archbishop of York 1909–28 (31 October 1864 to 5 Dec 1945), Thomas Strong, Bishop of Oxford 1925–37 (24 Oct 1861 to 8 Jul 1944), George Eden, Bishop of Wakefield 1897–1928 (9 Sep 1853 to 7 Jan 1940), Gerald Allen, Bishop of Sherborne 1928–36 (1885–1956), several applicants for the living, as well as several Old Members of University College who were approached about the living, and decided not to take it, namely Ernest Henry Arkwright (matr. 1886), Charles Henry Bailey (matr. 1901), George Williamson Brodribb (matr. 1894), Derman Christopherson (matr. 1894), Richard Willis de la Hey (matr. 1892), Reginald Dawson St George Edwards (matr. 1892), John Henry Hopkinson (matr. 1895), Arthur Hewett Huxtable (matr. 1899), Tom Longworth (matr. 1910), Arthur Julius Morris (matr. 1894), Wilfred Julian Noel Probyn (matr. 1891), Finlay Sanderson (matr. 1893), and Arthur Clement Brashaw (matr. 1919), who finally accepted the living [274 items].

    UC:E19/E1 - DESCRIPTIONS AND SURVEYS OF THE LIVING

UC:E19/E1/1    n.d. (after 1717)
    Description of the living of Tarrant Gunville.

UC:E19/E1/2    17 Mar 1828
    Survey of Tarrant Gunville.

UC:E19/L1 - PAPERS ON THE AMALGAMATION OF THE BENEFICES AROUND TARRANT GUNVILLE

UC:E19/L1/1    23–25 Jan 1928
    Envelope containing three documents concerning a proposal to unite the benefice of Tarrant Gunville with five other benefices in the area.

UC:E19/L1/2    30 Mar 1928
    Copy of the London Gazette, with a notice from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners announcing a scheme to unite Tarrant Gunville with five other local parishes.

    UC:E19/M1 - MAP

UC:E19/M1/1    n.d. (early 19th cent.?)
    Small sketch plan of the Rectory and grounds at Tarrant Gunville. No scale given.

    UC:E19/X1 - PRINTED EPHEMERA

UC:E19/X1/1    Jun 1807
    Printed sheet, created presumably in connection with the current Quarter Sessions, of statistics for Dorset, including accounts of county stock, lists of prisoners in the gaol, and other county accounts. It appears to have been used as a wrapper for some other documents.