Home / Rectors of St. Helen’s Church, Burghwallis 


The earliest reference found to a rector of Burghwallis is during the reign of Henry II and concerns land owned by the Nunnery at Hampole, which had been founded about 1170 AD.  The deed is dated about 1180 and names the master of the nunnery Randolph and the prioress Cristiana as the grantors, William son of William son of Fulk de Havic as the grantee, the land in question being I/2 acre of meadow in Skellow for a rent of 1d a  year,  ‘near the way called Rodegate’.  Among the witnesses was ‘William, parson of Burc’. [Burghwallis].  William was probably the first Rector to be presented by a member of the Wallis family, as a Henry le Waleys was described as ‘of Burg’ in 1170.

On 15th June 1243 the same, or more likely another, William was described as ‘Parson of Burg’ when he was ‘granted the use of 1½ acres of land and 1 acre of meadow in Skellow at a rent of 4 pence per annum to be paid at Martinmass, by Hugh of Skellow.’  It was a grant to William for term of life only and would not pass down to his heirs.

In 1251 Peter was ‘Clerk of Burgh’ and is also mentioned in a Fine.

By 1253 the Wallis’ had been Lords of the manor of Burghwallis for several generations, and in this year Richard le Waleys, Knight, was to present Stephen de Wantham, the first rector who is named on the board in the church.  He did this ‘with the assent of William de Holm, Elias de Midhope and Richard de Tankersley, his co-patrons.’ 

The line of the Pictavi family, who held Burghwallis and Skellow from Ilbert de Lacy who likewise held it from William I (the Conqueror), had ended in seven daughters who were all co-heirs to the manor.  The Wallis’ eventually became the main landowners in the manor but the co-patrons mentioned in the presentation were descended from marriages of the other daughters and so had a say in the running of the manor and the choosing of a priest. 

The next rector was Robert de Saham who took residence on 15th October 1272 on the presentation of Stephen de Waleys.  On 12 August 1287 he also became rector of the parishes of Campsall and Womersley, but held Burghwallis for another three years.  He may have been connected to the de Sahams of Saham Stoney in Norfolk, members of which family held land and property and were benefactors of Wendling Abbey and Thetford Priory.

On 8th August 1290 Stephen le Waleys, Knight, presented Edmund de Roderfeud, but he seems to have stayed at St. Helen’s for less than a year.  Was he displaced for a favourite of King Edward I?

On 2nd July 1291 Robert de Bardelby was presented to the living.  He is listed in the ‘Dictionary of National Biography’ as an English judge.  Robert de Bardelby was not to fulfil his obligations to Burghwallis for some time as on the 9th July 1291 the King (Edward I) asked the archbishop to ”excuse his clerk Robert de Bardelby of Burghwallis, who was in attendance with the chancellor and others of the King’s council, from attending the archbishop’s visitation.”  Before taking Burghwallis he had been mentioned in 1286 as an unbeneficed cleric in the diocese of York.  On the board in St. Helen’s a Robert de Bartheby is named as becoming Rector in 1294, but the Roberts seem to be  one and the same person.  This can be explained by the fact that he was ‘excused’ in July 1291 for other duties and, according to Corbridge’s Register, the benefice ‘continued in his favour, 1st October 1294.’  Also I haven’t found any mention of a ‘de Bartheby’ amongst the ecclesiastical records.

Robert seems to have been a very greedy, and ultimately wealthy, person for in 1296, as King’s clerk, he became Canon of the Chapel of St. Mary and the Angels, York, in 1301 he held a prebend at South Malling in Chichester diocese, in 1305 he was presented by the King to be prebendary of Dunnington in York, and in 1306 he got a papal dispensation for Sandhurst and Doddington, and he was also Rector of Monckton Moor.  He was also one of the keepers of the Great Seal between 1302 and 1321.  He took all these positions during the time he was acting Rector of Burghwallis, all being added to a papal dispensation granted to him first in 1305-6 and consolidated in 1310, mentioning that he still held the chapel of Burghwallis; however according to the list on the board Geoffrey de Lanum became Rector in 1309.

His income from all these positions must have been enormous; he no doubt paid a pittance to poor curates to do the work and I doubt if Burghwallis saw very much, if anything, of Sir Robert de Bardelby!  In theory it was not allowed for a priest to have more than one job but it was fairly easy to get a dispensation, and it seems that when applying he ‘forgot’ to mention some of his benefices and had to apply for an extra dispensation a few years later.  He appears to have got away with having all these positions as being a favourite, and possibly friend, of the King (Edward 1), for in July 1301 the King had written to the archbishop asking him again to excuse Sir Robert from the visitation.  He was also the Dean of York’s right-hand man in legal matters.  

After leaving Burghwallis he was at Bridford, diocese of Exeter in 1311.  He took the canonry of South Malling in the diocese if Chichester in 1312, in 1314 he was ‘installed by proxy’ to the rectory of Gledney in County Lincoln and in 1314/15 he was in charge of the hospital of St. Thomas of Acon in London.  He died 18th August 1333.

He was replaced at Burghwallis on 12th January 1309 by Geoffrey de Lanum, presented by Alice Wallis, widow of Sir Stephen.  One of his first ‘jobs’ in 1309 was to sequestrate and sell the “fruits and goods of the living of Campsall when the rector of that parish, Boniface de Salucius, was excommunicated for refusing to publish a writ of excommunication on his brother George who had unlawfully taken possession of property belonging to the Deanery of York.”  Apparently George had “detained and threatened the messengers sent by the Archbishop, mutilated their horses and seriously injured one of the men.” Excommunication meant that they were banished from the privileges of the church, essentially being cut off from religious society and banned from many other practices.  ‘Sir Geoffrey de Lanum and William de Symtheton, rectors of Burghwallis and Smeaton’ were acting trustees for the parish of Campsall, and in 1313 were ordered to ‘supersede in the exaction of £6 from a Henry de Featheston for the fruits of the Church of Campsall’.  

The period that Geoffrey was rector of Burghwallis was a time of much social unrest.  Atrocious weather throughout Europe, with very cold winters and wet summers, had caused crop failures which led to a ‘great famine’ during 1315-17.  This produced a period of extreme levels of crime, disease, mass death and even, reputedly, cannibalism.  The Church found its authority undermined; in a society where religion was resorted to as the answer to all problems, no amount of prayer was effective against the cause of the famine as God was seen to be unable or unwilling to answer them.  People turned against those in authority, looting wherever they could in order to feed their families.  Geoffrey de Lanum was to find himself receiving such treatment, for on January 18th 1318 he went before the courts to accuse ‘Henry de Dalton, Richard Tyeys, John de Esdyk and Thomas le Ferour’ who ‘with others broke the doors and windows of his houses at Burgwaleys, assaulted John de Ebor his servant, and threatened him and his servants, so that he dare not go without his close.’  At the same court John de Rither, yeoman, brought a complaint against a large group of men who had thrown him and his servants out, taken over his manor for several months, levied rents from his tenants, felled trees, and finally left taking all his livestock.  Geoffrey de Lanum had left Burghwallis by 1321 and in 1330 was Patron Abbot at the convent of Wenlock, leading a much quieter life.

On the 5th June 1321 Sir Richard le Waleys, knight, presented John Aaron de Geytington to be Rector.  He had resigned from Burghwallis by 1323, his resignation possibly having something to do with the fact that Richard le Waleys had sided with the Earl of Lancaster against Edward II at the Battle of Boroughbridge on 16th March 1322 and had been captured, thus forfeiting his lands.  Twenty-five years later (1348) John Aaron de Geytington was noted, as a clerk, giving land to the prior at Wenlock.

As Sir Richard le Waleys had been deprived of his lands on account of being a ‘Rebel’, King Edward II was custodian of Burghwallis, and as such presented the next rector, James de Tyfford, on 12th January 1323/4.  He also didn’t stay at Burghwallis for long, resigning for the church of Crofton by exchange with the rector there in 1327.

Edward II had given the lands of Richard le Wallis to Sir Geoffrey le Scrope, and it was he who granted the exchange by presenting William de Kettelby, who had resigned from the church of Crofton, as rector at Burghwallis on 1st May 1327.  

The reign of Edward II had not been a successful one, with constant battles and social unrest, and in 1327 he was forced to relinquish the throne to his son Edward III who was only fourteen at the time and ruled by his mother and Roger Mortimer.  In 1327 Parliament posthumously reversed the conviction of Thomas of Lancaster and subsequently the attainder was reversed on the manors of Burghwallis and Newton Wallis and the manors were restored to Richard Wallis.  William de Kettelby was resident rector at Burghwallis until 1344, at which time he exchanged with Thomas de Barnby, rector of Barnborough.

On 30th December 1344 Thomas de Barnby was presented by Stephen Wallis, son of Sir Richard.  The Barnby’s appear to have been a large landed family and several Thomas’ appear as clerks in various parishes, so it has not been possible to find anything definite relating to this Thomas.  

He resigned in 1350 and was replaced by a possible relative, John de Barnby.  John was presented by Robert de Swillington, who had been given custody of the manor of Burghwallis when it passed into the hands of an heiress who was underage; the manor did not pass back to this heiress, Elizabeth Wallis, until the death of Sir Robert in 1392.  As with Robert, it has not been possible to find out anything about John.  He was however the first recorded to have died at Burghwallis, in 1359, and is presumably buried in the chancel of St. Helen’s, although his grave slab no longer exists.  [See Church booklet]

Walter de Thebaud of Eye was presented on 12th August 1359, also by Robert de Swillington.  He was most likely trained for the priesthood at the small Benedictine Priory at Eye on the Suffolk coast.  He died ‘as rector’ in 1369, presumably at Burghwallis.

On the 14th October of that year Robert Greheued, spelt as Gretevid on the Rectors board, became rector.  On 16th April 1370 he was granted absence for three years in the service of ‘an unnamed person’ and on 11th September of the same year was granted a dispensation ‘cum ex eo’ for two years.  (‘cum ex eo’ was a dispensation granted under canon law allowing the recipient to attend university for two years to obtain an academic degree.)  He resigned from Burghwallis in 1372.  In 1378 he is mentioned as the rector of Eckington in Derbyshire and in 1380, with Richard de Stockton, as a feoffee of the manor of Swillington.

Richard de Stockton was presented as rector on 28th April 1372 and was still rector of Burghwallis in 1408 when he was present at an inquest regarding the vicar of Badsworth.  The chancery proceedings of 1380 took place at Westminster, when Robert de Swylyngton ‘acknowledged the manors and advowson to be the right of Robert Grethed, as those which the same Robert and Richard have of his gift, and has remised and quitclaimed them from himself and his heirs to Robert Grethed and Richard and the heirs of Robert for ever.’  Robert Grethed (later Greathead) was named as parson of the church of Ekyngton and Richard de Stokton, parson of Burghwallis.  For the privilege of holding the manors of Swylyngton and Rodes and the advowson of the church of the manor of Swylyngton they agreed to payRobert de Swilyngton 200 marks of silver.  In a further plea of covenant of 1387 Robert de Swylyngton and his wife Margaret gave the two, with others and the heirs of Richard de Stockton ‘for ever’, land in Brampton.  For this they were to give 20 pounds in sterling.  In another plea of covenant in 1395 between Robert de Stokton with others, and John Dependen and his wife Elizabeth (nee Wallis, the heiress to Burghwallis), they were to receive 50s of rent (annually) from Eylston and Sibthorp, for which they gave also to John and Elizabeth 20 pounds sterling.  [Note – records 22-24 are found as ‘Feet of Fines’.  When an exchange of land took place, whether by inheritance or otherwise, a plea was made before the courts to legalise this.  The document recording this transaction was written in triplicate on one large sheet of parchment, two being written from sides to middle and one across the bottom.  They were then cut apart by a wavy line, the upper two being given one to each of the parties concerned and the bottom section, the ‘Feet of Fine’ to be kept in court records.  It is the latter that in most cases is all that has survived to the present day, and they are a great source of information for historians.]
By the time Richard de Stockton had died or resigned from Burghwallis the Lordship had passed from Elizabeth and John de Dependen through the female line to a great granddaughter Elizabeth, the wife of Sir William Gascoigne.  
It was Sir William who presented the next rector, Robert Gellesthorp, on 25th May 1412, at the close of the reign of Henry IV.  Robert seems to have had close connections to William Gascoigne for some years, being mentioned (as Chaplain) together with William in deeds of 1397 and 1399.  He was rector for nearly twenty years; his Will, dated 2nd October 1431 and proved on the 8th October, requested that he be buried ‘at Doncaster.’
Richard Lyndale was presented as rector three days later, on 11th October 1431. He was named in a plea of covenant of 1427 concerning the manor of Burghwallis, which at that time he held as a feoffee with Richard Wortley, Esquire;  Richard Lyndale was described as ‘chaplain’ so may have been in charge of Burghwallis church during the absence or illness of Robert Gellesthorpe.   In 1427 the two Richards were granted the manor by William Gascoigne, Esquire, and Margaret his wife, to hold to them and their heirs forever.  Richard Lyndale was also named as the ‘querent’ in 1443 when he was granted the use of ‘60 acres of land, 10 acres of meadow, 100 acres of pasture, 4 acres of wood and 20 shillings of rent in Skellall’, Carecroft, Awston’, Burgh’ and Athwyke’, also by William Gascoigne and his wife. Richard Lyndale made his Will on 13th October 1460 and it was proved the following January 12th.   He is buried in St. Helen’s, his grave slab lying to the north side of the high altar.  It depicts a jewelled cross with a chalice to the right and a book to the left.   The inscription reads “Hic jacet Riicus Lyndall quondam Rector istius ecclesiae; qui obiit XXIII Decembr, Anno D’ni M.CCCC.I.X. cujus animae propicietur Deus.” 
[Not this entire inscription is now visible, being partly hidden by the base of the altar.]

Grave slab of Richard Lyndale in St. Helen’s church, Burghwallis

The next rector was Oliver Dyneley, also presented by a Sir William Gascoigne, knight, senior, on the 8th January 1460-61.  He resigned after 24 years and was replaced on 24th July 1484 by Henry Horseman.  He received a pension of 5 marks yearly and had died by October 1493.

Richard Monkton became the next rector, on 24th October 1493.  Unusually he was presented by Nicholas Midilton who was granted patron by William Gascoigne, knight;  no reason for this has been found but presumably it was reward for services rendered.  Richard made his Will on 5th August 1506, in which he requested to be buried ‘in the quire against the pulpit.’  

Sir William Gascoigne presented John Aleyn on 27th August 1506; he was rector of the parish for fifteen years, after which time he resigned.

The next rector to be presented by Sir William Gascoigne was a distant cousin of his, Henry Gascoigne, on 27th May 1521.  Henry was awarded a ‘Pension of 10 li, yearly reserved to retiring.’ 

It was possibly for this Henry that the rectory house mentioned in early visitations was built as according to Hunter ‘the same coat of arms were formerly to be seen in the rectorial house’ as are inscribed on Henry’s grave slab.  John Gascoigne, a younger brother of the then Sir William, had been described as ‘of Burghwallis’ in 1489 and it is probable that the oldest part of Burghwallis Hall dates from his residence.  Thus old cottages would have been pulled down and tenants moved to make the core of the village consist of church, manor house and rectory, an arrangement that is repeated throughout England.

In 1534 the reigning monarch, King Henry VIII, broke away from the Pope and declared himself supreme head of the ‘Church of England.’  Henry Gascoigne was rector of Burghwallis during the reign of Henry VIII and was there in 1536 when the king ordered the dissolution of the monasteries.  In the preceding year an assessment had been made of all property owned by the Church, known as the ‘Valor Ecclesiasticus’, as King Henry wanted to ascertain how much the finances of the church were worth.  The Rectory at Burghwallis yielded 14 li. 16s.4d gross, which included the rector’s income, how much land was owned by the church in their area, and what revenue was received from other sources.  A new tax was to be charged at 10% of the value yearly.

Henry and Sir William may have attended the meeting on Scawsby Lees in 1536 when, during an uprising (which became known as the Pilgrimage of Grace) in protest against Henry VIII’s break with the Roman Church and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, royal leaders opened negotiations with the insurgents.  A general pardon was authorised by King Henry and the promise of a Parliament to be held at York to discuss grievances at which the leader of the uprising, Robert Aske, dismissed his followers.

 Henry Gascoigne’s Will is dated 22nd December 1540.  In it he directed that he should be buried in the ‘high quire;’ it was proved the following January 14th.  His grave slab is laid to the north side of the High Altar.  It has a cross on three steps with on the left side Henry’s shield of arms (Gascoigne impaling a chevron) and on the other side a chalice.

The inscription around the outside reads ‘Hic jacet dominus Henricus Gascoigne quondam istius ecclesiae rector, qui Diem clausit extremum XXVII die mensis Decembris, anno Dom. M.CCCCC.XL. cujus animae propitietur Deus. Amen.’

St. Helen’s seems to have been without a Rector for the next six months for it wasn’t until 29th July 1541 that Henry Whiting, a Bachelor of Medicine, was collated as rector by the Archbishop ‘on a lapse’.  No cause was given as to why Sir William Gascoigne had not appointed a new rector immediately to fill the vacancy.  

Henry Whiting graduated from Oxford, a BA in 1519 and MA in 1523.  By 1528 he had been admitted to the prebend of Dunnington in York Minster which he exchanged in 1541 for the prebend of Osbaldwick, the same year that he was given the living at Burghwallis.  He resigned from Burghwallis after three years and died the following year.  His Will was dated 2nd December 1545, made in the prescence of a Doctor of ‘phisicke’, one of the ministers of the ‘Channcerye’, and a ‘peticanon’ of the cathedral church of St. Paul in London; probate was granted within sixteen days. 

On 15th December 1545 John Goldyng was the last rector to be presented by a William Gascoigne, (described as ‘senior, of Gawkethorpe’.)  

John Goldyng was rector during turbulent times, from the later years of Henry VIII, through the reign of the young Edward VI, and into the reign of Queen Mary Tudor, or ‘Bloody Mary’ as she has become known.  Edward VI was under the protection of the Duke of Somerset who ensured Edward was educated as a Protestant in the hopes that he would continue religiously in his father’s footsteps.  In 1549 the Act of Uniformity imposed a Book of Common Prayer to be used and attempts were made to remove any aspects of religion that were associated with the Catholic Church, such as stained glass windows and religious wall paintings.  Further disruption was to follow when Edward VI died of tuberculosis at the age of fifteen and his elder sister Mary Tudor came to the throne.  She had been raised as a Catholic and was determined to return the country to the Catholic faith and undo the changes of the preceding few years.

John Goldyng covered several other positions during his time at Burghwallis, namely Prebend of the Sepulchre chapel in York Minster from March 1547, Rector of Birkin near Pontefract from June 1551, and Prebend of Givendale, York Minster from August 1551 to March 1554.  His death is given at Birkin on 16th May 1556.

Thomas Gascoigne of Burghwallis died in 1554 during the time when John Goldyng was rector, so presumably it was Goldyng who buried Thomas in a prominent position immediately before the chancel screen in the nave where we now have the beautiful brass effigy of a knight in armour.  Thomas appears to have been the last of the Gascoigne male line to live at Burghwallis as in his will he leaves his estate at Burghwallis to his sister Barbara who married Leonard West, a younger son of Thomas West, Lord de la Warr.  The next rector was presented by the assigns of William Gascoigne, who had died on 20th October 1551, just three years before his grandson Thomas.

John Hall became rector from 16th May 1556, during the reign of Mary Tudor, so would have been the last Catholic rector of Burghwallis.  No record of his life or death has been found, but he was only at Burghwallis for two years.

On 18th March 1558 Anthony Iveson became rector, during the last months of the reign of Mary.  Elizabeth I became Queen on 17 November 1558; she had been brought up to follow her father’s religion and proceeded to establish an English Protestant church, which has evolved into today’s Church of England.. 

According to records Rev. Iveson was thirty-seven years of age when he came to Burghwallis, ‘indifferently learned and of honest conversation and qualities.’  In 1548 he had been a vicar choral at York Cathedral and also held a Minster chantry.  He became what was known as a ‘Pluralist’, for as well as Burghwallis he held two York parishes, All Saint’s at Peasholm and St. Cuthberts’s.   In 1575 Archbishop Grindale paid a Visitation to Burghwallis, noting that ‘Anthonye Iveson, Clarke, parson at Peasholm, is also parson of Burghwallis and vicar in the cathedral church of Yorke, “having yet shown no dispensation for the holding of them all.”  

It was also commented in the Visitation records, under the entry for Doncaster, that ‘“Christopher Smithies and his wyfe do live a sunder in the defalte of the wife as it is supposed, ‘with Mr West of Burtwhallis, not there, 3 annos she is gone’ added.”  Was she living with either Leonard or William West at Burghwallis?

In 1571 Archbishop Grindale had made Injunctions to the Laity regarding that pulpits were to be installed in churches so that priest’s faced the congregation when speaking, and that churchwardens were to see to various other alterations to the church.  Was the Visitation in 1575 to satisfy himself that these had been carried through?  The record for Burghwallis just had the entry “Nil”! 

Rev. Anthony Iveson was at Burghwallis for twenty-seven years.  He made his Will on 20th March 1585-6 with it being proved on 23rd July 1586.  In it he requested to be buried ‘within the cathedral church at York in the place accustomed for the vicars chorall of the same church.’  

He seemed to have accumulated quite an amount of wealth, both in currency and in land.  He gave two shillings to all the vicars choral, and to every ‘sacritane’ twelve pence, and to every chorister sixpence.  He also gave twenty shillings to the poor of York to be distributed on the day of his death.  He held land in Stockton which was distributed between four named men, with the rest of his land to be sold and divided between the children of three other families.  His ‘goodes’ were to be distributed between five further people and their children, and certain of his ‘apparell att the discretion of my executors.’  The last item was for fifty six shillings which was due to him, to be passed to one Anne Bowde.  He made his brother in law his executor, and gave 15 shillings to Sir John Hunter ‘in money or golde’ to become surveyor of the Will.  None of the surnames mentioned in his Will are in the early registers for Burghwallis so the villagers don’t seem to have benefited from it.

During Anthony Iveson’s time as rector Anthony Battsey is mentioned as curate at Burghwallis for one day only, 12th April 1566.  Was he sent to be here for a special visitation that Anthony Iveson couldn’t attend?  It seems likely that there would have been a curate in charge at Burghwallis for much of Iveson’s time as rector.

During the previous years William West, son of Barbara Gascoigne and Leonard West, had become Lord of Burghwallis, but had died before 21st August 1586 when Anthony Birkhead was presented by his assigns.  Rev. Birkhead achieved his BA in 1592, after becoming rector here.  He made the first entries in the earliest surviving legible records in the parish registers; they are of his sons Thomas, baptised 10th July 1593 and Robert, baptised 20th January 1596/7.  He baptised a further son, Anthony, on 27th February 1597/8 and a daughter Elizabeth 13th July 1600.  When he baptised his daughter he described himself as of Rockley, so was he living at Rockley Hall at that time.  Sadly he buried his wife Helena on 14th April 1603, leaving him with four young children aged between 2 and 9 years.  He seems to have carried on at Burghwallis for the next four years, although there are no records to confirm this, and no record of him taking a second wife as often happened in these situations.  When his successor took over it is recorded in ‘Clergy of the Church of England’ database that it was because of Anthony Birkhead’s death; he was not however buried at Burghwallis.  He would be leaving the four children now aged between 5 and 12 years orphaned.

The next rector came from a family that was later to become famous as relatives of a President of the United States, George Washington.  Bartholomew Washington was from the Adwick-le-Street branch of the family, a different line to that which produced George.  He was presented on the 15th September 1606, his patron being named as Darcy Washington, Armiger; this was the title given to a ‘bearer of arms’, an esquire attendant to a knight but who was entitled to ‘his own unique armorial device.’  Bartholomew’s parents were James Washington and his wife Margaret Anlaby, whose tomb featuring all of their twelve children is in the church at Adwick.  Bartholomew was married to Isabella.  In 1605 he had been ordained as deacon and priest in the chapel of Bishopthorpe Manor, home of the Archbishops of York.

Bartholomew and his wife baptised five children at Burghwallis, Anna in 1611, Marmaduke in 1613, Margaret in 1615, Gregory in 1620 and Bartholomew in 1622.  The last son was named after his father, Bartholomew Washington, parson, whose burial took place seven days before his last child was born.

The new rector, Robert Wood, was presented on the 17th May 1622, five days before Bartholomew Washington was buried, so presumably he carried out the burial, and also the baptism of Bartholomew’s son.  Isabella was widowed with five young children, from 0 to 12 years old to support.

Robert Wood was presented by Francis Tyndal of Brotherton.  The Anne family were now Lords of the Manor of Burghwallis and as they had remained staunch Catholics they were not allowed to present to the church so subsequently some other person of standing had to find the next rector.

 In 1625 Robert Wood married Mary Hall of Bramwith and they baptised a daughter, Jane in 1630.  Mary died only two years later and was buried on the 27th December 1632.  Robert Wood continued as rector of Burghwallis until his death, being buried at Burghwallis on the 19th October 1648.  

He may have seen the church alter radically during his later years as Civil War spread throughout England, although the people of note in the Doncaster area remained mainly Royalists.  However George Byard, whose family were at Skellow Hall, supported Cromwell and his troops were present at Skellow at some period during the war so may have visited the church at Burghwallis.  Robert Wood however didn’t live long enough to see the execution of Charles I and Cromwell become Lord Protector of England.

According to the list of Rectors in the church, William Hardcastle was rector during the period of the Commonwealth.  The only mention of him in the ‘Clergy of the Church of England’ database is of the position of Rector becoming vacant on his death.  

During the Commonwealth period many activities were banned and about the only thing people were allowed to do on a Sunday, which was considered God’s day, was to attend a place of Religion.  Although there was freedom of religion, services were to follow the Puritan form, with sermons up to three hours long.  Many new sects of religion flourished, such as the Quakers, but Church of England and Catholicism were banned.  Any priest in the Church of England who refused to conform to Cromwell’s form of religion was hounded and punished.

After Cromwell’s death in 1658 and the failure of his son to rule, Charles II was invited back into the country in May 1660 and slowly the Church of England returned to some form of normality, although other religious sects continued to flourish as well.

Thomas Gleadhall was presented as Rector on the 21st February 1661 by Emanuel Gilby, Gent.; the Anne’s, as Catholics, were still not allowed to be patron of the church but were expected to attend Church of England services.  In 1670 Michael Anne Esq. and eight other people of Burghwallis were named as ‘Recusants’, that is, Followers of the Catholic faith.  During a Visitation in 1674 it was reported that Mr Anne was not attending church and he would be fined.  In 1679 it was recorded that “Mr. Anne has taken the Oath of Allegiance … and given Bond”; however a year later it was reported that suspected popish recusants in Burghwallis numbered four, plus Michael Anne. 

Thomas Gleadhall came to Burghwallis from the church at Dinnington, where in 1650 he held land from Thomas Wentworth for a sum of £22.

In a Visitation in 1674 it was recorded that “The church steeple to be out of repair”.

At a further Visitation in 1684-5 the Terrier has a description of the Rectory, buildings and land holdings.  The dwelling house with all the Barnes, Stables, outhouses, garden and park and four lands of arable amounted to 4 acres.  Other land, both arable and for grazing, amounted to nearly 19 acres.  

Thomas Gleadall died on the 3rd February 1685.  No records have been found of a marriage or any children, but there were Gleadalls in Burghwallis in 1612, and a further family of them is recorded in the Parish Registers from 1710 to 1748.

On the 3rd February 1685 Paul Normanton became Rector of Burghwallis after leaving Ferry-Fryston, where he had been Vicar for ten years; he was forty years old.  He was born at Sowerby, Yorkshire where he attended early schooling, and went to Christ’s, Cambridge at the age of eighteen.  He was at Burghwallis for seven years and was buried here on the 17th March 1692.

The next Rector, Nathaniel Sutton who was instituted on the 2nd March 1692, was also buried at Burghwallis.  He came from the position of Vicar of Aberforth, Yorkshire, where he had been for only eighteen months but which position he continued to hold until the 23rd September 1692.  He married Anna, daughter of the Reverend Luddivici West, on the 1st July 1695 at Armley, Yorkshire.  He died at Burghwallis on the 31st January 1702 and was buried here.

John Symonds Elcock was born at Kirby Wiske, Yorkshire in 1669 and admitted to St. John’s, Cambridge on 14th June 1686 aged 17 years.  Following his B.A. in 1690 he was ordained priest at Bishopthorpe Palace in 1695 and instituted Rector of Burghwallis on 31st January 1702.  He was here for just over a year, resigning on 12th June 1703; no reason found.  Records for the next few years haven’t been sourced, but some twenty years later, on 15th April 1724, he was appointed as Vicar of Acklam.

The next Rector, John Morrice, installed in 1703, was to stay for twenty-four years.  During his time at Burghwallis there were two Visitations, in 1716 and 1725.  The Terrier of 1716 is extremely useful in that it gives the dimensions of the rectory House and all outbuildings, enabling dimensions to be set to the buildings shown on the Enclosure Award map.  In 1725 Rev. Morrice made an inventory of the goods belonging to the church in readiness for the visit of the Rev. Dr. Blake; there was a Bible, two books of Common Prayer, a Surplice, a green Communion Table cloth, another of Linnen, another linnen cloth to cover the Elements and a cushion for the Pulpit.  Dr. Blake considered that the church needed much doing to it; a copy of the list of repairs and articles to be purchased is in the booklet on St. Helen’s church.

John Morrice was buried on the 25th August 1727 at Burghwallis.

On the 14th September 1728 Marmaduke Downes was presented as Rector by the University of Cambridge.  He was born in 1698 and admitted to St. John’s, Cambridge aged seventeen where he achieved his M.A. in 1722.  He was ordained priest at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster on 23rd September 1722.  On 1st August 1728 he obtained a position as Schoolmaster in Reigate, but six weeks later was at Burghwallis.  In 1729 he also became curate of Skelbrooke.

He does not seem to have settled at Burghwallis, possibly not seeing ‘eye to eye’ with the Anne family over their remaining true to the Catholic faith.  He resigned on the 23rd December 1732 making an entry in the Parish Register which translates as 

“May better treatment await my successors whilst they dwell in this parish, but I consider this rather to be hoped for than expected, papal fury not being yet extinguished, or, as there is likelihood to judge, is it soon to be so.”

Thomas Alderson obviously received ‘better treatment’, becoming Rector of Burghwallis in July 1733 and remaining until his death in December 1754.  He was born at Bainbridge and went to school at Sedbergh, North Yorkshire, and then to Christ’s, Cambridge where he gained his M.A. in 1728.  He became firstly a deacon at Chester and in September 1729 priest at Bath and Wells.  On 24th August 1730 he became curate at Spofforth, July 1733 Rector of Burghwallis and in 1734 vicar of Elland which he held until 1747.

On 19th May 1730 he married Mary Ripley at Houghton le Spring, Durham, and they baptised two children at Burghwallis, Jane Mary born 28th July 1736, baptised on the 9th August, and Christopher Westby, born 22nd April 1738, baptised 25th May. 

In 1743 Archbishop Herring made a Visitation and recorded that ‘the Rector did not live in the parsonage house but in his own house about a mile distance from Skelbrooke church which he also served.’  Was there a curate in residence at Burghwallis, or was the Rectory becoming rundown?

Christopher Driffield became Rector in 1755, but as he was also Vicar of Featherstone he appears to have been absent and installed curates at Burghwallis.  He gained his M.A. on 13th June 1731 and was ordained deacon at Christ Church, Oxford.  In December 1733 he was ordained Priest and on 9th August 1734 became Vicar of Featherstone.  In 1755 he was installed as a Prebendary at Ripon on 3rd January and on the 23rd January became Rector of Burghwallis.  The only records of him being at Burghwallis are when he published Banns in September and October 1758 and June 1775.  He died at Featherstone on either 13th December 1788 and is buried there.

Just before his death he donated a silver Cup and Salver to St. Helen’s.  “The Cup is a goblet with egg-shaped bowl.  It is inscribed: “C. Driffield Rr of B. Gives this Cup and a Salver to the Church of B. in July 1788, for the use of the Holy Communion.”  Height 6, dia. of bowl 3 ¼, of foot 3, depth of bowl 3 ¾ in.  Hallmarks: (1) maker, a punch of four initials, those at the bottom alone being legible; they seem to be H N; (2) l.p.; (3) cap. Old Eng. G, with a crown over it; (4) King’s head.  (Sheffield 1782.)’ 

John Holdsworth was the first curate to serve for Christopher Driffield; he first published Banns on the 31st August 1755 and conducted his first marriage on 16th November 1756.  He was born at Loscoe, Yorkshire, went to school in Wakefield, then to Trinity College, Cambridge where he got his M.A. in 1755.  He stayed at Burghwallis until 1764 when it is assumed he resigned to become Vicar at Normanton; he also became a prebendery at Ripon from 1788 and died at Normanton in February 1800.

The position of curate was then taken by Samuel Clint who continued at Burghwallis from 1764 until 1792, overlapping with the next rector.  He would then be about seventy-two years old.

Andrew Ewbank, second son of George Ewbank Esq. of York, became rector on 2nd March 1789 at about fifty-six years of age.  He took his B.A. at Oxford and in 1765 became curate at Sandal Magna on a stipend of £35.  In 1766 he was ordained priest of Brodsworth church and in 1768 he became curate at Middleton on £40 per annum.  

On 12th December 1775 he married Jane, daughter of the Rev. William Withers, Rector of Tankersley.  They had six children between 1779 and 1790, three sons and three daughters.  

In 1777 he was curate at St. Mary’s, Beverley on £45 per annum, in 1780 he became curate at Bolton Percy on £40 per annum and on 26th February 1788 finally moved to be Rector at Londesborough in the East Riding of Yorkshire.  A year later he also became Rector of Burghwallis.  According to the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’ he acquired a ‘Dispensation ‘to hold Londesborough with Burghwallis, both Co. York’.  He died on 7th March 1822 and appears to have been buried at Londesborough..

While Rev. Ewbank was living at Londesborough was his second eldest son, William, living in the rectory house at Burghwallis?  William married Theodosia Cooper at New Sleaford on 20th May 1806 and they had five children, the last three being christened at Burghwallis.  

The Rev. Ewbank was also to bury his eldest grandchild at Burghwallis, Fanny Cooper Ewbank, when she was only six years old.

Rev. Ewbank also seems to have employed a curate, initially Samual Clint who was already in office, but from 1794 Thomas Sawyer Parris.  On 12th October 1788 he obtained his B.A. at Cambridge, was ordained deacon and became assistant curate at Campsall; he was ordained priest on 11th July 1790 and got his M.A. on 6th August.  From the 6th July 1794 his name appears in the Parish Registers of Burghwallis as Curate, formalised on 26th August 1796 when it was noted that he was to have a ‘stipend of £40 plus surplice fees and the use of a house.’  By ‘use of a house’ this implies that the Rev. Ewbank would be using the Rectory as a home for some of his family whilst himself residing mainly at Londesborough. 

 In 1788 Curate Parris got married; “On Tuesday last was married, at Campsall, the Rev. Thomas Sawyer Parris, to Miss Gower, youngest sister of Francis Edmunds, Esq; of Worsbrough, near Barnsley.” 

 In August 1802 T.S. Parris became Rector at Edlington but continued acting curate at Burghwallis until 1812 and seems to have continued to live here during that time.  His wife Frances died on the 2nd July 1803; her epitaph in the Parish Register reads – “Frances Parris wife of the Revd Thomas Sawyer Parris, A.M. Curate of Burghwallis, Rector of Edlington and Chaplain to The Most Noble the Marquis of Stafford: she was ye Daughter of Edward Gower Esq. of Wosborough in this West Riding of Yorkshire & a lineal descendant of Sir Thomas Gower Bart of Stitenham in the County of York, aged 54, died July 2nd 1803 of a Decline and was buried in ye Chancel of this church July 8th 1803.’  

Hunter (1830) gives the inscription on her grave slab as: – 

“Sacred to the memory of FRANCES the wife of the Revd Thomas Sawyer Parris, M.A., Chaplain to The Most Noble the Marquis of Stafford, rector of Edlington and curate of Burgh-Wallis.  She was the only daughter and last surviving issue of Edward Gower Esq. late of Wosborough, of the family of the  Gowers of Stitenham in this County, and of the house of Trentham in Staffordshire.  She died July 1st 1803 anno aetatis 54.’  

Is this the slab immediately inside the chancel on which the inscription has entirely worn away, only the decorative arch above the inscription still visible?  The single arch with shoulders was popular during the late 1700s and early 1800s.

The Visitation of 1809 is noted in the Parish Register as ‘Given in 1809 June 19, T.S.Parris Curate, and Primary Visitation of Edward Ld Abp of York’.  The Terrier of June 1809 gives the final description, with measurements, that we have of the early Rectory and adjoining foldyard, buildings and gardens.  The rectory and outbuildings described are presumably the same as those shown on the Enclosure Map made only a few years later, thus enabling an almost accurate plan of the property to be made using the map and measurements.

Terrier 1809 June  “An exact and perfect Terrier of Glebe Lands belonging to the Rectory of Burghwallis in the Diocese of York with a just account of all its other Profits; as also the Dimensions of the several Edifices thereunto belonging, together with an Account of the Furniture belonging to the Church of Burghwallis aforesaid; of whom it is required; the different parts thereof should be upholden and repaired; who appoints the Clerk and Sexton, what each of their Wages are and how and by whom paid; taken and made in June, one thousand eight hundred and nine by us whose Names are underwritten.’

‘Imprimis.  The Rectory House together with the Foldstead and Outhouses; the Croft belonging the Rectory being East and North, the Churchyard West, and the Street and a Cottage and Orchard belonging to Michael Anne Esq. East and South East.  The Foldstead is 54 yards in length and 28 in breadth.  On the West side of the Fold stands the Rectory House, the South wing 18 yards long and 6 broad; the whole is built with stone and slated; the North wing 9 yards long and 6 broad.  In the South wing is the Entrance, flagged, in which is a wood staircase of Deal; on each side two Parlours both ceiled; y’ to the East flagged and separated from the Entrance aforesaid by a Partition of Wood, Deal Panelling; y’ to the West having a Boarded floor and hung with paper; over these two Bed Chambers both ceiled and floored with Deal Board, that to the West hung with Paper; over these two Garretts floored with Deal Boards and ceiled, that to the West occasionally divided into two.  The other Part to the North consists of an Entrance flagged and ceiled from the Churchyard on the West; and also of a Kitchen ceiled and flagged; of a Passage and Entrance from the Fold on the East; of a Brewhouse at the North end of this Passage, of a Dairy and Cellar at the South end of the same; the two staircases at each end of the said Passage of old wood, Oak and Elm, the one to the North leading to a Lumber room, without ceiling, that to the South leading to 3 Chambers, 2 of them very small, all of them ceiled and floored with Plaister; over the Dairy and Cellar aforesaid is a large Cor-Chamber with Stone steps and a door to it from the Fold to the North;  A Court before the House to the South leading to the Street, walled with Stone and planted with Evergreens, 13 yds broad and 26 yds long.  On the North side the Fold, a Barn 12 yds 1 ft long and 6 yds broad covered with Thatch.  Another Barn with a small Stable at the end of it both covered with Tile and Slate 14 yds long and 7 broad; On the East end of the Fold aforesaid one other Barn 18 yds long and 6 broad covered with Tile and Slate.  A Swine Cote 6 yds long and 3 broad with an Hen Roust over the same covered with tile.  On the South side the said Fold an open Stable, Fotherum, Cowhouse and a 3 stall Stable, being a Building 14 yds and a half long and 5 broad covered with thatch.  In the middle of the said Fold a Dove Cote 5 yds square covered with thatch.  A Garden 40 yds long and 3 score broad, surrounded by a stone wall; the Croft belonging to the Rectory; North and East the new Plantations belonging to Michael Ann Esq. with the road to the Rectory and Church;  and the Churchyard South.


1813 Enclosure Award map 

The early Rectory with barns, foldyard and gardens as described in the Terrier of 1809

Shortly after becoming Rector of Burghwallis it appears that the Rev. Ewbank had requested a loan from Gilbert’s Fund to rebuild the Rectory house, as mentioned in a letter from his son William dated 1815.

Two communications had been sent to the church commissioners:-

“York, June 3rd 1815.  ‘I hereby certify that the present Glebe House at Burghwallis in the County of York is in a ruinous condition and incapable of proper repair for the residence of a Clergyman.’  Sworn before me at York, Geo. Peacock An Alderman of York and Jas. P. Pritchett, Architect, York”.

“York, June 3rd 1815 ‘I hereby certify that a new Glebe House, according to the Plans annexed, might be built for the sum of Two Thousand Pounds together with the old materials.’  Sworn before me at York, Geo. Peacock an Alderman of York and Jas. P. Pritchett Architect, York.” 

[The above document is attached to an elevation and a Plan of the proposed new Rectory:-  ‘A Design for a Parsonage for the Rev. W. Ewbank at Burghwallis.’  [Watson & Pritchett’]”


Sketch of the proposed plan for new Rectory, copied from the original

These were followed by a letter dated 8th June 1815 from W. Ewbank re: his father’s requests for a loan of twenty years since, from Gilbert’s Fund, for rebuilding.

On 12th July 1815 a ‘Certificate attested by 2 clergymen as required by The Act 17 of George the 3rd’ was sent:-

“We the Rev. Robert Caleb Campbell, Vicar of Owston in the County of York, and the Rev. R. Wilson, Vicar of Brodsworth in the said County, being two Clergymen ….. do hereby certify pursuant to the Directions of Instructions …..  That we have made an enquiry into the State of Condition of the buildings upon the Glebe belonging to the Rectory of Burghwallis ….. at the time the Rev. Andrew Ewbank. A.M., Clerk, the present Incumbent thereof interred upon the said living, which was in or about the year of our Lord 1789, and do find that the same ???  ???  is due, and Common Repairs have through length of time fallen into decay and we have also inquired into the money received by the said Andrew Ewbank from the Representatives of the former incumbent and do find that he received the sum of £50 awarded to him, chiefly on account of the ruinous condition of a Barn, and that he expended the sum of £70 in repairing it.

Given under our hands Robert Caleb Campbell and R. Wilson”

On Oct. 20th 1815 Wm. Stillingford superintended the paying of expenses for rebuilding the Rectory and on Nov. 20th 1815 the Mortgage of the Profits of the Rectory of Burghwallis was £1,050.6s.

The Rev. Ewbank and family did not have long at the new Rectory, for he died on 28th December 1822.  His obituary reads “Aged 80, much lamented, Rev. Andrew Ewbank, Rector of Londesborough, in the East, and of Burghwallis, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. …  In 1788, His Grace the Duke of Devonshire presented him to the valuable living of Londesborough, and in the year following, George Ewbank, esq. presented him to that of Burghwallis.”  

The early rectory had been built along the boundary wall at the east side of the churchyard, with barns to the north and west of the fold yard; the new rectory was built end on to the churchyard, with the main entrance facing north to the road.  

This new rectory is described in a Terrier of 1825:-

“The Rectory House together with the Foldstead and Outhouses, the Croft and Kitchen Garden belonging to the Rectory being North and North East, the Church and Church Yard being South West, the Orchard West, the Paddock South, the Foldstead Stable and Cowhouse and Piggeries and Barn East.

The Body of the Rectory House is 50 feet long and 36 feet wide. The Offices which abut on the East out of the Body of the House are 55 feet long and 20 feet wide; the whole is built with stone, cased with roughcast, and slated.  The entrance door is on the North side of the house; the entrance is flagged and contains a wood staircase with mahogany handrail and banisters.  The house contains a Dining Room to the South, boarded floor and battened and plastered walls; a Drawing Room to the South (unfinished), not yet boarded nor railed nor battened.  A square Parlour looking West and North, boarded floor, walls battened and papered; a Study looking North, stone floor, battened and plastered walls; a back-stairs between the Dining Room and Study.  A China Closet East of the Dining Room; a Cellar Stairs North of the China Closet.  A Kitchen with stone floor and window looking North.  A stone stairs East of the Kitchen, and leading to one Chamber over the Back Kitchen.  One square room with boarded floor over the Kitchen; two dark closets over the China Closet and (Man’s?) Pantry.  A Bedroom over the Study, a Bedroom and Dressing Room over the Dining Room, a Bedroom and Dressing Room over the Drawing Room, a Single Room over the Parlour.  All the Bed Chambers have boarded floors; two bedrooms with boarded floors in the Attics; Cellars under the whole body of the house, none under the Offices.

A Courtyard North of the Kitchen containing a Pump and a Dairy and a (Knife ?) House.  Also a Pit at the East end of the Offices, Piggeries, Stable, (? SSay Bay) and Cow House on the West side of the Foldstead.  A Barn on the East side of the same.  Over the Stables a Granary with boarded floors and stone steps to lead to it.”


OS 1891  The new rectory; only the Tithe barn survived from the original outbuildings


Burghwallis Rectory about one hundred years since – after the third floor extension

George Wyatt was the Rector who would benefit from the new house, coming to Burghwallis in 1823.  He went to St. John’s and matriculated in 1815, was ordained deacon at Norwich in 1817 and priest at Bangor in 1818, and then in March 1821 became a stipendiary curate at Whitwick and Cole Orton in Leicestershire at a stipend of £80 and the use of a house in Whitwick.  He arrived at Burghwallis two years later with his wife Eliza Anne and three young daughters.  

 Apart from his duties as cleric, he spent his time writing a book about the ‘Anglican Reformed Church and her Clergy in the days of their Destitution and Suffering during the Great Rebellion in the seventeenth century’; it was published in 1844.  After publishing his book he looked towards improving the church and was responsible for the first ‘central heating’ system to be installed.  He also erected the Priest’s Gate with stone arch in the corner of the churchyard nearest to the new rectory; at this time there was no vestry on the church so the priest had to come from the Rectory already in his clothes for service.

Rev George Wyatt was buried on 8th April 1856 in the south-east corner of the graveyard, where his wife joined him three years later.  

His memorial stone also commemorates his wife and three daughters, the youngest of whom had been “Burnt to death by her clothes catching fire from a lucifer match” aged 47.

The Rev. Francis William Peel, third son of the Rt. Hon. William Yates Peel PC, MP, who was the second son of Sir Robert 1st. Baronet Peel was to replace him.  He had been to school at Rugby, followed by Worcester College, matriculating in 1841 and gaining his M.A. in 1847.  In 1852 he married his first wife, Anne Maria, daughter of Owen Wethered of Remnaritz, Bucks., and in 1856 they moved into the rectory at Burghwallis.  They had six children, Francis Spencer 1857, Mary 1860, Rosa 1863, Amy 1865, Lucy 1866 and Anne Maria 1869, named for her mother who seems to have died in childbirth as she was buried three days before her daughter was christened.  Rev. Peel was soon to marry again, to Emily, daughter of Sir Baldwin Wake Walker, 1st. Bart., K.C.B.  She was a brave woman to take on a ready-made family of six, soon added to by Charles Steers 1872, Erica 1874, Baldwin Walker 1877 and Hugh Sinclair 1879.

 The Rev. Peel’s father, William Peel, had died in 1858 and so, according to the Reverend’s daughter, he was ‘better off’.  This allowed him to make much needed extensions to the Rectory, with a third floor added to the east wing allowing for further bedrooms to make room for his large family.

The Rev. Peel made many improvements to the church during his incumbency, stirring the people of Burghwallis and further afield to donate to these, as well as using some of his own money.  These are described in detail in the booklet about St. Helen’s church.

In 1875 he had also become Vicar of Skelbrooke, a position he held until 1884.

The Rev. Peel was buried on the 22nd October 1895 aged seventy-two years, in the grave with his first wife. 

 His second wife, Emily, died in July 1916 and was brought back to Burghwallis to be buried next to her husband; their son Hugh Sinclair is buried with her.

The memorial stone to the Rev. Peel and his first wife, one of a row of three next to the rectory garden wall

William Edward White was rector from 1896 to 1902, during the change from the Victorian to the Edwardian era.

James Edward Surridge, his wife Lucia and their six children aged from eight to eighteen moved into the rectory in 1902.  They moved here from Boulogne where the Rev. Surridge had spent several years in charge of the church of St. John the Divine, so to the children it would have been a shock both culturally and weather-wise.  He came into the church after leaving Durham University, first as curate at Windleham in Surrey from 1879-1881, at which time he married Lucia Caulfield Atkinson.  They baptised their first three children in Hampshire, where he was ordained priest in 1884.  In 1885 he accepted the parish of Dodbrook in Devon where a further four children were born between 1888 and 1894, but lost a son at eight years old, after which he took the position in France.

Mrs Surridge died in March 1920 aged sixty-four, and the Rev, Surridge, who had been in bad health for some months, followed her on the 20th May aged sixty-six years.  They left a son, Captain Stuart Surridge M.C, late of the 5th Bat. York and Lancs. Regiment, and four daughters, only one of whom was married; they had lost their eldest son in 1915 aged twenty-nine years

 Their obituaries in the Doncaster Gazette speak of their service to the church and the village.  Mrs Surridge had been superintendant of the Sunday School.  ‘Both the Rector and his wife … paid every attention to church affairs and effected many improvements … it was the late rector and his wife who introduced the surplice choir, themselves providing the cassocks and surplices.  They also made numerous minor gifts to the church, such as cloths for the altar, curtains for the vestry etc.  Without doubt they loved the parish and their parishioners and this feeling found expression in many acts of kindness.  So it was that the late rector came to be regarded with high esteem and affection by the whole of the residents.  In the public affairs of the village Mr. Surridge was always willing to be of service.’  

Many of the people attending the funeral had surnames with which we are still familiar:  

Major and Mrs Charlton Anne, Mr. G. V. Charlton, Bacon Frank (Campsall Hall), Mrs Pearson (Owston Hall), Mrs Ulyett, Mrs. Blackmore, Mr. And Mrs. Helm, Mr. Lambert (Sutton), Mrs. Parkin (Sutton), and Mr. Scott (Skellow), the Revs. A.E. Sturch (Owston), G.F. Tamplin (Brodsworth), A. Turner (Campsall), W.C.S. Rut?r (Askern) and J. Barton (Skelbrooke).  Wreaths and other floral tributes were sent by the residents of the village, the village institute, the cricket club, Mr. And Mrs. Humble, Dr. And Mrs Sheahan, Major and Mrs George Anne, Mr and Mrs A. Blackmore, Major Harry Steele (Skellow Grange), the choir, and Mrs. C, Cocking.

After the death of Rev. Surridge an article appeared in the Doncaster Gazette entitled ‘Barrack-Parsonage Houses’, illustrating the article with the case of Burghwallis Rectory.  

‘In the case of Burghwallis, the proposal to join the living of which with that of Skelbrooke formed the subject of an ecclesiastical enquiry in Doncaster some time ago, and has passed through almost all the stages of approval, provides a focal of a problem that is exercising the minds of many who are responsible for Church finance, and for the provision for the “man power” without which the Church of England cannot carry on its work.  

Concerning Burghwallis Rectory, it was stated at the enquiry that it has “four reception rooms, thirteen or fourteen bedrooms, stabling, etc.” – is the home of a Rector ministering in a tiny country parish, whose church has seating accommodation for only 150 people.  This palatial residence he has been called upon to keep in order and sound structural repair, out of a living of well under £300 a year.  

It is the duty of every beneficed clergyman who has inhabited a vicarage or rectory and retires or leaves for another sphere of labour – or of his relatives if he dies ‘in harness’ – to make good all dilapidations, so that the house may be in order for his successor.  In the case of Burghwallis … the dilapidation chargeable against the estate of the late Rector amounted to the appalling sum of £500 – a sum representing nearly two years income from the endowment of the living.

When the question was raised in the recent Burghwallis enquiry, Major Anne, the patron of the living, promptly put in a “non possimus” to any suggestion that the Rectory might be sold.  They might, he explained, be having the place turned into a common lodging house. …’

There seems to have been a lapse of three years without a rector before Rev. Edmund Colin Sharpe took residence in 1923; was this because of the state of the rectory?  He served the parishes of both Burghwallis and Skelbrooke for five years

 The Rev. John Willis Kidd became Rector in 1928 and was here until his death on the 27th September 1954, aged sixty-seven. 

 From 1919 to 1922 he had been assistant priest at St. Silas the Martyr in Kentish Town, London, before becoming Vicar at St. Paul, Mill Hill, and he had also served at Selby Abbey. 

He was great with children and I have memories of summer evenings after confirmation classes when we went to the rectory for cool drinks, to play on the tennis courts, get out a cricket bat, and fish for newts in the round pond at the front of the rectory.  I also remember we were allowed to pick wild flowers in the churchyard on Mothering Sunday, and Mother’s Union meetings when sometimes we had tea on the lawn; it seemed there was always sunshine in those days!  The Rev. Kidd never married, the rectory being run by the very capable hands of his niece, Betty Newton, (nee Beckwith) who became his housekeeper at the age of seventeen.  Betty married Foord Newton, another member of the church choir, but continued to look after both Rector and rectory. 

 When father Kidd came to St. Helen’s it was ‘Low church’, but he soon brightened things up.  He did a lot for the church, (see St. Helen’s booklet) his alterations and improvements being just as impressive as those done by the Rev. Peel some seventy-fifty years earlier.  Between them they made St. Helen’s into what it is today, a beautiful little church that entrances everyone who visits.

Father Kidd is buried near the east end of the church; Betty’s ashes are buried with him.

After Father Kidd’s death Burghwallis seems to have become something of a pre- retirement living, it being a small parish in a rural setting. 

1955  Albert Edward Bannister Rose

1967  Idris Owen Jay

Before coming to Burghwallis in 1974 Rev. Norman Simmons had been a Curate at All Saints, Rotherham followed by serving as Vicar of St. Leonard’s, Scawsby for 20 years.  He had formed a friendship with Father Rose at St. Helen’s and when Father Rose’s successor Rev. Jay, became ill and had to vacate the living he moved here as Rector.  He resigned in 1981 just before his 70th birthday and retired to Stamford Bridge near York where he continued to play an active part in church life until his death in 2001.  

[I have a special ‘thank you’ for him as his notes on the history of the church were very helpful in my early research.]

Canon Stanley K Reynolds came to St. Helen’s in 1981 as ‘Priest in Charge’, and also of St. Michael’s at Skelbrooke.  We remember him travelling round to see his parishioners and conduct services at the two churches on his trusty moped; my father was cremated at Pontefract during the heavy snow of December 1981 and although Father Reynolds was offered the opportunity to travel in a car he instead made the hazardous journey on his moped.  He retired to Diss in Norfolk and died there in June 2005.  His ashes were brought to Burghwallis and interred in the churchyard near to the Mulberry tree.

Rev. Dennis Lennon was rector from 1990 until 1997, when he moved to Uppingham in Rutland.

Peter Boulton-Lea who was Vicar of Campsall, looked after the parish of Burghwallis for a time when the two churches of Burghwallis and Campsall became a United Benefice from the 1st November 1997.  He was only here for a short while and wrote his farewell message in the parish magazine of May 1998. 

 Canon Geoffrey Kentigern Bostock was to come to Burghwallis as ‘Retired Priest in residence’ in late 1997.  After leaving Theological College he followed a varied career in the church; Deacon of Lichfield in 1968, Priest of Lichfield in 1969, Curate of St. Chad, Shrewsbury from 1968-1972, Team Vicar of Hanley, Staffs, from 1972-1974, Priest in charge of St. John the Evangelist, Wednesbury, Staffs, 1974 – 1979, Vicar of St. Augustine, Holly Hall, Dudley, Staffs, 1979 – 1980, Vicar of St. Cecilia, Parson Cross, Sheffield, Yorks, 1981, and Hon Canon of St. Mary, Cathedral, Banjul, Sheffield, Yorks, from 1981 until his retirement at Burghwallis.  However he was not to enjoy life at Burghwallis for very long.  He moved into the rectory on 18th December1997 but due to ill health had to spend three days in hospital before Christmas and then had to return to Sheffield for a major operation.  He seems to have spent several times in hospital until his death on 2nd June 1998.  He was interred in the churchyard at Burghwallis near to the vestry door.

There followed a period of Interregnum as, according to the Parish Magazine, ‘Due to an extreme shortage of Clergy in our Deanery and the Diocese as a whole we are unable to publish in advance the name of the officiating priest.’  (November 1998.)
Father Michael G Johnson moved into the Vicarage at Campsall at the end of 1998 to be priest at both parishes of Campsall and Burghwallis.  It was during his time, in 2002, that the church was finally provided with toilet and washing facilities. Father Michael and his wife June remained with us for thirteen years before moving to their retirement home in mid 2010.
There followed a further interregnum until October 2011 when the Rev. Dr. Richard Walton was installed as Priest in Charge of both Campsall and Burghwallis.