|In writing this article I am following in the footsteps of the Reverend Anthony Gough, incumbent of St. Mary's Peldon from 1964 - 1971. His
research went into a church guide (published in 1970) which is still available in the church today but he subsequently updated his research for an
article in the Transactions
of the Essex Archaeological Society Volume 7 Page 61 in 1975. For those interested, I urge you to consult this
article on-line to see Gough's extensive footnotes as to sources. Two important sources were Emden's Biographical Register of the University of
Cambridge to 1500 and Newcourt's Repertorium.
I have included pictures, some additional information and also updated the list of incumbents up to the present day (2021) but the basis is Gough's work which is in italics.
1085/6 The Domesday Book for Essex refers to the church in Peldon, and there seems little doubt that a priest was serving the parish at that time, and working the thirty acres of glebe land attached to the church.
1202 Milo Folet was presented* to the church of Peltindone, probably some time during the latter part of the 12th century, by William of 'Peltindone'. If not the first, he would have been one of the earliest Rectors of the present Norman church built in the 12th century. He resigned in 1202 on becoming a monk.
* The Church's patron had the right, referred to as the 'advowson', to recommend a member of the Clergy for a vacant benefice or to make an appointment known as 'presenting' them. These advowsons were traded in the same way as property and the right was often attached to a Manor. The patrons of St. Mary's, Peldon are listed where known - they could be private individuals, educational bodies (such as Charterhouse in the case of Little Wigborough), guilds and patronage societies.
1202 Robert Folet was presented by Richard de Peltindone, and was probably a relative of Milo. It seems likely that both the Folets were of Norman origin.
1212 Willelmus is shown in the Colchester Cartulary Rolls as presbiter de Peltendune about this date. There appears to be no information after this time regarding his successors until well into the 14th century.
1323 Robert was Rector of Peltyngdon at this time. [PH Reaney Early Essex Clergy Essex Review Vol. xlvii, 12]
1348 Edmund White was ordained sub-deacon by the Bishop of Ely in his chapel at Little Hadham on 19 April 1348, the year of the Black Death, which might account both for the Bishop's absence from Ely and the need for a new Rector at Peldon. White was one of several vendors of land in Peldon in 1369.
1380 Bernard Exton was Rector in June 1380, and died in office in 1384. (He may previously have been Vicar of Shoreditch in 1368).
1384 William de Aketon, M.A. (Cantab.), M.D., was ordained sub-deacon on 27 May 1385 and Deacon the following December. Presented to the
living by Alice de Nevill, whose family had held the patronage of Peldon since 1282. Admitted to Peldon 26 November 1384. Died by
February 1390. Having read medicine at Cambridge, he is shown by Emden to have willed several gifts to Clare Hall.
1390 Ralph Pynsthorp de Henham was instituted to Peldon 22 February 1390, on moving from St. Mary, Colchester. Newcourt's repertorium has mistakenly entered two Rectors (Ralph de Pynsthorp and Ralph Henham) under the list for Peldon, but his entry under Colchester St. Mary correctly shows Rad. Pinsthorpe de Henham. That entry also records the new Vicar of St. Mary's as instituted on 25 February 1390 per. resig. Pynsthorpe, three days after Pynsthorpe's institution to Peldon. Died in 1405.
1405 John Ungot succeeded to Peldon. Instituted 17 September 1405 by Roger Waldon, Bishop of London, who was a former Rector of Fordham, Essex. Ungot had either resigned or died by 1415.
1415 John Bryan (not recorded in Newcourt) was Rector in this year, but 'late Rector' in 1419.
1440 John Saxy is the next traceable Rector, but Newcourt gives no further details. He had died by 1442.
1442 John Stanesby was instituted on 28 July 1442, on the death of Saxy. Had died by 1466.
1466 Robert Fawkes succeeded Stanesby on 20 December 1466; was presented by Margaret Tey, a member of the famous Essex Family. Held West Mersea in plurality from 1488. Had died by March 1496.
1496 Thomas Metcalfe, M.A. (Cantab.) was instituted on 23 November 1496. Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge, as well as a Senior Proctor of that University. Admitted Rector of Great Maidwell, Northamptonshire, on 26 August 1498 in plurality. Emden states that he died by May 1504.
c1504 John Alyn became Vicar of Little Stambridge in January 1504, and probably Rector of Peldon in plurality shortly afterwards. There are several persons of the same name in the records, including an Archdeacon of Middlesex who died in 1516, and there is some difficulty over identification. Alyn appears to have held Peldon among many other livings at this time, and had resigned by 1518, and died by 1522.
1518 Robert Foxley was instituted on 27 November 1518 on resignation of Alyn, and died by 1523.
1523 Edward Danyell M.A. (Cantab.), was instituted on 29 January 1523. Had married probably temp. Edward VI, and for this reason he was
subsequently deprived by Queen Mary in 1554. Apparently he did not separate from his wife in order to retain his living as many other married
clergy did, for example, William Gippes at Salcott Virley. [See Married Clergy in the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth Mersea Museum
PH01_MCL /Elaine Barker]
1554 Edward Ryley, B.D. (Oxon.), was instituted to the living on 5 September 1544 by Bishop Bonner of London. Clearly a pluralist, taking charge simultaneously of Great Wakering in October 1555, St. Andrew's Undershaft, London (on 12 June 1556), as well as Stisted. Ryley probably held Peldon during the whole of Mary's short reign, although he may have moved to London in 1556 leaving the benefice vacant.
1559 Edward Danyell was restored to the benefice by Queen Elizabeth, but appears to have deteriorated in health during his deprivation. On his return it is stated that he would have been able to preach 'if age and contynuall sickness letted not'. His will, proved 17 January 1569, refers to his wife Joan, his son and four daughters.
1569 William Tey, M.A. (Cantab)
Newcourt gives his institution as 1596, but this is clearly wrong. Most writers have perpetuated Newcourt's error. The reasons for refuting this date are (1) that Edmund Grindall, who instituted Tey to Peldon, held office as Bishop of London, 1559 - 1570; (2) the records of the Archdeacon's Court, before which Tey frequently appeared, refer to dates prior to 1596; (3) Tey died in 1594. In view of the confusion concerning Tey's career, in Collinson and Davids among others, a more extended biography of this Rector is therefore warranted.
William Tey was born at Layer-de-la-Haye in 1546, son of John (1521-68) of Bottingham Hall, Copford.
He was a member of the wealthy Tey family from where we get Marks Tey, Little and Great Tey. Wright in his History of Essex tells
us that Robert Tey of Marks Tey was in possession of the Manor of Peldon at his death in 1426 and it passed through generations of the family into the sixteenth century. The stained glass Tey coat of arms was recorded as being in Peldon church in 1720 but subsequently removed. There is an altar tomb of William's ancestor, Thomas Tey, in the north east corner of Layer church.
This photograph of a window in Copford Church (courtesy Chris Parkinson) shows the Tey arms in blue. Chris believes a similar coat of arms had been
part of a window in Peldon Church during the time of the Tey family's patronage but was later removed.
After studying at Trinity College, Cambridge, William Tey was ordained Deacon in London on 2nd May 1569, and instituted Rector of Peldon on 6th May 1569 on the death of Danyell.
In 1572 he became Rector of Rougham (Suffolk) when Richard Crabtree probably acted as a locum tenens for a short while. (it is not unlikely that Tey was under suspension at this time.) On 25th May 1573 Tey became Rector of Little Bentley but resigned 13th January 1574.
When the Puritan Classis at Dedham was founded in 1582, Tey became one of its leading members.
The Dedham Classis was active in North East Essex between 1582 and 1589. There were dozens of members opposed to the established church and it is considered to be the beginnings of the Presbyterian movement. The Dedham Classis held clandestine meetings and prayer groups in and around Colchester and surrounding villages like Dedham. They published and distributed versions of Wycliffe's Bible and other Calvinist texts and it would seem that Peldon's William Tey was a driving force behind the local movement; he was repeatedly accused of not adhering to the practices of the Church of England and suspended several times. For those wishing to research further, the Dedham Classis is the best recorded of those active at this time.
He resigned the living of Rougham in 1582. Dr. Aylmer, Bishop of London, made a visitation of the clergy of Essex in 1584 and suspended 38 of them
for their Puritan views, including William Tey. He succeeded to the Tey estates on the death of his brother Thomas, and an entry in the minute book
of the Dedham Classis dated 5 April 1585 refers to both this succession and his suspension. It is probable that in 1586 Tey came under further
suspension by the Bishop of London, from whom Tey was expecting a visit. At the Classis meeting on 30th May, 'Mr. Tey moved this, what good course
might be taken for the Bishop's coming for the prevention of the Church Wardens oaths. It was said they might swear with protestation, viz. that
they would do anything that might stand with God's glory and the good of the Church...'
In September 1588, Tey was again suspended for failing to produce his letters of orders and his certificate of induction to the benefice.
Tey was also incumbent of Layer de La Haye, one of the estates belonging to his brother, and in 1588 William Tey and the churchwardens at Layer de
la Haye were taken to task at an ecclesiastical court at Colchester because "Ye Register Boke ys kept by ye sexton contrary to Hir Majesty's
injunctions". The churchwarden, one Anthony Brackett, was directed to see "that ye Register Boke be kept and that ye former chest hath ii
new locks and ii keys, ye minister to have one."
Episcopal opposition towards the Puritans, and in particular their Classes, came to a head in 1589 after the publication of the anti-episcopal *Martin Marprelate Tracts.
* The 'Marprelate Controversy' was a war of pamphlets waged in England and Wales in 1588 and 1589, between a puritan writer who used the pseudonym Martin Marprelate and defenders of the Church of England.
Many Presbyterian leaders were gaoled or hanged, and the classical organisation broke up. The last meeting of the Dedham Classis took place at Tey's house in Layer-de-la-Haye on 2nd June 1589. The final entry, probably Tey's, ends
'Thus long continued through God's mercy this blessed meeting and now it ended by the malice of Satan, some cause of it was complaints against us preferred by the Bishop of London for which cause I was called up to London and examined in it. But the chiefest cause was the death of some of our brethren and their departure from us to other places. Praised by God for ever'
Some of these examinations of William Tey are in the records of the Archdeacon's Court. For example, 'Mr Wm. Tey, for not observing the Queen's books, and for receiving Mr. Parker to the Communion and for not wearing the surplice'
Mr Parker, a schoolteacher from Peldon, had been excommunicated and therefore should not have been given communion. He had also been allowed to preach locally although not ordained. The above appears in the Court records of 1588.
Again, 'Mr. Tey, Rector, for not wearing the surplice. For not reading the Book of Common Prayer, nor saying Service on Wednesdays or Fridays. He baptizes where he preaches, the font being not there; he doth not instruct the children in the catechism nor any other book'. The complaint of the Sexton against Tey was 'for my Lords injunctions and the Queen Majesty's injunctions are pulled down and defaced and taken away', no doubt from the church door.
William Tey died in 1594, his widow Parnell being granted administration 16th March 1594.
1594 Hugo Branham, M.A., B.D. (Cantab), was ordained Deacon (Ely) in April 1568, aged 21 years. Became a University Preacher in 1582. Instituted 4 June 1594 and held this in plurality for a while with Dovercourt-cum-Harwich and Little Oakley. Died in 1615.
1615 Richard Ram, M.A. (Cantab.), was probably son of Robert Ram, M.A., D.D., Rector of Copford. Born at Colchester in 1588; admitted to Queen's College, Cambridge 1602. Ordained Deacon (London) 23 September 1610, aged 22, and Priest 8 March 1611. After a curacy at Great Birch (under his father) and an incumbency at Great Bentley (1613 - 15) was presented to Peldon by Thomas Lord D'Arcy 20 April 1615. Died in 1640.
1640 John Cornelius, M.A., D.D.(Cantab.), was born at Margaretting, Essex. became a Fellow of Pembroke College, 1627, and Prebend of Lichfield 1636 - 42. Awarded his Doctorate in 1660. Became Rector of Peldon 2 November 1640. During the Civil War his rectory was plundered on more than one occasion. For example, in 1642 'Wm. Hudson and Sarah wife of Edward Man both of Peldon, labourers, 7 January about 10 o/c forcibly broke into the dwelling house of John Cornelius, clerk there, and put divers persons of his household in bodily fear of their lives.' On another occasion he was robbed of goods worth £400. Cornelius was sequestered from the living before 19 December 1644.
1644 Francis Onge, B.A.(Cantab.) was born at Hartest, Suffolk, and went to school at Chapel, Essex. Ordained Priest on 20 May 1638, and
after serving a curacy at Great Parndon took charge of Peldon in 1644. Walker says that he had been Lady Eden's coachman and he seems to have had
trouble getting through Cambridge. Onge, a convinced Puritan, strongly supported the work of the WestminsterAssembly. He was one of the signatories
of the Essex Testimony in 1648. Entered into a protracted litigation with the wife of John Cornelius concerning her 'fifths', a charge on the
Peldon endowment. Ejected by Charles II in 1660.
1660 John Cornelius was restored to Peldon in 1660, but in 1662 he came to an arrangement with Onge and moved to Clavering (of which he was formerly Vicar in 1641). Died in 1674
1662 Francis Onge conformed under the Act of Conformity, although nearly a thousand ministers of the Church of England were ejected for
failing to do so. Returned to Peldon in 1662, and died in 1667. [For more on Cornelius and Onge see Sequestration of The Reverend John
Cornelius, Peldon's Rector, During the Civil War in 1643: Mersea Museum PH01_SEQ / Elaine Barker]
1667 Jonathan Saunders He was presented to Peldon by Mr. Samuel Reynolds, whose father Thomas, [as Lord of the Manor of Peldon Hall] had possessed the advowson and was Mayor of Colchester in 1654. He was instituted on 1st June, 1667, but resigned in 1674.
1674 John Angier, M.A. He had been appointed to Asheldham in 1658 by the Protector, Cromwell, but was ejected by Charles II in 1660. He must have conformed in 1662. He was instituted to Peldon on 15th April, 1674, and held it in plurality with Inworth. He died in 1689.
1690 Nathaniel Ashwell, M.A. He was born in Ludgate Street, London, in 1656, and was schooled at Earls Colne. He was presented and instituted to Peldon by the Bishop of London on 12th September, 1690. His entries in the Parish Overseer's Book, and his annual list of people "buried in wool", still exist among the Parish Records. His wife Hannah, was buried in Peldon in 1717, and he died in 1725.
1725 Alexander Vievar, LL.B. He was presented to the living by George Brooke, and instituted on 8th June, 1725. He died in 1744.
His will is held by Essex Records Office [ERO D/ABW 94/3/31] from which it is clear he owned several properties in Halstead and Alphamstone and was rector of Halstead. He will have held both Halstead and Peldon incumbencies at the same time.
1744 Edward Townshend, M.A. He was presented to Peldon by the *Rt. Hon. Earl of Orford of Houghton (Norfolk), and instituted on 25th June, 1744. He was the second son of Charles, second Viscount Townshend. He became a Doctor of Divinity of Cambridge in 1761, and in the same year was made Dean of Norwich. He had, however, left Peldon in 1746. He died in 1765, and is buried in Bath Abbey.
* The Earl of Orford was Robert Walpole and the Reverend Edward Townsend his nephew. The Dictionary of National Biography records that, having taken Holy Orders Townsend was "collated to the rectory of Pulham, Norfolk" in 1745.
1746 John Wyatt, M.A. He was presented to Peldon by Miss Catherine Daye*, and instituted on 9th May, 1746, and he either resigned or died in
1749, [according to Morant he died in 1749]
* Catherine Daye was Horace Walpole's half-sister, the natural daughter of Sir Robert Walpole by Carey Daye. Sir Robert had bequeathed "the perpetual advowson, free disposition, and right of patronage and presentation of, in and to the Church of Pelden in..Essex" to Catherine Daye and she presented five incumbents to St. Mary's, Peldon between 1746 and 1761. In a letter dated 22.5.1769 from Sir Edward Walpole to the Honourable Mr Horace Walpole it appears he is recommending a lawyer to sell the advowson for (presumably) Catherine
"Mr Littlehales [probably of Lincoln's Inn] whom I told you I would apply to for the valuation of the perpetual advowson, tells me that it is worth at least £1,400 and that he can get it any day he pleases. Therefore he will be the proper person to sell it for our friend"
1749 Thomas How Morant says he was instituted on 17th March 1749/50. There is an entry in the Parish Burial Register: "December 8th, 1755: The Revd. Mr. Thos. How. Rector of this Parish"
Patron: Miss Catherine Daye
1756 Richard Harvey, B.A. He was instituted on 29th April, 1756 but he resigned the following year.
Patron: Miss Catherine Daye
1757 Samuel Herring, M.A. He was instituted on 9th July, 1757, and was a Fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge, in 1758. He died in 1761
Patron: Miss Catherine Daye
1761 Harry Hankey, M.A. He was the son of Sir Joseph Hankey and was born in London, and educated at Dedham and Cambridge. He became chaplain to the Earl of Ilchester. He was instituted to Peldon on 7th March, 1761, and died on 24th April, 1782.
Patron: Miss Catherine Daye
It is clear from his will [National Archives PROB 11/1090] that Hankey was incumbent of East Bergholt, Brantham and Peldon and was residing in East Bergholt at the time of his death. Among his bequests is a decent suit of Mourning to the clerk of each parish.
1782 Jehoshaphat Mountain, M.A.D.D. He came of a French refugee family (Montaine) and was instituted to Peldon on 7th July, 1782. In July, 1793, his brother Jacob, became the first Anglican Bishop of Quebec. Various members of the family emigrated to Canada with Jacob including Jehoshaphat, and the 'thirteen Mountains' landed on 1st November, 1793. Jehoshaphat became the incumbent of Christ Church, Montreal, in 1801, and he died there in 1817. Peldon Registers show that John James Talman was curate in charge of Peldon from 1793 - 1817.
Patron: Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford (of Strawberry Hill and Castle of Otranto fame.)
Of Huguenot descent, Jehoshaphat's parents and family escaped to England at the revocation of the edict of Nantes (1685), and settled in Norfolk.
Between 1779 and 1782 Jehoshaphat served as curate at Peldon, Cranworth, and Southburgh before taking on Peldon's incumbency in 1782. The drawing above by John Downman shows him a few years before becoming Rector of St. Mary's. Eleven years later, having left England, on 13 Aug. 1793, Jehoshaphat, along with his wife, three children, and other family members, survived gales, separation from their convoy, and harassment by French ships before reaching Quebec on 1 November.
Once there, while the Mountains greatly appreciated the beauty of the countryside and the climate at Trois-Rivières where they first settled, they felt socially isolated in the overwhelmingly French-speaking Roman Catholic community and longed at first to be back in England.
Jehoshaphat's hope for a transfer to Montreal was not realised until 1800 when he was appointed to Christ Church, Montreal. When he died on
10 April 1817, an obituary in the Montreal Herald extolled his "extraordinary generosity and warmness of heart," while at the same time admitting
his "little singularities." [Source: Dictionary of
1817 John Palmer, M.A. (Cantab.), was born on 13 September 1773, and ordained Deacon on 18 December 1798. Prebend of Lincoln in 1807, and Vicar of South Benfleet 1811 - 17. Instituted to Peldon on 16 August 1817. Palmer built a new Rectory at Peldon in 1822, but this had to be vacated 30 years later because of bad construction. Died on 17 May 1851. His father was John Palmer, M.P. for Bath, the originator of the Mail Coach system. His curate, Robert Eden, was instrumental in building Peldon's Church School in 1833, who after an incumbency at Leigh, became Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness, on 9 March 1851.
Patron: Earl of Orford.
1851 William Spencer Harris Braham Meadows, M.A. He was the illegitimate son of John Braham, an operatic tenor, and Nancy Storace, soprano and actress. He took the name Meadows on coming to Peldon. He built the Old rectory in 1853. (His father married a Miss Bolton in 1816, and of their six children, Frances later became the Countess of Waldegrave and Lady Fortescue. She obtained the advowson of the Church to which she presented her brother on 10th July 1851.) He left in 1855 to go to Chigwell.
Peldon Rectory built by The Reverend William Meadows in 1853 having borrowed £1,000 from Queen Anne's Bounty
In retirement, The Reverend Gough clearly continued his research for in 2006 an article about the Reverend Meadows appeared in the
Peldon and Wigboroughs Parish News, (See Peldon and the Mozart Connection: Mersea Museum PH01_RWM ).
1855 Christopher Robert Harrison, B.C.L. (Oxon.), was ordained Deacon (Rochester) in 1844, and Priest the year following. Rector of Leigh
from 1852 - 55, and Rector of Peldon on 21 May 1855. Resigned on 16 September 1867 to become Vicar of North Curry, Somerset, where he died on
1 October 1877. He was the first Rector of Peldon to give a description of the church in any detail in his "Some Record of The Parish of Peldon"
begun in 1867. He records details of the massive church restoration which he undertook, and the six-penny rate "after some ineffectual opposition".
[See Restoration of St. Mary the Virgin: Mersea Museum PH01_PCR / Elaine Barker]
Patron: Frances Waldegrave
The Reverend Harrison's son Herbert, born in Peldon Rectory in 1856 was to die in the Boer War aged 24 [See
Herbert Harrison - Killed in The First Boer War: Mersea Museum PH01_HAR ]
1867 Carter Hall, M.A. (T.C.D.), was instituted on 18 October 1867, and by 1878 he himself possessed the advowson. "The people of Peldon," he wrote, "are in general well-disposed, but they appear ignorant. Good congregations, the farmers are a respectable class of men, and set a good example to their labourers"; and of the local earthquake, April 1884: "Scarcely a house escaped, several are roofless. Poor old Passfield was so frightened that he has taken to his bed and it is expected he will never leave it". Resigned in 1895, but appears to have ceased duty before then.
The Rectory showing Earthquake damage
1895 David Lindsay Johnson, M.A. (Oxon.).
By 1888 the advowson was in the possession of W.W.Johnson, Esq,. whence it came to David and thence to his widow. He became Rector on 9 July 1895,
but the registers show that he was acting as 'curate-in-charge' in 1890, and 'officiating minister' in 1895. He is known as the 'blind Rector',
and he knew the Psalms and much of the Bible by heart.
Preached his last sermons on 16 July 1911 (on Col.i,11, and Isaiah xlv, 22) and died of pneumonia at the Rectory six days later. His memorial, erected on 2 August 1912, is in the church, although he was buried in Colchester.
1911 Edgar George Bowring, M.A. (Oxon.).
Mrs. Lindsay Johnson presented Bowring to Peldon at the wish of her husband. Instituted on 15 September 1911, and in 1915 the advowson was conveyed
to the Church Association (now the Church Society Trust).
He was a staunch Protestant, and as Secretary of the Church Association led much of the national opposition to the *1927 Deposited Book of Common Prayer from his Rectory. Also led demonstrations in London, and a march across Westminster Bridge to lobby Stanley Baldwin, The Prime Minister. The Deposited Book was finally rejected by Parliament, and Peldon Registers show a 'Thanksgiving Sunday after rejection of amended Deposited Prayer Book by the House of Commons' on 17 June 1928. In 1916 he was one of those involved in the arrest of the German air-crew of the Zeppelin that came down in Little Wigborough, for which he was awarded a silver watch. Resigned on 6 December 1930, and died on Easter Monday 1950.
* This proposed revision of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer was approved by the Church Assembly in 1927 but defeated by the House of Commons in June 1928.
1931 Alfred Albert Giles, M.A., instituted on 7 February 1931.
He was brought up in *Mrs Smyly's Coombe Boys Home and it is recorded that 'his mother was Roman Catholic and his father an ungodly Protestant'. He was converted to Christ under Mrs. Smyly, and because a teacher for the Irish Church Missions. Resigned in 1938.
* The Coombe Boys Home was established in Dublin in 1853 and was one of a number of homes run by Ellen Smyly in association with The Irish Church
Mission. Applicants had to be at least seven years old, destitute, free from disease and able to produce their parents' marriage certificate.
Children of mixed marriages or of Roman Catholic parents were given preference.
1939 John Robert Wilson, B.A., L. Th. (Durham), instituted on 14 February 1939, having returned from missionary work with the Church Missionary Society in China in 1938.
Of his war-time incumbency he recalls 'the Home Guard keeping watch from the Church Tower, and on the Parade Sundays filling the church, for intensely moving services, never knowing who would be missing on the next parade'. He also remembers the excitement when a Spitfire crash-landed at Sampson's Farm and the pilot being brought up to the Rectory. Resigned in October 1947, and retired to Hindhead in Surrey.
1948 Walter Asbury Smith was instituted on 21 April 1948 but resigned a few months later (January 1949)
1949 Roy Gumley Adnett instituted on 21 July 1949.
It was his leadership that built up the resources to rebuild the present Chancel.(The previous one was closed during 1939 - 1953 owing to its dangerous condition.) The new Chancel was dedicated by the Bishop of Colchester on 19 April 1953. Moved in March 1955 to Chilcompton Vicarage, Bath.
1955 Eric Kenneth Green instituted on 3 June 1955.
He is still remembered for being the village postman for a while. Moved to Devizes, Wiltshire, in September 1957.
1958 John Penrose, B.A.(Manch.), instituted on 9 June 1958.
During his incumbency the nave of the church was redecorated and the Tower roof repaired. Moved in March 1964 to Toller Porcorum, Dorset, where he died in 1971.
1964: Anthony Walter Gough, Dip. Th. (Lond.),, born in London in 1931. Trained for the ministry at Oak Hill Collage, London; ordained Deacon in Portsmouth in 1960; served a curacy at St. Simon's,
Instituted to Peldon on 20th June 1964. In 1970 the Parochial Council published his Short History of the Parish Church of St. Mary the
Virgin, Peldon. Became Bishop of Rothley, Leicestershire, in January 1971.
1971 John Carpenter, M.A. (Cantab.), instituted on 1 April 1971 and became incumbent of Great and Little Wigborough in 1972. He was previously a missionary in China.
During his time the churchwarden's wands were donated in memory of Major Ralph. Resigned April 1974.
1974 James Edward Seddon, L. Th. (Durham), instituted on 31 July 1974. He had been a missionary in Morocco then worked for the Bible Churchman's Missionary Society for 10 years.
Brought music alive in Peldon, writing hymns and compiling hymn books including Hymns for Today's Church, which is widely in use. In his memory the oak choir pews were installed in 1975, a fumed oak screen was installed in memory of Major Gen. N.V. Watson C.B. OBE. Churchwarden 1968 - 1974. In October '76 the bells were lowered and the frames, being rotten were removed. The *Miles Gray bell of 1613 was flawed and subsequently sold to Trinity St.Museum in Colchester. The other was replaced on a steel joist and now struck and not swung. Half of the Clerestory windows were repaired. The parishes of Peldon and Gt. and Lt. Wigborough were joined in July 1975.
* See The Bells of St. Mary's, Peldon PH01_BEL / Elaine Barker
1981 Edward Charles Lendon was a navigator for the RAF during the second world war and was subsequently ordained, serving Dagenham and Galleywood before Peldon.
He became a cannon of Chelmsford Cathedral.
The west window was acquired from Ely stained glass museum and dedicated shortly after his retirement in 1989. The South Nave memorial window was dedicated to him and his wife Mary after their death. Subsequent to the retirement of Rev. Lendon the Rector-ship has been suspended to enable further parish re-organisation.
1990 Canon John Sinclair Short was vicar of St Mary's Becontree (1970-1975), and New Malden, Coombe (1976 - 1990). He was Rural Dean of Kingston (1979 - 1984),
Honorary Canon of Southwark Cathedral (1983 - 1990) and Priest in Charge at Peldon and the Wigboroughs (1990 - 1993). He died aged 80 in 2014.
Canon Short was to be the last rector to live in Peldon's rectory and, following his departure in 1993, Peldon and the Wigboroughs were to become part of Mersea's benefice and share West Mersea's rector.
1994 Robin Elphick
Reverend Robin Elphick 1980 - with thanks to Clippesby Church, Norfolk
Following his incumbency at Frinton-on-Sea, Robin Elphick was instituted as Priest in Charge of the benefice in November 1994. Having one rector for all five churches of the benefice involved making many changes in the patterns of worship for all. He and his wife retired to Norfolk.
2003: Sam Norton grew up on a houseboat in Essex and before he joined the church was a Civil Servant in the Department of the Environment which fostered a deep
interest in environmental matters.
After leaving Mersea, he became Vicar of Partend and Viney Hill in Gloucestershire being instituted there in October 2018. With his Bishop's blessing, he stood as a candidate for the Brexit Party in the 2019 General election which, had he been successful, would have required he resign from his post in the church. Regularly writing for the local Mersea Courier he covered topical and political issues and his personal statement on his twitter account sums him up as a 'contentious priest'.
From 2018 to September 2021 the benefice was been without an incumbent and services were taken by members of a team that included retired clergymen, and lay preachers.
2021 Judith Bevan
On 26th September 2021 Jude was appointed Priest-in-Charge of the Benefice of West Mersea with East Mersea, Peldon, Great and Little Wigborough, moving to West Mersea.
After studying art in Manchester, Jude later trained as an actor at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff and as a drama teacher in East London. Prior to serving this benefice she was a Team Vicar in the Ministry Area of Pontypridd, South Wales, with prime responsibility for Christ Church, Ynysybwl, St. David's, Hopkinstown and St. Gwynno's, Llanwynno.
Peldon Church Histories
David Wilson Merchant Seaman - The POW's Story
(David was son of Rev. J.R. Wilson, Rectory of Peldon 1939 - 47)
Great Wigbrough Rectors