Fishlake History Society

Recording historical information before it disappears

Fishlake History Society

Recording historical information before it disappears

  St Cuthbert's Church, Fishlake a catalogue of incumbents.





St Cuthbert's Church, Fishlake as painted by Roland Hibbard of Sheffield in 1830.

Fishlake Church 1830 Roland Hibbard of Sheffield

I thought it was time to prepare a revised and updated catalogue of incumbents at Fishlake and make this available online. 

Existing lists are primarily taken from Joseph Hunter, South Yorkshire. Deanery of Doncaster 1828, which itself came, according to John Tomlinson in his Levels Hatfield Chace and Parts Adjacent, from the work of James Torre 1649-1699 a Yorkshire antiquarian and genealogist who specialised in the ecclesiastical antiquities of Yorkshire.

Other authorities used include the manuscript collections left by Roger Dobsworth, another Yorkshire Antiquarian, 1585-1654 and Sir William Dugdale 1705-1687. Subsequent lists have simply been copied from the original list including inaccuracies. These inaccuracies in particular applies to information regarding the Rectors, here revised information  comes from The Rectory of Fishlake by F R Fairbanks, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, vol 17, 1903 p413.

Most recently, 2020, a new research data base has been set up to record English clergy from 1540 to 1835 using official records,

Some additional information has been gathered from this important site.

With a view to completeness I have also added curates and other ministers who have appeared in the historical record.


Some definitions. incumbent of a parish where all tithes (a tenth of a parishioners produce /income) passed directly to the incumbent. incumbent of a parish where tithes passed to a chapter or religious house or layperson who then appointed and paid a vicar.

Curate/perpetual curate. In practice an assistant to a vicar.



1247 Joceranus presented by Archbishop Walter Gray.

1252 Gerard de Grandison

1300 John de Warrenne. resigned in 1327.

1327 Geoffrey de Cotes, priest of Grimsby presented by the King.

1327 Peter Vaurelli presented by Pope John XXII.

1330 Peter Guinaberti presented by the Pope.

1345 Thomas de Riplington 14 November, presented by John Earl of Warenne as guardian of the Prior of Lewes, during the war with France.

1345-6 Thomas Bertram 26 January presented by John Earl Warenne.

1347-8 Thomas de Brembre presented by Prior and convent of Lewes. He resigne

1351 Master Richard Mauleverer, Chaplain, presented 28 March by Sir Ralph de Neville, Lord of Raby. Buried at Fishlake.

1368 Sir William of York 25 September, presented by Lady Alice de Neville, of Brauncepath, died at Fishlake.

1378 John de Kirkeby 2 November, presented by Sir Richard Scrope. Resigned for the church of Grimsby.

1379-80 Thomas de Ulsby 2 November, presented by Sir Richard Scrope.



Appointed by the Patron. Prior and Covent of Durham:


         Robert Gaynesburgh no date given. He resigned  for vicarage of Maltby.

1397 Peter Sherman 25 September.


         John de Clayton no date given, died vicar. Will of 18 June 1406, directed he should be buried in the church.

1406 John de Foxton 12 July. He resigned for the vicarage of Laughton.

1420 Robert Kereby 3 April. Resigned.

1452 Ricardo Willeswik 23 September. Resigned.

1464 Thomas Fareburn 27 March, died at Fishlake.

1496 Christopher Tenand, died vicar.

1496 Richard Marshall, died vicar, see memorial tomb in the Chancel.

1505 John Redeman 10 February, died vicar, his will of 22 December 1531 directed his body to be buried in the high quire of the church.

1532 Richard Holme 27 April. Resigned.

1533 Henry Johnson 22 December. Still vicar in 1552, Surtees society inventory of church goods. Died a natural death in 1573.

Patron. Dean and Chapter of Durham, following the dissolution of the monasteries:

1573 Thomas Casson 19 September, died at Fishlake.

1589 Thomas Potter.

1589 Thomas Pettie/Petty.

1610 Thomas Pettie, April.

1633 Thomas Potter.

1641 Timothy Watmough. Buried 7 March 1642 at Fishlake.

1654 Nathaniel Sympson. Burial 25 April 1654.

1655 Timothy Luddington. an unauthorised intruder during Cromwell's time.

1662 James Mahun MA 7 May.


          Thomas Bourne no date and died vicar.

1687 Maurice L'Isle MA 4 August. Resigned Augt 1707 for rectory of Kildale. Died 1719.


          (1694 John Hall, curate). However, according to Stonehouse History Isle of Axholme, Rev CB Norcliffe states that John Hall occurs as vicar 1699-1706. Within the covers of the register is written, “John Hall minister de Fishlake in com arbor, 1702.

1707 John L'Isle 27 August died at Fishlake in 1755. He was the son of Maurice.


          (1707 Matthew Maslen, curate).

1755 John Gibson 17 September. Buried 18 Sept 1784 aged 55. Died due to stoppage in breast. (His father, John Gibson died and buried in October 1768 schoolmaster, Curate in Sykehouse in 1727, still was in 1743).

John Gibson 18 September 1784, 55 son of John, Clerk Vicar, died due to stoppage in breast.

1784 James Fothergill. Presented but not instituted for some reason.


          (1815 John Sorsby, curate).

1784 John Metcalfe 5 October. Died at Fishlake 1822.


         (1818 William Holbrey, curate). 1822 William Holbrey minister (acting vicar) trade directory and in 1829 Thorne Directory record him as vicar of Fishlake (William Holbrey buried at Fishlake 15 May 1839 age 45 reverend incumbent of Sykehouse abode Stainforth.)

1822 Joseph Arrowsmith BA, 2 August and read in the following Sunday from the Parish register but he appears not to have taken up his post for eleven years (an absent clergyman). Local newspapers in Stockton dated February 1833 have Joseph Arrowsmith, curate at Stockton upon Tees, being presented with a silver chased salver on his departure to the living at Fishlake. The 1835 Poll book records him as living in Thorne, again he was living in South Parade, Thorne in 1841, it appears he was not living in the vicarage which was later considered uninhabitable by Joseph Leeson. Therefore, William Holbrey effectively acted as vicar. Joseph Arrowsmith died at Fishlake 5 March 1846, buried 11 March, aged 59.

1846 Joseph Leeson 15 August, died at Fishlake. See biography in my wordpress.

1850 George Ornsby 17 August, died at Fishlake. Canon of York. See biography in my wordpress.


(Sykehouse Parish created in 1860).

1886 Hopkins Badnall, June, Archdeacon of Cape Town. See biography in my wordpress.

                    (David Methven, Curate-in-Charge 1887-1889).

1889 Eliezer Flecker, May. See biography in my wordpress.

1911  Hamilton Henderson, February, died at Fishlake.

1929 William Noble Coghlin, December.

1959 Kenneth Arthur, April.

1963 J F Bulliman, October.

1966 Victor E Wells, September.

1974 Leslie Sheldrake February, died at Fishlake.

1980 Frank Bickerton, 23 May.

Appointed by Dutchy of Lanchaster, Bishop of Sheffield and Dean and Chapter of Durham, in turns.

1987 John M Osgerby, 2 May First Vicar of the Benefice of Fishlake, Sykehouse, Kirk Bramwith, Fenwick and Moss.

2003 Evelyn Sara Atherfold, July, previously Priest in Charge from 2000.

2019 Paul Mellars, appointed and left same year.


Rob Downing March 2020.