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Bere Regis Village, Dorset
© 2003, Bere Regis Village Website.

The Vicars of

St. John The Baptist Church

There is a possibility that a small timber church stood on the present site in Saxon times. However the church we know today is thought to have been begun in about the year 1050. The Church is a veritable treasure trove for Architectural Historians as it contains portions of all the main medieval styles of architecture between the 11th & 16th centuries. Our Church is in the Diocese of Salisbury. You can find a map of our location by clicking here... Whether you are interested in history, photography or simply joining us at one of our weekly services you can find out all you need to know about the Church here. Click here to visit the Official Church website.
GUIDED TOURS OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH BERE REGIS From April until October - guided tours of the medieval church of St John the Baptist, Bere Regis will take place on: Tuesdays - starting at 11:00 am Thursdays - starting at 3.00 pm For pre-arranged tours at other times contact by telephone: 01929 471339 or email Richard Smith (bereheath@btinternet.com) The tours take in : The magnificent and unique nave roof including the figures of the twelve apostles - the link between the church and the novels of Thomas Hardy, in particular 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' - the long and fascinating history of both the parish church and of the village of Bere Regis (the 'Kingsbere' of Hardy's novels) - the unusual figures on the stone capitals ('headache' and 'toothache')
History of Previous Vicars In the Domesday survey of 1086 the church lands of Dorchester and Bere Regis were for some reason grouped together. Bristuard the priest was the tenant, and the land, amounting to 1 hide and 20 acres (approx. 68 hectares) was worth £4 a year. In 1091 Bishop Osmund, gave the church lands of Bere together with those of Charminster near Dorchester, to Salisbury Cathedral, and they were at that time the most richly endowed church lands belonging to the cathedral, known as the 'golden prebend' of Charminster and Bere. This early connection with Charminster may account for the remarkable similarity in the mid 12th century nave arcades of the two churches. In 1534 the prebend was valued at £120 but was disposed of at the Reformation. The patrons of the vicarage, as far as they are known, are as follows:
1545 Sir Thomas Heneage 1558 The Queen 1575 John Michell of Salisbury 1592 Thomas Mitchel 1646 Thomas Strangways 1662 & 1665 Giles Strangways 1666 Henry Whitsker 1699 Roger Mander DD; master of Balliol College, Oxford # 1704 Onwards - The master and fellows of Balliol College. The patronage was left to the master and fellows in accordance with the will of Roger Mander, and has remained unchanged since.
On the 1st June 1699 the Patronage of Bere Regis clergy and vicarage passed to Balliol College, Oxford, from where most of our vicars studied after this. The Master of the College in 1699 was Roger Mander and he consolidated the appointment and institution of William Abell as vicar of Bere on 13 May 1699, after an interregnum of about six months. Roger Mander died in 1704 and in his will he instructed that the Patronage be passed to the College itself, rather than being in the power of the Master. The original parchment of the Will is 20x10.6inches (0.51 x 0.27m) in size and held in the Balliol College archives. Click the Image below to see it enlarged.
A transcription of the text follows:- To all People to whom this present writing shall come Roger Mander Doctor in Divinity and Master of Balliol Colledge in the University of Oxon sendeth greeting. Know yee that I the said Roger Mander for good and reasonable causes and considerations me hereunto especially moveing. Have given and granted and by these presents doe give and grant unto the Masters and Schollers of Balliol Colledge in the University of Oxon aforesaid and their successors. The Advowson Donation free disposition right of Patronage and Presentation of the Viccaridge of the Parish Church of Beere Regis in the county of Dorsett. And the Chappel of Winterbourne Kingstone to the said Viccaridge or Church of Beere Regis annexed with the rights members and appurtenances. To have and to hold the said Advowson Donation free disposition right of Patronage and Presentation unto the said Master and Scholars and their successors for ever. In Witnesse whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seale the first day of June in the eleventh year of the Reigne of our Soveraigne Lord William the Third by the grace of God of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith etc. Anno Dno 1699 The following list of Vicars includes various other known particulars:
14th century Reginald de Stoke referred to as `parson of Bere' at some time during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). 15th century John Belle was vicar in 1408 according to Dean Chandler's register of visitations. 15th century Thomas Turke was vicar in 1411, also in Dean Chandler's register. He is said to have `abjured for heresy' in 1414.  1534-1545 William Wingfield. Instituted 1534, resigned 1545. 1545-1559 William Vallance. Instituted 14 July, 1545, and was still vicar in 1552 when he signed the inventory of church goods.   1559-1575 John Newman. Instituted 11 March, 1559, probably died in 1575. 1575- 1592 David Woodnot. Instituted 16 November, 1575, died in 1592. 1593-1618 Thomas Bastard. Instituted 27 January, 1593, buried 19 April, 1618. He was born at Blandford in 1566. Having been at Winchester school, he was admitted to New College Oxford on 27 August, 1586, and elected a perpetual fellow in 1588, becoming B.A. in 1590, and later M.A. He was a poet of some merit who specialised in epigrams, which were often libellous, and as a result of one of them which was particularly so, was forced to resign his fellowship in 1591. He later became chaplain to Thomas, Earl of Suffolk, and through whose influence he became vicar of Bere. Thomas Bastard had a great reputation for wit, and in 1598 a book of his epigrams was published under the title Chrestoleros: Seven Bookes of Epigrames written by T.B. On 6 February, 1922 an original of the first edition of Chrestoleros, one of four or five known copies, was sold at Sotheby's for £155 to an American book collector. Bastard was a keen angler, and was able to indulge in his favourite pastime at Bere Regis, which he refers to in an epigram sent to his fellow poet Sir Henry Wotton: "Wotton, my little Bere dwels on a hill, Under whose foot the silver Trowt doth swim, The Trowt silver without and goold within." Thomas Bastard seems always to have been a victim of poverty, and referred to his "little family" and a wife who he described as "no great help-meet". He ended sadly in debt and mentally unbalanced according to the following extract: "This poet and preacher being towards his latter end crazed, and thereupon brought into debt, was at length committed to the prison in Allhallows (All Saints) parish, in Dorchester, where, dying very obscurely and in a mean condition, was buried in the churchyard belonging to that parish on 19 April 1618, leaving behind many memorials of his wit and drollery." 1618-1646 John Rogers. Instituted 1618, buried 1 March, 1646. 1646-1649 Bartholomew Hussey. Instituted 19 August, 1646, died 7 March, 1649. During this period Thomas King, curate of Kingston, appears to have been appropriating tithes to which he was not entitled, according to this extract from the minutes of the Dorset Standing Committee for 9 October, 1646: "An order to Mr. Thomas King, Clerke, to forbear to intermeddle with or receive any more tythes within the parrish of Winterbourne Kingston in this County, where bee now officyateth by order from the Committee, and to suffer Mr. Bartholmew Husey (an able and orthodox divine, the now vicar of Beere Regs of which Kingston is a member) quietlie to enjoy the same, it beeing his owne proper due." In another order by this committee on 16 March, 1649. "Mr Bartholomew Hussey, lately deceased," had owed more than £100 to George Mullens and William Bolter. An order was passed authorising them to receive some of the rents, tithes and profits of the vicarage during its vacancy, and the remainder was to be used for paying rates and taxes on the vicarage, and to provide "a minister to teach the people, and to pay him after the rate of tenne shillings every weeke for his labor and paines in that behalfe".   1654-1662 Philip Lamb. In 1650 the benefice had been vacant since the death of Bartholomew Hussey, but Philip Lamb is known to have become vicar by 3 April, 1654. He was one of the Puritan clergy instituted during the Commonwealth (1649-60) and had not been ordained by a bishop. After the restoration of the monarchy, when episcopal ordination was again required, the unordained Puritan clergy were in 1662 faced with the acceptance of ordination or resignation, and Philip Lamb was one of the many who chose resignation. Most of the ejected Puritan clergy continued to preach in private, marking the beginning of Congregational churches, so that Philip Lamb may be considered as the first Congregational minister of Bere Regis.   1663-1665 Thomas Basket. Instituted 23 January, 1663, died in 1665. 1665-1666 Robert Frampton. Instituted 4 December, 1665, resigned in 1666. 1666-1667 Lewis White. Instituted 23 October, 1666, buried 8 November, 1667. 1668-1673 John Cupper. Instituted 14 April, 1668. In all previously published lists of vicars of Dorset parishes there is an unaccountable 8 year gap between the death of Lewis White in 1667 and the institution of Edmund Strangways in 1675. However, John Cupper signed the Deans register transcripts as vicar between 1669 and 1673, and according to the Deans subscription book was instituted as vicar on 14 April, 1668. Thomas Aylesbuy was instituted on 3 August, 1672 according to the same subscription book, but seemingly in the capacity of curate. 1674-1678 Edmund Stangways. Instituted 10 May, 1675, buried 13 July, 1678. As he signed the register transcript for 1674 he appears to have been officiating before his institution. 1679-1698 John Ouchterlony. Instituted 1 January, 1679, resigned in 1698. 1699-1701 William Abell. Instituted 13 May, 1699, died 22 April, 1701. 1701-1710 William Hockin. Instituted 7 July, 1701, died in 1710. 1711-1725 John Wills. Instituted 19 April, 1711, resigned in 1725. According to the Deans subscription book he resigned in order to practice medicine. 1725-1773 Henry Fisher. Instituted 19 November, 1725, died 20 June, 1773, aged 90. He was vicar of Bere Regis for almost 48 years, and during this time he made a table from a yew tree which is reputed to have grown in the churchyard. This table is still in use in the vestry, and its legs are shaped like those of a horse. There is a small brass memorial to him on the north wall of the north aisle depicting a skull and hour-glass, said to be symbols of mortality, and inscribed Verbum non amplius-Fisher-"the word and no more-Fisher". The same device and motto appeared on a wing of Ballioi College Oxford, the building of which he financed, and which afterwards became known as 'Fisher's buildings'. 1773-1817 Thomas Williams. Instituted 4 December, 1773, resigned in 1817. 1818-1864 Carrington Ley. Instituted in 1818, died 24 September, 1864. It is remarkable that the 139 year period from 1725 until 1864 was spanned by three vicars only; Henry Fisher, Thomas Williams and Carrington Ley - who 'reigned' for 48, 44 and 46 years respectively. 1865-1876 Francis Warre. Instituted in 1865, resigned in 1876. 1876-1886 John Frere Langford. Instituted 1876, resigned 31 October, 1886. 1886-1899 William Farrer. Instituted 4 December, 1886, resigned in 1899. 1899-1905 Walter Edward Hamilton Sotheby. Instituted 1899, resigned May, 1905. 1905-1919 Montague Acland Bere. Instituted 1905, resigned July, 1919. From March 1916 until April 1919 the Rev. M. A. Bere served as a chaplain to the forces in France, and during his absence the Rev. Augustus B. Bennett served as a temporary vicar. 1919-1921 R. C. V. Hodge. Instituted in 1919, resigned in 1921. 1921 -1935 Percy Wolryche Taylor. Instituted in 1921, died 23 October, 1935. 1936-1960 Roland Charles Herring. Instituted 4 April, 1936, re-signed 30 November, 1960. 1961-1976 Paul Trevor Williams Tranter. Instituted 16 February, 1961, resigned 31 October, 1976. Denis Shaw. Licensed 3 December, 1976. 1978-1985 Denis Shaw. Instituted January 1978, resigned May 1985. 1985-1992 Johnathan Burke. Instituted June 1985, resigned June 1992. 1993-2001 Graham Roblin. Inducted January 1993, resigned October 2001. Graham died in 2005, read two of Grahams Obituaries here 2002-2014 Ian Woodward. Inducted January 2002, resigned October 2014 History of the Vicarage There are several clues as to where the vicarages were situated and the following section gives best-guesses based on those clues. 800-1200 During the first centuries of Christianity at Bere it is unknown where or even how the church operated. For the first part of this period there could have been limited accommodation for the parson attached to the church itself. The church has probably always been on the existing site and could have been a Saxon meeting place of some sort. 1200-1350 With the increased investment associated with the early Turberville period the arrangements for the church became much more formalised. A dedicated "priest's house" was probably established in a location close to the Turberville Manor House. The discovery of a lead seal to a Papal Bull in the late 1980s at Southbrook lends support to this location for the vicarage. Papal Bulls were issued regularly from Rome and contained instructions for clergy or authorisation to make changes to biblical tracts. This one was inscribed with the name Gregorius VIIII (9th) who was Pope between 1227 and 1241. It is 42mm in diameter and 5mm thick and maybe was discarded whilst opening the Bull. 1350-1510 After the chaos of the Black Death of 1348-49 it is likely that a fresh start was made in many things. It is certain that the vicarage would have been quite close to the Turberville House, and it is very likely to have been on the site where Church Cottages is now located. In the churchwarden's accounts shortly after 1600 they were still referring to that site as "Church House". It was by about 1600 occupied by buildings brewing "church ale" to raise money for village activities such as apprenticeships, policing and, of course, baptisms, marriages and burials. 1510-1666 At some time early in the 16th Century a new vicarage was built at the place now occupied by the present “Manor House”, adjacent to the south church entrance. The garden stretched down to the river to the south. This is known because a letter by vicar Thomas Bastard (1593-1618) tells how he was "..next door to Turberville Manor, with a trout stream at [the] bottom of [my] garden." There is no other location at Bere that fits this description. 1666-1956 What is now called "The Old Vicarage", and before that "Summerods", became the new vicarage after the Civil Wars had ended. This was also probably the perfect time to get out from under the thumb of the [Catholic] Turbervilles. Originally only about half the size of the current building it is shown on the estate map of 1777. Proper parish records began again in mid 1666 after a 24 year gap, also coinciding with a new Patron of the Living with Henry Whitaker taking over from Giles Strangways. The current building is the re-build after being substantially destroyed in the 1788 fire. You can see it below - 1956-present The vicarage today was converted from a fine Victorian house called "The Retreat", in 1956 in West Street adjacent to Church Lane. You can see it below -
History of the Vicarage There are several clues as to where the vicarages were situated and the following section gives best-guesses based on those clues. 800-1200 During the first centuries of Christianity at Bere it is unknown where or even how the church operated. For the first part of this period there could have been limited accommodation for the parson attached to the church itself. The church has probably always been on the existing site and could have been a Saxon meeting place of some sort. 1200-1350 With the increased investment associated with the early Turberville period the arrangements for the church became much more formalised. A dedicated "priest's house" was probably established in a location close to the Turberville Manor House. The discovery of a lead seal to a Papal Bull in the late 1980s at Southbrook lends support to this location for the vicarage. Papal Bulls were issued regularly from Rome and contained instructions for clergy or authorisation to make changes to biblical tracts. This one was inscribed with the name Gregorius VIIII (9th) who was Pope between 1227 and 1241. It is 42mm in diameter and 5mm thick and maybe was discarded whilst opening the Bull. 1350-1510 After the chaos of the Black Death of 1348-49 it is likely that a fresh start was made in many things. It is certain that the vicarage would have been quite close to the Turberville House, and it is very likely to have been on the site where Church Cottages is now located. In the churchwarden's accounts shortly after 1600 they were still referring to that site as "Church House". It was by about 1600 occupied by buildings brewing "church ale" to raise money for village activities such as apprenticeships, policing and, of course, baptisms, marriages and burials. 1510-1666 At some time early in the 16th Century a new vicarage was built at the place now occupied by the present “Manor House”, adjacent to the south church entrance. The garden stretched down to the river to the south. This is known because a letter by vicar Thomas Bastard (1593-1618) tells how he was "..next door to Turberville Manor, with a trout stream at [the] bottom of [my] garden." There is no other location at Bere that fits this description. 1666-1956 What is now called "The Old Vicarage", and before that "Summerods", became the new vicarage after the Civil Wars had ended. This was also probably the perfect time to get out from under the thumb of the [Catholic] Turbervilles. Originally only about half the size of the current building it is shown on the estate map of 1777. Proper parish records began again in mid 1666 after a 24 year gap, also coinciding with a new Patron of the Living with Henry Whitaker taking over from Giles Strangways. The current building is the re-build after being substantially destroyed in the 1788 fire. You can see it below. You can see it below -
1956-present The vicarage today was converted from a fine Victorian house called "The Retreat", in 1956 in West Street adjacent to Church Lane.
Bere Regis Village Website
Bere Regis Village website
Bere Regis Village, Dorset
Bere Regis Village Website
© 2003, Bere Regis Village Website.

The Vicars of

St. John The Baptist Church

There is a possibility that a small timber church stood on the present site in Saxon times. However the church we know today is thought to have been begun in about the year 1050. The Church is a veritable treasure trove for Architectural Historians as it contains portions of all the main medieval styles of architecture between the 11th & 16th centuries. Our Church is in the Diocese of Salisbury. You can find a map of our location by clicking here... Whether you are interested in history, photography or simply joining us at one of our weekly services you can find out all you need to know about the Church here. Click here to visit the Official Church website.
GUIDED TOURS OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH BERE REGIS From April until October - guided tours of the medieval church of St John the Baptist, Bere Regis will take place on: Tuesdays - starting at 11:00 am Thursdays - starting at 3.00 pm For pre-arranged tours at other times contact by telephone: 01929 471339 or email Richard Smith (bereheath@btinternet.com) The tours take in : The magnificent and unique nave roof including the figures of the twelve apostles - the link between the church and the novels of Thomas Hardy, in particular 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' - the long and fascinating history of both the parish church and of the village of Bere Regis (the 'Kingsbere' of Hardy's novels) - the unusual figures on the stone capitals ('headache' and 'toothache')
History of Previous Vicars In the Domesday survey of 1086 the church lands of Dorchester and Bere Regis were for some reason grouped together. Bristuard the priest was the tenant, and the land, amounting to 1 hide and 20 acres (approx. 68 hectares) was worth £4 a year. In 1091 Bishop Osmund, gave the church lands of Bere together with those of Charminster near Dorchester, to Salisbury Cathedral, and they were at that time the most richly endowed church lands belonging to the cathedral, known as the 'golden prebend' of Charminster and Bere. This early connection with Charminster may account for the remarkable similarity in the mid 12th century nave arcades of the two churches. In 1534 the prebend was valued at £120 but was disposed of at the Reformation. The patrons of the vicarage, as far as they are known, are as follows:
1545 Sir Thomas Heneage 1558 The Queen 1575 John Michell of Salisbury 1592 Thomas Mitchel 1646 Thomas Strangways 1662 & 1665 Giles Strangways 1666 Henry Whitsker 1699 Roger Mander DD; master of Balliol College, Oxford # 1704 Onwards - The master and fellows of Balliol College. The patronage was left to the master and fellows in accordance with the will of Roger Mander, and has remained unchanged since.
On the 1st June 1699 the Patronage of Bere Regis clergy and vicarage passed to Balliol College, Oxford, from where most of our vicars studied after this. The Master of the College in 1699 was Roger Mander and he consolidated the appointment and institution of William Abell as vicar of Bere on 13 May 1699, after an interregnum of about six months. Roger Mander died in 1704 and in his will he instructed that the Patronage be passed to the College itself, rather than being in the power of the Master. The original parchment of the Will is 20x10.6inches (0.51 x 0.27m) in size and held in the Balliol College archives. Click the Image below to see it enlarged.
A transcription of the text follows:- To all People to whom this present writing shall come Roger Mander Doctor in Divinity and Master of Balliol Colledge in the University of Oxon sendeth greeting. Know yee that I the said Roger Mander for good and reasonable causes and considerations me hereunto especially moveing. Have given and granted and by these presents doe give and grant unto the Masters and Schollers of Balliol Colledge in the University of Oxon aforesaid and their successors. The Advowson Donation free disposition right of Patronage and Presentation of the Viccaridge of the Parish Church of Beere Regis in the county of Dorsett. And the Chappel of Winterbourne Kingstone to the said Viccaridge or Church of Beere Regis annexed with the rights members and appurtenances. To have and to hold the said Advowson Donation free disposition right of Patronage and Presentation unto the said Master and Scholars and their successors for ever. In Witnesse whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seale the first day of June in the eleventh year of the Reigne of our Soveraigne Lord William the Third by the grace of God of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith etc. Anno Dno 1699 The following list of Vicars includes various other known particulars:
14th century Reginald de Stoke referred to as `parson of Bere' at some time during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). 15th century John Belle was vicar in 1408 according to Dean Chandler's register of visitations. 15th century Thomas Turke was vicar in 1411, also in Dean Chandler's register. He is said to have `abjured for heresy' in 1414.  1534-1545 William Wingfield. Instituted 1534, resigned 1545. 1545-1559 William Vallance. Instituted 14 July, 1545, and was still vicar in 1552 when he signed the inventory of church goods.   1559-1575 John Newman. Instituted 11 March, 1559, probably died in 1575. 1575- 1592 David Woodnot. Instituted 16 November, 1575, died in 1592. 1593-1618 Thomas Bastard. Instituted 27 January, 1593, buried 19 April, 1618. He was born at Blandford in 1566. Having been at Winchester school, he was admitted to New College Oxford on 27 August, 1586, and elected a perpetual fellow in 1588, becoming B.A. in 1590, and later M.A. He was a poet of some merit who specialised in epigrams, which were often libellous, and as a result of one of them which was particularly so, was forced to resign his fellowship in 1591. He later became chaplain to Thomas, Earl of Suffolk, and through whose influence he became vicar of Bere. Thomas Bastard had a great reputation for wit, and in 1598 a book of his epigrams was published under the title Chrestoleros: Seven Bookes of Epigrames written by T.B. On 6 February, 1922 an original of the first edition of Chrestoleros, one of four or five known copies, was sold at Sotheby's for £155 to an American book collector. Bastard was a keen angler, and was able to indulge in his favourite pastime at Bere Regis, which he refers to in an epigram sent to his fellow poet Sir Henry Wotton: "Wotton, my little Bere dwels on a hill, Under whose foot the silver Trowt doth swim, The Trowt silver without and goold within." Thomas Bastard seems always to have been a victim of poverty, and referred to his "little family" and a wife who he described as "no great help-meet". He ended sadly in debt and mentally unbalanced according to the following extract: "This poet and preacher being towards his latter end crazed, and thereupon brought into debt, was at length committed to the prison in Allhallows (All Saints) parish, in Dorchester, where, dying very obscurely and in a mean condition, was buried in the churchyard belonging to that parish on 19 April 1618, leaving behind many memorials of his wit and drollery." 1618-1646 John Rogers. Instituted 1618, buried 1 March, 1646. 1646-1649 Bartholomew Hussey. Instituted 19 August, 1646, died 7 March, 1649. During this period Thomas King, curate of Kingston, appears to have been appropriating tithes to which he was not entitled, according to this extract from the minutes of the Dorset Standing Committee for 9 October, 1646: "An order to Mr. Thomas King, Clerke, to forbear to intermeddle with or receive any more tythes within the parrish of Winterbourne Kingston in this County, where bee now officyateth by order from the Committee, and to suffer Mr. Bartholmew Husey (an able and orthodox divine, the now vicar of Beere Regs of which Kingston is a member) quietlie to enjoy the same, it beeing his owne proper due." In another order by this committee on 16 March, 1649. "Mr Bartholomew Hussey, lately deceased," had owed more than £100 to George Mullens and William Bolter. An order was passed authorising them to receive some of the rents, tithes and profits of the vicarage during its vacancy, and the remainder was to be used for paying rates and taxes on the vicarage, and to provide "a minister to teach the people, and to pay him after the rate of tenne shillings every weeke for his labor and paines in that behalfe".   1654-1662 Philip Lamb. In 1650 the benefice had been vacant since the death of Bartholomew Hussey, but Philip Lamb is known to have become vicar by 3 April, 1654. He was one of the Puritan clergy instituted during the Commonwealth (1649-60) and had not been ordained by a bishop. After the restoration of the monarchy, when episcopal ordination was again required, the unordained Puritan clergy were in 1662 faced with the acceptance of ordination or resignation, and Philip Lamb was one of the many who chose resignation. Most of the ejected Puritan clergy continued to preach in private, marking the beginning of Congregational churches, so that Philip Lamb may be considered as the first Congregational minister of Bere Regis.   1663-1665 Thomas Basket. Instituted 23 January, 1663, died in 1665. 1665-1666 Robert Frampton. Instituted 4 December, 1665, resigned in 1666. 1666-1667 Lewis White. Instituted 23 October, 1666, buried 8 November, 1667. 1668-1673 John Cupper. Instituted 14 April, 1668. In all previously published lists of vicars of Dorset parishes there is an unaccountable 8 year gap between the death of Lewis White in 1667 and the institution of Edmund Strangways in 1675. However, John Cupper signed the Deans register transcripts as vicar between 1669 and 1673, and according to the Deans subscription book was instituted as vicar on 14 April, 1668. Thomas Aylesbuy was instituted on 3 August, 1672 according to the same subscription book, but seemingly in the capacity of curate. 1674-1678 Edmund Stangways. Instituted 10 May, 1675, buried 13 July, 1678. As he signed the register transcript for 1674 he appears to have been officiating before his institution. 1679-1698 John Ouchterlony. Instituted 1 January, 1679, resigned in 1698. 1699-1701 William Abell. Instituted 13 May, 1699, died 22 April, 1701. 1701-1710 William Hockin. Instituted 7 July, 1701, died in 1710. 1711-1725 John Wills. Instituted 19 April, 1711, resigned in 1725. According to the Deans subscription book he resigned in order to practice medicine. 1725-1773 Henry Fisher. Instituted 19 November, 1725, died 20 June, 1773, aged 90. He was vicar of Bere Regis for almost 48 years, and during this time he made a table from a yew tree which is reputed to have grown in the churchyard. This table is still in use in the vestry, and its legs are shaped like those of a horse. There is a small brass memorial to him on the north wall of the north aisle depicting a skull and hour-glass, said to be symbols of mortality, and inscribed Verbum non amplius-Fisher-"the word and no more-Fisher". The same device and motto appeared on a wing of Ballioi College Oxford, the building of which he financed, and which afterwards became known as 'Fisher's buildings'. 1773-1817 Thomas Williams. Instituted 4 December, 1773, resigned in 1817. 1818-1864 Carrington Ley. Instituted in 1818, died 24 September, 1864. It is remarkable that the 139 year period from 1725 until 1864 was spanned by three vicars only; Henry Fisher, Thomas Williams and Carrington Ley - who 'reigned' for 48, 44 and 46 years respectively. 1865-1876 Francis Warre. Instituted in 1865, resigned in 1876. 1876-1886 John Frere Langford. Instituted 1876, resigned 31 October, 1886. 1886-1899 William Farrer. Instituted 4 December, 1886, resigned in 1899. 1899-1905 Walter Edward Hamilton Sotheby. Instituted 1899, resigned May, 1905. 1905-1919 Montague Acland Bere. Instituted 1905, resigned July, 1919. From March 1916 until April 1919 the Rev. M. A. Bere served as a chaplain to the forces in France, and during his absence the Rev. Augustus B. Bennett served as a temporary vicar. 1919-1921 R. C. V. Hodge. Instituted in 1919, resigned in 1921. 1921 -1935 Percy Wolryche Taylor. Instituted in 1921, died 23 October, 1935. 1936-1960 Roland Charles Herring. Instituted 4 April, 1936, re-signed 30 November, 1960. 1961-1976 Paul Trevor Williams Tranter. Instituted 16 February, 1961, resigned 31 October, 1976. Denis Shaw. Licensed 3 December, 1976. 1978-1985 Denis Shaw. Instituted January 1978, resigned May 1985. 1985-1992 Johnathan Burke. Instituted June 1985, resigned June 1992. 1993-2001 Graham Roblin. Inducted January 1993, resigned October 2001. Graham died in 2005, read two of Grahams Obituaries here 2002-2014 Ian Woodward. Inducted January 2002, resigned October 2014 History of the Vicarage There are several clues as to where the vicarages were situated and the following section gives best-guesses based on those clues. 800-1200 During the first centuries of Christianity at Bere it is unknown where or even how the church operated. For the first part of this period there could have been limited accommodation for the parson attached to the church itself. The church has probably always been on the existing site and could have been a Saxon meeting place of some sort. 1200-1350 With the increased investment associated with the early Turberville period the arrangements for the church became much more formalised. A dedicated "priest's house" was probably established in a location close to the Turberville Manor House. The discovery of a lead seal to a Papal Bull in the late 1980s at Southbrook lends support to this location for the vicarage. Papal Bulls were issued regularly from Rome and contained instructions for clergy or authorisation to make changes to biblical tracts. This one was inscribed with the name Gregorius VIIII (9th) who was Pope between 1227 and 1241. It is 42mm in diameter and 5mm thick and maybe was discarded whilst opening the Bull. 1350-1510 After the chaos of the Black Death of 1348-49 it is likely that a fresh start was made in many things. It is certain that the vicarage would have been quite close to the Turberville House, and it is very likely to have been on the site where Church Cottages is now located. In the churchwarden's accounts shortly after 1600 they were still referring to that site as "Church House". It was by about 1600 occupied by buildings brewing "church ale" to raise money for village activities such as apprenticeships, policing and, of course, baptisms, marriages and burials. 1510-1666 At some time early in the 16th Century a new vicarage was built at the place now occupied by the present “Manor House”, adjacent to the south church entrance. The garden stretched down to the river to the south. This is known because a letter by vicar Thomas Bastard (1593- 1618) tells how he was "..next door to Turberville Manor, with a trout stream at [the] bottom of [my] garden." There is no other location at Bere that fits this description. 1666-1956 What is now called "The Old Vicarage", and before that "Summerods", became the new vicarage after the Civil Wars had ended. This was also probably the perfect time to get out from under the thumb of the [Catholic] Turbervilles. Originally only about half the size of the current building it is shown on the estate map of 1777. Proper parish records began again in mid 1666 after a 24 year gap, also coinciding with a new Patron of the Living with Henry Whitaker taking over from Giles Strangways. The current building is the re-build after being substantially destroyed in the 1788 fire. You can see it below - 1956-present The vicarage today was converted from a fine Victorian house called "The Retreat", in 1956 in West Street adjacent to Church Lane. You can see it below -
1956-present The vicarage today was converted from a fine Victorian house called "The Retreat", in 1956 in West Street adjacent to Church Lane. You can see it below -
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