The Clergy of Hawes

Keeping records

Regrettably, records from Hawes Chapel (the old church) and the first half-century of St. Margaret’s Church are far from complete. Though some from the late 17th C and most of the 18th C documents survive there is a hiatus for nearly the whole of the 19th C when, so it is said, they fell victims to the mice and damp where they were carelessly stored. A list of those that have survived and are now lodged in the County Records Offices at Northallerton. More recent 20th – 21th C Registers are still held in the church safe. From these and other documents it appears that while Aysgarth was always the ‘mother’ parish, there were also some pastoral links with Askrigg and it was from these that clergy, usually ‘Assistant Curates’ were appointed. From the 17th C onwards it is likely that such curates were resident in Hawes at least intermittently, though probably only in lodgings. The Old Parsonage (now replaced) was only built in 1863. The dispute about tithes and who should benefit from them had finally come to a head in 1680 when the Hawes Chapel Wardens refused to pay the so-called ‘Hawes Quarter’ to Aysgarth. Seven years later the case went before the ecclesiastical court which came down in favour of Aysgarth, but Hawes then appealed to the Court of Common Law at York who reversed the judgement with costs. But, though they had won control of their own tithes, Hawes still had no real say in the appointment of their own ministers, despite the fact that the township had become larger and much more prosperous. This issue was wrangled over for nearly two centuries more. The earliest surviving Register dates from 1685 (or 1695?) and contains baptisms, weddings and funerals set out all higgledy-piggledy on its pages just as they occurred.

Local family names

Perhaps its most fascinating feature is the many surnames still current in Hawes that appear in it: Allen, Dinsdale, Metcalfe, Routh and Whaley among them. Other ancient names are Alderson, Blades, Calvert, Cockett, Fawcett, Iveson, Moore, Spencer and Ward. If you look at those names, cut into the panelling in church, into the war memorials and into the tombstones, you will come to feel a pervasive and powerful sense of community with the past, even the very distant past. An Allen was brought up before the ecclesiastical court accused of stealing the Abbot of Jervaulx’s sheep at a time when all the land across the Ure was part of the Abbot’s demesne. James Metcalfe from nearby Worton. was knighted for his services at Agincourt. Allens have been grocers and Cocketts butchers here for well over a century. Like those who built the church, Metcalfes are still builders and until very recently Spencer and Ward – formerly blacksmiths – were the local plumbers.

Acknowledgements to Dr Trevor Johnson and Hugh Bridgman

List of Incumbents

2016  to present     Dave Clark

2009- 2016  Ann Beatrice Chapman

1993-2009    William Michael Simms

1986-1992    Geoffrey Nigel Rake Sowerby

1981-1984    Charles Christian Robert Merivale

1929-1980    Canon James Llewellyn Grice Hill, MC MA (incumbent for 50 years)

1920-1929    Charles F. Richardson, MA

1913-1919    S. D. Crawford, MA

1898-1913    Thomas E. Ellwood, MA

1893-1898    William Parker lrving

1878-1893    G. P. Harris, MA

1870-1878    J. Dunne Parker, DD MA

1869-1870    E. W. Makinson

1863-1869    William Matthews (1863 New vicarage built on Burtersett Road and Widdale Chapel built jointly with the Congregationalists)

1859-1863    Edward J. Cooper

1855-1858    Samuel Johnson

1848-1855    Thomas Lodge (the present church was built during this incumbency)

1845-1848    Ebenezer Howell

1812-1844    James Metcalfe

? -1812         James Metcalfe

1802-1804/5    John Whaley (described as Assistant Curate’)

1793-1802 Edward Cleasby (described as Assistant Curate’) Also curate at Lunds for many years before

1783-1793    Robert Nelson (described as Assistant Curate’)

1750-1782    Charles Udal

1749-1750    Richard Dean

1724-1749    Peter Dawes  – died 1751 (prime mover in establishing Hawes Grammar School)

1709-1723    James Hunter

1704-1709    William Green

1694-1701    Hugh Shaw

1690-1694    Robert Blaymire

                     Thomas Hunter

1675-1681    No name recorded

?- 1674         Robert Dobson (died in the year 1676?)

1614 -?         Richard Leake  (also a master at Yorebridge Grammar School – est 1601)

1483             Sir James Whaley