Vicars of Penn Street

Vicars from 1849

Edward Bickersteth 1849 – 1853
Alfred S  Butler 1853 – 1860
Thomas Bayley 1860 – 1886
J J Lindeman    1886 – 1899 Died in Office,
Buried 6th June 1899
A L Mauby 1900
Arthur Browning 1901 – 1927
I J Sibree 1927 –
Ernest Davies                   1929 – 1931
Vaughan F Bryan-Brown 1932 – 1947
W J Mathias 1948 – 1951
J W Rees 1952 – 1953
David Ainsleigh Jones 1954 – 1959
A E Paterson 1959 – 1966
Frank Wankling 1967 – 1975
Nigel Stowe 1976 – 2001
Matthew Boyes 2002 – 2006 (Priest in Charge)
William Mason 2007 – 2013
Peter Simmons 2015 –

Edward Bickersteth 1849 – 1853

Edward Bickersteth,
Dean of Lichfield,
Vanity Fair, Dec. 20, 1884

Edward Bickersteth the first Vicar of Penn Street, was born in Acton in Suffolk, into an ecclesiastical family: his father was the Rev John Bickersteth, sometime Rector of Sapcote; and his brother Robert was a future Bishop of Ripon. He was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1831, and migrated to Sidney Sussex College two years later, graduating B.A. in 1836. He also studied at Durham University in 1837. Ordained Deacon late 1837, he began his career with as curate to Arch-deacon Vickers at Chetton, nr. Bridgnorth in Shropshire, and ordained priest January, 1839, curate at Holy Cross and St. Giles, Shrewsbury Abbey. He held incumbencies at Holy Trinity, Penn Street, 1849 – 1853, and St. Mary’s, Aylesbury, before being appointed Archdeacon of Buckingham. In 1866 he was nominated an honorary canon of Christ Church, Oxford.

In 1875, he was appointed Dean of Lichfield. His chief achievement as Dean was the restoration of the west front of Lichfield Cathedral, which was begun in 1877 and completed and dedicated on 9 May 1884. He resigned just a few weeks before his death on 9 October 1892.

He was twice married: first, on 13 October 1840, to Martha Mary Anne, daughter of Valentine Vickers of Cransmere in Shropshire. She died on 2 February 1881, and on 12 October 1882, he married Mary Anne, daughter of Thomas Whitmore Wylde-Browne of The Woodlands, Bridgnorth, Shropshire. She survived him. (Wikipedia)

Two Stained Glass windows in the newly built Holy Trinity, Penn Street church were presented by Edward Bickersteth and his wife Mary Martha Anne.


Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement

Carte de Visite

BICKERSTETH, EDWARD (1814–1892), dean of Lichfield, born on 23 Oct. 1814 at Acton in Suffolk, was the second son of John Bickersteth (1781-1855), rector of Sapcote in Leicestershire, by his wife Henrietta (d. 19 March 1830), daughter and co-heiress of George Lang of Leyland, Lancashire. Henry Bickersteth, baron Langdale [q. v.], and Edward Bickersteth [q. v.] were his uncles; Robert Bickersteth [q. v.] was his brother. Edward entered Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, graduating B. A. in 1836, M.A. in 1839, and D.D. in 1864. He also studied at Durham University in 1837. In that year he was ordained deacon, and in 1838 was curate of Chetton in Shropshire. In 1839 he was ordained priest, and became curate at the Abbey, Shrewsbury. From 1849 to 1853 he was perpetual curate of Penn Street and rural dean Amersham, in Buckinghamshire. In 1853 he became vicar of Aylesbury and archdeacon of Buckinghamshire. In 1866 he was nominated an honorary canon of Christ Church, Oxford. He was select preacher at Cambridge in 1861, 1864, 1873, and 1878, and at Oxford in 1875. In 1864, 1866, 1869, and 1874 he presided as prolocutor over the lower house of the convocation of Canterbury. During his tenure of office an address to the crown was presented by the lower house requesting that a mark of the royal favour should be conferred on him, but nine years elapsed before he was installed dean of Lichfield on 28 April 1875. As prolocutor he was ex officio member of the committee for the revised version of the Bible, and he attended most regularly the sittings of the New Testament section.

His chief achievement as dean was the restoration of the west front of Lichfield Cathedral, which was commenced in 1877 and completed and dedicated on 9 May 1884. He resigned the deanery on 1 Oct. 1892, and died without issue at Leamington on 7 Oct. He was buried at Leamington on 11 Oct. He was twice married : first, on 13 Oct. 1840, to Martha Mary Anne, daughter of Valentine Vickers of Cransmere in Shropshire. She died on 2 Feb. 1881, and on 12 Oct. 1882 he married Mary Anne, daughter of Thomas Whitmore Wylde-Browne of The Woodlands, Bridgnorth, Shropshire. She survived him.

Bickersteth, who was a high churchman, was the author of numerous sermons, charges, and collections of prayers.


Rev. A.S. Butler 1853 – 1860

PENN INCUMBENCY.-The Lord Bishop of Oxford has licensed the the Rev. A. S. Butler, B.A., to the incumbency of Penn-street. near Amersham. Vacant by the resignation of the Venerable Archdeacon Bickersteth, vicar of Aylesbury, on the nomination of Earl Howe.

Bucks Herald, July 23rd, 1853.


Rev Thomas Bayley 1860 – 1886

BA St Edmund Hall, 30th May 1846.
Curate, St. Mary’s, Pitstone, Bucks, 1847.

Vicar, Holy Trinity, Penn Street, 1860 – 1886

Presentation to the Vicar – April 27th 1886

Viscount Curzon, Earl Howe

Viscount Curzon, (Earl Howe, see footnote) M.P. for South Bucks, visited the Earl Howe’s day school on Bank Holiday, upon the occasion of an interesting ceremony in connection with the retirement of the Rev.T Bayley from the vicarage of Penn Street Church. His Lordship, in presenting a testimonial to Mr. Bayley, observed that the honour thus conferred upon him was greatly enhanced owing to the fact that the present was subscribed to by members of other denominations, regardless of creed or politics. It gave him the greatest possible pleasure to be the means of conveying to Mr. Bayley the heartfelt regard and esteem of such a large number of friends present – for he certainly must call them friends having been brought up amongst them during nearly the whole of his lifetime. the pleasure was also mingled with a large amount of sorrow, caused but the prospect of their so soon losing the presence of their respected and beloved Vicar, who had made himself so devoted to them by his self-sacrifice in every good deed and work. The parish was losing one whose place would not be easily filled, and whoever his successor might be, he (his Lordship) earnestly hoped he might prove himself worthy to follow in the steps of such a good man. In the name of the subscribers he begged to hand Mr. Bayley the token before him as a slight acknowledgement of past services and present esteem. (Applause.)

The testimonial consisted of a silver Queen’s reading lamp, and a silver fish carver and fork, upon which was engraved, “Presented to the Rev. Thomas Bayley by his parishioners as a mark of esteem held by them at the close of twenty-five years’ faithful ministry at Penn Street Church. April 27th, 1886.”

A Queens Reading Lamp

Mr Bayley, who was visibly affected, begged to thank all friends who has subscribed to the present before him, and also his Lordship for his great kindness in thus coming forward at great personal sacrifice to present the testimonial to him. Words failed him to express all that he felt at that moment. On looking back for a quarter of a century during which he had been amongst them he saw many changes; friends who were with him at the commencement of his ministry were gone to the grave and another generation had taken their place. He felt extremely happy in seeing such a large gathering assembled to testify the appreciation of his services; and he assured them all that when at some distance from them, and sitting in the light of the excellent lamp they had been pleased to present to him, he should should ever think of all his kind friends at Penn Street to the end of his days, whether that time should be long or short. He should also ever think of the loved surroundings of the place, especially the dear old Church, with its tall spire, seen from such great distance, peeping from the wood and pointing to the skies, where he sincerely hoped he should meet all his friends never to part again. He could not trust himself to say more words, but he heartily all those who had in any way contributed to the present now in his hands. (Applause.)

Mr Widdowson then thanked Lord Curzon for his great kindness in attending there that day; and begged in the name of the Committee to propose a vote of thanks to him. This was seconded by the Vicar and carried with acclamation.

Lord Curzon briefly replied, and apologised for the absence of Lady Curzon, who would have been exceedingly pleased to attend and show the great respect she felt for Mr. Bayley, but owing to an engagement at Slough of a similar nature to that in which they were engaged, she was prevented from attending. Ringing cheers were given for his Lordship at the close of the meeting (as also on his arrival) which were repeatedly acknowledged by him.

A public tea followed the meeting, when about 140 friends sat down to an excellent repast provided by Mr. Eggleton. The gathering was in every way a success, and was thoroughly enjoyed. A sacred concert was given in the evening, when Mr. Widdowson, in the absence of the Vicar from fatigue, presided. The admission being free, every available seat was occupied and standing room was taken advantage of where possible. The singing was accompanied on harmonium by Mrs. Winter and Miss Widdowson, who greatly assisted the various vocalists. The following was the programme, which was given throughout with great success, the pieces “Rest,” and “Abide with me,” being encored; but for the time of the evening, other as deserving would doubtless have shared the same fate; Chorus, “Children’s voices;” solo “Resignation;” Mr. Winter; trio, “How beautiful upon the mountains,” Miss Wingrove and Misses Copestake; solo, “Mark the vesper bells,” Miss Norman; duet, “Rest,” Miss and Mr. Widdowson; solo “Abide with me,” Mrs. Winter; solo, “The little hero,” Mr. Winter; anthem, “Jerusalem my happy home;” solo, “The better land,” Miss Widdowson; solo, “The crowded harbour,” Miss Boug; recitation, “The life-boat,” Mr. Jerrold; trio, “Ho! every one that thirsteth,” Mrs. and Messrs. Winter; trio, “My bud in heaven,” Miss Dean, Messrs. Laurence and Howell; duet, “Leaning on Jesus,” Mrs. Widdowson, jun., and Hickson; duet, “Glory to Thee my God this night,” Mr. and Mrs. Winter; “National Anthem.” Too many thanks cannot be give to the ladies of the hamlet for the untiring zeal displayed in decorating the Schoolroom, and assisting in numerous ways.

Bucks Herald, Saturday May 1st, 1886.

Footnote:
Richard George Penn Curzon, 4th Earl Howe, (28 April 1861 – 10 January 1929),
Elected Member of Parliament for Wycombe in 1885.
Styled Viscount Curzon between 1876 and 1900.