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Rectors of East Barnet

We would be most grateful to receive any biographical information on past Rector’s of East Barnet for our growing archive.

Please contact the Parish Office on 020 8361 7524

Before the Reformation, St Mary’s was under the jurisdiction of the Abbot of St Albans, who would have appointed a priest to serve in East Barnet as his deputy. The list of Abbots dates back to the 8th century, and priests at St Mary’s to the 14th century. Click on the photographs, or use the list of centuries below to find out more.

After the reformation, when the Abbey was dissolved, the Crown retained the patronage of East Barnet Parish. To this day the Rector of East Barnet is appointed by the reigning monarch by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm. The Sovereign exercises the rights of patronage personally for a 210 benefices, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister in his capacity as First Lord of the Treasury. In addition, The Lord Chancellor is patron of, or has a shared patronage interest in, approximately 442 parish livings in England and 12 Cathedral Canonries. The choice of appointee both by the Sovereign (latterly on the advice of the Prime Minister) and by the Lord Chancellor is administered through a single office based in No.10 Downing Street. Since 1964 this office has been headed by the Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretary, who is also the Lord Chancellor’s Ecclesiastical Secretary, and is also responsible for a number of non-ecclesiastical appointments. The Crown’s patronage of parochial benefices is administered by the Assistant Ecclesiastical Secretary in Downing Street.

Dates refer to years of incumbency in East Barnet

11th Century

12th Century

13th Century

14th Century

William de Pountz (1324-1415)

Robert de Kyngeston

15th Century

John Lanum (1425-1428) [Patron: Abbot John de Blida]

William Asshurst (1428-1429) [Patron: Abbot John of Wheathampstead]

John Smyth alias Hewet (1429-1455) [Patron: Abbot John Stoke]

Thomas Norton (1455-1466) [Patron: Abbot John of Wheathampstead (re-elected)]

Richard Benet (1466- [Patron: Abbot William Alban]

16th Century

Edward Grant (c1546-1601)

Educated at Exeter College, Oxford, he was Headmaster of Westminster School from 1572-92. He was described as ‘the most noted Latinist and Grecian of his time’. He was a canon of Westminster, rector of Shenley (from 1581), South Benfleet (1584-5), Bintree and Foulsham, Norfolk (1586-1594), East Barnet (from 1591), Algarkirk, Lincolnshire (from 1594), and Toppesfield, Essex (from 1598). He was buried in Westminster Abbey. It was said that he did not acquire great wealth but built up a noted library.

Source: Stephen Wright, ‘Grant, Edward (c.1546-1601), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.

17th Century

Edward Munnes

Matthias Milward

John Goodwin Snr.

John Goodwin Jnr.

Robert Tayler

s gravestoneRector Tayler’s tombstone is in the sanctuary on the south side of the altar, and the inscription is worth a closer look.

Here lies the Body of ROBERT TAYLER late Rector of East Barnet & Prebendary of Lincoln whose solid & Useful Learning, Judicious and steady Zeal for the doctrine & Discipline of the Church of England had render’d him valuable to all sincere lovers thereof. After he had, for the space of above 40 years Recommended true Christian Piety by his preaching and example, he left by his last will that excellent Book intitled The Whole Duty of Man to every Family in his Parishes, as an instance of his dying care and concern for their souls. Obt. Febr. 18th 1718 Ætat. 72″

In its day, “The Whole Duty of Man” was a well-known book of popular devotion – anonymously written (as was the fashion) but attributed to Lady Packington, the mother of Gervaise Eyre the member of parliament for Nottinghamshire

18th Century

Gilbert Burnet (1690-1726)

Burnet was the second son of the famous and controversial Bishop of Salisbury, also called Gilbert Burnet, and was educated at Merton College, Oxford. He was a prebendary of Salisbury cathedral and appointed chaplain to King George I. From 1719 to 1726 he was Rector of East Barnet and is buried there (although no stone or memorial is extant). Burnet was a writer on religious and moral subjects and engaged in many religious disputes of the day by publishing pamphlets and writing articles in journals. He is perhaps the most famed of East Barnet Rectors – he made an entry in the records regarding a certain East Barnet resident: “he did not pay his tythe, so I took his pig”!

William Day

Richard Bundy (1693/4-1739)

He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford and translated scholarly works from French to English In 1732 he was appointed chaplain-in-ordinary to King George II and accompanied the king to Hanover, being created a doctor of divinity by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Also in 1732 he was appointed as a trustee of the society set up to establish the new colony of Georgia, and served as a member of its common council until 1738. He was installed as a prebendary of Westminster in 1732 and became vicar of St Bride’s, Fleet Street. Later in the same year he was appointed rector of East Barnet. He died in 1739 and was buried in Devizes.

Source: Francçoise Deconinck-Brossard, ‘Bundy, Richard (1693/4-1739)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.

Daniel Cornelius Beaufort (1700-1788)

Born in Westphalia, the seventh child of Count Francis de Beaufort, court chancellor to the Prince of Lippe-Detmold. Originally destined to be a soldier, he was educated at the University of Utrecht and ordained and moved to England where he ministered to the refugee community. He was ordained into the Church of England and appointed to the living of St Martin Orgar and officiated at the Savoy Chapel. He became rector of East Barnet in 1739, which from 1741 he combined with the pastorate of the Little Savoy. In 1746 be accompanied the Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Harrington, to Ireland as chaplain. In 1747 he received the benefice of Navan, Meath and in 1753 was appointed to be Provost of Tuam, later becoming rector of Clonenagh. In 1788 he published A Short Account of the Doctrines and Practices of the Church of Rome. His son Daniel Augustus (1739-1821) was born in East Barnet and became a distinguished cartographer as well as a Church of Ireland clergyman. His most important work was a map of Ireland, published in 1792, accompanied by a memoir of the civil and ecclesiastical state of the country. He is also known for the prominent part he took in the foundation of Sunday schools, and in the preparation of elementary educational works.

Source: Toby Barnard, ‘Beaufort, Daniel Augustus (1739-1821)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.

Samuel Grove (d1769)

Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge and of French extraction. Rector of East Barnet from 1743 to 1769. He was buried at East Barnet churchyard, along with other members of his family whose graves are marked by the impressive and distinctive obelisk memorials on the north side of the Church..

Benjamin Underwood (1736-1815)

Educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Curate of Basingstoke until his appointment to East Barnet in 1769. Appointed by his uncle, Dr Edmund Keene, Bishop of Ely, as Rector of St Mary Abchurch in 1774 and in 1780 a prebendary of Ely cathedral. He died in East Barnet.

19th Century

David William Garrow (d 1827)

Educated at Christ Church, Oxford. A Doctor of Divinity and a barrister of Lincoln’s Inn, he was the son of the Rt Hon Sir William Garrow, Attorney General and Baron of the Exchequer. He was a chaplain in ordinary to the Prince Regent.

Thomas Henry Elwin (1788-1866)

Educated at Worcester College, he was successively Curate of North Mimms, Vicar of Wormingford near Colchester and Rector of Bradfield St Clare, Suffolk, before being appointed to East Barnet in 1827. He was Chairman of the Poor Law Guardians and one of the first to wear the surplice in the pulpit. He died at East Barnet and was buried in the churchyard

Source (unless otherwise indicated): East Barnet by Frederick Charles Cass, Westminster 1885-1892.

charles haddowCharles Haddow (1866-1909)

20th Century

George Maw (1909-1916)

Frederick Overton (1916-1933)

Henry Martindale (1934-1937)

Frederick Wood (1937-1950)

Frank Robinson (1950-1961) [Patron: King George VI]

Arthur Poulton (1961-1964) [Patron: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II]

Herbert Steed (1964-1991) [Patron: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II]

Ministered in East Barnet for 26 years, and retired in 1991.

Andrew Proud (1992-2001) [Patron: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II]

Ministered in East Barnet for 9 years, during which time the first phase of the reordering was completed. Andrew moved to Ethiopia as a mission partner with the United Society for the Propogation of the Gospel and was made Area Bishop of the Horn of Africa, in the Diocese of Egypt.  He returned to the UK in April 2011 and is now Bishop of Reading in the Diocese of Oxford.

21st Century

(2002-2011) Richard Watson [Patron: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II]

After eight years as Rector of East Barnet and six years as Area Dean of Barnet, Richard left the parish in July 2011 and began a new ministry as Sub Dean of the Cathedral & Abbey Church of St Alban on October 1st 2011.

(2012-2018) James Mustard

In 2002, James commenced training for ordained ministry in the Church of England at Westcott House in Cambridge.  He read Theology at the University of Cambridge and went to Yale Divinity School and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music where he studied liturgy and ethics.

After ordination in Norwich in 2005, he served in the parish of St Peter Mancroft, Norwich, where he was also chaplain to the Theatre Royal and chaplain to the Sea Cadets.  In 2008, he moved to London to be Assistant Priest of St Peter’s Eaton Square.

James was installed as Rector of East Barnet in April 2012.

(2012-2018) Dr Alec Corio

Bio pending

Alec was installed as Rector of East Barnet in July 2019.