List of Past Rectors

Photographs of the recent Rectors of Tilehurst are displayed in the church cloisters (see Past Rectors pictures in the History Gallery).  A more complete list of past Rectors is recorded on a commemorative board in the nave of the church (refer to the table below).

Of particular interest are Martin Joseph Routh, President of Magdalen College Oxford for 63 years, and his nephew John William Routh, who between them were incumbents of  St Michael's from 1810 to 1905.  They are commemorated in the name of one of the roads adjacent to the church, Routh Lane.


List of Vicars and Rectors of Tylehurst

The Abbot & Brethren of Reading Abbey were responsible for serving the Parish from A.D. 1189 until the Dissolution in A.D. 1539.  At first the Parish was in the Diocese of Lincoln.  Later it passed to Salisbury and finally to Oxford.

Between 1189 and 1574 it is unclear who was the incumbent.  Some records indicate that only Curates were in charge.  Many arguments ensued between the locals such as Sir Peter Van Lore and others as to who owned the Advowson and consequently who was put forward to be the Vicar or Rector.  Extensive research has been undertaken through the archives at the local and national level and researchers are confident that the names below represent the true record of the Vicars and Rectors of Tylehurst.

In the notes below, in officio obit means that the person died whilst in office.
The notes include the names of Curates and their dates of appointment, where known.

Name

Title

From

Notes

John Radley

Vicar

1574


John Wharton

Vicar

1584

in officio obit.

John Leaver

Vicar

1584


John Gravett

Rector

1613

in officio obit.  Was also Rector of St Andrew, Bradfield and was buried there on the 19th July 1613.

John Bowle

Rector

1613

in officio obit.  Later Bishop of Rochester.  Also Dean of Salisbury 1620-1629.  Died 9th Oct 1637.  Buried in St Paul's Cathedral.

John Littleton

Rector

1638


Simon Lowth

Rector

1660

in officio obit.  Buried at St Michael's 21st June 1679 - quite possibly inside the church.

Samuel Norris

Rector

1680

in officio obit.  Buried in the chancel 27th March 1711 - his tomb was uncovered during the restoration work in 2012.

Thomas Walker

Rector

1711

in officio obit.

Thomas Walker

Rector

1743


Thomas Walker

Rector

1769


Richard Chandler

Rector

1799

in officio obit.  Traveller, author & archaeologist.  Died 9th February 1810.

Martin Joseph Routh

Rector

1810

President of Magdalen College, Oxford 1791-1854.  Born 18th Sept 1755.  Inducted Rector 12th Sept 1810. Died 23rd Dec 1854.  Buried in Queens College Chapel, Oxford.

John William Routh

Rector

1855

Nephew of M. J. Routh.

Henry Richard Cooper-Smith

Rector

1905


Francis Gordon Sherwood

Rector

1934

Curate: Dr Hopfs (June 1944).

Oliver Dudley Harvey

Rector

1953


Peter de la Poer Beresford-Peirse

Rector

1962


George Lanyon Hacker

Rector

1971

Later Bishop of Penrith.

John Sefton Tilston

Rector

1980

in officio obit (1984).
Curate: David Seymour (c. 1982).
Curate: Jeffrey Daly (c. 1983).

David Raymond Russell Seymour

Priest-in-charge

1984


Clive Morlais Peter Jones

Rector

1985

Curate: Paul Seaman (July 1986).
Curate: Geoffrey Borrowdale (July 1990).
Curate: Jonathan Gordon (Sept 1991).
Curate: Simon Justice (July 1992).

Frederick William Dawson

Rector

1994

Served until 15th May 2007.
Curate: Barry Scott (c. July 1994).

John Arthur Rogers

Rector

2007

Inducted on 21st December 2007.  Retired on 10th December 2017.

Elizabeth Clare Ratcliffe

Rector

2018

Inducted on 24th September 2018.
The parish's first female Rector.
Curate: Tracy Watkins (July 2021) - the parish's first female Curate.


The Parish is indebted to the late E.W.P. Moriarty OBE, to the Archivist of the Salisbury Diocese, to the Bodleian Library of Oxford, and to others for their assistance in compiling this information.