of St Bartholomew was rebuilt in 1905, exactly reproducing the old
one, as a memorial to Richard du Cane who was agent to the Brightwell
estate for many years. Beneath the mat in the porch is a stone commemorating
Stephen Rumbold who died in 1687. It reads thus:
liv'd one hundred and five
Sanguine and Strong
An hundred to five
You do not live so long.
Rumbold's name lives on locally in Rumbold's Lane and Rumbold's Copse.
charities are listed on a board over the church door. In 1669 two
of Bishop Paule's sons gave £30 which was invested in land.
In 1688 £82, left or given by parishioners between 1612 and
1688, was invested in further land.
the Enclosure Act of 1802 William Francis Lowndes-Stone-Norton undertook
to make a yearly payment of £10 to be laid out in coals for
churchyard was enlarged in 1892, the ground being given by Roger F.
Lowndes-Stone-Norton, Lord of the Manor.
lamps were erected in 1981 in memory of George Strang of Brightwell
Farm, who was a churchwarden for 29 years. The oldest readable gravestone
commemorates Robard Smeith who died in 1630.
Baldwin parish was for many years divided into three tythings, each
of which held its own court. Sometimes one individual owned or rented
all three, at other times they had different owners or tenants. In
the latter case, the presentation of the rector became the right of
the owners in turn. This arrangement led to disputes and litigation
1294 to 1419 all the presentations were made by members of the Parke
family. In 1419 John Soulby was presented by Henry Soulby and John
Eseby after an enquiry had confirmed that it was the turn of the last
two, because they had recently acquired part of the manor together
with the next advowson. The next presentation was made by Johanna
Parke, the last made by a member of this family. On her death the
manor was divided between her three married daughters. Two sold their
shares to Sir William Stonor who presented Robert More in 1445.
More's death in 1497 his successor was presented by John Fortescue
who was John Stonor's guardian. John Stonor had succeeded his father
but was still a minor. Sir John Fortescue was a courtier and a soldier,
married to Alice Boleyn, cousin of the future Queen. While guardian
of the two Stonor children he arranged their marriages to two of his
children, thus ensuring for them the Stonor wealth. John Stonor, who
had married Mary Fortescue, died at 17 leaving no children and the
Stonor estates were claimed by Adrian Fortescue who had married Anne
Stonor. This claim was disputed by Anne's uncle, Thomas Stonor, and
a lawsuit started which was to last for 34 years.
the rector was presented by Adrian and Anne Fortescue although their
right to the advowson was disputed by John Cottesmore who had acquired
the third share of the manor from Johanna Parke's other daughter.
In 1533 the rector was presented by Adrian Fortescue, now Sir Adrian,
whose wife Anne had died. She was first buried at Pyrton but seven
years later her body was taken to Bisham Priory where an elaborate
tomb had been prepared amongst those of her Montague and Neville ancestors.
At the time of the Reformation, fearing that the Priory would be destroyed,
Sir Adrian had her remains transferred to Brightwell Baldwin in 1538.
No record or monument can now be found in the church. Perhaps Sir
Adrian proposed to erect a monument but, as he was beheaded shortly
after her reburial for refusing to acknowledge Henry VIII as head
of the Church, he may not have had the opportunity to do so.
second wife, also called Anne, remarried after his execution and she
and her husband, Thomas Ap-Harry (or Parrey) presented the rector
in 1541. Anthony Carleton, who had acquired the Cottesmore's estate
in Brightwell Baldwin, presented the next two. In 1572 Herbert Westphaling
was presented by the Crown who owned Cadwall, which is in the parish.
The following two rectors were presented by Sir John Simeon who had
bought the Carleton estate, which was later bought back from him by
Dudley Carleton, Lord Dorchester. The Crown presented the next two
Thomas Fiddes was presented by John Stone who had married Catherine
Carleton. William White of London bought the right of presentation
in 1801 in order to present his son Samuel. The next presentation
reverted to the Stone family who made all those which followed until
1955, when F. W. Lowndes-Stone-Norton, who no longer lived in the
parish, nominated R. Richmond-Watson to make the presentation. Before
the next presentation in 1966 the advowson had been acquired by Frank
1688 the names of the Brightwell Baldwin churchwardens and their annual
accounts all appear in the vestry documents. In such a small parish
the duties of churchwardens, constables, overseers and surveyors had
to be undertaken by a very limited number of inhabitants. The churchwardens
were usually tenant farmers and during the 119 years covered by the
first account book only 36 names appear. The churchwardens' duties
were many and varied, and some specimen entries from the first account
and churchyard maintenance
These entries were far the most numerous, varying from whitewashing
the church £4.15.11 to amending ye tyles and cleaning gutters
1/-. Materials were obtained from various sources including 700 tiles
from Nettlebed fields 12/10, one bushel of line from Rusels Water
1/6, stones from Headington quarey 19/-, and carage at 10/6.
use in the church
A new prayer book 14/6, binding the Church Bible 15/6, for a new surplis
and carriage £2.15.0, mending ye Challis cup for ye Communion
4/-, for a mat at the altar 3/6, for two links and two cords to let
ye corps in ye grave 1/-, and a chamber pot at 8d.
are several entries for the replacement of bass viol strings which
must have been the band which accompanied the singing. R. E. Moreau,
in his book on Berrick Salome, records that the old sexton at Brightwell
Baldwin told him that when as a boy he was helping to clean out the
tower he came across an old bassoon.
for special prayers were obtained from the Archdeaconry Court: