chancel of St Nicholas are marble memorials to Richard Newton and
Elizabeth, 1859 and 1870, and to James Stopes, 1777, and Mary, 1799.
The brass on the chancel floor commemorates Sir Maurice John, dated
1492, with the words Hic jacet magister mores etc. The stained
glass window over the altar is a memorial to John Smith, who bought
Britwell House in 1873, and his wife who built the church hall, now
the village hall. Brass memorial plaques to John's sons can be seen
in the body of the church near the lectern and the pulpit.
plate from the old church and commemorating John Brome, vicar in 1554,
ex sangue meum jacet hic sub marmore dicto terram tegat spiritus
erth take erth agayne for here I leave my bones to rest and still
remayne under these hard stones to thee oh kyng of kynges mercy
mercy I cry to my poore soule gyve wyng above the sters to flye.
cross was donated by Eric Pullen, who was church warden with Richard
Roadnight for many years. The gradine and the lighting fixtures were
donated from the Eric Pullen Memorial Fund. Eric was manager of the
Roadnight farms for 25 years and died in 1978.
of green altar and lectern frontals were presented by the Misses Jones
who for some years played the old harmonium and ran the Sunday School.
The kneelers by the altar rail were designed by Leslie Greenwood,
the famous flower artist, and were embroidered by Melanie Learoyd,
both from Britwell Salome.
in the church is a 17th century Spanish oil painting of Christ with
the Cross, donated by Major G.C. Whitaker of Britwell House.
has been well served by the Roadnight family, who contributed generously
to its upkeep and donated the organ, altar frontal and the wrought
iron flower stands. The organ came originally from the Methodist church
at Stokenchurch and was brought in pieces to Britwell by Eric Pullen
and Alan Shorter, and was reassembled where it now stands. The organ
was dedicated in 1977 in the 25th Jubilee year of Queen Elizabeth
of incumbents is situated by the offertory box on the south wall of
St Nicholas. The earliest recorded incumbent was Warin de Shirebourne
who, according to ancient records:
...was presented by Almaric, son of Robert, to the Church of Brutwelle
in the year of (Bishop) Hugh of Wells 1234 A.D.
first century nearly all the parsons had one Christian name only,
and a place name of their forebears' origins. Richard Whaddon was
the last serving incumbent of the first 100 years in St Nicholas'
history, followed by Thomas Mileward in 1397. Mileward is probably
a job-related name, possibly derived from 'mill ward'.
de Cuxham served from 1316, but he seems to have ended his incumbency
with a scandal. The following extract is from the Calendar of Patent
Rolls in 1323:
complaint by the Abbot of Rewley, and others, William German of
Brittwelle and Richard the parson of the Church of Brittwelle, with
others, broke and burnt his houses at Nettlebed and Bensington in
the county of Oxon, felled his trees, and carried away his trees
and other goods.
in 1323, William de Grant of Burtons, Jnr., became the incumbent and
nothing more is heard of the wrongdoing Richard.
John Beaufitz appears to be the first person to hold a Degree of M.A.
A later incumbent, John Brome, Bachelor of Divinity, has a
record of bis burial in the old parish register on ye first day
of Januarie 1574.
in the register is Clement Facer, who became rector in 1610. His wife,
Alice, died in 1661, Clement dying ten years later in 1671 after an
incumbency of 60 years. After Clement's death began the long dynasty
of the Stopes family, with three James between 1671 and 1732, and
then John Edwards, rector of Brightwell Baldwin as well as Britwell
Salome, and son-in-law to James Stopes the third. In 1744 followed
the fourth James Stopes, with three long incumbencies ensuing.
was the second James Stopes who wrote to higher authority in 1685:
little parishes, Britwell Salome and Britwell Prior. Britwell Salome
consists of fourteen houses as the circumference, the other parish
as the centre containing six houses. At the East end of the Towne
are the Church, Parsonage house and one farmhouse more belonging
to it. There are no more than twenty houses and yet there are two
churches not above a Bowe's shot from one another.
situation continued for another 180 years, during which the Stopes'
dynasty ended in 1777, followed by the incumbents William Finch, Andrew
Price and James Johnson. Andrew Price, 1782-1851, was pluralist rector
from Downe-Ampney in Gloucestershire, and there is a stained glass
window to his memory in the chancel.
Johnson's incumbency spanned 1851-1892, and he was responsible for
the amalgamation of the two parishes into the one Parish of Britwell
Salome. Both the chapel of Britwell Prior and St Nicholas Church were
pulled down in 1865, apart from the chancel of St Nicholas which avoided
re-consecration. The ancient church arch, the South doorway and small
round font of Norman origin were retained. For no apparent reason
the font had been replaced in 1812 by a small wooden pedestal with
an iron frame to take a basin, but Johnson must have reinstated the
original font, which now stands at the west end of the church. A small
plaque and two windows in the chancel commemorate Johnson's work in
rebuilding and enlarging the church, including the reconstruction
of the chancel.
next incumbent, J. G. Deane-Willis M.R., was never resident. In 1897
J. C. Mansfield received the living from Lord Lansdowne. Lord Lansdowne
had estates near Kenmare in Ireland, and thus was responsible for
introducing an eccentric Kerry man into the parish. Mansfield brought
a black Kerry cow with him which was forever escaping from its field.
Mansfields were at the rectory for 50 years. The rector farmed, played
the fiddle, kept bees, and took on many pupils for coaching. His wife,
Sybil, and their sons played tennis on the now long-vanished tennis
court near the churchyard with its great yew tree, or drove out in
a high dogcart.