Vicars of Holy Trinity Church


Hanging on the walls in the bell tower are two boards detailing all the vicars.


Walter de Warnecamp 1250
William de Staines 1279
Walter 1306
William Springham 1332
Robert Longe 1349
William de Chyntynge 1349
William de Northwolde 1366
John Forester 1388
John Stoke 1393
John Stoughton 1400
Sir Richard Peere 1400
Thomas Seward 1402
William Malpas 1406
John Porter 1410
Robert Browne 1412
John Schyreborne 1415
John de Spurston 1416
Richard Lynde 1417
Thomas Watton 1417
Thomas Symond 1430
John Fitzroberd 1431
John Tewksbury 1458
John Bullock 1472
Gerald Burrell 1483
Ninian Burrell 1508
John Savage 1536
Hugh Mellers 1560
Edmund Curteis 1570
Alexander Southwick 1581
John Waterhouse 1581
Thomas Wilsham 1607
Roger Andrews 1609
Thomas Vicars 1622
James Marsh 1638
Samuel Greenhill 1643
James Herring 1666
Tobias Henshaw 1672
William Snatt 1681
Robert Middleton 1690
Daniel Walter 1713
Charles Ashburnham 1761
Joseph Frances Fearon 1801
Canon Henry Plimley 1817
Thomas Astley Maberley 1841
Canon Francis John Mount 1877
Canon James Hughes Cooper 1888
Canon Robert Fisher 1909
Canon Charles William Goodall Wilson 1915
William Hilton Wright 1936
Harry Francis Christopher Kempe 1941
Joseph Oliver Smart 1957
Henry Charles Naylor Lawson 1964
John D C Fisher 1967
Eric H A Haden 1978
Nicholas Guy Wetherall 1992

The board has yet to be updated with the name of Michael Maine who took over as incumbent in 2015 after Nicholas Wetherall left in 2014. Michael Maine retired in 2022 and a new imcubent is due in the late autumn 2023.

The Daniel Valentine Rev.d Daniel Valentine was inducted as incumbent on 22 November 2023.

The inscription on the board states:
This Church founded by William 2nd Earl of Warrene, Surrey, 1090. It was served by the clergy of the Priory at Lewes until 1250 when S. Richard, Bishop of Chichester, erected this Vicarage, and appointed as the first Vicar his own Chaplain.

There is another list of Vicars hanging in the Sergison Chapel which varies slightly for the early names and there are also lists in publications that differ, one such is the list published in Rev. Cooper’s “History of Cuckfield”.

Canon James H Cooper was born August 1841 and died July 1909. He is buried in the churchyard.
He served his first curacy, for five years in HT Cuckfield. He had been Rector of Tarporly in Cheshire prior to him becoming the incumbent of Holy Trinity. He took up his duties as vicar in 1888 until 1909 during which time the church renovation continued with Kempe glazing some of the windows; the Gensis window in the north west of the north aisle and the St Richard window in the north tower.
During his incumbency there had been 13 Assistant Curates and a fund was set up to provide stipends for them as previously this had been paid by the vicar. The curates were largely responsible for the mission churches in Brook St and Ansty. An appeal was set up for providing and residence for the curates.
He was a great historian and transcribed many of the ancient parish registers and other papers which eventually formed the basis of the book “A History of the Parish of Cuckfield” by his son, Wilbraham.

Thomas Vicars was born in Carlisle, Cumberland (now Cumbra) and was a learned theologian.  He began “The Vicars Book” in 1628 in which was recorded the most important events of the parish for over 100 years.

Robert Middleton was buried at Cuckfield.

Charles Ashburnham was also vicar of Cowfold and was the brother of Sir William Ashburnham, Bishop of Chichester. He began rebuilding the new vicarage in 1780.

Hugh Mellers was instituted vicar upon the death of John Savage. His name appears in Bishop Barlow’s visitation in 1564. He was vicar for 10 years.

Edmund Curteis In 1579 Edmund Coortesse “Complains of the evil informations against him by such as were at enmity with him for punishing their evil doings. Desires a commission to inquire into his behaviour. Cannot surrender up his cure, as suggested by Lord Buckhurst, without committing simony.”

Gerald Burrell Was the youngest son of John Burrell who was a man of eminence in the reign of King Henry V. Gerald, settled at Cuckfield, in Sussex, anno 1446, being vicar of that church, and archdeacon and residentiary of Chichester.

John Savage was vicar throughout the changes from Catholicism to Protestantism. In 1538 Henry VII gave the revenue of Lewes Priory, including the tithes from Cuckfield, to Thomas Cromwell. After Cromwell’s execution these passed to Anne of Cleves. Savage remained vicar throughout the reigns of Edward VI and Queen Mary. He was mentioned in the deeds of the Grammar School and in the Bishop’s visitations at “Cowkfeld” in 1554, 1555 and 1556.

Walter was also Custos of the Hospital of St Edmund at Wyndham, a home for sick clergy.

The first vicar Walter de Warnecamp was appointed by deed. He was instituted to the parish of Cheam in 1279, where he stayed until he died in 1279.

John Waterhouse was vicar for 25years and was held in high esteem. He provided a musket in defence of the realm as a result of the threat of the Spanish invasion. The records of the Court of the Archdeacon in Lewes show that in 1605 he was charged with “not wearing the surplice nor using the cross in baptism”.

Thomas Astley Maberley was born in Powis Place, London on Dec.12th 1810 the eldest of the five children of Joseph and Henrietta n?e Serle. in 1841 he took up the living as Vicar of Cuckfield, Sussex which he held until his death on Apr 18th 1877. He was buried in the churchyard at Cuckfield. His widow continued to live in Mytten House their Cuckfield home until her own death in 1892. They had five children.

Harry Francis Christopher Kempe served in Mesopotamia during the First World War and was awarded the Military Cross.

Nicholas Guy Wetherall moved to Cuckfield in 1992 having previously been a Team Vicar in Leominster.  He retired to live in Cornwall in April 2014.

Michael Maine was born in Cornwall. He had a long career as a choral scholar, organist, teacher, and Director of Music before his ordination in 2011. He served his curacy at St Mary the Virgin, Willingdon,

Daniel Valentine was born and brought up in Bedfordshire and was previously priest in charge of St Mary’s, Crumsall in Manchester

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