Anthony Redshawe

Anthony Redshawe (shown in some sources as Ridshawe, Redshaw or ReydshaweNote 1) was the vicar of Cocking between 1549 and 1554, during the reign of King Edward VI. Apart from Cocking, he was vicar of several parishes in the Bedfordshire/Northamptonshire area.

Redshawe is first recorded as the vicar of Riseley, in northern Bedfordshire, where he was instituted on 17 October 1539. On 27 July 1540, an Anthony Redshaw is recorded as marrying “Alice” at Seaton, in Rutland, about 30 miles north of Riseley.

In October 1541, the Bishop of Chichester, Richard Sampson granted the “advowson” (the right to nominate a parish priest) to William Heigham (described as “of Bepton”), Nicholas Chrystian (“City of London”) and John Higham (“of Hadleigh, Suffolk”).Note 2 Following the death of the previous incumbent, Thomas Spyre, they exercised their right in favour of Anthony Redshawe, who was instituted as “perpetual vicar” on 10 July 1549. At this time, the annual value of the living at Cocking was £13 6s 8d.Note 3

On 11 April 1554, Redshawe was “deprived” of his office as vicar of Cocking; no reason is given in the records, although the catholic Queen Mary had succeeded her protestant half-brother as monarch and head of the Church of England in July 1553.

Three days earlier, Redshawe had been instituted as vicar of Raunds in Northamptonshire, where he remained until his death nine years later. The living at Raunds had an annual value of £10 6s 6d.

On 29 March 1558, he was instituted as rector of Pilton, nine miles north of Raunds. He resigned this living in March 1561 having also been installed as rector of Great Catworth, seven miles east of Raunds.

Redshawe had died by 1563, when his successor was instituted at Great Catworth. It is not known where he was buried, nor whether he had any children.


Note 1.    The list of vicars and rectors in the church shows him incorrectly as “Andrew” Reydshawe

Note 2.    William Heigham (or Higham) (c.1473–1558) and his son John (c. 1528–1597) were members of a large Calvinist family from Suffolk and Essex.  It is not known what connection William had with Bepton, or Sussex. Their cousin, Sir Clement Higham was a staunch Catholic who was appointed speaker of the House of Commons, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and a Privy Councillor during the reign of Queen Mary. William and John Higham also held the advowson of Nettleswell (now Harlow) in Essex as Lord of the Manor.

Note 3      In the mid-16th century, the average annual earnings in England was about £6. Thus, the living was worth more than twice average earnings. The modern day equivalent salary is about £6000, although the “economic status” is equivalent to a salary of £220,000.