James Maidlow was curate at Cocking for most of the period that Thomas Williams was vicar. Although he was also vicar at East Dean, he was buried in the chancel at Cocking where his gravestone now stands on the east wall.
James Maidlow was born in Havant, Hampshire on 14 August 1732, the only child of James Maidlow (1704–1781) and his wife Elizabeth née Moody.
James Maidlow senior, described as a “Lisbon merchant” had married Elizabeth Moody at Warblington, near Havant, on 22 January 1729. Sadly, Elizabeth died a few days after the birth of her son.
James Maidlow was admitted as a pensioner into Jesus College, Cambridge , aged 16, on 22 August 1748. He matriculated in 1750 and graduated as Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) in 1755.
In 1755, he was appointed as curate at both East Dean, near Chichester, and at nearby Woolavington (now East Lavington), where Robert Smith had been vicar and rector respectively since 1730.
There is no record of James Maidlow’s initial appointment as curate at Cocking, although this was probably shortly after Thomas Williams became vicar in early 1769. He first appears in the parish register on 4 December 1770 when he conducted the marriage of John Kenshot and Ann Hewitt. He continued to conduct marriages at Cocking for the next 24 years until January 1794.
On 16 June 1774, aged 41, he married 28-year old Sarah Marshall (also from Havant) at Cocking parish church. The officiating priest was Revd. Thomas Collins, the rector of Graffham. James and Sarah Maidlow’s only son, James Marshall Maidlow, was baptised at Cocking on 1 August 1776.
James Maidlow senior died in October 1781 and was buried in the churchyard on 15 October. He died insolvent leaving his few remaining assets to be distributed amongst his creditors.
Following the death of Andrew Boisdaune, then vicar at East Dean, in 1788, James Maidlow was “promoted” from curate to vicar, retaining this position until his death in 1794.
James Maidlow died on 24 October 1794, aged 62. His will stated: “It is my desire that (my body) may be interred in the churchyard nearest which I may happen to die.” He was originally buried in the chancel of Cocking church, but during the renovation of the chancel in 1896, the gravestone was placed vertically on the east wall of the chancel behind the altar.
The gravestone bears the inscription:
Sub hoc marmore requiescit
Vicarius de Eastdean in hoc comitatus
Necnon hujus ecclesiae
Per annos viginti et quattuor
Erat ille vir
Ingenio facetissimo feliciter praeditus
Inter Amicos semper amicissimus
Inter omnes, veritenax, inimicus Fraudi
Obiit. die 24to Octobris
Loosely translated, this says:
Beneath this tablet rests
Vicar of East Dean in this county
Also of this church
For twenty four years
A faithful minister
He was a man
Happily endowed with the finest ability
Among friends always greatly loved
Among everyone, persistent in truth, hostile to deceit
He died on the 24th day of October
James Maidlow’s brother in law, Charles Marshall and friend Daniel Veal, both of Havant, were appointed executors and trustees of the estate, including properties in Cocking and Warblington, which was left in trust to his widow, Sarah, and for the education of their son, Thomas Marshall Maidlow.
Sarah died in Havant on 22 November 1813, aged 67. Their son, James Marshall Maidlow is believed to have died in Havant in October 1848.
Special thanks to Canon David Nason for translating the inscription on the gravestone.
Cambridge University Alumni, 1261–1900
England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384–1858
ACAD (A Cambridge Alumni Database). MDLW748J. James Maidlow
Challen, W.H. The Parish Register of Cocking, Sussex (1558–1837) pp. 65, 67, 92–95, 115
Clergy of the Church of England Database: 17630. Maidlow, James (1755–1785)
18 February 1782. Notice to Creditors
29 November 1813. Deaths
Hampshire Telegraph: 29 November 1813. Died
The London Gazette:
The National Archives:
West Sussex Record Office, Chichester:
1900 Clergy List
Diocese Parochial records for Cocking