James Maidlow

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.

On 23 February 1755, he was ordained as a deacon at the chapel at Ely House, Holborn by Matthias Mawson, Bishop of Ely who had recently been “translated” from Bishop of Chichester.

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

Jacobus Maidlow

Vicarius de Eastdean in hoc comitatus

Necnon hujus ecclesiae

Per annos viginti et quattuor

Minister fidelis

Erat ille vir

Ingenio facetissimo feliciter praeditus

Inter Amicos semper amicissimus

Inter omnes, veritenax, inimicus Fraudi

Obiit. die 24to Octobris

A.D. 1794

Ætatis 62.

Loosely translated, this says:

Beneath this tablet rests

James Maidlow

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

1794 AD

Aged 62.

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)


Cocking Parish Register: Baptism. James Marshall Maidlow. 1776

Cocking Parish Register. Burial. James Maidlow senior. 1881

Cocking Parish Register: Marriage. Maidlow–Marshall. 1774

Hampshire Chronicle:

          18 February 1782. Notice to Creditors

29 November 1813. Deaths

Hampshire Telegraph: 29 November 1813. Died

The London Gazette:

6 November 1781 Issue: 12240 Page: 4

16 February 1782 Issue: 12271 Page: 2

The National Archives:

PROB 11/1084/106. Will of James Maidlowe, Gentleman of Cocking, Sussex

PROB 11/1252/156. Will of Reverend James Maidlow, Clerk of Cocking, Sussex

West Sussex Record Office, Chichester:

1900 Clergy List

Diocese Parochial records for Cocking