The March Society talk 'Rectors of March and Doddington'

PUBLISHED: 10:25 21 October 2017

David Edwards (centre) and members of The March Society

David Edwards (centre) and members of The March Society

Archant

David Edwards gave the March Society a fascinating and thorough talk about all the rectors of Doddington and March.

He gave details about the rectors spanning over 700 years from information he had obtained from records dating back to the 12th Century.

David said that, up until 1868, Doddington ecclesiastical parish included March, Wimblington and Benwick and many of its rectors had very distinguished careers.

These included Hugh de Cressingham who became the treasurer of Scotland in 1295 but was killed at the Battle of Stirling Bridge by William Wallace’s army.

Several subsequent rectors later became masters of various Cambridge colleges or Cambridge University chancellors.

William Bolton, who was the Rector in 1460, became the Dean of St Pauls Cathedral and was instrumental in the annulment of Henry Vlll’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Christopher Tye (Rector from 1560-73), became choirmaster at Ely Cathedral, tutor to Edward Vl and composed the music for ‘While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks’.

After the Fens drainage the Doddington parish became the wealthiest in England but an Act of Parliament in the mid-19th century split the parish and so new churches were built in March and Wimblington.

George Sherbrooke Walker was the Rector of St Wendreda’s until 1932 and it was his son who built the famous Treetops Hotel in Kenya where, in 1952, Princess Elizabeth stayed and acceded to the throne.

The November meeting of The March Society is on Wednesday November 8 at 7pm in March Library when Adrian Sutterby, chairman of Friends of March Railway Station, will present ‘Restoring March Railway Station in its 170th year’.

Everyone is welcome. Admission costs £2 for members or £3 for non-members including tea coffee and biscuits.

The March Society is taking part in the Woodland Trust’s ‘Street Trees’ project to celebrate, ‘enhance and protect’ March’s Street Trees.

Contact The March Society at www.themarchsociety.org.uk and Facebook and Twitter for more information.

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