Cosgrove Rectory - Medlar House

The front and rear view of the Rectory in 1854
The original entrance and drive up to the
Rectory can be seen at the top of this image

In 1254 a rectory at Cosgrove was valued at 10 marks, and in 1291 at £6 13s. 4d.

There was a parsonage, with two barns, a stable, orchard and gardens, at Cosgrove in 1633 and it was valued at £100 in 1655.

Shortly after inclosure in the late 18th century, Pulter Forrester largely rebuilt the parsonage,

which the glebe terriers thereafter called a 'mansion house' and Baker a 'handsome residence', standing in 3 acres of grounds. This improved the value of the property by the nineteenth century to a relative high point of around £430.

Cosgrove did poorly during the agricultural depression and the value of its rectory dropped to £150 by the 1890’s, recovering only a little to £200 by 1900, and this estimate remained until 1931.

In 1948, after it became clear that the churchyard could not be reopened, half an acre of the rectory grounds was sold to the parish council for a public cemetery, where the first interment took place in January 1952. Most of the rest was put up for sale in 1954 to raise funds to modernise the parsonage, after a proposal to demolish the house and build a new one was abandoned.

In 1962-4 the diocese suggested selling the house and building a new parsonage at Old Stratford or Deanshanger, which Cosgrove P.C.C. strongly opposed. Their view appeared to be vindicated when the living ceased to be held in plurality with Passenham in 1966.

The Cosgrove rectory was modernised in 1966 at a cost of around £2500 by selling part of the grounds for £1325 and also by the sale of Longwood House, part of the glebe cottage. The parsonage at Cosgrove was retained until the union with Potterspury in 1984, when it was sold as a private residence, now called Medlar House.

During the 1920s the Rectory was leased to various tenants, including Richard Kingsley-Johnson.

Richard Kingsley-Johnson

Wolverton Express April 16th 1926


The affairs of Mr. R Kingsley Johnson

The official receiver (Mr D. Hellier) has issued the statement of affairs in connection with the bankruptcy of Mr. Richard Kingersley-Johnson of Cosgrove Rectory Stony Stratford. 

Mr. Johnson, who is a tutor, was liberal candidate for North Bucks at the General Election in 1924, and afterwards was adopted prospective Liberal candidate for the next election.

The gross liabilities amount to £1000 18s 1d of which £1575 /18/1 is expected to rank. There are no net assets and the deficiency therefore is £1575 18s 1d. A deficiency amount filed by the debtor shows household and personal expenses of self and wife, tutor, and two boys for past year £1015/18/1 interest to moneylenders £825 political expenditure on campaign £285 total £1850/18/1 from this is deducted £350 net profit from business and £25 excess of assets over liabilities leaving £1575/18/1.

Debtor alleges his failure to have been caused “through being adopted prospective candidate for parliament and consequential expenses in connection therewith, and inferential effect it had on securing pupils in the first term of 1925.”

In his observation the official receiver stated that the receiving order was made on the 26th of March on a creditors petition the act of bankruptcy being noncompliance before 7th of March with the requirements of a bankruptcy notice issued with two professional money lenders in respect of judgments for over £1000.

Debtor age 53 has been engaged in scholastic work since 1891, and has been a teacher in various parts of the country. In December 1922 he rented Cosgrove Rectory partly furnished, and coached for the Army Navy etc. 

In October 1924, he was nominated as parliamentary candidate, and states that at that time he was solvent, and his personal expenses in respect of that election did not amount to more than £25.

In December of that same year he was adopted prospective candidate for the next election, and in consequence of his activities has spent, he sates, about £200 in trying to revive the constituency. He attributes his present insolvent position to this, and to the fact that in, February 1925, he had recourse to professional money lenders.

Of the unsecured liabilities £1110 is in respect of money borrowed, and the balance for household and personal expenses.

Debtor also states that he became aware of his insolvency in 1925, and has contracted debts, since that time, hoping that he might obtain a fair number of pupils.

The following article also about Kingsley-Johnson may be of interest.

Banbury Advertiser September 19th 1895


Baron Henry de Worms, of Henley Park, Surrey, summoned Mr R Kingsley Johnson, assistant schoolmaster, of Shalford, at the Guildford County Bench, for obtaining a sovereign by false pretences. The allegation was that the money was sent by the Baron as a subscription to the Guildford, Godalming and District Schoolmasters’ Football Club, of which defendant represented himself to be the secretary. Inquiries shewed that no such club was in existence. Defendant was committed for trial.

The Rectory c.1974

In 1990, when Ruth and Chris Stokes moved into the re-named Medlar House, these photographs show that it was largely unaltered from Rev Hewson's day. This view shows hoe close the Rectory stood to the church.
This is Rev Hewson's "Big Room" where he held his reading club for men and also various parties for the village children.

This is a view of the Church which could be seen as the Rector walked through for services.

Outside the single storey part of the building above, were three wells, as below, of varying ages.
The well above was revealed during the 1999 excavations as Medlar House was modernised.

Ref: Date Occupant
Census 1841 Rev. John Graham
Kelly's Directory 1847 Rev John Graham M.A.
Whellan History of Northamptonshire 1849 Rev John Graham M.A.
Census 1851 Rev. John Graham
Kelly's 1854 Rev. John Graham
Census 1861 Rev. John Graham
Kelly's Directory 1869 Rev. John Graham
Census 1871 George Jenkins
Whellan & Co 1874 Rev. Geo. Jenkins M.A.
Census 1881 Rev. Patrick Geo McDouall
Kelly's Directory 1890 Rev. Patrick Geo McDouall
Census 1891 Rev. Patrick G McDouall
Kelly's Dorectory 1894 Rev. Henry Newington Clarke Hewson L. Th.
Kelly's Directory 1898 Rev. Henry Newington Clarke Hewson
Census 1901 Arabella H Gordon
Kelly's Directory 1903 Rev. Henry Newington Clarke Hewson
Kelly's Directory 1906 Rev. Henry Newington Clarke Hewson, L. Th.
Kelly's Directory 1910 Rev. Henry Newington Clarke Hewson
Census 1911 Mary Morgan
Kelly's Directory 1914 Rev. Henry Newington Clarke Hewson
Kelly's Directory 1920 Rev. Henry Newington Clarke Hewson
Kelly's Directory 1924 Richard Kingsley-Johnson M.A.
Kelly's Directory 1928 Rev. Henry Newington Clarke Hewson A.K.C.L.
Kelly's Directory 1931 Rev. Henry Newington Clarke Hewson A.K.C.L.
Kelly's Directory 1936 Rev. Henry Newington Clarke Hewson A.K.C.L.
Kelly's Directory 1940 Rev. Henry Newington Clarke Hewson A.K.C.L.
Rectors' List 1947 Rev. John Simmonds Benson
Rectors' List 1960 Rev. Albert Edgar Bransby
Rectors' List 1966 Rev. Stanley Carr Woodward M.A.
Rectors' List 1972 Rev. R. H. Beaty M.A. B.D. PhD.
The Rectory was sold in 1983 privately.
1983 Mr & Mrs. Mohan
1998 Chris and Ruth Stokes
2007 The Hewetson Family