Guarlford History Group

St Mary's Church - baptisms (1843 - 1884) and officiating clergy




More about the officiating clergy


Church fontThe first baptism recorded at St Mary's chapel of ease at Barnards Green was on December 30th 1843.

The baptism registers have been photographed by the church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS), circa 1963.

A copy of the film covering 1843 to 1884 is held by the Worcester Records Office at the Hive; there are 95 pages.

The microfilm is located in a filing cabinet in the self service area under parish records. The box is labelled Guarlford 123, LDS BA12448, Ref 985, baptisms 1843 - 1884.

Copies of pages can be made using a computer connected to a microfilm reader and printer. For this you will need to bring your library card and purchase credits for your account.

The current baptism register in the church begins in 1875.

Below is a transcription of  just a few of the early records, selected at random, to give you an idea of the information that can be found.





Trade and abode

Clergyman and remark

Dec 30 1843 Thirza Dee Joseph and Eliza Farmer of Honeypots Romney
Jan 31 1844 Jesse Meek John and Margaret Farmer of Hall Green Romney
Aug 25 1846 Charles Till George and Ann Blacksmith of Rhydd Road William Fancourt
Oct 25 1846 Benjamin Jobson Benjamin and Mary Ann Coal merchant of Clevelode William Fancourt
Nov 15 1846 Fanny Reynolds
John and Cancia
Blacksmith of Barnards Green William Fancourt
Dec 6 1846 Jane Fancourt William and Agnes Clerk William Fancourt
Mar 19 1848 Mary Ann Burston Harvey and Lucy Shoe maker William Fancourt
Oct 1 1848 Francis Henry Hyde Francis and Sarah Basket maker of Honeypots William Fancourt
Oct 31 1848 Jane Anne Till George and Anne Blacksmith of Ryhdd Rd
William Fancourt
Nov 12
Elizabeth Powell Thomas and Elizabeth Butler of Bellars Lane CHT Baum-garten (off minister)
Apr 8 1849 Edward Fancourt William Joseph and Agnes Clerk, Barnards Green Parsonage William Fancourt
Apr 4 1851 Charles Fancourt William Joseph and Agnes Clerk, Barnards Green Parsonage William Fancourt
Jan 27 1852 George Henry Hill George and Ann Grove House Farm SH Vorole curate
Jan 27 1852 Susan Jeanette Hill George and Ann Grove House Farm SH Vorole curate
Sep 6 1852 Mary Ann Costins John and Susan Pump maker of Hall Green E Acton Davies (off minister)
Oct 17 1852 Louisa Costins Thomas and Hannah Pump maker of Barnards Green Rashdall
(Vicar of Great Malvern)
Jan 15 1854 Anna Maria Lane Edwin and Sarah Farmer of Barnards Green Peter Stephens Dobree
Nov 11 1855 Rosa Annie Woodyatt Richard and Sarah Fly proprietor of Barnards Green
Ellis Bowden curate
Sep 13 1857 Charles Kings Joseph and Ann Wheelwright of Barnards Green Rev Wathen
Nov 8 1857 Gertrude Margaret Wathen John Bateman and Emma Maria Louisa Clerk in Holy Orders of Barnards Green Rev Wathen
1858 James Arthur Pugh James and Katherine Penrice Army agent of St John's parish Westminster, Peckham, Surrey Rev Wathen
1858 Kate Florence Pugh James and Katherine Penrice Army agent of St John's parish Westminster, Peckham, Surrey Rev Wathen
Mar 20 1859 Alice Fanny Wathen John Bateman and Emma Maria Louisa Clerk in Holy Orders of Barnards Green Rev Wathen
Nov 18 1860 George William Wathen John Bateman and Emma Maria Louisa Clerk in Holy Orders of Barnards Green Rev Wathen
Mar 8 1863 Percy Montague Wathen John Bateman and Emma Maria Louisa Clerk in Holy Orders of Barnards Green Rev Wathen
May 12 1864 Alice Dutfield not transcribed father deceased Rev Wathen
May 12 1864 Louisa Dutfield not transcribed father deceased Rev Wathen
May 18 1864 Jane Gould John and Phoebe labourer Rev Wathen
May 18 1864 James Gould John and Phoebe labourer Rev Wathen
Oct 24 1866 Rosanna Bourne James and Elizabeth Thatcher of Madresfield Rev Wathen
(the parish becomes Guarlford)
Oct 24 1866 Emily Kate Bourne James and Elizabeth Thatcher of Madresfield Rev Wathen
Oct 26 1873 Charles William Brockway Charles and Sophia Schoolmaster of Guarlford Rev Wathen
Jun 27 1875 John Henry Brockway Charles and Sophia Schoolmaster of Guarlford Rev Wathen
May 5 1876 Noah Davis Edwin and Mary Ann Gipsy, tinker of Guarlford Rev Wathen
May 27 1877 Elizabeth Brockway James and Sophia Schoolmaster of Guarlford Rev Wathen
Dec 25 1881 Albert William Roe William Thomas and Mary Anne National School Master Rev Wathen, (note four children baptised that day)
Mar 18 1883 Alice Mary Roe William Thomas and Mary Anne National School Master Rev Wathen
- - - - - -


Incumbents of St Mary GuarlfordA board on the north wall of St Mary's records the incumbents of the church since it was consecrated in 1844.

The board is in memory of Derrick W Medcalf Churchwarden 1933 - 1972, a local farmer.

Curates of Malvern Priory

1844 Frances H Romney

1846 William J Fancourt

1853 Peter S Dobree

1855 Ellis Bowden


1857 John B Wathen

1905 Hubert Jones

1913 Frederick John Newson

1965 Hartley Brown

1981 David H Martin

1992 John Green

1999 David Nichol

2006 Susan Elizabeth Irwin


The first baptism at Guarlford St Mary (see above) was of Thirza Dee on 31st December 1843, daughter of Joseph and Eliza of Honeypots, which is on the lane leading to Hanley Swan. The trade of her father was recorded as a farmer, and the officiating curate was Rev Francis Henry Romney.

We think Thirza Dee, the first child baptised at St Mary Guarlford,  married Thomas King Farmer, a general labourer, in 1872, and died aged 78 at Castlemorton in 1922.

Later baptisms were conducted by Rev William James Fancourt whose story is told on another page.

A baptism in 1848 was conducted by a visiting minister Rev Charles Henry Thomas Baumgarten and with such a unique name we thought we would try to find out a bit more about him, and the some of the other clergy who officiated at baptisms.

More about the officiating clergy

Rev Charles Henry Thomas Baumgarten

Charles Henry Thomas Baumgarten was born at Bath, about 1799, the son of Captain Samuel Henry Baumgarten and Ann Brydges. Charles attended Magdalen College Oxford circa 1820, married Frances Ord in 1834, and in the 1841 and 1851 censuses was recorded living at Foley House on the Worcester Road (opposite Brays).

With them was Frances's nephew Edward Picton Warlow, son of Major Thomas Warlow, Bengal Engineers, a soldier who had died at Delhi in India in 1839, and Frances's sister, Mary Prudence Ord (1800-1877).

The Revd Charles Baumgarten and his wife Frances seem to have had no children of their own and adopted Edward as their heir; Edward later added their surname to his.

Edward faced many ups and downs in his life including bullying in the army and bankruptcy, but he seems to have been socially successful. His daughter Helen Baumgarten, born Bengal India about 1863, married civil servant Sir James Miller Dodds KCB who, in later life, became Under Secretary for Scotland.

There is a plaque in Mathon church in memory of Revd Charles Henry Thomas Baumgarten. It reads:

Sacred to the memory of the Revd C.H.T. BAUMGARTEN who departed this life May 9th 1875 Aged 76 years.

Charles is also recorded as owning Gold Hill Farm, Bosbury in 1839 and contributing in 1833 to the building of the tower at St John's, Bognor, where his wife's family lived; (her father was John Ord of Aldwicke Lodge, who died at Bognor in 1838).

There is just a little more to this story. Frances Baumgarten's niece, Mary Cecil Picton Warlow (Edward's sister), married Major General Frederick Gadsden (1831-1899) by whom she had ten children. In 1871 their daughter Mary Louisa Gadsden was staying with her grandmother now Mary Prudence Fyffe, Charles and Frances at Highland Grove, Fownhope in Herefordshire.

Later Mary Louisa Gadsden married at Brentford in 1892 Arthur Hamilton Norway who in 1911 was recorded as an Assistant Secretary, General Post Office. Their second child, Nevil Shute Norway, born at Ealing in 1899, died in Australia in 1960 became an aeronautical engineer and famous author. His books, published under the pen name Nevil Shute, include, 'No Highway' 1948,  'A Town like Alice' 1948, and 'On the Beach' 1957 (thankyou to Brian Picton Swann for that).

Nevil Shute was educated Dragon School, Oxford; Shrewsbury School; Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; and Balliol College, Oxford.

Rev S H Vorole

We couldn't find anyone with the name SH Vorole or a similar name in the census or BMD. The name in the register of baptisms was written in very small writing and difficult to read, so perhaps we transcribed it wrongly. Whilst searching for SH Vorole we came across an obscure clergyman HJ Vernan, and here are some details about him.

Rev Henry John Vernon

Rev Henry John Vernon (1816-1895) was born at Bilton near Rugby in Warwickshire, the son of Edward Vernon and Theodosia Frances Morrice. His death was announced in the Guardian Newspaper which reported:

Death of the Rev Henry John Vernon, of Richmond House, Boughton, near Chester, which happened there a few days since, in the eightieth year of his age. Deceased took his degree at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, in 1838, and was ordained deacon in 1839. Having held the curacy of Newchurch, in the Isle of Wight, for seven years, he was appointed in 1846 assistant travelling secretary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG), a post which he held for twenty years. He held the vicarage of Eckington, Worcestershire, from 1866 to 1877, when he retired from active work. He was much beloved and respected, especially by the members of the colonial Episcopate, with whom he was brought officially into constant communication.

In 1847, Henry's elder brother Edward Johnston Vernon died aged 31 years.

In 1849, Rev Henry John Vernon married at Brighton, Caroline Anne Drummond the only daughter of Rev Spencer Rodney Drummond, and they had one daughter Laura Louisa Lilia Vernon.

At the time of the 1851 census he was staying at a hotel in Birmingham, and later in June 1851 he officiated at the baptism of his daughter Laura at Holy Trinity, Clapham.

In 1855, at the same church, he officiated at the marriage of his sister Louisa Theodosia Frances Vernon (1816-1870) to Montague George Burgoyne son of Sir Montague Roger Burgoyne, 8th Baronet.

The family cannot be found in the 1861 census, so possibly they were abroad, but in 1871 he was vicar of Holy Trinity Eckington near Pershore, where his mother died in 1875. By 1881 he was retired and the family living in Kensington, where his wife Caroline died suddenly in 1883.

In 1884 Henry and Caroline's daughter Laura married barrister David Archer Vaughan Colt-Williams and in 1891 they, and he, are living together in Chester, where he died in 1895.

It is possible Henry may have been the curate who baptised the Hill children in 1852, though we cannot say that with any confidence.

Rev Edward Acton Davies

Reverend Edward Acton Davies was born at the small village of Nately Scures in north Hampshire about 1806. We think he was the third son of Rev Thomas Davies and Martha Thomas.

Martha, who lived to a good age, was the daughter of wealthy Rev Alban Thomas whose family built Aberaeron Harbour in west Wales; the Thomas family added Jones and Gwynne to their surname after receiving legacies.

We know little of Edward's father except he probably died a yound man in 1813, when Edward was aged only 7 years.

Edward was educated at St John's College Oxford obtaining his BA in 1828. In 1833 he married in Yorkshire, Sarah Whitacre, the widow of wealthy Benjamin Haigh Allen JP of Greenhead Hall by whom he acquired five step children. Although Benjamin died aged only 36 years, he had funded the building of Holy Trinity, Huddersfield (1816-1819) and founded the Huddersfield Bank.

Edward and Sarah had one son, Edward Whitacre Davies, born in 1835. In 1851 they were visiting Great Malvern, lodging at Aldwin Tower in St Ann's Road, when his occupation was recorded as Perpetual Curate, St Alban, Cardigan. In 1853 he was appointed Vicar of St Matthias in Malvern Link, a position he held until 1875 when he was appointed Rector of Areley Kings, north of Worcester, where he died in 1880.

Edward's eldest brother John Birt Davies (1798-1878) MA Edinburgh FRCP, became a surgeon, coroner and JP in Birmingham.

Edward's elder brother Alban Thomas Davies, born about 1804, became a soldier in India. The National Library of Wales, Tyglyn Estate Records, tell us:

The Tyglyn estate, Cardiganshire, was owned by the Rev Alban Thomas Jones Gwynne (1749-1819) in right of his second wife Susanna Maria (Jones). Following her death, and despite a lawsuit, the estate was inherited by his grandson, Captain Alban Thomas Davies (1803-1860). Captain Thomas Davies returned from service in India in the 1840s. He was married to Ann, daughter of Colonel William Wilson. They were succeeded by their eldest son, Alban Thomas Davies the younger (died 1870). The estate then passed to his brother, William John Davies (born 1832) who married Florence A Gadsden in 1863. Their heir was Frank Gadsden Davies.

The 1841 and 1851 census record that Edward's brother Alban Thomas Davies and his large family were living in Llanddewi; Alban's occupation was recorded as a landed proprietor and magistrate.

Edward outlived both his brothers and died at Aerely Kings in 1880. He appointed his stepson Benjamin Haigh Allen an executor.

Rev John Rashdall

The Rev John Rashdall was once vicar of Great Malvern Priory. He was the father of theologian Hastings Rashdall.

John's sister Lucy married the water cure Doctor James Loftus Marsden; she died aged only 37 years and is buried in the Priory churchyard.

Rev Peter Stephens Dobree

Peter Stephens Dobree was born at St Peter's Port, Guernsey in 1824, the son of soldier Augustus Frederick Dobree (died Worcester 1845) and Sophia Smith. Sophia was the daughter of Colonel Sir George Smith, once aid de camp of King George III, who died of Malaria in 1805.  Sophia died when Peter was aged only 12 years and his father married second, Margaret Le Mesurier, daughter of Rev Thomas Le Mesurier who had died in 1822; Rev Thomas Le Mesurier had been Rector of Haughton Le Skerne, Durham, and Domestic Chaplain to Lord Viscount Sidmouth.

Peter Stephens Dobree attended Trinity College, Cambridge, obtaining his BA in 1846, in that year losing his step mother Margaret and sister Alice.

He entered Holy Orders in 1849, and became the incumbent of Holy Trinity Clandown, near Bath in 1852, the year he baptised a child at Guarlford. From 1858 to his death in 1879 he was a chaplain to the forces. He was also a Director of Elizabeth College Guernsey 1857-1868 and 1870-1876.

He married Charlotte Thompson at Somerset in 1849, and they had five children. At the time of his death he was Chaplain to HM Forces in Guernsey.

His sister Clara De Havilland Dobree married Rev Charles Wickham by whom she had 14 children!

Either his father or grandfather may have been the Ensign, Augustus Frederick Dobree, who wrote 'A Journal of the military Campaign in Spain in the years 1808-1809'.

Rev Ellis Bowden

The last curate, before the 'Chapel of Barnards Green' became a parish church, was Rev Ellis Treacher Bowden. He was born at Aldermanbury, London in 1819, the second son of solicitor John Saunders Bowden and Rebecca Treacher.

He married Maria Jones in Leicestershire in 1846 and they had six children.

Educated at St Catherine's College Cambridge he obtained his BA in 1853. Ordained Deacon in 1853 he was first curate at Hollingbourne in Kent, before becoming curate at Guarlford in 1855. From 1857-1892 he was Rector of St Michael, Rochford, on the western side of the Malvern Hills.

His wife Maria died in 1875 and he died at Clapham in 1896. Their youngest son Ernest Monnington Bowden was educated at Malvern College, and Pembroke College Cambridge, obtaining his BA in 1881. He is known for inventing the Bowden wire and brake for cycles, and died in 1904 aged only 44 years.

Ellis's elder brother John Treacher Bowden (1815-1865), a woollen draper and trader, was declared bankrupt in 1843. He was later Master of the Union Workhouse at Rye in Sussex, where his wife became matron. His brother Frederick Leopold Treacher Bowden born 1820, became an articled clerk in 1836, and trained to become a solicitor like his father who was an attorney on the Kings Bench. In 1881 he was admitted to the list of legal practioners in Tasmania, Australia. He died in the district of Croydon, England in 1908.

Ellis's youngest brother Thomas Adolphus Bowden (1824-1906) also took Holy Orders. He was educated at Magdalen Hall Oxford and in 1847 was ordained priest and licenced to Holy Brompton in London. He married his cousin Caroline Treacher and after residing for some time in the Scilly Isles he emigrated from England to New Zealand where he was greatly involved in church and educational matters. He died in New Zealand leaving a widow, four sons and three daughters.

Rev John Bateman Wathen

Rev John Bateman was the incumbent at St Mary Guarlford for 47 years, from 1857 to 1904. Nowayadays it seems the clergy are moved on roughly every ten years.

Rev John Bateman Wathen 1820 - 1906The Rev John Bateman Wathen was born at Woodchester in Gloucestershire about 1820.

He was the son of Obadiah Paul Wathen (1783 - 1868)  and Margaret Bateman. Obadiah was the son of Sir Samuel Wathen and Margaret Peach whose family owned woollen mills around Woodchester which were powered by water mills; sadly the business went bankrupt about 1837, possibly due to competition from steam driven factories.

John's maternal grandfather was James Bateman (1749 - 1824) a wealthy manufacturer who built Islington House, a mansion in Salford, near Manchester.

Here is a short extract from the Nat Gould website (see link above) about the career of James Bateman:-

'By 1788 James Bateman & Company had iron foundries at Water Street in Salford and in Dukinfield in Cheshire, and iron forges at Dukinfield and Collyhurst in Manchester. William Sherratt 1754-1822 joined as a partner. In 1791 Bateman & Sherratt set up the Salford Iron Works, and became one of the largest manufacturers of cast iron products and stationary steam engines, outselling even Boulton & Watt of Birmingham.

They manufactured the first marine steam engine. Their machines powered the cotton mills that were rapidly making Manchester the world's first industrial city'.

John Bateman Wathern, with financial support from his mother's brother John Bateman, attended Queen's College Oxford obtaining his degree in 1847. He was ordained that year by Bishop James Henry Monk 1784 - 1856 who is mentioned in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. His first post was Curate of Prestbury, near the racecourse at Cheltenham and it was there that he met his future wife Emma Maria Louisa Andrew, whose wealthy family had taken a house near Cheltenham to attend the races. In 1851 the couple married, at Stockport in Cheshire.

In 1857 Rev JB Wathen was appointed curate of the chapel of Barnards Green; later in 1866 the parish of Guarlford was formed, out of Madresfield and Great Malvern, with St Mary as its parish church and so it was that Rev Wathen became the first Rector and he remained Rector of Guarlford until 1904. He died at St Asaph in 1906 and is buried in the churchyard at Guarlford where he had served for so many years; his grave lies opposite the church door.

Children of Rev J B Wathen

John and Emma had eight children, Grace Margaret born 1852 at Prestbury, Herbert Reginald born 1853, Bertha Midwood born 1855, Constance Emma born 1856, Gertrude Margaret born 1857, Alice Fanny born 1859, George William born 1860 and Percy Montague. Grace and Gertrude died in infancy, and Gertrude who died in 1858, is buried in Guarlford churchyard not far from her parents.

Youngest son Percy, born Guarlford in 1863,  took Holy Orders like his father; he was educated at Malvern College (as were his brothers) and University College Oxford obtaining his BA in theology in 1885. From 1886 - 1889 he was a missionary in the Newala district of Tanzania which borders Masasi. Between 1890 and 1892 he was Curate of Almondbury in Yorkshire. From 1892 to 1895 he was Organisational Secretary, Universities' Mission to (North Province) Central Africa; the UMCA had been founded about 1858 following the return of David Livingstone from Africa in 1857. Between 1895 and 1902 Percy was vicar of Barking in Essex. Finally Percy settled and was Rector of old Welwyn in the county of Hertfordshire from 1903 to 1930.

St Mary, old Welwyn

St Mary's church, old Welwyn, Herts in 2018


Rev J B Wathen's brother, James Bateman Wathen, married Esther Venables and then left for Australia where two children were born, after which the family returned to Staffordshire and engaged in the manufacture of earthenware and colour paint; later their son Ernest John Wathen emigrated from England to the USA and another son William Montague Wathen emigrated from England to New Zealand.

Quite an adventurous family!

Transcribed and researched by Angus and Rosemary McCulloch

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Last updated 11th March 2018