Rectors of Loftus

The Rector of Loftus (sometimes Lofthouse) is the formal title given to the Parish Priest of Loftus.

Over the centuries the Parish of Loftus has been served by good and faithful priests some of whom history has recorded while others have passed silently into history.

Loftus Parish is an ancient parish.  In 1086 the Domesday Book records the presence of one church in Loftus; however, it also record that there was no Rector in post at the time.  Until the year 1275 the person with responsibility for appointing the Rector of Loftus was the Lord of the Manor of Loftus.  Thus the Lord of the Manor of Loftus acted as both Lord of the Temporal Manor and as Ecclesiastical “Patron” of Loftus.

In 1275 the Lord of the Manor of Loftus, William de Sauchay, gave the patronage of the ecclesiastical parish to the Prior of Guisborough.  Consequently, from 1275 until 1539 the Prior of Guisborough was Patron of the Loftus Parish.

The Arms of Guisborough Priory North Yorkshire

The Rectors of Loftus appointed by the Priors of Guisborough were…

1275  Walter de Lofthus

1295  John de Lesingby

1314  Thomas de Middelsburgh

1320  William de Hillum

????   Roger Skyring

1380  John de Cowcotte

1418  Richard Dryffeld

1438  Robert Kirby

1468  John Ragton

1521  Thomas Franke


In 1539 King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries including Guisborough Priory.  At this time the patronage of the Loftus Parish automatically reverted to The Crown.  At the time it was deemed politically expedient for The Crown to retain the Parish of Loftus as a Crown Benefice, so the King could appoint his own man to Loftus.

Since 1539 The Crown has appointed the following Rectors of Loftus…

The Coat of Arms of King Henry VIII

1543  Robert Norham appointed by Henry VIII

1573  William Crosthwaite M. A. appointed by Elizabeth I

1618  William Croasthwaite appointed by James I

1663-4  Joseph Wood appointed by Charles II

1676  John Gee MA appointed by Charles II

1684  Samuel Humble appointed by Charles II

1699  Thomas Burton MA appointed by William III & Mary

Rector Hildyard's Memorial
Rector Hildyard’s Memorial

1712  Adam Glass appointed by Queen Anne

1713  Edward Hawkins appointed by Queen Anne

1732  Thomas Murgatroyd appointed by George II

1780  George Johnson BD appointed by George III

1788  William Alston MA appointed by George III

1799  Charles Bailie MA appointed by

George III

1802  William Murray MA appointed by George III

1842  Horatio S. Hildyard appointed by Queen Victoria

Rector Ramsden's Memorial
Rector Ramsden’s Memorial

1886  David Mountfield appointed by Queen Victoria

1887  Arthur Henry Cumming

MA appointed by Queen Victoria

1910  Charles Ramsden MA appointed by George V

Rector Davies Memorial
Rector Davies Memorial

1932  John Allan Davies MA appointed by George V

1950  George Simpson appointed by George VI

1971  John Theobald appointed by Elizabeth II

1987  David Hodgson appointed by Elizabeth II

Rectors of Loftus-in-Cleveland and Carlin How with SkinningroveBenefice Shield

In 1987, during the Rectorate of David Hodgson, the two separate benefices of Loftus and Carlin How with Skinningrove become the single Benefice of “Loftus-in-Cleveland and Carlin How with Skinningrove.”

Until 1987 the Patron of the Parish of Carlin How with Skinningrove had been the Lord Archbishop of York.  Consequently, since the union of the parishes into a single benefice, The Crown and the Archbishops of York have taken it in turns to act as Ecclesiastical Patron and appoint new Rectors to the benefice. The Crown takes turns number one and number three, with the Archbishop of York taking turn number two as indicated below.

1987  David Hodgson appointment by Elizabeth II continues

1994  Stephen Gallagher appointed by Elizabeth II (turn 1)

1997  John Payne appointed by the Archbishop of York (turn 2)

2002  Timothy Whitwell MA appointed by Elizabeth II (turn 3)

2009  Adam Gaunt MA appointed by Elizabeth II (turn 1)