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 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…
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
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
1802 William Murray MA appointed by George III
1842 Horatio S. Hildyard appointed by Queen Victoria
1886 David Mountfield appointed by Queen Victoria
1887 Arthur Henry Cumming
MA appointed by Queen Victoria
1910 Charles Ramsden MA appointed by George V
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
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)