The group ecclesiastical parish of Sheepy now contains the Ancient Parishes of Sibson, Orton-on-the-Hill, Twycross and Sheepy Magna as well as the Chapelry of Ratcliffe Culey, the pastoral care being in the hands of one vicar. The vicar is responsible for the fabric of four other ancient churches as well as All Saints Sheepy Magna, an onerous responsibility. Please remember this if visiting these churches and give generously they are our heritage. The boundary of the present civil parish is slightly different Ratcliffe Culey being in concert with Atterton, Witherley and Fenny Drayton.
The ancient parish of Sheepy Magna included the villages of Sheepy Parva, Pinwall, Ratcliffe Culey and the Mythe. Sheepy Parva and The Mythe had chapels of ease served occasionally by the monks of the Cistercian Abbey at Merevale the chapelry at Ratcliffe Culey having a perpetual ministry served by its own chaplain. By the 13th century these several ministries were formalized into North, (borealis) and South, (australis) medieties, each with their own rector and this arrangement existed until they were consolidated into one rectory in the 1851 by act of parliament. The South Mediety comprised of Ratcliffe Culey and the Mythe, the North Mediety the remainder. The rectors were supposedly required to swap positions on Palm Sunday each year but examining the registers from 1560 does not confirm that the ministries were in fact swapped. I suspect that the arrangement was effectively a fiscal one where by the income from the great and lesser tithes alternated.
From the 16th century Sheepy Parish was divided into three sections for poor law rates and tithes etc., Sheepy Magna (1593 acres including the hamlet of Pinwall), Sheepy Parva (582 acres) and Ratcliffe Culey (1192 acres). Both Sheepy Parva and Ratcliffe Culey were classed as Chapelries but only Ratcliffe had it's own Chapel of ease. A substantial area was extra parochial served by the parish church of Merevale, formally the gate Chapel of Merevale Abbey.
If we compare what is known of the patrons there does not appear to be a correlation between the two Sheepy manors and the advowsons although at times they were held by the same people. The Rectories therefore do not appear to be annexed to the manors. See here for a list of Rectors and patrons extracted from various sources.
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Copyright © Martyn Parsons. All rights reserved.
|North Mediety||South Mediety|
|1220||Richard de Harcourt||1220||Henry Fitz-Walkelin||William Fitzwilliam|
|1267||William de la Lee|
|1303||Robert de Sheepeye|
|circa 1310||Nicholas Harecourt||John de Harcourt||1310||Nicholas Burdet|
|1370||Philip de Drayton||Thomas de Astleley|
|1422||John Bate||14??||Richard Burdet|
|1493||Thomas Holte||William Astley||1493||William Astley|
|1531||John Astley||Richard Astley||1531||Richard Astley|
|1534||Hugh Astley||Thomas Astley||1534||John Vincent||Thomas Astley|
|1564||Richard Morgan||1564||Richard Edwards|
|1617||Richard Array||Richard Array||1614||Richard King||John Bettison|
|1639||Richard Johnson||1630||Thomas Oldale|
|1644||Richard Array (jnr)||1642||Gregory Kent|
|1679||Thomas Fowler||1686||George Vincent|
|1710||William Vincent||Elizabeth Vincent (wid)||1712||William Vincent||Elizabeth Vincent (wid)|
|1741||Silvester Vincent||1741||Silvester Vincent|
|1760||Thomas Whitehead||Bishop of Lincoln||1758||William Biddle||Thomas & Elizabeth Gresley and Hannah Vincent|
|1768||William Williams||Edward Wolferstan||1765||John Williams||Robert Evans|
|1771||William Fell||1768||William Fell||Edward Wolferston|
|1807||Thomas Cotton Fell||John Lane||1807||Thomas Cotton Fell||John Lane|
|Period||Rector of new combined Rectory|
|1851||Thomas Cotton Fell|
|1881||John Edwin Fell|
|1888||William George Southwell|
|1942||John Eric Rigg|