John Gibson

John Gibson was Rector from 1579 to 1602. He was the first rector to have his death recorded in the parish burial register.

62 COOPER’S ACT BOOK. 1579-80. 
A.D. 1579. 
Folio 105. 
Sir John Gibson, cl., to the ch. of Eversholt, vac. by the resig. of Master Martin Williams. P.— the queen. At Netlam, 1 Aug.* 
* Mandate to A. Bedf. 
This probably means:
Martin Williams was rector of Eversholt in 1579, and resigned. Queen Elizabeth I proposed, and Bishop Cooper of Lincoln concurred, that Sir John Gibson would be the next clergyman.
This text might be expected to explain how Williams took over from Faulkner, but it has no mention of it.
In The Publications of the Lincoln Record Society, there is a list of weapons (!) provided by the clergy for the diocese. John Gibson provides a “Qua”. After some digging, it has become clear that this is all the equipment needed for a man armed with a caliver, a gun.
That same publication has a note on Sir John which is hard to understand:
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“he has to exhibit” is rumoured to mean that he has yet to produce the documentation, and in particular the money, that confirms that he has the right to be rector.
According to the various records in the CCED, John was presented to the living by Queen Elizabeth, and only became Sir John later. He had no degree, but had been ordained as a priest in 1573. The bishop of Lincoln gave him the qualification of “licensed preacher”. He stayed in post in Eversholt more than 20 years. Was this some sinecure provided by the Queen for a friend? Martin Williams could have been “persuaded” to resign to make space. Martin was later appointed to multiple simultaneous rectorships, at least three, maybe four.
Only one of the 17 different records about John at CCED suggests he was “Sir John”. Is this just a mistake? Were he really “Sir John”, I would expect later records to be careful about it. Two 1576 records suggest he has an MA, but no others do. Was that a mistake too?
John was a deacon at the chapel in the Manor of Buckden, near Huntingdon, until 1576, and a vicar in Hemel Hempstead 1578-9. John Dutton becomes rector of Eversholt in 1602, but there is no record of why John Gibson left. John Gibson became rector of Folksworth, also near Huntingdon, in 1605, and schoolmaster in Wrawby in North Lincolnshire 1607-1614. Quite how he managed being rector and schoolmaster at once is not clear, with the villages so far apart. The record at Beds archive, which says that John Gibson died while rector at Eversholt, appears to be contradicted by CCED. The last record so far found of him is 1614. If he’d been 22 when ordained priest, he’d have been 63 in 1614.
Cooper’s Act Book thrice refers to John Gibson as “Sir John” and does suggest he had an MA.
John Gybson (not “Sir John”) is recorded as having an MA when he married on 1603-02-12. The name of his wife and place of his marriage is not recorded, but his employment was “schoolmaster”.
There are multiple people called “Sir John Gibson”, most of whom seem to be much more famous than our one, unfortunately. I have yet to find any more about his life story. This is in the middle of Elizabeth I’s reign, so there might be a great story in how he was given a knighthood. If he really was!

2 Replies to “John Gibson”

  1. on Rocques map of 1635 there is indication of a “Gibson’s Towre” situated near Hampton Middlesex – am writing a local history note on this and this [your’s] is the only reference to ‘Gibson’ at the time indicated – any assistance will be appreciated

    1. Alan, sorry I missed your comment first time, but it is published now. And sorry I know no more of the enigmatic “Sir” John Gibson. Best of luck with your research! Can anyone else help? Leave a comment?

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