Robert Gascoyne was Rector of Eversholt from 1753 to 1766.
The London Magazine, Or, Gentleman’s Monthly Intelligencer, Volume 22, says that he was appointed by Lord Sandys.
There is a Robert Gascoyne mentioned in The register of Wadham College Oxford, but whether that is the right one is moot:
Robert Gascoyne. Serviens, 13 May, 1730. M. 14 May, 1730 (fil. Roberti G. de Banbury, Oxon: pleb. aet. 19). C.M. received as Servitor 13 May, 1730, taken up for Battels 7 April, 1739. B.A. 12 Oct. 1734.
That must be same one mentioned (at Ancestry.com) in England: Canterbury – Index to the Act Books of the Archbishops of Canterbury, 1663-1859 (A-K)
Gascoyne, Robert (Wadh. Coll. Oxf.), Aug 1737 : Ordin. Deacon; 8, 84. Sep 1737 : Ordin. Priest; 8, 87. Collat. R. Newenden, Kent; 8, 88. 1737-8 : Collat. V. Herne, Kent; 8, 101. 1738 : Ceded R. Newenden; 8, 114. 1752 : Ceded V. Herne; 9, 93.
but that says he ceded the rectorship of Newenden in 1752, but does not mention Eversholt in 1753. Fortunately, there is also “Edward Hasted – The history and topographical survey of the county of Kent, second edition, volume 9 Canterbury – 1800” (pdf) which lists the Vicars of the Parish of Herne:
Robert Gascoyne, A. B. March 29, 1739, resigned 1752./y
and then gives this footnote:
/y He resigned this vicarage for that of Evershott, in Bedfordshire.
which inconveniently misspells “Eversholt” so does not immediately appear. That definitely identifies the Robert Gascoyne who left Wadham in 1739 as our Rector.
Decoding the Wadham register above, it seems to mean:
Robert was the son of Robert Gascoyne of Banbury, Oxfordshire. He arrived as a servitor at Wadham College on 13 May 1730, aged 19, so he must have been born about 1710 or 1711. His status is given as “pleb.” which may mean he was of the common sort of person, as opposed to “gent” or “arm” (having a coat of arms?) or “equitis” (a knight, or maybe someone rich enough to own his own horse). A servitor was given free accommodation, perhaps in return for acting as a servant. He matriculated (formally started study) on the following day. He paid some “Caution Money”, some sort of a deposit, on arriving, but he never had it returned. Instead, in 1839, his caution money was used to pay for his “battels”, his food bill. He was made a Bachelor of Arts on 12 October 1734.
This interpretation is aided by the Ancestry document “Oxford University Alumni, 1500-1886”:
Since he was already working as a priest in 1737, it’s possible he left Wadham well before 1739. 1739 was just when they gave up the idea of ever having him pay his bill!
We have Robert’s handwritten will, from ancestry.com.
Robert Gascoyne Will – 6Mbyte pdf, 2 pages
Here is a transcription of the above will, made by Emrys Williams in 2015. It is intended to have the same spelling and punctuation as the handwritten document. Errors? Leave a comment below!
I do hereby revoke disanul and set aside all former wills by me made and declare my last will in the few plain words following namely I give devise and bequeath all I shall die worth all I shall leave behind me as well Real as personal to my servant William ?Stanies Obliging him to pay the sum of twenty pounds yearly to my Dear Old Friend Mrs. Sarah Bourbon as long as she shall live by half yearly payments and after her Decease I Give the said Annuity of Twenty pounds to the abovementioned William ?Stanies whom I appoint my Sole ?? Executor Administrator and Assign and Residuary Legatee. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty 8th day of October 1765. Robert Gascoyne Rectr. of Eversholt Bedfordshire. Signed Sealed and Declared in the presence of us. John ?Bufock. John Geywood. Thos. Dunkerly.
This Will was proved at London the TwentyEighth day of April in the year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and sixty six before the Worshipful George Harris Doctor of Laws Surrogate of the Right Worshipful George Hay also Doctor of Laws Master Keeper or Commissary of the Prorogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the Oath of William ?Stanies the Sole Executor named in the said Will to whom Administration was granted of all and Singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of the deceased he having been first sworn duly to administer
Compared to the flowery language and complex disposal of riches left by James Reed, that is a model of clarity and humanity.