Thomas Croyser

Thomas Croyser is unique in the list of Eversholt rectors, being the only person to appear twice.

Here’s the listing from National Archives:

– John de la Magdaleyne – 5 Mar 1336 [Patron & cause of vacancy not stated]
– Thomas Croyser
– Robert de Usflete – 19 Jul 1351 [clerk, on resignation of Thomas Croyser]
– Thomas Croyser – 16 Aug 1366 [on resignation of D. Robert de Usflet]
– John de Buckyngham – 15 Sep 1366 [priest, on resignation of D. Thomas Croyser]

Thomas’s first stint as rector has no start date, no reason for his appointment, no patron (the person owning the advowson currently) and no hint to his qualifications for the job. His second stint has neither qualification nor patron.

Ah, but what of the date? Sometime before 1351, something caused Eversholt to need a new rector. That’s a big hint. The Black Death started in England in 1348. The plague killed many people, and left chaos, with much of normal life and government being disrupted. So, perhaps John de la Magdaleyne was killed, or perhaps fled for his life, and a new rector was needed, but there was no way to appoint one. So Thomas Croyser stepped in informally until Robert de Usflete could be appointed.

Robert de Usflete was perhaps not the wisest choice to appoint as rector. He has his own page here. He got into serious trouble, and may eventually have had to leave in a hurry, so maybe Thomas had to step in for a second time.

This is all speculation. Does anyone have any better ideas? More information?

The Internet Surname Database has an interesting explanation. A “croyser” was someone who made and sold crosses, or carried the cross in religious processions. That sounds exactly the sort of person you might find standing in for a priest in turbulent times.

Leave a comment for publication