The Villagers.

Click on each pic as some of them have acompanying text.
A Trip Out. The Heath. Children Group Photo. Scout photo. 3 Catchpoles. Mr Digby. Men working in field. ? Black lion Bowling team.


First vicar, also last rector of Buxton was Richard Kirkeby ( or Kirby) 1232-1288

Recent Vicars.
Sir John Picto
1837-1852 G. Jarvis
1855-1889 W. J. Stracey
1891-1907 A. E. Black
1908-1932 R. H. O. Bankes
1932-1938 H. W. Benson
1938-1940 G. L. Morrell
1941-1960 W. B. Dryden
1960-1971 A. K. Birch*
1971-1979 D. W. Rider
1980-1985 Dick Hare
1986-1995 Graham Drake
1996-2008 Chris Walter.
2010-         Peter Hansell.

Vergers and Sextons to Buxton Church.
1895-1937.       William Digby (first)
1937-6 months. Daniel Foster
?1937-1942.     "Happy" Bird
1942-1966.       George Smithson
1966-1979.       Geofffrey Foster
1979-1990.       George Smithson
1990-present.   Eunice Wernham

*A History of Buxton Church has been written by A. K. Birch and is available at the Forum Library and copies are held at Buxton Vicarage.

Buxton Benefactors & Famous Sons.

The vicars of Buxton were nominated by the Bishop of Norwich. In 1455 they presented John Gresham, otherwise known as Sir John Pyketo. He was a man of good family and fortune and became a great benefactor to this church and parish. He settled the "townlands" on the parish for ever. He purchased land in Buxton & Hautbois, and settled it on Trustees, or Feoffees, who were to use the rent from this land to pay taxes for the inhabitants of Buxton, with anything left over to be used for the poor of Buxton. This was the origin of the Picto charity. It has been added to over the years by Roger Docking, George Rogers, John Kemp and others. In order to increase their income the Trustees built, on part of the land they owned, the eight cottages now known as the Feoffee Yard, or in other words the Trustees cottages. These are still managed by the Picto Trustees who select the tenants from people with Buxton connections, and who have recently spent a large sum installing conservatories and central heating for the cottages. John Picto also rebuilt the north aisle of the church and his effigy in his priest's habit was put in one of the windows. He died in 1498 and was buried before the High Altar in the church.

Gent. He gave money to the Buxton poor, and gifts to the Church. He died in 1694 and over his body was written "Here lies the case of a Soul whose mind was framed to benefit mankind" and so, apparently, it was because in his will he left property for the maintenance of the Church, its vicar (on the condition that he preached 2 sermons every Sunday at Buxton), the church wardens and certain sums also for the poor. The Bulwer Charity is still in being and run by Trustees and Bulwer Road is named after him.

Another Buxton benefactor was the Rev Wm Stracey, vicar of Buxton from 1855-1899. In 1870 he built the grand vicarage in Levishaw (see vicarages). He helped in the foundation of the British School in Back Lane. He rebuilt and gave the Sexton's Cottage to the church and although this has been sold the proceeds are invested for the benefit of the Church. He left funds for the maintenance of the church and his goodness and kindness to all was well known. Margaret Sewell describes him in her diary of 1882 as a largely-made, bald, rather florid, white handed and generally aristocratic man with very determined views.

A certain Thomas Cubitt, son of a Buxton labourer, and a man of poor education was born in Buxton in 1788. His grandfather William and his father Jonathan lived in Lammas and were very poor. His father married Agnas Scarlett and they settled in Buxton but appear to have moved to London sometime between 1793 and 1799. Thomas took up carpentry and became a ship's carpenter and a jobbing tradesman. When he came back from sea he started his own building works in London and later became a celebrated master builder. He started building around 1815, designing and laying out whole streets, squares and districts of London. He erected large houses in the wealthy and fashionable areas of Belgravia, Pimlico and Bloomsbury and was said to have built more of London than any other single man. He also built Kemp Town, a suburb of Brighton. He became a friend of Queen Victoria and built Osborn House, her home in the Isle of Wight, and parts of Buckingham Palace. He died a very wealthy man and his brother William who assisted him became Lord Mayor of London. In Buxton, Cubitt's Meadow road, leading to the proposed Balay site, off the Aylsham Road is named after him. A biography of him called "Thomas Cubitt Master Builder" was written by Hermione Hobhouse in 1971 and is available in the public libraries.
Further reading:

The Wright family lived in Buxton area for many years. Their name appears in the Lammas register in 1545, as rector of Stratton Strawless in the 15th century, and as rector of Brampton in 1450. They and their Sewell descendants lived at Dudwick House (Old) for many generations.
Dudwick and its associated estates were acquired by John Wright (1728-1798) who was born in Lammas and became a rich Quaker banker living in Esher. His bank was Smith, Wright & Gray and when he went to London he drove four fine black horses and lived in a style equal to it. On one occasion when there was a run on the banks in the City his head clerk had a hogs head rolled into the Exchange and mounting it proclaimed that anyone who wished to settle his account with Smith, Wright & Gray would be paid immediately. This restored confidence and their bank was not affected. He had no children and wishing for an heir persuaded his cousin Richard to take a third wife and try for some children saying he would look after them if anything happened to his cousin. His cousin had 6 children and then died but the banker was as good as his word and looked after the children. He educated the 2 eldest boys (John and Richard) at private schools, and when John (1770 -1853) grew up he installed him in one of his farms at Felthorpe where he married Anne Holmes and they had 7 children. The third one was a boy and called John (again) and when the banker saw John in his cradle he said "This boy will be my heir". When this John Wright (1794- 1871) grew up he married Anne Harford and lived at Dudwick. The banker had left money in his will for a school to be built at Buxton and in accordance with his benefactor's wishes he erected a schoolroom near the Church in 1833 (see schools) His name is still shown on the front of the present school. With some of the money an endowment was set up for the benefit of the school children. John Wright also founded the Red House in 1850 for the religious and industrial training of forty offenders under the age of 20. He and his heirs the Sewells ran and supported the Red House for nearly a century until Ted Sewell died in 1937. John Wright's wife Anne Harford wrote many books on wildlife and geology and was well known for her teaching of these subjects. They had no children and the property passed on to his sister Mary's eldest son, Philip Sewell.
Click here for the Sewell and Wright family tree.
John Wright, Founder of Red House. Anne Wright, nee Harford. Wife of John Wright, founder of Red House.

The Sewells came to Buxton when Isaac Sewell (1793 -1879) of Yarmouth married Mary Wright (1798 -1884) sister of John Wright of Dudwick House, Buxton. Mary Wright was a famous author and sold over a million copies of her children's books. They had 2 children Philip (1822-1906) & Anna (1820-1878). Anna went on to become famous by writing Black Beauty while Philip after many adventures as a construction engineer in Europe building railways in Spain and elsewhere, returned to Norwich in 1865 after his wife Sarah became ill. He took up residence at Clare House in Catton and obtained a job with Gurney's bank in Norwich. Unfortunately his wife died in 1866 and left him with 6 children to bring up. He married again in 1870 and inherited Dudwick, the Buxton Properties and The Red House School from his uncle John Wright in 1871. After this he became a frequent visitor to Buxton. and followed in his uncle's footsteps and became a benefactor to Buxton. In 1882 he enlarged and improved the John Wright School and in 1901 he added a covered playing shed. He also converted the laundry in Brook Street into a Reading Room and equipped it with a billiard table. He made improvements to the Red House and installed the first bathrooms at this establishment. He didn't live at Dudwick but his son Philip Edward (Ted) (1893- 1937) did. Ted was a tea planter in Ceylon but came home to Buxton and took up residence at Dudwick. He continued to support the Red House and other Buxton institutions but never married and having no heirs left Dudwick to his tea planting friend Percy Briscoe who had married his sister's god daughter, Anne Fleming. Ted's sister, Margaret Sewell (1852-1937), who lived at Dudwick Cottage also organised the building of the Village Hall in 1927. A road in Buxton has been named after the Sewells.
Click here for the Sewell and Wright family tree.
The Sewells at home in Dudwick House gardens. Mary Sewell (nee Wright). Margaret Sewell. Philip Sewell.

Son of a Buxton vicar, born around 1680. His father died aged 37 leaving the family in mean circumstances. However Benjamin, who was educated in North Walsham, became an apprentice plumber and glazier in Norwich, but then went on to the stage. He wrote several plays which were performed around the country and became quite famous. His plays included Injured Virtue, Love in a Sack, and The key to What d'ye call it. He died in 1740 with the character of an honest and friendly man.