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John Vincent

Matthias Vincent

Nathaniel Vincent









John Vincent was the son of Thomas and Jane Vincent who were laid to rest in the elaborate slate tomb in St Torney’s church. John is shown as one the sons kneeling behind his father, possibly the first son.

John was born about 1591. He married Sarah about 1630 and they had at least seven children, viz: John junior, Thomas, Nathaniel, Matthias, Katherine, Sarah and Mary. The lives of John senior, Thomas, Nathaniel and Matthias were eventful and were a reflection of the troubled times of England during the period of the Civil War. The stories of Nathaniel and Matthias are told on individual web pages on this site. John junior inherited Battens in North Hill upon the death of his father and farmed the land for some years. Sarah married James Innes, the rector of St Breock and they were the great grandparents of Prime Minister, William Pitt the Elder.


In his listing amongst the alumni of Oxford University, John was described as a Gentleman. As a young man he was sent up to New College, Oxford University and matriculated from there on the 15th December 1609 when just 18 years old. He moved as a student to Lincoln’s Inn in London in 1612 and was described there as ‘the son and heir of Thomas Vincent of Northill, Cornwall’. It was probably here that he took holy orders and became the Reverend John Vincent. He was awarded his BA from Trinity College Cambridge in 1626 and three years later he earned his MA.

St. Edmund's, south view, Sedgefield, Co. DurhamJohn’s first benefice was a parish in Cornwall, not in North Hill. His puritan tendencies upset the sensibilities of the parishioners and he was ejected from this living. It has been said that this was a feature of John’s life. There are reports that his seven children were all born in different counties. He was rector of Helmingham in 1633 and in 1635 he was vicar of Framsden, both in Suffolk. Between these dates his son, Thomas, was baptised in Hertford. The appointment of a John Vincent as lecturer to St James in Dover on the 21st March 1642 may well have been this John Vincent. His last position was as the rector of Sedgefield in County Durham to which he was nominated by the committee of the Westminster Assembly in 1643 after this benefice had been sequestered by Parliament. He remained there until his death in 1646. St Edmund’s, Sedgefield is pictured here (image taken by Jonathan Clegg). At some point John lent £60, or something to that value, to the Parliament and in 1655 and 1657 his widow, Sarah, petitioned for the sum to be returned to her.


The image shows detail from the Vincent tomb in St Torney’s church.

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