William Northwold

The following information has been extracted from a number of sources including Newcourt's Repertorium, Vols 1 and 2.

William Northwold was instituted as Rector of the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Little Birch, near Colchester on 4 February 1427. The medieval Church of William's time is now a roofless ruin, having been replaced by a Victorian building constructed in 1869. Wiliam was only at St Mary's a matter of months, exchanging the benefice for that of All Hallows' by the Tower, where he was installed as Rector on 25 June 1427.

All Hallows' by the Tower is the oldest Church in the City of London, having been founded by the Saxon Abbey of Barking in 675 AD. As its name suggests, it is adjacent to the Tower of London. Following their executions on Tower Hill, the beheaded bodies of many famous people were brought into the Church, including, in the two centuries following William's time as Rector, those of Sir Thomas More and Bishop John Fisher, both of whom were executed in 1535, and Archbishop William Laud who was executed 1645.

The Church was bombed in 1940, but was rebuilt and rededicated in 1957.

William resigned from the benefice of All Hallows' sometime before 14 February 1431, when he was succeeded as Rector by John Iford. He was subsequently collated to the Rectory of Thorley on 31 July 1434. William served at St James' for about nine years, but for some reason was deprived of the living sometime before 7 June 1443, when he was succeeded as Rector by Robert Coventry.

Philip Hargrave
January 2012


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