The History of the Revd
T. F. Rudston-Read's
The History of
my Life for Freda
Born 1811 at Sand Hutton near York. The place now occupied by Sir James Walker.
Went first to school at Bishopton near Ripon - was there 4 years when I went to
Mr Robert's School in Whiteheads' Grove, Chelsea. I staid there 2 years and then went to Eton.
Boarded at Mr Beckwith's in Keats' Lane. After I left Eton I went to Mr Taits
at Richmond School, Yorkshire and spent 2 years with him after which I left for Oxford. Matriculated at University College. Took my degree in 1833. My father was then living
at Frickley Hall near Doncaster. I stayed about home for 2 years, and then was ordained by Dr Sumner at the Cathedral at Chester, by letters Dimissory from the Archbishop of York
(Vernon), was examined by Archdeacon Wrangham a then Canon of Chester. My first curacy was Everingham in the East Riding of Yorkshire.- the residence of the Maxwells - now Lord
Herries. My first Rector was the Revd William Alderson. I lodged at the house of John Birmington one of my father's tenants at Hagton. I then acted for my father in the
management of his property at Hagton, I received his rents. While I was there John did our land on the Common amongst the labourers and small tradesmen, which has been a great blessing
to them. In 1837 I was offered and took the small living of Full Sutton also in the East Riding, where I staid, wh..ing the best years of my life, or at any rate, eight of them, in a
population of less than 100 adults. While there, however, I had my sister Kate with me for 4 years. During that time we rebuilt the Church from the foundations - my good sister
paying the lion's share of the cost, as I was very poor in those days (my sister also built a small school entirely at her own expense).
In 1845 the Rectory of Winteringham fell
vacant, which my father bought for me. I took possession and found much to be done. There had been no resident Rector since the days of the Revd Thomas Adam, who wrote a little
book called "Private Thoughts" and that was 70 years before. The first thing to be done was to build schools, for there was not one worthy of the name. What school there
was was held in a private house. I got to work and soon raised sufficient money - the schools were built and opened within 6 months, at a cost of nearly £300. Some years
afterwards a classroom had to be added at an additional cost of £100, which was soon raised. After the school was out-of-hand, I had to build a new Rectory House. This was
completed in 2 years. The next want was the restoration of the Church. This was completed and opened 1851 by Bishop Langley, then of Ripon, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, at
a cost of about £1300. The parish out of rates contributed £600, and the remainder I raised in different ways. All was got and the cost paid for. This restoration was the
first effected in the neighbourhood created great excitement, and did permanent good in the parish. I spent 20 years at Winteringham. I left it in October 1865. For my wife's
sake I sought and obtained 6 months duty in the South of England. Just as I was about to return home my wife died. Lady de la Warr then offered me Withyham which was going to be
vacated by her son Reginald Windsor West - afterwards Earl De La Warr and Buckhurst. I accepted it but returned to Winteringham for the summer of 1865, I was instituted to
Withyham by Dr Gilbert then Bishop of Chichester before Christmas 1865. That vacated Winteringham; I gave up my farm - packed up my goods, and came south. At Withyham there was
not so much to be done in School Building or Church restoration. After, however, the Railway was completed a considerable population sprung up at the Groombridge end of the parish, and
it became necessary to provide a plan for worship. I thought it better that a room should be built which might, at a future time be made into a school, with a masters house
attached. This was done at a cost of something more than £1000, to which the Goldsmiths Co. represented by their Secretary Mr Prideaux contributed handsomely. They gave the
site and sufficient ground for a future Church and Parsonage House, should the population soon increasing so as to require it. While I am writing 7 years have elapsed since the room was
opened by Dr Durnford Bristol of Which... .
Previous to this I had carried on a Service in the School room at Blackham, which had been attended by 100 or more people. Mr Haig, the
owner, chose to put in a Presbytarian minister and I had to give up my service.
In the Parish Church improvements have been effected. The Church was very dark and cold. Two
dormer windows were put in by myself, which improved the Church much. A Reredos in stone was also erected at my own cost. New oak seats in the South Aisle, the South side of
Middle Aisle, and West end of North Aisle, have since been erected principally by myself. I got some subscriptions towards them. In the Autumn of 1878 we warmed the Church with hot
water, the cost of which your Mamma raised by a general subscription amongst high and low.
June 26th 1879. This day the glass mosaics in the Reredos were completed by Messrs Powell,
Glass Works, Temple St., London. This was done at my own cost.
On Oct 16th 1884 The New Church at Groombridge was opened - (not consecrated) for Divine Service. The money
gathered for the Church was raised by subn. The list is amongst other papers connected with the Building Operations. Dr Cross DC & of Hastings preached the sermon in the
afternoon. The poor of ------- were entertained at a tea between the services. This was managed by Mr Sheatfield.
The Iron Church at Blackham was opened about the same time and
has carried on successfully ever since (July 1885). This was built by myself at a cost of about £330, and remains in my possession.
St Thomas' Church at Groombridge was
consecrated by Dr Durnford, Bishop of Chichester, on the 20th Feb 1886. Tea was provided for the poor in the Mission Room. The Miss Milburns took an active part in this and
provided the eatables.
The District was assigned to St Thomas' Church and the business completed in October 1886. The Revd James Parker was appointed the first incumbent.
1888. The Mission Church was converted into a school room a class room and necessary offices were added. The school is now (Feb) in good working order with about 120 children on
the books. These buildings were done by subscription at a cost, with fittings, of aabout £500.
The last improvement for this new ------ is a Parsonage House. This is now
building and is likely to be inhabited in the early part of Summer (1888).
Oct 1888. The Vicarage House has been finished and occupied by Mr Parker now for some weeks.