Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Bishop Robert Pursglove

The Church of St John the Baptist at Tideswell is a fine building, referred to as the "Cathedral of the Peak". It is reputedly one of the finest churches in Derbyshire, dominating the main street of this grand and ancient village. The building was started in 1320 and there have been many updates, including a full restoration in 1875.
This is a large church for a small village. It was associated with the Great Courts in the Royal Forest of the Peak during the reign of Edward I. The church has been maintained from the wealth and profits of wool and lead mining, preserving a lot of its character from the original commission by Sir John Foljambe
To the left of the nave, in front of the high alter is a brass dedicated to Bishop Robert Pursglove1504-1580. He was an early incumbent of this church, being promoted to Bishop of Guisborough, and later Suffragan Bishop of Hull. During Henry VIII reign he was appointed by Thomas Cromwell as an adviser in the dissolution of the monestaries. He also founded the grammar school at Tideswell and served as its master for some time.
My family line traces back to Tideswell in Derbyshire. With a name like Pursglove, there are not many blind alleys to contend with in family research. The issue I do have to bear is that the Parish and local records were destroyed in the Civil War, leaving no evidence for the period of about 50 years after the death of Robert Pursglove. For this reason, I am unable to link my family line to the family of this great and important man. Logic suggests that with so few Pursgloves in this area, the link should be sound.
There are a street, a school and a house named after the Bishop.

Bishop Pursglove of Tideswell
by Martin F H Hulbert. ISBN 0-90523305-0-4

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