Discovering the history of Barrow Upon Soar......

Humphrey Perkins - 1646-1718

Everyone who lives in Barrow upon Soar is familiar with the name of Humphrey Perkins and although he was born in the village he lived most of his life in Nottinghamshire.

There is an excellent history about the life of Humphrey Perkins written by Bernard Elliott and most of the information listed here is thanks to his research.

It was most unusual, in those days, the 17th century, for the son of a yeoman farmer to study at Cambridge and later to be ordained. He made a good marriage and had some influential friends which may have influenced his success in accumulating the wealth that enabled him to endow a school at Barrow upon Soar.

Humphrey Perkins was born in 1646, probably in December, he was baptised on December 20th 1646.

He attended school, probably in the village.In June 1665 he left the village to study at Trinity College.

Cambridge.He was awarded his degree in 1669.In March 1669 he was offered the curacy of the Widmerpool in Nottinghamshire.

He was confirmed with deacon's orders, by the Archbishop of York on March 7th 1669.

Within a short period of time Humphrey became engaged to Eleanor Rustat, the daughter of the Reverend John Rustat , Rector of Holme Pierrepont and Widmerpool.Keen to obtain a benefice Humphrey was ordained a priest, by the Bishop of Gloucester on February 27th 1670.

He married Eleanor on February 21st 1671 and the couple lived at the Rectory in Widmerpool.In 1676 Humphrey Perkins received hi first major appointment when the living at Toft-near-Newton, in Lincolnshire was conferred on him by Charles II. (Her may have owed this appointment to his wife's uncle, Tobias Rustat, also born in Barrow, who was Yeoman to the King's wardrobe).

The year 1680 proved to be a most beneficial year for Humphrey. In October, his father in law died, the patron of the church at Holme Pierrepont requested that Humphrey Perkins should be instituted there.

On November 2nd he was appointed an Extraordinary Chaplain to the King.Humphrey moved from Lincolnshire to Holme Peirrepont and lived there for the rest of his life, he would have enjoyed a fair measure of prosperity and comfort.October 1693, Humphrey's wife, Eleanor died. In June 1697 he married his second wife, Anne Chesswell.In 1712 Humphrey Perkins began to purchase land as part of an estate that was to maintain his wife upon his death.

Humphrey Perkins died at Holme Pierrepont and was buried there on December 10th 1718.In his will Humphrey left all his purchased property to his wife, she was to have this "during her natural life".

On her death the endowed property was to be left for the provision of a school at Barrow.

Humphrey's widow and executrix, Anne Perkins, carried out his wishes and probate was granted on January 9th 1719. However no action could be taken to implement the educational clauses as Anne needed the income from the endowment for several more years.The first Humphrey Perkins School at Barrow opened in October 1735.
The following is the inscription that Humphrey Perkins requested to be displayed within the school.

"THE REVEREND HUMPHREY PERKINS late Rector of Holme Pierepoint in the County of Nottingham and one of the Chaplains Extraordinary to his late Sacred Majestye King Charles the Second settled and endowed this Schoole with the Rents of certain lands and Tenements lying and being Ratcliffe upon Trent in the County of Nottingham as in and by his last Will and Testament plainly appears."

I have visited St Edmunds Church at Holme Pierrepont, the church building here would have been less than 50 years old when Humphrey Perkins became rector. It's very picturesque and is situated adjacent to Holme Pierrepont Hall. I can only assume that Humphrey Perkins is buried in the churchyard there but I could not find any memorial. I did locate a tombstone marking the burial place of Jonas Bettinson who was Humphrey's right hand man for many years.

Here are photographs of the church and church yard at Holme Pierrepont and the burial place of Jonas Bettinson. I can only surmise that Humphrey is buried close by.


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Last Updated. 15-April-2019 By admin