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Amesbury Parish Church
The Abbey Church of St Mary and St Melor
Amesbury Vicars in the 19th Century

Genealogy records allow us to look at the lives of several of the ‘incumbents’ of the parish church from the 19th century onwards.


Fulwar William Fowle


Fulwar (pronounced ‘Fuller’) William Fowle was the vicar of St Mary & St Melor church for 59 years  between 1817 and 1876.  He was born on 15 April 1791 in Kintbury, Berkshire and christened on 20 April 1791; his parents were Fulwar Craven Fowle and Elizabeth Lloyd.


There is record of a marriage on 27 Mar 1819 between Fulwar William Fowle and Emily Hallett in Kintbury, Berkshire, and another shows her death on 16 January 1833 aged 43. 


There is then a record of a marriage between Fulwar William Fowle and Ann Fawcett Moor on 9 December 1833 at Box, Wiltshire.  Ann may have been related to Rev Richard Watson Moor of Sandford Orcas, Dorset. 


??There is record of another daughter Elizabeth Mary christened on 3 July 1823 and of a daughter Ellen who died 10 June 1833 (a twin to Edmund perhaps). ??


Fulwar William’s son Fulwar Craven Fowle returned to Amesbury as a JP for Wiltshire when he retired from the Indian Civil Service, probably living in what is now the Camelot Nursing Home complex in the High Street. In the 1901 census he lived at ‘Comilla’ on the High Street, next to Kent House.  Comilla is a district in Bengal, where Fulwar Craven Fowle was a Civil Servant.


In 1861 Edmund Fowle was the curate of Allington and the assistant curate of Amesbury.  He was living in the household of the widow Mary Turner (a blacksmith) and family.  This may have been Salisbury Street as either side was a grocer and a shoemaker. 

The Fowles and the Austens.


Sir Francis William Austen was a brother of the novelist Jane Austen. Their sister Cassandra was engaged to Thomas Fowle (1765-1797) who was the brother of Fulwar Craven Fowle (1764-1840).

Thomas Fowle died in the West Indies. 


Fulwar Craven Fowle married Elizabeth Lloyd and Jane Austen’s brother (James Austen) married Elizabeth Lloyd’s sister, Mary Lloyd.

1841 - Church Street, Amesbury


Fulwar W. Fowle born about 1791, a Cleric, lived with his wife, Ann Fowle born about 1806, and their children:  Emily Fowle born about 1821, Charles Fowle born about 1826, Thomas Fowle born about 1828 in Wiltshire, Frederick Fowle born about 1830 in Wiltshire, Francis Caroline Fowle born about 1832 in Wiltshire and Edmund Fowle born about 1833 in Wiltshire. 

Also living with them were their servants;   

Caroline Harris born about 1821 in Wiltshire

?Diana Harris born about 1826 in Wiltshire

Margaret Mundy born about 1825 in Wiltshire.

1851 - Amesbury, no address given


Fulwar William Fowle, born about 1792 in Dean, Hampshire, the Perpetual Curate of Amesbury 

Ann Fawcett Fowle, his wife, born about 1804 in Simonstone, Yorkshire      

Emily T Fowle, daughter, born about 1820 in Brightwaltham, Berkshire, Annuitant of Amesbury   

Frances C Fowle, daughter, born about 1832 in Amesbury     

Edmund Fowle, son, born about 1833 in Amesbury

Charlotte Pickford, House servant, born about 1826 in Salisbury     

Fanny Burch, House servant, born about 1830 in Amesbury   

Jane Cooper, House servant, born about 1833 in Amesbury        

Jane Wheeler, House servant, born about 1832 in Amesbury 


1861 - Vicarage, Amesbury


Rev. Fulwar W Fowle, Head, born about 1792 in Dean, Hampshire, Incumbent of Amesbury    

Ann F Fowle, Wife, born about 1801 in Sedbergh, Yorkshire

Fulwar C Fowle, son, born about 1812 in Kintbury, Berkshire, who was in the East India Civil Service (Bengal Collector)   

Charlotte M Fowle, daughter in law, born about 1829 in Bengal, Bengal Collector's wife    

Frances C Fowle, Incumbent’s daughter, born about 1832 in Amesbury, Incumbent's daughter    

Emily C Fowle, grand daughter, born about 1849 in Bengal, F.C. Fowle's daughter    

Fulwar C Fowle, grandson, born about 1851 in Bengal, Scholar  

Frederick T T Fowle, grandson, born about 1854 in Bengal, Scholar   

William P Fowle, grandson, born about 1859 in Bengal.    


Charlotte Foot, House servant, born about 1829 in Salisbury     

Charlotte Holmes, House servant, born about 1817 in Tunbridge, Kent     

Emma Marshall, House servant, born about 1837in Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire    

Charity Harding, House servant, born about 1846 in Netheravon, Wiltshire     

Harriet Jenneway, House servant, born about 1850 in Amesbury.     

1871 - Church Street, Amesbury


Fulwar W Fowle, Head, born about 1792 in Dean, Hampshire, Vicar of Amesbury    

Ann F Fowle, Wife, born about 1801 in Simonton, Yorkshire    

Agnes M Dewland, servant, born about 1842 in Hinton Martell, Dorset, Domestic Cook    

Charlotte Marlow, servant, born about 1854 in Damerham, Wiltshire, Parlour Maid


Fulwar’s wife Ann Fawcett Fowle died aged 77 in 1875 and Fulwar William Fowle died aged 85 on 28 June 1876. 


Arthur Whitmarsh Phelps


Arthur Phelps was the vicar of Compton Chamberlayne before coming to Amesbury, where he was the vicar from 1876 to 1901.  I believe he was the son of John Phelps, at one time vicar of Little Langford. 


Arthur Whitmarsh Phelps married Anne Ward Jackson in 1874 in Clifton, Bristol.    


There is record of an Anne Ward Jackson (born in Stockton in 1849) living at 2 Royal Park, Allerton Lea, Clifton, Bristol in 1871.  She was the daughter of Edwin Ward Jackson, a county magistrate in Clifton at that time.  Anne Ward Phelps died aged 29 in 1879, five years later.  The 8th bell (tenor) in the St Mary and St Melor bell tower is dedicated to her.

1881 - Church Street, Amesbury


Arthur W. Phelps, Head, Widower, born about 1835 in Wilton, Wiltshire, Vicar of Amesbury M.A Oxford 

Emily J. Ridout, servant, single, born about 1859 in Netherhampton, Wiltshire, Housemaid domestic


[George Spreadbury the Sexton, lived next door]. 


1891 - Church Street, Amesbury


Arthur W. Phelps, Head, Widower, born about 1835 in Wilton, Wiltshire, Vicar of Amesbury  

Emily J. Ridout, servant, single, born about 1859 in Netherhampton, Wiltshire, Housekeeper domestic servant

Bessie Keel, servant, single, born about 1869 in Charlton All Saints, Wiltshire, Housemaid domestic servant

George Ridout, visitor, married, born about 1826 in Enford, Wiltshire, Retired Gardener

Sarah Ridout, visitor, married, born about 1830 in Collingbourne Ducis, Wiltshire, Monthly Sick Nurse

1901 - The Vicarage, Church Street, Amesbury


Arthur W Phelps, Head, Widower, born about 1835 in Wilton, Wiltshire, Head, Clerk in Holy Orders (Clergy)  

Ellen F Fudge, servant, single, born about 1885 in Greenwich, Kent.


[George and Sarah Ridout, the visitors in 1891, now lived next door]  


Arthur Whitmarsh Phelps died aged 67 in 1902


1911 – The Vicarage, Church Street, Amesbury, Wilts


Francis Windley aged 46, Clerk in Holy Orders, born in Nottingham.  He had been married for 18 years.

Ethel Justice Windley, aged 49, born in Kensington.

Irene S J Windley (daughter) aged 17, single, born in Vigbury, Bechuanaland, South Africa, British ‘by parentage’.

F A Joyce Windley (daughter) aged 10, born in Bemerton, Wilts.

Winifred Carlisle Webb (sister-in-law) aged 47, born in Kensington.

George Bennett (Servant), married for 24 years, aged 41, Indoor Man-Servant (Domestic). Born at sea (Resident).

Mary Harding (Cook), aged 26 and single, born in Wherwell, Hampshire.

Alice Jacobs (Domestic Housemaid), aged 17 and single, born in Preshute, Wiltshire.


The Vicarage is described as having 19 rooms.


It would appear the Windleys had spent time in Africa as Missionaries as Irene was born in South Africa.


Francis was with the YMCA Corp as a Reverend in WWI; joining 23 Apr 17 and serving in France.  Francis Clarence Windley died in 1938.


Roy Percival Beckingham was vicar between 1937 and 1955


The son of a Merchant’s agent in Cheltenham, born in 1896


The September 1939 electoral return shows the following:

The Vicarage, Amesbury:

Roy P Beckingham born 12 Oct 1896, married – a clerk in Holy Orders

Catharine E Douglas born 21 Apr 1874, a widow – living on Private Means

Annie L Truckle born 15 Mar 1884, single – Housekeeper


Roy Beckingham died 14 Apr 1955 in Salisbury Infirmary, the predecessor to Salisbury District Hospital.


Sources for this information include the databases of, and the National Archives and are used for educational purposes and not for profit.  I am indebted to Ronald Dunning (great-great-great-great-grandson of (Sir) Francis William Austen, a brother of the novelist Jane Austen) for information regarding the Fowles connection to Jane Austen’s family. 

- Les Moody 

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