William Potchett


William Potchett was born on April 8th 1775, the son of the Revd J Potchett,  perpetual curate of Easington in Holderness. He attended Louth Grammar School for two years before going to St John's College, Cambridge, where he became Fellow of his College after gaining his BA., and was awarded a M.A. degree in 1801.

After a spell as a tutor he was appointed Domestic Chaplain to the Bishop of London, who presented him to the Rectory of Felsted in Essex. In 1817 Revd Potchett was presented to the Vicarage  of Grantham on the death of Thomas Easton. In 1825 he succeeded the Revd Joseph Smith as Prebendary of Grantham North in Salisbury Cathedral. In 1826 he presented himself to the Rectory of Great Ponton and Denton, though he later resigned these to give to his sons.

William Potchett resigned in 1856, after 39 years as Vicar of Grantham, and went into retirement. He presented the Vicarage to the Revd George Maddison, the son of an old College friend.

During Revd Potchett's time as Vicar, the parishes of Spittlegate, Great Gonerby and Manthorpe, Londonthorpe and Braceby were removed from the Benefice of Grantham and constituted separate ecclestiastical districts.

William Potchett and his wife Margaret (nee Bowles) had at least nine children. The six eldest were baptised at Felsted, Essex and the three youngest (Mary Sophia, Charles and Elizabeth Louisa) were baptised at St Wulfram's, Grantham. One daughter, Charlotte Catherine died aged 13 years and is buried in St Wulfram's churchyard in the family vault. William's wife, Margaret, who died on 1st November 1848, is also buried at St Wulfram's, as was William Potchett himself who died on 13th November 1859. At his funeral in St Wulfram's Church, the pulpit and reading desk was hung with black drpaeries and a dumb peal was rung at the conclusion of the service. There is a memorial to the Potchetts on the wall to the left of the West Door of St Wulfram's (looking west), as well as the memorial in the churchyard.

Three of William Potchett's sons were clergymen at the time of their father's death: Brownlow (Rector of Great Ponton); George (Rector of Denton); and Charles (Vicar of Ryhall and Essendine).

According to his obituary, William Potchett was a man of decided opinions who was not afraid to speak his mind. His political creed was described as 'that of the old staunch Tory kind, and of the most unflinching description.' His theological principles 'were tinctured with an abhorrence of tenets of the Church of Rome.' Although people may not have agreed with his views, William Potchett was widely acknowledged as a man of great intellectual ability, in the pulpit and as a magistrate and political leader, and he always acted with integrity and was a generous contributor to the charities of the parish.


Potchett inside church