The list of Rectors of the Parish dating back to 1250 a.d. includes some outstanding
men, who lived and preached the 'good news of Christ', some of little talent, and
some best forgotten!
William Mompesson stands out for the depth of his faith, devotion and dedication
at the time of Eyam's greatest difficulty when he encouraged the village to withstand
the plague of 1665. Of his immediate predecessors. Thomas Stanley, another godly
man, was his equal in the plague onslaught. However, Shoreland Adams was loathed, for he had little time for Eyam.
Another 17th century cleric, Joseph Hunt, although engaged, married the local pub landlord's daughter while in a state of drunkenness. His wealthy fiancée sued him, so he claimed sanctuary in the church and lived there throughout his married life with his wife and nine children! Eventually he won the affection and respect of the villagers.
At the beginning of the 18th century, good quality lead was found in ample quantities on the church's lands. Clergy stipends rocketed to spending power in excess of £100,000 in today's values, and a number of 'gentry' held the living. In the mid-eighteenth century, Thomas Seward had many friends in high society, though many saw him as 'a consummate ass'! His wife found Eyam dull, for her life centred around Lichfield, and she didn't rest until her husband was able to take the family to live in the Bishop's palace there. They left the village to the care of the dedicated curate.
One Rector, the Honourable Robert Eden, on the way to becoming Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1854, was Chaplain to Queen Victoria. Cyril O'Ferrell (1930-34) was the brother of the Bishop of Madagascar.
A Wikitree has been created with more information about the Rectors of Eyam
by John Clifford