St Martins Church - Cheselbourne, Dorset

©Compiled by Michael Russell OPC for Dorchester & Fordington October 2012

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St Martin's Church - Cheselbourne
© Pictures Copyright Miss Steel and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence.

Rev. Richard BASKETT MA (1621-1684)

Richard BASKETT was baptised in St John the Baptists church at Hillingdon in Middlesex on 14th Aug 1621 the son of Peter Baskett who according to the Oxford alumni was a Gentleman from Chichester in Sussex. His father died when he was 14 in 1635 (Will proved 22nd Apr - Prob 11/167/387). Richard entered Magdelen College Oxford on 20th Oct 1637 where he was awarded his BA degree in 1641 and despite his young age made a Fellow of the College the following year. It would have been about this time that he entered the church but as far as I can see church records concerning him have not survived. He went on to gain his MA degree in 1643/4.

Following rumours of an Army plot to rescue the Earl of Stratford from the tower an oath to live and die for the true Protestant Religion and Parliament was passed by the Commons on 30th July 1641. The resolution passed stated that all those who refused to sign the Protestation Oath were unfit to hold office in church or state. New to the church Richard Baskett (probably only a curate at this date) would have escaped attention for some time but he must have refused to sign the declaration as in 1648 he was expelled by the Parliamentary visitors. He was restored however under Charles II in 1660 becoming Rector of Cheselbourne the following year. His memorial tablet (picture below) records his death on 24th February 1684 so he appears to have been Rector of Cheselbourne for 21 years. His Memorial stone has pride of place being set in the floor of the church at the end of the aisle immediately facing the alter just outside the chancel. The parish burial register records " March the 3rd Richard BASKETT Clerk Rector of Cheselbourn was buried in woolen as appears by a Certificate brought to me (Benjamin Derby Curate of the Parish aforsaid) March the 4th under the hand of Robert CLAVERING Rector of Stickland that Affidavit had been made before him that the said Richard BASKETT was so buried".
The Memorial Stone Reads:
Here lies all that was mortal of ye Reverend Divine Mr Richard Basket
once ye ornament & ye delight of St Marie Magdalen College Oxford
at last the Exemplary Rector of this Church & Parish whose pious soul took
flight from hence to Heaven upon ye 24th February 1684 In the same grave lies interred Mrs Ureth BASKETT
the most worthy wife of such an Excellent Husband
who being full of good works and days
departed this life the 27th September Anno Domini 1707

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