Rev. Richard BARTELOT MA. F.S.A (1868-1947)

Vicar of St Georges Church Fordington 1906-1936
Local historian, author and genealogist

©Compiled by Michael Russell OPC for Dorchester

Bartelot Arms

These arms are taken from the Visitation of England & Wales
& were provided by the Rev. Richard Bartelot in 1898


Rev. Richard Grosvenor Bartelot (1868 -1947) was the 6th son and 7th child of the Reverend Robert Leach Bartlett by his wife Christiana Adams and was born on 5th December 1868 at the rectory in Thurloxton in Somerset. His immediate parentage was:-

    His father Rev. Robert Leach Bartlett BA (1826-1912) , of Thurloxton Somerset was born at Swanage Rectory on 18th August 1826 and baptised there the same day. A graduate of Wadham College in Oxford where he matriculated on 27th June 1844 at the age of 17 he was awarded his BA in 1848, He joined the church being ordained a deacon on 23rd Dec1849 and a priest on 22nd Dec 1850. He served his curacy at Yetminster (1849-51); Corton Denham Somerset (1851-52) and Durweston(1852-58). He was Tutor to Lord Rivers (1858-59) before being appointed Rector of Thurloxton on 17th May 1859, and Vicar of Durston (united with Thurloxton) 17th Oct 1896. He died on 18th June 1912 leaving an estate of £5,247.

    His mother Christina Adams (b. 1834) was the only daughter and heir of John Adams of Swanage sometime surgeon to the east India Co by Christiana his wife the daughter and co-heir of Benjamin Oakley of eden Lodge Beckenham kent. Born at wareham 9th Sep and baptised there 10th Oct 1834. They married at Swanage on 24th April 1855.

    His grandfather the Rev Thomas Oldfield Bartlett (1788-1839) of Swanage was the son of Thomas Bartlett Recorder of wareham by Anne his wife the daughter and in her issue heir to John Vincent of yetminster Dorset JP. Born at Wareham 1st April baptised there 3rd April 1788; sometime attorney at law ; ordained a deacon 13th Oct, priest 22nd Dec 1816. he was appointed Rector of Swanage 10th March 1817-41; Rector of Sutton Montis Somerset 25th April 1820; Vicar of Worth Matravers 27th May 1826. He died at Swanage aged 52 on 27th Feb buried there 5th March 1841. He left a will dated 17th June 1839 which was proved 3rd March 1842 leaving an estate worth £2,012

    His grandmother Elizabeth LEACH (1790-1817) the daughter of Robert Leach of the Manor House Sutton Montis by Sarah his wife, the daughter of Hugh Godsell Francis of Ash and Tintinhull Somerset. She was born at Sutton Montis 4th may and baptised there 6th Aug 1790. They married at Sutton Montis 30th jan 1817 and she died there aged 59 on 12th april being buried 19th April 1850

Richard was to become a great genealogist and as a result of his studies into his own family history decided to change the spelling of his surname from 'Bartlett' to 'Bartelot'. On the 5th December 1898 he assumed the name by deed poll which was formally enrolled at the central office of the Supreme Court of Judicature. I have no wish to try and second guess his ancestry so I have confined myself to a few facts about his immediate family as shown above. He set out his pedigree in the Visitation of England and Wales a copy of which is available to view for members on Ancestry. He is said to have traced his family back to 1206 being descended from Adam Bartelot, of Sussex, and I believe a copy of his family tree is held in the Dorset History Centre. His pedigree can also be found in Burke's Landed Gentry 1952.


The Old Crewkerne Grammar School founded in 1499 was rebuilt in 1636 & now the Church Hall.
©Sarah Smith licenced for re-use under creative commons licence

Richard started his education at the Grammar school in Carter Street (now called Abbey street) in Crewkerne. Although founded in 1499 the school house was re-built in 1636 into the Jacobean style shown in the picture above. Among others Captain Thomas Hardy (Nelson's Flag Captain) was a pupil here. When Richard arrived at the age of 11 (on 13th April 1880) the headmaster Braithwaite Arnett had only been in residence for 4 years having previously been the head master of Truro Grammar School. Even so, in 1880, Briathwaite was still only 33 years old. In 1881 the school had a new deputy in the shape of Joseph James Rix a graduate of Queens College Cambridge who went on to become a classical and English tutor. Richard left in 1882 when the school had to move to larger premises at Mount Pleasant (on the A30 road leaving Crewkerne). The old school then became the Church Hall and still retains most of its former character. It clearly made a great impression upon him as in 1899 he wrote 'The History of Crewkerne School' which can be read via this link.

I have not so far discovered where he then went to further his education, but Richard matriculated at Oxford University when he was 17 on 16th October 1886. He entered Wadham College on 17th Oct 1887 where he was awarded a 3rd class in Modern History in 1889; a BA degree on 26th June 1890 and an MA on 20th May 1893.

A Career in the Church

In April 1891 he visited friends in Chester with his elder sister Margaret and then entered the church being ordained a deacon on 20th Dec 1891 and a priest at Salisbury on 28th May 1893. He served as curate of the Church of St. Candida (or St. Wite) and Holy Cross at Whitchurch Canonicorum, in Dorset from 1891 to 1892 and transcribed the parish registers (in index form) whilst there. He then moved to become the curate of St Marys church in Shrewton in Wiltshire (1893-95) and finally curate of the Church of St Edward King & Martyr at Corfe Castle in Dorset (1895-1900).

An entry in the Hampshire Advertiser for 8th Dec 1900 indicated that he was then appointed a missionary of the Society of St Andrew at Church House in Salisbury. By the time of the 1901 Census he was living in Burbage Wiltshire, still single and described as a  Mission Vicar for the Church of England. He remained a Missionary until the 1st January 1906 when he announced in the Times his appointment as Vicar of Fordington taking over from the Rev Sidney Boulter. He was collated by the Right Reverend John Wordsworth Bishop of Salisbury on 28th March that year.

Marriage & Children

Richard married when he was 38 to the 21 year old Evelyn Grace Pope (1886-1963) of Wrackleford house on 20th November 1907. She was the daughter of Alfred Pope a Gentleman (a Solicitor by trade) by his wife Elizabeth Mary Whiting. Born in June 1886 Evelyn was baptised at All Saints Church Dorchester on 24th April 1887. They were married in St Georges Church Fordington the ceremony being conducted by, the Bishop of Salisbury, the Archdeacon of Dorset and Canon Rowland Hill assisted by George Esau the curate.

    Alfred Pope (1842-1934 ) her father was the son of a Yeoman John Allen Pope and was born at Bradford Abbas in Dorset being baptised there on 3rd Oct 1842. He is probably best known as the driving force with his brothers behind the formation of the Eldridge Pope Brewery who produced their famous Dorchester Ales. In fact he was a well known Solicitor and he purchased Wrackleford House and its estate in 1888 and it has remained in possession of the family ever since. Link to estate website. This Georgian Mansion is situated 1 mile from the village on the high road to Dorchester pleasantly situated near the river Frome and a range of low hills. Evelyn was one of their 15 children and when her father died on 15th June 1934 he left an estate of £292,574.

Richard & Evelyn soon had a daughter born at Fordington on 11th Oct 1908 whom they named Romana Grosvenor (1908-1963) employing a nurse, a cook and a housemaid to help with their growing family. The following year on 29th December they had a son they called Richard St George (1912-1979) (announcing the birth in the Times newspaper) He became a Major in the British Army. Evelyn Grace (1915-1977) arrived on 12th April 1915 followed by Rosella Mary (1918) on 5th August 1918 and Valentine Elizabeth (1921-2006)

Local Historian, Genealogist and Author

He transcribed and published a number of Dorset parish registers, contributed to Somerset & Dorset Notes & Queries, wrote a number of books including:- the History of Crewkerne School (1899), The History of Fordington (Published by H.Ling of Dorchester in 1915), and, with A M Broadley, The Three Dorset Captains at Trafalgar (1906). A popular guide to Corfe Castle Ruins (1933). In 1924 he was made a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries . In due course these achievements need to be properly assessed and a much better account of his success as a local historian and genealogist provided.


Richard died at the age of 79 on 8th May 1947 at Vale House Timsbury Bath near Bristol leaving an estate of £3,587. After cremation and a requiem at Timsbury a memorial service was held in St George’s Church in Fordington and his ashes interred in the graveyard on Monday 12th May. His wife Evelyn died on 15th Oct 1963 at Southland Hospital Shoream-bt-Sea in Sussex.

Genealogical Notes:-

(1) Sources:- A2A: Census returns: Crockfords' Clerical Directory 1932: Hampshire Advertiser for 8th Dec 1900: OXA: National Probate Registry 1947: Parish Registers St Georges Church Fordington; Visitation of England and Wales Volume 7: The History of Crewkerne School: The Clergy List 1897

(2) Known Sources not yet accessed :- Obituary in Gentleman’s Magazine Volume 10 Number 3 September 1947; Burke's Landed Gentry 1952 Copy at National Atchives Ref D/RGB/11626-11674: Hilda Pope A Book Of Remembrance (Richard Grosvenor BARTLETT) (anon) |1919] who wrote Our Family Surname published 1944

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