Rev Nicholas Chamberlaine (1662-1664)

Rev Nicholas Chamberlaine was born in 1632 in Whitnash, south of Leamington Spa, into the Chamberlaine family of Astley Castle near Nuneaton.
He was ordained on 4 July 1661 and appointed to the living at Leek Wootton on 16 September 1662. During his incumbency, he married Elizabeth Green of Wyken, who died in childbirth shortly afterwards.
On 4 February 1664, he was appointed Rector of Bedworth.  At the time he arrived, Bedworth had been without a Rector for some time, a predecessor Dudley Ryder had refused to sign the Oath of Allegiance and left in 1661 and his immediate predecessor, John Simcock had died in March 1662 after only two months in post.
Bedworth was a poor parish, populated by between 800-900 people, mostly agricultural labourers and in a state of political and religious unrest since the Civil War, Commonwealth and Restoration.
Nicholas Chamberlaine settled into the parish and, in time began to purchase property and eventually became the ‘Squire’.  He served the parish for over 51 years and on his death, with no family to inherit, his Will provided two schools, almshouses for the poor and apprenticeships; the Nicholas Chamberlaine Trusts continue to support the local community to this day.
On his death, he was brought back to Leek Wootton to be buried next to his wife.  The original East Window in the new church was given by The Bedford Society in memory of him – this was moved to the vestry in the remodelling of 1890 and later destroyed during World War II.  The plaque on the north wall [pictured] is a facsimile of an original stone in the floor of the nave, which is now covered by the dais.  It was unveiled in 2002.

Vicars of Leek Wootton
Predecessor: Richard Chamberlaine | Successor: Richard Chamberlaine