Rev Frederick Leigh Colvile (1842-1880)

Rev Colvile’s mother, Mary, was the sister of Chandos, 1st Baron Leigh of Stoneleigh, and he was destined for the role of Vicar of Leek Wootton before he had taken holy orders. Letters between his father and Rev Leopold Dryden show negotiations to purchase fixtures and fittings for the Vicarage as early as 1838. Rev Colvile was ordained priest in 1841, having served a year’s Curacy at Ashow, under his cousin, Rev Charles Twisleton.
His diary, Annals of a Country Clergyman (WCRO Ref: CR2482), record his life in Leek Wootton from 1842-62. His first act in post was to baptise a new-born baby, who died in his arms.
During his incumbency Rev Colvile made many improvements to the church and, on occasion, marshalled the support of his family, both the Leigh and Colvile sides in his new living. His cousin, Anne Amelia Colvile, gave the font with oak lid in 1845, and another cousin, Charles Robert Colvile, had the Duchess Dudley plate (over 200 years old at this time) restored. A newspaper article from 1890 about the church also states that Anne Amelia’s sister, Constance Harriett, funded four stained glass windows in the north and south walls in 1845 and 1846, but these were destroyed during World War II. (Anne Amelia and Constance Harriett were the daughters of Rev Colvile’s father’s eldest brother, Sir Charles Colvile of Duffield Hall, Derbyshire, who had died when his daughters were only 10 and 6. Although their elder brother would have inherited the bulk of his father’s estate, they were independently wealthy young women in the early 1840s)
As well as his clerical duties to the parish, Rev Colvile was a keen historian and he wrote and had published, Stoneleigh Abbey, from its foundation to the present time (1850), The Worthies of Warwickshire, who lived between 1500 and 1800 (1869) and left a manuscript history of Leek Wootton Church, which is the foundation of all subsequent village histories.
During his 38-year incumbency, Rev Colvile married Caroline Mary Mansel and had 5 children.
He retired to Eastbourne in 1880 and died in Christchurch, Hampshire, aged 67. He is buried in the churchyard of All Saints’, outside the door to the right of the path.

Vicars of Leek Wootton
Predecessor: Leopold Erasmus Dryden | Successor: Francis Grenville Cholmondeley