Sterneana | Sterne in Coxwold

This entry was posted on 5th April 2012

Letter – 23 March 1760


The Right Honble the Earl Fauconberg



My Lord                                                                                                          Newborough 23d March 1760

I am extreamly Glad your Lordship hath thought proper to Nominate Mr Sterne to Coxwold living, of which I have acquainted Mrs: Wilkinson this Day, and got Mr Wilkinsons Nomination which I have Sent Inclosed; I Should be glad to know if I am to pay to Mrs Wilkinson this half Years Sallary due Lady Day 1760 —-

Nominate: Historically individuals and institutions not formally part of the Church of England had the right to nominate clergy to a particular living. Though many of these anomalies have been abolished some still remain, most notably among the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge and certain public schools, such as Winchester and Eton. There are even a few individuals still retaining this right. Lord Fauconberg’s nomination of Sterne, dated 28 March 1760, is in Sterne’s own hand-writing and an illustration of it may be found in L.P. Curtis’ edition of Sterne’s Letters, facing p. 102.

Mr Wilkinson: Richard Wilkinson, like William Raper (see above), a cleric without a university degree, had been made Sterne’s assistant curate at Sutton-on-the-Forest on 14 June 1740, where he stayed for approximately two years. On the same day he was made assistant curate at Sheriff Hutton, Farlington Chapel. He had been nominated to Coxwold by Lord Fauconberg on 23 October 1753 and had died there on 12 March 1760.

Lady Day: 25 March – one of the four quarter days on which rents and salaries were conventionally due. It appears the cleric of Coxwold was paid half-yearly rather than every three months, which would have required a degree of economic planning.