Vicars

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Revd. Spencer Compton Hamilton Spencer-Smith (1842-1911)

Vicar 1877–1911
Spencer was born on 22 June 1842 at Brooklands, Hampshire. He was the son of Sir Spencer Smith of Brooklands (1806-1882) and his wife Lady Frances Anne Smith nee Seymour (1807-1897).

Spencer attended Bailliol College, Oxford. His Master of Arts degree was conferred on 3 June 1869.1 He was ordained as a deacon in 1869 and as a priest in June 1870.2

Spencer was appointed Curate of Kingston St James in 1871 and was appointed Vicar in 1877, when Kingston became a parish in its own right, a position he held until his death.

Spencer married Mary Baillie-Hamilton (1850-1923) at St Pauls, Knightsbridge on 18 July 1872. Mary was the eldest daughter of Vice Admiral Cospatrick Baillie Hamilton (1817-1892). Spencer and Mary had three children who grew up at Kingston:

  • Daughter Margaret Cecily Spencer-Smith (1874-1965), known as Cecily, was born at Ore, Hastings, Sussex on 22 November 1874. She married Professor John Swinnerton Phillimore (1873-1926) of Glasgow University at Westminster Abbey on 26 July 1900. They had two children, Cynthia born 1901 and John born 1903. Cecily was the author of three Christian-themed novels: By an Unknown Disciple (1919), Paul the Jew (1927), and Paul the Christian (1930). Cecily emigrated to South Africa in the mid-thirties. She died at Johannesburg, South Africa on 6 August 1965 aged 90.
  • Son Drummond Cospatrick Baillie-Hamilton Smith (1876-1928) was born at Kingston on 4 November 1876. He became a Lieutenant Colonel, was awarded an O.B.E. in King George V’s 1923 birthday honours and later received a Knighthood. He married New Zealand-born Roma Hope (1890-1918) in 1915 and they had a son Thomas born 1917. Sadly Roma died when Thomas was just 13 months old. Drummond married widow Mary Aurora Boileau nee Tudor (1874-1958) in 1923. Drummond died 18 December 1955 aged 79.
  • Son Michael Seymour Spencer-Smith (1881-1928) was born at Kingston on 6 July 1881. He married Evelyn Penelope Delme-Radcliffe (1883-1974) at Holy Trinity, Kensington on 25 July 1907 and they had three children, Beatrice born 1909, Peter born 1912 and Jeremy born 1917. Michael became a Director of the Bank of England in 1920. He was also Vice-Chairman of Anglo-International Bank. On the morning of 20 January 1928 the car Michael was driving hit another car in foggy conditions at a crossroads near Abington and his car overturned, pinning him and his son Peter underneath. Michael, aged 46, was taken to Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge where he died shortly afterwards. Son Peter, 14 suffered severe injuries. A Memorial Service was held at St. Helen’s Church, Bishopsgate on 27 January 1928.3 Michael’s estate was valued at £63,525.

At the time of the 1891 census, the family employed four servants and a coachman.

Spencer died on 11 May 1911 at 54 Egerton Crescent, Kensington aged 68. He was buried at Kingston St. James (new church). Probate was granted to his son Michael. His estate was valued at £28,340 16s 5d. That equated to £3.36 million in today’s money.4 His widow Mary died at 54 Egerton Crescent on 22 January 1923 aged 73.


Revd. Arthur Wilson Napier (1871-1955)

Vicar 1911–1916
Arthur was born on 13 January 1871 at Devonport, Devon. He was the fifth son of Vice Admiral Gerard John Napier (1819-1901) and his wife Ella Louisa Napier nee Wilson (1834-1908). He attended Keble College, Oxford. He was ordained as a deacon at Winchester Cathedral on 21 December 1894 and appointed to Forton, Gosport5. His Masters degree was conferred in May 1898.6

In April 1903, Arthur was appointed as Rector of Deane, Hampshire.7 Arthur married Isabel Margaret Gilchrist (1884-1957), 14 years his junior, at Christ Church, Lancaster Gate, Paddington on 1 July 1909. At the time of the 1901 census, Arthur and Isabel employed three servants.

Arthur became Vicar of Kingson St. James late in 1911. The following year, Isabel gave birth to their first child Lennox William Napier (1912-2001), who became a submarine commander. Their second son John Morrilyon Napier (1915-1941), also born at Kingston, was awarded the Military Cross, but sadly was killed in action in Libya during World War Two.

After leaving Kingston, Arthur and Isabel had a daughter Elisabeth Napier (1918-2000) born at Yeovil, Somerset

By 1927, Arthur and Isabel were living at Campden House, a substantial property in Burley, Hampshire.8

Arthur retired to Boldre near Lymington, Hampshire. He died on 27 February 1955 aged 84 and outlived his eight siblings. Isabel remained at the property and died just over two years later on 12 April 1957 aged 72.


Revd. Raymond Alured Bond (1873-1941)

Vicar 1916–1927
Raymond was the son of Nathaniel Bond of Creech and Lady Selina Jane Bond neé Scott, daughter of John Scott, Third Earl of Eldon. He was educated at Eton and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He married Mildred Glyn (1874-1963) at Wincanton, Somerset on 4 October 1899. Raymond and Mildred had two children Ashley Raymond Bond (1902-1975) and Margaret Selina Bond (1908-1984). Immediately prior to arriving at Kingston, Raymond had been Rector at Blandford Forum, Dorset. Raymond left Kingston in 1927 to become Vicar at Iwerne Minster, Dorset. He died in 1941.


Revd. Ben Darcey Beeley (1875-1958)

Vicar 1928-1929
Married to second wife Eileen. Left to become Rector at Foot’s Cray, Sidcup, Kent. Subsequently moved to Kincardine O’Neil.


Revd. George Cecil Augustus Smith (1877-1964)

Vicar 1929–1931
Died 29 February 1964


Revd. Frederick Seymour Horan (1870-1956)

Vicar 1932–1938
Seymour died in 1956

See the Horan Family page for more information


Revd. Malcolm de Burgh Scott (1884-1963)

Vicar 1938–1945
His wife was Mildred Mary Amande Scott nee McCreery (1875-1959)


Revd. Canon John Hartforth Jaques (1870-1948)

1925_canon_j_h_jaques
Vicar 1945–1947


Revd. William Henry Ryder-Jones (1916-1995)

Vicar 1948–1949
Came to Kingston from Paignton where ha had been Assistant Priest.


Revd. Benjamin Ewart Payne (1893-1956)

Vicar 1950–1956
Benjamin married Ruth Thomasine Davies (1893-1973). Their daughter Helena Kenwyn Payne (1924-2011) married Barry Stuart Candy (1922-2004) , son of Walter Emanuel Candy (1873-1968)
Died 1956 – buried at Worth Matravers


Revd. A Caulfield-Browne

Vicar 1957–1960


Revd. Harry James Lloyd

Vicar 1960–1983
Married Maidie in 1945 and had two sons Adrian and Christopher. Subsequently moved to Presteigne, Powys. Now retired.


Revd. John Stuart

Vicar 1984–1990


Revd. Robert Newman Kingsley Watton (1945-2004)

rob watton
Vicar 1991–2003
Married Louise in 1982 and had three daughters. Died 4 Aug 2004 aged 59 – buried at Kingston St. James (new church).


In the latter part of 2003, the Bishop of Salisbury suspended the living of Kingston. The benefice is now combined with Langton Matravers and Worth Matravers


Revd. Judith Malins

judith malins cropped
Priest-in-charge 2004–2010
Married to Ken with two sons David and Jonathan, and a daughter Rebecca.
Moved to Redhill, Wrington, Somerset as Assistant Priest. Retired 21 April 2014.


Revd. Gaynor Burrett

revd gaynor burrett
Priest-in-charge 2011–2017
Moved to Grosmont, Monmouthshire, Wales as Priest-in-Charge.


Revd. James J Mercer

Assistant Priest 2018-


If you have any further information, memories, photographs etc. about any of the clergy who have served at Kingston then please contact us.

Page last updated: 6 January 2022

  1. Oxford University Herald 5 Jun 1869 []
  2. Coventry Standard 17 Jun 1870 []
  3. Yorkshire Post 28 Jan 1928 []
  4. Bank of England Inflation Calculator accessed 21 Apr 2020 []
  5. Portsmouth Evening News 24 Dec 1894 []
  6. Oxford Times, 4 Jun 1898 []
  7. Bristol Times and Mirror 01.05.1902 []
  8. Kellys Directory 1927 []

2004: Mourners fill church in tribute to popular priest

Hundreds of mourners packed into Kingston church to say their final farewells to a popular parish priest.

The Rev Robert Watton died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 59 just months after taking early retirement.

His eldest daughter Hannah, 20, said: “The church was full and people were standing out in the rain. We were really happy lots of people came as it makes you realise how much of an effect he had.”

Mr Watton spent 13 years as rector of the Parishes of the Purbeck Hills and was chairman of governors for St George’s First School at Langton Matravers. Up to 100 paintings by the school’s children, aged two to eight, were placed on display inside St James’s Church for his funeral. He retired for health reasons in October 2003 and at his new home near Exeter he had been enjoying walks on Dartmoor.

Churchwarden Don Pratt, who worked with Mr Watton for 11 years, said: “The news came as a shock, especially as Robert had been enjoying his retirement. Everyone was saddened and all send their condolences to Robert’s family, including his daughters Hannah, Jess, Susie and grandson Joshua. Robert was a faithful priest and touched the hearts of many by his care and ministry at baptisms, weddings and funerals. He will be long remembered in the villages, and with tourists through the popular summer services he developed at St Aldhelm’s Chapel.”

His funeral service was conducted by long-standing friends Canon Humphry York and Father Kenneth Noakes.

Bournemouth Echo, Thursday 19 August 2004

2004: Obituary: Reverend Robert N K WATTON

WATTON Revd ROBERT N K. Former Rector of Langton Matravers, Worth and Kingston. Died suddenly at home on 4th August 2004. Beloved Dad to Hannah, Jess, Susie and Grandad to Joshua. The Funeral will be held at St James Church, Kingston on 16th August at 2pm. A jubilant Service at Robert’s request, black is not necessary. Family flowers only please but donations for ‘Medecins Sans Frontieres UK’ may be sent to James Smith Funeral Directors, 60a Kings Road, Swanage. BH19 1HR. Tel 01929 422445.

Bournemouth Daily Echo, 11 August 2004

1994: Church re-organ-ised

A Purbeck church is to re-open to the public after a major two-year restoration of its organ.

A special concert to mark the completion of the £30,000 plus restoration is being held at St. James, Kingston, on Wednesday. This will feature internationally-renowned organist Peter Hurford.

Kingston rector the Rev. Robert Watton said: “For two years the church has virtually been unusable during the restoration.”

The organ has a noted tonal design and high quality pipework some of which is attributed to the Frenchman, Cavaille-Coll. During the restoration parts of the organ filled much of the church. Services were held in the choir stalls.

The organ was installed when St. James church was built in the 1870s. The church was the work of architect George Street, who designed London’s law courts. It has been descibed as having “the perfect Victorian church interior”. The third Earl of Eldon is said to have spared no expense in the building of the church in local stone. It may have been constructed as a memorial to the first earl, John Scott, who was Lord Chancellor for 25 years.

Tickets for Wednesday evening’s recital, which will include works by Bach, Mendelssohn, Franck and Bournemouth composer Percy Whitlock, are £5. The concert strarts at 8pm.