A Life at One Living

The Reverend Alfred Gatty came to be vicar of Ecclesfield in 1839. He had recently married Margaret Scott, whose father was the brother-in-law of the patron of the living.

He had been born in London in 1813, educated at Charterhouse, Eton and Oxford, and spent a short spell as a curate in the North Riding of Yorkshire before his appointment to Ecclesfield. During his incumbency he became a Gentleman, a parson who mixed easily with the rich and famous, such as the Fitzwilliams at Wentworth, yet was always actively concerned with the plight of the poor of the parish.

A notable scholar and with a keen sense of history, he published many lectures and sermons. His most notable works were: -

These were, for their time, very worthy and accurate, but today they seem preoccupied with the history of the church and with the ancestry of the minor gentry and well-to-do families of the area. (most of whom subscribed to both books)

In 1858, Gatty embarked upon a restoration scheme on the fabric of the church. This resulted in the return of the interior to its original form, and gained greater accommodation for the organ, choir and Sunday schools. The work cost 420 and in addition "it was decided to warm the church by means of hot-water apparatus." This involved the laying of over 1,200 feet of piping and cost an additional 199.

A further restoration and refurbishment was carried out by the Feoffees in 1860, after one of the roof pinnacles fell through the chancel roof during a storm.

He and his wife, Margaret Gatty had 10 children, one of whom Juliana was to carry on in her mother's footsteps and become a famous authoress.


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