OTHER LOCAL DIGNITARIES
SILVESTER DE EVERTON
Silvester de Everton was born in the parish in the late-12th century and grew up at Everton Manor, what became known as Story Moat. He became Lord High Chancellor and Bishop of Carlisle from 1226 - 1253. Along with the archbishop of Canterbury he opposed the King taking over increasing amounts of church land and his freedom to elect bishops. He died from falling off his horse in 1255. Maybe it was on a ride along the Greensand Ridge?
A notable resident of Everton Manor was John Tiptoft (1427 – 70). His grandfather, Sir Payn de Tibetot acquired this estate and others in Cambridgeshire in the 14th century. His father was MP for Huntingdonshire between 1402 –5, became Speaker in Parliament and later MP for Somerset. John was born in Everton and became the second Baron Tiptoft on his father’s death. He was created 4th Earl of Worcester in 1449 and treasurer of England in 1452 when he was only 24. Between 1457 and 1461 he was an ambassador to Rome and went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. During this time he amassed a splendid library and was one of the first few Englishmen exposed to humanist thought. William Caxton, the printer and publisher, gave him high praise for ‘De Amicitia’, his translation of Cicero’s Latin. One wonders whether the library was in the manor house at Everton and whether he did his translations here, looking out over the local countryside?
He supported Edward IV’s regime and became Constable, an important military figure in the War of the Roses (1455 - 1487). During this period he earned the nickname ‘Butcher of England’ by condemning twenty Lancastrian nobles and yeomen to death by decapitation, dismemberment and impaling. From 1465 he was deputy lieutenant of Ireland and in 1467 dealt savagely with rebel earls and their followers in Kildare and Desmond. When Henry VI became King, Tiptoft was arrested, tried and executed on 18th October 1470 at Tower Hill, London, for high treason.
In 1604 James I held a conference at Hampton Court appointing 54 divines to make the new translation of the bible. One of them was Andrew Byng, the vicar of Everton, a classicist and poet. The King James Version was eventually published in 1611. (Godber, J. 'The History of Bedfordhsire', p.227; Houfe, S. (1995), 'Bedfordshire', Pimlico, p.74)
ADMIRAL JOHN BYNG
The Byngs had settled in Southill in 1693 and by the 1720s had become a distinguished naval family. Admiral John Byng, was Lord of Potton Manor in mid-18th century. His diary noted that “In the evening I often rode upon every part of Sandy Warren where the best air and some fine views are to be had - nor at the spats and racing of rabbits an unpleasant occupation.”
Following the French capturing Port Mahon in Menorca in 1756 he was sent to win it back. As he failed to relieve it, he was condemned to death and shot on board his own quarter-deck. Voltaire, the French novelist, wrote of this event, 14th March 1757, in Candide that it was ”pour encourager les autres“ – it was good to kill and admiral from time to time to encourage the others! His estate passed to his family, the Torringtons of Southill, who sold it to Samuel Whitbread in 1795.
Following the death of Rev. Barnabas Oley, the vicar of nearby Gransden, his will stipulated that his book 'The Six Whole Duetyes of Man' ought to be read by the local people.
Dated August the 15th 1698.
Given by Mr Barnabas Oley (late Vicar of Gransden) are to be lent to Six Poore people of the parish of Everton cum Tetworth for six months, and then to bee return'd into the vicars hands: that he mayn dispose of them to other six for the same time; and soe onward, from yeare to yeare under this form, r the like; Lent in the yeare 1691, these as followeth; to Randolph Sadler of Everton, one witt; his marke
Goody Whitbread of Everton, one witt.
John Steward, Clarke, one witt, his hand
Richard Barret of Tetworth, one witt, his hand.
(The Everton-cum-Tetworth Roundabout, February 1999, p.2)