Thomas Wele, Vicar 1505-21
Wele was a Benedictine friar who became vicar in 1505. His will reveals his desire to be buried ‘in the chauncell of the parish church of Nuneaton’ (pictured right). This was an unusual request suggesting a real affection for parish and people. We don’t know if it was carried out.
Robert Whittington 1521-1553
Whittington was probably born in Lichfield and studied there. He became a distinguished teacher of Latin Grammar writing a standard textbook for use in Grammar schools and tutoring some members of the royal family. But he was then involved in scandal. He was rarely seen in the parish but admitted to living at the St. Nicolas vicarage (and elsewhere) with one Margery Wade. For this he was fined.
Nicholas Cartwright 1553-58
Cartwright was a distinguished Oxford Scholar who took part in national debates in 1549 over the future religious direction of the country, taking the Protestant side. However, after the restoration of Roman Catholicism under Queen Mary in 1553, Cartwright renounced his Protestant beliefs and seems to have remained vicar of St. Nicolas until 1558.
John Inett 1678-87
Another distinguished scholar, Inett so impressed Sir Roger Newdigate of Arbury Hall when he heard him preach in London that Newdigate wrote out the sermon on ten pieces of foolscap paper and made him Chaplain at the Hall. Inett’s A Guide to the devout Christian (published 1688) may well have been written while he was vicar of St. Nicolas.
John Foxcroft 1700-1721
Thomas Foxcroft 1700-1721 was the subject of a complaint made in an anonymous letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury alleging that Foxcroft did little work himself in the parish and underpaid his curate.
R. Bruce Stopford 1803-1845
Stopford was notorious for being an absentee vicar, that is one who took the income from the living and left an over-worked curate to look after the parish. For almost the same period of time he was Rector of Barton Seagrave in Northamptonshire where there is a plaque in his honour. He was also a Royal Chaplain. But St. Nicolas only received the benefit of his presence intermittently, for example when he preached the occasional charity sermon.
Robert Savage 1845-1871 (Pictured right)
Savage transformed the parish with his building of church schools, campaigns for better public health, support of the poor ribbon weavers, interest in foreign missionary work and major alterations to the church building.