Clerical continuity maintained for nearly a century


Photo by Whitty History Book

Revd John Linton (1721-1782)

(Clerical continuity maintained for nearly a century)

Three Lintons, served Freiston/Butterwick as vicar continuously from 1711 to 1800.

In 1711 Revd John Linton (1685-1773) became vicar of Butterwick and resided at Whiteloaf Hall, Freiston.  He was vicar for 62 years (1711-1773).  “A vigilant and faithful minister of this parish” says the memorial tablet in Freiston Church. 

John was educated at Coxwold Public School in Yorkshire and attended Sussex College, Cambridge.  He was married to Elizabeth Wood (1683-1749) and they had three children, John, Margaret and Elizabeth.

He was succeeded by his eldest son, another John (1721-1782) who had served his father as curate and was also a Lecturer in Boston.    Like his father he went to Coxwold School in Yorkshire then got a BA from Sydney Sussex College, Cambridge in 1743 and a MA in 1747. 

During this John’s vicariate (1773-1782), the ecclesiastical parishes of Freiston and Butterwick were linked in 1751, as they so remain.  He was married to Elizabeth Boulton (1724-1794) and they had nine children. 

On his death, the joint livings were taken over by his brother Henry (1752-1841), who two years later, also became Rector of Leverton.  Henry had a brilliant Oxford career, becoming successively dean, bursar and vice-president of Magdalen College. He left Lincolnshire in 1800 for a Wiltshire parish.

Another John Linton (1751-1834) bought Freiston Priory around 1782.  John was married to Isabella Trollope (1765-1842) and they had a number of children including Susanna (1795-1883) who was born at Freiston Priory.  Susanna also went on to marry a clergyman and lived at Sausthorpe in Lincolnshire.  John was an advanced and progressive agriculturist and one of the earliest local potato growers, although he soon gave this up. 

  • The following is an extract from a Lincolnshire Farmer’s Diary of 1803.  It is taken from Miss Disbrowe’s Leake Kalendar of 1915.  “Potatoes are not commonly cuyltivated in Lincolnshire.  Mr Linton of Freiston has grown them, and although they are a valuable crop, the uncertainty of the sale and the extraordinary attention they need, induced him to give them up”.  It also says that a farmer at Ranby had fed his cattle on them with great success.  Another great change has since taken place!  (taken from Freiston with Butterwick by Rev J R Trotter)

He was also active in foreshore reclamation.  In 1815, the year of Waterloo, John moved to Stirtloe House near Buckden in Huntingdonshire, earlier the home of Lancelot (Capability) Brown, the landscape gardener.

Compiled by J Barnes with information from The Whitty Family Tree and an article in the Lincolnshire Echo in 1978 and Freiston with Butterwick – by The Rev J R Trotter
(June 2015)