||Bath - 29th September, 2004
I wonder if you could help me at all? I am trying to research the origins of one Reverend John Vane, mentioned here on one of your pages:
I have also found a record for him at the Somerset Archive :
http://www.somerset.gov.uk/archives/dservea/ (Ref No DD\BR\lch/14)
regarding a house in Bridgwater, which states "Probate of will of the Rev. John Vane, rector of Wrington and Burrington, 1870, proved 1871 (natural son of 1st Duke of Cleveland, Chaplain in Ordinary to William IV and Queen Victoria)."
It seems to me, given the Wrington connection, that these are likely one and the same Rev John Vane. Wrington, as you no doubt know, was once in the possession of William Pulteney, 1st Earl of Bath and Viscount Pulteney of Wrington, and from his family, it descended down via the Vane family (Anne Pulteney married Charles Fitzroy, and their daughter Grace married Henry Vane 3rd Baron Barnard).
The thing is, my research which I have previously done for the Vane family (especially where it concerns Bathwick - the Pulteney Estates), I have never uncovered this 'John Vane', Reverend or otherwise. There are also some odd 'family name changes' around that time, with the bulk of the Vane family in the Ducal line changing their surnames to Powlett, in honour of their mother for some reason - my hunch at the moment is that this is to do with the fact that William Harry Vane (1st Duke of Cleveland) remarried after his first wife's death, and his second marriage may not have been
'approved of' by his or his first wife's mothers (these formidable ladies were sisters, you see!)
Now, I have nothing to go on, but the information I've found at Somerset Archive - namely, that there IS a Rev John Vane, and that he was rector of Wrington & Burrington. But I have no knowledge of the dates involved, or where he actually lived, let alone any chance to discover his heritage or his own family ties.
Therefore, I would be most grateful and extremely interested, if either you, or any of your fine website's visitors might be able to point me in the right direction as to how to track him down, or simply pass me their own theories as to what might have been.
If indeed my hunch was correct - that John Vane was the 'unknown' fourth son of the 1st Duke of Cleveland - then I find the situation quite amazing.
Because the 4th Duke died without issue, and the family was technically 'extinct', stupendously vast areas of land were broken up for sale, or split between a number of 'lesser' family heirs. Although it seems John Vane died in 1870 or thereabouts and the 4th Duke survived until 1891, if John's family (assuming he had one) had proven their right to inherit, they would've stood to gain pretty much all of Bathwick, Wrington, Battle Abbey, Raby Castle, Barnard Castle, and parts of Bedale, Northallerton, Smeaton, Darlington, and hundreds of other parcels of land around this country and America.
So who was 'Rev John Vane'? - particularly, who was his mother, and how come he doesn't exist in the 'official' records of the Vane line (that I can find, anyway)? Did he have a family, and did they contest their right to inherit at the time, as did one Henry De Vere Vane (with some success)?
I'd love to know more about this man and his history!
If you can help in any way, I'd be most appreciative. I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.
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Wrington - Thursday, September 30, 2004
Subject: Re: Wrington History - Rev John Vane
Thank you for your most interesting inquiry. Yes, I'm sure they are one and the same. If you click on the All Saints' icon on the village website Homepage, and then on the 'past rectors' icon, you will see his likeness which hangs, as do all the others shown, in the vestry (where I photographed them !).
At the top of that page you will see a 'list of past rectors' icon which places his dates precisely. Then, again from the All Saints' home page, click on Hugh Smith's 'history of All Saints' and on the second page you'll find an apochryphal reference to his saving of the rood screen.
A little further down there's reference to his having given the present pulpit. On the next page, there's a fair bit about his time as rector - and chaplain of the House of Commons !
Incidentally, if you go to the history section index of the website (icon on Homepage) you'll see there's something about the sale of the estate in 1895 in the form of reproductions of the sale prospectus.
I will ask Hugh Smith's wife, Joyce, if there's anything more known about rector Vane, especially his origins ! If so, I'll contact you again.