Thomas Pestell: the Vicar of Packington

Thomas Pestell: the Vicar of Packington

A different vicar was seen in Holy Rood Church, Packington on 21st June. Here he is:               

Doesn't look quite like you'd expect? Well, he was vicar a long time ago: 1644-1647 and 1662-1690.

Briefly, the story of Thomas Pestell is as follows: Pestell’s father, also called Thomas Pestell had been Vicar of Packington before resigning the post to his son in 1644.  Pestell senior had had a troubled incumbency at Packington, quarreling and fighting with parishioners and being hauled before the church authorities.

Both father and son openly supported the Royalist cause and when the Parliamentarians gained control of this part of Leicestershire things were bound to go badly for them.  In April 1646 just over a month after Ashby Castle surrendered, father and son were summoned by the County Commissioners and accused of various things including employing “scandalous curates” and being “great libertines”.  Pestell had been serving as chaplain to Lord Hastings at Ashby but after the surrender and departure of Hastings this must have come to an end.  He was ejected from his living at Packington and his property was sequestered.  This would have involved Pestell senior too who had been acting as curate during his son’s absence at Ashby. 

Pestell junior obviously left Packington around the time of his ejection and we next hear of him at Worcester at the time when the Royalists were defeated there in September 1651.  He was taken prisoner and was due to be hanged but was reprieved when a female, claiming to be a relative, spoke up for him.  In 1662, with Charles II on the throne, Pestell was restored as Vicar of Packington.

What was he doing in church in June 2019? It was part of the filming of an historical drama by Pudding bag Productions. the film when finished will be screened locally as well as being available on the internet. On October 25th it will be screened at Packington memorial hall

  Here is Thomas again receiving the message that was to spell difficult times for him

Children from Packington School were also involved.

Filming will next take place at 10.30am on Wednesday August 14th. We need 4 men and 6 women - costumes will be porvided. if you're interested in taking part as an extra in this way, give Vivien a ring on 01530 270354.