JOHN MOSSOP was born at Whinflatt, Gosforth, Cumberland and baptised at the parish church there on 14 October 1753, the fifth child and third son of John and Ann.    His eldest brother, Matthew, inherited the family property whilst the next brother Henry became the Vicar of Cleator, Cumberland for over forty years.



John was educated at St. Bees School, a few miles from his home, as were many other local boys of his class.    He would have left with a classical education about 1771 and entered a University before being ordained first as Deacon and then as Priest.     To date I have no information as to where this may have been though many Cumberland boys went up to The Queen's College, Oxford.    I would welcome any further knowledge on this.



Instead of returning to Cumberland, Rev. John made his lifelong ministry in Lincolnshire.   He must have kept in touch with his family as his brother Rev. Henry was married for a second time in Deeping St. James in 1800, probably by his brother, who was Perpetual Curate of the parish.

"Cambridge Alumni" gives a short biographical detail and says that as Rev. John Mossop he was admitted to St. John's College on 26 November 1778, aged 25, as a "Sizar" - A ten year man.   A Sizar is defined by Wikipedia thus -

A sizar was one of a body of students in the universities of Cambridge and Dublin, who, having passed a certain examination were exempted from paying college fees and charges.   A sizar corresponded to a servitor at Oxford.   The sizar paid nothing for food and tuition and very little for lodging.   They were probably so called from being thus employed in distributing the size, or provisions.   http://en.wikipedia.org

It appears therefore that John had already received a university education elsewhere and had entered St. John's as an ordained Deacon.    "Alumni" then goes on to say that he was ordained a Priest at Lincoln on 19 September 1779 but also that he was Perpetual Curate of Deeping St. James from 1778 to 1830, the incumbent being an absentee.     As it is over 40 miles between Cambridge and Deeping, it is difficult to know how he combined the two responsibilities unless he was allowed to relinquish his college duties.    I assume, though do not know, that a "Ten Year Man" means that he was attached to the college for this length of time and may not have been allowed to marry.    However, he married in April 1787 shortly before this time expired.    It may be that someone with a deeper knowledge of Cambridge University affairs can enlighten me.

"Alumni" further goes on that Rev. John was appointed Vicar of Baston in 1781 and additionally Vicar of Langtoft in 1801, both until his death in 1834.

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For more on the Cumbrian origins of this family go to my Mossop Family History site and click