Vicars of Penn Street


The short and tragic incumbency of Revd. FJ Sibree

Very little is recorded regarding the short incumbency of the Revd. FJ Sibree.  The following is collected from various sources, Birth, Marriage and Death records, Census Returns and Electoral Rolls and Probate records and local newspaper reports.

The Revd. Sibree arrived at Penn Street in 1927, and resigned in 1928, intending to retire,  because of his wife’s illness, when he was replaced by Ernest Davies.

Francis Joseph Sibree was born in 1860 at Painswick, Stroud, Gloucestershire.  His parents ran a boarding school, Bussage House, with 20 – 30 teenage children, mostly boys, a few girls, and their own five children.

At the ages of 20 and 30, Francis is shown as ‘tutor’, having joined the ‘family business’.

In 1894 he married Margaret Louisa List, after Banns at St Paul’s church Gloucester.  His occupation is shown as ‘Headmaster’ Bussage House School.

In 1901 he was an ordained minister, ‘Clerk in Holy Orders, School Master’, The Park, The Hall, Shipdham, near Dereham, Norfolk, in the parish of Shipdham, All Saints. The Hall was another boarding school with teenage boys.

It was not unusual for the vicar or curate to also tutor boarders. The Revd. Arthur Browning, Francis Sibree’s predecessor also ran a ‘crammer’ at the vicarage, for ten or so teenage boys, including the young David Niven.

In 1911 Francis was living at St Mary’s vicarage, Portchester, Fareham, Hants.

1918 – 1923 he was at 10 Rusholme Road, Wandsworth, presumably the vicarage of St Michael’s Church, Southfield.  His first wife Margaret died 2nd August 1923, they had no children.

In July 1924, he married a widow, Edith Eleanor Muirhead, née Dennett, at Kensington.  Edith had four daughters and two sons by her previous marriage.

Francis Sibree arrived at Penn Street in 1927, and tragically his second wife Edith died the following year, 20th September 1928, aged 63, only five years after their marriage.  Her Probate record reveals that she left £9219 7s. 6d. around £580,000 in 2020.

Only a short time before her death, Revd. Sibree had tendered his resignation because of his wife’s health and had made arrangements to leave Penn Street.  The Revd. Ernest Davies had been named as his replacement and was inducted as vicar of Penn Street in November 1928.

Francis Sibree died 17 July 1936, aged 76, address given as The Vicarage, Westbury, North Bucks. His estate was worth £2661 11s. 6d. worth £200,000 in 2020.