Adrian Saravia ( 1531 – 1613 )
Having first come across the name of Adrian Saravia, the ” Parson of Tatenhill in the County of Staffordshire ” in the will of Thomas Russell , Draper, of 1593 “, I was very excited to see the name appearing on a board bearing the names of Rectors of Tatenhill Church. Furthermore, I was more excited when I discovered an entry in the National Dictionary of Biography devoted to him.
This encouraged me to engage in more research and , as my enquiries progressed, I discovered a man whose early years were shaped by the military, political and religious turmoil of the Netherlands in the middle 1500’s, a theologian of great intellectual and academic ability who wrote treatises and became a chancellor of a university, a man who corresponded with people in high places, usually to his own advantage, and a man who was astute enough to sense the winds of political change and act upon them.
During his seven year stay as Rector of Tatenhill, a parish which included Barton-under-Needwood, he supervised the building of Thomas Russell’s School, and, later, at Canterbury, he helped King James 1 with the translation of parts of the Old Testament of The Bible.
Barton Parish Church was only fifty five years old when Adrian came to Tatenhill. One can only speculate as to whether he bothered to visit the church, yet alone take services there.
The account of his life reads more like an exciting work of fiction than historical fact, but historical fact it certainly is.
Revised Edition – 1999.
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