Revd. Clotworthy Gillmor (1817-1888)


When Rev Blomfield left Bow in 1857, he exchanged his living for that of Dartford in Kent where Rev Clotworthy Gillmor had been the previous incumbent.

Soon after Gillmor had been appointed rector of Bow alias Nymet Tracey with Broad Nymet, he had Bow rectory pulled down and a grand new one built (this is now known as “The Glebe House”). But he couldn’t pay the builder, John Parish of Bow. In 1859 he was forced to sell his possessions – all his furniture, a library of 1,000 volumes, oil paintings etc. Even so he was left with £17,500 debts, and was sued for bankruptcy. Married, with five children, at that time he was living at Nicholls Nymet House, on the way to North Tawton, where one more daughter was born. It is probable that he was bailed out in due course by friends and family.


Shortly afterwards he “disappeared” from Bow for ten years whilst the Parish was run by curates -Westcott Harris Veale and then Richard Laurie. Between 1865 and 1867 Rev. Gillmor was the British Chaplain in Boulogne, France, where his wife Mary died during their first year there. He then was appointed curate of Hoxton in Middlesex. He was probably trying to earn a bit more money to satisfy his creditors.

In 1869 he returned to his position in Bow.

Gillmor wrote one novel in three volumes:  Jessie of Boulogne: or, The History of a Few Minutes (1877), based on his short time in France. This received bad reviews in the literary press.

He remarried, to Frances Toovey, who was twenty years his younger, in London in 1870. In 1888 aged 69 he died in his rectory after a short illness. There was a funeral service in Bow, but he was buried in his family tomb in Hersham, Surrey. Frances remarried and died in London in 1915.