8th April 1817

Antiquarian William Collings Lukis was born

William Collings Lukis was a renowned antiquarian and priest. He was born on Guernsey, educated at Elizabeth College in St Peter Port, then Trinity College, Cambridge.

He spent some time in France, perfecting his French, and subsequently served over three decades as a rector in Yorkshire. Lukis wrote several renowned antiquarian books – and one on church bells – and recovered several hundred historical artefacts from archaeological sites.

His father, Frederick, was also an antiquarian, whose work chiefly concerned the various Neolithic monuments of the Channel Islands.

Lukis and religion

Lukis served at various parishes following his ordination at Salisbury in 1841, eventually arriving at the Church of St Nicholas in East Grafton, Wiltshire. He moved to Wath-juxta-Rippon, Yorkshire, where, in March 1861 he was appointed rector. He also joined the freemasons.

During his time in Wath he instituted many improvements, including to the church and the local schools. The latter of these all benefitted from significant expansion under his direction.

He was generous with his work. In 1885, The Star reported that he had presented a copy of his illustrated work “The Prehistoric Stone Monuments of the British Isles, Cornwall”, to the Guille-Alles Library. The British Museum holds a collection of 909 objects that he uncovered.

Death and burial

He died in Wath 31 years after his appointment, following a lingering illness, on 7 December 1892. On doing so, he left the rectory vacant, which the Manchester Guardian advertised as being available from the Marquis of Ailesbury, with an annual salary of £785 (around £92,000 today).

He was buried on 17 December in St Mary’s Parish Church, Wath, and left behind nine children and his wife.


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Other events that occured in April

Guernsey’s first female murderer goes on trial 1st
A French fisherman is arrested and escorted to St Peter Port 2nd
Guernsey’s new population law comes into force 3rd
Guernsey’s oldest resident dies, aged 110 4th
An occupation-era minefield is discovered at L’Ancresse 5th
Birth of Stone de Croze, the original Guernseyman 6th
The first ever Guernsey stamp is issued 7th
Antiquarian William Collings Lukis was born 8th
Guernsey hosts its first Parkrun at Pembroke 9th
Alderney residents lined the coast to watch Titanic pass 10th
Norfolk pupils spend a week in Guernsey 11th
A plane hit a car while landing at Guernsey Airport 12th
Battery Mirus was test fired for the first time 13th
Royal Guernsey Light Infantry fights at Ypres 14th
Guernsey Mormon Sampson Avard dies in Illinois 15th
Lieutenant Governor, Lord Ruthven, died in Bath 16th
Death of the Vicar General of the Channel Islands 17th
TV’s Jeeves is rushed to hospital on Guernsey 18th
Guernsey Airport’s new terminal opened for business 19th
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie film opened 20th
Death of Guernsey-born footballer Len Duquemin
Three Jewish women are deported from Guernsey 21st
Guernsey bigamist got married for the second time 22nd
Aurigny pilot Ray Bowyer spots a UFO near Alderney 23rd
The States of Guernsey registers the gov.gg domain 24th
Guernsey-set film The Sea Devils hits cinemas 25th
Hydrofoil Condor 1 completed its final sea trials 26th
The first Muratti football match takes place 27th
Guernsey passengers stage a ferry sit-in 28th
Guernsey abolishes the death penalty for murder 29th
Finishing touches put to new hospital 30th
Murder suspects steal visitor’s boat from St Peter Port