Rev. Robert Latham was a young man when he became Vicar of Deane in 1777. Throughout his vicariate of 41 years he seldom presided at churchwardens' meetings. He did, however, devote himself most assiduously to his pastoral duties and won the esteem of all his parishioners. He lived a simple life: he allowed the farmer of the glebe- whose family were hand-loom weavers- to share the vicarage. He was held in repute as a preacher and scholar, and was appointed a King's preacher by the Bishop of Chester. He refused to preach a sermon for the benefit of the Sunday School, maintaining that it was the duty of parents to teach the catechism to their children and to bring them to church on Sundays, when the clergy would test their knowledge.