William Potter was rector of Hartley from 1541 to 1566, and so would been rector through the reigns and changing religious policy of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth. It is possible his sympathies were more catholic than protestant, for he leaves his soul to God, St Mary and the Saints, when a protestant at the time would usually leave their soul to God only, and he does not mention having married. He told Edward VI's commissioners in 1552 that the best church goods had been stolen sometime after 1549, but elsewhere missing goods of this sort often suddenly reappear in catholic Mary's reign. He is notable for leaving 4 pence to each one "man, woman and child". This was about a day's wage for a farm labourer, and would have been enough to buy 4 pounds of bread and 4 pints of beer.