Vicar of Bray character jug produced by Morlor Pottery of Staffordshire, England, circa 1955. The Vicar of Bray is a satirical description of an individual fundamentally changing his principles to remain in ecclesiastical office as external requirements change around him. The religious upheavals in England from 1533 to 1559 made it impossible for any devout clergyman to comply with all the successive requirements of the established church. The original figure was the vicar Simon Aleyn, although clerics who faced vicissitudes resulted in revised versions of the story. A satirical 18th-century song, "The Vicar of Bray", recounts the career of a vicar of Bray, Berkshire, towards the end of this period and his contortions of principle in order to retain his ecclesiastic office despite the changes through the course of several monarchs from Charles II to George I.