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The law was followed with varying degrees of consistency until Queen Elizabeth I, and the bishops of the Church of England reaffirmed the injunction in Wars, insects, water, and carelessness have led to the loss and destruction of many of these parish records, but there are still thousands of registers listing these important events available for our use today.

There are some Catholic Church records available for the years prior to , but in general, the bulk of the ecclesiastical records begin with the Church of England or Anglican Church records starting in the mid- to lates and extending into the late s.

So what are you looking for, where do you find them, and what do those records provide? To explain that, we need to review how the church, whether Roman Catholic or Church of England, divided up the country. A baptism, marriage, or burial could have taken place in a neighboring parish. If you are unable to find the parish records where you expect to find them, use a map to search for neighboring parishes and try searching for your ancestors there.

Look for places less than three miles from the home of your ancestors. The same folks who provide us with a free index to civil birth, marriage, and death records also have provided transcripts of ecclesiastical baptismal, marriage, and burial records at FreeReg. Here you can enter the name, a range of dates, the county, and select the type of records. Although these are transcripts with no links to the actual records, this site can help you to narrow down a broad range of choices to the one most likely to belong to your relative. Baptismal entries generally include the date of the baptism, the place of the baptism including the church name , and the names of the parents of the child.

Unless the record specifies the date of birth, assume that it occurred up to three years earlier when continuing your research. Due to the use of Latin and the different sentence construction, the names appear to be slightly different, but both are translated as John Parker, son of Joshua and Catherine Parker. S Sutton Archives and Local Studies. X West Sussex Record Office.

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The dioceses do not share the same boundaries as counties. Follow us on social media. Skip to main content. L Search. Surrey History Centre In this section. Guide to parish registers held at Surrey History Centre. This guide is laid out as follows: OR This entry gives the dates of the original registers deposited and the location code shows where they may be seen. Location codes: Original parish records typed in bold are not kept at the Surrey History Centre.

The godfather name of it is Thomas Maryson, servant to Mr. Richard Elleson, supposed to be the son of Richard Elleson of the parish of Pittington, bassebegotten with Ezabell Raw, the wife of Cuthbt Raw decesed. A baptismal entry in the Elizabethan registers of St. Olave's, Hart Street, mentions such historical characters as "witnesses," that the exceptional registration honour done to the infant viscount can be pardoned, especially as the saintly Bishop Andrews, then vicar of St. Doctor Andrewes preached and babtized the child.

John, sonne of Edwarde and Cisley Davies, of Albrighton, sawier, was baptized the i2th day of May, being Whitsunday even. Sir John Corbett Knight barronett, and his kinsman Mr. Thomas Riton coming from London acci- dentally being ye two godfathers who desired to doe good unto a poore man and so baptized his childe.

Church of England Parish Records

Midwives in the Church of England, both before and after the Reformation, were particularly enjoined to baptize if there was any risk of the child dying before a priest could arrive. The midwife was licensed by the bishop ; to obtain a licence, the woman had to be recommended by matrons who knew of her skill, and also by the parish minister, who was to certify as to her life and conversation, and that she was a member of the Church of England.

By her oath she was sworn to be " diligent, faithful, and ready to help every woman travailing of child, as well the poor as the rich, and not to forsake the poor woman and leave her to go to the rich," and she was also bound to " in no way exercise any manner of witchcraft, charms, sorcery, or invocation. Francis Sladde, Son of Henrie, who was also christened by y e midwife at St. Alban's Courte. William Lawson, an infant, christend by the woemen, bearyed 21 Martii.

M d that John Browne was Christened at home by the mydwyfe beinge in greate perill the ix day of November and after his recoveringe was brought to the Church to receave according to the Lawe. M d that George Bourne the sonn of William Bourne was Christened at home by mother Wryte the mydwyffe of the parish and in the presence of ix other honest women of the parish then beinge present accordinge to the lawe thorowe great pearill and dainger the xvj day of Februarie.

Michael le Belfry, York. John childe, sonne to Thomas childe, baptized at home in the house by the mydwif, mother todd, and afterwarde brought to the church, the iij d day of may. Mary WoolnotJi , Sep. Cislye, daughter of Roger Tasker, Goldsmythe, witnes by Roose Freest, Mydwief, that it was so weke that it coulde not tarry untelle Sundaye. Rutlands house the Childe being in greate daunger. Mary's, Lichfield , Oct. Magarett, D r of Walter Hemingham, of Pypehall, baptized by the midwyfe, and as yett not broughte to y e Church to be there examyned and testified by them that were then presente.

Robert, daughter of William Thompson, bap. He was the only son and was born on the i6th June, , as appears by Mrs. Hold's the midwife's Book. Morgan, subcurate. It was, perhaps, from this liability to error in hasty baptisms during dangerous confinements that the midwives or others in mediaeval days now and again styled the infant Creatura Christi, or simply Creature, a term equivalent to Child of God. This term is met with in several parochial registers of the sixteenth century.

It probably had its origin from Tindall's version of the New Testament text, 2 Cor. Then was baptized by the Midwyffe and so buryed the childe of Thorns Goldham called Creature. Baptizata fuit in cedibus he ri Humfrey Bishop filia ejus quae nominata fuit Creatura Christi. Creatura Christi filia Laurentii Henfeldi sepulta fuit eodem die. Ther was buryed the sonne of John. Gods creature, the sonne of John and Jane Glazzard.

Creature the daughter of Robert Briges being christ d by the midwife, was buried the xith day of December. Marryed John Haffynden and Creature Cheseman yong folke. Chrisom children Foundlings The foundlings of the Temple Nurse children Confirmation Churching Bastards Terms for illegitimacy REGISTER entries of the burial of " Chrisom Children " are of fairly frequent occurrence throughout Eng- land during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and more rarely during the earlier part of the eighteenth century.

The chrisom was the white linen cloth or vesture placed on the child at the time of baptism.

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In the mediaeval Church of England, the priest anointed the child with the chrism or holy oil, in the form of a cross, on the breast and between the shoulders, and the idea of the chrisom cloth was to protect the chrism marks and to preserve them from hasty removal. The chrisom was worn as a vesture by the child for seven days, or until the mother was able to be churched.

At the time of the churching, the chrisom was presented to the church. The chrisoms were afterwards used by the priests for ablutions and such-like purposes in the church. If, however, the child died before the mother's churching, the infant was termed a chrisom child, and was shrouded in the white baptismal vesture, which was bound round the little body with ornamental folds or strips of linen. The following is the pertinent passage as to the chrisom from the first Prayer Book of Edward VI : " Then the Godfathers and Godmothers shall take and lay their hands upon the child, and the minister shall put upon him his white vesture, commonly called a chrisom, and say, 'Take this white vesture for a token of the innocency which by God's grace in this holy sacrament of Baptism is given unto thee ; and for a sign whereby thou art admonished, so long as thou livest, to give thyself to innocency of living, that after this transitory life thou mayest be partaker of the life everlasting.

Nevertheless, though no longer enjoined, the use of the chrisom or special white vestment lingered in certain parishes for many a long year after the disappearance of the word from the Book of Common Prayer, together with its presentation at the time of churching. Thus in the register book of Wickenby, Lincolnshire, is an undated entry made early in the seventeenth century to the following effect : "The chrysom and a gracepeny is always to be given at ye woman's churching.

The chrysom must be half a yard of fine linnen long and a full yard in width. A survival of the custom may even yet be noted in some quiet country churches, where the godmother is wont to place a clean cambric handkerchief, generally a new one, over the infant's face immediately after the actual baptism, and whilst the rest of the office is proceeding. Two entries from the registers of St. Peter's, Northampton, for the same year may serve as examples : " A crisom woman childe of Ann Nelson widow buryed the xxx of March A chrisom child of John Taylor was buryed the vii of October.

Thus at Hinckley, Leicestershire, a few years earlier, occurs this entry among the burials : " One Crysome, base, of Rebakca Dunning, March i6th. Sepulchre's, Northampton, have an unusual number of chrisom children burials. They occur under the years , , , , , , , , , , J , , , , , , , , and one at the exceptionally late date of Like entries occur with unusual frequency in the registers of Aldenham, Herts, during the second quarter of the seventeenth century.

There are two in , four in , six in , three in , two in , two in , and four in ; they are continued down to Chrisom children occur in the parish register books of almost the whole of the churches of the city of London and of Westminster. This is the case in the registers of St. Chrisomer is also used with some frequency in the registers of St. Columb Major's Cornwall, between the years and The register of Boughton-under-Bleau, Kent, for the year , has the following entry: " The 6th day of March buried a Female Chrisamer, the daughter of Thomas Pudall.

Thus there are three such entries in the register of Kirkburton, Yorks, under the year 1 : " The xxvj of November was Margere Kay buryyd. A Crysm chyld. A Crysm child. The following double entry as to twins, one of whom was a chrisom child, which occurs in the register of Broxley, Salop, for the year , is sufficiently curious for transcription : " April 2. A chrisom son being the other twin of the s d WilPm Gough, deceased : " A survival of the presentation of the chrisom to the parish priest lingered for a long time in certain country parishes, where it was customary for a woman at her churching to make an offering of a white cambric handkerchief.

Representations of chrisom children are not infrequent on monumental brasses of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries ; one occurs on an incised slab at Croxall, Derby- shire. The baptism, only too often followed by the speedy burial of foundlings, is of frequent occurrence in town and suburban parishes, and occasionally in country dis- tricts. The naming of the deserted infant was left to the vestry in towns, and to the overseers of the poor and churchwardens in the country.

It was usual to give the name of the parish as the surname, and of the Saint whose day was nearest to the discovery of the child as the Christian name. This is exemplified by the two following entries from the first register book of St. Denis or Dennis Backchurch in the City : " , Dec. A chylde that was found at the stran- gers dore in Lymstrete whych chylde was founde on Saynt petter day, and founde of the p'ishe coste.

Where- fore they named the chylde by the day that he was founde, and surname by the p'ishe, so the chyldes name ys Petter Dennis. A man child was lead at Sir Edward Osbourne gate and was christned the xxiii of Aprill named Dennis Philpot, and so brought to Christes ospitall" [Philpot Lane was a street in this parish].

The registers of another City church, St. Nicholas Aeon, supply two interesting instances : ", Nov. A man child a foundling named Nicholas Aeon after our Parishe Church name, was laid in this p'ishe. Elizabeth Aeon. This child was found in the streete at one Mr. Wythers dore in St. Nicholas lane upon the nynteenth of this presnt moneth of October being as it was supposed some two monthes old but we not knowing whether it was baptized before or no, baptized it by the name of Eliza- beth Aeon after the name of this p'she. Dunstan West affords several curious examples.

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A child found in was baptized " Relictus Dunstan"; a foundling of was named "Mary Porch," doubtless from the porch where it was discovered ; to another foundling, buried on loth January , the strange but not inappropriate name of " Subpoena " was applied; whilst an infant found in Chancery Lane in was styled " Elizabeth Middlesex. Helen's, Bishopsgate, under the year : "Job Rakt-out-of the Asshes, being borne the last of August in the lane going to S ir John Spencer's back gate, and there laide in a heape of old cole asshes, was baptized the First daye of September following, and dyed the next day after.

Benett Fincke being a man child of vj weekes old, being a foundling, in the p'she of St. Gregory- by- St. Burn supplies the following from the Kensington registers as to treasure-trove in that parish, but neglects to give the year : " A woman child, of the age of one year and a half or there- abouts, being found in her swadlinge clothes, layed at the Ladye Coopers gate, baptized by the name of Mary Troovie, loth October. Mary Woolnoth's for the year give two instances descriptive of the clothing of foundlings : " March Joseph, a male child, f old, with a Blew Tamarett coat and English calico printed frock, was taken up at Mr.

Man- wood's door. Michael, a child taken up between Deputy Moor and Mr. Mark Gilbert's house, with a striped white coate and printed frock, put to Nurse Bramwood at Wirehall in Essex. Vicessimo quinto die mensis Januarii infantula juxta viam communem relicta et inventa fuit, quae ignotis parentibus primo die mensis Februarii in baptismo nominata fuit Fortune Founde.

Moses a child found within the forest of Bolland bap 28 March. Charity that was found in the strate of Plympton Morrish was baptized the 1 2th of Desember.


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John reputed son of Catherine Cartwright of Ockhamstead found hanging in a basket on the gates which open out of the great yard into the Highway was baptized ye 4th of Oct. Ignotus a male child found in the Parish of Palethorpe, bap. March The coarser cynics of the times sharpened their wits on the long-continued custom of abandoning these luckless infants amid the intricacies of the Temple precincts.

The following is the first entry of a foundling baptism in the Temple register : " Ellenore Temple, being so named, found in the Middle Temple,- was baptized on the 7th June, There is one entry, under 26th August , of the burial of a murdered foundling: " A male child found dead in King's Bench Walk, Inner Temple, and according to the verdict of the Coroner's Inquest, murdered by a Person or Persons unknown. To almost the whole of these the name Temple or Templer was assigned. The lack of any form of legislative protection of infant life caused the foundling scandals of London to be a grievous blot on the social condition of the metropolis.

Even the establishment of the Foundling Hospital in did but little for a long time to mitigate the prodigal sacrifice of child life. It is stated that within four years of the establishment of that hospital 14, infants were admitted, and that out of that total not more than survived. Pegge in his valuable transcript of the first register book of Chesham, Bucks , "a considerable number of 'nurse children ' from London are mentioned.

This illustrates a curious difference in the family relations of the time from those which now prevail. Children received little attention at home, and were generally sent away as soon as possible to spend their early years elsewhere. Londoners who could afford it put them out at nurse with people in the country, ostensibly for the sake of the benefit supposed to be derivable from country air.

But that so many of these children should die away from their parents and be buried unnamed affords ground for conjecture as to the real motives which prompted the sending of them to a place so far from London and so out of the way as Chesham was ; and it does not require a very imaginative mind to read 68 PARISH REGISTERS an occasional tragedy between the lines of these simple entries. Of the large majority, it is specified that the child came from London. Sometimes no name of any kind is given to the child, only the name of the Chesham woman who had the infant in charge.

Usually the name of the London father or mother is given, but only in one single instance namely, Henry, son of George and Mary Linford, of Hornsey, buried in are the names of both parents supplied. Pegge's surmises as to these nurse children are far too charitable ; the probabilities are strong that in almost every instance these infants were born out of wedlock, and the supposed care of them would be now termed " baby-farming. With- out making any special search, we have incidentally noticed them in the registers of twenty-seven separate parishes.

The following explicit instances of the latter part of Elizabeth's reign are taken from the registers of Mitcham, Surrey : " Paul Toobast a fleminge sonne being a Norschilde from Loundoun bur. April Mary the dau. Olife's parishe, bur. Mary Porter aNorschild of Loundoun being a habbardasher daughter, bur.

Frances tenannt beyound the River, bur. Apil 2. They are first mentioned in these registers in , and are of frequent occurrence between and The name given at Holy Baptism has always been re- garded by the Church as indelible, save for one exception. The Western Church from an early date reserved to itself the power of altering the baptismal name at the time of confirmation. The like transformation was effected in the cases of two of this king's brothers, Edward - Alexander and Hercules being respectively changed at confirmation to Henry and Francis.

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After the Reformation, it was a disputed point whether the civil law of England would recognise a revised confirmation name. Serjeant Thomas Gawdy, who lived in Elizabeth's reign, had two sons, both of whom had been baptized Thomas. To avoid confusion, the younger brother's name was changed at confirmation to Francis.

Both of them went to the bar, and both rose to be judges. The younger brother died in as Chief Justice of Common Pleas, but he did not venture to use the name of Francis in purchases and grants until the advice of all the judges had been taken that it could be safely done. The registers of Holme Hale, Norfolk, furnish an instance of a change of name being duly entered when Queen Mary was on the throne : " J Deci'o nono die Novembris. Baptizat' films Richi Lorington et Cecilie censor' sue et no'iat' Samuell et mutat' nomen ejus ad confirmacionem et noiat' Willmus.

If there is anything substantial in so flimsy an argument, it certainly follows that the post-Reformation bishops were equally guilty of this grave lapse, for not only are their registers equally silent, but it is most exceptional to find any reference to confirmation in the parochial registers.

Five such instances are given. Ao dni The registers of Bamburgh, Northumberland, supply a list of those confirmed in that church by Lord Crewe on 22nd July , namely, u males and 3 females. On that occasion the following extraordinary entry was made in the registers : " Mem : y l ye most Rev'end father in God did honour Tho. Davison then presbyter of Bamb' with his attendance and accept- ance of a glass of sack, sydar, and March beer in honorem parochise dictee.

Elizabeth Frances and Leonora Diggle confirmed. If the absence of allusions to confirmation is to be taken as a proof of the neglect of that ordinance, still more so is this the case with regard to the Purification of women after childbirth. The register references to Churchings are most scarce.

Here are two of Elizabethan date from the first register book of Kirkburton, Yorks : 30 Sept. Rychard Wrygth howyth my Mr. Rychard Crosland hath payd for churchying of hys wyffe. Hursselle Houssie daughter unto Hurselle Houssie was baptysed the vjth daye of Auguste. At the churchying they dyd put in this name Hursselle Houssie alias Houghesonne. As a rule, registers bear witness to a growth in the number of illegitimate births as time went on.

This is shown after a striking fashion by a table based on the registers of Letheringham, Suffolk : to It is certainly more seemly to have such entries made in Latin. In the first register book of Mitcham, Surrey, where the following Elizabethan baptismal entries are to be found, the Latin and the vulgar tongue are promiscuously used : " Edwardus films populi sed mater erat Anna Moris bapt 18 die Janarii.

William White his father unknowen, bapt March i Anni d. Isabella filia nescio cujus sed mater erat meretrix, qua et reliquet earn cum Jasper Dob, bapt 13 Januari. Annis Parker, the daughter supposed of Thomas Parker, of Mordoun, beinge lefte in the Churche portch by that harlot her mother, bur. Margareta filia cujusdam Elizabeth ex fornicatione nata, decimo octavo die augusti, , batizat' fuit.

John Curbye, borne in bast:, ye sone of Margaret Curbye, Synglewoman and begote by one Thomas Wardy Syngleman, as it is seyd, whom he hath p'mysed to marye, and was Chrystened ye xjth day of Maye, w'ch was Thursdaye. Bridget and Elizabeth the daughters of Adultery bapt. Jan y Rian, the mother's name Ashe, a bastar d gotten in London, bapt xiij March. Stephen Lu father as she sayth. Jacobus films Jacobi Earn- shawe et Alice Hallowes boothe of Yorkeshyre and the sayde Alice did lye in the house of ux' of James Collinge in Butt'worth the woman hath done her penance.

A bastard out of Yardington was baptized 12 May, a travellinge woman brought a bedd in the streete. Hard harted people. Rycharde, base son of Jerymie Payment, baptized 16 Aug. Fond uponne Island of Loundye, being aged i J years when baptized. Elizabeth, bast, born child of Eliz.

Alicia fil, Izabelle Nocke et Johi's Berick putavi patris : bap. Thomas Croyden fil. Alicie Croyden et Ludovici Poell, ut dicitur : bap. William the sonne of one Gould borne by channce, bap. Grace, a base child, nominated by the mother to be the doughter of Expofer Kirke, of the Brecke. Nicolas, the sonne of Rebecca Cock, films populi, bapt. Peter, the unlawfully begotten Son of Ann Major, bap. Anne supposed daughter of Sir Jeremiah Smithson, fathered y e said Jeremiah in the church, bap. Diana daur of John Billy and Diana Waker, proles spuria, bap.

Brazener Margaret Barret bur. Supposed to be the Bastard child of one Sarah Barret, a servant at Boreton in the p. Nash, Curat. This doubtless arose from the obvious importance to persons of all ranks of possessing a faithful record of their union, both for their own sake and as a legal proof of their children's legitimacy. The terms of the marriage entry were usually very simple, recording the fact that the contracting couple were " married " on such a date, the word being occasionally changed to " wedded," or " coupled together in matrimony.

Nupti erant is the commonest phrase ; among other 1 variants may be noted copulati sunt in matrimonio Croydon , con- traxerunt matrimonium Heston , conjuncti fuere Debtling , mariti fuerunt Wilton , alligati fuerunt Great Wigston , and connubio juncti erant Bobbin. The canonical age for the completion of the contract or actual marriage has long been laid down as twelve in the woman and fourteen in the man.

Consent given by males and females of these respec- tive ages was held to be valid up to the passing of the Marriage Act of 21 Geo. By this Act the legal age of consent was fixed at twenty-one for each sex, but with the consent of parents or guardians the much earlier ages remained valid. It is exceedingly rare to find the ages of the contracting parties set forth in the old registers. An Elizabethan exception occurs in the first register book of Burnley, Lancashire, under the year : "Edmunde Tattersall of ye age of xiij yeares and Lettice Hargreves of thage of xv yeares mar d 14 May.

Edmund Hopwoode gent and Dorothie Assheton were maried uppon Sundaye the seconde daye of Februarie in thaffore noone in the tyme of Divine service by me John Walkden Curate of Middleton with the Consente of bothe their parents accordinge to Lawe and theffect of a licence granted from Chester dated the first daye of thabove named monithe of Feb. Edmunde Hopwoode, of Hopwoode Esquire, deceased the sixte daye of Februarie about Eleven of the Clocke before noone And was buried Att Middleton before tenne of the Clocke in the nighte of the same daye.

As the nuptial Mass formed part of the ceremonial, it could not take place save in the forenoon. The register of Soberton, Hants, has several entries about the year of marriages "at iiij y e cloke in ye morning," and one of " an oure before day breke by licence fro the chancelur. Lucy Cosen, widdow, was married to Jn Cosen brother of her former husband the i5th day of December at St. Neots, by the Mynister of the Towne, and at seaven of the clocke in the nighte. Ere long the seasons of canonical limitation were extended.

According to the rubrics of the Sarum manual and missal, the prohibited seasons in England were from Advent 1 The new canons of extended the hours to three in the afternoon. The close time was restricted to Advent and Lent by the Council of Trent, but for some time after the Reformation the Church of England adhered to the three periods prohibited by the use of Sarum. An entry of the forbidden times was not infrequently made in the parish registers.

The four-lined form in the register of Lamport, Northants, under the year , runs thus: " Regula quce matrimonium inhibet Conjugium adventus vctat Hillariusque relaxat Septuagena ligat solvitque octavia Paschce Rogamen prohibet. Liber avit Trina Potestas" On the last page of the first register book of Dunster, Somerset, which begins in , is a somewhat confused Latin entry : " De temporib' in quid' non licet matrimonia solemnizare.

From y e Sounday moneth before Christmas till y e 7 day after twelf day. From y e Sounday fortnight before Shravetyde till y e Sounday after Est r weake. From y e rogation Sounday till 7 dayes after whit Sounday, and y e 7 last days are in- cluded in y e prohibition. At the beginning of the old register book of St. Mary's, Beverley, are the following rhymes : " Rules for Marriage, the Time " When Advent comes do thou refraine till Hillary sett y e free againe ; next Septuagesima saith the nay ; but when Lowe Sunday comes thou may; yet at Rogation thou must tarrie till Trinitie shall bid the mary.

Septuagesima says thee nay, Eight days from Easter says you may. Rogation bids thee to contain But Trinity sets thee free again. The register of the parish church of Lindisfarne contains the following prose version entered as late as "Tymes prohibiting marriage. Marriage comes on y e 13 day of January, and by Septuagesima Sunday it is out again until Low Sunday, at which tyme it comes in again and goes no mor out till Rogation Sunday, from whence it is forbidden again untill Trinitie Sunday ; from thence it is unforbidden till Advent Sunday, but then it goes out and comes not in again untill y e 13 day of January next after.

Thus an almanack called Galen, for , has the following: " Times prohibiting Marriage this yeer From the 27 of November till January From Februarie 6 untill April From May 16 untill June 5. Thus the registers of Letheringham, Suffolk, which begin in , contain only three marriage entries during March the centre of Lent for the term of years. On 8th February occurs the following remarkable marriage entry in the registers of Chislehurst, Kent : " George Ralins et Susan Switzer sine solemnitate omni propter diem hunc septuagessimae.

It was laid down in the Church of England as early as 1 that no marriage was to be contracted " without banns thrice published in the church " Hubert Walter's Canons at Westminster , No. The constitutions of Archbishop Reynolds, in , provided that these three public banns were to be published " on three Lord's days or festivals distant from each other. The record of such an occurrence was occasionally entered in the register among the marriages. A shabby fellow came in and forbid the marriage, but wold neither tell his name nor shew any Reason thereof.

I required Bond of him and securities on a sufficient caution that he would try the suite, but he ran away to Mr. Newmans the Aleman.

The History of Parish Registers in England and Wales

I sent the clerk and Mr. Henry Osborne of Northton to the Alehouse to demand of him the reason of this act of his and to demand bond and securitie of him for trying the cause.

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He refused. Henry Osborne of Northton, Mason entered into bond of 40 1 to keepe mee harmlesse. The bond hangs upon the file in my studie. It is to be remembered that the Bans were publicly forbid in the Church by Morphew spinster of this parish but upon her being then publicly told from the Desk how she must proceed according to the Kubrick, she was advised it seems by some to take another method to hinder this man's marriage and prove herself with child by him befor Justice Payton tho' in the end it appeared she was A marriage could be legally solemnised without banns, by virtue of a licence granted either by the bishop or ordinary, or by the special licence of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The power of episcopal dispensing with banns was of ancient use, and is at least as old as the Constitu- tions of Archbishop Mepham in The subject of marriage licences was dealt with in detail in by Canons ci-civ. Three examples of register entries making definite mention of the licence are here set forth ; they are selected, almost at haphazard, from a considerable number : " Bobbingworth, Essex. Margaret's, Canterbury , Junii 9. Margaret in the Cittye of Cant: the nynth daye of June by virtue of a lycence under the scale of office of the Right Wor : James Hussey doctor of the law and Commissarye gen'all for the dyocese of Cant.

Arch-Deacon's license. A marriage at St. Martin's, Leicester, in , wherein the man was deaf and dumb gave rise to a long entry : "Feb. Thomas Tilsye and Ursula Russel were maryed; and because the sayde Thomas was and is naturally deafe, and also dumbe, so that the order of the form of marriage used usually amongst others, which can heare and speake, could not for his parte be observed.


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After the approbation had from Thomas, the Bishoppe of Lincolne, John Chippendale, doctor in law, and commissarye, as also of Mr. Davye, then Mayor of the town of Leicester, with others of his brethren, with the rest of the parishe, the said Thomas, for the expressing of his mind instead of words, of his own accord used these signs : first, he embraced her with his arms, and took her by the hand, putt a ring upon her finger, and layde his hande upon his hearte, and then upon her hearte, and held up his handes toward heaven.

And to show his continuance to dwell with her to his lyves ende, he did it by closing of his eyes with his handes, and digginge out of the earth with his foote, and pullinge as though he would ring a bell, with diverse other signes. Edwarde, Chancellor of the diocese of London. The bridegroom appeared " taking the Book of Common Prayer and his license in one hand and his bride in the other.

He does not seem to have known of any precedent, and the entry concludes : " This marriage is set down at large because we never had the like before. James's, Bury St. Edmunds, of the overcoming of a yet more serious impediment to the accustomed ceremonial of marriage : "Christopher Newsam married Charity Morrell.

Charity Morrell being entirely without arms, the ring was placed upon the fourth toe of the left foot, and she wrote her name in this register with her right foot. Here was wedded early in the morning Thomas Munslow, smith, and Alice Nycols, which wedded to him in her smock and bareheaded. John Bridmore and Anne Selwood were married, Oct. The aforesaid Anne Selwood was married in her smock, without any clothes or headgier on.

There must have been still greater surprise for them in the marriage of bishops. Archiepo cum multis. Edmond Scamlare, byshoppe of peterborowe and Julyan Franncys were married. Poynet was on that account deposed from the bishopric of Winchester on the accession of Queen Mary ; he died in exile at Strasburg in As examples of the form of record generally adopted for marriages under the Act, these two consecutive entries of from the register book of Marshfield, Gloucester- shire, will suffice ; in the one case the banns were published in the market-place, and in the other in the church.

Martin's-in-the-Fields, of the civil marriage of Frances, the Protector's daughter, on November 11, , is worth citing. It will be noted that both " Martin " and " Andrew " are childishly bereft of the saintly prefix which they had borne uninterruptedly for so many centuries.

All which was fully performed according to the Act without exception. Scobell, as a Justice of the peace, tyed the knot after a godly prayer made by one of His Highnesses divines ; and on the Thursday was the wedding feast kept at Whitehall, where they had 48 violins and 50 trumpets, and much mirth with frolics, besides mixt dancing a thing heretofore accounted profane till 5 of the clock yesterday morning. Amongst the dancers there was the Earl of Newport, who danced with her Highness. Here, however, is a dog Latin entry as to village festivities on such an occasion, in a Norfolk parish, at a much earlier date than the Commonwealth: " Beeston, near Mileham.

Willmus Balye et Suzanna Byrch nupti fuerunt ultimo die Julii. Celeberimus autem istorum nuptialis dies habitus est apud domum cujusdem Hilarii Balye tarn ipsius Willm? John Clarke and Mary Pearson were coupled together in matrimony. Will" 1 Washington wedded 5 Feb.


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  4. Botolptts, Aldgate. This James Herriott was one of the 40 children of his father a Scotchman. There came from Tideswell and Litton seventeen marriages all married by Randle Ashenhurst Esquier justice of the peace. Robert Coulson of Hagg house within the parish of Wykham and Marie Cockerell daughter of Henrie Cockerell of Sharpegate were married by M r Francis Proude min r of Hackness in the Church and in the middest of the marriage Mary dreeped down by reason of a swame and after she was had to the Queer Doore into the Ayre shee recovered verie well againe and there they were married in the presence of the Congregacon the xxv th day of October.

    Thomas Locke, a pretended doctor, married to Jane Inglesby; y l he after marryed one M rs Elizabeth Clarke of Markett Welton in y e East Rideing, York, for which he was prosecuted, but pleaded his majestie's pardon. James Dawson and Susannah Osbaston both of Derby. This was a fraudulent and wicked marriage. But before noon I discovered that his first wife was living at Southampton.

    Samuel Woodward and Chasable Torkinton the woman's Christian name was so spelt in the license by mistake for Chastity ; which she said was the true name , both of St.