Langham St Mary the Virgin

Artist John Constable used to sit at the top of this church to draw the view of Dedham Vale.

Transcribed by Helen Barrell from scans of original parish registers held at ERO. Please check the originals before adding info to your family tree. These transcriptions are also available to search at FreeREG.


  • The earliest surviving register for Langham starts in 1639. It ends in 1691 (old style, which is March 1692 new style).
  • Many entries for people from Stratford St Mary in Suffolk; some for Boxted, Dedham, Stoke by Nayland and Ardleigh.
  • Unusual names: in the 1680s, Langham was home to Spring Wincoll and Marmaduke Dobitoe. In July 1702, William Bacon married Elizabeth Ham. In September that year, Elizabeth Rasher got married.
  • In 1639, Luke Bemis was buried in Langham, described as “a stale bachelour”. This (amusing!) term appears to mean old single man.
  • Forty burials in 1639. An epidemic? Burials seem to increase from August, with 5 burials in Oct, 6 in December, and 5 in February.
  • Possible gaps in burial register: last burial in 1643 in October. Next burial is June 1644. Only four burials for 1644. Only four burials for 1645 (and they are spread – one in March, two in April, one in November. Only three in 1646. Only one in 1647. Six in 1648, then twenty-seven in 1649, with 15 between April and August. Repetition of names Garnet, Starling, Wellock could suggest an epidemic.
  • Burials stop in June 1669 with the death of Thomas Sebborne, conscientious reverend incumbent. Three burials only for 1670 (two on a loose sheet of paper, one in the book which appears to repeat one on the paper), none for 1671. Burials recommence November 1672, but another gap appears as there are only two burials for 1674 and none at all for 1675, 1676 and 1677. Possible gap: no burials from 31 Dec 1680 to 20 April 1681. 1685 burials a little thin with only about a third of the usual number for this period – no burials at all between July and the end of Oct. Only three burials recorded for 1700, one of which doesn’t have a full date.
  • A torn page means that one baptism for 1711 has no surname, and six others for that year have lost the child’s name, the father’s name and in one case the mother’s name too.




  • 1638-1754 to follow