Little Clacton St. James

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Transcriptions 1813-1837 by Arny Webb. From scans of parish registers at Essex Archives Online. You can also search these transcriptions at FreeREG.


  • See “The Story of Little Clacton – an Essex Village” (1958) on the Little Clacton Parish Council website.
  • Entries survive from 1538 in good condition and, unusually, with the names of godparents/witnesses given with some baptisms as far back as the 1540s. The old register was copied up into the new on 29 May 1602 by the then-vicar, Richard Schofield, in his immaculate handwriting.
  • Unusual names: in 1539, Richard Ducke and Mathew Goslinge were buried. Jollie Eagle was married in 1573. John Boatfish, “minister and curat of Tendering”, who was married in 1582.
  • Gaps (baptisms): No baptisms May-July 1569, Aug 1571-Oct 1572, 1617. One baptism only between 1620 and 1627, which had been performed in 1623 and was entered by relatives in 1640. No baptisms 1642, 1644-5, 1647-8, with only two for 1643, one for 1646, two for 1649 and one for 1650. Three for 1651, then numbers pick up again until 1656: one baptism 1656, none 1657-58, one 1659, one 1660, one 1661, none 1662-63, two 1664, one 1666. The first register ends, and there is a 15-year gap until the second register starts with baptisms from 1681. No baptisms 1737-1741, 1743-47, Sep-Dec 1782.
  • Gaps (marriages): 1552, 1556, 1568, 1570-72, 1601 (one marriage 1602, with a note saying it should’ve been next to the marriage for Robert Mott “in due place” – but there’s no marriage for Robert Mott and it looks as if the rest of the marriages for 1602 and following years to the 1620s were on pages which were subsequently lost.), 1603-1617, 1621-26, late 1620s, 1631, 1636, 1641-51, 1656-61, 1663, 1667-68, 1711-1749.
  • Gaps (burials): no one was buried in 1594. No burials recorded for: 1617-26, 1628, 1642-1651, 1656-1662. Only four in 1663, four in 1665, and one in 1666. The first register ends in 1666, then there is a sixteen-year gap until the next burials in the second register, beginning in Nov 1682, until 1712. Then a gap with no burials 1713-1749. Possible gaps July-Dec 1760, Jan-May 1773, Aug-Dec 1776.
  • The running order of the second register is confused: marriages 1699-1709, baptisms Nov 1756-June 1779, 1681-1742, marriages 1750-1752, baptisms 1748-51, burials Jan-Mar 1749/50, baptisms 1751 cont, burials 1750-51, baptisms 1752-53, burials 1752-54, births for Smith children 1739-45, births for Draper 1750s, baptisms 1753 cont – 1755, marriages 1753-54, baptisms 1755 cont-1756, burials 1755-56, baptisms 1784, 1782-84, burials 1781-83, 1682-1712, 1756-80, baptisms 1780-82.
  • Not a widower for long: on 25 May 1560, Reginald Wignall, bachelor, married Elizabeth Hurrey, widow. Only a few months later, on 2 September 1560, Reginald married for a second time – to Joane Bashe, a widow.
  • The baptism of Elizabeth Wigmore on 1 March 1589/90 says that her father John was of “Clacton Parke (disparked).” This seems to mean that the park had become common ground.
  • Plague deaths: in October and November 1603, several members of the Cooke family, including their servant, died. The first to die was John, son of William and Mary, and the register states that he died of the plague, then their servant Margaret Hutchinson, then Mary (having given birth to two boys – the plague can induce miscarriage), and finally, poor William. That the others died so soon after suggests they all died of the plague as well. Then in 1605, four members of the Clark family – Thomas, his wife Elizabeth, and children Thomas and Joane – died of the plague in May and June that year.
  • See the blog for Prudence, the unhappy bride (content warning)
  • See the blog for The Hubbards of Bovills Hall




1538-1662, 1699-1710, 1750-1754