Copford St Michael and All Angels

  1. Home
  2. Parish register transcriptions
  3. Essex
  4. Copford St Michael and...

I have started to transcribe the earliest surviving parish register for Copford, covering 1558 to 1760.

Later entries for Copford are already available on FreeREG, by other transcribers: baptisms 1760s-1890s, marriages 1754-1950s, burials 1706-1880s.


  • A list of rectors of Copford with some family history information, from the earliest register
  • Baptisms: only three in 1603, only one in 1611. The order is confused around 1613, so some baptisms might not have been recorded and it’s unclear if the ones marked 1614, which are in Feb and March, are 1613/4 or 1614/5. Either way, baptisms for 1613 or 1614 are missing, or never took place. No baptisms 1636 or 1637. Only one baptism 1638. Very patchy in the 1640s and 1650s: only three in 1642, only two in 1643, none 1644, two 1645, none 1646, one 1647, two 1648, two 1649, one 1650, three 1651, two 1652, none 1653, one 1654, one 1655, two 1656, none 1657, one 1658, two 1659. Mainly ok but some thin years in the 1660s and 1670s: two 1660, five 1661, four 1662, ok until 1667 with only one baptism, ok until 1671 with only three baptisms, none 1672. Patchy in the late 1670s and 1680s: Non 1679. One 1680. None 1681. One 1682. Seven entered for 1683 – six have no dates and one has a date of birth only. One 1684. None 1686 or 1687. Two 1688.
  • Marriages: None at all 1641-1661, 1666-1667, none 1671-1672, none 1674. No year given for seven marriages entered between 1677 and 1689.
  • Burials: confused order around the 1610s and 1620s. None 1617 and 1618. None 1636 and 1637. Only one 1638 (when the rector died). None at all 1643-1661. None 1671. None 1674-5. None at all 1678-1687.
  • On 24 Aug 1665, Middleton, son of Edmund and Mary Soam, was baptised in Copford. Edmund is described in the register as a “merchant of London.” It is very likely that the Soams were one of the wealthy families who evacuated to the countryside in order to avoid the plague in London.
  • In a gap between 1587 marriages, someone has written, in more recent handwriting, “All long since defunct. Sicut in principio erat, nunc est, et esqr ad finem erit.” The Latin seems to be a variation of “Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum” – in other words, “As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.”
  • Several marriages in the 1580s and 1590s are those of people who worked as servants in households in Copford. John Stowe and Jane Chalke married in 1589 and were the servants of Allen Montjoy [spelt Montioy in the register], who himself had married less than a fortnight earlier at the same church. William Cleere, who married in early 1594, was a servant of Robert Ram, Copford’s parson at the time. Edward Gale was a servant of Mr Bridgman, and he married in 1594. In September of the same year, Thomas Pierson and Alice Clarke married; they were both servants of George Littlebury junr. John Greene and Annys Harte, who married in 1595, were servants of “Mr Bredgman of Copford hall” (Richard Bridgeman). On 17 Apr 1633, we’re told “Mr Smithes mayde married”, but the names of the bride and groom were omitted.
  • Several adults were baptised: Edward Abbutt, son of Edward and Mary Abbutt, born 16 June 1663, baptised 16 Aug 1696; Elizabeth Clare, aged 22, was baptised on 25 Nov 1699; Mary, daughter of Daniel and Mary Freeman, and the wife of Edmund Mooney of Lexden, was baptised on 22 Sep 1701, aged “about 40”.



  • 1558-1640, 1662-1753: to follow


  • 1558-1642, 1662-1760: to follow