Little Bentley St. Mary the Virgin

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Transcribed by Helen Barrell, except marriages 1813-1837 and baptisms 1813-1883 by Arny Webb. They can also be searched for at FreeREG.

See also Little Bentley’s village and history website.


  • The first page of the earliest register has faded (covering late 1550s/1560). Someone has written up the entries in blue ink (late 1800s/early 1900s?) on a sheet of paper. The end of the first page is so faded that this hasn’t been written up and is impossible to read. Perhaps about four or five entries lost.
  • A note after a baptism in January 1568/9: “Here appeareth to be some, left out” but the very next entry is for April 1569, so presumably if any were missed, it wasn’t all that many. After November 1585 baptisms it says “Here appeareth a great defect” and the next baptism is in January 1586/7, so over a year’s worth of baptisms are missing. Then after the January 1586/7 baptism, it says “Here appeareth a great want” and the next baptism is in June 1587. In the burials, it says “Here appeareth some defect” after a burial in Sep 1585, then there’s one burial in 1586, one in 1587, then the register appears to resume more reliably with five burials for 1588.
  • Six children baptised from July 1574 to January 1574/5, and all of the five girls were named Constance including the daughter of “Mr. Pyrton’s cooke.” Note that Edmund Pyrton, who lived in Little Bentley at the time, had a wife called Constance (daughter of Thomas Darcy, 1st Baron Darcy of Chiche).
  • “Mr Flower a Londoner and surveyor of the buildinge for the hall” was buried on 30 Jan 1604/5.
  • “A stripling aged about xiiii unknowne to anie of the parish being found dead in an outhouse” was buried on 3 Nov 1623.
  • No marriages recorded from 1638 to 1649. They resume in 1650.
  • Few entries for the 1640s. No burials recorded from 1651-1660, and from 1673-1686. No baptisms, burials or marriages entries at all for 1656. No baptisms 1678.
  • Baptism in 1667 of Elizabeth, “a base childe of Elizab. the kitchen mayde at Bently Hall by Simon the Butler.”
  • Burial in 1669 of John Whale “a mason, was slayne by the fall of a brickwall.”
  • Burial 1707/8 gives a huge amount of info about the deceased: “John Warren the third & yongest sone of Old George Warren of Misly died Feb 22 after he had been married above 12 years to Elizabeth the widowe of the late William Church leaving behind him five small children two sons & three daughters. He died in or very neare the 40tieth yeare of his age & was decently buryed by the said Elizabeth his executrix the said Feb 24.”
  • 1711 – three baptisms only (May to June), and no burials or marriages. The rector died in March 1712, so he may have written notes of further baptisms, and any burials and marriages for 1711 elsewhere, but never managed to copy them up into the register.
  • Few entries for 1721. The rector died early that year, so perhaps events went unrecorded, or took place in nearby parishes. No burials 1722.
  • Baptisms 1813-1883 have come from two sources – the standard register and the clerk’s notes. This presented a challenge for transcribers, so if you think someone should be in these baptisms isn’t, or something seems awry, please check the original register held by the Essex Record Office (which of course you should do anyway with all transcriptions!). The spelling in the clerk’s register is very ‘interesting’ and there are inconsistencies (such as first names varying) between that and the official register.




1558-1753 to follow



One marriage from 1813 is in the register for 1754-1812 (see marriages above)