Bures St. Mary

Photo by Cindy Lilley
Photo by Cindy Lilley

Bures St. Mary straddles the Essex/Suffolk border, with the River Stour running through the middle of it. St. Mary’s church is on the Suffolk-side of the river, and the parish registers are held at Suffolk Record Office, so the parish is in the Suffolk section of this website. The part of Bures St. Mary in Essex is known as Bures Hamlet. The Bures St. Mary register sometimes alludes to “Munt” – this is presumably Mount Bures, also in Essex.

More photos of Bures by Cindy.

  • Transcriptions available below and also on FreeREG. Microfiche from Suffolk Record Office in Ipswich.
  • Court books for the Manors of East Tuddenham, Cockfield, and Bures are available on FamilySearch


  • The earliest register, from the mid-1500s to 1660, is very difficult to transcribe. It’s in very poor condition with a lot of faded entries and frequently difficult handwriting. The register covering the early-mid-1700s is very difficult as it appears to have been written on oily parchment, making the ink very blotchy and hard to read.
  • Few parents’ names in the baptism register from 1592-1600.
  • Gap in register following minister’s death in 1604. No entries from June 1604 until the start of 1612.
  • English Civil War and Commonwealth Gap: one baptism for 1642, none for 1643, one for 1644, none for 1645, 1646 or 1647. Some baptisms 1648-1652 (except none May-November 1651). Nine only from 1653-1659. One from 1660 in the 1592-1660 spreadsheet (transcribed from FL 540/4/2). The rest of the 1660 baptisms are in another register, FL 540/4/3.
  • Burials: 1589: only two recorded, in April and May. 1600: only three, in April and May. 1601: only one. 1602: none at all. 1604: two only. 1605-1611: none at all. 1612: one only. 1621, 1622, 1623: written in tiny writing and the image is blurred – extremely challenging to read, impossible in most places. 1626: only three burials (Feb-Mar 1626/7). 1643-1646: no burials recorded. 1649 only recorded for March and April. 1650-1659: only one burial recorded, in either 1653 or 1658 – the year is unclear. 1679: none November to March.
  • Marriages: 1657-1661: none.
  • I am transcribing from fiche 3 to fiche 7. The earliest fiche (not transcribed here) cover baptisms 1558-1591, and marriages 1559-1652. 
  • See Additional notes from the early-mid-1700s including excommunications and the saga of Edward Polly repeatedly driving his wagon through the churchyard!




  • 1653-1753: to follow