Additional notes for Bures St Mary

  1. Home
  2. Parish register transcriptions
  3. Suffolk
  4. Bures St. Mary
  5. Additional notes for Bures...

The register covering 1714-1766 contains information on parish business, including parishioners who were excommunicated or had to perform a penance. This is a chronological list from the register:

  • April 2d 1725: Memordum. Bures church was new period at this time and the first seat on the right hand of the middle isle was reserved for the use of the vicar for ever by the name of the Vicarage Pew. Mrs Byat sits in it by the leave of the present vicar but has no right unto it. C. Young Vicar, John Alderton, Stephen Batty, church wardens. [image 95]
  • Mem. 1732. I asserted my right (as vicar) to the churchyard finding when I came to reside that the people who inhabited those houses on the west side challenged a right of going cross the church yard with waggons and carts to and from the said houses, I did profess trying whether their claim was good or no. The man who broke the gate open was Ned Polly, who lived in one of those houses; I was resolved to have arrested him had not he prevented me by owning his trespass and asking my pardon. Phil Gurdon. [image 95] Gurdon would spend twenty years battling access to the churchyard.
  • 1733. Whereas I Edward Polley did, not withstanding his submission of the preceding year, repeat his trespass this uear [in?] forcibly coming into the church yard with a waggon; I was not satisfied with his asking my pardon for this second offence & promise to do so no more, he having satisfied his word to me before, Mr Alderton did come & engage that he would no more trespass upon me in entering the church yard without my leave, to prevent my prosecuting him according to law. Dec 28th 1733. Phil. Gurdon. [image 96]
  • Mem. William White widower & Sarah White his brother’s widow were declared excommunicate for contumacy in not appearing to answer to articles alledged against them touching the sin of incest. Janry 4th 1734/5. [image 96] Until 1921 The Deceased Brother’s Widow Act, a man couldn’t marry his late brother’s widow. There had been a Biblical basis for this, which claimed it was incest, and was in the Prohibited Degrees printed in the back of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. The same rule stood for women marrying their late sister’s husband until 1907. However, there are many examples of couples marrying despite the prohibition. It seems that vicars turned a blind eye if small children were involved, particularly where the mother had died. Sometimes couples married in parishes away from home, where their relationship was unknown to the vicar marrying them.
  • [very faded] 1734 Edward Polley, notwithstanding his good primse did [?] commit the same trespass which did the last? ? upon? I had [….] process from the commissary court which he took no notice […] & for his contumacy was in die time excommunicated. But for the sake of his wife & family I was persuaded not to publish the excommunication if she would answer the ? & she ? ? which now? ? [image 96]
  • Richard Reyner did private Penance on acct of the sin of antenuptial fornication committed with Ann his deceased wife this 30th of Janry 1734. [image 1] Antenuptial means before marriage. It seems that this penance took place rather late, as by the time he did his penance, his wife had already passed away!
  • Mar. 21st 1735-6. Elisabeth Hubbard was declared excommunicated for contumacy in not appearing to answer to articles alledged against her touching her disobedience to the ordinary who last year confirmed the minister & the church wardens disposition of the pews in the church. [image 96] It seems a bit harsh to excommunicate someone over the use of pews in the church!
  • Jan 29th 1737-8 Elisabeth Hubbard upon her submission & taking the great oath those cause? to a future obedience to the ordinary, was publickly declared absolved in our ? by my P. Go. [image 96]
  • As to inhabitants carting wood cross the churchyard to their houses, I found I must bring an indelible ? upon one if I didn not desis from asserting the vicar’s right. [image 96]
  • Mem. In March 1752 The little gates which were set up instead of the stiles in Mr Young’s time about 25 years ago were altered again into stiles; two small gates are still continued wch wht the great gate are to be opened on Sundays & Prayer days. It was with great difficulty that I prevailed wth the parish to make this alteration; therefore as the gates made the churchyard of but little value to the vicar being at most always open & great confusion arising from thence I hope it will be warning to my successors how they suffer the stile to be taken down again. [image 96]
  • Mar 30th 1752 Easter Monday it was agreed in a Vestry meeting to augment Jno Causton’s salary as Parish clerk from £2 5 sh to £3 pr ann which will make his place comman ann worth between £8 and £9. [image 1]
  • Mem. Oct 16th 1766. The above Sarah White was Absolved at Lavenham Visitation the absolute was published at the church on the 18th, when she and did her Penance very decently before me. P. G. Vr. [image 96] Sarah had been excommunicated over 30 years before, for a relationship with her late husband’s brother, mentioned above.