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Archbishop William Laud:
Visitation Articles, 1635

Concerning the Church, the Ornaments thereof, and the Church's Possessions

Imprimis. Whether have you in your several Churches and Chapels the whole Bible of the largest volume and the Book of Common Prayer, both fairly and substantially bound; a font of stone, set up in the ancient usual place; a convenient and decent Communion Table, with a carpet of silk or some other decent stuff, continually laid upon the same at time of Divine Service, and a fair linen cloth thereon at the time of the receiving of the Holy Communion? And whether is the same Table placed in such convenient sort within the Chancel or Church, as that the minister may be best heard in his prayer and administration and that the greatest number may communicate? And whether is it so used out of time of Divine Service as is not agreeable to the holy use of it, as by sitting on it, throwing hats on it, writing on it, or is it abused to other profaner uses? And are the Ten Commandments set upon the East End of your Church or Chapel where the people may best see and read them, and other sentences of Holy Scripture, written on the walls likewise for that purpose?

2. Whether are the afternoon sermons, in your several parishes turned into catechizing by question and answer, according to the form prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer? And whether doth every lecturer read Divine Service, according to the Liturgy printed by authority, in his surplice and hood before the lecture? And whether are his Majesty's instructions in all things duly observed?

3. Whether have you in your said Church or Chapel a convenient seat for your minister to read setvice in, together with a comely pulpit set up in a convenient place, with a decent cloth or cushion for the same, a comely large surplice, a fair communion cup with a cover of silver, a flagon of silver, tin, or pewter, to put the wine in, whereby it may be set upon the Communion Table, at the time of the blessing thereof. with all other things and ornaments necessary for the celebration of Divine Service and Administration of the Sacraments? And whether have you a strong chest for alms for the poor, with three locks and keys, and another chest for keeping the books, and ornaments of the Church, and the Register Book? And whether have you a Register Book in parchment, for Christenings, Weddings, and Burials, and whether the same be kept in all points according to the Canons in that behalf provided? And is the mother's Christian name therein registered as well as the father's, and a transcript thereof brought in yearly within one month after the 25th of March, into the Lord Archbishop, or Bishop of the Diocese, his principal Register? And whether have you in your said Church or Chancel a table set of the degrees wherein by law men are prohibited to marry?

4. Whether are your Church and Chapels, with the chancels thereof, and your parsonage or vicarage house, your parish almshouse and Church House, in good reparations? And are they employed to godly and their right holy uses? Is your Church, chancel, and Chapel decently and comely kept, as well within as without, and the seats well maintained, according to the 85th Canon, in that behalf provided? Or have any patrons or others decayed the parsonage houses, and kept a stipendiary priest or curate in place where an incumbent should be provided? Whether is your churchyard well fenced with walls, rails, or pales, and by whom? And if not, in whose default the same is, and what the defect or fault is? And whether any person have encroached upon the ground of the churchyard, or whether any person or persons have used any thing or place consecrated to holy use, profanely or wickedly?

5. Is your Church or Chapel decently paved, and is your churchyard well and orderly kept without abuse? Are the bones of the dead decently interred or laid up in some fit place, as beseemeth Christians? And is the whole consecrated ground kept free from swine and all other nastiness, as becometh the place so dedicated?

6. Whether have any ancient monuments or glass windows been defaced, or any brass inscriptions, lead, stone, or anything else belonging to your Church or Chapel been at any time purloined, and by whom?

7. Whether have you the terrier of all the glebelands, meadows, gardens, orchards, houses, stocks, implements, tenements, and portions of tithes (whether within your parish or without) belonging unto your parsonage or vicarage, taken by the view of honest men in your said parish? And whether the said terrier be laid up in the Bishop's Registry, and in whose hands any of them are now? And if you have no terrier already made in parchment, you the churchwardens and sidemen, together with your parson or vicar, or in his absence with your minister, are to make diligent enquiry and presentment of the several particulars following, and make, subscribe, and sign the said terrier, as aforesaid.

1. How many several parcels of glebe-land, do you know, or have you credibly heard to belong unto your rectory, Church, parsonage, vicarage, etc.; and by what names are they (or any of them) commonly called and known? And what yearly rent have you known or heard to have been paid, unto the parson, vicar, or to his or their assigns, for every, or any of the said parcels?

2. In whose occupation are the said parcels at this present? How much doth each parcel contain by measure of the sixteen foot pole? How is each parcel butted, on every part? And who is to repair the fences on each side thereof?

3. What hedge, ditch, meere, tree, thorn, doole,' or distinction is there now, at this present, whereby the said parcels of Church lands may be apparently known and distinguished from the lands of other men, upon whom they do abut?

4. What cartway, horseway, footway, gates, or stiles, do lead from your parsonage or vicarage house unto every of the said parcels of glebeland? Declare your knowledge therein.

5. Whether you do know, or have you credibly heard, that some stiles, gates, hedges, ditch, meere, tree, thorn, or other doole [A boundary stake, marking the limits of Church lands] (formerly growing or being between the said parcels of glebe, or some of them, and the lands of other men) have been digged up, felled down, destroyed, put by or defaced? And who bath the said parcel (so wronged) in occupation, when the said stile, gate, hedge, ditch, meere, tree, thorn, or other ancient doole, was so digged up, felled down, destroyed, put by or defaced?

Concerning the Clergy

1. Whether doth your parson, vicar, or curate, distinctly and reverently say Divine Service upon Sundays and Holydays, and other days appointed to be observed by the Book of Common Prayer, as Wednesdays and Fridays and the Eves of every Sunday and Holyday, at fit and usual times? And doth he duly observe the orders, rites, and ceremonies, prescribed in the said Book of Common Prayer, as well in reading public prayers and the Litany, as also in administering the Sacraments, Solemnization of Matrimony, Visiting the Sick, Burying the Dead, Churching of Women, and all other like rites and Offices of the Church, in such manner and form as in the said Book of Common Prayer he is enjoined, without any omission or addition? And doth he read the Book of the Last Canons yearly, and wear a surplice according to the said Canons?

2. Whether have you any lecturer in your parish, who bath preached in his cloke and not in his gown, and whether you have any lecturer who will not profess his willingness and readiness to take upon him a living or benefice, with cure of souls, or who hath refused a benefice when it hath been offered unto him?

3. Doth your minister bid Holydays and Fasting Days, as by the Book of Common Prayer is appointed? And doth he give warning beforehand to the parishioners for the receiving of the Holy Communion, as the Twoand-Twentieth Canon requireth? And whether he doth administer the Holy Communion so often, and at such times as that every parishioner may receive the same, at the least three times in every year, whereof once at Easter, as by the Book of Common Prayer is appointed? And doth your minister receive the same himself, on every day that he administereth it to others, and use the words of institution according to the Book at every time that the bread and wine is renewed, according as by the proviso of the 21st Canon is directed? And doth he deliver the bread and wine to every communicant severally, and kneeling? Whether he hath admitted to the Holy Communion any notorious offender or schismatic, contrary to the 26th and 27th Constitutions, or received any to the Communion being not of his own cure, or put any from the Communion who are not publicly infamous for any notorious crime? Doth he use the Sign of the Cross in Baptism, or baptize in any basin or other vessel and not in the usual font; or admit any father to be godfather to his own child or such who have not received the Holy Communion; or baptize any children that were not born, in the parish, or wilfully refuse to baptize any infant in his parish, being in danger, having been informed of the weakness of the said child: and whether the child dieth through his default without baptism?

4. Whether hath your minister married any without a ring, or without banns published three several Sundays or Holydays in time of Divine Service, in the several Churches or Chapels of their several abodes, according to the Book of Common Prayer, or in times prohibited, albeit the banns were thrice published, without a licence or dispensation from the Archbishop, or Bishop of the Diocese, or his chancellor, first obtained in that behalf? Or not betwixt the hours of eight and twelve in the forenoon, or have married any in any private house, or if the party be under the age of twentyone years, before their parents or governors have signified their consent unto him?

5. Doth he refuse to bury any which ought to be interred in Christian burial, or defer the same longer than he should? Or bury any in Christian burial, which by the constitutions of the Church of England, or laws of the land, ought not to be so interred?

6. Is your minister a preacher allowed? If yea, then by whom? If not, whether doth he procure some who are lawfully licensed to preach monthly among you at the least?

7. Doth your minister (being licensed) preach usually according to the Canons, either in his own cure or in some other Church or Chapel near adjoining, where no other preacher is, and how often hath he been negligent in that behalf, and doth he preach standing, and with his hat off? Or whether doth he or his curate upon every Sunday, when there is no sermon, read an homily, or some part thereof, according as he ought to do? Or in case he be not licensed to preach, doth he take upon him to preach or expound the Scriptures in his own cure, or elsewhere? If so, then you are to present the same, the time and place, when and where he doth it.

8. Doth your minister use to pray for the King's Majesty, King Charles, and for the Queen's Majesty, Prince Charles, and all the royal progeny, with addition of such style and titles as are due to his highness, and exhort the people to obedience to His Majesty and all magistrates in authority under him? And doth he also pray for all Archbishops, Bishops, and other ecclesiastical persons?

9. Is your minister continually resident upon his benefice, and how long time hath he been absent; and in case he be licensed to be absent, whether doth he cause his cure to be sufficiently supplied, according to the Canons? Or in case he hath another benefice, whether doth he supply his absence by a curate sufficiently licensed to preach in that cure where he himself is not resident? Or otherwise, in case the smallness of the living cannot find a preaching minister, doth he preach at both his benefices usually?

10. Doth your minister or curate serve any more cures than one? If yea, then what other cure doth he serve, and how far are they distant?

11. Doth your minister or curate every Sunday and Holyday, before Evening Prayer, for , half an hour or more, examine and instruct the youth and ignorant persons of his parish in the Ten Commandments, Articles of the Belief, and in the Lord's Prayer, and the Sacraments, according as it is prescribed in the Catechism, set forth in the Book of Common Prayer, only? And if he do not, where is the fault, either in the parents and masters of the children, or in the curate neglecting his duty? And is he careful to tender all such youths of his parish as have been well instructed in their Catechism, to be confirmed by the Bishop in his visitation, or any other convenient time, as is appointed by the Book aforesaid?

12. Doth your minister in the Rogation Days go in perambulation of the circuit of the parish, saying and using the prayers, suffrages, and thanksgiving to God, appointed by law, according to his duty, thanking God for His blessings, if there be plenty on the earth; or otherwise, to pray for His grace and favour, if there be a fear of scarcity?

13. Hath your minister admitted any woman, begotten with child in adultery, or fornication, to be churched without licence of the ordinary?

14. Hath your minister, or any other preacher, baptized children, churched any woman, or ministered Holy Communion in any private house, otherwise than by law is allowed?

15. Doth your minister endeavour and labour diligently to reclaim the popish recusants in his parish from their errors (if there be any such abiding in your parish)? Or whether is your parson, vicar, or curate, over conversant with, or a favourer of recusants, whereby he is suspected not to be sincere in religion?

16. Hath your minister taken upon him to appoint any public or private fasts, prophecies, or exercises, not approved by law or public authority, or hath used to meet in any private house or place with any person or persons, there to consult how to impeach or deprave the Book of Common Prayer, or the doctrine or discipline of the Church of England? If yea, then you shall present them all.

17. Hath your minister stayed the publication of any excommunications or suspensions, or doth he every half year denounce in his parish Church all such of his parish as are excommunicated, and persevere therein without seeking to be absolved; or doth he wittingly and willingly keep company with such as are excommunicate; and hath he admitted into your Church any person excommunicate, without a certificate of his Absolution from the ordinary or other competent judge?

18. Doth your minister carefully look to the relief of the poor and from time to time call upon his parishioners to give somewhat as they can spare to godly and charitable uses, especially when they make their testaments?

19. Whether your minister, or any having taken Holy Orders, being now silenced or suspended, or any other person of your knowledge or as you have heard, hold any conventicles, or doth preach in any place, or use any other form of Divine Service than is appointed in the Book of Common Prayer? If yea, then you are to present their names, and with whom.

20. Whether is your curate licensed to serve by the Bishop of this Diocese, or by any other, and by whom?

21. Doth your minister use such decency and comeliness in his apparel, as by the 47th Canon is enjoined? Is he of sober behaviour, and one that doth not use such bodily labour, as is not seemly for his function and calling?

22. Is your minister noted or defamed to have obtained his benefice or his Orders, by simony, or any other way defamed to be a simoniacal person, or any way noted to be a schismatic, or schismatically affected, or reputed to be an incontinent person, or doth table or lodge any such in his house? Or is he a frequenter of taverns, inns, or alehouses, or any place suspected for ill rule? Or is he a common drunkard, a common gamester, or player at dice, a swearer, or one that applieth himself not at his study, or is otherwise offensive and scandalous to his function or ministry?

23. Doth your preacher or lecturer read Divine Service before his sermon, or lecture and minister the Sacraments twice a year at least in his own person, according to the Canons?

24. When any person hath been dangerously sick in your parish, hath he neglected to visit him, and when any have been parting out of this life, hath he omitted to do his last duty in that behalf?

25. Doth your minister, curate, or lecturer in his or their sermons deliver such doctrine as tends to obedience and the edifying of their auditory in faith and religion, without intermeddling with matters of state, not fit to be handled in the pulpit, but to be discussed by the wisdom of His Majesty and His Council? And if you find any fault herein, you shall present them.


1. Doth any in your parish openly or privately take upon him to teach school, without licence of the ordinary, and is he conformable to the religion now established? And doth he bring his scholars to the Church to hear Divine Service and sermons? And doth he instruct his scholars in the grounds of the religion now established in this Church of England, and is he careful and diligent to benefit his scholars in learning?

2. Doth your schoolmaster teach and instruct his youth in any other Catechism than is allowed by public authority? And what Catechism is it that he so teacheth?

3. Is any living or means given towards the erection or maintenance of the school withholden back or otherwise employed, and by whom?

4. Doth any keep school in the chancel or Church, by which means that holy place and the Communion Table are many ways profaned, and the windows broken?

Parish Clerks and Sextons

1. Have you a fit parish clerk, aged twenty years at least, of honest conversation, able to read and write? Whether are his and the sexton's wages paid without fraud, according to the ancient custom of your parish? If not, then by whom are they so defrauded or denied? By whom are they chosen? And whether the said clerk is approved by the Ordinary? And hath he taken an oath, as in such cases is fitly required? And is he diligent in his office and serviceable to the minister? And doth he take upon him to meddle with anything above his office, as Churching of Women, Burying the Dead, or such like?

2. Doth your clerk or sexton keep the Church clean, the doors locked at fit times? Is anything lost or spoiled in the Church through his default? Are the Communion Table, font, books, and other ornaments of the Church kept fair and clean? Doth he suffer any unseasonable finging, or any profane exercise in your church? Or doth he, when any is passing out of this life, neglect to toll a bell, having notice thereof?

Concerning the Parishioners

1. Whether any of your parishioners being sixteen years of age or upwards, or others lodging or commonly resorting to any house within your parish, do wilfully absent themselves from your parish Church, upon Sundays or Holydays at Morning and Evening prayers? Or who come late to Church, and depart from Church before service be done upon the said days? Or who do not reverently behave themselves during the time of Divine Service, devoutly kneeling when the General Confession of sins, the Litany, the Ten Commandments, and all Prayers and Collects are read, and using all due and lowly reverence, when the blessed Name of the Lord Jesus Christ is mentioned, and standing up when the Articles of the Belief are read? Or who do cover their heads in the Church during the time of Divine Service, unless it be in case of necessity, in which case they may wear a night-cap or coif? Or who do give themselves to babbling, talking, or walking, and are not attentive to hear the word preached or read? Whether any of your parish, being of sixteen years of age or upwards, do not receive the Holy Communion in your Church thrice every year, whereof once at Easter; and whether they do not devoutly kneel at the receiving thereof? And whether any having divers houses of remove do shift from place to place, of purpose to defeat the performance of their Christian duties in that behalf?

2. Whether any of your parishioners, being admonished thereof, do not send their children, servants, and apprentices to the minister, to be catechized upon such Sundays and Holydays as are appointed? Or whether any of them do refuse to come; or if they come, refuse to learn those instructions set forth in the Book of Common Prayer?

3. Whether any of your parish do entertain within their house any sojourner, common guests, or other persons who refuse to frequent Divine Service or receive the Holy Communion, as aforesaid? Present their names, their qualities, or conditions.

4. What Recusant Papists are there in your parish or other sectaries? Present their names, qualities, or conditions. Whether they keep any schoolmaster in their house which cometh not to Church to hear Divine Service and receive the Communion? What is his name, and how long hath he taught there or elsewhere?

5. Whether any of the said Popish Recusants or other schismatics do labour to seduce and withdraw others from the religion now established? Or instruct their families or children in Popish Religion? Or refuse to entertain any, especially in place of greatest service or trust, but such as concur with them in their opinions?

6. How long have the said Popish Recusants abstained from Divine Service, or from the Communion, as aforesaid?

7. Is there any in your parish that retain, sell, utter, or disperse any Popish books, writings, or other books, libraries, or writings of any sectaries, touching the religion, state, or government ecclesiastical of this Kingdom of England, or keep any monuments of superstition uncancelled or undefaced?

8. Whether have you any in your parish, which heretofore being Popish Recusants or sectaries have since reformed themselves, and come to Church to hear Divine Service and to receive the Sacraments? If yea, then who are they? And how long since they so reformed themselves? And whether they still remain and abide in that conformity?

9. Is there any in your parish that refuse to have their children baptized, or themselves to receive the Communion at the hands of your minister, taking exception against him, and what causes or exceptions do they allege? Or have any married wives refused to come to Church, according to the Book of Common Prayer, to give God thanks after their child-birth for their safe deliverance? And whether do any of or in your parish refuse to have their children baptized in your parish Church, according to the Form prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer?

10. Do any of your parish usually go to other parish Churches to hear Divine Service or sermons? Or do they communicate, or baptize their children in any other parish?

11. Whether there be any in your parish who will come to hear the sermon, but who will not come to public prayers appointed by the Book of Common Prayer, making a schism or division (as it were) between the use of public prayer and preaching?

12. What persons within your parish for any offence, contumacy, or crime of ecclesiastical cognizance, do stand excommunicate? Present their names, and for what cause they are excommunicated, and how long they have so stood, and what person or persons do wittingly and usually keep them company.

13. Whether any, not being in Orders, do execute any Priestly or Ministerial Office, in your Church, Chapel, or churchyard, and what be their names?

14. Whether any in your parish that having heretofore taken upon him the Order of Priesthood or Deacon hath since relinquished the same, and lives as a layman neglecting his vocation?

15. Hath any person in your parish quarrelled, or stricken, or used any violence to your minister, or have stricken or quarrelled with any other person within your Church or churchyard, or demeaned himself disorderly in the Church, by filthy or profane talk or any other base or immodest behaviour? Or hath disturbed the minister in time of Divine Service? Or hath libelled or spoken slanderous words against your minister, to the scandal of his vocation, or defamed any of his neighbours touching any crime of ecclesiastical cognizance?

16. Whether any of or in your parish, without consent of the Ordinary or other lawful authority, have caused any to do penance, or to be censured or punished for any matter of ecclesiastical cognizance, by any vestry meetings or otherwise by their own authority? Or have taken any money or commutation for the same? Present their names that have done it. And who have been so punished? On what manner and upon what cause?

17. Whether any person in your parish do exercise any trade or labour, buy or sell, or keep open shops or warehouses upon any Sunday or Holyday, by themselves or their servants or apprentices, or have otherwise profaned the said days, contrary to the orders of the Church of England? And whether there be any innkeepers, alehouse keepers, victuallers, or other persons, that permit any persons in their houses to eat, drink, or play, during the time of Divine Service or sermon, or reading the homilies in the forenoon or afternoon, upon those days?

18. Whether the fifth day of November be kept holy, and thanksgiving made to God for His Majesty's and this state's happy deliverance, according to the ordinance in that behalf?

19. Whether any of your parish hold or frequent any conventicles or private congregations, or make or maintain any constitutions agreed upon in any such assemblies? Or any that do write, or publicly or privately speak against the Book of Common Prayer or anything therein contained, or against any of the Articles of Religion, agreed upon in anno 1562, or against the King's Supremacy in causes ecclesiastical, or against the Oath of Supremacy or of Allegiance, as pretending the same to be unlawful and not warrantable by the Word of God? Or against any of the rites or ceremonies of the Church of England, now established? Or against the government of the Church of England under the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by Archbishops, Bishops, Deans, Archdeacons, and other officers of the same; affirming that the same is repugnant to the Word of God and that the said ecclesiastical officers are not lawfully ordained? Or whether there be any authors, maintainers, or favourers of heresy or schism, or there be suspected to be Anabaptists, Libertines, Brownists, of the Family of Love, or of any other schisms? Present their names.

20. Whether any in your parish have married within the degrees by law prohibited, and where, and by whom? And whether any couple in your parish being lawfully married live apart one from the other, without due separation by the Law? Or any that have been divorced, that keep company with any other at bed or at board?

21. Whether do any persons administer the goods of the dead without lawful authority, or suppress the last will of the dead? Or are there in your parish any wills not yet proved, or goods of the dead (dying intestate) left unadministered? By authority in that behalf you shall not fail to present the executors and all others faulty therein; and also how many persons being possessed of any goods and chattels, have died within your parish since the 10th day of February, 1634?

22. Whether any withhold the stock of the Church, or any goods or other things given to good and charitable uses?

23. Whether your hospitals and almshouses and other such houses and corporations, founded to good and charitable uses, and the lands, possessions, and goods of the same, be ordered and disposed of as they should be? And do the masters, governors, fellows, and others of the said houses and corporadons behave and demean themselves according to the godly ordinances and statutes of their several foundations?

24. Whether have you any in your parish to your knowledge or by common fame or report, which have committed adultery, fornication, or incest? Or any which have imprudently bragged or boasted that he or they have lived incontinently with any person or persons whatever? Or any that have attempted the chastity of any woman or solicited any woman to have the camal knowledge of her body? Or which are commonly reputed to be common drunkards, blasphemers of God's holy Name, common swearers, common slanderers of their neighbours, and sowers of discord, filthy and lascivious talkers, usurers, simoniacal persons, bawds or harbourers of women with child, which be unmarried, or conveying or suffering them to go away before they have made satisfaction to the Church? Or any that having heretofore been presented or suspected of any of the aforesaid crimes, have for that cause departed your parish, and are now returned again? Or any which have used any enchantments, sorceries, incantations, or witchcrafts, which are not made felony by the statutes of this realm, or any which have committed any perjury in any ecclesiastical court, in an ecclesiastical cause, or which have committed any forgery, punishable by the ecclesiastical laws, and the procurers and abettors of the said offences; you shall truly present the names of all and singular the said offenders, and with whom they have committed the said offences, in case they have not been publicly punished to your knowledge for the same crimes.

Physicians, Chirurgeons, and Midwives

1. How many physicians, chirurgeons, or midwives, have you in your parish? How long have they used their several sciences or offices, and by what authority? And how have they demeaned themselves therein, and of what skill accounted to be in their profession?

Touching the Churchwardens and Sidemen

1. Whether you and the churchwardens, questmen, or sidemen from time to time do, and have done their diligence, in not suffering any idle person to abide either in the churchyard or Church porch, in service or sermon-time, but causing them either to come into the Church to hear Divine Service, or to depart and not disturb such as be hearers there? And whether they have, and you do diligently see the parishioners duly resort to the Church every Sunday and Holyday and there to remain during Divine Service and sermon? And whether you or your predecessors, churchwardens there, suffer any plays, feasts, drinkings, or any other profane usages, to be kept in your Church, Chapel, or churchyard, or have suffered to your and their uttermost power and endeavour, any person or persons to be tippling or drinking in any inn or victualling house in your parish, during the time of Divine Service or sermon on Sundays and Holydays?

2. Whether, and how often have you admitted any to preach within your Church or Chapel, which was not sufficiently licensed? And whether you, together with your minister, have not taken diligent heed and care that every parishioner being of sixteen years of age or upwards, have received thrice every year as aforesaid? And also that no strangers have usually come to your Church from their own parish Church?

3. Whether have there been provided against every Communion, a sufficient quantity of white bread and good wholesome wine for the communicants that shall receive? And whether that wine be brought in a clean and sweet standing pot of pewter, or of other purer metal?

4. Whether were you chosen by the consent of the minister and the parishioners? And have the late churchwardens given up a just account for their time and delivered to their successors, by bill indented, the money and other things belonging to the Church which was in their hands? And are the alms of the Church faithfully distributed to the use of the poor?

5. Whether do you see the names of all preachers which are strangers and preach in your parish Churches to be noted in a book for that purpose, and whether every preacher do subscribe his name, and of whom he had his licence?

6. Whether there be any legacies withholden given to the Church, or poor people, or to the mending of highways, or otherwise by the testators? In whose name it is, by whom it was given, and by whom it is withholden?

7. Do you know of anything that hath been complained of, that is not yet redressed?

Concerning Ecclesiastical Magistrates and Officers

1. Whether do you know or have heard of any payment, composition, or agreement, to or with any ecclesiastical magistrate, judge, or officer for winking at or sparing to punish any person for any offence of ecclesiastical cognizance, or for suppressing or concealing of any excommunication, or any other ecclesiastical censure of or against any recusant, or any other offender in the cases aforesaid? What sum of money, or other consideration hath been received or promised, by, or to any of them, in that respect, by whom, and with whom?

2. Hath any person within your parish paid or promised any sum of money or other reward, for commutation of penance, for any crime of ecclesiastical cognizance? If so, then with whom? When, and for what, and how hath the same been employed?

3. Are your ecclesiastical judges and their substitutes Masters of Arts, or Bachelors of the Laws at least, learned and practised in the civil and ecclesiastical laws; men of good life and fame, zealously affected in religion, and just and upright in executing their offices? Have they heard any matter of office privately in their chambers, without their sworn registers' or their deputies' presence?

4. Do you know, or have you heard, that any ecclesiastical judge, officer, or minister, hath received or taken any extraordinary fees, or other rewards or promises, by any ways or means, directly or indirectly, of any person or persons whatsoever, either for the granting of the administration of the goods and chattels of those that have died intestate, to one before another, or for allotting of larger portions of the goods and chattels of those that have died intestate to one more than to another: or for allowing larger and unreasonable account, made by executors or administrators, or for giving them quietus est, or discharges, without inventory or account, to defraud creditors, legataries, or those who are to have portions? And what sums of money do you know, or have you heard, that any ecclesiastical judge or officer hath taken out of the estate of any dying intestate upon pretence to bestow the same in pios usus? And how have the same been bestowed?

5. Hath any ecclesiastical magistrate, judge, officer, or any exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction within this your Diocese, or any advocate, register, proctor, clerks, apparitors, or other minister belonging to the same ecclesiastical courts, exacted or taken by any ways or means, directly or indirectly, extraordinary or greater fees than are due and accustomed? And whether is there a table for the rates of all fees, set up in their several courts and offices? And whether they have sent or suffered any process to go out of the ecclesiastical courts otherwise than by law they ought? Or have they taken upon them the offices of informers or promoters to the said courts, or any other way abused themselves in their offices, contrary to the law and canons in that behalf provided?

6. What number of apparitors have every several judge ecclesiastical? And wherein, and in what manner is the country overburdened by them? And wherein have they caused or summoned any to appear in the said courts, without a presentment or citation first had? Or whether have they threatened any to prosecute them in the said courts, if they would not give them some rewards and what bribes in that behalf have they taken?

7. What reward or fees hath any of the apparitors taken to save the journeys to the ecclesiastical court of any persons, and what (after composition so made) have they or any of them taken and received, and what acquittance or discharge have they given or promised them and whether have they not cited some to appear before the Archdeacon or his official, after they have been ordered by the commissary, and done their penance accordingly? And whom have they so cited and troubled, and what hath it cost them, as you know or have heard, or by enquiry can find?

If you know of any other default or crime of ecclesiastical cognizance you are to present the same by virtue of your oaths.

The minister of every parish may and ought to join in the presentment with the church wardens and sidemen; and if they will not present, the minister may and ought himself to present the defaults and crimes aforesaid. And there must be several presentments made to every several article. And the minister, churchwardens, and swornmen, are to meet and confer about the said presentments, and answering of every of the aforesaid articles.


From Anglicanism, ed More (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 1935), pp. 702-705.

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