Incidents from the Parish Records Back to the Main Historical Society page
Back to the Barwicker Contents page

Incidents from the Parish Records

from The Barwicker No. 47

The records of baptisms, marriages and burials of Barwick Parish Church are of great interest to family and local historians alike, especially in the printed and indexed form of the book "Wills, Registers and Monumental Inscriptions of the Parish of Barwick-in-Elmet" by G D Lumb, published in 1908, which covers the period 1631 to 1812. Names, dates, and in later entries ages and occupations, provide valuable information and when the compiler has left us the full correctly worded notice, there is often much extra to consider, as in the marriage notice below. The original spelling has been retained in all the extracts used here.

Stephen Tempest of Barmebowe, Esquier, and Anne Gascoigne of the same, gentlewoman, both of them of the parish of Barwick-in-Elmett, and either of them being above the age of one and twentie years, after the declaration of a marriage intended and agreed to be solemnized betweene them beeing first published three severall markett dayes at the Markett Crosse of Weatherby, according to the lait Act of Parliament made touching Marriages, were married together the Eighth day of Marche in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and fiftie four, in the presence of James Wright, John Tempest and Roger Turner, witnesses - Before mee. John Saville.

The unusual place for displaying the notice of the marriage - at Wetherby Market cross rather than Barwick parish church - may be due to the fact that Tempests and the Gascoignes were Roman Catholics, who were persecuted for their faith. Unlike other notices of the time, it does not state that the marriage took place in the parish church. It refers to the Act of Parliament of 1653 (in the Commonwealth years), which took away from ministers the custody of the registers and even the solemnisation of the marriage ceremony itself. The former function was entrusted to a new secular official "the Parish Register", in the above case John Saville.

It is often the burial records that give us the most information about the lives and manner of death of the people of the parish. Accidents at work involving both men and women were not uncommon.

1707 Henry Turner and were buried being killed in a Coale pit 28 July
1729 Thos. Maxfield of Partley Bridge slain in a colepit, April 19.
1735 Doratha Mather of Austhorp, slain in a sand Pitt upon the Low Moor, buried March 6.
1736 John Holdsworth of Bramham, labourer, slain by the fall of a tree in Whittle Carr, buryed December 22nd.
1747 Christopher Dickinson of Barwick slain in the Quarry, bur. Sept.6.
1781 Christopher Dickinson, Lowmoor, Kild in Seacroft Coolpitts, died May 16, buried May 17.

Then as now, some fatal accidents involved a form of transport.

1762 Ann Roper, wife of Jonathan (Killed by a cart), Lowmoor, April 20.
1778 William Abbott, Barwick, died July 14, buried July 16. Kild by a fall from a cart.
1780 Henry Doughty, Barwick, Kild with a Cart, died June 6, bd. June 8.
1798 Elizabeth (run over by a cart), daughter of Thos. Collett, Barwick, Sept. 25, aged 1 year.
Some people experienced a solitary death in a lonely part of the parish.

1688 Walter Ridley, a Northumberland man, was found dead on Cattle Moor where we went our perambulation in Rogation week on the 7 June.
1661 Margaret Watson, of Leeds was found dead at Cattle close head near ye gate to Sheepen. September 3rd.
1728 John Greenwood of Leeds found dead upon Winmoor February 26.
1726 William Forest, drowned in Grimesdike, Shadwell, March 7.

Death also overtook some who were staying with friends in the parish and also some were passing through and were buried in the churchyard here.

1667 John, son of Stephen Luck, a traveller. October the 31st.
1668 John Robinson, a Stranger, April the 13th.
1743 Elizabeth, daughter of Sarah Whitaker, a travelling woman, June 23rd.
1768 (?) Michel, A Foreigner, at Blue Boar, Kid Hall Lane April 14th.
1670 Jane Ingle, widdow, a sojourner at Grimesdike, Sept. 18th.
1672 Thomas Gouthwaite, a sojourner at Potterton, June 30th.
1794 A Traviling Woman July 14th.

An Act of 1678, designed to protect the wool trade, required that all people were to be buried in a shroud of wool and that the coffin should be lined with wool. It was soon brought into effect in Barwick, as the following burial notices show.

1678 George Hunter of Winmoor was Buryed in woollen August 10th.
1678 Wm. Tate of Scoles was Buryed in woolen, November 25th.

"No name, no pack drill" seems to have been the order of the day when the activities of military men were noted in the burial records.

1690 A souldiers child at Potterton, January 16th.
1760 A Militia Man who Dy'd on Winmoor was buried March 14th.

Notices concerning money collected for various "briefs", the sale of pews and the establishment of charities are sometimes included in the parish registers. It seems unlikely that a more eccentric letter will ever appear than the one below.

To Mr Dudson, Curate of Barwick-in-Elmet, dated Sept. 28th 1687
Reverent Sir,
You are desired to receive five pounds from this bearer and to give it to your Churchwardens to distribute to the poor Parishioners as followeth, viz: 50s. to be equally divided to all the poor men which are 60 years of age or upward; and 50s. to all the poor widdows which are of the same age, the wifes of one husband (widdows indeed). A proof for which Act of mine you may find in ye. 1 Epis. to Timothy. 5 ch, 9 verse, and it is an example which I have learned from the right Reverend Father in God, Dr Andrews, sometime Bishop of Winchester, as you may find in his life thus writ; A prelate worthy of renown and a light of Charity fit for all men to imitate whom God has blessed with abilities. Sir, I have taken the freedom to trouble you upon this account, and if you think it a trouble I beg your pardon for it; but upon second thoughts I conclude you think it an honour to be God's Almoner; thus desireing your fervent hearty prayers for me and mine,

I rest Yours faithfull Lover in Christ, the unwilling to be known,

The charges made by the Rector for the services he provided are included and updated from time to time, for instance in 1722;

s. d.
Licence, wedding 5 0
Wedding by Banns 1 0
Burial 0 6
Churching 0 4
Registring 0 6
Psalm at funeral 0 6

Those who offended against the norms of the time were cited: illegitimate births, paupers, who were maintained by the parish, and those, like Roman Catholics, who were of a faith different from the established church. Some entries seem more poignant than usual, and one is left to speculate about the standards and customs of the time and the lives of those involved.

Baptism 1742 Moses and Aaron, sons of William Reedal, Mawrick, Jan 24.
Burial 1742 Moses and Aaron, sons of William Reedal, Mawrick, Jan 25.
Baptism 1759 Margaret and Mary, twins, daughters of John and Mary Lumb, shoemaker, Barwick, July 24.
Burial 1759 Margaret and Mary, twins, daughters of John and Mary Lumb, shoemaker, Barwick, July 26.
Burial 1760 Catherine Briggs, March 22, but no Cerimony said over her.
Burial 1706 John Dineley of Barwick, a poor blind man, Sept. 12


Back to the top
Back to the Main Historical Society page
Back to the Barwicker Contents page