The county of Nottingham being in the Archdeaconry of York the annual transcripts of parish registers were sent to the Archbishop's Registry in that city, except those from such places as possessed a "Peculiar Jurisdiction." Amongst the latter class Oxton came, being of the "Peculiar of Southwell," along with 27 other parishes. No part of the canon of 1603 has been so badly observed as that concerning the Transcripts, possibly because there were no fees attached. This being the case neither the bishops nor parishes were anxious to do work without remuneration, and the parishes often begrudged the expenses of the copying. In the case of Oxton the copy for the year 1622 only is at Southwell, but those for 1721, 1727, 1728 and 1730 are at York. The reason these years are there instead of at Southwell is that the Archbishop of York, was, by Royal Statute, visitor of the Collegiate Church of Southwell, and as, during the years when he made his visitations, the jurisdiction of all "Peculiars" was inhibited, the parish register transcripts for those years were sent direct to York. A copy of the 17th century Parish Register Transcripts belonging to the Peculiar of Southwell, edited by Mr. T. M. Blagg, F.S.A., has been published by the Thoroton Society in their "Record Series," from which the above particulars were taken.

Another entry concerning an Oxton cleric occurs in 1620: "Anne Huthwet, the daughter of Robert Huthwet, minister, was baptised xxiiij. Sept."

Later, we come to entries of a William Jackson from 1635, and this would be the Cromwellian vicar mentioned in the 1650 Parliamentary enquiry. That document states:

"The Impropriation of Oxton belonging to the Church of Southwell parte whereof is in the possession of Edward Andrews, Esq., worth £45 per annum, another parte thereof in the possession of the Lady Chaworth worth £30 per annum, and a third parte therefo in the possession of Major Sanders worth £15 per annum also the viccariadge of Oxton aforesaid worth tenne (£10) pounds per annum. William Jackson Clarke the present incumbent who hath cure of soules there and receives oneley the proffites of the said viccariage for his sallarie his supplieinge the cure diligentlie in his own person being a preachinge  minister."

Although William Jackson had been in charge during the reign of Charles I., he evidently leaned towards the Presbyterian side, and fully satisfied the Cromwellian Government. The Puritans considered him to be a good preacher and an eminently holy man; little beyond this is known of him except that he died a centenarian, the Oxton registers testifying that "the oulde vicar was buried September 29th, 1675." He had a son, John, described as "Pious, efficient, and very acceptable in doctrine and manner." This son was the selected opponent to Mr. Allott for Calverton and Woodborough, being the Woodborough candidate against Mr. Allot as the Calverton nominee. After a long petition from Woodborough "Mr. John Jackson was commanded to preech there (in Calverton church) upon tryall, and on the 30th Dec. A.D. 1659." The result was extremely perplexing, the candidates were as alike as two peas, and not a pin to choose between them. After a week of indecision, another "tryall" was ordered for 16th Jan., 1660, and the two men were to be heard together. The trial was held, voting taken, and Mr.  Allott was elected.

Although defeated in this particular, he was known far and wide for his merits, and in 1652 strong pressure was brought to bear upon him to conform. Notwithstanding prospects of better preferment being held out to him he refused, and settled down as a schoolmaster, occasionally preaching at odd places. At this time Kneesal was noted for Puritans, and here he subsequently removed, teaching and preaching twice every Lord's day. He died Dec. 25th, 1696, and was buried in Kneesal churchyard. A great many of the churchwardens of Oxton in the 17th century were unable to write, and their marks occur in the registers. These marks are not the conventional + seen to-day, for at this time the custom still lingered of each man having a distinct design with which he marked all his goods, and when his signature was required to a document he placed his mark on it, his name being written beside or under it.

Instances occur of a man being elected churchwarden and relegating the duties of the office to some one else as in 1639, when Mich Boulton served for W. Savil, and later in 1641 for Henry Greene. In the marriage registers instances occur of the Cromwellian Civil  marriages.

During the Civil War the system of church registration shared in the general confusion and on December 6th, 1644, the subject was specially referred by the House of Commons to the Committee, who had charge of the Directory for the public worship of God. In January 1644-5 the Directory was substituted for the Book of Common Prayer, and it was directed that "a fair register-book of velim should be provided in every parish, and that the names of all children baptised and the time of their birth, and also the names of all persons married and buried should be set down by the minister. Notwithstanding these regulations the system of parochial registration broke down during the Commonwealth. The evil was recognised, and the hand of Parliament again invoked, with the result that a Committee was formed and empowered to frame new regulations. The most urgent question considered by the committee was the marriage ceremony, hitherto regarded as a religious contract by the common law of England, the duties of celebrating which were strictly vested in the clergy. The Independents, who were then the dominant party, were bent on taking these duties from the clergy, and divesting the ceremony of its religious significance by handing over the whole jurisdiction to the civil magistracy. A Bill was prepared to adjust the law, but the deliberations of the Committee were so long drawn out that when the long Parliament was forcibly dispersed by Cromwell in April, 1653, the projects for reform were only in draft, and waiting for legislation. However, the question of marriage registration was considered so urgent that the draft Bill of the Committee was made law the following August by the Parliament generally known as "Praise God Barebone's Parliament." By this Act the clergy were compelled to give up their books, and a layman appointed in each parish to take over the registration. The layman to be known as the "Public Register." His duties were not confined to registration, for on 29th September, 1654, it was enacted that no marriage after that date was to be celebrated without a certificate from the "Public Register," to the effect that the banns had been published on "three successive Lord's days at the close of the morning exercise in the public meeting place commonly called the church or chapel."

An instance of the effect of this legislation is seen in the following entry from the Oxton registers:

"William Egleston and Ann Whitehurst of Southwell, with the consent of her parents, viz., Antony Charleton and Ann, his wife, bringing a certificate of the publication of marriage according to the Act of Parliament, were married before Mr. Thomas Sherbrook, Justice of Peace, in the presence of Antony Charlton and George Whitehurst, sworn men with other witnesses, 15th May, 1654."

If the contracting parties chose they could have the banns proclaimed "in the nearest Market - place on three successive market days," instead of the church, and an instance of this occurs in the following entry:

"James Jackson, minister at Arnall, and Ruth Gretton, of the town of Nottingham, were married at Oxton, having first had their purpose of marraige published three several market days at the Market Cross at Nottingham, 29th November, 1659."

This James Jackson may have been another son of the Cromwellian, vicar of Oxton, William Jackson. We have record of another of Jackson's sons contracting a civil marriage in the following entry:

"Joseph Jackson, son of William Jackson, minister, and Margaret Rice, daughter-in-law, of Thomas Rippen, of Southwell, married at Stoke before William Wightman, Esquire."

From 1654 until May, 1657, the entries record the names of the justices before whom the marriage ceremony was performed. As showing how totally the ceremony was divested of its former religious significance the following may be of interest. The persons intending to be married were to take the certificate of publication of banns to the nearest Justice of the Peace. In the presence of the justice and witnesses the man took the woman by the hand and distinctly pronounced the following words:—

"I ------ do here in the presence of God the
seacher of all hearts, take thee -----------------  for
my wedded wife, and do also in the presence of God and before these witnesses promise to be unto three a loving and faithful husband."

It will be noticed that there is no mention made of any ring. This was because the use of the ring was assumed to be of heathen origin, so no notice was taken of it, and it was gravely debated whether it ought not to be prohibited altogether. The civil marriage was not popular, and was abolished at the Restoration when the inconvenience of bastardising the issue of civil marriages became so apparent that marriages by justices were legalised by Act of Parliament in 1660. (12 Car. II. c. 33).