The Parish Registers.

"Every Parish must have a history; every Parish has a register, every person has a Parish."—bishop stubbs.

In July, 1535, Henry VIII. appointed Thomas Cromwell, who was at that time Lord Privy Seal, to be his Vicar-General, and in 1538 Cromwell issued his Order for the parsons "to kepe one boke or registere wherein ye shall write the day and yere of every weddyng christenyng & buryeng—and for the sauff kepinge of the boke the parishe shal provide one sure coffer with twoo lockes & keys whereof the one to remayne with you, & the other with the said wardens, wherein the said boke shal be laide upp."

The Arnold registers date back to A.D. 1544, and share with Woodboro' (commenced in the same year) the credit of being amongst the oldest in England. Cropwell Bishop began in 1539, but few began before 1558. The five old registers at Arnold cover the period 1544-1799. These, with other documents of parochial interest which have evidently been kept with praiseworthy care through the centuries, are to-day safely stored in a modern fireproof safe within the church vestry.

Vol. I. consists of 27 parchment leaves and relates to the period from 1544 to 1653.

Vol. II. has 24 parchment leaves and carries the record from 1653 to 1697.

Vol. III. has 32 parchment leaves for period 1698-1733.

Vol. IV. has 17 parchments sheets and 3 paper leaves for period 1733-1754.

Vol.  V., containing marriages only, deals with the period 1754-1799

Inscribed on the opening page in Elizabethan script appears the quotation:—

" The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance, but the name of the wicked shall rott."

There also appears on the cover a Latin inscription— " Hie licet exiguus tria continet ista libellus, Gyrum vita?, conjugium, baptisma, sepulchrum." which being interpreted runs :—

"This little book albeit small,
"Contains the round of life—marriage, baptism, burial."

Another rendering (by Mr. John Russell, M.A.) reads:—
"Of human life recorded here in brief you have
The stages three—the font, the altar, and the grave."

The first entry in the book relates to a christening and reads:— A.D. 1544. "Richard Deverill, sonne of John Deverill, was baptised the XXth day of Nov., anno dicto."

In the year 1600 the names of the churchwardens begin to appear, Wm. Lownd and Miles Byrsley being the first mentioned.

In 1603, an ecclesiastical mandate was issued ordering the provision in churches of a parchment book wherein were to be copied former paper registers, "so far as the ancient books thereof can be procured, but especially since the beginning of the reign of the late Queen" (Elizabeth). An entry in Arnold register appears (and probably is the only one of its kind in England) showing the due execution of the order in the following words:—

"Note—Anno 1605 in which year this same register was copied into parchment."

Another entry occurs in the list of burials thus:—"Note—In the year 1546 no buryings found in the former register." A similarly worded "Note" occurs relating to the years 1548 and 1560.

A.D. 1646. Rebecca Barber, daughter of Marie Barber and of William Deverill (as it is supposed) baptized Sept. 29th.

Population.—There were in all 92 funerals recorded in six years during the reign of Elizabeth, which suggests that at that period the population of Arnold was about 500. In the six years 1734-9, 144 baptisms are recorded, a circumstance which suggests that the population had increased to about 750.

In the year 1607 occupations, etc., began to be entered thus :—

William Martin, husbandman.
William Wolloms, alias Smith.
John Hibbart, Laborour.

A.D. 1612. George Forman, bastard, born the 9th of Decr.

A.D. 1619. Bridgett Roberte, a poore woman, died in childbed and buried the 10th June.

A.D. 1628. Mary, daughter of Anthony Oates of Bestwood Pk, baptized.

A.D. 1647. March 15—A poore woman and child was buried that came from Yorke. The names of the Churchwardens began to be entered in the registers about 1600; as complete a list as can be gleaned therefrom may be seen at the Church. The names of the Parish Overseers began to be entered in the registers in 1627.

A.D. 1676. The following note appears:—"That ye increase of ye Towne Stock during ye yeare ariseth from 20 shillings by Mr. Kirke to charitable uses and delivered in equal proptions into ye hands of ye Officers above mentioned." (viz.: Overseers.)

1676. March 28th. "Memd. It is agreed ys day that ye church wall shall be taken downe ys yeare and that such as have yr (land?) with ye churchyard yt is eyther on ye Northsyde or Southsyde of ye church, shall be excused as to ye particular parts and beare a proportion of ye charges with those whose tofts lye on ye highway, or West part of ye church, and tyt if ye said persons soe joyning with ye rest in that pt shall be att any time required afterwards to make yr owne parts, the neighbors forementioned shall beare yr proportion of ye charge with you."

1680. April 27th. "Whereas the Boundary of Arn-hall makes mention of a Boundary Marke over agt; or neare a gate belonging to Bestwood Parke, commonly called Coledale-Gate, lying towards the south syde of ye sayd Parke: Be ytt remembred (For ye preventing of any future mistakes touching ye sd Boundary-Marke) that ye sd Coledale Gate was, att, or about Michaelmas in ye year 1677, removed by order of Mr. John Hall, (then Agent or Steward) from ye place where itt anciently stood and placed more to ye Westward of ye same Parke. Attested by us whos names are after written:—

Dan Chadwicke, vic : ibid.
John Barber, Cheefe Constable.
Robett Fillingham.
Edward Newham.
Charles Waring.
John Stirtivant.
Tho. Gibson.
Jonathan Stirtivant.
George Roset.

1681. Note—The Poore's money was this year increased by a gift of 40/- from Thos. Sulley and distributed on Christmas Day 1683 by the churchwardens and overseers.

1682.  Thos. Moore's legacy to the poor this year, 5/-.

1684. Elizth Randall gave after her decease several lands for the use of the poor. The following entries are interesting :—

A.D. 1663. Collection at church for inhabitants of Hoinghton.

1689. For Edward Christian, Inkeeper of Grantham, 5/8. For a church at Lynmouth, Sandwich, Witham Basin.

1698. "Memorandum:—It is ys day agreed that ye Church wall shall bee forthwith taken down, and set up anew at the common charge of the Parish, and that a levy shall be made for yt purpose for the use of the churchwardens: And yt for ye future the same rule shall be observed for ye repaire thereof."

1744. Rev. Joseph Chadwick, Vicar, buried, July 24th.

1745. Burial.—"Eliz: ye Daughter of Thorns and Margaret Dobbs, a soldier's child from Nottingham."

1746. Stephen Mercy, a man yt Dyed upon ye Road. 1748. Aug. 2nd. A stranger found dead upon ye Road.
Oct. 5th. Ann, ye Daughter of James and Mary Nayley, a Traveller.

1759. Marriage.—9th Nov., Mr. James Brown of Arnold, Hawker and Pedler, aged above 28 years and Mrs, Sarah Jones of same, sojourner in same sort of business above 24 years, spinster, (by licence).

1774. May 8th. Marriage—The Rev. Edward Beresford, Clerk,

Vicar  of Arnold, bachelor, and Mary Parker, spinster (by licence).


1782. Martin, son of Martin Anabel, choakd with a carrot.

1785. Wm. How from Nottingham, drowned by accident.

1799.  John Bryan, killed by accident.

1800.  Jonathan and Ann Jenkins, both in one grave.

1801-2. The word "Mill" was added to the names of a number of people buried in these years, showing where they worked.

1803. Edwd Jones, 91. Forest.

James Panly, scalded to death. Mill.

1804. John Parks, Volunteer.

Ann, daughter of Hy and Elizth Alvey, killed by a wall.

 1805. Stranger killed by a waggon at Red Hill, name unknown.

1806. Thos. Stafford, killed by a windmill. John Abbott, drowned.

1807.  John Stafford, scalded to death.

1813. Mary Garner, was deaf and dumb.

John Peck—"His death was occasioned by the effects of liquor and lying all night in the open air."—signed by the Coroner, Thos. Wright.

Thos. Challand of Beskwood Pk. one of 3 children born at the same birth—the other 2 still born. 1813-14. "A very long and severe winter."

1814. Feb. 28.—Elizth Arnold, age 11. "This unfortunate child was most dreadfully burned by her clothes catching fire on 8th Decr, from which time she lingered in incessant agony.— signed, C. Cator (curate under Mr. Holcombe.)"