There were many Indictments in the reigns of James I. and Charles I. for misbehaviour in churches and churchyards.

Many of the offences charged in the Indictments were for disturbing divine service by molesting and interrupting a preacher while preaching, or the minister during prayers or while administering the Sacrament.

Other Indictments were for riotous affrays, assaults, fighting and brawling in church and churchyard. Two laborers of Selston were charged with drawing daggers in church.

Other offences were swearing and the use of "words of bad behaviour" in church.

In some instances clergymen were the persons indicted or presented. For instance:

In January, 1618-1619, Lucas Mason and Christopher Hartley, clerks, both of Newark, and a laborer of Hockerton, were indicted for "riotously entering a church"; and a warrant was issued against Nathaniel Wooley of Hockerton, clerk, "for disturbing clergyman during prayers."

In January, 1623-1624, Ezechias Burton of Sutton sup Lound, clerk, and two laborers were indicted for "a riotous affray in a church."

In January, 1624-1625, Jacob Peary alias Pearson of North Collingham, clerk, and two gentlemen of North Collingham, named Samuel Sheppard and Benjamin Sheppard, were fined 10/- each "for riot in church."

In 1627, Humphrey Reynolds of Cropwell Bishop, clerk, was indicted for "swearing in church."

In 1609, John Tunstall of Claworth, clerk, was indicted for "an assault in a church."

In 1605, three men were bound over to good behaviour "for absence from church, and irreverent behaviour when they were there."

In January, 1681-1682, two men of Balderton were indicted for breaking open (refranger) Hawton Church."


During the Commonwealth there were presentments: "For not repairing ye Chancell" [Beeston]; "For not repairing churchyard fence" [Halam]; and "for not repairing the north quire of the Church at Claworth."

In 1653, the Inhabitants of Bilborow were ordered to pay 52/4 disbursed "for the repair of the Church there." The Inhabitants of Shelford were also ordered to pay £320 disbursed for repairs of the church.

In 1656, the Inhabitants of Costock were fined 2d. and ordered "to repaire the church before the next Sessions."

In 1654, a complaint was made by the Churchwardens of the Church of Flawborow "that the churchyard fence there being a payle fence was pulled downe and burnt by soldiers in the tyme of the late warre and hath never sithence beene built up butt still lyeth downe and open to ye street." An order was made "that an assessment be made on the Inhabitants."

In 1615, Richard Hoggard of Beckingham was presented "for not paying levy for the repairing of the Church at Beckingham."

In the time of the Commonwealth there are several presentments for not paying church levies, chiefly for church repair.

In January, 1656-1657, there was a dispute between the Inhabitants of North Clifton and Spaudforth (Spalford) and the Inhabitants of Harby. The Inhabitants of North Clifton and Spaudforth complained

"that the Inhabitants of Harby being an Hamlett in the sd parish do refuse to pay the sume of 24/8 being the sixth part of a Levy lately made there for the repaire of their parish Church wch sd sixth part is the ordinary and usual proportion due from the Inhabitants of Harby to pay, according to the ancient custome of the sd parish."

The Justices made an Order for the payment of the money. At the same Sessions the Inhabitants of Harby complained

"that the Inhabitants of Clifton and Spaudforth having certaine Lands in the said parish formerly given for the repaire of the sd parish Church, which they let for 50/- a yeare have for these ten yeares last past noe acct of the sd moneys but have employed the same to other private uses to the greate wronge and prejudice of the sd Towne of Harby."

The Justices ordered the Inhabitants of Clifton and Spaudforth "to make account of their profitts since 1646, and that the same be rightly employed according to the intention of the Donor."

In October, 1657, the Inhabitants of "North and South Clifton" having failed to make an account, the Justices ordered:

"That the Inhabitants of Harby be not enforced to answer or aggrieved by any future presentment for not paying levys for the repaire of the Parish Church at Clifton."

In April, 1658, the Inhabitants of North Clifton and South Clifton complained

"that ye Parish Church is very ruinous and the repaire thereof hath beene very much retarded and hindered by occasion of former Orders of this Court obtained by the Inhabitants of Harby upon a false pretence (as it is said) that there are some lands lying in Clifton given to the repaire of the said church the profits whereof have been misimployed."

The Justices ordered

"That the said parish Church be sett in sufficient repaire by the Churchwardens at the general charge of ye sd parish and that if it be found that there are any particular lands lyable to the repaire that the Inhabitants of Harby are to be repaid their moneys according to their share and proportion of the sd Church lands."

In January, 1674-1675, after the Restoration, the following entries appear:

Touching ye repaire of Stoke Church
 { Richd Cumin, Carpenter 304 5 8 }
Sworn  { Edw Wilson, Mason 340 0 8 }
 { Will Shaw, Glazier 203 8 6 } Total £817 19 2.
260 00  00 Thos Raynor, Mason } Sworne toward the Repaire of Hawkesworth Church.
80 00 00 Robt. Mason, Carpenter }
60 15 00 John Burton, Plumer }
400 15 00

These entries evidently have reference to petitions for the issue of what were known as "Church Briefs."


During the Commonwealth the Court of Quarter Sessions was called upon to decide questions as to seats in church.

On 11th January, 1653-1654, John Collinson of Bludworth complained that the Churchwardens of the said Parish have presented him in this Court for not paying Church levies, "and yet doe refuse to appoynt him convenient seats in the Parish Church for two messuage there for which they doe assess him." It was ordered that "the Court doth not think fitt that the said Collinson be enforced to pay the said Church dues until the Churchwardens have appoynted him convenient seats for himself and his wief suitable to his neighbours of like estate and qualitie."

On 12th January, 1654-1655, the Court heard a difference between John Sturton of Sturton and [-------------------] widdow concerning a seate in the "Church in regard it did not fully appeare to whom the right of the said seate did belong." By consent the difference was referred to William Lampton of Rampton, Thomas Muncke of South Leaverton, George Cam of Tuxford, and Leonard Upsall of Laneham, gentl: indifferently chosen to determine the same.

On 18th July, 1656, the Justices were ordered at their monthly meeting at East Rettford to examine the differences between Mr. Paule Hawkesmoore and Stephen Stedman of South Leaverton, about their seates in Church.


During the Commonwealth there are many entries of persons being sworn in as Churchwardens.

In July, 1654, George Martyn of Keyworth came before the Court and showed "by ancient Records exemplified under Seale" that the "farm wherein he liveth " was within the parish of Bonny and not within the parish of Keyworth. He complained that notwithstanding this the Inhabitants and the Parson of Keyworth had lately chosen him to be one of the Churchwardens of Keyworth "to the manifest wrong and prejudice of the said George Martyn." The Court ordered the Inhabitants to chose another Churchwarden.

In October, 1656, the Inhabitants of Hayton and Upton were ordered to elect two Churchwardens, and the Churchwardens when chosen were "forthwith to repaire the parish Church of Hayton and Upton."


During the Commonwealth an Act of Parliament was passed "touching marriages and the registring thereof, and also touching births and burialls, and was ordered by the Parliament on Wednesday, Aug. 24th, 1653, to be forthwith printed and published." Amongst other things it was enacted:

"That where there are small parishes or places not within anie parish or noe usual morning exercise on the lords daie in the aforesaid parishes in the meeting place, the Justices of peace at their general Sessions or anie three or more of them may unite two or more of such parishes or such places to other parishes at their discrecon wch shalbe accounted one parish as to ye matters onely within the said Act and one register to serve for such Parishes or places as united."

In October, 1653, the Court made an Order that Halam and Halloughton "being very small parishes, and have noe publique morning exercise in their Chappelle, Churches, or meeting places on ye Lords daies according to the way required by publique Authority and have not made choice of a parish Register in either of their said parishes or townes," shall "with all thereunto belonging be accounted as one and the same parish with Southwell as to the matters onely conteyned in the Act above specified."

In 1654, Adboulton was united to the parish of Holme as parish register, and Clement Pye sworne "Register" for Holme was to be "Register" for Adboulton likewise.

Edwalton was likewise united to Ruddington for Parish Register. William Hodgson, clerk, was "sworne parish Register for Halham."


On the 9th October, 1657, it was certified to the Court by Bryan Wawyn, Esq. and John Crumwell, clergyman, Rector of Clayworth, "that they conceive the barly and money formerly paid to Robert Garrett one other Parish Clarke of Clayworth ought still to be paid and continued to Nicholas Bacon now parishe Clarke there for his wages as Parish Clerke and not as Schoolmaster and that the same hath formerly been so paid to his predecessors."


On 22nd April, 1653, an Order was made "by and with the consent as well of Mr. Thomas Bowes, clerk, Rector of Edwinstow, as of Mr. George Rigge, clerk, late Rector there that Mr. Bowes shall pay unto Mr. Rigge fortie shillings on Wednesdaie next for the last quarters payment and that the said Mr. Bowes shall henceforth pay eight pounds yearly by quarter payment to Mr. Rigge for his full fift part allowed by ordince of Parliament."

Mr. Rigge was evidently one of the ejected ministers. In the Earl of Manchester's Commission, Januaiy, 1643-1644, there was power to dispose of a fifth part of all sequestered estates for the benefit of the wives and children of the ejected ministers. Another ejected minister at Calverton was relieved as being destitute. (See pages 119-120.)


In 1631 a commission was granted to the Archbishops, Laud Bishop of London, and others, for the restoration of St. Paul's Cathedral, which had been greatly neglected and desecrated in the two preceding reigns; some of the chapels had been pulled down, others let out as workshops, and the body of the church was a common lounge for idlers and bad characters.

Charles I. in the Commission ordained that the "Substantial Repaire and adorning" of the Cathedral "is not to be effected out of any Rents Revenues or possessions heretofore given for the repayring of the fabrick," "but this great and chargeable work will necessarily require a liberal contribution of all our able subjects."

Contributions were made by the County of Nottingham.

On 17th January, 1633-1634, a Memorandum is made that at Assizes &c. held at Nottingham, 7th March, 9 Car. an acceptance for money paid towards the repaire of St. Paul's Church in London as follows:
"Rec the viith day of February 1633 of Sir Thomas Hutchinson Kt Gervase Tevery Jno Wood and Gilbert Millington Esqres four of His Majestys Commissioners for the contribution money collected wthin the County of Nott for repayre of the Cathedrall Church of St Paul in London, the some of cvixiis viiof Lawful money of England for soe much collected of all the Inhabitants wthin the said County being at this time freely given to be imployed for and towards the repayringe of the decayes and ruines of the said Cathedrall Church and in beautifying thereof according to the true intent and meaninge of His Majestys Commission by Letters Patent grannted for that purpose under the Great Seale bearing date the tenth day of Aprill in the seventh yeare of His Majestys Reigne. I say Received the some of One hundred and six pounds Twelve shillings and seaven pence Per me Edw Hodgson, clerk, Robt Bateman Chamberlain of the City of London. Intratm in a Ledger Book Remayning in Merchant Taylors Hall in London
Clement Mosse,

which said acquittance remayneth in a Chest amongst the Inrolments
of the said County.

On 10th April, 1635, an acquittance was delivered to the Clerk of the Peace for the second payment of money collected towards the repair of St. Paul's Cathedral. The amount is not stated.

On 11th January, 1635-1636, an acquittance is delivered for £11 collected in the Wapentakes of Bingham, Broxtowe and Rushcliffe towards repair of St. Paul's Cathedral.

On 8th January, 1637-1638, at this Sessions a certain receipt for the sum of £61 13 0 paid by this County of Notts, towards the repairs of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, London, was delivered in the Court to be kept by the Keeper of the Rolls of the same County among the records of this Court and among the other receipts for the first payment thereof previously delivered and kept and also certain letters witnessing how the several sums from this County were paid before to the aforesaid use.

The Cathedral was, of course, the Old St. Paul's, which was destroyed at the Great Fire.

The "ledger book" mentioned as being preserved in the Merchant Tailors' Hall was also in all probability destroyed in the Great Fire. At all events it is not among the Guildhall manuscripts.

The Rolls in this County containing the original documents above referred to are not in existence.