Church Registers.

There are 33 volumes of Registers in the Church Safe in an excellent state of preservation, and with the exception of irregularities and omissions which took place during the Commonwealth, we have continuous Records from 1559 up to the present day.

The first four volumes of course are the most interesting. In each of these the Baptisms, Burials, and Marriages are kept quite distinct, and are not all massed together as in many ancient Registers. They are, too: in English—very seldom are Latin words used.

Vol. I. dates from 1559—1651.
Vol. II. " 1653—1714.
Vol. III. " 1715—1742.
Vol. IV. " 1742—1763.

Vol. V. contains some marriages between these dates.

VOLUME I. has lately been carefully restored and re-bound. Its outer cover was of stout calf skin, and the parchment leaves, which evidently were bought as required, were fastened together by means of gut cords passed through and fastened to squares of leather at each side of the cover. "Chancery" hand is frequently used by the scribes who were employed at intervals to write up the Register from the note-book of the Vicar or Clerk. A XVII. Century note-book, formerly belonging to John Lode, Parish Clerk 1698-1718, is in the Church Deed Box.

Harrod, who wrote his Mansfield in 1800, never saw this Register, or knew of its existence. The reason is plain, from an entry on the outer cover.

"This old Register was discovered among the papers given to me by the Executors of the last Vicar, after having been lost for many years.

T. L. Cursham, M.A.,
Vicar, February 7th, 1813.
Gloria Deo."

On the fly leaf of this Register, but very nearly illegible, are the following notes :—

1. The Seanes days at Southwell—
A The fourth Thursday after Easter.
B The second Thursday after Michallmas.
2. The Quarter Sessions— } { ye Epiphany.
A At Nottingham, ye Monday } { Lowe Sunday.
B At Newark upoon ye Wednesday } after { ye 7th day of July.
C At Retford uppon ye Friday } { Michallmas.
3. The yeare of the Lord
Begineth allway upon ye 25th day of March. The year of King James his raigne beginneth for England ye 24th daie of March, for Scotland the 29th day of Julie.
4. A Rule for Easter Day.
5. A Rule for Leap Year.
6. The Swayne Mote Courts are kept
A From the 1st Sunday in Advent untill Twelfth daie }
B From Septuagesima Sunday untill Lowe Sunday } Inclusive.
C From Rogation Sunday untill Trinity Sunday }

Extracts from this old Register appeared in the "Mansfield Advertiser" upwards of 20 years ago—they were carefully made. We venture to reproduce here a few that caught our eye:—

1565 June 20th. Bryan, the sone of Mr. James Brittaihe, Bapt. This boy became Vicar in 1592; although he is credited with having lost the lid of the Chalice, he kept the Registers beautifully. The title of honour to his Father is an interpolation probably his own!
1565 Jan. 28. Richard Drap and Anne Fyshe marryed. Oct 30th. Ye wife of Drap buryed.
  Drap was not inconsolable, for we read in 3 months' time:
1566 Jan. 27th. Richard Drap and Anne Tomson marryed.
1573 Nov. 22nd. Henry, the sonne of Thomas Ffouljambe, bap.
1591 Sept. 22nd. (X) Symon Sterne and Margery Walker, maryd.
1592 Gervase, the sonne of Wm. Barley, was baptized the 30th day of Aprill (marginal note) "forgotten by ye scribe."
1596 June 21st. Bryann Brittan and Elizabeth Royle maryd.
1597 March 26th. Elizazbeth, ye base borne child of Elizabeth Stones, whose reputed father is Martin Bridghouse was by the tolerance of the Vicare of Mansfeild baptized at Plesley.
1597 April 10th. Richard, ye sonne of Simon Sterne, bap. (marginal note in red ink): ' Qui postea divina providentia Archiepiscopus Ebor " (see p. 46).
1603 Feb. 3. Edward Whitworth, of Southnormanton, and in ye County of Derbye, husb.; and Alice Dalian, of Ackringe, in ye countye of N'ott., spinster by vertue of a lycense were maryed. We have here the old spelling of Eakring, c.p. Accrington—the town of oaks.
1603 Mar. 31 st. Anne Newman was buried the 31st of March upon which daie James ye first Kinge of Scotts was solemnly at the Markett Cross (q) in Mansfield proclaimec King of England by Sir John Byron, Knight, Mr. Ayscoughe, high sherife, Mr. Gryffthe Markham, Mr. Henrj Chaworth Esquior, Mr. John Bryon, Esqr, Mr. Gabrie; Armstronge, and Mr. George Chaworth, and divers othei gent. And caused ye Belles for joy to be rong, and gave ye ringers two shillings and sixpence.

This G. Markham was the eldest son of Mr. Thos. Markham, of Ollerton, born 1564, served under Essex in Ireland; convicted of conspiracy in the Bye Plot 1603; tried and sentenced at Winchester; reprieved on the scaffold; banished. In 1664 wrote his regrets to Duke of Newcastle that he was too old to fight for his King.

It is his nephew whose tombstone is in Ollerton Church, and who fell in Gainsboro fight, together with the Good Earl of Kingston and Col. Chas. Cavendish.

1604 Aug. 15th. Thomas ye sonne of Ffrancis Sherston, sepult. The man who presented Queen Anne and Prince Henry with a purse of gold (£10) as they passed through Mansfield to join the newly crowned King in London. Perhaps the honour was too much for him!
1606 Jan. 1st. Simon Sterne, Gentleman, sepult.
1610 March 12th. George, the sonne of William Esope, barber chirugeon was bapt. Surgeons in these days were, too, hair dressers. There is a London company in existence to-day of Barber Surgeons.
1612 Sept. 8th. Francis, the sonne of Mr. Robert Pierrepont, Esquire, baptized. Robert Pierrepont afterwards created Earl of Kingston. Burke (Extinct Peerage, p. 419) calls him the "Good Earl of Kingston." He was killed in 1643 by a cannon ball at Gainsboro' as he was trying to escape across the Trent in a boat. Buried at Holme Pierrepont. He was Bess of Hardwick's grand-child, and cousin both to the great Duke of Newcastle and Arabella Stuart (see plate XIV.).
1614. Oct. 16th. Elizabeth, the dau. of Mr. Brian Brittain, Vicar, bap.
1615 Dec. 17th. James Field (whose wife laye in the Swanne), bap.
1616 Jan. 6th. The stillborne childe of William More, one of the 3 Twinnes, buried.
1616 Jan 8th. Henry, the second Twyne, was buried.
1616 Jan. 9th. Thomas, the sonne of ye said William More, the butcher, bur.
1616 July 26th. Francis Smith, the pack-saddle maker, buried.
1617 Oct. 18th. Katheren Sterne, wydo, late wife unto Mr. Willm Sterne, gent., was buried.
1618 Sept. 1st. Margaret, the wydowe of the Chimney Sweep, bur.
1629 Sept. 16th. Mr. John Price, Vic. of Mansfield, and Mrs. Isabell Dand were maryed at Leicester. Frequent notices of the Dand family between 1562—1571.
1631 Feb. 2nd. Mr. Rowland Dand, of Mansfield Woodhouse, Gent., and Mrs. Margaret Savile were marryed at Aston in Yorks.
1631 July 17th. The plague began. Aug. 4th. A heavy tyme. Aug. 21. The plague stayed through God's mercy. Sept. 22nd. The market was restored. Novemb. ye first. Mr. Coates, of [...] and Mr. Langley, of Cresswell, preached and thanksgiving was offered publicly unto God for our deliverance.

The above entries are in a centre margin. As only three deaths from the plague are recorded during this "heavy tyme," it is evident no effort was made to chronicle all the burials. At Eyam, in 1666, 5-6ths of the inhabitants died.

1636 July 8th. Henry Heath, senr., one of ye 8 Assistants, buried (see p. 45). By Queen Elizabeth's Charter, 1561, 8 reputable men were to assist in selecting the Master and Usher of the School.
1637 Sept. 19th. Richard Wild, of Nettleworth, in ye parish of Warsop, & Barbara Hall, of this parish. This probably will be the son of Gervaise Wild, who equipped a ship to fight the Armada.
1641 April 11th. Priscilla, the daughter of Mr. John Price, Vicar, and Issabell his wife, bapt. Price disappears from the scene after this date.

VOLUME II. opens with the remark that T. L. Cursham, Vicar in 1814, had failed to discover any endowment of the Vicarage of Mansfield, after a most diligent search in almost every office in England

As the Rev. T. L. Cursham (vel. Curson) was an antiquarian and a scholar, it is doubtful that another will succeed where he failed.

His contention was, that a Vicarial tythe of at least £500 per annum had at some time prior to 1240 lapsed, and should be recoverable.

On the second page is a list of BRIEFS (R) dated from 1678 to 1691. Wem, Duxford, Alresford, Bungay in Suffolke, Mount Sorrel, Southwark, Stafford, S. Ives, were all Churches assisted by the offerings of the faithful in Mansfield. The Irish Protestants also figure in the list.

On the third page is a list of EIGHT WHIPPINGS administered at the Market Cross, by the order of the Vicar (Firth). The subscribed is a sample which will suffice for the remainder:—

The repair or restoration of Churches in post Reformation times down to 1828 were almost invariably effected by this method.

The State prohibited collections being made for any purpose save by authority.

"Elizabeth Longman, a Sturdy Vagrant Beggar, of a Middle Stature, thin visaged, about fourty years, was this second day of April, Anno Dom. 1681, openly whipped at Mansfield, in ye county of Notts., for a wandring rogue, according to ye law, and is assigned, with two small children under seven years of age, to pass forthwith from parish to parish by ye officers thereof, ye next straightway to Kirton, in ye same county, whereat she confesseth she was borne. And is limited to be at Kirton aforesaid, in ye County aforesaid, within two days now ensuing, at her perill. Given under ye hands and seales of John Firth, Clerk, Minister of Mansfield aforesaid, and George Crawshawe, Constable of ye same, ye day and yeare above written."

To the Churchwardens and Overseers of Mansfield Woodhouse. Mary Thornton, aged about two and twenty, black hair'd and lean visaged, was ye 3rd of January, 1683, openly whipped at Mansfield for a wandring Rogue, and assigned to pass to Long Preston, in the County of York, where she was borne, and dwelt also by ye space of one whole year last past, and is limited to be there within twelve dayes now next ensuing. J.F., vicar, T. Innocent, constable."

On the fourth page is written :—"The Register Book of the Parish of Mansfield, Nouem, 1653, Price 20ss.

Francis Molyneux, Esq., }
} Churchwardens.
Robert Brunts, }

Of the former we have spoken on page 11. Robert Brunts would be the Father of Samuel Brunts, who lived at the house in Kirkgate (now the Eight Bells), and in 1709 founded the Charity which is now worth £5,000 per annum. G. Mompesson, the Vicar of Mansfield, was one of the original trustees of this Charity. The Churchwarden's Mother was a daughter of Rowland Dand, and his father Gabriel Brunts, of East Bridgford. Gabriel, Robert, and Samuel—grandfather, father and son—are all buried at East Bridgford.

Passing to the Register of Baptisms, we find that from 1653—1658 (Commonwealth), all the children are entered as "borne," not baptized, except on April 7th, 1656, when "the son of Francis Mullynax, Gentleman," and on "February 23rd, 1657, the daughter of Mr. John Firth," were baptized.

Recollect there was "no Minister at Mansfield in 1650," page 22, and Firth did not become Public Minister until 1654.

1653 Februarie 19th. Thomn. Walker, the dumbe man, buried.
1654 Oct. 8th. The chrisome childe of Thomas Langford was buried.
1655 May 2. Mr. John Firth, Viccar of Mansfield, and Mrs. Sara Staniforth, of Bramton, within the Parish of Tweeton, in the County of Yorks, were married.
1656 June 19th. Benjamin Younge, the Piper, was buried.
1657 April 26th. Thomas Smith, ye Mussisioner, was buried.
1657 Sept. 26th. John Firby, of London, and Elizabeth Sylvester, the daughter of Gregory Sylvester, of Mansfield, in the County of Nottingham, mercer, were married aforesaid by James Chadwick, Esq., Justice of the Peace in the said county, and John Firth Clark, Publique Minister of the Parish of Mansfield, ye 26th day of September, 1657.
1670. Sept. 10th. John, sonne of Mr. Robert Cromwell, bapt. Probably of Cromwell House, West Gate.
1678 Aug. 22nd. Francis, the sonne of Joseph Turner, with an affidavit dated the nineteenth of August, taken by Arthur Stanhope, Esq., buried. Arthur Stanhope Esq., was the fourth son of the First Earl of Chesterfield, and placed the memorial to his Mother in Shelford Church, in which he is described as "of Mansfield." He was M.P. for Nottingham in the Convention Parliament, and the first Parliament of Charles II. By his son Charles, of Mansfield, who died in 1712, he became ancestor of the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Earls of Chesterfield. Stanhope House evidently was the residence of this branch of the family. Entries regarding the family are not infrequent. In order to bolster up the wool trade it was required that before burial an affidavit should be made before a Magistrate that the corpse was wound in woollen. Recollect coffins are comparatively modern. The rubric in the Burial Service speaks of "the corpse" not "the coffin." Frequently there was a public parish coffin wherein to carry the dead to the grave.
1696 July 11th. Ann, the daughter of Edward and Alice Molyneux baptised.
1696 August 28th. Thomas, ye sonne of Darcy Molyneux, Esq., baptised.
1699 May 27th. Mr. John Forth, Vicar, sepult.
1704 Sept. 7th. John Dean and Mary Cartwright, both of Dirty Hucknall, nupt.
1711 Oct. 10th. Mr. Richard Aspinall, of the Parish of Liverpool, in the County of Lancaster, and Mrs. Elizabeth Stanhope, of this parish, nupt.

VOLUME III. is inferior both to its predecessor and successor. The Mompessons were not careful scribes.

1718 Sept. 20th. Madam Mollyneux, sepult.
1729 Aug. 2nd. Anne, ye dau. of the Reverend Mr. William Mompesson, Vicker, and Elizabeth his wife, bap.

Mrs. Herbert Sutton, of Kelham House, kindly supplied Canon Cator, of Eakring, with interesting information about this lady.

One of Wm. Mompesson's beautiful daughters, 15 years of age, was carried off from school at Doncaster by John, Marquis of Granby (s) (son of John, 3rd Duke of Rutland). A sham marriage was performed, and they lived together as man and wife for some years, part of the time at Averham Park, then the property of a brother of the Marquis. They had a son who died early, and a daughter (Anne Manners) who afterwards became the wife of Col. John Manners Sutton, of Kelham. Poor Mrs. Mompesson (as she was called) left the Marquis as soon as she became aware that she was not his wife, and went to her father's with her children, but he refused to receive her. She then determined to try whether her aunt, Mrs. Gilbert Hall, of Kettlethorpe, had not a warmer heart, and by her she was welcomed with every kindness. Soon after her arrival at Kettlethorpe she was taken ill of smallpox, which she gave to her two cousins, and both she and they very nearly died, and were dreadfully disfigured."

Mrs. Mompesson ended her days at Woodhouse, at the house of her mother, who was the daughter and heiress of John Chappel. There is still pointed out the house where Madam Mompesson lived. Harrod says: "This good lady was kind to the poor, and much beloved by all her acquaintances." She died in 1799, and is buried at Woodhouse.
1732 Dec. 3rd. Joyce Hales, who lived 100 years and one month.
1733 March 27th. Mr. James Waddall and Mrs. Margaret Reynold. March 27th. James Reynold, Gent., and Mrs. Sarah Waddall, these the Father and Mother of the cuppel that is married above, and all the same day, and all in this Parish, with licenses.
1733 March 31st. Mary, ye dau. of John and Anne Gascoyne Workhouse. In 1729 the Whynny Close sold by the Church Corporation whereon to built a Workhouse. The Workhouse on the Nottingham Road built 1777.
1736 Mar. 6th. Robert Rycroft, aged 100 years and 22 days, buried. The smallpox year, 127 burials.
1738 Jan. 15th. Mrs. Rosamond Farrer, sepult. A Mrs. Rose Farrer gave the purple velvet hangings for the pulpit and desk, and one cushion of the same, all with gold lace and gold fringe. These were in use in 1800 (Harrod, p. 20).
1728 Richard and Elizabeth (1737) Thompson, buried by th Vestry door. Parents of the eccentric Charles Thompsor born 1714, founder of the Charity, and who is buried at Berry Hill by the Southwell High Road, sixteen feet deep
1743 August 2nd. Mrs. Elizabeth Jebb, aged 19, daughter of Mr. Joshua Jebb, of Chesterfield, sepult.
1746 August 26th. —. Gibbs, a Trooper in General Wade Horse, sepult.

Wade engineered the great road running parallel to the Roman Wall as a precaution against another Stuart rising.
1748 April 18th. The Reverend James Badger, M.A., Clerk, Vicar of this Parish, and Mrs. Sarah Bagshaw, of this Parish, spinster, were married with a special Licence by the Reverend Edward Moises, M.A., Curate.

VOLUME IV. is a model of what a register should be. The parchment is thick, and Badger was his own scribe, and a good one, too. Minute particulars are all given, and his successor, Plumptre, maintained the example set.

1749 June 1. Mrs. Margaret Mompesson, Daughter of the Rev. Mr. George Mompesson, sometime Vicar of this Parish, affidiv. sepult.
1751 Novemb. 6th, Eliezar Heywood, Presbyterian Minister, and Mrs. Jane Shaw, both of this parish, were married by Licence.
1754 May 16. Mrs. Lucia Molyneux, aged 78, sepult. In connection with this entry the following letter to the Countess of Oxford, found amongst the Welbeck MSS, is of interest :— It having pleased God to take to Himself my dear sister this morning, I hereby take the liberty of begging your Ladyship's permission to give her a place amongst her relatives in your Ladyship's Chancel of the Church at Mansfield, which will be esteemed a great favour by Madam Your Ladyship's most humble and obedient servant, Mary Molyneux."
Mansfield, May 14, 1754.
The Welbeck people purchased the Manor of the Rectoiy from the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln in 1855, and held it on lease from about 1701.
1755 November 28th. Philip, son of Arthur Charles Stanhope, and Margaret his wife, Bap.

This man succeeded the illustrious Earl of Chesterfield as fifth Earl, and became father and grandfather to the 6th and 7th Earls. His friendship with the Prince Regent cost him dear, and the estates were greatly impoverished at his death in 1815.
1758 September 21st. Mrs. Mary Molyneux, aged near 80, buried. Harrod says (p. 20) : The purple covering for the Communion Table is the gift of Mrs. Mary Molyneux.

Dec. 12th. George Stone, a soldier in General Cornwallis's Regiment, buried.

Dec. 13th. William Thorpe, a soldier in General Cornwallis's Regiment, buried.

Two-thirds of the Army in the early years of the House of Brunswick were dispersed in ale-houses all over the United Kingdom—a heavy charge to the taxpayer, and a grievous burden upon the innkeeper. Mansfield seems to have had its share of billetted soldiers, for a great number lie buried in our Churchyard.

Barracks were not built until early in the XIX. Century ; High Oakham was not used for Cavalry until 1839 (the year of the Chartist riots).

A petition of the Mansfield Innkeepers begging the Lord Lieutenant to move a troop of Cavalry on to Chesterfield after a nine months' stay at Mansfield, is amongst the Welbeck MSS.

The remaining volumes call for little comment, six extracts must suffice.

1797 March 1st. John Bagguley, aged 69 years, buried.

This was the Nottingham postman who perished of cold and exposure near where the Railway Bridge crosses the Nottingham Road. In the early morn he had called at ' Ye Leather Bottell," which now stands at the corner of Bottle Lane, for refreshment. He.was refused, and sank down exhausted a few yards further on, and died. The conduct of " my host " Martyn was severely criticised, and the Magistrates refused to renew his license. The house has been a private one ever since, and at one time was owned by one of our benefactresses, Miss Dickons (T). It gives the name to Bottle Lane. Outside the Inn was a horse block on which was carved :

John Martyn's stone I am,
Shows ye great roade to Nottyngham,
1814 June 18th. William Coop, aged 21 years, Ratcliffe Gate.

N.B.—This poor worthy young man lost his life by the mail coach running over him when drawn out of ye Swan Inn Yard by men, to testify their exultation at ye news of ye recovery of Europe from the tyranny of Buonaparte, which took place in ye year 1814—a glorious one for Great Britain. Give God ye Glory!

Dr. Cursham was a little too previous. Waterloo had yet to be fought.
1819 24th May. Captain George Cartwright, of Leeming Lane, aged 80 years, sepult.

This refers to the eccentric "Labrador" Cartwright, soldier and traveller, who is classed by Bailey as a Notts, worthy. His vagaries with the North Americans whom he had transported to Sherwood Forest were well known in the time of Harrod.

The Cartwrights of Ossington and Marnham had regarded Mansfield as their place of burial ever since 1612. The name is of frequent occurrence in the registers. The arms on his tomb at the north-east gate are worth inspecting. To his younger brother, Dr. Edmund Cartwright (1743-1823), Parliament granted £10,000 for his invention of the wool-combing machine.
1855 January 5th. The Foundation Stone of the New Church in this Parish was laid by His Lordship John Jackson, Bishop of Lincoln, and is dedicated to S. John.

On the night of the 11th January some Person or Persons removeth the same and stole the few coins that were deposited underneath, amounting to 6s. 8½d.
1873 5th Feb. Ann Grose, of Moss Court, Westgate, aged 86, sepult.

In 1869, during a severe illness, this blind woman made over to three Trustees the whole of her property (£600), to be invested in the 3 per cents.; the income of which was to be annually given to three unmarried women natives of Mansfield, of the age of 60 and upwards. Unexpectedly she recovered from her sickness, and was the first recipient of her own bounty, and for four years received annually the sum of £6 6s. 8d. from the Trustees she had herself appointed.
1881 5th April. Mary Collinson, of Toothill Lane, aged 63, sepult. By will, May 3rd, 1866, this lady left to be invested in the names of the Trustees of the Charitable Funds a sum sufficient to produce an income of £70 per annum wherewith to found a Scripture Readership in the Parish of S. Peter, Mansfield.

(Further Entries on Page 49).

(R) Briefs were Royal Letters Patent authorising collections for Charitable purposes to be made during Divine Service. (T) Parents of Archbishop Sterne.
(Q) There were 2 crosses at Mansfield, the one still stands in West Gate, and the other alluded to here (destroyed) was at the bottom of Ratcliffe Gate (Court Rolls).
(S) The celebrated Marquis of Granby, 1721-1770, Commander-in-Chief of British Troops in the Seven Years' War.
(T) Maria Dickons, who died in 1899, left a sum of £600, the interest on which was to be equally divided between the Sunday School and the Church Expenses.