Author Topic: RootsChatters versus KFHS re "Pd."  (Read 4111 times)

Offline peckham

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RootsChatters versus KFHS re "Pd."
« on: Monday 14 January 08 06:52 GMT (UK) »
Hello:
 
I have asked the following question of the Kent Family History Society re information on one of its CDs that I purchased - and they cannot provide an answer . . . so let me ask the experts at RootsChat!

“What does the notation ‘Pd.’ mean as it relates to Baptisms?”
 
8894 1788 10:12 Samuel son Samuel & Elizabeth WOODLEY Pd.
9033 1791 09:11 Jane dau Samuel & Elizabeth WOODLEY Pd.

The CD contains transcriptions of Parish Registers from 20 Kent Parishes.

Examples of “Pd.” or “P.” can only be found in two of them - Hawkhurst and Sittingbourne.

Hawkhurst by far exceeds the examples that appear in Sittingbourne.
 
In the Hawkhurst Baptisms there is for example (but not limited to), a block of some 400 baptisms that embrace the years 1783-1794 that include the notation “Pd.”

The notation is not one that defines a “Private Baptism” because that is well defined and in any case none of them have a follow up notation about being “Received into the Church”.

In addition to the “Pd.” notation some have an expanded notation:  ‘BB’, ‘Poor’, ‘Poor BB’, ‘Strangers Poor’, ‘Tax Paid’ . . . and a curious one "Paid by Rev. Mr. Kennedy of Langley’.

I suspect that "Pd" is an abbreviation for "Paid" and that (as presumably with marriages and burials) there was a fee to be paid for having the vicar baptize a child?

But if so, what was so peculiar about Hawkhurst . . . the specific block of years . . . and are there other examples in the Prishes of other Counties?

Thank you for any input as to an explanation and any relevant history.
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Spice, Groves, Ellis, Odiam, Hicks in Hawkhurst, Kent
Spice, Standen, Hudson, Hesmond in Hastings/ St. Leonards, Sussex
Blackburn, Palmer, Russell in Bolton, Lancashire

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Offline Dave Francis

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Re: RootsChatters versus KFHS re "Pd."
« Reply #1 on: Monday 14 January 08 07:34 GMT (UK) »
Yes, there was a (very unpopular) stamp duty of 3d from 1783 to 1794. So "Pd" is almost certainly "paid".

Dave
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Surnames include: FRANCIS in Glamorgan / LANWORN in Monmouth / BLACKMAN, RUSSELL in Sussex / KEARSEY, BARLTROP in Essex / TOOKEY in Leicestershire / LASHMORE in London and Kent / GOODWIN, PASQUE, ATTOE, FISK, QUINTON, RUFFLES, CULLINGFORD and others in Suffolk / MAYOSS anywhere anytime! / GILMORE in Belfast

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Online bearkat

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Re: RootsChatters versus KFHS re "Pd."
« Reply #2 on: Monday 14 January 08 07:55 GMT (UK) »

But if so, what was so peculiar about Hawkhurst . . . the specific block of years . . . and are there other examples in the Prishes of other Counties?


Perhaps this is down to one vicar.  Some included more details than others.
Middx - VAUS, ROBERTS, EVERSFIELD, INMAN, STAR, HOLBECK, WYATT, BICKFORD, SMITH, REDWOOD
Hants - SMALL, HAMMERTON, GRIST, FRYER, TRODD, WOODFORD, CROUTEAR, BECK, BENDELL, KEEPING, HARDING
Kent - BAYLY, BORER, MITCHELL, PLANE, VERNON, FARRANCE, CHAPMAN, MEDHURST, LOMAX, WYATT, IDEN
Devon - TOPE, BICKFORD, FOSTER
YKS - QUIRK, McGUIRE, BENN
Nott/Derbs - SLACK
Herts - BARNES
L'pool- PLUMBE
 All UK census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline peckham

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Re: RootsChatters versus KFHS re "Pd."
« Reply #3 on: Monday 14 January 08 16:38 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for the responses.

As a result I had something more tangible to use in searching the web and found the following two informative pieces.

http://www.applebymagna.org.uk/appleby_history/in_focus18_wealth.htm

Shrunk link to Google books

 

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Spice, Groves, Ellis, Odiam, Hicks in Hawkhurst, Kent
Spice, Standen, Hudson, Hesmond in Hastings/ St. Leonards, Sussex
Blackburn, Palmer, Russell in Bolton, Lancashire

Offline Zacktyr

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Re: RootsChatters versus KFHS re "Pd."
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 27 January 08 06:25 GMT (UK) »
Hello,

The definitive authority that permits a fuller explanation of the abbreviations "Pd" and "P" as encountered in the church registers from late-1783 can be discerned among the provisions of An Act for granting to his Majesty a Stamp-duty on the Registry of Burials, Marriages, Births, and Christenings. [1783]

The leading preamble of the Act sets out the date of inception of the duty, i.e. 1 October 1783, the amount of the duty and the items which were to be charged with the duty, vizt.

Quote
...be it enacted by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That, from and after the first Day of October, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, there shall be charged, levied, and paid unto And for the Use of his Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, the new Duty following ; (that is to say,) Upon the Entry of any Burial, Marriage, Birth, or Christening, in the Register of any Parish, Precinct, or Place in Great Britain, Stamp-duty of three Pence.

Next, section VI of that Act charges every incumbent with the responsibility for recording in his registers of BMB the fact that the tax had been collected unless he had obtained a license for exemption from this provision of the Act.  Previous sections charged every incumbent with the responsibility for collecting the appropriate amount of duty per event and permitting him to retain 10% of the total collected as a commission for his pains in so doing. 

The practical application of the requirements of section VI of the Act to the everyday workings of the clergy seems to have been to mark the entries with some form of notation acknowledging that payment had been received.  Hence, many registers - and I have examined close to 300 throughout east Kent - contain a simple notation of 'paid', 'tax paid', 'pd'.  Often simply the paupers are noted with a letter 'p' inscribed next to the respective entry.  Section VI reads in part

Quote
VI. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That no Parson, Vicar, Curate, or other Person, shall be subject to any the Penalties or Forfeitures in this Act mentioned, for entering, or causing to be entered, any Burial, Marriage, Birth, or Christening, in any Parish Register, without any Marks or Stamps thereon, where a Licence, under the Hands of three of the Commissioners for the Time being appointed to put this Act in Execution, or some Officer or Officers by them impowered, shall have been granted, signifying their or his Leave or Approbation that the Entry of any Burial, Marriage, Birth, or Christening, to be written in such Register, may be therein written without any Marks or Stamps thereon...

Section VII of the Act prohibits the clergy from collecting the tax from certain of the poor such as those belonging to a workhouse or hospital or whose parents are in receipt of parish poor-relief funds.  Again, this section implies that the incumbent would have to have some method by which he, or any other person, would be able to identify those events that were performed for the poor.  Herein lies the origin of the 'P' notation found in many registers contemporary with the tax, the 'P' indicating a pauper or other individual exempted from the tax.

Quote
VII. Provided also, and be it further enacted, That nothing herein contained shall extend to charge the Entry in any Parish Register of the Burial of any Person who shall be buried from any Workhouse or Hospital, or at the sole Expence of any Charity ; nor the Entry in any Parish Register of the Birth or Christening of any Child whose Parents shall receive, at the Time of the Birth and Christening of such Child, any Parish Relief.

Thus, we have a very long-winded, but definitive answer to the "Pd" and "P" notations appearing in the church registers from late-1783.  The Act was repealed 10 years later.  It should also be noted that Quakers, by virtue of this same Act, were liable to the same levy and were likewise required to keep a proper register of payments received.

Several interesting sociological events occurred centered around this Act.  Immediately prior to its enactment there was a bulge in christenings with a fair number of those christenings being of older children.  Immediately following the repeal of the Act a similar bulge of christenings occurred, again including those of older children.  Many christenings and some marriages were simply 'put off' until a better time.  Many people just did not have the additional funds to have their routinely arriving children christened consistently while similarly less financially stable couples were often unable to afford the added tax that would be due upon their marriage.  The one event that not very many escaped, however, was the burial of family members.  But, again, this Act also created a situation whereby family members would not come forward to pay for a burial forcing the parish to bury the deceased at its expense.

I hope this explanation is satisfactory and answers your questions as fully as possible.

Regards,
Susan
CRN-Hocking
DVN-Bickle.Doble.Harris.Hill.Nrthcte
KEN-Austen.Bodeker.Collard.Dodd.Duncan.Eaton.Gregry.Hammnd.Herman.Hills.Hodgs.Ivysn.
James.Kemp.Milstd.Nut.Owlet.Ruck.Spilet.Terry.Tilby.Thmsn.Walker
SOM-Baker.Clatworthy.Linton.Parker.Smith.Stone.Twose
ABD-Barclay.Cruickshank.McKenzie.Shepherd.Club
LKS-Douglas.Gunn.Turner
MLN-Dicks/Dickson.Duff.Lindsay.Young
SHI-Bain.Cluness.Fordyce.Gray.Petrie
ASSISTANCE PROVIDED HERE IS FROM MY OWN DIRECT EXPERIENCE & NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE

Offline Mean_genie

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Re: RootsChatters versus KFHS re "Pd."
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 27 January 08 10:22 GMT (UK) »
Thanks, Susan, for that explanation. I like the way you combine the theory (what the law says) with the practical reality (what people did), from your own experience - I won't ask how long that must have taken!

I have a follow-up question; I have read that some incumbents may have been liberal in their interpretation of 'pauper' to save some of their poor-ish but not destitute parishioners from paying the tax. Has your research shown any evidence of this?

Mean_genie

Offline Zacktyr

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Re: RootsChatters versus KFHS re "Pd."
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 27 January 08 15:22 GMT (UK) »
Hello,

Yes, my experience has provided me with one clear example of an incumbent's liberal interpretation of the law:  the burial of one member of one of my own ancestral families records her as being a 'p'.  Whether pauper or poor was intended is impossible to discern, now.  But, the following excerpts from the Overseers Accounts of Ospringe, Kent have built a picture around 'Master Ruck', and perhaps extended that to other members of his family, of "being in need" but not necessarily poor enough to warrant routine weekly or daily parish payments:

Quote
Oct 28, 1785   Paid Ruck for rent, by Vestry order   2:2:0      
Sept 3, 1786   Master Roock in need [no amount recorded]         
May 31, 1787   Master Rook's house money    0:10:0      
Apr 27, 1788   Master Ruck, by order of Vestry   0:10:6      

The term 'Master' in the above references was used to denote economic status rather than age-related status.  'Master' Ruck was the head of his own family and at the time of these entries in the Overseer's Accounts his own parents were dead as were all of his brothers and most of his sisters.

On the whole, the family to which 'Master' Ruck belonged were yeoman, esquires and gentlemen.  Supporting this description of status is a diary that was found at the Centre for Kentish Studies that had been written by a cousin who had been a first cousin, twice removed to this family at Ospringe.  In that diary the cousin goes to great trouble to describe the lifestyle of the family at Ospringe, which included carriages, teams of horses and many servants.   Yet, at the time that one of Master Ruck's daughter's died, she was described as being 'poor' in the register, effectively relieving the family of any responsibility of payment of the tax for her burial. 

Authority for this can perhaps be found in Section VII of the Act, which was worded very broadly in respect of defining who could be buried exempt from the tax, particularly in relation to those who were buried

"at the sole Expence [sic] of any Charity".

Despite there being no payments recorded in the Overseer's Accounts for the daughter, or for aspects of her burial (usually noted as the parish having paid a fellow for the making of a casket), she and her parents were exempted of the tax.  One can only surmise that, in light of the reliance of her father upon parish relief from time-to-time, that an exemption from the tax was allowed as he likely petitioned one of the small local alms houses or charities for funds to cover her burial expenses.

A similar liberal interpretation of who was qualified for exemption from payment for the tax in relation to baptisms can also be found in the wording of Section VII, vizt.

"...of any Child whose Parents shall receive, at the Time of the Birth and Christening of such Child, any Parish Relief."

I would think, based on my experience with Overseers Accounts, not only in relation to my own family but to others, as well, that it would be made relatively clear from those accounts if a family qualified for exemption based upon being in receipt of "any Parish Relief", which could range from a simple payment for clothes or shoes to weekly payments of poor relief.  In any one case, if suspicion exists as to the economic status of a family, I would strongly urge the examination of the Overseer's Accounts for records of payments made to or on behalf of that family.

Generally, I have noticed a high incidence of 'P' descriptions attached to baptisms and burials in the registers of some parishes.   Other registers are unusually lacking in what one would consider to be a reflection of an average occurrence of poor within a parish.  Without having examined the Overseer's Accounts of every parish where anomalies have been found, I can only think that perhaps the high incident rate of baptisms and burials exempt from the tax were performed by overtly sympathetic clerics.  It seems that many clerics were highly sensitive and empathetic to the stringent economic realities endured by the members of their congregation and did what they could, within the confines of secular and ecclesiastical law, to relieve the expense of unpopular taxes. 

Again, sorry for the long-winded reply, but hopefully, I've added some grain of practical knowledge to your storehouse. 

Regards,
Susan
CRN-Hocking
DVN-Bickle.Doble.Harris.Hill.Nrthcte
KEN-Austen.Bodeker.Collard.Dodd.Duncan.Eaton.Gregry.Hammnd.Herman.Hills.Hodgs.Ivysn.
James.Kemp.Milstd.Nut.Owlet.Ruck.Spilet.Terry.Tilby.Thmsn.Walker
SOM-Baker.Clatworthy.Linton.Parker.Smith.Stone.Twose
ABD-Barclay.Cruickshank.McKenzie.Shepherd.Club
LKS-Douglas.Gunn.Turner
MLN-Dicks/Dickson.Duff.Lindsay.Young
SHI-Bain.Cluness.Fordyce.Gray.Petrie
ASSISTANCE PROVIDED HERE IS FROM MY OWN DIRECT EXPERIENCE & NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE

Offline Mean_genie

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Re: RootsChatters versus KFHS re "Pd."
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 27 January 08 17:33 GMT (UK) »
Susan

Thanks for a very comprehensive answer. In my dotage I have become very suspicious of sweeping statements that don't cite any actual evidence. Even some quite knowlegeable and respected authors have been known to pass on received wisdom from earlier authors, giving it a slant that was never intended in the original, or that was unsubstantiated in the first place.

It's good to know that you have found this from your researches, and I agree with you that Overseers' accounts can be a wonderful source.

Mean_genie

Offline peckham

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Re: RootsChatters versus KFHS re "Pd."
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 27 January 08 17:37 GMT (UK) »
As the originator of the matter - now thoroughly explained - I would like to thank all contributors for their input.

It certainly enables me to better understand the circumstances surrounding some of my own direct ancestors.
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Spice, Groves, Ellis, Odiam, Hicks in Hawkhurst, Kent
Spice, Standen, Hudson, Hesmond in Hastings/ St. Leonards, Sussex
Blackburn, Palmer, Russell in Bolton, Lancashire