Author Topic: A question about Bishop’s transcripts  (Read 715 times)

Offline Davedrave

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A question about Bishop’s transcripts
« on: Sunday 09 December 18 20:51 GMT (UK) »
It seems from what I’ve read that copying of the parish register each year and sending this copy (the Bishop’s transcripts)  to the office of the diocese, was introduced at the end of the C16th. I have examined some original transcripts, just loose sheets, which I assume to be a duplicate of the list the vicar sent (unless the list was returned after copying?). What I wonder is where this information was then recorded, and whether there might be large tomes in cathedral libraries full of these records? If so, might they not contain some earlier records for at least some of those parishes where early records seem to be lacking, or are damaged?

Dave :)
ESSEX: Cramphorn Raven Sams Sayers Taylor Whybrow; GLOS: Beacham/Beauchamp; HERTS: Chamberlain Chuck; LEICS: Allot Bennet Bentley Crisp Godfrey Greasley Hunt Hurst Jarvis Lane Lea Light Seel Taylor Woodward Wright; LINCS: Buswell Lambert Mitchell Muse Sayers; OXON: Barnett Beacham; STAFFS: Hodgkins Jarvis; SURREY: Light; WARKS: Astley/Chesshire Bradbury Hicken/Hickin Hudson; WORCS: Ballinger Beauchamp Laight

Offline stanmapstone

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Re: A question about Bishop’s transcripts
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 09 December 18 21:50 GMT (UK) »
From 1598 incumbents were required to provide their diocesan bishop, or his equivalent, usually at Easter, with copies of the entries in the parish register covering the previous year. However in some cases the order was observed only sporadically, or they were not scrupulously maintained. Before 1812, bishops’ transcripts were usually recorded on loose pieces of paper. Following that year, the transcripts were recorded on the same preprinted forms as parish registers.
They will be held in the Diocesan Record Office, which is usually the local Record Office
See https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/England_Church_Records#Bishop.27s_Transcripts

Stan
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Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: A question about Bishop’s transcripts
« Reply #2 on: Monday 10 December 18 08:16 GMT (UK) »
Though the Diocesan Record Office  is usually in the County Record Office it is not always the case  Some Dioceses span counties and the office may not be in the expected county.

One of the main problems with Bishop’s Transcripts is there was no legislation governing the way they were to stored and kept. This resulted in many being dumped in piles in cellars and attics, these piles over the years turned into putrid smelling heaps, damaged by damp and vermin.

Bts can be a useful source indeed a few are the pages from the original parish register and the Parish Register holds the Bishop’s Transcript (some incumbents thought this was a good opportunity to tidy up the register). Some BTs are more legible than the parish register and some early ones are more accurate than the parish register This is because in 1597 it was ordered that early parish registers written on paper were  to be transcribed onto vellum or parchment.
“It was ordained by a constitution made by the archbishops and clergy at Canterbury, 25 October 1597, that parchment register books should be purchased at the expense of each parish, and that there should be transcribed, at the same parish cost, from the paper books then in use, into the parchment registers, not only the names of those who had been baptized, married, or buried, during the reign of the then Queen (i.e. from 1558 39 years previously), but also the names of those who thenceforth should be baptized, married, or buried. Such transcripts to be examined, and their correctness certified at the bottom of each page, by the clergyman and churchwardens.”

Incidently do not believe the myth that parish registers do not contain births and deaths some do, I say some as the clergy were notorious for not following commands.

In 1644 an ordinance was passed that
"... and it is further ordained, by the authority aforesaid, that there shall be provided, at the charge of every parish or chappelry in this realm of England and dominion of Wales a fair register-book of velim be kept by the minister and other officers of the church; and that the names of all children baptized, and of their parents, and the time of their birth and baptizing, shall be written and set down by the ministers therein ; and also the names of all persons married there and the time of their marriage ; and also the names of all persons buried in that parish, and the time of their death and burial ; and that said book shall be showed, by such as keep the same, to all persons reasonably desiring to search for the birth, baptizing, marriage, or burial of any person therein registered, and to take a copy or procure a certificate thereof."

In 1695 An Act for Granting to His Majesty certain Rates and Duties upon Marriages, Births and Burials, and upon Batchelors and Widowers, for the Term of Five Years, for Carrying on the War against France with Vigour was made law

In 1696 an enactment was made and also distinct registers were to be kept of children born in the parish and not christened all parents were required to give notice of a birth of a child within 5 days of the birth. A fine of 40 shillings was imposed on parents who omitted to give notice within the five days and a similar penalty was payable by the vicar. The parents were to pay the vicar sixpence to register the birth.

In 1783 there was an Act for granting to his Majesty a Stamp-duty on the Registry of Burials, Marriages, Births, and Christenings.

It was also intended that Rose’s Act of 1812 would include births, as seen from its title “An Act for the better regulating and preserving Parish and other Registers of Births, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, in England [28th July 1812.]” but amendments prior to it being passed deleted the mentions to births.

Cheers
Guy
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Offline Davedrave

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Re: A question about Bishop’s transcripts
« Reply #3 on: Monday 10 December 18 08:53 GMT (UK) »
Thank you for the detailed answers. I know that the diocese covering the area I know best changed from Lincoln to Peterborough at some stage. I did not realise that the scraps of paper or vellum which I handled were the records actually sent to the church authorities. I’d assumed that they were a sort of ‘carbon copy’ held by the parish as proof that they had done as required. I had assumed that in Lincoln, say, this information had been copied into registers in the same way that PCC wills were in London.

On the subject of births in the PR, I have a number of records (photos I took of the originals) which show the d.o.b in addition to baptism, as you describe, and in beautifully clear calligraphy (photo: PR in Leicestershire Record Office).

Interestingly, I also have a burial record in the PR, date Feb 1721/22; a BT with the same date, and then another BT with the date 1722 (and the 1721/22 headstone, superbly legible). It looks as though someone was not using dual dating, and duplicated the record (it is most certainly the same burial).

Presumably the move from paper to vellum was for better preservation? Yet of the two registers covering from 1625 to about 1800, the writing in the earlier, paper book, is certainly better preserved.

I have found a few records in the BT’s which don't appear in the PR, including one where the father of the child (my ggg g/f) was also churchwarden and signed that BT. In fact, I’m lucky also to have the signature of my gggggg g/f from 1723 from the same chapelry.

It sounds like I’ve been very fortunate with these records. They are even complete throughout the turmoil of the Commonwealth period.

Dave :)
ESSEX: Cramphorn Raven Sams Sayers Taylor Whybrow; GLOS: Beacham/Beauchamp; HERTS: Chamberlain Chuck; LEICS: Allot Bennet Bentley Crisp Godfrey Greasley Hunt Hurst Jarvis Lane Lea Light Seel Taylor Woodward Wright; LINCS: Buswell Lambert Mitchell Muse Sayers; OXON: Barnett Beacham; STAFFS: Hodgkins Jarvis; SURREY: Light; WARKS: Astley/Chesshire Bradbury Hicken/Hickin Hudson; WORCS: Ballinger Beauchamp Laight


Offline JohninSussex

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Re: A question about Bishop’s transcripts
« Reply #4 on: Monday 10 December 18 09:04 GMT (UK) »
Of course what you call dual dating is a historian's artefact.  At the time of the event the date was unambiguously called February 1721.  It was only after the calendar change anyone would think of using the form 1721/22; and many do the online transcriptions will for simplicity record it as Feb 1722.
Rutter, Sampson, Swinerd, Head, Redman in Kent.  Others in Cheshire, Manchester, Glos/War/Worcs.
RUTTER family and Matilda Sampson's Will:

Online JenB

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Re: A question about Bishop’s transcripts
« Reply #5 on: Monday 10 December 18 09:14 GMT (UK) »
  It was only after the calendar change anyone would think of using the form 1721/22;

I am currently transcribing letters written at the start of what we would now call 1711. Very many of the letters dated by the writer in the form 1710/11
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Offline Davedrave

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Re: A question about Bishop’s transcripts
« Reply #6 on: Monday 10 December 18 09:15 GMT (UK) »
Of course what you call dual dating is a historian's artefact.  At the time of the event the date was unambiguously called February 1721.  It was only after the calendar change anyone would think of using the form 1721/22; and many do the online transcriptions will for simplicity record it as Feb 1722.

But might not the fact that the date was written in both forms, although said as the same thing, not have led to confusion, as it seems to have done here? For example the photo of the birth and baptism record in my post above shows a date written simply “1685”, despite being from January/February, whereas other records from the same period in this register  give dates in dual form.

Dave :)
ESSEX: Cramphorn Raven Sams Sayers Taylor Whybrow; GLOS: Beacham/Beauchamp; HERTS: Chamberlain Chuck; LEICS: Allot Bennet Bentley Crisp Godfrey Greasley Hunt Hurst Jarvis Lane Lea Light Seel Taylor Woodward Wright; LINCS: Buswell Lambert Mitchell Muse Sayers; OXON: Barnett Beacham; STAFFS: Hodgkins Jarvis; SURREY: Light; WARKS: Astley/Chesshire Bradbury Hicken/Hickin Hudson; WORCS: Ballinger Beauchamp Laight

Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: A question about Bishop’s transcripts
« Reply #7 on: Monday 10 December 18 10:36 GMT (UK) »
Unfortunately the change of calendar is not as simple as some might suggest.
The official change of calendar in England & Wales was in 1751 but Scotland had adopted the change of new year to January 1st from 1600 the Catholic countries of Europe and their overseas possessions adopted the calendar change from Julian to Gregorian in 1582.

The effect of this was many clerics started using the change of calendar in their registers long before the official change of calendar.
The only safe practice is to browse the original register and see what year date has been assigned either in January or March
Cheers
Guy
http://anguline.co.uk/Framland/index.htm   The site that gives you facts not promises!
http://burial-inscriptions.co.uk Tombstones & Monumental Inscriptions.

As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.