Author Topic: Why the long wait between birth and baptism?  (Read 865 times)

Online avm228

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Re: Why the long wait between birth and baptism?
« Reply #9 on: Thursday 07 March 19 23:20 GMT (UK) »
Easter Sunday - of course!  Traditionally a very popular time for baptisms.
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Offline janeeliza999

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Re: Why the long wait between birth and baptism?
« Reply #10 on: Thursday 07 March 19 23:22 GMT (UK) »
Ah. Ive heard of something similar,where the vicar rounds up the parents of unbaptised children and on a particular day,all the children in a family were baptised !!
Naylor Sankey/Warrington
Stout  Chester/Warrington
Slater  Warrington/Liverpool
Yearsley  Norley
Dredge  Wiltshire
Woods   Cuerdley
Savage  Warrington

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Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Why the long wait between birth and baptism?
« Reply #11 on: Thursday 07 March 19 23:27 GMT (UK) »
Perhaps they only went to church at Easter.
As he was illegitimate, maybe his mum delayed in hope that his dad might do the decent thing.

Offline janeeliza999

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Re: Why the long wait between birth and baptism?
« Reply #12 on: Thursday 07 March 19 23:42 GMT (UK) »
With no father to be seen, his mother was maybe depressed after the birth, so when Easter came around, was persuaded to celebrate his birth !
Naylor Sankey/Warrington
Stout  Chester/Warrington
Slater  Warrington/Liverpool
Yearsley  Norley
Dredge  Wiltshire
Woods   Cuerdley
Savage  Warrington

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Why the long wait between birth and baptism?
« Reply #13 on: Friday 08 March 19 00:35 GMT (UK) »
I donít find it notably long.  Perhaps he was a robust baby whose family was not in fear of his dying, so there wasnít any particular urgency.  Perhaps they just werenít the most enthusiastic or regular churchgoers.

I recently read an academic study correlating increasing age at baptism in the 19th century with falling rates of infant mortality. Quite interesting.
I've looked at age of baptism in selected years in my home parish. Some curates noted d.o.b.
1738  Babies were usually baptised during 1st week post birth. Some were a month old.
1797  A month was most popular age for baptism. Some were 2 months; 5 were 3 months, including twins; 1 was 6 months.
1847  Typical age at baptism seems to have been 2 months. Some babies were baptised younger than 2 months. Of 38 baptisms Jan-Jun , 5 babies were between 3 and 6 months and 4 were over 6 m. Some took longer to reach the font: 2 yrs, 6 yrs, two were 7 yrs and one was 13 yrs.


Offline barryd

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Re: Why the long wait between birth and baptism?
« Reply #14 on: Friday 08 March 19 01:44 GMT (UK) »
How about procrastination?

Offline Bee

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Re: Why the long wait between birth and baptism?
« Reply #15 on: Friday 08 March 19 02:36 GMT (UK) »
I believe it was the general norm to have a child baptised but there was no legal requirement to do so. 

One of my lines of interest had 6 of their children baptised on the same day, fortunately whoever filled in the parish register also entered the actual birth dates of each child, the eldest being 9 years old.
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Offline majm

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Re: Why the long wait between birth and baptism?
« Reply #16 on: Friday 08 March 19 03:23 GMT (UK) »
I think you may find that it was not usual for clergy to baptise newborns during Lent and perhaps from Advent or Epiphany right  through to Easter Day.   I think if the baby was sickly,  a private baptism was arranged.   


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Offline pinefamily

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Re: Why the long wait between birth and baptism?
« Reply #17 on: Friday 08 March 19 04:19 GMT (UK) »
A single mother may not have been able to get to the church until Easter Sunday, for work reasons. Then as Majm has suggested, pre Easter may have been a no baptism time.
There is of course the possibility that there was a change of clergy. Perhaps the incumbent did not like to baptize children of single women, and then there was a new incumbent who was more amenable.
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