Author Topic: Illegitimacy in the 16th and 17th centuuaries  (Read 1004 times)

Offline Andy_T

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Re: Illegitimacy in the 16th and 17th centuuaries
« Reply #18 on: Thursday 27 June 19 08:45 BST (UK) »
Reading some extracts by Professor Alan Macfarlane from “Illegitimacy and illegitimates in English history” has given me some insights:


Even before Elizabethan times where my Beycke / Becke / Beck family research started, bastardy was categorized into two groups:

•   “General Bastardy” where parents did not marry after the birth of their children
•   “Special Bastardy” espoused or not at time of birth, they (the parents) later married

When 'general bastardy was disputed, it could be tried in the ecclesiastical courts as
such, but 'special bastardy could only be tried in the common law courts, for it was not recognized as 'bastardy by the church (Burn, I, p. 112).(9)
By the law of the church all those born of parents who married, no matter when the
marriage took place, were legitimate (Burn, 1, p. 112). According to the thirteenth-century Bishop Robert Grosseteste, there had been an earlier custom that any children born before marriage were placed beneath the care-cloth at the wedding service and were held to be legitimate.

The children I found baptism records before the parents married likely fell into the “Special Bastardy” category and would have been considered legitimate after their parents married.

Andy_T
Thurman, Coleman, Beck, Shaw

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Offline ThrelfallYorky

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Re: Illegitimacy in the 16th and 17th centuuaries
« Reply #19 on: Thursday 27 June 19 15:39 BST (UK) »
Fascinating information. Thank you for that, Andy_T.
Threlfall (Southport), Isherwood (lancs & Canada), Newbould + Topliss(Derby), Keating & Cummins (Ireland + lancs), Fisher, Strong& Casson (all Cumberland) & Downie & Bowie, Linlithgow area Scotland . Also interested in Leigh& Burrows,(Lancashire) Griffiths (Shropshire & lancs), Leaver (Lancs/Yorks) & Anderson(Cumberland and very elusive)

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Offline pinefamily

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Re: Illegitimacy in the 16th and 17th centuuaries
« Reply #20 on: Friday 28 June 19 07:27 BST (UK) »
The point has been touched upon several times above, but smaller/more remote parishes may not have had a regular incumbent. There are numerous instances of one minister holding more than one parish. And on the death of an incumbent, a new one might not be appointed straight away.
That could explain some of the "job lot" marriages.
Having said that, attitudes to illegitimacy did vary through the centuries.
I am Australian, from all the lands I come (my ancestors, at least!)

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Devon, Dorset, Gloucs, Cornwall, Yorks, Bucks, Oxfordshire, Wilts, Germany, Sweden, and of course London, to name a few.

Offline Andy_T

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Re: Illegitimacy in the 16th and 17th centuuaries
« Reply #21 on: Friday 28 June 19 16:37 BST (UK) »
pinefamily: " Attitudes to illegitimacy did vary through the centuries ".

There was church law since the beginning of the church, common law from 13th century and there were attitudes that varied from region to region, parish to parish as well as over the centuries.

The ecclesiastical and common law applied to bastardy I quoted recently from extracts by Professor Alan Macfarlane from “Illegitimacy and illegitimates in English history”, were from the 13th century and therefore before King Henry viii's reformation of the church in 1537.
The stripping of power from the abbeys meant that revenue and land transferred from abbots (representing abbeys) to nobles and a bible in English language was transcribed by Thomas Cramner in 1539 and sent out to all churches.

Apart from these changes ecclesiastical law did not change and many priests still died lifelong bachelors. Ecclesiastical law relating to bastardy stayed the same, albeit in late 16th century and throughout the 17th century, the rise of Puritanism lead to unmarried parents being more harshly pursued and punished where Puritan churches had power and influence.

Andy_T             


 
Thurman, Coleman, Beck, Shaw

Offline Redroger

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Re: Illegitimacy in the 16th and 17th centuuaries
« Reply #22 on: Sunday 30 June 19 21:56 BST (UK) »
A few years ago I was involved in a project Dorset bastards. It was fixated on the 18th century and used Parish BMD records. Where comparison was possible in the same period the following was apparent; there was a higher rate of illegitimacy in the Towns than in country parishes. In both their was an increase during the century, with the rate increasing substatially during the time the country was at ward (Usually with France)
Ayres Brignell Cornwell Harvey Shipp  Stimpson Stubbings (all Cambs) Baumber Baxter Burton Ethards Proctor Stanton (all Lincs) Luffman (all counties)

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Illegitimacy in the 16th and 17th centuuaries
« Reply #23 on: Friday 05 July 19 16:09 BST (UK) »
Reading some extracts by Professor Alan Macfarlane from “Illegitimacy and illegitimates in English history” has given me some insights:

"Illegitimacy and illegitimates in English history" by Alan MacFarlane from "Bastardy and its Comparative History", Peter Laslett, Karla Oosterveen and Richard M. Smith (eds.) publisher Arnold 1980.  www.alanmacfarlane.com/TEXTS/bastardy.pdf
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