Author Topic: 'an excommunicate person'  (Read 876 times)

Offline BenRalph

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'an excommunicate person'
« on: Saturday 18 January 20 14:00 GMT (UK) »
MY 7x great grandma had at least 3 children after her husband died in the 1750s. On the final baptism and burial of the children she is listed as an excommunicate person. I know to excommunicate someone is to banish them but what would this have meant to my 7x great-grandma at the time? Was she not allowed to go to church? And what about the impact it'd have on her children?

Offline Pennines

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Re: 'an excommunicate person'
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 18 January 20 14:09 GMT (UK) »
Have you found a burial for her please? What religion was she?
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Offline stanmapstone

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Re: 'an excommunicate person'
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 18 January 20 14:22 GMT (UK) »
She would be excommunicated for the sin of fornication. Apparently the person could be absolved, from excommunication, by the Ecclesiastical Court, after a suitable penance.
If it was "Less" Excommunication then all it meant was that she was excluded from the sacraments.
"Greater" Excommunication was also exclusion from the company of all Christians.
Stan
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Offline BumbleB

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Re: 'an excommunicate person'
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 18 January 20 14:29 GMT (UK) »
I was given this information from The Archives Assistant at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, when I asked a similar question related to an ancestor who was excommunicated in 1782 along with two other females.  I have a copy of the Excommunication document, which contains no indication of their misdemeanour/s.

J.S. Purvis’ Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Terms. This is what he has to say about it, in full:
 
Excommunication: An ecclesiastical censure. Excommunication is of two quite distinct kinds: (i) entirely spiritual; (ii) enforced by statute and civil law. The first is an entirely ecclesiastical censure, and for a time casts the person concerned out of the communion of the Church, until his offence is purged and the excommunication relaxed. The ‘greater excommunication’ cuts off the excommunicated from all society of the faithful; the ‘lesser excommunication’ deprives the offender of the sacraments and divine worship and Christian burial, and was pronounced as a sentence by judges in an ecclesiastical court for obstinacy in not appearing on a citation or not submitting to the orders and penalties of the court. It was published on occasion by the ceremony known popularly as ‘bell, book and candle’.
If a person excommunicated remain for forty days under the sentence unabsolved, the diocesan may present to the Court of Chancery his certificate, sealed, of ‘significavit’, showing the person has so remained, to the end that he may be arrested and imprisoned by the sheriff on a write of ‘de excommunicato capiendo’. On submission of the offender the archbishop or bishop may absolve, on a caution, by bond, pledge or oath.


My ancestor was buried in the churchyard in 1801.
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Offline Pennines

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Re: 'an excommunicate person'
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 18 January 20 14:41 GMT (UK) »
So presumably this applied to C of E in those days? I know it's not my query, but I did wonder if they were allowed a burial service if they were not forgiven - or whether they just had to be buried in non-consecrated ground.

Clearly the children in Benralph's case were allowed access to the Church and to be baptised as they were 'innocent'.
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Offline stanmapstone

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Re: 'an excommunicate person'
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 18 January 20 15:31 GMT (UK) »
The canons and prayer-book refused the use of the Burial Service for excommunicated persons, and before 1880 no body could be buried in consecrated ground except with the service of the Church.

Stan
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Offline stanmapstone

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Re: 'an excommunicate person'
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 18 January 20 15:56 GMT (UK) »
So presumably this applied to C of E in those days? I know it's not my query, but I did wonder if they were allowed a burial service if they were not forgiven - or whether they just had to be buried in non-consecrated ground.

Although a minister was forbidden by ecclesiastical law to read a burial service over the remains of someone excommunicated for some " grievous and notorious crime" who had not repented, he may be compelled to allow burial in the churchyard, because every parishioner had the right to bury their dead relations in the churchyard as near their ancestors as possible.

Stan

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Offline BenRalph

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Re: 'an excommunicate person'
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 18 January 20 16:51 GMT (UK) »
Thank you for the answers so far.

No, I've been unable to find a burial for her. She was born in 1720 as Sarah Hardisty, married Francis Patrick in 1743 and he died in 1751. They had 3 children, she then had a child to Alexander Saunders (I think he was a Scotchman but would love to be corrected on what the baptism says) and then two other children who have no father listed. Both the youngest two died and it's these two that have the info of being excommunicated.

BumbleB, would there likely be info on my ancestor similar to the file you found?

Offline BumbleB

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Re: 'an excommunicate person'
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 18 January 20 16:59 GMT (UK) »
A good question, to which I don't have an answer - sorry.

My family were based in Tadcaster.  I consulted the Borthwick Institute in York which holds the records for the Diocese of York.

You may need to find where the Diocesan records are held for your particular area of research.

Transcriptions and NBI are merely finding aids.  They are NOT a substitute for original record entries.
Remember - "They'll be found when they want to be found" !!!
If you don't ask the question, you won't get an answer.
He/she who never made a mistake, never made anything.
Archbell - anywhere, any date
Kendall - WRY
Milner - WRY
Appleyard - WRY