Saturday, 11 January 2014

Embezzled Church Goods of Essex (1): Transactions n.s. Volume 13 Part 3


{Transcribed for the internet from the Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society (now the Essex Society for Archaeology and History), ‘New Series’ Volume 13 Part 3 (1913). The text as originally published shows the original script with variable spelling.  In this item we have added in curly brackets (thus {}) the modern spelling of the words, which researchers may more easily find from search engines.  Conversion to text is a large undertaking.  We will monitor the number of ‘hits’, but will welcome your feedback.}

THE church goods of Essex have received considerable attention in the Society's Transactions. The late Mr. H. W. King's transcripts of inventories of confiscated church goods were printed in vols. iv. and v. (o.s.) and in vols. i., ii., and iii. (n.s.). Mr. R. C. Fowler and Mr. W. C. Waller printed some further inventories in vols. x. and xi. respectively. These all referred to goods taken into the king's hands in 1552, and in some cases the goods previously sold are also named.

The following transcript (the Essex part only of S.P.D. Edw. VI., vol. v., no. 59) refers to the goods which the churchwardens and parishioners had sold by 1548. The Essex parishes number one hundred and fifteen, and are distributed fairly equally over the county. The MS. is apparently a copy of the original certificates. The goods named in some parishes are mentioned in the later inventories already named, but in most the information is additional. The chief interest lies in the uses to which the money received was put. Some was of course used for church repairs, and for removing the signs of the old religion, but it will be seen that much was used for a great variety of secular purposes. Contractions in the MS. have been extended and a little punctuation added to make the sense clearer.


[ jINFORDE [? Chingford]. Nicholas Cotten, Thomas Thumb, Churchwardens there doo presente That Rychard munnes and Roger Gandy beinge Churchewardens there Anno 1547 Layede in gage of the churche plate one chalyce and one Crosse of Sylver parcell gylte for the makinge of a newe roofe and repayring the same churche.

{CHINGFORD.  Nicholas Cotton, Thomas Thumb, Churchwardens there do present that Richard Munnes and Roger Gandy being Churchwardens there in 1547 laid ingage[1] off the church plate one chalice and one cross of silver partly gilded for the making of a new roof and repairing the church.}

WALTHAM HOLY CROSSE. Jamys Sutton, Edward Starye, Olyver Rigbye, John Pecocke, Do presente and say That the Churchewardens there hathe sold ij. olde brooken Standard Candelstyckis of latten for the Somme of xiijs. iiijd.[2] which Somme remayneth in the same churchewardens handes.

{WALTHAM HOLY CROSS.  James Sutton, Edward Starye, Oliver Rigbye, John Pecocke, do present and say that the churchwardens there have sold 2 old broken standard candlesticks of brass for the sum of 8s. 4d. which sum remains in the same churchwardens hands.}


WESTEHAM. Rychard bawdewyn, Rychard Angere, and Jeffery porter churcwardens [sic], Robert Clerke, John Warner, John Shypman, John Meryton, John Moll, John Clerke, John Keynett, Thomas Cole, paryshenours there Doo presente and say That John Collyns, Thomas Corley, and John Lorde beinge churche wardens there at a yere past dyd make sale without the consent of the hole parryshe of thees parcells of the churche plate folowinge videlicit; A crosse of sylver parcell gylte and enameled, a pyx parcell gylte, a greate Chalyce parcell gylte, iiij. other chalyces gylte, a crysmatorie[3] parcell gylte, iiij. Cruettis, a greate paxe[4] gylte, a lytle paxe parcell gylte, a basyn, a greate senser parcell gylte, and a Coveringe to putt on the pyxe with iiij. knoppes[5] of sylver. And they say also that the same churche wardens dyd take owte of the churche boxe xli. xiijs. iijd. obolus. And they receaued of Geffery porter for an house in Stratford Langthorne and ij. Acres and an half of lande belonging to the same house xvli, They receaued also of Mr. Briggis for a lease of vi. acres of lande belonging to the saide churche v. markes. All whiche Sommes of money and the money also comyng of the said plate they say the same churchewardens bestowed in makinge a newe yle in the saide churche.

{WEST HAM.  Richard Baldwin, Richard Angere, and Jeffrey Porter churchwardens, Robert Clerke, John Warner, John Shipman, John Meryton, John Moll, John Clerke, John Keynett, Thomas Cole, parishioners there do present and say that John Collins, Thomas Corley, and John Lorde being churchwardens there at the year past did make sale without consent of the whole parish of these parcels of church plate following: a cross of silver partly gilded and enamelled, a pax partly gilded, a great chalice partly gilded, 3 other chalices partly gilded, a chrismatory[6] partly gilded, and c overing to put on the pyx[7] with 3 knops of silver.  And they also the same churchwardens did take out of the church box £10. 13s. 3d.  And they received of Geoffrey Porter for a house at Stratford Langthorne and 2½ acres of land belonging to the said church 5 marks.  All which sums of money and the money of rhe coming of the said plate they say the same churchwardens bestowed in making a new aisle in the said church.}

[1] Ingage = to pledge (OED online)
[2] The date is given in the margin in another hand. The year is 1547; the rest is not clear.
[3] Chrysmatorie = Chrismatory = a vessel containing chrism or sacred oil
[4] Paxe = pax = a tablet of gold or silver etc depicting the crucifixion which is killed by the celebrating priest and other participants of the mass
[5] Knoppes = knop = a pertrubance or knob upon, for example a chalice or candlestick (OED online)
[6] Chrismatory = a vessel containing chrism or sacred oil
[7] Pyx = a vessel or box in which consecrated bread of the Eucharist is placed

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