Choice Presentments

Presentments were accusations of offences against Ecclesiastical law made by the wardens or chapter quest of each parish to the next church court - they are usually found, along with the wills, in the records of the Archideaconal and Episcopal courts. Family historians will be familiar with them as a common crime presented, was that of fornication, as proved by the appearance of an illegitimate child, both mother and putative father, where known, were presented. However there were many other offences presented. After reading some of them, the comments of Mr Townley, made in 1790 may be appreciated:

I HAVE also, by me, presentments for two other parishes ; but my pen revolts, being quite jaded with transcribing such nonsensical stuff ; such as must draw a smile from every person of common sense ;-an indignant one it must be ; that within a Protestant country, in this enlightened age, such absurdities should be even tolerated.

This set of pages is a collection of extracts along the lines of Cubons 'unpublished documents' of unrelated documents that deserve more attention. .



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