From the Diocesan Registry.
Document No. 97. (also 55)
Ballaugh ye 31st 1699 of October.
We the Church wards & Chapter 'quest have mett this day and do give in wt prsentmts we have as fooloweth 1699.
Ph : Stean
Margrett Cowley prsented by Will Craine one of ye Church warden for saying Gods Curs on his own Body [referred to tryall. ]
And whereas we have been wanting Service or prayers in our Church for 4 or 5 Sundays and wee the Churchwardens & Chapter quest do referr it to yor selves to do whatt is fitting in ye same And the Sundays yt wee wanted prayrs, the Cleark did not ring the 3 bells we give in likewise to do wt is ffitting [Remitted]
['Note. - The reference to the 'three bells' is interesting. They were probably rung by the clerk on the occasions before or during prayers at points where the priest desired to specially emphasise, or in the more solemn parts of the service. This bell-ringing in the middle of the 17th century was looked upon as a Roman Catholic practice. In 1634 Bishop Foster sent a series of searching questions to each of the parish churchwardens, and particularly as to 'whether any pastimes be used to ye hindrance of Devine srvice, ringinge of bells.' The churchwardens of Kirk Malew, in their reply to the Bishop, stated that 'neither beare or bulbatinge or any other pastimes are used on Sabothes and Holy dayes to the hinderance of devine service, or any superstitious ringing of bells in this pish, burninge of candles, worshipping of crosses