Brillanaa, Mertila, Reabocka, and Althemire. The modern "Minye" occurs (thus spelled) as early as the sixteenth century, and Maryana similarly anticipates her appearance in the moated grange. The names of Harrye and Jehoyda are given to girls, and Affabell to a boy. But the most curious thing in the baptismal register of St. Peter's Cheap, is that in the case of foundlings they are almost invariably baptized by the name of Peter—the name of the street or lane in which they were found being given as a surname. In St. Matthew's, on the other hand that name is generally given as a surname, the Christian name varying. One however in the last century, found on a Monday, appears in the register as Matthew Monday-following the precedent set by Robinson Crusoe. Apropos of the man Friday, the following names occur in the register of Golden Grove Church, Jamaica, as having been bestowed during the last century on some of that distinguished person's fellow country

Girls: Penina Almona, Francena Aramanda, Margaret A bijah, and Caroline Celeste Celestina Minima Constantina. And a boy, John Hezekiah Barjona Thomas !

Careless and eccentric spelling is, I need scarcely say, very common in old registers. I find one child at Cherhill “paptized ” in 1732, and to restore the balance of duty between the two letters, another is “Babtized” ten years later. An entry in 1794 is dated the 33rd day of Junly; and “ his wife” is spelled “is wfife" in 1795. The most unintelligible name that I find is that of Dillaziver, for a girl, in 1776; and the most incredible statement, that a girl was born on the 28th September, 1799, aged four-and-a-half years : which reminds me of the answer to an enquiry as to when the late Mr. O'Sullivan died, that "if he had lived till to-morrow, he would have been dead a month!” Men are always stated in the Cherhill register to have married their wives, except in one instance, where the wife is recorded in 1811 as having married her husband. This entry is moreover in an entirely different handwriting to that in which any of the other entries for several years before and after are made; so that the only supposition must be that the grey mare got at the books and expressed her own will and intention. No subsequent records of this family are, I regret to say, handed down by tradition for the instruction or warning of posterity.

It is time however that I should return to my historical sketch of the progress of registration. In the year 1754 occurs an attempt to relieve, by the addition of a separate book for marriages, the chaos of entries which had before been bound up between one pair of covers. This book consisted of printed forms in which were first recorded the publication of the banns, and then the performance of the marriage. Being however only of paper, this book did not entirely supersede the vellum book, and I find a good many marriages between this date and 1813 entered in both books, with the usual results of numerous discrepancies in spelling. During this time the only thing of particular interest that I note at Cherhill is the description of one Richard Bush as a "scribbler,” a designation with which I may cap that of Richard Michels of St. Giles, Cripplegate, in 1607, as an “aquavityman,” and of Brian Pearson of St. Marylebone, Durham, in 1722 as “the Abbey Dog-Whipper.” The Westbury and Dilton books of this period are rich in curious entries, made by a Vicar of the name of Hewitt, who held the living for between forty and fifty years, and deceased in the year 1793. I copy a few of them from transcripts with which the present Vicar, the Rev. H. Duke, has kindly favored me, indicating the names by initials only:

WESTBURY. “ E. H., a kind of Cannibal man had eat some horseflesh raw, and was never well afterwards: he died soon upon it : his father was hanged some years ago for the murder of one B. of Westbury-I say buried E. H., October 27, 1766.”

F. P., widow, found dead at her door. She had been drinking drams, &o., all day : so suffocated with strong liquors. Buried March 15, 1767.

J. S., aged 63, who sold the Vicar's house next the millpond to J. M. which

sued for in Chancery, and the parish put me into possession of it September, 1759. Buried Feb. 11, 1769."

M. N., widow, aunt to J. H., who rents of Thos. Phipps, Esq.. of Leigh, four Farms, viz: two Dilton Farms, Grant's Farm on the hill, and Colton's Croft, Dear £500 a year : and £500 a year or nearly of W. Bennett, Esq. of Norton Bavant. Yet he and his cousin J. H., called Bacon H., let their poor aunt M. N. starve, though both rich men, and to be kept by the parish, and to be buried out of Westbury Workhouse, May 5, 1774, at the parish expense."

“ J. B. of the Weavers' Arms, in a desponding condition hanged himself in his own house, but lies buried in Westbury Church with his Father, R. N., of the Bell. I was and Family at this time at Nantwich in Cheshire, to see my sister and friends : so he had no Burial Service read over him por ought to have it; notwithstanding tho Coroner's warrant left for that purpose. He and his last wife followed the Methodists for years. I prayed with him just before my journey to Cheshire began, 31 July last, and he told me then be bad attempted and should hang himself. He turned of a black melancholy countenance, and seldom came to church. Buried Sept. 7, 1775."

“ E. B., widow of J. B. She hanged herself. It was said she sold herself to the Devil some years ago. The Jury brought her in a Lunatick, so she was buried in the churchyard, June 21, 1776."

“ M. B. Widow, aged 73 years, of Westbury Leigh. She had the Great Bell rung out at 6 in the morning and until 9 o'clock and after she was buried—which was March 16, 1777.

“ S., wife of J. V., died of a fright from her husband who threatened to beat out her brains. Buried Oct. 17, 1785.”

“E. M., widow, aged 103 years, a dirty squalled person, eat up with filth : been kept by the parish these 40 years and by begging. Buried Oct. 8, 1786."

“J. K. P. Intoxicated with Rum Toddy by washing out a Rum Puncheon with boiling water of J. M. which was put in the barn in Marriage Orchardtumbled headlong in Gibbe’s Close on plain ground and broke his neck. Buried Feb. 10, 1787. He was a Drunkard."

“ W., an unbaptized son of E. C. and E. his wife, aged 6 weeks, which B. N., deputy sexton, buried, Nov. 3, 1787, in the Vestry Room in R. E. alias G.'s Brick Grave, without my consent or asking reason or giving me the least notice: tho' I told him and sent E. C. word that 6s, 8d. I would have for the future for every person of his family that was buried in that Grave, since he had refused to pay me for his son W., who was buried in the same Brick Grave.”

“Mr. J. H., aged 52 years, died of a mortification : would have no Christian burial read over him, and desired me not to attend : he had left the Established Church, turned Independent, then left their meeting and turned Anabaptist, and was attended to his Grave, which is near the Communion Table, by two Anabaptist teachers and some others of that sect, and carried to the Grave by six men of that sect. He lived, the people said, like a Hog, and was buried like a Dog. Certainly he was an Epicurean. Was buried Oct. 24, 1788."

“R. T. Publican of the Angel, of a most drunken character. Aged 69 years. He died drunk. J. M. alwaies supplied this drunken House and Fellow with Gin. I record not this because he was a Presbyterian, but because he was a most vicious and vile Fellow, and tried all I could to put him down. Buried August 12, 1790."


“ J., son of W. D., a soldier, married one E. H., of Dilton, daughter of J. H., of Dilton Dye-house, who was transported to North Amerioa for stealing dye-stuff from Messrs James and Nicholas Codell, of Chapmanslade, some years ago. The said E. D. above, mother of this son J., I buried the 7th of April, 1777, as above in Dilton Chapel on the mother's promise of paying me what she owed me, or 68. 8d. for the fee. The old grandmother of the boy has only paid me one shilling towards her daughter E.'s fee, though they both died in Westbury Leigh, and none of the family of Hs ever buried at Dilton at all : for old R. H., the dyer, I buried at Westbury in the Churchyard: his widow died at Longleat, and was buried in the church at Horningsham, Corsley, or the new church in the Woodlands. J. H., their son, transported, died in America. R. H., son of J. the transport, I buried in Dilton Chapel, April 1st, 1776, on the promise of the mother paying my fee of 6s. 8d., of which she paid me since 28. And now the boy J. D. is buried in Dilton Chapel by J. G., my sexton, without my knowledge or privity."

“Never a D. or H. in the World ever were buried in any of the Churches of this parish, nor none of the Hs. J. H., the transport, in Mr. Wroughton's time crowded an infant into Dilton Chapel unknown to him: and so forsooth everybody of this Grand Folks must do as they please, who are near being kept by the parish. I have threatened J. G., sexton, to prosecute him, but he has promised to see me paid 68. 8d. from S. D., or H., the boy's uncle."

“ 8. R., widow, aged 103 years, died of a dropsy. Buried March 24th, 1786."*

We come now to a curious and abortive attempt on the part of a distressed Chancellor of the Exchequer to raise a lucellum, not only from the lighting of the torch of life, but out of its extinction also. In the year 1783, the national resources having been heavily drained by the war with France, and still further also by the payment of nearly ten millions sterling to the American loyalists, as an indemnity for their losses during the War of Independence, a stamp duty of 3d. was imposed upon the entry of every “burial, marriage, birth, and christening,” the tax to commence on October 1st. Two years later

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• Various interesting extracts from other Wiltshire registers are to be found in Nichols's “ Col. lectanea." I append a list of the parishes to which they belong :Vol. v., p. 28–Great Bedwyn.

Vol. vi., p. 227-Malmesbury. 36 and 361--Little Bedwyn.

72–Collingbourn Ducis. 39-Easton,

175- Colling bourn Kingston. 260-38. Peter and Paul, Marlborough,

180- Burbage. 268-St. Mary, Marlborough.

188_Tidcombe. 846 - Preshute.

190-Chute. 350--Mi 11.

201-Market Lavington. 353--Ogbourne St. Andrew.

358--Ogbourne St. George. Portions of the registers of Durnford, Stratton St. Margaret, South Marston, and some other parishes were also privately printed by Sir Thomas Phillipps, about the year 1822. We much want copies of these books in our Devizes Library. VOL. XVI.-NO. XLVIII.


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this was extended to Dissenters' registrations, but the whole was repealed in 1791, after having lasted only eleven years. The tax was collected by means of impressed stamps, and in the books of Bremhill parish I find each entry during this period written upon a stamp, with the exception of such as related to paupers, which were kept in a separate book, and unstamped.

Obedience to this law seems however to have been far from universal, I find no trace of these stamps either in my own books, or in the great majority of such as I have been able to examine. This may however possibly be explained by the fact that the sixth section of the Act empowers H. M. Commissioners to grant licenses of exemption in certain cases-or I should perhaps rather say, in uncertain cases, for there would seem to have been no restriction whatever upon their powers. In the register book of the parish of Wath, in the county of York, one Thomas Hattersley, Curate, describes himself as being "licensed to register baptisms, marriages, and burials in books without stamps.”

* It was subsequently re-enacted in a modified form togetber with an impost upon all bachelors and widows; and we not infrequently meet with the record of these payments mixed up with the entries which belong more properly to my present subject.

2 The wording of the section is as follows: “ Providing always and be it further enacted, that no parson, vicar, curate, or other person shall be subject to any the penalties or forfeitures in this act mentioned for entering or causing to be entered any burial, marriage, birth, or christening in any parish register without any marks or stamps therein, where a license under the hands of three of the Commissioners for the time being, appointed to put this Act into execution, or any, officer or officers by them impowered, shall have been granted, signifying their or his leave or approbation that the entry of any burial, marriage, birth, or christening be written without any marks or stamps thereon, so as the person or persons having the custody of such registers do from time to time when and as often as he or they shall be thereto required, permit the said Commissioners, or any of them, or any officer or agent by them or the major part of them for that purpose appointed, to inspect and view such registers, and do also from time to time when and as often as he or they shall be thereto required by the said Commissioners or the major part of them, or any other by them or the major part of them authorized, pay unto the Receiver-General, for the time being, of such duties or such officer or person as the said Commissioners or the major part of them shall appoint to receive the same, all such sum and sums of money which according to the true intent and meaning of this Act ought to be paid in respect of all and every such entry and entries as shall be written in such registers, anything herein contained to the contrary thereof notwithstanding."

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