Archdeacons' Visitation Records

The Borthwick holds a good collection of visitation records of the Archdeaconry of the East Riding. The collection consists of 14 subclasses, but only the ones that contain details of the parishioners will be discussed here.

Court Books [ER.V/CB] 1663-1885 (27 Volumes)
The court books are arranged by rural deanery, i.e. Buckrose, Dickering, Harthill and Holderness. Until the early 1830s the Court Books consisted of two types of 'Calls' -

Visitation Calls: which simply records the incumbent and the old and new churchwardens for every parish within every deanery. The parishes are in alphabetical order within each deanery.

Correction Calls: these are of more use to the genealogist, recording the moral 'crimes' of the parishioners, non-payment of church dues, and many other offences. A full list from Court Book 4 (1675-1679) is provided below.

After 1835 the Court Books are more in the nature of general act books of the archdeacons,  since they contain induction mandates, citation mandates, inhibitions and relaxations, subscriptions, surrogation acts, convocation business, various commissions, monitions and archidiaconal charges to the clergy. They contain very little regarding the parishioners, and Correction Calls have ceased by then.

The Court Book volumes and their coverage are as follows:

1. 1663
8. 1691
15. 1734-1742
22. 1827-1840
2. 1665
9. 1691-1704
16. 1743-1749
23. 1841-1849
3. 1670-1674
10. 1694-1706
17. 1750-1759
24. 1850-1855
4. 1675-1679
11. 1707-1713
18. 1760-1773
25. 1855-1861
5. 1679-1687
12. 1713-1719
19. 1774-1785
26. 1862-1873
6. 1688
13. 1720-1725
20. 1786-1805
27. 1875-1885
7. 1689
14. 1726-1733
21. 1806-1826

Note: There are placename indexes to the court Books, 1665-1848, in ER.V/CB.28a-h.

Churchwardens' Presentments [ER.V/Ch.P] 1672-1834 (15 boxes)
The boxes are arranged by parish, so when ordering do not specify a year, specify the parish. Inside a box you will find two to four bundles, each relating to a particular parish, and each bundle contains all the Presentments for the coverage period. Those for Bubwith covered the period 1706-1748. All the presentations found are summarised below.

Correction Citations [ER.V/Co.C] 1671-1827 (3 boxes)
These citations were issued by the Archdeacon's Registrar in York (Thomas Jubb, in the 1720s). They were in the nature of a form, with underneath a brief description of offences, often for several parishes at a time, and requiring the Ministers of the parishes concerned to attend the Visitation, held in St. Mary's Church, Beverley, and publish the process against the persons cited.

Excommunications [ER.V/Exc] 1669-1792 (6 boxes)
Those found guilty of most moral sins were routinely excommunicated. This was not a permanent status, and was usually lifted once the Penance had been performed.

Penances [ER.V/Pen] 1692-1803 (6 boxes)
The penances were very formulaic, and an example is provided below which demonstrates their humiliating nature.

Visitation Returns [ER.V/Ret] 1. Parochial Returns 1720-1724
Rarely an Archdeacon or his representative would Visit individual parishes, to ascertain their general state of repair, and the number and condition of books, vestments and vessels generally considered necessary to perform Divine Service. These Parochial Returns have been examined, and Bubwith was found to have been visited in July, 1723, and the return is provided in full below.

Archdeacons' Visitation Court Books
ER.V/CB.4, fol 15v 1675

Officio con
Anna Hallam
Marm. Starke
Issabella Story
Mary Grisdale
John Story
John Grisdale
George Story
Catherine ux Thomas Smith
Francis Story
Lucid Poolle
Wm Young et Anna ejus ux et Peter ejus filio
Eliza Hallam
Anna ux William Dodsworth
Elizabeth Parkinson
Thomas Bargham et Juliana ejus ux
Andrew Barker
Edward Jillison et Anna ejus ux
Anna Thorpe
Wm Preston et Anna Preston
Maria Plaxton
for not coming to church nor receiving the Sacrament at Easter last
Elizabeth Boyes

Radum Smith
Margaret Beilby
John Browne
John Custance et Maria ejus ux
Henry Browning
John Bargham
Lucid Watson
Thomas Allen et Elizabeth ejus ux
Anna Rheame
John Rabbee
Catherine Smith
Margaret Lutton
Francis Cuniworth
John Vavasour et Julianna ejus ux et Juliana ejus filia
Barbara Goodlad
Thomas Sharpe et Ellona Grayburne ejus pusa ux
for not receiving the Sacrament at Easter last

Index to Correction Offences

vid. Church Wardens
Ale Houses
vid. Tippling
making a pretended 148; none payment of 1 &c.
18, 204, 217, 225; Suspicion of 30
neglect of or preventing 2 &c.; presuming to baptise 116
rung wrongfully 130; broken &c. 59, 61, 67, 101
out of the parish 66; still born child 63
playing at on Christmas day 5
neglect of attending 18 &c
Chancel out of repair
5, 60, 64, 75, 85, 98, 101, 106, 150, 184, 206, 214, 222, 227
not replacing gravestones in 106
non election of 65
refusing office 7
not appearing at Visitations 8
not making presentment 3, 14, 73
not paying court fees 19
not exhibiting accounts 13, 27, 34, 74 &c.
neglect of duty 4, 129, 130, 148
refusing oath
disturbance in 147, 148, 203
keeping hats on in
going out of, when Homily read 5
during sermon 5
before the blessing 63, 203
not standing up when Creed read
out of repair 61, 19, 26, 77, 81, 82 &c.
not resorting to the parish 1, 5 &c.
yard, swine kept in
fence, out of repair 68
Child still born
vid. burial
non exhibition of Letters of Order
non exhibition of Licence 59, 66
insufficient salary
neglect of 16, 67
keeping and resorting to 63, 66
rectory house out of repair 32
Common Prayer
depreciation of
32, 9
the standing 16
the, not providing
simple 2 &c.
antenuptial 9 &c.
working on
not paying curate
9, 68, 139, 156, 160, 162, 206
witholding, left to parish 71
Lord's Day
profanation of
grinding corn on 7
clandestine 5, 9, &c.
practising without licence 3, 34, 178
Parish Clerk
acting without licence 65
neglect of duty 32
not attending minister on
without lawful call
with neighbours 32

Service Book

for neglect of duty
teaching without licence
in churchyard
neglecting to receive 2, 3, &c.
5, 77, 87, 90
vid. Churchwardens
grinding corn on Sundays 7
cutton do. belonging to Ulrome chapel

Churchwardens' Presentations
(arranged by Parish)

For most years the Churchwardens had nothing to report, and their return to the Archdeacon's Visitation was a signed form. Here is an example, from 1788.

We, the churchwardens of Bubwith having diligently perused the Book of Articles given us in charge at the VISITATION of the Right Worshipful Robert Darley Waddilove, Clerk, Master of Arts, Archdeacon of the East Riding, held in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Eight do declare we have nothing to present.

Thomas Musgrave        Churchwardens
William Hawkins

Often the churchwardens were illiterate, and in 1781 both churchwardens were illiterate, so it begs the question how they could both declare that they had 'diligently perused the Book of Articles' then both sign with their mark!

The presentations that they did make are given below:
Thomas Blanshard and Maria Stephenson of Spaldington
Mary Lyon of Spaldington
For not paying her (torn away) nor frequenting her church
Alexander Bond of Brighton
For not frequenting his church
Hugh Ibbeson, John Smart, both of Brighton
Their Easter dues and for not frequenting their church
Elizabeth Hudle of Brighton
Ann Smith of Bubwith
Alexander Bond of Brayton
(this is from an undated fragment, however a similar fragment bears the date 1712)
Adultery with Elizabeth Studley
William Lister; Thomas Granger of Breeton; Alexander Scott of Gribthorpe; Jane Skipwith, widow; Alexander Bond; Thomas Smith
Not paying their assessment
William Atkinson
Non-payment of assessment
Hannah Bond and William Dixon
Andrew Cowlam and Abigail Coperthwaite, both of this parish
Antenuptial fornication
George Blanshard of Spaldington and Mary Johnson of the same
Edward Ward and Mary his wife
Antenuptial fornication
Mariam Blackburne, widow of our parish
Fornication with William Johnson who is broke and run away
Alexander Scott
For not frequenting the church
Martha Herbert of Brighton
Fornication, having bore a bastard child
John Day, John Robinson, Thomas Clarke, William Leng, all of Spaldington
Not paying their church Sess
Richard Lister of Bubwith
Neglect his Easter dues
Andrew Cowlam
Seldom or never coming to his parish church
Thomas Brigglen, servant to Robert Johnson of Spaldington
Seldom or never coming to his parish church
Thomas Newsom, servant of Foggathorpe
Not receiving the sacrament at Easter or other times.
Henry Scholey, John Elron, William Baccas, of Willitoft
Neglect of paying the Sess
George Smith of Bubwith
Seldom or never frequenting any place of worship
Rebecca Wood of Gribthorpe, Charles Grey of Market Weighton reputed father
Eliz Johnson of Spaldington, John Hall reputed father
John Mason and Elizabeth Mascall
John Smith and Sarah Ashton
Fornication before marriage
Ann Erratt of Spaldington
William Johnson and Mary Laverack, both of Willitoft
Richard Dudd and Ellen Blawe of Spaldington
Fornication before wedlock
Thomas Taylor jun, and Mary Parker, both of Spaldington
Esther Norton of Foggathorpe and Robert Glazeby of Market Weighton, but now generally at Foggathorpe
Strong suspicion of fornication
Mary Smith of Cliffe in the parish of Hemingborough, but now resident in Bubwith
Fornication with William Andrew of Cliffe
Ann Smith of ?-thorpe, but generally resident at Bubwith
Fornication with Edward Bayley of Aughton
Luke Blanshard and Mary his wife
Antenuptial fornication
Sarah Collins and John Bird of Spaldington
Rebecca Wood of Gribthorpe
Fornication with Charles Grey, now deceased
Timothy Smith and his wife
Antenuptial fornication
George Sellar and Margaret his wifeNote: May 27 1736, Sellar appeared before Mr Hooke in my persona and confessed the said crime, wherefore a doctor returned in June.
Antenuptial fornication
Ann Frankland of Foggathorpe
Fornication, having bore a bastard child, father unknown


Excommunication was the most common of censure in the Ecclesiastical Courts of York. Ostensibly to be used only for the more serious of crimes, the practice in York was to use Excommunication routinely in cases of debt, especially debts to the Church, and for non-attendance in court to answer cases (presentments) brought against them by the churchwardens during Visitations of the Archdeacon.

Before 1734 Excommunications were in Latin, and in English thereafter. The typical form was as follows (English version):

Jaques Sterne, Doctor of Laws – Archdeacon of the Archdeaconry of the East Riding in the Cathedral and Metropolitan Church of Saint Peter in York, lawfully founded, To all and singular Rectors, Vicars, Curates and Clerks, whomsoever and wheresoever, within our Archdeaconry aforesaid, Greeting, We do hereby order and charge You, that during the Clebration of divine Service, on Sundays and other Holydays, in your Parish Churches and Chapels, you do publickly denounce, and with Effect declare all and singular the Persons, whose Names and Sirnames are underwritten to these Presents, to have been, and to be respectively Excommunicated for their respective Contumacies in not appearing before Us, or our lawful Representative at a certain Place, on a certain Day and Hours, now sometime past, to answer certain Articles, Heads and Interrogatories concerning the Souls Health and Reformation of their Manners, and especially the Crimes and Offences in our late Visitation found and presented, having been lawfully cited to this Effect, and openly, publickly, and often called upon, long waited for, but no way appearing, or excusing their Delay; and what you shall do in the Premises, you shall duly certify Us or our Representative, together with these presents. Given at York, under the Seal of our said Archdeaconry this ninth day of March in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty two.

By Decree of Court

Robert Jubb


[Names of those excommunicated]

The Excommunication was endorsed by the Vicar to certify that the denouncement had been duly made during Divine Worship, giving the date, and then it was returned to the Registry in York.

Only occasionally does the Excommunication state the offence (noticeably during the 1730s), so recourse must be had to the Archdeacons’ Visitation Records and the Presentments made by the Churchwardens.

The following are the Excommunications found for the parish:

31 Oct 1671

Marmd Starke; Mary Grisdale, widow; John Grisdale; Andrew Barker; Mary Starke; Marg. Beilby; Elizabeth Boyes; Marg. Hebton, widow; Isabel wife of Rowland Garthom; John Bargham and Ellena his wife; John Vavasour gent and Gillia. his wife ; William Young and Ann his wife; Isabella Story; John Story; Thomas Allen and Elizabeth his wife; Edward Gillison and Ann his wife; John Gibson; all of Bubwith. Declared in the forenoon (10 December) in our parish church, by me, Edward Barrett, vicar

20 Aug 1721

Mary Blackburn of Bubwith

3 Jan 1725

George Blanshard of Bubwith

23 October 1727

Mary Blackburne and William Johnson; Edward Ward and Mary his wife; all of Bubwith

24 Feb 1728

Ann Goakman of Breighton in the parish of Bubwith, for contempt

13 Feb 1729

Henry Scholey of Bubwith and Ann his wife; Thomas Carlin of Willitoft

1 Feb 1732

Martha alias Mary Herbert of Breighton; Alexander Acott and John Dousson alias Dowe, all of the parish of Bubwith

19 Feb 1734

John Mason and Elizabeth Mascall of Bubwith presented for the crime of fornication together

10 Feb 1735

Ann Smith; Mary Smith; Esther Norton; Robert Glazeby; Thomas Taylor the younger; Mary Parker; William Johnson; Mary Laverack; and Ann Ezzat, all of the parish of Bubwith, presented for the crime of fornication

17 Jan 1736

Rebecca Wood of Gribthorpe in the parish of Bubwith presented for the crime of fornication with Charles Grey, now deceased


Penance enjoined to be done by James Grundy of Spaldington in ye parish of Bubwith and jurisdiction of ye Archdeaconry of the East Riding.

20 February 1730

Tho: Hooke, surrogate

The said James Grundy shall be present in the parish Church of Bubwith aforesaid upon Sunday being the 21 or 28 of Feb or 7th March next in the Time of Divine Service, between the hours of IX and XI of the clock in the forenoon of the same day, in the Presence of the whole Congregation then Assembled, being bare-head, bare-foot, and bare-legged, having a white sheet wrapped about him from the shoulders to the feet, and a white wand in his hand, and immediately after the reading the Gospel he shall be placed upon some form or Seat before the Pulpit or place where the Minister readeth Prayers, and say after him as followeth

Whereas, I good People forgetting my duty to Almighty God, have committed the Detestable Sin of Fornication with Mary Blackburn and thereby have justly provoked the heavy wrath of God against me, to the great Danger of my own Soul, and evil Example of others I do earnestly repent, and am heartily sorry for the same, desiring Almighty God for the Merits of Jesus Christ, to forgive me both this and all other my offences, and also ever hereafter, so to assist me with his Holy Spirit, that I never fall into the like offence again, and for that End and Purpose, I desire you all here present to pray with me, and for me, saying, Our Father, which art in Heaven etc.

And of the due Performance hereof he is Certifie under the hands of the Minister and Churchwardens at the Register Office in York, upon or before ye Eleventh day of March next, together with these presents

Thomas Jubb

We whose names are Subscribed do Certify that James Grundy of Spaldington, did duly perform Penance in the Parish Church of Bubwith the 21st day of Feb Instant in the presence of the whole Congregation Assembled.

John Turton, Vicar
William Gealty, Thomas Weddall, Churchwardens

Note: By 1730 the white sheet had been dispensed with, and the form then says 'being in their accustomed Apparrel'.

Parochial Visitation Returns
1723, ER.V/Ret

fol 98
These are to Certify that the trees and weeds that grew in and about the Church walls are stubb'd up and removed; A table of the degrees of Marriage is provided; the churchfloor is laid plain and even and now paved where it was wanting; A new Common Prayer book is provided and the Cancella, betwixt the Chancel and the Body of the Church is taken down; According to the Decree of the Right Worshipful the Archdeacon made at his Parochial Visitation held in the Parish Church of Bubwith upon the 1st of July 1723.

Witness our hands, Robt Taylor, Vicar
Edward Barret, Wm. Massey, Churchwardens

Bubwith Nov 11th 1723

John Maynard, Tho. Barker

fol 112
A Schedule of the Books, Vestments and Vessells that belong to the Parish Church of Bubwith delivered in the Parochial Visitation of the Right Worshipful Heneage Dering, Doctor of Laws, Archdeacon of the Archdeaconry of the East Riding which was held in the Parish Church of Bubwith within the Deanery of Harthill upon Monday the 1st day of July, 1723. One great Bible, Two Common Prayer Books, a Register of Parchment, a Surplice, Carpet for the Communion Table, Linen Cloath to cover the Elements, a Cushion for the Pulpit and a Pulpit Cloath, Two Pewter Flaggons, one Sylver Chalice, one Sylver Paten, two Pewter Dishes, two Pewter Plates.

Witness our hands, Robt Taylor, Vicar
Tho. Grasby X, Tho. Fletcher, Churchwardens