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The Elizabethan Parish in its Ecclesiastical and Financial Aspects   By:

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SERIES XXVI NOS. 7 8

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY STUDIES

IN

HISTORICAL AND POLITICAL SCIENCE

Under the Direction of the Departments of History, Political Economy, and Political Science

THE ELIZABETHAN PARISH IN ITS ECCLESIASTICAL AND FINANCIAL ASPECTS

BY

SEDLEY LYNCH WARE, A.B., LL.B. Fellow in History.

PUBLISHED MONTHLY

July August, 1908

PREFACE

These chapters are but part of a larger work on the Elizabethan parish designed to cover all the aspects of parish government. There is need of a comprehensive study of the parish institutions of this period, owing to the fact that no modern work exists that in any thorough way pretends to discuss the subject. The work of Toulmin Smith was written to defend a theory, while the recent history of Mr. and Mrs. Webb deals in the main with the parish subsequent to the year 1688. The material already in print for such a study is very voluminous, the accumulation of texts having progressed more rapidly than the use of them by scholars.

My subject was suggested to me by Professor Vincent, to whom as well as to Professor Andrews I am indebted for advice and assistance throughout this work. In England I have to thank Messrs. Sidney Webb, Hubert Hall and George Unwin, of the London School of Economics, for reading manuscript and suggesting improvements. For similar help and for reference to new material my acknowledgments are due to Mr. C.H. Firth, Regius Professor of Modern History, Oxford, and to Mr. C.R.L. Fletcher, of Magdalen College. At the British Museum I found the officials most courteous, while the librarians of the Peabody Institute, Baltimore, have given me every aid in their power.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

THE ECCLESIASTICAL GOVERNMENT OF THE PARISH.

ITS IMPORTANCE IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT

ARCHDEACONS' COURTS

ILLUSTRATIONS FROM ACT BOOKS OF JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION

CHURCHWARDENS' DUTIES

MINISTERS' DUTIES

OBLIGATIONS EXACTED FROM ALL ALIKE

CONTROL OF CHURCH OVER EDUCATION AND OPINION

HOW COURTS CHRISTIAN ENFORCED THEIR DECREES

EFFECTIVENESS OF EXCOMMUNICATION

EVILS AND ABUSES OF THE SYSTEM

JURISDICTION OF QUEEN'S JUDGES IN ECCLESIASTICAL MATTERS

CHAPTER II.

PARISH FINANCE.

ENDOWED PARISHES

EXPEDIENTS FOR RAISING MONEY

CHURCH ALES, PLAYS, GAMES, ETC

OFFERINGS AND GATHERINGS

COMMUNION DUES

SALE OF SEATS, PEW RENTS

PARISH TARIFFS FOR BURIALS, MARRIAGES, ETC.

INCOME FROM FINES AND MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS

RATES AND ASSESSMENTS

INDEPENDENCE OF PARISH AS A FINANCIAL UNIT

SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS IN COUNTY GOVERNMENT

THE ELIZABETHAN PARISH IN ITS ECCLESIASTICAL AND FINANCIAL ASPECTS.

CHAPTER I.

THE ECCLESIASTICAL GOVERNMENT OF THE PARISH.

The ecclesiastical administration of the English parish from the period of the Reformation down to the outbreak of the great Civil War is a subject which has been much neglected by historians of local institutions. Yet during the reign of Elizabeth, at least, the church courts took as large a share in parish government as did the justices of the peace. Not only were there many obligations enforced by the ordinaries which today would be purely civil in character, but to contemporaries the maintenance of the church fabric and furniture appeared every whit as important as the repairing of roads and bridges; while the obligation to attend church and receive communion was on a par with that to attend musters, but with this difference, that the former requirement affected all alike, while the latter applied to comparatively few of the parishioners.

In the theory of the times, indeed, every member of the commonwealth was also a member of the Church of England, and conversely. Allegiance to both was, according to the simile of the Elizabethan divine, in its nature as indistinguishable as are the sides of a triangle, of which any line indifferently may form a side or a base according to the angle of approach of the observer[1]... Continue reading book >>




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