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WRAGBY REGISTERS, BOOK No. III.
By the REV. EDWARD H. SANKEY, M.A.
THE third book of the Wragby Registers embraces that striking period of our national history comprised between the years 1631 and 1704, and its contents are consequently of much more general interest than those of the previous volumes commented on in this Journal. The book is of parchment throughout, consists of forty-seven leaves, and measures fifteen, by six and a half inches. It is, generally speaking, well and clearly written, and is in excellent preservation.
The entries are carried through the period of the Civil War without a break, although the facts that the marriages are for a year or two attested by the civil Registrar, that entries of Births are for a short period substituted for entries of Baptisms, and that among the Burials those of several soldiers are recorded, shew that even at Wragby, the owners of which were devoted loyalists, some of the results of the great social upheaval of the revolutionary period made themselves felt.
The book begins with the following heading:
Registrum ecclesiæ parochialis de Wragbie continens Baptismata Nuptias et obitus omnium hominum infra eandem parochiam Incipiens ffesto Annunciaconis beatæ virginis Mariæ Anno Domini nostri Salu: 1631 Anno regni regis nostri Caroli dei gratiæ Angliæ Scocia Ffranciæ et Hibern regis fidei defensoris etc. Sexto Johanne Atkinsono Vicario et Ludimagistro.
Here Mr. Atkinson, who appears to have been appointed at least as early as 1617, calls himself both Vicar and schoolmaster. A school has existed at Wragby from a very early period. King Edward VI.'s Commissioners in 1548 reported as follows: "That a Grammar scole hath been heretofore continually kept in the Parish of Wragbye in the said county of Yorke. And that the Scolemaster there had for his wages yearly 6li. 16s. 4d. which scole is very mete
and necessary to continue . . and that the same grammar scole in Wragbye aforesaid shall continue, and Thomas Gill, Scolemaster there to bee and continue in the same rowme and to have for his wages 6li. 16s. 4d."
The same commissioners also inform us that Thomas Gill (who was buried at Wragby in 1552) was the priest of the chantry of our Lady in the church of Wragby, and that the chantry was founded by the parishioners with the intent to find a priest to pray for the souls of the founders and parishioners departed, and to teach children in the said parish. It may be interesting to add that our ancient school still flourishes and that the schoolmaster still receives his yearly stipend of £6 16s. 4d. through the Duchy of Lancaster, into whose hands the lands belonging to the chantries at Wragby passed. It is unfortunate that the Commissioners did not record the date of the foundation of the school by the parishioners, but possibly even by 1548, the date of the foundation was unknown.
1631. Obitus dignissimæ sanctissimæq Dominæ Domnæ (sic) Annæ Dallison viduæ Domini Rogeri Dallison militis et Baron quarto die Junii.
If this entry is not merely a specimen of the adulatory spirit of the age, Wragby at this time must have been celebrated for the piety of its great people, for only in 1625 died Lady Saltonstall of Huntwick also "sanctissima and "piisima." The second Sir John Wolstenholme of Nostell Priory, knight and baronet, who died in 1670, married Ann, sister of Sir Thomas Dallison of Laughton, co. Lincoln, which will probably account for the fact of Lady Ann Dallison being buried at Wragby. Nostell was purchased by the first Sir John Wolstenholme, whose fortune had been acquired as a farmer of customs, in 1629. His son, the second Sir John, was fined by Parliament in 1650 the sum of £150,000, which ruined him, so that he was declared bankrupt and his estates were sold. The Wolstenholmes were strong Royalists.
1631. Margarita filia Johannis Atkinson vicarii Baptizab: decimo quarto die Augusti.
The child died in 1639.
1632. Nuptiæ Thomæ Gargrave et Catherine Heptonstall 24 Januar. 1634. Obitus Domini ffrancisci Ireland militis decimo die Junii.
The Irelands were no longer owners of Nostell Priory, having parted with it to Sir John Wolstenholme in 1629, as above mentioned.
1634. Nuptiæ Johannis Thorpe Armiger et Jana Beckwith paroch de Acktone ultimo die Augusti.
Ackton is a township in the adjoining parish of Featherstone.
1635. Georgius filius Thomæ Gargrave baptiz 4 Septem.
The child died the same day.
1636. Obitus Coton filii Rich: Gargrave gen. 27 Octo. 1636. Elizabetha filia Tho Gargrave bap 20 Novemb. 1637. Obitus Johannis Elwess clerici parochial 29 Octobr. 1637. Obitus Dominæ Agnetis Gargrave 15 Martii.
Daughter of Thomas Waterton of Walton, Esq., and second wife of Sir Cotton Gargave of Nostell.
At the end of 1637 the Register is signed by Mr. Atkinson and the six church wardens, there having been at that time six townships in the parish, with a warden for each township. Some of them, in spite of the existence of the parish school before alluded to, were under the painful necessity of affixing their marks instead of signing their
1638. Obitus Helen uxor Christoph Hutton 12 August
1640. Thomas filius Thomæ Gargrave baptiz: decimo octavo Maii.
And died on May 23rd. The death of the mother immediately follows:
1640. Obitus Katharinæ uxoris Thomæ Gargrave 26 Maii.
1640. Obitus Thomæ Gargrave senioris primo die Junii.
1641. Obitus Thomæ Beckwith 20 Decembris.
1642. Nuptiæ domi Johannis Middleton et done Annæ Watterton
octavo die Septembris.
1643. Elizabetha filia domi Petri Walkden baptiz 29th Octob. 1643. Obitus Ursula Gargrave 21 Novemb:
1643. Thomas Beckwith left a Pighell that lyeth at the bottome of John Huntinton crofte that Edward Schorey (or perhaps Scholey, a common Wragby name) had in his possession and did pay three shillings four pence in the year for it to the poor of Wragby upon Saint Thomas Day and is for to
continue for ever.1
1 The benefaction has long been lost.
The following is an extract from the will of Thomas Beckwith relating to the above bequest, dated November 8th, 1641:
"And I give to my sone in lawe John Morkell and my daughter Ellen Beckwith and to their heires and assignes for ever one Close called the Calfe Hele and that they or the one of them or their heirs or assigns of them or of other of them shall take and resceyve the yearlie rents and issues and profits of the said close for ever and shall paye the same yearlie and everie yeare for ever to the most nedeful pore people of the towne of Wragbie at or upon the feast daye of Saint Thomas and the same to be distributed at the discression of the minister and churchwardens for the tyme beinge for ever."
1644. Anna filia Thomæ Gargrave bap ffebr 14.
A new handwriting and a new method of entry begin with April 15th, 1646.
1646. Obitus Elizabeth Gargrave 9 June.
1646. Obitus Thomæ Gargrave 25 June.
1646. Nuptiæ Mr. Sanfforth' Nevill & Ms Anne Wollstenholme 13 April.
This Ann Wolstenholme was the elder daughter of the second Sir John W. One of her brothers was killed at Marston Moor.
1647. Obitus Mr. Johann Atkinson Minister of Wragbie 5 June.
Taken away out of the midst of troublous times after a ministry of at least thirty years.
Here follow some interesting reminiscences of the civil
1648. Obitus Thomas Haukes a barkeshire man a souldier 7 August. 1648. Obitus Robert Nickson was slaine 15 Januarie.
1648. Obitus Robert Swaine a souldier under Master Greathead 25 of Januarie.
1648. Obitus Hennerie Taylor a souldier 23 March.
1649. Franciscus ffilius Mr. Sanfforth Nevill baptist September 8. 1650. Mestris Atkinson Julye 7.
Evidently the widow of the Rev. John Atkinson mentioned above.
1650. Johannis ffillius Sanfforth Nevill Baptizt March 5.
2 Hunter calls him Francis Neville of Chevet, Esq., but in the Register his name is given several times as Sanforth.
The child was buried June 1st, 1652.
1651. Nuptiæ Richard Hutton & Elizabeth Woolstenholme August the one & twentieth.
Memorandn that hennerye pickeringe & James Crofte did set the stalle before the Pulpit for their convenient sitinge with the consent of the parishioners at their owne proper cost in the year 1651.
1651. Sanford the sonne of Mr. Sanford Nevill baptizt March 2nd 1652. Obitus Edmund Key Minister of Wragbye Julye 28.
This Mr. Edmund Key or Kay was a man of some note in his day and was one of the many clergy ejected from their livings of whom Walker, in his "Sufferings of the Clergy," gives some account. He was Vicar of Rothwell, and being ejected from thence found an asylum at Nostell Priory, being maintained by Sir John Wolstenholme. He was one of those clergy shut up in Pontefract Castle during the last siege and was sent, together with a Mr. Hirst, to treat on behalf of the clergy, when it was found impossible to hold the castle any longer. The following account of one of his experiences is both quaint and amusing:-"He was a person who was exceeded by none for his learning, loyalty, and exemplary piety, incomparable preaching, and great reputation; insomuch that when King Charles I. came down to York, he, of all the clergy in the Diocese, was appointed by the Archbishop to preach in York Minster before the king, which he did, upon the 15th of the 2nd Book of Samuel the latter part of the 6th verse; so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.' Endeavouring to perform that service to the best, he preached without notes and in the middle of his sermon was at a stand. The king, seeing him at a loss, rose up and repeated the last sentence to him at which Mr. Kay humbly made his obeisance, got hold of it, and finished his discourse without any more hesitation. . . . . After his expulsion from Rodwell he preached at Wragby, the parish church belonging to Nostal for some time till he was pulled out of the pulpit, and a lame sprig one Horncastle usurped his place.' regret that I have not been able to find anything about this "lame sprig" in either Registers or Churchwardens' Accounts, but I observe that in the year 1652, i.e. the year of Mr. Key's death, the Arms of the Parliament were set up in the church