Broad Street Wrington Village Records
Studies of the history of a Somerset Village

Churchwardens' account book, 1634 - 1675
Pages 29 - 33

Source: Churchwardens' Accounts, vol. 1 (Wrington Parish Records): original MS.

This book contains the Annual Accounts of the churchwardens of the parish of Wrington from the year 1634 to 1675. The accounts are written on parchment purchased in 1634 and bound and made into a book during that year at a total cost of 16s. In 1655 a few loose leaves of script were inserted into the front of the book by the then churchwardens, giving information on money left to the poor of the parish by the late Rector Samuel Crooke (£20) and by the late
Augustus Spalding (£10).

The only previous study of this volume of accounts seems to have been a short article by Prebendary Scarth, Rector of Wrington, in Proceedings of the Bath Field Club, vol. 2, which included a selection of random quotations. The work of the churchwardens at this period obviously reflected, through their concern for their pockets, many different aspects and details of village life. But as this is the longest of all the documents studied, with some 185 pages of closely written 17th century script of varying legibility, it seemed advisable to concentrate on the accounts at the beginning and near the end of the volume, in order to ascertain whether there had been any change over the years in the sources from which parish income was drawn, or in the manner in which it was disbursed.

" 1. The Account of Henry Bakewell and John Halestone,
      churchwardens, from the 31st day of May 1633 until
      9th day of May 1634 as followeth"

Received                                                                                               £      s    d

1. From former churchwardens
2. From parishioners for their whole church gifts
3. From John Amery, WiJliam Ffoord, Mr. William
    Tynt, Richard Willett, John Halestone and James
    Phelpes for their seats under the N. window 4d. a
    year in all
4. Received more of John Amery, William Ffoord,
    William Macy and John Halestone for seats in the
    N. aisle at a charge of 6/8 each
5. Received for 3 burials in the church
6. Received for old communion table boards
7.     "          of Mr. Capell for his seats in the church
8. Received for the rent of Butthayes
9.      "        of Mr. Spalding towards bread and wine
10. Received more of other parishioners
11. Received for the burial of Priscil!a Gilbert
12. Received of Wil!iam Baker for rent of garden at the                
        church house only
13. Received of John Amery for his seats in the middle
14. Received of Edmund Ffoord and William Hort for
        their seats

 6   13  11
19   15    3

2    0

1   6     8
1    0    0
10   0
1   4
6   7
1   6
7   2
6   8

1   0


£30   2   6


Paid for 8 ropes for the bells                                                        
To Thomas Wilshire and Richard Lawrence for bell-
To Thomas Wilshire for sweeping down the church walk           
To Thomas Salmon for mending the wickett                              
To the glazier for mending the windows on 29th August         
Laid out on the visitation at Bath                                         
Paid more for writing our bill, and book and delivering
For ringers on 5th November                                                      
Spent at Pensford at the visitation                                          
Paid for putting in our bill                                                         
To Thomas Salmon for making the communion table
and railing it about                                                               
Wil!iam Wreach for part of the frame                                  
Spent upon the Commissioners when they viewed the         |
church                                                                                     |
John Coombe and Richard Lawrence and Thomas                 |
Wilshire Dec. 12th for mending upper frames and               |
bells                                                                                         |    4
Wil!iam Wreach for ironwork the same time                         |  bells
Paid him more for mending the great bell clapper                |
Paid him more for mending the third bell clapper                |
John Griffin for the hospital and maimed soldiers at
Midsummer and Michaelmas                                                 
Henry Whitting more for the hospital at Christmas and
Our Lady Day                                                                         
Paid to Charles Webb for mending the clock                          
Paid William W reach more for mending the great bell        |
clapper                                                                                    |
John R for 2 wheels for 3rd and 4th bells and for 4             |
days work                                                                                |
William Wreach for ironwork and a guarding for 4th           |  11
bell and for wedges spikes and oil for them                           | bells
William W reach for mending the 3rd bell clapper and         |
for 6 pounds of wedges                                                          |
For mending the wicket t to Edward Shapston and for a      |
rope                                                                                        |
Richard Lawrence and Thomas Wilshire for mending the    |
bells                                                                                        |
About the bells 11 th Dec.                                                    |
William Cooke for a book                                                       
Paid about the parish business for making a bargain with
the plumber                                                                     
Richard Lawrence and Thomas Wilshire for helping John
Coombe with the bells                                   
Spent amongst them and others which did help         
Paid the roper for 6 draught ropes                               
Thomas Wilshire for making a frame                         
Paid for 2 yards of lime                                              
Edward Shapston for planks for the frame and for one
days work and for fitting the frame and for rails                    
Paid him more for cords and for one days work                      
Paid for rails                                                                       
Paid Richard Reynolds for one days work more                       
Paid Richard White for carriage of the lead                             
Paid for them                                                                        
Paid to ringers 27th March                                                      
Thomas Wilshire for his quarters wages                                
Paid him for covering 2 graves and other work                       
Paid the glazier for mending the window 16th April              
Walter Lawrence for washing the surplice                               
For washing the plate and the baggs                                       
Paid Mr. Leamon for 6 hundred and a half and 4 pounds
of lead at 11/- a hundred                                                   
Paid out for bread and wine for the whole year               
For making up and writing the accounts                                  
Paid for 2 dozen and a half of parchment to make this
book and binding                                                                     
Paid to the plumber for work done about the porch and
for 30 Ibs. solder
Paid for mending the 4th bell clapper                                 |    4
Paid for crooks                                                                      |  bells
Laid out for other iron work                                                |
Laid out for wood                                                                 |
For killing 2 hedgehogs
Paid Charles Webb for mending the clock
Given unto soldiers and other poor people at the time of
this account
Paid for rent of Butthayes
Paid for mending the Butts
Paid out in expenses in going to Wells being cited thither
Paid Mr. Crook for rent of Church House

                                            Total sums laid out
Which being more than was received
to whit


4  6

2  0
1  8
1  6
 4  8
1  13  6

2  2
5  4
14   0
1   8

3   0   0
1   0

1   0

 6   0
7   2
6   6
10   0

1   6   8

1   6   8
6   4

5   0

1   19   0
13   4

6   2

1   3

1   0

1   6

1   0
2   6
3   6
2   6
2   0

2   6
4   0
1   2
2   8
4   2
13   4
1   8
5   0
1   6
1   6

3  11  11
 4   10   0
3   0

16   0

4   0   0
8 0
3 0
6 0
3 0

10   1
7   6
32   0 11

30    2   6
£1  18    5

Deficit to be collected from parishioners and paid to Henry Bakewell and
John Halestone by the succeeding churchwardens".

There follow details of interest received on money lent to certain parishioners, an interest rate of approximately 8% being charged. The parish church, with its traditions of stability and security, and wealth, often acted as a simple forerunner of the local bank; local charitable bequests sometimes encouraged this arrangement.
Income received from this source, added to interest on a legacy, and a capital sum of
£4 10s. Od. handed over to them from previous churchwardens, amounted to £7 1s. 5d.

This fund appeared to be used for charitable purposes within the parish and was disbursed as follows :-

"Paid for apparel for Henry George and for William Dodds
Distributed amongst the poor on Good Friday and by Mr.
Sneath's appointment
Paid for childs schooling (? Young Veeles)
and for a bible for him

£ s. d

15   6

3   4   0
6   0
6   0
£4   11   6"

This left a balance of £2 9s. 11d. which was handed over to the new churchwardens
John Griffen and John Phippian on 9th May, 1634.

The account for this year finishes with a memorandum "It is agreed by the Minister, churchwardens and for the rest of the parishioners, at the giving up of this account on 9-5-1634 that John Bennett and Henry Bakewell shall hold the seats newly erected by them in the choir and under the S. window at their own cost, paying yearly 4d. a pew during their lives.

It is also agreed that John Amory, William Fford, William Macy and John Halestone for a charge of 6/8 a pew paid to the churchwardens, shall have their seats adjoining the North wall, and shall also pay 4d. a year a pew for the rest of their lives. And John Amory and Edmund Ffoord for a yearly rent of 2d. a pew to have the seats set up by them at their own cost in the middJe alley near the north door.

Signed William Capell   Samuel Crooke   Henry Barkwell
          Thomas Allen     John Hort            John Amory
John Griffen       John Halestone    John Phippian"

-and 2 undecipherable.

During 1634-1635 the church was inspected by the Commissioners sent by the Lord Bishop. The churchwardens were called to Wells to discuss the flooring of the seats and other work about the church. The churchwardens received £21 9s. 4d. for flooring 229 seats at 1s. 10d. per seat. At this time particulars were inserted in the front of the account book giving details of those who paid for seats, and all the pews and seats in the church were enrolled.

In 1635 a Terrier was drawn up, a copy of which was sent to London to my Lord of Canterbury's Court. A Register was also made of all the christenings, weddings and burials and in succeeding years a new item appears in the accounts, the annual expenditure on the making up of this register. Most of the expendi-ture during this year arose out of the above items.


From 8th May 1665 until 14th May 1666, William Hort and Edmund
Rumney were churchwardens.

They received from previous churchwardens
From parishioners and landholders
From rent of seats in church
From William Baker for a seat and a garden
From John Keene for rent of Butthayes
Samuel Bark well for his seat in the church
Received of Lord Poulett "for tolling the bell as the body
went through the town" (Recommended returning this
if parishioners agreed)
£  s  d
3   10   7
19   2   1
9   10
1   2
6   8
6   8

6   8
£24   3   8