Monday, 2 June 2008

Greensted: Church Records at Hertford

Between 1877 and 1914, Essex parishes formed part of the (then new) Diocese of St Albans. It was created in response to the great increase in population in areas adjoining London. The counties of Essex and Hertfordshire were taken from the Diocese of Rochester (to which See Essex was transferred from London in 1846). Thomas Legh Claughton, the first Bishop, transferred from being Bishop of Rochester. His place of residence was Danbury Palace, now a management training centre and public park. John Wogan Festing succeeded him in 1890, then Edgar Jacob in 1903.

Bound Diocesan records for this period are held at the ‘Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies’ at the County Council offices in Hertford. Whilst searching for information on Blackmore, I came across the following information relating to the High Country parishes.


Greensted-juxta-Ongar. Co Essex. [1880] Sequestration on death of Rector. Thomas Legh by Divine Permission Lord Bishop of St Albans. To our beloved in Christ Philip John Budworth Churchwarden of the parish of Greensted-juxta-Ongar in the County of Essex and within the Diocese and jurisdiction Greeting. Whereas the Parish Church of Greensted-juxta-Ongar aforesaid is become vacant by the Death of the Reverend Philip William Ray the late Incumbent thereof and at present is destitute of an Incumbent. We therefore lest the fruits tithes rents profits and other rights and emoluments ecclesiastical now due to the said Church or arising or becoming due during the vacancy thereof should be embezzled wasted or applied to improper uses have devised the same to be sequestered and Do sequester the same according and we do by these presents ordain and appoint you Sequestrator and Special Collector of the said Church during the vacancy thereof as aforesaid and do enjoin you forthwith to publish or cause to be published this our Sequestration at the Church – aforesaid and such there public and proper places as you shall most expedient and also during the said vacancy to demand recover and receive into your hands and keep under safe sequestration All and singular the fruits tithes rents profits and other rights and emoluments ecclesiastical belonging to the said church in whose hands soever being or remaining or which hereafter be or remain. And with the same collected received or sequestered to cause the cure of souls in the said Parish to be served and all other charges belonging to the said church to be sustained and discharged. And to render unto us our Vicar General and Official Principal or other competent Judge in this behalf when you shall be – thereunto lawfully required a true and faithful account of the residue for the use of the next Incumbent or such other person or persons as shall do or cause to be done in the premises you shall duly certify to us our Vicar General and Official Principal aforesaid or other competent Judge in this behalf the seventh day of February in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and eighty. Geo H Knight. Registrar [HALS DSA 1/15/2 Muniment Book f73].

Greenstead by Ongar. [1902] Faculty to reserve part of the churchyard and erect a Mural Tablet. John Wogan by Divine permission Lord Bishop of St Albans. To all whom it may concern and more especially Howel John James Price of Greenstead Hall Greenstead by Ongar in the County of Essex Esquire Greetings. Whereas it hath been represented unto the Worshipful Alfred Bray Kempe Master of Arts Vicar General and Official Principal of our Consistorial and Episcopal Court of St Albans … a petition under the name of the said Howel John James Prince … is the Widower of Mary Catherine Prince late of Greenstead Hall aforesaid … resided in and owned the above property for upwards of 50 years past … is desirous of reserving to himself and his family an additional space next to the above grave and of enclosing the whole of the said space with a marble or stone kerb … 10 feet in length and 10 feet in breadth … is also desirous of placing on the East Wall of the Nave … a plain copper and iron mural Tablet … with the following inscription namely “In memory of Mary Catherine Price died March 20th 1902 aged 43. This Tablet is erected in memory of one who lived a happy life in this parish beloved by all who knew her and died trusting in Christ her Saviour”. That a meeting of the Vestry of the said parish was duly summoned on the 27th day of June 1902 … the Rector alone was present no parishioners being present … That the Reverend Arthur George Breeks Atkinson the present Rector ... consents to such application. [Granted. 31 August 1902] [HALS DSA 1/15/9. Muniment Book 1899 – 1904. f448].

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