ARTICLES OF VISITATION and ENQUIRY concerning Matters Ecclesiastical, For the Churchwardens and Sidemen of every Parish within the Archdeaconry OF BERKS: At the VISITATION of the Worshipful JONAS PROAST, M. A. Archdeacon of BERKS, Holden in the Year of our Lord God


OXFORD, Printed by Leonard Lichfield, All. Dom.

The Form of a Church-warden's Oath.

YOU shall Swear truly and faithfully to execute the Office of a Church­warden within your Parish, according to the Laws Ecclesiastical of this Realm. So help you God, and the Contents of this Book.

The Sidemen's Oath.

YOU shall Swear that you will be assistant to your Church-wardens in the execution of their Office, so far as by Law you are bound.
So help you God.

ARTICLES of Visitation and Enquiry within the Archdeaconry of BERKS.

TIT. I. Concerning Churches and Chapels, with the Ornaments, and Furniture thereunto belonging.
  • 1. IS your Parish Church, or Chapel,
    Can. 85
    kept in good and sufficient repair? Are the Roofs thereof well covered with Lead, Tile, or Slat; the Windows well Glazed, the Floor well Paved, the Seats well Fastned, and conveniently placed; and all things decently ordered, as becometh the House of God?
  • 2. Is there a Font of Stone, with a good Cover thereunto,
    Injun. Eli. Can. 81.82. Rub. Com. Pray. Can. 23.
    standing in a convenient place towards the lower part of the Church, for the administration of Baptism? And is there in your Chancel a decent Communion Table for the administra­tion of the Lord's Supper, with a Carpet of Silk, Stuff, or fine Woollen Cloth, and another Covering of white and pure Linen to spread thereupon? And have you a fair Communion Cup or Chalice, with a Cover of Silver, and one or more Flaggons of Silver or Pewter thereunto belonging?
  • 3. Have you in your said Church, or Chapel,
    Can. 82.
    a convenient Seat or Pew, for your Minister to read Divine Service in; a Bible of the last Translation in a large Volume,
    Can. 83.30.
    and two Books of Common-Prayer; established by Act of Parliament, 1662, both well and substantially bound? Have you likewise the Book of Homilies, set sorth by Authority; a Book of Canons and Constitutions Ecclesiastical, and a Printed Table of the Degrees wherein Marriage is prohibited?
  • 4. Have you a comely large Surplice,
    Can. 58.
    for the Minister to wear at all times of his publick Ministration in the Church, provided, and duly wash'd, at the charge of the Parish?
  • 5. Have you a Register-Book of Parchment,
    Can. 70.
    wherein to Re­gister the Names and Sirnames of all such Persons as are Mar­ried, Christen'd, or Buried within your Parish, together with the Names and Sirnames of both the Parents of the Children [Page 2] so Christen'd, expressing the day, month, and year of all such Christnings, Marriages, and Burials?
  • 6. Have you likewise another Book of Paper,
    Can. 52.
    wherein to re­cord the Names and Licences of all such Strangers as are ad­mitted at any time to Preach in your Church,
    Can. 84.
    or Chapel? as also a third Book,
    Can. 89.
    wherein to write down the Churchwardens Accompts, together with a strong Chest with locks and keys, wherein to keep the aforesaid Books, and all other the fore­mentioned Furniture in safe Custody? And lastly, have you a Bier with a black Hearse-cloth, for the Burial of the Dead?
  • 7. Are there any Funeral Monuments erected since 1640, without Licence from the Ordinary?
TIT. II. Concerning the Church-yard, the Houses, Glebes and Tythes belonging to the Church.
  • 1. IS your Churchyard sufficiently fensed,
    Can. 85.
    and decently kept? Hath any person encroach'd upon the same, or made any Door into it out of his own ground or habitation, without allowance from the Ordinary? Have any Trees there growing been cut down? how long since? by whom? and to whose use and benefit?
  • 2. Have you a true and perfect Terrier of all the Glebe-lands, Gardens,
    Can. 87.
    Orchards, Tenements, or Cottages belonging to your Parsonage, or Vicarage? As also a Note of such Pensions, Rate-Tithes, and Portions of Tithes, or other yearly profits (either within or without your Parish) as do belong thereunto? And is the House of your Parson, or Vicar, and the Out-houses in good repair?
TIT. III. Concerning Ministers.
  • DOth your Parson, Vicar, or Curate, in reading the Morning and Evening Service,
    Can. 14.21.68. Rub. Matr. Visitat.
    administration of the Holy Sacra­ments, celebration of Marriage, Churching of Women after Child­birth, Visitation of the Sick, Burial of the Dead, and pronouncing God's Commination against impenitent Sinners, use the Forms and Words prescribed in the Book of Common-Prayer, without [Page 3] any addition, omission, or alteration of the same?
    Burial. Comminat.
    And doth he use all such Rites and Ceremonies in all parts of Divine Service, as are appointed in the said Book, so far as you have observed?
  • 2. Doth your Minister at the reading or celebrating any Di­vine Office in your Church, or Chapel,
    Can. 58.
    wear the Surplice?
  • 3. Doth he observe the Holidays, and Fasting-days,
    Can. 64. Rub. Com. Pray.
    as also the Ember-weeks, and the yearly Perambulation in Rogation week, as in the Common-Prayer-Book, or by the Ecclesiastical Canons is appointed, giving notice to the Parishioners of every of the same in the Church in time of Divine Service, upon the Sunday next before? And doth he constantly read the Litany on Wednesdays and Fridays weekly?
  • 4. Hath your Minister been licenced to Preach by the Bishop? If so, doth he constantly (unless in case of sickness,
    Injunct. Elis. 19. Can. 48. Can. 49. Rub. Com. Can. 45. Can. 46.
    necessary absence, or other impediment) himself preach in your Church or Chapel, one Sermon every Sunday, or if he be not a licen­ced Preacher, or being so licenced, be hindred by sickness, or otherwise as aforesaid, doth he procure a Sermon to be so preached by some other Minister, a licenced Preacher, or one of the Homilies set forth by Authority, to be there read by a Priest or Deacon, lawfully ordained?
  • 5. Doth your Minister diligently instruct the Youth of your Parish in the Church Catechism,
    Can. 59.61. Can. 66. Injunct. Elis. 44.
    and prepare and present them, being so instructed, to be confirmed by the Bishop? And doth he endeavour to reclaim all Papist Recusants (if any such be inhabiting within your Parish) to the true Religion esta­blished in the Church of England, and to their bounden duty in obeying the Laws, and submitting to the government thereof?
  • 6. Doth he refuse or neglect to visit the Sick,
    Can. 67.68. Rub. Com. Can. 29.
    or delay the Baptism of any Infant that is in danger of death? Is there any Child past Infancy, or other person of more years, through your Ministers default, yet remaining unbaptized in your Parish? Doth he baptize any without God-fathers, or God-mothers; or admit either of the Parents to be God-father or God-mother to their own Children; or baptize them without the sign of the Cross?
  • 7. Hath he at any time (as you know,
    13 Elis. 12. Injunct. Elis. 13. Can. 72, 73. Can. 62. Rub Matr.
    or have heard) preach­ed any False, Heretical, Seditious, or Schismatical Doctrine, thereby to seduce the people into Parties and Factions, to the di­sturbance of the publick peace and unity of the Church or State?
  • 8. Hath he Married any person without Licence, unless the [Page 4] Banns have been first published on three Sundays or Holidays, in time of Divine Service, in the Church where the said Per­sons dwell?
  • 9. Hath he Married any, so Licenced, at any unseasonable times, and not between the hours of Eight and Twelve in the Forenoon; or in any other place than the Church, or Chapel, where one of them dwells; and in time of Divine Service; or at the times forbidden by the antient Canons?
  • 10. After the Banns have been. thrice published, hath he married any under the Age of one and twenty years, before the Parents or Governors have personally, or by sufficient testi­mony, signified their consent to the said Marriages?
TIT. IV. Concerning Parishioners.
  • 1. IS there any person in your Parish that lieth under a com­mon fame or suspicion of Adultery,
    Can. 109.
    Fornication, or Incest? Are there any common Drunkards, Swearers, or Blasphemers of God's Word in your Parish, or any that are noted to be Railers, unclean and filthy Talkers, or sowers of Sedition, Faction, and Discord among their Neighbours?
  • 2. Do any in your Parish upon the Sunday follow their bodily and ordinary Labour,
    Injunct. Elis. 34.
    or permit their Servants so to do? Are any Shops kept open, or Wares sold? Or do any Vintners, Inn keepers, or other Victuallers or Sellers of Beer, or Ale, suffer any persons to Tipple or Game in their Houses upon those Days?
  • 3. Are there any in your Parish that refuse to send their In­fant Children to be baptized publickly in the Church,
    Rub. Bapt.
    unless in case of urgent danger? Or do they send them to be baptized in any other Parishes, or after other Form than is appointed? Or do they keep them unbaptized any longer time than the Church alloweth? Are there any Infants, or more aged persons, in your Parish as yet unbaptized?
  • 4. Have you any among you that are declared Excommuni­cate,
    Can. 65.
    for any crime committed? How long have they been so Excommunicated?
  • 5. Are there any living in your Parish as Man and Wife,
    Can. 99.
    who are [Page 5] within the degrees prohibited? Or any that being lawfully di­vorced have married again: Or any that being lawfully married and not separated, or divorced by Law, do not cohabit together?
  • 6. Are there any married Women in your Parish,
    who after the delivery from the peril of Child-birth, refuse to make their publick Thanksgiving to God in the Church? and when they come so to do, do they come decently apparelled, and make their Offerings according to custome?
  • 7. Do any refuse to bury their Dead according to the Rites of the Church of England?
    Rub. Com. Can. 92.
    And are there any Wills and Testa­ments of persons dead in your Parish, that be yet unproved? Or any Goods Administred without a due Grant from the Ordinary? Did any dying in your Parish, or elsewhere, leave any Legacy to your Church or Chapel? what were those Legacies, and how have they been bestowed?
TIT. V. Concerning Parish Clerks and Sextons,
  • 1. HAve you belonging to your Church, or Chapelry,
    Can. 91.
    a Parish Clerk aged 20 Years at least? Is he of honest life and conversation; and sufficient and able to perform his duty in reading, writing, and singing? Is he chosen by your Minister, and doth he duly attend him in all divine Services in your Church? Are his Wages duly paid him? Or who withholdeth the same from him?
  • 2. Doth he, or your Sexton (if there be any such appointed in your Parish) diligently look to the doors of your Church,
    Can. 67.
    that they be locked and opened at due time: And doth he keep the Church, or Chapel, clean from dust, cobwebs, and other annoy­ance? Doth he toll or ring the Bell at the accustomed hours be­fore the beginning of divine Service, Morning and Evening, that the people may be warned to come unto the Church? And when any person is passing out of this life, doth he upon notice given him thereof toll a Bell as hath been accustomed, that the Neighbours may thereby be warned to recommend the dying person to the grace and favour of God?
TIT. VI. Queries to be put to the Ministers, concerning the Church-Wardens and Side-men.
  • [Page 6]1. ARE the Church-wardens of your Parish yearly and duly chosen,
    Can. 81.
    by the joint consent of the Minister and Pa­rishioners? or one of them by the Minister, and the other by the Parishioners?
  • 2. Have the former and last Church-Wardens given up their due Accounts to the Parish,
    Can. 89.
    and delivered up to the succeeding Church-wardens the Monies remaining in their hands, together with all other things belonging to your Church, or Chapel?
  • 3. Do they suffer no misbehaviour or disorder to be done by Men,
    Can. 18.
    Women, Servants, or Children in your Church, or Chapel? Are they careful that none of them sit, lean, or lay their Hats upon the Communion Table? Do they permit no Dogs, or Hawks to be brought or come into your Church, to the distur­bance of the Congregation?
  • 4. Do they against every Communion appointed in your Church,
    Rub. Com. Can. 20.
    or Chapel, provide a sufficient quantity of fine white Bread, and of good Wine, according to the number of Communicants?
  • 5. Do they cause all Strangers that preach in your Church or Chapel, to subscribe their Names the same day in a Book pro­vided for that purpose; together with the Name of the Bishop that Licenced them to preach in his Diocese? And do they per­mit no other to preach?
  • 6. Have they (being now sworn to give in a true answer unto all those Articles of Enquiry,
    Can. 119.
    in all their several Titles) taken sufficient time to draw up their Presentments, and therein con­sulted with you their Minister, for your faithful assistance?
TIT. VII. Concerning Schools, School masters, Physicians, Chirurgeons, and Mid-wives.
  • 1. DOth any man keep a publick or private School in your Parish, who is not allowed thereunto by the Ordinary? Doth he keep School in the Church, or Chancel?
  • 2. Doth any in your Parish practice Physick, or Chirurgery, or any Woman take upon her the Office of a Midwife, without Licence from the Ordinary?

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.