ARTICLES OF ENQUIRY Concerning Matters Ecclesiastical.

EXHIBITED To the Ministers, Church-Wardens, and Side-Men of every Parish within the ⟨Arch Deaconry⟩ OF ⟨Hereford⟩ In the VISITATION of the Reverend ⟨Dr Wm Johnson Arch Deacon [...]

Anno Domini 1691.

The Church-Wardens Oath.

You shall Swear truly and faithfully to Execute the Office of a Church-Warden within your Pa­rish according to the best of your Skill and Knowledg; And also truly to Present all such Things and Per­sons, as to your Knowledg are Presentable by the Laws Ecclesiastical of this Realm.

So help you God, &c.

The Side-Mens Oath.

You shall Swear that you will be Assistant to the Church-Wardens of your Parish in the due Execution of their Office, so far as you are bound by Law.

So help you God, &c.

ARTICLES Of Enquiry within the ⟨Arch Deaconry of Hereford⟩

TITUL. I. Concerning Churches and Chappels, with the Ornaments and Furniture thereunto belonging.

I. IS Your Parish Church or Chappel, with the Chan­cels, kept in good and sufficient Repair? Are the Roofs thereof well covered with Lead, Tile or Slate, the Windows well glazed, the Floors well paved, the Seats well fastned, repaired and conve­niently placed, and all things so decently ordered, as be­cometh the House of God? How many Bells have you in your Church, Chappel or Steeple? Are the same whole, and in good order to ring, with the Wheels, Ropes, and other things thereunto belonging?

II. HATH the Steeple, or Tower, of your Church or Chappel, or any part thereof, been pulled down, or [Page 4]any of the Lead, or Bells, formerly belonging there­unto, been imbezelled, sold or made away? In whose Hands or Custody doth the same, or any part thereof re­main? Declare what you know or have heard therein.

III. IS there a Font or Stone, with a good Cover thereunto, standing in a convenient place towards the lower part of your 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 Lin­nen, to spread thereupon? And have you a fair Com­munion-Cup or Chalice, with a cover of Silver, and one or more Flagons of Silver or Pewter, thereunto belonging?

VI. HAVE you in your said Church or Chappel, a convenient Seat, or Pew, for your Minister to read Di­vine Service in? A Pulpit, with a comely Cloth or Cu­shion for the same? A Bible of the last Translation, in a large Volume, and two Books of Common-Prayer, one for the Minister, and another for the Clerk (accord­ing to the last Act of Vniformity (1662.) both well and substantially Bound? Have you likewise the Book of Ho­milies set forth by Authority? A Book of Canons and Constitutions Ecclesiastical? And a printed Table of the Degrees wherein Marriage is prohibited? Have you also His Majesties Proclamation commanded to be Read yearly on the Sunday before the thirtieth day of Janu­ary?

V. HAVE you a comely large Surplice for the Mini­ster, to wear at all times of his publick Ministration in [Page 5]the Church, provided, and to be duly washed, at the Charge of the Parish?

VI. HAVE you a Register-Book of Parchment, wherein to Register the Names and Sur-Names of all such Persons as are Married, Christned, or Buried, within your Parish, together with the Names and Sur­names of both the Parents of the Children so Chri­stened, expressing the Day, Month, and Year of all such Christnings, Marriages, and Burials? And is the Transcript thereof yearly within one Month next af­ter the 25 of March, brought into the Bishop's Regi­ster?

VII. HAVE you likewise another Book of Paper, wherein to Record the Names and Licences of all such Strangers as are admitted at any time to Preach in your Church or Chappel? As also a third Book, wherein to Write down the Church-Wardens Accounts, and such Sums of Money as have been collected within your Pa­rish, upon any Briefs that have come unto it; together with a strong Chest, with Locks and Keys, wherein to keep the aforesaid Books, and all other the aforemention­ed Furniture in safe custody? And lastly, have you a Bier, and a black Herse-cloth for the Burial of the Dead?

TIT. II. Concerning the Church-yard, the Houses, Glebe, and Tithes belonging to the Church.

I. IS your Church-yard sufficiently fenced with Walls, Rails or Pales? and decently kept from the annoy­ance of Swine, Horses, and other Cattel? Hath any [Page 6]Person encroached upon the same, or made any Door into it out of his own Ground or Habitation, without al­lowance from the Ordinary? How long since? By whom? And to whose use and benefit? Have any Crees growing in the Church-yard been cut down? by whom? and when?

II. IS the House of your Parson, Vicar, or Curate, (with all the Out-houses thereunto belonging) kept in good and sufficient Repair? Or have any of the said Houses or Out-houses, been defaced or pulled down, without License from the Ordinary? And by whom? Hath any Person encroached upon any Garden, Yard or Close belonging to your Parsonage or Vicarage-house? Or cut up any Trees growing thereon? Or changed or removed the ancient Marks and Bounds of the same?

III. HAVE you a true and perfect Terrier of all the Tithes, Glebe-Lands, Gardens, 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 or Customs (either within, or without your Parish) as belong there­unto? Have any of the same been withheld from your Minister, and by whom, as you know or have heard?

IV. HAVE any of the ancient Glebe-Lands, belonging to your Parsonage or Vicarage, been taken away or alienated, by Lease, Sale or Exchange, without License from the Ordinary, and the free consent of the Incum­bent? Have any Inclosures been made in the Parish, to the detriment of the Church?

TIT. III. Concerning Ministers.

I. IS your Minister a Priest or Deacon, Episcopally Or­dained, according to the Laws of the Church of Eng­land?

II. IS he defamed or suspected to have obtained either his Benefice or Orders by any Simoniacal Compact?

III. HATH he been Legally Instituted and Inducted into his Benefice? And did he within two Months after his Induction, publickly in the Church upon some Sun­day or Holyday, in the time of Diwine Service, read the 39 Articles of the Church of England, established by Au­thority, and there publickly declare his Assent thereto?

IV. HATH he any other Ecclesiastical Benefice, Pre­bend or Dignity? Is he constantly Resident upon his Bene­fice among you? How many Weeks in any one Year hath he been absent from it, without urgent necessity?

V. HATH your Minister a Curate to assist him? Is the said Curate in Holy Orders, an able and discreet Per­son, and conformable to the Laws and Orders of the Church of England? Is he allowed by the Bishop to serve in your Church or Chappel? And doth he serve in any other Church beside? And what yearly Stipend doth your Minister allow him?

VI. DOTH you Parson, Vicar or Curate, in Read­ing the daily Morning and Evening Service, Admini­stration of the holy Sacraments, Celebration of Mar­riage, [Page 8]Churching of Women after Childbirth, Visita­tation of the Sick, Burial of the Dead, and pronoun­cing God's Commination against Impenitent Sinners, use the Form and Words prescribed in the Book of Com­mon-Prayer, without any Addition, Omission or Altera­tion of the same? And doth he use all such Rites and Ce­remonies in all Parts of Divine Service, as are ap­pointed in the said Book?

VII. DOTH your Minister at the Reading or Celebra­ting any Divine Office in your Church or Chappel, wear the Surplice, together with such other Scholastical Ha­bit, as is sutable to his Degree?

VIII. DOTH he observe the Holidays and Fasting-days, 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 the time of Divine Service, upon the Sunday next before?

IX. HATH your Minister been Licensed to Preach by the Bishop, or either of the two Vniversities? If so, doth he then constantly (unless in case of Sickness, ne­cessary absence, or other reasonable impediment) himself preach in your Church or Chappel, one Sermon every Sunday? Or, if he be not a Licensed Preacher, or being so Licensed be hindred by Sickness, or otherwise as afore­said, doth he procure a Sermon to be so preached by some other Minister, being a Licensed Preacher? Or is one of the Homilies, set forth by Authority, there read by some Priest or Deacon, lawfully Ordained?

X. DOTH your Minister diligently instruct the Youth of your Parish in the Church-Catechism? And doth he prepare and present them, being to instructed, to be Con­firmed by the Bishop? And doth he endeavour to reclaim all Popish Recusants and other persons in­habiting within your Parish, to their bounden Duty, in obeying the Laws, and submitting to the Govern­ment?

XI. DOTH he neglect to visit the Sick, 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, or otherwise, yet remaining unbaptized in your Parish? Doth he Baptize any without Godfathers and Godmothers, or admit either of the Parents to be Godfather or Godmo­ther to their own Children? Or doth he Baptize any at home, except in case of imminent danger?

XII. DOTH your Minister celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper so often every year, that every Pa­rishioner may receive thrice at the least? And doth he ex­pel those that live scandalous Lives, or are guilty of any notorious Crime, and give an account thereof unto the Bishops?

XIII. DOTH he in his Sermons preach sound Do­ctrine, tending to the Edification of the People, in the Knowledg and Faith of Iesus Christ, and Obedi­ence to God's Holy Commandments? Or hath he at any time (as you know or have heard) preached any False, Heretical, Seditious, or Schismatical Doctrine, thereby to seduce the People into Parties and Factions, [Page 10]to the disturbance of the publick Peace and Vnity, ei­ther of the Church or State?

XIV. HATH he presumed to marry any Persons in private Houses? Or such, as being under Age, have not the Consent of their Parents, or without the Banes first published on three Sundays or Holy-Days in the Church? Or at any other hours than between Eight and Twelve in the Morning, unless he had a License or Dispensation so to do?

XV. DOTH any Person preach in your Parish as a Lecture? Hath he allowance from the Bishop for so do­ing? Doth he before his Lecture, read Divine Service, according to the Book of Common-Prayer? And is he in all Respects comformable to the Laws and Orders of the Church of England?

XVI. HATH your Minister taken upon him to ap­point any publick or private Fasts, Prophecyings, or Ex­ercises, not appointed by Authority?

XVI. IS your Parson, Vicar, Curate or Lecturer, a Man of sober, unblameable and exemplary Life? Doth he familiarly converse with ungodly, vicious and excom­municated Persons? Is he a Frequenter of Taverns, or Ale-houses? A common Gamester? A profane or ob­scene Iester? A Swearer, Railer, Scoffer or Quarrel­ler? Doth he set Neighbours at Variance one with ano­ther; or encourage them to Suits and Contention? Is he noted to be an intemperate Drinker; or vehemently suspected of Incontinency with any Person, either within your Parish or without? Doth he wear his Hair of an immoderate or uncomely length? Is his Apparel grave [Page 11]and decent, both for Fashion and Colour, as the Ca­nons of the Church require? Or is his Carriage and Conversation in any kind whatsoever disorderly and scandalous, and unbeseeming a Minister of Iesus Christ?

TIT. IV. Concerning the Parishioners.

I. IS there any Person in your Parish a known or re­puted Papist, or that lieth under a common Fame, or vehement Suspicion of Adultery, Fornication or In­cest? Are there any common Drunkards within your Parish, or common Swearers, or Blasphemers of God's Name, or any that are noted to be Railers, un­clean or filthy Talkers, Sowers of Sedition, Faction, and Discord among their Neighbours?

II. DO any of your Parish upon the Sundays or Ho­lidays follow their bodily and ordinary Labours; or per­mit their Servants so to do? Are any Shops kept open, or Wares sold? Or do any Vintners, Inn-keepers, or other Victualers, and Sellers of Bear or Ale, suffer any Persons to tipple or game in their Houses upon those days? And do you, sometimes during Divine Service and Sermon, look into their Houses, and present those Persons you there find Tippling, and also the Master or Mistress of the said Houses where they are found?

III. DOTH every Person reverently uncover his Head, and so continue all the time of Divine Service and Sermon in the Church? Do they all reverently kneel [Page 12]at the Prayers, and stand tip when the Creed and Go­spel are Read, making due Reverence when the Name of our Lord JESUS is mentioned?

IV. ARE there any living in your Parish who have been unlawfully Married, 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 course of Law, do not co­habit together?

V. ARE there any belonging to your Parish who re­fuse to pay their Duty for Easter-Offerings to your Mi­nister? Or any that refuse to contribute and pay the Rate Assessed upon them, for the Repair of your Church or Chappel, and for the providing of such Books, Furni­ture and Ornaments as be requisite for the performance of all Divine Offices there?

VI. ARE there any Wills or 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 Chappel, or to the use of the Poor, or to any other pious or charitable Pur­poses? What were their Legacies, and how have they been bestowed; And if there be any Stock of Money left in your Parish for the benefit of the Poor, whether that be employed accordingly or not? And whether such Lega­cies or Stock for the benefit of the Poor be Registred in your Books?

VII. DO you know, or have you heard of any Pa­tron, or other Person in your Parish, having the Pre­sentation [Page 13]or Gift of any Ecclesiastical Benefice, who hath made gain thereof by presenting a Clerk or Mini­ster to it upon any Bargain, either for Money or Pensi­on, or Lease, Reserve of Tithes or Glebe, or any part thereof, or upon other Simoniacal Compact whatsoever?

VIII. IS there any Strife and Contention among any of your Parish for their Pews or Seats in your Church? Have any new Pews been erected in your Chancel, or in the Body of your Church or Chappel, without leave from the Ordinary?

TIT. V. Concerning Parish-Clerks and Sextons.

I. HAVE you belonging to your Church or Chappel­ry, a Parish-Clerk, aged Twenty one Years at least? Is he of honest Life and Conversation, and suffi­cient or 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 at the Church? Are his Wages duly paid unto him? or who with-holdeth the same from him?

II. DOTH he or your Sexton (if there be any such appointed in your Parish) diligently look to the Doors of your Church, that they be locked and opened at due time? And doth he keep your Church or Chappel clean from Dust, Cobwebs, and other Annoyanre? Doth he toll or ring the Bells at the due accustomed hours before the beginning of Divine Service, Horning and Even­ing, that the People may be warned to come unto the [Page 14]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 Neighhours may thereby be warned to recommend the dying person to the Grace and Favour of God?

TIT. VI. Concerning Hospitals, Schools, School-Masters, Phy­sicians, Chirurgeons, and Midwives.

1. IS there any Hospital, Alms-house, or Free-School, founded in your Parish? Who was the Founder, or is now the Patron thereof? And what is the yearly Revenue, or Stipend belonging to the Governors or Masters of the same? Is the same ordered and govern­ed in every respect as it ought to be? And are the Reve­nues thereof rightly employed, according to the Intenti­on of the Founder, and of such Grants and Ordinances as have been made concerning the same?

II. DOTH any Man keep a publick or private School in your Parish, who is not allowed thereunto by the Bi­shop or his Chancellor? Doth your School-master teach his Scholars the Catechism of Religion set forth by Au­thority?

III. DOTH any Man in your Parish practise Physick or Chirurgery; or any Woman take upon her to exer­cise the Office of a Midwife, without Approbation and License from the Ordinary?

TIT. VII. Concerning Church-Wardens and Side-men.

I. ARE the Church-Wardens of your Parish yearly and duly chosen by the joynt Consent of the Mini­ster and Parishioners; or one of them by your Minister, and the other by the Parishioners?

II. HAVE the former and last Church-Wardens given up their due Accompts to the Parish, and delivered up to the succeeding Church-Wardens the Moneys remain­ing in their Hands, together with all other things be­longing to your Church or Chappel?

III. DO they suffer no Misbehaviour or Disorder to be done by Men, Women, Servants, or Children in your Church or Chappel? Are you careful that none of them sit, lean, or lay their Hats upon the Communion-Table? Do they permit no Minstrils, no Morrice Dancers, no Dogs, Hawks, or Hounds, to be brought or come into your Church to the disturbance of the Congregation?

IV. DO you against every Communion appointed in your Church or Chappel, provide a sufficient quantity of fine white Bread, and of good Wine, according to the number of Communicants?

V. DO you cause all Strangers that preach in your Church or Chappel, to subscribe their Names the same day in a Book provided for that purpose, together with the Names of the Bishop that Licensed them to Preach in this Diocess? And do you permit no other to preach?

VI. HAVE you (the Church-Wardens and Side­men) been duly sworn to present according to your best Skill and Knowledg, and have you taken sufficient time to draw up your Presentments, and therein consulted with your Minister for his faithful Assistance?

FOR know you assuredly, That as the true discharg­ing of your Office, is the chief means whereby publick Disorders, Sins and Offences in your Parish may be reformed and punished: So if you wilfully refuse to present such Crimes and Faults, as either you know to have been committed, or otherwise have heard of by publick Fame; That in such Cases, the [...] and his Officers are to proceed against you in their Ecclesiastical Courts, as in Cases of wilful Omission and Perjury.


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