ARTICLES TO BE ENQVIRED OF BY THE CHVRCH-WARDENS AND SWORNE-MEN within the Archdeaconrie of Excester in the visitation of the Right Worshipfull Thomas Barret, Archdeacon of the said Arch­deaconrie of EXCESTER. Anno Domini. 1612.

LONDON Printed by William Stansby. 161 [...].


The tenor of the Oath ministred to the Church-Wardens and sworne-men.

YEe shall sweare, that vpon due consideration of these Ar­ticles giuen you in charge, Yee shall present euerie such person of or within your Parish, as you shall know to haue committed any offence, or omitted any dutie mentioned in any of these Articles, or which are vehemently suspected, fa­med, or defamed of any such offence, or negligence. So helpe you God, by the contents of his Holy Gospell.

Articles to be enquired of within the Archdeaconrie of Excester.

Belonging to the Church.

FIrst, whether your Church or Chappell, with the Chancell thereof, and euerie part of eyther of them, be well and suffici­ently repaired?

2 Whether haue you in your Church, or Chappell,

  • 1 The booke of Common praier.
  • 2 The Psalmes.
  • 3 The Bible in the largest volum.
  • 4 The two tomes of Homilies.
  • 5 The Paraphrases of Erasmus.
  • 6 A table of the ten Commaun­dements.
  • 7 The table of the degrees of Marriage prohibited.
  • 8 A conuenient Pulpit.
  • 9 A decent Communion Table.
  • 10 A comely couering for it.
  • 11 A faire linnen cloath to lay vp­on it.
  • 12 A Communion cup of siluer with a couer.
  • 13 A conuenient seat for the Mi­nister to read Seruice in.
  • 14 A decent Font.
  • 15 A comely Surplesse.
  • 16 A chest or boxe for the Almes of the poore conueniently placed.
  • 17 A Register booke for Christ­nings, Marriages, and Burials, kept in a Chest, hauing two lockes and keyes.

3 Whether is your Churchyard well fenced and [...]eanly kept, and whether hath there beene any trées felled therein had for what vse?

4 Whether hath there béene any fighting, [...], brawling, or quarrelling in your Church, or Churchyard, and by whom, or hath any interlude béene played in your Church, or wares sold by chapmen in your Churchyard on the sabbaoth and holydaies or otherwise?

5 Whether the mansion house of your Parson or Vicar with all the buildings thereunto belonging be well and sufficiently repayred are and maintayned?

6 Whether your Parish Almes house, and Church-house, if you haue [...], be kept in sufficient reparations, and to what vses they implo [...]

7 Whether are there belonging to your Church-house any im­plements and vtensils, and in whose custodie are they: and whe­ther any haue beene sold or alienated from their ancient vse and by whom.

Touching the Ministrie.

1 WHether publike praier be said in your Church both Mor­ning and Euening, euerie Sunday and holiday, distinctly reuerently, and in due time, and in such order as is by the booke of com­mon prayer prescribed. And whether vpon Wednesdaies and Fridaies not being holydaies, the Letany and other praiers are said?

2 Whether hath your Parson or Vicar preached, or caused to be preached the monthly and quarterly Sermons, by the Kings Iniunc­tions required. And whether hath there béene any admitted to preach or read any Lecture, or the diuine Seruice, not hauing licence?

3 Whether doth your Minister euery Sunday and Holyday, when there is no Sermon, read distinctly and plainly some part of the Ho­milies, as by authority is prescribed?

4 Whether is your Minister resident vpon his benefice, if he be ab­sent, how long hath he béene so, and whom hath he placed to serue the Cure in his stead?

5 Whether doth your Minister vsually vpon the Sabbaoth or Ho­lydaies, in the Church openly call for, heare, and instruct in the Cate­chisme, the children and sruants, which are of conuenient age within your Parish?

6 Whether is your Minister a Preacher, or contrariwise is hee a sower of discord, a haunter of Tauernes, or Alehouses, a common hunter, hawker, t [...]er, carder, swearer, or dancer, or is suspected to liue incontinently, or doth frequent any suspected places, or giue euill example of life?

7 Whether doth your Minister vpon the Sunday, about the mid­dest of diuine Seruice, openly signifie, what holy daies and fasting daies are to be obserued the same weeke following?

8 Whether hath your Minister baptised any children, married any persons, churched any woman, buried any dead, or administred the ho­ly Communion in any other-sort then is prescribed by the booke of com­mon prayer, or hath he refused to reforme any of these duties according in the same?

9 Whether doth your Minister vse to examine the Parishioners, before they come to the holy Communion, to know whether they be fit to be admitted thereunto?

10 Whether hath your Minster admitted to the holy commu­nion [Page]or into the Church any open and notorious euill liuer before penance done by appointment of the Ordinary?

11 Whether is your Minister diligent in visiting the sicke, & com­forting them with the holy Scriptures, and doth he then moue such as bee of abilitie, especially when they make their testaments, to con­sider the necessitie of the poore, and to giue to their boxe or chest, their charitable deuotion, or almes?

12 Whether doth your Minister quarterly read in the Church the Kings Iniunctions publikely, as is required?

13 Whether hath your Minister conferred with, and perswa­ded all persons within your Parish suspended or excommunicated, to submit themselues to the Ecclesiasticall censure, and to seeke their restitution from the Ordinary, and whether doth he vse it in the pre­sence of one of the Churchwardens at the least?

14 Whether doth your Minister kéepe a note of all excommuni­cants in your Parish, and the first Sunda euery moneth about the middest of Morning prayer recite their names, and admonish the Churchwardens to remoue them out of the Church?

Cocerning Parishioners.

1 VVHether haue you in your parish any dweller, or soiour­ner which is a fauourer to the Romish or forraine power a maintainer of popish doctrine, or any that haue said or heard Masse, or which haue in their Custody, any popish or schismaticall bookes, or are any way suspected to maintain heresies, errors, or false doctrine?

2 Whether there be any in your Parish that vse sorcery or witch­craft, or be vehemently suspected for the same, or that vse soothsaying, charmes, vnlawfull prayer, or inuocations, and whether any do resort to such for helpe and counsaile, and who be the offenders therein?

3 Whether your parishioners do diligently resort with their chil­dren and seruants to your parish Church on the sabboth day and holi­daies, both morning and Euening, and there remaine the time of com­mon prayer, preaching or reading of Homilies, catechising, and other seruice of God there vsed, reuerently and deuoutly hearing the same,

4 Whether haue you any common resorters vnto your Church? which are not of your Parish, nor licensed by the Ordinary vsually to repaire thither, and what be their names that so resort, and of what Parishes are they?

[Page] 5 Whether any of your Parish, while they are in the Church, in the time of diuine Seruice, vse to walke, or spend the time in tal­king, or whispering together, or doe sleepe in the Church, or haue their heads couered vndecently in the time of prayer, or doe make any noise or disturbance in the time of Seruice.

6 Whether any of your Parish absenting themselues from the Church, haue in the meane time vsed any gaming abroad, or sitting in the stréete, or Churchyard, or in any Tauerne or Alehouse, in the time of any part of diuine Seruice, or exercise of Religion, and by name in whose house.

Whether there be in your Parish any shops open, of any artificers and tradesmen, and buying and selling vsed by them vpon the Sun­daies, and holydaies in the time of diuine Seruice.

8 Whether any of your parishioners do worke vpon Sundaies at any time of the day, or any Butchers kill any flesh on the Sunday, or any Millers set their Milles to worke on the Sabboth or holydaies, in the time of Seruice or Sermon, or whether any man hath gone with Cart, or occupied himselfe in worldly labours vpon those daies.

9 Whether there be any in your Parish that receiue the holy Communion in any other sort then knéeling, or doe there vse any vn­séemely or vnreuerent behauiour.

10 Whether there by any of your Parish, or soiourning in your Parish, being of conuenient age, that haue not receiued the holy Communion thrise this last yeare at the least, and namely at Easter last, or thereabout for once.

11 Whether any young persons of your Parish haue contrac­ted themselues, and married without the consent of their Parents, or gouernours.

12 Whether there be any in your Parish that be married with­in the degrées of consanguinitie forbidden, or that haue married two wiues, or two husbands both liuing, or are famed or suspected so to haue done: or whether any being diuorced or separated, yet doe not­withstanding cohabite and company together, or marry againe, the former wife or husband yet liuing.

13 Whether any couple being lawfully married, haue the one forsaken the other, of their owne willes, without authoritie of the Ordinary of the place, and doe liue a sunder, to the offence and euill example of others, and who do so offend?

[Page] 14 Whether there be in your Parish any adulterers, fornicators, incestuous persons, bawds, receiuers, or close fauorers of naughtie and incontinent persons, or such as harbor any woman with child vnmarried, or haue conueyed away the said woman, or suffered her to be conueyed, or to goe away, before that she hath made satisfaction to the congregation by order of the Ordinarie.

15 Whether there be in your Parish any blasphemers of the name of God, common swearers, or such as haue taken vp a custome of any vaine oath, and what be their names that so offend.

16 Whether are there any in your Parish, that are common drunkerds, or are common haunters of Tauernes or Alehouses, to the offending of others, and euill example, & who are they that so offend.

17 Whether there be in your parish any malitious, contentious, or vncharitable persons, common slaundeoers of their neighbors, raylers, scoulders, or such as be sowers of discord betwéene neigh­bors, and what are theyr names that offend therein?

18 Whether theyr are in your Parish, any that haue vncharitably contemned, or by any means in word or déed vnreuerently abused your Minister, & in what sort or manner the same was done, & by whom.

19 Whether any in your Parish giue the Churchwardens and Swornemen, or any of them euil words, for doing theyr duty according to theyr oath, and conscience, in making presentment of any fault.

20 Whether do you know or haue heard say that within your parish there is any person that offendeth in letting mony to vsury, contrary to the lawes & rules of charity & christianity, and who offendeth therein.

21 Whether there be in your Parish that do administer theyr goods of the dead without any authoritie, and whether any suppresse the last will of the dead or be there any Executors that haue not fulfilled their Testators will, especially in paying of legacies giuen to the Church, or to the reliefe of the poore, to Orphans, poore Scholles, poore Mai­dens marriages, high waies, Schooles and such like, and by whom they are so detained.

22 Whether any of your Parish doe see ay secret conuenticles, or haue any Preaching or Lectures in any priuate house, or either of the Sacraments administred, or any prayer there vsed, and what they be that offend.

23 Whether do any of your Parish refuse to pay, to the reparati­ons of your Church, as they are seuerally seassed, at at a lawful vestry [Page]or do any other which hold any land in your parish refuse to pay, which are not of your parish, and what be their names that so refuse to pay?

24 Whether any youth in your Parish, doe neglect to come to Church to be catechised, hauing had notice of the daies and times ap­pointed for them by your Minister, and what be the names of such youth, and of their gouernours?

25 Whether any person suspended or excommunicated, be suffe­red to heare diuine seruice, or the Sermon, to receiue the Sacrament, to be married, churched, or buried in Christian buriall, or to be parta­ker of any of the rites or benefits of the Church?

26 Whether any woman knowne or suspected to be unlawfully be­gotten with child, haue béene married, or churched in your Parish, be­fore she and the partie with her offending haue béene ordered for their offence by the Ordinary?

27 Whether any haue béene married without banes thrise publike­ly asked vpon thrée seuerall sabboth or festiuall daies, in time of diuine Seruice, or haue any béene married in the time of Lent, or within the other times wherein marriage is by law restrained, or in any other place, then in the Church without sufficient licence?

28 Whether haue any of your Parish béene Christned, married, Churched, or buried out of your Parish, or haue any receiued the communion out of the same?

29 Whether hath the Perambulation of the circuite of your Pa­rish, béene obserued once euery yeare or not, according to the kings Maiesties Iniunctions.

30 Whether haue all women in your Parish that haue béene deli­uered of child, come at conuenient time after to the Church to giue thanks, and whether haue they béene churched according to the forme in the booke of common prayer?

31 Whether any in your parish refuse to be examined by your Mini­ster how he is prepared before he commeth to receiue the communion?

32 Whether haue you in your Parish any Schoolemasters, and whether do they together with their Schollers frequent your Parish Church on the sabbaoth and holydaies, do they giue any offence or e­uill example of life, and whether are they licensed to teach.

33 Whether is your Parish Clarke dutifull and seruiceable to your Minister, doth he read plainly and distinctly, doth he liue soberly and honestly as becommeth him.

[Page] 34 Whether doth your Clarke or Sexten kéepe your Church cleane, and whether doth he kéepe the dores thereof safely locked, or is there by his default any thing lost or spoyled in the Church, or doth suffer vn­reasonable ringing, or any prophane exercise in your Church, or doth liue offensiuely amongst you?

35 Whether haue you any in your Parish, which practise Phisicke or Surgery, and whether are they licenced by the Ordinarie or not?

Of Churchwardens and Swornemen.

1 WHether the Churchwardens of the last yeare haue giuen to your Parish a iust account of the Church goods and rents, together with the Collections, Seasments, and Summes of money committed to their charge, according to the ancient custome of the Parish, and whether they haue disposed the Church goods: and laid forth the Church money to the profit of the Church or no?

2 Whether all Churchwardens and swornemen of your Parish, doe at the end of euerie quarter méete and conferre about the answe­ring of these Articles, and who hath after intelligence giuen to the time and place of méeting, negligently or carelesly absented himselfe?

3 Whether forfeiture of twelue pence for absence from Church, appointed by a statute to be taken to the vse of the poore, be leuied, ta­kin and imployyd, according to the same statute, by the Churchwar­dens of your Parish, of euery person that offendeth?

4 Whether the said forfeiture be in speciall, leuied and taken of such as wilfully stand suspended or excommunicated, & so are absent from the Church, for euery day that they so do, according to the statute?

5 Whether the Churchwardens and swornemen of your Parish do diligently confer with your Minister at Easter & Michaelmas yéerely, and giue in their presentments to master Archdeacon or his Officiall, for intelligence of those things which by his helpe and information, they may the more truly & directly present according to these articles?

6 Whether doe you the Churchwardens, Constables or Officers vsually about the midst of diuine seruice walke forth of the Church, and sée who are in any Alehouse, or other house, or abroad elsewhere absent, or euil imployed, in the time of common Prayer or the Sermon, & haue presented to the Ordinarie all such as you shall finde so to offend?

7 Whether do you the Churchwardens kéepe a true Inuentorie of all the ornaments, goods, rents, lands, and leases of the Church, [Page]as also an Inuentorie of all the implements, and vtensiles of your Church house, and whether do you deliuer the same together with your accounts to the Churchwardens which do succéed you?

8 Whether if any more be giuen to your Church, or Church-house, then are entred into the said Inuentorie, and if any be lost, sould, or de­tained, haue you presented the same to the Ordinarie?

9 Whether haue you the Churchwardens, or one of you at the least, béene present with your Minister, and haue heard him conferre with, and perswade euerie person standing wilfully suspended, or ex­communicated within your Parish to submit themselues to their Or­dinaries.

10 Whether do you know of any offence committed, or dutie o­mitted, by any of your Parish before your time, and heretofore presen­ted to the Ordinarie, or as yet not reformed, and you shall present the same?

11 Finally, whether you know or vnderstand of any matter or cause being a breach to his Maiesties Iniunctions of Canons and Lawes Ecclesiasticall héere not expressed, and you shall present them?

Certaine directions and orders giuen to the Ministers.

INPRIMIS, It is inioyned to the Ministers of this Archdeaconrie, that euerie of them, for the better procéeding in Catechising of the youth of his Parish, shall take a note in writing of the names of all such youth, of both sexes▪ as are of sufficient age to be catechised, and shall assigne them their seuerall daies and times on the Sabbaoth and holy daies, to come to the Church to be instructed in the Catechisme, set downe in the booke of common Prayer, with the additions of late set forth by authoritie, and if any of the said youth shall neglect so to do, that then the ministers shall deliuer the names of such youth, with the names of their parents or gouernours, to the Churchwardens to be presented in their quarter billes.

2 It is enioyned to the Ministers, that they shall kéepe euerie one a booke conteyning the names of all such as are méete to receiue the Communion in euery family within their seuerall Parishes, that thereby they may be able to deliuer a true note to the Churchwar­dens, of the names of all those which shall not receiue the holy Com­munion thrise in the yeare, and especially at the time of Easter for ance, as is by authoritie required. And for the better obseruation [Page]héereof, they shall giue publikely warning in the Church, that all the Parishioners do giue sufficient knowledge before time of their com­ming to the Communion, and shall not admit any thereunto, which haue not giuen such sufficient notice of their comming.

3 It is enioyned that the Ministers shall performe these offices, both with the suspended and excommunicated, first priuately, and after in the presence of one of the two Churchwardens, if his former labour take not effect, that both the diligence of the Minister may the better appeare, and the parties wilfull disobedience be more sufficiently te­stified, when they shall be iustly puunished by his Maiesties high Commissioners.

4 It is enioyned the said Ministers, that for their better procée­ding in the premises, they shall kéepe a note in writing of the names of such persons as shall be excommunicated, and shall wilfully so con­tinue, and the same note they shall publikely read in the Church the first Sabbaoth day euery moneth, about the midst of Morning prayer, vt magis pudefiant, with admonition to the Churchwardens, that they then remoue such persons out of the Church.


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