ARTICLES To be enquired of by the Churchwardens and Swornmen within the Diocesse of WORCESTER. In the Visitation of the Right Reuerend Father in God, IOHN, Lord Bishop of Worcester, Holden in the yeare of our Lord God, 1626.

LONDON, Printed for IOHN GRISMAND, 1626.

The tenour of the Oath to be ministred to all and euery the Church-wardens and Side­men or Assistants in the said Visitation.

YOu, and euery of you shall sweare by Almigh­ty God, that all favour, feare and affection, and all other sinister corruption whatsoeuer set a­side, vpon due consideration of these Articles giuen you in charge, you will make a true, plaine, perfect, and particular answer and presentment in writing to the same Articles, and to euery branch and part there­of, presenting all and euery offenders and offences therein mentioned, so as may stand with the glory of God, the discharge of your consciences, and the Iuris­diction of the Ecclesiasticall Court, wherin you shall deale sincerely, faithfully, and vprightly, as before God: So help you God in Christ Iesus.

ARTICLES Concerning Church and Church-yard.

WHether is your Church and Chancell in all respects well and sufficiently repayred, and kept swéet and cleane: haue you therein the ten Commandements, the Articles of the Beléefe, & other godly sentences fairly written: the Bible of the largest volume, the bookes of common Prayer, the two volumes of Ho­milies, the booke entituled God and the King, and all other bookes requisite: a seemly Pulpit, a conuenient seat for the Mi­nister at prayers, a large and comely Surplesse whole and vntorne? These things you must make enquiry of, and present the wants, and e­specially the want of the Bible of the largest volume, commanded by our late Soueraigne King Iames to be had and vsed in euery Church within the Kingdome.

2 Haue you in your said Church a strong chest for Almes, with a hole in the top, and thrée lockes and keyes thereto? Is the mony therein put, imployed to the vse of the poore?

3 Haue you a Register of Christnings, Weddings, and Burialls in a booke of parchment duly kept in a chest with thrée locks and keyes?

4 Hath any man pulled downe or vncouered, or suffered to decay any parsonage or vicarage houses, or any Church, Chancell, Chappell, Veste­ry, or Church-house, in part or in all: or imployed them or any of them to any prophane vses?

5 Whether are the pales, fences, enclosures, and markes of the anci­ent bounds and limits of your parsonage, vicarage, or ministers house, or of the courts, entries, gardens, backsides, or other appurtenances belon­ging to the same, or any part thereof remoued or altered, or taken away from their ancient places, bounds, and limits thereof: so that in time it may grow out of knowledge, and by some prescription become preiudici­all to the Church, or succéeding Incumbent thereof?

6 Are your Bells, Bell-ropes, and Clocke in good repayre, and well ordered? Is your Churchyard well fenced and decently kept? Is it not [Page]prophaned with fighting, brawling, chiding, gaming, dancing, playing, or with vnlawfull cattell, or otherwise: and how, and by whom, and by whose default?

Ministers and Curates.

7 Doth he reade or say the whole diuine Seruice euery Sunday and Holiday, and administer the holy Sacraments according to the booke of common Prayer: Is your Minister a licensed preacher: doth he diligent­ly preach sound doctrine, and for matters of gouernment seriously teach and maintaine the Kings Supremacie vnder God within his Maiesties dominions, ouer all persons, and in causes as well Ecclesiasticall as Ci­uill, and the abolishing of all foraigne power?

8 Hath your Minister more Benefices then one? if two or more, doth he reside vpon one of them himselfe, and maintaine a licenced Preacher on the other? If he haue but one, is he resident and dwelling thereupon: is he painfull in his vocation, of sober and good conuersation, and giuen to hospitalitie?

9 Doth your Minister vse decencie of apparel, as well in the Church, as elsewhere: and in time of diuine prayers and administration of the Sacraments, doth he vse to weare the Surplesse: and if he be a Gradu­ate, such a hood as is agréeable to his calling?

10 Is your Minister a peace-maker, and no sower of discord, or is hée suspected, famed, or noted of any notorious crime: or giueth he any ill ex­ample: or doth any Minister with you forsake his calling?

11 Doth any preach in your parish, that refuseth to conforme himself to the lawes, ordinances, and rites of the Church of England?

12 Hath your Minister a Curate, & how is he licenced, doth he serue two Cures, and doth he bid the Fasting dayes, and Holidayes comman­ded and allowed?

13 If your Minister be not a Preacher allowed, doth he procure mo­nethly Sermons, and when there is no Sermon, doth he reade an Homi­ly, doth he take vpon him to expound any text of Scripture?

14 What Preachers haue come from any other place and preached in your parish, haue you their names written in a booke kept for that purpose, hath such a preacher subscribed his name thereto, and set downe the day when he preached, and by whom licenced?

15 Hath your Minister obtained his Benefice by any Symonicall compact, eyther directly, or indirectly?

16 Hath any of your parish, or of any other Parish, vnreuerently vsed your Minister, laid violent hands on him, or disgraced his office and fun­ction by word or déed?

Diuine Service.

17 Is diuine seruice in due time on Sundaies, Holydaies, and at o­ther times appointed, reuerently said or sung in your Church or Chap­pel, with the Letany on Wednesdaies and Fridaies: and all other rites and ceremonies, according to the prescript forme of common prayer in the Communion Booke?

18 Whether doth any not being licensed (or any not ordered at least for a Deacon) say Common prayer openly in your Church, or Chappell?

19 Doe any men, young or old, vse to weare their Hattes in the Church or Chappel in the time of diuine Service, or are there any that behaue themselues disorderly in the Church, Chappell, or Churchyard, or any disturbers of Diuine seruice or sermons?

20 Whether doe any victualers (or others in your parish) suffer any drinking or gaming in their houses on Sundaies or Holidaies, especially in time of Diuine seruice or sermons?

21 Whether any in your parish vpon the sabbath daies, or holidaies doe vse their Trade, or doe any other worke or labour, as Brewing, Ba­king, Washing Barbing, or such like, or doe any Mercers, Drapers, Shomakers, Butchers, or others whatsoeuer open their shops for sale of wares vpon those dayes, or doe hedge, ditch, digge, carry, or drawe bur­dens by themselues, their seruants, horses, or other cattle whatsoeuer on such daies?

The holy Communion.

22 Haue you a decent Communion Table on a frame, with a seemly carpet, and a cloth of Linnen, a communion cup and couer of siluer, a faire Flagon of pewter or purer mettle for the Wine, a plate for the Bread, & a Towell to lay ouer it?

23 Whether is there any in your parish, which being full sixteene yeares of age and vpward, hath not receaued the holy communion thrée seuerall times in the yéere past at least, in his or her parish church: where­of Easter to be one of the thrée times?

24 Doth your Minister instruct and examine his Parishioners con­cerning the Sacraments at conuenient times, before hee administer the Communion. And doth he admit any thereto that cannot say at least the Lords praier, the Articles of the Christian faith, and the ten Comman­dements?

25 Is your Communion ministred with Bread and wine, consecra­ted in such order as in the booke of common prayer is appointed? And doth your Minister deliuer both kindes to euery seuerall Communi­cant, with the blessing prescribed in the booke of common prayer?

[Page] 26 Doth any in your parish receiue the holy Communion either sit­ting, standing, or otherwise then knéeling, as is prescribed in the booke of common prayer: or doe any refuse to receiue the same knéeling, and doth your Minister admit any to receiue the Communion otherwise then knéeling?

27 Doth your Minister admit any notorious offenders, or any Schis­maticks to the holy Communion, before due penance enioyned by the Ordinary, be duly performed by them, or doth he admit any notoriously known to be out of charitie: or any that hath done any open wrong to his neighbour, before reconciliation made to the party wronged?

28 Whether doth your Minister appoint and obserue so many Com­munions in one yeare, as that the parishioners may conueniently receiue all of them there thrée seuerall times in the yeare: And doth he vse to giue publike notice therof in the Church, the Sabbath day next going before euery such Communions, that the parishioners may prepare themselues to be partakers thereof?


29 Haue you in your Church a conuenient Font of stone, well kept, and couered, standing in the ancient place: Doth your Minister baptise therein, or in any Bason or other thing, or with any other ceremonies then such as are allowed in the booke of common prayer: or doth he omit, neglect, or not vse all the ceremonies therein prescribed: and doth he vse the signe of the Crosse in Baptisme?

30 Doth your Minister refuse to baptise any children of Christian pa­rents, that are brought to the Church?

31 Are Parents vrged to be present at the baptising of their children: or be any admitted to be Godfathers, or Godmothers that haue not re­ceiued the holy Communion: or doe any parents refuse to haue their children signed with the signe of the Crosse in their Baptisme?

32 Haue any children that were borne in your parish béen caryed out of the parish to be baptised elsewher: or haue any not béen baptised at all, or in places, or by parties vnknowne?

33 Whether hath your Minister refused, deferred, or delayed to come vnto, and to christen any child being in weaknesse, or in danger of death, being thereunto required, by reason whereof such a child hath (through his negligence, or by his default) dyed vnbaptised?


34 Doth your Minister or his Curate duly Catechise according to the late Canon euery Sunday, such children and seruants of both sexes, [Page]as are of conuenient age, or at least so many of them by course, as the time will permit?

35 Do parents and housholders bring, or send their children and ser­uants to the Church euery Sunday duely to be catechised, according as the late Canons require, and who are negligent therein?


36 Whether is Matrimony solemnized in your Church or chappell, according to the booke of common Prayer?

37 Haue you in your church a Table of degrées of Mariage, are any maried within the degrées of consanguinity or affinity therin forbidden: or doe any children vnder the age of twenty one yeares, contract them­selues, or marry without consent of their Parents or Gardians?

38 Haue any béen maried without Fanes thrice asked in the church thrée seuerall sundaies or Holidaies (vnlesse by License of the Ordinary, granted vnder seale) or at any time of the day, then betwixt the houres of eight and twelue in the forenoone, or at any times prohibited, that is to say, from Advent Sunday to the Octaues of the Epiphany, from Sep­tuagefima Sunday to the Octaues of Easter, from Rogation Sunday, to Trinitie Sunday?

39 Haue any that dwell in your parish, béen maried in any other pa­rish, or any of another parish béen maried in your parish: or haue any bin maried priuately out of the Church or face of the congregation, when, where, by whom, and who were present at such mariages?

40 Haue any women not well knowne to be maried, béene deliuered of any child in your Parish, and in whose house: or hath any woman in your parish béene carnally knowne, or begotten with child before mari­age, and by whom?

41 Haue any forsaken their wiues or husbands, and maried others: haue any maried againe after they haue béen diuorced or doe any which haue béen diuorced, kéepe company still together?

42 Doe any maried couples liue asunder, and not together, and doe eyther of them kéepe in their house, or secretly resort to any other, to the raising of suspition or fame of incontinency?

43 Hath any in your parish for mony or reward, maryed any wo­man, that committed fornication or adultery with another man? Or hath any vnmaried woman begotten with child, gone out of your parish before she hath done penance enioyned her by the Ordinary, where was she, or is she receiued or harbored, at whose charge, and who converyed her away?

Visitation of the Sicke.

44 Doth your Minister or curate visit the sicke, doth he admonish them to Repentance, comfort the penitent, and exhort them to charitable and almes déeds?

Buriall of the Dead.

45 Are your Dead buryed according to the forme of Buriall set down in the booke of common prayer: or haue any béene buryed secretly or in the night, who and by whom, and who were present thereat?

46 Doe the Executors or Administrators, or other friends of them that are buried in church or chancell, repayre againe the pauements, and giue any thing to the Church?

Churching of Women.

47 Doe any Women refuse to giue God thanks openly in the church or (as we terme it) to be churched at conuenient times after child-byrth, or doth any Minister refuse to church them, or church them any other­wise then is prescribed in the booke of common prayer?

48 Hath any Woman vnlawfully begotten with child, béen admit­ted to publike thanksgiuing in the church, before she hath performed such penance as was inioyned her by the Ordinary, or at least béen churched in a white shéet, and confessed her fault penitently before sufficient wit­nesses, and vndertaken to stand to the censure of the Ordinary for her said offence?

Parish Clarkes.

49 Haue you a parish Clarke chosen by the Minister, is he of honest conuersation, hath he competent skill in reading, writing, and singing: And doth any with hold or detaine his wages or duties from him?


50 Haue you any School house, and how is it repayred: And haue you any Schoolmaster in your parish that teacheth publikely, or priuately: is he lawfully licenced: Doth he come duly to Church, and receiue the holy Communion: doth he instruct his Schollers in the Catechisme allowed, and in the book entituled God and the King: causeth he them to repayre to diuine prayers in the Church, and to heare and note Sermons: Tea­cheth he any other Grammar then that which is allowed?

51 Is any Schoolmaster knowne or suspected, publikely or priuately to reade to his Schollers, or suffer them to read any booke that may con­firme them in popery, superstition or disobedience to the Kings Maiesty, or to his lawes Ecclesiasticall or ciuill, and how many either men or wo­men doe teach children in your parish, and what be their names?

Schismatickes and Recusants of all sorts.

52 Do you know any that teach or maintaine any doctrine contrary to the Articles agréed vpon in the Convocation, Anno Dom. 1562.

53 Doth any preach, minister the Communion, baptise children, or church women in priuate houses, or other where then in the Church, ex­cept it be in cases of necessitie?

54 Know you any that absent themselues from the Church negligent­ly or wilfully, how long haue they so done: And of them that are absent without a sufficient & lawfull cause, is the forfeiture of xii d. taken euery sunday, & conuerted to the vse of the poor, according to the statute Eliz. 1.

55 In your parish where there is a preacher, doe any vse to absent themselues from his sermon, and resort to any other?

56 Know you any that forbeare to participate with the church of Eng­land in Praier or Sacraments, either denying the Church to be Aposto­licall, or condemning the ceremonies thereof as superstitious?

57 Haue you in your parish any popish Recusants, any halfe Papists that come to the church, and receiue not the Communion, any church pa­pists that come and receiue themselues, but either perswade others, or maintaine their wiues, children, familie or friends not to come? All such you must present by their names and surnames, with their additions al­so whether Esquires, Gentlemen, Yeomen, Husbandmen, Laborers, or of any other trade of liuing.

58 Doth any Seminary priest or Iesuite, resort to any place within this Diocesse, or suspect you any such: or doe you know any that resort to any popish Priest or Iesuite?

59 Know you any that by writing, talke or argument, impugne the kings supremacie: or any that haue kept in their custody, that sel, disperse cary, or deliuer vnto others any vnlawfull bookes against the Religion and gouernment established, or in defence of any foraigne power, or do­mesticall Consistorie?

Excommunicated persons.

60 Are all excommunicated persons kept out of the church from diuine praiers and receiuing of the holy communion, vntill they be lawfully ab­solued: and are there any in your parish which haue stood excommunica­ted forty daies and vpwards: are such persons as stand excommunicated once in euery six moneths denounced in your Church in time of diuine seruice vpon some Sunday?

61 Hath any excommunicated person not absolued (at least in his ex­tremitie) not giuing any testimonie of his repentance before his depar­ture, [Page]béen buried in Christian buriall, who buried him, her, or them, where and when, and who were present at such burialls?

62 Doe any retaine or keepe in their house or seruice, any person de­nounced excommunicate, or doe any way incourage them therin, or con­uerse with them in buying selling, eating, drinking, or otherwise kéepe company with any such excommunicate person in any sort?

Wills, Testaments, and Administrations.

63 Doe any in your parish administer the goods of the dead, or any way intermeddle therewith without lawfull authoritie committed vnto them vnder the Ordinaries seale?

64 Know you any in your parish that suppresse the last Will of the dead, or any that forge or alter any Wills, or any Executors that fulfill not the Testators will: or any that detaine Legacies giuen to any cha­ritable vses?

Seuerall Articles.

65 Doe any in your parish prophane the Sabbath dayes or not duely obserue the Holidaies appointed? Are the Ember Fasts orderly obserued at the foure times of the yeare appointed?

66 Are the dayes and orders of Perambulation duly obserued in the Rogation wéeke: if not in whose default?

67 Are the Canons, Constitutions, and Orders made and agréed vp­on in the Conuocation house, Anno Dom. 1603. read ouer once euery yeare in your Church vpon Sundaies or Holy-dayes, according to his Maiesties commandement in that behalfe?

68 Doth your Minister yearly present, and giue vp in writing to the Ordinary, the names of all Recusants, and halfe Recusants▪ men & wo­men, as well soiourners, as parishioners, and common guests in your pa­rish, aboue the age of thirtéen yeares, according to the 114 Canon, or not?

69 Doe any in your parish take vpon them to practise physicke or chi­rurgery, not being lawfully licenced?

70 Are any in your parish (or which were of your parish, and are now departed) knowne, suspected, famed, or reported to haue offended in forni­cation, adultery, incest, witchcraft, sorcery, charming, vsury, swearing, drunkennes, common slandering, sowing of discord, brawling, scolding, or any other vncleannes of life or bad manners?

71 Are any Housholders in your parish (in whose house there is any one that can reade) which haue not the booke intituled God & the King, and who be they which want the same?

72 Haue any Apparators, or others, taken reward to compound or [Page]conceale any offence presentable or punishable in the Ecclesiastical court let this be manifested, and information and presentment made for euery offence accordingly?

73 You shall further present whether any in your parish vpon Sun­daies or holidayes, do vse any dancing, plaies, or other sports or pastimes whatsoeuer, before all Seruice on those daies be fully ended: And are the same vsed by any of another parish, or by any which haue not the same day béen at diuine prayers in their owne parish church, who be they that haue offended in any of the premises?

Church wardens and Sidemen.

74 Are your Churchwardens & Sidemen chosen yearly in the Easter wéek according to the Canons: And do the Churchwardens yearly, tru­ly make & deliuer vp in writing their accompt of all their receipts & dis­bursments whatsoeuer, by them receiued & laid out for the parish, & of all the Church goods, Bookes and other things, as the Canons require?

75 Doe your Churchwardens themselues come duely to the Church to diuine Praiers & sermons: & do they their best endeuors, especiallie vpon Sundaies and holidaies, to cause all Parishioners to doe the like?

76 Whether is there a transcript or copie of the Register booke of the Church, of christnings, weddings & burials, yearlie exhibited & deliuered vp into the Registrie of the Ordinarie, or not?

77 Haue the late churchwardens concealed any crime, offence or disor­der in their times & not presented the same: what be the matters so con­cealed: or doth any trouble, molest, or vex the Minister, Churchwardens or Sidemen for being presented by them: & who be they that so doe? and haue your churchwardens continued in that office aboue one yeare with­out haue your churchwardens continued in that office aboue one yeare with­out a new election?

78 Haue you aduisedly & diligently perused, read, or heard others read & peruse this book of Articles, & euery particular article & branch therof: & haue you framed your answers & presentments to the same accordingly?

79 Generally, whether doe you know any of the Canons latelie set forth and approued by his Maiestie broken, or any Ecclesiasticall matter worthie to be presented or not? and if you doe, you shall truly present the same by the Oath you haue taken aswell now as hereafter when it shal come to your knowledge?

80 Whether any Churchwardens, Questmen or Sidemen of any pa­rish haue béen called & inforced to present any faults committed in their parishes, otherwise then at the Visitations, or time and▪ times limited in the 116 Canon?


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