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The History Of Saint Nicholas' Church Denston

Parish records

Records dating from 1561 are to be found in one of the Registers. On a blank page in the first of these books is the following: "Anno 1641. November the 5th. A protestation approved by the house of Commons sittinge in Parliament made by the minister and parishioners agst ail Poperie kind popish Inovations &c." This presumably refers to Archbishop Laud's efforts to restore some meassure of decency to churches, desecrated during the sixteenth century; the Eastern Counties showed some resistance to his orders. In the lists of burials from 1678 to 1732 there is frequent mention of the shrouding in woollen which had been ordered by Act of Parliament to encourage the woollen industry and for the "lessening the Importation of Linen from beyond the seas", and in the earlier of these records mention is made that the dead are "shrouded only in woollen" as "testified to the Justice of the Peace". The book containing church briefs from 1665 has some entries of interest. These briefs, now obsolete, were letters patent, issued by the Sovereign as Head of the Church of England, licensing a collection for a specified object in churches throughout the land. Briefs came into existence in 1588. In 1665, the parishioners of Denston contributed 8s. to the relief of those who were sick of the plague in London and it is recorded that the proclamation was sent to the "Register of Ecclesiastical Court for the Hundred of Risbridge and the whole Deanery of Sudbury". Collections for the sufferers from the plague continued throughout the following year and on an appointed day the not inconsiderable sum in the currency of the period, £1 5s. Id. was collected. In 1688, the year of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, there was a collection for the French Protestants and in the following year for the Irish Protestants. A brief for the collection of money to redeem captives in 1671 resulted in a fair sum being contributed by about forty persons in the parish towards the redemption of "His Majestyes English subjects from Turkish slavery" - at a time when the pirates of Tangier were causing much anxiety to Pepys and others at the Admiralty. In 1687 the Rector and churchwardens gave a certificate to one of the parishioners whose wife was suffering from the "kings evill". There are also books of workhouse accounts from 1791 which note the distress caused during the war with France and the increased allowances to the poor of the parish authorised by the churchwardens.

Last Modified Thursday 05 May 2011