PARISH REGISTERS, Page 32
Parochial and Family History of the Deanery of Trigg Manor, Volume 3, Sir John Maclean (1879)
This copy kept inWadebridge Library
These medieval woodcuts for birth, marriage and death come from http://www.godecookery.com/clipart/clart.htm
The old Registers of this parish consist of seven volumes. At first two were used contemporaneously, both of which are, generally, in good condition. One contains the baptisms, which commence in 1558 and extend to 1758. The entries are regularly made from the beginning to 21st August 1595, from which date to 6th October 1596, through some accident, there is a lapse. From the last mentioned date to 1645 the Register is complete, but from that date to 1651, few entries were made.(see footnote)
From 1651 to 1758 the Registers were regularly kept, but it should be borne in mind that the entries made by the Registrars appointed under the Ordinance of the House of Commons in 1653, are those of births not of baptisms. The other volume contains the record of marriages and burials. The entries of marriages begin in 1559 and are continued regularly to 1642, except for the period in 1595-6 referred to above. No further record was made until 1651 (except two entries in 1646 and a few in 1650). From 1651 to 1754 the Register is kept. The entries of burials commence in 1558 and are continued to 1695, the years 1595-6, and from 1644 to 1650.
At the end of the second volume are: "Several things registered according to Order." The entries relate to Collections made in the parish under the authority of Letters Patent Great Seal, and Diocesan Briefs, for various objects of Charity: e.g., the rebuilding of Churches destroyed by fire or other accidents, the relief of persons suffering from losses from similar causes, redemption of captives, &c. It is noticed that in the Autumn of 1665, collections were made monthly for "persons and places visited by the plague", and that in the following year a collection was made "towards the supply of London whose great loss was occasioned by that dreadful fire which burnt the greatest part of the City." These entries extended from 1659 to 1671.
Some of the earliest names in the registers are: Merton, Hick,* Goode, Cater, Polstagge, Godafray, Rounsavalle, Stephen, Guy,* Billing,* Kent,* Braben,* Jackett,* Morish, Stone,* Pettigrew, Trewince, Worthevale, Penkevill, Mabley,* Tennye, Hooper,* Shole and Moyle,* of which those marked thus * are still extant in St. Minver and adjoining parishes. [as at 1879]
Vol III is a vellum book containing entries of baptisms from 1758 to 1812.
Vol IV is a paper book with limp covers, bound in vellum, and contains entries of burials from 1678 to 1748. The entries down to 17th March 1696 are the same as in Vol II, with the addition of the record that certificates as to burials in woollen had been produced.
Vol V is a vellum book containing entries of burials from 25th March 1748 to 5th November, 1812.
Vol VI is a vellum book containing the entries of banns, and of marriages, from 1754 to 1787.
Vol VII is a paper book of printed forms for banns and marriages and contains entries from 1787 to 1812, when the new Act came into force.
Some of the books require repair but they are generally in good condition.
A memorandum is made in the Register by the Rev. John Ellis, some 30 years ago curate of this parish, and now Vicar of St. Eval, that an old man had informed him that when he was young, water, for baptisms, was always brought from a never-failing well, in "Well Park" on the Glebe.
In consequence of the confusion arising from the Civil War of the seventeenth century, parish registers became greatly neglected and many other irregularities arose, upon which a few remarks may not be misplaced, it being noticeable that many persons are but imperfectly acquainted with the circumstances. The proscription of the Book of Common Prayer, and the introduction of the Directory of Public Worship, instituted by an ordinance of the House of Commons in 1644, followed as it was by the sequestration of the greater number of the parochial clergy and the intrusion into their benefices of uneducated fanatics and sectaries, tended, directly, to neglect of the Registers; but it must be admitted that the dominant party were not indifferent to the evil, and when, after the murder of the King, affairs became a little more quiet, it was directed that Registrars should be chosen in every parish, to be approved of and sworn by a Justice of the Peace, for registering births, (not baptisms,) and burials. Many appointments of this kind are found recorded in the registers, and it was not an unusual thing for the proscribed parish Priest, thus reduced to poverty, to seek for, and obtain, this mere secular office in his own parish. Marriage, as a religious rite, was also forbidden, and instead it was provided that persons desirous of being married within the Commonwealth of England, after the 29th September 1653, should (twenty-one days before such intended marriage) deliver in writing to the Registrar (thereinafter appointed,) for the respective parishes where such parties to be married lived, the names, surnames, additions, and places of abode of the parties to be married, and of their parents, guardians. or overseers, all which the said Register should publish three Lordís days then next following, at the close of the morning exercise, in the public meeting place commonly called the Church or Chapel, or (if the parties desired it) in the market place next to the said Church or Chapel, on three market days, in three several weeks next following, between the hours of eleven and two; which done the Register should make a certificate thereof, without which the persons thereinafter authorised should not proceed in such marriage. That such persons intending to be married, should come before some Justice of the Peace of the same county, city, or town, with such certificate, and if no impediment, the marriage should then proceed according to a given formula which consisted simply in the parties consenting to take each other to be husband and wife respectively, and the Magistrate joining their hands and declaring them to be husband and wife; and it was provided that no other marriage was valid within the Commonwealth. Nevertheless, it was considerately provided in the case of dumb persons the Justice might dispense with pronouncing the words; and with joining hands, in case of persons having no hands. These secular contracts are often recorded in the parochial registers as having been published in the market place, or contracted before a Justice of the Peace, to the perplexity of some who have noticed them. Soon after the Restoration, by Act 12th Charles H., cap. 33, marriages by Justices subsequent to 1st May 1644, were legalised. These proceedings, at the time, were deemed very scandalous by all right thinking people, but we have lived to see the day when marriages of still less formality before the Registrar, only, have been legalised.
Coverage for the transcriptions available on the Cornwall OPC database can be found here
Taken from Access to Archives (part of the National Archives - Kew) website
"Note it is clear from the titles and that of P154/1/1 [St Minver] that the original intention, if not the binding, of these registers was different from the present form. The original registers, P154/1/1 and 9, would appear to have been copied out from 1559, early in the seventeenth century, the hand would suggest in 1629".