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9*" s. XL APRIL ii, iocs.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


291


St. Ives registers in my history of the borough. JOHN HOBSON MATTHEWS.

Town Hall, Cardiff.

Milton Abbas, co. Dorset :

"In 1658, August 4, the upper part of the town, from the middle of the main street to the church, together with the school, was burnt by an accidental fire. In 1661 a brief was granted." Hutohins's ' Dorset,' first ed., ii. 430.

Bridgnorth, co. Salop :

" Both Church and Colledge were burnt and con- sumed as was also most of the High Town, for the

Parliament Forces fired it over their heads."

[Note] "The Church was rebuilt by Letters

Patent dated 1662." Trans. Shropshire A. and N. H. Soc., ix. 201.

JAMES R. BRAMBLE, F.S.A. Weston-super-Mare.

MR. JOHN T. PAGE will be able to obtain from Mr. W. A. Bewes's excellent book (pub- lished by Black, London, 1896) 'Church Briefs ' some information as to all the briefs con- cerning which he inquires, except as regards Peccleton, Heighington, and the men of Harold. GILBERT H. F. VANE.

The Rectory, Wem, Salop.


PRE-REFORMATION PRACTICES IN ENGLISH CHURCHES (9 th S. x. 468 ; xi. 55, 134). In an age of transition like the present it may be of interest to some to watch similar processes in bygone days. The Rev. J. E. Vaux has placed on record, ( in his interesting book on ' Church Folk-lore,' many curious survivals of pre- Reformation customs in the Anglican Church but, in the nature of things, it is much more difficult to get at the actual beliefs of peopL which lie behind those customs. It ha. occurred to me that possibly the following extracts, seeing that they relate to one family only, in comparatively humble cir- cumstances, and resident during the period covered within a radius of a few miles, may throw some little light on the gradual dying away of ancient beliefs, at any rate so far as outward manifestation is concerned. The wills quoted from are all in the registry at Lewes, recently made available by the pub- lication of an index.

One of the earliest wills in the collection is that of Richard Rickwat r , of Piddinghoe, about eight miles south of Lewes, who says :

"? yrs n' X be Q uethe my sowle to Allmightie God, and all y e holy companie of hevyn, and my bodie to be buried in the churchyard aforesaid. Also I

?2 Uethe to the hve altar there virf -> also to the other church of the parish iid."

Then follow various bequests of ewes and wethers to his sons and daughters, and of the residue to " Jone my wyff, she to


dispose for the helth of my sowle and all Christen sowles." Witnessed by Richard Olyver, vicar of Piddinghoe. The date of this extract is 31 May, 1542, after the breach with the Pope, and displays, I think, some traces of the modifications taking place at this time in the traditional ideas as to the saints and their intercessions.

The following year Thomas Ryckward, of Southease, an adjoining parish, being " of perfect mynd and memorie, praysed be God for the same," says :

"ffyrst I bequethe my gowl to Allmighty God and the blessed St. Agnes [sic, but presumably B.V. Mary] and all the company of hevyn, and my bodye to be buried in the Chyard of Southese. Item, I ?ive to the high altar there iiiid. I wyll that there be sung or said on the day of my buryal for my sowl and all Xren sowles a placebo and a dirige." Then follow various small bequests, the total valuation being only 1L 6*. 4d. It would appear that while his neighbour was content with the usual ceremonies, which would nclude litanies and commendations, besides a mass for the departed, he desired what amounted to a special matins and evensong n addition, showing, at any rate, an intelli- gent attachment to the ancient ritual

My next extract is dated 1 August, 1552, rom the will of John Ryckward, of Tels- combe, an adjoining parish, who, "being lolle of mind and of good and perfect remem- brance, but syck in body, thanks be to God," says :

"Firat I bequethe my sowle to Almighty God, and my body to be buried in the Churchyard of Tellyscombe aforesaid. Also I give to the poore men's boxe of the same parish xiirf."

Then follow large bequests of sheep and oxen, the total valuation being 891. 19*. 3d. The omission of any references to the saints and the remembrance of the recently erected "poor men's box" indicate acquiescence, at any rate, in the changes made under the first Prayer Book of Edward VI., which, however, it is well to remember, retained both a Com- memoration of the Saints and Prayers for the Departed in the mass provided, eo nomine, for a burial, and used during more than three- fourths of the reign of the hero of the ultra- Protestant party.

Ralfe Rick ward, of Key mer will proved 3 January, 1553, but written 5 April, 1552 " being sick and weak, but of good and p'ft remembrance, thanks be to God," says :

flyrst I bequethe my sowl to Almighty God and the holy Trynitye, trusting in thonly merytes, passion, and death of our only Saviour and Redemer Jesus Christ, thereby to be savyed, and my bodye

o be buried in the Chyard of Keymer aforesaid,

item, I wyll at my buryall shalbe distributed to joore people iiii bushels of whete and iiii bushels of