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By ROBERT H. SKAIFE, The Mount, York.


THE Registers of York Minster, formerly kept by the Clerk of the Vestry, and now in the custody of the Chapter Clerks,*1 are contained in five volumes. They are, upon the whole, fairly written, and in good condition. The following Table shows the distribution of their contents :-

II. 1725-1730 
IV. 1749-17621751-1804

The Burials, it will be observed, commence some 50 years earlier than the Marriages and Baptisms. This portion of the Register is a transcript, more or less imperfect, of an older book, now supposed to be lost. It extends from October, 1634, to September, 1670, and appears to be in the handwriting of Nicholas Proctor (or his deputy), who was Clerk of the Vestry from 1681 to 1691. Probably when Proctor succeeded to the office, he found the Registers of his predecessors, Ambler and Scruton, in a fragmentary condition, and in many parts illegible. It is otherwise difficult to account for the omission of the names of about 30 persons - especially archbishops Neile and Frewen, and dean Marsh - who are known to have been interred in the Minster between the years 1634 and 1681. Fortunately, the registers of the neighbouring church of St. Michael-le-Belfrey contain notices of several "Minster Burials" during this period. Others are supplied by existing monuments and the MS. of Torre.

The Epitaphs which illustrate the Burials were copied by me in January last, and are printed, as far as practicable, in the form in which they appear on the monuments and grave-stones. Of the monuments themselves I have not attempted any description. With a few exceptions, they are heavy and in bad taste, contrasting painfully with the architectural features of the glorious building in which they are placed.

The Plan accompanying this paper shows the present position of the monuments,*2 and the sites of such graves*3 as I have been able to identify. The figures by which the latter are indicated correspond with those prefixed to the entries in the register now printed.

*1 C. A. and C. W. Thiselton, esquires, who have at all times most readily allowed me free access to the various documents under their charge, and to whom I take this opportunity of expressing my thanks for their considerate kindness.

*2 The monuments of archbishops Matthew and Piers, dean Finch (No. 169), Frances Matthew, Ralph Hurleston, Nic. and Wm. Wanton, Mary Raynes (No. 104), Lionel Ingram, Sir Wm. Ingram (No. 80), Annabella Wickham, Judith Frewen (No. 74e), and Chas. Laton (No. 81f), are not in the positions they originally occupied.

*3 It is lamentable to state that when the floor of the Lady Chapel was re-laid after the fire of 1829, very few of the old grave-stones were preserved intact. Some were sawn up, others turned, and many destroyed.

Transcribed from
The Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Journal Vol. I, 1870
Information repoduced here by kind agreement with the Yorkshire Archaeological Society.
Transcribed by
Colin Hinson ©2002

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