The Parishe, of, Hevitree in the, Countye, of, Devon

Devon Notes and Queries Vol. 1, (January 1900 to October 1902). pp.59-63

Prepared by Michael Steer

While a great deal has been written about the men who served as bishops in the Elizabethan Anglican Church, the most important of the ecclesiastical officers from the standpoint of the parish, and arguably for the entire organisational structure, were the Churchwardens. Within the continuing debate by historians surrounding the causes and progress of the Reformation, there has been much focus on Churchwarden’s Accounts, rules and regulations, of which the Heavitree Parish Churchwarden Articles provide an excellent resource. The extract, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from from Google Books, with a search by either author or title, and also from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.


Articles for the observation and contynuance of due and and necessarie Orders in Churche matters for the Parishe of Hevytree newly concluded and agreed on by us John Isack, John Leigh of Wonforde, Richard Duck, and John Leigh Meere the younger now bynge Sidemen or ffower 
men of the same Parishe, with the consent and assent of the whole Parishioners, or the moste honest Inhabitants of the same Parishe assembled and gathered together within the saide Parishe Churche of Hevytree upon Sonday the sixe and twentith day of June in the yere of owre lorde god One 
thousand ffyve hundred Eightie Sixe, and in the Eight and twentith yere of the Raigne of our Sovraigne Ladye Elizabeth by the grace of god of England, Fraunce and Ireland Queene defendor of the faithe &c. To be observed and kepte (by us the foresaide ffower men, or any of the Parishioners 
wch hereafter is or shall be elected one of the ffower men of the same Parishe) in churche matters, and other necessaries concernynge the comon utilitye of the same Parishe. To the wch orders folowynge they all did agree and subscribe unto. 

Inprimis whereas there is a stronge chest bounden with Iron wch hath three locks and three kayes wherein is alwaies to be kept the Parishe stock with all such wrytynge and Evidence as belongeth to the said Paryshe. It is decreed the said chest shall remayne alwaies in the custody of one of the Sidemen.  

That the other three of the Sidemen shall have cache of them one of the saide kayes of the foresaid chest in keepinge and that the said chest be not at any time opened untill they all fower come together, or three at the least. 

That the churche wardens shall yerely the Sondaye after St. Andrewes daye make their accompte to the sidemen or to as many of them as be then psent in the Parishe Churche theire after Mornynge prayer, and shall bringe in the Churche Store remayning in theire handes and delyvr the same to 
the Sidemen aforesaide. And in not so doynge shall forfeit to the Fowermen of the said Parishe for the tyme beynge the some of Tenne Poundes of good and lawfull monye of England, to be leavyed | of them to the use and mayntenance of the said churche. And the said Sidemen are to delyver some reasonable some of money to the nexte wardens that are chosen yearly to remayne in their handes that shalbe thought needefull for usuall repacons in their owne handes. 

That they which deale for the houses of Saynct Loye in the behalfe of the Parishe shall likewise yerely make theire Accompt the Sondaye before All Saynctes in the saide Parishe Churche psently after Morning Prayer to the fower men of the same Paryshe or to as many of them as be then  present, and to bring in and delyver upp all such money as shall remayne in their handes to the saide fower men then present. And in not so doynge shall forfeyte unto the fower men of the saide Paryshe for the tyme beynge the some of Tenne Poundes of good and lawfull mony of England, to be 
levyed of them to the use of the poore or mayntenaunce of the saide Churche. 

That all wrytynges, deedes, leases and other convayaunces whatsoever that belonge to the Parishe Howse, and Saynct Loye, shalbe brought in wth in tenne dayes after the date above written to be kepte in the saide cheste.
That yf upon conference had amongest the Sidemen nowe beynge, or those that shalbe appoynted any time here- after concernynge the Church matters or comon utilitye of the Parish, Three of theym doe agree and the fowerth douth refuse, That then the Churche wardens for the tyme beynge 
wth the advise and condisent of the saide three men shall displace the same One, disagreeynge, and in his steede nomynate and place one other, thought worthye of the office by theire discretions. | 

That wee the fower men of the Parishe above named and they that any tyme hereafter shalbe any of the fower men of the same parishe, shall one daye in the yere ; that is to weeto in and upon the feaste daye of All Saynctes commonly called Alhallowe daye, gsently after Evenynge Prayer, call all 
Y Parishioners together wth in the saide Churche of Hevytree, and theire to geve them Accompt what wee have receaved of the Churchwardens for that yere. As likewise what we receive for the howses and grownde of Saynct Loye, that the Parishioners may be prevye and witynge what the total 1 some is that remayneth to the said Parishioners' use for that yere. 

That wee the fower men of the Parishe above named and they that at any tyme hereafter shalbe wth the consent of bothe the wardens or one of them shall upon good cause remove and place to theire will and pleasure in every seige in the Churche accordinge as shall by theym thought Good. 

That if the fower men now beynge, or any other here- after to be appointed to the office of Sidemen shall not well and truly to the uttermoste of theyre powres keepe fulfill and observe all and singular the Articles above mencyonecl. Or if they for the tyme beynge or any one of theym, or any 
succeedinge then shall not faithfully deale in Churche causes for the best mayntenaunce of the said Church and other necessaryes concernynge the comon utilitye of the Parishe, when and as often as occasion shall serve, in what they or any of theym may, that the churche wardens for the tyme beynge wth fower of the Elders and best lyvers of the Parishe shall dissappoynt hym or any of theym the saide Sidemen so offendynge, and shall forthwith nomynate electe and constitute other fower as they shall think more meete for that office, And he or they so deprived and voyded of theire office, shall yelde upp suche cheste, kaye or kayes monye goods leases deedes and convoyaunces appertayninge to the Churche fourthwith and upon the nomynacon of any one or others as yf hee or they had not byn men chosen or elected to suche office. Anythinge to the contrary Notwithstandynge. 

That if any some of mony beynge in the chest may be att any tyme conveniently spared, Then yf any Inhabitant of the Parishe beynge to his power a well wisher towarde the benefite of the Churche upon good and reasonable cause shall neede to borrowe some parte thereof for a season, That such a 
one shall not be denyed, So as hee leave a gaydge or other sufficient Assurance for repayment thereof. 

Itt is finallye concluded That whereas the landes and Tenementes comonly called Saynct Loyes have usually heretofore byn taken of the Lordes of the same by the fower men of this parish to the use of the mayntenaunce of the Churche, and other necessaries concernynge the comon utilitye of the same Parishe. By the assent and consent of the Parishioners aforesaid, That yf at any time hereafter any 
of the saide fower men or any of the Parishioners or any other person or persons w cn hereafter shall be elected of the fower men of this Paryshe, or become one of the Parishioners, shall by hym selfe or by any other pson or psons whatsoever to his, or to his owne pryvate use or uses and cofnodityes, 
and contrary to use and order before mencyoned, take any parte of the lande, tenements or hereditaments called Saynct Loyes. That then they or eyther of them offendynge the contents of this Article shall for everye offence forfeit unto the fower men of this paryshe for the tyme beynge the some of fortye Poundes of good and lawfull mony | of England. To be levyed of them and of every of them to the use and mayntenaunce of the saide Churche. 

That these articles and orders may contynue of force, and be kepte for ever in the foresaid chest for a ppetuall memorye. We the aforesaid fower men have not only hereunto sett oure handes and seales,  But for the more confirmation hereof have caused the inhabitants of the same pishe to doe the lyke. 
And for the strengthenynge and farther establishinge of this oure good proceeding? and Orders, we have desired the worshipfull Mr. Stephen Townesende Doctor of Divinitye and Deane of the Cathedral Churche of S. Peter in Exeter, owre Ordynarie to Ratifie confirme and allowe thease o 
mutuall consents and agreements. 

x John Isake x Rychard Rowe X Coory, John [?] 

x John Ligh of Wonford x George Glanfyld x Thomas Leigh 

x James Taylor x Edward Pookay 

x Rychard Ducke x Rychard Taylor x William Tucker 

x John Ligh of Myre x john Lang x Willm.Monstephen [?] 

x [Undecipherable] x [Undecipherable] x Willm. Bruton 

X John Pym x xi lomas Brodmor X William Fowl [?] 

x William Liegh x Robt Chubb 

x Roger Mynyfye x Nycho i as H earn [?]