Plymouth - To Edward North
Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VII, (1912-1913), Exeter: James G. Commin. 1913, pp. 75-77.
Neither the Note’s author, nor the journal’s editors provide an explanation for the inclusion of this ancient (undated) legal document that relates to religious matters in old Plymouth. (The Court of Augmentation was created in the time of Henry VIII., with jurisdiction over the property and revenue of certain religious foundations.) It is likely that the Edward North to whom the document is addressed was Baron North (c. 1496–1564) the peer and politician. He was Clerk of the Parliaments and a successful lawyer who was created a Baron, giving him a seat in the House of Lords. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded 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.
The family of Bedford has resided in this and the adjoining county for several generations, but its places of residence have been various, having been necessarily determined by the devotion of almost all its members to the clerical profession. A descendant William Bedford having entered naval service was promoted to the rank of captain after the battle of 2 June 1794, and to Rear Admiral in 1812. The Note’s author seeks information on the dates of birth of several members of the family. The extract, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded 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.
Note 49. PLYMOUTH. — To Edward North (Court of Augmentation Bundle 31/54). Moste humblie complayning sheweth unto yor right Worshipfull Mastership yor Dayley and poore Orators the Maior of the toun of Plymmouth in the Countie of Devon and also all the rest of the inhabituntes wh in ye parish of Plymmouth That where ye said parish is a great parish wyth in ye whych there are to ye nombre of xxvc Houseling people at ye lest some of them dwelling greatlie distant from thothers and diverse of them dwelling the distance of iii myles from the said parish; Church wch is situat wth in ye said toune in which said parish there hath ben ever Heretofore by all the tyme of ye remembrance of man besides the Vicar of the said parish Church or His Curat ii Chaunterie prestes continuallie residente and abiding within ye said toune and parish wch had Competent Lyvinges of there ii Chaunteries founded in the said toune of wch said iii prestes the Vicar or his Curat or Deputie for the space of these vij yeres now past by thordre and appointment of the Maire & other of the discretest of the said toune and parish hath ben chardged to ye administration and preachyng of the Worde of God to ye parishioners of the said parish which he doth iiij tymes in the Weke contenuallie that is to saie Sondaie Mondaie Wednesdaie and fradaye And because the said Curat might attend his said Charge and gyve his hole diligence therunto the said Maire and other of ye discretest of the said parish Have appointed thother ij prestes tattend to ye ministrations of the Sacramentes and Sacramentalles at all tymes necessarie which chardge is divided between the said ij Chaunterie prestes that is to saie thone of ye said two Chaunterie prestes is appointed to ye Baptisme and cristening of children and purifications and thother to ye Visitation of the Sicke and buriall of the dead wch said iij in their particular chardges committed unto theim as is aforesaid are greatlie busied contenuallie so that ye ij prestes attendent to ye ministrations of the Sacramentes and Sacramentalles as is aforesaid at some times can in no wise suffice to ye dispatch of their chardge and busynes without some other Helpe at wch said tymes the said toune and parish being so Hudge and Large in nombre and distance are constrayned to procure of their own chardges other prestes to Helpe the said ij prestes as necessate at many tymes requireth And one Payne Vicar of the said parish hath of Late at Let his Vicarage to Ferme to one Anthonie Marler of London Gentleman for the terme of lx yeres Who Hath the same Leasse also ratified & confirmed by the Kinges Majestie that Last died patron of the said Vicarage and also by thordinarie [sic] the Bisshop of Exeter ordinarie of the same place by reason whereof the leasse must nedes Have His continuaunce to thende of the said terme by thordre of the Lawes And wch said Vicar hath not sithens his said demise ben commorant or resident w th in the said parish neither entendeth to come there hereafter neither is it certairnlie Knowen where ye said Vicar is become by reason wherof the parishioners of the said parish are not like to have anything of the Dutie of the said Vicar concerning the dischardge of his cure there by him supplied So it is and it maie please yor said good Mastership yt by vertue of ye late Acte of Parliament the said ij Chaunteries be now in the Kinges Majesties Handes and His Highnes is in actuall and reall possession of the said Chaunteries and of the Lands and tentes belonging to ye same So y l now to serve the said parish and to doe all ye busynes & chardges afforesaid there is but only the curat of ye Vicar who is not nor by any possiblite can be able to serve the said cure neither to doe thone Half of the busynes that belongth to ye Same In consideration wherof and for so moch as it appeareth by the said Acte wherbie Chaunteries are gyven to ye Kinges Highnes yn tounes and great parishes shulde be provided for that there might be a nombre of prestes and lyvinges established for to serve and discharge ye cure . . . (illegible) Maie it please yor good Mastership the premisses tenderly considered to take soch-ordre that there be ij prestes resident and abiding in ye said toune forever over and besides the Curat And that Lands apperteyning to the said ij Chaunteries or some other maie be appointed . . . (illegible) And yor said orators shall dulie praie &c &c E. H. Fairbrother.