Churchwardens' Presentments & Detections, and Church Inspections
for Angmering

Churchwardens' Presentments were reports to the Bishop relating to parishoners' misdemeanors and other things amiss in the parish. In making presentments, churchwardens were anxious to show that they had not been negligent in their duties. One of the most common offences was absence from church which was easy to report. Within this category came Recusants. Technically a recusant was anyone who frequently absented themselves from Sunday service in church; in practice, the term was generally used to refer specifically to 'papists' i.e. Roman Catholics. This might be prosecuted by indictment, but more often by presentment to either secular or ecclesiastical courts; such prosecutions are increasingly rare after the 1688 Revolution which brought limited toleration for religious non-conformists.

Sussex Record Society Vol. 49 contains Sussex Churchwardens' Presentments drawn from original documents by Professor Hilda Johnstone (1882-1961) and published in 1949. Extracts relating to Angmering between 1621 and 1626 and have been obtained from SRS Vo. 49 by Mr RW Standing. Additional Presentment have been obtained by Mr Standing from WSRO Episcopal documents series: Ep/l/11, Ep/l/17, Ep/l/22, Ep/l/23 and Ep/l/88. These are quite informative of social and ecclesiastical attitudes of the time. The inconsistency in spelling is also notable.

Detections often related to more serious offences reported from the parish which could be referred by the church authorities to a Correction or Archdeaconry Court or even higher ecclesiastical court dependent upon the seriousness of the offence. These courts dealt with matters such as sexual misdemeanors, failures by the clergy and churchwardens, wills and administration of estates, and recusancy. Depositions are often recorded which are statements made by others, either for or against the accused.

Penances were the standard punishment of the Correction or Archdeaconry Court for sexual misdemeanours, but were also occasionally imposed for a variety of other offences. Penance was a ritual of repentance and reconciliation involving humiliation, which was designed to foster contrition, deter others and give satisfaction to the good people of the community for the sin. The Schedule of Penance which the offender was given at the Archdeaconry court detailed where, when, how often, and in what way the penance was to be performed. In the most severe cases, penances were performed in the parish church during a busy Sunday service, when all the penitent's friends and neighbours were present. The offender was required to kneel at the front of the church, or stand on a bench so that he or she could be clearly seen. The minister would preach a sermon denouncing the sin, and the penitent then read out loud a statement acknowledging their sin, saying that they were sorry and asking for forgiveness. They were bare legged and bare headed, carrying a white rod, and dressed in a white sheet. Penances were sometimes performed two or three times in the same church, or occasionally in even more public places such as the market place of a large town. For persistent or more serious offences, the sentence may have been excommunication. (Information Source: University of Nottingham).

Detection Books 1538-1580

Angmering 8 May (?) 1538, Thomas Brown Vicar, To order his parishioners to refrain from tippling

West Angmering, John Mose deceased 1538, executrix Agnes (Mose)

Angmering 3 June 1537, Parishioners, To be warned to repair (churchyard) fence sufficiently

Angmering 29 October 1580, Nicholas Blackman, Exhibits amount of estate of Thomas Todd deceased.

Angmering 25 June 1580, Churchwardens, To repair church and certify Excommunicate [?] Absolved to certify persons [?] Certify dismissed [?], Church needs painting.

Presentments 1579 & 1584

5. All have receved thrise savinge certaine that made staie to come thereto at Easter upon some grief of conscience for the present time but nowe beinge guyeted be desirous to com to the same.
6. Our vicar ys resident he came by the same by lawfull meanes Sr Thomas Palmer ys patrone; he hath no other benefice; yt is but of small value.
7. He hath caused vi or viii sermons in a quarter
11. Our vicar was married before he came amonge us.
21. Our scolemaster is of sound religion and hath licens to teach from the bishop but not under his hand and seall.
22. He hath no scollers that lerne gramer.

William Owlder and Alice Hatcher he supposed to have begot her with child and neither of them hath doon penaunce.

Church Inspection 1602

Angmeringe - The seats want pavinge or plankinge in the bottom, there is a littell Chauncell one the Northe side of the [...] that hath neede to be repared the coveringe selinge glas windowes and pavinge.

Detection Books 1603-1612

Angmering 15 October 1603, Jane Wilson, For having a bastard child by William Bune.

Angmering and Rustington 15 October 1603, John Baker, For not paying for church repairs.

Angmering 14 January 1604, Thomas Holland Gent, To exhibit his account for goods of George Holland deceased. Other exors referred to Mary and Peter Holland.

Angmering 14 January 1604, Thomas Holland Gent, For not receiving communion.

Angmering 31 March 1604, Jane Lussher alias Pellam, To exhibit inventory of Edward Pellam deceased.

Angmering 23 June 1604, John Baker, For not paying charges for burying his wife, his daughter, and step daughter Mary Gretwicke in the church of 6/- each [six shillings].

Angmering 3 November 1604, Peter Winter, For recusancy.

Angmering 7 December 1605, Richard Beaker, John Frogbrooke, Churchwardens. To provide Book of Homilies.

Angmering 7 December 1605, Richard Beaker, John Frogbrooke, Churchwardens. Churchyard in disrepair.

Angmering 23 February 1605/[06], Mary Stanford alias Yonge, To administer estate of deceased husband Edward Yonge 8d.

Angmering 31 May 1606, Richard Bacon, For not repairing churchyard gate.

Angmering 31 May 1606, Thomas Hamper, For not receiving communion.

Angmering 31 May 1606, John Howard, Inquisitor. For not signing bill of presentments..

Angmering 21 November 1612, Thomas Singer, Not providing drink according to custom. Told to do so in year(s) following when boundaries are walked in the parish.

Presentments 1621 - 1626

Easter Billes 1621
Wee present John Baylie and Ellnor Bayley for being with childe before marriage.

Bille 1621
We answer that all things are sufficient according to the articles except our chauncell which is presented. Item - wee present Thomas Burgis and his wife for denying to come to church to heare divine service and receave the sacrament of the Lords supper and for continuing excommunicate 8 yeares and upwards and so continue still. Item - wee present that our chauncell is at default and hath bin at fault the whole yeare past and who should repayre it wee know not.

Michaelmas Billes 1621
William Selden and Sibell Johnson doe live together but where they are marryed wee know not. We present John Addams and Joane Siggens for a suspicion of incontinency as the common fame goeth with her. Item - wee present Agnis Burges widow ("for a recusant" struck out) and Sibbell Johnson for a recusant in our parrishe. And we present Thomas Ranford for half a yardland to the church taxacion for the last year viijd (8d)

We present John Bennett and Mary Parson for committing fornicacion together which the said John Bennett and Mary Parson doe confesse the said fault. And the said Mary Parson hath had a base borne childe. And hereunto wee have set our hands.

Easter 1622
We present Sibell Seldin the wife of William Selding for not repayring to church and for not receaving the communion. Item - Wee present Mr William Shelley and his wife, Mr John Shelley, old father Gunter, and the widdow Burges, for not coming to the church to heare divine service and for refusing to receave the communion.

Michaelmas 1622
We present Sybell Selden wife of William Selden for not coming to church and for not receaving the sacrament. And we present widdow Burges who standeth excommunicate. Item - We present Mr William Shelley and his wife for not coming to church and for not receaving the sacrament. Item - Wee present John Shelley for the like. Wee present Mr George Banford who siournes there who comes not to church neither receaves the sacrament with us. Item - Wee present old Gounter servant to Mr William Shelley for the like.

Lord Bishops Visitacion 1622
We present John Walter the younger for hedging on the Sabbath after Bartholomews day. We have John Bennet who standeth excomminicat as also the widdow Burges who have soe continued these eight yeares at least. We present Mr William Shelley and his wife, Mr John Shelley, Mr George Banford and one Rowland his man and one old Gunter servant to Mr William Shelley for not coming to church and for not receaving the sacrament of the Lords supper. Item - We present likewise Sibell Seldin the wife of William Seldin for not coming to church and for not receaving the sacrament of the Lords supper.

Archdecons Bills 1623
Wee present John Bennet and Mary Parson uppon a common fame of incontinency. The said Bennet standeth excommunicate. We present William Selden for keeping company in his howse in evening prayer tyme uppon one Sunday. And we present Robert Rogers for drinking in tyme of evening prayer the same day at his howse.

I present Thomas Wasse and William Baker of Ham in the parrishe of Angmering for not making of a pannell of pales in the churchyard which they ought to make having notice thereof - October 23rd 1623 - William Cowle curate.

Michaelmas 1623
We present Thomas Gratwicke of Ham for not paying his due to the church for 8 score acres, 13s 4d. And we present Thomas Wase of Ham for 3 score and 10 acres of land due to the church, 5s 10d or thereabouts.

Easter 1624
We present Mary Parson for standing excommunicate. And we present for recusants in our parrish: Mr William Shelley and his wife, and Mr John Shelley, James Shelley, and an old woman her name is Fortune, Nicholas Jury, and the widdow Burgis, Sibbell Selden the wife of William Selden, and Mr Shelleys man Sanders,

Arundell Deanrie Lord Bishop's Visitation & Michaelmas Bills 1625
We present Elianour, the wife of Robert Batmanson of this parrish for a most contentious person, continually seeking the uniost vexacion of her neighbours. We present for recusants in our parrish Sibell Selden, the wife of William Selden, Nicholas Jury, and the widdow Burgis. And we present Mary Parson for standing excommunicate.

Bishop's Visitation 1625
To the 35th article we have nothing to present but Thomas Parson & Mary Parson his daughter. We present for recusants Sibell Selden the wife of William Selden, Nicholas Jure, & the widdow Burgis. We present Christofer White for not coming to our parrish church for the space of five Sundayes together.

Michaelmas Bills 1625
We present Sibell Selden, the wife of William Selden and the widdow Burgis, and Nicholas Jure, Thomas Parson, & Mary his daughter, for standing excommunicate.

Arundell Deanry Visitacion Bills 1626
We have a bell burst & wanteth casting. Mary Burgis widdow and William Burgis and Mary Burgis her children are recusants.

Arundell Deanry Michaelmas Bills 1626
Our churchyard is at default by some of our parrish.

Additional Notes

There is no record of any burial in St Margaret's churchyard of Thomas and Mary Burgis/Burges, the Shelleys, or John Bennet. As excommunicated persons, it is assumed that they did not receive a Christian burial and were probably not buried on consecrated land such as the churchyard.

Church Inspection 1636

Angmering [Note: Churchwardens note difficult to read] ... John [Bunn] John [Trunnell] The Churchyard wants fencing round about.
The Walls of the Channcell want plaistring and whiteing.
There is a place on the left hand of the Channcell which wants paveing.
They want a new Comunion Booke and a booke of homilies and a cloth and Cushion for the Pulpett the old being very [...] [end of line and word missing]
There is not the Service Booke for the 5th November nor Table of the degrees of marriage Nor note [indented] of the Utensills of the Church.
The Seats on the left side of the Channcell want to be paved or Boarded in the Bottome.
There wants a dore to the Pulpet.t

Detection Books 1641-1662

Angmering 26 March 1641, Elizabeth Wady. For not providing bread and beer at beating the bounds at Poling [Note: probably Angmering's boundary with Poling]

Angmering 16 July 1641, William Burges. For Popish recusancy.

Angmering 21 March 1661/62, Agnes Bunn. To administer estate of deceased husband James Bunn.

Angmering 21 March 1661/62, Mary Bunn. To adminster estate of deceased husband William Bunn.

Angmering 21 April 1662, Mary Baker alias Bowley (also referred to as Elizabeth). To adminster estate of deceased husband Thomas Baker.

Angmering 23 May 1662, Alice Brunsbury. To adminsiter estate of deceased husband John Brunsbury.

Angmering 11 July 1662, Thomas Addams. To be sworn churchwarden.

Angmering 11 July 1662, George Penfold, Oliver Penfold, Robert Bushby. Executors of the will of Alice Penfold, widow - to render their account.

Angmering 13 March 1662/63, Edward Brunsbury and Lady Brunsbury. To reply to (unspecified) articles.

Presentment 1662

We are indebted to Mr RW Standing for the following transcription of the Churchwardens' Presentment of 1662, the first after the Restoration of the Monarchy. (WSRO Epl/22/1). Note that there are now no reported recusants in Angmering:

A Presentment bill made by the Churchwardens and Sidmen of the pish of Angmering in answere to the Articles given them in charge by the Right Reverend Father in God Henry Lord Bishop of Chichester at his Visitacion holden at Arundell one Friday the Third day of October Anno dni 1662

Concerning Churches Chappells etc.
To the 1 Article wee answere that our church is well kept and repaired as by this Article is required
To the 2 Article our Steeple hath not been pulled downe nor any of our bells sold
To the 3 Article wee have a Font of Stone wth a good Cover there unto standing in a Convenient place towards the Lower end of our Church alsoe a desent Communion Table with a Carpet to spread there upon & a Faire Comunion Cup and Flaggon there unto belonging.
To the 4th Article wee have a Convenient Pew for our Minister to read divine Service in a Pulpit wth a Comley Cloth and Cushion for the same a Bible of the Last Trancelacion in a large Volume A booke of Comon Prayer both well and sufficiently bound alsoe A booke of homilies & Canons & Constitucions Eccleasticall the Forme of divine Service for the 5th of November the 30th of January & the 29th of May & a printed Table of degrees wherein marriages is prohibited
To the 5th Article wee have a large Surplice for our Minister to weare as by this Article is required
To the 6th Article wee answere wee have a Register book wherein to Register the names & surnames of such psons as are Married Christened or buried as by........
To the 7th Article wee have another booke wherein to record the names & Licences of all Such Strangers as are admitted at any time to Preach alsoe a Third book wherein to writ downe the Churchwardens accounts with a strong Chest locks & keys wherein to keepe the afforsaid & lastly wee have a Bier with a black Hearscloth for the buriall of the dead

Concerning the Churchyard
To the 1 Article our Churchyard is Sufficiently Fenced with walls & Pales
To the 2 Article wee answere that our p'sonage house is kept in good reparacons and noe such encroachment hath been made
To the 3 Article wee have a true and perfect Terrier of all the Glebelands belonging to our p'sonage
To the 4th Article wee answere that wee know not that any pte of our Glebelands hath been Taken away

Concerning Ministers
To the 1 Article our Minister is a Priest Episcopally ordained
To the 2 hee is not soe defamed or Suspected
To the 3 hee was Legaly instituted and. inducted. & did read the 39 Articles in our Church wth in two months after his induc'ion as wee are informed
To the 4th hee is constantly resident uppon his benifics
To the 5th hee hath noe Curett to assist him
To the 6th hee Useth the Very words prescribed in the booke of Comon Prayer wth out any Alteracion addicion or diminucion
To the 7th hee weareth the Surplice and other habit according to his degree
To the 8th hee doth observe the holy dayes and Fasting dayes and give notice to his pishoners to doe the same
To the 9th wee answere our Minister hath been Licenced to Preach
To the 10th hee doth instruct the youth of our pish in the Church Catechism and doth all things else required in this Article
To the 11th our Minister is diligent in Visiting the Sick
To the 12th hee Preacheth Sound doctrine
To the 13th hee hath not married any psons contrary to the Canons
To the 14th wee answere wee have noe Lecture
To the 15th hee hath not taken Uppon him any Such Fasts or Exercises
To the 16th our Minister is a man of sober and Unblamable Life

Concerning Parrishoners
To the 1 Article wee have noe psons knowne or Reputed Hereticks Schismatick Papist Anabaptist nor quaker in our pish to our knowledge
To the 2 Article wee psent John Mitten and Susan Berckett For a Comon Fame of in Continency having a bace borne Child
To the 3 Article wee have none in our pish uppon Sundayes or holydayes that doe follow their bodyly ordinary labour or permitt theire Servants soe to doe
To the 4th our pishoners doth duly resort Unto the Church Upon Sundayes & holydayes and there abide quietly all the time of divine Service & Sermon as this Article requires
To the 5th they behave themselves reverently in the Church
To the 6th wee have none in our pish that refuse to send theire Children to bee baptised
To the 7th they doe Cause theire Children to learne theire Catechism & doe give ane account thereof Unto the Minister as in this Article is required
To the 8th wee have none in our pish that refuse to recieve the Sacrament
To the 9th wee have noe Excomunicate psons in our pish
To the 10th wee present Edward Brinsbury for inconstnanlty marrying & Still abiding together with Dinah Widdow of Adam Brinsbury who was Uncle to the said Edward Brinsbury
To the 11th wee have noe such woman that soe refuse
To the 12th wee have noe such in our pish that refuse to pay theire duty for Easter Offering to the Minister or For the repaire of the Church
To the 13th wee have none in our pish that refuse to bury theire dead
To the 15th wee know of noe such Contencion
To the 16th wee know of noe such Patron

Concerning P'ish Clarks
To the 1 Article wee have a Fitt pish Clarke and his wages are duly paid
To the 2 Article hee is deligent in his Office

Concerning Hospitalls
To the 1 Article wee answere that wee have noe hospitall almes house or Free Schoole in our pish
To the 2 Article wee have noe Schoole Master in our pish
To the 3 Article wee answere we have none in our pish wch Practice Physick or Chirurgeri or any Midwife

Concerning Churchwardens
To the 1 Article our Church wardens are Lawfully chosen
To the 2 Article they have given up theire accounts
To the 3 Article they are carefull herein
To the 4th wee have none that come late to Church nor depart before divine Service & Sermon is ended
To the 5th wee Suffer noe Such Misbehaviour or disorder in our Church
To the 6th wee make P'vision accordingly
To the 7th wee cause all Strangers that Preach in our pish to Subscribe theire names as by this Article is required
To the 8th wee have taken Sufficient Time for makeing our p'sentments and therein have Consulted with our Minister

Thomas Adames
Robert Pannet

Detection Books 1663-1666

Angmering 15 May 1663, Edward Brunsbury. To remove Dina Brunsbury from his [sic] house.

Angmering 20 May 1664, John Bacon. To administer estate of Edward Tupper deceased of Bury.

Angmering 24 July 1664, For not receiving Easter Communion - Richard Braby and wife, Thomas Clarke and wife ,John Stemp and wife, John Baylie and wife, William Flesher and wife.

Angmering 25 May 1666, Nicholas Chalke, John Sturt. Sworn Inquisitors

Presentment 1665

[Note: Damaged - the following an extract with nothing generally to present] Our Church with the Chancell is in good repair The Ten Commandments and other [....] of Scripture are set in our Church And we have a font of stone set in the Antient [ritual] place And all other things necessary according to these Eleaven Articles required.

Presentment 1668

A presentment bill made by the Churchwardens Sworne men of the parish aforesaid the 7 day of October in the yeare of our Lord god 1668 according to the Articles given them in charg in the Vissitation of the Right reverend Father in god Lord Bishopp of Chichester holden att Aroundell in and for the diocese of Chichester Ano dni 1666:

Concerning Churches and Chappels with the ornaments and furniturte thereunto belonging
Imprimis wee answere that wee find nothing to present.

Concerning the Churchyard the houses glebes and tithes belonging to the Church
It. wee answere wee have nothing to present.

Concerning Ministers
It. wee find nothing Amiss herin.

Concerning the parishioners
It. wee find nothing Amiss herin.

Concerning Clerke and Sextone
It. wee answere that wee find nothing to present.

Concerning hospitals Schooles and Schoolemasters and physitions Chururgions and Midwives
It. wee have nothing Amiss herin.

Concerning Churchwardens and Sidemen
It. wee answere that our Church wardens are lawfully Chosen and all other things well herin.

Tho Peters (his marke), Hen Blaber (his marke), Churchwardens.

Presentment 1677

A presentment bill by the Churchwardens ...[visitation by] Lord Bishop of Chichester holden at Arundell.... 1677

Imprimis wee Answere that wee have none that absent themselves from the Communion of the Church of England in our Parish It as to the other Articles wee Answere that wee find nothing amis therein.

Hugh Penfold, John Pratt, Churchwardens

Presentment 1680

The presentment ... in the yeare 1679 to yeare 1680

Imprimis wee Answere that our Church is in good repair our Churchyard well fenced and in good order. It, as concerning our Parrishioners wee find nothing amis herein.

Witnes our hands the Day and yeare above written 'Thomas Baker [his marke], Nich [mark] Chalke, Churchwardens

Presentment 1685

A presentment [1685] [Note: much as in 1680] '... and our Minister doth duely execute his office and weare the Church garnments'

'31 May 1686, Thomas Olliver, John Boley, Churchwardens'

Church Inspection 1724

There was greater toleration of worship in the 18th Century. This can be detected from the following responses to questions posed at the Church Inspection of 1724, again transcribed by Mr RW Standing (WSRO Epl 26/3 & 4):

1 Angmering no other name but divided into East and West Angmering - a Vicar endowed with the great Tythes
2 Sir Cecil Bishop Baronet Patron
3 Edmund Martin [Rector] formerly Fellow of New College in Oxon LLD Vicar - instituted Feb 1713
4 The Church in good Order excepting ye Ivy with which the Roof is over run without, appears too much within & that the Walls are some wt foul. No poor box 5 bells All the Utensils for the Communion Table Desk and Pulpit in good Order
5 The Repairs of the Chancel belong to Cecil Bishop the Impropriator of the Tythes of West Angmering wch is in good Order Another Chancel on ye North side ye Repair of which belong to Sr John Shelley & is very ruinous
6 The Parsonage house in East Angmering with the 2 barns that belong to it is in good Repair But the little Vicarage house in West Angmering so bad as ready to fall
7 Sixty four Families all of the Church of England
8 The Benefactions are the use of 5L to the poor given by Jn Reed & ye use of 5L by Thom's Martin the Principal now in the hands of Wm Gratwick Esq Also the use of 20L by John Manning to poor Widows not receiving Alms the principal now in ye hands of Wm Olliver Also 16L per ann to 12 poor men by Baron Hilton In West Angmering is a School endowed with a piece of Land of ye yearly value of 25L by Thom's Older for teaching 25 poor children of the said Parish The p'sent Master is Mr Henry Walmsley for whom & for whose Successors there is built a good dwelling house & School house
9 No Augmentation to the Vicarage
10 West Angmering in ye Kings Books £6.0.0 Real Value £130
11 Divine Service & Sermon once a day by Mr Henry Walmsley Curate
12 The Sacraments of the Lords Supper four times a year Communicants from 40 to 50
13 Glebe Land 42 acres of plain Ground in West Angmering

( Page last updated: 15 January 2007)