The Registers of the Parish Church of Cartmel in the County of Lancaster. Christenings, Burials & Weddings, 1559-1661, was published by the Lancashire Register Society from transcriptions taken by Henry Brierley in 1907. According to the extremely perfunctory introduction the St. Mary's Priory Church, Cartmel, was the most interesting and beautiful in Lancaster, a photograph of the St. Mary's does nothing to contradict this. It is believed that a church has stood at Cartmel since at least the Doomsday Book and the entry for 'Cherchebi', which it is believed refers to Cartmel. The parish of Cartmel consists of the townlands of Upper and Lower Allithwaite, Upper and Lower Holker, Broughton East, Cartmel Fell and Stavely, and most of those featuring in the early parochial records hail from these places. Republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom, the Registers of the Parish Church of Cartmel, encompassing 322 printed pages, are the earliest two volumes of Registers. The Christening Register begins on 6th January 1559 with the Baptism of John Cowpthwait and ends on 18th July 1661 with John, the son of Richard Crewdson of Cartmel Fell who was baptised at Crosthwayte. Not until the beginning of the 1600s do the registers record anything but the child's name and date of baptism. From the 1610s onwards the fathers' names are provided and from about 1620 and address is also provided. Little additional information is provided by the Cartmel Christening Registers, excepting the note of illegitimacy where children are noted as 'base' and the odd instance of twins. The first entry in the Burial Registers for the dates from 1st January 1559 and the burial of Hugh Simpson and the last entry from 21st December 1659, that of Ellen, the wife of Robert Stott of Walton. In the early decades of the Burial Registers little information is provided apart from the name of the deceased and sometimes an address. Occasionally exceptional events are recorded, such as 10th April 1576, the burial of Richard Taylor, who had been murdered and in the following September the body of an unnamed young man who had been drowned in the Broadwaters. At no time is the age of the deceased mentioned and only on the odd occasion are the given names of married women and children. The Marriage Register begins on 26th January 1559 with the marriage of John Bensonn to Agnes Caton and end on 6th June 1660. For almost the first two decades that the Marriage Register was kept the brides' entries were unsatisfactorily recorded 'and his wife'. Not until the beginning of the 1620s is an address or addresses consistently given for one or both parties to the marriage. The usefulness of the Marriage Register improves greatly from 1653 onwards when the Register become entitled 'Marriages & Publications'. Henceforth, the Marriage Register includes entries for the publication of banns, providing the names and addresses of both parties, dates on which the banns were posted and the names of witnesses to the posting of the banns. The original publication includes an index of personal and place named mentioned in the registers and the whole must appeal to anyone with a genealogical interest in the Cartmel area of Lancashire.
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