National Library of Wales
SD/QA/253 and SD/QA/182
Records of the Archdeaconry of Brecon
Transcription: Bishop’s Visitation Inquiry; Questionnaires to vicar and churchwardens
The Bishop of St Davids sent questionnaires setting out ‘Articles of Inquiry’ to the vicar and churchwardens of Clodock prior to his visit to conduct confirmations in 1799. The printed questions and handwritten answers are marked Q and A in the transcriptions below.
SD/QA/253 Questionnaire to the vicar
[Extract from an introductory page to the questionnaire]
Intending by God’s Permission to hold my Visitation this Summer, I desire that you will set down your several Answers plainly and distinctly in the void Space underneath each Article of Inquiry; and that you will deliver them to me at the Visitation. [ ...] Rev. Sir, Your Affectionate Brother, Wm St Davids. March 29, 1799….
[Printed questions and handwritten answers marked Q and A below]:
Q1 : How often, and at what Hours, and what Service is performed in your Church on the Lord’s Day? And upon what Week Days and Festivals is there Service?
A : Twice a day ½ past eleven, & five in ye Evening
Q2 : Are you the Incumbent or Curate? What other Churches do you Serve, at what Distance from your Residence and each other?
A : Incumbent and with no other church
Q3 : On what Days and how often is the Holy Sacrament administered? What is the Number of Communicants who generally attend? What was their Number at Easter last? Were there more or fewer than usual?
A : Christmas, Easter and Whitsunday and All Saints Day, number of communicants nearly as usual
Q 4 : Are there any Papists in your Parish, or any Popish School? Are there any Dissenters, how many; of what Rank and Denomination? Are there any Meeting houses and are they licensed? Who are their Teachers? Do their Numbers increase or decrease?
A : But few Dissenters, and fewer Papists
Q5 : When do you catechize in your Church?
A : In Lent
Q6 : Have you a proper Registers and are they duly kept?
A : We have
Q7 : Have you any Terrier of your Glebe Lands, Buildings, Tithes etc, and other Ecclesiastical dues?
A : Have not to ye best of my knowledge
Q8 : Are there Charitable Endowments, and for what Purpose?
A : There are, for ye relief of ye Poor
Q9 : Is there a House belonging to your Cure? Where do you reside, and where may you be directed to?
A : I reside in ye Vicarage
Q10 : Is there any other Matter relating to the State of your Parish of which it may be proper to inform me?
A : Not at Present
[Signed] Edward Sparkes, Vicar of Clodock
SD/QA/182 Questionnaire to the churchwardens
[Extract from an introductory page to the questionnaire:]
To the Churchwardens of each Parish in the Diocese of St Davids, previous to the Visitation of the Honourable and Right Reverend Father in God William Lord Bishop of that Diocese,1799…You are earnestly desired to consider your Oaths, as well as the following Articles, seriously and attentively; to inquire concerning the Matter contained in them, and draw up your Answers with Faithfulness and Care. Consider it your Duty to amend whatever may be amiss in your Parish, and give the Bishop such Information as may enable him to execute his Office to the greatest Benefit of those, who are under his Inspection…]
Q1 : Is the Fabric of your Church or Chapel and Chancel in good and sufficient Repair? Are the Roofs well and properly covered? Are the Windows well glazed, the Floors even and paved? Is the Church pewed, and are there convenient and proper Seats? Are all Things kept decently as becomes the House of God?
A : The Church and Chapels are in good repair
Q2 : Hath any part of the Church or Chapel, or Tower, been taken down? How long since, and by whom was it done? Have any of the Bells, Lead, or Materials been disposed of? Or do any remain in private Hands, and in whose?
A : The Church and Chapels are the same as usual
Q3 : Have you in your Church or Chapel a Bible of the largest Volume, together with a Common Prayer Book of the same? In what Language, and of what Size are the Books used by your Minister?
A : The Church and Chapels are well provided with Folio Bibles and common Prayers in the English Language
Q4 : Have you a Book of Homilies, and in what Language? Have you a printed Table of Degrees, wherein Marriage is prohibited, hung up? Have you a Table of Fees?
A : There is no Book of Homilies in our Church. There is a Table of Degrees wherein Marriages is prohibited hung up but have no Table of Fees
Q5 : Have you a Stone Font properly placed for Baptism? Is there a convenient and decent Communion Table? Is it decently covered during Divine Service? And with a fair Linen Cloth at the Ministration of the Holy Sacrament? Have you a fair Communion Cup, with a Paten and Flagon? Of what Metal are they? Are they kept clean and bright, and not employed to other Use?
A : We are decently furnished with all those articles some of Silver and some of Pewter and kept clean
Q6 : Have you a convenient Reading Desk, with a good and decent Pulpit?
A : We have
Q7 : Have you a large and decent Surplice, and is the same duly washed and repaired at the Expense of the Parish?
A : We have
Q8 : Have you a Register Book for Christenings, Burials, and for Marriages, such as the Law requires? and are they duly kept?
A : We have not one under our care
Q9 : Have you a Bier, with a black Cloth, for the decent Burial of your Dead?
A : We have
Q10 : Is your Church-yard kept from profane Uses? Are any Feasts, Fairs, temporal Courts, or Musters, kept therein? Have public Roads been made through them?
A : Our churchyard is decently kept
Q11 : Is your Church-yard properly fenced? With Wall or Hedges? Hath any Person incroached upon it? Have any Trees therein growing been cut down? By whom and for what Use?
A : Our Churchyard is properly fenced and no encroachment
Q12 : Is any school kept in your church?
A : No
Q13 : Is the House of your Minister, with the Out-houses and Fences kept in good Repair, and in whose Occupation are they?
A: The Vicar lives in the House and it is kept in tolerable repairs
Q14 : Have any of the Glebe Lands been exchanged or incroached upon? When, and by whom?
A : Not to our knowledge
Q15 : Who is you officiating Minister? Is he Curate or Incumbent? Doth he reside in the Parsonage House? Doth he reside in the Parish? If not, at what Distance from the Church or Chapel? Doth he serve any other Church or Churches? How many, and at what Distance?
A : The Vicar serves the Mother Church and there is a Curate to serve the Chapels
Q16 : Doth he read the Church Service devoutly, without any Alteration or Omissions? and in what Language? Doth he preach constantly every Sabbath Day, and in what Language doth he read and preach?
A : He doth read the service in the English Language every Sunday without omission
Q17 : How often is Divine Service performed in your Church or Chapel? And at what hours?
A The Church is served between the hours or 11 and one in the morning and in the evening about 5 o’clock and the Chapels once a Sunday Morning or Evening
Q18 : Is the Holy Sacrament administered at the appointed Times? and what are those times?
A : Easter, Whitsunday and Christmas
Q19 : Are the Youth of your Parish catechized in Church? and at what season of the Year?
A : They are in the Lent
Q20 : Are there in your Parish or Chapelry, any who lie under vehement Suspicion of Adultery, Fornication, or Incest?
A : Too many but we cant ascertain any in particular [First three words crossed out]
Q21 : Have you any profane Swearers, or notorious Drunkards?
A : We cant ascertain any in particular
Q22 : Are there any who frequent no Place of Divine Worship on the Lord’s Day?
A : Not to the best of our Knowledge.
Q23 : Are there any who behave disorderly in the Church?
A : No
Q24 : Are there any who follow their ordinary Callings on the Lord’s Day? Or compel their Children or Servants so to do? Are there any who keep open Shop or suffer Persons to tipple in their Houses on the Lords Day?
A : Not to the best of our knowledge
Q25 : Is there any other Matter of which it may be proper to give me Information relating to the State of the Parish?
A : The Vicar and Parishioners are in Law concerning the Tithes and there is a Suit now depending in the Court of Exchequer and the Vicar claims now Customs (viz) The priory Tithes in kind and the Parishioners pleads a Modus