National Library of Wales
SD/QA/183 and SD/QA/184
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 1804. The printed questions and handwritten answers are marked Q and A in the transcriptions below.
D/QA/183 Questionnaire to the vicar
[Extract from an introductory page to the questionnaire:]
Intending by God’s Permission, to visit my Diocese this Summer, and wishing to receive such Information of the present State of the several Parishes, as it most concerns me to know, I request that you will return as correct Answers as possible to the following Queries, and transmit this Paper, signed with your Name, directed to me at the Palace, Abergwilly… I am, Rev. Sir, Your faithful Brother, Thomas St Davids. May 10, 1804
Q1: Are you Incumbent or Curate?
Q2: If Incumbent, do you reside on your Cure, and in the House belonging to it?
A: In the Parsonage house
Q3: If curate, are you licenced; what is your salary; and where do you reside?
[No answer given]
Q4: Do you serve any other Cure? And what other?
A: I do not
Q5: At what Distance are your Churches or Chapels from your Place of Residence, and from each other?
A: About a mile
Q6: Where does your Rector or Vicar reside?
A: In the Vicarage house
Q7: Are there any Dissenters, from the established Church, in your Parish? And of what Sects? Are they numerous, or otherwise? Have they increased in Numbers, or decreased, of late Years? If they have increased, to what do you impute it?
A: Some few Dissenters number but few
Q8: Is publick Service duly performed twice every Lord’s Day in your Church? If not, what is the Reason? How often, and at what Times, do you catechize the Children of your Parish?
A: In the summer time twice a day
Q9: How many Places of publick Worship belonging to the established Church are there in your Parish? And how often is Service performed in each?
A: Two chapels duty any Sunday an alternate Duty
Q10: How many Places of publick Worship not belonging to the established Church are there in your Parish? And to what Sects do they belong?
A: Only one they call themselves Independents
Q11: Is there any ruinated Chapel in your Parish? How long has it been so? And whose Business is it to rebuild, or repair it?
A: There is none
Q12: How often is the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper administered at your Parish Church? What is the usual Number of Communicants?
A: Upon the Festivals about twenty
Q13: Is your Parish Register duly kept, and a Copy annually sent to the Registrar of the Diocese?
A: It is annually sent
Q14: Have any Lands or Tenements, or Tithes or Pensions, or Sums of Money to be placed out at Interest, been at any Time given to the Poor of your Parish? What are they? And for what particular Users were they given? Are the applied to those Uses, and to no other?
A: I am not certain
Q15: Are the Charities belonging to your Parish recorded publickly and visibly in the Parish Church?
A: I do not know or at least not to the best of my knowledge
Q16: Is there any Free School in your Parish? Is it an endowed school? Of what does the Endowment consist? Is there an English School in your Parish?
A: There is a free School endowment four pound a year
Q17: Is there any Sunday School in your Parish? Is the Sunday School under your Direction? Are the Masters or Mistresses of the Sunday School Members of the Church of England?
A: There is not
Q18: Is there an appropriate School House, or School Room, in your Parish? Do you allow any School of any Description to be kept in your Church or Chapel?
A: In the Chapel at Longtown
Q19: Is any Thing ever sung in your Church but the Words of Scripture, or Translations from the Scriptures, or Words founded on some particular Passage of Scripture?
A: There is not
Q20: Can the Poor of your Parish generally read? Can they read English? Are the Families of the Poor generally furnished with Bibles and Common Prayer Books?
A: To the best of my knowledge they are
Q21: Do you find upon Inquiry that the Families in your Parish are accustomed to Daily Family Prayers?
A: They are exhorted so to do
Q22: Is there any Parochial or Lending Library in your Parish? Have you any Catalogue of the Books belonging to it? Of what Number of Volumes does the Library consist?
A: There is not
[Signed] Edwd Sparkes, Vicar of Clodock.
Longtown July 12 1804
Questions16 and 18: Perhaps Mr Sparkes’ answers refer to plans for the prospective use of Longtown Chapel for a charity school. The parish minutes indicate that the schoolroom in Longtown chapel was initiated in 1810.
SD/QA/184 Questionnaire to the Churchwardens
[Extract from an introductory page to the questionnaire;]
You are desired to answer the following Articles, particularly, advisedly, and conscientiously, and deliver them fairly written at the Visitation. You are requested to regard the Nature of the OATHS which you have taken; and that on the due Discharge of your Duty depends, in a great Degree, the Reformation of publick Disorders, notorious Sins, and Offences within your Parish; and that in Cases of Omission of your Duty, you must expect to give an Account thereof to GOD, and to be proceeded against by your Ecclesiastical Superiors, to whom you are accountable for Neglect, as well as the Violation of your oaths.
Title 1. Concerning the Clergy
Q1: Doth your Minister reside in his Parish, and in the House belonging to it? If not, where, and at what Distance, doth he reside? Is he Incumbent or Curate?
A: he is Incumbent and resides in the Parish
Q2: Is your Minister sober, studious, and pious? Is his Conduct suitable to his sacred Function? If not, in what Respect is he irregular?
A: he is Attentive and regular
Q3: Is any Stranger admitted to preach in your Church, not having his Licence and Name noted in a Book?
A: there are not
Q4: How often doth your Minister perform Divine Service, and preach on the Sabbath? What Feasts, and Fasts are observed in your Parish? Are the Children always baptized in the Church, except in Cases of Necessity? Are the Children instructed in the Church Catechism? How often have you the Sacrament administered? Doth he visit the Sick?
A: duties on Sundays twice a Day
Title 2. Concerning the Parishioners
Q1: Are there any Persons, who absent themselves from Morning and Evening Prayer, on the Sabbath? Or follow their worldly Employments on that Day?
A: not to the best or our knowledge
Q2: Do the Parishioners behave themselves reverently and decently during Divine Service?
A: they do
Q3: Have you among you any common Swearers, Blasphemers or Drunkards? Any who lie under publick Suspicion of Adultery, Fornication or Incest?
A: we have not
Q4: Are there any, who refuse to pay their Rates towards the Repairs of the Church, and the Providing of Things necessary for the Service of Almighty God?
A: there are not
Title 3. Concerning Churches and Chapels; the Fabric, Furniture and Ornaments
Q1: Is every Part of your Church or Chapel in good Repair? Are the Roofs sound, the Windows glazed, the Walls plaistered, and White washed? Are the Pews, and Bells, in good Order? And all things kept, as becometh the House of God?
A: now in Repairing
Q2: Hath any Part of your Church or Chapel been taken down? How long since, and upon what Occasion? Have any of the Materials, or of the Bells been disposed of? When, and by whom?
A: no part of the Church nor Chappel has been taken down nor any Materials nor Bells been disposed of
Q3: Have you a decent Font? Have you a decent Table with Carpet or Cover for it? Have you a fair Linene Cloth, a Chalice and Cover, a Flagon and Paten and Napkin to cover the same? Of what Metal are the Chalice, Flagon and Paten?
[No answer given]
Q4: Have you the Bible and Common Prayer Book in Folio, both in English and Welch? Have you a convenient Reading Desk, and Pulpit? Have you a decent Surplice?
A: we have
Q5: Have you a Table of Degrees, within which Marriage is prohibited, hung up? Have you proper Register Books for Christenings, Burials, and Marriage?
A: we have
Q6: Have you a Chest with Locks and Keys, wherein the Records belonging to your Parish should be kept?
A: we have
Q7: Have you a Bier, and Black Cloth?
A: we have
Q8: Is your Church kept free from all profane and improper Uses? Is School kept therein?
A: the Church is kept from improper uses, no School kept therein
Q9: Is there any Chapel within your Parish, of which there is no Chapel-Warden? And is every Thing in good Order, and in good Repair, there?
A: there is a Chapelwarden. Chapel in good repair
Q10: Are the several Church Ways preserved, and kept, as they ought to be?
A: they are
Title 4. Concerning the Church-Yard, Houses, Glebe, Tithes, etc
Q1: Is your Church-Yard well fenced? And decently kept? Have any Encroachments been made thereon? Have any Trees therein been cut down, by whom, and for what Use?
A: it is, there are none
Q2: Are Markets, or Fairs, held therein?
A : no
Q3: Are the House, and Out-houses, belonging to the Minister, in good and sufficient Repair?
A: it is
Q4: Hath any Encroachment been made on the Glebe, or Lands belonging to your Minister? When, and by whome?
A: not to our Knowledge
Title 5. Concerning Church-Wardens, Parish-clerks, and Sextons
Q1: Are the Church-Wardens chosen yearly in Easter Week, one by the Minister, and one by the Parishioners?
A: they are
Q2: Have your last Wardens settled their Accounts? And are they duly entered in a Book kept for that Purpose?
A: they have
Q3: Is your Parish Clerk qualified to perform his Duty? Can he read, write and sing? Is he chosen by your Minister? And doth he perform his Duty regularly and decently?
A: he is qualified, chosen by the Minister, is regular and decent
Q4: Doth the Sexton keep the Church and Church-Yard clean and decent? And toll the Bells at the proper Hours before Prayers?
A: he doth
Title 6. Concerning School-Masters
Doth anyone teach school in your Parish? If there be a School, is it public, or private? Is it endowed, or not? Is the Master licensed? Doth he instruct his Scholars in the Church Catechism? Doth he come to Church? Doth he take Care that his Scholars attend Divine Service?
A: We have a school endowed with six pounds a year. [See above Observations to the Vicar’s replies]
Dated the 23rd of July 1804
[Signed] Wm Jones Churchwarden of Clodock, James Jones Chappel warden.