View Full Version : Parish Examination

26-04-2006, 10:05 AM
I have a parish examination where a father of a illegitimate child had to pay 1/6 per week to the council and 7/- costs to the overseers and the mother had to pay -/6 a week. Can anyone please explain why this money had to be paid and why the mother in particular would have to pay rather than receive.

Rod Neep
26-04-2006, 12:01 PM
The answer really depends on the period in which the event took place, but basically, the Parish Officers were covering themselves (i.e. the liability of the parish) rather than supporting the mother of the illegitimate child.

In the event of total destitution (or death of the mother) then it was the parish who had to pay for the upkeep of the child. So they took great pains to obtain money from anyone that they could!

One of the very books covering this and related subjects, is the actual handbook for Parish Officers. Those are available (for different periods) on CD from Archive CD Books.

You can download a sample of the Parish Officer's Handbook for 1772 here:

that is the part that relates to bastardy


Rod Neep
26-04-2006, 12:04 PM
The Complete Parish Officer 1772
(Archive CD Books CD Reference #0766)

This is one of the most important resources that we have seen, and one that should be of great interest to all family historians. Published in 1772 it was the handbook of the duties and responsibilities of the Parish Officer.

It includes the duties of the overseers of the poor, the power in relieving, employing and settling, etc. of poor persons; the laws relating to the poor, and settlements, and the statutes concerning masters and servants. The right of Settlement was something that was of great concern to all of our ancestors. Basically, to be able to have right of settlement in a parish, one had to be born there, married there or serving an apprenticeship there. Proof was all-important, especially if a person became destitute and needed support from the parish. Parish officers would have people literally evicted and transported to another parish under such circumstances. What happened about bastardy? What obligations does an apprentice have to his master and vice-versa? This book describes it all, together with the supporting laws.

Other sections of the book include the authority and duty of constables, tithingmen, etc.; churchwardens, how they should be chosen, their duties, church accounts, repairing of churches, etc. There are some very interesting punishments for not attending church and keeping to the rules! There is a section on surveying the highways, Scavengers, methods of taxation of the highways, and laws. And finally, the duties and powers of Watchmen.

Price: 15.11
17.75 Including VAT at 17.5%

See http://www.rod-neep.co.uk/acatalog/eng-misc.html

Rod Neep
26-04-2006, 12:09 PM

The Complete Parish Officer (1772)

The Justice of the Peace and Parish Officer - 1800

The Justice of the Peace and Parish Officer - 1869

All available on CD from Archive CD Books here


26-04-2006, 1:55 PM
Thanks a lot Rod, really must get this cd