ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2007-04 > 1177406270
From: Charani <>
Subject: Re: [Ess] Parish Clerks
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2007 10:17:50 +0100
Tony Pottrell wrote:
> Hi all,
> I've searched through the Kelly's directory archives (circa 1890-1900)
> and I spotted that several members of my family were listed as the
> Parish clerk. Just wondering if anyone knew what that actually meant?
> I've googled about a bit but couldn't find anything definitive...
Apart from being a witness to numerous marriages, a Parish Clerk's
duties were quite wide and could even include being a grave digger if
there was no one employed in that role.
This is a quote from a post made by Anne Peat on the London list:
The Parish Clerk did a lot more than keep the registers (especially if
most of the congregation was illiterate, and the incumbent was absent
a lot of the time or held multiple livings) They were needed to lead
the prayers and responses.
In churches with a 3-decker pulpit the lowest level was for him to do
just that. ( Vicar and curate above!)
This is from http://steve.pickthall.users.btopenworld.com/pci/6.html
Parish Clerk - "They should be at least 20 years old. Known to the
parson as a man of honest conversation and sufficient for his reading,
writing and competant skill in singing" Canon 91(1603).
Functions - reading the lessons and epistles, singing in the choir,
giving out the hymms, leading the responses, serving at the altar and
other like duties, opening of the church, ringing the bell, digging
graves if there be no sexton.
One of my ancestors was a Parish Clerk for 40 years :))