Bishops carried out a visitation of their diocese during their first year of office and at regular intervals thereafter to correct clerical and lay abuses. Ministers and churchwardens were questioned about the state of the parish and any misdemeanours were dealt with by the bishop's officials or in the consistory court. Over time, bishops started to issue printed questionnaires that concerned the extent of the parish, residence of the incumbent, number of church services, prevalence of Nonconformity or Roman Catholicism and the religious instruction of the youth.Family Tree Magazine May 2010
To the Minister of the Parish of Crich
BEING desirous to obtain as particular a Knowledge as I can of the State of my Diocese, in order to qualify myself for being more useful, I send you the following Questions under which, if you please, after making due Inquiry concerning them, to write the proper Answers, to sign them with your Name, and transmit or deliver them to me, as soon as you are able with Convenience, you will greatly assist and oblige.,
Eccleshall, April 10, 1772.
Crich in the County of Derby
Is a large and extensive Parish has no Chapel of ease therein.
Contains four hamlets and several houses dispersed
It is from South to North Six computed Miles
I What is the Extent of your Parish ? What Villages or Hamlets, and what Number of Houses doth it comprehend? And what Families of Note are there in it?
The number of Houses in the Parish is near 289
There are no Families of note in the Parish
II Are there any Papists in your Parish, and how many, and of what Rank.? Have any Persons been lately perverted to Popery, and by whom, and by what Means; and how many, and who are they ? Is there any Place in your Parish, in which they assemble for Worship and where is it? Doth any Popish Priest reside in your Parish, or resort in it; and by what Name doth he go? Is there any Popish School kept in your Parish? Hath any Confirmation or Visitation been lately held in your Parish by any Popish Bishop and by whom, and when and how often is that done?
There are no Papists in this Parish of any rank whatsoever neither has any Persons been lately persented to popery by any means, No place in the Parish where they assemble for Worship, we seldom see or hear of any Popist priests in the Parish. No Popist School kept in our Parish – I have not heard of any Popish Confirmation or Visitation ever held in this Parish
III Are there, in your Parish, any Quakers, Presbyterians, Independents, Anabaptists, Methodists, or Moravians? And how many of each Sect, and of what Rank? Have they One or more Meeting-houses in your Parish, and are they duly licensed? What are the Names of their Teachers, and are they qualified according to Law? Is their Number lessened or increased of late Years, and by what Means?
As for Quakers there are only two in the Parish who have no Meeting house therein. There are Presbyterians of low rank mostly Farmers and Labouring People who have their meetings with the Methodists, Independents, Anabaptists, and Moravians we have none. Mr. Wesley I hear sometimes visits them and their Meeting House, to their Advantage which is the only reason that can be assigned for the little increase they have made there.
Whether they are duly Licensed according to Law is kept a Secret
IV Do you constantly reside upon your Cure, and in the House belonging to it? If not, where, and at what Distance and how long in each Year are you absent and what is the Reason of such Absence? And have you a licensed: Curate rending in the Parish or at what Distance from it, and who is he? And doth he serve any other, and what Cure ? And what Salary do you allow him? And is he in Deacons or Priests' Orders?
Being Master of the Free Grammar School at Dronfield about twelve Miles distance I mostly attend there, I have a Licensed Curate who resides in the next Parish adjoining, and is always ready to perform any duties requir’d he serves no other Cure at present. The salary which I allow him is Thirty Pounds each Year, and he intends to offer himself for Priestly Orders at the next Ordination. His name is Mr Hurd.
V Is publick Service duly performed twice every Lord's Day in your Church, and one Sermon preached? If not, what is the Reason? And on what Days besides are, Prayers read there? Is there any Chapel in your Parish, and at what Distance from your Church? and how often are there Prayers and Sermons in it? How often, and at what Times do you catechise in your Church? Do your Parishioners duly send their Children and Servants, who have not learned their Catechism, to be instructed by you? And do you either expound it to them yourself, or make use of some printed Exposition? and what is it? Are there any Persons, who frequent publick Worship, and are not baptized ? And whence doth this proceed? How often is the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper administered ? And how many usually receive it each Time?
There is one Sermon Preached every Lord’s day but as a Congregation does not attend it is not customary to have any Prayers more than once in the day. The times of Cathechise is usually in the holy season of Lent, when it is expounded to them by the Minister. I know of no person who frequent the publick worship which are not Baptis’d. The Sacrament of the Lords Supper is administered four times.
VI Is there any Free School, Hospital, or Alms-house in your Parish? And for how many, and what Sort of Persons? And who was the Founder -, and who are the Governors - and what are the Revenues of it? And are they carefully preserved, and employed as they ought? And are the Statutes and Ordinances made concerning it well observed?
There is no Free School Hospital &co in or belonging to the Parish.
VII Is there any voluntary Charity School in your Parish? And for how many Boys and Girls? And how is it supported? And what are they taught? And are they also lodged, fed, or clothed? And how are they disposed of, when they leave the School?
There is no voluntary Charity School in the Parish.
VIII Have any Lands or Tenements, or Tithes, or Pensions, or Sums of Money to be placed out at Interest, been given at any Times to your Church or Poor and what are they; and for what particular Uses were they given? And are they carefully preserved, and applied to those Uses and to no other?
No Lands or Tenements &co or Sums of Money have been given to be plac’d out at interest to our Church or Poor.
IX Of what reputed yearly Value is your Cure?
The Reputed Yearly Value of this Cure is forty Pounds pr Year Inclusive of what are called Surplice dices.
X By whom, and to what Uses is the Money given at the Offertory disposed of?
The money given at the Offertory is disposed of by the Minister and Church Wardens to such poor People as they think proper.
XI Is there any other Matter, relating to your Parish, of which it maybe proper to give me Information? And what is it?
There is no other matter relating to our Parish of which I can give your Lordship Information
All which I humbly Certify your Lordship Who am your Dutiful Son and most Obedient Humble Servant
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