Vicars expressed their disapproval of illegitimacy by using a wide range of euphemisms for this:
The Son of the People
1560, Cheshunt, Bucks
|Filius meretricis||1569, Croydon|
|The Daughter of an Harlott||1579, Wimbeldon|
|Begotten in adultery||1582, Croydon|
|Filia fornicatoris||1583, Herne, Kent|
|A scape begotten child||1590, Twickenham|
|Ye daughter of noe certain man||1595, Eckington, Derby|
|Filia uniuscujusque||1603, Isleworth|
|Filius scorti||1608, Ulcombe, Kent|
|Filia adulterina||1620, Minster, Kent|
|Begotten in fornication||1652, Marden, Surrey|
|One of ye children of ye people||1676, Wilby, Northants|
|Lanebegot||1683, All Saints Newcastle|
|A merry begot||1685, Lambeth|
|A byeblow||1688, Lambeth|
Beware of miss-understanding words which have a different meaning today. Your Family Tree magazine records that one woman's occupation was recorded as 'a hooker' which meant 'someone employed to sew hooks and eyes on ladies boots'. The occupation could also mean a person employed in reaping corn (wheat) or someone who laid out fabric ready for it to be cut. A 'badger' was nothing to do with an animal; it was a licenced begger (hence the word badgering), a 'devil' was a printer's errand boy and a 'hacker' made hoes. There's a useful list of obscure occupations available here.
Remember the meaning of words can often change over the years. A classic example is the meaning of the word 'gay' which used to mean 'happy'. As New Scientist (29 Mar 2008) pointed out, Shakespeare knew the meaning of 'ice', 'cream', 'hot' and 'dog' but wouldn't understand 'ice cream' or 'hot dog'. The same is true in reverse. We know 'honey' and 'dipper' but what is a 'honey dipper'? (Someone who emptied cesspits).
"1659 Lucy Cosen, widow, was married to Jn Cosen (brother of her former husband) the 15th day of December at St. Neots, by the Mynister of the Town, and at seaven of the clocke in the nighte" - in the eyes of the church, this marriage was illegal because he married his sister-in-law, hence the unusual time of the marriage.
"1714 John Bridmore and Ann Selwood were married, Oct. 17. The aforesaid Ann Selwood was married in her smock, without any clothes or headgier on." - This indicated that the bride was in debt and that the husband was declaring he was not responsible for the debts of her previous marriage.
"1608. Anne Brasse
buryed at midnyght 26 June"
"1618 Wm pillye wif was bur the 7 Nov at nyght butt wher I can not tell."
"1639. Frances George buried the 11th September at night but by whome it is unknone." - These entries, taken from the parish register of Stokesley, North Yorkshire, indicate that the corpse buried was probably a Roman Catholic and, as such, was not entitled to be buried in the churchyard. The burial service would have been conducted by the Roman Catholic priest by stealth at night.
"1573 Tho. Maule fd hunge on a tree by ye wayeside after a druncken fitte April 3. Crowners Queste in churche porche April 5. Same nighte at midd nighte burried at ye nighest crosse roades wi a stake yn him, manie peopple frome Manesfeilde." - Pleasley, Derbyshire, parish register shows the treatment given to suicides. They were not allowed to be buried in the churchyard. An inquest was held on the death in the church porche The use of the stake (reminiscent of vampires) and crossroads was to prevent the corpse from being taken over by an evil spirit, since it could not be buried on hallowed ground.
"1659 Aug. 30. Humphrey Dakin, buried about 2 of the clock in the night, fearing an arrest.", Alstonfield Staffs - Parish register records this unusual hour of burial since it was feared that the creditors of Dakin would seize his corpse and prevent his burial until their debts had been paid. There was no legal basis for this process but, the practice was common.
"1558 Richard Snell b'rnt, bur. 9 Sept.", Richmond, Yorkshire parish register records this burning, not of a witch but, of a Roman Catholic priest. Other Roman Catholic priests were hung, drawn and quartered as were Duke, Hyll, Hogge, Holyday; four priests at Dryburn in the rein of Queen Elizabeth I, for their "horrible offences". Poisoners were also burnt as in the case of an unfortunate woman in Shrewsbury, "December 1647--23 of this month that a woman was burnt in the quorell for poysong her husband."
Witches were not faced with anything like, so sever a treatment, as they were in the United States. A witch - Allyson Lowe was recorded to have been sentenced in Hart, Durham, to be made to stand, for three consecutive Sundays, 'wi a papyer' on her head in Hart churchyard, Durham churchyard and Norton churchyard.
"William Wade who died as a stranger, for whose mortuary, I, John Goffe, parson of Ripe, had his upper garment which was an olde coate and I receaved for the same 6s." - It was the custom for the minister to receive the second best garment of a rich man, (one who owned more than £40 worth of goods), as payment for his services - the best garment went to the Lord of the Manor.