Affidavits for Burials in Woollen 1679 to 1739
Transcribed from the Parish Registers and donated to the Dorset OPC Project by Sally Beadle
In the 1660s, during the reign of Charles II, it was thought by
landowners involved in the production of wool and by Members of Parliament with
constituencies in areas of wool production and processing or the manufacture of
woollen goods, that the woollen trade was under threat from materials imported
from overseas. These people used their influence to cause an Act of Parliament
to be passed in 1666 that a corpse could only be buried in clothes or a shroud
made of wool. A further Act was passed in 1678 which repealed that of 1666. It
stated that the aim of the first Act “was intended for lessening the
importation of linnen from beyond the seas, and the encouragement of the woollen
and paper manufactures of this Kingdom, had the same been observed, but in
respect there was not a sufficient remedy thereby given for the discovering and
prosecution of offences against the said act.” It further stated that “No
corpse of any person (except any person that shall die of the plague) shall be
buried in any shift, sheet, or shroud, or anything whatsoever made or mingled
with flax, hemp, silk, hair, gold, or silver, or in any stuff, or thing, other
than what is made of sheep’s wool only.” An Affidavit had to be sworn in front
of a member of the clergy, or a JP or other local notable person, with two
witnesses, that a corpse had been buried in woollen. This had to be done within
8 days after the burial. If a corpse was buried in anything but wool, a £5 fine
had to be paid. This was divided equally between the poor of the Parish and the
person who informed that the burial was not in woollen. Those who could afford
it would rather pay the fine so that the deceased could be dressed in clothes or
a shroud of his or her choice. It often happened that a member of the family of
the deceased would inform that the corpse was buried in something other than
wool so that the total amount which then had to be paid outside the family in
fine would only be £2 10s. The Act was repealed in 1814, but for some time
before that it had been ignored more often than not.
These records are transcribed as closely as possible in the
format, language, spelling and layout as in the Parish records which varied over
time and according to who made the entries. Several of the entries were
scattered amongst other parish records.
An Affidavit Mrs Katherine BRODREPP was buried May the 29th Anno Domini 1679
An Affidavit That Mathew KNIGHT was buried in Woolen April 4th Anno Domini 1680
An Affidavit That Ann MINTERNE of Coltly in the parish of Mapperton was buried in Woollen Jan: 2. 1680
An Affidavit July 28th 1686 That Julian KNIGHT ye daughter of Thomas and Edith KNIGHT was buried in Woollen
An Affidavit That John KNIGHT ye son of John KNIGHT was buried in Woollen July 30th (no year entered) (1686)
An Affidavit Aug. 20th (no year entered) (1686) That Susanna WARD ye daughter of John WARD was buried in Woollen
An Affidavit Novemb. 27 (no year entered) (1687) That Philip GREGORY of this Parish was buried in Woollen. He was buried ye 21st day of ye month.
An Affidavit Octob. 4th 1690 That Edith KNIGHT ye wife of Thomas KNIGHT was buried in Woollen
An Affidavit Decemb. 19th 1691 Susannah KNIGHT was buried Decemb. 13th 1691 and Affidavit brought Decemb. 19th ye she was buried in Woollen
Sicily TURNER was buried Aprill ye 18th (?) 1694. An Affidavit brought ye 22nd day of Aprill – she was buried in Woollen. Anno Domini 1694.
An Affidavit August ye 22 1696 That Robert HAYWARD of Coltly was buried in Woollen
An Affidavit July 17 1697 That John BIRT of Coltly was buried in Woollen
An Affidavit Feb. 14 1697 That Ann KNIGHT ye wife of Thomas KNIGHT was buried in Woollen
An Affidavit March 20 1697 That John KNIGHT of Mith was buried in Woollen
Affidavit 15th Janry 1698 That Edith Anne the daughter of Thomas KNIGHT Gent (?) of this parish was buryed in Woolen
Affidavit Nov ye 14. 1705 That Christian the daughter of Thomas KNIGHT Junr of this Parish was Buried in Wollen
Affidavit June ye 10 1706 That Mrs Mary BRODREPP of this parish was Buried in Woollen
Affidavit February the 4th 1706 That Richard BRODREPP Esqr of this Parish was Buried in Woollen
Affidavit May ye 14th 1707 That Mrs Philippa POWELL of this Parish was Buried in Woollen
Affidavit Sept ye 14 1708 That Mrs Elizabeth BRODREPP of this Parish was Buried in Woollen
Affidavit Oct: ye 31 1708 That Elizabeth HAZARD/HAYWARD (?) was Buried in Wollen according to the Act etc
Affidavit Feb: ye 23 1711 That John MITCHEL was Buried in Wollen according to the Act etc
IN LINEN Novr ye 13th 1713 Buried Mrs Elizabeth BRODREPP wife of Richard BRODREPP Esqr in Linnen
Affidavit Octr ye 20th 1714 That Henry KNIGHT was Buried in Woollen etc
Affidavit Novr 13th 1715 That Alice KNIGHT of this Parish was Buried at Powerstock in Woollen etc
Affidavit July 30th 1716 That Edith KNIGHT of Mieth was Buried in Woollen
Affidavit Before Ric: BRODREPP Esqr Jan: ye 26th 1722 That Hester the Daughter of Mr Thomas BRODREPP of Melplash was Buried in Woolen.
Affidavit Before Mr W. HALLET April ye 12th 1723 That Thomas KNIGHT was Buried in Woollen.
Affidavit Before Mr William HART June ye 27th 1724 That Elizabeth the wife of Mr John POWELL was Buried in Woollen.
Affidavit Before Mr John GALPIN Feb: ye 10th 1724 By Anne (?) GALE of Loscombe That Ruth KNIGHT of Mieth was Buried in Woolen.
Affidavit Before Richard BRODREPP Esqr By Mary BARGE January ye 31st 1732 That Anne the Wife of Mr Brian COMBE was Buried in Woollen according to ye Act.
Affidavit Before Richard BRODREPP Esqr By Mary SYMES of Loscombe Sept ye 10th 1733 That Mary BARGE the Wife of William BARGE of Mieth Mill was Buried in Woollen etc.
Affidavit Before Richard BRODREPP Esqr by Roger GOLLOP of Mapperton Greene the 10th/18th (?) day of December 1734 That (the rest is illegible).
An Affidavit made January. 21. 1735 That John, the Son of Henry LEGG and Anne his Wife, of Meith, in this Parish, was buryed at Netherbury, in Woollen.
An Affidavit made March. 17. 1735 That Thomas LEGG of Meith in this Parish, was Buryed at Netherbury, in Woollen.
An Affidavit made April. 13. 1736 That Mr Brian COMBE of this Parish was buryed at Netherbury, in Woollen.
OCTOBER. 24. 1737
IN LINEN Buried then in Linnen, in the Chancel of the Church of South Mapperton, the Body of Richard BRODREPP Esqr.
N.B. The Penalty of Five Pounds was paid within the Time, specified by Act of Parliament.
NOVEMBER. 30. 1739
IN LINEN Buried then in Linnen, in the Chancel of the Church of South Mapperton, the Body of George BRODREPP, Esquire.
N.B. An Affidavit made thereof, and a Warrant issued out for the payment of the Penalty specified by Act of Parliament.
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