Vestry and Parish Church Meetings

  • Vestry minutes over the period 1883 to 1931 – the names of people present are in the latest name index, but only the first few years appear in any detail below.
  • Parish Church Meetings over the period 1909 to 1922 – a start made here; no names in the surname index yet.

22nd March 1883

At a meeting held in the vestry of the Parish Church of Elmswell after due notice having been given on the 22nd day of March 1883
Present Mr John Leatherdale, Simeon Stevens, William Lord, George Wright, Thomas Elliston, John Goode, F Barker, John Dunnett, John Goddard, Henry Baker, James Everitt, George Borley, Thomas Wakelin, Nathan Warren, and I W H Graham Chairman.

Mr Goode proposed and Mr Wakelin seconded the nomination of Mr George Borley as Guardian. Carried unanimously.

Mr Wakelin proposed and Mr Warren seconded the nomination of Messrs. John Leatherdale , John Goode, Simeon Stevens, and William Lord as overseers. Carried unanimously.

Mr Leatherdale proposed and Mr John Goode seconded the nomination of Messrs William Lord and George Borley as assessors. This was carried unanimously.

Mr Wakelin proposed and Mr Warren seconded the nomination of Mr I W H Graham and Mr George Borley as Surveyors. This was carried unanimously.

IWH Graham, Chairman

20th March 1884

Wording almost identical; fewer attendees:
Mr John Leatherdale, Simeon Stevens, John Dunnett, James Everitt, Thomas Wakelin, Nathan Warren, and I W H Graham Chairman.
The minutes of the last meeting were read and confirmed.

Nathan Warren became Guardian;
Simeon Stevens, Robert Durrant, Walter Lord and John Goddard became overseers;
Simeon Stevens and John Dunnett became assessors;
George Borley and Ireland Graham became surveyors.

Mr Warren proposed and Mr Leatherdale seconded that the Surveyor be paid the sum of Five pounds for his sedrvices during the ensuing year. This was carried unanimously.

Mr Leatherdale proposed and Mr Wakelin seconded that the minute book be held by the Chairman of this meeting. Carried unanimously.

17th April 1884

Only Graham, Warren, Stevens, Dunnett and Goddard were present.

Mr John Goddard proposed and Mr Simeon Stevens seconded the nomination of Mr I W H Graham as Parish Churchwarden for the ensuing year. This was carried unanimously.

24th April 1884

Only Graham, Stevens, Borley and Dunnett were present.

It was proposed by Mr S Stevens and seconded by Mr George Borley that application be made to the Local Government Board for permission to nominate a Guardian for the Parish of Elmswell for the present year – and carried unanimously.

It was proposed by Mr I W H Graham and seconded by Mr George Borley that the name of Mr Thomas Wright be submitted to the Local Government Board for theur approval as Guardian of the Poor for the Parish of Elmswell for the present year – and carried unanimously.

It was proposed by Mr Borley and seconded by Mr Stevens that a rate for the relief of the poor and other purposes at ten pence in the pound be granted. Carried unanimously. The same to be collected in two unequal instalments of 6 pence and four pence respectively.

24th March 1885

Only Graham, Warren, Stevens, Baker, Dunnett and Goddard were present.
Mr Thomas Wright became Guardian.
Robert Durrant, Walter Lord William Pollard and Thomas Elliston became overseers;
Graham and Stevens became assessors;
Thomas Wright and George Borley became Surveyors of the highway for the ensuing year, still at five pounds.

7th April 1885

Only Graham, Warren, Borley and Goddard were present.

The Churchwardens’ accounts for the part year were produced and passed.

The Chairman having expressed regret that no gentleman was nominated by the Rector to fill the office of Churchwarden for the ensuing year called upon someone present to make a proposition. Whereupon Mr Borley proposed and Mr Warren seconded the nomination of Mr I W H Graham as one of the Churchwardens for the ensuing year. The proposition was carried unanimously. Mr John Goddard proposed and Mr Borley seconded the nomination of Mr Nathan Warren as Churchwarden for the ensuing year. This was carried unanimously.

Thursday 25th March 1886

Present: Simeon Stevens, John Goode, George Borley, John Dunnett, Robert Durrant, Walter Lord, Harry Pearl, James Frost, W H Baker [and presumeably Thomas Dunn who signed as Chairman]

Thomas Wright remained Guardian;
Thomas Elliston, William Pollard, Harry Pearl and Ephraim Rednall became overseers.

It was proposed by Walter Lord and seconded by John Dunnett that the Surveyor Mr George Borley do produce his account for the current year, which he refused to do.

It was proposed by Mr James Frost and seconded by John Goode that Mr Walter Lord and Thomas Elliston be surveyors for the ensuing year. This resolution was passed “mainine contraficante”(?).

Resolved that this meeting be adjourned to this day fortnight the 8th April to assemble the same time and place to give Mr Borley an opportunity of xxx-ing his account for the past year and for the Chairman to communicate with the auditor for an early audit of the same.

Thomas Dunn, Chairman [NB: he was the curate at this time]

Thursday 29th April 1886

duly convened  for the purpose of electing Churchwardens for the ensuing year. Present: Dunn, Baker, Goddard, Dunnett. Ireland Graham was re-elected Parish Churchwarden.
A communication was received from the Rector nominating Thomas Dunn as Rector’s Churchwarden for the ensuing year.

It was proposed by Mr H Baker that a rate of one shilling and two pence in the pound be made for the half year for the relief of the poor, to be collected in two instalments. This resolution was seconded by Mr John Goddard and passed.

Thomas Dunn, Chairman

Thursday 2nd December 1886

This one is very hard to read
Dunn, Warren, Elliston, Dunnett, Pollard, Baker, Hood, Frost, Graham Chairman (not his writing). Poor rate 10d. in the £. Resolved that the assessment of the Club? Land x in the name of x Elliston be reduced to £25. Next para illegible; other reductions to do with the Rectory, property belonging to Pollard and to Jeffes and to Hood.

Decided that the Surveyor should initiate legal proceedings against the Woolpit Brick & Tile Co for remuneration for the xxx of the Warren Lane and road to the station by carting bricks

Friday 25th March 1887

Adjourned at once to the Village Hall, perhaps because of the exceptional attendance!
Dunn, Newson, Warren, Walter Lord, Dunnet, Borley, H A Elmer, H C Pearl, William Manning, Elliston, Goode, Baker, Hood, Frost, James W Mulley, Pollard, Graham (Chair)
Newson became Guardian
Pearl, Warren, Elliston, Elmer, and Mulley became overseers
Lord became Surveyor of the Highways, still at £5, and Goode Surveyor of the roads with him.

Monday xth April 1887

Graham, Pollard, Leatherdale, Pearl, Elmer, Dunn (Chair)
Elmer elected People’s Churchwarden
Dunn tried to nominate himself as Rector’s Churchwarden, but this was
“objected to upon ye ground of his being as Curate in Charge, the Incumbent for the time being.” [Which makes me wonder what had happened to Rev. Macfarlane since last April.]

20th/22nd October 1887

Dunn, Elmer, Warren, Pearl and Mulley met on 20th to set the poor rate, but had to adjourn to Mr Mulley’s house “next Saturday 22nd at 11 o’clock.”
Then they were joined by Newson, Elliston, Lord and Dunnett, and voted an 8d. rate for 6 months.

13th February 1888

A meeting of Ratepayers held in the Reading Room to nominate a Collector of Poor Rate. Elmer and Collen were both proposed, and Collen was voted in, at £12 p.a. Warren and (Arthur) Parsey were accepted as a joint and several Bond for £200 for Mr Collen.

Friday 23rd March 1888

A Vestry Meeting.  In the late Reading Room, according to notice given by the overseers, to elect Parish Officers, and other business, and consider the extraordinary traffic of the Woolpit Brick & Tile Company.
Graham, Elmer, Frost, Hood, Baker, Pollard, Pearl, Warren, Collen, Goode, Borley, Durrant, Robinson, Leatherdale.

Mr Scattergood the rep. of the Company said he would recommend the Company make a grant towards road repair. The meeting wanted our Surveyor to get at least £30 for the ensuing year in compensation.
Newson was elected Guardian
Warren, Elmer, Hood and James Robinson were elected overseers
Walter Lord was reelected Surveyor, this time at £10 p.a.

Monday 2nd April 1888

Graham, Leatherdale, Baker, Elliston, Hood, Frost, Collen, Pearl, Elmer, Pollard and Dunn re-elected Elmer as Parish Churchwarden and the Rector [back in evidence!] chose Dunn again.

31st August 1888

Graham, Warren, Elmer, Collen and Dunn increased some rateable values: Railway Station and Building from £130 to £165, Edwards premises from £8 to £11, Newson’s from£6 to £8.10s, Moy’s from £2 to £5; and they messed about with several other assessments: Hood’s and Mrs Fenton’s, Graham’s, Page’s, Wakelin’s, Borley’s, and Rectory Lodge.

Friday 22nd March 1889

A meeting of the Inhabitants of Elmswell at 11 o’clock in the Village Hall.
In the calling notice it was also stated that “the Supplemental Valuation list will be deposited at the House of Mr D W Collen [was he already the Postmaster?] for 14 days from the above date for the inspection of any Ratepayer between the hours of eleven and three o’clock.”
Macfarlane was in the chair, Rev. A A O’Neill [curate, having replaced Thos Dunn?], Graham, Elmer, Warren, Collen, Newson
Hood, Robinson, Stevens and Albert Edwards became overseers
Collen became Surveyor, at £8 after amendment from £5
Newson was re-elected Guardian

The Chairman read a letter from the Woolpit Brick & Tile Co. complaining of the state of the Road leading from Woolpit to the Railway Station. [The meeting resolved to send to the Board of the Co.] a statement of the Highway accounts, shewing the extra expences incurred on the portion of road. used by the Co. , asking for a contribution of £100 in aid of the said expences for the past year.

April 1889

There seems to have been some trouble over the legality of the calling notice for 22nd April, the Rev. Macfarlane refusing to allow the nomination of a Parish Churchwarden to proceed. The meeint did, however manage to elect Mr Elmer to be the representative of Elmswell Ratepayers on the committee of the Woolpit Fire Brigade.
Another meeting was called for the 11am next day, and both Elmer and Warren were nominated for Parish warden: a poll was declared, open until 3pm, Elmer won by 88 votes to 57; the Rector’s warden was the curate Rev. A A O’Neill.
There was yet another meeting on 26th in the Village Hall to deal with finance. Mr Collen, assistant overseer, read a statement that £33.10s for poor rate and £84 for school board were required, and that £23.2.0½d were in hand and an estimated expense of £30 for the county rate. For 6 months a rate of 16d. in the £ would be necessary. Meeting agreed that this amount be collected in two instalments.

Following the 22nd March action, Woolpit Brick had refused to accept liability – this led to much debate; it was decided to write again to the Co. threatening “proceedings” if they failed to comply with the Locomotive Acts 1861, 1865, 1878.

Thursday 3rd October 1889

Elmer, Stevens, Borley, Pearl, Hood, Collen, O’Neill, Robinson, Newson, Macfarlane (Chair); they revised various assessments: Warren, Graham, Elmer, Bloom, and notably the Great Eastern Railway up from £132 to £332 on grounds (1) comparison with other parishes (2) increase of traffic.
Another meeting on 17th October concerned the use of granite (chippings?) for the heavily used roads.

2nd November 1889

In connection with the keeping of the minute book, Macfarlane states that Ireland Graham has “become bankrupt and has now left the parish.” He was also accused of untidiness and laxity in producing the book.

Estimated expenses for next half-year: £60.10s for Stow Union, Precept of £100 for the School Board, £40 for the county. A rate of 1/6d. in the pound was set.

January 1890

Friday 10th: Something about raising the assessment of the railway drastically. Friday 24th: more on granite or grit or flint for the roads, and the suggestion of using some local deposit. Surveyor instructed to proceed against Woolpit Brick for damages, the cost of proceedings being borne by the rates.

25th March 1890

Thanks were given to the outgoing Surveyor Mr Collen for his successful conduct of the negotiations with Woolpit Brick whereby a substantial contribution in aid of the expenses of maintaining the road is secured and that he be re-elected for the ensuing year.

18th April 1890

Macfarlane (Chair), Collen, Edwards, Borley, Elmer, Newson, Elliston, Robinson set the rate at 8d. in the pound, one instalment.

17th October 1890

Macfarlane (Chair), Collen, Elmer, O’Neill and Robinson: a precept from the guardian of the Stow Union for £53; rate set at 1s in the £.

6th March 1891

Attended by officials of the Sanitary Authority of Stow Union. The meeting decided to appoint a committee to “consider the sanitary condition of the village, having the power to call in advice and report to a future vestry”. This cttee (Warren, Leatherdale, Collen, Elmer, Hunt, Hood, Pollard) met on 16th march and forwarded its report to the Sanitary Inspector. The vestry meeting of 25th March requested this cttee to “take steps at once, conjointly with the Inspectors of Nuisances for effecting the proper drainage of the Parish, to the satisfaction of the Sanitary Authority of the Union”. On 30th March the cttee resolved to enquire into funding for the “schemes”.

12th April 1891

Precepts from the Board of Guardians, for £11 for the purpose of Rural Sanitary Authority, £87 relief of poor, £80 for School Board. Rate set at 1s in the £.

Friday 30th October 1891

Meeting (by now annual) mainly for assessing new and improved properties: new building(s) in School Road, Railway Tavern, Mr Frost’s house,

Easter Vestry 28th March 1910