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1616 Litton Memo

Robert Earle, the rector of Litton considered it necessary to remind his parishioners of what the ‘correct’ form of worship was in 1616. The memorandum was written out of sequence on what was previously a blank page opposite the list of burials starting in 1582.
 Robert Earle (1567 – 1617) was a prebend of Wells Cathedral, and rector of Litton (19/07/1568 – 22/10/1617 ). Litton was owned by the Bishop of Bath & Wells at the time so Robert Earle was directly appointed by the bishop.
This contrasts with Chewton Mendip where the church lands were owned by the Kingsmill family. The lords of the temporal manor of Chewton Mendip at the time were, and still are, the Waldegrave family. They had been rewarded by Mary I for suporting her in her Catholic faith but Sir Edward Waldegrave was imprisoned in 1562 by Elizabeth I for practicing his  Catholic faith too openly.
 The vicar of Chewton Mendip at the time was Anthoney Eglesfield who may have been related to the other knight who supported Mary when she was being pressurised to convert to the protestant faith. Anthony Eglesfiled had been appointed by Roger Manners who had been close to Mary but also gained the support of Elizabeth so it is assumed that Anthoney Eglesfield followed an elastic approach to religious dogma.
 It is not clear what the Litton parishioners were doing wrong but this was a time or rising tensions between the ‘high church’ bishop of Bath & Wells and the predominantly ‘low church’ parishes. This religious conflict contributed to the  civil war that broke out in the 1640s. Some of the family names in the list of signaturies are are well known but others are ‘new’ to this website.
Transcribed by, Wendy Loxton,  Mike Gould and Andrew Plaster. Checked by Polly Rubery. The transcribed text is in italic.
 “All and singular the  Articles agreed  vppon  by the Archbyshopes and Bishopes of both  provinces and the  whole  cleargie [(clergy]) in the
convocation holden at London in the yeare of our lord god 1562[2] accordinge to the computation of the Church of England for the  avyidinge of the Diversities of opinion, and  for the stablishinge of consent touchinge trew religion, weere distinckly and deliberatly read and frealy and voluntaryly consented vnto by Robert Earle Batcheler of Arts and Parson of Litton  the ninth xiijthth [thirteenth] day of October in the yeare of lord god 1616 and in the fowerteenth yeare of the raigne of our soveraigen lord James of England kinge and of Skotland the fifteeth “[added later]
 In the p[re]sencet[es](?) of vs  John Bowcher                          ) Church
 George Burge sen[ior]  John Kunnells al[ias] Knowell ) Wardens
 Henr[y] Traveling  John Wyatts curate
 John Courtis   James Cole
 Thomas Spyryng   John Addames
 Thomas Sheppard  Willia[m] Earles
 Thomas Rodford  
 John Stabham X[mark]  Roger Ollyur
 John Cotten   George Burge ju[nior]
 Joseph Harris   Henry Bowcher
 Thomas Spereing  George Butcher
 William Allen  Richard Addams
 Henry Allen  William Curtis
 Thomas Hamisden  Thomas Phelpes
 John Naish Clerke  
 <John Shers> [Sherbourne?]  John Cuortis
 John Cuffe  Thomas Stabham
 John Hippesly  Robert Phelpes
 Henry Gibbes  Robert Huffe
 William Clement  with others
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