Cratfield Parish Papers (Jarrold & Sons) 1895
Transcribed by Rev. W Holland (Rector of Cratfield)
Edited by John James Raven, DD (Vicar of Fressingfield)

Extract of Review in The Spectator April 18 1895

Mr Holland was for more than forty years vicar of Cratfield. He found there parish records of unusual antiquity and interest and spent much time in transcribing them. The earliest papers are the churchwarden’s accounts for the years 1490-1502. One of the most frequently recurring items are ‘church ales’ or potatio ecclesiastica.

In 1490 there were church ales on the fifth Sunday in Lent, Whit Sunday and All Saints, the sums given being 7s 4d, 9s 8d and 7s 8d respectively. One William Bruce left 9s for another. The cleansing and mending of vestments cost 8d at one time and 4d at another. The sexton was paid 4s 4d. The whole expenditure came to 12s 4d.

The years that followed 1502 are also presented. In 1528 we have an inventory of Church goods. A pair of silver gilt chalices, four pairs of the same parcel gilt, a silver pyx, two paxes or osculatoria, a silver censer and boat for it (all parcel gilt) are the most valuable items. Of vestments there were four hoods of velvet damask etc., a white damask cope, six chasubles, albs and stoles, surplices and rochets. Of books there were four mass books, four antiphonaries, six processioners and other volumes. In 1549 all the plate was sold for £36 15s 1d (nearly £400 in our money); the other furniture was destroyed. The Guild accounts for six years 1535-1540 are given.

Passing on we find preparations for resisting invasion under the year 1587. The churchwardens spent money on armour, bows and arrows, charges of trained men and also something on themselves. “Our soper at Beckles (Beccles)” cost 12s, an enormous sum comparing strangely with ‘payde’ for gunpowder 2d. Here is a curious little item; “In 1594, at Halesworth, on the feast of the nativity, the weather was so cold that the Rector could not thaw his ink to write down the names of Communicants”

Introduction to Holland transcript

Churchwarden's accounts