Baptised before birth? (General)

by probinson @, S. Oxon, Thursday, June 27, 2019, 17:30 (21 days ago)

Am I misreading this or was Henry Tyler baptised before he was born?

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Peter

Baptised before birth?

by Mike Pinchin @, Bedford, England, Thursday, June 27, 2019, 18:52 (21 days ago) @ probinson

Hi Peter,

You are quite right that, according to these documents, Henry James TYLER was indeed baptised before he was born. No visit to the optician is required. The only thing I would comment is that the minister was actually present at the baptism whereas the Registrar had to rely on what he was told - or thought he was told.

Baptised before birth?

by probinson @, S. Oxon, Thursday, June 27, 2019, 22:14 (20 days ago) @ Mike Pinchin

That's what I was thinking Mike. I wonder if he was born in June and the registrar wrote July. The birth wasn't registered until September so a possible mistake.

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Peter

Baptised before birth?

by jhopkins @, Saturday, June 29, 2019, 02:17 (19 days ago) @ probinson

This post comes with a caveat in that my memory may be fallible on this point... I recall learning somewhere* that people with a precarious pregnancy could be very scared that the soul of their unborn child would end up in an unpleasant place if the child died before birth, and therefore before being baptised (i.e. were stillborn).

The remedy was to organise a baptism prior to birth. I am not sure what the process was like - i.e. the application of holy water couldn't occur in the usual way if the baby was still inter-uterine. This may be a possible explanation for what you have found.

* I think I learned this in jurisprudence - a paper in my law degree - in 1967! We were tutored by a Marist brother, and the themes that year were abortion and homosexuality and the response of the state to those two issues through the use of the law.

Baptised before birth?

by probinson @, S. Oxon, Saturday, June 29, 2019, 10:41 (19 days ago) @ jhopkins

Thanks for that.

I did consider that a pre-birth baptism might have been done, though I've never heard of it happening before, but I discounted it as the baptism record shows the sex of the child and I can't believe they were able to sex an unborn baby in 1855.

I think this is just a simple mistake by the registrar.

--
Peter

Baptised before birth?

by Paul Andrews @, Shropshire, England, Friday, July 05, 2019, 17:29 (13 days ago) @ probinson

The registration of births in England and Wales from 1837 was the responsibility of the local registrar. He would travel through his local district and was expected to record each birth within six weeks of the event. There was no onus on the parents to report this information to the registrar. This situation changed in 1874 with the passing of the Birth and Deaths Registration Act. The Act placed the burden on the family to report the information and fines were imposed from 1875 onwards for late or non-registration.

This registration was recorded on the eighth of September 1855, with the birth being recorded on the twenty ninth of July 1855. Conveniently the two dates are five weeks and six days apart, thus meeting the six week deadline.

It may well be that the birth was before the date on the certificate and that James Ross, the registrar, made an error when making the record.

Baptised before birth?

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Friday, July 05, 2019, 18:52 (13 days ago) @ Paul Andrews

Hi Paul,
thanks so much for confirming whose duty it was to report Births from 1837 until 1874, and that it wasn't the parent's responsibilty. To have a Registrar roaming around does seem a rather random way of doing things, no doubt he visited the churches too for Baptism records but even so plenty of room for error I guess, which rather matches my own thoughts and findings on the subject.
Thanks again, J.

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