Parish of Baptism restrictions in the 18th century? (Parish Records)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Sunday, May 21, 2017, 00:50 (2623 days ago) @ lesleyr

Does anyone know if there were any restrictions about the parish in which a child could be baptised? Could it be any parish or did it have to be the parish in which he/she was living?
I have been puzzling about this because, within a space of 6 years , my 6th great grandfather was married in Ruardean. His first child was baptised in Ruardean and his second and third children in Welsh Bicknor. Then he died and was buried back in Ruardean.
It also made me wonder what governed the parish in which someone could be buried...


Hi Lesley,
I don't think there were any restrictions regarding Baptisms, certainly not in the time you're researching, and not in C of E churches which I assume you're looking at. This forum has seen a great many examples of children being baptised outside of their parent's usual parish; sometimes this appears to have been if the child was born out of wedlock, say, or there was some other reason why the parents might not want to be overly-public about the baptism in the eyes of their close neighbours. Similarly, we've seen plenty of cases of a couple were getting married outside their usual parish area, and again usually for reasons of privacy or secrey eg without their parents' permission, or underage, or even already married !.
For a specific case like yours, I wonder if your 6th granddad had moved his place of residence from Ruardean to Welsh Bicknor area, so t'other side of the Wye, hence the baptisms there, but was living "back home" again in Ruardean when he died, or perhaps he just wanted to be buried in his "home" cemetery, perhaps to be with his parents etc there ? Alternatively, maybe for personal reasons such as didn't like the minister ?, so preferred to attend Welsh Bicknor church for a while, so the baptisms were held there ?
It may be worth you checking the histories of the two churches. I know Ruardean is one of the very oldest churches in the Forest, but am not sure abt Welsh Bicknor. If I recall correctly there was even a time when parishioners from the Lydbrook side of the Wye were using the ferry at the Courtfield to cross-over to use Welsh Bicknor church, possibly? because Lydbrook's own church wasn't built until much later, 1851. ??

This webpage about the Churches in Ruardean may give some clues, for example it states
"During the ministry of William Penfold, 1850-81, who was poverty-stricken and frequently at odds with parishioners, a lead in church matters was often taken by John Burdon, rector of English Bicknor."

and perhaps

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