Frimley Chapel Register

Frimley, Surrey – From 1590 to 1683

  • The first surviving Frimley Chapel register of baptisms, marriages, and burials covered events from 1590 to 1683.
  • The Register Book itself was started in 1637 and the records are not in precise chronological order as the register was divided as follows:
SectionEventNotes
1Baptisms from 1637 to 1683Entered as they happened
2Baptisms from 1590 to 1637Transcribed from some other book now lost
3Marriages from 1606 to 1644Transcribed from some other book now lost
4Marriages and Burials from 1672 to 1676Record keeper backtracked to use empty pages
5Burials from 1606 to 1644Transcribed from some other book now lost
6Marriages from 1645 to 1674Entered as they happened
7Burials from 1645 to 1672Entered as they happened

The Register Book

  • The book chosen to be the Frimley Register was long and thin with just one column of records per page. Looking at some other churches in the area, the Frimley Register was typical of the ones available at the time.
  • The pages were made of parchment (treated animal skin) and the writing was done with a quill pen and probably home-made ink.
  • The Frimley book is missing both its front and back cover which would have been leather-bound.
  • The book is much damaged, and our discussion here has to work with what has survived.
  • I have only used a few images as it is difficult to reproduce them due to the damage.

We are fortunate in knowing that it was William Cobbett, the Parish Clerk and Church Warden of Frimley Chapel, who copied 291 baptism records into the Register and when he did it: ‘This Register taken out of an old booke by mee – Will. Cobbet in the yeare 1654’.

First Baptisms – 291 records copied by William Cobbett in 1654 into the Frimley Register

At first glance, this image seems beyond understanding! But by carefully examining it, and familiarizing myself with Frimley names and the handwriting, I have deciphered these earliest Frimley Chapel records as follows:

  1. Richard the son of Richard Watts was baptized 4 day of February (1589?)
  2. Margret the daughter of John Jewer was baptized 22 day of July 1590
  3. Humphrey the son of John Browne was baptized 17 day of August 1590
  4. Mary the daughter of Will Large was baptized 8 day of October 1590
  5. John the son of John Thaire was baptized 25 day of September 1590
  6. Joane the daughter of John Taylor was baptized day of 11 November 1590
  7. Edeth the daughter of Ambrose Knight was baptized day of 16 November 1590
  8. Illegible name … November 1590
  9. Illegible name … February 1590
  10. Joan the daughter of Nicholas Wexham was baptized 22 day of March 1590

The Julian Calendar ended the year on 24 March so 1591 began after record #10

The First Marriages

William Cobbett copied the early marriage records from 1606 to 1644. Frimley Chapel was authorised to conduct marriages in 1606. Interestingly, William Cobbett labelled them ‘Weddings’ rather than ‘Marriages’. So who were the first couple to get married?

  • Thomas Rusell and Joane Taylor were married 22 June 1606 *️⃣ Were Thomas and Joan excited about being the 1st couple to marry in the newly consecrated Chapel?

The First Burials in Frimley Churchyard

As discussed in the previous post ‘History of Frimley Chapel’, the Frimley Churchyard was consecrated for burials in 1606 during the reign of James I.

  • John Emes servant to … buried 25 May1606. The first that ever was buried in Frimley Churchyard

A Sample of Interesting Records in the earliest surviving Frimley Parish Register

1603 ~ Philadelphia, daughter of Francis Wright baptised; not all the baby girls baptized at Frimley Chapel were called Mary, Elizabeth, or Joan;

1609 ~ Goodwife Ockley was buried; first name replaced with ‘Goodwife’;

1613 ~ Richard son of Thomas Burrows was baptised at George Watt’s house;

1625 ~ Robert Watts of Bowling Green buried; Bowling Green Farm still exists;

1625 ~ Jane the daughter of Francis Davis buried 7 November and Eleanor wife of Francis Davis buried 11 November (probably an all-too-common mother and baby death);

1625 ~ John Gonner of Whitewells buried at Ash the 17th night of January; night burials were becoming popular;

1628 ~ Thomas Gonner of Whitewells was buried; Whitewells Farm still exists

1628 ~ John Bartholomew and Elizabeth Morer of Headley married the 26 February being Shrove Monday; members of the Yeoman class like John Bartholomew often looked for wives outside of the parish;

1634 ~ John Watts at the Bowling Green was buried;

1634 ~ Margaret the wife of John Bartholomew Senior was buried. John Attwick her brother at Egham was buried 21 February in 1634;

1634 ~ Ann and Honor being twins and daughters of William Thayre were baptised;

1636 ~ Robert and Rachel twins of Richard Goodin were baptised;

1637 ~ Robert Watts and Mistress Taker were married at London; Mistress Taker was the widow of John Taker, Curate of Frimley who died in 1625 and it was not unusual for second marriages to take place away from the parish;

1640 ~ Master Winslow, a travelling by-passer, was buried. ‘He came from Kingsley and was travelling thither back there again’;

1641 ~ The wife of William Collens of Pirbright was buried at Frimley on Easter … being the 22 day of April;

1641 ~ Visitation; this probably refers to a visit from a representative of the Bishop of Winchester checking up on Frimley Chapel;

1644 ~ Thomas Russell, bachelor, was buried;

1644 ~ William Cobbet and Elizabeth Roger alias Marner were married at Farnborough Church (‘Roger alias Marner’ was a Farnborough family); this is William Cobbett, Parish Warden, who copied all those early Frimley records;

1645 ~ William Cobbet son of William Cobbet was born the first of April and was buried ten weeks after;

1649 ~ William Cobbett’s burial ‘is in order here to be placed’ having been written in the wrong place; this is the father of William Cobbett, Church Warden;

1652 ~ Lorkin Lively was buried; Mr. Liveley was Vicar of Crondall until the Parliamentary Army took over the church and fortified it during the Civil War; Mr. Liveley was ejected from his position and a Puritan clergyman installed. Mr. Liveley and his wife, Alice, lived out the rest of their lives in Frimley. Lorkin Liveley’s father was one of the clerics who produced the King James Bible.

1652 ~ Miss Margaret Beard, daughter of Mistress Margaret Beard buried. When Margaret died, her mother (a widow) had a plaque erected which can now be seen in St Peter’s Frimley;

1655 ~ Thomas son of Thomas Earle a ‘Cittizen’ of London was buried;

1656 ~ Richard Shorter the Parish Clerk was buried; some of the entries in the Frimley register may have been written by him;

1656 ~ Richard son of John Thaire was buried and Henry his son the same day;

1657 ~ ‘A Stone bridge made at the Shipwash’; probably referring to the bridge built over the River Blackwater separating Frimley from Farnborough;

1669 ~ Katherine Weston gentle lady was buried; probably the wife of John Weston, a local J.P.

1674 ~ Catherine ye wife of Walter Tichborne Gent was ‘buryed’; the Tichborne family of Aldershot, Frimley, and London were local magnates and among their possessions were both Aldershot and Frimley Manors;

Frimley Residents Used Farnborough Parish Church

  • Sources
  • Surrey History Centre; Woking, Surrey, England; Surrey Church of England Parish Registers; Reference: FRM/1/1-3
  • Surrey History Centre; Woking, Surrey, England; Surrey Church of England Parish Registers; Reference: FNB/1/1
  • Clergy of the Church of England Database
  • Cambridge University Alumni Database
  • Walter Tichborne: Wikipedia
  • Exploring Surrey’s Past at exploringsurreyspast.org.uk
  • Various Google Books
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