Seaton, Deanery of Honiton.

Chanter 225A, 27-28

  1. Population and dissenters: My Lord,
    I most humbly give Answer to your Lordship’s Queries. The Parish of which I am Vicar is now commonly calld, The Parish of Seaton & Beer, which consists of two villages, about a mile distant from each other. The Parish Church is in Seaton; and there is a Chapell of Ease at Beer, where by-much the greater Part of the Parisioners live, for the Benefit of a Fishery. In both Parts of the Parish there are about one hundred twenty four Families; twenty of which may be called dissenting Families; altho’ some members of those dissenting <Families> attend at Church or Chapell. A meeting-house was erected at Beer, near forty years past; and, I suppose, then licenced. The Dissenters, there attending, are said to be Presbyterians; But, I think, they may rather be denominated, Presbyterian-Independents. There is no fix’d Teacher at the Meeting-House: The Names of those who usually come thither, in the way of Teaching or Preaching, are Mr Samuel Newberry, Mr George Patrick or Batrach, & Mr Joseph Hook. There is no other sort of Dissenters, but such as above denominated, that I know of, in the parish.

  2. Public or charity schools: There is no publick or Charity School, endowed or otherwise maintain’d, in my Parish. There are several smal schools for teaching little Children to read; and one Writing-School in Beer, where Children are also taught to read. The School-Master is not licenced; his scholars being not many; and those which he has, being not constantly sent to him. He teaches the Church-Catechism, and his scholars often <come> with him to the Chapell, and are brought to the Parish Church to be examined in the Catechism.

  3. Alms-house, hospital or charitable endowment: There is no Alms House, Hospital, or other Charitable Endowment or any Thing left for pious uses, but only a smal yearly Benefaction of Twenty Shillings, given about eleven years past, by the last Will of Robert Marwood Esqr, for the Benefit of Twenty Poor Persons of Beer for ever, at one Shilling each; which little Benefaction hath, I believe been duly distributed every year since the time it was given, on St Lukes Day, as the above Will, I am told, directs. A Copy of the said Will, or clause of it, relating to the above benefaction, is not among the Papers and Writings belonging to the Parish.

  4. Residence upon cure: I do not at present, personally reside upon my Cure, (tho I do all the Service belonging to it) having had Liberty granted from the late Lord Bishop, and most humbly beg the same from your Lordship, which Favour I mention’d at Axminster, in September 1742, and your Lordship was pleas’d to continue it, for the Reason I gave that I might live with my Family, for the Benefit of good Air, at Colyton, which is a Town about two little miles distant from Seaton, where, when I resided in my Vicarage-House, which stands very near a large Marsh, myself and Family were very-much afflected with Agues or intermitting Fevers. I have no other Reason for my non-residence (which is a considerable Expence to me) but the Preservation of Health. My Vicarage House is kept in good Repair, and a Family lives in it; of which Family have been lately under the Severity of the same Distemper above mentioned.

  5. Curate: I have no Curate. I serve my Cure myself, my Lord.

  6. Divine service at other churches: No, my Lord.

  7. Frequency of divine service: Divine Service is perform’d every Holiday in the Church or Chapell belonging to my Parish; and twice every Lord’s Day, with a Sermon in the Morning and Afternoon either at Church or Chapel.

  8. Frequency of communion: Not less than three Times in the year; of which Easter is one.

  9. Number of communicants: I believe there may be about Three hundred Persons in the Parish, above sixteen years of age, who would be thought willing to be called members of our Church; and yet I am afraid they are not all stedfast so: But I cannot say, That one Quarter of that number, after all my earnest Endeavors to bring them to that Duty, communicate in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Tho’ I cannot exactly inform your Lordship yet I am certain that the number last Easter, was under Twenty-five.

  10. Catechising of children: I catechize the Children several months in the Summer, ‘till all the Children, and others, who are sent (and somtimes they are a good Number) are examin’d and instructed in the whole Catechism. I earnestly desire my Parishioners to send their Children &c. But Intreaties will not alway be prevalent. And some think it not prudent, at least, to use other Discipline.

  11. Chapels or chapels in ruins: There is no Chapell in my Parish, but that of Beer aforementioned which is a mile distant from the Parish-Church; and is serv’d by myself twice in every Month, with Divine Service and Sermon in the morning’s of the Lords Days; and at several other times in the year with Divine Service on Holidays.

    Thus I have answer’d your Lordship’s Queries, relying, without Doubt or distrust, on your Promise, Candour & Goodness; and am, My Lord,

      Your Lordships very obedient son & humble servant in the Labours of the Gospel, William Keate vicar of Seaton & Beer.
    Seaton v. cum capellâ de Beer William Keate A.B.
    inst. Sept. 6. 1710. Presb. Sept. 29. 1703.
    Richardus Bathon & Wellens: [Explanation]