South Molton, Deanery of South Molton

Chanter 225B, 599

  1. Population and dissenters: I cannot <exactly> Learn what number of familys we have in this Large Town & parish, wherein tis Computed yt there <are about 800 [families], or> 3000 Souls; about Seventy of which <familys> we suppose to be Dissenters, some Presbyterians & Some Anabaptists, both which have separate Meeting-Houses. I believe, Licented one Mr Paulk is the Presbyterian Minister, and one Mr Humphrys the Anabaptist Minister.

  2. Public or charity schools: We have two Publick Charity Schools endowed. One for Latin and writing & Arithmetick and the other for writing & reading only, of both which due Care is taken. In the former, there are 20: Boys taught Gratis in writing & Arithmetick only & some Latin boys for which the Master is paid. In the Latter 6: boys & 6: Girls taught & Cloathed in Blue Cloaths.

  3. Alms-house, hospital or charitable endowment: We had formerly, as tis said, two Alms-Houses in our parish, but they are both in Ruins at presant we have none, but a Hospital or workhouse is lately set up for ye reception of sick & poor persons. No Lands left to ye repair of the Church, but we have Lands belonging to ye Charity and Blue-boys Schools under the direction of the Corporation <& other Trustees> & I never know or heard of any abuse of it.

  4. Residence upon cure: I Do Reside personally upon my Cure, But have no Parsonage or Vicarage House.

  5. Curate: I have no Curate, {But} having Constantly officiated myself til a late fit of sickness & old Age {have} rendred me incapable, during which state of Incapacity my neighbour The Revd Mr. Southcomb Sen hath Chiefly assisted me, But I purpose to Employ a Curate or relinquish the Cure very Soon.

  6. Divine service at other churches: At none.

  7. Frequency of divine service: Divine Service is performed in my Church not only on Sundays, both parts of the Day, with at least one Sermon, But also on Holy-days and Wednesdays & Fridays.

  8. Frequency of communion: Six times in the year.

  9. Number of communicants: I believe we may have near three hundred Commnicants in all, and about a Hundred usually Receive as often as ye Sacrament of the Lords Supper is administred. At Easter last we had about 140.

  10. Catechising of children: In ye Summer Season for about two months I did {usually} <always before my illness> Catechize children in the Church on Lords days. Those Children are generally <well> instructed <at home> before they Come to be Catechised in Church.

  11. Chapels or chapels in ruins: We have no Chapel, except one Rebuilt by the Revd Mr Southcomb Senr on his Temporal estate in this parish, in which he officiates himself sometimes for ye use of his family only.

    Jos. Hole Minist' ibide:
    South Molton C. - Joshuah Hole A.B. Licensed Ap 3d. 1696 Presb. 22d. Decr. 1689. J. Exon. [Explanation]