Torrington magna, Deanery of Great Torrington

Chanter 225B, 780-781

  1. Population and dissenters: There are between four & five Hundred Families in our Parish out of which there are thirty eight or near forty Families of Dissenters, who are all of ye Presbyterian Perswasion, & have a small Meeting house at ye East End of ye Town, & ye Name of their present Teacher is Mr Araon Pitt.

  2. Public or charity schools: There is a Charity-School here founded by ye late Dennys Rolle Esqr great Uncle to ye present Gentleman for 30 Boys to be cloath’d & taught, but ye Income falling short ye Number is now reduced to 24. They are duly instructed in ye Principles of ye Christian Religion, according to ye Doctrine of ye Church of England, as far as I know, & duly brought to Church.

  3. Alms-house, hospital or charitable endowment: There are 2 or 3 Alms houses or Hospitals in this Parish, & some Lands & Tenements of considerable Value for ye Repair of ye Church &c so yt there is no Church-rate here. The Corporation have ye Direction of these Benefactions. But as to any Frauds or Abuses in relation to them, I can have nothing to say, unless I had a Copy of ye Decree in Chancery, which applies these Lands & Tenements to such & such uses, which I never Saw.

  4. Residence upon cure: I don’t now reside here, there being no Vicaridge-House. Tho’ I came here in full Expectation of One, as intimated to me by The Dean & Chapter of Christ-Church; but when I came I found none, ye Mansion-House for ye Minister having been blown up in Cromwel’s time when ye Church was, & none provided for him ever Since.

  5. Curate: The Curate yt resides here is Mr John Hartnoll who is allow’d Ł30 a year with Some Perquisites. For Serving alternately at Torrington & St Giles.

  6. Divine service at other churches: No.

  7. Frequency of divine service: There is Divine Service & Sermon here twice every Lord’s-day, unless there be Some very extraordinary Impediment.

  8. Frequency of communion: Every first Sunday in ye Month, beside ye three great Festivals.

  9. Number of communicants: The Number of those yt are of Age to communicate is more than I am able to ascertain. unless I visited every Family & learnt ye Age of every Person in yt Family, which is more than I am well able to do at present; but ye usual Number of Monthly Communicants is about an 100. Sometimes more & Sometimes less, & there were very near 200 Communicants last Easter.

  10. Catechising of children: The Duty of this Place is so very great, yt ye whole can’t easily be perform’d by one yt is obliged to do double Duty every Lord’s-day; & either Preaching or Catechising must be omitted in ye Afternoon. If I omit ye former, great Part of ye Congregation will resort to ye Meeting-house, & I am too Sensible of ye Consequence of omitting ye latter. To remedy this in some measure, I continued to have Catechising instead of a Sermon every Sacrament-day in ye Afternoon; but by reason of my great Infirmities, I have been forced to omit this for some time.

  11. Chapels or chapels in ruins: There is none in this Parish.

    Torrington Magna. V... Samuel Johnson. A.M.
    Lic. Sept. 21. 1713. Presb. Sept. 20. 1713. Offsp. Exon. [Explanation]