To the Revd the Minister of Seaton & Beer

Chanter 232A, 203

  1. Residence, curate and lecturer: After residing almost three years in my Vicarage House Self Preservation drove Me and my Family from the lugentes Campi1 or inhospitable Vale of Seaton.

    I now reside at Beer in an House, for which I am obliged by the durum Telum Necessitas2 to give a very high Rent.

  2. Other benefices: I am possessed of the Rectory of Wayford in the County of Somerset. My Institution bears date 1754.

  3. Divine service at other churches: In the Parish of Seaton & Beer there is a Parish Church with a Chapel of Ease annexed to it. The former is at Seaton. the latter at Beer. For many Years past the Number of Inhabitants in the village of Beer hath far exceeded the Number of Inhabitants in the Village of Seaton. Prompted by this very equitable Consideration I have made an equal division of Parochial Duty by performing Divine Service alternately in each Place of Publick Worship.

  4. Frequency of divine service: Divine Service is regularly performed on every Lord's Day both in the Church & Chapel with a Sermon in Each. I read Prayers likewise on every Saint's day throughout the Year.

  5. Frequency of communion: The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is administered both in the Church & Chapel four Times in every Year. The Number of Communicants is between forty & fifty.

  6. Catechising of children: Every Year during the Season of Lent, I read Prayers, and catechise the youth of my Parish. On closing the Catechetical Lecture I usually distribute among Those who acquit Themselves well, some short Expositions of the Church Catechism together with some little Tracts adapted to excite a Spirit of Devotion, and to edify the tender Minds of Youth.

  7. Church fabric: The Church & Chapel are in good Repair. For the Communion Table in Each a more decent Cloth is wanting.

  8. Glebe terrier: In one of the Parish Registers there is inserted an exact Account of the Glebe Lands, House &c belonging to the Vicarage. There is however much wanted a full and correct Copy of the Endowment of the Vicarage. The Original, as I have been informed, is lodged in the Archives belonging to the Cathedral Church at Exeter. The Archives, I am told, have been most unfortunately neglected, and the precious Records contained therein are now in very bad Condition.

  9. Number of families: From a Survey taken in the Year 1772 the Number of Souls within the Parish of Seaton & Beer appeared to be 1,000 and upwards. Since that Time the Number is greatly augmented.

  10. Chapels: This Question is already answered. Vide An: N3 & 4...

  11. Papists, dissenters and meeting houses: To the first very pertinent & interesting Question I most chearfully return a Negative. O' that the most inveterate Enemy of Evangelical Truth & Liberty was most strictly watched & cautiously attended to throughout every diocese in this Protestant Kingdom.
    To the 2d Question I reply there is one Meeting-House at Beer for the Use of Dissenters under the Denomination of Presbyterians. Their Number is but small; and, as I conceive is gradually growing smaller. They have no settled Teacher among Them.

  12. School, alms-houses, hospital and charitable endowments: There is no Publick School or charitable Endowment in my Parish. There is one School for Writing &c and several Schools for Reading. No Parochial Library.

  13. Charity: No Benefactions whatever.

    Priest's orders and institution: A.D. 1746 I was ordained Deacon by my very good Friend the late Dr. Welles Bp. of Bath & Wells, who was pleased to rank Me in the Number of his Chaplains.
    A.D. 1750 I was ordained Priest by the late Dr. Sherlock Bp. of London. My Institution to the Vicarage of Seaton & Beer bears Date the 5th August 1769. On the Day following (being Sunday) I took Possession, and went through the whole Service according to the Forms usually prescribed.

    21st April 1779. Beer near Axminster.
    J. Corpe. Vicar of Seaton & Beer.

    [The following Latin paragraph is written on the reverse of the replies submitted by the Reverend Corpe.]

    Quanquam nulla hactenus inter Nos Notitia est labentissime tamen agnosco Fortunas nostras, quod Te quasi Rivum a primaevo at Fidei, et Pietatis Fonte profluentem haec opportuna datur gratulandi Potestas. Virtutes autem in Te insitas satis admirari, nedum imitari haud facile conceditur. Quod igitur ad Me nullius vel Pretii, vel Formae Homunculum attinet; sat habeo, ac deo adjuvante, sat ?habebo Te sequi, quasi alterum Patrem, etiamsi non aequis Passibus. Te enim duce, Te Auspice, Nil Mihi desperandum erit


    Most worthy protector

    Although there is no acquaintance between us thus far, yet I tardily recognize our fortunes, that this timely power is given to congratulate you as a stream flowing from the youthful fountain of faith and piety. It is hardly given to me easily to admire the virtues which are innate in you, let alone to imitate them. Although therefore nothing belongs to me, a little man, of either value or beauty, I have sufficient and, with God's help, I shall have sufficient to follow you like a second father, albeit not with equal steps. With you as my leader, with you as my protector, I shall never lose hope.

    1. Lugentes campi translates literally as "mourning fields". [Back]
    2. Durum Telum Necessitas translates roughly to "hard dart of necessity". [Back]