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North Mymms Church - 140 Years of History

The Churchwardens’ Accounts of North Mymms
by H.M. Alderman

Chapter 3
Relief for the Poor and a Nation at War

All through the accounts there are entries of payments made for the relief of distressed people and travellers, as for instance:-

1773. Oct. 29th: "Gave to the Weavers and other Travellers 5s 0d"
1786. Aug. 19th: "Gave Dame Knight and Widow Niccolls being very ill with fever 6-6"
1793. Apr. 1st: "Gave a Poor woman going to Yorkshire 1s 0d"
1793. Christmas: "To four distrest Sailors 2s 6d"
1798. Nov. 17th: "Gave 2 Poor Sailors 1s 0d"

This was during the Napoleonic war Period and probably the sailors would be making journey to and from the East Coast ports.

A certain "Dame Johnson" appears in the accounts on several occasions from 1799 to 1801, but the whole amount given her was only 4s 6d.

1802. Dec. 23rd: "Gave a Poor Soldier whos wife had her Arm broke 2s 0d"
1827. May 3rd: "Relief to Traveling Seaman with a Petition 4s 0d"

Royal Coat of Arms

The question is often put why this should be exhibited in front of the tower gallery in the church. Henry the Eighth, at the time he thrust himself on the Church as its head, ordered the Royal Arms to be shewn in all churches as a sign of the Royal Supremacy.

The "Arms" in North Mymms Church are those of George the Third and the accounts contain full details of the transaction:-

1774 - 75: "For the Kings Arms putting up in the Church £5 14s 6d
"Recd. of the Duke of Leeds £2 2s 0d
"Subscription towards them Doctor Roper £1 1s 0d" to which the Churchwarden, Thomas Mawe, plaintively adds "due to me £2 11s 6d".

Wars with France, and Spain and the War for American Independence

The troublous times of the war-tortured second half of the eighteenth century had their repercussions on the life of the parish and several entries in the accounts reflect this, such as:

1780. Oct. 14th: "Proclomation and prayer for the Fast and a prayer for the War 2-6" 1782. "Prayer for Rodney’s Success ( his victory over the French Admiral De Grasse, and the ‘Prayer’ obviously means ‘Thanksgiving ’) 1s 0d" By the year 1796 Pitt was anxious to make peace with France and this is reflected in this entry:- "Proclamation and Prayers for a Fast for Peace 2s 6d" but the following year, 1797, witnessed great English naval victories and thus we have- "expences for Prayers for Fast Admiral Jarvis’s success ( Battle of Cape St. Vincent, February 14th .) 6s 0d" and on November 4th:- "Prayer for Admiral Duncan’s victory ( Battle of Camperdown, October 11th ). 2s 0d"

In the following year Lord Nelson comes into the picture:-

1798. Oct. 27th: Two Prayers for Admiral Nelson’s victory 2s 0d"
Nov. 17th: "Proclomation and Prayer for Nelsons victory for a thanksgiving ( Battle of the Nile, August 1st ) 3s 6d"

There is no mention of any "Prayers" for Nelson’s great victory at Trafalgar, October 21st, 1805, or of Wellington’s triumph at Waterloo, June 18th, 1815.

King George the Third 1760-1820

As is well known was afflicted with periodic attacks of madness; several entries in the account refer to this:-

1786. Aug. 19th: "A Prayer for the King 1s 0d"
1788. Nov. 18th: "Prayer for his Majesty 2s 0d"

Mar. 8th: "Prayer &c for his Majesty’s recovery 2s 6d"

1801. Apr. 30th: "Prayer & Proclomation for the King’s recovery 3s 6d"

During George the Third’s long reign several attempts were made on his life and the references to these are very quaint:-

1796. Jan. 23rd. "Proclamation and Prayers for the Kings Going to the Parliament House and like to have been Killed 2s 6d"
1800. May 31st: "A Prayer for the King being shot at in Drury Lane Theatre 1s 6d"
1803.Mar. 10th: "Prayer for the Kings escape from Despard 3s 6d"

by H.M. Alderman

Chapter 4 - Vicar's Surplice, Whitewashing and Rates
Index - North Mymms Church 140 Years of History
Foreword - Why H.M. Alderman wrote the book

Editor's Note: The text has been left as it appeared in H.M Alderman's original work. For those too young to remember pounds, shillings and pence, the currency set out above as it was before we changed to a decimal system for currency in 1967. It works out as follows. £1 = 20 shillings (s) and 1 shilling = 12 pennies (d). So £1 10s 0d = £1.50 today and 1s = 5p.

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