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North Mymms Church - 140 Years of History

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

Chapter 7
Interesting Items

From the County Records, Sessions Rolls, Nos. 919 - 920, for the year 1664.

Two North Myrnms men, John How and Francis Brook, were indicted for failing to attend church. Seven years later, that is in 1671, John How presented a petition to the Court of Sessions as follows: "Being lame and diseased insomuch that by reason of his griefe and paine thereby he was not able to repaire to his parish Church of Northmims there to continue during the tyme of Divine Service and Sermon…" The petition continues that he had been imprisoned for nearly three years for not attending the said church and he prayed to "be enlarged from his long and tedious imprisonment which hath been the ruine of the said parishioneer, his wife and six children."

1789. Sessions Rolls, Indictment No. 107.

Two labouring men of North Mymms, Thomas Rumbold and Thomas Pateman, were charged for stealing 5 cwts. of lead, valued £3, the goods of the Churchwardens of North Mymms. The men had, with outside help, stripped the lead from the church porch. Both men were found guilty and were sentenced to be transported for seven years.

A letter found in the "Bread Register" April, 1815, concerning bread given under the Parish Charities:- "Whereas it appears that in the last year many persons whose names are in the List for receiving Bread have been very negligent in their attendance at Church and have only come when it was known that their names would be called for them to receive the Bread; and whereas such persons by the regulations of the Charity have forfeited their right to receive the Bread thereby.

"Notice is hereby given that if in future it shall appear on calling over the said List the 25th of this month that any persons shall have been absent more than twice within the following year without a satisfactory Cause for the same - their names will be thenceforward put out of the List of distribution for the remainder of the year. "Joseph Sabine and Edwd Fearnley, Churchwardens."

Delsome Lane appears as "Workhouse Lane" in the Register under date 1816. 1817. In the list of Widows’ portions allotted was one to "Sussanah Traveller" aged ninety, of Marshmoor Lane. This was repeated in 1818-19 and 1820. In 1847 the portion was withheld from "Widow G." because she had "misconducted herself."

The Parish Charities for gifts to Labourers engaged in husbandry were given by preference to those claimants having the largest number of children of a dependent age. In 1832 Edward Smith received it as having nine children under the age of eighteen. In 1855, John Webb, nine children. In 1856, William Tyler, "6 children and 5 dead," and George Joy, "10 children 3 dead of them."

Apprenticeships under the Parish Charities. Some of the Conditions laid down in the Indentures make interesting reading. The apprentice pledges himself "not to embezzle or waste his master’s goods, to not play at cards and dice or any other unlawful games nor haunt or frequent taverns or alehouses."

In the year 1884, on July 8th, the Trustees provided an apprentice with the following outfit:- "1 pr. trousers 6s 9d, 4 shirts 8s 8d, 6 collars 2s 0d, Suit 19s 6d. 3 prs. socks 2s 0d, 2 ties 1s 1d"

The lads were apprenticed to the building trades, coachbuilding, shoemaking and gardening; the girls as milliners and dressmakers. In the Indentures of one girl this extra restriction was inserted: "And shall not attend any classes for the purpose of learning dancing."

The addition to the churchyard west of the tower was made in 1875. At that date, North Mymms was included in the diocese of Rochester.

Bell Bar Mission Room was licensed on April 3rd, 1878, by Thomas Legh, Bishop of St. Albans, "for preaching the word of God and in reading the Common Prayers and in Celebrating the Holy Sacraments as prescribed by the Book of Common Prayer." Every baptism there celebrated to be duly registered in Registry of Baptisms belonging to the Parish Church of North Mymms.

March 24th, 1886. A Vestry was held at the Vicarage, when Three Guardians were elected to the Hatfield Board. Three Waywardens, one Surveyor of Roads and two Overseers were also chosen.

Extract from the vicar’s letter in the Parish Magazine of June,1886:- "Our Church has lately undergone a much-needed thorough cleansing and repair. Would that all the worshippers within its walls might be so cleansed from their sins.

August, 1886. A Memorial having been presented to the Marquis of Salisbury for the removal of the Warren Gate Toll Bar, the vicar was informed by his Lordship’s agent that arrangements would shortly be made for its abolition.

by H.M. Alderman

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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