HOW THE CHURCH RATES WERE SPENT.
Court Costs, Wine and Bread for Sacraments, Gunpowder Treason.
A typical page:-
The Churchwardens were sworn in and out by the Quarter Sessions of the North Riding of Yorkshire and paid Court charges.
1718 For going to Stoxley [Stokesley 12 miles] 1s 6d
1732 For going to get into Office 3s 0d.
Court Charges and Expences thereat 9s 8d
1746 To Court fees 8s 0d Expences 11s 0d
1752 Going to Cort 3s 0d.
Geting out of Office 3s 0d.
1770 To Court fees at Thirsk 6s 6d.
1789 Court Fees and expenses £1 8s 3d.
Map of 1806.
Saltburn, Middlesbrough, the nearby villages of North and New Skelton, Boosbeck, Lingdale, Charltons did not exist at this time.
They came with the Railways and the opening of Ironstone Mines.
The main roads in the area were the present day A172 Guisborough - Whitby moor road and the one from Guisborough to Stokesley.
Tarmac had not arrived and the surfaces were made of gravel and hammered in stones.
The page for 1718 lists the 12s 6d cost of fetching a load of Lead for the Church roof from Newport on the River Tees -
There are entries in the next section for transporting barrels of wine from Stockton and Whitby.
Pity the poor old horse !
1796 - Was the parson a secret tippler ?
WINE AND BREAD FOR SACRAMENTS.
1718 For bread and wine. 16 quarts at Easter £1 8s 2d
1730 For three times fetching the Wine from Whitby 4s 6d
1731 Wine at Whitsontide 8 quarts
At Michaelmas 6 quarts
At Christmas 7 quarts
At Good Friday and Easter 14 quarts £3 4s 2d
1732 For six times fetching Wine from Gisbrough 4s 0d
For Bread at six Sacraments 4s 0d
Spent with the Minister on six Sacrament days 6s 0d
1748 To Jane Grainger for Bread for Sacraments 3s 4d.
1752 To 34 Quarts of Wine at 22 pence per Quart £3 2s 4d
1776 To 8 and a half gallons wine £2 11s 0d.
To Carriage of wine from Stockton 1s 2d.
To corks for the wine 6d.
1787 Spent at bottling wine 1s 0d.
1795 Paid John Stephenson for Carriage of 2 hampers of wine from Guisborough 8d.
It seems strange at first glance that the Church should be celebrating each year, Bonfire night, the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
An image of the Vicar dancing round the Churchyard waving a sparkler comes to mind, but in fact it was just another part of the Church of England's annual ritual.
Everyone knows the story of how the rotten spoil sports prevented Guy Fawkes from lighting the fuse to his 36 big bangers and thereby blowing up the Houses of Parliament while King James I was present.
What is less well known is that "Remember Remember the 5th of November" was made compulsory by the "Observance of 5th November 1605 Act" or "Thanksgiving Act" of the following January.
It remained in force until its repeal on the 25th March 1859.
A new form of service was added to the Church of England's Book of Common Prayer, for use on the 5th of November.
Although the Catholic Gunpowder Plotters were actually betrayed by a secret letter, religion had such power over minds at this time that it was thought that there must have been some Divine intervention to save the King James' life.
A Coronation, it was believed by some, bestowed on the monarch a Divine right to rule and even the miraculous power to heal the sick.
Subjects of all ranks, for example, still sought the "royal touch" to be magically cured of scrofula, actually caused by tuberculosis.
This belief that Royal power was God-given would, together with Religious differences, would be the causes of the Civil War in the next reign.
It seems somewhat hypocritical that just 44 years after 1605 the nation should execute James I's son, Charles, for trying to exercise his supposed Divine powers, yet continue to praise the Lord for saving the his father's life.
The Skelton Churchwardens' paid more sensibly for booze, rather than fireworks in the Churchyard, but the day was marked, nationwide, with anti-Catholic sentiments and the burning of effigies, including the Pope.
The crazy expenditure on fireworks in modern times is purely the result of this long forgotten Thanksgiving Act.
Had it not been for that Act, Guy Fawkes and his plot, which turned out to be a non-event, may well have been "forgot" and national celebrations more worthily held for the defeat of the Spanish Armada, Lord Nelson saving the country
at Trafalgar, Wellington ending the threat of Napoleon at Waterloo, or the Spitfire pilots and Bomber Harris smashing evil Hitler, all of which events were of much greater national consequence and had much "brighter sparks" and
1732 For the drink on Gunpowder Treason 4s 0d.
1782 Spent 5th Nov at William Dixons 5s 0d.
1783 Spent 5th Nove at Alice Mitchels 5s 0d.
1784 To Gunpowder Treason at Jonathan Searle's 5s 0d.
1785 To Gunpowder Treason at Timothy Castley's 5s 0d.
1786 Spent 5th Nov at Betty Green's 5s 0d.
1809 Paid to Moses Harrison for Ale on the 5th November 5s 0d.