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The Bawdy Courts: Our Rude Forefathers and the ChurchCode:
The Bawdy Courts : Our Rude Forefathers and the Church
The power of the Church over our ancestors’ lives waned slowly, as simple belief in religion waned. The right to settle matters concerning debts, money-lending, business contracts, bankruptcy, and almost any financial problems of civil life (other than those connected with wills and tithes to the church), had gradually been taken away from the church’s control. Their remaining remit covered the church and its own administration, wills, and otherwise, with few exceptions, the private lives, morals and behaviour of ordinary folk The book covers the Church Courts dealings with matters concerning:- Tithes & Offerings to the Church; Wills - it was considered that all earthly possessions came from God, or by his good will, and this involved everything except ownership of land, which came ultimately from the King; Morals – This covered several types of misbehaviour; Divorce - Was rare , since the Church regarded marriage as a sacrament for ever; Breach of Promise – An agreement made and later failed to go through with it; Defamation of Character –An accusation by one person that another had attacked him or her verbally, to the detriment of his or her good name; Bad Behaviour by Laity Concerning the Church – Failure to attend church, failure by parents to baptise their children. The book also includes a detailed transcribed list of examples eg. Vulgar abuse, defamation, tithe cases, mortuaries – testamentary disputes, nuncupative wills, matrimonial disputes, incest, drunken cleric. Etc.
There is alphabetical list of names mentioned in extracts.