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August 12, 2010

drunkards to the left, dancing parsons to the right


I found this strange list of the offences of naughty clerics and scandalous priests here

Alston, Edward, Parson of Pentìoe in Essex hath attempted the chastity of some women, and hath used very unchaste demeanours towards other women, snatching a handkerchief from one, and thrusting it into his breeches, and forcing her hand after it, and putting his yard into her hand, pulling up the coates of another, and thrusting his hand into the placket of another.

Dale, Curthbert, Rector of Kettleburrough, Suffolk, “ is a common swearer and curser, &c, hath read the Book of sports on the Lords day. And seeing a stranger in the Church put on his hat in sermon time, he openly then called him a saucy unmannerly clown, and the next Lords day took occasion in his Sermon again to speak of him being then absent, and to call him a saucy Goose, idiot, a wigeon, a cuckoo, and is a common Ale-house and Tavern haunter, and hath been often drunk, and frequently in his Pulpit, upbraideth his Parishioners, calling them Knaves, Devils, Rascals, Rogues, and Villains.

Gordon, John, Rector of Ockley, Sussex, “a common haunter of Ale-houses and Taverns, sitting and tippling there, night after night, and hath spent the whole Sabbath there, so that no Service nor Sermon was in his Church.

Hannington, Henry, Vicar of Hougham, Kent, a common and notorious drunkard, and oft, lying dead drunk in highways, and hath continued so for the space of twenty years and upwards, and useth to sing in his cups in the alehouse bawdy songs, and administered the Sacrament when drunk. And when he read the Book of Sports on the Lords day, there was Beer laid on in his Barn, and dancing and drinking there that day, and to give them the more time for it, he dismissed the Congregation with a few prayers, and left off preaching in the afternoon.

Shepard, Robert, of Hepworth, Suffolk, “a common drunkard, and frequenter of Taverns and Alehouses, lying and continuing drunk in the said houses diverse nights, sometimes twice or thrice a week, and is greatly suspected of incontinency, having had diverse maid-servants depart from his house great with child. And in his catechising and preaching, calls his parishioners black-mouthed hell-hounds, Firebrands of Hell, Bawling dogs and Church-Rollers.

Wells, John, Parson of Shimplyn, Suffolk, ” for that he is a common Alehouse haunter and common drunkard, and in his drunkenness hath lain abroad in the fields, lost his hat, fallen into ditches, and so bemired himself, that he hath been faine to be washed, and hath attempted the chastity of diverse women, and sold his Calves for kisses with them, and having locked himself up in a chamber in an inn with a lewd woman, after a long time the door was broken open upon him, upon his refusal to unlock it, and he was found in a very suspicious manner upon a bed with her.

image by Paul Avril

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