Serving God, Serving our Community

Parish Registers

A Mandate, formulated by Thomas Cromwell in 1538, instructed each parish to purchase a ‘sure coffer’ the parson to have one key and a churchwarden another.  It is of note that Thomas Cromwell held manors in Frittenden, at Buckhurst, Bewper and Wallinghurst.  Under this Mandate, each marriage, christening and burial was to be registered weekly by the minister with the churchwarden acting as witness; these records were then to be deposited in the newly acquired parish chest.  Quite often these early registers were simply loose sheets and the survival rate is not high.


Frittenden Registers

Vol. I

An order signed by Elizabeth I in 1598 required that all the loose leaf registers be transcribed into parchment books, especially those records since her accession – a qualification which has led to the fact that the extant records of many parishes date from 1558.

What would appear to be the copy of Frittenden’s registers created under this order, found its way into the custody of the Rector of Frittenden, Allan Norris, in 2001.  It was passed to the Frittenden Historical Society and is awaiting transcription.

This volume contains the following:

Baptisms          1558 – 1690

Marriages         1562 –1690

Burials               1561 – 1690


Parish Registers Vol 1
Baptisms from the 16th century recorded in Volume I of the Parish Registers

Vol. II

This volume also came into the custody of Allan Norris in 2001 and is also being transcribed.

This volume contains the following:

Baptisms          1666-1770

Marriages         1657-1760

Burials               1660-1812


Parish Registers Vol II
Baptisms from the 17th century recorded in Volume II of the Parish Registers.

An Ordinance of 1644/5 instructed that birth dates should be noted in the register as well as the parents’ names.  The date of death was to be noted as well as the date of burial.

Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1754 introduced, inter alia, bound volumes of specially printed forms to register marriages.

Vol. III

Burials               1875 –1949

This is the first new register following George Rose’s Act of 1812 which required incumbents to keep a specially printed register to record burials.  Entries were now to state age, address and occupation of the deceased.


Vol. IV

Baptisms           1879 – 1935

This is the first new register following George Rose’s Act of 1812 which required incumbents to keep a specially printed register to record christenings.  Entries were now to include the names, addresses and occupations of the parents.

Parish Registers Vol IV
Front Cover of Volume IV of Frittenden Parish Registers

Vol. V

Marriages         1837 – 1925

Parish Registers Vol V
Front Cover of Volume V of Frittenden Parish Registers

There are also records held at the Kent County Archive [Kent History and Library Centre].  These records are held under the reference P152 and reflect the activities of the parish of Frittenden.  As well as records of the incumbent minister, which include registers of baptisms, marriages and burials, they also contain records, where they survive, of the churchwardens, the parish constable, the overseers of the poor and the parish surveyor.


Kent History and Library Centre

James Whatman Way
ME14 1LQ

Tel: 03000 41 31 31



Frittenden Historical Society



Cranbrook Museum

Carriers Road,



TN17 3JX
Tel: 01580 712929 (Answerphone)


The information on this page has been kindly provided by the Frittenden Historical Society.