A North Yorkshire

St Oswald’s Farnham

Parish Meeting Agenda

The Civil War 1642 -1649 and

the Commonwealth 1649 - 1653

The war was the result of conflict between Parliament and King Charles I, over freedom in politics and religion as against absolute rights of the monarchy.  Despite the fact that one of the most decisive battles of the war was fought at nearby Marston Moor in 1644 - there is little record of Farnham being involved. A reference is made to the quartering of Parliamentary troops in Farnham - some cannon balls recovered from a garden - a story of Cromwellian graffiti in a house - but there was a major change after the establishment of the Commonwealth

An act of 1653 made marriages the responsibility of Justices of the Peace rather than the clergy - as the following entry in the Marriage Register shows:
'The register book for ye Parishe of Farnham in the Countye of Yorke made and provided for ye Registeringe of Marriages, Births and Buryals within ye said Parish According to ye act of Parliament in ye Beehalf Initiated an Act touching Marriages and Registeringe thereof and also touching Birthes and Buryalles.  In pursuance of ye Act of Parliament - Robert Cundall of Farnham, came this day before me, Thomas Stockdale Esq. One of the Justices of the Peace - and produced a certificate that he was elected for ye parish - of which election I approve and have swarne him well and truly to execute the sd Office and Place 1653"  So marriages were to be conducted by J.P. - and the records to be kept by a 'Registrar'. An example of this is the following entry in the records.

Next Home History
‘Feb 12th 1655 Henry Bickerdyke of Low Hall and Elizabeth Leedom were this day married together in the presence of us Phatual Fish, Robert Cundall. William Stephenson. John Wincope and me Hen. Greene. Mayor’
In fact Robert Cundall had been the vicar since 1629 so his promotion to Registrar was not so revolutionary and he lived long enough to see the revocation of the Act and to be restored to the Vicar of the Parish.