Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Forum - Parish News

This is our 'current affairs' section, where members can disseminate news and announcements - see the WELCOME message for information on how to post.

Forum - Parish News Order of precedence at parish meetings

  1. In writing her thesis about sixteenth century Reading, Jeanette Martin discovered a 1547 ordinance for the parish of St Laurence's that gives the order of precedence at parish meetings. Interesting, it states that the meeting was presided over by the civic official of mayor rather than a parish official. The order of precedence is given as: the mayor, two former mayors, the vicar, the two churchwardens, then seven other senior townsmen (two aldermen and seven secondary burgesses). Has anybody else come across any similar indicators of order of precedence and, if so, did other parishes have a similar hierarchy?


    Joe Chick (Warwick)

  2. A couple of responses from our Twitter feed:

    Beat Kümin: Clive Burgess found a 'social pyramid' for the medieval London parish of St Mary at Hill, holding clues about the local hierarchy [see his essay 'Shaping the Parish' in The Cloister and the World: Essays in Honour of Barbara Harvey, ed. J. Blair; B. Golding (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 246-286]

    Elizabeth Tingle: Counter Ref parish docs cite priests first, then seigneurs in order of fief, then sieurs, then others