Sussex Church Court Deponents 1556-1694

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The archives of the Sussex Ecclesiastical Church Courts cover many aspects of city, town and village life in Sussex during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and are some of the most interesting records for local and family historians. Cases brought before the courts were known as causes and could be brought by individuals (instant causes), or by direct summons from the court or arising from Churchwardens' Presentments (Office causes). Cases primarily concerned such matters as tithes, church repairs, pew allocation, probate, morality, breach of promise in matrimonial cases, and cases to do with the exercise of clergy responsibilities such as failing to use the Book of Common Prayer or preaching false doctrine. There are also six cases of bewitching. The cases illustrate how great was the mobility of persons during the period under study and how several of them had come from great distances into Sussex or who been born or worked in other counties. Many witnesses had been either born or worked in the adjoining counties of Hampshire and Surrey, some had connections with Ireland, Scotland and Wales or had come from or worked overseas. Michael J Burchall FSG has extracted from the original records in West Sussex Record Office details of people who made depositions which include name, trade, age, birthplace and residences.
Word searchable .pdf. Published by Parish Register Transcription Society.