The register begun by the Rev. John Lund was, like the following two, a thin book with a stiff paper cover. It has 32 pages and is the size of an ordinary exercise book. (The others are slightly smaller but one has 44 and the other 94 pages, mostly of baptisms but with some pages at the end reserved for confirmations).
The first page of the register has the title and just two records for that year:
A register of ye baptised at Cottam
by ye Revd John Lund of Cotham
Catherine Valentine born November 7th and bptzd the same day, daughter of James and Catharine Valentine
John Hull, son of George Houle and Alice Singleton his wife Baptized ye 18th of Decemr, 1783. Sponsores, John Singleton and Agnes Adkinson
From then on until 1806 the register continues in full, in the printed copy at least in English, then in Latin from 18th March until 5th June 1799 when it is in English again. The last entry made by John Lund was on 17th July 1806:
July 17. Mary Kellet Daughter of Leonard Kellet and Ann Fletcher, Conjes Catholici in Catford, was born and bapz’d the same day by me John Lund. God Father John Kellet. God Mother Margret KelletConjes (conjuges) Catholici = Catholic husband and wife
Rev Thomas Caton was born in Broughton about 1750 and received his education in Lisbon. He arrived from Burnley in July 1812 and stayed till his death in 1820 aged 69, being buried in the chapel. On his arrival he immediately began a new register, as he wrote immediately after the record for Mary Kellet:
July 24, 1812
Owing to Mr Lund’s ill health none were set down after the above. Since July 24 1812, I have set them down in a book of my own.
He began the new book by listing those he had baptised that day ‘sub conditione’ – conditionally, in case the sacrament was not administered properly the first time. The names given are in their Latinate form. The next entries begin on 8th September and continue uninterrupted to the end of the registers in 1834. The average number of baptisms each year appears to be round eight, ranging from about two to eighteen at a rough count, so there must have been many more baptisms needed during 1806-1812. It seems likely that a number of these would be found in other missions – and possibly even at St Anne’s, the parish church of Woodplumpton, rather than omitted altogether but there may of course also be some which have never been recorded.
1812 Conditional Baptisms (for 1806 – 1812)
|Maria Cherry |
|A typical record by Mr Thomas Caton in LatinDie 3 Octobris 1813 natus et die 5 baptizatus fuit Thomas Kellet filius Joannis Kellet Catholici et Mariae Kellet Acotholicae (olim Cherry) conjugum in Wood Plumpton. Patrinus Thomas Kellet. Matrina Maria Kellet. a me T. Caton, Misso Aposto.|
|Born on 3 Oct 1813 and baptised on the 5th was Thomas Kellet, son of John Kellet, Catholic, and Mary Kellet (formerly Cherry), non-Catholic, married couple in Woodplumpton. Godfather Thomas Kellet, Godmother Mary Kellet, by me T. Caton, Missionary Apostolic (Mary more likely than Maria)|
From 1812 onwards the record is printed without translation in the Latin version.
Rev Thomas Berry arrived from Crosby, near Liverpool on 25th October 1826 after a short gap after the death of Mr Caton during which the mission was looked after by the Rev Joseph Bryan Marsh of Newhouse. While there he built the priest’s house (presbytery) adjoining the chapel. He returned to Great Crosby in 1845, then aged about 79, and died there in 1851 aged 85.
The list of priests – continuing down till the present – is discontinued at this point as civil registration began in 1837. The registers for St Andrew’s parish continued but the printed copies conclude with the following:
|Die 7 Decembris 1834 nata et die sequenti baptizata fuit Helena Ireland filia Guilielmi et Elizabethae Ireland (olim Parkinson) conjugum. Patrinus fuit Gulielmus Walmsley. Matrina Elizabetha Walmsley. a me Thoma Berry, Misso Aposto.|
|Born on 7 Dec 1834 and baptised the next day was Helen (or more probably Ellen) Ireland, daughter of William and Elizabeth Ireland (formely Parkinson), married couple. Godfather was William Walmsley. Godmother Elizabeth Walmsley. by me Thomas Berry, Missionary Apostolic.|
The register concludes (in Latin with Latinised names) with Confirmations on 29th September, 1825 at Newhouse. Whether this is a complete list of candidates or only those from the mission at Cottam is not clear. Those from Newhouse and Fernyhalgh would also be there.
The last Confirmations printed in the CRS records took place at Cottam chapel on 20th June, 1831, this time the Rev Thomas Penswick D.D being named as the Bishop and his Coadjutor, Bishop of Bolina, being the Rev Thomas Smith D.D.
Names where the ‘translation’ is not clear are left in their Latinate form in the first group but have already been anglicised in the second. They are placed in alphabetical order for convenience, not in the order in which they appear, and it cannot be guaranteed that those with the same surname are brothers and sisters or even cousins, though it is of course quite likely.
There are common variants on some of these names which may appear in the same families: Hathornthwaite may be spelt Hawthornthwaite, Hathornwaite, Hawthornwaite etc The spelling in Cottam may be consistent here but different in the next mission or parish, so the following also occur – Fairclough as Fearclough; Beesley as Beasley etc. There is no right or wrong spelling!
The obvious names have been listed in their English form but others where the form is doubtful are left as written: Masculine names usually end in ‘us’ and feminine in ‘a’. Anna (Ann), Maria, (Mary). Thomasina=Thomasin (fem) ‘Margaret’ and ‘Margarita’ both appear here, but Joanna has been changed to the usual Jane, and ‘Aloysia’ to Alice.. Helen is often written Ellin or Elling, or Hellin, the rendering of this name being inconsistent, but the ‘H’ was probably dropped in speech in any case – the confusion over where to use this initial letter could be a throw-back to the French in the early Middle Ages. (In the 19th century it was correct to say ‘an hotel’, presumably dropping the ‘h’ in the French style) Note that’ Gu’ is the Latin and French form of ‘W’, a letter not existing in those languages, so ‘Gulielmus’ is always ‘William’.
Some of the names occur in baptisms from about 14-20 years earlier but no such identification can be proved. Many ‘expected’ names are missing and may appear in the records of another mission or not at all.
Confirmations on Wednesday, 8th September 1813, at Fernyhalgh
Confirmations on Saturday, 13th October 1821, at Preston
Confirmations on Saturday, 24th November 1821, at Fernyhalgh
‘Francisca’ has a feminine ending but is in the same column as
the boys, so it is not clear whether this is Francis or Frances.
Confirmations on Thursday, 29th September 1825, at Newhouse
Confirmations on Monday, 20th June 1831 at Cottam
|John Middlehurst |