Churchwarden’s Book; Samuel Crawley – 1898

Not long ago, I received a letter from the widow of Canon Gordon and daughter of the late Dean Buckland, returning to me, as Rector of the parish, an old Churchwarden’s book, belonging to Oddington, which she had found amongst her husband’s papers. This Churchwarden’s work is a marvel of neatness, and the writing is better than those of a more recent date. It dates from the year 1609 to 1728, and is full of most interesting matter. Polecats, sparrows, and hedgehogs seemed to form a considerable expense to the parish. Here are several extracts:-

Paid Jack Lowos for a pollcat         4d

pd John Toms 3 dozen sparrers     9

  1. Jackson for a hogs hogg             4

3 Boll Rops                                        7 6

3 poll cats                                           1 0

4 doz. sparrers                                 1   0

Dean Buckland and Mr Serle were very great friends and often dined together – the late Dean was a great naturalist as well as a great geologist. Those who dined with Dean Buckland never knew what the joints were, whether “cat,” “rat,” “dog,” or “snake,”- but all was tempting and very nice. However, on one occasion, it is said, that one guest protested and said he really could not manage “earwig pie.” I cannot find out whether this happened at Oddington Rectory or not.

Samuel Crawley, Rector

March 1898