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Issue Number: 323  July   1901

“ Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the Kingdom of God.”—S. MARK, x, 14.

June 5 — Russell Claude, son of Arthur and Alberta Minnie Jeffs, Bream's Eaves, blacksmith.

" What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." S. Mark, 10.

June 12 — By the Vicar, Sir Raymond West, K. C. I. E., widower, of Chesterfield, Norwood, and Annie Kirkpatrick Cook, spinster, of Prior's Mesne, Lydney.

" Here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come." Heb., 13, 14.

June 10 — Lot Coombes, Cleverends Green, aged 14 years

July 25—Feast of St. James the Apostle (the Patron Saint of Bream.)
The Vicar hopes upon St. James’ Day to have a Choral Communion Service at 7.30 a.m. rendered by Communicants only—and Choral Evensong at 7 p.m., with Sermon by the Rev. Gerald Sampson, late Rector of Staunton.
The Vicar invites all Communicants and. Churchworkers (Parochial or Missionary) to tea at the Vicarage, at 6 p.m. The offerings all day will he devoted to the Batten Memorial Tablet, which will shortly be placed in the Church.
The Children’s Flower Service will be held, D.V., on Sunday, July 28th, at 3 p.m.

On Wednesday, June 12th, a very pretty wedding was solemnized in Bream between Sir Raymond West, Knight Commander of the Indian Empire, and Miss Annie Kirkpatrick Cook, eldest daughter of Surgeon General Cook, of Prior’s Mesne. The Church was beautifully decorated, and the musical portions of the Service were very well rendered by Mr. James Kidson, organist, and the Choir. The Ceremony was performed by the Vicar, and the wedding Sermon preached by the Rev. W. Townsend, Vicar of Coleford. We wish the Bride and Bridegroom much happiness.

We have received from Mr. F. Watkins, of the Eaves, 10/6 towards the School Enlargement Fund, making the total £435 l6s.
E. F. E.

In seeking information concerning old Churches the usual course is to search in certain well known schedules or lists of Churches and Chapelries which were made for special purposes at various times, and which are to be found to-day in all good libraries. Such of these as are of local interest, together with one or two documents of less notoriety, we will now consider as briefly as possible.

1. The Taxation of Pope 1291.—A Papal Tax—mentions the Mother Church of Newland (under its Latin name Nova Terra), as being “in the Rural Deanery of Ross, and in the Diocese of Hereford, and of the annual value of £26 13s, 4d." — money being of course much more valuable then than now—but no Chapelries of Newland are mentioned, nor the names of either Coleford, Clearwell or Bream..

2. The Inquisition of the Ninths, 1341.—A Royal War Tax—mentions the “Parish Church of Newland” as above but no Chapelries.

3. The Hereford Episcopal Register 1275 to 1504, contains frequent entries concerning Newland Church and Chantry, with institutions of Vicars and Chantry Priests, the dedication of Altars and disputations about tithes, &c., but it does not mention Bream nor any Chapelry of Newland.

4. The Will of Jane (or Joan), sometime wife of Robert Greyndore of Clearwell Court, proved in 1485.—Testatrix desires to be buried “in the Parish church of Newland, in my Chapel of S. John Baptist and S. Nicholas with. my husband Robert Greyndore,” and mentions the various churches and Chapelries with which she had been intimately connected, and which she wished to benefit under her will, viz., “Flaxley Staunton, Lydney, S. Brevells and her Chapel at Clowerwall” (Clearwell), but she makes no mention. whatever of Coleford or Bream.

5. The Ecclesiastical Valuation of Henry VIII 1535— made for the purpose of partly disendowing the Church—mentions the Vicarage of Newlande, in the Rural Deanery of Ross, in the County of Gloucester and Diocese of Hereford, as of the clear yearly value of £18 6s. l0d. ; also the Newlande Chantry of the clear yearly value of £10 16s. 4d but makes no mention of any Chapelries.

6. Ecton’s Thesaurus 1742, describes Bream, S. James, as a Curacy and Chapel of Newland.

7. Bacon’s, “Kings Book,” 1786, repeats the statement of “Ecton’s Thesaurus.”

Taking the last two of these lists first, it is easy to see that the Chapel of Bream might have been held worthy of mention in the 18th century, because it had then and not earlier obtained some small endowments, and this would perhaps account for the silence of the earlier lists, for certainly neither Pope nor King would be able to tax a Chapelry which had no property. On the other hand, the “Ecclesiastical Valuation of Henry VIII” does make mention of one Chapelry which was of no value, namely, “the Chapel of the Holy Trinity,” in the Parish, I think, of Lydney, declared to be “valueless, because it stands in the Sea.” I do not know anything about this Chapel of the Holy Trinity. It is probable that it owes its mention to the fact that it had at one time some property or endowment which had either become submerged by the Severn Sea or else transferred to some other Ecclesiastical use when the Chapel itself became submerged. Its mention does not at all shake our contention that the Chapel of Bream may have been in existence at the same time, yet not mentioned, because not taxable, Turning now to the “Hereford Episcopal Register,” how is it that we find no word there about Bream? The answer would seem to be that the Chapel was never consecrated, nor thought important enough to be brought officially to the Bishop’s notice. And here we must remember that the Chapel of Clearwell, known to be in existence in the 15th century, is not mentioned in the Hereford Register. It was apparently not usual to keep a record of any un-endowed Chapels, parchment being very expensive.
Lastly, we turn to the will of Joan (Greyndore) of Clearwell Court, &c. 1485.
How she can have passed over Bream while mentioning Lydney, S. Briavels Newland, and Clearwell, &c., is difficult to understand. Her omission seems almost to shake ones belief in the existence of Bream Chapel in her time, and to force us to date it from about 1500 instead of 1400, for Bream lay almost touching her estate, and she must have ridden. frequently this way to her hawking or hunting in the Forest, and it is hardly possible to believe that she can have neglected the little wayside Chapelry so near her mansion gates, and great Ladies at that time used to take great interest in the concerns of their poor tenants and neighbours
On the whole then this Will of the Lady Joan draws us towards a later date than the Architecture of the Church would seem to warrant, and increases our uncertainty.
So much as this we can truly say, that before the Reformation the Chapel of Bream was not endowed or consecrated or thought worthy of mention in any important papers, and was probably used for occasional services only.
E. F. E.

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