Combe Hay

Status: 
Open

Combe Hay is fortunate in that the registers from 4-Mar-1539/1540 have survived, are clear and uninterrupted by the English Civil War. Possibly through fear of being plundered (the English Civil War had broken out in 1642), the burial register includes, around 1642, ‘an account of the things belonging to the parish church’.  This list includes: two great church Bibles of different editions, a large book of Common Prayer for ye Minister, another larger one for ye Clark, one silver chalice with a cover, a good Holland Surplice, a green Cloth for ye Communion Table, a Diaper Cloth & Napkin for Communions, a pulpit cushion, 2 books of Homilies, Erasmus’s Paraphrase on ye New Testament, four bells with their frames.

January 4th 1644 Richard Goodridge Clerke & Master of Arts was inducted into the Rectory of Coombhay by Thomas Banke Vicar of Wellow in the presence of us Robt Peirce Thomas Willis John Cutt the mark of John Gay churchwardens.

January 5th 1644 Beeing Sunday Richard Goodridge Clerke & Rector of Combe Hay read the Articles of Religion at Service time in the afternoon In witnesses whereof we have set to our hands Robt Peirce, John Gay (his mark), John Cutt (his mark), John Bayly (his mark).

There are other annotations in the register recording of the induction of a new vicar in 1646 and 1662.

Prior to the introduction of standardised burial registers in 1813, it was rare for ages to be included. In the late 1500s there are a few of entries with ages where the ages were exceptional: 85, 90 and two 100.

It is reported that some of the memorials in the old churchyard have come from the neighbouring manor house having been stored in the cellars and were ‘planted’ in arbitrary positions.

Combe Hay Cemetery

There is a new cemetery off a lane that runs by the Wheatsheaf northwards.

From the Bath Chronicle of Thu 26 Jul 1894 p3 in an obituary for Rev George English: “His last generous act was to present Combe Hay with a new site for our much needed Cemetery after taking pains in the selection of a suitable spot for the benefit of future generations.”

From the Bath Chronicle of Thu 25 Apr 1895 p7 in a report on a Combe Hay vestry meeting: “Held on Thursday, the Rector in the chair. His late churchwarden, Dr. J. C. Smart, was much missed, and great regret was expressed at the loss the parish has suffered by his death. He took a lively interest in the new cemetery for which he generously gave the site.”

Limitations

There are graves in the cemetery without corresponding entries in the Anglican burial register. It is possible that the cemetery is administered by the parish council.

Documentation: 

Inscriptions on the Gravestone and Monuments at Twerton-on-Avon, Combe Hay, Dunkerton, Southsoke & Langridge. An early 20th-century typescript volume possibly by the Rev Shickle (as a copy was donated to Bath Reference Library by 'the Misses Shickle'.).

At Somerset Heritage Centre:

  • Monumental Inscriptions - Combe Hay. [1764 - 1886] Somerset Heritage Centre A\DIF/115/131
  • D\P\co.hy/2/1/1 Burials 1540-1698 (online at ancestry.com)
  • D\P\co.hy/2/1/2 Baptisms, marriages and burials 1698-1777
  • D\P\co.hy/2/1/4 Baptisms and burials 1777-1812
  • D\P\co.hy/2/1/5 Burials (returned to the depositor 1980) copy on microfiche 1813-1980
Documents: