drunkards to the left, dancing parsons to the right


I found this strange list of the offences of naughty clerics and scandalous priests here

Alston, Edward, Parson of Pentìoe in Essex hath attempted the chastity of some women, and hath used very unchaste demeanours towards other women, snatching a handkerchief from one, and thrusting it into his breeches, and forcing her hand after it, and putting his yard into her hand, pulling up the coates of another, and thrusting his hand into the placket of another.

Dale, Curthbert, Rector of Kettleburrough, Suffolk, “ is a common swearer and curser, &c, hath read the Book of sports on the Lords day. And seeing a stranger in the Church put on his hat in sermon time, he openly then called him a saucy unmannerly clown, and the next Lords day took occasion in his Sermon again to speak of him being then absent, and to call him a saucy Goose, idiot, a wigeon, a cuckoo, and is a common Ale-house and Tavern haunter, and hath been often drunk, and frequently in his Pulpit, upbraideth his Parishioners, calling them Knaves, Devils, Rascals, Rogues, and Villains.

Gordon, John, Rector of Ockley, Sussex, “a common haunter of Ale-houses and Taverns, sitting and tippling there, night after night, and hath spent the whole Sabbath there, so that no Service nor Sermon was in his Church.

Hannington, Henry, Vicar of Hougham, Kent, a common and notorious drunkard, and oft, lying dead drunk in highways, and hath continued so for the space of twenty years and upwards, and useth to sing in his cups in the alehouse bawdy songs, and administered the Sacrament when drunk. And when he read the Book of Sports on the Lords day, there was Beer laid on in his Barn, and dancing and drinking there that day, and to give them the more time for it, he dismissed the Congregation with a few prayers, and left off preaching in the afternoon.

Shepard, Robert, of Hepworth, Suffolk, “a common drunkard, and frequenter of Taverns and Alehouses, lying and continuing drunk in the said houses diverse nights, sometimes twice or thrice a week, and is greatly suspected of incontinency, having had diverse maid-servants depart from his house great with child. And in his catechising and preaching, calls his parishioners black-mouthed hell-hounds, Firebrands of Hell, Bawling dogs and Church-Rollers.

Wells, John, Parson of Shimplyn, Suffolk, ” for that he is a common Alehouse haunter and common drunkard, and in his drunkenness hath lain abroad in the fields, lost his hat, fallen into ditches, and so bemired himself, that he hath been faine to be washed, and hath attempted the chastity of diverse women, and sold his Calves for kisses with them, and having locked himself up in a chamber in an inn with a lewd woman, after a long time the door was broken open upon him, upon his refusal to unlock it, and he was found in a very suspicious manner upon a bed with her.

image by Paul Avril

Published in: on August 11, 2010 at 8:11 am  Comments (40)  
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40 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sounds a bit like the First XV after an away win.

    • They must play hard

  2. His yard??? Goodness me.

    • Impressive huh?

      • Me thinks he is bragging.

  3. Nursie,

    I haven’t commented much of late, but let me just pop in for a brief hello. And to ask who is that rather nice muscular gentleman with the naked ladies in the fourth photo. I assume he’s not the Vicar of Kent.


    • I wish I could remember where I found that photo….. though he’s probably in his 70s by now

  4. We need to be resurrecting some of those great expressions, if only for the fact we can’t afford to lose such awesome descriptives like, saucy Goose, a wigeon, attempted the chastity of diverse women, and that winner: he was found in a very suspicious manner upon a bed with her.

    Awww, future postings beware: ancient words of wisdom are upon you, and life is good . . . hahahaha . . .

    • I particularly like “saucy goose”

      • And exactly what it means is open for discussion? or do you have some personal experience you’d like to share, he asks with an evil grin on his face.

  5. I too am impressed by the parson having a yard. And I love the term ‘found in a very suspicious manner’.

    • It’s the manner in which I have found one or two patients in the past…..

  6. i wonder if the clown in the third photo ever found his wristwatch…

    • Alas no daisyfae. It was swallowed up for good

    • !!!

  7. I like the laconic note in the Paul Avril page that one of the books illustrated by him had the “frontispiece inserted.”

    • ha! Good spotting sled

  8. Note to self: decorate walls like Mickey Spillane’s house, with wood paneling and bondage art.

    • Strange…. that’s exactly how I imagined Tag Larkin’s house to be

  9. I’d love to know how incontinency could result in maid-servants becoming “great with child”.

    • It wasn’t just faeces and urine he was reckless with

  10. I can forgive the licentiousness, the cussing, the goosing, and the carousing but to lose one’s hat is unforgivable.

    • you’re a hard man Nick

  11. “snatching a handkerchief from one, and thrusting it into his breeches, and forcing her hand after it” …. definitely hankie panky …… tsk …… nowadays a tissue issue ……..

    • *shudder* that reminds me of an unfortunate incident in my innocent youth

  12. I am relieved to find that I’m not the first person to get so drunk as to be suspected of incontinency.

    • Too much information Coops 😉

  13. A wonderful find! Nothing like reading about disreputable clergymen. I love the use of language. English really does lack for decent swear words

    • What’s a decent swear word Jams?

  14. Priest rock, I think I want to become one

  15. That last illustration…nice figure model work if you can find it. But challenging in some ways.

  16. Wow Nursemyra this post was as entertaining as ever but the images were especially scandalous this time. Love it!

  17. More pre-modern porn, thanks. Meanwhile, I’d probably find myself a bit discombobulated if a priest, no matter how well-yarded, thrust his hand into my placket.

  18. Priests had to do that sort of thing so that they knew something about the sins which needed preaching against.

    I do feel that the modern generation is but a sixth of those Elizabethans and their yards. Impressive men in an impressive age.

  19. I will not have lived until I write an article title “Sex, Sadism & Scripture.”

  20. Isn’t there a saying “He whose maid-servants depart from his house great with child, shouldn’t call others black mouthed hell hounds?” My mother taught me that one when I was little, right after “Don’t cry over spilled milk.”

  21. I dont think I have heard the expression “common frequenter of Taverns and Alehouses” repeated so often since listening to stories about all my family members….

  22. i have always believed a good sauce presents the dish.

  23. Thou are a…a…a wigeon! A cuckoo! An ale house haunter! A saucy and unmannerly clown who sells calves for kisses! A…what did I put my handkerchief? Has anyone seen it? Honey, come over here and help me find it.

    • A saucy and unmannerly clown who sells calves for kisses on Corset Friday, I might add.

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