This image was clipped from a baptism register that is part of the Devon Parish records at Find My Past. These are baptisms performed in the Year 1888-9 at Slapton, St James the Greater (snippet is from page 62):

Baptism for Wiliiam Henry Cole, snipped from page 62, baptisms in the Year 1888-9

My research subject is recorded in entry No. 499, a baptism on 25 Aug 1889, William Henry, the son of William and Florence Elizabeth Cole of Slapton Village.

The column on the right is "By whom the ceremony was performed". Most of the register pages I have examined from this period so far have the name of the Vicar, Honyman G. Warner. His 1911 Census record is also available at FMP -- here is his signature:

signature of Honyman G. Warner from 1911 Census

But the baptism I am interested in was performed by someone else, and I can't read the name of the person or his title. I'm linking the officiants at baptisms, marriages, and burials as associated persons, so I'd like to be able to record this name.

  1. What references exist for this period about the clergy of the Church of England that would list them in chronological order or by parish? (i.e. something that would not require a search by name)
  2. Can you make out the handwriting of this mystery individual? I'd appreciate your best guess.

Here's what I've discovered so far:

The Clergy List 1896 provides details of each member of the Anglican clergy in England, Wales, Ireland and the Scottish Episcopal Church in 1896. The records contain dates of the appointment to their parish and you can search for your ancestors by name.

I was able to find the page with Warner's entry, which says "vic 1885 Slapton, Kingsbridge, Devon". There are 26,501 entries, and FMP's search result page only gives a name in the search results, so even if I wanted to, there is no way to page through all of the entries looking for Slapton or to narrow the results.

That volume lists:

  • WARREN, Richard Peter Formerly P.C. of Slapton, Devon, 1838-41 (p 688-9)
  • ANTRIM, Richard, Slapton, Dartmouth, Devon P.C. of Slapton, Dio. Ex. 1850 (p 14)

... both of whom are too early to be the person in this register. All the other mentions to Slapton in that volume of Crockford's are outside the Diocese of Exeter (they aren't the Slapton in South Devon, but refer to the other Slaptons). The handwriting in No. 499 is similar to many of the register entries performed by Antrim.

I plan to cross-check the British Newspaper Archive to see if I can find mentions of H.G. Warner. I don't think I will find a news story about him taking a sabbatical from the parish, but you never know. I also plan to look for more historical directories -- I have an earlier listing for Slapton which lists R. Antrim as the Vicar.

Suggestions for other sources, or readings of the name, are welcome!

I also have a guess about the father's occupation, but I'd prefer not to say so I can get fresh readings. What does the occupation look like to you?

  • apologies to @PolyGeo for sneaking a second question into this question
    – Jan Murphy
    Jul 8, 2014 at 0:31

1 Answer 1


I think the writing in the last column of entry 499 says:

A. Pope

Offg Min. [Officiating Minister]

and that the occupation is:


  • 1
    Which yields a possible candidate from FMP's 1896 Clergy List: "Pope, Alex. B.A. Cam. p 1842; the Lindens, Bamfydle-rd., Torquay, Devon" -- will look for more evidence.
    – Jan Murphy
    Jul 8, 2014 at 15:54
  • 2
    I'll agree with @PolyGeo - my impression is that if the local priest was unavailable for some reason (anything from sickness to grouse-shooting) then a priest from an adjacent parish was likely to appear.
    – AdrianB38
    Jul 8, 2014 at 16:37

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