This bishop's transcript shows cause of death, which is quite illuminating especially the number that are just listed as "decline". The record at number 49, of William Towler, has cause of death listed as "Incain". Or at least that's what I think it says.

Could it mean "insane"? Or have I missed something?

  • I think this could be an interesting question to ask at English.stackexchange.com too. If you decide to do that, and so that it does not get labelled and closed as a Cross Post, I would re-word it along the lines of "I found Incain written in an old document from 1746 where Insane may have been expected - is that an earlier accepted spelling or just an example of poor spelling?" I would be curious to see the outcome recorded here too.
    – PolyGeo
    Jul 19, 2014 at 0:47

1 Answer 1


The parish register version is also on Ancestry

(see Name: William Towler Birth Date: abt 1746 Burial Date: 3 Apr 1804 Death Age: 58 Parish: Colne, St Bartholomew, Lancashire, England Register Type: Parish Register Reference Number: PR 3172/1/47 )

The cause of death there clearly reads "Insane" - using that spelling. I have no idea how "Insane" turned into "Incain". I doubt I'm misreading the "s" as a "c". And in any case the rear 3 letters alter!

  • Thanks, I'm not quite sure how I missed the parish record itself.
    – Verbeia
    Jul 18, 2014 at 22:45

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