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Another source used in this study was the replies to the questionnaire relating to parochial records sent to parishes by the Library in the period 1933-1940.
Flint, which has a register with entries starting in 1538.
10 There are only about half a dozen registers which start before 1560 and only about seventy registers which start before 1600, and many of these start near the end of the sixteenth century. Montgomery, in 1602 is noted in the register but the entries copied into the register start only in 1596.
1 Thomas Cromwell, Lord Privy Seal and Vicegerent, issued a mandate, 5 September, 1538, 2 ordering every parson, vicar or curate to keep a register of every wedding, christening and burial in his parish.
The parishes were to provide a coffer for the safe keeping of the register.
12 There are no transcripts before 1662 in the Welsh dioceses and for a large number of parishes the transcripts do not start until much later and even then they are often incomplete.
The situation is similar as regards the transcripts of the registers (commonly referred to as 'the bishops trancripts') which were ordered to be sent to the diocesan registry annually from 1598 onwards.11 Transcripts dating from 1598 have survived in several English dioceses and in some dioceses there are transcripts from before 1598.
An Act of Parliament passed in that year declared that proceedings in courts of justice should be in the English language from 25 March 1733.Asaph start before 1754 but in over half the parishes in the diocese of St.Davids there is now no register dating before 1754.It is probable that records relating to important families had been kept before this time by the religious houses and by the clergy, but I know of no evidence relating to the keeping of any parish register in Wales before 1538. Poets and genealogists also recorded dates of births and deaths in their manuscripts 3 and dates are often given in verse in the eulogies and elegies of the sixteenth and seventeenth century Welsh poets.Records were sometimes kept in missals and other religious manuscripts e.g. Such details are rare before the introduction of the official registers but they can be important because so few early registers have survived in Wales.The majority of the registers remain in the custody of the incumbents of the various parishes but there is an arrangement for the deposit of the original registers in the National Library for preservation and repair, and the provision by the Library of photocopies to be kept in the appropriate parishes.