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Butler Kinhead, and Mr. Charles Wheeler, have, by way of Petition for and in the Name of themselves and the rest of the said Parishioners, represented unto us, and to the Right Worshipful Richard Chaworth Doctor of Laws, our Chancellor, that, during the late unhappy Times of Trouble and Disorder within this Realm, the publick Affairs of the said Church and Parish have been necessitated to be managed by Persons not admitted thereunto by the Authority of the Diocesan or Ordinary of the Place, in whose Power alone (as they conceived) the Regulation and Ordering of Business of that Nature most properly and peculiarly ought to rea fide; and that many Persons of Quality (Parish. ioners of the said Parish), very fit to be entrusted with Business of that Nature and Concernment, are, notwithstanding, unwilling to act, unless lawa fully appointed as aforesaid ; by which Means the Good and Benefit of the said Church and Parish hath been and still is very much obstructed ; and therefore humbly desired that, according to the Manner and Practice of and in other Parishes within our Diocese, we would be pleased to grant and confirm unto them a Select Vestry, consisting of Forty-nine Persons, all Parishioners and Inhabitants of the said Parish, and of principal Quality, Judge. ment, and Integrity (besides the Vicar and Church. wardens there for the Time being), by whom the publick Business of the said Church and Parish might be discreetly and orderly managed, and the Good and Welfare of the fame unanimously and effectually promoted, according to the Laws and Constitutions Civil and Ecclesiastical of this Realm; and have named for the present the Right Wor. Thipful and Reverend Nathaniel Hardy Doctor in Divinity, Dean of Rochester, and Vicar of the said Parish Church; the Honourable Charles Seymour

Esq.

Efq. Sir Henry Henne, Sir Thomas Clarges, Sir Thos mas Hewett, and Sir

Pratt, Baronets; Sir John Nicholas Knight of the Bath, Sir John Denham, Sir Gilbert Gerard, and Sir John Adler, Knts. the Right Worshipful Joseph Hinton and John Clarke, Doctors of Physick; John Harvey, Richard Atkins, Francis Lucy, John Corrance, Thomas Bayles, Ed. mondbury Godfrey, Thomas Windham, John Throge morton, Andrew Cole, Thomas Fisher, Ralph Hallfall, and Francis Wetherie, Efqrs. Mr. John Cooper, Mr. Owen Russell, Mr. John Tonge, Mr. Robert Burgh, Mr.William Ayliffe, Mr. Mathew Seely, Mr. Francis Bromwell, Mr. Henry Bradbury, Mr. Richard Bissell, Mr. John Dixon, Mr.George Greene, Mr. Thomas Bagley, Mr. John Jeffs, Mr. Thomas Crompe, Mr. William Baker, Mr. Thomas Heslington, Mr. Thomas Barker, Mr. Thomas Halfpennye, Mr. John Horsepoole, Mr. Richard Bale, Mr. Walter Brydall, Mr. John Duncombe, Mr. John Hicks, Mr. John Francis, Mr. Robert Joyner, and Mr. Butler Kinhead, discreet and substantial Parishioners of the said Parish, besides the Churchwardens there for the Time being, to be Vestrymen for the directing, ordering, and managing of all such Things as belong to the faid Church, and are to be done by the Parishioners of that Parish; and that as any of them shall happen to decay, remove out of the said Parish, depart this Life, or become scandalous by Drunkenness, Whore. dom, or other evil Life or grofs Misdemeanour, or otherwise unfit for that Society and Business, that such other of the better Sort of the said Parishioners as are grave, honest, and substantial, fit for the same Place, may be chosen to succeed them by the Vicar and Churchwardens for the Time being, and any Ten (at lealt) of the said. Veltrymen, who shall meet to that Purpose: We therefore, the Bi. fhop and Chancellor aforesaid, duly considering of

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(6) the said Petition, and finding that it doth tend to the Peace, Quiet, good and well Government of the said Church and Parish, to the end they may be the rather incited to do some good Works of Charity towards the Relief of the faid Poor of the said Parish, and therein give good Example unto others; have and do, by these Prefents, for us and our Succeffors, approve and allow of this their Petition; and (as far as by the Laws and Conftitu. tion Ecclesiastical of this Realm, and Temporal Laws of the same, we can or may) have and do, by our Authority Ordinary and Episcopal, order and decree, That from henceforth there shall be a Set or Select Vestry established in the said Parish; and also do name, appoint, constitute, and authorize the aforesaid Persons, and every of them (for their respective Times being) and none others, to be Vestrymen in the said Parish; and the whole Bufi. ness of the Church and Parish aforesaid to be dispatched, ordered, and done, by the said Vestrymen, they only, and none others, or any Ten of them (at the least) with the Vicar (or Curate in his Abfence) and Churchwardens there for the Time being; and who shall meet upon publick Notice given to such Purpose, in the said Parish Church, by and with the Consent of the said Vicar or Curate, on the Sunday next before such intended Meeting, or, in case of Necessity, upon any other general Notice, duly given or left, to intermeddle with and order all such Matters and Business as do or shall belong to the said Church and Parish: And that as any of them shall decay, remove out of the said Parish, depart this Life, or become scandalous by Drunkenness, Whoredom, or other evil Life, or gross Misdemeanour (whereof there shall first be a Presentment made to us, our Chancellor, or into our principal Registry) or as any of them fhall

otherwise

otherwise become unfit for that Society, Meetings and Business, to expel and amove such ; and by and with the Consent of the Vicar thereof for the Time being, or his Curate in his Absence, together with the Churchwardens and any Ten of the said Vestrymen that shall be at any such Vestry or Meeting, to elect and chuse other Person and Persons of the most fufficient of the said Parishioners, and fittest for that Service, in his or their room so dying, removing, decaying, or becoming scandalous, or otherwise unfit as aforesaid ; and to do, execute, and perform all other Matters and Things belonging to the Vestrymen, for the Good and Benefit of the said Church, and for the better ore dering and governing of all such Affairs and Business as belong to the said Parish and Church, with these Limitations following, viz. That they do not at any Time, or upon any Occasion, presume to call before them any Minister, Preacher, or Curate, who shall be commorant within their faid Parish, to be questioned with at all in their Vestries, but shall leave theni and their Causes wholly to the calling, hearing, ordering, or censuring of the Ecclesiastical or Temporal Magistrate, whom (if they have any Cause of Complaint) they fhall inform according as the Nature and Quality thereof shall administer Occasion. Further, That they shall not any way, in their faid Vestry or Meeting, intermeddle with the Churchwardens and Sidesmens Office, concerning their making of their Bills of Presentment, which they are upon their Oaths to deliver up into the Ecclesiastical Court or Courts; nor fhallo therein question with them about any Thing that they are to present, or fhall present (except it be to inform them of some Abuse, Crime, or Misdemeanour, worthy and fit to be presented), but shall fuffer the said Churchwardens and sworn Men freely (without seeking to be made privy to any of their faid Presentments) to discharge their Consciences and Duties according to their Oaths. Neither shall the said Vestrymen take upon them to call before them into their faid Vestry, any. Person or Persons whom the said Church Officers are by their Oaths to present, to take any Account of them, or of the said Persons who are to be so presented, or of the Causes, Crimes, or Suspi. cions upon which they are or may be presented : Nor are they hereby authorized to call before them, hear, or intermeddle with any Person, Cause, Matter, or Crime, Presentment, or Offence determinable, punishable, or being of Ecclesiastical Cognizance, either begun to be called in question, or presented, heard, ordered, censured, or decreed to be heard, ordered, or censured, in any Ecclesiastical Court or Courts; but shall forbear, in any of their said Vestry. Meetings, any way to intermeddle in any of the Premises, as no ways belonging to them, but to the Ecclesiastical Cognizance and Court. Provided always, That no such Vestry or Meeting be called, warned, or holden, or appointed to be holden, but by and with the especial Order, Çonfent, and Approbation of the Vicar there for the Time being, or Curate in his Absence; nor without publick Warning given thereof in the said Parish Church at the Time of Divine Service, or otherwise as aforesaid: And if the said Vicar for the Time being, or Curate in his Absence, (upon Notice given by the Churchwardens that there is good Cause to call a Vestry), shall deny to give his Consent, or forbear to publish the same in the said Parish Church, or otherwise, as aforesaid, before such intended Meeting, that then it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Churchwardens to have Resort to Us or our Chancellor for the

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