Statement of William Witt, 1796

[Winchester Record Office document reference - 21M65/C9/41/8].  It is but one sheet among a bundle of papers relating to a complaint against the Minister at Newport, Peter Geary.  The other sheets might help to explain more fully?  See also the 1795 petition in support of William WITT

July 15 1796
In the Consistory Court of Winchester
Banister & anr.
agt. In a Cause of Correction of Manners
Geary P

William Witt of Newport aforesaid Parish Clerk aged upwards of forty
seven years a Voluntary Witness produced sworn and examined
on the Articles given in & admitted in this Cause on the part
of the Party Promovent knows the Parties and deposeth
as follows

That on the seventeenth Day of May 1795 this Deponent went to
the said Peter Geary to inform him that the Corpse of William Burden
an Infant about fourteen Months old was to be buried that Day
and this Deponent enquired of the said Peter Geary what time he
would appoint for that purpose That the said Peter Geary appointed
six o'Clock in the Evening for the Funeral (as far as this Deponent
recollects) That this Deponent believes that the said Corpse was
not brought to the Chapel for Internment at that Hour but that it
remained at the House of William Burden the Father until
the said Peter Geary arrived at the Chapel That this Deponent
remained in the Street waiting the Arrival of the said Peter Geary
from six o'Clock until eight o'Clock or thereabouts That upon this
Deponent seeing the said Peter Geary coming at that Time this
Deponent went to the House of the said William Burden and preceded
the Corpse to the Chapel where the Service being read the Corpse
was carried to the usual Place for Interment and there buried.
That on the sixth Day of April in the Year of our Lord 1795
Thomas Penny a Private in the North Hants Regiment of Militia then
quartered at the Town of Newport was to be buried at the same Time
with one John Brotherly a Private in the one hundred and seventh
Regiment That the Corpse of the said John Brotherly was brought
to the Chapel between the Hours of five and six o'Clock in the evening That
the said Peter Geary waited some Minutes for the Arrival of the Corpse
of the said Thomas Penny but as the Corpse of the said Thomas Penny
did not arrive within that Time he proceeded to read the Service over
the Corpse of the said John Brotherly That just as the Service was
finished before the Surplice was taken off from the said Peter Geary
the Corpse of the said Thomas Penny was brought into the Chapel
That the said Peter Geary then left the Reading Desk to precede the
Corpse of the said John Brotherly to the Church Yard and when
he was gone a little Way from the Chapel this Deponent by the
Desire of the Reverend Mr Davies the Chaplain of the Regiment of
the North Hants Militia went to him and requested that the said
Mr Davies might bury the Corpse of the said Thomas Penny
which the said Peter Geary refused and the Corpse of the said Thomas
Penny remained all Night in the Chapel unburied That on the
Morning of the next Day the seventh Day of April the said Peter
Geary attended to bury the said Corpse of the said Thomas Penny and
that the said Peter Geary omitted to read the Sentences taken out of
the Book of Job at the Beginning of the Service for the Burial of the
And further to the said Article this Deponent cannot depose

To the Interrogatories administered on the part of the
said Peter Geary this Deponent saith as follows
To the third Interrogatory this Deponent saith That he doth
not know that there is any particular Customary Hour set apart for
the Burial of Persons in any Parish but the Custom established at
Newport is that when it is known that a Person is to be buried the
Clerk or Sexton waits upon the Minister for him to appoint the Hour
and that upon the Hour being appointed by the Minister the Parties
concerned are made acquainted with it That sometimes a
particular Hour is wished by the Parties concerned & then the Minister
if it suits his convenience appoints the Hour proposed
To the fourth Interrogatory this Deponent saith That the
general Duties of the Minister of the Chapel of Newport have
been encreased since there have been temporal Barracks in Newport.

Repeated & Acknowledged W Witt [signature]
this 15 day of July 1796
Before Me
N Westcombe Surrogate

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