Scope and Content

Comprising: Registration: Registers of Baptisms 1558-1961, Registers of Marriages 1562-1974, Registers of Burials 1558-1897, Registers of Banns 1813-1972, Registers of Services 1907-1979; Other Registers 1889-1892; Incumbent 1793-1958 including an order in council creating a district for Bentley, St Peter 1898; Churchwardens 1869-1979; PCC minutes 1920-1972 accounts 1916-1974; bellringers'; society record books 1911-1965; Township: select vestry minute book 1820-1831; Overseers of the poor: accounts 1674-1775, 1804-1812, apprenticeship indentures 1687-1804; bastardy bonds and examinations 1726-1803, removal orders 1679-1843, settlement certificates etc 1692-1801; Constables: accounts 1676-1782; Overseers of the highways: accounts 1742-1779; justices'; order 1672; Charities: Cooke's charity 1732, 1793, 1829-1884; Brewer's charity 1830-1881; Hospital and School Lands 1777-1896; Hall's charity, deeds, 1639, 1676-1877; Wormley's dole 1631, 1689; copy wills 1598-1904; other records 1867-1910; Arksey School, miscellaneous, 1792-1908; Enclosure, miscellaneous records, 1827-1834.

The Parish Registers and the Bishop's Transcripts

As the Great North Road passed through the parish, there are many references in the registers to travellers.

The register records nine entries relating to the burial of Foundling Hospital children between 1765/7 and 1759.

There are fourteen volumes of registers for the period covered by this transcript. They are in Latin up to volume five, which ends in 1735/6. However, entries in the volume from 1658 to 1661 were originally written in English, but were recopied in Latin at the back. Further evidence of the civil disruption of the mid-sevententh century is the absence, except for a solitary entry, of baptisms between 1646 and 1650 and any entries of marriages or burials between 1646 and 1652. Eight of the registers, covering the period 1557/8 to 1808 are composite registers containing baptisms, burials and, up to 1785, marriages. However, from 1754, the marriage entries duplicate (but excluding the names of witnesses) those in the separate series of marriage registers begun, as usual, after the 'Hardwick' Marriage Act of 1753. There are two 'Hardwick' registers covereing the period 1754 to 1837.

Duplication of entries appears elsewhere in this series. The fifth composite register contains entries up to 1735/6 and the seventh contains entries from 1736 to 1785. However, there is also a composite register covering the years 1733 to 1762 which (insofar as entries of baptisms, marriages and burials are concerned) wholly duplicates the fouth and the seventh for their respective years. In this edition of the registers the text of volumes five and seven alone are printed.

The composite register for baptisms and burials from mid-August 1795 to 1808 contain entries in the extended or 'Dade' format ordered by Archdeacon Markham. These are continued in the separate volumes for baptisms and burials up to 1812. Thereafter, these registers contain the relatively restricted information required to be entered by the Parochial Registers Act of 1812. There are two baptism registers and one burial register for the years 1813 to 1837.

Administrative / Biographical History

The parish of Arksey, All Saints comprised, up to the end of the nineteenth century, the township of Arksey with Bentley on the north bank of the River Don opposite the township and borough of Doncaster. On the western side of the parish ran the Great North Road, although it was not this but the line of the Roman road to its west which formed the parochial boundary. The parish contained two principal settlements, Arksey, which possessed the parish church and Bentley, which was once the site of the manor house. There were also much smaller settlements at Almholme, Shaftholme and Stockbridge and Bridge End. The parish had a population of at the census of 1801Bentley seems to have been the largest settlement in the parish and in 1898 the chapel of Bentley, St Peter was built. In the early years of the twentieth century, the sinking of a colliery into the Barnsley seam by Barber, Walker of Nottingham, led to the creation of the mining village of New Bentley and the establishment of a third church, St Peter and St James, New Bentley within in the area of the ancient parish.

In Domesday, Arksey and Bentley were two separate manors, and no church existed at that time. The confused descent of the manor from 1086 to 1654 is outlined in Hunter's South Yorkshire. Since the purchase of the manor in 1654, it has remanined to property of the Cooke family, formerly of Wheatley Hall, which lay on the south side of the river Don in the township of Wheatley. Six years later, Brian Cooke bequeathed the rectory to five trustees. The trust was to pay the stipend of a vicar and the salary of a school master and managed the almhouses he built to house a dozen oldpeople. His brother and heir, Sir George Cooke, the first baronet, himself made a bequest to provide a school house. The plain buildings of the almshouses, recently restored, still stand by the parish church. The purchase of the manor of Bentley proved a splendid if belated investment for the Cookes, as land sold for colliery, railway and housing development produced substantial profits in the early twenetieth century.

The parish is situated on alluvial marshland (the 'holme' component in local place names means water meadows) which, T. A. M. Bishop suggested, was being recolonised at the time of Domesday. The low-lying land has been subject to inundation over the centuries : Edward Miller wrote that during flooding 'not only the streets, but the first floor of the houses of many inhabitants [of Arksey] are covered with water'; a series of what are now grade-II listed flood arches carry the Doncaster and Selby turnpike road across meadow land to the north the river Don; and the area was badly affected by flooding in the 1930s and 1940s.


The collection is divided into six series as follows:

P14/1: Registration, Church Services, and Worship

P14/2: Incumbent

P14/3: Churchwardens

P14/4: Parochial Church Council

P14/5: Auxiliary Organisations

P14/6: Township

Access Information


Private (Church of England)

Access will be granted to any accredited member of Doncaster Libraries

Related Material

Also available: Index : Marr 1754-1837; Bishop's transcripts 1602-1885 (on microfilm)