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Following the establishment of the Anglican Church, the Vicar General of England, Thomas Cromwell, ordered in 1538 that all parishes were to keep records of baptisms, marriages and burials. Often these records were kept in a single book that was to be kept in a coffer, a small chest, locked by two keys. One key was held by the minister and the other by the church warden. Entries were to be made every Sunday after service and if records were not kept the church would be fined. In 1597, a constitution of the Convocation of the Province of Canterbury was approved by Elizabeth I, which required that each parish send annual reports to the bishop. These were known as bishop’s transcripts.

These records are transcripts of the original bishop’s transcripts of baptisms conducted in the Shropshire parishes of Kinnerley and West Felton. They can include a variety of details about your ancestor such as their full name, date of birth, residence, home parish, parents’ names and father’s occupation.