Lincolnshire Village 
 Ecclesiastical Notes
taken from The History of Heapham, Pilham and Springthorpe . . . by Oxoniensis, 
reprinted from the "Gainsborough News"
[transcribed by Simon Collins]
Archdeacons' Visitations
There are in the Muniment Room of Lincoln Cathedral [Box 62, No 3] fragments of reports of a visitation of about the year 1300, relating inter alia, to the three parishes. They are interesting from their age, but unfortunately the same makes them difficult to decipher, and our copy of them is somewhat imperfect. We will, however, venture into a translation of the chief part of their contents as follows: 
"Friday. The Cemetery is badly enclosed and defiled by divers beasts. The rain penetrates the top of the Church and the window in the gable of the Chancel needs partial glazing. Two windows in the Church should be glazed. The rain penetrates into the Tower of the Church on the North side…… The angle next to the alter of the Blessed Virgin is ruinous, and the image of S. George at the High Alter is altogether wanting. The Missal should be rebound and repaired…….. The Psalter should be rebound and repaired…… The Ordinal is insufficient. Two Antiphonaries…..There is no Amice. Two Holy Water Stoups are lacking. One Corporal is missing, and another will only last until the next visitation. Two Surplcies are insufficient. the Pix is insufficient. The Chrismatory….. The Paten is bent in the middle. The Paten(?belonging to the) Chalice is missing. Two Cruets are missing. The foot of the Paschal Candle should be painted…"
It is quite possible that we have not always read or translated correctly these old documents; but the general drift of the Reports is that the Parish Church was in need of considerable attention by the Churchwardens. Later Visitations by the Archdeacons of Stow shewed the following: 
1662. The Guardians want a Book of Cannons, a Surplice, and a Book of Common Prayer, last edition. 
Exchequer Church Goods, 1553. The Reports as to the property left in the church after the spoilation of the early Reformation era is as follows: 
    "19 May 1553. The commissioners delivered to Rychard Robynson, curtate of the Parish Church of Spryngthorp, and to Henry Wygelesworthe and William Garvie, churchwardens, iii great bells, and i sanctus bell, and i challys of p'cell gylt weying x ownces saffly to be kept by them and their successors. By me Richard Robinson, p'son".
Gervase Holles' Church Notes. The following notices occur in Holles' volume, compiled about 1640. [Harleian MS ...] 
    "Springthorp cum Sturgate. Empaled: Arg. On a bend sa. 3 leopards' faces of ye first, In chiefe a Flowre de Lize sa. And: B, a Lyon rampant or". 
Church Furniture 1566. The following notices are taken from Mr Peacock's volume: 
  • Springthorpe. William Burie and George Swyfte, Churchwardens, 8 Apr 1566. 
  • In primsi, the image of the roode Marie and Johnne and all other Imagies of papistrie - were burnte anno dni 1561. Robert Nailer and William Androwe, Churchwardens. 
  • Item. All or. masse books and all other paptisticall bokes - were burnte and cutt in peces by Sir Richard Robinson, or p'sonne, ano 1561. 
  • Item. One vestment - sold to William Burre by Roberte Nayler and William Androwe, Churchwardens, ano 1561, and he haith cut yt in peces and made cusshinges thereof. 
  • Item. One other vestment of silk - cut in peces and a clothe made thereof for or. comunion table. 
  • Item. The roode loft - taken downe and the bordes therof were nailed up at th'este end of the church, to kepe oute raine and winde, and the beames  or postes therof we have res'ved to mend a common house in or. towne. 
  • Item. Two candlesticks of wood - broken and burnt in ano 1561, and one cross of woode. 
  • Item. One pixe - broken in peces and made awaie and one crismatorie. 
  • Item. One old albe cutt in peces and geven to the poore people. 
  • Item. ii banner clothes - were burnte ano 1561. 
  • Item. ii alter stones - broken in peces and defaced and paved. 
  • Item. One pax - burnt 1562. 
  • Item. One sepulchre - burnt 1561. 
  • Item. One hallywater can - broken in peces. 
  • As for other monuments of sup'spicion, we had none in Quene Maries daies, and that we will depose upon a boke
Lincoln. John Aelmer, Archdeacon of Lincoln George Mounson gen, ar.
Martin Hollingsworth. 18 Apr 1566."
Mr Peacock adds the following notes: 
"The fragments of one of the altar slabs were found during recent alterations in Springthorpe Church. They now form a credence table. The Churchyard Cross was destroyed 1563 as the following register shows: "1563. Rolland Chambers of Kirton and Mabel Wilson were married 22 Nov and on the same night the cross in the cemetery was overthrown". Between 3 Aug and 12 Oct 1549, eleven persons died here of the plague". 
Bishop Wake's Speculum Dioceseos 
Springthorpe. Families 41.............37. Incumbent: Mr Thos. Reynolds. Vicar of Haugham in Louthesk 1704. Ordained priest by Abp Richard of York 15 June 1679. Resident between the two parishes. Mr Thos. Althorpe, Deacon, 5 June, with episcopal license. Stipend £20. Resident. Robert Althorpe LLB. Instituded 4 Apr 1717. Ordained priest by W. Bp of Lincoln 21 Sep 1712. Resident. Services: Twice every Sunday. Catechising frequent.......every Sunday.......frequently in summer and in Lent. Communion 4 times in the year. Revenue: Revised value £60. returned at £60 19s 10 ½ d. In King's Books £14 3s 4d. Tenths £1 8s 4d. Proxies 4s. Bishop Reynolds found the Services in the parish much the same in 1743.