When Henry VIII defied the Pope in 1534, he made himself head of the new Protestant Church of England and distributed church lands to his nobility and other prominent supporters. In the resulting chaos, lawless commoners broke into the churches to seize donated valuables for themselves. Among items these riots destroyed were the church chests containing records of baptisms, marriages and burials for previous centuries. (Those old parchments contained the records of who was illegitimate, which some wanted destroyed, and who were lawful heirs, which others may have wanted wiped out. Those records must have lighted fires and mended inner souls all over England for years.)
Most English parish records, therefore, date from 1534. The following records are extracted primarily from Berkshire Parish records. Some additional marriage records from Philmore for Wantage parish have been added. These are primarily the marriage records with some christening and burials. Only the alphabetical sequence shown is currently present. This will be added to shortly.
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