LAST WORK AT WOOLVERSTONE
The registers advise us that Mr. Dalton continued at work in his oarish until the mknth of March, 1636. His last burial service had to be read, on July 26, 1635, over the remains of the patron, "Mr Philip Bacon, Esq."1 No other funeral occurred there until April, 1636, and that was entered by another hand.2 His latest "baptizing" was on March 24th; and his latest "marriage" on March 29th. In each of the last-mentioned two cases the year is given as 1655. That is a mistake. The preceding records show that the baptism must have been in March 1636-36; and that the marriage--coming as it did after the the 25th of March, when the new year began -- was in March, 1636. These dates are of importance only because they prove that Pastor Dalton was "on duty," when silences by his diocesan in the succeeding month of April.
The "marriage" at Woolverstone on March 29, 1636, was undoubtedly the last one celebrated by Mr. Dalton, whether in the Old World or in the New. He was soon thereafter stripped of priestly power in England; and beyond the ocean, and following "ye laudable Custome of ye Lowe Cuntries," all "Marriages [were] solemnized and done by the Magistrates, and not by Ministers." So it was that the "bvriall" of Squire Bacon, in July, 1635, was probably Mr. Dalton's last appearance as a clergyman on such an occa-sion. New Englanders were, as they explained, unwilling "to confirm the popish error that prayer is to be used for the dead, or over the dead." Lechford wrote, in 1640, that "at Burials nothing is read, nor any funeral Sermon made, but all the neighbourhood (or a goodly Company of them) come together by the tolling of the Bell, and carry the dead solemnly to his grave, and there stand by him while he is buried."
- Mr. Bacon belonged to a good family. "By an inquisition taken at Bury on the 2d of October in the 11th of Charles I. , upon the death of Philip Bacon, Esq., he was found to have died on the 26th of July, 1635." (Suckling's Host. and Antiq. of Suffolk, II, 170.) It will be noticed that the date of his death is also the date of his interment. QUERY: Did he die of the plague, which then raged at Lowestoft, in the same county? -Ib. II, 63.
- It was entered by Jonathan Skynner, Dalton's successor in the rectory; but as the day of the month is not stated, and as the entry is crowded, we believe that the service was read by another person, before Skynner took charge. His first burial was apparently on May 1, 1636.