search tips advanced search
Detail from the Last Supper stained glass window in All Saints Parish Church Croydon, in memory of Sophia Mirabella Sandilands, wife of the rector 1859 Wimpole Past Logo
Speculum Gregis 1843
'An Account of all the Inhabitants of the Parish of Croydon
in the County of Cambridgeshire commencing from 1 January 1843'
by Reverend Francis Fulford 1803-1868 (Rector at Croydon 1841-1845).
Additional notes by Reverend R S B Sandilands (Rector 1845-1864).
The Right Reverend Francis Fulford, DD, Lord Bishop of Montreal Francis Fulford - RSBS ("The Good Shepherd...")
The portrait is from a photograph by Mr Kilburn, engraved by Mr Skelton
and published in 'The Illustrated London News' on the 24 August 1850.
[This short Preface reads as a guide to his successor (Rev Sandilands) and contains fascinating details about church and community life.]
Preface
to Fulford's "Speculum Gregis" [with corrections 25 Sept 1845]
"There are two full sermons every Sunday, Lord's Supper four times a year, two full services on Christmas Day and Good Friday and an afternoon full service on Ash Wednesday and Ascension Day. The Sunday School is held in the Church; and commences at about 9 o'clock. I take about one half the boys and James Lee [page 35], the Schoolmaster, the other half. I stay with them 'till the bell begins to ring, at half past ten. Church service commences at 11. The Service begins with a Psalm - there is also a Psalm before the Altar Service, and before the Sermon. (I always read the commandments at the altar). I always select and give them out, reading each verse. It has always been the custom to preach in the Surplice. The choir chant the 'Benite', 'Te Deum', Jubilate', etc etc and also the afternoon Hymns and the 'Gloria Patri' [added pencil note:] as well as they can.
"In the afternoon the School opens rather before two and I stay 'till the bell begins about half past two. Service commences at 3. There is a Psalm at beginning of the Prayers, and before and after the Sermon. We use the selections from the Old and New versions, with the Hymns as set forth by the Society for P.C.K [Promotion of Christian Knowledge]. The money collected at the Holy Communion used to be given away at the time - but I don't do that - though I for the most part give it amongst those who are communicants.
"Mrs Fulford teaches the girls on the Sundays, assisted by Elizabeth Wood [page 19], who keeps a little day-school. Mr [J.C.] Gape [owner of three Croydon farms and Lord of the Manor] always gives me 5£ [five pounds] in June for the Sunday School, with which I pay Lee and Elizabeth Wood, who have a 1 shilling a Sunday each, commencing for their year from Michaelmas. I find fire in the winter, when necessary, for the Sunday School. We always give the School children some plum-pudding at Christmas, and a tea-drinking with games and sports in the field in July, and Books as rewards to a few in each class at Christmas.
"We take a few pence from any of the children that like to pay it every Sunday as their savings - to buy themselves clothes etc. [added pencil note:] a very useful thing.
 
"We have had a Village Saving Club for Clothes and Coals into which any separate family may put (except those who are in a trade) - we limit them to 2d [two old pennies] for clothes and 2d for coals, which is quite as much as for the most part, they can manage to keep up. It commences with the first Monday in January, and about Christmas we give it out - they paying up the weeks to the end of the year in advance.
"The farmers bring out from Cambridge two or three tons of coal each, which saves the carriage and we add to their money as much as we can afford.
"Most of the farmers subscribe 5s [five shillings] apiece, Downing College 8£ [eight pounds] (£5 to the coals and £3 to the clothes) and we contribute about as much. For the clothes Miss Fulford gives tickets for the amount, one to each party, which they take to Mrs Russell's [shop] at Arrington or Mrs Lyon's [shop] in Croydon and they get what they please. For the coals we give tickets for so many hundred weight, and then as the farmers' carts bring out the coal, we distribute it as is most convenient according to situation and quantity. This coal club is an excellent thing for them, as fuel is so dear. We insist on them being regular in their payments, and don't like them to be above a month in arrears.
"Mrs Fulford has a few sets of Baby linen which she lends to the women for their confinements, and also a set of things for the infant, when going to be baptised - which they return the next day.
"Mrs Wood, the Schoolmistress, is a very good person to give you any information.
"You may also get any information from Mr Merry [page 62], the churchwarden - Mr Merry has the Map of the Parish.
Mrs Fulford gave broth to several old people and people with large families, during the winter months.
"Mr Pyne, Surgeon of Royston, and Jane Graves [page 18] a workwoman, Mrs Haggar [page 10], Susan Titmus [page 09] and Maria Payne [page 15], for washing and ironing. Mary Payne [page 23], a workwoman."
Francis Fulford
Rector
[Above transcription was checked and corrected against the original document on 25 August 2008. Explanatory notes in grey within [square brackets] are mine. - Steve Odell]
Rev Francis Fulford 1850 All Saints Church, Croydon c1910 Rev Francis Fulford 1861 All Saints Church, Croydon c2006 Rev Francis Fulford 1865
Explanatory Notes:
Fulford generally devoted one page to each property; and I have retained his page numbers as serials for the entries. Crossings out shown are as in the original document. Information, footnotes and commentary additional to the original "Speculum Gregis" texts are shown as [grey text in square brackets].
In the pages of the original "Speculum Gregis", two handwritings are apparent, that of Francis Fulford (entries from 1843 to 1845) and that of his successor, the Rev Sandilands (entries from 1845 to 1848). The notes by the Rev Sandilands have been shown in this online edition as RSBS: (dark blue text within round brackets) and sometimes identified as a later entry.
However, having taken the opportunity to check the first 30 pages of the original manuscript, I found that quite a number of comments attributed to Sandilands in "The Rector and his Flock" were actually in Fulford's handwriting. I assume from the chronology of entries in the later 61 pages that there will be further attributions falling into this category.
 
A national Census was taken on the 6 June 1841, three weeks before Fulford's arrival in Cambridgeshire and eighteen months before the "Speculum Gregis" was started. Details from the Croydon-cum-Clopton census have been added to page entries where appropriate. Note that the ages of adults were generally rounded to the nearest five years by the census enumerator and therefore they should not be taken as a reliable indication of age.
The enumerator also reported that 26 Croydon labourers were "having left the district for the hay harvest in the neighbourhood of London", which would explain the absence of a number of the known heads of households.
I want this site to be as accurate and as informative as possible - please let me know if something is wrong, however trivial the correction. I would also welcome additional information to add to the annotated text - especially from those with 'family' in Croydon between 1840 and 1850.
In the first instance please contact the website with details.
© Copyright Steve Odell and the WimpolePast website 2002-2021. Website security
- Contact the Website here.
- All information on this web site is supplied in good faith.
- No responsibility can be taken for errors or omissions.
- This site does not use cookies.

This page was last updated on: 25 February 2021.
Page rebuilt 11 February 2021.