The Devon Brinsmeads decade by decade  



In 1697 Parliament replaced the Hearth Tax with a new Window Tax. It was easier to enforce because the Windows could be counted from the outside. It was also easier to avoid as this house in Stanton in the Peak, Derbyshire illustrates.

On August 5, 1690, Henry Brinsmead married Mary Sims. He appears to have been 48 years old, while she was about 24. The records give no indication of her being from outside the parish and there were several Sims family members listed in St. Giles in the Wood at the time.

Henry and Mary had four children over the next eight years:

  • Christian, baptized on June 16, 1691. We assume that this Christian must have died in infancy since a sister is given the same name in 1693. The death records for these years are very hard to read.
  • Christian, baptized on October 25, 1693
  • Robert, baptized on May 6, 1696
  • Henry baptized on Nov 16, 1698

Thus, at the end of the century the Brinsmeads in St. Giles in the Wood were Henry and Mary Brinsmead and their three surviving children Christian, aged 7, Robert, aged 4 and Henry, aged 2. We presume they lived at the farm at Dodscott, but have no proof of this.

Elsewhere in the village, in 1697 Sir John Rolle of Stevenstone, Knight of the Bath donated a Tenor Bell to St. Giles church.




St. Paul's Cathedral, although not complete until 13 years later, is opened for its first service on December 2, 1697.

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