Below is an example of a Parish Bastardy Order (PBO), this one being against a John Brazenor of Pontesbury for support of an illegitimate daughter by Susannah Bradney of Pontesbury. At the time, 1812, there were at least four males aged between 27 -46, with the name John Brazenor, living in or close to the Parish of Pontesbury. Possibly the most likely individual was either John Brazenor, whose family was farming at Farley, Pontesbury, or John Brazenor of Stapleton, whose family was farming at Upper Moat. Other Johns were living at Meole Brace and Hyssington. John Brazenor of Meole Brace had form, there having previously been a PBO brought against him at Pontesbury, in 1806, for an illegitimate daughter with Jane Peters, of Pontesbury.
The actual order was a standard printed form with spaces for the insertion of handwritten particulars, which I have indicated by underlining them.
County of Salop: The Order of us whose Names are hereunto subscribed and seals affixed, two of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace in and for the County of Salop ( one whereof is of the Quorum) and both residing in or next unto the Limits of the Parish Church, within the Parish of Pontesbury in the said County, made the eleventh day of February in the Year of our Lord 1812, concerning a female Bastard Child, lately born in the Parish of Pontesbury aforesaid, of the Body of Susannah Bradney, single Woman.
Whereas it hath appeared unto us, the said Justices, as well upon Complaint of the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor, of the Parish aforesaid, in the County of Salop aforesaid, as upon Oath of the said Mother, taken before me Charles Peters —————? , that she was on the seventeenth Day of November, now last past, delivered of the said Bastard Child in the said Parish, and that the said Bastard Child is now chargeable to the said Parish and likely so to continue, and further that John Brazenor of the Parish of Pontesbury in the said County farmer, did beget the said Bastard Child on her Body. And whereas the said John Brazenor hath appeared before us in pursuance of our Summons for the Purpose, but hath not shewn any sufficient Cause why he shall not be the reputed Father of the said Bastard Child. We therefore upon Examination of the Cause and Circumstances of the Premises as well upon the Oath of the said Mother as otherwise, do hereby adjudge him to be the reputed Father of the said Bastard Child, and thereupon we do order, as well for the better Relief of the first above mentioned Parish as for the Sustenation and Relief of the said Bastard Child, that the said reputed father shall and do forthwith upon Notice of our Order, pay or cause to be paid to the said Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of the said first above mentioned Parish or to some or one of them the Sum of one hundred and sixteen ? shillings for and towards the Lying-in of the said Mother and the Maintenance of the said Bastard Child, to the Time of making this our Order.
And we do also hereby further Order that the said reputed Father shall likewise pay or cause to be paid, to the said Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of the said first above mentioned Parish for the Time being, or to some or one of them, the Sum of two shillings weekly and every Week from this present Time, for and towards the Keeping, Sustenation, and Maintenance of the said Bastard Child, for and during the Time as the said Bastard Child shall be chargeable to the said first above mentioned Parish.
And we further Order that the said Mother shall also pay, or cause to be paid, to the said Churchwardens and Overseers of the said first above mentioned Parish for the Time being, or to some or one of them the Sum of six pence weekly and every Week, so long as the said Bastard Child shall be chargeable to the said first above mentioned Parish, in case she shall not Nurse and take care of the said Child herself.
Given under our Hands and Seals at Pontesbury in the said County, the Day and Year first above written.
C Peters ?
J Wilde ?