A Glossary of Words and Phrases

communicant - one who receives Holy Communion (see Sacrament)

epiphany - the festival of Christ's manifestation to the Wise Men (6 Jan)

established church - the Church of England. Since the breaking away of the English church from Rome under Henry VIII the monarch has been its head and the church has been part of the fabric of the state. Even today the Prime Minister appoints the bishops, a number of whom are in turn entitled to sit in the House of Lords and take part in the law-making process of the state

felony/felonies - a serious crime which originally meant the offender forfeiting goods if convicted

franchise - the right to vote in public elections

hundred - a subdivision of a county, a number of parishes grouped together

justice of the peace - an officer appointed to a particular county by the crown to bring cases before the court and hear them. Over the years the legal and civil responsibilities of the justices grew and thus the number of justices needed in each county. Like the jurors, justices had to meet a property qualification. Thus they could only be recruited from among the landed gentry

livings - position as vicar or rector with income and/or property

lord lieutenant - an officer appointed by the crown for each county. His duties included maintaining a trained and ready militia, and looking after the county's official records. He was assisted by Deputy Lieutenants. These duties are now largely ceremonial

michaelmas - the Feast of St Michael (29 Sept)

sacrament - religious rite or ceremony. The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is the ceremony of Holy Communion when communicants take the wafer and the wine which represent the body and blood of Christ

sheriff - the representative of the monarch in each county. He was responsible for summoning the Quarter Sessions and appointing justices of the peace. The modern sheriff has a ceremonial and minor legal function

statutory enrolment - certain kinds of undertakings were required by law to deposit plans and documents among the Quarter Sessions Rolls. These included developments like railways, canals and turnpikes

transportation - The sending of convicted criminals to oversees penal colonies. When the North American penal colonies were no longer available after the War of Independence new penal colonies were established in New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia. The system continued until 1868 by which time about 162,000 convicts had been transported to Australia


Text and documentation supplied by Powys County Council Archive Office