719 baptisms and 873 burials at St. Giles in the city of Durham, from a combination of the parish register and the Bishop’s Transcript for maximum detail.
Sample baptisms – mothers (other than single mothers of illegitimate children) are not named until July 1773, and abodes are usually not listed:
- 19 Jan 1772 Mary Westwick, daughter of Bartholomew Westwick
- 23 Jul 1773 William Plumpton, son of William & Catherine Plumpton
- 10 Dec 1782 Mary [Gargat/Cateran], illegitimate daughter of William Gargat & Ann Cateran
- 6 Mar 1796 Mary Brown, illegitimate daughter of Mary Brown, born at Westoe, privately baptized at Jarrow, and received into this Church today
- 10 Dec 1797 Henry Sharp, born 8 Dec, son of John Sharp (weaver) & Mary his wife late Richardby
Sample burials – for children, only the father is named until Sept 1775, after which both parents are usually named. Before Sept 1775, only illegitimate children have their mothers named:
- 13 Jan 1772 Philadelphia Lamb, wife of the Rev’d Mr. Lamb, vicar of Norham, Northumberland
- 11 Mar 1773 Thomas Child, son of Ralph Child
- 11 Jun 1782 William Wood, of the 2nd Regiment of Dragoons
- 25 Mar 1783 Mrs. Elizabeth Patrick, of the parish of St. Nicholas, wife [or widow?] of John Patrick
[Note: The original burial register says "Mrs. Elizabeth Patrick of the parish of St. Nicholas, widow", but the Bishop's Transcript says "Elizabeth wife of John Patrick of the parish of St. Nicholas".]
- 18 Apr 1790 John Ivison, son of Thomas & Margaret Ivison
- 3 Jan 1797 John Humbers, son of John (of the Surry Militia) & Ann Humbers
Abodes mentioned in burials include Kepier, Old Durham, the Palace Green, Ravensflat, the chapelry of St. Margaret’s, St. Mary le Bow, St. Nicholas, and St. Oswald’s, Sunderland, and Woodwell House.
Publications of the Surtees Society, Volume 97, has the following (slightly paraphrased) footnote regarding Philadelphia Lamb (the first sample burial above):
Rev. Robert Lamb is supposed to have been a native of Durham. He was an MA of St. John’s College, Cambridge, a Minor Canon of Durham, and in 1747 was presented by the Dean and Chapter to the Vicarage of Norham, which he retained till his death during a visit to Edinburgh 7th May 1795. He wrote a History of Chess in 1764 and a ballad called The Laidley Worm of Spindeston, and edited Weber’s Ballad of Flodden with a preface and miscellaneous notes. Dr. Raine, in his ‘History of North Durham‘, describes this curious incident:
After going to Norham, he [Lamb] bethought him of one Philadelphia Nelson, the daughter of a carrier between London and Edinburgh with whom he had become acquainted in Durham, and invited her by letter to come to him and be his wife. He undertook to meet her on the pier at Berwick on Tweed, and having retained apparently an imperfect recollection of her features, desired her to carry a tea caddy under her arm whereby he might recognize her. The article selected suggests to one’s mind that like Dr Johnson, he may have been a great tea drinker and had a tender memory of many cups which Philadelphia had regaled him with at Durham. She went, but he, being perhaps excusable as a scholar, forgot the appointment and the poor young woman paced the pier for many hours faithfully carrying her tea caddy. There was living at Berwick an old naval officer called Howe, whose habit was to walk to the end of the pier and back regularly three times a day before his meals. Before his dinner and again before his tea, he had observed her with her tea caddy, and in his third walk, found her sitting on a stone tired and disconsolate. This time he addressed her, and having heard her story, said, “Ha! Robin Lamb is a great friend of mine. Just like him, but he’ll make you a capital husband.” Next morning, he took her by coach to Norham, where she and Lamb were married 11th April 1755.
The story as above given is derived from a paper in “Archaeologia Aeliana, vol viii” by the late Rev. James Raine, the historian of North Durham, who says that he had himself got it from the widow of Lambe’s successor in the Vicarage of Norham.