7,955 burials at St. Oswald’s in the city of Durham, from the start of the first burial register in Dec 1537 to the end of 1749, joining up with 1750-1868 which we already had online.
Residences mentioned include Aldin Grange/Aldernage, Alton/Auton Stile, Arbor House, the Bailey, Baxter Wood, Bent House, Borne Hall (Burnhall), Branspeth/Brancepeth, Brome/Broom, Brome Hall or Broomhall, Butterbie/Butterby, Croxdale, Elvet, Farewell Hall, Fenckley/Finkhall/or Finchale, Flass, Hodgmore, Houghall, Langley, New Elvet, North Bailey, Old Durham, Old Elvet, Ordshowse, Relly, Sherburn House, Shinckcliff/Shincliffe, Sonderland/Sunderland, Sunderland Bridge, Southern Closes, St. Margaret’s chapelry, the parish of St. Nicholas, Stotgate, Toddey/Tudda/Tudhoe, White House, and Whitwell House.
There are gaps (no burials extant) in the following periods: March 1549 to Jan 1551, Aug 1557 to Oct 1559, from the end of the first register in March 1593 to the beginning of the 2nd register in April 1598, and Aug 1646 to June 1647. Plague outbreaks are mentioned in late 1589, 1644, and 1645; most of the plague deaths of 1644-45 were entered in a large block in March 1653 with this explanatory title:
|“The names of those that dyed in the great visitation in the yeares 1644 and 1645, whose names are not to be found in the fore goeing Register. Nicho: Sheiffield, parish Clarke.”
In the 1670s through 1690s, there are 2 registers, which are duplicates of each other, but in about a dozen burials, there was more information in one register than the other, so in those cases, we have combined the information from the 2 registers and added an explanatory note.
Because the prison was nearby, St. Oswald received the bodies of prisoners who had been hanged there, including priests executed for remaining Catholic during the reign of Elizabeth I.
- 27 Jan 1542 Sir George Crake, prest
[Note: “prest” in Latin means “excellency (title), authority” as in “prestigious”]
- 29 Oct 1589 Anne Alyson alias Rychardson, of ye plage
- 27 May 1590 [Edmund] Duke, one of four semynaryes, papystes, tretors & rebelles to hyr magestye, hanged and quartered at Dryburne for there horryble offences
[Note: his given name is blank, but history tell us he was Edmund Duke, one of four priests executed for remaining true to the Catholic faith. ore here.]
- 19 Aug 1603 Richard Heyrine, executed at Driborne
- 1 Jan 1655 Elizabeth Sheiffield, my Deare and Loveinge wife
[Note: eulogy written by Nicholas Sheiffield, vicar.]
- 20 Aug 1663 John Sim, age: 100, Sexton of this Church
- 29 Sep 1695 Catharine Heviside, supposed to be the daughter of Christopher Colson & Elizabeth Heviside, base begot
- 4 Apr 1704 George Appleby, poor man, slain in a cole pit
- 25 Jul 1724 Mrs. Elizabeth Brocket, innkeeper in South Baily, was buryed near her husband William Brocket (buryed about 1705)
- 17 Jun 1749 Ellinor Stothert, wife of Bryan Stothert (skinner)
There were several centenarians, with the following ages reported: 100, above 100, 106, 107, and even a whopping 110. This file contains people born as early as 1500.
There were some fascinating historical notes in this register, like this one next to a burial on 4 Oct 1588:
“Upon munday being the xii day of august, the Right honorable earle of Huntington, lord presydent under our most gracyous sufferayne lady quene elyzbethe, caused a generall muster to be upon spenymore of all persons within the age of xvi (16) and lx (60)yeares, onely within the bysshopryke, & no forther, where wear eassembled on spenymore ye same day to ye full number of xl  thowsande men, redy to serve hyr magesty when the should becalled, whome god preserve longe to rayne our us.”
or this one from a burial on 8 July 1722:
“Ye River was risen so high, that they could not bring the corpse up New Elvet, but were obliged to carry it by Old Elvet & ye Ratton Row. It was ye greatest flood that had been in ye memory of man.”
and following up on this, 3 years later, in a burial on 6 June 1725:
“This day following, all communication between Shincliff and ye Town was stopped by a great flood, that rose not so high (by near a yard perpendicular) as that of July 8th 1722, commonly called Slaters flood.”
followed a couple of weeks later on 21 Jun 1725 by this update:
“The same day (towards night) there was another flood, very near as high as ye former, but did not last so long: for that kept to ye height near 12 hours. But ye brooks did more harm than in ye former flood. The public news give an account that most counties of England have suffered as much or more by waters than we & that a great part of Europe have been equal sufferers by rain & lightning (which we felt not so much of).”