Fillers Three hundred years ago

Public health and the parish constable

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7334.402 (Published 16 February 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:402
  1. Tony Fox, consultant pharmaceutical physician
  1. Rancho La Costa, California, USA

    The seventh edition of The Compleat Parish Officer was published anonymously in 1734 and reprinted by the Wiltshire Family History Society in 1996. The largest section of this manual concerns the role of the parish constable. “Men of substance, and not of the meaner sort” were elected annually by their neighbours whether they liked it or not. People refusing to serve in this unattractive office were liable to prosecution at the assizes and fines in the lord of the manor's court.

    Some of the …

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