Individual parishes were charged with monitoring the births of illegitimate children, and could seek security from the fathers against the cost of raising such children. The information required to implement this system was gathered through Bastardy Examinations, which are categorised under Pauper Examinations (EP).
Between 1755 and 1779 the parish of St Clement Danes kept a separate register of both the evidence provided by the mother of each bastard child born in the parish, and of the details of the securities provided by the father. This document adds significantly to the information contained in the related Pauper Examinations (EP) (which are also reproduced on this site), giving details of the father's named securities, and of the fate of the child involved, where the latter lived to be apprenticed. The names of the father, mother and child should normally also appear in the related Pauper Examinations (EP) and Register of Infants (RI), if records for the relevant year are available. Where the child survived to apprenticeship they should also be recorded in the parish's Register of Apprentices (RA). The legal documents reflected in this register do not survive for St Clement Danes, but a collection of Bastardy Bonds (WB) does survive for St Dionis Backchurch.
- Black, John. Who Were the Putative Fathers of Illegitimate Children in London, 1740-1810? In Levene, Alysa; Williams, Samantha; and Nutt, Thomas, eds, Illegitimacy in Britain, 1700-1920. Basingstoke, 2005.
- Black, John. Illegitimacy, Sexual Relations and Location in Metropolitan London, 1735-85. In Hitchcock, Tim and Shore, Heather, eds, The Streets of London: from the Great Fire to the Great Stink. 2003.
- Hitchcock, Tim and Black, John, eds. Chelsea Settlement and Bastardy Examinations, 1733-66. London Record Society, 33, 1999 for 1996, Introduction.
For further reading on this subject see the London Lives Bibliography.
- St Clement Danes, Register of Securities, 1755-79, Westminster Archives Centre, Ms. B1209, LL ref: WCCDRR36800, Tagging Level: C