A Christmas Baptism

This is a short post, just to celebrate the season. Here is the barely legible baptism record of my third great-grandfather, Thomas Casbon (1803–1888).

Detail from Parish Register, Meldreth, Cambridgeshire: Baptisms, 1802.[1]
The register is written on parchment. In this case, in addition to smudges, the ink has degraded or flaked off. Here’s what the entry says:

[Born] Novr. 3d. Thomas, son of Isaac & Susanna Casbon, [Baptized] Decr. 25.

This is the only Casbon baptism I have found that occurs on Christmas Day. Was Thomas baptized on Christmas Day because it was a special day, or was it simply a matter of convenience? I’ve tried to find out whether Christmas baptisms were considered special in England in the early 19th century, but haven’t found any evidence to support this. I have found discussions suggesting that fees were not charged for baptisms and marriages held on Christmas and Easter, but no sources are provided. Another suggestion is that church attendance in England was required at least twice a year (possibly Christmas and Easter),[2] so these days were more likely to see increased numbers of marriages and baptisms for those who only attended on those days.

Were any of your ancestors baptized on Christmas Day?

To all my readers, I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

[1]Parish of Meldreth (Cambridgeshire), Parish Registers, 1783–1812, unnumbered page, baptisms 1802–6, Thomas Casbon, 25 Dec 1802; accessed as “Parish registers for Meldreth, 1681-1877,” browsable images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/sea1040542rch/film/007567609?cat=210742 : accessed 22 December 2018), image 136 of 699; citing FHL microfilm 1,040,542, item 3.
[2]“Church Attendance,” Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_attendance : accessed 22 December 2018), rev. 21 Oct 18, 16:58.

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