This is one you may have come across when researching in parish registers. There is an entry for a baby “privately baptised” and/or “publickly received into ye church”. What’s all this about? You may even have come across the term “half-baptism”.
There are two main reasons for it.
1) The baby was not expected to survive even as far as the church door, so it was ‘privately baptised’ then and there. Sometimes even midwives could perform such a baptism! If the baby did survive, it was ‘publickly received’ as soon as it could make it to the church.2) The baby was born into a posh family who, like the families who married under licence instead of banns, thought that the general public should not be party to what was a very private event i.e. getting married or being baptised.
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