In the time of the counts the wealth of Gouda was mainly derived from brewing and cloth-weaving; but at a later date the making of clay tobacco pipes became the staple trade, and, although this industry has somewhat declined, the churchwarden pipes of Gouda are still well known and largely manufactured.
Each churchwarden after election subscribes before the ordinary a declaration that he will execute his office faithfully.
His father is generally described as a butcher, but he sold other things than meat; and although a man of some property and a churchwarden of St Nicholas, Ipswich, his character seems to have borne a striking resemblance to that of Thomas Cromwell's father.
In some of the larger parishes in the north of England a churchwarden is chosen for each township of the parish; in the old ecclesiastical parishes of London both churchwardens are chosen by the parishioners; in some cases they are appointed by the select vestry, or by the lord of the manor, and in a few exceptional cases are chosen by the outgoing churchwardens.
C. 32), exempts the priest from parochial offices, such as those of churchwarden and constable, and from serving in the militia or on a jury, and enables all Roman Catholics scrupling the oaths of office to exercise the office of churchwarden and some other offices by deputy.