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Beeston Green

Beeston Green March 2010
Beeston Green March 2010

Beeston, like Thorncote and Ickwell in the parish of Northill, has an impressive Green. Beeston Green was part of the Manor of Beeston, Thorncote and Hatch. The Manor was regulated by manor courts at which tenants were allowed to buy and sell copyhold land and property, at which fines were imposed for allowing cattle to stray, for not maintaining hedges and not completing other tasks of maintenance around the manor and at which byelaws were passed. One such byelaw concerned the greens at Beeston, Thorncote and Hatch and the following is a transcript [CRT130Northill36]:

The General Court Baron

of Godfrey Thornton Esquire, Lord of the Manor aforesaid there held in and for the said Manor on Monday the twenty first day of June in the sixteenth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lady Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith and in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty two. Before William Thomas Chapman, Gentleman, Steward there

The Homage [i. e. the Jury of tenants] 

Mr. Joseph Crisp, foreman, Mr. Edward Fuller, Mr. Joseph Bird, Mr. George Matthews, Mr. Henry Turner Smith, Mr. Samuel Bird, Mr. William Clark, Mr. Thomas Gillions

Orders and Bye laws made at this Court 

FIRST It is ordered and agreed that no person or persons shall put or keep any sheep upon Beeston Green, Thorncott Green or Hatch Green or upon any of the common greens or waste lands within this Manor upon pain of forfeiting to the Lord of the Manor for every sheep 6d. And to the common drivers [officials charged with maintaining the commons, see the third paragraph from the bottom of this document] 2d.

AND it is Ordered and agreed that no Farmer or Cottager shall be allowed to keep upon the Common Greens or waste Lands within this Manor more than one Horse, Mule or Ass or one Cow for every Farm House or Cottage and no more than one sow and her litter of pigs during the time such Pigs suck and afterwards one Sow and four pigs or instead thereof five Store Hogs [young pigs] upon pain to forfeit to the Lord of the Manor for every offence in over stocking contrary to this order 1s. And to the Common drivers 6d.

ALSO that no Hogs, Sows or Pigs (except sucking Pigs) shall be turned upon the Common Greens within this Manor without first rung [a ring through the nose] upon pain of forfeiting to the Lord of the Manor for every offence for each Hog, sow or pig so turned on 6d. And to the Common drivers 3d.

AND it is Ordered that no Geese shall be kept upon the said Common, Greens or waste Lands.

ALSO it is ordered and agreed that no stallion or Ridgel [an imperfectly castrated animal, or one whose testes have not fully developed] shall be turned upon the said Greens or waste lands

ALSO it is Ordered that no Farmer or Cottager shall let their Common rights to any person or persons except to such persons who live or reside within the said Manor upon pain of forfeiting to the Lord of the Manor for every offence 5s. And to the Common drivers 2s. 6d.

AND it is Ordered that no person who is a Lodger or person occupying a Cottage without a Right of Common attached thereto shall be at liberty to hire more than two common rights and if any person as aforesaid shall stock more than two Commons he shall forfeit to the Lord of the Manor 5s. And to the Common drivers 2s. 6.

IT is Ordered and agreed that no person shall dig or take gravel from any or either of the Commons and that every person so offending shall forfeit to the Lord of the Manor 10s.

AND it is Ordered and agreed that no person shall use any of the Greens or waste Lands within the Manor for the use of drying Onions, Onion seed or any other seeds upon pain of forfeiture to the Lord of the Manor for every offence 5s. and to the Common drivers 1s.

AND it is Ordered and agreed that nor person shall turn any Horse, Mule, Ass, Cow or pigs on either of the Greens or waste Lands within the said Manor between the hours of Nine o'clock at night or four o'clock in the morning on pain of forfeiting for each offence 6d. and to the Common drivers 4d.

WE Nominate and Appoint William Cooper, Thomas Gillions and Edward Fuller to be Common Drivers of and for this Manor until the next Court.

WE nominate and appoint John Cooper as Howard or Herdsman for Beeston and John Matthews as Howard or Herdsman for Thorncott.

THE Homage request that a Copy of the Bye Laws as amended this day be prepared and handed to the Common drivers