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Court Rolls 73 to 76

Introduction to Willington Manor Court Rolls

Index to Willington Court Rolls

Court Roll 73

April 2 1594

The first View of Frankpledge with Court Baron of William Gostwyke Esquire

The heading says that this is the first Court Baron, which is surprising as William Gostwick came of age in 1586 and had been married with children from soon after. However the detailed entries showing what animals tenant were allowed to keep in the common fields, and the entry for brewers, who are requested to bring their certificates to the next court, suggest a change of lord of the manor.

  • Jury of 16 men sworn in. Common fines and land silver paid. There is a difficult section about hedges, which has not been fully translated.
  • Two constables were elected; 'Henry Earl of Kent and Nicholas Luke being tenants of the lord' should have come to court and were fined for default.
  • A small freeholding by a tenant was acknowledged and 'Also they present that the lord of this manor has and by right should have, from all [his] predecessors should have free Warren of the total precincts of this manor [with] all the appurtenances of this manor, and take possession of the separate fishery there.
  • Orders were made about ringing pigs, scouring ditches, keeping cows and sheep, with a list of 23 tenants and the animals they were entitled to keep on the commons. Six men were elected as brewers.

Full transcript of Court Roll 73 (pdf)

Court Roll 74

October 23 1599

View of Frankpledge with Court Baron of William Gostwicke Esquire

The court was held before William Butler, gentleman, Steward there, suggesting that William Gostwicke was resident elsewhere or that he was not closely involved in the management of the manor by this time.

  • Fifteen men were sworn in as jurors. Common fines for head silver and land silver paid and the 27 tenants and amounts listed.
  • The Earl of Kent, Nicholas Luke esquire, Giles Allen gentleman, Agnes Richardson, Richard Reynoldes, and the parson of Bromham owed suit at this Court and made default on this day.'
  • 'The inhabitants within the Jurisdiction of this Lete have not provided Arrows with longbows, according to terms of the Statute.'
  • Two minor crimes committed, two constables elected.
  • Twelve by-laws passed about keeping animals and geese, scouring ditches, management of the open fields, gleaning. 'At this Court William Yarwaie, Edward Cleyton, John Hilles and William Silbey. Clerk, were appointed overseers of the Fields and Sworn in.' The Assessors of fines were John Hilles and Thomas Shadbolt.
  • Twenty-seven tenants, and the common fines they paid, were listed.

Full transcript of Court Roll 74 (pdf)

Court Roll 75

October 19 1603

View of Frankpledge with Court Baron of William Gostwicke Esquire

  • Fourteen men were sworn in as jurors. Head silver and land silver was paid. Nicholas Luke Esquire was fined for not coming to court, but Jane Daye, widow, was pardoned.
  • A tenant assaulted the Heward and was found guilty of this offence and of stealing cattle.
  • Five orders about the keeping of animals, and penalties for breaking the orders, were made.
  • The assessors of fines were William Yarwaye and William Osmond.

Full transcript of Court Roll 75 (pdf)

Court Roll 76

October 4 1605

View of Frankpledge With Court Baron of William Gostwick esquire

  • Fifteen jurors were sworn in. head silver and land silver were paid. Seven men owed suit of court, but did not come, so they were fined.
  • A tenant is fined for cutting down trees without permission. An inhabitant of Moggerhanger has encroached on the manor by ploughing on the Common Baulk at Mill-leas.
  • The constables presented that a tenant had created an affray and drawn blood from another tenant. They were replaced by two other constables.
  • Robert Crofte was elected to the office of Common Heward and Robert Crofte and Arthur Tytford are elected to the office of Fieldreeves.
  • Twelve orders were made about keeping animals and geese, and ditching fields. The penalties for breaking them were listed. The assessors of fines were William Balle and William Silby.

Full transcript of Court Roll 76 (pdf)