Monday 10 August 2020

Extracts from the Court Rolls for the Three Manors

The extracts quoted below were taken from Court Rolls of all three manors and show the great variety of concerns of the courts.

Eton Manor, Moleyn's Fee
View of Frankpledge with Court held there on 29th April 1432

'The tithingmen there, viz., JohnChalone and John Fremie, being sworn came and present that . . . John Hunte had a dungheap placed on the king's way opposite his tenement which is a nuisance to passers-by, so he is in mercy (and fined) 3d. And he is ordered to remove it before the next court upon pain of 40d. '

Here follows the Court Baron.

'The homage being sworn came and presents that... Richard Smyth still permits his gutter to be in ruin to the injury of all his neighbours, so he is in mercy (and fined). And he so ordered to have it well and sufficiently repaired before Michaelmas next upon pain of 40d. '

Eton Manor, Church Fee
(formerly held by Oliver Bordeux)

'Thomas Jourdeley, Hugh Dyere, William Heyward, John Dyere and Thomas Peet being sworn present that Richard Lane who is constable of the town there and at ie Wyke makes default   because he has not come to do his office as he used at the Sheriff's hundred before the gracious gift of this demesne to the College by the King, he is In mercy (and fined) 6d.'

7th January 1452.

Item they present that ... John Wight is a common player of dice and at cards, continually staying up at night, to the injury of his neighbours and  contrary to the statutes (of the Realm), so he Is in mercy (and fined) 6d. '

15th April 1542

‘Item they present that ... Margaret Wyngham is a common scold and disturber of the king's peace, so she is in mercy (and fined) 2d. And furthermore, the same is ordered hence forth not to be a scold on pain of castigation (probably whipping) as ordered in the published statutes

Eton Manor, Church Fee View of Frankpledge with Court, 19th May 1461

'John Clerc constable and beer taster there being sworn presents that... Thomas Jourdeley sold meat at excessive price so he Is in mercy (and fined)'.

Eton, subsidary of Cippenham Manor,
View of Frankpledge with Court Baron of Lord Huntingdon, 4th July 1562

'(The Jury) upon their oath say that the Dean and Canons of the free chapel of the Queen beneath the Castle of Windsor, the Provost and College of the Blessed Mary of Eton, Edmund Windsor  Esquire, John Woodwerde, gentleman hold of the same manor and owe suit of court to this court and with hold suit of court, therefore everyone of them (is In amercement (and fined) 4d.

Manor of Colenorton
A terrier of the lands of John Crawford, Lord of the Manor delivered at the Court Baron, 25th October 1668.

'Eight acres upon Sandells butting upon Broken Furlong on the north and Mill Piece on the south.

Three acres lying by Stonebridge Field butting upon Chalvey Mead on the north and eight acres belonging to Stockdales on the south.

.. . (and also a manor house and thirty two other pieces of land) . . .
  Half acre where the house stands at Eton Wick.

Manor of Eton cum Stockdales
At the Court Leet and Court Baron of Leonard Wessel Esquire, 8th April 1700

'The orders following were taken and established as well by the said Lord as also by the consent, agreement and determination of the Freeholders and Tenants of the said Manor with the advice of the Steward declaring the certain stint and   number of sheep and other cattle that may be kept on the Lammas and Commons within the said Lordship of Manor aforesaid as followeth:

It is ordered that no farmer Freeholder or Tenant shall keep but after the rate of one beast for every five acres of land . . . that no townsman or cottager for and in respect of his house shall have faring or common for more than one beast . . .

... that Henry Moody or those who shall occupy his farm (Dairy Farm) shall maintain the Gate against his house leading into South Field.

Manor of Eton cum Stockdales and Colenorton 
View of Frankpledge with the General Court Baron of William Stuart, 6th March, 1871

'The Jurors present Mr George Lillywhite (of Manor Farm) to be Bailiff of the said Manor . . . they present William Groves (of Eton) to be continued in the office of Hayward.

It is presented and ordered also - that no hogs or pigs be turned into the corn fields until all the harvest shall be got in, under penalty of two  shillings per head to the ord of the manor . ..'

Manor of Eton cum Stockdales with Colenorton View of Frankpledge with General Court Baron, 1893

'Jurors present and order that Thomas Barnes of the 'College Arms' had deposited a large quantity of rubbish upon a meadow near Rail Pond, and the same is an encroachment on the lammas lands within this Manor and that the same   Thomas Barnes be ordered to remove the same within two months . ..'

Occasionally the records reveal the basic facts of incidents which must have provided excitement in the lives of the villagers. Perhaps one of the most colourful concerned Prince Richard of Cornwall, crusader, statesman, and the only Englishman to become King of Germany. He had been granted the manor of Cippenham and part of that of Eton by Duncan Lascelles; his manor house and park were just north of the parish. The moat, which lay within the park, can still be seen by Wood Lane. Here he spent a very happy honeymoon with his first wife, Isabella. However, there were troubled times ahead.

Even though Magna Carta had been signed by King John, there was still dissent between the barons and the king and, during the Barons' War, Prince Richard was captured. During his imprisonment he vowed that if he regained his freedom he would found an abbey. Two years later he fulfilled his promise: in April 1266 a   colourful procession made its way from the Cippenham Manor house to newly built Burnham Abbey for the signing of the charter. Land and privileges were given to the Abbey including part of South Field and possibly also the mill at Cuckoo Weir. In spite of its splendid beginnings it was not a rich house and as landlord it almost certainly exacted all and any dues and rents owing. A rental drawn up in Edward Ill's reign shows clearly that the Abbey held land at Eton Wick. One can only wonder if its school and hospital ever benefited the people of the village.

This is the final part of the serialisation of The Story of a Village - Eton Wick - 1217 - 1977. The Eton Wick History Group is most grateful for the kind permission of Judith Hunter's husband to publish her book on its website.

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