Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Law & Order

Constables' Accounts

Constable of Guisborough & Tockets: £60 fine, 4 June 1805,

"You are hereby required to pay to me at Guisbro' on Friday the 14th Instant the sum of sixty pounds being a fine assessed upon your Townships the last General Quarter Sessions for neglect of hiring three men for the Militia according to the Act of the 43rd of his present Majesty - Given under my hand this 4th June 1805.
Jos. Hickson

Recd Jos. Hickson

Accts 1791-92
"Money disbursed for the Constabulary ..."

Constables’ Disbursements 1791 – 1831
Parish of Guisborough, North Yorkshire

Unfortunately there are gaps in the records as shown on sheet 2. Some books of accounts are missing, and in the existing documents some constables have given less information than others.
Payments to travellers ranged from 3d per person to 1/-. Males usually received 6d and women and children 4d each, but frequently the lump sum for a man, wife and children came to 3½d a head. Sailors in some cases when relieved on the order of a justice – Mr Williamson was one – received one shilling each.
The most detailed information is to be found in the papers for the years 1827 – 1831: all the occupations occur in this period.
In 1805/6 a large proportion of the women were wives of soldiers and sailors, unaccompanied by their husbands.
The four months 1816/17 show an outstanding number of travellers.
Of the constables, James Laing and William Darnton are, for our purposes, top scorers, as the following excerpts show:
A bass maker and his wife big with child.
A cropper going to Scotland.
A sailor cast away at Skiningrove.
A widow woman and two children going to Hull.
Two sailors shipwrecked in the Baltic.
A Portugize.
T. Fisher, schoolmaster deplorabble.
A poor Jack adrift.
An idiot boy for his bed 3d. Lost his way, paid bed again 3d. (Not so silly! Humane treatment).
3 sailors going to Sund’d, real Jacks.
A poor sailor going to Wisbech.
Jno. Thompson (carpenter) ill of the Ague, going to Scarboro his settlement.
A poor woman that had lost her Child and Husband at Edinburgh with certificate 1/-.
(All the above written by James Laing.)
For the Pulmans it was a family vocation: Alexander, Robert and William were constables and there was a Ralph Pulman also who did some tradesmen’s work for them.
Included in the accounts are numerous items of purely local interest: repairs, such as the “Dungon” lock and key, cleaning “Dungon”; providing straw, writing paper, quills and ink; payments for carrying the halbert and for calling the fair.

Court Baron and Court Leet: The English Village, by V Bonham Carter, Pelican A241, 1952.

In theory all land belonged to the king. Barons holding estate under the crown in return for military service. In same way all village farmers, free or unfree, held lands on tenure from lord of the manor in return for certain services, which varied. A villein might rent as many as 30 strips (a virgate) in open fields, but had to fold his sheep o his lord’s land and work several days a week (week work) and all harvest days as well (boon work) on the demesne, providing his own implements and oxen. A border had fewer strips; a cottar had no land outside his cottage garden and paddock: they supplemented their living by doing piece or day work for others. Freeman and socman who had fewer or n labour services to perform, but who supplied manpower for military expeditions. A bondman (unfree tenant) could not sell or dispose of his land; at his death his son had to pay a fine to ensure succession. Similar fines for the marriage of a daughter, for apprenticeship, &c. Free tenants could sell and also inherit without payment. Could fold his sheep on his own land. Could sue his lord in king’s court. Bondman had no redress. But all were obliged to take their corn to the lord’s mill, and all had to suffer the depredation of his pigeons. Obligatory attendance at Manor Court. Monthly or longer intervals. Virtually controlled by L of M, but democratically elected jury of tenants yearly. Steward chairman. To keep records of exact nature of each tenancy; condition of fields and value of estate; fixing and maintaining rules for good farm practice (see Guis. 18C records). Enforcing fines. Administering petty justice. Annually appointing parish officials – reeve = overseer, who represented all village interests. Hayward = looked after fences. Woodward = forest or waste. Shepherd, oxherd, swineherd, &c. In this way was built up a body of village law. Early in 14C court was divided into Court Baron and Court Leet. CB dealt with matters relating to custom of the manor. CL principally concerned with petty justice. Both courts supervised by lord’s deputy, the steward, who was generally a lawyer. Judgements executed by bailiff. CL’s powers later absorbed by Court of Quarter Sessions and higher courts. CB continued in effective existence at least until middle of 16C. Both courts have survived until recent times as anachronisms. Did it function effectively much later Guisborough? See Guis. Estate Papers at C. Record Office. 18C?


Court Baron. Tenants, free or unfree, bound to attend Lord’s court as condition of holding land. Lord or Steward presided. Civil business: land tenure, jurisdiction over small debts, nominal supervision and repair of roads and bridges.

Court Leet. Criminal court, extended only in those manors to which king had granted petty criminal jurisdiction. As a royal court ranked higher than the Court Baron. Breaches of the peace/ adultery/scolds/ supervision over trade; assizes of bread and ale regulated sale of these.

Frankpledge. In medieval England the village practically a common farm. Inhabitants united by community of interests in farming. Also united by conditions of legal procedure. For criminal cases they were divided into groups of ten families mutually responsible for crimes committed by any member of the group. Members called ‘Franci Plegii’ and at stated times a view of Frankpledge.

Bellman. In the ZFM archive at NR Record Office in Northallerton (Chaloner Papers) letter sent by JW Clarke, Estate Agent, to Mr Trevor, Clerk to Manorial Court:

“Colonel Chaloner approves of taylor the policeman being Bailiff Pinder and everything except Bellringer and he quite approves of Buckworth being Bellringer.
1911? Check

Court Baron and Court Leet – Manor of Guisborough. NR County record Office at Northallerton. ZFM Chaloner Papers.

Court Baron. 1742-1752-1754-1767-1772-1773. Proclamations and proceedings for Court.

1772 Court Leet and view of Frankpledge within the Court Baron of Wm Chaloner Esq at Tolboothe. R Foster, Steward.
Matthew Hutton and Robert Wallace sworn as constables for year ensuing.
Francis Ray, john Thrush and Geo Talboyes sworn Aleconners, Breadweighers and Market Searchers for year ensuing.
George Talboyes and Wm Thrush sworn Tithingmen

1773 John Harrison, Steward

1784 John Sturdy sworn Pinder for Township of Guisborough.

1853 - 1864 Roger Milburn, Pinder.

1864 Joseph Parrington, Bailiff.
Last Pinder ( ) Richard Husband, also Town crier and Bailiff.

1911 Revival. Wm Buckworth appointed Town Crier and bellman. Pinder dropped.

1819 3 February. Ralph Williamson v James Wilcock. Trespass £1/4/2d. JW (master at Grammar School) versus RW the plaintiff. JW contends he is not bound to teach English gratis. Carged him nothing for Latin (Statutes state Latin). Verdict for Defendant. £1/4/2d.

1828 Robt Chaloner and Henry Clarke, Steward and twelve Jurors. Business: mainly concerning debts.

Dooking Chare
see Poor Law Papers, Cleveland Archives

1787 Pd Geo Johnson for 3 days for working at the Dooking Chare

1797 Robert Knaggs – horse and cart leading wood to Ducking Chair 2s.6d.

1802 To rail for Ducking Chair 6d.

1802 To 20 piles for Ducking Chair 11/-

Eviction 1808

Notice to Quit a dwelling house belonging to the Township of Guisborough.
Addressed to Mr. Robert Wright and signed by John Campion and Richard Wilson, “Overseers of the poor of the Township of Guisbro” – 7th day of May, 1808

From Quarter Sessions Records. North Riding Records Society:

“Tho Wawne of Thorp Rawe (near Fylingdales) yeoman, for giving wages to .....Rymer his servant exceeding the rate sett down by the Justices”.

1615 Three Gisbrough men all named Lincolne, as common drunkards a Gysbrough alehouse-keeper for harbouring vagrants and naughty persons; two other Gisbrough alehouse-keepers, one a widow, and the other a man, for keeping unlawful games in their houses.

1615 A Gysbrough mason, indicted for an affray made upon a female; submitted himself and is fined 3/4d.

1615 A Gysbrough man, presented for disorderly house and selling ale above the rate, is discharged without fine, because the presentment is insufficient in lawe.

1619 Henry Fotherley of Gisbrough yeoman for obtaining by means of letters forged in the name of Will Baites of Eston gentn sealed with a counterfeit seal from John Crisp of Gisbrough with the intention of defrauding him, three yardes of Green Devonshire carsey* value 15s, six yardes of lace value 2s, one yarde of linen cloth value 3s, one pair of knitt stockings value 4s, two pints of wine and sugar value 2s.
... That Henry Fotherley be indicted for writing forged letters halbe taken to York Castle to remain there till next Sessions to which he must be brought by the Sheriff and from thence to be taken to Gisbrough, tostand in the Pillorie the next market day after, in the full markeett time, with a paper on his heade, having written upon the same in faire capital letters FOR WRITING COSENING LETTERS.

The above Sessions were held at Thirsk on 2 and 7 April 1619 respectively. The next Qr. Sessions on 8 July at Helmsley shows that “Henry Fotherley comitted last Easter should have had his bodie here at this Sessions”. A new warrant was to be issued to detain him in safe custody. Apparently there was another charge by one Richard Atkinson of Rippon. Will Blackburn, Deputy Baliffe of Langbaurgh was fined 10s. for his negligent service.

Henry had the misfortune at the 1615 Q.S. to be presented because his wife was a recusant,

*Kersey: coarse woollen cloth: the Kerseymere a twilled cloth of fine wool; corrupted to Cashmere. (Kersey 3 miles from Hadleigh, Suffolk).

Guisborough UDC Minutes, 1898 Middlesbrough Archives Office.
Counsel’s opinion – ‘In the matter of obstructions to Highways at Guisborough and the rights of the Lord of the Manor.’Check to see if this related to the vexed question of the Market rights held by the Lord of the Manor. Not the first time this has arisen – I think it was in the 1960s when the Guisborough Urban District Council functioned.


From Mr Barry Harrison’s Hearth Tax Paper


L 1664 1662 1664 1801

Guisboro' 320 179 163 151 111 330 269 383

Stockton 173 107 67 67 - 174 - 527

Egton 187 148 59 59 22 207 202 190

Stokesley 169 95 79 79 46 174 159 334

Marske 103 60 36 34 14 94 74 102

Yarm 135 74 72 72 25 146 123 347

Danby 117 99 22 22 27 121 147 162

Hartlepool 96 38 51 51 - 89 - 226

Middlesbro' 24 16 4 4 - 20 NE 4

Linthorpe 30 23 17 17 10 40 38 39

Redcar 41 29 27 27 8 56 39 115

Great Ayton 71 49 12 12 34 61 107 201

Little Ayton 25 23 6 6 14 29 33 13

Skelton 87 64 35 35 22 99 88 177

Darlington 362 166 127 117 - 283 - 864


Lowcross - - - - 12 - 29 -


thorpe 20 12 6 6 - 18 - 15

Newton 25 21 12 12 5 33 28 38


leatham 75 56 19 19 27 75 85 159

Wilton 93 53 5 5 20 58 52 67
H = hearths, HH = households, HNL = hearths not liable

HHNL = households not liable, THH = total h/h

Guisborough: Archbishop Herring's Visitation Return, 1743 -"about 300 families".

Stokesley: Cloth

Leighton/Fenton 1802

News item in “The York Herald” 6 March 1802
“John Leighton (aged 30) of Upsal, miller and Randy, otherwise Randal Dalpain, alias William Fenton (aged 33) of Guisborough, yeoman, charged with stealing four sheep, the property of Bartholomew Sayer, one sheep the property of Samuel Little and two sheep the property of John Appleby.
Committed by WL Williamson and J Harrison Esqrs.
Both prisoners were sentenced to death and subsequently reprieved.

Letter written by William Fenton to the Overseers of Guisborough:

“On Board His Majesty’s Ship PORTLAND Augt 23rd 1803.

Necefsity compels me to Solicit that Philanthrophy which has ever Characterized the Officers of Guisborough, it is a Truly painfull Task and in reality very Disconsonant to my wishes for to long open not ony my Distressed case but that of an Affectionate Wife and 5 Children which must be obligated to apply for some aid from those whom Providence has Enabled
‘Tis then Gentn unto you I beg leave to Observe altho with heartfelt regret, That I have been here suffering under the most Extreme Tortures of the Mind in being Seperated and rendered Incapable of Contributing the Smallest to their Comfort, And as I expect very Shortly to leave here for Botany Bay and has got the Permission of taking My Wife and Children providing the Town of Guisborough will take into Consideration and Enable me to procure the Necessaries of Life Sufficient for Such Voyage for They by which means I will vouch for neither They nor myself ever Soliciting nor never become a Burthen hereafter, As I am for Life I trust that will be one great Object that may Induce you to grant a request which I am conscious Humanity would Sanction and in So Doing You Will Ever Have the Sincere Prayers and unfeign’d Thanks of
Gentn Your Most Obet and Obliged Humel Servt
William Fenton
Langston Harbour
near Portsmouth.
The Revd Mr Donne our Worthy Curate together with Capt Moss will undertake to procure my Wife and one child a free Voyage Therefore it is for the Remaining 4 I Solicit your aid and which I Sincerely........you will be pleased to give me.......30£......trust will not be Objected to”.

Local government. In small register at Parish Church: 1.10.1863
Minutes of a meeting of ratepayers of Township of Guisborough held at the Church Vestry and adjourned to the Toll Booth. 1. Audit accounts. 2. Lay on a rate for ensuing year. “A large number of persons were present.” Hearse and attendance £3. Hearse repairing £8. Parish Clerk (Darnton) £9.10.0d. Removal of pulpit £12. (Total £88.10.0d.) Independent Minister induced some to refuse payment of Church Rate. Advice sought before issuing summons. “Some of items improper or illegal?” Rate voted by Vestry. 5 townships: Guisborough, Tocketts, Hutton Lowcross, Commondale, Pinchinthorpe. Property Rate 1s.2d in the £.

Manor Court
Yorkshire Deeds, Yks Arch. Soc. 76 p 74, Vol 6. 1532, Easter & Michaelmas.

Pillory in Market Place. ‘A little to the west of the Market Place where must have stood the pillory on which was fixed the head of Sir John Fauconberg, executed for rebellion in 1405.’
VCH Vol 2, p 354. Cal Pat. 1405/8, p 69.

In 1967 the Guisborough UDC surveyor had discovered, or the builders, Peacocks, on the Church Lane housing estate, had shown him evidence of a pillory or a gibbet. Before development this was the site of the Fairs held in April and November. Earlier the Fair was in Westgate. The evidence was a very large stone with an equally large socket. It was in the vicinity of –

Incidentally, Ord calls this ‘field’ Wars Field! See Ord p ? Some people think it might be connected with the parish ducking stool.

At the time of unearthing the stone it was ‘hush, hush’ in case development (or intending purchasers) were deterred. Happily the estate perpetuates the names of local Rectors – a kind of exorcism!

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