View Of Frankpledge and Manor Courts
Before 1241 Richard, earl of Cornwall, as lord of Asthall
manor, withdrew the suit of Asthall from Bampton
hundred court to his own court of North Osney. (fn. 1) Earl
Edmund freed the abbot and convent of Biddlesden from
suit in 1275, (fn. 2) but otherwise retained view of frankpledge
with his overlordship in 1279, (fn. 3) though by 1296–7 it had
been converted to a fixed payment of 10s. a year. (fn. 4) By
1304 the view and payment had apparently passed to the
lord of Asthall manor, (fn. 5) and in 1688 the manor allegedly
included a view of frankpledge and court leet. (fn. 6)
Richard of Cornwall held courts baron for the manor
by 1279, pleas and perquisites of which were valued at
10s. in 1304. (fn. 7) Views, courts leet, and courts baron
continued in the earlier 19th century, when they met
only occasionally. In 1830 the jury perambulated part of
the parish boundary and reported encroachments, and
in 1849 it perambulated the manor boundary adjacent
to Wychwood Forest. By then, and probably before
1662, the manor's tenants at Asthall and Asthall Leigh
belonged to separate tithings. (fn. 8) A court baron for the
reputed manor of Asthall Leigh (formerly belonging to
the More family), held in the late 18th century, (fn. 9) was
presumably of medieval origin.
Parish Government and Officers
Asthall and Asthall Leigh each had a constable in 1662, (fn. 10)
and in the early 19th century the Asthall court appointed
a constable and tithingman for each tithing. (fn. 11) Churchwardens were mentioned from 1530, (fn. 12) sidesmen in
1612–13, (fn. 13) and two overseers in 1642; (fn. 14) a parish clerk
mentioned in 1799 (fn. 15) received an income from fees in the
early 19th century. (fn. 16) A sole surveyor of highways was
mentioned in 1853. (fn. 17)
By then those officers were appointed presumably by
the parish vestry, meetings of which are recorded from
1863 to 1907. (fn. 18) The vestry annually nominated up to six
constables until 1871, and elected two overseers and the
surveyor (usually called waywarden) until 1894.
Churchwardens were also elected, though the vicar
nominated one warden from 1889 onwards and perhaps
earlier. After 1894 the vestry dealt solely with church
business, including education, until superseded by a
parochial church council in 1920. (fn. 19) Civil functions
passed to a new parish council and to the newly formed
Witney Rural District Council, and in 1974 Asthall
became part of the new West Oxfordshire district. (fn. 20)
|| Rot. Hund. II, 30.
|| BL, Harl. Ch. 84. C. 9.
|| Bampton. Hund. 38.
|| Earldom of Cornwall Accts, I, 143.
|| PRO, C 133/97.
|| Glos. RO, D 1447/1/259, lease of 9 July 1688.
|| Bampton Hund. 39; PRO, C 133/97.
|| PRO, E 179/255/4, pt iii, ff. 236, 238; Glos. RO, D
1447/10/9, ff. 2–6v.
|| ORO, Misc. Torr II/1.
|| PRO, E 179/255/4, pt iii, ff. 236, 238.
|| Glos. RO, D 1447/10/9, ff. 3, 5v.
|| Visit. Dioc. Linc. II, 48 (mentioning iconomi).
|| PRO, C 93/4/1, m. 6.
|| Protestation Rtns and Tax Assess. 5; for exercise of parish
poor relief, above, intro. (social life).
|| Eton Coll., COLL/B1/1/5/18, value of vicarages from James
|| e.g. ORO, MSS Oxf. Dioc. d 568, f. 17; d 580, f. 15.
|| Queen's Coll. Mun., 4. D. 66.
|| ORO, MS dd Par. Asthall b 4, on which remainder of para.
|| Ibid. e 4, p. 1.
|| ORO, RO 3251, pp. 201–3; RO 3267.