Local government


Victoria County History



C R Elrington, N M Herbert, R B Pugh (Editors), Kathleen Morgan, Brian S Smith

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'Woolaston: Local government', A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 10: Westbury and Whitstone Hundreds (1972), pp. 114-115. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=15776 Date accessed: 29 November 2014.


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Manor courts were held for Aluredston with assize of ale in the late 13th century, and a hayward was elected. (fn. 66) After Tintern Abbey added Aluredston to its lordship of Woolaston in 1302 the courts were apparently united, but no court rolls survive before 1405. There are court rolls of Woolaston manor for 1405- 6, 1476-88, and 1568-9, (fn. 67) court books for 1660- 1709 and 1712-60, (fn. 68) and court papers for 1741-60. (fn. 69) In 1405 much of the business concerned cases of trespass and pleas of debt. (fn. 70) Three reeves were elected that year, a custom reflected in the election of three constables in 1569; (fn. 71) in the 18th century two constables were elected. (fn. 72) Other manorial officers included foresters and supervisors of Woolaston Wood from the late 15th century to 1660, a bread- and ale-taster, and a hayward. (fn. 73) From the late 17th century courts baron were usually held in May and October, and in the mid 18th century the court met, on some occasions at least, at the Duke's Head Inn. (fn. 74) Right of wreck at Aluredston belonged to the lord of that manor in 1274, (fn. 75) and in 1771-2 when there was no income either from that source or from the courts. (fn. 76) The latest reference found to the court was in 1834 when orders were issued to impound stray animals. (fn. 77) Two manorial pounds existed c. 1700 at Plusterwine and Madgett, the latter newly built in 1687, and there was a parish pound at Sheephouse; (fn. 78) a pound remained at Brookend until the late 19th century. (fn. 79)

Churchwardens' accounts survive from 1763, (fn. 80) and surveyors' accounts from 1848 to 1866. (fn. 81) There was a surveyor of the lower division of the parish in 1759, (fn. 82) and in 1813 it was claimed that upper and lower Woolaston were not rated together for highway purposes. (fn. 83) Overseers' accounts run from 1713 to 1794. Expenditure rose from c. £50 a year at the beginning of the 18th century to £137 in 1771-2. Six persons regularly received relief that year, but later, when expenditure dropped slightly, the number doubled. (fn. 84) In the early 19th century the cost of poor-relief rose from £249 in 1803 (fn. 85) to between £300 and £350 up to 1829; the biggest amount spent was £450 in 1831. Between 1813 and 1815 between 9 and 17 persons received regular relief. (fn. 86) There was no parish workhouse, despite the field-name Work House Meadow near Woolaston Grange in 1813. (fn. 87) Allotments of 5 a. were made at inclosure for the erection of poorhouses at Woolaston Common and Woolaston Woodside, but none was built. (fn. 88) About 1836 Woolaston became part of Chepstow Poor Law Union, (fn. 89) but for other local government purposes it was placed in Lydney Rural District in 1894. (fn. 90)


66 S.C. 6/850/1-6.
67 N.L.W. Badminton MSS. 14824, 14473-9, 1718.
68 Ibid. 2494, 1728-9.
69 Ibid. 2568-2604.
70 Ibid. 14824.
71 Ibid. 1718.
72 Ibid. 1729, 2584/2.
73 Ibid. 1718, 14476-8, 12186, 2494.
74 Ibid. 2494, 2580, 2590, 2596.
75 Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), i. 176.
76 Badminton Mun. A., rental, 1771-2.
77 Glos. R.O., D 1430B/8.
78 N.L.W., Badminton MS. 2494.
79 Glos. R.O., D 307; O.S. Map 6", Glos. XLVII. SW. (1886 edn.).
80 Churchwardens' acct. bk.
81 B. & G. Par. Recs. 298.
82 N.L.W., Badminton MS. 2601/2.
83 Glos. R.O., D 1430B/23.
84 Overseers' acct. bk.
85 Poor Law Abstract, 1804, 184-5.
86 Poor Law Abstract, 1818, 156-7; Poor Law Returns, H.C. 83, p. 71 (1830-1), xi; H.C. 444, p. 70 (1835), xlvii.
87 Badminton Mun. 104.1.11.
88 Glos. R.O., Q/RI 144.
89 The return for Chepstow Union in Poor Law Com. 2nd Rep. p. 534 is badly completed, Woolaston and some other Glos. parishes being omitted.
90 Glos. R.O., CL/O 1/1.