Local government


Victoria County History



R W Dunning, C R Elrington (Editors), A P Baggs, M C Siraut

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Supporting documents



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'Lyng: Local government', A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6: Andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds (Bridgwater and neighbouring parishes) (1992), pp. 60-61. URL: Date accessed: 25 November 2014.


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The status of burh (fn. 69) given to East Lyng in the 10th century persisted into the late Middle Ages in the description of the 'tithing and burgus' of Lyng in 1498-9, (fn. 70) and possibly in the existence of a halimote court in 1541-2. (fn. 71) Lyng manor was represented at the eyre by a separate jury in 1225, (fn. 72) and Athelney abbey's bailiffs would not permit the coroners to make inquests there. (fn. 73) In the later 13th century Lyng was described as a free manor, (fn. 74) and in 1327 was in Freemanors hundred. (fn. 75) It had become part of Andersfield hundred by 1640. (fn. 76)

By 1327 the abbey courts dealt with breaches of the assize of bread and ale and with cases of bloodshed, but from that year the tenants of Wells chapter were ordered to attend at North Curry and had only to appear at Lyng on the two lawdays. (fn. 77) Rolls for the Michaelmas and Easter lawdays, courts leet, and views of frankpledge survive for 1528-9, 1541-2, (fn. 78) 1598-1604, (fn. 79) 1605-9, and 1611-15, (fn. 80) with copies of admissions for 1651, (fn. 81) 1654, 1673, 1680, and 1690. (fn. 82) A court dinner was held at Lyng Court Farm for the manors of Lyng and Bankland in North Petherton between 1741 and 1746. (fn. 83) Courts were said to be held in the barn there c. 1761. (fn. 84)

Part of Lyng in North moor was subject in the later 14th and the early 15th century to the swanimote jurisdiction of North Petherton park, administered as a royal forest and known as Parkhouse. (fn. 85) The Hospitallers' tenants at Lyng and the tithingman of Lyng were present at a court leet at Buckland in Durston in 1508. (fn. 86)

A tithingman was chosen for Lyng at the Michaelmas court leet in 1528, and the manor was administered by a bailiff and two constables. (fn. 87) By 1601 only one constable was appointed, in that year and in 1614-15 two surveyors of buildings, and in 1605 and 1607-8 surveyors of river banks. (fn. 88) By the early 18th century the parish was administered by a body described either as the parish meeting or the vestry meeting. (fn. 89) In 1835 it became a select vestry of seven members. (fn. 90) Two churchwardens, one nominated by the curate or vicar from 1841, two overseers, and waywardens (fn. 91) served in the parish, and from 1835 a salaried overseer was employed. In the earlier 18th century the churchwardens accounted for all parish expenditure including repairs to the stocks and the whipping post, the repair of the poorhouse, and medical treatment for a pauper. (fn. 92) Accounts for poor relief were kept separately from 1771. (fn. 93) The vestry was rarely chaired by the incumbent until the late 1860s. (fn. 94)

A poorhouse was mentioned in 1725 and 1772. (fn. 95) There were two houses in 1833, one on the north side of East Lyng village street opposite the church, the other isolated at the north end of Hector's Lane at the beginning of Lyng Drove. (fn. 96) A house divided into two tenements was sold to Bridgwater poor-law union in 1838. (fn. 97) The parish became part of that union in 1836, of Bridgwater rural district in 1894, and of Sedgemoor district in 1974. (fn. 98)


69 Above, intro.
70 Fines Imposed in 1497, ed. A. J. Howard, 20.
71 S.R.O., DD/WY 45/1/1.
72 S.R.S. xi, pp. 41, 301.
73 H.M.C. Wells, i. 318-19.
74 S.R.S. xiv, p. 163.
75 Ibid. iii. 179-80.
76 S.R.O., DD/SG 58-9.
77 H.M.C. Wells, i. 318-19.
78 S.R.O., DD/WY 45/1/15/15, 16.
79 P.R.O., SC 12/34, no. 21.
80 Ibid. SC 2/227/115.
81 S.R.O., DD/DP 71/2.
82 Ibid. DD/MK 1.
83 Ibid. DD/AH 22/13, 24/11.
84 Collinson, Hist. Som. i. 85.
85 P.R.O., SC 2/200/13.
86 S.R.O., DD/AH 11/9.
87 Ibid. DD/WY 45/1/15/15.
88 P.R.O., SC 12/34, no. 21.
89 S.R.O., D/P/lyn 4/1/1, 13/2/1.
90 Ibid. 9/1/2.
91 Ibid. 9/1/3, 13/2/1, 14/5/1.
92 Ibid. 4/1/1.
93 Ibid. 13/2/1.
94 Ibid. 9/1/3.
95 Ibid. 4/1/1, 13/2/1.
96 Ibid. 23/6; ibid. DD/MK 14, map of Lyng.
97 Ibid. D/P/lyn 9/1/2.
98 Youngs, Local Admin. Units, i. 671, 673.

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