Local government


Victoria County History



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

Year published


Supporting documents



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'Chedzoy: Local government', A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6: Andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds (Bridgwater and neighbouring parishes) (1992), pp. 248-249. URL: Date accessed: 21 October 2014.


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Court rolls for Chedzoy manor survive for 1330-77, (fn. 72) 1379- 84, (fn. 73) 1403-13, (fn. 74) 1543, (fn. 75) 1652-9, 1665-7, 1679-80, (fn. 76) 1747, and 1756. (fn. 77) In the 1330s, when up to four courts were held each year, one or two reeves, a tithingman, a hayward, and aletasters were chosen in the court, and in 1334-5 wickmen, who maintained walls and sluices. (fn. 78) In the early 15th century the court appointed three reeves and a hayward. (fn. 79) In the later 16th century, when two courts leet and two manor courts were held each year, a reeve, a tithingman, two constables, and two water bailiffs were chosen at the Michaelmas tourn. (fn. 80) Two haywards were also appointed in the mid 17th century, (fn. 81) and a reeve, two constables, a tithingman, and a hayward were in office in the mid 18th century. (fn. 82)

The court in the 14th century received payments of chevage besides entry and marriage fines, dealt with breaches of the assize of ale, strays, and pleas between tenants, and gave orders for the maintenance of drains and buildings. In the later 16th century the lord claimed the chattels of felons, waifs, and suicides, deodands, strays, and the assize of bread and of ale. In the mid 17th century the court supervised the use of the open fields and commons and the maintenance of fences, drains, and paths. A pound was mentioned in 1354 (fn. 83) and 1486, (fn. 84) and a court house, which the homage of the manor had to repair, was destroyed by fire before 1360. (fn. 85) Archery butts were recorded in 1576 (fn. 86) and the place where the cucking stool had stood was known in 1768. (fn. 87)

From the 17th century two churchwardens, two overseers, and two highway surveyors administered the parish, (fn. 88) the last two working with the manor court on roads, bridges, and drains. (fn. 89) A vestry met regularly in the 18th century and the poor were relieved in cash and in kind. (fn. 90) A doctor was engaged to attend the poor in 1781. (fn. 91) The overseers were probably using the church house by 1740 to house the poor; a poorhouse was mentioned in 1762. (fn. 92) From 1774 until 1802 or later another house was in use for the purpose, (fn. 93) and that was succeeded before 1840 by a cottage near Fowler's Plot. (fn. 94)

Chedzoy became part of the Bridgwater poorlaw union in 1836, Bridgwater rural district in 1894, and Sedgemoor district in 1974. (fn. 95)


72 B.L. Add. Ch. 15903-16075.
73 P.R.O., SC 2/198/19; B.L. Add. Ch. 16076, 26868.
74 B.L. Add. Ch. 16077-16102.
75 P.R.O., SC 2/198/20.
76 B.L. Add. Ch. 16103-16.
77 S.R.O., DD/S/ST 19/3.
78 B.L. Add. Ch. 15906-23. Cf. S.R.S. v. 39n.
79 B.L. Add. Ch. 16085.
80 Pembroke Survey, ed. Straton, ii. 442sqq.
81 B.L. Add. Ch. 16103.
82 S.R.O., DD/S/ST 19/3.
83 B.L. Add. Ch. 15986, 26868.
84 P.R.O., SC 6/Hen. VII/139.
85 B.L. Add. Ch. 16000, 16004, 16010, 16125, 16133.
86 Pembroke Survey, ed. Straton, ii. 466.
87 S.R.O., DD/X/RY 4/4.
88 Ibid. Q/SR 138/32-3; ibid. D/P/chedz 4/1/1, 4.
89 Ibid. D/P/chedz 4/1/4, 13/2/2, 14/5/1; DD/S/ST 19/4.
90 Ibid. D/P/chedz 13/2/1-3.
91 Ibid. 13/10/3.
92 Ibid. 4/1/4.
93 Ibid. 5/1/1, 13/2/1; DD/MY 35; ibid. Q/REl 29/3.
94 Ibid. tithe award.
95 Youngs, Local Admin. Units, i. 671, 673, 676.