The tithing of
Durston regularly constituted part of North
Petherton hundred except, apparently, in 1327. (fn. 7)
The parish, or more probably that detached part
called Priestwood, was subject in the later 14th
and early 15th century to the swanimote jurisdiction of North Petherton park, administered
as a royal forest (fn. 8) and known as Parkhouse. (fn. 9) In
1327 Cogload was taxed as part of the Hospitallers' free manor of Halse, (fn. 10) and in 1508 its
tithingman reported to the court leet of the
manor of Buckland. (fn. 11) In 1640 Durston and
Cogload formed a single tithing, (fn. 12) and in 1649
Durston, Cogload, and St. Michaelchurch were
similarly linked. (fn. 13) Cogload again formed a separate tithing for land tax purposes by 1766 but
only until 1781. (fn. 14)
Durston manor court met every three weeks in
the 15th century. (fn. 15) Court rolls for leet, view of
frankpledge, and court baron survive for March
and September 1632. A tithingman, two constables, and a bailiff appeared at the courts, and
business included admissions of tenants, orders
for the maintenance of buildings, hedges, and
ditches, and fines for playing unlawful games,
for not living on tenements, and for harbouring
people of ill-repute. The court also ordered the
replacement of the cucking stool. (fn. 16) The whole
parish was ordered to repair stocks in 1650. (fn. 17)
Suit of court to Durston manor twice a year was
required under a lease of 1792. (fn. 18)
Buckland manor had a twice-yearly view of
frankpledge by 1269 (fn. 19) and pleas and perquisites
formed a small part of the preceptory's income
in 1338. (fn. 20) A court leet held at Michaelmas 1508
claimed jurisdiction over Cogload and widely
scattered estates of the Hospitallers. (fn. 21) In the mid
17th century Crosse manor was said to have view
of frankpledge and court leet. (fn. 22) In the mid 18th
century the lord of Cogload required suit of
court from a tenant 'at reasonable summons' to
Cogload. (fn. 23)
In the 17th century the parish was administered by a group of between six and nine men
who approved the rates. (fn. 24) Five men formed the
fortnightly select vestry by 1821, (fn. 25) and ten were
listed as 'proper' to hold parish office in 1829. (fn. 26)
In 1840 the parish officers comprised 2 wardens,
2 overseers, 2 waywardens, and two tax assessors. Two constables were chosen each year from
1842. (fn. 27) By 1797 the poor were receiving cash or
clothing regularly, with occasional payments of
cash for lodgings and medical services, and gifts
in kind such as a spinning turn or a saucepan. (fn. 28)
A cottage built on the waste in 1651 was to revert
for the use of the poor. (fn. 29) The overseers were
paying rent for a poorhouse by 1800; it was
owned by the lord of Durston manor (fn. 30) and stood
in Lower Durston on the south side of the main
road. (fn. 31) In 1821 it was referred to as a workhouse. (fn. 32) Rent for the house was paid until 1836, (fn. 33)
when the parish became part of the Taunton
poor-law union. The parish formed part of the
Taunton rural district in 1894 and Taunton
Deane district (later Borough) in 1974. (fn. 34)
S.R.S. iii. 240-4.
Cal. Pat. 1350-4, 377.
||P.R.O., SC 2/200/13.
S.R.S. iii. 186.
||S.R.O., DD/AH 11/9.
||Ibid. DD/SG 58-9.
||Ibid. DD/SF 1690.
||Ibid. Q/REI 29/4.
||P.R.O., C 139/70, no. 32.
||B.L. Add. Ch. 28283.
S.R.S. xxviii. 128.
||Wilts. R.O. 1126/24.
S.R.S. xxv, p. 37.
Knights Hospitallers in Eng. 17.
||S.R.O., DD/AH 11/9.
||Inf. from Mrs. Miles based on deeds of 'Munday's',
||S.R.O., DD/SL 18.
||Ibid. D/P/durn 4/1/1.
||Ibid. 9/1/1, 13/2/1-2, 13/10/1.
S.R.S. xxviii. 152-3.
||S.R.O., D/P/durn 13/2/1.
||Ibid. tithe award.
||Ibid. D/P/durn 9/1/1.
||Youngs, Local Admin. Units, i. 673, 675-6.