Local government


Victoria County History



A F Wareham, A P M Wright

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'Woodditton: Local government', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 10: Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and Staploe Hundreds (north-eastern Cambridgeshire) (2002), pp. 94-95. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=18800 Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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For civil purposes, the three principal manors were sometimes regarded in the 13th century as separate townships, (fn. 94) though from the 1270s Saxton was seen alternatively as forming a single township with Ditton Camoys or Ditton Valence. (fn. 95) By the early 16th century the parish was regarded as a single township. (fn. 96)

View of frankpledge was exercised by the lords of the three ancient manors and by the prior of Thetford, who with Ralph de Camoys also claimed the assize of bread and of ale in 1276. (fn. 97) The honor of Richmond's free tenants attended an honorial court in 1334. (fn. 98) The only medieval court rolls to survive are those of Ditton Valence, covering 1327-76, 1389, 1400-20, 1453-4, 1461-86, and 1502. (fn. 99) For a later period, there are court rolls, books, or minute books for Ditton Camoys 1657-1702 and 1727-1914, (fn. 1) Ditton Valence 1665-1918, (fn. 2) and Saxton 1566-89, 1664-73, and 1682-1819. (fn. 3) After the 17th century the courts were concerned almost exclusively with the transfer of copyholds. The Saxton court was kept particularly busy by its Newmarket tenants. (fn. 4)

The earliest surviving vestry book covers the period 1650-1703. The parish had two churchwardens, two overseers, and two constables, but in 1672 appointed three surveyors, one from each manor. (fn. 5)

A guildhall, which passed from the churchwardens into private ownership at the Dissolution, remained in use by the parishioners in the 1560s. (fn. 6) From the late 18th century until the Poor Law Amendment Act the parish housed paupers in a cottage on the manorial waste in Saxon Street. (fn. 7) It had evidently been demolished by 1863 (fn. 8) and privately owned cottages were built on the site. (fn. 9)

Woodditton was part of Newmarket poor-law union 1835-94, Newmarket rural district 1894- 1974, and East Cambridgeshire district from 1974. (fn. 10)


94 Assizes at Camb. 1260, 7-8; East Anglian, N.S. vi. 265; P.R.O., JUST 1/82, rot. 28; cf. Lay Subsidy of 1334, ed. R. E. Glasscock, 28.
95 P.R.O., JUST 1/86, rot. 55; JUST 2/17, rott. 3, 19.
96 e.g. ibid. E 179/81/163, m. 11.
97 Liber de Bernewelle, 275; Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), i. 49.
98 P.R.O., SC 2/155/71, mm. 1d., 2d., 3.
99 Ibid. SC 2/155/56-9.
1 C.R.O., R 52/5/2; R 54/10/12-17.
2 Ibid. R 72/45 (uncat.), ct. bk. for Kirtling etc., pp. 75- 108; R 54/10/22-5; R 63/27 (uncat.), ct. bk. B.
3 Ibid. R 52/5/5A-E; R 51/25/1, bk. 5, ff. 9v., 21 bis; R 52/5/3; R 52/5/4A-c; K.S.R.L., uncat. North MSS., M:SH:1.
4 Above, intro. (suburban Newmarket).
5 C.R.O., P 55/8/1, esp. f. [30v.].
6 Cal. Pat. 1549-51, 91; 1563-6, no. 292 (p. 65); P.R.O., PROB 11/42B, ff. 237v.-239; PROB 11/48, f. 28 and v.
7 Char. Don. i. 88-9; 31st Rep. Com. Char. 97; C.R.O., P 55/1/4, p. 77; P 55/26/2, no. 143; W. Suff. R.O. 806/1/177 (1794, 1801, 1806).
8 Char. Digest Cambs. 1863-4, 386-7.
9 O.S. Maps 1/2,500, Cambs. XLIX. 3 (1885 and later edns.); C.R.O. 470/O 137, no. 1363.
10 Youngs, Guide, 49.