Thoroton's History of Nottinghamshire: Volume 1, Republished With Large Additions By John Throsby. Originally published by J Throsby, Nottingham, 1790.
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In Ayleton, before the Normans began the Change, Morcar was taxed for his Manor to the Dane-geld at seven Bovats. The Land was four Carucats. There afterwards Raph, the Man, or Tenant, of Roger de Busli, whose Fee it was, had four Car. three Sochm. eleven Vill. having six Car. There were a Church and twelve Acres of Meadow. In King William's Time it kept the same Value it had in King Edward the Consessor's, viz. 4l.
In the Year of our Lord 1088, 2 Willielmi Rus. Roger de Bussi, and Muriel, his Wife, amongst other Things, gave all Olleton, and whatsoever belonged to it, to God and the Church of St. Mary, at Blyth, and the Monks there serving God: to which Monastery it belonged till the Dissolution. After which it was granted to . . . . . York, (fn. 1) who sold it so Sir John Lion, Citizen and Alderman of London, who died the seventh of Septemb. 6 Eliz. (fn. 2) Richard Lion, Son of Henry Lion, Brother of the said Alder man, being then his Heir, and aged thirty-two Years. In King James's Time, George Lion, Esq. sold it to . . . . . More; (fn. 3) and Alexander, his eldest Son, deceased, whose Widow was married to Peregrine Mackworth, left it to Gabriel More, Esquire, his Son, the present Inheritor, who is Nephew to Henry More, D. D. Fellow of Christ College, in Cambridge, who was Nephew to Gabriel More, D. D. heretofore Fellow of the same House, and after Prebendary of Westminster.
I do not find exactly how the Sochmen (which we now call Freeholders), or the Villains (now Husbandmen), those that held Lands in Bondage, and were, with their whole offspring, totally at their Lord's Disposal, were encreased in the Time of two Hundred Years, viz. from the Time that the Survey of this Manor was made by King William, with the Rest, till one I find made in the Year 1283, which shows, that the Rents in Money were not much encreased, amounting at that Time in all but to 4l. 13s. 11d. ob. and were paid by several small Parcels, customarily at ten or eleven Feasts, or Seasons, in the Year, unequally, viz. St. Mich. St. Martin, Ember in Advent, Purification, Ember after Ashwednesday [quatuor Temporum Cinerum], Annunciation, Easter, Pentecoft, Trinity, St. Botulf, and Nativity of Mary. (fn. 4) But the Monastery had other Ways to make the utmost Profits this Lordship was any Way able to yield then, as well as the present Owners do by the extremest rack Rents now paid, which I shall set down, that some Comparison may be made of Times, this being near upon four Hundred Years from the former Account, as that was two Hundred from Doomsday: and this Lordship is as little altered in the Use or Husbandry of it, as any that I know in the whole County; for there are but 23l. 13s. 4d. of Inclosure now belonging to it in all the Territory.
To proceed then with the middle Survey, the Priory had, besides the Money, two Hens and a Cock at Michaelmas, and forty Hens and a Half at Christmas, and two Capons at Whitsunday, and fourteen Score and three Eggs at Easter, besides an uncertain Proportion of Paunage of Hogs, or Swine-feeding, and likewise their Summage, or Rent-Corn, which was forty Quarters and two Bushels; (fn. 5) which two Bushels, according to the continued Phrase of this County, make Half a Quarter, or four London Bushels, which here are called four Strikes, whereof two make a Bushel. This Corn was yearly paid by eighteen several Tenants, whereof eight paid three Quarters apiece, and eight more half so much, viz. each one Quarter and two Bushels; and the other two Tenants, each of them, two Quarters and one Bushel. And each Bovat of Land ought yearly at Blyth the Carriage of six Bushels of Corn.
Another Part of the Profits was made out of the Services of the Tenants, in ordering the Demesne, and otherwise; as by an Inquisition taken in the Chapel of Elleton, the Thursday after the Feast of All Saints, in the Year of our Lord 1283, (fn. 6) by Robert de Bekyngham, then Steward to the Priory, concerning the Diets, or Day's-Labour, of the Bondmen of Elleton appeareth; which Day William de Pavely, and Gilbert [præpositus] the Reeve, being sworn, said, upon their Oaths, That every Bovat (or Oxgang, as we now call them) of Land of the Bondmen of Elleton ought two Days' Works in every Week, viz. in one Week Monday and Thursday, and in another Monday and Saturday, and so of the Rest; and he who held two Bovats ought four Days' Work, or Diets, viz. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday: and if any of those Days be tween Michaelmas and Lammas happened to be a Festival, it was quit; but from Lammas to Michaelmas another Day was to be given for it in that Week. And they further said, that every Bovat oaght to plough Half an Acre through the Year; and for that ploughing it was freed that Week from one Diet, or Day's Work. And he, or those, who held the Bovat ought that same Half Acre of Land [trahare, sarclare, metere, and cariare] to harrow, or clot, weed, reap, and carry, and for every of those to be freed from Half a Day's Work. They said likewise, that every Bovat ought [prahare] to harrow one Day in the Time of Wheat, and another in the Time of Pease, or Barley; and every Bovat was to make Carriage thrice in the Year to Blith, every Time Half a Quarter of Corn. The Carriage made in Winter was for three Days, in Summer but for two Days' Work. And they said, that he that held one Bovat, or Oxgang, of Land was to find Half a Cart in Winter, to carry Wood out of the Forest of Shirewode; and he who held two Bovats, a whole Cart; and then they should be freed from one Diet, or Day's Work. Likewise every Bovat ought to carry Half a Cart of Hay from Thorp, and as much from the Gore of Garnemer. Likewise they ought to mow the Common Meadows, and Staple of the Priory; likewise every Freeholder ought to and a Cock at Christmas, and ten Eggs at Easter. Likewise every Freeholder ought to find at the Bedripe three Times in August, if there should be need, two Workmen; and the Freemen themselves (these are evidently the Sochmen in Doomsday-Book) ought to keep all to their Work in Bedripe well and faithfully, to the best of their Skill and Power. These we now call Boone Days in Harvest.
This servile Tenure is now quite abolished, and hath been long wearing off: for the Lords, as they had all the Services and Wealth of their Villains, if they had any, so they were liable to maintain them and their Sequel; and therefore the willinger to manumit and make them free upon easy Terms. John Gaynesburgh, Prior of Blyth, and the Convent of the same, (fn. 7) 6 H. 6. were bound to William Porter of Elton, (whose Ancestors were here 1283) in the Sum of 400l. that they, nor their Successors, should not seize, trouble, or disquiet the said William Porter, nor his Issue begotten, or to be begotten, by Reason of any Service or Villenage.
Roger Archbishop of York (who lived in the Time of Henry the Second) granted the Priory of Blide to impropriate, (fn. 8) that is, to take to their own Uses, the Profits of their Churches of Weston and Elton, when they should happen to be vacant. But it seems it did not succeed: for Walter, who was his Successor in the said Archbishoprick, about the Beginning of the Reign of Henry the Third, granted them a Pension of two Marks per Annum out of the Church at Elton; and likewise to have the Tythe of all the Corn growing on their Demesne Lands in the said Town.
The Rectory was 81. Value, and the Prior of Blyth Patron. (fn. 9) It is now 81. 5s. in the King's-Books, and Alexander More, junior, Patron.
The Tythe is ordinarily valued at 70l. per Annum; and there are belonging to the Parsonage two Oxgangs, 10l. per Annum. The utmost Rent of the whole Town besides is 288l. 15s. the Oxgangs, or Bovats, are now esteemed to be 55½; whereof the Marquis of Dorchester hath six: most of the Rest are Mr. More's, and let for 3l. 6s. 8d. an Oxgang, besides 8s. apiece Rent-Corn; and every three Oxgangs pay a Load of Coals at Granthem yearly, worth 16s. and a Capon 12d. The Manor, or Hall-Farm, is nine Oxgangs, and the Rent about 36l. Five other Farms, of six Oxgangs apiece, are each of them 24l. yearly. There are three small Farms besides, and nine Cottages, all Mr. More's; and three Cottages, William Bertram's; which is all the present State of this Town: so that it seems there is not much above Half so many Farmers as in old Time. Ingrossing Farms was the Depopulation fist complained on, as by the Statutes may be observed; but that is Nothing comparable to inclosing and converting Arable to Pasture.
LORDSHIP is owned by Cornelius Launder, Esq. open field. The church corresponds with the village: they are both small. The former is dove-house topped, and dedicated to St. Michael. Within the chancel Langford Collin, Esq. is remembered, who died in 1766. I believe it was his lady who owned the estate after him; and shewed an act of generosity which ought to be noticed:—The clerk of the parish was digging a grave in the church-yard, and found upwards of three hundred coins of Henry the Second, about the size of a silver twopence. The man honestly took every one of them to Mrs. Collin, as her property, who rewarded him with 10l. part of the coin she sold, and many she gave away to her friends.
Mr. Merrey, of Nottingham, in his remarks of the coinage of England, page 102, says,— "The silver pennies found at Elton, near Bingham, in 1780, were nearly all with the legend Henricus Rex, the king's head within the inner circle; at the outside of which was the hand and sceptre, interrupting the letters. There were two half-pieces; one of which, by the stars, must be of Scotland. They were found" (continues Mr. Merrey) "in digging a grave, and surrounded with a kind of ashes, or dust, that had wonderfully preserved them. Though they were turned black, they came to their colour by washing in cold water. They were in the highest preservation and weighed above twenty-two grains, many very near twenty-three; and one, out of twenty which I procured, was twenty-four grains."
A very singular circumstance happened, in the year 1784, at this place: the relation is attested, and related thus:—A blacksmith of Elton, near Bingham, bought a piece of iron, about two feet long and one inch and a half in diameter, supposed to be solid, which had been used as a pestle in a family upwards of sixty years. The smith, having his doubts about the solidity of it, put it into his fire, to prove whether his doubts were ill-founded. In that state it went off, with a great explosion; and a ball from within grazed his side, and lodged among some coals behind him. On examining the piece of iron, and making proper enquiry, it proved to be a gun barrel, discovered by digging in the earth at Elton, about the year 1723, which was so compleatly filled with earth, that no concavity was ever discovered till it went off. The gun-barrel was of an ancient construction, strong, and a narrow bore. Old people remember that several pieces of warlike instruments have been found in the field of Elton, as various times, near the place where this was found.
Patron of the living is Mr. Launder. Rector the Rev. Mr. Launder, of Nottingham, In the king's-books 8l. 0s. 5d. Yearly tenths 16s. 0½d. Archiepisc. 4s. Archidiac. pro Prox. 6s. 8d. Val. in mans. cum gleb. ibidem per ann. 13s. 4d. in dec. garb. &c. Gabriel Moore presented in 1681; Langford Collin, Esq. in 1720, 1745, and 1750.