Thoroton's History of Nottinghamshire: Volume 2, Republished With Large Additions By John Throsby. Originally published by J Throsby, Nottingham, 1790.
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The Book of Doomsday shews that the Archbishop of York, before the Conquest, had in Blidword a Mannor which was rated to the Geld as nine bovats. The Land was then fouud sufficient for three plows, or three carucats. There after the Conquest Archbishop Thomas had five Villains, having two Car. and one Mill which was in Ludham, Pasture Wood three leuc. long, and one broad; Calvreton was a Berue of this Mannor, and both in the Confessours time were valued at 40s.
(fn. 1) King John, 30 June, 2 Joh. granted to Will. Briwer lx. Acres of Assart at Blithewurth, where wood was not, which where Essarted in the time of King H. 2, his father.
(fn. 2) The Jury found at the inquisition taken at this place, the Wednesday before the Feast of St. John, before the Port Latin, 8 E. 1, mentioned in Arnold, before Galfr. de Neyvill, and Henry de Perepunt, Justices of Assise, by the Kings Writ open ( or patent) that William the Archbishop of York, then held pleas of Trespass made upon the Vert in the Wood of Blithworth, and received the Amercements in his Court of Suwelle, as all his Predecessours had done, from W. de Gray, sometime Arch-bishop of that See, but by what warrant they did, it was not found.
(fn. 3) The Chapter of Southwell, 3 E. 3, claimed Assize of Bread and Ale of their Tenants here, among the rest.
(fn. 4) The two Prebendaries of Orton, divide the Tythes here.
Mr. Bilbie owns three farms here, beside him, are many proprietors, but none own more than about 100l. per annum. Here is a good deal of old inclosure. They have taken in here, as well as in several other parishes in the forest, much of the common land; more is about to be taken in. The whole now is about 4000 acres. The village commands extensive prospects. It is a good village.
The church, that is the body of it, was built about 50 years ago, part of the old church fell, when making a vault, which killed one man, and wounded some others, a little time before. It consists of a nave and side aisle. The tower is small, with three bells. The chancel ancient, where are two plain old stone seats. In it Michael Buxton, A. M. Rector, is remembered, he died in 1705.
My expectation was on tip toes in being told, sometime since, that I should find a stone here, as old as the time of Robin Hood. An old store has a cross and a pair of sheers thereon. Another has a square and pick ax; but the old stone which I was shewn, as a great piece of antiquity, is a tablet on the chancel wall, in black marble set round with a square frame, of white marble, which has all the appearance of being much older than the inscription, on which are devices of bows and arrows, bucks, dogs, swords, &c. in relievo. The following is the inscription:—
Here rests J. Leake whose virtues where so knowne, In all these parts, that this engraved stone, Needs navght relate but his untimely end, Which was in single sight, whylst youth did lend His ayde to valor, hee with ease orepast:
Many slight dangers, greater than his last; But willsulle sate in these things governs all, Hee towld ovt threescore years before his fall. Most of which tyme hee wasted in this wood, Much of his wealth, and last of all his blood.
See a representation of the monument, plate, p. 323, fig. 4, and Blidworth rock, p. 172. In the aisle, William Bilbie, Esq. is remembered on a neat mural monument, who was a Justice of the Peace, and deputy Lieut. for the County, he died in —,in his 81st year.