Stow cum Quy: Local government

Page 242

A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 10, Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and Staploe Hundreds (North-Eastern Cambridgeshire). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2002.

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In the late 13th century the owners of Quy manor began to exercise view of frankpledge and hold the assize of bread and of ale, while view of frankpledge was claimed for the Engaines in 1299. (fn. 1) Court rolls survive for Holmhall (Quy) manor between 1559 and 1607. The courts, called views of frankpledge, were held annually in spring or early summer until c. 1570, thereafter mostly soon after Michaelmas. Although as late as 1596-7 villagers' boy servants were being sworn into tithing, court business was mostly concerned with agrarian regulations, transfers of freehold land, there being no copyhold, and the annual election of officers, including constables, haywards, occasionally aletasters, and in the 1570s fenreeves. (fn. 2) Similar business continued intermittently until the early 19th century. (fn. 3) The last known courts, which had the parish bounds beaten, were held in 1818 and 1829. (fn. 4)

In the early 18th century the parish, managed by the usual officers, (fn. 5) relieved its poor through regular payments, mostly to widows, whose rents were sometimes paid, and grants were made in kind of food, fuel, and clothing, to a few families. Children of both sexes were boarded out and sometimes apprenticed. The cost by the 1730s was c. £70 a year. (fn. 6) By 1803 expenditure, largely on c. 13 elderly paupers living at home, had doubled since the 1780s to £168. (fn. 7) The number relieved regularly was 26 in 1813, but shortly declined to c. 15, the usual number later. (fn. 8) Between 1813 and 1822 the annual cost of poor relief often reached c. £250, before falling below £200 and not again rising over £250 until the early 1830s. (fn. 9) In the late 1810s unemployed labourers were sometimes put to work on the parish roads and drains, cottage rents were occasionally paid, turf was bought to give out as fuel, medical expenses were paid, and in 1817, but not later, 'head money' was allowed to families with children. (fn. 10) About 1830 almost all the labourers were being apportioned among the farmers. (fn. 11)

From 1836 the parish was included in the Chesterton poor-law union, (fn. 12) and in 1894 became part of Chesterton rural district. After 1974 it belonged to South Cambridgeshire district (fn. 13)


  • 1. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), i. 53; ii. 496; P.R.O., JUST 1/95, rot. 54d.
  • 2. C.R.O., R 86/99, ct. rolls 1-8, 14-44 Eliz. 1, 5 Jas. I; abstract of freehold title registrations, 1603-21, 1632; cf. ibid. R 89/40, ct. roll extracts 4-14 Jas. I.
  • 3. e.g. C.R.O., R 89/40, orders at ct. 1733; cf. C.U.L., Doc. 649, no. 17.
  • 4. Camb. Chron. 28 Sept. 1861, p. 8 (copy in C.R.O., R 89/40).
  • 5. P. Watts, 'Quy, 1720-1830, a Time of Change' (Camb. Dept. of Extra-Mural Studies dissertation, 1976), 9 sqq.
  • 6. C.R.O., P 146/12/1 (overseers' accts. 1713-44). Watts, 'Quy, 1720-1830', 12-21; eadem, Cambs. Local Hist. Counc. Bull. xxviii. 10-14; xxxii. 27-34., treat routine early 18th-cent. management of poor.
  • 7. Poor Law Abstract, 1804, 38-9.
  • 8. Ibid. 1818, 30-1.
  • 9. Poor Law Abstract, 1816-21, 10-11; 1822-4, 37-8; 1825-9, 16-17; 1830-4, 15-16.
  • 10. C.R.O., P 146/12/2 (overseers' accts. 1817-29).
  • 11. Rep. H.L. Cttee. on Poor Laws, 320-1.
  • 12. Poor Law Com. 2nd Rep. 512.
  • 13. Census, 1891, 1931, 1971.