BHO

Knapwell: Local government

Page 336

A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.

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Citation:

Local government

Ramsey abbey enjoyed the same franchises, including view of frankpledge, at Knapwell as at Elsworth. (fn. 1) In the late 13th and the 14th century its jurisdiction over Knapwell was exercised at a court held for both manors, Knapwell contributing 6 of the 18 jurors. (fn. 2) Knapwell had its own aletasters by 1300 (fn. 3) and its own constable by 1377. (fn. 4) By the late 15th century it elected one constable (fn. 5) at what was probably by then a formally separate session. (fn. 6) In 1434 half the fines for breaking the bylaws were assigned to the lord, half to the church. (fn. 7) The Knapwell jury refused in 1493 to respond to special articles submitted for the lord in a campaign against immorality. (fn. 8) Court books from 1687 to 1776 or later survived in 1806 (fn. 9) but no court records after 1532 have been traced; 173 a. of copyhold remaining at inclosure in 1776 (fn. 10) were soon afterwards absorbed into the manorial estate and courts had ceased to be held long before 1869. (fn. 11)

The cost of poor relief, less than £20 in the 1780s, had risen to £72 by 1803. Until the 1830s it usually ranged between £70 and £80, rising to over £100 in occasional bad years. No more than six people were regularly relieved in 1803 and c. 1815, (fn. 12) but in 1830 large families were assisted from the rates. (fn. 13) After 1834 Knapwell belonged to the same local government areas as Elsworth. (fn. 14) Its own affairs were managed after the 1890s by a twice-yearly parish meeting, still held c. 1980 in the church. (fn. 15)

Footnotes

  • 1. e.g. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 481; Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 104-5.
  • 2. Dating and references for medieval ct. rolls: above, Elsworth, local govt.
  • 3. e.g. P.R.O., SC 2/179/7, m. 5d.
  • 4. East Anglian, n.s. xii. 255.
  • 5. e.g. B.L. Add. Roll 39656; P.R.O., SC 2/179/87, m. 5.
  • 6. Cf. P.R.O., SC 2/179/53, mm. 2-3; B.L. Add. Rolls 34770-1.
  • 7. P.R.O., SC 2/179/62, m. 3d.
  • 8. Ibid. SC 2/169/74.
  • 9. B.L. Add. MS. 9413, f. 144.
  • 10. C.R.O., Q/RDz 1, pp. 312, 314.
  • 11. Ibid. L 4/48.
  • 12. Poor Law Abstract, 1803, 36-7; 1818, 30-1; Poor Rate Returns, 1816-21, 11; 1822-4, 38; 1825-9, 16; 1830-4, 16.
  • 13. Rep. H.L. Cttee. on Poor Laws, 323.
  • 14. e.g. Poor Law Com. 1st Rep. 248; Census, 1911, 1931, 1971.
  • 15. e.g. Camb. Ind. Press, 19 Apr., 20 Dec. 1979; 24 Apr., 27 Nov. 1980.