A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 5, Gartree Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1964.
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Hallaton is a parish of 2,969 a., sixteen miles eastsouth-east of Leicester, and eight miles north-east of Market Harborough, with a station (closed by 1953) on the railway from Melton Mowbray to Harborough. On the south the parish boundary follows a stream for about three miles, and in the north the cart-road from Horninghold to Keythorpe forms the boundary for a considerable distance. Nearly half a mile west of the church is Castle Hill, perhaps the remains of a 12th-century motte and bailey castle connected with an iron-working site. (fn. 1) The stream flowing south-east, just to the south of the village, is the scene of the Hallaton bottlekicking contest, which takes place between the villages of Hallaton and Medbourne each Easter Monday, after the formal cutting and distribution of a hare pie at the Rectory. Each village attempts to gain possession of one or both of the two wooden 'bottles' or casks, which are hooped with iron and filled with ale. The origin of this custom, established in the 18th century at latest, is unknown and not readily discernible. (fn. 2)
The recorded population in 1086 was 26. (fn. 3) There were 109 taxpayers in 1381. (fn. 4) In 1563 there were 47 households, and in 1670 165. There were 405 communicants in 1603 and 387 in 1676. The population rose from 548 in 1801 to 755 in 1891; in 1951 it was 422. (fn. 5)
The large village of Hallaton has a roughly triangular plan and occupies a site which slopes fairly steeply towards the stream on its south side. Roads from Cranoe, Medbourne, and East Norton enter the village at the south-west, south-east, and north angles respectively and there is also a road leading east to Horninghold. The base of the triangle is formed by Churchgate and part of Eastgate, leading from the Rectory and the parish church at the south-west corner to join the Medbourne road on the south-east. Near the centre of this street is a sloping green from which the winding High Street leads north towards the Fox Inn and the village pond at the apex of the triangle. From this point, the highest in the village, a lane known as North End runs westwards in the direction of Castle Hill. Since Hallaton has continued to decrease in importance as a local centre there has been little rebuilding since the 17th and 18th centuries. The village contains a high proportion of old houses, many of which have been altered or repaired at different dates and with different materials. During the 17th century ironstone was the standard building material but there are traces in several of the houses of earlier timber construction. Hallaton lies on the edge of the stone belt and consequently brick was introduced at an earlier date than in the stone villages further east. The oldest brick house is dated 1691 and, apart from a few of the more ambitious buildings, brick was in general use from the 18th century onwards. The larger houses have slate roofs and many of the cottages are thatched.
Hallaton Hall stands on the east side of the village, its grounds, surrounded by a high wall, occupying an island site between three roads. The site is presumably that of either Bardolf's or Engaine's manor-house. From 1713 until the middle of the 19th century it was the home of the Bewicke family. In 1848 Calverley Bewicke leased it to Lady Hinrich but she seems to have moved to the Manor House about 1860. (fn. 6) Thereafter the hall had various tenants and at the end of the 19th century was leased to Mr. S. N. Bankhart who kept a large indoor and outdoor staff and had about 40 hunters in the stables. (fn. 7) In 1958 it was occupied by nuns of the order of Our Lady of Good Counsel as a training school for novices. The core of the house dates from the early 18th century when it was a long two-story building with seven-window frontages facing east and west. (fn. 8) At the close of the century large stucco-covered wings were added at each end, that on the south side having a higher central block, forming a new and imposing frontage to the garden. On the west side a Tuscan portico was built between the two projecting wings, largely concealing the entrance front of the original house. Part of the extensive brick stabling appears to have been built at the same time. Probably in 1903, a date which appears on a detached music room at the rear, the house was again much enlarged, service quarters and a conservatory being added on the east side and several bays thrown out. The original block contains an altered oak staircase of early-18th-century date and the south wing has a fire-place and enriched ceilings of c. 1800. The interior was lavishly embellished with 'Jacobean' fittings about a hundred years later.
Hallaton Manor House stands about half a mile south-west of the village. The original capital messuage of Hacluit's manor, mentioned at the end of the 14th century, (fn. 9) is thought to have been near the stream to the south of the church. This was the home of the Vowe family until 1845-6 when it was demolished and the present house was built on higher ground some distance away. (fn. 10) It remained in the possession of the owners of Hacluit's manor until 1947 (fn. 11) when Mrs. B. M. Edwards Dent moved to Worthing (Suss.) and sold the house to Mr. A. E. Booth, a Leicester antique dealer, who intended to use it for display purposes. In 1950, however, he sold it to the Sundial Nursing Home and in 1958 it was being used as a home for about 20 old people. (fn. 12) The house is a large building in the Tudor style, said to have been partly built with stone from the former manor-house. Its chief features are its tall clustered chimneys and the fourstory tower carrying the Vowe arms in the centre of the entrance front. It was considerably enlarged by Goddard and Paget, the Leicester architects, in 1879. (fn. 13)
The oldest house in the village may well be the former Rectory which stands behind the school and to the north-west of the church. The lower story is of ironstone with 18th-century brickwork above and there is a steeply-pitched roof, formerly thatched. The building is now divided into two cottages and is L-shaped, having a front range of three bays and a rear wing. The survival of the lower part of a cruck truss in the front range and of re-used smokeblackened timbers in the roof suggests that the house originally contained a medieval open hall and was a largely timber-framed structure. The upper part of the building appears to have been reconstructed at least twice. The division of the hall into two stories by the insertion of a floor probably took place in the late 16th or early 17th century. The rear wing may be an addition of the same date, together with the large chimney dividing it from the front range. In the early 18th century the whole house was raised in height, the upper story being built in brickwork and the roofs of both wings being reconstructed at the higher level. (fn. 14) In 1943 the roof of the back wing collapsed and was rebuilt to a different pitch. (fn. 15)
There are several other houses in the village, probably dating from the 16th century if not earlier, in which cruck trusses survive. One example occurs at the north end of Churchgate and another near the middle of High Street on its north side. Both have open fire-places surmounted by tapering flues of timber and plaster construction. The fireplaces are placed with their backs to the cross-passages and may be contemporary with the cruck framing or slightly later insertions. The lower stories are of ironstone and in both houses the eaves have been raised and the gable-ends built up in brick. In Churchgate the brickwork is dated 1832 and in High Street 1842, both with initials J. H. D. (John Henry Dent). A cottage opposite the Bewicke Arms Inn, demolished in 1958, also contained cruck principals (fn. 16) and there is a cruck cottage in Hunt's Lane, T-shaped in plan. In a range south of the green, re-thatched in 1958, a smoke-blackened cruck blade has been re-used, probably when the roof was reconstructed in 1735. (fn. 17)
The older buildings in Hallaton occur mostly in Churchgate, round the green, and in the lower part of High Street, forming several picturesque groups. Near the north end of Churchgate is a typical small stone house of the second half of the 17th century with a thatched roof and a central porch flanked by two-story stone bays. The Parker-Fenwicke charity cottages (fn. 18) north of the church, known locally as the Bedehouse, have a lower story of ironstone. The upper floor, which carries a tablet giving details of the charity, is faced with brick and was added in the 18th century perhaps by the Revd. G. Fenwicke. The row was restored and reroofed in 1956. At the corner of Hunt's Lane are attractive thatched groups, partly of ironstone and partly timber-framed, with later alterations in brick. Opposite is Hallaton Grange, the front of which carries a tablet above the central doorway inscribed 'W.D. aedivicavit 1691'. (fn. 19) It is an L-shaped brick house of two stories, having stone quoins and stone mullioned windows with 'eared' architraves. In the early 19th century the roof was altered and a small wing built in the angle at the rear. A fine brick coach-house and stable block belonging to the property was built on the opposite side of the road by John Henry Dent in 1842. (fn. 20) On the south side of Churchgate an opening under Grange Cottage forms the entrance to a narrow lane bounded by stone walls in which some early masonry survives. At the back of the cottage is more early masonry including a stepped buttress possibly of medieval origin. The front is of stone ashlar and has mullioned and transomed windows of c. 1700. The adjoining house, part of the same block, has stonemullioned windows and is dated 1715. The upper story and the roof in this case are later additions.
The green, which forms the centre of the village and is one of its most attractive features, is surrounded by old stone buildings. On it stands the Butter Cross, a conical stone structure with a circular base and a ball finial, probably dating from the late 17th century. Near it is the War Memorial, a stone cross given by Mrs. Bewicke in 1921 in memory of her son. (fn. 21) The 'Bewicke Arms', a mid-17th-century stone building with a gabled cross-wing and a steeply-pitched thatched roof, is at the south-east corner of the green. On the green's north side is a much-restored thatched cottage, formerly the smithy, and behind it stands the Conduit House. This is a small rectangular stone structure with a stone roof and gabled ends. It probably dates from the late 17th or early 18th century.
High Street, continuously built up on both sides except at its northern end, has houses of all periods and several small shop fronts. The most recent cottages are those at the corner of Horn Lane which appear to be contemporary with the adjacent village hall, known as Stenning Hall and built in 1925. (fn. 22) There are several 17th-century ironstone houses with later alterations in High Street. Here, as elsewhere, dated tablets suggest that much modernization was carried out by J. H. Dent in the mid-19th century. The Royal Oak public house has an early-19th-century brick front and there are several rows of cottages of the same period. The Gables is a thatched stone farm-house of the 17th century with a restored stucco front of c. 1850. Next to it is a brick row dated 1873. At the junction of High Street with the upper part of Eastgate is a good early Georgian brick frontage of two stories with five keystoned windows to the upper floor and a moulded eaves cornice. There is a group of old cottages in the upper part of High Street opposite the entrance to Hallaton Hall. Near it are the Isabella Stenning charity houses, built in 1924. (fn. 23) The Fox Inn at North End dates from the early 19th century. In Hog Lane, between High Street and Hunt's Lane, are six charity houses built in 1842 to the design of a surveyor named Holloway. (fn. 24) They consist of a brick range with diamond-paned windows surmounted by moulded brick hoods and there is an inscribed tablet in the central gable. In 1958 almost the only recent buildings in the village were in North End and on the Medbourne road. In the former are three pairs of Council houses, built in 1948, and some small private houses. On the Medbourne road are three pairs of Council houses built c. 1925 of which all but one are now in private ownership. (fn. 25) There are also several pairs dating from after the Second World War.
The village has no piped water, and although some of the houses have water syphoned from wells many householders use the pumps in the village street. There was a considerable private water supply for the village in the 18th and 19th centuries, of which the conduit survives on the green, and a drainage system. (fn. 26)
Before the Conquest Hallaton formed part of the estate of the Saxon Tochi, and passed with the rest of his lands to the Norman landholder Geoffrey Alselin, who held it in 1086. (fn. 27) At some date between 1086 and 1155 Alselin's lands are thought to have passed to the Peverel family, and as part of the honor of Peverel escheated to the Crown in 1155. (fn. 28) In 1171 Henry II granted part of the manor away, and the other part was alienated by 1223-4. Hallaton thus became divided into two main manors, and at a later date a third, subordinate, manor emerged.
BARDOLF'S or BEAUMONT'S manor. In 1171 Henry II granted lands and rights to Thomas Bardolf on the latter's marriage with Rose, the daughter and heir of Ralph Hanselin who seems to have been a descendant of the Domesday owner of Hallaton. (fn. 29) Thomas's son Doun married Beatrice, the daughter and heir of William de Warenne of Wormegay (Norf.), who brought the Wormegay barony into the Bardolf family. Doun's grandson Hugh became Lord Bardolf in 1299. The manor at Hallaton descended in the Bardolf family until the death in 1408 of Thomas, Lord Bardolf, who was declared a traitor in 1406 and forfeited his possessions for his part in the Earl of Northumberland's rebellion. (fn. 30) His lands were declared forfeit from 6 May 1405 (fn. 31) and Hallaton was granted to Queen Joan, but this grant was vacated immediately afterwards. (fn. 32) Another grant to Joan seems to have been made very shortly afterwards in the same year. (fn. 33)
Thomas Bardolf left two daughters, Anne and Joan, and in 1408 Sir William Clifford and Sir William Phelip, their respective husbands, (fn. 34) applied for and were granted in the following year the reversion of Thomas's property after the death of Queen Joan. (fn. 35) The grant was confirmed by Henry V in 1413. (fn. 36) When the queen died in 1437 the manor was divided between Clifford and Phelip and the latter claimed and had revived for him the Bardolf title. (fn. 37) Phelip died in 1441, seised of half the manor which his wife Joan held until her death in 1447. (fn. 38) Her heir was her grandson William Beaumont, the younger son of her daughter Elizabeth and John, Viscount Beaumont, whose eldest son Henry predeceased his brother. (fn. 39) In 1453 William Beaumont succeeded to the other half of the manor on the death of his great-aunt Anne, who outlived both her husbands, Clifford and Sir Reynold Cobham. (fn. 40) Thereafter the manor was known as Beaumont's manor. In 1461 Beaumont, who had succeeded to the viscountcy in 1460, was attainted by Edward IV and forfeited his property. (fn. 41) Various grants of the manor were made by the king; in 1462 it was granted to John Neville, Lord Montagu, later Earl of Northumberland, who held it until his death and forfeiture in 1471. (fn. 42) In 1474 Edward IV granted it to one of his esquires, John Blount, later Lord Mountjoy. (fn. 43) He died seised of the manor in 1485, when the lands were restored to William Beaumont, whose attainder was reversed. (fn. 44) He held the manor of Hallaton until his death in 1507, (fn. 45) when his heir would have been his nephew Francis, Lord Lovel, but he also had forfeited his estate by attainder and the manor passed once more to the Crown. (fn. 46)
The manor remained Crown property until 1588, (fn. 47) when Elizabeth I granted it to Richard Branthwayte and Roger Bromley, (fn. 48) who sold it in the same year to John Dent, a citizen and salter of London. (fn. 49) He died in 1595 and was succeeded in turn by his brother Edward and nephew Francis, who sold the manor in 1607 to William Street. (fn. 50) The manor descended in the Street family until 1713 when it was sold, together with Engaine's manor, to which it had been united by purchase in 1613, by Berkeley Street to Benjamin Bewicke, then Vicar of Barrow on Soar. He died in 1730, leaving his property at Hallaton to his nephew Calverley Bewicke (d. 1774). It descended in a direct male line until the death of Calverley Theodore Bewicke (b. 1848). (fn. 51) He was succeeded by his wife Mrs. E. E. T. Bewicke, and on her death in 1939 the estate passed to her husband's nephew B. E. S. Bewicke. He died in 1942 and was succeeded by his widow, in whose possession the estate remained in 1956. (fn. 52)
ENGAINE'S or BROUGHTON'S manor. The other part of Hallaton, after its division by Henry II in 1171, came to the family of Greinvill or Greyvill. In 1223-4 Eustace de Greinvill obtained half the town by fine from Robert Arsic and Sybil his wife, whose connexion with it is not known. (fn. 53) Eustace held the manor until at least 1235-6, when he was taxed as the holder of one knight's fee in Hallaton. (fn. 54) He was succeeded by Gilbert de Greinvill who was still living in 1247 and whose daughter and heir Joan married Sir John de Engaine to whom the manor passed. (fn. 55) It descended in the Engaine family until the death of Sir Thomas Engaine in 1367. Thomas left three sisters as his co-heirs, and Hallaton became part of the share of the youngest sister Mary and her husband Sir William Barnak or Bernak. (fn. 56) Mary died in 1401, her second husband Thomas la Zouche outliving her, and was succeeded by her son Sir John Barnak. (fn. 57) He died in 1409, leaving two sons under age, John and Edmund, who both died in 1415. Their manor in Hallaton passed to their younger sister Joan, who died in 1420 and was succeeded by her elder sister Mary, wife of Robert de Stonham. In 1436 Mary and Robert alienated the manor to their daughter Elizabeth, the wife of John Broughton. (fn. 58) The manor, now known as Broughton's manor, descended in the family until the death of John Broughton in 1518. He had one son John, who died while still under age (whether before or after his father is not clear), and three daughters. Hallaton passed to his granddaughter Agnes, daughter of his eldest daughter Katherine (d. 1535) who married Lord William Howard, later Lord Howard of Effingham. Agnes and her husband William Powlet, afterwards Marquess of Winchester, were licensed to enter on their lands, including Hallaton, in 1548. (fn. 59) Powlet sold the manor to Richard Oliver, who died possessed of it in 1612. (fn. 60) In 1614 his son and heir James sold the manor to William Street, (fn. 61) already the owner of Beaumont's manor, and thereafter the two manors descended together.
HACLUIT'S or THE DUCHY manor. The origin of this manor seems to lie in the lands held in Hallaton by the Martival family in 1166-7. (fn. 62) Some at least of this land was granted to Ralph Martival by Robert Crevequer. (fn. 63) These descended to Robert Martival and his heir, his sister Joan, and her husband John de Weleham. Before 1267 John and Joan exchanged their Hallaton lands for lands elsewhere with Peter and Alice Nevill. (fn. 64) In 1273 Peter enfeoffed his son Theobald in his lands (fn. 65) and they descended to Theobald's daughter Alice who married John Hacluit (d. 1362). (fn. 66) After John's death Alice granted the manor to William Dexter and his wife Margaret for their lives, and later the reversion came to the Dexters. (fn. 67) William Dexter was succeeded by his son, another William, whose daughter Margaret married John Mitton who was granted the manor in 1406 (fn. 68) and was still alive in 1420. (fn. 69) Margaret later married William Vowe and this manor remained in the possession of the Vowe family (fn. 70) until the death of Thomas Vowe, the last member of the family, in 1855. (fn. 71) The manor was then purchased by the Revd. John Henry Dent, who died in 1865 and was succeeded by his sister Lady Hinrich, (fn. 72) who had married in 1828 Henry Bromley Hinrich (knighted 1831). (fn. 73) She was succeeded by her second daughter Charlotte Mary, who married Robert Harvard Price in 1859. (fn. 74) He died in 1887, two years after he and his wife had assumed the additional name of Dent. (fn. 75) Mrs. Price-Dent was succeeded by her son Robert Hinrich Price-Dent who died in 1931. (fn. 76) The manor was inherited by his cousin Mrs. B. M. Edwards Dent (d. 1953). (fn. 77) The manorial rights then appear to have lapsed and the estate was split up.
The manor was until the end of the 15th century said to be held of the honor of Peverel and it seems to have been subordinate to Bardolf's manor. (fn. 78) In 1274 it was stated that it was held from Sir William Bardolf. (fn. 79) There seems to have been some uncertainty about this for in 1480 it was said to be held from John Broughton. (fn. 80) William Vowe was paying suit of court to Beaumont's manor in 1544. (fn. 81) In 1546 it was said that the manor was held as of the Duchy of Lancaster at a time when Bardolf's manor was in royal hands. (fn. 82) Under Elizabeth I the manor was confiscated from the Vowe family on the pretext that it had been concealed (fn. 83) but it was restored to Leonard Vowe in 1563. (fn. 84) The Crown's assumption that it had been concealed was presumably connected with the attachment of this manor to Bardolf's manor. The restoration to the Vowes was confirmed in 1578 and 1584. (fn. 85) Thereafter it was always said to be held of the Duchy of Lancaster.
Small amounts of land in Hallaton parish were owned in the Middle Ages by Bradley Priory (granted 1386), (fn. 86) Launde Priory (granted 1350), (fn. 87) and Noseley College. (fn. 88) The Bradley estates passed to Thomas Nevill of Holt in 1538. (fn. 89) Launde's lands were granted to John Pratt of Weldon (Northants.) in 1554, (fn. 90) and part, at least, of the lands formerly of Noseley College was granted in 1549 to Edward Pease and William Winlove. (fn. 91)
The 6 carucates in Hallaton held in 1086 from Geoffrey Alselin by the under-tenant Norman supported 8 ploughs before the Conquest. In 1086 there were 2 ploughs and 2 serfs on the demesne; and 19 villeins, a socman, a freeman, and 2 bordars had 6 ploughs. There was a stretch of woodland 4 by 2 furlongs, and the assessment of the whole estate had been raised from 60s. to 100s. since 1066. (fn. 92)
The wood continued to be important as a pasture in the Middle Ages. In the 12th century Robert de Crevequer granted to Robert Martival the right to have 20 pigs a year in his woods. (fn. 93) The issues of the wood are mentioned as perquisites of the manors. In 1331 Thomas Bardolf died possessed of three parts of a wood in which all the undergrowth had been cut down in his time and which was worth 12d. as a pasture. (fn. 94) In 1290 William Bardolf is stated to have held a wood valued at 3s. (fn. 95) Towards the end of the 14th century the woodland ceases to figure in the inquisitions post mortem of the Bardolf family and it may have been completely cleared. In 1367 Thomas Engaine had an inclosed wood called Asshawe, (fn. 96) which is mentioned as early as 1247. (fn. 97)
Hallaton became important as a market centre during the 13th century. In 1224 Eustace de Greinvill, lord of what was later called Engaine's manor, was granted a weekly market on Thursdays by Henry III. (fn. 98) In 1284 William Bardolf and John Engaine each received a separate grant of a weekly market on Thursdays and of two yearly fairs, one on the vigil, feast, and morrow of St. John the Baptist and the two days following (23-27 June), and the other for a similar period at the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude (27-31 Oct). (fn. 99) In 1304 John Bardolf was granted an additional fair to be held on the vigil, feast, and morrow of the Ascension. (fn. 100) In 1319 John Engaine's bailiff William Pecchar, or William 'Dengaynesbaillif', was said to have been prevented from collecting his master's fair tolls. (fn. 101)
These three fairs descended with the two manors, and in 1638 William Street died possessed of them, together with the weekly market and another fair held at Corpus Christi. It is not known when this fair began. (fn. 102) The market became obsolete at some time after this, but was revived in 1767; it was still held in 1798 but had again been abandoned by 1831. The June and October fairs also died out, and Nichols states that the October fair had not been held within the memory of man. (fn. 103) One reason for the cessation of the market was held to be the bad condition of the roads, (fn. 104) but it is fairly clear that the decline of the fairs and markets was a symptom of the general lessening of the importance of Hallaton rather than a cause of it, and it is surprising that they continued for so long. Hallaton is notable among Leicestershire villages for having retained its medieval fairs for much longer than most. The Ascension Day and Corpus Christi fairs remained, apparently in unbroken succession. In 1755 Calverley Bewicke's right to hold the fairs and markets was upheld in a dispute. (fn. 105) In 1772 the constables' accounts included payments for keeping watch at the fair. (fn. 106) These two fairs were still held in 1846 and 1850, but had been abandoned before 1863. (fn. 107) In 1938 it was recorded that old inhabitants of the village remembered the Welsh cattle drovers who spoke no English. (fn. 108)
The village grew after the grants of the market and the fairs. In the 13th century and for part of the 14th it was probably the centre of economic life in the south-eastern part of the county. In 1334 Hallaton was assessed at £7 2s. but Market Harborough was creeping up to it and in 1381, with 154 taxpayers, had passed Hallaton's 109. (fn. 109) The perquisites of the market were of considerable importance to the lords of the manor as late as the 18th century, (fn. 110) and because of its commercial connexions Hallaton was really a small town with a mixed population and not a purely agricultural settlement. In 1381 there were 21 holders of land at will, one husbandman, 3 shepherds, a neatherd, 17 labourers, and one freeholder. But there were also 3 tailors, 3 butchers, 2 carpenters, 2 fishermen, 2 bakers, 2 cobblers, 2 weavers, an ironmonger, a shearman, a chapman, and a blacksmith. (fn. 111) References to weavers, woolcombers, and woolwinders occur until the end of the 18th century. (fn. 112)
The fairs were probably responsible for the considerable number of inns mentioned in Hallaton. None survives under its original name. The oldest known was the 'Angel' in the main street, first mentioned in 1572 when it was granted by Sir William Powlet to William Dent. (fn. 113) A cottage called the 'Leaden Lover' was presumably an inn and is mentioned in 1666. It was still in existence in 1716. (fn. 114) The Crown Inn is mentioned in 1698. (fn. 115) The three present public houses, the 'Fox', the 'Royal Oak', and the 'Bewicke Arms', were all in existence by 1835, when there was also a 'Queen's Head'. (fn. 116) At fair-time every house had the right to hang out an ale-bush as an indication that it was licensed to sell ale. (fn. 117)
The fairs helped to name places in the village and it is clear that different animals were sold in different parts. The Hogsmarket is mentioned in 1671 and throughout the 18th century, (fn. 118) and there was a piece of land called the Horse Fair. (fn. 119)
The first known inclosure, apart from medieval inclosures of the wood, was made in 1510, when William Green allowed a messuage to fall into decay so that its three occupants were obliged to leave the 30 a. of land attached to it. It was alleged that Thomas Waldram had allowed the farm to remain in ruins. In 1522 he stated that it had been rebuilt and that the land had been in tillage since 1521. It is clear that the 30 a. had been inclosed, and although Waldram was acquitted of inclosure, it is not stated and seems unlikely that the land had been returned to the open fields. (fn. 120)
There was a considerable inclosure riot in Hallaton in 1617 against inclosures made by William Street, who maintained his right to inclose 20 a. of the Neates Pasture at Smallwood Gill, which he claimed as part of his manor. Protest was made by a large number of the inhabitants, who had been granted in common a lease of the pasture in 1574-5 for 21 years. Street said that although this lease had been renewed in 1579-80 the reversion of the land had formed part of the grant made by Elizabeth I to Branthwayte and Bromley in 1588 and that the land had descended from them to him. The inhabitants declared that the inclosure had been made without their consent in February 1617, that the land was common, and that Street had brought the suit during which these statements were made in order to terrify and impoverish them. One witness stated that the hedges had been thrown down in the presence of Street's shepherd, and that she had herself driven a herd of bullocks into the former close in order to assert the right which her husband claimed in it. The outcome of the case is not known. (fn. 121)
In 1638 information was laid against Kenelm Cooke of Hallaton as a disturber of the peace, in which it appears that Cooke had given evidence against Leonard Vowe for inclosing and for this Vowe had been imprisoned but later released. (fn. 122) Nothing else is known of this incident or of any inclosing activity by the Vowe family. Before the parliamentary inclosure of 1771 some of the land was in closes. Three are mentioned in 1657 (fn. 123) and many more in the inclosure award. (fn. 124)
There were three open fields in the 17th century, Smallwood Field, Barleyhill Field, and Fearne Field. (fn. 125) In 1563 a Mill Field is mentioned, (fn. 126) and Wood Field and Brook Field in 1713. (fn. 127) In the inclosure award of 1771 the fields are called Whetstone Field, Fearne Field, and Barleyhill Field, and there was also a Little Field, which may have been a pasture. (fn. 128) It seems clear that there were only three open fields. In 1670 John Acton, for example, had at his death 14 a. of standing wheat and barley and 14½ a. of peas; (fn. 129) in 1671 Andrew Bugeor had 22 a. of wheat and barley and 26 a. of peas and beans. (fn. 130) There were also extensive pastures, and each cottage and holding had the right to pasture a certain number of animals. In 1675 each half of the rectory had 18 cow and 100 sheep commons, and 2 cow and 5 sheep commons were attached to one cottage. (fn. 131) In 1666 15 a. of land brought the right to 6 cow and 40 sheep commons, (fn. 132) and in 1669 one cottage had 3 cow and 10 sheep commons, (fn. 133) the same number as the house called the 'Leaden Lover' had in 1716. (fn. 134)
An agreement for an inclosure in 1735 came to nothing, (fn. 135) and the inclosure finally took place in 1771, the Act being passed in 1770, when the whole area to be inclosed was stated to be 2,233 a. The owners of 244 a. refused to give their consent to the proposed inclosure, but were overruled. (fn. 136) According to the award (fn. 137) there were 3,000 a. of land in the parish, and 2,555 a. were dealt with by the award. Forty-seven allotments were made, excluding that made to the rector in lieu of tithes. Of these only 4 were of over 100 a. and only 2 of over 200 a.-those to Benjamin Bewicke and Thomas Vowe, the lords of the manors, who each received over 300 a. Thirty-four allotments were of 20 a. or less, and of these 20 were between 1 and 10 a. and 7 under 1 a. Three members of the Dent family received 45, 68, and 128 a. respectively. The allotments included those to the parish clerk (1 a.), the highway surveyors (nearly 3 a. for gravel pits), and 3 allotments to Charles Morris as trustee of the Fenwicke charity lands, the school lands, and the land given for the repair of roads and conduits. In 1801 341 a. were still arable, including 160 a. under wheat and 92 a. under oats. (fn. 138) Hallaton is still a predominantly agricultural village and there are no industries, but in the late 1950's part of the population looked to Market Harborough for its employment. The population for long maintained the high level reached in the Middle Ages but there has been a drop in recent years. In 1670 there were 165 houses, of which 73 paid hearth tax and 92 were excused, (fn. 139) a sufficient indication, together with the large number of very small allotments made at the inclosure, of a poor population. In 1676 the total number of communicants was 387. (fn. 140) No further figures are available until 1801 when the total population was 548. It rose to a peak of 755 in 1891, and then declined to 422 in 1951. (fn. 141)
A windmill formed part of Bardolf's manor from the late 13th century to at least the 16th century. It is first referred to in 1290 (fn. 142) and occurs in the inquisitions post mortem of the Bardolf family until the end of the 14th century. (fn. 143) A windmill, possibly the same one, or on the same site, is mentioned in the fine by which Branthwayte and Bromley transferred the manor to John Dent in 1588. (fn. 144)
A windmill was attached to Hacluit's manor in the late 14th century. In 1373 one of the conditions for the grant of the manor to William Dexter was that he should find a great post for the windmill. (fn. 145) The mill is mentioned again in the inquisition post mortem of William Vowe (d. 1546), (fn. 146) and was still in existence in 1652. (fn. 147)
There was also a horse-mill in the earlier 16th century. (fn. 148)
A workhouse was purchased in 1732 (fn. 149) with money left by the Revd. Benjamin Bewicke (d. 1730) for such a purpose. (fn. 150) Accounts for the management of the workhouse are extant from 1758 to 1776. (fn. 151) In addition to the workhouse and its garden the parish owned, by 1838, 3 messuages, a close called the Workhouse Close, and 3 cottages; the rents from letting this property were used to relieve the poor rates and it was not subject to any charitable trust. (fn. 152) In 1836 Hallaton was placed in Uppingham Union. (fn. 153) The property, which had belonged to the overseers before the Poor Law Act, was evidently sold. In 1839 the guardians of the Uppingham Union and the Revd. C. J. Bewicke, the surviving trustee of the parish lands, sold one of the houses to the Revd. J. H. Dent. (fn. 154) In 1802-3 58 adult paupers and 51 children received out-relief, and 18 persons were relieved in the workhouse. (fn. 155)
The townsman appointed to administer the charity lands had a considerable connexion with parish administration, as he controlled the money spent on the repair of the water supply, the conduit, and the roads. (fn. 156)
There survive accounts and other papers of the churchwardens from 1692 to 1725 and 1750 to 1770; constables' accounts for 1728, 1762, 1765-6, 1772, and 1775; surveyors' accounts for 1730 and 1760; overseers' accounts for 1709, 1716-49, 1760- 67, and 1803-19; and vestry minutes from 1726 to 1880. (fn. 157)
The church of Hallaton is first mentioned early in the 12th century, when the advowson of half the rectory was granted to Leeds Priory (Kent). (fn. 160) The chapelry of Blaston St. Michael was attached to Hallaton church from before c. 1220 until it was separated from it in 1930. (fn. 161) Hallaton rectory, from its first known existence until 1728, was divided into two equal parts, each served by its own rector. Although each part belonged at some time in the Middle Ages to a religious house neither was ever appropriated.
The advowson was divided at an early date in the 12th century, when half of it was given by Daniel Crevequer to Leeds Priory, which was founded by his father Robert in 1119. (fn. 162) Leeds retained half the advowson until in 1367 the half was granted to Noseley College. (fn. 163) In 1320 the Prior of Leeds brought an action against John Engaine, who claimed the presentation to half the rectory, a claim set aside by the jury who confirmed the advowson to the priory. (fn. 164) A similar action had restored the priory's right in 1265. (fn. 165) The Engaine family was still pursuing its claim in 1356. (fn. 166)
The early history of the other part of the advowson is obscure. In about 1220 it was the property of Walter Martival, (fn. 167) and, as the Martivals' property in Hallaton was granted in part at least by the Crevequer family, (fn. 168) it seems likely that the church may have been founded by a member of that family late in the 11th or early in the 12th century, and one half granted to Leeds and the other half to the Martivals. This half descended to Isabel de Saddington, who inherited the property of her maternal uncle Roger Martival, Bishop of Salisbury. (fn. 169) She brought the advowson of this half of the rectory to her husband Ralph Hastings, and in 1369 they conveyed it for 100 marks to the warden of Noseley College and William Gower. (fn. 170) In 1387 Gower received formal licence from the king to grant his half of the advowson to the college. Provision was made for the two halves of the rectory to be united once more, (fn. 171) but this was not done and they remained separate until 1728. (fn. 172) In 1401 Gower received a grant of half the advowson from Richard Byllem, clerk, (fn. 173) perhaps one of the chaplains, presumably a grant for one turn. In 1410 two exwardens of the college, Laurence Blakesley and John Aimore, granted half the advowson, again probably for one turn, to John Blaket, the husband of Margaret Hastings, the daughter of Ralph and Isabel Hastings. In this grant the advowson is referred to as having been lately granted to the college by William Gower. (fn. 174) Noseley College seems to have disposed of one half of the advowson before the death of Thomas Nevill of Holt in 1503. He devised the advowson, which he said he had purchased, to one of his younger sons, Thomas. The terms of his inquisition post mortem imply that he owned the whole advowson, but this does not seem to be correct, (fn. 175) although the college's possession of the advowson is not mentioned in the chantry certificate of 1546. (fn. 176) In 1535 one half of the rectory paid a pension to the college. (fn. 177) It seems clear, however, that the advowson of half the rectory was retained by the college and passed to the Crown at its dissolution. It probably formed part of the royal grant to Richard Branthwayte and Roger Bromley in 1588, and, becoming known as the north mediety, passed to John Dent, and then to the Street family and Benjamin Bewicke and his descendants. (fn. 178)
The other half, the south mediety, passed from Noseley College at an unknown date to the Hazlerigg family of Noseley, who presented to it from c. 1600 to at least 1688. (fn. 179) It formed part of the forfeited possessions of Sir Arthur Hazlerigg, 2nd Bt., but was restored to his family. (fn. 180) In 1722 the Revd. William Fenwicke presented his son George to this half, but it is not known how or when he obtained the advowson. In 1728 the two parts of the rectory were united by the presentation of George Fenwicke to the north mediety by Benjamin Bewicke. (fn. 181) Thereafter the Bewickes and the Fenwickes presented alternately to the rectory until the end of the 19th century. (fn. 182) In 1956 Mrs. Bewicke retained the right of presentation which her predecessors had exercised. The alternate presentation was vested in the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, (fn. 183) after passing through various hands.
In 1217 the rectory was valued at 10 marks, both halves being included in this figure. (fn. 184) In about 1220 the profits of the church were said to be divided equally between the rectors. One paid a pension of 3s. to Leeds Priory. (fn. 185) This pension had been raised to half a mark a few years later. (fn. 186) In 1254 the living was worth 16 marks, (fn. 187) and in 1291, when the two halves were separately valued, one was worth 13½ marks and the other 13. (fn. 188) The combined value of the two parts was 39½ marks in 1428. (fn. 189) In 1535 one half was worth £17 6s. 8d. and the other, charged with a pension payable to Noseley College, £18 13s. 4d. (fn. 190) The joint living was worth £500 a year at the end of the 18th century (fn. 191) and £650 in 1831. (fn. 192)
The great tithes were presumably divided, like the small tithes, (fn. 193) between the two rectors. In 1771 at the inclosure all the tithes were commuted together for an allotment of 470 a. of glebe valued at £357 4s. 11d. a year, other fees being reserved to the rector. (fn. 194) In 1700 the customs for the render of small tithes were recited in the glebe terrier. (fn. 195) In addition to a fixed monetary payment for each animal kept in the parish, each inhabitant over the age of sixteen paid a sum graded according to age and status. Mortuaries were paid according to the value of the deceased's goods as recorded in his inventory, and 4d. was paid for waxshott, for the maintenance of lights in the church, a rare payment at so late a date.
The rectorial glebe has always been important. In 1690 there was a total of over 50 a. attached to the north mediety of the rectory, and the south mediety seems to have had an equal amount. (fn. 196) Each part also had 18 cow commons and 100 sheep commons. The glebe was considerably enlarged by the allotment in lieu of tithes in 1771. In addition the rectors received an allotment in lieu of Hare Crop Leys, which had belonged to the rectory from an unknown date for the provision of the hare pies and the ale for the Easter Monday bottle-kicking. (fn. 197) The glebe lay mainly in Hallaton itself, but the rectors also had glebe in Blaston, and received the tithes of the chapelry of Blaston St. Michael. In 1709 they claimed that they had lost their glebe when Blaston was inclosed. (fn. 198) In 1926 there were 478 a. of glebe; a little was sold in that year, but most of it remained in 1956. (fn. 199) This lies mainly to the north-west of the church and includes Castle Hill.
The present rectory house stands west of the church, occupying a commanding position above the road from Cranoe. The long gabled front is of stone ashlar. In style the building resembles the Manor House, built in 1846, and may be by the same architect. The former Rectory, now Rectory Cottages, (fn. 200) lies immediately to the north. It appears to be of medieval origin and may at some early date have housed both rectors.
The church of ST. MICHAEL, (fn. 201) which stands on rising ground at the west end of the village, is one of the finest in the hundred. It is built of ironstone and limestone and consists of an aisled and clerestoried nave, chancel, north and south porches, west tower, and west vestry. The oldest part of the building dates from the late 12th century, but a preConquest coffin lid carved with interlacing ornament was recovered from the churchyard in the 19th century and is preserved inside the church. Built into the wall of the north porch is a semi-circular Norman tympanum, having a representation of St. Michael and the dragon carved in low relief. The circular font bowl, round which are four shafts terminating in carved heads, may also be of Norman origin.
The three bays at the west end of the north nave arcade are part of the late-12th-century building. Two semi-circular and one slightly pointed arch rest on circular piers. The west respond has a scalloped capital and two other capitals have spreading voluted foliage beneath wide square abaci. The base of the tower may also be of the 12th century, re-faced soon after the middle of the 13th century when the upper stages were built. The belfry stage is faced with limestone and has paired two-light windows with early Geometrical tracery. The stone broach spire, resting on a carved corbel table, is rather squat in outline, having two tiers of lights, the lower ones large and boldly projecting. The chancel was rebuilt at approximately the same period. It contains a piscina and three graded sedilia, the moulded arches resting on clustered shafts and enriched with dog-tooth ornament. (fn. 202) Two windows in each of the north and south walls are of the original date. The three-light 'low side' window is of the Perpendicular period and the east window is a 19thcentury insertion, replacing one of Perpendicular type. Behind the altar is a curious chamber in the thickness of the wall, the floor level of which probably represents the original chancel level, subsequently raised. An opening in the east wall of the chamber contains the start of a stairway, now sealed off, leading upwards. (fn. 203) There appears also to be a blocked opening in the east wall.
Shortly before the middle of the 14th century the aisles were raised and widened, the north aisle being also extended eastwards. At its west end the earlier aisle wall and its roof-line are visible. Below the most easterly bay is a vaulted crypt with access from a small opening in the north wall. This was probably built as a private burial crypt but was later used as an ossuary and in recent years the boiler was housed in it. The aisle itself is faced with limestone ashlar and is a fine example of its period. The windows contain reticulated and flowing tracery and there is an enriched parapet. Externally at the south-east angle is a five-sided pinnacled buttress, (fn. 204) containing crocketted niches. Above the niches are three carved shields, one defaced, the other bearing the arms of Engaine and Bardolf, both owners of manors in the mid-14th century. The porch contains ancient timbers but appears to be partly a post-Reformation reconstruction. The south aisle is of simpler design and is built of ironstone with limestone dressings. The porch appears to be contemporary. The 14th-century arcade of four bays probably replaces one built in the 12th century. (fn. 205) The aisle contains a piscina and ogee-headed sedilia, heavily restored. There is little late medieval work in the church, but the clerestory and the raising of the chancel walls may be of this period.
In 1619 the chancel was described as 'very foul', unwhitened, and with a badly-broken floor, and in 1626 the same complaints were made. (fn. 206) About this time John Dent gave £40 for whitening walls, mending pews, paving, and cleaning the church. (fn. 207) During the incumbencies of George Fenwicke and his son in the 18th century the church appears to have been well cared for, the churchwardens' accounts recording constant payments for small repairs. In 1758 the churchwardens provided a new font cover, (fn. 208) probably the existing one of inlaid oak. Roof repairs, Creed and Lord's Prayer boards, and a list of charities were ordered in 1777. (fn. 209) General repairs and some underpinning were necessary in 1795. (fn. 210) In 1824 new pews were provided and £700 was spent on a general restoration. (fn. 211) The plastered four-centred arch between nave and chancel may have been part of this work. In 1832 and 1838 dampness and weak foundations were reported and in the latter year the porches had been recently repaired. A wall was then being built round the churchyard and two new iron gates, which still exist, had been fixed. (fn. 212) Before 1842 the chancel had been re-roofed and the church was then reported to be in good condition. (fn. 213) Among other work carried out in 1864, the 18th-century pulpit was lowered and stripped of paint. (fn. 214) A major restoration costing £3,000 was undertaken in 1889-91 under the direction of Charles Kirk of Sleaford (Lincs.). The box pews of 1824 were removed and the roof pitches of both nave and chancel were raised. (fn. 215) In 1897 the stone tracery of the east window was replaced; other additions and alterations were made in 1901, 1904, and 1907. (fn. 216) The choir vestry beyond the west end of the south aisle was built between 1919 and 1923 to the design of Paul Waterhouse. (fn. 217) The area at the west end of the north aisle, screened off in the 19th century, remained in use as a clergy vestry.
Apart from the Saxon coffin lid, several coped stone lids of the 13th or 14th century were recovered from the churchyard path and are kept in the church. In the north aisle is a floor slab to Thomas Vowe (d. 1691) and there are numerous mural tablets, mostly to members of the Fenwicke, Vowe, and Dent families. (fn. 218) These include Mary, first wife of the Revd. George Fenwicke (d. 1726); Benjamin Bewicke and Elizabeth (formerly Fenwicke) his wife (d. 1730 and 1769); the Revd. John Fenwicke (d. 1789); Elizabeth his wife (d. 1772); Martha Vowe (d. 1744), her son John (d. 1720), and other members of her family; Thomas Vowe (d. 1855); Henry and William Dent (both d. 1774); John Dent (d. 1789); William Dent (d. 1823); Sir Henry Hinrich (d. 1847) and his wife (d. 1877), daughter of William Dent; and the Revd. J. H. Dent (d. 1866). There are also tablets to Bryan Stevens (d. 1843), to members of the Price-Dent family (1899- 1940), and to Canon W. Chetwynd Stapleton (d. 1919). Outside the north wall of the chancel, blocking a former doorway, is a handsome monument surmounted by an obelisk in memory of the Revd. George Fenwicke (d. 1760), rector of the parish for 38 years. The east window of the south aisle, dedicated to Thomas Vowe (d. 1855) and his wife, and the south windows of the chancel contain early glass by Kempe, dating from 1882. The memorial glass in the east window of the chancel was inserted in 1899. (fn. 219)
The plate consists of a silver cup and paten of 1567 and a set of silver of 1735, the latter the gift of the Revd. George Fenwicke. (fn. 220) There are six bells: two dated 1677, by Thomas Norris of Stamford, and three of 1772, by Edward Arnold of St. Neots. A treble bell was added in 1921 when four were recast and the whole peal re-hung with funds given by Isabella Stenning, niece of the Revd. J. H. Dent. (fn. 221) The former clock, replaced in 1904, was made in 1779 by Cross and Son of Kettering and is now in Leicester Museum. (fn. 222) Its musical box was retained and plays a tune to which the words are recorded: 'Old Dunmore's dead, that good old man, Whom we no more shall see, He made these chimes to play themselves, At six, nine, twelve, and three.' The registers begin in 1563, with a gap from 1571 to 1579.
There was no nonconformist conventicle in Hallaton in 1669. (fn. 223) In 1723 a dissenting meeting-house was licensed in the house of William Gibbons. (fn. 224) Another was licensed in John Grocock's house in 1791. (fn. 225) In 1822 a congregation of Protestant dissenters was using a building at Hallaton occupied by Thomas Barnes. (fn. 226) This may have been the Independent chapel which was built in that year. (fn. 227) In 1839 a Sunday school was added. (fn. 228) There were 300 Independents and Baptists in 1829. (fn. 229) Both sects used the same chapel. (fn. 230) This building still stands, just off the green on the north side, a small square brick structure with square-headed windows and a central door. In 1851 the chapel was said to be neither Independent nor Baptist but attended by 'christian nonconformists without any reference to denominational peculiarities'. (fn. 231)
The earliest evidence of a school at Hallaton is the subscription of a graduate schoolmaster there in 1634. (fn. 232) It has been stated that Hallaton free school was founded under the will of William Aylworth (d. 1661) of Gumley, (fn. 233) but the probate copy of his will mentions only two schools, Pytchley and Little Harrowden (Northants.). (fn. 234) In 1706 it was recorded that 'a lady pays for the teaching of six poor children'. (fn. 235) In 1713 a Commission for Charitable Uses established the school with an endowment of £30 from the general parish charities, and ordered that some of the surplus money was to be given to the late schoolmaster for his pains in teaching poor children. (fn. 236) According to one authority, the school was endowed with 68 a. of land, (fn. 237) but although 46 a. were allotted at the inclosure to Charles Morris as trustee of the school lands, (fn. 238) in practice it is clear that the school merely received a fixed proportion of the parish charities, and that its lands were administered as part of the charity lands. (fn. 239) William Fenwicke (d. 1733), a former Rector of Hallaton, gave £20 for teaching poor children to read. (fn. 240) His son George Fenwicke (d. 1760) was both rector and schoolmaster, and in his will stipulated that any surplus from his charity to the parish should be applied in teaching poor children to read. (fn. 241) The rectors seem to have acquired the power of appointing the schoolmaster. (fn. 242)
In 1720 there were 20 children in the free school and a 'gentleman from London' paid for 6 boys and 2 girls. (fn. 243) All the evidence suggests that the curriculum was confined to 'teaching poor children to read'. There is no further evidence known until 1833 when the school contained 51 pupils (40 boys and 11 girls). Some were fee-payers and the master's salary was £24. (fn. 244) In 1836 the school received annual sums of £4 7s. 3¾d. the source of which was not specified, £7 8s. 5½d. from Acton's charity, £5 16s. 5d. from Cole and Fenwicke's charity, and a share in another payment of £11 14s. 3½d. part of which was devoted to the repair of the widows' houses. It thus had an endowment of something over £17 10s. There were then only 25 pupils, but no schoolroom, the children being taught in a room adjoining the schoolmaster's house, which was rented from Calverley Bewicke. (fn. 245) At an earlier date the school may have been held in the church tower, for it is reported that on St. Andrew's Day the children locked the schoolmaster out of the church and rang the bells. (fn. 246) There was still no schoolroom in 1846. The school was held in the master's hired house, which he also lent for the use of the Sunday school. (fn. 247)
The school and school-house were built in 1865 to the designs of Goddard & Paget of Leicester, (fn. 248) and a new trust deed was drawn up. (fn. 249) The average attendance in 1867 was 45 boys and 30 girls with only one teacher, neither a graduate nor certificated. (fn. 250) In 1896 it was provided that under the division of the charity money into three parts, the poor, church, and school should each enjoy a third. The money paid to the school was to be used to encourage attendance after the usual leaving age, and to provide prizes and exhibitions for higher education. (fn. 251) The average attendance in 1910 was 96, (fn. 252) and in 1933 it was 58. (fn. 253) In 1929 the school was converted to a junior school, the senior pupils attending the school at Church Langton. (fn. 254) In 1957 the school had a partly-aided status, and was attended by 47 junior children from Hallaton, Horninghold, Stockerston, and Blaston. It still retained a small part of the endowments, (fn. 255) which were increased in 1866 by the gift of £300 from the Revd. J. H. Dent to raise the schoolmaster's salary. (fn. 256)
There were two other day schools in 1833, one opened in 1822 and attended by 16 girls, the other attended by 16 boys and 13 girls. The pupils of both schools paid fees. (fn. 257) In 1835 Elizabeth Pick (or Peck) had a school in Horn Lane, (fn. 258) and later a Mrs. Pateman had a school in Hunt's Lane, which is said to have been held at one time in the Bedehouse, the Parker-Fenwicke charity cottages near the church. (fn. 259)
There was a Sunday school attached to the church by 1832, when it was said that few attended it. (fn. 260) In the following year, however, it was reported to have an attendance of 32 boys and 21 girls. There was also a nonconformist Sunday school in 1833, which was attended by 14 boys and 43 girls. Both the Sunday schools were supported by voluntary subscriptions. (fn. 261)
The origin of the Hallaton Town Estate is unknown, but it included pasture lands called the Fearns from an early date. (fn. 262) The charities of Hallaton were regulated by an order of the Commissioners for Charitable Uses made in 1713. (fn. 263) It was then decided that lands and tenements in Hallaton which had been given towards the repair of conduits, cisterns, pavements, causeways, and highways in the town should be vested in four new trustees and let yearly by the townsman, an officer to administer the estate who was elected by the vestry. Seven separate trustees of other charities were to pay over the capital in their possession, £209 13s., to two new trustees who were empowered to use part to buy land, the rents of which were allotted to specific charitable purposes: £40 towards the repair of the parish church; £30 for endowing the free school; and £67 10s. for the benefit of the poor. These purchases were not made until 1736. The residue was used to make a gift to a former schoolmaster and to pay the expenses of the commissioners. (fn. 264)
The Fearns were not included in the inclosure of the open fields in 1770. (fn. 265) They are about 89 a. in area. Three allotments to Charles Morris, the trustee, by the inclosure award of 1771 constituted the remainder of the estate: Pole's Close, Stafford's farm, and the Foxholes. The latter was a pasture of 16 a. belonging to the charity of George Fenwicke (see below) which was administered by the town estate trustees. Pole's Close containing over 41 a. represented the land given for the repair of conduits, roads and so forth, and Stafford's farm containing over 46 a., then described as the school lands, was purchased in 1736, when the accumulated capital amounted to £340. The town estate also included Lewin's-hook, a piece of land in Blaston which was 1½ a. in area.
In 1776 and 1801 the purposes of the town estate were defined in deeds enfeoffing new trustees. The profits of the Fearns were to be distributed among the poor of Hallaton, and Pole's Close and Lewin'shook in Blaston provided funds for the repair of conduits, roads and so forth. But the rent of Stafford's farm was to be divided so that the wishes of the 17 benefactors whose money was used to purchase the land might be carried out: 15/34 was intended for the parish church and the poor; 10/34 for the school and the distribution of bread and money according to the will of Thomas Acton, dated 1711; and 9/34 for the school and poor according to the wills of Ann Coles (1714), and Thomas Nichol and William Fenwicke (1733). (fn. 266) In 1786 the annual income of the estate from the Fearns, Pole's Close, and Stafford's farm was £124 14s. 9d. (fn. 267) Between 1786 and 1837 the detailed administration of the town estate was apparently shared between successive rectors of Hallaton and the elected townsman. In 1837 the total income was £318. The rent of the Fearns, £170, was paid to the townsman for distribution to the poor, and the rest, £148, to the rector. From the sum allotted to the rector £82 was paid to the townsman for repairs to conduits, roads and so forth, about £30 to the free school, and £5 16s. 5d. to the churchwarden for repairs to the church. (fn. 268) In 1862-3 the income of the town estate was spent on the following items: £110 for public works, £94 in distributions to the poor, £30 on education, £22 on the general uses of the poor, and £5 on bread. (fn. 269)
Although after 1846 complaints were made about the misuse of the charity, (fn. 270) the town estate was administered in the same way until the Charity Commissioners' Scheme of 1896, varied by a Scheme of 1913. (fn. 271) Under this Scheme its revenue was divided into three parts: the town estate share, for the maintenance and improvement of water supply, street lighting, and footpaths; the Fearns Estate share, for payments to deserving and necessitous persons; and the Poor, Church, and Education share. Of the latter, the church portion was paid to separate trustees for the repair of the parish church and the maintenance of church services; (fn. 272) the education portion in 1904 became a foundation for school prizes and gifts to young mothers. (fn. 273) The money was still applied in this fashion in 1956.
By the Scheme of 1896 a bread charity was joined to the town estate. (fn. 274) Henry Dent, by will dated 1724, left a rent-charge of 10s. to be distributed among the poor at Christmas. His son William Dent, by will dated 1740, bequeathed £35 to be invested for the provision of a bread dole at Christmas, and with this the rent-charge of 10s. left by Henry Dent was increased to £3. Another William Dent, by will proved in 1774, bequeathed £125 to be invested to provide a weekly bread dole. In 1837 this capital and the land on which £3 was charged were in the possession of the Revd. J. H. Dent (d. 1865) who distributed the bread. (fn. 275) When the Dent charity was joined to the town estate in 1896 difficulties over a mortgage had reduced its value to £5, charged upon the Fearns farm. (fn. 276) The Gravel-pit and Stone-pit which were allotted to the overseers by the inclosure award of 1771 were apparently never joined to the town estate. In 1837 both were exhausted and had been let as small closes. (fn. 277) Their present trustees are presumed to be the parish council. (fn. 278)
The Foxholes, which was administered by the town estate trustees, belonged to the charity of George Fenwicke. Katherine Parker, by will dated 1746, left £1,000 for the maintenance of 6 poor women, single or widowed, nominated by the Vicar of Tugby and the Rector of Hallaton, 3 from Hallaton and 3 from Tugby and East Norton. If insufficient women were available, men might be chosen, and if no suitable candidates were presented in Hallaton, Tugby, and East Norton, men and women from Goadby and Allexton might claim nomination. The charity also was to provide clothing. George Fenwicke, Rector of Hallaton (d. 1760), by will dated 1758, supplemented this endowment by leaving 3 messuages and 13 a. of land in Hallaton to the trustees of the town estate. By the inclosure award of 1771 the trustee, Charles Morris, received 16a. called Foxholes in compensation for the property of the Fenwicke charity. (fn. 279)
In 1747 Mrs. Parker's bequest was used to purchase land at Tur Langton which in 1786 comprised 81 a. (fn. 280) When the parish was inclosed in 1792, the trustees of Parker's charity received an allotment of 73 a. In 1837 the farm buildings standing on the land were in need of repair and there were apparently no trustees. The farmer paid £100 in rent to maintain the charity. (fn. 281) In 1862-3 the same rent was received. (fn. 282) In 1786 £20 was divided between 3 poor widows in Hallaton. (fn. 283) In 1862-3 the income was divided equally between 3 poor widows in Hallaton, 2 in Tugby, and one in East Norton. (fn. 284) Under the provisions of George Fenwicke's will, the Rector of Hallaton could place the 3 Hallaton recipients of Mrs. Parker's charity in 2 of the 3 messuages which Fenwicke had bequeathed, but by 1837 all 3 messuages were occupied by widows who received payments every quarter and were also entitled to money from the Fearns Estate (see above). (fn. 285) The Parker and Fenwicke charity cottages on the north side of Hallaton church were still so used in 1956. (fn. 286) The rents of the remaining part of Fenwicke's charity, the Foxholes, were to be used to augment the rector's stipend for reading daily prayers in church, to pay for repairing the charity cottages, and to provide a yearly dole of 30s., the interest on £30 left for the poor by 3 other persons. Any residue was to be used for teaching poor children to read. (fn. 287) By the Charity Commissioners' Scheme for the Town Estate of 1896, this part of the charity was placed in the Church, Poor, and Education share (see above). (fn. 288)
Valentine Goodman, by will proved 1685, left £800 to be laid out in land which would provide money for the poor of Hallaton, Medbourne, Blaston, and Great Easton. (fn. 289) The land acquired by Goodman's trustees lay in Bringhurst and Drayton. (fn. 290) Goodman directed that 16 paupers should benefit -6 from Easton, 4 each from Hallaton and Medbourne, and 2 from Blaston. Hallaton was therefore entitled to a quarter of the income, but in 1837 it was discovered that the parish had not limited the division to 4 persons, and as many as 12 had benefited. (fn. 291) Hallaton's share in 1786 amounted to £8 18s. 7d. (fn. 292) In 1836-7 weekly payments of 1s. were made to 12 persons until the annual income of £20 was exhausted. (fn. 293) In 1862-3 Hallaton's share amounted to £25. (fn. 294) In 1951 about £20 was distributed. (fn. 295)
The Revd. J. H. Dent (d. 1865), by will proved 1867, left investments, the income from which was to be distributed among the poor of Hallaton, Blaston, and Glooston. The income from Hallaton's share, £200, was distributed by the Goodman trustees. (fn. 296)
Isabella Stenning, a neice of the Revd. J. H. Dent, by will proved 1915, left more than £10,000 in various investments to the parish of Hallaton. This charity was regulated by a Chancery Scheme of 1920, (fn. 297) which permitted application in a variety of ways. The church bells were recast and re-hung in 1921 with £800 from the charity. (fn. 298) A row of charity houses was built in 1924 on the Horninghold road. The village hall was built in 1925. (fn. 299) Other uses which were permitted by the Scheme were subscriptions to nursing homes, the purchase of a recreation ground, and the assistance of young persons in their education or professional training.