A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 5, Gartree Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1964.
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Saddington lies about nine miles south-east of Leicester, on the northern side of the hills towards the Northamptonshire border. The area of the parish is 1,714 a. It lies mainly on the north-west side of the valley of a tributary of the Welland. Within Saddington the river divides into two small streams, and a third forms part of the eastern parish boundary. The greater part of that boundary follows field boundaries. The land is below 400 ft. near the streams, rising to over 450 ft. around the village and to over 500 ft. in the south-west corner of the parish. The soil is loamy over a subsoil of gravel, and there are two disused gravel pits near the village.
Saddington lies midway between the major roads from Leicester to Northampton and to Market Harborough, but it has direct access to Leicester by the road through Fleckney to Wigston Magna. Four other roads radiate from the village: westwards to Shearsby, southwards to Mowsley, north-eastwards to Smeeton Westerby, and northwards to the Kibworths. The Grand Union Canal passes through the north of the parish, partly in the ½-mile long Fleckney Tunnel; the canal is fed with water from a reservoir in the valley on the eastern boundary of the parish.
Most of the houses that comprise the compact village of Saddington are of red brick and range in date from the early 19th century to the present day. Among the smaller and older buildings mud walling survives, and there is one timber-framed cottage. Council housing is confined to the Fleckney road where the first houses were built in 1919; (fn. 1) by 1961 three pairs and one block of four houses had been completed.
At the north end of the village, on the road to Smeeton Westerby, are three large brick houses of the early 19th century. The Limes is a red-brick building of c. 1800; The Grange, a larger house with stuccoed elevations and gables, was probably built c. 1850; and Cedar Lodge, containing stone courses perhaps of an earlier house, has a main front building of c. 1800. Sunnydale is a farm-house of mid-18thcentury date with a large barn forming a north wing at the rear of the house.
Bakehouse Lane contains a timber-framed cottage, The Orchards, of 17th-century origin. An adjoining cottage has baking ovens which were discarded in 1890 when baking was transferred to Home Farm, at the south end of the lane. The disused bake-house is of brick on earlier ironstone footings which probably formed part of a timber-framed house in line with The Orchards. Home Farm and its bakery, now disused, were built in 1890 by a Mr. Gardiner on the site of a malt-house. (fn. 2) Ivyside, opposite the Baptist chapel, is a two-storied brick house of c. 1800, flanked by high screen walls with pebble footings; the stables are dated and inscribed 'W. Bray, Builder, 1858'. One brick cottage in Fleckney Road has a date stone of 1733, and 19th-century cottages in the village include Reservoir Row and groups dated 1863 and 1866. A hosiery factory, in the 19th century, is said to have been established in cottages that include the present post office in Main Street. (fn. 3)
Two outlying farms, Barfoot Lodge and Breach Farm, date from c. 1800 or slightly earlier. They are both small two-storied brick houses with low-pitched slate roofs. Saddington Lodge, formerly known as Glebe Farm, is a farm-house built probably c. 1850; it accommodated the Rector of Saddington during the rebuilding of the Rectory c. 1870-80. (fn. 4) A small isolated brick cottage near the footpath to Barfoot Lodge from the village, which has a reset date stone with the initials of Robert Johnson and the date 1786, is shown on a survey of his estate of c. 1780- 90. (fn. 5)
The Manor House, a short distance west of the church, is a large stuccoed house of L-shaped plan dating from the early 19th century. Its main elevation, facing south-east, has a central doorway and round-headed ground-floor windows set in arched recesses. The door has Greek Doric columns supporting an entablature and a segmental-headed pediment incorporating a fanlight. The upper windows have eared architraves, and the stucco has a mock rustication now almost painted out. Between the Manor House and its farm buildings to the north-east stands a small square brick dovecot built in the early 18th century. It contains about 600 nesting holes, and the roof and upper courses of walling were rebuilt in the 19th century. The garden wall of the Manor House is of mud construction.
Saddington Hall, opposite the Manor House, is a large square-planned house of two stories and attics and three distinct building periods. The earliest, dated 1679, is an ironstone and brick wing (now the kitchen) forming the north-east side of the house. The west gable of this wing has a blocked lunette light with stone key-blocks and brick voussoirs; all the other windows have been modernized. A re-cut date stone of 1682 is set in the modern gable of the south-east front, and the lower courses of limestone ashlar on this front are probably of this date. A considerable amount of 19th-century restoration, including a general heightening in brick above the first-floor windows, has taken place on this side, but the jambs of an original blocked door are still visible. The gable-end wall dated 1682 is a patchwork of limestone and cobbles with one blocked square light. A brick pavilion of late-18th-century origin adjoins the gable.
The largest addition made to the house, which may well have resulted in the destruction of the bulk of an earlier hall, was made by Robert and Elizabeth Johnson in 1806 and occupies the southern half of the plan. (fn. 6) This consists of a two-storied range built of brick on an ashlar plinth with stuccoed front and side elevations. The stories are divided by a moulded stone string and plat band, the former linking the segmental-arched recesses that contain the lower windows and central doorway of the main front. The hipped roof is of a flat pitch with wide eaves. The range has internal details of the period and brick vaulted cellars. Between the earlier wing and the 1806 addition, on the north-west side, there is a later-19th-century block of two stories. In the earlier portions of the house there is little of interest left after several modernizations. A lean-to extension on the yard side of the older wing is probably coeval with it. A doorway leading into the lean-to is of the same date and has a bar dripstone with an ogee moulding. The brick outbuildings and stables to the north-east of the hall contain timber roof trusses that may be 17th-century in date. Some of the smaller outbuildings have mud walls. A small field barn, built of brick and stone, between the hall and Fleckney Road, contains re-used timbers including a moulded ceiling beam of the early 17th century.
Saddington Hall was acquired in 1927 as a centre for the Leicester Poor Boys' and Girls' Holiday Homes. (fn. 7) In 1949 it was purchased by a Mr. Paragreen who used it first as a country club and later as a private residence. (fn. 8) The owner in 1961 was Mr. H. Smith.
Saddington had a recorded population of 33 in 1086. The poll tax was paid by 135 people in 1377. There were 23 households in 1563 and 110 communicants in 1603. There had been some increase by the late 17th century: 47 households existed in 1670, and 144 communicants were returned in 1676. (fn. 9) There were 45 households in the early 18th century. (fn. 10) In 1801 the population was 241; it rose to a maximum of 279 in 1841, had fallen to 182 by 1891, and recovered to 243 in 1901. In 1951 it was 190. (fn. 11)
In 1066 Saddington belonged to Queen Edith, the wife of Edward the Confessor. At her death in 1075 her property passed to William I, who held Saddington in 1086 when it was let to a tenant named Godwin on a lease which was probably terminable at the king's pleasure. (fn. 12) Nothing further is known of Saddington until 1177, when Richard de Rollos II paid £30 to the king for having seisin of the lordship. (fn. 13) He, or more probably his father, had held a small estate at Smeeton Westerby about 1130, (fn. 14) but Saddington does not figure in the surviving part of the Leicestershire Survey and nothing suggests that the Rollos family had held land there before 1177. Richard de Rollos II probably died shortly before Michaelmas 1195, when the sheriff accounted for a little over a quarter of a year's farm for Saddington, which had apparently escheated to the Crown. (fn. 15)
The land remained in the king's hands until at least 1200, when the sheriff ceased to account for it, (fn. 16) but no grant of Saddington is known until 1204, after the lands of Norman landowners in England had been confiscated by John. John made two grants of land at Saddington in 1204, one of land worth £4 to William de Cherlecote, who is described as the foster-son (nutricus) of Saer de Quency, Earl of Winchester, and the other of land worth £15 to Roger de Mowbray. (fn. 17) It was this second holding which, described as land worth £16, was in 1221 granted to Sir Roger de Acaster, tutor to Richard of Cornwall, the younger brother of Henry III, for his support in the royal service. (fn. 18) The first holding was probably granted, again as land worth £4, to William de Lucy at an unknown date, but before 1210-12 when he and Roger de Mowbray were returned as the lords of Saddington. (fn. 19) In 1220 Elias de Rulhos challenged de Lucy's possession of 7 virgates of land in Saddington, (fn. 20) perhaps renewing Richard de Rollos's claim to land there. De Lucy's grant was renewed in 1222 (fn. 21) and, although his lands were granted to Roger de Acaster in 1223, (fn. 22) two actions were brought against him in 1224 and 1225. (fn. 23) De Lucy's holding was sub-let to Thomas de Welham.
The two holdings in Saddington were subsequently united in the ownership of Amauri de St. Amand (d. 1241), a prominent royal official: he was granted Roger de Acaster's land in 1227 (fn. 24) and William de Lucy's in 1228. (fn. 25) The St. Amand family held the manor of SADDINGTON until at least 1337. (fn. 26) By 1279 the St. Amands had enfeoffed the Moels family as under-tenants. (fn. 27) In 1279 Roger de Moels (d. before 1295) was holding as Amauri de St. Amand's tenant. (fn. 28) In 1310 his son John, Lord Moels, died, (fn. 29) and the manor was inherited by his sons Nicholas and then Roger, although the latter died soon after his brother in 1316. (fn. 30) They were succeeded by their younger brother John, Lord Moels, who died possessed of Saddington manor in 1337. (fn. 31) It descended to his younger daughter Isabel and her husband William de Botreaux, to whom the sheriff was ordered to give seision in 1347. (fn. 32) Isabel died in 1350. Through the family of Botreaux the manor descended to Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Hungerford (d. 1469) and her second husband Sir Richard Sacheverell, who was in possession in 1516. (fn. 33) He died in 1534, leaving rent-charges out of the manor to his nephews William and John Fyndern and Henry, son of Thomas Sacheverell, to whom the manor passed. (fn. 34) John Sacheverell died possessed of the manor in 1596, although he had fled the country and his lands had been confirmed to his son Henry by the queen in 1576. (fn. 35) In 1606 Henry Sacheverell sold the manor to John Bale of Carlton Curlieu, (fn. 36) and it descended in the Bale family until 1640 when it was sold by Edmund and William Bale to William Wollaston. (fn. 37) The Wollaston family held Saddington until shortly before 1798 when a Mr. Evans of Nottingham was lord, having purchased the manor from William Wollaston. (fn. 38) Mrs. Dorothy Evans was lady of the manor in 1846 (fn. 39) and it was owned by her trustees in 1877, (fn. 40) after which the manorial rights seem to have been extinguished.
In 1086 Saddington was valued as one hide less one carucate, or about 1,000 a. of arable. The king had one plough in demesne, and 11 socmen, 17 villeins, and 5 bordars had a further 8 ploughs. There was a mill and 10 a. of meadow, and the value of the estate had increased from £4 before the Conquest to £9. (fn. 41) At the end of the 12th century the annual amount paid from Saddington to the king by the escheator was £5 9s. 1d. (fn. 42) The value of the whole of Richard de Rollos's former estate in 1204 seems to have been about £20. (fn. 43) Roger de Moels held 6 virgates in demesne in 1279 but the return made to the king in that year is so much mutilated that the total acreage of the manorial estate is not known. It is possible to decipher the names of at least 10 persons who were probably free tenants. (fn. 44)
In 1086 a house in Leicester was attached to the manor of Saddington. (fn. 45) This still belonged to the manor between 1196-7 and 1205-6, when it was accounted for as part of the escheated land of Richard de Rollos. (fn. 46) The house was valued at 8d. a year in 1310 (fn. 47) and 1337. (fn. 48)
In 1310 there were 120 a. of arable in demesne worth 4d. an acre, 10 a. of meadow worth 1s. an acre, and another piece of meadow worth 2s. A further 31¾ a. were leased to free tenants, one of whom held 10 virgates and all of whom paid a money rent, sometimes with a pair of gloves or a pound of spices. Two messuages were let to free tenants and William Lindrick (fn. 49) held the house in Leicester. The value of the rents of these free tenants was £4 13s. 0½d. Another 14½ a. of land were held in villeinage, each virgate paying 13s. 4d. a year in lieu of services; the total obtained from this source was £9 13s. 4d. The total value of the manor was £17 7s. 1½d. (fn. 50) Six years later the value of the estate was £26 3s. 4d. and it appears that Nicholas de Moels, who had succeeded his father, had fully exploited the manor. He had not continued to commute the labour services of his villeins, who paid only £3 15s. in rents. The amount of arable in the demesne had risen to 156 a., valued at 8d. an acre, and the value of the demesne meadows had risen to 17s. 5d. The rents of the free tenants were slightly reduced, to £4 0s. 4d.; this is probably to be explained by the statement that the land of one free tenant was in the lord's hands in 1316 and was leased to the villeins for 8d. The labour services of the villeins are given in full. They had to plough with 7 ploughs for one day in the winter and one day in Lent, and to harrow in winter for one day with 14 harrows. Fourteen men had to reap for one day, cart the lord's hay with a cart each for one day, hoe for a day, and mow for a day. The total services were valued at £2 2s. and in addition another villein was bound to mow for 24 days. Between 1310 and 1316 a common oven had apparently been established. (fn. 51) In 1347 the value of the manor was £19 9s. 11d. (fn. 52)
The list of 101 contributors to the poll tax of 1381 is headed by the names of John Cook and his wife who paid 12s.; Cook is described as lord of Saddington and was perhaps the under-tenant but nothing further is known of him. Their names are followed by those of 9 servants, perhaps their own, out of a total of 18 in this class. There were 2 free tenants, 33 tenants at will, a smith and a hayward, 3 cottagers, 2 widows, a sherman, and a weaver. (fn. 53) Nothing is known of the economy of Saddington in the later Middle Ages.
Saddington was inclosed in 1770 by Act of Parliament after a petition from William Wollaston, the lord of the manor. (fn. 54) The award dealt with 1,576 a. of the parish. (fn. 55) Some of the land had been inclosed previously and several ancient closes are mentioned in the award. The three open fields, Peasehill Field (Pesell in 1601), (fn. 56) Limborough Field (Linborough in 1601), and Mill Field (Breach Field in 1601), were divided between 27 landowners. Of these only 2, the rector (229 a.) and Wollaston (276 a.), received allotments of over 200 a., and only 3 persons received between 100 a. and 200 a. There were 5 allotments of between 50 a. and 100 a. and 10 of 10 a. or under, one of which went to the churchwardens and overseers of the parish. Wollaston's allotment included Barfoot Common and the Over Meadow.
A notable physical change took place in Saddington with the construction of the reservoir between about 1793 and 1797. This acted as a catchment basin for the supply of water to the Grand Union Canal. A natural hollow was banked at its northern end and held water from the Laughton and Saddington brooks. Feeders were constructed to carry the water from Saddington Brook to the reservoir and from the reservoir to the canal. The reservoir occupies about 60 a., more than half of which lie in Saddington parish, with the rest in Gumley. In the north-east part of the parish the canal runs through a tunnel, constructed about 1794. (fn. 57)
Saddington has always been mainly an agricultural village, with a few people employed in the usual village handicrafts and trades. There were, for example, a smith, a sherman, and a weaver in 1381, (fn. 58) and in the 19th century the village had half a dozen craft- and tradesmen: in 1846, for example, a blacksmith, a tailor, a shoemaker, a joiner, a miller and baker, and a publican (at the 'Queen's Head'). Only a shopkeeper and the publican remained in 1932. (fn. 59) There were a few framework-knitters in Saddington in the 1840's, (fn. 60) and in 1961 outbuildings and stables near Saddington Hall housed a hosiery manufactory. The parish has remained chiefly under pasture since the inclosure; the amount of arable in 1801, for example, was only 214 a. (fn. 61) There have been 8 or 9 farmers and graziers in the 19th and 20th centuries. (fn. 62)
There was a mill in 1086 which rendered 2s. (fn. 63) In 1310 the watermill was valued at 6s. 8d. yearly, but this had been increased to £1 2s. 6d. by 1316. (fn. 64) A mill is mentioned in conveyances of the manor in the 17th century. (fn. 65) It is possible that a new mill was built during that century, and that this caused the name of Breach Field to be changed to Mill Field between 1601 and 1770. (fn. 66)
There was no workhouse in Saddington but in 1802-3 out-relief was given to 19 adults and 27 children. (fn. 67) In 1836 Saddington was placed in Market Harborough Union. (fn. 68) Among the parish records surviving in 1953 were 'town books' for 1744-1805, containing constables' and overseers' accounts, surveyors' accounts for 1781-1816 and 1820-38, overseers' accounts for 1792-1824, (fn. 69) other papers concerned with poor relief, and a vestry minute book for 1871-1931. (fn. 70)
The advowson of the church of Saddington was given to the abbey of St. Agatha, Easby (Yorks.), by Richard de Rollos II. The gift, which was confirmed by Pope Celestin III before 1191, was probably made after 1177, when Rollos paid £30 for being seised of Saddington. (fn. 71) The grant does not figure in a confirmation of gifts to the abbey, including another by Rollos, which was made by Henry II between 1172 and 1181. (fn. 72) Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln (1186-1200), instituted the canons of Easby as rectors, saving to the then incumbent, William de Bubbenhill, his perpetual vicarage in the church on payment of 13s. 4d. a year. (fn. 73) Bubbenhill had been given the perpetual vicarage by the abbey. The pension was paid until the Dissolution, (fn. 74) and in 1560 it was leased with much of the rest of the abbey's property by Elizabeth I to Henry, Lord Scrope, of Bolton, whose family had been patrons of the abbey since the early 14th century. (fn. 75) At the Dissolution the advowson of Saddington passed to the Crown, (fn. 76) in whose hands it still remained in 1956. In 1927 the living was united with that of Fleckney, and the Bishop of Leicester and the Lord Chancellor later presented alternately to the united benefice. (fn. 77)
The rectory was valued at 12 marks in 1217, 18 marks in 1254, and 17 marks in 1291. (fn. 78) By 1535 the net value had risen to £19 2s. 3¼d. after the pension to Easby and other payments had been deducted. (fn. 79) In 1831 the benefice was valued at £286 (fn. 80) and in 1926 the income, solely from the glebe, was £193 net. (fn. 81) At the inclosure about 29 a. were allotted in lieu of glebe and a further 200 a. in lieu of tithes. (fn. 82) This extensive glebe still existed in 1926, before the union with Fleckney, and was still recorded in 1951- 2 as providing part of the income of the united living. (fn. 83) By 1956, however, only a small proportion of the glebe remained. (fn. 84) The rector received a payment of 13s. 4d. a year from Kibworth Beauchamp in the Middle Ages. (fn. 85)
The former parsonage house stands to the east of the church. In 1683 it was described as a building of five bays of 'stud and mud', partly thatched and partly roofed in slate. (fn. 86) In 1662 it was in bad condition, (fn. 87) and again in 1797. (fn. 88) The present building, now known as the Old Rectory, was built c. 1870-80; it ceased to be the Rectory when the living was united with that of Fleckney. It is a two-storied red-brick house with stone and blue-brick dressings. An earlier Rectory is said to have stood further to the west. (fn. 89) The present forecourt has a coach-house and other outbuildings of the early 19th century which may be remnants of the older house.
In 1566 an enquiry into concealed lands revealed that one acre of land in Saddington had formerly been given for the provision and maintenance of a lamp in the church. (fn. 90)
The church of ST. HELEN consists of chancel, clerestoried nave, north and south aisles, north porch, and embattled west tower. With the exception of the tower and nave arcades the whole of the church was virtually rebuilt in 1872-3. Internally the earliest surviving feature is the 13th-century south arcade of three bays, though even this is considerably restored or re-tooled; it has quatrefoil piers and pointed arches, and the responds are semi-octagonal. The present north doorway is also of 13th-century date and has two orders of shafts in the jambs with a deep fillet-moulded arch.
Fourteenth-century work includes the three lower stages of the unbuttressed tower, the polygonal font set on an octagonal broach-stopped base in the north aisle, and the trefoil-arched piscina in the chancel. The lower stages of the tower are built of alternate courses of limestone and ironstone and contain a west window and doorway. The pointed doorway has continuously chamfered triple orders similar to those of the tower arch into the nave. Of the original west window only the moulded jambs and hoodmould remain. There appears to have been considerable disturbance to the south wall of the tower where a distinct change of masonry and offsets occurs in the two lowest stages. A large clerestory was added in the 15th century, and to this date probably also belongs the upper ashlar stage of the tower and the battlements.
The church was in poor condition at the beginning of the 17th century: its pavements were defective and it was damp and unpainted. The south porch was in bad condition, and seems to have remained so until the early 18th century. (fn. 91) In 1662 the chancel was said to be utterly ruined, apparently as the result of damage by fire and by intruders. (fn. 92) Some repairs were undertaken in the early 18th century. The tower was restored in 1707 (fn. 93) and the north porch in 1727. (fn. 94) By 1777 the fabric seems generally to have been in good condition, and minor repairs were carried out before 1787. (fn. 95) The chancel was repaired between 1832 and 1836. (fn. 96)
The restoration of 1872-3, undertaken by Frederick Peck, (fn. 97) gave an early-14th-century appearance to the exterior by the installation of new windows throughout the church; all have reticulated tracery. An exception was the east window in the chancel, of Perpendicular style; this had been inserted by Goddards of Leicester in 1864. (fn. 98) Numerous fragments of early worked stone are incorporated into the chancel and aisles to form part of the external rubble walling. The general patchiness of this work suggests a re-facing rather than a rebuilding by Peck. Less disturbed walling of medieval character occurs at the east end of the chancel and south aisle, and at the west end of the north aisle. The organ chamber was added and the north porch was replaced during the restoration and it seems to have been at this time too that the south porch was demolished, as was the gallery which existed in the late 18th century. Further minor repairs were carried out in 1908. (fn. 99)
New pews were put in shortly before 1846, (fn. 100) and a communion table, pulpit, and reading desk had all been installed between 1777 and 1787. (fn. 101) The oldest monument is an incised floor slab in the chancel to Richard Holland, rector (d. 1628). Mural tablets nearby are to Sambrook Russell, sometime chaplain to Amelia, second daughter of George II, to the Revd. William Shield (d. 1732), and to Kenelm Johnstone (d. 1778) and his wife Mary (d. 1820). The south aisle contains slate grave slabs to the Johnson family of late-18th to early-19th-century date, and in the north aisle are Heycock family slabs of a similar period. A black and white marble monument of 1819-31 in the north aisle to the Heycock family is signed by Pulford of Harborough. (fn. 102) The present vestry, formed by curtaining off the west end of the north aisle, contains an oil painting of William Shield, rector 1724-32.
There are five bells: (i) 1777, cast, as the result of an archdeacon's order, by Edward Arnold of St. Neots; (ii) 1761, by Thomas Eayre of Kettering; (iii) 1760, by Thomas Eayre; (iv) 1762; (v) 1762, also by Thomas Eayre. (fn. 103) The plate includes a silver cup of 1570. (fn. 104) The registers date from 1558 and are complete. A Hanoverian royal arms hangs in the tower, perhaps dating from 1777 when the church's royal arms was ordered to be re-painted. (fn. 105)
William Black, Rector of Saddington 1646-60, was ejected after the Restoration but afterwards conformed and became Vicar of Wraysbury (Bucks.) in 1661. (fn. 106) Some sectaries were reported in 1662. (fn. 107) In 1669 two large conventicles of nonconformists were holding meetings in Saddington. One, of Anabaptists, numbered about 40 and was taught by 3 teachers. The other conventicle was of Presbyterians and Independents. Their teacher's name was not known but he was an ejected minister and taught about 30 persons. (fn. 108) It seems most probable that at least some of the members of both sects came from other villages. In the early 18th century the number of nonconformists actually living in the village seems to have been between 5 and 10, and probably included some Quakers. (fn. 109) In 1730 a meeting-house was licensed in the house of a Mr. Wagstaffe, and in 1772 another, for Baptists, in the house of Samuel Horton. (fn. 110) No nonconformists were returned in 1829. (fn. 111) The General Baptist chapel, a small red-brick building with a slate roof, was built in 1848. (fn. 112) It has elliptical window heads with rubbed brick dressings and intersecting iron tracery. The donor of the ground on which the chapel stands, a Mr. Horton, is said to have lived in the adjoining house which is of similar date. (fn. 113)
A day and Sunday school was opened in 1828. It was supported by subscription and in 1833 was attended by 40 boys and 30 girls. (fn. 114) The average attendance at the Sunday school in 1832 was 60. (fn. 115) The National school was built in 1855 (fn. 116) and is a single-story building of red brick with blue-brick dressings. In 1910 the average attendance was 29. (fn. 117) In 1931 the school was made into a junior school, the senior pupils being transferred to Church Langton. (fn. 118) There was an attendance of 30 in 1933. (fn. 119)
Thomas Palmer, by will proved 1729, left a rent-charge of £1 a year from land in Saddington for the provision of coal which could be purchased by poor persons for 4d. a cwt., the proceeds to be used for the purchase of further supplies. (fn. 120) In 1883 the rent-charge was redeemed by the purchase of £34 stock. (fn. 121) In 1956 the interest of 17s. was distributed with Heycock's and Cave's charities in meat, and the three charities were administered together. At Christmas chits were sent to local butchers authorizing the purchase of meat by householders in receipt of a weekly wage who did not own their own houses. The allowance was based on the number of children in each household. (fn. 122)
William Shield or Sheild, Rector of Saddington, by will proved 1733, left a rent-charge of £2 12s. from an estate in Hallaton for bread for the poor which was to be distributed fortnightly at the church. (fn. 123) The charge was confirmed by the will of the Revd. Kenelm Johnson, proved 1756, (fn. 124) but in 1837 it was paid from land in Saddington. (fn. 125) At an unknown date this payment was redeemed for a lump sum which was invested and in 1956 produced an annual interest of £2 12s. which was spent on bread for old people. (fn. 126)
William Cave, by will proved 1769, bequeathed £50 to the parish, the interest to be distributed to the poor on Christmas Eve. In 1772 it was noted that £20 of this sum was spent in fencing the Poor's Land. In 1816 the balance, with a parish levy, was used to buy 2 tenements of £4 annual value, and thereafter the rent, £1 1s. in 1837, was distributed to the poor as the interest on the £30 had been before the purchase of the property. (fn. 127) In 1883 the sale of land with 3 cottages was authorized. (fn. 128) In 1956 the interest of 17s. was distributed with Palmer's and Heycock's charities in the form of meat. (fn. 129)
John Heycock, by will proved 1828, left £600 to be invested for the benefit of the poor. Of the interest £16 was to be used for the purchase of an ox for consumption on Christmas Day; the residue was to be used for the relief of the poor. The will was in dispute in Chancery in 1837 as it was held that the bequest was too large for the estate to bear. (fn. 130) In 1888 the charity comprised £400 stock. (fn. 131) In 1956 it yielded £10 interest which was distributed with Palmer's and Cave's charities in the form of meat. (fn. 132)
Robert Johnson, by will proved 1865, gave £100 duty free for bread for the deserving poor at Christmas. (fn. 133) The income in 1954 was £3, and was spent on 41 bread tokens. (fn. 134) This charity is managed by the rector.
The estate known as the Poor's Land or Poor's Close was formed at the inclosure in 1771 when 5 a. were allotted to the churchwardens and overseers for the benefit of the poor. In 1837 the rent of £8 10s. was distributed to the poor. (fn. 135) In 1956 the land was let partly as allotments and partly to a local farmer. The rent, usually about £7, was used for the purchase of coal at Christmas for families fulfilling the conditions specified in Palmer's charity. (fn. 136)