A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 7, Bruton, Horethorne and Norton Ferris Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1999.
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The parish of Milborne Port lies on the southern edge of Horethorne hundred, its southern boundary forming the boundary between Somerset and Dorset. (fn. 1) Its main settlement is the compact former borough of Milborne Port, in the south of the parish, with the more dispersed Kingsbury Regis in a valley running northwards. Further north still is the hamlet of Milborne Wick. The mansion called Ven represents a secondary settlement established south-east of the borough by the 13th century. (fn. 2) In the mid 11th century Milborne was a large rural estate with urban and industrial characteristics, (fn. 3) and its church was a minster whose parochia included Holwell and Pulham, several miles south in Dorset, (fn. 4) as well as Charlton Horethorne to the north (fn. 5) and Goathill to the south-west. In the later 11th century Milborne gave its name to the hundred in which it lay, (fn. 6) indicating administrative importance, an importance which may have been in gradual decline after the division of the diocese of Sherborne in 909 and which may also have hastened the dismemberment of the parochia. (fn. 7) Coins were minted at Milborne between 997 and 1035. (fn. 8) The name Kingsbury emerged in the later 13th century, perhaps partly to emphasise its royal ownership as well as to recognise the independence of the borough.
The parish name evidently derives from the stream which flows south through Milborne Wick and Kingsbury Regis. (fn. 9) The additional name Port occurs in 1249. (fn. 10) The parish measures some 5.8 km. from the northern boundary with Charlton Horethorne to Hanover (Hyneure c. 1215-30, Hyndover c. 1544) (fn. 11) Hill in the south and at its widest measures just over 3 km. from east to west. In 1839 it was said to comprise 3,266 a. (fn. 12) In 1885 an unrecorded area of unpopulated land was transferred from Henstridge. (fn. 13) In 1981 the total area was 1,368 ha. (3,380 a.). (fn. 14) Several fields were transferred in 1982 to Corton Denham and in 1991 the parish measured 1,335 ha. (fn. 15)
The stream which flows southwards from Charlton Horethorne through the centre of the parish, named variously Gascoigne, Ivel, or Yeo, (fn. 16) forms a narrow band of alluvium which broadens in the extreme south. To the west of the stream the land rises in places steeply to just over 152 m. (actually 512 ft.) on Poyntington Hill over Inferior Oolite, (fn. 17) providing a large tract of open ground in the north-west of the parish known as Milborne and Horethorne downs, and Sheep Sleight. (fn. 18) Further south Combe, Vartenham (Farkenham in 1569, Pertnam in 1633), (fn. 19) Crackmore (Crackmacke in the 1570s), (fn. 20) and Highmore's hills form a steep scarp which are a natural defence from the west. To the east of the stream the ground slopes gradually upwards over oolite, Fuller's Earth, and Fuller's Earth rock to reach just over 122 m. (400 ft.) below Toomer Hill. Fuller's Earth and Fuller's Earth rock form the rising ground of Hanover Hill on the southern boundary. (fn. 21)
The principal route through the parish runs east-west and was both the main street of the village and part of the chief road from London to the West Country until the 18th century. (fn. 22) That part within the parish was turnpiked by the Sherborne trust in 1753 but a more southerly route was taken from 1823 between the Henstridge boundary and the village and in 1827-9 the steep gradient west of the village at Crackmore Hill was improved. It was disturnpiked in 1877. (fn. 23) The diversion east of the village was presumably the reason for the closure of a road south of Ven which would have avoided Milborne Port village and given a more direct route to Sherborne (Dors.). The most important road north from the village, leading to Charlton Horethorne, was maintained by the Wincanton trust between 1756 and 1798. A second road north from the main street served Kingsbury and led to Milborne Wick and a third led to the high pastures in the north-west and north. The only direct route south from the main street led to Goathill (Dors. formerly Som.). It was turnpiked in 1755-6 by the Sherborne trust. (fn. 24)
The east-west character of communications was continued in 1860 when the Salisbury and Yeovil railway was completed and a station was built two miles north of the town. The track had been doubled by 1870 and continued in 1994 to be part of the London-Exeter route. The station was reduced to the status of a halt in 1950 and was closed in 1964. (fn. 25)
The high ground of Milborne Down and Poyntington Hill has yielded evidence of Neolithic and Roman activity and Roman burials were discovered immediately south of the churchyard on the southern edge of Milborne Port village. (fn. 26) An earth bank across a spur east of Milborne Wick and known in the 19th century as the Barrow (fn. 27) was thought in the 17th century to have been the site of a fortified manor house or castle of Kingsbury Regis, (fn. 28) but more recently has been interpreted either as an Iron-Age promontory fort or an unfinished Saxon burh. (fn. 29)
The parish church stands on the highest point of a spur formed where the south-flowing stream from Kingsbury turns eastwards. A roughly rectangular area is defined by High Street on the north, South Street on the east, Brook Street on the south, and Bathwell Lane on the west, and probably marks the minster enclosure. The same area seems to have formed part of the medieval borough, which also extended north into the present North Street. (fn. 30) Puddlebrook or Puttebrooke, so named by 1496 until the earlier 19th century, (fn. 31) may have been the name for the present Brook and South streets. Church and Blind lanes were both named in 1477. (fn. 32) Bathwell probably derived from the spring known as Baggewell in 1477 and Bavewell in 1735. (fn. 33) At the north-east corner of the presumed minster enclosure a triangular market place was formed at the junction of North and South streets with the east end of High Street. Much of that area had been encroached upon during the 18th century, (fn. 34) by housing and by the market house. The cross, whose base seems to date from the 13th century, was removed to the site of the former bandstand at the end of Bathwell Lane in 1959.
North of the east-west axis the settlement pattern is less regular but comprised North Street, formerly known as Pig Street, (fn. 35) and the road to Charlton Horethorne. Further west beyond Kingsbury the names Gainsborough and Gunville derive respectively from land in the west field called Garnesberye c. 1544 and a house called Gunvil in 1769. (fn. 36) Rosemary Lane in the same area was so named in 1794. (fn. 37)
Apart from the church there are only two buildings earlier than the mid 17th century in the centre of the village. The masonry structure of the so-called guildhall, with its 12th-century doorway, may suggest that in some form it was always a public building. The 16th-century timber-framed and jettied no. 160 North Street may be indicative of what was the more usual early domestic building material. No. 61 South Street includes fragments of 15th-century stonework. The survival of relatively few 18th-century houses in the High Street and around the market place seems to confirm the evidence of maps (fn. 38) that the village settlement was sparse and High Street typical, 'tolerably wide but irregularly built'. (fn. 39) By 1822 (fn. 40) the built-up area had expanded northwards and there was infilling, largely in the form of small cottages. Terraces in South and East streets, Sansome's Hill, and Lower and Upper Gunville were put up by one or other of the two political factions in the borough, (fn. 41) in tandem with the creation of the settlement of small thatched houses in Newtown, then an isolated site north-west of the town and Waterloo Crescent on the border with Charlton Horethorne. (fn. 42) At about the same time the two inns near the market place were rebuilt or enlarged. The older buildings in Kingsbury and Wick, away from the village centre, date from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The growth of industry from the later 18th century encouraged one landowner to offer a dwelling house with large malthouse and newly-built barn as 'really fit' for the residence of a genteel family or a 'complete situation' for a manufacturer. The same owner built a dwelling named the Cupola on a leasehold site. (fn. 43) Nineteenth-century workers' housing included Russell Place (1867) and Baunton's Orchard, both in Kingsbury. (fn. 44) Larger private houses, several built by glove manufacturers, include the Knapp (c. 1865), Norton or Northton House, later Sunnyside (c. 1870), Limerick House, and the Yews, later Bazzleways (all c. 1885). Cross House was enlarged and refronted at about the same time. (fn. 45) Bowling Green House, on the south side of the road towards Sherborne and designed by Sir Guy Dawber was begun for the de Montmorency family in 1914 and completed in 1925. It includes plasterwork by G. P. Bankart. (fn. 46) Expansion of building to the north and east of the village continued into the later 20th century and there has also been infilling south of the church over the site of the former Canon Court farmyards and orchards.
There were three open arable fields to the north, east, and west of Milborne Port, sometimes described as the fields of Kingsbury and Wick. (fn. 47) The north and west fields were so named in the earlier 13th century. (fn. 48) Common fields of Ven, referred to in 1678, (fn. 49) were probably uninclosed parts of the east field. (fn. 50) Common pasture was largely on the high ground in the north and north-west. (fn. 51) There were still small areas of common meadow near Ven in the 1670s. (fn. 52)
In 1260 John de Burgh received a grant of free warren in his estates in the parish, (fn. 53) and a similar grant was made in 1307 to Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln, at Kingsbury. (fn. 54) A field called Conygar was named in 1263, (fn. 55) and by 1839 the name was probably corrupted to Binegar, the name of two fields to the west of Wick. (fn. 56) A warren, also named at Wick in the 18th century, had been converted by 1839 to an orchard. (fn. 57) New Park, to the west of Milborne village, was so named in the 1540s. (fn. 58)
A double fives court known as the Ball Court, on the south side of High Street, was built by Sir William Coles Medlycott (d. 1882) in 1847. (fn. 62)
An inn called the George stood in Church Lane in 1550. (fn. 63) There was another in the centre of the village in 1568, and the Star was mentioned in 1574. (fn. 64) A tippler was in business in 1630 and an alehouse was suppressed in 1666 for having unlawful games and pastimes. (fn. 65) In the 1680s there were 24 beds and stabling for 32 horses in houses which included the Rose and Crown, the George, the Red Lion, and the White Lion. (fn. 66) The former Dolphin, the White Lion, and the Five Bells were mentioned in the early 18th century. (fn. 67) Later in the century there were between five and seven licensed victuallers, (fn. 68) one of whom by 1746 kept the Tippler or Tippling Philosopher. (fn. 69) The Angel, there by 1759, closed in 1796 and the White Lion in 1797. (fn. 70) The Queen's Head, so named by 1792, may be the successor to the Rose and Crown (fn. 71) and was in business in 1994. The Tippling Philosopher was renamed the King's Head c. 1820 (fn. 72) and was also in business in 1994. There were also five beerhouses in the parish in 1840, including the Three Horseshoes. (fn. 73) A temperance hotel stood in High Street in 1861 and 1866 and the Gainsborough Arms had opened by 1866. (fn. 74) By 1872 there were two unnamed beerhouses, (fn. 75) both of which survived until after 1910; one was replaced by a beerhouse in Station Road until the 1930s. (fn. 76) By 1993 the three inns had been joined by the Old Vicarage Hotel and Restaurant.
The Milborne Port Benefit Society was founded in 1753. It met in the guildhall and held its feast on Whit Tuesday. (fn. 77) A Union Club was founded in 1777 and met at the Angel. (fn. 78) The first was re-founded in 1823 as the Old Friendly Society and both Old and New clubs were supported by the marquess of Anglesey between 1818 and 1828. (fn. 79) A Female Friendly Society founded in 1831 met at the Ensor factory. In 1843 it was succeeded by the Milborne Port Female Perpetual Friendly Society which met in the market house. A year later the Milborne Port Friendly Society had its rules enrolled, and in 1849 and 1853 the rules of the Perpetual Benefit Society were registered. (fn. 80) In 1912 the Constitutional Club was built for Conservatives, by 1914 there was one for Liberals, and by 1927 a Labour Club had opened. (fn. 81)
In 1798 the population of the parish was 928, (fn. 82) and in 1801 it was 953. It rose to 2,072 in 1831, but then fluctuated at a slightly lower level until after 1891, when it fell from 1,951 to 1,546 in three decades. There followed a slight recovery, a fall in the 1950s, and from 1961 a rapid rise, to 2,480 in 1981, and to 2,590 in 1991. (fn. 83)
Lt. Gen. John Middleton had his headquarters in the village in the summer of 1644. (fn. 84) In 1655, 38 people from the parish were reported to be suspected royalists. (fn. 85) Two men joined the duke of Monmouth in 1685. (fn. 86) In 1708 there was a riot in the village. (fn. 87) In the early 19th century the marquess of Anglesey contributed generously to bread and cheese feasts held on New Year's Day in connexion with the borough audit. (fn. 88) About 1860 mummers performed in the parish at Christmas and Panshard Night was celebrated on the eve of Shrove Tuesday. (fn. 89)
In 1086 there were 56 burgesses on the king's estate, 5 on the estate of Garmund, and 6 in Milborne associated with the estate of Shaftesbury abbey at Abbas Combe. (fn. 92) A holding of 2 masurae in Milborne was attached to Goathill. (fn. 93) Milborne also contributed to the third penny of the shire and to the firma, possibly in association with the royal estate at Bedminster. (fn. 94)
The town paid tallage in 1187, 1205-7, and 1214 and was described as a villa or villata. (fn. 95) By 1212 the men of Milborne held a market and the pleas of the town at farm from the Crown, (fn. 96) and in 1213-14 the burgesses and freemen of the town were made quit of all tolls, namely sac, soc, toll, team, passage, pontage, stallage, and picage in fairs and markets at home and abroad (fn. 97) by what was later described as a charter of King John. (fn. 98) In 1225 the borough appeared by a separate jury at the assizes (fn. 99) and throughout the 13th century was assessed for tallage as part of the royal demesne. (fn. 100) It was still considered royal demesne in 1276 (fn. 101) but presumably ceased to be so when payment of the fee farm was transferred to the lords of Kingsbury Regis manor in the earlier 14th century. (fn. 102)
In 1332 the town bailiff occupied a former Templar property in the town, (fn. 103) presumably in the name of a corporate body, and a royal charter of 1397 granting a weekly market and annual fair was addressed to the bailiff and burgesses. (fn. 104) By 1382, however, two bailiffs were among lessees of borough land; (fn. 105) and in 1432 two borough bailiffs had control of a common seal. (fn. 106) By the 1380s two stewards of the guild merchant seem to have been administering borough property. That was known by the later 16th century as commonalty lands and the stewards as commonalty stewards. (fn. 107) That property, which included a common bakehouse by 1477, a common brewhouse, a mill, a tolsey, and two shops by 1482, and a guildhall by 1535, (fn. 108) was increased by the acquisition of land in the parish formerly belonging to Sherborne abbey and to the parish brotherhood. (fn. 109) In 1596 a chamberlain seems to have assisted the stewards. (fn. 110)
In the later 17th century the commonalty stewards continued to administer the estate, then known as the guild market. (fn. 111) By the 1740s the lands were vested in nine trustees or assistants, two of whom were chosen as stewards each year to keep the common seal and to pay rents to the second poor. (fn. 112) The land and investments continue to be administered as an endowed charity. (fn. 113)
A common seal was mentioned in 1432. (fn. 114) The seal in use in 1826 is 1" in diameter and bears a shield with a lion passant gardant with the letter R in base surrounded by an inscription, gothic, Sigllum de milborne port. (fn. 115)
From 1177 an annual sum of £8 was paid to the Crown, presumably from the borough. (fn. 116) That sum was still being paid to the Exchequer in 1204. (fn. 117) The same sum was received by the lords of Kingsbury Regis manor in the earlier 14th century, (fn. 118) was paid to Lady Margaret Beaufort until her death in 1509, (fn. 119) and in 1528 was granted to Henry FitzRoy, duke of Richmond (d. 1536). (fn. 120) It was later held by Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford (d. 1621). (fn. 121)
The fee farm, as it came to be called, was paid to Queen Henrietta Maria (d. 1669), by 1671 seems to have passed to Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington (d. 1685), by 1678 to Queen Catherine of Braganza, (fn. 122) and by 1698 to the earls of Shaftesbury, (fn. 123) who still retained their interest in 1796. (fn. 124) In 1818 part of the fee farm was paid to the Crown and part to the earl of Radnor. (fn. 125)
In 1066 MILBORNE manor was royal demesne. (fn. 126) By 1156 it was held at farm by Reynold de Dunstanville (cr. earl of Cornwall 1141, d. 1175). (fn. 127) After his death the sheriff answered for his farm until 1184, (fn. 128) but from 1185 until 1202 Guy de Val or Laval paid a smaller sum, and from 1203 until 1224 or later the holder was Robert de Vipont. (fn. 129) In 1228 the estate was temporarily granted to Hubert de Burgh, earl of Kent (d. 1243), (fn. 130) but was not returned to the heirs of Guy de Val and passed to Hubert's son John (d. 1275). In 1260 it was described as MILBORNE AND KINGSBURY manor (fn. 131) and in 1271 as KINGSBURY manor. (fn. 132)
From 1273 John de Burgh held the manor for life with reversion to the Crown, (fn. 133) and in 1276, after John's death, Kingsbury with Horethorne hundred passed to Queen Eleanor of Castile (d. 1290), wife of Edward I. (fn. 134) Between 1292 and 1317 the manor, with the hundred and borough, were administered by a succession of custodians including Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln, Robert FitzPayn, and William Montagu. (fn. 135) In 1317 William Montagu had a grant of the same for life, quit of fee farm. (fn. 136) He died in 1319 and in 1321 the manor was granted in fee to the king's brother Edmund of Woodstock on his creation as earl of Kent. (fn. 137) In 1330 William, son of William Montagu, was given the estate for life after Edmund's execution, (fn. 138) but in the following year the grant was limited to custody during the minority of the heir. (fn. 139) Montagu died in 1344 (fn. 140) and the estate evidently remained in direct Crown custody until 1351 when Edmund's heir John, earl of Kent, came of age. (fn. 141) John died in 1352 and the dower of his widow Elizabeth of Juliers included Kingsbury manor and the fee farm of the borough. She held both until her death in 1411. (fn. 142) Elizabeth's heir to what by 1431 was known as KINGSBURY REGIS manor was Margaret Holand, widow of John Beaufort, earl of Somerset (d. 1410) and subsequently wife of Thomas of Lancaster, duke of Clarence (d. 1421). (fn. 143) Margaret's heir at her death in 1439 was her son John Beaufort, duke of Somerset. He died in 1444 leaving an infant daughter Margaret, later wife of Edmund Tudor, earl of Richmond. As Lady Margaret, countess of Richmond and Derby and mother of Henry VII, she died in 1509. Her heir was her grandson Henry VIII. (fn. 144)
The manor remained with the Crown until 1528 when, with the hundred and borough, it was settled on Henry FitzRoy, duke of Richmond. (fn. 145) He died in 1536 and thereafter until 1547 or later the manor and borough were again in Crown hands. The manor subsequently passed to Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk (d. 1551), and to his daughter Frances, wife successively of Henry Grey, duke of Suffolk (d. 1553), and Adrian Stokes. Adrian held it by the curtesy from the death of Frances in 1559 until his own death in 1585. (fn. 146) Through Catherine (d. 1568), wife of Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford (d. 1621), the only daughter of Frances to have issue, the manor passed to the Seymour family. (fn. 147) From Edward Seymour it descended to his grandson William Seymour (cr. duke of Somerset and d. 1660). William was succeeded by his grandson, also William, who died unmarried in 1671. The heirs to the duke's estates were his three aunts, Frances, Mary, and Jane, and his sister Elizabeth. Charles Boyle, Baron Clifford of Lanesborough, and Conyers Darcy, Lord Darcy, husbands of Jane and Frances respectively, held courts for Kingsbury Regis manor in 1683-5 (fn. 148) and Boyle, Charles Finch, earl of Winchilsea and son of Mary Seymour, and Robert Bruce, son of Elizabeth Seymour, agreed to sell the manor in 1694 to Sir Thomas Travell, already owner of Milborne Wick. (fn. 149)
Travell died in 1724 leaving a life interest in one third of the manor to his widow for her jointure. In 1727 she married John Gordon, earl of Sunderland (d. 1733), and died in 1732. (fn. 150) A grant of that third in reversion made to William Sclater passed to Sclater's nephew and namesake on the earl's death. (fn. 151) The remaining two thirds had been settled in 1712 in trust on Anna Maria Wyatt and Grace Sclater, Grace's share only for her life with reversion to William Sclater and Anna Maria Wyatt. (fn. 152) In 1740 part of the manor passed to Michael Harvey (d. 1748), whose mortgaged estates were surrendered to Peter Walter the elder (d. 1746). (fn. 153) In 1753 Walter's grandsons, Peter and Edward Walter, acquired half the manor from the Sclater and Wyatt families. (fn. 154) Peter Walter the younger died in 1753 leaving the estate to his brother Edward with remainder to Henry Bayly, for whom the elder Peter Walter had acted as agent. (fn. 155) Edward Walter died in 1780 and in consequence Bayly, who had taken the additional name of Paget and had succeeded as Baron Paget in 1770, took the additional names of Peter Walter. In 1784 he was created earl of Uxbridge. (fn. 156)
Henry William, the second earl, succeeded his father in 1812 and in 1815 was created marquess of Anglesey. In 1835, when control of the borough no longer had political interest, the marquess sold his estate to Sir William Coles Medlycott (d. 1882) (fn. 157) and it descended with the Ven estate.
A hamlet called Fenn was mentioned in 1245. (fn. 158) In 1320 land there was held for 1/16 fee of William Montagu by Nicholas Dibbe. (fn. 159) It may have formed part of the estate of the Carents of Toomer by 1412 (fn. 160) and, as Fen Wick, and Fen or Ven Court or VEN manor, it was owned by Sir William Carent (d. 1574) in 1537. (fn. 161) It passed to Sir William's second son Leonard (d. c. 1605) who in 1578 settled it on his wife Mary for jointure, with remainder successively to his sons William and Henry. William died in 1593 leaving a son Maurice, then a minor. (fn. 162) Maurice succeeded his grandfather and was still alive in 1628. (fn. 163) He was followed by his sons William (d. 1665) and James (d. 1675). (fn. 164) Edmund Carent, heir to James, sold the manor to (Sir) Edward Carteret in 1679. (fn. 165)
Sir Edward Carteret died c. 1683 (fn. 166) and was succeeded by his son Sir Charles, who first mortgaged the manor to Thomas Medlycott the younger and in 1698 sold it to Thomas's brother James (d. 1731). (fn. 167) Ownership thereafter descended in the Medlycott family from James to his son Thomas (d. 1763) and to Thomas's nephew, Thomas Hutchings, who on succession assumed the name and arms of Medlycott. Thomas died in 1795 and was followed by his son William Coles (cr. Bt. 1808, d. 1835). Sir William Coles Medlycott (d. 1882), son of the last, was in turn succeeded by each of his four sons, William Coles Paget Medlycott (d. 1887), Edward Bradford Medlycott (d. 1902), Mervyn Bradford Medlycott (d. 1908), and the Revd. Hubert James Medlycott (d. 1920). Much of the land was sold between 1918 and 1925, (fn. 168) but the house and grounds were let until 1957 when Sir James Medlycott, son of Sir Hubert Mervyn and grandson of the Revd. Sir Hubert, sold them. (fn. 169)
The capital messuage known as Ven Farm had been built by 1689. (fn. 170) It seems to have been a rectangular building, its east front facing a yard or terrace. A long central rear wing joined an irregular structure, probably a dairy, and close by was a large barn. The immediate grounds included a garden with a wide avenue of trees running north-east to the road, a hop garden, and two orchards, one in 1689 newly planted. (fn. 171) Parts of the house, adapted to form a gatehouse and other offices and with the addition of an octagonal kitchen and a tall brick chimney, stood until c. 1835-6. (fn. 172)
Ven House, a few yards to the west of the farmhouse, was largely complete by 1731 (fn. 173) and was built under the superintendence of Nathaniel Ireson. (fn. 174) It is of red brick with stone dressings and has a high basement, two full storeys, and an attic storey topped with a balustrade. The north and south fronts are of seven bays, divided 2-3-2 by Corinthian pilasters, and the principal entrance, which is from the north, was approached by steps, whilst in the south there is a high-level terrace. A stream is conduited below the terrace, which extends beyond the end of the south front and was terminated by small pavilions. (fn. 175) A plan of 1739, which may not have been fulfilled, shows the four-bayed west front with a central doorway approached by a pair of flights of curved steps. Stables and outbuildings were ranged round a court against the east side, in the centre of which was an octagonal building, probably the kitchen which survived with the previous farmhouse until 1835-6. (fn. 176)
The three bays at the centre of the house were occupied by a square double-height entrance hall on the north and a staircase hall on the south. To each side there were smaller rooms including, in the centre of the east side, the secondary staircase. Surviving fittings in the style of the 1730s include much panelling in oak and, in the hall, two stone fireplace. Later in the 18th century the ceiling of the entrance hall was fitted with a large central painting of Time and Beauty in a simple plaster surround, replacing the original made in the 1740s by Brown of Stalbridge (Dors.). (fn. 177)
In 1835 Decimus Burton produced designs (fn. 178) for the remodelling of the house. The main staircase was removed and the secondary staircase rebuilt. The three rooms along the south front were redecorated, the pavilions on the terrace were removed, and an L-shaped conservatory was built to the west and south of the corner of the west front. Pavilions in the form of triumphal arches and linked to the house by quadrant walls were constructed either side of the north front and an enclosed porch was built out in front of the north doorway. On the east the service court was rebuilt behind the new pavilion.
Plans by Richard Grange, (fn. 179) who was working at Ven until 1736 or later, (fn. 180) show the formal gardens which surrounded the house. Walls running out from the ends of the north elevation, the main entrance, enclosed a forecourt with an oval drive and gates in the centre of the north side. Beyond that was an axial drive, flanked by lawns, beds, and avenues, leading to gates in a railed, semi-circular bay next to the road. In front of the terrace on the south there was another walled garden whose outlines survive with parterres and long flanking ramps leading to a raised walk across the south side. The plan of 1739 shows to the east, beyond the stable court, a walled kitchen garden which survives. To the west, and extending from the road to the limit of the south garden, was an elaborate layout of walks, serpentine paths, statuary, pavilions, and water features including a canal, basins, and a cascade. (fn. 181) The formal gardens on the west may never have been created, (fn. 182) but by 1839 the stream to the south-west, which had perhaps been the formal 'Long Canal', ran over a weir and curved through ornamental woodland. The outline of the south garden remained and a few clumps of trees had been planted beyond the diverted London road which had, since 1823, inexplicably cut through Grange's formal entrance. (fn. 183) By 1887, however, a double avenue had been planted on the northern axis, a single one continued the boundaries of the southern garden, and two others created vistas to the east where ornamental planting had been extended alongside the stream and where an island had been enlarged and planted. The park thus created extended for over a mile from the summit of East Hill north-east of the house to a field boundary to the south-west. (fn. 184) The park was later extended further south-west where another axial avenue was planted, reaching almost to the Goathill road. (fn. 185) Something of the formality of the garden was restored in the mid 1990s and a summerhouse, said to be constructed with material from the demolished main house at Bowood (Wilts.), was built in the former kitchen garden.
In 1314 Alice de Horsted occupied a manor house at WICK, part of an estate in the parish which she had held in 1311. (fn. 186) The manor lands passed to Henry le Gulden in 1320, by 1332 to Roger de Gulden and Elizabeth his wife, (fn. 187) and from Roger to his son, also Roger, and later perhaps to William Gulden. (fn. 188) William may have been followed before 1396 by William Lewenthorp, possibly through his wife Isabel, later wife of John Kendale. She died in 1406 when her estate was called WICK manor and was held of Kingsbury manor. (fn. 189)
John Kendale, son of Isabel, was the heir in 1406, but the manor seems to have reverted to the Gulden family since in 1465 it was held by Elizabeth Cricklade, formerly wife of Thomas Gulden. On her death in that year it passed to her daughter Avice, Thomas's heir and wife first of William Cowdrey and second of Morgan Kidwelly. (fn. 190) By 1466 the estate was known as GULDENSWYKE manor. (fn. 191)
Avice Kidwelly died in 1496 and her second husband in 1505 when her heir was a grandson, Morgan Cowdrey. (fn. 192) In 1547 the estate seems to have passed to Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset (d. 1552), (fn. 193) and perhaps formed part of the land which George Brooke bequeathed in 1610 to Robert Cecil, earl of Salisbury, (fn. 194) and which seems to have passed like Temple Combe to (Sir) John Daccombe. (fn. 195) In 1612 Daccombe sold what was described as the capital messuage or farm place at Wick to Christopher Wickham and in 1620 Wickham bought another farm, called Wick farm, in Kingsbury, from George Dyer. (fn. 196) In 1632 the combined estate was settled on Thomas Field, and in 1692 Field's son or grandson, also Thomas Field, sold it to (Sir) Thomas Travell (fn. 197) and it descended like Travell's manor of Kingsbury. (fn. 198)
Another estate at Wick was held at her death in 1503 by Alice Clayton, widow of Giles Kendale, as of Toomer manor in Henstridge. Alice's heirs were her daughter Margaret, wife of Henry Wadham, and her grandson Thomas Roo. (fn. 199) Ownership seems to have passed successively to Thomas (d. 1526-7) and Robert Brightridge (d. 1530-1) and was later disputed between the Pitman, Pincherton, and Carent families. (fn. 200) In 1613 Roger Saunders, clerk, bought from Edmund Hungerford a holding which included land in Wick, Kingsbury, and Milborne Port, (fn. 201) and at his death in 1623 he was holding what was described as a capital messuage or farm in Wick, held of Kingsbury Regis manor. His heir was his son, also Roger and a minor. (fn. 202) In 1689 Saunders sold his estates to (Sir) Thomas Travell (fn. 203) and the land descended with Kingsbury manor. (fn. 204)
Rainbald of Cirencester held a hide of land with the church in 1086 (fn. 205) and the estate passed from him to the Crown and formed part of the endowment of Cirencester abbey by Henry I. (fn. 206) The abbey appropriated the church in 1203, (fn. 207) and in 1437 the estate was known as CANONCOURT manor. (fn. 208) In 1539 the abbey was dissolved and the manor and advowson passed to the Crown. (fn. 209) In 1543 Winchester college acquired the estate from the Crown by exchange (fn. 210) and retained it until 1824 when it was exchanged with the marquess of Anglesey. (fn. 211) In 1836 the farm and tithes were sold to Sir William Coles Medlycott and were absorbed into the Ven estate. (fn. 212)
The former Canon Court Farm, a double-pile building of stone in a Tudor style, was built probably in the late 18th century, possibly in 1799. It was reduced in size in the mid or later 19th century. (fn. 213)
The Milborne family, who took their name from the parish, seem to have acquired their holding in the borough from the Gulden family of Wick. (fn. 214) William Milborne (d. c. 1535) (fn. 215) seems to have been followed by George (d. 1559), and then in the male line by Giles (d. c. 1575), Giles's son George (fl. 1601), and his grandson John (d. c. 1664). (fn. 216) John's eldest son William, elected to parliament in 1660 for Milborne borough, died c. 1662 (fn. 217) and was eventually succeeded by his brother George. George's son William, who mortgaged what was called MILBORNE manor to Thomas Strangways in the 1690s, (fn. 218) sold it to James Medlycott in 1714. (fn. 219)
In 1545 the estate included George Milborne's own house, described as a capital messuage, and three tenant holdings producing 21s. rent. (fn. 220) The house was in 1563 one of those in which the office of borough bailiff was vested. (fn. 221) In 1714 it was said to lie near the church and the land measured more than 60 a. (fn. 222)
In 1554 the Crown leased land in Kingsbury Regis which had formerly belonged to the dissolved chapel of Upper Lambourn (Berks.), part of the estate of Westminster abbey. (fn. 223) The land remained with the Crown until after 1573, (fn. 224) but in 1576 it seems to have passed to the dean and chapter of Westminster. (fn. 225) By 1619 it had been sold. It passed in that year to Henry Gray and his wife Elizabeth. (fn. 226)
The Templars had two messuages in the borough which by 1332 were occupied by the borough bailiff. (fn. 227) Shaftesbury abbey owned tenements and Sherborne abbey a rent in the parish which passed to lay hands after the Dissolution. (fn. 228)
Agriculture. Before 1086 the royal estate called Milborne had never paid geld. It was assessed in that year at 50 ploughlands; the adjoining holdings of Garmund and Rainbald were each assessed at a hide. The royal demesne estate was small, worked by 5 servi with 4 ploughteams; the small holdings were both entirely in demesne, Garmund's worked by 2 bordars and 2 servi. There were 70 villani and 18 bordars on the main estate with 65 ploughteams. Meadow measured 181 a., pasture 4 furlongs by 2 furlongs, moorland 1 league, and woodland 2 leagues by 9 furlongs. The royal demesne farm was stocked with 153 sheep and 2 riding horses, Garmund's with 20 swine, 1 cow, and 1 riding horse. (fn. 229) A market, associated with a borough and 7 mills, suggest together a thriving economy.
By the early 13th century the rectory estate had been leased by the convent of Cirencester, the appropriators, and some tenants had been obliged to promise not to pay their labourers with sheaves until tithes had been paid. (fn. 230) The church estate was valued at £20 in 1254, (fn. 231) and in 1263 a detailed agreement over intercommoning was made between the abbot of Cirencester and the tenant of Kingsbury Regis manor concerning arable and meadow, but principally pasture for the benefit of plough oxen, sheep, cattle, and pigs. The land involved comprised the abbot's arable at Hanover on the southern boundary of the parish and grazing on downland named after oxen (Oxdown) and sheep (Ewedown) in the north. Boon ploughings called grassherth were then mentioned. (fn. 232) In 1291 the rectory was assessed at £16 13s. 4d. (fn. 233) In 1436 the abbey estate was said to comprise over 360 a., (fn. 234) and in 1445 was valued at £18. (fn. 235) In 1535 the tithe income of the vicarage suggests a balance of cultivation in the parish as a whole slightly in favour of arable; (fn. 236) ten years earlier there had been some destruction of hedges and inclosures on the Carent family's estate. (fn. 237) In the 1540s the former Cirencester estate measured 518 a. and comprised two holdings of 60 a. and 40 a., the later farms at Swatchford and Wick, and the rest let to a single tenant for £18 a year and lying principally in the south of the parish. Most of the land was in small strips, but Hanover was a single unit of 100 a. of arable. (fn. 238) The rectorial farm at Wick included pasture for 6 beasts on Kingsmoor and for 60 sheep on the commons. (fn. 239)
In the early 17th century the arable crops in the parish were corn and hemp. (fn. 240) In the later 17th century some arable on the west side of the parish had already been inclosed, but two farms, Ven and Ryall's tenement, included together 35 a. in the common fields, arable closes amounting to c. 20 a., and 80 a. of arable and sheep grazing (sheep sleight) in the north of the parish. In comparison there was 104 a. of inclosed meadow on those two farms and pasture and a small amount of common meadow. Perhaps more significant were 15 beast leazes and 150 sheep leazes on Horethorne Down and 47 sheep leazes in the common fields. (fn. 241) There were similar holdings in Kingsbury manor. One farm comprised nearly 50 a. of inclosed arable and meadow, 95 a. of arable dispersed in three common fields, common pasture in the fields and wastes of Milborne Wick and Kingsbury for 8 score sheep, and 9 beast leazes and common pasture for 6 score sheep on Horethorne Down. (fn. 242) From 1629 the main Winchester college holding was let to Sir Nathaniel Napper for 20 years at a rent of £12 os. 8d., 8 qr. of wheat, and 13 qr. 3 bu. and 1 peck of malt, (fn. 243) perhaps indicating a preponderance of barley over wheat and the development of malting in the parish.
Some exchanges of tenant holdings were approved in the Kingsbury manor court in 1685, (fn. 244) but more radical rearrangement became possible elsewhere in the parish as James Medlycott bought land between 1698 and 1726. (fn. 245) At his death in 1731 Medlycott owned Ven, Wick, and Spurles farms and other properties worth over £568 and further lands in reversion worth over £330. (fn. 246) Kingsbury manor in the 1740s comprised four substantial holdings, two of over 200 a. and two of over 70 a., much of the arable still dispersed. One tenant was bailiff of the manor and farmed nearly 300 a. (fn. 247) The Winchester college estate in 1756 comprised Canon Court farm with nearly 387 a. of land and 20 beast and 200 sheep leazes, and two smaller holdings of 78 a. and 46 a., each with 6 beast and 60 sheep leazes. (fn. 248) Edward Walter of Stalbridge (Dors.) took the tenancy at that date and was succeeded by the Pagets, who continued as tenants until they acquired the freehold in 1824. (fn. 249) In the 1780s the earl of Uxbridge's total estate in the parish amounted to just over 1,100 a., most of it held either on lease or at will. (fn. 250) Thomas Hutchings Medlycott owned 893 a. including two large farms, both of over 250 a., tenanted at will. (fn. 251) Most of the arable was inclosed and turnips were grown, but farmers were ignorant of the value of marl; grassland supported c. 2,500 sheep. (fn. 252) In 1801 the principal crops were wheat (346 a.) and barley (326 a.), followed by rape or turnips (207 a.), and oats (174 a.) and with much smaller quantities of beans, peas, and potatoes. (fn. 253)
Under an Act of 1812, amended so that borough rights might be transferred to prevent the loss of the franchise, 1,267 a. of common grassland was allotted in 1817. (fn. 254) After the marquess of Anglesey sold his estate in 1835 the Medlycotts had most of the land in the parish. (fn. 255) In 1839 the parish was almost equally divided between arable and grassland, with 97 a. of woodland. There were two farms of 400 a. or over, both at Wick, North Street farm measured 314 a., and there were four more of over 200 a., including two at Kingsbury and the former rectory farm of Canon Court. Rectorial tithes were commuted for £585, vicarial for £210. (fn. 256) By 1851 one of the farms at Wick had increased to 500 a. and employed 16 labourers and two others measured 340 a. or over. Six farms between them employed 85 men and boys. (fn. 257) Permanent grass (2,122 a.) covered more than two thirds of the parish by 1905, arable land totalled 855 a., and there was 198 a. of woodland. (fn. 258) Flax was grown extensively until after the First World War. (fn. 259) In the 1920s two of the Medlycott holdings were advertised for sale as dairy, corn, and sheep farms. (fn. 260) Eight of the 20 holdings recorded in 1988 were dairy farms, one specialised in sheep rearing, and two concentrated on cereals. Seven ranged in size between 100 ha. and 200 ha., and five more between 30 ha. and 100 ha. Grassland covered just over 809 ha. and 457 ha. was under arable crops, principally wheat (226 ha.) and barley (206 ha.) with a little oats (23 ha.). Sheep (1,684) slightly outnumbered cattle (1,607). (fn. 261)
A mercer was mentioned in the borough in 1242-3, (fn. 262) a dyer represented it in parliament in 1298 and 1306- 7, (fn. 263) a tucker, 2 dyers, and 2 tailors were resident in 1327, (fn. 264) a draper in 1424, (fn. 265) and 2 weavers in the early 16th century. (fn. 266) Two shops and a tolsey belonged to the burgesses in 1482. (fn. 267) There is some evidence for decline by the later 16th century when the burgesses feared the loss of their liberties (fn. 268) and the whole parish ranked behind both Henstridge and Charlton Horethorne for the payment of subsidies in 1641. (fn. 269) The restoration of the parliamentary franchise in 1628 provided the impetus for increased economic activity in the later 17th century and by the 1680s brewers, tanners, bakers, and leather dressers formed distinct craft groups within the borough. (fn. 270) Thirteen hosiers or stocking makers were active between 1688 and 1818, of whom Angel and Thomas Hide and Edward Hallett were the most prominent, (fn. 271) and 16 men variously described as linmen, linen weavers, or linsey weavers were in business in the parish between 1671 and 1818, notably the manufacturer William Feaver. (fn. 272) Between 1695 and 1733 there was also a worsted comber. (fn. 273) Manufacturers of dowlais, ticks, and white bays were said c. 1785 to have employed most of the poor in the neighbourhood, (fn. 274) and dowlais, linsey, and stockings were with shoes the chief manufactures in 1822. (fn. 275) The principal markets were in London, Bristol, Bath, Salisbury, and Exeter. (fn. 276) By the 1830s the textile trade, then involving both sailcloth and collars, had been 'in some degree' superseded by gloving. (fn. 277) In 1851 a sailcloth maker, 4 dowlais or linen weavers, 2 flax dressers, a collar maker, and a woolstapler were still occupied. (fn. 278) Flax continued to be processed until 1866 (fn. 279) and in the same year a woolstapler was still in business. A rick cloth maker was active by 1861 and until 1875 or later and paper boxes were made in the village by 1861 until after the turn of the century. (fn. 280)
Between 1671 and 1782 there were 21 tanners, fellmongers, and curriers in business. (fn. 281) Gloving on a large scale was introduced in 1810 and ten years later the Ensor family began production. A second factory opened in 1816, a third in 1823, (fn. 282) and evidently a fourth in 1827. (fn. 283) There were 150 people engaged in gloving in the parish in 1831, (fn. 284) and in 1834 25,000 dozen pairs were produced in two factories; new premises were opened in 1837. (fn. 285) There were three factories in 1851, by far the largest that of Thomas Ensor in North Street which processed the work of over 2,000 employees from the parish and beyond. John Pitman at his factory in High Street employed 34 men and boys, and Silas Dyke in Church Street 21 men and boys. In the parish as a whole 511 people were engaged in some aspect of the gloving industry and a further 25 were employed in leather processing. (fn. 286) In 1871 Ensors, who had moved to West Hill, employed 2,519 people, Dykes, then in North Street, 1,198, and Pitman's successor, Minchinton, 468. (fn. 287) In 1891 there were 564 people living in the parish employed in some way in gloving. (fn. 288) After the closure of Minchinton's another factory opened in the later 1890s and continued until shortly before 1910. (fn. 289)
In 1914 the Ensor business, owned by Southcombes of Tintinhull since 1900, employed 201 people in their premises and 470 female outworkers. In 1930 365 employees contributed to the wedding present of Hector Southcombe. In 1914 weekly output was between 800 and 1,000 dozen pairs of leather gloves. The Dyke factory produced 480 different styles in the 1930s but for several years before closure in 1984 concentrated on sporting gloves. The Ensor company ceased trading in 1965 but the factory continued under new management until c. 1970. (fn. 290) A small tannery remained in business in the village in 1994.
In the 18th century the village was on a waggon route to London (fn. 291) and in 1840 carriers travelled three times a week to London and Exeter and once a week to Dorchester and Weymouth. (fn. 292) Coaches called at the King's Head for Andover, Salisbury, Southampton, Exeter, and Yeovil. (fn. 293) The arrival of the railway had little immediate commercial effect and road carriers were still in operation to Sherborne and Yeovil in 1872, (fn. 294) but by 1875 the Somerset Trading Co. had a depot at the railway station. (fn. 295)
The prosperity of retailing and other crafts was directly allied to the strength of the gloving trade. There were 22 retailers scattered around the village in 1842 and 17 retailers and 25 craftsmen in 1861. (fn. 296) The number of retailers remained stable until after the Second World War, but by 1987 there were only 11 businesses. (fn. 297) A cooperative society was formed in the village in 1873 and a branch of Stuckey's Bank was being built in 1875. (fn. 298) By the 1880s an auctioneer and solicitor were in business alongside a resident physician and a surgeon. Livery stables, a polo ground at Spurles farm, and an office for the Dorset Territorials were a reflection both of the nearness of the county boundary and the continued contribution of the landed interest before the First World War. (fn. 299)
Stone was quarried on Highmore's Hill, WSW. of the town, and on Milborne Down, on the NE. edge of the parish. (fn. 300) By 1839 fields north-west and south of Milborne Wick were named after limekilns. (fn. 301)
There was a market in 1086 (fn. 302) which by the early 13th century was farmed by the townsmen. (fn. 303) It presumably lapsed, but in 1397 the bailiff and burgesses were granted one on Wednesdays. (fn. 304) The market had again lapsed by the 18th century but attempts were made to revive it c. 1720 when the market house was built and in 1748 when a market for grain, cattle, and wares was advertised. (fn. 305) There was c. 1785 the memory of a fish market, (fn. 306) and a general market was still held in the 1830s. (fn. 307)
The market house of c. 1720 comprised a vaulted cellar, arcaded ground floor, and room above. Anticipated business did not materialise and by c. 1785 the arcades had been bricked up. (fn. 308) The building was used in 1791 as a warehouse (fn. 309) and later as a school, (fn. 310) and as a natural history museum. (fn. 311) It was bought with the manor by the Medlycotts in 1835 and in 1949 was sold to the parish council, (fn. 312) by whom it was used in 1994 for a variety of community purposes.
In 1397 a fair was granted or confirmed for the eve and feast of saints Simon and Jude (27-8 October). (fn. 313) It was held on 28 October c. 1700. (fn. 314) By c. 1785, it was held on 26 October and was 'very large' for sheep and cattle. A second fair was then held on 5 June. (fn. 315) Both fairs were still held in the 1830s (fn. 316) and both in the 1840s attracted cattle dealers and pedlars but entertainment had become more prominent. (fn. 317) In 1880 the October fair was moved to the 27th so as not to clash with Sherborne fair. (fn. 318) In 1891 it was described as for entertainment only (fn. 319) but pupils did not apparently absent themselves from school to attend it after 1898. (fn. 320) Both fairs were said to have been held in 1906 but the October fair only in 1910. In 1915 the date was marked by the visit of a travelling picture show. (fn. 321)
In 1086 there were 7 mills, 6 on the royal estate and 1 on Garmund's holding. (fn. 322) There was a mill at Wick by 1212, another at Kingsbury, and a third on the rectory estate by 1250, (fn. 323) all three probably successors to Domesday mills.
Wick mill, mentioned in 1320, (fn. 324) descended with Wick manor and was held in the later 17th century under Sir Thomas Travell by Elizabeth Loaden. (fn. 325) In 1759 it was held by James Kenniston, and as Kenniston's mill it passed in 1794 from Thomas Noake to George Hutchings and thence to the Medlycotts, owners by 1839. (fn. 326) George Coombs occupied the mill from 1819 (fn. 327) and his family remained there until 1866 or later. (fn. 328) The mill ceased to grind in the late 1880s. (fn. 329)
A mill at Kingsbury probably descended with the manor but was held in the later 17th century by Sir Robert Napier. (fn. 330) Two mills were recorded on the manor in the earlier 18th century, one at Court Lane End (fn. 331) and one newly-built in 1715. (fn. 332) One of those was held by the Shepherd family by 1760 and until after 1839, (fn. 333) and from the 1840s until c. 1920 was worked by the Luffman family. (fn. 334)
The mill on the rectory estate by 1250 (fn. 335) remained associated with Canon Court farm and in 1606 was known as Mearing's mill after the tenant. (fn. 336) It was about to be rebuilt in 1824 (fn. 337) and seems to have become a flax factory, which in 1839 employed 14 people and required a large millpond. (fn. 338) Soon afterwards the factory failed; it was demolished and the millpond drained. (fn. 339)
In 1482 there was a burgage called the old mill which was still so named in the later 16th century. (fn. 340) Before 1586 a horsemill was established in the borough. (fn. 341) Before 1701 there had been a small fulling mill at Wick (fn. 342) and in 1742 John Dyer, a clothier, occupied a mill. (fn. 343)
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SERVICES
Borough government. In 1212 the men of Milborne held pleas at farm from the Crown, (fn. 344) and presumably continued to do so after the transfer of the fee farm to private hands in the earlier 14th century. (fn. 345) Extracts from proceedings of the borough court leet or lawday and view of frankpledge survive for January 1682 and April 1683 and refer to a Michaelmas lawday. (fn. 346) A separate presentment to the borough court from the commonalty tenants survives for February 1664. (fn. 347) An Easter lawday was described as 'of late years disused' c. 1731. (fn. 348) Annual Michaelmas courts were held on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in October, and presentments survive for 1785, 1796-8, 1811, 1815-16, and 1822. (fn. 349) A steward to keep the court was appointed by the capital and sub bailiffs, (fn. 350) but when, as in 1774, a parliamentary election divided the town, two sessions of the leet court were held, each presided over by a steward nominated by one of the out-going sub bailiffs. (fn. 351)
Two town, borough, or capital bailiffs governed the borough. (fn. 352) In 1563 a tenement described as a capital messuage and called Milborne's Place carried with it the tenant's obligation to serve as portreeve or bailiff. (fn. 353) A second tenement, called Bunbury House, was in 1689 similarly described. (fn. 354) Those were two of nine tenements or bailiwicks which at the end of the 17th century were described as held 'of royal right'. (fn. 355) The tenements, named in the 1680s after owners or occupiers in the early 16th century including John Moleyns, John Hody, and William Pauncefoot, may originally have been responsible together for raising the fee farm, payment of which in the 1550s was discharged by the bailiff. (fn. 356)
In 1628 and 1640 the bailiffs headed the signatories of parliamentary election returns, (fn. 357) and by the 1680s ownership of those capital tenements came to have political significance as the bailiffs for the time being acted as returning officers and controlled elections. (fn. 358) The office of bailiff or capital bailiff, held by the owners of two of the nine bailiwicks in a strict rotation known as the 'wheel', was occasionally exercised by sub bailiffs from 1660 and regularly so from the 1680s. (fn. 359) In the mid 18th century the bailiffs were of little significance outside parliamentary elections, their duties comprising the collection of minor rents, warning the watch, and acting as criers. (fn. 360) Bailiffs continued to serve in rotation until 1834 or later. (fn. 361) The sub bailiffs were always appointed at the Michaelmas court leet. (fn. 362)
By the 1530s two constables or headboroughs were responsible for collecting taxes (fn. 363) as well as for keeping the peace. (fn. 364) By c. 1800 they answered at the annual borough court leet along with an aletaster and a searcher and sealer of leather. (fn. 365)
In the later 17th century a charge was made, apparently on borough tenants, which was known as the stockdown watch, presumably for the care of animals on the common pastures or downs in the north of the parish. (fn. 366)
The stewards of the guild merchant had a guildhall which was let in 1535 in exchange for a brewhouse. (fn. 367) It continued to be let until the 1580s or later. (fn. 368) In the 18th and 19th centuries it was used for meetings of the parish vestry and later for courts, and in 1854 part was converted for a lock-up. (fn. 369) The building appears to date from the 17th century or earlier, but its entrance is by an ornate 12th-century arch with zigzag and crenellation motifs. The lockup has subsequently become a butcher's cold store.
Kingsbury was described as a free manor in 1327 and in 1647 was called a liberty. (fn. 370) In 1569 Kingsbury tithing evidently comprised the whole parish with the exception of the borough. (fn. 371) By 1821 the parish was divided into the three tithings of Milborne Port, Milborne Wick, and Kingsbury Regis. (fn. 372)
Records of the annual October view of frankpledge and court baron for Kingsbury Regis survive for 1683-5. (fn. 373) By the 19th century it was a court baron only, held for presentments and for the payment of rents. (fn. 374) The court was held at the guildhall in the early 20th century. (fn. 375) Officers of the court were a constable, a tithingman, and a hayward, the last also serving within the borough. (fn. 376)
In 1535 Cirencester abbey held an annual court for the rectory manor. (fn. 377) Winchester college held courts for the same manor between 1544 and 1824. (fn. 378) Records of 74 sessions have survived, usually described simply as courts but from 1797 also as views of frankpledge when presentments were made by the jury. In the 16th century meetings were normally held in April but occasionally also in September. The date was more variable in the 17th century and from the 1770s May was the usual month of meeting. In 1812 no court was held for want of a jury and homage, and in 1815, 1818, and 1820 there was no business. Changes of tenants and exchanges of land constituted most of the recorded business; presentments in the early 19th century concerned repairs needed to a road and a bridge. No court officers were named.
By the mid 18th century the overseers were supporting the poor by regular monthly payments, by cash allowances for lodgings and clothing, and by offering the use of a loom. Paupers were badged from 1764. An apothecary and a physician were retained, and at least two paupers were sent to hospital in Bath. (fn. 379) By 1821 a salaried assistant overseer was appointed and the vestry authorised weekly payments to paupers at the workhouse in the 1820s. (fn. 380) In 1835 the parish became part of the Wincanton poor-law union, in 1894 of Wincanton rural district and in 1974 of the Yeovil, later South Somerset, district. (fn. 381)
In 1733 Thomas Medlycott gave a fire engine to the borough. (fn. 384) A salaried crew was appointed in 1821 and was paid by the parish until 1887. (fn. 385) The brigade survived until 1961. (fn. 386) The fire engine was housed in the church where also c. 1785 fire buckets hung in the sanctuary. (fn. 387) In 1819 the marquess of Anglesey had a weighing engine built and in 1825 had the street names painted and all houses in the borough numbered. (fn. 388) In 1842 the new parish constable was also appointed assistant overseer. (fn. 389) Street lighting was introduced in 1865, supplied by gas from a works in Kingsbury; public electricity was brought to the parish in 1931. A cemetery was opened in Wheathill Lane in 1901, and in 1904 the waterworks at Bradley Head. A childrens' playground was created at Gainsborough in 1947 and the Memorial Playing Field in 1955. The Victoria Hall was built in 1887 by one of the leather manufacturers; the present village hall was built in 1981-2. (fn. 390)
A reading room was opened in the guildhall before 1875, by which date it had been 'of late years' disused. (fn. 391) The same or another room was in use in 1890. (fn. 392) A public library was opened in 1947; in 1980 it was replaced by a mobile service, but in 1988 new premises were opened. (fn. 393) A free museum had been established by 1875, evidently in the guildhall. (fn. 394) By 1883 it was in the market house and comprised natural history specimens collected and arranged by W. C. P. Medlycott. (fn. 395) By 1910 until the 1930s it occupied premises in the grounds of Ven House. (fn. 396)
Between 1298 and 1307 Milborne Port sent representatives to five parliaments. (fn. 397) The franchise was restored in 1628 by a vote in the House of Commons, (fn. 398) evidently for the benefit of local gentry in the persons of Philip Digby and Sir Nathaniel Napier. During the Long Parliament the two seats were occupied at various times by Edward Kirton of Castle Cary, the earl of Hertford's steward, Thomas Grove of Stoke Trister, Thomas Earle of Charborough (Dors.), William Carent of Toomer, and two members of the Digby family. (fn. 399) Carent and Grove were elected in 1645, the latter a strong presbyterian and chosen in spite of the presbyterian claim that the town's bailiff, a sequestered royalist, had released prisoners from gaol in order to vote. (fn. 400)
By the later 17th century the franchise was in those paying scot and lot, numbering 85 in 1659, and two bailiffs chosen each year from the holders of the nine capital burgages were the returning officers. One burgage was owned by the Milborne family, then living at Wonastow (Mon.), and William Milborne was chosen for the Restoration Parliament, with Michael Malet of Poyntington (Dors., formerly Som.) as his fellow member. Henry Milborne, a papist sympathiser, failed to replace his nephew later in 1660 against the opposition of Francis Wyndham of Trent (Dors., formerly Som.). Malet and Wyndham were eventually returned in 1661 after the double return of Wyndham and Milborne. John Hunt of Compton Pauncefoot seems to have controlled the six elections between 1677 and 1689 and was accompanied once by William Lacy, an exclusionist, and three times by Henry Bull, both men his brothers-in-law. Attempts in 1687-8 to break the Tory hold in favour of the Whigs Sir Charles Carteret and William Strode proved unsuccessful, and in 1689 Hunt's fellow member was Thomas Saunders of Milborne Wick, a Tory and the first resident burgess appointed since the franchise was restored. (fn. 401)
In 1689 Saunders sold his estate to the Tory (Sir) Thomas Travell who in 1694 also acquired Kingsbury Regis manor (fn. 402) which included several capital burgages. He himself was returned nine times between 1690 and 1708, on the first two occasions with Sir Charles Carteret of Ven, also owner of capital burgages. (fn. 403) The results of at least four of the elections were contested, once on the grounds that Travell had been one of the bailiffs and had illegally admitted deputies procured to return him. In 1702 he was accused of distributing corn to electors. All petitions were dismissed and the House of Commons resolved that the right of election lay in the owners of the nine capital burgages, their deputies, nine trustees of the commonalty lands, and other inhabitants paying scot and lot. (fn. 404) Thomas Medlycott, who acquired Ven from Carteret, (fn. 405) was returned with Travell in 1705. Shortly before the election he claimed he had 40 promises from 48 voters and in the event received 37 votes. (fn. 406) In 1715 Travell was owner of five of the capital burgages, Medlycott of four. (fn. 407)
Travell died in 1724 leaving his political interests to his widow Frances (d. 1732), from 1727 wife of John Gordon, earl of Sunderland (d. 1733). (fn. 408) William Sclater, nephew and heir of William Sclater, succeeded to part of Travell's interest and continued to secure the return of the Tory Michael Harvey. In 1734 Sclater, presumably with the concurrence of the other Travell heirs and with the influence of Harvey, was able to ensure the return of Thomas Medlycott the younger and Harvey against Thomas Medlycott the elder and another. At the election of 1741 the younger Medlycott and Jeffrey French were returned after a contest, French perhaps already having bought the former Travell interest from Harvey and Anna Maria Wyatt. (fn. 409) At that date it was not clear whether Medlycott or his opponents had a majority of the nine burgages. (fn. 410)
Medlycott lost his seat to Harvey at a by-election in 1742 after he had accepted office, but he determined to regain it for he was a 'parliamentary beggar' dependent upon politics for his livelihood. (fn. 411) Sclater was still owner of part of Wick manor and of at least one capital burgage. (fn. 412) The election of 1747 produced a double return, Medlycott and Charles Churchill being eventually declared the winners. Harvey and French, returned by one presiding bailiff, claimed that their opponents had been returned only by a deputy bailiff, a common day labourer employed in Medlycott's garden. (fn. 413)
Before 1746 Michael Harvey (d. 1748) had been forced to mortgage his Milborne property to Peter Walter the elder (d. 1746). (fn. 414) Peter and Edward Walter succeeded to the estates of their grandfather, Peter Walter, and in 1753 also acquired French's interest in the borough. (fn. 415) The younger Peter died in 1753 leaving his property to his brother Edward (fn. 416) and for the next five elections until 1772 the Medlycotts and Edward Walter shared the seats with a 'good deal of skirmishing at election times'. In 1772 each patron offered the single vacant seat to a candidate, and in 1774 there were three separate returns because the election took place at the time the bailiffs changed office. (fn. 417) One of the successful candidates, Temple Luttrell, proved an opponent of the government and much money was spent to induce Walter to dispose of his interest to Medlycott, provided Medlycott undertook to support government candidates. (fn. 418) The election of 1796 was complicated by the intervention of two Whig adventurers and the victory of Henry William Paget, Lord Paget, heir to the earl of Uxbridge, and Sir Robert Ainslie, a Medlycott relative, cost Lord Uxbridge well over £3,000 and Medlycott something for entertainment. (fn. 419) Two years later, and again in 1812 and 1819, Medlycott leased some of his estate including his four capital burgages to the Pagets, (fn. 420) thus leaving Pagets in total control until 1818 (fn. 421) when the Whig borough-monger William Henry Vane, earl of Darlington, supported two candidates in opposition, apparently at the instigation of John Henning, one of the town's glove manufacturers. The Pagets were again successful but they, Medlycott, and Darlington seem to have started a building programme for potential voters (fn. 422) and in 1819 Darlington began to build Newtown in order to increase the number of voters from the 96 accepted in 1818 by c. 80. (fn. 423) In 1820 the Pagets built Waterloo Crescent, named to record the earl of Uxbridge's part in the battle. (fn. 424) Two radical Whigs in 1818 had spoken of the thraldom of 'Meddlycoats, Turncoats, and any other coats'; the Paget candidates were successful in 1820 but 37 special constables had been sworn to prepare for trouble at the election, and the annual audit dinner that year cost Lord Anglesey over £104. (fn. 425) Darlington had to admit defeat and in 1824 sold his interest to Anglesey, who also renewed his lease of the Medlycott houses in the borough. (fn. 426) Thereafter, although Newtown and Waterloo Crescent came to be known by opponents as Blue Town and Rotten Row, Lord Anglesey easily controlled elections until the borough lost its franchise under the Reform Act of 1832. In the following year he sold furniture from several houses in the borough including stools and cups 'which were used at the election dinners'. (fn. 427)
There was a church at Milborne Port by c. 950. (fn. 428) It was probably a minster with dependent churches at Charlton Horethorne, Holwell (Dors., formerly Som.), and Pulham (Dors.). (fn. 429) The church was held in 1086 by Rainbald of Cirencester, (fn. 430) dean of the college of canons at Cirencester (Glos.) and formerly a member of Edward the Confessor's household. (fn. 431) It was part of the original endowment of Cirencester abbey by Henry I. (fn. 432) An attempt was made c. 1199 to make the church a prebend in Wells cathedral (fn. 433) but in 1203 it was appropriated to Cirencester, and by 1204 a vicarage had been ordained. (fn. 434) The living remained a sole vicarage from that date until 1964 when it was united with Goathill (Dors., formerly Som.), with which it had been held in plurality since 1940. (fn. 435)
The abbot and convent of Cirencester were patrons of the living by the 12th century and until the Dissolution. (fn. 436) In 1543 Winchester college acquired the advowson and held it until 1824, although the county committee presented c. 1651, (fn. 437) the Lord Protector in 1656, (fn. 438) the bishop of Bath and Wells in 1660 and 1661, and the archbishop of Canterbury by lapse in 1665. On the last three occasions the presentation was made during prolonged litigation. (fn. 439) The advowson passed to the marquess of Anglesey by exchange in 1824 and he sold his estate to Sir William Coles Medlycott in 1835. (fn. 440) After the union with Goathill the Medlycotts had two turns out of three, and in 1990 the family was represented by Mrs. J. E. Smith (neé Medlycott). (fn. 441)
In 1086 the church was valued at 30s. (fn. 442) In 1291 the vicarage was assessed at £5 6s. 8d. (fn. 443) and in 1535 at £14 1s. 4d. net. (fn. 444) Its reputed value c. 1670 was £50, (fn. 445) and the net income c. 1830 was £233. (fn. 446) In 1535 there was no glebe and in 1606 only a courtyard and adjoining buildings amounting to 1 a. and the churchyard. (fn. 447) In 1835 there was just over 1 a. of glebe and in 1839 rather less. (fn. 448) A small amount was added in 1894 (fn. 449) and in 1978 the united benefice had just under 27 a. of which 13 a. was in the parish. (fn. 450)
In 1606 the vicarage house comprised a hall and a buttery together with a barn, stable, stall, and pigeon house. (fn. 455) Two trees were given by Winchester college for its repair in 1616. (fn. 456) It stood in the north-west corner of the churchyard and was either rebuilt or altered by Nathaniel Napper in 1661. (fn. 457) In 1815 it was described as old and inconvenient, (fn. 458) but it continued to be used until 1871 when it was replaced by a 19-roomed house on the Sherborne road designed by Henry Hall and paid for by Sir William Coles Medlycott for the benefit of his brother whom he had recently presented as vicar. (fn. 459) In 1937 that house was replaced by the present building in Bathwell Lane, designed by Anthony Medlycott. (fn. 460)
Among the medieval vicars was Master Geoffrey Brito, a canon of Cirencester and nephew of Abbot Alexander Neckham, (fn. 461) and John Pratt (vicar 1509-13), a lawyer who also held canonries at St. Paul's and Hereford. (fn. 462) The assistant curate employed in 1548 was said to be insufficient. (fn. 463) In 1557 much of the church plate was still withheld from the parish and several service books were lacking. (fn. 464) In 1562-3 Thomas Meade or Meden (vicar 1561-70) was only moderately learned and lived in Bristol diocese. (fn. 465) His immediate successor William White (vicar 1571- 1616), formerly chaplain of Winchester college, was resident. (fn. 466) Lionel Gardner, appointed to the parish c. 1651, preached and said prayers but refused to baptise and give communion because he was not ordained and had not been to a grammar school. (fn. 467) William Hopkins, admitted in 1656 and ejected after prolonged litigation in 1662, became minister of a nonconformist congregation in the parish. (fn. 468) The 18th-century vicars were usually Wykehamists and graduates of New College, Oxford. John Hall, vicar 1748- 65, was resident, but among his successors was George Huntingford, appointed vicar early in 1789 and warden of Winchester college later in the year, who retained both the vicarage and the wardenship, combined from 1802 with the bishopric of Gloucester and from 1815 instead with the see of Hereford, until his death in 1832. (fn. 469) From 1786 until 1823 or later the cure was served by William Owen, who in the 1780s ministered to c. 30 communicants and said prayers and preached twice each Sunday. (fn. 470) Huntingford's successor Charles Bowle (vicar 1825-35) was resident vicar at Wimborne Minster (Dors.). (fn. 471) Under Owen an orchestra was established which was replaced c. 1841 by an organ and a choir which was surpliced in 1845. (fn. 472) In 1851 there were 124 adults and 105 children at the morning service on Census Sunday, and in the afternoon 223 adults and 128 children. (fn. 473) By 1870 communion was celebrated monthly. (fn. 474)
In the earlier 16th century there were endowed lights of the Virgin, St. Leonard, and the Rood and by 1548 a brotherhood of St. John the Evangelist. (fn. 475) The churchwardens had probably rented a building for a church house by 1569, perhaps the house in Church Lane which they were leasing out until 1801 or later. (fn. 476) The present church house, proposed in 1894, was built in 1897. The adjoining mortuary, incorporating fragments of medieval carving from the parish church, was built in 1867. (fn. 477) A mission church was built by public subscription at Milborne Wick in 1891 and a mission hall at Newtown was begun in 1894. (fn. 478) The latter was last used for services in 1943. (fn. 479)
The church of ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST is built of rubble and ashlar and has a chancel with north vestry and chapel, a central tower with north and south transepts, and a nave with north aisle. The chancel, crossing, and something of the south transept survive from a pre-Conquest cruciform church whose north transept and originally unaisled nave were destroyed in 1867. The chancel retains, mainly on the south wall, areas of external blind arcading at two levels and the tower, each of whose sides is longer than the width of the adjoining arm of the church that abuts it, has the responds of the original multi-order crossing arches. The middle stage of the tower is probably 12th-century and a staircase turret which gives access to it was built then in the angle between the nave and the south transept. A south doorway with a carved tympanum was put into the nave at that time and lancet windows were inserted into the nave and chancel in the 13th century. The south porch may have been 14th-century and it appears that the gable wall of the south transept was rebuilt or remodelled then. The east and west crossing arches of the tower were rebuilt in the 15th century and the tower was heightened by a stage. Other work of that time or of the early 16th century included the north chapel, several new windows, the west doorway, and the reroofing of the nave whose parapet formerly carried the date 1517. (fn. 480)
The chapel roof has the date 1641. In 1712 a west gallery was built for the singers (fn. 481) and there was also an east gallery by 1747. (fn. 482) Arms were put on one of the galleries in 1720 and the church, presumably the nave, was ceiled and 'beautified'. (fn. 483) The west gallery was enlarged in 1812-14 and in 1826 a two-bay north aisle with a gallery was added to the nave. (fn. 484) In 1841 the east gallery over the rood screen was taken down. The south aisle was largely rebuilt, apparently reproducing its earlier features, in 1842 and in the following year the north chapel wall was rebuilt. (fn. 485) In 1867 the nave, aisle, and north transept were demolished. The transept was rebuilt to its old dimensions but the nave and aisle were lengthened and widened and given a steep roof and windows in the 15th-century style to the designs of Henry Hall. (fn. 486) The chancel was restored in 1908 by Sir Walter Tapper and includes plaster medallions high on the sanctuary walls. The glass in the east window is by Bainbridge Reynolds; the carved figures by John Skelton were put in the damaged 15th-century niches in 1972. (fn. 487)
The 12th-century font was originally square, decorated with shallow blank arches, and was subsequently made octagonal. It has a 17th-century cover. The rood screen is of the 15th century, the same date as the ceiling of the crossing tower. The rest of the furnishings are of the 19th century.
There are eight bells, three of 1736 by Thomas Bilbie, two by A. and C. Mears of 1846, and the rest recast in the 20th century. A ting tang bell was sold in 1922. (fn. 488) The plate includes a paten of 1688 by Benjamin Pyne and a flagon of 1733 by Gabriel Sleath. (fn. 489) The registers begin in 1538 and are complete. (fn. 490)
Mass was celebrated in a room in the Town Hall until 1973 when the congregation began to use the parish church. The arrangement continued in 1993. (fn. 491)
Quakers first met in the parish c. 1656, had resumed meetings by 1673-4, and were licensed in 1689 to meet in the Red Lion inn. Meetings continued until c. 1700. (fn. 492) In 1669 William Hopkins (d. 1700), ejected from the living, had a congregation of 60 hearers and was described as a Presbyterian. (fn. 493) A licence for a meeting place was granted in 1672, (fn. 494) and further licences were issued c. 1696, 1719, 1732, and for a new meeting house in 1751. (fn. 495) In 1718 there were 300 members, (fn. 496) and in the following year possibly a second congregation. (fn. 497) Until 1743 the main congregation remained Presbyterian but in that year became Independent, and licences for Independent meetings in private homes were granted in 1754 and 1755. (fn. 498) The church, which was enlarged c. 1830 and in the 1840s and was galleried, (fn. 499) had adult congregations on Census Sunday 1851 of 180 in the morning and 386 in the evening, with 120 Sunday school children at the morning service. (fn. 500) The building, in Chapel Lane, formerly known as the Old or Independent Meeting House and in 1981 as the United Reformed Church, (fn. 501) was closed in 1991.
Wesleyan Methodism was introduced in 1820 and by 1824 services were held both in the village and in Newtown. (fn. 502) From 1826 there was only one place of worship and in 1829 a chapel was built at Coldharbour. (fn. 503) In 1851 the adult congregation on Census Sunday was 110 in the morning and 136 in the evening with Sunday school children numbering 44 in the morning, 66 in the afternoon, and 25 in the evening. (fn. 504) Services were held at Newtown between 1871 and 1894 and at Milborne Wick from 1876 to 1886. (fn. 505) The chapel at Coldharbour, designed by Alexander Lauder with seating for 400 and opened in 1866, included rooms for school and other meetings. (fn. 506) The church was closed in 1988 and was converted to flats; services and other meetings were held in the former manse in 1996. (fn. 507)
Primitive Methodists were meeting in the parish by 1849 and were still there in 1863. (fn. 508)
John Sprint (d. 1717), minister of the Presbyterian meeting, is said to have opened a grammar school in the town. (fn. 509) A schoolmaster was mentioned c. 1747, (fn. 510) and in 1784-5 a Sunday school for 50 children was being promoted. (fn. 511) In 1818 there were five day schools with a total of 100 children and two Sunday schools for c. 70 children. (fn. 512) A Wesleyan Methodist Sunday school was begun in 1820, (fn. 513) and between 1820 and 1828 the marquess of Anglesey supported a Sunday school in the market house which had 82 pupils in 1825-6. (fn. 514) In 1833 there were 5 infant schools with 91 pupils, 5 day schools supported by parents for 156 children, and Sunday schools attached to each of the three churches for a total of 315 children, the largest belonging to the Independent chapel. (fn. 515) One of the day schools was held at the market house from 1835. (fn. 516)
By 1846 the Church school, affiliated to the National Society, had a total of 176 pupils on weekdays and Sundays and was supported by the Medlycott family. (fn. 517) It occupied new buildings from 1864 on land at the west end of the village leased by the Medlycotts. The building was extended in 1899 and in 1903 had 237 children on the books. (fn. 518) Two years later the average attendance was 121 girls and boys and 64 infants. In 1935 the total was 153 and in 1945 it was 99. From 1950 until 1953 the school took infants from 5 to 7 years and seniors from 11 to 15 years, and from June 1953 until April 1958 it took seniors only. (fn. 519) From April 1958 the school took pupils aged between 7 and 11, from 1974 between 8 and 11 and in 1978 between 9 and 11. The school closed in 1979. (fn. 520)
The British school, physically attached to the Independent chapel, was built in 1850 and enlarged in 1865 and 1892. It was supported by donations from both nonconformist chapels and by school pence. In 1903 it had 121 children on the books and was taken over by the county council in 1909. (fn. 521) It was removed to a new building off North Street (now Glovers' Walk) in 1912. In 1935 the average number on the books was 77 and was 44 in 1945. From 1950 it took only pupils aged 5 to 11, (fn. 522) from 1958 between 5 and 7, and from 1974 gradually increased the age range until 1979, using premises at the Methodist chapel as well as the original buildings. In 1979 new buildings on the site provided accommodation for all local children between 5 and 11. In 1988 there were 214 children aged 4-11 on the books, and in 1992-3 232. (fn. 523)
Among private schools was a boys' boarding school kept by Edward Shapcott in 1815-18, (fn. 524) a boarding school for girls in Kingsbury in 1851 and 1861, (fn. 525) a school at Newtown in 1861, (fn. 526) and a girls' school in East Street by 1883 and until after 1894. (fn. 527) Willingdon college, a boarding school for boys evacuated from Sussex, occupied Ven from 1939. (fn. 528)
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR
Charities established by William Hallett (d. 1581), Thomas Clench (d. 1584), William Plucknett (d. 1592), and Silvester Hulet of London (d. 1611) had been lost by the late 18th century. (fn. 529) Thomas Prankerd by will dated 1609 gave £40 to his family trustees to be distributed quarterly to the poor of the parish. James Prankerd by will of 1699 gave £60 for the same purpose. In 1758 John Prankerd of Sherborne (Dors.) used the combined sums to create a rent charge on land in Nether Compton (Dors.) to be given on St. Thomas's day. (fn. 530) About 1788 the money was distributed to the second poor of the parish, and in 1846 was confined to the second poor of Kingsbury. (fn. 531) In 1906 the charity income was £6 and from 1980 came from investments after the release of the rent charge. (fn. 532) Its value was increased in 1993 when the assets of the Horsey, Huxtable, and Winter charities were united with it. (fn. 533)
By deed of 1860 Mrs. Ann Harris Hutchings gave £500 in consols to provide coals and clothing at Christmas. The gift was named Horsey's gift after her first husband, John Bondfield Horsey. (fn. 534) The income was used in 1927 to provide 44 people with coal and in 1986 small cash vouchers were given. (fn. 535) In 1993 the assets were transferred to Prankerd's charity. (fn. 536)
In 1903 Susannah Maria Huxtable left £783 6s. 9d. in consols to provide biscuits, and in 1951 a Scheme established the gift of Frank Mark Winter (d. 1938) of £150 for the poor. Both charities were amalgamated with Prankerd's in 1993. (fn. 537)
By 1788 income from the commonalty estate amounting to £11 15s. 8d. was distributed to the second poor of the parish. (fn. 538) By 1824 the sum was £32 10s., chiefly given to widows and aged and infirm women. (fn. 539) In the 1830s distributions were made on St. Thomas's day and Shrove Tuesday, and in 1836 amounted to £52 9s. 4d. (fn. 540) In the 1840s money was given to people only within the borough of Milborne. (fn. 541) The value of the commonalty estate was reduced during the 19th century, but in 1938 the gifts amounted to £80. (fn. 542) The charity continued to distribute gifts to the poor in 1994.