A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 11, Downton Hundred; Elstub and Everleigh Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1980.
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Collingbourne Ducis is the smaller and more southerly of the two adjoining parishes called Collingbourne. (fn. 1) Originally the name, meaning stream of Cola's people, may have applied to the whole of the upper part of the Bourne valley. (fn. 2) As the element inga implies, it was settled comparatively early. (fn. 3)
A distinction between the two Collingbournes existed in 903 when 50 hides and the church at what was later called Collingbourne Kingston were granted to the New Minster at Winchester. (fn. 4) Its neighbour on the south had been given a distinguishing name of Earl's (Comitis) by 1256 when the earl of Leicester was lord of the manor. (fn. 5) The name Duke's (Ducis) supplanted Earl's after the Wiltshire lands of the honor of Leicester became part of the duchy of Lancaster, (fn. 6) and was fairly regularly used from the early 15th century. The parish has also frequently been called Lower Collingbourne.
The parish lies on the Upper Chalk of Salisbury Plain and is bisected by the Bourne which rises a few miles north of the village, flows southwards through it, and is compounded with the village name. (fn. 7) For much of its course through Collingbourne Ducis the Bourne is a small stream, dry in summer; but in the past it was liable to flood in wet weather. Early meetings of the parish council were much concerned with flooding in the village street. Refuse frequently blocked the stream's course under the bridges. (fn. 8)
The gravels of the river's shallow valley provide the site of the village, and those of a now virtually dry eastern tributary that of the hamlet of Cadley, the only other settlement in the parish. Three western tributaries of the Bourne, now likewise dry, have scored narrow gravel covered valleys through the chalk. South of the village the Bourne is flanked on either side by water-meadows and beyond them the land rises to heights of over 150 m. on the chalk, climbing rather more steeply on the eastern side. Much of that side was occupied by the southern end of Collingbourne woods, part of Chute forest until the 14th century. (fn. 9) There was some felling in the 19th century, particularly near Wick down, (fn. 10) but in 1929 the woods covered over 300 a., (fn. 11) roughly the same area as in 1975. South of the woods and in the extreme south-east corner of the parish is Crawlboys farm, with a farm-house and some of its buildings dating from the late 17th century or early 18th. The remoteness of the farm from the village and church, and its connexion with the woods, of which some of its early owners were guardians, made it a virtually detached part of the parish. (fn. 12)
Until 1934 the parish covered 3,431 a. (1,388 ha.), and was roughly crescent shaped. The eastern end of its southern boundary is formed by a bank and ditch, following a line, the curve of which suggests that it may represent the northern boundary of the park of Ludgershall Castle. In 1934 Collingbourne Sunton, a hamlet which is beside a continuation of Collingbourne Ducis village street, and the northern part of the hamlet of Cadley, both of which until then were in Collingbourne Kingston, were brought into Collingbourne Ducis parish. A narrow projection was thereby added on the north, (fn. 13) giving a total area of 1,469 ha. (3,629 a.).
Collingbourne Ducis adjoins Ludgershall, an early market centre, on the south-east. It is 17 km. south of Marlborough and 24 km. north of Salisbury. Before 1831 the two principal routes leading southwards towards Salisbury bypassed the village. That from Hungerford (Berks.) entered the parish by the Shears inn and in 1772 was turnpiked as far as Southly bridge. (fn. 14) The stretch beyond that towards Salisbury was later abandoned. The road from Marlborough to Salisbury, had it kept its original course, would have missed the parish altogether. That road, however, fell out of use beyond Everleigh, and in 1831 a sort of link road was formed by turnpiking the road running from Southgrove copse in Burbage, through the two Collingbourne villages, and up Shaw hill in Collingbourne Ducis to join the Hungerford—Salisbury road. (fn. 15) Its course as the main road was almost immediately changed. At the south end of the village, instead of climbing Shaw hill, it took a more westerly route, called in 1777 Small Way, and followed the Bourne towards Salisbury. (fn. 16) The Andover-Devizes road, crossing the parish from east to west, and the Bourne by Leckford bridge, was turnpiked under an Act of 1762. (fn. 17) The Swindon, Marlborough & Andover Railway, opened in 1882, ran through the parish with a station at Cadley. (fn. 18) The line was closed in 1961. (fn. 19)
Prehistoric finds and sites, particularly the barrow cemeteries on Snail and Cow downs, indicate the congregation of men in the region from late Neolithic times. (fn. 20) There is also evidence of farming activity on the downs in the late Bronze Age and the Romano-British Period. (fn. 21) Short stretches of prehistoric ditch occur along the southern and western boundaries and there is an early enclosure on Wick down. The great Iron-Age fort on Sidbury hill in North Tidworth, a focus for many tracks and ditches, is near the southern parish boundary. (fn. 22)
In 1334 Collingbourne Ducis was taxed rather lower than Everleigh, the only other entire parish in the liberty of Everleigh, to which they both belonged. In 1377, however, it had 127 poll-tax payers to Everleigh's 99. (fn. 23) To the benevolence of 1545 it contributed £7, Everleigh £4. To the subsidy of 1576 it paid £8, a little less than Everleigh. (fn. 24) In 1801 the population was 457. In 1861 it was 564 but thereafter declined. The boundary change of 1934 added 166 inhabitants and in 1951 the population was 544. (fn. 25) In 1971 it was 590. (fn. 26)
The village of Collingbourne Ducis is strung out for nearly 1 km. along the main road to Marlborough. The church, manor farm-house (now called Court Farm), and the old and new rectoryhouses stand towards the southern end of the street which there widens and is called Church Street. The farm buildings of Collingbourne farm stood north of the rectory-house until the 19th century. At that end of the village, until filled in c. 1960, there was a large pond called Great Mere formed by a widening of the Bourne. It could be crossed by a ford. (fn. 27) North-west of Great Mere was another large pond in 1777 which had disappeared by the 1880s. (fn. 28) East of Great Mere, along Mill Lane, stood the windmill in 1773. (fn. 29)
The early manor farm-house was probably represented in 1975 by the house called the Hermitage. That house dates mainly from the 18th century but possibly incorporates part of an earlier building. The present Court Farm, which adjoins it, was built for a marquess of Ailesbury in the 1850s. Spaced out along both sides of the street are a number of small timber-framed houses, their walls chiefly infilled with flint, rubble, and brick. Some are thatched. Most appear to be of 17th- or 18th-century origin. Linden Cottage is dated 1694. Houses on the west side are reached by small bridges spanning the Bourne which runs down that side of the road.
The hamlet of Cadley lies north-east of Collingbourne Ducis village along Cadley Road, which formerly continued eastwards beyond the Shears inn. (fn. 30) In the 18th century the main settlement at Cadley seems to have been concentrated about the crossing of Cadley Road and the Hungerford-Salisbury road. (fn. 31) In 1777 there were at least fourteen houses in the hamlet. (fn. 32) The railway station and a small nonconformist chapel were built along Cadley Road in the 1880s. In 1975 almost nothing remained of the settlement at the cross-road and 19th- and 20th-century development has been concentrated at the western end of Cadley Road.
In 1604 the rector and eighteen parishioners petitioned for a licence for Robert Fay to keep a victualling house. A reason given was that many travellers lost on the downs sought shelter in the village. (fn. 33) The Shears inn at Cadley was in existence at least in 1773. (fn. 34) The present building is of the early 19th century. A New Inn is mentioned in 1844; (fn. 35) the Blue Lion was in the village street in 1863 (fn. 36) and probably much earlier. After the coming of the railway it was called the Blue Lion and Railway Hotel. The present building, which is of vitreous brick with red-brick dressings, dates from the early 18th century.
William Batt(1744–1812), physician and scientist, was born in Collingbourne Ducis where his family held land. He practised for many years in Genoa. (fn. 37)
At the time of Domesday Collingbourne Ducis was held by the king, having been held by Harold before the Conquest. (fn. 38) It may, with Everleigh, have been granted to Robert de Beaumont (d. 1118), said to have been created earl of Leicester, for like Everleigh it belonged to Robert's grandson to whom the earldom of Leicester passed. (fn. 39) Thereafter COLLINGBOURNE DUCIS passed with the earldom in the same way as Everleigh to become part of the duchy of Lancaster's Wiltshire estate. In 1536 Collingbourne was granted, like Everleigh, to Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp (from 1537 earl of Hertford, from 1546 duke of Somerset, the Lord Protector). (fn. 40)
After the Protector's execution in 1552 Collingbourne passed to his son Edward Seymour, then a minor. (fn. 41) It was confirmed to Edward, by then created earl of Hertford, in 1581. (fn. 42) Edward was succeeded in 1621 by his grandson William, who was restored as duke of Somerset in 1660, a month before he died without surviving issue. (fn. 43) His grandson and heir, William, duke of Somerset, died a minor and unmarried in 1671. That William's Wiltshire estates then devolved upon his sister Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Bruce, who succeeded as earl of Ailesbury in 1685 and died in 1741. (fn. 44)
Collingbourne passed to Charles, son of Thomas and Elizabeth, on whose death in 1747 the earldom of Ailesbury became extinct. Charles's lands and the barony of Bruce of Tottenham passed to the son of his sister Elizabeth, wife of George Brudenell, earl of Cardigan (d. 1732). That son, Thomas Brudenell-Bruce, was created earl of Ailesbury in 1776 and died in 1814. His younger son Charles was created marquess of Ailesbury in 1821 and died in 1856. (fn. 45) Collingbourne continued to descend with the Ailesbury title until 1929 when with other parts of the Savernake estate it was broken up and sold in lots. (fn. 46) Two of the principal farms, Court and Hougomont, (fn. 47) were sold respectively to A. J. Bridgman and J. P. Wiltshire. Both farms were bought by the War Department in 1939. (fn. 48)
An estate including 10 virgates of land was conveyed in 1326 by Henry of Hanydon, a chaplain, and John Tourand to Walter Douce and Emmeline his wife. (fn. 49) That may be an early reference to the estate called COLLINGBOURNE FARM which John Dowse (d. 1535 or 1536) held of the duchy of Lancaster. (fn. 50) John was succeeded by his son Richard, perhaps the free tenant of that name present at the court of Collingbourne Ducis manor in 1572. (fn. 51)
A Richard Dowse died in 1611 or 1612 having settled an estate of some 390 a., then called a manor, upon his son Thomas. (fn. 52) In 1615–16 Thomas settled it on his son Richard, and in 1640–1 Richard settled it on his son Walter. Richard and Walter conveyed it in 1656 to William Long. (fn. 53) William Long conveyed it to Richard Long, and Richard to his son Henry. (fn. 54) In 1724 Henry Long of Melksham conveyed the manor, or 'reputed manor called Collingbourne Farm', to the Revd. Thomas Cheney. It then included rather more than 200 a. and paid a quitrent to the lord of Collingbourne Ducis manor. Cheney was followed soon after 1724 by his son Thomas. The younger Thomas died in 1764; the farm passed to Robert Lowth, soon to become bishop of Oxford and later bishop of London, (fn. 55) whose wife Mary was a cousin of the younger Thomas.
The bishop died in 1787 having left the farm to his wife for life. In 1794 she conveyed it to their son Robert who sold it in 1805 to Thomas Bruce, earl of Ailesbury (d. 1814). Thenceforth it was merged in the manor of Collingbourne Ducis.
About 1400 an estate called the manor of CRAWLBOYS, of which John Skilling was tenant, was granted by John Croilboys and his wife Agnes to Sir Thomas de Skelton and his wife Joan. (fn. 56) In 1464 Crawlboys was among the estates conveyed by John Wynnard and his wife Elizabeth to John Wydeslade in fee. (fn. 57) By then the custody of the chase of Collingbourne Ducis went with the grant of Crawlboys. (fn. 58) In 1482 Thomas Wayte died seised of Crawlboys and the keepership of the woods in the right of his wife Elizabeth, perhaps the daughter of John Wydeslade. His heir was his brother William. (fn. 59) In 1552 Peter Merkat held Crawlboys as a free tenant of Collingbourne Ducis manor. (fn. 60)
By 1575 Crawlboys and the custody of the Collingbourne woods had passed to Thomas Philpot (d. 1586) who also held the manor of Chute and the wardenship of Chute forest. (fn. 61) Thomas's son and heir, Sir George Philpot, died in 1624 seised of Crawlboys and the custody of the woods. (fn. 62) His heir was his son, Sir John (d. c. 1634), who was compensated by the king for the loss of the wardenship. (fn. 63) The connexion between Crawlboys and the custody of the Collingbourne woods was apparently then severed. (fn. 64) Sir John's son, Sir Henry, succeeded him (fn. 65) but was probably the last Philpot to hold Crawlboys.
The later descent of Crawlboys farm can be traced only intermittently. In 1703 George Parry held it as a free tenant of the capital manor. (fn. 66) In the later 18th century it was held by William Garrard. (fn. 67) In 1844 Joseph Hague Everett owned it (fn. 68) and a Mr. Everett still owned it in 1863. (fn. 69) In 1935 it was acquired by the Hon. Bryan Guinness, later Lord Moyne, who owned it in 1975. (fn. 70)
Collingbourne Ducis increased in value from £40 to £60 between King Harold's time and the Domesday survey. (fn. 71) In 1086 there was land for 45 ploughs. On the 5 demesne hides there were 12 serfs with 5 ploughs. There were also elsewhere on the estate 49 villeins and 26 bordars with 15 ploughs. There was pasture 2 leagues long by 1 league broad.
In 1212 the manor was valued at £20, or, with its stock, at £34. Included in the stock were over 1,000 sheep. (fn. 72) In 1361 there were reckoned to be 500 a. of arable, half of which was sown every year, leaving the other half fallow. (fn. 73) Among the customary tenants was a class known as Mondaymen employed chiefly for work with the demesne flocks. (fn. 74) From the 13th century to the 15th those flocks contained over 1,000 sheep. (fn. 75)
A close connexion existed between Collingbourne Ducis and Everleigh during the time that both formed part of the duchy of Lancaster's Wiltshire estate. Produce was exchanged between the two, and the comparatively sparsely wooded Everleigh depended largely on Collingbourne for timber. (fn. 76) In the later 15th century the office of hayward for both manors was apparently used to reward a royal servant. (fn. 77) In 1444–5 the demesne farms of both manors were leased together to John Stamford of Rushall, the duchy's stock-keeper. (fn. 78)
At Collingbourne in the 15th century the demesne lands were leased out in lots. There were usually seven parcels in addition to the manor farm. (fn. 79) In 1461–2 Richard Batt, who for several years had been bailiff of the manor, leased the farm in partnership with William Dyper. (fn. 80) Dyper continued alone as lessee and was followed after 1524 by William Button. By 1552 Button had been succeeded by Thomas Dowse, perhaps a son of the Richard Dowse who held Collingbourne farm at that date. (fn. 81) Thomas had been succeeded by Sir Francis Dowse by 1608. (fn. 82)
In 1552 the manor farm had three small inclosed arable fields, and the common arable was in East, Middle, and West fields which lay together on the west side of the later main Marlborough—Salisbury road. An outfield had been created along the southern end of the three. (fn. 83) In the 18th century a rotation of three corn crops succeeded by one year fallow was followed in the three fields, and alternate years corn crop and fallow in the outfield. (fn. 84) Most of the 16th-century copyholders held 1 virgate of arable with other scattered small parcels of land. Among the smaller holdings was the workland, measuring 10 a. In 1552 there were 5 Mondaylands, the original holding of the Mondayman, but then held with other pieces of land. A ½-reeveland, measuring 15a., occurs at the same date. (fn. 85)
A string of small inclosed water-meadows, known at least in 1651 as ropes, followed the curve of the Bourne south of the village. (fn. 86) The size of a single rope varied, ¼ a. being about average. In the 18th century some tenants held as many as six ropes. (fn. 87)
In the mid 16th century there were about 250 a. of down for the demesne farm, including 100 a. on Cow down. The tenantry had 100 a. on Snail down and 40 a. elsewhere. Wick heath in the north-east part of the parish provided 30 a. of common land and there was another common of 10 a. Stinting allowed for 70 sheep for every yardland, 15 sheep for a workland, and 10 sheep for a Mondayland. (fn. 88)
A complaint in the manor court in 1590 about the ploughing of Widgerly down presages the changes in the pattern of farming then beginning and carried through in the 18th century. (fn. 89) In the 1730s downland belonging to the manor farm in the south part of the parish was first burnt and then ploughed. More land on Cow and Snail downs was similarly treated soon afterwards when tenants surrendered their common rights in return for permission to plough and inclose for themselves in the same region. As a result the manor farm acquired an inclosed farm on Cow down called in 1745 New farm. (fn. 90)
The breaking up of the downs for arable was accompanied from the late 17th century by a long series of agreements between the lord of the manor, freeholders, and tenants for inclosure and exchanges of the common land. (fn. 91) Awards by specially appointed commissioners were made in 1738 and 1775. (fn. 92) That of 1775 provided for the continued cultivation of the three common fields and the outfield, for feeding the downs in common, and for the allotment of sheep leazes. (fn. 93) The last agreement for exchanges, divisions, and inclosure was made in 1815, and although an award was intended, none has been found. (fn. 94)
By the mid 18th century the ploughing of the downs had reduced the number of sheep kept on the manor farm from 1,300 to about half that number. Reductions were agreed for all the farms in the parish. On Collingbourne farm the number fell from 385 to 330; on the glebe farm from 140 to 120. Husbandry throughout the 18th century was strictly regulated. The new agrarian arrangements, and in particular the rights of way along droves leading to and from the new inclosures, were recorded in the manor courts. (fn. 95)
There were two freehold farms within Collingbourne. Crawlboys farm, in its isolated situation, had no share in the common fields and was farmed in severalty. (fn. 96) In 1608 it was said to be totally inclosed with banks and ditches. (fn. 97) It was, therefore, not included in any of the agreements for exchanges of land in the 18th century and was independent of the regulations laid down for the rest of the parish.
Collingbourne farm, known as either Cheney's or Lowth's in the 18th century, was included in many of the inclosure agreements, (fn. 98) so that by 1777 much of the farm lay consolidated and inclosed in the north-east part of the parish. (fn. 99) When bought by Lord Ailesbury in 1810 it measured 387 a. Thereafter it was merged with the adjoining land of Church Street farm (see below). Its buildings were in disrepair in 1763. (fn. 100) A new farm-house was built c. 1845 and the farm became known as Mount Orleans. (fn. 101) When sold in 1929 it had 592 a. and was farmed by H. C. Pullen. (fn. 102)
Church Street farm grew from an accumulation of copyholds acquired c. 1751 by Robert Shepherd and Robert Croome, a wheelwright, both of Collingbourne Ducis. (fn. 103) Its farm-house lay east of and close to Court Farm. (fn. 104) In 1777, farmed by Robert Croome, the farm measured 706 a. and included some of the new arable on Cow down and two ropes of watermeadow. (fn. 105) Croome was succeeded before 1810 by Harry Pike, and he before 1844 by George Pike. (fn. 106) By 1929 most of the farm had been merged with Mount Orleans farm. (fn. 107)
In 1745 the manor farm was known as Court farm, and farm and farm-house were divided between two tenants, Hester Callow and William Maton. (fn. 108) In 1773 Edward Andrews, then tenant of both parts, was given leave to plough part of Tatshanger down for the cultivation of sainfoin. The farm's arable then included part of the land on Cow down, ploughed for the first time in 1738, and was arranged in five fields. (fn. 109) In 1777 the farm measured 759 a. (fn. 110) Andrews was followed as tenant before 1810 by William Blatch and in 1844 Leonard Pitt Maton was tenant. (fn. 111) In 1867 John Russ was farmer and a new farm-house had recently been built. (fn. 112) At the sale of 1929 the farm was estimated at 859 a. (fn. 113) In 1975 it was farmed by Mr. P. J. Gordon. (fn. 114)
Another substantial farm originated in the accumulation of a number of leaseholds and copyholds held in the 17th and 18th centuries by members of the Batt family. (fn. 115) In 1774 Elizabeth Batt and her son William Batt, the physician, surrendered their holdings to Lord Bruce. (fn. 116) The farm so formed was held by John Bailey in 1777 and measured 162 a. Land in the south-west part of the parish was added to it, including part of New farm on Cow down created in 1738. (fn. 117) William Bailey was the tenant in 1810 and soon after the farm-house, called Hougomont, was built. (fn. 118) In 1844 John Bailey farmed the 778 a. of Hougomont farm. (fn. 119) In 1867 the farmer was Charles Petar. (fn. 120) When sold in 1929 the farm measured 832 a. (fn. 121) In 1975 it was farmed by Mr. F. J. Wallis. (fn. 122)
A report on Lord Ailesbury's Collingbourne farms in 1867 found that in spite of the advantages of suitable soils and good communications, Court, Hougomont, and Mount Orleans farms were not well farmed. An inefficient rotation of crops, it was alleged, was followed, and too many breeding ewes kept at the expense of sheep for fattening and cattle. The report was also critical of the labour upon the farms. (fn. 123)
After the break-up of the Ailesbury estate in 1929 the farms continued as mixed farms. After 1939, however, when the War Office acquired the western half of the parish, restrictions were imposed upon Hougomont and Court farms, and crops could not be grown in tank-training areas. (fn. 124)
A small foundry, known as the Bourne Iron Works, was established on the east side of the village street by James Rawlings in the 1860s. The Rawlings family manufactured agricultural implements there until the outbreak of the Second World War. (fn. 125) A group of local farmers acquired the premises in 1958 and a company, later called Hosier Farming Systems, was formed to manufacture milking machines and some other farming equipment. In 1973 it became a subsidiary of the Hillspan Group of Eastleigh (Hants). In 1975 it employed no people. (fn. 126)
In 1086 a third of Chute forest belonged to the king's manor of Collingbourne which also had woodland measuring 1 league square. (fn. 127) The third of Chute probably refers to Collingbourne woods, the southern part of which occupied much of the eastern half of Collingbourne Ducis. By 1330 the woods had been disafforested (fn. 128) and thenceforth remained in the hands of the lord of the manor until 1929.
By 1464 the southern part of the woods had been made a chase known as Collingbourne Ducis chase. From then until the mid 17th century its keepership belonged to the holders of Crawlboys farm. (fn. 129)
In 1540 the woods covered about 265 a. and included 14 coppices and 2,338 trees. (fn. 130) They remained unsold at the sale of the Savernake estate in 1929, but soon after were acquired by the Forestry Commission, which still owned them in 1975. (fn. 131)
The timber was valued among the assets of the manor at 60s. a year in 1297. (fn. 132) In 1540 the farmer of the manor farm was allowed ten loads of wood a year, and tenants on some other duchy manors had allowances of wood from Collingbourne. (fn. 133) Curtailment of those allowances after Collingbourne passed to the duke of Somerset produced complaints in the manor court in 1552. (fn. 134) When sold c. 1929 the woods were highly valued for the shooting which was let for £99 a year. (fn. 135)
There was a windmill on the manor in 1361. (fn. 136) There was a mill leased for about 10s. a year in the 15th century. (fn. 137) A mill leased by one of the Dowse family in 1552 was described as a horse-mill. (fn. 138) The windmill stood south-east of the village in 1773. (fn. 139)
Market and Fairs.
A weekly market and two annual fairs were granted to the duke of Lancaster (d. 1361) in 1353. The market was to be held on Mondays and the fairs on the eve, feast, and morrow of St. Barnabas (11 June) and of St. Andrew (30 Nov.). (fn. 140) Nothing more is heard of the Monday market and in the mid 16th century a combined fair and market was held annually and called St. Andrew's fair. The duke of Somerset's bailiff bought eight halters and whipcord there c. 1548. (fn. 141) Measuring and weighing beams were in use in the early 17th century. (fn. 142)
In the later 16th century the fair was leased by the lord of the manor to Francis Vincent. (fn. 143) In 1608 a Francis Vincent, then the lessee, was described as a gentleman, and in 1612 as the servant of the earl of Hertford (d. 1621). (fn. 144) In 1617 Francis Vincent and his son John were lessees, (fn. 145) and the Vincent family continued as lessees until the mid 18th century and possibly longer. (fn. 146) It is not known precisely when the fair was last held. It was recorded in a list of fairs of 1792 as being held on n December, but does not appear in one of 1888. (fn. 147)
The fair was held at Hill field, otherwise Fair close, apparently at the southern end of the village where the ground was liable to flooding. (fn. 148) Stands and booths were damaged by water c. 1590. (fn. 149)
It has been suggested that Collingbourne Ducis, as it was later called, did not belong to any hundred in the nth century. In the geld rolls it was not returned as part of any hundred, but was placed as if it were a small hundred on its own. (fn. 150)
Court books and rolls survive from the later 16th century until 1821 when the court met for the last time. (fn. 151) They show a view of frankpledge and manor court to have been held together twice a year. From the late 16th century, and particularly in the 18th century, the court was much concerned to record and regulate the agrarian changes taking place. (fn. 152)
The vestry, made up of the more substantial ratepayers, met, occasionally at least, in the earlier 19th century at the New Inn. (fn. 153) In 1833 it agreed to provide vaccination for the infant poor and 73 children were vaccinated. In 1835 it appointed a doctor to tend the poor. The vestry decided upon the distribution of wood given every year to the parish by Lord Ailesbury. In 1843 it made arrangements and certain payments for sixteen people emigrating to Australia. (fn. 154) Records of overseers' disbursements and some receipts survive from 1770 to 1912. (fn. 155) Collingbourne became part of Pewsey poor-law union in 1836. (fn. 156)
By 1086 the tithes of Collingbourne Ducis had been granted to Gerald of Wilton, a priest, and the church, presumably as a consequence, was reputed to be impoverished and ruinous. (fn. 157) Before 1228 it was granted to Wherwell Abbey. (fn. 158) Although the abbey did not appropriate the revenues, the abbesses drew a pension of £8 from the church. (fn. 159) The benefice was united with that of Collingbourne Kingston in 1963. The rectory of Everleigh was added to the united benefice, thereafter called the Collingbournes and Everleigh, in 1975. (fn. 160) Collingbourne Ducis and Everleigh were united to create a new ecclesiastical parish called Collingbourne Ducis and Everleigh in 1977. (fn. 161)
The abbesses of Wherwell presented rectors until the dissolution of their house in 1539, but apparently shortly before then the next turn was granted away, for in 1545 John Salmon presented by consent of the abbess. (fn. 162) The advowson had, however, been included in the grant of the manor to Edward Seymour (the Lord Protector, d. 1552) in 1536 (fn. 163) and on the death of the rector presented by Salmon, Seymour, by then earl of Hertford, presented. (fn. 164) His widow Anne, duchess of Somerset (d. 1587), presented in 1554, (fn. 165) but the advowson, unlike the manor, apparently did not pass to Seymour's son, and in 1581 the patron was Sir Richard Kingsmill. (fn. 166) In 1614 and 1633 the king exercised the patronage, but on the first occasion merely confirmed Kingsmill's presentation. (fn. 167) By 1650 the patronage had been restored to Seymour's great-grandson William, marquess of Hertford, later duke of Somerset (d. 1660). (fn. 168) From him it passed to his grandson and heir as duke of Somerset (d. 1671) who presented in 1662. (fn. 169) After the duke's death the advowson did not pass like the manor and in 1700 Merton College, Oxford, presented one of their Fellows to the living. (fn. 170) The king exercised the patronage in the following year, but only to confirm Merton's presentation. (fn. 171) In 1735 the advowson returned, after over 70 years, to the hands of the lord of the manor when Charles, Lord Bruce of Whorlton, later earl of Ailesbury (d. 1746), presented. (fn. 172) Lord Ailesbury presented again in 1743 and thereafter the advowson descended like the Ailesbury title (fn. 173) until 1957 when it was transferred to the bishop. (fn. 174) When the Collingbournes and Everleigh were united in 1975 the bishop of Salisbury as patron of Collingbourne Ducis was allotted the first and fourth of five turns. (fn. 175)
In 1291 the church was valued at £6 13s. 4d., (fn. 176) in 1535 at £16 net. (fn. 177) At both dates £8 was deducted for the pension due to the abbess of Wherwell. The pension passed to the Crown at the Dissolution, and was still payable in 1783. (fn. 178) In 1650 the rectory with glebe was said to be worth £300. (fn. 179) From 1829 to 1831 the average net income was £585. (fn. 180)
In 1086 ½ hide belonged to the church. (fn. 181) In 1671 there were 60½ a. of arable glebe lying scattered in the west and east fields. (fn. 182) Right of common for 140 sheep went with the glebe in 1783 and there was a large parsonage-house with a farmyard and meadow land adjoining. (fn. 183) The glebe, measuring some 55 a., still belonged to the benefice in 1975 and was farmed with Hougomont farm. (fn. 184) A new rectory-house, designed by Benjamin Ingelow, was built on roughly the same site as the old in 1863. (fn. 185) In 1964 a smaller house was built in the grounds for the incumbent of the united benefice of the Collingbournes. (fn. 186) All tithes were due to the rector and were commuted in 1846 for a rent-charge of £636. (fn. 187)
Possibly as at Trowbridge, the lord of the manor exercised archidiaconal jurisdiction within the parish from at least the late 13th century. (fn. 188) After 1544, when Edward Seymour, by then Lord Hertford (d. 1552), was granted the former prebend of Bedwyn, (fn. 189) Collingbourne Ducis and Great and Little Bedwyn formed a peculiar, known as the peculiar of the Lord Warden of Savernake Forest, the hereditary office held by the Seymours and their successors the Bruces. (fn. 190) In 1663 the duke of Somerset appointed the rector of Collingbourne Ducis as his official for the peculiar, (fn. 191) and later lords of the manor frequently, but not invariably, made like appointments. The Collingbourne churchwardens presented faults to the official twice a year at visitation courts held either in Collingbourne Ducis or Great Bedwyn church. At Collingbourne presentations were usually either for non-attendance at church or for failure to maintain pews which were the personal responsibility of their owners. (fn. 192) As everywhere else the peculiar jurisdiction was abolished in 1847. (fn. 193)
In 1536 Robert Richardson, rector 1506–44, had licence to absent himself from the parish, perhaps one of many such dispensations as until 1522 he was also vicar of St. Mary's, Marlborough, and between 1510 and 1535 master of St. John's Hospital there. (fn. 194) Between 1633 and 1662 three active presbyterians held the living. Henry Scudder (1633–c. 1650) was a member of the Westminster Assembly and the author of several treatises. Adoniram Byfield (c. 1650–60) was one of the scribes to the assembly and an assistant commissioner for Wiltshire under the ordinance for ejecting 'scandalous' ministers. (fn. 195) Daniel Burgess (1660–2), in spite of appeals from his patron, the duke of Somerset (d. 1671), to conform, was ejected from the living for his nonconformity and retired to Marlborough. (fn. 196)
In the 18th century there were rectors with commitments outside the parish. William Sherwin (1700–35), a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, spent the last fifteen years of his incumbency in Chichester, where he was a residentiary canon. (fn. 197) A curate served the church meanwhile, and probably continued to do so during the incumbency of the following rector, the Hon. Thomas Bruce (1735–8), who never resided. (fn. 198) William Tomblins (1756–88) lived in Collingbourne although he also held the rectory of Upham (Hants). (fn. 199) Thomas Talbot (1743–58) had a detailed survey made of the parish at his own expense. (fn. 200)
Among later incumbents Charles Francis (1788–1821) employed a curate and only occasionally resided, as he also served the church of Mildenhall. (fn. 201) W. C. Lukis (1855–62) published the first record of English bell inscriptions in 1857 and was a local antiquary. (fn. 202)
In 1650 it was proposed that the residents of Crawlboys Farm should attend Ludgershall church which was much closer than their parish church. At the same time the inhabitants of Collingbourne Sunton, then in Collingbourne Kingston, except those on Dr. Hyde's farm, were to be brought into the parish of Collingbourne Ducis. (fn. 203) In 1676 the rector reported 170 conformists in the parish. (fn. 204) In 1783, although there was no dissenter, the incumbent considered church attendances to be rather poor. Services were held twice on Sundays and Holy Communion celebrated four times a year, when there were never more than twenty communicants. (fn. 205) On Census Sunday in 1851 it was estimated that 100 were in church in the morning and 90 in the afternoon. (fn. 206) In 1864 there were reckoned to be more than 80 communicants, of whom on average 29 attended at the great festivals. The congregation then averaged about 50, and would have been larger but for the bad accommodation in the church. (fn. 207)
The early dedication of the church was to St. Mary but by 1786 had been changed to ST. ANDREW. (fn. 208) The building of flint and rubble with stone dressings stands on high ground at the southern end of the village. It consists of chancel with north vestry and organ chamber, an aisled nave with south porch, and a west tower.
In the early 13th century there was an aisled nave, with arcades of three bays in transitional style, and presumably a chancel. The chancel was enlarged or rebuilt later in the century and new windows were put into the aisles early in the 14th century, the south aisle probably being rebuilt at that time. The tower arch may be late-14th-century and the oblong plan of the tower suggests an earlier date than the 15th century, at which time it was rebuilt. Within the middle stage of the tower is a large dovecot with nesting-boxes lining all four walls. A square aperture to the outside has an alighting and takingoff platform. The south doorway of the church and the window to its east were renewed in the 16th century.
The chancel was rebuilt on a narrower plan in 1856 by Lukis when he became rector. (fn. 209) The north vestry was added at the same time. The architect was G. E. Street. In 1877, with Sir Arthur Blomfield as architect, (fn. 210) the nave and aisles were thoroughly restored and re-roofed and a new porch was built to replace one of brick dated 1791. The chancel arch was renewed and an organ-chamber added. The tower was restored in 1902 with money from Charles Francis's charity. The west window by Ward and Hughes was inserted c. 1887 by John Mackrell to commemorate his ancestors. (fn. 211)
Charles Francis (d. 1821) bequeathed £100 to provide a fund for church repairs. The money has since been used for that purpose. John Mackrell gave £200 to maintain the window in the west wall of the tower. Some of the interest has been used to pay insurance premiums and the rest, in accordance with Mackrell's wishes, on benefits for the poor. (fn. 212)
A brass on the south wall of the chancel commemorates Edward (d. 1631 aged 11 months), son of William Seymour, duke of Somerset (d. 1660). (fn. 213) In 1553 the church kept its silver chalice, but 17 oz. of silver were taken for the king. (fn. 214) In 1783, besides the chalice, the church had some pewter vessels. (fn. 215)
New plate was acquired in the 19th century. It included a chalice, given at the time of the restoration of 1877, and a small cup with handle, a paten, and an alms-dish given by Charles Francis. (fn. 216) Two small items were added in the 20th century. (fn. 217) In 1783 there were four bells, (fn. 218) later six: (ii), by Robert Wells of Aldbourne, and (vi), by James Borough of Devizes, were recast in 1902. Bells (iii) and (iv) are 17th-century and (v) early-16th-century. The treble was added in 1927. (fn. 219) The registers begin in 1653, and, except for a gap for marriages between 1727 and 1730, are complete. (fn. 220)
There was no dissenter in the parish in 1676. (fn. 221) Some houses in the village were used for nonconformist worship in the earlier 19th century. That of John Hillier was registered in 1812, that of John Lansley or Lousley in 1828 and 1844, and that of Joseph Butcher in 1840. At Cadley the house of Joseph Allen was registered in 1834. (fn. 222) In 1838 there were thought to be 22 Baptists and 36 Primitive Methodists meeting in houses in the neighbourhood. (fn. 223) A chapel was built by the Primitive Methodists in 1849 and on Census Sunday in 1851 it was reckoned that 195 people attended there in the morning, 194 in the afternoon, and 210 in the evening. (fn. 224)
In 1864 there were thought to be some 200 nonconformists. The Wesleyan Methodists and Baptists attended chapels outside the parish. (fn. 225) A new Primitive Methodist chapel was built at Cadley in 1880 and in 1975 was still in use. (fn. 226)
In 1819 there were two schools for about 35 children, most of whom were paid for by the rector. About twelve children came from neighbouring parishes. A strong desire for education prevailed, (fn. 227) but in 1833 there was no school. (fn. 228)
In 1858 between 20 and 30 children were taught in a dame school and others went to the school in Collingbourne Kingston. In 1859, however, a school, supported by the National Society, was opened with a certificated master in charge. (fn. 229) The architect of the new building was Samuel Overton. (fn. 230) Average attendance throughout the later 19th century was around 80. (fn. 231) School pence were abolished in 1891, and a penny bank opened in the school to which parents could subscribe. (fn. 232) The school had 85 children in 1975. (fn. 233) In 1864 there was an eveningschool during the winter for about twenty young men and boys. (fn. 234)
Charities for the Poor.
George John Hooper by his will proved 1862 left £100 for investment to provide coal for poor widows in the parish. Marianna Hooper by her will proved 1867 left £100 similarly to buy flannel or blankets for poor working women. In 1904 the income from G. J. Hooper's bequest was £2 10s. and eight widows received 9 cwt. of coal each. Marianna Hooper's charity by that date had been extended to needy children as well as poor women and that year nine recipients received vouchers worth about 5s. each. Elizabeth Piper by her will proved 1890 bequeathed £200 for investment to provide coals and blankets for the elderly. In 1904 the income was about £5 and there were thirteen beneficiaries. (fn. 235)
In 1975 the two Hooper charities yielded £2.50 each. That of Elizabeth Piper brought in about £5. All three were spent on vouchers for groceries at Christmas. (fn. 238)