A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1953.
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The ancient parish of Potterne consisted of the tithings of Potterne, Worton, and Marston. Two churchwardens were appointed for Potterne tithing and one chapelwarden each for those of Worton and Marston. (fn. 1) At the beginning of the 19th century Worton and Marston each separately maintained its own poor and appointed overseers. It appears that from at least 1828 the government of each was carried on through a separate vestry meeting. (fn. 2) By Order in Council of 1852 the district chapelry of Worton, comprising the tithings of Worton and Marston, was formed out of the ecclesiastical parish of Potterne into a new ecclesiastical parish. (fn. 3) Worton and Marston continued to relieve their poor separately and to be governed by separate vestries. They were in effect civil parishes. A small part of the parish of Potterne was transferred to the (civil) parish of Worton by order of the Local Government Board in 1883. (fn. 4) Under the Local Government Act, 1894, Worton civil parish was placed under the government of a parish council and Marston civil parish under that of a parish meeting. (fn. 5) By the Wiltshire County Review Order, 1934, small parts of the parish of Potterne were transferred to the borough of Devizes and to the parish of Worton. (fn. 6)
The modern parish of Potterne lies partly on the Gault and Upper Greensand between the chalk escarpments of the Marlborough Downs and Salisbury Plain, and partly on the eastern edge of the Oxford and Kimmeridge Clays of north and mid-west Wilts. (fn. 7) The height of the land within the parish varies between 200 and 350 ft. (fn. 8) Two streams pass through the parish, one in the north, running east, the other south of the village, running south and then east. The village of Potterne is 2 miles from Devizes on the main road to Salisbury (A 360). It is linked by secondary roads to Worton 1½ miles west, and Urchfont, 2 miles east. Potterne Wick is ½ mile south of the village and Woodbridge ¾ mile east.
The land in the parishes of Worton and Marston is uniformly about 200 ft. above sea-level. Bulkington Brook rises in West Lavington, flows north-west through Worton and Marston and is the boundary between them for part of its length. The village of Worton lies on the road from Melksham to West Lavington. That of Marston is a few hundred yards to the south. Roads connect the two villages with Bulkington to the west and Erlestoke and East Coulston to the south.
The Porch House in the main street of Potterne is one of the best-known smaller domestic buildings in Wiltshire. (fn. 9) It is an early-16th-century timber-framed house on an ashlar plinth and consists of a central hall, two-storied gabled wings, and a two-storied porch opening into the hall passage. In the upper room of the north wing there is a small round hole, of uncertain purpose, through one of the upright timbers. (fn. 10) A window in this room looks into the hall. The bay window of the hall is glazed with pieces of stained glass, doubtless the fruit of some collector's zeal. Late in the 17th century a large central chimney of oak and wattle was added, partly blocking up the hall. (fn. 11)
The original owner of the house is not known. The house is said to have been used successively as a brewery, a bakehouse, and an inn. (fn. 12) In 1869 there were persons living in Potterne who remembered the discovery of the ancient inn sign—'The White Horse'. (fn. 13) Some years before 1869 the house had been altered to permit its division into four of five cottages. (fn. 14) A tablet on the front of the house is inscribed 'repaired 1847' and this was probably the date of the alterations. These included the cutting of new doorways and windows, the blocking up of other windows and the front of the porch, the insertion of staircases, the plastering of the open timber roof, and the removal of part of the pendants and tracery which reached from the roof to within two or three feet of the upper floor. (fn. 15) In 1876 the house was restored for its owner, George Richmond (1809–96) the portrait painter, by the architect Ewan Christian. The 17th-century chimney was removed and the alterations of 1847 were as far as possible swept away. (fn. 16) The date 1876 is inscribed on the brackets of a bay window at the back of the house. Half of the ancient iron-bound door previously removed from the porch was discovered in a local pig-sty and restored to its proper position. (fn. 17)
Court Hill House, Potterne, is a medium-sized 18 thcentury house of two stories and attic, square in plan, built of red brick diapered with blue brick headers, with worked stone dressings and V-jointed quoins. At one side is a 19th-century extension.
Eastwall, in Potterne, is an early-16th-century house which was almost entirely rebuilt in 1772 in red brick. The ground floor retains the stone walls of the earlier house with a few original mullioned windows. In the latter half of the 19th century the brickwork was rough-cast. A slope in the site makes part of the house three stories and part two. Inside there is some 16thcentury panelling from the earlier house. Several rooms have 18th-century panelling and bolection moulded chimney pieces. The original 16th-century counterboarded oak entrance door has been reused as an internal door. Behind the house are the remains of the original bake- and brew-houses. The gardens are terraced and partly inclosed by a high red brick wall with piers at intervals, each surmounted by a carved stone urn. The wall has the date 1658 in large figures worked in blue bricks—an early date for this form of garden layout. Close to the house there is a small threestory house, rectangular in plan, built about 1780 to accommodate two children who had become wards of the owner. The interior has been stripped of all its features.
Beside Potterne Park Farm, in the south-east corner of the parish, is a moated inclosure, roughly 180 ft. square, with a low bank on the inside of the ditch. The whole inclosure is now thickly covered with trees and underwood.
At the top of Potterne Field, in the north of the parish, is an elm tree, sometimes known as 'The Little Tree', surrounded by a broken railing. It is said to have been planted by General Hunt Grubbe to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo and is marked on Greenwood's map of 1820. It has given the name 'One Tree Hill' to the elevation on which it stands.
Potterne was on the extreme edge of the industrial area of Wiltshire and there are references to a number of textile workers living in the parish in the 16th and early 17th centuries. John Flower, of Worton, was a prominent clothier who in c. 1550 possessed over 800 sheep and had 4 looms. (fn. 18) Other clothiers were Thomas Allington of Potterne (fl. 1562); (fn. 19) John Longe (fl. 1590); (fn. 20) and Richard Burley (fl. c. 1610). (fn. 21) John Townsend (1633), tucker, (fn. 22) John Hiscock, 'yarnman' (1640), (fn. 23) and George Glasse (c. 1665), clothworker, (fn. 24) also occur.
In 1612 a petition was made to the Quarter Sessions for the regulation of 'badgers' in west Wilts. The names of twenty-five carriers were given, most of them belonging to Potterne. From this it appears that the men of Potterne were to the fore in exploiting the contemporary shortage of corn. (fn. 25)
The years 1643 to 1675 were among the most noteable in the history of Potterne. In 1643 the Parliamentary general Sir William Waller was defeated by the Royalists at Roundway Down, only 4 miles from Potterne. He may have billetted his troops in Potterne, and it is certain that he carried off supplies from the village. Thomas White, tavern keeper of Potterne, was petitioning the local justices three years later for the payment of £12 for 'beer, strong water and sack' which Waller had 'taken for the Parliamentary service and carried to Roundway Hill'. The parishioners of Potterne had refused to contribute to the payment of this levy. (fn. 26) There was an outbreak of the dreaded plague at Potterne and Marston in 1644. Thomas White claimed to have supplied £7. 9s. worth of beer and tobacco for the relief of the victims and this was still owed him in 1646. (fn. 27) The tide of battle reached Potterne again in 1645, when Cromwell and Waller quartered their troops there during their campaign against Col. Long. (fn. 28) The effect of the civil war upon the parish is shown in a petition by the inhabitants to the justices of Quarter Sessions in 1647. They complained of chronic unemployment and hardship to the poor because the farm land lieth still and untilled, whereby the poor lost the benefit of gleaning the corn in the harvest time, which heretofore hath yielded them much comfort, and gentlemen there left off housekeeping, with the want of work which did much ease the parish'. The petition asked that the inhabitants of the tithing of Worton should be compelled to contribute to the relief of the poor in Potterne. (fn. 29)
During the 19th century Potterne was notorious for hooliganism. Early evidence of this, from the years 1816–17, is the outbreak of cattle maiming, which was confined to this parish. Promised rewards of 50 guineas, 15 guineas, and £100 apparently failed to disclose the offender. (fn. 30)
In 1832 an Assistant Poor Law Commissioner remarked that at Potterne a few years before the Bishop of Salisbury, as lord of the manor, vested the waste land of the parish in a committee for the use of the poor. The condition was that no man to whom ½ acre was allotted was to have any claim upon the parish. This scheme was a failure: the poor had frequently surrendered the land, preferring to live on the parish. (fn. 31) 'This parish of Potterne', wrote the Assistant Commissioner, 'is filled with a very discontented and turbulent race, and it may be mentioned as a curious feature of the times that the paupers of Potterne raised a subscription amongst themselves and bought a Burn's Justice for the avowed purpose of puzzling the overseers and magistrates'. (fn. 32)
Later in the century the 'Potterne Lambs', as they were ironically called, were 'said to excel in work, drinking and fighting'. (fn. 33) Tom Smith, in his reminiscences of Potterne 1850–1900, mentions a farmer of the parish 'who it was said, had received enough summonses to paper a room'. (fn. 34) Few places of equal size, says Smith, have supplied as many men to the army and navy. (fn. 35) Smith, who was a devout Wesleyan, was mainly interested in the social and religious life of the village. In his time there were six public houses, of which three provided skittle-alleys. Customs of the village included 'scrigging' or knocking down the small apples left after the gathering of the main crop. This was done with 'squailers' (throwing sticks). Other pastimes were gambling for beer, cricket, 'bandy' (hockey), and rounders—'but not the feminine game now known as rounders'. (fn. 36) Favourite visiting entertainers were a hurdy-gurdy man, German bands, and a hawker of paper wind-mills. (fn. 37) The great event of the year was the Potterne Feast, held on the first Sunday after 19 September, and celebrated by skittling, fighting, and quarrelling as well as by eating and drinking. (fn. 38) Archdeacon Buchanan (vicar 1871–1891) was the first of a succession of incumbents who devoted their efforts to making the feast more respectable. By the time Smith wrote these efforts had been successful; the feast had declined into 'a vimless and formal celebration'. (fn. 39) It has now ceased. (fn. 40)
Those of the inhabitants of Potterne who were not employed in agriculture worked in Devizes or in a brickyard. (fn. 41) Smocking and bonnet-making was a local industry. (fn. 42) Many of the women took their dough to be baked at a bakehouse in the village. (fn. 43) Fuel was a perpetual problem: 'I have known dried cow's dung collected and used as fuel, and bean stubbs were counted almost a luxury as a heat producer.... I remember too how in the dead of winter, when the roads were bad, a gang of unemployed hauled a farmer's wagon to Radstock and brought back a load of coal.' (fn. 44) There were several local friendly societies. The 'Wiltshire Friendly Society' was at first suspect as 'an extension of the... servants' hall system'. (fn. 45) The most popular society was the King's Arms Club, founded in 1793. Tom Smith quotes the 42 rules of the club, 'almost each one showing a profound suspicion of human nature in providing for fines for every possible offence'. (fn. 46) The Club Feast on Whit Tuesday was the second great festival of the village year. (fn. 47) In the last quarter of the 19th century there was a flourishing temperance movement in the village. (fn. 48) The Temperance Hall was built in 1876. (fn. 49)
Francis Fox (Vicar of Potterne 1711–26) was celebrated in his day as a Whig and controversialist. (fn. 50) William Ewart (1798–1869) was M.P. for the Dumfries district of burghs (1841–68). He was a free-trader and was notable for his part in passing a bill restricting capital punishment and also the bill establishing free public libraries. He owned Broadleas in Potterne, where his daughter Margaret lived until her death in 1922. (fn. 51) A more bizarre character than these was Ruth Pierce of Potterne, who on 2 5 January 1753 fell dead in Devizes Market Place in the act of telling a lie. (fn. 52)
At the time of the Domesday Inquest the manor of POTTERNE was held by the Bishop of Salisbury. (fn. 53) His tenants were two Englishmen. One of these held by military tenure by command of the king and was nephew of Bishop Herman. The other, Alward, held land in the time of King Edward which had been bought from Bishop Herman, to hold for life only, with reversion to the bishop. Land in the manor was also held by Ernulf de Hesding, as a tenant-in-chief of the king, but this was claimed by the bishop 'because he who held.... in the time of King Edward could not be separated from the Bishop'. (fn. 54) Ernulf's mesne tenant for his land was named Robert, and the tenant before the Conquest had been Algar. (fn. 55) These entries make it probable that Potterne belonged to the Bishops of Ramsbury before the see was removed to Salisbury. Herman was Bishop of Ramsbury from 1045. Potterne presumably remained in the hands of the Bishops of Salisbury until at least 1139. In that year Stephen seized Devizes castle, which was then a possession of the see of Salisbury. It may be surmised that Potterne was seized with it and that, with Devizes, it passed into the hands of the Empress Maud in 1141. In 1146, however, Eugenius III acknowledged Potterne to be part of the episcopal estates (fn. 56) and in 1148 the empress formally restored the manor to the bishop. (fn. 57) From this time until the 19th century the lordship of the manor remained vested in the Bishops of Salisbury, and at the present day it is in the hands of the Church Commissioners as owners of the estates of the see.
During the Middle Ages there were several undertenants of the manor, but the bishops seem to have kept the demesne in their own hands. Potterne, along with Bishop's Cannings and West Lavington, was seized by John in 1212 and given into the custody of the Constable of Devizes. (fn. 58) Presumably it was restored to the bishop in 1213 or 1214. In 1294 the king granted to Bishop Nicholas Longespée free warren in his demesne lands at Potterne and elsewhere. (fn. 59) Bishop Wyville in 1337 obtained permission to crenellate the dwellingplace of his manor there. (fn. 60) This licence was repeated forty years later in favour of Bishop Ralph Erghum. (fn. 61) During the 14th century Potterne was one of the bishops' most frequent residences, and continued to be so at least until the death of Bishop Mitford (1407). (fn. 62) Meanwhile in 1355 the manor had been mortgaged to William de Montacute, 7th Earl of Salisbury, as security for Bishop Wyville's debt to the earl of 2,500 marks. (fn. 63) The mortgage was redeemed in 1358. (fn. 64) About the middle of the 16th century the manor was leased to Sir John Tregonwell. Tregonwell subleased to Aldam Lambe of Coulston, whose heir was his son Auncell. On the death of Auncell Lambe the lease passed to his widow Eleanor, their daughter Joan and another, posthumous child. Aldam Lambe's daughter Pracsyde had married John Long, and she and her husband laid claim to the manor after Auncell's death. (fn. 65) These events took place between 1546 and 1564. Eleanor Lambe married as her second husband Nicholas Perry, but there is no further trace of them. In 1567 the manor was conveyed by Dorothy Bamfelde, widow, and Anthony Rogers to John Ernley, Robert Tyderleigh, and William Horton. (fn. 66) Richard Rogers, Ellen his wife, and Edward Rogers conveyed it in 1582 to Matthew and John Ewens. (fn. 67) When Richard Rogers died in 1602 it was stated that he held lands in Potterne of the Bishop of Salisbury 'as of his manor of Potterne'. Edward Rogers, his son and heir, was then aged 40. (fn. 68) The manor was conveyed by Edward Rogers and Alice his wife in 1606 to John Kendall and William Gilson, and the heirs of John. (fn. 69) This quit-claim was repeated (also in 1606) by Edward Rogers and his son Edward. (fn. 70) In 1610 Edward Rogers and Dorothy his wife conveyed the manor to John Chapman alias Hitchcocke and John Harvest, and the heirs of Chapman. (fn. 71) The estate held by the Rogers family was probably split up soon after this, for in 1619, in an inquisition taken on the property of William Longe, who had died in 1617, it was stated that he left to his elder brother and heir John Longe, a meadow called 'Rooksmarsh' formerly part of a manor called Roger's Manor in Potterne. (fn. 72)
The manor of Potterne was sold in 1648 by the Commissioners for the Sale of Ecclesiastical Lands, to William and Thomas Baxter of Chelsea. (fn. 73) It came back into the hands of the bishop at the Restoration. (fn. 74) In 1711 the manor was leased to Nicholas Busfield of London. (fn. 75) In 1721 'manors, lands etc.', in Devizes, Potterne, Potterne Wyke, and other places were conveyed by William Kent to William Grubbe and Francis Sadler. (fn. 76)
In 1212 there was a lawsuit concerning 30 acres of pasture in Potterne. Seisin was given to James of Potterne on the default of William of Potterne. (fn. 77) This James was one of the king's clerks; he was employed mainly on judicial business. (fn. 78) In 1222 James of Potterne granted this piece of land to the bishop in return for a life interest in a grove called 'Thorncroft', which was part of the said pasture, and another tenement which he had formerly held of the bishop. (fn. 79) In 1236 Margery, daughter of Eustace of Potterne, possibly a relative of James, granted a virgate and a messuage in Potterne to William Champiun. (fn. 80) About this time, also, Margery, relict of Nicholas of Gloucester, granted the bishop all the meadow at Spray in the manor of Potterne that adjoined the bishop's meadow, between his field and the water of Crouke. (fn. 81) These references to Spray possibly show that the manor of Potterne extended at this time beyond the later parish boundaries, for there is a Sprays Farm now in the parish of Calne Without, and formerly in that of Calne.
The next reference to a tenant in Potterne is in 1280. Geoffrey de Echelhampton died in that year, leaving to his son Richard, aged 8, ½ a knight's fee and 2 virgates, worth £9. 12s. per annum and held of the bishop by knight service. (fn. 82)
The manor house, now the local headquarters of the Wiltshire Fire Service, was entirely rebuilt in 1881 in a poor classic style. An 18th-century stable block of good design still remains, built of red brick with stone dressings, slated hipped roof, and a central fleche surmounted by an ornamental weather vane.
The manor of BLOUNT'S COURT probably originated in the 13th century. In 1270 Geoffrey le Blunt of Potterne was granted exemption for life from various offices. (fn. 83) In 1428 Sir Robert Frampton held of the Bishop of Salisbury 'certain lands and tenements in Potterne and Marston which were formerly of Geoffrey le Blunt', and represented ½ a knight's fee. (fn. 84) When John Frampton had died two years previously he had left to his son Robert (then 26) 'a manor in the Vill of Potterne', held of the bishop. (fn. 85) Presumably these were one and the same. Roger Frampton, who died in 1530, left to his cousin John Frampton the manor of Potterne alias 'Blunttys' Court, held of the bishop. Roger's father James, who died in 1523–4, had devised the manor to pious uses for a term of fifteen years. Roger Frampton had granted it in 1524 to Charles Bulkeley. (fn. 86)
Soon after this time the manor was apparently leased to the Longe family. In a lawsuit of c. 1570 it was stated that before 1551 William Longe, his son Thomas, and his daughter Joan had been seised of Blount's Court for the term of their lives, and that in 1551 Joan, now wife of John Warde, had released to her father and her brother all her right in the manor. According to the same statement Thomas Longe later married Elizabeth daughter of John Pistor, and William Longe had agreed to pay Pistor £100 and had promised that all his lands should descend on his death to Thomas and Elizabeth. William Longe had died leaving property worth £400. He had previously settled the manor on Thomas and Elizabeth, but John Pistor claimed that he had paid only £30 of the £100 owing from him and sought the balance from Margaret Longe relict (presumably of William) and John Longe (probably another son of William. (fn. 87) In 1643 the manor was among the possessions sold by William Frampton shortly before his death to raise money for a settlement upon his children William, Richard, Robert, George, Tregonwell, Katherine, Anne, and Elizabeth. (fn. 88)
The house and property now known as Blount's Court have been owned by the Stancomb family since 1809, when William Stancomb started building the house, for which he revived the ancient name. His son William died in 1941 at the age of 90. (fn. 89) Blount's Court, which is now divided into flats, is a large 19thcentury 'gothic' building with a porch carried up as a battlemented tower. The centre block is of three stories, the wings are of two. The windows are squareheaded, mullioned, and transomed, the parapets battlemented.
The tithing of WORTON never seems to have been a separate manor, but was part of the Bishop of Salisbury's manor of Potterne. Reference has already been made above to the settlement of 1173, relating to a capital messuage in Worton.
The family with the longest connexion with Worton was that of Flower. A Ralph de Flore was a juror of Rowborough Hundred in 1255. (fn. 90) In 1537 John Flower of Worton, clothier, alleged that he had been robbed between Bagshot (Berks.) and Windsor Park. (fn. 91) In 1619 another John Flower conveyed to Thomas Long of Great Cheverell, father of his wife Joan, a capital messuage in Worton called Flower's Farm, to make a jointure for the said Joan. John Flower died in 1624, being survived by his wife and his son John, aged nearly 3 years. His father had died ten years before and had also been called John. (fn. 92)
The tithing of MARSTON, like that of Worton, did not form a separate manor. In 1258 Robert de Ringesburne conveyed property in Marston to Walter le Rus. (fn. 93) This comprised 2/3 of 2 virgates of land and 12d. rent. At the same time Walter surrendered in Robert's favour ⅓ of 2 virgates and 12d. rent in Marston.
The reputed manor of RANGEBOURNE derives its name from the family of Ringesburne, mentioned above under Marston. The name survives in the modern Rangebourne Mill. (fn. 94) The estate is first described as a manor in the 16th century. In 1583 Henry Brewyn, esq., and Elizabeth his wife conveyed it to John and Robert Drew and the heirs of John. (fn. 95) Sir Henry Andrewes, bt., and Elizabeth his wife conveyed the manor in 1681 to John Eyles, esq. (fn. 96) Elizabeth had previously been the wife of John Drew. (fn. 97) In 1730 Francis Eyles the younger conveyed it to George Heathcote, along with the manor of Hilperton (q.v.). (fn. 98) It was, however, still held by Edward Eyles in 1755, when it was conveyed by him to Oliver Edwards. (fn. 99) Before 1813 it had passed to the Heathcote family; Sir Gilbert Heathcote, bt., and George Montagu then made a conveyance of it. (fn. 100) In 1829 it was in the possession of George Watson Taylor and his wife Anna Susanna. (fn. 101) It thus became part of the Erlestoke estate (q.v.). In 1922 it belonged to Miss M. Ewart of Broadleas who died in that year. (fn. 102)
Property in WOODBRIDGE in Potterne was annexed in the 14th century to the earldom of Kent. John, 5th earl, who died in 1352, left to his sister and heir Joan a knight's fee there, held by Richard son of John. (fn. 103) This fee was part of the property of Joan, Dowager Duchess of York, who died in 1434. (fn. 104) She was the sister of the last Earl of Kent of the Holland family, who had died in 1408, (fn. 105) and one of his coheiresses. Her heirs were a sister, Margaret, Duchess of Clarence; a nephew, Richard, Duke of York; two nieces, Joyce Tiptoft and Alice, Countess of Salisbury; and a grandnephew, Henry Grey.
The church of Potterne with its tithes, coupled with the church of West Lavington and its tithes, were among the endowments granted by Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury, to his cathedral chapter in c. 1091. (fn. 106) The two churches remained linked in this way for the support of a prebendary, whose stall in Salisbury Cathedral was variously described as that of Potterne, of Potterne and Lavington, (fn. 107) or of Lavington. (fn. 108) The prebend so formed was held in 1165 and 1215 by the Dean of Salisbury, in 1220 by Robert de Beaufoe, and in 1226 by Elias de Derham. (fn. 109) In 1254 it was assigned to the Bishop of Salisbury and has been held by his successors ever since. (fn. 110) In 1291 the prebend was valued at £50; (fn. 111) in 1341 with the portions of the vicar or vicars (cum porcionibus vicar'), it was said to be worth £78. 7s. 8d. (fn. 112) In 1535 separate assessments were made for the prebend of Lavington which was worth £39. 15s. 4d., and the prebend of Potterne which was valued at £26. (fn. 113) The Bishops of Salisbury appear to have exercised their right of presentation to the church of Potterne on all but two occasions. In 1550 Thomas Bower (fn. 114) and in 1629 John Grubbe (fn. 115) presented.
At the time of the Domesday Survey the priest of Potterne held land worth 20s. (fn. 116) In 1281 John de Horcheston, Vicar of Potterne, secured from 'Sayva' Horn and John de Butelyate the grant of a messuage, 20 acres of arable, 5 acres of meadow, and 2s. rent in Potterne. (fn. 117) The vicarage of Potterne was valued at £20 in 1291 and in 1535 at £20. 6s. 8d. (fn. 118) All the glebeland belonging to the prebend was sold in 1650 by the Commonwealth Commissioners to Gregory Clement, merchant of London. It was described as 'that parcel of meadow ground, with appurtenances, commonly known by the name of Chiphouse meadow'; it was about 11 acres in extent and was occupied by Hugh Grove, by right of an indenture of 1640, which had granted him a twenty-one years lease at an annual rent of £34. 4s. (fn. 119) The living was restored to the bishop in 1660. In 1653 Henry Alexander, Earl of Stirling, conveyed to John Smith all tithes of grain and hay in 100 acres of land in the parishes of Potterne and Bishop's Cannings. (fn. 120) The earl was the son of Mary, daughter of Sir Peter Vanlore, bt., who bought Devizes castle and park from William, 4th Earl of Pembroke. (fn. 121)
In 1609 it was stated that the Vicar of Potterne had the tithes of wool and lambs in the whole parish, the 'tithing calf' and consideration for 'cow white', the profit of the churchyard, and tithes of all produce on certain lands as follows: John Harvest's tenement, Mr. Rogers's land (with specified exceptions), Bide, Spraye, 2 acres in Sandford, the Park (Sir John Dauntsey), Woodfine meade, the meadow of Widow Trippott lying by Potterne Wood, (fn. 122) Ifley meade (Sir John Dauntsey). In addition the vicar had the tithing wood of Limehill, the tithe of all mills and of a close adjoining Rushford Mill and the tithing hay of Broadmead 'adjoining the marsh from the gate to the oaks which grow towards the upper end'. He claimed the tithe of Abbats Ball, but this had recently been disputed. In addition to the vicarage house and garden there were 37 acres of vicarial glebe, in Frogwell, Doles, the Clay, the Park, the 'Devizes way', adjoining the vicar's barn and elsewhere. (fn. 123) A terrier of 1705 mentions the same pieces of glebe and has a longer list of the places which paid vicarial tithes. Place-names not mentioned in 1609 were: Fursehill, Gootham, Lipsheet lease, Marshmead, Furlong, Cane Hill (Caen Hill), Little Kitmore, Eyer Closes, Chelsbury, Crok, New Lane Brook, Roomer, Riley, Sand Ground, Blackborough, Rushy Lease, Oarslane, Croke Hill, Oxtailpiece. The vicar had the tithing calf and pig, 1d. for every 'cow white', 1d. for every garden, the tithe of all geese and all orchards in the parish and the tithe of 6 (named) mills. (fn. 124)
The church of ST. MARY consists of a chancel, nave, north and south transepts and porches, and a central tower. It was built about the middle of the 13th century, and except for the addition of a south porch in the 14th century and the raising of the tower in the 15th it has been little altered. It retains its original lancet windows throughout. In 1872 it was restored and reroofed. The tower has an elaborately traceried and perforated embattled parapet with crocketted pinnacles and an octagonal stair turret. The north doorway to the chancel has been blocked and on the south side of the chancel arch are traces of a door to a rood-loft, which opens off the tower stair. (fn. 125)
In the south wall of the chancel there is a good piscina with a pointed moulded arch. In the opposite wall there is an aumbry fitted with a modern oak door. Each transept has a trefoil-headed piscina with a circular basin and slot for a shelf. The carved oak pulpit, which has traces of original colour, is a good example of late-15th-century work. The font dates from the early 15th century. At the western end of the nave there is the basin of a very early font, found beneath the nave floor in 1872. It is a large, deep, circular bowl with an internal diameter of 2 ft. 3 in., slightly tapered with a fillet round the rim bearing an inscription in Latin—'Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum ita desiderat anima mea ad te deus amen' (Psalm 42. 1). It is one of the earliest in the country and probably dates from the 10th century. It is in the form of a tapered tube with a circular stone 7¼ in. thick fitted in to form the bottom 3½ in. short of the base and caulked with lead. The rim is rebated for a cover. (fn. 126) Fixed to the west wall is a carved and gilded mid-18th century Royal arms, originally on the west gallery front. Its shield is an alteration and is partly obscured by the garter. Above there are two painted panels representing Moses and Aaron, and four panels with texts from an altar-piece erected in 1723 and removed in 1872. The west gallery which housed the organ was also removed in 1872. The organ, now in the south transept, was raised in 1937 to a loft and a vestry formed beneath it. In 1938 a new vestry screen was erected, reusing 18thcentury carvings from the destroyed altar-piece. The north door, partly restored and fitted with modern hinges, is late 15th century. There is a chest of oak, the front incised with four bays of round-headed arcading dated 1639 and another made of iron plates with straps rivetted on, two hasps, central lock with decorative plate and massive drop-lifting handles with a central twist. There is a memorial to John Merewether (d. 1680).
Money for the purchase of an organ and the maintenance of an organist was provided for out of £500 bequeathed by Thomas Flower in c. 1723. (fn. 127) In 1826 subscriptions were raised within the parish to provide a fund for the cost of tuning and repairing the organ, (fn. 128) and at some time during his incumbency (1807–37) the Revd. George Edmonstone invested 50 guineas for the same purpose and for increasing the salary of the organist. (fn. 129) Thomas Flower's bequest was invested in £373. 13s. 5d. Consols in 1784, and in 1858 was transferred to the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds. (fn. 130) In 1866 £66. 13s. 4d. Reduced Annuities representing Edmonstone's investment, and in 1870 £295. 3s. Consols representing the proceeds of the above mentioned subscriptions were transferred to the same Trustees. (fn. 131) Since 1892 these three charities have been administered with White's charity for the Choir-Master (see below). The organ was enlarged in 1919 and fitted with a new case in 1938.
Provision was made for a choir-master at Potterne in the will of James White, proved 1827 (see also below— Charities). By this £200 were given 'for some fit and proper person for teaching and instructing the choir of singers at Potterne', such person to be chosen annually by ballot. In 1870 the capital value of this charity was £230. 1s. 7d. Consols and was that year transferred to the Trustees of Charitable Funds. In 1904 the income from this was £5. 15s. (fn. 132) This charity for a choirmaster with the three charities mentioned above for organ and organist have been jointly administered since 1892 by five local trustees, consisting of the vicar and churchwardens of Potterne, and two elected representatives of the parish who should hold office for 5 years. (fn. 133) The choir also benefited by the will, proved 1885, of James Glass who left £400 to the vicar and churchwardens of Potterne. For 21 years after his death the annual interest on this was to provide £1 for the sexton, £1 to the bell-ringers, and the remainder was to be used for the benefit of the members of the choir. After 21 years the whole interest was to be given at the discretion of the trustees to the deserving poor of the parish. In 1904 the capital sum was £410. 15s. 8d. Consols and the residue of the interest was being used to pay for the annual choir excursion and also an honorarium for the choir. (fn. 134)
The church plate comprises 2 chalices, a paten, a tankard-shaped flagon, and 2 alms-dishes all bearing the hall-mark 1724 and purchased with a legacy left for this purpose by Thomas Flower (who also bequeathed money for an organ and organist—see above). (fn. 135) A third chalice and paten, both of silver gilt, were presented in 1936 in memory of Edward Hamilton Stewart. (fn. 136) There are six bells: (i) the gift of the Revd. George Edmonstone in 1820; (ii) probably c. 1600; (iii) 1624; (iv) 1713; (v) made by Wells of Aldbourne 1771; (vi) 1624. (fn. 137) The registers begin in 1556 and are complete.
The church house at Potterne was the vicarage until a new one was built in 1772. It was almost entirely rebuilt in the 17th century, and a stone built into the north front, inscribed PW1614 IV MV possibly refers to this. It has been extensively restored and modernized. A porch of two stories was added to the front about the end of the 17th century. A porch and bay window were added to the garden front in the 19th century. The front has a gabled wing each end and the garden front three equally spaced gables. Little of interest remains internally apart from some heavy and richly moulded oak door-frames of the 17th century.
The ecclesiastical parish of Worton with Marston was formed in 1852 from that of Potterne. The living was in the gift of the Vicar of Potterne. It was amalgamated in 1932 with the rectory of Poulshot (q.v.) and is now in the gift of the Bishop of Salisbury. (fn. 138) CHRIST CHURCH, Worton (built in 1843), is a small building with a wide nave, small chancel, north and south transepts, and small vestry. It is a plain stone ashlar building of a nondescript 'gothic' design with a west entrance and bell-cote for one bell. The pulpit, low box pews, and gallery at the west end are contemporary with the church. Painted on the gallery front is a list of charities. The single bell was cast by Mears in 1888. The plate consists of a silver flagon, large paten, chalice, and small paten, all dated 1843. The registers begin in 1843.
Two bequests were made for the benefit of a Sunday school at Worton. Sarah Bolter, by her will proved in the Consistory Court of Salisbury, bequeathed £100, (fn. 139) and Sarah Gaisford by her will, proved 1863, bequeathed £20 for this school. (fn. 140) In 1884 by order of the Charity Commissioners the administration of these two charities was settled upon the vicar and churchwardens of the ecclesiastical parish of Worton and Marston. The capital of the two charities was £120. 11s. in 1904, yielding £3. 6s. 4d. a year. This was spent on Sunday-school prizes, class books, coke, and an honorarium to the schoolmistress for sitting with the children in church. (fn. 141)
In 1834 it was stated that a field in the tithing of Worton called High Meadows was let to Mr. Glass for £1 a year, which was applied to the support of Potterne church. It was not known when the charity originated, but it was said to have existed, in the same form, from time immemorial. High Meadow later became known as Church Mead. By the Inclosure Award of 1835, made under the Act of 1824, a piece of land of about 3/4 acre situated in the Lower South Field in the tithing of Marston was allotted to the churchwardens of Potterne. These two endowments of the church of Potterne were evidently transferred to the church of the new ecclesiastical parish of Worton and Marston when that was created in 1852. In 1904 there was a third endowment known as Church Plot, in the parish of Marston, of about½ acre, which belonged to the church of the ecclesiastical parish of Worton and Marston. Its origin was not known. At that date the combined annual income from these three pieces of land was £5. 19., which was used towards the general expenses of the church. (fn. 142)
A Methodist society existed at Potterne in 1782, as part of the Bradford Circuit. (fn. 143) It became part of the Melksham Circuit in 1811, and in 1824 of the new Devizes Circuit. (fn. 144) The society had a quarterly assessment of £1. 8s. in 1829. (fn. 145) There were 13 members in 1832 but only 8 in 1852. (fn. 146) In 1871 the number had risen to 22. (fn. 147) Tom Smith, whose manuscript history of Potterne, 1850–1900, is quoted above, was one of the leaders of the society. In his history he stresses the happy relationship between Anglicans and Nonconformists at Potterne at this time. (fn. 148)
At the end of the 19th century, however, the chapel again declined. A section of the society seceded before c. 1903. (fn. 149) The secessionists at first used a malt-house but later built themselves a chapel. The original society struggled on for a few more years. It was described in 1906 as 'nearly dead'. (fn. 150) The chapel, which stood in Coxey Lane, was closed during the First World War and never reopened. (fn. 151) The secessionist society also died about this time. (fn. 152)
A society of Open Brethren arose early in the 20th century, its nucleus being the secessionist Wesleyan Society mentioned above. (fn. 153) The Brethren had a mission room in Potterne in 1939. (fn. 154)
For some years in the late 19th century a Nonconformist (non-sectarian) Sunday school was held at Potterne by Samuel Catley of Devizes, draper. It met in the malt-house mentioned above. 'It was a rickety old building. Underneath was a coal store... the danger of crashing through into the coal store was a constant fear, so much so that it is repeated as a bogy of one's dreams in these later years.' (fn. 155) Catley later bought property in Rook's Lane which he used for the school. This school, in Tom Smith's opinion, was 'perhaps the most successful institution in the annals of Potterne up to the close of the 19th century'. (fn. 156)
There was a Wesleyan chapel at Worton in 1829, also in the Devizes Circuit. (fn. 157) It had 13 members in 1832, 15 in 1842, and 10 in 1852. A new building was erected in 1848. (fn. 158) It is of red brick with stone dressings. The society is still active.
There is a Primitive Methodist chapel at Marston which was built before 1903. (fn. 159)
The manor of Potterne was AGRICULTURE large and flourishing in 1086. There were 4 serfs, 5 'coliberts', 29 villeins, and 40 bordars on the bishop's demesne, which was worth £60. The two Englishmen had 2 serfs and their land was worth £7. Ernulf de Hesding's disputed estate was worth £5 and he had 6 serfs, 3 bordars, and 1 villein. (fn. 160) It is thus clear that Potterne was a richer and more thickly populated parish at this time than its neighbour West Lavington.
In 1286, during a vacancy in the see of Salisbury, the dean and chapter wrote to Malcolm de Arleghe to inform him of the number of cattle customarily left in the manor of the see by one bishop to another. According to this statement 40 oxen were left at Potterne. (fn. 161) During a previous vacancy the dean and chapter complained that the king's escheator had sold £15 worth of timber from the manor, to its detriment. (fn. 162) Not long after this, in 1291, the manor was valued at the considerable sum of £96. 17s. 6d. (fn. 163) In 1355 it was provided that £200 per annum rent from the manor should stand as security for the debt owed by the Bishop of Salisbury to the Earl of Salisbury (see above— Manors). This is some indication of the true value of the manor, and throws doubt upon the figures given in official returns. (fn. 164) In 1535 the manor was valued at no more than £139. 4s. 10½d. net. (fn. 165)
In 1353 the king conferred the appointment for life of John Bean as keeper of the bishop's park and warren of Potterne. His wage was 6s. 8d. per annum and a suit of clothes, or 10s. without the suit. Every week he was entitled to take a bushel of wheat for his private use. (fn. 166)
During the reign of Elizabeth there was much litigation by inhabitants of Potterne, especially copyholders. The records of these cases provide interesting information concerning copyhold tenure in the parish. John White, 'husbandman', appealing against Nicholas Perry and Thomas Harris in 1564, claimed a customary tenement on the ground that its reversion had been granted in 1558 to him and his two sisters. The defendants replied that according to the custom of the manor such a reversion lapsed at the death of the lord of the manor who had granted it. (fn. 167) A customary tenement called 'Tyllinge', which was the subject of a suit in which William Barton was the plaintiff and Nicholas Perry again one of the defendants, was said to be tenable on a term of life or lives. (fn. 168)
Another interesting case is that of Agnes Griffiths v. Roger Townsend (1579). Agnes said that her husband, Robert, had bought the reversion of a copyhold in Worton then (1548) held by William Careweye. The tenure was to be for the lives of Robert, Agnes, and their son Robert. Robert the elder had died and after him William Careweye. Careweye's widow had rightfully retained the copy but had forfeited it by remarriage. Then, said the plaintiff, her claim had been ignored and the tenement granted to Townsend. In the course of the statements concerning this case it was said that the reversion of a copyhold could not be granted without the consent of the tenant unless the reversion fell in the lifetime of the lord of the manor who granted it. This custom was stated to hold good also in the other episcopal manors of Bishop's Cannings, West Lavington, and Bishopstone. (fn. 169)
The perplexities of the laws relating to land tenure are amusingly illustrated by the action brought by William Rooke against William Staples (1578–9). Rooke claimed to be the rightful owner (apparently by freehold) of a small tenement in Potterne Wick. This he said had been claimed by Nicholas Bond, yeoman, and in order to secure himself against Bond, Rooke had conveyed the property by indenture to Staples, an Amesbury lawyer. Later Rooke discovered that Bond's claim was baseless and called upon Staples to return the tenement, as provided for in the agreement, but Staples refused. It is difficult to tell from Staples's statement what the truth was, but apparently he was retaining the property because Rooke had refused proper payment for his professional services. (fn. 170)
In 1801 the acreage of land under cultivation in the parish was: wheat 566; barley 132; oats 113½ potatoes 45½ peas 81¼ beans 212¾ turnips and rape 34¼ rye 123¾. (fn. 171) In 1905 there were 471 acres of arable in Potterne, 254¾ of permanent grass, and 41¾ of woods and plantations. In Marston at that date the figures were 163½ of arable and 679¾ permanent grass. Worton had 131 acres of arable, 712 of grass, and 1¼ of woods. (fn. 172) These comparative figures show the increasing importance of dairy farming.
An Inclosure Act for Potterne and Marston was passed in 1824. The lands inclosed were Furzehill Common, Stroud Common, and Rushey Common in Potterne, and 257 acres in Marston lying in 42 pieces. A schedule of exchanges related to 94 acres in Potterne in 31 pieces and 79 acres in Marston in 24 pieces. Allotments were made to the Bishop of Salisbury, as lord of the manor, and to the chief lessees under him: Joseph Tanner, esq., Hezekiah Wyche, esq., and Frances Maria his wife, George Watson Taylor, Thomas Hunt Grubbe and Valentine Hale Morris. (fn. 173) Two pieces of land in Marston totalling 10 acres were sold to pay the expenses of the act and the subsequent award. The purchaser was John Parkinson of Lincoln's Inn Fields. The act had provided for the inclosure and allotment of Potterne Field on condition that no piece of more than 3 acres should be allotted to any other person than those in possession without the tenant's consent. The general consent was not obtained and the division of the field was not proceeded with. The most remarkable feature of the Act was its provision for the poor of the tithing of Potterne. About 36 acres in Furzehill, Stroud, and Rushey Commons were set aside for use as allotments for the poor, who were to pay a small rent and to hold on condition that they did not become a charge on the parish. This arrangement was in operation in 1832 before the Inclosure Award was made in 1835. (fn. 174)
There were six mills at Potterne in 1086. (fn. 175) Together these paid 43s. 4d. a year. A mill was among property conveyed to the bishop in 1195 by Walter fitz Niel. (fn. 176) In 1347 Robert Mareys and Eleanor his wife conveyed to John de Paulesholt 2 messuages, a mill, and other property in Great Cheverell and Marston. (fn. 177) A mill—presumably Rangebourne Mill—was included in Rangebourne manor in 1583 (see above—Manors). The same mill figured in the conveyances of the manor in 1730 and 1735. Another mill was conveyed in 1598 by Robert Maundrell and John Longe to Robert Drewe. (fn. 178) John and Robert Drewe conveyed it to John Nicholas in 1609 and 1618. (fn. 179) Rushford Mill was mentioned in 1609 (fn. 180) and Worton Mill, Whistley Mill, Bide Mill, Roger Jordan's Mill, Thomas Parton's Mill, and Mr. Near's Mill in 1705. (fn. 181) In the 19th century there was a mill at Rangebourne, one at Whistley (the Snuff Mill), (fn. 182) one at Five Lanes, and Holloway's Mill. Rangebourne, Whistley, and Five Lanes mills still exist, and there are two mills in Worton, one of them disused. (fn. 183)
Miss Wogan's Academy at Potterne was a private school held in a cottage opposite the Porch House, late in the 19th century. The fees were 1s. a week for each pupil. (fn. 184) In 1819 40–50 children from Potterne, Worton, and Marston were being taught at Potterne. (fn. 185) The expenses were paid by the parents. In 1831 a yellow brick building was erected by the vicar, the Revd. George Edmonstone, on a piece of ground opposite the churchyard on the road to Devizes. (fn. 186) By a deed enrolled in 1832 the site and some adjoining land was settled for three lives in trust for 'Potterne General School for the Education of Poor Children'. (fn. 187) Edmonstone received £85 for the schoolhouse. In 1835 he conveyed to the trust £333. 6s. 8d. to be invested for the benefit of the school. (fn. 188) The trust provided that a majority of the managing committee should be members of the Church of England, and recommended that the schools should be organized on the Bell system, with any alterations that the committee thought fitting. (fn. 189) The school was apparently united with the Diocesan Board. (fn. 190) By his will dated 1854, Edmonstone left a further £300 to be invested for the benefit of the school. (fn. 191) About 50 boys and 50 girls attended the school in 1859. The class for girls was held in a room above the boys. The master was uncertificated and the mistress 'untrained'. (fn. 192) The school was rebuilt and enlarged in 1865 and evidently spread over land not included in the trust. The position was clarified by a further deed of 1874, by which part of the glebe, on which buildings had been erected was conveyed in trust. (fn. 193) The managing committee was charged with running the school as a public elementary school within the meaning of the Act of 1870, but was not to be bound by any regulations which the Education Department might make later. (fn. 194) Although the school was not associated with the National Society the trust prescribed Church of England teaching and provided that the premises might be lent for meetings connected with the church or the school. (fn. 195) In 1893 accommodation was computed at 213, and average attendance was 199. (fn. 196) The building was again enlarged in 1895 by the provision of an infant school, which brought the total estimated accommodation to 246. (fn. 197) In 1905 attendance averaged 205. (fn. 198) Five years later there were two departments, mixed (accommodation 160) and infants (accommodation 86); average attendance was 202. (fn. 199) In 1938 and 1950 there was accommodation for 151 in the mixed department and 55 in the infants', and average attendance was 108 (1938) and 114 (1950). (fn. 200) Controlled status was granted in March 1950 on the application of the managers. (fn. 201) There are a headmaster and 4 assistants. (fn. 202)
The 'Sunday school room' at Worton was built in 1844. (fn. 203) By his will dated 1854 the Revd. George Edmonstone gave £100 on trust for the use of the Worton Parochial school. In 1904 the interest on this sum was £2. 10s. a year. (fn. 204) In 1859 about 50 children from Worton and Marston attended a class held in 'the Sunday school room'. (fn. 205) By a deed of 1859 James Few conveyed to trustees the land on which the building stood, and Roger Matthews gave some adjoining land. (fn. 206) By the terms of the trust the site was for a school and teacher's house and for no other purpose. The building was apparently enlarged in that year. (fn. 207) In 1875 Roger Matthews sold another piece of ground to the trust for £120 to be held on lease at a rent of 2d. 'for all the residue... of a term of 4986 years granted by an indenture of lease dated 1685'. (fn. 208) Matthews received £120 for the cottages standing on this land, which were afterwards pulled down to make room for a head teacher's house which was built in 1896 at a cost of £250. (fn. 209) From 1893 to 1910 accommodation was reckoned at 105. (fn. 210) The school was transferred to the county in 1931. (fn. 211) In July 1950 average attendance was 51 and accommodation was estimated at 86 (mixed 49, infants 37). The headmistress has one assistant. (fn. 212)
The subdivision of the ancient parish of Potterne by the creation of the new ecclesiastical parish of Worton with Marston and the new civil parishes of Worton and Marston, led to confusion concerning the administration of charities created before 1852. Administration had previously been in the hands of the vicar and churchwardens of Potterne, and in 1859 the situation was regularized by an Order of the Charity Commissioners. This provided that such existing charities in the ancient parish as had not been previously restricted to one or two of the tithings of Potterne, Worton, and Marston should be divided between the ecclesiastical parish of Potterne (now identical in area with the tithing) and the new ecclesiastical parish of Worton with Marston. (fn. 213) Potterne was to have twothirds of the funds. After 1859 the vicar and churchwardens of Worton with Marston administered the charity funds thus allotted to their parish: these were one-third of Poor's Land, of Pitt's charity, and of Kent's charity. The same vicar and churchwardens also administered the shares of Worton and Marston in the charity (1855) of the Revd. George Edmonstone, and they naturally became the trustees of the Church Lands of Worton and Marston, Worton and Marston Schools charity, and Sarah Gaisford's charity. The charity of Sarah Bolter, originally vested in the vicar and churchwardens of Potterne, was vested in those of Worton with Marston in 1884. Worton Poor's Land (after 1852) and the charities of Shorter, Hezekiah Goodall, and Mrs. Eleanor Gaisford, which were limited to the tithing or civil parish of Worton, were vested in the churchwardens of Worton with Marston and the overseers of Worton. Sarah Charmbury's charity (1888) was a non-ecclesiastical charity for the benefit of the poor of the combined tithings of Worton and Marston, and was vested in the vicar and churchwardens.
The Local Government Act of 1894 (56 and 57 Vict. c. 73) which provided for the creation of parish councils and parish meetings, laid down (§14(2)) that where overseers and churchwardens of a rural parish as such, either alone or jointly with any other persons had previously been trustees of any non-ecclesiastical parochial charity, they should be replaced as trustees by parish councillors appointed by the parish council. It was also provided in the act (§14(3)) that where the governing body of a non-ecclesiastical parochial charity did not include any persons elected by the ratepayers or parochial electors or inhabitants of the parish, or appointed by the parish council or meeting, the parish council might appoint additional members of the governing body not exceeding the number allowed by the Charity Commissioners. These provisions did not apply to charities founded less than forty years before the passing of the Act (§14(8)). The provisions led to controversy at Worton and Marston. At a meeting of the parish council of Worton, held 22 July 1895, three trustees were appointed for the administration of the Worton charities. The charities were not specified, but were presumably all those for the benefit of the parish of Worton other than ecclesiastical charities and charities founded less than forty years before 1894. Another election of a trustee for Worton took place in 1898. Meanwhile on 3 August 1895 the parish meeting of Marston had appointed trustees for the parish. (fn. 214) In January 1900 the parish clerk of Worton communicated the above resolutions of Worton and Marston to the Charity Commissioners, who in reply stated that the churchwardens of Worton were not in their opinion to be regarded as the churchwardens of a 'rural parish' within the meaning of subsection 2 of Section 14 of the Act of 1894, they being churchwardens of a larger area. The Commissioners pointed out that the appointments of trustees purported to have been made by the parish council of Worton and the parish meeting of Marston were therefore irregular. They stated that the vicar, churchwardens, and overseers of Worton appeared to be the trustees of Poor's Land charity and that the churchwardens would continue to be the trustees of the charities of Pitt and Kent. They pointed out that if the parish council of Worton and the parish meeting of Marston wished to be represented on the trusts of the other non-ecclesiastical parochial charities (except that of Sarah Charmbury, which had been founded less than forty years before), recourse might be had to the provisions of Subsection 3 of Section 14 of the Act of 1894. There was further correspondence in 1902 and 1903, and the Assistant Charity Commissioner held his inquiry at Potterne on 29 October 1903. Shortly before this (on 11 September) the parish clerk of Worton had informed the Commissioners that his council had decided to rescind their petition for authority to appoint additional trustees. This meant that there was no change in the trustees for Worton and Marston charities. In Potterne there were changes, where relevant, in accordance with the above provisions of the Local Government Act, 1894.
Poor's Land or Grubb's charity. By indenture of release dated 1751, Philip Smith of London, son and heir of William Smith, late of Potterne, conveyed to the churchwardens of Potterne a piece of meadow called Marsh Mead. The consideration was £120, of which £100 had been bequeathed to the churchwardens by William Grubbe (then deceased), the interest to be distributed to the poor at Christmas. (fn. 215) In 1834 Marsh Mead was let for £10. 10s. a year, and this money was then given to the poor of the tithing or hamlet of Potterne. (fn. 216) By their order dated 25 March 1859, the Charity Commissioners ordered that the issues of this charity should be divided between the then ecclesiastical parish (i.e. the tithing or hamlet) of Potterne and the new ecclesiastical parish of Worton and Marston, in the ratio of two parts to Potterne to one part to Worton and Marston. (fn. 217) In 1903 'Little Marsh Mead', containing 3 a. 3 r. 34 p. was let for £10 to the occupier of Whistley Farm, who also paid the tithe on the land. (fn. 218) The income was then given away together with that from Pitt's charity.
Pitt's charity. By his will proved 1784, Robert Pitt bequeathed to the vicar and churchwardens of Potterne £500, the interest to be given to the poor of the parish. The capital was invested in 1792 in £911. 3s. 2d. Consols. (fn. 219) By the Charity Commissioners' order of 1859 the interest on the latter sum was to be divided between the ecclesiastical parishes of Potterne and Worton with Marston in the same ratio as Grubbe's charity (see above). The incomes from this charity and from Grubbe's charity were jointly distributed in each ecclesiastical parish in 1903. There were stricter tests of means and character governing the distribution in Potterne than in the other parish.
White's charity for bread. (fn. 220) By his will proved 1827 James White left £200 to the vicar and churchwardens of Potterne, the interest to be used to buy bread for the poor at Christmas. The bequest was not limited to the tithing of Potterne as distinct from the parish, and it is not clear why the Charity Commissioners did not in 1859 allot a share of it to Worton and Marston. In 1903 the capital value of this charity was £230. 1s. 7d., and the interest was £5. 15s. The distribution of bread was subject to the same qualifications as the previous two charities.
The Revd. Henry Kent's charity. By a codicil to his will, dated 1775, the Revd. Henry Kent, D.D., late of Potterne, directed that £200 be paid to the vicar and churchwardens of Potterne, the interest to be used to buy outer garments for five of the oldest and poorest men of the parish and the same number and kind of women. (fn. 221) The capital was invested in £307. 3s. 8d. Consols. In 1859, by the order of the Charity Commissioners, this was divided between the parish of Potterne, which received £204. 15s. 2d., and that of Worton with Marston, which had the remainder. In 1903 5 old men and 5 old women were said to receive garments each year in Potterne, and 3 old persons in Worton and Marston.
Poor's Allotment, or Potterne Common Lands. This charity has already been mentioned above in connexion with the inclosures in the parish. (fn. 222) In 1834 'about 35 or 36 acres' in the former waste lands called Furzehill, Rushey Common, and Stroud Common in Potterne were being let as allotments to between 70 and 75 poor persons of the parish, in quantities of from ½ to ¼ acre each, at rents varying from 4s. to 40s. an acre according to the number of dependant children of the tenant. This arrangement had existed since before 1832, by virtueoftheInclosureActof 1824. By 1832 £182. 5s. 5d. in rent had been saved and deposited in the Devizes Savings Bank; the rest of the rent had been laid out for the benefit of the tenants and their families. The gross annual rents had amounted to £24–£30, which indicates that the charity had been in operation for at least six years before 1832. The benefit of the charity was confined to the tithing of Potterne. In 1904 the lands of the charity, comprising a little more than 36 acres, were situated in Furzehill, Stroud Common, Wick alias Rushey Common, and Common Plot. They were being let at an annual rent of 2d. or 3d. a perch. All the land at Wick Common and Furzehill was then let but there was little demand for that at Stroud Common. By this time the accumulated rents from the allotment amounted to £350. From the interest on this an annual donation of £4. 4s. was given to the Devizes Cottage Hospital, £3. 5s. was paid in prizes at the Potterne parochial schools, about 2 cwt. of coal was given at Christmas to the households of every poor parishioner, and the balance given away by means of tickets for boots, coats, or cloaks.
Poor's Money. It was reported in 1834 that a tablet in the church stated that £60 was given by several unknown persons about 1670, the interest to be applied to the use of the poor of Potterne. According to the same statement Walter Grubbe, esq., by his will dated 1715 bequeathed £10, the interest to be similarly applied, and Mrs. Thomasine Grubbe, at a date unspecified, bequeathed £50 for the same purpose. Of the total sum (of £120) £20 was paid out towards the purchase in 1751 of Marsh Mead (see Poor's Land above). In 1786 it was reported that another £50 was vested in Thomas Maundrell. Until about 1816 Thomas Henry Maundrell paid the interest of this £50 to the vicar's churchwarden, but in 1834 it was reported that Henry Maundrell, son of the Thomas Maundrell of 1786, was not living in Wiltshire and was insolvent. In 1834 and 1904 nothing further was known of the money held by the Maundrells or of the remaining sum of £50 which had gone to make up Poor's Money. (fn. 223)
The Revd. George Edmonstone's charity for the Poor of Potterne, Worton, and Marston. By his will proved 1855 Edmonstone bequeathed £700, the interest to be applied for the relief of the poor in the ecclesiastical parishes of Potterne and Worton with Marston. The parish or tithing of Potterne was to receive interest on £500 of this sum, and the tithings of Worton and Marston each the interest on £100. In 1870 the £700 was transferred to the Official Trustees. In 1904 the interest of the £500 of Potterne, amounting to £13. 15s., was applied in a subsidy to the Potterne Coal and Clothing Club. At that time any resident of the parish of Potterne could join this club, which gave bonuses to each member who had paid his subscription. (fn. 224) At Worton in 1904 the interest of £100, amounting to £2. 15s. a year, was spent on the purchase of calico for the making of shirts for the poor. (fn. 225) At Marston at the same date the same amount of interest on £100 was used, as at Potterne, to subsidize a coal and clothing club. (fn. 226)
John Glass's charity. By his will proved in 1877 John Glass intended to bequeath £100, the interest on which was to be used to buy overcoats for poor old men of Potterne. The testator, however, left no assets and the charity never came into operation. (fn. 227)
Sarah Charmbury's charity. By her will proved 1888 Sarah Charmbury gave to the vicar and churchwardens of Worton and Marston £19. 19s., the interest to be given to 12 poor parishioners. In 1904 the capital was £20. 1s. Consols. (fn. 228)
Shorter's charity. By his will dated 1785 John Shorter of Worton left £100, the interest to be for the benefit of the poor of the tithing of Worton. In 1834 the sum of £200 Consols stood to the credit of this charity and the income was being spent on bread for the poor of Worton. The capital was transferred in 1866 to the Official Trustees and in 1904 produced £5 a year, which was administered with the income from Hezekiah Goodall's charity (see below), and applied to the purchase of bread. (fn. 229)
Hezekiah Goodall's charity. By his will proved 1866 Hezekiah Goodall bequeathed £100, the interest to be used to buy bread for the poor of Worton. This sum, less legacy duty, was invested in £94. 1s. 1d. Consols which in 1904 was producing annual interest of £2. 7s. This charity was administered jointly with Shorter's charity (see above). (fn. 230)
Mrs. Eleanor Gaisford's charity. By her will proved 1872 Eleanor Gaisford, widow, gave £100, the income to be used to buy clothing or other necessities for the poor of the tithing of Worton. The legacy was invested in £96. 7s. 6d. Consols in private names and in 1883 was transferred to the Official Trustees. In 1904 the income of £2. 8s. was being applied for the purchase of calico for the use of the poor. (fn. 231)
Worton's Poor's Land or Waste Lands. At a vestry meeting of the tithing of Worton, held on 3 December 1829, it was resolved that certain common lands in the tithing should be inclosed for the benefit of the poor, and that the lands should be managed by a committee consisting of five local residents. The lands were inclosed and at a meeting of the vestry of the tithing in 1848 the managers of the lands were empowered to exchange certain pieces, containing about 2 acres of an old inclosure or piece of land in Worton called Further Common Piece, containing about 1¼ acre. This exchange was effected in 1849. In 1862 the vestry meeting resolved to take steps to make a legal settlement of the Poor's Land. Application was made to the Charity Commissioners who in 1867 appointed as trustees the vicar and churchwardens of Worton and Marston and the overseers of the poor of Worton. In 1872 a small amount of timber from the Poor's Land was sold and invested in £7. 16s. 4d. Consols in the name of the Official Trustees. In 1902 the gross annual income from Poor's Land was £13. 11s. 3½d. This was used to buy sheets and blankets for the poor of the civil parish of Worton. Since 1900 the charity had been managed by the parish council of Worton. (fn. 232)