A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 8, Warminster, Westbury and Whorwellsdown Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1965.
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The parish of Edington lies about 2 miles east of Westbury. (fn. 1) It is an irregular rectangle in shape, with a wedge-like projection to the west. Its length from north to south is about 6 miles; its greatest width is about 3 miles, but for most of its length it is only about a mile wide. In 1934 a strip of varying width running the whole length of the boundary between Edington and East Coulston was transferred to the civil parish of East Coulston. (fn. 2) The north of the parish lies on the Kimmeridge clay lands of mid-west Wilts; it is low and well watered, rising from about 150 ft. at the boundary with Keevil to about 250 ft. near Edington village, and is mainly permanent pasture. A stream, formerly called Milbourne, (fn. 3) rises at Luccombe Bottom, south of Bratton. It flows northward for some way, forming the parish boundary, and then north-eastward across Edington parish toward Keevil. South of the village the northern scarp of Salisbury Plain rises sharply to over 600 ft., and the southern part of the parish is all on the chalk, between 500 and 700 ft. high, reaching 739 ft. on Tinhead Hill. Between the Kimmeridge Clay and the chalk are outcrops of Upper Greensand and Gault, on which the villages of Edington and Tinhead, the chief centres of population in the parish, are built. Here there is some arable, and there is also a considerable area under the plough along the northern edge of the Plain. (fn. 4) The downland in the south is mainly included in the military training district centred on Imber. There is little woodland, but on the lower ground there are many trees in the hedgerows.
The secondary road from Westbury to West Lavington crosses the parish from west to east. Edington and Tinhead villages lie on this road and to the north of it, and from them minor roads lead north-westward to Steeple Ashton and Trowbridge. In 1773 a road to Bulkington existed, (fn. 5) but its course is now marked only by a lane and a footpath. The old slowcoach route from Bath to Salisbury ran from Steeple Ashton to Tinhead and up to the top of Coulston Down. Coaches ran on it in 1712, (fn. 6) and it was turnpiked as far as Tinhead Hill in 1751-2. It was not included in the renewing Act of 1767-8 (fn. 7) and was last mentioned in coaching tables in 1780. Several milestones, one dated 1766, and a toll house near Ivymill Farm still remain. (fn. 8) None of the roads south of the Westbury-Lavington road is now (1959) passable except by farm vehicles. The main railway line from Westbury to Lavington passes north of the village. A station, known as Edington and Bratton, was opened when the line was built in 1900, but closed for passengers in 1952. (fn. 9) The station buildings have since been pulled down.
Edington village is built round spurs which extend northwards from the high chalk of the Plain. It has no obvious centre, and its houses are rather scattered and hidden from one another by groups of trees and the contour of the ground. Along the main road which forms the southern part of the village are several cottages and the 19th-century vicarage. To the south of the road at the east end of the village is a small group of cottages at the foot of a lane leading to the downs. It was called Little London in 1773 and 1811; (fn. 10) its present name of the City was in use by 1886. (fn. 11) The church and the site of the monastery lie slightly away from the village to the north-east. (fn. 12) Most houses lie along the minor road leading towards Trowbridge and lanes which lead from it to the north and south. They include several timber-framed houses. The house now called Old Manor Farmhouse consists of a principal timber-framed range which has been built up in stone at both gable ends to accommodate chimneys; there is a small projecting gabled wing to the front, and the whole house is thatched. Manor Farm nearby is a large house of brick built to replace a house which in 1842 stood near the present entrance to its drive. (fn. 13) Parsonage Farm is an L-shaped timber-framed house, probably of the 17th century, and there are several cottages of about the same period in different parts of the village. Of several brick houses of the 18th and 19th centuries, the Grange is a good example. It is of two stories with stone dressings, mullioned and transomed windows, and a central first floor window with twin arched lights. The date 1750 is scratched on the brickwork, and the back was probably added in 1773. (fn. 14)
Tinhead lies about ¼ mile east of Edington, and the villages have been joined by a small council housing scheme on a road north of, and parallel to the main road which joins them. The Lamb Inn and the school lie on this main road, but most of the houses in Tinhead lie along a minor road leading northward towards Steeple Ashton and smaller roads and lanes which lead off it. The George Inn is an 18th-century building of brick, and was a stop for coaches when they ran through the village. (fn. 15) Opposite, Shore House has a central part of timber-framed construction oversailing at first-floor level; it was added to and altered in the 18th century. Beckett's House appears originally to have consisted of a timber-framed range with a projection at the rear, perhaps of the mid-16th century. About 1600 a stone range was built at the rear enclosing the projecting timber-framed wing, and somewhat later both ranges were extended to the south. The house formerly contained some encaustic tiles, which were thought to have come from the monastic buildings at Edington, and some panelling with carved figures thought to be of c. 1600. (fn. 16) It still has a decorated plaster ceiling and some fireplaces of that period, and was evidently the home of a prosperous family, quite probably the Whitakers who were opulent clothiers in the village. (fn. 17)
The only other centre of population in the parish was the hamlet of West Coulston about a mile east of Tinhead; it is a part of East Coulston geographically, and was included in the area transferred to that parish in 1934. (fn. 18) The remainder of the parish contains only isolated farms. Upper Baynton Farm, near the site of the manor house of Baynton, is midway between Tinhead and Coulston. In the north of the parish are Lower Baynton, New Hurst, Ivymill, and Housecroft Farms, and on the Plain, West Down and South Down Farms. Baynton Hill (formerly East Down) and Tinhead Hill Farms were in the area transferred to East Coulston in 1934. (fn. 19)
The population of Edington parish was 834 in 1801, and had risen to 1,136 by 1841. From that time it declined gradually to 714 in 1931. In 1951 the civil parish, reduced in area since 1934, had 579 inhabitants. (fn. 20)
Edington is accepted by most modern scholars as the site of the battle of Ethandun in which Alfred defeated the Danes under Guthram in 878. (fn. 21) The Witan met there in 957. (fn. 22) In 1450, during Cade's rebellion, William Aiscough, Bishop of Salisbury, was taken from the church to the top of Edington Hill by a mob, and there murdered. (fn. 23) In 1838 and 1839 small Chartist meetings at Tinhead were addressed by William Carrier of Trowbridge. (fn. 24)
William of Edington, Bishop of Winchester from 1346 to 1366, holder of various offices in the royal household, and founder of the house of Bonhommes at Edington, was probably a younger son of the leading family of the village. (fn. 25) William Wey, who made two pilgrimages to Jerusalem in the 15th century, settled in the monastery at Edington to write an account of his travels. (fn. 26) Paul Bush, the last Rector of Edington monastery, was afterwards Bishop of Bristol from 1542 to 1554. (fn. 27)
MANORS AND LESSER ESTATES.
Edington was part of the royal demesne in the 9th century, and was left by Alfred to his wife Ealhswith. (fn. 28) In 968 Edgar granted it to Romsey Abbey (Hants), (fn. 29) and the nuns held it in 1086. At that time they had three under-tenants, William, Osmund, and Hervey holding 4½, 4, and 2 hides respectively, while some unnamed Englishmen held 5 hides and a virgate. (fn. 30) In addition, a small manor of 1 hide was held immediately of the king by Hervey of Wilton, a royal official and probably the same Hervey as the tenant of the nuns. (fn. 31) William, the holder of 4½ hides, was William Scudet, the king's cook, who also held land in Westbury and Steeple Ashton. Henry I confirmed William's 'restoration and grant' to the nuns of the land he held of them. (fn. 32) Romsey Abbey retained the lordship of the capital manor until just before the Dissolution, but the foundation of the religious house at Edington in 1351 (fn. 33) resulted in the creation of a mesne manor held by it of the abbess. This manor was later called EDINGTON RECTOR while the capital manor was known as EDINGTON ROMSEY. (fn. 34)
The endowment of the house of Edington was at first achieved by Bishop William of Edington acquiring small parcels of land in Edington either from the abbess or from her tenants. In 1351 for instance, John of Edington, probably acting for his brother William, bought of the abbess 2 houses and 2 virgates, a house and a virgate, which formerly belonged to Walter Nichol, and a house, 2 water mills, a virgate and certain meadow and pasture which formerly belonged to William of Sweltenham. (fn. 35) Other similar purchases were made in the following years, (fn. 36) and in this way the manor of Edington Rector was built up.
Tinhead is first mentioned incidentally as a personal name in 1190, when Philip 'de Tunhede' paid a forest fine. (fn. 37) In 1256 Michael of Tinhead bought land there of Asketil del Mareis, (fn. 38) and in 1275 John of Tinhead held 10 virgates there of the Abbess of Romsey. (fn. 39) In 1329 3 houses and 4 carucates of land there and in Semington were settled on another John of Tinhead, with remainder to his daughter Maud. (fn. 40) She had apparently succeeded him by c. 1355. (fn. 41) The estate, which was later known as TINHEAD RECTOR, (fn. 42) is first referred to as a manor in 1363, when Maud, widow of Robert Selyman, knight, and probably the same as the Maud referred to above, conveyed the reversion of the manor of Tinhead after her death and that of her son Robert, to John of Edington. (fn. 43) Part of the manor was then said to be held of the king in chief by the service of an axe called hache Daneys. It had been so held since the Conquest by the ancestors of John of Tinhead, and probably represents the onehide estate held by Hervey of Wilton in 1086. Of the remainder of the manor, a messuage and 17 acres were held of the abbess as of her manor of Edington, and a water mill of Richard Rous. (fn. 44) This manor of Tinhead was granted by John of Edington to his brother the bishop, and by him to the rector and brethren of Edington. (fn. 45) What had been the Romsey property in Tinhead was called TINHEAD ROMSEY after the Dissolution, although it had not been treated as a separate manor previously. (fn. 46)
In 1539 the Abbess of Romsey was given licence to alienate the nunnery's lands in Edington and Tinhead to Sir Thomas Seymour, afterwards Lord Seymour of Sudeley. (fn. 47) In the same year the monastery of Edington was surrendered, (fn. 48) and in 1541 its property in Edington and Tinhead was granted to Sir Thomas Seymour. (fn. 49) On the attainder and execution of Sir Thomas in 1549, the property there formerly belonging to both houses reverted to the Crown, and in the following year the whole was granted to William Paulet, Earl of Wiltshire. (fn. 50) The four manors of Edington Rector, Edington Romsey, Tinhead Rector, and Tinhead Romsey descended in the Paulet family, subsequently Marquesses of Winchester (1551) and Dukes of Bolton (1689), until 1768, when they were sold in pursuance of a decree in a chancery suit which followed the death of Charles, the fifth Duke (d. 1765). They were bought by Peter Delmé, but no conveyance was made to him. Accordingly in 1784 a private Act was obtained to enable Delmé to convey the estate to Joshua and Drummond Smith of Erlestoke Park. (fn. 51) The subsequent descent of all four manors is the same as that of Erlestoke manor. (fn. 52)
Before the Dissolution the manor farm of Edington Romsey had been leased to Meric ap Rice for 45 years from 1531. (fn. 53) He died c. 1544, (fn. 54) and was probably succeeded by his son Edward Merrick. (fn. 55) The Romsey manor farm is not heard of again. The Edington Rector farm was in hand when the monastery of Edington was dissolved. (fn. 56) In 1540 the farm and the site of the monastery were occupied by William Popeley. (fn. 57) In 1550 the site and demesnes were granted by the Crown for 41 years to Isabel, widow of Sir Henry Baynton of Bromham (d. 1544). (fn. 58) She married, as her second husband, Sir James Stumpe, and at his death in 1563 he left her the lease of the site of Edington and all his plate in the house there. (fn. 59) She died in 1573, and was succeeded by her son Henry Baynton, who greatly spoiled the house, so that, as the Marquess of Winchester alleged, £1,000 would not repair it. (fn. 60) By 1599 the house was occupied by William Jones of Keevil. (fn. 61) In the previous year, however, the Marquess of Winchester had leased the whole of his Edington and Tinhead property to two of his four illegitimate sons, for terms of 99 years. John was granted the manors of Edington Romsey and Tinhead Rector, and William the manors of Edington Rector and Tinhead Romsey. (fn. 62) William was living at Edington by 1603, (fn. 63) and evidently until his death in 1629, when his estate was assigned by his executors to Sir Edward Lewis of the Van (Glam.), for the remainder of the term. (fn. 64) Sir Edward was buried in Edington church in 1630, and his widow, Lady Anne Beauchamp (so-called from her earlier marriage to Sir Edward Seymour, Lord Beauchamp) lived at the house until her death in 1664. She was succeeded by her son Richard Lewis, who remained at Edington until c. 1694. (fn. 65) The manors of Edington Romsey and Tinhead Rector, which had been leased to John Paulet, were in Richard Lewis's hands by 1665, (fn. 66) and it is possible that the lease was purchased by his father at the same time as that of the other manors. In the 18th century, when the property had reverted to the main branch of the Paulet family, Lord Harry Paulet, later Duke of Bolton (d. 1759) lived at Edington. (fn. 67) The house, which had been of considerable size when Lady Anne Beauchamp occupied it, (fn. 68) was largely demolished by Joshua Smith in the late 18th century. (fn. 69) In 1798 the ruins of the house still stood in well-kept gardens. (fn. 70) The house now called the Priory must, however, have been a part of it, for two rooms contain decorated plaster ceilings of the 17th century. The exterior of the house has been much altered at various times, but some of the masonry may well date from the late Middle Ages. The heavy buttressed wall of the precinct, probably of the 14th century, also remains, as does the square fish pond to the north.
Tinhead Court was included in the lease granted to Isabel Baynton in 1550, for it was among the property damaged by her son. (fn. 71) It was occupied by Edward Carpenter in 1607, (fn. 72) and by Mrs. Wadman, a member of the Imber family, in 1712. (fn. 73) In 1774 it was held by John Price as a copyhold of the manor of Tinhead Romsey. (fn. 74) The house was demolished in the early 19th century; it was moated and had what was described as an 'ecclesiastical barn'. (fn. 75)
The court of the lord of Baynton was mentioned in 1262. (fn. 76) In 1274 Maud Rous held two carucates of land at Baynton of the Abbess of Romsey. (fn. 77) In 1313 Sir John Rous renounced to the abbess certain rights of presenting nuns at Romsey, which his family had claimed on the grounds that it had given the abbey Baynton and 'Brawthorne'. (fn. 78) The manor of BAYNTON, first so called in 1735, (fn. 79) descended in the Rous family of Imber to Sir John Rous, who in 1414 settled it on his younger son John. (fn. 80) In 1444 this John granted it to the rector and brethren of Edington. (fn. 81) After the Dissolution Baynton was granted to Sir Thomas Seymour and forfeited on his attainder in the same was as Edington Rector. In 1557 it was granted by the Crown to Thomas Gratwicke of Seaford (Suss.), and Anselm Lambe of Coulston, (fn. 82) subject to a lease for three lives granted to Stephen Oriel in 1533. (fn. 83) Lambe died in 1559, apparently possessed of the whole manor, leaving two infant daughters. Agnes married Richard Burley of Potterne, and Joan married Henry Danvers, and they received livery of the manor in 1576. (fn. 84) In 1579 Henry Danvers and his wife granted a moiety of lands in Orcheston St. George, which were parcel of the manor, (fn. 85) to Richard Burley and his wife, receiving from them a grant of a moiety of the manor of Baynton. (fn. 86) The significance of this transaction is not clear, for Henry Danvers only held a moiety at his death in 1580, (fn. 87) and so did his eldest son John, an idiot from birth, when he died in 1626. (fn. 88) Joan, widow of Henry Danvers, who later married Hugh Jones, joined with her second son Charles, in granting a lease of part of the manor in 1620. (fn. 89) Charles succeeded his brother John, and died in 1626, holding both moieties. He had purchased one moiety and settled it on his wife Mary for life. (fn. 90) It is not clear from whom he obtained it, but it was perhaps from the Burleys; Richard Burley had some interest in the manor in 1594. (fn. 91) In 1673 John Danvers, grandson of Charles, sold the manor to John Long of Little Cheverell, (fn. 92) to whom it was already mortgaged. (fn. 93) Long died without issue in 1676, and left Baynton to his nephew William, eldest son of his younger brother William. The manor descended in the Long family to William, the last male member of the Baynton branch, who died without surviving issue in 1807. He left his estates at the disposal of his wife Mary, who died in 1822, leaving them to John Long of Monkton Farleigh, younger son of Richard Long of Rood Ashton, and a descendant of Thomas Long of Little Cheverell, father of the original purchaser. (fn. 94) The manor still belonged to John Long in 1833, (fn. 95) but by 1842 the property in Baynton, and probably the manorial rights, had been sold to the Watson-Taylor family. (fn. 96) From the 16th century the manor was often called Baynton and West Coulston, but no evidence has been found of a separate manor of West Coulston. (fn. 97) The manor house of Baynton lay near the present Upper Baynton Farm, where a most still exists. It was destroyed by fire in 1796, and its name was given to the house in Coulston to which the family removed. (fn. 98)
The Mompesson family held a property in Edington and Tinhead which was sometimes referred to as the manor of TINHEAD MOMPESSON. In 1499 Agnes Trye, widow of Drew Mompesson, held land there of the Abbess of Romsey, which was settled on her sons after her death. (fn. 99) Her son John Mompesson held it in 1511. (fn. 100) In 1579 Thomas Mompesson bought of William Brouncker of Erlestoke a capital messuage and farm in Tinhead, which had formerly been occupied by John Catcott. (fn. 101) This farm had belonged to Leonard Willoughby and was leased by him to Catcott. (fn. 102) Henry Brouncker had bought it of John Willoughby and others in 1563. (fn. 103) When Thomas Mompesson died in 1587 he left his lands in Edington and Tinhead to his executors to be sold, (fn. 104) and a conveyance of all his lands there to Jeffery Whitaker of Tinhead was made in 1588. (fn. 105) In spite of this, lands in Edington and Tinhead were among those settled on Thomas's son Giles Mompesson in 1607. (fn. 106) It may be that only the land acquired from Brouncker was in fact sold, for 'a barn called Catcutts' was owned by Henry Whitaker of Tinhead in 1672. (fn. 107) But by 1626 what had remained in the Mompesson family had also been sold, for Sir William Paulet then held land late Mompesson's of the manor of Edington Romsey. (fn. 108)
In c. 1355 John Forstal held a messuage and a carucate of land in Baynton of the Abbess of Romsey at a rent of 14s. 11d. (fn. 109) In 1394 Simon Best of 'Cannings' held an estate formerly occupied by Robert Forstal at the same rent, (fn. 110) and in 1519 the same estate, described as formerly occupied by John Best, was held by John Erley. (fn. 111) In 1603 Thomas Erneley died holding property in Coulston, (fn. 112) but by 1615 lands described in the same way were held by John Lambe. (fn. 113) In 1626 Sir John Lambe paid the rent of 14s. 11d. for lands late Erneley's. (fn. 114)
In 1086 Edington was assessed at 30 hides, of which 2 hides were in demesne and 15 hides and 3 virgates held by tenants. There was land for 35½ ploughs. Land for 7 ploughs was in demesne with 10 serfs, while 21 villeins, 23 bordars, and 10 coliberts held land for 15 ploughs. There was pasture 1 league long and ½ league broad, 100 acres of meadow, and woodland 10 furlongs long and 5 broad. (fn. 115)
By the 14th century much of the abbess's land had been granted to free tenants and their rents formed an important part of the receipts of the manor, amounting to over £24 in c.1350. (fn. 116) These rents were paid not only for holdings in Edington, Tinhead, Baynton, and Coulston, but also for lands in Imber, North Bradley, Corton in Boyton, and Wyke near Gillingham (Dors.). The total still remained at just over £24 in 1511. (fn. 117) A rental of the mid-14th century lists 28 bond tenants holding a virgate each, 25 holding half virgates, 11 mondaymen, each holding an acre or two, and 20 cottagers. (fn. 118) They paid rents, churchscot, and tallage amounting in all to about £10, beside certain customary payments of wheat and poultry.
The chief place in the demesne farming of the abbess's estate was occupied by sheep. In 1284 1,587 great fleeces and 365 lambs' fleeces were sold, and over 1,600 sheep remained at the end of the year. (fn. 119) In 1414 most of the clip was sent to Romsey to be sold; 1,918 sheep and 385 lambs had been sheared, and over 2,000 sheep remained. (fn. 120) In that year 129 sheep were sold, 88 of them to the royal household. In 1550 there were 1,051 wethers, 18 rams, 431 ewes, and 200 hoggets on the lands of Edington Romsey. (fn. 121) Compared with this, other livestock was unimportant. There were only 7 cows, 7 heifers, and 3 calves on the manor in 1284, (fn. 122) and in 1414 no dairy stock was mentioned. Quantities of butter and poultry were sent to Romsey in 1284. (fn. 123) The rabbit warren of the manor was at Luccombe. (fn. 124) It was leased to Peter Frankeleyn in 1396 at a rent of 6s. 8d. and four pairs of rabbits a year. (fn. 125)
In 1284 58 oxen were kept. It is probable that at this date some corn was sent to Romsey, for 170 horseshoes were provided for carthorses going there. (fn. 126) In 1417 the abbess's wheat growing on East Down was damaged by oxen belonging to the farmer of Imber. (fn. 127) In the earlier 15th century, the demesne arable was somewhat reduced, for two or three acres were often attached to small customary tenements. (fn. 128)
In 1284 there were at least two granges, (fn. 129) and in 1396 a south fold and an east fold are mentioned. (fn. 130) They may have been the same as the folds at South Down and 'Brawthorne', which the reeve was ordered to repair in 1413. (fn. 131) In 1502 there was a common animal house on Sheependown. (fn. 132) The common grazing for sheep lay on the downs in the south of the parish; in 1550 the lord was said to have common of pasture for 1,700 sheep on South Down and Brawthorne Down. (fn. 133) The abbess's tenants were often presented for overstocking. In 1429 Giles Serich and John Gouder had 480 sheep in the field of Edington, and Thomas Hayward 60, (fn. 134) and in 1502 the Rector of Edington had 300 sheep where he should only have had 160. (fn. 135) Some of the arable lay on the downs, (fn. 136) and some in 'the Clay', which was the lower ground between Edington and Bratton, near the present Fitzroy Farm. (fn. 137) East Field and West Field are mentioned in the late 13th century; references to strips in them near Woodbridge and Sweltenham Water indicate that they were on the low ground north of the village. (fn. 138) The abbess had several closes of land in the north of the parish, and autumn and winter pasture on other land there, and the first crop of hay of 40 acres of meadow in Normead and Inmead. (fn. 139) Normead, which is south-west of the present New Hurst Farm, was apparently shared with Steeple Ashton, for eight tenants of Steeple Ashton had winter pasture there in return for assistance at the sheep shearing at Edington. (fn. 140)
The manor of Edington Rector was valued at £21 7s. 10d. in 1535, including 76s. 4d. profits from the demesne. (fn. 141) A survey of c.1550 (fn. 142) shows that parts of the demesne were let at over £16, but several closes of meadow and pasture and 241 a. arable were then in hand. The lord of the manor had common for 600 sheep on three several downs called Allondown, Sterte, and Talbots, and a common down, called Hysorton Down, and in the common fields, and for 140 ewes on Sheependown and Western Down. He had winter common on 50 a. in the north of the parish, and the first crop of hay of 28½ a. meadow in Normead and Inmead. The arable of the rector and the tenants lay dispersed and mixed with that of Edington Romsey in East Field and West Field and on Edington Hill. Some tenants also held arable in the fields of Tinhead and at Goldenham and Waddon there. The survey noted that the tenants of Edington and Tinhead had been forced by Sir Thomas Seymour to exchange certain of their arable land in the East Field for parts of the demesne arable which were worth little or nothing. The tenants had stinted common for cattle in Sharpcroft and Sheepcroft, near the present Housecroft Farm, and in the common fields. Common for sheep lay on Sheependown and West Down, and common meadow in Normead, Inmead, and Dotsmead.
When the manor of Tinhead was granted to the Rector and Brethren of Edington in 1363, it consisted of buildings and a garden, a dovecote, 120 a. of arable, half of which lay fallow each year, 10 a. of meadow, several pasture for 24 oxen, and pasture for sheep. Free tenants paid 20s. and there were 4 bond half-virgaters. In addition, there was a house and a close of 16 a. at Feltham, near Ivymill Farm, which were held of the abbess, and a water mill held of Richard Rous. (fn. 143) At the Dissolution the manor of Tinhead Rector was valued at £21 6s. 11d. (fn. 144) In the survey of c. 1550. (fn. 145) no demesne is listed separately for Tinhead, the whole of the demesne of the Bonhommes being listed with their Edington manor. There were twelve customary tenants, who had stinted common for cattle in Redyate, which lay near the present New Hurst Farm. (fn. 146)
There is little evidence for the state of agriculture in Edington in the 17th century. In 1686 the demesnes of all the Edington and Tinhead manors were leased out to tenants by Richard Lewis, the lessee under the Paulets. The future pattern of farming in the parish was already evolving, for several of the holdings must have been large. John Hooper rented South Down arable and sheepsleight, and other land at £268 10s. a year, Richard Browne certain lands at £225 a year, and East Down sheepsleight and arable were let for £180 a year. With the tithes, which were leased at £180, the total rental of the demesne came to over £1,400, while the customary rents ('olds rent') came to about £62. (fn. 147) The regular income which the copyhold lands provided was therefore negligible compared with the rents of the demesne, but they still no doubt yielded an intermittent return from fines paid for renewal of copies.
The arable of Edington continued in open fields until at least 1842. (fn. 148) In 1702 it was ordered that one field should be fallow every three years. The fields were then Edington Clay, Edington Hill, and Pixell, or Pigshill, or Pattenstone Piece Field. (fn. 149) The Clay was on the rising ground between the Bratton boundary and Edington Hill, near Fitzroy Farm. Pixell Field was near Patcombe Hill. (fn. 150) Some other arable which was to conform to the three-year course lay at the Byes and Behind Hayes. This may have been on the lower ground, perhaps near Woodbridge, where there was inclosed arable in 1774. (fn. 151) Customary tenants had common for their sheep with the common flock; one holding was allowed 12 sheep one year and 24 the next, another 4 one year and 8 the next, and others in the same proportion. (fn. 152) In 1712 it was said that the parson, apparently meaning the lessee of the tithes, should provide a bull and a boar for the use of the parish. (fn. 153) The custom of the manor was copies for three lives, with the wife of each successive life holding for her widowhood. (fn. 154)
Tinhead arable in 1842 lay on the hill at Goldenham, which lay between Edington Hill and Long Hollow, and at Tinhead Clay, between Salisbury Hollow and the road to Coulston. (fn. 155) Tinhead Lowfield was mentioned in 1705, when some arable there had lately been inclosed. (fn. 156) Tenants of the two Tinhead manors had common in Tinhead Cowleaze in the proportion one cow to five sheep. Thus John Price's copyhold in 1755 had common there for 5 cows and 25 sheep, and Betty Rogers's for 4 beasts and 20 sheep in 1774. (fn. 157) In 1700 it was presented as the custom to have two bulls and a boar there, provided by the owner of the parsonage. (fn. 158)
In the 18th century the Bolton property included several large farms which were no doubt let at rack rents. (fn. 159) South Down Farm and sheepsleight which included a considerable amount of inclosed land about Edington village and the tithes arising from the farm were leased in 1702 for nine years at £400 a year. (fn. 160) In 1784 Hurst, South Down, Housecroft, Ivymill, Parsonage, Ballard's, Bartley's, Shores, and East Down farms were all of over 100 acres. The copyhold and lands let on long leases amounted to about 700 a. By 1835 no copyholds remained, and the Watson-Taylor property, called the manor of Edington, consisted chiefly of large farms held on yearly tenancies at rack rents. In that year 13 farms were let at over £100 a year each, including 5 over £400 and another 3 over £300. All rents, including cowleazes, cottages, and allotments, totalled over £4,750. (fn. 161) Further consolidation of holdings had taken place by 1851, when the decline in population of the parish was attributed to the 'incorporation' of several small farms. (fn. 162) The common fields were never inclosed by Act of Parliament. It was probably unnecessary to obtain one owing to the large proportion of the parish owned by the Watson-Taylor family, for in 1842 the family owned 4,819 a. out of a total of 5,709. (fn. 163) After the extinction of the copyholds the rights of pasture which had belonged to them were treated as separate pieces of property. In 1823 404 sheep leazes in Edington were occupied by 17 people, and 440 in Tinhead by 6 people. Sixty-five cowleazes in Tinhead Cowleaze were owned by 6 people; of these, Simon Watson-Taylor held 50, which he let to the poor. (fn. 164) Each cowleaze was let at 32s. a year in 1835. (fn. 165) The Cowleaze was inclosed in 1865. when Simon Watson-Taylor owned 69 out of 70 leazes. (fn. 166)
The manor of Baynton was valued at £15 18s. 8d. in 1535. (fn. 167) Of this, 66s. 8d. was the value of two closes in the hands of the Bonhommes, and the rest was the tenants, rents. In 1557 the farm of the site of the manor and the lands belonging to it, which were leased on three lives, was worth £8 3s. 4d., rents of free and customary tenants 65s. 11d., and perquisites of courts 2s. 4d. A tenement in Orcheston St. George, which belonged to the manor, was leased for 60 years at 53s. 4d. a year. (fn. 168) A survey of c. 1673 shows that little of the manor was in hand except for 13 a. of woods and 20 a. of land sown with cinqfoil. The chief income of the manor came from the rack rents of three farms. Two of these, of 80 and 120 a. respectively, lay entirely in the low inclosed grounds around Baynton and north of it, while the third, of 120 a. included 90 a. of 'land to be sown yearly', which probably lay on the hill, and pasture for 850 sheep. The total of the rack rents of these farms and some smaller parcels was just over £400. Five small holdings were leased on lives. The timber on the estate was worth £1,000. (fn. 169) By the end of the 18th century the property consisted of three farms: Baynton, the present Upper Baynton Farm, of over 500 a.; Baynton Dairy, the present Lower Baynton Farm, of 140 a.; and Baynton Lower Dairy, which lay in the north of the parish near the present Stokes Marsh Farm. (fn. 170)
The woollen industry first came to Edington, as it did to neighbouring villages, to take advantage of the water power the Stradbrook afforded for the fulling of cloth. A tucking mill is first mentioned in Edington in the mid-14th century. (fn. 171) In 1427 Richard Tucker held a fulling mill of the Rector of Edington, (fn. 172) and in 1519 one Whitaker, a clothier of Westbury, had lately built a mill called New Mill. (fn. 173) These were no doubt the two fulling mills which belonged to Edington Rector manor c. 1550, one held by John Whitaker, and one by Andrew Michell and John Adlam. (fn. 174) Toward the end of the century the Whitakers were the most important clothiers in Edington. Jeffery Whitaker of Tinhead, 'clothman', left to his son, Nash, the business of his mill at Bratton, with New Mill in Edington and Langham Mill in North Bradley. His legacies totalled about £3,000. (fn. 175) Nash Whitaker, also of Tinhead, died in 1610, leaving his mill at Bratton and his best cloth-mark, called the yellow cross, to his son Jeffery. (fn. 176) This Jeffery was described as a clothier of Westbury in 1613, when he conveyed property at Edington to Sir William Paulet, (fn. 177) but as a gentleman at his death in 1625, when he left property in Edington and Steeple Ashton to his uncle Jeffery. (fn. 178) Other clothiers in the late 16th century were Robert and William Blackborrow, who were both fined for defective white cloth, Robert in 1561 and William in 1563. (fn. 179) Robert, who was of Tinhead, died in 1578. (fn. 180) In that year Thomas Adlam, tucker, and Henry Noble, weaver, lived at Edington. (fn. 181) In the next century Stephen Gawen (fl. c. 1630), Abel Gawen (c. 1630), another Abel Gawen (c. 1664), and John Pryor (c. 1675) were all clothiers, the Gawens at Tinhead and Pryor at Edington. (fn. 182) Henry Spender of Baynton (d. c. 1621) was a weaver. (fn. 183) John Pryor took a copyhold estate in a fulling mill in 1703, (fn. 184) but no later reference to the industry in Edington has been found.
A limekiln stood at the top of Salisbury Hollow above Tinhead in 1817. (fn. 185) It was occupied by Mrs. Jane Boulter in 1857, (fn. 186) and was still standing in 1889, but had been demolished by 1901. (fn. 187)
In 1086 there were two mills at Edington paying 19s. (fn. 188) By the mid-14th century there were at least four; two were held by Agatha and Sybil Palmer and two by William of Sweltenham. There was then a tucking mill in Edington, probably one of these four. (fn. 189) The two water mills of William of Sweltenham were acquired by William of Edington and granted to the Rector of Edington in 1351, (fn. 190) and a water mill which was charged with a payment of 10s. yearly to John Palmer was granted by Nicholas de Bonham and others to the rector in 1373. (fn. 191) Another water mill was granted to the rector with the manor of Tinhead in 1363. It was held of Richard Rous of Baynton, who was bound to supply timber for its repair, but it was then wholly in decay. (fn. 192) Rous's release to the rector indicates that it was near the Leaze in Tinhead. (fn. 193) In c. 1550 three mills were appurtenant to the manor of Edington Rector. (fn. 194) Of these, Sweltenham grist mill was no doubt one of the two conveyed to the rector in 1351, and an unnamed fulling mill was probably one of the others which had belonged to the manor since the 14th century. The third, a fulling mill called New Mill, was described as lately built in 1519. (fn. 195) There are indications that Sweltenham Mill lay on the site of the present Ivy Mill, which is first so named in 1720. (fn. 196) By the later part of the century Ivy Mill, or Mill Farm, had over 100 acres of land attached to it, (fn. 197) and has remained primarily a farm until the present time. In 1921 the three-stoned mill had been recently repaired at great expense, (fn. 198) and it remained in use until after the Second World War. The mill building is of three stories, the lowest of stone and the upper two timber-framed. It appears to have been a dwelling house probably dating from the 15th century, which was later converted into a mill. It retains on the ground floor a pointed stone entrance doorway, and has three bays of an open timber roof which shows signs of smoke-blackening. It may have belonged to a first-floor hall. To provide sufficient power the small stream was turned into a banked-up mill pond which gave an eventual fall of 12ft. and turned an overshot wheel of 5 h.p. Much of the mill's machinery remained in 1963. The brick house adjoining the mill was rebuilt in the mid-19th century after a fire. (fn. 199)
The fulling mill of c. 1550, which was unnamed, probably stood on the site of the present Hudd's Mill. A grain and fulling mill called Mead Mill, which was parcel of the manor of Edington Rector, was occupied by William Hudd in 1711. (fn. 200) It was called Edington Mill in 1773 (fn. 201) and continued to work as a corn mill until the late 19th century. The building, apparently of the 18th century, was in 1963 used as a farm building. It was powered by an overshot wheel of about 12 ft. diameter, fed from a pond into which the water ran through a highbanked leat. The extent of the earthworks needed to provide power both at Ivy Mill and Hudd's Mill, is remarkable.
New Mill stood on the upper side of Woodbridge on the road from Edington to West Ashton, where the outline of the mill pond can still be traced. It is last mentioned in the will of Jeffery Whitaker in 1601, (fn. 202) and no doubt fell into decay with the decline of the cloth industry in the district.
FAIR AND MARKET.
A fair belonged to the manor of Edington Romsey c. 1550. It was held on Relic Sunday, (fn. 203) and the profit, which did not amount to 4d. a year, went to the reeve. (fn. 204) It was still held in the years before the First World War, on a Monday early in July, but was then entirely recreational. A feast was held on the previous day. (fn. 205) A market at Edington was being held in 1433, when a Warminster shoemaker took a life estate in an empty plot in the market of Edington next to the stall of Robert Letecombe. (fn. 206) Shambles are mentioned in 1511, (fn. 207) and in 1529 William Richards held one under the wall of the manor. (fn. 208) John Smyth alias Butcher held a shop called a shamble in 1539. (fn. 209) No reference to a market later than this has been found.
There was a parson of Edington in 1225 (fn. 210) A church is first mentioned in 1241, when it was awarded to John of Romsey, Rector of Edington, together with the chapel of Bradley, and tithes which had been disputed in Baynton, Tinhead, and Coulston. (fn. 211) There is little doubt that Romsey Abbey had held the church since before the Conquest, although no church is mentioned in Edgar's charter. (fn. 212) In 1241, and probably for many years previously, the church at Edington was a prebend of Romsey Abbey, and the rector acted, nominally, as a chaplain to the nuns, being represented at Edington by a vicar. When in 1351 William of Edington founded his chantry at Edington, the rector of the church resigned, and his place was taken by the first warden of the chantry. At the same time the abbess transferred the advowson to William of Edington, and agreed that the warden should be a canon of her house in place of the former rector. In 1358 the chantry was converted into a religious house, the head of which was called the rector. (fn. 213) From this time until the Dissolution the monastic church served as a parish church for Edington, and it was laid down in the foundation charter that two secular priests should minister to the parishioners in the nave. (fn. 214)
North Bradley was a chapelry of Edington at least as early as 1241. (fn. 215) The prebendaries of Edington appointed vicars to serve there, and after 1351, when the advowson of the chapel was granted to the chantry, the warden, and later the Rector of the Bonhommes of Edington, continued to do so until the Dissolution. (fn. 216) In the later Middle Ages North Bradley was usually referred to as a vicarage, and its subordination to the church of Edington was probably forgotten. After the Dissolution the advowson was granted separately from that of Edington, and North Bradley has since been regarded as a separate parish. (fn. 217) Baynton was also a chapelry of Edington, but the church there had fallen out of use by the 16th century (see below). Since 1939, when Imber was taken over by the War Department, the spiritualities of that parish have been served from Edington. (fn. 218)
The church of Edington was appropriated to the chantry at its foundation in 1351, (fn. 219) and as the parish was served by priests from the monastery itself, both great and small tithes were presumably taken by the latter. After the Dissolution the rectory and church were granted with the monastery's property, (fn. 220) and descended in the same way until 1910, when the patronage of the living was transferred to the Bishop of Salisbury. (fn. 221) The tithes were wholly impropriate, and the cure was served by a perpetual curate appointed by the lay rector. (fn. 222)
In 1291 the rectory of Edington with its chapel of Bradley was assessed at £33 6s. 8d., and the vicarage of Edington at a further £6 13s. 4d. (fn. 223) In 1341 the rector had a house and garden and a carucate of land in demesne, and tithes, offerings, and rents which amounted in all to £43 9s. (fn. 224) At the Dissolution the rectory was valued at £43 18d. 2d. (fn. 225) In 1561 it was charged with £7 6s. 8d., for the stipends of two curates. (fn. 226) In 1770 the curate was paid £30 a year out of the issues of the manor. (fn. 227) The benefice was augmented by Queen Anne's Bounty in 1809, 1813, and 1823, (fn. 228) and by 1831 the average net income was £87 with a house. (fn. 229) In 1842 the tithes were commuted for £1,300, the whole being allotted to the lay rector. (fn. 230) In 1882 the benefice was endowed with £48 a year, and a house provided for the vicar. (fn. 231)
Apart from William of Edington's chantry of 1351, which was afterwards converted into the house of Bonhommes, nothing is known of any chantries in the church. A chapel of St. Ethelfleda is mentioned in 1358, when the Abbess of Romsey received land near it from John of Edington, (fn. 232) but it seems likely that it was separate from the church. In 1413 the reeve of Edington gave two geese to the chaplain celebrating mass there on St. Ethelfleda's day. (fn. 233) Leland saw a chapel with a hermitage at the site of Bishop Aiscough's murder, (fn. 234) but nothing more is known about it. (fn. 235) A shop and a house belonged to the church in 1604. (fn. 236) The church house stood just north of the church in the field on the west of the road. (fn. 237)
The prebendaries who held the rectory of Edington before 1351 were nominally chaplains to the nuns at Romsey, but since several of them held other preferments, (fn. 238) it is almost certain that they did not reside either at Edington or Romsey. Little is known about the vicars whom they appointed, but in 1314 William, Vicar of Edington, promised to abstain from further connexion with Edith Harlot and four other women, (fn. 239) and in 1351 it was said that the church was neglected. (fn. 240) In 1428 six parishioners appeared before the bishop charged with having assembled at the cross at Tinhead and pledged themselves not to offer more than 1d. for weddings, churchings, and burials. (fn. 241) During the 18th century the curate is said to have acted as domestic chaplain to the lords of the manor, having a horse and servant found and table at the house. (fn. 242) In 1783, however, when the lords were absentees, the curate lived at Charlton beyond Devizes. He also held the curacy of Erlestoke, and held services at Edington once each Sunday, alternately morning and afternoon. As he wrote, the stipend was 'by no means a proper support for more duty'. (fn. 243) In 1812 lateness or irregularity of service was complained of. (fn. 244) At that time the curate was William Roots, who had licence to reside at Warminster. (fn. 245)
The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN, ST. KATHARINE AND ALL SAINTS (fn. 246) was built at the foundation of the house of Bonhommes, and dedicated by the Bishop of Salisbury in 1361. (fn. 247) It replaced a church of which remains, of late Norman, character, of part of the south arcade, were found during the 19th-century restoration. (fn. 248) The present church consists of a clerestoried nave with aisles, north and south transepts, chancel, tower at the crossing, and south porch of three stories. Apart from the porch, which was added in the 15th century, the whole is of the mid-14th century, and is a good example of the transition from the Decorated to the Perpendicular style. This can be seen in the windows of the transepts and the side windows of the chancel, which have a form of reticulated tracery in which the vertical members have become straight instead of flowing. The east and west windows of the church show the same merging of the styles, but the west windows of the aisles and the tower windows only have Decorated tracery. Externally the church is embattled, but only the chancel and the east walls of the transepts are decorated with crocketed pinnacles. Inside, the chancel is richly decorated, with a pair of niches in the east wall flanking the window, a pair in the eastern corners, and a pair between the side windows. In two of them are headless figures. The carving of the niches, and of the corbels and other details thoughout the church, is exceptionally delicate and vigorous. The nave and transepts have ceilings of the 17th century, of pink and white plaster; that in the north transept is dated 1663. The chancel ceiling is of c. 1789, when it was built by Joshua Smith to replace the original one of stone. (fn. 249)
In the south transept is a large altar tomb with a recumbent figure of an ecclesiastic under a canopy. The whole is coloured and decorated with a rebus of a branch or sprig issuing from a barrel. The feet of the effigy rest on a barrel with the initials J.B. or T.B., but its identity has never been certainly established. (fn. 250) In one of the arches on the south side of the nave is a small chapel, consisting of a canopied altar tomb with space for a priest to kneel at one end. Brasses of a man and wife are missing, but the coats of arms of Cheyney and Pavely, and the Pavely badge of a rudder, make it probable that it commemorates Sir Ralph Cheyney (d. c. 1401) and his wife Joan, a coheir of Sir John Pavely of Brook. (fn. 251) On the south side of the chancel is a large marble and alabaster tomb with effigies of Sir Edward Lewis (d. 1630) and his wife Lady Anne Beauchamp (d. 1664). The kneeling children on this monument may have inspired the sculptor of a mural tablet to the Tayler family in the north aisle, on which is a group of kneeling figures in 19th-century dress. On the north side of the chancel is a monument to Sir Simon Taylor (d. 1815) by Sir Francis Chantrey. There are many other monuments from the 17th century onwards.
The chancel screen or pulpitum is of the early 16th century, much restored. The spiked altar rails, pulpit with tester, and oak reredos in the north transept (furnished as a Lady Chapel) are all of the 17th century. The bowl of the black marble font dating from c. 1890 rests on a medieval stem. The wooden cover is dated 1626. In the south transept are the remains of a font probably of the 13th century. (fn. 252) There are considerable remains of medieval stained glass. In the north transept are a crucifixion and angels playing a lute and an organ; in the north aisle patterned glass with heraldic borders, and in the north clerestory windows are figures of saints. A Scudamore organ built by Nelson Hall of Warminster was placed in the church in 1860 in the hope that the congregation would join in the singing. It was replaced by the present organ, by Jones of Kensington, in 1901, and subsequently taken to Tilshead church. (fn. 253)
In the south aisle are two recumbent figures of the 14th century, a royal achievement of arms dated 1639, and a few fragments of old glass, all of which were removed from Imber church. (fn. 254)
There were four bells and a sanctus bell in 1553. There are now six bells and a sanctus bell; the earliest are the first, of 1640, and the fifth, of 1647. (fn. 255) The clock, which has no dial, is of the 16th century, though altered later. The commissioners of Edward VI left a chalice of 9 oz., and took away 15 oz. of silver. The present chalice, with paten on foot, is hall-marked 1738, and there is a pewter flagon and three plates. (fn. 256) The registers of burials begin in 1678, and of baptism and marriages in 1695. Baptisms and burials from 1789 to 1812 are missing. (fn. 257)
In 1812 it was said that the church was in good order, (fn. 258) but in 1857 it was described as a picture of decay and neglect. The floor was 'a chaotic plateau, with traces of stolen brasses and ruptured inscriptions,' the walls were 'green and dank', and 'a huge oven, similar to a brewing vat', heated the church. (fn. 259) It was restored in 1889-91 by C. E. Ponting.
A chapel at Baynton is first mentioned in 1225, when Walter of Baynton objected because the Abbot of Hyde had heard a case about the advowson in an ecclesiastical court. (fn. 260) The presentation went with the manor of Baynton, the first recorded patron being Sir John Rous in 1310. (fn. 261) The chapel was spoken of as a rectory and the incumbent claimed some tithes. In 1339 there was a dispute over tithes between the Rector of Baynton, backed by John Rous, and the Prebendary of Edington. There was an affray in Baynton Field in which a man was killed. (fn. 262) The sheriff was ordered to proclaim against unlawful assemblies, and to allow the prebendary to collect the tithes belonging to him there. In the event, however, the sheriff took the rector's side, and imprisoned the prebendary's collectors, because, it was alleged, the under-sheriff was allied to the rector. (fn. 263) In 1351 Thomas, rector of the chapel, acknowledged that he had unjustly received the great tithes of two acres on 'Langehull' since 1341. (fn. 264) In 1361 the Bonhommes were awarded tithes worth 20 marks, and in return granted the Rector of Baynton an acre of meadow and all the rest of the tithes within the bounds of Baynton. (fn. 265) In 1363 Richard Rous gave 40s. yearly from his lands in Westbury Leigh for the maintenance of the rector and his successors. (fn. 266)
The advowson of Baynton was granted with the manor to the Bonhommes in 1444. (fn. 267) It seems that the chapel was allowed to decay, although a rector is mentioned as late as the reign of Edward IV. (fn. 268) In 1589 the decayed chapel of St. Katherine, or Our Lady, at Baynton was granted by the Crown to Charles Bagehott and Bartholomew Yardley, (fn. 269) but no further mention of it has been found. It is thought to have been near old Baynton House, in a field called Chapel Close. Near this site a copper signaculum, marked with the Virgin Mary and a chalice, was found in the 19th century. (fn. 270)
There were six Protestant nonconformists and one Papist at Edington in 1676. (fn. 271) Edward Froude of Edington, who was presented as an Anabaptist preacher in 1674, 1683, and 1686, was closely connected with the Baptist conventicle at Erlestoke, (fn. 272) but no organized dissenting church existed at Edington until over a century later. In 1794 a building at Tinhead, which had formerly been a malthouse, was registered as a place of worship. (fn. 273) No denomination was then stated, but from this congregation probably descended the Baptists who were meeting in the same building in 1851. (fn. 274) There is little doubt that they had been founded from the chapel at Bratton, for in later years the Tinhead chapel was a station of the Bratton one. (fn. 275) It closed c. 1897, when the lease of the building expired. (fn. 276)
Methodist meetings in Tinhead were being held in a cottage c. 1787. (fn. 277) James Rogers, minister of the Bradford Circuit, 1795-6, was probably the first travelling preacher to visit the village. In 1800 a coachhouse in 'Potters Barton' was made into a chapel and leased to the congregation, but in 1827 the lease of the building fell in, and, because of the hostility of the owner's steward, could not be renewed. Meetings were again held in a cottage, but in 1828, through the efforts of Virtue Morgan and her husband, a chapel was built at the lower end of Coach Hollow in Tinhead. In the following year there were 26 members. (fn. 278) The chapel was enlarged in 1848 so that it contained 360 sittings, (fn. 279) and in 1851 the average Sunday evening congregation was 350. (fn. 280) In 1857 there were 38 members under 3 leaders, (fn. 281) and in 1898 the number was 41. (fn. 282) In 1904 the chapel was practically rebuilt. (fn. 283)
In 1893 James Newman left £100 to be invested to pay 10s. a year to augment the quarterly collection at the Methodist Chapel, 10s. a year for the Sunday School, and the rest of the income for the benefit of local preachers. Since most of the preachers then came from a distance, the fund was used towards their expenses in stabling their horses at the village inn and the refreshment of their drivers. (fn. 284)
A house in Tinhead was licensed for a congregation of Independents in 1791, but no other reference to it has been found. (fn. 285)
In 1577 two churchwardens were chosen for Edington, and two churchmen for each of the tithings of Edington and Tinhead. Churchmen were last chosen in 1583; in the following year two assistant churchwardens and two collectors for the poor were chosen. The assistant churchwardens soon ceased to be appointed, but the collectors for the poor continued until 1611, when they were replaced by one overseer for each of the three tithings of Edington, Tinhead, and Baynton. During the period covered by the early churchwardens' account book (1577-1625), the parish had a stock of a few cattle and sheep which were let out at yearly rents. In 1604 the church shop and house were leased. (fn. 286) The parish bought two cottages in 1809, and also owned one in Tinhead; these were leased to tenants. (fn. 287)
Four volumes of overseers' accounts remain for the period 1806-34. It was the custom to appoint two overseers. In 1822 the vestry appointed a clerk to assist them with their accounts and in other ways, at a salary of £10 a year, which had increased to £20 by 1831. In that year the vestry ordered the overseers to call a vestry each month to hear the complaints of the poor, but no record of any such meetings remains. The average annual expenditure on the poor over five yearly periods rose from £685 in 1807-11, to £827 in 1822-6, while for the seven years 1827-34 it averaged £950.
Throughout the period covered by the books many of the weekly payments made were small sums in aid of wages, and it was a regular practice to pay, or make an advance toward, rents and costs of clothing and bedding. Other payments were made to buy tools, to assist families to move away from the parish to obtain work, and for repairs to houses. Heavy unemployment in 1830 forced the parish to adopt the labour rate system. Two men were to be employed for every 50 a. of arable land and one for every 50 a. of pasture except on the downs. The remainder of the poor were to be employed on the parish roads. In 1833 the vestry ordered that the system was to apply each year from 29 November to 25 March. (fn. 288)
In 1577 two waymen were chosen for each of the three tithings of Edington, Tinhead, and Baynton and Coulston, but in later years only one was usually chosen for Baynton and Coulston. (fn. 289) In 1736 Edington and Tinhead were still maintaining their highways separately. (fn. 290) A highway account book for Edington tithing, 1809-27, is in the church chest.
In 1808 10 girls were educated and clothed at the expense of the lord of the manor, and about 30 more were paid for by their parents. (fn. 291) In 1819 there were two day schools, one for boys and one for girls, each containing about 20 pupils, and the curate stated that the poor were 'not in want of the means of education'. (fn. 292) In 1835 there were three infants' schools in the parish, providing education for 44 children of both sexes at the expense of their parents. (fn. 293) One of these may have been at West Coulston. (fn. 294) In 1859 40-50 girls were taught to read and sew, but not to write, in a cottage room 15 ft. square, by a mistress of doubtful competence. The Edington boys, and boys and girls from Tinhead, went to the schools at Bratton. (fn. 295) Edington and East Coulston were made a United District and a School Board formed in 1875, (fn. 296) and a school was built at Tinhead in 1877. (fn. 297) In 1894 there was accommodation for 124 pupils at the Board's mixed school and the average attendance was 119. (fn. 298) By 1938 the school was used for juniormixed and infants only, and average attendance had dropped to 49. (fn. 299)
By his will proved in 1640 William Tubb left £50 to the poor of the parish. (fn. 300) The money was invested in land c. 1715. In 1833 the property lay in Steeple Ashton; at that time the rent of £3 15s. was accumulated for several years and then distributed equally among all the poor who had not been relieved by the parish during the last year. (fn. 301) The charity is still administered in much the same way; since 1894 recipients have been chosen by trustees appointed by the parish council. (fn. 302) Income in 1952 was £3. (fn. 303)
In 1852 George Tayler left £3,000 to be invested for charitable purposes, differing slightly from parish to parish, in Edington, Steeple Ashton, Keevil, and Poulshot. At Edington the provision of bread, the preaching of an annual childrens' sermon by the vicar, and the distribution of cakes to the children were the same as in Poulshot. (fn. 304) In addition, at Edington the Methodist minister was to have 10s. for a similar sermon, and his Sunday School was also to have cakes, and provision was made for the upkeep of the Tayler monuments in Edington church. (fn. 305) After the death of Tayler's administrator in 1906, the charity was divided into five parts, one for each parish and a separate educational foundation. The Edington charity was allotted £527 10s. stock, and with its proceeds the original objects of the charity are still carried out. (fn. 306) Income in 1951 was £14 16s. (fn. 307)
The Revd. Samuel Littlewood, curate of Edington, by his will proved in 1884, left £50 to be invested to supply Bibles and prayer books to poor parishioners who were over 50 years old and members of the Church of England. (fn. 308) The charity is still administered for this purpose. (fn. 309)