Records : The Manor

Pages 204-222

Register and Records of Holm Cultram. Originally published by T Wilson & Son, Kendal, 1929.

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XVI. The Manor.

Under the abbey, the manor of Holm Cultram was managed by a lay steward. In 1535 the Stewardship was granted to Dacre, in place of Thomas Dalston, and at Christmas, Christopher Lee and other servants of Dacre went to Holm, broke open the steward's chamber and 'cast him and all his staff out.' George Lamplugh was appointed steward in 1558: on Feb. 26, 1569, Lord Scrope wrote to the Privy Council commending him as the captor of Thomas Hussey in the rebellion of 1536, and as keeper of Cockermouth castle for a time. This and a letter of Lamplugh's dated March 10, 1580, extant in the Chambers papers, are printed in C. & W. Trans. n.s. i, 200f.

Apparently soon after that date John Senhouse of Ellenborough was appointed steward; he died in 1604 and his son Peter succeeded him. Peter wrote on June 9, 1609, to Robert (Cecil) Earl of Salisbury, High Treasurer, informing him of a trial about a tenement in Sandenhouse and ending—" I shall seek to repress this insolent behaviour having not altogether forgot these Border Condicions wch the vigour of your highness' directions may speedily reform." This was at the time when James I was trying in vain to convert the Border tenures into villenage, an incident well known to all readers of Cumbrian history.

Peter Senhouse appears to have appointed his son Thomas his deputy, as we gather from evidence given by John Chambers of Raby Cote when Mr. Thomas Senhouse, deputy Steward, and William Brisco, deputy bailiff, with John Osmotherley and Anthony Barwis, two of the XVI men, distrained a certain red cow, "without offering any violence to the said Relator [John Penrice] nor did anything but what they neighbourly doe by their said warrant. The said Relator did violently assault the sd Mr. Thomas Senhouse and the sd Bailiff in the sd Low Fields [close to the present farm at Causeway head] with a great ploughe stafe, insomuch that Mr. Senhouse was therebye enforced to draw his sworde to defend him selfe and the Bailiff … and did again assault the sd Mr. Senhouse several tymes and did evill entreat and give them uncivil language and tearmes, calling them theeves Bankrouptes catchpools roogs … and the relator and Mabell his wife and Alice Hodgson did break the sd Mr. Senhouse sword in the scabbard hung at his side and did sore beat and bruise him." The defence was that Mr. Senhouse drew his sword and knocked Penrice down, and he and his wife acted in self-defence.

With the Commonwealth, Senhouse was superseded by William Brisco of the Crofton family, but a resident in the parish, owning the farm of Cowfold. It was he who was prosecuted by the XVI for taking a tree from Wedholme (chap. XVII); as a Parliament man, he was unpopular in the Conservative Holm. The Steward's fee was £18 3s. 4d. out of the income of the manor; his clerk had 26s. 8d. and the bailiff £3 6s. 8d., both no doubt with perquisites. Richard Barnes was appointed clerk in 1571; Thomas Dykes in 1590 and his son Leonard was acting as his deputy in 1640. In the Commonwealth period the clerk's office was vacant, and its duties were performed by the schoolmaster.

From the earliest days there were two Juries, East and West of the 'watter of Waver,' but in important cases the two juries sat together. The court seems to have been held monthly, and seeing that it was District Council, Guardians, Petty Sessions and County Court all rolled into one, there was plenty to do in enforcing the 'Paines' or byelaws, settling disputes, examining breaches of custom and adjusting petty debts. Various byelaws or 'paines' passed by the Juries throw light on the conditions of the Holm from time to time, and it may be of interest if we give extracts, in a slightly abridged form, from a mass of material which is too bulky to print in full.

1562, June 3. "It is ordered that John Hewit shall have outway with free passage to come and go with cart and carriage or other at his occupation between Field Head and Skinburnees … by the dike side along the Ewe Moor, sub poena 6s. 8d. Item, that the Tenants of Skinburnees shall not prevent the Tenants of East Coat of the way and free passage to come and go to the Marsh by the Sea Griff [dell or gill], sub poena 6s. 8d.

"Item It is ordained that every Township wch have grassing being in common amongst them, shall either enclose the same grass ground amongst them or else to agree amongst themselves by division and every one enclose before Easter next, and where every Tenant knoweth his own part everyone to Dike from other … 6s. 8d.

"Item If any poor man have not goods and cattles of his own to fullfill his stint withall … . may grant and allow his neighbours of his stint or … fullfill his stint with another kind.

"Item The Custom was and is that no cottager shall keep any goods upon the Pasture but either one cow or five sheep … That no cottager shall grave anie Flacks [sods] but for … his firehouse and that but once in 7 years …"

1575, Oct. 23. "The Bounder of Pelutho, Brockholes and Hariggs … begins at the West Gate called Pelutho Gate and so along the hedge crookedly to … Barfold and Wolsty Mire Dike … along the said Dike to Swanwath and … to the Meadow Dike and so along the said dike Eastward to New Ing Nook and so along Black Bog as the Dike goes Eastward to … Fleet and and … Parks and … as the ditch leadeth eastward over and anenst John Briscow meadow and … southward and so along Angrgill hole and … eastward along the field ends to the said town of Pelutho … as the Dike leadeth to Pelutho Gate aforesaid. And . . the Feeding … doth properly belong to … Pelutho, Brockholes and Harigg, save only that the Tenants of Bletter Lees have a Draught with their Cattle in time of Drought (if need be) between 10 o'clock in the forenoon and 10 o'clock in the afternoon to places called Swanwath or Womerdeal and after the said time to return … and that the Tenants of Brockholes have a way to the said Mire of right … down Foulsike Gill and so over Angrygill hole and so on to the Mire."

1587, May 3. "It is put in pain that every Township having Common of pasture shall have a Common Herd to keep their Cattle yearly before St. Hellen day [August 18] sub pœna 6s. 8d.

"Mem. That upon divers complaints for the negligent levying of precepts … ye Bailiff shall at every Court make return of all precepts before yt time to him delivered how he hath prosecuted the same vizt. either Levye or a Rescous [rescue, taking back by force the goods due] or a nihil habet … If ye Bailiffe make defaulte in ye premises … he ought by ye custom of the Lorpp to be comitted by the Steward or his Deputy to close ward until he pay or satisfy ye Plt. for ye recovery …

"Et Jur[ati] dicunt … that none Inhabitant within the Lorpp ought to sue one another out of the Court of ye sd Manor for matters determinable within ye said Court … sub pœna £4.

"That for graving of flacks no man shall grave any before he shall discover his need to ye Court … and thereupon ye Steward to appoint four sufficient men to be sworn to view his need and to appoint a place where he shall grave, and how many shall be taken.

"No Customary Tenant shall suffer any person out of ye Lorpp to put in any manner of Cattel more than their own Stint upon ye Common …"

1636, April 4. "None … shall grave any flacks or turves within our Myres or Pastures to Burn or Break upon Dunghills for Manure or for any other use but only upon necessity for ye maintenance of yr houses, upon payne for every default 6s. 8d.

"None shall take any beasts of forreigners … in grass in any Myres or Pastures in Sumer but what he can fother in winter within ye appurtenances of his own Tenement, upon pain … 6s. 8d.

"That ye Frithmen in every town shall take an account of every man's beasts . . 8 days before our Lady Day in Lent and also … Mid Sumer day to certify the same, sub pœna … 6s. 8d."

1640, Sept. 26. "The presentment of the Head Juries … of the Ancient paynes … For the preservation of the Woods of Wedholme.

"Imprimis … for every Oak tree … felled … for other use than the use of the Seadyke every delinquent shall be amercyed to the use of the seadyke £3 6s. 8d. (and the same for carrying away any tree; and for any boughs or tops, 26s. 8d. and the same for every Brack tree [tree of the brake or thicket], underwood or 'hollyne'; and for lopping Birks' either to stick in their houses or to make beasomes,' 6s. 8d.)

"If any shall buy of Cuthbert Langcake, John Waite, or of any other person any wood … out of the said woods … 20s.

"If any shall receive any wood … forth of Wedholme Wood and doth conceale the same and not presented within 20 dayes … 40s.

"If the XVI Men … do not appoynt an able and sufficient Tennant … within half a year after the Presentment of this Record … to call by course of Law of every man that refuseth to pay the aforesaid Amercement (etc.) the said XVI Men shall be amercyd every man to the Kings Ma'ties use to be levied without mittigation 20s.

"… If the Bailiffe or his Deputye … doe not his duty within 40 dayes after he hath received an Estraite [order to levy] from the Clerke of the Court [he] shall be amercyed of every default to the Kings Ma'ties use £3 (and the same if the man sent by the XVI to call for money due for the seadyke does not do his duty).

(Same date). "Orders and paynes concerning the Seadyke.

"We order and put in payne that the Tennants of Skinburnees, shall at all tymes save the wood left at the Seadyke from being carried away by the Sea soe farr as they can, and if any trees be carried away by the force of the Sea, and left about the Marshes or Sea Bankes within a mile of Skinburneese, then the Tennants … knowing thereof shall bring the same to the Seadyke, or to some other place where it maybe saif from the Sea or els the whole Towneshipp for every default shall be amercyed to the kings Ma'ties use £3.

"Taxes due for the Seadyke shall be sett downe by the XVI men … with the assent of the Head Juryes (etc.); for every default … 6s. 8d.

"If anye within the said Towne [Skinburness] shall refuse to help … to save the said Wood … 20s.

"The XVI Men … shall appoint Collectors in every Graveshippe to collect ye Taske [tax] set down for ye maintenance of ye Seadyke … and every collector that doth not pay duty shall for every default be amercyed . . £2.

"Every graveshippe that doth not lead [i.e. cart] the wood to ye Seadyke being commanded … 20s.

"Every Tenant . . which sendeth not an able man to worke at ye Seadyke upon Proclamation … 20s. (and the same for taking wood from it, and for coming with a cart, horse or brake [harrow used as a hurdle ?] to fetch away wood, £6). (fn. 1)

"We order that every one that sendeth a man to ye Seadyke to work and ye man yt is sent will not diligently work at the sight of ye Overseer but jest at or scoffe at ye overseer, or Idle or loyter there, everyone yt so doth shall be amercyed as to the use of ye Seadyke, ye man servant if he be able [i.e. have property] shall pay it himself, if not ye master shall pay it forth of the man's wages, or els the Master to pay it himself to ye use of ye Seadyke £5.

"The XVI men … shall appoint a Tenant … to be overseer of ye worke at Seadyke … and when the worke is wrought he shall take upp the Tooles workloomes or Utensils … and all little pieces Boards or any pieces of wood and carry ym home & keep ym till they work at ye Seadyke again … and for every default herein … 20s." (and if the collector do not make his accounts truly he shall be fined £5).

(Same date). Orders for the XVI Men (on whom see further in chapter XVII).

"That ye XVI Men … shall sett down Taxes upon ye Coppyholders for the preservation of the King's Ma'ties Inheritance and ye Ancient Custom of Holme Cultram … every one that refuseth shall be amercyed 20s.

" [They] shall appoint Collectors in every Quarter or in every Graveshippe to collect and gather upp ye sd Taske [etc. or] be amercyed £3.

"If any Coppyholder … refuse to pay his Taske … 20s.

"If any make any rescouces [rescues] upon the collectors … £3. We doe further order and present that upon his Refusal or rescouse maide after he be amercyed and then refuse to paye … the XVI men … shall give the offenders herein into the Court of Exchequer or other Courte as … by their Councill in the Law shall be advized and the offenders to bear all chardges and damages … If ye XVI or the Tennant … they shall appoynt shall neglect to prosecute the offender herein he shall be amercyed for every default to the King's Ma'ties use 20s. But if the fault be in the XVI Men they shall be amercyed … 40s."

1648, at the Court Leet, April 3. "No Inhabitants Tenants or other whatsoever shall not grave any flacks or Turf within ye compass of three score yards of either side of any Churchway where ye said way lyeth open, upon pain of 6s. 8d."

1654, Court Leet, Oct. 7. "Every town or Graveshipp, not heretofore charged, shall provide a sufficient Bull for their Kine betwixt this and the next Head Court … under pain for every 20 days 6s. 8d… ."

1657, The Court, held Oct. 3, forbids threatening or railing in open court, penalty 6s. 8d., or opprobrious words to the Steward or his deputy on pain of £3 6s. 8d., or to the clerk or Bailiff or their deputies, £1 13s. 4d.

"Item, That if ye Clerk … withdraw any Record (etc.) whereby any person shall receive disinheritance or Loss, he shall be amercyed … £3 6s. 8d.

"Item, That neither ye Bailiff nor his Deputye ye Constable shall take any excessive distresses … upon payment … 6s. 8d.

"The Clark or his Deputy … shall from time to time … or once in ye year produce … all such Paynes Rules and Orders as he hath in his Charge … for every default £3 6s. 8d.

"That no Bailiff (etc.) do distrain any mans plough or sheep… so long as he may find any other distress or Cattell sufficient … upon payne 6s. 8d.

"That no Bailiffe nor his Deputy take any outragious Toll contrary to Custom in ye Markett Town or fair upon payne … 6s. 8d.

"That what Tenant (etc.) that doth sue or arrest … any other Tenant (etc.) within ye same, the debt being under 40s. shall be amercyed £1 13s. 4d.

"Every man that worketh at the dyke to improve [i.e. make use of] the Stancke, he shall be amercyed to the king's Ma'ties use for every day he worketh at the same 6s. 8d. Every one that worketh to draw the water away between the Stanke Bush and the Stanke Head, it being a watering place in tyme of drought belonging to the Tennants of Raby Coate and some other townes as Saltcoates, Brownrigge and Sevill … £3 6s. 8d.

"Ancient paynes for pounds (etc.)—Imprimis, Every Towneshippe or graveshippe shall keep up their Poundfoulds upon payne … 6s. 8d

"Every one that keepeth not up his pasture dyke or hedge … 13s. 4d.

"Every Townshippe or Graveshippe shall keep a Herd or Herdes to look to … goods going in their stinted pastures or marshes, upon payment of 6s. 8d. for every default to his Ma'ties use … and if the Frithmen do not present … they shall be amercyed 20s.

"If any … take any goodes to put them into any stinted pasture … above his owne stint . . for every beast 6s. 8d. and for every horse, nagg, mare or yerling 10s., and for every flock of geese taken forth of the Countye into the Holm 6s. 8d. and for every sheepe … 6s. 8d.

"Mills. That no Miller or Under Miller take any toll at Milne but according to ye custom of ye nation and ye strength of ye course of the water (of the Bound Sunken (fn. 2) excepted) at ye 20th corn or ye 24th corn, and ye measure whereby he shall take his toll shall agree with ye just and right measure of England and he shall take it by ye strike and not by the heap upon pain for every default 6s. 8d. Every Constable (etc.) who shall fail to execute their duties … 6s. 8d.

"Hue and Cry. Every tenant or other inhabitant neglecting their duty or right in their severall turnes or ye Constable (etc.) refusing to raise Hue and Cry after a felon … 6s. 8d.

"Hunting and Hawking. None shall Hunt or Hawke with greyhounds, setting dogs or Spaniells in any ground where Corn (etc.) shall grow, except in his own grounds … 6s. 8d.

"Watering of Hemp (etc.) That no Tenant (etc.) do water any Hemp or Flax in any River (etc.) where Beasts use to be watered … 6s. 8d.

"Mending of Hieway. Every inhabitant or Young man out of service upon notice given … to assemble themselves … with such Tools as shall be needful for repairing (etc.) ye Hieways … 6s. 8d.

"Scabbed Horses. That no tenant (etc.) put any Horse, mare or gelding infectious with scabbe or Mange upon any of ye Myres (etc.) … 6s. 8d

"Unringed Swine. That no tenant (etc.) keep their swine unringed in Winter or unringed or unyolked (fn. 3) in Summer … 6s. 8d.

"Inmates. That no Tenant or other inhabitant take any Inmate to dwell in any of his houses … 6s. 8d.

"Weights and Measures. That what person (etc.) use False Ballences, false measures and weights, and those wch have double measures and buy wth the greater and sell with ye less . . 13s. 4d. And every Brewer and Baker that break the true Assize of Bread … 6s. 8d.

"Straitening of ways. That wt person shall stop or straiten any Highway or path … 6s. 8d.; and no person shall break down or make up any ways, houses or hedges or ditches for ye annoyance of others … 6s. 8d.

"Taking of doves by engines. That wt person or persons shall take any Doves by Engines in winter shall be amercyed …6s. 8d.

Officers. That wt Constable or other Collectors do obstinately refuse … to collect … as is ordered by ye XVI men … as also all tenants (etc.) refusing to pay their particular Rates by Rescouse or otherwise … 6s. 8d.

"Watercourses (etc.) Imprimis We doe order and present that every which hath any meadows in the high Meadows shall yearly make forth thereof from our Lady day in Lent untill the hay is wonne … 6s. 8d.

"Item, that every Yeare a Pounder be appoynted by the Tennants of Newton,' Brownrigge and Abraham Chamber … 6s. 8d. If the Pounder be negligent he shall be amerced 6s. 8d.

"Item, that Abraham Chamber shall make a Bridge and hanging yeat and gravill the end of the bridge five yards at both ends … 40s. That the Tenants of Brownrigge … repaire a Bridge at the Nooke of John Chambers Close called Broad Meadow as it is ordered and presented unto the Court the vij day of August, 1622 … 40s. That Mr. Thomas Senhouse and Mr. John Chamber for Red Flatt, Robert Chamber, Robert Langcake, Anthony Penrise, Robert Hodgson, Thomas Hodgson, Arthur Peat, George Skelton shall make a Bridge over the Bayes according to an order made on vij August 1622 … 40s.

"Item, We order that all these Paynes following shall alsoe stand good, wch are set down … 7 August 1622. That none shall ride through the Bayes Wath in the East Riddings or West Riddings … 40s. That every one wch is warned to work at the Hieway along ye Bayes Brow in the West Riddings if he doe not com having three dayes warneing given him or being come doe Idle … 6s. 8d. That none shall drive any louse goodes [loose beasts] home and afield out for the hie meadows morning and evening in tyme of fogge [aftermath] or otherwise … 40s. None shall have any louse horses goeing in the meadows in tyme of getting in hay … 6s. 8d.

"The Tennants of Ellercarr, Monkmyre and Feather Close are to mend the way along the Ridding Brows from the Bayes Bridge to the East nook of Arthur Peates meadow and so the hie way to the Mosse yeat with stickes … 40s. That if Arthur Peat … suffer the Bayes Brows to burst out of the Bayes and soe burst into or hole the high way, he … shall mend it againe … 40s.

"That John Chamber and Abraham Chamber are to have flacks and sodds and ling forth out of the Mosse to mend the water bursts along the Riddings … 40s. Every one which casteth not his part of the Bayes … 6s. 8d. Every one wch shall have any meadow upon the North side or South side of Bayes shall stint their meadows according to the order made 7 August, 1622 … 20s. That the Tennants of Brownrigge shall have but one common gapp and the same to be in the meares to lead forth their hay of Brownrigge meadow … 10s. That the Tennants of Brownrigge meadowes shall keepe a sufficient dyke at the sight of the frithmen of Raby … 10s.

"Slander, Bloodes and frayes. Imprimis, We order for every slander the first tyme … 6s. 8d.; the second tyme … 13s. 4d. For every bloud for the first tyme … 6s. 8d.; the second tyme … 13s. 4d. For affrayes and assaults … for every default 10s. That all ancyent paynes … shall stand good …

"Item, that if any within the Abbey or about the Abbey … have any swine being unringed goeing within the Churchyard or Sanctuary … 20s. And if any such swine shall be found wrooting about any graves then the said Swine shall be killed and the owner thereof amercyed 20s."

1687, May 3. "Both the Head Juries that go forth at Michaelmas shall present new Graves and Constables for ye year and give their names in to the Court that they may remain upon Record, upon pain … 6s. 8d… That both the Head Jurys wch go forth at St. Hellens Court shall present new frithmen and overseers of ye poor every year, upon pain … 6s. 8d.

"Item … Every one who are to cleanse and scoure their gutters and their Hedges or Dyke Soughs [ditches] where any hie way lieth, that they shall cast and scour the same sufficiently on both sides of ye sd hie way respectively and do also cutt the boughs or brushes from off ye hedge (if there by any) wch are or may be an annoyance to any who have occasion to travel or go that way, upon pain of 6s. 8d.

"Dubmill bound sucken. Item whereas ye tenants of Skinburnees, Blitterlees, Wolsty, New Mawbray, Old Mawbray and Edderside are boundsucken or bound by custom to grind their corn at the mill called Dubmill and to theake or repair ye same with Thacke, also to cast [clear] ye dam when need is and to be served before others, as by ye return of ye 48 Jurors in ye 15th year of Queen Elizabeth … may appear, We do therefore order … that whosoever of ye said Tenants shall not come, send and bring … all such corn and grain as shall be used for their several houses and families to be ground or grinded at ye same Mill but go to another shall be amercyed for every several default 20s. Also we do order and put in pain that all ye present Ten'ts of ye Townships afore mentioned respectively shall upon public notice or warning given come to Thatch ye said Mill sufficiently and also cast or scour ye Dam sufficiently when and as often as need shall require upon pain of 20s. for every several default."

As examples of cases that were settled by the manorial jury, we may quote the following, which also illustrate seventeenth century conditions.

"At ye Court holden ye xxth day of Aprill, 1647. Whereas a complaynt is made on behalfe of Sir Wm. Musgrave, knt. that Abraham Chamber having an acre of arable land within the demayne of the sd Sir William Musgrave … hath ploughed away some part of ye said Sir William's ground, now upon the oath of George Simpkin and Anthony Crosby who have viewed ye same … we think it fitt that ye said Abraham shall make a headrigg of either end of the said acre That from henceforth he shall not be prejudiciall to the same meadow, and that upon payne of 6s. 8d. totiens quotiens" [on every occasion].

"Whereas there is difference likely to arise betwene the townshippe of Pellathow and ye townshippe of Blitterlees concerninge a way down Culdmyre for their peats … Antho. Langcake of Newtown being … sworne sayeth that he hath known … any who had occasion to bring any peats out of the Hye mosses to come down Culdmyre without the lett or stopp of any th'inhabitants of Pellathow (etc.) and that he never knew pricke [quarrel?] between ye one side and ye other of the same myre savinge onlie that they were to forbear the Neatts brigg: and upon a wet yeare a loft brigge, but upon a dry yeare he hath seen sods cast into ye same. Moreover Antho. Stamper (etc.) say that they never knew any stopped or hindered from coming down Culdmyre but that they never knew any peats brought down Robt. Wyses Briggs … Therefore we think it fitting that the Tenants of Pollathow shall not from henceforth trouble or molest any of the Tenants of Blitterlees, Silleth, Wolstye, Hayrigg or Dryholm … so that they keep off the corn and forbare to brigg upon their neat briggs, sub pœna 6s. 8d."

At the same court the award of Oct. 29, 1584 was confirmed, making the loaning from Benet Jefferies to the Marsh the highway for Brownrigg, and it was ordered to be repaired; also the 'calsey' called Potpurnall, a church-gate, to be repaired by general assessment.

1628, July 23. "We the Jury do say that Richard Sealby of Blitter Lees Schoolmaster and intended for the Church committed a felonious crime upon the Sea Bank but made his escape without punishment; he was in possession of no real property."

1631, Jan. 25. "We of the Jury do say that John Bell of Blackdyke shoemaker committed a felonious crime But suffered punishment by standing up in the church …"

Nothing has been said so far about the licensing of alehouses and about Sunday observance, for these were not manorial affairs. But among the parish papers are two which refer to them:—

1601. "We the Queen's Ma'ties Justices of Peace … forasmuch as Robert Chamber of Abbaye … yeoman, haith found sufficient sureties … that he shall kepe a comon aile house att Abbaye … and to kepe measures according to the Statute of Winchester, and that he shall not suffer no unlawfull games … neither any evill suspected of ill fame to be lodged or received into his house … and yt he shall kepe good and honest order accordinge to the forme and effect of the Statute of Edward VI made in the first year of his reign, and that he shall suffer no fleshe to be dressed in his house upon dayes forbydden by the lawes … Therefore these shalbe … to command you to suffer him … to be a comon [i.e. public] aile brewer … Given the xxiij daye of November … (signed) Lancelot Salkeld, ffrancis Lamplugh."

1616, Aug. 28. Sir Edward Bromley, knt., one of his Majesty's Justices of Assize, ordered the following byelaws to be sent down to Sir Wilfride Lawson, Sir Wm. Hutton and Sir Richard Musgrave.

"ffirst—That no wares … be sold upon any Sunday, necessary victuall only excepted [nor] any fleshe after the second peall to morning prayer … every person offendinge therein to be presently brought by the Constable before the Justice of the peace. 2—That no householder after the beginning of the last peall to morning prayer suffer any person not being of his househould to eate, drinke or remayne in the house in tyme of divine Service, but shall shut the doores upp to the end that all … may go to the Church … 3—If any alehouse keeper will not suffer the Constable or Churchwardens to search their house … any one Justice of the peace shall discharge the said ale house keeper … not afterwards to be licensed agayne. 4—Every ale house keeper wth his wife and famylie shall come every Sunday to the Church, as well upon payne to forfytt 12d. as to be discharged . . except they have reasonable excuse to the contrarie. 5—Such persons as shall be found walkinge or idly standing in churchyard or market place in tyme of dyvine Service shall pay 12d. a peace and are to be bound to their good behaviour and appear before the Justice off Assize. 6—Constables (etc.) neglecting to doe their duties … to be bound to appear before the Justices of Assize. 7—That there be no pyping, dancing, bowlinge, beare or bull baytinge … upon the Sabbath day … or upon a festival day in tyme of dyvine Service … 8—That the Justices of the Peace themselves do some tyme search whether the Church Wardens (etc.) have done their duties and that the Minister or Curat doe read these orders publickly once every quarter of the yeare …"

As Holm Cultram was a Crown manor, though allotted from 1625 as jointure to Queen Henrietta Maria, the tenants had the right, which they frequently exercised, of petition. As an example we quote their complaint regarding the Stank, which in the seventeenth century was a considerable lake, now drained, to the south-west of Abbeytown.

1637, Oct. 10. "The humble petition of Thomas Senhouse, John Osmotherley and Arthur Chambers with the rest of your Ma'ties Tenants of the Lorpp of Holme Cultram … sheweth that … there is a Piscarye conteyning twenty acres and upwards called the Stancke. His Ma'ties said Tenants have tyme out of mynd watered their Cattell in the said Stanke … and in dry sumers there hath bene no fresh water within 3 myles … The Stanke with an acre of land thereunto adjoyning … about two yeares since … was letten to one Robert Peatt for 21 yeares at the rent of 10s. wch by means of an assignment is come to Ben Goodwin, who now goeth about by strong hands to lay the said Stanke drye and to enclose the same … And whereas yr Petitioners are bound to … keep their houses in good reparacions and some of them standing upon boggy and wet grounde wch is impossible to keep them upp and most unwholesome for them to dwell upon; they have of late yeares erected some houses upon the foreparts of their old houses being dry ground and within the stinted pasture where his Ma'tie hath the soile but they the pasturage, and it hath bene certified by severall Commissioners that there is not sufficient to mainteyne their severall stints and noe improvement can be made for his Ma'tie. Yet now of late there are some that goe about to rent these houses … from his Ma'tie, although there is an ancient custome within the Mannor confirmed by Act of Parliament that if there be any improvement made but never so small that the sum of £3 6s. should be paid to his Ma'tie for the same and the improvement pulled down. Their humble suite is that the Stanke may not be drayned … and they engage the profitt thereby as formerly … and that the houses built onely for necessity and upon the forefront of their ancient houses may stand and not be rented from his Ma'tie by others … (signed) George Dalston, Thomas Dacre."

On this, Francis Howard writes to Sir John Bankes, who had the matter in hand, that he went to Carlisle and saw Sir George Dalston and Sir Thomas Dacre; "the Tennants willinglye submittinge to what we should have ordered them, but Goodwin refused." And the Stank remained a pool until 1812, when the commons were enclosed.

By the date of this petition, 1637, the attempt of the Crown against the ancient rights of the copyholders had failed. The story belongs rather to the general history of the northern counties than to this manor, and it has been told by the late Chancellor Ferguson in his History of Westmorland (pp. 129–138) and by others. But apparently the Holm was not greatly disturbed, for the survey of 1649 states that the Tenants held by copy of Court Roll, confirmed by decree of the Exchequer on Feb. 17, 1611, which implies that their position was assured.

That survey goes on to quote Gawen Borrodaile's book, then in the custody of John Chamber of Raby Cote, who had bought it in London (p. 197) in 1603. The gressomes, it says, are payable once in ten years, in two instalments, of which the second, amounting to £75 4s. 9d., would be due on Feb. 2, 1655, "but the Gressoms are by us added to the yearly copiehold rents to the second of ffebruary, 1649, and the rest made annual from ye said term." The survey, drawn up by the commissioners of Parliament then in possession of the Crown property, suggests the contemplated sale of the manor; for after mentioning the Court Baron and Court Leet it continues—"The Copieholders pay upon descent or alienacion … (as a fine) the value of one yeares rent of Assize payable for the premisses. There were divers freeholders which had land in severall Towneshippes without this Lorpp of the Lord of this Mannor, which we conceive are sold away and are now held by other Tenures. There were 21 Saltpannes at Saltcoates of £3 4s. rent per annum now decayed; a Salmon fishing in Seaton of £6 yearly rent likewise decayed"; and then it gives—

"An Abstract of the present Rents, Improvemts and other Profitts of the said Mannor of Holme Cultram. The present Rent of the Copieholders in the severall Graveshippes and the Royalties are p. ann. £288 6s." To this adding "part of the Demeasne in possession as Acredales or Rivings; the Concealmts or encroachmts; Colt Parke; reserved rent upon the severall Leases at Sandenhouse, Silleth, Wolsty, Calvo; Cottage lease demised to Robert Peatt; Old Chappell and Bedehouse and New Parke alias Deer Parke"; and deducting 'Represes,' the total is given at £323 1s. 10¼d. Then "the Improvements of the severall Leases within the said Mannor [i.e. Sandenhouse, etc. as above] are p. ann. £174 15s. 1d. Gressomes elapsed 2nd February 1649, value in grosse £70 3s. 10d. Due from ye copieholders to the Lord of the said Mannr 1d. for each tenemt valued in Grosse, 25s. 7d. Besides Wedholme Wood wch is worth (if it be sold) at ye least £3000."

The Manor was offered by the Commonwealth for sale as "late the property of Charles Stuart." A contract for its purchase was made on June 18, 1651, by Samuel Sanderson and Edward Orpine of London, esquires, on behalf of themselves and others, original creditors, by whose consent "this particular is rated in ffee simple for George Smithson, Thomas Lilbourne, (fn. 4) William Bradford, George Wilkinson, Francis Wilkinson and Samuel Sanderson of Yorkshire, esquires, Robert Reed, Robert Anderson, William Gough, Thomas Hughes, Edward Orpine of Barwick, esquire, John Thorpe, Richard Clifton, Thomas Ellis, Richard Barne, Abraham Spooner, and Richard Flower of Barwick, gent., at 22 years' purchase for ye present yearly value … to wch rates and values the purchase money amounts to the sum of £10,320 18s. 4½d.; whereof the one full moyety is to be payed … within eight weekes … and the other moyety … within six months next after the first payment." "Attestation of ye contract and agreement "was signed Nov. 26, 1651, but there is no record that the sale was ever completed. Our next extract gives the hitch in the transaction.

An endorsement on the copy of the survey of 1649, dated April 30, 1652, reads:—"By the Commissioners for removing of obstructions in the Sale of the Honrs of the late King, Queene and Prince. Forasmuch as the Cause upon the Petition of Capt. William Bradford in the behalf of Col1 Lilborne's Regemt came to a hearing this day, the said Capt. having in his said petition made complaint to the late Committee for removing obstructions in the Sale of the said Land that the Manor of Holme Cultram in the County of Cumberland was about July last contracted for by Lieft. Sanderson for the use of the Regemt for which the first moiety of the purchase money was paid in; but by reason that the Tennants of the said Manor challenging an Interest in a parcel of wood called Wedholme wood, purchased with the said Manor, the second moiety was deferred. The said Committee thereupon the 13th day of March last issued forth their order to summons the said Tennants to appear before the Committee within 20 days after notice of the said Order given to the persons of the said number of Tennants called the Sixteen Men or any of them, to shew their interest and title to the said Wood. And whereas Thomas Stordy and John Jackson, two of the tenants of the said Manor, of which said number of Sixteen Men the said John Jackson alledged he was one, have appeared before us on behalfe of themselves and the rest of the Tennants of the said Manor alledging their Interest in the said Woods and producing several writings to make good their Interest, It was by us the 23rd of Aprill instant referred to Mr. Parnall, Councell for the Commonwealth to the Trustees named in the said Act to peruse the said writings and such other evidences and writings as should be offered unto him by the said Purchasers and Tennants, and state matter of fact upon the Interest of the Tennants to the said Wood. [Here follows a long statement of the history of the wood.] … Ordered by us … that the Interest of the Tennants … in … Woodholme Wood for the reparacions of the said Sea dykes … be allowed unto them . . and their heirs, to and for the reparac'on of the said Sea Dikes … and that represe be made unto the purchasers of the said wood … there being deducted out of the said reprize Twenty Pounds per annum formerly reprized unto the said purchasers … and that the said Surveyor General for sale of the said Lands doe enter and record upon the Survey of the said Mannor the interest of the said Tennants to the said Woods accordingly. Jno. Barnes, William Roberts, Henry Pitt … Examined May the 10th 1652, Will. Webb."

On March 22, 1652, the Committee for sequestration sat at Carlisle, and about this time Thomas Fitch, governor of Carlisle, ordered the demolition of Wolsty Castle. Otherwise the change of owners made little difference to the tenants. Captain Lilburne delegated his authority to the local men, and the same vicar, bailiff and steward continued in office until the Restoration was more than three years old. Lilburne's death coincided with the marriage of Charles II to Katherine of Braganza, and this manor was added to others as her jointure, dating from Lady day 1664–5. Mr. Addison and Mr. Smithson came down to the Holm to take the rents, and met with a doubtful reception from some of the countryfolk who as usual were shy of new-comers; but things settled down again.

In the last years of Charles II the tenants sent to London John Penrise of Calsey (Causeway) Head, John Waite of Highlaws and Edward Austin of Brownrigg with a petition showing uneasiness as to their position. Following this, Christopher Musgrave, M.P. for Carlisle, wrote to Sir Richard Musgrave in these terms:— "London, Nov. 8, 1684. Sir, I received yors by ye bearers and my lord Chiefe Justice was so kinde as to present it to his Ma'tie, who was graciously pleased to give this answer—yt he would not part wth his ancient Tennants and nothing of yt kind should be done. The enclosed wth ye originall brought by these persons, they can tell you who brought it to them. Be pleased to send for ye person yt sent it and by your kindness doubt not but you will find out ye author of it wch I shall acknowledge for a singular ffavour, and thereby expose to ye world their ungentlemanlike practices."

After the accession of William of Orange and Queen Mary some scandal was caused by the King's grant of all the enormous possessions of James II in Ireland to Elizabeth Villiers, a favourite of William's, afterwards Countess of Orkney. A little later, the manor of Holm Cultram was assigned to new trustees for the benefit of Thomas Paine, apparently for the Villiers, who in 1695 sold it to Bartholomew Burton.

The local accounts of Feb. 10, 1715 show a fee of 10s. 6d. to Lawyer [Ewan] Christian "for his opinion about Lords and Records"; and on Oct. 9, 1718 is the entry—"Whereas the Lords Steward of this Lorpp making a demand for an inspection into our papers least the Lords right should be imperilled and upon refusal of the same they threatening the Tenants with suit … a proclamation was made the Sabbath before the date of this order … and it was thought convenient by the majority to retaine our writings from ym and to grant an order for an assessment least a suite should depend and we be unprovided." And in October 1721, to confirm his previous opinion, Christian again visited the Abbey and consulted with Mr. Gilpin (of Carlisle and Scaleby) as to the writings. This however may refer to the tithes (p. 202) rather than to the tenure of the manor, which was still in the hands of the Burtons.

1732, July 6. William Burton of North Luffenham, co. Rutland, esq. sold to Edward Stephenson of Great Bardfield, co. Essex, esq. for £11,100, all the manor of Holme Cultram, granted to Thomas Pain, esq. and his heirs by their late Majesties King William and Queen Mary at a yearly fee-farm rent of 13s. 4d. In 1778 Rowland Stephenson of London purchased from the Crown the annual rent of 13s. 4d. and the manor remains in the hands of his descendants, of whom another Roland Stephenson in 1834 assumed the name of Standish.

A list of books and evidences, on Jan. 1, 1807, in the hands of the local authority, is not without interest:—

"A copy of the Rental of 1538, copied in 1603. Another copy taken in 1776.

Book of Survey taken in 1649, commonly called the Red-backed Book.

A decree under the Great Seal of the Commission of 12 Elizabeth, copied from among the Records of the Exchequer in 1798; also a true copy thereof on common paper and proper stamp.

A case and opinion of Wedholme Wood, 1791.

Sir George Dalston's Leases of Tithes, 15 James 1.

The Purchase of Holm Cultram, dated 1653.

Old Charters or Grants to the Abbots of Holm Cultram, both in Latin and English, from the time of David king of Scotland to Richard II, king of England (13 in number).

Goodwin's commission, dated May 20, 1604.

Depositions about cutting and carrying timber trees out of Wedholme 12 King James, 1615.

Order of Sessions, 13 Charles I, about repairing New Bridge, Crummock Bridge and Hartlaw Bridge, which formerly had been repaired by the Abbots.

A Commission under the Great Seal, 12 Elizabeth, but much obliterated.

Deed of Trust of West House and Certificate of Land Tax redeemed 25 March, 1799; also transfer of same.

Purchase Deed for West House Bull.

Deed of Trust for Swinsty."

On Dec. 21, 1804, is the entry,—" Paid to Caleb Hodgson, Carlisle, for 2 Winchester Bushels and Peck and Gallon, which chest and measures are to be left in the Church for the use of the Tenants."

On Nov. 26, 1798, the XVI Men paid "to Silas Saul for procuring an Exemplification of the Decree concerning the granting of Wedholme Wood to the Copyhold Tenants, which he found with great difficulty in the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer's Office in the Exchequer at Somerset Place, £23 5s. 6d." It was in 1778 that the last payment of £100 was made to the XVI Men for Wedholme Wood, which they had not succeeded in replanting, and the land reverted to Sir William Musgrave as lessee of the herbage at a small yearly rent.

On the enclosure of the Commons various parcels of land and rights were sold to different purchasers. In 1812 Joseph Saul of Greenrow bought for £2020 the XVI Men's allotment of common which became Balladoyle farm. Jonathan Holliday of Causeway Head paid £1810 for West House estate; in half a century this land, with the allotments of common, had more than doubled its value. Skinburness was sold to William Skelton for £1355, having more than doubled since 1804. Three marsh stints were also sold for £275. In the same year £8881 4s. 6d. was paid towards the enclosure of the commons and expenses incident thereto; and in addition the proprietors paid £3052 for these expenses. It was decided therefore by the XVI Men to sell all the land then held except Swinsty, which was retained but placed under a heavy mortgage; and these sales were effected not too soon for the profit of the authorities, for in 1821 they agreed to allow the tenant at Swinsty 20 guineas "in consideration of the distressed state of agriculture."


  • 1. These penalties seem severe, but it will be remembered that the Seadyke was as necessary to the Holm as the dykes to Holland.
  • 2. 'Sucken' is probably a survival of O.N. Sòkn, assemblage of people, later a parish. Bònda-sòkn (though the combination does not occur in the dictionary) would mean a group or area of householders, in this case owing suit to the lord's mill. The use of 'bound' in the text was the more recent explanation of an obsolete phrase. "Sunken" is a corruption of "Sucken," see p. 213.
  • 3. "1669. Worlidge Syst. Agric. 278. A Yoak … an Instrument … to put on Swine … to keep them from running through Hedges" (O.E.D., s. v. Yoke).
  • 4. Captain Thomas Lilburne, of Offerton, co Durham, a Parliamentary officer in 1644 (Proc. S. A. Newcastle (3) iv, 230), was steward of the manor from 1652 until his death on March 24, 1664–5. After the Restoration he was continued in his office, for James Jackson, bailiff of Holm throughout this period, records in his diary (C. & W, Trans. n.s. xxi) that Charles II made Lilburne a grant 'concerning Holme' as from Lady day 1664. Of this surname also Robert Lilburne was colonel of foot in 1647; John, afterwards captain, was savagely whipped in 1638 but lived as 'Freeborn John' to be a thorn in the side of both parties; Colonel Henry Lilburne was Parliamentary governor of Tynemouth Castle in 1648 (Pros. S. A. Newcastle (3), ii, 34).