Milton: Local government

A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.

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'Milton: Local government', in A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds, (London, 1989) pp. 186. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/cambs/vol9/p186 [accessed 19 April 2024]

Local government

By 1275 Milton had, under colour of the liberties of Ely, been withdrawn from the sheriff's tourn. (fn. 1) In 1279 John le Strange exercised by prescription view of frankpledge and the assize of bread and of ale. (fn. 2) In the 1650s the manorial courts were usually held annually, but from the 1680s at increasing intervals. Until 1670 or later the jury often made agrarian bylaws and sometimes elected constables. (fn. 3) The court rolls that run from 1650 to 1691, (fn. 4) and the court books between 1696 and 1787 (fn. 5) were concerned almost entirely with transfer of copyhold title, and only occasionally, as in 1696, 1718, 1769, and 1780, recorded farming bylaws, made by the consent of the jury and homage. (fn. 6)

About 1785 the parish was putting poor people to work in a workhouse, (fn. 7) perhaps the town house south of the rectory mentioned in 1638. (fn. 8) By the mid 1780s the cost of poor relief had quintupled since 1776 to £116. In 1803 Milton was spending £103 on 5 people in its workhouse and £198 on 15 others relieved outside. (fn. 9) In the 1810s, when the cost of regular relief for 20-25 persons, with an equal number assisted less often, usually ranged between £190 and £230 and occasionally exceeded £300, Milton spent almost £600 in three years on lawsuits over removals. (fn. 10) In the 1820s poor relief still often cost c. £225 a year, in the early 1830s over £250. (fn. 11) About 1830 no allowances were given from the rates, which were therefore falling. (fn. 12) From 1836 the parish was included in Chesterton poor-law union, (fn. 13) from 1894 in Chesterton rural district, (fn. 14) and from 1974 in South Cambridgeshire district. (fn. 15)

Footnotes

  • 1. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), i. 51.
  • 2. Ibid. ii. 452; cf. P.R.O., JUST 1/95, rot. 57.
  • 3. C.R.O., L 3/9A-B (ct. papers c. 1650-67).
  • 4. Ibid. R 55/31/4/1; ibid. L 3/1-3.
  • 5. Ibid. L 3/4-6. Only an abstract survives for 1791-1818: ibid. L 3/7.
  • 6. Ibid. L 3/4, pp. 6, 48-50; L 3/6, pp. 46-7, 140.
  • 7. Hampson, Poverty in Cambs. 121.
  • 8. Cf. C.U.L., E.D.R., H 1/Milton 1638.
  • 9. Poor Law Abstract, 1804, 36-7.
  • 10. Ibid. 1818, 30-1; Poor Rate Returns, 1816-21, 11.
  • 11. Poor Rate Returns, 1822-4, 38; 1825-9, 16; 1830-4, 16.
  • 12. Rep. H.L. Cttee. on Poor Laws, 323.
  • 13. Poor Law Com. 2nd Rep. 512.
  • 14. Census, 1891.
  • 15. Ibid. 1971.