Boxted: Local government

Page 65

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 10, Lexden Hundred (Part) Including Dedham, Earls Colne and Wivenhoe. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2001.

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The lord of Boxted Hall held view of frankpledge in 1303, when the bailiff of the honor of Boulogne had 2s. from its profits. (fn. 1) In 1641 the view elected one constable, one aletaster, and two supervisors and drivers of the common, and there were also surveyors of highways. Court business in the mid 17th century was generally restricted to land transfers, orders to maintain ditches and highways, and complaints of illegal encroachments on the heath. (fn. 2) By 1648 there was a total absence of leet business and many defaulters. (fn. 3)

Courts baron were held irregularly by the second half of the 19th century, and ceased after 1909. (fn. 4) The last admission to a copyhold was entered in the court books in 1912. (fn. 5) The courts were originally held at Boxted Hall, but in 1881 legal advice was taken as to where to hold the court because the house had become separated from the manor and none of the remaining customary holdings possessed a suitable building. (fn. 6)

The courts leet at Rivers Hall in 1576 were probably medieval in origin. (fn. 7) They had ceased by 1792 when courts baron were held. (fn. 8) The last recorded court baron met in 1913, but enfranchisements continued into the 1930s and manorial rights finally lapsed in 1935. (fn. 9) After the Hall became separated from the manor the courts were held at Cheshunts after 1859, and at the Cross inn from 1885. (fn. 10)

There were four overseers and two constables in 1756. The four surveyors recorded in 1759 had risen to 10 by 1768. (fn. 11) The parish cage stood on a small green at Boxted Cross, from which Cage Lane takes its name. (fn. 12)

A poor rate was collected at Boxted in the later 16th century. (fn. 13) In 1652 John Maidstone complained that he and others were unfairly rated. (fn. 14) In 1776 a poor rate raised £134 os. 6d. Expenditure had increased to £466 8s. 2d. by 1801 and gradually increased to a peak of £1,523 6s. in 1821. Thereafter it fell, averaging c. £891 between 1822 and 1836. Boxted had a comparatively low level of poor relief per head of population throughout the later 18th and earlier 19th centuries. Outdoor relief was given to 27 people in 1813. In the same year 18 people received relief in the parish workhouse regularly and 5 occasionally. (fn. 15) The workhouse, on the northeast side of Workhouse Hill, was probably demolished before 1838 when its site was Old Workhouse Yard. (fn. 16)


  • 1. P.R.O., C 134/93, no. 17.
  • 2. E.R.O., D/DTs M27, rott. 1-5d.
  • 3. Ibid. D/DTs M28, rot. 1.
  • 4. Ibid. D/DTs M43-4, passim; D/DTs M45, p. 266.
  • 5. Ibid. D/DTs M45, pp. 298-303.
  • 6. Ibid. D/DTs M72.
  • 7. Feet of F. Essex, v. 208.
  • 8. E.R.O., D/DE1 M231, p. 1.
  • 9. Ibid. D/DE1 M235, p. 279; D/DE1 M236, pp. 18-37.
  • 10. Ibid. D/DE1 M233, pp. 181, 303; D/DE1 M234, pp. 220, 316; D/DE1 M235, pp. 195, 209, 220.
  • 11. Ibid. D/P 155/8/1, p. 1.
  • 12. Carter, Short Hist. Boxted, 9.
  • 13. W. Hunt, Puritan Moment, p. 325 n.
  • 14. Essex Q.S. Order Bk. 1652-61, 1.
  • 15. E.R.O., Q/CR 1/1, 1/12, 1/9/16; Rep. Sel. Cttee. on Poor Rate Returns, 1822-4, H.C. 334, p. 81 (1825), iv; ibid. 1825-9, H.C. 83, p. 61 (1830-1), xi; ibid. 1830-4, H.C. 444, p. 60 (1835), xlvii.
  • 16. E.R.O., D/CT 43.