Great Horkesley: Local government

Pages 229-230

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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John de Burgh, lord of Nayland, was granted free warren in Great Horkesley in 1260, (fn. 1) and in 1273-4 he had right of gallows and held courts leet with the assizes of bread and of ale. (fn. 2) In the 13th century the courts of Nayland and Great Horkesley were apparently held together, 24 chief pledges attending from Great Horkesley. (fn. 3) The manor employed a woodward and a parker in the later 13th century. (fn. 4) There were two constables in 1612, and two constables, two keepers of bread and ale, and two officials of the common pasture, later called rangers, in 1641. (fn. 5) In 1641-2 the leet's main business was the maintenance of ditches, but one man broke the park and abducted the lord's cattle and another was presented for receiving inmates. (fn. 6) Leet business was appearently abandoned about 1645, (fn. 7) although it temporarily revived in 1651 with presentments for illegal inclosures and dilapidated holdings. Views continued to be held until 1663. (fn. 8) By the later 17th century the courts were solely concerned with land transfers. (fn. 9) The manorial pound, opposite the Rose and Crown inn, fell down in 1905. (fn. 10) Manorial rights lapsed c. 1935. (fn. 11)

There were two churchwardens and three overseers of the poor in 1612, but only two overseers in 1636. (fn. 12) There was a dispute over the differential poor rate payments made by tenants and landlords in the 1630s. (fn. 13) In 1776 a poor rate raised £149 os. 10d. Expenditure increased steadily every year thereafter until it reached an initial peak of £1,071 5s. 1d. in 1813. Although it fell back briefly in the period 1814-16, it averaged c. £1,159 between 1817 and 1834, the highest expenditure being in 1820 (£1,798) and 1822 (£1,760). From a low level in the later 18th century poor relief per head of population increased until more was spent per head in the period 1820-2 than in any other parish in the Colchester division of Lexden hundred, only declining slightly thereafter. Outdoor relief was given to 102 people in 1813. In 1815 seven people received relief in the workhouse regularly and 21 occasionally. (fn. 14) There may have been several small workhouses, perhaps originally almshouses. One was probably on the site of Workhouse Yard near the Rose and Crown. Another, sold in 1837 and demolished by 1841, was apparently a cottage, divided into two tenenments, on the heath near Francis Bridge. (fn. 15)

There was a police house and two policemen in 1841. A police station on Horkesley Causeway was open part time in 1996. (fn. 16)


  • 1. Cal. Chart. R. 1257-1300, 27.
  • 2. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), i. 139.
  • 3. Bodl. MS. Rolls Essex 17 (h) and (g).
  • 4. P.R.O., SC 6/1003/1-2; SC 6/1089/7, 16-17.
  • 5. E.R.O., D/DGw M32, rot. 1; D/DGw M33, rot. 15; ibid. D/P 205/1/1.
  • 6. Ibid. D/DGw M33, rott. 1, 3-4.
  • 7. Ibid. D/DGw M33, rott. 6-7.
  • 8. Ibid. D/DGw M33, rot. 15d.
  • 9. Ibid. D/DGw M33, rott. 48-70; D/DGw M34, M35, passim.
  • 10. May, From Jockey Hill to the Stour, 'Road names and their origins'.
  • 11. E.R.O., D/DEl M251, p. 209.
  • 12. Ibid. D/P 205/1/1.
  • 13. W. Hunt, Puritan Moment: Coming of Revolution in an Eng. County, 237, 293; E.R.O., Q/SBa 2/43.
  • 14. E.R.O., Q/CR 1/1; Q/CR 1/12; Q/CR 1/9/16; Rep. Sel. Cttee. On Poor Rate Returns 1822-4, H.C. 334, p. 81 (1825), iv; 1825-9, ibid. H.C. 83, p. 61 (1830-1), xi; 1830-4, ibid. H.C. 444, p. 60 (1835), xlvii.
  • 15. E.R.O., G/LwM 2, p. 410; ibid. D/DJ 20/41, 52-3; ibid. D/P 205/3/1; below, this par., Char.
  • 16. P.R.O., HO 107/334/8.