Little Horkesley: Local government

Pages 238-239

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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Courts were being held for Little Horkesley Hall in 1266, and in 1273-4 the lord held a court leet with the assizes of bread and of ale. (fn. 1) In 1631-2 the lord still held courts leet and baron. In the 1630s one two constables were normally elected, and two surveyors in 1638. (fn. 2) The business of the courts was limited to the transfer of holdings and the punishment and correction of minor misdefmeanours and nuisances, such as breaking the lord's pound and hedgebreaking. (fn. 3) ThomasBourdillon (d. 1888) enfranchised many copyholds, but manorial rights were not fully extinguished until 1936. (fn. 4) About 1525 the priory manor also held a court baron, but there is no later record of it. (fn. 5)

From 1664 parish officers included two churchwardens, two constables, two overseers of the poor, and two surveyors of highways. In 1692-3 Edward Husbands of Little Horkesley Hall was both churchwarden and surveyor of highways. (fn. 6)

In 1654 a poor rate raised £6 5s. and in 1776 another £60 9s. 8d. Expenditure had increased to £365 12s. 6d. in 1801, but only averaged c. £245 between 1801 and 1815 with a peak of £348 19s. 10d. in 1813. It averaged c. £410 between 1827 and 1836, and by the latter year the cost per head of population of 35s. 11d. was the highest in the Colchester division of Lexden hundred. (fn. 7)

In 1717 Edward Husbands rented a house to the parish for the use of the poor, and the arrangement still operated in 1782. The house was probably on the site of Workhouse Cottages on Workhouse Road. (fn. 8) An average of nine people received occasional relief in that workhouse between 1813 and 1815. (fn. 9) The surviving build- ing includes a pair of two-roomed cottages built c. 1800 around a single central stack. A third cottage was added to the rear early in the 19th century. The building still comprised three cottages in 1914, but later in the 20th century it was made into a single dwelling. (fn. 10)


  • 1. P.R.O., C 132/33, no. 9; Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), i. 139.
  • 2. E.R.O., D/DZe 8; D/DOt M1, rott. 10, 13.
  • 3. Ibid. D/DZe 11/1, 11/5; D/DOt M1, rot. 9.
  • 4. Ibid. D/DZe 3, 137, 161, 199, 207-8.
  • 5. P.R.O., E 36/163, p. 65.
  • 6. E.R.O., D/P 307/8/1.
  • 7. Ibid. D/DOt O3; ibid. Q/CR 1/1, 1/9/16, 1/12; 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.
  • 8. E.R.O., D/DRl M4; ibid. Q/RRp 1/45.
  • 9. Ibid. Q/CR 1/10.
  • 10. Ibid. sale cat. B4953.