Frampton on Severn: Local government

A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 10, Westbury and Whitstone Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1972.

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'Frampton on Severn: Local government', in A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 10, Westbury and Whitstone Hundreds, (London, 1972) pp. 152. British History Online [accessed 20 April 2024]


By 1489 a court for Frampton manor was held twice a year, (fn. 1) and rolls survive of nine courts in the period 1572-1603. (fn. 2) In 1842 it was said that the court was held occasionally, (fn. 3) and in 1852 that there was a manor court once a year. (fn. 4) It seems likely that the court held in the 19th century was a revival, following the amalgamation of Frampton manor and the Frampton Court estate. (fn. 5) No record has been found of the manor court between 1614 and 1842, and the usefulness of the court was limited by the fact that the tenants holding directly of the manor were outnumbered in the early 17th century by the freeholders and tenants of other estates; the estate of James Clifford, which had only one tenant fewer than Frampton manor, (fn. 6) had its own manorial court for copyhold business in 1581 and 1608. (fn. 7) In 1614 it was alleged that John Arundell and his tenant, Giles Addis, had wrongfully exercised the liberties of a free borough and of view of frankpledge and wreck: (fn. 8) it may be that the failure to establish a wide-reaching jurisdiction led to the abandoning of all manorial jurisdiction. Certainly functions that had once belonged to the manorial court were performed by others in the late 17th century. In 1681 the common in Egrove was stinted by a committee appointed by the inhabitants; (fn. 9) in 1692 the overseers of the poor saw to the provision of gates. (fn. 10) The hayward's office in the same period was endowed with an acre of meadow. (fn. 11) The office of ditch-reeve, to which four men were elected in the manor court, has not been found recorded outside the period 1574-1603. (fn. 12)

Overseers' accounts survive from 1686 (fn. 13) and churchwardens' accounts from 1722. (fn. 14) From the late 17th century the parish provided poor-relief by buying clothes and fuel, meeting medical bills, apprenticing, and giving allowances to householders for keeping paupers. From the early 18th century it also paid paupers' rents, while weekly doles became more usual. (fn. 15) By 1785 annual expenditure had risen by one-third since 1776, when it was £158, and it increased to nearly three times that figure by 1803. (fn. 16) In 1786 the vestry tried to reduce the poor-rate by letting the commoning rights on Twigmore, but had to give up when some of the commoners established their right to continue pasturing beasts there. In the same year they established a parish workhouse, with 6 beds; in 1792 there were 9 inmates, and in 1795 a workhouse-master was appointed. The next year, however, the workhouse was farmed to a Gloucester pin-maker, who was to teach the inmates how to head pins. (fn. 17) By 1803 the vestry was again running the workhouse, and the inmates' work at heading pins brought in £37. (fn. 18) In 1804 an advertisement for a workhouse-master conversant with linen manufacture (fn. 19) apparently had no satisfactory response, and it was resolved to apprentice the children in the workhouse; (fn. 20) in 1807, however, work done in the workhouse yielded £41 to the parish, and £4 was received for work done outside the workhouse. (fn. 21)

For the next 12 years the workhouse was evidently disused. (fn. 22) In 1820 the vestry agreed to farm the poor, repairing and furnishing the workhouse at the expense of the parish. In 1825 no offer for the farm of the poor was received, and there was difficulty in finding a farmer in 1826. From 1827 the parish instead appointed an assistant overseer to manage the poor inside and outside the workhouse. (fn. 23) In 1832, following a rise in expenditure on the poor, (fn. 24) the vestry tried unsuccessfully to farm the poor once again, but had to fall back on the continuation of the assistant overseer and, in 1833, on the expedient of apprenticing all the children of a suitable age who were relieved by the parish. Although in 1832 the workhouse was still being used for pin-heading, in 1833 it was described as a poorhouse, not a workhouse. (fn. 25) In 1836, the year after Frampton became part of the Wheatenhurst Union, (fn. 26) the workhouse, south of Manor Farm, was put up for sale. (fn. 27) In 1935 Frampton, with the rest of the Wheatenhurst Rural District, became part of the Gloucester Rural District. (fn. 28)


  • 1. Dorset R.O., D 16/M 74 &c.
  • 2. Ibid. M 38-42.
  • 3. Pigot's Dir. (1842), 106.
  • 4. Slater's Dir. Glos. (1852-3), 125.
  • 5. See p. 144.
  • 6. Glos. Colln. 16526 (46).
  • 7. Glos. R.O., D 149/T 168, T 170.
  • 8. E 159/447 rot. 318; for Addis cf. Glos. Colln. RF 137.6.
  • 9. Glos. R.O., D 149/E 4.
  • 10. Ibid. P 149/OV 2/1.
  • 11. Bodl. MS. Rawl. B.323, f. 73.
  • 12. Dorset R.O., D 16/M 40-42.
  • 13. Glos. R.O., P 149/OV 2/1.
  • 14. Ibid. CW 2/1.
  • 15. Ibid. OV 2/1.
  • 16. Poor Law Abstract, 1804, 184-5.
  • 17. Glos. R.O., D 149/R 12.
  • 18. Poor Law Abstract, 1804, 184-5.
  • 19. Glouc. Jnl. 2 Jan. 1804.
  • 20. Glos. R.O., P 149/VE 2/2.
  • 21. Ibid. OV 2/2.
  • 22. Ibid. OV 2/3; Poor Law Abstract, 1818, 156-7.
  • 23. Glos. R.O., P 149/VE 2/2.
  • 24. Poor Law Returns, H.C. 83, p. 72 (1830-1), xi; H.C. 444, p. 70 (1835), xlvii.
  • 25. Glos. R.O., P 149/VE 2/2.
  • 26. Poor Law Com. 2nd Rep. p. 524.
  • 27. Michell, Pages from the Past, 44; Glos. R.O., D 149/F 54.
  • 28. Census, 1931 (pt. ii).