Rodborough: Local government

Page 230

A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 11, Bisley and Longtree Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.

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In the medieval period view of frankpledge and manorial jurisdiction over Rodborough was exercised by the Minchinhampton court, and Rodborough sent its own tithingman to the view. (fn. 1) Achards manor, however, in the 16th century and probably earlier, came under the jurisdiction of the Woodchester manor court. (fn. 2) The Sheppards were holding a separate manor court for Rodborough by the 1790s but it is not known how long that arrangement had existed. Later it met at the Bear or the Fleece (fn. 3) and was almost entirely concerned with the administration of the common, for which it appointed a hayward; in 1804 a committee and a perambulator of the common were appointed to check encroachments. (fn. 4) A part in the administration of the common was played by the parish vestry, which in the 1830s threatened fines for encroachments, the proceeds of which were to be used for clothes for the poor, and in 1842 appointed its own committee to protect the common. (fn. 5) The manor court continued to be held once a year up to 1856 (fn. 6) but later in the century it apparently met only occasionally in order to make regulations for the common. (fn. 7)

In spite of the continuing ecclesiastical dependence on Minchinhampton, Rodborough had its own churchwardens by 1540 (fn. 8) and presumably had its separate poor-law administration from the late 16th century. Among the forms of relief applied in the early 18th century was the provision of tools for weavers and spinners. A workhouse was built in 1737-8 but parts of it were let in 1740, and it appears to have gone out of use before 1767 when it was decided to convert the church house, adjoining the churchyard on the south-west, into a workhouse; the church house had previously been used as a poorhouse for some years. In 1782, however, another building belonging to the parish, comprising three tenements standing west of the church, was turned into a workhouse and a salaried governor appointed. In 1786 it was resolved to use part of the church house as a penitentiary for whores and another part to house the idle poor who would not work, those designations to be written up over the doors; the resolution may have been meant merely as a deterrent to such persons, but part of the church house continued to be used for the poor. (fn. 9) The parish workhouse had 30 inmates in 1803. (fn. 10)

From 1787 there was a salaried assistant overseer. A surgeon was retained from 1768, and in 1798 the parish had a building for use as a pest-house when occasion demanded. (fn. 11) In 1828 the vestry resolved that no able-bodied pauper should receive relief except in return for labour; the paupers were to be employed by the way-wardens on the roads, and in the 1830s they were also put to work in quarries worked by the parish on a commercial basis. (fn. 12) In 1836 Rodborough became part of the Stroud union (fn. 13) and that part of the parish not transferred to the Stroud U.D. in 1936 remained in the Stroud R.D. in 1973.


  • 1. S.C. 2/175/79, 82, 87.
  • 2. Trans. B.G.A.S. xlv. 236-7, 249-50.
  • 3. Glos. R.O., D 846/II/3.
  • 4. Ibid. 4, which has draft rolls and presentments for 1799-1856.
  • 5. Ibid. P 272A/VE 2/4.
  • 6. Ibid. D 846/II/3-4.
  • 7. Ibid. 1, 6.
  • 8. Hockaday Abs. xxviii, 1540 visit. f. 44.
  • 9. Glos. R.O., P 272A/VE 2/1-2; for the workhouse and the church house, which also housed a char. sch., cf. ibid. VE 3/1; G.D.R., T 1/120.
  • 10. Poor Law Abstract, 1804, 180-1.
  • 11. Glos. R.O., P 272A/VE 2/2.
  • 12. Ibid. 3. Among surviving recs. of parish government are vestry mins. for 1733-1877: ibid. 1-4; and overseers' accts. for 1795-1801, 1817-21, 1827-35: ibid. OV 2/1-5.
  • 13. Poor Law Com. 2nd Rep. p. 524.