Rodmarton: Local government

Pages 243-244

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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Tarlton manor court was recorded from the early 13th century (fn. 1) and it continued to exist as a separate court until 1845, although not held regularly. (fn. 2) It appointed a constable in 1790 and a constable and hayward in 1845. (fn. 3) Kingswood Abbey was holding a court for its Culkerton manor in 1240, (fn. 4) but the Rodmarton manor court is not recorded until 1717. (fn. 5) By the early 19th century the Rodmarton court was apparently held only when required to deal with copyhold matters and in 1847 it met in the offices of the lord's solicitors. (fn. 6) From 1848, however, a joint court was held for Tarlton, Rodmarton, and Culkerton; it met at Tarlton manor-house and continued to be held fairly regularly until 1871. It appointed a constable, hayward, and bailiff at the outset but from 1851 a constable and two haywards, one specifically for Culkerton, were chosen. (fn. 7) Records of Tarlton manor court survive for the period 1790-1845, of Rodmarton court for 1832 and 1847, and of the joint court for the period 1848-71. (fn. 8)

View of frankpledge and waif were claimed in 1287 by the Knights Templar for their tenants in Culkerton, who attended the view held at Westonbirt twice a year. (fn. 9) Otherwise in the Middle Ages the view was held in the hundred court, which in the early 15th century the tithings of Culkerton, Rodmarton Keynes (fn. 10) and Rodmarton Trowbridge (i.e. part of Rodmarton and Tarlton) (fn. 11) were obliged to attend twice a year. (fn. 12) Leet jurisdiction was claimed for Tarlton manor in the 17th century (fn. 13) and for Hazleton in the late 18th. (fn. 14)

The parish had two churchwardens in 1498 and later, (fn. 15) and there was one overseer of the poor in 1697 and later. (fn. 16) A committee of parishioners, which in 1644 raised the rector's contribution towards the expenses of the army as assessed by the justices, (fn. 17) possibly represented the vestry. In the 1630s the sum required yearly from the poor-rate was c. £15. (fn. 18) In 1635 the parishioners assessed the rector, previously exempt, on the whole value of the benefice. His offer to pay a rate on the glebe and a tenth of the total assessment for the tithes, was eventually upheld in 1641. (fn. 19) The cost of poor-relief, which was under £13 in 1680, (fn. 20) rose to £45 by 1766 (fn. 21) and £97 by 1784. It dropped to £55 by 1791 but by 1794 it had risen to over £110. (fn. 22) At the end of the century about 10 regular weekly payments were made, chiefly to widows and the aged, and the parish paid the house rent of some 7 families. (fn. 23) By 1803 £174 was spent on relief and 18 people were receiving relief regularly and 42 occasionally; the 7 children said to be in schools of industry (fn. 24) may have been apprenticed by the parish to learn trades elsewhere, perhaps at Tetbury or Cirencester. By 1813 the cost of relief had risen to £408 and 56 adults received regular help. By 1815 the number had fallen to 45 and the cost to £253. (fn. 25) In the early 1830s expenditure averaged £230. (fn. 26) In 1836 Rodmarton became part of the Cirencester poorlaw union (fn. 27) and it remained in Cirencester rural district in 1974.


  • 1. Cirencester Cart. ii, p. 347.
  • 2. Cf. Glos. R.O., D 1348, Kemble est., Rodmarton man. fm., Rodmarton ct. rec. 1847.
  • 3. Ibid. D 1322/M 1-2.
  • 4. Trans. B.G.A.S. xxii. 198.
  • 5. Glos. R.O., D 1436, George fam., Rodmarton leases and admissions 1717-86.
  • 6. Ibid. D 1332/M 3.
  • 7. Ibid. D 1332/M 1-2.
  • 8. Ibid. D 1332/M 1-3.
  • 9. Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 245.
  • 10. Rodmarton manor was held of the de Keynes fam. in the early Middle Ages: see p. 236.
  • 11. In 1409 Langleys est. was said to be held of the fee of Lacy: Inq. p.m. Glos. 1359-1413, 254; part of Trowbridge barony (Wilts.), which passed in 1215 to the earls of Salisbury, was apparently acquired by Henry de Lacy by marriage: Sanders, Eng. Baronies, 91; Complete Peerage, xi. 379-84.
  • 12. Cirencester Cart. ii, pp. 623-4.
  • 13. Salisbury Cath. Recs., terrier of Tarlton.
  • 14. Glos. R.O., D 587, exemplification of recovery of Ducie ests. 1797.
  • 15. Hockaday Abs. xxii, 1498 visit. f. 27; cccxxv; churchwardens' accts. for the period 1834-1920 survive penes Maj. Biddulph.
  • 16. Smith char. accts., penes Maj. Biddulph.
  • 17. Par. reg. 1605-1833.
  • 18. Glos. Colln. RX 252.1.
  • 19. Par. reg. 1605-1833.
  • 20. Eden, State of the Poor, ii. 208.
  • 21. Poor Law Abstract, 1804, 180.
  • 22. Eden, State of the Poor, ii. 208.
  • 23. Glos. Colln. RX 252.1.
  • 24. Poor Law Abstract, 1804, 180-1.
  • 25. Ibid. 1818, 154-5.
  • 26. Poor Law Returns (1835), p. 68.
  • 27. Poor Law. Com. 2nd Rep. p. 522.