Eyton upon the Weald Moors: Local government

Page 143

A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1985.

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As a member of the barony of Wem, Eyton owed suit, probably from c. 1245, to the leet court of the barony held at Hinstock. In the late 15th century the townships of Eyton, Horton, and Bratton made presentments together at the Hinstock leet but by 1540 separate presentments were made for each township. The constables of Eyton and Horton continued to appear at Hinstock as late as 1851. (fn. 1)

Rolls of the court baron of Eyton survive for 1359, 1360, 1362, 1422, and 1587. In the 14th century the court's jurisdiction covered Bratton (in Wrockwardine) and at least part of Horton in addition to Eyton; by 1506 Malinslee (in Dawley), for which separate courts had been held in the 14th century, was also included. The court's work mostly concerned agricultural matters, the roll for 1587 recording detailed pains governing husbandry in each of the four townships. Admissions to copyhold land in Horton were enrolled in 1359 and 1422. There were no references to the appointment of manorial officers, except for the election of separate constables for the townships of Bratton, Eyton, and Horton in 1506. The 1506 court, however, was unusual in being a leet held for Eyton. (fn. 2)

The appointment of an overseer of the poor in Eyton parish is recorded from 1724 (fn. 3) and two overseers were appointed annually by 1809. (fn. 4) The appointment of a churchwarden is recorded from 1764 to 1884, two wardens being appointed from 1885. In the later 18th century the office of churchwarden was served alternately by parishioners living in Eyton and Hortonwood townships. (fn. 5)

In addition to weekly cash payments to the poor, the parish occasionally provided clothing and footwear, house repairs, and medical treatment during the 18th century. Communion money and the church offertory were also distributed, in small amounts, mainly to widows, in the late 18th and the mid 19th century. (fn. 6) The parish poor appear to have been concentrated in the industrial settlement at Trench Lane: in 1742 the overseer had to make five journeys to Trench to order the poor there to bring in their certificates. (fn. 7) The parish was in Wellington poor-law union 1836-1930. (fn. 8)

Eyton civil parish and the Hoo, the detached portion of the parish transferred to Wellington in 1884, became part of Wrekin highway district in 1863 and were part of Wellington rural district from 1894 until 1974. Hortonwood, which had been transferred to Wrockwardine Wood C.P. in 1884, became part of Oakengates urban district on its creation in 1898. Both parts of the ancient parish were included from 1974 within the district of the Wrekin. Shawbirch, in Eyton C.P., Hortonwood, and the Hoo were included in 1968 in the designated area of Telford new town. (fn. 9)


  • 1. S.R.O. 327, boxes 4-5, ct. verdicts, 1478, 1484, 1540-5, 1590-1600, 1708-1851; V.C.H. Salop. iii. 51-2.
  • 2. S.R.O. 513, box 1, ct. r.
  • 3. Par. rec., overseers' acct. bk. 1724-52.
  • 4. Ibid. poor rate bks. 1809-13, 1845-8, 1859-64, 1864-8.
  • 5. Ibid. chwdns.' acct. bks. 1766-1806, 1869-1960.
  • 6. Ibid. overseers' accts. 1778-90; collections acct. bk. 1838-54.
  • 7. Ibid. overseers' acct. bk. 1724-52.
  • 8. V. J. Walsh, 'Admin. of Poor Laws in Salop. 1820-55' (Pennsylvania Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1970), 150 (copy in S.R.O.); Kelly's Dir. Salop. (1929), 103.
  • 9. S.R.O., q. sess. order bk. 1861-9, p. 127; V.C.H. Salop. ii. 217, 223, 225, 228; sources cited ibid. iii. 169 n. 29; Dawley New Town (Designation) Amendment (Telford) Order 1968 (Stat. Instr. 1968, no. 1912), map accompanying Explanatory Note.