Bawdrip: Local government

Page 189

A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6, Andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds (Bridgwater and Neighbouring Parishes). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1992.

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In the Middle Ages the parish formed a single tithing, (fn. 1) for fiscal purposes later sometimes called Bawdrip with Bradney or Bawdrip with Crandon. (fn. 2) In the 1670s a tithingman of Crandon attended the court of Crandon with Puriton. (fn. 3)

Court rolls for Bawdrip manor survive for 1479-82, (fn. 4) and for many years between 1530 and 1680. (fn. 5) Courts were still being held in 1768 when a man was paid for summoning suitors. (fn. 6) The court house needed repair in 1558. (fn. 7) The lord or his steward were found accommodation at the former manor house in the mid 17th century. (fn. 8) A tithingman, a hayward, and two constables were regularly appointed in the court in the 16th and 17th centuries and the business included breaches of the assize of ale, the repair of the pound, and especially the maintenance of rhynes and bridges. A cucking stool was ordered in 1555 and 1591, (fn. 9) and stocks were to be repaired in the 1630s and 1655. (fn. 10) Courts were held for Bradney manor in the 16th and 17th centuries (fn. 11) but no records have been found. A leet court book for Crandon with Puriton has entries for 1674-7 and 1681 and records the appearance of a hayward for each place. (fn. 12)

During the 19th century the number of churchwardens was reduced from two to one but two overseers continued to be appointed, supported by a salaried deputy together with a waywarden and guardian. (fn. 13) The poor were housed in the church house by 1634 and rent for it was paid by the parish until the 1760s. (fn. 14) The poorhouse recorded in 1796 may have been the same building. (fn. 15) In 1841 the overseers held a workhouse and two poorhouses on the southern edge of the churchyard. (fn. 16) One was considered in 1858 for use as a school. (fn. 17) The remaining buildings were private houses in 1988. The parish became part of the Bridgwater poor-law union in 1836, Bridgwater rural district in 1894, and Sedgemoor district in 1974. (fn. 18)


  • 1. S.R.S. xi, p. 301; S.R.O., DD/SAS NP 13.
  • 2. S.R.S. xx. 135; Som. Protestation Returns, ed. A. J. Howard and T. L. Stoate, 247; Dwelly, Hearth Tax, ii. 294.
  • 3. S.D.N.Q. vi. 250-1.
  • 4. P.R.O., SC 2/198/2.
  • 5. Ibid. 4-9; ibid. LR 3/123; B.L. Add. MS. 15561; Devon R.O. 96 M 4/8.
  • 6. S.R.O., DD/CH 47.
  • 7. P.R.O., SC 2/198/4.
  • 8. S.R.O., DD/CH 47.
  • 9. P.R.O., LR 3/123; ibid. SC 2/198/8.
  • 10. Devon R.O. 96 M 4/8.
  • 11. P.R.O., C 3/244/4; C 111/20.
  • 12. S.D.N.Q. vi. 250-4.
  • 13. S.R.O., D/P/baw 9/1/1.
  • 14. Ibid. DD/CH 47.
  • 15. Ibid. D/RA 1/8/3.
  • 16. Ibid. tithe award.
  • 17. Ibid. D/P/baw 23/1.
  • 18. Youngs, Local Admin. Units, i. 671, 673, 676.