Frederick Hancock.

The parish of Selworthy in the county of Somerset, some notes on its history online

. (page 15 of 21)
Online LibraryFrederick HancockThe parish of Selworthy in the county of Somerset, some notes on its history → online text (page 15 of 21)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Willms Rychard
Ricus Home
Johnes Home, jun



in bon. xx/z'

„ xxv/z

„ xxiiij/z

xij/V

xvj/z

xij/z

xij/z

vli

v/z

viij/z

vli

vj/z

v/z

vli

xij/z

vli



sub. xxvjs. vujd.
„ xxxs. m']d.

xxj-

xijj.
xvjs.
xijj.
xijj.



su

s..



Ff



218



History of Sehvorthy.



Robtus Rawle .


» v/z


Ricus Stodden .


„ v/z


Willms Stodden


„ v/z


Johnes Gloss, jun.


„ v/z


Willms Long


„ xiij/z


Elizabeth Home


„ xij/z


Cecilia Rawle .


„ xij/z


Ricus William .


„ xj/z


c


ima hujus deceil



SUD.



xij/z. ijs. v'ujd.



These extracts are of singular value as giving us
the names of the principal inhabitants of the northern
side of our parish during the Tudor times. There
were evidently a good number of men of considerable
substance living in the parish at that period. It is
interesting to note how many of the names entered
above are still to be found amongst us.



Extract : — Subsidy Roll, 2 and 3 Edw. vj ||^-

This is the certificate " of the third paiment of a
relief for goodes " granted by parliament in the 2 and 3
Edw. vj.

Decen de Allerford.

Johnes Hunt wever



valet . . .


in bonis x/z.


Reliviu


xs.


Alicia Rawle, vidua


x/z.


»


xs.


Anastacia Troute,








vidua . . .


x/z.


»


xs.


Cecilia Rawle, vid.


xij/z.


»


xijs.


Willms Pears,tanner


„ x/z.


»


xs.


Juliana Philyppe,








vidua . . .


xvi/z.




xvis.



Personal History.



219



Georgius Harryson,






husbond . .


»


xxv£


Johnes Glosse,






tanner . . .


»


xxiiij/z.


Henr Home, smyth


11


xxiiij/z.


Johnes Langwill,






smyth . . .


11


xiij/z.


Sma


vij/z


. yX\\)s.



xxvs.

xxvjs.
xxiiijj-.

xiiji 1 .



Extract : Subsidy Roll, 23 Elizth.



256

2 '



Return of the " fyrst payment of the subsydie of
the laytie " granted at Westminster in the 23rd
Elizabeth.



(Part of Allerford entry torn off).



John Wescote . .
William Gardener .
Robert Home ais spur

rier

William Stedden, senr.
William Harte . .
Gregorye Douche
Henry Rawle . . .
John Stodden . . .
Julian Home ais spur

rier, vid. . . .
Alice Peares, vid.
John Hammote . .
John Sulley . . .
William Dennes . .
Lewes Tayler . . .



in bon.



in terr.
in bon.



iiij/z.
Iijli.

vli.
iiij/z'.
iij/z.
iij/z.
iij/z.
iij/z.

xx;.
iij/z.
iij/z.
iij/z.
iij/z".
iij/z.



Sub.

v]s. v'rijd.
vs.

viijs. iiija 7 .
vjj. viijd.
vs.
vs.
vs.
vs.

\]s. vii'jd.
vs.
vs.
vs.
vs.
vs.



220



History of Selworthy.



Robert Gilles .

John Holle

Nicholas Jacobbe ats

Snowe ....
Elizabeth Bushope, vid
Nicholas Yewde . .
Alice Yewde, vid.
William Stodden, junr
Christian Stodden
John Badcocke
Hugh Parramore
Edward Pyle .
George Upham
George Philpes
John Frayse .
William Stote .

Sm






iij/z.




vs.


»


iiij/z.


VJJ.


viijd.


»


iij/z.




vs.


>>


iij/z.




vs.


in terr.


xxs.


ijs.


viijd.


»>


xxs.


ijs.


viijd.


i)


xxs.


ijs.


viijd.


»


xxs.


ijs.


viijd'.


»>


xxs.


ijs.


viijd.


>>


xxs.


ijs.


viijd.


in bon.


iij/z.




vs.


in terr.


xxs.


ijs.


viijd.


in bon.


viij/z.


xiijs.


n\)d.





vj/z.




xs.


>>


iiij/z.


v]s.


viijd.



xij/z. viijd.



Extract : — Subsidy Roll, 39 Elizth. ^\.

Return of the second subsidy granted to the queen
in the 39th year of her reign by the laity.

Decen de Allerford.









Sub.


Willm Stoden, junr . .


in terr.


xxs.


iiiji -


Robte Hensley . . .


in bonis


i\]li.


viijs.


Henf Ralle ....


in terr.


xxs.


iiij.r.


Xpian Tayller, vid. . .


»


xxs.


iiij.r.


Thorns Glasse . . .


)5


xxs.


iiijj-


Walter Snowe atsjacobe


in bonis


iij/z.


viijj.


Willm Bonishopp . .


»>


iij/z.


v'rijs


Peter Ewed ....


in terr.


XX s.


iiijj - .



Personal History.



221



Alice Ewed . . .


>)


xxs.


iiijj - .


Edward Ewed. . .


»


XXS.


iiij.y.


Willm Stoden ats Sealye


' in bonis


iij/z.


viij^.


George Hensley .


in terr.


xxs.


iiijj-.


John Badcock . .


)>


xxs.


iiijj - .


George Upham . .


)>


xxs.


iiij^.


Gregorye Tailer . .


in bonis


iij/z.


viijj.


Richard Stodden . .


»


iij/z.


viijj.


John Widlake . . .


in terr.


xxs.


iujs.


George Phillippes


>;


xxs.


iiiji - .


Richard Phillippes .


•>


xxs.


iiij^.


Wiftm Stoyte . . .


in bonis


iiij/z.


x.?. viij


]li.


John Eame, jun.






it


)li


Cyprian Kent






>


]li


George Webber .






i


]li.


John Sulley . .






i


\li.


Edward Yewde .






i


)li


Robert Bowring .






>


]li.


Charles Home .






>


)li.


John Shapland .




in bofi.


iij/z.


Margaret Snow .




• >>


iijVz


Robert Taylor . .




in terr.


ij'/z.


Walter Spurrier .




in bon.


iij/z.


Robert Huish




in terr.


iij/z.


John Andrewes .




• )>


j/z.


Sidwill Stodden .




>!


ij/z.


William Stodden


ats





ij/z


Blackford








John Philips, sen.




n


iij/z.


Johane Slocombe




»


j/z.


Robert Hensley .




in bon.


iij/z".


John Edbrooke .




«


iij/z.


John Philips, jun.




in terr.


j/z


John Kent . .




»


j/z'.


John Dyer . .




■ »


j/z.


John Eame, sen.




»


j/z.


John Stete . .




in bon.


iij/z.


James Reede . .




■ >>


iij/z.


(William St
RatolsJ Robert Phi


odden


in bon.


iij/z.


lps


in terr.


j/z.


(William Es


Line .


»


j/z.




Sun


le xj/z.







Personal History.
Subsidy Roll, 4 Chas. j



172

387'



223



A llerford.



Richard Worth, gent. .
Henry Dennis . . .
William Spurrier . .
William Stodden ats Sulley
William Erne . . .
Alexander Badcock
Sidwell Kitner, vid.
George Webber . . .
Robert Phelps . . .
John Sulley ....
Edward Yewde . . .
Charles Home . . .
John Shapland . . .
Margarett Snowe, vid. .
Robert Taylor . . .
Walter Spurrier . . .
Robert Huishe . . .
John Androwes . . .
Sidwell Stodden, vid. .
William Stodden ats Black

ford

John Phelps, sen. . .
Johane Slocombe, vid. .
John Blackford ats Stodden
Robert Hensley . . .
John Eame ....
John Stote ....
James Read ....



in terr.


viij/z.


iij/z. iiijj-.


in boii.


iij/z.


xvjs.


in terr.


XXi".


vujs.


>i


xxs.


viijj.


»


xxs.


viijj - .


>)


xxs.


viijj.


)>


xxs.


viijj.


»


xxs.


v'ujs.


»


xxs.


viijs.


»


xxs.


viijs.


>>


x\s.


XV)S.


»


xxs.


viijs.


in bon.


iij/z.


xvjs.


»


iij/z.


xvjs.


in terr.


xlr.


xvjs.


in bon.


iij/z'.


xvj^.


in terr.


i iij/z.


xxxij^.


>!


xxs.


viij^.


>>


x\s.


xvjs.


1)


x\s.


xvjs.


»


iij/z.


xxiiiji 1 .


))


xx.y.


viij\y.


in bon.


iij/z".


xvjs.


)>


iij/z.


xvjs.


in terr.


XXi".


viijj".


in bon.


iij/z.


XVJJ".


i>


iij/z.


xvjs.



224



History of Selworthy.



William Stodden ... „ iij/z.

\ John Edbrooke . „ iij/z.

Ratolsf John Phelps, jun. in terr. xxs.

) John Dyer . . „ xxs.

Summa xxij/z. xvj^.



XVJJ.

xvjj.
viijj.
viijj.



Subsidy Roll, 16 Chas. j §|f.

Return of the " two first of the foure entire subsidies"
granted by parliament in the 16 Car. I (John St. Albin
and Charles Staynings, Esqs., were the Assessors in
this case, and James Cade of Halsway, Stogumber,
gent., was the High Collector).

Allerford.



Henry Byam, clarke .


in terr.


ij/z.


viijj.


viijj.


Mrs. Mary Worth










widowe


»


x/z.


ij/z.


ij/z.


George Joyce .


>>


iiij/z.


XVJ.T.


XVJJ.


Richard Blackmoore


in bon.


iij/z.


viijj.


viijj.


Isott Shapland


in terr.


j/z.


iiijj.


iiijj".


William Eame . .




j/z.


iiijj.


iiijj


John Eame . . .




j/z.


iiijj.


i'ujs


Richard Matthew .




j/z.


i'ujs.


iiijj


Robert He wish




iiij/z.


xvjs.


xvjs.


William Stocke .




j/z.


iiij^.


i'ujs.


John Kent . . .




j/z.


iiijj.


i'ujs.


Walter Spurrier .


in bon.


iij/z.


viijs.


viijj


Walter Yewde . .


in terr.


j/z.


i'ujs.


iiijj - .


Elinor Stodden


in bon.


iij/z.


viijj - .


viijj - .


Henry Spurrier


in terr.


j/z.


iiijj.


iiijj.


Johane Philps, wid.





ij/z.


viijj.


viijs



Personal History.



225



George Hensley .


• »


)li.


iiijj - .


iiijj.


John Stodden . .


■ >)


}li.


iiijj-.


iiijj.


Mary Edbrooke .


. in bon.


iij/z.


viiji-.


viijj.


Elizth Stote . .


>)


iij/z'.


viijj-.


viijj.


Sidwell Blackford


in terr.


iij/z.


xijj-.


xijj-.


Edward Pyle . .


. in bon.


iij/z'.


viijj-.


viijj-.


Robert Philips . .


in terr.


j/z.


\\\')S.


Y\\]s.


John Philips . .


11


)li.


iiiji'.


\\\)S.


Henry Dennies


>>


]li.


iiijj-.


iiijj-.


John Amdrewes .


' n


\li.


\\\]s.


iiijj.


Charles Home .


i\


]li.


iiijj-.


iiiji".


Assessors.










James Reade . . .


in bon.


iij/z.


viiji - .


V\\)S.


Henry Hensley


»


iij/z.


viijj - .


v\\]s.


Nicholas Snowe .


• !I


11JZZ.


viijj - .


viijj".


Ciprian Kent . .


in terr.


]li.


iiijj.


iiiji - .



Sufria xxiij/z. xijs.
(" Charles Staynings Esquire" figures in the tithing
of Bossington

" in terr. viij/z. xxxijj - . xxxijj - .")

In the second actual year of the reign of Charles II,
but which was called the thirteenth, a so-called " Be-
nevolence" was granted to the king by the parliament.
We find the following payments made to it from the
tythings of Blackford and Allerford :



Blackford Ty thing,

John Trull, one shilling ....
Joseph Kent, one shilling . . .
Henry Clement, one shilling . .
William Elstone, one shilling . .



li. 00 01 00

00 01 00

00 01 00

00 01 00

Gg



226 History of Sehwrthy,

Eliz. Blackmore, one shilling . ... oo 01 oo

Joane Coffin, widow, one shilling . . oo 01 oo

Joane Elstone, widow, one shilling. . 00 01 oo

Joane Bryant, widow, sixpence ... oo OO 06

Allerford Ty thing.

Walter Coffin, seaven shillings and six-
pence li.oo 07 06

Henry Hensley, three shillings ... 00 03 00

Walter Yond, two shillings .... 00 02 00

John Beage, one shilling .... 00 01 00

George Hensley, one shilling. ... 00 01 00

John Stoate, three shillings .... 00 03 00

Edward Pyle, two shillings .... 00 02 00

John Cotes, sixpence 00 00 06

John Reade, one shilling 00 01 00

Edith Huish, three shillings and six-
pence 00 03 06

Nicholas Snowe, 00 01 06

John Eame, senr., one shilling ... 00 01 00
Richd. Marchant, one shilling and six-
pence 00 01 06

Alexander Blackford, two shillings and

sixpence 00 02 06

Somerset Archtzological and Natural History Society's Proceedings,
vol. xxxv, pp 76, 79, 80.



CHAPTER IX.



Folklore.




UR forefathers, Mr. Brand tells us,
divided witches into three classes.
First came the black witch, which
could hurt but not help, then the white
witch which could help but not hurt ;
and besides these there was the gray
witch which could both hurt and help. 1 A woman be-
comes a witch, we are told, in this way : she is tempted
by a man in black to sign a contract to become his,
body and soul : on the conclusion of the agreement
he gives her a piece of money and causes her to write
her name or make a mark on a slip of parchment with
her own blood. On departing he gives her an imp or
familiar. This familiar is in the shape of a cat, mole,
or other animal, and day by day she feeds it with her
own blood. 2 At various times the witches met together
at a witches' Sabbath, where they anointed themselves
with magical ointments, and then rode about in the
air on broomsticks and spits. They feasted too and
danced while the devil himself played for them on the
pipes. They then proceeded to the graveyards and

i. Brand's Antiquities, vol. iii p. I.
2. Grose, quoted by Brand.



228 History of Selworthy.

took from corpses their finger joints, with which to
work spells ; and the devil, before the assembly broke
up, distributed to them fruits and various small articles
suitable as presents. These gifts, when given to any
one against whom the witch had a spite, wrought them
terrible injury. And our forefathers would not have
accepted even an apple from any one suspected of
witchcraft. Preventives against witchcraft were many.
The suspected one was weighed against the church
bible, or, as the writer has known happen in North
Devon, "scratched above the breath" 1 till the blood
came. This was supposed to be an excellent remedy
when cattle are overlooked.

Any poor old woman who was half-witted or had
any physical deformity or was of peculiar appearance,
was set down as a witch ; and from that time her life
was not safe, and she was likely at any moment to be
dragged out of her home to be subjected to the most
terrible tortures and indignities, unless she had power-
ful friends to defend her. That learned scholar and
" defender of the faith," bishop Jewel, in a sermon
preached before queen Elizabeth, actually asserted
that witches and sorcerers had of late years much in-
creased within the realm. " Your grace's subjects pine
away even unto the death, their colour fadeth, their
flesh rotteth, their speech is benumbed, their senses are
bereft ; I pray God they never practice further than upon
the subject." 2 This sermon is supposed to have been the
cause of the introduction into parliament, at its next

i. The wound was considered more efficacious if inflicted above
the mouth.

2. Strype's Annals of the Reformation, vol. i, p. 8.



Folklore. 220

session, of a bill dealing with witchcraft. This was in
1558, and in 1559 the hint given by Jewel seems to
have taken root even in the masculine mind of Eliza-
beth, and a Mrs. Dier was apprehended under the re-
cently-passed statute, for bewitching the queen.

That extraordinary mixture of learning, dense stu-
pidity, and vice, James I, was, as we may well imagine,
a great believer in witchcraft. He wrote a treatise on
Demonology, which was, we are told, " ornamented
with much learning." In this learned work he gives
the following wise account of the trying of a witch by
" fleeting on the water." It appears, says this wise
ruler of England, " that God hath appointed for a
supernatural syne of the monstrous impieties of
witches that the water shall refuse to receive them
into her bosom that have shaken off from them the
sacred water of baptism and wilfully refused the bene-
fits thereof."

James believed that witchcraft was the cause of his
being nearly drowned on his return from Denmark,
and of the loss of a ship laden with presents for his
bride, in a storm off Leith. The prime instigator in
this attempt on the royal life, was supposed to be a
certain Dr. Fian, who was called the Devil's Registrar,
and was well known to have preached frequently to
congregations of witches, and especially to those who
so nearly destroyed the prospects of the Stuart
dynasty. In consequence of the above storm a sup-
posed witch was subjected to most terrible tortures
" until she confessed all," and Dr. Fian was consigned
by the king's order to the " horrible torment of the
boot," and then strangled and burnt on the Castle



230 History of Selworthy.

Hill, Edinburgh, in January, 1591. "They cannot
even shed tears," says the above royal author, "al-
though women in general are like the crocodile, ready
to weep on every light occasion."

By statute 1 James I, c. xii, it was ordered that
all persons inviting any evil spirits, or consulting,
covenanting with, entertaining, employing, etc., any
evil spirit : or taking up dead bodies from their graves
used in any witchcraft or sorcery, charm or enchant-
ment, or killing or otherwise hurting any other person
by such infernal acts, should be guilty of felony, with-
out benefit of clergy, and suffer death. And if any
person should attempt by sorcery to recover lost
treasure or stolen goods or hurt any man or beast by
sorcery, etc., the offender was to suffer the punishment of
the pillory for the first offence, and death for the second.

During the seventeenth century, executions for witch-
craft were frequent throughout Europe, as they were
found to be an useful means of getting rid of people
who were in the way. It was under an accusation
of witchcraft that cardinal Richelieu condemned to
the stake the famous Urban Grandier, whose only
fault was that he had satirized and laughed at the all-
powerful minister. And the clever wife of marshal
d'Ancre was condemned also to be beheaded about
the same time for having bewitched the queen. " What
was the sorcery you used to bewitch her majesty ? "
demanded the judge. " None " was the scornful reply,
" save the ascendancy a strong mind has over a weak
one." Here is the bill for burning a Scotsman and
his wife at Kirkcaldy in 1633, wno were accused of
witchcraft, which is preserved for us by Mr. Brand.







231


£3


6


8 Scot.





14








6








3


10


o





8



Folklore.

For ten tons of coal to burn them

For a tar barrel

For Towes

For harden to be jumps to them .
For making of them

An ancient story comes from Scotland which shows
the similarity of most stories of witchcraft. A farmer
was much troubled at night by the constant presence
of a multitude of cats who much disturbed his rest.
At last he struck at one with his sword and cut off its
leg. When he took the limb up, he found it to his
astonishment to be a human member, and next morn-
ing he discovered that an old woman in the neigh-
bour had lost a leg suddenly. This story has many
akin to it in the West of England. To most people,
too, is familiar the story of the hare which no shot gun
can injure, until at last the gun is charged with silver
coins cut into small pieces. This story has many
homes, but the outline is always the same : — the
puzzled farmer unable to shoot the hare which creeps
nightly by his house ; suspicion aroused at length ;
counsel sought of the white witch, and the unusual
charge for the gun prepared ; the lying in wait once
more ; the limping off of the wounded creature ; the
discovery next day of some old woman in the neigh-
bourhood laid up with an injured limb.

King James I, we are told, condescended to send
for a man who was supposed to play for the orgies of
witches, and bade him play before the majesty of
England the tunes which inspired those servants of
Satan to their unlawful and secret deeds. Nor did the
stern, practical religion of the Commonwealth, or the



232 History of SelwcrtJiy.

great revival of learning in the end of the seventeenth
and the beginning of the eighteenth century, shake
the strength of this universal belief which has lingered
down to our own days. Even John Wesley declared
that " to give up belief in witchcraft was to give up
the Bible."

At the beginning of the seventeenth century arose
the class of professional witchfinders who were sup-
posed to have special gifts for discovering such folk as
had sold themselves to the devil. Amongst the most
celebrated of these witchfinders was the notorious
Mathew Hopkins, who has worthily found a place in
the recent history of " the Twelve Worst Men." It is
said that he caused to be hanged in one year sixty
reputed witches in his own county of Essex alone.
One of his favourite methods of trying a witch was
trial by water. The thumbs and great toes were tied
together and a cord tied round the waist of the victim,
the ends of which were held by two men who were
thus able to lower her into the water or raise her.
When one thinks of the wholesale murders this fiend
in human shape perpetrated, it is almost with satisfac-
tion one reads that at last Hopkins was put to the
water trial himself as a wizard, and condemned and
executed. Few men have better deserved their fate !

Still among the wild coombes of North Devon and
West Somerset the old beliefs handed down from
time immemorial linger on, and no doubt maintain
a strong hold upon many. And indeed even the most
impartial of students cannot but be struck by some
of the as yet unexplained occurrences which have
taken place.



Folklore. 2xx

Within recent years benevolent white witches have
plied their profitable trade in more than one of our
county towns, to whom the faithful of the district were
wont to resort and pay their money and obtain, as they
fancied, the relief which could not otherwise be pro-
cured. In a little country parish dwelt a respectable
farmer, who suffered losses amongst his stock. Witch-
craft no doubt was the cause, and an old woman
of singular appearance and of strange retiring habits,
whose keen penetrating eyes made her neighbours
shiver as she looked at them, was suspected as having
worked the mischief. Some twenty miles had to be
traversed before a white witch could be found, but
when found he confirmed the farmer in his sagacious
suspicion. There was only one cure — to draw the
witch's blood. Hurrying home he laid wait for the
poor old creature and scratched her savagely with a
large nail till the blood flowed.

In that district it was a favourite remedy for scald
head in a baby to hang cotton wool on a " thornen
hedge " by moonlight.

As was at one time the almost universal belief,
clergymen were supposed to be well acquainted with
the black arts. An old farmer described to the clergy-
man of his parish the mysterious doings which had
taken place at the death of Parson A. in that district.
Parson A. had been decently buried in his parish
church yard ; but on the return of the mourners after
the ceremony, they found the old man sitting stern and
still, in his armchair in his study. No prayer or argu-
ment could move the silent figure that took its place
evening after evening, as the last ray of light died out



234 History of Selworthy.

behind the dusky moor, and the white mist came creep-
ing further and further up the valley. But at last, the
teller of the tale used to say, Parson B. was sent for,
a mighty man whom no ghost or other evil thing could
withstand, and at his coming the mysterious thing rose
sadly from its seat and followed him out across the
meadows in the dim light, till at last it disappeared
with a flash as of lightning, on the brink of a deep
dark pool, overhung by old gnarled trees. Or the old
man would tell in hesitating fashion, the story of the
last hours of a squire of the district notorious for his
evil ways. As the squire lay dying, a great thunder-
storm, though it was mid-winter, came up and shook
the ancient house, and roared amongst the trees, level-
ling the great oaks of centuries' growth; and amidst the
shrieking of the storm, strange wild voices and un-
earthly laughter resounded about the place, as, strug-
gling as though with a deadly foe, with wild curses
upon his lips, the squire passed away. What caused
the storm ? " Something you parsons know about,"
was always the answer. Near the same village there
dwelt one versed in the black art. He was known
to be so, for had not many " seen his book ? " who
wrought strange pranks amongst his humble neigh-
bours. If anyone offended him, punishment fell at
once, either upon the offender's family or his stock.
A farmer in the same district had great losses
amongst his cattle. He felt he had been bewitched,


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15 17 18 19 20 21

Online LibraryFrederick HancockThe parish of Selworthy in the county of Somerset, some notes on its history → online text (page 15 of 21)