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Shropshire County records: A full list and partial abstract of the contents of the Quarter Session rolls (Volume 1) online

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Court of (Sluavter Sessions
I for Sbropsbire,

JANUARY, 1638 -MAY, 1660.
OCTOBER, 1652-OCTOBER, 1659.





Court of (Sluattev Sessions
for Sbropsbire,

JANUARY, 1638-MAY, 1660.



^ TN the Preface to the Abstract of the Orders of the Court of
V Quarter Sessions for the years 1709 — 1726 (being No. 2
of the County Record Pubhcations), it was impHed that the
Volume then under review contained the earUest Orders of
_^|_^ the Court now extant. Early in 1904, however, laid away
amongst other papers at the Shirehall, were discovered 13
^ MS. volumes of Orders dealing with the business of the Court
\ from 1638 to 1743. These volumes are for the most part
• simply sheets of MS. tacked together, but some 6 out
of the 13 volumes have been bound in some fashion, two or
<^ three of them in parchment. Speaking generally they are
^; badly written and give the impression of being the notes
made by a Clerk in Court, from which the official orders
, were to be written up at leisure : it will be noticed that in
"g' point of time they considerably overlap the folio volumes
0-' already abstracted. The present publication deals with
. the first two volumes of the 13. No. i is bound in parch-
ed' ment, is carefully written, with frequent intervals of blank
pages ; No. 2 consists of sheets of MS. loosely tacked
together, and the writing is careless, often bad. Where the
two volumes deal with the same Sessions, as they often do,
an entry is not as a rule to be found in both volumes, but
there are instances to the contrary. On the whole, I believe
that No. 2 contains rough notes which it was intended to
copy into No. i, although some matters, chosen on no very
definite principle, were placed in No. i at first hand. Mr.
W. Phillips has dealt with No. 2 volume, whilst I have to
thank Miss Rouse Boughton of the Abbey House for her
valuable aid in deciphering much of the writing in No. i.


The first entry relates to a grievance with respect to
the Assessment for " pubHque services; " it appears that
each Hundred was divided into lOO Allotments and from
each Allotment an identical sum was raised irrespective of
the value of the Allotment : in the revised table set out
under the date of July 1638, considerable alterations were
made, chiefly in the direction of increasing the Assessment
of the richer Hundreds. It is to this revised table that the
re:olution of the majority of the Justices in October, 1638,
refers. There is no trace of the eventual outcome of the

The Resolutions of Parliament against Ship Money
were, I suppose, ordered by superior authority to be enrolled
in each County, as well as published at the Assizes, whilst
the long entry concernng the Redress of Grievances was
occasioned by the Presentment of a County Grand Jury.

At the other end of this volume is the account of the
receipts and disbursements of Sir Andrew Corbett, Kt., in
the purchase of a site and the building of a House of Cor-
rection, which account extends from 1631 to 1633.

During this period the total receipts am^ounted to
£518 IIS. 6d., and the disbursements to £520 6s. 2d.

The receipts included large sums from Sir Richard
Prince, Kt. who I take to be one of those who preceded
Sir Andrew Corbett as Treasurer : the rest of the money
came from a levy of 30s. an Allotment, which was collected
by the High Constables in each Hundred.

The payments included £150 for the purchase of the

site, £5 4s. 2d. for legal expenses, and £1 7s. 4d. for "a

dinner at ye Raven upon the acknowledging" of the


The stone used came from Hemstree (? Emstree) and
Grinshill Quarries ; slates cost 9s. and 6s. per thousand,
roofing tiles 2s. per hundred, laths 3s. 8d. for 400, flooring
boards 7s. 6d. per hundred.

A stone-mason seems to have received about is. 3d. a
day, bricklayers' labourers from lod. to is. a day, but "a
laborer to make morter and dawbe wales" only received
6s. for 8 days' work.

The site of this building was, I think, the same as that
occupied by the House of Correction 150 years later, viz. :
what is now part of School Chambers, since one of the entries
is 3s. for ' ' making a gutter to carry away the raine on the
side towards the raven."

Mr. Phillips's Preface deals with the entries after 1652,
but it may not be without interest to some if I call attention
to two instances, viz. , in January, 1655, and July, 1656,
when the Court was presided over by Cromwell's MajorGeneral
of the District, "the Rt. Hon. James Berry."
Towards the end of the Commonwealth period the formal
headings at the commencement of each Sessions, though in
English, show a tendency to get back to the old forms such
as ' ' the Tuesday next after the Translation of St. Thomas, ' '
and Volume 2 closes with the Latin heading of the Epiphany
Sessions of the 12th of Charles IL in the old styb. From
an entry in October, 1658, it appears that Richard Forris,
gentm., was then Clerk of the Peace, but acted through his
deputy, Richard Clear ke.


Twenty blank pages, then the usual heading in Latin
of the Sessions of October 3rd, 1638, before Sir Richd. Lee,
Baronet, Richd. Newport, &c.


{i.e. Subdivisions
of Hundreds.)

' ' Most of ye Justices of Peace take excepions
" aga nst ye Alteracon of the Allotments lately
*' altered, for that ye genality of the County were
' ' not consulted with and desire that ye said Alteracon,
* * be not entered amongst the records of ye County
* ' untill there bee a more exact examinacon made of
*'ye severall Allotments by the better sort of ffree-
*' holders in every Allotment."

Recommendations addressed to the Privy Council
on a petition f:om Clun and Purslow for alterations in
the Allotments by Paule Harris, A. Littleton, Wal.
Barker, Wal. Pigott, Richard More.


" Wee finde it true that this County o' Salop is
divided into 12 Hundreds, and those Hundreds have
been subdivided into 100 Allotments, including the
Corporations therein, and that in ye payments for
publique services ye sayd Allotments have been
alike charged, allthough ye Allotments in Clunne
and Purslowe Hundreds as allso in many other of ye
sayd Hundreds are farr lesse in value than other
Allotments, and we allso find it true that Demesne
Land, of divers gentlemen of worth in some places
of ye County have not beene accompted in ye sayd

N.B. — A marginal note in Latin states that the above
lecommendations were confirmed by Humph ey
Davenport, Lord Chief Baron, at the Assizes of
March 23rd, 1638. This is attested by Walter
Barker and John Wood, Marshalls to the sd.
H. Davenport.

Order dated July 17th, 1638, by Humphrey
Davenport and Wm. Jones, that the above alterations
be published. Objections to be made at the nsxt

January Sessions, 1638—39.

Buildwas Bridge.

To be repaired. Thos. Russell and Richd. Thyner
to receive the money wh. the High Constables are to
collect from each Allotment. Jno. Langley, Jas.
Davenport, Wm.Wareham, Wm. Hayward, to supervise
the work "as this Court doth trust them."


Shipping Money.

Alterations sent out in full in tabular form. Dated
14 July, 1638. Signed by Paule Harris, A. Littleton,

"Thes3 Roles were delivered in at Lent Assize, 22
March, 1640."

Inrolment of various Resolutions of the Houses
of Parliament.

I. — Die Jovis, 26 ffebr., 1640.

Report of Lords' Commit-ee on Mr. Hampden's
case, and the judgment of Parliament, concerning the
same to be pubhshed at the Assizes in such severall
County. Signed Jo. Brown, C'eric Parliamentary.

2. — Die Mercury, 20 die Januar, 1640.

Three Resolutions of Parliament against the
Judgment in Mr. Hampden's case. Signed Jo. Browne,
Cleric. ParUamentry.


Assizes, March 22nd, 1640, at Bridgnorth.

Redress of ' ' Upon complaint made to this Court by the grand

Grievances. " Jury for the County of Salop at this p'st Assizes of

' ' severall grievances in the sayd County . . the

* ' opinion of the Courte is as follows : — ' That notice

" be given by the Clearke of the peace.' "

To Corporations ; that they be carefull ' ' to allow
but a competent number of Alehouses," and that their
Weights and Measures be all equally sized according
to the true and just standard"

To the Justices for the County ; that no alehouses be

licensed "but such as be most sufficient for that

purpose, and in the most convenient and necessary

"places," that only such persons be sworn as
Constables as are ' ' well qualified both in ability of
"P'son, estate, and Discretion: " that the order of
the last Quarter Sessions " concerning Shipping money,
" Cole, and Conduct money and other moneys leavied
' ' of the Countrey for sev'all uses and not disposed of, be
"entered upon Record:" that the "Armoure"
within the County be kept in a convenient Magazine
as heretofore, but if any one wishes it he may have his
armour home at his own charges and peril, but where
' ' divers p'sons. are charged with divers pieces for the
' ' making up of a compleat armoure, it is thought
"fitt that the whole be kept together. That greate
' ' care be aken for the placinge of as uf(icient P'son. in
* ' the charge of keepinge the House of Correction . . and
" that P'sons for small offences. . be rather sent ther.
"and kept to work than to the Comon. Gaole where
' ' they be a long tyme idle, Chardging the County and
*'learne nothinge but mischeife." . . . " It is
*' ordered by ye Courte and the consent of all the Justices
"of the Peace then p'sent on the bench that the
* ' meetings called Wakes be supprest and no more kept
"on the Lo'ds. Day or Sunday, and that notice be
*' given of this order by ye Clerk of the peace in all
" places — where any Wakes have used to be kept."

(N.B. — 15 blank leaves here.)

Easter Sessions, 1657.

Heading in English. Before Robt. Corbett,
Harcourt Leighton, Robt. Clive, and Roger Prince.

Sheriffhales and

Whereas there is a dispute with Staffordshire as to
Lilleshall. the County boundaries in these parishes, a County rate

of IDS. on every Allotment is made to pay the costs of
an action. Richd. Bagott to be Treasurer.

(N.B. — 2 blank leaves.)

Midsummer Sessions, 1657.

Before Wm. Jones, Robert Corbett, Thos. Mack-
worth, Cresswell Tayleur, Ed. Cressett and Richd.

Poor Relief Orders for Relief ol paupers made agst parishes of

Wellington, Wrockwardine, Pulverbatch, Pontesbury,
Ford, and Wroxeter.

3 Petitions referred to Justices of the Division.

Briefs. (i) for lire at Donnington ; in favour of John

Broadley and Thos. Moulton, for £421 9s. od. Open
to all the County.

(2) or fire at Childs Ercall ; in favour of George
Cotton for £100. Open to all the County.

Cottages. Licenses to build on the waste at Pontesbury and


Maimed Soldiers. Treasurer to pay S within Mason, 30s., and over-

seers of Wellington to pay him a like sum.

Michaelmas Sessions, 1657.

Maimed Soldiers. Constables to levy rate for maimed soldiers by

distress in such parishes in Stottesdon Hundred as
are in arrear.

Poor Relief. Orders for relief of paupers made agst. Chirbury,

Wellington, and Pulverbatch. 3 cases referred to
local Justices.

Overseers of Pontesbury to provide a convenient
room with a fireplace in it for a habitation for Reg.

Settlement Paupers settled in Alveley and Little Ness.

Cottages. License to build on waste at Culmington and else-


Apprentice. Elizabeth Harris to be apprenticed by overseers

of Shawbury.

Middle. Richard Raphey to be Register of the whole parish

of Middle.


(i) for fire at Petton (? Peaton) in favour of Wm.
Francis and John Whooper for £140. Open to the
Hundreds of Overs and Stottesdon.

(2) for fire in favour of EHzabeth
hundred of Pynahill.

to the


Haughton Farm.

Sheriffhales and

Chirk Bridge

High Constables.

Highway Surveyors to render accounts.

Warrant agst. Overseers, etc., to be suspended.

The difference between the parties respecting the
farm referred by consent to Phillip Younge, Esq.
Warrant for forcible entry to be suspended.

Order for the raising of los. in each Hundred as
costs in the dispute with Staffordshire confirmed.

Justices of Oswestry and Pimhill Hundreds to
enquire if any part of bridge is in Salop, and if so take
order for the repair thereof.

List of for each Hundred.

George Rees continued in Gaol.

January Sessions, 1657—58.

Poor Law. Sundry paupers to be settled in Carston & Stretton.

Paupers petitions from Wrockwardine, Alveley,
etc., referred to local Justices.

Briefs. (i) W. Jones, for fire at WoUascott, £200, open to

all the County.

(2) George Oulde, for fire at Little Ashe, Whit-
church ; £50 . Open to North and South Bradford,
and Pymhill.

Apprentice. Order of last Sessions respecting Elizabeth Harris

of Shawbury continued.

IMaimed Soldiers. Joane Herring to have los., Capt. Thos. Hill

£10 8s. a year.

Chirk Bridge.

Sheriffhales and


Justices of Oswestry and Pimhill to perform
former order with convenient speed.

Suit with Staffordshire to be proceeded with.

Parishioners of Ellesmere to repair the Chapel
according to the ordinance of ParHament.

Poor Law.



Easter Sessions, 1658.

Petitions of paupers referred to local Justices.

Paupers settled in Pontesbury, Tibberton.

(i) in favour of Edward Needham for fire, £40.
Open to Clun, Purslowe, Stottesdon, and Overs.

(2) in favour of R. Roberts for fire at Cound, £30.
Open to Cundover, Munslowe, Bradford North &

The difference between Highway Surveyors
referred to Robt. Corbett, Esq.

Highway Overseer of 1657 to be re-imbursed for
moneys expended beyond receipts.

License to build one on waste at Munslowe.

Poor Law.

Lye Bridge.


July Sessions, 1658.

Petitions of paupers referred to local Justices.

Paupers settled in Pontesbury, Diddlebury, Prees,
Much Wenlock.

Poor Relief ordered in Cardington and Pontesbury.

Rate to be levied on parishes of Morvield and
Upton Cressett for repair.

Late Highway Surveyors to pay over balances to
theii" successors.

county Rates. Outstanding rates for repair of bridges and

expenses of suit against Staffordshire to be collected at

Cockshutt. Rate to be levied on parish of EUesmere for repair

of chapel.

Maimed Soldiers. Martha White to have 20s. yearly : Thos. Sturchley

20S. yearly ; T. Woodhouse, 40s. yearly ; Martha
Millington, 20s. yearly.

Michaelmas Sessions, 1658.

Poor Law. Paupers settled in Brompton (and children to be

apprenticed) in Uffington.

Paupers petitions referred to local Justices.

Relief ordered in Pontesbury Hodnett.

Pauper to be apprenticed in Alveley.

Maintenance order on George Southall of Kinlet.

Cottage. License to build at Stanton-on-Hine-Heath.


(i) in favour of R. Bullock for fire at Stapleton,
£120. Open to all the county.

(2) in favour of Humphrey Beech for fire at
Edgmond, £20. Open to Bradford North and South,
Pymhill, and Brimstree.

NIaimed Soidiers. Thos. Hill to have 20s. towards his journey to

Abraham Roberts' pension continued.

C. Halloway 20s. yearly.

January Sessions, 1658—59.

Poor Law. Paupers settled at Sutton Maddock and Welling-


A pauper to be relieved by parish of Chirbury.

Poor Law.

A petition referred to local Justices.

(i) In favour of Thomas Dovaston, of Stanwar-
dine-in- the- Fields, for loss by fire. Open to the whole

(2) In favour of Thos. Stirropp, of Minsterley,
for loss by fire. Open to Chirbury, Ford, and Con-


Mary Hatton to have the 40s. a year allowed to
her late husband.

William ffalknor to have 40s. a year.

William Sheare's 20s. a year to be paid to
Elizabeth Sheare.

Aprii Sessions, 1659.

Poor Law.



Chirk Bridge.

Several petitions from paupers referred to local

Overseers discharged and fresh ones to be elected.

Rate to be levied for the ' ' newe making ' ' of
this bridge.

' ' That the business concerning Chirk Bridge
' ' and the inhabitants of the Hundred of Pimhill =
' ' bee heard the next Sessions — and the witnesses to
" bee examined in Courte."

July Sessions, 1659.

Poor Law. Paupers to be relieved by Worthen, Alberbury,

High Ercall, and Leighton.

Acton Burnell discharged from relief of a pauper.

IVIaiined Soldiers. Elizabeth Fisher to have los. towards main*

tenance of her husband, now residing at Yarmouth.

Ciiirlc Bridge. Order of previous coui t confirmed, and ' ' the

refusers " to be bound over to next Sessions,



(i) In favour of Jno. Ha^^vard, of Hopton-in-
the-Hole, for loss by fire, £55. Open to Brimstree,
Stottesdon, Clun, Purslowe, Munslowe, and Overs.

(2) In favour of Tobias Browne, of Neenton, for
loss by fire. £100. Open to Bradford North and
South, and Brimstree.

John Scriven, of Acton Botterell, to be licensed
unless the local Justices object.

Poor Law.


October Sessions, 1659.

Pauper settled in Leighton.

Paupers to be relieved by Alberbury and Pontes-


Outgoing overseer to be re-imbursed.

January Sessions, 1659—60.

Poor Law. Pauper settled in Eaton Constantine.

Stapleton discharged from relieving pauper.

Pauper to be relieved by Hodnett and Stanton

License to erect one at Munslow.

Appointed for Wetton and Wilderley.

May Sessions, 1660.

Before Sir John Corbett, Bart., W. Jones, Robt.
Corbett, T. Hunt, Humphrey Mackworth, Richd.
Bagott, Thos. Niccolls, Robt. Clive, S. Swannick,
Launcelott Lee, and Ed. Cressett.

Poor Law. Five petitions from paupers referred to local





Court ot (Sluarter Sessions
for Sbropsbire,

OCTOBER, 1652-OOTOBER, 1659.


The period covered by the ' ' Orders of the Shropshire
Court of Quarter Sessions," preserved among the County
documents m.arked "No. 2," of which the following is
nearly a complete transcript, is from Michaelmas, 1652,
down to January, 1659, [0S.\ being a little over seven
years of the Commonwealth period. The indorsement on
the cover in a modern hand is ' ' 1652 to 1661, both inclusive,
which, as will be seen by the transcript, is incorrect. The
Minutes are on paper, appearing to have been hastily written,
with many interlinear corrections which in some parts make
them difficult to decipher.

The value of these records largely lies in their laying
open to us some information regarding the administration
of justice two centuries and a half ago, at one of the most
critical periods of our national history. The first sitting
of the Court recorded in this volume was 3 J years after the
King was beheaded, and one year after the battle of Wor-
cester — Cromwell's "Crowning Mercy." The Royalists
of Shropshire were standing in the background, impoverished
by having had to pay heavy compositions, or military
assessments, and were generally excluded from all public
business. Most of the Justices who attended the Court
sided with the Parliament, or affected to be neutrals.

Among the many important subjects engaging the
attention of the Court was the ruinous condition of the
parish Churches, and the necessary assessments for their
repair. By an Ordinance of the Lords and Commons of 9th
February, 1647, it was enacted that if Churchwardens
were negligent in performing their duty to repair their


Churches, a Justice might by Warrant direct what repara-
tion should be done and Umit a time for doing it, and
Churchwardens not obeying such a WaiTant might be fined
to an amount not exceeding 40s. Impropriators and
others hable to repair Chancels were in like manner
fineable if they neglected their duty. Accordingly in
January 1653—4, the Chancel of All Saints, Baschurch,
being in a bad state, the owners were called upon to repair
it. More than two years elapsed before the order was
comphed with, so that in 1656 a fresh order was made to
distrain upon the impropriators to fulfil their duties. The
' ' edification ' ' of Stokesay Church was needed (4th April,
1656), and a collection was ordered to be made, but nothing
more is mentioned of it till the 7th of April, 1657, when it
was decided that the money raised should be equally
disbursed in repairing both the Church and Chancel, but
much dissatisfaction was expressed on the subject. High
Ercall Church, or Arcol as it is written, required to have
spent upon it (23rd April, 1655) a sum of £800 "at the

The Chancel of Loppington Church needed repair,
and a Committee was appointed to see to it, 17th July,
1655. The South wall of Condover Church was out of
repair, of which fact the inhabitants of Wheathall, Little
Payton, and Frodesley were to have notice given them
(2nd October, 1655). Acton Burnell Church (8th January,
1655 — 6) was out of repair, and it was decided that Acton
Pigott, being within the parish, should contribute towards
its repair. Oswestry Church (8th January, 1655 — 6)
required rebuilding, the estimate for which was £700, ' ' at
the least." Wellington Church (Mich. Sess., 1656) required
looking to, and a Committee was appointed to enquire into
the question of who ought to repair it. Great difference
of opinion between the parishioners, Francis Charlton,

Esq., of Apley, and Francis Forester, Esq. The Committee
was to settle it "according to law," and meet together
in the following October, when the Aisle was ordered to be
repaired by the parishioners, but nothing is said about the
Chancel. Cockshut CHapel (20th April, 1658) was ordered
to be repaired, and the Churchwardens then in office were to
continue until the work was carried out, and the parish of
Ellesmere was required to pay the cost.

It is unnecessary to give details of other work demanding
the time of the Court, such as the repair of Bridges, and
Houses of Correction ; provision for maimed soldiers,
compensation for losses by fire, suppression of unlicensed
beer houses, care of the poor, &c., &c. But it may not be
out of place to give a few particulars of the several Magistrates
whose names appear on the Minutes.

Humphrey Mackworth, of Betton Strange, Shrews-
bury, born 1603. He was charged with High Treason by
the King on His Majesty's visit to Shrewsbury, and
ordered to be apprehended. He espoused the cause of
the Parliament, and was one of an Association for Shrews-
bury appointed by an ordinance of that body to guard its
interests. On the capture of the town in 1645, he was
appointed its Governor. He died in 1654, and was buried
in Henry the Seventh's Chapel in Westminster Abbey.
The last meeting of this Court at which he was present was
the loth of January in the year of his death.

Robert Corbett, Esq., of Stanwardine-in-the-Wood,
near Baschurch, was a zealous Parliamentarian. He was
not only a Justice of the Peace, but was appointed Custos
Rotulorum of Salop, and a Master in Chancery. He
represented the County in Parliament in 1654. He was
the grandson of Robert Corbett, Esq., who built Stan-
wardine Hah in 165 1.


Thomas Niccolls, Esq., of Boycott, near Pontesbury.
He appears in the list of delinquents ordered by the King
to be apprehended with a view to take legal proceedings
against him. He was an influential man in the Borough
of Shrewsbury, having served the office of Bailiff in 1636,
and Mayor in 1645. He was also High Sheriff in 1641. He
married in 1626, Mary, daughter of John Kynaston, of
Morton, sister of Judith, wife of Sir Orlando Bridgeman,
Knt., and Bart., Keeper of the Great Seal. He died April
i6th, 1662.

Richard Cressett, of Upton Cressett, Esq. He
was the son of Edward Cressett, Esq., by Elizabeth,
daughter of Sir Henry Townshend, Knight, Chief Justice
of Chester. His father was one of the Commissioners of
'Array, at Bridgnorth, and was slain there April 2nd, 1642,

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