WNLH

...access to local heritage

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Introduction 

With the wealth of available documentation, a wide variety of "internal" comparisons and analyses (ie within and between the manorial documents) is possible - most particularly for the period 1497-1630, where the manorial records have some extended continuous runs; and when this documentation is enhanced by the mass of more general official documentation that became available during the 1500s (including parish registers, increased statutory and taxation measures and tax returns, wills etc), it becomes possible carry out additional "external" comparisons (ie with other external documentation). By such means, many aspects of Tudor life in the community at Crick may be examined in extremely fine detail.

Copyright: Copyright in the analyses, as for the transcriptions, is with their author G.W. Hatton. Scholars are welcome to view and download the data presented here, but not to use the results for any purpose other than private study unless prior consent is first obtained in writing from the copyright owner. Applications for permission may be initiated by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The author is also happy to enter into dialogue with other scholars regarding the transcription and analysis work, and welcomes practical comments and suggestions.

 "Internal" comparisons

The manorial documents on their own provide two basic sets of comparisons:

  • Accounts
    • records of rents per annum
    • statements of acreages for each copyholder tenant
    • profit and loss accounts per annum
    • names of individual copyholders, free men, stewards etc
  • Court rolls
    • comparison tables of jurors, freemen, tithingmen, elections of constables and haywards
    • comparison of the types of offence that were punished, and the identities of offenders
    • comparison tables of orders and pains for using the fields
    • comparison tables showing the state of housing
    • comparison tables of orders and pains for livestock (sheep, cattle, oxen, horses, pigs, dogs)
    • lists of copyhold admissions

"External" comparisons

Outside of the manorial documents themselves, three other independent sources of data are available, which each allow further analyses of very different types to be carried out, by comparing the manorial data with:

  • Contemporary wills (from 1500) and parish registers (from 1540), which provide
    • a list of the people whose wills are available
    • a measure of their wealth, occupation, family size
    • evidence of specific features of the domestic architecture (thatch, chimneying, doors and windows, etc)
    • a list of family trees and family fortunes
    • analysis of some key families and their possessions (eg Bucknill, Garrard, Whitmell, Jones, Andrews)
  • Known landscape features
    • hills and streams
    • fieldnames
    • roads through the parish
    • houses and lanes in the village
  • Known relevant factors in the 1500s, due to acts both of God and man
    • good and bad harvests
    • incidences of disease, especially in the 1550s and the 1590s
    • legal measures relating to private enclosure
    • sheep taxation and censuses
    • increased levels of general taxation, and its causes
    • effects of the Great Devaluation and other fiscal factors

The rentals of 1497-1588

An overall summary of the data in the manorial accounts for the period 1497-1588 (albeit with many lacunae) is contained in an MS Excel(c) spreadsheet, which may be viewed/downloaded here.

The manor court records, 1522-1588

Some detailed analyses of the court rolls have been attempted for the 1500s. The basic methodology adopted is to break down the overall series of records into a number of sub-periods of 10 to 15 years each, and to make a detailed analysis of each sub-period (looking in turn at each of the factors in the above list), and finally summarising the situation for the whole of the sub-period; with this methodology, micro-events may be studied within each sub-period, whilst overall comparisons between the sub-periods allow any major changes to be detected and assessed.

This analysis work is proceeding in parallel with transcription of the manorial documents, so it is a work still in progress. Analyses have so far been completed for the periods 1528-1543 and 1544-1555. This has already provided an incredible amount of fine detail under all of the categories listed above -- and in addition, it has revealed significant changes in the lordship following its sale to Sir Ralph Waren in 1547, with clear evidence of a radical policy of enclosure and conversion of the lordship to increase significantly the capacity and yield of its pastures, both for sheep and cattle. The analysis may be viewed/downloaded here.

Links with Claycoton and Lilbourne

The manors of Crick and Claycoton formed part of the estates of the Astleys, and were originally controlled from their family base at Lilbourne. There are well-marked traces in the fields of Crick and Lilbourne of old roads leading directly between the two adjacent manors, and though these have been disturbed by motorway excavations and post-Enclosure farming, the traces are still quite clear. Following the Grey's acquisition of Crick in the early 1400s, control moved from Lilbourne to Bradgate - but the link between management of Crick and Claycoton is still evident in the court rolls, and it is clear from the steward's rough drafts that he conducted the Crick court session in the morning, before riding on to conduct the court session at Claycoton in the afternoon, on his way back to Bradgate. This practice only ceased when the manor was sold to Sir Ralph Waren in 1547.