Armthorpe Court Proceedings

The information on this page was very kindly provided by Malcolm Grant of Armthorpe, who is gathering information relating to the History of Armthorpe.

He has copies of the Manorial Court Proceedings at Armthorpe and has translated certain sections from the original Latin. These documents are part of the Baxter Papers held at Sheffield Archives. The papers that he has date from 1649 to1660 and relate to the customary court and court roll of Armthorpe. John Stables is mentioned in each of the court sessions as a 'juror' and as such he would have to have been a 'freeman'.

Malcolm has also provided some background information about the Manorial Court system and a full list of other people mentioned in the Armthorpe Court records.

John and Elizabeth Stables - April 16th, 1649

This court case appears to relate to the transfer of land to or from John Stables.

16th April 1649 Campos and Teritor de Armthorpe - Fields and Territorie of Armthorpe

Inquisition then and there taken by the oaths of Richard Woodward Richard Thwaits John Swallow Thomas Winter John Stables William Morrison John Morrison Richard Newsham Richard Coulson John Bagelay John Hirst Robert Stenton Richard Leadbeater and George Newsom good and honest men within the mannor aforesaid sworn and charged? (inrat and onat) who do say and present upon their oaths ---
Robt Newsom and Rich Gaforth

John Stables and Elizabeth his wife in their own persons ------ Court And existing ------- fields and territories of Armthorpe aforesaid ... 8 acre in the West field. 1 acre and? between the land Henry Watkinson out of the East and land Richard Newsom out of the West and butting upon Rookeby Shawe out of the North upon the moorehedge out of the South 2 acres ... butting upon Rookesby Shawe out of the North and upon the
high way leading to the town of Armthorpe and Doncaster out of the South and
between land Richard Newsom out of the West and the land of Thomas Winter out of the East 2 acre butting upon the oxen shawe out of the North and the high way leading to Doncaster out of the South between land Watson out of the West and the land of John Bageley out of the East 3 acre butting upon ........ mill to the South and the high way leading to Doncaster towards the North between the land ....... rector of Armthorpe out of the West and land Richard Thwaits out of the East and ....acre butting upon Stocken Shawe towards the North and the high way leading to Doncaster towards the South and between the land of John Swallow out of the West and John Curtis out of the East 1 acre [iacen] in Hawcrofte between the land William Johnson out of the East and the land William Milner out of the West and butting upon the high way leading to Doncaster to the North and upon the land William Johnson to the South Three acres and ... in the North field [una] fourth part [iacen] between land Thomas Winter East and against flatt to the West Two acre and two roods against? Readinge hill between the land Richard Newsam to the West and land of John Marrison to the East and butting against land Richard Newsom to the South and land George Newsom to the North and 1 acre [iacen] in a field called Crabtree close between the land of Anne Watson ... to the North and land lady Marie Anstruther to the South and butting against Stocken Shawe to the West and against high way leading from villa of Armthorpe towards Tristropp to the East

Miles Stables, Armthorpe Court Roll, 1722 and 1726

Malcolm Grant also has in his possesion a copy of Armthorpe Court Roll, which is a record of the jurors who attended the Lord of the manors Court and in it there is a reference to Miles Stables of Armthorpe.

The record shows that Miles attended the court on Dec 10th 1722 and on the 24 Oct 1726.

Other surnames recorded are:-
Scholey, Flower?, Dobson, Ramsker, Shaw, Machin, Blomley, Adams, Hill, Singleton, Schoefield, Watson, Sikes, Bagley, Sslather (Slatcher), Pecke, Norton, Jepson, Childers, Burley, Moorby, Hudson, Hanley, Newsome, Cocking, Thropp (Thorpe), Baldwinson, Jervas, Whitterker, Stead, Smithson, Glover, Carver, Hurst, Chester, Rodwell, Locking, Hall, Clarke, Rowley and Glasslewood.

Background Information about Manorial Courts.

Early manorial courts used oral procedures. Although custumals and surveys survive in a written form from c.1180 to c.1240, records of manorial courts do not start until the mid-13th century. The earliest surviving original court roll is for the English manors of Bec Abbey and dates from 1246. In the second half of the 13th century, specially in the 1270's and 1280's, the practice of keeping manorial records became widespread as landlords copied the example of the king's courts.

Zvi Razi, Life, Marriage and Death in a Medieval Parish: Economy, Society and Demography in Halesowen, 1270-1400 (1980) argues that the range of activities recorded in the manorial court rolls of the best documented manors is so wide that the adult male population could hardly avoid being noted. A great deal of reliable genealogical information can be obtained from such rolls. L. R. Poos and R. M. Smith, "Shades still on the window" . . . A Reply to Zvi Razi', Law and History Review, 3 (1985) challenge Razi's belief that court rolls may provide a complete enumeration of the adult male population of a particular village; they quote wider documentation from two Essex manors which demonstrates that nearly a quarter of all male tenants did not appear in the courts at all. The tenants of the smallest holdings were the ones most likely to be unrecorded. Women, servants, children, and poor people are less well documented. Every lord of a manor had the right to hold a court for his tenants. Whether or not *freeholders attended depended on local practice. In some manors of the Abbot of Ramsay in the 13th century all the freemen attended, but in other manors only some of them did so. This example is typical of the confused practices of law and custom, which varied over time and from one part of the country to another. (See COURT BARON and COURT LEET for the responsibilities of these two branches of the manorial court, though in practice the functions were not always distinct.) The courts were presided over by the lord's steward. Manorial juries, consisting of 12 homagers, were sworn in. Their first duty was to deal with the lord's financial interests in his manor. They then appointed officers, e.g. the constable, judged pleas brought by individuals, and laid pains or fixed penalties on categories of petty offences. Decisions were not imposed by the lord or his steward but were made by the jury, who were selected from the chief tenants of the manor. Freeholders played little part in the administration of the manor.

By the early modern period many manorial courts had declined and some had disappeared.

Nevertheless, some others continued to thrive. A few survive, mainly to supervise remaining common lands, to the present day. Some manors have long runs of records from the 13th to the 9th or 10th centuries, but the records of many smaller manors have been lost or destroyed. Surviving manor court rolls are normally housed at local record offices or in national collections at the Public Record Office, British Library, etc. Except for the period of the Commonwealth, records were normally written in Latin until 1733. See P. D. A. Harvey, Manorial Records (1984), Nathaniel Hone, The Manor and Manorial Records (1906), Denis Stuart, Manorial Records: An Introduction to their Transcription and Translation (1992), and Mary Ellis, Using Manorial Records (1994).

Court Baron.

The manorial court which dealt with the transfer of copyhold land, upon inheritance or sale, which determined the customs of the manor, and which enforced payment of sevices which were due to the lord. It was normally held evey three weeks.

Court Leet.

The manorial court which dealt with petty law and order and the administration of communal agriculture. By the late Middle Ages the court leet and the view of frankpledge came to be treated as alternative names for the same jurisdiction. Rolls were often headed; 'The Court Leet with View of Frankpledge'. It was normally held every six months. 

Other Persons mentioned in the Armthorpe Court Rolls

Robert Anstrother Richard Newsam
Marie Anstrother Richard Newsham
Mary Anstruther Philip Newsham
Sarah Anstruther Edward Newsham
Edward Autibrigge George Newsham
John B.gley Divard? Newsham
John Bagelay Edward Newsom
John Baggeley George Newsom
John Baggley Robert Newsom
John Baglay Richard Newsom
Stephen Barbar George Newsome
Ann Bond Philipp Newsome
Richard Brown Richard Newsome
Arthur Browne Robert Newsome
Richard Colson Richard Newsome
Richard Coulson Dorothy Newsome w. of Ricd
John Curteous Thos. Scales
John Curtis George Scoley
Thomas Fitzwilliam Edward Shaw
Tho: ffisher William Spencer L of Manor
Richard ffoster John Stables 
Richard foster? Elizabeth Stables
Richard Gaforth Robert Stainton
Robert Gaforth John Stal....
Tho. Gannt Robt. Staynton
Richard Gayforth Robert Stenton
Agnes Hirst Henry Stenton
John Hirst John Swallow
Mr Holmes Robert Swifte
George Holmes Richard Thwaites
Barnham Holmes Richard Thwaits
William Johnson Richard Thwaytes
Richard Leadbeater Robert Thwaytes
John Lepton John Ward
John Marrison Richard Washington
Richard Marrison Martin Watkinson
William Marrison Henry Watkinson
William Marrison(Jun'r) Anne Watson
William Marrison(Sen'r) Agnes Wattson
William Miller Brian Wattson
Duglas Milner (female) Edward Wattson
William Milner John Willson
Robert Milner Robert Winter
William Mylner Thomas Winter
Alice Mylner Elizabeth Winter(widow) nee Milner



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