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A MAP OF BINGHAM FOR 1586 (12)

Freeholders
Tenants
Cottagers
Closes
Land utilisation
Personal names

Analysis of Holdings

AW Richardson (see) observed that early surveyors needed handbooks such as Benese’s as their education was poor and in particular they were as a group poor at arithmetic. They can perhaps be excused finding it difficult to add acres, roods, decimae and perches! The surveyor of Bingham, Robert Johnson, seems not to have had this problem. A comparison of his lists of areas on the pages summarising each holding (tenant farmers and tenant cottagers) and our summation of his lists of holding holdings for the same individuals shows an overall error of only 0.01%. Clerks however were not immune from errors in transcribing his notebooks as we have noticed on a number of occasions. Some we managed to correct some we had to live with – for instance two entries of “9” in the roods column, which probably should have been noughts but we missed until very late on!

Freeholders

Not all the land in the parish was owned by the Stapletons; Between 10 and 15% belonged to a few private freeholders. Some were absentees and the number of resident freeholders may have been about ten. They are all are listed in the Survey as they owed some dues and services to the lord of the manor which were commuted into rents. Acreages of freehold land were not relevant to the purposes of the survey and so were not measured. The Survey did record the number of bovates of open field land held by the freeholder, which amounted to 21, split between ‘land’ (13.25) and ‘meadow’ (7.25). In only one case did the description specifically say the meadow was in the ‘common meadow’, but one might assume they had grazing rights on the common land. The details are in figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Descriptions of freeholdings

Expr1
bovates land
bovates meadow
Description
Robert Porter
3
3
A messuage and 3 bovates of land and 3 of meadow lately in the possession of John Serteine
George Gelstrop
1
1
A messuage and 2 bovates of land lately belonging to William Arwyn
John Ludlam
0.5
2 cottages, half bovate of land and a toft in Bingham
John Wilson
2
A messuage and two bovates of land, now in the tenure of John Ludlam
Alexander Rowarth
0.5
0.5
A cottage, house and croft and a bovate of land and meadow as appears in the common pasture under the name of Alexander Rowarth's close
Thomas Selby
0.5
0.5
A cottage with house and toft. A bovate of land and meadow
William Gervys, alias Brunce
2 cottages and a parcel of land where the guild hall stands + 5 strips of arable
Nicholas & Edmund Spybie
1
1
Together hold 1 messuage and 2 bovates of land with meadow
William Kirke
1.75
1.75
A messuage and two and a half bovates of land and meadow
John Northe
A cottage and toft
Thomas Johnson
A cottage and toft next to "per cross" in Husband Street. The present house being in a corner by the cross and towards the market.
George Gelstrop
3
A messuage, a toft, two cottages and 3 bovates of arable
Totals
13.25
7.75
 

Freeholders owned and in some cases also tenanted holdings in the open fields, and a few tenants also had the freehold to one or two holdings. The details of freehold homesteads and of holdings each held is given in figure 16.
The areas given are our calculations based on:

  • Measurement on the GIS of homestead boundaries that resulted from the mapping process.
  • Freehold holdings areas based on the average area of a tenanted holding for each furlong.

We know from other sources that the largest freeholder was Robert Porter and indeed this is generally borne out by the mapping process – the ‘gaps’ between listed properties are freehold and the survey does give the location in formation. His family was of long standing in Bingham, as a William Porter is listed as the largest freeholder in a manorial survey of 1450. The family died out in the late 1600s but the estate passed by descent through related families down to the Sherbrookes who seem to have broken it up for sale in c.1800-1820. Robert Porter’s estate in 1586 comprised one messuage and five bovates of land and five bovates of meadow, which is estimated at c.100-120 a., probably comprising a large block of closes to the east of the town, as well as 265 holdings totalling 113 acres a. scattered throughout the open fields. He had presumably recently purchased another farm, as he is recorded as also owning a messuage (an acre and a half in the middle of Husband Street), three bovates of land and three of meadow, formerly in the possession of John Sertaine.

The freeholders were:

Robert Porter
George Gelstrop (listed twice as he had two main entries).
William Kirke
John Ludlam
John Wilson
Edward and Nicholas Spybie
Thomas Selby
Alexander Rowarth
William Gervys, alias Brunce
John Northe
Thomas Johnson

There were 615 freehold holdings, 15% of the total. As mentioned above, areas are not given but an indication of relative status can be derived from analysing their respective numbers of holdings. In this case we are using number of holdings listed as potentially more accurate measure than the number of holdings give by the surveyor, as these seemed to vary in area for occupiers who had the same area of holding. Figure 2 gives the numbers of freehold holdings per individual. Our calculation of areas assumes a freeholder’s holding would be the average of the tenanted holdings for that furlong.

The names in red in figure 2 occur in the list of freeholders in the text (homestead). The names in black were all tenants except William Beane who was a cottager. We do not know why these tenants and cottagers felt the need to own one stip in addition to their rented holdings, which in some cases were extensive. Gabriel Goodwyn (with 18 holdings) does not appear in the list of tenants or cottagers but Brian Goodwyn is listed as a tenant with 161 tenanted holdings. Perhaps they were of the same family and lived in the same house. If this was the case Brian would probably be the father of Gabriel as he was the tenant.

Figure 2: Freehold open field holdings

 

Name
Area of homestead
(acres)
Number of freehold holdings
Calculated area of holdings
(acres)
Total Holding
(acres)
East
Field
North
Field
South
Field
West
Field
Total No of holdings
Robert Porter
71.77
69
60
64
72
265
112.57
184.34
George Gelstrop
1.67
15
17
18
28
78
29.16
30.83
William Kirke
0.02
19
23
12
14
68
26.68
26.70
John Ludlam
1.41
17
16
14
13
60
25.30
26.71
Nicholas Spybie
14
16
4
7
41
17.48
17.48
Thomas Selby
0.91
11
4
8
5
28
10.34
11.25
Alexander Rowarth
0.63
6
4
8
4
22
8.55
9.18
Gabriel Goodwyn
1
5
4
8
18
7.79
7.79
Thomas Johnson
0.5
4
9
13
6.69
7.19
Edward Spybie
1
5
6
2.59
2.59
William Brunce
1
2
3
1.24
1.24
Nicholas & Edmund Spybie
0.56
1
2
3
1.10
1.66
Agnes Musson
1
1
0.53
0.53
Brian Whetley
1
1
0.43
0.43
William Kirke, Nicholas & Edward Spybie
1
1
0.40
0.40
Richard Spybie
1
1
0.39
0.39
George Gelstrop & Nicholas Spybie
1
1
0.36
0.36
Thomas Dyrrie
1
1
0.33
0.33
Thomas Spybie jnr
1
1
0.33
0.33
William Kirke & Nicholas Spybie
1
1
0.33
0.33
Nicholas Spybie & William Kirke
1
1
0.18
0.18
William Beane
1
1
0.18
0.18
Thomas Dyrrie
0.01
0.01
John Northe
0.33
0.33
John Wilson
1.4
1.40
Total area (acres)
252.95
332.16

Several freeholders also rented some open field holdings – George Gelstrop had six, Thomas Johnson three and Thomas Selby two. John Ludlam, however, rented 308. He was the largest farmer in the parish and he was also a freeholder, owning two cottages, half a bovate of land (c. 5-7a.) and a croft in his own right, and was also farming a ‘messuage’ (house, etc) (Newgate Street Farm) and two bovates owned by the freeholder John Wilson who probably lived elsewhere. His total acreage must therefore have amounted to c.130a. He probably lived in his freehold holding (now 19 Church Sreet) as he is recorded as tenanting only two ‘tenements’, one of which was a newly-erected cottage

Freeholders were still liable for a rent - see figure 3 - which were due for paying suit of court and/or in lieu of military service. Eg why the different rates – did it reflect different land holdings (looks as though it might) and why might Northe not pay any rent?

Figure 3 - Freeholders’ rents

Name
£
s
d
Notes
Robert Porter
0
6
8
Also pays suit of court and military service
George Gelstrop
0
3
4
By military service and suit of court rent reduced from 5s because of 20d paid when the lord came into the manor
John Ludlam
0
2
0
Military service due, with suit of court
John Wilson
0
0
1
Military service due. Memo that no difference should be made between the lands of John Ludlam and those of John Wilson, as both are free tenants
Alexander Rowarth
0
3
0
Military service due
Thomas Selby
0
4
0
Military service due
William Gervys, alias Brunce
0
0
2
Military service due
Nicholas & Edmund Spybie
0
3
6
Military service due
William Kirke
0
3
6
Military service due
John Northe
0
0
0
By fealty, suit of court and military service, whoever inhabits that house is calle "a freeborowe" always
Thomas Johnson
0
8
8
described as "calcionarius - a spurrier or shoemaker. Military service due

Tenants

The tenants of the manor are listed in two main groups – the first (unspecified) are evidently the 25 farmers or ‘husbandmen’ with substantial farms and land. The farmers included two women - Agnes Musson, widow, and Elizabeth Allane, possibly a spinster as she is not noted as a widow. The farmers’ holdings varied in size from 98 acres down to 21, the majority being in the 40-60 acre range. Virtually all had arable, pasture and meadow land in the proportion 77/9/14% with a maximum variation of plus or minus 4% points except John Wright who held 45 acres (about the mid range for tenants) in the proportion 69/6/25%.

Between them the farmers had pasture rights on common lands (no individual allocations were given in the text) as follows:

Common Moors: 652 beastgates
The Oxe Pasture: 180 beastgates
Unsown common fields: 2400 sheepgates

The farmers’ rents ranged from £ 3 19s 11d down to £1 (see figure 18). The highest was paid by Stephen Parke whose farmstead was on the south side of Husband Street (site of the Paddock) and who farmed 72 acres. On great landowning estates such as that of the Stapletons which were scattered through several counties it was not uncommon for tenant farmers and manorial officials to be moved by their landlord from one estate to another, and Stephen Parke was obviously one of these. He appears to have come to Bingham from the Stapletons’ main estates around Carlton in Yorkshire, as property deeds for the small riverside market town of Snaith show that ‘Stephen Parke of Bingham, yeoman’ also owned freehold land there in 1591, and he is later described as ‘of Snaith, yeoman’. Following his death there his land passed to his daughter Jane, wife of a Snaith labourer, and his son William Parke, described in 1612 as a’ batchelor of Bridlington Quay’ in Yorkshire.

Surprisingly John Ludlam who paid slightly less rent than Parke (£ 33 13s 0d) actually had more land - 98 a.- so rents must have also taken account of variable factors such as the quality of the land, the size of the farmhouse, etc. He was the largest farmer in the parish as he was also a freeholder (see above)

Beneath the farmers in the social hierarchy there was a wide social gap to the cottagers, described below.

The tenant farmers holdings in ascending order of shillings per acre are at figure 4: In the text rents are sometimes quoted in £-s-d and sometimes in s-d where the shillings are more than 20! We have converted all rents to shillings. The range of rents per acre is from 0.72 to 1.23, almost double. We do not have an explanation for the huge rent paid by William Smith for his tiny holding on Fisher Lane! He was a tenant not a cottager and his lack of land demonstrates he was not a farmer. His holding was described as a tenement and 2 bovates of land, barn and yard and was on the corner of Fisher lane and Husband Street which would have been a good location for a craftsman to serve the farmers. His high rent may have been for a workshop as well as a cottage.

Figure 4 Tenants’ holdings and rentals

name
Total Acres
rent in shilings
shillings per acre
Number of holdings
acres of open field land
acres per holding
Robert Simpson
58.7
42.00
0.72
123
45.44
0.37
William Stapleton
51.16
38.00
0.74
125
40.32
0.32
John Ludlam
98.71
73.00
0.74
266
78.14
0.29
Thomas Dyrrie
40.21
30.00
0.75
117
34.67
0.30
Nicholas Selby
39.66
30.00
0.76
121
33.07
0.27
Edmund Bludworth
56.55
43.00
0.76
135
45.71
0.34
Brian Goodwin
54.91
43.00
0.78
150
47.53
0.32
Robert Selby
60.62
48.00
0.79
160
49.67
0.31
Richard White
64.97
51.33
0.79
153
53.10
0.35
Brian Wheatley
68.01
54.00
0.79
165
57.85
0.35
John Wright
40.81
34.00
0.83
90
34.39
0.38
Agnes Musson
61.61
52.00
0.84
148
46.52
0.31
Thomas Skynner
34.76
30.00
0.86
78
30.05
0.39
Thomas Spybie snr
45.97
40.00
0.87
134
37.82
0.28
Thomas Spybie jnr
51.82
46.67
0.90
130
45.17
0.35
Richard Smith
39.71
36.00
0.91
106
32.76
0.31
William Morley
39.6
36.00
0.91
120
30.65
0.26
Robert Dyrrie
21.8
20.00
0.92
71
19.37
0.27
Geoffrey Jennyngs
51.76
48.00
0.93
133
41.61
0.31
Thomas Redman
56.22
53.33
0.95
135
44.20
0.33
William Spybie
61.55
58.33
0.95
132
47.97
0.36
John Skynner
32.96
34.00
1.03
82
26.39
0.32
Richard Maplethorp
55.42
57.50
1.04
109
39.63
0.36
Stephen Parke
73.56
79.92
1.09
134
54.13
0.40
Elizabeth Allane
29.87
36.83
1.23
89
24.16
0.27
William Smith
2.26
27.50
12.17
5
2.01
0.40

Cottagers

Beneath the farmers in the social hierarchy there was a wide social gap to the 27 cottagers with their small crofts and a few common rights but - with six exceptions - no arable land at all. Apart from the three who paid rents of £1 the rest ranged from 16s down to 3s, two thirds of them being under 8s. Five of the twenty seven cottages were described as having gardens (for growing produce and keeping hens, pigs, etc) but there must have been others, and two had small orchards. Between them the cottagers also possessed eighteen beastgates on the common pastures, but no individual allocations are given. Two cottagers were women, Widow Isabella Smyth and Elizabeth Allen. An Elizabeth Allane was a tenant farmer; it is not clear if these were the same person (the cottage might then have been a tied to a farm labouring job. Cottagers’ details are listed at table 4.

John Allane paid over three pounds for his holding, and Thomas Wragby paid 30 shillings. Both were millers, Wragby at the top of Mill Hill and Allane on West Moor Lane. The differential might be because Allane also had 9 acres of arable land (19 holdings, see figure 20) rather than that one mill was more successful. Wragby had a single holding in Millne Furlong, West Field, alongside his mill.

The three next highest payers had holdings as well as a cottage and croft or toft. They were the only cottagers with bovates of land allocated to them in the description of their holding. William Beane and Roger Gill paid 20s for their holdings and had 33 and 20 holdings in the open fields respectively. Ralph Banister at 16s had 24 holdings.

Four other cottagers (see figure 5) had between one and three holdings, the rest had none. We must seek another explanation for the wide disparity of rents amongst this group – 16s down to 3s.

Figure 5: list of cottagers with rents

name

Total Acres
Area of Homestead
rent in shilings
John Allane
9.17
0.00
62.83
Thomas Wragby
0
0.00
30.00
Wiiliam Beane
11.61
0.70
20.00
Roger Gill
7.36
0.28
20.00
Ralph Banister
13.12
0.94
16.00
John Fisher
0
0.00
16.00
Henry Harison
2.32
0.09
12.00
John Ireland
0
0.63
10.00
Isabella Smyth
0.75
0.38
10.00
Brian Richmond
0
0.72
8.00
Percevell Leaze
0
0.78
7.67
Thomas Gill
1.87
0.31
7.33
John Stout
0
0.95
7.00
Thomas Banister
0
0.94
6.67
Richard Radcliff
0
0.33
6.67
William Walker
0
0.08
6.67
John Richardson
0
0.53
5.00
Thomas Bartrum
0
0.11
5.00
Thomas Childron
0
0.00
5.00
Thomas Gill jnr
0
0.00
5.00
Thomas Atkinson
0
0.36
4.00
John Carlton
0
0.36
4.00
Thomas Johnson
0
0.30
4.00
John Worthington
0
0.08
3.33
John Gabriell
0
0.08
3.00
Robert Parthorpe
0
0.04
3.00
Elizabeth Allan
0
0.11
0.00

Nine Cottagers held 106 holdings in the open fields (about 2% of the area), as listed in figure 6:

Figure 6: Cottagers holding holdings

Tenant Name No of Holdings Rent s
William Beane 33 20
Ralph Banister 24 16
Roger Gill 20 20
John Allane 19 62
Thomas Johnson 3 4
Thomas Gill 3 7
Henry Harison 2 12
Widow Smith 1 10
Thomas Wragby 1 30

Figure 7 shows a different analysis of those cottagers with only a cottage and a croft etc with no additional land in open fields or windmills etc (i.e. with zero total area in table 4).

Figure 7: Details of cottagers’ homesteads and descriptions of holding

name
Area of Homestead
rent in shillings
Per acre of holding
description
William Walker
0.08
6.67
83.33
cottage 3 decs pasture
Robert Parthorpe
0.04
3.00
75.00
a cottage with garden and appurtenances 1d pasture
Thomas Bartrum
0.11
5.00
45.45
a cottage 4 d pasture
John Worthington
0.08
3.33
41.67
a cottage and garden 3d pasture
John Gabriell
0.08
3.00
37.50
a small cottage 3d pasture
Richard Radcliff
0.33
6.67
20.20
a cottage and toft 1r 3d pasture
John Ireland
0.63
10.00
15.87
a cottage and croft divided into two 2r 5d pasture
Thomas Johnson
0.30
4.00
13.33
cottage toft and small orchard 1r 2d pasture
Isabella Smyth
0.75
10.00
13.33
A cottage with garden and small toft in Church Gate, 1r 5d pasture and several unspecified strips attaching to the cottage (total = 0.75 acres)
Brian Richmond
0.72
8.00
11.11
a cottage and croft and small orchard 2r 8d pasture
Thomas Atkinson
0.36
4.00
11.11
a cottage 1r 4d pasture
John Carlton
0.36
4.00
11.11
a cottage and toft 1r 4d pasture
Percevell Leaze
0.78
7.67
9.83
tenement or cottage with croft 3r 1d pasture
John Richardson
0.53
5.00
9.43
cottage with toft 2r 1d pasture
John Stout
0.95
7.00
7.37
A cottage and croft 3r 8d pasture
Thomas Banister
0.94
6.67
7.09
a cottage and croft 1a 1r pasture
Elizabeth Allan
0.11
0.00
0.00
a cottage 4d pasture
John Fisher
0.00
16.00
a cottage called the common bakehouse
Thomas Childron
0.00
5.00
a cottage and garden
Thomas Gill jnr
0.00
5.00
a cottage lately constructed in the Market Place

The entries in blue hint at standard rents for similar properties – 13.33 per acre for Johnson and Smyth and 11.11 for Richmond, Atkinson and Carlton for very similar properties. Other differences may just reflect differently sized houses, but the five highest figures may, as with Allane, Wragby and William Smith earlier, indicate also the inclusion of trade premises in the rental. Thomas Johnson was described in the text as "calcionarius” - a spurrier or shoemaker, the only tradesman defined as such.

Closes

That there had been some enclosure activity before 1586 is revealed by the existence of around
50 separate pieces of land described variously as closes, pastures, parcels, meadows. They were generally domain occupied land and farmed by Thomas Leake, the lessee of the estate. A few were rented to tenants. We suspect most if not all were meadow or pasture (29 were so described); 22 were said to be closes (5 of these were specifically described as ‘enclosed’), including .

Land utilisation

90% of the open fields were arable, with about 5% meadow and 5% pasture. The latter were generally near water or adjacent to common moorland or meadow. The last two may or may not have been permanent usage. Less than 50% of the land available in the parish was arable. Using estimates for freeholds and domain land not measured, Figure 8 gives a reasonable approximation of the proportions of arable, meadow and pasture in use in 1586. One had been ‘lately enclosed’ suggesting perhaps this was an ongoing activity.

Figure 8: Land Use

Tenure
Arable
Meadow
Pasture
Total
Cottager
31
7
11
49
Tenant
971**
303
285
1559
Domain in open fields
252
252
Domain closes
35*
80
96
211
Glebe
55
19
4
78
Freehold
227
36
37
300
Moors/Commons
471
471
Well and Short Leaze and Smite meadow
114
114
Total
1571
559
9904
3034
Per cent
52%
18%
30%

Personal names

Eight of the surnames of 1586 survived in Bingham in the 1776 (and some into the 1841 lists). Two are recorded in recent times. There are Selbys in Bingham in 2010 (although this is probably a coincidence as the name does not appear in any of the 19th century censuses). Derrys (Dyrrie) survived through the 19th century censuses until the early 20th century, giving their name to Derry Lane and a house called ‘Edmunderry’ in Fairfield Street, although the name does not appear in the 1776 list but returns in 1841.

The following names survived from 1586 to 1776:

  • (Thomas) Atkinson – (John) Atkinson
  • (Henry) Harison – (John) Harrison
  • (Thomas) Johnson – (James, John and Samuel) Johnson (and in 1841 William)
  • (Thomas and John) Skynner – (Richard and Elizabeth) Skinner (and in 1841 George the cooper and George the farmer)
  • (Brian) Wheatley – (William) Wheatley
  • (Richard) White – (George, Mary and Samuel) White (and in 1841 Samuel and Charles)
  • (John) Wilson – (Elizabeth) Wilson (and in 1841John, Samuel, Thomas and William)
  • (John) Wright – (Samuel and Thomas) Wright (and in 1841 John, Thomas and William)


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