Presentment of the tenants of the manor, 1600

Bucks RO D/BASM/84/11

Sir John Fortescue of Salden bought the manor of Winslow from the crown in 1599. The map of 1599 and the following document are part of his reorganisation of his property. He was probably the nearest thing Winslow had had to a resident lord of the manor. Arthur Clear (1894, 33) writes: "we fear that the copyhold tenants did not find their position at all improved, for they soon began to show a feeling of dissatisfaction." Fortescue made a detailed enquiry (not preserved) about the customs of the manor, and the tenants' answers survive in this copy made in 1655. Some of the customs must have been the same as those in force throughout the Middle Ages. There are numerous references to the "terror", i.e. terrier, in which individual holdings would have been listed. Note the numerous privileges claimed for the "copyholders by inheritance" who were presumably the jurors making the answers. After this document, a lengthy dispute ensued between the tenants and the Fortescues.

The presentment made by the Tennants and Homages of the Mannor of Winslow herein under named of the customes liberties bownds precyncts and other things pertaining and belonging to the said Manor of Winslow according to severall articles to them delivered in writing at a Courte holden at the said Manor of Winslow the one and twentieth day of Julye Anno Domini 1600 by the Steward by the steward and commissioners of the right honorable Sir John Fortescue knight one of her Ma(jes)ties most honorable privie counsell and soe yellded up the eighteth day of December in the three and fortyeth yeare of the reigne of our Soveraine lady Elizabeth by the grace of God Queene of England France and Ireland defender of the faith &c by the oath of Rob(er)t Williatt, Rob(er)t Lownes, Henry Wendover, John Jackson, Thomas Overing, John Shelton, Will(ia)m Spooner als Lunt, Thomas Robinson, Thomas Bowden, Thomas Grant al(ia)s Miller, Thomas Ellyott, Richard Stanton, Rob(er)t Stevens, John Grace, Bennett Holland, Thomas Mountegue, Richard Grace, Thomas Richard, John Williatt, John Illing, George Addams, John Hawkins, and Thomas Curtis.


In primis touching and for o(ur) p(re)sentment of the p(ar)ticuler copies that ev(er)ye Tenante holdeth his demaine by, with o(ur) p(ar)ticuler Copye, rents that everye one doth pay and for the p(ar)ticulleritie of o(ur) copyhold estates, wee refer o(ur) selves to the vewe of o(ur) copies that you are acquainted with. And further for o(ur) p(re)sentment of every p(ar)ticuler Copyehold and freeholde w(i)th all the land both mead arrable pasture and feeding w(i)th other the com(m)odities and app(ur)tenances to them severally belonging, wee refer for brevitie sake to the terror by us made and ready to bee given up of every p(ar)ticuler hamlet by it selfe, wherein is set downe both the Tenants and all other the lands and Ten(amen)ts w(i)th the app(ur)tenances to every p(ar)ticuler Tenante belonging or app(ur)teyning Together with the names of every p(ar)ticuler Copyholder and Free holder and soe farr forth as we are able. But the Certaintie of the Tenures and Free rents of the free-holders of this Manor wee know not. And farther wee say that every Tenante of this Mannor of Winsloe doth holde all his lands and Ten(amen)ts by the rodd and copye of court role in fee simple or fee tayle to him and to his heires and may by surrender alien or give his lands or p(ar)te thereof paying fyne and heryott and taking Copye out of the court, and bringing in the surrender within twelve months and a day after the surrender made if any court bee kept.  But if the surrender given bee not brought in within one yeare and a day a courte being kept, the surrender is void. Likwise any tenante may surrender his lands or p(ar)te thereof into two tenants hands or into the hands of one or two tenants in the p(re)sence of one or two to testefie the same, or to the Bailiff of the Manor in the p(re)sence of one or two witnesses to the use of him that should have the land. And that if the p(ar)tie that surrendered bee living at the next court holden after the surrender then those in trust may not bring it in but the p(ar)tie himselfe is to come into the court and make surrender himselfe, and the other surrender to be void And if hee chance to bee dead at the next court then those in trust shall yeld up the surrender according to the gift, that is to say, In fee simple, fee tayle, for terme of life or yeares.  Alsoe wee p(re)sent that o(ur) custome is that if a copyholder of Inheritance doe com(m)itt or suffer to bee done any wast in his copyhold howses or cutt, fell or sell any timber trees of his copyhold, hee doth not forfett his coppyhold \estate/ to the Lord, for that the copyhold tenants of Inheritance have used time without memory of man to the contrary, to fell and sell and sell there timber of there copyhold lands, and to pull downe, remoove and alter there copyhold houses at there owne will and pleasure without licence of the Lord, or his officers. But if any tenante for yeres or for life of any copyhold lands com(m)itt or doe, or willingly suffer to bee done any wast in and upon any copyhold houses or lands then the said termor for yeares or life doth forfeit his estate to him that hath the rev(er)sion of the copyhold estate; But not to the Lord of the Manor.  Likewise if any copyhold tenant of Inheritance have femalles to his heires and dye seised without surrender, All the females shall inherit equallye.  Moreover wee p(re)sent that if any copyhold tenant of Inheritance dye his heire within age, the next of the kinne to the childe to whom the land cannot descend shall bee gardian both of land and bodie according to the course of com(m)on lawes for free lands holden in com(m)on socage, and the heire onely to pay a fine and the gardian to pay none for his admittance.  Alsoe wee say that every tenant that holdeth by copie of court role oweth suite to the courte holden for the Mannor of Winslow within the Manor or any p(ar)te thereof; Alsoe the copieholders have used to pay there yearely rents but once by the yeere, and they have taken their costome to bee At the death of every tenant the p(ar)tie that shall have the tenancie was to pay a Fyne, \the/ which wee have held to bee certaine that is to say how much rent by the yeare to the Lord, soe much to pay for a Fyne, unlesse the Lord of his goodnesse would take lesse but now at the request of the Lord wee are agreed to pay o(ur) rents halfe yerely. And of late yeres the Fyne paid at every change of a tenante hath bin uncertain.  And wee say that all the wyves of the copyholders of the Manor ought to have their dowers or thirds of the copyhold lands and tene(men)ts of their husbands decessed, According to ye forme of ye Com(m)on Law.

2 To the Second Article wee answere, wee know not which is the principall Scyte and capitall mansyon house of this manor, Neither doe wee know any demeasnes belonging to the said manor other then copyhold lands which are holden and have been holden by copy of court role of the said manor, and by state of Inheritance time without memory of men to the contrarie as we take it.

3 To the Third Article wee know of none that hold any p(ar)te or p(ar)cell of this Manor by Indenture for life or lives, or yeares, from the Lord but onely Peter Fyge who holdeth the Mote Halle; and such Estates as are granted by the freeholders or copyholders of this Mannor, the which wee thinke wee are not to p(re)sent in this survey: being but underten(an)ts to the copyholders and Freeholders.

4 To the Fourth Article wee say wee are not now able to set downe the p(ar)ticuler copyes and rents that to every one is belonging otherwyse then by the view of o(ur) copies and according as is answered in the first article.

5 To the Fift Article wee know not of any that hold any p(ar)te of this said Manor at will or sufferance from ye Lord, according to the course of ye com(m)on Lawe.

6 To the Sixt Article wee answere that by the custome of the said Manor everie copyholder of this Manor may lawfully demise and lease his copyhold estate or any p(ar)te thereof for three yeares and soe from three yeares to three yeares one three yeares Im(m)ediately following another unto the full ende and terme of twentie and one yeares, and that without licence of the Lord or his Steward.

7 8 9 10 To the seaventh eighteth, ninteth, and tenth Articles wee answer that there are in Greenborowe certaine leyes which lye for cowpasture in sev(er)all places, which are p(ar)cell of free and copyhold lands and laid out by the generall consent of the ten(an)ts for pasture for their cattell, but are not wast grownds; But for any manner of com(m)on, as Moores, Heaths or wasts belonging to the said Mannor, to o(ur) understanding wee know not. But there is a p(ar)cell of wood grownd called Abbots wooods p(ar)cell of this Mannor, in the which wood grownds the Ten(an)ts of Little Horwood entercom(m)on, and in the Manor of Great Horwood, and in the chase called Whaddon Chase, and in Newnton, and in the brooke end of Shenley, and in Nash, w(hi)ch the ten(an)ts of those hamletts, and so doe the ten(an)ts of those Manors and places entercom(m)on w(i)th the ten(an)ts of Little Horwood in the wood called Abbots woods. But what manner of com(m)on this is wee cannot certainly tell.  And there is noe other entercom(m)oning to o(ur) knowledge or now remembrance of any stranger within this Manor.  Neither doe wee know anything rendred to the Lord of this Manor for the said com(m)on by any strangers.  And alsoe wee say that the Lord hath not any manner of com(m)on in any p(ar)te of this Manor, in and for his owne right, but his accustomed rents or heryotts and services at the courts, to o(ur) knowledge.  Likwise the com(m)oners which com(m)on in the said wood called Abbots Woods have no certaine rate or stint for number of their cattell there, or com(m)oning.  But onely by the Swaynmote court the com(m)oners have been used to bee rated, and stynted, for the number of their cattell; The wood called Abbots woods is bownded, as in the terror booke of Little Horwood is expressed.

11 To the Eleventh Article wee say wee know of no p(ar)te within the Manor, wee take it that Abbots woods is p(ar)cell of the chace called Whaddon Chace; and there is a warren of conyes within the com(m)on of Litle Horwood, called Shucklow, within this said manor.

12 13 14 15 To the Twelveth Thirteenth, Foureteenth, and Fyfteenth Articles we know none sure.


16 To the sixteenth Article wee say that there is a Fayre every yeare holden at Winsloe on St Lawrence hys day and a weekly market on every Thursday and also that the Cheife Lord of the Manor or his Assigne ys clarke of the market of the said Manor and Lib(er)tie of Winsloe, as wee are certified by the Bayliff of the lib(er)tie And that all manner of wayves and Strayes, and tole of Fayres and Markets, and Felons goods doe belong to the Lord or his Assigne, as wee take it.

17 To the Seaventeenth Article wee say there is a malt mill Within the said Manor now holden of the Lord of this Manor by coppy of court role; But wee know not of any suite, or service that the tenants of the Manor have bin bownd to doe to the said Mill.

18 19 To the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Articles wee know none sure, neither are we able certainly to sett downe.

20 To the Twentieth Article wee say there is yearely paid to the Lord of this Manor as by the Bayliffs bookes doth appeare out of Northmarstone Thirteene Shillings and two pence, and out of Oving fifteene shillings and foure pence for forraine rents, but of what nature of rents the same bee, or for what cause ye same are paid wee \know not/

21 22 To the One and Twentieth, and two and twentyeth Articles wee know no such.

23 To the Three and twentyeth Article wee answere, That wee hold it for o(ur) custome certaine: that if any coppyholder doe purchase or by any meanes obtaine or get diverse coppy lands or Tenem(en)ts which before were holden by severall coppyes, and severall rents, that hee, and his heires, and Assignes shall hold all together as one coppyhold in by and under one coppy, and for one herryott though before the same hath ben holden by diverse coppyes and out of diverse tene(me)nts, but how many there are that doe hold by one coppy those p(ar)cells which before were holden by diverse, wee are not able to sett downe.

24 25  To the Twenty Fourth and Twenty Fift Articles wee answere, as in the former article, That if any tenante doe hold diverse Tenem(en)ts or severall p(ar)cells purchased out of diverse Tenem(en)ts and dye seised thereof, or sell or doe away all the same together by one surrender, then to pay but one herryott onely, although the same were diverse tenem(en)ts or p(ar)cells of diverse tenem(en)ts. Likewise if any hold any p(ar)te never soe small of the tenure of this Manor by coppy, Then hee in like sort to pay a herryott and the herryott to bee the best good hee hath, being but one single beast or p(ar)cell of good or chattell within the Manor, or the corne of one land, growing on his grownd within the said Manor, or one tree growing on the copyhold grownd of such a tenant, at the choyce of the Lord or his deputie. Likewise if any tenant of this Manor shall sell or doe away any p(ar)te or p(ar)cell of his coppyhold lands or tenem(en)ts within this Manor and not the whole, and continue tenant of any p(ar)te thereof, then upon such selling or doeing away there is no herryott due to the Lord.  Likewise that noe coppyholder within this Manor, which holdeth but for terme of life onely shall pay any herryott at the time of his decesse.  Likewyse wee say that all but those whose names herre followeth are auncient howses and cotages and inhabitable all the time of o(ur) remembrance and that these are the new erected Tenem(en)ts and Tenants to the Lord owing suite of court and paying Fyne and herryott as any auncient tenants doe.

John Chynner[?]
William Bancks
Thomas Batcheler
Edward Plested
Edward [...]all
John Kirbie
Alice Bancks
John Bancks
Henry Wallis a yard
John Hatch one shopp
William Webster
John Snowe
Thomas Burrowe
Peter Parner
Thomas Thorne
George Miller
William Miller
Robert Tomlyn
Richard Hogson
Fulke G[...]er in the right of his wife
John Fuller
Thomas Godespeede
Renold[?] Marshall
Richard Style
Thomas Porter[?]
John Grace the yonger
William Osborne
Bennett Grace
Little Horwood:
Henry Jeffs

The rents thereof wee referr to the view of their coppyes you are aquainted with.

26 To the Sixe and Twentieth Article wee say these following are tenem(en)ts and tenants unto the Lord built and taken out of the com(m)on fields and streets of this Manor for the which they owe suite of courte and fyne and Herryott unto the Lord as other tenants doe as wee thinke, for whose rents wee referre you to the view of the coppyes you are aquainted with.  These they are as followeth

Winslow Fields:
Thomas Hogson one tenement with the yards orchards and garden
Bridgett Horsley
Thomas Aston
Thomas Smith
Thomas Hyde
Edmond Browne
Richard Brickhill
Edward Brickhill
One tenement late in the tenure of Henry Lockwood
Winslow Streets:
Nicholas Overing
Thomas Myles one leantoo adioyning to the Tennement of William Webster holden without Coppy
Richard Edmunds one tenemente with a barne
Richard Edmunds one plott of grownd at Hannions
Francis Brimsall one plott of ground adioyning to his tenement
Jerome Nashe
John Jackson one tenement the Mote Hall east[-----]
Henry Hayle one plott of ground neare to the Market Place
Shipton fields:
Thomas Silverside in the right of his wife
And one house wherein there com(m)on heard late inhabited
Robert Hawkins one tenem(en)te
William Warner one tenement in Little Horwood fields

27  To the Seaven and Twentyeth Article wee say there are foure ridges lying in the fields of Granborow used and imployed to the p(ro)fitt of the church by the church wardens given to the p(ro)fitt of their church as wee have heard our Ancestors report. Likewise in Little Horwood Field there are three ridges used and imployed to the p(ro)fitt of the church by the churchwardens as feefees for their time for the one of them they pay a peny a yeare to Robert Ward for rent and for the other two they thinke they came forth of the Tenem(en)ts of John Illing and John Hawkins as they have heard it reported.  Alsoe in Winslow feild there is one land whereof there are feoffees John Shelton John Glenister and Hugh Stutsbery.  Also there are two cottages given by Katherine Baily toward the reliefe of the poore of Winslow, whereof are feoffees John Robinson, William Lownds, Walter Grant and Thomas Fyge for all these of Winslow there is rent paid to the Lord and suite done at his court by the feoffees as for any of their owne tenancyes

28 To the Eight and Twentyeth Article wee say whereas wee the tennants of Little Horwood have certaine closes inclosed by o(ur) predicessors taken out of the East field sometimes lying open as the rest of the field doth, between the Abbotts Woods and Murselye field, which is p(ar)te and p(ar)cell of our severall yard lands, both free and coppyhold for the p(ar)ticuler names thereof wee referre you to the Terror booke of Little Horwood and the rents, services and herryotts thereof are concluded in the generall rents and services of their whole Tenancyes, and for any other such enclosures deviding or p(ro)porc(i)on wee know not of any in any p(ar)te of this Mannor.

[another hand]

This is a true coppy of the Originall, which \is to/ remayne in the chest that conteynes the evidences of ye Mannor In witnes whereof wee have subscribed our handes the First of November one thousand six hundred Fifty and Five


Chr(istoph)er[?] Lawrence steward
Thomas Deverell
Thomas Missenden
John Jackson
Thomas Deverell Jun