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held by Hugh de la Val, until Hugh's death, circa 1130, when William Maltravers married his widow and obtained a grant of the De Lacy estates for a term of years. King Stephen, after his accession, appears to have restored to Robert de Lacy the greater part of his forfeited estates, for about the beginning of that King's reign, the said Robert confirmed to the Monks of Nostell various grants made to them by Hugh de la Val.
In the reign of Henry III., John de Lacy acquired from Henry de Mungden (who had succeeded to the Montbegon Barony in the year 1226), the fee of Tottington, including the Manors of Bury and Middleton, which were thereupon incorporated in the Honor of Clitheroe, and remained in the family of De Lacy until the attainder of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, the husband of Alice, only surviving daughter and heiress of Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, the last of that line. After the Earl's attainder, his estates were taken into the King's hands, and remained vested in the Crown until the beginning of the reign of Edward III., when that Sovereign granted the Honor of Clitheroe to Queen Isabella for term of her life.
The history of the Honor during the period of its possession by the House of Plantagenet does not call for special comment. It will suffice to state that the Honor remained a member of the Duchy of Lancaster from the creation of that Duchy, in A.D. 1362, until the Restoration of Charles II., when it was bestowed by that Sovereign upon George Monck, Duke of Albemarle,* in consideration of his distinguished services his Sovereign. After his death, in 1670, it descended through the House of Montagu to that of Buccleuch, and upon the death of the late Duke, in 1884, became the property of his second son, Lord Henry Scott, afterwards created Baron Montagu of Beaulieu, who is the present Lord of the Honor.
Within the Honor of Clitheroe the followir.g Civil Courts formerly existed :
1. The Great Court, called the Sheriff's Tourn, held on circuit by the Sheriff of the County once every year.
The grant is dated 22nd March, 13 Charles II., 1661. General Monck was created Baron Monck of Potheridge, Beauchamp, and Teyes, Earl of Torrington (all co. Devon), and Duke of Albemarle, 7th July, 1660.
2. The Great Leet Court of the Wapentake or Hundred of Blackburn, originally held every three weeks at Clitheroe Castle, having jurisdiction over the Wapentake of Blackburn and within the Borough of Clitheroe, but not within the demesne Manors. At an uncertain date-probably in the 14th century
-the Great Leet Court ceased to be held every three weeks, and was held twice yearly, the Threeweeks Court continuing, with very limited powers, under the name of—
3. The Three-weeks or Wapentake Court, for the recovery of debts under 4os., originally held at Clitheroe Castle and afterwards at Blackburn.
4. The Halmote of the Manors of Chatburn, Worston, and Pendleton, usually held on Monday, at a month after Easter and Michaelmas yearly, at Clitheroe Castle.
5. The Halmote of the Manor of Colne, and, after 21 Henry VII.,* with it the Inquest from the Forest or Chase of Trawden, held on Tuesday, &c., as above, at Colne.
6. The Halmote of the Manor of Ightenhill, and, after 21 Henry VII., with it the Inquest from the Forest or Chase of Pendle, originally held at Ightenhill Manor House, but since the time of Henry VIII. held at Burnley on Thursday for the Manor, and on Wednesday, at Higham, for the Forest or Chase of Pendle.
7. The Halmote of the Manors of Accrington, Haslingden, and Huncoat, held at Accrington or Haslingden on Friday, and, after 21 Henry VII., with it the Inquest from the Forest or Chase of Rossendale and Accrington new hold (originally forest), held at Accrington, after the conclusion of the Halmote.
8. The Halmote of the Manor of Tottington, held on Saturday, &c., at Holcome, and a Court 1
* Previous to the disafforesting by Henry VII. of the Forests of Pendle, Trawden, Accrington, and Rossendale, Woodmotes were held-probably twice yearly--at Clitheroe or Ightenhill for Pendle, at Colne for Trawden Forest, and at Accrington for the Forests of Accrington and Rossendale. After that date, Inquests were held from the various Forests, upon the oath of a Jury summoned from the copyholders of the Forest, at which presentments were made, pleas heard, and surrenders and admittances granted, in the same manner as in the Halmote. Not unfrequently the business of the two Courts was somewhat intermixed,
Leet for the Fee of Tottington, at which last the
9. The Court Leet with View of Frankpledge
10. The Head Court Baron of the Manor of Slaidburn, held after Easter and Michaelmas at Slaidburn.
II. The Court Leet with View of Frankpledge of the Forest of Bowland, held twice yearly at Whitewell.
12. The Woodmote and Swainmote Court, held on the same day as the last-named, at Whitewell, but with a different Jury, the Head Keeper being always appointed Foreman of the Woodmote Jury.
13. The Court of Pleas for the Borough of Clitheroe (incorporated circa 1283), held every three weeks, being a Court of Record, having jurisdiction to any amount in personal actions within the Borough, and with power of imprisonment in default of payment.*
14. A Court of Pie-poudré, for settling disputes at the Fairs held in the Borough of Clitheroe, and taking cognizance of disturbances arising at such Fairs.
The first-named Court-the Sheriff's Tourn—was held once every year, at certain accustomed places, visited in turn, at which the Sheriff of the County was Judge of Record, and might inquire of Treasons and Felonies by the common law, of purprestures, waifs and strays, and of all common nuisances and annoyances. He might impose amerciaments for offences, and fines for contempt, which were leviable and recoverable by distress.
For a full account of this Court, see the First Report of the Municipal Corporation Commissioners, 1835. Vol. III., Appendix iii.
Ultimately, the business of the Tourn devolved upon Quarter Sessions.
The Leet Court, or Great Wapentake Court of Blackburnshire, was originally held every three weeks, but after the 14th century twice yearly, at Clitheroe Castle. This Leet Court was a Court incident to a Hundred, and was a Court of Record, having power to inquire of all offences under High Treason, but having a limited power of judgment and punishment. John de Lacy obtained licence from King Henry III. to erect gallows at Clitheroe and in Tottington, so that this Court had undoubtedly the power of inflicting capital punishment. The Steward of the Honor was the Judge, but during the Tudor period his power of inficting punishment appears to have been restricted to the imposition of a fine. The Jury was summoned from among the tenants by military service, or tenants in socage-i.e., freeholders. The articles to be inquired upon were identical with those set forth under the title of “ The Court Leet," on page xii. This Court was held regularly for the appointment of Constables for the Hundred, exclusive of the copyhold Manors, down to the year 1842, when the Act for the appointment and payment of Parish Constables was passed.
The Wapentake, or Three-weeks Court, was, as its name denotes, held every three weeks, at an early period at Clitheroe, at a later period at Blackburn; but it is doubtful if it was held regularly every three weeks after the reign of Henry VIII. In the Tudor period, the jurisdiction appears to have been confined solely to the hearing of pleas of debt under 4os., the Steward or his deputy being Judge. This Court was productive of great annoyance in more recent times, owing to the heavy costs of the proceedings. Many actions were tried in it, and doubtless there are many people living who will remember some of the circumstances. It was abolished in the year 1868.
The Halmote was the Court of the demesne Manor, which had never been granted out or converted into a dependent fee by sub-infeudation; the tenants therefore held their lands directly of the chief lord, sine medio, by copy of Court Roll.
The earliest extant Roll of the Halmotes is dated A.D. 1325, and consists of a list of perquisites received for defaults, licences to brewers, tanners and butchers, and
for false claims; payments for admittances, escape of beasts, estrays and goods forfeited.* The Courts were then held every three months. An almost uninterrupted series of Rolls has been preserved from the end of the reign of King Henry VII. down to the present day. The present volume contains a translation of practically all the entries contained in the Rolls down to the 8th Elizabeth, A.D. 1567, relating to the Manors of Chatburn, Worston, Pendleton, and Colne, with Trawden Forest, from which a vivid picture of local administration during the 16th century may be drawn, and supplying many interesting details of the history of the old local families of North-East Lancashire.
Those interested in the condition of the people three and a half centuries ago, will find evidence of local government in the enactment by the inhabitants and tenants of the Manor, of byelaws to regulate evils and abuses affecting the general welfare of the community; which byelaws were permanently established by enrolment in the Court Rolls. It will also be seen that the responsibility for the maintenance of law and order devolved upon each member of the community, in the absence of any guardians of the peace, other than the village constable.
The duties of the tenant to the Lord were simple, and by no means onerous. The customary rent was almost always at the rate of fourpence the Lancashire acre of twenty yards to the perch, payable yearly-one year's rent, by way of fine certain, being payable upon an admittance. From the beginning of the fourteenth to the end of the sixteenth century, the enclosure of waste land was freely permitted, with the result that individual holdings were largely increased, and a considerable measure of prosperity and comfort secured to the constantly increasing population. The numerous substantial farm-houses in the district, formerly the homes of an industrious and thrifty body of copyhold tenantry, of a sturdy and independent character, bear witness at
This Roll will be printed in a subsequent volume, which will also contain extracts from a Three-weeks Court, temp. llenry VIII., and extracts from the Great Leet Courts, temp. Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth,
+ This was notably the result which followed the disafforesting of the Forests by King Henry VII. and the apportionment of this land in copyhold tenements. (Sce pp. 216, 235, and 294-7.)