The sale of the Manor of Stratford St Lawrence in 1818
Particulars of the Manor of Stratford St Lawrence and Capital Estate
Situate at Stratford under the Castle near Salisbury
which will be sold by auction by Mr Vidler in 12 lots
at the Spread Eagle Inn Salisbury on Wednesday 3rd of June 1818.
On June 3rd, 1818, the Manor and capital estate of Stratford St Lawrence was sold by auction at the Spread Eagle Inn Salisbury. This inn, at 53 New Canal, was demolished in 1966 .
In 1818 George III was king but incapable, with his son George (later IV) as regent. Napoleon was imprisoned on St Helena in the Atlantic Ocean. Jane Austen's novels Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were published posthumously and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein anonymously.
In June 1818 James Alexander and Arthur Johnstone Crawford were “elected” as MPs for Old Sarum, the right of election still lying with the holders of fewer than 11 burgages. As Du Pré Alexander, the 2nd Earl of Caledon (in Tyrone), held all of them he effectively nominated MPs and Old Sarum continued as a “rotten borough” until The Representation of the People Act 1832. He sold those eleven burgages to his cousins the brothers James and Josias Du Pré Alexander in 1820, they were very valuable plots (until 1832) and were NOT included in this 1818 auction. Also in 1820 James Alexander bought the leasehold interest of the Prebendal Estate from Mary Cooper, his representatives selling it in 1851 to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (1).
The 12 lots sold at auction included a Farm House (now The Manor House), cottages, barns, arable and pasture lands, a blacksmith's shop, and Castle House which still exists as an inn - 'The Old Castle' on the A345 Castle Road. Detailed descriptions appear in a longer version of this article (see foot of page). Ed.
Extract from: 'Conditions of Sale the Manor, and other the Premises comprised in the annexed Particulars'
1stly That the highest bidder shall be the Purchaser and if any doubt arise with respect to who was the highest or last bidder the Premises shall be put up again at the last price or bidding next preceding that in dispute
2ndly That there shall be no Sale unleʃs there be two biddings at the least and no person shall advance leʃs than £10 at each bidding when the bidding is under £500 pounds nor leʃs than £20 above that sum
3rdly That no person shall retract his or her Bidding after it has been taken by the Auctioneer
Eighteen years after this auction the 1836 Act for the Commutation of Tithes in England and Wales replaced the ancient system of tithing produce or paying in kind to allowing payment as money or “corn rent” which depended on a seven year assessment of produce. It was to prove of great interest to local historians as it necessitated the drawing up of local maps, called “tithe” maps. That for Stratford sub Castle was drawn in 1839 and it, like the particulars of this auction is held in the Wiltshire and Swindon Archives in Chippenham. It plus its key plus the 1841 census have been used to identify the lots listed in these particulars, though the names of occupiers may have changed in just over twenty years. (Details are in the longer version of this article.Ed.)
 “Particulars of the Manor of Stratford St Lawrence and Capital Estate Situate at Stratford under the Castle near Salisbury Which will be sold by auction by Mr Vidler in 12 lots at the Spread Eagle Inn Salisbury on Wednesday 3rd of June 1818” and “Conditions of Sale the Manor, and other the Premises comprised in the annexed Particulars” are held by and the images have been reproduced courtesy of Wiltshire and Swindon Archives ref CC/Chap/4 The Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Chippenham. The 1839 Tithe map is also held there.
 'New Street Chequer', in Ancient and Historical Monuments in the City of Salisbury (London, 1977), pp. 95-107. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/salisbury/pp95-107 [accessed 26 November 2021].
The article above is an abridged version of a longer article researched and written by Kerry O'Connor, a member of the Stratford sub Castle Local History Group. That longer article includes many images of sale documents and has been made available to view as a PDF document with the kind permission of the author and the LHG: