Inclosure

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On 4 December 1800, the fields marked with a star were all 'awarded' under the Stratford-under-the-Castle and Milford (Wiltshire) Inclosure Act of 1799.

Stratford-under-the-Castle and Milford (Wiltshire) Inclosure Act.1 1799. (Act) 39 Geo III c. 76 

 

STRATFORD SUB CASTLE AND MILFORD Act 39 G.III c.76. Award 4 Dec. 1800 (enrolled 30 Sept. 1808).


Commissioners:  Richard Richardson of Bath;  Francis Webb of Salisbury;  Richard Davis of Lewknor, Oxon.
Surveyor William Tubb.

STRATFORD SUB CASTLE [1,501 a.]

Lord of Manor of Stratford Dean, dean of Salisbury; lessee Thomas Pitt, Lord Camelford.

Prebendary of Stratford St. Lawrence, dean of Winchester; lessee Rev. Edward Cooper.

Area Stratford 1,073 a. including roads 32 a. [1,042 a.] Crab Tree Ham, Upper Meadow, The Pennings, Upper Field, North Hill Field, Home Field, The Down, Cheynhams Meadow, Goose Mead, Mill Mead, South Field, Middle Field, Great and Little Home Field, Great Field, St. John’s Field, Town Meadows, Hill Park, Bridge Meadow, Paul’s Dean.

Allotments 13. Dean of Salisbury 292 a. (including lease, Lord Camelford 292 a.); dean and chapter of Salisbury 290 a. (including lease, Lord Camelford 290 a.); succentor of Salisbury 123 a. (including lease, Lord Camelford 123 a.); prebendary of Stratford St. Lawrence 156 a. (including leases, Rev. Edward Cooper 147 a.; John Whitchurch; Stephen Hutchins); John Blake 61 a.; chancellor of Salisbury 16 a.; Rev. Edward Cooper32 a.; Lord Camelford 43 a.; George Herbert, earl of Pembroke; Thomas Ogden; Nicholas Elliot; William Child; churchwardens of Stratford.

Roads 5 public roads, 2 public bridle ways and private roads; 4 public footpaths, 5 private roads.

Finance £704 9s. 1d.   [1]

39 Geo III meant in 39th year of George III’s reign. a = acres.

Inclosure is the division of land that had been owned and husbanded collectively and parcelling it out such that the owner of each parcel ceded his share of common rights over the larger area to receive instead exclusive rights on the smaller area.

 

What those common rights were varied (collection of wood, withies, turf, seaweed, fish, minerals, hunting) but that of pasturage meant that to limit stock’s wandering range “inclosure” often in practice meant fencing or hedging (or walls).

 

Inclosure and enclosure are synonyms, but the former has now fallen out of modern use. Common land was the norm. Enclosing it was and is illegal unless by agreement of all. An Act of Parliament was required. There is now much less common land, but commoners’ rights still exist over it.[ 2.] Inclosure facilitated the switch from arable unfenced farming in strips to the more profitable sheep farming.

 

Parliamentary inclosures involved the appointment of Commissioners (1745-1845), often local dignitaries who were meant to divide land and value and award allotments without fear or favour, but the general result was the richer got richer and the poor poorer. Some made a career of it, Richard Richardson was named as Commissioner in 63 awards, Frances Webb 24 times as commissioner and 9 as surveyor. Richard Davies was Topographer to the King.

 

There were 13 people or bodies who received allotments under this Act. The Lord of the Manor of Stratford (Dean) was and had for centuries been the Dean of Old then New Sarum. It was recorded as Stratford Decani (of the Dean) in 1309. The total area of all the Inclosure Allotments and Awards (ie not just from this Inclosure Act) granted to the Dean, Chapter and Prebends of Salisbury was 8121 acres, the Bishop of Salisbury 11,135 acres and the Earl of Pembroke 24,260 acres.

 

There was one lessee, Thomas Pitt was Lord (2nd Baron) Camelford. He was flogged in the navy and when killed in a duel his title died with him. He was uncle to William Pitt the Younger.

 

Roads were listed because one of the advantages (to all), and there were some, of enclosure was that commissioners could straighten and improve and build new roads. If a road is old, straight and not Roman it is probably an enclosure road.

 

Finance refers to the expenses of the Act, surveying, mapping, valuing and awarding land.

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This map is based on the fields as named in the 1839 Tithe map superimposed on a modern OS map, both taken from Know Your Place West, the fields named in orange text are listed in the 1799 Inclosure Act.

Kerry O’Connor

Local History Group

December 2021

 

[1] Abstracts of Wiltshire Inclosure Awards and Agreements. Edited by R E Sandell. 1971. Wiltshire Records Office XXV. Page 123

[2] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/managing-common-land#commoners-rights