6 April 2015

Nottinghamshire county records of the 17th century

The latest addition to my Nottinghamshire History website is 'Nottinghamshire County Records: Notes and Extracts from the Nottinghamshire County Records of the 17th Century', compiled by H. Hampton Copnall and published in 1915.

The material is drawn from the rich archives of the Quarter Sessions and reflects the incredibly wide range of business dealt with by the Justices of the Peace: the maintenance of highways and bridges, licensing alehouses, cases of bastardy and sexual 'incontinence', the administration of prisons and 'houses of correction', taking religious oaths of allegiance and the registration of nonconformist places of worship, misbehaviour in church and mole catching!

Some examples:
On the 3rd October, 1687, it was ordered that Will Jackson of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, labourer, 'being an idle, loose, light-fingered pilfering ffellow be conveyed to the House of Correction at Southwell for one month and in ye interim to be well whipped 3 times in each week'.

In January, 1624-1625, Jacob Peary alias Pearson of North Collingham, clerk, and two gentlemen of North Collingham, named Samuel Sheppard and Benjamin Sheppard, were fined 10/- each "for riot in church."

On 3rd October, 1655, Elizabeth Banes, of Southwell, spinster, "standeth presented in this Court for a comon scold and the Court also further informed yt the sd Elizabeth by reason of her continuall brawling and extraordinary turbulent spirit doth soe dayly vex and disquiet her neighbours that they cannot follow their callings and occasions inquietness to their extreame troble and vexation." The woman was ordered "to be cuckt in the Cucking Stoole at Southwell."

All human life is here!

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