Market Committee Report – 1820

By 1820, the market in Market Lavington had been restarted and its committee produced a three page report on December 6th of that year. It sounds as though this was very much a corn market as no mention is made of other commodities.

Mkt report p1

A market porter had been appointed to assist with unloading and loading. There was a charge of 2d per sack (old pence, where 144 pennies = £1). Some sellers brought samples, rather than bringing all the corn they had for sale and the committee had provided a stand for the samples, though they preferred sacks to be brought by ‘those desirous of promoting the good of the market’.

Sacks featured rather a lot in this report and needed to be returned promptly. ‘Your Committee recommend that all sacks holding Corn sold in the Market, be returned in a fortnight, and if not returned in six weeks, to the Sack Office, Market Lavington, the seller of the grain, should demand of the buyer, value for the same.’

We have no sacks from this era, but we do have a later local hessian sack in the museum. See John Davis – Miller and Coal Merchant

sack 3

As reported in our previous blog post The Market at Market Lavington our knowledge about the market is scanty. We do not know where the Sack Office was, but Brian McGill’s book about Market Lavington, ‘Village under the Plain’, informs us that there was a building in the Market Place where market tolls were paid and manor courts were held. Fortunately for the newly established market, our report states ‘ that the Right Hon, the Earl of Radnor, has relinquished the tolls of the market for five years, for which act of generosity, your Committee have communicated their thanks to his Lordship…’


These buildings, on the corner of the High Street and Market Place, were demolished in  1960 and have been replaced by Rochelle Court. The one used for market business was immediately to the left of the shop on the corner. This early photo dates from the 1870s, about 20 years after the end of Market Lavington Market.

The corn market appears to have been an event of short duration on market days. ‘…The time for conducting the business of the market, be from Twelve o’Clock, till a quarter past One. The market bell to ring at the commencement, and at the close.’ Maybe there was food awaiting them at the Green Dragon, for the report says, ‘Your Committee recommend all attendants at the market, to transact their business as far as possible before dinner.

The committee felt that the market was doing well, despite ‘as dull a time for the sale of grain, as was ever known.’ Between 300 and 500 sacks of grain had been sold each market day and they were grateful to ‘the respectable growers of grain’ and ‘the respectable dealers in corn’ for supporting the market. The committee considered ‘that the business done at Lavington, has been done with as much advantage to the seller, as at any market in the County.’

The second part of the report concerns itself with transport issues, which we will look at in the next blog post.

2 Responses to “Market Committee Report – 1820”

  1. phizandsteve Says:

    Hello,I am so glad you have been able to start up the posts again – thank you.  I now live in the US but my father Thomas Drury grew up in Market Lavington – he lived in one of the cottages across from the Green Dragon. I used to visit Lavington (grandparents) and Easterton (aunt & uncle) with him most summers as a child. I was back in Lavington in December (for the first time in well over ten years) to visit my father’s grave.  While there I noticed Roger Frost’s grave – I hadn’t realized until then that he had passed away.  Over the years I had exchanged a few emails with Roger when I recognized someone in a photo he had posted – but we never met.  I am sorry to hear of his passing – he put so much energy into the museum after Peggy’s passing and started the amazing blog.

    My father’s childhood friends included Tom Gye and Peggy (I can’t remember Peggy’s maiden name).  My wife and I used to visit them when we went to Lavington – Peggy was always on the lookout for items for the museum – my dad’s army bugle is now there.  Next time we are there we will certainly visit the museum – we will hopefully visit in the summer next time not December!  My sister and my extended family all visited last June – we had a gathering to inter my mother’s ashes at my father’s grave.  I didn’t make it because I had unexpected emergency eye surgery (here in the USA) just a few days before and was not allowed to fly.  That was very difficult but my sister helps by telling me all that happened – including visiting the museum.

    I do have a question that you might kindly be able to help with: 

    In December we stayed in the Green Dragon in the main room over the bar.  We talked to Nicky quite a lot.  There were lots of interesting books in the room, such as “Village Under the Plain” (which I already have a copy of).  But one in particular was a small format book about the local people who served in the first world war.  I have forgotten its name.  It’s a paperback and only 20 pages or so.  On the back cover is a picture of four or five soldiers looking out of an army tent.  One of them is my grandfather William Drury!  I went to the post office that morning to see if they had a copy for sale but they did not. 

    Would you happen to know the name of this book and whether or not I might find one for sale somewhere?

    Thank you again for all you are doing with the museum,Kindest regards,Stephen Drury

    3730 Woodman Drive,Troy, MI 48084USA

    • marketlavingtonmuseum Says:

      Hello there. Sorry, I’ve only just found your comment on the Market Committee Report. The museum is closed at the moment, due to Covid 19, but I will be going there soon and will check if there’s a copy of Rog’s WWI book and let you know how much it costs.
      Sue Frost (curator)

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