Posts Tagged ‘Gore’

Tithe Apportionment

August 30, 2013

This substantial document was recently acquired by the museum. The local church had needed to know about past charges and tithes and so obtained a copy which has now been passed to us.

  1. Preamble to the tithe apportionment document for Market Lavington

    Preamble to the tithe apportionment document for Market Lavington

It lists all the owners and occupiers of property in 1840 with information about how former tithes were being converted to other forms of payment.

It is a useful document for us because there is no 1841 census for Market Lavington. This new acquisition doesn’t give even the limited genealogical information of the 1841 census, but it does have a list of people which just might help to fill gaps in knowledge.

The lists look like this.

One page of names - owners and occupiers of property in Market Lavington in 1840.

One page of names – owners and occupiers of property in Market Lavington in 1840.

The right hand half is to do with the cash value of properties. The left hand side has the name of the owner, then the occupier, then a number to indicate a location, a description of the property and its state of cultivation. It is this left hand side that will be readily available in the museum with the whole document usable on request.

Names include William Cambridge apparently owning and occupying two cottages and gardens.

Names include William Cambridge apparently owning and occupying two cottages and gardens.

This is just a part of one of the 18 pages of names. We have chosen it here because it has the name ‘William Cambridge’ who we rate as one of our more famous villagers. Without an 1841 census we have had no official record of him until now, but there he is seemingly occupying two houses and gardens himself. Of course, he had a family and a workshop.

We are delighted to have this addition to our genealogy knowledge. We hope to acquire a readable sized tithe map. Then the numbers given as the location of properties will  be identifiable locations.


A Gin Trap

March 3, 2013

Controlling pests and vermin has always been something that farmers have done. These days we usually seek to despatch creatures with a degree of humanity. The end should be quick and should avoid animal suffering. In times past this was not always the case. All sorts of devices were used to trap creatures which then caused them much agony and a slow, lingering death. Such a device was the gin trap.

A gin trap at Market Lavington Museum

A gin trap at Market Lavington Museum

This one, which we have at Market Lavington museum, is typical, albeit a bit battered. It dates from around 1900 and could have had about 60 years of usage. These traps were made illegal in 1958, having once been the standard tool for trapping.

The thing that made these unpleasant was that they trapped an animal by catching and crushing a leg. The animal was not killed instantly and they suffered. There’s an excellent site, by a collector of gin traps at . This gives all the technical details of how they worked but basically, when an animal stepped on the metal plate the jaws snapped shut around that leg. Nasty! But as we have said before, we have to forgive people in the past for doing what we might now perceive as wrong. The aim was to maximise food production for we humans when rabbits decimated some food crops. The word decimated actually means taking one tenth which may be about what rabbits did.

We have three gin traps at Market Lavington Museum. It would need to be something very special to make us want any more.

A Happy New Year

January 1, 2013

January 1st 2013

Yesterday we looked back at major events in 2012 so today we’ll look forward to this New Year.

The truth is that we have no idea as to just what it will bring. We can just hope that it is a successful year for museum and for our parishes of Market Lavington and Easterton. We’d like lots of visitors through the museum door, enjoying what they see and writing lovely comments in the book. We’d also like lots of blog visitors bringing information about the Lavingtons from all round the world. The coloured countries below are those where people have visited the blog in the last 10 months.

People in most of the world know about the Market Lavington Museum blog

People in most of the world know about the Market Lavington Museum blog

You can continue to look here for latest news from the museum.

One display that will be new for 2013 will be ‘School Days’. We have photos and artefacts dating back to the start of Market Lavington School. With many more on display this will give people a chance to remember their own school days, or, indeed, those of parents, grandparents and great grandparents.

Market Lavington school pupils in the 1959 West Lavington carnival

Market Lavington school pupils in the 1959 West Lavington carnival

Here we see Market Lavington School taking part in a West Lavington carnival back in 1959.

If you have any school memorabilia – including Market Lavington or Easterton and any private schools in the parishes then do please contact us.

Miscellany 2012

September 15, 2012

Today is Market Lavington Museum Miscellany day. To be there, you’ll need to be at Market Lavington Community Hall for a 7.30 start.

The format for the evening is now familiar, based around themed talks by Rog, the curator. The themes this year include:

The Brick Business.

Victorian tile made at Market Lavington Brick Works

Hospital Week.

Fancy dress during a Market Lavington and Easterton Hospital Week Carnival in the 1930s. The venue is Fiddington House

People and Places.

Easterton Manor and some of the residents in the early twentieth century

The Jam Factory.

Jam packers at Samuel Moore Foods, Easterton in about 1990

Edwardian Music Hall.

Miss Florrie Forde entertains on an Edwardian phonograph which has been in Market Lavington or Easterton for 100 plus years

Royal Events.

101 years ago. Market Lavington people at an event to celebrate the Coronation of King George V in 1911.

Some shows like this have a break in the middle to allow the audience a leg stretch. Our break does that and more. The entertainment continues with our famed museum food, made by local people from recipe books we have in the museum.

Don’t miss it!

The Museum Miscellany 2012

August 1, 2012

This year our Museum Miscellany will be on Saturday 15th September. Details of time, place, price and tickets are below.

Amongst topics Rog will cover this year are Royal Events in Market Lavington, The Easterton Jam Factory, Love and Marriage (Lavington style) and Bricks. Tom Gye will talk (pre-recorded) about Hospital Weeks and an Edison Bell Phonograph will play a couple of its old cylinders. There will be an interval with our now famed ‘museum food’ to sample, washed down with a drink from the Community Hall bar.

Last year the event was a sell-out, so you are advised to get your tickets as early as possible.

James Smith for Relieving Officer – 1847

April 15, 2012

An old letter we have at Market Lavington Museum is shown below – in four small pages.

Here’s a transcription of the letter.

To the Chairman and Guardians of the Devizes Union,-


My neighbour Mr James Smith has informed me that it is his intention to offer himself to your notice as a candidate for the situation of Relieving Officer for the district. I beg leave to state that I have employed Mr Smith for the last twelve years in the capacity of Clerk at Auctions and in other matters of trust, and have always found him strictly honest and correct in every transaction entrusted to his care. I have therefore no hesitation in saying that I consider him in every respect fully competent to fill the appointment he now seeks and would prove himself a valuable acquisition to your Union. –

I am gentlemen your Most Obedient Servant

Walter Tucker

Market Lavington, November 25 1847

So who was James Smith? Sadly, with so many people with that surname and forename we cannot be certain, but the 1851 census does show a James Smith operating as a schoolteacher in Market Lavington. He is the most likely candidate for he, surely, would have had sufficient education.

The Smith family were well known as pond diggers in the village. This might sound far too lowly an occupation for a person who was seeking a job which surely would have involved money and letter writing, but in fact the pond digging Smiths operated in a big way and had plenty of business acumen. It’s possible that James was of that family.

We can trace Walter Tucker, who wrote the letter. He was an auctioneer, listed as living in the Townsend area of Market Lavington on the 1851 census. Sadly, he appears to have no near neighbour by the name of Smith.

If only we had an 1841 census for Market Lavington …..

Another Fine Map

April 10, 2012

A map, recently acquired by Market Lavington Museum has its date fixed very precisely by the statement, ‘Railway in Course of Construction’.

Map of Market Lavington with 'Railway in Course of Construction' - so dating from the very end of the nineteenth century

Our local railway was a late build line. It didn’t open until 1900 so the map must have been produced in about 1899. It is clearly based on the Ordnance Survey, but has been used by a West Lavington estate to show their property – colour washed in red. The brickworks in Market Lavington, at the left of this section of map, is so marked. We know the brickworks was in the hands of the Holloway family at that time.

That part of the map shows it is made up of sections pasted on to a cloth backing. As luck would have it, the map covers virtually all of the Market Lavington and Easterton parishes at a scale of 6 miles to the inch.

Here, in the extreme south of the parish, is Candown Farm.

Candown Farm, Market Lavington

We can see that Candown Farm is close to the 400 feet contour line.

At the opposite end of the parishes there is Wroughton’s Folly – almost in Urchfont.

Wroughton's Folly - almost in Urchfont

The route heading from southwest to northeast in the top left corner is the route of the railway line. Seymour Wroughton’s grand house – which fell down long before the coming of the railway – can be clearly located.

Let’s return to Salisbury Plain, but in Fiddington and Easterton.

Fiddington Farm and Easterton Hill Farm

These two farms are close together, but in different parishes. They are 500 or more feet above sea level.

Of course, the villages are well shown on the map, too. This is not only Market Lavington and Easterton – remember, the map is showing property in West Lavington. Looking at the whole map obviously locates the positions of the isolated pieces shown here.

A fascinating map

January 23, 2012

Old map of Market Lavington. South is at the top of the map

For people used to our wonderful Ordnance Survey maps, it can be hard to get your head round this one. The arrow at the left points south. South is roughly at the top of the map, the opposite of what might be expected. That means west is to the right and east to the left. It’s confusing.

Let’s try to get our bearings. The main road through the village is marked ‘from Urchfont’ at the left and ‘to Westbury’ at the right. It has M Lavington in bold along it.

There is a wooded area close by the road, called The Ham. That’s the name of the residential close which now occupies that area.

The interest in this map lies in the way there used to be many different roads or tracks. For example, what is now regarded as a footpath, starting from The Hollow at the foot of Lavington Hill, is marked as the road to Warminster. This would have involved getting up the hill in West Lavington and on via Imber.

There are interesting area names as well. The strip of land alongside the road up Lavington Hill appears to be called Hoofles Common.

We don’t actually have a date for this map. Can anybody help us?

The Better Sort of Parishioner

October 18, 2011

We saw, yesterday, that in Bishop Tanner’s bequest he left 20 shillings (one pound)

to be spent at a friendly meeting of his Trustees therein named, and such of the better sort of the parishioners as they should think fit to invite in the evening of St. Paul’s day, to promote peace and good neighbourhood, and preserve some little regard to the memory of his honoured parents.

Today we are looking at the people selected to share in the pounds worth of charity money in 1952. Clearly these  are ‘The Better Sort of Parishioner’. Peggy Gye always used to suggest that Bishop Tanner felt that those folk who didn’t qualify for ‘money for the poor’ should benefit from a social gathering. It’s quite a nice idea.

Parishioners gathered for the Bishop Tanner Charity Party in 1952 - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

The people shown here are:

Back Row from left: Mr Nightingale,  P Gye, W Mundy, D Baker, V Osmond, T Gale, W Francis, M Prowse, E Wellings, B Huxtable.

Middle row from left: M Hiscock, B Francis, D Perry, O Sainsbury, not known, E Davis, DS Andrews, Mrs Arthur, K Perry, not known, not known.

Front row from left to right: Ed Potter, N Hiscock, E Phillips, Rev Arthur, Mrs Hawes,  Mrs Cooper, G Milsom.

As ever, if you can add any further information, then do, please, get in touch.

The Bishop Tanner Charity

October 17, 2011

Bishop Tanner was the Bishop of St Asaph in Wales. He was the son of Thomas Tanner, Vicar of Market Lavington.

The Bishop remembered his birth parish in his will. This extract referring to the charity comes from the WiltshireArchaeological and Natural History Magazine for 1872.

How Bishop Tanner devized his charity for Market Lavington (which included Easterton at this time).

Below is a transcription.

Thomas Tanner, D.D., late Bishop of St. Asaph, by his will bearing date 22nd November. 1733, and proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 7th February, 1735, bequeathed to the Rev. Mr. John Sainwell and five others, all of Market Lavington in the county of Wilts, his native place, and to the Vicar or his resident Curate there for the time being, the sum of £200 with interest, and upon trust, that they, the survivors or survivor of them, should therewith purchase some rent charge or some estate in land, the rents of which should be applied yearly and every year in the manner and form following:

First, to the Vicar or his Curate, for a sermon to be preached in the afternoon of the Feast day of the Conversion of St. Paul, in the parish church of Lavington, aforesaid, on repentance, faith, obedience, good works, humility, meekness, sobriety, contempt of the world, resignation to Providence, God’s mercy to mankind, men’s duty in showing mercy to others, or some other practical subject, 13s. 4d.

To the clerk and sexton between them for attending and ringing the bell, 3s.

To the ringers for two short peals upon the six bells, one at break of day, and the other after sermon in the afternoon, 6s.

20s. to be spent at a friendly meeting of his Trustees therein named, and such of the better sort of the parishioners as they should think fit to invite in the evening of St. Paul’s day, to promote peace and good neighbourhood, and preserve some little regard to the memory of his honoured parents.

20s. to be yearly disposed of towards the teaching of some poor children to write and read, whose friends were not able to pay for their schooling.

20s. to buy four bibles with common prayer, to be given also yearly on St. Paul’s day to such four poor persons in the said parish as in the opinion of the Vicar or his Curate were most likely to make the best use of the same, and were least able to buy such.

And the remainder of the clear produce of the said legacy, to be given away yearly and every year, after prayers and sermon on the said St. Paul’s day in the said Church, among so many poor people of the said parish, to be nominated by the Vicar, or in his absence the Curate, as it would reach to, at twelve pence each.

This is really a sort of preamble. Tomorrow we’ll look at some of ‘the better sort of the parishioners’.