Manors and their Records
Using Manorial Records
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History Department
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
Cumbrian Manorial Records

Extracts from court books and rolls: appointment of officers

Appointment of officers at Lazonby, 1638

Picture of appointment of officers, Lazonby, 1638

Source: Cumbria Record Office, Carlisle, D/Mus/1/8/1


Item presentant pro Officiaris, vi[delice]t  
Constabul[arii] pro anno sequente Taxatores pro anno sequente
Ed[wa]r[du]m Walker, recusavit iurandum Johanem Wetherell Clericum
Will[elmu]m Potter Willelmum Emerson
Imparcatores Willelmum Reabankes
Christoferum Threlkeld Thomam Calvert...jurat...
Thomam Emerson  
Thomam Watt Supervisores Sepinorum
Hugonem Taylor...jur[at...] Thomam Sawer sen'
  Ricardum Ewbanke, non venit


Also they present as officers, namely:  
Constables for the following year Assessors for the following year
Edward Walker he refused to be sworn John Wetherell, clerk
William Potter William Emerson
Pinders William Reabankes
Christopher Threlkeld Thomas Calvert...sworn...
Thomas Emerson  
Thomas Watt Hedge lookers
Hugh Taylor...sworn... Thomas Sawer, senior
  Richard Ewbanke; did not come


The appointment and swearing in of manorial officers was an important aspect of a court's responsibilities, as these officials oversaw different aspects of the community's life across the following year. Constables and 'assessors' (taxatores) were public officials, township officers who formed part of the local government system.  Constables were responsible for keeping the peace, collecting taxes etc.  They were appointed by courts leet and were part of the national peace-keeping system.  The 'assessors' were probably responsible for setting local rates, though their role is rarely spelt out.  The 'pinders' or 'pounders' (imparcatores) and 'hedge lookers' (supervisores sepinorum) were manorial appointments: the former drove stray livestock to the manorial pound; the latter ensured that hedges were maintained and presented offenders to the court.  Note the apparent reluctance of some to serve: Edward Walker's refusal to serve as constable and Richard Ewbank's failure to appear suggest that office holding was not always a welcome duty.

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