Inns. The Bowling Green Inn was a place of attraction 100 years ago, with its spacious green and tastefully fitted-up arbours, for the Nottingham men went in 1750 to Holme Pierrepont on Thursdays and had bowls and a dinner; Basford day was on Tuesdays; Mondays and Wednesdays were the days for St. Anne's Well. Basford was then a retired village, for the whole parish had less than 2,000 population.

The Swan Inn has the reputation of being a very old house, with the tradition that a king stayed there while his horse was shod at the smithy opposite.

There were in 1844 in Basford parish 14 public houses, and 18 beer houses.

Cholera. The cholera in 1832 invaded Bulwell and Basford. No one could be found to carry the body of Mrs. Rose to the grave, and so the doctor had to do it, and two hours after she was interred, and the grave filled up, the clergyman read the burial service in the presence of the relatives.

Peverel Prison. Wm. de Eland accepting the office of High Steward of the Court of the Honour of Peverel he removed its sittings to Basford,  and it so continued for a long series of years until its powers were largely dormant, and were revived by Charles II.

When John Howard, the philanthropist visited the gaol at Basford there were in 1776 three prisoners, in 1779 two prisoners. Query—Where was the prison? In 1751 Deering says the court was then held at Basford every Tuesday. It was very properly abolished in 1849.

Hosiery Trade. Basford must have been prosperous about 1790, Throsby notes that it looked like a new town in consequence of its manufactory improvements, corn mills, and cotton mills, "the bleaching and dyeing businesses are carried on here to the greatest extent."

In the Luddite destruction of machines Basford had its share. On the 23rd November, 1811, the frame breakers in detached parties made a simultaneous attack upon various workshops in Basford, and completely destroyed about thirty frames, the ironwork of which they scattered about in all directions, and then they rapidly dispersed. At the following Spring Assizes two very young men, William Camel and Joseph Maples, of Basford, were sentenced to fourteen years transportation, for breaking seven frames belonging to Mr. J. Braithwaite, of Basford.

In 1814 the house of Mr. T. Garton, at Basford, wag attacked, shots were fired and returned, Samuel Bamford one of the assailants fell, and a neighbour, Mr. Kilby, hearing the report of firearms was shot dead at his own door.

The breaking of the frames was senseless, but it must be remembered that two years before wider frames had been introduced, the French War made trade bad, food was very dear, wages were very low, and the condition of the stocking-makers was pitiable.

Mr. Caddick, a former assistant overseer of Basford, told the Poor Law Enquiry Commissioners in 1834 that stockings were made in the cottages by men who rented the frames at one shilling per week each, from a capitalist who possessed perhaps several hundred frames, and who found the work, and paid the men wages. "The operative, in whatever parish he may be, is informed that his wages must be lowered, and in consequence applies to the parish; his master at Nottingham furnishes him with a certificate that he is only receiving (suppose) six shillings a week, and thus the parishes were induced to allow him four shillings or five shillings. Master manufacturers were enabled to sell stockings at a profit, though the selling price did not cover the prime cost, if the parochial addition to the wages paid by the master was to be taken as an element of the prime cost, as it undoubtedly ought to be."

Six shillings a week! Poor fellows. Solomon wisely tells us that we are unwise if we suggest that former times were better than these.

In 1844 there were in Basford 518 stocking frames. The excess of labour was much greater than the demand, and the wages were miserably low, and various improvements were suggested by Mr. Muggeridge, a Commissioner who in 1845 heard evidence.

That appointment was made in consequence of a petition signed by 25,000 framework-knitters, presented to the House of Commons in 1843, praying for enquiry as to the causes of the depression, frauds in manufacture, exactions of frame rent with only partial employment, the prohibition of foreign importations, the restrictions of payment by truck, etc. The commissioner's report is well worth studying.

It was long before help came, and by the time that it did come in the abolition of frame rents, and of payments by truck, the silk glove trade was departing, or had departed from Basford, and kid gloves had come in, and the factory system abolished customs that the individual worker could not stand against.

Progress. Years had passed since the awful war with France had ceased. War had been a great affliction to Basford, as well as to all other industrial places, for many of its sons had been taken, some never returned, and some returned maimed. Work had been scarce; food dear, industrial development had largely stood still, and the people were poor and soured. With peace slowly came improvement, confidence, steam power applied, mechanical inventions, enter-prizes, the demand for political representation, and for education, better sanitation and house accommodation, religious instruction, and facilities for the exercise of all those principles that tend to make a people prosperous and happy. In a hundred years a mighty social progress has been made, and now the responsibility rests on the present generation to see that duties are discharged, that obligations are honourably met. that the old standards of industry, integrity, thrift, loyalty, manliness, courtesy and religion are all carefully maintained.

Bleaching. With the splendid supplies of water Basford is just the place for the trade. The old firms are remembered with pleasure, and the proprietors lived chiefly close by their works and among their workpeople. Messrs. Milnes, Cox and Cartledge, Burton and Eames, John Fox, Pearson, Heard (afterwards Ashwell), Woodward, Robinson, Farrand and Whyatt, may be thus described. Now the trades have largely developed, and in addition to the bleaching, finishing, dyeing and dressing of cotton and wool, lace and linen goods, there are laundries, cellular clothing, chemical works, cane and wicker works, furniture and toys, soap and starch works, iron foundries, bleaching machinery, brass foundry, and works for making sirens and steam gauges, automatic weighing machines, etc. There is a coal mine, a brewery and maltings, nursery and market garden grounds, and a limited amount of ordinary agriculture, chiefly in the dairy direction.

Churches.  To assist in carrying out Church work a parish Church Hall was built in 1905.

St. Aidan's Church was built in 1910, in the Transitional Early English. St. Aidan was a missionary bishop who founded the Northumbrian Church, and who died in 651, having accomplished a great work in spite of the ravages of Penda, heathen ruler of our Mercian district. The funds were provided by a bequest from Mr. Geo. Waterall, chemist. The Church Hall was built in 1903. A vicarage is now being built, and a chancel will shortly be added to the church.

Co-Workers. The Chapels in Basford are modern buildings superseding earlier ones. The Wesleyan cause was established about 1800, at the house of Wm. Elliott, and in three years it had 63 members. The Chapel was built in Wood Lane in 1808, and in 1874 the present one was erected, a gallery being added in 1901, and a Carnegie organ in 1911. The United Methodist Chapel in David Lane, 1892, superseded one built by Mr. Hall (see page 124). The Baptist Chapel was built in 1867, superseding one built in 1819, and in 1899 the adjoining school premises were built as a centenary memorial of work begun in 1799. Other Chapels are the Primitive, with lecture hall, 1904 (in lieu of one built in 1876); Baptist, Queensbury Street, 1889; United Methodist, Park Lane, 1893, and the Salvation Army.

The Inclosure. Under an Act 32, George III, an award was made five years afterwards, in 1797, whereby 1491 acres of land, which was then open forest or waste was enclosed, including some old enclosures.  There was allotted to the:—


A. R. P.
Surveyor of Highways 0 3 0
Vicar, for glebe and common right 7 3 18
"     for Tithes 131 2 22
Henry Cavendish, Esq., for glebe and
common rights 28 3 2
" for old Inclosure in exchange 28 3 14
" for Tithes 238 8 25
Earl of Chesterfield, as Ranger of      
Thorneywood Chase, for Herbage,
Covert, and Layer of his Beasts 40 2 20

and the rest to sundry owners, being the Duke of Newcastle, and many others.

People who were resident but had no property in Basford had, of course, no legal right to any of the land, but for centuries they had enjoyed the privilege of roaming at will over the forest, with sundry advantages, of which they were now deprived. There was no provision made for education, recreation, or charity. This was in marked contrast to the care exercised in specially allotting to Mr. Cavendish, or whoever was entitled, a field of 10a. 3r. 4p , being afterwards thebrickyard at Mapperley, in consideration of his claim to tithe on Bagthorpe fields, the right of which was disputed.

It was well that the tithes should be commuted and extinguished by the allotment of land instead, as the collection in kind by the vicar's man must have caused great irritation, but the sale in the 16th century by the crown and parliament to outsiders and speculators, of the great tithes—that is the tenth of the corn, hay, and perhaps wool, grown in the parish—which tenth had been given by the owners to God and the Church, was strongly to be condemned, and the continuance of the claim had at the Inclosure to be satisfied by the allotment to Mr. Cavendish of 239 acres of land, being the district called Cavendish Hill, and where Sherwood village now stands.

The 238a. 3r. 25p. was considered equal to 4/45th parts of the forest, common, and waste grounds, and to 1/12 part of the open fields, meadows and other lands, excluding Bagthorpe. Doubtless this was for the greater rectorial tythes given to the monastery, confiscated, and sold.

Sir John Stanhope, the ancestor of the Earl of Chesterfield, had been appointed by Queen Elizabeth, in her forty-second year, as ranger of Thorneywood Chase, and the grant was to him and his heirs for ever. 1,200 acres of the land in Basford inclosed in 1797 was in Thorneywood Chase, being on the eastern side of the parish, and the Earl of Chesterfield claimed one-twentieth in value of the land in satisfaction of his rights. The allotment to him was in Edwards Lane and Sunrise Hill.

All the land of Sherwood Forest had, centuries ago, belonged to the crown, but the crown had so long neglected its rights that at the time of the Inclosure only the Forestal rights were left—that is the right to keep deer, with herbage, covert, and layer, and beasts of forest, and the right of chase. These rights were valued at one-fortieth part of the entire values.