The Commissioner of Woods and Forests in 1792 appointed Mr. John Benshaw, of Owthorpe Hall, the seat of the Hutchinson family, to make a survey of each parcel of land, and to give "the annual value of each by the acre in their then present state, and the improvement that would be made by the Inclosure." This Mr. Benshaw proceeded to do, and his valuation was—



Present value per acre.

Value per acre if enclosed.

In Basford ...




Lenton and Badford ...




Sneinton ...




Unfortunately Mr. Renwick did not add the words "per annum" in his valuation, and therefore Mr. Bailey in his "Annals of Notts." assumes the figures given to be "in fee simple"—the whole estate, and the valuation seems to be a high one, but the value of land was very high at that time, for the price of wheat was then usually more than double what it now is.

In the parish of Arnold the one-fortieth claimed by the Crown was allotted in land, 23a. 3r. 7p., which was sold to Robert Padley, 1801, for £458 8s. Gd., a little over £19 per acre, which warrants the assumption that annual value was meant, that award being made the year before Mr. Renwick's report. Why in Basford the allotment in land was not made does not appear.

The enclosure of the common lands was a great benefit to Basford, for the food supply for both man and beast was enormously increased, and more employment in cultivation was of benefit to the labour market. Within a generation after the Inclosure, hamlets, gardens, trades and places of business sprang up.

The Lings. In 1637 the land where Hyson Green and Forest Fields stand was called the Lings. Basford Lings were to the north of this, that is where New Basford now stands. Nottingham Fields (now Forest) lay to the south, and Nottingham Lings toward the east—that is the district of Mansfield Road.

The whole district being wild, and growing heather, gorse, etc., was called "The Lings," and in 1675 the Mayor and Burgesses had pasture in the waste called, "Nottingham Lings," otherwise "Basford Lings," being within the precincts and liberties of Nottingham (Records V, p. 411 and in 1699 it was "ordered that the chamberlains do pay five pounds towards a plate to be run upon Nottingham and Basford Lings at the next horse race," (B.R. p. 401). In 1728 there was a horse race in "Basford Lings," p. 147.

New Basford. The "Lings" having been inclosed under the Act 1792, the land was cultivated in the ordinary course of agriculture, until 1820, when it is said the first house was built. In 1822 there were thirty houses, and there rapidly sprang up a village of 8,000 inhabitants, for the lace trade was in a boom, and buildings were rushed up. The streets were very narrow, and formed without any concerted plan, or supervising authority, and with an outlet only to North Gate, but fortunately many of the houses had gardens attached.

A great boom came in the lace trade in 1823 when Mr. Heathcoat's patent expired, and everybody wanted to buy lace machines. A lace-maker's wages ranged from £4 to £7a week, according to capacity, and good finishing smith's £3, to £4 a week. A great number of houses were run up, mostly having wide windows on the upper floor to hold narrow machines worked by hand. Bricks went up from 30/- to £3 per thousand, and building land in Basford parish, as well as in other places round Nottingham, rose rapidly. The boom lasted two years, and then came a great smash, and those who had been recklessly squandering their earnings in riot and dissipation were glad to sweep the streets for a bare subsistence, and not a few of them subsequently ended their days in the workhouse. Date Book, p. 865.

They were not all fools. The proportion mentioned in the old parable applies to all classes and great events in life. "And five of them were foolish, and five were wise." The latter made hay while the sun shone, as may be seen by reference to various names in this paper, and that "hay" proved to be not only for their own benefit, but for the good of the community.

There was again a panic in 1837. This was a general commercial one, but "that of lace suffered in an especial manner. Half the hosiery, and more than half the lace machinery ceased being worked. Prices of materials fell one-half, and sales of wrought goods were almost impossible." That depression continued for several years.

Another panic came in 1848. "No regular sales of either hosiery or lace were made in the home markets from October 1847, to April 1848, and much distress was produced by hands being partially employed."

The lace factories in early years may be mentioned as follows: Messrs. Biddle and Birkin started in 1825 a small place in Mount Street. In 1835-6 they built the present factory, which was the first factory containing Leavers lace machinery having steam power applied to it. The then building has had very considerable additions made from time to time. The following firms subsequently started, viz.: Messrs. Barton & Starr, Redgate & Clarke commenced in 1835 in Wycliffe Street, still carried on as Clarke & Salmon), J. & J. Lindley. Oliver & Atkin, and more recently Mr. Simpson. Messrs, liobinson, Son & Sissling's premises were taken over by Messrs. Cope & Ward, who built larger premises, which were occupied entirely with curtain machinery, which is now non-existent, the premises being used by Mr. Jardine for machine building. Many years ago Messrs. Herbert had warp machinery at New Basford, which was afterwards removed to Radford.

William Felkin. Here must be mentioned the "History of Machine Wrought Hosiery and Lace," by Mr. Felkin, who was at one time mayor of Nottingham. In that book is given an account of the gradual development of hosiery and lace machinery and manufacture from the time when poor Wm. Lee, by his invention of the stocking frame, became one of the greatest benefactors the world has had in trade. The improvements made by succeeding men in several generations are there shown. Their labours involved much thought, expense, patience and self-sacrifice, not infrequently without personal gain to themselves, but we have the benefit of then-labours, and do well to honour their memory, and to imitate their perseverance.

Mr. Felkin's book was issued in 1867, since which time there has been no one to follow in his steps, and record the developments made in our staple trades of hosiery and lace It is to be hoped that the Chamber of Commerce will give us the benefit not only of the "Year Book" which it is proposed to publish, but will join with the new department of Economics at the University College, under Professor Todd, in filling up the half-century gap, which would be locally both interesting and beneficial.

A few only of the items recorded by Mr. Felkin can here be given as referring to Basford men. Several of them are mentioned in the biographical notices at the end of this paper.

In 1889 Mr. OLIVER, of Basford, constructed an apparatus for making figured, open, and linen work on a Leavers machine.

WILLIAM HARVEY in 1825 improved the working of the double-tier circular machine by making the combs work more steadily. He died at Carrington in comfortable circumstances.

SAMUEL DRAPER, of Whitemoor, was according to Mr. Felkin an ingenious and energetic, but not very successful inventor, in 1834 and onwards.

JOHN BARTON, of New Basford, an excellent mechanician, after years of intense study put together a compound machinewhich produced as perfect an article as can be produced on the pillow. He was highly respected and much lamented at his death.

Library. A Public library was opened in 1848, being formed by Messrs. Richard Birkin, "Wm. Mallett, Cornelius Russell, and many others. Mr., now Sir Thomas I. Birkin, Bart., was for many years the Treasurer, and Herbert Smedley for 26 years the Librarian.

The Church. By an order in council, New Basford was in 1847 formed into an ecclesiastical parish, and the Rev. Thos. A. Bolton was first Incumbent. He began his work in two rooms in Olive Square. In 1862 he built a pretty little church on land given by the Rev. T. Gawthorne, and dedicated it to St. Augustine, the missionary bishop whom the Pope sent in 596 to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. The nave of this small building now forms the south chapel of the present church, and the chancel is used as a clergy vestry. Mr. Bolton also built the adjoining schoolrooms. The nave of the present church was built in 1877, when the Rev J. F. MacCallan was vicar, the schools having been previously enlarged.

The north aisle was added in 1884, towards the cost of which Mr. Edward Cope gave £500. The Rev. A. W. Dewick, M.A., became vicar in 1888, and the chancel was added in 1895. The Church Hall in Sandon Street was built in 1902, for Sunday Schools and Mission Services, Boys' Brigade, Temperance Society, etc.

In the Church is a tablet recording the gift of Miss Harriett Pare, a worshipper and worker there, who died in 1904, and bequeathed £1,000 to the vicar and churchwardens.

There is also a tablet to record the faithful and voluntary service of the men who went to the South African War, eleven of whom were members of the congregation.

A Choir Vestry was added in 1908. A Chancel Screen and Pulpit were presented by Mr. Samuel Beardsley, and there are several stained glass windows to local residents.

Co-Workers.  In the early days of New Basford the Nonconformists were zealous in providing for the spiritual requirements of a part of the parish being apparently otherwise neglected.

The Palm Street Chapel was built in 1829. Thomas Robinson was its minister (see page 180). The communion plate is preserved inscribed, "Scotch Baptist Church, 1829." The burial ground attached was closed in 1860.

The Baptist Chapel in Chelsea Street was re-built in 1871, and the Schoolrooms, now partly used for the Public Library and Reading Room, in 1883. The Rev. W. B. Stevenson, formerly of Broad Street Chapel, was minister here at one time.

The Wesleyans had a Chapel in Mount Street, now used by the Salvation Army. In 1877 a new Chapel was built in Early English style, on land given by Mr. Alfred Fewkes. The Primitive Chapel was built in 1895, superseding an older one in Duke Street. The United Methodist Chapel, with extensive schoolrooms, was built in 1872.