Civil War. Of the awful conflict in which the nation was unhappily divided, and brother fought against brother, we have, so far as Beeston is concerned, no information. Mr. Thomas Charlton, of Chilwell Hall, appears to have then been one of the principal men in the district, and it looks as if lie was favourable to the Parliament, for he was the magistrate before whom marriages were, during the Commonwealth, made, they being then treated as civil contracts only. In the Parish Registers there are very few entries of any description during the civil wars, and none of them are marriages, Mr. Charlton died in 1658, one month before the death of Oliver Cromwell. In 1653 Thomas Beighten, clerk, was elected Parish Register. The Rev. Walter Kymersley, who is said to have been a scholarly man, had been probably ejected from being vicar in 1643, having held that office thirty-nine years. The church service according to the Book of Common Prayer was then abolished, and another form provided. The Commissioners in 1650 reported that Beeston Impropriate Rectory—that is church property in the hands of a layman—was of the annual value of £50, and the vicarage income was only £30. The minister was William Westby, reported to be a "godly, honest, painfull minister, and well affected," that is toward the Parliament. At the restoration of Charles II. the minister was ejected, and the Rev. Henry Watkinson, "a man of consistent and excellent life," became vicar of Beeston and Attenborough.

Upon the celebrated "Indulgence" of Charles II. being proclaimed, in 1672, allowing places of worship to be established, and suspending the laws against Nonconformists, somebody in Beeston embraced the opportunity, and a license was applied for and obtained for a Presbyterian service, but we have no information as to how long it continued to be used.

Strey Family. The Streys (formerly locally pronounced Strawe) were for centuries people of local importance. They were lay impropriators, possessed the tithes of hay, were lords of the manor, and lived in the manor house, now belonging to the Venn family. Near by was Dovecote lane, the dovecote being usually attached to the manor, and helpful to the lord's kitchen table. Nicholas Strey was, according to the Rev. T. J. Oldrini, "the first of that name of a long line of petty squires. It would appear that one of the manors must again have become escheated (forfeited) for it passed into Nicholas Strey's hands by royal grant." John Strey of Beeston, gent., was, in 1687, treasurer for the south part of the county, being probably a J.P. There is a very amusing notification with regard to Nicholas Strey among the Wollaton Hall MSS., p. 178. It must be premised that the Herald's College, or College of Arms, is the Government Office regulating coats of arms, titles, pedigrees, etc., the head officers being called "Kings of Arms," and the chief officer north of the Trent is called "Norroy (North King) of Arms." Richard St. George held the office in 1614, and he issued "a disclamation," and ordered all chief constables to see that it was effectually disclaimed in open market, "and to be sett upon the poast to be read by all men, as you will answer the contrary at your peril," and then he proclaims that he had found the persons whose names are underwritten, presumptuously, without good ground or authority, to have usurped the name and title of gentlemen, contrary to all right, and the most antient customs of this land," and he admonished them upon "further payne and perill" to use the name and tytle "no more from henceforth," and "good and loving subjecttes" must "shun and avoid the lyke, and forbeare to use * *the addicion of Esquyer or Gentlemen." Thirty-nine names and addresses follow, among them being Nicholas Strey, of Beeston, and Henry Pinnere of Chilwell. How angry the Norroy King would be if coming back he found it his duty to "reprove, comptroll and make infamous by proclamacion," not forty save one, but hundreds who having a clean shirt on once a week "usurp the tytle of honour or dignity as esquyre, or gentleman! "Three-hundred years has made a difference!

There was a Richard Strey who was a lawyer in Nottingham, but lived in the manor house, to which there was an old rookery attached. It is said that the tithe corn used to be stacked in the small field below this house. A tablet in the church says he died in 1797, at 86 years of age. He left his lands, etc., in remainder, to his nephew the Rev. Peter Broughton. An old custom of the Strey family was on Good Friday, to give buns to all poor boys who came to the house. Old Wm. Barker, who lived at the Ryelands Canal Lock, used to tell how that he went with other boys, but was told that he was not a poor boy and could have buns tit home. There was in the old church a large square pew in the chancel, called the Manor house pew. There is in the south eastern wall in Church Street some old walling stone, which was part of the manor house buildings.

French War. When Napoleon, in 1803, determined to invade  England, and assembled 100,000 men at Boulogne, with a fleet of flat bottomed boats to convey them across the channel, England declared war against France, and preparations were made all over the country to resist the threatened invasion. The "Loyal Wollaton, Lenton, and Beeston Volunteer Infantry," under the command of Lord Middleton, consisted of 148 enrolled volunteers. Subscriptions were made for uniforms, etc., and offers of all kinds of help in regard to horses, conveyances, provisions and the like were received. Nearly everybody of adult age was being trained in the use of arms, or sworn in as special constables, and for several years there were marches, exercises, parades, reviews, etc., but after Trafalgar, 1805, there was less danger.

The Stocks. Two obsolete institutions must be named together,  the one for the correction of stray cattle, and the other for men who went astray. The parish Pinfold stood where the public offices now stand, only they projected forward into what is now the roadway. The pinder was elected annually at the Easter vestry to apprehend horses, cows, sheep, etc., which had strayed in the fields or lanes, and they could not be claimed back without payment of the pin-der's fees. The Stocks for the punishment of wrong-doers stood on a knoll called the Round hill, on the south side of the east end of the Pinfold. In 1876 the Commons prayed Edward III. that Stocks should be fixed in every village, and these continued to be used until about 1840. Drunkards, foul-mouthed abusers, and persons guilty of petty crimes, were securely cared for at little cost and trouble for a number of hours under the control of the parish constable. He was a local officer often selected by the Easter Vestry meeting, but appointed by the justices for the apprehension of offenders, and there were also petty constables, who were required to act when called upon, and who held in their houses a staff tooled and painted, and having on a crown as a symbol of their authority.

Inclosure. In 46, George III., an  act was passed for inclosing lands in the parish of Beeston, and in 1809 the Commissioners stated in their award that the lands to be inclosed amounted to 822 acres, to be made tithe free, and the ancient inclosed lands and homesteads liable to tithe was 687a. 2r. 29p They then proceeded to fix the width of the roads, and considering that they had the advantage of hundreds of other acts previously passed, it is to be regretted that they adopted such narrow widths. The Nottingham and Derby turnpike road was fixed at fifty feet, when sixty feet would have been better, but Sawley turnpike road, forty feet, was worse still. Wollaton road, then called Cowgate was thirty feet, etc. The directions as to bridle and footways, drains and water courses, and the scouring of ditches followed. The lands allotted were: to the Surveyor of Highways, 11/2 acres; the Lord of the Manor, 1r. 20p.; the Vicar for his glebe, 8a. 1r. 23p; for his tithe, 66a 3r. of the annual value of £'110; to Henry Cavendish, Esq., for his right to the tithe of corn and grain, 97a. 1r. 5p.; to the Rev. P. S. Broughton, for his right to the tithe of hay, 54a. 3r. 33p.; to the Poor of Beeston, la. 3r. 2p., which, added to the new Hassock Close of 5r. 2. 32p., became 7a. 1r. 34p. (The old Hassock Close of 6a. 2r. 9p. was then exchanged). The rest of the land was allotted to forty-eight owners in Beeston, according to their several rights of common. It is greatly to be regretted that no provision was made for education, or other parochial benefits, and especially that the purchasers or owners of the tithe on corn and hay, which had been given to God for the church and the poor, and then sold to outsiders, should have been compensated by such large allotments. The Inclosure however not only altered the appearance of part of the parish from a moor growing poor grass, to cultivated fields with hedges, and thereby increasing the food supply for man and beast, but it relieved farmers from the annoyance of having to hand over the tenth of their produce in kind.

Some lauds on or near to Bramcote Moor, but in Beeston parish, were inclosed in 1817, by provisional order of the Inclosure Commissioners.

Some old names of roads may be remembered. Of roads—penclose, gleadwong, and combs close; of lanes— gravel pit, toadlands, flats, musco sike, fletter, hassock; of places — the roundhill. the robinets grass field and pond, indicating the site of an old habitation.

Castle and Mill. Political feeling ran high in 1831 upon the subject of Parliamentary Representation, for while large towns like Leeds and Sheffield had no representation, except as parts of the huge West Riding, decayed boroughs, having a handful of voters, had two Members of Parliament. When therefore the Reform Bill was rejected the "lambs" in Nottingham, on Oct. 10th, 1831. set fire to and burnt the Castle, and the clay following having raided certain public houses for food and drink without payment, they marched off to Beeston to set fire to the large silk milk belonging to Mr. William Lowe, their reason for this course being that Mr. Lowe was an ardent Tory, who by his opposition to the Reform Hill had rendered himself unpopular to the mob. By three o'clock the mill was destroyed, and 200 to 250 work-people thrown out of employment. The machinery in the mill was of a first-class character, the materials of which it was composed consisting largely of mahogany and brass, instead of common wood and iron, and there being a large quantity of silk on the premises, the damage assessed by the jury at the following March assizes was for the building, machinery and engine. £6,050; for silk in the mill, £1,140; total, £7,790. The damage is usually stated to have been £12,000, which was probably the claim, but costs must be added. Of course all this had to be paid for, £21,000 being awarded for the Castle, and the costs in addition, so that the total rate for the Castle damage is said to have been £28,830 8s., of which Beeston had to pay £856 12s. 1d. Lenton paid £1,891 I8s. 9d. (White, p. 72). Mr. Godfrey, in his "History of Lenton," says that parish paid as compensation for damage done during the riots in the neigbourhood £2,238, so a proportionate figure must be added to Beeston's share. Before quitting Beeston the mob visited the public houses and demanded a free supply of food and drink, which the landlords were obliged to give. Several gentlemen's houses were visited, and in one case ransacked. The gates where the Beeston Lodge in Wollaton Park now stands were attacked and forced, but the Wollaton yeomanry captured or dispersed the rioters. At a special assize four men, named Beck, Hearson, Armstrong and Shelton were arraigned for setting fire to Beeston Mill, found guilty, and condemned to death. Shelton's sentence was afterwards commuted to transportation for life, but the others were executed in front of the County Hall, those being the first executions there, previous ones having been on Gallows Hill, where the Church Cemetery now is. None of the men were Beeston men. Those persons who take a pleasure in inspecting a "Chamber of Horrors" may read eight pages descriptive of the execution, in an appendix to ''Walks Round Nottingham," pp. 82-90. The Mill was rebuilt by Mr. Lowe, and in 1841 was bequeathed by him to Mr. F. B. Gill, who afterwards took into partnership Mr. John Watson, and subsequently it was carried on by Messrs. John Watson & Son. It ceased work as a silk milk in 1902, and was partly demolished.