The Commonwealth. The Commonwealth period seems to to show the same disadvantages as to spiritual service at Scrooby Church that it had suffered from for centuries. Shaw's "History of the English Church during the Civil War and the Commonwealth," gives all the Puritan appointments and nominations of Incumbents and Lecturers that appear in the Journals of Parliament from 1640 to 1660, but no mention is made of either Scrooby or Sutton-cum-Lound; it seems therefore a fair conclusion that there were no special appointments during that time; whatever appointments there may have been would be made either by local officers or by those who had superseded the patrons, with approval, formal or tacit, of the "Triers."

The Old Vicarage. There is adjoining the church an old church  house, usually occupied by the Clerk and  Sexton, and said to be of Henry VII. date. The Vicar would in all the centuries since the church was built usually reside at Sutton, having to attend to that Church, and also at the Chapel at Lound, and would ride on horseback; a reminder of which is a hook and ring fastened into the church wall on the south west side of the porch, so that the horse might be shaded while the service was being conducted, but with three churches to look after it is very likely the Vicar would, if he could afford it, keep a curate, for whom, however, there was not what in modern parlance is called a living wage. The house is a very interesting specimen of a past age, with its open chimney, adapted to the burning of wood for fuel when there were plenty of trees in the forest, and coals were not available. The turnspit balk shows the method of cooking in the olden time. The massive beams were strong enough for a castle. The bricks of the first storey are 9" by 21/2, standing on a plinth of local stone, with timber framing above. The roof is now covered by pantiles, but formerly had thatch, and the chambers are reached by ladders, and form altogether a very comfortable cottage, with its well in the garden, and a path to the churchyard. Mr. Harry Gill, as an Architect of considerable experience in old buildings, is of opinion that it was built about the time of the Restoration of King Charles II., 1660, but some of the bricks appear to have been of an earlier date and may have been re-used.

Offences. That all the people in Scrooby were not estimable is shown by the fact that in 1657 John Scott, a labourer there, was presented to the Justices for being of "an idle and lewed life and conversation," (C. R. page 42) and in 1653 Thomas Stow, of Scrooby, gent, was fined 10s. "for tippling in alehouses on the lords daie, and affronting and abusing ye magistrate that found him there." (C.R. page 44).

There was a Common at Scrooby, on which, in 1677, four men were indicted "for burning Jampnar, anglice Gosse, on the common."

A Conventicle.  A Conventicle, at  "Scrooby" was reported as being there in 1669, but nothing is stated in the Sheldon Returns as to the denomination, the number or character of attendants, or the preacher. Looking at the following paragraph it appears to be probable that it was for a Quaker assembly.

The Quakers. George Fox began his work in Notts, in 1647, reviving the forgotten doctrine of the indwelling of the Spirit of God in the soul of man, or the "inward light," as he termed it, and to such an extent had the work succeeded that thirty years afterwards the district all round Scrooby had become a hot-bed of Quaker effort and suffering. Theirs was a genuine step towards spirituality and individuality of worship, liberty of conscience, simplicity of life, dress, and speech, righteous conduct, social reform, thrift, peace and love among men. But unfortunately this was marred by much indiscretion, peculiarities of speech and dress, lack of courtesy, "custom to whom custom" was due, intolerance of restraint: and the friends of law and order were more shocked by the latter than influenced by the former. Nearly a dozen acts of parliament were passed, or applied, in repressing them; some of the magistrates were violent in their use and interpretation of the acts. Common informers were extensively in vogue, for they got a third of the penalties. "The Cry of Oppression * * * * in Nottinghamshire of the late Cruel Sufferings of the people of God called Quakers," printed in 1676, gives the names and penalties of many of the "Oppressed" in Scrooby, Harworth, Blyth, Scraftworth, Everton, Mattersey and other villages in Notts. In these proceedings Dr. Robert Thoroton, the Historian, was not only active in his own district, but was even more so in the north of the county. In the Notts. County Records, compiled by Mr. H. H. Copnall, the Clerk of the Peace, (page 141) Dr. Thoroton appears as receiving the fees for registering conventicles in 1675-6-7-8. This was the time when he was compiling and issuing his invaluable history, "The Antiquities of Notts," (1677) and the time of John Bunyan's second imprisonment, when he wrote the Pilgrim's Progress. So far as Scrooby is concerned, in Cropper's edition of "The Sufferings" of 1649-1689 the names of four officers are given as being of Scrooby: and they—John Baily, Thomas Reans, Robert Flower and Robert Mew— levied a distress warrant on John Small, of Everton, for attending a meeting, and they took his boots. Their connection with Scrooby is, however, doubtful, but the warrant was signed by Justice Sands of Screwby (page 27). Here is a Scrooby case:—John Torr appears to have been the largest farmer in Scrooby next to Squire Sandys, for the parochial rate he paid in 1689 was more than any of the other ordinary ratepayers. His name appears in 1660 with thirty-five others as being in the Town and County Gaols of Nottingham for refusing to take the oath of allegiance.

"John Torr. of Scrooby, for being at a peaceable meeting, was fined 5s. for his own offence, and £10 for the poverty of a certain blind man unknown, for one meeting, and £1 for another meeting, both warrants amounting to £11 5s. and they took from him four oxen worth about £14 10s. 0d., and another warrant from Justice Sands for the sum of 10s. and £1 which the officers run in charges about selling the oxen, which they had taken away by vertue of the other two warrants move than they sold the oxen for. as is pretended ; so they took an heifer from him worth about £2 10s. 0d." ("Sufferings," page 40). This involved record requires explanation, which probably is as follows:—Under one of the acts of parliament a fine of 5s. was imposed for attending a meeting, 10s. for repetition, and the attendant was liable in case of the poverty of any other person attending who preached, or taught, to pay a further penalty of £10. We must therefore assume that the blind man was a preacher.

There were not many instances of persecution in our county after 1676, but there was much trouble over the taking of corn out of the fields for tithes, and an entry says, " At Scrooby, from John Torr and Robert Jephson £12 8s. 0d." Here Torr was in the wrong, for tithes were a charge on both land and tenancy. The amount looks like the big tithes formerly payable to the monastery, confiscated by the State, and afterwards sold to the predecessors in title of the Cavendish family. Here was no spiritual return for the tithes paid, but a wrong done to the church, an irritation of the tenants, and afterwards involving a heavy appropriation of land in the parish.

We must be careful not to read into the records of the past our sentiments of the present day. What is now regarded as the right of private judgment with regard to faith and worship was then little understood, even by those who suffered, and those who inflicted the suffering believed that in so doing they were doing God service. Doctrines which they regarded as pernicious must be pat down by the mailed fist of law and penalty. The apostolic attitude of "I beseech you, brethren," was to them too feeble, as was the still higher example, Forbid him not. He that is not against us is for us." So the limb must be amputated in order to save the life. One man must suffer that the whole nation might not perish. Calvin, the descendants of the men of the "Mayflower," and many others thus acted.

There was at Blyth a monthly meeting of the Friends—called Quakers—and to this meeting, which was called the Sand and Clay Meeting, all the other village meetings in the district sent representatives. According to the minutes of that assembly, copies of which Mr. Edward Watkins has kindly lent me, on 13th December, 1695, Phebe Torr of Scrooby, was liberated (authorized) to travel on religious service in the south parts of this nation. The authority was signed by fifteen men and seven women, Friends. Phoebe was evidently a recognised minister among them, and authority was given to her from the Mansfield meeting on 25th January, 1700, to travel in the Northern parts, signed by nine men and two women. Letters from her are dated "Scrooby in Nottinghamshire," in 1698 and 1705. The business at the Blyth meeting included among other matters religious liberty and work on the continent, and in America,—" a college of Industry for the better maintenance of the Poor, and education of children," (1697).

Schools recommended to be established in every county by Friends, and that " care be taken in every county to allow a competent maintenance to masters (of such) " &c. Overseers to be appointed to visit Friends' families, and take notice of furniture, apparel, and education of children, that there be no superfluity or excess in the two first, or remissness or negligence in 'the last, and they are to see that no ministers preach unsound doctrine.

The notes continue from 1654 into the next century. The Bell and Lancaster elementary school systems were inaugurated early in the last century. Were the "Sand and Clay" Bassetlaw Wapentake men a hundred years in advance. The Eddison's were a noted family there.

Francis Sandys. The Notts. County Records show that Francis Sandys, Esq., of Scrooby, a great grandson of the Archbishop, was an acting Magistrate in the County from 1660 to 1695, that is from the time of the Restoration. He was buried in the church, and on the floor near to the chancel arch is a stone that tells of the burial in 1690 of Penelope Sandys.

There was a curious and interesting dispute between the Magistrates in Quarter Sessions assembled at Nottingham, and the bench at Retford, in 1676-8. Francis Sandys had been in 1676 appointed Treasurer for the North of the County, and Harvey Staunton Treasurer for the South of the County. The Nottingham Quarter Sessions fined Francis Sandys forty marks for refusing to distribute and give relief, etc., in contempt of this court, and thereupon appointed Harvey Staunton Treasurer for the whole County. Four days afterwards the Justices at Retford said that there should be two Treasurers as heretofore, and that Francis Sandys should continue Treasurer; that the fine was illegally made, and should be void and of no effect. The Nottingham Justices were determined not to be beaten, and in January ordered Francis Sandys to pay the arrears due to the maimed soldiers in the Newark Hundred, and in the following April they appointed Charles Lawcock Treasurer for the entire County. The Retford Justices four days afterwards retorted by ordering that "Justice Sandys continue Treasurer for ye Wapentake of Basset-law." Here the matter seems to have ended. (C. H. page 14).

A more important matter is recorded nearly twenty years afterwards. A plot was discovered in 1696 for assassinating King William III., in order to encourage an invasion from France, and to subject our Religion, Laws, and Liberties, etc. Thereupon a Quarter Session of the Peace assembled at "Barnby in le Moore," near Scrooby, and the Magistrates assembled signed a document declaring their loyalty, and resolving that if anything happened to the King they would stand by each other in Revenging the same upon his enemies and their adherents. On the back of this document forty-eight Magistrates signed a declaration that they did not believe there was any transubstantiation in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, or in the elements of bread and wine at or after consecration thereof by any person. This was confirmed at four adjourned Quarter Sessions, and among the signatures is that of Francis Sandys. It was ft queer mixture, but evidently intended to test and discover disloyal Roman Catholics. (C. E. 108).

An  Assessment. An Assessment was made in I. William and Mary (1688) "for the necessary Defence of Their Realmes," "for the reducing Ireland, and for the vigorous Prosecution of the Warr against France both by sea and land." The combined rates were for three shillings in the pound, and there was remitted to the Court of Exchequer by the Assessors of Scrooby £38 4s. Od. There were forty-seven assessments, so the population would then probably be about two hundred. "Francis Sandys Esqwer one of the Commissioners" paid the the highest rate, £8 8s. 0d., which would probably be for the Manor House and the land he occupied. The Rectory £6 looks like the lay rector's tithe. John Torr 48s. evidently the largest farmer next to the squire. He was probably the Quaker referred to elsewhere. His son was one of the collectors. The Earl of Kingston 16s. Hanley Oxgang 16s. looks like joint occupation before the Inclosure. John Gall at the Butts 6s. Does this indicate military practice? "The Cross Keyes paid 3s. This public house sign bore the arms of the Archbishop of York. The Holmes 2s. This would be the low flat land adjoining the river, and looks like joint occupation. Twelve persons paid 1s. 6d. each, and one 1s. 3d.

Vagrancy. In 1757 there was a vagrant carrier at  Scrooby, who was allowed one penny per day per mile for the conveyance of all vagrants from Scrooby; 4d. a day for keeping every vagrant above fourteen years of age, and 2d. a day for every vagrant under that age, and he was also allowed 12d. a day for the man that attends them. Poor Carrier! He had to keep a house, and keep a keeper to keep the vagrants, and keep on keeping food for a penny a meal, and keep a record in order to keep his office, which the Justice would sign as "Well kept!"

Prison. John Howard visited "The County Bridewell at  Southwell," in 1775 and 1776, and records that "it is used for a Prison for those manors which belong to the Archbishop of York," one of which was Scrooby. On one of the buildings was the date of 1656. The allowance was three half pennyworth of bread per day. "A 3d loaf weighed 1lb. 5 ozs. at my first visit. At my last 2 lbs." There was no employment for the prisoners. "The keeper informed me that a few years ago seven died here of the Gaol fever within two years." There were nine prisoners at the first visit, and thirteen at the second. "There is painted on a notice board over the keeper's door: — "The fees of this place is three shillings and sixpence. "N.B.—None is exempted from paying, but common vagrants."

Chiefly as the result of Mr. Howard's reports two Acts were passed by Parliament to remedy abuses.

Inclosure. There was in 1775 an Inclosure Act  passed affecting 1350 acres in Scrooby, but as the land area of the parish is only 1591 acres it must have comprised some of the old enclosures. One hundred and sixty acres were allotted to the Impropriator, that is the man who had bought, or inherited the great tithes that had been given by an archbishop long ago to God and the Church; thirty-four acres were allotted to the vicar for his small tithes, leaving the tithes still payable on 310 acres of old enclosure. Of course the food supply was increased by the Inclosure, for the land was better growing corn than gorse ; but the date of the Act was a generation before anybody stepped in to say some provision must be made for allotments ; for the poor, or for a school, or for a village green, or for mending the parish roads, or for the enlargement of the vicar's income, which, including the thirty-four acres, until recently appeared in the Diocesan Calendar as £213 for the three parishes of Sutton, Lound, and Scrooby, but it is now augmented. Three acres on Gibbet hill was allotted to the parish, and 3 roodsof grass. It must be borne in mind that the allottees had to stub and fence the land at considerable cost.

The Gibbet. A horrid murder in the parish must, of course, be  recorded. It  was in 1779 when William Yeadon, the keeper of Scrooby toll-bar, and his mother were murdered for plunder, by John Spencer, who came from North Leverton, and who, in trying to dispose of one of the bodies, by throwing it into the river,  was discovered, escaped, was  apprehended, tried, executed at Nottingham, and afterwards the body was besmeared with pitch and tar: hung in chains on a gibbet, which remained for more than sixty years to tell its tale of vengeance for wrongdoing. Of course the creaking cage and bleaching bones occasioned the haunting of the place by either disturbed spirits, or morbid sight-seers.

Coaches. The Turnpike Act was passed in 1663, and the roads being made good would enable wheeled carriages to pass rapidly, and long afterwards the Great North Road was made sufficiently good by Turnpike Trusts for swiftly running wheeled traffic coaches at ten miles an hour to and from London and York, and so continued nearly one hundred years. There was "The Wellington" during the latter part of the time, which started from The Bull and Mouth, near St. Paul's, London; "The Express," from The Saracen's Head; "The Highflyer," from the White Horse, Fetter Lane. The Leeds coaches were "The Rockingham" and "The Union," running in fierce competition. Horses for some of the coaches were changed at The White Hart, Retford, and at Barnby Moor, where stood The Bell Inn, kept in 1835 by Mr. William Dennett, grandfather of that old lover of coaches, Mr. A. C. Dennett, of The White Hart. Scrooby Top House was a posting house. The Crown at Bawtry would be the busiest, for the coaches from Gainsborough, and those to Tickhill and Sheffield, and those by Blyth and Ollerton to Nottingham horsed there.

How the children loved to hear the coachman blow his horn! But the whistle of the steam engine eventually silenced the horn.

There are two public-houses: The  Saracen's Head and the George and Dragon.

Bishopfields. Bishopfields was according to Canon  Raine a part of a district of over 300 acres, partly in Ranskill, with tithe arrangements of 700 years ago, but the name is now appropriated to a house built about 1827.

Wesleyans. The spiritual needs of the parish being   insufficiently supplied, the Wesleyans in 1825 built a small chapel, which is in the Doncaster circuit, and supplied by local preachers.

School. An elementary school was in 1907 built by the Notts. County Council, on land given by Viscount Galway, for sixty children, forty being in average attendance; the loan being £1,050, at 33/4 per cent., repayment being spread over twenty-nine years, and in 1920 more than half is repaid.

Drainage. The River Idle Drainage Commission is an    aid to the low-lying part of the parish in which some works qperate for carrying off water from the water-logged area.

Flour Mill. The old water mill having renewed its youth in 1722 and subsequently, still grinds its corn, as it did in the days when the archbishops were in residence. More reliable than the windmill, and cheaper than steam, it, hoary with age, fulfils its daily task.

Railway. The first passenger train from Retford to  Doncaster ran on September 4th, 1849, there being, a small passenger station at Scrooby. The Great Northern Railway Company had passed through an awful struggle before obtaining parliamentary powers, for instead of Parliament appointing a joint committee to examine and report as to where lines were desirable and practicable, especially main lines, it had allowed speculators to have acts for lines from one market town to another, regardless of public needs and through communications, and had allowed George Hudson, the Railway King, and his confreres, to oppose every attempt to construct a line on the east coast from York, via the Peterborough district, although the natural fairly level formation, and the ancient road, and public convenience favoured it; the result being that for years that side of the country was a blank after lines elsewhere had been constructed, and "moreover by the end of 1846 they had expended over half a million of money in their undertaking, although not a single sod had been cut, nor one brick put upon another for its works" So said Edmund Denison, Esq., M.P., the "Father" of the Company. (History G.N.R. by C. H. Grinling, page 62). The convenience of the district is now well cared for, and people can travel in less hours than it took days before, with much more comfort, and less cost, without any of the highway robbery risks connected with Ainsworth's imaginary "Dick Turpin's Ride to York."