From the following entry it would appear that there had been a dispute as to whether the Brewhouses under Nottingham Castle were within the town of Nottingham or within the County:

On 3rd April, 1654, it was ordered "that the weekly payments to the poore people under the Castle of Nott be continued until the next meeting of Justices for Broxtowe Hundred at Paplewick on Monday the 17th inst, and that the lords, owners and inhabitants of the Castle and place neere thereunto called the brewhouses (now appearing to be a parish and libertie of themselves and not within the town and county of Nott but within the Wapentake of Broxtowe) have notice to appeare at Papplewick and show cause why they should not be charged to maintaine their said poore."


Disputes occasionally arose as to whether certain lands were or were not in particular parishes:

On 10th January, 1652-1653, it is recorded that Mrs. Rix of Nottingham, widow, "hath latelie been assessed by the Inhabitants of Lenton towards the relief of their poor for divers lands of a great value which she holdeth in Lenton being parcel of the late Abby of Lenton which the said Inhabitants affirme to be within the parish of Lenton but the said Mrs. Rix denyeth the same. The said Inhabitants cannot at the present time make sufficient proof to this Court that the said lands doe lye within the parish of Lenton, and the Court are informed that there is a suite of law depending between the said Inhabitants and Mrs. Rix about ye difference."

On 13th July, 1653, complaint was made by Churchwardens and Overseers of Southwell that Hugh Cartwright of Hexgrave Park, gent. "holding in his possession there £200 by the yeare in lands and being assessed after the rate of 1d. in the £for one moneth towards the relief of the poor refuseth to pay the assessment alleadging the said lands are not within the said parish." An Order was made for payment of arrears.


A few instances of cruelty to animals are recorded:

On 2nd May, 1606, a Warrant was granted against Robert Catley, servant to Edward Fitzwilliam, gentleman, "because he broke the legs of divers sheep of John Garbyck, and that the same Robert said that the aforesaid Edward his master ordered him to do it."

On 15th July, 1608, Willm. Woodhouse was ordered to be set in the Stocks at Billthorpe for four hours "because the same William unlawfully slaughtered certain young pigs."

On 6th October, 1624, two yeomen of Fledborough were indicted for impounding a horse in a small or narrow house (in angust domi).


There were many Indictments or presentments for "rescuing cattle (averia)" and there is one on 6th October, 1615 "for rescuing cattle from the custody of the watchman."


There were several indictments for "erecting a dovecote."


Under the heading of "Gam" at page 89 it will be seen that it was illegal to keep greyhounds and hunting dogs.

Other dogs could be kept if they were not a nuisance. If they were, an offence was committed:

On 15th July, 1696, Robt. Sharpe was indicted for "illegally keeping a dog to the prejudice of the neighbourhood."


The Statute 5 Eliz. c. 4 provided that the rates of wages of artificers, husbandmen, labourers and workmen were to be ascertained yearly by Justices in Sessions, and approved by the Privy Council and be proclaimed by the Sheriffs, &c.

There is no mention of the Rates of Wages in the Records until the year 1678, when the following entry appears:

"Ordered that ye Rates of Wages wch were last yeare bee now confirmed this yeare."

Again on 12th April, 1686:

" Ordered that ye rates of wages be continued as they were last yeare."

On the 16th April, 1694, it was ordered:

" That the Clerk of the Peace do procure the rates of wages and deliver one to every Constable thro'out the sd County."

It is unfortunate that no Rate of Wages was entered in the Sessions Book. The document itself was probably filed and the file containing it has been destroyed.

As a guide to the wages paid at this time to Servants in Husbandry, the Rates of Wages fixed by the Justices in 1724 may be given as follow:

Servants in
by the Year
{ The Head Man Servant aged above 20 £6
{ The Second Servant aged as above £4
{ A Man Servant aged 16 and under 20 £3
{ A Maid Servant aged 20 £2
{ A Maid Servant aged 16 and under 20 £1 10

By the day from March 21st
to September 29th.
By the day from September 29th
to March 25th.
With meat
and drink.
Without meat
and drink.
With meat
and drink.
Without meat
and drink
Common Laborers. By the day
(except Harvest work and Haywork)
0 0 4 0 0 8 0 0 3 0 0


Hay work and Harvest Work
By the day: A Mower of
Grasse or Corn
0 0 8 0 1 0
A Woman reaper of corn 0 0 4 0 0 8
A Haymaker or Follower of a
Sythe, a Hooker, a Pitcher of
a Cart, and a driver of a Cart
0 0 6 0 0 10
A woman Haymaker 0 0 3 0 0 6

The Order made in 1724 contains a proviso that "where less wages have been given than are hereby appointed within one year past, that such less wages shall be given and taken still,"

It may be assumed that the wages fixed and paid in the seventeenth century were if anything less than those fixed in 1724.

Both the payer and receiver of higher wages than were rated or fixed by the Justices were punished, by the payer paying £5 and being imprisoned for 10 days, and by the receiver being imprisoned for 21 days.

All able bodied labourers, wandering the country through refusal to work at the legal rate of wages, were accounted rogues and vagabonds.

There were many presentments:

"For giving and accepting more wages than the Justices' rate"; "for selling his service for more than the rate allowed"; "for paying excessive wages to an agricultural laborer"; "for paying excessive wages to servants," &c, &c.

On the 16th January, 1606-1607, George Gaskyne was fined £210 0 "because he retained in his service William Kitchen being below the age of 21 years, and gave excessive wages namely 26s. 8d. to the same William Kychinge."

There were also presentments "for refusing to work for convenient wages."

On 11th January, 1627, Thomas Taylor, servant to John Tunstall, clerk, was sent to gaol "because the said Thomas contracted and agreed with the said John to serve the said John in agriculture as a common servant, and not as a bailiff in agriculture, for the space of a year, for wages of 4 marks being more wages than are allowed to such servants." John Tunstall was fined 20/- for certain contemptuous words in Court.

Statute Sessions were held for the hiring of servants. In the Order of 1724 above referred the dates of such Sessions are to be "Oct. 10th and Oct. 26th next coming."

There are presentments "for hiring servants outside the Statute Sessions."

The Statute Sessions were attended by the Chief Constables who kept books in which were entered the names and ages of servants hired. The default of a master or servant to have the hiring so recorded was an offence.

On 8th July, 1616, twenty-eight persons were presented "for retaining servants out of petty Sessions and not recording them." And on the 13th January, 1616-1617, nineteen persons were presented for not recording the names of servants in the books of the Chief Constable." There were many similar presentments.

On the 16th April, 1683, it was ordered "that noe Chief Constable within the County of Nottingham shall from henceforth keepe any private Sessions for hiring of servants without two Justices of the Peace be present."

The Statute of Elizabeth enjoined that servants should not leave the Parish of their service without Testimonial of Licence so to do, or in other words a testimonial of liberty to serve elsewhere. A servant not producing such Testimonial was to be punished, and a master retaining a servant without such document was to be fined.

There were many presentments "for retaining a servant without a letter of testimonial."

On 10th January, 1641-1642, the Court had before them a master who had put away a servant after a fortnight's stay. "It appeared that she was reteyned without a testimonial contrary to law." The Court held that the sayd reteynor was void.

There were presentments "For retaining the servant of another man in service contrary to Statute"; "For hiring a maid servant lawfully retained with [engaged by] another," &c, &c.

There are presentments also "For leaving his master's service before the end of the term."

The following are instances of servants being away from their master's service under special circumstances:

On 16th July, 1641, Wm. Rawson of Selston, yeoman, "having reteyned one Alice Newton in his service for a yeare from Martinmas last and she going from him of her owne accord to Watnall to be healed of some infirmity and stayed away from him upon that occacon about 16 weeks is likely to be chargeable to the place where she soe stayed." Wm. Rawson was ordered to receive her again into his house and service, "he not having given her such warning for her departure as by law he ought."

On 7th January, 1638-1639, a complaint was made by Richard Ward, servant to Bryan Wheatley of Bingham, husbandman, "that Wheatley refused to pay agreed salary to Richard." Wheatley alleged that Richard removed to a distance and absented himself from his service for divers weeks during the time of the pestilence at Bingham. Wheatley was ordered to pay the salary after deducting a proportional part for the time the said Richard absented himself.

On 9th January, 1659-1660, an order was made to send back Mary Smith of Ossington, spinster, who had been put away by her master before the end of her terme of hiring "because she was troubled with the evill in one of her sides." Her master was ordered to pay her "her wages for the 7 weeks last past she has been absent from him and 5/-more in recompence to her dyet and lodging during the said time."

On 16th April, 1683, It was ordered that Edward Lambe of Bulwell "receive William Coates again into his service and pay him his yeares wages thereof being £3 16 0. And alsoe pay for his table for the time he hath beene under the Doctor's hands at Nottm." The Overseers were ordered to pay to Mr. Arthur Oldham of Nottm. 20/- for the cure of the said Wm. Coates.

The following are Orders of the Justices for payment of wages due to servants:

On 10th January, 1620-1621, two yeomen of Thorraton were ordered to pay 11s. 6d. for wages for 23 days to Richard Shelborne.

On 10th January, 1652-1653, John Sales of Mansfield, was ordered to pay £440 wages due to his late servant Mary Oldham for 3 years wages for her service to him.

On 4th October, 1675, it was ordered that Robt. Sumner bee payd 5 groates a weeke for his wages by Widow Sumner.

On 2nd May, 1679, Wm. Holmes was ordered to pay to Ursula Watkyns £5 5 0 for 2 years and a half wages last due to her. "For the other £5which she charges him with on an old account wee refer her to ye Common Law."

On 10th January, 1685-1686, Anne Smalley was ordered to pay her servant Dorothy one quarter's wages 7/- "ye whole year's wages being 30/-."

On 13th January, 1653-1654, a petition was read of George Clark of Blyth, laborer, showing that he having been servant in husbandry to one Chadwick Dunton of Blyth deceased for the space of 3 years together ended about Martmas 1651 such Chadwick Dunton at the time of his death did owe the said Clark the sum of £4 for the part of his wages due to him for his said service. The deceased master's administrator was ordered to pay.

On 12th January, 1680-1681, an Order was made that Robert "Costall be discharged from his servant since ye time of his marriage."

It is not clear whether it is the master's marriage or the servant's marriage that put an end to the contract of service.

It would appear that marriage did not prevent a maid servant from carrying out her contract of service, for on 2nd October, 1622, a Warrant was granted against a weaver of Grestrop for detaining his wife from the "service of William Butcher, clerk, according to the order of the Justices in Court, and for making complaint to the Justices of Assize and obtaining reference to two Justices in the County ignorant of the matter."

Whether the pregnancy of a maid servant was a justification for dismissing her was a question often before the Justices. In the earlier part of the century it was not held to be a justification:

On 8th July, 1616, William Aldred of Colwick, clerk, was indicted because he expelled his maid servant a certain Katherine Bennett (made pregnant by his son Gervase Aldred) before the feast of St. Martin, the usual time for dismissing and hiring anew of servants, whereby she may be a vagrant and without any situation habitation, &c.

On 4th April, 1627, there was information that Anne Walkden being hired for one year from the feast of St. Martin last with a widow of Wynthorpe named Ann Cook had lately been discharged from service upon the suspicion that she was pregnant. An Order was made remitting Ann Walkden to her service to serve out her yeare.

On 16th July, 1628, the Court were informed that Ann Jenniver had been discharged from service before the end of her term of service on account of her pregnancy "but the Court considered this an insufficient cause," and ordered that she return to her master.

But from the following entry it would appear that there was a change of opinion on the subject in the later years of the century:

On 12th July, 1686, an Order was made that Henry Parnham "shall be discharged from his servant Mary Sithernes who being with child hath disabled herself by being with child from doeing him yt service wch he might jusley expect from her, and yt the overseers shall take care of her."

There are several instances of illtreatment of servants:

On 13th April, 1655, three servants in husbandry to John Thornhill of Blyth, gent, petitioned "to be manumitted from their service because their master hath soe soare beaten misused and threatened them insomuch as they are in greate fear and danger of their lives." The Petition was granted.

On 8th October, 1656, John Clare, a laborer of Selston, was bound over for good behaviour "for threatening Joane Ward, servant to Richard Owsall, whereupon she is run away and none can tell what is become of her."

There are several instances of the punishment of servants refusing to work:

On 9th October, 1629, a man servant to Sir Hardolphus Wasteneys, Bart, was sent to the House of Correction to be there whipped, &c. "for his idleness in the service of his master, and for his bad and obstinate conduct towards his master."

On 11th January, 1632-1633, a Warrant was granted against a servant of Sir George Lassells "for being a person of bad manners and for refusing to make his work with his said master."

On 3rd May, 1633, three men servants of Sir Geo. Lassells were sent to House of Correction for "bad and obstinate behaviour and refusing to work," and were ordered to be whipped and set to work.

On the 10th October, 1617, a blacksmith was presented "for allowing his servants to tipple."


There are several cases of masons being presented for leaving before they had finished their work:

On 8th July, 1611, a mason at Annesley Woodhouse was presented for "not making an end of work."

On 7th October, 1636, a mason of East Markham was presented "for leaving the work of Thomas fflower before perfection anglice the finishing."

On 10th July, 1637, a mason of Mansfield Woodhouse was presented "for leaving his work before it was finished."

On 12th July, 1637, a carpenter at Barneby was presented for "refusing to work with his neighbours for the usual wages."

On 14th July, 1689, Wm. Berridge was presented for "not erecting a building according to a contract with John Sturtivant."


There were Indictments or presentments: "For nuisance," the nature of the nuisance not being stated. But sometimes the nuisance is mentioned, e.g.:

In the years 1604-5-6 there were Indictments "For exposing dung in the street so as to cause a nuisance"; "For defiling the King's highway with dung" (cum stercorarius); and "For placing dung on the common way to the nuisance of passengers."

In January, 1633-1634, there was an Indictment "for nuisance to Highway by not cutting hedges."

On 9th January, 1698-1699, John Ball of Mansfield Woodhouse was indicted "for not scouring the sough and a nuisance to the town."

Orders were made to remove nuisances:

On 10th April, 1678, it was ordered "that ye Smith's Shop being a newsance upon ye Highway bee demolished in ye Towne of Thurgarton if ye person concerned doe not show cause to ye contrary at ye next Sessions."

On 14th January, 1679-1680, the Inhabitants of Coddington were ordered to remove ye nusance of ye highway leadg from Barnby to Newark by Shrove tide upon ye penalty of £20.