There were many Indictments and presentments against the Inhabitants of Parishes for non repair of Bridges.

In many instances the names of the bridges are not mentioned. This is so in the case of Indictments against "Cottam," Darleton, Hayton, Skegby and Teversall, &c.

Some of the Indictments are against private individuals, but, as in the case of highways, it is not always possible to say whether they were indicted on account of their liability to repair ratione tenuroe, &c. or in their capacity as parochial officials.

The following is a list of some of the bridges named in Indictments or presentments, with the name of the Parish or individual indicted given in brackets:

Basford Bridge (Basford)
Bescall Bridge (Thornton—quaere Thoroton)
Bilby Bridge (Bilby)
Brode Bridge (South Lenton—quaere South Leverton)
Wath Bridge (Epperstone)
[In 1679, the Constables of Epperstone were ordered to pay £2 12 0 for ye repaire of Wath Bridge.] ffarand Bridge (Ruddington and Clifton) "Bridge in Heagate Lane " (Hayton) Hunney Ditch Bridge (Burton Joyce and Gunthorpe) Kegworth Bridge (Kingston) King's Bridge (Chilwell and Attenborrow)
Annys (?) Bridge (Kingston)
Kingston Bridge (Kingston)
"Cliffe Hill Bridge, near Pinkstone Lan " (Kirkby in Ashfield)
"A footbridge situate near the eastern end of Turnebridge, and leading from Muskham to Newark, a market towne" (Kelham)
Turn Brigg (South Muskham). In 1678 the overseers of South Muskham were ordered to "repair ye Turn Brigg soe much as belongs to them."
"One of the three Bridges between South Muskham and Newark" (Kelham)
"A footbridge (pons pedalis) leading from Newark to Kelham" (Averham)
"A Cartbrig in the parish of Morton" (Morton and Fisgarton)
Swine (?) Bridge (Newark)
"Bridge leading from Ratcliffe on Soar to Lockington in the County of Leicester" (Ratcliffe on Soar)
Boffit Bridge (Selston)
Sotts Bridge (quaere Zouch Bridge) (Sutton Bonington)
Spittle Bridge (Wm. ffarndon of Cromwell, gentleman)
Stanningholme Bridge (Lowdham and Hoveringham)
Moore Bridge, Stapleford (Anne Tevery, George Jackson and Gervase Hollingworth)
Stockwith Bridge (West Stockwith and Misterton)
[In 1634, a warrant was issued against the Inhabitants of West Stockwith and Misterton "who refused contributions of divers sums on them imposed for repaire of Stockwith Bridge and other Bridges there ruinous."]
Thorrow Bridge, or Thyough Bridge (Bingham and Whatton)
"A bridge in the South part of the Town" (Trowell)
Trundle Bridge "situate below the parishes of North Muskham, Barlow, and Holme" (Holme)
Weston Bridge (Weston)
"The bridge between Wilford and Rodington" (Wilford)
Little Bridge (Wilford)
Zouch Bridge (Thomas Lees of Sutton Bonington, miller)
[In 1674 sums of £10 18 10 and 14/- were ordered to be paid for repair of Zouch Bridge.]
Newark Bridge (Newark)
"Part of the Trent Bridge" (the Inhabitants of Newark and the tenants of the King)
Devon Bridge (Hawton and Farndon)
[At a trial in 1605 the Inhabitants of Hawton were held to be liable to repair, and the Inhabitants of Farndon not liable.]
Hooke Bridge (Girton)
[In 1605 the Inhabitants of Girton were held not liable to repair this bridge. In 1606 the Earl of Shrewsbury was indicted for not repairing Hooke Bridge; and In 1608 the "owners of houses in Mearinge" were indicted "for not repairing Howkebridge."]
Wensday Bridges (Cottam)

Bawtry Bridge.

In 1607, the Chief Constable of Bassetlaw was ordered to collect 30/- in that Wapentake "for the repair of the Bridge called Bawtry Bridge"; and in 1609, the Constables of the Hundreds of Bassetlaw and Newark were ordered to collect £75 "towards the repairing of a bridge called Bawtree Bridge according to the tax to be levied," and the order goes on to say "and if the Barons of the Exchequer shall remit the aforesaid collection then the aforesaid money shall be spent for the use of the County."

Leen Bridge.

Portions of this bridge were repairable by the different Wapentakes as appears by the following entries;

Broxtowe Hundred.

On 2nd May, 1614, the Wapentake of Broxtowe was fined 6d. for non repair.

The following sums were raised in the Hundred for repair of portion of Bridge:

10 Jan., 1689 . . . . . . £10
2 Oct., 1693 . . . . . . £4 8 10

Bassetlaw Hundred.

On 5th October, 1635, the Inhabitants of the Hundred of Bassetlaw were presented "for the East side of the Leen Bridge in decay."

On 7th October, 1636, a presentment against the Inhabitants of Bassetlaw was discharged "upon information that they had collected and paid £40 towards the repair of their part of the Bridge and that if necessary they will find more for the purpose."

On 16th January, 1684-1685, there is a record of £30 being levyed on Bassetlaw Hundred.

On the same date there is a Memorandum of Recognisance of John Morley, bricklayer, and Thomas Vickers, both of Nottingham "in sum of £80 that they shall keep and maintaine yt part of Leen Bridge wch belongs to Bassetlaw Hundred for 20 yeares from Michaelmas last past in good repaire and Indemnify ye sd Hundred from all damage wch shall happen agst ye Hundred for ye same the Hundred paying Morley and Vickers 40/- yearly."

Bingham Hundred.

On 2nd May, 1655, Information by the Chief Constables of Bingham Hundred that they have expended the £3 by them already collected for the repaire of that part of ye Leene Bridge belonging to their Hundred And yt ye further charge to compleat ye same to be repaired and gravelled answerable to the other parts of the said Bridge and to fill in the Cart ruttes and cleanse the Arches till the gravell be setled will amount unto £3 4 0 more than the said £3 already collected. Order to raise the amount.

Newark Hundred.

The following sums were raised or levyed in the Newark Hundred:

8 April, 1678 . . . . . . £6
16 April, 1682 . . . . . . (amount not stated)
29 April, 1685 . . . . . . £10 7 0
24 July, 1689 . . . . . . £6
13 January, 1691-1692 . . . . . . 40/-
18 April, 1694 . . . . . . 40/-
16 January, 1694-1695 . . . . . . 40/-

Thurgarton Aleigh Hundred.

The following sums were raised or levyed in the Hundred of Thurgarton Aleigh:

10 July, 1678 . . . . . . £3
18 April, 1683 . . . . . . £8 10 0
29 April, 1685 . . . . . . £23
12 January, 1686-1687 . . . . . . £4

On 14th July, 1615, a Worksop man was presented for refusing to pay a levy for Leen Bridge.

The following entries relate to the repair of the bridge, but do not refer to the particular Hundreds:

On 19th April, 1658, Order that ye Leene Bridge now in decay be repaired and ye walls on either side mayd high and that a judicious workman be advised withall touching ye worke and charge thereof and to oversee ye doeing of it.

On 17th July, 1675, Order that the sume of 24/- be paid for 24 load of gravel for the repairing of Leen Bridge.

The following entry, on 29th April, 1685, has reference to the use of the arches of the bridge for storage purposes:

"If any person make use of any of ye Arches of the Bridge for laying Coles or other goods they to pay for same."

Sandiacre Bridge.

In October, 1687, the Treasurers of the County were ordered to pay 20/- "for leading gravell to Sandiacre Bridge," yet in April, 1688, it was presented that Sandiacre Bridge "was much out of repair."

In October, 1688, it was ordered "that ye watercourse channel or ditch running out of Stapleford Lane by Sandiacre Bridge shall be turned some other way for ye benefit of ye said Causeway and Bridge."

Scaftworth Bridge.

In January, 1691-1692, it was ordered "that 40/- be raised towards ye repaire of one half of Scavtworth Bridge wch belonges to ye County to repaire."

Trowell Bridge.

In 1693, there was "a Tryal betwixt the King and Queen Pltffs and the Inhabitants of this County of Nott defendants towards the repaireing of Trowell Bridge," and the verdict was against the County. Accordingly £50 was ordered to be raised for the repair of the bridge and £2was ordered to be paid to "Mr. ffrancis Haynes Attorney at law who managed the cause for this county."

Merriall Bridge.

In the early part of the century there appears to have been doubt as to who was liable to repair a bridge called Merriall Bridge. On 7th October, 1614, the County of Nottingham was presented for non-repair; on 16th January, 1617-1618, the Inhabitants of East Markham were presented; and on the 20th April, 1627, the Overseers of West Markham were presented; but the question was ultimately settled in favor of the County as appears by the following memorandum on the 8th October, 1630:

Memorandum that there is a certain Record Verdict and Judgment in a trial held at the general Gaol delivery in the County of Nottingham held on Friday March 13th in the 4th yeare of the reign of King Charles exemplified under the Seal of the Crown office remaining in the office of the keeper of the rolls of this County being among the enrolments of Charters by which it manifestly appears that Dorothy Lady White of Tuxford in the County of Notts widow of Thomas White of the same town and County, esquire, by reason of the tenure of her Manor of Tuxford aforesaid and of other lands of hers there And that Robert Williamson of East Markham in the County of Notts Esquire by reason of the tenure of his lands in East Markham aforesaid, certain land of a certain . . . . . . . Saundbie, And that Rutland Mollineux of West Markham in the County of Notts aforesaid Esquire, Master of the Fellows and Scholars of the College of St. John in Cambridge and other tenants of the Manor of West Markham aforesaid by reason of the tenure of the same Manor and of other lands of theirs ought to repair there a certain bridge near West Markham aforesaid called Merriall Bridge, a copy of which record drawn up on parchment and engrossed is filed among the records of the peace of this County in the bundle of this yeare the 6th of King Charles in order that henceforth by one another it may be more easily found and it may more clearly appear to posterity by whom that bridge ought to be repaired lest hereafter for want of this Record the whole County may be unjustly burdened with the repairing of the aforesaid Bridge as was probable now if that trial had not been vigilantly prosecuted at the said general Gaol delivery.

There is no bridge now known as Merriall Bridge. In Thoroton it is stated that "Merriell Bridge" was the name of "a small place in the Parish of Elkesley," and that "this bridge lies at the entrance of this small township in York rode way betwixt Tuxford and Scroby." (Vol. 3, p. 363).

It is in fact the bridge over the River Maun now known as Eelpie Bridge. It has also been called Wakefield Bridge.

Stafford Bridge, between Littleborough and Sturton, was the subject of a considerable litigation. In 1607 the Inhabitants of Littleborough were ordered to repair it "before the feast of St. Michael the archangel next." In 1611 they were indicted because the bridge "was greatly defective and ruinous and in great decay and its use by the King's subjects not possible," but upon trial a verdict of not guilty was returned by the Jury.

On 7th October, 1614, a gentleman of Eaton was presented "for not paying a tax for Stafford Bridge repairing," but it is not stated by whom the tax was levied.

On the 13th January, 1614-1615, a Petition was exhibited by Inhabitants of Littleborough at the hands of the most noble Edward Coke, Knight, Chief Justice of the King's Bench and the Royal Council and one of the Justices for taking the Assizes &c. at Nottingham, in which they complained:

That a certain Bridge called Stafford Bridge lying near the town of Littlebrough and leading from very many Northern parts into and towards the several Counties of Lincoln and Norfolk was very ruinous so that the lieges of the lord the King could not cross there without peril of their lives.

Whereupon Lord Chief Justice Coke in open Court held that the bridge should henceforth be repaired by the Inhabitants of the whole County of Nottingham, "it not being possible to state by whom the said bridge should be repaired."

An Order was accordingly made by Quarter Sessions for the repair of the bridge at the cost of the whole county.

Subsequently, upon diligent search and enquiry, certain records were discovered by which it was plainly stated that Stafford Bridge should be by right repaired by the Inhabitants of the several townships of Sturton, Fenton and Littlebrough, and at the Assizes at Nottingham, in March, 1633-1634, before Sir Richard Hutton and Sir George Crooke, Judges, the Jurors found the Inhabitants of Sturton, Fenton and Littlebrough guilty of the non-repair of Stafford Bridge, and judgment was given accordingly.

At the Quarter Sessions on the 15th July, 1636, an Order was made that the "Order of 13th January, 1614-1615, be cancelled and that "the Inhabitants of Sturton, Fenton and Littlebrough shall build maintain and repair for ever Stafford Bridge and the whole County of Nottingham are acquitted of the burden."

Mattersey Bridge.

In 1691, the Court heard a Petition of the Inhabitants of Mattersey in Thorpe "concerning the rebuilding of a stone bridge over the River Idle," and it is stated that "Mattershaw Bridge is very much out of repair and not passable by reason of ye King's carriages for shipping." It was ordered that upon the amendment of the bridge to the Court certified "there shall be an allowance from the countrey not exceeding tenne pounds as a Guift," and subsequently the Treasurer was ordered "to pay unto Sir Willugby Hickman or his order ye sum of £10 as a Guift."

Two bridges, Muskham Bridge and Kelham Bridge, appear to have suffered during the Civil War.

Muskham Bridge.

Muskham Bridge is mentioned in State documents as far back as the reign of Richard I.

On 11th January, 1603-1604, Sir Wm. Willoughby of South Muskham was indicted for not repairing "bridge across the Trent"; and

On 11th July, 1604, he was indicted "for not repairing a bridge called Muskham Bridge."

During the Civil War Muskham Bridge was destroyed. On the 3rd September, 1652, the following Order was made at a Sessions at Southwell:

Be it remembered that William Willoughby of South Muskham Esq. did this day in open Court promise and acknowledge himself that in his own right he would beare half the charge of the building of Muskham bridge, which the country who are by consent to beare the other half in regard it was broken downe in time of Warre. And did also ingage himself that for the future he would at his own charge and in his own right from time to time duely Repayre the said Bridge without any further charge to the Countrey as being a charge which he acknowledgeth himself to be legally liable unto in respect of the tenure of severall his lands in Muskham aforesaid of the cleere yearly value of fifty pounds whereof he promiseth to deliver a particulor at the next general Sessions of the peace to be hold at Newark for the County of Nott to which the said Mr. Willoughby subscribed his name in the Wastbooke.

(Signed) Will. Willoughby.

This Order was confirmed at the Quarter Sessions held on the 6th October, 1652, at which Sessions the following entry appears:

A particular of lands chargeable with the repaire of Muskham Bridge (filed among the Records).
The Particular before mentioned was at this Sessions accordingly given into the Court in wryteing by and under ye hand of Ralph Smythe gent agent for the said Mr. Willoughby and by his appoynt-ment to remayne upon Record for posterity In theis words following vizt:
The particulars of fifty pounds per ann of the Estate of William Willoughby Esqre within ye Lordship of South Muskham in ye County of Nottingham delivered unto the Sessions of the Peace held at Newark the sixt of October Anno 1652 according to an Order of Sessions at Southwell ye 3rd of September 1652.

Present Tenants.
  £ s. d.
Henry Crackhill
Thomas Green
The great Breading lying neere the Mannor House
at Carleton sett for
  19 0 0
Gabriel Listles
Thomas Sampey
The little Breading Henry Saxon held   15 0 0
Thomas Maultby
Robert Smith
Another Breading called Lillyes Breading   4 10 0
Thomas Sampee
John Kirk
The Mare Furlong   11 10 0
The totall some is   50 0 0

Theis lands are acknowledged by Mr. Willoughby to bee lyable to the Repair of Muskham Bridge.
(Signed) R. A. Smith Agent for ye said
Willm. Willoughby Esqre.

There was litigation in regard to Muskham Bridge in the years 1687 and 1688.

On 11th July, 1688, the Treasurers were ordered to pay 60 marks (i.e., 40 marks in respect of the North of the County, and 20 marks in respect of the South of the County) to "Mr. Richard Mason of Newarke towards ye charges in carrying on ye suite and tryall against Sir ffra Willoughby about ye rebuilding of Muskham Bridge wch was tryed at Lincoln Assizes last."

On 5th October, 1688, it is recorded that Mr. Mason "formerly Attorney in this Cause" was dead, and Mr. ffrancis Wyld was instructed "as Attorney for this County of Nott to bring downe ye Record for Tryall ye last Assizes to be hold for ye sd Coy of Nott about ye Repairs of Muskham Bridge."

The result of the trial was therefore apparently in favour of the County, and there is no further reference to Muskham Bridge in the Records of the seventeenth century.

Kelham Bridge.

After the Civil War there was considerable litigation in regard to Kelham Bridge.

In April, 1655, the Court was informed "yt in case the bridge at Kelham be not repaired before July next by the Lord Owners Inhabitants or Bridgmaster of Kelham there will be occasion for prosecution of the decree made upon the Commission of Charitable uses, and such other prosecution as Counsell shall advise therein, to wch purpose the Solicitor must be furnished with money." The Solicitor referred to was Mr. Richard Mason "who was employed Solicitor in the behalfe of the Cuntry concerning Muskham and Kelham Bridges," and it is recorded that he "hath expended about the same more money already than he received." An Order was made to raise the money required.

In 1657, there was a "suite now depending betwixt Robert Sutton Esqre and the Inhabitants of the County concerning the repaire of Kelham Bridge." The question at issue appeared to be "whether certaine Landes in Kelham called Bridge Lands ought to be imployed for ye repaire of ye said Bridge or not."

For some reason not stated the case was appointed to be tried at "Northampton next Assize." "Harbert Leeke, William Woolhouse and George Cam gent." were "nominated and desired by this Court to go along with Mr. John Story the Elder of Kneeton gent, and ye Solicitor of ye County Mr. Richard Mason of Newarke" to Northampton "to assist and direct in ye management of ye tryall appointed to be there tryed."

At the last Assizes the Grand Jury had presented "their desire 'that the sum of £100 should be raised and collected in the County for the presenting and defending the suite," and an Order was made to raise the sum.

There is no entry in the Records in reference to the result of the trial.

In 1674, the County were called upon to defend "ye suit commenced by my Lord Lexington against ye County touching ye repairing of Kelham Bridge," and a sum of £100 was again raised for the purpose. The witnesses "at ye Tryall in pont de Kelham" were

John Craggs Tho Palmer
Eliz Dove Robt Land
Farmery Cheetam John Musson
Fran fflintham

Here again there is no record of the result of the Action, but in 1676 "Mr. Arthur Collingwood who has acted as Attorney for the County of Nottingham in the suit about Kelham Bridge" was ordered "to give an account of his money before Easter."

In 1689, the Inhabitants of Kelham were indicted "for not repairing Kelham Bridge."

Markham Bridge.

(Also spelt Morecarr Briggs, Markall Bridge, Marcall Bridge, Marked Bridge and Marcom Bridge).

This bridge is believed to be the bridge on the part of the Fosseway (called Farndon Road), over the River Devon near Newark, and now called Devon Bridge.

It was evidently a bridge of some importance in the seventeenth century. In the section relating to Highways at p. 71 it will be observed that the Inhabitants of Hawton were indicted in respect of:

" Highway from Markall Bridge to Ladywelle" and of
"Spring Lane leading from Newark to Marcom Bridge."

Early in the century the parishes of Farndon and Hawton were both indicted for non-repair of this bridge, and on the 14th January, 1606-1607, on the requisition of the Inhabitants of Hawton, the following Order was directed "to be recorded among the records of this Sessions":

" To the Inhabitants of Hawton, Nottingham.
Whereas at the quarter Session holden at Newark the 8th of October ann 1595 yt was ordered by the Court there: That the decayes of Morecarr briggs beinge then complayned of in the said Session sholde be viewed by Willm Sutton Esqre high Sheriff of the saide County, and John Thorrold Esquire one of Her Majesty s Justice of the Peace within the same County And also that there sholde be spedy order sett downe by them for the repaire and amendment thereof. By vertue whereof wee signif ye unto you That the decayes of the est syde of the same Bridges are to be repaired with sufficient coveringe by the owners or fnrmors of the grounde of ffarndon nowe in the occupation of Robt Butcher on thone syde And by Mr. Leakes lyinge within the parish of Hawton in the occupation of Henry Gill on thother syde, and all such groundes as upon the same do next and ymediately adjoyne unto the same Briggs And the decayes of the West syde to be lykewyse repaired by the grounde of John Bushopp of Lincoln in the parrishe of ffarndon in the occupation of Mr. Hartely on thone syde And Barnards Croft wch is in the parrishe of Newark in the occupacon of Robt Webb on thother syde as lykewyse yf there be any other such imediatly joyninge upon the same bridge And for the tymber and stonework plankings and railinge thereof wee fynde that yt hathe bene and ought to be repaired by her Majesty And further wee do order that yf hereafter there happen any decayes in the repayringe amendinge or coveringe thereof that the same shalbe ordered by the oversight of William Cecill Esquire, Willm Sutton Esqr, and John Thorrold Esqr aforesaide and the Aldermen of the towne of Newark yf it shall please them to take the paynes therein Lastely wee do order that the aforesaid decayes in coveringe the same bridgies shal be sufficiently repaired in manner and forme as is aforesaid before the firste day of November next upon payne of every man being defectyve therein xxs whereunto we will & require you by theis presents Geven under our hands the xxth of October Ann Regine Elizabeth 37.

Willm Sutton Jo Thorrold."

At subsequent dates between 1607 and 1694, there are references to Indictments for non-repair of the bridge against:

The Inhabitants of Hawton and Farndon. The lord the King (in 1609), and The King's tenants (in 1689).

The Crown Lands were not freed from the repair of this bridge until the year 7 William IV.

Oscar Bridge.

(Also called Hoscoe or Horscroft Bridge and Oscow Bridge) over the River Smite near Thoroton.

In 1633, the Inhabitants of Orston and Thorraton were presented "for want of a Bridge over the River of Smyte in a place called Hoscoe als Horscroft bridge being now a ffoard between the Lordships of the said two Townes in the highway leading from fflintham and divers other places of this County to the market Towne of Grantham." The presentment goes on to say that there "hath beene noe bridge at all for 40 years last past, yet it is confessed that before that time and within memory there was a bridge for carriages, and being of noe use for that purpose but a great hinderance to the passage of the water in that river was decayed and taken away."

The Court ordered the Inhabitants of Orston and Thoroton to make a new bridge; but on the 6th October, 1634, the Inhabitants of those parishes brought into Court "a copy of an order or law of Sewers made on 3rd June last past by seaven Commissioners for that part of the County under their hands and seals laying down divers reasons therein seeming to this Court sufficient."

Such reasons were as follows:

That a bridge for carriages is needles and unuseful in regard to the ffoard there is ebb well stoned and gravelled and at all times much better and surer way, then the way at either end thereof, especially on that side near Thorraton, wch way lying in a low and levell ground a great distance from the river and oft overflowen cannot be made passable for carriages at all times But when they come to the said ffoard they may more safely pass over: And if a bridge for carriages should be set up to that height wch the level of the ground would beare it would stop the passage of the water to the overflowing of the highway and make it much worse then it was.

The Court of Sewers however "thought it needful that a bridge for horsemen, beasts and footmen should be set up more above that ffoard in a place by them appointed to a convenient height and widness wch might serve at all times (when there could be any use for a Bridge) for all passengers if there were care also had to raise a banke from thence in the low ground for horses beasts and footmen, and to keep the cartways in good repair."

For that the Inhabitants petitioned, and an Order was made that the said Inhabitants make and keepe in repayre the horse bridge and banke referred to in the Order of the Commissioners of Sewers and to diligently repayre the wayes for carriages on either side the river, and that the Order for the making of a carriage bridge be not enforced.

The horse bridge was evidently constructed as in 1680, and in 1686 the Inhabitants of parishes were indicted for non-repair of it.


In 1618, a husbandman of Besthorpe was indicted for "cutting the common Bridge."


"Fishing illegally" was the charge in many Indictments, or as it was sometimes called, "trespass for fish in water."

On 6th April, 1687, John Madder was indicted "for killing fishes."

On 9th July, 1604, Joseph Ogle of Sneynton, gentleman, was fined 4/- for "trespass in separate fishery"; and on 4th July, 1610, six persons from Ruddington were fined for "trespass in a fishery."

"Fishing on ye Lord's day" was the subject of Indictments in 1652, 1659, and on 1684.

Many of the persons indicted for unlawful fishing resided near the Trent.

On 13th July, 1691, Thos. Eaton of Sutton Bonington was indicted for "illegally fishing in ye river of Soare at Kingston, and in the fish-poole of Kingston."

On nth July, 1693, Robert Coale of Besthorpe was charged with fishing in Besthorpe Fleet.

"Fishing with shove netts," and "fishing with shove netts on ye Lord's day," were the subject of Indictment on 4th October, 1652; and on 15th January, 1678-1679, Robert Cole of Orston was indicted "for a fishnet in le for dicke."


On 11th July, 1677, five men of Hazleford, Averham, South Clifton, South Muskham, and East Stoak, were indicted "for not selling in the fish market."


In the seventeenth century it may be said generally that ownership of a certain quantity of land was a necessary qualification to kill game, that the game could not be sold, and that on the land of an unqualified person no one without his permission could kill game.

It may be doubted whether in point of law anyone was entitled to shoot a pheasant, a partridge or a hare.

There are many Indictments or presentments for what may be termed poaching, viz.: for "illegal hunting," "for hunting and killing in the park of Gervase Clifton, Knt. and Bart." (21st April, 1615), "for coursing," "for chaser and rechaser" ("Chasing and re-chasing" was a general term for hunting and pursuing game). &c, &c.

There were Indictments also "for setting netts," "for being in possession of ferrets and nets," "for trespass with birdlime," "for setting of snares," &c, &c.

"For setting of snares," a man was fined 2 marks on 18th April, 1682, and two men were fined 20/- on 23rd April, 1677.

On 25th April, 1623, a cooper of Carlton in Lindrick was indicted for hunting with ferrets and nets in the warren of Gervase Clifton.

There are many Indictments for keeping and using greyhounds and hunting dogs. In one instance the Indictment is "for keeping an unlawfull dogg."

An Act of Parliament, passed in the reign of Henry VII., enacted that "No mannere of persone shall take the eggs of any faucon, goose-hauke, or swannes out of the neste upon payne of ymprisonement of a yere and a day and fyne atte Kingis wille . . ."


There were several Indictments: "for unlawfully taking swans," "for trespass and for taking two swan's eggs," "for killing swans shooting at fowle," &c, &c.

On 18th July, 1617, Ralph Hengle was sent to gaol for "taking and carrying away 30 swans eggs from a nest." He was ordered "to remain in gaol for 3 months without bail or mainprise unless he instantly upon his conviction pay the Churchwardens of Misterton for the use of the poor there the sum of 20/- for each egg; or, after one month in gaol, to be bound with two sufficient sureties in the sum of £20 each that the said Ralph shall never offend in a like way hereafter."

On 14th July, 1635, a laborer of Gringley was sent to gaol for stealing "a marked swan the property of Sir ffrancis Thornhagh."

Sparrow Hawks.

On 14th July, 1615, a yeoman of Blyth was sent to House of Correction "for taking an ayry of young sparrow hawks without licence."


There were Indictments for hunting, shooting, killing and stealing deer, and several instances of " deare stealing" in "Worksope Park" and in "Rufford Parke."

On 1st October, 1604, two men were bound over "not to hunt nor destroy deer of Roger Earl Rutland."

On 17th July, 1696, Stephen Croft was convicted "for coursing of deere in Thorney Woods within the fforest of Sherwood."


There were Indictments "for killing pheasants with snares," and "for pheasant shooting with a gun," &c, &c.

On 23rd July, 1681, Thomas Kirk of Carlton in Lindrick, was indicted " for hunting . . . . . . . pheasants . . . . . . . in the warren of Sir Wm. Clifton, Bart."


There were many Indictments for taking, shooting and snaring partridges.

Wild Geese and Ducks.

There were Indictments "for killing wild geese with a gun," "for killing ducks with hemp," and "for shooting a gun at wild ducks."


There were many Indictments for hunting and killing hares with a gun, with a harepipe, with snares, &c, and also "for tracking hares in the snow [nive]," "for tracking and clubbing hares in the snow," and "for killing and destroying hares in the snow," &c, &c.

On 23rd July, 1681, Thos. Kirk of Carlton in Lindrick was indicted for hunting hares in the warren of Sir Wm. Clifton, Bart.

On 11th April, 1632, three Newark men were indicted "for selling hares."


There were many Indictments in reference to the hunting of conies. The following warrens are mentioned in Indictments:

The Warren of Sir Geo. Parkins (9th January, 1614-1615).
do.            Wm. Earl of Newcastle (13th July, 1640).
do.            Patrick Earl Chaworth (30th September, 1678, and 10th January, 1686-1687).
do.            Sir Wm. Clifton, Bart. (23rd July, 1681).

There were also Indictments for hunting and taking conies in Clipstone Park, and in Bestwood Parke.

On 15th July, 1631, a barber of Mansfield was indicted for "keeping a rabbit warren and nets for taking conies."

On 14th April, 1657, a man was indicted "for stealing conies at Broxtowe, at night, and enticing another found with him."

On 6th May, 1698, it was ordered that the fferretts, netts and engines for taking of conies now in the custody of James Grammar be kept by him until further Order of the Court.

Pigeons and Doves.

There were many Indictments "for shooting with arrows" at pidgeons or doves, "for laying snares for pidgeons," "for killing wild pidgeons with a gun," "for shooting of pidgeons," &c, &c.

On the 13th July, 1608, it was ordered that if Edward Read of South Collingham within the space of 14 days does not pay or cause to be paid to the . hands of the Collector of the same town for the use of the poor, because he shot arrows at doves whereof he is just now convicted, that then he be committed to gaol in default.

On the 10th July, 1678, W. Deeping of Coddington was fined 20/- "for shooting of Pigeon, to ye Poore of ye Parish, that from henceforth hee shoot noe more with a gun."

On 7th January, 1683-1684, a fine of 40/- was imposed for shooting pigeons.