Nottinghamshire County Records.

In the year 1912 Notts. County Council appointed a County Records Committee. Three years later this Committee printed a volume of the Quarter Sessions Rolls which contain references to the Villages of the County. This book refers to the period 1600-1700, and the original Rolls and Minute Books are in the Muniment Room of the Shire Hall at Nottingham. It is much to be wished that the Records Committee would print other documents of the next two centuries.

There is much local history of great interest at present buried in Muniment Rooms, the British Museum, the Public Record Office, and other places which is not easily accessible to the general public. These documents often need experts to read and translate them, before they can be printed. The references to Ordsall are not very numerous in this century but we reproduce them here.

Page 59. Ditches and Drains.

" On 16th  January, 1679, Stephen Turnley of Ordsall was presented for not Scouring the Common Water Lane and James Robins of Ordsall was presented for not Scouring the Common Sewer leading from Water Lane to the River Idle."

Presumable this refers to the Water Lane mentioned in the Parish Award leading from Thrumpton Green towards the river. A Sewer was a drain or trench to prevent lands from floods.

Page 105. Robberies.

"On 11th January, 1655-1656, an order was made in respect of two severall Robberies that hath lately been committed by daytime within the Hundred of Bassetlaw vizt one near unto Scofton Ford from one Thomas Parke of Mosborough in the County of Derby who was robbed of £7 and another sithence (since) in the roadway between Worksop and Retford upon one Edward Spyvale of Ordsall in this County who had taken from him £16/11/4 for which said robberies the said Hundred is liable to make recompense in regard the said Robbers are escaped"

The various Hundreds had to pay compensation to any one who suffered from Highway Robbery by persons who were unknown and thus escaped the penalty of the law. Page 137.

Popish Recusants.

"Certificate as follows:

To ye Right Honourable His Majesty's Privy Council we humbly certify we met at ye General Sessions of the Peace held at East Retford in ye County of Nottingham by adjournement upon the three and twentieth day of April last past and there was issued out a warrant signed under our hands and seals to William Clarke the Bayliffe of the Hundred of Bassetlaw to summon Lady Elizabeth Pierrepont, Nicholas Tyrwhitt, Esq., Thomas Markham, Esq., William Brailsford, Esq., Robt. Sherborne and Alice Vawdery to appear before us at East Retford aforesaid upon ye third day of May next ensueing upon which day the said William Clarke did come before us at East Retford aforesaid and upon oath did certify.

That he was at Thrumpton in ye parish of Ordsall to summon ye said Robt. Sherborne but could hear nothing of him only that he was a person that was seldom at home but travelled much abroade into several Countyes."

Popish Recusants were Roman Catholics and the laws relating to them were very strict and severe in those days.

In Queen Elizabeth's time a Statute was passed that all such should deliver their names in writing to the Minister of the Parish and to the Constable of the Town or Village. Every name was to be entered in a book and afterwards the Justices of the Peace were to record these on the Session Rolls.

After the Gunpowder Plot (1605) a Statute was passed that the Churchwarden and Constable of every parish were once in a year to present the Monthly absence from Church of all Popish Recusants and the names of their Children of 9 years and upwards and the names of their servants. The Clerk of the Peace was to record these at the Sessions. The Justices were to enquire of offenders and to have power to proclaim that all such should be handed over to the Sheriff or Keeper of the gaol for trial.

The penalties were very heavy and each one convicted was fined £20 a month. For each conviction the Churchwardens or Constable received a reward of 40/-.

Later "Absence from Church" was also an offence for which Protestant Nonconformists might be accused. The penalty was 1/- for every Default! A Justice of the Peace could give a warrant to the Churchwardens to demand the fine.

Page 154. List of Popish Recusants.

"Ordsall. Wm. Clay, Labourer (1620). John Bevercotes (1622)."

The second name is interesting as he must have been related to Samuel Bevercotes; whose monument is in Ordsall Church, possibly he was a cousin. The family died out entirely at Bevercotes at this time and we hear no more of them at Ordsall.

Page 160. Absentees from Church.

Richard Sherborne, John Goodlad, Robert Palmer, Richard Herring.

Page 169. Audsell (Ordsall).

Rev. Edward Raines, Rector in 1689, took the oath of allegiance to the King.

The Village School.

The school stands upon a plot of land which was probably once part of the Village Green. The village stocks are said to have been here too in former days. The school-house, as it used to be called, is a low building containing two classrooms and a cloakroom, with accommodation for about 70 children.

Until the year 1934 it was the property of the Trustees of the Denison Estate, when it was bought for the Church and Village for £200. It was built about 1830 by the Hon. J. B. Simpson of Babworth Hall, who also owned a large part of Ordsall parish. Babworth had a much older school which was rebuilt in 1771, with £15 left in 1702 and 1746 by William and Mrs. Simpson.

The Hon J. B. Simpson also erected a school at Eaton in 1835 which provided free education for 7 children, the remainder paying 1d. a week until they were five years old and afterwards 3d. a week.

At Ordsall 12 poor children were educated free, and the rest (nearly 100) paid 2d. a week.

The first schoolmaster was Mr. William Cole who received £25 per annum from the Squire and the Rector. The early records are lost and the present School Log Book begins in 1877 when Miss Alice Ambler commenced duty on March 5th, and Dr. Stothert was Rector. We give some extracts from this book:—



March 16.

The Countess Albani visited the school. This lady then lived  in  the parish and came very frequently to see the children.

April 11th.

Many children absent this week, being wet.

April 17th.

Some of the children away from school, their absence no doubt occasioned by the visit of a circus to Retford.

June 15th

Several children absent today having' been taken into the fields by their parents stone-gathering.

July 5th.

M. J. Barrington-Ward inspected the school.

Aug. 10th

Closed the school for three weeks for Harvest Holidays.

Sept. 7th

Attendance scanty this week, harvest being late.

Songs taught during the past term. Old John had an apple tree. March away. Buttercups and Daisies. Mary's Lamb. Song of the Grass. Rose of Lucerne.

Sept. 28th.

Inspector's  Report  satisfactory.


Mistress granted provisional Certificate.

Oct. 5th.

Moderate attendance, being Retford Fair.

Oct.  27th.

Children came to school on Saturday,so that the school might be used on October 31st for luncheon, to be provided at the re-opening of the Parish Church.



Feb. 22nd.

The playground being prepared.

March 14th

Meeting of Sunday School Teachers and Scholars in the School Room for the purpose of presenting a testimonial to the Countess D'Albani, who is leaving Ordsall.

March 29th.

Poor attendance, owing to inclement weather.

April 1st.

Poor attendance, being Retford Races!

April 5th.

Many absent, through illness.



Aug. 20th.

Mrs. White visited the school and gave away buns and tarts to the children.


Closed for Harvest.



Feb. 18th.

Miss Stothert comes daily for an hour or two and assists with the little ones.

March 17th

Children taken for a walk, weather being very fair.

May 26th

Ascension Day. Children taken to Church. Half-holiday.

June 2nd.

Mrs. Layton (Ambler) ends duties as Mistress of the school.

June 13th.

Florence K. Stearman commenced as Mistress.



Sept. 3rd.

Many children away gleaning (for Harvest).



Feb. 25th. 

Mary A. Chapman, Mistress, commenced duties.

July 2nd.

Notts. Agricultural Show at Retford.


Half Holiday.

Sept. 16th.

Eliza Castledge, temporary Mistress.

Oct. 28th.

John Merrills punished for playing truant (also on Nov. 5th).

Nov. 6th.

Received a water-can, bowl & towel; children washed.

Nov.  26th.

Children dismissed at 3-30 for the Parochial Tea.



Jan. 12th.

Eliza Jane Hollin, mistress.

May 12th.

Cavalry Review at Retford. Holiday.



June 6th.

Babies' Gallery fitted with desks.