The Bond Indemnities to 1697

The settlment papers for Stony Stratford have been transcribed by Eve McLoughlin from the original documents in the Buckinghamshire Archive. They are a useful genealogical tool as they will tell some families exactly when they arrived in Stony Stratford, but they also give us clues about the movement of people in the 17th century and their reasons for doing so.

Most of the men coming into Stony Stratford with their families have specific skills. John Webb is a currier, Evan Jones an Apothecary and Thomas Bishop a Tailor.  Quite a few are illiterate – such a skill was not essential to function effectively in 17th century society.
Some labourers are brought in, presumably to work. Thomas Hewitt, for example, judging by his sponsor, has moved from Wolverton to Stony Stratford to work in one of the inns.
£40 was a significant amount of money to put up. As I have described in an earlier post, £40 was the annual income for the vicar of Holy Trinity, and he would have regarded himself as one of the higher income earners in the district. The men putting up these bonds are generally traders or farmers of some means. It seems that those who come from outside the county were assessed higher. In the case of William Watts (no 19) with a wife and two children the bond was set at a whopping £80. Even the Lord of the Manor, Edward Longueville was required to guarantee a bond of £50 for some labourers he brought in. See Nos. 37 and 38.

It’s interesting to see some obsolete professions making their appearance her. A fellmonger was a dealer in hides who possibly had some skills in tanning. A wheelwright manufacture wheels. A victualler was probably an innkeeper. A cordwainer was a shoemaker and the cord winder mentioned here had the same profession. Thomas Robinson (no 22) was a Barber-Surgeon, a reminder of the days when a man with sharp knives and scissors for cutting hair would also be called upon to amputate limbs. A tapster was probably a cellarman who looked after the beer in one of the inns. The pipemaker also takes us back to days, pre machine manufacture, when such things were hand made. I assume that these pipes were made of clay. (not the smoking kind)

Newcomers to parish 1664-1691
BDM Bondsman
SSE Stony Stratford East
SSW Stony Stratford West
X indicates a mark rather than a signature in the original document
Other abbreviations self explanatory

1             RIDGELEY Richard otp  + BDM William RIDGELEY of Newport Pagnell, yeoman  £5 to SS West. 4 Jan 1664/5

2             FINABLE X Robert lab late married to Jane WARRINGTON wid of SSW BDM John X THORPE John X SMITH Bond £20                                     1665 

3             WEBB X John, currier, + w Elizabeth             SS 1665 BDM Richard X TUTCHIN of Denshanger baker + Rlchd HAWKINS of Old Stratford, par Cosgrave NTH. lab. bond £40             ,

4             GEYDON X Michell, wheelwright + BDM Wm GEYDON of Slnglebor + John GEYDON of Thornborow, wheelwrights, bd £40 SS 1 0 Mar 1666  Edward ALEXANDER (witness) of SS has received MG as tenant.

5             KEY X Thomas lab + w + fam SS             5 Apr 1667 BDM Thos X BROWNE + John. X PHILLIPS botp £40

6             WHITLOCK X Richard, tailor, + w + fam of SS             SS 5 Apr 166  BDM Thomas WHITLOCK + Anthony WHITLOCK yeomen of Pa(u)lerspury

7             GOODMAN Wm baker + w + lam             SS West             9 Aug 1677 BDM Wm ADKINS miller & Thos X FORFEIT victualler botp £40

8             JONES Evan, apothecary (or spicer) + fam – £40 BDM Hugh JONES, Richard ELLIS of Ranson (Ravenstone) SS             1677

9             Bond in £40 for £20-12s to Wm POLLARD of Leckhamstead repayable 22             Apr 1681; by CLIFTON X Christopher snr; CLIFTON Christopher jnr;   WILLSON X William; CLARKE Francis; MILLER Matthew; ELLFORD Nicholas; BARNES Adam; FREESE Timothy; PENN Oliver ‘feothees’ of W side SS 21 Oct 1680

10             BEDFORD X Thomas, matmaker + w + lam of Sherington SS West BDM John BEDFORD lather, cordwinder of SS + Joseph BEDFORD ofNewport Pagnell cord winder Bond £ 10             28 Nov 1682

11             SYMS X Katherine wid + fam SS East             1 5 Jun 1683 BDM Katherine X EVANS wid of W side & Thomas X BOTTERELL als  CLARKE of SS East side. £40

12             HEWITT X Thomas jnr, lab + w + lam of Wolverton SS West BDlv1 Thos X             HEWITT snr lab, Wolverton + Thos GODFREY W Sid Innholder   £40             SS West             7 Jul 1683

13             SMITH Samuel plateworker + w Frances ex Northampton 21 Dec 1683 BDM Marmaduke BALL W Side carryer £50

14             NORMAN Robert, smith, + w + chn             SS West             17 May 1684  BDM Francis NORMAN of Alderton NTH yeo + Henry GARE of Pery Innholder            

15             BENBOW X Samuel pipemaker + w + chn   SS West 4 Nov 1684 BDM Geo BENBOW of Grimscott NTH pipemkr & Wm BENBOW of  Sherington

16             WALKER X Richard, mason. + w + 7 chn ex Hanslope now SS BDM Edward             X PARKINS of Wap(pe)n(h)am NTH cordwainer + John X WALKER of Potterspury, mason  Bond £60             15 Nov 1684

17             BROOKS Samuel  SS East                         11 Sep 1685 BDM James STAIRS + Richard X BROOKS botp £40

18             CLARKE John, tapster + w + fam ex SSEast, to SS West 5 Apr 1686 BDM             Edward JENKINSON SSW innholder + Wm X BEVIN SSW gardiner £40

19             WATTS William, baker + w + 2 chn of SS West             19 Oct 1684 BDM Tho X CROSSE of Brading + John WHITE of Blakisley NTH yeos £80

20             DURRANT X Thomas lab of SS     SS West             10 May 1688  BDM John X IRON MONGER of Silverstone, par Greens Norton NTH husbandman + Edward X DURRANT of Stratford lab

21             BISHOP X Thomas tailor of SSWest             SS West             11 Mar 1688/9  BDM Francis X TRESLOW of SS taylor + Wm MARSHALL of SS East             framework knitter. £40

22             ROBINSON X Thomas, barber surgeon of SSW             SSW 9 Apr 1689  BDM Richard NEWMAN of Heavencutt NTH yeo + Thos HOPKINS of SS –            £40

23             ROBERTS William, lab of SSW             SS             31 May 1689  BDM Edward X PLOWMAN of SS lab + James X TURNER of Beachampton,  grazier £40

24             PERCIVAL sig PERCIFULL Edward barber             SS West        28 Jun 1689 BDM Wm PEARCIFULL of Newport Pagnell barber + Rebecca SMITH of             Newnam NTH wid £40

25             TURNER Thomas, tailor             SS             1 Dec 1689 BDM Wm X FLOWERS SS ossler + Wm HIGGINS of SS cordwainer £40

26             CAR X William lab + w Sarah             of SS             SS 4 Apr 1690 BDM Thos HOPKINS of SS + John X SMITH of Lit Brickhill weaver – £40

27             HAYCOCK X Edward, lab SS . 9 Apr 1690 BDM Matthew WATERS gent +             John WHITMILL miller + Francis COLLMAN tanner all of Buckingham -£40                                     

28             SAXBY X Thomas glover             SS             28 Feb 1690/1 BDM Alice SAXBY wid of SS + Thomas X BENNETT of SS ossler – £40

29             DACKINS X Thomas, cordwainer             SS             4 Mar 1690/1 BDM Richard X DACKINS of Toueseter NTH cordwainer + Samuel EVANS victualler of SS – £40             .                         11 Mar 1690/1

30             BEVIN X James, cordwainer             SS BDM John HEART of SS maltster + John LEACH of SS butcher – £40 –             SS             11 Mar 1690/1

31             HEARTE ( sig HART) John, maltster BDM James X BEVIN cordwainer + John LEACH butcher – £40                        

32             PAINTER John, Chapman ,             SS                         7 Apr 1691 BDM Henry X HILLYER of Wlcking NTH yeo + Richard RENNALLS of SS blacksmith £40                         

33             CHURCH Joshua, fellmonger SS             2 Oct 1691 BDM John CHURCH of Brington yeo + Michael PARROTT of Old Stratford glover – £50           

34             TOWNSEND Daniel, saddler SS             27 Nov 1691 , BDM Thomas LANKESTER sig, LAANCKE butcher + John BUMPOST sig             BUMPAS dyer both of  Buckingham – £50

35             BROWNE Jeremlah, wheelwright             SS             4 Mar 1691/2 BDM Richard CLARKE, sadletree maker + Richard WEST of Hanslope


36             HILL X Danle, cooper + w + chn bond £50 SS west  19 Mar 1691/2 ,             , BDM Wm X OLIVER of Stoke Brewerton NTH lab + Daniel X OLIVER of             Roade lab + Wm X OLIVER of Shutlanger Jnr lab

37            HARRIS Henry             bond £50             SS             26 Mar 1692 BDM Sir Edward LONGUEVILLE Bart of Wolverton (only) £50

38            HARRIS John                         (same guarantor/date) £50 S5             26 Mar 1692

Settlement papers

We take mobility for granted these days, and in recent times it has now become possible to move throughout most of Europe without restriction, but it was not always so. Most of the population were tied to their villages, first by customary rights to land and service to the lord of the manor, and in later centuries through legal restriction. Movement to a new parish was only possible if the new parish was willing to accept you and this usually meant that you had some useful skill that would help the economy of the parish. Most parishes were terrified of incurring the costs of supporting those who became to ill or too old to work. 
Before 1697, men wishing to move to a new parish had to produce a bond of Indemnity to ‘save the parish harmless’ in case they later became poor and in need of relief. This was normally £40, guaranteed by two bondsmen, either relatives or employer. Some of these for Stony Stratford I will reproduce in the next series of posts.
After that date, a settlement certificate from the home parish was required, signed by the churchwardens and overseers and vouched for by witnesses who swore to the signatures. The persons covered were listed and may include (by agreement) apprentices and relatives already living with the family. Other children later born to the man are covered, but not new dependent kin, other than grandchildren whose father had no other settlement.
Settlement was obtained by birth in the parish to a man who was himself legally settled there; by apprenticeship for seven years served to a full term; by hiring on annual contract to a settled employer, serving a full year and receiving the full promised wages. It could also be obtained by renting a house of £10 or more rateable value for a full year, or, less certainly, by paying parish rates on a lesser house for Several years, or by serving as a parish officer for a year.
Married women took their husband’s settlement, but illegitimate children, even of couples later married, belonged to the parish of birth, hence the anxiety to remove pregnant unmarried girls. If the girl belonged to the parish, then the father was traced and made to pay for lying in and maintenance till the child was apprenticed, which usually totalled about £40.
No one could be sent ‘home’ without a formal Removal Order ratified by Quarter Sessions, and the receiving parish could appeal, in which case it was liable for interim maintenance charges and medical bills if the appeal failed. It could also issue a certificate accepting liability for the man and his existing family, usually listed in detail. Earlier certificates also mention ‘his family’, who may not exist but are any future issue born while he is still living on their certificate. Once a man was in a position to buy or rent a house worth over £ 10 a year, he became settled in that parish and his certificate was no longer valid, even if he later fell on hard times.
Stony Stratford was very unusual in having two parishes carved out of parts of two older parishes, Calverton and Wolverton. Originally chapelries of Calverton to the west and Wolverton to the east, built in the fifteenth century to cope with the growth of flourishing inns and shops servicing the coach trade along Watling Street, St Giles church, Stony Stratford West, and St Mary Magdalen, Stony Stratford East, stood less than half a mile apart. St Mary’s church was burnt down in 1742, except for a tower which mouldered slowly; all services thereafter took place in St Giles, which was enlarged to cope in 1776 and again in early Victorian times. The two parish organisations remained fiercely distinct and all connections with the rural mother parishes were severed. Thus we will see situations here where movement from the east side of Stony Stratford to the west, or vice versa, required a settlement certificate or a bond.

The settlement papers, from the 17th and 18th century, give us some clue to the movement of people in rural communities in those days