Until 1526 or later
Creech was a free manor, independent of any
other hundred (fn. 51) and it was recorded as a hundred of itself in the 12th century. (fn. 52) By 1538 it
was in Andersfield hundred, and by 1569
formed a tithing with Merridge. (fn. 53) By 1641
Creech was a tithing by itself and remained
so into the 19th century. (fn. 54) Montacute priory
in 1537-8 made a payment to Whitley hundred
for lands in Creech, (fn. 55) perhaps those which
Glastonbury abbey had claimed as part of West
Monkton manor in Whitley hundred. (fn. 56)
A court for Creech manor was held in the
church house twice a year in the 1580s, (fn. 57) and in
the later 19th century it met in October at the
Bell inn. (fn. 58) Presentments or agenda survive for
the period 1755-1874 and include the appointment of a hayward, tithingman, and constable. (fn. 59)
A court was held for Ham in 1594. (fn. 60)
Parishioners with common rights were responsible for repairing the churchyard wall. The
obligation was probably obsolete before 1814,
when rights in the common then being inclosed
were claimed in proportion to the length of wall
that each commoner had maintained. (fn. 61) Initialled
stones, which survive, marked the sections.
The parish was served by two churchwardens,
two overseers, and two waywardens in the 18th
and 19th centuries. (fn. 62) In the later 17th century
there were two constables, (fn. 63) and a hayward kept
the common pound in 1714. (fn. 64) In 1816 the vestry
appointed a keeper of the pound, (fn. 65) which lay
between Bull Street and the river and was a
garden in 1984. In 1652 a wounded soldier was
allowed to build a house on waste at Creech
Heathfield; the house had reverted to the parish
as a poorhouse by 1659. (fn. 66) A scheme to buy the
Ship and the New Inn for a workhouse in 1768
does not appear to have been adopted. (fn. 67) The
parish paid for medical attention for the poor
and in 1818 agreed to vaccinate children whose
parents could not afford to pay. In 1822 a select
vestry was established and an assistant overseer
was employed. (fn. 68) In 1830 the vestry decided to
build a poorhouse on the Heathfield. In 1839
the parish still owned two poorhouses, at Creech
Heathfield and North End, (fn. 69) but they were
probably sold soon afterwards.
The vestry appointed parish officers in the 19th
century including a church rate collector in 1854
and three constables in 1862, (fn. 70) and formed a
nuisance removal committee in 1856. (fn. 71) The parish formed part of the Taunton poor-law union
in 1836, Taunton rural district in 1894, and
Taunton Deane district (later borough) in
1974. (fn. 72)
V.C.H. Som. v. 11; P.R.O., E 179/169/150.
S.R.S. viii, pp. 119-20, 123-4.
||Devon R.O. 123 M/O 2; S.R.S. xx. 242.
Som. Protestation Returns, ed. A. J. Howard and T.
L. Stoate, 186; S.R.O., Q/REI 2/3.
||Devon R.O. 123 M/O 2.
Proc. Som. Arch. Soc. lxxiv, suppl. 51-4; lxxxiv. 104-6.
||S.R.O., DD/GC 6, 15.
||Ibid. DD/HWD 12; E. Jeboult, Hist. W. Som. 38.
||S.R.O., DD/HWD 5, 12.
||Ibid. DD/GC 6.
||Ibid. D/P/crch 23/6.
||Ibid. 6/3/1, 14/2/1.
||Ibid. Q/SR 270/1.
||Ibid. D/P/crch 9/1/1.
S.R.S. xxviii. 178; S.R.O., D/P/crch 4/1/1.
||S.R.O., D/P/crch 13/2/1.
||Ibid. tithe award.
||Ibid. D/P/crch 9/1/1-2, 13/2/3; D/PC/crch 6/2/1.
||Ibid. D/PC/crch 6/2/1.
||Youngs, Local Admin. Units, i. 673, 675-6.