Local government


Victoria County History



A F Wareham, A P M Wright

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'Teversham : Local government', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 10: Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and Staploe Hundreds (north-eastern Cambridgeshire) (2002), pp. 181-182. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=18841 Date accessed: 23 November 2014.


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In 1279 land held of Manners manor owed suit for that manor to the county and hundred courts. Its overlord, the bishop of Ely, who had since 1255 taken from that manor wardpennies once rendered to the sheriff, (fn. 82) was in 1297 holding courts, whose juries presented nuisances, at Teversham. (fn. 83) In 1279 the chief tenant of the Richmond fee owed suit to that honor's court, held at Babraham, (fn. 84) which in the mid 1330s was exercising the assize of ale at Teversham. (fn. 85) Jurisdiction remained formally attached to that honor from the 15th century to the 19th. (fn. 86) In 1810 John Pickett claimed to hold a court leet for Warbletons and Bassingbourns manors. (fn. 87)

For Dengaines manor court rolls survive for courts baron between 1496 and 1669 and in 1693, (fn. 88) and court books from 1623 to 1857. (fn. 89) Besides handling tenurial business relating to freeholds and copyholds, that court was by 1558 making and enforcing agricultural regulations. In the 17th century and later, inheritance of copyhold by the youngest son under 'Borough English' was recorded as the custom of that manor. (fn. 90) From the mid 17th century its courts, meeting usually between April and June, but sometimes irregularly, were devoted mainly to copyhold transfers, and sometimes had no business.

The village had its own 'town land' by 1490. (fn. 91) In 1665 Teversham's parish officers were involved in apprenticing children. (fn. 92) The cost of poor relief rose sevenfold from £26 in 1776 to £187 in 1803, when 14 adults received outside relief, (fn. 93) and in the early 19th century was usually between £135 and £205. In 1815, when it had briefly fallen to £105, nine people were still regularly, and eight more occasionally, assisted. Such expenditure was usually above the average cost per head for the hundred. (fn. 94) From 1836 Teversham belonged to Chesterton poor-law union, (fn. 95) and from 1894 to Chesterton rural district, with which it was merged in 1974 into South Cambridgeshire district. (fn. 96)

By the late 19th century the vestry met monthly in the church or schoolroom, with ratepayers reinforcing the parish officers by the 1870s, to handle routine parish business, (fn. 97) such as scouring watercourses and in 1889 opposing encroachments on the village green. By 1890 the vestry was denouncing overcrowded housing. (fn. 98) The vestry, which in 1863 had mortgaged the rates for £400, not fully repaid until 1883, to repair the church, was still levying church rates in the early 1880s; that raised in 1886 was voluntary. (fn. 99) After 1894, no parish council being then formally established, the vestry continued work as a parish meeting. (fn. 1) In 1919 its advice was sought on sites for six council houses. (fn. 2)


82 Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), i. 53; ii. 434.
83 Coram Rege Roll, 1297, ed. Phillimore, 89.
84 Rot. Hund. ii. 434.
85 P.R.O., SC 2/155/71, rott. 1-2.
86 e.g. Cal. Close, 1422-9, 234-5; B.L. Add. MS. 5838, f. 45; C.U.L., Doc. 658, no. 60.
87 C.U.L., Add. MS. 6079, f. 32.
88 Caius Coll. Mun., XV/7; C.U.L., Doc. 1671, f. 1.
89 Caius Coll. Mun., ct. bk. 1623 (covering Duxford, Shelford, and Teversham), pp. 105-26; ct. bk. 1723 (same places), pp. 130-70; ct. bk. 1808 (Teversham and Duxford), pp. 1-15.
90 Ibid. XV/7, ct. roll 11 Jas. I; ibid. ct. bk. 1623, ff. 106, 115, 126-7; ct. bk. 1723, pp. 130, 143-4.
91 Ibid. XV/3 a: terrier 6 Hen. VII.
92 Hampson, Poverty in Cambs, 157.
93 Poor Law Abstract, 1804, 36-7.
94 Ibid. 1818, 28-9; Poor Rate Returns, 1816-21, 10-11; 1822-4, 37-8; 1825-9, 16-17, 1830-4, 15-16.
95 Poor Law Com. 2nd Rep. 512.
96 Census, 1891, 1931.
97 C.R.O., P 153/5/1 (chwdns.' accts, 1811-85); P 153/8/1 (vestry mins. 1874-1919).
98 e.g. ibid. P 153/8/1, pp. 5, 70, 72.
99 Ibid. P 153/5/1, s.a. 1863; P 152/8/1, pp. 14, 29-30, 38, and at pp. 52-4; P 153/6/2.
1 Ibid. P 153/8/1, pp. 83 sqq.
2 Ibid. at p. 154.