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Forum Home > Blackcountry Factual History. > Parish Information. c 14th Century.

Alaska.
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Posts: 1404

Netherton, Darlaston, Tipton, and West Bromwich


These very old documents can give you an insight as to which families were living, and could afford to pay taxes at the time. In this case it was a Subsidy Tax, imposed by Edward II, to finance his War against the Scots. He had been in touble north of the border since the disaster at Bannock Burn, 1314. He was deposed later on in 1327, and died in Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire. A  very unpopluar ruler, he was not greatly missed. ( Note, his alleged murder, with a Red Hot Poker inserted in his nether region, is in all likelihood a Myth.) Not every name of who lived in the district gets a mention, usually only those with property worth more than 10 shillings a year in rates. One of the poorest area's was Netherton.


Richard Coupe. who had to pay 3 shillings, John the Reeve, paid 2 shillings and 8 pence, William at Ford, was stung for 2 shillings an 1 penny, John of Burway, just 1 shilling and 2 pence, Thomas Caa, 1 shilling and 6 pence, and Thomas Hayer, at the same amount,1 shilling and 6 pence. The total worth of the place to the King then, was 11 shillings and 11 pence.


The names may appear confusing at first, but you can soon see the modern equivalent. The same principle can be applied to the list from Tipton, which although it contains just a few more names, has a value double that of Netherton.


Peter at Hurst, assesed at 5 shillings and 6 pence, Robert of Kingsley, at 4 shillings, John at Noke, 5 shillings, Roger of Himley, a more modest 2 shillings and 6 pence, Thomas of Blakenhill, 2 shillings, John at Telle, 5 shillings and 3 pence, John, son of Reginald, 1 shilling and 6 pence, and Philip of Horseley, 1 shilling, 1 and a half pence. Sum total being 26 shillings and 10 and a half pence.


You can also see a few of the places begining to emerge as well, and there must have been some substantial house's at these place, even in 1327. It may all tie in with someones research, as the advert says, " every little helps ".  Not far behind the poor folk of Netherton, were the poverty stricken inhabitants of Darlaston.


William of Darlaston, was the largest landowner, paying 4 shillings and 3 farthings. Agnes of Darlaston, was she a relative I wonder, paid 2 shillings and one half pence, John of Pipe, paid 1 shilling and 10 pence half penny, Henry of Wytton, 2 shillings and one half penny, Nicolas the Bond, 1 shilling and 6 pence, Thomas Lovet, 2 shillings, and Richard, son of Robert, 7 pence.Sum total here, 12 shillings and 1 pence.


To be fair, all this was a lot of money in 1327, and just like today, I suppose they tried many ways to escape payment. For some it would have been easy, but for others, who had aquired the land from an ancester as payment for services in the Norman Conquest, it was impossible, due to the records being in the Doomsday Book. Just down the road, was the far more upmarket West Bromwich.


John Marham, the highest payer to date, was assesed at 6 shillings. Roger Bassett paid up 3 shillings and 1 pence, one half penny, Roger Ridgacre, ( now there's a familar name ) paid 2 shillings and 6 pence one farthing. John of Selly, had lands to the value of 4 shillings, 1 pence and 1 farthing, Nicolas Littlehay, paid out 2 shillings and 1 penny farthing, John the Smith, 1 shilling and one half penny, Philip Good Knave, ( lovely name that ) 2 shillings, William Mustrell, 4 shillings, Nicolas Golde, 1 shilling and 6 pence, his brother, Roger Golde, 1 shilling, William Brewerne, 1 shilling, and the man who gave his name to the place, William de Bromwich, just 3 shillings and 3 pence. The total this time being 31 shillings, and 7 pence 3 farthings.


They liked to be exact,did the Kings tax collectors, although the adding up wasn't always to the same high standard.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

February 6, 2012 at 11:54 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

Comprising 2 seperate Manors, Rowley Regis, and Rowley Somery, it has been, from ancient times, one of the largest Parish'es in the region. Largely rural of course in 1327, but the beginnings of some of the larger estates are already apparent.


Top of the list, are Richard, son of Robert, ( who also had land in Darlaston ) and Laurecia David, who were both asessed at 3 shillings and 2 pence. Thomas Bryne, and Robert of Derryate, ( who was possibly the father of said Richard ) both had to pay a sum of 3 shillings. John Orme was next with a payment of 2 shillings and 8 pence, then came William At Grove, and John of Scaresmoore, at 2 shillnigs and 6 pence. Jacob At Town paid 2 shillings and 3 pence, John of Lyndes and William of Hendon both charged 2 shillings each. John Martin, at just 1 shilling and 8 pence, was only marginally above Agnes The Smith, ( land at Darlaston as well ) 1 shilling and 7 pence and Philip At Wood and Robert Merryhurst, 1 shilling and 6 pence, plus his wife, Christine of Merryhurst, 1 shilling and 4 pence. John The Currier, ( Job discription of the Leather Trade?) also had to pay 1 shilling and 4 pence. Richard Hewett, 1 shilling and 3 pence, and Richard son of Thomas, 1 shilling, were the last of the higher payers, the others being all in the pennies league. John of Yokhutt, Margery of Pockenhill, and Richard the Smith, only had to pay 11 pence.


Interestingly, there are 4 women in the Roll, and a few in the other documents as well. A few hundred years later, and this was not the case, as women had then, to hand over all their assests to a husband on marriage. It would appear then, that females were better off under the old medieval laws, and I can't quite make up my mind whether things have actually improved.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

February 8, 2012 at 11:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

Elsewhere on the website, you will encounter some details of the Bilston Cholera epidemic, but this was by no means the first mass killer to visit the region. In June, 1348, a seaman walked ashore at Weymouth, Dorset, and bought from the Continent, what became known as The Great Pestilence, or the Great Mortality. This is referred to today, as The Black Death, but that name was not in use until the early part of the 1600s, almost three centuries later.



It took just 500 days, for the dreaded plague to spread to the whole of our Island. How many people, I have been asked, did it kill in our region ? Records are of course very scarce, and no figures are the same, but the best estimate seems to be between 25 and 30% of the total population. The problem being, that no one is sure just what that figure is, again, it's estimated at between 2 and 6 million people. There was high mortality in the religious communities, for they tended to be the ones looking after the sick, sadly, they were also the ones who could read and write. The highest death rates, were of course, in the Cities and large Towns where dirty, filthy, and crowded conditions, helped the plague to spread. Being largely a rural and agricultural society at the time, it spread outwards via the many travellers who traded produce, and the countries staple trade, Wool. Some areas, being more remote, missed it altogether this first time, but as it became indemic in the Country, they would not be spared in the future. Everyone knows the initial carriers were Fleas, the almost constant companions of the human race, since time began. Infected this way, your life span would have been about 10 days. This depended on your state of health, and the poor peasents, having suffered from several bad harvests, were in poor shape to resist. Malnutrition was rife. A second route to infection was called Pneomonic Plague, the virus being in the air from those already infected, the life span here was about a week. The quickest death came to those who were infected by the third method, Septicaemic Plague, where survival was about two days. There is a record of some of the deaths in two Manors, under the control of the Bishops of Worcester. The first is Hartlebury and Hambury, where it was recorded that the equivilent of 19% of the Manor's population had perished. ( The rolls only included the head of each of each family, and not the very young and old who were the most at risk ) The second is from the Manor of Aston, now part of Birmingham, and the closest to what became known as the Black Country. Here, because is was a much bigger place, and more folk travelled through on the way to and from Birmingham. the death rate was 80%. This would have decimated the district, no matter how high or low the population level was. One can only imagine what the death toll was in Wolverhampton, which was one of the main trading areas for Wool, and a very busy Town. Places like London, Bristol, York, and the coastal towns of East Anglia, suffered the loss of at least 50% of their populations, as the plague spread around the country. It's supposed, that almost every Churchyard in the country, has, somewhere in it's grounds, an old Plague Pit or two, for this wasn't to be the last visit from this silent killer.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

June 30, 2014 at 3:42 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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