May 31, 2013

The Bounders of Crowle Manor – 1607 – John Carney

By Angus Townley

The Bounders of Crowle Manor

Today more and more people are riding walking and even running round the boundaries of the parish a practice that was required by Statute


The common law right of parishioners to preamble their Parish Boundary raises the presumption that such use is by the public


The Below is copy is from Abstracts of Stovin’s Manuscripts by Rev John Tomlinson’s page 292 published in 1862 titled; The Levels of Hatfield Chase and Parts Adjacent


Boundaries of Crowle Manor

A copy of the Bounders of Crowle the Lordship of Crowle, made 7th Day November Anno Jacobi &c., quinto Anno dom1607


The Lord of the manor there may at his pleasure, drive as is accustomed from Dirkness Crooke to Callem Dike, though the Starr Carr by Hyrst (where was a cell to Nostrel) Syke to the Monk Stone, And from thence to a Certain Powle or Stowpe (pole) set out in the moor, by an order and awarde made by the Right Honourable Edmond Lord Sheffield, Betwixt the Townships of Crowle and Belton : and so Lineally Towards the north as the said Powles and Stowpes were set, by said Order, to Priscoe Dyke ; and from Priscoe Dyke north east to the Old Done mouth; and from thence all (along) the East Side of the Donn To Moordyke bank to the Black Sykes in the Hoope; and from thence to Ducking Sykes


What are the Bounders of the Manor (Judge Michael Heath ( “ what is that all about” )


The Statute for View of Frankpledges (1352) 18 Edw. 2 includes a statutory requirement to inspect the boundaries of Manors. The Statute contains 34 clauses covering all matters and nuisances which were, by custom of general concern to the whole manor. The margin note states “Leets: Of what things Steward in their Leets shall enquire”


Clauses 9-11 of the Act relates to bounds, ways, and waters they state:-


Clause 9 “Of Bounds withdrawn and taken away”


Clause 10 “Of ways and paths opened or stopped”


Clause 11 “of waters turned or stopped, or brought from their right course”


It was common practice for the steward of the Leet (upon whom the statutory duty rested) to delegate the task of inspection, inquisition, and presentment to the “Jurors of the Court Leet”


Crowle Manor Rolls (1381 – 1590 confirm that the statute was obeyed and that the boundary of the Manor was inspected on a regular basis by the jurors who presented all nuisances to the Manor Court. In order for Jurors to carry out their statutory obligation it was necessary for them to perambulate the boundaries of Crowle Manor. On such perambulations they were accompanied by other “Tenants of the Lord” who were anxious to ensure the inspection was properly and impartially carried out.


Thus by statute and common law , the custom of perambulation the Crowle Manor Bounders was established, All local History books from De La Pryme and Stovin to modern times contain details of the bounders of Crowle and inquisitions


The New Law Dictionary” Jacob (1794) states re perambulation:-

Perambulation of parishes is to be made by the Minister, Church warden and Parishioners, by going round the same once a Year, in ascension week: And the parishioners may justify going over any man’s land in their Perambulation, according to Usage : and it is said my abate all Nuisances in the Way- CRO. Eliz. 444


Parliament recognised the importance of may Inclosure Acts made before 1801, ordered the Jury of the Court Leet to annually inspect all matters of public concern in the Parish (for example – the comprehensive list of directions at page 13 of the Tockwith Inclosure Act, 32 Geo 3 cap 58 (1792)


The Law relating to Highways” Glen (1893) page 310 states:-


Perambulation of the boundaries are very generally made in most parishes in England, in Rogation week in each year. The parishioners may justify entering a man’s land for that purpose…………………and citing Lord Denman C.J. “The right to perambulate parochial boundaries, to enter private land for that purpose, and remove obstructions that might prevent this from being done, cannot be disputed (Taylor v Davey 7 A & E 415)


Glen also makes the point (when commenting on section 58 Highways Act 1835: highways along parish boundaries) that expenses incurred when perambulating boundaries could be recovered out of public funds. Thus the parishioners could take payment out of the poor rate to cover expenses incurred in correction of nuisances observed when perambulating their boundary (section 60 Poor law Amendment Act (1844) 7 & 8 Vict 101) .


It is persuasive of the existence of a public right along a parish boundary when a public statute allows public funds to be used for maintaining that public boundary. For as Littlejohn J. said in Leake “the parish are merely part of the public ….If a road has been used by people in the parish, it furnishes evidence pro tanto of it being a way for the rest of the public”


A perambulation was, and still is, in the eyes of the law, a public activity. It is an activity whose sole purpose is to assert the right of the local public to a way along a defined route in order to inspect and protect public conveniences.


The contention that the parishioners are “the public” is supported by the words of Lord Wright Master of the Rolls in Jennings v Stephens (1936) Ch 469 who said at 476 “The public ……….may mean for practical purposes only the inhabitants of a village


John Carney