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CURIOUS SUBSIDY ROLL.
The Manor of Knypersley is one of the hamlets of Biddulph, and formerly belonged to the family of "Kny
at 40s.;-then, John Rowley, of Ridgway (within Bemersley), assessed at the same amount ;—after him, John Burslem (of whom anon), and nine others, assessed at 20s. each for their lands; besides whom, are seven individuals taxed for their goods and chattels,-probably, the principal husbandmen of that day; making, in the whole, twenty persons within the circuit of Tunstall Court, ostensibly able to contribute to the royal necessities. Three of the land-owners, besides John Rowley, were William, James, and Jeffery Rowley, each being assessed at 20s. The name of Rowley is very conspicuous among the chief suitors of the Manor of Tunstall, in ancient times. They were seated at Turnhurst (in Chell), at the Park (in Oldcot), and in Ranscliff. The family of Colclough, of whom we intend to speak hereafter, appear, by the Roll, to have been persons of substance. William Unwyn (here called Onwyne), of Chatterley, whom we have already mentioned, is assessed at 20s. only; a very small seeming income for an armiger.
It may be difficult to form any accurate judgment as to the proportion which the assessment bore to the actual value of the estates of the parties; but, according to all historical evidence, it was extremely low, and had continued at the same nominal rate through many preceding reigns. In the eighth year of Elizabeth, a subsidy for all England only produced 120,000l.+; the assessors are said to have rated people very loosely, according to their ancestors, or to the estimated rank and estate each man bore in his county, or neighbourhood, without reference to his property in other counties, for which he escaped the subsidy. It appears, too, that none of the nobility were assessed.
Judging from the relative price of wheat, which, in the early part of Queen Elizabeth's reign, was 1s. per bushel, and is now about 8s., we should say, that the 301. assessed upon Sir William Sneyd might be about equivalent to 2401. or 250l. a year, in present money, and could not amount to more than one fiftieth part of the income of the wealthy Knight,§ (i. e. 1,500l. a year), which ratio of computation would give 100l. a year, each, as the incomes of William Bourne, and John Rowley, the next in substance; and 501. a year to John Burslem and his 20s. compeers. We are persuaded, that, upon this basis of calculation, we do not over-rate the wealth of the parties; and shall, therefore, multiply the sum assessed in the Roll by 50, as a safe guide for ascertaining the probable income of the landed gentry named in it, (Sir Edward Aston excepted) and that product again by 8, to adjust the intrinsic value of money at the commencement of Elizabeth's reign,
* Page 125. + Hume, Append. to R. of James I.
See p. 80.
persley," which, according to Erdeswick,* was a collateral branch of the very ancient family of Biddulph, and finally merged in that of Bowyer, by the marriage of Catharine, only child of Robert de Knypersley, with Thomas Bowyer, Esq., (11 Rich. II.), from whom lineally descended Dorothy, one of the three co-heiresses of Sir William Bowyer, Bart., the first wife of Sir Thomas Gresley, of Drakelow, Bart., who, in her right, obtained Knypersley, and transmitted it successively to his sons, Sir Thomas and Sir Nigel.
to the level of its decreased value at the beginning of the reign of our present virgin Queen.
The Royal Commissioners for assessing the subsidy in question, were Sir Edward Aston, Sir William Gresley,+ Knights, Simon Harecourt, and Bryan Fowler, Esquires, who contracted with John Wedgwood, of Harrecles, as high collector for levying the first payment by indenture, dated 24th May, 5 Eliz. (A. D. 1563), four years after the subsidy was imposed; proving, that the Queen was in no very urgent want of money, or that the financial operations of the country were exceedingly tardy in those days. Sir Edward Aston was assessed in Tixall for £133 6s. 8d. (an extraordinary large amount in comparison with any other individual) and taxed at £17 14s. 8d., not a very exact calculation, and there are several more flagrant errors in the assessment.
A similar book of subsidies, levied in 1590, to defray the expenses of repelling the Spanish Armada, is among the Talbot papers in the College of Arms (No. 218), to which we may hereafter refer. These subsidies were an imperfect species of Property Tax, granted, occasionally, by Parliament, as the Crown had need; they commenced about the reign of Richard II., upon the disuse of the more ancient mode of raising money by means of scutages and hidages, viz. compositions for military services levied on the King's tenants, and other land-owners. Finally, subsidies were found so unavailable for the exigencies of the State, that they were abandoned in the reign of Charles II.; and in that of William III. an annual Land Tax was imposed in lieu of them, which, in its turn, has been superseded by more artificial and prolific modes of taxation.
* Harwood's Edit. pp. 9, 10, and Magna Brit. vol. V. 77, 78.
+ Sir William Gresley was the lineal ancestor of Sir Thomas, who married the coheiress of Bowyer, of Knypersley, which may account for the possession of this MS. 1 Blackstone's Commentaries, p. 312.
PEDIGREE OF THE FAMILY OF BATEMAN.
John Bateman, Esq. served the office of High Sheriff of Staffordshire, in 1829, and is in the Commission of the Peace he married Elizabeth, the daughter of George Holt, Esq., of Redivals, in the County of Lancaster, descended from the Holts of Castleton, and Gristleton, in that County; they have an only son, James Bateman, Esq., married to Maria Sybilla, daughter of the Rev. Rowland Egerton Warburton, uncle to Sir Philip Egerton, M.P. for South Cheshire.
PEDIGREE OF THE FAMILY OF BATEMAN.
Thomas Bateman, of Tolson Hall, descended from Randle Bateman, who, in 1622, purchased estates in Strickland Kettle, still possessed by his descendant, John Bateman, Esq., (d. 1738.)
Eliza. Branthwaite, dau. of Edw. Branthwaite, of
James Bateman, of Tolson Hall and Salford, d. 1824.
John Bateman, Elizabeth Holt.
SIC FIDELIS SEMPER
The digression we have made in this instance, leads us still a little wider, to notice two remarkable objects in the neighbourhood.-1st. The Gawton Stone in Knypersley Park, (formerly a deer park, but long ago disparked,) which is mentioned by Dr. Plot,* and affirmed by tradition to have been once a hermitage. It is formed by a huge rock, detached from the cliff above, and resting, with three of its points, on other rocks, presenting a consider
James Bateman, = Maria Sybilla Warburton. Esq.
able cavity underneath, which may very well have been used for a human habitation. Near to this place, is a never-failing and undeviating spring of pure water, to which medicinal virtues were formerly ascribed, (as Plot relates,) for curing the King's Evil. The water issues from an aperture in the rock, falls into a circular basin, and thence into two stone troughs, sufficiently large for immersing the human body.
The other object we proposed to refer to, is, a group of remarkable rocks about a mile westward of Knypersley Park, called the WICKING-STONES, which occupy the ridge of a considerable hill, and rise abruptly from the surface in several detached masses; one of them nearly circular, and resembling a double plinth, or base of an immense. column, and which, from their singular form, appear very like Druidical monuments, though they are, undoubtedly, nature's rude primeval workmanship, many grotesque and striking displays of which abound in the neighbourhood. The Wardi's Tourer
HISTORY OF BURSLEM,-DOMESDAY ENTRY.-PART OF THE BARONY OF STAFFORD.-ORTHOGRAPHY AND ETYMOLOGY OF BURSLEM. -LOCAL SURNAMES, HOW DERIVED.-BIOGRAPHY OF JOHN BURSLEM, OF DALE HALL-EXTRAORDINARY PROSECUTION AGAINST HIM.-INVENTORY OF HIS EFFECTS AT HIS DECEASE. HIS DESCENDANTS AND FAMILY PEDIGREE.-GILBERT WEDGWOOD AND WM. COLCLOUGH, (HUSBANDS OF THE CO-HEIRESSES OF BURSLEM).—ACCOUNT OF THE WEDGWOOD FAMILY.THEIR PEDIGREE.-INTRODUCTION OF THE MANUFACTURE OF EARTHENWARE AT BURSLEM. -THE TILEWRIGHTS' ART.—FAMILY OF TELWRIGHT-TOWNSHIP OF BURSLEM.-TENURE OF LANDS.-PRINCIPAL
HAVING disposed of the northern and western suburbs of BURSLEM, we come to its Manorial History, which is involved in that of TUNSTALL, with which manor it was united, at an early period, by the Lords Audley, as we have already intimated.* Previously to that junction, it belonged to the Barons Stafford, and was assessed, in Domesday Book, for the third part of one Hide,† held by Robert de Stafford, and formerly by Alward, a free man.‡ The arable land contained two carucates, or plough-lands, and there was one husbandman, and four cottagers, who also held a plough-land. There were two acres of alder, and the value of the property was 10s., which Ulviet then
Page 71, 74, &c.
† A Hide was a very indeterminate quantity of land. We shall have occasion to observe of this hereafter.
Viz. a Gentleman, for scarce any other was then a free man. Spelman, Gloss. "Liber homo."