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The Tile-wrights, then, were the English Potters, prior to the introduction, or naturalization, of the word Potter amongst us. This may be affirmed with as much confidence, as that a Mill-wright, a Ship-wright, and a Wheelwright, now designate persons employed in those particular businesses. It is a rather remarkable circumstance, that the family of the Tilewrights has been seated at Burslem for several centuries, (how many is uncertain), and they still possess here a local inheritance, which, as its origin cannot be traced, may have descended from a remote ancestry, who exercised the Tilewright's craft in the Saxon era. The family name varies in its orthography, as much as that of their native town, and is written in different ancient documents we have seen, Tylret, Telryt, Tyryght, Terrick, and latterly Tellwright.* Several individuals of the name appear on the rolls of Tunstall Court, of remote date, and principally as frankpledges, or head-boroughs, of the hamlet of Sneyd; but the earliest family document we have inspected, bears date anno 7 Edward VI. (1553), and is an Admittance of Thomas Tyright to a piece of Copy hold Land, in Burslem. In the year 1612, Samuel Tellwright was Constable of the Manor of Tunstall;† and in 1616, enfranchised his Copyhold Estate in the hamlet of Sneyd, consisting of a messuage, three cottages, and twenty-eight customary acres of land, from Ralph Sneyd Esq., the then Lord of the Manor. This estate was, latterly, for many years enjoyed by Mr. John Tellwright, who died at Stanfields, in Sneyd, (the ancient family residence), in the year 1828, aged 88 years and upwards; a man of primitive speech and manners, wholly unalloyed by the refinements of modern
Margaret Tylret" and " Thomas Telryt," are two of the subscribing witnesses to the Lease, dated in 1547, mentioned in the note, page 80. In the earliest parish-register of Burslem, the name is written promiscuously, Terrick and Telwright.
+ See Appendix, No. VII.
TENURE OF LANDS, ETC.
times, as we may hereafter shew more particularly. The chief part of the family estate now belongs to his eldest son, Mr. William Tellwright, of Biddulph, originally a Tilewright by trade, now a respectable yeoman. We build on this short history of the Tellwright family, one principal argument for the very remote establishment of the business of the POTTER, at Burslem.
The township of Burslem, considered as one of the four hamlets into which the Parish is divided, contains an area of about 730 acres; though, according to the parochial assessments, not more than 500 acres of land are rated, besides houses, manufactories, wharfs, &c.
The landed property was formerly copyhold, of the Manor of Tunstall, but has all been treated as freehold for more than two centuries past; having been generallyenfranchised in the reign of James I. by Ralph Sneyd, Esq., who built Keele Hall.* We confess our inability to account for the copyhold tenure which prevailed in ancient time, in this lordship ;-seeing that the original feudatory mentioned in Domesday, was a free-man, i. e. a freeholder, -unless on the supposition of the Lords Audley having made the land copyhold by usurpation; and we are strongly inclined to think such must have been the case, from the fact, that, of the numerous ancient copyhold surrenders and admittances which have come under our inspection, all of them shew the estates to have been granted to the tenant, to hold to him and his (sibi et suis) or to him and his heirs according to the custom of the Manor, but without the proviso" at the will of the Lord;" from which we infer, that the land was customary freehold, and never subject to the base services of proper
• Mentioned at the top of page 83.-And we here take occasion to correct an error as to the time of the erection of Keele Hall, which was about 1580, (not 1590). Another error in that page occurs in the name of the wife of William Sneyd, Esq., son of the said Ralph, who was Clara (not Maria) Colclough, the youngest sister of Sir Thomas Colclough, mentioned p. 195.
copyholds, or villenage; by which the serfs of the soil formerly held their possessions, at the arbitrary will of their Lords; until by long indulgence, and the constant struggle of the law in favour of freedom, these precarious holdings were deemed rightful inheritances, subject only to the customary rents and services, which the Lords had been content, from time immemorial, to receive from their vassals. We shall have occasion again to advert to this subject, when we come to the Manor in which the Stoke townships are situated.
The town-fields of Burslem have been enclosed for centuries, except that some butty furlongs and meadows have remained dissevered until nearly the present day, and meted out in doles and day-works, among various proprietors; but these inconvenient holdings have, by late purchases and exchanges, principally disappeared. Leasehold estates, for 999 years, and 500 years, of small parcels of land in the town, were granted out by several proprietors a century and a half or two centuries ago, for building purposes, at nominal rents; and similar estates were created by the wills of some individuals about the same period; but these have generally become freeholds by time, or tortious conveyances; and the few such leaseholds that remain, form the only exceptions to the general freehold tenure prevailing within the township and parish; building leases being unknown here in modern times.
The chief proprietors of land and mixed property in the township of Burslem, are John Wood, Esq., John Davenport, Esq., H. H. Williamson, Esq., Enoch Wood, Esq. The Misses Riley, Mr. Samuel Alcock, and Messrs. Haywood.
THE HAMLET OF SNEYD.
THE HAMLET OF SNEYD NOT NOTICED IN DOMESDAY, PROBABLY INCLUDED IN CHELL,-REMARKS ON ITS ETYMOLOGY,-SNEYD FARM.-LORD PARKER'S DRAINAGE OF MINES.-LANDED PROPRIETORS IN SNEYD.-THE 66 HAMIL."'-PUBLIC BATH.--DR. PLOTT'S ACCOUNT OF MINERAL WATERS.
-ISOLATED PORTIONS OF SNEYD.-THE PARISH OF BURSLEM AN ANCIENT
CHURCH. - RECTORS.- A BURSLEM DIALOGUE," EXEMPLIFYING THE PROVINCIAL DIALECT, AND COMMEMORATING SOME CURIOUS FACTS AND TRADITIONS.
THE HAMLET OF SNEYD, which lies on the west side of the township of Burslem, is, in all respects, so intimately connected with it, as to render unnecessary any particular notice of it, only that it in some degree maintains a separate character, in having certain known limits, and being taxed within itself for the repair of its highways. It contains about 550 acres of land, and some detached portions of it are locally situate within the township of Burslem. The Town has recently extended itself partially into Sneyd hamlet; of which, the boundary comes within 200 yards of Burslem market-place.
This Hamlet we have supposed to have given name to the eminent family of Sneyd in the olden time, though
we do not find that Sneyd has ever been noticed as a separate vill or hamlet, in any of the Public Records. It probably passed as an appendage of Burslem; but we think it quite certain, that the Domesday survey did not include it as such, because it was formerly a woodland tract, and no such property then belonged to Burslem, except two acres of Alder.
We believe Sneyd to have been included in the woodland parts of Chell, extending two miles in length and one in breadth;* and which, allowing for the difference between ancient and modern measure, would occupy the whole of the ridge (the Chill or Cold ridge) from the Cob-ridge of Sneyd Green, to the northern extremity of the lordship of Chell: neither is it possible to find elsewhere the woods of Chell, described in Domesday.
The earliest mention we find of Sneyd, is in the Foundation Charter of Hulton Abbey, (A. D. 1223),† in which the wood of Sneyd, (boscus de Sneade) was granted to the abbot and monks, along with the vills of Hulton and Rushton; and, though the hamlet has now lost its woodland features, they existed, partially, within living memory, and are still retained in various local names, viz. a farm called, THE WOOD, and lands called, the Chell-oaks, (corrupted into Chellocks), and the Pen-oaks, (Pinnocks). We presume, too, that the proper name of the hamlet, when analysed, bespeaks its sylvan character; Sned, or Sneyd, being the past participle of the Anglo-Saxon verb Snidan, to cut; and it may have denoted the place which supplied fire-wood, or brush-wood, for the use of the neighbourhood;
See chap. IV. p. 70, and note;-the word Leuca, which we translate mile, is said to be about a mile and half of present measure, (see Introduction to Domesday, vol. I. p. 158).
+ Appendix, No. II. p. ii.
The word Sned is still used in Scotland. Burns sends one of his cotters to sned besoms on the moors. And, see Bosworth's A. S. Dictionary, "Snidan." As to Chell, see the same, "Kelian ;" and Richardson's New English Dictionary, "Chill," "Kele," and "Cool."