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Ann. Value

Exors of late

ELLARD Willm Senr

House & Land

1 A  1R  21 P

£  4  10  -




       2R.   2P

£  2   5   -



        15 s






House & Land

87A  3R   -

£115    -   -


House & Land

3A     -    14 P

£    7  10  -



£    1  10  -

Poor Law and the Parish

Following an Act of 1598 for the relief of the poor  parishes were obliged to appoint Overseers of the poor. The duties of the overseers were to find work for the unemployed and to set up housing for those unable to provide for themselves. This act was replaced in 1601 with an act requiring the parish to also give relief to its aged and helpless. They were required to bring unprotected children in “habits of industry” and to provide work for anyone who could no longer follow his own trade.

At the Easter Vestry meeting every parish elected two Church Wardens, Overseers of the Poor and other Parish Offices. They also decided on the rate to levy on property holders and the amount to use for the poor of the parish at regular monthly vestry meetings. Warwick Record Office holds a book of vestry minutes for 1814-1840 for Willoughby, Warwickshire.

An example from the book is given here:

On December 8th 1814 it was agreed that the rate to be paid to the poor was as follows

1. A Man and is Wife         3d per week
2. A Man and is Wife and two children  4d per week
3. A Man and is Wife and 4 children  6d per week
4. and also to pay Hannah Goode wid is late come to the parish the sum of 3d per week

Signed by William Ellard Overseer

This was William ELLARD [5131] (1764-1846)

Note the use of is for his.

In order to collect the appropriate rate the land and buildings within the parish were recorded. The evaluation records for the parish of Willoughby in Warwickshire for 1824 are also housed at Warwick Record Office.

Extract -

William ELLARD senior [5131] (1764-1846) the son of William and Elizabeth nee WATSON served as Church Warden from June 1819 to March 1824.

Hannah ELLARD was Diana CLEVERS [5179], widow of Thomas ELLARD [5793]. She later married Francis GRIMM as Hannah ELLARD and appears with him as Diana GRIMM on the 1851 census.

William ELLARD Junior [5154] (1774-1846) was the son of Zaccheus and Ruth.

Samuel HULL [9130] was married to Ann [5797] the daughter of Zaccheus and Ruth ELLARD.

William Junior was married to Jane TOWNSEND and the Mary TOWNSEND could be her widowed mother.

Regular vestry meetings were held throughout the year to review the poor rate and to examine the needs of the poor. These would include the provision of apprenticeships, managing the situation of illegitimacy, care for the elderly and infirm. They also considered local problems concerning housing and highways and the need to vaccinate the poor. The elected Officers were usually present at these meetings along with the Priest in charge of the parish and several ordinary parishioners.

The following family examples show how working to the requirements of the above acts the parishes were self governing bodies responsible for their own poor people.

Hampton Poyle in Oxfordshire also set poor law rates but being a very small community under the guidance of the elected wardens.

These examples are from the churchwarden’s accounts

March 1837 A rate made by Wm Trafford Church Warden at 1d in the £
Thos Giles 3½

Rate made by Joseph Harris & William West at 3d in the £ for the year 1838 on the Parish of Hampton Poyle
Rateable Value Thomas Giles  £2.6.8         7d

Joseph  HARRIS [1081] was Church Warden between 1837 and 1859. Thomas GILES [1072]

Similar rate entries for 1840-1852

15 Jan 1852
Giles Thomas 1.0¾
Giles Thomas 11.0¼  (Why two entries? Was one for Thomas [1073] and the other for his father Thomas [1072]?)
Giles Richard  4½
Ellard Joseph  3¼
Ellard George  3¼

Richard GILES [1062] , Joseph ELLARD [992], George ELLARD [987]

Under the heading Valentia (Lord Valentia was a generous benefactor of the village.)

Giles Thomas Jnr 2¾
Giles John 5½

The same entries for 1853 and 1854 but Ellard became Ellard widow (Joseph died 21 April 1853 his widow was Susan nee Giles [1069]). Wm Giles not included (he died August 1854) neither was Thomas Giles Jnr (he left Hampton Poyle between 1853 and 1861).

Joseph Harris stops appearing in 1859 when he and Wm West fixed a rate of sixpence in the pound. He married Harriet Ellard in 1865 and is living in Kidlington in 1869. Joseph was succeeded by Robert Knowles as Church Warden.

George, John, Thomas and William Ellard and John, Mary and Richard Giles continue to pay rates to the end of the book in 1867.

See also

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