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Sequestration and Social Upheaval: Madeley, Shropshire and the English Revolution

Christopher O'Riordan, copyright 1985

(Published in West Midlands Studies, vol. 18, 1985, pp.21-31; slightly edited for this Web issue, May 2001.)

During the English Civil War certain tenants and others seized the manor estate of Madeley in Shropshire. The estate, a large part of which consisted of iron, coal and lime works,[1] was the property and seat of Sir Basil Brooke, a wealthy landowner and entrepreneur.[2] His grandfather Robert Brooke (or Broke) had acquired it in 1544, from land which had belonged to the Prior of Wenlock.[3]

Sir Basil Brooke, a Catholic, was prosecuted for recusancy in 1641-2, and imprisoned in Newgate.[4] In 1643 (after the Civil War had begun) he was implicated in an alleged Royalist plot and was committed to the Tower.[5] When the Parliamentarians conquered central Shropshire in 1645, the Puritan regime sequestered Madeley estate.

Sequestration was applied by Parliament to the estates of Catholics and Royalists, a sequestration committee having been set up in each county to administer the process. Most men were subsequently allowed to `compound', or regain their estates in return for a fine calculated as a proportion of the value of the estate, upon application to the Committee for Compounding in London. Two categories were exempted, however: the King's top men, and those who were both Catholics and Royalists. These men's estates were to remain sequestered; they were later confiscated and sold. [6]

Upon the sequestration of Madeley estate, certain locals and others filled the resulting vacuum of authority with their own initiatives. Captains Henry Bowdler and Thomas Scott (the former a Madeley man) apparently obtained the iron works from the custody of the Parliamentarian forces; Bowdler and John Pallett (another Madeley resident) effectively gained control of the estate lands, and used the opportunity to reduce tenants' rents; they and their fellows were later accused of taking timber to their own use. New landholdings and improved livings may also have been acquired.

In 1649 a relative of Sir Basil's gained the lease of Madeley, and the social status quo was restored. An attempt by Bowdler, Pallett, and six other Madeley parishioners in 1650 to lease the estate themselves failed. The Shropshire Sequestration Committee objected to the lack of wealth and competence of these men, and the exploitation and neglect of the estate by those of their number who had previously controlled it. The London Compounding Committee took a more lenient view and was ready to lease to the parishioners for sufficient financial security, but the parishioners were apparently unable to find this security.

The proceedings engendered by this attempt constitute the primary source of information on the whole episode, and the article below is base on them. The descriptions of the parishioners given in the proceedings are in the main biased against them; occasionally one of their number makes a response to an accusation of exploitation, etc.[7]

The ironworks at Coalbrookdale in Madeley parish were later to become famous: charcoal was the traditional fuel used in the smelting of iron,[8] and in the early eighteenth century Abraham Darby pioneered at Coalbrookdale the coke-smelting process which paved the way for the Industrial revolution.[9] There may have been a smithy at Coalbrookdale in Henry VIII's time. In 1638 Sir Basil Brooke built a blast furnace there, and a forge was opened in 1642.[10]

In 1645, after the Parliamentarian forces had taken the area from the Royalists, Thomas Glasbrooke, the clerk of Sir Basil's iron and steel works, was `carried away prisoner' to Benthall garrison on 8 June. As he stated in a later deposition, the keys in his custody were then taken from him and delivered to Henry Bowdler and Thomas Scott (by what authority he knew not). Captains Bowdler and Scott apparently operated the works as a partnership during the time they held them.[11] At the time Bowdler said that he had an order for tenancy of the works - from the Shropshire Sequestration Committee presumably. However, in a later deposition, he stated that he had no order, but obtained their possession in a private deal with Captain Davies (the head of the Benthall garrison) `after Shrewsbury was taken by the Parliament's forces', on 22 February 1645. He also bought the `materials' of the works from Captain Davies. During their occupation Bowdler and Scott produced iron and charcoal, employing workmen and paying them wages in December 1645. Bowdler stated that he held the works about a fortnight, but one of his workmen said that he had worked at least a month under Bowdler and Scott. After they left, Mr Richard Foley, the wealthy Stourbridge ironmaster, took the works, around early 1646.[12]

When Madeley estate was sequestered, `a great part of the stock of the [iron] works came into the hands of Bowdler', for which he still refused to give account in 1650.[13] The stock was valued at £608 2s. when Thomas Glasbrooke, the clerk, left it on 8 June 1645, and only £156 4s. 4d. when Richard Foley took over the works.[14] The stock had consisted in part of

9 tons of anvils, plates and other materials of raw metal valued at £90; one ton and a half of iron at £27; one ton 16 cwt of steel at £66; charcoals at the works at £200.[15]
Bowdler denied that he had `entered upon' the stock but said he had bought the `materials' of the works from Captain Davies after the latter had `set the works' to him. These materials included a quantity of `raw' iron (i.e. pig), from which Bowdler made about 2 ton 7 cwt of (wrought) iron, and the necessary charcoal to `make it up'; he also bought two or three broken hammers and an anvil from Davies, paying in all £4 to £5. Bowdler also bought wood for £16 from the Committee at Shrewsbury, receiving money of Mr Foley's agents for converting it into charcoal.[16] Thomas Glasbrooke, `servant' to Richard Foley, paid £25 4s. 4d. for 23 load and 3 sacks of charcoal (about 25 tons) which Bowdler had made from 96 cords (over 12,000 cubic feet) of wood.[17] John Pallet, Bowdler's partner in the takeover of Madeley estate,
d[elivere]d [i.e. took] (or suffered to be d[elivere]d) 2,200d [lb?] of raw iron bars to lag under a furnace together with an old furnace all which came from Madeley House and which was wrought up at the said works whilst ... Bowdler and Scott held the same.[18]
`Madeley House' would be Madeley Court, the erstwhile home of Sir Basil Brooke.

The steel, coal lime works of Madeley had `grown into much decay', the Shropshire sequestration commissioners said in 1650, by reason that they had been set on short-term leases to persons who exploited them for the time rather than making long-term investment in them. After Edward Cludd, a relative of Sir Basil's, had obtained tenancy of the estate,he expended great sums of money to restore them to their original condition.[19] All of Mr Cludd's expenditures on the coal works were for preparing them to produce coal again.[20] The coal works were of great importance. The Coalbrookdale district probably accounted for 95 per cent of coal production in Shropshire during the seventeenth century; in 1995 it was producing 130,000 tons per annum, out of which the three great collieries of Madeley, Benthall and Broseley were each responsible for at least 30,000 tons.[21] The significance of the Madeley works would have increased in the Civil War, when Parliament in 1645 seized the colliery at Benthall to prevent the coal reaching Royalist areas;[22] and in 1650 they were said to be very important, a great part of the other coal works in Shropshire being almost wrought out.[23] The mines consisted of four `insets' driven horizontally into the hillside of Madeley Wood, two of 1,000 yards, one of 700 yards, and one of 500 yards. Each pit was worked by master `grubbers' (normally two partners) and their workmen.[24] All the pits suffered during the sequestration, and the two smallest were said to be almost past recovery when Cludd took them over. Their lessees had exploited them during the time they held them, and had spent little on repairs.[25]

John Yate, one of those parishioners who petitioned in 1650 for the lease of Madeley, was a master collier at the pit of 500 yards, and also a bargeman. He was `conceived to be worth £100' in 1650 (which `wealth' he could have acquired from the pit during the opportune dislocation of the 1640s). He worked for one Mr Richard Clowes, who apparently was one of the lessees of the coal works. As the hostile report of 1650 states, Mr Clowes, being inexperienced in the trade, employed `this Yate', who would not expend 20 nobles (£6 to £10) on maintenance of the pit, resulting in an eventual loss to Clowes of at least £40, and costing Edward Cludd a further £90 after he had taken over. After Cludd had taken the estate, a dispute about working conditions occurred between him and Yate, leading to the former sacking the latter.[26]

Henry Bowdler and John Pallett evidently gained control of the lands of Madeley estate after it was seized by Parliament in 1645. They tool advantage of the situation to reduce tenants' rents. In about 1646 Pallett handed in a rent roll to the collector of sequestrations.[27] In 1650 the Shropshire sequestration commissioners described how Bowdler joined with Pallett in reducing some rents by nearly one half in `the false rent roll'.[28] Bowdler, who held a tenement at a valued yearly rent of £23 which had already been reduced to £23 p.a. by Sir Basil Brooke, abated himself £11 p.a., which in 1650 was behindhand three or four years.[29] Possibly he could only afford to hold the tenement at this reduced rate: he later had to give it up.[30] Bowdler and Pallett also reduced the rent of rent of Thomas Smithiman's tenement, `he being a favourite' of theirs, by £2 3s. 6d. p.a. from £8 3s. 6d. p.a; he too was behindhand for three or four years in 1650.[31] Other tenants' grievances in that year suggest that their rents were previously reduced.[32] And the reduction of rents was not necessarily restricted to those who were comrades of Bowdler and Pallett. John Ashwood, who in 1649-50 was on the opposite side to Bowdler in a dispute over the control of the estate, paid only 40s. p.a. until 1649 for a messuage, valued at £40 p.a.which Sir Basil Brooke had said Ashwood could have for £20 p.a..[33] In one case at least the rules of agriculture were broken: when Edward Cludd tool over Madeley estate, he found it necessary to spend about £30 on a fallow `ground', `much by reason it has been twice ploughed'.[34]

The fact that John Pallett `d[elivere]d, or suffered to be d[elivere]d' a quantity of iron from Madeley House,[35] implies that he had control of, or authority over, the very seat of his old master the Lord of Madeley.[36]

The parishioners who signed the 1650 petition were also accused of having destroyed, and taken to their own use, wood and timber of the estate.[37] In this instance Bowdler produced a counter argument, stating that two coppices of great value and much timber had all been felled in 1649 and 1650,[38] i.e. after he had lost control of the estate. Also, in March 1648 Thomas Brooke, Sir Basil's son, was ordered by the London sequestration Committee to stop cutting and carrying away the estate's timber.[39]

While direct evidence is lacking, it may be that some of the tenants paralleled their other gains with the acquisition of holdings on the estate's demesne.[40] In 1650 various tenants were `aggrieved' because Cludd would not let them have such holdings; and since Cludd clawed back so many of their gains in 1649, this may well have included demesne acquisitions.[41] Richard Aston wanted to rent a demesne holding, but cludd refused him, preferring his own client.[42] Thomas Smithiman, a blacksmith, similarly desired `a piece of ground of the demesne and within the double ditch'.[43] Other tenants were aggrieved at being required (in 1649-50) to pay full rents for demesne holdings they had previously held for less (or nothing).[44]

Were Bowdler, Pallett and their fellows the representatives of a popular village initiative? I am not suggesting that they were formally chosen by the inhabitants at large. But it might be expected that many others would take advantage of the situation created by Bowdler & Co., or more generally by the Civil War and sequestration and consequent breakdown of traditional authority. These men could have been the nucleus of such a movement, or at least be representatives of it in the statistical sense that information happens to survive about them (because of their attempt to lease Madeley in 1650). In this case the petitioners of 1650 could have been the shrivelled-up kernel of this movement. All this is speculation, however. There were more than 164 adult males in Madeley in 1642,[45] and there appears to be no surviving evidence for most of these parishioners.

Socially, the eight parishioners of 1650 seem to have represented a broad spectrum of Madeley society. Henry Bowdler and John Pallett appear among the wealthiest inhabitants (apart from the Brookes, who were really in a class of their own);[46] Robert Lee, an owner of lime quarries, was a well-to-do `industrial man', as was the bargeman and master collier John Yate, at least in the 1640s; Thomas Smithiman, the blacksmith, also had a greater-than-average tenement; Francis Gough, a private tailor, was described as too poor to keep a servant. Thomas Cope and Richard Aston were perhaps the two poorest: Cope was a tailor and Aston a labourer who at some time had been a wheelwright. (See the appendix for details. There is no information on Thomas Scott, Bowdler's ironworks partner, except that he was a captain.) But there is the question of how much each man's socio-economic status was improved by the gains of the 1640s, and also how much each man lost after 1648. We are handicapped by a lack of tax records and other wealth indicators before the 1640s. Pallett was originally only Sir Basil Brooke's shepherd. If Bowdler had indeed taken some of the stock of the ironworks, he must thereby have enriched himself, even though he may later have lost it. He also seems to have had no landholding in Madeley after he let out his tenement c. 1649. Others too suffered a marked loss of wealth around this date.

On 31 December 1646 Sir Basil Brooke died,[47] and ownership of Madeley estate passed to Thomas Brooke his son and heir.[48] Thomas, like his father, was a Catholic.[49] The estate remained under sequestration. In July 1648 the London Committee for Sequestration ordered the Shropshire Committee to examine the `matter and cause' of Thomas Brooke's sequestration.[50] Edward Cludd of Orlton esquire, a relative of the Brookes, gained the lease of the estate from the Shropshire Committee in 1649.[51] I do not know the exact date, but it was probably in the Spring of that year.[52] Cludd was described as `a gentleman of worth and quality' by the Shropshire sequestration commissioners in 1650.[53] The commissioners trumpeted his virtues, in contrast to their critical descriptions of the Madeley men. He had, since taking the estate, spent over £2,000 in renovating its works and lands, making up for the damage caused by the exploitation and neglect of those who had held the estate before. He paid £700 for the lease of the estate in 1649, whereas it was said that the Madeley petitioners were not worth this sum between them, and were too poor to stock and manage such an estate.[54] In 1650 Cludd was prepared to give a £10,000 bond in security for a seven-year lease of Madeley, whereas the Madeley petitioners were unable to provide adequate security.[55]

Edward Cludd was also supported by the testimony of the Madeley master colliers, and of Thomas Bowen, the clerk of the mines, who stated in 1650 that Cludd's investments had restored the pits to their former condition. The pits had been `prejudiced' since the sequestration by the exploitation and irresponsibility of the tenants on yearly leases, the two smallest to the extent that they would have been `utterly lost' without this investment.[56] Among Cludd's other expenses was that incurred in repairing part of the iron works and associated `housing' which had been burnt.[57] This kind of damage could have been the result of military action or the vandalism of troops in the Civil War (such destruction was extensive), and serves to remind us that not necessarily all blame for damage can be laid at the doors of the Madeley men, in spite of the Shropshire Committee's efforts to tarnish the men in 1650.

The Madeley men for their part extolled their own virtues while pouring discredit on Cludd. They had always been devoted supporters of the parliament, whereas Cludd's financial backing came from the Catholics and Royalists Sir Vincent Corbet, Sir Thomas Eyton and James Lacon.[58] Cludd was tenant in name, only to shelter Catholics and Royalists, his agents, who oppressed the Madeley petitioners.[59] It was indeed Cludd's agents who were instrumental in restoring the status quo, and discovering the tenants' appropriations of the 1640s, such as the `false rent roll'.[60]

Having lost control of Madeley estate, Henry Bowdler `would have been partner with Mr Cludd, or else his bailiff, which Mr Cludd refused', on the grounds that he was a `destroyer', and not to be trusted with money. A resulting quarrel between Bowdler and John Ashwood, Cludd's bailiff, led the two men to sue each other.[61]

With Edward Cludd's accession to Madeley estate, the social status quo returned. Workmen now had to conform to Cludd's newly-imposed (or re-imposed) conditions of work, or suffer loss of work. Tenants lost their tenements (apparently including acquired demesne holdings, as we have seen above); standard payments of rent were demanded.

Cludd originally re-employed John Yate, the bargeman and master collier, and also his partner James Davis, in the renovation of their pit of 500 yards, for it was said that coal production could not be restarted until repairs were carried out. But later dispute over production occurred between Yate and Cludd, Yate dismissing his workmen rather than submit to Cludd's requirements. Cludd was also opposed to Yate's being simultaneously a collier and a bargeman, thus controlling both ends of the market, allegedly at the expense of the other bargemen. Cludd therefore sacked Yate as a master collier, replacing him in November 1649 with one John Fellowe.[62] Said to have been worth £100 in 1650, Yate died a poor man twenty years later.[63] A similar fate seems to have befallen Richard Aston. He had been a very poor man, and had learned the art of wheelwright, making wheels for the coal wagons at the mines: this became his chief trade. In 1649 `he refused to work as another man would, whereby he has lost a good part of his custom'. Evidently he too had disagreed with the work conditions imposed by Cludd.[64]

Henry Bowdler was unable to stock and manage his tenement of £23 p.a. (perhaps because he could not afford it without the £11 self-abatement) and let most of it to his son-in-law Humfrey Bowdler, taking up fishing and fowling as his `chief trade'. He was unable to pay £20 in rent arrears.[65] Thomas Smithiman was aggrieved at being demanded to pay his old rent of £8 3s. 6d. p.a.[66] Francis Gough `could not have ground to be tenant to'; he had been a sub-tenant of Mr William Webb since 1644.[67] (William Webb was evidently the Brookes' bailiff.[68]) Other tenants were unable to obtain reduced rents under Cludd, suggesting further cases of reversion to standard rents.[69]

In the Spring of 1650 the Shropshire Sequestration Committee considered that Edward Cludd, having invested so much in the repair of the estate, and having offered £700 yearly rent, more than any other, should be given preference for a seven-year lease. The estate's previous deterioration had been due in part to the letting of it on yearly leases to diverse tenants. Even Cludd, because of his short-term lease, was inhibited from investing more.[70] Cludd remained lessee of Madeley in 1650, even though he does not appear to have been granted a seven-year lease at this time.[71] However in June 1650 the eight parishioners of Madeley commissioned a Mr Josiah Peters to present a petition to the Committee for Compounding in London.[72] The Committee, which had superior authority over the county sequestration committees,[73] heard that the Shropshire Committee, in letting the estate, had only given notice to Cludd, and had let it at £100 p.a. less than the petitioners would have offered. The petitioners appealed to be admitted lessees, or for their nominee to be appointed joint lessee.[74] The London Committee ordered the Shropshire Committee to explain themselves, and to give the petitioners preference when Cludd's lease expired.[75] In replying, the Shropshire Committee gave the descriptions of Cludd and the petitioners which form the basis of the present article.

There was evidently no love lost between the Shropshire Committee and the Madeley men. Indeed the commissioners were of the same propertied circle as the Brookes and Cludd,[76] and it was natural that they should side with them. According to their own account, the commissioners were `aspersed' before the Compounding Committee by the Madeley petitioners, the object being to `take off the validity' of the commissioners' proceedings, the petitioners knowing `we are about to call them to an account' for their rent falsifications.[77] For their part the commissioners accused Bowdler of whipping up his neighbours and aspiring to be a village tyrant. He `carried himself very insolently and abusively towards us in his language and behaviour, and used many menacing speeches against us at such time as the said matters [concerning the leasing of the estate] were in examination before us'.[78] Naturally the commissioners would have considered that the Madeley men had no right to their acquisitions of the 1640s. But they now stood logic on its head by saying that the petitioners wanted to lease the estate because of some `specific' grievances they had against Cludd and his agents - meaning the entire range of dispossessions exacted on the Madeley men by Cludd! In the same vein, they said that Bowdler wanted to lease the estate to be revenged for his quarrel which resulted from his loss of control of the estate.[79] The commissioners could at least have understood the petitioners' point of view; but then they were concerned to present them in a bad light to the Compounding Committee.

In September 1650 the Committee for Compounding ordered the Shropshire Committee, once Cludd's lease had expired, to treat with those wishing to become lessees, but to make no contract without further order. In the meantime Cludd's interests were not to be prejudiced.[80] In March 1651 the London Committee ordered that, Cludd having offered £550 p.a. net rent, and the Madeley men £800 p.a. with abatement of taxes, the latter were to have a seven-year lease of Madeley if they could find better financial security for the estate.[81]

The Madeley petitioners had previously wanted the matter settled in Shropshire and refused to send witnesses to the Committee in London, which upset Josiah Peters. Now, encouraged by Peters' success in preventing the re-leasing of the estate to Cludd, they sent two witnesses to London. However, there was a disagreement between the witnesses and Peters, and then the firmer were arrested, and while they were detained the lease was given to Cludd.[82] The Compounding Committee ruled that, the Madeley men being unable to give the required financial security, Cludd was to be admitted lessee of the estate at £750 p.a. on good security.[83] The tenants were thus left to face Cludd's `rigid dealings' and `cruel oppression' once more.[84]

During the Madeley men's unsuccessful attempt, Peters had suggested prosecuting Edward Cludd and his agents for activities against the State, as a means of knocking them out of the competition.[85] By September 1651 Cludd had died, having previously sub-let the estate to Francis Woolfe, a local gentleman.[86] The Madeley men now evidently decided to press ahead with this technique: Woolfe, and Cludd's old bailiff John Ashwood, were informed against. In March 1652 the two men's appeal to the compounding Committee was heard. They each begged discharge on the Act of General Pardon, never having been sequestered'. This was granted, provided they had not been sequestered before December 1651.[87]

The sequel of these proceedings does not appear, but it is evident that the Madeley men won no victory. In 1652 Thomas Brooke forfeited Madeley estate for treason against Parliament. The following year the estate was sold to John Wildman, the former Leveller leader and speculator in such lands. Soon afterwards, Brooke re-acquired it from Wildman; he was still in possession at the Restoration.[88] The social order, having been disrupted in the 1640s, was now fully restored.

The story of Madeley in the English Civil War is a remarkable one, and of great significance for our view of the English Revolution. The various pieces of evidence (for the iron works, coal mines, estate lands etc.) suggest that the actions of Bowdler and his allies had an underlying unity, that the estate was taken over as a whole in 1645, and that this position was basically maintained until 1649 (even though Bowdler and Thomas Scott lost the iron works in 1646). The events amounted to a short-lived social revolution. Henry Bowdler, a yeoman, was so far below the status of one who (in normal times) could be expected to hold such an estate, that he could not even stock and manage his personal tenement on the estate. The Madeley men were an alliance of some of the wealthier and some of the poorer members of Madeley society, the poorer too making temporary gains. It is of course a pity that there is no sympathetic account to counterbalance the Shropshire sequestration commissioners' hostile one, and that concrete evidence for the involvement of Madeley society as a whole is lacking.

How much of the country at large could have been affected by Madeley-style radicalism? There were in all 780 Royalists whose lands were eventually confiscated and sold, and 3,225 who regained their estates by means of compounding: together, these categories represented locally one-third or more of the gentry in counties where there had been fighting.[89] In addition many bishops' lands were sequestered and all were later confiscated and sold (and royal lands were sold after the King's execution in 1649). The sequestrating powers often could not adequately fill the gap left by the expelled landlords, and thus was created a widespread opportunity for the tenants to make their own initiatives.

While it might be thought that tenants on estates eligible for compounding (and thus open to the return of the original landlord) might be deterred from taking advantage of their situation, as compared with those on estates liable to confiscation, this is not necessarily the case. The Cheshire mansion house of the Royalist Lord Cholmondeley was occupied during his sequestration by `men of low and mean condition' who `convert it to a hogsty'. After Cholmondeley agreed to compound in 1646-7, the Committee for Compounding ordered that the mansion's tenants be evicted; but the tenants were supported by a local official. It was necessary for the Committee to repeat the order with a threat.[90] On the other hand the eventual sale of an estate liable to confiscation could be expected, as in the compounder's case, to re-affirm the social status quo via the estate's acquisition by a purchaser of the same socio-economic status as the first landlord. (If the buyer was a speculator in confiscated lands, it was quite possible that the old landlord would buy it back from him - as with Madeley - perhaps at a discount, the case then working out as that of a compounder with a heavy fine.)

The likelihood seems to be, that whenever the lower classes might improve their position at the expense of the ruling classes during the administrative and social disruption of the Civil War period, they would lose all or most of their gains once conventional relations of landed society had been restored in the later 1640s and 1650s. A wide survey of surviving sequestration documents and other materials would be needed to judge the extent of such radicalism. The present article is intended to be a pioneering work in this field.

APPENDIX: some biographical notices

Of the descriptions of the petitioners in SP 23/105 (see note 7), the minister of Madeley's (p.203) are friendly disposed, in contrast to those of the Shropshire sequestration commissioners. For source references to local offices, and to tax ratings and the like, see notes 45 and 46;} in this appendix, they are for Madeley unless otherwise stated. Where the information has already appeared in the article, the reader is referred to the `text'. It may be noted that the poor rate of 1672 was levied `upon the lands, tenements and cottages of Madeley parish'; the 1651 rate was probably levied similarly. The ratings therefore provide a rough guide to holdings and their rental values (and we have the rental values for 1672). It may also be noted that the Madeley poll tax of 1660 (under `Little Wenlock') is more useful for inhabitants' occupations than as a wealth indicator: landlord Thomas Brooke having the full £10 levied on him, most of the other inhabitants just paid (were evidently let off with) the basic 1s; only some of the well-to-do paid more.

John Ashwood
(Not to be confused with his namesake, a plater.) Described as a yeoman in the 1660 poll tax. Bailiff of Madeley estate under Edward Cludd; a quarrel with Henry Bowdler in 1649 or 50 led the two men to sue each other (text). According to Bowdler, Ashwood paid 40s. rent p.a. until 1649 for a tenement, valued at £40 p.a. by Sir Basil Brooke, which the latter had said Ashwood could have for £20 p.a. (ibid.). Having been informed against, Ashwood requested discharge of the Committee for Compounding on the Act of General Pardon, March 1652; this was granted, provided he had not been sequestered before December 1651 (ibid.). Churchwarden 1641; poll tax assessor 1660. Name to Protestation of 25 April 1642; 2s. Irish contribution 9 May 1642; 4s. poor rating 1651, 10s. 1672; tenement valued at £20 1672 (one of the highest); 5s. 6d. poll tax 1660. When Ashwood died in 1674, his probate inventory (19 Nov. 1674) revealed his financial capital: of a total of £165 10s, desperate debts due and owing him amounted to £100, and debts owing by bonds and bills, £60 (Hereford Record Office, Diocese of Hereford wills). (It seems unlikely that this was the inventory of the other John Ashwood: the other was poorer as judged by tax and other payments, and also had evidently died or departed from Madeley by 1672).

Richard Aston
One of the eight Madeley parishioners who petitioned for the lease of Madeley estate in 1650 (SP 23/105, p.177, quoted in C.C.C., vol. 3, p.2231). Described as a labourer in the 1660 poll tax. The Shropshire commissioners' description in 1650: `He was a very poor man and in debt and Sir B[asil] B[rooke] lent him two cows and ground to keep them' (perhaps when the latter's arm was being twisted by the sequestration). `He has learnt to turn wagon wheels [for the coal pits] which is his chief trade, and he refusing to work last year as another man would, has lost great part of his [?]custom, which is his great aggrievance. He would have rented some of the demesne land which Mr Cludd refused and did let that which he would have had to a client of his, being more convenient for Mr Cludd's client than Aston ...' (SP 23/105, pp.193, 196 [shorthand]). It might at first seem possible that `wagon wheels' referred to some sort of windlass involved in moving mined coal, which Aston operated; but this is unlikely. His job is called a trade, implying skill, and a wagon wheel would make an unlikely windlass unless a metaphoric term. But above all, the Madeley coal pits were driven horizontally into the hillside (see text), being of the sort in which `the coal [was] extracted as easily as from a quarry, without windlass, rope or corf' (Nef, op. cit. note 21, vol. 1, pp.350-1, note 5). Aston therefore almost certainly became a wheelwright, making wheels for the coal wagons at the mines. (These wagons would have travelled on the wooden rails employed at the mines. V. C. H. Shropshire, vol. 11 op. cit. note 24,{hotlink} p.46.)
Held, in 1650, land of about £3 yearly rent in Madeley (SP 23/105, p.23). Deputy churchwarden 1624, churchwarden 1636. Name to Protestation of 25 April 1642; 6d. Irish contribution 9 May 1642; 1s. poor rating 1651; 1s. poll tax 1660. Buried 13 June 1661 (Shropshire R. O., Madeley parish register). Will (11 March 1662) and probate inventory (17 October 1662) of Armilla Aston, widow (probably Richard's): the latter totalled £16 3s. 4d, including two cows at £4 6s. 8d. and one horse at £1 5s. (Hereford R. O., Diocese of Hereford wills, 1662, no. 137).

Henry Bowdler
One of the eight Madeley parishioners who petitioned for the lease of Madeley estate in 1650 (SP 23/105, p.177, quoted in C.C.C., vol. 3, p.2231). The leader of the tenants' takeover of Madeley estate; one of those who `made show' of taking the estate, as the Shropshire sequestration commissioners put it in 1650 (SP 23/236, f.185a). Described as a yeoman in the 1660 poll tax. Name not on Protestation of 25 April 1642; 2s. Irish contribution 9 May 1642; not listed on poor rating of 1651; 1s. poll tax 1660. Buried 12 November 1665 (Madeley parish register).
A member of the municipal government of Much Wenlock, Shropshire. The Franchise of Wenlock covered a large area of Shropshire, including Madeley, and had superior authority in certain matters. It was governed by a co-opting oligarchy consisting of a bailiff and `six men', the equivalent of a mayor and aldermen. Bowdler was a six-man one year in the late 1620s (Corpn. of Wenlock, first minute book, p.617); in Sept. 1644 he was again chosen, serving from 1645 to 1648 or 9 (ibid, pp.701, 709, 727, 741). On 19 September 1646 his name appeared, with 57 other Wenlock burgesses, on an order replacing the town clerk (who was perhaps expelled for corruption) (ibid, pp.710-11 et seq; see TSAS op. cit, note 9, 2nd series, vol. 6 [1894], p.280). He was again a six-man from the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 until 1664 (second minute book).
For further details of Bowdler and his career, see text, passim, and Humfrey Bowdler, next.

Humfrey Bowdler
Described as a yeoman in the 1660 poll tax. Very well-to-do; his eldest brother was Audley Bowdler (will, below), who was bailiff of Much Wenlock on several occasions (Corpn of Wenlock records). Married Elizabeth Bowdler 13 November 1646 (Madeley parish register). `Henry Bowdler was tenant to a living [i.e. a tenement] in Madeley of £23 per annum and being unable to stock and manage the same has let it to his son-in-law Humfrey Bowdler, all but the orchard and hopyard' (in 1649?) (SP 23/105, p.191). The tenement also contained a mill (Madeley Easter Book 1649-65). Humfrey Bowdler was a churchwarden in 1651 and 1655. His name does not appear on the Protestation or Irish contributions list of Spring 1642; 4s 4d. poor rating 1651; 1s. poll tax 1660. Name (with 57 other burgesses) to order replacing Much Wenlock town clerk, 19 September 1646 (Corpn. of Wenlock, first minute book, p.712; six-man / elector of Wenlock, 1648, 1652-5, 1657-61; coroner there, 1655-6, 166-1 (ibid, pp.741, 757, 761, 775, 779, 787, 795, 799; second minute book). Will proved October 1666; he desired that his widow should hold the Madeley tenement they then apparently held jointly; probate inventory totalled £582 11s; various items relating to the tenement are listed, including cattle worth £53 and crops worth £40;also a lease of a tenement in the parish of Much Wenlock worth £400 (Hereford R. O., Diocese of Hereford wills). It may be noted that in 1672 Elizabeth Bowdler continued to hold the Madeley tenement (worth about £25 p.a.). One of Humfrey's sons was named Audley (will), and in 1702 one Audley Bowdler held lands on Madeley estate of 118 acres worth £54 18s 5d. p.a. (Randall, Madeley, op. cit. note 3, p.58 and appendix).

Sir Basil Brooke
Lord of the manorial estate of Madeley, and an industrial undertaker and businessman with wide-ranging interests (for the latter, see Calendar of State Papers Domestic, 1635, p.38). A wealthy man, in the 1630s he was assessed at £10 for his lands in Madeley - easily the highest amount in the district. He had interests in iron-making in the Forest of Dean, from which (by his own account) he made £24,000 in profits during the 1620s and 30s (Hammersley thesis, op. cit. note 16, p.392). In the 1630s he was fined £12,000 for encroaching on royal forests (to obtain fuel for iron smelting); this apparently added to his already-existing debts of £13,000 (C. Hill, Reformation to Industrial Revolution, [Penguin, 1969] p.88; Hammersley thesis, p.373). Some biographical details are available in the Dictionary of National Biography (1st edn, vol. 6, pp.413-14). Born 1576. Died [still imprisoned] 31 December 1646 (see note 47). A Catholic and apparent Royalist, as was his son Thomas Brooke, his estate was under sequestration from 1645 until its confiscation from Thomas in 1652; a while later, Thomas regained it from John Wildman, to whom it had been sold (see text). In 1651 it was stated that in a deed dated 10 April 1641 and only recently rediscovered, the `manor and demesnes' of Madeley were `settled' for thirty years on the Earls of Northampton and Peterborough by Sir Basil and Thomas Brooke, in payment for the Brooke's debts; in 1651 these were said to amount to £10,000, and the estate was worth only £300 p.a. (C.C.C., vol. 3, p.2232).
The Brookes' bailiff was evidently William Webb of Madeley, another Catholic (SP 23/64, p.895; cf. John Pallett below).

Thomas Cope
One of the eight Madeley parishioners who petitioned for the lease of Madeley estate in 1650 (SP 23/105, p.177, quoted in C.C.C., vol. 3, p.2231). Described as a mercer in the 1660 poll tax. `... is a tailor by trade ... and sold ale and bread, and has part of a small tenement with his brother to the value of £1 15s 0d. per annum, and his part of his tenement does he garden, which is his chief living [with] selling of ale and bread. This man's aggrievance is he would have held a piece of land of the demesne which is let to his brother for £7 per annum and it was let so formerly in Sir B[asil] B[rooke's] lifetime; and besides, Mr Cludd gave this Cope 20s. as he said he was a poor man toward his relief' (SP 23/105, p.197 [shorthand]; cf. p.193).
Churchwarden 1690. Name not on Protestation or Irish contributions list of Spring 1642; 6d. poor rating [`Coope'] jointly with John Cope, 1651; 1s 6d. poor rating, Thomas and John Cope, freeholders, 1672; 1s. poll tax 1660.

Francis Gough
One of the eight Madeley parishioners who petitioned for the lease of Madeley estate in 1650 (SP 23/105, p.177, quoted in C.C.C., vol. 3, p.2231). Described as a tailor in the 1660 poll tax. `He is a private tailor and not in a capacity to keep a man, and an under servant [i.e. under tenant] to Mr William Webb of about £5 per annum, and he was a soldier to the parliament and revolted from them to the king ... I am sure he is incapable of expense or money to rent Madeley Lordship' (SP 23/105, pp.193, 196). In a deposition dated 2 August 1650, Gough stated `that he is a tenant to Mr William Webb and so has been these 6 years past ... and says that his aggrievance is that he could not have ground to be tenant to' (ibid, p.201). Churchwarden 1650. Name not on Protestation or Irish contributions list of Spring 1642, nor the poor rating lists of 1651 and 1672; 1s. poll tax. His father was probably Francis Gough of Much Wenlock, an attorney of the bailiff's court there, who died in 1649 (TSAS, 1st series, vol. 11 [1888], p.35). This man, a well-to-do yeoman, left a total of £112 and five feather beds to his four sons and two daughters, including £20 and a feather bed to Francis, his last-named son. In addition he bequeathed all his goods, `cattles' and chattels to his (Francis senior's) wife (P.R.O., Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills, Prob 11/211, quire 18).

Robert Lee
One of the eight Madeley parishioners who petitioned for the lease of Madeley estate in 1650 (SP 23/105, p.177, quoted in C.C.C., vol. 3, p.2231). Described as a husbandman in the 1660 poll tax. Master of a lime works in 1650, and then `thought to be worth £100' (SP 23/105, p.203). `He is a lime man and lived in a cottage in Madeley and sold ale and rented part of the demesne to the value of £21 st[erling] per annum or thereabouts. ... This man would have this land at £14 a year, and as he is demanded £20 per annum being less than he would have paid to Sir B[asil] B[rooke], he finds himself aggrieved. ... He owned [____] lime quarries in Madeley [?] Wood. He would not give their tenant [Edward Cludd's client?] the value of them, whereupon Mr Cludd disposed of one of them to another ...' (ibid, p.197 [shorthand]; cf. p.193). Churchwarden (`Leigh', with John Pallett) 1627; deputy churchwarden (with John Yate) to Thomas Scott, 1648. Held £20 p.a. of land in Madeley Park, ref. 1627 (Shropshire R. O., 2280/2/42), ref. 1652 (P.R.O., SP 23/64, p.871): this was probably the same holding as that referred to above. Name to Protestation of 25 April 1642; 1s. Irish contribution 9 May 1642; not listed on poor rating of 1651; 1s. poll tax 1660. Buried 14 October 1664 (Madeley parish register). His name appears, with 57 other Much Wenlock burgesses, on an order replacing the clerk of that town, 19 September 1646 (Corpn. of Wenlock, first minute book, p.711; see TSAS, 2nd series, vol. 6 [1894], p.280; cf. Henry Bowdler above.

John Pallett
One of the eight Madeley parishioners who petitioned for the lease of Madeley estate in 1650 (SP 23/105, p.177, quoted in C.C.C., vol. 3, p.2231). A tenant of Madeley in 1650, held several tenements worth £70 p.a. `upon the rack' (SP 23/105, p.203). `He was shepherd to Sir B[asil] B[rooke] and at last he trusted him with his husbandry and [to be?] an under bailiff to Mr Wm Webb' (who was presumably Brooke's bailiff) (ibid, p.197 [shorthand]). In a deposition of 1650, Pallett stated that Sir Basil, formerly his master, caused him to value his tenements, and he gave in a rent roll to a Mr Hawkshead, a collector for sequestrations of the tenements of Madeley, `about 4 years ago' (ibid, p.230). `He gave in the false rent roll to the Committee of Shrewsbury's officers which has caused all this difference, and now sides with [Gough, Aston, Smithiman, Yate, Lee and Cope] to make it good. He holds £7 a year of concealed land which the [Shropshire sequestration] commissioners demand rent for, and conceiving this to be done by Mr Cludd or his agents, he finds himself aggrieved' (ibid, p.193). When Henry Bowdler and Thomas Scott held the iron works in 1645, Pallett removed, or `suffered' to be removed, 2,200 (lb?) of raw iron to lag under a furnace, and also an old furnace, all of which came from Madeley House and was wrought up at the works (ibid, p.199). Churchwarden 1627. Name to Protestation of 25 April 1642; 1s. Irish contribution 9 May 1642; 4s. poor rating 1651. Six-man / elector of Much Wenlock 1644-7; treasurer there c. 1646; name appears (with 57 other burgesses) on an order replacing the town clerk there, 19 September 1646 (Corpn. of Wenlock, first minute book, pp.701, 709, 711, 722; see TSAS, 2nd series, vol. 6 [1894], p.280; cf. Henry Bowdler above.

Thomas Smithiman
One of the eight Madeley parishioners who petitioned for the lease of Madeley estate in 1650 (SP 23/105, p.177, quoted in C.C.C., vol. 3, p.2231). Described in 1650 as a blacksmith holding a rack-rented tenement under Thomas Brooke of £8 p.a. (SP 23/105, p.203).`He is a blacksmith by trade ... and sells ale and rents a small tenement in Madeley of £8 3s 6d. per annum. He being a favourite of Pallett and Bowdler he was abated in the false rent roll [£]2 3[s] 6[d.] per annum and is in arrears of it to the State for these 3 or 4 years, and being demanded [£]8 3[s] 6[d.] ... by order from the Committee he does find himself aggrieved that he should pay the rent he formerly paid to Sir B[asil] B[rooke]. He would have had a piece of ground of the demesne and within the double ditch ...' (ibid, p.196 [shorthand]). Churchwarden 1647, 1673. Name to Protestation of 25 April 1642; 6d. Irish contribution 9 May 1642; 2s. poor rating 1651 (apparently he gave 3s.); 1s. poll tax 1660 (here still described as a blacksmith); 4s 6d. poor rating 1672, for a rent of c. £9; 4s. hearth tax for 2 hearths in Madeley Wood, 1672 (Shrops. Arch. & P'sh Reg. Soc., The Shropshire Hearth Tax Roll of 1672 [1949], p.36). His father appears to have been William Smithyman of Madeley, whose will is dated 1632. After leaving all his goods, `cattles' and chattels to his wife, he bequeathed 2s. to each of his four sons and three daughters; Thomas is the first-named. In an added note of 1635, a probate inventory total of £34 10s. is given (Hereford R. O., Diocese of Hereford wills, 1635, no. 217.

Francis Woolfe
Described as a gentleman in various sources throughout the period, e.g. in the poor rating of 1651. `Clerk [i.e. manager] to all the works of Madeley' (1650; SP 23/105, p.219). Edward Cludd had sub-let Madeley estate to him by September 1651; in March 1652 he was provisionally pardoned by the Committee for Compounding, having previously been `informed against' (see text). In September 1651, after his defeat at the battle of Worcester, and before his famous hide in the Boscobel oak, Charles II was sheltered by Woolfe in the latter's barn at the `Upper House' in Madeley (V.C.H. Shropshire, vol. 11, p.22, and references there cited). A Catholic, Woolfe did not sign the Protestation of 25 April 1642; 4s 4d. poor rating 1651; 1s. poll tax 1660. Buried 7 December 1665 (TSAS, vol. 56, p.85). Francis Woolfe junior, minister, paid 8s. poll tax 1660.

John Yate
One of the eight Madeley parishioners who petitioned for the lease of Madeley estate in 1650 (SP 23/105, p.177, quoted in C.C.C., vol. 3, p.2231). A bargeman, and a master collier at the pit of 500 yards in Madeley Wood until sacked by Cludd in 1649 (for details of Yate under the tenancies of Richard Clowes and Cludd, see text). He held a cottage under Thomas Brooke and was `conceived to be worth £100' in 1650 (SP 23/105, p.203). Described as a trowman in the 1660 poll tax. Deputy churchwarden (with Robert Lee) to Thomas Scott, 1648. Name not on Protestation or Irish contributions list of Spring 1642; 8d. poor rating 1651; 1s. poll tax 1660. His probate inventory of 1670 totalled £23 5s 6d, including £1 for his fishing boat and fishing nets; in 1671 his widow paid his debts of £26 6s. (Hereford R. O., Diocese of Hereford wills, 25 April 1670, 30 May 1671).
Other members of the Yate family are listed in the poll tax roll. They, like John, are called boatmen (`trowmen'); none is described as a collier. This, therefore, was the family occupation. It suggests that John's normal occupation was that of a poor boatman (cf. his probate inventory), and that his position as a master collier (with the relative wealth that probably arose from it) was probably only acquired, temporarily, in the extraordinary conditions of the 1640s (cf. text).

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1. Public Record Office, SP 23/236, f.183a. A valuation of 1672 shows that, while the total yearly rental value of Madeley estate was £766, that of the coal, iron and lime works was £200. Shropshire Record Office, Madeley first Churchwardens' and Overseers' Account Book, 2280/6 (no foliation).
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2. M D G Wanklyn, `Landed Society and Allegiance in Shropshire in the First Civil War' (unpublished University of Manchester PhD thesis, 1976), p.381, places Sir Basil Brooke in a category of the top six landowners in Shropshire. See also appendix, Sir Basil Brooke.

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3. John Randall, History of Madeley (1880), pp.28, 30; Notes and Queries, 3rd series, vol. 4 (1863), p.81.

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4. SP 23/64, pp.882, 895; cf. Commons Journal, vol. 2, pp.74, 127, 317, 371, 393, 398, 740, 913.

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5. Ibid., vol. 3, pp.358, 360; vol. 4, p.133; Lords Journal, vol. 6, p.371.

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note about Catholic-Royalists:In 1649 provision was in fact made for Catholic-Royalists to compound, though on harsh terms; few did so. (In any case Madeley didn't fall within this category; see below in article.) (Note added, May 2001.)

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6. In peace negotiations of July 1646, Sir Basil Brooke was one of those who was exempted by name from pardon, as papists active against the Parliament. S. R. Gardiner, Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution (Oxford, 1906), pp.298-9.

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7. The manuscripts of relevance for the `revolutionary' tenants and Madeley are contained in the papers of the Committee for Compounding at the Public Record Office, SP 23/105, pp.177-230, and SP 23/236, ff.183a and 185a. A short survey of these, concentrating on the ironworks, was given by Malcolm Wanklyn in Shropshire Newsletter, no. 44 (June 1973), pp.3-6.
Some of the descriptions of the 1650 petitioners are given in shorthand (SP 23/105, pp.195-7). The system employed is Thomas Shelton's Tachygraphy (1642).
Skimpy references to the proceeding papers, and others related to the Brooke sequestration, can be found in Mary Anne Everitt Greene, ed., Calendar of the Committee for Compounding with Delinquents (5 vols, 1888-93) (hereafter C.C.C., vol. 3, pp.2231-2; vol. 5, p.3298.

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8. Arthur Raistrick, Dynasty of Iron Founders. The Darbys and Coalbrookdale (Longmans, 1953).

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9. Randall, Madeley,pp.31, 277-8; Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological Society (hereafter TSAS, vol. 56 (1957-60), p.71.

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10. See Ifor Edwards, `The early Ironworks of North-West Shropshire', TSAS, vol. 56, p.185 seq.

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11. SP 23/105, p.199. Back to text

12. Ibid.,pp.199, 201, 207, 211, 213. For Richard Foley, see W. H. B. Court, The Rise of the Midland Industries (Oxford, 1938), pp.104-9. In the seventeenth century, the title `Mr' indicated a person of gentry rank (other than a knight), or a wealthy person.

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13. SP 23/105, pp.191, 192; SP 23/236, f.185a.

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14. SP 23/105, pp.203, 207.

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15. Ibid., p.201. I have modernised the English in this and subsequent quotations.

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16. Ibid., p.213. `Raw iron' was another term for pig iron. G. F. Hammersley, `The History of the Iron Industry in the Forest of Dean Region 1562 - 166' (unpublished University of London PhD thesis, 1972), p.20. Bowdler paid a trifling price for even the `materials' he admitted obtaining. It would have taken at least 3¼ tons of pig to make 2 ton 7 cwt of bar or wrought iron; the former would have cost something like £18 at normal prices. Yet Bowdler got it, along with other material, for £4-£5. He could have sold the wrought iron he produced from it for about £40 at standard market prices - a profit of c. 700 per cent. Cf. ibid., pp.388-9, 432.

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17. Ibid.,pp.199, 207. A load was equivalent to roughly 1 or 1¼ tons; a standard cord contains 128 cubic feet of wood, and should produce 5 cwt of charcoal. Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, vol. 30 (1957), p.151, note 1; Economic History Review, 2nd series, vol. 26 (1973), p.605, note 1.

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18. SP 23/105, p.199. Back to text

19. SP 23/236, ff.183a, 185a. Back to text

20. SP 23/105, pp.217, 219, 225-9. Back to text

21. J. U. Nef, The Rise of the British Coal Industry (Routledge, 2 vols, 1932), vol. 1, pp.64-5, 360-1; cf. Raistrick,The Darbys, p.25.

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22. Victoria County History of Shropshire, vol. 1 (1908), p.454.

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23. SP 23/236, f.183a. Back to text

24. V C H Shropshire, vol. 11 (1985), p.46. Mr Baugh, editor of the V C H, kindly showed me the proofs of this volume for Madeley.

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25. SP 23/105, pp.225-9. Back to text

26. Ibid., pp.196 (shorthand), 203, 229. For the dispute between Cludd and Yate, see below in article.

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27. Ibid., p.230. Back to text

28. Ibid., pp.191, 192; SP 23/236, f.185a. Back to text

29. SP 23/105, pp.191, 195, 203, 230. Back to text

30. Perhaps he only acquired it after the takeover of Madeley estate; cf. SP 23/236, f.185a.

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31. SP 23/105, p.193. Back to text

32. SP 23/105, pp.193, 195. Back to text

33. SP 23/105, p.230. This information came from Bowdler.

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24. SP 23/105, p.221. Back to text

35. SP 23/105, p.199. See above. Back to text

36. Pallett had been shepherd to Sir Basil, who later placed him in charge of his husbandry. SP 23/105, p.93.

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37. SP 23/105, p.195. Back to text

38. SP 23/105, p.230. Some coppices were grown especially to provide fuel for iron smelting; Bowdler would therefore have needed to reply to a suspicion that he had used them when he held the iron works.

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39. SP 20/5, f.4b. Back to text

40. In the Middle Ages the demesne had been the lord's personal land, upon which the villeins were obliged to work at certain times of the year. By the seventeenth century, however, demesnes were often let out to tenants.

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41. See below in article for Cludd's `clawbacks'.

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42. SP 23/105, p.196 (shorthand). Back to text

43. SP 23/105, pp.193, 196 (shorthand). Back to text

44. Thomas Cope(?), John Pallett. SP 23/105, pp.193, 196 and 197 (shorthand). Compare also Francis Gough (see below in article).)

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45. House of Lords Record Office, Madeley parish Protestation return, 25 April 1642; cf. Public Record Office, contributors to the relief of poor Irish Protestants for Madeley parish, 9 May 1642, E 179/167/213, f.11. 164 adult males signed the Protestation, including five local officials who signed at Wenlock. 150 people paid the Irish contribution, including a few whose names do not appear on the Protestation (cf. note 46); there were 7 payments of 2s., 12 of 1s., 2 of 8d., 32 of 6d., 54 of 4d., 32 of 3d., and 11 of 2d. (Sir Basil Brooke was absent from the parish and did not pay). The Irish contribution has the appearance of a compulsory tax levied according to wealth; one woman paid (4d).

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46. Sources for the inhabitants of Madeley and their wealth, around the period of the Civil War:-
Protestation return, Irish contributors (see note 45); subsidy rolls, 1625 and 1628, PRO, E179/167/167 and E179/167/200 (these cover the wealthy few); Wenlock Hundred poll tax roll, 1660, E179/168/219, ff.16-17 (useful for inhabitants' occupations) (the relevant entries in the 1628 subsidy and the 1660 poll tax are described as `Little Wenlock', but they include Madeley. To distinguish, cf. Madeley and Little Wenlock Protestation returns of 1642, Lords Record Office); Shropshire Archaeological and Parish Register Society, The Shropshire Hearth Tax Roll of 1672 (1949), pp.35-6 (unfortunately some of the statistics are missing); Shropshire Record Office, Madeley first Churchwardens' and Overseers' Account Book, 2280/6/1a, poor rate lists for 1651 and 1672, also list of estate rental values (rounded up) for 1672; ibid., Madeley Easter Book, 1649-65, 2280/2/1 (payments for Easter dues).
At the top of Madeley society (in normal times) stood the Brookes; below them were a sprinkling of local gentry and other wealthy figures. The bulk of the population consisted largely of peasant farmers (yeomen and husbandmen), colliers, labourers, and bargemen. Madeley is on the Severn, and its coal trade was then conducted by river, on barges and sailing boats (see Nef, op. cit. note 21, vol. 21, pp.96-7.
A few inhabitants, especially the Brookes and some of their employees, were Catholics, and would not have signed the Protestation of 1642 (which included an oath of loyalty to the Protestant religion). The list of Irish contributors of nearly the same date therefore provides a check on these.

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47. Randall, Madeley, p.374. Back to text

48. C.C.C., op. cit. note 6, vol.3, p.2231. Back to text

49. SP 23/105, p.192. Back to text

50. SP 20/5, f.76b. Back to text

51. Shropshire Newsletter, no. 44 (June 1973), p.4; SP 23/105, pp.192, 213.

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52. SP 23/236, f.183a, states, in a document dated in April 1650, that Cludd held the estate during `this last year'.

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53. SP 23/105, p.191. Back to text

54. SP 23/105, pp.191, 192; SP 23/236, ff.183a, 185a.

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55. SP 23/105, p.179; SP 23/236, f.185a; C.C.C., vol. 3, p.2232.

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56. SP 23/105, pp.217, 219, 225-9. Back to text

57. SP 23/105, p.223. Back to text

58. Wanklyn thesis, op. cit. note 2, p.371.

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59. SP 23/105, p.177, quoted in C.C.C., vol.3, p.2231.

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60. SP 23/236, f.185a. Back to text

61. SP 23/105, pp.191, 195. Back to text

62. SP 23/105, pp.196 (shorthand), 229. Back to text

63. See appendix, John Yate. Back to text

64. SP 23/105, pp.193, 196 (shorthand). for Aston as a wheelwright, see appendix, Richard Aston.

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65. SP 23/105, pp.191, 195. Back to text

66. SP 23/105, p.193. Back to text

67. SP 23/105, p.201; cf. p.198. Back to text

68. Appendix, William Webb, in Sir Basil Brooke's entry.

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69. SP 23/105, p.193. Back to text

70. SP 23/236, f.183a, quoted in C.C.C., vol. 3, p.2231; SP 23/105,, pp.225-9.

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71. C.C.C., vol.3, pp.2231-2.

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72. Shropshire Record Office, 2280/8/7, `The State of the business depending between Michael Richards and Josiah Peters'. The original MS is very hard to read in places, but there is an abstract in the Record Office's catalogue of Madeley parish documents, which I have made use of.

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73. C.C.C., vol. 1, pp.xiii-xiv. Back to text

74. SP 23/105, p.177, quoted in C.C.C., vol. 3, p.2231.

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75. C.C.C., vol. 3, p.2231. Back to text

76. For biographical notices of the Shropshire commissioners, see TSAS, 2nd series, vol. 6 (1894), pp.19-26.

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77. SP 23/105, p.192; SP 23/236, f.185a. Back to text

78. SP 23/105, p.195; SP 23/236, f.185a.

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79. SP 23/105, p.195. Back to text

80. C.C.C., vol. 3, p.2231. Back to text

81. Ibid., p.2232. Back to text

82. Shropshire Record Office, 2280/8/7.

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83. C.C.C., vol. 3, p.2232. Back to text

84. Shropshire Record Office, 2280/8/7.

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85. Ibid. Back to text

86. C.C.C., vol. 3, p.2232; V.C.H. Shropshire, vol. 11, p.48. Woolfe had been overall `clerk' (i.e. manager) of the estate's industrial works. SP 23/105, p.219.

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87. C.C.C., pp.2977-8. Back to text

88. V.C.H. Shropshire, vol. 11, p.35; C.C.C., vol. 5, p.3298; Public Record Office, E179/169/219, cf. E179/167/167, /200. For Wildman and his speculations, see Maurice Ashley, John Wildman: Plotter and Postmaster (Cape, 1947), especially p.72.

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89. John Broad, `Gentry Finances and the Civil War: the Case of the Buckinghamshire Verneys', Economic History Review, 2nd series, vol. XXXII, no. 2 (May 1979), p.184.

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90. C.C.C., vol. 2, p.1479. Back to text

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