Herefordshire Record Office
J91/1, pages 409-411
Manorial Records, Court Rolls, Grant of Lease for Lives to Joseph Austin Morgan
At a Special Customary Court of the Manor of Ewyas Lacy held at the Castle of Longtown on the 16th June 1830 before Baker Gabb, Steward of the Manor of Ewyas Lacy held by The Right Honorable Henry Earl of Abergavenny.
In consideration of £130, granted to Joseph Austin Morgan of Kentchurch, co Hereford,
5 closes of Arable, Meadow, and Pasture land containing 23a-3r-6p in the Township of Newton, Parish of Clodock
On the North, a road leading from the Bryn Turnpike to the Middle Maescoed.
On the West, by farm and lands belonging to the Governors of Guys Hospital and freehold lands of Joseph Austin Morgan.
On the South, by lands of the Earls of Abergavenny in grant to [blank] and the lands of Joseph Austin Morgan.
On the East, by a road leading from Gworlody [Gwyrlodydd] to the Middle Maescoed.
As shown on a map at the foot of the grant.
The parcels of arable known as: Upper Gorsty Field, Lower Gorsty Field and Pool Field containing an estimated 13 acres and two parcels of rough land called Ox Pasture containing an estimated 4 acres.
To hold for the lives of;
Joseph Austin Morgan, aged 42 years.
Henry Morgan, aged 18 years.
Joseph Marsh Morgan aged four and a half years.
Henry and Joseph being sons of Joseph Austin Morgan.
Paying 2s 3d each feast day of St Michael.
Granted by the Rod.
The Court was ‘Special‘ in that it was held before the Steward of the Manor in the absence of Court Jurors. A convenience much practiced in the 19th century.
This is a ‘Lease’ of lands that at an earlier time were held by ‘Copyhold’. In that sense it was not, as is stated, “according to the Custom of the Manor”.
Baker Gabb was a solicitor of Abergavenny who had been appointed Steward of the Manor of Ewyas Lacy by the land agents of the Marques of Abergavenny. It would appear that in this, and in similar instances of the period, the Steward was, by the device of holding a “Special Customary Court’, circumventing the authority of the Customary Court Baron and its Jurors and enabling the ancient rights of Copyholders to be avoided to the advantage of the Marques. For further legal background click here
The “road leading from Gworlody to the Middle Maescoed” is now an over-grown green lane, unused, sunken in places and impassable. This roadway would have been created perhaps 200 to 300 years earlier when the land on the other side of the lane was enclosed from what would have been open common.
The reference to Guys Hospital is in error, the lands referred to were held by Price’s Hospital, Hereford.
‘The Rod’ was the staff or stick of the Steward. Contracts by custom were made by both parties grasping the Rod.