Wealth & Poverty in Angmering (C16 to C19)

- Arguments on their causes

by RW Standing

Article Index

1          Edwin Harris
2          Population
3          Farming
4          Inclosure by Aggrandizement
4.1                    Ecclesden
4.2                    West Angmering
4.3                    East Angmering
4.4                    Ham Manor
4.5                    Whole of Angmering
5          Changes in Husbandry
6          The Parish Poor
7          Swing Riots
8          Comparative analysis

1          Edwin Harris
One hundred years ago now, Edwin Harris wrote several pamphlets of which the 1910 publication, The Parish of Angmering, was an excellent radical tirade against the enclosures, and pauperisation of the common man. The chapter headed, The Commons Enclosure, is worth quoting at length:

"In 1805 a large area of Common Land - that is, Land held in common by the Parishioners - was enclosed and divided between five adjoining landowners.  No payment was made by them.
"It may be stated, however, that the greater part is situated between Station Road and Cow Lane. 
"Samuel Henty of Ferring made the awards. He ruled that seven acres should be 'reserved' for a Recreation Ground , but this allotment does not appear to have been received by the parish.
"It is certain, that the persons holding common rights on the enclosed land, and who made their living, either wholly or in part, by keeping cows, or sheep, or by spade cultivation, did not receive compensation. It is equally certain that these persons were reduced to great distress.
"Previous to the enclosures there was hardly any parish relief recorded, but for many years afterwards, sometimes as many as sixty families received aid during the winter.
"So poor were they that their children, both boys and girls, were provided with clothes and put out to service by the overseers.
"The enclosures also had the effect of making hired labour more plentiful.  The wages of an able bodied man were reduced to seven shillings per week.  His hours were from daylight to dark.  Ill health became common. A doctor was appointed by the overseers, to attend the whole parish for fourteen pounds a year.
"So from the time of the enclosures onwards, the race of sturdy, independent, well set up villagers gradually became extinct.  They were succeeded by a poverty stricken, touch-my-hat class, who in turn were displaced by the labourers of to-day. 
"I think the following were the principal reasons.  Napoleon was threatening our command of the sea, and city people were easily deceived by the argument that every acre should produce corn.
"Who can measure the suffering and misery that owe their origin to the enclosure of the peoples land?  Ah! one day the loss of the sturdy villager may likely enough prove England's ruin, should serious war break out."

The Enclosures, are everywhere a landmark in local history, and an easy target for such polemics.  But history is seldom so simple, and his conclusions may have been somewhere near the truth for the wrong reason.

The errors in this account are easy enough to recount. Beginning with the date of the enclosure under the parliamentary acts, which was 1809 and confirmed in 1812.  The lands were exchanged in such a way as to consolidate holdings under existing owners and tenants with land in open fields. The glebe belonging to the rector, for instance, hitherto distributed widely across West and East Angmering, was brought together substantially in an enclosure south of the Rectory in the High Street.  The cost of fencing or hedging and other fees were no doubt defrayed amongst the owners.

There is little enough record of how and by whom the open arable fields involved had been managed, but it was unlikely to have been the parishioners as such and of little doubt the manor court which had jurisdiction. In 1665 it was stated the - "tennants of Eastangmering ought to have Comon for all manner of Cattell whatsoever if they tend the same upon" [various common wastes].  That is to say not all the inhabitants, but only those who had the tenancy of land. The idea that some obscure people had the right to pasture an animal on this open field, without their owning land there, is unlikely.

The greater part of the 1809 enclosure was south of the village, in East Angmering, this being a measure of how common open fields had diminished in preceding centuries.

The observation about land for 'recreation' is particularly interesting.  Whether this can be substantiated from the original proposals cannot be confirmed as yet.

Harris may well have studied the overseer's accounts enough to observe an increase in expenditure around the time of the inclosure. Simply laying the blame at the door of that coincidental deed cannot be justified without much wider research.  Children were indeed put out into forced service locally, and this continued for many years; it was a method for the relief of poverty that has to be measured against the alternatives that were on offer in this country.  At Kingston, for instance, children were sent away from home as "apprentices to Portsmouth" - an uncertain life at sea - although Angmering did also pay for families to emigrate in the 1820s.

The cultivation of corn, wheat and barley principally, was a priority in the Napoleonic Wars’ period.  It is notable everywhere locally.  In East Preston and Kingston various pasture fields were ploughed up.

The revolution that took place in Angmering and elsewhere went far beyond and began earlier than the mopping up of a remnant of open arable field in 1809.  Other villages were similarly affected, without any such statutory act of enclosure. 

For Angmering the story must begin in the early 17th century, from which time a sufficiency of records survive for comparisons to be made with later periods. 

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2          Population
In this era of artificial affluence, the warnings of Malthus are ignored, but at no time in the past was there this luxury.  Harris should have known the early 19th century was a period of rapid population growth.

A form of census by the church in 1724, has Angmering estimated at 64 families or households.  This may well have been taken from the rate books.  Population generally in rural Sussex was then at a low ebb from which level the tide has risen unremittingly. 

By 1801, and the first modern census, there were 79 houses many of which were no doubt buildings split into cottages, with 112 families, and over 700 people.  Twenty years later and 131 houses were occupied by 177 families.  Another generation to 1841 and over a thousand people inhabited 191 houses.

With no influx of idle rich, little imagination is required to calculate that the number of poor families had increased considerably.  In the known absence of industry, only agriculture was available to absorb the extra labour.  The early census returns merely indicate that most families were in agriculture, others in trade, but the number of employers and wealthy independent is entirely hidden.  In 1841, there were 90 heads of household employed as agricultural labourers, and no doubt many others menials in trade; out of the 191 total, only 11 were farmers.  Thus it may be seen there were many more 'poor' people at that date than the whole population a hundred years earlier.

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3          Farming
Harris was certainly right about a pronounced new emphasis in farming in the early 19th century.  Only a cursory examination of farm inventories, from 1600 to about 1750, reveals that something near to medieval husbandry still persisted. Mixed husbandry was the rule, crops and animals of all kinds - anything else was virtually impossible in the days before artificial fertilisers and mechanisation.

3.1        Self Sufficiency
A large degree of self sufficiency also existed, for those with land.  Although cloth making must have been rare, most households had wheels for spinning linen and wool thread.   Minor items of food were not often listed, but the gardens attached to farmsteads produced vegetables, while poultry supplied eggs and meat.  Items of substance that were listed included dairy products, butter and cheese.  Every farmstead had its milkhouse, even though milk itself was not mentioned, most of it being converted to butter and cheese for later consumption.

William Huling 1659       35 cheeses
William Huling 1659       7 naile of butter
John Edsaw  1721          50 milk cheeses
William Olliver 1736        three hundredweight of cheese

Bacon had to be cured in the smoke loft or chimney, and substantial quantitative were sometimes mentioned.
George Warner 1660      7 flitches
John Pratt 1670             6 flitches
Thomas Olliver 1687       16 flitches

Ale or beer was an important beverage, being safer and healthier than water, and workers in the field consumed quantities.
Richard Sturtt 1702        Twenty Six Kilderkines full of Beer
Malted barley for making beer was itemised in many households.
Ann Humphrey 1596       Item 6 quarters of malt
Edward Ingram 1725       Malt at the matters
John Hollis        1727     5 quarters of Malt

Almost two thirds of the 153 surviving Probate Inventories include farm animals or, in the case of some gentry, a riding horse.  Perhaps few cottagers were included, but those there are show that a pig, cow, and chicken, in the back garden was the norm.

3.2        Crop Rotation
On the land itself, crops and their rotation were also much as inherited from medieval custom.  On the coastal plain the two principal crops were wheat and barley, after which came oats, vetch [tares] peas, and beans.  The age old rotation of wheat, to barley, to an assortment of other crops, remained in use. Hemp was also grown in small areas, and some crofts were named accordingly.  After harvest a short fallow was employed on the common fields, by putting out sheep and cattle to graze on the aftermath.  This last custom also helped to manure the fields.

Interestingly there was a ropemaker in Angmering, whose inventory was made in 1725.  Whether working in the village or elsewhere would be worth knowing, there is no known ropewalk in the village.

It takes little study of the inventories to show that wheat was sown in the autumn, as the only crop found in the fields during December.  Barley was still spring sown.  In August and later came the harvest, according to the weather, so that in September the fields were largely bare and fallow, or being ploughed.

3.3        Farm Size
It is often impossible to tell the acreage of a farm from the inventories; for some the occupiers had retired in all but name, or detailed information on stock and crops is lacking.  It is also evident that returns in later years tended to concentrate on properties above cottager status. 

Where farm implements were scheduled, a good indicator of farm size is provided by the quantity employed, in particular wains and waggons.  None of these from inventories signified a small property; one for a medium sized farm, while two waggons were needed for the Avenals manor farm scale of property, around 200 hundred acres extent.  If this is backed up by a large number of cattle including draft horses and oxen, an estimate of farm size can be made without crop acreages.

With many returns made in the winter, only wheat was to be found growing in the fields.  It can be estimated that three times that extent of wheat, plus more land under grass would be a fair assumption for farm size, lacking other evidence.

The larger properties also had both oxen and horses as draft animals.  Horses could be used for any task -   ploughing, carting, and riding, and were necessary on all farms.  While for large teams, as many as eight oxen and steers were used in ploughing, but very few teams of that size were mentioned for Angmering.

3.4        Animals
Where sheep were numbered in hundreds, it is certain they were on the downs at Barpham.  Edmund Climsoll in 1644 is recorded as having 17 score [340], and Robert Kemp in 1726 with 220 as well as lambs. The usual range in the common field village was half that and less, even for the largest arable farms, pasture being concentrated at the brooks and at farmsteads crofts.  The famous Southdown had yet to be developed.

With corn the main industry, dairying was little more than a domestic convenience.  A few milch cows was the rule, and the largest herds, as at Ecclesden Manor farm, only just got into double figures. In any case if these were Sussex cattle they were not notable milk producers, with a gallon of milk a day from each cow probable.  A mixture of 'ruther beast' or cattle, was kept as much for draft teams of steers and oxen as fattening for slaughter.  Oxen had a dual purpose.

Regulations for the common fields are in short supply, but at nearby Kingston the custom for feeding on harvest aftermath did at least maximise how many animals an open field farm could keep.  "That all tenants of this mannor as well tenants of the Lord's demesne lands as freeholders and customary tenants that have land in the common fields may for every tenn acres (after harvest till the same shall bee plough'd  and sow'd againe) put in seaven rother pole beasts one yearling and one wayner and for every acre two sheepe"  Over an acre of grassland was needed for each bullock or cow.

To complete the animal husbandry, everyone had pigs, chicken, geese and ducks, although such poultry was often overlooked by appraisers making inventories. 

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4          Inclosure by Aggrandizement
But Harris should have gone back to the 17th century in order to show what had really happened to the common field village, and how large scale commercial farming developed.

In the 1679 Survey of manorial property, at least fifty tenancies and freeholds holding appreciable land are listed.  Many other cottages had gardens or very small crofts, although even some of these may earlier have had smallholds.  In addition to the fifty, there were several freeholds entirely outside manor control or obligation, such as the Palmer farm based on the Rosery. And that is quite apart from large farms at Barpham, and around Angmering Park.

There is one outstanding feature in the distribution of properties.  That is the concentration in East Angmering and the Steane area of West Angmering, of landless cottages together with freehold lands outside manorial obligation, such as the Rosery.   Virtually the whole of Ecclesden, apart from the long detached Ecclesden Manor, was copyhold belonging to West Angmering.  In West Angmering proper, west of the church, there was the large Shelley estate of New and Old Place and, south of that, common field copyholds, together with a few freeholds - such village as there had been in West Angmering having been depopulated in the 16th century.

With 64 Angmering households in 1724, perhaps rather more in 1679, it is evident that a large proportion was either smallholders or farmers,  although occupancy of multiple farms, and the fact that some tenants did not live in the parish, reduces the number of propertied villagers. As scheduled, twenty and more copyhold cottagers were landless.

The process of change that Harris decried took place over two centuries, with the 1809 enclosure merely the last act - the last act that is until the 20th century brought change of a different kind.

What first took place in the century after 1679 was the new Lord of the Manor, in the shape of Bishopp of Parham, ceasing to be satisfied with owning manors as a status symbol, in the way of Palmer of Angmering, converting them to a landed estate to be exploited for maximum profit. Larger and fewer farms could be more easily managed, and as copyholds with their customary rents fell-in, they could be placed out leasehold at far higher rents.  Eventually the open fields and their customary management became obsolete and improved husbandry was possible.

Manorial and other records are sketchy to say the least, and the folllowing account may need some revision, but the overall evolutionary process is clear.

4.1        Ecclesden
Let our imagination go back a generation, to when that scar on the landscape through Ecclesden Common (that is the A27 and the bypass cutting off Ecclesden Manor from Angmering) did not exist.  Then ignore all the development that is sprawling eastwards towards that old community. But also remove from mind the early 19th century coaching road that extended Water Lane through to Clapham, in the valley through which Ecclesden Stream or brook winds. We may then begin to imagine Ecclesden as it was some three hundred years ago

In that distant time, all that linked the hamlet at Ecclesden with the outer world, was a highway extending east from Angmering Street, past Ecclesden Manor house, and so to Upper Ecclesden across fields where almost nothing of this way now survives.  Apart from that there existed nothing more than bridleways to Ferring, a drove way adjoining the brook, and Cow Lane running south from Ecclesden Manor,  just west of the present bypass, where is now a mere footway.

Of ancient houses, no more than a handful recently survived - Ecclesden Manor itself, Upper Ecclesden and recently demolished Upper Hangleton, and very little else.

Look at any old map, and extending from Upper Ecclesden farm down to the stream, was some five acres of meadow, known as Ecclesden Green.  This was no mere vanity associated with the farmhouse, but a more genuine village green than ever existed at what is today called Angmering Square.   Some few houses and cottages, with gardens and crofts as may be, overlooked this open space, and the nearby brook, while others were dotted along the street as it cut its sunken way to Ecclesden Manor house and on to Angmering.  

Quite apart from minor cottages, about which little is recorded, there were several major farmsteads grouped about the Green.  On the side towards Angmering, Mary Huling with her orchard and croft.  South of the Green, William Young and Richard Penfold with their crofts, orchards and barns.  Over to the east, William Palmer owned, but perhaps never lived in his farmstead by Ecclesden Brook.   It is not certain but the sole remaining farmstead, Upper Ecclesden, was probably William Young‘s. Its location and an eroded datestone suggest this.

Several other houses were either by the brook on the Angmering side of the Green or adjoining the lane that lead to it. Other cottages were at Hangleton near Ferring.

This was the village part of Ecclesden, as opposed to the magnificent manor house to the west, and in its nature was mostly commonfield. The only significant land not open field or croft, was that large tract to the north of Ecclesden stream known as Ecclesden Common.  This was a common waste, no doubt used by villagers for grazing and collecting furze as fuel, but the regulation of which is presently unknown. It may be a peculiarity of former monastic manors, for there not to have been extensive freeholds, most of the tenancies were copyhold.

In 1679 the significant houses with land attached, can be listed briefly:

32/1      Mary Huling the only long lease property, virtually freehold, with 22 acres at Hangleton
10/1  11/1          John Strong two copyholds of 9 and 15 acres at Hangleton
8/1        Sarah Ingram copyhold of 33 acres at Upper Hangleton
9/1        Mary Huling copyhold of 16 acres, her second property
14/1      Edward Ricks copyhold of 9 acres
2/1        William Young the only short term lease, 40 acres.
5/1        William Palmer copyhold 62 acres
15/1      Thomas Pannett copyhold 5 acres
7/1        John Haslen copyhold 30 acres
6/1        Richard Penfold copyhold 40 acres

In addition there were the brooks pastures, some minor crofts, and Ecclesden Common. These together with a few cottages made up the village or hamlet of Ecclesden.  It may be assumed that if the named tenants were not living there, sub-tenants were, and this is known to be so in some instances.

There are still cottages at Hangleton in Ferring, but the Angmering part of the settlement is less well known and is now largely occupied by a garden centre. In the 16th century there were at least five cottages with their copyhold smallholdings on the Angmering side of the lane, but by 1679 these were reduced to three properties occupied by Huling and Strong.

[32/1] As a virtual freehold the Huling farm was handed down, by the 18th century, to Alleyn Groome of Arundel and his family, with John Bennett of Ferring their tenant.  This smallholding was owned by Jeremiah Lear in the 19th century and it continued as the sole independent holding in Ecclesden.

[10/1  11/1]        The two other parts of Hangleton, belonging to John Strong in 1679, eventually split up with the Vicar of Amberley in ownership of the 9 acre smallholding in the 19th century, the other 15 acres having been absorbed into the main Ecclesden farm.

For the bulk of east Ecclesden, farm evolution took place gradually, accompanied by a commensurate decline and decay of the village.  Reconstructing the process is fraught with difficulties, lacking adequate manor court rolls, what survives in the way of Rentals is devoted to leasehold rents and they are bare of detail.  However, various leasing contracts for the 18th century do survive, and these are very useful.

The two great Ecclesden families were Ingram and Miles, in particular, Edward Ingram who died in 1725 and his son John in 1749, followed by John Miles died 1769 and his son George who continued until 1793, before handing on to others in the family.

[8/1]      The Ingram family seem to have begun their rise at Upper Hangleton with the occupancy of the 33 acre copyhold there.  It was probably taken over from Thomas Strong by John Ingram some tine before his decease in 1664.  In the 1679 Survey his wife Sara and son Edward were in possession. In the usual way with copyholds it continued in family occupation until Edward's son John died in 1749 leaving no successor. This enabled a change to leasehold at an enhanced rent, and it passed through several hands until 1754 when taken over by John Bennett of Ferring.  Interestingly a date stone of 1703 survives, with initials that can be interpreted as Edward and Anne Ingram.  Lower and Upper Hangleton may have been where the family lived over several generations. John Ingram also had a house built in Angmering High Street.

[10/1  11/1]        As previously noted, the two lower Hangleton copyholds were also Strong family properties.  Luckily there is a note in the Rentals of John Strong's widow paying two heriots of £3 each, at his decease in 1689.  It must have been after the widow passed away that her son-in-law Edward Ingram took over these lands as a leasehold at £12 rent, which is 10s for each of the 24 acres. From 1696 to 1749 therefore the family occupied all of Hangleton apart from the Groome farm.

[9/1]      The family spread their interest to Ecclesden itself, and to Mary Huling's 16 acres, which seems to have been their first acquisition. It is difficult to say when this was, but certainly John held it in the 1720s, when it had become leasehold at £10 rent.  It afterwards passed through several hands including John French of Goring.

[14/1]    Little is known of Edward Ricks, who had a 9 acre smallhold in 1679. In 1703 Edward Ingram took this over as a new lease at £4 rent, which makes it likely Ricks had recently died. This also became a John French property in 1754.

A very large block of property was obtained by John Ingram, probably in 1719.  The William Young 40 acres [2/1],  William Palmer 62 acres [5/1], and Thomas Pannett 5 acres [15/1],  as scheduled by the traditional acreage of 1679.

William Palmer had the distinction of being a member of the family that had owned Angmering in the previous century. But in 1689, presumably for the usual mortal reason, "the Coppyhold that was Mr Palmers fallen in the Lords hands."  It then became another leasehold at £23 rent, although in 1692, when it was absorbed into the farm occupied by William Walls, its rent was slightly less.

Thomas Pannett disappears from the record after 1679, and when the Rentals start in 1688 his five acres were already taken in with 'Youngs' at £4 rent. As to William Young himself, it is not certain when he died, but in 1688 William Walls was the tenant paying £18 per annum for the 40 acre [2/1], as well as £4 for Pannetts.

In 1692 therefore Walls had all three farms in his occupation, passing into the hands of Peter Penfold in 1699, already a substantial farmer at Avenals.

John Ingram eventually, before 1720, took over this combined holding at the overall rent of £45,  but the 13 year lease ran out in 1733 when this valuable holding was temporarily taken in with Avenals before being acquired by John Miles.

The final addition to the Ingram empire was the former John Haslen 30 acres.  Unusually this seems to have been taken over as a copyhold, which it remained until 1749. 

Notionally therefore, John Ingram acquired an estate of about 220 acres in Ecclesden, at its greatest extent,  although, at the end of his life this had reduced to about 112 acres.  This does not take account of a few other small plots of land he also occupied. In 1741 John sublet his leasehold farms [9/ 10/ 11/ 14/] together with Parsons Field in Ecclesden, to Richard Martin, for a rent of £40, when this part of his estate was measured at 59 acres. 

If the Ingram family had survived they might have taken over the whole of Ecclesden, but after 1749 what they had was split up again. 

John Miles
Now we come to the second great Ecclesden family of the era, John Miles and his descendants.  It is evident from parish registers that he was living in the village by about 1720, but there is no knowledge of where.  It is a reasonable assumption that his career began as a sub-tenant husbandman on one of the local farms.  Few of these men were ever recorded in manorial documents.

Whether he had been the subtenant may never be known, but the copyholds belonging to Ingram, in particular [7/1] John Haslen 30 acres, appears to have been his first direct leasehold from the Lord of the Manor, at £32 per annum.  Then in 1753, John Miles took over the three Ecclesden farms that had been held with Avenals by various people including Drewett [2/1, 5/1,15/1] and his yearly rent increased to £82.  

In 1766 at last a lease from Bishopp to John Miles, yeoman, provides bare details of his farms, comprising 60 acres together with the 90 acres previously occupied by William Drewett.  £82 rent for a term of 21 years, around 11s shillings an acre.

After John died in 1769 and his first son having also died, a grandson of the same first name appears to have taken over briefly, until the second son George came into possession.  Two years later in 1771 the next large acquisition took place, with the John French lands [6/1, 9/1, 14/1].   There is no leasing contract, but from the Rentals the rent for rather under 60 acres was the same as for John French, at £34.

As the dominant force in Ecclesden, it only required one more tenancy to fall into their hands for them to occupy all but a few acres at Hangleton.  In 1787 Upper Hangleton, long in the hands of John Bennett, became theirs [8/1].  The specific fields are not specified in the deeds of 1787 and 1789, but George Miles, yeoman, had a lease of 314 acres and the messuage known as Ecclesden, already in his tenure, together with 33 acres known as Hangleton, lately occupied by John Bennett, at a rent of £200. 

It is of particular relevance that in 1811, the rent being paid by his widow Elizabeth Miles, was considerably more at £500 a year.  There are no later accounts available. This compares with an amount not greatly in excess of thirty pounds in 1679, although the comparison is not entirely true, as copyholds had often to pay heriots of a few pounds when a tenant died and considerable sums in fines by incoming tenants. 

With some variations in the calculation of the true acreage, this was essentially the farm that remained in the hands of the Miles' family until the end of the 19th century. It included Ecclesden Common, the brooks, and Ecclesden Green, as well as the old copyholds farms. Since that time it has been eaten into by buildings and roads, but is the farm attached to Upper Ecclesden to this day.

In 1679 east Ecclesden, away from the immediate house crofts, was in open fields with a shared management through the manor court.  A century later, and certainly by 1787, this was no longer necessary and the inclosure of the commons into the fields shown on the c1840 tithe map may have been complete. A single farm stood in the place of ten, and most of the houses and cottages that had existed were gone.

The rentals also refer to the Parsonage of Ecclesden, but without specifying its nature.  There is no reason to suppose any land or buildings were involved, with glebe entirely absent from Ecclesden.  The income would have been from the Great Tithes, which were owned by the lord of the manor, and which Pechell declared merged in the freehold when the tithe apportionments were agreed c1840.

When the Rentals began in 1688, Mr Henry Blaxton was paying a rent of £34 per annum for "Ecclesden Parsonage".  At a date within three years of 1699 William Walls took over and later John Olliver, together with occupancy of Chalks Farm and other land, until the rentals ceased in 1773. 

It can only be assumed these tenants were responsible for collecting the tithe in kind, i.e. as corn.  A valuable perquisite, but which the farmers no doubt resented - it did not support the church or any cause of concern.

That Ecclesden had been monastic land is the explanation for this income to have been taken into lay hands, when the confiscated manor was sold to John Palmer in 1540.

The Blaxton family are of particular interest.  Edward who died in 1678 was the rector, and his Will names a son Henry as heir to his estate.  The river bridge at Arundel was built in 1724 by another Edward Blaxton, according to the datestone which was placed in the modern bridge - Mayor of the borough at that time. 

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4.2        West Angmering
For West Angmering proper, this can be defined as the lands west of the parish church, north of Ham.  This had been divided since the early 16th century between the enclosed farm belonging to Old Place, and New Place north of that, the village lands in a large common field to the south bordering brooks, with Black Ditch brooks or pastures to the west.  The interesting question, whether the general area of the Roman villa estate evolved into this manor, does not concern this history.

In the early 19th century the arable open field by itself was reckoned at 78 acres.  The former villagers and brooks to the south over 40 acres were in addition to that, together with about 6 acres in crofts next to the church.  In the 17th century traditional areas were used in rentals and deeds, derived from the smaller local acre, and this acreage was very much more.

To complicate matters, the land was not only shared between five tenants of the lord of the manor, but also three freeholders, including the church with its glebe.  The tenants also had lands within East Angmering boundaries, at the Steane, and in parts of West Angmering located near Angmering Park.

The names of tenants and freeholders in 1679, with land in the West Common, Brooks, and near the church were:

1/-        Henry Ellyot      part of his 16 acres
12/-      Martin Chalk      part of his 7 acres
17/-      Robert Jordan    most of his 66 acres including farmstead
19/-      William Adams  most of his 40 acres including farmstead
31/-      Richard Penfold all of his 29 acres including farmstead
            Henry Blaxton a tenant but his schedule lost
            Thomas Palmer free land
            Thomas Olliver free land
            Church glebe plots in the common and brooks

The inclosure of this common and brooks, was perforce, a dual process. The three main copyhold farms belonging to Bishopp were amalgamated into one leasehold tenancy as opportunity arose.  The remaining, and substantial areas of glebe and freehold in various hands, had to wait on the same Inclosure Act of 1809 that related mainly to East Angmering.  In this the ancient glebe plots were transferred to East Angmering, in exchange for lands belonging to the then lord of the manor Pechell.

Other minor plots are not likely to have traceable histories, and include Chalk's and Olliver's meadows south of that part of the common, where the Roman villa has been found.  These also were exchanged in 1809 when they belonged to Messrs Olliver. 

Most intractable of the free farms is that which belonged to Thomas Palmer.  This comprised probably three plots in the common field and a couple of meadows by the brook, but of what acreage is impossible to say.  Such deeds as there are for the lands leased by Bishopp do not suggest he had purchased the Palmer freehold until perhaps late in the 18th century, and then it would have been from John Edmonds who had taken over the Palmer estate, largely in East Angmering centred on the Rosery.  No exchange of land in the 1809 Inclosure appears to involve these former Palmer plots of land.

The three main farms can be traced, and these had their farmsteads adjoining the east end of the common field. (i)  Richard Penfold with his 29 acres, at a rent of 20 shillings, a farmstead approximately where Grey Barn is today north of the church.  (ii) Robert Jordan with 66 acres, and a farmstead at the end of the common field, west of the Hempshires croft, adjoining the church.  (iii) Finally, William Adams of Barpham with his 40 acres, and a farmstead identifiable with Church Farm in Rectory Lane, the only one that survives.

[17/1]  Robert Jordan's property had earlier belonged to Nicholas Jordan as a copyhold for three lives, but occupied by William Edwards, in the usual intricate net of tenancy and sub-tenancy. He must have died soon afterwards, for when the rentals began in 1688 the farm had become a leasehold property in the hands of Oliver Penfold, who also had the former Adams land centred on 'Church Farm'.
Oliver Penfold for Will Adams  Copiehold  £18
eidem Jourdens Coppiehold                                £24                               £42-      00         00
In due course the farmstead was demolished and lost to memory.

[31/1]    Richard Penfold had his house on the south side of Rectory Lane, in earlier years belonging to Thomas Holland.  The fact that this property does not enter the leasehold rentals until 1752 - after a short break in the rental series - indicates that it continued as a copyhold in the hands of the Penfold family until shortly before, when in the tenancy of Thomas Groome.  In 1752 it had already become leasehold with John Holmwood paying a rent of £20.

[19/1]    William Adams at 'Church Farm' was a recent tenant in 1679, in 1663 and previously the copyhold had belonged to Thomas Martin of East Preston at a rent of 38 shillings.  William died at Barpham in 1683 and, as mentioned for the Jordan property, Oliver Penfold took over the combined farms by 1688. It must have been this Penfold that died in 1705 for at this time the tenancy changed hands again with William Knowles in occupation, and then others of his family.

A gap in the Rentals hides the date at which John Holmwood took over, but in 1752 the sparse accounts can be interpreted as meaning John was paying a rent of £20 for 'Grooms' [31/1] and £74 for the other two farms [17/1 and 19/1] all now centred on Church Farm.

Fortunately there are a number of deeds, or leasing documents relating to the holding, beginning in 1764, with the last in 1809.  The 1764 lease to John Holmwood, for 21 years, was for a notional 176 acres at £96 rent. The next in 1787 was only for three years, but now at £200 rent, continuing with another for eight years in 1789.  No doubt another lease was made but the next surviving is from 1809, when Charles Holmwood occupied some 150 acres at £177 rent.  A direct comparison of these acreages is impossible, with traditional and surveyed areas being very different.

A deed for the manor as a whole, in 1811, refers to Church Farm House as, "One Messuage 356 acres  Holmwood Swellage and Charlow Farms in occupation James Stephen Holmwood at £470 rent".  Much of this land being north of New Place, far away from the area under consideration..

The depopulation of West Angmering took place under John Palmer soon after 1540, when he removed the village. The loss of two more farmsteads in the 18th century was a minor affair in comparison, and it took the 1809 Act to end common field management, changing the open field to a single block of fields in one leasehold farm.

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4.3        East Angmering
This settlement in this manor was to all intents the village that everyone knows as Angmering.  It did indeed include part of West Angmering at the Steane north of the Street, but whereas Ecclesden and West Angmering hamlets declined, East Angmering flourished in its manner.  It did so because it was much more of an open village, not dominated by one or two owners, and its open fields could not be made redundant and inclosed in the way that happened in the other places.

In fact the great feature of the manorial lands, owned by Bishopp and later Pechell, is that less than forty acres was copyhold.  The vast bulk amounting to something like 250 acres was freehold, and long lease, which was virtually freehold.  Other land was freehold and outside the manor, owing no duties or quit rents to Bishopp, and owned by Thomas Palmer at the Rosery, Gratwicke of Ham, and a medley of other smallholders and cottagers.  To try and trace the descent of all these holdings is impossible, in any short space, and of no relevance.

What has been left out of that summary is the two great leasehold farms belonging to Bishopp - Avenals with Chalks.  Avenals was the manor farm, and a large portion survives to the east of the village.  This was never a common field property, as with manor farms in general, but an inclosed block of land from very early days, late medieval certainly.  Perhaps Chalks was the common field part of the demesne kept separate for many years.

In 1679 the significant properties, with land attached to houses, can be listed as
1/ part,  12/,  13/,  18/,  21/,  23/,  24/,  29/. and Blaxton land undefined.
Leasehold 8 acres, Copyhold 43 acres
1/1        Henry Ellyot leasehold 16 acres partly in EA                            1737 Richard Penfold snr
12/1      Margaret Cheesman and Martin Chalk copyhold 7 acres      1737 ?
13/1      Richard Adams copyhold 18 acres                                           1737 John Homer
21/1      John and Richard Gibbs copyhold 9 acres                              1737 John Homer
23/1      John Sturt copyhold 8 acres                                                       1737 Martin Cheesman

East Angmering
36/ to 81/ many without land
All the copyhold land appears to be quantified at only 33 ½ acres
36/1      Thomas Olliver freehold 20 acres                                    1737 Thomas Olliver
38/1      John Gibbs freehold 2 acres                                            1737 Ann Winter spinster
39/1      Walter Elphick freehold Pigeonhouse 16 acres             1737 Mrs Moarse
40/1      Mary Baker freehold 12 acres                                          1737 ?
44/1      William Oulder freehold 35 acres                                     1737 Free School Land
47/1      John Grinfield freehold 5 acres                                         1737 Richard Penfold snr
48/1      Oliver Weekes esq freehold 23 acres                             1737 Mr Mounther
49/1      Oliver Weekes esq freehold 42 acres                             1737 ?
50/1      Thomas Palmer esq freehold 40 acres                           1737 John Edmunds
51/1      Thomas Palmer esq freehold  acres?                             1737 Mr Woodham
53/1      Steadman Breaden long lease 20 acres                        1737 Catherine Compton
54/1      Thomas Olliver long lease 9 acres                                  1737 ?
55/1      Hugh Penfold long lease 9 acres                                     1737 ?
60/1      John Roberts copyhold 3 acres                                        1737 ?
61/1      Older and Crossingham copyhold 8 acres                      1737 Richard Crossingham
64/1      Richard and John Gibbs copyhold 9 acres                     1737 John Homer
66/1      Nicholas Chalk copyhold 5 acres                                     1737 Martin Cheesman
69/1      Thomas and Richard Rogers copyhold 3 acres             1737 Richard Crossingham
71/1      John Bunn copyhold 4 acres                                             1737 John Edmunds
Yearly leases
76/1      Thomas Upperton leasehold Avenals acres ?                1737 ?
77/1      Richard Adams leasehold 10 acres                                1737 John Holmwood
78/1      Henry Blaxton leasehold?  Poundland  acres ?              1737 ?
79/1      Henry Blaxton leasehold ? acres ?                                  1737 William Drewett
80/1      Henry Ellyot leasehold Barnards 19 acres                     1737 ?
81/1      Henry Blaxton leasehold   acres ?                                   1737 ?

Also a number of freeholders not paying rent to the manor and some land are missing from the Survey either because of its damaged state or having been omitted by the surveyor. Church glebe is not included

The large number of tenants, leaseholders and freeholders, illustrates how impossible it was for the Lord of the Manor to dictate how East Angmering lands would evolve, or to cause the inclosure of the common fields by himself.

Tithe Map c1840
Occupiers of principal lands in East Angmering, south of the Arundel Road c1840 Tithe Apportionment.
It should be noted that many of these farms continued to pay quit rents to Pechell, as lord of the manor. Freehold, long lease and copyhold.
Tracing the descent of a particular tenancy from 1679 to 1840, is complicated by exchanges of lands and inclosure of the common field - the owners of a croft or field area in 1679 and 1840 may relate to different tenancies. 
Owners including:

Baker Henry                  owner occupier of Conyers 3 acres                                    [69/1]
Batcock William            owner occupier land 4 acres                                               [......]
Baker Richard               owner occupant land 4 acres                                              [40/1]
Sayer Nathaniel            owner occupier cottage land 7 acres                                 [23/1]
Bennett John                 owner occupier Ivy Cottage [Roundstone] land 6 acres   [40/1]
Boyce Deborah            Thomas Standing occupier Pigeon House 15 acres        [39/1]
Rustington Vicar           William Amoore occupier 20 acres                                    [51/1]    
Gratwicke of Ham        JW Heasman, Henry Baker, occupiers 27 acres               [......]
School Charity               William Amoore, Henry Baker, John Cortis occ. 32 acres [44/1]
Rev Usborne glebe       Rev Usborne, Henry Baker occupiers 40 acres                [n/a]
Olliver J Duke                owner occupier Preston Place land 65 acres                    [......]
Cortis George               owner occupier Rosery land over 90 acres                        [50/1, 53/1, 71/1]
Olliver James                James and John Olliver occ. Pound House c90 acres      [36/1, 78/1]
Pechell Capt                 James Penfold occ. Avenals and Chalks c230 acres        [1/1, 76/1, 79/1, 80/1]

Harris made the mistake of attaching his arguments to the one open field where a substantial number of freeholders and tenants did in fact survive after inclosure.  There were indeed a number of tenancies of less than three acres, not listed above.

In 1679 the description lacked an exact acreage and rent, but it began with the words:
[76/1]    “Demesne Lands parcel of the Mannor of East Angmering The Mannor house called Avenells farme is a fair house situate in the parish of East Angmering in the county of Sussex which with the Lands therunto belonging are the greatest parte of the Demesne Lands of this Mannor being now in the Occupation of Thomas Upperton and doe lye intire .... [the boundaries were then described at length].

From the glebe terriers it can be surmised that Richard Penfold, and brother Hugh who died 1659, were the tenants of Avenals in the early 17th century.  It appears likely that the farm then became divided between the main block of land occupied by Upperton, and common field strips tenanted by Nicholas Chalk - henceforth Chalks Farm.

From 1688, leasehold rentals provide a more or less continuous record of tenancy and rents to 1773.  In 1688 there is the interesting comment that Peter Penfold held only part of Avenalls at £50 per annum - ie Avenals without Chalks.  His occupation continued until 1703 after which a gap in the rentals obscures a change in tenancy to Richard Penfold, died 1750, and by 1752 Hugh Penfold until after 1773 and presumably his decease in 1776. For a period in the 1720s there were no Penfolds in charge of the farm, but this was a brief interlude.

The rentals contain a few minor accounts for repairs to the farmstead, such as the well in 1690, but nothing of great moment. 

It has been noted how the Penfold family took on various other leases of land, mainly in Ecclesden, such as the former Walls land in 1699.  After that, the total yearly rent of £98 included £50 for Avenals,  indicative of the size of the holding. 

Chalks Farm
This part of the demesne, which Penfold must have found convenient not to occupy with its dispersed plots in East Angmering common fields, was in the hands of Mr Henry Blaxton by 1688 at £18 rent.  The Blaxton family is of note in the district, with one member a Rector of Angmering, and another as Mayor of Arundel building a new bridge over the Arun in 1724.  But by 1703 William Walls had taken over occupation at £24 per annum, together with other farms. 

In the series of rentals from 1753 to 1773, both Avenals and Chalks were leased at unchanging rents. Chalks combined with Poundlands and Ecclesden Parsonage at £90, under the tenancy of John Olliver, and from 1769 William Olliver. Avenals at £80 under Hugh Penfold.

Both farms were later united under Messrs Penfold.  In 1789 Avenals with other lands attached, and Chalks, altogether 274 acres let to James Penfold. The rent, later quoted of £120 was still hovering around the 10s mark to an acre. But by 1811, when the demesne was reckoned at 235 acres a massive increase in asking price had taken place to £450 per annum, with Thomas Olliver breaking the Penfold dynasty. All of the leasehold land in East Angmering had now been arrogated by this one combined farm. 

Long lease farms and freeholds continued quite independently.  Some small copyholds did survive but amounted to very little.  All of these together had only totalled around 70 acres in 1679.

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4.4        Ham Manor
The liberty has been taken of ignoring the northern part of Angmering containing the anciently depopulated village of Barpham. On the other hand, Ham sits adjacent to East Angmering, south of West Angmering, and is known today for its golf course and salubrious estate. The image most people will have of its past will be centred on the 19th century Gratwicke mansion, with its few servants’ cottages, surrounded by a large park. South and west of that there was also an arable farm, with the manor's total area reckoned at 399 acres.

Sources for tracing the farming history of the manor are inadequate, but a hundred years before Squire Gratwicke, there is a land deed of 1724 which is quite revealing.  It describes the lands belonging to William Gratwicke, field, meadow and croft by croft.  But the final paragraph is important - "also all those lands lying dispersedly in the East Common Field of Ham, in the East Furlong [and] West Furlong ..."  It ends with the calculation that his estate in Ham amounted to 238 acres.

From the East Preston Colebrooke survey of c1740, it is evident that brother William and Thomas shared the Ham estates.  Therefore it can be deduced that Thomas owned in the order of 160 acres in Ham, although land measurement from that period may not relate well with 19th century surveyed areas.

The fact that land was still in the old common or open field of Ham, signifies that some form of common management still existed, and at least a few tenants were working this field.  Certainly the home farm would have been leased out to such as Thomas Ford, who left a substantial inventory in 1741, but a residue of freeholders and copyholders were required to make a common.

However, wills left by husbandmen and landowners resident in Ham are mainly of earlier centuries, although some tenancies were no doubt owned by Angmering residents. Messrs Gratwicke had effectively taken the manor into a single farm by the end of the 17th century, with inclosure taking place long before the 19th century Acts.

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4.5        The whole of Angmering
It is fairly conclusive that vast change had come to Angmering in the course of three centuries. The village at Barpham, on the downs, had been depopulated at an earlier date leaving two farms at Upper and Lower Bargham.  Then West Angmering was depopulated by John Palmer in the mid 16th century, leaving a residue of properties and the open field south of his vast estate at Old and New Place.  The Palmer family, nevertheless, continued to own their manors in much the traditional way with numerous copyholds for lives, and widely spread tenancy of land under common management.

The real beginnings of commercial farming, and a market place economy, maximising profit from land rents and the sale of the farm goods, while economising on labour, began in the late 17th century. When copyholds fell in, that is when the tenants with lifeholds died, the lands were converted to leaseholds at vastly higher rents, at that time around ten shillings an acre. The amalgamation of all these small concerns into large estates, suited the landlord and yeomen tenants.  A multitude of open field strips in Ecclesden and elsewhere were divided into more convenient closes, and in time new crops and techniques could be employed at will.

By the 19th century, the villages or hamlets at Barpham, Ecclesden, West Angmering and Ham, were memories. The Bishopp manors south of Angmering Park were now a single estate, in three main farms. The village was now what had been East Angmering and source of all labour, with a growing population.  Enclosure in 1809-12 merely completed a long process, bringing together all those piecemeal lands south of the village into compact blocks. The days of the smallholder were over, until the rise of market gardening, and specialist crops in glasshouses in the mid-century, or in Angmering slightly later.

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5          Changes in Husbandry
The great farms that had developed by the late 18th century had advantages over small concerns, even in traditional usage.  They could employ a full complement of waggons or wains, carts, and other implements, together with teams of oxen, and horses teams useful for various purposes.  In 1721 at Ecclesden Manor farm, John Edsaw had fourteen working oxen and nine working horses, with two waggons, together with numbers of dungcarts, ploughs and harrows.  Six cart horses were often mentioned in other late inventories. 

Changes in husbandry had been taking place throughout the 18th century, in particular with the introduction of clover, which fixes nitrogen in the soil, but it was not until the end of the century that turnips began to appear. In 1799, a lease by Sir John Shelley to Thomas Amoore of Old and New Place Farms, included husbandry terms. These had a requirement not to take more than two crops of corn in succession, and every second crop he was to sow either turnips, vetches or clover, or else make a summer fallow. [Add Mss 13302]. Turnips could be hoed to remove weeds, and were used to feed sheep which were folded on the fields.

Crop returns in 1801 [HO67/7] indicate that the coastal parishes, including Angmering, had wheat as the principal area of corn, followed closely by barley, with some oats, finally turnips and vetch. Clover and grasses were not mentioned. Potatoes barely figured, something which may have had repercussions on the diet of poor people when bread was expensive.

A three course rotation was in fact giving way to four course in Angmering, and by c1840 the tithe report speaks of wheat, followed by seeds [clover], then oats, and lastly turnips, tares or fallow. For some reason barley is not in that list although we may be sure the East Preston course would also have been used, with wheat, turnips, barley, and seeds etc.  On an average, if the tithe report is correct, Angmering expected to get 24 bushels of wheat to the acre, considerably less than the coast parishes where up to 40 bushels is mentioned, but the southern extreme of Angmering no doubt had similar output.

At the earlier date -c1802 [Add Mss 2736] - schedules of farm animals, show that horses were becoming the usual draft animals, with few oxen in some parishes. Angmering had roughly equal numbers of each, which may have reflected the heavier soils north of the village.  Around 70 of each relates pretty well to the area of arable, if the main farms had a team of each..

Milch cows were not a high priority at this time, with only 80 reported in Angmering. With low milk yield likely, making butter and cheese must have left little for liquid consumption. But with the best part of 400 pigs, three to every family in the parish, there was a potential for meat if only they were all sold in the village.  In addition there were large flocks of sheep, especially on the downs, and around 4000 in total. On the arable they were good manurers, but later in Ferring it was stated they were for 'folding not fatting' for meat. The improved Southdown sheep, as bred by Ellman of Glynde, were beginning to appear.

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6          The Parish Poor
Statistics can be selected and manipulated so as to support a prior belief.  The whole matter of the parish poor in relation to wealth and property, especially where the records are incomplete, is a minefield of false relationships.

According to Harris, "Previous to the enclosures there was hardly any parish relief recorded, but for many years afterwards, sometimes as many as sixty families received aid during the winter."

If reported poor rate figures are related to current population totals in the parish, the wonderful result is obtained that greatest expenditure - measured in terms of the rate paid per pound value of property - took place in the years previous to the 1809-12 inclosure.  The years 1801 and 1802 saw a rate of over three shillings, whereas afterwards 2s or so was the maximum.  Or alternatively, in the 1790s, an average yearly total of £700 was raised, in the 1830s around £850, but for the first decade of the century from £1000 plus to over £2000.  Not that Angmering was a peculiar case, such figures are found in many local parishes examined.

Another interesting set of figures is the price of wheat in the country generally, measured in pounds per load.
1798     £12.96, 1799     £17.25, 1800     £28.46, 1801     £29.88, 1802     £17.46, 1803     £14.71,
1804     £15.56, 1805     £22.44, 1806     £19.75, 1807     £18.83, 1808     £20.33, 1809     £24.33,
1810     £26.61, 1811     £23.81, 1812     £31.63, 1813     £27.44, 1814     £18.58, 1815     £16.40,
1816     £19.63, 1817     £24.21, falling to 10 to £17 later

We do not need to consider history too deeply to realise that something serious was happening nationally.  In 1802 the situation was so serious that the whole coastal region had plans laid for wholesale evacuation of people and livestock.  The Napoleonic Wars were in full spate, and in any year when harvests were poor in this country importation was impossible, and corn prices rocketed.

The natural outcome was that large numbers of poor people, on ordinary wages, were on poor relief.  In the 1802/3 returns, Angmering had 30% of its population on some form of relief. Across the nineteen parishes that eventually joined East Preston Union and workhouse, an average of 20% were on permanent or casual relief.  At this time the workhouse had as many as 90 inmates, from very few parishes, whereas in later years 50 in the summer and 70 in the winter was the norm.
That points out another significant event in Angmering history.  The Union of Parishes was formed in 1791, with a workhouse built at East Preston.  Angmering joined the union in 1806, after which it had a Guardian of the Poor elected by the ratepayers, and the Board of Guardians at its workhouse meetings supervised poor relief in the union, or the officer in charge named the Visitor did so.  Under the Gilbert Act, only the aged and infirm and orphans were taken into the house, the able bodied poor had relief in their own parishes. 
In fact 1806 was the year in which the Union reached its final complement of 19 parishes.  Whatever motive its founders had in 1791, it may be suspected the national situation, and rising rates, induced fourteen parishes to join between 1799 and 1806. In 1798 Malthus published his famous, Essay on ... Population.

Although nothing to that effect is stated anywhere, it may be assumed the presence of a workhouse was considered a deterrence to anyone seeking relief and the parish dole, with the possibility of their being incarcerated.  Anyone with debility might be sent there. Indeed it is very difficult to justify the workhouse on the basis of economy.  The cost of building and maintenance, a paid governor, and food for the inmates, could only have justified a hospice for the bedridden, and for infant orphans.

If reliable numbers could be found for those on the dole in earlier years, undoubtedly they would be less than those for the 19th century, even ignoring the first decade.  A lower population meant fewer poor to become pauperised, and more opportunity for work in a farming parish. And, in the 17th century a more peasant economy had more smallholder families, as Harris realised.  Such families subsisted, truly, when times were hard, but may well have resisted going on the parish.  It was also the custom for yeomen to give board to some of their farm hands, looking after them in the household. But by the end of the 18th century the damage to that old economy had been done, and with a rapidly rising population of wage earners, the farms were becoming saturated with labour.

After the Napoleonic wars, through the Swing Riots of 1830, on into the Victorian era, wage earners were either employed or not.  Men were either single, or properly married and raising numerous children.  Those unemployed were paid outdoor relief, until long after the 1834 Poor Law. However, large families could not live on the wages offered, and various forms of assistance were employed by the guardians and overseers.

The few unfortunate inmates of the workhouse were maintained at a rate per head charged to the parishes. This was related to the prevailing price of wheat, regularly published as already noted.  So many pence for a load of wheat at say £10, and then a penny more for every pound increase.  The rate allowed was subtlety altered on many occasions, directly affecting the diet that could be afforded.  These changes were no doubt reflected in the treatment of a greater number on outdoor relief, living at home. 

Until about 1822 the rates were 'good' at which point a substantial reduction was agreed. In 1826 it was improved but not back to the old standard.  Then the 1834 Poor Law had its indirect effect, and another economy was made.  The most drastic economy took place about 1838, when the value of the allowance per inmate would have been two thirds what it was in 1800.  Only shortly before the Gilbert Union was reformed in 1869, was a more comfortable regime established. 

The food offered the inmates cannot be assessed in quality, but before economies had bitten it was good in name. "Six meat dinners and one bread and cheese dinner are allowed; also a pint of beer daily.  Breakfast consists of milk, bread and cheese or soup, as it may happen; supper is the same."  Weak beer was made on the premises, until the house was reformed in 1869. In 1844 a less wholesome fare was considered unaffordable outside the house by unemployed families, according to a man who had experienced it.
Harris was of course right about the numbers on relief in the later 19th century. In 1825 a total of 109 may have been for the year, but of these 86 were permanent. What is more it was unusual that other parishes had worse unemployment at 20% or so.

A point that needs no comment, is that treatment of the poor was decided by the parish ratepayers, although the local magistrate could order payments, and tended to be more generous - no less a person than WGK Gratwicke. In 1844 the entire roll of Angmering ratepayers meeting to decide on a parish doctor numbered a mere sixteen people - men of course.

Up until the 1820s the roundsman system was used, to provide employment for some able bodied paupers. This involved farmers and others, who found it expedient to refuse employment to these men on normal wages, taking then on in a rota as parish labourers paid partly out of the rates.  The method later adopted was for a landowner to be required to take a man for every £50 he was worth in rates.  Did some farmers and tradesmen use this to obtain cheap labour?

Before 1834 head money was paid to outdoor paupers, based on the price of wheat.  Three shillings a week might be ordered by the magistrate, and 1s 6d for each child beyond the first two in a family.  A considerable saving in rates was made after 1834 by ending that system, so it was said.

These payments may be related to labourers’ wages. In 1834 the average wage was 14s, and a family including four children from 5 to 14 years, might earn another 3s 6d, but they could not subsist on this income.  Single men were usually paid about 3s less. A local magnate considered labour a market commodity.

Ten yeas later wages were estimated at 12s in the summer but only 10s 6d in the winter, with threshers at 12s 6d although those on piece work might earn 15s. It was fortunate that the parish was in a Gilbert Union, it was able to continue paying a supplement to wages for children in large families.

A farm hand from another parish stated that the diet for labourers consisted of "bread and cheese, and butter, and now and then a piece of bacon", with home grown vegetables which were mostly potatoes.  To him a wage of 12s was a maximum that might be obtained.

From the evidence presented at Poor Law Inquiries, it would appear that, in agricultural districts, men were paid as little as the landowner ratepayers found convenient.  This was then topped up from the rates they paid, as if in an act of charity.

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7          Swing Riots
Perhaps the extreme patriotism of a country at war, brings everyone together against the common enemy, and makes even the most deprived adopt a stiff upper lip.  After the Napoleonic wars were over nothing could restrain growing disquiet.

Even though conditions for the poor in 1830 may not have been as bad as in some previous periods, general unrest in Europe could only stimulate dissatisfaction at home, reaching a height in 1830 with the Swing Riots.  These proved a turning point in village life, far beyond Angmering.  

Unrest spread to the Worthing and Arundel district in November, with 'mobs' demonstrating in the neighbourhood of both towns.  Then on Tuesday 16th November, a massive fire broke out in Angmering, at Old Place farm occupied by Mr Amoore, in which "two barns and one hundred quarters of wheat ... were burnt and so strong were the flames that the glare was perceived from Brighton"  in modern terms about twenty tons destroyed.  Nobody was ever apprehended for this arson attack, but a lesser incident in East Preston did result in the execution of one Edmund Bushby for firing a corn rick.

Following this, the Victorian era was one of continuing improvement in village life, for the poor.  Benefit clubs, reading room, sports, allotment gardens, all at least made life feel better. If only there had not been the threat of a workhouse retirement at the end.

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8          Comparative Analysis
The whole of Angmering.

In 1724 the whole of Angmering had 64 households compared to 191 houses in 1841. The 17th century may have had higher population levels but probably never more than 100 households.

In 1841 ninety of the households were those of agricultural labourers, some others were shepherds and men working in the woods. There were eleven householders who called themselves farmers.

In 1679 there were at least 35 families who were tenants of at least a few acres of land in Angmering, besides glebe and a few other free lands, although some of these did not live in Angmering and the number of sub-tenants cannot be estimated.

In 1851 William Miles employed eight men on his 320 acre farm, which represented eight wage earning families, with his own as family as employer.  But in 1679 this same land was divided between ten farmsteads, in addition to which there were a few virtually landless cottages. This is representative of other large farms, except Avenals which did not evolve out of smaller holdings.

In the 18th century, after land had been leased out, rent was around 10s an acre.  In the first decade of the 19th century as much as £2 an acre was charged. Thereafter rents fell, as can be shown in other parishes.

In the 18th century and late 19th century, wheat was fetching £10 to £15 a load. Whereas in 1801, 1805, 1809, 1812, and 1817, the price ranged from over £20 to over £30.

New mansions or houses were built in the early 19th century.  The south wing of the Rectory [Syon] in 1815.  Ham Manor by Gratwicke in 1822.  Elsewhere such houses as the new Kingston Manor, and Preston Place.  Arundel Castle was being rebuilt in the first decade of the 19th century.

In the 17th century and earlier, rural populations varied within narrow limits prescribed by the farming potential. A large proportion of householders had a landed interest, or followed trades dependent on the land.  Surplus sons, who did not die in periodic epidemics, migrated to the towns where death rates were often very high. In the later 18th and onwards, an absence of plague and reduction in other epidemics allowed rural population to rise steadily, despite migration to urban areas.

Conclusions will be reached from this essay, according to readers’ predilections.

RW Standing
April 2007


Rentals, Surveys and Deeds, principally:

Acc Mss 4149
Acc Mss 8503
Acc Mss 9163

Analysis notes and tables - not published
"East Preston Gilbert Union Workhouse 1791 - 1869"  by RW Standing
"The Great Tithe of 1836" by RW Standing
"Reading Writing and Riot" by RW Standing

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