Winthorpe in the Early 17th Century

A prosperous farming community lived in Winthorpe in the year 1600. Thomas Brewer lived in the “White House,” which was on the old road, which ran from the main road through Mr. Bennett’s garden and down the present “Drive” to Holme Lane. The "White House" stood on the left corner, just below our Village Hall. The house on the right side being the older part of  Mr. Bennett’s home, (north end). The Rectory stood on the left side of this same road so that the Rev. Bacon and Brewer were near neighbours. There were other tenants homes on this road.

Richard and Reginald Skelton seemed to be prominent at this time and the farmhouse of the Skelton family was the Town House on Town Street, (now the two central Brewer’s cottages). John Skelton, their father, was alive at this time so the two sons and their families could have lived elsewhere in the village. Beyond the Skelton’s Town House from the site of the present Old Rectory Farm there were three or more dwellings on both sides of the road. William Hooke’s home (purchased by Dr. Taylor in 1755) could have been on the old road or on the site of Grange Cottage, as this was certainly the Hooker’s house in the 1700’s. Richard Inkersall seemed a man of importance. He is mentioned in many wills and in village and church records. The largest house in the village was at the foot of the hill, where Mr. M. Leach’s home now stands. Other substantial properties could have been on the site of The Grange, Winthorpe House and the Cottage. The actual date of the Dial House is unknown, but the site in the centre of the village would certainly be occupied as would the opposite corner (now the Lord Nelson car park). The tenant families mentioned in Brewer’s will, would no doubt live in “post and pan houses,” made of timber and mud plaster, having a thatched roof and consisting of one room on the ground floor and a chamber under the thatch. There were fifteen families with children, four more families who were tenants of Brewer’s Will, twenty-four other families, six widows and five servants of Brewer all mentioned in his will.

Descendants of some of these families continued to live in Winthorpe for over two hundred years. Their names were Sheppard, Taylor, Fisher, Skelton, Hoole and Spafford. A member of the Spafford family, Mrs. Kingdon still lives in Langford today.

The farmlands were in three large open fields extending from Thoroughfare Lane, (School Lane), to the Cow Gates in Newark, (site of A.B.M. in Northgate). The Holme Lane area would be marsh for common grazing. The present airfield was pasture and at this time each person, according to his holding, would be allowed to graze a given number of sheep and cattle, the former in large numbers according to Brewer’s will.

If we consider that one penny in the 1600’s = 70p today and £1 = £70, the following from wills of the period, show the wealth of some inhabitants. Unfortunately there were no inventories of property with these early wills. The main beneficiaries were wives and / or heirs.

1598    William Skelton left 2d to repair the “church pulpitt and deskes.”
1613    Steven Crosby left 20 sheep to sister Beatrix and 20 to brother Thomas. 13s – 4d to the poor of Winthorpe, 13s – 4d to Roger Bacon (parson) and 12d each to eleven others. 12d each to six ringers. £10 to sister Beatrix and each godchild 12d.
1616    John Skelton left £15 to his stepdaughter.
1623    Reginald Skelton left £10 to his daughter Ann and £40 to his daughter Elizabeth.
1637    William Hoole left 12d to each of six daughters and £5 to each of his two sons.
1646    Edmund Burch left £100 to relatives, children and servants. 40s to the poor of Winthorpe.
1646    William Burch left various sums of money and a list of those who owed him money, the total amounting to £153-18-10.

Miss K.E Euston.
Extract from Focal Point.



Further readings can be found in  

          Thomas Brewer's Charity in Volume 1.        

          Thomas Brewer's Will in Volume 4.

          People mentioned in Thomas Brewer's Will in Volume 4.

          Thomas Brewer - Yeoman in Volume 4.

          Thomas Brewer's Charity Trustees in Volume 4.