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Settlement 'An Act for the Better Relief of the Poor of this Kingdom, passed in the reign of King Charles II, became known as The Settlement Act of 1662. It sought to establish the parish to which a person belonged, which was known as his or her place of "settlement", and accordingly clarify which parish was responsible for those who became "chargeable" to the parish poor rates. It also allowed the Parish Overseers to "remove" newcomers local Justices deemed likely to become dependent on poor relief. This could occur unless the newcomers were wealthy, were paying substantial rent, or had some form of security to indemnify the parish against the expense of supporting them. This might be in the form of a certificate from their own parish stating that they could return if necessary. From 1697, under yet another amendment to the Act, people could settle in a new parish provided they brought a Settlement Certificate with them from their home parish guaranteeing to take them back if they became liable for parish relief. This protected them from removal to the parish to which they "belonged," unless they actually applied for poor relief.

The Law of Settlement had the effect of prohibiting the poorest labourers from moving outside their own parish.

A settlement certificate was a document addressed by one parish or township to another. The churchwardens and overseers of the poor issued it to a resident of the parish who intended to live elsewhere. Its purpose was to certify that the person named in the certificate (and if appropriate, his or her dependents) was legally settled in the parish of origin. It meant that the issuing parish would receive back the named person and dependents if it became necessary to provide them with poor relief or pay for the relief of the person in the parish in which they were living.

The overseers of the new parish retained the certificate as insurance against any future claim for poor relief. In this way, the certificates found their way into the parish chest and from there finally into the archives. Sadly, only a small percentage of the original certificates now survive.

Witheridge Settlement Examinations

1633A/PO 528/2: John Packer Creation date 1756

Now in Cheriton Fitzpaine, he was born in Stockleigh Pomeroy and was apprenticed there when he was 7 to William Helmore, after 2 years his master could not continue his business and told him to go and support himself, he is now 22½, he has lived with several people, months ago he married Mary Flew of Witheridge.

2985 A/PO 10/1: Philip Maunder: date 1764

Born Rose Ash, a base child At 12 yrs old lived 1 yr with James Partridge at 6d/wk. Mother or grandmother received wages, then with John Blake of Stoodley for 1 yr and one month with George Hole of East Worlington, cordwainer until rejected by Parish. Mother obtained settlement order from Rose Ash, removed to Stoodley. Returned to George Hole, worked 2 yrs without indentures married, and living in Witheridge

70 A/PO 6047: Elizabeth Churchouse, widow: date 1770

Now in Kenton, she is the widow of John Churchouse late an inhabitant of Kenton, mason formerly of Witheridge he has a certificate from Dawlish, he had agreed a lease for 3 lives from Lord Courtenay for a dwelling house in Kenton, Lord Courtenay died soon after, her husband had possession until he died and she still has possession.

70 A/PO 6061: James Rugg, thatcher: date: 1770

Now in Kenton, he was born in Delbridge (?Thelbridge) and apprenticed there to Hugh Elworthy after 7 years his master died and he worked as a weekly servant in various places, then he went to Witheridge and agreed with Richard Elworthy for a year at £4.10s.

541A/PO 584: Thomas Sowden: date 1773

Now in Colebrooke, born in Witheridge and apprenticed there to Robert Brewer, mason, about 4 years ago he went to Mr William Pope of Ash in Sandford for a year.
70 A/PO 6105: John Smale: date 1784

Now in Kenton, he was born in Lapford and was apprenticed there to Richard Densham, after 3 years his master died, he went to Worlington for a year with John Sanders for £2 12s then returned to Lapford for a year with Anthony Reed for £3. Then to Washfield Pyne with John Voysey for £4, then to Witheridge for a year with James Davy at £4 10s and then agreed for a 2nd year at £5.

336A-1/PO/6: John Down: date 1784

Settlement examination of John Down, labourer of East Worlington, born in Witheridge or Thelbridge c.1750

2994A/PO 21/3: John Phillips: date 1785

Now living in Kingswear, labourer Born in Witheridge, apprenticed there to Humphray Bodley; parted by consent when 21 years old. At the age of 24 years he lived in Alphington and served Michael Nix by agreement for 1 year. Then he went to Shobrooke for 2 years and served John Jackman, and then he married in Shobrooke.

1786-4/3/39: William Greenslade: date: 1785

Settlement examination of William Greenslade, now resident in N Molton - born in Witheridge, - bound to Richard Cooke - served him until 21 years old - served as a substitute in the Militia for 18 months - learnt weaving in Witheridge not as an apprentice - c.18 months ago moved to N Molton

1481A/PO 708/37: William Partridge: date 1789
William Partridge, now in Alphington, born in Witheridge never apprenticed, when he was 30 he went to Cheriton Fitzpaine and rented an estate at £50 p.a. for about 4 years

1794 A-1/PO 51: John Boundy: date 1793

John Boundy, cordwainer, born in Meshaw, served John Tolley in Meshaw, later sent by his father and Uncle William, to learn the art of a cordwainer in Witheridge. Related Material: (See 1794 A-1/PO 54)

1092A-1/PO 82: Edward Bodley: date 1795.

Now in Cruwys Morchard, butcher born there, when he was 22 he made an agreement to serve John Smale, a butcher of Witheridge for 1, 2 or 3 years to learn the trade of a butcher. He paid John Smale £3 3s, he served for 1½ years and returned to Cruwys Morchard and lived with his father for 2 years and then married.

1092A-1/PO 84: Hugh Elworthy: date 1797.

Now in Cruwys Morchard, husbandman, he was born in Witheridge, when he was 14 went to Washfield with his father, stayed there until 21 when he went to Stoodleigh to Denis Abraham for ¾ year, then agreed with John Lake in Cruwys Morchard for 6 months and then a further year. Then went to William Elworthy of Witheridge for a year and two further years, he then went back to Cruwys Morchard and agreed for a year with George Brooke, after 6 months he married and has worked as a day labourer since.

1794A-1/PO 54: John Boundy: date 1801

John Boundy, age 30, born in Meshaw, his father's legal settlement was in Cruwys Morchard.
Related Material: (See 1794 A-1/PO 51)

1794 A-1/PO 57: Elizabeth Burnett: date 1801

Elizabeth Burnett, age 21 born in Rose Ash, age 12, worked for William Thorne in Maryansleigh and then Samuel Partridge in Witheridge, moved to Meshaw.

1633A/PO 529/17: William Cockram: Creation date 1815

Now in Cheriton Fitzpaine, he was born in Culmstock where his parents belonged and apprenticed there to Richard Gibbings, yeoman. After 3 years he rang away and soon returned to his parents there for 2 or 3 years, when he was 20 he apprenticed himself to William Pope of Cheriton Fitzpaine carpenter until he was 23. Then he worked as day labourers for 6 months, and then he hired himself to William Baker of Witheridge, carpenter for a year at 10s a week. After 9 months, he left and married.

1092A-1/PO 99: John Burnett: date 1841.

Now in Cruwys Morchard, aged 45, born in Rose Ash, when he was about 21 or 22 agreed with Mr Robert Mildon of Cruwys Morchard for a year then with Mr Robert Ballamy, yeoman stayed about 9 months. A few days later he made an agreement with Mr Mallett of Templeton by the week, he left him because of illness. He then went back to Robert Mildon by the week for 3 years, then to Mr Abraham Cole of Moor Farm, yeoman for a year then Mr William Beedell, yeoman by the week for 9 months, this was about 15 years ago. Since then he has worked by the week or year for Mr Robert Channing of Rifton Barton, Stoodleigh, Mr Joseph Gibbings of Bellworthy, Rackenford, Mr William Bennett of Thelbridge, yeoman. Also for John Bidgood of Witheridge, yeoman, Mr John Thorne of Yeadbury Farm, yeoman, Mr John Norrish of Thorne, Mr Tidbold of Way Farm, Tiverton, Mr Richard Ayre of Witheridge, Mr Bow of Rose Ash, Mr Phillips of Poughill, and lately as a day labourer.

814A/PO 201: John Vicary: date 1844

Notice of chargability of John Vicary and removal from Witheridge to S Molton and settlement examination. John Vicary was born c.1813 in Kings Nympton where his parents were legally settled. He worked on farms in S Molton, George Nympton and Braunton, returned to Kings Nympton c.1837, married Jane Reed, now deceased, in 1838 and now resident in Witheridge.

3009A-99/PO16/792: John Tolley, a private in the North Devon Regiment of Militia

Scope and Content: Now in Chudleigh, he was born in Witheridge, when he was 14 his father apprenticed him to Nathaniel King of Kings Nympton, tailor paying £5, only £2 10s was paid and it was not enrolled. When he was 15 he left, as he had no work, he then worked in various parishes as a journeyman tailor, he then agreed with Luke Hosgood in Poughill for a year. He then agreed to return to Witheridge and worked for himself for 3 weeks, he then returned to his master there and finished his apprenticeship, he then joined the militia and married in Chudleigh 2 weeks ago

1269A/PO 24: Benjamin Wright Day: date: 1844

Benjamin Wright Day an infant child aged 6 years

Scope and Content: Removal order to Witheridge: - Copy of the marriage entry for John Day and Mary Josland married by banns in Witheridge, 1828. Mary Day left her husband, went to Stoodleigh. In 1837, she was staying in Washfield, where Benjamin Day was born. She died a year and a quarter later.

1660 A/A 68/18: Thomas Lake: date 1785

Access Conditions: Unfit for production

Scope and Content: Resident in Crediton, he was born in the parish of Tiverton, and bound out as a parish apprentice to George Thorne of the parish, with whom he hired for three years, when his master assigned him over to Richard Elsworthy, with whom he lived in Tiverton for five months. Then he went with his master to live in Witheridge, and he lived there until he was nineteen years old, then he left his master and lived at different places until he was two months of twenty-four years. He went to Tiverton and hired himself to National Griffen of the parish, for two years, and was to receive five guineas for the two years service. His master was drawn into the Militia, he offered himself as a substitute. His master had engaged another, after living one year and three quarters, with his master, went as a substitute for John Gibbons and soon after he married

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Last Edited 03/07/2006    Copyright © 2000-2006 Witheridge

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