Portbury Assize Orders.

Collated by Mary Mason.


Upon the motion of Mr Baber, being of counsell with the inhabitants of Dundry, in the presence of the parishioners of St. George (Easton in Gordano) it is ordered by the Court that Edith Brock and her base child, nowe remaying at Dundrey aforesaid, shall forthwith sent to St. George aforesaid, there to be kept and relieved according to the Lawe; and the parish of St. George is to receive them accordingly.



Whereas by examination taken before Sir Francis Popham Kt and Francis Baber Esq (J P`s)  It doth appear that Roger Hilsey born at Backwell was by the parishioners of Backwell for the sum of £4 given with him at his age of three or four years placed as an apprentice or otherwise put unto Richard Lukins of Bedminster in the said County about four years since to learn the trade of a Carpenter; and that the said Lukyns had lived at Bedminster aforesaid by the space of twenty years before; and that about our Lady Day (25 March) last past the said Richard Lukins was hired and employed by William Claxton Esq to come into Compton Dando in the County aforesaid to do some Carpenters work there for the said William Claxton and brought him from Bedminster aforesaid his wife and the said Roger Hilsey, and lived in a lodge of the said Mr Claxton’s far remote from the rest of the Parish; and the said Roger Hilsey seldom comes to Church the said parishioners of Compton Dando could not take any notice of his being a parishioner; and that about Candlemas (2 Feb) last the said Lukins dying at Compton Dando aforesaid the said Roger Hilsey returned and went unto Backwell aforesaid where he was born, and from thence was by warrant under the hands of some of His Majesties Justices of the Peace of the said County sent unto Bedminster aforesaid, and from thence by any other like warrant unto Compton Dando aforesaid to be kept by the same parish. Now forasmuch as the said Roger Hilsey was not known to be a parishoner at Compton Dando until the death  of the said Richard Lukins, and the said Roger Hilsey was not in law a parishoner there, it is ordered by the Court that the said Roger Hilsey shall sent to Backwell aforesaid there to remain and be provided for as the law in such case requireth; and the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of Backwell aforesaid are to receive him accordingly.



Wheras this court is enformed that William Maskall of Abbotts Leigh was lately chosen constable of the Hundred of Portbury and in an obstinate manner standeth out and will not be sworne to execute the same office, whereby the weight of the Kinges service within the Hundred lyeth wholly upon William Vawer, the other Constable of the same Hundred, notwithstanding the said Maskell hath been divers tymes ordered and payed in the Leete of Portbury to take upon him the execution of the said Office; it is therefore ordered by this court that the said Maskell upon sight of this Order shall go before one of the next Justices of the Peace within or neare the said Hundred and take his oath for the execution of the said office; and in default thereof the said next Justice of the Peace on complaint to him made of his neglect therein; shall send for the said Maskell and commit him to the goale of this County, there to remayne until he shall do the same.


Maskell a gentleman, was bound to the Epiphany Quarter Sessions 1637/8 for refusing to take the Oath of Office. Having manifested reasons, he was discharged and one Mathew Coxe of Flax Bourton was ordered to serve, if William Capell J P found he was a continual inhabitant of the Hundred; otherwise, Maskell was to serve. It is apparent that Maskells adversaries, having lost at the previous sessions, were trying again, at Assizes.