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From: A History of the County of Essex: Volume X. Janet Cooper (Editor) (2001)

MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
The estate of BADCOCKS, sometimes called a manor, was held by the Badcock family which included John Badcock, recorded in 1365, and Richard Badcock in 1418. Richard gave the estate to Robert Tey (d. 1426) and it remained in the Tey family until 1585, after which it descended with Bottingham Hall, Copford, until 1654 when Badcocks was sold to Henry Mild- may and Thomas Wharton. Thomas's son Andrew Wharton inherited the estate c. 1683. John Smith sold it, with other land, to James Burnett in 1733. In 1768 it belonged to George Shepherd of Springfield, and in 1807 to W. E. Fitzthomas of Tettenhall (Staffs.).

 

 

Badcocks is an H-plan, two-storeyed timber- framed house. Its west cross wing, which has part of a smoke-blackened crown-post roof and possible remains of an inserted timber chimney, seems to have originated as a late 14th- or early 15th-century hall with at least one storeyed end on the north. A two-storeyed hall range, which is jettied along the north side and has a brick chimney stack backing onto the cross passage and decorated with a series of niches, was added in the late 16th century; the date 1585 is carved on the bressumer on the jettied north side. The north ends of both wings, which have moulded brick plinths, seem to have been rebuilt then, though the east wing appears mainly 18th- or 19th-century. On the west range, the south end and a west projection are 20th-century and part of the hall range roof has been raised. The south part of the medieval moat survives. (Footnote 25)

From: British History Online

Source: Easthorpe: Manors and other estates. A History of the County of Essex: Volume X, Janet Cooper (Editor) (2001).

URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=15234

Date: 19/07/2004

Copyright 2003 University of London & History of Parliament Trust

 

 

Easthorpe is a small parish whose economy has been connected with those of neighbouring parishes: for example, Easthorpe manor extended into Birch, and Felix Hall manor, Kelvedon, had land in Easthorpe. (Footnote 27) The value of Easthorpe manor was always low. Between 1066 and 1086 it fell from 40s. to 30s. (Footnote 28) In 1327, when Easthorpe was assessed together with Birch for taxation, John Gernon, the lord of Easthorpe and Birch manors, was the highest assessed of the 21 taxpayers. (Footnote 29) In 1524 only 15 people were assessed. (Footnote 30) In 1662 only two houses had more than four hearths. (Footnote 31)

 

In 1086 there was woodland for 30 swine. (Footnote 32) In the Middle Ages Easthorpe probably con- tained woodland near its north-west, north-east, and south boundaries; Alstons grove was re- corded in 1418. (Footnote 33) In 1439 woodland of 140 a. on Easthorpe manor was coppiced. (Footnote 34) By 1841 woodland amounted to only 25 a., equivalent to 3 per cent of the parish, mostly small groves along the southern boundary. (Footnote 35)

 

Meadows lay beside Domsey brook which curved through the middle of the parish. (Footnote 36) In 1086 there was 6 a. of meadow on Easthorpe manor. (Footnote 37) Meadows called Goodwell and Tur- nors were recorded in 1418. (Footnote 38) There was 20 a. of meadow on Easthorpe manor in 1439 worth 18d. an acre. (Footnote 39) In 1841 there was 75 a. of meadow in the parish, equivalent to 9 per cent of the total area. (Footnote 40) .

 

Between 1066 and 1086 part of Easthorpe manor demesne was probably split into tenant holdings. The number of demesne ploughs on Easthorpe manor decreased from 2 to 1, but the men's ploughs increased from 1 to 3. In 1066 there were 30 sheep, 16 cattle, 15 swine, and 1 horse, but in 1086 only 10 swine and 1 horse were recorded on the demesne. (Footnote 41) Easthorpe and Birch manors were held and managed jointly, and in the early 15th century were farmed with Messing manors. (Footnote 42) In 1274 on Easthorpe manor there was 180 a. of arable worth 4d. an acre and 8 a. of mowing meadow worth 12d. an acre; works and customary payments were worth 20s. a year. (Footnote 43) In 1439 Easthorpe manor contained 300 a. of arable land worth 2d. an acre, 80 a. of pasture worth 4d. an acre, and 20 a. meadow worth 18d. an acre. (Footnote 44)

 

Merchants and gentlemen from Colchester and other towns invested in land and houses in Easthorpe, which was conveniently close to the London-Colchester road: for example, John Tyall (d. 1500), draper of Colchester, Philemon Pilgrim, clothier of Bocking c. 1600, and Samuel Wells of Aldgate, East London, in 1744. (Footnote 45) Many owners of Foulchers, later Easthorpe Green farm, lived in other Essex parishes. (Footnote 46)

 

From the 16th century to the 18th the farming was mixed. Sheep, cattle, and pigs were reared, and barley and wheat grown. (Footnote 47) In 1706 grey peas, clover, hay, fruit, and garden produce were also recorded. (Footnote 48) In the 18th century the main farms were Easthorpe Hall (233 a.) running from north to south across the middle of the parish, and Badcocks of a similar size in the east of the parish. Parts of other farms, including Birch Holt, Scotties, and the Trowel and Ham- mer, probably later called Brooms, and lands of the Harrison family of Copford and the Rounds of Birch, extended into Easthorpe. (Footnote 49) Small orchards were frequently recorded at farms and larger houses, for example, in 1637 at the rectory house, Scotties, and Winterfloods, in 1708 at Easthorpe Hall, and in 1807 at Badcocks. (Footnote 50)

 

The proportion of arable land increased, and by 1841 amounted to 750 a., or 88 per cent of the parish. Easthorpe Hall and Badcocks remained the largest two farms; the others were Easthorpe Green, Canfields, Brooms, Birch Holt, Little Badcocks, Hazells, and Scotties. The farms were leased to tenant farmers. (Footnote 51) In 1835 the tenant at Scotties, who had been making losses, was suspected of growing more than two consecutive grain crops; the land was 'foul' and not highly cultivated, but the build- ings were mostly good. The tenant also farmed 60 a. belonging to a different owner and 42 a. of his own. By 1865, however, the land was 'clean and creditably farmed'. (Footnote 52)

 

In 1851 there were 4 farmers and 28 agricul- tural labourers, and in 1871 there were 4 far- mers, 2 farm bailiffs, and 43 agricultural labourers, 10 of whom were employed by the farmer at Easthorpe Hall. (Footnote 53) The chief crops were wheat and barley. (Footnote 54) In the 1870s farmers strongly discouraged their workers from joining the National Agricultural Labourers' Union. (Footnote 55) Agricultural depression caused the number of farm labourers to fall to 27 by 1891; there was also a cattle dealer. (Footnote 56) The trend in the late 19th century and the early 20th was towards mixed farming with sheep, pigs, and poultry reared and crops grown. Some Scottish farmers moved into the parish. In 1933 Badcocks, Easthorpe Hall, Scotties, and Easthorpe Green farms were all more than 150 a.; Little Badcocks and Little Birch Holt were smaller. In the 1930s Joseph Smith Farms Ltd. employed c. 20 men at Scotties 240-a. farm tending 20 milk cows, 5 horses, c. 6 sows, and poultry; cereals, sugar beet, and hay were grown. (Footnote 57)

 

By 1999 there were fewer farms but they were usually over 1,000 a. and farmed by tenants for land agents. At Scotties the main crops were wheat, and oil seed rape for cling film manufac- ture; lesser crops were linseed, beans, and also borage, the oil of which was used for pharma- ceutical purposes and electrical instruments. Four full-timers and two part-timers were employed. At Little Badcocks, where pigs had been kept until c. 1985, wheat, barley, rape seed, and sugar beet were grown. (Footnote 58)

Besides occupations connected with farming there were the usual village craftsmen and trad- ers, for example, a ploughwright in 1618, a butcher in 1621, (Footnote 59) and two chandlers in 1777. (Footnote 60) Wills survive of a tailor (d. 1612) and a clothier (d. 1675). (Footnote 61) Recorded occupations included a maltster, a shopkeeper/shoemaker, and a black- smith who kept a beerhouse (1848), a thatcher (1851), two wheelwrights and a butcher (1871), and a teacher (1891). Of the women, a few worked in domestic service and by 1891 five were tailoresses or dressmakers. (Footnote 62) The parish was considered an attractive residential area for commuters from 1930 or earlier. In the later 20th century many people commuted to work in London, Colchester, or nearby towns. (Footnote 63)

The mill recorded in 1247, was probably that on Great Birch manor. (Footnote 64)

From: British History Online

Source: Easthorpe: Economic history. A History of the County of Essex: Volume X, Janet Cooper (Editor) (2001).

URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=15235

Date: 19/07/2004

Copyright 2003 University of London & History of Parliament Trust