This is an excerpt from the book "Downton, 7000 years of an English Village" by David Waymouth.
(Note the reference to one of our Eastmans in red.) More of this book can be found on line by visiting the
Downton Village website.
Odd glimpses of life in
Downton come from licensing records and magistrates court proceedings of the
late 16th and early 17th Centuries. Central government had progressively
interfered more and more in the economic life of the country partly as
regulators and partly to raise revenue.
Many of the surviving
reports are of misdeeds, alleged or real. In 1577 John
Lecyter the Elder was fined one sixth of a pound(3/4d) by John Eyer and
Aemy Clifford, JPs, for ‘batterey of Ellen Justian’. This is of added
interest because, as mentioned earlier, we have Leicester
House still in the centre of the Borough, a William Leicester was
representing Downton in Parliament in 1301, and because the probable
descendants of John Eyer are living at Newhouse today.
[probably from Downton but there were other Eastmans at Nunton]
was indicted by Robert Bedoe of
London, yeoman, for buying sheep for 20 shillings and lambs at 10 shillings
each and selling them in Westminster within five weeks. Presumably at great
profit and without adding any value by first fattening them and illegal. He
protested his innocence but was fined just the same. In 1612 William Stockman,
Edward Fauston and Henry Welstead of Downton were turned in for engrossing,
[cornering] wheat, barley and oats. Stockman was probably the holder of Barford
from Winchester College as well as parts of the Bishop of Winchester’s Downton
estate and the man who founded Stockman’s Charity in 1626.