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only by the changes which the lapse of time naturally brought about in the designations of the various lands or tenements, and their respective occupants.
After enumerating the various lands belonging to the Rectory, amongst which were plots of ground called-Prebend Close,― Parson's Hamme,-Parson's Gore,-Nithes,-a little dole in Stanton Meade,-three halves (acres) in Whetton Ditch,-the same quantity upon Stibbe, and in the Panne,-one halve (acre) in crosse furlong shooting upon Harepath way, -the Terrier for 1608, thus recites the privileges of the Rector :
"Item feeding for fourty and two sheep upon the East Down Item feeding for three Rother beastes upon the East Downes. Item feeding for thirty sheep in the common fields.
Item one beaste leaze and three sheep leaze in Farrell.
Item four kine leaze in the farme ground called Hill ground and the meade adjoining either into Great Oxmoore or into Ould-meade, to be kept from the feast of the Invention of the Crosse until St. Martin's day.
Item we present that we have heard that the Parson ought to have eight oxen to goe and to feed with the farmers' oxen but we did never know them to goe there, but only foure markes in money to have been paid ".*
HURCH LAND AND HOUSE
There is no evidence of any land having ever been left to the parish for church purposes. The east end of the Rectory House, was built during the Incumbency of Mr. Davis, 1800-1807, and some rooms to the west were added by the present Rector. The oldest portion of the building is the centre facing the church-yard, on which there is the date, A.D. 1642, which was formerly approached by a road running through the middle of the opposite garden. Nearly all the space now occupied by a walled kitchengarden to the south-west was more than fifty years ago taken up by a pond. The fine beech tree on the lawn of the Rectory was planted by Mr. Methuen on his first entering on the Incumbency, and is therefore now some 57 years old.
This is the old Anglo-Saxon word here-pap, literally army-path, a road wide enough for the passage of an army. The word is commonly used to designate what we now call a high road, and is of very frequent occurrence in ancient charters.
In the Terrier for 1783, the matter is thus more fully explained :-"The Parson ought to have eight oxen to go and feed with the farmers' oxen, but we did never know them to go there but only four marks in money by the year, which the Farmer did usually pay to the Parson."
The only bequest to the poor of this parish is one of £500 by Ann Lavington, left in trust of the Rector and Churchwardens, "to be invested in Government stocks, or funds, or freehold security,' the interest to be given annually amongst "the necessitous and deserving poor." This Charity is recorded on a board at the west end of the Church. There exists a village club, but most of the people perceive the superior advantages and greater security of the County Friendly Society to which several belong. There is also a village Clothing Club in which a considerable number of the poorer inhabitants are depositors.
The school-room which stands on a piece of land to the northeast of the church-yard, given for the purpose by the late Lord Ashburton, was erected in 1833. It is under Government inspection and has received aid from the Committee of Council towards various alterations and improvements, but is unconnected with any society. It is supported by public grants, private subscriptions, and the pence of the children. The teachers are a certificated master and mistress, and the school a mixed one. The number of children on the books are about 120, the girls being about 5 per cent more than the boys, and the average attendance about 90. The school was placed on its present improved footing in 1856. There is a fair lending library under the care of the Schoolmaster.
The following numbers are taken from the census of the respective years:
A.D. 1801 1811 .
518 148 179
1821. 1831. 1841. 1851 . 1861.
603 132 252
643 162 270
10 . 14
452 : 417 : 508
: 459 : 438 : 493 :
: 574 :
159 252 20
The following names, occuring in the earliest register, are still borne by families living in the place, an evidence of the fixed nature of the population. Alice Russ, 1579: Henry Hiscox, 1579: Jane Hibbard, 1581: Thomas Birrott, (Berrett) 1581: William Clement, 1581: Camberlan (Chamberlain) 1597: William Merrett, 1581 Alice Pottinger, 1585: Frankling, 1598: Christopher Masling, 1580: John Beak, 1583: John Godman (Goodman) 1585: John Dornford (Durnford), 1581: Edward Tucker, 1608: William Swanborough, 1608: John Tasker, 1614: William Simes (Sims), 1618 Richard Baylie, 1620: Mary Rabbet, 1622: John Stevens, 1622 Elizabeth Page, 1631: Daniel Parry, 1633. Thus it appears that in a population under 650, more than twenty names may be traced back in the parish registers for 200 years and upwards. Several names now lost to the parish are met with in the earlier register, some of them belonging to respectable families, e.g., Beasant, 1613: Sloper, Shakerlie, Rumsey, Probander, Lankaster, Holloway, Knowlman, Dorchester, Goddard, Neate, and, in 1585, Cromwell. This last name is met with in the Devizes and and Stanton registers, as well as those of some of the neighbouring parishes, as at Erlestoke, Potterne and Keevil. The name is also found in the Lacock register. Mr. Waylen, in his History of Devizes, (p. 295.) remarks-" One of the younger sons of Sir Henry Cromwell, grandfather to the Protector, was Sir Philip Cromwell, of Biggin, near Upham, knighted by James I., and it is from his branch that certain of the sons are supposed to have migrated into Wiltshire, a fact confirmed by the coat of arms which Edmondson gives to the Wiltshire family of Cromwell alias Williams. Another of the younger sons of Sir Henry Cromwell, aforesaid, was Henry Cromwell, Esq., of Upham, whose name, as Henry Cromwell, alias Williams, in connexion with that of his wife, who was the widow of (Francis ?) Jones, Esq., of Newton Tony, appears as the patron of that living in 1617." The names also of Nicholas, and Ernle, occur frequently in the parish register. Of the former family we shall speak presently at some length; of the latter we shall give some particulars in an account of Etchilhampton, to which place they more properly belong.
GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS.
The practise of "mumming" at Christmas is not yet extinct in All Cannings. A number of stout lads having their faces daubed with paint, and wearing high conical straw or paper caps, in which are stuck the feathers of cocks, and sometimes peacocks, go round to the different houses in the village. They then recite some doggrel lines, and the scene terminates in a supposed combat between St. George and a Turkish Knight. The ceremony commences with a challenge on the part of Saint (or, as the lads will have it, "King") George, to any one who will fight with him. The challenge is accepted by the Turkish Knight, who exclaims 4 "I'll fight King George, the man of courage bold And if his blood be hot, I will soon make it cold.”
The Knight presently falls, and the conqueror, turning to the spectators, says
"And be there all a doctor to be found
To cure this man lyin' bleedin' on the ground."
Then a new character, called upon under the familiar name of Jack Neat, steps forward, exclaiming
"My name is not 'Jack Neat,' my name is 'Mister Neat,'
A famous doctor lately come from Spain
I cures the sick, and makes 'em well again;
I carr's a little bottle by my side,
'Noints the collar-bone of the neck, and the temple of the eye:
This terminates the performance, which is, it is believed, much the same in other surrounding parishes.
The fighting with cudgels, or back-swording, has been popular even within a few years, and always attracted admiring groups at the village green. Some persons still living, and comparatively hale men, were once doughty champions at this sort of rustic tournament. On this same spot, at the village green, by the farm of Mr. Simon Hitchcock, stood the May-pole. The last of its kind was erected in 1819, being the gift of Harry Hitchcock, Esq. It stood for ten years, and was then blown down. The heavy butt which was broken off into the ground was afterwards dug up, taken to Devizes, and sold to a carpenter, who made a coffin out of it
VOL. XI.-NO. XXXI.
in which was interred some man of that town ;-a strange and dismal ending, when contrasted with the many scenes of merriment of which it had once been the centre, and one which might serve to "point a moral, or adorn a tale." Its near neighbours were the pound and the stocks, both of which have disappeared for some 15 years past.
There is a game commonly played by the shepherds on the downs, which, it is believed, much resembles the old game called "nine men's morris." The turf is cut out in a succession of squares, one within another, and then two diagonal lines are drawn which pass through all the corners of the squares, and intersect one another in the centre. The game is played with beans or pebbles. The name given to this amusement is "Maddle."
In the Heralds' Visitation of 1623, the following families are described as of All Cannings, and pedigrees are given of each of them, viz., BARTLETT,-GOUGH,-SHELLEY,-and NICHOLAS. With the exception of the last, we know little of their history as connected with this parish.
Amongst the "disclaimers" of the title of gentleman in the visitation of 1565, were GEOFFREY GODMAN, and JOHN BARTLETT, of All Cannings. But as the pedigree of the latter occurs in the visitation of 1623, he must by that time either have made proof of his arms, or obtained a grant from the proper quarter. There is also in the same last named visitation a pedigree of John Bartlett,
1 The following is the pedigree of Bartlett of All Cannings, as given in Harl. M.S. 1443, fol. 190 b.