Bourne Archive: Doc: Economy               Latest edit 30 Nov 2009.   

Interactive version ©2008 R.J.PENHEY

The Bourne Archive

 Notice of the proceedings at a public meeting, concerning Bourne markets and fairs: 1824.

Names mentioned.

People.                                                Places.

Edward Arden                                                 Bourn

Edward Baker                                                  Stamford

Robert Chapman                                             Town-Hall

R. W. Chapman

John Clifton


Mr. Edwards

Edward Eldret

Marquis of Exeter

Thomas Green

Henry Hand

William Hardwick

John Harrison

John Hodgkin

Hugh Holland

William Hopkinson

Daniel Larratt

Thomas Lawrence

William Lawrence

William Layton

William Munton

John Mawby

Robert Nicholls

John Osborn

George Pochin

Henry Ryde

Edward Thompson

John Ullett





Fairs & Markets




TOWN-HALL, Bourn, Saturday, 21st August, 1824.

AT a very numerous and respectable Meeting held at the place and time above-mentioned, pursuant to advertisement, to consider of the Expediency of Re-establishing the ancient Fairs, and establishing a Weekly Corn Market;

Mr. HENRY RYDE (Agent to the Marquis of Exeter) in the Chair;

The following RESOLUTIONS were unanimously agreed to:

1st. That in consequence of the great number of cattle bred and fed in the neighbourhood, and from the great quantity of corn and other agricultural produce supplied from a large tract of fertile land surrounding the Market-town of Bourn, and from the extensive improvements and accommodations recently made and now making there, it is the opinion of this meeting, that the Town of Bourn affords a most convenient situation whereat to hold FAIRS for the SALE and PURCHASE of CATTLE of all descriptions, and of all other articles of AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE.

2nd. That the Re-establishment of Three of the Fairs formerly held at Bourn would be of considerable advantage, not only to the breeders, feeders, and purchasers of cattle, but also to the consumers, and all other persons in the town of Bourn and the country adjacent.

3rd. That Three Fairs be in future held in the Town of Bourn in every year, for the sale and purchase of Fat and Store Cattle, and of all other articles; namely, on the Seventh day of April, the Sixth day of May, and the twenty-ninth day of October, except when such days or any one of them shall fall on a Sunday, and then on the Saturday immediately preceding such fair days.

4th. That as the next Fair will be held on Friday the 29th day of October next, this Meeting doth pledge itself that a Supply of Fat and Store Cattle of all sorts, equal to the probable demand, shall be forthcoming at the ensuing Fairs.

5th. That the following persons be, and they are hereby appointed, a COMMITTEE, viz., Messrs.

EDWARD ARDEN,                   WILLIAM LAWRENCE,                 THOMAS GREEN,            JOHN OSBORN,                JOHN CLIFTON,


WILLIAM HOPKINSON,       WILLIAM HARDWICK,                 JOHN HODGKIN,             JOHN HARRISON,                          AND

ROBERT NICHOLLS,               HUGH HOLLAND,                           EDWARD BAKER,            WILLIAM LAYTON,       JOHN MAWBY,

JOHN ULLETT,                         HENRY HAND,                                 EDWARD ELDRET,          R. W. CHAPMAN,

with power to add to their number; and that they be requested to make all necessary arrangements for the accommodation of buyers and sellers and stock at the ensuing fairs, and that Five of such Committee be a Quorum.

6th. It being the opinion of this Meeting that great advantages would result, as well to the growers of corn in the neighbourhood of Bourn as to the buyers thereof, if the WEEKLY CORN MARKET at Bourn were re-established, -- Resolved, that the persons present at this meeting do use their utmost endeavours to procure such a show of samples of corn on each weekly market-day, as will ensure the buyers a steady and certain supply equal to the demand and that the first show of such samples be made on Saturday the 30th day of October next.

7th. That a subscription be entered into to defray the expenses of advertisements, and other incidental expenses; and that such subscription be forthwith paid to Mr. John Mawby, of Bourn, to be at the disposal of the Committee.

8th. That these Resolutions be thrice inserted in each of the Stamford Newspapers, and Copies printed and distributed in the town and neighbourhood of Bourn.

Signed at the request of the meeting,

HENRY RYDE, Chairman.


The Chair being vacated, the Thanks of the Meeting were unanimously voted to the Chairman for his able conduct in the chair, and to Mr. Edwards (agent to George Pochin, Esq.) for his zeal in promoting the objects of the Meeting.




A photocopy of this document was kindly given to me by Mrs. P. M. Edmunds.

Viz. is an abbreviation of the Latin vide-licet and is read as ‘namely’ or ‘that is to say’.

Today, there is little pastoral or mixed pastoral and arable farming in the vicinity of Bourne. In the early nineteenth century, things were different. Heavy machinery was not available for working heavy land so that was more economically used as pasture. There was no nylon, terylene and so on, so wool was much in demand for making clothes. There was no railway for transporting meat. So animals were bred, reared and fattened for market in areas which tended to be progressively nearer to the main markets, so that between each stage, the animals moved on the hoof and the business was widespread. Refrigeration was not available so meat was not produced in Argentina or New Zealand and shipped to England.

Even commercial canning was a couple or three decades away. The effects of experiments in this direction were seen in the expedition of the Lincolnshire man, John Franklin.  Around the time of the document, William Cobbett noted (Rural Rides) with approval, the quality of the grassland in the Fens. Nonetheless, the promoters of the marketing scheme were probably nudged into it by the agricultural depression which was biting by this time. Bourne Town Hall had been built as the court house in 1820-21 as part of a pattern of fear of unrest such as had been seen in France in the preceding decades.

Socio-economic pressures had led to the outlawry of slave trading and would lead to Roman Catholic emancipation, the Reform Act, emancipation of slaves, Factory Acts, the Poor Law Amendment Act and so on. This was a time of economic uncertainty and change but under the leadership of the two main estates in the parish, businessmen were seeking to get themselves organized.

The selection of printers at Stamford can probably be accounted for by the fact that the Exeter Estate office was in that town and Mr. Ryde probably took the work back there to be done.

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