Bourne Archive: FNQ: C17 Civil War           Latest edit 11 Aug 2009.   

Interactive version ©2006 R.J.PENHEY

The Bourne Archive


Fenland Notes and Queries. Edited by Rev. W.D. Sweeting, Rector of Maxey.

Part 47. October  1900.

This quarterly periodical took the form of a forum in which people sent in questions about the history, ecology and so on of the Fens and the region’s environs and others replied with some sort of answer. Some ‘answers’ seem to have been spontaneous, so qualifying as ‘notes’. Editorial notes in the form [note] are those of FNQ; those in the form [note] are those of RJP.

This document is a continuation of the thread from FNQ 834.

Seventeenth Century Civil War

860 – Delinquents around Peterborough (834). – The defeated loyalists were not harshly dealt with by the Committee at Goldsmiths’ Hall, unless there were any suspicion of recusancy. The Papists were ruined men. The estate of William Bawde of Walgrave was ordered to be sold and the proceeds to go to pay Parliament’s debt to the shoemakers at Northampton; but a mere delinquent was glad to be let off with his fine of 1/6th. Christopher Thursby, of Castor, “compounded on his own discovery according to the vote of Parliament.” Small estates not worth £200 were not assessed. This was the case with Henry Finimore of Yaxley. Minors did not escape. If old enough to fight; old enough to compound. In 1645 Adam Claypole, [A kinsman of Sir J. Claypole, Master of the Horse to the Protector, whose daughter Elizabeth he married.] of West Deeping, co. Lincs., compounded for delinquency, being in arms for the King under Lord Loughborough, for the three years, and being under 21 years of age. His fine was £600.

Oldfeild of Spalding

[Anthony Oldfeild, son of John, of Bingley, co. Yorks., attorney, came to Spalding in 1590. He married Margaret Read of Pinchbeck in 1596. He acquired Spalding Rectory in 1609.]

Those who had opposed the Court about “Shipping Money” adhered to the interest of the Parliament when the Troubles began. John Oldfeild, [Married to Mary Blythe of Denton, co. Lincs. Died at Spalding 1659. His son Anthony, attorney, born 1626; married to Eliz. Gresham, of Titsey, Surrey. He died at Spalding in 1668, aet. 42, S.P. His death was caused by injuries received in a riot of the Spalding watermen. He was created a baronet in 1660 and acted as High Sheriff of Lincolnshire in 1661. See MS. Visitation of Lincs., 1634, at College of Arms; pressmark in the Library, C. 23.] of Spalding, was one of the number, but he was “suspect” in 1642, when he left London, and the Committee of safety issued their warrant for his apprehension and conveyance to London to answer objections. He was fighting till the surrender of Newark to the Parliament in 1646. His petition is as follows: ---

To the hoble the Comittee at Goldsmiths Hall for Composicons with delinquents.

The humble peticon of John Oldfeild of Spalding in the County of Lincoln esqr.

Sheweth That yor petnr having borne armes agt the Parliament being in Newark when the same was surrendred to the pliament had liberty by the articles to come hither and compound for his estate whose evidences being out of the petnrs power he cannot for want thereof make his pticuler who having taken the naconall oathe and Covenant.

Humbly prayeth letters may be sent downe to the Comittee in Lincolnshire to certefy the pticulers of the petrs estate with the yerly charges issueing thereout for the time past and to come and that for the expediting of the matter the petr may have liberty in pson to attend his businesse in the country

28 May, 1646                        And he shall ever pray &c.

            Order to certify                                John Oldfeild

Referd to ye sub. Comittee.

In his “particular” Mr Oldfeild returns the Priory site and lands, where he dwelt, as of the annual value of £230; and the total value of his estate at £1300. He claimed a deduction of £2000 [sic], the amount of a Public Faith Bill issued in favour of his mother Margaret; and in respect of a debt of £1400 to the children of Christopher Clapham, Esq.; and for a loan of £200 made to Parliament in 1642; and for two suits of hangings sold, since he submitted to Parliament, by the sequestrator who had them in his custody, for £20, they being worth more than £40.

The estate being large and difficult to assess, the Committee ordered a local enquiry. The report of the agents of the Committee furnished a good account of Mr. Oldfeild’s doings and affairs. It is as follows: ---


In pursuance of your Order of the 28th of May wch wee received the 16th June following we certifie: that John Oldfeild of Spalding esqr att the first beginning of these warres did voluntarily contribute two horses with men and armes to the forces raysed against the Parliament.



Mr. Oldfeild’s fine was fixed at £1390. He found it desirable to obtain a pardon under the Great Seal, and reinvestment of his lands and goods. This pardon is rarely met with. Possibly the fees for passing the Seal were prohibitory. Pardons on Compositions have been described as “a device to fill the pockets “ of the state lawyers, and the discharge of Compounders was often delayed till they had sued out a pardon. This was so with the following: ---

Richard Wyche of Croyland

[Members of this family are referred to in manorial affairs from 1500 to 1700. William Wyche in 1611 was acting as bailiff of the manor for King James I.]

[In 1741/2, an L. Wyche was tendering his bill for seemingly legal services to Matthew Clay.]

He pleads duress to excuse himself for fighting against Parliament at the Siege of Croyland: ---

                              To the honorable Comittee of Goldsmith Hall London.

The humble petition of Richard Weech of Croyland in ye County of Lincoln yeoman.


That yor petitioner in ye yeare 1642 was by ye enemy who were then Masters of Croyland, he then living in ye said Towne, was compelled to take up Armes against ye Parlyamt. But he in obedience to an Ordinance of Parlyamt so soon as he was out of their power he submitted himself to ye justice and mercy of yt honourable court and willingly and freely tendered himselfe to their protection about  ye last of February 1643 taking ye covenant and protestacon and hath ever since lived and behaved himselfe obediently to ye commands of Parlyamt and is ready with his life and ffortune to serve them notwithstanding all wch yor petitioner hath his estate being sixteeine pounds p. ann. sequestred and is likely to be put to great extremity unless your honors pleas to take it into your consideration and

                                    yr petitioner shall dayly praie &c.

                                                Richard Wyche.

Mr. Wyche’s house had been looted, all his personal estate lost, and the County Agent of the Committee certified that “he hath lived in the Parliament’s quarters above a year and hath demened himself well towards the officers and souldiers under the Parliament’s command as Lieut. Collonel Dodson says,” Nevertheless his fine was £50.

Poyntz of Dogsthorpe

Major Genl. Poyntz in the army of the Parliament is well known but most of his kinsmen were fighting for the King. Captn. Newdigate Poyntz was killed at Gainsborough; and as he had assigned his property before the Civil War began, his estate was nominal: yet a fine of £30 was imposed on his widow, who lodged this short petition:---

30th Apl. 1646. The humble petition of Mary Poyntz widdowe late wife of Newdigate Poyntz deceased. Sheweth that yor petnr’s husband was captain of a troope of horse under the command of Colonel Candish in the garrison of Newark and at the siege of Gainsborough he was slaine.

The widow’s case was urged by Speaker Lenthall, who wrote thus on her behalf to the Committee at Goldsmiths’ Hall:---

“Gentlemen, This bearer’s late husband Captain Newdigate Poynes haveinge beene in armes about three yeares since, and now being dead and she left with five younge children, her case hath been specially recommended to mee by her brother, Major Genl Poynes now at ye siege at Newarke, that you and the house might be acquainted terewit, hee making it his request that she might receive favour for his sake; which I am confident the house will doe; nevertheless she desires herewith to present herself and her case unto you wch I shall upon sight accordinge to ye desire of Genl. Poyntz acquaint  you withal and the house when it shall come thither, ever resting               Your assured friend             30 April 1646                                                Wm. Lenthall.

Mathew Robinson of Longthorpe

The Robinsons held Longthorpe manor on lease from the Dean and Chapter of Peterborough. The fee of this manor was held by the Wittlibury family till the reign of Henry VII. It was then conveyed to the Abbot and Convent, and at the erection of the See it was granted to the Dean and Chapter, who held it till the Ecclesiastical Commissioners sold it to the Fitzwilliams.

Mathew Robinson’s delinquency was occasioned by deserting his dwelling and living in Newark, while it was a garrison for the King’s forces. His estate was worth about £300 a year, and his fine was £850.

L. Gaches.

 [There are chronologies of events nationally and nearer Lincolnshire, which might be useful in providing a context for the above information.]

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