BoAr: Langton Indenture           Latest edit 18 Jun 2008

Interactive version and observations ©2006 R.J.PENHEY

The Bourne Archive

The Sale of Langton, Sausthorpe and Welton, 1620.


Indenture. 1st. May. James 18th year of England and 53rd of Scotland (1620).

1st part: William Langton Esq. of Langton, Lincs1.

2nd part: Richard Johnson gent. of Grimsthorpe, Lincs2.

3rd part William Lockton of Swineshead Esq. Lincs3.

Transfer of property: Three manors -

Langton by Partney, Lincs1

Sausthorpe, Lincs4

Welton, Lincs5

Outlying property of these manors was in Skendleby Thorpe (TF4270), Skendleby (TF4369), Hogsthorpe (TF5372), Sloothby (TF4970), Willoughby (TF4772) and Hagworthingham (TF3469)6.

Transfer from Langton to Johnson with provision for their further transfer to Lockton should Johnson default. In other words, Langton was selling, Johnson was buying and Lockton was lending Johnson some of the money being paid.

The Text.


This Indenture trip[ar]tite made the first day of May in the year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord James by the grace of God king of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith etcr the Eighteenth and of Scotland the three and Fiftieth.  Between William Langton of Langton in the County of Lincoln esquire of the first p[ar]te and  Richard Johnson of Grimsthorpe in the sayd county of Lincoln, gentleman, of the second part and William Lockton of Swynshead in the sayd county esquire of the third p[ar]te Witnesseth that yt ys covenanted concluded and agreed by and between all the sayd p[ar]ties to these presents and the sayd William Langton for divers good causes and consideratons him movinge both by these presents for him his heirs and Assigns covenant and grant to and with the sayd Richard Johnson and his heirs and Assigns that hee the sayd William Langton and his heires shall and will before the Feast day of Saint James the Apostle now next coming after the date hereof7 knowledge and levie in due forme of lawe unto the sayd Richard Johnson and his heirs one or more Fine or Fines sur conuzant de droit come ceo que il ad de son done8 to be pursued with proclamations according to the statute in that case made and provided or otherwise of all and singular the Mannors messuages Fermes lands Tenements and hereditaments hereafter in theis presents memorial (that is to say) Of all those the lordshipps and manors of Langton iuxta partney Saustropp alt Saucethorp and Welton or commonly called or known by the severall name or names of Langton iuxta partney Saustropp alt Saucethorpe4 and Welton5 or by any of those name or names lying and being in the said county of Lincoln with all their and every of their Rights members Jurisdictions liberties Franchises and appurtanences whatsoever And of all the Mannors messuages lands Tenements and hereditaments of the sayd William Langton called or knowne by all or any of the severall name or names of Langton  iuxta partney Saustropp alt Saucethorp9 and Welton10 or by any of those names situate lyinge and being in the sayd county of Lincoln And also of all and singular other the messuages Mylls Tofts cottages lands Tenements Meadowes pastures woods underwoods coppice waste commons waters Fyshinge Rente Reversions services Advowsons and other hereditaments whatsoever of the sayd William Langton or Reputed or taken to be the lands Tenements or hereditaments of the sayd  William Langton situat lyinge or beinge in the Towns parishes Villag[e]s hamletts liberties Fields or precincts of Skendlebythorp Skendleby Hoggestropp Slouthby Willoughby and Hagworthingham and in every or any of these places in the sayd county of Lincoln and that the sayd Fine and Fines of all the sayd Mannors Messuages lands Tenements hereditament and premises shallbe had knowledged and levyed of the sayd premisses by such name and names and by such reasonable number contents and quantities of messuages acres and otherwyse and in such other sorte and by the said p[ar]ties to theis presents or their or any of their counsell learned in the law shall bee reasonably devysed and advysed And ytt ys further covenanted concluded and agreed by and betweene all the said p[ar]ties to theis presents and the sayd p[ar]ties and every of them for them and either of them their and either of their heirs and Assigns doe by theis presents covenant graunt and agree to and with the other of them and his and their heirs that the sayd Fine and Fines soe or in any other sort howsoever to be knowledged had and levyed shallbe and bee deemed and taken to bee and the sayd Richard Johnson and his heirs and assigns shall by force and virtue thereof from thenceforth stand and be seized of all the said premisses intended to be comprised in the said Fine and Fines to and for the only use and behoofe of the sayd Richard Johnson and of his heirs and assigns to and for this only intent trust confidence and purpose that the sayd Richard Johnson and his heirs shall and may thereby become and bee the very true and only Tenant of the Freeholds of all and every the sayd Mannors messuages lands Tenements hereditaments and premisses and of every parte thereof whereby and to the end intent and purpose that a good and p[er]fect comon Recovery of all the said manors messuages lands Tenements and premisses shall and may be pursued and had by the sayd William Lockton against the sayd Richard Johnson in a writt of entre sur dissesin in le post accordinge to the manner forme and comon usage of comon Recoveries for the assuerance of lands and Tenements wherunto the sayd Richard Johnson shall appeere in p[er]son and vouche the said William Langton to warrant the sayd premisses  and the sayd William Langton shall theruppon appeere gratis and further doe and demean himself for the sufferinge of the sayd Recovery as by the councell learned in the law of the sayd p[ar]ties to theis presents shallebe devised and advised And ytt ys lastly agreed covenanted and concluded by and between all the sayd p[ar]ties to theis pesents that is the true intent and meaninge hereof and the sayd p[ar]ties and all and every of them doe hereby covennant graunt and agree for them and their heirs that the said Recovery soe to be had and suffered or in any other manner or sort howsoever the same shallbe had or suffered shallbe and be deemed construed and taken to be and the said William Lockton and his heirs and Assigns shall by force and virtue thereof from thenceforth stand and be seized of all the said mannors messuages lands Tenements hereditaments and premisses with the appurtenancs thereof to and for the only use and behoofe of the said William Langton and of his heirs and Assigns for ever and to and for noe other use intent or purpose any averment covenant clause matter or thinge to the contrary thereof in any wyse not withstandinge  In witnes whereof all the said p[ar]ties to theis presents have to every p[ar]te thereof sett their seales given the day and year first above written.

[signed] Will. Langton: Richard Johnson: W: Lockton


Sealed and delivered by all the p[ar]ties to this Indenture in the P[rese]nce of [3 signatures]  F.Howard:  Thomas ?Lomas:  Edw. Reason.

Observations [RJP]

Families rose to prominence then their prosperity faded and another took over parts of their land.  More and more, this came as a result of trade but service to the king was still an important route to fortune.  The court route was that taken by the Willoughby family which gained preferment and the Grimsthorpe Estate from Henry VIII.  In 1620, little will have happened in Grimsthorpe without being sanctioned by the family so Richard Johnson will have been closely associated with the Willoughbys (and not as a stable boy in view of the fact that he was buying three manors in one deal).  This Willoughby connection fits the interest in Langton, Sausthorpe and Welton (le Marsh) as these are all in the vicinity of Spilsby and Eresby from which the family moved after gaining access to Grimsthorpe in the late 1530s.  In the Swineshead enclosure award of 1774, another name connected with the Willoughbys, Sir Gilbert Heathcote appears prominently11.  There are still noteworthy Willoughby tombs in Spilsby church.  Both the Willoughbys and William Lockton were associated with the Royalist cause in the 1640s and, since their land was in the area latterly added to the Eastern Association, they had to keep their heads down as far as possible but nonetheless had their troubles during the interregnum.

If William Langton was selling three manors, his family had been wealthy and he was very likely in financial trouble.  The fact that his name is that of one of the places for sale, implies that the family had been there for some time.  The name was about in 1496 when a William Langton was among the signatories of a statute concerning the theft of swans’ eggs12.  The Ordnance Survey and Platts13 call the parish Langton by Spilsby but it is nearer to Partney than Spilsby and it is reasonable to assume that this is the place referred to in the document.

In 1086, Langton had been part of a collection of manors managed from Greetham14.  It belonged to Earl Hugh but had been part of Earl Harold’s property.  He of course, had forfeited it as a result of trying to keep William out and losing, not least, by dieing.  The villages with which Langton was grouped15 were particularly well supplied with mills, a valuable source of revenue.  The document refers to mills.  Although this may be a lawyer’s catch-all, the mention may well have had substance.

Holmes gives a useful picture of the milieu in which the transaction of the document was conducted16 and Southworth has the story more specifically, of the Lockton family17. John appears to have brought the name to Swineshead. He died in 1585. The tomb Sir John Lockton (1554-1610), his son is in Swineshead church.  William (c.1584-1657) was Sir John’s eldest son.  He inherited Swineshead Abbey from his father so will have been living there at the time of the document also when he signed an order regulating the treatment of plague sufferers in Holland, Lincs in 1636.18  Furthermore, he married Elizabeth Langton in December 1606.  However, by 1620 she had died as his first child by his second wife was baptised in May 161419.  Elizabeth appears to give a connection between William Langton and William Lockton, parties one and three (the vendor and the banker respectively) of the document. In 1641, William Lockton, Sir John’s eldest son, was lord of the Manor of the Moor at Swineshead. 


Google satellite photograph of the Langton-Welton le Marsh area.

1.         Langton by Spilsby, in Lindsey, grid reference TF3870. 4 km north of Spilsby.

2.         North-west of Bourne, in Kesteven, TF0422.

3.         West-south-west of Boston, in Holland, TF2340.

4.         TF3869.  Adjoins Langton

5.         Three possibilities TF0179, TF2787 & TF4768. See note 10 below

6.         All these places are in the vicinity of Langton but more markedly of Welton le Marsh.  The existence in them, of outlying property of the manors dealt with by the document, supports the hypothesis that the Welton of the document is Welton le Marsh.    For their grid references, see note 15 below.

7.         25 July 1620

8.         This appears to be Norman French and to translate as “on recognition of right as that which he has from his gift”.  In other words, in consideration of the payment he has made. En reconnaissance de droit comme ce  qu’il a de son don, [En reconnaissance du  droit dû à lui, moyennant contrepartie valable], would probably be the equivalent in modern, standard French.

9.         Sausthorpe is the parish next southwards from Langton.

10.       Welton le Marsh, also near Partney, is at TF4768.  However, there are also Welton le Wold (TF2787) West of Louth and Welton (TF0179) North of Lincoln.  Saxton’s map of the county (1576) shows each of them as simply “Welton”.

11.       Southworth, Pamela A.; A History of Swineshead; Richard Kay; Boston; 1996.

12.       Thompson, Pishey; The History and Antiquities of Boston and the Hundred of Skirbeck; Noble: Boston: 1856  (Facsimile edition, Heritage Lincolnshire, 1997), p.677.

13.       Platts, Graham; Land and People in Medieval Lincolnshire; History of Lincolnshire Committee; Lincoln; 1985.

14.       TF3070

15.       Langton TF3970, Hagworthingham TF3469 (both mentioned in the document), Salmonby TF3273, Tetford TF3374, Brinkhill TF3773, Winceby TF3268 and Claxby TF4571 (Claxby Pluckacre is at TF3065).  All but Claxby are in the basin of the river Lymn.

16.       Holmes, Clive; Seventeenth Century Lincolnshire; History of Lincolnshire Committee; Lincoln; 1980; Chapter 6.

17.       Southworth, ibid. Appendix 4.

18.       Southworth, ibid. Appendix 2.

19.       Southworth, ibid. Appendix 1.

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