As our October meeting had to cancelled I thought I would produce as a newsletter an update of what I have been researching since March this year.
We were lucky in February to be able to host David Victor from Chapel Leigh who gave us the interesting talk on the Periam family who have their memorials in the Chancel of St Michael’s right next to the altar rail. John Periam had been the Steward for the King in Milverton dying in 1711. His son Zacharriah has his memorial next to his father dying only 27 years later n 1738.
I had started logging the church floor memorials and had attempted some brass rubbing before the church had to close. I also had managed to copy and laminate the church monumental inscriptions file which was undertaken by the Somerset and Dorset Family History Group in 2013. This compliments the file prepared by Andrew Bowman who has researched and plotted the churchyard burials he has managed to identify. This project with its plan enables grave stones to be located in the 13 Zones by name and zone.
As well as researching on foot, Andrew, with the help of a friend with a drone and GPS created as accurate a plan of grave sites as possible. These two files can be found on the bier by the millennium glass doors at the back of the church next to the file of burials compiled by Teegan Stainer.
During the lockdown I began transcribing the wonderful document the Poor Rate Ledger which the Milverton Archive is lucky enough to have been given for safe keeping. This Ledger records from 1802 the amount of money collected by the churchwardens from land and property owners of the Parish of Milverton. The money collected was distributed to the poor of the village.
A rate was set usually at 4 shillings in the pound and a ratable value set on every such property or area of land. This rate was levied quarterly. The highest rate set was for the Parsonage (the Old House ) at 90 which meant £18 in very old money! It gives the names of the owners and the names of the property and the land owned. The areas of Milverton are divided into sections:
- the Borough
- Houndsmoor and Weekmoor
- Sminhay and Horridgedown
- Preston Bowyer
However, the important people living in the important houses are so well known by the village that only ‘his house’ is given and not the actual property name.
John Cridland is named as owning the Great House which may have been an old Mansion on the site of the Iron Gates and Queens Walk in Silver Street. Most names of properties and land carried on through to the time of the Tithe apportionments in 1841 to 1842 in Milverton and until today.
Do get in touch if you have any comments, or extra information to share.