St Ippolyts

A county parish in the nineteenth Century

Daphne Rance

Egon Publishers Ltd, 1987

hardback, 22 cm, v + 214 pages, map, index, and many illustrations.

The day when the Reverend William Lax became vicar of St Ippolyts and the day when Mrs Agnes Palmer put on her best black bombazine dress to be photographed in front of the rebuilt Greyhound pub were separated by a hundred years of surging change, during which the population of the parish more than doubled and the very landscape was rearranged.

Our grandparents and great-grand-parents were nineteenth-century people. Their lives were full of the drama of hope and fear and sudden death, of wisdom and ignorance, new inventions and old losses, but for many it was a limited and comfortless time compared to today. Homes, farms, schooling, social conscience and local government all changed remarkably, but Today is built on Yesterday's foundations. [Book cover]

Map of the Parish    6
CHAPTER I    The Reverend William Lax and his new parish   9
CHAPTER II    Isaac Newton's Observatory. Caring for the Poor    18
CHAPTER III    Enclosure of the Common Fields, and a Riot    26
CHAPTER IV    Increased population reduces the standard of living    34
CHAPTER V    The Lax family and their butler. Another Riot    46
CHAPTER VI    Parish Roads. The adventurous Mr Curling    56
CHAPTER VII    The Reverend Thomas Steel. Workhouse and School    62
CHAPTER VIII    Cholera epidemic. The coming of the Railway. The parishioners in 1851    81
CHAPTER IX    Annie Fisher's Journal and the Reverend Fenton Hort's letters    93
CHAPTER X    Farmers, Non-conformists, Millers, and Sudden Death    100
CHAPTER XI    The Amoses of Stibbs. Woodlands. Policemen    115
CHAPTER XII    Restoration of the Church. 'Good Works' and Leisure    124
CHAPTER XIII    The Workers. Union Meetings. The 1885 Election    137
CHAPTER XIV    Agricultural Depression. Suicide. Arson    150
CHAPTER XV    Carriage Folk. Church Life. Miss Augusta Carey    165
CHAPTER XVI    Cottage Life at the end of the Century    180
CHAPTER XVII    Not All Roses    192
Notes on sources    205
Index     209

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       Map of St Ippolyts
   Thresholds   1
   The Church in St Ippolyts,1500-1640   14
   The Church in St Ippolyts,1640-1670   27
   The Church in St Ippolyts,1670-1750   38
   The Church in St Ippolyts,1750-1800   48
   The Manor of Maydencroft   55
   Widow Cock of Maydencroft   65
   Maydencroft, 1623-1800   76
   The Manor of Almshoe Bury   85
10    Little Almshoe   94
11    Brook End   110
12    House Histories   119
13    Working Together   131
14    Millers and Mills and Misdemeanours   145
15    Farmers and Farming   155
16    Medical Matters and Mortality   I67
         Appendix   I77
          Index   181

The Yeomen of Ippolyts

Daphne Rance

Cortney Publications, 1996

hardback, 22 cm, vii + 184 pages, map and feint line drawings under text,

How did the Civil War affect St Ippolyts? Did King Henry VIII really stay at his manor of Maydencroft for the hunting and did he twice nearly lose his life here? What had Dr. Samuel Johnson to do with this place? You may have thought that history passed this little parish by, but you would be wrong and William the Conqueror's shadow lies across its hills and John Bunyan preached in its hollows.

Perhaps more importantly this is the story of the men and women who lived their whole lives here - the farmers who cultivated the fields of Almshoe Bury and Brookend Farm,  the wayward millers of Charlton's Domesday watermill, the carpenters, shoemakers and blacksmiths who kept the village economy running smoothly. Certain individuals are unforgettable, such as the widow Cock of Maydencroft who organised her Elizabethan household magnificently and took burglars and treasure-seekers in her stride, or the meticulous John Hobbs whose mere appearance on somebody's doorstep was apt to set the gossips forecasting a death.

Daphne Rance has produced a book that starts by introducing us to Hippolytus the scholar-priest of the third century B.C. to whom the church is dedicated and then leads us through the houses and farmyards of the yeoman families who were the backbone of St Ippolyts in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries together with the whole range of their neighbours - the poor, the priests, and the apothecaries. By the end of it we feel we really know what it was like to live in this country parish before 1800.  [Book cover]

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Page updated August 2010