Stock History
By Charles Phillips
At the time of Napoleon, the British naturally took precautions against his invading the country. Chelmsford was the northern hub of the defences of London if Napoleon decided to invade the north-east Essex coast or Suffolk. There were troops all over the place, defences were built across the high ground from Galleywood to Moulsham. According to Eva E Barrett writing in the Essex Review in 1913, almost all the male population of Essex was under some form of military training, either in the militia, which was a standing auxiliary army; volunteer army corps; guides; pioneers to either open roads for the army or close them to the enemy; or guerrillas to harass and annoy the enemy without coming to any regular engagement. The nobility, gentry and farmers were asked to sign statements showing how many wagons, horses and carts could be placed at the disposal of the country. Millers and bakers had to send in details of how much flour and bread they could supply.
Preparations that were drawn up included plans for evacuation of civilians. It was proposed to have stationed three battalions on Stock Common, two to the right and on to the left if the worst had come to worst. Additionally Stock was earmarked as the rendezvous point for the women and children of the Rochford Hundred. It is also known that at least seven regiments had troops billeted in the area, possibly more. Some of these were Irish and possibly brought their families with them. They certainly married and their children were baptised, although, being Irish, most were Catholic and thus the French priest conducted sacraments for Irish soldiers who were defending England against France.
One thing that did not happen was the construction of a warning beacon at Stock, although there were locations at Langdon Hills and Danbury.
The Evangelical Revival of the 18th century had a marked effect in Essex. Between 1795 and 1825 about 25 chapels and places of worship for the so-called Independents were formed, including one in Stock. In June 1798 the Essex Congregational Union had been formed with about 32 Chapels in the county. One outstanding name was William Moss, who came to Stock at the end of the 18th century. Moss, whose ancestors included some who had held high office in the Church of England, had converted for reasons that are unclear. When lie arrived in Stock he gathered some like-minded people around him and in 1801 set up the first Independent or Congregational Church in Stock. There was no building, so the congregation had to meet in his house - the Mill House. For this he had to obtain a license from the Anglican Bishop of the Diocese, which was London. In 1812 a plot of land at the centre of the village at the rear of Tyle House was purchased for a chapel, which opened in 1813. The original owners of the property were William and Sarah Jarvis.
An interesting sideline from this period was that in 1814, according to the Rev Gibson, six sheep belonging to a Stock farmer went missing in a very heavy snowfall. When they were found over a week later under the snow, they were alive, albeit somewhat thin. To stay alive they had not only eaten all herbage that was within their reach under the snow, but also some of their coats. There can't have been much nutrition in wool. The snow provided them with water to drink. Sadly, the early part of the 19th century seems to have seen the end of the pottery industry in Stock.
It was at this time that the size of Stock Common was reduced by enclosure. The enclosure of open land formerly used by the whole community for exclusive use of one landowner or a tenant of his or hers was a controversial subject. It was something that had gone on from before the Reformation, but which gathered momentum in the 18th and 19th centuries. For the small farmer who had used common land to keep his livestock on, and was no longer able to do so, it could mean ruin. It seems that there had been attempts to enclose parts of Stock Common from at least 1709, and that some part appears to be have been enclosed in about 1760, with some more being enclosed in 1815. There was an almost fabled beating of the bounds (boundary) of Stock on 21st April 1817, by 20 parishioners including the Rector, the Rev George Edison. It started and ended in the Tap Room of the Cock, because the parish boundary ran through the Cock. I suspect that for reasons of conviviality the Cock was chosen rather than somewhere else, such as the Cricket Ground (which proves that cricket was definitely established in Stock by this time) or the Workhouse, both listed in the account. At one time inns had three or even four bars. There was the Saloon, where the gentry drank; the Tap Room, where the middle class drank; the Snug Room where upper and middle class ladies could foregather and partake of drink, as the bars of inns were not regarded as places for ladies; and the Public Bar where the lower class drank - in the latter men and women mixed.
This was the age of the industrial revolution and this meant many things, including improved roads. A number of roads were taken over by independent trusts to maintain them. This, amongst other things, involved erecting tollgates, through which everyone except the clergy, soldiers, sailors, church-goers and mail coaches had to pay. None of the roads through Stock was taken over by a trust, and local roads must have been in rather a bad state.
In 1825 there was a proposal for a London to Ipswich Railway, which would have passed through the parish of Buttsbury, using horses to haul the trains as the steam locomotive was in its infancy. Nothing came of it. The railway would have passed between Buttsbury church and Buttsbury bridge.
In 1829 the Metropolitan Police, Britain's first proper police force, was formed. That year at Rainhill in Lancashire, on the then uncompleted Liverpool and Manchester Railway trials were held between steam locomotives of different specifications which were required to satisfactorily haul different specified loads at specific speeds so as to determine whether the new railway would be worked steam power or by horse and by fixed rope. The fact that George Stephenson's Rocket successfully did all that was required heralded the start of the railway age. The Catholic Emancipation Act (one of whose sponsors was Lord Petre) was passed, which removed most blocks to Catholics taking part in public life, including being members of the House of Commons. This was followed in 1832 by the Reform Act, which increased the franchise to include a few extra middle class male householders.
Pigot's Directory for Essex for 1832-33 reveals that in the 1831 census population of Stock was 619 and of Buttsbury 515, giving a grand total of 1,134. The combined village boasted three taverns and public houses - The Cock and the King's Head in the parish of Stock and the White Bear Inn in Buttsbury (note that name!). No mention is made of the various ale houses which existed, but there was a retailer of beer. There were two millers, three grocers and drapers, including one that also dealt in china, glass and earthenware, two bakers, a maltster, a blacksmith, two butchers, four shoe/and bootmakers, a tailor, a corn dealer, a corn chandler, a plumber, glazier and painter, a carpenter, a blacksmith, a wheelwright, a ladies boarding and day
school, a wood turner and no less than five bricklayers: one of the five was a woman. The gentry was represented by the two Rev Edisons, Edward and George, at the
Rectory (the latter was uncle of the former), the Rev John Lewis and Gibson Lewis of Buttsbury. As to what position the Rev John held I'm not sure. There was also Thomas Eldridge of Stock Hall. Certain familiar local names crop up: all the bricklayers were Jarvis; there was a Makings, a Plumb, a Moss, a Galloway, a Low, an Oddy. There was a poor house (workhouse). There was a stagecoach on Fridays to Chelmsford from the King's Head. The entry for Billericay in the directory mentions a daily omnibus between Billericay and Chelmsford, which would have passed through the village. The soil in the area is described as being gravelly, but towards the common is described as producing good crops of corn. Whilst the Anglican churches of All Saints, Stock, and that of Buttsbury, as well as the dissenters' chapel are mentioned, nothing is included regarding Catholics.
Rectory (the latter was uncle of the former), the Rev John Lewis and Gibson Lewis of Buttsbury. As to what position the Rev John held I'm not sure. There was also Thomas Eldridge of Stock Hall. Certain familiar local names crop up: all the bricklayers were Jarvis; there was a Makings, a Plumb, a Moss, a Galloway, a Low, an Oddy. There was a poor house (workhouse). There was a stagecoach on Fridays to Chelmsford from the King's Head. The entry for Billericay in the directory mentions a daily omnibus between Billericay and Chelmsford, which would have passed through the village. The soil in the area is described as being gravelly, but towards the common is described as producing good crops of corn. Whilst the Anglican churches of All Saints, Stock, and that of Buttsbury, as well as the dissenters' chapel are mentioned, nothing is included regarding Catholics.
There were two fairs held in the area - the Stock Fair and the Leather Bottle Fair, the first on Whit-Monday, the other on Whit-Tuesday. In the Stock Fair, which attracted visitors from surrounding villages, stalls selling sweets, cakes and fruit were erected in the street opposite the Bear. There was a dinner held by the members of the Men's Benefit Club. A game of skittles was played using four pins instead of nine, but these four were somewhat larger than those used in the nine pin game. Quoits were also played. A favourite competition was walking the greasy pole over the Weir Pond. At this and other times of the year, but particularly so at this time, a great cricket match was played on the Common, starting at 11 a.m. and continuing with intervals for lunch and tea until about 6.30. In the evening the members of the Men's Benefit Club would all meet with a large blue flag and go round the large houses ringing a bell and intimating that contributions would to the club would be gratefully received.
The Leather Bottle Fair was held at Leather Bottle Hamlet - a few houses and a beer shop called the Leather Bottle, just outside the parish boundary in West Hanningfield. There were stalls selling various merchandise and various games - a greasy pole with a leg of mutton on top for the men to climb for. There was a competition for drinking a pint of boiling tea for the women, she who did so first won the prize. For the boys a line was put across a gateway and on it treacle rolls; their hands were tied behind them and they were required to get the roll off and eat it - he who did so first won the prize.
In 1831 Crondon Park mission was abandoned, not because of falling numbers, but the difficulty of finding an incumbent and also the question of lay patronage had become acute. The last of the Berington family had died in 1818. The Crondon estate apparently moved into debt. The Mason family left. Yet the actual number of Catholics in the area was growing. The was an increase in numbers from 47 in 1814 to 64 in 1827. With the abandonment of the mission Catholics had to go elsewhere for services. The nearest place was Ingatestone Hall, which had a chapel.
The late 1830s to early 1840s saw a number of changes in the area. The workhouse was closed before 1846 as Kelly's Directory of that year describes Stock and Buttsbury as being in the Chelmsford Union and there is no mention of a workhouse. However the building was not demolished, but was turned into five houses, which still exist. In 1839 the National School was opened at the top of the hill at the bottom of what became School Lane. This building still exists, but is now a private house. One event that had impact on the area was the construction of the Eastern Counties Railway from London to Colchester, which had reached Brentwood from London in 1840 and, although the line seems to have been completed to Colchester by the end of 1842, it was not opened from Brentwood until 1843. The building of the line and the trial runs of some engines in 1842 must have attracted some interest. When the line was originally opened in 1843 a station was opened at lngatestone where the Stock Road crosses the line on a bridge. Some almshouses were demolished and one of the survivors was turned into a station building. It seems that Lord Petre objected on some grounds to the location of the station at the site, which was closed and some legal wrangling took place. Lord Petre made some money out of this, in addition to what he got from the railway for the purchase of his land where it was needed for its construction. He invested the money - in the London and South Western Railway. In 1844 a station was opened at the current site. The original site was convenient for both Ingatestone, being quite near the High Street, and Stock; the new site was and is totally inconvenient and possibly prevented the growth of Ingatestone. While there was no station at Ingatestone the nearest was Chelmsford. Had the station at Ingatestone remained in its original site it is arguable that the village would have grown bigger and it, rather than Billericay, would have become the main town to which the people of the village went. There was no branch line or private railway proposed to Stock to serve the brick works.
Buttsbury featured in a railway proposal of 1845. The Metropolitan Railways Junction Railway of that year was proposed to have run from Reigate to West Tilbury in a clockwise direction round the outside of London. In Essex from Chelmsford it would have gone through Widford Margaretting, Fryerning, Ingatestone, Buttsbury, Mountnessing, Great Burstead, Laindon, Little Burstead, Bulphan, Dunton, Laindon Hills, Horndon-on-the-Hill, Orsett, Chadwell and West Tilbury. Nothing came of this.
Back a little to the 1830s when the Baker's Arms was a beer shop called the Jolly Miller. In the garden adjoining it was one of Stock's two windmills. In September 1835 the keeper of the establishment, Bernard Flack, applied to the Chelmsford Petty Sessions, Licensing Sessions, for a victualler's license. The magistrates were more than happy with the way in which the establishment was being run, but the notices that Bernard had given to the Court were not in conformity with the Licensing Act. After some debate amongst themselves, the Magistrates decided that the Jolly Miller would be better without a publican's license.
In 1839, Susannah Hollis, a widow of between 50 and 60 and a traveller in books on her way to Billericay, called in to the Jolly Miller. When she left two men who been in the beer house followed her and attacked her at the bottom of Stock hills. Apart from pulling her about and tearing her clothes, they robbed her of 11 shillings and some books. She went to the village constable, who inquired the next day at the inn who had been in there the night before. Suspicion fell on two men, Robert Dale and Thomas Smith, labourers of Stock. Susannah had said to the constable that she had scratched the man who had first assaulted her on the side of the nose and being examined it was found that Robert had such a scratch. The two appeared before the Petty Sessions and despite denying the charges were committed to the Assizes.
In the Annals of Stock, the Rev Gibson mentions a cricket match played on the Common about 1839 between Stock and Orsett, which Stock won with three wickets in hand. The scores were: Stock - First Innings 52, Second Innings 57. Orsett - First Innings 64, Second Innings 46. Afterwards the team dined at the Cock. In 1850, Stock Cricket Club in common with a number of other local clubs, such as Writtle, registered with the Club Cricket Conference. In 1854 the first pavilion, or as the club history relates - a shed from Mr Low, was erected by Mr Plume for the sum of 12 shillings. As the building did not contain a kitchen.refreshments for the players were provided in the Baker's Arms (as the Jolly Miller became).
In 1845 William Moss built a new windmill - that still stands - beside his existing one. At the same time he purchased the mill opposite the Jolly Miller from its owner George Threadgold and moved it to site beside the existing two, whence he built a brick base for it.
Apparently during the journey on a flat wooden trolley it had to pass over very rough ground and William was worried that it would topple over, but this didn't happen. In those days the area was very much more open than now. Apparently the three stood together until about 1890, when the two wooden mills fell into disrepair and were demolished.
It is not known when the Jolly Miller became the Baker's Arms. The British Legion Hall, which adjoins the Bakers Arm's was at one time part of the mill property and was used in the 19th century as a Day School by the Non-Conformists. The school, known as the British School, was founded about 1865 and apparently closed about 1889. Besides the Baker's Arms there were also a number of other beer houses in the village. The Hoop in the High Street, the Leather Bottle and the Pig and Whistle in Mill Road, near the Weir Pond.
In Kelly's Directory for 1846 Buttsbury boasted four farmers, two bricklayers, a carpenter, a boot and shoemaker, a maltster, a member of the gentry and an innkeeper - to whit of the Bear inn. Stock had a farmer, two innkeepers - the Cock and the Old King's Head, - two bakers, a miller who also doubled up as one of the gentry, two boot and shoemakers, a brickmaker, two butchers, one of whom also doubled up as the local sub post office, two grocers, a bricklayer, a carpenter, a saddler, a smith and farrier, a painter and glazier, a wheelwright, a gardener and seedsman, a schoolmistress and four members of the gentry, one of whom was the rector. Two of the gentry were women: Mrs L Bridge was married to Buttsbury's only member of the gentry - Mr T Bridge. No mention is made of public transport, which is a bit odd as Pigot's directory of land conveyances for 1840 lists a coach to and from the White Swan inn yard in Whitechapel run by Mr Jordan on Thursdays and Saturdays. It was also served by carriers to Billericay and to Clare in Suffolk. Regarding the malster, the maltings stood where Buttsbury Terrace is in the Square.
In 1848, All Saints church was given a new roof, thoroughly repaired and re-seated with open bench, which the parish paid for. The chancel was also entirely rebuilt: paid for by the Rector, the Rev Edward Edison.
In 1850, Pope Pius IX restored the Catholic Hierarchy of England and Wales. Essex was placed in the new Archdiocese of Westminster. Initially there was a storm of anti-Catholic protest throughout the country. Reading a history of the period one gets the impression that a foreign invasion was expected.
In 1852 Catholicism returned to Stock, when the Hon Arthur Petre, fourth son of the 1 lth Lord Petre, became a tenant of Lilystone Hall and opened a private chapel there, available to local Catholics. It was apparently in a room at the top of main staircase. A house seems to have existed on the site of Lilystone Hall for several centuries, but the present building dates from 1847. In 1855 Hon Arthur married Lady Catherine Howard, fifth daughter of the Earl of Wicklow. They had ten children. In 1861 the Hon Arthur purchased the Manor of Coptfold near Margaretting, and left Stock. The new resident of Lilystone Hall was another Catholic Thomas Walmesley, brother in law to the Hon Henry Petre, an elder brother of the Hon Arthur.
In 1862, Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1837-1915) published her novel Lady Audley's Secret, set in Ingatestone Hall. Obviously names of some places are changed. Unfortunately there is no mention of Stock or Buttsbury in it. Not even under another name.
there is no mention of Stock or Buttsbury in it. Not even under another name. Stock liked to celebrate national occasions, but in March 1863 when villagers wanted to celebrate the wedding of Edward, Prince of Wales, to Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the rector wouldn't countenance it because it took place in Lent. Billericay was different and did celebrate. Stock Brass Band took part, and probably so did some of the villagers
In 1864 the village cage was pulled down and the remains used at White Tyrells. It is not known when the office of Constable of the Village, who was responsible for looking after any offenders put in the Cage, was abolished. It was an unpaid and unpopular post
Stock nearly had a monastery at this time. In 1862 Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman had invited Father Hermann Cohen of the Order of Discalced Carmelites to restore the order to England, the last native Friar having died in 1849. Father Cohen established a small community in London in August 1862, with himself as Prior, but was looking for a country house. He met Thomas Walmesley, who originally offered some land in Kent, but then offered part of the Lilystone estate as a monastery. The idea was that the Friars act as chaplains to Lilystone Hall. In December 1863 Cardinal Wiseman gave his backing to the scheme. Walmesley worked hard to publicise the needs of the Friars, but the scheme fell through for lack of money. In 1867 the chapel at Lilystone Hall was dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Simon Stock and was formally available to the public for services.
It is not known how the chapel at Lilystone Hall was originally served. It was not until 1868 that a priest was appointed - Canon John Walker. His incumbency only lasted a year.
In 1869, most probably as result of his failure to bring the Carmelites to Stock, Thomas Walmesley left Lilystone Hall and in his place came the Gillow family, also Catholics and who would be responsible in a large part for the survival of Catholicism in the village. Three members of the family settled in the village, Isabella, William and John. Sometime during the mid to late 1870s a new chapel was built in Lilystone Hall. During the early part of the decade a Catholic school was started. Its location was the Farthings in the Square next to the Bell.
In Kellv's Directory for 1867, Buttsbury boasted six gentry, but Stock nine. Two of the latter were clergymen - one Church of England and one non-conformist. Buttsbury had 25 persons engaged in commercial activities - one of whom was also listed as a member of the gentry, but Stock only 19. Buttsbury could claim two inns - the Cock and the Bear, but Stock only the King's Head. Buttsbury could also claim two beer retailers. The two parishes had a variety of trades - butchers, bakers, grocers and drapers, miller, farmer, carpenter, surgeon, bricklayer, saddler and harness maker, cowkeeper and baker, butcher and post office, blacksmith, smith and farrier, shopkeeper, accountant, carpenter, Carter, seminary (private school), shopkeeper and bricklayer, bricklayer and shopkeeper. The post office was in Stock. The National School in Stock is mentioned. Public transport was provided by a carrier to Chelmsford on Mondays and Fridays. In the country if you did not posses private transport and there was no railway nearby: other than using the carrier's cart you had to walk. . People were less mobile than today, so they weren't so bothered.
About 1870 the Leather Bottle fair, having got a bit too rowdy of late, was suppressed by the authorities.
At the end of 1876, the Rev Edward Edison died and was succeeded in 1877 by the Rev Edward Gibson, who had several talents, one of which was that he was a local historian. In 1881 he published the first history book specific to Stock - Parish Registers of Stock Harvard 1563 -1770. In 1914 he published his Annals of Stock. In 1877 the Rev William Cologan became parish priest. Amongst other things he was one of the founders of the Catholic Truth Society and wrote a number of pamphlets. He was quite involved in the village, as the founder of the Choral Society, Secretary of the Horticultural
Society, Secretary to the Cricket Club and a member of the Cycling Club. He and the Rev Gibson, both keen chess players, were friends and enjoyed a friendly religious rivalry.
rOn the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (16th July) in 1879 the new chapel was officially opened. The blessing and dedication was done by no less a person than Cardinal Henry Manning
In the last part of the 19th Century Stock featured in a guide book - Murray’s Handbook for the Eastern Counties. This was published in three editions between 1870 and 1892. All that was mentioned was All Saints church and the rectory. Stock never featured in the more famous Baedeker’s Guide.
The late 1870s saw the start of the Great Agricultural Depression, the main feature of which was a fall in the price of wheat. Amongst the reasons were a succession of bad harvests and the influx of cheap foreign corn. Rents for farms rocketed down. Stock and Buttsbury were not immune. The Depression caused hardship for farmers, some of whom left the land and in their place came farmers from Scotland, where rising rents were causing them to seek a living elsewhere. In Stock, Andrew Craig who took over Greenacre farm and Robert Craig took Crondon Park farm.
We now come to the business of Stock and the railway. It has been claimed that the original proposal for the line running from Shenfield to Southend via Billericay and Wickford was to be from Ingatestone to Southend via Stock and Wickford and that the station at Stock would have been near the King's Head, but local landowners are said to have objected. The earliest mention of this can be found in Donald Jarvis’s 'A Brief History of Stock that was written in 1934 and has been quoted by other sources since. A thorough search through the minutes of the Great Eastern Railway company in the National Archives has not found any mention of such a plan. Rather there are a lot of references to calls for a railway to or through Billericay.
Briefly, in 1856 the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway had been opened from Forest Gate to Southend via Tilbury. This company had originally been leased by the Eastern Counties (later Great Eastern) and the London and Blackwall railways. Until 1875 the Eastern Counties Railway and later Great Eastern Railway provided engines and rolling stock for the LTSR. In 1875 the LTSR acquired its own rolling stock and in 1880 its own locomotives. When the LTSR got complete control this was not a good situation for the GER. At the beginning of the 1880s there was railway mania in south Essex. The GER promoted lines to Southend, Southminster, Maldon and Tilbury. The LTSR promoted lines from Grays to Romford, the line from Barking to Pitsea via Upminster, a loop from Pitsea to Southend via Rochford and was behind the Mid-Essex Junction Railway proposal of 1882 which was to run from Pitsea to Ingatestone via Billericay and Mountnessing.
It would have gone through Buttsbury between Perry Street and Gooseberry Green - only plans deposited – no bill was put forward. Somehow those Donald Jarvis spoke to must have got it muddled up. There is only one brief mention of the Mid Essex Junction proposal in the Great Railway Minutes. At a meeting in Billericay on 20th March 1883 to consider the railway there was support for it from Stock. The Act for the Shenfield to Southend line with branches from Wickford to Southminster and Woodham Ferrers to Maldon was obtained in 1883 and the line opened to Wickford for goods traffic in November 1888, to passenger traffic in January 1889, to Southminster for goods traffic in June 1889, for passenger traffic in July 1889 and Southend and Maldon for goods and passenger traffic in October 1889. (The line to Maldon is now long closed). My maternal grandfather, Frederick Such, who came to Stock in the early 1880s, remembered seeing the line being built, in particular going to see the digging of the cutting at Billericay, which a steam excavator (nicknamed a `devil digger') was used
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The Act for the Shenfield to Southend line was obtained in 1883 and the line opened to Wickford in January 1889 and Southend in October 1889. My maternal grandfather, Frederick Such, who came to Stock in the early 1880s, remembered seeing the line being built, in particular going to see the digging of the cutting at Billericay, which a steam excavator (nicknamed a `devil digger') was used
In the middle of January 1881 there was a tremendous snow storm across the whole country. On the night of 17`h the thermometer showed 22 degrees of frost. There was a tremendous gale and huge drifts in which horses and carts got stuck. My mother (Margaret Phillips) told me that her paternal grandmother had said that the snow had piled up as high the top of the hedges, and was hard enough to walk on at that height. The Rev Austen makes mention of this in his book, quoting an incident where on 18th January two men were sent by their master to Billericay with a cart and two horses to fetch some grain, but on the way back were caught in a snow storm and got stuck in a drift in Back Lane. It took them three or four hours to get the horses out and four cart horses had to be used to get the other horses out. The cart remained where it was for three weeks. Owing to the depth of the snow those who had horses went on them to fetch food.
Later in 1881, following the efforts of the Rev Gibson, that part of the parish known as Orsett Hamlett was transferred to Stock by Local Government Board Order 13,052 dated 17 December. However a vestige remained of the connection with Orsett as Crondon Park farm continued to pay tithes to Orsett until tithes were abolished circa 1985 to 1990.
Some time after 1867 a registrar to record all births, deaths and marriages resided in the village. In 1884 after the death of his predecessor, who name I do not know, following a road accident when his horse bolted and his carriage overturned, William John Nurse was appointed registrar and remained in the village until 1913. Kelly's Directory for 1886 describes him as relieving officer and registrar of birth and deaths for Ingatestone district.
Directory for 1886 describes him as relieving officer and registrar of birth and deaths for Ingatestone district. Also in Kelly's for 1886, public transport had improved: as there were carriers to Chelmsford every weekday and a daily carrier to lngatestone. There were three schools, Church of England, Catholic and Non-conformist. There were two posts a day on Mondays to Saturdays at 7.20 and 11.30 a.m., with collections at 12 and 6.20 p.m.: the Sunday collection was 10.15. The village had a reading room. The trades were numerous, including pork butchers as opposed to ordinary butchers, thrashing machine owners and thrashing machine proprietors. Names that are still recognisable to some of us - Cottee, Jarvis, Makings, Oddy, Plume, Sewell, Stripe, and White. Meanwhile the number of Non-Conformists continued to grow and it became apparent that steps would have to be taken to provide a larger building. In 1885 William Webster presented to the Church a piece of land in the High Street and it was at once decided to take steps towards raising the funds for the new building. An appeal for subscriptions in 1886 met with a generous response and by the end of 1887 there was sufficient money in hand for the building of the church to commence. The opening ceremony was held on Easter Monday with a performance of the cantana Esther. This is claimed to be last building in the village to have been built using bricks from the local brickworks.
In 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee the village held a tea party of some sort and some kind of village fair additional to the normal one. Frank Martin, who was born in 1883, told Donald Jarvis in 1961 that the women had said that the tea served was smoky. Frank had seen Joe Scott catch a greasy pig on the common and men try to walk across Mr Cottee's pond on a greasy pole and all fall in.
Round about this time the Non-Conformists had a slight problem finding a Minster. For a time it was administered by a lay preacher:this difficulty would continue into the early 1900s.
Besides the Church of England, the Catholics and the Non-Conformists, the Salvation Army had a presence in the village for a time. A Corps was formed in 1877, but only lasted until 1887. Their `barracks' was a building in the High Street, later used as a store shed by a firm of local builders.
1888 was a bad year. The year was known as the year without summer. Snow fell in Stock and other places on 11th July. At the end of the month there was torrential rain. On 1st August it rained all day and on 2nd floodwaters had risen. In Chelmsford the iron bridge collapsed.
In 1890, the maltings, which stood where Buttsbury Terrace is, were demolished and replaced by the present houses.
Although a Catholic school (known as St Joseph's) had existed in Stock since the early 1870s, in 1889 William Gillow proposed a permanent site in Mill Road. During the construction various archaeological remains were found. Donald Jarvis thought the school, which opened on 23rd September 1891, the best looking Victorian building in Stock. In its early days the school seems to have had problems with retaining teachers and truancy.
In 1892 Isabella and William Gillow died. In 1894 they were followed by John. In his will he established a trust which was to become one of the main Catholic trusts of the diocese. He also offered Lilystone Hall to Archbishop of Westminster as a country residence. Cardinal Herbert Alfred Vaughan, the then Archbishop declined.
From the late 1880s there were changes in the way local government was administered throughout England and Wales. In 1888, the County Councils, Municipal Boroughs and County Boroughs were established; in 1894, the Urban District and Rural District Councils and Parishes were established. Stock was in the Chelmsford Rural District, as was Buttsbury.. Prior to the Act local government was administered in a variety of ways, the parish vestries of the ecclesiastical (C of E) parish being the most common. Under the 1894 Act parishes could, if they wished, depending on size have either a parish meeting or a parish council. They didn't have to have anything. One advantage in not having any was that ratepayers didn't have to pay a parish precept; something that still applies today. The parish councils would argue that the parish would get less services if it didn't have one.
The Stock part of the village decided at a meeting in December 1894 to have a parish council. According to a framed document in the small hall in Stock village hall the election for the first parish council took place on 18th December 1894. There were nine people who stood for election for the seven places on the council. (The current council consists of nine members). The gentlemen who stood and the votes they received were Charles Martin Stock - 48 votes, Robert Craig – 41 votes, William Joseph Brown – 40 votes, Frederick Tyler - 40 votes, James Mardle – 36 votes, Arthur John Warner –34 votes, Robert Nisbet 32 votes, William Henry Low – 27 votes and Charles Cable- 25 votes. William Henry Low and Charles Cable were not elected. Details of the first councillors for Buttsbury are sadly not known. After the election the first meeting was held on 4th February 1895. The Buttsbury part also decided to have a parish council. In the early days and for many years Stock Council was concerned about the maintenance of footpaths. Something that is clearly not new.
In 1896 the National School was enlarged.
From the outbreak of the Boer War in 1899 men had rushed enlist to fight for Queen and Country. At least one person (George Plume) connected with the village did enlist - and died of dysentery at Spion Cop. On Mafeking night younger members of the village went a bit wild and lit a bonfire on the Village Green in the High Street, rather than on the Common. Some of the older villagers thought that their houses might get burnt down. Fortunately everything passed off with no harm. About 1900 the last brickworks closed. The site is now a private house.
Cardinal Vaughan, having decided not have Lilystone Hall as his country residence, offered it to the brother of his secretary, Monsignor Thomas Dunn. William Dunn and his family arrived in 1895.
In 1897 Father Cologan moved into new Presbytery built by the Gillow Trust. As to where he and his predecessors lived before is uncertain.
In 1897 Father Cologan moved into new Presbytery built by the Gillow Trust. As to where he and his predecessors lived before is uncertain. About the end of 1898 the Catholic Cemetery was opened. According to a story, told to me by Anthony Webb, the current sacristan, a young maid at Lilystone Hall, Margaret Brennan, at its opening is to supposed to have wondered aloud as to who would be the first person to be buried there - in January 1899 it was she. By the time of Kelly's Directory for 1899, there was a policeman in the village - William George Arnold. There were only two schools: the Church of England and the Catholic. Public transport was worse than in 1886ahere was still a daily carrier to Ingatestone, but to Chelmsford only on Tuesdays and Fridays. They were two post boxes, near the Post Office, then in the brick houses next to Ellis Cottages, the other on the Hill near the Church. The usual collection of trades: a new one being the village refreshment room. Besides the registrar there was also a deputy registrar.
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