Stock History
By Charles Phillips
In 1603 Elizabeth died and the throne passed to James VI of Scotland who became James I of England. It was hoped by the Puritans that he might make life a little bit easier for them, but in his first speech to Parliament in 1604, the King said that he regarded Puritans as a sect rather than a religion. In fact in the same year new rules were made and the persecution of Puritans started all over again. For Catholics things continued much as before.Crondon Park had been settled on Robert Petre, the son of Sir John Petre and grandson of Sir William, in about 1600 and the place was clearly becoming a centre of recusancy, i.e. a place for those who refused to accept the Anglican faith. In 1603 Sir John Petre was raised to the peerage and became the first Baron Petre of Writtle.
However Puritans didn't go away. From the evidence available, John Newton was the Puritan curate in Stock from 1563 to 1622 when he was sacked from the ministry by the Court of High Commission for not conforming to the rules and rites of the Church of England on the evidence of one John Nevill, who seems not to have lived in Stock, but in Hazeleigh. His father apparently came from Stock and was a man of property. It is difficult to know why he bought this charge. Did he come from Stock? Was it some earlier sexual scandal in the village which forced him out of the village. A desire for revenge, as one writer has hinted.
One of the problems of the early 17th century was drunkenness. In the Quarter Session of 1628-9 a petition was made to the Justices for the suppression of several tippling houses in Stock and Buttsbury. The petition mentions two inns in the village - the Cock and the Swan and five or six tippling houses, but no mention of the Bear. The petitioners felt that two drinking places in the High Street was enough. The customers of the tippling houses were described as swine and unclean birds. The petition was only signed by nine people - the Rectors of Stock and Buttsbury, the clerk of the Parish of Stock (presumably), also the collector, the churchwarden and the constable of Stock, plus three others. One wonders what the other inhabitants of the village thought. Also one wonders what the High Street looked like in those days. One should not forget that the village had several shops, a butchers, a victuallers, for example.
It may have been all very well for the Church of England to be concerned about drunkenness, but in 1626 and 1627 Heldah Brewer, wife of John Brewer, was in trouble with the Church for doing her washing on a Sunday. The Church was also concerned about John as he was in trouble with it for being a common drunkard and a bad person. These were hauled before the Archdeacon of Essex. In 1627 Heldah was ordered to make a public confession.
In 1637 Maria Judd was up before the Archdeacon of Essex for going into church and not having her head covered. Of course the Church was concerned about `incontinence'; in other words, sex outside of marriage. People seem to been brought before the Archdeacon of Essex on flimsy evidence.
And the old problems still occurred. People were still leaving dung heaps in the street. In 1637 no less than eight people were up before the Courts for doing this, to the annoyance of `the Towne'.
In the State papers of the reign of Charles I, there is mention in 1636 of 84 persons of Stock and Buttsbury being required to pay `ship money', to pay for the Royal Navy.
Even in those days there was some form of public transport. An article in the Essex Review in 1898 mentions a 1637 publication - The Carriers' Cosmographie by John Taylor - that recorded that waines (wagons) from Stock went every Wednesday to the King's Arms in Leadenhall Street in London. These wagons mainly carried goods, but also the odd passenger. The journey cannot have been very fast or comfortable, as the vehicles were unsprung and the roads weren't maintained very well. It has been suggested that the top speed was four miles per hour. If that is the case, and it is very likely, one wonders when the wagons left Stock.
The maintenance of roads was left to the parishes. Under the Highways Act of 1555 every parish had to elect two surveyors of highways and all parish householders had to either work themselves or send labourers to work on the roads on four appointed days in the year. The state of roads depended on how interested the parish was in maintaining them and as to how keen those who did the work were to do it. In fact in 1576 John Revyle and Geoffrey Pettycrewe were up before the courts for not carrying out their duties. John was fined four shillings and Geoffrey three shillings
Puritans did not like anyone not of Puritan persuasion. Catholics were beyond the pale. High Church Protestants, or what they regarded as Protestants who were too near the Catholic Church by following the official line were as bad. Stock was not immune. The Rector, the second William Pindar, was sacked by the Puritans in 1643. The same happened at Buttsbury, Mountnessing, South Hanningfield and West Hanningfield and Puritan Rectors were put in their place. In Essex alone no less than 152 rectors were sacked by the Puritans. Pindar did return to Stock for a brief time in 1647. From 1654 until the Restoration in 1660 Stock and Buttsbury parishes were amalgamated. It is not known as to how the Civil War physically affected Stock, I was told that during the Civil War the Bear was a time the local Parliamentarian or Roundhead headquarters. Dark deeds are alleged to possibly have been done there, including perhaps murder. The Parliamentarians were Puritans, who were fundamentalist who didn't like pleasure and closed theatres: They decided that Christmas Day would not be a holiday, but did believe that Sunday was sacrosanct - no work was permitted on a Sunday.
What was happening in Stock? At the Quarter Sessions at Chelmsford in July 1647 Richard Munford, a shoemaker from Stock, was fined for `carrying out his wares on the Lord's day'. In 1651 three people from Stock and one person from Billericay were before the Clerk of the Peace for Essex concerning false weights and measures - Edward Solmes and Mr French, both from Stock, for `having weights unsealed and too light', Richard Luckin of Stock for having `light weight unsealed', and John Stock of Billericay for buying `a load butter before 10 o'clock in the morning'. It is quite probable that John Stock's forebears came from Stock, as when surnames first came into existence one type was the name of where a person originally came from.
In the Lord Petre's manor rolls for 1658 several men were up before the manorial court for digging holes in Stock Common and not filling them in. Another man, was fined for killing two bulls unbaited, whilst a woman was before the court for not cleaning her ditch. One man was fined 2s for keeping wood on Lord Petre's ground, whilst another was fined 2s for cutting and mangling wood, but two other men were fined 5s for the same thing. Did they cut and mangle more wood? And a man was before the court for dunghills in the road.
Talking of roads, the court also commented on the fact that there was no bridge crossing the river from Ingatestone to Billericay. As Billericay does not have a river one can take this to mean Stock Brook.
Another thing about the Puritans was that either baptisms were not permitted in the church or they were not allowed to be put in the Register, as entries for the period only show births. Catholics suffered quite badly during this period. The 4th Lord Petre, who was openly Catholic, was twice imprisoned by Cromwell.
One effect of the Restoration in 1660 was that the pre-Commonwealth Church of England was restored and Puritan incumbents were sacked from their ministries, which happened in Stock. A bad effect was that Stock and Buttsbury parishes were separated with the border for the two running through the middle of the village, meaning that half the village had no claim on the services of the Rector, but rather that of Buttsbury whose Vicar lived several miles away.
William Pindar, the Rector prior to his being evicted by the Puritans, had no desire to return to Stock and instead went to Springfield and to Stock came Charles Hoole, something of a scholar. He had an interesting career prior to coming to Stock. He was born in 1610 in Wakefield, and attended Oxford University from 1628 to 1634, where he obtained a B.A. in 1634 and an M.A. in 1636; being ordained sometime between those dates. Between 1634 and about 1640 he was the headmaster of Rotherham School. He wrote a number of books, of which the most famous was A new discovery of the old Art of Teaching Schools, written in 1637, but not published until late 1659. At the start of the Civil War he left Rotherham for Lincolnshire, and eventually, by way of London and Monmouthshire, in December 1660 became the rector of Stock. He was only rector for just over six years and in March 1667 died and was buried in the Church. His wife Margaret had died in November 1665 and was also buried in the Church.
It is interesting to note that during the period after the Restoration there is reference to another inn - The Rose, which stood where Stock Lodge is in the High Street. It must have stood behind a green like the Ship at West Hanningfield.
It is perhaps worth mentioning at this point about local coins or tokens. For many years, going back to Henry VIIPs time, there was a shortage of small change, which was particularly annoying to the poor and to shopkeepers, so tradesmen started to issue their own coins to solve this problem. These tokens or pledges for money were not legal currency, but were used as such, although they could only be used at the shop of the issuer, so for example a token issued by the butcher could not be used at the bakers. A number of people in Stock are known to have issued tokens, including landlord of the Cock. Tokens were made illegal in 1672, following the issue of farthings and halfpennys by the Royal Mint.
In January 1661, it seems that the bridge over the river on the road from Stock to Ingatestone was not in a very good state, as the Quarter Sessions records related that it was somewhat hazardous to use. The court effectively admonished the owner of the land, Lord Petre, for not repairing it.
In October 1664, there was a great flood in the area as John Hills and Alice Leonard, both from South Hanningfield were married in Stock on 31st because of this flood. People were still being hauled before the Archdeacon of Essex for not attending services - being an Anglican in those days was a serious business. In February 1665 Richard Luckyn, when brought before the Archdeacon, said that he sometimes went to other churches in the area. The Archdeacon admonished him and told him to apparently officially declare hisattendance at the church, although it's not quite clear which church. Obtain something from a neighbouring vicar or churchwarden that he went to the service in their church on a particular day? An interesting sideline in the same month was when Thomas Bryers was up before the Archdeacon for not paying the Sexton's wages - which he promptly did.
The Rev Gibson in The Annals of Stock mentions some interesting collections taken in the Church at this time. For example in November 1661 a collection was taken for the King's Fishing and, if that wasn't enough, in December 1664 a collection was taken for of all people of the Dukedom of Lithuania. Image a collection in church today for the upkeep of Buckingham Palace or the Queen of Denmark.
Charles Hoole was succeeded by Thomas Langrish, who in 1668 got in trouble with the Archdeacon of Essex for not finding ropes for the bells
The late 17th century seems quite an uneventful period for Stock and Buttsbury. For a time dissenting or nonconformist Protestants were persecuted throughout England, along with Catholics although for either not as much as before. In 1672 the Declaration of Indulgence allowed non-conformists to worship publicly in places registered for the purpose and the celebration of the Catholic mass in private. In 1689 the Act of Toleration was passed under which non-conformists were no longer persecuted and were able to build their own chapels. Catholics had to wait rather longer.
There was a school in Stock at this time as in October 1684 the village schoolmaster Richard Garrett was up before the Quarter Session for teaching without a licence. Schools were only for boys in those days; those girls did receive education were taught at home. It should also be pointed out that schools were not for the poor then or for many years afterwards.
In the mid-17th century the Mason family, who were Catholics, had taken on the tenancy of Crondon Park from the Petres and offered hospitality to other Catholic families. Furthermore, in the latter part of the century Crondon Park was on several occasions was mortgaged by the Petres to fellow Catholic landowners and from about 1693 it began to enjoy the services of a regular priests. Stewart Foster in his history of The Catholic Church in Stock thinks that these were Jesuits, as the Petre family supported the Order and because they served the mission centre round Crondon Park for much of the 18th century.
Certainly at the end of the 17th century Catholics would not admit to being Catholics, for example a census done by the Anglican province of Canterbury in 1676 recorded no Catholics in Stock or Buttsbury. In Stock there were 159 Anglicans and I non-conformist, whilst in Buttsbury there were 90 Anglicans. In 1706 there were known to be 116 Catholics in Ingatestone, Fryerning, Margaretting, Mountnessing, Stock and Buttsbury. However Catholics there were, as the registers of All Saints recorded the births, deaths and marriages of Catholics.
Anglicans were known to do it. Going back slightly, it seems likely following the Restoration and before the Declaration of Indulgence a number of dissenters were excommunicated in Stock from the Church. In October 1666 two Churchwardens, Thomas Allen and Robert Bondocke, were disbarred, whilst in November 1668 poor Elizabeth Perrin who, having also suffered this fate, on her death was buried upon the Common. In November 1682 Edward Phillips of Stock was excommunicated by the Archdeacon of Essex for being a Papist recusant (one who refused to attend the Anglican church); Francis Hayward had been excommunicated for the same thing.
However a Catholic would not have felt that he was being excommunicated, as he regarded the Church of England and its members as a bunch of heretics.
And finally to sport. In 1668 one Edward Soames left land at Stock commonly called ‘the football’. This has been established as being the earliest written reference to a football field anywhere
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