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of Chester Deanery; the Duke of Northumberland's manor of Tynemouth; Wentworth Blackett Beaumont, Esq., M.P., manors of Hexham and Anick Grange; the Ecclesiastical Commissioners' Court Baron for the manor or borough of Sunderland ; and numerous others in this district, and the south and west of England, with civil jurisdiction to levy fines and forfeitures against cer: tain offenders, and for the recovery of debts under forty shillings, at the trifling cost of two shillings and sixpence, including execution, from parties residing within the jurisdiction of their respective manors or borcughs.
It is to be regretted that only very meagre records of the proceedings of the ancient court baron of Sunderland exist. Fortunately, however, the Right Honourable George Frederick D'Arcy, Earl of Durham, Lord Lieutenant of the county, has recently become the owner of the court rolls, containing the proceedings at upwards of sixty courts, from the 28th April, 1694, to the 13th October, 1719, and also the book containing the elections of the freemen and stallingers of Sunderland from 1699 to 1720, with the original signatures of the freemen, who then, as in modern times, made these self-elections. By kind permission, both these valuable manuscript volumes of local records are now in our possession for the purposes of this work, and its future pages will be enriched with copious and interesting extracts from them, we hope to the gratification of our numerous readers. In the mean: time, we may state that William Lambton, Esq. (grandson of the gallant Captain Sir William Lambton, of Lambton, Knt., who was slain in the royal service at Marston Moor, July 2, 1644), M.P. for the county of Durham, commonly called “Old True Blue," great-great uncle,
his brother Ralph Lambton, Esq., sometime of Barnes, LAMBTON. near Bishopwearmouth, great-great
grandfather, and Mrs. Dorothy Lambton (daughter and co-heiress of John Hedworth of Harraton, Esq.), widow and administratrix of the said Ralph Lambton, Esq., great-great grand. mother of the present Earl of Dur
lam, were successively the lessees of the manor or borough of Sunderland, at the abovenamed dates, under Nathaniel Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham ; at the same time Henry Lambton, Esq. (another brother of the said William and Ralph Lambton), barrister-at-law, attorney-general to Bishop Crewe, and greatgreat uncle of the Earl of Durham, Ralph Robinson, Esq. (son of Ralph Robinson, Esq., of Middle Herrington, and great grandfather of the late Ralph Robinson, Esq., of Middle Hendon, and of the late James Robinson, Esq., postmaster of Sunderland, and great-great grandfather of Mrs. Surtees, widow of Robert Surtees, Esq., of Mainsforth, the historian of Durham), of Houghtonle-Spring, and sometime of Sunderland, gentleman, a solicitor (who died in 1718), one of the Stallingers, and John Paxton, Esq., * solicitor (also a stallinger), of Sunderland, were in succession senescals or stewards of the manor or borough, and held the court baron by themselves and deputies. The following, extracted from the Court Rolls and Freemen's Election Boɔk, clearly shows that the freemen and stallingers were merely the
* Burgus de Sunderland. Att a Bylaw holden this 20th Day of December 1718 by us Freemen of ye said Burrough whose names are underwritten Wee doe elect and choose John Paxton of Sunderland uforesaid to be a Stallinger ip ye Room and place of Ralph Bobinson
Bishop's tenants of the herbage of the Town Moor, and upon their admission to the freedom paid fees to him and and his officers, and when they also swore fealty to him as their feudal lord and master. Failing their doing this
deed to enjoy all ye priviledges and advantages of a Stallinger of ye said Burrough thereto belonging or in any wise appertaining In Witnesse whereof Wee have hereunto sett our hands ye day and year above said.
W. Ettricke [of Silksworth]
"Admitted [at a Court Baron]
Mr. Paxton was previously a stallinger, having been elected to that office?8th May, 1716, in the room and place of William Reedman, deceased, and on " 5 July \H&' at a Court Baron then held he was "Admitted in full court and sworn ^ R. R. [Ralph Robinson] senescal." Mr. Paxton resigned his trust as appears by the following document:—
Burgua de Sunderland. Know all men' by these presents That I John Paxton, Attorney, one of the Eighteen Stallingers of the said Burrough of Sunderland by the Sea in the county of Durham doe by these presents assigne surrender and make over unto the Freemen of the said Burrough all yt my Office place and Trust of a Stallinger of the said Burrough with all profits and advantages thereto belonging or in anywise appertaining hereby disclaiming all and all manner of Right of Enter Com'on or Com'on of Pasture upon those three Pastures called the Town Moore, intack & Cohywarren or any other Franchise belonging or in anywise appertaining to me as a Stallinger.
suit and service, the lord had power to fill up vacancies in their body, as appears by the following entries :
"Burongh of zonderland. Court Baron of Ralph Lambton, gentleman, lessee of the Reverend Father in God, Nathaniel Bishop of Durham, held there, the Fourth day of May, in the year of Our Lord, 1699, before Henry Lambton, Esq., senescal of the manor or borough (manerii sive burgi) aforesaid.
NAMES OF THE JURY. JOHN PEASE
| WILLIAM HUNTLEY John EDGAR
| WILLIAM COMING THOMAS BLENKINSOPP John SPENCELEY EDWARD COOK
CHARLES PICKERING ENEAS CAMBELL
GEORGE SWINBORNE Thomas Freak
| CHARLES HUTCHINSON In addition to the usual business of the court, “ This day proclamation was made that Adam Nicholson and Anthony Hodghson* [freemen elect] should appear & take their severall admittances or else the court would proceed to a new election, and upon such proclamation they respecTherefore I doe hereby pray and desire the Freemen of the sd Burtongh to Elect and choose such other Capable person to be a Stallinger in my roome and place as they shall think fitt according to the Custome of the said Burrough as Witness my hand and Seale this Twelfth day of Novembr Ano' Dom'. 1717. Test.
J: Paxton. (L.S.)
• At a Bylaw of the Freemen, held May 21, 1715, John Hodgshoo was elected, first a Stallinger in the place of Richard Robinson, Junr., (then chosen a freeman), and on the same day he was chosen 8 freeman in the place of Anthony Hodghson, resigned.-- From the Fres men's Election Book.
tively did appear & took their respective admittances and payd the admission fees for such their admittances."
“John Haxby was admitted a stallinger.''*
"Burgus de zonderland. Att a Bylaw holden ye Sixth day of May 1701 by us Freemen of the said Burrough whose names are underwritten Wee Elect and Choose John Wattson of Sunderland aforesaid to be a Stallinger in ye roome & place of Thom: Tucker who by a writeing under his hand and seale bearing date herewith hath released and surrendred his said place of a Stallinger into the hands of the Freemen of the said Burrough therein praying they will elect another in his roome. So the said John Wattson is to enjoy all ye privilidges & advantages to a Stallinger of the said Burrough belonging or in any. wise appertaining. In Witness whereof Wee have hereunto sett our hands the day and yeare abovewritten
WM. HINCKS "Att a Court (Baron) held the 13th of May 1701, the above-named John Watson was admitted a Stallinger by the Steward of y® Court."
• From the “ Rolls of the Court Baron.“