BROCKHAM'S OWN ACT OF PARLIAMENT
reproduced with the kind permission of Tony Hines
|Brockham's own Act of Parliament (1812)
allowed only poultry to depasture the Green.
Cattle or horses were impounded until a
fine had been paid to the Lord of the Manor.
I contacted Her Majesty's Stationery Office, the Surrey History Centre, The British Library, local historians and finally the House of Lords, where for a price I could purchase a copy from the original velum held in microfiche format. Within forty-eight hours the eagerly awaited document arrived. What I hadn't considered was that it would be hand-written and in copper plate lettering that would take well in excess of one hundred hours of reading and typing to make sense of it.
Practice makes perfect and eventually the lettering became easier to understand.
What follows is, I hope, an accurate interpretation of the original; my apologies for any errors. In my naivety, I assumed "our" Act of Parliament would just be about Brockham Green. However, it is not, but all the same very interesting.
In the early 1800s, before Brockham had its own church, Brockham was in the Parish of Betchworth and the Parish Church was St. Michael's. The area of Brockham was known as East Betchworth.
Betchworth Castle was still occupied and its owner was Lord of the Manor of Brockham. Brockham village at this time centred on the green, with shops, pubs, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, the Baptist Chapel and residents who were mostly servants and farm labourers. Few other homes were in Brockham 200 years ago.
Enjoy reading it, but please note the section about Brockham Village Green is right at the back!
At the Millennium Exhibition, I suggested the following; I now think this is only part of the picture!
On the east side of the Green (Vicarage Cottage), lived Isaac Bishop, formerly Mr Edward Worley, a corn dealer 60 or 70 years ago; he was killed by a boar on the Green. The boar bit him through the top part of the thigh and he soon bled to death. The boar belonged to Mr Howard at Court Lodge Farm; it was killed immediately.
- Reference: Brockham, in the Parish of Betchworth, Surrey. From the diary of Johnson Batchelar, 14th December 1886
The Register of Burials from Betchworth lists an Edward Worley as being buried in the churchyard on August 21st 1806, six years prior to the Act being passed. Interestingly, the village pound is sited on land owned by Court Lodge Farm and only a few yards from where the butcher's shop was then located!
Is it fair to assume that the Act was passed following the gorging to death of Edward Worley by a boar owned by Court Lodge Farm?
link to Act of Parliament 1812
Tony Hines MBE, December 2000