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This is an account of the claim by the poor of Purton Stoke to get back the sole right to the proceeds of the letting of the land given to them by Charles I in 1631. The Bell Inn is still going strong(ish). The details are entered in the first Minutes Book of the Charity, retained by the Trustees (2012AD) - Donald Cakebread (Chairman), Jackie Scott (Secretary), James Caslaw, John Elliot, Marlene Herbert, Will Ponting, Brian Scott, Tony Young, Jill Wakefield.

Monday 20 August 1733
7th George 2nd at the Bell Inn Purton Stoke

Deposition of Witnesess in a Cause bet- Sir Philip Yorke Knt his Majesties Attn Genr on the relation of Amberose Stanley, John Woodward, John Palmer and the rest of the Poor Inhabitants of Purton Stoke Relators and Richard Glasse Clerk, Anthony Bathe, Thos Moulden and Samuel Sheppard Deffds For the recovery of the 25 Acres of Land Given the Second Poor of Purton Stoke by King Charles the first in lieu of their right of feeding their Cattle and picking wood in Braydon Forrest at the time the Forrest was disforrested .
Hands Jos of Clerkenwell Close, Middlesex then aged 61 years and upwards Deposed that an Allotment of 25 acres of Land part of the disforrested lands formerly part of the Kings Demesne in the Forrest of Braydon was he had been informed by ancient People about one hundred years ago made by some person or persons Impowered by two Decrees in the Court of Exchequer for the benefit of the Poor Inhabitants of Purton Stoke only but what Person or Persons cannot set forth that he with Stanley and Palmer on or about 13th march 1731 before the exhibiting this Information went to the house of Samuel Sheppard Snr in possession of the 25 Acres of Land in Question in the cause on behalf of the Relators demanded the Possession of the Lands in Question and the Rents and Profits thereof from said Sheppard and did show copies of the said two decrees to said Sheppard whereby the daid 25 Acres of Land were given to the Inhabitants of Purton Stoke only, to which Sheppard said he had been a Tenant from year to year to the Minister, Churchwardens and Overseers of the said Parish of Purton for about 20 Years past he could not give up the possession of the Lands without their consent but did not believe that the Land did belong to the Poor of Purton Stoke only. All the Rents thereof were paid as the Officers of Purton thought fit on purpose to save their pockets. That on the 13th of March afterwards he went to the houses of Mr Robt Carter, Mr William Maskelyne and several Inhabitants of Purton Stoke and Purton and read over the information to them and at the same time desired them to acquaint the rest of the inhabitants of Purton what the Poor Inhabitants of Purton Stoke intended to do if the possession of the said lands in question was not delivered up to them ……….
Palmer Richard of Purton Stoke then Aged 80 Years. That he had heard from very Ancient People that there were about 40 acres of Land Allotted and set out of the Kings Demesne Lands in the said Forrest adjoining to a place called Bray Close for the benefit of the Poor of the Parish of Purton but never heard that they ever enjoyed the said 40 Acres or ever received any benefit from it ……
Chambers John of Bentham then Aged 70 Years That he had heard from Ancient People that the 40 Acres of Land part of the Forrest Lands in Purton Common lying near a place called Bray Close were allotted out for the Poor Inhabitants of Purton but never heard that the said Poor ever enjoyed the same or received any benefits therefrom …..
Coe James of Pest Marsh then Aged about 25 Years Knows the 25 Acres in Purton Stoke that the yearly rents have been usualy applied for the Poor of the Parish of Purton in General and sometimes Poor Boys belonging to Purton Stoke and at other times Poor Boys of Purton have been Apprenticed out of the rents and Profits of the Lands altho’ he believed that of right the Rents and Profits belonged to the Poor of Purton Stoke only. That he had heard from very Ancient People that they were Allotted out of the Kings Demesne Lands in the Forrest 40 Acres for the benifit for the Poor of Purton which land lies in the Common of Purton near Bray Close and is marked out with a Ditch but never heard that the Poor Inhabitants of Purton ever enjoying the same. But those who have right in Common in Purton Aforesaid ………
Bazley Charles of Bentham then Aged 37 Years That the rents and Profits of the 25 Acres in Purton Stoke have been from time to time divided in and amongst the Poor of Purton Stoke and Purton but believes the whole of the rents belong to Purton Stoke only ………
Maskalyne William of the Forrest of Braydon Gent then Aged 67 Years and upwards That formerly and long before his time 25 Acres of Land part of the lands formerly part of the Demesne in the Forrest aforesaid were by the gift of King Charles the First Allotted and set out for the benefit of the Several Poor Inhabitants of Purton Stoke only in lieu of a Previledge the said Poor had to cut Wood and Feed Cattle in the said Forrest the said 25 Acres lying near to Purton Stoke, the same was then enclosed with a quick-set Hedge dont know when the same was done believes the same was done for the benifit of the second poor of Purton Stoke aforesaid ..
To the 8th Interry - Saith the Rents and Profits have been applied to the Poor of Purton and Purton Stoke in General and that the Poor of Purton Stoke have had the least share of it altho’ he hath heard and believes the Poor of Purton Stoke Separate from the Poor of Purton are entituled and of right ought to receive the Rents and Profits of the same and the rather for that there were 120 Acres out of the said Forrest given by King Charles the first to the Poor of Cricklade and Chelworth which to Depts Knowledge had been applied to the Second Poor for 40 Years past and before that time always so applied as Dept had heard and believes.
Entered in this book 1836