Enclosure by Parliamentary Act, 1766




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Enclosure by Parliamentary Act, 1766


(Journals of The House Of Commons, Vol. XXX (1765-1766), pp. 459 ff.; in J. F. C. Harrison, ed., Society and Politics in England, 1780-1960, New York: Harper & Row, 1965, pp. 32-34. Although enclosures could take place through agreements between the parties involved, the usual method of enclosure after 1760 was by Act of Parliament. After this date enclosures also increased substantially in number. The following case records an enclosure in the village of Stillington in the North Riding of Yorkshire. A Commission was appointed to carry out the enclosure after the legislation was passed in Parliament.)

January 17, 1766

A Petition of Stephen Croft, the Younger, Esquire, Lord of the Manor of Stillington, in the County of York, and Owner of several Estates, within the said Manor and Parish of Stillington, and also Impropriator of the Great Tythes there; of the Reverend James Worsley, Clerk, Prebendary of the Prebend of Stillington aforesaid, Patron of the Vicarage of Stillington aforesaid, of the Reverend Lawrence Sterne, C!erk, Vicar of the said Parish, and of William Stainforth Esquire, and of several other Persons, whose Names are thereunto subscribed, being also Owners of Copyhold Messuages, Cottages, Estates, and other Properties, within the said Parish; was presented to the House and read; Setting forth, That, within the said Manor and Parish, is a Common, or Waste, called Stillington Common, and also several Open Fields and Ings, which, in their present Situation, are incapable of Improvement; and that it would be of great Advantage to the several Persons interested in the said Common, Fields and Ings, if they were inclosed and divided into specific Allotments, and all Right of Common, and Average thereon, or upon any other Commonable Lands in the said Parish, were extinguished, or if the said Common was so inclosed, and a Power given to the several Proprietors and Owners of Estates, in the said Fields and Ings, to flat and inclose the same, first making Satisfaction to the Impropriator for the Tythes thereof; and after the flatting and enclosing the same, all Right of Common, or Average, was to cease: And therefore praying, that Leave may be given to bring in a Bill for the Purposes aforesaid, or any of them, in such Manner, and under such Regulations, as to the House shall seem meet.



Ordered, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill, pursuant to the Prayer of the said Petition: And that Mr. Cholmley, Sir George Savile, and Sir Joseph Mawbey, do prepare, and bring in, the same.
February 3, 1776.

Mr. Cholmley presented to the House, according to Order, a Bill for enclosing and dividing the Common Waste Grounds, Open Fields, Open Meadows, Grounds, and Ings, within the Parish of Stillington, in the County of York: And the same was received; and read the First Time.



Resolved, That the Bill be read a Second Time.
February 10, 1776.

A Bill for enclosing and dividing the Common Waste Grounds, Open Fields, Open Meadows, Grounds, and Ings, within the Parish of Stillington, in the County of York, was read a Second Time.



Resolved, That the Bill be committed to Mr. Cholmley, Mr. Fonereau, Sir John Turner, Mr. Clive, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. De Grey, Mr. Norris, Mr. Edmonstone, Mr. Coventry, Mr. Tudway, Mr. Bootle, Lord Coleraine, Sir Edward Turner, Sir Jarrit Smith, Mr. Burrell, Mr. Calvert, Sir James Dashwood, Lord Grey, Lord George Cavendish, Sir John Delaval, Lord Garlies, Mr. Coutts, Mr. Shelley, Mr. Shiffner, Mr. Pennant, Mr. Paterson, Sir William Codrington, Mr. Ridley, Mr. Whichcot, Mr. Molesworth, Mr. Wood, Mr. Harris, Mr. Penton, Mr. Parker, Mr. Egerton, Mr. Willoughby; and all the Members who serve for the Counties of York, Nottingham, Northumberland, and Durham: And they are to meet this Afternoon, at Five of the Clock, in the Speaker's Chamber.
February 27, 1766

Mr. Cholmley reported from the Committee, to whom the Bill for enclosing and dividing the Common Waste Grounds, Open Fields, Open Meadows, Grounds, and Ings, within the Parish of Stillington, in the County of York, was committed, That the Committee had examined the Allegations of the Bill; and found the same to be true; and that the Parties concerned had given their Consent to the Bill, to the Satisfaction of the Committee, except the Proprietors of Sixty Acres of Land, in the said Fields and Ings, who refused their Consent to the Inclosure, and the Proprietors of Twenty-seven Acres, who were not at Home when Application was made for their Consents; and that the whole of the said Fields and Ings contain Six hundred Acres, or thereabouts; and also, except the Proprietors of Eight Common Rights, who refused to consent, and the Proprietors of Seven Common Rights, who were from Home, when Application was made for their Consents; and that the whole Number of Common Rights are Eighty-nine; and that no Person appeared before the Committee to oppose the Bill; and that the Committee had gone through the Bill, and made several Amendments thereunto; which they had directed him to report to the House; and he read the Report in his Place; and afterwards delivered the Bill, with the Amendments, in at the Clerk's Table: Where the Amendments were Once read throughout; and then a Second Time, One by One; and, upon the Question severally put thereupon, were agreed to by the House; and several Amendments were made, by the House, to the Bill.

Ordered, That the Bill, with the Amendments, be engrossed.
March 3, 1766.

An engrossed Bill for enclosing and dividing the Common Waste Grounds, Open Fields, Open Meadows, Grounds, and Ings, within the Parish of Stillington, in the County of York, was read the Third Time.



Resolved, That the Bill do pass: And that the Title be, An Act for enclosing and dividing the Common Waste Grounds, Open Fields, Open Meadows, Grounds, and Ings, within the Parish of Stillington, in the County of York.

Ordered, That Mr. Cholmley do carry the Bill to the Lords, and desire their Concurrence.


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