This is one of several documents from around 1600 concerning rights of way through Great Harwood. It is of particular interest in that it gives a full and very colourful description of events on the 29th of August in 1603 and also that there was a plan made to show the area where the riot too place, which was on the King’s Highway, now known as Whalley Road, the section from Cock Bridge to Harwood New Road. The plan also shows most of Great Harwood and surrounding areas. It can be seen here.
I am indebted to John Simpson for the translation of this document from Latin.
On the 29th day of August in the 1st and 37th years of King James’s reigns of England, etc, and of Scotland The Jurors for the lord king present upon their oaths, that within the vill of Great harwood in the County of lancaster, and through a certain parcel of land called Thromynge more Lane in Great Harwood aforesaid in the county aforesaid, there is maintained, and there has been maintained, time out of mind, a certain common king’s highway leading from the vill of Whalley in the county aforesaid as far as the vill of Bury in the said County of Lancaster, for all the liege men and subjects of our lord james, now King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, and of his ancestors, And from the aforesaid vill of Whalley aforesaid as far as the aforesaid vill of Bury aforesaid, for the whole of the aforesaid time, and at all times of the year, both for all and singular pedestrians and horsemen, and also for all and singular the aforesaid lieges and subjects, passing or about to pass by the aforesaid way, with wagons, carts, carriages, and all animals whatsoever, at their will and pleasure, without any interruption or opposition from any person or any persons, for the whole time aforesaid, And that a certain James Feilden of Great harwood aforesaid in the said County of Lancaster, husbandman, John Hindle of harwood aforesaid in the said County Lancaster, Carpenter, James Bretherton of Great Harwood aforesaid in the said County of Lancaster, Laborer, Robert Gyles of harwood aforesaid in the said County of Lancaster, yoman, And Robert wyldinge, late of Harwood aforesaid in the said County of Lancaster, Laborer, Not being ignorant of the aforementioned things, but contriving evil, on the 30th day of May in the 1st and 36th years of our said present lord king’s reign of England, France and Ireland, and of Scotland, were themselves near the aforesaid common at Great Harwood aforesaid in the said County of Lancaster, assembles and gathered together unlawfully, riotously, and in a rout by “…” [struck through] a particular order and command, With the intention of disturbing the peace of the said lord king, then and there, by force of arms, namely, staves, daggers, cudgels, forks, axes, and other weapons and armaments, And then and there, by the force of arms aforesaid, and unlawfully and riotously, “…” [struck through] they made assualt on and upon a certain Christopher Cunliffe, a liege man and subject of our said lord king, he being then and there, And then and there, the wagon of the same Christopher being loaded with various great pieces of timber and being about to pass through by the aforesaid way, they then and there stopped it by the aforesaid force of arms and unlawfully, And they stopped up and closed off the same common highway in Great Harwood aforesaid, whooly and completely, with stakes and rails the day and year aforesaid without any right, And also, then and there, having bound the same Christopher Cunliffe and his afoesaid wagon, with four oxen and two horses, on the aforesaid highway in Great Harwood aforesaid, they unlawfully stopped up and obstructed it, by the aforesaid force of arms, riotously, at the particular command of the said Robert Hesketh, And then and there, they refused to allow the same Christopher Cunliffe to pass by the aforesaid way in Great Harwood aforesaid, or to drive away his aforesaid oxen and horses in form aforesaid by the same way in Harwood aforesaid, they having been bound in form aforesaid, By reason of which, the same Christopher Cunliffe was not able to use that way in Harwood aforesaid, nor may he use it up to this time in the way that he and the other lieges and subjects of the said lord king have been accustomed to use it by rights, and by having that customary right, To the grave damage of the same Christopher Cunliffe, and of the other lieges and subjects of the said lord king about to pass by the foresaid way, against the peace of the said lord king, his crown and dignity, And [hole in document] that, the aforesaid day and year aforesaid, and before the aforesaid trespass, riot and stopping up at Rufforth aforesaid unlawfully procured, abetted and consulted with the aforesaid James Feilden, John Hindle, James Bretherton, Robert Gyles and Robert wyldinge, to make and perform the aforesaid trespass, riot and stopping up, in manner and form aforesaid, against the peace of the said lord king, is crown and dignity,
[added to the right of the document] But yet, it was ordered that the aforesaid way shall be made continuous just as it was for the greater part of the 20 years last past, And if at the next Sessions, it shall be established in court that any payment should be in arrears then the arrears thereof will be paid