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Pear Tree Lane References at Worcester and Oxford

Documents at Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service, The Hive - BA 8474, Ref 850, Parcel 2 - Badsey Minute Book of Vestries commencing 17th March 1866

24th June 1875 – Vestry Meeting held at the National School Room to receive the report of the Committee appointed at the last meeting as to the repair of the road through the Tithe Farm

The Committee report that they had written to the Local Government Board and the answer was read to the effect that the quotation was not in their jurisdiction.

27th July 1875 – Copy letter written in margin of Vestry Minute Book, C W Lawrence to the Rev T Hunt

My Dear Hunt

I have inspected the Badsey Award and send on the other side the iprissima verba respecting the road (Pear Tree Lane) which is I think the subject of your inquiry.

“The award further orders that the several private Carriage Roads and Drift Ways herein before set out shall for ever hereafter be made and kept in repair by and at the expense of the Person and Persons who are by law required to repair the several public Carriage Roads within the said Parish.”

14th October 1875 – Vestry Meeting

Proposed by Mr Thomas Hall and seconded by Mr John Byrd that the meeting be adjourned until Wednesday 20th October 1875 at 6 pm. Henry Byrd, Chairman.

20th October 1875 – Adjourned Vestry Meeting

Mr Joseph Jones proposed, seconded by Mr Mallett, and carried “That this meeting protest against the order given by the Highway Board to the Way Warden of this parish, viz to repair a private carriage road with public monies, and that the Way Warden be hereby requested to support such protest, to advocate their cause and represent the Vicar and the parishioners in this matter.”  T H Hunt, Chairman of said meeting.

The Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, Oxford, made an offer through their agent, Mr Webb, to the Badsey Way Warden, Mr John Phipps, which it seems desirable to enter here:

Land Agency Offices, Evesham 4th October 1875, to Mr J Phipps

I have this day seen the Dean and Chapter’s Agent respecting the road to Bretforton, and provided this Parish Highway through their estate is metalled 10 feet wide, similar to the portion leading to the Abraham’s Well recently made under my supervision and also that the work is proceeded with without delay, they will contribute towards its cost the sum of £150. Trusting that the parish will decide to accept this handsome offer, and order the work to be proceeded with without further delay.

I remain, yours truly, F P Webb

30th October 1875 – Article in Evesham Journal


The Clerk read a letter to the Board forwarded by the Vicar of Badsey, Rev T H Hunt, the main points being:

1775 – The Bretforton Enclosure Award described the Bretforton section as being of the breadth of 60 feet and should be continued and used as “a public road and common highway for ever to the entrance of the Common Fields of Badsey, at or near a place called Allen’s Corner”.

1815 – The Badsey Enclosure Award awarded the Badsey section as a “public Bridle Road and private Carriage Road and Drift Way of the breadth of twenty feet marked No 5 commencing at the Willersey Road and extending in an Eastwardly direction until it communicates with the Parish of Bretforton at Allens Gate, the Carriage Road for the use of the proprietors of Lands adjoining”.

1835 – The Bretfordians resolved in a lawsuit between Dr Timbrell and others, to test the right of the public as to the use of the Badsey road as a public thoroughfare. After a full hearing in Court, it was decided that the road was a private road; and the gate, called Allen’s Gate, at the east entrance of the road was, by order of the Lessees of the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, locked, in consequence of such lawsuit, and was kept locked for many years.

1838 – Joseph Jones (1771-1853), father of Joseph Jones (1830-1891), the Guardian at the time of the dispute in 1875, as occupier of the lands adjoining the road under the Lessees and also the surveyor of Badsey parish, gravelled Pear Tree Lane, debiting the parish with the cost. The parish protested, the Magistrate in Petty Sessions disallowed the account and the surveyor was ordered to refund the money.

April 1875 – Order made to the surveyor of the Highway District “to metal the Pear-tree Lane 10 feet wide, and the remainder of the road leading therefrom to Allen’s Gate”.

25th June 1875 – Mr Robert Castle, agent for Christ Church, wrote a letter stating “That the continuation of this same road in the adjoining parish [of Bretforton] awarded as a bridge and occupation road in a precisely similar manner has, I am informed, been repaired and maintained in a proper manner by the parish.”

20th October 1875 – A Vestry Meeting held at which the parishioners and ratepayers protested, for the following reasons:

  • It has never, in the memory of the oldest inhabitant, either before or since 1812 (the Enclosure Award) been repaired by the parish.
  • In the Enclosure Award (1812) it is awarded as a private carriage road.
  • Mr Castle’s letter of June 1875 was not necessarily a precedent or an authority or guide, as the Bretforton award was made about 1775, whereas the Badsey award was made in 1812, about 37 years later.
  • Mr Castle has been misinformed and the cases are not parallel. The road in Bretforton was not “awarded in a precisely similar manner”. The Badsey road was awarded as a public bridle road (a very different affair) and a private carriage road, and the width of drift-way 20 feet – not 60 feet.
  • In 1835, Bretfordians lost a lawsuit brought against Christ Church to test the use of the Badsey section as a public thoroughfare and, as a result, the gate at Allen’s Gate was locked for many years.
  • The father of Joseph Jones, the present Guardian had, in 1838, gravelled the Pear Tree Lane, and debited the parish, but was then ordered to refund it.
  • We acknowledge our responsibility for the maintenance of public bridle road, which we are willing to maintain, but we do not acknowledge a claim for repairing with metal, for use of carts, a private carriage road.
  • Three other private carriage roads described in the Badsey Enclosure Award have never been repaired by the parish but by the private expense of each individual owner. During the last ten years, the road surveyor was asked to repair one of the private carriage roads at the expense of the parish, but the summons was dismissed by the magistrates in Petty Sessions as being untenable because of its being a private carriage road.
  • The private carriage road now in question is at the extreme end of Badsey parish where there are no habitations and can be of no earthly use to any of the parishioners and ratepayers of Badsey, except to the allotment tenants under the College.
  • The order came very shortly before the dispersion of the College for the long vacation, so that Mr Lawrence, the College solicitor, was unable, on that account, to confer with the Dean and Chapter on a matter of such grave importance to us, the ratepayers.
  • That, moreover, we are sure that the College authorities, being a rich and powerful ecclesiastic corporate body, have yet no wish to do or enforce anything which might have the appearance of being harsh, exacting, or arbitrary, and, as we feel we have a strong case, and good grounds for protesting, we would ask for time and opportunity to bring this weighty matter before the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, the patrons of this parish, in chapter assembled, being confident that they will give us a full, patient and considerate hearing.

T H Hunt, Chairman of the meeting

After some discussion, it was resolved that the matter should stand over till the next meeting to enable the parishioners to bring the question again before the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church.

Copies of letters from Mr Lawrence respecting Pear Tree Lane

Cirencester, 4 Nov 1875

Dear Hunt

I think that you and the parish are making a great mistake in not accepting the liberal offer by Christ Church of contributing towards the expenses of making a good carriage road. The “Inclosure Award” directs “that the private carriage roads shall be made and repaired at the expense of the parties required by law to repair the public roads in the parish”, in other words by the ratepayers. I believe that the parish can consequently be required to do what is needed in this matter. Before however Christ Church withdrawtheir offer and take another course, I am desirous that the parish should have a locus poenitentiae [an opportunity to withdraw from a contract or obligation before it is completed] and therefore request the form? of a decisive communication from you on the subject.

C W Lawrence

Cirencester, 8 Nov 1875

The Dean and Chapter have no wish to retract their offer (£150) which was made in ignorance of the law on the matter ? ? ? of a previous communication to me but if that offer be not forthwith accepted, it will be withdrawn and the parties reduced to their legal positions. I cannot account for the provisions of the Award. Think they act and must be regarded as binding?

C W Lawrence

“Private carriage road and driftway of the breadth of 20 feet marked No 5 commencing at the Willersey Road and extending in an easterly direction until it communicates with the parish of Bretforton at Allen’s Gate, the carriage road for the use of the proprietors of land adjoining.

19th November 1875 – Vestry Meeting

In consequence of letters dated Nov 4th and Nov 11th on the other side, a meeting duly convened was called and met on Friday 19th November 1875 when the following resolution proposed by Mr Frank Taylor and seconded by Mr George Field, was carried unanimously: “That inasmuch as the acceptance of the College offer would involve the repair of sundry other private roads coming under the same category, thereby entailing an additional annual burden upon the parish, it was proposed and resolved to form a Committee of four, Rev T H Hunt, the Waywarden Mr John Phipps, Mr Henry Byrd, Mr Jospeh Jones to make further enquiries into the whole subject and to report the result of such enquiry as soon as possible to a special meeting convened for the purpose and to forward to the College with the least possible delay the final decision of the vestry.

T H Hunt, Chairman

23rd December 1875 – Vestry Meeting

A Vestry Meeting having been again called for Thusday December 23rd 1875 was again adjourned in consequence of the small attendance on the proposition of Mr Henry Byrd, seconded by Mr Mallet.

T H Hunt, Chairman

Date unknown, possibly Nov 1875 to F P Webb

Badsey and Bretforton Bridle Road of Christ Church and the parish in the matter we may say that while relying fully on the correctness of the advice given by their own solicitor, the Dean and Chapter do not ? if it can be avoided to force upon the parish the unpleasantness and expense of a law-suit and we are authorised therefore to say that if the parish will have a new roadway 8 feet wide formed and metalled along the land leading from the turn from the Badsey and Willersey Road to the Christ Church estate, a distance of about 225 yards, and forming part of the bridle road in question, Christ Church will accept the proposal of the parish with respect to the roadway across its own estate and will metal at its own expense a portion of the 20 feet road for the use of its own tenants.

We trust this agreement will meet with the approval of the parish and Highway Board and enable this matter to be settled.

Yours faithfully

Field & Castle, Evesham,

F P Webb Esq

24th February 1876 – Vestry Meeting

At a Vestry Meeting held after due notice at the National School Room, Badsey, on 24th February 1876, it was proposed by Mr Henry Byrd and seconded by Mr John Byrd and carried that this meeting be adjourned to Thursday 2nd March 1876 at 12 o’ clock at noon for the purpose of inviting Mr Webb and Other? Paymaster to our meeting and consulting him on one or two ? points.

T H Hunt, Chairman


Documents at Christ Church College, Oxford

1865 - Abraham’s Well Close bought by Christ Church.

29th March 1867 – Frederick Webb wrote to C W Lawrence asking Christ Church to contribute £10-£15 towards repairing the road from Badsey to the college estate. It is impassable in winter.

13th June 1874 – Particulars and valuation by Messrs Field & Castle of estate at Badsey and Middle Littleton, lessee John Slatter.

The land in Badsey is enclosed in a ring fence but is at some distance from Badsey, and the only means of access is by a road which is almost impassable in winter. This reduces the value of the property, particularly for letting in allotments. The only buildings are a barn, stable and cattle shed. The land is of good quality. The farm has been occupied for some time as allotment ground as a high rent is obtained in this way, but there is a good deal of trouble and risk. It would be more profitable in the long run for the Dean and Chapter to let the whole to a responsible person at a lower rent with permission to underlet under proper conditions, and the valuation is made on this assumption. There is no tithe, Land Tax is redeemed and parochial rates are moderate.

1875 – There is nothing at Christ Church concerning the dispute with the parishioners about Pear Tree Lane.