Monthly Archives: April 2016

The Civil War in the Fens

At our next meeting on 14th April, Dr Mike Osborne will describe effects of the Civil War in the Fenland area.

  His talk starts at 7.30pm in the Conference Centre, Deepings School and everyone is welcome – charge for non-members £2.

Scan 2 Scan 1Mike Osborne has written a number of books on British military history and fortified buildings.


How many men lived in the Deepings at the time of Civil War?

Early in 1642, a few months before the first clashes between Royalists and Roundheads, all men aged 18 and over were required by Parliament to take an oath, swearing allegiance to the Protestant faith.   Every parish in the country compiled a list of the men’s names, and these Protestation Returns were sent to Westminster during March.  Not all Returns from Lincolnshire have survived, but those for the Deepings are still held in the House of Lords Record Office.

Transcriptions show that in Market Deeping, 213 men “all willingly” took the oath before the rector, Paul Prestland and other local officials.   Presumably it was read out to them (about 200 words) and they affirmed.  Paul Prestland also signed the Return naming 312 men at Deeping St. James, as the local vicar, Christopher Smith, was absent in London.  Four other village men were also declared to be in London and “have not taken ye Protestation here.”  West Deeping’s Return named 57 men, stating “There are not any that have refused” and was signed by Hugh Maplisden, vicar, two churchwardens and constables.

What happened on 4th July 1648 in Market Deeping?

A significant date for someone in Market Deeping during the Civil War period was 4th July 1648, as it was skilfully carved on to a wooden beam in their house.   The beam is now all that remains of that property and is exposed to view on a wall in the entrance to “The Blades” at the bottom of Church Street.


ANNO DOM * 1648 * IVLY * 4 * R * S

Possibly it was the date of a marriage, or when the house was constructed.   Unfortunately, Market Deeping’s early Parish Register was destroyed  and the Bishop’s copy of baptisms, marriages and deaths for 1648 is also missing.

Joseph Sanderson, Boot & Shoe Maker.1909. At premises 1876-1913

A photograph of Church Street taken in 1909 shows the “missing” house on the right hand side (with thatched roof) situated between the shop with the awning and the white building which is now Tonino’s.


If R S was the owner of the house, he might possibly be one of the men with those initials who took the Protestation Oath in 1642 – Ralph Sandby, Richard Sherman, Robert Smith, Richard Sneath  or Robert Spire.

Local Survey after the execution of Charles I

The King was beheaded in January 1649, and in November that year, a Survey was made of the Manor of East and West Deeping, to assess the value of rental income from its three communities. Although Elizabeth, dowager Countess of Exeter was the immediate tenant, the Manor was still owned by the Crown.  The names of all freeholders and copyhold tenants were listed, together with their annual rents and fines due when property changed hands.

Other sources of income included 10 shillings yearly for “fishing the river from Market Deeping Milnes to Waldrum Hall”,  various tolls and a rent called Treading Silver, paid by the inhabitants of Tallington, Casewick and Uffington, presumably for crossing manorial land. (Waldrum Hall, now demolished, fronted the Welland near Peakirk, in the parish of Maxey.  Milnes is an archaic word for Mills.)  

The Manor was described as containing three towns “each situate a mile distant from the other upon a navigable river called Welland which flowing from Stamford continues its course to Spalding and so to the sea, and upon the said Manor in Market Deeping is a weekly market, held every Wednesday, which is well stored with all necessaries and of great advantage and convenience to the inhabitants there, as to other adjacent parts.” That market still continues today and is part of our long history.

(Transcript of Protestation Returns by Lincolnshire Family History Society.  1649 Survey of the Manor of East & West Deeping held by National Archives, photocopy with Deepings Heritage)