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(Folk) History


A Gloucestershire Folk Map has come to our attention, and Somerford Keynes is on it! Why? John Ockwell (1871-1944), who graced the cover of V.2 of the History Disk, “was a farmer and noted local singer, following his father in both professions. Alfred Williams collected only one song from him, ‘The bunch of nuts’, but it appears that he was known both for singing at home and in the local pub, and when his daughter [Marjorie?] died a number of printed song sheets were found” from Gloucestershire Folk Map, Yvette Staelens and CJ Bearman, Bournemouth University 2010 Has anyone more information? PW Sept 2016

Lloyd George “Peoples Budget” 1909

Lloyd George introduced pensions for all. To pay for it, it was decided to soak the rich, by taxing increases in land value. The House of Lords created a constitutional crisis by rejecting the bill, so they were stripped of power to reject finance bills and the Act was passed the next year. The Inland Revenue then set to work on a modernday Domesday Book of land- all land. The paperwork describes much detail about land. Much has been transcribed for the County by volunteers, and can be found here.  After may years of toil the tax was abandoned, just like the Poll Tax, Bluestreak, TSR2, Nimrod.
The Somerford Keynes History Group holds meetings from time to time in the village hall, usually on Mondays in winter. Contact Judy Monger if you are interested in the group. There is no membership fee, but a small charge is made per meeting to cover costs. The group has issued a resources disk packed with local information, which is updated from time to time. Knowyourplacewest now contains maps of various dates between 1840 and today for Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. You can update the map with historical items yourself. This is moderated, and you will need to prove copyright permission for whatever you put up. There is a useful tutorial on the first page. See what came before your house. December 2017, tithe maps said to be added to available maps. The WG Standard has been digitised by British Newspaper Archives from about 1837-1910. You need a subscription to study it, or book a computer in the Bingham library for free access. There is a more complete set of microfilms that can be studied there, too. Jim King’s son, from Cardiff, has presented us with an 1806 map of the parish, see heading of meetings page. The young Mr. King remembers living some 50 years ago on the corner of Mill Lane. His father later moved to Elm View, and in retirement did gardening in the village. Have a look at this page and see if you recognise the map!
Somerford Keynes A Parish in the Cotswold Water Park
© Somerford Keynes Parish Council and contributors 2014-9
Somerford Keynes History Group
Bristol Mercury Feb 13th 1892 Betty Bathe of Somerford Keynes v. Thomas Hayward of Ashton Keynes claimed £6.6s for six quarters rent of a cottage. The amount was not disputed, but the defendant questioned plaintiff’s right to the cottage. His Honour adjourned the case for plaintiff to prove her title under her father’s will as evidence, remarking that in case of the action going against him defendant would have to pay the expenses of this process. Research by Ann Whitwell
These pictures are from a Group visit to the working mill at Lower Mill February 2011. The people in the third picture have all worked in the mill (apart from the baby!) : Will Viccary, Fred Timbrell and John Hayward
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“Through the Saxon Door” a History of Somerford Keynes to 1968 by Canon Gibbons is still available as a 1985 reprint in the church for £5. It has been seen on the web for about £25! For a little recent history uncovered in the files see the article “Parish Expands” on the  Parish Council page
Page updated 18 April 2019
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The Rural Police A correspondent says - The rate- payers of the parish of Ssomerford Keynes, Wiltshire wish to know what is become of the police of their neighbourhood, as the following depredations have been committed within about the last fortnight (namely) a fat lamb stolen on the night of 29th May last, belonging to Mr Edward Pickett, butcher of Somerford Keynes, from his field, and killed in a stall in the same field, and carried away. Likewise a few nights before, five bushels of potatoes from Mr John Taylor’s, and about a week before, two slaughtered calves skins from an outhouse, on the premises of the aforesaid J.T., but afterwards found by his servants hid in a hollow tree. from: The Wiltshire Independent, Thursday June 5th 1845 Research by Ann Whitwell