The Edwinstowe Man who Stole the Land

Photo:Edwinstowe Petition from Tenants of Edwinstowe

Edwinstowe Petition from Tenants of Edwinstowe

Nottinghamshire Archives DD4P 79/31

Edwinstowe Village

By Meg Stokes

The Edwinstowe Man who Stole the Land


In 1660 a petition was sent to the Duke of Newcastle, the Lord of the Manor of Edwinstowe to complain about one Charles Gosling, an Edwinstowe man who was causing problems for the other tenants.  It was sent by Miles Oldham and other tenants of Edwinstowe.


Charles Gosling had sued tenants at Redford (Retford) Sessions, the Provisional Court and the Common Law Courts.  He had encroached on land which had belonged to the Duke for the past 30 years.  As a result of this encroachment, one man was slain and one man was robbed of a house which ‘now harbours thieves’.  Could it be that there were then squatters in the house?  A case was pending at the Nottingham Assizes, presumably relating to the death of the unfortunate man.


The petitioners asked that Charles Gosling be brought before the Duke to explain his behaviour and ‘what right he holds in that ground.’


A small example of the way in which people in the 17th century were aware of their rights and, by presenting a united front, were able to petition the landowner to deal with problems. 

This page was added by Meg Stokes on 16/03/2011.

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