Cymdeithas Hanes Teuluoedd Clwyd
Clwyd Family History Society
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Hel Achau

WAS YOUR ANCESTOR A FREEHOLDER
OR A FREEHOLDER/JUROR ?

by Stewart Blackwell

(from Hel Achau, Issue 27, Spring 1989)

Parish registers sometimes describe a person as a 'freeholder' and an explanation of the term might be useful. Freeholders enjoyed security of tenure in perpetuity under Common Law and so enjoyed a certain status and privilege in the community.

From 1430 until the Reform Act of 1832, freeholders (between the ages of 21 and 70) with land worth at least 40 shillings a year (i.e. land assessed to be worth that amount if put out to rent) were entitled to vote in the elections for the Knight of the Shire to represent the County in Parliament.

In addition, in the period 1696 to 1825, freeholders (between the ages of 21 and 70) with land worth at least £6 a year - £10 in England - were eligible for jury service.

Constables had to return, to the Michaelmas Quarter Sessions, a list for each township of names and places of abode of those qualified for jury service. The justices had the lists entered in a book kept by the Clerk of the Peace and the book was kept amongst the records of the Court of Quarter Sessions.
Great emphasis was placed on the return of these lists, as the Sessions could not function without a grand jury and fines were imposed for failure to submit them, for failure to serve as a juryman and records were kept of the petitions of aged and infirm jurymen to be excused service - good examples survive in the Denbighshire Quarter Sessions Rolls and Order Books at Ruthin RO.

An Act of 1825 extended the qualification for jury service and from that date the lists of freeholders were replaced by jurors' lists. Many of these survive in Record Offices throughout England and Wales. At Ruthin RO are:

Freeholders' Lists: 1742-98 (with many gaps) & 1800-24 (each year for all six Hundreds)

Freeholders' Books: 1765-69; 1778; 1800-1 (indexed); 1808; 1810 (draft) (for the whole of Denbighshire)

Jurors' Lists: 1825-63 (except 1831 and 1832)

Jurors' Books: 1826; 1828; 1829; 1834; 1835-6.

Quite apart from these Quarter Sessions records, lists of freeholders sometimes survive amongst family papers. Appended is an example of such a survival, re-arranged in alphabetical order for easy reference. It is a list of Freeholders in Wrexham and Gresford parishes, made for the 1741 election, and with the Wynnstay MSS in Ruthin RO (DO/WY/6759) and it gives the name of the freeholder, the township where property was held, the place of abode and comments on the status of the freeholder.

The list is of particular interest in that the 1741 election was one of the more notorious contests of the 18th century. Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, the 3rd Baronet, and a strong Jacobite, obtained 1,352 votes, and his rival, John Myddelton, of Chirk Castle, obtained 933. The returning officer, William Myddelton, declared his kinsman, John Myddelton, as the newly-elected member, despite the clear majority for his opponent; using every blatant piece of gerrymandering he could muster! On petition, the House Of Commons, on 23rd February, 1742, ordered the substitution of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn and the erasure of John Myddelton's name from the return and William Myddelton, the High Sheriff, was committed to Newgate Prison and replaced as Receiver General of Denbighshire. Thereafter, the warring families reached a compromise and for many years the Myddeltons held the Denbigh Borough seat and the Williams Wynn family kept the County seat.

Freeholders List - 1741 Election, Bromfield Hundred, Wrexham Parish

Name of freeholder Township Place of Abode County Remarks
APPERLEY, Dr. Wrexham Regis Wrexham DEN
ATCHERLEY, Rich'd Wrexham Regis Wem SAL
BARETT, Charles Bersham Bersham DEN
BARTON, James Govonice Armagh Ireland Gent
BARTHUR, Rich'd Wrexham Regis By Holiwell FLN
BENJAMIN, Rich'd Wrexham Regis Wrexham DEN
BLACKBOURN, Thos. Wrexham Wrexham DEN Gent
BOWEN, Thos. Esclusham Below Esclusham Below DEN
BULKLEY, Thos. Esclusham Above Winstay DEN  
BURTON, Hugh Stansty Stansty DEN  
BUTTALS, James Wrexham Regis Wrexham DEN  
BUTTALS, Jonathan Wrexham Regis London MDX
BUTTALS, Samuell Wrexham Regis London MDX  
CHAMBERS, Charles Brymbo Dartford KEN  
CLARK, James Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN  
CLUB, John Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN  
COLEBANK Govonice Dublin Ireland Gent
CROXON, John Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Regis DEN  
DAVIES, Edward Esclusham Above Esclusham Above DEN  
DAVIES, John Wrexham Regis near Pont Blithin FLN  
DAVIES, Jno. Minera Gwern y Gaseg DEN  
DAVIES, Jno. Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN Gent
DAVIES, Joseph Wrexham Regis Liverpoole LAN Gent
DAVIES, Owen Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN  
DAVIES, Phillip Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN
DAVIES, Robert Bersham Croes Voel DEN Put down in Llanelidan
DAVIES, Roger Abenbury Vawr Abenbury Vawr DEN  
DAVIES, Roger Esclusham Above Esclusham Above DEN  
DAVIES,Thomas Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN  
DAVIES, Trevor Abenbury Vawr Bangor FLN  
DOD, William Brymbo Bathavern Park DEN  
EATON, Thomas Abenbury Vawr Abenbury Vawr DEN Down in Holt
EDWARDS, Edward Minera Wrexham DEN  
EDWARDS, Thomas Brymbo Brymbo DEN  
EDWARDS, Thomas Minera Minera DEN  
EDWARDS, Thomas Minera Gegin Wen DEN  
EDWARDS, -, Rev. Mr. Vicar of Wxm Wrexham DEN
EGERTON, Philip, Esq. Acton Oulton CHS
ELLICE, Rev. Mr. Peter Bersham Oxford OXF  
ELLICE, Robt. Bersham Croes Newydd DEN  
ELLIS, Jno. Bersham Hope FLN  
ELLIS, Luke ab Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN  
EVANS, Willm. Bersham Bersham DEN  
EYTON, Thomas Esq. Bersham Leeswood FLN  
FENNAH, Jacob Esclusham - Ireland
FISHER, Thomas Bersham Bersham DEN  
FISHER, Wm. Brymbo Brymbo DEN  
GRIFFITHS, Edward Esclusham Above Esclusham Above DEN  
GRIFFITHS, Francis Wrexham Wrexham DEN  
GRIFFITHS, Hugh Esclusham Below Ruabon Psh. DEN  
GRIFFITHS, John Broughton Broughton DEN  
GRIFFITHS, Joseph Esclusham Below Havod y bwch DEN  
GRIFFITHS, Roger Abenbury Vawr Kefn DEN Gent
GRIFFITHS, Thomas Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN  
GRIFFITHS & FIDLERS Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN  
HAMPTON, George Wrexham Banbury OXF  
HAMPTON, John Wrexham Regis Wrexham Abbot DEN  
HAMPTON, William Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN  
HANMER, Thos. Brymbo Maesgwailod FLN Gent
HESKETH, John Burras Hovah Burras Hovah DEN  
HOLLAND, -, Rev. Mr. Wrexham Regis Marchwiel DEN  
HOPLEY, John Beiston Beiston DEN  
HUGHES, Jn. Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN Butcher
HUGHES, Jno. Bersham Wrexham DEN Glover
HUGHES, Jno. Stansty Chester CHS Brasier
HUGHES, Jno. Wrexham Wrexham DEN Baker
HUGHES, Matthew Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN  
HUGHES, Richard Wrexham Llansanffraid MGY  
HUGHES, Robt. Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN Butcher
HUGHES, Roger Abenbury Vawr Alchre FLN  
HUGHES, William Brymbo Brymbo DEN  
HUGHES, -, Rev. Mr. Bersham Ruabon DEN  
INCE, - Minera Chester CHS  
JACKSON, Jno. Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Regis DEN  
JEFFREYS, -, Esq. Gate Waen London MDX  
JEFFREYS, Daniel Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN  
JONES, Abraham Minera Chester CHS Baker
JONES, Benjamin Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN Mason
JONES, Charles Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN Tanner
JONES, Edward Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN  
JONES, Ellis Stansty Gresford DEN Clark
JONES, Evan Wrexham Llansanffraid MGY  
JONES, Hugh Esclusham Below Havod y Bwch DEN  
JONES, George Brymbo Brymbo DEN Playwell
JONES, Humphrey Wrexham Ruthin Gaol DEN Flaxdresser
JONES, John Minera Minera DEN  
JONES, John Bersham London MDX  
JONES, Jno. Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN Upholster
JONES, Jno. Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN Miller
JONES, Jno. Wrexham Regis Caia DEN Almanac Maker
JONES, Jno. Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN Bodice Maker
JONES, Jno. Wrexham Abbot London MDX Hatter
JONES, Jno. Acton Hwllpwllykill DEN Gent
JONES, Jonathan Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN Now at London
JONES, Joshua Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Vechan DEN  
JONES, Joseph Wrexham Wrexham DEN Cloathier
JONES, Philip Wrexham Regis Wrexham DEN Sadler
JONES, Richd. Wrexham Coed y Glyn DEN Gent
JONES, Richd. Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN Tanner
JONES, Richd. Broughton Trythyn FLN  
JONES, Samuel Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Regis DEN  
JONES, Thomas Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN Leather cutter
JONES, Thomas Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN  
JONES, Thomas Wxm. Parish Hope FLN  
JONES, William Brymbo Ruthin DEN Apoth.
JONES, Vaughan, Rev. Mr. Broughton Kemys MGY  
JONES, Wm. Rev. Mr. Wrexham Aberhavest MGY  
JOSEPH, John Minera Minera DEN  
JAMES, Edwd. Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN Currier
KNIPE, Arthur Govonice Armagh Ireland Gent
KYFFYN, Thos., Esq. Beiston Wrexham DEN  
LEWIS, Charles Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN  
LITTLEMORE, Jacob Wrexham Abbot Fearn Forge SAL Has sold vote
LLOYD, - Bersham Clock Vaern MGY Has sold vote
LONGUEVIL, Sir Thos. Esclusham Esclusham DEN  
LOXON, Cuthbert Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN  
MANNING, Richd. Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN Apoth.
MATTHEWS, Edwd. Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN Taylor
MATTHEWS, Jno. Esclusham Esclusham DEN  
MATTHEWS, Jno. Wrexham Gourton DEN  
MATTHEWS, Richd. Esclusham Esclusham DEN  
MATTHEWS, Richd. Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN  
MATTHEWS, Sam'll. Brymbo Brymbo DEN  
MATTHIAS, Matthias Brymbo Brymbo DEN  
MEREDITH, Hugh, Esq. Esclusham London MDX  
MEREDITH, Richard Wrexham Abbot Court DEN  
MEREDITH, Thos., Esq. Esclusham Pentrebychan DEN  
MINSHUL, John Minera Codington CHS  
MORGAN, James Stansty Stansty DEN Gent
MOSES, Richd. Esclusham Esclusham DEN Dead
MYDDELTON, Jno. Wrexham Wrexham DEN Apoth.
M'CHONCHY, Thos. Govonice Armagh Ireland  
NATHANIEL, Wm. Senr. Brymbo Brymbo DEN  
NATHANIEL, Wm. Junr. Brymbo Brymbo DEN  
NICHOLAS, Danll. Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN  
OULTON, - Wrexham Regis Banbury OXF Gent
OWEN, Shone Roger Minera Esclusham Above DEN  
OWENS, Hugh Wrexham Wrexham DEN  
OWENS, Richd. Wrexham Regis Wrexham Regis DEN  
OWENS, Roger Bersham Bersham DEN  
OWENS, Thos. Brymbo Brymbo DEN  
PARROT, John Wrexham Wrexham DEN  
PARROT, Robert Wrexham Elismere SAL  
PARRY, Benjamin Wrexham Wrexham DEN Glover
PARRY, David Wrexham Acton DEN  
PARRY, Edward Brymbo Brymbo DEN In Flint Gaol
PARRY, Edward Esclusham Above Hope FLN  
PARRY, Edward Broughton Wrexham Vechan DEN  
PARRY, Henry Brymbo Brymbo DEN  
PARRY, Jno. Wrexham Regis London MDX Glover
PARRY, Simon Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN  
PARTIN, Edward Broughton Gwersyllt DEN  
PARTIN, Thomas Esclusham Above Hanmere FLN  
PHILLIPS, John Esclusham Above Esclusham Above DEN  
PHILLIPS, Philip Wrexham Wrexham DEN  
PHILLIPS, Richd. Bersham ? ?  
PHILLIPS, -, Rev., Mr. Wrexham Whixall SAL  
POINTON, Wm., Junr. Wrexham Wrexham DEN  
POOLE, Samll. Wrexham Wrexham DEN  
PORITT, Adam Beiston Beiston DEN  
PORTER, John Wrexham Regis Chester CHS  
POTTER, Peter Pwllyruwd Chester CHS Gent
POWELL, Jno. Broughton Broughton DEN Gent
POWELL, Joseph Wrexham Regis Abenbury DEN  
POWIS, -, Esq Broughton near Ludlow SAL  
POWNELL, Thos. Wrexham London MDX  
PRICE, Jno. Wrexham Wrexham DEN Gardiner
PRICE, Robt. Wrexham Gwersyllt Mill DEN  
PRICE, Samll. Bersham Bersham DEN  
PRIMROSE, Lord Broughton - - Dead
PROBERT, Hugh Brymbo Brymbo DEN  
PULESTONE, Richd., Esq. Wrexham Wrexham DEN  
PULFORD, Thos., Rev. Mr. Wrexham Wrexham DEN  
PUGH ap JOHN Broughton Acton DEN  
RATCLIFFE, Joseph Wrexham Holiwell FLN Clockmaker
RATCLIFFE, Thos. Wrexham Wrexham DEN Skinner
REDROPE, Edwd. Wrexham Wrexham DEN  
ROBERTS, Edward Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN  
ROBERTS, Jno. Wrexham Wrexham DEN Carpenter
ROBERTS, Jno. Wrexham Wrexham DEN Shoemaker
ROBINSON, Jno. Wrexham Wrexham DEN Joyner
ROE, Willm. Minera Wrexham DEN Gent
ROGERS, Edward Wrexham Hordley SAL  
ROGERS, Hugh Wrexham Wrexham DEN  
ROGERS, John Wrexham Abbot Wrexham DEN  
ROGERS, Jno. Wrexham Frodsham CHS Butcher
ROGERS, Milward Wrexham Oswestry SAL Attorney
ROGERS, William Wrexham Wrexham DEN  
SALISBURY, Robt. Wrexham Wrexham DEN Shoemaker
SAMUEL, Edward Wrexham Horsley DEN  
SAMUEL, Robt. Wrexham Wrexham DEN Butcher
SAMUEL, Robt. Wrexham Plas Coch DEN  
SAMUEL, Rowland Wrexham Wrexham DEN  
SHEFTON, Robert Wrexham Regis Wrexham DEN  
SHEFTON, Edward Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN  
SHEFTON, Robert Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN  
SIDEBOTHAM, Samll. Burras Hovah Winstay DEN  
SIMPSON, Francis Wrexham Wrexham DEN  
SMITH, William Bersham Barton CHS  
SWETTNAM, Thos. Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN In Ruthin Gaol
TAYLOR, Robt. Wrexham Regis Llwyn y Notia DEN  
THELWALL, David Wrexham Wrexham DEN  
THOMAS, Andrew Brymbo Brymbo DEN  
THOMAS, Edward Minera Minera DEN  
THOMAS, Elias Wrexham Wrexham DEN  
THOMAS, Jno. Brymbo Brymbo DEN Weaver
THOMAS, Rees Bacon Wrexham London MDX  
THOMAS, Richard Abenbury Vawr Caemynach DEN  
THOMAS, Richard Wrexham Regis SAL SAL  
TRAVERSE, John Wrexham Regis Trevalin DEN  
TRAVERSE, William Wrexham Regis London MDX
VALENDINE, Jno. Wrexham Wrexham DEN Butcher
WATERS, Thos. Wrexham London MDX  
WEAVER, Richd., Esq. Abenbury Vawr - -  
WETNALL, Edwd. Wrexham Wrexham DEN  
WILCOCK, John Wrexham Wrexham DEN  
WILCOCK, Robert Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN  
WILLIAMS, Edwd. Esclusham Below Hafod y bwch DEN Gent
WILLIAMS, John, Esq. Esclusham London MDX  
WILLIAMS, Jno. Wrexham Wrexham DEN Tanner
WILLIAMS, Jno. Wrexham Abbot Wrexham Abbot DEN Smith
WILLIAMS, Jno. Esclusham Above Trythyn FLN  
WILLIAMS, Kyffin, Esq. Esclusham Chester CHS  
WILLIAMS, Thos. Wrexham Wrexham DEN Baker
WILLIAMS, Thos. Wrexham Wrexham DEN Shoemaker
WILLIAMS, Thos. Esclusham Above Trythyn FLN  
WRAGG, -, Rev. Mr. Wrexham Wittenbury CHS Clerk
WYNNE, Jno. Esclusham Above Esclusham Above DEN  

NOTE:
The old town of Wrexham was divided into two townships, Wrexham Abbot and Wrexham Regis.

Wrexham Abbot was that part of the town which was, historically, under the control of the Church, that is, the monks of Valle Crucis Abbey. It included: Abbot Street; Bridge Street; Brook Street; College Street; Court Estate; Esclusham Detatched (Old Vicarage; Well Square; Well Street); Pentre Felin; Pen y Bryn; Ruabon Road; Stryd Draw; The Walks; Wrexham Abbot Detached (Pwll yr Ud).

Wrexham Regis was that part of the town which was, historically, under the control of the Crown. It included: Beast Market; Charles Street; Chester Street; Church Street; Hafod Y Wern; Henblas Street; High Street; Holt Street; Hope Street; Lampit Street; Mount Street; Queen Street; Salop Road; Town Hill; Tuttle Street; Wrexham Fechan; Yorke Street.

 

Freeholders List - 1741 Election, Bromfield Hundred, Gresford Parish

Name of freeholder Township Place of Abode County Remarks
ADDERTON, Richd. Burton Shorley FLN
ALLINGTON, Charles Gresford Banbury OXF  
ALLINGTON, Edwd. Gresford Gwersyllt DEN  
BALL, Jonathan Burton Chester CHS Att.
BAYLIE, Nicholas, Esq. Allington Plas Newydd AGY  
BENNION, Wm. Allington Allington DEN  
BREESE, Robt. Burton Burton Hall DEN  
BROCK, Thos. Burton Chester CHS  
BROUGHTON, Edwd. Gwersyllt Gwersyllt DEN  
BROWN, Thos. Gresford Gresford DEN  
BRUENE, Benjamin, Esq. Allington Trevalin DEN  
BURGENEY, Jno. Allington Pulford CHS Gent
CLUB, Thomas Allington Allington DEN  
CLUB, - Burton Chester CHS  
DAVIES, Thos. Allington Lavister DEN  
EDWARDS, Edwd. Gwersyllt Gwersyllt DEN  
EDWARDS, Jno. Gresford Gresford DEN  
EDWARDS, William Burton Chester CHS  
ELLIS, Jno., Senr. Llay Llay DEN  
ELLIS, Jno., Junr. Llay Caemawr DEN  
EVANS, Thos. Erlas Llay DEN  
EYTON, Thomas Llay Trythen FLN  
GLYN, Sir Jno. Burton Hawarden FLN  
GORTON, Daniel Allington Eaton Brewen CHS  
GRIFFITHS, Jno. Gwersyllt Gwersyllt DEN  
GROSVENOR, Sir Robt. Allington Eaton CHS Bart.
HUGHES, Peter Llay Pulford CHS  
HUMBERSTON, Cawley, Esq. Gwersyllt Gwersyllt DEN  
HUMPHRIES, Jno. Burton Lavester DEN  
HOLIWELL, Jno. Allington - CHS  
JARVIS, Samuel Burton Chester CHS  
JONES, Edward Burton Burton Hall DEN  
JONES, John Burton Hekre DEN  
JONES, Joshua Gresford Croesyockin DEN  
JONES, Richd. Llay Wrexham DEN Apoth.
JONES, Richd. Llay Hewlvadock DEN  
JONES, Robt. Llay Rhud Goli FLN  
JONES, Robt. Gwersyllt Gwersyllt DEN  
LEWIS, Robt. Gwersyllt Ruabon Psh. DEN  
LEWIS, Wm. Gwersyllt Acton DEN  
LLOYD, Edwd., Esq. Allington Llwyn y maen SAL  
LLOYD, John Gwersyllt Gwersyllt DEN  
LLOYD, Richd. Esq. Burton Chester CHS  
LLOYD, Thos. Pendist Allington Chester CHS  
LLOYD, William Gwersyllt Brymbo DEN  
MADDOCKS, - Allington Chester CHS Goldsmith
MADDOKS, Wm. Esq. Llay Llay Hall DEN  
MOOR, Edwd. Erthig Wrexham DEN Gent
NEEDHAM, -, Captain Gresford London MDX  
PARSONAGE, Thos. Allington Allington DEN  
PA??, John Burton Chester CHS  
PA??, Thos. Burton Croeshowell CHS  
PIERCE, -, Senr., Esq. Allington Holiwell FLN  
PIERCE, -, Junr., Esq. Allington Holiwell FLN  
PRICE, John Llay Mold FLN  
PRICE, Thos. Llay Velin Bilston DEN  
PROBERT, Hugh Gwersyllt Gwersyllt DEN  
RANDLES, Richd. Allington Allington DEN  
ROBERTS, Ellis Llay Dodleston CHS  
ROGERS, Jno. Llay Llay DEN  
ROGERS, Robt. Llay Llay DEN  
ROGERS, Robt. Gwersyllt Gwersyllt DEN  
SHAKERLEY, Geo., Esq. Gwersyllt Llanrhaiader DEN  
SHAKERLEY, Pet., Esq. Gwersyllt Chester CHS  
SHAKERLEY, Rev. Geo. Gwersyllt Oxford OXF  
SHONE, Jno. Burton Llyntro DEN  
SMITH, Thos. Burton Burton DEN  
SORTON, - Burton Chester CHS  
THOMAS, John Burras Ryffra Burras Ryffra DEN  
TILSTON, Peter Allington Allington DEN  
TISTRAM, Febian Burton Chester CHS Apoth.
TREVOR, Richd. Esq. Holt Park London MDX  
TREVOR, Jno. Morley Esq. Allington London MDX  
USHER, Hugh Burton Burton DEN  
WAINWRIGHT, Wm. Allington Pooton CHS  
WILBRAHAM, Jno. Erlas Two mile house CHS  
WILLIAMS, Jno. Burton Burton DEN  
WRIGHT, Jno. Erlas Wrexham DEN Tanner
WYNNE, Rev. Wm. Allington Tower FLN  
YORK, Simon, Esq. Erthig Erthig DEN  

 


This page was last revised 9th June 2013
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