The Old Church. The old Church is supposed to have been rebuilt in the reign of Henry VIII. It consisted of a nave, a small tower nearly in the middle of the south side, having a clock, a porch westward of the tower, and a short aisle on the east of it. Mr. Geo. Fellows has a water colour drawing of the building made by Mrs. W. Enfield. The whole was of Perpendicular date, but the demolition of the building in 1842-3 had proceeded far before proper notes were taken to ascertain the period of its erection. The tower was then found shattered and dangerous, the north wall was very much out of the perpendicular, and part of it had been rebuilt with red bricks. The whole building was in so delapidated a condition that the chancel was the only part which it was found possible to retain. The stone bowl of the ancient font was found to have been stored away for a long lapsse of time somewhere under the altar. The Church provided accommodation for 270 persons, only thirty-five sittings out of that number being tree and unappropriated. For a description of the new church see page 19.

Vicarage. In a Terrier of the Glebe lands made in 1784, among many other items not here copied, it is mentioned that belonging to the glebe were "eight cow pastures lying in the head cow pasture," "eighty sheep gates," the tythe of wool and lamb, of hemp and flax, of tofts and crofts, Easter offerings, oblations, mortuaries, Lammas's dues for cows, calves, mares and foals, a rate for servants wages, viz., a farthing in the shilling in every pound; the tithe of all the orchards, pigs, eggs, etc.

The Cross. The Cross was closely connected with the church. The name only is retained, for the structure is gone. Its site joins the Manor House, which was the centre of village authority in the olden time. Here, where four cross roads met, there stood according to tradition, for there is no historical evidence, a stone erection, with steps surmounted by a cross. It was not only a meeting place, it may have been as tradition says a corn market, but the object for its erection was as a stimulant to devotion, the cross being typical of the greatest self-sacrifice known in history. "He (Christ) loved us and gave Himself for us," was the lesson taught. In the olden times there would, on occasions such as harvest festivals, be processions from the church, round the cross and back. It is said that less than a hundred years ago vestiges of an old stone cross, with shaft and steps were here, the last vestiges having been removed about 1860. Such crosses, or calvary's, are common in Belgium and Poland now, and in the war we repeatedly read of a calvary standing at cross roads, and untouched by bullets or shells which were hailed past.

The Manor. The ownership of the Manor, and of the land or property in the parish generally is not of interest to the reader, and a few items only will be given. Our Norman Kings claimed to be entitled to a special tax, called scrutage, when the king's daughter married. When therefore Henry II. would give his daughter in marriage, the sheriff of Notts., William Fitz-Ralf, in 1169, demanded and received from the men of Beston ten marks (£6 18s. 4d.) and equal to over £165 now. It seems an excessive sum, and the men of Arnold paid only half the amount.

A little later than the foregoing John de Bellocampo held the manor of Beston from the king, in chief, and paid 40/-for a knight's fee That is he held sufficient land to place him under the obligation as a knight to go to the wars when the king required, and sometimes the king preferred money to service.

Of all the kings none equalled John in his exactions and extortions. One of the first illegal acts when he became king was to order an assessment called scrutage for his coronation, and Hugh de Belcap— so called—had to pay £8 for his estate Ernebi (Arnold), and £14 in Beston, but another account says the men of Beston paid the £14. These illegal scrutages followed ten times in John's reign at double previous amounts (McKechire, p. 74). About 1216 Miles and Richard Bellocampo paid two marks, 26/8, for one knight's fee.

An item may be given here, although it does not. concern the manor. William de Beston in 1206 paid the sheriff ten marks that he "might be permitted to return to religion." This does not mean penitence for wrong doing, but probably he had been a member of a monastic order, and left it, and desiring to return was penalized, not by the prior, but by King John, who wanted money, and would have it, and did not care how he obtained it.

Richard de Bello-Campo and his brother Hugh, died without issue, and left their sisters heirs, one of whom, Sara, married Adam de Hockewold, who by right of his wife and the prior of Wymondley, and others, held this town (See Thor., p. 20, vol. 1).

Edward I., in 1283, desirous of making provision for his mother, assigned to her a large number of knights' fees, that is the monetary payments that were annually and customarily paid by the knights in respect of the ownership of land held under grant from the king, and in his grant the king assigned the fees "to our most dear mother, Eleanor, Queen of England." Among the knights' fees was that of Ralph de Bello Campo, in Beston. We must admire the king's action in making provision for his mother, although we may not admire her character. She was not the Queen Eleanor who died at Harby, in Notts., in 1290, who was wife of Edward, hut his mother, who died the year afterwards.

In 1310 Roger de Bello Campo, as lord of the parish, paid 40/- for a knight's fee on the occasion of making the king's son a knight. The term a knight's fee was determined by rent or valuation, rather than by acreage * * and £20 worth of annual value, which, until the reign of Edward I, was the qualification for knighthood. (Stubbs, 268).

The Manor of Beeston had been given to the Priory of Wymondley, in Hertfordshire, and when the monasteries were suppressed this manor was, in 1537, granted to James Needham, he paying 69s. 4d. a year rent for it. He sold it to William Bolles, but it again came to the Crown, and Queen Elizabeth, 1601, passed it to Benjamin Harris and Robert Morgan. It eventually came to Lord Sheffield, who divided it up, and sold it to diverse freeholders.

A Bondman. A very singular case is recorded as having taken place in Bestun about the year 1240, by the sale of a bondman, without being accompanied by the sale of the estate. John, the son of Robert, living at the Corner in Bestun (query, would that be against the Cross?) and therefore probably called Robert a Corner, was a bondman, and the lords of the manor at Beeston were at that time named de Bello Campo. Sybil de Bello Campo, late the wife of Henry Puterel, of Thurmunstun, that is Thrumpton. was the owner of John, and she sold him, and all his chattels and sequels, which included his children, if he had any, in perpetuity, to Henry de Matloc, the consideration being half a marc, or 6s. 8d. The grant has a green seal with the figure of a woman in a long cloak, bearing a hawk on her right wrist, and is in the papers at Wollaton Hull (MSS. pp. 62 and 63). About ten years afterwards, Henry, son of Henry Puterel, of Thurmunton, gave a release to Roger, son of Ralph de Beston, of John, son of Robert de Beston, and all his sequels and chattels. "For this demission and release Roger has paid him 28/- beforehand. Henry and his heirs shall warrant John, with all his offspring and chattels, to Roger as a free man, and quit of all bondage service." There are some queries in the case which cannot be answered ; Sybil's grant may have required Henry's consent. Henry de Matloc may be the same as the second Henry de Puterel, etc. John may have been a boy in the first transaction, and a man in the second. If not, the first sum named, equal to about £613s. 4d. now, realized about £28 in the second sale, which was either a large profit, or shows the value John set on his freedom. My friend, Mr. Samuel Corner, has taken much trouble to find a similar case. Paul Vinogradoff in Villeinage in England says, "such translations were uncommon," p. 151, and Thorold Rogers, in "History of Agriculture and Prices," vol. 1, p. 71, says that he had not found "a solitary instance of the actual sale." Sales of estates with the bondmen and their families with them were not uncommon, and there is the record of one of the same estate, for John de Beauchamp and Richard de Beauchamp, in 1241, gave two bovats (? 80 acres) of land in Beston. which Jordan; son of Yvo, held—that is was tenant of—together with the said Jordan, and all his sequela, to the Priory of Lenton,—that is not only the land, but the man who worked it, and his offspring and chattels were given to the Priory, for Jordan was a bondman.

Borough Records.The "de Beston's" are frequently mentioned in  the Borough Records about A.D. 1800 to 1400, in connection with property matters, and sometimes otherwise. Gilbert de Beeston had, in 1300, a building in the Saturday Market assigned to the Prior of Lenton (65). To the transfer of a coal mine at Cossall, in 1348, John de Beeston and Robert de Beeston, Robert de Chilwell, then clerk, and others were witnesses (145). In 1354-5 Mary de Waterwood stole two hawks which belonged to Stephen Romylowe, constable of the castle, and was led to gaol, and John de Beeston, who was a barker, that is a tanner, became surety for her. In 1375 William de Beeston was bailiff (afterwards called sheriffs) and witnessed the lease of a tavern under a tenement opposite the chapel in the Daily Market (that is Weekday Cross) 189. Roger de Beeston was in 1879 sole decennary (a kind of constable) in Barkergate, Belward. (203). There are many other references.

In 1438 the sons of Richard Beeston made a grant of lands, etc., in Nottingham, Radford and Lenton, to three persons named, and the grant included eight shillings of silver of annual rent, to be received from the Chantry in Beeston (B.R., 169).

The bridge over the Leen at the foot of Hollow Stone was, in the olden time, a very long bridge of many arches, and all the wapentakes, or divisions of the County, were under obligation to keep it in repair, and naturally they begrudged the cost. In the Borough Records is a paper dated in 1482, whereby it appears the sheriff is to have the bodies of the officers of the wapentakes before the king, but he appears to have distrained on their goods for the repair of the bridge. Among the names are " Henry Walker of Maunsfeld, and John Bampton of Beston, men of the wapentake of Brokestowe." (B.B., 420).

The Nottingham Town Council was determined not to have outsiders settle in Nottingham lest they should become chargeable to the rates. In 1613 "John Turner came from Beestou, taken into ye Holowston by Maister Shaw, is to go to Saint John's."—B R. The old Hospital had become a place of shelter, but where was the food to come from ?

Candidates for a public office were required as a condition for qualification to publicly receive the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. The Minister and Churchwardens of St. Mary's Church, Nottingham, in 1744, gave a certificate that John Henson, lately promoted to the Vicarage of Beeston, did receive the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the Usage of the Church of England, in the public Church of St. Mary, immediately after Divine Service, etc.—B.R. 188.

There is in the Wollaton Hall MS. p. 437, an entry by the steward, which shows the careful way in which he kept his accounts in 1578: "To a poore man of Beesson for presenting my Mrs. with ij woodcocks vjd."

County Records. A woman was in 1638 ordered by the court to be  whipped on her naked body, at Beeston, by the constable there "until blood shall show three several times." The offence was a shocking case of incest. (O.B., 41).

There was a case of whipping for a different kind of offence. On Easter Sunday, 1027, John Weston, a "taylor," after receiving the Sacrament, was in an alehouse, and drinking till he was drunk. He was sent to the House of Correction to be whipped. (C.E., 44).

The Plague. The plague raged in Beeston near the end of Queen Elizabeth's reign, and according to the parish register, "Between 17th May, 1598, and 22nd March. 1594, are recorded the names of nearly 140 persons who died at the visitation of the plague." Whether this sad result was at all owing to unhealthy conditions, to poverty, or to filth, we cannot say. It was a highly infectious disease, resembling severe fevers, accompanied by shivering, rise of temperature, aches, sickness, weakness, delirium, bleeding, swellings, etc., with dark patches on the skin. There was then unfortunately little knowledge of the value of good sanitation, nursing and nourishment. The site of the grave, called " the Plague Hole," the .Rev. T. J. Oldrini says was at the east end of the churchyard. At Bingham the bodies were buried in a field apart. Rating contributions had to be paid, and infected houses cleansed and sweetened.