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Removal Orders

Mary DIAMOND from Beaford, Devon to Ring Ash (Ashreigney) 1764. We have not yet been able to identify this Mary.

Robert FOLLAND [2384] with his wife Joan nee BLACKMORE and four children were to be removed from Roborough the birth place of Joan and at least three of the four children back to Beaford his birth village. From the baptisms of their children they must have lived in Roborough for at least ten years. No reason for the removal has been found. The removal order was dated the fourteenth day of December in the nineteenth year of the reign of George the third, which was 1778. It was signed by H Stevens and Geo. Bickford Justices of the Peace for Devon.

Martin GILES [1056] and Jane nee HADLAND 13th November 1790  The order stated that

“Martin Giles and his wife Jane have come to inhabit Hampton Gay not having gained legal settlement there nor produced a certificate, owing themselves to be settled elsewhere.....and are likely to become chargeable to the Parish”.

Martin was examined under oath by two Justices of the Peace who concluded they did not have a legal settlement in Hampton Gay, Oxfordshire and were removed to Hampton Poyle, Oxfordshire

Thomas Giles was born in Hampton Poyle about 1791(calculated from the burial register entry - Buried 13 Aug 1865 age 74.) so it was possibly his impendent arrival that lead to the removal order.

The thought of pregnant Jane being in the words of the order

“conveyed from and out of the parish of Hampton Gay and delivered to the Church Wardens and the Overseers of the Poor of Hampton Poyle”

is sad and rather cruel. It is difficult to know why 22 year old Martin was not able to settle in Hampton Gay the village of his birth which had a flourishing paper mill at the time. We can only conclude that he had been working for some time in Hampton Poyle and will look for an apprentice bond for him. Being bound apprentice until the age of 21 in Hampton Poyle would explain why he was considered to be settled in that village. The Overseers favoured apprenticeships out of parish for this reason.

William SLEE [2561] The order dated 11 May 1831 was to the Church wardens and Overseers of the Poor of the parish of Merton and the same of the Parish of Great Torrington. It appears that Geore SLEE with his wife Grace and children; Sally about 12, Ann about 10, William about 8, Priscilla about 6, Martha about 4 and Eliza about 2, had gone to Merton without the right of settlement and had become chargeable to the Parish. The Justices having examined William under oath had concluded that they were the responsibility of Great Torrington and the Wardens of Merton were ordered to take the family to Great Torrington. This seems a strange decision as all the named children and three older daughters were baptised in Merton. Whatever happened, following the order a further daughter Catherine was baptised in MERTON on 29 July 1832 and Ann and Priscilla later married there. They are in Merton for the 1841 &1851 censuses.

Notes on Settlement and Removal Orders.

Oxford Quarter Sessions, Canon Oldfield’s Calendar - Oxford Record Office
Removal Order - Oxford Record Office
Beaford Poor Law Records - Barnstaple Record Office
Removal Order 1764  2215Aa Add P022 - Barnstaple Record Office


From 1662 and the Act of Settlement to 1834 with the Poor Law Amendment Act each parish was responsible for its own poor. To reduce the cost to the parish for the upkeep of illegitimate children, care of the sick and adults unable to find work etc. it was important to establish who had the right of settlement and therefore entitled to relief. If the church wardens had doubt that someone did not have the right of settlement and was likely to be need relief and become a charge  on the parish, they would be taken before two Justices of the Pease for an examination to determine which parish they belonged to. If settlement was proved to be in another parish a removal order was issued forcing the person and their family to return to their home parish. In order to be considered a resident a person had to have been born in the parish, to have been an apprentice in the parish, to be able to rent accommodation which was valued at more than £10 per annum or to have had continuous employment with one employer in the parish for a complete year.

The majority of settlement examinations were of farm labourers but there are cases for mining and industrial workers. Mining families followed the work from area to area and only employed for less than a year at a time thereby no gaining the right of settlement. This meant that they did not offering any threat on the parish finances but they added considerably to the parish wealth while they were working in the mine.

Settlement examinations.

We have found three settlement examination reports of family members the first two are for of a miner and an agricultural worker neither ending with a removal order. The third much shorter report was for a mason again no removal order has been found but he is no longer in the disputed parish on the next census. There are also three removal orders without the examination report.

John RULE of Thrushelton, Devon Examined 5 May 1791 in Lifton, Devon

In Summary



Approx dates


Whythyam, Cornwall

from  birth to age10.

1753- 1763

This is Gwithian Cornwall

Francis HOCKIN Camborne

3 x 2 yrs  to age 16

1763 -1769

Father's home in Gwithian

for 10wks


Stamping Mill Camborne James Vivian



to about 18 lived in Gwithian with Father

Mine in Camborne  


1772- 1774

to about 20

With father in Camborne


1774- 1778

to about 24

Father died so he kept house with sister

2 or 3yrs


to about 27

With brother Camborne


1781 1782

to about  28

Beer Ferris, Devon

2yrs 7mnths

1782- 1785

to about 31

Working in the mine some times by the month and other times by the job but was always free at any month's end

Lidford mine

for 11 months

 1785- 1786

to about 32

Then “worked at different mines but never done any act to gain any settlement”


to about 38

This is John RULE [4379] baptised 9 Sep 1753 Gwithian son of John and Catherine nee BRYANT.

John and his wife Ann already had three children at the time of his examination. He returned to Camborne where another three children were born and then on to Gwinear where his last two children were born.

William DYMENT [134] 20 Nov 1826 Beaford, Devon

William took an oath before two Justices of the Peace Ingle H FORTESCUE and Peter GLUBB. He gave a detailed account of all his employment since he was 13.

This is summarised below



 pay /week




until about 13 years old


Mr John Blackmore

of Roborough

6 mnths

Robert Paige

of Saint Giles

3 mnths

Mr Francis Judd

of Beaford


from Ladyday + 3days to the following Ladyday


Same master


to within 9 weeks of Ladyday


Mr Samuel Wadland

of Roborough


to the  following Ladyday


father made bargain with master



same master

— driving horses


to Ladyday



14 weeks

Mr Emanuel Lockaday

of Roborough


32 weeks

ill Father’s House

 in Beaford

8 weeks  Ladyday + 10days


Henry Passmore

of St Giles


Ladyday following


Thomas Brinsmead

of Saint Giles

9 weeks

Father’s House

1 month

Mr Judd

of Saint Giles

Midsummer  to Ladyday


Married “and has done no other act where by to gain a settlement

Ladyday is the 25th March the day traditionally when hirings were made

This is William baptised in Beaford 1 Sep 1803 son of Robert and Sarah nee SQUANCE

William remained in Beaford with his wife Charlotte nee PARR where they had 7 children between 1828 and 1849.

Both men show how they have been paid by the job or the month this was done so that they could not claim settlement which require working for one employer continuously for a year. Notice how John was in Lidford for 11 months just short of the required year. Both stress that the have not done any act to gain settlement.

William SLEE [2569] was examined on 27 March 1850 but no removal order has been found. On the 1851 census his wife and two children appear to be in High Bickington. She was described as a pauper glover, but William is not with them.

William was brought by the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of Merton for examination by the Justice of the peace John Henry FURSE.  They said that he had come to live in Merton but had not lived there for five years previously nor had he produced a certificate which allowed him residence elsewhere. They said he was now changeable to the parish which indicates that he had no work or was unable to work. In his examination William said

“I was born as I have heard and believe in The Parish of Merton where my parents lived and I am now about 29 years of age. I lived with my Father and learnt my trade from him as a Mason, until within the last 2 or 3 years my father furnished me with clothes and pocket money. I had no regular wages”.

On leaving his father’s house he lived with a William Talamy still within the parish of Merton but then he had two and a half years in Tormorham. His son was born in Torquay in that region.from there he had returned to Merton. As yet we have not been able to find him since the examination nor his wife and children after the 1851 census.

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