Cornelius BROWN

Cornelius BROWN (of Lowdham – b. 15 Mar 1852 – d. 4 Nov 1907) was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, also a Vice-President of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire.  He was born in 1852 at Lowdham, Notts and became a journalist on The Nottingham Daily Guardian.  There he produced a column “Notes about Notts.”  In 1874 he was appointed (age 22) as Editor of The Newark Advertiser.   Over the next 33 years, he wrote seven major books, including a two-volume, History of Newark, which took him 15 years to research and write.

He contributed to various journals and published the following books on Nottinghamshire history:

Notes about Notts.” (1874), “The Annals of Newark” (1879), “The Worthies of Notts.” (1882), “An Appreciative Life of the Earl of Beaconsfield,” “True Stories of the Reign of Queen Victoria” (1886), “A History of Nottinghamshire” (1891), and “A History of Newark” in two volumes (1905 and 1907).

This last title and self-imposed task occupied all his spare time and energy for fifteen long years, and in his own words: “Newark is worthy of the book, and if the book prove worthy of the town, my ambition and reward are alike realised.”

On 31st Oct 1907 he corrected the last proof [of volume 2 of his History of Newark] for the printer – he died four days later, on 4th Nov..

 A history of Nottinghamshire 1896 is available online on the Notts History Portal:

 Coddington extracts from “A History of Newark Vol I by Cornelius BROWN:

Henry III
Two Oxgangs given by the King to the churches of Stokes Codintun and Ronceby Richard HOPPERTRAVE 
One acre and two messuages, made in the presence of the Bishop of Lincoln [Page 67] 

Final agreement between JOHN precentor of Lincoln and Walter KING re half a toft of Newark.  Walter recognised it to belong to [the] precentor and his churches of Stoke, Codintun and Ronceby and the precentor granted it to Walter and his wife Beatrice for their lives at a rent of 6d. [Page 67]

From Feet of Fines:
Edward I
Henry, son of Robert le PORTER of Codingtone and Matthew, son of Robert le CLERK of Farndon and Alice who was wife of Robert the PORTER of Codingtone one Toft, two  Oxgangs of land 6/7 rent and a rent of One pound of Cummin in Coyngton, Newerk and Northgate. 20 Pounds. [Page 99] 

In another long document handed in by the Jurors, not of the town of Newark alone, but of the Wapentake, it is alleged that John de BOLYNGBROKE and John POWER, collectors of the fifteenth in the County of Notts., took for their own use, 4/- from Coddington, 10/- from Farndon and 12/- from Balderton and similar amounts from all the town of the whole County. [Page 120] 

Hugh de ASTON and Margery his wife and Alice, daughter of William de BARNEBY 5 messuages, 1 toft, 1 carucate, 15 acres and 1 rood of land and 8 acres of meadow in Newerk, Codyngton and Barneby.  Alice recognised the holding to be the right of Margery of which the said Hugh and Margery have 3 messuage the said toft, 1 carucate of land and 4 acres of meadows by the gift of the said Alice and besides the said Alice granted her 1 messuage, 7 acres and 1 rood of land in the said towns of Newerk and Coddyngton which Hawisia who was the wife of William de BARNEBY held for the term of her life and also 1 messuage, 8 acres of land and 4 acres of meadow in the town of Barneby which Richard PRENTIZ of Newek held for the term of 15 years.  And after the death of Hawisia they shall revert to the said Alice and her heirs etc., ect. [Page 142] 

In 1449 J. BARGRAVE, Esquire, and Tho. BROUN of co. Essex, released to John HERSY, Esquire, and his heirs all the right in 40 messuages, 40 gardens, 240 acres of land, and 80 acres of meadow, in Newark, Stoke, Coddington, and Balderton [Page 178] 

Wool is still a principal source of the wealth of Newark.  In 1550, Anthony FOSTER, the Bishop’s bailiff and actual governer of Newark, owned 723 sheep, goinge for the moste parte of the year of several pastures, and several marshes.  Christopher GRENE owned 162 sheep,goinge for the moste parte of the year out of several pastures and several marshes.  John WILKINSON owned 146, Nicholas CARZNET owned 260, Richard LEVERTON 180, John WILSON 144.  At Thorpe, Widow WHITTINGTON had 147.  There were 147 at Balderton, 140 at Coddington, 580 at Stoke, belonging to owners who had so many sheep that they were taxed for the surplusage of the poll of the said sheep
From Lay Subsidy Rolls [Page 187]

Several members of the family of CODYNGTON were in holy orders about the time of 1351.  While William was chantry priest at Newark, John de CODYNGTON was Recter of Bottesford, and in 1359-60 founded a chantry there.  He was succeeded by Henry de CODYNGTON, instituted in 1361, who founded a chantry in 1403, at the Altar of St. Peter, in the Parish Church of Coddington, which he endowed with lands in Coddington and Holme.  He died 4th Sep 1404, and was buried in the chancel at Bottesford,where a fine sepulchral brass still remains [Page 221] 
100s paid to Edward NORMAN, incumbent of the chantry in Coddington [Page 236] 

Newark Parish Church
On a mural Tablet  “Sacred to the memory of Garret ORDOYNO, who departed this life November 29th 1795, also Jacob ORDOYNO.  Who died a bachelor January 9th 1812. This monument is erected as a tribute of gratitude by Garret ORDOYNO, of Coddington, son and nephew of the above“. [Page 314]

Marble tablet  in the east corner of the north aisle of the Chancel “In affectionate rememberance of James THORPE, Esq., of Beaconfield, in this county, departed this life November 4th 1843, aged 52 years.  He was a magistrate of the Borough, and twice served the office of Mayor in the years 1832 and 1835“.

Below on another tablet : “In memory of James THORPE, gent, who died 12th October 1839, aged 84yrs; also of Lydia his wife, who died 9th March, 1844, aged 86 years“. [Page 314] 

Coddington extracts from “A History of Newark Vol II by Cornelius BROWN:
Extract from “Minute Book” shows what possessions the corporation held in the 1550’s, in Coddington.
Arthur WHYTTON holdeth one tenement there, with certain lands to the same belonging and payeth by year.” paying 6-8s per annum. [Page 5]

List of men with armour from the Minute Book 6th October 1591
Mr KEY was a caliver, and is removed out of the towne, and dwelleth in Coddyngton”  [Page 19] 


The course of the River Trent having been turned to the detriment of the occupiers of the mills, proceedings arose in the courts in which grievance was fully detailed.

It appeared that formerly a branch of the river passed near to the town, about 345 yards from the castle.  At that time only a small stream ran through Averham, Kelham and Muskham and is not being sufficient for the wants of the influential family of the SUTTONs, who resided at Averham, a cut was made to the brook from the Trent, near Farndon.

This gave a turn to the whole current, and so much of the water passed that way that a suit was instituted against them by the millers and the inhabitants of Newark.  The court directed the owners of Averham to build a weir, and forever to maintain the same, in order to throw some share of the water into the Newark branch.

The river which now runs under the walls of the castle is the Devon, which takes its rise above Belvior Castle, the present seat of the Rutland family.  The Trent is united with by means of a navigable cut, but the main portion of the great stream passes over Averham weir, and thence through Kelham.  The Devon flows into it below Newark, at the spot known as Crankley Point.

An inquisition before a jury in 1576 as to the state of the mills and a presentation made involving grave complaints.  The jury found that there were formerly nine mills at Newark and now seven, of which five were for grain and two for fulling.  Four were in the same building; two for grain and two for fulling and they were very ruinous and in great decay.  Another mill of the seven still remaining, called The Wheat Mill was also in ruin.  All the mills were in the tenure of William Earl of Rutland.*

Not only the people of the manor of Newark, but many other of the Queen’s subjects, came to the Fludmill, which was very convenient and necessary in times of flood, as it could be used many times a year when other mills could not grind.  A great multitude of the Queen’s tenants of Newark, and nearly all her subjects around Newark with in 12 miles of the town would suffer loss if the mills were not sustained, and especially the Fludmill, because it often happened that by want of wind, or of water, or through a superabundance, and of ice, they hastened to this mill, because they could not grind elsewhere.  The jurers further said that seven flood gates were situated between the mill called the Wheat Mill and the new mill, were in great decay, though the necessity for them was great and their use constant, seeing that if they are not opened every day, and likewise shut, at the time of the rising and the falling of the water of Trent, by reasons of storms, straightway nearly all the lower parts of the meadows of the Valley of Bever, whose rivers and waters have a great course thither, would sustain great damage by inundation.  The jury further said that there was a causeway to the mills, 120 rods in length and 10 in width, which causeway and banks were of great importance because that by their support the course of the whole of the part of the branch of the River Trent by which the said mills are driven is diverted against its natural course to drive the aforesaid mills, and by reason of the force of the water continually driving against the said causeway and banks sustain great ruin and damage and need continual repairs.  If they were not repaired, fifty pounds would not suffice to bring back the said river to the mills.  Moreover, the Fludmill needed 30 cartload of timber and 120 of stone, which stone to be dug near.  The other six mills needed 86 of timber and 120 of stone.  The seven floodgates had hitherto been mended with stone and woodwork, but experience taught that they could best be repaired with long bundles of brushwood and piles.

The statement continued to say that if the repairs were not undertaken, there would be great damage to the mills and river banks.
*It was about this time that the Earl became involved in disputes with Giles FORSTER, a son of Anthony (the bailiff of the Bishop who had parted with his Newark estate to the Crown), concerning certain lands and tenements, parcel of the demeanes of her Majestie’s Manor and Castle of Newerke.  FORSTER had uttered very uncomly speeches against the Earl.  The Privy Council committed the complainant to prison for ‘his lewd demeanor towards the Erle being so honourable a personage’. 

A grant of timber was made from the Forest of Sherwood by the Queen and in evidence subsequently given it was stated that considerable sums were spent both on the mills and castle.  Not only were the mills repaired, but also the bridges and the Sessions House, shown in a warrant from Lord BURGHLEY in 1597.  [Page 23] 

Anthony BURKE of Balderton, ropemaker of 60yrs agreed that the six water mills of Newark were sufficient to grind the “griste” for the people of Newark but not in the time of drought.  “The towns of Balderton, Barnbey, Coddington, Girton, North and South Scarle have commonlie used to grind their corn at ye mills.  About 40 past years or more there was a winde mill built by Mr Anthonye FFORSTER wch is still standing and continewed within feilds of Newark called the Beacon mill.  About 20 years past there was another mill builded within the feilds of Coddington by Thomas LEONARD, alias POCKLINGTON, continued to this day.”  this letter continues to support the Queen’s mills. [Page 24] 
Among the amusements of the people were annual races which were held at Coddington Moor, and were under the patronage of the Corporation.  In the Minute Book, under date 1620, is the entry “Receaved of William COWPER, Esquire, towards a cupp yearly to be found in the town of Newarke for Coddington Races, xxviii li xiis. in gould, whereof there was lost in weight xxis. vid.  Receaved more of Robert SUTTON, Esquire, v li., whereof was lost in two white Rialls, xiis. viiid. there was sold at the same time a bell of gold, weighing aljost 6oz., at £3 3s 4d per ounce, and a silver bell, weighting 5oz., at 4s 6d per oz.”

Mr COWPER subsequently increased his benefaction by giving £6 15s 6d more for the Cup, etc.  The races were to held on 4th May yearly, at the staffe at Coddington Moore, at 9 o’clock in the forenoon, to be run for with horses.  The conditions are set down under which the races were to be held.  Every horse had to put in for his stakes 20s before starting, and the race had to be run in the heats; but any freeman of the town of Newark was to be free to run his horse, nag or mare, without putting any stake.
Here are two of the rules – It is agreed that no man nor boy that is partie or hath money lent on any of the horses matched shall dare to switch or drive any of them in their riding or running but only the ryder. [AND] It is agreed that as the stakes shall come in the Alderman shall keep them until the stock is made up to £200, and then he shall provide a cup yearly to be run as aforesaid. [Page 44]

March 1650 William BARRETT loan to Newark Garrison included Edward GOODYEAR,  Coddington gave £150 to BARRETT. [Page 130] 

Hallmote Court of Lady Queen held at Newark on the second day of December of 21st year of Queen Elizabeth.
Coddington, the frankpledge there comes and presents all things well”
23rd December in 21st year.
Coddington, the frankpledge there does not come, therefore in mercy iid”  [Page 157] 

June 18th 1607 Thomas CROSBY of Coddington gave testimony that lands upon death should go to Daughters if no sons survive. [Page 158] 

Laur BYRCHE of Coddington mentioned as juror on 11th Oct in 27th year of Henry Vlll.  [Page 159] 

In 1762 Enclosure Act was passed for Coddington.
Whereas the said common feilds do by computation contains 85 oxgangs, and the owners and proprietors of the said oxgangs for the time being have, from time immemorial, used and enjoyed a right common for their cattle.  After the rate of four cow commons or cattle gates for every oxgang, the owners and proprietors of the land forming the common fields, considering their lands and grounds be dispersed in several places, desire that the common fields may be enclosed, severed and divided, and that a specific part or share may be assigned to each proprietor.” [Page 295] 

Will of Thomas CLAYTON, merchant 7th Apr 1534 – “To the poor people of Wynthorpe, Coddington, Balderton , Hawton, Farnedon, and Kellome, to each parish – iiis“.
Will of William PHILLPOTTE, merchant 18th Mar 1556 – “To poor of Coddington iis“.
Item – Where I have willed and appointed that vli yerly for ever shal be bestowed in pavage within the towne of Newarke – etc

Therefore I Will that the sd. pavage be nat. made of any stones of Becon Hill, but only with such stones as lyeth under the delf of stone now comonly used or els suche blewe stone as is to be gotten in Coddington field.”

Delf – Quarry. [Page 361].
Jane Hedge 2006