52 residents #36 James Pilling

James Pilling flourished in the second half of the 17th century and there is evidence that he may not have been an entirely wholesome character. Now life was difficult then and even some of the churchwardens were known to have appeared before the Halmote from time to time for failing to maintain highways, damaging fences, piecemeal encroachment and the like. Pilling may have been not much worse than many others of his time.
In 1686 the churchwardens of Newchurch St Nicholas certified to the Quarter Sessions that James Pilling:
  • 'had played the theif'
  • 'kept his cattle and horses upon other mens pasture, having none of his own'
  • 'keeping in a house contrary to the will of its owner'
  • 'an idle dissolute persen'
  • 'a grabbing quarrelsome fellow'
  • 'much disquiete troubles and wronging his neighbours'
  • 'in a word he is a lawless person and cares not so what he doth speakes or swears'
mmm, maybe he was worse than most after all.
Interestingly he is identified in this document as being a woollen weaver, at a time when most people existed by a combination of smallhold pastoral farming and outsourced weaving.

QSP 622/28