J is for Jordan

I love the C16 records, their vagueness somehow leaves a better feel for what life must have been like and certainly leaves room for imagination. That’s fine, as long as sources are cited and interpreted accurately and anything inferred beyond that is recognised and identified as such. It gives a great insight into the continuity of human experience. The old highways are still ‘not maintained’ and impassable after rain whilst the modern ones grow potholes. Landowners still obstruct rights of way. Families and neighbours still rub along, sometimes amicably and sometimes less so.

J is for Jordan. Jordan Brigg (or Bridge) to be precise, together with his brothers Adam and Christopher, significant figures in the area in C16.

Amongst the standard court roll entries for the surrender of land and the obstruction of highways we find the following:

23 May 8 Henry VIII (1516) Halmote Accrington
The tenants of Deidwynclough are elected Greave of Rossendale”

How this worked out is unclear (but seems to have gone OK). This would have included the Brigg brothers so could have been interesting as a few years later we read...

“17 May 19 Henry VIII (1527) Halmote Accrington
The jury present by virtue of office from the Forest of Rossendale that Jordan Brigg by his Synister labor, Craft and subtilite fyned and connveyd hym into a fyne at the first tacke of the Commissions of the first forest lands, wiche seyd Jurdan shud have taken to the use of him selfe and Adam Brigg his broder of on parcel of a vacharie to the yerly value of xxs lyyng in Deidwynclogh within the forest of Rossendall; contrary to the trust and confidens whiche he was put into by the seyd Adam his broder, And afterwarde that the false and untrew delyng of the seyd Jurdan was so oppenly Kawne and don unto the seyd Adam his broder busyness and mischevesd was lucky so to after have ensuyd by the Reason thereoff betwyx thym, Wherupon the seyd Jurdan and Adam Brigg, by the medicion of their Frends, did put and compromitt theym selfs and euer a wther of theym to the order and Judgement of Sir John Holden, Prest Robert Waddyngton, gent, Thomas Birtwysill and Henry Haworth, yeomen; wiche openly they in the face of the Cowert haith condessid deposits and seyth that by the seyd Jurdan by their award, Judgement, and dome was solemly sworne apon a bocke and was contentyed and proysyd that he the seyd Jurdan shud permit and suffer the seyd Adam Brigg his broder to fyne for the seyd xxs Rent to hum and his heirs for euer by the Upgyft and surrender of the seyd Jurdan to be maid unto the seyd Adam hhis broder after the Costom and manner of this Cowert. Wiche seyd order Judgement and dome to us the above named the seyd Jurdan as yet refusith and denyth to doo, contrariety to all gud Right and conciens and his faith and fidelity and contrary to his seyd agreement thereof by us forenamed maid Wherupon he then was contented. For so moche as well we the Inquest off office as the Inquest of the forest of Rossendale Sworne for our souerand Lord the Kyng presentith this above written to be of truth by this our wardith and decide to answer unto for the same if neyde therin shall requier. Wherin we pray that for this case Reformacien may be haid herin by the Kyngs concell of his duche and Master Stuard, accordyng to bud conciens, equate and justice.”
(Farrer, Clitheroe Court Rolls Vol III pp 58-9)


After this we return to the standard business of trespass with beasts and digging marl pits. In this, Jordan Brigg appears no worse than anybody else.
Jordan Brigg died in 1546.

(This sent the spellchecker into meltdown)

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