There have been several crimes committed in, or connected to, Wold Newton. The 14th century seems to have been a particularly torrid time.

The first crime we know of arises out of a skirmish in 1308. An entry in the Patent Rolls for 11th November 1308 (see just below) tells us that a Commission of oyer and terminer (hear and determine) was granted to Edmund de Eyncourt and others on complaints by Edmund de Chauncey and William de Chauncey that a number of people of both genders, including Germain de Capella of Newton, assaulted him at Wold Newton and carried away their goods. Germain de Capella was accompanied by people from Gunnerby, Croxby, Beelsby, Rothwell, Waithe and Alvingham.


Nov. 11. Westminster.

Commission of oyer and terminer to Thomas de Fishburne, Roger de Scoter and John de Donecastre, touching the appeal of Idonia, late the wife of William le Harpur of Boulton-in-Cravene, co. York, against Adam de Staunden, Adam de Simondestan, and Hugh de Swyllington, parson of the church of Lynton-in-Cravene, for the death of her late husband. By K.

The like to Edmund de Eyncurt, Thomas de Fissheburne, and William de Spauneby, on complaint by Edmund de Chauncy that Richard de Cateby and Idonia his daughter, William son of Richard de Cateby the younger (junior), Alan de Cateby, Richard atte Mare and Juliana his wife, Robert son of the same Richard, Robert de Belesby and Alice his wife, John atte Halle and Joan his wife, Robert son of Gilbert, Richard son of Ralph, John son of the same Richard and Avice his wife, Richard son of Isabella, Richard de Croxeby and Scolastica his wife, Eudo de Peselay, Robert le Provost, John Yerle and Alice his wife, Peter son of Walter, Robert atte Halle, William le Carpenter and Rose his wife, Cicely daughter of the same William, Simon le Mouner, William Suthsmith and Emma his wife, Gregory de Neuton and Walter his brother, William le Catur of Alvyngham, brother William le Celerer of Alvyngham, Germain le Chapeleyn of Neuton, Stephen le Bercher and Alice his wife, John Gentil, Robert Northe and Peter his son, Martin brother of the same Peter, Walter son of Ivo, Geoffrey de Dalton and Beatrice his wife, Robert de Gunnerby, William de Rothewelle, Walter Dassheben, Gilbert son of Elena, Alan le Mareschal, Richard de Sixel, William Richardesserjaunt fiz Isabelle, William de Beverlaco 'messager,' William son of Alan le Mareschal, Alan de Gunnerby and Isabella his wife, Ralph Letesneve and Alice his wife, Reginald le Mouner and Amabilla his wife, John Gilyot and Avicia his wife, Robert de Wathe and Agnes his wife, William de Cateby and Alice his wife, John Artilons and Letia his wife, and Emma late the wife of Richard le Carpenter, with others assaulted him at Wald Neuton, co. Lincoln, and carried away his goods.

The like to the same justices touching a like complaint by William de Chauncy against the same persons. By K., on the information of W. de Melton.

A similar example of political instability and warfare amongst the political class wreaking misery on the village inhabitants during the fragile reign of Edward II comes in 1322 when, according to the Calendar of Patent Rolls entered at York on 1st July 1322 another Commission of oyer and terminer was granted to Walter de Friskeneye, Robert de Mablerthorp and Gilbert de Toudeby against a gang of men who it was alleged had "entered their close at Wauldeneweton, broke their houses there, burnt the doors and windows thereof, took and carried way their goods and assaulted their servants."

The gang included Guy de Breton, who in 1318 had been the Rector of Wold Newton, and his brothers, one of whom was Sheriff of Lincoln.

There was then a case of ecclesiastic arson in 1332.

(Sourced from British History Online A History of the County of Lincoln Vol 2 originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1906 and now digitised)


The priory of St. Leonard at Torksey was founded some time during the reign of Henry II and possibly by the king himself. (fn. 1) John de Balliol was patron of the house in the thirteenth century, (fn. 2) but in 1344 the advowson was granted by the king to John Darcy and his successors in tail male. (fn. 3)

The prior was accused in 1275 of having set up a court for himself at Torksey, to the prejudice of the king's court there; and appropriated to his house the assize of bread and ale, and enclosed more than 2 feet of the king's highway. (fn. 4) The priory was probably a small one, and had but few canons from the first. (fn. 5) They pleaded poverty in 1319, and were allowed to appropriate the church of St. Peter in consequence. (fn. 6) In 1323 the prior was accused of burning houses in Wold Newton and committing divers robberies and trespasses there; (fn. 7) and in 1342 his house was said to be 'greatly wasted by misrule'; (fn. 8) it was after an inquiry made at this time that the advowson was granted to John Darcy.


William of Rasen, (fn. 24) elected 1296, resigned 1316

Robert de Sandale, (fn. 25) elected 1316, occurs 1323

Henry of Thornborough, (fn. 26) resigned 1332


7. Pat 16 Edw. II, pt. ii, m. 7 d. Pat is short for Patent Rolls; m is for membrane

ñ 8. Ibid. 16 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 28 d.

ñ Linc. Epis. Reg. Inst. Sutton, 37 d.

ñ 24. Ibid. 49.

ñ 25. Ibid. Inst. Dalderby, 97; Pat. 16 Edw. II, pt. 2, m. 7d.

ñ 26. Linc. Epis. Reg. Inst. Burghersh, 103.

Some Sessions of the Peace in Lincolnshire 1381-96 give two examples of theft and of the prosecution of a worker leaving his employment without giving due notice.

A chap called Robert Gascal seems to have been responsible for a small crime wave towards the end of the 14th century until he met an untimely end at the hands of some of his neighbours. See the link to Murders below.

Court Papers in the Lincolnshire Archives referred to in the Lincolnshire Archivists' Report 20, the relevant extract of which is attached below contain (page 48, 3rd paragraph) the story of Ruth and Thomas Goodhand of Wold Newton who attacked the rector and made off with two of the church bells, as well as lead, iron and wood from the church. The third bell was spared and hangs in the church today.

Then we leap forward to the 19th century. History tends to tell the stories of the rich and powerful but an example of the vulnerability of most of society is given in the following description of an incident in 1830:

"The situation of the poor and the severity of the authorities appeared in the neighbouring village of Wold Newton. A labourer’s wife, who had recently given birth to a child, resisted attempts to evict her from their cottage. Her landlord’s men then proceeded to evict her by pulling it down over her head. Driven to despair, she set fire to the pile of ruins, and for this she was convicted of arson and sentenced to transportation for life."

Extract from “A History of Grimsby” by Edward Gillett

For the court report, click here.

Then there are Murders.

And follow the links below for more; vagrancy and prostitution, sheep skin stealing ...

... and Corruption

Extracts from Lincoln Record Society volume 78, dated 1988, an account of “The 1341 Royal Inquest into Lincolnshire”, which was set up by Edward III to inquire why the taxes and levies he put in place (to finance his various wars in France etc) were extracted from the people but not paid to his treasury due to corruption on the part of officials. (This wasn't confined to Lincolnshire; other counties were similarly subject to inquests, which became quite wide-ranging in their use as courts.)

It's not clear if these three extracts actually refer to just one event, and refer to the different parts people played in it (e.g. was Robert de Sewerby working for Herbert de Gressseby and Nicholas de Staunford who in turn were in league with Gilbert of Leatherhead?) However, Robert Rider is obviously a tenant of a farm at Wold Newton and sending a good quantity of wheat and malt (barley) to Gainsborough to be shipped.