F W Neeve’s Shop in Church Street. Courtesy Carol Ewin
63 years earlier, Daniel Warren (then a child) inherited the former manor hall house (and adjoining property and land) from his great uncle, Daniel William Cocking. Part of the former manor house later became known a ‘Ye Olde Thatche Shoppe’.
Warren’s only child, Annie Matthews Gladden, instructed auctioneers Salter Simpson & Sons to sell her late father’s property and land in Great Ellingham. Arrangements were made for Warren’s property (which included land in Long Street) to be offered for sale in five lots at an auction at the Royal Hotel, Attleborough on the 23rd June, 1910.
The Particulars and Conditions of Sale describe Lot 1 as:
A Clay and Thatched DWELLING-HOUSE AND SHOP, containing Two Sitting-rooms, Back Kitchen, Pantry, Five Bed-rooms, Large Shop and Warehouse; also adjoining, Clay and Thatched Cottage, Garden and Well of Water, Stable, Cart Shed, and Outbuildings, together with 1a 1r 37p or thereabouts of Accommodation Pasture Land and Garden Ground, being Nos. 298 and part of 297 on Ordnance Survey Map, situate adjoining the Churchyard and Property of Messrs. Morgan & Co. and Mr Wigby, occupied by Mrs Mallows and Messrs. Warren and Lister, at Gross Annual Rents of £17. Mrs Mallows pay the Rates on her portion. POSSESSION WILL BE GIVEN AT MICHAELMAS NEXT.
TENURE The Dwelling-house, Shop, Cottage and Buildings, and 0a 0r 17p are Copyhold of the Manor of Ellingham Hall - Fine Arbitrary; 1a 0r 0p is Copyhold of the same Manor - Fine Certain; 20 Perches are Copyhold of the Manor of Ellingham Rectory - Fine Arbitrary; and 1 Rood is Copyhold of the Manor of Bury Hall - Fine Arbitrary.
|Land-tax as Assessed||£. s. d.|
|Tithe Rent-charge to Vicar (amount payable for 1910)||0. 4. 11.|
|Quit Rent to Ellingham Hall||0. 3. 7.|
|Quit Rent to Ellingham Rectory||0. 0. 1.|
|Quit Rent to Bury Hall||0. 0. 6.|
All the Fixtures in the Shop and House are the Property of the Tenant, also the Fruit Trees in the Garden. The Piece of Land adjoining, as staked out, is retained by the Vendor.
As it happens, some (if not all) of Daniel Warren’s property may have been withdrawn from the auction on the 23rd June, 1910. On the other hand, it may be the case that the bidding for at least Lot 1 did not meet a ‘reserve’ price.
However, I think it more likely that all five lots were withdrawn because of outstanding matters concerning the title deeds.
These matters may only have come to light after the arrangements were made for the auction.
Outstanding Legal Title Matters
There was an undischarged mortgage affecting Warren’s properties. However, the debt may well have been repaid by Daniel Warren before he died. Nevertheless, a re-conveyance had not been obtained from the lenders during his lifetime.
In addition, Annie Matthews Gladden was not a copyhold tenant of any of the Manors of Bury Hall, Ellingham Hall or Ellingham Rectory.
On the 16th September, 1869, Daniel Warren entered into a mortgage for £600 plus interest with George Studd and Frederick Warren. Daniel Warren surrendered all his freehold and copyhold land and premises in Great Ellingham to Studd and F Warren as security for the loan.
Transfer of Mortgage
On the 24th April, 1894, this mortgage debt was transferred to solicitor’s clerk Charles Endersbye Pearson and chemist Samuel John Hurst. Both Pearson and Hurst were of Boston, Lincolnshire.
It was only after the death of Daniel Warren that an acknowedgement of the repayment of the debt was obtained. On the 16th September, 1910, Warren’s freehold and copyhold property was conveyed back to his daughter, Annie Gladden (as heiress of her father). This was some three months after the original auction date.
The auctioneers and Annie Gladden were aware that most of Warren’s property was copyhold. Indeed, the Auction Particulars and Conditions refer to the fact that the dwelling-house, shop, cottages and buildings were copyhold of the Manor of Ellingham Hall.
Ancient form of Ownership
Copyhold title was an ancient form of ownership. It was initially an occupation of land at the pleasure of the Lord of the Manor. Over time this occupation became an occupation as of right, but it was still subject to the customs of the particular Manor. These customs include the rules and procedures for a change of ownership whether by bargain and sale or by inheritance (as is the case here).
In order for Annie Gladden to have full power and authority to sell her late father’s copyhold property, she must first be admitted as a copyhold tenant of the Manors of Bury Hall, Ellingham Hall and Ellingham Rectory as heiress of her late father. These procedures had not taken place prior to the initial auction date of 23rd June, 1910.
Contract for the Purchase of Lot 1
However, even though Annie Gladden had not been admitted as a copyhold tenant, on the 15th November, 1910, she entered into a contract with Frederick Neeve. Annie Gladden agreed to sell the premises as described as Lot 1 in the Auction Particulars and Conditions of Sale to Frederick Neeve.
The contract appears as a Memorandum to the original Auction Particulars and Conditions of Sale. However, the initial auction date of 23 June, 1910 is amended to the contract date of 15th November, 1910.
Frederick Neeve (described as a general shopkeeper of Honing, Norfok), agreed to buy the premises for the price of £140. He paid a deposit of £28 with the balance to be paid on the 6th January, 1911.
I am unclear as to whether Frederick Neeve purchased the premises at auction or whether Annie Gladden accepted a private offer of £140.
Nevertheless, it was probably at this time that Frederick Neeve moved into the premises – perhaps an informal arrangement. After all, completion of Neeve’s sale of the premises was then less than two months away.
Further Delay in the Transaction
However, there were further delays. The transaction did not complete on 6th January, 1911 as per the contract. It would be another nine months before Neeve completed his purchase.
Manor of Bury Hall
Four months later on the 10th May, 1911, Annie Matthews Gladden was admitted as a copyhold tenant of the Manor of Bury Hall, as the heiress of her late father, Daniel William Cocking Warren.
Then (as a copyhold tenant) Annie Gladden negotiated and agreed the enfranchisement of the one rood of copyhold land in Great Ellingham.
On the 5th July, 1911, Annie Gladden paid the sum of £1 18s 9d to the Lord of the Manor and the one acre of land became freehold.
Manors of Ellingham Hall and Ellingham Rectory
Similarly, on the 16th May, 1911, Annie Gladden was admitted as a copyhold tenant of the Manor of Ellingham Rectory, in relation to half a rood of copyhold land.
At the same time, Annie was also admitted as a copyhold tenant of the Manor of Ellingham Hall. This is in relation to the dwelling-house, shop, cottages and buildings in Church Street.
Again, Annie Gladden negotiated the enfranchisement of both copyholds.
She subsequently paid the sum of £22 15s 3d to the Lord of the Manor of Ellingham Rectory and Ellingham Hall (Alfred Taylor of Starston) for the conversion of the copyholds to freehold tenure.
The deed confirming the enfranchisement is dated 13th June, 1911.
Completion of Outstanding Matters
Accordingly, nearly a year after the initial auction date of 23rd June, 1910, all the outstanding legal formalites had been completed.
However, it seems there was yet a further delay of some three months before the transaction finally completed.
Frederick Neeve completes his Purchase
On the 13th September, 1911, Annie Matthews Gladden, described as the wife of George Arthur Gladden of Thurton, farmer, completed her sale of the following premises to general shopkeeper Frederick William Neeve of Great Ellingham:
ALL THAT freehold messuage or dwellinghouse and shop with the cottage stable cartshed and other buildings well and the land and ground to the same adjoining and belonging containing altogether (sites of building included) 1 acre 1 rood and 37 perches or thereabouts and situate at Great Ellingham in the County of Norfolk as the same premises were then in the occupation of the Purchaser and are bounded as follows (namely) by a piece of land then recently acquired from the Vendor as an addition to the Churchyard of Great Ellingham aforesaid in part and by hereditaments belonging to William Downes in remaining part towards the North by the Public Road leading from Hingham to Attleborough towards the East by hereditaments of Messrs Morgan & Co Ltd and Obadiah Wigby respectively towards the South and by the Public Road leading from Attleborough to Great Ellingham Church in part and by the said addition to the said Churchyard in remaining part towards the West
This recital in the Conveyance confirms that Frederick Neeve was already in occupation of the premises.
Amendment to Purchase Price
The 1910 Contract between Annie Matthews and Frederick Neeve refers to a purchase price of £140. However, the Conveyance Deed of 13th September, 1911, refers to a purchase price of £187.
Given that the purchase price of £140 was for copyhold premises, I think it reasonable to think that the increase in price was due to the property ultimately being sold as a freehold property.
Tenant Arthur J Pollard
A J Pollard’s shop in Church Street, Great Ellingham. Courtesy Carol Ewin
Frederick Neeve retained ownership of the premises (including the shop) until his death in 1943. However, he retired from the business in 1926.
Neeve let the shop and part of the dwelling to Arthur John Pollard. It was perhaps around this time that the shop became known as ‘Ye Olde Thatche Shoppe’.
1939 Sale of Land to Henry C Rix
In December, 1939, Frederick Neeve sold a piece of land to the north of his property. This piece of land also fronted onto the Attleborough to Watton Road. The buyer was Great Ellingham builder Henry Charles Rix.
A J Pollard becomes the Legal Owner of the Freehold Shop
Arthur Pollard would eventually take over the ownership of his shop premises on the death of Frederick Neeve in 1943.
Deeds and related papers to property in Great Ellingham. 1769-1913 1 bundle. Norfolk Record Office. Catalogue Reference MC 16971, 821X7
Deeds and related papers to property in Church Street, Great Ellingham. Private Collection. Thanks to E Betts.