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Sileby History
Sileby Historical
Sileby Plotted History
Sileby From 1000 To 2000
Murder In Sileby
Murder In Sileby Story
Demolition Of 38 King Street
Sileby Census 1861
Sileby Census 1861 Page One
Sileby Census 1861 Page Two

Sileby Census 1861 Page Three
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Sileby Census 1861 Page Five
Sileby Census 1861 Page Six
Sileby Census 1861 Page Seven
Sileby Census 1881
Sileby Census 1881 Page One
Sileby Census 1881 Page Two
Sileby Census 1881 Page Three
Sileby Census 1881 Page Four
Sileby Census 1881 Page Five
Sileby Census 1891
Sileby Census 1891 Page One
Sileby Census 1891 Page Two
Sileby Census 1891 Page Three
Sileby Census 1891 Page Four
Sileby Census 1891 Page Five
Sileby Census 1891 Page Six
Sileby Census 1891 Page Seven
Sileby Census 1901
Sileby Census 1901 Page One
Sileby Census 1901 Page Two
Sileby Census 1901 Page Three
Sileby Census 1901 Page Four
Sileby Census 1901 Page Five
Sileby Census 1901 Page Six
Sileby Census 1901 Page Seven
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Sileby Census 1901 Page Nine
Sileby Census 1901 Page Ten
Sileby Census 1901 Page Eleven
Sileby Census 1901 Page Twelve
Sileby Census 1901 Page Thirteen
Sileby Census 1901 Page Fourteen

Sileby History from 1000 - 2000
Sileby During The Mellenium 1000 To 2000

In the year 1,000 the Saxon King Ethelred II (The Unready) was on the Throne. Sileby had been settled by the Danes about 120 years previously, so that at this date the fourth generation of the first settlers would be living in Sileby, still speaking Danish as their language, and most likely still Worshipping their Viking god Odin. There were probably two such families, Possibly named Sighulf, (from which Sileby was derived) and the other Canute or similar, from which the field name Can by was derived.

They would have been living in cottages built of wattle and daub, farming their furlong strips in the open fields, which they had named; High gate, Howgate, Can by, and Southfield. They also kept domestic animals, Oxen for pulling their ploughs, sheep for their wool, skins and meat, cows for their leather, milk and meat, goats for their milk, skins and meat, pigs for their meat, and dogs for hunting wild boar etc. they also kept hens and Doves for eggs and meat to eat, they also lived on fish caught in the river Soar.

The Danes had by this time taken over the midlands, and were ruling the five shires of Leicester, Derby, Lincoln, Nottingham and Stamford,-under what was called Danelaw. The local civic administration consisted of 100 families joining together, and the "hundred's Court" worked a kind of County Court, by means of Frankpledge, where a group of 10 men were made responsible for each other. Sileby was in the Goscote Hundred, and the court was held in the open air at the "Moody Bush Stone" which is in a field off Ridgemere Lane Syston. 66 years into the millennium.

In 1066, that well known date in history, William the Conqueror began his
rule as King of England, he had given all his nobles the manor lands he had taken from the Saxon Earls, Hugh de Grantmesnil his most powerful noble, was made Earl of Leicester, and given land in Sileby, as well as land scattered throughout the middle and southern Counties, taking care that they were not in close proximity to each other, to prevent him raising an army against him.

Another baron, Hugh Lupus, was made Earl of Chester, and was given the Manor of Barrow, which also had land in Sileby, whilst the King himself had the Manor of Rothley, which also had land in Sileby.
Twenty years after this, and some 200 years after the Danes had settled Sileby, the King decided to take a census so that he could make assessments for tax purposes, the census became known as the Doomsday Survey.

This was the first document to tell us anything about the history of
Sileby, the King's land was roughly that later called the South Field, with ten acres of meadow at the Cossington end of Sileby.

The Earl of Leicester had the biggest portion of land in Sileby, it was
administered by his steward named Ernald or Arnold, the survey notes that
the population numbered 4 Freemen, 18 Villagers,4 Smallholders, and 4 Slaves.This total of 30 were all males, so if we add women and children, the population would at this time be somewhere between 100-150.

The Earl of Chester only had a small amount of land in Sileby, on the north side, near the Barrow brook.
When the King's Commissioners came to carry out their surveys of each of the Manor Lords lands for the Doomsday entries of Sileby, it meant that three different Commissioners came.

The one who came to survey the lands of the Earl of Leicester, heard his Steward call the place Siglebi, so that is what he wrote down. The one who came to survey the lands of the Earl of Chester, heard his Steward call the place Siglebi also, so that is what he wrote down. However when the Commissioner went to survey the Kings land, he heard the Steward call it Seglebi, so that is what he wrote down.

When the Commissioner surveyed the 13 properties of the Earl of Leicester in Leicester which had "Burgess's of Siglesbie" living there, we get a further spelling, for that is what he heard and wrote down.
By this time, the Normans had set up a feudal system of government, which required everyone in Sileby to either give various services to the manor Lord, or they were not much more than slaves of the manor Lord.

So that, at the beginning of the millennium, very drastic changes had taken place in the lives of the villagers of Sileby. Another survey was made in Leicestershire between the years 1124-29.
The Earl of Leicester had increased his land holding by 114 acres, the Earl of Chester had increased his holding by 192 acres, but the King had disposed of his lands to Richard Basset & Robert de Ferres, Richard Basset was married to the Granddaughter of the Earl of Chester, and he founded Launde Abbey, now the Diocesan Retreat House. A descendant of Robert de Ferres was Lord of the Manor of Sileby, right up to the early part of this century, and for all I know the family may still have the right of Manor Lords.Life in Sileby settled into a pattern during the next 100 years.

In 1208 Joh son of Aze, (a name akin to that of Haakon a King of Norway,) so he must have been of Danish stock, joined the Merchant Guild of Leicester, this entitled him to trade in Leicester market.
Then about 1229 the Earl of Chester disposed of his land in Sileby to Stephen de Segrave, who was at that time the Sherriff of both Leicestershe & Warwickshire, a very important position under King Henry III, In 1238/9 Simon de Montfort, who was at this time Earl of Leicester, exchanged his land in Sileby held by Richard, son of Robert de Harecut, with Stephen de Segrave's land in Thornton & Bagworth. The Revd Cecil Harcourt, who was Vicar of Sileby during the War years, claimed to be a descendant of this Harecut family.

About this time also the Earl of Leicester, who had extensive manor lands
in the midlands and south of England, set up various administration centres to deal with the collection of rents either in money or kind, from his manorial tenants. The largest of these centres in Leicestershire was at Hinckley, but the second largest was set up at Sileby, the de Segrave family in turn were the biggest tenants, as well as being Patrons of St Mary's Church, so because the tenants of the Earl's lands in Walton, Thorpe Acre, Prestwold, Wymeswold, Hathern, Long What ton, Houghton on the hill, Thurcaston, Ingarsby, Birstall, Belgrave, Bush by, Evington, Wanlip, Humberstone, Shoby, Saxeiby, Keyham, Lockington, & Catthorpe in Leics, Newthorp, Edwalton, Keyworth, Gotham, Normanton on Soar, Sutton Bonnington, Gunthorpe, in Notts, and in Rutland, Teigh.

Courts for the purpose of collecting the rents were held mainly in St Mary's Church Sileby, at Easter, Whitsun and Michaelmas, although some of the outlying villages such as Teigh in Rutland, Lockington, Shoby,& Thurnby, and Gotham in Notts, occasionally had dispensations to hold courts there. These courts were presided over by either the Abbot of Leicester, or the de Segrave who was at that time the Patron of the Church.

The Earl of Leicester's Bailiffs were all successive members of the de Belgrave family, the court was not only for the purpose of collecting A rents, but also for settling disputes and administering justice, so that the stewards from each of the villagers would require overnight accommodation. It is my belief that some sort of hostel stood in little church lane, and was called the Angel, leaving the name Angel yard long after it had ceased as a hostel. Because the de Segrave family were successive Patrons of the Church, and storage of the rents received in kind was necessary, it was at this time that the church was enlarged to accommodate this.

This feudal system went on until about the year 1340, then a great plague swept the country, and something like half the population died from it, which left a shortage of manpower, causing the system to collapse after a further epidemic in 1361.

Throughout all this period the church had been tithing the manor produce to the Normandy Abbey of St Evraux, but in the year 1450 the patron of the church was Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, whose grandfather had founded a Priory at Melwood, Epworth, north Lincs, so he switched his allegiance to it. The Prior there was responsible for providing a priest to service St Mary's in response for receiving the tithes from Sileby.

The church had been founded about 1152, when the first stone was laid, the last stone as we see the church today, was laid about the time it was turned over to the Melwood Prior.
It was probably an itinerant priest, and his accommodation whilst in Sileby would be in the little room over the south porch.

In the dissolution of the monastries in 1535 the tithes were sold off to lay persons, usually to the highest bidder, who sometimes were unscrupulous and made a living from them without any consideration for using them as intended, however in Sileby we had several good and learned priests during this time. The laymen who had purchased the right of tithes, or advouson, as it was called, was called a Rector, he was also responsible for presenting a priest to serve the parish, a system still partly in existence at the present time.

By this time, also with the breakdown of the feudal system, many of the small farmers had advanced to become yeoman farmers, they were denoted in documents of this time with the word gent, after their names. The houses of the villagers would also have improved by this time, timber framed and thatched roofs, with a small garden attached. By the time of the Civil war in 1642 times were not so good either in the village or church, which was beginning to fall into decay. and there was insufficient funds to support an incumbent, this continued until the early 17 hundreds.

They hired a frame from a frame smith, and worked long hours to pay the rent of the frame and to eke out a living. Some who were better off bought their own frame, and built a top story on their house with lots of windows to provide as much light as possible, for the work was a strain on one's eye-sight.

With this advent of the home industry, some of the better off set up as "Bag Hosiers" he would be a middleman who negotiated an order for hosiery, supplied the yarn for the knitter in one of the local pubs of which he was often the publican, so that there was always the temptation for the knitter with cash in his hand, to drink his wages away his over the next day or two, he would then work day and night, by candlelight when he had sobered up. Times were very hard for them, but much harder for their wives and families.

Other men took up other occupations, brick & tile makers from the clay in their back gardens, beer house keepers, and boot and shoe making in garden workshops. In 1851,in Highcross St, Leicester, Thomas Crick had a shoe-making factory, two years later he took out a patent for an improved method of
fixing the uppers to the soles by using tacks, sprigs or rivets, instead of stitching, this invention expanded Crick's business so rapidly, that he employed the bag hosiers method of taking work out to the villages to be made up.

Crick decided to build a factory in Sileby for making boots & shoes, as also the building of an hosiery factory took place. Some of the employees of Crick's eventually left to set up their own business's, so that the Excelsior, Walker Kempson & Stevens, Newbold & Burtons, Moirs, Swan & Prestons, Lawson Wards, Brays and Willetts.

Whereas many small clay pits had been worked by individuals, Mr William, Tucker Wright saw the advantage of employing men to dig the clay from one or two large pits for the production on a large scale of facing & common bricks and roof tiles, the bricks from this source were used in the construction of St Pancras railway station in London.

This then was the state at the beginning of the 20th century, the industrial revolution was in full swing, the Victorian business men were setting up all sorts trades, new inventions were being exploited, and Sileby was becoming very prosperous, between the years of 1873 to 1910 a surge of house-building took place trebling the size of the place.

Between 1918 and 1939 gradual changes were taking place with the advent of firstly gas lighting for home and street lighting, then superceded by electricity for both these and other purposes, improvements in water supplies, the introduction of health benefits, hospitals, dental health etc.

hen after 1945, we know from personal experience of the rapid changes that have taken place in
our life time. Electricity provides all sorts of benefits, lighting, radio, television, vacuum claners, fridges,
freezers, record players, C.D.players, electric typewriters, electric motors to drive all sorts of
machinery and gadgets, Radar, propeller driven aircraft and ships, to be followed by jet engines for
the same, Electronics gave us Computers the list seems endless, and constantly being added to, and in medicine there as been great developments both in drugs and surgical techniques, men have traveled to the moon, and changes come ever more rapidly each year, I wonder will be the changes in the next
millennium what do you think?


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