The Englefield Meadow
The River Furlong in the Englefield Meadow was rearranged later than the other fields, in 1791. Prior to the agreement of 28 October 1791 it was divided into 31 strips with seven owners:
Richard Benyon (in succession to Powlet Wrighte)
William Toovey and Richard Carter (succeeding Mrs Powell)
The Rev Henry Wilder, Rector of Sulham
Mrs Elizabeth Willatts, a widow from Reading
The Rector for the Glebe
The Corporation of Reading
John Horn of North Street
By the 1791 agreement the holdings in the River Furlong were reallotted between the existing owners, forming 10 separate holdings with some of the separate smaller strips combined into bigger ones of the same total area. However, this process was not taken to the ultimate conclusion and the holdings of Richard Benyon and Reading Corporation remained distributed across the Meadow.
The figure to the left shows the new arrangement with the owners’ names and the same colour coding is applied to the diagram above showing the situation before re-allotment. Richard Benyon and Carter and Toovey renting their holdings to the tenants shown.
The other fields appear not to have been affected by this rearrangement and the Hides were still farmed in the old manner as late as 1806 because a note on a scrap of paper gives the allocation in that year, although only for six pieces rather than the earlier nine. Each of the six pieces is allocated to a number of people in terms of eighths.
© 2020 Richard J Smith