Fishlake History Society

Recording historical information before it disappears

Fishlake History Society

Recording historical information before it disappears

The Fishlake Parish Constable and his activities.



 The Parish Constable

 Background information.

The Fishlake constable accounts survive from 1672 to 1724 and give a fascination insight into the everyday life in Fishlake 350 years ago. The parish constable as we meet him in these 17 th century records, although an ancient office in origin, was a product of Tudor legislation under Henry VII. The constable was appointed by the manor court until 1842 thereafter by the parish vestry and was sworn in and accountable to a Justice of the Peace at Quarter Sessions.

 It must be remembered that there is no direct connection between a parish constable in these records and the police constable of modern times. The parish constable was an unpaid and consequently very unpopular as his duties often conflicted or interfered with his own daily occupation.

 The duties of the constable were very extensive and there seems to be no clear demarcation, as a good deal of overlap occurred between his and other parish officers, including the Bylaw officers. However, we can say he was effectively head parish officer concerned with law and order, with duties of watch and ward that is guarding the parish against wrong doers by day and by night. He had powers of arrest and a staff of authority for detaining suspicious person. His concern was also with vagrants, the regulation of ale houses, flood dikes and water courses, broken bridges, up keep of the stocks and the parish armoury. Other duties included identifying non-conformist, delivering notices and regulations, finding money, not to mention the accommodation for travellers with a right of passage and the collecting taxes of many kinds.

A list of Fishlake Constable appears in an appendix at the end.


 This is an example of the work of one Fishlake Constable Richard Sickes:

 Robert Sickes acounts for his office of an constable for the yeare last past made & taken 1692.

 Impr Given to a traveller 0.0.8

A warent for destruction of game copying & sending away (protection of game) 0.0.4

for going to the Sessions at Doncaster 0.1.0

March 2 for going to a Monthly meeting a Doncaster 0.1.0

charges Feb 2 in going to tender mony at Hatfield 0.2.0

A warent for 1st quarterly payt copying 0.0.4

for York Castle mony 11d ob. & correction mony 1s 4d and fishlake 

part comes to 0.1.4

for carrying it to Sladehooton Jan 3 d.   0.1.8

for an acquittance 0.0.2

paid to Cheife Constable for a bill drawing in answer to fourteen articles 0.0.6

A warent for wages copying and sending away

(wage fixing took place yearly by Justice of the Peace until 1797,

 this levelled the price of beer and bread with wages) 0.0.6

A warent for the Last Subsidy copying (a type of loan to the Governement) 0.0.4

A warent of Enquiry about sturdy begars March 2 copying and sending away 0.0.4

for a bill writing in answer 0.0.6

Ap. (April) 3 a wart for a hoose cort (correction) Lame Sold (soldier) copyinge 0.0.4


for hoose correction Mony 1s 4d Fishlake pt 0.0.9 ob

for an acquittance 0.0.2

for carrying it to Sladehooton 0.1.0

Given to a dumb man 0.0.8

paid to Rob. Hill for towne armes 0.0.6

two monthly searches 0.1.0

charges at my sesmt making 0.2.0

for writing of it 0.1.0

for Easter Turne at Court 0.5.0

Apr a wart for seach for run away sold (soldier) copying & sending away 0.0.4

Apr a wart for bruster sessions 0.0.4

for going to bruster sesions May 1 (Brewter sessions, courts to look into the

Licencing of alehouses and alewives) 0.1.6

May 16 charges wth two women yt had a pas 0.1.6

for going to Donc to answer a private wart about Math. Sayles, A Crabtre & G. 

Hanson 0.1.0

A warent for somoning alewives & overseers to Doncaster 0.0.4

for going to Doncaster to put in a bill in answer to the aforesaid warent 0.1.0

paid for stones to Stainford Ferry 0.0.6 

May 10th for going to St Johns about presing (press gang) 0.0.8

Expences in searching & looking to Cooper &c 0.0.8

paid to soldier that came for cooper and Brwster and to Watchmen 0.1.0

spent at Thorne when they was caryed in 0.0.8

paid to R Daniel for carrying a leter to Selby 0.0.4

June 5 spent wth Passmaster at or towne 0.0.10

Given to passmaster for the Impress mony left in John Whitakers hands 0.1.0

June 8 Given to two men that had a pass 0.0.6

for ward bill Mending 0.0.6

for a planke for Stockes 0.1.6

for Iron Worke 0.0.4

another pece Wood 0.0.4

for Workmanship 0.1.6

for two Monthly searches 0.1.0

A warent for Lame sold (soldier) mony &c cope & sending 0.0.4

July 5 for Lame soldier mony, Yorke castle, hoose Cor: and bridge 

Mony 24s 5d fishlake pt 0.14.8

for carying to Sladehooton 0.0.6

for 4 acquitances 0.0.6

for a bill in answer to 14 articles 0.0.4

July Charges with Jewry of Watersewers 0.2.0

20th Given to a Lame Criple 0.0.6

for carrying her in a Cart to Wormley hill 0.0.6

paid to Thomas Wayt 0.11.3

augst 15 given to a Lame Man that had a leter of of reqt 0.0.6

Sept for meat & lodging for an old Women & 2 men yt had a pass 0.2.0

for a Montly Search 0.0.6

Sept 19 A Wart for Enquiry after vagobonds 0.0.4

A Wart about Servants copying & sending 0.0.4

Sep 21 for going to Doncaster at a Monthly meeting 0.1.0

23rd for going to Rotherham about Servants 0.1.6

for a bill writeing 0.0.4

for my horse showing 0.0.6

(this line cannot be read)

for Lame Sold (solider) mony & hoose correction Mony 14s 4d fishlake part 

comes to 0.8.6

for two acquitances 0.0.6

for carrying to Sladehooton 0.0.6

for my horse showing 0.0.6

paid to Tho: Howson for Seting Watch 0.3.6

charges at head Court (Court Leet) 0.6.0

for a Montly Search 0.0.6

Alowed MrThomas Perkings out of his Sesent 0.8.4

allowed to Thomas Milnes out of his assesmt 0.3.10

to pay to Tho: Milnes for stones 0.1.0

allowed to Rich: Sayles out of his asesmt 0.1.7

for 16 Cotages 0.1.4

for gathering outen town asesmts 0.3.4

for writeing these accounts 0.0.6

for two Constable bills, at the head Courts 0.0.8

Tho: Houson for giving notice of Meeting 0.0.4




2.1.11 1.9.9

4.8.7 ---------

2.11.3 6.4.9

6.1.9 ob

(ob = ½)


Rob. Sikes assesmt comes to 7.4.0

Hee er of Tho Wayte 1.7.3




6.1.9                                         weefind Rob. Sykes inpues 2.9.6


Rich Doughty 0.6.6

Tho Mills 0.2.9

Mr Perkins 0.5.9


For  ????? 0.14.8

Robert Sykes (register spelling) died in 1695 from Fishlake parish register buried on 16 April 1695.


A list of Fishlake Constables taken from local records.

The following are taken from the Bylaw Book. 1595 Edmund Perkin. 1598 William Perkin also Thomas Wait. 1602 William Clarke. 1604 William Trimingham. 1605 Robert Wells. 1615 Willaim Collman. 1615 Thomas Parkyn. 1619 Arthur Wilson. 1620 John Doughtie. 1621 Edward Bryan. 1622 Thomas Walker. 1624 Thomas Lenthrope. 1657 Nicolas Crabtre. 1658 Francis Crabtre. 1689 Robert Goodridge. 1690 Robert Barker.

The following taken from the Fishlake Account Book (1757-1795). 1757 John Taylor. 1758 Jonathan Haworth. 1759 Jon Taylor. 1760 Ralph Amory. 1761 Thomas Gabbittas. 1762 Samuel Lee. 1763 Robert Todd. 1764 William Tattershall. 1765 Richard Good. 1766 Nicholas Watson. 1767 ? 1768 Thomas Gray. 1769 Richard Goodridge. 1770 Richard Pearson. 1771 Thomas Turner. 1772 Thomas Wilson. 1773 Richard Amory. 1774 William Hunt. 1775 John Bladworth and Christopher Heigham. 1776 Mr Stork. 1777 John Bromley. 1778 John Batley. 1779 Thomas Trimingham. 1780 Robert Howard. 1781 Richard Wharam. 1782 and 1783 Samuel Cook. 1784 John Charlesworth. 1785 and 1786 John Briggs. 1787 Richard Marsden. 1788 Mathew Amery. 1789 Thomas Ward. 1790 and 1791 John Wait. 1792 Nathan Cook and John Thorp. 1793 Richard Dale. 1794 Quintin Acomb.


Rob Downing 10 April 2018.