Website of the Laceby History Group

An Account of Laceby by Rev. H.W. Knight


Roman Road - Barton Street.
The oldest remains of the origin of LACEBY are three stones built into the north wall of the organ chamber of the church and are portions of a Saxon Cross. These stones were found in the foundations of the wall when the church was restored in 1869-1871 & were placed in their present position when the organ chamber was built as an addition to the church in 1912.

Mention is made of LACEBY (or LEVESBI) in Domesday Book which contained the survey of Lincolnshire in 1086 .

"In LACEBY & in Bradley (Bredelou) & in Scartho (Scarthou), Sweyn, Alick & Tosti had nine carucates 0 f land rateable to gelt: the land is sixteen carucates. The Bishop of Baieux has there in the demesne three carucates and four Villeins and five bordars and eighty-five sokemen with thirteen carucates and a half. There are 3 churches each having a priest & 2 mills worth 8/- yearly and 360 acres of meadow & 100 acres of undenvood."
(A margin note queries Saxon Wood) .

William de Percy with his brother Serlo (afterwards the 1st Abbot of Whitby: which abbey the above William founded) came into England with The Conqueror and the former being greatly beloved by the King, whom he faithfully served, received at the royal hands 32 lordships in Lincolnshire -

Soke in LACEBY (Levesbi) there is half a bovate of land rateable to gelt.

Bradley Wapentake
Soke in LACEBY (Levesbi) there is one bovate of land rateable to gelt. The land is 2 bovates. It is Soke. One Villein has there one ox in a plough.

Acre (a word derived from the Saxon Acere, a field) signified at first no determined quantity of land. It afterwards consisted of 40 perches in length by four perches in breadth or 4840 sq. yds. The perch differed however in most counties varying from 16 ft. to 25 ft. The acre as it now stands was fixed by the ordinance of measuring land made 33 Ed. I. The Norman acre differed in size from the Saxon one.

Has the same meaning as ox-gang, it is said, is a word 
used to convey to the mind as much land as a one ox-team can plough in a year. 8 bovates are said (and it is so in Lincolnshire) to have made a carucate but the number of acres making a bovate, as in the case of the carucate , is uncertain.

Varying in different records from 8 acres to 24 & even to 27 acres, probably as the strength of the soil varied. But if 120 acres made a carucate of land in Lincolnshire & 8 bovates a carucate the Lincolnshire bovate must have been 15 acres.

Gelt or Geld is a saxon word signifying tribute, tax, payment of money & even money itself from whence we have gold, the best sort of money. In Latin it is geldum.

Webb in his account of Gelt or Danegelt says it was imposed as a tax upon England by the Danes in the reign of Ethelred, about 991 & was an annual tax of 2/- on every hide or carucate of arable land in the kingdom.

Soc or Soke was the territory or precinct in which the sac and other privileges were exercised.

Soke, says Kelham, generally signifies franchise, liberty or jurisdiction; sometimes a rent paid for using the land with some privilege or liberties or for protection of the land .

Villein so called because - they lived chiefly in villages & were employed in the rustic works of the more sordid kind -

A Villein could acquire no property in either lands or goods; everything he possessed in the world, including his wife and

family belonged like himself to his lord. They were emancipated in England from this degrading condition during the confusion & wars between the 2 Houses of York & Lancaster in order -that they might become soldiers .

The Norman Arch in LACEBY church with the doorway & window on the East side of the doorway are parts of the Norman Church built probably in the latter part of the 11th Century. There is a dial on the south side of the doorway.

The lower part of the Tower is of a slightly later date & the Parrot beak pillars in the Chancel shew that that was guilt about 1200.

The Norman Arch in the centre of the Church standing between Gothic Arches indicates that at first a small Church was built with Norman Arches & then soon after, the Church was lengthened & the Gothic Arches built, during the period when the Norman & Early English styles blended, about the end of the 13th Century, before or at the time of the building of the Tower and the Chancel.

The ancient Register contains a list of Rectors dating back to 1311.

In the Chancel there was a stone to the memory of Wm. Launde who died in 1424 but this was placed at the Restoration of the Church 1869-1871 immediately below the Chancel steps in the Nave.

The Registers date back to 1538. An Act of Parliament that registers of Births, Marriages & Burials should be kept in every Parish was passed in 1537 so that these commence as early as any in the country except eight (any?) which were commenced voluntarily before the Act was passed .

(Rev. Knight's notes 9A)

Soon after the Norman Conquest, the manor of Laceby was owned by Odo, Bishop of Bayeux & was even at that remote period a place of some importance. The Roll of the Great Pipe & the Hundred Rolls glve us an insight into the aggressive character of some of it's early owners whose hands were evidently against the hands of their fellows & who were no friends of law & order. Their careers cast a lurid light on the state of society at that period .

In the reign of Henry III (round about 700 years ago) Sir vvalter de la Launde resided at LACEBY in baronial state.

The Bells
Two of the peal of 5 bells are of pre-reformation date, one of which bears the inscription - "Mary of Hawardby of us have mercy" and was probably purchased from Hawerby (in where the Church Wardens obtained a faculty to sell the bells in order to pay for the restoration of the church . Theophilus Harneis owned the whole of Hawerby at that time & a large portion of land in LACEBY . The other pre-reformation bell bears the inscription -

"Ista Campana fit in Houde Sanct Augustin" .

The tenor bell bears the inscription "Soli Oeo Gloria Pax Honimibus 1712"

A peculiar entry in the ancient Register dated July 2nd 1546 records that -

"A witch was devoured in de bounds of ye fields of Laceby & buried there the same day".

The unfortunate woman was probably baited with dogs & devoured by them. The remains only being buried.

In the list of Rectors in the Register Book we read "The next Parson before Mr. Bradeley was John WHITGIFT, Archbishop of Canterbury. He was born at Grimsby (in 1553?) and in 1571 was made Dean of Lincoln & in 1572-1574 held LACEBY amonsst his other pluralities .

The Register contains many peculiar entries such as "Nov. 13 1661 a licence was granted to Thomas Codd who was suffering from quartane ague to eat flesh on fish days, signed Theopolish Harrison, Rector."

There is also a record of 24 Puritan Marriages celebrated before a Justice of the Peace (probably at the Cross Roads).

The Philip Stanford School for LACEBY F Bradley & Barnoldby-le-Beck was formed by Philip Stanford who in 1712 bequeathed a house & lands in LACEBY (after the death of his wife) for its endowment together with doles for bread to be given to 12 poor women at the Church door on the 1st Sunday in the month .

£1 to be paid to the preacher of a sermon on Founder's Day when the poor women & the schoolchildren should attend & 10/- be divided between the children & £10 to be given to 4 children who have been educated at the school on their being apprenticed to a trade.

The Communion Plate of St. Margaret's Church consists of a Patten & a Chalice, both of which bears a Coat of Arms & an inscription "Given by Mary Lady Wray to the Church of LACEBY. August ye 4th 1724"

A larger silver alms dish bearing the Coat of Arms of Philip Stanford also bears the inscription -

"Given by Mrs. Sarah Stanford to the Church of LACEBY, July ye 22 1725".

The silver flagon is modern being presented to the Church by Miss Bell who resided in LACEBY at the time of the restoration of the Church in 1871 .

The Population of the village in 1801 was 368 & in 1831 had increased to 616.

Rev. Knight had crossed out the following sentence: A bridge was built over the beck in 1841.

A Wesleyan Chapel was built in 1810 and rebuilt in 1837. X (A margin note says - old Ch. rebuilt 1853)

A Sunday School was built in 1821 by William Cropper who resided in LACEBY HALL which stood in a large, well wooded park on the raised ground north of Cemetery Road. This home was burnt & finally in 1840 was pulled down & the material removed to Louth. The whole estate was then divided up, sold in small allotments & occupied by buildings.

A Primitive Methodist Chapel was built in 1837 at the bottom of Church Lane but that was taken down in 1877 when the present large building was erected on the Caistor Road.

The Original Rectory was pulled down by the Rev. J. Burkett the Rector at that time & the present large building erected on the site in 1834.

The Church was restored in 1869-1871 at a cost of £1215.9.8 under the direction of Mr. J. Fowler, architect of Louth.

The Stained Glass Windows in the Church were given (1) in 1871 by Mr. George Brooks to the memory of Mr. Wm. Brooks in the south wall. The 2 small windows, St. Margaret & St. John were given at the same time by Miss Eliza Brooks. Also one in the north aisle in memory of Mr. David Field, born at LACEBY Sep. 14 1825. Died at Torquay Jan. 29 1840, given by the family in 1870.

The window at the west end of the north aisle was placed there in 1887 in memory of Robert Cropper & Frances his wife who are buried just outside & was the gift of their daughters.

The east window in the chancel was the gift of Miss Eliza Brooks in memory of her brother Mr. George Brooks who died Sep. 17 1883.

The window in the north aisle of Mr. Edward Watson who is buried outside just in front of it, was the gift of Mr. Facon Watson in 1880.

(The Rev. Knight has a margin note "Stocks")

New Heating apparatus in 1890 £20

Bells rehung in steel frame in 1892 & new bell inserted £160

Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Tower restored at cost of £87 & clock £117

Acetylene Gas £36

Organ Chamber 1912 at cost of £750

Reredos £100

Tower, Screen & Bell