Notes by Allen Smith of Braithwell, Micklebring and Clifton History and Heritage Group
A great part of the reign of King Edward I, was spent in warfare. - in Flanders, Gascony and also in Scotland, culminating in the defeat by William Wallace at Stirling in 1297.
Many of his policies were disliked by nobility and commoners alike.
The nobles did not like the way the "Great Charter" (Magna) was being abused by the King. Under the Charter, no taxes were supposed to be levied without the consent of Parliament. - but this clause was being ignored! Because of the expense of defending the realm, the King needed more money, and because of his unpopularity, he could see that the only way was to reconvene Parliament and go through the proper channels.
The King was not present at the first session, and many Parliamentarians were suspicious of his motives. (Some even brought their own private armies to act as bodyguards should the need arise.) After intervention by the Archbishop of Canterbury, progress was made, and the King agreed to accept all the clauses contained in the Great Charter. In return, Parliament sanctioned a levy on the whole country to pay for home defence, which was a real threat. Under the levy, the common people were to be assessed as to their wealth, and then they had to pay one ninth of their agreed value to the Crown. The Clergy were to give one tenth, and the Arshbishop of York and his clergy were to contribute one fifth. (The reason given was that it was this area which was threatened by invasion.)
Two chief "taxors" were appointed by the Crown, and they "caused between two and four trustworthy men of each vill to swear they would loyally tax and assess all goods in fields and home or elsewhere on the day of St.Michaels last". The taxors were told to visit each hundred or vill to enquire if the taxation had been done properly according to the rules. The terms of reference were specific. Any goods removed before the date of taxation were to be taxed like the rest. If they found anything concealed, or taxed at less than its value, they were to increase it. They were told to levy and collect the "ninth", as it came to be known, with all speed, and pay it in to the Exchequer. The urgency was because of fear of invasion. "Omit taxing no one who was liable for love, hatred and favour, gift or promise" and they were to take nothing for themselves from those whose goods ought to be taxed.
Braithwell, like all other Townships, was duly taxed at Michaelmas 1297 and below is a list of the inhabitants and their taxable goods. (Taken from the Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series - Lay Subsidies. Vol.XVI. - translated from the Latin. It should be noted that the records of this Subsidy Tax in the West Riding are intact, whereas those for the rest of Yorkshire are incomplete.)
Dionisia de Scefeud (Scheffeld) - has 1 horse valued at 4s., 4 oxen each valued at 5s., 3 quarters of fine wheat at 3s. per quarter, 4 quarters of oats valued at 15d. per quarter.
Willhelmus de Conuale - has 1 horse value 3s., 2 oxen, value 5s. each, 2 quarters of fine wheat at 3s. per quarter, 2 quarters of oats at 15d. per quarter.
Ricardus Jerways. - has I horse, value 4s., 1 ox, value 5s., 2 quarters of fine wheat at 3s. per quarter, 2 quarters of oats at 15d. per quarter, 2 pigs, valued at 12d: each.
Elyus Gully. - has I horse, value 4s.,1 quarter of fine wheat, value 3s., I quarter of oats,
value 15d., 1 pig, value 12d.
Adam de Cressey. - has 1 horse, value 4s., 2 oxen valued at 5s. each, 1 goose, value I2d., 2 young oxen , valued at 8d each, 2 quarters of fine wheat, at 3s. per quarter, 2 quarters of oats at 15d. per quarter, I cow valued at 4s.
Total 28s. I0d.
(ix) 3s. 2d.
Elyas Clericus. - has 1 horse, value 4s., 2 oxen, valued at 5s. each, 1 cow valued at 4s., 4 young oxen, valued at 8d. each, I pig valued at 12d., 3 quarters of fine wheat, valued at 3s. per quarter, 3 quarters of oats , valued at 15d. per quarter.
Anna Gregory - has 1 horse valued at 4s., 1 oxen valued at 5s., 1 quarter of fine wheat, valued at 3s., 1 quarter of oats valued at 15d., 1 pig valued at 12d.
Andreas de Mickilbrig - has 1 horse, value 4s., 1 ox value 5s., a half quarter of wheat valued at 18d., I quarter of oats valued at 15d.
Willelmus, son of Petri - has 1 horse, value 3s, 1 ox, value 5s., 1 quarter of fine wheat valued at 3s., 1 quarter of oats valued at 15d.
Ricardus Olman - has 1 horse, value 3s., 1 ox valued at 5s., one and a half quarters of wheat, valued at 3s. per quarter, 3 quarters of oats valued at 15d. per quarter.
Willhelmus de Derby - has 1 horse, value 4s., 1 pig, value 12d., 1 quarter of fine wheat value 3s., 1 quarter of oats, value 15d.
Total for the Township
Willhehnus Jerways 12d.
Ricardus Alkoc 2s.
Willhehnus Bulloc de Clifton 18d.
ix Tax 24s.1d.
It can be deduced from these returns that oxen, and not horses were in common use in the village at that time as beasts of burden, with the possibility that horses were used mainly as a means of transport.