Matthew Liddon`s Proof to the Ownership of the Manor of Charmouth in 1853

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A statement by Lieutenant Matthew Liddon , in the Royal Navy, Lord of the Manor of Charmouth in the County of Dorset dated February 1853
That Queen Elizabeth in the 6th year of Her reign (1564) granted the Lordship and Manor to Robert and William Caldwell, Gentlemen and their heirs with all their rights , members, liberties and appurtenances whatsoever to the late dissolved Monastery of Ford in the County of Devon belonging and all tenements, heriditaments and also the Advowson of the Recory and Church of Charmouth with their rights and appurtenances and all messuages, mills, dove houses, lands, tenements, commons, wastes, marshes, waters, fishing places, fishings, warrens, rents and services, rents of free men and of customary tenements , fee farms and of Knights fee marriages escheats relief heriots fines amerciaments court lets view of Frank pledge and all the same Courts appertaining chattels Wayved strays chattels of felons Bond men and women and fairs markets tolls customs and all other the rights jurisdictions franchises privileges emoluments and heritaments with the appurtenances of whatsoever nature general or special or by whatsoever manner they are known in Charmouth or elsewhere in the same County to the said Manor in any way belonging or as member so fully and freely as any other Abbott or Prior of Ford or any others the said Lordship and manor were possessed or seized or ought to have enjoyed by virtue of any Charter, Gift or confirmation or any Letters Patent by us or by any of our Progenitors Kings of England before this had made or granted or confirmed or by reason or by virtue of any lawful prescription use or custom heretofore had by whatsoever lawful means right or title and also so fully freely and in as ample manner and form as we or any Progenitors the Lordship and manor before said and all and singular the premises to the said Lordship and manor appertaining and every parcel thereof we have had and enjoyed and the same had and enjoyed as we or they ought to have and enjoy as unto the manor aforesaid belonging and appertaining.

In the Reign of King Edward 2nd (1307-1327) a fair and Market were granted to the Abbot. It is extant that the Abbott of Ford exercised extensive jurisdiction and granted permission to buy and sell within certain limits. In the sixth of Queen Elizabeth (1564) the Manor and lordship and Franchises in the same Manor as before related were granted to Sir William Petre and Mr Liddon has in his possession Deeds regularly deducing the Title to the present times.

In the year 1789 action of trespass was bought by James Warden Esq, the grandfather of the present owner (Matthew Liddon) against the Rev. Brian Combe and others for entering a Close of the Plaintiff part of the waste in the Parish of Charmouth and for carrying away stones, seaweed ore stones sand and gravel earth and for breaking fences, gates the defendants pleaded that the Close was part of the Sea Beach between high water and low water mark the result was that of not guilty that issue was found for the Plaintiff establishing Plaintiffs right as Lord of the Manor to t he sea beach. Mr Liddon has in his possession an old map and book of reference delineating the waste beach as belonging to the Manor and the several freehold leasehold and other tenements paying rents to the Lord of t he Manor with presentments at the Court Leet held from time to time and accounts of the rents of the Manor for years amongst others a payment by the owner of Wootton Fitzpaine - Thomas Rose Drew Esq and the Mayor of Lyme Regis. For the permission and license to take stone he also has in his possession payments for the pyrites and Mundic rented by different persons under leases and of stone let for the purposes of Cement and also the Lias Lime stone has also been taken from the beach for manuring the overland tenement let by the Late Mrs Liddon and if advertised in the year 1811that the tenement was to have the exclusive right of taking the seaweed annually thrown on to the beach. the late Mrs Liddon, the Lady of the Manor and also her father the said James Warden exercised the exclusive right of fishing in the River Char and the ancient Lords of Whitechurch never came below the Charmouth Bridge indeed there's is no doubt both from the evidence of documents and the reputation of the place that the rights and the exercise of them were coextensive with the grant except as to any custom within the place or Grants to Paries such as Mr Drew which were subject to acknowledgements. For example there appease at the Court Leet of 18th October 1805 James Gerrard and otters were presented for taking stones and sand from the reign of King Edward 4th the waste of the Manor and if persons generally took stones from the Beach it was a usurpation and they could not set up a prescriptive right. the neighbouring Manor of Chideock the Lord of which manor had an ancient grant in the reign og King Edward 4th now existing and in respect to Charmouth if the Register or the Cartulary of the Abbey of Ford can be inspected and other documentary evidence it will be made more evident what the right of the Abbots were

In 1906 Mr John James Coulton the Ghent Lord of the Manor of Charmouth brought an action in the Axminster County Court for damages for trespass by removing sand and stone from he Beach at Charmouth and established his rights.
Since that date a royalty on all sand, shingle and stone carted from the Beach has been paid to him, and also an acknowledgement rent in respect of bathing huts or tents put up by visitors on the Beach.