Somerset Archives Record Office
Deeds held at the record office appear to suggest John Shire was farming what became Shire Farm as long ago as 1764 .... nearly 250 years ago !
Lease (and Counterpart) for 99 years DD\X\HF/1,2 1 May, 1764
For £80 and annual rent of 10s. 6d. (and for 2 lives in reversion of 1).
John Cook of Combe St. Nicholas, gent., lord of the manor of Blindmore in Buckland St. Mary to John Shire of Blindmore, clerk.
Dwelling house, orchard and garden formerly in tenure of Thos. Cross, decd., 4 parcels ground lying against the Common cont. 11a., 3 parcels ground lying above the sd. house cont. 8a., and 2 parcels land adjoining thereto cont. 5a., parcel of certain lands called Blindmore in Buckland St. Mary, now in tenure of sd. John Shire. (Timber, etc. reserved).
(Heriot: 25s.) (Lives: John Shire, s. of sd. John Shire, and Mary Moore, dau. of Elizabeth Moore, widow of John Moore, late of Buckland St. Mary, decd., the sd. term to commence after death of Mary, wife of sd. John Shire, formerly Mary Cross).
(Husbandry covenants include payment of 40s. yearly for every acre of the ancient meadow or pasture ground belonging to premises not overgrown with brambles or furzes and so in proportion for a greater or lesser quantity than an acre of such ground that shall be ploughed or converted to tillage without licence of sd. John Cook).
Witn: M. Cooke, Sim: Bunter.
[Seals: (1) missing; (2) good impression, head of 'Prince of Orang'].
Signatures: (1) John Cook (2) John Shire.
Conveyance (Lease for a year) [Release missing]. DD\X\HF/3 29 Apr. 1784
John Cook and Richard Cook, both of Combe St. Nicholas, clothiers to John Shire of Otterford, yeoman.
Property as in 1,2 above; some time in tenure of John Shire, clerk.
Witn: Jno. Staple, Wm. Turner.
[Seals (2); fair impressions; man's head device].
Signatures: (1) John Cook (2) Richard Cook
Assignment for remainder of term of 1,000 years; for £300 DD\X\HF/4 9 Apr. 1806
(i) John Shire of Otterford, yeoman (only child and heir-at-law and sole executor of will of his father, John Shire, late of Otterford, clerk, decd.)
(ii) James Dommett of Otterford, yeoman
(iii) Samuel Watts the younger of Yeovil, gent.
(iv) Joseph Watts of Yeovil, gent. (trustee named on behalf of sd. Samuel Watts in respect of the term hereinafter assigned).
[Recites: (A) Assignment dated 2 Jan. 1792, (i) John Stembridge, then of Buckland St. Mary, staymaker, (ii) sd. John Shire (iii) sd. James Danmett; itself reciting Mortgage dated 5 Apr. 1787, sd. John Shire to sd. John Stembridge.
(B) That £249 principal and interest due to sd. John Stembridge
(C) That sd. James Dommett agreed to pay to sd. John Stembridge £249 and to advance to sd. John Shire £51 on security of premises then in mortgage, hereby intended to be assigned
(D) In consideration whereof, assignment made for remainder of term of 1,000 years to sd. James Dommett, of
Property as in 1,2 above; then late in tenure of John Shire, decd., but then of sd. John Shire (party hereto).
With proviso for redemption of sd. £300
(E) That £300 still due to sd. James Dommett by sd. John Shire (interest having been paid)
(F) That sd. Samuel Watts agrees to purchase in fee simple sd. premises for £650 by Lease and Release dated 8, 9 Apr. 1806, the sd. James Dommett receiving £300 out of purchase money and assigning property to Joseph Watts in trust for sd. Samuel Watts].
Witn: Cha. Hutchings, mark of Charles Tucker.
[Seals (4): defaced].
Signatures: John Shire, James Dommett, Saml: Watts Junr., Joseph Watts.
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