Willen People

Householders in 1522

In 1522 Henry VIII wanted to raise money to pay for the men and arms needed to fight a war. He did this by taxing his subjects. In order to extract the right amount of tax from everyone with anything to give he sent officials round to all the manors in England to make a list of all the householders in the land, and how much each one was worth. This is the list made for the combined Manor of Willen and Caldecote. One of the first things to notice is the small number of people who own a lot, and the large number of very poor people.
The certificate tells us that there were 19 men with rights over some land. Some like John Mordaunt, the Lord of the Manor, and the Abbas de Lauden probably did not live in the village, but John Christian the vicar, the farmers and the farm workers probably did. William Fraunce is interesting, in that we may know where he lived and what he farmed. Thomas Chelerey left his mark in a field name that became the name of a road in modern Willen, namely Chillery Lees. Perhaps, William Coten left his name to Cotton Valley Farm that then became the Cotton Valley Sewage Works.