James Titley's declaration 11th March 1921

James Titley provided evidence in support of the Vardon's claim to the ownership of Goldstone Common and the Manor of Goldstone during a short-lived dispute with the Donaldson-Hudsons, who were lords of the manor of Cheswardine. Mr Donaldson-Hudson, and later his gamekeeper, had been found shooting on Goldstone Common in an apparent attempt to exercise the rights that the Donaldson-Hudsons claimed. 

The declaration provides some interesting snippets about James Titley's family history as well as Goldstone itself. The situation was resolved after H.G.E. ('Jack') Vardon met the gamekeeper shooting on the Common, asked him to stop and the gamekeeper in question was very polite and wrote to apologise. Jack Vardon had inherited the estate and lordship of the manor of Goldstone from his uncle Hugh Ernest Vardon only a few years before. The Donaldson-Hudsons had mistakenly thought that the geography of the manor of Cheswardine covered the same area as the parish of Cheswardine.

I JAMES TITLEY of Hoar Lake in the Parish of Hinstock in the County of Salop DO HEREBY SOLEMNLY AND SINCERLEY DECLARE:- - - - - - - - - - -

That I was born at Ellerton in the adjoining Parish to this on the 29th day of September 1837 where I lived until I came to reside in this Parish in the year 1842 and I have lived at Hoar Lake aforesaid since the year 1881.

I have worked for the Misses Vardon and Mr. Hugh E. Vardon former owners of the Goldstone Estate and for Mr H.G.E. Vardon the present Owner of the Goldstone Estate on their property since about 1870 & I am very well acquainted with this property & with Goldstone Common which adjoins this property upon three sides.

As their servant I have always felled timber got & carted away gravel and sand from off the Common for the said Owners without making any payment therefor and without permission from any other party.

I can well remember over 60 yars ago certain persons requiring sand asking Mr. Beeston who was then the Agent for the Goldstone Estate for permission to get the same off the Common.

I have acted for many years as Game Keeper for the Owners and until Mr. Hudson of Cheswardine commenced to shoot on the Commons few years ago no other person but the Owners or their friends ever shot or claimed any right to shoot over the said Common.

I have always understood and it has always been understood in the neighbourhood that there was a separate Manor of Goldstone and that the Vardons were the sole Lords of the Manor.

And I MAKE this solemn Declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of The Statutory Declarations Act 1835.

Declared before me at

Market Drayton

this 11th day of

March 1921

Thomas H. Garside

A Commissioner for Oaths

[signed by]

James Titley