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The Lane family had a relationship with Chewton Mendip from the medieval period until the modern era. There are earlier references to John and William Lane were were tenant in Emborough in 1438 and 1448. William was forced to repair his tenement which was described as ‘ruinous’  by the Feast of St Lawrence (10 August) or  pay a fine 3s 4d. They may have been related to Simon Lane who was appointed as vicar of  Chewton Mendip on 20th April 1507. Medieval vicars were as likely to be found behind a plough as in a pulpit and subsequent vicars had close links with local farming families.
Somerset archive record Q/SR/127/18 dated 9th October 1675  is evidence was given by William Lane, a lead miner of Priddy and Michael Curtis of Chewton Mendip against William Lane the elder that his dog killed a sheep belonging to Michael Curtis. William Lane the elder’s admitted that his dog drove the into a ditch but denied that his dog killed the sheep.  Disputes between farmers and miners was common but the implied father/son relationship makes this incident unusual. The Justice of the Peace was John Buckland.
The  Lanes may be mentioned in the churchwardens accounts but Jacob Lane appears in  poor books for 1730Ann Lane was married to Jacob Lane when their daughter, also called Ann,  was born in 1730. That Jacob may have died which is why Ann was in receipt of Poor relief. Alternatively, Ann may have died because a Jacob Lane married Mary Loxton of Chewton on 21/8/1737. There were probably two or three generations of Jacob Lanes in Chewton Mendip during the 18th century but there could also have been two or more Jacob Lanes living at the same time.
 One Jacob Lane’s family were afflicted by smallpox c 1734 so Ann may have died at that time and Mary may have been Jacob’s second wife. An Ann Lane was given money by the parish because her family was suffering from an unspecified sickness in 1746 but Ann which could have been the same Ann who was supported in 1730 but Ann was a relatively common name and there were other potential husbands, or ex husbands for her apart from Jacob.  A Samuel Lane had married somebody called Ann in 1727.
 There are records in FreeReg which suggest that Jacob Lane fathered an illegitimate son, also called Jacob, with Martha Gray in 1753. Mary may have died or a different Jacob Lane could have been involved but he would have been responsible for supporting the child. This is was a obbligation he may tried to avoid because the next records are concerned with bringing him to justice.
 Jacob Lane Jailing 1754There are records from C1754 for Jacob Lane being apprehended in Bath. He was then taken under guard to Chewton Mendip and then sent to Shepton Mallet. The extract from the Poor Book (file 2145a) on the left gives some of the details. This episode is better documented than some of the similar events and lists in detail the costs involved. One benchmark of the values concerned is that the expenses paid to Charles Grace for tracking him down and related activities was 19 shillings. In comparison, the typical amount paid for one years rent of a cottage was 20 shillings or one pound. However, 19 shillings was only the beginning of the costs.
 A further 12 shillings was spent  on sending the (unnamed) overseer and ‘Farmer Hippisley’ keeping Jacob Lane in custody at Bath, 11 shillings was paid to Thomas Butt to fetch Jacob Lane from Bath and keep him in custody somewhere in Chewton Mendip. He may have been kept in the ‘cells’ underneath what is now the shop.
 A further 6 shillings was spent taking him to Shepton Mallet jail and they also had t pay 6 pence (half a shilling) for his food at Bath jail. The parish also had to pay 3 shillings for warrants for Jacob Lane and another culprit called Lacey.
 Jacob Lane continued to be recorded as a recipient of poor relief after that date.
 Members of the Lane family were attending Chewton Mendip school in the Victorian era.
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