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Custodian Books is the publishing imprint for author Sonja Smith’s local history book Canon Pyon: a Herefordshire manor and parish in the 17th century, published April 2022.

Custodian Books

If you have ancestors in the parish of Canon Pyon or are interested in Herefordshire’s local history, then this is the book for you. Until now, very little early modern history has been written about this manor and parish and its long association with the Dean & Chapter of Hereford Cathedral.

The six chapters in the book use documentary evidence from local and national archives to investigate the manor, lost townships, the church, the clergy, maintaining law and order and social aspects of the parish. All are written with the inhabitants at the heart of the history.

The parish of Canon Pyon lies in the centre of the county of Herefordshire, approximately 6 miles north-east of the county town of Hereford. Being one of four manors belonging to the Cathedral Church of Hereford since Anglo-Saxon times, Canon Pyon can claim a long and relatively stable past.

But that stability very nearly changed forever in the seventeenth century. From the very first decade, trouble at the manor house led to a court case which reveals a heart-warming love story. In the 1620s, the tenant of the manor’s demesne lands made one mistake too many and left the parish under a cloud. By 1639, the vicar of many years standing passed away and his well-connected replacement was to suffer personal personal upheaval in the tumult of the Civil Wars. The manor itself was lucky to escape being sold by the Parliamentarians; like many others it was surveyed soon after the execution of Charles I in 1649 with a view to raising funds. Luckily, the manor remained intact and was returned into the hands of the Dean & Chapter at the Restoration. Manorial life continued, albeit with subtle differences.

The seventeenth century was an era of fluctuating attitudes and fortunes but many of the families in Canon Pyon had been there long before that time and continued to thrive there long after. They sometimes left clues in the name of a field or cottage. This book aims to discover something of the lives of the people living in the manor and parish. For some, little is known other than a name but for others, parts of their life stories have been pieced together.

ISBN 978 1 3999 2094 0
220 pages

Retail price: £12.95 (free postage to UK)
(postage to: Europe £5.25, Other £8.00)
Local to Canon Pyon? Contact sonja@custodian4.co.uk  for a discount for Pyons parishioners

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