Shearsby, Leicestershire One Place Study

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Shearsby, Leicestershire

This profile is part of the Shearsby, Leicestershire One Place Study.
{{OnePlaceStudy|place=Shearsby, Leicestershire|category=Shearsby, Leicestershire One Place Study}}


Continent: Europe
Sovreign State: United Kingdom
Country: England
County: Leicestershire
GPS Coordinates: 52.512426, -1.082828
Elevation: 119.0 m or 390.4 feet

Shearsby is a village in South Leicestershire, England. It is set just a little to the west of what was the Leicester to Welford Turnpike road, and is now the A5199. The Leicestershire Round walking route passes through the village [1]. The majority of the village has been designated a Special Conservation Area [2].


The village and surrounding fields were surveyed in 1885 [3].


The origin of the place name "Shearsby" is uncertain. Its '-by' ending marks it as a farm or settlement named by people speaking Old Norse [4].


The village was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 when it had a recorded population of 11 households, putting it in the smallest 40% of settlements recorded in Domesday, and is listed under 3 owners in Domesday Book: The Wife of Quentin, Earl Aubry of Coucy and Hugh of Grandmesnil.

Snapshots of the village population in the Middle Ages can be found in tax records of 1327 [5] and 1332 [6].

In 1398 John Durwood of Shearsby petitioned Richard II in relation to damages incurred in the village [7].

In 1773 the farming land around the village was enclosed and some people were allotted land for individual farms out of what had been a three field system.

In 1820 several Shearsby residents signed a pro-Government petition the 'Loyal Declaration' in support of Government policies following the events at Peterloo.

The national Census of 1841 was the first to list all the inhabitants of the village by name. The Electoral list for the 1841 General Election listed resident and non-resident people qualified to vote.


William White's 1846 Directory of Leicestershire and Rutland lists the names and occupations of many village residents. The 1855 Post Office Directory of Leicestershire and Rutland provided a further snapshot of the village and its industries.


Sadly many people might consider Hannah Read, accused and convicted of drowning her husband, as the most notable village inhabitant. The village was, however, the childhood home of J. P. Clowes, a rugby player selected to be a member of the first Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Future Plans

The goal of this project is to uncover the relationships between families residing in Shearsby, Leicestershire.

Right now this project just has one member, me. I am Philip Adams.

Here are some of the tasks that I think need to be done. I'll be working on them, and could use your help.

  • Focus on 1773 (Enclosure of parish lands) and 1841 (Census date) as a start
  • Work back and forward from there

Will you join me? Please post a comment here on this page, in G2G using the project tag, or send me a private message. Thanks!


  1. The Long Distance Walkers Association. The Leicestershire Round [online] Accessed 4 April 2022
  2. Harborough District Council, 2022. Conservation Areas in Harborough district - Shearsby Conservation Area, 2022. Accessed 4 April 2022.
  3. National Library of Scotland (1885) Leicestershire Sheet XLIV.SE. Accessed 4 April 2022.
  4. University of Nottingham. Shearsby: Key to English Place-Names [online] Accessed 31/03/2022
  7. Petition for amends and damages arising from attacks on property. Reference: SC 8/212/10570 [online] Accessed 31 March 2022

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