Newton Valence is a small village located four and a half miles south of Alton and a mile southwest of Selborne. Like that village, made famous by Gilbert White’s natural history of the area, Newton is in a rural part of Hampshire, high in the chalk hills at the western end of the South Downs. At the time of the consistory court case, the manor was owned by Thomas Pescod. ‘Parishes: Newton Valence’, A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3 (1908), pp. 24-30. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41920 Date accessed: 29 April 2014.
A 1580 consistory court case involved Clarice Baker’s charge that John Smith had promised marriage to her during the parish’s summer game, in which she played the ‘sumer lady’ and Smith the ‘somer lord’. Baker was from Newton, but Smith had come from Droxford, a similarly rural village some twelve miles south. The records of the case provide no details about Newton’s summer game, but it may have resembled the festivities at Alton that led to a Star Chamber case in 1614.