From the times of the Saxons until the 19th century local affairs were the responsibility of a local authority which may have been a local monastery or manor, manor being an estate, the owner of which had jurisdiction over tenants in their properties or who worked their land. Following the dissolution of the monasteries the local government for Hambleton was provided by the Brayton Vestry meeting, so called because it was held in the vestry of Brayton Church. The village would have been represented by a church warden and someone who owned a substantial amount of property in the village. From 1530 – 1834 it was usual for church wardens who also act as civil administrators.
In 1798 The Enclosure Act for Hambleton was passed by Parliament following an application which had to be supported by three quarters of the land owners. The Act for the village includes a map showing individual strips of land and their legal owners.