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Manor Court, 7th October, 1334

Manor Court, 7th October, 1334

Rosamond Kynton selling ale without a licenseguiltyfined 6d.
Juliana Foreman not using Hugh de Audley's ovenguiltyfined 1d.
Thomas Brooker arriving late for haymakingguiltyfined 1d.
Matthew Ward failing to obtain permission for his daughter to marry Henry Beaumontguiltyfined 6s.
Henry Furner failing to bring Elena Furner to the last session of the Manor Courtguiltyfined 6s.
Adam Fleete harbouring a stranger overnightguilty fined 3d.
Alice Taylor horse trespassed on Benedict Dunn's landguiltyfined 2d.
Margaret Chowring failing to repair the road outside her homeguiltyfined 1d.
Gilbert Baker failing to stop her son Thomas from taking a tench from the lord's fish pond not guilty
Richard Wood stabbed Thomas Godfrey with a knife while the two men were mowing togetherguiltyfled
Richard Bennett moving boundary stones in the fieldguiltyfined 6d.
Rosa Seamark failure to pay pannageguiltyfined 6d.
Henry Rolfe dragging his plough across the land of Joanna Browne after it had been planted guilty fined 7d.
Cecilia Barfoot marriage of her daughter Rosa to Samuel Ashdown of Yaldinggranted2s. 6d.
Gilbert Baker to purchase his freedomgranted£2. 12s.
Geoffrey Fletcher marriage of his daughter Edith Fletcher to Hugh Chatteris of Farleighgranted1s.
Walter Herenden permission to visit Maidstonerefused

Middle Ages Edit

Henry VIII Edit

Conciliar courts Edit

Regional conciliar courts Edit

Eyres Edit

Superior courts at Westminster Edit

Although the words "Superior Courts of Law at Westminster", in the preamble of the Uniformity of Process Act 1832 were, it was conceived by Palmer, sufficient to comprehend the law side of the Court of Chancery or Petty Bag Office, that Court being undoubtedly one of His Majesty's superior Courts at Westminster, yet it was evident, from section 12, as well as other parts of the statute, that the three courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer, were those which were alone meant by it. [3]

Wharton and Granger refer to "the three superior courts at Westminster". [4] [5]

Section 2 of the Evidence Act 1845 refers to "any of the equity or common law judges of the superior courts at Westminster". The effect of section 151(5) of, and paragraph 1(1) [6] of Schedule 4 to, the Senior Courts Act 1981 and sections 18(2) and 26(2) of the Supreme Court of Judicature (Consolidation) Act 1925, is that the expression "any of the equity or common law judges of the superior courts at Westminster" must be construed and have effect as a reference to judges of the Court of Appeal and High Court. [7]

The superior courts of law at Westminster had a common jurisdiction over certain actions and proceedings. [8]

The Court of King's Bench, Court of Common Pleas, Court of Exchequer and Court of Chancery sat at Westminster Hall. [9]

Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873 Edit

Transfer of jurisdiction to the High Court Edit

The jurisdiction of the following courts was transferred to the High Court of Justice by section 16 of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873:

  • The High Court of Chancery, as a Common Law Court as well as a Court of Equity, including the jurisdiction of the Master of the Rolls, as a Judge or Master of the Court of Chancery, and any jurisdiction exercised by him in relation to the Court of Chancery as a Common Law Court
  • The Court of Queen's Bench
  • The Court of Common Pleas at Westminster
  • The Court of Exchequer, as a Court of Revenue, as well as a Common Law Court
  • The High Court of Admiralty
  • The Court of Probate
  • The Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes
  • The Court of Common Pleas at Lancaster
  • The Court of Pleas at Durham
  • The Courts created by Commissions of Assize, of Oyer and Terminer, and of Gaol Delivery, or any of such Commissions [10]

The jurisdiction of the London Bankruptcy Court was transferred to the High Court by section 93 of the Bankruptcy Act 1883. [11]

The following courts were merged into the High Court by section 41 of the Courts Act 1971:

Appellate courts Edit

The jurisdictions of the following, amongst others, were transferred to the Court of Appeal:

There was formerly a Court for Crown Cases Reserved. The House of Lords was formerly an appellate court.

Courts of criminal jurisdiction included:

  • Courts of summary jurisdiction and General sessions
  • Special sessions
  • Courts of Gaol Delivery and Oyer and Terminer [13]

Central Criminal Court Edit

The Central Criminal Court established by the Central Criminal Court Act 1834 was replaced by the Crown Court established by the recommendations of Dr. Beeching leading to the Courts Act 1971.

Court of Criminal Appeal Edit

Crown courts Edit

The Crown Court of Liverpool and the Crown Court of Manchester established by the Criminal Justice Administration Act 1956 [14] were superseded by the (national) Crown Court established by the Courts Act 1971.

The Court of Bankruptcy was established under the statute 1 & 2 Will 4 c 56. [16] As to bankruptcy courts, see the Bankruptcy Act 1869. [17]

County courts Edit

Local and borough courts of record Edit

Section 42 of the Courts Act 1971 replaced the Mayor's and City of London Court with a county court of the same name.

Section 43 of that Act abolished:

  • The Tolzey and Pie Poudre Courts of the City and County of Bristol
  • The Liverpool Court of Passage
  • The Norwich Guildhall Court
  • The Court of Record for the Hundred of Salford

Anomalous local courts Edit

Part II of Schedule 4 to the Administration of Justice Act 1977 curtailed the jurisdiction of certain other anomalous local courts:

  • The Basingstoke Court of Ancient Demesne
  • The Coventry Court of Orphans
  • The Great Grimsby Foreign Court
  • The King's Lynn Court of Tolbooth
  • The Court of Husting (City of London)
  • The Sheriffs' Court for the Poultry Compter (City of London)
  • The Sheriffs' Court for the Giltspur Street Compter (City of London)
  • The Macclesfield Court of Portmote
  • The Maidstone Court of Conservancy
  • The Melcombe Regis Court of Husting
  • The Newcastle upon Tyne Court of Conscience or Requests
  • The Newcastle upon Tyne Court of Conservancy
  • The Norwich Court of Mayoralty
  • The Peterborough Dean and Chapter's Court of Common Pleas
  • The Ramsey (Cambridgeshire) Court of Pleas
  • The Ripon Court Military
  • The Ripon Dean and Chapter's Canon Fee Court
  • The St. Albans Court of Requests
  • The Court of the Hundred, Manor and Borough of Tiverton
  • The York Court of Husting
  • The York Court of Guildhall
  • The York Court of Conservancy
  • The Ancient Prescriptive Court of Wells
  • The Cheyney Court of the Bishop of Winchester.

University courts were limited in jurisdiction to matters relating to the statutes of the university in question:

  • Court of the Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University
  • The Cambridge University Chancellor's Court

The Court of Minstrels in Tutbury, Staffordshire was ordered to close by the Duke of Devonshire in 1778 [19]

Hundred and manorial courts Edit

Forest courts Edit

By 1909, the Court of Regard had been obsolete for centuries. Swainmotes were still held, but were mere formalities. No Court of Justice Seat had been held since 1662, and it could be regarded as obsolete. [20]

Courts of the Cinque Ports Edit

The Cinque Ports had a Court of Chancery and a Court of Load Manage for the regulation of pilots until the Cinque Ports Act 1855. [21]

Palatine courts Edit

Durham and Sadberge Edit

The Court of Chancery of the County Palatine of Durham and Sadberge was merged into the High Court by the Courts Act 1971. The Court of Pleas of the County Palatine of Durham and Sadberge was merged into the High Court by the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873. The Court of the County of Durham was abolished by section 2 of the Durham (County Palatine) Act 1836.

Lancaster Edit

Chester Edit

Courts of the county palatine of Chester included the Exchequer of Chester, the County Court of Chester and the Pentice Court of the city of Chester. [22]

The Courts of Session of the County Palatine of Chester and the Principality of Wales were abolished section 14 of by the Law Terms Act 1830.


Historically a lord of the manor could either be a tenant-in-chief if he held a capital manor directly from the Crown, or a mesne lord if he was the vassal of another lord. [2] The origins of the lordship of manors arose in the Anglo-Saxon system of manorialism. Following the Norman conquest, land at the manorial level was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 [3] (the Normans' registry in Sicily was called, in Latin, the Catalogus Baronum, compiled a few years later). The title cannot nowadays be subdivided. [1] This has been prohibited since 1290 by the statute of Quia Emptores that prevents tenants from alienating their lands to others by subinfeudation, instead requiring all tenants wishing to alienate their land to do so by substitution. [4]

Lord Denning, in Corpus Christi College Oxford v Gloucestershire County Council [1983] QB 360, described the manor thus:

In medieval times the manor was the nucleus of English rural life. It was an administrative unit of an extensive area of land. The whole of it was owned originally by the lord of the manor. He lived in the big house called the manor house. Attached to it were many acres of grassland and woodlands called the park. These were the "demesne lands" which were for the personal use of the lord of the manor. Dotted all round were the enclosed homes and land occupied by the "tenants of the manor".

The owner of a lordship of the manor can be described as [Personal Name], Lord/Lady of the Manor of [Placename], [1] sometimes shortened to Lord or Lady of [Placename]. [5] In modern times any person may choose to use a name that is not the property of another. Under English common law a person may choose to be known by any name he sees fit as long as it is not done to commit fraud or evade an obligation such changes are often made by deed poll (a deed of declaration of change of name). [6]

A manorial lordship is not a noble title, but a semi-extinct form of landed property. Lordship in this sense is a synonym for ownership, although this ownership involved a historic legal jurisdiction in the form of the court baron. [7] The journal Justice of the Peace & Local Government Law advises that the position is unclear as to whether a lordship of a manor is a title of honour or a dignity, as this is yet to be tested by the courts. [8] Technically, lords of manors are barons, or freemen however, they do not use the term as a title. Unlike titled barons, they did not have a right to sit in the House of Lords, which was the case for all noble peers until the House of Lords Act 1999. John Selden in his esteemed work Titles of Honour (1672) writes, "The word Baro (Latin for Baron) hath been also so much communicated, that not only all Lords of Manors have been from ancient time, and are at this day called sometimes Barons (as in the stile of their Court Barons, which is Curia Baronis, &c. And I have read hors de son Barony in a barr to an Avowry for hors de son fee) But also the Judges of the Exchequer have it from antient time fixed on them." [9]

John Martin Robinson, Maltravers Herald Extraordinary and co-author of The Oxford Guide to Heraldry, gave his opinion that "Lordship of this or that manor is no more a title than Landlord of The Dog and Duck". [10] [Note 1] The style 'Lord of the Manor of X' or 'Lord of X' is, in this sense, more of a description than a title, somewhat similar to the term Laird in Scotland. [11] King's College, Cambridge has given the view that the term 'indicated wealth and privilege, and it carried rights and responsibilities'. [12]

Since 1965 lords of the manor have been entitled to compensation in the event of compulsory purchase. [13] Before the Land Registration Act 2002 it was possible for manors to be registered with HM Land Registry. Manorial incidents, which are the rights that a lord of the manor may exercise over other people's land, lapsed on 12 October 2013 if not registered by then with the Land Registry. This is a separate issue to the registration of lordships of manors, since both registered and unregistered lordships will continue to exist after that date. It is only their practical rights that will lose what is called 'overriding interest', or in other words the ability to affect land even if the interests or rights are not registered against that land, as of 12 October 2013. Manorial incidents can still be recorded for either registered or unregistered manors however, proof of existence of the rights may need to be submitted to the Land Registry before they will be noted and they may not be registered at all after affected land is sold after 12 October 2013. This issue does not affect the existence of the title of lord of the manor. [1] There have been cases where manors have been sold and the seller has unknowingly parted with rights to unregistered land in England and Wales. [14]

In England in the Middle Ages, land was held of the English monarch or ruler by a powerful local supporter, who gave protection in return. The people who had sworn homage to the lord were known as vassals. Vassals were nobles who served loyalty for the king, in return for being given the use of land. After the Norman conquest of England, however, all land in England was owned by the monarch who then granted the use of it by means of a transaction known as enfeoffment, to earls, barons, and others, in return for military service. The person who held feudal land directly from the king was known as a tenant-in-chief (see also Land tenure).

Military service was based upon units of ten knights (see Knight-service). An important tenant-in-chief might be expected to provide all ten knights, and lesser tenants-in-chief, half of one. Some tenants-in-chief 'sub-infeuded', that is, granted, some land to a sub-tenant. Further sub-infeudation could occur down to the level of a lord of a single manor, which in itself might represent only a fraction of a knight's fee. A mesne lord was the level of lord in the middle holding several manors, between the lords of a manor and the superior lord. The sub-tenant might have to provide knight-service, or finance just a portion of it, or pay something purely nominal. Any further sub-infeudation was prohibited by the Statute of Quia Emptores in 1290. Knight-service was abolished by the Tenures Abolition Act 1660.

Manors were defined as an area of land and became closely associated to the advowson of the church often by default the advowson was appended to the rights of the Manor, sometimes separated into moieties. [15] [16] Many lords of the manor were known as squires, at a time when land ownership was the basis of power. [16] While some inhabitants were serfs who were bound to the land, others were freeholders, often known as franklins, who were free from customary services. Periodically all the tenants met at a 'manorial court', with the lord of the manor (or squire), or a steward, as chairman. These courts, known as courts baron, dealt with the tenants' rights and duties, changes of occupancy, and disputes between tenants. Some manorial courts also had the status of a court leet, and so they elected constables and other officials and were effectively magistrates' courts for minor offences.

The tenure of the freeholders was protected by the royal courts. After the Black Death, labour was in demand and so it became difficult for the lords of manors to impose duties on serfs. However their customary tenure continued and in the 16th century the royal courts also began to protect these customary tenants, who became known as copyholders. The name arises because the tenant was given a copy of the court's record of the fact as a title deed.

During the 19th century, traditional manor courts were phased out. This was largely because by the mid 17th century, large English cities had leading residents such as John Harrison (died 1656) of Leeds, who saw the possession of the manor by only one resident as "giving him too great a superiority over his fellow townsmen, and exposing him to considerable odium". Thus, the Manor of Leeds was divided between several people (shares). [17] This situation could create legal problems. In January 1872, as a group, the "lords of the manor of Leeds" applied to the Law Courts to ascertain if they could "exercise acts of ownership" over land at a time when manorial rights were being sold to larger city corporations. In 1854, the lords of the manor of Leeds had "sold" these acts of ownership to the "corporation of Leeds" which would become the City of Leeds. [18] [19]

By 1925, copyhold tenure had formally ended with the enactment of Law of Property Acts, Law of Property Act 1922 and Law of Property (Amendment) Act 1924, converting copyhold to fee simple. Although copyhold was abolished, the title of Lord of the Manor remains, and certain rights attached to it will also remain if they are registered under the Land Registration Act 2002. This Act ended manorial incidents unprotected by registration at the Land Registry after October 2013. [20] The Land Registration Act 2002 does not affect the existence of unregistered lordships after October 2013, only the rights that would have previously been attached to the same.

During the latter part of the 20th century, many of these titles were sold to wealthy individuals seeking a distinction. However, certain purchasers, such as Mark Roberts, controversially exploited the right to claim unregistered land. [14] [21] [22] A manorial title (i.e. Lord of the Manor) is not a title of nobility, as in a peerage title. [23]

Feudal lordships of the manor exist today in English property law, being legal titles historically dating back to the Norman invasion of England in 1066. Being incorporated into property law (whether physical or non-physical) they can be bought and sold, as historic artifacts. The title itself as stated below can be separated from the physical property just as any other right can. Rights like the lordship, mineral and sporting can all be separate from the physical property. The title since 1290 cannot be sub-divided. Land, sporting rights, and mineral rights can be separated. Property lawyers usually handle such transactions.

There are three elements to a manor (collectively called an honour):

  1. the lordship or dignity – this is the title granted by the manor,
  2. the manorial – this is the manor and its land,
  3. the seignory – these are the rights granted to the holder of the manor.

These three elements may exist separately or be combined, the first element being the title may be held in moieties and may not be subdivided, this is prohibited by the statute of Quia Emptores preventing subinfeudation whereas the second and third elements can be subdivided. [1]

The Historical Manuscripts Commission maintains two Manorial Document Registers that cover southern England. [24] One register is arranged under parishes, the other is arranged under manors and shows the last-known whereabouts of the manorial records, the records are often very limited. The National Archives at Kew, London, and county record offices maintain many documents that mention manors or manorial rights, in some cases manorial court rolls have survived, such documents are now protected by law. [25]

The issues of land claims were raised in the UK Parliament in 2004 and were debated with a reply on the subject from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs acknowledging 'need for reform of the remnants of feudal and manorial law' as a case was highlighted in Peterstone Wentloog, Wales, where villagers were being charged excessive fees to cross manorial land to access their homes. [22]

In 2007, a caution against first registration caused houses to stop selling in Alstonefield after Mark Roberts, a businessman from Wales also previously involved in the Peterstone Wentloog case, registered a caution against first registration for 25,000 acres (100 km 2 ) after purchasing the lordship of the manor of Alstonefield for £10,000 in 1999. Judith Bray, land law expert from Buckingham University, speaking to BBC about the case, said that "the legal situation is very confusing because a piece of legislation in the 1920s separated manorial rights from the ownership of land." [14]

In reports about the Alstonefield case, the BBC stated, "Scores of titles are bought and sold every year, some like the one Chris Eubank bought for fun, others seen as a business opportunity. It is entirely lawful, and there is no doubt the titles can be valuable. As well as rights to land like wastes and commons, they can also give the holder rights over land." The report goes on to say that the Law Commission in England and Wales were considering a project to abolish feudal land law but would not review manorial rights. [14]

In many cases, a title of lord of the manor may not have any land or rights, and in such cases the title is known as an 'incorporeal hereditament'. Before the Land Registration Act 2002 it was possible to volunteer to register lordship titles with the Land Registry most did not seek to register. Dealings in previously registered Manors are subject to compulsory registration however, lords of manors may opt to de-register their titles and they will continue to exist unregistered. [1] Manorial rights such as mineral rights ceased to be registerable after midnight on 12 October 2013. [26]

A manorial lordship or ladyship is not connected to the British honours system, but rather the feudal system. [7] Ownership of a manorial lordship can be noted on request in British passports through an official observation worded, 'The Holder is the Lord of the Manor of . '. [23] The feudal title of lord of the manor, unlike titles of peerage, can be inherited by females. In addition, it is the only title that can be purchased. Lordships of the manor are considered non-physical property in England and are fully enforceable in the English court system. Like their English counterparts, by 1600 manorial titles in the formerly Norman territories in France and Italy did not ennoble their holders in the same way as, for example, did a barony. The status of lord of the manor is associated with the rank of esquire by prescription. [27] [28]

Mineral ownership Edit

There were fears in 2014 and earlier, [29] that holders of the manorial rights would allow fracking under the homes and near local communities of people living within the manorial estate after a disclosure that 73,000 applications to assert manorial mineral rights had been received by the Land Registry. Many of the applications received were from the Duchy of Lancaster and the Duchy of Cornwall asserting their historic "manorial mineral ownership". [30]

Bentley liberty and parish

Bintungom (vii cent.) Beonaet, Beonetlet (x cent.) Benedlei (xi cent.) Benetlegh (xiii cent.) Benetlye (xiv cent.).

The parish of Bentley, covering an area of 2,299 acres, lies on the borders of Surrey, south of the parish of Crondall and north of Binsted, from which it is separated by the River Wey. It is served by Bentley railway station on the Alton branch of the London & South Western Railway. The ground slopes from the north of the parish, where it reaches its highest point (535 ft. above the ordnance datum), down towards the south and east. The village, which is described by Warner in the 18th century as 'a delightful, pleasant and neat village,' with wellplanted gardens and hedges of white thorn, lies on the main road from Farnham to Alton, which is supposed to be an ancient Pilgrims' Way leading from Farnham through Bentley and Alton to Winchester. The forest of Alice Holt in the neighbouring parish of Binsted no doubt furnished cover for highwaymen and robbers, who fell upon merchant and pilgrim on their way to Winchester, to shrine or fair. The outlaw Sir Adam Gurdon is said to have frequented this road with his armed band, and to have devastated the surrounding country to the terror of peaceful travellers until his restoration to his estates by King Edward I.

Index Map to the Liberty of Bentley

North of the main road is Marsh House, the residence of Mr. Gilbert Harrap, and on the east is Northbrook, where Miss Schroder lived until her death in 1863. The property was then bought by Mr. Rowcliffe, and at his death by Mr. E. M. Sprot, who sold it to Mr. Wilmot-Sitwell in 1908. Bury Court was purchased by Mr. Lillywhite in 1907 from Miss White, whose brother bought the property from the executors of Mr. Robert Trimmer.

The parish, assessed with the small parish of Coldrey, (fn. 1) which covers an area of 194 acres, contains 1,138¼ acres of arable land, 1,077½ acres of permanent grass, and 119½ acres of woods and plantations. (fn. 2) The soil is clay, gravel, and chalk marl, and the chief crops are corn and hops.

The common fields of Bentley were inclosed in 1859 under the General Indosure Act. (fn. 3)

The following place-names occur in extant records of Bentley:—Estden, Ewclive Coleford, (fn. 4) Poukelond, Becklond, Cranlond, Le Spolt, La Merre, (fn. 5) Janckenes Welle, Le Lutine, La Byencroft, Mershcopemed (fn. 6) (xiv cent.), Cheakes (xvi cent.), (fn. 7) Guttonspool, Hame, Lopwood Grove (xvii cent.). (fn. 8) La Merre, called Merelond in the 15th century, is the modern Marcland, which was purchased from the Rev. Augustus Legge by the uncle of the present owner, Mr. A. E. Seawell, Janckenes Welle probably formed a part of the estate now known as Jenkin Place, the property of Mr. Thomas Eggar and Mr. R. B. Eggar, and Cheakes is the modern Cheeks Farm.


The manor and liberty of BENTLEY belonged from an early date to the Bishop of Winchester, being dependent on his liberty of Farnham (co. Surr.), to the hundred court of which the tithing-men of Bentley did suit as late at least as the end of the 16th century. (fn. 9) The date at which the bishop obtained possession is uncertain, but it was probably at the end of the 8th century. In 688 Cedwalla, King of the Saxons, granted 60 hides in Farnham of the land of Ceddas, Cisus, and Criswan, of which 10 were in Bentley, to found a monastery. (fn. 10) It is unknown to what monastery reference is made, and none is known to have existed at Farnham, so that the project may have been abandoned. Sixty hides in Farnham, apparently the above-mentioned, were granted in 803–5 by Alhmund, Bishop of Winchester, to Byrhtelm, (fn. 11) apparently only for a term of years or for life, as in 858 Swithun, Bishop of Winchester, granted the same to Ethelbald, King of the West Saxons, for life, with remainder to the bishop and church of St. Peter, Winchester. (fn. 12) In 909 Edward the Elder confirmed a grant by his predecessors of 60 hides of land at Farnham and 10 hides at Bentley to the bishop, (fn. 13) and this grant was further confirmed by King Edgar at the end of the 10th century. (fn. 14) The Bishop of Winchester was holding Bentley as 10 hides in 1086, and of him Osborne de Ou and William were holding 1 hide 1 virgate worth 50s. and l½ hides worth 20s. respectively. (fn. 15) From this date the manor of Bentley followed the same descent as the manor of Farnham until 1648, (fn. 16) when on the abolition of episcopacy it was sold to George Wither the poct and Elizabeth his wife. (fn. 17) At the Restoration the bishop regained possession of his confiscated land, and continued to hold the manor of Bentley until between 1880 and 1885, (fn. 18) when it passed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, the present lords of the manor, as the representatives of the bishop.

See of Winchester. Gules St. Peter's keys crossed with St. Paul's sword.

The manor of Bentley contained a mill worth 10s. in 1086. (fn. 19)

The manor of PURY alias PERRYLAND (Pyri, Perye, xiv cent. Purye, xv cent. Pyrry, Perry Land alias Pury alias Prury Land, xvi cent. Puray alias Peary, xviii cent.) was probably represented at the time of the Domesday Survey by 1½ hides worth 20s. held by William of the Bishop of Winchester, and 1 hide and 1 virgate worth 50s. held by Osborne de Ou. (fn. 20) The manor continued to be held of the Bishop of Winchester. (fn. 21) Nothing further is known of this estate until 1312, when John de Westcote obtained a grant of free warren in his demesne land in Bentley. (fn. 22) He died seised of the manor of Pury 1334, leaving as his heir his son John, an idiot. (fn. 23) From this date the manor of Pury apparently followed the same descent as the manor of Badley in Crondall in the hundred of Crondall (fn. 24) (q.v.) until 1442, (fn. 25) when Philip de Pageham died seised of the manor, leaving as his heir his kinsman, Geoffrey Borrard of the Isle of Wight, son of Parnel daughter of Laurence Pageham. (fn. 26) Pury then passed, in accordance with a settlement of 1348, (fn. 27) to Christine wife of Richard Holt and granddaughter of Roger de Colrethe. (fn. 28) Richard Holt was enfeoffed by his mother Christine in 1447, (fn. 29) and died seised of the manor in 1458, leaving two daughters and co-heirs, Christine, afterwards wife of Edward Berkeley, and Elizabeth. (fn. 30) Edward Berkeley died seised of a moiety of the manor in 1506, Christine's heir being William Blount, Lord Mountjoy, son of her daughter Laura. (fn. 31) Elizabeth apparently died without issue or unmarried, and in 1532 William Blount, Lord Mountjoy, conveyed the whole manor to William Thorpe. (fn. 32) It next passed into the possession of Michael Lyster of Kinnersley, (co. Heref.), who married Elizabeth daughter and heir of Sir Richard Southwell of Horsham St. Faith (co. Norf.). (fn. 33) In 1579 Michael and Elizabeth conveyed the manor to William Peake, (fn. 34) who continued to hold it until his death in 1597. (fn. 35) His kinsman and heir William Walle (fn. 36) died in 1639, leaving as his heir his son Joseph, (fn. 37) who held the manor until his death in 1644. (fn. 38) His 3on and heir William dealt with the manor by recovery in 1657, (fn. 39) but from this date down to the middle of the 18th century nothing is known about its descent. In 1757 Robert Eggar, senior, and Robert Eggar, junior, dealt with the manor of Pury by fine, (fn. 40) and in 1784 Robert Eggar and Sarah his wife and Robert Allen and Sarah his wife conveyed it to John Manwaring. (fn. 41) By the middle of the 19th century Perrylands was in the possession of Mr. F. R. Thresher, who left it by will to his nephew Mr. Thresher Giles. (fn. 42) Mr. Giles died in 1908, leaving Perrylands to the present owner, Mr. Gilbert Harrap. (fn. 43)


The church of OUR LADY stands on high ground to the north of the village, approached by narrow lanes. An avenue of yews leads to the south door, and along the west side of the churchyard is an avenue of limes. The church has a chancel 25 ft. 6 in. by 16 ft., with north and south chapels of the same length and 15 ft. 2 in. wide, nave 3 8 ft. 5 in. by 20 ft. 9 in., with north and south aisles 13 ft. 7 in. wide, a west tower 13 ft. 5 in. by 12 ft. 4 in., and a wooden south porch, all the measurements being internal.

The oldest parts belong to the 12th century, and the plan until modern times was rather an unusual one. The aisleless nave and chancel were enlarged about 1180 by the addition of a north chapel, and a corresponding chapel was added on the south some sixty years later. The tower was apparently a late 12th-century addition, but the nave remained aisleless till 1835, when a south aisle was built. This was rebuilt in 1890, having become ruinous, and a north aisle of the same size added.

The tracery of the two west windows of the chapels was reset in the north aisle, and four 15th-century two-light windows from the north and south walls of the old nave were used up in making two windows in the new south aisle, one of three lights and one of two, the remains of 15th-century glass in them being put into the clearstory of the chancel. (fn. 44)

The top of the tower is of 18th-century brickwork, and the wooden south porch is modern.

The cast window of the chancel is of three trefoiled lights, with tracery of 15th-century character a good deal restored. It contains some good modern glass, two small figures in 15th-century white and gold glass, and representing the Annunciation.

The north arcade of the chancel is of two bays with circular column and semicircular responds, hollowmoulded bases, and square scalloped capitals, showing traces of colour decoration on that of the western respond. The arches are of two chamfered orders, the outer being segmental they are 15th-century work, and evidently replaced the original arches when the clearstory was added.

The south arcade has circular moulded capitals and bases, with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders. In the western bay on each side is a low coped wall apparently of old stonework rebuilt. Over the arcades on each side are three clearstory windows of 15th-century date, each of two trefoiled lights under a square head the fragments of 15th-century glass from the nave windows are set in them. At the south-east of the chancel is an arched opening through the wall the jambs are square on the west side, but splayed eastwards on the other, making the opening wider towards the chapel. It appears to have served as a large squint commanding the altar in the chapel. To the east of this is a small recess without a drain, having a round head with a narrow border of zigzag ornament on the edge, apparently of no great age. The east window of the north chapel is a lancet. There is one north window, which is modern and has two trefoiled lights under a square head. To the east of this is a modern doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred head.

At the south-east is a 13th-century piscina recess with a modern basin. The two-centred arch has an edge-roll with a row of dog-tooth ornament on the soffit.

The east window of the south chapel is a lancet like that of the north chapel, and has been more or less restored. The window in the south wall has two trefoiled lights under a square head without a label, and is of 15th-century date. To the east of this is a 13th-century piscina which has a deeply-moulded trefoiled head. The bowl has been a moulded capital, and probably had a shaft beneath it it is now broken off flush with the wall face.

To the west of the south window is a recess formed by blocking up a 13th-century doorway the jambs and segmental head are chamfered, but it does not show on the outer face of the wall. The chancel arch is modern and has semicircular responds and an arch of two moulded orders. The western arches of both chapels are also modern, and are of two chamfered orders with square jambs.

The nave arcades are entirely new, of three bays with circular columns, splayed bases and moulded capitals, and moulded two-centred arches.

The two easternmost windows of the north aisle have tracery of late 14th-century date, of two trefoiled ogee-headed lights with a flowing quatrefoil over, and a moulded label, formerly in the west ends of the two chapels the jambs and mullions are new. To the west of these is a third window, which is a modern copy of them.

The west windows of both aisles are modern, and have three cinquefoiled lights with tracery of 15th-century style.

The south-east window of the south aisle, already referred to, has three cinquefoiled lights with tracery and a square head and moulded label. The other south window is similar, but has only two lights.

Between these windows is the south doorway, which is modern and has moulded jambs and two-centred head. The tower arch is of two pointed orders, stop-chamfered, with square-edged hollow-chamfered abaci it has a similar section to the jambs and is two-centred.

The west doorway of the tower is modern, but has old stones in the internal jambs.

The tower is of three stages, with large anglebuttresses, a modern two-light west window, and an old loop-light in the south face.

The belfry stage is of red brick with an embattled parapet, and in each face is a modern two-light window.

The chancel, chapels, and nave have old trussed rafter roofs, and the weathering of a steep pitched roof shows on the east wall of the tower. The altar rails are heavy 17th-century balusters, but all the wooden fittings are modern.

The square Purbeck marble bowl of the font is of late 12th-century date with shallow round-headed panels on each face. The stem and base, with four small flanking shafts, are modern.

On the south wall of the south chapel is a black marble slab to Margaret wife of George Windsor, who died 1631. Above the inscription are the kneeling figures of a man and a woman very well cut in outline on the marble. Above them is a shield of Windsor: Gules a saltire argent between twelve crosslcts or, impaling Party gules and argent a saltire counterchanged. The inscription begins with the couplet:—
Hic Maria Deo, sanctis mulcedine Persis,
Hanna viro, miseris Candida Phaebe jacet.

The tower contains six bells, the treble bearing the inscription, 'John Eyer gave twenty pound to meck mee a losty sound 1703.' This bell, with the second, fifth and tenor, is by Samuel Knight, and the third and fourth are by Richard Phelps, 1725.

The plate consists of a silver cup of 1790, two pewter plates now electro-plated and used as patens, and a silver flagon of 1789.

There are three books of registers:—(i) baptisms and burials, 1538 to 1716 marriages, 1538 to 1715 (ii) Duplicate register of burials, 1700 to 1729 (iii) baptisms, marriages and burials, 1716 to 1813.


Bentley was from time immemorial a chapelry dependent on the church of Farnham (co. Surr.), (fn. 45) and was worth £10 in tithes to the rectory of Farnham in the 16th century. (fn. 46) A perpetual curate was first appointed at the beginning of the 19th century. (fn. 47)

The great and little tithes of Bentley and of the other dependent chapelries of Farnham, with right of nomination of a curate, were habitually leased out by the Archdeacon of Surrey for terms of three lives. (fn. 48) In 1840 Bishop Sumner introduced a Bill in the House of Lords to anticipate the falling-in of the leases and to restore the tithes to the several parishes, Farnham, Frensham, Seale, Elstead and Bentley, but the Bill was opposed and withdrawn. (fn. 49) As the leases gradually fell in they were not renewed, and the tithes remained in the hands of the archdeacon. (fn. 50) After some controversy an arrangement was made in 1864 and confirmed by an Order in Council dated 29 November 1865, whereby Bentley took its own share of tithes undivided. (fn. 51) The rectory is in the gift of the Archdeacon of Surrey, and is now worth £628 yearly, with 30 acres of glebe and residence.

There is a Bible Christian chapel in Bentley.


In 1631 George Windsor gave for the use of the poor about 6 acres. In 1905 a detached portion known as Swaynes was sold and the proceeds invested in £515 1s. 10d. consols, with the official trustees, who also hold £103 12s. 3d. like stock, arising from the sale of timber.

In 1841 Edmund Hambrough left a legacy for the poor, represented by £89 6s. 7d. consols. The income of these charities, amounting to about £24 a year, is applied together in doles to widows and aged people at Christmas and in grants of money.

The property known as the Church House was sold in 1890, and the net proceeds invested in £187 11s. 2d. consols, producing yearly £4 13s. 8d., which is applied towards the expenses of the church.

Isabella Schroder by will, proved at London 24 October 1863, bequeathed £5,641 15s. 9d. consols, the dividends, amounting to £141, to be applied for the benefit of the most deserving and necessitous inhabitants. The charity is regulated by a scheme of 15 August 1873, and in 1906 £120 was expended in the distribution of coal, £5 in clothing, and grants were made of money to the poor.

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Stoke St. Milborough village is 9 km. northeast of Ludlow. (fn. 1) The parish was Wenlock borough's most southerly detachment. Wholly agricultural and little frequented, it comprises Stoke village and a scattering of farms and ancient hamlets, and the main part was divided into the townships of Stoke, Downton, and Stanton.

A detached part of the parish 3 km. to the north comprised the Heath and Norncott and constituted the Heath civil parish from 1884. The Scirmidge was an extra-parochial place, amounting to less than 1 a., where Cold Weston, Hopton Cangeford, and Stoke St. Milborough parishes met. The origin of its extra-parochial status is unknown, but in the 1780s and 1790s the stone cottage at the Scirmidge seems to have been the home of a midwife to whom women resorted (or were sent) to be delivered of illegitimate children, who thus had no settlement in the surrounding parishes. (fn. 2) It seems to have been annexed to Stoke St. Milborough civil parish in 1868. (fn. 3) This article treats the large, nearly rectangular area (4,990 a., 2,019 ha.) that constituted Stoke St. Milborough C.P. from 1884. (fn. 4)

The eastern half of the parish is occupied by the rising slopes, which reach 500 and 400 m. respectively, of the Brown and Titterstone Clees and of the high ground between them the north-west quarter by the rising slopes, which reach 300 m., of Weston hill and the Thrift. The streams thus drain south-west. An east-west ridge divides them into a northern system converging on Ledwyche brook and a southern one converging on Dogditch brook.

Most of the parish lies on the Ditton Series of the Lower Old Red Sandstone. (fn. 5) On Brown Clee that is overlain by Lower Old Red Sandstone of the Clee Group, which is covered at the summit by the Middle and Lower Coal Measures, capped by dolerite. Narrow bands of the Upper and Lower Abdon limestones occur on the lower slopes of Brown Clee and on Weston hill. The parish's south-western quarter lies on the Ledbury Group of the Downton Series of Lower Old Red Sandstone. Narrow bands of 'Psammosteus' Limestones occur where that series meets the overlying Ditton Series, around the base of Titterstone Clee and along the south side of the parish's east-west watershed. The soils are mainly red-brown loams, with alluvium in the lower lying south-west. (fn. 6)

Clee Burf and Titterstone Clee were each crowned in the Iron Age by a fortified enclosure of unknown purpose, each formed by a single earth and rubble rampart. (fn. 7) The rampart of Clee Burf was badly damaged by coal digging before 1841, (fn. 8) and both have since been nearly destroyed by quarrying. A few isolated finds of prehistoric artefacts (fn. 9) are the only other evidence of human activity in the parish before the Anglo-Saxon period.


The edge of Brown Clee common coincided with the eastern and northern boundaries of Bockleton, Kinson, and Newton.

Except in the south-west quarter the parish boundaries are straight or gently sinuous and tend to follow high ground they were probably defined mostly in the 13th century across wastes previously intercommoned with neighbouring townships. Brown Clee's upper slopes, however, were not so divided until the 17th century, (fn. 10) and the township divisions across Titterstone Clee common were presumably late too. In the low lying south-west the parish boundary is angular and so may have been defined by fields.

Stoke and Stanton manors were settled by 1086, though Stanton had only one recorded inhabitant. (fn. 11) Other tun names, Downton, Kinson ('Ekinestaneston'), and Newton, all recorded by 1255, (fn. 12) were given to what were presumably subsidiary settlements. The Moor, cultivated by 1291, (fn. 13) may have been reclaimed from marshy waste. Earthworks at Kinson, (fn. 14) Newton, the Moor, (fn. 15) and Stanton (fn. 16) indicate hamlets there Bockleton and Downton were probably hamlets too. Like Stoke, each hamlet stood just below the head of a valley except for Downton and the Moor, which stood on the central watershed. The hamlets probably shrank in the earlier 14th century 11 farms in the parish were abandoned by 1340. (fn. 17)

When recovery came (fn. 18) settlement did not return to the old hamlets indeed conversion of open-field arable to inclosed pasture c. 1500 caused further shrinkage at Bockleton, Downton, Kinson, the Moor, Newton, and Stanton. (fn. 19) In the whole parish, however, the number of households increased from c. 33 in 1524 (fn. 20) to over 43 by 1672, (fn. 21) and 218 adults and children were listed for the 1660 poll tax. (fn. 22) Much of the new settlement took the form of single farmhouses, away from the old hamlets and in new fields. (fn. 23) In addition, seven cottages were reported on the wastes of Stoke manor in 1654 a group at Blackford, on Brown Clee, existed in 1752. (fn. 24) There were 89 households by 1801 (fn. 25) but, of the ancient settlements, only Stoke was a village in 1815 Stoke had 16 houses (9 of them cottages), while Downton and Stanton had 4 houses each, the Moor 3, Kinson 2, and Bockleton and Newton one. (fn. 26) The older houses in Stoke village are mostly built of rubble. Elsewhere in the parish some are of rubble, some are timber framed.

In 1815 there were 11 cottages on Stoke Gorse and 24 on Brown Clee, (fn. 27) grouped at Mount Flirt, Blackford, and Batch Gutter many were less than 25 years old. (fn. 28) The parish's population grew rapidly and stood at 554 in 1821 it then remained steady until 1871 or later. (fn. 29) In 1841 the cottagers on Brown Clee were mostly farm labourers, colliers, and widows. (fn. 30) Between 1871, when the population was 548, and 1891 there was a steep decline cottages on Brown Clee diminished from 43 in 1871 to 30 (6 of them empty) by 1891. (fn. 31) There was another steep fall in population in the mid 20th century, to 215 by 1971. (fn. 32) By 1991 it had risen again to 300, (fn. 33) chiefly increased by commuters and the retired. Without much new building, houses were made by converting old buildings like Stoke school and mill and Stanton Methodist chapel, and especially by restoring cottages on Brown Clee. (fn. 34)

The Bridgnorth-Ludlow road crossed the parish from east to south-west. A turnpike road 1756-1873, declared a main road in 1878, (fn. 35) it was the parish's only classified road in 1992. A ridgeway called Thrift (or Frith) Lane (fn. 36) ran north-east, along or parallel to the parish's northern boundary, to Brown Clee near Pel Beggar it was called Pel Lane. (fn. 37) In the early 17th century it was the Cold Weston strakers' route to Brown Clee. (fn. 38)

Neither of those roads served Stoke village directly, and both may therefore have been more ancient. (fn. 39) The village was connected to the Bridgnorth-Ludlow road by two lanes. One led south towards Ludlow. (fn. 40) The other ran east through Kinson and via Lydall (or Lyde) Lane (fn. 41) towards Bridgnorth (fn. 42) near Blackford it was called Thorn Lane. (fn. 43) Stoke village was joined to Thrift Lane by the westward Scirmidge Lane and the northward Stoke Bank, (fn. 44) which crossed Stoke Gorse common and also led, across Thrift Lane, to Clee St. Margaret and Abdon. From Stoke a north-eastward lane, accessible also from Kinson, led through Bockleton to Brown Clee common it was stopped up in 1816 after the common was inclosed. (fn. 45)

A lane crossing Lydall Lane led from Newton to the summit of Clee Burf, climbing the hill as Toot Lane. (fn. 46) By the early 19th century it was the route from the Batch Gutter cottages up to the coal pits. (fn. 47)

From the Bridgnorth-Ludlow road Lackstone (or Hackston) Lane led south to Stanton hamlet and on through Bitterley to Ludlow. (fn. 48) Just south of Stanton it was crossed by a lane from Roundthorn, on the turnpike road, to Stanton gate, the hamlet's main point of access to Titterstone Clee common. Ludlow could be reached from Stanton via Roundthorn, but the most direct route was south by a lane through Bitterley. An eastward lane from Stanton led to Upper Cleeton. (fn. 49)

St. Mildburg's (or St. Milburgha's) well, a spring with an old stone basin, on the east side of Stoke village, was mentioned in 1321. (fn. 50) It was later a common clothes-washing place. Stories of a miraculous origin were recorded in the mid 19th century, when the water was said to be good for sore eyes. It was 'covered in and altered' c. 1873 and altered again in 1906. (fn. 51) By 1945 its water was piped to six houses. (fn. 52)

A play was performed at Stoke Gorse in 1615. (fn. 53) The parish wake was traditionally on the Sunday after 25 June, the reputed anniversary of St. Mildburg's death (fn. 54) by the 1730s it was the Sunday after Midsummer Day (24 June). (fn. 55) It was customary then to deck the graves with evergreens (fn. 56) and make merry in the churchyard, a practice suppressed c. 1820. (fn. 57) By 1790 the parish had an alehouse, (fn. 58) probably that which stood in 1813 on the south side of Scirmidge Lane at the edge of Stoke Gorse. (fn. 59) Called the Red Lion by 1851, it closed in the 1860s and was later called Upper House. Oddfellows were said to have met there, and later a Men's Friendly Society. (fn. 60) At Clee Downton the Holly Bush inn had opened by 1851, when a Friendly Benefit Society met there (fn. 61) it too seems to have closed in the 1860s. (fn. 62) Stoke village had a variety of social organizations and events in the early 20th century, many of which used the school. (fn. 63) The parish belonged 1900-6 to the Diocese of Hereford Circulating Library and from 1926 had a county library book centre. (fn. 64) In 1922 an army hut was re-erected near Kinson as the parish hall. (fn. 65) Organized social activities dwindled after the Second World War, but by the 1980s newcomers had revived them. (fn. 66) Clee Stanton people, however, were attracted to Bitterley rather than Stoke. (fn. 67)

Sir Thomas Littleton (1647-1710), speaker of the House of Commons 1698-1700, (fn. 68) was a native of the parish. (fn. 69)


Stoke St. Milborough was probably part of lands about the Clee hills said to have been given to St. Mildburg before 704 by her half-brothers Merchelm and Mildfrith. (fn. 70) In 1086 the manor rightfully belonged to Wenlock priory but had been given by Earl Roger to his chaplains. (fn. 71) It was restored to the priory, (fn. 72) which held it until 1540. (fn. 73)

The Crown granted the manor to the see of Canterbury in 1542 (fn. 74) but resumed it in 1559 (fn. 75) and sold it in 1574 to John Smith of Little Baddow (Essex) in fee farm. (fn. 76) Smith (kt. 1576) (fn. 77) and his brother Clement sold the manor in 1584 to Oliver Briggs (fn. 78) (d. 1596). Briggs was succeeded by his son Humphrey, who bought Abdon manor in 1598. (fn. 79) Stoke manor thereafter descended with Abdon (fn. 80) until 1873, when G. R. C. Herbert, earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, sold it to G. R. Hamilton-Russell, Viscount Boyne (fn. 81) (d. 1907). Boyne left all his Shropshire estate, including Stoke manor, to his second surviving son F. G. Hamilton-Russell, who was still lord in 1917. The manorial title was not sold with his Stoke St. Milborough estate in 1919 and has not been traced since. (fn. 82)

In 1581 Sir John and Clement Smith sold the chief house, Stoke Court, and the demesne lands to Thomas Littleton and Rowland Bishop. (fn. 83) Littleton was in sole possession of Stoke Court at his death in 1622 (fn. 84) and was succeeded by his son Adam (fn. 85) (cr. bt. 1642), after whose death in 1647 (fn. 86) it belonged to his son Sir Thomas Littleton (or Poyntz). (fn. 87) In 1652 Sir Thomas sold the estate to Henry Bernard, who sold it in 1671 to George Lee (fn. 88) (d. 1673) of the Moor. (fn. 89) Lee's heir was his daughter Mary, who afterwards married John Conyers (d. 1725). Their son Edward sold Stoke Court to William Hall in 1727. (fn. 90) Hall (d. by 1732) was succeeded by his sister Elizabeth, wife of Wredenhall Pearce of Downton Hall. On her death in 1762 the estate passed to their son William, who took the additional surname Hall. The estate, a reputed manor by 1772, passed on his death to his brother Charles Pearce Hall, who died childless in 1795. It then passed to the representatives of their three sisters. The estate was partitioned in 1809 and Stoke Court was allotted to the representatives of Ann Thomson (formerly Pearce). They sold it in 1813 to John Wall (d. 1817), who became vicar of Stoke St. Milborough that year. Wall's trustees conveyed it in 1825 to William Bright, who immediately vested part, including Stoke Court, in a trustee. In 1834 the trustee sold it back to Wall's trustees, who conveyed it in 1839 to Wall's widow Elizabeth (d. 1843). She was succeeded by her son C. L. Wall, who sold the estate and reputed manor (740 a.) to Lord Boyne (d. 1872) in 1867. (fn. 91) At the sale of F. G. Hamilton-Russell's Stoke St. Milborough estate in 1919 Stoke Court was bought by J. B. Whiteman, (fn. 92) in whose family it remained in 1992.

The medieval house, called the Court by 1322, (fn. 93) is reputed to have stood within a rectangular moat, (fn. 94) substantial parts of which remain. A later house, north of the moat, dates from c. 1600 and its original two storeyed stone range contains a hall and parlour with a stack in each gable end. The main doorway has a carved stone surround and the parlour, formerly wainscotted, (fn. 95) has a carved wooden overmantel of c. 1600. (fn. 96) The former moat, fed from Bockleton brook, may have become a garden feature at that time near or within it is a mount. In the later 18th century the front of the house was faced in brick.

In 1799 Joseph Owen of Albrighton married Ann Corne, who had inherited Bold Venture farm and Upper House, Kinson. (fn. 97) Owen bought the Brookhouse, Kinson, in 1808 (fn. 98) and Lower House farm, Clee Downton, (fn. 99) and died in 1816 leaving the whole to his son F. C. Owen (d. 1819), whose coheirs were his brothers George Owen (d. 1830), Herbert Owen, and Edmund Hemming Owen. E. H. Owen bought part of the Stoke Court estate in 1825 (fn. 100) and in the 1840s built a villa on it, (fn. 101) STOKE ST. MILBOROUGH LODGE. He had bought Herbert's share of their father's estate in 1832 and bought another farm at Clee Downton in 1843. (fn. 102) He sold the whole estate (633 a.) to Lord Boyne in 1867. (fn. 103)

In 1580 Sir John and Clement Smith sold a chief house at THE MOOR to William Adams. (fn. 104) It passed to Richard Adams, whose son William died in 1637. (fn. 105) The estate then seems to have passed to William's widow Elizabeth, who married George Lucy (d. 1658) of Middleton Higford (fn. 106) and died in 1667. Her heir was her daughter Elizabeth Lucy, wife of George Lee (d. 1673). (fn. 107) Lee bought Stoke Court, and the Moor seems to have descended with it until 1809 (fn. 108) when, on the partition of the Stoke Court estate, Upper and Lower Moor farms were allotted to Catherine, daughter of Thomas and Catherine Browne (née Pearce), and her husband Lt.-Col. John Edwards (fn. 109) (cr. bt. 1838), who survived her and died in 1850. (fn. 110) The estate then passed to their nephew Thomas Browne Browne (formerly Jones) who sold it (299 a.) to Lord Boyne in 1867. (fn. 111) Upper Moor (later Moor) Farm was probably the estate's chief house (fn. 112) and dates from c. 1600. It has a two storeyed hall range with a contemporary 2½ storeyed cross wing at each end. The lower end of the hall range has a through passage the upper end has a large axial stack serving both the hall and the great parlour in the adjoining cross wing, which had a little parlour too. The lower cross wing seems to have contained a kitchen and dairy and has a lateral stack. In 1667 a drawing room and a study were mentioned. (fn. 113)

Edward Bishop (d. 1625) (fn. 114) owned MOOR HALL and was succeeded by his son George (d. 1668), (fn. 115) whose son the Revd. William sold it in 1710 to William Lucas (d. 1731). (fn. 116) Lucas's widow Margaret and son William succeeded on William's death in 1760 (fn. 117) his interest passed to his brother John. In 1763 Margaret and John sold the estate to John's brother Benjamin (d. by 1793). John Lucas sold it in 1793 to William Walcot of Bitterley (d. 1807), who was succeeded by his son William (d. 1860), from whose coheirs Lord Boyne bought it (349 a.) in 1871. (fn. 118) The house, a stuccoed villa, was probably built by William Walcot c. 1793. (fn. 119)

In 1581 Sir John Smith sold an estate at Clee Downton to Thomas Wall, (fn. 120) which remained with Wall's descendants until 1869. It was called 'the farm in Clee Downton' by 1766, (fn. 121) Downton House by 1815, and EAST FARM by 1919. (fn. 122) To it were added Kitchen's (or Clee Downton, later West) farm, part in 1772 and the rest in 1800, (fn. 123) and the Gibberage farm in 1812. The whole estate, including the Knapp farm (80 a.) in Wheathill, descended to Martha Wall, who sold it (454 a.) to Lord Boyne in 1869. (fn. 124) East Farm is a two storeyed stone range of two units with axial stack, and was probably built in the 16th or 17th century. Projecting wings were added later to front and rear, so making a cruciform plan. (fn. 125)

John Smith sold BOCKLETON to John Jenkes in 1576. In 1608 Jenkes settled it on his son-in-law Charles Foxe of Greete, who sold it in 1633 to Samuel Martyn, John Clarke, and Bryan Wotton, all of the Charterhouse, London. In 1647 Clarke, the foundation's former receiver, conveyed Bockleton to the governors. (fn. 126) The Charterhouse sold it c. 1800 to Samuel Sneade, rector of Bedstone, who sold it in 1806 to Robert Tench. Tench sold it in 1811 to William Smith of Maerdynewydd (in Llancarfan, Glam.). (fn. 127) Smith died in 1819 leaving the estate to Mary, daughter of his servants John and Anna Smith, who married John Patrick and died in 1857. The Patricks' son W. S. Patrick sold the estate and reputed manor (439 a.) to Lord Boyne in 1874. (fn. 128) Bockleton Court seems to have been built c. 1500 as a two storeyed timber framed farmhouse, jettied on three sides. In the earlier 17th century it was extended, heightened, and reroofed, and the front cased in stone. At the same time two three storeyed gabled projections were added at the front, one of them incorporating a porch. (fn. 129)

In 1579 Sir John Smith sold NEWTON to Edward Hopton of Bitterley. (fn. 130) Hopton's son Thomas sold it c. 1605 to George Bishop, a London stationer. In 1607 Bishop leased it to the Stationers' Company for 500 years after the deaths of himself and his wife, at a peppercorn rent, the company to pay annual sums out of the profits to Christ's Hospital, to preachers at Paul's Cross, and in loans to young freemen of the company. When he died c. 1610 his widow conveyed her life interest to the company. (fn. 131) Benjamin Robinson, who may have bought the estate in 1774, (fn. 132) sold it c. 1789. (fn. 133) George Creighton acquired Newton and left it to his nephew George Creighton, who left it to his son John. John Creighton's trustees sold it in 1846 to Benjamin Pitt of Ludlow (d. 1853), who left it to his son Thomas. Thomas Pitt sold Newton farm (133 a.) to Lord Boyne in 1875. (fn. 134) The house includes a two storeyed stone range of two units with end stacks and an integral byre at the south end. The house's upper floor gave access to the byre's so that cattle could be fed from above. The byre also had a central through passage for feeding. The house was later extended north by another bay and east to add a kitchen. (fn. 135)

In 1796 THE SCIRMIDGE, consisting of a house and garden, was conveyed by Thomas Burton to his daughter and son-in-law Rachel and Thomas Powell. The Powells sold it in 1812 to Thomas Wheelwright, whose mortgagee sold it in 1866 to Thomas Millichap. Lord Boyne bought it from him in 1868. (fn. 136)

Lord Boyne (d. 1907) (fn. 137) thus owned almost the whole parish outside Clee Stanton. He left the estate to his son, F. G. Hamilton-Russell, (fn. 138) who sold it in separate lots in 1919. (fn. 139)

CLEE STANTON, probably another part of the lands said to have been given to St. Mildburg around the Clee hills, (fn. 140) belonged to the church of Wenlock in 1066 and to Wenlock priory in 1086. (fn. 141) It was subinfeudated by c. 1200 when Ives de Clinton (fl. 1194) (fn. 142) was lord. Clinton's son Hugh succeeded by 1203. (fn. 143) Philip de Clinton (fl. 1274) had the manor by 1255, (fn. 144) Ives de Clinton (fl. 1301) by 1291, (fn. 145) and John de Clinton (fl. 1341) by 1316. (fn. 146) He or his son of that name had it in 1348, (fn. 147) but by 1352 it belonged to John Bryce (d. 1377). (fn. 148) John Rowsley (fl. 1435) was lord by 1431, and had a son John. (fn. 149) Henry Rowsley (fl. 1492) was lord by 1489 (fn. 150) and John Rowsley c. 1497. (fn. 151) That John or a namesake, lord in 1541, died in 1561 and was succeeded by his daughter Maud, who afterwards married William Knyfton. (fn. 152) Maud and William sold the manor in 1591 to Thomas Littleton of Stoke Court and Edward Sheppard of Tugford (fl. 1608) as tenants in common. (fn. 153)

Sheppard's son Edward, of Abcott, conveyed his moiety in 1614 to John Sheppard of Hilluppencott (d. 1631), who was succeeded by his grandson John Sheppard. That John sold his moiety in 1650 to John Sheppard of Crowleasows, (fn. 154) his cousin. (fn. 155) Littleton's grandson Sir Thomas Littleton (or Poyntz) (fn. 156) sold his moiety in 1653 to Henry Bernard, who bought John Sheppard's share in 1662. (fn. 157)

Bernard (kt. 1677) died in 1680. (fn. 158) The manor passed to his daughter Elizabeth and her husband James Brydges, Lord Chandos (d. 1714), and in 1715 she sold it to their daughter's brother-in-law Humphrey Walcot (d. 1743) of Bitterley. (fn. 159) Walcot's widow Anna (d. 1755) succeeded, (fn. 160) followed by their son the Revd. Humphrey Walcot. In 1768 Walcot's trustees (fn. 161) sold it to William Pearce Hall. (fn. 162) Hall's heir was his daughter Catherine (d. 1808), wife of C. W. Boughton-Rouse (later Rouse-Boughton, cr. bt. 1791, succ. as 9th bt. 1794, d. 1821), lord by 1793. (fn. 163) The manor is presumed to have descended with the baronetcies: (fn. 164) Mary F. Rouse-Boughton (d. 1991), (fn. 165) only child of the last baronet (d. 1963), (fn. 166) claimed to be lady of the manor in 1970. (fn. 167) The manorial estate, two small farms (90 a.) in 1815, had three farms (138 a.) by 1842, and four (608 a.) by 1911. (fn. 168) Langley farm was sold in 1919 and the rest in separate lots in 1920. (fn. 169)

In 1589 William Knyfton sold the chief house and demesne lands, then called WALKER'S FARM or the farm of Clee Stanton, to Richard Walker. House and land descended in the Walker family until 1830 when Robert Head bought them. In 1839 Head settled them on George Bradley (d. 1868) and his wife Sarah (d. 1864). The Bradleys' representatives sold the estate to the lord of the manor in 1869. (fn. 170) The house, later called Manor Farm, was probably on or near the site of the medieval chief house: Gatehouse meadow (fn. 171) adjoined it on the west. Manor Farm is a mid 18th-century red brick farmhouse with a symmetrical three bayed main block and a lower, narrower service wing. It stands on a plinth of re-used rubble which includes ashlar blocks. The joinery, of oak, includes panelled doors and a staircase.

The appropriated RECTORY seems to have descended with Stoke St. Milborough manor until 1650 (fn. 172) when Sir Humphrey Briggs sold the rectorial tithes to Edward Baldwin. (fn. 173) During the 1650s Baldwin sold portions of them to the freeholders (fn. 174) and by c. 1764 there were 18 impropriators. (fn. 175) In 1842 those rectorial tithes that had not passed to the vicar were merged in the freeholds, except those of Sir John Edwards, which were commuted to £30 2s. (fn. 176)


By 1086 the land immediately surrounding Stoke St. Milborough and some of the other settlements was evidently arable Stoke manor had 11 ploughteams and Clee Stanton one. (fn. 177) The outer and higher parts of the parish, which had presumably been covered with ancient woodland, (fn. 178) may have been partly cleared and settled the presence of bordars on Stoke manor suggests that possibility. (fn. 179) Nevertheless 19 more teams could have been employed in Stoke manor and 6 in Stanton.

By the early 13th century increased grazing, inclosure, and reclamation of woods and wastes brought neighbouring lords into conflict. In 1231 the prior of Wenlock disputed the boundary between Stoke and Wheathill manors with Walter Haket, (fn. 180) and in 1232 the prior, in return for accepting Walter of Clifford's right to enforce the conservation laws of Clee chase within Stoke manor, was allowed to inclose any part of the manor's woods as ox pasture and, for himself and the manorial tenants, to graze freely over the uninclosed parts of Brown Clee. (fn. 181) The names Newton (recorded in 1255) and the Moor (1292) (fn. 182) suggest reclaimed areas, presumably during the period of comparatively unregulated clearance that seems to have preceded the agreement of 1232. The field name Stocking, found in Downton, Kinson, and Stanton townships, indicates woodland clearance there too. (fn. 183)

Wool and woollen cloth seem to have been important products of the parish in the 14th century. Walter the fuller was mentioned in 1322, and a weaver in 1334 (fn. 184) in 1345 cloths made in Stoke manor had to be taken to the prior's fulling mill. (fn. 185) In 1377 the lord of Stanton had 300 sheep and lambs, though he also had 15 oxen and two ploughs and grew wheat and oats. (fn. 186) In Stoke manor the prior's demesnes included 6 carucates of arable in 1291, valued at a mark each, and the manor was worth £21 14s. 8d. a year gross. (fn. 187) In 1340 it was alleged that the parish's crops had been devastated by storms, that flocks had dwindled, and that 11 tenants had abandoned their holdings, which lay fallow. (fn. 188) In 1369 the manor was worth only £9 4s. 6d. and the demesne arable had been reduced to 3 carucates, worth only 10s. each (fn. 189) they were worth 3s. each ten years later. (fn. 190) There was evidently a recovery during the 15th century, for by 1535 the manor's gross rental was £22 10s. 8d. (fn. 191) By that time the prior's demesnes, which had only 2 virgates of arable, were leased to a farmer. (fn. 192)

The open fields of Stoke village, of which there were three in 1321, (fn. 193) were Rotbach (east, near 'Brodward' brook), Highway (north-west), and South fields in 1607, with stinted common grazing at the Over Knoll (on Weston hill), on Stoke Gorse, and on Brown Clee. (fn. 194) Stanton's open fields included North (or Cross) and South fields in 1620, (fn. 195) with common grazing on Titterstone Clee. (fn. 196) The parish's other hamlets presumably had open fields too, and grazing on Brown Clee Downton also had grazing on Cockshut common. (fn. 197)

In the early 16th century farmers in Bockleton, Downton, Kinson, the Moor, Newton, and Stanton were converting arable to inclosed pasture, (fn. 198) and in 1581 the lord of Stoke reserved the right to let parts of the commons in severalty for pasture (fn. 199) the Knoll waste had been inclosed and divided by 1654. (fn. 200) All the land of Bockleton and Newton hamlets may have been inclosed early (by 1655 at Bockleton) (fn. 201) they had one tenant each in the early 16th century. (fn. 202) Other hamlets, where agreement between tenants was necessary, may not have been fully inclosed before the late 18th century, by gradual exchange and consolidation of open-field lands (fn. 203) only part of Stoke's South field was open in 1654. (fn. 204)

Inclosure was accompanied, from the 16th century if not earlier, by the formation of many outlying farms, probably on inclosed wastes at first, then on land severed from the open fields. Those established before 1700 included High Leys at Stoke (fn. 205) Red Hall and Bold Venture at Kinson (fn. 206) the Gibberage at Downton (fn. 207) and Henley Hill at the Moor. (fn. 208) The process was continuing c. 1750 when a house was first built on land at Ripletts in Stanton township. (fn. 209)

In the later 17th and earlier 18th century the farms were much concerned with livestock each usually had a herd of cattle and a less valuable flock of sheep. Some small farmers kept mainly sheep. Each farm usually had a significant cereal acreage too. (fn. 210) Stoke Court had an attached malthouse, perhaps built in the 17th century, (fn. 211) and c. 1720 another was built at Lower House, Stanton, where hops were grown. (fn. 212) In May 1708 Bockleton Court, an exceptionally large and compact farm (c. 250 a.), (fn. 213) had 45 cattle (excluding oxen) and c. 400 sheep, produced cheese in commercial quantities, and had a malt mill. (fn. 214)

Large areas of common grazing remained, especially on the Clees in 1777 Bockleton Court was summering more than 300 sheep on Brown Clee. (fn. 215) Animals were evidently wintered on the farms. In 1813 Stoke Gorse, Cockshut common, and Stoke common (part of Brown Clee) were inclosed, (fn. 216) but Titterstone Clee (2,208 a.) remained common. Though inclosed in 1813, 80 a. of the former Stoke common on Brown Clee were registered as a common in 1968. (fn. 217)

Little barley was grown by the 1790s, when a frequently used rotation was fallow, wheat, oats (two years), long ley, and oats (two years) there was some use of peas and turnips by 1801. (fn. 218) Since the parish was not controlled by any large estate before the late 19th century, improvements were not concerted. At Bockleton Court a meadow was 'part watered' by 1777 in 1805 the wet parts of the farm were being drained and much of its permanent grass could be 'floated' through recently dug channels and the farm's field boundaries were regularized between the 1770s and 1840s. (fn. 219) Pel Beggar farm was claimed in 1819 to be 'lately much improved'. (fn. 220) On the Stoke Lodge estate (633 a.), formed in the earlier 19th century, only Bold Venture farm could boast any modern buildings in 1866. (fn. 221) There was no marked tendency in the 19th century for farms to be permanently enlarged, or for their field boundaries to be rationalized. (fn. 222) John Patrick of Bockleton Court, however, held a group of farms (800 a.) in 1851, within which labourers occupied the former farmhouses at Newton, Red Hall, and Bold Venture. (fn. 223) The number of lesser smallholdings (6-20 a.) increased in the earlier 19th century in the later 19th century greater smallholdings (21-40 a.) increased in number, while cottage holdings (1-5 a.) decreased markedly. (fn. 224) A few smallholdings survived in the 1980s. (fn. 225)

Table XXIV Stoke St. Milborough: Land use, livestock, and crops
1867 1891 1938 a 1965 a
Percentage of grassland 74 86 96 87
arable 26 14 4 13
Percentage of cattle 19 23 19 15
sheep 75 72 77 81
pigs 6 5 4 4
Percentage of wheat 46 30 28 29
barley 28 24 7 56
oats 26 45 64 13
mixed corn & rye 0 1 1 2
Percentage of agricultural land growing roots and vegetables 6 3 1 3

a Excluding the Heath and Norncott.

Sources: P.R.O., MAF 68/143, no. 21 /1340, nos. 7-8 /3880, Salop. no. 117 /4945, no. 117.

In 1840 there was about half as much arable as grass. (fn. 226) During the later 19th century the proportion fell to a sixth and in the early 20th century to a twentieth, mostly growing oats. It did not increase until the Second World War, when pastures were ploughed to provide more rotation grass and fodder crops. In 1919 there were a few mixed farms most, however, were for rearing cattle and sheep, and some were suited to dairying or feeding. (fn. 227) Dairying gradually superseded beef production, especially after the Second World War. Barley was the chief cereal crop by 1965.

There was a mill at Stoke by 1334. (fn. 228) By the 19th century its pond was fed by a leat from Bockleton brook and by water from the Stoke Court moat. (fn. 229) The mill was re-equipped in 1871 (fn. 230) and served a large area in 1919. (fn. 231) It was working in 1929 but had closed by 1953. (fn. 232) A mill at the Moor was mentioned in 1321. (fn. 233)

The site of the prior's fulling mill mentioned in 1345 (fn. 234) is unknown, but fulling mills were listed among the appurtenances of Stoke Court in 1652. (fn. 235)

In 1581 the lord of Stoke reserved to himself any mines on the waste, (fn. 236) and in 1637 he had mines of ironstone and limestone, which he was alleged to let to poor people at dear rates. (fn. 237)

The only coal and ironstone within the parish boundary were at its northern tip, on Clee Burf (fn. 238) there were disused shafts there in 1883. (fn. 239) Close by, in Loughton township (in Chetton), there was a group of active pits in 1813, (fn. 240) and some Stoke parishioners evidently worked there in 1793 five householders were colliers or miners. Many of the farm labourers also worked then as colliers or 'limers', or kept horses to carry lime and coal their condition was better than that of the ordinary farm hands, some of whom needed constant poor relief. (fn. 241) Coal and ironstone mining on Brown Clee declined in the later 19th century. (fn. 242) Six coal miners lived in the parish in 1861 but none in 1871. (fn. 243)

Limestone was being quarried in Stoke manor in 1637. (fn. 244) Any commercial working is likely to have been at the parish's two concentrations of quarries and kilns around the bases of Brown Clee and Titterstone Clee (fn. 245) there were limekilns at Bockleton before 1655 (fn. 246) and field names indicate limeburning in Stanton township too. (fn. 247) Isolated kilns such as that at the Moor, still in use c. 1900, (fn. 248) may have been worked by farmers to supply themselves. (fn. 249) A lime maker who lived at Batch Gutter in 1841 was described in 1851 as a retired labourer, (fn. 250) and Richard Childs of Green Tump was a collier, smallholder, and limeburner in the 1840s. (fn. 251) They were among the last to burn lime for a living.

Several stone masons lived in the parish near Brown Clee during the 19th century, (fn. 252) and a few of the many small sandstone quarries remained in use until c. 1900. (fn. 253) On Clee Burf a small roadstone quarry opened in the early 20th century and extended into the parish, but it closed c. 1939. (fn. 254)


Records of Stoke manor court survive for 1334, 1345, 1379-80, 1403-4, 1411-12, 1420, 1431, and 1449, (fn. 255) and an estreat for 1565. (fn. 256) In the 14th and early 15th century courts were held thrice yearly. The business was usually that of a court baron, but breaches of the assize of ale were also heard. Two reeves, two aletasters, and a hayward were elected. In the mid 15th century courts may have been less frequent, and in 1581 the lord reserved the right to hold his court once a year in the hall of Stoke Court. (fn. 257) In 1811 the court baron was amercing unlicensed cottagers. (fn. 258) A court baron for Stanton was mentioned in 1678. (fn. 259)

In the early 17th century Stoke and Stanton manors comprised three constablewicks within Bourton hundred: Stoke (including Bockleton, Kinson, and Newton), Downton (including the Moor), and Stanton. By the later 17th century Stanton, Downton, and the Moor formed a single constablewick. (fn. 260)

The inhabitants of Stoke manor were also subject, in the 16th century, to the swainmote of Clee chase. (fn. 261) One of the four chasekeepers' lodges (fn. 262) stood in 1655 at the edge of the common, near the main point of access from Stoke village, (fn. 263) but had gone by 1777. (fn. 264) It was said that in the late 17th century, after the swainmote lapsed, cottagers on the wastes of Stoke manor used to owe suit and amercements to the manor court of Earnstrey Park, and after 1709 to that of Abdon if so, they had ceased to do so by 1744. (fn. 265) Bourton hundred amerced two of them in 1670, (fn. 266) but in the 1690s failed to establish a new claim to the suit of all cottagers on the wastes of Stoke manor. (fn. 267)

The parish was divided into three highway townships by 1724: Stoke (including Bockleton, Kinson, and Newton), Downton (including the Moor), and Stanton. Each had its own surveyor and rates. (fn. 268) Those divisions remained in the 1850s. (fn. 269) For poor-law purposes there were no divisions in the 18th and early 19th century. (fn. 270) The vestry arranged to send paupers to workhouses at Madeley (from 1774) and Church Stretton (from 1783) and planned its own workhouse in 1784. (fn. 271) From 1786, however, and still in 1793, the master of Ludlow workhouse was paid to take in paupers from the parish and give out-relief. (fn. 272) By 1812 the overseers had resumed relief. (fn. 273)

The parish was in Ludlow poor-law union 1836-1930, (fn. 274) Ludlow highway district 1863- 95, (fn. 275) Ludlow rural sanitary district 1872-94, Ludlow rural district 1894-1974, and South Shropshire district from 1974. (fn. 276) From 1953 the civil parish had a joint council with Hopton Cangeford. (fn. 277)


There was a church at Stoke c. 1200, and it seems to have incorporated vestiges of an earlier one. (fn. 278) In 1291 the rector owed an annual portion to Wenlock priory. (fn. 279) In 1344 the rectory was appropriated to the priory and a vicarage ordained. (fn. 280)

The advowson of the rectory, and of the vicarage from 1344, belonged to Wenlock priory by 1272 and descended with Stoke manor until 1575, (fn. 281) except that it was in the king's hands by 1342 and until the priory's denization in 1395, (fn. 282) and was not held by the see of Canterbury 1542-59. (fn. 283) In 1575 John Smith sold the advowson to Richard Hopton, still patron in 1588 (fn. 284) George Hopton was patron in 1621. (fn. 285) The advowson passed to Charles Foxe of Greete, who sold it in 1631 to Adam Littleton of Stoke Court (fn. 286) Littleton's mother-in-law Jane Docwra had presented in 1630. (fn. 287) It seems to have descended with Stoke Court (fn. 288) until 1819 when the trustees of John Wall, former patron and vicar, sold it to George Morgan (d. 1866). (fn. 289) Morgan presented himself as vicar, as did the next two patrons, George de Gruchy (d. 1893) and T. J. Smith (d. 1901), the latter through an intermediary. (fn. 290)

In 1903 Smith's widow transferred the advowson to Sir C. H. Rouse-Boughton. In 1908 Sir W. St. A. Rouse-Boughton transferred it to the vicar's father-in-law, the Revd. Daniel Vawdrey (d. 1934), whose daughter Mrs. C. M. Chandos Burton inherited it. (fn. 291) The patronage was suspended 1954-7 after which the benefice was held in plurality with that of Abdon with Clee St. Margaret and that of Cold Weston. In 1962 Mrs. Burton gave the advowson to the diocesan patronage board. (fn. 292) From the next vacancy, in 1972, the parish was served by priests or curates in charge until 1983 when the united benefice of Bitterley with Middleton, Hopton Cangeford, Stoke St. Milborough with the Heath, Clee St. Margaret, and Cold Weston was formed, with the diocesan patronage board as one of the joint patrons. The ecclesiastical parish of Stoke St. Milborough with the Heath absorbed that of Hopton Cangeford in 1985. (fn. 293)

In 1291 the rectory was valued at £13 13s. 4d. a year, of which £3 was payable annually to Wenlock priory. (fn. 294) In 1344, when the rectory was appropriated, the small tithes and oblations were assigned to the vicarage, together with the former rectory house and some land at Stoke St. Milborough and the Heath the vicar was to pay 6s. 8d. a year to Hereford cathedral choristers. (fn. 295) The vicarage was worth £6 13s. 4d. in 1370 (fn. 296) and 1535 in 1535 glebe yielded 10s. a year and tithes the rest. (fn. 297) By 1793 the vicar had some of the great tithes and let all his tithes for £105 a year. The glebe was let for £63 that at the Heath formed Peckledy farm. (fn. 298) In 1810 there were 77½ a. (fn. 299) The vicar's net income in 1835 was £474. (fn. 300) Between 1841 and 1846 his tithes, a payment for hay tithes called hay silver, and other moduses were commuted to £423 19s. 8d. (fn. 301) In 1887 his glebe was let for £75 a year. (fn. 302) Peckledy was sold in 1921. (fn. 303)

In 1607 the vicarage house had three bays, containing 'house', parlour, and kitchen. A combined barn and cowhouse, of three bays, stood nearby with garden, fold, and 'pool yard'. (fn. 304) The house, of sandstone rubble, was built or greatly altered, probably in 1764, for John Pearce. (fn. 305) The main staircase is of that period, and the grounds were also improved then. (fn. 306) In the early 19th century the building was heightened, remodelled, and stuccoed to create a polite villa of three bays and 2½ storeys that was probably c. 1813, when the vicar resumed residence. (fn. 307) In 1827 a south wing contained the kitchens and other offices, with stables, coach house, and beast house nearby. The wing and outbuildings were demolished shortly afterwards and replaced by an east wing with nearby stables and coach house the garden and drive were then laid out with shrubberies, fountain, and grotto. (fn. 308) Lawns led down to a large fishpond, apparently an ornamental feature of the 18th or early 19th century. (fn. 309) The incumbents stopped living there in 1972. (fn. 310)

In 1344 the rector was assisted by a resident chaplain Henry of Larden, (fn. 311) perhaps related to a previous rector Richard of Larden (fl. 1312- 28). (fn. 312) Another chaplain was assisting the vicar in 1348. (fn. 313) From 1534 or earlier vicars were usually resident. (fn. 314) Notable exceptions were Roger Stedman, 1588-1630, who lived at Munslow, (fn. 315) and John Phillipps, 1772-1812, who lived at Eaton Bishop (Herefs.) (fn. 316) both employed resident curates. (fn. 317) In 1719 there was a morning and evening service every Sunday, and communion monthly from Easter to November as well as at festivals. (fn. 318) By 1793, however, no Sunday evening congregation could be 'procured', probably because the parish had many small remote settlements. Communion was then celebrated only six times a year, with 30 or 40 communicants at Easter. Evening prayer was limited to Lent and Wake Sunday in late June. (fn. 319) By 1851 Evening prayer was weekly but few attended. (fn. 320) Cottage services in the early 20th century reached some of the remoter inhabitants, and the church sustained a Sunday school, choir, and men's bible class. (fn. 321) In 1992 there was communion or Evensong every week and a monthly family service. (fn. 322)

Stoke St. Milborough: The Church of St. Milborough

The church of ST. MILBOROUGH, so dedicated by 1740 (fn. 323) and perhaps by the 1270s, (fn. 324) is built of rubble with ashlar dressings and has a chancel, nave with south porch, and west tower. (fn. 325) The fabric shows signs of several partial rebuildings, not all of them datable or clearly defined.

The corners of an earlier and narrower nave survive in the angles between the tower and the west wall of the nave. The thick north wall of the chancel, which is aligned on the north-west corner of the earlier nave, is probably late 11thor 12th-century. The chancel arch has early 13th-century capitals but may have been cut into an older wall. A low tower was added in the later 13th century. Its corbel table, which survives on all four sides, suggests that it may have had a pyramidal roof. The nave was probably widened in the early 14th century, the apparent date of its south windows the south wall of the chancel is later, and has a mid 14th-century window, perhaps reset. In the 15th century the tower was heightened by one stage and a new window was put into the north wall of the chancel indulgence was offered in 1424 to those who contributed to repair of the church fabric. (fn. 326) There was formerly a rood screen and loft, which was perhaps reached by a wooden stair in the opening south of the chancel arch. Traces of medieval painting remain over the arch.

There were extensive repairs and alterations c. 1700. The north wall of the nave and the top of the tower (fn. 327) were rebuilt, a new south doorway was put in, and the roof was renewed. (fn. 328) The cruck framed porch appears to be later but may be nearly contemporary. The west gallery and the south lancet that lighted the space under it may also have been of that time. In the 17th or 18th century the east wall of the chancel was rebuilt, perhaps farther west than its medieval predecessor. By the late 18th century the communion table was railed on three sides and the chancel contained wall monuments to the Botterell, Lee, Lucy, and Wall families. George II's arms, painted on canvas by James Smallwood in 1741, replaced cast iron arms apparently purporting to be those of William III. (fn. 329) Four Commandment tables on sheet zinc were set up in the earlier 19th century. (fn. 330)

There was a general restoration in 1859 when the gallery, box pews, and Commandment tables were removed a window, with glass by David Evans, (fn. 331) was put into the east wall of the chancel choir stalls and a straight communion rail were made and new windows of 14th-century character were put into the north wall of the nave. Some of that work, including the raised floor of the chancel, was removed at a further general restoration in 1911.

One bell (1622) was by William Clibury of Wellington, the other three (1637) by Thomas Clibury. (fn. 332) There was a silver paten of 1720 and an undated 18th-century silver chalice and paten. (fn. 333) The registers begin in 1654, earlier registers (since 1588) having been lost since the early 19th century. (fn. 334)

The churchyard, roughly rectangular, was extended north in 1898 and 1962. (fn. 335)

In 1719 there were two chapels, each with a monthly service. (fn. 336) That at the Heath survives (fn. 337) the other, at Clee Stanton in Chapel yard, was later converted to a house and demolished by 1830. (fn. 338)


The Parrs were Baptists in the 1670s and 1680s. (fn. 339) Chapel House, Clee Stanton, so called by 1815, may have been an early meeting place. (fn. 340)

In Stoke village Wesleyan Methodists were preaching by 1834 (fn. 341) and licensed a new chapel in 1842. In 1851 attendance averaged 30 in the afternoon and 15 in the evening. (fn. 342) The chapel closed in 1922 (fn. 343) when one at Stanton opened. Wesleyans had begun to meet at Stanton in 1841. (fn. 344) In 1851 they had a separate room attached to a house, and on Census Sunday there were 50 worshippers in the afternoon and 20 in the evening. (fn. 345) The room closed in 1922 when a disused brick Wesleyan chapel from Leamoor Common (in Wistanstow) was re-erected near Stanton Farm. (fn. 346) It seated 60 (fn. 347) but closed in 1970. (fn. 348)

Edward Bytheway's house was licensed for Primitive Methodist worship in 1822. (fn. 349) It may have been at Shortwood, near Blackford, where he had bought land in 1815 and had a house by 1842. (fn. 350) In 1823, however, a new chapel seating 75 was built next to a pair of cottages at Blackford. On Census Sunday 1851 10 people attended in the morning, 60 in the afternoon, and 30 in the evening. (fn. 351) Known as the iron chapel in 1851, it closed in 1869 when a new stone chapel was built nearby, (fn. 352) which had a fortnightly service in 1992. (fn. 353) Stoke was put on the Hopton Bank Primitive Methodist preaching plan in 1835 (fn. 354) and a chapel there was licensed in 1842. In 1851 attendance averaged 40 in the afternoon and 50 in the evening. (fn. 355) Perhaps rebuilt in the 1870s, (fn. 356) it closed in 1972. (fn. 357)


A schoolhouse was built in Stoke St. Milborough village c. 1760 by subscribers. (fn. 358) The master received a £5 rent charge given c. 1760 by Mrs. Elizabeth Pearce and another of £3 paid from c. 1754 by successive vicars. (fn. 359) By 1793 only the latter sum was paid. The curate, then master, taught poor children chosen by the vicar and churchwardens, and c. 20 paying pupils. (fn. 360) The £3 salary lapsed before 1819, when there were six pupils, (fn. 361) and the school had closed by 1820. (fn. 362) It was revived before 1835, when 21 fee-paying children were taught, and was a National school in 1851. (fn. 363) It was taught 'under great difficulties' by a 'village dame' and her daughter. (fn. 364)

A new school was built by subscription in 1856. (fn. 365) A stone building with gothic details, designed by James Cranston, it comprised a schoolroom and classroom the schoolroom was enlarged c. 1870. (fn. 366) School pence varied between 1d. and 2d. according to writing proficiency. (fn. 367) Some pupils travelled from outlying hills. (fn. 368) Children from the upper part of Blackford went to school at Loughton, (fn. 369) and others, from Clee Stanton, went to Bitterley. (fn. 370)

In the later 1930s the master and his wife produced school meals. (fn. 371) Attendance averaged c. 67 in 1885 and c. 77 in 1909. (fn. 372) The roll fell to c. 47 in 1916, and to c. 42 in 1939. (fn. 373) In 1941 the school admitted 15 evacuees from Liverpool. (fn. 374) Senior pupils received no practical instruction, except gardening c. 1914- 45. (fn. 375) In 1950, when the roll was 26, children aged 14, and in 1952 those aged 12, transferred to Burwarton C.E. school. (fn. 376) The building was much improved after the school became Aided in 1955. (fn. 377) In 1958 pupils aged 11 transferred to Ludlow C.E. Modern school. (fn. 378) In 1968 the roll was 18 (fn. 379) and the school closed in 1969. (fn. 380)

A small private school is said to have been kept at Blackford in the earlier 19th century. (fn. 381)

Evening classes in mathematics, drawing, and horticulture were held in 1893-4 and free but ill attended continuation evening classes 1893-9. (fn. 382)


In 1846 George Morgan, vicar, gave £400 to endow monthly bread doles. (fn. 383) The income, estimated at £10-£25 in 1965, (fn. 384) was still designated for bread in 1975. (fn. 385)

Prince George's First Home: Inside the Middletons' $7.3 Million Bucklebury Manor

Joan Wakeham/Rex/Rex USA/Scott Heavey/French Select via Getty Images

Prince George spent his first night in the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital, and his second night in Kensington Palace.

But from July 24, 2013 onward, the Prince of Cambridge, mom Kate Middleton and dad Prince William have been staying at Bucklebury Manor, Michael and Carole Middleton's stunning—and well-protected—family home.

Kate's parents purchased the £4.7 million ($7.3 million) seven-bedroom Georgian manor in October 2012. It has a tennis court, an outdoor swimming pool, stunning gardens—even sheep in the back yard!

Of course, in order to ensure the safety of the royal family, who frequently visit Bucklebury Manor, a ring of steel was placed around the property. Thanks to a joint effort between local police and the Royal Protection Squad, the estate is patrolled by police and officers an horseback.

But Georgie won't be growing up full-time at his grandparents' home. The 3-week-old heir, mum and dad will head to London, taking up their permanent residence in Apartment 1-A of Kensington Palace. It will be a change of pace for the new parents, who lived on the Welsh island of Anglesey when they were just a family of two.

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Cardinal Thomas Wolsey Death & Fall From Grace 1530

This account of Thomas Wolsey’s fall from royal favor was written by the Tudor chronicler Edward Hall.

Wolsey was born c1473 and eventually held the titles Cardinal-Archbishop of York and Lord Chancellor. He was famous at Oxford University for taking his degree at the age of fifteen he was intelligent, hard-working, and also very fond of pomp and ceremony.

He became King Henry VII’s chaplain during the last two years of his life. Henry VIII appointed him to a minor office upon his accession, but Wolsey’s only became involved in government affairs in 1512. He urged Henry to wage war against the French on behalf of Pope Julius II. The war was successful and Henry generously rewarded its main proponent and organizer. Wolsey subsequently became the king’s chief minister from 1515 to 1529.

His powerful office and close friendship with Henry earned him many enemies, particularly aristocrats who resented his usurpation of their traditional influence. They also resented his great wealth. Over the years, Wolsey amassed a vast fortune, though he did so largely through his church offices. He spent lavishly, but he was also charitable and personally financed many diplomatic missions. It should be noted that most gentlemen entered government service for financial reward Wolsey was no different. And as the king’s chief minister, he was expected to entertain foreign dignitaries and maintain a suitably impressive lifestyle. His increasingly ostentatious displays of wealth did, however, damage both his personal reputation and that of the church.

Wolsey lacked the genius for the administration of his protégé and successor, Thomas Cromwell. But he was efficient and capable when he found he could not control Parliament (it met only once during his years as chancellor), he simply refused to summon it. He was also blamed for the high taxation necessary to support Henry VIII’s ambitious foreign policy.

He maintained the king’s favor until he failed to secure an annulment of Henry’s first marriage. From 1527-1529, as Anne Boleyn’s influence rose, Wolsey’s waned. She disliked the Cardinal because of his interference in her earlier engagement to Henry Percy. And both she and the king were increasingly impatient with the pope’s endless prevarication. Torn between his secular and spiritual masters, Wolsey chose Henry’s side – but it did not matter. On 9 October 1529, he was indicted for praemunire he later confessed his guilt. Parliament was summoned to indict him on forty-four charges. The king kept him from prison but stripped him of many offices and all of his power. Wolsey was ordered to retire to his archbishopric of York. Indiscreet letters to Rome led to his arrest on 4 November. He died on the 24th while returning to London and, most likely, execution at the Tower.

Hall implies that Wolsey committed suicide. He did not. He did, however, avoid execution at the Tower which was the fate Henry VIII intended for him.

It should be noted that Cromwell defended Wolsey in parliament.

This account of Thomas Wolsey’s fall from royal favor was written by the Tudor chronicler Edward Hall.
Wolsey was born c1473 and eventually held the titles Cardinal-Archbishop of York and Lord Chancellor. He was famous at Oxford University for taking his degree at the age of fifteen he was intelligent, hard-working, and also very fond of pomp and ceremony.

He became King Henry VII’s chaplain during the last two years of his life. Henry VIII appointed him to a minor office upon his accession, but Wolsey’s only became involved in government affairs in 1512. He urged Henry to wage war against the French on behalf of Pope Julius II. The war was successful and Henry generously rewarded its main proponent and organizer. Wolsey subsequently became the king’s chief minister from 1515 to 1529.

His powerful office and close friendship with Henry earned him many enemies, particularly aristocrats who resented his usurpation of their traditional influence. They also resented his great wealth. Over the years, Wolsey amassed a vast fortune, though he did so largely through his church offices. He spent lavishly, but he was also charitable and personally financed many diplomatic missions. It should be noted that most gentlemen entered government service for financial reward Wolsey was no different. And as the king’s chief minister, he was expected to entertain foreign dignitaries and maintain a suitably impressive lifestyle. His increasingly ostentatious displays of wealth did, however, damage both his personal reputation and that of the church.

Wolsey lacked the genius for administration of his protégé and successor, Thomas Cromwell. But he was efficient and capable when he found he could not control Parliament (it met only once during his years as chancellor), he simply refused to summon it. He was also blamed for the high taxation necessary to support Henry VIII’s ambitious foreign policy.

He maintained the king’s favor until he failed to secure an annulment of Henry’s first marriage. From 1527-1529, as Anne Boleyn’s influence rose, Wolsey’s waned. She disliked the Cardinal because of his interference in her earlier engagement to Henry Percy. And both she and the king were increasingly impatient with the pope’s endless prevarication. Torn between his secular and spiritual masters, Wolsey chose Henry’s side – but it did not matter. On 9 October 1529, he was indicted for praemunire he later confessed his guilt. Parliament was summoned to indict him on forty-four charges. The king kept him from prison but stripped him of many offices and all of his power. Wolsey was ordered to retire to his archbishopric of York. Indiscreet letters to Rome led to his arrest on 4 November. He died on the 24th, while returning to London and, most likely, execution at the Tower.

Hall implies that Wolsey committed suicide. He did not. He did, however, avoid execution at the Tower which was the fate Henry VIII intended for him.

It should be noted that Cromwell defended Wolsey in parliament.

You have heard under the last year how the cardinal of York [Wolsey] was attainted in praemunire, and despite that the king had given him the bishoprics of York and Winchester, with great possessions, and had licensed him to live in his diocese of York. Being thus in his diocese, grudging his fall and not remembering the kindness the King showed to him, he wrote to the court of Rome and to several other princes letters reproaching the king, and as much as he was able stirred them to revenge his case against the King and his realm so much so that various opprobrious words about the king were spoken to Dr Edward Kern, the king’s orator at Rome, and it was said to him that for the cardinal’s sake the king’s matrimonial suit would have the worse speed. The cardinal would also speak fair to the people to win their hearts, and always declared that he was unjustly and untruly commanded, which fair speaking made many men believe that he spoke the truth. And to be held in higher repute by the people he determined to be installed or enthroned at York with all possible pomp, and caused a throne to be erected in the Cathedral Church of such a height and design as was never seen before and he sent to all the lords, abbots, priors, knights, esquires and gentlemen of his diocese to be at his manor of Cawood on 6 November, and so to bring him to York with all pomp and solemnity.

The King, who knew of his doings and secret communications, all this year pretended to ignore them to see what he would eventually do, until he saw his proud heart so highly exalted that he intended to be so triumphantly installed without informing the king, even as if in disdain of the king. Then the king thought it was not fitting or convenient to let him any longer continue in his malicious and proud purposes and attempts. Therefore he sent letters to Henry, the sixth earl of Northumberland, willing him with all diligence to arrest the cardinal, and to deliver him to the earl of Shrewsbury, great steward of the king’s household. When the earl had seen the letter, with a suitable number of men he came to the manor of Cawood on 4 November, and when he was brought to the cardinal in his chamber he said to him: “My Lord, I pray you have patience, for here I arrest you.” “Arrest me,” said the cardinal “Yes,” said the earl, “I have orders to do so.” “You have no such power,” said the cardinal, “for I am both a cardinal and a peer of the College of Rome, and ought not to be arrested by any temporal power, for I am not subject to that power, therefore if you arrest me I will withstand it.” “Well,” said the Earl, “here is the king’s commission, and therefore I charge you to obey.” The Cardinal somewhat remembered himself, and said, “Well, my lord, I am content to obey, but although by negligence I fell under punishment of the praemunire and lost by law all my lands and goods, yet my person was in the king’s protection and I was pardoned that offence. Therefore I wonder why I now should be arrested, especially considering that I am a member of the apostolic See, on whom no temporal man should lay violent hands. Well, I see the King lacks good counsel.” “Well,” said the earl, “when I was sworn warden of the marches you yourself told me that I might with my staff arrest all men under the degree of king, and now I am stronger for I have a commission for what I do as you have seen.” The cardinal at length obeyed, and was kept in his private chamber, and his goods seized and his officers discharged, and his physician, Dr Augustine, was also arrested, and brought to the Tower by Sir Walter Welshe, one of the king’s chamber. On 6 November the cardinal was conveyed from Cawood to Sheffield Castle, and there delivered into the keeping of the earl of Shrewsbury until the king’s pleasure was known. About this arrest there was much talk among the common people, and many were glad, for surely he was not in favour with the commons.

When the cardinal was thus arrested the king sent Sir William Kingston Knight, captain of the guard and constable of the Tower of London with some of the yeomen of the guard to Sheffield, to fetch the cardinal to the Tower. When the cardinal saw the captain of the guard he was much astonished and shortly became ill, for he foresaw some great trouble, and for that reason men said he willingly took so much strong purgative that his constitution could not bear it. But Sir William Kingston comforted him, and by easy journeys he brought him to the Abbey of Leicester on 27 November, where through weakness caused by purgatives and vomiting he died the second night following, and is buried in the same Abbey.

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