Mansions 1872

A History of the Mansions & The Manor of Dilwyn - 1872

by Rev. Charles J Robinson

The chief lordship of this extensive parish (anciently called Dilewe) appears to have been in the hands of the Crown until it was bestowed by Henry III. on his son, Prince Edmund, who, in the year 1274, granted the manor (not the manor -editor) and advowson to the Priory of Wormesley. It seems, however, to be doubtful whether the latter grant included more than a portion of the manor, and it certainly conferred no right to the Honour of Dilwyn, which continued to be vested in the Crown. Without attempting to recite even the names of the successive lords of the manor, we may say that two thirds of it belonged, in the sixteenth century, to the family of Touchet, alias Awdeley1, and that by a fine levied in 1548, this portion of Dilwyn was granted by James Touchet alias Awdeley, Esq., (who may have been the youngest son, james, Lord Audley, beheaded in 1496) to James Tompkyns or Tomkyns of Monington, subject to the life interest of Sir john St. Lowe and his wife, Margaret2.
James Tomkyns died seized of the manor 23 Dec., 1561, and it continued with his descendants until 1729 when it was bequeathed by Mary Tomkyns, widow of Uvedale Tomkyns, to her brother, John Capel, whose daughter and heiress, Mary Capel, married John Whitmore of the Haywood and sold Dilwyn to John Peploe of Garnston, whose representative now enjoys it. The remaining third part of the manor was granted by Richard III. to Sir John Talbot and Margaret his wife, whose family had been connected with Dilwyn for many generations.3 It does not appear when the manor became re-united, but the Talbots retained their part as late as 1535.

Within the parish are several townships and reputed manors.

BIDNEY (or Biddenway) was a mansion as early as 1346, when john de Bydenweye had license from the Bishop for the celebration of service in its oratory. Two centuries later it belonged to the Boyles, ancestors of the Earls of Cork, and appears to have been occupied by them as late as 1607, about which date it was purchased by Robert Robotham, D.D., (son-in-law of Bishop Francis Godwin,) Preb. of Hereford, who, together with his wife and son Francis, sold it in 1630 to Henry Calverley of Calverley, Yorkshire. A few years later it passed, by purchase, to Henry Hiett (see Eardisland), who sold it in 1661 to William Lambe of Lincoln's Inn, son of William Lambe of Acworth, co. Ebor. (See Burk's Landed Gentry, ed 1862, ii. 830.) Henwood (perhaps Hevyn's·wood), the present seat of Lacon Lambe, is described in the old deeds as a coppice wood, and the house, now so called, was erected by Lacon Lambe in the latter part of the last century.

CHADNOR or CHABNOR was the residence of a family of that ilk in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Thomas de Chabenore was a Knight of the Shire, 25 and 26 Edw. I., and the name of John Chabenore occurs in the list of Herefordshire Gentry made in 1433.
Whether the latter was a member of the Dilwyn family, we cannot say, but before that date the manor of Chabnore had passed, through a marriage, to the Delaberes, 4 whose heiress brought it to Sir Michael Lyster, circa 1530. Sir Michael died seised of it in 1552 (Ing. p. m.), soon after which date it was purchased by James Tomkyns and has descended with the chief manor to Daniel Peploe Peploe of Garnston. The house, surrounded by a park, must have been of some importance as we find that, in 1346, Walter de Chabbenore had license from the Bishop to hold service within its chapel; a similar license was granted at the same time to John de Alleton for his mansion of ALTON - a property which was held by the Delaberes and Lysters, and now belongs to J W. Wilson.

HEVYN (now Haven), belonged, at a very early date, to a family of that name which remained in Dilwyn till the close of the seventeenth century,5 although the eldest branch had terminated long before in two co-heirs, viz., Margaret, wife of William Hopton of Hopton, and Anne, wife of Hugh Shirley (fourth son of john Shirley of Eatington), d. 17th Sep.,1510.

LUNTLEY 6 gave its name to a family of respectability which has survived to the present time. The chief manor appears to have formed part of the purchase of James Tomkyns, who died seised of it in I56l; his second son, John Tomkyns, inherited it and it passed with the rest of the family property to the Capels and Whitmores, who sold it to Ferrar, through whose eventual heiress it came to the late Thomas Davies of Leominster. His daughters (one of whom is wife of Thomas Burlton of Leominster) now enjoy it, as well as the chief property in the township, which was for many centuries in the hands of the Bowyer family. Blount says " the chief mansion appertaines to Thomas Bowyer, gent, the son of John, the son of Henry. The name is of good antiquity in this parish,7 for I find Thomas de Bowyer a benefactor to Wormesley Priory about Edw. III. This Thomas Bowyer lately married Dorothy, dau. of Harnage of Belgardine, in com. Salop, Esq." He married, secondly, in 1675, Eleanor Carpenter, and had issue a son, of his own name, who married Mary Williams. (Title Deeds). The present representatives of the family are the Rev. T. K. Bowyear, R. of Harbledown, co. Kent, and Capt. G. L. Bowyear, R.N., C.B. The old Court still preserves some of its ancient features and is a good specimen of a timber mansion of the sixteenth or seventeenth century.

NEWTON was purchased by William Laslett, M.P. (of Abberton Hall, co. Worc.), in the year 1835, from the only sister and heir of Thomas Phillips, whose ancestor, William Phillips (Sheriff 1736, died 1752), had bought it in 1698. It had previously 8 belonged to the family of Roos or Ross -perhaps descended from Robert le Roos who held a fourth part of a Knight's fee in Dilwyn in 1306, by descent from the time of Henry I. The arms-Gules, three water-bougets arg.-were in the church window, and the name was common in the parish two centuries ago.

SWANSTON was part of the Talbot possessions in Dilwyn, and came subsequently to the Scudamores of Hom Lacy, and was purchased from Mr. Lewis (Hom Lacy} by the late Thomas Evans of Moreton Court.

TYRELL's COURT belonged to a family of that name for several generations. The heiress, Joanna, dau. of Sir Hugh Tyrell 9 (6th in descent from Sir Randall Tyrell, Lord of Tyrells), married John de St. Owen, in the reign of Edward III. The house, which was pulled down about twenty years ago, had a curious carving on the wainscot representing a man being killed by an arrow -tradition asserted that it commemorated the death of a member of the family who was shot while entering his house.

THE HOMME, occupied by Lady Frances Vernon Harcourt, is a mansion that has undergone so many changes that it is scarcely possible to discover its original design, or the date of its erection. The centre portion is modern, but the two wings with their gables and oaken beams belong, perhaps, to the sixteenth century, throughout which the property was in the hands of the Carpenters.
The first recorded member of that family was William Carpenter, who died in 1520, sixth in descent from whom was Thomas Carpenter (d. 1653), who, by Eleanor Lill, his wife, left eight sons.10 Richard, the eldest, succeeded to the Homme, which was bequeathed by his grandson, Thomas Carpenter (d. 23rd May, 1733), to his kinsman, George, 2nd Baron Carpenter. The Homme was occupied by the widow of his lordship's son, George, 3rd Baron Carpenter and 1st Earl of Tyrconnel, and after her death was sold, in 1787, to the Peploe family, to whom it now belongs.

The GREAT HOUSE in Dilwyn, distinguished by its iron gates, was for several generations the residence and property of the Tyler family, who purchased it of the Carpenters and sold it to the Lambes of Henwood. John Tyler of Dilwyn (Sheriff 1729) was eld. son of the Rev. Wm. Tyler, Vicar of the parish, and nephew and heir of John Tyler, Dean of Hereford and Bishop of Llandaff. He died in 1737 and was succeeded by his brother, William Tyler, whose widow married Edward Hill of Bedminster, and was grandmother to the poet Southey11.

VENMOOR was held in 1525 by Sibilla Breynton, of Sir John Talbot, and descended to her son-in-law, john Lingen, whose family sold it to the Crofts of Croft Castle.

Among other families connected with the parish must be mentioned the Bradfords, and the Mellings; it was probably with the latter that Thomas Dingley, the antiquarian artist, resided in the rare intervals of settlement in his wandering life12.

The Church is, says Silas Taylor, " very fayre for a country village," and has recently been restored with considerable skill and judgment. On the N. side ·of the church, beneath a canopy ornamented with ballflowers, lies a cross-legged knight in armour. The shield, worn on the left arm, is charged with a lion rampant within a bordure engrailed.
Mr. Blore refers the monument to the reign of Edward II., and it is generally supposed to represent one of the Talbots, who were connected both with Dilwyn and the neighbouring Priory of Wormesley. Silas Taylor (Harl. MS., 6868) says, "I am induced to believe it was one of ye Tirells of Tirell's Court in this parish from the arms." The curious coffin-lid bearing the arms of Delabere has been already noticed and is more particularly described in the Preface to Dingley's Hist. from Marble (vol. ii., p. 103)

1) Nicholas de Audeley, lord of Monyton and Dilewe, and Elizabeth his wife, granted license to Sir Gilbert Talbot and others, in 1372, to give certain lands in Little Dilewe and Church Dilewe (then belonging to ]ohn de Mynors) to the Priory of Wormesley. (Harl.MS.,6868.) This Nicholas seems to have been the eldest son of james, Lord Audley of Heleigh, the hero of Poictiers, and was a collateral ancestor of james Touchet, alias Audeley, named in the above Fine.
2) Inq. pm., Jacobi Tomkyns, 4 Eliz. The Fine is therein recited and states that the property in Dilwyn consisted of two parts of the manor, 26 messuages, 20 gardens, 1000 acres of land, 300 acres of meadow, 1000 acres of pasture, and 500 acres of wood, and 100s. of rent in Dylwyn, Sellers Dylwyn, Little Dylwyn, Newton, Hurst, Heaven, Henwood, and Yersope. By deed indented 20th Feb,. 1559, john Seyntlowe and Margaret his wife demised their interest to the said James Tomkyns.
3) Sir Gilbert Talbot, Lord of Eccleswall, purchased certain lands in Dilwyn of John de Heavyn in the reign of Edward III. and bestowed them on the Priory of Wormesley. This Sir Gilbert has been already mentioned as the donor of the advowson of Credenhill to the same body. From the Inq. p.m., Sibill, Breynton, mother of Isabella, wife of John Lingen of Sutton, it appears that she was seized, at her death in 1535, of certain lands in Dilwyn and Venmoor, which were held of Sir john Talbot as Lord of the manor.
4) Richard de la Bere married Sibilla, d. and h. of William de Chabbenore. (See Placita, sub Brevi., 15 Ed. III, P.R.0.) The arms of Delabere impaling those of Chabnor -Gules, on a chief argent 3 martlets Sable- occur in the north window of the chancel, and the fragment of a tile bearing the same arms has been recently found in Dilwyn Church. They also are a quartering on the Delabere shield at Allansmore. The name of Chabnor lingered till very recent times at Dilwyn and other places in the same district. In Norton Canon Chancel was a monument to John Chabnore, gent., d. 1632, and Dilwyn Register records the marriage of Will. Chabnore of Norton and Ann Ross of Newton, in 1680.
5) There is a half-effaced incised slab to Thomas Heven and his wife in Dilwyn Church, which probably dates from the middle of the fifteenth century, and the arms -Azure, crusilly fitchy, three boars' heads couped or- were in a window of the church in 1680. The last entry o fthe name in the Parish Register is as follows :-" 1698, April 8, Rowlandus Heaven generosus et antiqua familia de Heaven sep."
6) Blount says, " William Devereux held half a Knight's fee of Walter Baskervyle who holds over of the Honor of Dilwyn " One john Luntley, was returned in 1435 as a Gentleman of Herefordshire, and perhaps is identical with John Luntley, Steward of the manor of Leominster, by the appointment of the Abbot of Reading, in the reign of H. VI. We find also a Thomas Luntley elected Fellow of St. john's, Oxford, as kin to the Founder -his mother being a dau. of Gregory Seward of Leominster, descended from the Herefords and Kibblewhites.
7) Edward Bowyer held Luntley in 1540. The Register records the baptism of Edward, 1714, and the burial of Thomas (1722), children of George Blount (grandson of Sir Walter Blount of Sodington, Bart.) by Elizabeth Bowyer. The last remnants of their property in Dilwyn were sold by the Bowyers a few years ago.
8) Other notices of Newton are that {Temp. Ed. III) Robert de Sarnesfield held it of the heirs of ]ohn Loggis, and that in 1540 it was occupied by Henry Bulward.
9) Hugh Tyrell had a grant of free warren in Solers Dilwyn, 8 Edw. III. Silas Taylor (Harl. MS, 6868) says :-" In the Ladyes' chapple on the N. side of the church is this coat twice expressed B lyon rampant A and bordure engrayled O."
10) The other sons were, 2, Thomas of London; 3, James, 4, ]ohn of Tillington Court, iure uxoris; 5, William, citizen and brewer of London; 6, Alexander; 7, Arthur of Dilwyn; and 8, Warncomb of Westhide, whose son, George (b. at Ocle Pitchard 10 Feb., 1657) was created Baron Carpenter in 1769 for his eminent military services. Richard Carpenter of the Homme, m. Frances, d. of Charles Moore of Mounston, co. Salop, and died 1656; his son Thomas m. 1662, Eliz. Bennett of Birch, and d, 1686, leaving the above Thomas Carpenter, (d. 1733) his only son and heir.
11) There is a good deal about the Bradfords and Tylers in Southey's Life and Correspondence (vol. 1), and the poet owed much to his aunt, Miss Tyler, with whom he spent his early years. The late Thomas Evans, of Moreton Court, was the representative of the Tyler family, being the great-grandson of the Rev. Thomas Evans, Vicar of Dilwyn, &c., by his wife, Jane, dau. of the above Rev. Will. Tyler.
12) See History from Marble, Camden Soc. Pub. Preface, p. 36. Letters of Administration to the effects of Thomas Dingley were granted in May, 1695, to Eliza, wife of William Melling, as the niece of the deceased.

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