Manors & Feudal Lordships
In the mid-11thC, Aston belonged to the Bishopric of Winchester, since in 1055 Archbishop Stigand, then Bishop of Winchester, made an unfulfilled promise to Grant it to Abingdon Abbey (Berks), Lord of the adjoining Land at Lewknor. Immediately before the Conquest, however, Aston was held freely by a certain Wulfstan. Afterwards, it was given to Norman Baron Miles Crispin and in 1086 his Land there was assessed at 20-Hides. Miles died in 1107 and his Widow Maud, the daughter of Robert d’Oilly and her Lands were given in marriage to Brian FitzCount by Henry I. During FitzCount’s tenure part of the Estate, the later Chalford Manor, was granted to Wallingford Priory. After 1153 and when Stephen was still King, both FitzCount and his wife, who had been zealous supporters of Maud, entered Religious Houses, and King Stephen gave the Aston Estates to Henry, Duke of Normandy, later King Henry II. Aston thus became part of the Honour of Wallingford and eventually of the Honour of Ewelme.
By the 13thC Thame Abbey (Founded 1138) held Land in Kingston. Towards the end of the Century Thomas North of Kingston held a Free Hide of the Abbey doing the Service Customary for 1/5th-Fee on condition that the Abbey was responsible for this Service to Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, the Holder of Wallingford Honour. This was possibly the Hide held in 1279 by Thomas de Kingston. Another Tenant of the Abbey was Guy de Crowell, its Falconer, to whom in 1274 it Granted a House & Land for £2 a year. Its Kingston Rents were increased in 1276 by a Grant of 50s Rent from Mary de Hortimer. In 1542 Thame’s Kingston Property, valued at £4-0s-5d. in 1535, formed part of the Endowment of the new See of Oxford, and in 1546 it was Granted to Christ Church, the Bishop’s Cathedral.
In 1154 Henry Granted Aston to Riulf de Sessuns but by 1161 Riulf’s Lands were held at Farm by Hugh de la Mare, who was returned in 1166 as holding Kingston Blount, a part of Aston Parish. In 1173 the King Granted Lands worth £24-4s. in Aston and £6 in Thenford (Northants.) to Alan FitzAmfrey (i.e. Amfrey son of Roland) in exchange for Crowmarsh. Alan had died by 1187 when his Lands were again in the King’s hands, and the Steward of the Honour of Wallingford accounted for them in that year and in 1188. A nephew Alan, the son of a brother Roland, succeeded. He was in possession of the Aston Lands of Alan FitzAmfrey at least by 1194 & in 1196 he held 1¼-Fees of Wallingford Honour, presumably Aston & Thenford. By 1201 he had lost Thenford & Aston Rowant counted as ½-Fee. He must have died in 1211 or 1212, for in 1212 John Marshall had custody of his ½-Fee and of his young son and heir, Roland. Roland was still a Minor in 1219 when he was in the custody of Henry Foliot of Fritwell, but he was in possession in 1228. He died in 1247 and his son Alan succeeded. Alan, described as Alan son of Roland of Aston, was Ganted Free Warren in all his Demesne Lands in 1257 & in 1279 he held Aston Manor and the Hamlets of Stokenchurch & Copcourt for ½-Fee, besides certain Rents in Chalford and an Estate at Wormsley in Stokenchurch. He was still alive in 1295 and in possession of Aston with Stokenchurch and of Estates in Leicestershire. Alan’s 3 sons succeeded in turn: Roland FitzAlan had died before 1300 when John FitzAlan held the ½-Fee, and in 1316 Henry his brother was Lord. At his death in 1318 Henry FitzAlan was Seised of various Devonshire Estates held of Hugh de Courtenay as well as Aston Manor, for which he owed Suit of Court at Wallingford, Ward, Relief & Marriage, and one Foot Soldier to defend Wallingford Castle in time of War. Henry’s son Roger, known as Sir Roger Rohant, married Eleanor the daughter of Richard Lovel of Wincanton (Som), and in 1326 entailed Aston Manor on his heirs male. He was still alive in 1340 when he again put the Manor in Trust. In 1360 a Lady Eleanor Rohant, presumably his Widow, was administering the Estate. Rohant’s Property passed to his daughter Eleanor and her husband Thomas Champernowne. Eleanor also had died by 1369, when Thomas Champernowne, Lord of Modbury (Devon), quitclaimed his rights in certain of Eleanor’s Estates to Richard Champernowne their son, described elsewhere as great-grandson of Richard Lovel. Aston Rowant was not mentioned among them, so it is possible that Richard had been in possession of it since his mother’s death. The Champernownes were Devonshire Gentry and served the King as Sheriffs & Commissioners in the 14th & 15thCs. Richard (I) had died by 1377 having settled Aston Rowant on his son Richard, a Minor, the son of his 2nd wife Katherine Daubeny. Sir Richard (II) Champernowne died in 1420, leaving as his Heir a son Hugh, aged 2; his wife Isabel was assigned Dower in his Devonshire & Oxfordshire Property, though certain Estates were in the King’s Hands. Richard’s elder brother Alexander, a son of Richard(I) Champernowne by his 1st wife, unsuccessfully disputed his nephew’s claim to succeed. Alexander, who was married to the heiress of Bere Ferrers Manor in Devon, was the son of the elder Richard Champernowne by his 1st wife, Alice Astley. It is difficult to see upon what grounds Alexander disputed the descent of Aston to Hugh, for, on his own showing, the elder Richard had devised Aston to the younger Richard and the heirs of his body.
Hugh Champernowne, the FitzAlan Heir mentioned in 1428, served the King in Devon, like his predecessors, as Commissioner in 1456 & 1458. He was dead by 1462 when his wife Joan also died. He was succeeded by his son William, who died in 1464, and his grandson John, born in 1458. John Champernowne settled Aston Rowant on his son Philip & Philip’s wife Katherine Carew and they were Seised of the Manor, worth £32, before his death in 1503. In 1505 John’s Widow Margaret, daughter of Sir Philip Courtenay, and her 2nd husband John West sued for dower of 1/6th of the Manor, and Lands in Aston, Chalford, Copcourt & Stokenchurch. The Champernownes were obviously more attached to their Devonshire Estates than to those in Oxfordshire and in 1528 Philip Champernowne, who had been Sheriff of Devon in the preceding year, conveyed Aston with appurtenances in Stokenchurch, Chalford, Copcourt & ‘Oxlades‘ to Henry Courtenay, Earl of Devon & Marquess of Exeter, his mother’s brother-in-law. Courtenay immediately exchanged it with Sir Thomas Unton of Wadley (Berks) for Land in Surrey. Sir Thomas died in 1533 and was succeeded by his son Alexander, who, dying in 1547, left the Manor to his eldest son Edward. The Unton’s were a new Family but connected by marriage with England’s Leading Families, particularly with that of Thomas Seymour, Duke of Somerset & Lord Protector. They Held or Rented numerous Manors in Oxfordshire & other Counties. When Sir Edward Unton’s son Edward married Katharine Hastings, daughter of Sir George Hastings, later 4th Earl of Huntingdon, the elder Sir Edward settled Aston Manor & Chequers in Stokenchurch on his son and his wife. Colonel Edward Unton succeeded in 1582. He lived at Wadley (Berks) and in 1584 Leased the Manor-House of Aston Rowant to Robert Belson for 57-yrs at a Rent of £27-9s. a year, with various Lands in Aston & Stokenchurch. Colonel Unton died about 1589, and his brother Henry had succeeded by 1590. When Henry, a friend of the Hattons and a noted Diplomat, died in 1596, the male Line became extinct; his Heirs were his Widow Dorothy, daughter of Sir Thomas Wroughton of Broad Hinton (Wilts.), his sister Cecily, wife of John Wentworth, and his 3 nieces Elizabeth, Anne & Mary Knightly, the daughters of his sister Ann, late wife of Valentine Knightly of Fawley (Bucks). Cecily and the daughters of Ann succeeded to Aston Rowant, but Henry Unton had died heavily in Debt: he owed at least £23,000 and had personal Property worth only £5,000; he had already Mortgaged the Manor to Walter Dennys of Wotton Underwood and at his death it was said that both Stokenchurch & Aston Rowant had been assigned to Sir Henry Poole & Nicholas Payne. The Manor was therefore sold to John Rotherham, Esq, of Great Marlow (Bucks). He settled it in 1600 for 25 years on Sir William Willoughby, the son of his sister Margaret. William, having repurchased the Lease of the Manor House held by Augustine (II) Belson, Granted the Manor to his son Rotherham Willoughby, but Rotherham predeceased his Father in 1613, leaving a child William, who succeeded his grandfather in 1615.
Richard Davis’s Map Of Oxfordshire 1797
Surveyed by a Local Man, Richard Davis of Lewknor and Published in 1797. This large Map consists of 16-Sheets at an impressively detailed scale of 1:31,680 or 2in to 1-mile. No more than 200 Copies were ever made, the evidence is based on all sets of the Map having manuscript serial numbers – this Image is part of No.34. Very few complete Copies survive. In terms of what the Map shows, a clear break has been made from the Saxton-led traditional County Map, as here far more detail than previously is featured. Not only are County & Hundred Boundaries, Rivers & Streams, Towns & Villages, Parks & Woodland depicted, but here we have Roads, Tracks, Hedges, indeed every Field can be seen, and relief is beautifully represented by the use of hachures. Davis was also Topographer to His Majesty, George III.
William Willoughby still held the Manor as late as 1630, when he and his wife Elizabeth conveyed it to Henry Lee of London. Lee died holding Aston & Stokenchurch in 1632 and leaving a young son Henry as Heir. Henry Lee Jr had died by 1642 when his father’s 6 sisters Quitclaimed their Rights in the Manor to various Trustees, who had sold 4/6ths of the Manor by 1647 to John Clerke of Lincoln’s Inn and his son John. Rebecca, the sister of either Henry Lee (I) or his son, had married John Clerke Sr. In 1651 the Clerkes acquired another 1/6th of the Manor; in 1655 the Estate was settled on John Clerke Jr, (d.1683) when he married Judith Rye, and in 1662 he obtained complete possession of all portions of the Manor. In 1670 Aston was the Marriage Portion of his 2nd wife Ann Lane, grandchild of John Lane of London; in 1707 John (III) Clerke settled the Manor on his wife Mary Harrison; he died in 1719 leaving an infant son John (IV) Clerke, who later in 1739 mortgaged Aston & Stokenchurch Manors for £5,000 and in 1743 for £8,400. After his death at Aston House in 1764 his son John (V), Clerke sold the Manor in 1769 for £16,000 to Brig General John Caillaud. John Caillaud had had a distinguished Military career in India and when he retired in 1775 he settled at Aston. In 1800 he Mortgaged the Manor for £8,000 to Isaac Bargrave of Eastry Court (Kent), and before his death in 1812 he conveyed the encumbered Estate to Trustees.
Lambert’s of London Arms
Crest: Out of a Ducal Coronet Or 3 Ostrich Feathers the dexter feather Gules the centre Argent and the sinister Azure
Blazon: Argent on a mount an Oak-tree Vert and a greyhound courant Gules
Motto: Sequitando Si Giunge (By Pursuing One Attains)
The Estate was Sold in 1819 to Philip Thomas Wykeham of Tythrop House & Aston Rowant, and in about 1822 to Sir Francis Desanges. In 1828 Sir Henry Lambert, (Sir Henry John Lambert, 5th Baronet 1792–1858) obtained it with the Manorial Rights. He had married Anna Maria Foley, a descendant of John Clerke (d.1764), Lord of the Manor in the 18thC. After Sir Henry’s death in 1858, Aston Manor was sold to Thomas Taylor, of ‘The Limes‘ in Standish-with-Langtree (Lancs) and of Wigan, a Cotton-spinner.
The Limes at Standish-with-Langtree now Demolished
Taylor (Inset) also bought other neighbouring Property. Previous Owner Lambert’s Aston Estate comprised 954 acres with a yearly value of £1,766. There were 4 Farms on it, but they were Let as 2 to Tenant Farmers, one with 560 acres in Lower Field Farm & Woodway Farm; the other had 184 acres in Upper & Lower Hill Farms. In 1860 Thomas Taylor paid £33,549 for these Farms together with Aston Village and settled down at Aston House. In 1859 the Aston Rowant Estate was described as ‘one of the richest corn-growing Vales in Oxfordshire‘; only about 70 to 80 acres of the 4 Farms were laid down to Grass at this time. Considerably moreover 200 acres – was described as Pasture in 1889, mainly because of the enlarging of Aston Rowant Park by Thomas Taylor. Taylor lived in Aston Rowant House apparently until 1889, when the Estate & Manor were offered for Sale by his Creditors. Sir William C Plowden, KCSI (1832-1915), a distinguished former Member of the Bengal Civil Service, was Lord of the Manor in 1903 (hence Plowden Park); Charles Vincent Sale (High Sheriff in 1925) by 1920, and Edward Hayes Dashwood by 1935. On Dashwood’s death in 1950 the Estate was split up and Manorial Rights lapsed. (hence Dashwood Court)
In the 13thC, a John Milksop (Milesop or Milckesop) held 1-Virgate in Aston of a Geoffrey de Pockele, paying 4s Scutage, while Geoffrey acquitted the Service to the Chief Lords of ‘Hucham’. It is not possible to trace the Descent of this Land in the next 2 Centuries, but by the 16thC, there was a Manor of Milksoppes which was held by the Pigotts of Aston Rowant. They apparently sold it to Sir William Willoughby, Lord of Aston Rowant, who died possessed of it in 1615. There is no further reference to it and the Manor was probably absorbed into the Main Manor of Aston Rowant.
In 1352 a Thomas Crok was building a Chapel on his Aston Rowant Manor. He or a son died in 1371 on the King’s Service in Brittany and his Land in Aston Rowant was then said to consist of 12 acres held by Knight Service of Edward, Prince of Wales, as of the Honour of Wallingford, and of another 40 acres which the Chaplain of Aston Rowant held of him for life. His Heir was his father’s brother, Peter Crok. It has not been possible to trace this smallholding further, but the 17thC Crokes (or Crookes), Tenants of a Messuage & Large House in Aston Rowant, may have had some connection with the Medieval Family.
In 1086 Copcourt must have been one of the 2-Hide Estates called the ‘other Cote‘ which Miles Crispin held. It was probably the one which he held in Demesne, since Copcourt, it seems, was held in Demesne by his successors. It formed part of the ½-Fee held in Aston and followed the Descent of the main Manor there until at least the early 15thC. It was therefore held of the Honour of Wallingford.
A William Crispe held a Virgate in Copcourt of the Lords of Aston as early as 1279 and it was probably this Estate which developed into the later-16thC Copcourt Manor. A Henry Cripps Sr, and Henry Cripps Jr, probably descendants of William Crispe, are recorded at the beginning of the 14thC; by 1427 Henry Cripps, the younger, had died leaving a widow Joan, who granted all his Lands in Kingsey, Towersey, & Tythrop (Bucks.) to John Cottesmore & Peter Fettiplace. A John Cripps, possibly Henry’s son, was ‘Lord of diverse places in Copcote‘ in 1441. By 1527 Christopher Crispe (or Cripps), Gentleman, John Cripps’s grandson, held in Copcourt; in 1575 Christopher’s 7th son, Henry Crispe, was Lord. By 1612 the Manor was held by Nicholas Crispe, who with his wife Susanna and a Charnell Crispe, probably their Heir, alienated it to Sir Richard Wenman of Thame Park in 1620.
It is not known when Chalford became a separate Manor. It was not mentioned by name in the Domesday Book and was then certainly included in Aston Rowant Estate. Like Aston, it was a Member of the Honour of Wallingford. When Brian FitzCount and his wife Maud d’Oilly, Widow of Norman Baron Miles Crispin, held Aston Rowant in the early 12thC they granted the Hamlet of Chalford with 4-Hides of Land to the Prior of Wallingford in free Alms. Later in the 12thC, the Prior acquired 10-acres of the Demesne Land of Aston Rowant in Chalford from Alan FitzAmfrey, Lord of Aston, and by 1279, when he was returned as Holding in Chief of the Earl of Cornwall, he had also obtained the Land of a William of Chalford. In 1316 he was again returned as Lord of Chalford, and in 1324 was Granted Protection in a number of Manors including Chalford & Stokenchurch. The Priory leased the Manor in the later Middle Ages: in 1360 to Lady Eleanor Rohant at a rent of £60 a year and in 1473 to William and Agnes Hester and their son Henry for 30-yrs at a yearly rent of 100s. This Lease was renewed later in 1497 when William Hester and his son Richard were Granted the Manor on a 50-yr Lease. On the dissolution of Wallingford Priory in 1528, the Manor was given to Cardinal Wolsey to endow his Oxford College. On his fall Chalford must have reverted to the Crown, for in 1531 the King Granted it to St Albans Abbey. When that House was Dissolved in 1539, Chalford was Granted to Bartholomew Pigott of Aston Rowant, who had conveyed it by 1544, without Royal Permission, to Sir John Williams, later Lord Williams of Thame, the Master of the King’s Jewel House. Lord Williams died in possession of the Manor and Chalford went to Sir Henry Norreys by Right of his wife Margaret (or Margery), Lord Williams’s daughter. In 1561 they alienated the Manor to Richard Belson of Kingston Blount and his wife Elizabeth. The Belsons had been in the Parish since the 15thC at least when Thomas Belson, Yeoman, had held Land under John Champernowne, Lord of Aston Rowant. Richard died in 1569 at Kingston Blount, leaving a Widow & 4 sons. His heir Bartholomew was a Minor and died in 1575; his 2nd son Augustine, also a Minor, succeeded. In 1586 Augustine and his wife Mary conveyed Chalford Manor to Henry Unton, Lord of Aston, who conveyed it in 1589 to William Hester of Aston. Hester was presumably the Tenant and a descendant of the William Hester who acquired a 50-year lease in 1497. In 1608 Hester settled Chalford on Sarah Andrewes, the wife of his son Robert, and after William Hester’s death in 1618, Robert & Sarah with John Hester the younger conveyed the Estate to William Nelson & Bartholomew Pigott. In 1634 it was conveyed to John Stone of Ridgemont (Beds.) and his son Richard.
On Richard Stone‘s death in 1661, Chalford passed to his son John, who married Catherine Carleton, eventual Heiress to Brightwell Baldwin. John was succeeded by his sons Carleton (d.1708) & John (d.1732), but both died childless. A cousin Francis Lowe of Clifton (Bucks), a grandson of Dorothy, daughter of Richard Stone & Frances Lowe of Clifton, then obtained the Estates. Lowe’s heir, on his death in 1754, was his daughter Catherine, who married in 1774 William, son of William Lowndes of Astwood Bury (Bucks). On this marriage, Lowndes changed his name to Lowndes-Stone in accordance with his father-in-law’s Will. The Heir of Catherine & William (d.1733) was their son William (d.1830), who was followed by his son William Francis (d.1858). At some unknown date, the Manor was incorporated in Thame Park Estate with which it descended until 1917, when it was sold to E J Browning, Esq., who in 1938 sold it to E B Montesole, Esq, then the present Owner.
OS Map 1919 Copcourt, Chalford, Sydenham
In the Domesday Book, there were 2 Estates in Kingston, both held by Norman Baron Miles Crispin. The Overlordship of both Descended with his other Lands to the Honour of Wallingford and its successor, the Honour of Ewelme. Miles’s Estate in Kingston, assessed at 7-Hides, probably represented Kingston Manor, which from the 12th to the 17thCs was usually held for ¼-Fee. By 1166 it was held by Hugh de la Mare, almost certainly a descendant of William de la Mare, the Domesday Book holder of Beversbrook in Hilmarton (Wilts). Henry II conferred on Hugh, in gratitude for his Services to Empress Maud, the Manor of Didcot (Berks.), to be held for ½-Fee. Kingston clearly represented the ¼-Fee held by Hugh in 1166 of the Honour of Wallingford, Didcot & Kingston the ¾-Fee of 1196, when Hugh had been succeeded by Geoffrey de la Mare. Geoffrey, a Knight, was presumably his son; he was alive in 1212 but had been succeeded by 1219 by his son Hugh. Hugh, who was also a Knight, held Kingston in 1235 and died probably in 1237. His Heiress was his daughter Ellen, the wife of Sir Andrew le Blount, son of Robert le Blount, a London Alderman. Sir Andrew was a man of some substance, for he inherited the Family’s Essex Property, as well as Penkridge (Staffs.) from his uncle Henry de London, Archbishop of Dublin. Emma, Hugh de la Mare’s Widow, & Ellen’s Mother released all her Rights in Kingston Manor to her daughter and her husband. Andrew died in 1259 and in the same year his Widow paid 200 marks for the custody of his Lands & Heirs, saving to the King the marriage of the Heirs. By 1261 she had married without License David de Offington, a Yeoman of Bishop Wingham of London, and later a supporter of Simon de Montfort. She was pardoned and in 1279 her husband held Kingston by the courtesy of England and continued to do so until 1297. He was dead by 1300 and the Manor returned to the Le Blounts.
Andrew le Blount’s eldest son Robert, also a supporter of Simon de Montfort, probably died early and was succeeded by his brother Sir Hugh le Blount, who held Kingston by 1300, and in 1305 was given Free Warren in his Demesne Lands, including Kingston. On his death, probably in 1327, he was buried in Aston Rowant Church, where his Brass once was. Hugh le Blount made 2 marriages. His eldest son by the 1st was another Hugh, who was dead by 1315 when his Widow Margery released her Dower rights in Kingston & Didcot to her father-in-law. Her eldest son Hugh III (d.1361) inherited the Family Lands in Essex & Staffordshire, but in 1327 Hugh(I) had settled Kingston on Margery for life, and then on her younger sons Robert & Nicholas. However, on his death Kingston was held by his Widow Nicola, who married as her 2nd husband John de Alveton, who served as Sheriff & Escheator of Oxfordshire and bought up other Lands in the County. In 1337 Hugh III released his Rights in Kingston to the Alvetons and later Joan, the Widow of Robert le Blount, released her Rights. By 1345 the Alvetons were in possession of the Manor and settled its succession on their son John & his wife Margaret. However, the younger John died before his father, and on the death of John de Alveton in 1361 the male line of the Family came to an end. His heiress was his daughter Margaret, the wife of Sir Thomas de Williamscote of Kiddington.
In 1362 the Williamscotes sold Kingston as well as other Oxfordshire Land to Sir Thomas le Blount the elder, who had fought at Crecy and was Knighted in 1347. He was almost certainly the son of Hugh I & Nicola, and so recovered one of his Family’s alienated Manors. He Granted Kingston for life to Margaret, the Widow of the younger John de Alveton, who had married as her 2nd husband Sir William de Lucy, a Wiltshire Knight, but Sir Thomas was in possession of it by 1390 & in 1394 he leased it for 7-yrs at £20 to his eldest son Sir Thomas le Blount. The younger Sir Thomas, who was a Knight of Richard II, was Executed at Oxford in 1400 for his part in the conspiracy to assassinate Henry IV at Christmas 1399, and after his death, the Manor was returned to his father. The elder Sir Thomas was dead by 1407 and Kingston was inherited by his youngest son John, the last member of the Family. In that year he settled it on himself and his Heirs with remainder to John Chiltern of Bridport (Dorset), who was to pay his Executors £100. John le Blount was evidently dead by 1421 when Chiltern, with Edmund & Elizabeth Dauntsey, sold the Manor to Nicholas Wotton.
Nicholas Wotton, MP of Ramsbury (Wilts), was a Lawyer who acquired a large Landed Estate in Wiltshire: he had died by 1454. Kingston was inherited by his daughter & coheiress Agnes, the wife of William Yorke of East Hagbourne (Berks). William Yorke died in 1476 and was succeeded by his son John, who died in 1513 or 1514 and then by his grandson Thomas Yorke, upon whose death in 1542 the male line of the Family came to an end. One of Yorke’s sisters, Eleanor, had married Robert Hungerford of Cadenham in Bremhill (Wilts) and Kingston thus came into the Hungerford Family, which for a time gave the Village its name. Kingston descended to the Hungerfords’ son Robert (d.1558), and then to Robert’s son Walter, who died holding it in 1601. Walter’s son John Hungerford sold the Manor in 1610 for £8,200 to Robert Chapman of Gray’s Inn. Chapman may have been acting on behalf of Sir William Willoughby, Lord of Aston Rowant, who died in 1615 holding Kingston Manor. However, in 1613 he had pledged it to Nicholas Pigott of Aston Rowant as security for a Loan of £700, and since the Manor was not redeemed it passed to the Pigotts. In 1619 John Pigott, Nicholas’s son and Heir, Leased it for 999 years to his brother Bartholomew Pigott of London, who was holding it in 1626.
After this, the descent of the Manor cannot be traced until 1756 when Joseph Wingrave of Stokenchurch, formerly a London Wine-cooper, sold it to Thomas Blackall of Great Haseley. By this time most of the Land had been sold. Blackall bought up much Property in Oxfordshire, including Great Milton Manor, and Kingston descended with this until 1829, when Walter Long, the Blackalls’ heir, sold it, with about 165 acres, for £5,950 to John Brown. Brown had married Mary Elizabeth Clerke, the daughter and heiress of Richard Clerke (d.1820) and Lady Mary Foley. The Family had long been associated with the Parish, for they held Stokenchurch Manor and they had been Lords of Aston Rowant until Richard Clerke’s half-brother John (d.1792) had sold it. On John Brown’s death in 1870 he was succeeded by his son, Arthur Henry Clerke Brown (d.1889), and by his grandson Henry Clerke Brown (d.1919). The latter’s son, John Clerke-Brown, the principal Landowner in Kingston, was Lord of the Manor in 1958.
Miles Crispin‘s other Domesday Estate in Kingston was assessed at 5-Hides and was held of him by Humphrey, who was also his Tenant at Brinkworth (Wilts). This Estate, lying partly in Kingston and partly in Linley, was held for 1-Fee, and was one of the 3-Fees held in 1166 by Gilbert de Bellewe of the Honour of Wallingford. It descended to Geoffrey de Bella Aqua, who died in about 1200. Geoffrey, who also held Fleet Marston (Bucks), had 2 daughters, between whom his Lands were divided. Miles Nernuit, or Narnett, the son of his daughter Maud, obtained half of the Fee in Kingston, and this ½-Fee, known as Narnett’s Fee, descended in the Narnett Family with Pitstone Neyrnut Nanor (Bucks). In 1279 and 1300 John Narnett was holding in Kingston & Linley, but no later record of the Family has been found in Kingston, and in the 15thC it died out in the male line. In 1428 the ½-Fee in Kingston was said to be held of John Narnett’s heirs. Narnett’s Fee, also known as Kingston Narnett formed a separate Tithing at the Courts of the Honours of Wallingford & Ewelme until the 19thC, but the descent of the Property has not been traced. In the 17thC, the Manor-House of Narnett’s fee in Kingston belonged to Christopher Petty of Tetsworth, who sold it to Andrew Crooke (d.1631), a Kingston Freeholder.
Geoffrey de Bella Aqua’s other daughter Alice sold in 1223 her ½-Fee in Kingston & Linley, together with her half of Fleet Marston (Bucks), to Ralph de Verney. The property was known as Verney’s Fee and descended in the Verney family of Fleet Marston probably until about 1375. In 1378 it was sold to John James of Wallingford, who in 1394 was granted Free Warren (Game) in his Demesne Lands including those in Kingston, and who died in 1396 holding land there which was inherited by his son Robert James. In 1424 the Verney Estate was sold by Thomas Chaucer and other Feoffees to Nicholas Wotton, who had just acquired Kingston Manor. Although the Land thus became united to the Manor Lands, it remained a separate Tithing, sometimes known as ‘Kingston Varney‘ or ‘Kingston Lilly‘ (Linley), at the Honour Courts until the 18thC.
Reproduced from VCH Oxfordshire XVIII (2016), available online at www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/oxon/vol18