Eie, Kingesie (12thC); Kingsley (15thC); Kingeshay (17thC). Eie, meaning island. This refers to a dry area of Land in the Marshes of the Aylesbury Vale, a manuscript of 1174 records Kingsey also as simply Eya, but thereafter the Toponym gained prefixes to distinguish the Village from adjacent ‘Islands’. A manuscript of 1194 refers to Kingseie, which has evolved into Kingsey. Saxon Antiquities have been found in the Parish.
Kingsey is a Parish with an area (including the Liberty of Tythrop) of 1,431 acres, of which 7 acres are covered by Water. The greater part (1,022 acres) is in Permanent Pasture, while only 315 acres are Arable Land and 45 acres Woods & Plantations. The soil is heavy Loam, the subsoil Clay, and the chief crops are wheat & beans. The Land is level, the height generally being about 240-ft above the Ordnance Datum. The Parish was transferred to Oxfordshire for Civil Purposes in 1894.
The Village stands in a central position on the Thame – Risborough Road, the Church being in the middle, with the Manor-house & School on the South-east and the Vicarage a ¼-mile to the North-West. A Stream feeding a Decoy Pond forms a part of the Northern Boundary of the Parish.
The following place-names have been found: Parisham, Rudanache (15thC), Fornyfield & My Lord of Essex’s Ground (20 acres included a Vineyard of 5a 20 p) (16thC).
In 1086 Tythrop was assessed at 5-Hides as part of the Land of the Bishop of Bayeux. Half this land, afterwards known as Tythrop Kingsey alias Rose Kingsey Manor, had been sub-infeudated by the Bishop to Wadard. It was afterwards attached to the Barony of Arsic in Oxfordshire and paid 21s-8d yearly for the Ward of Dover Castle. The last reference to this Overlordship occurs in 1602.
The other half of Tythrop, distinguished from Rose Kingsey in the early 17thC as Wascourt alias Baylies Heyes Manor, had been sub-infeudated in 1086 by the Bishop of Bayeux to Ilbert Lacy and later appertained to the Fee of Pontefract & the Earldom of Lincoln. No reference to this Overlordship has been found after the end of the 13thC.
In the middle of the 13thC, Robert de la Rose held this half of Tythrop and he or another Robert de la Rose was Holding it in 1261. His daughter & heir married William Saunderton who was Holding in 1279. This Land Descended with Saunderton St Mary to William Saunderton who in 1449 & 1450, with John & Alice Logge & others, conveyed Tythrop Manor to John Norris, who made a settlement including it in 1462. It does not appear, however, to have Descended in his Family. It is not included in the Lands held by him at his death in 1467 nor by his son William, who died about 1509, although John, the latter’s grandson & heir, may be identical with the John Norris who, Holding Tythrop Manor in Right of his wife Elizabeth, Quit-claimed it in 1523 to Sir Henry Marny. From that time it Descended with the Principal Manor of Kingsey.
A Mesne Lordship in Tythrop was connected with Little Haseley Oxfordshire. It was held by William de Brug and his wife Olive in her right in the early 13thC and apparently corresponds to that held later in the Century by William de Stalebroc & in 1279 by Robert son of Henry. The Barantines or Barentynes held Little Haseley Manor for over 2-Centuries and in 1478 Dru Barantine owned Mesne Lordship Rights in Tythrop.
At his death in 1349 Sir John Burghersh was Tenant of part of the Wase Lands in Tythrop, corresponding apparently to the Tythrop Manor held by his son John’s Widow Ismania & their son-in-law Sir John Arundell in addition to the 2nd Manor in Kingsey (qv). Some Property in Tythrop was included in the conveyance of that Manor in 1502.
Richard de Parco was Tenant in Tythrop in the early 13thC, Gilbert Wase (or Wace) later in the same Century & William Wase in 1254. He or another William Wase was holding this half of Tythrop in 1279 and his son William in 1346. On the death of his son Sir Gilbert Wase in the early 15thC the Wase Lands passed to a distant relative, Sir Richard Camoys. At his death in 1349 Sir John Burghersh was Tenant of part of the Wase Lands in Tythrop, corresponding apparently to the Tythrop Manor held by his son John’s Widow Ismania & their son-in-law Sir John Arundell in addition to the 2nd Manor in Kingsey (qv). Some Property in Tythrop was included in the conveyance of that Manor in 1502.
His Feoffees in 1416 Granted Tythrop Manor to his Widow Joan for life, with remainder successively in tail-male to his sons John, Ralph & Hugh, and to his own Right heirs. On the death of Hugh 2nd Lord Camoys, son of Sir Richard Camoys, in 1426, his sisters & co-heirs were Margaret wife of Ralph Radmylde & Eleanor wife of Roger, afterwards Sir Roger Lewknor. Ralph Radmylde died Seised of half this Manor in 1443, his wife having predeceased him. Their son Robert, then a Minor, obtained a Licence in 1448 to enter into his Heritage without suing Livery from the King. It has not been found possible to trace the Descent of this part of the original Manor further.
On the death of Sir Roger Lewknor in 1478 the Heritage of his wife Eleanor, including Tythrop Manor in Kingsey, passed to their son Thomas. An Act of Attainder & Forfeiture against him was reversed in 1485. His son Sir Roger Lewknor after 1498 Granted this property under the name of Kingsey Manor to Edmund Dudley for life. Owing to his Attainder it was taken into the KKingseyKingseying’s hands in his lifetime. In 1538 Sir Roger & Elizabeth Lewknor, with the concurrence apparently of their son-in-law William, afterwards Sir William Barantine, conveyed this Manor to Sir John Harecourt, probably in Trust, since Sir Roger Lewknor, in his Will dated January 1542, left it ‘as much as in me lyeth‘ to Roger Lewknor for life. This Property evidently passed later in the Century into the same hands as Rose Kingsey (qv), and the Farm of Wasecourt alias Baylies Heys about 1581 was leased by William Wright to his brother Edmund & transferred to the latter in 1591. He Settled it in 1594 in jointure on his 2nd wife, Mary Norrington, who after his death in 1602 married James Fairborne and defended this Property against her husband’s son Edmund Wright. In 1617 Mary Fairborne, then a Widow, with Vincent Wright sold it to Sir Thomas Elliott & Edward Penn. This Property, as mentioned under Rose Kingsey (qv), had been previously Granted by the Crown to Sir Henry Spiller and is not afterwards distinguishable from the Modern Estate of Tythrop Manor.
Tythrop (Duchitorp, (11thC); Tuphrop, Twythrop, (13thC); Titethrop, (14thC) is a Liberty in the West of Kingsey Parish which was assessed in 1086 under the Lewknor Hundred, Oxfordshire. References to it under this Hundred have been found to the middle 16thC. Tythrop House stands in a Park of 120 acres. It is a fine Stone House and is the Seat of Mr Philip Digby Wykeham, Owner of the whole of Tythrop & the greater part of Kingsey.
Kingsey is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey, but was included under the Royal Manor of Brill (qv). Henry I Granted the Land of Kingsey, afterwards Kingsey Manor, to William de Bolebec, and it was held of the Barony of Bolebec by the Service of a Knight’s Fee, last mentioned in 1349.
Herbert de Bolebec died Seised of Kingsey in the time of Henry I, and his son Gilbert was Holding under Henry II. He died about 1180 and his son, who in 1185 was in the custody of William de Jarpenville (Charpunville), is probably the Herbert de Bolebec who was Lord of Kingsey about 1197 & was living in 1210. William de Bolebec is named later in the Century & Gilbert de Bolebec in 1236. Gilbert died Seised about 1247 when his heir was his son Herbert. He died about 1268 and was succeeded by his brother Gilbert de Bolebec, who claimed View of Frankpledge in 1286, and in the early 17thC this Right is referred to as pertaining to the Manor. He held Kingsey until his death, about 1298. His son Simon was said to be his heir, but the Judgement was afterwards given in favour of another son Henry, and his Widow Agnes had Dower. In 1304 Henry de Bolebec Granted Kingsey Manor to Eleanor de Ewelme and her nephews Geoffrey & William Neyrnut, sons of Sir John Neyrnut.
Manorial Court Rolls are extant for the years 1318–24, 1351–67, for 1414 & 1460, also some Ministers’ Accounts of the middle-14th & 15thCs. A Watermill appertained to Kingsey Manor.
At his death in 1349 Sir John Burghersh was Tenant of part of the Wase Lands in Tythrop, corresponding apparently to the Tythrop Manor held by his son John’s Widow Ismania and their son-in-law Sir John Arundell in addition to the 2nd manor in Kingsey (qv). Some Property in Tythrop was included in the conveyance of that Manor in 1502.
An Estate in Kingsey extending into Towersey was also called Kingsey Manor. Part of it appertained in the middle 14thC to Ewelme Manor, Oxfordshire, and the whole was held in the early 15thC of the heirs of Sir John Neyrnut, in 1473 of the King, and in 1486 of Sir William Norris. Edmund Bacon held the Land in Kingsey pertaining to Ewelme Manor at his death in 1336. It had been Settled in remainder on his heirs by his 1st wife Joan. Their daughter Margaret had married William de Kerdeston, and he was Granted custody of these Lands in 1337 during the Minority of his daughter Maud She afterwards married John Burghersh, who died in 1349 and in 1362, on a final Partition of Edmund Bacon’s Estates, Kingsey Manor was awarded to their son John Burghersh, then a Minor. He was Granted Seisin in 1366 and died about 1392. On the death of his Widow Ismania in 1420 this Manor passed by agreement with Thomas & Maud Chaucer in 1418 to John & Margaret Arundell, Maud & Margaret being the daughters & co-heirs of John & Ismania Burghersh. John Arundell died in 1423 and in 1472 his son & heir Sir John Arundell conveyed the Estate to John Henton and other Feoffees for the use of Geoffrey Dormer of Thame, an arrangement which was still holding later in the Century. In 1502 Geoffrey & Alice Dormer quitclaimed it for themselves and the heirs of Alice to their son Peter & his wife Agnes. This Land does not reappear as a separate Entity.
Geoffrey & William Neyrnut both died, apparently, before 1316, and Eleanor in 1347 Enfeoffed Sir Robert Marny, who thereupon Granted it to her for life. It reverted to him on her death in 1349. Kingsey Manor was in the King’s Hands in 1351 with other Lands belonging to Sir Robert Marny, but it was restored to him in 1352, a temporary Grant to William of Salop in that year being cancelled. Marny Leased it for 10-yrs in 1363 to John of Newport, Thomas Young & Edmund Barnabe. In 1376–77 the Manor was settled on Sir Robert Marny, Alice his wife & their heirs in Tail-Male, and in 1383 their Title was confirmed to them by John Neyrnut, great-nephew & heir of Eleanor de Ewelme. Kingsey descended to Sir William Marny, who died Seised in 1414, leaving a son Thomas. He died about 1424, and later in this year, on the death of his infant daughter Margaret, his brother John Marny succeeded, Dower being assigned to the Widow Margaret, afterwards the wife of Sir Thomas Echingham. In 1469 Sir John Marny, Knight, was fined £800 as a Lancastrian, and he and his wife Joan were allowed to Grant his 2 parts of this Manor to Sir Thomas Tyrell, his sister’s husband, and other Feoffees for purposes of Settlement. On the death of Sir John Marny in 1477 his Feoffees obtained a Licence to Grant Kingsey Manor to his Widow Joan for life with remainder to the son & heir Henry. He succeeded his mother in 1478 and was Knight both of the Bath & of the Garter, and became the 1st Lord Marny shortly before his death in 1523. His son & successor John Lord Marny died in 1525 leaving 2 daughters & co-heirs, Katherine & Elizabeth, both Minors, but Elizabeth finally got all the Manor of Kingsey. About 1542 she married Lord Thomas Howard, who in 1559 became Viscount Howard of Bindon. She died before 1565 and in 1576 her husband with their son Henry Howard obtained Leave from Parliament to sell Kingsey Manor in order to defray Debts to the Crown. It was purchased by William Wright in 1577. He or his son granted it to his mother & her 2nd husband, named Gamage, for their Lives, and in 1589 applied to the Privy Council for redress against her Action in making a Deed of Gift of the Estate to a 3rd person contrary to their Agreement. In 1610 he settled the Manor in Tail-Male, and his Will was proved in January 1610–11 by his Widow Elizabeth. Further Settlements were made by his son William, who sold it in 1615 to Sir John Dormer.
A small Property in Tythrop, called in the early 17thC Rolles alias Rolves, originally Parcel of Kingsey Manor, was acquired in Fee from Gilbert de Bolebec by Nicholas son of Adam de Risborough and descended to his son Ralph and to Edmund son & heir of Ralph’s son described as Gilbert Rolves. Edmund Rolves and his wife Maud are referred to in 1353, and the former died Seised in 1361 and was succeeded by his son & heir John. Rolves, then in the Tenure of John Elmes or his assigns, was included in the Grant to Sir Henry Spiller in 1610.
It appears to have passed in marriage with his daughter Elizabeth to Sir Robert Spiller, who owned it in 1627. At this time, apparently on a 2nd marriage, he seems to have sold Kingsey Manor to his father, Sir Henry Spiller, subject to a payment of £3,000 to his daughter Jane at the age of 18. In 1646 she Petitioned for the allowance of her Portion from her grandfather’s sequestered Estate, and in consequence, some reduction was made in 1648 in the heavy fine which he had incurred. In 1650 the claim of her husband James Herbert as heir-at-law in Right of his wife to Sir Henry Spiller (with certain exceptions) was allowed. He settled the Manor in 1667 & died in 1677, his wife surviving him. Kingsey Manor passed to 2 of their sons in succession, Thomas, who was buried at Thame in 1702, and James, who was one of the Members for Aylesbury in that year, and died in 1709. His son James, who succeeded him, died in 1721 and left a son, another
James Herbert, who died when Member of Parliament for Oxford in 1740. Philip, brother of the last James, died without issue in 1749. One Moiety of Kingsey Manor passed to his sister Sophia, wife of Philip 6th Viscount Wenman and descended to their son the 7th Viscount, who died without issue in 1800. His nephew & heir William Richard Wykeham died a few months later. His daughter & heir Sophia sold her Moiety about 1813 to her uncle Mr Philip Thomas Wykeham, who in 1810 had inherited the other Moiety from his great-aunt Anne Herbert, the other sister & co-heir of Philip Herbert. Mr Philip Thomas Herbert Wykeham succeeded his father in 1832, and on his death in 1879 bequeathed Kingsey Manor to his younger nephew, Mr Philip Digby Wykeham of Tythrop House.
Country house. Early 17thC E-plan House, remodelled by 1680. Interior plasterwork by William Morris I, Katherine Morris & William Morris II, 1730s. Altered early 19thC & restored 1960s. Brick, the bulk of the North Front stuccoed with incised Masonry lines. Timber modilli on Cornices. Hipped Tiled Roofs. 2-Storeys plus Dormers & Basement under early 17thC parts.
North or Entrance Front has 3-Bay projecting Wings each end & 5-Bay Centre with modern Pedimented Porch flanked by Colonnade. West Elevation has Single-Storey 3-Bay addition at South West. Plinth, Band course & Modillion Cornice surrounds House, except 3-Storey Centre of East Front which has moulded Brick Cornice & Pulvinated Frieze between 2nd & 3rd Storeys. 19thC Sashes, except North Front, where 5 Centre Bays have 1730s Sashes with thick glazing bars.
South Front has 3 Gabled leaded-light Dormers either side of centrepiece and evidence of Caroline Cement Architraves to previous Cross Casement windows. Central Glazed Door in Stone Doorcase of 2and Corinthian Columns, entablature, bracketed dentil Cornice & Segmental Pediment. 1st-Floor window architraved with enriched Scroll Supports.
East Front has one Dormer each side of raised centre Bays. East Front of 9-Bays, the Centre 3 set forward with 3rd Storey crowned by Balustrade. Left-hand middle Bay windows blank, outer windows of right Bays blank windows. End walls of Wings on North Front Brick with 2 Sashes each. Early 18thC Sashes on North Front have Keystones. West Elevation has 6 windows to 1st-Floor, only centre 2 glazed, others blank. 2 Sashes only on Ground Floor. Stacks tall with panelled faces and moulded cornice heads.
Interior. Full height Hall with 1st-Floor Balustraded Balcony on all 4 sides, supported on large Acanthus Modillion Brackets. Egg & dart Cornices. Plasterwork by Morris includes Portrait Medallions of Homer, Virgil (?) Milton & Pope. To West of Hall is Staircase Bay with very fine elaborate pierced Balustrade Panels to Staircase carved in Floral Scrolls inhabited by Wyverns & Snakes. Carved in Elm. Foliage carved Strings & Soffits with Egg & Dart Corniced handrails. Later Acanthus Console to lowest Newel. Dogleg Plan. Ornate Pendants below Newels. Plasterwork panels & full-length Figures of Juno & Athena, busts of Mercury, Mars & Zeus. Timber Doorcases & overdoors with Bay Leaf pulvinated Friezes & Door surrounds. Corniced tops. Modillion Cornice. Staircase Carving attributed to Edward Pierce II (1630-95), mainly on stylistic grounds (cf Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire). Centre room on 1st-Floor South Front has pre-1680 Timber Cornice with pulvinated Bay leaf frieze below box cornice. Bay leaf architraved Doorcases. Other rooms on both Floors have modillion box cornices and Egg & Dart corniced dado rails and enriched skirting boards. Upstairs Rooms in West Wing have dentil cornices and Acanthus friezed dado rails. Left-hand Ground Floor Room has Marble Fireplace from Ashburnham House with Corinthian Order. Victorian reeded doorcases. Centre Ground Floor room has Fireplace with console brackets & festoons, and overmantel with a Mirror in lugged surround flanked by pilasters and topped by scroll pediment, probably 1730s. Right Ground Floor Room has Egg & Dart architraved windows. Overdoors with foliage friezes below cornices. Hall has Rococo centrepiece plasterwork to ceiling later than rest of scheme. The History of the House is complex, but appears to have been built for Henry Spiller after 1619. The original one room deep E-plan House with Hall & Staircase Bay was doubled in thickness by the addition of a Suite of Rooms along the South before 1680 and the earlier House altered & remodelled for James Herbert I, 6th child of the 4th Earl of Pembroke, who died in 1676, to be succeeded by his son, also James. James Herbert IV, who owned Tythrop from 1721 to his death in 1749 employed the Morris Family to redecorate the Interior. In the late 18th or early 19thC the House was rendered and the Attic Storey replaced by a low pitched Slate Roofed Attic. The original Roof form was reinstated in 1960s, and the render removed from all but the North Front. The East, West Fronts and the North Elevations of the Wings were cased in new Brickwork. County Life, 27 February 1904.
An engraving by Henry Winstanley dated 1680 shows Tythrop and its Stable Block in detail, including leaded cross casement windows.
Stable Block to West of Tythrop House
Stable Block. Built by 1680. Altered 18th, 19thC but restored to 17thC appearance in 1982. Brick with cement dressings and Ashlar doorcase. Coved eaves to hipped old tile Roof. 2-Storeys. East Front facing House is of 7-Bays with central Doorcase with arched rusticated surround flanked by pilasters & entablature. Ball-finials to pilasters & pediment. Pediment has Arched Niche. Leaded cross-casements in cement architraved surrounds. Band course. 1st-Floor has seven architraved oval windows with quadrant blocks. Rusticated quoins. South or garden side has blank ground floor wall and 4 oval windows to first floor. Northside has Stable Doors to Ground Floor. West Elevation in rubblestone with 5 Sashes to 1st-Floor, Stable Doors to Ground Floor. Flanking Stacks. In 1982 the Stable Block was restored by Eric Throssell, FRIBA, to its original appearance as shown in the Engraving by Henry Winstanley dated 1680. This involved reconstructing the Doorcase & Ground Floor windows which had been altered 18th-19thC. It is thought that the original Doorcase came from the early 17thC House, and had been moved here when Tythrop was remodelled c.1660-1680.
Tythrop Park 10 acres of Gardens surround a late 17thC Manor House, set within 60 acres of Parkland. The Gardens have recently undergone some major changes, with a hard Landscape design by ‘Robert Myers’ incorporating within the old walled area: A Pool Garden with grass rich borders and a white & green theme. A Kitchen/Cutting Garden with a new Glasshouse at its centre, also a long Oak Arbored Walk with old rambling Roses. In contrast the Gardens around the House have a more traditional feel, with a large intricate Buxus Parterre , deep mixed Borders, a large Pond, Rose Gardens and many old trees & shrubs.
From 1937 to 1940 Tythrop House, Kingsey, became home to Basque children escaping the Spanish Civil War, followed by Jewish Child Refugees fleeing from Nazi persecution in Europe. Occupation by the Jewish refugees ended in 1940 when the premises were requisitioned by the War Office. During the period of occupation, the House & Estate were owned by Magdalen College, Oxford University.
Basque & Jewish Refugees at Tythrop House, Kingsey, 1937-40
The Church of St Nicholas, consisting of Chancel, Nave, Organ Chamber, Vestry, and South-west Tower with Spire, is a modern building in the style of the 15thC, erected in 1892-93, to replace a late 18thC Church, much of the old material being re-used. The Tower contains a Ring of 3-Bells: the 1st, inscribed ‘Feare God 1632,’ is by Ellis Knight; the 2nd, 1625, and the 3rd, 1628, are both by James Keene; there is also a Small Bell undated.
The Plate consists of a Silver Cup, 2 Patens & a Flagon, all given by James Herbert in 1710.
The Registers begin in 1538.
The Advowson of Kingsey Church was alienated from the Manor and given to Rochester Priory by Gilbert de Bolebec in the time of Henry III. The Church was then a Chapel to Haddenham, but in 1231 a Vicar was instituted to it. Kingsey Church was valued at £6-13s-4d yearly in 1291 & at £8-13s-4d in 1535. The Advowson of the Vicarage and also the Rectory (Leases excepted) have descended with that of Haddenham, and belong to the Dean & Chapter of Rochester Cathedral.
Leases of the Rectory were held by Thomas Boller in 1490 & 1517, and by the Herberts of Kingsey & Tythrop (qv), who were also Lessees of the Advowson in the 17th & 18thCs.
Lights in the Church were maintained from Lands called the Park and Foxhills. Foxhill Close & the Lamplands were included in the Grant of 1610 to Sir Henry Spiller. Foxhills survives as the name of a Farm.
Philip Herbert, by his Will proved in the PCC 14th July 1722, bequeathed £300 for the benefit of the Poor; Ann Herbert, by her Will proved in the PCC 22nd February 1810, bequeathed £100 and Philip Thomas Wykeham, by his Will proved in the PCC 29th October 1832, also bequeathed £100 for the Poor. These Legacies are now represented by £573-1s-4d Consols.
Philip Thomas Herbert Wykeham, by his Will proved at Oxford 12th July 1879, bequeathed £200 for the benefit of the Poor, which was invested in £204-1s-7d Consols. The sums of Stock are held by the Official Trustees, the annual dividends of which, amounting together to £19-8s-4d, are applied in the distribution of Coal at Christmas among all the Cottagers in the Village, each receiving about 15 cwt.