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Augusta Elizabeth Brickdale Corbet.

The family of Corbet; its life and times (Volume 2) online

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John Welds, father and son. I do not quite know their exact relationship, but we may assume
them to have been uncle and first cousin to Sir John's sister-in-law, Anne Weld, the widow of
Sir John's elder brother, Richard, of Stoke. Sir John's maternal relations, no doubt, brought
him into close touch with the Parliamentary party, and his mother was also nearly related to the
Cromwell family. I do not think his many sons can have been very striking personalities. I
have, however, only notes of three of them, and these were all ardent Royalists. Sir John, " The
Patriot," died in 1662, and was buried in the Church at Market Drayton. His widow, Anne
Mainwaring, called ' ' The good Lady Corbet, ' ' lived for many years after him, masterful to the end,
if we may judge from the commands left in her will. I do not know whether Vincent or John
was the elder ; they were the two eldest of the ten sons. Vincent predeceased his father. He
died in 1654. The State Papers of the day just mention him, stating that he was Captain of a
Troop of Horse in the 5th West India Regiment under the command of General Venables and
Colonel Anthony Buller. He married Elizabeth Church in 1640, but left no children, and died
before his father, " The Patriot." It is clear from his will that he did not feel quite sure of his
father's intentions towards him. He appoints his wife his Executrix, and desired that his wife
at her death should leave anything she may have inherited from his father to be equally divided
between his brothers and sisters, Henry and Arthur, and Frances and Susanna. Of these last two
brothers, Henry alone married ; his wife was Catherine, the sister of Lord Cholmondeley. Frances
was a year or two older than Susanna and married in 1655 David Maurice, of Penebont, Co. Den-
bigh. Susanna became the wife of George Spurstow, of Chester. The remaining six sons — for
John succeeded his father in the Baronetcy — were Richard, George, Reynold, Humphrey, Rowland,
and Robert ; and the daughters married as follows : Anne was the wife of Nathaniel Desborough ;
Margaret married Wm. Stafford, of Blatherwick, Northants ; Magdalen was the wife of Sir
Humphrey Briggs ; Grace was the wife of Sir Wm. Pulteney ; Alice was the wife of Thos. Cotton,
of Pulley, Salop, and, secondly, of Bishop Wood, the Divine ; Dorothy married John Shelbury,
and her twin sister, Meriel, Sir Henry Henne, of ToUey, Berks. ; and another Anne married Robert
Anstruther, of Wheatley, Yorks. Thus all the children of this amazingly numerous family are
accounted for ; and we will merely add a few remarks on the Dame Anne (" The good Lady
Corbet's ") will and then turn to the life of the new Baronet, her son, Sir John. Lady Corbet died
in 1682. She outlived many of her children, and left her kinsman, Charles Maynwaringe, Dame
Magdalen Briggs, and her son Arthur her Executors.

Lady Corbet gave directions in her will that she should be buried in the Church at Drayton, near
to the tomb of her husband, and that not more than £100 should be expended on her funeral,
which she considered ought to suffice to ensure that all should be performed " in a decent manner,
and yet to have regard to my degree and quality, and being desirous to avoide all vaine ostentation,
and I desire my Executors within two years to expend £$0 in setting up in some convenient place
in the Chancell of the Church of Drayton neare the place where my bodie shall be interred, a
monument with such inscription thereon as may denote the family from which I am descended,
and my match to my deceased Hasband, to be soe expressed as by my Executors shall be thoughte
most proper." She also bequeaths £50 to her kinsman, Charles Maynwaring, to buy him a piece of
plate to be kept " in remembrance of mee." The will was proved by the three Executors in Jan.,
1682.

The monument at Market Drayton was duly erected, and on it is recorded : " Nigh unto this
place lyeth the body of Dame Anne Corbet of an ancient family, who lived a virtuous and pious
life, managed her affairs with discretion and educated youth and virtue.

" She died about 80 years of her age 29th Oct; 1682, was the youngest daughter of Sir George



SIR JOHN, THE 2nd BARONET OF STOKE ADDERLEY 355

Mainwaring of Eightfield in ye County of Salop knt, and wife of Sir John Corbet of Adderley of the
same County, Bart : he dyed in July 1662, in the 68th year of his age. They had XX children ten
sons and ten daughters ; 17 of whom lived to be men and women, three dyed young, and they both
lye here, interred near each other. This monument was erected to her memory by her daughter
ye wife of Sir Humphrey Briggs of Haughton in the same County, knt, and Bart: one of the
executors of her last Will and Testament by which she appointed and left a sum of money for ye
setting up hereof which was accordingly done ye 14th daye of August 1684."

Sir John, the second Baronet, succeeded his father, but outlived him only by two years. I fear
there could have been but little sympathy between parents and son, they being such uncompromising
Parliamentarians, and their son. Sir John, as well as some of his brothers, being equally staunch
Royalists. The brother Vincent died before the Restoration, but Sir John was then living, and must
indeed have rejoiced in the general triumph. He is buried in Westminster Abbey. During the
troubled years his wife and family appear to have lived at Child's Ercall, whence she wrote one or
two letters, which are still preserved ; they are written to Sir Francis Ottley before the betrayal of
Shrewsbury took place. This second Sir John was admitted to Alban Hall, Oxford, when sixteen,
in 1636. Not much is known of his military services ; no doubt he was always near his cousin,
Sir Vincent, of Moreton Corbet, and he was with him at the siege and surrender of Bridgenorth.
He married Lettice, the daughter of Sir Robert Knowles, of Grayes' Court, Co. Oxford. She
outlived her husband some years, and was so great a contrast to the first Lady Corbet of Adderley
that I think her letters will interest many. The following letter is from her husband, Sir John,
dated 1643, to Sir Francis Ottley.
" Worthy Sir
" I am certainly informed that there is a soldier of mine, one Sylvanus Floyd, who ran away
from me about three weeks since, with its Horse and Arms, now in Shrewsbury, if you will do me
the favour to make enquiries after the man and clopp him up till such time as I can take further
order with him, you shall add to the engagement of

" yr Frend and Servant
" From my quarters at " (signed) JOHN CORBETT."

" Durnington

" March the 25th anno 1643
" Sr Francis Oteley in
" Shrewsbury
" these present."
The first letter from his wife is dated the previous year.

"Noble Sir
" I have formerly sent two trunks to Shrewsbury for security but now my Mother is going
homewards, and I do desire to have them back before the Lrd Brooke's forces stop her things from
her, so desiring that you will do mee the favour to let me have yrs speedily I rest

" Your Frend and servant
" Child's Ercall " (signed) LETTICE CORBETT "

" ye 3rd March 1642
" For Sir Francis Oatley
" at Shrewsbury."
The next letter is dated June 1643.

"Sir
" My Mother hath some business to sende Robert Schofield to London, and I have adventured
to sende for some grocery and provisions and some other things to be directed as to her. Wherefore
I do intreat you to send me a pass for him and what carriage for (my Mother) the Lady Knowles,
he brings with him by any carrier from London hitherto, not that I care who sirchethe them but
that I would not have them taken away from me who am

"Sir
" Child's Arcall yr Servant

" the 1 6th June 1643. " (signed) LETTICE CORBETT."

" My Mother's and my service to yr Lady. I doe desire yt may not be known yt I doe expect
any vallewable carriage from London, least ye Parliament force fetch it too near home."
" For Sir Francis Oatley

" Governor of Shrewsbury."
VOL. II O



356



THE FAMILY OF CORBET



Sir John did not leave a large family. He died, as before mentioned, soon after his father, and
is buried in Westminster Abbey. Lettice Corbet, his wife, survived him, and she mentions her
son John, the third Baronet, in her will. The will is dated 1669, and is a striking contrast to
that of her mother-in-law's in 1682. With regard to her burial she directs that it "be performed
without any costly ceremony beyond the decent necessityes of a good coffin and a winding sheete,
observing the Statute for the use of Flanell instead of Lynnen in mye buriall ; alsoe paying fitt hire
and fees for but only decent carrying and interring of my Corps. And whereas my Sonne's wive's
Mother the Honble Theophila Cambell gave mee a Bible in very large folio, to be left unto my Sonne
Sir John Corbett Bart: and his wife when I dye, I doe order it to be delivered unto them, and I
give to my said Sonne one ring sett with one fair Diamond therein which I received of my owne
Mother to keepe it durynge my life, and then to be delivered to my Sonne as her Legacy, and to his
said good wife Dame Theophila Corbett my deare Daughter, the largest of mye lookinge glasses
in testimony of mye acknowledging love to her meritt, and nowe giving to my deare Sonne and
Daughter all the blessinge which my unworthy prayers can obtain from the Throne of Grace for
them and Theirs, I doe also give to him mye largest common prayer booke which I shall have myne
at mye death, as a Jewell most valuable next the Holy Bible, of all that I can buy with gold, Though
all thanks be to the Infinite Goodnesse a little silver can nowe purchase both to use, That wee by
them and their due use may find eternall life, and I give to mye saide Sonne and Daughter all mye
bookes except as otherwise given." The testator makes many legacies and gifts including a book

" containing sermons of Bishop Andrews sett forth by the Bishop " This is left to " my

very obliged friend Jane, wife to Dr. Newlin, now President of Corpus Christe College Oxford."
She leaves all her " Surgeons' Instruments and all bookes of Receipts " to her niece and god-
daughter Katherine Knowles. She mentions the names of numerous friends and of her Uncle
Baker, her sister Keightly, and names as her Executor Sir Thomas Wolstenholme, Bart., her uncle,
who proved the will in July, 1670. Her son. Sir John, the third Baronet, married twice. His first
wife, Theophila, of whom Dame Lettice speaks with such affection, died in 1672 at Woodford,
Essex, where she had been married in 1658. She had four children, of whom John, Francis, and
Theophila died before their mother ; the youngest son, Robert, survived, and eventually inherited
the Baronetcy. His father, Sir John, married again very soon after his first wife's death. The
marriage licence describes him as widower and about 27, and the new wife to be Frances Egerton,
about seventeen, of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, daughter of Randall Egerton, Esq. They were married
at St. Mary !e Savoy. Frances outlived her husband, and married, secondly. Sir James Poole,
Bart., Co. Cheshire. Sir Robert Corbet of Adderley, who succeeded, took some part in public
life with the course of time. We find him holding the office of Clerk of the Board of Green Cloth
to George I. and he was knight of the Shire and Commissioner of Customs. Mr. Sheppard, in his
" Memorials of St. James' Palace " states that " the Court over which the Lord Steward was
accustomed to preside was called the ' Board of Green Cloth ' because the table at which his Lord-
ship presided was covered with green cloth. Dr. Johnson describes the Board as a board or court
of justice, held in the Counting House of the King's household. It took cognisance of all matters
of gouvernment and justice within the King's Court Royal, and attended to the correction of all
servants that shall offend. The Board is said to be one of the most ancient and to have existed
in the reign of Henry I. and probably much earlier. The offices originally were at St. James'
Palace, in a house adjoining the Clock Tower but were removed to Buckingham Palace in
1850."

Sir Robert married Jane, daughter of William, afterwards Sir William, Hooker, a Lord Mayor
of London. He was Sheriff for Shropshire in 1701 and lived till 1740, and his widow till some
few years later. The Parish Registers again record a numerous family. Many died in infancy.
The three sons all succeeded to the Baronetcy in turn ; of the five daughters only one married.
It appears that the living proprietor of Adderley was entitled to claim a heriot on the death of
an Earl of Kilmorey, and this privilege was claimed by Sir Robert Corbet. He was entitled to
take the best horse in the stable or the best piece of furniture at Shavington. He chose a chesnut
hunter worth seventy guineas. The case was disputed by the Earl, and tried at Shrewsbury,
and Sir Robert gained the day. The Manor and tithes of Market Drayton, with a large proportion
of the lands belonging to the Abbey of Combermere, had been granted by Henry VIII. to Sir
Thomas Gresham at the dissolution of the abbeys and monasteries, who sold them to Sir Rowland
Hill, uncle of Alice Gratewood. Thus eventually they passed to her heirs, the Corbets of
Adderley.

The Church at Adderley was altogether rebuilt in 1803 on the old site. Most unluckily a fire



Roland, Andrew, Elizabeth = Robert Arden,
ob. s.p. bap. 1549, Park Hall



I I

Mary = Fra. Newton, Jar
of Highlee 1557



dau.
't'igot,



eldest son

r

Richard,
bur. M. Dray-
ton 1615



Anne, dau. of Sir Humphry Sir John (Knt. and Bart.),:

We'd (Knt.), of Willey ; re- born 1594, created Baronet

married Sir James Stonehouse, 1627 of Stoke and Adder-

Knt. ley, ob. 1662



I 1640

Richard, born 1608-9, ob. = Sarah Ja
s.p. 1649



I

1666 Humphry, ob. s.p.



— II

At^
wjfrine

ob
of Pulley, CO. a twin Shelbury '"''

Salop "



Charles, b. 1648, ob. s.p.



John, b. 1684, ob. at. 7



Penelope, b. 1674



Randolph, b. 1676, ob. 170.T

iphila



Theophila, b. Sir WiUiam (Knt. and Bart.), bap. 1702, Clerk of = Henrietta, sis*''^''^
1700, ob. 1717 the Pipe and M. P. for Ludlow, ob. s.p. 1748 Pitt, Earl of CI



Henry Reginald,
of Adderley Hall



Anna M. E., dau. of Sir P.
Grey-Egerton, Bart.



Edwin And.,
ob. s.p. 1870



Athelstan,A'^"3,
Rector of
Adderley



SIR ROBERT, 7TH BART. OF STOKE AND ADDERLEY 357

broke out in the shed where the monuments and relics from the old church had been placed for
safety during the rebuilding, and most of them were lost. The tower is part of the old church,
so also is the Kilmorey pew. Some of the bells, which may have been brought from the Abbey
of St. Mary at the Reformation, bear very interesting inscriptions ; one, partly in old monkish
Latin, partly in Roman characters, has engraved on it, "Holy Mary intercede for the whole
World." Another of later date bears in old English :

" I sweetly tolling men do call
to taste on meate that feedes the sowl."

This latter bears the date A.D. 1604.

Sir Robert and his wife, Jane Hooker, are both buried at Market Drayton. Sir William Corbet,
the eldest of their three sons, succeeded to the title and estates as 5th Baronet of Stoke and
Adderley. This Sir William was Clerk of the Pipe, and M.P. for Ludlow. He married Henrietta,
daughter of the Earl of Chatham. As he left no children, his brother. Sir Henry, who was in
Holy Orders and Rector of Adderley, succeeded him in 1748 as 6th Baronet of Stoke and Adderley.
He survived his elder brother only by two years, and then died unmarried, and was succeeded by
his youngest brother. Sir Robert, as 7th Baronet. This latter also died unmarried and only held
the title for a few months. Both he and Sir Henry died in the same year, 1750.

One only of the five sisters married, Anne Corbet. Her husband was Thomas d'Avenant,
of Clearbrooke, Co. Hereford. She evidently succeeded to the great wealth of the Corbets of
Adderley, and which their only son inherited. He took the name of Corbet Corbet by Royal
Licence, and was also created a Baronet in 1786. The newly-made Baronet travelled a good
deal. He had a great appreciation for art and collected many beautiful works ; these he placed
in the present Adderley Hall, which he rebuilt in 1792. Sir Corbet Corbet married Hester, the
daughter of Sir Lynch Cotton. They had no children, and devoted themselves to their literary
and artistic friends, to whom their house and welcome were ever open. On Sir Corbet Corbet's
death, in 1823, the title became extinct. He had, however, devised the whole of his estates to
the second son of his Corbet cousin at Moreton Corbet — Sir Andrew Corbet, Bart. — This second
son was Richard, whose descendants now form the family of the Corbets of Stoke and Adderley.
They will be briefly referred to later on ; for the moment we must turn our attention to the
fortunes attending the Head of the Family, where misfortune had fallen with a heavy hand. Not
only had their wealth and substance suffered greatly under Cromwell's exactions, but the title
also had become extinct, with the death, so early and premature, of the young Baronet, the first
Baronet's grandson. This last Sir Vincent, the third and last Baronet, had an only sister, and to
her all the unentailed property of the Moreton Corbet estate passed at his death. The entailed
property fortunately went to the male heir, the younger brother and representative of the first
Baronet— Sir Vincent the Royalist. — This male heir was Richard Corbet, of Shawbury Park or
Lodge. He also had served his King well in the days of strife, and was Captain among his fighting
men. Now he was content to be quiet, although once more England was convulsed by the over-
throw and abdication of James H. and the welcome of Queen Mary and her husband, William of
Orange. — Not so the young Corbet Kynastone, however, the only child of Beatrice Corbet, the
heiress in the female line of the unentailed properties, who had married John Kynastone.— On the
death of his wife Beatrice, Corbet Kynastone, their only son, found himself, at the close of the
seventeenth century and opening years of the following, in possession of these unentailed Corbet
estates, and having an unbounded ambition and all the enthusiasm of youth, he flung himself into
the arena of discord which then prevailed, and for many years he was a noted figure in Shropshire
politics. He was a very determined Jacobite, and at that time Shrewsbury was also much of the
same mind, and Corbet Kynastone strove to be the leading voice in the county. He took an
active part in arranging the triumphal progress of Dr. Sacheverell through the Midlands after his
release from what was termed the " Whig persecution." He was a great admirer, too, of Bishop
Atterbury, the prelate who defended the learned doctor on his trial, and when he too was brought
to the Bar of the House of Lords Corbet Kynastone was one of the witnesses. He entered Parlia-
ment and went through several election contests. Now Shrewsbury was a most expensive seat to
contest. He and Edward Cresset, of Cound, with Thomas Jones were candidates for the election of
1713. The two latter were declared elected ; but subsequently the decision was said to be void,
Thomas Jones' name was withdrawn and Corbet Kynastone was returned as duly elected. He
was returned at the head of the poll again in 1722 with Richard Lyster, Esq., of Shrewsbury, and

02



CORBET OF STOKE AND ADDERLEY.
1546 at Hodnet



(third son of Sir Robert Corbet

Recorder of Shrewsbury. &c.,



And

s.p.' bap

Ob.


?'■


Elizabeth = Robert Ar


'"■ ""'' o'f'Highte"


, JaUbap. A


1


Mar


a = Sir Humphrj
ofLangley


Lee,


^i


Ob. s.


is, .5^0,


Riehard, born .564,'=
of Chesth.ll Grange,








1




.


1




1 ,




1




.. '



Thomas, = Sarah Edith = Wm. Powell, Jane = Sir Geo. Maria



Chancellor of England 1581 Trir

n^T^



,, Ob. s.p. Elizabeth or Edith,



= Elizabeth' Richard, 162Z, George, 1623, Reynold, bap. Humphry, Row!
Church : b. Ch. Ercall, b. Ch. Ercall, 1632 Adder- '



Sir John (Knt. and Bart.)



bap. 1O35, b. 1635, 1637 I Sir . .



Ill I

ne, dau. Robert. Jane, Anne = Nathaniel Anne, = Robert An-

1640, b. 1626 Desborough bap. struther, of

. s.p. 1621 Wheatley



1 1

Uice = Thos.Cotton, Dorothy, = Sir WiiUai
of Pulley, CO. a twin Shelbury



bap. = Sir Humphry Brig



1627 CO. Denbigh



Frances.dau.RandolphEgerton, of Betley, co.=f Sir John (Knt.andBart.), = Theophila, dau. Sir J. Campbell and sister to
Staff., remarried Sir James Poole b. 1642 at Ch. Ercall Lord Mohun ; married at Woodford, Essex, 1658



Sir Robert (Knt. and Bart.),=F Jane, dau. of Sir Williai
Clerkof Court of Green Cloth to Geo. I., 1747, bur. Market Dra
ob. 1740, bur. Market Drayton I



. 1664, ob. :669 Francis



1700,0b. 1717 the Pipe and M.P. for Ludlow, .



.Clerk of = Henrie



larles Mary Henrietta






1823 s.p. and devised estates to Richard Corbet, the 2nd s
Andrew Corbet, Bart., of Moreton Corbet

Richard Corbet, Esq., of Adderley Hall =|: Eleanor, dau. Rev. Croxton Johnson. Rector Wilmslow



rley Hall=|=E



Athelstan,
Adderley



Denman Croft, Bart.



t



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