Cecil George Savile Foljambe Liverpool.

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Thomas, Sir Compton and sister Reade, Uncle and aunt Winwood, Uncle Robert,
Brother John, and Cousin Champneys. Appoints Brother Edward and Sister
Dorothy as exors. Codicil — nuncupative — June i8, 1675, appoints Sister Anne
executrix in lieu of brother Edward. Proved in C.P.C. by Anne Comewall.
Power reserved to Dorothy Comewall, June 25, 1675 [Dycer]. She died between
June 18 and June 25, 1675, and was buried at Quainton, Bucks.

The seventh daughter, Dorothy, was baptised at Burford, Jan. 2, 1643.
She married later than June 25, 1675 (when she proved the will of her Sister
Susanna as Dorothy Comewall, spinster), Randall WiUmer of Stratford atte
Bow, Middlesex and Upper Helmsley, York — of which manor he was Lord —
also Lord of Bloys and Grassalls, son of George WiUmer of York. He held the
office of Collector of Petty Customs on Strangers in the Port of London, otlier-
wise called " The Cocket Seal " — a grant for life dated July 4, 1670. By him
she had an only child, George WiUmer. She died September, 1678, letters of
administration to her husband being dated Nov. 19, 1678. He married, secondly,
Sarah, youngest daughter of John Stanforth of York, and by her had two sons
and a daughter. He married, thirdly, at St. Mary's, Castle Gate, York, Aug.
6, 1717, Isabel Wood, who bore him one son and one daughter. Buried at Castle
Gate, March, 29, 1712. WiU proved May 15, 1712. During the lifetime of
Dorothy ComewaU RandaU WiUmer* resided at Brentford, described as in the
Parish of Ealing, where she died and was probably buried.

The eighth daughter of Sir Gilbert CornewaU by Elizabeth Reade was
Martha RacheU, who was baptised at Burford Feb. 14, 1648. She died unmarried
in 1673, and being one of Anne Winwood's adopted daughters, was buried at
Quainton. WiU dated July 2, 1670. Mentions Brother Thomas (the Baron),
sister Elizabeth, deceased. Brother Edmund. Sisters Anne, Hannah, Ursula,
Susanna, and Dorothy. Niece Martha, the daughter of Brother John. Money
in Uncle Winwood's hands. Cousin EUzabeth, daughter of Uncle Robert. Niece
EUzabeth, daughter of Brother John. Nephews Edmund and Gilbert, and niece
Anne, his chUdren. Brother Sir Compton Reade and liis Lady, and their 4
cluldren,f Thomas, Edward, Anne, and Elizabeth. CodicU, Sep. 30, 1673,
revokes legacy to Cousin Elizabeth, daughter of Uncle Robert. Proved in C.P.C.

* Arms of WiUmer of Upper Helmsley : Gules. A chevron vair between 3 eagles displayed or.
Crest. An eagle's head or between two wings expanded vair.

t Beatrix, the fifth child of Sir Compton Reade and Mary Cornew'all, had died prior to that date.


by Anne and Susanna, sisters of the Testatrix, being the Exors. mentioned in the
will (Bunce lo).

We now come to the eldest of this numerous family, v'iz.. Major Thomas
Cornewall, who succeeded his father, Sir Gilbert Comewall, as 14th Baron of
Burford. He espoused the Royal cause in the Civil War, and was nominated
one of the projected Knights of the Royal Oak for Salop. He married his first
cousin Anne, daughter of Thomas, eldest son of Sir Thomas Reade, Knight, by
Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Comewall, Baron of Burford, who was baptised
at Burford, Feb. 2, 1629.*

We have not the dates either of his baptism or marriage, which, however,
must have taken place prior to 1651. During his father's lifetime he occupied
Stepulton Castle, which, though in Herefordshire, formed part of the Parish of
Presteign in Radnorshire. There, according to the Register of that Parish, the
following children were born to him and Anne Reade : (i) Thomas, bom March
4, and baptised April i, 1651-2 ; (2) Anne, baptised July 26, 1653 ; (3) Gilbert,
bom March 9, baptised April 8, 1654-5 ; (4) Mary, bom and baptised Nov. 10,
1661 ; (5) Elizabeth, born and baptised Oct. 16, 1663. Of these Thomas succeeded
liis father — of him presently. Gilbert Cornewall, the second son, entered at
Ch. Ch., Oxford, Feb. 4, 1672-3. He died Nov. 10, 1676, and a Mural Tablet on
the North Wall of the Nave of Burford Church tells his brief story, e.g., A circular
shield. The arms of Comewall, and below the following inscription : —

Here lyeth
Body of Gilbert
Cornewall, Second
Son of Thomas
Cornewall, Baron of
Burford, and Anne His
Wife. Departed this
Life, Nov. 10, Anno
Dom. 1676. Anno
JEtat. Suae. 21.
In Com. Salop.

* The ConiewaU- Reade marriages in all were 5, e.g., (i) Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Corne-
wall, married Thomas Reade; (2) Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Reade, married Sir Gilbert
Cornewall ; (3) Mary, daughter of Sir Gilbert Cornewall. married Sir Compton Reade; {4) Anne,
daughter of Thomas Reade, married Major Thomas Cornewall ; (5) Mary, daughter of Thomas
Reade, married John Cornewall.


In the centre of the Nave is a slab on the floor covering the grave, with this
inscription in Capital Letters : —

Heere lyeth the Body
of Guilbert Comewa
yle The Second Son
of Thomas Come
wayle Baron of Bur
ford. The Yeare of His
age Twenty I., who
Died of the Smale

Poxe, the 10 of November
and in yeare of
our Lord God
Anne, the elder sister of Gilbert, died of small pox at Stepulton Castle, June
II (Whit Sxmday), 1671, in her i8th year, and was buried at Presteign, M.I. (See
Broomhill's MSS., 42, foUo 261-6.)

Mary, the next daughter, was mentioned in her father's will 1686. She died
unmarried in Nov., 1715. Will dated Nov. 13, and proved at Hereford in C.P.C.
on Nov. 29, by Hannah Watts of Boraston, exor. and residuary legatee. Therein
she is described as of Burford, spinster. She mentions Thomas, Baron of Bm^ord,
her nephew, nieces Anne Cornewall and Elizabeth Fox, sister Ehzabeth Inwood,
Nephews George and Richard Cornewall.

The youngest daughter, Ehzabeth, married by Ucense at Burford, Feb.
24, 1685, Thomas Inwood, Coal Merchant, of London.

Major Thomas Cornewall was buried at Burford July 22, 1686. His will,
dated July 10 of that year, was proved at Hereford Feb. 22, 1687, by his widow,
who was sole exor. He bequeathed all the standards at Stepulton Castle, in the
Park House, and in the house at Burford, to his son and successor, mentioning
his surviving daughters.

His widow, Anne Reade, was buried in woollen — at that time regarded as
an indignity* — at Burford, March 14, 1691. Will dated June 10, 1689, as of

• Refer to Pope's Moral Essays, e.g. :

" Odious ! In woollen — -'twould a Saint provoke " —

Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke.
" No. Let a charming chintz and Brussels lace

Wrap my cold limbs and shroud my lifeless face I "


" Tembury," in the County of Worcester. She desires to be buried by her
husband in Burford Church. Mentions her son Thomas and his wife, daughters
Mary, and EUzabeth (Inwood). Son-in-law, Thomas Invvood, whom she appoints
exor., and his daughter Roseanna. The will was proved in C.P.C. at Hereford,
April 4, 1692.

We reserve mention of Thomas, the penultimate Baron of Burford, to the
following chapter. Inasmuch as Major Thomas Cornewall spent more than half
his life at Stepulton Castle, and his brother John occupied the Castle for some
years, the statement of Robinson that, when the Castle was sUghted in the Civil
War by Woodhouse, with Sir Gilbert Comewall's assent, it was made ruinous,
can scarcely be credited. No doubt both Stepulton and Burford Castles suffered
from the process of dismantling, and it may be surmised that " the Park House,"
mentioned in Major Thomas Comewall's will, was the old Castle, and " the
House at Burford," a new house into which the family had moved owing to the
Castle being no longer tenable. But the work of destruction was not immediate
in its effects, and as regards either Castle the damage effected by Woodhouse
must have been supplemented by the action of the weather.


Chapter XIV.


Thomas Cornewall (15th Baron) =Katherine, dau. of William Read, of London
(1651—1724) I (d. 1711)


Francis=Mary Woodhouse George James Edward Richard

(16th & last I (b. 16S8) (b. 1688) (b. 1691) (b. 1695)

(1685-1727) I

Woodhouse Francis Anna Maria=George Legh

(d. i7oy) (1712-14) (1711-41) (1703-90)


Thomas Anne=Poston Stacey Catherine=. . Fox

(d. 1723) (b. 1692) (b. 1693)

'THOMAS, son and heir of Major Thomas Cornewall, the 14th Baron of Burford,
succeeded his father as 15th Baron in 1686. He was born at Stepulton
Castle, March 4th, 1651-2, and baptised at Presteign on April ist following.
In 1706 he sold to Auditor Harley of Ej^A'Ood, son of Sir Edward Harley of
Brampton Bryan, the Stepulton Castle estate. He married Catherine Read,
daughter of William Read of London, who probably was a relative of his brother-
in-law Inwood. Her name was not spelt in the same way as that of his mother's
family, which in the i6th century (as is testified by the deeds in the possession
of Herbert Vincent Reade, Esq., of Ipsden, and also in the Muniments at Kirt-
lington of Sir George E. Dashwood, Bart., who represents the Reades of Brocket
Hall in the female line) was invariably Rede, without the " a ", in the 17th
century being changed to Reade [vide the Registers of Burford and Bockleton
Churches as well as those of Hatfield, Herts, Shipton and Ipsden, Oxon, and of
St. Helen's, Abingdon]. In the " Record of the Redes " there is no mention
of any member of the Reade family at that date bearing the name William, and
it may be stated positively that Catherine Read was not of their blood. It has
been surmised that she belonged to the family of Read of the Forge in Cleobury
Mortimer, of whom one, the Rev. WiUiam Read,* became Portioner of Burford

• A document exists in Registers' Chest of Tenbury Cfiurch. wherein it is stated (date 1827,
signed by Mr. Hall) that Thomas Read, gent., purchased the advowson of Tenbury from Lord
Mollineux— date 1716. Further, that William Read (sic), from Brocket Hall, Herts, was presented
to the above Vicarage of Tenbury, March 17, 1716, by William Bradley, as Trustee for the Read
famUy. Foster states that this Rev. William was son of Thomas Read, of Cleobury, and that he matri-
culated at BalUol College, Oxford, .'\prU 10, 1712, being then 17. Dr. Jlarshall, York Herald, further
stated that he was presented to Tenbury in 1718 — not 1716 — and that he was also Rector of Burford
ist portion — in 1727. There never was a WilUam Read, of Brocket Hall, in true, though there may
have been in base, blood, but of this there exists no evidence. We may regard Foster's account as
being accurate.


in the middle of the i8th century, and from him descended Sir Thomas
Lawrence the artist. But a careful search in the Cleobury Registers nega-
tives that supposition, and it is more Ukely that the marriage may be attri-
buted indirectly to the Inwood connection. She was buried at Burford, April
28th, 1711, where also he was buried January 14, 1724. Administration de bonis
June 4th, 1728, to Vincent Wood, as executor of the will of his son, Francis. It
was probably owing to his marriage with a portionless woman of obscure origin
that this, the penultimate Baron of Burford, ended his life in debt and poverty,
if not in disgrace. By her he had (i) Francis, his successor, baptised at Tenbury,
Ootober 2nd, 1685 ; (2) George and James, twins, baptised at Burford, April 19th,
1688 ; (4) Edmond, baptised at Burford, November i8th, 1691 ; (5) Richard,
baptised at Burford, January 12th, 1695-6 ; (6) Thomas, described as " an ideot,"
buried at Tenbury, February 28th, 1723 ; with daughters (i) Mary, baptised at
Tenbury, January 19th, 1686, and buried at Burford, August ist, 1705 ; (2) Anne,
baptised at Burford, November 8th, 1692, married at Hereford Cathedral,
October 29th, 1722, to Poston Stacey ; (3) Catherine, baptised at Burford,
January 6th, 1693, who married a gentleman named Fox.

Francis, the i6th and last Baron of Burford, in 1708 married Mary, daughter
of James Woodhouse of Woodhouse near Leominster, supposed erroneously to
have been an heiress, under circumstances which will be explained. By her he
had (i) Woodhouse CornewaU, who was buried at Burford, March 17th, 1709-10 ;
(2) Francis, baptised at Burford, September 22nd, 1712, and buried there March
12th, 1714 ; (3) Anna Maria, baptised at Burford, May 12th, 1711, his eventual

With Baron Francis, who died in the Parish of St. George the Martyr,
Southwark, 1727, being described as " late of Tenbury," the story of the Barons
ends in squalor. It is not easy to apportion the blame of this lamentable collapse
between Baron Francis, his wife, and his father. The legend that he died in
Worcester gaol is negatived by the probate of his wUl, which will cannot be deemed
creditable. It is dated from Tenbury, February 2nd, 1726, and he styles himself
Esquire. Therein he bequeaths to Mrs. Eliza Mansfield, " who now lives with
me," an annuity of ;^40. To Mrs. Mary Cornewall, " my wife," one shilling.
To my daughter, Anna Maria, £10 over and above her fortune as settled by Act
of Parhament. He appointed John Greene of Tenbury Residuary Legatee and
Executor, but this person, as also Mary, relict of Baron Francis, renounced,
and administration was granted eventually in the C.P.C. to the Guardians of


Anna Maria Cornewall, viz., John Castell and Vincent Wood, Esq., she being a
minor. A further administration was granted, May 23rd, 1732, to the above
Anna Maria, then the wife of George Legh, of High Legh, Cheshire. Con-
cerning this lady presently.

From the recitals of an Act passed 4 George I., No. 35, and styled " An
Act for exonerating and discharging the Manors, etc., of Francis Cornewall from
certain articles of agreement made before the marriage of the said Francis," it
seems clear that his marriage must have proved unhappy. Its preamble recites
that whereas, by certain articles of agreement dated August 31st, 1708, between
Francis Cornewall of Burford of the first part, and James Woodhouse, of the
Woodhouse, Co. Hereford, Esq. (since deceased), and Anne, his wife, and Mary
Woodhouse, spinster, their only daughter, of the other part, the said Francis,
in consideration of a marriage portion, conveyed his estate to Trustees (a part
to be charged with an annuity of £200 to his father, Thomas Cornewall, and after
liis decease with a further annuity of £50 to Katherine, mother of said Francis),
to the use of the said Mary for life, remainder to heirs in tail ; and further that
the said James Woodhouse settled his estates on his daughter Mary ; and, whereas
the marriage took effect and they have issue Anna Maria CornewaU, their only
child then living ; and whereas, said James Woodhouse was so encumbered that
he could not perform his covenants, and died sometime since in Jamaica. — And,
whereas, said Mary Cornewall, wife of Francis, by Indenture dated May 27th last
past, in consideration of ;^40 to be paid to her yearly during the joint Uves of her
and said Francis CornewaU, in case they should live separate, and of an annuity
of £100 after the decease of the said Francis ;

And further, whereas Francis Cornewall contracted great debts, so that he
is in danger of being ruined, and that he desires the sum of ;^3ooo to be paid to
his daughter Anna Maria at his death, with the above annuities to his wife ;
The Hundred of Overs and Park of Burford to be exonerated from the above
articles, i.e., of marriage settlement dated August 31, 1708.

This act in effect enabled the entire Burford estate — amounting at the time
to barely 1000 acres — to be ahened, subject to the annuities named and to the
paltry sum of £3,000, to Anna Maria Legh. The estate was sold to Humphry
Bowles, a glass manufacturer of London, from whom it passed to the Rushout
family, and is now in the possession of Lady Northwick. The Castle at Burford
was demohshed by l\Ir. Bowles ; the late Mr. Wayland Joyce assigning as its


site a farm called Dean Park. Not a wrack of the old Barons remains, saving
and except their monuments in Burford Church, from whence even their ancient
armour was removed to be desecrated or destroyed. To those who have followed
these pages it will be evident that the family never recovered the attainder of
Baron Thomas. In consequence, not only was the splendid demesne of Hampton
Court lost, but within two generations the Bucks and Northants estates also.
Enormous families and injudicious alliances completed the work of devolution,
which needed but the recklessness of Baron Francis to culminate in irreparable
disaster. With the sale of the Burford estate the Barony itself, dependent on
tenure, terminated finally. The Act, it will be observed, ignored the Barony
altogether. Had the Castle — probably in ruins — and its Park with the manorial
rights, been assigned to Anna Maria Legh, her husband would have become Baron
jure uxoris, and the honour itself — preferable surely to a modern Peerage ? —
would have been continued in her descendants. Her interests, however, were
obviously and inequitably subordinated to those of her father's clamorous
creditors, in whose favour the Act was passed. The doctrine. Lex ahhorret per-
fetuitatem, has been pressed in defiance of the rights of heirs under remainder
too frequently in Parliament, until the opposite doctrine, Summum jus summa
injuria, has got to be regarded as a truism. It was inequitable to deprive the
heir of her estate, wherein her father had only a life-interest ; it was unrighteous
to rob her of a title which Parliament did not bestow and had no right to forfeit.

The alliance between Anna Maria Cornewall and George Legh of High Legh
in Cheshire may be referred to the fact of the uncle of the said George having
been Rector of Eastham in 1718, in which year Jane, his daughter by Anne his
wife, was baptised April 25th [Eastham Register]. In 1702 Baron Francis had
signed his name as witness to the Induction to Eastham of the Rev. Ambrose
Sparry. He also signed affidavits in the Tenbury Register to three deaths in
1723, but no longer as Baron, simply as Mr. CornewaU.

By George Legh, (heir of Henry Legh of High Legh — born 1679 — by
Letitia, daughter of Sir Richard Brooke, Bart., of Norton), born July loth,
1703, Anna Maria Cornewall had Henry, heir to High Legh ; George Langton,
died in infancy ; Letitia, who married the Hon. Egerton Leigh ; and Anna
Maria, unmarried. She died in 1741 ; her husband in 1790. They were
buried at Rostherne. Henry Cornwall Legh was born May 24th, 1734, and
served as Sheriff of Cheshire 1791. He married, 1761, Elizabeth, coheir of
Robert Hopkinson of Heath, Yorkshire, and by her, who died April, 1808, had


George John, his successor at High Legh ; Henry Cornwall, who died s.p. 1793 ;
Elizabeth Dorothea, unmarried ; and Anna Maria, who married, January 3rd,
1788, Thomas Pitt, Esq., of St. James', Westminster. George John Legh was
born 1768, and served as Slieriff of Cheshire, 1805. He married, July 14, 1803,
Mary, daughter of John Blackburne, M.P., of Hale, and by her had : —

(i.) George Cornwall, his successor.

(II.) Rev. Henry Cornwall, Rector of Welsh Hampton, born 1811, who
married, 1839, Mary, eldest daughter of Martin Williams, Esq., of Brynwyn,
Montgomery (who died 1887), and died in 1847, leaving (i) Henry Martin
Cornewall eventual heir to High Legh ; (2) Gertrude Mary, who married,
August, 1875, Charles Walker, Esq., of Lincoln's Inn, son of G. T. Walker, Esq.,
of Norton, Worcester ; (3) Evelyn Cornwall ; (4) Francis Elinor Cornwall ; (5)
Maria Agnes Cornwall, who died 1862.

(ill.) John Cornwall, born June 8th, 1814, died March, 1815.

(IV.) John Cornwall, born July 27th, 1815, died October, 1823.

(v.) Richard Cornwall, bom June loth, 1818. He married, June 28th, 1852,
Thomasina Antonia, daughter of Frederick Sedley, Esq., and died at Malta,
January loth, 1876, leaving by her, who died March 21st, 1884 : (i) Herbert
Cornwall, eventual successor to High Legh, Colonel, King's Rifle Corps, born
March 21st, 1858, married May 24th, 1893, Edith Selina, eldest daughter of
Henry Cavendish Cavendish of Chy knell, Salop ; (2) Sydney CornwaU, late
Lieut. R.N., born October 31st, 1862 ; (3) Arthur Cornewall, born July 24, 1872,
married, December 14th, 1895, Harriet Beatrice Lucy, daughter of Rev. Dr.
Jones, Vicar of Carington, Cheshire ; (4) Edith Cornwall, boin 1854, died 1855.

(VI.) Edmund Cornwall, C.B., late Colonel of the 97th Infantry, born October
14th, 1821, married, July 20th, 1852, Julia, daughter of Neville Parker, Esq.,
Master of the Rolls at Frederickton, by whom he had NeviUe Edmund Cornwall,
born January i6th, 1854, and Mary Helena Cornwall.

(vii.) Mary, died 1886.

(viii.) Anne Elizabeth, died in infancy.

(IX,) Anna Elizabeth, married, 1832, Sir Philip De Malpas Grey Egerton,
who died April 5th, 1881.

(x.) Frances, married Rev. Beilby Porteus Hodgson, son of the Dean of


(xi.) Hariet, married Captain Herbert Taylor, 85th Light Infantry, eldest
son of Edward Taylor of Bifrons.

(xii.) Emma.

(xiii.) Caroline, died March, 1883.

(xiv.) Ehnor, died in infancy.

The eldest son, Major George Cornwall Legh of High Legh, born 1804, B.A.,
Ch. Ch., Oxford, High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1838, Colonel of the Cheshire Militia,
M.P. for Mid-Cheshire, married, 1828, Louisa Charlotte, second daughter of
Edward Taylor of Bifrons, and died in 1877, s.p. A strong Tory, he was popular
in his county and High Legh enjoyed during his long tenure a reputation for
hospitality. In early hfe he held office in the diplomatic service as Attach^ at
Vienna. He was succeeded at High Legh by his eldest surviving Nephew,
Henry Martin Cornewall Legh, Lieut. -Colonel Grenadier Guards, who was born
in 1839, served as High Sheriff for Cheshire, 1884, and married, January 22nd,
1896, Constance, daughter of John Ashton Case, Esq., of Thingwall Hall, Lan-
cashire, and widow of PhiUp Ainshe Walker, Esq. He died in 1904, and was
succeeded by his cousin, Colonel Cornwall Legh — vide supra.

As representing the Barons of Burford in the female hne, the Leghs of High
Legh enjoy a privilege unique among Commoners, viz., of bearing supporters,
i.e., two lions rampant ducally crowned or. They are a family of great antiquity
in Cheshire, deriving directly from Thomas De Lega of East Hall in Rostherne,
hving in the reign of Richard II. They espoused the Royal cause in the Civil
War, and tluroughout have held their own in a county above all others illustrious
for its old famihes.

In 1886 Mr. Earwaker, F.S.A., contributed to the Cheshire Archaeological
Society a valuable paper on the ancient Charters and Deeds at High Legh. Among
these some relate to the CornewaUs, albeit three only antedate the year 1700.
This paper has been reprinted in pamphlet form and with a coloured illustration
of the Legh arms as confirmed by Glover, Somerset, in 1580, and endorsed in
1613 by St. George, Norroy — a coat which may thus be described : Quarterly,
I and 4 Legh, arg. a hon rampant, gules ; 2 and 3, az. 3 eagles displayed, 2 and i,
or within an orle of 8 cross croslets of the second. Alpraham. Crest a demUion
gules langued and collared or.

For some centuries two branches of the same original stock have been situated
at High Legh, in the parish of Rosterne, their demesnes being styled respectively


East Hall — Cornwall Legh, and West Hall— Egerton Leigh. A high wall separates
these demesnes, each of which possesses its own Chapel, its own Chaplain, and
its own HaU, while the Lords of East Hall, the CornwaU-Leghs, spell the parish
as High Legh, and those of West Hall — Egerton Leighs — render it as High Leigh.
In past days these close neighbours were at feud, and Mr. Earwaker remarks that
the Egerton Leighs bear in error the arms of the Leghs, but with the field or
instead of argent, whereas their proper coat is gules a pale fusille argent. In
1582 the two families of High Legh disputed concerning their respective coats,
and the matter was referred to the Earl of Shrewsbury, K.G., then Earl Marshal,
who summoned the parties with their witnesses to attend a cock-match at Chapel
en le Frith. He had in charge at Buxton Mary Queen of Scots, and ordered
Garter to attend this singular rendezvous, who, however, being engaged on
Queen Elizabeth's service in Denmark, could not be present. Norroy and
Somerset were then deputed to represent Garter, and the latter eventually gave

Online LibraryCecil George Savile Foljambe LiverpoolThe house of Cornewall → online text (page 26 of 33)