Charles Botolph Joseph Mowbray.

History of the noble house of Stourton, of Stourton, in the county of Wilts; (Volume 1) online

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house of Lancaster that this Lord Stourton found so much favour with Henry
V. and Henry VI., but these favours did not, however, hinder Lord Stourton
from supporting Edward IV. when Henry VI. was dethroned.

Leland ascribed to Lord Stourton that he built the castle at Stourton out of
French prize money, but it is more likely to be the fact that he only added to and
renovated the old mansion-house at Stourton, built by Sir Robert Stourton, his
ancestor. In 6 Henry VI. there was a charter dated at Westminster, from the
Crown granting and licensing John Stourton, of Stourton, Esquire, to enclose
1,000 acres of pasture, meadow, and woodlands, within his Manor of Stourton,
Co. Wilts., and to impale and make thereof a park. The Crown by charter dated
at Shene, Co. Surrey, on 2nd May, 19 Henry VI., granted and licensed to Sir
John Stourton, knight, divers deer leaps in Stourton Park, then lately formed
under above charter, and of the liberty of free-warren in all his demesne lands
and woods of Stourton, as also for a fair to be held there yearly on the eve and
feast of the " Invencionis sacrse crucis." The following are copies : —

" De parco includendo et faciendo. Rex omnibus ad quos, &c., salutem.
Sciatus, quod de gratia nosra speciali concessimus, et licenciam dedimus, pro
nobis et heredibus nostris, quantum in nobis est, Johanni Stourton, de Stourton,
armigero, quod ipse mille acras terrae, prati, pasture, et bosci, infra manerium
suum de Stourton, in comitatu Wiltes, quae extra metas forestae nostrae existunt,
ut dicitur includere et parcum inde facere, et terram, pratum, pasture, et boscum,
ilia sic inclusa, et parcum inde tenere possit sibi et heredibus suis ; imprimis, sine


molestatione vel impedimento nostri, vel heredum nostrorum justiciariornm, vice-
comitum, et aliorum ballivorum seu ministrorum nostrorum, vel heredum nost-
rorum quorumcunque. In cujus, &c., T. R. apud Westm'. xiiii die Junii, p. bre.
de privato sigillo.

P' Johanne Stourton, milite. — Rex Archiepiscopis, &c., salutem.

Sciatus, quod de gratia nostra speciali concessimus, et hac carta nostra
licenciam dedimus, pro nobis et heredibus nostris, quantum in nobis est, dilecto
et fideli nostro Johanni Stourton, militi, quod ipse et heredes sui, diversos saltus
sive salebras in clausura parci sui apud Stourton, quociens et ubi sibi placuerit,

pro feris ibi ingrediendis, libere possint, sine si\e

impedimento nostri, aut heredum nostrorum, justiciariorum, sive custodam
forestariorum, viridariorum, aut aliorum officiariorum forestarum nostrarum,
quocunque statuto de foresta, sive aliquibus aliis statutis, sive ordinacionibus in
contrarium factis, non obstantibus. Et ulterius de uberioris gratia nostra con-
cessimus, pro nobis et dictis heredibus nostris, eidem Johanni, quod ipse et heredes
sui predicti teneant liberam warennam in manerio suo de Stourton, et in omnibus

terris suis ibidem, ac in omnibus aliis terris, boscis, et pasturis,

parcellis, ejusdem manerii, cum suis quibuscunque, cum omnibus ad

hujus warennam pertinentibus, ita quod nullus intret manerium, terras, boscos,
seu pasturas predictas, ad fugandum, seu aliquid in eisdem capiendum, sine
licencia predicti Johannis aut heredum suorum sub .... nostra decem librarum ;
quodque ipsi et heredes sui predicti teneant, quolibet anno, apud manerium suum
predictum, unam feriam, tenendam semel in anno, videlicet, in vigilia et in festo
invencionis sanctae crucis, cum omnibus ad hujus feriam pertinentibus ; dum
tamen feria ilia non sit ad nocumentum vicinarum feriarum.

Ouare volumus et firmiter precipimus, quod predictus Johannes et heredes
sui predicti saltus et salebras in clausura parci sui predicti, ex causa predicta,
quociens et ubi sibi placuerit, facere possint, ac teneant liberam warennam in
manerio, predictis boscis, et pasturis predictis ; necnon unam feriam apud manerium
suum predictum, tenendam semel in anno, in forma predicta, sibi et heredibus

Suis ; imprimis, absque nostri, vel heredum nostrorum, justiciariorum,

eschaetorum, vicecomitum, coronatorum, aut aliorum ministrorum nostrorum,
vel heredum nostrorum quorumcunque. Hiis testibus verabiliter, I. Ebor.
Archiepiscopo, Anglise Primate ; I. Barthom' et Wellen' Episcopo, Cancellario
nostro carissimo, avunculo nostro; Humfredo Duce Gloucest'r ; carissimis con-


sang-uineis nostris Henr' Northumbr', W. Suff', Senescallo Hospicii nostri,
comitibus ; dilectis et fidelibus nostris Rad'o Cromwell, thes' Anglian, Johanne
Cornwaill, militibus ; dilecto clerico nostro Willielmo Lynwod, custode privati
sig-illi nostri, et aliis. Dat' per manum nostram apud manerium nostrum de
Shene, secundo die Maii, per ipsum Regem et de dat' predicta auctoritate

We find from the charter which we have set out under William Carenl on
pag^e 161, relating to the Manor of Hestercombe, that Lord Stourton was named
as one of the feoffees of Robert Warre. In addition thereto, and by way of
explanation of that charter of Robert Warre, we give under the entry relating- to
Joan Stourton, daughter of Lord Stourton, many particulars concerning her and
her husband, Richard Warre, whose marriage with her was confirmed by the
\'isitation for Co. Somerset. We recite the Inquisition of Robert Warre, the
settlor of Hestercombe Manor, which proved that Lord Stourton and others were
seised in their demesne as of fee of that Manor, and the Manor of Crafte- Warre,
Co. Somerset, and being so seised thereof had devised the same to John Warre,
Esquire, for life, with remainder to Richard Warre, (son and heir of Robert
Warre,) and Joan, (Stourton) his wife, and their heirs. Richard Warre died on
the 25th November, 1482, without issue. Robert Warre had died 8th July, 1465,
and by his will had ordered his body to be buried in the Conventual Church of the
Monastery of Athelney. We find at the dissolution that the Manor of Athelney
in Purse Caundel, was divided in moieties, one belonging to the Abbey of Athel-
ney and the other to that of Shaftesbury, both being granted, with the advowson
of the church there, to William, 7th Lord Stourton.

According to the Armorial Seals at Wells, there was a very fine seal to a
deed numbered 167, being Letters of Attorney of 26th January, 1432, of Sir John
Stourton, whereby he, and William Carent, Master Richard Stourton, and
John Stourton, of Preston, had granted to them seisen of lands in Meles-
burgh and Wookey Hole, in Wells Forum, which premises had been granted
to them by John Palton, Esquire, by deed of 5th January, 1432. The shield was
charged with a bend, between six fountains for Stourton, the fountains being re-
presented by rings, not by wavy lines ; the crest was an antelope's head erased. The
legend was " S. JOHANNIS STOURTON." A sketch was given in the
Genealogist! and is reproduced on the next page.

'■'■ Rotuli Carta, 19 Henry VL

f Contributed by Arthur J. Jewers, F.S.A.


[after sketch in the genealogist].

The next deed was a conveyance, dated 30th October, 1440, relating to the
premises in the same places, and to which the armorial seal of Sir John Stourton
as attached to the same was a circular one of plain form, somewhat less elaborate
than the former one, the arms were a bend, between six roundels, the wavy lines on
which to shew they were fountains were also wanting as in the above deed, while
the bend was cross hatched, as if it were sable instead of the field; the shield being
heater* shaped. The small space left between it and the legend was filled by a
simple curved line, the inscription was : —



The deeds related to the building of Bishop Bubwith's almshouses in Wells,
Co. Somerset, and the Inquisitions prove that John Stourton, Esquire, and
others, between the 7th and i8th years of Henry VI., were trustees of considerable

* Presumably the shape of a heater.


premises in Co. Somerset, for the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral Church of
St. Andrew's in Wells*. There appeared to have been 84 deeds, with 86 seals,
relating to Bishop Bubwith's almshouses in Wells ; and from a writing under the
hand and seal of Thomas, Abbot of Malmesbury, on 15th March, 26th year of
King Henry [1448], it appeared that Thomas Harryes, (according to his own
admission to the said bishop at his Manor of Cowfold), never fully released under
his hand and seal, as he should have done, all his right and claim, which he had
had vested in him of the Manor of Mellesburgh and Wokehole, unto one J ohn
Stpu^rton, of Prestonf.

We note on page 85 that the Stourton arms remain in contemporary glass in
the old chapel of Bishop Bubwith's almshouse in Wells.

Master Richard Stourton and John Stourton, of Stourton House, Preston,
U'erc uncles to John, ist Lord Stourton, not sons, as stated by Mr, Jewers. Thev
were half-brothers of Sir William Stourton, all sons of Sir John Stourton, grand-
father of John, 1st Lord Stourton.

He built the nave, choir and chancel of the Conventual Church of Stavordale
Priory, Co. Somerset, and was supposed to have been patron of that house as in
some way descended from the founder, Sir William Zouch, who dedicated the
same to the honour of St. James. The original Conventual Church was esteemed
to have been the mother church to Wincanton.

The partly rebuilding and reconsecration by Sir John Stourton was done
under a commission by John Stafford, Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells, of 4th
June, 1443, and dedicated to St. James;{;. It was a small Priory of Canons of the
Order of St. Austin, but under the subordinate regulation of St. Victor.

When Sir John Stourton rebuilt and reconsecrated it, the same had by lapse
of time fallen into decay. Between 19 and 23 Henry VL, Sir John Stourton,


See also under John Stourton, of Preston. _)

i Historical Manuscripts. It is also shewn that the Stourtons were long connected with \\'ells Cathedral ;
for the Chapter writing to the Dean in 1379, said he had sent John de Stourton to communicate with
him on urgent business touching their Chapter, &c. ; and in 1402, John Stourton witnessed the Com-
position between the Dean and Chapter of Wells and William Beauchamp, Lord of a moiety of
Lillesdone and Stathe Manor, concerning fishery rights in the Tone, Sec.
I Harl. MS. 6g66, page 55, Hutton's Collections ; Tanner's Notit. Monast. ; Dugdale's Monast. Angl. ;
Notit. Monast. Somerset xxxvii ; Registry of Bath and Wells ; Archer 664 ; Phelp's Somerset. This
John Stafford is said by Sir William Dugdale to have been of the same stock as the Staffords of Hooke,
and was brother consequently of Sir Humphrey Stafford, knight, to whom Henry VI. granted Seven-
hampton Denys Manor, Co. Somerset, which after his death was granted by that king to the above
Sir John Stourton after his creation as Baron of Stourton, Co. Wilts.


and Others, passed a third part of the Manor of Thorne-Coffyn, with the appur-
tenances, also three tofts and other lands there, Co. Somerset, to hold to John,
Prior of the Convent of Stavordale, and his successors in perpetuity.

Later on, in 1533, it was attached to the Monastery of Taunton, and at the
dissolution it was dissolved and granted to the lineal descendant of Lord Stourton,
viz., to William, 7th Baron Stourton, passing to his son, Charles, 8th Baron,
on whose attainder it escheated to the Crown, who granted the same to John
Dier, of Roundhill. On i8th March, 1374, one of the Canons of the Priory
of Stavordale, was to celebrate daily in the choir of the chapel of the blessed
Virgin of SS. Peter and Paul and S. James, under the Campanile, within Stavor-
dale Priory, — mtcralia, — a mass to pray for the health of the souls of John de
Stourton, (grandfather of Lord Stourton,) Alice, his wife; William de Stourton,
and Johanne, his wife, parents of the said John de Stourton ; also for the brothers
and sisters of the said John de Stourton, and Letitia and Alicia, their wives.

Sweetman, in his historical guide relating to Wincanton, in a long account
quoted from the works of previous writers, speaks of the Priory of Stavordale
being shorn of its glory, but as remaining.

From the Valor Ecclesiasticus it appears that the Priory of Taunton received
from Wyncaulton (Wincanton) £8 by the sale of the tithes of grain and meadows,
that the Priory then paid 3s. ^d. to the Bishop of Bath for a certain rent issuing
from the Rectory of Wyncaulton, and in alms ^12 4s. to four of the poor of
Stafifordell (Stavordale), by the ordination of John, Lord Zouch, John, Lord
Sto(u)rton, William Yorke, late Prior of Taunton, and others.

The Ministers' Accounts at the dissolution give the following particulars
relating to the then late Priory of Taunton.

Wyncaunton : — Roundhill :— Barowe : —

Assised rents ^8 5s. Farm of the Manor Assised rents £8 6s. 6d.

Farm of Rectory ;^8. House ^9. Perquisites of the Court

5s. 6d.

From the particulars for request of sale to William, 7th Lord Stourton, of
the part possessions of the then late Priory of Taunton and Monastery of Win-
canton, it appeared that the same covered rents and farms in W^incanton, Round-
hill and Barowe.



They included the Rectory of Wincanton, together with the advowson of the
church thereof, subject to paying the wages and stipend of some chaplain there
yearly, for celebrating divine service in Wincanton Church, and 12s, 6d. for bread,
wine and wax in the same church yearly. Also the capital messuage and mansion-
house of Roundhill, with the appurtenances, then or late in the possession of John
Dier, and described as formerly belonging to the then late Priory of Taunton,
which included the Manor of Roundhill near Barrow, and lands in the hamlet of
Barrow common and Charlton-Musgrove, then valued at £g iis. 2d. yearly,
belonging to the then late Priory of Taunton.

As bearing thereon the following extract from the Valor Ecclcsiastiais is
important : —


The assised rents of the customary tenants, ;^8 7

out of which annually,
To the Lord Henry Daubeney - - - lod

So now clear - - -

Perquisites of the courts and other casualties
Fines of lands - - _

;^8 7S. 3d.

6s. 8d.

.^8 15s. 7d.


Assised rent of the farm of the Manor - - - £g.

out of which annually.
To the turn of the Sheriff of Co. Somerset - - I5d.

A chief rent to John Boneham, Esquire, - - - 3s.

A chief rent to the heir of Chalket for land in Cleyanger I2d.

So now clear - - - -

^8 14s. gd.

Assised rents of the customary tenants, £^ 6s. 6d.

out of whichannually.
To the Lord Abbot of Glastonbury, for lands

in Batcombe

To the heirs of Rodney for land in Lovington,

So now clear - - -
Perquisites of the courts and other casualities


:7d. I

^8 3s. iid.

;^8 8s. lid.


Sir Richard Colt Hoare, in that part of his history which dealt with Old and
New Sarum, in describing- the constitution of the municipal government, and in
presenting a general view of the conditions and habits of the citizens as displayed
in their testaments and legal instruments, said, we have adverted to the general
custom of forming confraternities of a religious character, as the means of a
reciprocal communication of spiritual benefits.

We must not, however, omit (he proceeded,) the most important and valued
confraternity of all, namely, that of the Cathedral Establishment, which was
eagerly supported by the princes and nobles of the land, and into which admission
was doubtless purchased by liberal donations.

The advantages (he tells us) which this privilege was supposed to convey,
may be estimated from the forms of admission. The candidate or some other
accredited person in his behalf, appeared in the Chapter House, and preferred his
demand prostrate. Admission being given (he said) by a regular vote, the sup-
pliant was addressed in the following words by the Dean, or received the formulary
engrossed on parchment.

" In the name of God, Amen. We, the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral
Church of Sarum, with the assent and consent of our brotherhood, receive you
into our confraternity. We will and grant, that you participate, as well in life as
in death in all the masses, prayers, fastings, vigils, and every other meritorious
work, which may be performed by us and our brotherhood, the Canons, Vicars,
and other ministers of this church and its dependencies." The candidate then
rose, returned thanks, and respectfully saluted the Dean and Chapter. In 1430
Lord Stourton, then a knight, obtained this privilege.

When Henry VI. ascended the throne, his two uncles, John Plantagenet,
Duke of Bedford*, Earl of Richmond, &c., and Humphrey Plantagenet, Duke
of Gloucester, had been appointed by his late father, Henry V., respectively as
Regent of France and Regent of England, which Parliament superseded,
appointing John Plantagenet, Duke of Bedford, protector or guardian of England
during his residence here, with remainder to Humphrey Plantagenet, Duke
of Gloucester, while Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter, and Henry, Bishop
of Winchester, were constituted governors of their great-nephew, Henry VI.
John Plantagenet, Duke of Bedford, after causing his nephew, Henry Plantagenet,

•■ Called the celebrated Regent of France, a prince renowned for his skill in war, great wisdom, and
prudence, whose career in France was marked by a series of brilliant achievements.


to be solemnly crowned as Henry VI., King of Eng-land, made application in the
king's name for pecuniary aid from among the principal cities and towns of
England, — intcralia, — of the inhabitants of Salisbury, in a letter in which Lord
Stourton was mentioned as one of the Royal Commissioners, which letter was in
the words and to the effect following : —

Dear and well-beloved, — As by the exploit of the voyage which, by the aid
of our blessed Creator, we propose to make, in our own person, in the month of
April (then) next, towards our kingdom of France, there to put a brief end and
conclusion of our wars, according to our earnest desire, we must necessarily be
provided in all haste with a notable sum of money, as more plainly will be shewn
to you, by the Reverend Father in God, the Bishop of Bath, our treasurer, our
faithful Sire de Hungerford, our treasurer, and our dear and faithful John Tuyn,
chief baron of our exchequer, the Dean of Salisbury, Humphry Stafford, Edmund
Cheney*, William Goneville, John Stourton, knights, and William Carcllf, Esquire,
and our Sheriffs of Wilts., Somerset, and Dorset. These, by the advice and
assent of our council, are assigned, jointly and severally, by letters of commission
under our great seal, to conjoin and treat with you, for the loan of a notable sum
of money, to be lent by you, in this our great necessity, and to procure to and
for you, in our name, sufficient surety for repaymentj.

In 1446, owing to the prosperity and influence of the inhabitants of Salisbury,
there were letters of privy seal addressed to the Mayor and Commonalty of
Salisbury, to appear before the Royal Commissioners, the Dean of Salisbury,
Robert Hungerford, John Stourton, and John Baynton, in order to treat for a
loan of a farther sum of money§. In pursuance of that command we find that
the Mayor and Commonalty of Salisbury did so appear before the Royal Com-
missioners, and through them offered the king, for his urgent affairs, the sum of
fifty marks.

In an account of the Mayor of Salisbury about 145 1-2, relating to the
contribution then still levied on the City of Salisbury, were two items — the Lord
Stourton is. 8d., and a messenger of Lord Stourton, who came from Calais, 5s.

■■ See pedigrees on pages 44 and 52. In an ancient mass book at Salisbury Cathedral, commenced about
the time of Edward IV., is a list of benefactors who were regularly commemorated in the prayers of
the church, among whom were : — Sir Humphrey Stafford, knight, Sir John Cheney, knight, Sir
Francis Cheney, knight, and Dame Katherine Chidiock.

f Query if Carent.

I Copy in old French in the Corporation Ledger A„ fol. 94, B.H.

§ Ledger A.B.


John, Lord Stourton, it is said in another entry, was still a Commissioner of the
kin^ at Salisbury*. We have read how his father was called on to act as adviser
to the Mayor and Commonalty of Salisbury.

On the 20th October, 1462, there was a commission of array addressed to
Sir John Stourton, Sir Reginald Stourton, knights, and others, that notice had
been received by the king of an intended invasion by the Scots and French, at
the instigation of the great rebels of his own kingdom, and they were authorised
to array and muster his liege subjects of the County of Wilts, according to
directions for the security and defence of the state, with power to arrest and com-
mit to custody rebellious or contumacious persons. In obedience to this injunction
a convocation was held on Monday after the feast of the circumcision, January
3rd, 1463.

In the 25th year of the reign of Henry VI., that king granted to Lord
Stourton, while a knight and also described as the Treasurer of the Royal
Household, the Castle of Old Sarum, then said to be so ruinous that it
yielded no benefit to the king, together with all the banks, ditches, walls and
gardens belonging and appertaining thereto, to be held of the Crown by fealty at
a yearly rental of 3s. 4dt.

These premises did not pass under the Inquisition of Lord Stourton, and
what became of them is not known. Sir Richard Colt Hoare thought the grant
was either revoked or not carried into effect, which is generally believed to have
been the case.

Much uncertainty prevailed, according to Sir Richard Colt Hoare, in the
history of Old Sarum subsequent to the reign of Henry VI I. According to some
authorities (he said,) it fell to the Crown by forfeiture, on the attainder of Charles,
8th Lord Stourton, for the murder of the Hartgills ; while according to others,
it was recovered by John, 9th Lord Stourton, when he was restored in blood to
his title and estates by Act of Parliament in 1575.

Under the Inquisition of John, ist Lord Stourton, he had a messuage called
Buntisplace in New Sarum, while William, 2nd Lord Stourton, died seised of the
same messuage, with other tenements in Old and New Sarum,

■■■■■ Ledger B., fol. 4 B.

]■ Patent, 25 Henry VI., part i, membrane 3.


We now proceed to describe '■'■ Stonrton House," or Fulham Hall or House, in
Fulham, Co. Middlesex.

Lord Stourton having" been created a peer of England, as Baron of Stourton,
Co. Wilts., on the 13th May, 1448, undoubtedly looked about him to find a man-
sion near London, where he could reside and be at all times ready to attend the
Court for purposes of State, and what more suitable position for that purpose
could he have chosen the next year than that which he did in selecting a house on
the north bank of the river Thames, close by the gardens of the Bishops of
London, Lords of the Manor of Fulham, who usually made their principal sum-
mer residence at Fulham Palace.

This, although near London, only some four miles west thereof from Hyde
Park corner, was a quiet and rural spot, surrounded by lovely scenery and with a
splendid view, from the grounds, of the river Thames.

The house is believed to have been the messuage sold in 21 Richard H.
(1397) to John Shirburne, clerk, by Richard Mede, and Joan, his wife*. This
John Shirburne, alias Shir(e)bo(u)rn(e) or Sherbo(u)rn(e), was probably identical
with him of that name who was Archdeacon of Essex and who died in 1434, he
having been buried at Fulham, where an epitaph was placed to his memory as
recorded by Weever. It is thought he may have been son of William de Shire-
bourne, alias Ilberd, who was '■parson' or rector of Fulham from 1363 to 1413.

Another John Shireborne, (perhaps his son,) sold the messuage with a garden
in Fulham, in the year 1449, to Sir John, ist Lord Stourton, of Stourton, Co.
Wilts., in the peerage of England, and the property remained vested in the Lords
Stourton, as a residence, until it was sold by William, 5th Lord Stourton, as
shewn under his name.

Online LibraryCharles Botolph Joseph MowbrayHistory of the noble house of Stourton, of Stourton, in the county of Wilts; (Volume 1) → online text (page 21 of 62)