A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Hideburninga (x cent.); Ordie (xi cent)., Wurthye, Hyldborne Worthy, Hedbome Worthy, Worthy Mortimer (xiii cent.).
Headbourne Worthy is a scattered parish lying north of Winchester, containing altogether 1,813 acres of land, of which 1,059¼ acres are arable, 579¾ Permanent grass and 51½ woodland. (fn. 1) A brook flows south through the parish to join the Itchen near Headbourne Worthy village, which lies in the water meadows about a mile and a half up the Itchen valley from Winchester. A building known as Kent's Alley House, belonging to the corporation of Winchester, and traditionally connected with John Kent, scholar of Winchester College, (fn. 2) was standing as late as 1839.
The church of St. Swithun is south of the village. Opposite it is Pudding House Farm, while the Manor Farm lies to the north-west. Headbourne Worthy House is occupied by Mr. William Alexander Hunt. The soil is chalk and loam, the subsoil chalk. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. The common lands were inclosed under an Act of 1788. (fn. 3)
The manor of HEADBOURNE WORTHY alias WORTHY MORTIMER alias WORTHY COMITIS alias HOOK and WORTHY MORTIMER was said to have been given to St. Swithun's, Winchester, by King Egbert, (fn. 4) and it is mentioned as marking the boundary of the land belonging to that abbey in a charter of Edward the Elder. (fn. 5) In the reign of the Confessor it was sold on the condition that it should revert to the church after the death of the third possessor, (fn. 6) but Ralph Mortimer, who held the manor at the time of the Domesday Survey, (fn. 7) seems to have denied the obligation, for the Earls of March (fn. 8) continued in possession till the 15th century, though certain rents from the estate were paid 'to the Convent of St Swithun . . . separately from the portion of the abbot thereof,' at least until 1389. (fn. 9)
Ralph Mortimer was still living in 1104, in which year he was in Normandy (fn. 10) acting as a zealous partisan of Henry I. He was succeeded by his son Hugh, (fn. 11) who held the manor in 1165, (fn. 12) and probably died about 1180, since his debts to the Crown were first charged against his son Roger in 1181. (fn. 13) Roger died in June 1214, and was succeeded by his son and heir Hugh, who held the manor in 1218 (fn. 14) and died in 1227, leaving as his heir his brother Ralph. (fn. 15) Ralph died in August 1246 and was succeeded by his son Roger, (fn. 16) who died about 1283. Edmund, heir of Roger, obtained licence in 1300 to demise part of the manor to Maud wife of Geoffrey de Greyville in aid of the acquittance of his debts. (fn. 17) After his death in 1304 his widow Margaret, who held the land in dower, granted it to Aline la Poer for life. (fn. 18) Roger, the son of Edmund Mortimer, was executed in 1330, and his wife Joan shortly afterwards died seised of the manor, (fn. 19) leaving a son Edmund, who was still under age. In 1335 Edward III granted the custody of the manor to John de Hampton to hold for life for the yearly payment of 100s., (fn. 20) but two years later he gave it with the right of the marriage of the heir to William de Montagu. (fn. 21) This evidently caused some confusion, for in 1345 Montagu's executors complained that, although John had continued to hold the manor in custody, yet the treasurer and barons of the Exchequer distrained them to answer for the issues of the said manor. (fn. 22) They therefore petitioned for redress, and the king replied by an order that they should be permitted to hold the estate until the heir was of age. (fn. 23)
About 1351 Roger Mortimer granted the manor and advowson of Headbourne Worthy to Sir Ralph Spigurnel, kt., for life, (fn. 24) but this grant seems to have been afterwards vacated; for although Roger died in 1361, (fn. 25) when Sir Ralph Spigurnel was still living, (fn. 26) Katherine the wife of Thomas Spigurnel was afterwards seised of two-thirds of the manor 'which she held conjointly with Thomas her late husband for terms of their lives by gifts and feoffment of Roger Mortimer, late Earl of March.' (fn. 27) On her death in 1374 the estate reverted to Edmund son of Roger Mortimer, her 'kinsman and heir.' (fn. 28) Edmund, on his death in 1382, (fn. 29) was succeeded by his son Roger, who died in 1398, (fn. 30) leaving an infant heir Edmund, during whose minority £5 yearly from the issues of the manor were granted to his mother Eleanor, then the wife of Lord Powys, for the support of his sisters. (fn. 31) One of these sisters, Anne, married Richard Earl of Cambridge, and her son, Richard Duke of York, succeeded to the estate on the death of his uncle Edmund in 1424. (fn. 32) In 1461 Headbourne Worthy was granted by Edward IV to his mother, Cecily Duchess of York, for life. (fn. 33) Elizabeth queen of Henry VII presented to the living in the time of Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester, (fn. 34) but whether the manor had been granted to her by Henry VII as part of her jointure or whether she was holding it in her own right as one of the daughters and co-heirs of Edward IV is uncertain. The right of Henry VIII to the manor was substantiated by a quitclaim from his aunts, Katherine Courtenay and Anne Howard, the other two daughters and co-heirs of Edward IV, in 1511, (fn. 35) and in the same year he settled the reversion of the manor, which was then held in dower by Catherine of Aragon, (fn. 36) upon Katherine Courtenay and her heirs by William Earl of Devon. (fn. 37) However, on the attainder of Henry Marquess of Exeter, the son of Katherine Courtenay, in 1539, the manor reverted to the king, who afterwards bestowed it on his queen, Jane Seymour. (fn. 38) In 1543 the king granted it at a rent of £20 for a term of twenty-one years to Edmund Clerke, (fn. 39) who obtained renewals of the lease from Edward VI, (fn. 40) Queen Mary (fn. 41) and Queen Elizabeth. (fn. 42) James I granted the estate in 1607 to Robert Earl of Salisbury and his heirs, (fn. 43) but the earl by his will of 1614 granted it to Sir Walter Cope and others as trustees ' that they should sell it to pay his debts.' (fn. 44) It was bought by Sir Thomas Clerke, the lessee of the manor, who was holding Worthy Pauncefoot (q.v.). He settled both manors on his son Henry in 1625, (fn. 45) and died seised in 1630. (fn. 46) Henry evidently died without children, for in 1652 the owner of Headbourne Worthy was Edmund Clerke, grandson and heir of Edmund Clerke, of South Stoneham, (fn. 47) who was probably a younger son of Henry the Eighth's lessee.
The manor was sold in 1799 by Jane Pyle, widow, to Richard Meyler for £2,000. (fn. 48) Richard Meyler was M.P. for Winchester; he died before 1820, and left the estate to his cousin, Richard Bright, (fn. 49) whose descendants continued in possession of the manor (fn. 50) till it was sold between 1875 and 1880 to Mr. Joshua East. (fn. 51) Mrs. East was lady of the manor in 1901, but the property was purchased in September 1902 by Dr. David Browne of Winchester, who died in January 1908, having devised all his property to his widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Georgiana Browne. (fn. 52)
There were three mills in the parish at the time of the Domesday Survey. (fn. 53) One of these was afterwards burdened by a yearly rent of one mark to Godstow Abbey (co. Oxon.), (fn. 54) but in 1257a fine was levied between Emma, Abbess of Godstow, and Roger Mortimer, by which the abbess quitclaimed for herself and her successors any right which she had in the rent to Roger and his heirs. (fn. 55) There was one water-mill in the parish in 1826. (fn. 56)
WORTHY PAUNCEFOOT (Pancevolt, xi cent.; Pancevot, xiii cent.; Pauncefote, xiv cent.; Pantesfoote, Paunsford, xvii cent). A small manor called Worthy, which had been held of King Edward the Confessor by Earl Godwine, (fn. 57) was held at the time of the Domesday Survey by Bernard Pauncefoot, (fn. 58) and continued in the possession of his descendants for more than 400 years. (fn. 59) The land was assessed at 1 hide in 1086, (fn. 60) and was described as the fourth part of a knight's fee in the 13th century, when it was held of Humphrey de Bohun Earl of Hereford by Lemuel Pauncefoot. (fn. 61) The overlordship of the Bohuns, Earls of Hereford, here as in other instances, began, as Mr. Round infers from the fact that they do not appear as holders in Hampshire in 1086, with the growth of the Bohuns to power in the 12th century. With the merging of their honours in the Crown in 1372–3 the overlordship ceased.
In the 15th century the owner was Robert Pauncefoot, whose daughter and heir Elizabeth married James Daubeney, the High Sheriff of Dorset, about 1488. (fn. 62) After her death in 1528 (fn. 63) the manor passed to her only son Giles, who married Elizabeth sister of Hugh Oldham, Bishop of Exeter. (fn. 64) Their eldest son Hugh sold Worthy Pauncefoot in 1562 to William Bethell, (fn. 65) who died shortly afterwards, for Richard Bethell was seised of the manor before 1565, (fn. 66) with remainder to Williem his son. Zachariah, the eldest son of this William, (fn. 67) sold the estate to Thomas Clerke in 1594. Thomas Clerke was afterwards knighted and died seised of the manor in 1617, (fn. 68) when he was succeeded by his son of the same name who was also a knight. (fn. 69) This Sir Thomas Clerke bought Headbourne Worthy from the trustees of the Earl of Salisbury, and Worthy Pauncefoot has followed from that date the same descent as the larger manor (q.v.).
The church of ST. SWITHUN consists of a chancel 26 ft. 3 in. by 14 ft. 10 in., nave 42 ft. by 19 ft. 7 in. with a tower at the south-west end 10 ft. 8 in. square, and beyond the west end of the nave a building 14 ft. 2 in. by 9 ft. 11 in., formerly of two stories. A south porch is built against the east wall of the tower.
The building is of great interest, preserving in its nave and the western part of its chancel the plan and a good deal of the walling of a pre-Conquest church, probably of the early part of the 11th century. The site is unfortunately very wet, and it is clear that from an early date the foundations have caused trouble. The original chancel arch was doubtless a narrow one and its outward thrust slight, but when it was replaced by a wider opening the nave walls must soon have proved unequal to the strain, and as early as the 13th century repairs became necessary. The south wall of the nave seems to have been entirely rebuilt at this date and the south-west tower added, while the north-east angle of the nave was partly and the south-east angle wholly rebuilt about the same time. The chancel also seems to have been rebuilt in the 13th century, with the exception of the western part of its south wall, and it was evidently lengthened eastwards at the same time. In the 15th century buttresses were added north and south of the nave, and early in the 16th century the western chamber was built against the west wall of the nave.
The south porch is a modern addition. In modern times the chancel has been practically rebuilt, and very extensive repairs have been made in the nave; at the present time the chancel arch is in a very shaky condition, and only held up by wooden shores, and the west chamber has been tied by iron rods to prevent it from falling. The walling is of flint rubble, the ashlar in the early work being Binstead stone. Three pilaster strips of this stone remain on the north wall of the nave and one on the south wall of the chancel and the original long and short quoins at the north-east angle of the nave are also of this material.
The chancel has a modern east window of three trefoiled lights with foiled arches in the head, a modern lancet on the south above the sedilia, and at the south-west a 14th-century window of two trefoiled lights, the lower parts cut off by a transom, and rebated on the inner face for wooden frames.
The north wall is unpierced and has only a modern arched recess for the organ.
Below the south lancet is a large square-headed piscina recess with stop-chamfered jambs and a stone shelf. The bowl of the drain projected from the wall face, but has been broken away. To the west, forming part of the same work, are three sedilia separated by stop-chamfered mullions and having low segmental heads, evidently of much later date than the jambs and built in hard chalk, the older work being of Binstead stone. The springing, however, at either end is in Binstead stone and apparently original, so that the lines of the head must be nearly the same as those of the original work, the date of which was probably c. 1230.
The chancel arch is modern and has chamfered jambs and a two-centred arch of two chamfered and moulded orders. It is nearly as wide as the chancel and, as has been said, is in a very shaky condition.
In the north wall of the nave are three windows, the easternmost being a small trefoiled lancet appa rently of late 13th-century date. The second window is a 15th-century insertion and has two cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in the head and hollow chamfered internal jambs and rear arch, and the third window is a modern single light of 15th-century style.
The two south windows of the nave are like the middle window on the north but with modern tracery.
Near the east end of the south wall is a much defaced 13th-century piscina of very beautiful design, with a trefoiled head enriched with foliage and attached shafts with moulded bases and capitals in the jambs. It has a groove for a wooden shelf.
The south doorway, also of the 13 th century, has double chamfered jambs and a pointed arch with modern abaci and a modern trefoiled inner order. The doorway into the tower in the south wall of the nave has chamfered jambs and a four-centred chalk head and rear arch probably of 15th-century date. The west wall of the nave is the most complete part of the pre-Conquest church, and preserves its original doorway of Binstead stone. It has square jambs and semicircular arch of a single order with a small projecting pilaster strip on the west side which continues round the arch and jambs, mitreing with the chamfered abaci and bases. The strip is cut away in the head for the 16th-century floor of the western chamber, and the inner face of the arch is rebated for a door, this being also a late mediaeval alteration, but otherwise the whole is very perfect. Immediately from the head of the doorway rose the base of a large stone rood, having figures of our Lady and St. John on either side, and above it a hand from clouds as at Romsey. It is clearly part of the original work, and, though only its outline remains, the figures having been cut away to the wall face, the effect is exceedingly imposing and must have been much more so before the 16th-century building was set up. The figures are of more than life size, and were evidently in rather low relief, such lines of drapery as have survived being excellently drawn and the pose of the figures dignified. The deplorable mutilation they have suffered is usually laid to the account of Bishop Home of Winchester, 1560–80, who ordered the destruction of all crucifixes in his diocese. Whoever the miscreant may have been, he has defaced a very fine and valuable specimen of old English sculpture. The only untouched part is the cloud over the Hand of God above the rood and a horizontal course of stone with beaded edges immediately above it.
The western chamber has in the lower stage a small loop light in the south wall and a west doorway with chamfered jambs and four-centred head. Above these the walls set back, the upper room having been lighted by north and south windows with four-centred uncusped lights under square heads. The north window is of two lights and the south of three; to the east of it is a small four-centred piscina recess and all round the walk are remains of the monograms in black, showing that the whole upper room was decorated and fitted up as a chapel, with an altar below the stone rood.
The tower is low and has a top stage of weatherboarding which has been recently restored. The west face has two windows, the lower of which is a small 13th-century lancet with rebated jambs and the one above it is a restored lancet of the same date. There was also another window in the south face of the bottom stage, as indicated by jamb stones inside the wall. The inside of the tower has large posts in the angles which entirely support the bells and cage above. The south porch is modern and has an outer archway with shafted jambs and moulded pointed arch. On the east face of the tower within the porch is a small four-centred recess with carved spandrels which no doubt once served as a holy water stoup. The walls generally are of flint with stone dressings; the south chancel walls have stone bondings and the nave and tower walls have been repointed. The western chamber has a coat of plaster over the flint. The buttresses to the tower and the one at the northwest end of the nave are of stone, the others are of flint with stone facing and weathering. The roofs are tiled.
The chancel has a modern open timber roof, but that to the nave is of the 15th century and has a moulded ridge and at the west end a tie-beam. It is of four bays, and was designed to have a low arched plaster ceiling, divided into panels by the ridge purlins and braces on the principals. At the intersections of the timbers meant to project from the plaster there are carved bosses.
The desk, which serves as a pulpit, incloses a very beautiful piece of open tracery in the spandrels of pierced foliage, very like the work of the cathedral stalls at Winchester and dating from c. 1280–1300. Its moulded two-centred head incloses two trefoiled arches with a cinquefoiled circle over, resting on modern ringed shafts with foliate capitals. Against the uprights of the desk are set wooden busts of much later date.
The font is circular and has a moulded bowl and base. The upper part is of Binstead stone and is probably a recutting from an older shape.
On the floor of the western chamber are some mediaeval floor tiles, four of which form a circular design with an inscription which is too worn away to be legible.
In the small loop light in the south wall of the chamber is a fragment of 15th-century glass representing an angel in a shield, &c.
The only monument of any importance is an undated brass on the north wall of the chancel which bears an inscription to John Kent, a scholar of Winchester College, who was the son of Simon Kent of Reading. Above the inscription is the figure of a boy in the loose college gown buttoned at the neck and a scroll with 'Misericordias d[omi]ni in et' nu[..] cantabo' issues from his mouth.
The tower contains three pre-Reformation bells, all by the same founder. The treble has no inscription, but has the three marks used by Roger Landon and the Reading foundry, the lion's face, cross, and groat. The second bell bears the inscription 'Sancte Gabriel' in black letters with crowned capitals, and it also has the lion's face and coin as on the treble, and also a form of crowned cross. The tenor is inscribed' Sancte Nicolae' and bears exactly the same marks as the second.
The plate consists of a silver chalice and paten of 1877 and a silver-gilt flagon of the same date.
There are two books of registers; the first contains baptisms and burials from 1637 to 1812 and marriages from 1637 to 1753, with a few earlier entries from 1615, and a gap from 1644 to 1660; the second contains marriages from 1755 to 1812.
There was a church in Headbourne Worthy at the time of the Domesday Survey, (fn. 70) and the right of presentation early belonged to the lords of the manor. It was exercised by Lord Powys in right of Eleanor his wife, the widow of Roger Earl of March, in 1403, (fn. 71) but with this exception the patron until the middle of the 15th century was always a Mortimer, though on two occasions the king presented 'by reason of his guardianship of Edmund the heir,' namely, Edmund the son of the Roger Mortimer who died in 1283, and Edmund the son of the Roger who was executed in 1330. (fn. 72) Cecily Duchess of York thrice presented to the living, (fn. 73) and after her death the advowson passed with the manor to her granddaughter Elizabeth. (fn. 74) It was not included in the grant to Katherine Courtenay, and Queen Katherine was the patron when Gardiner was Bishop of Winchester. (fn. 75)
James I granted the advowson with the manor in 1607 to Robert Cecil, (fn. 76) and the Earls of Salisbury continued to be the patrons till 1686. (fn. 77) Before 1695 the right of presentation had been bought by Dr. Radcliffe, who presented his friend Joseph Bingham, the author of Origines Ecclesiasticae, in that year. (fn. 78) His trustees presented to the living in 1738, (fn. 79) and the advowson afterwards passed, in accordance with his will, to the Master and Fellows of University College, Oxford, who are the patrons at the present day.
In 1686 the Rev. Robert Fishwicke, rector, bequeathed £50 for the poor, augmented by his widow, Mary Fishwicke, to .£80. The principal sum was in 1699 laid out in the purchase of a rent-charge of £4 charged on land known as Rotherley Coppice, part of the Worthy Park estate. The annuity is paid by Captain Fryer and distributed in money to thirty poor persons.
Church Land.—This parish has been in possession from time immemorial of about 3½ acres, known as 'Chisslands,' now let at £3 10s. a year, which is applied towards the expenses of the church.
In 1888 James Dear by deed settled a house, known as the Old Rectory, for the benefit of deserving parishioners. The trust property now consists of two cottages, forming three tenements, and a garden, occupied by various poor. About £6 a year is paid by way of rent, which is required for repairs.