A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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The small parish of Timsbury covers an area of 1,434 acres, of which 18 acres are land covered by water. The ground slopes gradually from the northeast down to the River Test, which forms the western boundary of the parish. Near the river is Timsbury Manor House, the property of Colonel T. E. Vickers, C.B., V.D., a modern building with a red brick gabled front.
North-west of the manor-house is the village with the parish church of St. Andrew. The soil is loam and clay with a subsoil of gravel, and the chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. There are 685¾ acres of arable land, 475¼ acres of permanent grass and 64 acres of woods and plantations in the parish. (fn. 1) The common fields of Timsbury were inclosed by authority of a Private Act of 1796. (fn. 2)
The following place-names occur: Fisflete (fn. 3) (xiii cent.); Catescroft alias Catesmede, Lowmede, Hilmede, Somersmede, Androsmede, Kymbridge, Aldermoresmede alias Aldrigemore alias Cobmershmede, Stretemede, Estwatermede (fn. 4) (xvi cent.).
In 1086 the manor of TIMSBURY was held of the king in chief by the nunnery of St. Mary of Winchester, to whom it had belonged 'from time immemorial.' (fn. 5) It continued to form part of the possessions of the nunnery until its dissolution in 1539, (fn. 6) when it fell into the hands of the king, who in 1543 granted it to Thomas Knight. (fn. 7) Thomas by will dated 1 January 1547 left the manor for the upbringing of his son and heir John and died seised a year later. (fn. 8) Thomas Earl of Southampton, the maternal uncle of John Knight, (fn. 9) seems to have acted as his guardian, for he is spoken of as 'lord of the manor of Timsbury' in an undated Chancery proceeding of the reign of Elizabeth. (fn. 10) John, however, died, while still under age, in 1560 and was succeeded by his paternal uncle, William Knight, (fn. 11) who at his death in 1573 was followed by his son and heir Richard. (fn. 12) Ursula, the widow of Richard, (fn. 13) married as her second husband John Southwell, and held courts at Timsbury in conjunction with John, Matthew and Andrew Knight, (fn. 14) probably her sons by her first husband. On her death Timsbury passed to John Knight, (fn. 15) who sold it in 1608 to William Waller of Stoke Charity (q.v.). (fn. 16) Timsbury, which was settled the same year on Susan daughter of William Waller and her husband, Sir Richard Tichborne, (fn. 17) in feetail, passed to them on his death in 1616. The manor remained in the Tichborne family until it was apparently sold before his death in 1743 by Sir Henry Joseph Tichborne, bart. (fn. 18) It came subsequently into the possession of John Dutton Lord Sherborne, (fn. 19) from whom it passed to his third son, Ralph Heneage Dutton. (fn. 20) At the death of the latter without male issue in 1892 Timsbury passed to his nephew, Mr. Henry John Dutton, son of his elder brother, John Thomas Dutton, the present lord of the manor. (fn. 21)
The nunnery of St. Mary, Winchester, held a mill worth 12s. 6d. in their manor of Timsbury in 1086. (fn. 22) In 1540 a water-mill, weir and fishery were among the appurtenances of the manor, and they subsequently followed its descent. (fn. 23) A mill exists in Timsbury at the present day.
Early in the reign of King John William Briwere the elder granted all the land he held in Timsbury and Compton, with the exception of the large fish-pond and the meadow of Fisflete, to the Prior and convent of Mottisfont. (fn. 24) Their men were to be quit of forest pleas, hambling of dogs and suit at the hundred court of King's Somborne. (fn. 25) In the reign of Henry III Walter de Langford claimed from the prior and convent 1 hide of their land in Timsbury and Compton on the ground that it belonged by right to the serjeanty of West Tytherley which he held of the king in chief, but in 1227 he was induced to surrender all claim to it in return for a payment of 10 marks of silver. (fn. 26) The manor was valued in 1291 at £5 13s. 4d. (fn. 27) The prior and convent subsequently acquired additional property in the parish, (fn. 28) and in 1345, at the request of Henry of Lancaster, they were confirmed in their right to the assize of bread and ale in Timsbury which they had of the gift of William Briwere the elder. (fn. 29) At the dissolution of the priory in 1536 Henry VIII granted the manor to William Lord Sandys, (fn. 30) who died in 1542, leaving a son and heir Thomas. (fn. 31) Thomas held the manor until his death in 1560, (fn. 32) when he was followed by his grandson, William Lord Sandys. (fn. 33) William apparently conveyed Timsbury to his uncle, Sir Walter Sandys, (fn. 34) who died seised in 1610, leaving a son and heir Sir William. (fn. 35) Sir William died without issue in 1628, when the manor reverted to the elder branch of the family, (fn. 36) passing to William Lord Sandys, son of the last mentioned William Lord Sandys. Thence the manor followed the descent of Longstock Harrington (q.v.) (fn. 37) until the close of the 17th century, when it was in the possession of Henry Lord Sandys. (fn. 38) It passed soon after to the family of Godfrey of Romsey. Thus Walter Godfrey senior and Walter Godfrey junior were in possession of a fishery in Timsbury in 1695, (fn. 39) and forty years later Charles Godfrey dealt with the manor and fishery of Timsbury by recovery. (fn. 40) John Godfrey was the owner in 1742, (fn. 41) while Charles Godfrey was in possession in 1758. (fn. 42) The manor passed subsequently to Mathew Bowen, (fn. 43) whose daughters and co-heirs, Louisa wife of Thomas Threlkeld and Anne, conveyed it to John Buller in 1771. (fn. 44) In 1781 the manor came into possession of William Chamberlayne, from whom it has descended by inheritance to the present owner, Mr. Tankerville Chamberlayne, of Cranbury Park, Winchester. (fn. 45)
A free fishery in the River Test was among the appurtenances of the manor belonging to the priory of Mottisfont. (fn. 46)
The church of ST. ANDREW consists of a chancel 15 ft. 11 in. by 12 ft., a nave 43 ft. 9 in. by 17 ft. 6 in., and a south porch, the western bay of the nave being boarded off to form a store room and a vestry. There is nothing in the church of an earlier date than the 13th century, and it is probable that the nave belongs to that time, while the chancel seems to have been rebuilt in the 15th century. Considerable repairs, apparently of early 18th-century date, leave the earlier history of the nave somewhat doubtful, all the windows having been altered.
The east window of the chancel is of three cinquefoiled lights with a pair of wide cinquefoiled lights over, in a two-centred head. The splay is widely hollowed, and jambs and rear arch are continuously moulded. Externally the window is of two chamfered orders with a label. To the west of the chancel, on either side, are two single cinquefoiled lights with four-centred rear arches and splays moulded in the same way as the east window. Externally the labels are square-headed, and all three windows belong to the first half of the 15th century. They contain a few fragments of white and gold 15th-century glass. At the south-east of the chancel, and contemporary with the windows, is a piscina with a moulded head of two orders, the outer square and the inner twocentred and cinquefoiled. It has a stone shelf and a half-octagonal projecting basin on a half-octagonal pillar with a moulded base. The chancel arch is a modern insertion and is of two moulded orders with corbels as yet uncarved at the springing line.
On the north of the nave are two single lights; the eastern has a segmental head and an uneven splay, designed to light the pulpit, while the second has a pointed two-centred head. The stonework of the outer jambs looks like re-used 13th-century work, and has external rebates for frames. The heads are doubtless of late date, perhaps 18 th century. On the southeast is a window like that opposite to it, but below it is a part of the splay and the sill of a narrower light, plastered over, but perhaps of 13th-century date. The south door is chamfered, with a three-centred arch, and is probably a part of the 18th-century repairs, made up of old material; the same may be said of the small west door.
The font is of 15 th or 16th-century date, and is quite plain with an octagonal bowl and stem. It stands near the south door and is covered with scratchings of initials and 17th and 18th-century dates.
Across the opening of the chancel arch is an early 16th-century screen with solid lower panels and open upper ones with trefoiled heads, three on each side of a segmental-headed doorway with traceried spandrels. There is also a 17th-century pulpit and clerk's desk with arched and carved panels, and the inscription, wo is unto me if i preach not ye gospel, i Cor ix 16, and in the vestry is a small cupboard inscribed, 'Books given by || M Timo || thy good || acker minister || of this P || 1713.' The seating includes a number of old and very plain benches, only one bench end remaining perfect, with two circular finials. The type is an early one, but the work is so plain that any conjecture as to their date is of little value. The roof of the chancel is modern and of the open timber type, but that of the nave is plain and old and is coved with a plaster ceiling and rough tiebeams with strutted king-posts.
There are three books of registers, the first containing mixed entries from 1564 to 1746, with a gap between 1664 and 1670, the second mixed entries from 1750 to 1790, the third marriages from 1760 to 1825.
The church of Timsbury was a prebend of the conventual church of Romsey, (fn. 47) and with the tithes from Imber (co. Wilts.) and one-third of the tithes from Romsey was known as the portion of St. Laurence of Timsbury. (fn. 48) The prebendary, who resided at Romsey, usually appointed a vicar to serve Timsbury. The advowson of the prebend belonged to the Abbess and convent of Romsey, who presented until the Dissolution. (fn. 49) In 1546 Henry VIII granted the prebend and advowson to John Mason, (fn. 50) who soon afterwards leased the tithes to Sir Richard Lyster. (fn. 51)
In 1595 Queen Elizabeth granted the prebend of Timsbury, parcel of the lands of John Mason, to George Dowse and his sons Paulet and John for their lives at a rent of £19 6s. 8d. (fn. 52) Richard Cowdall and Henry Skynner obtained a grant of the prebend from James I in 1607–8, (fn. 53) and John More died seised of it in 1620. (fn. 54) Henry Beck was in possession of the rectory and tithes of Timsbury in 1686, (fn. 55) and Thomas Dummer in 1766. (fn. 56) From the latter they descended with North Baddesley to Mr. Tankerville Chamberlayne, (fn. 57) who is at the present day lay rector and owner of the tithes in Timsbury. John Fleming, lord of North Stoneham, dealt with the advowson of the vicarage by recovery in 1770. (fn. 58) The living is at the present day in the gift of his descendant Mr. John Edward Arthur Willis-Fleming (fn. 59) and Mr. Tankerville Chamberlayne alternately.
This parish was formerly in possession of £7 10s. arising from the gifts of Gregory and Alice Foster, 1635–6, and others. The principal sum has been lost. The school founded by deed, 1847, has no endowment.