A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 7, Dorchester and Thame Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1962.
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As an ancient market-town on the Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire border, only 14 miles from Oxford and 46 from London, Thame has from time to time been directly affected by outside influences and by national and regional movements in which its inhabitants have often played no mean part. The area appears to have been little affected by the Romans, though Stukeley says that Thame was a Roman town, (fn. 1) but as part of the ancient endowment of the Bishopric of Dorchester (fn. 2) Thame played a leading part in christianizing the surrounding district, probably from the 7th century onwards. In the 12th century through its Cistercian Abbey the town was connected with the movement for monastic reform: parishioners of Thame were generous in their grants of land to the abbey, and some of the abbots are known to have been local men. (fn. 3) In the 1460's, at least a few townsmen played a part in another religious reform movement, for 'heretics' of Thame and High Wycombe, who were stated to have been influenced by the heretical teaching of the Rector of Chesham Bois (Bucks.), were condemned by Bishop Chedworth. (fn. 4)
In the 15th and 16th centuries the Quatremains of North Weston and Lord Williams of Thame were pioneers in the care of the poor and aged and in the promotion of education. (fn. 5)
There is some evidence that at least some of the leading townsmen were out of sympathy with the religious changes made by Henry VIII, and the fact that 'two of the most seditious' were ordered to 'suffer at Thame' for their part in the Oxfordshire outbreak of 1549 (fn. 6) suggests that the Crown may have had a special reason for choosing Thame as the place to stage a spectacle calculated to deter revolt. In the next reign, moreover, the churchwardens of Thame showed a spirited determination to save the wealth of their church and guild from royal confiscation, and they forestalled the chantry commissioners by selling the church goods. (fn. 7)
The inclosures of the period certainly met with opposition: the town supplied one of the leaders in the abortive agrarian revolt of 1596. (fn. 8)
In the 17th century again there was stubborn opposition to some of the unpopular measures of Charles I: in 1628 the inhabitants refused to billet soldiers, (fn. 9) and many of the gentry of the neighbourhood were strongly opposed to arbitrary taxation. Among the 40 in Oxfordshire who refused to pay ship-money in 1636 was Sir Francis Wenman of Thame Park, and the bailiff of Thame hundred refused to have anything to do with its collection. (fn. 10)
In the 18th century Thame showed itself equally alive: the Thame troop of yeomanry formed in 1788 was one of the first in the country and in 1803 a volunteer corps of three companies was enlisted by P. T. Wykeham of Tythrop. (fn. 11) The only Frenchmen, however, to invade Thame were the 100 or so prisoners on parole who were billeted in the town from 1805 until the end of the Napoleonic War. (fn. 12)
The town has twice seen violent conflict in its streets. The first occasion was a local affair, though it had national implications. It resulted from a papal provision to the prebend of Thame. Edward son of Sir John de St. John was provided by Pope Nicholas IV and tried to seize the prebend by armed force from Master Thomas de Sutton, Archdeacon of Northampton, on whom it had been conferred by his uncle Oliver Sutton, Bishop of Lincoln. St. John's supporters occupied the prebendal house and expelled the servants of Master Thomas, and it was alleged that they tried to prevent the celebration of the services in the church by his clergy. (fn. 13) Episcopal appeals to the king to remove the 'intruders' were without effect and in August 1293 a climax was reached with an attack by some 200 armed men on the church by St. John's followers: arrows were shot at the priests celebrating mass at the high altar, two clergy were wounded and mass was said in the desecrated building by a priest 'suborned' by the attackers. Solemn excommunication in Lincoln Cathedral, in Oxford, Thame, and other churches of the diocese followed and renewed appeals were made to the king. At the end of January 1294 the bailiffs of Thame and Banbury with other officials of the Suttons and a band of armed men blockaded the church in an attempt to starve out the 'clerks and servants of the church' supporting St. John. The bishop and his agents were ordered to appear before the king to answer for this breach of the peace, and the alleged obstruction of the highways in five places by dykes, the breaking down of Long Crendon Bridge, and the prevention of passage by wayfarers. The bailiff of Thame replied that they had blockaded the church in order to prevent the escape of felons and by order of the coroner, who had viewed the body of a man murdered by the followers of St. John. They had blocked the highways in order to preserve the peace. (fn. 14) All those who supported the papal provisor were afterwards solemnly excommunicated in the cathedral of Lincoln and in the churches of Oxford and Thame and in all those of Cuddesdon deanery. (fn. 15)
During the Civil War there was again fighting in the town's streets. Thame's position on the Aylesbury-Oxford road at a distance of only 14 miles from the city and its importance as a market meant that both royalist and parliamentary forces were interested in controlling it and were constantly skirmishing in the neighbourhood. The grammar school was forced to close for a time and the ordinary life of the market was interrupted. (fn. 16) Early in 1643 attempts were made by the parliamentary forces to obtain a permanent footing in Thame as part of their plan of controlling Oxford. Their companies were reported in the town in March and on 10 June Essex took up his headquarters there. (fn. 17) So it was that John Hampden, mortally wounded at the Battle of Chalgrove Field, died at Thame. (fn. 18) The reverse at Chalgrove and other successful royalist attacks in the neighbourhood forced Essex to withdraw to Aylesbury in July. (fn. 19) In August the royalists were commandeering all the fat cattle bought by London butchers at Thame market; in October they were planning to 'fetch away' all the cattle and stop the passage of provisions to Aylesbury; in January 1644 Prince Rupert made the town his base for an attack on Aylesbury and royalist forces appear to have remained in Thame until the spring of 1645. (fn. 20) With the king again at Oxford in November 1645 after his defeat at Naseby, the parliamentarians decided to occupy Thame in force in preparation for an attack on Oxford and so as to prevent the city from drawing on the Thame area for supplies. (fn. 21) A 'great party' of troops under Col. Greaves was quartered in the town, and in December two regiments under Col. Whalley were sent from Fairfax's army to tighten the parliamentary grip. (fn. 22) Already as a result of the occupation the town had suffered the raid led by Col. William Legge in September 1645, so graphically described by Anthony Wood. In June 1646 the operations against Oxford ended in the surrender of the garrison, and Wood recorded that on the same day many of the king's foot came into Thame to lay down their arms. (fn. 23)
Many persons of note have lived at or visited Thame. Royal visitors included Edward I (as the Lord Edward) in 1264, Edward III in 1365, and Edmund of York, guardian of England, in 1399. (fn. 24) The bishops of Lincoln often stayed in the parish (fn. 25) and many of the prebendaries, such as Adrian de Bardis, a local benefactor, were distinguished men and were often resident. (fn. 26) In the post-Reformation period the manors belonged to families of national importance. Lord Williams, Thame's greatest benefactor, was the first successor of the bishops (fn. 27) and he was succeeded by the Norreys family, who had close contacts with the parish until the Earl of Abingdon gave up Rycote House at the end of the 18th century, and by the Wenmans, who inherited Thame Abbey from Lord Williams, and resided there until the 19th century. (fn. 28) Thomas Viscount Wenman (d. 1665) who was related by marriage to the Hampdens, was a moderate parliamentarian. He had his house besieged and his estate seized by the royalists, but was later imprisoned by the parliamentarians. (fn. 29) He offered hospitality in 1649 to Seth Ward, later Bishop of Salisbury, when he was expelled from Cambridge. (fn. 30) Philip, 6th Viscount Wenman (d. 1760), was the unsuccessful Tory candidate in the great election contest of 1754, though he won in Thame by a large majority. (fn. 31)
Of those born in Thame the most distinguished is Sir John Holt (1642–1710), Lord Chief Justice. (fn. 32) Like many other notable 17th-century men he was educated at the grammar school. Its pupils in the first half of the century included John Hampden, Henry King, Bishop of Chichester, Shakerley Marmion, the dramatist, Edward Pocock, orientalist, and John Fell, Dean of Christ Church and Bishop of Oxford. (fn. 33) Others born at Thame were Robert King (d. 1557), the last abbot of Thame and the first Bishop of Oxford; (fn. 34) George Etherege (fl. 1550), physician, Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford and a recusant; (fn. 35) William Basse (? d. 1653) of Moreton, a poet and sometime retainer of Richard Wenman; Mary Bracey, (fn. 36) second wife of the poet Edmund Waller (1606–89); James Figg (d. 1734), a noted prize-fighter; and Richard Powell, M.D. (1767– 1834), whose portrait hangs in the committee room of St. Bartholomew's Hospital.
The parish lies along the south bank of the River Thame and on the borders of Buckinghamshire. In 1932 it was reduced in area from 5,229 acres to 3,140 acres: the land south from the Shabbington boundary up to and including North Weston (1,094 a.) was added to Great Haseley, and Lobbersdown Hill with the land round Moreton Field farm (995 a.) was added to Tetsworth. (fn. 37) The pre-1932 boundary followed the River Thame on the north and for a short distance on the west, but for the rest it followed an artificial line that once separated the open fields of townships. This line took many right-angled turns, especially by Sydenham where there were some particularly artificial twists as the line turned north-east to skirt Thame Park and include Blackditch farm before going north to form the county boundary, dividing the parish from Towersey on the east. (fn. 38) This area included the town, which comprised New Thame and parts of Old Thame and Priestend, and the remainder of the liberties or hamlets of Old Thame and Priestend, together with those of North Weston, Moreton, and Thame Park. (fn. 39) The parish, however, had only been limited to these hamlets since 1841, when the chapelries of Sydenham, Tetsworth, and Towersey, formerly in Thame parish, were made independent. (fn. 40) Of these villages, Sydenham lay in a different hundred and Towersey in a different county and all three had long developed along independent lines. (fn. 41) Their histories, therefore, except incidentally, will not be included in this article. The history of Attington township (444 a.), on the other hand, which was defined as a separate civil parish and as extra-parochial in the 19th century, (fn. 42) will be included. It was originally in Thame parish, and its manorial history was closely connected with Moreton and Thame Park. (fn. 43)
Most of the land lies between the 200- and 250-ft. contours, rising gently from the river's edge towards the Chilterns. On the south-west it rises more steeply towards Lobbersdown Hill (333 ft.). Occasional low hills, Barley Hill, Christmas Hill, and Horsenden Hill surmount the general rise.
Geologically the land is composed of Portland Beds, Limestone, and Calcareous Sands round about Thame, Clay and Lower Greensand along the banks of the Thame, and Gault in the south. (fn. 44) These variations have considerably affected the agricultural history of the district.
There is an ample water-supply. Apart from the Thame and its two tributary brooks there is the Cuttle Brook, which roughly bisects the parish. All are often in flood even today, and at one time the floods could be dangerous. In the great flood of 1798 a wagon was swept off the Crendon causeway, and by another in 1894 Thame Bridge on the Crendon road was destroyed. (fn. 45) Both the river and the brook were at one time full of a variety of fish. (fn. 46)
Round North Weston and in the north-east of the parish the landscape retains something of the treeless character of open-field land, but the roads are well lined with trees and Thame Park in the southeast is well wooded. The deer park is one of the most ancient in the county: it covered about 420 acres in 1852, but, if Davis surveyed it accurately, it was somewhat smaller at the end of the 18th century and in the 12th century covered about 300 field acres (3 carucates). (fn. 47) It was once the property of the bishops of Dorchester and later of the bishops of Lincoln. There is documentary evidence for its enlargement in Henry I's reign when the king licensed before 1131 an exchange of land with Richard de Vernon, as the Bishop of Lincoln needed it for his park. (fn. 48) Soon after this augmentation, at latest before 1141, it was given to the Cistercian monks of Ottley in Oddington as a site for their new abbey, later known as Sancta Maria de Parco Thame. (fn. 49) Throughout the Middle Ages, therefore, the park was devoted more to sheep than to deer.
Thame is at the centre of a network of roads coming into it from the surrounding villages of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Most of them are ancient roads, but some have increased their relative importance and others have declined in value. The present road from Oxford, for instance, was comparatively little used and remained a bridle road on the Thame side of North Weston as late as 1823. (fn. 50) The old road from Thame to Sydenham on the other hand has long gone out of use. It is first recorded in 1317 as a way running from Thame east of the abbey to 'parts of the Chilterns'. (fn. 51) The abbey was allowed to enclose part of it provided the abbey made another of the same size on its own soil. Davis shows on his map of 1797 a way running along the east of Thame Park to Sydenham and a way some way to the west of it that peters out in the park: these are very probably the old and the new roads. After the Inclosure award in 1826 the park road only continued in use. (fn. 52)
The most important through road from earliest times until the mid-18th century was the way from Aylesbury to Tetsworth, passing through Thame, along Moreton Lane and over Horsenden Hill. This took the Wallingford traffic and was also used by travellers to Oxford or London. Its early importance is apparent from the fact that Thame, Tetsworth, and Wallingford are three of the towns shown on the earliest English road map (c. 1360). (fn. 53) The bridge at the north end of this road over an arm of the Thame was therefore of some importance. A manorial court in 1444–5 reported that the bridge at Cottesgrove (i.e. Scotsgrove) End was in decay and that the Bishop of Lincoln and the Prior of Rochester ought to repair it. (fn. 54) The bridge at Priestend over the Cuttle Brook was even more important and appears to have been kept up by the parish. It undertook its repair certainly in 1836 and widened its approaches, the county contributing £50. (fn. 55) The old AylesburyTetsworth route gave way in 1770 to the turnpike from Aylesbury to Shillingford via Thame, which ran south of North Weston along the present Rycote road and on to Little Milton. Rycote Way had long been of importance, for as early as 1345 a stone causeway from Thame to Rycote had been begun at his own cost by a Thame merchant, Edward le Spicer. (fn. 56) The other principal road in the 18th century ran along the High Street of the town, skirted Thame Park and passed through Attington before joining the London road 3 miles to the south of Thame. The road to Chinnor and the Icknield Way, which ran 4½ miles to the south-east, must always, however, have been of local importance, and the road connecting Thame with Long Crendon and other Buckinghamshire villages in the north by way of Thame Bridge was certainly much used. (fn. 57)
The upkeep of this bridge was a constant burden: in 1309 Bishop Dalderby granted an indulgence for its repair; in 1335 it was again broken down and a commission was appointed to find who was responsible for the upkeep and compel them to discharge their duty. (fn. 58) Liability for its repair was in dispute as late as 1829. (fn. 59) As owner of the prebend the Baroness Wenman was declared responsible for the Oxfordshire section of the bridge and an indictment having been preferred against her the fine was spent on repairs. After its destruction by floods in 1894, the bridge was reconstructed in 1896 at a cost of £4,600. (fn. 60)
The roads about Thame were in a bad state before the turnpikes were made towards the end of the 18th century. Defoe noted that no provision was made for the repair of the roads in the vale of Aylesbury and beyond it into Oxfordshire; later Lord Torrington complained of the state of the cross roads round Crendon and Thame, declaring that for the most part they were impossible to tour in chaises or phaetons and 'would tame the fiercest horse'. (fn. 61) Great improvements had been made by 1813 when Brewer stated that the 'majority of parochial roads or cross ways are much better than the great thoroughfares were a century ago'. (fn. 62) The coming of the turnpikes made it possible to run a coach from Burford via Oxford and Thame to London in 1773, and by about 1830 there was a coach from Thame to London three times a week until 1860. (fn. 63) But Thame never became a coaching centre: with Tetsworth so near it was not too inconvenient to join the London coach there. Four Thame roads were turnpiked. The first from Aylesbury to the turnpike between Shillingford and Benson was opened in 1770. (fn. 64) There were gates at Thame Mill, and Priestend, and the receipts at these in 1802 were £110 and £342 respectively. (fn. 65) The road from Thame to the Oxford road between Tetsworth and Postcombe was turnpiked in 1785 with a gate at Brick Kiln Lane at which the receipts in 1802 were £194. (fn. 66) In 1833 a turnpike trust was set up for a road from Thame to Bicester. (fn. 67) In 1881 the United Trust with a debt of £2,650 and assets worth £1,549 was wound up. (fn. 68) A proposal, made in 1823, to carry the Oxford—London road through the parish almost along the line of the present railway failed owing to the objections of certain landholders. (fn. 69) Existing lanes were used instead and the present Oxford— Thame—Risborough road by way of Kingsey Field resulted.
In the 20th century the Chinnor road has been increasing in importance owing to the growth of the Chinnor cement works and since 1929 has carried more traffic than either the Postcombe or Rycote roads. (fn. 70)
The railway came to Thame in 1858 when an extension of the line from High Wycombe via Princes Risborough, authorized by Parliament in 1857, was built. The line was taken over by the G.W.R. in 1867, the connexion between Thame and Oxford having been completed in 1864. (fn. 71)
The town of Thame lies in the extreme north of the parish just to the south of the River Thame, from which it took its name. The word is probably a corruption of the Celtic root teme, meaning dark. (fn. 72) The town's site must have been determined by the strong defensive position of the river and its two tributaries which lie on three sides of it and by the sandstone island that emerges here out of the surrounding clay. (fn. 73) The geological conformation also largely determined the present lay-out of the town. Along a gently sloping ridge running north-west to southeast runs the long and remarkably wide High Street with the parallel Wellington Street to the north-east and Southern Road to the south-west. (fn. 74)
The original town of Old Thame lay at the west end of the High Street along the roads which encircle the church—the Oxford road to the north-west and Bell Lane to the south-east. Here in Church Road was the Bishop's Court House. When the church was made a prebend of Lincoln in about 1140 a prebendal house was probably built and from this time, no doubt, dates the liberty of Priestend which lasted as a unit of local government up to the 19th century. Development eastwards and the creation of New Thame probably took place in the 12th century, and in the first quarter of the 13th century the centre of the High Street itself, where Middle Row now is, began to be built on. (fn. 75) The early 13th century was undoubtedly a period of great building activity: the parish church was newly built on a large scale, and so it seems was the abbey church and the prebendal chapel and one-time hall. (fn. 76) By the mid 15th century, if not earlier, the town had extended to Friday Street (North Street) and partly along it. (fn. 77) By 1700 houses extended as far as the White Hound Pond and by 1823 were almost continuous to that point and along much of Pound Lane (Wellington Street). (fn. 78) But Ludsden was still a hamlet and the land between it and the east end of Brick Kiln Lane (Park Street) was open field. Even in 1860 Ludsden still consisted of three farms with cottages. (fn. 79) After 1850 the freeing of land by the inclosure award (1826), the growing population, and later the opening of the railway station and the increased powers of the Urban District Council, led to the development of the town to the south-east and south. (fn. 80) By 1880 the gas works (now pulled down) and a row of artisans' houses at the beginning of East Street had appeared; also Tythrop Terrace and Railway Terrace. (fn. 81) These were followed by over 60 new houses built between 1880 and 1890 along Chinnor Road and in Pickencroft (Queen's Road). These were mostly vitreousbrick and red-brick villas for artisans. At about this date too All Saints' Church, a corrugated iron structure, was erected in Chinnor Road and a row of twostory houses in the Gothic style in Thame Park Road; between 1900 and 1910 came Croft Road and Nelson Street; and after the two World Wars there was further expansion. Between 1919 and 1939 an estate of 178 houses was built off Windmill Road and between 1945 and 1959 Victoria Mead and Moat Crescent were laid out besides 172 Council houses in Churchill Crescent and other estates on the north side of Thame. (fn. 82)
Apart from dwelling houses several schools and other public buildings have been erected in Thame since 1827 when the Congregationalist Chapel (now the Masonic Hall) was built. (fn. 83) In 1835 came the Workhouse, designed by G. Wilkinson of Witney, who was afterwards asked by the Poor Law Commissioners to design similar buildings for Ireland. (fn. 84) Next came the National school and the British school; in 1861 the County Court, built of local bricks and embellished with a shield of arms; and in 1878 the new buildings of Lord Williams's Grammar School on the Oxford Road. (fn. 85) In 1959 a new secondary modern school was begun. (fn. 86)
The most striking feature of the town today is still its wide High Street, stretching for over ¾-mile from the Oxford Road to the police station. In the mid 19th century Billing's Directory stated with much truth that if Middle Row was taken down 'it would make this noble street second to none in any market town in England'. (fn. 87) Hotels, public-houses, shops, and residential houses lie on either side. All periods of architecture from the 15th century (or possibly earlier) to the present day, are represented, and though about 1900 many of the old houses were refronted and the shops acquired plate-glass windows, the general effect is still one of beauty and dignity.
Among the oldest buildings, the 'Bird Cage' is one of the best preserved and most interesting. The main structure dates from the 15th century, but its stone cellar may be earlier. The house is timber-framed and has lath and plaster filling, now rough cast. The west end is a three-story building with its top story oversailing all round and supported on long and very heavy curved brackets on corner posts. On the first floor are two 15th- to 16th-century rectangular wooden bays with traceried lights, shaped and curved aprons, and small tiled roofs. The centre of the house is of two stories and the east end has one story and an attic, but part of the original east end has been replaced by the International Stores. There is a pentroof projection across the ground floor. The house has been an inn for some years, but the local tradition is that it was once the town prison and it seems likely that it is identical with the 'tenement called the cage' which was the property of the guild of St. Christopher in 1529. (fn. 88) Another secular building, partly of 15th-century date and worth noting, is the house called the 'Cruck'. It has 16th-century timberframing with plaster filling and stands on a rubble base. There is a fragment of Elizabethan wallpainting inside. One gable-end has the remains of a cruck built in to the lower story that was apparently part of an adjoining cottage now destroyed.
Most numerous are the 16th to 17th-century, 18thcentury and Regency houses, though many of them were altered later. The chief characteristics of the 16th-17th-century houses are their irregular gables, cut barge-boards, timber-framing, oversailing top stories, and diamond-shafted chimneys. Some have plaster filling, some rubble and plaster, and others have brick. An important building material in the 16th century and earlier was white earth, later known as 'witchert'. (fn. 89) Some have been refronted in the 18th century and their earlier characteristics are observable only at the rear of the building or inside. Some are still thatched. The 18th-century houses or those with 18th-century fronts are usually built of brick and are on the whole rather plain Georgian houses, with the usual characteristics of the style. (fn. 90)
The best examples of the 16th century are Lord Williams's almshouses and his grammar school. The almshouses were apparently built after 1550 when Lord Williams succeeded to the chantry property and before his death in 1559. (fn. 91) They replaced the original Quatremain Hospital which Leland said stood close by the church and which Camden, writing in 1586, said no longer existed. (fn. 92) The present building (now partly private cottages and partly store-rooms) is a picturesque range of timberframed, two-storied cottages set at right angles to the High Street. The top-story oversails and is supported on carved brackets. There is a central angular bay on each floor. There were once six cottages of two rooms each. (fn. 93) Externally except for some 19th-century windows they have been little altered. Buckler's drawing of 1821 shows them when they were still six almshouses. (fn. 94)
The grammar school, now used by Messrs. Pursers as offices and store-rooms, was built in 1569. (fn. 95) It is a two-storied building with attics built of rubble with dressed stone copings. It consists of rooms for the master and usher, facing west on to Church Row, with attics above for the boys and a lofty schoolroom behind (50 ft. by 20 ft.). Over the central doorway is set a carved panel containing the arms of Lord Williams. The forecourt is now entered from High Street, but the school was originally separated from the almshouses by a wall. (fn. 96)
The building suffered during the Civil War, but was repaired by 1661 when Warden Woodward of New College found it 'new mended, lathed and tiled'. (fn. 97) At one time the windows of the schoolroom contained the royal arms and those of Lord Williams and his connexions. (fn. 98) The master had a garden and orchard, at the corner of which was the privy. (fn. 99) Various 19th- and 20th-century additions have been made to the old building, including the staircase and bandstand bought from Lord Rothschild's house at Halton near Aylesbury, when the school building was used as a dance-hall and cafe between the two World Wars. (fn. 100)
Among the best preserved 16th to 17th century houses is Corner Cottage in Bell Lane, a picturesque thatched building of brick, plaster, and timber. Another is no. 1 Butter Market and 'The George' which were originally one building. This house consists of two stories and an attic, is timber-framed, and part has a double-gabled front oversailing at first-floor level with heavy bracket supports, in their original carved form, and the other part (now 'The George') has a similar oversail, but without gables. A massive central chimney with four diamond shafts remains. The 'Saracen's Head', although it has a 17th-century gabled exterior, is really a much older house. It is timber-framed, but the inside timbers appear to be of 15th-century date and are set in a massive and elaborate symmetrical pattern with curved braces in the panels. The house had a vaulted medieval cellar, mutilated in the course of modern alterations. (fn. 101) Other 16th-century buildings are the 'Nag's Head' with its three oversailing gables, the 'Rising Sun', the Swan Hotel, which has an 18th-century front of brick, (fn. 102) and the 'Abingdon Arms', though the last has been very much altered at later dates. It was once a five-bay building, of which the main part was timber-framed with brick filling in the front and lath and plaster and some rubble at the rear; it has been reduced in size and converted into shops. No. 109 Lower High Street is another 16th-century structure and is typical of many houses in this part of the High Street. It is a timber-framed house with brick filling, a central chimney stack, and a side entry to the rear of the premises. Inside there are spiral staircases and 17thcentury corner fireplaces. It has been refronted in the early 18th century and has an early-19th-century shop front.
Five buildings of interest dating from the 16th and 17th centuries are known through prints or documents only. They are two successive market-halls, the old Vicarage, the Court House, and the Place House. The 16th-century market-hall was a timberframed building of two stories with open spaces for shops below. On the top story there was ornamental pargetting. The roof was tiled and surmounted by a short weather-vaned turret. (fn. 103) It was this building that John Verney, writing to Sir Ralph on 6 October 1679, said had fallen down. (fn. 104) A new market-house built at the expense of the Abingdon family in 1684 stood on large stones embedded in the ground which supported oak pillars. (fn. 105) About 1850 the building was repaired and improved and was used for the monthly Petty Sessions. (fn. 106) As it accommodated barely 80 people it was replaced in 1888 by the present Town Hall. (fn. 107)
The old Vicarage, where Anthony Wood boarded as a schoolboy, lay near the site of the present Vicarage, but closer to the road. It was replaced in 1842, (fn. 108) but 19th-century prints show it as a two-story house of two builds with picturesque gables and timberframing. (fn. 109) It was assessed on four hearths in 1665. (fn. 110) The 16th-century fireplace in the hall of the present Vicarage may have come from the old house.
The Court House, said to have contained early Tudor timbering and oak panelling, stood, until 1891, at the east angle of the churchyard and Church Row. (fn. 111) This was the manor-house of Old Thame and presumably replaced the 'Hall' of the Bishop of Lincoln, which was the administrative centre of his demesne in the early Middle Ages. Bishop Hugh de Welles was granted 30 pieces of timber in 1219 for making it, and one of the services of the bishop's villeins in the 13th century was to carry timber to his 'hall and grange'. (fn. 112) The bishop's courts were held there: Court Close is still the name of a field to the south of the church, and the large barn, standing on the opposite side of the road and now called Church Barn, was in the 15th and 16th centuries called Court Barn. (fn. 113) When the Wrays had the lordship in the 17th century Edward Wray leased in 1626 the manorhouse to Vincent Barry, his steward, (fn. 114) and it was from the Barrys' house that Anthony Wood watched the royalist attack on Thame in 1645. (fn. 115) The capital messuage and Court Close were leased to Robert Barry in 1691. (fn. 116) The barn is a long low building with a brick base supporting a timber-framed upper part with herring-bone brick filling. A dove-cot of brick with a hipped roof also remains. It adjoins the churchyard, and was ordered to be rebuilt in 1526 when leased by the bishop to Richard Rey. (fn. 117)
The most important lay house in Thame in the Middle Ages was almost certainly the 'Place House'. It was the manor-house of Baldington manor, and belonged first to the Baldingtons and then to the Dormers. (fn. 118) It lay in Friday Street (i.e. North Street) on the east side and at the High Street end in Lee's Close. (fn. 119) In 1473 Geoffrey Dormer, senior, acquired it from Thomas Baldington's daughter and apparently used it as one of his residences until 1498 when he leased it to John Hall for life. (fn. 120) In 1484 it was described as having glazed and latticed windows, all shuttered. (fn. 121) The arms of the Mercers' Company are said to have been in the window of the house and were perhaps placed there in the time of Geoffrey's son Sir Michael, who was a London mercer. (fn. 122) In 1592, when John Dormer leased it to John Symeon (d. 1619) of Pyrton, it was occupied by a yeoman farmer, (fn. 123) and in 1611 was described as 'lately his [Dormer's] dwelling house'. (fn. 124)
A fifth house, once the 'Mansion House' of the Knollys family in the High Street, has been largely destroyed. It was erected at the close of the 16th century by Sir Francis Knollys (d. 1629), and was later rebuilt and inhabited by Francis Knollys, M.P. (d. 1757), and by Sir Francis Knollys, Bt., M.P. (d. 1772). In the 19th century it was used as a school. (fn. 125)
Priestend at the west end of the High Street also still has a number of ancient houses including Castle's Farm, a 16th-century timber-framed building of lath and plaster with a central chimney; some 16thcentury cottages that retain in their cruck construction the remains of earlier cottages; and the oldest of all Thame's houses, the Prebendal. The earliest reference to the prebendary's house occurs in 1234 when Ralph de Wareville, Canon of Lincoln, received a royal grant of wood for his house in Thame. (fn. 126) The existing chapel must have been built at about that date: it has two lancets in the north and south walls and one at the west end. The east window is a triple lancet with moulded rear arches supported by detached shafts with foliated capitals. The chapel has an undercroft. The original stone house was built round a quadrangular courtyard. (fn. 127) The dormitory and undercroft still adjoining the chapel extend almost the full length of the south range; the original 13th-century hall, now destroyed, lay on the east side of the quadrangle with the chapel projecting eastwards from its south-east corner. The building seems to have been used as a great chamber when a new hall with a porch to the north of this building and a two-storied block still farther to the north were built in the 15th century. (fn. 128) The north-western range of buildings dates from the 14th century and the whole of the former western range no longer exists. The rebuilding may have followed on the inspection made by the proctor of Nicholas, Cardinal Prebendary of Thame, who was appointed in 1380 to survey and repair the houses and the property of the prebend lately held by a rebel cardinal. (fn. 129) When the prebend was dissolved the house passed with the part of the prebend known as the rectory to the Thynne family and was ultimately sold to Baroness Wenman. Anthony Wood noted that the hall and chapel were standing in 1661, but were in ruins and that there were the ruins of other rooms half round the quadrangle. (fn. 130) Early 19th-century drawings show that the place was being used as a farmhouse. (fn. 131) In 1836 Charles Stone of Thame bought the building from Baroness Wenman, and converted it into a dwelling-house by dividing the great hall into two floors and small rooms. His architect was H. B. Hodson. (fn. 132) Since then the house had been continuously used as a private dwelling and has been carefully restored. The chapel was first restored by Col. Harman Grisewood and W. W. Seymour in about 1912. (fn. 133) The restoration of the chapel has been completed by Mr. and Mrs. H. G. Keppel-Palmer, who have also modernized the house and at the same time restored many of its ancient features. Professor Dickie of Manchester University supervised these alterations in 1938–9. The 19th-century ceiling of the hall was removed and a 16th-century roof of carved oak from Essex has been inserted at a height of 17 to 18 ft. The remains of the moat, which once surrounded the house on three sides, the river being on the fourth side, have been filled in. (fn. 134)
In its present form the house is L-shaped and of two stories with an irregular east front. The 15thcentury hall is to the left of the projecting entrance porch. It is lighted by two tall mullioned and transomed two-light windows with cusped heads. There is a two-light window with stone mullions and cusped heads to the lights on the first floor. The gabled extension to the right of the porch contains a tall similar two-light window on the first floor and a later (probably 16th-century) three-light window on the ground floor with three-centred heads to the lights. The present tracery has been added at a later date, for a print of 1837 shows the house with mullioned windows and plain lights. (fn. 135) All the windows have drip moulds. The roof rests on a stone corbel table dating from the 15th century. It used to be part tiles and part thatch before the 19th-century restorations. (fn. 136) The joining wall shown in 19th-century drawings was probably used for rebuilding the house in the 1870 restoration. It was built up again on the old foundations by Mrs. Keppel-Palmer.
Outside the town, in the hamlets, the chief ancient building is Thame Park, the site of Thame Abbey. Except for the abbot's lodgings, which were built early in the 16th century, and the 13th-century range to the north, nothing now remains of the monastic buildings or of the abbey church. The buildings appear to have been in a bad state of repair early in the 16th century, 'in ruins' according to Bishop Longland, (fn. 137) and on the dissolution of the monastery the greater part of them including the abbey church were apparently either pulled down or used as farm buildings. In about 1840 the site was examined by William Twopenny, who made drawings. He calculated that the church had been 230 ft. long by 70 ft., and that it had a Lady chapel extending a further 45 ft. at the east end. The bases of fourteen piers of the nave, seven on either side, were still visible. There were traces of a detached rectangular building on the south, which he supposed might have been the chapter house, and also traces of other monastic offices. (fn. 138) A report made about 1507 by William Wood, a monk of Thame, to Pope Julius II corroborates Twopenny's calculations of the size of the church. He said that the abbeys of Furness and Thame were of almost equal dimensions. (fn. 139)
The original church was consecrated in 1145 and the building was presumably begun about 1140. (fn. 140) Fragments of the old building, however, found in walls in the 19th century all had Early-English mouldings, and a stone lavatory with Early-English carving of birds and flowers existed in 1841. (fn. 141) Such documentary evidence as there is supports the view that the chancel at least was rebuilt in the early 13th century. In 1232 Henry III gave the monastery timber for making the stalls of the choir, and in 1236 30 oaks to make a kiln in order to rebuild the chancel which had fallen down. (fn. 142)
When the Wenmans obtained the site of Thame monastery, (fn. 143) they preserved the abbot's lodgings and part of the monastic buildings. The lodgings, which form the south front of the present house, were built at three separate dates and are an 'excellent' specimen of the late phases of domestic Gothic. The earliest part of the range dates perhaps from about 1500 and comprises a small upper and lower hall with bay windows at the east end; an extension was added later, embodying a larger hall, on the ground floor, of five bays with an upper hall and a second room beyond. Lastly, a low tower of three stories in height covering the original external south door was built after 1530 when Robert King became abbot. The second building has a large south oriel and a projecting stair. The stone entrance door has a fourcentred arch within a square frame. The whole range was formerly covered with stone slats. The western upper apartment has a late 16th-century stone fireplace, but the moulded beams are early 16th century and may have been put in in Abbot Warren's time (d. 1529). The parlour on the first floor of the tower retains its original linen-fold panelling with an internal porch and carved wooden frieze showing Italian influence. (fn. 144) On the ceiling of the ground floor room are the arms of numerous benefactors of the abbey. The kitchen wing to the north is older than the Tudor wing. The sixth Lord Wenman pulled down part of the old abbey in 1745 and added a Palladian west front: his architect was said by Lee to have been Smith of Coventry, but it seems probable that Smith of Warwick was intended, that is William Smith (1705–47), the son of Francis Smith of Warwick. (fn. 145) The architecture is 'simple and restrained'. The reception rooms on the piano nobile were probably altered by the last Lady Wenman (d. 1870), who entertained William IV here. (fn. 146)
Extensive alterations were made about 1920 by W. H. Gardiner under the supervision of G. Berkeley Wills of London and in accordance with his designs. (fn. 147) All the 19th-century decoration, much of it in the style of Louis XV, was removed. Ionic capitals replaced the 'badly modelled' Corinthian ones of the original columns in the dining room.
The Wenmans also preserved as a private chapel a medieval chapel lying to the north-west of their house. It was presumably a chapel built just outside the gates of the abbey for travellers and others. A 19th-century engraving of it by F. Mackenzie shows that it dated from the 14th century. (fn. 148) It was then as it is today: a parallelogram in shape with a highpitched roof, a western bellcote and a west doorway. The building was restored in 1836 by Sophia Baroness Wenman. (fn. 149) Lee complained that too many of the ancient characteristics of the chapel were then marred or destroyed. High pews, 'ugly to a degree', a 'cumbersome and vulgar' pulpit and reading pew, and an organ were installed. The floor was laid partly with tiles (some 15th and some 16th century) from the ruins of the abbey. The restoration was begun by 'Mr. Harris' and completed by 'Mr. Abraham'. It seems likely that Harris was Daniel Harris of Oxford and that Abraham was Robert Abraham of London (1774–1850), who had a Roman Catholic connexion. (fn. 150) The following monumental inscriptions were recorded by Lee: (fn. 151) Thomas Wenman (d. 1665), eldest son of Sir Francis Wenman, Bt., Seymour Wroughton (d. 1736), Philip, 6th Viscount Wenman (d. 1760), Sophia Viscountess Wenman (d. 1787), who was interred in an open vault in a small projecting sanctuary at the east end, Father Bernard Stafford (d. 1788), Philip, 7th Viscount Wenman of Tuam and Baron Tuam (d. 1800), by Westmacott, and Sophia Elizabeth Baroness Wenman of Thame Park (d. 1870). Lupton records a memorial in the chapel-yard to the Countess de Roubion (d. 1854). (fn. 152)
At the hamlet of North Weston, now consisting only of the Manor Farm and a few cottages, the chief house of interest was once the manor-house, which was largely pulled down in the early 19th century. (fn. 153) In the 14th century it was the home of the Quatremains and was called Quatremains Place, (fn. 154) and after it had passed to the Clerkes it was probably rebuilt by Sir John Clerke out of the proceeds of the ransom of the Duke de Longueville, whom he had captured at the Battle of the Spurs. (fn. 155) A sketch of the old house shows that it was a picturesque two-storied and gabled building, composed of a central range of rooms and two projecting wings at each end. (fn. 156) It was taxed on sixteen hearths in 1665. (fn. 157) Lupton, writing in the mid-19th century, says that he saw a beam taken from the hall on which was cut the date 1527. (fn. 158) The present farmhouse and outbuildings represent part of the east wing and the kitchen offices of the old house. The house is built partly of brick and rubble, partly of timber, and has a massive outside chimney stack with brick chimney shafts set diagonally.
The red-brick walling of an 18th-century garden also survives. The end facing south is rounded and contains a stone alcove with Ionic columns and a pediment above with the arms of Clerke. (fn. 159) A medieval chapel lying to the west of the house was pulled down about 1810 or 1820. (fn. 160) The date of its construction is unknown, but a new window had been inserted towards the end of the 14th century when Guy Quatremain was baptized. The baptism took place before his father's death in 1399. (fn. 161) The chapel was used for a baptismal service as late as 1750 and in the mid-19th century the pillars of the nave were still to be seen supporting the roof of a cart-shed. (fn. 162)
Moreton lies on the Cuttle Brook and is still a sizeable village with a number of ancient cottages and farmhouses, as well as a 19th-century Primitive Methodist chapel, a former National school, and a number of 20th-century council houses. (fn. 163) Its appearance was completely altered by the inclosure award. The large green in the south-west was inclosed and though some of the oldest houses are still in this area, the modern village has spread north-eastward. An older part of the village where there are timberframed and thatched cottages is grouped round a small green to the north-east of the old one. Moreton never had a manor-house or a church.
No trace has been found of the medieval village of Attington, Eatta's hill, (fn. 164) but it is probable that it lay on the Thame road over 300 ft. up and where the ordnance survey map of 1885 marked a well. (fn. 165) This position would agree with the references to the village and various adjoining closes in a mid-15thcentury terrier: 'South Close' lay between Attington and Copcourt, 'West Close' between the west end of the village and London Way towards Tetsworth, and 'North Close' lay between Attington and Horsenden Hill. (fn. 166)
By the time of the hearth tax of 1665 only Dormer Leys farmhouse in the north-west of the parish was listed, and Davis's map of 1797 shows only this house and the house later called Attington House, in the south-west of the parish. (fn. 167) Attington House is a two-storied building with attics of 18th-century date. It is built partly of brick and partly of ragstone with brick quoins and dressings. It has two hipped dormers and a tiled roof.
Manors. (fn. 168)
In the Anglo-Saxon period THAME was among the endowments of the bishopric of Dorchester, and with the bishop's other demesne manors in Oxfordshire—Banbury, Cropredy, Dorchester, and Great Milton—formed 'a great episcopal estate of immemorial antiquity. (fn. 169) However, the earliest specific evidence for the connexion between Thame and the bishop is the death of Oscytel, Bishop of Dorchester and later Archbishop of York, at Thame in 971. (fn. 170) When in 1070 it was decided to move the See of Dorchester to Lincoln, (fn. 171) its possessions were transferred to the Bishop of Lincoln, who in 1086 was holding Thame of the king. (fn. 172) The manor then consisted of 60 hides, of which the bishop held 37 and his knights 23 hides. The 37 hides held by the bishop represented not only Thame itself, but the bishop's demesne lands in Moreton, North Weston, and Tetsworth, while the 23 hides held by his knights represented land in Attington and Moreton, North Weston, Tetsworth, and possibly Waterstock.
From 1126 onwards Honorius II and successive popes confirmed to the bishops their lands at Thame with its liberties and appurtenances, (fn. 173) and Henry II granted to Bishop Robert de Chesney free warren there, as his predecessors had had it in the time of Henry I. (fn. 174)
The demesne manor, consisting of Old Thame and the town of New Thame, with lands in Moreton, North Weston, and Tetsworth, (fn. 175) was kept in the bishop's hands throughout the Middle Ages. In 1279 he was returned as holding the hundred and the manor (which included its subinfeudated parts) of the barony of Banbury for the service of 5 fees, (fn. 176) and in 1316 he was described as lord of Old and New Thame. (fn. 177) In the early Middle Ages, during a vacancy of the see, the possessions of the bishopric came into the king's hands. The long vacancy between 1166 and 1183 explains the fact that in 1182 the episcopal manors, including Thame, were held by the king. (fn. 178) Because Hugh de Welles, although consecrated in 1209, did not receive the temporalties of his see until 1213, Thame is again listed in about 1212 as in the king's hands. (fn. 179) In the early 14th century the policy changed, for the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln bought from Edward II for £1,000 the right of having the custody of the possessions of the see during a vacancy, (fn. 180) and from that time Thame, like the other episcopal manors, was evidently administered by the chapter between the death of a bishop and the accession of his successor.
In 1547 Henry Holbeach, soon after being translated to Lincoln, sold for 'certain great sums of money' to Protector Somerset the greater part of the possessions of his see, probably as the price of the bishopric. Included in the sale was the valuable Thame manor, including the bishop's lands in Moreton, North Weston, and Tetsworth, (fn. 181) which had been assessed at £71 10s. 2¾d. in 1535. (fn. 182) By 1550 Somerset had transferred it to Sir John Williams, (fn. 183) who at about the same time acquired the site and lands of Thame Abbey.
Williams, a younger son of Sir John Williams of Burghfield (Berks.), was from about 1530 a royal official who built up a large estate from monastic lands. In 1554 he was created Lord Williams of Thame by Queen Mary. (fn. 184) He lived at Rycote in the neighbouring parish of Great Haseley and had many associations with Thame. (fn. 185) By his first wife Elizabeth, granddaughter of Thomas Bledlowe, a London grocer and alderman, (fn. 186) Lord Williams had three sons, who died in their father's lifetime, and two daughters, Isabella, the wife of Richard Wenman, and Margaret, the wife of Henry Norreys (later Lord Norreys), (fn. 187) who became their father's heirs on his death in 1559. As far as the property in Thame was concerned, the land which had belonged to the bishop descended to the Norreys family, while that which had belonged to Thame Abbey went to the Wenmans. (fn. 188)
The bishop's manor after the Reformation was sometimes described as New and Old Thame manor, and sometimes considered as two manors, NEW THAME and OLD THAME. (fn. 189) Norreys died in 1601 and the manor passed to his descendants. (fn. 190) James Bertie, Lord Norreys, who inherited in 1666, (fn. 191) was created Earl of Abingdon in 1682 and was followed in 1699 by his son Montagu, who died childless in 1743. (fn. 192)
In the 17th century the manor-house and demesne lands of Old Thame manor were leased to the Barry family. Vincent Barry, the son of Francis Barry of Thame and the nephew of Vincent Barry of Hampton Gay, who may have first acquired the lease from the Wrays in 1626, (fn. 193) was a J.P. and a prominent Thame resident. He died in 1666, (fn. 194) leaving a son Vincent (d. 1680), who in 1657 had obtained the lease for 99 years at £20 a year. (fn. 195) Vincent's eldest son Vincent inherited Hampton Gay, (fn. 196) but the lease of Thame went to another son Robert, later Vicar of Northfleet (Kent), who in 1706 sold part of the estate to pay his debts. (fn. 197) Thereafter the family disappears from Thame.
Montagu Bertie was followed as lord of Old and New Thame by his nephew Willoughby Bertie (d. 1780); by his son Willoughby Bertie, the 4th earl (d. 1799), and then by his grandson Montagu, the 5th earl (d. 1854). The latter in 1844 offered for sale his property in Thame parish, including the manors of Old Thame, New Thame, Priestend, and North Weston, with nearly 2,400 acres of land. (fn. 198) Priestend was successfully sold, but not the Thame manors, for the earls of Abingdon continued to be lords of the manor and the chief landowners. (fn. 199)
On the death of Montagu, the 6th earl, in 1884, his Thame property passed to his younger son, Francis Leveson Bertie, a distinguished diplomat, who was created Viscount Bertie of Thame in 1918. (fn. 200) On his death in 1919 he was succeeded by his son Vere Frederick, the 2nd viscount, who lived at Shirburn Lodge and died in 1954, when the title became extinct. (fn. 201)
PRIESTEND, a separate part of Thame, had its own field system, and there presumably lay the property of the prebendaries during the Middle Ages. (fn. 202) In the mid-16th century other property there passed to William, Lord Windsor, who held courts for Priestend manor, as it was then called. The manor was still held in 1573 by his son Edward, Lord Windsor, who had succeeded in 1558, (fn. 203) but it appears to have been held by the Norreys family by about 1600. (fn. 204) It descended to them and their heirs, the earls of Abingdon, with the main manor of Thame, but remained a separate manor with its own courts and tenants. (fn. 205) In 1844 the Earl of Abingdon sold his Priestend manor, with over 700 acres of land, to William Keppel, Viscount Barrington, and Joseph Henley of Waterperry. (fn. 206) No later record has been found of the manor, but by the 1880's the Earl of Abingdon was again the chief landowner in Priestend. (fn. 207)
From at least 1577 the Wenmans also held an estate in Priestend which is listed among their lands as a manor until the late 17th century. (fn. 208) After this it disappears.
The first mention of BALDINGTON'S or BALDINGTON manor in Thame occurs in 1419. It was then held of the Bishop of Lincoln, (fn. 209) and probably continued to be, (fn. 210) although the overlordship is not mentioned after the middle of the century. The manor-house and probably much of the land belonging to the manor lay in Old Thame, but there were appurtenances in New Thame, Moreton, and North Weston. (fn. 211) Land in other parishes—Great Milton, Denton in Cuddesdon, Garsington, and Toot Baldon —which were held by William Baldington in 1419 (fn. 212) were said later in the century to form part of the manor, as was also land in Long Crendon and Ickford (Bucks.). (fn. 213) In the late 16th century the manor still included appurtenances in New Thame, Moreton, and Priestend, but not land outside the parish. (fn. 214)
John Baldington of Thame, probably a member of the family which had held Little Baldon in the 13th century, (fn. 215) was an important man who often served on commissions of the peace. (fn. 216) He acquired Albury manor, (fn. 217) and may have been the first of his family to own Thame property. His son William, who lived at Albury, (fn. 218) died in 1419 holding Baldington's manor. (fn. 219) His heir was his son Thomas. He left a widow Agnes, the daughter of John Danvers by his first wife and therefore a half-sister of Sir Thomas Danvers of Waterstock, and three young daughters, Agnes, Alice, and Isabella. (fn. 220) Thomas's widow, who married as her second husband Sir John Fray (d. 1461), probably held the manor until 1454, when she granted it to her two elder daughters. (fn. 221) By that time Isabella was dead; Agnes, the wife of William Brome of Holton, received Albury as her inheritance; (fn. 222) and Baldington was evidently Alice's share of her father's lands. She was already the widow of John Wakehurst and in 1473 she and her second husband, Henry Tracy of Toddington (Gloucs.), (fn. 223) sold the manor to Geoffrey Dormer for £313 13s. 4d.; he was, however, to pay them a yearly rent of £9 14s. less 3s. 4d. for the steward who held the courts. (fn. 224)
Dormer, a merchant of the Calais Staple, was an important man in Thame. (fn. 225) He died in 1503, but in 1498 he had settled Baldington on his son Geoffrey, (fn. 226) who also lived in Thame and was probably the Master Dormer who was buried there in 1537. (fn. 227) The younger Geoffrey left no children, so his heir was his younger brother Sir Michael Dormer, a London mercer and in 1541 Lord Mayor of London. (fn. 228) The latter bought up much property in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Some of his manors he left to his elder sons, (fn. 229) but Baldington, Attington, and Dorton (Bucks.) he settled on a younger son William and his wife Elizabeth. (fn. 230) William Dormer, Old Thame's richest inhabitant, (fn. 231) used Attington and Dorton to obtain ready money, (fn. 232) and in 1560, in return for £450, he granted Thomas Sackville (later Earl of Dorset) a yearly annuity of £53 6s. 8d. out of Baldington. (fn. 233) Before his death in 1563 he settled the manor for life on his wife Elizabeth and then on his son John. (fn. 234)
Dormer's widow married as her second husband Hugh Hollinshead of Thame and in 1566 they were able to reclaim from Sackville all his rights in Baldington. (fn. 235) She was probably dead by 1584 when her son John, who lived at Dorton and was to become a prominent Buckinghamshire knight, was in possession of Baldington. (fn. 236) In 1586 he settled the manor on his wife Jane, the daughter of John Giffard of Chillington (Staffs.). (fn. 237) No mention has been found of the manor after 1586 and it is probable that some of the lands were sold. Sir John Dormer's heirs, the Dormers of Ascot, and their successors, the Dormers of Rousham, held land in Thame until at least the early 18th century. (fn. 238)
In the Middle Ages NORTH WESTON fee or manor as it became later, was held of the Bishop of Lincoln as of his manor of Thame. (fn. 239) The overlordship was last mentioned in 1625, when the manor was held of Edward Wray and his wife, (fn. 240) the lords of Thame manor.
The tenant of the fee in 1086 was a certain William, one of the bishop's knights. His fee consisted of 3 hides in Thame (i.e. North Weston) and 33/4 hides in Great Milton (i.e. Ascot). (fn. 241) From at least 1166, when Herbert Quatremain held a fee of the bishop, (fn. 242) until the 15th century North Weston and Ascot formed the two halves of the fee known in the 15th century as 'Quatremains manor'. (fn. 243) Herbert Quatremain died before September 1200 (fn. 244) and was followed by his son Herbert, who was listed as one of the bishop's knights in 1201 and still held in about 1230. (fn. 245) His son and heir William Quatremain succeeded, but had died by 1279 when his heir William was a minor. (fn. 246) Thomas, the son of William II, was returned as lord of (North) Weston and Ascot in 1316. He married Katharine, the daughter of Guy Breton, and both he and his wife died in 1342. (fn. 247) The Thomas Quatremain who was in possession in 1346 was their son. (fn. 248) He considerably increased the family estates, and numerous properties in Wiltshire and Oxfordshire were recorded in the inquisition on his death in 1398. (fn. 249) The family was settled at North Weston. (fn. 250) Thomas Quatremain was followed successively by his three sons John (d. 1403), Guy (d. 1414) and Richard, a London merchant, who succeeded at the age of twenty-two. (fn. 251) Richard became a man of high standing in the county, being connected by marriage with many of the leading families, representing the county in parliament in 1432 and 1433, and acting as high sheriff in 1436. (fn. 252) In the 1450's the family lost Ascot, but Richard Quatremain held North Weston until his death in 1477. (fn. 253) He also acquired another property there, called Hall Place, which had once belonged to William Baldington of Thame. (fn. 254) Quatremains manor, and probably also Hall Place, were held by Richard's widow Sybil, the heiress of Rycote, until her death in 1483. (fn. 255) Since the Quatremains had no children, North Weston had been settled on Richard Fowler and his wife Joan Danvers, who was the granddaughter of Richard Quatremain's sister Maud and John Bruley of Waterstock. (fn. 256) Richard Fowler had died in 1477, but Joan lived until 1505, holding at her death the manor and Hall Place. (fn. 257) Her heir was her son Sir Richard Fowler, who sold most of his property. (fn. 258)
By 1519 John Clerke, to whom Fowler had sold Shabbington manor (Bucks.), (fn. 259) was holding the North Weston manorial courts, (fn. 260) and in 1520 or 1521 the manor was conveyed to him. (fn. 261) Clerke, a younger son of William Clerke of Willoughby (Warws.), had gained fame and money by taking prisoner Louis, Duke of Longueville, at the Battle of the Spurs in 1513. (fn. 262) He died in 1539, leaving a widow Agnes, formerly the wife of Nicholas Pynchon, sheriff of London, and a son Nicholas. (fn. 263) In 1542 Agnes and Nicholas, who was in debt to Sir John Williams, leased Shabbington and North Weston to him for 60 years. (fn. 264)
In the 1550's, however, Sir John leased the manor back to the Clerkes. (fn. 265) Nicholas Clerke died in 1551 (fn. 266) and was succeeded by a son William, who held North Weston in 1572, probably the year in which he married Margaret, the daughter of Sir John Bourne, Secretary of State to Mary I. (fn. 267) On Sir William Clerke's death in 1625 Weston was inherited by his son William, (fn. 268) who died childless the next year, (fn. 269) and then by a younger son Francis on whom it had been settled. (fn. 270) Sir Francis only lived until 1632 and left a young son John, (fn. 271) who was made a baronet in 1660 and died in 1667. (fn. 272) North Weston was again left to a younger son Francis, (fn. 273) M.P. for the county, who died childless in 1715, having put the manor in trust for his nephew Francis Carr Clerke, the son of his brother Richard. (fn. 274) The trustees were to choose for Francis a 'sober and discreet' wife, by whose fortune he could clear the estate, for in 1720 unpaid debts and legacies amounting to £6,000 were still owing.
Francis Carr Clerke married Katherine, the daughter of Henry Bertie of Chesterton, who brought him £2,000. Their young son Francis also married a member of a prominent local family, Susannah Ashhurst of Waterstock, but her marriage portion of £1,000 was not large and in 1748 Francis, who had succeeded his father in 1730, began mortgaging North Weston. By 1753, when the mortgage amounted to £9,000, he was forced to sell the estate, thus bringing to an end the family's long connexion with Thame. The manor was sold in 1755 for £31,000 to the Duke of Marlborough, (fn. 275) who in 1762 settled it, together with other Oxfordshire property, on his younger son Lord Charles Spencer. (fn. 276) It remained with the Spencers of Wheatfield, until the manor (about 585 a.) was sold in 1836 to the Earl of Abingdon, (fn. 277) who already owned some land in North Weston which had been bought by the 1st earl in 1684. (fn. 278)
A second estate in Weston, about 9 virgates, was a part of the Bishop of Lincoln's demesne manor of Thame in the Middle Ages. (fn. 281) In 1535 the estate, valued at £6 13s. 4d., was farmed to Sir John Clerke of North Weston, (fn. 282) and in 1547 Bishop Longland leased 4 yardlands, Bishop's Weir, and some quitrents for 99 years to Sir John Williams, who acquired the rest of the bishop's demesne manor of Thame in the same year. (fn. 283)
Until the Reformation Attington and Moreton, whose medieval history was closely connected, were members of the Bishop of Lincoln's manor of Thame. (fn. 284) Land in each township formed the two halves of one knight's fee, (fn. 285) known in the 13th century as the 'fee of ATTINGTON and MORETON'. (fn. 286)
It is probable that the 6 hides belonging to the bishop's knights, Alured and his companion, at the time of Domesday Book lay in Attington and Moreton and represented this fee. (fn. 287) In the second quarter of the 12th century Fulk de Fontibus appears to have held it. (fn. 288) He had a son and heir Hervey de Fontibus, (fn. 289) but a part of his land in Oxfordshire and Leicestershire was left to his two daughters Alice, the wife of Hugh, the Constable of the Bishop of Lincoln, (fn. 290) and Parnell, the wife of Hugh de Braimuster. They divided it so that Alice had 'Blaweston', i.e. Blaston (Leics.), (fn. 291) and Parnell had 'Attington' (i.e. Attington with part of Moreton). (fn. 292)
That this fee was so often described as Attington is probably to be accounted for by the fact that only part of Moreton belonged to the fee; the rest was a part of the bishop's demesne manor. (fn. 293)
The de Braimusters were a Norman family, who took their name from Brémoy (Calvados), (fn. 294) and held among other lands in England Bledlow manor (Bucks.), not far distant from Attington. In 1158 Hugh de Braimuster leased Attington to Hervey de Fontibus for six years in return for being made Hervey's heir and for an annual rent of 40s. (fn. 295) When Hugh de Braimuster went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem (c. 1160–80), he divided his Norman and his English lands between his sons Hugh and Odo. (fn. 296) Hugh, whose interests were probably entirely Norman, granted his share of Attington (and Moreton) to Odo in about 1192, and confirmed the arrangement whereby Odo had granted the estate to Thame Abbey (fn. 297) (see below). In 1192 Odo wrote to Bishop Hugh of Lincoln saying that since he had to spend more time in Normandy than in England, the abbey would perform the military service of his fee. (fn. 298) He remained in Normandy after King John had lost the duchy to the French, (fn. 299) and his Oxfordshire fee, described for the first time as lands in 'Attington and Moreton', was in the meantime returned to the bishop by the king. In 1207 the sheriff was ordered to restore these lands to Odo, (fn. 300) who immediately subinfeudated them for £23 6s. 8d. to Henry de Coleville. Henry was to pay 72s. a year to Odo and perform the knight's service. (fn. 301) Shortly after (1209–12) Henry was duly returned as one of the bishop's knights and as holder of a fee in Attington (i.e. in Attington and Moreton). (fn. 302) He is also recorded as holding the Attington fee in a survey of the bishop's estates made in the second quarter of the 13th century. (fn. 303) There can be little doubt that he was the Henry de Coleville who was Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire in about 1250, (fn. 304) and who died in or before 1256. (fn. 305) A Philip de Coleville, one of Edward I's knights, is later found holding land in Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, and had rights in Attington in 1262. It is likely that he was Henry's son. (fn. 306) There is no further record of the family's connexion with Attington and the fee must have been taken into the bishop's hands. In the inquest of 1276 it was reported that the bishop had enfeoffed the Abbot of Thame with the fee in Attington and in Moreton. It was alleged that this had been done in prejudice of the king's rights, since the king thereby lost the wardship of the fee. (fn. 307) The abbey nevertheless retained the lordship until its dissolution. In 1279 it was said to hold it of the bishop by scutage, (fn. 308) but by 1346 it was holding in free alms. (fn. 309)
At the end of the 12th century Thame Abbey was the demesne tenant of that part of Attington which was known as ATTINGTON ABBOT in the 16th century. In 1192 Odo de Braimuster granted the abbey for 40s. a year, the half of Attington which his brother Hugh had held. (fn. 310) In 1207 the abbey's share was reckoned as ¼-fee. (fn. 311) When Attington was granted to Henry de Coleville the abbey's rent of 40s. and its foreign service were transferred to the new lord. When the De Coleville mesne tenancy ended in the second half of the 13th century the abbey held this ¼-fee directly of the bishop. (fn. 312)
After the dissolution of the abbey in 1539 Attington Abbot was acquired by Lord Williams of Thame and like the abbey's other lands was inherited by his daughter Isabella Wenman (fn. 313) and followed the descent of Thame Park. (fn. 314) Manorial rights may have survived into the 19th century, for in about 1830 Miss Wykeham was known as lady of the manor, (fn. 315) but they were not mentioned when the estate was sold in 1917, and had presumably lapsed. (fn. 316)
The demesne tenant of the other ¼-fee in Attington, later known as ATTINGTON manor, at the beginning of the 13th century was Richard de Turri, for several years under-sheriff of Oxfordshire and a bailiff of the Earl of Cornwall. (fn. 317) He paid a rent of 33s. 4d. and performed the foreign service. (fn. 318) It is probable that the John de Turri who granted a rent in Attington to Thame Abbey in the 1180's was his father and was already tenant of the ¼-fee. (fn. 319) The De Turris' holding appears to have passed by marriage to the De Hampden family, lords of Great Hampden (Bucks.), for in 1271 Alexander de Hampden had a rent in Attington in the right of his wife Marina. (fn. 320) In 1279 his estate in Attington was the largest freeholding, (fn. 321) and his son Reginald (fn. 322) was returned in 1316 as one of the lords of Attington. (fn. 323)
The De Hampdens' estate passed, perhaps by marriage, to the branch of the De Lewknor family which held Wormsley in Stokenchurch and Heythrop in the 1270's. (fn. 324) In 1306 John De Lewknor paid the largest contribution to the 16th in Attington, (fn. 325) and was presumably already the De Hampdens' tenant there. Robert de Lewknor, his successor at Wormsley and Heythrop, (fn. 326) similarly paid the highest contribution in 1327, (fn. 327) and John de Lewknor of Wormsley and Heythrop was granted free warren in Attington and his other Oxfordshire lands in 1337. (fn. 328)
The descent of this ¼-fee is obscure until 1384, when Sir Reginald de Malyns of Henton died in possession of half 'Attington manor', as it was then called, which he held of the Abbot of Thame. (fn. 329) This half followed the descent of Henton until the late 15th century. (fn. 330) On John Barantyne's death in 1474 (fn. 331) his widow Elizabeth, who married as her second husband Sir John Boteler, may have held it for life, but in 1481 it was being claimed by Geoffrey Dormer, (fn. 332) merchant of the Calais staple and already lord of Baldington's manor in Thame. (fn. 333) He probably acquired Attington at about this time and like Baldington's it descended to his grandson William Dormer of Ascot. In 1552, when the latter sold Attington and Dorton (Bucks.) to Henry Gray and his wife Anne, but leased them back at an annual rent of 100 marks, (fn. 334) a complicated series of financial transactions began. In 1557 Dormer sold the reversion of the manors for £513 6s. 8d. to Henry Reynolds, (fn. 335) whose widow, after Dormer's death, sold them back to Dormer's widow Elizabeth Hollingshead. (fn. 336) After a Chancery suit over Attington manor, the Dormers regained possession, and William Dormer settled it on his son John in 1563. (fn. 337) In 1591 John Dormer sold it, together with some pasture land which had been leased to John Petty (d. 1578) of Tetsworth, (fn. 338) for £1,150 to George Tipping (later Sir George) of Wheatfield, (fn. 339) the eldest son of Thomas Tipping of Draycott and the grandson of William Tipping of Merton. (fn. 340)
On Tipping's death in 1627 (fn. 341) Draycott and Attington were inherited by his second son William, a theological writer of some repute, who lived at Draycott. (fn. 342) In 1639 Tipping sold part of the manor for £301 10s. to Richard Cornish, an Adwell yeoman, (fn. 343) but left the rest of the estate to his son George, also of Draycott. (fn. 344) The last known record of the connexion of the Tippings with Attington was in 1727, when Bartholomew Tipping of Draycott was party to a fine levied on Attington. (fn. 345) No further reference to the manor has been found.
The demesne tenants of the MORETON part of the fee in the early 12th century were the De Moretons, a family which took its name from the village. Osmund de Moreton had been succeeded before 1146 by his son Geoffrey, (fn. 346) who had at least two sons, William and Walter. (fn. 347) William was still living in Moreton in about 1180. (fn. 348) Although his family retained land in Moreton until the 13th century, (fn. 349) the ½-fee seems to have passed to the Bixtrops by about 1190, for Walter de Bixtrop, a nephew of Geoffrey de Moreton, (fn. 350) then granted land to Thame Abbey, which was apparently identical with that once held by the abbey of the De Moretons. (fn. 351) It is established beyond doubt that in 1207 Matthew de Bixtrop, the son of Walter, (fn. 352) had been holding for some years the ½-fee in Moreton of Odo de Braimuster. In 1207, when Henry de Colville became Braimuster's tenant for the whole fee, it was agreed that Matthew de Bixtrop should hold of Henry by the service of a ½-knight as before he had held of Odo. (fn. 353) Matthew was to become prominent in early-13th-century Oxfordshire. (fn. 354) He was still alive in the 1230's. (fn. 355) He appears to have had no heirs and in 1279 the jurors stated that the Abbot of Thame held ½-knight's fee in chief of the Bishop of Lincoln through the good offices (per medium) of Matthew de Bixtrop. (fn. 356)
The abbey, however, had long had an estate in Moreton. Before 1146 Geoffrey de Moreton gave it a hide in free alms on condition that during his life or until he became a monk the abbey should give him every year a certain amount of grain, 2s. 2d. for his hose and shoes, and allow him a cow and a calf. (fn. 357) Hugh the Constable gave ½-hide, which he had received from Geoffrey as a relief, but insisted on receiving the service due from Geoffrey's hide. (fn. 358) When Robert de Chesney, Bishop of Lincoln (1148–66), later confirmed the gift of this 1½ hide to Thame, he freed the abbey from all service due to him. (fn. 359) In about 1180 Ralph, son of Roger and his wife Adeliza, gave another ½-hide; (fn. 360) there were also other smaller grants; (fn. 361) and by 1279 the abbey had rounded off its estate by acquiring Matthew de Bixtrop's ½-fee. (fn. 362) It then held by military service, but by 1346 it had been freed of this burden and was holding in free alms. (fn. 363) After the dissolution of Thame Abbey in 1539 its Moreton lands, which were valued in 1535 at £46 16s. (fn. 364) and included the manor known as SHEPECOTTS or SIBCOTTS, were granted with many of the abbey's other possessions in 1542 to Sir John Williams, (fn. 365) and passing to his heirs, the Wenmans, followed the descent of Thame Park. (fn. 366) Sheepcot appears among the Wenman lands until the late 17th century; (fn. 367) it probably later became absorbed in Moreton manor (see below), which comprised about 250 acres altogether. In 1823 Sophia Elizabeth Wykeham was called the lady of Moreton manor, (fn. 368) but there is no later reference to manorial rights. (fn. 369)
The largest estate in MORETON was held of the bishop in 1279 by military service by Sir Nicholas de Segrave. (fn. 370) Segrave was a member of an important Leicestershire family which had some association with the De Colevilles, holders in the 13th century of the knight's fee in Attington and Moreton. (fn. 371) Although no later reference has been found to any Segrave connexion with Moreton, (fn. 372) the land evidently descended in the family to the Lord Segrave (d. 1353) who married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Edward I's brother Thomas of Brotherton, Duke of Norfolk. (fn. 373) Their daughter Elizabeth, Baroness Segrave, married John de Mowbray, Lord Mowbray, and among the lands inherited from his mother by their second son Thomas, who became Duke of Norfolk, (fn. 374) were lands in Moreton. In 1397 he leased these for life to Nicholas Hall. (fn. 375)
Thomas de Mowbray died in exile in 1399 and his second son John, Duke of Norfolk, in 1432, leaving a widow Catherine Neville. Moreton evidently formed part of her dower, for she and her third husband John Viscount Beaumont held it in 1458, when it is first called a manor. (fn. 376) Before Catherine's death, (fn. 377) however, Moreton had passed to her son John de Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, who held it at his death in 1461. (fn. 378) He had granted it for life to Richard Southwell, a Norfolk man who was in his service. (fn. 379) The next duke may have granted it permanently to Southwell, for in 1469 it was acquired from the latter by a group which included Richard Quatremain and Richard Fowler. (fn. 380) Fowler held it at his death in 1477, (fn. 381) and from this time it followed the descent of Windbush manor in Tetsworth, (fn. 382) passing in the 18th century to the Spencers of Wheatfield, who still held it in 1835. (fn. 383)
A third estate in Moreton was the Bishop of Lincoln's demesne. In 1279 he held 9 virgates in villein tenure, (fn. 384) and in 1535 his lands in Moreton with those in Tetsworth were valued at £6 14d. (fn. 385) They passed with the bishop's Thame manor to Lord Williams of Thame and his heirs, the Norreys, and after to the Bertie family, who in 1682 became earls of Abingdon. (fn. 386) A holding called MORETON manor, which in the 16th century seems to have had its own courts, (fn. 387) was listed among their lands until the early 19th century. (fn. 388) In the 18th century the earls' 4 yardlands (about 140 acres) in Moreton formed part of their manor of New and Old Thame. (fn. 389)
Another manor was formed, probably in 1139, when the Cisterician Abbey at Otley in Oddington was moved to Thame and endowed by Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln, in free alms with 3 carucates of land there. (fn. 390) After the Reformation the property was called THAME PARK. (fn. 391) Robert King, the last abbot, surrendered the abbey in 1539, and in March 1542 the Crown granted many of the monastic lands in and around Thame, including the demesne farm, called Home Grange, to Sir John Williams at an annual rent of £84 6s. 8d. (fn. 392) Sir John, who was related by marriage to King, had been acting as the abbey's receiver and leasing part of its Thame property. (fn. 393) In September 1542 the site of the abbey, including no doubt its buildings and the £84 rent, was given to King, who had been made the first Bishop of Oxford, as part of the endowment of the see. (fn. 394) They were later lost to the bishopric, for in July 1547 Edward VI granted them with some abbey lands to the Duke of Somerset, who immediately transferred them to Sir John Williams, (fn. 395) who thus acquired all the abbey's Thame property. On his death in 1559 his daughter Isabella and her husband Sir Richard Wenman inherited the abbey lands in Thame, Moreton, Priestend, Attington, and Tetsworth. (fn. 396)
The Wenman family were wool merchants, settled at Caswell manor near Witney. (fn. 397) Sir Richard Wenman's grandfather Richard and his father Sir Thomas were merchants of the Staple of Calais. (fn. 398) With the marriage of Richard Wenman to Lord Williams's daughter the family acquired large new estates and was henceforth to play an important part in Oxfordshire history. It lived at Thame Park until the 20th century.
On Sir Richard Wenman's death in 1572 (fn. 399) Isabella, who married as her second husband Richard Huddleston of Little Haseley, held the Thame Park property until her own death in 1587, (fn. 400) ten years after her eldest son Thomas had died. (fn. 401) The Thame property descended to Thomas's son Richard, (fn. 402) who in 1596 was knighted for gallantry at the taking of Cadiz. He served as M.P. for the county, and in 1628 was created Viscount Wenman of Tuam in the Irish peerage. (fn. 403) He died in 1640, having settled Thame Park on his son Thomas and his wife Margaret, daughter of Edmund Hampden (fn. 404) and a coheiress of her uncle, Sir Alexander Hampden of Hartwell (Bucks.). (fn. 405)
Thomas Wenman, the 2nd viscount, was a moderate parliamentarian who was reduced to poverty by the royalist seizure of his estates. (fn. 406) He died in 1665, being succeeded in the title by his younger brother Philip, who died without children in 1686. (fn. 407) Thomas Wenman, however, had left several daughters; one of them, Mary, married her distant cousin, Sir Francis Wenman, Bt., of Caswell (d. 1680), (fn. 408) and their son Sir Richard Wenman, created Viscount Wenman in 1686, (fn. 409) inherited the Thame Park property. He died in about 1690, leaving an idiot son Richard, the 5th viscount (d. 1729). According to Thomas Delafield Richard's son Philip, the 6th viscount, was 'of a not much greater capacity'. (fn. 410) He was succeeded in 1760 by his son Philip, also an M.P. who married a daughter of the 3rd Earl of Abingdon, and died without children in 1800, when the title became extinct. His heirs were the descendants of his sister Sophia, the wife of William Humphrey Wykeham of Swalcliffe (d. 1783). (fn. 411) The Thame Park estate descended to Sophia, the daughter of Sophia Wykeham's eldest son, William Richard Wykeham (d. 1800).
Sophia Wykeham, described by the diarist Greville as 'a half-crazy woman of large fortune', was a friend of the Duke of Clarence (later William IV), who in 1818 was planning to marry her. The marriage was forbidden, but in 1834 he created her Baroness Wenman. (fn. 412) She lived at Thame Park and died unmarried in 1870. (fn. 413) Thame Park passed to her cousin, Philip Thomas Herbert Wykeham, the eldest son of Philip Thomas Wykeham. He was succeeded in 1879 by his nephews, the sons of his brother Aubrey Wenman Wykeham-Musgrave (d. 1879), who married Georgiana, the daughter of Sir James Musgrave, Bt., of Barnsley (Gloucs.), and the heiress of her brother, Sir William Augustus Musgrave, Rector of Chinnor and Emmington. (fn. 414) Their elder son, Wenman Aubrey Wykeham-Musgrave, who inherited Thame Park, moved to Barnsley in 1914 and died in 1915. (fn. 415) His son, Herbert Wenman Wykeham-Musgrave, put up for sale in 1917 about 3,300 acres of the Thame Park estate (fn. 416) and manorial rights lapsed.
In the early 13th century a ½-fee was held of the bishop by Mabel, a widow. (fn. 417) By about 1225 she had been succeeded by William son of Osbert. (fn. 418) By 1279 this fee was held by Sir Geoffrey de Lewknor, a royal justice and lord of Great Harrowden (Northants.), for a rent of 9s., scutage, and suit at the hundred court. (fn. 419) He was succeeded at Thame in about 1300 by his son Ralph. (fn. 420) Both Ralph and his eldest son Geoffrey were dead by 1316. (fn. 421) The latter's brother John held the 1/5-fee in Thame in 1346. (fn. 422) Although John de Lewknor had a son John and a grandson Robert, by the end of the century the family had lost Harrowden, (fn. 423) and there is no later record of any connexion with Thame.
From the late 14th century the Stonors of Stonor Park had an estate in Thame; Sir Ralph de Stonor (d. 1394) held it by 1390, (fn. 424) and it descended in the family to Sir William Stonor, who in 1479 was appointed hereditary steward of several of the Bishop of Lincoln's manors, including Thame and Dorchester. (fn. 425) He died in 1494 and his eventual heir was his daughter Anne, the wife of Sir Adrian Fortescue. Part of the Stonor lands, however, were claimed by Sir Walter Stonor, a nephew of Sir William's. (fn. 426) By a royal award of 1536 the property was divided between them. (fn. 427) The Thame estate is not mentioned, but it probably went to Fortescue, who was holding it in 1536. (fn. 428) No later record of it has been found. Fortescue, who was executed in 1539, left two daughters by Anne Stonor. One of them married Sir Thomas Wentworth, Lord Wentworth, and their daughter Margaret was the second wife of Lord Williams. (fn. 429) It is possible that through her the Stonor property in Thame became united to Lord Williams's Thame manor.