A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1985.
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MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
In 1066 WELLINGTON, with five berewicks, was held by Edwin, earl of Mercia (d. 1071). Roger of Montgomery, created earl of Shrewsbury by 1074, was tenant in chief by 1086, when Great Dawley was dependent. (fn. 1) Wellington was presumably forfeited to the Crown by Earl Roger's son Robert of Bellême in 1102. (fn. 2)
From 1177 to 1189 the king assigned lands in Wellington to Simon son of Simon, keeper of Stretton castle, with an annual allowance from Wellington's revenues. From 1192 to 1194 William and James, sons of Simon (presumably the abovenamed), were assigned Crown lands in Wellington on similar terms, as was Gwion, son of Jonas of Powys, from 1194 to 1210 when the manor was granted in fee farm to Thomas of Erdington, the sheriff. (fn. 3) From 1211 Thomas held by serjeanty and from 1212 by the service of one knight. He died in 1218 and in 1221 his son Giles (fn. 4) (d. c. 1268) was lord. Giles was succeeded by his son Sir Henry (d. c. 1282). Sir Henry's son, also Henry, was a minor, (fn. 5) and by 1283 Hugh Burnell (d. 1286) was lord. His widow Sibyl (d. by 1306) held Wellington in dower and was succeeded by their grandson Edward Burnell (d. 1315). (fn. 6) Until the forfeiture of Francis, Viscount Lovel, in 1485 the descent followed that of Acton Burnell. (fn. 7) In 1514 the Crown granted the manor to Sir Christopher Garneys of Kenton (Suff.) (d. 1534) (fn. 8) and Jane his wife, in socage. (fn. 9) They had no children (fn. 10) and by 1550 the reversion had been settled on Michael Garneys, their nephew. In that year he sold the reversion to Arthur Dymoke and Robert Rychers, who sold it later in the year for £520 to Robert Allen (fn. 11) (d. after 1566), (fn. 12) a Shrewsbury draper. In the same year Allen sold the reversion of a moiety to John Steventon. (fn. 13) On Dame Jane's death c. 1551 (fn. 14) Allen and Steventon came into possession. (fn. 15) Steventon (d. 1560) was succeeded by his son Richard (fn. 16) (d. without male issue 1587), who left the moiety to his nephew William Steventon. (fn. 17) In 1602 William re-unified the manor by buying the other moiety from Edward and Elizabeth Bridgman of Aston Eyre, Elizabeth being the granddaughter and legatee of Robert Allen. (fn. 18) Steventon (d. 1647) (fn. 19) was succeeded by his grandson Richard Steventon, who died in 1659 having left the manor for sixteen years to his aunts Eleanor Chelwood, Elizabeth Mytton, Mary Haughton, and Jane Lippesley, and to Cresswell Tayleur, and the heir of Abigail Sweetenham, in equal shares, with remainder to Richard's half-brother William Forester (fn. 20) (kt. 1689). (fn. 21) The Foresters had held land in Wellington township since the early 15th century. (fn. 22) After the death of Sir William's father, Francis, in 1692, the manor descended with Little Wenlock. (fn. 23) In 1842 Lord Forester, lord of the manor, (fn. 24) owned 110 a. in Wellington township (fn. 25) but by 1910 his descendant had virtually no property there. (fn. 26) No later record of the lordship has been found.
Wombridge priory held a virgate in Wellington township but alienated it c. 1230. (fn. 27)
Sir John Charlton (d. 1380) of Apley held four burgages, ½ a. of meadow, and ½ virgate of arable in Wellington of the lord of the manor. (fn. 28) The Charltons' Wellington estate comprised c. 175 a. c. 1676. (fn. 29) In 1842 St. John Chiverton Charlton had only 78 a. in the township (fn. 30) but in 1910 his heir Sir Thomas Meyrick owned over 100 a. of agricultural land there and many urban sites. (fn. 31)
By 1535 a burgage in Wellington belonged to St. Bartholomew's college, Tong. (fn. 32)
Edward Cludde (d. 1614) had an estate in Wellington (fn. 33) and in 1840 Edward Cludde of Orle ton owned 97 a. in Wellington township. (fn. 34) In 1910 his descendant Col. E. W. Herbert owned a considerable estate there. (fn. 35)
is presumed to have been one of Wellington's berewicks in 1066; (fn. 36) it was still subject to that manor's court leet and court baron in 1823. (fn. 37) In 1248 Giles of Erdington, lord of Wellington, enfeoffed John de Praères with a carucate at Dothill for the service of 1/6 knight. (fn. 38) A John de Praères held the manor of Dothill in 1292 (fn. 39) but by the late 14th century the Horton family seems to have been in possession. It was alleged in 1481 that Isabel, daughter and heir of John, son of a John de Praères of Dothill, had married Philip Horton, said to have held Dothill temp. Edward III. (fn. 40) John Horton of Dothill was a tax collector in 1383, as was Richard Horton of Dothill in 1419 and 1440. (fn. 41) It was said in 1623 that Richard's daughter and heir, Alice, married William Steventon c. 1431. From him Dothill descended from father to son until 1587, the following being lords: (fn. 42) William (II) (fl. 1473–1507), (fn. 43) Richard, John (d. 1560), (fn. 44) and Richard (1560–87). The last named left it to his nephew William (fn. 45) (d. 1647). (fn. 46) Thus from 1602 Dothill descended with Wellington manor, except that life tenancies were devised to Richard Steventon's mother Mary Forester (1659–61) and to George Townshend Forester (1811–45). (fn. 47) In 1917 Lord Forester was lord of the manor and owned most of the township (fn. 48) but by 1922 the chief landowner was Ernest Groom. (fn. 49) He died unmarried (fn. 50) and by 1952 most of the estate belonged to H. F. Hodgson, (fn. 51) who sold 197 a. to Wellington urban district council in 1956. (fn. 52)
In the later Middle Ages Dothill house occupied the north-west angle of a rectangular moat c. 50 metres by c. 70 metres. In 1626 it consisted of a five-bayed north-south range (with projecting two-storeyed porch on the east), incorporating a three-bayed hall (originally open) with a tall east-facing oriel at its solar end. Opposite the oriel a west-projecting wing had been added, and beyond the service end the main range had been extended southwards. The moat had been partly filled in. Agricultural buildings lay to the north. In the grounds was an 'arbour' to the east and a pool to the west. (fn. 53) By 1734, and probably before 1726, (fn. 54) about 7 ha. of formal gardens surrounded the house, mostly on the west, providing vistas of nearby churches and mansions. Southwards the pool was formalized into a canal with a grassed amphitheatre beyond. The moat had been filled in except for the south arm, also made into a canal. (fn. 55) The formal gardens reverted to grass in the later 18th century. (fn. 56) Between 1763 and 1765 (fn. 57) the house received a north extension in brick, (fn. 58) of five bays and three storeys. (fn. 59) In the earlier 19th century the rest was demolished, and the building of the 1760s was attached by 1841 (fn. 60) to a former dairy (fn. 61) nearby, a brick building that had been standing since the early 17th century. (fn. 62) The house thus formed was demolished c. 1960 (fn. 63) but in 1982 vestiges of the moat and of the garden walls remained.
APLEY was presumably one of the berewicks belonging to Wellington in 1066. (fn. 64) It was later termed a manor but was held of the lords of Wellington manor (fn. 65) and remained subject to the Wellington court leet and court baron in 1818. (fn. 66) John de Praères of Dothill was a freeholder in Apley in 1282. (fn. 67) Apley belonged to Sir Alan of Charlton (d. 1360) (fn. 68) by 1317 (fn. 69) and later to his grandsons Sir John Charlton (d. 1380) (fn. 70) and Thomas Charlton (d. 1386). (fn. 71) In 1384 Thomas granted the manor to Sir John Atwood for life. (fn. 72) Atwood died in 1391 and it reverted to Thomas's son Thomas, a minor. (fn. 73) Thomas died a minor in 1397 when his coheirs were his sister Ellen and Thomas of Knightley, son of his sister Anne, who had married William of Knightley. Ellen died without issue in 1399, leaving Thomas, a minor, as sole heir. (fn. 74) Thomas received seisin in 1417 (fn. 75) and by 1428 had assumed the surname Charlton. (fn. 76) He died in 1460. (fn. 77) Apley then descended from father to son until 1532, the following being lords: Robert (d. 1473), (fn. 78) Richard (d. c. 1522), (fn. 79) and William (d. 1532). (fn. 80) William's grandson Francis Charlton (d. 1557) (fn. 81) succeeded him (fn. 82) and, on the expiry of his widow's life interest, was followed successively by his sons William (d. 1566) and Andrew (fn. 83) (d. 1617). (fn. 84) The estate then passed from father to son until 1802, the following being lords: Francis (d. 1642), (fn. 85) Francis (d. 1698), John (d. 1720), St. John (d. 1742), St. John (d. 1776), and St. John (d. 1802). From the last named it passed successively to his brother William (d. 1838) and to William's son St. John Chiverton. At his death in 1873 St. John Chiverton Charlton was succeeded by his son Thomas, who had assumed the surname Meyrick in 1858. Sir Thomas (cr. bt. 1880) died in 1921 and Apley passed to his third son Rowland Francis (d. 1953), whose brother Walter Thomas died later in 1953. (fn. 86) The estate passed to W. T. Meyrick's son Walter James Charlton, who sold it in 1971 to Telford development corporation, the owner in 1981. (fn. 87)
Apley Castle was built c. 1327 following licence to crenellate, (fn. 88) perhaps on or near the site of an earlier building. (fn. 89) It included a 14th-century firstfloor chapel, of which a piscina and other features were in situ in 1981, and a gatehouse, and was walled and probably moated. In the early 17th century the house was converted and greatly enlarged, but it was partly dismantled after capture by royalist forces in 1644 (fn. 90) and restored after the Civil Wars. (fn. 91) A new house designed by Joseph Bromfield was built 1792–4 (fn. 92) a little to the northwest, and the former house was converted into a stable block, (fn. 93) which remained in 1981. The new house, of brick, had seven bays and two and a half storeys and faced north-west, on which front was a stone portico of four unfluted giant Ionic columns. In 1856 the house was greatly enlarged at the rear to create an imposing new front facing south-east. The new work was in an eclectic style, mainly of brick with a stone portico of eight columns. (fn. 94) The former house was surrounded by trees in the early 17th century, (fn. 95) as was the latter one in the early 19th. (fn. 96) After 1856 St. John Chiverton Charlton had the woods extended, and created ornamental gardens on the north-west side. (fn. 97) By 1900 avenues had been planted from the house north-east and south-east to the estate boundaries. (fn. 98) W. J. C. Charlton-Meyrick sold the house in 1954 (fn. 99) and it was demolished c. 1955. (fn. 100) The north-west portico was re-erected near Hodnet Hall in 1970. (fn. 101)
termed a manor by 1317, (fn. 102) is believed to have been one of Wellington's berewicks in 1066 (fn. 103) and was reckoned part of Wellington manor in 1383. (fn. 104) A substantial part of the land there descended with Wellington manor, (fn. 105) to whose great court Arleston was subject in 1345. (fn. 106) Lord Forester was virtually sole landowner in 1842, (fn. 107) but in 1918 the 6th baron sold the estate, including Arleston House farm, in separate lots to the sitting tenants or by auction. (fn. 108)
Arleston Manor (formerly Arleston House) is timber-framed but much of the exterior has been rendered and simulated framing painted on the plaster. The plan is of a late 16th-century (fn. 109) front range, facing south, with a central entry against the chimney stack, and behind it a contemporary shorter parallel range in which the larger room has a fireplace against the main stack. The interior retains a quantity of late 16th- and early 17thcentury panelling, much of it reset, and two moulded plaster ceilings of similar date. One of them has on the underside of a beam the badges of local families. The house was restored early in the 20th century, when a number of features in imitation of the original style were introduced, and again c. 1979 (fn. 110) when the timberwork of the eastern elevation was exposed and restored.
Among other estates in Arleston township had been 40 a. granted by Henry II to Seburga of Hadley, to which Roger Corbet, her great-greatgrandson, proved his title in 1253. (fn. 111) John Forester (d. 1591) and his heirs, lords of Wellington hay, held an estate of 43 a. at Arleston in free socage of the manor of Wellington, (fn. 112) which the Foresters themselves held from 1659.
In 975 King Edgar granted ASTON to his minister Ealhhelm. (fn. 113) In 1066 it was probably one of the berewicks of Wellington (fn. 114) and in 1190 was a member of that manor. (fn. 115) The Empress Maud granted Aston to Shrewsbury abbey c. 1144 but Henry II, as lord of Wellington, deprived the monks c. 1167. Richard I restored it to them by charter in 1190 but they did not regain full possession until c. 1195. (fn. 116) Aston thereafter remained abbey property until surrendered to the Crown in 1540. (fn. 117) By the later 13th century at least parts of the township lay within the manor of Eyton on Severn. (fn. 118) In 1540 the Crown sold Aston to Thomas Bromley (kt. by 1546) (fn. 119) to hold as a member of his manor of Eyton on Severn, (fn. 120) to which it still owed suit in 1810. (fn. 121) At his death in 1555 Aston passed with Eyton to his daughter Margaret (fn. 122) and her husband Richard Newport (fn. 123) (kt. 1560, d. 1570). At Dame Margaret's death in 1598 (fn. 124) Aston passed with Eyton to their son Francis (fn. 125) (kt. 1603) (fn. 126) and thereafter followed the descent of Harley manor. (fn. 127)
Aston Hall, presumably the capital messuage of the Newports' Aston estate, (fn. 128) is probably late 16th- or early 17th-century in origin and the much altered back range, which is timber-framed, contained the hall and service end. Part of an original painted plaster wall of a first-floor room survives. In the late 17th century the parlour end was rebuilt in brick as a two-roomed cross wing and a new staircase with turned balusters was inserted. Most of the fenestration was renewed in the mid or late 19th century when the roof was partly reconstructed and minor additions were made.
About 1280 Richard of Charlton had land in Aston, (fn. 129) and Sir John Charlton (d. 1374) held a messuage and a virgate of Shrewsbury abbey. His widow Joan (d. 1397) held it in dower (fn. 130) and their son John (d. 1401) succeeded her. (fn. 131) The estate seems to have descended thereafter with Charlton (in Wrockwardine) (fn. 132) until 1588, when Edward Grey sold Charlton and his Aston estate (by then regarded as appurtenant to Charlton) to Francis Newport. (fn. 133) From 1598 it descended with the estate that Newport inherited from his mother. (fn. 134) A 16th-century claim by the Vernons to the former Charlton estate (fn. 135) seems to have been dropped in 1611. (fn. 136)
In 1548 Edward, Lord Grey, leased an estate at Aston to Robert Pemberton of Aston (fn. 137) (d. 1553). It was held by Pemberton's grandson Edward Pemberton at his death in 1617. (fn. 138) Later the family seems to have acquired a freehold. In 1840 the Pembertons' heir Edward Cludde of Orleton owned 511 a. at Aston and was the only substantial landowner besides the duke of Cleveland. (fn. 139) In 1983 the heirs of Cludde and Cleveland, the earl of Powis and Lord Barnard, remained the principal landowners. (fn. 140)
probably a berewick of Wellington in 1066, (fn. 141) was granted to Haughmond abbey by both the Empress Maud in 1141 and King Stephen, and Maud's grant was confirmed by Duke Henry in 1153. (fn. 142) Walcot was said in 1255 to have been taken out of Wellington manor by Henry II. (fn. 143) Termed a manor by 1317, (fn. 144) it was held in chief by Haughmond until surrendered to the Crown in 1539. (fn. 145) In 1544 the Crown sold Walcot to Sir Rowland Hill (fn. 146) (d. 1561) (fn. 147) and it was from 1549, at latest, reckoned a member of Uckington manor, (fn. 148) though often itself described as a manor. It was still subject to Uckington in 1833. (fn. 149)
In 1666 the manorial estate was intact, (fn. 150) but soon thereafter the lords sold off parts of Walcot and there were seven freeholds in 1842. (fn. 151) Nevertheless the lords kept land there, and the NoelHills (Lords Berwick), to whom Uckington had passed, (fn. 152) remained principal landowners in Walcot until the mid 20th century. (fn. 153) In 1670 Samuel Garbet, of Cronkhill, bought freehold property in Walcot which descended in the Garbets (fn. 154) until James Garbet's bankruptcy. (fn. 155) Another freehold, belonging in 1715 to the Revd. Thomas Markham of Donnington (in Wroxeter), was sold in 1753 by his son the Revd. Timothy Markham to William Cludde of Orleton, (fn. 156) and the Orleton estate included land in Walcot until 1905 or later. (fn. 157) William Cludde (d. 1829), however, sold some land (fn. 158) and his family owned only 38 a. in Walcot in 1842. (fn. 159) A freehold bought from the lord of the manor by John Grice in 1671 descended to the Roe family 1747–91, thereafter to the sisters of the last Roe. (fn. 160) William Turner, husband of one of them, sold land to Roger Walmesley (d. 1833), who had also bought land from William Cludde and may have owned the former Garbet estate. (fn. 161) The Walmesley estate, 73 a. in 1842, (fn. 162) was sold under the will of George Walmesley, proved 1856. (fn. 163)
In 1835 the duke of Cleveland had an estate at Walcot, (fn. 164) perhaps a recent acquisition, (fn. 165) which comprised 42 a. in 1842. (fn. 166) His heir, Lord Barnard, was named one of the chief landowners in 1941. (fn. 167)
Walcot Grange (formerly Walcot Grove) belonged to Lord Berwick in 1842 (fn. 168) and may therefore have been on the site of a medieval capital messuage, but the buildings standing in 1982 were not earlier than 19th-century.
In 1066 and 1086 LEE, later called LEEGOMERY from the Cumbray family, was held by Toret; in 1086 he held it of the sheriff Reynold of Bailleul who held under Earl Roger. (fn. 169) The tenancy in chief could not survive beyond 1102, (fn. 170) and nothing more is known of Reynold's mesne lordship: the manor did not descend with most of his estates to the FitzAlans. (fn. 171)
By 1167 Leegomery belonged to Alfred de Cumbray (fl. 1180). (fn. 172) Later it was held in chief by John de Cumbray, at whose death (c. 1199) it passed to his son Roger (d. c. 1213), whose coheirs were Parnel (fl. 1218) and Agnes de Cumbray. Parnel was Simon Tuchet's widow, and by 1221 Leegomery had passed to their son Thomas (d. c. 1234), who held by serjeanty. (fn. 173) From him it descended successively to his sons Henry (d. c. 1241) and Robert (d. 1248). Robert's serjeanty was that of providing a mounted and armed man for 40 days in wars against Wales. (fn. 174) Thereafter it descended until the later 14th century from father to son, the following being lords: Thomas (d. c. 1315), Robert (d. c. 1341), Thomas (d. 1349), John (d. c. 1361), John (d. 1372), and John (cr. Baron Audley 1403, d. 1408). (fn. 175) Thereafter, apart from forfeiture to the Crown 1497–1512, the manor descended with the barony of Audley (fn. 176) until 1528 when Lord Audley sold it to James Leveson. (fn. 177) In 1544 Leveson settled it on his son Richard (fn. 178) (kt. 1553, d. 1560), who inherited Lilleshall in 1547. After Sir Richard's death the manor passed to his daughter Elizabeth (fn. 179) and her husband William Sheldon of Beoley (Worcs.). (fn. 180) They held it in 1579 (fn. 181) but Sir Walter Leveson (Elizabeth's brother, a rival claimant) (fn. 182) had gained possession by 1584. (fn. 183) The descent thereafter followed that of Lilleshall, (fn. 184) except that under the will of Sir Richard Leveson (fn. 185) (d. 1661) Leegomery passed successively to his grandnephew Francis Fowler (fn. 186) (d. 1667), to Fowler's son Francis (d. 1668), (fn. 187) and then to another grandnephew William Gower, (fn. 188) each of whom was required to assume the additional surname of Leveson on taking possession. The last named inherited Lilleshall in 1674. (fn. 189)
The manor included (in Wellington parish) the townships of Ketley, (fn. 190) Leegomery, and Wappenshall. (fn. 191) The duke of Sutherland's Leegomery and Wappenshall estates (but not the manorial rights) were sold in 1912, the former to R. F. Meyrick of Apley (on behalf of Sir Thomas Meyrick), (fn. 192) the latter to E. W. Bromley. (fn. 193)
Alan of Charlton had demesne land in Wappenshall in 1317, (fn. 194) which descended with Apley. (fn. 195) At his death in 1566 William Charlton of Apley had a small freehold at Leegomery. (fn. 196) About 1676 the Charltons owned 75 a. in Wappenshall (where they had a lease of 206 a. more) and 31 a. in Leegomery. (fn. 197) St. John Chiverton Charlton owned 59 a. in Wappenshall and 73 a. in Leegomery in 1842. (fn. 198) His heir R. F. Meyrick added the duke of Sutherland's Leegomery estate, (fn. 199) and owned land in Wappenshall in 1929. (fn. 200) In 1971 W.J.C. CharltonMeyrick sold his Leegomery estate to Telford development corportion, the owner in 1981. (fn. 201)
Leegomery House, the capital messuage, (fn. 202) a brick farmhouse of the 18th and 19th centuries, became a community centre in 1979. (fn. 203) Wappenshall Farm was a 16th-century timber-framed house, perhaps of T plan. A room at the parlour end was subdivided in the 18th century and the whole was cased in brick c. 1800. In the 19th century brick lean-to additions were built.
In the earlier 14th century the Burnells had land in Wappenshall that was subject to their manor court of Wellington, (fn. 206) and in the 17th the Steventons, also lords of Wellington, had land there, (fn. 207) perhaps including the 30 a. that William Charlton of Apley acquired from George Forester in 1805 in exchange for property in Wellington township. (fn. 208)
King John seems to have kept WELLINGTON HAY in demesne after granting the rest of Wellington manor to Thomas of Erdington. (fn. 209) It was royal demesne in 1380 (fn. 210) but was held by Richard FitzAlan, earl of Arundel, at his forfeiture in 1397. (fn. 211) By 1469 the estate was called a manor. (fn. 212) In 1398 it was described as a wood and a free chase (fn. 213) and in 1451 as wood and pasture. (fn. 214) It was reckoned at 1,000 a. in 1426. (fn. 215) In 1398 the king granted it for 20 years to William le Scrope, earl of Wiltshire. (fn. 216) He was executed in 1399 (fn. 217) and the estate was restored in 1400 to Thomas, earl of Arundel. At his death without issue in 1415 the estate was divided between his sisters Elizabeth, duchess of Norfolk, Joan, Lady Bergavenny, and Margaret, the wife of Sir Roland Lenthall. (fn. 218) Elizabeth sold her third in 1425 to Norman Babyngton (fn. 219) (d. 1434) (fn. 220) and his wife Margaret (d. 1451). (fn. 221) It passed from Margaret to Norman's brother and heir Sir William (fn. 222) who held it in chief as 1/30 knight's fee. When he died in 1454 his heir was his son William. (fn. 223) Lady Bergavenny died in 1435, and her third passed to her granddaughter Elizabeth, Lady Bergavenny, wife of Sir Edward Nevill. She died in 1448 and her third passed to their son George, later Lord Bergavenny (d. 1492). (fn. 224) Sir Roland Lenthall, surviving his wife and their son Edward, died in 1450 holding her third by the curtesy of England. (fn. 225) That third was then divided between Edward's heirs John de Mowbray, duke of Norfolk (d. 1461), grandnephew of Thomas, earl of Arundel, and George Nevill, the earl's great-grandnephew. (fn. 226) Thus George Nevill became holder of a moiety of the whole estate. The duke, at his death in 1461, held the other moiety, (fn. 227) having presumably acquired the Babyngton third since 1454. The whole estate seems eventually to have devolved upon Nevill's son George, Lord Bergavenny (d. 1535). He leased it for a term of years to John Forester (d. c. 1521) and his heirs, (fn. 228) perhaps in 1512. (fn. 229) The lease was still unexpired in 1535. (fn. 230) Since the 12th century Forester's ancestors had been keepers in fee of Wellington hay within the forest of the Wrekin. In 1555 Henry Nevill, Lord Bergavenny, sold the hay to Sir Rowland Hill and Thomas Leigh, aldermen of London. In the same year Hill acquired Leigh's share and conveyed the whole estate to John Forester of Watling Street through the governors of Market Drayton grammar school, who thereby secured an annual rent charge of £22. (fn. 231)
Hugh Forester was mentioned between 1187 and 1197. Robert Forester, fl. c. 1200–1227, held ½ virgate in chief by the serjeanty of keeping the king's hay. He seems to have been succeeded by another Robert (d. c. 1278). From him the serjeanty descended from father to son until 1350, the follwing being holders: Roger (d. by the end of 1283), (fn. 232) Roger (d. c. 1312), (fn. 233) Roger (fl. 1319), (fn. 234) and John (fn. 235) (d. 1350). John was succeeded by his brother William (fn. 236) (d. 1395). (fn. 237) From William the serjeanty (mentioned as late as 1443) (fn. 238) descended from father to son as follows: Roger (d. 1403), Roger (d. 1443), John (d. 1466), and Edward. Edward was probably succeeded by the John Forester (fn. 239) who became lessee of the Wellington hay estate. John seems to have had a son John (fn. 240) who may have been living in 1544 when a John Forester the younger, of Watling Street, was recorded. (fn. 241)
The younger John was probably the same John Forester who acquired the freehold of Wellington hay in 1555 and he who died in 1591. He was succeeded by his grandson Francis Forester. (fn. 242) In 1623 Francis bought Little Wenlock manor, whose descent Wellington hay thereafter followed. (fn. 243) The estate still bore that name in 1637 (fn. 244) but by 1684 it had been changed to WATLING STREET (fn. 245) after the Foresters' seat. That was perhaps to avoid confusion with Wellington manor, acquired by the Foresters in 1659. Lord Forester was virtually sole landowner in Watling Street township in 1842, (fn. 246) as was the 5th baron in 1912. (fn. 247) He and his successor afterwards sold much of the estate, (fn. 248) including the Old Hall, which was bought before 1926 by Ralph Hickman. (fn. 249)
The surviving timber-framed ranges of the Old Hall (formerly Watling Street hall) (fn. 250) are on the east and north and are probably early 17thcentury. They still contain a quantity of reset panelling of that date. There were other ranges on the west (fn. 251) and south, (fn. 252) which may once have joined to enclose a courtyard. (fn. 253) By 1830 the south range was only a stump and the west range had been demolished and replaced by a wing in the former courtyard. (fn. 254) In the mid 19th century, after the house had become a school, (fn. 255) the north range was extended westwards in timber framing and a small brick block was added on the south-east. Buildings continued to be added on the south and west at various times in the later 19th century, (fn. 256) and c. 1932 a large laboratory and gymnasium block was erected on the frontage to Limekiln Lane. (fn. 257)
The rectory was appropriated in 1232 when the abbot of Shrewsbury and the bishop of Coventry and Lichfield agreed to divide the great tithes of the parish equally, though reserving to the abbey those already appropriated to it; the bishop's share was to endow a new prebend in Lichfield cathedral. (fn. 258) In 1249, after a dispute, it was agreed that the abbey should have all the hay tithes of the Aston demesne land and two thirds of the hay tithes of Arleston, Hadley, Walcot, and Wellington townships, and the prebendary all the hay tithes of thirteen bovates of villein arable at Aston. (fn. 259) In 1291 the abbey's share was valued at £6 a year, the prebendary's at £10. (fn. 260) In 1535 the abbey's share was worth £11 a year, the prebendary's £10. (fn. 261)
In 1538 the abbey leased the tithes of demesne land in Arleston, Hadley, Walcot, and Wellington townships to William Taylor of Little Wenlock for 60 years at 20s. rent, having formerly leased them to John Taylor of Wellington. Between 1557 and 1566 William Charlton of Apley bought from the Crown some of the abbey's tithes, (fn. 262) and by 1616 Andrew Charlton of Apley not only held those (fn. 263) but was also lessee of those leased to Taylor in 1538. In 1650 Parliament sold the leased tithes to Humphrey Hill of Riseley (Beds.). (fn. 264) By 1655, however, Francis Charlton of Apley owned all the former abbey's tithes in the parish, (fn. 265) and they seem thereafter to have descended with Apley. (fn. 266)
The prebendary's share was normally leased to a local person for three lives at a rent of £13 6s. 8d. In 1605 such a lease was granted to Matthew Steventon (d. 1633), (fn. 267) a Wellington tanner, (fn. 268) and was unexpired in 1649. (fn. 269) In 1665 Francis Charlton of Apley took a similar lease (fn. 270) and the lords of Apley were successive lessees thereafter, (fn. 271) thus possessing all the great tithes either as impropriators or lessees. In 1649 the great tithes were worth £194 a year. (fn. 272) By the early 17th century the prebendary's lessee usually sublet the tithes of particular townships or farms. (fn. 273) The practice was continued by the Charltons with their own tithes and the prebendary's. (fn. 274) In 1693–4 they received rents totalling £195 for the parish's great tithes, (fn. 275) in 1759–60 about the same. (fn. 276) When the Charltons leased their land in the parish, they sometimes included the tithes. (fn. 277) John Charlton also held 5½ a. of rectorial glebe c. 1676, which he sublet. (fn. 278)
Under the Cathedrals Act, 1840, the prebend's endowment was vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 279) On the eve of commutation all the great tithes were payable in kind except for moduses totalling £4 6s. 6d. in lieu of the hay tithes of Apley, Dothill, and Watling Street townships and of most of Aston township (all but 44½ a.). (fn. 280) In Eyton township 87 a. (partly in Eyton parish) were tithe free, (fn. 281) as were c. 43 a. in Aston, and throughout the parish there were parcels owing only vicarial tithes. The great tithes of each holding were split equally between the lessee of the prebend's endowment and St. John Chiverton Charlton (in practice the same person). In addition there was rectorial glebe of 6½ a., presumably in dual ownership, all in Wellington township and all let to tenants.
In the years 1838–42 the rectorial tithes of Wellington parish were commuted to £1,521 6s. 10d. (including £49 19s. 6d. in Eyton township and £36 in Preston township) divided equally as before. (fn. 282) By 1880 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners had assigned most of their share to the incumbents of Hadley, Ketley, Lawley, Christ Church, (fn. 283) and (apparently) Uppington with Aston. (fn. 284) In 1897 the commissioners were allowed to sell some property formerly belonging to the prebend, (fn. 285) presumably part of the rectorial glebe.