A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6, andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds (Bridgwater and Neighbouring Parishes). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1992.
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MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
In 1086 NORTH PETHERTON manor was part of the king's land and had never paid geld. (fn. 1) Its holders owed a fee farm to the Crown; (fn. 2) in 1761 the farm of 5 guineas was paid to Antony Duncombe, Baron Feversham (d. 1763), (fn. 3) presumably by grant. The fee farm was paid to the Crown in 1779 (fn. 4) but by 1860 to William, Lord Radnor, son of Lord Feversham's daughter Anne. (fn. 5) It was later acquired by Anne (d. 1874), widow of Sir Henry Featherstonehaugh, Bt. In 1876 her successor Bullock Featherstonehaugh, probably her nephew, demanded payment, which was six years in arrears. (fn. 6) No further reference to the fee farm has been found.
The manor was said to have been given by Henry I to John of Erleigh. (fn. 7) John held it in 1157 (fn. 8) and died c. 1162. (fn. 9) His successor was William of Erleigh, the king's chamberlain, (fn. 10) but John's widow, Adela or Alice, held part of the estate in 1166. William's lands were in the king's hands in 1166 (fn. 11) and in 1169 Geoffrey de Mayenne accounted for North Petherton. (fn. 12) William, probably son of William of Erleigh, held the manor from 1170 until 1177 when his lands were confiscated. Henry II probably regranted the manor to him for a fee farm rent of 100s. (fn. 13) John of Erleigh had succeeded by 1189. (fn. 14) William of Erleigh was named as holding a fee in 1199, either in error for John or on behalf of John's son. (fn. 15) John of Erleigh held NorthPetherton from 1202 (fn. 16) until 1231 when he was succeeded by his brother Henry of Erleigh. (fn. 17) Henry (d. 1272) (fn. 18) was followed by his son Philip (d. c. 1275) and Philip by his son John, who came of age c. 1290 (fn. 19) and died c. 1323. John of Erleigh, son of the last, died c. 1337, leaving a son (Sir) John, a minor. (fn. 20) Sir John sold the manor in 1371 to John Cole and his wife Margery. (fn. 21)
By 1388 Thomas Beaupyne was in possession, probably as tenant to the Coles from whom he bought the manor in 1391. (fn. 22) On the death of Thomas's widow Margaret in 1408 North Petherton passed to their daughter Agnes, wife first of John Bluet and then of John Bevyle. (fn. 23) Bevyle held the manor in 1412 but was dead by 1431. (fn. 24) Agnes was succeeded in 1442 by her son John Bluet. (fn. 25)
John Bluet (d. 1463) (fn. 26) was followed in turn by his son Walter (d. 1481) and his grandson Nicholas Bluet (d. 1522). Nicholas's heir was his grandson (Sir) Roger, son of Richard Bluet. (fn. 27) Roger came of age in 1524 (fn. 28) and died c. 1566. (fn. 29) His son John (d. 1584) was followed by John's son Richard (d. 1615) and Richard's grandson John Bluet. (fn. 30) John died in 1634 leaving four daughters; his widow Elizabeth held the manor until her death c. 1637 when it passed to trustees. (fn. 31) The property was then divided like Chipstable manor (fn. 32) between the daughters, Anne, wife of Cadwallader Jones, Mary, wife successively of Sir James Stonehouse, Bt., and (Sir) John Lenthall, Dorothy, wife of Henry Wallop, and Susan, wife of John Basset. Anne sold her share to Dorothy, whose half of the manor formed part of the marriage settlement of Dorothy's younger son John Wallop and his wife Alice in 1683. (fn. 33) John (d. 1694) bought the Lenthall share in 1685, and settled it on his younger son John after Alice's death. (fn. 34) John's elder son Bluet inherited the half share but died without issue in 1707 leaving his brother John as heir. (fn. 35) John (cr. Baron Wallop and Vct. Lymington 1720, earl of Portsmouth 1743), held three quarters of the manor until 1742 when he acquired the remaining share from John Basset, great-grandson of Susan Bluet. (fn. 36) In 1754 the earl sold the entire North Petherton estate to Alexander Seymour Gapper who, unable to pay the purchase price, sold it back in 1755. The earl died in 1762 when his heir was his grandson John, who sold the manor to John Slade in 1768. (fn. 37) The manor descended from 1772 with the manor of Maunsel. (fn. 38)
No capital messuage for the manor has been found but there was a court house in the 13th and 14th centuries. (fn. 39)
Lands, later known as ACLAND'S lands or North Petherton manor, were left by Baldwin Malet (d. 1533) to his wife Anne for life and then to their son John. (fn. 40) The estate descended to John's son Robert (fl. 1572) and to Robert's granddaughters Christina (d. 1590), wife of Robert Brett, and Eleanor, wife of Arthur Acland. In 1602 Eleanor, the sole survivor, sold her manor to Richard Bluet, lord of the principal manor of North Petherton. (fn. 41)
In 1225 Roger Baril, serjeant of Petherton hundred, had a house in the hundred and in the 1240s Roger Baril, possibly the same, held land in North Petherton, probably what was later called VOWELL'S lands. (fn. 42) In 1279 Roger's widow Alice released her dower to her heir John Baril who held land in 1270. (fn. 43) John is said to have received land near Petherton park and in Hay moor from Henry of Erleigh. He died without issue before 1296 and his land was held by the Erleighs in the early 14th century. (fn. 44) By 1466 Robert Baril held the land. Gillian Vowell, who held it by 1477 (fn. 45) and in 1491 gave her estates in North Petherton and Huntworth to trustees to the uses of her will, was dead by 1492 when her estates, described as formerly Baril's, had passed to her son Richard Vowell. (fn. 46) Richard (d. 1498) was followed by his son William (d. 1552). William, probably William's son, with his wife Margaret and Thomas Vowell, sold the estate to Sir Roger Bluet in 1561. (fn. 47) It descended with the Bluets' manor of North Petherton. (fn. 48)
A house known as Baril's Place was recorded in the 18th century but had gone by 1770. (fn. 49)
Lands of St. Mary's chantry in the parish church were sold in 1550 to men probably acting for Sir Roger Bluet. He bequeathed the land to his son John in 1566, (fn. 50) and it descended with the Bluets' manor of North Petherton. (fn. 51) The chantry house, sold by the Crown in 1549, was also later acquired by the Bluets, (fn. 52) but it is not mentioned after 1677. (fn. 53)
The manor of North Petherton later known as BUCKLAND FEE belonged to Buckland priory before the Dissolution. (fn. 54) The Crown granted it in 1544 to William Portman and Alexander Popham. (fn. 55) It passed to Alexander's son Edward (d. 1586) and included lands in several parishes. It descended with the Pophams' manor of Huntworth until 1838 or later. (fn. 56) No later reference to the lordship has been found. The capital messuage was possibly that sold to Mr. Crosswell and may be the house north of the rectory, now demolished, in which Crosswell kept a school in the 19th century. (fn. 57)
A manor of NORTH PETHERTON, which can be traced to a holding of John Sydenham (d. 1468), included houses and lands which Margaret Mutton, probably wife of John's son Walter (d. 1469), held when she died in 1477. (fn. 58) Her son and heir John Sydenham of Brympton held land in Whitestock as a free tenant of Shearston manor in 1519. (fn. 59) In 1613 the Sydenhams' manor, held of the Bluets' manor of North Petherton, included lands in Moorland, Edington in Moorlinch, and Bridgwater, and probably less than half its land lay in North Petherton parish. John Sydenham (d. 1625) settled the manor on his son John for his marriage to Alice Hody, (fn. 60) and it descended with Combe Sydenham in Stogumber until 1674 or later. (fn. 61) No further reference to the lordship has been found and the land was probably dispersed.
William Brent (d. 1536) held a manor called DUNWEAR which may have been the PETHERTON manor held in 1552 by his son Richard (d. 1570). (fn. 62) Richard's heir was his daughter Anne, wife of Thomas Paulet. (fn. 63) Anne died before her husband, leaving a daughter Elizabeth, married to Giles Hoby. (fn. 64) The Hobys sold land in North Petherton to John Watts (d. 1622) who was succeeded by his son Nicholas (d. 1634). Nicholas left two infant daughters Jane and Walthean; the latter married John Newton. (fn. 65) The estate has not been traced further.
HULKSHAY manor was held of the Bluets' manor of North Petherton in 1485 and was so held until 1647 or later. (fn. 66) In 1397 John Brown held an estate in right of his wife Isabel with remainder to John Penny. (fn. 67) Penny conveyed it in 1428 to Martin Jacob, who with his wife Joan added land in 1446. (fn. 68) Joan Jacob died in 1485 and Hulkshay, sometimes called North Petherton manor, descended like Brompton Jacob in Brompton Ralph. (fn. 69) In 1701 Baldwin Malet appears to have sold the manor, and the lands were dispersed. (fn. 70) There is no further reference to the lordship.
The Jacob family had a house in the parish in 1428 and in 1443 they were granted a licence for a private chapel there. (fn. 71) That house may be represented by Hulkshay Farm, built in the mid 18th century; part of the staircase, a fireplace with rococo plasterwork, and a stone porch survive. The house was refitted and partly refronted in the 19th century.
Ansger the cook, one of the king's serjeants, held SHOVEL in 1086. Two thegns had held it freely in 1066. Its 11th-century name, Siwoldestone, may record a former owner. (fn. 72) By the late 15th century Shovel was held by Adam Hamlyn of Bridgwater who died in 1493 leaving it to his younger daughter Margaret, wife of John Wyner. (fn. 73) In 1498 Margaret sold it to John Heyron (d. 1501) who in the following year was licensed to found a chantry at Langport endowed with lands at Shovel. (fn. 74) The Langport chantry estate was granted to Laurence Hyde of London in 1549. (fn. 75) Laurence died in 1590 (fn. 76) and Edward Hyde of West Hatch in Tisbury (Wilts.), in possession in 1648, (fn. 77) sold it in 1659 to Walter Catford, who kept courts in 1684. In 1703 Walter's son, also Walter, sold Shovel to the tenant John Dobin. John or a son of the same name sold it to Joseph Gatcombe in 1763. (fn. 78) Joseph (d. 1777) was succeeded by his son William (d. 1816) and William by his son Joseph (d. 1820). Joseph's widow Anna died in 1847 and Shovel passed to Joseph's niece Matilda (d. 1889), wife of the Revd. William Chapman Kinglake (d. 1881). (fn. 79) They were succeeded by their second daughter Rosa, wife of Frederick Kinglake (d. 1900). Shovel was sold in 1910 to A. M. Wilson. (fn. 80) By 1925 it had been acquired by Herbert Nelson. (fn. 81)
Shovel House, also known as Gatcombe House and Shovel Hill, was built probably c. 1820. (fn. 82) It is a large double-pile brick villa with a fivebayed front and central porch, with a lower one-bayed wing, probably original, on the east and a symmetrical bay on the west added after 1841. (fn. 83) Further rooms were added later in the 19th century and the interior retains many original fittings and good contemporary plasterwork.
STAMFORDLANDS appears to have been severed from Melcombe Paulet manor in 1573 when it was bought by Richard Bidgood and William Tucker. (fn. 84) In 1578 Bidgood released his interest to Tucker who was succeeded by his son John (d. 1603). (fn. 85) In 1614 John's son William and John Wroth sold the estate to John Musgrave (d. 1631) (fn. 86) who was succeeded by his son George (d. 1640). George's son Richard settled Stamfordlands in 1671 on his son George. (fn. 87) Richard died c. 1686 and George's estate was described as a manor in 1699. (fn. 88) The manor descended in the Musgrave family from George (d. 1721) to his son George (d. 1724) and then with Shearston to Juliana (d. 1810), wife of Sir James Langham, Bt. (fn. 89) By 1806 the estate had been dispersed and William Gatcombe held Stamfordlands farm, (fn. 90) which descended in the Gatcombe family with Shovel until 1893 when it was divided and sold. (fn. 91)
The house was described as new in 1573 and as newly erected in 1614. (fn. 92) It was replaced by Staffland Farm in the early 19th century.
An estate called BAYMEAD, including Nether Baymead, purchased by George Musgrave from the Ley or Farthing family in 1626, (fn. 93) was held with Stamfordlands, but in 1670 it was described as a separate manor. (fn. 94) It appears to have been sold in the 1760s (fn. 95) and had been divided by 1838. (fn. 96)
Saemer held an estate called NEWTON, later Estable Newton, in 1066 and John the usher held it in 1086; Stable held it under John. (fn. 97) Before 1199 Roger Stable granted it to William Wrotham. (fn. 98) In 1250 William's nephew Richard Wrotham held it of Roger Stable by service of a white wand. (fn. 99) It merged with the other estates of the Wrothams and had no further separate existence.
An estate at NEWTON which Osward held in 1066 was in 1086 held by Ansketil the parker apparently as a royal serjeanty. (fn. 100) It continued to be held by successive foresters of Petherton together with the bailiwick of Williton: Robert son of Bernard (d. c. 1184), Geoffrey FitzPeter in 1185, and Robert de Odburville until c. 1193. (fn. 101) William Wrotham received a grant of Newton in 1198. (fn. 102) Wrotham was forester from 1199 and from 1204 acquired land there called Deneysedon formerly of William Dacus. (fn. 103)
William Wrotham, who combined the forestership, the Stable and Odburville holdings, and the lands of William Dacus in an estate known as NEWTON or NEWTON FORESTER, was appointed archdeacon of Taunton c. 1204. (fn. 104) He was still alive in 1212, but by 1216 he had been succeeded by his nephew Richard, a minor. (fn. 105) Richard (d. s.p. 1250), known as Richard Forester, was succeeded by his nephew William de Plessis. Richard's estate at his death included, in addition to his inheritance from William Wrotham, land at Newton held of Stephen son of Michael (fn. 106) which may have been a half virgate in Estable Newton alienated in the time of Henry I. (fn. 107)
William de Plessis (d. c. 1274) was given custody of Petherton park in fee. His nephew and successor was Richard de Barbeflote or Plessis (d. 1289). Two thirds of his estate and the forestership passed to his sisters, Sabina, wife of Nicholas Pecche (d. 1295), Evelyn, wife of John Durant, and Emme, wife of John Heyron. (fn. 108) Richard's widow Margery (d. c. 1293) was to have her third for life, which was to revert to Evelyn and Emme; the forestership passed to Sabina. (fn. 109)
Sabina Pecche (d. c. 1307) left to her son Nicholas an estate later called a third of NEWTON PLECY or NEWTON REGIS manor. Nicholas Pecche (d. 1323) was succeeded by his son Richard (d. by 1330). (fn. 110) Richard's son Thomas (d. under age 1332) was followed by Richard's brother Matthew. (fn. 111) Matthew sold his estates in 1336 to Sir Richard Dammory, who granted a life interest to Matthew of Clevedon in 1342. (fn. 112) Matthew released his interest before 1351 when Dammory sold the manor and forestership to Roger Beauchamp. Roger sold them in turn to Roger Mortimer, earl of March, in 1359. (fn. 113) The estate passed with the earldom of March to the Crown and to Katharine and Anne, daughters of Edward IV. In 1511 it was recovered by the Crown and was granted, as the lordship and manor of North Petherton, in 1547 to Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset. (fn. 114) Following Somerset's attainder it was granted in 1553 to John Dudley, duke of Northumberland. The duke exchanged it for Syon House (Mdx.) in the same year with Sir Thomas Wroth (d. 1573). (fn. 115) Sir Thomas was involved in Suffolk's rebellion in 1554 and went into exile until Elizabeth's accession. (fn. 116)
Sir Thomas settled Newton Regis on his younger brother William in 1568 in trust for his own six younger sons. The sons shared the manor in 1586. (fn. 117) In 1623 the manor was settled on John, the only surviving son, and on Sir Thomas Wroth, son of John's brother Thomas (d. 1610). Sir Thomas, a member of the Long Parliament, was appointed to try Charles I but attended only one session of the trial. (fn. 118) John died in 1633 without issue (fn. 119) and Sir Thomas in 1672 when he was succeeded by his greatnephew, Sir John Wroth, Bt. (fn. 120) Sir John died c. 1677 leaving an infant son Sir Thomas (d. 1721). The estate passed to Sir Thomas's elder daughter Cecily, wife of Sir Hugh Acland, Bt., and on her death in 1761 to her son Sir Thomas Acland, Bt. (fn. 121) Sir Thomas died in 1785 and was followed in turn by his grandson Sir John Dyke Acland (d. 1785) and his own second son Sir Thomas Dyke Acland (d. 1794). The son of the last, Sir Thomas (d. 1871), sold most of the estate in 1834 to William Nation, but the lordship with some land was still retained by his son, also Sir Thomas (d. 1898), in 1872. (fn. 122)
A house called Newton Court was recorded in 1274 with a dovecot and gardens. (fn. 123) It probably stood in North Newton village. Park House was recorded in 1336, and the name was sometimes given to the park estate. (fn. 124) A house called the Lodge, probably in the park, was repaired in 1400. (fn. 125) William Wroth, resident keeper of the park under Henry VI, was said to have rebuilt the Court House, which may have stood on the edge of the park beside Parker's Field House, and was probably the moated lodge recorded by Leland. (fn. 126) The Lodge was said to have been pulled down in Elizabeth's reign but part was still standing in 1665. (fn. 127) Broad Lodge, built of materials from the earlier lodge, possibly c. 1582-6, was known as Petherton Park in the 17th century when it was the home of the Wroth family. (fn. 128) Sir Thomas Wroth (d. 1721) rebuilt the house c. 1700 (fn. 129) as a double-piled structure. The stone west range has 11 bays with mullioned and transomed windows and a central doorway surmounted by a shell hood. The slightly shorter east range is of brick and has a recessed centre of five bays with similar windows and shellhooded doorway. The interior retains many features of c. 1700 including a fine central staircase with arched landing, several rooms with bolection-moulded panelling and moulded plaster cornices, and in the upper part of the north-east corner a large room with three tall sash windows to the north. Some alterations appear to have been made inside in the 19th century at which time panelling dated 1601 was introduced into one of the principal ground-floor rooms. To the west is a small walled court with two gateways and, beyond, a stable building of c. 1700. In 1984 the house was divided and was known as Park Farm and Manor House Farm. To the east earthworks mark the layout of a former garden: James Veitch was planting and fencing at Petherton Park in 1815. (fn. 130)
Parker's Field House stands just outside the park boundary, possibly near the site of Court House. It dates from the late 16th century and has a main range of two rooms separated by a central passage, with a jointed cruck roof. Wings were added in the 17th century, probably before 1651 when the house was described as new. (fn. 131) A wing was added to the north-west in the late 18th century.
Evelyn Durant died in 1312 and her share of Newton Plecy, later called NEWTON WROTH, passed successively to her son Richard Durant (d. 1333) (fn. 132) and Richard's son Thomas (d. 1349). (fn. 133) Thomas's daughter Maud married first Sir John Wroth and second Baldwin of Raddington (d. 1401). (fn. 134) From her son and heir William Wroth (d. 1408) the estate passed in the direct male line to William (an infant in 1408, d. 1450), (fn. 135) John (d. 1480), (fn. 136) John (an infant in 1480, d. 1517), Robert (d. 1535), (fn. 137) and Sir Thomas Wroth (d. 1573), who had also acquired Newton Regis manor. Sir Thomas left Newton Wroth to his wife Mary for her life. (fn. 138) His eldest son Sir Robert died in 1606 and Sir Robert's grandson, also Sir Robert, in 1614, leaving an infant son James. (fn. 139) James died in 1616 when John Wroth, brother of Sir Robert (d. 1606), settled the manor on John, brother of Sir Robert (d. 1614). The younger John and his wife Maud held the manor in 1621. (fn. 140) In 1634 John sold the manor to Sir Thomas and Sir Peter Wroth (d. 1644), sons of Thomas (d. 1610), brother of Sir Robert (d. 1606). (fn. 141) Sir Thomas was succeeded in 1672 by his great-nephew Sir John Wroth, Bt., grandson of Sir Peter. (fn. 142) Sir John died c. 1677 leaving an infant son Thomas; the manor then descended with Newton Regis. No reference to the lordship has been found after 1872. (fn. 143)
There was a capital messuage in 1638, (fn. 144) known as Pyms in 1739. (fn. 145) It may have been the house called Newton Place in 1776 (fn. 146) and now Church Farm House, east of North Newton church. It has cob walls and the roof at the east end is cruck framed, probably of the 16th century. Some refitting was carried out in the 18th and 19th centuries. (fn. 147)
John Heyron, husband of Emme, died in 1326 holding her share of Newton Plecy, (fn. 148) later called NEWTON CHANTRY. Their son John died without issue in 1335 and his heirs were his nephew John Garton and his sister Margaret Heyron. (fn. 149) The nephew died in 1362, by then probably holding Margaret's share; he was followed by his son John and that John in 1376 by his son John, a minor. (fn. 150) The last gave a life interest to Richard Mayne before 1401 and sold the reversion to Richard Bruton and William Gascoigne in 1417. Gascoigne died in 1423 in possession of the whole estate. His heir was his brother Thomas who died possibly c. 1424. (fn. 151) William Gascoigne, perhaps Thomas's son, was dead by 1462 when his daughter Christine and her husband John Keyrell were in possession. (fn. 152) In 1467 they gave the manor to the vicars choral of Wells cathedral. During the Interregnum it was purchased by Sir Thomas Wroth, (fn. 153) but it was returned to the vicars choral c. 1660 and was transferred to the Ecclesiastical (later Church) Commissioners before 1875. The Commissioners were lords of the manor in 1984. (fn. 154)
A capital messuage, probably belonging to the manor, was mentioned in 1326. (fn. 155) In 1362 the hall and chamber were repaired with stone tiles. (fn. 156) The house was mentioned in 1450. (fn. 157) In Elizabeth's reign the vicars choral were said to have used the materials from Newton chapel to build a court house. (fn. 158) It can perhaps be identified with Newton House, west of the church, a late 16th-century building with a main hall range and north wing. The present wing is probably of the 18th century, but contains reused 17th-century windows. The hall contains a canopied fireplace and a framed ceiling. The parlour has a ribbed plaster ceiling with moulded foliage decoration. (fn. 159)
The tithes of the former chantry in North Newton chapel were let by the Crown in reversion to Thomas Tallis and William Byrd in 1578 (fn. 160) and by 1585 they had been let to William Lacey. (fn. 161) They were sold to William Wroth and others in reversion in 1592 when they were assessed at £3 17s. a year, (fn. 162) and were held by John Wroth (d. 1633). Usually known as NEWTON CHANTRY, the tithe estate descended with Newton Wroth manor. (fn. 163) In 1664 it was agreed that all great and small tithes, oblations, obventions, and mortuaries due within the chapelry should be paid to Sir Thomas Wroth. (fn. 164) The perpetual curate was said in 1838 to be entitled to the tithe of the district, c. 260 a., except for the £3 paid to the vicar of North Petherton, but in 1841 the rent charge of £70 was awarded to Sir Thomas Dyke Acland as impropriator under a corrected award. (fn. 165)
The land of the former North Newton chantry, lying in North Newton and St. Michaelchurch, and worth £2 1s. a year in 1547, (fn. 166) was granted to John Hulson and William Pendred in 1549 (fn. 167) and later regranted to Richard Bluet, who died in possession in 1566. (fn. 168) The land descended with the Bluets' manor of North Petherton and was usually known as the manor of NEWTON PLACET. (fn. 169)
The estate later known as PLAYSTREET was owned by the Heyron family who used it to endow their chantry at Langport. (fn. 170) In 1549 the estate was sold to Laurence Hyde (fn. 171) whose grandson Edward Hyde held it until 1656 or later. (fn. 172) By 1655 it had been acquired by the Catford family of Melcombe Paulet who sold it to Sir Thomas Wroth in 1696. (fn. 173) The estate descended as part of Newton Wroth manor and the name was lost. (fn. 174)
BALLCOMBE manor was probably held of the Bluets' manor of North Petherton. (fn. 175) It was held by Henry Blunt who died before 1515 leaving a son John Blunt or Swell. John's son Robert sold it in 1545 to William Fouracre of Hillfarrance and his wife Joan. (fn. 176) In 1605 Matthew Fouracre of Broadclyst (Devon), with his wife Mary and Hannah, probably his mother, sold Ballcombe to John Parsons. In 1618 John settled the estate on his son William for his marriage to Alice Gredge of Ballcombe. (fn. 177) William was succeeded by Henry Parsons before 1669 and by William Parsons (fl. 1692-1705). William was followed by Thomas Parsons, a London grocer, who with his wife Frances sold Ballcombe manor to William Hodgson in 1714. In 1721 Hodgson sold it to Charles Challis (d. c. 1745). In 1758 John Lock and his wife Mary, a daughter of Charles Challis, sold Ballcombe to Jeremiah Dewdney. (fn. 178) Dewdney (d. 1776) was succeeded by his great-nephew Jeremiah Dewdney Parsons (d. 1842), the owner in 1838. (fn. 179) In 1919 the surviving heirs of Jeremiah Dewdney Parsons sold Ballcombe to the Portman trustees. (fn. 180)
Athelney abbey by grants from John of Erleigh and members of the Clavil family between the early 13th century and c. 1400 acquired land in Clavelshay and Farringdon (fn. 181) which came to be known as CLAVELSHAY manor and remained with the abbey until the Dissolution. (fn. 182) The Crown sold the manor in 1544 to (Sir) William Portman and Alexander Popham. (fn. 183) Portman died in sole possession in 1557 (fn. 184) and the manor descended in the direct male line to Sir Henry (d. 1591), John (cr. Bt., d. 1612), and Sir Henry (d. 1621). (fn. 185) Henry was followed in turn by his three brothers John (d. 1624), Hugh (d. 1629), and William (d. 1645). (fn. 186) Clavelshay manor descended after 1641 in the Portman family like Bere manor in Wayford to Henry Berkeley Portman, Viscount Portman (d. 1923). Claud Berkeley Portman, Viscount Portman (d. 1929), brother of the last, was followed by his son Edward Claud Berkeley Portman (d. 1942) whose brother Seymour Berkeley Portman, Viscount Portman, in 1944 sold Clavelshay to the Crown. All manorial incidents were then said to have been enfranchised. (fn. 187) In 1984 the estate comprised two farms, Higher and Lower Clavelshay, formerly Clavelshay and Clavelshay farm.
A capital messuage recorded in 1539 (fn. 188) may have been the precursor of the 17th-century house called Classeys. (fn. 189) In 1735 the capital messuage comprised hall, parlour, kitchen, and service rooms, five chambers, 'cold bath', and servants' rooms. (fn. 190) The present house called Lower Clavelshay, formerly Clavelshay Farm, is a substantial 18th-century house which had ten bedrooms in 1946 before the demolition of a wing. (fn. 191) It has a symmetrical west front and nearly contemporary outshuts. In 1699 there were fishponds in the vicinity (fn. 192) and from the 19th century the house had a terraced garden on the west, falling to two small lakes. (fn. 193)
The Knights Hospitallers held land at Farringdon which they exchanged in 1310 and 1312 for land owned by Hugh de Reigny and his wife Gillian. (fn. 194)
In 1066 Sired held SHEARSTON and in 1086 Robert Herecom held it of Roger de Courcelles. (fn. 195) The overlordship descended with that of Kilve until 1363 or later. A mesne lordship held by Matthew de Furneaux in 1253 descended with Kilve also until 1363 or later. (fn. 196)
Simon son of Simon Brett was tenant in 1195, but Shearston passed to the Reigny family, probably by 1253. (fn. 197) John de Reigny held it in 1285, and before 1291 Joan de Reigny owned rents there. (fn. 198) Shearston was held with Rhode manor until 1616 when it was sold to George Blanchflower, probably in reversion. (fn. 199) By 1652 it had passed to George's son the Revd. Thomas Blanchflower (d. 1661) (fn. 200) whose land at Shearston was settled in 1663 on his eldest son George. (fn. 201) George (d. 1664) left the manor to his infant son George. The younger George died without issue c. 1686 and Charles Blanchflower (d. 1693), his uncle and heir, appears to have sold the manor to Valentine Gardiner. (fn. 202) Valentine held the estate c. 1691 but it was later sold to Thomas Musgrave. (fn. 203) Thomas (d. 1724) was followed by his great-nephew George Musgrave (also d. 1724) and George by his second son Thomas Frederick, an infant. Thomas Frederick, who settled the manor on his wife Mary in 1761, died c. 1780. (fn. 204) After Mary's death the estate was held by her niece Juliana (d. 1810), wife of Sir James Langham, Bt. (fn. 205) It passed to her son Sir William (d. Mar. 1812), to his son also Sir William (d. May 1812) and to the latter's uncle Sir James Langham (d. 1833). (fn. 206) Sir James's second son Herbert sold the estate in 1859 and 1860, without reference to the lordship. (fn. 207)
A capital messuage was recorded c. 1392. (fn. 208) A house recorded in 1663 (fn. 209) was known as Shearston Farm in the 18th century and was described as the capital messuage in 1776. (fn. 210) By 1838 it was known as Chapel Hill or Chapel Hill Farm and in 1859 was described as a six-bedroomed farmhouse. (fn. 211) The house has a front range of cob probably dating from the 17th century. It was enlarged and extensively altered in the 19th century.
SHEARSTON CHANTRY manor originated in the land of Shearston chapel given to Buckland priory in 1189. (fn. 212) In 1548 the estate, including a mill and nine tenements, was granted to John Aylworth and William Lacey. (fn. 213) In 1584 the manor was held by John Bluet and descended with North Petherton manor. (fn. 214) In 1615 Shearston Chantry manor was said to be held both of Humphrey Sydenham's manor of Dulverton and of the king. (fn. 215) By the late 18th century the manor had lost its separate identity and most of the land, called Shearston farm or Woolcott's, was sold in 1772 to James Woolcott, whose family had been tenants since the 17th century. (fn. 216) By 1838 a small farm known as Shearston remained in North Petherton manor. (fn. 217) In 1777 Woolcott sold Shearston to Thomas Pyke. The Jolliffe family bought the estate in 1818 and sold it in 1858 to Edward Portman, Lord Portman. (fn. 218)
Saric held MELCOMBE in 1066 and Robert de Odburville in 1086. (fn. 219) The two Melcombe manors may have been divisions of that estate. The manor later called MELCOMBE PAULET appears to have been held of the Erleighs' manor of North Petherton in 1293 and later, (fn. 220) but in 1431 Melcombe Paulet was said to be held in socage, (fn. 221) and suit and quit rents for the manor were claimed by the Wroths and the Vicars Choral of Wells from the 15th to the early 17th century. (fn. 222)
The lands of John de Reigny of Melcombe were in John of Erleigh's hands in 1293. (fn. 223) Joan de Reigny of Melcombe, mentioned between 1291 and 1296, may have been succeeded by John de Reigny by 1312. (fn. 224) Melcombe is said to have passed from Elizabeth, John de Reigny's daughter and wife of John Paulet, to her son Sir John Paulet (d. 1391). (fn. 225) William Paulet of Melcombe, son of Sir John; held the manor by 1412. (fn. 226) William died c. 1436 and his son Sir John Paulet in 1437. (fn. 227) John Paulet, son of the last, died c. 1470; his son, also John, was alive in 1519 but had died probably by 1539 when his eldest son William was created Baron St. John of Basing. William, created marquis of Winchester in 1551, died in 1572, when his son John sold the manor with 430 a. to Richard Bidgood and William Tucker of North Petherton. (fn. 228)
Bidgood died in 1581 as sole owner of the manor, which he devised to his wife Joan for life and then to Catherine, wife of his son Richard. Joan died c. 1587 and in 1592 Richard and Catherine conveyed the manor to William Gough. (fn. 229) In 1622 Richard Gough, possibly William's son, sold it to Robert Catford. (fn. 230) Robert (d. 1623) was succeeded by his son Robert (d. s.p. 1625), whose heir was his brother Walter (d. 1653). Walter's son Robert (d. 1672) left the manor to his daughter Elizabeth (d. 1696). Elizabeth's heir was her cousin Walter Catford (d. 1706) whose widow Jane and son Charles sold the manor in 1723 to John Morley, husband of Charles's cousin Katharine Catford. (fn. 231) John died in 1727 and Katharine held the manor in 1763. Their son John died in 1765 and his son John was in possession in 1792 but the estate had been reduced and was known as Melcombe farm. (fn. 232) By 1806 the estate was held by Richard King, the owner in 1838. (fn. 233) No further reference to the lordship has been found but the estate was acquired by the Kinglake family of Shovel and sold by them in 1893 and 1901. (fn. 234)
Richard Bidgood and William Tucker sold an estate at RHODE, part of Melcombe Paulet manor, to Nicholas Chute in 1574. In 1594 Robert, Nicholas's son and heir, conveyed it to (Sir) Nicholas Halswell, who leased it to the Woodhouse family. (fn. 237) Halswell added an estate called Roadbrooks and before 1665 the Halswells added land there which had belonged to the Paulets and later further land formerly held with Woolmersdon manor. (fn. 238) By 1838 the estate, having descended with Halswell in Goathurst to the Tyntes, had shrunk in size and was known as Road farm. (fn. 239)
The house, now called the Chantry, is a substantial early 17th-century house with a main range of three rooms with short rear wings at each end, one containing a staircase. The northern wing was extended in brick in the 19th century to provide outbuildings. Many original windows remain, mostly in moulded oak, but those of the entrance front ground floor are of Ham stone. A first-floor room has a plaster heart bearing the date 1655 and initials 'I.W.' (fn. 240) There is a carved wooden cornice on the south-east front.
The manor of RHODE seems to have been held of North Petherton manor in 1311-12, and its lords were described as free tenants of John Slade's manor of North Petherton in 1770. (fn. 241) Thomas de Reigny was lord c. 1256, and may have been succeeded by John de Reigny (fl. 1285-93). (fn. 242) In 1308 John de Reigny the younger granted land in Shearston and Rhode to another John de Reigny and his son John for their lives in succession. (fn. 243) John de Reigny paid a relief for Rhode in 1311-12. (fn. 244) The manor appears to have descended with Melcombe Paulet manor to Sir John Paulet (d. 1391). (fn. 245) Sir John's widow Elizabeth held the manor in 1412 (fn. 246) and Sir John's grandson William, son of Thomas Paulet, held it in 1428. Rhode descended with Hinton St. George manor until 1538 when Sir Amias Poulett settled Rhode on his son Henry for life. (fn. 247) Henry died probably before 1559 when his brother Sir Hugh was in possession. (fn. 248) Rhode continued to descend with Hinton St. George until 1600 when Anthony Poulett was succeeded by his brother George Paulet. (fn. 249) George probably settled it on his son Edward, whose second wife Elizabeth was married to Thomas Yeates by 1647. (fn. 250) She still held the manor in 1676 although the inheritance had been divided between Edward's daughters. (fn. 251)
Elizabeth had been succeeded by Edward's grandson, Paulet Payne (d. 1707), by 1701 when he settled the manor on his son John (d. 1717). John's son Paulet (d. 1726) was succeeded by his sisters Mary and Elizabeth who married their step-brothers Edmund and John Jeane. (fn. 252) In 1783 Mary Jeane and Elizabeth's son Thomas Jeane (d. 1791) divided the estate for the benefit of their respective sons, both called John. (fn. 253) Mary's son John Jeane (d. 1790) of Binfords in Broomfield left his share to his daughter Elizabeth (d. 1859) who married the Revd. Thomas Coney. (fn. 254) Thomas's son John Jeane of West Monkton (d. s.p. 1798) was succeeded by his nephew Thomas Jeane Buncombe. (fn. 255) There was no reference to the lordship after the 1780s.
There was a house at Rhode by 1316. (fn. 256) Rhode Farm, on the Coney's share of the estate in the 19th century, can perhaps be identified with a house of c. 1690 which had a hall, parlour, kitchen, brewhouse, and six chambers. (fn. 257) It was almost completely rebuilt in 1855. (fn. 258)
The three sons of Robert Whiting (d. 1500) may have shared the manor of WEST MELCOMBE or BOOMER. It was held of the Bluet's manor of North Petherton. Christopher Whiting died in 1501 in possession of a third, which passed to his brother John. (fn. 259) John Whiting settled the whole manor on his wife Anne in 1511. When he died in 1529 his heirs were his five daughters Mary, Agnes, Isabel, Joan or Jane, and Elizabeth. (fn. 260) Elizabeth died evidently soon after 1533, and her share was divided among her sisters, giving rise to the name Four Lords Land. (fn. 261) Mary Whiting married Humphrey Keynes and died in 1548 leaving a son John. (fn. 262) John Keynes sold his share to Robert Halswell in 1565. (fn. 263) Robert died in 1570 leaving a young son (Sir) Nicholas, who leased his share, then called a quarter, to Robert Catford in 1608 and sold it to him in 1620. (fn. 264) Agnes Whiting was succeeded in 1555 by her son Humphrey Walrond. (fn. 265) Humphrey's four sons seem to have entered the estate in 1584, two years before their father's death. (fn. 266) William Walrond, the eldest, leased his share of West Melcombe to Robert Catford in 1598. In 1627 William's son Henry sold a quarter of the manor to William Catford, Robert's son. (fn. 267) Isabel Whiting married Nicholas Ashford and was probably dead by 1573 when a quarter share of the manor was settled on Nicholas's son Roger and his wife Elizabeth. (fn. 268) In 1599 the estate was settled on Roger's son Henry Ashford who leased his share to Robert Catford in 1608 and sold it to him in 1618. (fn. 269) Joan or Jane Whiting had married Robert FitzJames by 1538. (fn. 270) Joan and Robert were dead by 1592 when her heir was her daughter Thomasin, wife of Thomas Stoton, who leased the estate. In 1599 the lease was assigned to Robert Catford and by 1605 Joan's share of West Melcombe was in the hands of Sir John Sydenham. (fn. 271) In 1620 it was settled on Sir John's younger son Sir Ralph Sydenham. Sir Ralph leased it to Robert Catford in 1621 and it was probably sold to the Catfords shortly after Robert's death in 1623. (fn. 272)
Robert Catford (d. 1623) was succeeded in turn by his sons Robert (d. 1625) and William (d. 1644). (fn. 273) William was succeeded in turn by his sons William (d. 1655) and Walter (d. 1662). (fn. 274) Walter's heir was his infant son William, and the manor may have been in the hands of trustees; John Gatcombe and his wife Elizabeth kept the manor courts in 1665. (fn. 275) William Catford died in 1698 leaving a son William, a minor. William (d. 1744) was succeeded by his son William Hardy Catford, who mortgaged the estate and put it up for sale in 1748. Some of the land was sold in 1751, but the manor was conveyed in 1761 to John Slade. (fn. 276) Slade retained the manor until 1779 when it was dismembered; the lordship with some land was sold to Sir Charles KemeysTynte (d. 1785) (fn. 277) and after his widow's death passed to his niece Jane Hassell, wife of John Johnson who took the name Kemeys-Tynte. In 1799 Jane settled West Melcombe on her son Charles Kemeys Kemeys-Tynte. (fn. 278) There is no further reference to the lordship, but the estate descended with Halswell in Goathurst until 1953 when it was sold by Charles KemeysTynte, Baron Wharton. (fn. 279)
The capital messuage of West Melcombe, usually called Boomer House, was recorded in 1592. (fn. 280) In 1644 the house comprised porch, hall, parlour, study, kitchen, 4 service rooms, 2 cellars, 8 chambers, 2 servants' rooms, 2 lofts, and some 15 outbuildings and produce stores. (fn. 281) Boomer House has a five-bayed front with central, three-storeyed porch. It appears originally to have been L-shaped, with a main front range and a back kitchen wing on the north side. Some plasterwork of the early 17th century survives on the first floor above the kitchen and some internal fittings from the 1680s. Rainwater heads are dated 1681. An extensive remodelling c. 1740 gave the main south front a new entrance archway with rusticated architrave. Much of the interior was panelled and provided with new fireplaces and staircases. A new kitchen block was added in the angle between the older ranges.
In 1066 Alwig held WOOLMERSDON. In 1086. Alfred d'Epaignes held Woolmersdon, which formed part of the barony of Nether Stowey until 1605 or later. (fn. 282) In the late 13th century the honor of Dundon claimed overlordship, probably because of confusion with Woolstone in Stogursey. (fn. 283)
The terre tenant in 1086 was Walter d'Epaignes. (fn. 284) In 1166 Woolmersdon was held by Geoffrey de Vere, who was succeeded possibly by Baldwin de Vere (fl. 1234). (fn. 285) Geoffrey of Woolmersdon was in possession from 1239 until 1248 or later, and Gilbert of Woolmersdon was recorded in 1268. (fn. 286) John of Woolmersdon held the manor in 1285 but was dead by c. 1298, and was survived by Rose, probably his widow (still alive 1338), and by Sibyl, wife of Roger Arundel, possibly his stepmother. Sibyl died c. 1298, and Roger held ½ knight's fee at Woolmersdon in 1303. (fn. 287)
The estate was divided by 1338 between Joan, daughter of John of Woolmersdon and wife of Vincent Trivet, Susan, possibly her sister, wife of Edmund Trivet, and Rose, probably John's widow. Edmund and Susan sold their share and their reversion of Rose's interest to Peter Trivet, Edmund's brother, in 1337. Peter was dead by 1377 when his son John held lands in Woolmersdon and Hadworthy. (fn. 288) John's son Peter died without issue before 1420 and his heirs were probably his sisters Joan, wife of Roger Pym, and Margaret, wife of Roger Tremayle. (fn. 289) In 1423 and 1429 Peter's half of the manor was settled on Margaret and her children. (fn. 290) The estate known in the 16th century as Woolmersdon and Hadworthy descended to Margaret's son John Tremayle (fl. 1440-52) and to John's son Sir Thomas Tremayle (d. 1508). (fn. 291) Sir Thomas's son Philip died in 1520 leaving a daughter Florence, wife of William Ashleigh. (fn. 292) By 1544 the estate was divided between Alexander Popham and Nicholas Halswell. (fn. 293) Popham died in 1556 and his share passed to his son Edward and descended with Huntworth until 1641, although it was leased to John Popham in 1580. (fn. 294) It was retained by Thomas Popham (d. 1653) and his son Thomas, but George Musgrave acquired it in 1676. Musgrave died in 1692 leaving as his heir his nephew George Musgrave of Nettlecombe. (fn. 295) Musgrave's share of the manor descended with Stamfordlands and was sold to tenants c. 1800. (fn. 296) Nicholas Halswell's share of Woolmersdon and Hadworthy descended with Halswell manor in Goathurst. There was no reference to the lordship after 1799 and most of the lands were sold before 1838. (fn. 297)
Joan and Vincent Trivet settled their share of Woolmersdon in 1338 on Vincent's heirs. (fn. 298) Vincent was dead by 1343 when Joan released her right to land in Woolmersdon to Ralph Verney (d. 1350) and his brother Roger. Ralph had married Maud Trivet, said to be a daughter and coheir of Thomas Trivet of Durborough, possibly heir to Vincent. (fn. 299) The Verneys' third share of Joan's estate descended in the direct male line with Fairfield in Stogursey until 1482 when it was held by Alexander Verney, half-brother of William Verney of Fairfield. In 1488 Alexander gave all his lands in Woolmersdon to William and the manor, also called Petherton manor, continued to descend with Fairfield. (fn. 300) From 1488 to 1592 it was said to be held of the Paulets' manor of Rhode, possibly indicating that some of the Verney estate came from another fee. (fn. 301) The holding was enlarged in 1723 and in 1771 the manor was known as Woolmersdon and Bridgwater. (fn. 302) It was broken up in sales of 1799, 1815, and 1836-8. (fn. 303)
Another third share of Joan Trivet's estate was held in 1383 (fn. 304) by John Pokeswell (d. 1400) and his wife Eleanor (d. by 1400). (fn. 305) Their son John (came of age 1408, d. 1413) left two sons who died young (fn. 306) and a widow Elizabeth (d. 1432), who married Thomas Tame. (fn. 307) John's nephew and heir John Pokeswell (fn. 308) was succeeded in 1505 by his son Thomas. Thomas's son Thomas (d. 1537) left as heirs his daughters Eleanor and Elizabeth. (fn. 309) By 1578 Eleanor and her husband John Roynon held Woolmersdon, (fn. 310) which they sold in 1584 to George Smythe. George's son Sir Nicholas was succeeded in 1622 by his son Nicholas, (fn. 311) whose son George died an infant in 1631. George's uncle and heir George (fn. 312) conveyed the estate in 1634 to Benjamin Bull, who sold it in 1641 to Henry Harvey (fn. 313) (d. c. 1658). Henry's son Henry (d. 1671) left as heir his uncle John Harvey (d. 1673), whose heir was his brother Francis (d. 1682). (fn. 314) In 1715 the owner was John Harvey who had bought lands at Hadworthy in 1678 and was succeeded in turn by his sons Francis (d. by 1764) and John. (fn. 315) No further reference to the lordship has been found but the Hadworthy lands were sold to George Musgrave, owner of another part of Woolmersdon, in 1685. (fn. 316)
The capital messuage on the Pokeswells' estate was possibly Ball's Farm. The rendered and colourwashed house retains the roof and walls of a small late-medieval hall into which an upper floor and chimney stack were inserted probably in the 17th century. At about the same time a wing was added at the back of the south end.
The remaining third of Joan Trivet's estate was divided between the heirs of Cecily (d. 1361), wife successively of John Stapleton and of Stephen Laundy. (fn. 317) Those heirs were first the Dodingtons, who in 1544 sold part to the Newports; (fn. 318) secondly, the Orchards whose estate passed by marriage after 1420 to the Careys and was sold in 1564 to Nicholas Halswell; (fn. 319) and thirdly the Crewkernes, who appear to have sold their share before 1431. (fn. 320)
A capital messuage, also known as Barret's, was recorded in 1717 on the former Dodington estate. (fn. 321) It was later known as Bell's Farm and was demolished c. 1982. Built of rubble, it had a three-roomed plan with smoke-blackened trusses and evidence of two possible open hearths. (fn. 322)
In 1066 Algar held HADWORTHY, and in 1086 Roger de Courcelles held it with Robert as his tenant. (fn. 323) In 1287 John de Columbers held Hadworthy of the honor of Compton Dundon. (fn. 324) By 1239 Geoffrey of Woolmersdon held land at Hadworthy, which from 1429 apparently descended with part of Woolmersdon manor, (fn. 325) whose lords, the Halswells and their successors, retained the lordship of Hadworthy in 1736, although they had only c. 8 a. of land there by 1708. (fn. 326)
William of Erleigh gave WILLSTOCK to Buckland priory in the 12th century. (fn. 327) Alexander Popham may have acquired it in 1544. (fn. 328) Alexander's son John gave it to his brother Edward (fn. 329) and it descended with Huntworth until 1615 when it was settled on Thomas, a younger son of Alexander Popham (d. 1602). (fn. 330) Sir William Portman probably bought Willstock in 1652, and sold it to George Musgrave in 1679. (fn. 331) George (d. 1692) left it to his wife Dorothy for life and then to his nephews Richard and William Musgrave, who conveyed their interest to their elder brother George (d. 1721). (fn. 332) Dorothy was followed by Mary, widow of George Musgrave's son George (d. 1724). (fn. 333) Willstock descended with Combe Sydenham in Stogumber (fn. 334) until 1795 when Juliana Langham sold it to Thomas Southwood, who retained a message and 110 a. and sold the rest. (fn. 335) In 1838 it belonged to the Coate family, who had been tenants in the 18th century. (fn. 336)
Huntworth was said to have passed from Jordan Rufus (fl. 1200) to his daughter Joan, wife of Walter of Kentisbere, and to her son Sir Walter of Kentisbere. (fn. 339) The son (fl. c. 1248-68) was probably succeeded by Stephen of Kentisbere (fl. 1275) (fn. 340) and Stephen by his sister or daughter Joan, wife of Sir Hugh Popham, who held Huntworth in 1285. (fn. 341) Sir Hugh (d. by 1326) was followed by his son John (d. c. 1345), John by his son Hugh (d. c. 1361), (fn. 342) and Hugh by John Popham (d. by 1428). Thomas Popham, probably John's son, held Huntworth in 1428 and 1438, and was succeeded by William Popham (d. 1479). (fn. 343) William's widow Agnes, who had a life interest, married Alexander Sydenham, survived until 1525, and was followed by her son John Popham. (fn. 344) John died in 1536 and was followed in turn by his son Alexander (d. 1556), his grandson Edward Popham (d. 1586), and Edward's son Alexander (d. 1602). (fn. 345) Alexander's son Edward, outlawed for debt between 1623 and 1625, had conveyed Huntworth and other estates in 1621 to trustees. (fn. 346) Edward died without surviving issue in 1641 leaving Huntworth to Sir William Portman. (fn. 347) Portman died in 1645 and was succeeded by his son William. The manor descended in the Portman family with Clavelshay and Bere in Wayford to Claud Berkeley Portman, Viscount Portman (d. 1929), and was divided and sold in 1930, when no reference was made to the lordship. (fn. 348)
Huntworth House, built in the late 16th century, had a symmetrical front including a central hall range between a projecting three-storeyed porch and wing on one side and a projection, possibly for a stair, and a similar wing on the other. (fn. 349) By 1799 the house, known as Huntworth Farm, was let and it was demolished c. 1828. Some of the materials, including a royal coat of arms, were used to make a garden house in the grounds of the present Huntworth House. (fn. 350)
Dunwear hamlet was said to be held by John of Erleigh in 1298, (fn. 351) and DUNWEAR manor, held of North Petherton in 1630 and 1770, (fn. 352) can perhaps be traced back to the mid 13th century when Henry of Erleigh gave land there to Lawrence Wild (fl. 1260-7). Wild's son and heir John left a brother Richard, (fn. 353) who in 1307 settled 2 messuages and 95 a. in Standenhay and Dunwear on himself for life with remainder to John Popham, and other lands on members of the Paris family. (fn. 354) Richard was dead by 1349. (fn. 355) John Popham's grandson Thomas Popham of Postridge in Aisholt died c. 1410 leaving a son or grandson John Popham (d. c. 1473) who held lands at Dunwear. John's son John (d. c. 1510) was probably father of Margaret, wife of Cuthbert Clavelshay (d. 1523). (fn. 356) Margaret died c. 1546 leaving a son Richard Clavelshay (d. c. 1554) who held land at Dunwear. (fn. 357) Richard's heir was his son John whose daughter Mary married Robert Jennings. Mary's son Marmaduke Jennings bought an estate called Dunwear manor from Richard Clavelshay, probably John's male heir, and his wife in 1609. (fn. 358)
Marmaduke died in 1625 and his son Robert in 1630. (fn. 359) Robert left Dunwear to his second son Robert, but the eldest son Marmaduke (d. by 1662) took possession. After Marmaduke's death Robert entered the estate but in 1670 sold it to John Selleck, archdeacon of Bath. (fn. 360) Selleck (d. 1690) was succeeded in turn by his second son Nathaniel (d. c. 1699) and by Nathaniel's son John (d. 1732). (fn. 361) By 1766 John Stradling held at least part of the estate and in 1767 was said to hold the manor. (fn. 362) By 1770, however, it was in the possession of Benjamin Allen (d. 1791), and was said to have been held by his father Dr. John Allen (d. 1741). Dunwear manor descended to Benjamin's son Jeffreys Allen (d. 1844) who left it in trust for his son John, (fn. 363) but the manor lands in North Petherton parish had been sold to William Kinglake before 1838 and were later known as Hales farm. (fn. 364)
There was a house on Richard Wild's estate in 1316 when he had a licence for a private chapel. (fn. 365) No more is known of it.
In 1370 Matthew Clevedon held an estate in Moorland which Alexander Clevedon held in 1412 when it was called NEW HITCHINGS. (fn. 366) By 1458 it was held by Sir Edward Brooke, Lord Cobham (d. 1464), who was succeeded by his son John and daughter Elizabeth whose shares were bought by Sir Edward's nephew John Brooke in 1496 and 1502. (fn. 367) In 1650 Edward Court held the manors of OLD HITCHINGS, New Hitchings, and Moorland, (fn. 368) and in 1677 he and his wife sold New Hitchings and Moorland manors to Samuel Reynolds. (fn. 369) Samuel was dead by 1694 and his heir was his daughter Anne who with her husband Edward Leigh sold New Hitchings in 1711 to John Travers, (fn. 370) who in the same year sold it to Francis Newton. (fn. 371) James Byrt Newton had succeeded by 1742 and was dead by 1761 when his heirs were his cousins Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Putt, and Margaret, wife of Benjamin Incledon who sold New Hitchings and Moorland to Charles Chichester. (fn. 372) No further reference to the lordship has been found but most of the lands were acquired by John Chapman (d. c. 1776) and Richard Gatcombe (d. 1782). (fn. 373)
WELY manor at Moorland can be traced to a holding of William le Bole in the late 13th century. His unnamed heir, a minor in 1300, held Wely. In 1307 Nicholas Cralle was holding Wely from Hugh Popham but by 1323 John le Bole was in possession. John had died probably by 1332. (fn. 374) For most of the 14th century the Wely family held lands at Moorland. (fn. 375) Richard Wild (fl. 1329) also held land at Moorland. His heir Thomas Cave, a minor in 1349, (fn. 376) married Alice Wely. Cave and Richard Wely held courts jointly at Moorland in 1369. (fn. 377) In 1394 Richard Wely and Christine his wife held 'Kewelwere' (fn. 378) and MOORLAND. (fn. 379) John Cave of Wely, recorded in 1415, was probably son of Thomas and brother of Thomas Cave the younger (d. by 1438). Thomas's son Richard Cave married Joan, sister and heir of John Sydenham, whose family had held land at Moorland in the 14th and 15th centuries. Richard was succeeded by his son Philip who died in possession of Moorland in 1471. (fn. 380) He was succeeded by his son William, who was dead by 1527 when his son John settled the manors of Moorland and Wely on himself and his wife Elizabeth. John died c. 1529 and Elizabeth married James Hadley of Withycombe. In 1533 the manors were settled on Elizabeth and James for life; a statement in 1535 that Thomas Michell held Wely, Moorland, and 'Culawere' of the heirs of John Whiting, lord of West Melcombe, may be erroneous. (fn. 381) James Hadley was dead by 1539 but Elizabeth probably survived him. (fn. 382) The manor passed to John Cave's nephew George Perceval, who in 1566 sold Moorland to James Boyes of Bridgwater. (fn. 383) James left his lands to his elder son Simon (fn. 384) but his younger son John was holding Moorland by 1581 and sold it to Henry Andrews or Fry of Cannington. In 1599 Henry sold Moorland to John Cornish who in 1602 gave it to Nicholas Halswell in exchange for Stretcholt in Pawlett. (fn. 385) Moorland was settled on Nicholas and his male heirs in 1608 and descended with Halswell in Goathurst to the Tyntes. (fn. 386) In 1636 it was said to be held of Nether Stowey manor. (fn. 387) No reference to the lordship has been found after 1800. In 1838 the estate consisted of farms in Northmoor Green. (fn. 388)
In 1504 Alexander Sydenham acquired land at Moorland from Gilbert Collins. Alexander, who lived at Huntworth, gave all his estates in Moorland, Dunwear, and Chadmead to his son Sylvester and to Sylvester's wife Joan in 1511. (fn. 389) Alexander died in 1523, Sylvester in 1526, and Joan in 1547. Sylvester's nephew John held an estate called MOORLAND manor in 1578. (fn. 390) John was dead by 1603 when the manor was in the hands of Sir John Poyntz of Iron Acton (Glos.), husband of Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Alexander Sydenham, John's brother. In 1603 Sir John let and then sold the manor to Thomas Webber of Luxborough. (fn. 391) Thomas (d. c. 1609) was succeeded by his son John (d. 1627) and John by his son Thomas. (fn. 392) Thomas held the manor in 1640 but was dead by 1667 and probably by 1647. His son John (d. c. 1673) left his estate to his widow Gertrude (d. c. 1675). (fn. 393)
Alexander Kinglake had acquired the manor by 1693 probably from the heirs of John Webber. It may have passed to Alexander's son John (d. 1739) and to John's son Alexander in 1766. (fn. 394) Alexander mortgaged and subsequently sold parts of Moorland in 1771 and conveyed his remaining estate c. 1780 to his brother John (d. 1784). (fn. 395) John's son John (d. 1809) was succeeded by his widow Anna (d. 1847) and she by his brother William and his brother Robert's son John Alexander. (fn. 396) No reference has been found to the lordship after 1836. Some land was sold, but William Kinglake's son Alexander (d. 1891) bought the remainder of his cousin's share. (fn. 397) In 1897 Alexander's brother John Hamilton Kinglake gave it to his son Hamilton Alexander Kinglake as part of Saltmoor manor in Stoke St. Gregory. (fn. 398)
In 1370 Richard Coker held land at Moorland (fn. 399) which probably descended to James Coker. James's heir was his kinsman John Coker whose estates passed to his daughter Margaret, wife successively of Alexander Hody (d. 1461) and Sir Reynold Stourton. (fn. 400) Margaret died in 1489 in possession of the manor of MOORLAND by inheritance from her father. Her heir was John Seymour, grandson of her uncle Robert Coker. (fn. 401) The subsequent descent of this manor has not been traced.
Robert Broughton (d. 1631) settled land at Moorland on his daughter and coheir Jane, wife of James Clarke, in 1606. (fn. 402) In 1632 Jane, then a widow, sold MOORLAND manor to her daughter Bridget. In 1635 Bridget conveyed the manor to Alexander Bulpan. (fn. 403) Alexander and his sons Alexander and John were dead by 1666 when the manor was divided between their heirs, namely Joan, wife of John Phelps, and Mary, wife of Edward Batt. Mary sold her share to George Musgrave. (fn. 404) In 1672 Musgrave sold all or part of the estate to John Ballam. John had been succeeded by his son John by 1695, but the estate may have been forfeited under a mortgage, as land called Ballams formed part of the Tyntes' manor of Moorland in 1708. (fn. 405) John Phelps died in 1672; his son John mortgaged an estate at Moorland in 1685 to Sir Halswell Tynte. (fn. 406) No further reference to the lordship has been found nor has later ownership of the land been traced.
In 1288 Walter le Lyf held land in North Petherton and la More. (fn. 407) Joan, wife of Walter Tilley, and Amice, wife of Baldwin Malet, coheirs of Richard Lyf, held an estate, probably at MOORLAND, in 1401. (fn. 408) Walter and Joan appear to have acquired Amice's share c. 1416. (fn. 409) Walter probably died shortly afterwards and Joan married William Pym. She died c. 1426 when her heir was Thomas Blanchard, her son by her first husband. (fn. 410) Thomas's half-brother Leonard Tilley settled Moorland in 1463 on Joan, wife of John Speccote, for life and on his own children. (fn. 411) Thomas Tilley, probably Leonard's son or grandson, died in 1536 in possession of a manor of Moorland held of North Petherton. (fn. 412) Thomas was succeeded by his grandson James Tilley (d. 1557) and James by his son George (d. 1590). (fn. 413) George's heirs were his daughters Anne, wife of William Walton, and Elizabeth who later married Sir Edward Parham. In 1604 Walton obtained Elizabeth's share. (fn. 414) He died in 1617 survived by Anne and leaving a son Francis, a minor. (fn. 415) By 1647 the estate appears to have been acquired by the Court family, and descended with their manor of New Hitchings. (fn. 416)
John Bowyer owned land in MOORLAND in 1552. Before 1555 he acquired the reversion of more, and in 1586 held Moorland manor. (fn. 417) Bowyer died in 1599 when his heir was his son Edmund. (fn. 418) Edmund (d. 1625) was followed by his son Edmund (d. 1665) and by his grandson, also Edmund Bowyer (d. 1670). (fn. 419) Edmund, son of the last, assigned Moorland to William Browne in 1702. (fn. 420) The estate was dispersed in 1714 on behalf of William's son William, a minor; (fn. 421) subsequent ownership has not been traced.
St. John's hospital, Bridgwater, acquired estates in North Petherton in 1349 and 1357. (fn. 422) After the Dissolution the hospital's estate, in the east part of the parish, was divided and sold in 1544, 1553, and 1610. (fn. 423) Athelney abbey had lands at WEST YEO which were sold to John Leigh in 1543. (fn. 424)
An estate called Newton, held by Brictwold in 1066 and by Ralph under Roger Arundel in 1086, has been identified (fn. 425) as MAUNSEL manor, which was held of the Erleighs' manor of North Petherton in the 13th century. (fn. 426) By 1539, however, Maunsel was held of Buckland priory's manor of North Petherton, later known as Buckland Fee. That overlordship continued until 1566 or later. (fn. 427)
William of Erleigh is said to have given Maunsel to Philip Arblaster in the late 12th century in free marriage with William's daughter Mabel. Her mother Aziria confirmed the grant for Philip's son Philip, surnamed Maunsel. (fn. 428) Philip may have been succeeded by Roger Maunsel (fl. 1242-3) and Walter Maunsel (fl. 1276-80). (fn. 429) Geoffrey Maunsel was probably holding the manor in 1287 and died c. 1302 when his lands were in the custody of his widow Hawise during the minority of his heir. (fn. 430) Philip Maunsel, probably Geoffrey's heir, was dead by 1349. He was probably succeeded by William Maunsel (fl. 1366) who was dead by 1398 when his son Richard held the manor. (fn. 431) Richard was probably succeeded by his son John before 1423. John the elder, possibly the same, was at Maunsel in 1457. He was M.P. for Bridgwater in 1449 and 1454 and was still alive in 1469. (fn. 432) By 1500 he had been succeeded by Robert Maunsel. Marmaduke Maunsel (d. 1544) had inherited the manor by 1533 when he settled it on his son John for his marriage to Catherine Vowell. (fn. 433) In 1570 Catherine, then a widow, gave Maunsel to her son John Maunsel in return for an annuity. John died in 1586 leaving his son Richard a minor. (fn. 434) Richard, who came of age in 1587, was in possession of Maunsel in 1609. In 1631 his widow Elizabeth and heir John sold the manor to John Harvey of Taunton. (fn. 435)
Harvey sold Maunsel to William Bacon of Broomfield in 1648. William (d. 1663) was followed by his son William (d. 1690). In 1689 Maunsel was settled on William's son Thomas for his marriage. Thomas (d. 1722) left four daughters, Dorothy, Grace, Susan, and Elizabeth, who in 1726-7 released their shares to Henry Portman. Portman died in 1728 and was succeeded by his nephew Sir Edward Seymour, Bt., who in the same year conveyed the manor to his son Alexander. Alexander died c. 1733 leaving Maunsel to his sister Letitia for life and then to her son Alexander Seymour Gapper. (fn. 436)
Gapper mortgaged the estate heavily and in 1765 he left it to John Nichols (d. c. 1769). In 1771 John's sons John and William Nichols released Maunsel to the mortgagee Richard Scrafton, to enable John Slade to buy the manor in 1772. (fn. 437) John Slade (d. 1801) was succeeded by his son John (later Gen. Sir John Slade, Bt., d. 1859) who held command under Sir John Moore in 1808 and was defeated at Llera in 1812. Sir John's third son Sir Frederick (d. 1863) was followed by his son Sir Alfred (d. 1890) and Alfred by his son Sir Cuthbert (d. 1908). Cuthbert's eldest son Sir Alfred died in 1960 and his second son Sir Michael in 1962. Michael's son Sir Benjamin Slade was the owner in 1983. (fn. 438)
Maunsel House or Grange was recorded as Maunsel Place in 1544. (fn. 439) An east-west range at the south end of the house comprises a medieval hall, screens passage, and cross wing. The hall became a kitchen when the main north-south range was added in the early 16th century. That range comprises a ground-floor hall and a firstfloor great chamber which has an arch-braced roof of eight bays with cusped windbraces. The porch may be a later 16th-century addition. During the early 17th century the medieval hall was ceiled and a rear wing added at the north end of the main range. The rooms there have plastered intersecting beamed ceilings and two first-floor rooms contain contemporary panelling. Probably during the 18th century the great chamber was ceiled to provide an attic storey: John Bastard of Blandford (Dors.) worked on the house in 1727. (fn. 440) In the mid 18th century, probably when Sir John Slade bought the house, the staircase was rebuilt and several rooms were refitted. During the late 1820s extensive internal alterations were made by the architect Richard Carver including the removal of the great chimney stack from the hall. He built the dining room and extended the great hall northwards. (fn. 441) In the 19th century single-storeyed service rooms and a passage were added on the west and the porch was rebuilt. In the 1860s a library and billiard room were added west of the dining room and a canted bay was built above the main staircase.
By the early 18th century 4 a. around the house included a dovehouse, stables, barns, gardens, orchards, and a large fishpond with an island. (fn. 442) A canal was constructed in the early 18th century, possibly from earlier fishponds. Further south a lodge, called the dairy, on the site of the former mill, probably dates from the late 18th or early 19th century and incorporates a semicircular thatched room. A northern lodge was rebuilt in the early 20th century. The park north of the house was established between 1823 and 1838, probably c. 1828 when the north drive was made, hedges removed, and a haha reconstructed. (fn. 443) In 1839 James Veitch of Exeter supplied many ornamental trees which were planted along the north drive, around the canal, and in a copse east of the house. (fn. 444) A partly walled kitchen garden lay west of the house.
ERNESHAM, recorded in the 13th century, (fn. 445) belonged to Richard Wely and his wife Christine in 1394. (fn. 446) In 1457 it was held by the Maunsel family (fn. 447) but by the early 17th century it was divided. (fn. 448) In 1613 Robert Catford sold an estate at Ernesham to Marmaduke Ling (d. 1641), who was succeeded by Marmaduke Ling (d. 1682). (fn. 449) Eleanor, widow of the last, died in 1683 and left as coheirs Eleanor, wife of Simon Court, and Joan, wife of James Porter, possibly her granddaughters. (fn. 450) Simon Court (d. 1726) settled his share of Ernesham on his son Thomas (d. by 1733) (fn. 451) who was succeeded by his son Thomas (d. by ? 1740) and his daughter Eleanor. (fn. 452) Eleanor was dead by 1759 when the estate, including the house later known as Court's Farm, had been bought by Jeremiah Dewdney who also acquired the Porters' share. (fn. 453) Dewdney's great-nephew Jeremiah Dewdney Parsons sold Court's farm to William Webber c. 1822. (fn. 454) Court's Farm probably dates from the early 18th century and is built of brick with a pantile roof. The five-bayed front has a central door with wrought iron porch.
BUCKLAND SORORUM manor probably originated in estates held by Buckland priory in North Petherton. They were let to Edward Rogers before the Dissolution and in 1544 were granted to William Parr, earl of Essex, Edward Rogers, and others. (fn. 455) The manor descended with Chadmead in the Rogers family (fn. 456) and was sometimes called the manor of Buckland Sororum cum Chadmead. From the 18th century it was also known as Buckland Tithe Free. (fn. 457) By 1838 much of the estate had been sold to Richard Meade King, Thomas Stacey, Sir Charles Kemeys-Tynte, and Sir John Slade, Bt. (fn. 458) There does not appear to have been a capital messuage.
CHADMEAD manor, also known as Brickland, Bankland, or Bankland Chadmead, (fn. 459) was held of the Bluets' manor of North Petherton in 1485. (fn. 460) In 1298 Henry of Somerset held Chadmead and Holbrook. (fn. 461) Ralph of Middleney (d. 1363) held an estate at Chadmead which passed at his death to his widow with reversion to his granddaughter Katharine, second wife of Thomas Berkeley. Katharine died in 1385 and was succeeded by Thomas Berkeley (d. 1417), her husband's grandson. Thomas's heir was his daughter Elizabeth (d. 1422), wife of Richard Beauchamp, earl of Warwick. Chadmead appears to have descended to her eldest daughter Margaret (d. 1467), wife of John Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury, and to their son John, Lord Lisle. (fn. 462) John's widow was in possession of deeds of Chadmead c. 1457, but the land was probably sold to the Newburghs. John Newburgh possessed land at Chadmead in 1423. (fn. 463) Sir John Newburgh (d. by 1441), probably his son, was followed by his son John. That John's grandson John Newburgh (d. 1485) (fn. 464) was succeeded by his brother Roger who with his wife Elizabeth sold Chadmead to Alexander Sydenham in 1498. (fn. 465) Alexander settled the manor on his son Sylvester in 1511, (fn. 466) and in 1557 it was held by George Sydenham and his wife Eleanor, (fn. 467) who may have been the daughter of Sylvester. In 1586 the manor was in the possession of Joan or Jane Rogers, widow of Sir George Rogers of Cannington and granddaughter of Sylvester Sydenham. (fn. 468)
Joan Rogers died in 1602 and her son Edward in 1627. (fn. 469) Sir Francis Rogers (d. 1638), son of Edward, was succeeded by his son Hugh, a minor, and Hugh (d. 1653) by his uncle Henry Rogers. Henry died in 1672 leaving a life interest to Hugh's grandson Alexander Popham of Littlecote (Wilts.). (fn. 470) Alexander died without male issue in 1705 and by 1712 the manor had reverted to Sir Copplestone Warwick Bampfylde, heir to Warwick Bampfylde, nephew of Henry Rogers. (fn. 471) Sir Copplestone sold the manor to Sir Thomas Wroth in 1720. (fn. 472) The manor then descended with the Wroth estate in Lyng until the death of Elizabeth Acland in 1806, when her daughter Elizabeth Grove and her son Wroth Palmer Acland held it for the remainder of certain terms. In 1815 part was put up for sale and in 1829 that portion known as Little Bankland was sold to Sir John Slade. (fn. 473) The remainder of the estate, called Eames, was retained by John Acland's son Peregrine in 1838 as part of Buckland Sororum manor. (fn. 474)
There was a house on the estate in 1423 (fn. 475) and the capital messuage, called Chadmead or Eames, probably after a former tenant, was let in 1720. (fn. 476) In 1754 Arthur Acland reserved the right to hold courts in the house but in 1767 the house was described as unfinished and the barn and offices were down. By 1771 the house had fallen into decay and had been demolished. (fn. 477)
BANKLAND was held by John Bluet in 1573 (fn. 478) and descended as part of North Petherton manor until 1855 or later. (fn. 479) A capital messuage recorded between 1573 and 1757 (fn. 480) may have been Bankland Farm, (fn. 481) which dates from the 16th century with a three-roomed plan and cross passage. The rear wing was added in the 18th century when the house was reroofed and refitted.
It has been suggested that TUCKERTON formed part of Newton, (fn. 482) and during the early 13th century the name is recorded as Tokar Newton. It was held as of Nether Stowey manor in the 13th and 14th centuries. (fn. 483) Before 1216 the Hospitallers of Buckland received land at Tuckerton from Robert Bacon given to him by Robert son of Bernard and from Gerard of Brocton given to him by Robert Bacon. Stephen son of Michael de Perers also gave land there to the Hospitallers. (fn. 484) The Hospitallers held Tuckerton until 1428 (fn. 485) and probably until the Dissolution.
After the Dissolution Tuckerton was probably granted with other lands of Buckland priory to William Portman and Alexander Popham in 1544. (fn. 486) Alexander Popham in 1551 gave Tuckerton manor to his son Edward (d. 1586) and Edward's wife Jane. (fn. 487) Jane (d. 1610) was succeeded by her grandson Edward Popham. (fn. 488) Edward was outlawed for debt in 1628 and the Crown granted the manor of Tuckerton and Clayhanger, probably after 1635, to William Dowthwayte of Bridgwater, who assigned it in 1638 to Emmanuel Sandys and William Dawe. (fn. 489) In 1671 Tuckerton belonged to Robert Hunt, in 1680 to John Hunt, and in 1703 to John Jeanes. (fn. 490) John Jeanes, apparently another, held it in 1766 and Miss Jeanes in 1770. By 1791 Sir John Durbin had acquired the estate, probably by marriage. (fn. 491) Joseph Jeanes Durbin, son of Sir John, sold the estate in 1839 to Sir John Slade. (fn. 492) There is no further reference to the lordship and the estate descended with Maunsel until 1870 or later. (fn. 493) Tuckerton farm was sold to the Portman family before 1897. (fn. 494)
Athelney abbey received rent for land at Primmore in the 13th century and held an estate at Tuckerton in 1338. (fn. 495) It was granted to John Leigh in 1543 (fn. 496) but subsequent ownership has not been traced.
HEDGING belonged to Buckland priory by the late 13th century. (fn. 497) In 1706 Sir Philip Sydenham sold a house and c. 40 a. at Hedging to Giles Gardner (d. 1719) whose son Giles conveyed them to Henry Selleck in 1720. Henry's son John sold Hedging to George Coombe in 1742. George (d. c. 1762) was succeeded by his son George (d. c. 1823). (fn. 498) In 1838 George's nephew George Coombe was holding Hedging from Elizabeth Coles. (fn. 499) James Coles was the owner in 1858. (fn. 500)
Hedging Barton was a two-bayed open hall house with a one-bayed service block to the south. It was extended in the 17th century with the addition of a cross passage and a third room and a semi-attic upper storey. (fn. 501)
PRIMMORE belonged to the Hospitallers at Buckland (fn. 502) and was later held by Thomas Musgrave of West Monkton (d. 1627) (fn. 503) whose son Edward (d. 1684) was succeeded by his son or grandson Edward Musgrave (d. 1719). Thomas (d. 1760), son of the last, (fn. 504) settled the estate on his wife Martha (d. 1772) and his daughter, also Martha, (fn. 505) who died in 1800 and was followed by William Beadon, husband of her niece Martha Hammet and owner in 1838. (fn. 506)
In 1066 Lewin held WEST NEWTON, also known as NEWTON COMITIS and NEWTON HAWYS, and in 1086 Alfred of Marlborough held it of Eustace, count of Boulogne. (fn. 507) Eustace's fee passed to the Crown through the marriage of his daughter to Stephen of Blois, later King Stephen. (fn. 508) In 1524 West Newton was said to be held of the abbot of Athelney, and in 1600 and 1618 of Sir John Leigh's manor of Lyng, evidently in succession to the abbey. (fn. 509) No further reference to the overlordship has been found.
Alfred of Marlborough's lands were granted to Harold son of Ralph, earl of Hereford, during the reign of William Rufus. Harold was succeeded by his son Robert (d. after 1147) and by Robert's son Robert who died in 1198 leaving a daughter Sibyl, wife of Robert Tregoz. Sibyl died in 1236 leaving a son Robert Tregoz (d. 1265). (fn. 510) By 1241 West Newton had been subinfeudated; the mesne lordship passed from Robert's son John (d. 1300) to his daughter Sibyl, wife of William Grandison, and to John Warre, son of his daughter Clarice. John died in 1347. (fn. 511) No further reference to the mesne lordship has been found.
Reynold of Newton had been succeeded as terre tenant by his son Robert by 1241. Robert, alive in 1269, probably died shortly afterwards. (fn. 512) He had had a son called Richard but seems to have been succeeded by his brother Richard before 1280. (fn. 513) Richard held Newton in 1285 and 1303 (fn. 514) but was dead by 1305 leaving a son Robert and a widow Sarah as tenant for life. (fn. 515) In 1346 Philip Luccombe and Agnes Trivet, possibly Robert's widow, were said to hold the fee. (fn. 516) By 1355 the manor was divided, part being held by Margaret, wife of John Payn. (fn. 517) Philip Luccombe's wife Agatha was possibly daughter of Robert Newton, and in 1385 Alice, daughter and heir of the Luccombes' son Geoffrey and wife of John Copplestone, held the entire manor. (fn. 518) John Copplestone's brother Richard bought the manor in 1385 and died leaving John Copplestone as his heir. John may have been still alive in 1423 but by 1428 Thomas Copplestone, possibly John's son, had succeeded. (fn. 519) Thomas Copplestone, possibly the same, and his wife Anne held the manor in 1477. (fn. 520) He died in 1480 leaving four daughters: (fn. 521) Catherine, wife of John Sydenham; Joan, wife successively of Simon Littlecote, Sir Morgan Kidwelly, and Sir Edmund Gorges; Margaret, wife successively of William Hymerford and Henry Thornton; and Elizabeth, wife of William Seymour. Catherine appears to have died by 1524 leaving her three sisters as her heirs. (fn. 522)
Joan died in 1524 holding one third. Her heir was William Thornborough, son of her daughter Alice. (fn. 523) William (d. 1535) left an infant son John, but he or his widow seems to have sold their share to William Hymerford whose son Andrew sold it to William Hawley (d. 1567). The estate descended in the Hawley family with Durston until 1618 when Sir Henry Hawley sold his share to Henry Cheeke (d. 1630), (fn. 524) who acquired most of the other shares.
In 1529 Margaret settled her share on William Hymerford her son and heir, on whose death it was divided between his two daughters Margaret, wife of William Vowell, and Joan, wife of John Hambridge. (fn. 525) John Willoughby bought Margaret's sixth share in 1555 and died in 1559. His son Richard sold it to Richard Galhampton and George Cheeke (d. c. 1589) in 1580. (fn. 526) The share passed to Cheeke's son Henry (d. 1594) and to Henry's son also Henry (d. 1630). (fn. 527) Joan Hambridge, holder of the other sixth share, was dead by 1542 and her share probably descended on the death of her husband in 1569 to her son Richard, and from Richard passed by sale like other family land to George Harrison and then to John Bowyer of Beere in Chilton Trinity. (fn. 528) Bowyer died in 1599 and his son Edmund held a sixth share in 1602. (fn. 529) Edmund died in 1625 and his son Edmund sold his share to Sir Robert Phelips in 1626. (fn. 530) In 1668 that share was reunited with the rest of the manor.
Elizabeth died before her husband William Seymour (d. 1532). Her daughter Agnes, wife of Henry Fortescue, (fn. 531) was succeeded by her son John. John's son William (fn. 532) held a third of the manor in 1588 and died in 1599 leaving a son Francis under age. (fn. 533) In 1617 Francis sold his estate to Henry Cheeke. (fn. 534)
Henry Cheeke held five sixths of the manor at his death in 1630. (fn. 535) His son Henry (d. 1654) left a daughter Dorothy who in 1658 married John Bury (d. 1667) and in 1668 (Sir) Edward Phelips of Montacute (d. 1698), holder of the remaining share of the manor. (fn. 536) Dorothy Phelips died in 1678. Her only child, also Dorothy Phelips, may have predeceased her as the manor formed part of the marriage settlement of Sir Edward and his second wife Edith in 1683. (fn. 537) From Edith (d. 1728) the manor passed to her youngest daughter Edith (d. 1772), wife of Carew Mildmay, and to the younger Edith's nephew Edward Phelips (d. 1797) who in 1778 gave it to his elder son Edward (d. 1792). That Edward was succeeded by his brother the Revd. William Phelips. (fn. 538) The manor descended with Montacute manor until 1810 when John Phelips sold it to Thomas Warre. Thomas died in 1824 leaving as his heir his nephew John Ashley Warre. (fn. 539) No later reference to the lordship has been found, but John was succeeded in 1860 by his son, also John, who died in 1894 leaving West Newton to his niece Mary Elliott. Her father Arthur Warre seems to have occupied the estate. West Newton was bought by the tenant in 1904. (fn. 540) Showerings Ltd. bought the estate in 1958 and owned it in 1984. (fn. 541)
The manor house, formerly called Court House and in 1984 the Manor, may date from the 14th century. (fn. 542) It is of rubble, of two storeys, and formerly had a three-roomed frontage with cross-passage entrance; it is two rooms deep, and is probably a double-aisled hall house. The two-storeyed north porch has a moulded arch. Parts of smoke-blackened roof posts and some arch braces survive. The house was remodelled in the 17th century. The north porch bears the date 1622 and the initials of Henry Cheeke and his second wife Katharine. Also from the 17th century, possibly including some later work by the Phelipses, are ceiling beams in rooms at the west end, a staircase, and other fittings, and ovolo-moulded casements. There was probably some alteration in the later 18th century and a wing was added in the 20th century. (fn. 543)
Margery Lyte held RYDON in the early 16th century. In 1561 her son John Lyte sold it to Nicholas Halswell (fn. 544) who conveyed it to John Phelps in 1620. (fn. 545) He or another of that name died in 1678 (fn. 546) and his son John sold Rydon to Andrew Moore in 1685. (fn. 547) Moore enlarged his estate at Rydon and was followed by his nephew Andrew Moore (d. 1743). Andrew's son William (d. 1768) left a widow Elizabeth, (fn. 548) who in 1792 with her then husband, the Revd. John Chaunter, settled Rydon on William Moore's nephew Hill Dawe. (fn. 549) In 1826 the Revd. Thomas Coney bought Rydon (fn. 550) which in 1984 was a county council smallholding.
In 1086 3 virgates of land were attached to the church of North Petherton. The church was in the king's hands but had formerly belonged to Peter, bishop of Chester (d. c. 1084). (fn. 551) The land may have been granted to John of Erleigh with the royal manor of North Petherton. The church and lands of Walter the priest were given to the canons of Buckland by William of Erleigh in the later 12th century. Walter may have held the land there as priest of the church or as heir to his father Robert and grandfather Leofric. (fn. 552) The gift was confirmed in 1186 for the support of the sisters at Buckland. (fn. 553) The priory continued in possession until the Dissolution and in 1539 the land and tithes, then known as the RECTORY, were let to John Worth. (fn. 554) Worth continued to hold it under the Crown (fn. 555) until his death in 1546, (fn. 556) when he was succeeded by a son of the same name. John Worth died in 1568 (fn. 557) leaving his lease to his wife Margaret, who died while their son Thomas was under age. (fn. 558) William Lacey was probably lessee by 1557. (fn. 559) Alexander Popham, who was granted a reversionary lease in 1579, (fn. 560) died in 1602 and left part of the rectory estate to his wife Dulcibella. (fn. 561) His son Edward sold the rectory to William Rolfe in 1629, but subsequent litigation awarded part of the estate to Sir Peter Vanlore, Kt. and Bt. In 1639 Sir Peter assigned his share to his daughter Mary, wife of Henry Alexander, earl of Stirling. She seems to have acquired the whole by 1648, and was dead by 1659. (fn. 562) She was followed in turn by her son Henry, earl of Stirling (d. 1691), and Henry by his son Henry (d. 1739). The heirs of the last were two of his sisters, Mary, wife of John Philips, and Judith, wife of Sir William Trumbell. Mary had three sons, Charles, Robert, and William, and Judith had one son, William. William Trumbell (d. 1760), of Easthampstead Park (Berks.), acquired the entire estate in 1743. (fn. 563) It passed to his daughter Mary (d. 1769), wife of Martin Sandys, whose daughter, also Mary, married in 1786 Arthur Hill, Viscount Fairford (d. 1801), who succeeded his father as marquess of Downshire in 1793. In 1811 Mary (cr. Baroness Sandys 1802), released the rectory to her son Arthur, marquess of Downshire (d. 1845), (fn. 564) and he in 1813 sold it to Richard King and others. King sold most of the tithes to individual landowners, retaining small plots of land in North Petherton and Moorland. (fn. 565)
In 1813 the rectory house stood in North Petherton and there was a barn and barton at Moorland. (fn. 566) The site of the house is not known. Between 1816 and 1838 Richard King or his successor, Richard Meade King, built a house, then called the Rectory (fn. 567) and in 1984 Wood Lea. It is a large, three-bayed house with a stucco front.