A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 6, Knightlow Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1951.
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Population: 1911, 320; 1921, 367; 1931, 309.
The parish forms a roughly rectangular block, 5 miles from south-west to north-east by about 1½ miles in depth. The northern and north-western boundaries are formed by the Rains Brook, a tributary of the River Leam. Another small stream which forms the northern half of the east boundary also flows into the Leam, which river crosses the parish from south-east to north-west, dividing the hamlet of Woolscot on its right bank fom the village of Grandborough on its left. The road connecting the two at Grandborough Mill is carried over the Leam and a backwater by two bridges, of which the northern was called Chayne Bridge and the other Fines Bridge in 1627, when the cost of repairing the section of road across the Mill Ham between the two bridges was undertaken by Laurence Bolton (lord of the manor), the inhabitants of Woolscot in return disclaiming pasturage rights there. (fn. 1) The only road of importance, that from Coventry to Daventry, crosses the parish parallel with its northern boundary and ¼ mile distant therefrom, the tract between the road and the stream being formerly known as Walcote. A minor road leads southwest from the village down the centre of the parish to Calcutt, where mounds and ditches mark the site of the depopulated hamlet, (fn. 2) at the southern end of which, on a slight hill which reaches 340 ft., is Calcutt Spinney, the only considerable block of woodland in the parish.
In 1493 Thomas Catesby allowed a messuage and 40 acres of arable to decay, so that six persons, employing one plough, became homeless and unemployed. (fn. 3) Ten years later he did the same to a holding of 30 acres in Woolscott, ejecting seven persons, and in 1516 to a similar holding in Grandborough; John Radbourne had done likewise in 1492. (fn. 4) All these last three tenements were held of the Prior of Coventry, and William Huett, tenant of the Prior of Ronton, in 1515 acted in the same way. (fn. 5) About 1,000 acres in Grandborough were inclosed under an Act of 1765. (fn. 6)
There was a mill worth 16d. at Grandborough in 1086, (fn. 7) and in a deed of about 1280 two water-mills called 'Cuttole' and 'Baggole' are mentioned. (fn. 8) In 1531 there was a water-mill attached to Thomas Catesby's manor, (fn. 9) and in 1668 there was also a windmill, (fn. 10) apparently in Woolscott, where a miller is mentioned early in the 13th century. (fn. 11)
Woolscott, ¾ mile north-east of the church, consists of a few farmhouses dating from the 17th century. Harrow House, formerly the Harrow Inn, is T-shaped in plan with a large stone central chimney-stack with the date 1680. It is a two-story gabled, timber-framed structure with vertical timbering and a tiled roof. The adjacent house is similar, but the timbers are concealed by rough-cast.
Castle Farm has part of a late-16th-century rectangular house embodied in a later house. The early building now forms an east wing, two stories high, with a gabled dormer on the south front. It is built of alternate bands of limestone and dark brown sandstone, with a plinth of one splay, and has a tiled roof. The windows are moulded with square heads and hoodmoulds. In the gable to the dormer, above a threelight window, there is a painted sundial. The interior has been modernized.
GRANDBOROUGH was one of the 24 vills bestowed by Earl Leofric upon his Priory of Coventry, (fn. 12) and in 1086 the Church of Coventry was holding 8 hides 1 virgate here. (fn. 13) At the same time another 2 hides, which had been held before the Conqueror by Bundi, were in the hands of Richard the Forester. (fn. 14) Laurence, Prior of Coventry (c. 1144–79), is said to have given the manor to Robert son of Noel, whose son Thomas left two daughters as his coheirs. (fn. 15) Of these Joan (fn. 16) married Thomas fitzEustace, but this manor came to the descendants of her sister Alice wife of William de Harcourt. (fn. 17) Both sisters were alive in 1236, when the Lady Alice de Harcourt held of the Prior of Coventry a half-fee in Grandborough (fn. 18) and her sister the Lady Joan a half-fee in Shuckborough (q.v.); by 1242 Alice had been succeeded by her son Richard. (fn. 19) One of the Harcourts sold the manor to Mr. Henry de Braundeston, who gave it to his brother Hugh, (fn. 20) who had a grant of free warren here in 1292. (fn. 21) Hugh died in 1299, leaving a son Henry, then aged 16. (fn. 22) Henry in 1312 granted two-thirds of the manor of Grandborough with its demesne, freeholds, and villeinage there and in Wolscot and Walcote, and the reversion of the other third, held in dower by his mother Margaret, to Sir William de Bereford and Edmund his son. (fn. 23) William died in 1326, holding the manor jointly with Edmund of John de Harcourt. (fn. 24) In 1329 Edmund had licence to grant the manor, held of the Priory of Coventry, (fn. 25) to the Prior of Chalcombe (Northants.) for the provision of four extra canons and a distribution of alms to the poor. (fn. 26) This was in satisfaction of a licence which the priory had previously obtained to acquire lands to the value of 10 marks yearly, at which sum the manor was then estimated; but in 1346 the subescheator reported that the king had been deceived as to the value of the manor, which was worth £14 7s. more than stated, and it was therefore seized into the king's hands and committed to the keeping of Edmund de Bereford, here styled 'the king's clerk'; but it was shortly afterwards restored to the priory. (fn. 27) Ten years later Hugh son of Henry de Braundeston sued the Prior of Chalcombe for the manor, which he claimed had been entailed on his grandfather by the gift of Mr. Henry. The prior replied that he did not hold the whole manor, but for the part which he held he called to warranty the three sisters and heirs of Edmund de Bereford. (fn. 28) The suit, apparently as the result of bribery, (fn. 29) ended in Hugh's favour. He then enfeoffed John de Haveryngdoune, vicar of Chalcombe, and Thomas Sarazin, chaplain; but on his death-bed Hugh acknowledged to them that he had recovered it from the priory by unjust means and charged them to restore it. They therefore sought, and obtained, the king's licence in 1362 to assign it to Chalcombe Priory, to save the soul of Hugh from mortal peril. (fn. 30) In 1365 Chalcombe, fearing that the Prior and Convent of Coventry, of whom they held the manor, might make trouble, obtained the king's permission to charge the manor with an annual rent of 20s. to Coventry. (fn. 31) Exactly what happened after this is obscure, but by the time of the Dissolution the only connexion of Chalcombe with Grandborough was the possession of a messuage and a tenement, of a total value of 6s. 8d. (fn. 32) The manor itself had in some way reverted to the heirs of Hugh de Braundeston; in 1372 his daughters Roese and Agnes with their respective husbands Richard de Montfort and Philip de Aylesbury shared the manor, (fn. 33) which was called Harecourtfee and was held of the Prior of Coventry as half a knight's fee; (fn. 34) and in 1390 Roger Aylesbury conveyed the reversion thereof after the death of his mother Agnes to William Montfort (fn. 35) (son of Richard). William's daughter Margaret married John Catesby, in whose family the manor remained for about 100 years, (fn. 36) being sold c. 1532 to Sir Valentine Knightley. (fn. 37) He died in 1566 and by his will left Grandborough to his second son, Edmund, who died in 1597. Edmund's three sons died without issue and his eldest daughter, Anne, married Laurence Bolton. (fn. 38) They conveyed the manor to Thomas and Hugh Audley in 1630. (fn. 39) It is next found in 1672 in the hands of Robert Harvey, senior and junior, who were respectively son and grandson of Robert Harvey who married Sarah daughter of John (and sister of Hugh) Audley of London. (fn. 40) They conveyed it in 1712 to Sir William Meredith, bart., (fn. 41) but apparently only on mortgage or for a settlement, as Robert Harvey was lord of the manor in 1724 and his son John Harvey in 1728. (fn. 42) The latter in 1736 inherited the estates of his mother Mary daughter of Thomas Thursby and took the name of Thursby. (fn. 43) He and his son and namesake John Harvey Thursby were lords of the manor until 1767 (fn. 44) and presumably until at least 1783, when the son was patron of the living. (fn. 45)
At the Dissolution Coventry Priory had property in Grandborough which yielded rather over £7 in rents; (fn. 46) of this a considerable part was in the tenure of Valentine Knightley. (fn. 47) In 1544 John Fox and Thomas Hall had a grant of lands in Grandborough, Wolscote, and Willoughby, late belonging to the Priory of Coventry and in the tenure of John Radburne, (fn. 48) to whom Fox and Hall shortly afterwards sold the premises. (fn. 49) In 1548 John Radburne was licensed to grant 2 messuages and 2 virgates here to his son William, (fn. 50) and in 1611 the manors of Grandborough and Wolscote were conveyed to Laurence Bolton by a later William Redburne, who apparently held them in right of his wife Jane. (fn. 51) Laurence Bolton also had a grant of these manors and of that of Walcote from William Boles and his wife Blanche in 1620, (fn. 52) in which year he conveyed the manors to Sir Seymour Knightley (fn. 53) (his wife's cousin), probably for a settlement. Meanwhile, on 26 May 1553, the manor of Grandborough with various lands in Wolscote and Walcote belonging to Coventry Priory had been granted to Edward Aglionby and Henry Higford, (fn. 54) who three days later had licence to grant it to Sir Valentine Knightley. (fn. 55) Whatever the exact significance of these transactions, the Coventry holdings were evidently united with the main manor.
The 2 hides held in 1086 by Richard the Forester, also called Cheven, descended with the serjeanty of Chesterton (q.v.) to Walter Crok, who enfeoffed Gilbert Crok (probably son of his younger brother). He held a ploughland worth 20s. in Grandborough in 1198, (fn. 56) which was held by his sister Alice in 1242 (fn. 57) and 1251. (fn. 58) The overlordship of the 2 hides had passed to Hugh de Loges, (fn. 59) and in 1223 Alice, wife of William de Farendon, complained that Hugh had disseised her of the land in Grandborough which her brother Gilbert Crok had given her. (fn. 60) Eventually in 1247 Alice came to an arrangement with Hugh's son Hugh by which the land was granted to (her son) Thomas son of William de Farendon to hold by a rent of 10s. (fn. 61) In 1289 Sir Thomas de Farendon conveyed his estate to Mr. Henry de Bray (fn. 62) who settled the manor of Grandborough on Sir Thomas and Emma his wife and the heirs of their bodies with contingent remainder to Thomas de Bray and Sarah his wife, (fn. 63) whose grandson, William de Bray, tried in 1362 to recover the manor, which had apparently been granted to Sir William Trussell for life by John de Hastang. (fn. 64) How he had acquired it is not clear, but by 1346 this half-fee was held of the heir of Hugh de Loges by John de Hastang, (fn. 65) on whose death in 1370 it passed to his two daughters. Joan married Sir John Salisbury, who was attainted in 1389; after his death the moiety of the manor was delivered to her; (fn. 66) she married Roger Swynnerton, but as she left no issue her share passed to her sister Maud, (fn. 67) who had married Ralph Stafford. He died in 1410 seised of the manor of Grandborough, then said to be held of Thomas Sayvill and others as of the manor of Sowe. (fn. 68) In this family it descended with Leamington Hastings (q.v.) for about 150 years, (fn. 69) being sold by Sir Humphrey Stafford of Blatherwick to Richard Rowley in 1575. (fn. 70) William Rowley sold it in 1591 to Thomas Bradgate, (fn. 71) whose son William left a daughter Alice, wife of John Hill, who owned the manor in 1633 (fn. 72) and c. 1650. (fn. 73)
The later history of this manor is complicated and obscure. In 1706 Elizabeth Barford, widow, conveyed it to John Radbourne, (fn. 74) who with Sarah his wife conveyed it in 1726 to James Ward. (fn. 75) It seems subsequently to have passed to coheiresses, John Clarke, Robert Brown, Forbes Wilson, and their respective wives dealing with it in 1741, (fn. 76) the two first appearing as joint lords in 1762. (fn. 77) In 1769 Robert Curry conveyed to John Wilkins one-sixth of the manor. (fn. 78) John Clarke, junior, was dealing with onethird of the manor in 1770; (fn. 79) John and Rupert Clarke with one-ninth in 1786; (fn. 80) John Clarke and Bridget his wife with eleven-eighteenths in 1789, (fn. 81) and with the whole manor in 1793. (fn. 82) John is named as lord in 1794 and was followed in 1805 by John Plomer Clarke of Welton Place (fn. 83) (Northants.), but it does not seem possible to harmonize the earlier Clarke entries with the recorded pedigree of Plomer-Clarke. (fn. 84)
In 1086 Turchil held two separate half-hides in CALCUTT: one of these was held of him by Ermenfrid and the other by Richard. (fn. 85) Ermenfrid was also tenant of Ashow and a knight's fee in Ashow and Calcutt was held of the Earl of Warwick by the family of Verdon and their heirs, (fn. 86) their tenants being the family of Semilly.
Turchil's tenant Richard was possibly Richard the Forester, who held the second manor of Grandborough (see above), as his descendant Gilbert Crok is said to have granted land here to Adam and Ralph Crok. (fn. 87)
No mention of any manor of Calcutt is known before 1552 when Sir Thomas Newnham is said to have sold it to William, Marquess of Winchester. (fn. 88) His younger son Lord Giles Poulett, to whom the marquess left the manor, sold it in 1578 to Thomas Stapleton, (fn. 89) and in 1600 three generations of Thomas Stapletons, combined to sell it to Edward Stanhope, LL.D. (fn. 90) His nephew Charles, Lord Stanhope of Harrington, held the manor in 1642, (fn. 91) after which date its history is obscure. From 1785 to 1843 the Shuckburghs, baronets, appear as lords of the manor. (fn. 92)
At some uncertain date 4 virgates in Calcutt were held of Coventry Priory by Edmund Herdewyk by knight service and suit at the court of Southam. (fn. 93)
Turchil also held in 1086 in WALCOTE, Willoughby, and Calcutt 2 hides, of which Ordric, who had held then under the Confessor, was tenant. (fn. 94) This was presumably the origin of the one-fifth knight's fee held in 1242 of the Earl of Warwick by Thomas de Arderne and of him by Warin de Walecot. (fn. 95) This Warin was probably son of Robert whose grandfather Warin de Walcote was a 'distinguished knight errant', or soldier of fortune, during the wars of King Stephen's time, in the course of which he came to the house of Robert de Shuckburgh and fell in love with his daughter Isabel. Neither Robert nor his son William, who was also a knight, would allow him to have her, so when William was killed in the wars Warin came and carried her off by force. After the death of Stephen, when the peace of King Henry was proclaimed, Sir Warin's occupation being gone he fell into poverty and again took to robbery. Complaints reached the king, who ordered his arrest, and he was trapped in a reed-bed at Grandborough and brought before the king at Northampton and, as a warning to others, was put in the pillory, where he died. Isabel then returned to her father and subsequently married one William de Budebroc, (fn. 96) by whom she was mother of Henry de Shuckburgh; but by Sir Warin she had a son Warin, though it was not certain whether she had ever been married to him. This Warin's son Robert was living in 1221. (fn. 97) The one-fifth fee is next found in 1316 as held of the Earl of Warwick by William Raymund. (fn. 98) It is said to have been held in 1346 by Thomas de Flamvill, (fn. 99) who was dealing with land in Walcote and Willoughby in 1341. (fn. 100) He was probably descended from Margery, one of Warin's three coheirs, wife of William de Flamvill. (fn. 101) By 1400 this one-fifth fee was in the hands of the Dean and Chapter of the Collegiate Church of St. Mary of Warwick. (fn. 102)
Part of this same holding of Turchil's is probably represented by the one-tenth knight's fee in Grandborough held c. 1316 by Adam Phelip (fn. 103) of Sir Robert son of Adam de Napton, who held it of the Earl as of the fee once Thomas de Arderne's. (fn. 104) This was stated in 1400 to be held by the heir of Robert son of Adam de Napton (fn. 105) —a formula which suggests that it had in fact ceased to function.
Between 1276 (fn. 106) and 1285 Thomas Olyver and Agnes his wife were dealing with lands, held in her right, in Woolscot, part of which they sold to Hugh de Braundeston, (fn. 107) whose grant of the manor of Grandborough to Sir William de Bereford in 1312 included land here. (fn. 108) A so-called manor of WOOLSCOT is linked with that of Grandborough in 1531, (fn. 109) and from 1630 (fn. 110) to 1672. (fn. 111) The connexion continued until at least 1767, when both were held by John Harvey Thursby, (fn. 112) but in 1820 Joseph Smith of Dunchurch was called lord of the manor, (fn. 113) as was John Lancaster in 1900. (fn. 114)
Many gifts of lands in Grandborough, Walcote, and Woolscot, mostly in small quantities, were made to Ronton Priory (Staffs.) (fn. 115) before 1291. At that date the priory had in this parish 3½ virgates of land worth £1 4s., rents of £1 5s. 4d., and 10s. from agricultural issues. (fn. 116) In 1535 the priory had, apart from the rectory, a tenement and four cottages worth £4. (fn. 117)
The church of ST. PETER (fn. 118) is situated on the north side of the village and stands in a small churchyard with an avenue of yew trees to the west door from the north-east and of lime trees from the west. It consists of chancel, north chapel, nave, north and south aisles, and west tower. The present church dates from about the middle and the tower from about the end of the 14th century. The only evidence of an earlier church is a tomb recess removed from the chancel and now placed outside the east wall of the chancel. The tower was restored in 1848 and some of the floors tiled. In 1863 the clearstory was added, in 1868 a gallery at the west end was removed, and in 1879 the nave roof was extensively repaired. The church is built with a mixture of red sandstone and limestone rubble with occasional squared blocks of red sandstone, and the tower in light-coloured sandstone ashlar. There is a plinth of one splay all round, except to the tower, of which the plinth is moulded.
The east wall of the chancel has a window of four pointed lights with hood-mould, all modern, and above it the gable has been rebuilt in red sandstone ashlar. Built against the wall beneath the window there is a late-12th- or early-13th-century tomb recess with a round-headed arch of two moulded orders, each supported on short shafts with moulded capitals. The south side is divided into three bays by buttresses in two stages, the east having a pointed traceried window of two trefoil lights; the centre a two-light with trefoil ogee heads and below it a doorway with a pointed arch of two orders, a splay and a wave-moulding; the west a similar window but with three lights and below it a square blocked low-side window of two splays. The doorway and traceried windows have hood-moulds with return ends. The north side has a modern window of two pointed lights and a hood-mould without stops. The roof has a steep pitch covered with tiles and a coved eaves-course.
The south aisle has a low-pitched slated roof, diagonal buttresses at the angles and a modern chimneystack against the west wall. The east and west ends have traceried three-light windows which are modern copies of the adjoining window in the chancel, but with head-stops to the hood-mould. The south side is lighted by three pointed traceried windows of two lights, all modern except parts of their jambs. Between the windows to the west there is a large doorway with a richly pointed arch, the mouldings continued to splayed stops, and a hood-mould with floriated stops. The modern clearstory, built of red sandstone ashlar, has four trefoil lights with square heads. The north aisle is extended at the east end to form a chapel, now used as an organ chamber and vestry. The north aisle is divided into four bays by buttresses, with diagonal buttresses at the angles, and extends over the chancel to form the chapel. The chapel is lighted on the east by a pointed traceried window of three trefoil ogeeheaded lights, and on the north by a pointed traceried window of two trefoil lights; another, with trefoil ogee heads, which has been blocked on the inside, apparently takes the place of a doorway which is shown in a view of c. 1820. (fn. 119) The east bay of the aisle has a similar window to that in the east bay of the chapel, and a square-headed window of two trefoil ogee-headed lights. The west bay has a doorway similar to the south but on a smaller scale, with modern foliated stops to the hood-mould, and a pointed window with two pointed lights; the west end has a square-headed window, as on the north side, with modern head-stops to the hood-mould.
The tower rises in four stages, with diagonal buttresses at each angle, the battlemented parapet on a moulded string-course having pinnacles at the angles and a gargoyle on each face. The tower is finished with a tall octagonal spire which has a string-course half way up, immediately above which are, on the cardinal faces, two-light gabled spire lights with trefoiled heads and flanked by pilasters with crocketed finials. The belfry windows on all four faces are in pairs, each of two trefoil-headed lights, with pointed arches, transoms, quatrefoil piercings, and below each light two ogeeheaded panels. In the south-east angle there is a projecting stair turret weathered off below the parapet string-course. On the west side there is a pointed doorway of two splayed orders, the outer splay sunk, and above, in the second stage, a pointed traceried window of three moulded orders with deep splayed jambs; the string-course is taken over as a hood-mould; above this window there is a clock dial. On the north and south faces are square-headed windows of two splays to the ringing chamber.
The chancel (43 ft. 5 in. by 19 ft. 5 in.) has plastered walls, except the east, which is coursed rubble, a tiled floor with a step half-way and two steps to the altar. The altar is modern but the rails, which date from the 17th century, have reeded posts, moulded rail, turned balusters, and double gates with contemporary iron hinges. On the south wall at its east end there is a trefoil ogee-headed piscina with a modern shelf in place of a basin. All the windows have splayed reveals with stop-chamfered rear-arches; the door has square jambs with a segmental rear-arch; the blocked lowside window is hidden beneath the wall plaster. On the north side, giving access to the chapel, is an arcade of two bays with pointed arches supported on an octagonal pillar and half-octagon responds with moulded capitals and splayed bases. Originally these were window-like openings on dwarf walls, stepped up to conform to steps in the chancel, the west respond being 2 ft. 11 in. above the floor, the pillar 3 ft. 2 in., and the east respond 4 ft. 11 in. The wall of the east bay has been cut away to give access to what is now a vestry and the tomb recess, and the west bay accommodates the organ; west of this bay a modern opening with a pointed arch has been formed to give additional light to the vestry. The roof, of four bays, still retains the tie-beams with shaped brackets to the rafters and shaped struts to the pole-plate of an early roof, probably contemporary with the chancel. The beams and struts are moulded on the undersides, finishing on pointed stops, and in the centres of the tie-beams there are foliated carved bosses. The purlins, rafters, wallplates, and ashlars are later, probably a 17th-century repair.
The nave (42 ft. 8 in. by 19 ft. 4 in.) has a stonepaved floor and plastered walls. The steep-pitched open roof is of the collar-beam type and some of the old timbers were re-used when the roof was repaired. Both arcades consist of four bays with pointed arches of two splayed orders supported on moulded capitals with splayed bases on the north and square on the south with stop-chamfered corners, later cut away to octagon on the aisle side only. The responds repeat the arch splays, with moulded capitals to the inner order, the outer order being carried down to stops. The chancel arch, which is the full width of the chancel, and the tower arch, which is narrow and very lofty, follow the same detail as the arcades.
The south aisle (42 ft. 2 in. by 11 ft.) has a lean-to roof with moulded beams, posts, and purlins of 17th-century date carrying modern rafters and boarding. At the east end of the south wall there is a piscina with a stop-chamfered pointed head, with its projecting basin broken off. The windows and door have splayed reveals with stop-chamfered pointed rear-arches. The font is a modern octagonal one of stone, placed at the west end.
The north aisle (42 ft. 8 in. by 13 ft. 3 in.) has a roof similar to the south aisle and the arch to the chapel is of the same detail as the arcades, but with moulded bases to the responds instead of splays. The door has a segmental-pointed rear-arch, and all the windows have widely splayed reveals with rear-arches corresponding with the exterior.
The north chapel (30 ft. 3 in. by 13 ft.) serves as a vestry and organ chamber.
The tower (12 ft. square) has unplastered walls and a floor partly of stone paving and partly of wood, over a heating chamber, now disused, electric heating having been installed. On the north wall there is a slate slab with a painted list of charities.
In the vestry there is an oak chest of the 17th century with shaped legs on bearers, bound with iron straps terminating in fleur-de-lis and fitted with three original locks. The oak pulpit, dating from the 17th century, placed on the south side of the chancel arch, is octagonal with tracery-headed panels, a carved frieze, and a low moulded octagonal stem. The panels have been cut out leaving the traceried heads. There are a number of 19th-century wall memorials, and one of the 18th century to John Radburne, Spanish merchant of London, died 1728.
The plate consists of a silver chalice of 1807 and silver paten of 1805.
There are three bells by Henry Bagley, one of 1639 and two of 1641, and two by Joseph Smith, 1706. (fn. 120)
The registers begin in 1581.
The church of Grandborough was given to the Staffordshire Priory of Ronton, probably by its founder, Robert Noel. (fn. 121) In 1291 it was valued at £20, (fn. 122) there being also a vicarage worth £4. (fn. 123) The endowment of the vicarage was reconstituted by Bishop Walter de Langton in 1321, (fn. 124) but in 1401 the prior and convent were licensed to appropriate the vicarage, provided that a competent sum of money was assigned by the bishop for annual distribution to the poor. (fn. 125) It is not clear whether advantage was taken of this licence, but in 1535 the vicarage was served by a secular priest who received £5 yearly. (fn. 126) The rectory at this time was farmed for £32 17s., a fee of 26s. 8d. being paid to Reynold Carte, who was bailiff of Grandborough and receiver of the profits of the church. (fn. 127)
After the Dissolution the advowson was retained by the Crown for some time, but in 1611 a presentation was made by Thomas Davies. (fn. 128) He died in August of the following year, being then seised of 'the Parsonage House', the 'Wolhouse', and land in Grandborough, (fn. 129) but not apparently of the advowson, which was granted, with the rectorial tithes, in 1612 to Sir John Dormer, (fn. 130) who presented in 1615. (fn. 131) In 1626 he sold the rectory and advowson to Laurence Bolton, (fn. 132) and they then descended with the main manor until some time in the 19th century. By 1850 Mrs. Halse was patron, (fn. 133) and from 1874 to 1900 the Rev. William Bunter Williams was both incumbent and patron, (fn. 134) his widow holding the advowson in 1915. (fn. 135) The benefice was united with that of Willoughby in 1930, the alternate patrons being Major G. Seabrooke (succeeded in 1940 by Mrs. Seabrook) and Magdalen College, Oxford.
Anthony Staresmore Benn prior to his death expressed a wish that his brother, George Charles Benn, should make certain gifts in his name, including a gift of £500 to the vicar and churchwardens of Grandborough, which was to be invested and the income given to the poor of that parish in coals or blankets about Christmas time, or to other pious and charitable uses. The annual income of the charity amounts to £11 14s. 8d.
George Charles Benn, by will dated 31 August 1894, bequeathed £1,000 to the rector and churchwardens, the income to be given in coals or blankets to deserving poor people of the parish about Christmas time. The annual income of the charity amounts to £22 6s. 4d.
Maria Benn, by will dated 8 February 1873, bequeathed to the vicar and churchwardens £100, to lay out the income in the purchase of flannel, blankets, coals, or bread at their discretion to be distributed as near to Christmas day as can be amongst deserving poor of the parish. The annual income of the charity amounts to £2 10s.
Unknown Donor: upon a benefaction table in the church is mentioned a sum of '£3 charged annually on Mr. Burke's estate of Woolscott, to be distributed at Christmas and Easter'.
John Goode, Joanna Goode, and others unknown. The benefaction table also states that John Goode gave to the poor £5, the use to be given at Easter; and that Joanna Goode gave to the poor £10, the use to be given at Easter for ever. A sum of £43 10s. appears to have been given to the poor by some unknown donor. The endowment of the charities now consists of the sum of £62 6s. 9d. Consols; the income thereon, amounting to £1 11s., together with the income of £3 of the Unknown Donor's Charity, is applied for the benefit of the poor of the parish.
William Smith. This parish participates in the charity of William Smith and receives 4s. per annum which, in accordance with the terms of the bequest, is to be distributed in bread to the poorest people of the parish. For particulars of the charity see under Birdingbury.