A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1953.
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The parish of Broughton Gifford adjoins Melksham on the west. A small strip of land south-east of Broughton Gifford, beyond the Avon, is common to this parish and Melksham Without. The parish lies in the Oxford and Kimeridge Clay region of north and mid-west Wiltshire, and the height of the land within the parish varies from 100 ft. in the east to about 200 ft. in the west. (fn. 1)
The main road from Melksham to Bradford (A 3053) enters the parish in the east and runs south-west; parallel with it is the railway line from Melksham to Weymouth, which is joined in the extreme south of the parish by the line between Devizes and Bradford. The halt on the former line near Mill Farm was opened in 1906. (fn. 2) The River Avon forms the south-eastern boundary of the parish. It is crossed near Monkton House by a pack bridge which was built in 1725 to replace the small wooden bridge which had been the only previous means of crossing the river at this point. In 1856 a dispute arose as to who was liable for the upkeep of the bridge, and after the matter had been taken to Quarter Sessions the county undertook the repairs. (fn. 3) Also near Monkton House is an ancient ford, paved over all its length. (fn. 4) A tributary of the Avon called the South Brook forms a small part of the north-eastern boundary. A second tributary which joins the river near Challymead Mill rises in the extreme north of the parish and forms most of the north-eastern boundary. Broughton Brook flows through the south of the parish to join the river near Monkton House.
The main centre of population is Broughton Gifford village, 2 miles west of Melksham, where the houses straggle along the road that leads to Broughton Common. This common, like Norrington Common which lies ½ mile to the north-east, has never been inclosed. Broughton Common, formerly known as Broughton Marsh, is surrounded by houses.
Gifford Hall, situated on the north side of Broughton Common, is a medium-sized house of two stories and attic, L-shaped in plan. It was built about the beginning of the 18th century on the site of and incorporating some of the walls and cellars of a 16th-century building. Most of the rooms have their original panelling and chimney pieces, and the staircase with turned baluster, moulded handrail, and panelled dado has a fine decorated plaster ceiling in high relief, all contemporary. The kitchen offices have been modernized and modern staff rooms have been added at the back.
Broughton House, on the east side of Broughton Common, is a late-16th-century building of two stories and attic with a symmetrical front of two gabled dormers. It was extended equally at both ends in the 18th century without the attic floor and lighted by a single-light sash window to each floor. It retains its original heavy moulded oak door frame and door with a four-centred head. Above the door is an inserted oval panel dated H.H. 1673. Internally some original features, including a moulded stone chimney piece, remain. The stone gate piers with moulded capitals and pointed finials are probably mid-17th century. At the back there is a 19th-century addition.
From the middle of the 17th century there was no resident lord of the manor in the parish. This was probably one of the reasons for the unhappy social condition of the parish described by Wilkinson, the historian of Broughton, in 1860. All the arable common land was inclosed before 1783, but Broughton Common and Norrington Common were not inclosed. Broughton Common, although the highest part of the parish, was badly drained and unhealthy. The continued existence of common rights, however, was responsible for the erection of cottages round the common, and this led to disease. In 1851 there was a scarlet fever epidemic in the parish during which there were seventeen deaths—all of dwellers on the common. (fn. 5) In 1848–50 an unsuccessful attempt was made to inclose the common. (fn. 6)
In the 16th and 17th centuries Broughton was the home of clothiers and weavers. Among the clothiers were one May (fl. c. 1550), (fn. 7) Jerome Gerish (1588), (fn. 8) Nicholas Gore (c. 1623), (fn. 9) William Harding (fl. 1621– c. 1650), (fn. 10) and Henry Harding (fl. 1652). (fn. 11) In 1860 there was still a substantial number of hand-loom weavers in Broughton: Wilkinson put the number at half that of the agricultural labourers. (fn. 12) By this time the weavers of the parish were a depressed class, only able to survive because the limited demand for the narrow, fine cloths which they produced, had deterred the manufacturers from introducing special machinery. (fn. 13)
In the 17th century Broughton was a relatively important place. In 1645–6 it was one of the parishes in the Bradford-Melksham-Trowbridge area which were compelled to contribute to support the Parliamentary garrison at Great Chalfield. It supplied the largest quantity of wheat and more beer than any other place, and its money contribution was equal to that of Bradford and more than that of Melksham. (fn. 14) It is interesting to note that Broughton, which at one time was well known locally for the geese reared in the parish, also supplied the only ducks that went to the garrison.
Before 1762 the parish was linked with the outside world by an old pack road, which can still be traced. (fn. 15) In that year an Act was passed which resulted in the construction of the modern road from Melksham, through Broughton and Holt to Bradford. (fn. 16) The road was turnpiked. A causeway called 'the Street' linking Broughton village with Broughton Common was in existence at least as early as 1629. About 1830 'an enterprising surveyor signalized his term of office by employing the labouring poor in a slack time, in taking up some lengths of the paving stones and breaking them to pieces'. (fn. 17)
Wilkinson, writing in 1860, summed up the social condition of the parish with the words 'we are rather dull'. (fn. 18) This was an understatement. There were no public games or amusements. A Michaelmas revel had been held until ten years before when it had been suppressed by the police and excise officers as being a mere excuse for drunkenness. Wilkinson had known a 'skimmington'. He mentioned the sale of 'Kattern cakes' on St. Katherine's Day. But most significant of all is his description of the village weddings, which were 'a ceremony, and no more'. 'Nobody comes to church but the bride and bridegroom, walking down the "Street" arm in arm, followed by one or two couples more who are "keeping company". Parents never think of gracing the union with their presence.' (fn. 19)
The first mention of BROUGHTON GIFFORD is in a charter of 1001. At this time Aelfwig and Aelfwine evidently held land there. (fn. 20) They or their descendants may have been among the three thegns who were tenants in the time of Edward the Confessor. (fn. 21) In 1086 the manor was held in chief by Humphrey de Lisle. Its descent appears to have been the same as that of Castle Combe, which was the caput of the barony of which Broughton was part. (fn. 22) In 1188 Broughton was in the possession of Walter de Dunstanville, a descendant of Adeline de Lisle (possibly daughter of Humphrey de Lisle) who had married Reynold de Dunstanville. (fn. 23) Walter died in 1194 or 1195, leaving as his heir his son Walter, then under age. It seems probable that the elder Walter was dispossessed of his lands shortly before his death. (fn. 24) The younger Walter and his inheritance were in the king's hands from 1194 until 1201 when the wardship was sold to William Brewer the elder. For a short time in 1199– 1200 custody seems to have been granted to Ingram des Preaux, who became the husband of Sybil, relict of Walter de Dunstanville the elder. (fn. 25) Various farmers accounted to the exchequer for Broughton during this period. (fn. 26) William Brewer held the wardship only for a few months; in the same year Gilbert Basset bought it and held it until his death in 1205. (fn. 27) Gilbert was succeeded by his brother Thomas, who paid the king 200 marks for the remaining period of wardship. (fn. 28) These Bassets were nephews of Walter de Dunstanville the elder. Thomas was still holding Broughton in 1210– 12. (fn. 29) Walter the younger attained his majority in or before 1214. (fn. 30) He joined the rebels against King John and in 1216 Broughton was granted by John to Geoffrey and Olive de Buteville. (fn. 31) Walter's forfeiture was brief: in 1217 the Sheriff of Wiltshire was ordered to restore to him all his lands. (fn. 32) In 1232 a settlement was made between Walter de Dunstanville and Ingram des Preaux and Sybil his wife, Walter's mother. Broughton was settled on Walter, whereas Colerne and other manors were settled on Ingram and Sybil. (fn. 33) In 1241 Walter was dead, and had been succeeded by his son, Walter de Dunstanville III. (fn. 34)
In 1268 Walter de Dunstanville III granted Broughton to John Giffard, 1st Baron Giffard of Brimpsfield, who was to hold it of him for a rent of 6 barbed arrows and royal services belonging to the fee of 1 knight, and for all services belonging to the manor except foreign service. (fn. 35) Free warren in the manor was granted to John in 1281 and in the same year he made good his claim to view of frankpledge, gallows, and the assize of bread and ale. (fn. 36) He died in 1299, leaving as his heir his son by his third wife Margaret de Neville, a boy of 12 named John. (fn. 37) Along with other Wiltshire manors Broughton was assigned as dower to his relict Margaret, who held it until her death in 1338. (fn. 38) John Giffard her son, 2nd Baron Giffard, was executed for treason in 1322, and his lands escheated to the Crown. Soon afterwards the forfeiture was reversed, and inquisitions were held to discover the heir of John Giffard. (fn. 39)
Meanwhile, in 1271, Walter de Dunstanville, overlord of Broughton Gifford, had died without sons, leaving as his heir his daughter Parnel, wife of Robert de Montfort. (fn. 40) Robert was dead before 1274 and Parnel married as her second husband John de la Mare. She died before 1292, leaving as her heir her son William de Montfort. (fn. 41) John de la Mare held her lands by the courtesy of England until his death in 1313. Montfort sold the reversion of all the lands of the barony of Castle Combe to Bartholomew, Lord Badlesmere, in 1309. (fn. 42) Like John Giffard, Badlesmere was executed in 1322, and his lands were granted to Hugh le Despenser the younger. Broughton was among the places named in 1325 as having been acquired by Despenser from Alice, relict of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, but this must have been a mistake. (fn. 43)
There were six claimants to the inheritance of John Giffard. Three of them were the descendants of the half-sisters of John Giffard the elder. Other claimants were James de Audley, 2nd Lord Audley, and John Lestrange, 2nd Lord Strange, descendants of Katherine and Eleanor, daughters of John Giffard the elder by his first wife. All these five claimants were heirs of the half blood of John Giffard the younger, and the final award of the court was given in favour of John de Kelloway, lord of the manor of Kellaways (in Chippenham hundred), who traced his descent from Berta, daughter of Elias Giffard, grandfather of John Giffard the elder, and was therefore heir of the whole blood. (fn. 44) During the litigation the Giffard lands had been in the king's hands, and had been granted in 1327 to John Mautravers the younger, 1st Lord Mautravers, the friend of Mortimer and Queen Isabel. (fn. 45) In 1328 John de Kelloway was recognized as John Giffard's heir, but in 1329 the Giffard lands were again granted to Mautravers, and in May 1330 Kelloway conceded his claim to Mautravers. (fn. 46) Margaret Giffard was still holding the manor of Broughton Gifford in dower.
At this point the descent of the overlordship of the manor and of the subtenancy becomes obscure. The barony of Castle Combe had been restored in 1327 to Margaret, relict of Bartholomew de Badlesmere. (fn. 47) She died in 1333 and the barony passed to her son Giles Lord Badlesmere. (fn. 48) Giles died in 1338, holding as overlord 2 knights' fees in Broughton. (fn. 49) In 1337, however, the king had granted to John de Wylinton, Ralph his son, and Eleanor wife of Ralph 'the manor of Broughton, which after the death of Margaret, late wife of John Giffard of Brimpsfield would revert to the king by reason of John Mautravers the younger, a rebel'. This grant, in conjunction with the release of the manor by John Kelloway to John Mautravers in 1330, would seem to mean that Mautravers had acquired and subsequently forfeited the reversion of the tenancy of the manor formerly held by John Giffard. (fn. 50) Mautravers was restored to favour in 1345 and in 1351 the king ordered that the manor of Broughton, 'which Margaret late the wife of John Giffard of Brimpsfield held for life of the inheritance of John Mautravers', and the reversion of which had been granted to John de Wylinton, should be granted to John Mautravers if Margaret were dead. (fn. 51) Mautravers does not seem to have succeeded in gaining the tenancy of the manor and there was no mention of it in the inquisitions after his death in 1364. (fn. 52) He must, however, have retained, or at least continued to claim an interest in the manor, for in 1383 and later his successors, the Lords Mautravers, were described as overlords of half the manor. (fn. 53) Possibly he or his successors came to some indefinite arrangement as to the overlordship, with the holders of the barony of Castle Combe on the one hand, and the tenants of Broughton Gifford on the other.
After the death of Margaret Giffard in 1338 the tenancy of the manor was divided between James, Lord Audley and John, Lord Strange, who have already been mentioned. Audley's half of the manor continued to be held as of the barony of Castle Combe, which itself was divided among coheiresses in 1338. (fn. 54) Strange's half was held of Castle Combe in 1338, 1349, and 1372. (fn. 55) Thereafter the overlordship was subject to confusion. In 1375 it was said to be held in chief, (fn. 56) but in 1383, 1396, and 1413 it was found to be vested in the Lords Mautravers. (fn. 57) Subsequent inquisitions found this half of the manor to be held of Queen Joan (1418) and Humphrey Duke of Gloucester as of the castle of Devizes (1421). (fn. 58) In and after 1447 (the date of Humphrey's death) the overlordship was always assigned to the king as of Devizes castle, except in 1460, when it was assigned to the lord of Castle Combe. (fn. 59)
The moiety of the manor held by John, Lord Strange, passed on his death in 1349 to his son Fulk, 3rd Lord Strange, who died a minor in the same year. (fn. 60) Fulk's heir was his brother John, 4th Lord Strange but the half manor was assigned as dower to Fulk's relict Elizabeth. (fn. 61) She married as her second husband Sir John de Ferrars, who died in 1367. (fn. 62) Elizabeth married thirdly Reynold de Cobham and died in 1375. (fn. 63) The half manor passed to Elizabeth Lestrange, infant granddaughter of John, 4th Lord Strange. (fn. 64) The wardship of Elizabeth Lestrange was granted to Richard, 4th Earl of Arundel. (fn. 65) She married Thomas, Earl of Nottingham, and died, still a minor, in 1383. (fn. 66) Her heiress was her aunt Ankaret wife of Richard, 4th Lord Talbot, and daughter of John, 4th Lord Strange. (fn. 67) Richard died in 1396 and Ankaret in 1413, when she was succeeded by her son Gilbert, 5th Lord Talbot. (fn. 68) Gilbert died in 1418, and ⅓ of the ½ manor was assigned as dower to his relict Beatrice, who held it until her death in 1447. Beatrice married before 1423 Thomas Fettiplace who in 1421 was acting as steward of the ½ manor, which was sometimes known as Talbot's manor. (fn. 69) Gilbert's heir was his daughter Ankaret, who died in 1421. (fn. 70) Her heir was John Talbot, brother of Gilbert, later 4th Earl of Shrewsbury. (fn. 71) John surrendered his interest in 2/3 of the ½ manor to his sister-inlaw Beatrice, who thus held the whole ½ manor from 1421 until her death. (fn. 72) The Earl of Shrewsbury died fighting in Gascony in 1403 and was succeeded by his son John, 5 th earl. (fn. 73) Margaret, relict of the 4th earl, received ⅓ of the ½ manor in dower. The 5 th earl dispossessed his stepmother of her dower but she recovered it and apparently held it at his death in 1460. (fn. 74) Margaret herself died in 1467 and her ⅓ of the ½ manor passed to John, 6th earl, who was holding it at his death in 1473. (fn. 75) The remaining 2/3 of the ½ manor had been settled upon Elizabeth, relict of the 5 th earl, and was among her possessions on her death, which also occurred in 1473. (fn. 76) The heir to her ½ manor was the infant George, 7th Earl of Shrewsbury, but dower in it was granted to George's mother Katherine, who died in 1476. (fn. 77) The wardship of George was in 1475 granted to William, Lord Hastings. (fn. 78) Between 1505 and 1508 various conveyances of the manor were made for the purpose of selling it to Guy Palmer, serjeantat-law, for the payment of the debts of George, Earl of Shrewsbury. (fn. 79) Guy Palmer died seised of the ½ manor in 1516, having left it in his will to his wife Joan, with remainder to his eldest son Brian. (fn. 80) On Brian's death in 1528 the estate passed to his son Francis. (fn. 81) In 1579 Francis, son of Francis Palmer, sold the ½ manor to (Sir) William Brouncker. (fn. 82) Sir William's grandson William Brouncker sold it in 1622 to Sir John Horton, in whom, as will appear below, the other ½ of the manor of Broughton Gifford also became vested. (fn. 83)
The ½ of the manor which had passed in the 14th century to James, Lord Audley, was settled for life upon his aunt Eleanor, wife of Philip, Lord Columbers. She died in 1343 and the ½ manor reverted to her nephew, who in 1357 settled it for life upon his daughter Katherine, wife of Thomas Spigurnell. (fn. 84) Katherine evidently died before her father, for Lord Audley held the ½ manor at his death in 1386. (fn. 85) Nicholas, 3rd Lord Audley, succeeded his father and died in 1391, without issue. His heirs were his sister Margaret, wife of Sir Roger Hillary, and John Tuchet, grandson of Joan, another sister and wife of John Tuchet. (fn. 86) Elizabeth, relict of Lord Audley, held the ½ manor in dower until her death in 1400. (fn. 87) The property was then divided between the heirs.
Shortly after the death of Nicholas in 1391, Sir Roger Hillary and Margaret had conveyed the reversion of their share, i.e. ¼ of the manor, to Hugh de Holes. (fn. 88) Seisin seems to have been given to Hugh in 1400, in spite of the fact that the ¼ manor was numbered among the possessions of Margaret Hillary at her death in 1411. (fn. 89) Hugh de Holes died in 1415 leaving ¼ of Broughton Gifford to his son Thomas. (fn. 90) Thomas died in 1420 and his property passed to his daughter Margery, who married John Troutbeck. (fn. 91) Margery died in 1456 and her husband two years later. (fn. 92) Their son William inherited the ¼ manor but was killed in 1459 at the battle of Blore Heath, leaving his son William, a minor. (fn. 93) William Troutbeck the younger died in 1511, and his estate passed to Margaret, daughter of his brother Adam, and wife of (Sir) John Talbot, grandson of the 5th Earl of Shrewsbury. (fn. 94) Sir John and his wife held a manorial court at Broughton in 1531. (fn. 95) The ¼ manor was held by their son, Sir John (d. 1555), by Francis, eldest son of the latter, and from 1570 or earlier by John, younger brother of Francis. (fn. 96) In 1584 the last-named John Talbot sold his ¼ manor to Edward Horton of Westwood, who died without issue in 1603, leaving it to Edward Horton, his great nephew. (fn. 97) On Edward's death in 1605 the property passed to his brother (Sir) John Horton. (fn. 98)
John Tuchet, the second coheir of Nicholas, 3rd Lord Audley, was summoned to Parliament as a peer and is held to have been 4th Lord Audley. (fn. 99) He died in 1409, leaving ¼ of Broughton Gifford on his son James, 5th Lord Audley. (fn. 100) In 1455 James settled the reversion of the ¼ manor after his death on his son Edmund, with remainder to his son John. (fn. 101) Probably Edmund died without heirs, for the estate passed after the death of the 5th Lord Audley successively to his son and grandson the 6th and 7th barons. (fn. 102) The 7th baron was beheaded for treason in 1497, and although his wife Joan held the estate in Broughton after his death she was from that day onwards a helpless lunatic, presumably as the result of shock. (fn. 103) She died in 1532, and in the same year her stepson, John, 8th Lord Audley, confirmed his previous grant of the ¼ manor to Richard Brigges. (fn. 104) Brigges sold it in 1544 to Robert May alias Hayston. (fn. 105) In 1550 Richard Brigges again confirmed the grant to a Robert May, who was probably the son of the first Robert. (fn. 106)
The second Robert May had by his first wife a son, Henry, and daughters Alice, Mary, and Anne. About 1565–6 Robert May, then a widower, married the daughter of a baker, and settled his property in Broughton Gifford upon his son. Henry May later married Eleanor Hinton, who apparently offended her fatherin-law in some way. Henry May also appears to have been feeble-minded. Shortly before his death in 1584 Robert settled his lands upon his son with remainder to his daughters, thus barring the succession of Eleanor and her children by Henry. (fn. 107) Henry entered into possession on his father's death and set out to defeat Robert's last settlement. Robert's three daughters resisted this attempt and took the case into Chancery, where a compromise was arranged. The lands were to pass as settled by Robert May, but an annuity of 100 marks was to be paid to Eleanor after her husband's death, and an annuity of 50 marks to Anne, her daughter, wife of John Eyre, with benefit of survivorship to either of them in the annuity of the other. The husbands of Robert May's daughters Alice, Mary, and Anne were Edward Horton of Westwood (who in 1584 had bought ¼ of the manor from John Talbot), Henry Long (son of Sir Henry Long of Whaddon (q.v.) ), and Jeremy Horton, nephew of Edward. Each of them had in right of their wives the reversion of 1/12 of the manor. Henry May died in 1606. (fn. 108) The 1/12 of the manor which passed to his sister Alice descended to Sir John Horton, great nephew of her husband. Sir John also inherited the 1/12 forming the share of Anne May, who was his mother. Meanwhile in 1603 Henry Long had settled half of his wife's 1/12 of the manor, i.e. 1/24 on his own heirs, and sold the remaining 1/24 to Jeremy Horton, husband of Anne May and father of (Sir) John Horton. Finally in 1627 Sir John Horton bought the 1/24 of Broughton Gifford that had passed to Sir Walter Long, grandson of Henry Long and Mary May. Sir John Horton thus became the owner of the entire and reunited manor of Broughton Gifford.
At his death in 1667 Sir John was succeeded by his son Thomas, who settled the manor in that year upon his wife Elizabeth, daughter of William Guise. (fn. 109) Thomas's greatgrandson Thomas died without issue in 1755; an inquisition of 1722 shows that he was then a lunatic. (fn. 110) His heirs (to whom he had given the reversion of his property by a deed of 1739) (fn. 111) were his sisters Elizabeth, wife of William Blanche, and Eleanor, wife of Richard Roberts. At the death of Thomas, however, the property was also claimed by Richard Brereton and others, to whom Thomas had left it in a will dated 1735. The dispute was settled in 1758. John Roberts, son and heir of Eleanor, took the manorial rights of Broughton Gifford together with Church Farm and other lands while Richard Brereton took Mill Farm and Broad Mead in the parish. William Blanche's share was the property of Thomas Horton in Gloucestershire. (fn. 112)
The manor passed from John Roberts to his brother William Roberts, D.D., Provost of Eton, who in 1789 sold it to (Sir) Benjamin Hobhouse, bt. Sir Benjamin's son, Sir John Cam Hobhouse, bt., took his title of Baron Broughton from his manor here, in 1851. The manor passed from Lord Broughton to Sir C. P. Hobhouse, bt., who conveyed it about 1890 to his son who later became Sir Charles E. H. Hobhouse, bt. (fn. 113)
The Wiltshire Record Office has documents relating to Broughton Gifford, 1575–1839.
Broughton Gifford Manor House was built by Sir John Horton in 1622. It was converted into two houses early in the 19th century. In 1910 it was reconverted into one, restored, and an elaborate chimney-piece moved to the ground floor from the first. A first floor was inserted in the hall and its open roof ceiled, probably at the time of the 19th-century conversion. The house is L-shaped, consists of two stories and an attic, is built of rubble with worked dressings, and is roofed with stone slates. There are original gate-posts with rebated joints and ball finials.
Before the Conquest an estate at Broughton containing 5 hides had been held by Godric. In 1086 this was held by Rainburgus. (fn. 114) Another estate, of 3 hides, was held before the Conquest by Alwold, and in 1086 by Saward. (fn. 115) The manor held by Rainburgus seems to have passed to Ilbert le Chaz, who granted it in the 12th century to the priory of Monkton Farleigh. (fn. 116) The grant was probably made soon after the foundation of the priory, for the manor belonged to the prior in 1166, when it was held by him of Humphrey de Bohun. (fn. 117) The other manor of 3 hides seems to have passed from Saward to Thomas Bassett, who held lands in Broughton in 1210–12, and later to Walter, son of Philip de Somerford. (fn. 118) Between 1228 and 1236 there was litigation between Walter and the Prior of Farleigh, which ended in Walter's surrender to the prior in the latter year of 3 hides of land in LITTLE BROUGHTON. (fn. 119) In 1227 the Abbess of Shaftesbury released to the prior her claim to his suit at her hundred of Bradford, in exchange for a money rent. (fn. 120) In 1242–3 the prior held a knight's fee in Little Broughton of the Earl of Salisbury, as of the honour of Trowbridge. (fn. 121) The priory of Farleigh continued to hold this manor until the Dissolution, except for certain periods when it was taken into the king's hands owing to the wars with France. (fn. 122) It was probably during one of these temporary custodies that a survey of the manor was made in 1293–4. It was then valued at £11. 9s. 3d. a year, and its stock at £26. 16s. 1d. (fn. 123) The annual value had been estimated in 1291 to be £5. 15s. 10d. (fn. 124) At the Dissolution this manor was valued at £12. 7s. 4d., and attached to it were various tenements; in 1525 it had also included a meadow called Chaldmeade (the modern Challymead) worth £1. 6s. 8d. (fn. 125)
Just before the Dissolution the manor had been leased by the prior to his brother Walter Mellyn. Being doubtful whether he would be allowed to enjoy the lease Walter transferred his interest to Sir Henry Long. It is doubtful whether this was a true sale or was intended by Mellyn to be a conveyance in trust for himself. Long evidently treated it as the former and later sold the manor to Sir John Thynne. Shortly afterwards Thynne sold it to Henry Long of Whaddon (d. 1558), who left it to his son Edward of Monkton Farleigh who held the lease in 1565. (fn. 126) Meanwhile, in 1536 the manor had been granted by the king to Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp, later Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector. (fn. 127) Somerset suffered attainder and execution in 1552. Broughton Gifford was probably restored to Edward, Earl of Hertford, Somerset's eldest son by his second wife, early in the reign of Elizabeth (see Trowbridge), and in 1580 it was confirmed to Hertford by letters patent. (fn. 128) Hertford renewed the lease to Edward Long in 1600 and in 1615 conveyed to the same Edward the fee simple of the manor. (fn. 129) Edward Long was the second son of Sir Henry Long of Whaddon. (fn. 130) On Edward's death in 1622 Monkton passed to his son Edward and later to another son John, at whose death in 1654 it descended to John's son Thomas. (fn. 131) In 1670 Thomas Long conveyed to Sir James Thynne a messuage and other tenements in Monkton with view of frankpledge and other manorial rights. (fn. 132) Thomas Long, however, retained the site of the manor and conveyed it in 1674 to John Hardy. (fn. 133) In 1671 Thomas Thynne, nephew and heir of Sir James, who died in 1670, mortgaged his interest in the manor to his kinsman John Hall of Bradford. (fn. 134) Thomas Thynne was murdered in 1682 and his property passed to Hall, who seems to have acquired also the site of the manor. (fn. 135) From John Hall the manor passed in the same way as Hall's manor in Bradford (q.v.) to Evelyn, Duke of Kingston. In 1726 it was leased to John Bissey for seven years at £230 a year. In 1763 it was being held by James Bissey at the same rent. (fn. 136) The Duke of Kingston sold the manor in 1768 to Samuel Shering his steward. (fn. 137) There is a local tradition that the duke, wanting money to buy a wedding dress for his bride, was advised by Shering to sell his outlying manor of Monkton. Afterwards, when the duke was hunting in the neighbourhood, he admired the old house with its rich meadows, and learning that he had very lately possessed it himself, swore that he would never again sell any possession which he had not seen. (fn. 138)
On Samuel Shering's death the estate passed to his brother John who conveyed it in 1800 to John Keddle. It passed on Keddle's death in 1844 to his brother Samuel Shering Keddle. (fn. 139) The descendants of Samuel S. Keddle continued to hold the manor until the death of Mrs. Charlotte Keddle in c. 1910 when it was sold to Mr. H. J. P. Blake, whose father had been tenant of the house and estate for many years. In 1938 Mr. Blake sold the house and estate to New College, Oxford. (fn. 140)
Monkton House, built about 1550, was originally L-shaped, the arms of the L running south and east from their meeting point in the north-west. A staircase, built into the angle of the L, is dated 1596, and about the same time the house was enlarged on the north side. In the 17th century an entrance was inserted at the east end of the new north block. There is no trace of an entrance to the original building. The house is built of rubble with worked dressings, the rubble covered with plaster which has fallen away in parts, showing relieving arches over the windows of the original building. There are two stories with attics in gables and the roofs are of stone slates. The north block extends along the whole of the north side and its floors are at a lower level than those of the original building. The entrance is fitted with its original counterboarded door, having a large nail-studded oval panel with a raised central oval medallion inscribed round the border 'ay bonne cause' and in the middle a stag.
The 'chapel' of Broughton Gifford with land and tithes was given to the abbey of Shaftesbury by 'Gundrada' when her kinswoman Albreda 'de Bosco Roalda' entered the monastery. The gift was confirmed by Henry I, Henry II, and John. (fn. 141) In spite of the gift the lord of the manor occasionally claimed the advowson of the church. A lawsuit between Walter de Dunstanville and the abbess in 1265 seems to have gone against Walter, for in that year he acknowledged the advowson to be the right of the abbess. (fn. 142) In 1330, however, the advowson was considered as part of the manor by John de Kelloway, when he surrendered his claim to John de Mautravers. (fn. 143) The king presented in 1338, but afterwards revoked the presentation, which seems to have been made during a vacancy of the see of Salisbury under the impression that the advowson belonged to that see. (fn. 144) In 1375–6 James Lord Audley and Sir Reynold de Cobham, then lords of the manor, sued the abbess for the next presentation to the church, claiming it through their ancestor John Giffard. (fn. 145) In 1419 the presentation every third turn was assigned as dower to Beatrice, relict of Gilbert, Lord Talbot. (fn. 146) This seems to have been the last time the advowson was claimed by the lords of the manor, and the abbey remained in peaceful possession until the Dissolution. (fn. 147) Between 1308 and 1523 the lords of the manor never succeeded in presenting. (fn. 148) Since the Dissolution the advowson of Broughton Gifford has remained with the Crown. (fn. 149)
There was a chapel at Little Broughton or Monkton, the patronage of which was claimed both by the Prior of Monkton Farleigh and by the Abbess of Shaftesbury. An agreement was made in 1232 by which the abbess was to retain the patronage of the chapel as part of Great Broughton, and the prior was to be free from the payment of tithes from the two hides of land which he held in the parish, of which the tithe had previously been paid to the chapel. (fn. 152) The chapel must soon afterwards have fallen into disuse, for in 1341 it was stated that there was no chapel in the parish except the parish church. There are no recorded institutions to the chapel. (fn. 153)
There was a fraternity at Broughton at the time of the Dissolution which also existed as late as 1633. (fn. 154) William Kechyn gave a messuage and land in Broughton for the maintenance of an annual anniversary in the church of Broughton, and this may have been connected with the fraternity. This tenement, however, was granted in 1549 to John Barwicke and Robert Freke. (fn. 155)
Henry Long of Wraxall, by his will proved in 1480, gave 13s. 4d. to the church of Broughton for vestments. (fn. 156)
A tenement in Broughton called Darbies belonged to Terumber's charity at Trowbridge, and was granted in 1549 to the above John Barwicke and Robert Freke. (fn. 157) It seems to have passed later to William Gore, who was involved in litigation concerning it with John Warren. (fn. 158)
The church house of Broughton Gifford was built in 1500 or soon after. In that year George, Earl of Shrewsbury, then one of the lords of the manor, granted to William Cuffe and others a parcel of land in the parish lying near the graveyard in the south, measuring 21 by 10 ft. On this land the feoffees were to 'make and build anew' a house to be used for the profit of the church. For this land a rent of 2d. was to be paid to the earl and his heirs, and if the land was not used for its original purpose the earl might re-enter the premises and bring them to their original purpose. (fn. 159) In 1629 it was presented at the manor court that the house belonged to the parishioners, and that sixty and more years before had been at their use and disposal, but that for more than thirty years the lords had held it and disposed of it. (fn. 160) The church house was pulled down in 1732 and the materials used in rebuilding the church farmhouse. In 1780 the glebe consisted of a total of 34 a. 2 r. 12 p. The parsonage house, with stable and garden, occupied 21 p. and the church and churchyard 1 r. 34 p. The rest was spread over the following fields: Bailey's Court Ground, Bailey's Close, Shepherd's Corner, Hundred Acres, Barn Ground (a barn therein), Little Barn Ground, Wells Mead, Little Wells Mead, Triangles, and Further Bradley Mead. It was added that twenty years before, when the turnpike road from Melksham to Holt was being made, rather more than 1½ acre had been taken from the glebe through which the road passed. The turnpike commissioners valued the ground at £50 and agreed to pay 50s. a year interest on this sum to the rector and his successors. (fn. 161)
The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN consists of chancel, nave, north aisle, western tower, and chapel on the south side with a connected porch which forms with it a south aisle. It dates from the 13th century, when it consisted of chancel, nave, and north aisle. In the 14th century the chapel was added and a new chancel arch built. In the 15th century the north wall was rebuilt, the windows replaced, the whole church reroofed, and the tower and south porch added. In 1708 a gallery was built and in 1720 the open roofs were covered in with plaster ceilings. Extensive restoration was carried out in 1850: the walls and pillars were strengthened, the gallery was removed, the high box pews were replaced with benches, and the ceilings stripped again to reveal the roofs. In 1878 the nave was reroofed and the north aisle extended at its eastern end to form an organ chamber, from which a square opening was cut into the chancel. In 1920 a carved oak screen was built across the tower arch to form a vestry. Electric light was installed in 1930.
Of the 13th-century church the north arcade and three lancets remain, one at the west end of the south wall of the nave, one inserted in the south wall of the chapel and which was possibly taken out of the nave wall when the porch was added, and the third in the south wall of the chancel. All the remaining windows are tracery windows of the 15th century restored. The aisles retain their 15th-century collar-beam roofs.
The large stone pulpit is modern. The font, which has been redressed, is of uncertain date. On the south wall of the nave there is a brass to Robert Longe (d. 1620).
The parish registers are complete from 1665. (fn. 162)
Edward VI's commissioners found no church plate at Broughton. There is now an Elizabethan cup with a paten cover hall-marked 1576, a paten given by John Horton in 1731, a silver-mounted glass flagon given in 1878 by Mrs. Hopkins of Northleigh House, Bradfordon-Avon, and a silver chalice with paten cover given by Mrs. Floyd in 1949. (fn. 163)
The same commissioners left three bells. A bell hung in 1665 is said to have been cracked in 1732. Another bell was cracked before 1850 as the result of a drunken carousal. (fn. 164) The present bells were cast in 1850. (fn. 165)
In 1705 the house of Joan Gore, widow, of Broughton Gifford, was licensed as a dissenters' meeting-house. (fn. 166)
Methodism in Broughton Gifford was an offshoot of that in Melksham. A small society existed at Broughton in 1826 and a chapel was built in 1828, at a cost of £100. The money was advanced by a Mr. James of Melksham, who stipulated that the society should pay interest on it at a rate of 4 per cent., the interest to be applied to the support of Methodist Missions. Before his death he converted his loan into a gift. (fn. 167) The circumstances of the loan and gift were apparently obscure to those who compiled the Melksham Wesleyan Methodist Circuit Schedule of trust property in 1862. There were then no trust deeds for Broughton and the circuit officials were not sure of their title to the chapel. (fn. 168) The society was weak for the first fifty years of its existence. It had only 5 members in 1857 and the Revd. T. R. Jones commented in that year, 'this appears to be an ungenial soil for Methodism, for though the chapel is neat and comfortable the congregation is small and disheartening'. (fn. 169) There were no members at all in 1862 and only 6 in 1886. (fn. 170) The number had risen to 12 by 1890, however, and from that time onwards there was steady progress. (fn. 171) In 1907 a new chapel was built, and the society has continued to flourish. (fn. 172)
The Particular Baptist church at Broughton Gifford was built in 1806. (fn. 173) In 1829 it had 43 members. (fn. 174) A Sunday school was started in connexion with it in 1830, and in 1833 was attended by 43 boys and 34 girls. (fn. 175) It was registered for marriages in 1871. (fn. 176) It is now Strict Baptist. (fn. 177)
Little evidence has been found about the medieval economy of Broughton Gifford and none of it suggests that it was in any way unusual. (fn. 178) In 1299 the manor of Broughton contained 16 free tenants, 7 'customars', 11 holders of half-virgates, and 16 cottars. (fn. 179)
The rearing of geese is perhaps the parish's chief claim to local fame. There is a legend that a Broughton man once called the blacksmith to shoe his geese to prevent their going lame on the way to market. (fn. 180) Until recent time the men of Broughton have been called 'Broughton ganders'.
In 1801 the only crop acreages returned from Broughton were wheat, 59; oats, 4; peas, 3. (fn. 181) At the Tithe Commutation in 1841 the parish contained 254 acres of arable, 1207 acres of pasture, 70 acres occupied by houses and gardens, 20 acres occupied by the railway, 1 acre of 'plantation', and 83 'river, roads, and waste'. (fn. 182) According to Wilkinson (1860) cattle fed on Monkton pastures once had a good name at Smithfield. (fn. 183)
At the time of the Domesday Survey there were two mills in the principal manor of Broughton, worth 9s. (fn. 184) In 1299 there appears to have been only one attached to the manor. (fn. 185) This mill apparently passed with the Lestrange moiety of the manor and in 1419 was assigned in dower to Beatrice, relict of Gilbert Lord Talbot. (fn. 186) A second mill seems to have belonged to a tenement called Greenhill. In 1347 John le Lange conveyed a mill to John de Crudewell. (fn. 187) In 1427 Margaret wife of John Greenhill and William Geffray and Margaret his wife conveyed a mill and tenements in Broughton, Monkton, and Greenhill to Robert Long (? of S. Wraxall), and in the same year William Curteys, who appears to have been the father of Margaret Geffray, released all his right therein to the same Robert. (fn. 188) Sir Henry Long sold the mill in 1544 to Robert May. (fn. 189) From Robert May it passed to Edward son of Jeremy Horton and Anne May, and from him to Sir John Horton. (fn. 190) There was only one mill attached to the manor in 1731. (fn. 191) One mill, now disused, stands near the junction of the Avon and its tributary in the north-east of the parish. Another must have stood on or near the site of Mill Farm, near Monkton.
The origin of the charity school founded in 1782 and the destiny of its endowments are described below (see Charities). In 1819 the school contained 20 free scholars and 12 others for whom their parents paid. (fn. 192) In 1823 12 boys and 8 girls attended. (fn. 193) In 1852 the site and buildings of the school, then in union with the National Society, were conveyed in trust by the Revd. J. Wilkinson, then rector, to the rector and churchwardens. (fn. 194) In 1853 a building grant of £90 was made by the State and £463. 14s. 11d. raised by local subscription. (fn. 195) The school, comprising schoolroom and classroom, was built (or perhaps, more strictly, rebuilt) in 1856. (fn. 196) In 1858 it was attended by 40 children, of whom 20 were still taught free. (fn. 197) In 1871 Richard P. Long added to the trust property. (fn. 198) In 1872 a further grant of £105. 15s. 10d. was authorized by the State and an additional building was erected. (fn. 199) In 1893 accommodation was computed at 161; the average attendance was 93. (fn. 200) In the same year the school was again enlarged. (fn. 201) In the years 1910, 1938, and 1950 the reported accommodation was: mixed 110, infants 43. (fn. 202) The average attendance in July 1950 was 76. The school now has a headmaster and 2 assistants. (fn. 203)
In 1833 there were two other schools besides the charity school. They were founded in 1828 and 1833 and attended by a total of 10 boys and 13 girls. (fn. 204)
In 1782 Francis Paradice and Betty his wife gave £500 to be invested, out of the dividends of which £20 a year was to be paid to a schoolmaster for instructing 20 poor boys and girls. The residue of the income was to be distributed yearly at or about Christmas to ten poor persons of the parish. A further capital sum of £1. 15s. was added in 1782. By a Board of Education order of 1904, the sum of £666. 13s. 4d. stock, producing £20 a year, was apportioned to the educational foundation, and the balance of £171. 13s. 3d. stock, producing £5. 3s. a year, to the eleemosynary charity.
Sarah Purbeck, by her will proved 1821, bequeathed £1,000, the annual dividends to the amount of £5 to be applied immediately before Christmas for the benefit of the poor of the parish, and the residue to paying annuities to the inhabitants of certain parishes in Southampton. In 1877 the sum of £1,000 Consols was transferred to the Official Trustees, of which £166. 13s. 4d. Consols was apportioned to Broughton.
Elizabeth Sly by her will proved 1880 bequeathed to the incumbent and churchwardens £100, the annual income of which was to be paid to such poor people of the parish and in such proportion as they should think fit. The income of this charity and of Sarah Purbeck's charity were in 1904 applied at the same time as Paradice's charity. (fn. 205)
The Mortimer charity was founded (apparently after 1904) by Robert Mortimer. The income of this consisted in 1922 of about £20, which was to be paid at Christmas to the poor. The Mortimer Scholarship Fund, founded by the same donor (also after 1904) provided for the maintenance of two Broughton Gifford children at secondary schools. (fn. 206)