Part Two: The parish of Church Eaton, Introduction

Staffordshire Historical Collections, Vol. 4. Originally published by Staffordshire Record Society, London, 1883.

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, 'Part Two: The parish of Church Eaton, Introduction', in Staffordshire Historical Collections, Vol. 4, (London, 1883) pp. 1-20. British History Online [accessed 22 May 2024].

. "Part Two: The parish of Church Eaton, Introduction", in Staffordshire Historical Collections, Vol. 4, (London, 1883) 1-20. British History Online, accessed May 22, 2024,

. "Part Two: The parish of Church Eaton, Introduction", Staffordshire Historical Collections, Vol. 4, (London, 1883). 1-20. British History Online. Web. 22 May 2024,

Some Account of the Parish of Church Eaton in the County of Stafford.

The Parish of Church Eaton, which is situated in the Hundred of Cuttlestone and county of Stafford, contains the townships of Church Eaton, Wood Eaton, Orslow, High Onne, Little Onne, Shushions, and Marston.

The manor of Eaton at the time of the Conquest included the present townships of Church Eaton, Wood Eaton, and Orslow. It was held in 1085–6 by Godric, (fn. 1) of the Baron of Stafford. It is called Eitone in the Domesday Record, and is to be distinguished from the neighbouring manor of Water Eaton (there called Etone) in the parish of Penkridge, and in the same fief and hundred, by the mention of a resident Priest. The Priest implies the existence of that Parish Church which gives its distinctive name to Church Eaton. (fn. 2) The record runs as follows:—

"Robert de Stafford holds in Eitone iij. hides, and Godric of him. Wilegrip held it [i.e., in Saxon times] as a freeman. The (arable) land is seven carucates (i.e., land sufficient for seven ox teams). In demesne is one carucate; and four serfs, eight villains, and eight boors, with a presbyter, have three carucates. There are four acres of meadow ; wood one quarantine in length and the same in breadth. It is worth 20s."

As Godric is a Saxon or Danish name, it is not improbable that he was the heir and successor of Wilegrip who held it in the time of Edward the Confessor. The next possessor that I meet with is Edelina, who seems to have been a near relative of the Baron of Stafford, under whom this manor was held. She retired, in her widowhood, to the Abbey of Polesworth in Warwickshire, to which she brought the advowson of Church Eaton. For I find that Robert de Stepforthe [de Stafford] gave to God and Saint Adeline and the holy Nuns of Pollesworthe, the Church of Hectona [Eyton or Eaton] in perpetual alms, together with Edelina his relative (cognatâ suâ), who seeks or intends to pass her life, and to assume the habit of religion, there, reserving to Godwin the Priest his right. (fn. 3)

I take this to have been the first Robert de Toeni or de Stafford, the Domesday tenant in capite, who survived till the reign of Henry I. (fn. 4) His gift was probably a confirmation, as chief lord, of a previous grant by the said Edelina. Who this Edelina was I am not able to say, but she may very possibly have been a daughter of Godric, the Domesday tenant, by a wife who was related to the Baron of Stafford, of whom he held this manor. If so, she will probably have married Gripp, or one of his sons, and had by him a son Hamo de Longford, who succeeded to the Lordship of Longford in Shropshire, which he held of the King in capite, as also to this manor of Eaton in Staffordshire. Hamo de Longford married Sibil or Basilia fitz Odo, who was possessed of an estate at East Wall, in the fee of Rushbury, in Shropshire. Both Hamo and Sibil his wife were deceased in 1165. They had an elder daughter Eva, and at least one other daughter Agnes, who became the wife of . . . . . de Stockton. Eva, the eldest daughter, was given in marriage by King Henry II. to Robert de Brinton, Lord of Brinton, Brimpton, or Brumpton in Berkshire, (fn. 5) who had with her the greater part of her father's lands by the express direction and gift of the King. She also inherited her mother's lands at Rushbury. (fn. 6) Among the muniments at Longford is the transcript of a deed, whereby King John, in the first year of his reign, confirms to Eva, niece of John, son of Gripp, and her heirs, the manor of Longford, with the right of free warren, &c., as it had been held by her uncle John, son of Gripp, and Eva's ancestors in the time of King Henry I. and King Henry II. (fn. 7)

As Lord of Longford jure uxoris, Robert de Brinton became a tenant in capite. Hence in the Feodary of 1165 (fn. 8) he acknowledges himself to hold one knight's fee, of old feoffment, which he asserts that the King gave him with a certain gentlewoman (liberâ muliere) named Eva, who is heir thereof, by the service of one knight, the service being to be performed at the King's charges. This carta must be taken to allude to Longford and its adjuncts, and as it is repeated in duplicate under Staffordshire and Shropshire, it is probable that some portions of the manor of Longford or its appurtenances were situated in Staffordshire.

In the same Feodary he also occurs as holding one-fourth of a knight's fee under Robert de Stafford. This doubtless alludes to his tenure of Eaton and Orslow.

Mr. Eyton considers the passage to be self-contradictory and probably corrupt, believing that his service thereon amounted to a whole knight's fee. (fn. 9) But it is quite probable that, though he afterwards made good his title to hold the whole manor as chief lord under the Baron of Stafford, he was then in full seisin of but one-fourth as the husband of the eldest co-heiress, who may have had three younger sisters still in their minority and unmarried. We have some intimation of there being two such younger sisters, and there may well have been a fourth who died unmarried or entered into a convent.

It appears that Robert de Brinton gave the Church of Longford to Shrewsbury Abbey. His gift is the last and perhaps the most recent of those enumerated in Henry II.'s confirmation of 1155. As the King had been only a few months on the throne, and Eva's ancestors are said to have held Longford in the time of King Henry II., it is hereby proved that Robert de Brinton's marriage with Eva must have taken place in that interval. (fn. 10)

He also gave, with consent of Eva his wife, as heir of Edelina, the Church of Eiton to the Abbess and Convent of Polesworth in Warwickshire. (fn. 11)

This grant became a fruitful source of litigation between the nuns and the heirs of Robert and Eva. The dispute was at length determined by a compromise which reserved to the Ladies of Polesworth a considerable pension or rent charge on the income of the benefice.

Robert de Brinton was living in 1173–74, but dead in 1185. He left at least two sons, Adam and John. His wife Eva survived him, and of course continued in seisin of all she had derived from her father, Hamo de Longford, and therefore of the manors of Eaton and Orslow. In 1190 or 1191 Eva de Longford took a second husband; for the Pipe Roll of the latter year exhibits Walter de Witefeld accounting for a fine of fifteen marks by which he had obtained Eva de Langeford and her land. (fn. 12)

In Easter Term, 1198, a suit commenced between the Abbess of Pollesworth on the one hand, and Walter de Witefeld and Eva his wife on the other, concerning the advowson of Church Eaton; (fn. 12) and in Michaelmas Term, 1203, the Abbess got sentence in her favour, on the ground that the Abbess had the advowson by the grant of Eva's ancestors. (fn. 12)

At the same time an important suit was pending between Walter de Whitefield and Eva his wife on the one hand, and Agnes, sister of the said Eva, on the other. Agnes is sometimes called "de Stockton," probably with reference to a deceased husband. First we have a fine of 20 marks given to the Crown in 1195 by "Agnes, daughter of Hamo de Langeford," that she might have trial concerning a fair portion of her father's lands in Langeford, Eaton, Horslage, Eston, and Iwerne, against Walter de Witefeld and his wife Eva."

The following entries on the Westminster Plea Rolls relate to this suit:—

27th October, 1199, the argument in a plea of land between Walter de Witefeld and Eva his wife and Agnes de Stokton, is adjourned sine die, because Walter has compounded by fine for his transfretation.

13th October, 1201, Agnes de Stocton owes the King (a further fine of) half a mark, for having her cause argued against Walter de Witefeld and Eva his wife, which cause had been adjourned till the arrival of Justices (Itinerant).

12th November, 1201, a day (27th January) is given to Walter de Witef and Agnes de Stokton.

On 20th January, 1203, a fine was levied at Westminster between Agnes de Stokton, plaintiff, and Walter de Witefeld and Eva his wife, tenants, of half a knight's fee in Langeford (Longford), half a knight's fee in Eiton (Church Eaton), a fourth part of a knight's fee in Ywerne (in Dorsetshire, afterwards called Lacerton), a moiety of two-thirds of a knight's fee in Eston (Mid-Aston, in Oxfordshire), and a moiety of one and a half hides of land, &c., in Cotes and in Walles (Coates and East Wall near Rushbury, in Shropshire), whereof was suit at law between the parties. Agnes now quit-claimed all her right in the aforesaid lands and fees, and in the inheritance of Hamund, father of herself and Eva. In return Walter and Eva conceded to Agnes that half hide less one bovate in Bracton (Brockton) which Agnes had previously held, also one bovate which lay between the two coppices of Haresden and Witheges, so as to make up a full half hide. Also they conceded to Agnes that half virgate in Bracton which Roger fitz Ralph held, with the messuage and appurtenances thereof, saving the vivary and coppice of the said vill of Bracton to Walter and Eva and the heirs of Eva. Further, they conceded to Agnes half a hide in Horslawe (Orslow), saving to themselves the vivary and mill of Horslawe, and one croft near the vivary, which Adwin held; (fn. 13) —the whole to be held by Agnes and her heirs, under Walter and Eva and the heirs of Eva, the tenants doing the forinsec service proportionate to the land. Lastly, Walter and Eva gave Agnes 20 marks in money.

It is evident that Agnes de Stockton and her other sisters, if she had any, though de jure co-heiresses with Eva, were all but disinherited. The original partition, so favourable to Eva, had been made early in Henry II.'s reign; and the question remains as to how far it was the practice of that era to abridge the rights of younger co-heiresses.

In the same year we have notice of a Staffordshire suit where Walter de Witefeld and his wife Eva, represented by Adam de Brinton (Eva's son), were opposed to Alice de Hopton concerning one and a half knights' fees in Hopton and Thene, which were claimed by Eva as that which had descended to her by right of inheritance from her grandmother Edelina and her father Hamo. (fn. 14) By a fine levied in the 10th of King John, Walter de Witefeld and Eva his wife remit all their claim to one and a half knights' fees in Hopton and Thene held by Alice de Hopton, for which recognition Alice grants to them and to the heirs of Eva two-thirds of a knight's fee in Middleston in Oxfordshire. (fn. 15)

The controversy between Eva and her sisters does not appear to have terminated with the previous fine, for on 10th May, 1208, Walter de Witefeld and Eva his wife put Adam Acharde in their place against Robert de Wodecote and Milisent his wife and Agnes de Stocton, in a plea concerning a former fine. Robert de Wodecote and Milisent his wife, and Agnes, wife of Robert, acknowledged at Westminster that, in regard of their villain-tenants, they owed suit to the mill of Horselawe, as required by Walter de Witefeld and his wife Eva on the strength of a previous fine.

Walter de Whitfield was assessed to a scutage in 1214; but within two years of that time it is evident that his step son, Adam de Brimpton, had succeeded to his maternal inheritance, and was in rebellion against King John. A writ-close of 15th September, 1216, requires the Sheriff of Salop and Staffordshire to give Adam de Brimpton's lands to his brother John, seeing that Adam was with the King's enemies. On 4th November, 1217, however, a writ of King Henry III. orders the Sheriff to re-invest Adam de Brimpton with his lands, he having returned to his fealty. At the assizes of 1221 Adam de Brimton was one of the knightly jurors who tried cases of grand assize; and in 1229–30 he was engaged in the King's foreign wars, and had letters of protection whilst serving in Gascony. (fn. 16)

On 26th January, 1236, Adam de Brimpton (I.) being dead, the King orders the Sheriff of Shropshire to take security for 100s., the relief due from his son Adam de Brimpton (II.), whose homage the King had accepted. The Sheriff is forthwith to give seisin to the heir of all such lands as his father had held in capite. And the Pipe Roll of 1236 shows Adam de Brinton paying the whole fine at once. In or about the year 1240, various Feodaries record his different tenures. In Shropshire, he held one fee in capite in Langeford; in Staffordshire, one fee of the Baron of Stafford in Eyton and Orselawe; in Oxfordshire, half a fee of the Baron of Stafford in Middel-Aston; and in Berkshire, one fee in Brimton under Ralph de Mortimer.

In 35 Henry III. (1250–1) Adam de Brinton had a grant of free warren in his manor of Eyton, co. Stafford, as also a market on Mondays and a fair on the vigil and the day of St. Edith (25th April). (fn. 17) In 1254 he was returned among those who held 20 librates of land in Shropshire and Staffordshire. The Shropshire Bradford Hundred Roll of 1255 speaks thus of his tenure at Longford: "Adam de Brinton holds the manor of Longheford with its appurtenances in capite of the King, by service of a knight's fee in time of war at his own charges. He does suit neither to county nor hundred, but by what warranty of exemption the jurors know not." (fn. 18)

The Cuttlestone Hundred Roll of the same date informs us that Adam de Brumton holds Eyton of the Baron of Stafford for one knight's fee; where there are three hides, geldable except the 4th part of one hide which is held by the Abbot of Lilleshull, but by what warrant he pays nothing to the Sheriff's tourn the jurors know not, neither does he pay to the Justice's Court. The aforesaid three hides pay for Sheriff's aid 3s., for frankpledge 3s., and for the Hundred Court 12d. There is an interlineation over the words "three hides geldable except the 4th part, &c.," to the effect that Michael de Morton has a tenure here. This will doubtless allude to his tenure of Orslow under the Baron of Stafford, as heir to the Woodcote inheritance, less the portion granted to the Abbey of Lilleshall by Milicent de Woodcote, as will be shown hereafter in speaking of Orslow. (fn. 19)

On 23rd June, 1258, at Oxford, the Lord the King, by Lawrence de Brok his attorney, sued Alan de Rumelyaco (Romilly) for the advowson of the Chapel of Myddeleston (Middle Aston, co. Oxon), which pertains to the Church of Hopton (co. Staff.), and which is of the free Chapel of the Blessed Mary of Stafford, and of which the King is patron; and Lawrence stated that King Henry, the grandfather of the King, was in seisin of the said Chapel, through Robert the Dean of the said Chapel. Alan pleaded that he did not hold the whole advowson, because Adam de Brymton is patron of that part which is stated to belong to the said Chapel, and that King Henry never was in seisin of his portion of the advowson. The Sheriff is commanded to summon a jury at fifteen days from St. John the Baptist. (fn. 20)

By the award of Roger Meuland, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, dated in April, 1261, a final concord was made between Sir Adam de Brinton, Lord of Eyton, and the Abbess and Convent of Pollesworth, with respect to the patronage of the Church of Eyton, by which it was agreed that Adam and his heirs should nominate, as often as the Church became vacant, a fit Clerk to the said Nuns, who should present him to the Bishop for institution, and the Rector of the Church should pay to the said Nuns and their successors an annual pension of 20 marks. (fn. 21)

The Pipe Roll of 1261 shows a sum of £7 10s., paid by the Sheriff of Shropshire to Hoel ap Madoc, Thomas de Roshal, and Adam de Brington for their expenses in proceeding to the Ford of Montgomery as commissioners to treat about a truce with Llewelyn, Prince of Wales. (fn. 22)

The writ of diem clausit extremum on the death of Adam de Brinton (II.), bears date 20th June, 1274. The Oxfordshire inquest found him to have held one-and-a-half hides in Midel Aston under the Baron of Stafford, and a messuage there under Thomas de Clare. Adam, his son and heir, was 30 years of age and more. The Shropshire inquest found him to have held Longford in capite by the service of one knight's fee. He was bound at his own cost to provide a guard with a caparisoned horse for forty days whenever the King in person approached Wales in time of war. The Staffordshire inquest found him to have held the manor of Eyton "in capite of the Baron of Stafford," by the service of one knight's fee. The chief house, with the garden, is worth 4s. yearly. In demesne there are forty acres of land, each of which is worth 4d. yearly, and eight acres of meadow, each worth 8d. yearly. The aforesaid manor is free burgage, and renders by the year a certain farm, viz., seven pounds of silver at the Feasts of Michaelmas and St. Mary, in March. The tolls on the day of St. Edith the Virgin (the fair day) are worth yearly 3s. 4d. There is one coppice worth 2s. yearly; one wood of which the pannage is worth 6s. 8d. yearly; and the pleas and perquisites of the court are worth 13s. 4d. yearly; also the advowson of the Church is worth 30 marks yearly. The said Adam owed two appearances in the year at the Court Baron of Stafford. (fn. 23)

It was Adam de Brimpton (III.) who, having obtained livery of his father's lands on 12th July, 1274, was summoned for service against Llewelyn in the summer of 1277. He acknowledged his tenure at Longford in the usual form, and, being a knight, proposed to discharge his service in person. He held his free court at Longford twice in the year, and judged pleas of bloodshed and hue and cry. He also had gallows and warren there, and exercised his rights in these respects. In January, 1287, he was put in commis sion as a conservator of the peace for Berkshire; and in October, 1292, he was one of the knightly jurors who tried several pleas of quo Waranto in Shropshire.

In Hilary term, 21 Edward I. (1293), Adam de Brynton and Mary his wife were summoned to answer to the King by what warrant they claimed to hold pleas of the Crown, and to have free warren, gallows, and wayf in Church Eaton and Wood Eaton. In reply it was stated that Mary made no claim to the said liberties except as Adam's wife; and Adam acknowledged that he had no claim to the aforesaid liberties in the said manors, which therefore remained to the King. (fn. 24)

In 1297 Adam de Brinton was summoned for foreign service as a tenant of twenty librates of land and upwards in the counties of Berks and Salop. In 1298, as a Staffordshire land owner, he had military summons against the Scots. In 1299 he was returned as Knight of the Shire for the county of Berks, for the Parliament summoned to meet at London or Westminster on 6th March of that year. And in 1300, as Adam de Brumpton, Knight, he was again returned, as one of the three Knights for the same county, to the Parliament ordered to assemble at York on 20th May of that year, concerning the observation of "Magna Carta et Carta de Foresta." (fn. 25) In 29 Edward I. (1301) he was High Sheriff of Oxfordshire; (fn. 26) and in the same year he had military summons against the Scots in respect of his tenure in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Shropshire. This is the last I hear of Adam de Brimpton (III.). The writ of diem clausit extremum issued on his death bears date 10th May, 1315. He held nothing of the King in capite in the county of Stafford on the day of his death; but he held on the day of his death the manor of Eyton in his demesne, as of fee, of the Baron of Stafford, by the service of one knight's fee of Morteyn. In this manor is a chief messuage worth 2s. yearly, two carucates of land containing two hundred acres worth 60s. yearly, two acres of meadow worth 3s. yearly, a certain plot of pasture in severalty worth 2s. yearly, a certain wood worth yearly, with the profit of herbage and underwood, 5s., certain ruinous water-mills worth yearly . . . and assized rents of 10 marks from free tenants; the pleas and perquisites are worth 2s. yearly. John, son and heir of the deceased, was twenty-seven years of age at Michaelmas, 1314. (fn. 27) He had another son, Thomas de Brumpton, Clerk, who was admitted to the Church of Eyton in February, 1311. Adam left a widow, Mary, who had evidently been jointly enfeoffed with her husband in the manor of Eaton, for in 1324 it is described as the manor of Mary de Brumpton, as will be shown hereafter in the account of the incumbents and advowson of the Church; and though John de Brumpton, the son and heir of Adam, died seised of this manor in 1336, he appears to have resided in Berkshire, in connection with which county and the neighbouring county of Oxford he constantly occurs, while his name is never or rarely to be met with in connection with Staffordshire and Shropshire.

In 8 Edward III. (1324) an assize was taken to try whether Mary, who had been the wife of Adam de Brympton, and others, had unjustly disseised Margaret, who had been the wife of Henry de Wollaston, of her free tenement in Wollaston, namely, an acre of land with appurtenances, which the said Mary claimed as being within the manor of Eyton. Her claim was disallowed by the jury, and Margaret recovered seisin. (fn. 28)

On 5th March, 1316, John de Brumpton is certified as one of the Lords of the townships of Brimpton and Wasing, in the county of Berks, and Lord of Middle Aston, in the county of Oxford. (fn. 29) He was Sheriff of the counties of Oxford and Berks from 1319 to 1322; (fn. 29) in which last year he was one of the commissioners empowered to assemble the forces of the counties of Oxford and Berks, his commission being tested at Worcester on 2nd January. (fn. 29) On 25th December, 1325, he was appointed one of the commissioners of array in the county of Berks. (fn. 29) And on 23rd February, 1327, being Knight of the Shire returned for the county of Berks, he obtained his writ de expensis for attendance at the Parliament at Westminster on the morrow of the Epiphany, 7th January. (fn. 30) He was again returned for the same county to serve in the Parliament summoned to meet at York, 7th February, 1227–28; (fn. 31) and in the following Parliament summoned to meet at Northampton a few months later, namely, on 24th April, 1328, he sat for the county of Oxford. (fn. 32) In September, 1331, he was again returned for Berkshire, (fn. 32) and once more in March, 1331–32. (fn. 32) He was also Sheriff of Oxfordshire in 1327, 1328, and 1333. (fn. 33) I suppose him to have succeeded his mother Mary de Brumpton at Eyton about 1335–56, but he appears to have been in possession of Longford, or at least the advowson of the Church, at an earlier date, for on 5th October, 1332, William de Ipstones, Clerk, was admitted to the Church of Longford on the presentation of Sir John de Brumpton, Knight. (fn. 34)

The said Sir John de Brumpton died on the 19th of August, 1336. The Staffordshire inquisition, which was taken at Eyton on 19th September, 1336, states that he held, to him and his heirs in fee, the manor of Eyton, with appurtenances, of Ralph, Baron of Stafford, by the service of one small knight's fee, and the said manor is worth by the year in all issues £10; viz., a certain messuage with a close worth 10s. beyond the reprise of the dwellings; also there are one hundred acres of arable land which are worth 50s. yearly, the price of the acre 6d.; also there are twelve acres of meadow which are worth by the year . . (sic), the price of the acre 12d. There are there eight acres of pasture which are worth 2s. 8d. yearly, the price of the acre 4d.; also there is there a certain windmill which is worth 16s. yearly; also there are there 60s. of rent of the free tenants, and 44s. of rent from the natives. The pleas and perquisites of courts are worth 5s. 4d. yearly. John de Brumpton, son of the said John de Brumpton, is his next heir, and he is of the age of 26 and upwards. (fn. 35) The said John de Brumpton (the father) also died seised of the manors of Longford in Shropshire, and Brumpton in Berkshire, and one messuage and two carucates of land in Middel Astone, in the county of Oxford. (fn. 36) He left Isabel his wife surviving, and at least two sons, John and Elys (or Elias). It is probable that William de Brumpton, Clerk, who was admitted to the Church of Longfordjuxta-Newport at the presentation of Dame Isabella, relict of Sir John de Brumpton, 7th August, 1343, was another son of the same Sir John. On 19th September, 1357, the said William exchanged preferments with Elias de Brumpton, late Rector of Newenham, in the Diocese of Lincoln, which Elias occurs as Rector of Longford in 1362, and died in 1394–5. His successor was instituted at the presentation of Sir Robert Franceys, Knight, and his wife Isabel. (fn. 37)

On Wednesday next before the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, 11 Edward III. (23rd April, 1337), John de Brumpton (II.), son and heir of Sir John de Brumpton, Knight, gave to Henry le Notte, of Solihull, and his heirs and assigns, his manor of Eytonjuxta-Gnowsale, with the homages, rents and services, as well of free tenants as natives, with all its appurtenances without any impediment, as also a pension of 5 marks rent issuing from certain tenants in the same manor, which Isabel his "mother" holds for term of life, together with the advowson of the Church of the same manor. (fn. 38) In the same year John de Brompton pays a fine of 5 marks for license to grant to Henry Notte of Solihull (co. Warwick) and his heirs the manor of Longford and advowson of the Church of the same, which is held of the King in capite, and which Isabella, the widow of John de Brompton, holds in dower, and that the same Henry, having seisin of the same, may be able to grant the reversion of the manor and advowson to the said John de Brompton and Margaret his wife and the heirs of their bodies; dated 23rd July. (fn. 39) On Sunday next after the Feast of St. John the Evangelist (26th April) in the following year, 1338, Isabel, who had been the wife of John de Brumpton, and Henry le Notte, were parties to a deed, dated at Longford, concerning the reversion of the manor of Longford near Newport, and the advowson of the Church of that vill, and 5 marks of rent in Eyton, which John, son and heir of the said John de Brumpton, had made over to the said Henry by fine levied in the King's Court, the which manor, advowson and rent, are held in the name of dower of the heritage of the said John, son and heir of the said John de Brumpton. (fn. 40)

On the morrow of St. John the Baptist, 13 Edward III. (1339), a final concord was made in the King's Court at York between John de Brumpton and Margaret his wife, complainants, and Henry Notte, of Solihull, deforciant, concerning the manor of Eyton-juxtaGnoweshalle, with the appurtenances and the advowson of the Church of the same manor. The complainants recognized the said manor, &c., to be the right of the said Henry, which he had by the gift of the said John de Brumpton; and for this recognizance, fine and concord, the said Henry conceded to the said John and Margaret the said manor, &c., and restored them in the same Court, to have and to hold to the said John and Margaret, and to the heirs of their two bodies, of the chief lords of the fee, and for default of such issue, the remainder thereof to Elys, brother of the said John, and to the heirs of his body, and for default of such issue, the remainder to the right heirs of the said John de Brumpton for ever. (fn. 41)

The said John de Brumpton (II.) and Margaret his wife had issue a son Thomas, who succeeded him, and another son William, who died without issue.

By deed dated at Eyton on the Thursday next after the Nativity of our Lady, 23 Edward IV. (10th September, 1349), John, son and heir of Sir John de Brumpton, gave to his son William for the term of his life a rent of 14s. 8d., which John Huwet then held of him in Eyton, called le Carter's Bruch, Holneygh Bruch, le Parrok, and Gosemer Sych, to be drawn from year to year upon the said John Huwet and upon the said lands and tenements. This deed is attested by Sir William de Ipstones, Parson of Eyton; Sir William de Brumpton, Parson of Longeford; William de Wolreleygh, Henry de Wolaston, Robert de Couleygh, and others. (fn. 42)

After the death of Margaret, John de Brumpton (II.) married a second wife Agnes, by whom he had a daughter Elizabeth, whose issue eventually became the rightful heirs of his estate.

According to the Stafford Chartulary, John de Brumpton (II.) and Margaret his wife had issue a son Thomas, and afterwards the said John gave the Manor of Eyton-juxta-Gnoweshale to the before mentioned Elys de Brumpton (his brother), and to Thomas, Parson of the Church of Bowlewas, to them and to their heirs for ever, the which Elys and Thomas gave the said manor to the said Thomas, son of the said John de Brympton, and to Isabel his wife, and to the heirs of their two bodies, with remainder to the right heirs of the said John de Brympton. The said Margaret afterwards died without leaving any other issue by her husband John de Brympton than the aforesaid Thomas; and the said John subsequently took to wife Agnes, and had issue a daughter Elizabeth, who had issue John Stokes, who eventually claimed the manor of Eyton as cousin and heir of the said John de Brympton.

In the meantime, John de Brumpton (II.) died, and was succeeded by his son, Thomas de Brumpton, Esq., who died on 13th September, 6 Richard II., 1382, leaving his wife Isabel surviving, and an infant son Thomas de Brumpton, his heir. (fn. 43)

Thomas de Brumpton (II.) was two years of age at the date of the inquest after his father's death, which was taken at Stafford on 4th October, 1382.

Thomas de Brumpton (the father) held no lands or tenements of the King in capite in the county of Stafford on the day of his death, nor of any one else in demesne as of fee, but he held, on the day of his death, of Hugh Earl of Stafford, by knight's service, the manor of Churche Eyton and the appurtenances, to himself and Isabel his wife yet surviving, and to the heirs of their bodies, by the gift of John de Brompton, which manor with the appurtenances is of the annual value of £10. (fn. 44) He was similarly enfeoffed in the manor of Longford, which the King's escheator for the counties of Salop and Stafford is ordered to give up to the said Isabel, by his precept dated on 30th October of the same year. An inquisition of Knights' fees taken about this time represents the heirs of John Bruinton as holding two fees in Eyton and Horselow. (fn. 45)

Thomas de Brumpton the younger died without issue (probably in his infancy), as did also his father's uncle Elys de Brumpton (to whom under the settlement of 1339 the lands should have fallen on failure of the issue of John and Margaret de Brumpton), and on the death of Isabel, the widow of Thomas de Brumpton (I.), the inheritance was claimed by John Stokes, the son of Elizabeth, half-sister of the said Thomas de Brumpton (I). (fn. 44)

By final concord at Westminster in the quindene of St. John the Baptist, 16 Henry VI. (1438), between Humphrey Earl of Stafford, complainant, and John Stokys de Brumpton, deforciant, of the manor of Eyton-juxta-Gnoweshalle, with the appurtenances, and the advowson of the Church of the same manor, which Isabel who had been the wife of Thomas de Brumpton, Esq., held at the time of her death, the said John acknowledged the said manor, with the appurtenances and advowson of the Church, to be the right of the said Earl, and conceded for himself and his heirs that the said manor, &c., which Isabel had held for the term of her life of the inheritance of the said John, should remain to the said Earl and his heirs, to be held of the chief lords of the fee by the accustomed services for ever; and the said John and his heirs will warrant to the said Earl and his heirs the said manor, &c., against all men for ever; and for this recognizance, concession, warrant, fine and concord, the said Earl gave to the said John 300 marks of silver. (fn. 46)

The said John Stokes appears to have parted with all his lands in Shropshire and Staffordshire, for in 22 Henry VI., as John Stokes de Brympton, he had license to settle the manor of Longford and the advowson of the Church there upon Sir Robert Shotesbroke, Knight, and others. (fn. 47) And in 24 Henry VI., John Stokes de Brimpton, in the county of Berks, Gentleman, released to Thomas Mackworth and others all his right in the manor of Longford and in the advowson of the Church. (fn. 48) I suppose these grantees of the Manor of Longford to have been merely holding it in trust for Thomas Newport. (fn. 49)

Humphrey, Earl of Stafford, who thus became the actual tenant in fee, as well as chief lord, of the manor of Church Eaton, was created Duke of Buckingham in 1444. He was slain at the Battle of Northampton on 10th July, 1460, when the manor of Church Eaton, which seems to have included the manor of Wood Eaton, passed with his other estates to his grandson Henry, second Duke of Buckingham. This Duke was beheaded on 2nd November, 1483, and attainted by Act of Parliament, when all his estates were forfeited. In 1 Henry VII. (1585–86) his son Edward de Stafford was restored to all his father's honours and estates as third Duke of Buckingham, and made a Knight of the Garter; but he did not escape the fate of his predecessors in coming to a violent death. Having quarrelled with the all-powerful Cardinal Wolsey, he was, by his machinations, accused of high treason, and convicted on what would seem to be very frivolous pretexts. He was accordingly beheaded on 17th May, 1521, and afterwards attainted by Act of Parliament, when the family estates once more relapsed to the Crown. His son Henry de Stafford had a small portion of his father's lands restored to him, including the manors of Church Eaton and Wood Eaton, in 14 Henry VIII. (1522), and was created Baron Stafford in the 1st of Edward VI. (1547), to him and his heirs male. By his wife Ursula, daughter of Sir Richard Pole, K.G., by Margaret Plantaganet, Countess of Salisbury, he had an elder son, Edward Lord Stafford, who squandered nearly the whole of his inheritance. By him the manors of Church Eaton and Wood Eaton were sold to his sister Dorothy, widow of Sir William Stafford, of Chebsey, Knight, second son of Sir Humphrey Stafford, of Grafton, Knight. In Trinity Term, 31 Elizabeth, license was granted to Edward, Lord Stafford, to alienate to Dorothe Stafford, widow, and the heirs of her body, the manors of Church Eaton and Wood Eaton, with the appurtenances, and 40 messuages, 40 tofts, 40 gardens, 40 orchards, 6 dovecotes, 2 watermills, 500 acres of land, 300 acres of meadow, 500 acres of pasture, 600 acres of wood, 500 acres of heather, view of frankpledge, and £21 15s. of rent, with the appurtenances in Church Eaton and Wood Eaton, and the advowson of the Church of Church Eaton, in the county of Stafford; dated on 2nd April, [1589]; being then valued at £25.

Dame Dorothy survived her husband many years. She was for forty years a woman of the bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth, and died on 22nd September, 1604, aged 78. (fn. 50) By her husband, Sir William Stafford, she left three sons, of whom the eldest, Sir Edward Stafford, Knight, was Ambassador to the Court of France in the time of Queen Elizabeth, (fn. 51) and left issue. But the manors of Church Eaton and Wood Eaton were given by Dame Dorothy in marriage with her daughter, Ursula, to Richard Drake, Esq., (fn. 52) (Equerry to Queen Elizabeth, and third son of John Drake, of Ashe, Esq.), for which the licence was obtained on 13th February, 36 Elizabeth (1594), the estate being then valued at £20 6s.; (fn. 53) and on 2nd April, 38 Elizabeth (1596), the said Richard Drake and Ursula his wife obtained the Royal Licence to sell the said manors, together with 40 messuages, 40 tofts, 2 watermills, 40 gardens, 40 orchards, 500 acres of land, 300 acres of meadow, 500 acres of pasture, 600 acres of wood, 500 acres of heath, and the advowson of the Church of Church Eyton, to Walter Chetwynd, Esq., and his heirs, being then valued at £25. (fn. 54)

This Walter Chetwynd, afterwards Sir Walter Chetwynd, of Ingestre, Knight, was the son of John Chetwynd of Ingestre, Esq., by his second wife, Margery, daughter of Robert Middlemore, of Edgebaston, co. Warwick, Esq., and half-brother of Sir William Chetwynd, Knight, of Grendon, who died without issue on 14th June, 1612. Sir Walter Chetwynd was Sheriff of the county of Stafford in 1607. He married first Mary, daughter and heiress of John Molyns, of the county of Somerset (who died 22nd May, 1591) and secondly, Lady Catherine, daughter of George Hastings, fourth Earl of Huntingdon, and widow of Sir Edward Unton, of Wadley, co. Berks, Knight, by whom he had two sons, Walter and John.

The elder son, Walter Chetwynd, of Ingestre, Esq., left an only son, Walter, who died without issue 21st March, 1692, when his estates devolved upon his first cousin, Walter, whose father, John Chetwynd, the second son of Sir Walter, of Ingestre, was of Ridge, near Bloreheath, in the county of Stafford. The said John Chetwynd left at his decease, with other issue, three sons, who became successively Viscounts Chetwynd.

Walter Chetwynd, of Ridge, Esq., the eldest son, succeeded, as above stated, to the estates of Ingestre, Church Eaton, &c., in 1692, on the death of his cousin Walter. He was Ambassador to the Court of Turin, and afterwards Master of the Buckhounds in the reign of Queen Anne, in which latter post he was succeeded by Sir William Wyndham, 12th July, 1711. On 18th January, 1714, he was made Chief Ranger of St. James's Park, and Keeper of the Mall there (which post he resigned in June, 1727); and on 29th June, 1717, he was created an Irish peer by the titles of Baron of Rathdowne, co. Dublin, and Viscount Chetwynd, of Bearhaven, co. Cork, with remainder, on failure of his own issue, to the heirs male of his father. He married Mary, daughter and co-heir of John Berkeley, Viscount Fitzharding and Baron of Rathdowne, Treasurer of the Chamber and Teller of the Exchequer to Queen Anne, but dying without issue, 21st February, 1735, his titles devolved upon his brother, John Chetwynd.

John Chetwynd, second Viscount, who sat in Parliament from the year 1702 for Stockbridge, St. Maws, and Stafford, was ReceiverGeneral of the Duchy of Lancaster in the time of Queen Anne. On 8th November, 1714, he was made one of the Commissioners of Trade and Plantations; on 14th May, 1717, he was nominated Envoy Extraordinary to the Court of Spain; and on 9th March, 1735, he was chosen to succeed his brother as Recorder of Stafford, of which borough he was the High Steward. He had, with other children who died young, two daughters and an only son, William Richard Chetwynd, who married Elizabeth, daughter of William Wollaston, Esq., of Finborough Hall, co. Suffolk, and died in 1765, during the lifetime of his father, leaving an only daughter, . . . . . . . . . . ., who married John Parsons, Esq. The daughters of John Lord Chetwynd were Catherine, who married the Honourable John Talbot, the second son of Lord Chancellor Talbot, the first Baron Talbot of Hensol, and Frances, who died unmarried. The said John, second Viscount Chetwynd, died on 21st June, 1767, without surviving male issue, when the titles devolved upon his brother, William Richard Chetwynd, as third Viscount, from whom the present Lord Chetwynd is descended; but the estates at Ingestre, Church Eaton, &c, went to his daughter Catherine, Mrs. Talbot, whose eldest son, John Chetwynd Talbot, Esq., born in 1750, succeeded in 1782 as third Baron Talbot of Hensol. His Lordship was advanced to a viscountcy and earldom, 3rd July, 1784, by the titles of Viscount Ingestre and Earl Talbot, and took by royal license the additional name of Chetwynd. He died 19th May, 1793, leaving issue by his wife Charlotte (who died 17th January, 1804), daughter of Wills Hill, Marquis of Downshire, an elder son, Charles Chetwynd, who succeeded as second Earl Talbot.

This Earl Talbot was made Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland on the retirement of Lord Whitworth, which important post he retained till 1821. He was also Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of the county of Stafford, and a Knight of the Garter. He married, 28th August, 1800, Frances Thomasine, eldest daughter of Charles Lambart, of Beau Park, co. Meath, Esq., by whom he had a numerous family, and at his death, on 13th January, 1849, he was succeeded by his second but eldest surviving son, Henry John Chetwynd, third Earl Talbot, who succeeded in 1856 as eighteenth Earl of Shrewsbury.

The manors of Church Eaton and Wood Eaton were sold by Earl Talbot, before the year 1851, to John Morris, Esq., whose son, Charles John Morris, of Wood Eaton, Esq., is the present possessor.


  • 1. Godric was witness to Robert de Stafford's grant of Wrottesley to the Abbey of Evesham in 1072. ("Staffordshire Historical Collections," Vol. II., Pt. I., p. 178.)
  • 2. Eyton's "Domesday Studies, Staffordshire."
  • 3. Stafford MS. Chartulary at Blithfield, where this information is given in the writing of Henry Lord Stafford, who died in 1562, with other matter relating to the advowson of Church Eaton; but the deed itself is not given in the Chartulary.
  • 4. Since the above was printed I have met with good reason to think that Dugdale (who quotes from "Monasticon Anglic.," Vol. II., p. 126) has been misled in supposing the first Robert de Stafford to have survived till the reign of Henry I. His second grant of Wrottesley to the Abbey of Evesham in 1088 was probably a bequest made on his death-bed, he being then shorn a monk (see "Staff. Hist. Collections," Vol. II., pp. 182, 183). The old Rhyming Chronicle of Stone in the "Monasticon" is of comparatively a late date, and not to be relied upon as trustworthy evidence for the early history of the Staffords. The Robert de Stafford who gave Edelina, his relative, to the Abbey of Polesworth, with the advowson of Church Eaton, will therefore have been his grandson Robert, the son of Nicholas de Stafford, and Edelina herself may perhaps have been a Stafford, and had the manor of Church Eaton given to her on her marriage with the Lord of Longford.
  • 5. This manor was held under the Mortimers of Wigmore.
  • 6. Eyton's "Ant. of Shropshire," Vol. IV., p. 102.
  • 7. I take this John, son of Gripp, to have been the anonymous person alluded to by Mr. Eyton, to whom Henry I. granted one hundred solidates of land in Longford. ("Ant. of Shropshire," Vol. VIII., p. 103.) He occurs as witness to a grant of Robert fitz Turold to Shrewsbury Abbey which passed before 1121. ("Ant. Shropshire," Vol. II., p. 48.)
  • 8. "Liber Niger."
  • 9. Eyton's "Shropshire," Vol. VIII., p. 103.
  • 10. Eyton's "Shropshire," Vol. VIII., p. 104.
  • 11. Robert de Stafford's grant of Church Eaton to Pollesworth Abbey will have been the confirmatory act of the suzerain. It is expressed to be "quantum in ipso fuit." (Pat. 21 Richard II., p. 3, m. 22, as quoted by Mr. Eyton.)
  • 12. Eyton's "Shropshire," Vol. VIII., pp. 104, 105.
  • 13. It is not unlikely that Adwin may have been the ancestor of the family who afterwards assumed the local name of Orslow.
  • 14. Rot. Curiæ Regis. (See "Staffordshire Collections," Vol. III., Pt. I., p. 123; and Eyton's "Shropshire," Vol. VIII., pp. 108–110.) In 1085–86 Tene was held in demesne by Robert de Stafford. The claim of Eva may therefore have arisen from some gift of the said Robert to Edelina or her mother. On the other hand, the Domesday tenant of Hopton under Robert de Stafford was Gislebert, who was one of the witnesses to his lord's gift of Wrottesley to the Abbot of Evesham in 1072. The same Gislebert also held under Robert de Stafford, Levintone (Loynton), Salt, and Cheswardine in Staffordshire, and Estone and Middle-Aston in Oxfordshire. ("Staff. Hist. Collections," Vol. II., Part I., p. 180.) These extensive tenures would seem to imply a relationship to the chief lord, and thus a relationship with Edelina, whose heirs inherited some of these lands.
  • 15. Pedes Finium, given in "Staffordshire Collections," Vol. I., p. 161.
  • 16. Rot. Pat., 14 Henry III., p. 2, m. 4, dorso.
  • 17. Plea Rolls or Forest Rolls, Staff., among the old Chapter House Records; ex inf. Hon. G. Wrottesley.
  • 18. Eyton's "Shropshire," Vol. VIII., pp. 110, 111.
  • 19. The Staffordshire Hundred Roll, as printed by the Record Commission, Vol. II., p. 114, is here inaccurately rendered, and would lead to the inference that Michael de Morton held under Adam de Brumton the whole of his fee in Eyton and Orslow. As there given the whole passage is contradictory and unintelligible. The true reading is, "Eyton. De Barone de Stafford, feodum militis; Adam de Brumton, Michael de Morton tenet, dominus; iij. hidæ geldabiles exceptâ quartâ parte unius hidæ quam tenet Abbas de Lilleshull, sed nescitur quo waranto nichil rendet torno Vicecomitis nec et rendet cor' Justic. Et d. et persolvent predictæ iij. hidæ de auxilio Vicecomitis iijs., et de franco plegio iijs., et Hundredo xijd."
  • 20. Roll 25, Tower Records, m. 9, ex inf. Hon. G. Wrottesley.
  • 21. Lichfield Diocesan Register, Lib. VI., p. 32.
  • 22. Eyton's "Shropshire," Vol. VIII., p. 111.
  • 23. Inq. 21 Edw. I., No. 27.
  • 24. "Placita de quo Waranto," p. 712.
  • 25. "Parliaments of England," Part I., pp. 10, 12.
  • 26. "Lords Lieutenant and High Sheriffs of Oxfordshire from 1086 to 1868." Edmund de Brumpton, who was returned to Parliament as one of the Burgesses for the borough of Windsor, in the county of Berks, in May, 1306, and again in October, 1307, and August, 1311, was probably a member of this family.
  • 27. Inq. 8 Edw. II., No. 23.
  • 28. Rot. Assis., temp. Edw. III.
  • 29. Parliamentary Writs.
  • 30. Ibid. Johannes de Brympton, probably the same, had previously been elected as one of the members for the borough of Windsor to serve in the Parliament summoned to meet at Westminster, 15th July, 1321. ("Parliaments of England," Part I., p. 62.)
  • 31. "Parliaments of England," Part I.
  • 32. "Parliaments of England," Part I.
  • 33. "Lords Lieutenant and High Sheriffs of Oxfordshire from 1086 to 1868."
  • 34. Eyton's "Shropshire," Vol. VIII., p. 114.
  • 35. Inq. 10 Edw. III., No. 10 (first Nrs).
  • 36. Cal. Inq. 10 Edw. III., No. 10 (first Nrs).
  • 37. Eyton's "Ant. of Shropshire," Vol. VIII., p. 114. This latter Isabel, who again presented in 1432, when she is styled relict of Sir Robert Franceys, will have been the widow of Thomas, grandson of the above-mentioned Sir John de Brumpton (I.).
  • 38. Stafford MS. Chartulary at Blithfield.
  • 39. Rot. Fin. 11 Edw. III.
  • 40. Stafford MS. Chartulary at Blithfield.
  • 41. Stafford MS. Chartulary at Blithfield.
  • 42. Transcript of the original deed: Salt's Lib. Stafford.
  • 43. Isabel, the wife of Thomas de Brumpton, was the daughter of Adam (?) de Peshale, and sister of Sir Adam de Peshale (I.) of Weston, Knight. She was married secondly to Thomas Gech de Newport, of High Ercall in Shropshire, Esq., and thirdly to Sir Robert Fraunceys, Knight. In 1394, Petronilla, Prioress of the Black Nuns of Brewode, and the convent there, acknowledge the receipt of £100, by the hands of Thomas Gech, to pray for the souls of Thomas de Brumpton, formerly lord of Eyton, and the souls of all his ancestors; dated in their chapel (at Brewode) on Tuesday in the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, 18 Ric. II. (Newport Evidences). It will have been through this second marriage of the Lady Isabel that the Newports had to do with the manor of Longford. Among Blakeway's extracts from the Newport deeds in the Bodleian Library, is a memorandum (without date) of Thomas Newport, Esq., that a fine had been levied to Humfrey de Halughton, Esq., Master Nicholas de Peshale, Master Thomas Newport, and Roger Conote, Clerks, and the heirs of the said Roger, of the manor of Ercalwe (High Ercall), which manor they have of the feoffment of the said Thomas Newport, Esq., as also the reversions of the manors of Longford, in the county of Salop, and Chirche Eyton, in the county of Stafford, which are held by Sir Robert Fraunceys, Knight, and Isabel his wife, for the term of the life of the said Isabel, and a fifth part of the manor of Weston under the Lezord, in the county of Stafford, which Sir Adam de Peshale holds for the term of his life, and which, after the deaths of the said Isabel and Adam, should remain to the said Thomas Newport, Esq., and his heirs. The said Thomas de Newport, whom I take to have been the son of Thomas Gech de Newport and Isabel de Peshale, succeeded to the manor of Ercall which had been the possession of his father. That fifth part of the manor of Weston, however, which had been settled by Adam de Peshale (I.), by deed of 3rd November, 1373, on his sister Isabel and the heirs of her body in default of his own bodily issue, passed to his own son Adam de Peshale (the second and last lord of Weston of that name) and his issue. With respect to the manors of Longford and Church Eaton, after the death of Isabel, who held them for term of her life, a claimant appeared in the person of John Stokes of Brimpton, the cousin and heir of Isabel's first husband Thomas de Brumpton, who seems to have met with indifferent success. I imagine that the Newports succeeded in making good their title to Longford, probably by some compromise with the more direct heir; for in 4 Edward IV. (1464–5) William Newport, Esq., Lord of Longeford near Newport, demises to Richard Wright the site of his manor of Longford, with all his demesne lands there, &c., at an annual rent of six marks, the said Richard to perform the office of bailiff of the manor and to collect the rents. In witness whereof the seal of John Harecourt, Esq., the seneschal there, is appended; and the deed is further attested by Edward Paternoster and William Collewiche, Esquires ("Newport Evidences"). The right of John Stokes to the manor of Church Eaton was by him disposed of, as we shall see, to the Earl of Stafford.
  • 44. Stafford MS. Chartulary.
  • 45. Huntbache MSS.
  • 46. Stafford Chartulary.
  • 47. Dukes' "Antiquities of Shropshire," p. 170.
  • 48. Pat. 24 Hen. VI., p. 2, m. 36.
  • 49. See note, p. 15.
  • 50. Alienation Office: Licences and Pardons, Trin. Term, 31 Eliz.
  • 51. Campbell's "Stafford Peerage."
  • 52. Richard Drake, Esq., who died in 1603, had issue by his wife Ursula Stafford, a son, Francis Drake, Esq., of Esher, who married Joan, daughter of William Tothill, Esq., of Shardeloes, co. Bucks, and is now represented by Thomas Tyrwhitt Drake, Esq., of Shardeloes.
  • 53. Alienation Office: Licenses and Pardons, 36 Eliz.
  • 54. Ibid., 38 Eliz.