Parishes: Willoughby

Thoroton's History of Nottinghamshire: Volume 1, Republished With Large Additions By John Throsby. Originally published by J Throsby, Nottingham, 1790.

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'Parishes: Willoughby', in Thoroton's History of Nottinghamshire: Volume 1, Republished With Large Additions By John Throsby, (Nottingham, 1790) pp. 68-73. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]

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Doomsday, Wilgeby. So called from Willows. Was of divers Fees. That of Roger de Buslie's, Odincar had before the Change, and paid to the Dane-Geld for his Manor as six Bov. The Land was six-Bovats. There was two Sochm. or one Bov. of this Land, and three Vill. fifteen Bord. having four Car. or Plows, and thirteen Acres of Meadow. In the Confessors Time this was 20s. when the Survey was taken in the Conqueror's, 10s. This William de Lovetot had in the Time of Henry the First, and then gave the Church to his Priory of Wirkesop, as in Wisoe is noted.

Here of the Fee of Rogerius Pictavensis, were two Manors, which Godric and Erwin had before, and paid for them as six Bovats, half two-thirds to the public Tax. The Land was twelve Bovats. There was at the Time of the Survey in Demesne one Carucat and a Half, two Soch. six Vill. two Bord. having two Carucats and a Half. There was nine Acres of Meadow; this was then 22s. Value, in the Confessor's Time it was 50s. Here was of the Lands of the Tayns two Manors, which Sbern and Ulmer had, and were assessed for them to the Dane-Geld at three Bovats. The Land was three Bov. Elwin and Erwin held it of the King William, (fn. 1) it was then Waste. There were five Acres of Meadow, and five Bord. This in the Confessor's Days was 10s. 4d. but in King William's, 2s. Value. Another small Parcel of the Fee of Henry de Ferrariis, belonging to Lech, rated to the Geld as one Bov. and a Half. The Land was three Bovats. Soc in Badeleye Waste also, there was six Acres of Meadow. And here was also of William Pevrel's Fee two Bov. and a Half. of Clifton Soc.

About 32 H. 2. Robert de Heritz (fn. 2) (Lord of Widmerpole) confirmed the Grant of Richard, Son of Gervas, of Lands in Willoughby, to the Knights Hospitallers of St. John's of Jerusalem, which the Prior granted to Peter, Son of Raph and Athelicia, paying 4s. per Annum, and the third Part of all Goods for a Mortuary.

(fn. 3) Reginald de Colewyke lived an hundred Years, but was dead 36 H. 3. he died seized of 19 Bovats of Land in Willughby-on-the Woulds, for which he gave the King an Horse of 5s. 4d. Price, and was to find Sacc and Broch when the Army went into Wales; Philip his Son and Heir was then above forty Years old. William de Colwick, (fn. 4) 16 E. 1. held the third Part of a Carucat here.

William de Nodariis, (Lord also at Colwick) 8 E. 1. levied a Fine of the Advowson of this Church to Alan, Prior of Wirkescp, This Sir William de Nowers, 20 E. 1. granted to his Son William de Nodariis his Mess. in Wileby, and all his Lands and Tenements, Rents and Services, Villains and their Sepuels, &c. reserving a Rose yearly.— To have to the said William, and the Heirs of his Body lawfully begotten; Remainder to the right Heirs of Sir William.

It appears that Odo, Son of Pigot de Wylughby, (fn. 5) and John, Son of Geoffrey de Willughby, Cousin and Heir of the said Odo, gave Lands to the Prior and Convent of Sempringham, the Tenants whereof should be quit of doing Service at the Court of Wysowe. John, Son of Geoffrey de Willoughby, (fn. 6) 25 H. 3. gave an Acquittance to Raph Bugge, for all was due to him for Lands which the said Raph Bugge bought of him in Willo ghby, excepting six Marks. He promised also to get the Deed of Sale confirmed to the said Raph, by the chief Lords of the Fee, John de Eriz, and Robert le Vavafor. Hugh de Rutinton, (fn. 7) 43 H. 3. sold to Richard Bugge a Sack of Wool, for Security of the Delivery whereof he gave him seizing of an Oxgang of Land in Rutinton. Ralph Torkart, (fn. 8) 44 H. 3. confirmed to Richard, Son of Ralph Bugge, one Selion of Land, with the Appurtenances in Willughby, which he had of the Gift of Robert, Son of John Torkart. Roger de Somervill, 42 H. 3. released half the Fishing in Trent, with a Tenement in Engelby, in Darbyshire.

Here divers Persons conveyed Lands to him, (fn. 9) whereby he became a great Man; he was called Richard Bugge of Willughby, and his Son Richard de Wyllebi, Son of Richard Bugge, who also increased his Patrimony exceedingly, and was a Lawyer, and very rich, as by his Will made, (fn. 10) 31 E. 1. appeareth, wherein he appointed his Body to be buried in the Church of All Saints, in Willughby, before the Altar of St. Nicholas. Howbeit he died not then, for if he did, his Son was called Sir Richard de Willughby, Senior, all the Time of Edward the Second till 18 E. 2. (fn. 11) that he died, leaving Richard de Willughby his Son above thirty Years of Age. But he must be noted particularly in Wollaton, which he acquired of Sir Roger de Morteyn, where I shall place the Descent, that being the principal Residence of this great Family.

In the Record of Nom. Villarum, (fn. 12) 9 E. 2. this Willughby answers for a whole Villa, and Richard de Willughby, and the Master of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, are certified to be Lords of it.

Richard de Willoughby, (fn. 13) 1 E. 3. had a Charter of Free Warren for Willoughby, Wollaton, Cossale, Ruddington, in this County, Riseley, Aylewaston, Engleby, and Maperley, in Darbishire.

Upon the Return of an Ad quod Damnum, (fn. 14) 12 E. 3. it appears the Jury found it not to the King's Loss if he granted Richard de Willughby Licence to give a Mess. and 10l. Rent in Wisoe and Willughby-on-the-Woulds, to three Chaplains, every Day celebrating Divine Service in the Parish Church of this Willughby; he gave ten Marks for his Licence 20th Feb. (fn. 15) 13 E. 3.

This Lordship became almost entire to this Family, and continued with it until Sir Percivall Willoughby sold it. Sir Thomas Hutchinson had the Demesnes which his Son Charles inherits, the Tenements are amongst Freeholders.

The Church, (fn. 16) 7 R. 2. was appropriated to the Priory of Wirksap

King Edward the Sixth, July 13, in the first of his Reign, (fn. 17) granted to the Master and College of the Virgin Mary, and All Saints in Fotheringay, in the County of Northampton, all the Rectory and Church of Willawbie, late Parcel of the Priory of Wirksop, in this County. And the Rectory and Church of Rushendon in that County, late Parcel of the Monastery of Lenton. This Rectory, with the Advowson of the Vicarage, (fn. 18) 6 E. 6. Jan. 11. after the Diffolution of Fotheringay, was, amongst other Things, granted to John and William Dodington. It was Robert Earl of Kingston's.

The Vicarage was 8l. when the Prior of Wirksop was Patron. Now in the King's Books it is 6l. 18s. 6d. ob. and the Lady Catherine Hutchinson, Patroness.

In the Church are old Monuments of the Willughbyes, which are represented in the following Page.

[Throsby] Willoughby

Lordship is open field, and contains about 2000 acres of land, a great part of which is but indifferent, cold and marshy. The principal owners are the Duke of Portland and John Plumptre, Esq. Several resident freeholders own portions of land in this lordship'

The Village consists of about 70 dwellings, mostly in a long street, shaded on each side by trees. Here is a cross with a long shaft, plain, and without any inscription thereon.

The Church is dedicated to St. Mary and All-Saints, has a nave and two side-aisles, one of which is enclosed, to preserve the monuments of the "Willoughbies." It has a spire steeple with 4 bells. The chancel is spacious. Samuel Wells is remembered, who died at the age of 71, in 1752. Near the entrance of the place where the Willoughby monuments are preserved, Col. Stanhope is remembered, with this inscription on brass.

"Here lieth the body of Col. Stanhope, who was slain in Willoughby-field, in the month of July 1648, in the 24th year of his age, being a soldier of King Charles the First." Several old stones serve now for the floor of the church, which had inscriptions, but now obliterated. (See the annexed plate and a plate of monuments page 35.) It is highly commendable in some one who, with a friendly arm, and a spirit which does honor to his head and heart, has rescued the monuments of the respectable family of Willoughby from the rude and intolerant whim of villagers, who frequently by cuts and scratches obliterate inscriptions; and with extreme folly, bordering on savage barbarity, mangle the limbs, &c. of the figures upon tombs and monuments in churches. These are kept clean, and locked up from their ruthless hands. To the disgrace also of the descendants of some illustrious families, the monuments of their ancestors lie shamefully neglected, while their stables and dog-kennels have an appearance of studied care.

Patron, — Hutchinson, Esq. Incumbent, the Rev. Mr. Hutchinson. Supposed worth 60l. per annum. Archidiac pro prox 7s. 6d. Pri. Wirksop propr. Afterwards in Edward the Sixth's Time, the Coll. of Fotheringay. The King presented in 1702. Julius Hutchinson, Esq. 1737. Thomas Hutchinson, Esq. in 1702. Thomas Marsham, Clerk, and John Heaviside, Esq. in 1775.

Register begins in 1680. In the earliest, bap. in 5 years, 36, buried 43. In the latest bap. 63, buried 20.

Near Willoughby passeth the Foss, one of the great Roman Roads, of which Thoroton, in his account of this place, has taken no notice. It intersects the Watlingstreet Road, near Claybrook, in Leicestershire, from whence it passeth to Leicester, and from Leicester to Segs-Hill, a place within 3 miles of Willoughby, where some say was a small Roman Station. Near Willoughby, it is generally believed, was the ancient Vernometum of Antoninus, (fn. 19) it answers exactly with the distance of Roman miles from Ratæ, Leicester. Dr. Stukely supports this opinion, and says that "Many coins and mosaic pavements have frequently been dug up, and leave no room to doubt its having been a Roman Station;" but it should be understood that he calls this Station Margidunum, and fixes on no place for Vernometum. Camden with precision, I think, fixes Margidunum in a place called Barrowfield, in the parish of East-Bridgeford, where many Roman bricks and coins have been found; one of which was a Vespasian.

The following are the names of the different Stations, together with their distances from each other, taken from Antonine.

Londinum London.
Verolamium M. P. xxi. St. Alban's.
Durocobrium M. P. xii. Dunstable.
Margiovinium M. P. xii. Fenny Stratford.
Sactodorum M. P. xvi. Towcester.
Isanavatia M. P. xii. Daventry.
Tripontium M. P. xii. Rugby
Venonæ M. P. ix. Cleycester.
Ratæ M. P. xii. Leicester.
Vernometum M. P. xiii. Willoughby or Burrow, Leicestershire.
Margidunum M. P. xiii. East-Bridgeford or Belvoir.
Ad Pontem M. P. vii. Southwell, Paunton, or Newark.
Crococolana M. P. vii. Brugh, near Collingham, or Ancaster.
Lindo M. P. xii. Lincoln.

The vicinity of Willoughby, East-Bridgford, and Southwell, to the Foss; the Roman bricks, coins, and pavement found respectively at these places, are powerful indications for the respectable opinions given in favor of them; the number of miles also nearly agreeing with the Antonini Itinerarium, adds strength to the judgment. The eminence overlooking Willoughby-brook, the supposed scite of the Station, makes a little bend from the Foss-road (one of the signs of a Station) and as no place in the neighhourhood is mentioned in competition with it for the honor, by any writer of credit, we may with some certainty conclude, that at or near Willoughby was the Vernometum of the Romans, the next grand march from Ratæ. Leicester. East-Bridgford perhaps has as great, if not a greater claim to our opinions: the abundant remains found there, and its exact distance from Willoughby, agreeing with the route, leave us but very little room to doubt that this was the Margidunum. But Ad Pontem, which Mr. Rastall in his history of Southwell, has taken much pains to fix there, is not, I think, so easily discovered. Some have placed Ad Pontem at Newark; but Newark was built after the Romans governed this country. Others have placed this Station at Ponton, near Grantham, this agrees in no respect with the distance in the route from Margidunum.

Leaving Mr. Rastall's ingenious remarks in fixing Ad Pontem at Southwell, for our description of that place, I give here the observations of a Gentleman of high respectability, who has honored me with his remarks in passing over the Fosse, so far as respects Ad Pontem. "Supposing," says this Gentleman, "Crococolana to be Brough, the next Station is Ad Pontem, 7 miles, and passing through Newark to Thorpe-bar, is a situation like one. The Trent comes close to the road, which makes a bend (one of the marks of a Station) to that point. The distance answers exactly; and directly opposite, on the other side of the River 4 miles off, lies Southwell, where Roman Antiqui ties have been found, and which was called by the Saxons Tiovulfingacaster, a termination given almost exclusively to Roman cities. At Southwell then might be the Roman town, a bridge near the Trent, connected it with the Fosse, and (Newark not then existing) it was a great pass into Nottinghamshire. At the southern end of the bridge, on the high bank of the river, was perhaps a small Station or Fort to protect it, which would be called the Statio ad Pontem, as the Statio ad Ansam, ad Trivonam, and others in the Itmeraries. And perhaps this idea will reconcile the jarring numbers of Antonine and Richard, one of them stopping at the Bridge, and therefore calling it 7 miles from Crococolana; the other crossed to the city, and thence putting it down 12.— When the castle at Newark was built, in King Stephen's time, both Crococolana and ad Pontem would be robbed of their materials, both lying so near, and so convenient for water-carriage, which will account for there being no remains distinguishable at either of them."

The passage of the Fosse through this county, I have laid down in the annexed plate, according to the general received opinions of writers. It may assist the reader, perhaps, in forming an opinion on this subject.


  • 1. Lib. Dooms.
  • 2. Ex Chart. Fran. Willughby, Ar.
  • 3. Esc. 36 H. 3. n. 38.
  • 4. Lib. de Fin. Nott. & Derb. 16 E. 1. fol. 187 in Scaccar. Fin. apud Nott. in Oct. St. Mart 8 E. 1.
  • 5. Ex Lib. de Warrantis temp. H. 5. in offic. ducat. fol. 69.
  • 6. Ex Chart. Fr. Willughby.
  • 7. Ex Chart. Fr. Willughby. Ar.—
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. Ibid.
  • 10. Ibid.
  • 11. Esc. 18 E. 2. n. 81.
  • 12. Nom Vill.
  • 13. Ch. 1E 3. 55.
  • 14. Esc. 12 E. 3. n. 12.
  • 15. Orig. 13 E. 3. ro. 64.
  • 16. Pat 7 R. 2. part. 2. m. 3.
  • 17. Pat. 1 E. 6. pat. 1.
  • 18. Pat. 6 E. 6. har. 5.
  • 19. Horsley. Tradition says, that here was the ruins of an old Town, called Long-Billington. On the Willoughby side of the road is a tumulous called Cross-hill. The old scite is in a field called Herrings, or the Black-field, and was very extensive. Many coins, pavements, and other antiquities have been found here.—Gough's additions to Camden.