Easthorpe: Manors and other estates

Pages 200-202

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 10, Lexden Hundred (Part) Including Dedham, Earls Colne and Wivenhoe. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2001.

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The manor of EASTHORPE was held in 1066 by Edric, a free man, as a manor and 1 hide and 25 a., and in 1086 by Eustace, count of Boulogne, with Hugh holding the whole as undertenant. (fn. 1) The overlordship was still in the honor of Boulogne in the 14th century, but by 1407 the manor was held of the king in chief. (fn. 2)

In 1194 the demesne tenancy, which de- scended with that of Birch manor, was held by Roger de Planes and in 1203 by William de Planes. The de Planes were Normans and in 1204 their lands escheated to the Crown on the separation of England and Normandy. Eas- thorpe manor was given at first temporarily, and only in 1228 in fee to Ralph Gernon (d. 1248), son of Osbert of Gladfen (in Halstead). (fn. 3) The manor descended in Ralph's branch of the Gernon family, passing to his son William (d. 1258), whose son Ralph (d. 1274) briefly for- feited it in 1265 for his support of the barons. (fn. 4) Ralph's son William (d. 1327) succeeded, then William's son John (d. 1384), then John's daughter, Margaret (d. 1414), wife of John Peyton. (fn. 5) She was succeeded by her grandson, John Peyton (1393-1417). John's widow Grace, whose second husband was Richard Baynard of Messing, held the manor until her death in 1439 when it passed to her son, Thomas Peyton. (fn. 6) Thomas (d. 1484) was succeeded in turn by his grandson Thomas Peyton (d. 1490), Thomas's brother Robert (d. 1517), and Robert's son Robert, all sheriffs of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, and then by the last Robert's son Robert Peyton, (fn. 7) who sold the manor to Sir Thomas Audley in 1536. Audley sold it in 1542 to Robert Forster and his son George. (fn. 8) Robert died in 1545 and George in 1556, leaving George's daughters, Mary and Joan, both minors, as coheirs. (fn. 9) In 1564 Mary and her hus- band Robert Waldegrave sold their moiety to Henry Golding and in 1570 Joan and her hus- band Robert Spring sold the other moiety to John Bacon who sold it in 1576 to Henry Golding. (fn. 10)

Henry Golding (d. 1576) was succeeded as lord of Easthorpe manor by his brother Arthur, translator of Ovid's Metamorphoses; they were half brothers to the countess of Oxford, mother of Edward de Vere, 17th earl of Oxford. (fn. 11) In 1577 Arthur Golding (d. 1606) sold the manor to Richard Atkins who sold it in 1594 to Sir George Kingsmill (d. 1606). (fn. 12) George was suc- ceeded by his cousin Sir William Kingsmill of Southampton, whose third son George (d. 1656) lived at Easthorpe. The manor came to Thomas Green (d. 1698), and then his son Thomas, who died in 1726 without issue. (fn. 13) Thomas's heirs were his brother Richard's three daughters, Elizabeth, Anne, and Sarah. Elizabeth's hus- band was John Blandford who in 1713 or 1714 was convicted of highway robbery. He was later pardoned and transported, and Elizabeth and John's third share of the manor fell to the Crown which leased it to George Baker, and from 1755 to George's son John, and in 1804 sold it to Nathaniel Hillier of Stoke Park (Surrey). In 1727 the lordship was exercised by Sherard Wimberley and his wife Frances in her right, and in 1737 by George Baker. (fn. 14)

By 1826 the manor was held by Hillier's daughter, Susannah Elizabeth (d. 1852), and her husband, Col. Thomas Cranley Onslow (1778- 1861), M.P. The manor apparently sub- sequently passed to a reletive, Henry Cranley Onslow, son of Sir Henry Onslow. By 1912 it was held by N. N. Sherwood of Prested Hall, Feering, (fn. 15) and it continued in the Sherwood family until 1998.

Easthorpe Hall is an H-plan two-storeyed timber-framed house, with plastered facades and tiled roofs. The earliest parts seem to be the east wing, later 16th-century with a crown-post roof of slender scantling, and a few smoke- blackened rafters re-used in the three-bayed hall range when it was rebuilt with two storeys in the 17th century. The west wing, which has a brick cellar under the south end, and the east and west chimney stacks, which each have three diagonal shafts, also seem to be 17th-century. In the late 17th or early 18th century the classical shafts of the central chimney stack were built and a north range added to make the centre of the house double-pile; bolection-moulded panelling was fitted in several rooms. The sash windows and pedimented doorcase of the main front are early 19th-century. A north-east stair tower was added in the late 1990s. (fn. 16) The barn and one cartlodge are probably 17th-century.

The estate of BADCOCKS, sometimes called a manor, was held by the Badcock family which included John Badcock, recorded in 1365, and Richard Badcock in 1418. (fn. 17) Richard gave the estate to Robert Tey (d. 1426) and it remained in the Tey family until 1585, after which it descended with Bottingham Hall, Copford, until 1654 when Badcocks was sold to Henry Mild- may and Thomas Wharton. (fn. 18) Thomas's son Andrew Wharton inherited the estate c. 1683. John Smith sold it, with other land, to James Burnett in 1733. In 1768 it belonged to George Shepherd of Springfield, and in 1807 to W. E. Fitzthomas of Tettenhall (Staffs.). (fn. 19)

Badcocks is an H-plan, two-storeyed timber- framed house. Its west cross wing, which has part of a smoke-blackened crown-post roof and possible remains of an inserted timber chimney, seems to have originated as a late 14th- or early 15th-century hall with at least one storeyed end on the north. A two-storeyed hall range, which is jettied along the north side and has a brick chimney stack backing onto the cross passage and decorated with a series of niches, was added in the late 16th century; the date 1585 is carved on the bressumer on the jettied north side. The north ends of both wings, which have moulded brick plinths, seem to have been rebuilt then, though the east wing appears mainly 18th- or 19th-century. On the west range, the south end and a west projection are 20th-century and part of the hall range roof has been raised. The south part of the medieval moat survives. (fn. 20)

Spicers, amounting to 7 a., belonged in the Middle Ages to Haynes's chantry of St. Peter's church Colchester; in 1550 the king sold it to the bailiffs of Colchester. (fn. 21)


  • 1. V.C.H. Essex, i. 466.
  • 2. Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, p. 478; xv, p. 387; Cal. Pat. 1405-8, 344.
  • 3. Pipe R. 1194 (P.R.S. v), 24; Rot. Chart. (Rec. Com.), i. 135; Bk. of Fees, i. 275; Cal. Chart. R. 1226-57, 74; E.A.T. n.s. xii. 88-93.
  • 4. Cal. Inq. p.m. i, pp. 121, 292; P.R.O., C 133/5, no. 3; Cal. Inq. Misc. i, p. 206.
  • 5. Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, p. 478; xv, p. 387; Morant, Essex, ii. 179.
  • 6. Cal. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Com.), iv, pp. 9, 23; P.R.O., C 139/93, no. 47.
  • 7. Morant, Essex, ii. 179-80, 182.
  • 8. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xi, p. 377; ibid. xii (2), p. 166; ibid. xvii, p. 567; Morant, Essex, ii. 180.
  • 9. Cal. Pat. 1557-8, 67; E.R.O., T/P 195/11, no. 30, Little Birch, p. 4. Another Robert Forster (d. 1557), also had a son called George: P.R.O., PROB 11/39.
  • 10. Cal. Pat. 1563-4, 137; 1569-72, 144; 1575-8, 171.
  • 11. P.R.O., C 142/177, no. 61; F. G. Emmison, Elizabethan Life: Wills of Essex Gentry and Merchants, 87; E.R. xlix. 188-9; 1. 108-13. The de Veres were overlords of Little Birch manor: above, Birch, Manors.
  • 12. Cal. Pat. 1575-8, 506; Feet of F. Essex, vi. 107.
  • 13. Morant, Essex, ii. 180; E.R.O., T/A 366.
  • 14. P.R.O., CRES 2/260; E.R.O., T/M 178, and note; ibid. D/DEl M230; Morant, Essex, ii. 180; G. A. Selwyn and others, An Acct. of all the Eng. and Wales held by lease to the Crown, 12.
  • 15. E.R.O., T/A 547/1; Complete Peerage, x. 73-4; White's Dir. Essex (1848), 122; ibid. (1863), 136; Kelly's Dir. Essex (1862-1914).
  • 16. R.C.H.M. Essex, iii. 92; below, plate 39. There seems to be no surviving evidence of a pre-16th-century building.
  • 17. Feet of F. Essex, iii. 142; E.R.O., D/DHt T519; D/DU 463/1.
  • 18. Cal. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Com.) iv, p. 113; E.R.O., D/DHt T77/1; ibid. T/A 209; above, Copford, Manors.
  • 19. E.R.O., D/DHt T347; Morant, Essex, ii. 180.
  • 20. R.C.H.M. Essex, iii. 92.
  • 21. Cal. Pat. 1549-51, 421; Morant, Essex, ii. 181; V.C.H. Essex, ix. 331.