A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Bradanleag (x cent.); Bradelie (xi cent.); Bradelega (xii cent.); Bradelegh (xiii cent.).
The small parish of Bradley is situated 2¾ miles from Herriard and Lasham, and contains 975 acres of hill country which reaches its greatest height of 560 ft. above the ordnance datum in the north. The parish is well wooded, containing 149 acres of woods and plantations as compared with only 3½ acres of arable land and 9 acres of permanent grass. (fn. 1) All Saints' Church with the rectory and the little group of houses comprising the village is situated in the south. According to tradition Bradley Wood in the south-eastern corner of the parish contains the site of a castle called Hurst Castle. The soil is light and the subsoil chalk and gravel.
By a charter of 909 King Edward the Elder confirmed Frithstan, Bishop of Winchester, in his possession of 5 hides at BRADLEY, (fn. 4) the nucleus of the later manor of Bradley. At this time the 5 hides evidently formed part of the manor of Overton, and they continued to do so in the 11 th century, as may be seen from the entry under Overton in Domesday Book:—that of the land of the manor of Overton Geoffrey was holding 5 hides in Bradley, and that his predecessor Alric had held the same 5 hides of the bishop. (fn. 5) In 1167 a certain Henry was holding Bradley as a separate manor, (fn. 6) quite distinct from the manor of Overton, and from this date the overlordship alone continued with the Bishops of Winchester. (fn. 7) In 1242 Henry de Bradley, probably a descendant of the Henry of 1167, exchanged 3 virgates of land in Bradley for 41 acres of land in Ellisfield with Geoffrey des Roches, (fn. 8) nephew of the famous Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester. Geoffrey died some ten years later, (fn. 9) but his wife Emma, the daughter of William Fitz Roger, survived him, and in 1260 one messuage and 1¼ virgates of land in Bradley were settled upon her by Roger Fitz Roger, probably her uncle. (fn. 10) Martin des Roches, the son and heir of Geoffrey and Emma, died seised of the manor of Bradley in 1277, leaving as his heir his brother Hugh, (fn. 11) whose son and heir John was seised of the manor at his death in 1311. (fn. 12) He was succeeded by his son and heir Sir John des Roches, (fn. 13) who in 1338 settled the manor upon himself and his wife Joan in tail-male, with contingent remainder in tail-male successively to his daughters Alice the wife of Henry Romyn and Mary the wife of John de Borhunte. (fn. 14) Alice and Henry died without issue while Joan des Roches, who outlived her husband, (fn. 15) was holding the manor, and thus on her death in 1361 it passed to her daughter Mary the widow of John de Borhunte, (fn. 16) who almost immediately afterwards married Sir Bernard Brocas. (fn. 17) Sir Bernard obtained a grant of free warren in the demesne lands of his manor of Bradley in 1363, (fn. 18) and died in 1395 leaving a son and heir Sir Bernard. (fn. 19) The younger Sir Bernard was executed at Tyburn for treason at the accession of Henry IV, but by means of settlements in trust the greater part of his estates, including the manor of Bradley, escaped forfeiture. His widow Joan (fn. 20) held them until the lease expired in 1406, when trustees by a release conveyed them to his son and heir William. (fn. 21) William soon afterwards made over the manor in fee to his younger brother Bernard, generally called Bernard Brocas of Alton and Bradley, (fn. 22) who in 1428 was returned as holding half a knight's fee in Bradley which had belonged to Joan the wife of John des Roches. (fn. 23) On his death in 1432 Bradley passed, in accordance with a settlement made during his lifetime, to his younger son William Brocas of Alton, who then settled it on himself and Agnes his wife with remainder if they had no children to William Brocas of Beaurepaire, the great-grandson of William the son and heir of the attainted Sir Bernard. (fn. 24) William Brocas of Alton died without issue, and the manor passed in accordance with the settlement to his widow Agnes, who subsequently married Robert atte Moore and died in 1484. (fn. 25) At the inquisition taken after her death it was returned that William Brocas of Beaurepaire was lately dead, and the manor consequently passed to his son John, (fn. 26) thus returning to the old family stock whence it had been parted at the beginning of the 15th century. William Brocas the son and heir of John died seised of the manor in 1506, leaving two daughters Anne and Edith as his heirs. (fn. 27) The elder Anne married George Warham in 1514, but died without issue leaving her sister Edith wife of Ralph Pexall her sole heir. (fn. 28) Richard Pexall the son of Edith and Ralph died in 1571, having by will dated a day before his death left all his property to his second wife Dame Eleanor for thirteen years, until his grandson Pexall Brocas, the son of his eldest daughter Anne, should be of age. (fn. 29) The will, however, was declared void as regarded the third of the property, and this was consequently divided amongst his four daughters: (1) Anne the wife of Bernard Brocas; (2) Margery who married firstly Oliver Beckett and secondly Francis Cotton; (3) Elizabeth the wife of John Jobson; and (4) Barbara the wife of Anthony Brydges. (fn. 30) Shortly after their father's death Elizabeth Jobson and Barbara Brydges parted with their twelfths of the manor, the former to Dame Eleanor and her second husband Sir John Savage, (fn. 31) and the latter to Anne and Bernard Brocas. (fn. 32) Margery Cotton retained her portion and died in 1581 seised of onetwelfth of the manor, her heir being her son John Beckett, under age, (fn. 33) and her husband Francis Cotton was seised of a portion of the manor at his death some thirty years later. (fn. 34) Anne Brocas, who only survived her husband two years, (fn. 35) died seised of one-sixth of the manor in 1591, her heir being her son Pexall, (fn. 36) who had come of age in 1584, when he had succeeded to two-thirds of all the Brocas estates, Dame Eleanor's legal claim being thus reduced to the twelfth she and her husband had purchased from the Jobsons. Hence at the end of the 16th century, after the death of Sir John Savage, the manor of Bradley was thus divided: ten-twelfths were held by Sir Pexall Brocas, one-twelfth was in the hands of Edward Savage the son and heir of Sir John Savage, while the remaining twelfth was held by Francis Cotton.
Sir Pexall Brocas in 1621 granted a two hundred years' lease of his portion of the manor at a rent of £50 to Thomas Taylor, (fn. 37) who soon afterwards acquired onetwelfth of the manor from John Cotton, (fn. 38) to whom it had descended on the death of his father Francis. (fn. 39) Edward Savage had in the meantime conveyed his twelfth to Richard Burrell, and while Thomas Taylor, who was naturally anxious to complete his property, was deliberating on the purchase, Edward Savage, at the instance of a certain Thomas Lambert and his aunt Denise Knight, was outlawed for a debt of £600 to William Knight the deceased son of Denise. (fn. 40) Under some misapprehension the twelfth part of the manor of Bradley was included in the return of Edward Savage's property made in 1619, and was accordingly taken into the hands of the king, who forthwith demised it to Denise Knight, (fn. 41) who held it without disturbance for two years. In 1621 Thomas Taylor, who was still eager to acquire this portion of the manor, entered into the following agreement with Thomas Lambert on behalf of his aunt. Thomas Lambert was to cause the outlawry to be reversed under which Denise claimed her interest in the manor, thus enabling him to proceed with the purchase, and in return he promised to pay Thomas Lambert £10 immediately after the reversal of the outlawry and a further £100 in five instalments. (fn. 42) However, Thomas Lambert, once having the bonds for the payment of the sums in his possession, did nothing with regard to the reversal of the outlawry, and even threatened to sue Thomas Taylor for the payment of £110. (fn. 43) The case was brought into the Court of Exchequer, depositions of various witnesses were taken on 26 May 1623, (fn. 44) and after many delays (fn. 45) the court finally decided on 21 October 1624 that Thomas Taylor should pay £79 for all claims to Thomas Lambert as heir of Denise Knight, who had died shortly before, and that Thomas Lambert should in return give up all right to the twelfth of the manor. (fn. 46) From this date Thomas Taylor remained in quiet possession until 1629, in which year the manor was taken into the hands of the king for a debt of £1,001 1s., and by him leased to Sir Kenelm Digby as the king's farmer and Sir John Savage the son of Edward Sayage. (fn. 47) But Thomas Taylor, in spite of an injunction out of the Court of Exchequer and a writ of assistance to the sheriff to execute this injunction, steadily refused to deliver up the manor to them, garrisoned the manor-house and sent down from London a body of soldiers and sailors to keep it from all attacks. (fn. 48) Two unsuccessful attempts to gain possession of the manor were made by the sheriff Sir Francis Dowse in the autumn of 1629. (fn. 49) On 2 January 1630 his successor Sir Henry Wallop sent thither the under-sheriff Nicholas Christmas, who thus describes his adventures: 'Hee this deponent went about the said house with such as hee had in his companye, beinge in number eight or nyne or thereabout, to see where he could find a place to make a breach for entrance, and that cominge neare the parler windowe there was a muskett presented against him and his said company by one in the said house, and that, as some of his said company told him, the party was readie to give fire to the same.' (fn. 50) He seems to have withdrawn hurriedly, but six days later returned with Sir Richard Tichborne, one of the deputylieutenants of the county, Sir Walter Tichborne and Sir Benjamin Tichborne and 'many other knights and gentlemen of quality to the number of four or five hundred.' 'They caused,' he said, 'three or foure musketts to bee shott at the said house to affright them. Nevertheless the said forcible deteynors mainteined the said possession and kept offe the said deponent and his company with swords and gunnes thrustinge out theire swordes and offeringe gunnes at those which came neare the house,' and ultimately the whole company withdrew, having seen that they could not get the possession of the house ' without imminent danger of many menn's lives.' (fn. 51) The sheriff then sent for the great guns from London, and on 23 January 1630 marched to Bradley with a band numbering about 200. Nicholas Christmas thus describes what follows: 'And thereupon the said Sir Henry Wallop did command the ordinance to bee mounted and after conference with Mrs. Taylor did command a shott to bee made against one of the chymneys to see if hee could affright them, and immediately thereuppon they in the house discharged diverse pieces at those that managed thordinance and came in ayd of the said sheriffe, whereby twoe or three of those which managed the said ordinance and other of the sheriff's company receaved some light hurtes. The possession keepers continued shootinge with theire pieces for the most part of that day, and towards night some of the sheriffe's company approached the walles of the said house and attempted to breake the same, whereuppon some in the said house shott at them and dangerously hurt twoe of the said sheriff's companie, whereof one in short tyme after dyed, and they in the house in that manner by force and strength maintained the possession all that day, soe that the said sheriffe was forced to depart without the possession.' (fn. 52) It was not until the house was rendered completely uninhabitable that it was surrendered to Sir Kenelm Digby and Sir John Savage, (fn. 53) who kept possession for about two years—until at the instance of Thomas Taylor, who had often boasted that ' the same parties who were a means to put him out of the possession should put him in again,' the Court of Exchequer dissolved its injunction. (fn. 54) In 1634. Thomas Brocas, son and heir of Sir Pexall Brocas who had died in 1630, (fn. 55) and Thomas Taylor and Elizabeth his wife conveyed the manor to Thomas Westall, Thomas Sherman and Henry Fessant and the heirs of Thomas Sherman, (fn. 56) but whether in trust or not is unknown. The history of the manor for some time after this is uncertain, but according to conveyances co-heiresses sold it to J. B. Cockburne. (fn. 57) Ultimately Bradley passed to Anthony son and heir of Sir Robert Henley, who presented to the rectory in 1696. (fn. 58) On his death in 1711 it passed to his eldest son Anthony, who died in 1745 and was succeeded by his brother Robert, who was raised to the title of Earl of Northington and Viscount Henley in 1764 and died in 1772. (fn. 59) His son Robert Earl of Northington died unmarried in 1786, (fn. 60) leaving as his heirs his sisters Lady Bridget Tollemache, Lady Jane Aston, Mary Dowager Countess Ligonier and Lady Elizabeth Eden, who conveyed the manor the following year to William Drewe, (fn. 61) probably in trust for John Blackburne, a merchant of London. (fn. 62) The latter by his will dated 1792 left Bradley to his son John, on whose death in debt about 1829 it was sold to Mr. Rumbold. (fn. 63) From Mr. Rumbold it passed by sale to Mr. H. King, who was succeeded by his son Mr. J. H. King. (fn. 64) The latter sold the estate in 1877 to Lord Templemore, from whom it was purchased by Mr. H. J. Hope in 1887. Mr. Hope died in 1905, and his widow is now lady of the manor. (fn. 65)
The church of ALL SAINTS consists of a chancel 20 ft. by 14 ft. 5 in. inside, nave 33 ft. 10 in. by 16 ft., south aisle 26 ft. 11 in. by 5 ft. 4 in. and south porch.
The church was entirely rebuilt in 1877, but some of the old work was re-used; from this it appears that the chancel dated from the first half of the 13 th century. There is nothing to show the date of the nave, but the south arcade appears to be old work restored, and if so it proves the aisle to have been added early in the 14th century; all the other work is modern.
The east window of the chancel has modern tracery, but the inner quoins and two-centred drop rear arch are old; in the south wall are two 13th-century lancets; the first is rebated and chamfered outside, but the second has apparently been reset inside out, the rebate and chamfer being inside; both have twocentred drop rear arches. At the east end of the north window is another lancet window resembling that opposite it. In the south wall is a small piscina with a modern trefoiled head, but old jambstones and a shallow round basin.
The chancel arch is a modern one of two orders springing from corbel shafts. In the north wall of the nave are three modern trefoiled lancets. The arcade on the south side appears to be old work of about 1330; it has three bays with octagonal pillars having chamfered bases and moulded bell-capitals; the arches are of two chamfered orders dying on octagonal super columns above the capitals. The west wall of the nave is pierced by a single lancet. The aisle is lighted by a lancet in the east wall and a pair of lancets at the west end; the only piercing in the south wall is the entrance doorway which is approached through an open wood porch. The roofs of the chancel and nave are gabled and tiled; the former is panelled below and the latter open-timbered; the aisle has a lean-to roof. Above the west end of the nave is a small open wood turret covered by an oak-shingled octagonal spire; it contains one bell. All the furniture is modern; there are no old monuments.
The plate consists of three chalices, a paten and a flagon, all plated.
The first book of the registers is a small one containing baptisms, marriages and burials from 1725 to 1753 and baptisms and burials thence to 1812; the second book is the usual printed book from 1754 to 1812.
The first mention of a church in the parish is in 1291, in which year it was returned as of the annual value of £5. (fn. 66)
The advowson of the church followed the descent of the manor until early (fn. 67) in the 19th century. It was not included in the sale of the estate to Mr. H. King, but remained in the Rumbold family, the patron at the present time being Mr. Charles Rumbold. The question of tithes was dealt with by the Court of Exchequer in 1677. (fn. 68)
The Rev. Charles John Gough Seare, a former rector, by will proved in the P.C.C. 1816, bequeathed £333 6s. 8d. consols, the dividends to be applied for the benefit of the poor in such manner as the rector should direct.
This charity was augmented by a sum of £333 6s. 8d. consols by will of the donor's sister, Mary Gough, proved in the P.C.C. 1817.
The sum of £666 13s. 4d. consols is held by the official trustees in trust for these charities, producing yearly £16 13s. 4d., which in 1906 was applied in payment of bonuses to the coal and clothing clubs, in Christmas gifts to children and in small weekly payments to widows.
Mary Lovel of Preston Candover by her will proved in 1749 gave yearly to each of such three poor housekeepers' children in the parish of Bradley as her executor or his heirs should think fit, for ever, a Bible with the Book of Common Prayer bound therewith, of 7s. or 8s. value. Edward Acton of Bentworth, clerk, was appointed her executor. (fn. 69)