A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Ordie (xi cent.); Worthy (xii cent.); Kyngeswordeye (xiii cent.).
Kings Worthy parish, which includes the tithing of Abbots Worthy, contains 2,241 acres of land, of which 1,091 are arable and 853½ permanent grass. (fn. 1)
The village is in the south of the parish in the Itchen valley about 2 miles from Winchester, and on the line of the Roman road from Silchester to Winchester. (fn. 2) The church of St. Mary is at the southwest end of the village. Thomas Vowler Short (1790–1872), successively Bishop of Sodor and Man and St. Asaph, resided at Kings Worthy from 1829 to 1834, when he accepted the rectory of St. George's, Bloomsbury, from the Lord Chancellor Brougham. (fn. 3) His successor was Charles Thomas Baring, afterwards Bishop of Durham, who held the living, then in the gift of his brother, Sir Francis Thornhill Baring, until 1847.
Kingsworthy House is occupied by Miss Turnor; Kingsworthy Court by Mr. Hubert James Austin; The Mount by Captain Bernard Granville. Abbots Worthy House is the property and residence of the Right Hon. Lord Eversley, P.C., J.P.
The soil is chalk and loam, the subsoil chalk. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. The common lands known as Worthy Down were inclosed in 1852. (fn. 4)
Among place-names in local records are the following:—Nursery Field, Durnells, Rotherley Coppice, Barton Croft and Dry Knoll (xix cent.). (fn. 5)
At the time of the Domesday Survey Kings Worthy was one of the appurtenances of Barton Stacey, (fn. 6) but it was granted away from the Crown lands before the rest of that manor. A rent of £15 'blanch' from the estate was granted to Hugh Tyrrell in 1158, (fn. 7) and to Geoffrey le Moyne nine years later. (fn. 8) Between 1181 and 1189 Henry II granted the manor to Walter the usher of the king's chamber to hold in chief by the annual rent of a pair of gilded spurs. (fn. 9) Walter was succeeded by his brother Aimery le Despenser, who in 1205 obtained from King John a confirmation of 'the land of Worthy which King Henry our father gave to Walter the son of Thurstan.' (fn. 10) Ralf le Moyne as heir of Hugh Tyrrell sued Thurstan the son and heir of Aimery (fn. 11) for the manor in 1219–20 (fn. 12) and Adam le Despenser, who succeeded Thurstan, was sued by William le Moyne in 1265, (fn. 13) but he evidently won the case, and was still the owner in the reign of Edward I, when a plea of quo warranto was brought against him, and it was decided that 'Adam had more right to the said manor than the lord king.' (fn. 14)
In 1286 Adam granted Kings Worthy to John Kirkby to hold of him and his heirs by the rent of a rose. (fn. 15) John Kirkby was created Bishop of Ely in the same year and died in 1290, leaving as his heir his brother William, (fn. 16) who married Christine Heringaud and died without issue. (fn. 17) William Inge, the heir to Christine's lands in Kent, was in possession of the manor before 1303, (fn. 18) in which year he obtained a grant of free warren in his demesne lands of Kings Worthy. (fn. 19) He was a justice of the King's Bench, and seems to have been much occupied in the public service (fn. 20) In July 1310 he was sent 'on the king's business' to Aquitaine, (fn. 21) where he remained about a year, (fn. 22) during which time his kinsman Fromond Inge acted for him in England. (fn. 23) Before going beyond the sea William obtained from Edward II a promise that in case he should die while his heir was still under age his executors should have the marriage of the heir without hindrance of the king. (fn. 24) William Inge died in 1322, (fn. 25) after which the manor was held by his widow Iseult St. Pierre in accordance with a settlement of 1312 (fn. 26) until her death in 1370, when it passed to William de la Zouche, the son of Joan wife of Eudo de la Zouche and daughter and heir of William Inge by his first wife Margaret. (fn. 27) William de la Zouche was a commissioner of the peace for the counties of Northampton and Rutland for some years, (fn. 28) and in July 1377 he also received a commission of array. (fn. 29) He died in April 1382, leaving as his heir his son and namesake, (fn. 30) who had been associated with him as a commissioner of the peace since the previous year. (fn. 31) This William granted the manor in 1393 to his paternal uncle, Thomas de la Zouche, with remainder to his son Sir John de la Zouche and Margaret his wife in fee-tail. (fn. 32) On the death of Thomas de la Zouche in 1405 the manor passed in accordance with the settlement to Sir John de la Zouche, who had by Margaret his wife an only daughter and heir Elizabeth. (fn. 33) She left two daughters and co-heirs, Margaret, who became the wife of John Chaworth, (fn. 34) and Elizabeth, who married first Sir William Chaworth and secondly John Dunham. (fn. 35) Margaret died without issue, and her moiety was inherited by her sister, (fn. 36) who died in 1501, leaving the manor to her son Sir John Dunham. (fn. 37)
Sir John Dunham alienated the estate in 1511 to Sir William Capell, (fn. 38) who died four years later and was succeeded by his only son. (fn. 39) This was that Giles Capell who was knighted by Henry VIII for his gallantry and good services at the sieges of Terouenne and Tournay and at the Battle of Spurs. (fn. 40) In 1529 he held the shrievalty of the counties of Essex and Hertford, a post which was afterwards filled by more than one of his descendants. (fn. 41) Sir Henry Capell, the elder son and heir of Sir Giles, was succeeded by his brother Edward, (fn. 42) whose grandson dealt with the manor by fine in 1600, (fn. 43) and died seised twenty-seven years later. (fn. 44) His grandson and heir, created Lord Capell of Hadham on 6 August 1641, attached himself zealously to the king's cause in the Civil War, and fell a victim to his loyalty, being beheaded in Old Palace Yard on 9 March 1649. (fn. 45) The manor of Kings Worthy had been sequestered before 1645, in which year the Treasurers for Sequestrations complained that no rent had been paid for two quarters by the lessee William Capell, uncle of Lord Capell,' by which it is easily conceived which way the rents are gone and how converted.' (fn. 46) This protest against the tenderness shown to 'the most desperate delinquents' was not without effect, for in 1650 the estate was let to Widow Wayte, (fn. 47) and a short time afterwards it was granted to Philip Stone on a three years' lease. (fn. 48)
Arthur, the son and heir of Lord Capell, sold Kings Worthy in 1657 to Bartholomew Smith, (fn. 49) whose elder son James joined a religious order in 1685, when his estate passed to his brother Bartholomew, who left three sons and four daughters. (fn. 50) The sons all died unmarried, and one of the daughters became a nun: the estate was therefore divided among the other three daughters, Elizabeth, Anastasia and Frances. Elizabeth and Frances both died without issue, and the manor became vested in Edward Sheldon, the grandson of Anastasia, who sold it in 1773 to Sir Chaloner Ogle, bart. (fn. 51) Sir Chaloner was succeeded by his second son, Sir Charles Ogle, bart., by whom the estate was sold to Mr. Samuel Wall in 1826, (fn. 52) since which time it has belonged to the owners of Martyr Worthy in the hundred of Fawley (q.v.).
There was a mill in Kings Worthy, which in 1564 was the subject of a dispute between Margaret the widow of Thomas Wayte the younger and her late husband's family, who expelled her from the mill after her second marriage. (fn. 53) The mill was sold to Mr. Samuel Wall by Sir Charles Ogle, bart., in 1826. (fn. 54)
The manor of ABBOTS WORTHY formed part of the original endowment of Hyde Abbey—the Abbey of St. Peter of Winchester, as it was called in Domesday Book. (fn. 55) It continued in the possession of the abbot and convent (fn. 56) until the Dissolution, when it fell into the hands of King Henry VIII, who granted it for life to his physician, Augustine de Augustinis, a Venetian, in 1542. (fn. 57) Three years later he released the reversion of the manor remaining in the Crown to Augustine, and at the same time gave him leave to alienate it to the Lord Chancellor Wriothesley, (fn. 58) created Earl of Southampton in 1547. (fn. 59) The Earls of Southampton continued in possession till the end of the 17th century, (fn. 60) when the estate passed to the Russells through the marriage of Lady Rachel Wriothesley, daughter and heir of the last Earl of Southampton, to William Lord Russell. (fn. 61) Since that date Abbots Worthy has followed the same descent as the manor of Micheldever (q.v.), the present owner being the Earl of Northbrook.
There was a mill in Abbots Worthy at the time of the Domesday Survey. (fn. 62) It was granted in 1545 to Augustine de Augustinis with the manor, (fn. 63) and was alienated by him to Wriothesley, afterwards Earl of Southampton, in the same year. (fn. 64) The owner in 1731 was John Russell. (fn. 65)
The church of ST. MARY, situated on the main road from Winchester to Basingstoke at the south of the village, consists of chancel 23 ft. 3 in. by 14 ft., small north vestry, south chapel 17 ft. 7 in. by 16 ft. 11 in., nave 43 ft. 4 in. by 21 ft. 4 in., south aisle 47 ft. 5 in. by 14 ft. 3 in., and west tower 11 ft. 1 in. by 10 ft. 9 in., all these dimensions being taken internally.
Modern repair and rebuilding have removed all traces of antiquity, the tower being now the only old part of the church, and nothing of its past history can be deduced from the building. Great part of it dates from 1864, when the whole of the eastern part was rebuilt and a vestry added to the north of the chancel. The sooth chapel was built some years later, opening from the chancel by an arcade of two four-centred moulded arches.
The church is built of flint rubble, with limestone dressings, the modern truss rafter roofs being covered with red tiles. The tower is also of flint, but so covered with ivy that little of it can be seen; it appears to be of 15th-century date, and has an eastern arch of two chamfered orders and a west window of two cinquefoiled lights.
There is a little 15 th and 16th-century stonework re-used in some of the windows of the south chapel and aisle, but otherwise there is nothing old in the building except the font and a brass inscription.
The principal entrance is by the west doorway in the tower, which has a round arch of two orders, with edge rolls continued down the jambs, and is probably late 12th-century work re-used and altered. The second stage of the tower is pierced only on the north side by a small square-headed light partly covered by a clock face; and the belfry has a small single light on each face, with square heads on the east and west, and pointed heads on the north and south, all of which are hidden by the ivy.
The octagonal font dates from the early years of the 15 th century, each face of the bowl being panelled with quatrefoils inclosing shields or with traceried circles; the stem has on each face two long cinquefoiled panels, and stands upon a Purbeck marble base belonging to a font of late 12th-century type, with a bowl carried on a central and four flanking shafts.
The brass plate is on the south wall of the chancel and is inscribed ' Hic jacet Joh[an]es Rowdon Pater mag[ist]ri Joh[an]is Rowdon nup[er] Rectoris Eccl[esia]e de Kingesworthy cuius anime propicietur Deus Amen.'
There are four bells cast by John Warner & Sons, 1861.
The church stands in about the centre of an irregular churchyard, which is surrounded by a wood paling with a lych-gate at the north. The houses of the small village lie mostly at the junction of the roads to Basingstoke and Alton, and are built of half timber work and brick, and the roofs covered with tiles, slate and thatch.
The plate consists of a silver chalice, paten and almsdish of 1822 and a plated flagon.
There are six books of registers. The first (an original paper book, the earlier sheets copied in 1553 or 1554) contains baptisms from 1540 to 1594 and baptisms and marriages from 1538 to 1594; the second, a parchment copy of the first, contains baptisms from 1558 to 1767 and burials and marriages from 1559 to 1767; the third contains burials from 1738 to 1773; the fourth baptisms and burials from 1754 to 1794; the fifth marriages from 1754 to 1812; the sixth baptisms from 1794 to 1812.
The advowson of the church of Kings Worthy has throughout followed the descent of the manor of Abbots Worthy (q.v.). (fn. 66) The living is at the present day a rectory, net yearly value £316, in the gift of the Earl of Northbrook.
There is also a Wesleyan chapel.
In 1871 Charles W. Benny, by will proved at Winchester 9 January, bequeathed £300 to the rector and churchwardens upon trust to invest the same in consols, and to apply the dividends annually on 18 October (testator's birthday) in giving coals to deserving poor of the parish.
The legacy was invested in £322 3s. consols, now held by the official trustees, producing yearly £8 1s., which is duly applied in the distribution of coal.