A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Esseham (xi cent.); Lessham (xii cent.); Lesseham, Lesham, Lasseham, Lassham, Lassam (xiv cent.).
Lasham is a small parish lying between that of Herriard on the north and Shalden on the east, while Bentworth forms its boundary line on the south and west. The village is grouped round St. Mary's Church in the centre of the parish on the main road from Alton to Basingstoke, at a height of 560 ft. above the ordnance datum, and is served by Bentworth and Lasham station on the Alton and Basingstoke branch of the London and South Western Railway. The parish has an area of 1,797 acres, and produces in crops chiefly wheat, oats, and turnips. The Agricultural Returns of 1905 give the arable land as 741 acres, permanent grass as 630 acres, and woods and plantations as 311 acres. The soil is clay, and the subsoil chalk. The following list of place-names occurs in a 13th-century document: — La Dune, La Rude, Bineheie, Burkesete, Wudehull, Hoke, Cokeshull, Hetesdun, Wicham, and Stappelweie. (fn. 1)
LASHAM, which Hacon had held of Edward the Confessor as an alod, formed part of the possessions of the Crown in 1086, (fn. 2) and was then assessed at 2½ hides. At the close of the 13th century Richard Fitz John was the overlord of Lasham. (fn. 3) At his death in 1297 the fee which John Dabernon was holding of him was assigned to his nephew Richard de Burgh, third Earl of Ulster, son of his sister Aveline, (fn. 4) while the fee which the Prior of Portsmouth was holding fell to the share of Robert de Clifford and Idonea de Leyburn, who were respectively son-in-law and daughter of his deceased sister Isabel. (fn. 5) The former fee continued to be held under the earldom of Ulster until Edward Plantagenet, tenth Earl of Ulster and fourth Duke of York, ascended the throne in 1461 as Edward IV, when all his honours were merged in the Crown. (fn. 6) It was subsequently held of the Crown as of the castle of Odiham. (fn. 7) In 1315 Idonea and her husband, John de Crumbwell, obtained licence to have their halffee in Lasham settled upon them for the life of Idonea with successive remainders after her death to Hugh le Despenser the younger, Hugh le Despenser the elder, and Edward son of Hugh le Despenser the younger, and his heirs, (fn. 8) but seven years afterwards Edward II, on account of the forfeiture of Roger de Clifford, 'late a rebel,' granted all the knights' fees which he had held jointly with Idonea to Robert de Baldok, Archdeacon of Middlesex. (fn. 9) How long he kept the overlordship of this fee is uncertain, but in 1478 Sir Roger Lewknor, who died seised of the estate in Lasham formerly belonging to the Prior of Portsmouth, was stated to have held it of the queen as of her castle of Odiham. (fn. 10)
The first tenant who comes under notice is Roger de Clere. He was holding in 1175, (fn. 11) and on his marriage with Hawise de Gournay gave her Lasham in dower. (fn. 12) The manor would ordinarily have reverted to Ralph brother of Roger, on the death of Hawise, since there were no children of the marriage, but Hawise during life had granted it to Ingram Dabernon, (fn. 13) who had sub-enfeoffed his three brothers, Walter, William, and Richard, his son being witness to the grant. (fn. 14) Hence, when Hawise died there were conflicting claims to the manor (fn. 15) till a partition was made in 1207, one moiety being assigned to Walter Dabernon, brother of Ingram, and the other moiety, including the advowson, to Ralph de Clere. (fn. 16) Thenceforth the history of the two moieties, or, as they afterwards came to be called, ' manors,' runs side by side.
To turn first to the de Clere portion, which, as it included the advowson, may be reckoned the more important. Ralph de Clere was one of the barons who opposed King John, and forfeited his land in Lasham, which in 1215 was granted to Ellis de Falaise. (fn. 17) He was restored to favour, however, by Henry III, who in 1217 ordered Fulk de Breaute to give him full seisin of all the lands he possessed when he withdrew from allegiance to King John. (fn. 18) Ralph was succeeded by Sir Roger, who sold the estate to John de Gatesden before 1243. (fn. 19) This John de Gatesden had a daughter Margaret who married John de Camoys, and with her he gave in free marriage his moiety of the manor. (fn. 20) John de Camoys alienated the property to Robert Walerand, and Robert de Camoys, son and heir of John, confirmed him in possession in 1267. (fn. 21) In the following year Robert, Prior of God's House, Portsmouth, acquired the halfmanor of Lasham and the advowson of the church from Robert Walerand in exchange for his lands in Great and Little Kington (co. Dorset). (fn. 22) After the death of Robert Walerand Ralph de Camoys claimed the estate from the prior on the ground that John de Camoys by his alienation had violated the statute de donis conditionalibus, and in spite of the fact that this statute was not passed till 1285, judgement was given in his favour, and Alan de Plunkenet, the heir of Robert Walerand, was obliged to compensate the prior by a gift of land in his manor of Broughton. (fn. 23) Ralph de Camoys obtained a grant of free warren in his demesne lands of Lasham in 1318, (fn. 24) and three years later the manor, as his property had by this time come to be called, was settled upon him and Elizabeth his wife in fee tail. (fn. 25) In 1336 John le Latymer died seised of a messuage, land, and rent in Lasham, held by the service of half a knight's fee. (fn. 26) His son and heir John died seised of the same property two years later, and was succeeded by his brother Robert, (fn. 27) who settled the manor of Lasham on William Fillol and Mary his wife and the heirs of Mary in 1338. (fn. 28) The estate had reverted to the Camoys family however before 1386, in which year Thomas de Camoys was in possession. (fn. 29) His grandson Hugh de Camoys died in 1427, leaving as his heirs his sisters Margaret and Eleanor. (fn. 30) To the latter, who married Sir Roger Lewknor, was assigned the manor of Lasham. Sir Roger Lewknor was seised of Lasham at his death in 1478, and was followed by his son Thomas Lewknor, (fn. 31) who in his turn was succeeded by another Sir Roger Lewknor. The latter in 1513 granted the manor to trustees for the use of Sir John Dawtrey, who died in 1519, leaving as his heir his son Francis. (fn. 32) In 1556 the estate was purchased from Francis by John Pincke, (fn. 33) whose son Henry (fn. 34) sold it to Richard Bartlett in 1601. (fn. 35) Andrew Blunden acquired it from him in 1607 (fn. 36) and left it to his son Richard, who died seised in 1619. (fn. 37) William Blunden the son and heir of Richard dealt with the manor by recovery in 1623. (fn. 38)
The fortune of the other moiety, which was assigned to Walter Dabernon in 1207, was similar in its frequent changes of lords. In 1268 another Walter Dabernon settled the estate for life on Simon de Montcuyt. (fn. 39) He was succeeded by John Dabernon, (fn. 40) who in 1314 granted a messuage and land in -Lasham to Walter de Aberval to hold for his life, promising in addition to provide him with two robes worth 40s. every year as long as he lived. (fn. 41) In 1346 William Dabernon is recorded as holding the fee which belonged to John Dabernon. (fn. 42) How long the Dabernons continued to hold this property and how and when the next holders, the Hamptons, acquired it is unknown.
John Hampton was holding in 1428, (fn. 43) and his grandson Thomas on his death in 1483 (fn. 44) bequeathed the manor to his granddaughter Katharine Whitehead for life, with remainder to his daughters Elizabeth wife of Richard Wallop, Joan the wife of John Waller, and Julia the wife of William Froste. (fn. 45) Both Elizabeth and Julia died without children, and thus the Hampton estates passed into the possession of the Waller family. (fn. 46) In 1551 Richard Waller, grandson and heir of John Waller, died seised of the manor. (fn. 47) His widow Margery, who subsequently married Thomas Southe, held the manor for the term of her life. (fn. 48) In 1576 William Waller son of Richard and Margery sold the manor to Sir William Kingswell, (fn. 49) who died seised in 1613 (fn. 50) —but the latter had to carry on a lawsuit before securing undisturbed possession. (fn. 51) His son Edward probably purchased the other original moiety from William Blunden, and in 1630 sold the whole estate of Lasham and the advowson to Sir Edmund Plowden. (fn. 52) James Plowden, grandson of Sir Edmund, sold to Anthony Guidott in 1705, (fn. 53) and in 1772 William Woodroffe Guidott (fn. 54) was the owner. (fn. 55) It was subsequently acquired by the family of Jervoise, (fn. 56) and Mr. Francis Henry Tristram Jervoise of Herriard is the present lord of the manor.
The church of ST. MARY is a small building built in 1866, in the 13th-century style and consisting of a chancel with a north vestry and organ chamber, and a nave with a wooden tower over the west end, and a south porch also constructed of wood. The walls are of flint with stone dressings, pierced by plain lancet windows. The roofs are of open-timber construction covered with tiles, and the tower is shingled. It contains only one bell, which bears the name of its donor, and the date 1786.
At the west end of the nave floor is a slab to Thomas Plowden, second son of Edmund Plowden, who died in 1698, with a shield of his arms.
The churchyard is small, surrounded by wooden palings, and is entered from the road by a modern lych-gate.
The plate consists of a silver chalice paten, and flagon of 1867; a plated chalice, two brass almsdishes, a pewter flagon, and two pewter alms plates.
There are six books of registers, the first containing baptisms, marriages, and burials from 1560 to 1661, and the second book contains the same from 1663 to 1790, the third contains burials from 1678 to 1732, the fourth marriages from 1755 to 1824, the fifth baptisms from 1785 to 1812 and the sixth has burials from 1791 to 1812.
When the manor of Lasham was divided in 1207, the advowson fell to the share of Ralph de Gere, (fn. 57) and followed the descent of his estate, (fn. 58) passing with it to Edmund Plowden. (fn. 59) The living is now a rectory of the present annual value of £250 with 80 acres of glebe, in the gift of the lord of the manor, Mr. F. H. T. Jervoise.
In 1565 Thomas Southe and Marjory his wife asserted that the advowson belonged to their moiety, but apparently had no grounds for this assertion. (fn. 60)
In 1865, the Rev. Francis Ellis Jervoise by his will, proved 11 August, left £100 for the deserving poor.
The Rev. James Pinnock, at a date not stated, also left £100 for the poor; and a further sum of £100 was left by a Mrs. Roe (as supposed) for the benefit of the cottagers.
The several legacies—less duty—were deposited in the Post Office Savings Bank for some years, and are now represented by three sums of £92 7s. 7d. India 3 per cent. stock, producing together an income of £8 6s. a year.
The Parliamentary Returns of 1786 mention that in 1706 Thomas Plowden and John Page granted by deed two annuities of £2 and 10s., for the poor. The Charity Commissioners' Report of 1824, however, states that as no allotment was made for the benefit of the poor on the inclosure, it was supposed that these two annuities were granted in lieu of their rights.