Pages 116-121

A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 5, Gartree Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1964.

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In this section

GUMLEY (fn. 1)

Gumley lies eleven miles south-east of Leicester at the eastern end of a ridge of hills which runs from Husbands Bosworth through Mowsley and Laughton, north of the Welland valley. The civil parish, which is 1,385 a. in area, has the shape of a very irregular triangle, at the centre of which is the village itself. The parish church stands just above the 500 ft. contour line, and the Gumley woods are prominent landmarks in the district. The soil is mostly boulder clay. The hills running through the parish are formed from the Middle Lias clays, and on the north-east extend into a ridge followed by the road to Debdale Wharf on the Grand Union Canal. This wharf in the north-east corner of the parish was the southern terminus of the canal from the time when work was suspended in 1797 until the construction of the branch to Market Harborough in 1805. Water for the canal was provided by the Saddington reservoir, part of which lies in the north-west corner of Gumley parish. (fn. 2) The canal follows the eastern boundary of the parish until it reaches Foxton locks. Joseph Cradock (d. 1826) of Gumley Hall was an active promoter of the canal. (fn. 3) There are lanes to Laughton, Smeeton Westerby, Saddington, and Foxton.

It is probable that the Saxon and medieval village did not occupy the site of the present settlement. The church stands in the grounds of Gumley Hall, but the inclosure award map of 1773 makes it clear that the original village street ran to the south wall of the churchyard and round to the west, following a course still marked by a broad, deep ditch which skirts the field north of the church. (fn. 4) There is a well and a ruined pump not far from the north-west corner of the church. Buildings around the church were probably removed to permit the construction of Gumley Hall in 1764. A large area of the parish around the village had been inclosed by agreement in the 16th and 17th centuries. The chief topographical feature that has disappeared since inclosure is 'Dirty Lane', which ran a winding course through ancient inclosures into Mill Field south of Gumley Wood. In 1773 it contained several houses. (fn. 5)

The recorded population of Gumley in 1086 was 20. (fn. 6) The poll tax returns of 1381 listed 65 names. (fn. 7) In 1563 the village contained 20 households, and in 1670 39. In 1603 there were 110 communicants, and in 1676 113. (fn. 8) The size of the village in the early 18th century was between 40 and 45 families. (fn. 9) During the 19th century, however, there were considerable fluctuations, caused to some extent by variations in the amount of employment provided by the Gumley Hall estate, which had a succession of different tenants (see below). The population rose from 224 in 1801 to 289 in 1821, and thereafter fluctuated between 265 and 133. In 1951 the figure was 183. (fn. 10)

There was no electricity until 1931, but the owners of Gumley Hall made good this deficiency by generating their own supplies. In the small factory-like building with a large chimney-stack north of the old school playground Capt. Whitmore in the late 19th century produced gas, and Mr. Murray Smith in the early 20th century converted the installation to produce electricity. Both gas and electricity were piped to the hall alone. (fn. 11)

The church and the hall stand near the top of the hill and the houses of the village extend down the slope on either side of the main street which runs south-eastwards to Foxton. Most of the houses, in red brick with slate roofs, date from the later 19th century, and there are several half-timbered cottages of the same period. The Bell Inn, the only public house, and Goodman's Farm at the south-east end of the village were built of locally-made bricks earlier in the 19th century; they have low casement windows. The main entrance to Gumley Hall faces south-westwards, looking down a short avenue of trees. The village street, which used to run directly to the church between this avenue and the hall, has been diverted so that it now runs across the end of the avenue.

Gumley Hall was built in 1764 for Joseph Cradock (d. 1826). (fn. 12) It consists of a large central block in red brick of three stories, flanked by two-story pavilions connected to the main block by quadrant walls. The south-west façade of the central block in the original design was a symmetrical arrangement of seven bays with a central doorway; the central portion projected slightly and was surmounted by a pediment. (fn. 13) In 1869-70 Capt. Whitmore added a stone portico running the whole length of the ground floor of the central block, and the original window-frames have been replaced by large sashes containing plate-glass. There used to be four statues in the niches on the quadrant walls. The north-east façade facing the garden and Gumley Wood is similarly symmetrical, flanked by bowwindow projections to all three stories. (fn. 14) Internally many of the features, including the main staircase with its cast-iron balustrade, appear to date from the earlier 19th century. These were probably inserted between 1823 and 1833 by Sir Edmund Cradock-Hartopp who apparently took over the house in an unfinished condition. (fn. 15) South of the hall and opening upon the village street the red-brick stables built round a court-yard were erected by Capt. Whitmore; the clock-tower in the style of an Italian campanile bears the inscription Incorrupta Fides and a weathercock dated 1870. In order to enable him to add the present extensions to the northern pavilion of the house, Capt. Whitmore removed the Rectory which stood against the hall, and built the present Rectory (1869-70) in a field north of the church. (fn. 16)

Gumley Wood, which lies north-east of the hall, was in the 18th century one of the few sources of timber in the district. The Gumley Hall estate was then only 400 a. but with the woods it was guaranteed to yield an annual income of at least £500. (fn. 17) The estate was in 1958 about 1,800 a. (fn. 18) The woods contained many foxes and badgers. (fn. 19) In the late 18th century Gumley was on the southern border of the country hunted by Meynell's hounds from Quorn and Langton. (fn. 20) In 1800 the Pytchley paid for stopping up the fox-earths in Gumley and Laughton, but these were still considered within Meynell's territory; (fn. 21) in 1900 Fernie's Hunt employed an earth-stopper in Gumley. (fn. 22) Most of the owners and tenants of Gumley Hall have been enthusiastic fox-hunters, except its first owner, Joseph Cradock (d. 1826). (fn. 23)

Cradock laid out the gardens and plantations of Gumley Hall in imitation of the Parc de St. Cloud, (fn. 24) and in the summer months they became a fashionable resort for the gentry of Leicester, particularly those who came to take the mineral waters of its 'spa', a chalybeate spring found in 1789. (fn. 25) Some of the plantations were made by the Revd. William Hanbury of Church Langton who leased land in Gumley for the purpose. (fn. 26) Cradock moved in the literary society of Goldsmith, Johnson, and Burke, and built a theatre at Gumley which was used for amateur productions and by Garrick. (fn. 27) The owners of Gumley Hall in the 19th century, described below, were not always resident. There were at least two periods when the hall was in the hands of tenants-the 1860's and the 1890's. The CradockHartopps let it to Lt.-Col. Dottin Maycock (1816- 79) before he moved to Foxton Lodge, (fn. 28) and then to Viscount Ingestre (1830-77) before he succeeded as Earl of Shrewsbury in 1868. (fn. 29) After many structural alterations to the hall, 1869-70, the new owner, Capt. Whitmore, came into residence. From c. 1890, when he moved to Essex, he let the hall to a succession of tenants: T. K. Taplin (1855-91), M.P. for South Leicestershire; (fn. 30) James Coats (1834-1913), of J. & P. Coats, Ltd.; (fn. 31) and from 1893 Mrs. Emma Bellville, who afterwards moved to Stoughton Grange. (fn. 32) In 1897 the hall was bought by the Murray Smiths, who lived there until 1940. G. A. Murray Smith then moved into the Rectory, which was no longer required by the incumbent. From 1946 to 1948 Group Capt. Leonard Cheshire, V.C., rented the hall which was converted into flats as an experiment in community living for ex-servicemen and their families. In 1958 the hall contained one occupied flat. (fn. 33)

Gumley was a meeting-place for the witanagemot of the kings of Mercia in the 8th century. (fn. 34) On the south side of Gumley Covert there is a pond called 'the Mot' which may be a Saxon site. (fn. 35) The pond stands in a small natural amphitheatre near a mound surmounted with trees.


In 1086 9 carucates in GUMLEY were held by Robert de Buci under the Countess Judith and 4 carucates by Geoffrey under Robert de Vescy. (fn. 36) The descents of these two manors remained separate until the early 15th century when they were merged under the Griffin family. In the 13th century part of the former fee became attached to the Brabazon manor in Mowsley. (fn. 37)

By 1109 the holding of Robert de Buci had passed to Robert son of Vitalis and was considered part of his adjoining manor at Foxton. (fn. 38) Robert's grandson, Richard the son of Simon of Foxton, enfeoffed Robert de Braybrook with his land in Gumley about 1208-9. (fn. 39) On the death of Richard's son Richard in or before 1224 the overlordship of the property was divided between his two daughters, Beatrice the wife of Richard of Middleton and Amice the wife of Alan Basset. (fn. 40) The latter also had two daughters, Joan who married William of Gumley and Agnes who married Ralph de St. Lo, the overlord of Foxton in the late 13th century. (fn. 41) The overlordship later passed to the heirs of Richard of Middleton. (fn. 42)

Robert de Braybrook, tenant of this Gumley manor in the early 13th century, had a son Henry, who married Christine, daughter and heir of Wischard Ledet. Christine's grandson left two daughters, Alice and Christine, who married two Latimer brothers. John Latimer, Christine's husband, died in 1282 seised of a manor in Gumley and lands in Foxton all held of Ralph de St. Lo. (fn. 43) His wife's inheritance also included a share in the manors of East Langton and Smeeton Westerby and the honor of Wardon (Northants.). (fn. 44) John Latimer was succeeded by his son Thomas (d. 1334) (fn. 45) and his grandson Warin (d. 1349). (fn. 46) None of Warin's four sons had children who survived and the inheritance passed to the heirs of his daughter Elizabeth who had married Thomas Griffin of Gumley and Weston Favell (Northants.). (fn. 47) The widow of Warin's youngest son Edward remained in possession until her death in 1421. (fn. 48) She was succeeded by John Griffin, Elizabeth's grandson.

No descent can be traced of the Domesday holding which belonged to Geoffrey under Robert de Vescy until the middle of the 13th century when 3 carucates in Gumley were ascribed to the fee of Harcourt. (fn. 49) Saer de Harcourt appears to have enfeoffed Richard Griffin of Weston Favell. In 1262 he quitclaimed to Richard Griffin the suit of his men at Gumley to his court at Kibworth. (fn. 50) In 1279 Richard Griffin held 4 carucates of Richard de Harcourt who held of the Earl of Warwick. (fn. 51) But the Warwick interest did not survive, and the nominal overlordship of the Griffin manor in Gumley passed with the manor of Kibworth Harcourt to Merton College, Oxford. (fn. 52) The Griffins owed suit of court at Kibworth and a rent of 5s. a year to the college. In 1616 the college instigated proceedings against Sir Edward Griffin and his son Thomas to recover this service which had not been performed since the latter had alienated the manor to his tenants in 1610. (fn. 53)

The interests of both manors in Gumley were united by the marriage of Elizabeth Latimer to Thomas, Richard Griffin's grandson, already mentioned. John Griffin, Elizabeth's grandson, possessed all manorial rights in Gumley. From 1421 the descent of this manor followed the male line of the Griffins, Lords Latimer of Braybrooke. (fn. 54)

On the death of Thomas Griffin in 1566 the manor appears to have passed to his brother Edward Griffin (d. 1569) of Dingley (Northants.), who became Attorney General. It was subject to a partition of Griffin lands in 1561. (fn. 55) In 1610 Edward's grandson Thomas conveyed it to Edward Chapman the younger of Foxton and Robert Fellow of Foxton for the use of its six principal tenants. (fn. 56) The nature of this transaction was disputed, (fn. 57) but the result was that during the 17th and early 18th centuries the manorial rights in Gumley belonged to local yeoman farming families. The precise descent of the manor is, therefore, obscure. William Aylworth (d. 1661) of Gumley devised the manor to his nephew William Underwood of Irthlingborough (Northants.). (fn. 58) William's son, John Underwood, was living in Gumley in 1687, (fn. 59) and was probably still alive in 1692-3. (fn. 60) By 1706 John's son, William Underwood, had disposed of the manor to George Farmer and Henry Morley whose heirs in 1712 conveyed it to John Horton (d. 1742). (fn. 61) The latter's great-grandfather William Horton (d. 1637) in 1610 had acquired from Edward and Thomas Griffin the messuage and 5 yardlands in Gumley which he occupied. (fn. 62) The fact that this property was also called a manor has added to the confusion surrounding this descent and led to the Hortons being called lords of Gumley during the 17th century. (fn. 63) In fact John Horton (d. 1742) was the only member of the family to own the original manor, and just before his death his children conveyed it to Joseph Cradock (d. 1759) a Leicester hosier and draper. (fn. 64)

His son Joseph Cradock (d. 1826) succeeded to the estate as a minor. (fn. 65) He built Gumley Hall in 1764 and became a well-known antiquary and patron of the arts. His success brought great indebtedness, and in 1823, a widower with no children, he retired to London on a small annuity and handed over the heavily-mortgaged estate to his heir, Sir Edmund Cradock-Hartopp (d. 1833), a grandson of his uncle Edmund Cradock (d. 1749). (fn. 66) Sir Edmund was succeeded by his son Sir William Edmund (1797-1864) and his grandson Sir John William (1829-88). (fn. 67) In 1867 the latter sold the Gumley estates to his brother-in-law, Capt. T. C. D. Whitmore (1839-1907) of Apley, near Bridgnorth (Salop.), who succeeded to Orsett Hall (Essex) in 1884. (fn. 68) In 1897 Capt. Whitmore sold the estate to George Murray Smith (1859-1919), from 1911 Chairman of the Midland Railway and the eldest son of George Smith, publisher and founder of the Dictionary of National Biography. (fn. 69) Smith's widow, a daughter of the 1st Lord Belper, remained in the hall until her death in 1940. (fn. 70) She outlived her three sons: the eldest and youngest were killed in the First World War; the other died in 1928. (fn. 71) Her heir was the son of the eldest, Arthur George, Lt.-Col. G. Anthony Murray Smith, the owner in 1957.


In 1279 Roger le Brabazon (d. 1317) (fn. 72) held ½ virgate and the rents of at least 7 free tenants in Gumley. (fn. 73) Like John Latimer (d. 1282) at the same date, he held of the manor of Foxton in the honor of Huntingdon. (fn. 74) He was succeeded by his brother Matthew le Brabazon and Matthew's wife Sarah (fn. 75) who were the direct ancestors of the earls of Meath. (fn. 76) On Sarah's death the property was divided between Thomas le Brabazon, Roger de Oadby, and William Curzon. (fn. 77) By 1345 the shares of the first two were united, (fn. 78) and probably remained in the hands of the Oadby family, lords of Oadby, until the early 16th century. (fn. 79) The Oadby interest may have passed to the Chapman family of Foxton, and the two parts of Gumley known in the 17th century as 'Chapman's land' and 'Skeffington's land' may originate from the Brabazon holding. (fn. 80) Thomas Skeffington of Skeffington died in 1543 seised of land in Gumley. (fn. 81) The heir of the last Skeffington was John St. Andrew (d. 1626). (fn. 82) When the latter's property was surveyed in July 1646 on behalf of his heirs, his estate in Gumley consisted of 2 farms, each with 3 yardlands, some small closes, and pasture. (fn. 83)

In 1297-9 a messuage and carucate in Gumley belonged to the heirs of John Vitor who held of Ralph de St. Lo, lord of Foxton. (fn. 84) In 1309 Hugh le Tayllur of Harborough conveyed a messuage and a virgate in Gumley to Roger le Brabazon. (fn. 85) The interest of Owston Abbey in property at Gumley has not been discovered. (fn. 86)


In 1086, on Geoffrey's holding, there were 2 ploughs, one held in demesne with 2 serfs and one held by 3 socmen. There were 8 a. of meadow. The value had increased from 12d. before the Conquest to 10s. On Robert de Buci's holding there were 6 ploughs, one held in demesne with 2 serfs and one held by 6 villeins, a priest, 5 bordars, and one freeman. There were 20 a. of meadow. The value had increased from 10s. to 40s. (fn. 87)

Little is known of economic conditions in Gumley during the Middle Ages. In 1517 Richard Oadby was reported to have allowed the decay of a farmhouse and 70 a. through inclosure which displaced 6 persons. (fn. 88) In 1610, when Thomas Griffin conveyed his manor in Gumley to Edward Chapman and Robert Fellow for the use of his 6 tenants, there were already many ancient inclosures. The villagers enjoyed common pasture rights over the largest, called 'the Lawnd', which probably corresponds to the 'Great Close' west of Gumley Hall in the inclosure award map of 1773. (fn. 89) Tatgrave or Catgrave Lawnde, then divided into 3 closes-Jakes Yard or Jakes Old, the Home Close, and Woodcroft, was specifically excluded from common pasture rights, but the other 5 closes named were probably included. (fn. 90) In the 1760's William Hanbury, the horticulturalist and Rector of Church Langton, leased Gumley Plantation because he could not find sufficient ancient inclosure in Langton. (fn. 91) The Jordans and the Fremans were the principal yeoman families in the 16th century; (fn. 92) Richard Freman was named in 1610, and the other 5 tenants of the Griffin manor were then Richard and Edward Badley, Simon Iliffe, Robert Bingley, and William Spence. The 1610 agreement concerned 7 messuages, 2 cottages, and 19¾ yardlands. (fn. 93) Three open fields-Brook Field to the south, Holdgate Field to the north-east, and Debdale or Mill Field to the north-west-surrounded about 250 a. of ancient inclosure round the village. (fn. 94) This arrangement lasted until the inclosure Act of 1772. (fn. 95) The inclosure award of 1773 divided over 1,139 a. between 18 occupiers and the rector. The largest allotment, 259 a., went to the lord of the manor, Joseph Cradock. Seven of the 18 occupiers received allotments of less than 20 a. The award mentions a piece of ground in Mill Field 'where a mill lately stood'. (fn. 96) Previous attempts to secure an inclosure Act in 1760 and 1771 had been abortive, largely because of opposition from smallholders. (fn. 97) After inclosure the greater part of the parish was devoted to pasture farming; the crop returns of 1801 recorded only 115 a. of arable. (fn. 98)


Eleven surviving apprenticeship indentures, 1784-1832, include 4 which placed boys with framework-knitters in Wigston, Fleckney, and Blaby. (fn. 99) In 1802-3 there was no workhouse, and out-relief was given to 28 adults and 34 children. (fn. 100) After 1836 Gumley was included in Market Harborough Union. (fn. 101) The vestry minute book, 1887-94, shows that two annual vestry meetings were held, one in March for the ratepayers and one in April for the inhabitants. At the March meeting 2 overseers and a guardian of the poor, 2 collectors of taxes, a constable, and a waywarden were elected. The April meeting examined the churchwardens' accounts. (fn. 102)


There was a priest at Gumley in 1086. (fn. 103) In the early 12th century the church was given to Daventry Priory by Robert son of Vitalis. (fn. 104) Until 1266 the advowson belonged to the priory, and thereafter (fn. 105) to the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln, who occasionally leased their right of presentation in the 17th century. (fn. 106) Under a scheme of 1932 the benefice was united with that of Foxton in 1939. (fn. 107) In 1957 the dean and chapter possessed the first and third turns and the Lord Chancellor the second turn to present to the united benefice of Foxton and Gumley. (fn. 108)

The annual value of the rectory in 1254 was 100s. and in 1291 £5 6s. 8d. (fn. 109) A pension of 13s. 4d. was reserved from the rectory in the 14th and 15th centuries for the benefit of the choristers of Lincoln Cathedral. (fn. 110) The gross annual value of the rectory in 1535 was £16 13s. 4d. (fn. 111) By the inclosure award of 1773 the commissioners allotted to the rector 151 a. in lieu of great and small tithes and 68 a. in lieu of glebe. (fn. 112) The tithes of 22 a. of woodland belonging to the lord of the manor, not commuted at the time of inclosure, were converted into a rent-charge of 18s. 4d. in 1850. (fn. 113) In 1932 the tithe allotments and glebe of Gumley alone produced an annual income of £202 2s. 6d. in rent, augmented by £30 from Queen Anne's Bounty and interest from stock. (fn. 114)

Many of the medieval incumbents were probably non-resident, holding either prebends or offices connected with Lincoln Cathedral. (fn. 115) In the 16th and 17th centuries four, perhaps five, of the rectors were related to local families. (fn. 116) Nicholas Kestian (d. 1686) was ejected from the living in 1662. (fn. 117) Richard Wynne, rector 1758-88, was responsible for the construction of a new rectory house, (fn. 118) but it is doubtful whether either of his two successors resided for any length of time. (fn. 119) The present Rectory was built in 1869-70. (fn. 120)

The church of ST. HELEN stands in the grounds of Gumley Hall, the main approach being from the carriage drive in front of the house. It consists of a spired west tower, chancel, nave, south aisle, and south porch. The building is largely of the 14th century but the chancel was completely rebuilt during a restoration of the fabric in 1874-6.

The narrow south aisle probably dates from the early 14th century. It is divided from the nave by a somewhat primitive arcade of three bays, the two chamfered orders of the arches being carried to floor level without capitals or bases. On the eastern respond is a crude niche and in the south wall a small ogee-headed piscina. The two square-headed south windows may well be later insertions. The clerestory windows in their present circular form date from the 19th-century restoration; at an earlier stage they are shown with pointed heads and without tracery. (fn. 121) The tower is of coursed limestone masonry and appears to belong to the late 14th century. It is surmounted by a broach spire having two sets of lights with crocketted heads. On the east gable-end of the nave is a crocketted finial containing an empty niche. The north wall of the nave has two large windows and a doorway with a fourcentred head. All are insertions of the 16th century or even later and much of the wall appears to have been rebuilt at the same time. Until the middle of the 19th century there was a porch outside the north door. (fn. 122)

The chancel was rebuilt in 1759 and repaired in 1825 and 1831. (fn. 123) In 1874 the church was re-roofed and thoroughly restored. The chancel was again rebuilt, this time on the lines of medieval foundations discovered during the progress of the work. (fn. 124) It is mainly in the Decorated style and internally has two crocketted niches containing statues which flank the east window. A gallery which formerly blocked the tower arch was probably removed during this restoration. The tower was repaired in 1906. (fn. 125)

The pews probably date from 1825, when repairs were made to the church, and the font was described as 'recently installed' in 1866. (fn. 126) The chancel screen formed part of the 1874 restoration. The pulpit was given in 1898. (fn. 127) Mural tablets include those to John Horton (d. 1701) and his wife Barbara (d. 1705) and to Andrew and Elizabeth Horton (both d. 1721). A tablet to Richard Wynne, rector (d. 1788), is by Firmadge. (fn. 128) There are also tablets to members of the Murray Smith family (1919 and 1928).

The plate consists of a silver cup and paten, two flagons, and a dish, all given in 1765 by Joseph Cradock of Gumley Hall. (fn. 129) There are three bells: (i) 1625; (ii) 1721; (fn. 130) (iii) mid-14th century, by John of Stafford of Leicester. (fn. 131) In 1797 the archdeacon recommended that the oldest register, which was decaying rapidly, should be copied out into a new book, but neither the register nor a copy has survived. (fn. 132) The surviving registers begin in 1694, with gaps from 1747 to 1757 (burials) and 1747 to 1754 (marriages).

R. W. Jesson, by will proved in 1930, left £200, the income from which was to be applied to the repair of the church, and his daughter Maude gave £25 in 1932 to be invested for the upkeep of the electriclight standard (which she had presented) on the church steps. (fn. 133)


Nicholas Kestian (d. 1686), Rector of Gumley 1645-62, remained in the parish after his ejection in 1662, but later moved to Market Harborough and Leicester where he was a wellknown nonconformist preacher. (fn. 134) There were 4 nonconformists in Gumley in 1676, and 2 or 3 in 1705-16. (fn. 135) No further evidence of dissent has been discovered.


In 1819 there was only a Sunday school attended by 40-50 children in the parish, but by 1833 this had been expanded to provide a day school for 42 children supported by subscriptions. (fn. 136) In 1864 Viscount Ingestre, tenant of Gumley Hall, built the present school building which he gave to the parish. It was kept in repair by successive lords of the manor until 1906. (fn. 137) The instruction given was on strictly Church of England lines. The average attendance fell from 41 in 1871 to 36 in 1900, 23 in 1910, and 22 in 1922. (fn. 138) The closure of the school was discussed in 1922 when parents of senior pupils were encouraged to send them to Kibworth school. (fn. 139) In 1929 a bus service took the seniors to Church Langton, leaving the juniors at Gumley. (fn. 140) Since 1933, when the school was closed, a bus has taken all Gumley children to Church Langton and the school building has been used for village meetings. (fn. 141)


Three benefactions to the poor of Gumley were amalgamated in the late 19th century as St. Thomas's Charity, worth 25s. a year, to be distributed on St. Thomas's Day (21 December). (fn. 142) This amount is derived from three separate rentcharges on land in Gumley: 10s. from Kirby's Close which was acquired by 1786 with £10 left by John Taylor, 10s. from land at Debdale devised by William Kirby, by will dated 1731, and 5s. from land near Foxton Locks devised by Richard Webb, by will proved 1760. (fn. 143) It has always, in practice, been distributed every two years by the rector and churchwardens. (fn. 144)

A rent-charge of 5s. devised by John Kirby in 1764 to the poor was not collected after 1829. (fn. 145)


  • 1. Much valuable assistance has been given in the compilation of this article by Miss Jane Jesson, churchwarden of Gumley, who has the custody of the parish records, and by the Rector of Foxton with Gumley, the Revd. E. C. Parker.
  • 2. See p. 284; Nichols, Leics. i, plate xlviii, and p. 624.
  • 3. T.L.A.S. xxvii. 76.
  • 4. L.R.O. Gumley Inclosure Award (1773).
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. V.C.H. Leics. iii. 157.
  • 7. Leic. City Mun. Room, Farnham's MS. notes.
  • 8. V.C.H. Leics. iii. 166, 168, 170, 173.
  • 9. Assoc. Archit. Soc. Rep. & Papers, xxii. 278.
  • 10. V.C.H. Leics. iii. 188.
  • 11. Local inf.
  • 12. Coll. Top. et Gen. iii. 332.
  • 13. Nichols, Leics. ii, plate c; for a description of the previous hall, let in 1736 to the Hon. Mr. Berkeley (perhaps George, see D.N.B.), see Nichols, Leics. iii. 534.
  • 14. Throsby, Leics. Views, i. 286.
  • 15. W. Harrod, Mkt. Harborough (1808), 93-94.
  • 16. White, Dir. Leics. (1877), 226.
  • 17. Coll. Top. et Gen. iii. 332; Nichols, Leics. iii. 534.
  • 18. Ex inf. John German & Sons, Ashby, Land Agents; the deeds of the property in 1958 were with E. F. Turner, 115 Leadenhall St., E.C. 3.
  • 19. Evelyn Cheesman, Things Worth While (1957), 34-39.
  • 20. C. D. B. Ellis, Leics. and the Quorn Hunt, 12, 46.
  • 21. Ibid. 13n; Throsby, Leics. Views, i. 287.
  • 22. Cheesman, op. cit. 35; C. Simpson, Harborough Country, 117, on Fernie's opening meet in 1890.
  • 23. Cradock, Lit. and Misc. Memoirs, i. 111.
  • 24. Leic. City Ref. Libr., Cable Coll. viii. 160; xxvii. 128.
  • 25. Throsby, Leics. Views, i. 287; Nichols, Leics. ii. 589; Curtis, Topog. Hist. Leics. 69.
  • 26. Nichols, Leics. ii. 589; see p. 196.
  • 27. Cradock, Lit. and Misc. Memoirs, passim; W. Gardiner, Music and Friends, i. 96, 101.
  • 28. E. Walford, County Families (1875), 671; Burke, Peerage (1896), 441.
  • 29. Complete Peerage, xi. 728 states that Ingestre was born at Gumley, suggesting an earlier tenancy by his father.
  • 30. Dod, Parlt. Companion (1886), 333; a philatelist, see B.M. King's Libr.; Complete Peerage, iii. 462.
  • 31. Burke, Peerage (1949), 435.
  • 32. See p. 221.
  • 33. Ex inf. Lt.-Col. G. A. Murray Smith.
  • 34. E.H.R. xx. 697-9; Cart. Sax. ed. Birch, i. 254-6, 297-8, 320-2; T.L.A.S. xxvi. 86; xxix. 36; B.M. Cott. MS. Aug. ii, 4.
  • 35. O.S. Nat. Grid 679898.
  • 36. V.C.H. Leics. i. 322, 333; the early part of this descent has been traced in J. H. Bloom, The Griffins of Dingley (1921), and W. P. Baildon, Braybrooke (1923).
  • 37. See pp. 118, 250.
  • 38. B.M. Add. Ch. 21204; see p. 91.
  • 39. Rot. Chart. (Rec. Com.), 181.
  • 40. Farrer, Honors and Knights' Fees, ii. 366-8.
  • 41. Cal. Inq. p.m. ii, p. 284; Farnham, Leics. Notes, iv. 23.
  • 42. Cal. Inq. p.m. ix, p. 294.
  • 43. Ibid. ii, p. 284.
  • 44. See pp. 184, 196. Bridges, Northants. i. 114-15; Farrer, op. cit. ii. 384-5.
  • 45. Cal. Inq. p.m. vii, p. 422.
  • 46. Ibid. ix, p. 266.
  • 47. Complete Peerage, vii. 456; Baker, Northants. i. 73; V.C.H. Northants. iv. 108.
  • 48. Cal. Close, 1402-5, 10; 1409-13, 250; 1419-22, 171.
  • 49. Bk. of Fees, i. 634.
  • 50. Northants. Rec. Off. Griffin Cart. VV, f. 52a.
  • 51. Bodl. MS. Rawl. B. 350, m. 20.
  • 52. See p. 180; Farnham, Leics. Notes, v. 254.
  • 53. C 3/238/108.
  • 54. Complete Peerage, vii. 450-60; Nichols, Leics. ii. 592.
  • 55. Baker, Northants. i. 526.
  • 56. Leic. City Mun. Room, Farnham's MS. notes from Quorn House Deeds.
  • 57. B.M. Add. Ch. 6124.
  • 58. L.R.O. Wills, Box 1477; Aylworth founded schools at Pytchley and Little Harrowden (Northants.) with £20 p.a. from Gumley manor: V.C.H. Northants. ii. 279, 286; iv. 213; Nichols, Leics. iii. 534-5. L.R.O. will for William Underwood (1685) is missing.
  • 59. Leic. City Mun. Room, 3 D. 35/7.
  • 60. Longden, Northants. and Rut. Clergy, vi. 229.
  • 61. C.P. 25(2)/937/4 Anne Hil.; /939/11 Anne Trin. For the Underwoods at Irthlingborough, c. 1724-68, see V.C.H. Northants. iii. 209; Bridges, Northants. ii. 236-7; Longden, Northants. and Rut. Clergy, xiv. 33.
  • 62. L.R.O. 42 D.31/145; T.L.A.S. xxiii. 13, 16, 18, gives the date as 1609; Horton married a sister of Bridges, the historian of Northants.
  • 63. T.L.A.S. xxiii. 13.
  • 64. C.P. 25(2)/1152/15 & 16 Geo. II Trin.; Hill, Gartree, i. 266-7; Horton's son-in-law, John Aldwinckle, advertised a sale of the estate in 1736: Nichols, Leics. iii. 534.
  • 65. Longden, Northants. and Rut. Clergy, vii. 249.
  • 66. D.N.B.; Nichols, Leics. ii. 589; Hartopp, Roll of Mayors of Leic. 263; Cradock, Lit. and Misc. Memoirs, i, p. xl.
  • 67. G.E.C. Baronetage, v. 313.
  • 68. Burke, Land. Gent. (1952), 2707.
  • 69. D.N.B. 1st Supplement, i, pp. xlvii-xlviii.
  • 70. Burke, Peerage (1949), 178.
  • 71. Monumental inscription in Gumley church.
  • 72. D.N.B.
  • 73. Bodl. MS. Rawl. B. 350, m. 20.
  • 74. Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, p. 61; Farrer, Honors and Knights' Fees, ii. 368.
  • 75. Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, p. 415.
  • 76. Burke, Peerage (1896), 976.
  • 77. Cal. Fine R. 1319-27, 380-1.
  • 78. Bodl. MS. Ch. Leics. 18.
  • 79. Farnham, Leics. Notes, v. 313; Farnham, Leics. Med. Pedigrees, 59; Domesday of Inclosures, ed. I. S. Leadam, i. 230.
  • 80. Leic. City Mun. Room, Farnham's MS. notes.
  • 81. T.L.A.S. xvi. 123.
  • 82. Nichols, Leics. iii. 436.
  • 83. B.M. Add. MS. 37720.
  • 84. C.P. 40/118 rot. 30d; 122 rot. 177; 126 rot. 52.
  • 85. Plac. Abbrev. (Rec. Com.), 307b.
  • 86. Hilton, Econ. Devt. Leics. Estates, 136.
  • 87. V.C.H. Leics. i. 322, 333.
  • 88. Domesday of Inclosures, ed. Leadam, i. 230-1.
  • 89. Leic. City Mun. Room, Farnham's MS. notes, from Quorn House Deeds; L.R.O. Gumley Inclosure Award (1773).
  • 90. Leic. City Mun. Room, Farnham's MS. notes; Farnham, Leics. Notes, iv. 19, mentions 'Woodclose' in 1635.
  • 91. Cradock, Lit. and Misc. Memoirs, i, p. xx.
  • 92. Leic. City Mun. Room, Farnham's MS. notes.
  • 93. Ibid.
  • 94. Studies in Leics. Agrarian Hist. 107; Leic. City Mun. Room, 1 D.41/2/271 A-D.
  • 95. C.J. xxxiii. 532, 592, 644, 688, 780.
  • 96. L.R.O. Gumley Inclosure Award (1773).
  • 97. C.J. xxviii. 709, 739, 808; xxxiii. 133, 184, 202, 220.
  • 98. Studies in Leics. Agrarian Hist. 147.
  • 99. Gumley par. recs. penes Miss Jane Jesson, churchwarden. There is an Overseers' Acct. Bk. 1788-97.
  • 100. Poor Law Abstract, 1803, 254-5.
  • 101. White, Dir. Leics. (1846), 468.
  • 102. Par. recs. Churchwardens' Accts. survive from 1832 onwards.
  • 103. V.C.H. Leics. i. 333.
  • 104. B.M. Add. MS. 21204; Nichols, Leics. ii. 561; V.C.H. Leics. ii. 21, claim by Owston Abbey in 1208.
  • 105. B.M. Cott. MS. Claud. DX11, f. 162a-b.
  • 106. Assoc. Archit. Soc. Rep. & Papers, xxxvii. 162; for Daventry presentations, see Rot. Hugonis de Welles, ed. W. P. W. Phillimore, i. 266; ii. 264, 308; Rot. R. Grosseteste, ed. F. N. Davis, 396, 400, 433; Rot. R. Gravesend, ed. F. N. Davis, 138, 144, 156.
  • 107. Lond. Gaz. 1932, pp. 8105-6; Crockford (1940), s.v. Britten, C. H.
  • 108. Leics. Dioc. Cal. (1957), 83.
  • 109. Val. of Norw. ed. W. E. Lunt, 260; Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 64, 66.
  • 110. Reg. Antiquissimum Linc. ed. C. W. Foster and K. Major, ii. 141, 161; iii. 404; Chapter Acts Linc. Cath. 1536-47, ed. Cole, 176.
  • 111. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv. 159.
  • 112. L.R.O. Gumley Inclosure Award (1773).
  • 113. L.R.O. Gumley Tithe Award (1850).
  • 114. Doc. in Foxton Ch. Box.
  • 115. Visitations in Dioc. Linc. 1517-31, ed. A. H. Thompson, 205.
  • 116. Longden, Northants. and Rut. Clergy, ii. 99, 307; Walker Revised, ed. A. G. Matthews, 232-3; window in Gumley church to Thos. Pendock Bingley.
  • 117. Calamy Revised, ed. A. G. Matthews, 307; see below.
  • 118. Leic. City Mun. Room, 1 D.41/18/21, p. 160; Longden, op. cit. xv. 229.
  • 119. Alumni Cantab. 1752-1900, ed. Venn, s.v. George Gordon and Fred. Apthorpe; Leic. City Mun. Room, 8 D.35/4, and 245'50/3, p. 120; Nichols, Leics. i, App. p. 132.
  • 120. See p. 117.
  • 121. Nichols, Leics. ii, plate ci.
  • 122. Leic. City Mun. Room, 1 D.41/18/7 (1633); 245'50/3 (1832), /6 (1836).
  • 123. Ibid. 245'50/3.
  • 124. T.L.A.S. v. 54.
  • 125. Ibid. x. 12.
  • 126. Ibid. iii. 172; Leic. City Mun. Room, 245'50/3.
  • 127. T.L.A.S. ix. 7.
  • 128. Nichols, Leics. ii. 591.
  • 129. Trollope, Ch. Plate Leics. i. 183-4.
  • 130. North, Ch. Bells Leics. 182.
  • 131. V.C.H. Leics. iii. 48; Taylor's Foundry Rep. 25 Mar. 1948, Gumley par. recs.
  • 132. Leic. City Mun. Room, 1 D.41/18/22, p. 160.
  • 133. Ex inf. Miss Jane Jesson, churchwarden.
  • 134. Calamy Revised, ed. A. G. Matthews, 307; T.L.A.S. xxv. 129.
  • 135. T.L.A.S. vi. 300; Assoc. Archit. Soc. Rep. & Papers, xxii. 278.
  • 136. Digest of Returns to Cttee. on Educ. of Poor, H.C. 224, p. 454 (1819), ix (1); Educ. Enquiry Abstract, 1835, 486.
  • 137. Return of Non-Provided Schs. H.C. 178, p. 33 (1906), lxxxvii.
  • 138. Returns relating to Elem. Educ. H.C. 201, p. 204 (1871), lv; Return of Schs. 1899 [Cd. 315], H.C. p. 486 (1900), lxv (2); Leics. Co. Counc. Mins. 11 May 1910.
  • 139. Leics. Educ. Cttee. Distrib. of Public Elem. Schs. 2nd Rep. Oct. 1922, p. 4.
  • 140. Leics. Co. Counc. Mins. 13 Nov. 1929.
  • 141. L.R.O. Gumley (C. of E.) Sch. Log Bk. 1912-33.
  • 142. Gumley par. recs. Churchwardens' Accts.
  • 143. 32nd Rep. Com. Char. Pt. 5, 229-30.
  • 144. Ex inf. Miss Jane Jesson, churchwarden.
  • 145. 32nd Rep. Com. Char. Pt. 5, 229-30.