Aston and Cote: Manors and other estates

Pages 66-69

A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 13, Bampton Hundred (Part One). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1996.

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In the Anglo-Saxon period Aston and Cote formed part of Bampton manor. A part (later 4 yardlands) belonged from the 10th century to Bampton minster's estate, later Bampton Deanery manor, and from the 12th to the 17th century 7 or 8 yardlands were attached to Shifford manor. (fn. 1) In 1238 Henry III granted £15-worth of land to Imbert Pugeys, increased to £30worth in 1239 (fn. 2) and known later as the manor of ASTON BAMPTON, ASTON POGGES, or ASTON BOUGES. Though chiefly in Aston and Cote it later included land in Weald, perhaps part of the original grant, or perhaps associated with ½ yardland acquired before 1275 from John Paulinus, son of the king's buyer, or with 40 a. acquired before 1279 from Miles of Hastings, lord of Yelford. (fn. 3) The manor was held of Bampton manor for a sword or 1s. 6d., still paid annually in the 19th century. (fn. 4)

Imbert died probably by 1269 and was succeeded by his son Robert (d. probably by 1327), whose coheirs were his granddaughters Gilles, wife of John de Moleyns, Joan, wife of Bartholomew Galian, and Alice, wife of William de Langley. (fn. 5) Under an earlier settlement a third passed in dower to Alice, relict of Robert's son Thomas, who married Richard de Waleden and was living in 1353. (fn. 6) The other two thirds and the reversion were quitclaimed by the other coheirs to Joan and Bartholomew in 1328, (fn. 7) and by Thomas Galian and others to Gilles and John de Moleyns in 1353; a third of the two thirds was secured as dower by Elizabeth, relict of Robert Pugeys's son Peter, and her husband Nicholas del Spense, and in the 1330s William Golafre (d. 1358) acquired a life interest in the various portions and reversions. (fn. 8) In 1357 Moleyns was outlawed and his lands seized, but in 1361 following his death Gilles recovered all but the two dower portions, and on her death in 1367 the apparently reunited manor passed to her son Sir William de Moleyns (d. 1381). (fn. 9)

Before 1378 all or part of the manor was settled on William's son Richard (d. 1384), whose son William (d. 1425) succeeded probably in 1399; (fn. 10) in 1417 he leased the manor for their lives to William and Elizabeth Wyot, with provision for his wife Margery. (fn. 11) The reversion passed to his son William, who died seised in 1429 leaving an infant daughter, Eleanor. (fn. 12) She married Sir Robert Hungerford, later Lord Hungerford and Lord Moleyns, who was attainted in 1461 and executed in 1464, and in 1472 Eleanor settled the manor on herself and her second husband Sir Oliver Maningham, with remainder to their executors for seven years and to her granddaughter Mary, later suo jure Baroness Botreaux. (fn. 13) Eleanor died after 1487 (fn. 14) and Oliver in 1499, and on or before Mary's death c. 1533 the manor passed to her son George Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, who with his son Francis sold it in 1537 to Roland (later Sir Roland) Hill, a London mercer. (fn. 15)

In 1553 Hill sold the manor to Alan Horde of the Middle Temple. (fn. 16) Horde died in 1554 leaving it in dower to his relict Dorothy, who in 1566 held it with her second husband Sir Laurence Taylor of Diddington (Hunts.). (fn. 17) On her death in 1577 the manor passed under an earlier settlement to her son Alan Horde (d. 1603) of Ewell (Surrey) and Hoards Park (Salop.), who in 1583 granted a 2,000-year lease to his brother Thomas; (fn. 18) two thirds were later seized by the Crown following Thomas's non-payment of fines for recusancy, (fn. 19) but on his death c. 1607 outstanding debts were pardoned and the reunited manor passed successively to his nephews Alan (d. 1609) and Thomas Horde (d. 1662), later Sir Thomas. (fn. 20) In 1657 Thomas settled the manor on his son Thomas, (fn. 21) later M.P. for Oxfordshire, who in 1685 was briefly imprisoned in Oxford castle for suspected complicity in Monmouth's rebellion and who in 1709 granted an annual rent charge of £24 from the manor for the benefit of poor prisoners there. (fn. 22) The manor passed on Thomas's death in 1715 to his son Alan, sheriff of Oxfordshire in 1724, (fn. 23) and apparently before 1721 to Thomas's grandson Giles Palmer (d. 1734) of Compton Scorpion in Ilmington (Warws.), who took the surname of Horde. (fn. 24) From him it passed to Thomas Horde (d. 1785) of Cote and later of Lower Swell (Glos.), sheriff of Oxfordshire in 1747 and 1753, and to Thomas's granddaughter Caroline Horde (d. 1836), who bequeathed it to the Revd. Henry Hippisley (d. 1838); (fn. 25) it then passed to Henry's son Henry, of Lambourn Place (Berks.), and to Captain (later Col.) William Henry Hippisley, whose trustees sold the estate (1,191 a. in Aston and Cote) with the manorial quitrents in 1920, most farms being bought by their tenants. (fn. 26) The 'lordship' was sold twice in the early 1980s, but with no land or exercisable rights. (fn. 27)

Henry III granted a messuage and building plot to Imbert Pugeys in 1238, (fn. 28) and there was a manor house presumably by 1279 when land was in demesne. (fn. 29) Robert Pugeys witnessed a document at Lew in 1303, (fn. 30) but no later medieval owners or lessees are known to have resided and in 1418 the manorial dovecot was ruinous. (fn. 31) The medieval buildings stood probably on the site of Cote House, the manor house by the 17th century: (fn. 32) a reset medieval window head survives in the house's east wall, and fragments possibly of a medieval moat or fishpond to the west. The surviving house, (fn. 33) of coursed limestone rubble with ashlar dressings and gabled stone-slated roofs, comprises a hall range with end wings projecting northwards, and a low, 20th-century service range to the east, and is two-storeyed with attics; in 1665 it was taxed on 11 hearths. (fn. 34) The east wing, of the mid 16th century, was built presumably for one of the Hordes, though none are known to have lived there before the 17th century. It is low-ceilinged and gabled, with large windows which are inappropriate for its use as a kitchen or service area, and originated perhaps as a free-standing house or as a parlour wing for an earlier hall. The hall range and west wing were built probably for Thomas Horde (d. c. 1607) after 1583 or for Sir Thomas Horde (d. 1662), who at first let the house with part of the demesne, but who resided from c. 1630. (fn. 35) The main entrance was then by a cross passage at the hall's east end, implying that the east wing was to be used as service rooms, and there was a stair turret at the end of the passage. Scars on the turret's east side suggest that the new south front may formerly have extended further eastwards. About 1700 a new main entrance was made in the centre of the north front, presumably for Thomas Horde (d. 1715), and the principal rooms were refurbished.

After Thomas Horde (d. 1785) moved to Lower Swell (Glos.) in the early 1760s (fn. 36) the house was let to tenant farmers, (fn. 37) and c. 1843 Henry Hippisley removed some of the furnishings to his new house at Lambourn Place (Berks.); (fn. 38) surviving interior decoration includes some 17th-century panelling, an early 17th- century open-well staircase in the west wing, and early 17th-century fireplaces with moulded stone surrounds in the west wing and hall. The building ceased to be a farmhouse after 1922, and was renovated several times during the 20th century. Its unhealthy position, surrounded by low-lying land liable to flooding, was commented on in 1627, and in 1670 prompted Thomas Horde to inclose some of the land adjoining; the grounds then included an orchard lying next to Cote moor. (fn. 39) A formal courtyard was laid out in front of the house perhaps c. 1704, the date of scrolled wrought-iron gates bearing Thomas Horde's initials, and a garden canal was made to the north-west perhaps re-using part of an earlier moat or fishpond.

The submanor of GOLOFERS or GULLIVERS originated in William Golafre's acquisition before 1339 of a life interest in two thirds of two thirds of Aston manor, which on his death in 1358 included a chief house, dovecot and fishpond (worth nothing), 15 tenant yardlands and over 200 a. of demesne, and pleas and perquisites of the court. (fn. 40) In 1359 the estate was given to John Laundels in custody, and from 1361 was reunited with Aston Pogges, (fn. 41) though in the 16th century it was often still mentioned as a separate manor. (fn. 42) In 1608 Golofer's or Gulliver's farm (4-5 yardlands), mostly or wholly in Bampton and Weald, was let to Sir Laurence Tanfield, chief baron of the Exchequer, (fn. 43) and was consistently called a farm thereafter; (fn. 44) it remained part of Aston manor in 1870 but was sold separately from the main estate presumably in the early 20th century. (fn. 45) The house for the farm, called a 'capital messuage' in 1765 but not necessarily the site of Golafre's house, (fn. 46) was that in Weald later called Knapps Farm, south of Bridge Street. (fn. 47) It comprises a long range of limestone rubble, aligned east-west and not quite parallel to the street, and in 1662 was taxed on 2 hearths. (fn. 48) The thatched eastern end, now one storey with an attic, retains 3 bays of a soot-encrusted, formerly open timber roof and evidence of timber framing, (fn. 49) but the building is not of high status and may be no earlier than the late 16th century. The house appears to have been enlarged westwards in two stages; interior fittings are of the 18th century and earlier 19th, though the structure is probably earlier.

An estate of 3 yardlands in Aston or Cote and 4 in Lew, perhaps connected with 6 cassati at Aston, Lew, and Brighthampton granted to Aelfwine the king's scriptor in 984, (fn. 50) was held in 1066 by Alwin and in 1086 by Aretius the king's minister; before 1198 it passed to Robert the forester of Liddington through his wife Denise. The land in Aston was held by the serjeanty or service of providing for 40 days a man equipped with helmet, lance, and body armour or (later) with bows and arrows, and that in Lew by serjeanty of carrying a falcon before the king or of mewing or guarding a lanner falcon. (fn. 51) Claims to the Aston lands in 1203 and 1232 by Avinia, wife of Henry of Abingdon, evidently failed, (fn. 52) and from Robert, possibly the Robert of Yelford who held it in 1236, the estate passed to presumably another Robert of Yelford (d. 1293), and to his son (d. 1328) and grandson, also called Robert. Before 1367 the youngest Robert granted the Aston land and one yardland in Lew to Edmund of Yelford for life. (fn. 53) Two or more yardlands in Aston and Cote and 1½ in Lew were held with Yelford Walwyn manor in 1546 but had apparently become detached by the mid 17th century, and the estate has not been traced further. (fn. 54)

Richard Cosin (d. 1596), a prominent civil lawyer, accumulated 5½ yardlands in Aston and Cote in the late 16th century, held reportedly of the Crown for knight service. (fn. 55) Part, including a share in a mansion house in Cote, passed to his half-brother Roger Medhopp (d. 1605) of Aston and later of Cote, who in 1585 had bought 3½ yardlands and a house there from William Pates of Cheltenham. (fn. 56) From Roger the estate passed to his son Henry (d. 1647) and grandson Thomas (d. 1674), taxed on 5 hearths in 1662. (fn. 57) Thereafter piecemeal sales reduced the estate, and neither it nor the family were mentioned after the later 17th century. (fn. 58) Another part of Cosin's estate (1/6 yardland) was acquired apparently from his cousin Ann Waterhouse by Sir Laurence Tanfield (d. 1625), whose grandson Sir Lucius Cary conveyed it to Thomas Horde in 1630. (fn. 59)

The name Aston Riche or Rithe was recorded intermittently from the late 14th century, but no landholders called Riche have been traced, and by the late 15th century some or all of the land was attached to a freehold formerly belonging to the Laundels family of Bampton. (fn. 60)


  • 1. Bampton Hund. R. 22-3; above, Bampton and Weald, manors; below, Shifford, manor.
  • 2. Cal. Chart. R. 1226-57, 235-6, 246.
  • 3. Bampton Hund. R. 21; Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 30; below, this section (Golofers).
  • 4. Cal. Chart. R. 1226-57, 235, 246; Giles, Hist. Bampton, 107.
  • 5. P.R.O., E 179/161/9, s.v. Bampton, listing Galian in 1327; V.C.H. Bucks, iii. 305; Bampton Hund. R. 21.
  • 6. P.R.O., CP 25/1/189/14, no. 104; CP 25/1/190/18, no. 29; Cal. Close, 1349-54, 603.
  • 7. P.R.O., CP 25/1/189/17, no. 13.
  • 8. Ibid. CP 25/1/190/20, no. 68; CP 25/1/190/18, no. 29; Cal. Close, 1349-54, 603, 606; V.C.H. Bucks, iii. 305 n.; below, this section (Golofers).
  • 9. Complete Peerage, ix. 39; Cal. Close, 1360-4, 192; 1364-8, 405-6. A partial restoration of Moleyns's lands to Sir Wm. in 1359 excluded Aston: Cal. Close, 1354-60, 564.
  • 10. Cal. Pat. 1377-81, 251; Cal. Fine R. 1391-99, 230, 237; Complete Peerage, ix. 41.
  • 11. Cal. Close, 1413-19, 437, 442.
  • 12. P.R.O., C 139/17, no. 29; C 139/45, no. 38. For Wm.'s relict's dower, ibid. SC 6/761, no. 3.
  • 13. Complete Peerage, ix. 41-3; vi. 618-22; Cal. Close, 1454-61, 451-2; Hist. MSS. Com. 78, Hastings, i, p. 303.
  • 14. P.R.O., SC 2/155/9; cf. Complete Peerage, vi. 621, wrongly suggesting that Eleanor d. 1476.
  • 15. Complete Peerage, vi. 621-4; Topographer and Genealogist, ii (1853), 517-19. Mary had possession of all or part by 1497, and George by June 1532: Dom. Incl. i. 369-70; Hist. MSS. Com. 78, Hastings, i, pp. 309-10.
  • 16. Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. b 169, f. 25; Topog. and Geneal. i. 36, 39; ii. 519, calling him citizen and mercer of London.
  • 17. P.R.O., PROB 11/37, ff. 53v.-54; ibid. REQ 2/21/29.
  • 18. O.R.O., Misc. Mar. 1/19, 1/146; P.R.O., C 142/304, no. 28; V.C.H. Surrey, iii. 282.
  • 19. Recusant Roll, 1592-3 (Catholic Rec. Soc. xviii), 254; 1593-4 (Catholic Rec. Soc. lvii), 123.
  • 20. O.R.O., Misc. Mar. 1/20, 1/146; Chanc. Pat. R. 3-5 Jas. I (L. & I. Soc. 98), ff. 327, 333; P.R.O., C 142/323, no. 58; for genealogy, Topog. and Geneal. i (1846), 36.
  • 21. P.R.O., C 3/448/71.
  • 22. W. R. Williams, Parl. Hist. Oxon. (1899), 65, citing an earlier deed; Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. c 290, ff. 44-5; Wood's Life, iii. 145. A tradition that one of the Hordes was imprisoned for refusing James I or Charles I entry to the manor ho. is without foundation.
  • 23. P.R.O., PROB 11/551, ff. 249-61; O.R.O., Misc. Mar. 1/42-3; C. Peters, Lord Lieutenants Oxon. 146-7.
  • 24. P.R.O., PROB 11/551, f. 251 v.; Bodl. MSS. Ch. Oxon. 2429, 3560-1, 3801-3; V.C.H. Warws. v. 100.
  • 25. Bodl. MSS. Ch. Oxon. 3805-6; O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 2165, no. 5 (cert. of title 1839); Peters, Lord Lieutenants Oxon. 148, 151.
  • 26. O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 2165, no. 5; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1883 and later edns.); Sale Cat. (1920): copy in Bodl. G.A. Oxon. b 92*/1.
  • 27. Sunday Telegraph, 22 Sept. 1982; corresp. with V.C.H. and O.R.O.
  • 28. Close R. 1237-42, 102, locating the plot (like the rest of the land) in 'Bampton'.
  • 29. Bampton Hund. R. 21.
  • 30. Exeter Coll. Mun., M.II.1.
  • 31. Below, econ. hist. For a house, dovecot, and fishpond held with part of the manor in 1358, below, this section (Golofers).
  • 32. Giles, Hist. Bampton, Suppl. pp. 8-9; P.R.O., PROB 11/551, f. 250v.; O.R.O., tithe awards.
  • 33. Below, plate 14; cf. Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. c 6, p. 41; Country Life, xv (1904), 567-9; xcix (1946), 1176-9; Pevsner, Oxon. 558; Sale Cat., Aston and Cote Estate (1920): copy in Bodl. G.A. Oxon. b 92*/1; Giles, Hist. Bampton, 84-5.
  • 34. Hearth Tax Oxon. 210.
  • 35. O.R.O., Misc. Mar. 1/22-3; Berks. R.O., D/EL1 T33A; Acts of P.C. 1627-8, 109-10.
  • 36. Bodl. MS. Ch. Oxon. 2429; O.R.O., Welch XVIII/1- 2; V.C.H. Glos. vi. 167.
  • 37. Below, econ. hist.
  • 38. Giles, Hist. Bampton, 84-5; V.C.H. Berks. iv. 252.
  • 39. P.R.O., C 78/2018; Acts of P.C. 1627-8, 109-10.
  • 40. P.R.O., CP 25/1/190/18, no. 29; ibid. C 135/139, no. 13; above, this section (Aston Pogges).
  • 41. Cal. Fine R. 1356-68, 90; above.
  • 42. e.g. L. & P. Hen. VIII, v, p. 582; Topographer and Genealogist, ii. 517-19; P.R.O., REQ 2/21/29; O.R.O., Misc. Mar. 1/19-20; below, local govt.
  • 43. Bodl. MS. Ch. Oxon. 2424; O.R.O., Misc. Mar. 1/23.
  • 44. P.R.O., PROB 11/551, f. 250v.; O.R.O., Welch XVIII/1; ibid. QSD L.22.
  • 45. O.R.O., Crowdy 1/51, town plan; Sale Cat., Knapps fm. (1941): copy in ibid. Adkin II/3.
  • 46. O.R.O., Welch XVIII/1; Golafre may have held the man. ho. in Cote.
  • 47. O.R.O., Bampton incl. award, no. 888; ibid. QSD. L. 22; Jesus Coll. Mun., box 15, list 2, cottage lease 7 Aug. 1772, mentioning lane adjoining Gullivers.
  • 48. P.R.O., E 179/255/4, pt. i, f. 19.
  • 49. S. Midlands Arch. xxii (1992), 57 sqq., 62.
  • 50. Early Chart, of Thames Valley, ed. M. Gelling, no. 282.
  • 51. V.C.H. Oxon. i. 387, 423; Bk. of Fees, i. 11, 251, 589; ii. 830; Cur. Reg. R. iii. 77; Bampton Hund. R. 22, 24.
  • 52. Cur. Reg. R. iii. 77; iv. 47, 54; xiv, p. 494; xv, p. 53.
  • 53. Bk. of Fees, i. 589; Cal. Inq. p.m. iii, p. 65; vii, p. 113; Giles, Hist. Bampton, 139-40; Cal. Pat. 1367-70, 9.
  • 54. P.R.O., C 142/75, no. 42; B.L. Add. Ch. 38961; O.R.O., Misc. WA I/1, ff. 5-6v. Part may have been acquired by Ric. Cosin: below.
  • 55. P.R.O., C 142/270, no. 104; ibid. PROB 11/90, f. 424 and v.; D.N.B., giving date of death as 1597.
  • 56. P.R.O., PROB 11/90, ff. 423-8; PROB 11/107, ff. 282-3; ibid. REQ 2/253/13; O.R.O., Mor. XIV/i/1; cf. ibid. Misc. Mar. 1/12-15.
  • 57. P.R.O., PROB 11/107, ff. 282-3; ibid. E 179/255/4, pt. i, f. 18; O.R.O., MSS. Wills Oxon. 44/3/23, 45/2/1.
  • 58. O.R.O., Misc. Mar. 1/27; Bodl. MSS. Ch. Oxon. 3775, 3783; cf. O.R.O., Misc. Mar. 1/32, 37.
  • 59. P.R.O., C 142/270, no. 104; ibid. C 60/451, no. 25; O.R.O., Misc. Mar. I/21; ibid. Mor. XIV/i/1; Berks. R.O., D/EL1 T33A.
  • 60. P.R.O., C 140/19, no. 20; Eynsham Cart. ii, p. 147; Cal. Pat. 1557-8, 86; above, Bampton and Weald, other estates; cf. P.N. Oxon. (E.P.N.S.), ii. 302.