A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1985.
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MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
In 1066 Witric and Elric held HADLEY as two manors. In 1086 Reynold of Bailleul, the sheriff, held it of Roger of Montgomery, earl of Shrewsbury. (fn. 1) By c. 1136 William FitzAlan was tenant in chief, (fn. 2) the mesne lordship, merged with the tenancy in chief after 1102, (fn. 3) having presumably passed with the shrieval estates (fn. 4) to his father Alan son of Flaald. (fn. 5) In 1404, (fn. 6) 1444, (fn. 7) and 1548 (fn. 8) the manor was held, with High Hatton (called a member of Hadley in 1404 but termed a manor in 1548), of the earl of Arundel's manor of Wroxeter by the annual render of a sparrowhawk. Hadley was still held of Wroxeter in 1614. (fn. 9)
In 1086 the demesne lord was Gosfrid. (fn. 10) William of Hadley, lord in Henry I's time, died c. 1136 and his widow Seburga held Hadley until after 1154. She was succeeded by their son Alan of Hadley (d. c. 1194), whose daughter and heir Cecily married Roger Corbet of Tasley (fn. 11) (d. c. 1204). The manor descended from father to son in the Corbets until the mid 14th century, the following being lords: Thomas (d. 1247), Roger (d. c. 1259), Thomas (d. c. 1300), (fn. 12) and Roger (d. c. 1349). The last named was succeeded by his son Robert, whose widow died in possession in 1353. In 1354 Robert's kinsman (probably his nephew) Sir Robert Corbet (d. 1404) (fn. 13) was lord. His son, another Sir Robert, succeeded, (fn. 14) and died in 1417, the manor passing to his daughter Sibyl, the wife of John Grevel of Sezincote (Glos.). (fn. 15) They were childless and by 1422 had settled the reversion on Guy Corbet, presumably a kinsman. (fn. 16) Grevel, surviving his wife and Guy, died in possession in 1444, when Guy's son Robert (d. 1495) succeeded. (fn. 17) The manor descended successively to Robert's son Richard (d. 1524) and grandson Richard Corbet. (fn. 18) The latter sold it in 1548 to Sir Rowland Hill. (fn. 19) At Sir Rowland's death in 1561 it passed for life to his nephew William Gratewood (d. c. 1583), (fn. 20) then to William's sister Alice, widow of Reynold Corbet of Stoke. (fn. 21) In 1583 she settled it on her son Richard (d. 1601) (fn. 22) and his wife Anne for their lives. Anne was in possession in 1617, and then or in 1618 the estate passed to their son John (fn. 23) (cr. bt. 1627, d. 1662). (fn. 24) In 1669 his son Sir John sold it to William Roe (d. 1679) (fn. 25) of Arleston. William's son, the Revd. Robert Roe, was in posses sion by 1700 (fn. 26) and in 1710 he sold the manor to his son, the Revd. William Roe (d. 1741), who left it to his son William. The younger William died unmarried in 1761, when it passed to his brother, the Revd. Samuel Roe (d. 1780) of Stotfold (Beds.), whose sons Charles (d. 1816), John (d. 1838), and Henry Octavius (d. c. 1848) (fn. 27) were successive lords. H. O. Roe had no surviving relatives (fn. 28) and the manor was bought in 1848 by G. B. Thorneycroft, (fn. 29) a Wolverhampton ironmaster (d. 1851). (fn. 30) His son, Lt.-Col. Thomas Thorneycroft, seems to have held it until his death in 1903. (fn. 31) In 1905 the manor was said to belong to Sir Thomas Meyrick (fn. 32) and may have descended thereafter with Apley.
Hadley manor house lay off the south side of the village street opposite the junction with Station Road. (fn. 33) It was timber-framed, of three storeys, and aligned east-west, and seems to have been built in the earlier 17th century. There was a central chimney stack. A timber-framed range was later built out from the centre of the south front. The house was demolished c. 1965. (fn. 34)
By 1842 H. O. Roe had no land in Hadley, which was split between 88 freeholders. The largest estate was Hadley Park (273 a.), then owned by John Evans but later (fn. 35) by the Thorneycrofts; the brick-built house, of three bays and three storeys, was of the late 18th century. The next largest (122 a.) belonged to James Foster, the ironmaster. (fn. 36) Small estates belonged to Lord Forester (34 a.) and the duke of Sutherland (4 a.). (fn. 37)
In 1066 Erniet held HORTON. In 1086 it was held of Earl Roger by William Pantulf, with Warin as undertenant. (fn. 38) Pantulf's mesne lordship became a tenancy in chief, presumably in 1102. (fn. 39) The chief lordship presumably passed to Pantulf's successors, the barons of Wem, for Horton remained in the leet jurisdiction of Hinstock manor until 1851 or later. (fn. 40) The Hodnets and their successors had or claimed a chief lordship over Horton, or a part of it, (fn. 41) at least between c. 1285 (fn. 42) and 1390; (fn. 43) their claims may have originated in the late 12th century if (as seems likely) Pain of Preston, an undertenant of the Hodnets in Preston, (fn. 44) then held Horton also. In the early 13th century Roger of Preston, probably the husband of one of Pain's coheirs in Preston, held land in Horton of his nephew Otes of Hodnet. (fn. 45)
It seems likely that Pain of Preston was demesne lord of Horton in the late 12th century, for the scanty evidence suggests that Horton afterwards descended in quarters among the coheirs who inherited Pain's manor of Preston. (fn. 46) In 1353 Gillian, daughter of Hugh of the Heath, sold the reversions of a quarter of Horton and a quarter of Preston manors to Sir Alan of Charlton. (fn. 47) The Eytons owned woodland in Horton by 1271, (fn. 48) and by 1359 part at least of Horton was subject to the court baron of Eyton upon the Weald Moors, (fn. 49) whose lords (the Eytons) acquired an interest in a quarter of Preston manor at some time between 1350 and 1616. In 1616 the quarters of Horton manor were held by Andrew Charlton of Apley, Philip Eyton of Eyton, William Steventon of Dothill, and Sir Vincent Corbet, the coparceners of Preston. Some of those lords did not exercise manorial rights in Horton; Eyton said he had never heard of Steventon's lordship and Charlton admitted that he had never held a court for Horton and had no demesne there. (fn. 50) In 1620 Andrew Charlton's son Francis relinquished his property in Horton and in Horton's wood (alias the Trench) to Sir Philip Eyton in exchange for property in Preston upon the Weald Moors. (fn. 51) By 1631 Sir Philip claimed to be in sole possession of Horton manor and Horton's wood, (fn. 52) having presumably acquired the Corbet and Steventon quarters since 1616. Horton manor seems thereafter to have descended with Eyton; Thomas Eyton was lord of Horton in 1768, (fn. 53) and in the 19th century the family continued to appoint a gamekeeper (fn. 54) and to receive chief rents from two farms. (fn. 55)
By the mid 18th century, however, the Eytons had no land in the lordship, (fn. 56) and others sometimes claimed the manorial rights, perhaps in the belief that the Eytons' claim was extinct. (fn. 57) In 1766 the Revd. Samuel Roe regarded himself as lord of the manor of 'Hadley cum Horton'. (fn. 58) In 1813 Sir Corbet Corbet called himself lord of the manor of 'Horton and Trench Lane', apparently by virtue of his overlordship as lord of Hinstock. (fn. 59) His father had advanced similar claims in Great Dawley on the same grounds in 1781. (fn. 60) Sir Corbet's claim to Horton was still asserted in the 1820s. (fn. 61) In 1885 Lt.-Col. Thomas Thorneycroft, lord of Hadley, was named as lord of Horton. (fn. 62) By the 1980s, however, there were no known claims to the lordship. (fn. 63)
In the early 13th century Roger of Preston gave ½ virgate to Lilleshall abbey, and Sabin of Horton, perhaps his widow, gave a messuage, croft, and meadow. (fn. 64) The abbey may have lost the estate after c. 1280, when the abbot granted it for life to Sibyl, widow of Ralph, son of Eustace of Horton. (fn. 65)
In 1842 Horton township comprised fifteen freeholds (seven under 1 a.), none of which belonged to the families who had been lords. (fn. 66) In 1725 Walter Marigold had settled a freehold estate at Horton on his son William (d. c. 1731). It descended to his four daughters, one of whom married William Spearman. (fn. 67) In 1842 the estate (125 a.) was the biggest in Horton (fn. 68) and in 1856 belonged to William Spearman and others, (fn. 69) presumably descendants of William Marigold. By 1913 it belonged to C. E. Morris-Eyton, who then sold it. (fn. 70)
In 1731 the Preston hospital trustees acquired the Hoo Hall estate, (fn. 73) part of which lay in Horton township, (fn. 74) as did some of the land they bought from Humphrey Pitt in 1750. (fn. 75) The trustees, who owned 50 a. in the township in 1842, sold some of the land to the War Department in 1942, (fn. 76) and more land was sold c. 1953. (fn. 77)