A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6, Andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds (Bridgwater and Neighbouring Parishes). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1992.
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MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
BAWDRIP was held by Renewald from Walter of Douai in 1086; Merlesuain had held it in 1066. (fn. 1) It was held as of Castle Cary until the 16th century or later. (fn. 2) During the 17th and 18th centuries 4s. 8d., half collected from Bradney manor, was paid to the lords of Castle Cary for Cary Water. The last recorded payment was in 1776. (fn. 3)
Robert of Bawdrip held ½ knight's fee in 1166 and was succeeded by William (fl. 1194-1212) (fn. 4) whose son Robert married before 1227. (fn. 5) Gerard, probably Robert's son, succeeded between 1242 (fn. 6) and 1249 (fn. 7) and was followed before c. 1280 (fn. 8) by his son Sir Adam of Bawdrip (d. c. 1296). William Martin, guardian of Adam's son John, was returned as holding the manor in 1303. (fn. 9) John was apparently of age by 1316. (fn. 10) He was dead by 1333 when Joan, probably his widow, held Bawdrip with her second husband John Durburgh. (fn. 11) In 1351 John, son of Hugh of Bawdrip, gave the manor to his mother Orange in dower. (fn. 12) Orange married John Cadehay before 1355 and assigned her dower to John Osborn in return for an annuity. (fn. 13) John of Bawdrip granted the reversion to Sir John of Combe in 1359, probably as security for debt, himself retaining a life tenancy. Sir John (d. 1362) left an infant son John and John of Bawdrip tried to regain the manor, but in 1371 the sheriff delivered it to Margaret, Sir John's widow, until the debt should be paid. (fn. 14) In 1372 John of Combe came of age and did fealty for two thirds of Bawdrip. (fn. 15) He probably died childless, with the debt unpaid, and in 1403 Margaret and her second husband Thomas Beaupyne settled Bawdrip on their daughter Margaret, wife of William Wroughton. (fn. 16)
William died in 1408 and his widow married John Blacket who held her estate after her death c. 1421. (fn. 17) William's son John (d. 1429) left the manor to his brothers William and Edward Wroughton during his son John's minority. (fn. 18) John (d. 1496) left a son Christopher (d. 1515) who was succeeded by his grandson (fn. 19) (Sir) William Wroughton (d. 1559). Sir William's son Sir Thomas (d. 1597) settled Bawdrip on his second son Giles for his marriage to Lady Catherine Poulett. (fn. 20) Giles and Catherine mortgaged the manor in 1602 to Henry Long and probably forfeited it. Between 1607 and 1622 possession was disputed by Long and the Horton family. (fn. 21) Henry Long (d. 1612) was succeeded by his son Henry (fn. 22) who died c. 1621 when Walter Long, probably his brother, held Bawdrip. (fn. 23) In 1634 Walter sold it to Sir Samuel Rolle, his brother Henry Rolle, and their brother-in-law Hugh Fortescue, (fn. 24) who held jointly until Samuel's death in 1647. (fn. 25) Henry (d. 1656) was followed in the direct male line by Francis (d. c. 1686), (fn. 26) Henry (d. c. 1692), and Francis (d. s.p. 1709). (fn. 27) Francis was succeeded by John Rolle (d. c. 1726), possibly his brother, (fn. 28) Samuel Rolle (d. 1729), (fn. 29) and Samuel's brother John (d. 1730) in turn. John settled Bawdrip in succession on his younger sons John, William (d. by 1742), and Denis, of whom John, who took the surname Walter, held the manor. Bawdrip passed to Denis, probably when John succeeded to the estates of his eldest brother Henry (d. 1750). (fn. 30) Between 1769 and 1771 the Bawdrip estate was broken up, (fn. 31) the lordship and remaining lands being sold to Mary Jeffreys in 1771. (fn. 32) Mary (d. 1785) was succeeded at Bawdrip by Jeffreys Allen (d. 1844), son of her sister Ann and Benjamin Allen (d. 1791), (fn. 33) and by his son William (d. 1882). William's son Jeffreys Charles Allen-Jeffreys dismembered his estate for sale in 1903 but was called lord of the manor until 1910. (fn. 34) Francis Brake of Knowle Hall styled himself lord of the manor in the 1920s and 1930s (fn. 35) but lordship was not recorded thereafter.
Bawdrip Farm, later known as Court Farm, (fn. 36) and in 1988 Tudor Court Farm, has an L-shaped plan made up of a two-roomed eastern arm of the early 16th century (fn. 37) with a 17th-century kitchen block to the west. The 16th-century building is of high quality, both ground-floor rooms having framed ceilings of nine panels. Several areas of figurative and decorative painted plaster survive, and it may have been built as a parlour wing to an older hall on the site occupied by the later kitchen. Rooms were made in the attics in the 17th century and a single-storeyed dairy was added to the kitchen in the 18th or early 19th century. The house has been extensively restored since 1983.
Alnod the reeve held BRADNEY in 1066 but in 1086 it was held like Bawdrip by Renewald from Walter of Douai, (fn. 38) and was probably merged with the main estate. In 1573 it was said to be held of Bawdrip manor. (fn. 39)
In 1292 Matthew of Bradney bought land in Bradney from William Goathurst (fn. 40) and in 1303 it was held by Anthony of Bradney (d. c. 1321), canon of Wells and rector of Bawdrip, (fn. 41) who was succeeded by Joachim of Bradney (d. 1324) and his son Simon (d. 1375). (fn. 42) Simon had no children and his wife Beatrice is said to have granted what was then described as a manor to Sir John Beaumont (d. 1380), who held it jointly with his wife Joan. (fn. 43) She was dead probably by 1431 when Thomas Beaumont, Sir John's grandson, held the manor. (fn. 44) Thomas (d. 1451) also held Elworthy manor, with which Bradney descended to Thomas Muttlebury, (fn. 45) the lord in 1634. Thomas Muttlebury (d. 1652) retained Bradney, which passed from his son Thomas to another Thomas Muttlebury (fl. 1705), probably grandson of Thomas (d. 1652), and to John Muttlebury who settled the manor in trust to raise money for his four daughters before 1712. (fn. 46) In 1725 Bradney was in the possession of Harry Brydges (d. 1728); he was succeeded by his daughters Anna, who married William Ledwell before 1769, and Elizabeth, who married Thomas Hughes before 1765 and sold her share probably in trust for her sister. Anna held Bradney until 1792. (fn. 47) The manor was purchased c. 1793 by Joseph Bradney but lordship was not recorded after the late 1790s. (fn. 48) Joseph was followed by his second son the Revd. Joseph (d. 1868), (fn. 49) whose son Joseph sold the estate c. 1919 when it was broken up. (fn. 50)
Aldred held CRANDON in 1066 and 1086. (fn. 53) Probably as a member of North Petherton it escheated to the Crown in the time of Henry I, and was given to Fulk de Alneto. (fn. 54) The Crown received 6s. 8d. for Crandon until 1317 or later. (fn. 55) By 1342 the Columbers family held a mesne tenancy (fn. 56) which descended with Stockland Lovel until 1481 or later. (fn. 57) The manor may have been granted to Robert Pokerel (fl. 1166), (fn. 58) and it descended, probably after the death of Robert's widow Constance, to their son Richard Pokerel who died before 1201. Richard's heirs were his sisters Sabina, wife of Hugh of Greinton, Rose, wife of Thomas le Border, and Amabel, wife of William of Walton, and John la Stock, husband or son of a deceased sister, Constance. (fn. 59) Eve, possibly Sabina's daughter, married Hugh Trivet (d. by 1242) before 1219. (fn. 60) Hugh left a son James, (fn. 61) but by 1242 Sabina's quarter share of Crandon had passed to Ralph Trivet, who granted it for her life to Eve, possibly daughter of Hugh Trivet and Eve, and her husband Ralph Huse. (fn. 62) Ralph had been succeeded by Thomas Trivet by 1253. (fn. 63) Peter le Border, possibly Rose's son, exchanged lands in Crandon, presumably the second share, with Adam le Ireys in 1235. Adam let his estate for a pair of white gloves (fn. 64) and the same rent was demanded by John de la Stock when he granted land in Crandon, probably Constance's quarter, to Robert of Bawdrip. (fn. 65) Robert's estate probably descended as part of Bawdrip manor. (fn. 66) Amabel Walton gave the fourth share to her son John but it later came to Amabel, widow of Jordan de Barnage, who sold her lands in 1263 to Thomas Trivet. (fn. 67) Thomas of Crandon sold an estate, possibly Peter le Border's share, to Thomas Trivet before 1253. (fn. 68)
Thomas Trivet died c. 1281 in possession of three of the four parts of the manor, though in 1272 and 1280 Hugh Trivet, perhaps his uncle, held them of him. (fn. 69) Thomas's son William in 1303 settled Crandon on his son William, (fn. 70) whose son Thomas died in 1316. Thomas's posthumous son John was granted free warren at Crandon in 1354. (fn. 71) John's son Thomas died in 1388 leaving a widow Elizabeth, (fn. 72) who granted Crandon during her life to her husband's cousin John Trivet. (fn. 73) In 1428 Catherine Trivet, probably an error for Elizabeth, was said to hold Crandon; Elizabeth died in possession in 1433 when her heir was John Trivet. (fn. 74) Alexander Hody, Robert Corffy, and Hugh Kene, possibly John's trustees, gave an estate in Crandon to William Stafford (d. 1450). (fn. 75) William's son Humphrey, earl of Devon (d. 1469), held the manor. Humphrey's heirs were his cousins Elizabeth and Anne Cheney and their half-sister, Eleanor Talboys. (fn. 76) Crandon passed before 1506 to Anne's son Robert, Baron Willoughby de Broke, who in 1530 settled the manor on his mistress Joan Pye with remainder to their son George Willoughby. Joan surrendered her interest to George (d. 1550), (fn. 77) whose son Henry conveyed the manor in 1575 to feoffees for sale to Robert Blake (d. 1592). (fn. 78) In 1593 Robert's elder son William conveyed the manor, called Crandon with Puriton, to his brother Humphrey. (fn. 79) Humphrey (d. 1625) was succeeded in turn by his sons Robert (d. 1657) and Humphrey. (fn. 80) Humphrey sold part of the land to his brother Nicholas who had been Robert's tenant. (fn. 81) The lordship was bought by their brother Benjamin Blake in 1669. (fn. 82) In 1674 Benjamin sold the manor to George Powell (fn. 83) who conveyed it to John Doble in 1682. (fn. 84) Doble was in possession in 1693 (fn. 85) but by 1712 Crandon was held by George Brydges and his son George (fn. 86) possibly in trust for Harry (d. 1728), the elder George's brother. Harry's male heir was his nephew George (d. 1751) (fn. 87) and the manor descended in the family with the dukedom of Chandos probably until the death of Richard, duke of Buckingham and Chandos, in 1829. In 1843 the lordship was vested in trustees, possibly for sale, (fn. 88) but it was not recorded again.
The manor lands were acquired by Benjamin Allen (d. 1791) but in 1788 the estate was put up for sale by order of the Exchequer. (fn. 89) Knowle farm remained in the Allen family and descended with Bawdrip manor until it was sold in 1910. (fn. 90) The other farm on the estate in Bawdrip parish, Knowle Hill, with further land was bought by George Templar who sold it between 1796 and 1805 (fn. 91) mainly to Benjamin Barker (d. 1805), the tenant at Knowle Hill. Barker left his estates to his daughter Ann, wife of William Smark. (fn. 92) In 1830-1 Knowle was acquired by Benjamin Greenhill, (fn. 93) already owner of Puriton and Downend manor, including land in Bawdrip. (fn. 94) Benjamin was succeeded in 1881 by his son Benjamin (d. 1884), whose brother Pelham Spencer Greenhill (d. 1916) succeeded at Knowle. Pelham's son, also Pelham, died two months later. His trustees sold part of the estate in 1921 but the Hall was retained by the family until 1959 and remaining lands descended to the younger Pelham's son Benjamin, the owner in 1988. (fn. 95)
Knowle Hall, a two-storeyed house with attics and basement, was built in Tudor style in the 1830s. (fn. 96) It was let until c. 1861 when the Greenhill family took up residence. (fn. 97) By 1886 a large park had been established around the house. (fn. 98) Knowle Tower was part of a large sham castle, since demolished, built for Benjamin Greenhill in 1870. (fn. 99) In the 20th century the house was let, first to private tenants, as a hotel by 1939, (fn. 100) and as a school from the 1950s. The St. Andrew's school education trust bought the house in 1959. (fn. 101) Since 1976 the hall has been occupied by the Institute for Brain Injured Children. (fn. 102)
In 1066 Edward held CROOK and in 1086 Rademer held it of Walter of Douai, (fn. 103) from whom the descent of the overlordship is obscure, John Horsey being named as overlord c. 1280 (fn. 104) and William of Pawlett in 1303. (fn. 105) From the 15th century Crook was held of the lords of Puriton manor. (fn. 106)
William of Crook may have been the tenant in 1166 (fn. 107) and Nicholas of Crook was recorded in the early 13th century. (fn. 108) Thomas Trivet (d. c. 1281) held it (fn. 109) and Crook descended with Crandon until 1388. (fn. 110) By 1428 Crook had passed to Humphrey Courtenay (d. 1456) (fn. 111) possibly in right of his wife Joan. In 1461 Joan settled her estate in trust for Henry, brother of Thomas Courtenay, earl of Devon (d. 1461). (fn. 112) Henry was attainted and executed in 1467 and Crook, like Wrenmore in Spaxton, was granted in 1470 to John Lambard who held it in 1484. (fn. 113) It may have been restored to the Courtenays like Wrenmore, and by 1546 it belonged to Sir Thomas Moyle (d. 1560) (fn. 114) whose daughter Katharine, wife of Sir Thomas Finch, sold it with Puriton manor in 1561 to John Kaynes of Compton Pauncefoot. (fn. 115) In 1576 Kaynes sold Crook to William Lottisham (d. c. 1576) whose son Hugh (d. 1598) was succeeded by his cousin Oliver Lottisham. (fn. 116) Oliver (d. c. 1620) (fn. 117) was followed by his son William (d. 1635) (fn. 118) and by William's son Oliver (d. 1651). (fn. 119) Oliver's widow Mary, who married Henry Bull, released Crook to Oliver's sister and heir Elizabeth, wife of Edward Clarke, in 1660. (fn. 120) Elizabeth predeceased her husband in 1667 without issue and, under the terms of a settlement, Crook passed in 1675 on his marriage to Edward Clarke, Edward's son by a former marriage. Edward (d. 1710) was succeeded by his son Jepp (d. 1741). (fn. 121) Jepp's son Edward was in possession in 1778. (fn. 122) In 1841 Crook was owned by James Chapple. (fn. 123) By 1856 it had been acquired by Mrs. Greenhill of Knowle, mother or wife of Benjamin (d. 1881), and it descended with Knowle. (fn. 124) There is no record of a manor house.
FORD was in the same overlordship as Bawdrip in 1303 (fn. 125) but between 1508 (fn. 126) and 1650 it was held as of Bawdrip manor. (fn. 127) Adam de la Ford held Ford in 1303. (fn. 128) He or another Adam (d. c. 1325) was followed by his widow Christian (d. c. 1329) and his son Adam. Adam and Henry de la Ford, probably his brother, may have died childless before 1346. (fn. 129) Ford passed to the Brent family through the marriage of Robert Brent c. 1303 to Clarice, probably daughter of Adam de la Ford (d. c. 1325). (fn. 130) Clarice's son Robert Brent (fl. 1330-3) (fn. 131) was said to have died in 1351 and to have been followed by his son John (d. by 1373) (fn. 132) and grandson John Brent (d. c. 1413). (fn. 133) Robert (d. 1421), son of the last, left a sister Joan, wife of John Trethek. (fn. 134) In 1434-5 Joan's half brother John Brent confirmed Trethek's estate for life in Ford manor. Joan had no children and John Brent's son Robert (d. 1508) inherited. (fn. 135) Robert was followed in the direct male line by John (d. 1524), William (d. 1536), (fn. 136) and Richard (d. 1570). (fn. 137) In 1552 Richard was declared an idiot, having settled Ford on the intended marriage of his infant daughter Anne with Robert Broughton. (fn. 138) The marriage did not take place and in 1564 Anne married Thomas Paulet (d. 1586). (fn. 139) Ford passed, after Thomas's death, to Anne's daughter Elizabeth who married Giles Hoby (fn. 140) and, after 1589, (fn. 141) to John Brent (d. 1614). John was succeeded by his son John, born in 1612, (fn. 142) who died without issue in 1692 leaving his widow Mary in possession. (fn. 143) His kinsman and heir, John Hodges (d. 1696), left the reversion to his wife Elizabeth. (fn. 144) After Mary Brent's death in 1703 Elizabeth Hodges sold the manor to Robert West (fn. 145) who was followed by Samuel West (d. c. 1756) and Mrs. West, probably Samuel's widow, who held it in 1767. (fn. 146) Benjamin Allen bought Ford before 1776 and in 1779 sold it to the Quaker philanthropist Richard Reynolds (d. 1816). Richard's daughter Hannah, widow of William Rathbone, (fn. 147) settled the manor in 1826 on her son Richard Rathbone who in 1840 sold it to Thomas Short. In 1843 Thomas conveyed part of Ford to Anna Gatcombe (fn. 148) and the remainder to John Hopkins who mortgaged the manor in 1849 and 1852. (fn. 149) The lordship was not recorded again but after 1856 Ford farm was sold to the Revd. Joseph Bradney and held with Bradney. (fn. 150)
Adam de la Ford had a dwelling at Ford c. 1300, (fn. 151) described as a manor house or court in 1326 and 1330. (fn. 152) It was probably on the site of Ford Farm which dates from the late 18th or the early 19th century and has a two-storeyed, threebayed front of coursed lias.
In the early 13th century Robert of Bawdrip granted William Wood (de bosco) a house and land, formerly held by Emme Wood and adjoining William's own house. William granted lands in WOOD in the manors of Bawdrip and Stawell in free marriage with his daughter Joan to Geoffrey of Kitnor. Joan and Geoffrey settled Wood on their son William (fn. 153) who granted it to Adam de la Ford, his wife Isabel, and son Henry in 1301. (fn. 154) Adam held Wood with Ford in 1303. (fn. 155) Wood was not recorded again and was probably absorbed into Ford manor.