Alveston

A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 3, Barlichway Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1945.

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'Alveston', A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 3, Barlichway Hundred, (London, 1945), pp. 283-288. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/warks/vol3/pp283-288 [accessed 17 June 2024].

. "Alveston", in A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 3, Barlichway Hundred, (London, 1945) 283-288. British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/warks/vol3/pp283-288.

. "Alveston", A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 3, Barlichway Hundred, (London, 1945). 283-288. British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/warks/vol3/pp283-288.

In this section

ALVESTON

Acreage: 2,887.

Population: 1911, 905; 1921, 1,034.

The parish of Alveston lies to the east of Stratford, between the Avon and the Banbury road, and is bounded on the west by Charlecote, Loxley, and Alderminster. It was included in the borough in 1924. Its present boundaries seem to be approximately those given in a Saxon charter of 985. (fn. 1) The parish includes the two separate villages of Alveston and Tiddington and part of the hamlet of Bridgetown, with the Manor House, which was once the residence of the Lanes and the Bishops. The main road from Stratford to Wellesbourne runs through Tiddington and there is a parallel road to the south, branching from Loxley Lane and going through Hunscote, which is described in 1669 as the road from Stratford to Southam, but part of which is now private. (fn. 2) The Avon is crossed by a ferry at Alveston village and a ford near the mill, the 'Doddanford' of 985; and lower down the stream opposite Cliffe Cottage is the probable site of Welcombe Ford, referred to in 1570. (fn. 3) There is a single mention, in 1658, of Alveston Bridge over the Avon, (fn. 4) but its position cannot be identified. An inquisition held at Coventry in 1417 exonerated the priory of Worcester from the duty of repairing 'Roglow brigge' in Alveston; (fn. 5) this was probably the bridge which carries the Banbury road over a small brook at the south-eastern end of the parish and which is marked as Rokesly Bridge on a map of 1599. (fn. 6) Littleham Bridge, where the Wellesbourne road enters the parish of Charlecote, was the scene of a once-celebrated murder. On 20 November 1820 William Hiron, the farmer at Alveston Hill, was attacked and killed near this spot by four men who were afterwards hanged at Warwick Assizes; and the tradition is that the hole in which his head was found can never be filled up. (fn. 7)

Tiddington has yielded abundant evidence both of Roman and Saxon occupation. (fn. 8) A Roman industrial settlement on the golf links south of Oaks Farm was excavated 1925–7. The remains included a tile kiln, ore roasting and iron smelting furnaces, and cupels for smelting lead; and the range of the coins, from Claudius to Honorius, indicates a prolonged occupation, which may even have survived the withdrawal of the legions. (fn. 9) The site of a Romano-British village between the main road and the Avon about three-quarters of a mile nearer to Stratford was partially excavated in 1938. The principal find was a striking male head carved in Cotswold limestone and of 3rd- or 4th-century date. Some digging in a gravel pit on the south side of Loxley Lane in 1935 revealed evidence of a Saxon cemetery, which was excavated by the late Mr. F. C. Wellstood. On the part of the site still available for excavation when the work began, 114 burials, of the 8th and 9th centuries, were discovered and the finds included a magnificent square-headed brooch. Most of the finds from all these sites are exhibited in the New Place Museum.

The Manor House, now an hotel, just east of Clopton Bridge is mostly a timber-framed building facing north-west and south-east (called north and south for this description). The nucleus of the plan may be of c. 1500 or earlier, and was of half-H shape with the cross-wings projecting to the south; it was always of two stories. The plan has been enlarged by a projecting wing on the north front at the east end about 1600, later 17th-century wings or a parallel wing at the east end, and again east of that a parallel modern wing of brickwork. At the west end, projecting north, is a late-18th-century wing; and south of that, projecting southward, a modern timber-framed wing replaces an ancient wing that was burnt down within living memory.

The north elevation shows much ancient timberframing. The main block has three gabled bays of vertical framing. An 18th-century window with a round head to the middle light cuts through the tiebeam or base of the middle gable, and is flanked by two posts with shaped heads, suggesting that there was a smaller gable here. The gabled bay next east includes two square panels immediately above the beam marking the first-floor level; these have decorative quadrant braces and are survivals of the earlier timbering. The western gable is partly covered by the 18th-century wing next east; the short length between it and the middle gable flanks the great chimney-stack and had the original entrance.

The projecting north-east wing is of vertical framing to both stories and has a north gable. The south wall of the main block is plastered, and has three gables and round-headed windows of the 18th century. In the middle is the main entrance. The south-west projecting wing is of vertical framing with fairly close-set studs, partly restored. The eastern wing is plastered except for the framed gable-head.

The hall occupies the middle part of the main block, and has, on its west side, the chimney-stack of the late 16th century, with a moulded stone fire-place: the ceiling has stop-chamfered beams and joists. Next north of the chimney-stack is a closet, formerly the small lobby inside the north entrance (now blocked). The door to it, from the hall, is of nine panels of early16th-century linen-fold patterns, and the walls have a dado of late-16th-century panelling. Another chimneystack in the middle of the old east wing has a 9-ft. fireplace to the south room, with a moulded oak bressummer. Between the hall and this chamber is an Elizabethan staircase, of well-type, having square newels with moulded heads, flat silhouette balusters, and moulded hand-rails. The oak steps have been covered with elm treads. In the corresponding position with regard to the hall is another staircase based on the same design but probably of the late 17th century; the handrails are built up of several pieces and have dentils at the sides.

Many of the upper rooms were heightened into the roof space in the 18th century and have coved ceilings, &c. Several are lined with late-16th-century panelling. The north-east room of the oldest part shows the original north wall with an old tie-beam and close studding (in line with the wall of the main block) now enclosed by the 17th-century north-east wing.

Both the 16th-century chimney-stacks have rows of four brick square shafts with facial pilasters. There is also a stack of two square shafts of the 17th century over the west side of the older south-west wing.

There are three outbuildings east of the house. One is a 17th-century building, now the garage, another a late-17th-century brick stable, now refitted as a residential annexe; adjoining the south end is a pair of contemporary gate-posts of brick with stone ball-heads. The third is a brick barn with a 17th-century roof. Above the west end is a hexagonal lantern or bell-cote with open arched sides and a pointed leaded roof.

The Old Rectory south-east of the church is a rectangular building, about 16 by 6 yards, with walls almost completely of close-set studding of the first half of the 16th century. It faces south-west, and part of this front has been refaced with brickwork. An original doorway with a segmental head remains in the southeast half. The ends are gabled, the north-western having its upper story jettied. The gables have heavy tie-beams and the tie-beams of the roof-trusses are supported by curved braces. Of the three bays into which the length is divided by story-posts and partitions, the middle has stop-chamfered ceiling beam and joists. The south-eastern bay has had a great chimneystack inserted in its north-west half, which also has wide flat joists; the south-east half is open up to the roof, showing the original wind-braced purlins, &c.

Alveston Lodge, next south of the rectory, is traditionally said to have been the residence of William More, Prior of Worcester 1518–35. (fn. 10) The house has been enlarged by the addition of a 19th-century brick front but some close-timbering of early-16th-century date is exposed in one of the inside walls of the rear portion.

The village lies chiefly east of the churches, and few of the houses are old. One noticeable house fairly near the ferry is of 17th-century timber-framing in two stories above a high stone basement. The roof is tiled and has a plain central chimney-stack: behind is a lower timber-framed wing.

The mill at Alveston is mentioned as early as 966. (fn. 11) Domesday records three mills here, worth 40s. and 12 sticks and 1,000 of eels. (fn. 12) In 1240 there were two corn mills in Alveston (fn. 13) and a corn mill and fulling mill, both held by Henry Brunmon, in Tiddington: (fn. 14) and the free fishery appertaining to the manor was said to extend 'between the two mills'. (fn. 15) Two watermills known as 'Aulston Mills' and a fishery were included with the site of the manor conveyed to Edmund Peers in 1570. (fn. 16) The settlement of the same estate which Edmund's grandson Thomas made at the time of his marriage in 1650 makes mention of three water mills and a fulling mill near the manor-house. (fn. 17) Thomas Lucy, who afterwards bought the mills at Stratford (q.v.), occupied Alveston Mill when he first came to the district. (fn. 18) The mill, which is on the ancient site, is no longer used and Tiddington Mill has disappeared.

Common Fields and Inclosures

Alveston throughout its history has been essentially a freeholders' village. The Domesday inquiry, which ultimately confirmed the claims of the Bishop of Worcester, revealed how limited and uncertain were the lords' rights, (fn. 19) and in the survey of 1240 (fn. 20) the free tenements comprise more than one-third of the manor. (fn. 21) The weekly work-service of the villeins had evidently been commuted and they paid relatively high rents, mostly 7s. in Alveston and 6s. in Tiddington, for a virgate, which was of 24 acres in the former vill and 18 in the latter—in utroque campo, which indicates a twofield economy. The manor was valued at £20 7s. 4d.

The demesne in 1240 consisted of 4 carucates of land 'with the new addition', which was no doubt the result of assarting. Parts of the parish were inclosed at an early date. Crofts Farm, which belonged to the Peers family and included 'Claydons' in the south-east extremity of the parish, appears as consolidated by the reign of Elizabeth. (fn. 22) The remaining lands were cultivated according to the directions of the manor court, the records of which for the century preceding the Inclosure Act afford an interesting example of agricultural improvement under the open-field system. (fn. 23) The manor court at Alveston as an instrument of local government long survived the virtual extinction of the lord's rights. It became in effect, as in the early 18th century it is sometimes called, a parish meeting, at which churchwardens, constables, and thirdboroughs presented their accounts. The management of the common fields was entrusted to four overseers or tellers (two for Alveston and two for Tiddington), who were generally elected by the court. (fn. 24) The overseers were entitled to a proportion of the fines which they collected for defaults, and a fine of 20s. for neglect or refusal of the office was imposed in 1677. (fn. 25) Some of their functions even survived the general inclosure of 1772 since Alveston Pasture still remained common. The hayward, also chosen by the court, was responsible to the overseers and received from them his annual gratuity of a gallon of maslin per yardland.

By 1699 the heath was being ploughed and fenced in for corn, and a part of the Black Ground Field was hitched for feeding horses. A part of the heath was ordered to be laid down with grass seeds in 1704, and within the next 30 years these new crops, among which clover is first specifically mentioned in 1719, were introduced into four of the common fields, being generally sown together with oats or barley. (fn. 26) The cultivation of turnips for sheep feed began on the heath in 1729 and was considerably extended in other parts of the fields between 1731 and 1733. A 4-course rotation seems to have been worked out in various forms; that for the heath, 1729–32, for instance, being turnips, barley and clover, lay for sheep pasture, and wheat. (fn. 27) These experiments were financed by a general levy per yardland, supplemented from time to time by the rents received from small portions of the common fields which were inclosed and leased for the purpose. The practice of improved husbandry under open-field conditions must have been difficult to enforce. Such difficulties were no doubt among the principal reasons for the parliamentary inclosure which took place in 1772. The new farming had nevertheless become established and Wedge, writing in 1794, specially commends two Alveston farmers, Thomas Jackson of Alveston Pasture and John Higgins of Bridgetown, for their zeal for improvement. (fn. 28) Jackson was one of the earliest and most successful drill farmers in the county. (fn. 29) In 1812 the Crofts Farm was bought by Thomas Umbers, brother of another leading experimental farmer in Warwickshire, William Umbers of Wappenbury. (fn. 30)

A petition for inclosure was presented to the House of Commons on 31 January 1771. (fn. 31) The proprietors of 12¾ yardlands refused to sign, but refrained from opposing the bill, which became law on 28 March following (fn. 32) and the award was made on 21 February 1772. (fn. 33) The area to be inclosed was computed in the survey at 1,953 acres or 56¾ yardlands, and the allotments, exclusive of roads, totalled 1,796 acres. The inclosure established 6 large farms ranging from 142 to 407 acres, and 5 others of between 50 and 100 acres. Smaller allotments were made to 9 other proprietors. The largest holdings were those of Newsham Peers, Lord Lifford (300 acres, now Alveston Pasture Farm), and Thomas Hiron (now Alveston Hill Farm, 275 acres). (fn. 34) With the exception of Lifford (formerly Serjeant James Hewitt, a native of Coventry) (fn. 35) the great majority of the individual proprietors came of families which had been settled in the parish since before 1600. The portion of Alveston Pasture known as Bushy Quarter was excepted from the inclosure; the common rights there were bought by Lord Portman c. 1920. (fn. 36)

Manor

ALVESTON was held by the church of Worcester from at least the 10th until the 16th century. Bishop Oswald in 966 made a grant of 3 hides here to Eadric his thegn (fn. 37) and another of 5 hides to the same Eadric in 985. (fn. 38) In the following century, however, the church nearly lost possession. The 15 hides at which the manor was rated in Domesday were in the reign of the Confessor held in equal portions by Bricstuin and by Britnod and Alwi. By 1086 Bricstuin's moiety had descended to his six sons, who, while admitting that Archbishop Aldred (who had been Bishop of Worcester, 1046–62) had enjoyed certain rights over the land, were unable to say whether their father had held it of the church or of Earl Leofric. For themselves, they claimed to be able 'to betake themselves with the land whither they would' and to hold of the earl. As to Britnod and Alwi, the Domesday Commissioners reported that 'the county knows not of whom they held'. (fn. 39) Bishop Wulfstan, however, maintained his title before Queen Matilda, secured a confirmation from the king, and in 1089 granted the 15 hides to his monastery of Worcester. (fn. 40) The monks obtained from Henry I a reduction from 15 to 10 hides in the assessment for geld, (fn. 41) and from Henry III, in 1255, a grant of free warren in their demesne. (fn. 42) Although the manor was in the bishop's liberty of Pathlow, the right of sheriff's tourn here was stated in 1240 to belong to the Earl of Warwick. (fn. 43)

The manor came into the king's hands at the Dissolution, but was granted to the newly established Dean and Chapter of Worcester in 1542. (fn. 44) Three years later it was regranted to the Crown, together with other property, by the Dean and Chapter in return for being relieved of the obligation under their statutes to maintain twelve divinity students at Oxford. (fn. 45)

In 1562 Elizabeth granted the manor to Edward Williams and Ralph Browne of the Inner Temple, (fn. 46) agents for Sir Ambrose Cave, to whom they sold it for £1,007 a few weeks later; (fn. 47) and he sold it again in the following year to Ludovic Greville of Milcote. (fn. 48) On Greville's death in 1589 his estates passed to his son Sir Edward Greville, (fn. 49) who is afterwards referred to as having held lands in Alveston of the Crown by military service. (fn. 50) He sold the manor in 1603 to Richard Lane of Bridgetown, son of that Nicholas Lane whose effigy is in the old church. (fn. 51) Lane died in 1613. His son Edward (1589–1625) sold it to his brother-in-law, Richard Bishop, of Cholsey near Wallingford. (fn. 52) Bishop was knighted and became a justice of the peace for the county after the Restoration and died at the age of 88 in 1673. (fn. 53) His son William (1626–1700) succeeded him. He was knighted in 1678 (fn. 54) and, having no issue, bequeathed the manor to his nephew Hugh Brawn, son of his sister Elizabeth and John Brawn, rector of Saintbury. (fn. 55) Hugh Brawn left a son of the same name, who succeeded him, and three daughters: Elizabeth, who married Charles Knottisford of Studley in 1712; Theodosia, married in 1721 to John Fortescue of Cookhill and of Gray's Inn; and Judith, who remained unmarried. (fn. 56) Hugh Brawn the younger died 24 April 1767 and the manor then came to his sister Judith and his nephew John Knottisford. (fn. 57) The estate by this time consisted of little more than the manor-house at Bridgetown and the surrounding fields. In the inclosure of 1772 there were no manorial rights to be compensated and the allotment to Miss Brawn and her nephew for their holding in the open fields of the manor was only 1 rood and 13 perches. Knottisford was sole lord of the manor by 1776. (fn. 58) On his death he devised it in trust for his kinsman Francis Fortescue, then a minor, who took the additional name of Knottisford as a condition of his succeeding to the estate. (fn. 59) The Rev. Francis Fortescue-Knottisford lived at the manor-house until his death in 1859. His great-grandson, the Rev. J. N. Knottisford-Fortescue, vicar of Wilmcote, sold the estate a few years ago. It then comprised the manor-house, and about 150 acres of land. (fn. 60)

The manor of Alveston seems to have been originally coterminous with the parish, with the addition of certain meadow lands in Hampton Lucy and Hatton on the north bank of the Avon: 3 acres of meadow opposite the mill are included in Oswald's grant of 966. (fn. 61) Sir Robert de Clopton early in the 13th century granted 6 acres in Hampton Meadow to the prior of Worcester, to be held of the king in the manor of Alveston, at a rent of 4s. yearly. (fn. 62) These and other holdings in Hampton Meadow and under Hatton Hill passed with the site of the manor to the Peers family in the 16th century. (fn. 63)

Robert Peers, wine merchant of Bristol, is said to have settled at Alveston in 1540. (fn. 64) He was the son of Richard Peers of Grimley, Worcs. (d. 1521) (fn. 65) and the brother of William More, Prior of Worcester, through whose interest he obtained in 1522 the reversion of the office of Yeoman of the Chamber to the monastery. (fn. 66) He is mentioned as bailiff of the manor under the Crown in 1546 (fn. 67) and died in 1550. (fn. 68) Twenty years later his son and heir Edmund Peers purchased the Manor House and the site of the manor for £576 9s. 2d. from Ludovic Greville. (fn. 69) Edmund Peers obtained a grant of arms in 1605 and died in 1609. (fn. 70) His son Thomas, who was a recusant, (fn. 71) received livery of the property from the Crown in 1614 (fn. 72) and died in 1646. He was followed successively by his son and grandson, both named Thomas, the latter of whom died in London in 1722. (fn. 73) Lieut.-Colonel Newsham Peers, eldest surviving son of Thomas III, succeeded to the estates and died in 1743 of wounds received at Dettingen. The Alveston property passed by his will to his younger brother Philip, the commander of an East Indiaman, who died at Bombay in 1751. Philip devised it to another brother Edmund (1687–1766), with whose son, Newsham Peers (1726–1803), the male line of the family came to an end. The estate was sold under the will of Newsham Peers to Henry Roberts of Stratford for £39,500 in 1810. (fn. 74) Alveston House is now the residence of Lieut.-Colonel R. H. R. Brocklebank.

Peers. Azure a fesse argent between three pelicans or with three roundels gules on the fesse.

Tiddington, although from earliest times a separate township from Alveston, has never been a separate manor. The 5 hides which Bishop Oswald granted to Eadric in 985 lay in both places. (fn. 75) The same bishop in 969 granted 7 hides in Tiddington and 'Faccanlea' to his servant Etheleard: (fn. 76) and 15 acres of meadow in Tiddington were included in Bishop Leofsine's grant of Bishopton to Godric in 1016. (fn. 77) After the manor came back into the hands of the Crown in 1545 the farm of Tiddington was granted to John, Duke of Northumberland. (fn. 78) In 1605 it was leased for 40 years to Arnold Oldisworth (fn. 79) and was granted, Oldisworth being still in occupation, to Henry, Earl Holland, in 1629. (fn. 80) Tiddington Farm, or the Crown Farm as it came to be called, was computed at 6¼ yardlands in the survey made in 1772 preparatory to the inclosure of the common fields; in which the Crown received an allotment of 152 acres. The farm was sold by order of the Commissioners of Woods and Forests in 1835. (fn. 81)

Churches

The church of ST. JAMES was built in 1839 and consists of a chancel with north and south chapels, a broad nave, south porch, and west tower. The south chapel has a high dado of 17th-century panelling with a fluted top frieze. There are four bells, one modern, the others are dated (1) 1658, by Henry Bagley, (2) 1616, inscribed 'god save noble king James and Thomas TOWNSEND', by Henry Farmer of Gloucester, and (3) 1729, by Richard Sanders of Bromsgrove. (fn. 82)

The remains of the old parish church stand about ¼ mile farther north and consist of the almost derelict chancel (20 ft. by 17 ft.), built of 18th-century red brick with rusticated angle dressings, and covered with rough-cast cement; the roof is tiled. The east window is unglazed and hidden outside by ivy. The west end has a modern closing-wall with a doorway. In the south wall was a doorway, now blocked to form an external recess. In this is reset the elaborately carved tympanum of a 12th-century doorway, and two carved capitals. The tympanum is in two courses, each 1 ft., and is 4 ft. wide: the lower stone shows in the dexter half a diaper pattern of interlacing circles, and in the sinister half an intricate knot pattern with beads or pellets as infilling, and apparently the feathered tails of a pair of doves. The upper course is in three stones, the middle with a similar diaper, and the side stones each apparently with a beast, perhaps Paschal Lambs. It is of a rather friable yellow-brown sandstone and badly weatherworn. The dexter capital is scalloped and had some carving; the sinister capital is fluted or stalked and has some voluted foliage. They covered 4½-in. shafts.

There are eight funeral monuments inside, the oldest and most interesting of which is that of Nicholas Lane, d. 1595, a contemporary and adversary of William Shakespeare's father John. (fn. 83) It was apparently a table tomb, but is now set upright in pieces, against the north wall. The main part is a slab with scale-patterned surface and gadrooned moulded edges, on which is the effigy of Nicholas. It is a curiously flattened figure owing to the limits of the piece of stone employed, and the face, hands, and feet had to be carved out of separately applied pieces, giving them, especially the face, an undue prominence amounting almost to distortion. He has long hair, and a bearded, receding chin. He wears a buttoned leather doublet held at the waist by a girdle and rising high at the neck where there is a small ruff. The padded sleeves have enriched crescent shoulder bands, and are buttoned down the sides of the upper halves and have ruff wristlets. The sides of the short tails of the doublet have ornamental loop braiding or embroidery, as have the trunks, which in front have pockets with enriched oval edgings. The (worsted?) stockings are plain and the shoes are tied with cord bows. He now stands on a square pedestal, on the floor, on the front of which is carved a sitting lion. On either side of him is a small kneeling figure of a bearded man with hands in prayer. They are somewhat similarly but more plainly dressed and possibly are wearing light armour; both have swords, but no spurs. Of the five other portions of the tomb the two lowest have round-headed panels enriched with egg and tongue ornament and have scaled pilasters. In the sinister is the kneeling figure of a man like the others, and in the dexter a woman with a flat cap, ruff, stomacher, and full skirt; both face eastwards. Above each panel is a length of shallow carved moulding, and other pieces are set below the main slab, probably the top moulding of the original vertical sides. Above each is a narrow panel carved in relief with a central boss (the sinister a lion's mask) surrounded by enriched scrolled ornament. At the top is a panel with a carved frame mould, in which is the inscription on a brass plate surrounded by elaborate scroll work, pendants, and bunches of fruit. The inscription reads:
here liethe bvried     the bodye of nic
holas lane gent     who deceased      the xxvii
day     of ivly anno domini 1595.
Of the other monuments the oldest is to the Honourable Newsham Peers, Colonel of the Welch Fusiliers, died 1743 from wounds received at Dettingen. There are also four grave-slabs, the oldest to Sir Richard Bishop, 1673, aged 88; another to Thomas and Rebekah Groves, 1691 and 1681. A painted Royal Arms is of the Hanoverian period.

The registers begin in 1539. (fn. 84)

Advowson

There is no mention of a priest at Alveston in the Domesday Survey. In 1240 the church was a chapelry of Hampton Lucy. (fn. 85) The rector of that parish has ever since been the patron of the living, and until 1858 Alveston was included in his peculiar jurisdiction. (fn. 86)

The vicarage was valued in the King's Books at £6. (fn. 87) The allotments in the Inclosure Award of 1772 were charged in proportion towards an annual payment of £200 to the rector of Hampton Lucy in lieu of the great tithes; and provision was also made in the Act that the tithes of old inclosures might be exonerated by agreement. (fn. 88) The vicar of Alveston received an allotment of 85 acres, including 51 acres for the glebe.

Charities

The Rev. George Hammond by will dated 3 February 1755 gave £400 among the several parishes of Hampton Lucy, Alveston, and Wasperton, the share of the interest for this parish to be distributed among four poor men or women who should frequent Communion of the Church of England at least four times a year. This share, now represented by £189 10s. 5d. Consols held by the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds, produces £4 14s. 8d. annually in dividends which are distributed by the vicar and churchwardens to the poor.

Mrs. Alice Hammond by will dated 28 January 1778 gave £100 to the vicar and churchwardens, the interest to go to the poor of the parish. The interest, amounting to £4 17s. 4d. per annum, is distributed to the poor in bread.

William Bishop by will dated 5 November 1679 gave £50, the interest to be given to the poor of the parish in bread. This legacy was secured by a rentcharge of 50s. issuing out of the Bridgetown estates, which was redeemed in 1932 by an order of the Charity Commissioners in consideration of a sum of £100 Consols.

Mrs. Ann Jenkinson by will dated 3 January 1810 gave £500 for the benefit of the poor inhabitants of the parish. A Scheme of the High Court of Chancery dated 26 November 1831 directs the income to be applied in the purchase of allotments for the poor and in the distribution of clothing, bedding, food, coal, or money. The endowment now produces an annual income of £28 16s. 4d. which is distributed to the poor in coals by a body of eight trustees appointed by a Scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 9 June 1891.

Catherine Sophia Bird by will proved 22 January 1921 gave £300 to the vicar and churchwardens, the interest, now amounting to £17 15s. 2d., to be applied for the maintenance of the fabric of the church and of the services therein.

Miss Harriet Townsend by will proved 30 October 1913 gave £1,000 to the vicar and churchwardens, the interest, now amounting to £40 19s. 4d., to be applied for the benefit of sick and needy parishioners.

Footnotes

  • 1. Kemble, Cod. Dipl. iii, no. 651. See also P.-N. Warw. 231.
  • 2. Warw. Co. Rec. vi, 174. It was a public road at the time of the Incl. Awd. of 1772.
  • 3. S.-on-A. Deeds, Appendix, 269.
  • 4. Warw. Co. Rec. iv, 40–1.
  • 5. Add. Chart. 40049.
  • 6. Saunders, Sketches in Warw., fol. 18.
  • 7. There is a monument to William Hiron in the old church.
  • 8. For Roman finds previous to 1904 see V.C.H. Warw. i, 248.
  • 9. See Fieldhouse, May, and Wellstood, A Romano-British Industrial Settlement near Tiddington, Stratford-upon-Avon, 1931.
  • 10. Ex inf. Professor S. G. Dunn. More bought the reversion of Alveston Farm from Humfrey Cratfer in 1529 (Journal of Prior William More, Worcs. Hist. Soc. 95). After resigning his office he seems to have spent part of his time here and his burial is recorded in the parish registers on 31 May 1552. The D.N.B. is therefore in error in stating that the Prior died at Crowle in 1559.
  • 11. Birch, Cart. Sax. iii, no. 1182.
  • 12. V.C.H. Warw. i, 302.
  • 13. Reg. Worc. Priory (Camden Soc.), 80 b.
  • 14. Ibid. 81 b.
  • 15. Ibid. 84 a.
  • 16. S.-on-A. Deeds, Appendix, 269.
  • 17. B.R.L. 86392.
  • 18. Ex inf. Miss Vere Hodgson.
  • 19. See below, p. 285.
  • 20. Reg. Worc. Priory (Camden Soc. 1865), 80 b-84 a.
  • 21. There were 10 free tenants holding 22 virgates out of a total of 15 hides.
  • 22. S.-on-A. Deeds, Appendix, 269; Abstr. of Title, 102. What appear to be parts of these inclosures are shown on Treswell's Map of the Bridgetown fields 1599 (Saunders, Sketches in Warw., fol. 16). Claydon was arable and part of the demesne in 1240 (Reg. Worc. Priory, 83 b); but by 1650 it is described as a close of pasture, divided into the Great and Lesser Partition and Little Langley, totalling 204 acres (B.R.L. 86392).
  • 23. Court Rolls, 1604–1822, at the Birthplace.
  • 24. On one occasion, in 1662, the existing overseers are presented for not choosing their successors.
  • 25. The fine is fixed at 10s. in 1704, 1708, and 1710.
  • 26. In 1720 part of the Rye Field was ordered 'to be ploughed for three crops and then laid down with grass seed'. Cf. Walter Blith, The English Improver Improved (1652), p. 181;'. . . the Land . . . may very well bear three Crops, two to cut, and one to graze, and the first Crop may by mid-May bee ready to cut'.
  • 27. The 3-course rotation in the Black Ground 1719–21, before the introduction of turnips, was wheat; summer fallow; barley or oats, and clover.
  • 28. Wedge, Agriculture of Warws. (1794), 11 n.
  • 29. Ibid. 42, 43, 45; Murray, Agriculture of Warws. (1815), 110.
  • 30. S.-on-A. Abstr. of Title, 102. For William Umbers, who introduced the Leicester breed of sheep into the county, see Colvile, Worthies of Warw. 765–7. Thomas Umbers (of Weston-underWeatherley) d. 1816 and his son William sold the Crofts in 1832 to Thomas Wellington Lane.
  • 31. C.J. 33, p. 112.
  • 32. Ibid. 204.
  • 33. 11 Geo. III, c. 36.
  • 34. Part of this estate, which in 1772 amounted to 7½ yardlands, may be traced back to the 2½ yardlands held by Thomas Wells who died in 1626. In 1646 his son Thomas with his mother Agnes, appears to have conveyed this property for £530 to Thomas Hiron: Ct. R.; S.-on-A. Abstr. of Title, 103.
  • 35. See Dict. Nat. Biog.; Colvile, op. cit. 398.
  • 36. a Ex inf. Mr. G. R. Davies.
  • 37. Birch, Cart. Sax. iii, no. 1182.
  • 38. Kemble, Cod. Dipl. iii, no. 651.
  • 39. V.C.H. Warw. i, 302; cf. also ibid. 287.
  • 40. Reg. Worc. Priory (Camden Soc. 1865), 84 a-b. The charter is also printed in Dugd. 674, and in Hist. MSS. Comm. 14th Rep. pt. 8, p. 200.
  • 41. Reg. Worc. Priory, 85 a.
  • 42. Cal. Pat. 1354–8, p. 266. On the eve of the Dissolution the warren of Alveston Heath was leased to Thomas Moris for 40s. a year: Journal of Prior William More (Worc. Hist. Soc.), passim.
  • 43. Reg. Worc. Priory, 81 b.
  • 44. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xvii, 9, 71 (29).
  • 45. Hist. MSS. Com. loc. cit. 185.
  • 46. Pat. R. 4 Eliz. pt. 4. The manorhouse in Bridgetown was conveyed by Edmund Dokwray to Charles Raynsford in 1550: Common Pleas, Deeds enrolled, Hil. 3 & 4 Edw. VI, m. 9.
  • 47. B.R.L. 85862. Cave apparently held the manor at fee farm, since the conveyance specifies 'a rent of £14 16s. going out of the same'. When he sold to Greville in 1563 he had to obtain from the Crown a licence to alienate: Pat. R. 5 Eliz. pt. 7.
  • 48. Dugd. 675.
  • 49. Dugd. (675) states that Ludovic Greville sold the manor to John Hey. But the source he quotes shows that Hey's estate consisted only of tenements in Tiddington: Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cxciii, 42.
  • 50. S.-on-A. Deeds, Appendix, 124.
  • 51. Dugd. 675. See pedigree in Visit. Warw. 1619 (Harl. Soc. xii), 307.
  • 52. Dugd. 675.
  • 53. Ibid. 676; Warw. Co. Rec. iv, p. xv.
  • 54. Shaw, Knights, ii, 253.
  • 55. Dugd. 675. Sir William married Hugh Brawn's cousin, Theodosia daughter of Sir Richard Brawn of Alscot, the elder brother of the rector of Saintbury: ibid. 677; Add. Chart. 42980.
  • 56. Dugd. 677; Parish Register transcripts at Birthplace. John Fortescue appears as Steward of the Manor 1726–49.
  • 57. Hugh Brawn, 'the last of that worthy family', is buried with Sir William Bishop in the old church. But the Court Rolls of 1763 and 1766 give his sister and nephew as already lords of the manor.
  • 58. Ibid.
  • 59. Ibid.; Gamekeepers' Deputations, Shire Hall, Warwick; W. H. Hutton, Highways and Byways in Shakespeare's Country, 206–9.
  • 60. Ex inf. Rev. J. N. KnottisfordFortescue, whose grandfather reversed the order of the family names.
  • 61. Birch, Cart. Sax. iii, no. 1182.
  • 62. Reg. Worc. Priory, 80 b.
  • 63. S.-on-A. Deeds, Appendix, 269.
  • 64. There is a long account of the Peerses ('descended from an antient family in Wales') in Dugd. 675–6. See also M.R.P. Adams, A History of the Family of Peers of Alveston (reprinted from Misc. Gen. & Herald.), 1906, and pedigree in Visit. Warw. 1619, p. 233.
  • 65. Journal of Prior William More (Worc. Hist. Soc.), 127.
  • 66. Ibid. 147.
  • 67. Monast. Estates in Warw. (Dugd. Soc. ii), 100.
  • 68. Parish Registers.
  • 69. S.-on-A. Deeds, Appendix, 269.
  • 70. Ct. R.; Visit. Warw. 1619, p. 233 Dugdale and Adams give the date of his death as 1606.
  • 71. Warw. Co. Rec. i, 225; vi, 15, 22, 24, 78.
  • 72. Fine R. 12 Jas. I, pt. 3, no. 48.
  • 73. The family continued to be buried at Alveston until 1803 and two of the daughters of Thomas Peers were living here in 1725 (Dugd. 676). But the manor house had by then ceased to be their principal residence and as early as 1662–74 it was occupied by a succession of tenants (Hearth Tax Returns). Adams (Index Villaris, 1680, p. 17) refers only to one gentleman's seat in the parish, that of Sir William Bishop.
  • 74. S.-on-A. Abstr. of Title, 102; Plans & Conditions of Sale (Alveston) 4.
  • 75. Birch, Cart. Sax. iii, no. 1182.
  • 76. Ibid. no. 1232.
  • 77. Kemble, Cod. Dipl. iii, no. 724.
  • 78. Pat. R. 5 Chas. I, pt. 15.
  • 79. Ibid. 3 Jas. I, pt. 18.
  • 80. Ibid. 5 Chas. I, pt. 15.
  • 81. S.-on-A. Plans & Conditions of Sale (Alveston), 10.
  • 82. Tilley & Walters, Church Bells of Warws. 99. See above, p. 242.
  • 83. E. I. Fripp, Guide to Shakespeare's Stratford (1928), p. 30.
  • 84. There are transcripts of the early Registers, by Richard Savage, at the Birthplace.
  • 85. Reg. Worc. Priory, 84 a.
  • 86. See above, p. 104.
  • 87. Bk. of Valuations (1680), p. 334.
  • 88. By such agreements Crofts Farm was charged with £20 a year, and the Bridgetown estate with £30 besides £12 in lieu of vicarial tithes.