A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 4, Hemlingford Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1947.
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Population: 1911, 10,492; 1921, 12,766; 1931, 13,269.
The parish of Chilvers Coton lies to the south of Nuneaton, into which borough it was absorbed in 1920. It is about 4½ miles from east to west and about 2½ miles from north to south. Its eastern boundary is formed by the Wem Brook, which runs into the Anker below Nuneaton; and on the south a branch of the River Sowe forms the boundary for a considerable distance. From the Wem Brook and Anker, where the elevation is about 275 ft. and the ground is liable to floods, the country rises to 480 ft. in the south-west angle and 525 ft. in the north-west. There is a good deal of woodland, especially in the neighbourhood of Arbury Park. The park, which occupies 400 acres in the south of the parish, contains a series of lakes or pools, and north of it is Seaswood Pool, while there are many other pools and small streams in the parish. The Coventry Canal runs through the parish on the east, sending off a branch to Griff Colliery, where there is also a branch railway connecting with the Coventry-Nuneaton line of the L.M.S. Railway, which has a station at Chilvers Coton.
The site of the original village, including the church, is where a road running south from Nuneaton to Bedworth is crossed by one running west from Attleborough to Health End, from which place another road leads south to the hamlet of Griff. Near Heath End are the Griff Brick and Tile Works, while Griff has been for centuries a centre of coal mining. (fn. 1) This has always been the chief industry here, but until a few years ago the manufacture of ribbons was also carried on extensively.
An Inclosure Act was obtained in 1764, under which 1,100 acres were inclosed.
Arbury Hall is a large castellated stone house of square courtyard plan. The original house is said to have been erected in brick in 1586 by Sir Edmund Anderson, after which it passed to the Newdigate family. Sir Roger Newdigate, famous as the founder of the Newdigate Prize for English poetry at Oxford, from about 1775 to 1790 completely altered the building to its present appearance, 'Gothicizing' the win dows, encasing the walls with stone, furnishing many of the best rooms with vaulted ceilings, &c. How far the original house coincided with the present one is not certain, but probably the main lines were the same and Sir Roger added the top story, the one-story facade or widening to the south front, the north portico, and the claustral-corridors around the courtyard.
Of the external masonry probably the two lower stories of the wings on the south front are the oldest parts; these are of grey-white ashlar in small courses. They have two-storied bay windows, and against the outer angle of each wing is a three-quarter octagonal turret with a pinnacle. The recessed middle portion of the front has a pretentious tall one-storied addition as a widening to the Dining-room, with large fourcentred windows, angle turrets, and intermediate pilasters with crocketed finials, &c. Between it and the sides of the wings are lower walls, the eastern with a four-centred doorway to a lobby and the western containing a staircase. The third story is of larger and later masonry than the lower stories of the wings; it has embattled parapets with pilasters and crocketed finials. Towards the interior courtyard above the claustralcorridor are two wide square turrets with embattled parapets and a lower parapet between them; the arrangement is rather suggestive of a former gatehouse, but the turrets seem to be only disguised chimneystacks.
The east elevation is generally of the later larger ashlar but the ground story, covered with creeper, may be earlier. The windows are four-centred with sashframes and south of the middle is a large bow-window to the Saloon. There are no third-story windows on the front, but towards the courtyard is one in a middle gable which is possibly an encased relic of the original house. The west range has a similar gable. The west elevation, containing the kitchen and offices, is rather less symmetrical than the others in the lower part. The north elevation contains the middle main entrance with an arched doorway and a one-storied portico of three bays with moulded jambs and four-centred arches. The upper story has a middle Gothic window to the long gallery; two others are blocked. At the outer angles are turrets like those of the south front, and the parapets are embattled. Towards the courtyard is a projecting three-sided bay housing the main staircase. The entrance-hall is plain-vaulted. South of it the main staircase leads up to the Long Gallery. It has been remodelled, but apparently incorporates late-16thcentury material, including the moulded handrail and balustrade, rising in five short flights around the interior of the bay. The balusters, 5½ in. wide, are flat and pierced with conventional foliage ornament. Above them below the handrails are sloping friezes also pierced with scroll ornament; the square newels have modern acorn heads.
From the entrance hall to the east end of the north range is the Chapel. This is lined with late-17thcentury panelling; the bolection-moulded panels have ears below which, between the panels, are pendants of fruit, &c., from cherubs' heads, carved by Grinling Gibbons. For this the accounts are extant. The ceiling has deep plastered enrichment of fruit and flowers forming panels and an oval centre. In the half-round panels at the ends are shields of arms, the western with the Newdigate arms and the eastern charged ermine three cheverons. At the west end is an organ with a panelled casing or screen in which are two doors and a small opening with dummy pipes.
The room in the east range south of the chapel has a fan-vaulted ceiling. The east fire-place is a mixture of styles, a four-centred opening with an ogee-arched hood-mould with a classic Renaissance surround of inlaid marble within it, and cameos with classic figures.
The room next south has a similar ceiling and a white marble fire-place with classical figures carved in high relief on the frieze. Among the pictures is a 16thcentury painting presented in 1773 by Sir John Astley to Sir Roger Newdigate; it depicts a tournament of 1438 and a combat of 1441 in which Sir John de Astley was engaged. (fn. 2) The Saloon next south is a large chamber with a fan-vaulted ceiling with pendants and shields of arms. (fn. 3) The large bow-window is also fanvaulted and has many painted shields. The fire-place is a high Gothic arched recess at the north end with a detached stove.
The Drawing-room, the southernmost chamber, with the oldest external masonry, has a four-centred wagon-head vault with traceried panels, and with shields of arms and the initials RNS. The bay-window has fan-vaulting.
The Dining-room takes up most of the south range; it has an elaborate fan-vaulted ceiling with pendants and shields of arms. Three four-centred arches divide it from the one-storied annexe parallel south of it, which is also fan-vaulted. The north fire-place has a wide four-centred arch flanked by large panelled buttress-pilasters and over it eight niches with canopies. In the walls are niches with carved figures. East of the room is a corridor and a low lobby and west of it a stone staircase.
The Library, the southernmost chamber of the west range, has a segmental arched ceiling with late-18thcentury paintings. The Long Gallery occupies the whole of the upper floor of the north range. It has a four-centred wagon-head ceiling like the Drawingroom. In the north wall, over the Chapel, is a stone fire-place of c. 1600 with moulded jambs and lintel, between shaped and carved flat pilasters. The frieze or mantel has carved lozenge and oval medallions or panels, and an enriched cornice. Over that is another frieze of guilloche ornament and the main cornice or shelf. The oak overmantel has a middle achievement of arms with 36 quarterings, flanked by Ionic shafts with guilloche enrichment. On each side of it are two Corinthian shafts supporting an entablature carved with running vine ornament. The walls are lined with oak panelling, some if not all of it of the 17th century, with fluted pilasters. In the windows are many roundels or panels of ancient glass, mostly heraldic. The kitchen courtyard west of the house has a south closing wall on which is re-set a pierced balustrade, perhaps from the house when the battlements were substituted. West of it is a gatehouse, dated 1754.
North-west of the house is a long building of late17th-century date, of two stories and attics. The walls are of red brick with rusticated stone angles, moulded string-courses and cornices. The south front has three curvilinear gables, one to a middle porch-wing, the others to a shallow projection at each end. The stone middle entrance is ascribed locally to Sir Christopher Wren. It is flanked by pairs of Ionic shafts carrying an entablature and pediment in which is an achievement of arms. The side wings have smaller round-headed doorways with pediments. The windows generally are tall and narrow with transoms. Above the middle is a clock and weather-vane, and, lower, between two windows is a sun-dial.
North of Arbury Hall on the main road at Stockingford, 2 miles west of the church, is a four-centred gateway between two round towers, which are built of yellow sandstone rubble and have small four-centred windows. Lower Farm, ½ mile farther west, has a similar tower. Both may be part of Sir Roger Newdigate's 18th-century quasi-medieval architecture.
Temple House, ½ mile north-west of Arbury Hall, said to have been a cell of the Knights Templar, has little to indicate an early origin. It appears to have been a small L-shaped house facing south with later additions behind. The front is of coursed rough ashlar in cream-white sandstone with dressings in the same stone and modern repairs, &c., in red sandstone. The gable end of the west wing projects a little in front. It has a 16th- or early-17th-century window of four lights with moulded jambs and a modern lintel. The front, setting back a little, has a four-centred entrance, within a small porch against the side of the west wing, and next it is an old two-light window with a hoodmould which (if genuine) is of the 14th or 15th century; another window is of the late 17th century. At the east angle is a square turret. The east wall of the wing is of old uncoursed rubble, the remainder of the house is covered with rough-cast cement. Over the east side of the west wing are early-17th-century diagonal shafts of a chimney-stack. The fire-place to the front room is arched in stone and has an overmantel with one round-headed panel of the early 17th century. The room is lined with oak panelling of the same period and has two moulded ceiling-beams. The stone fire-place in the other room is modern but it has an overmantel made up of 17th-century woodwork mostly late. The back part of the house is modern.
A farm-house on the east side of the Astley road about 5/8 mile west of Temple House is mostly of modern brick, but retains a west wing of 17th-century timber-framing.
The old Vicarage stood north of the church; all that is left of it now is part of a stone chimney-stack, probably Elizabethan, with a 5½-ft. fire-place that has lost its lintel and much of the chimney-breast over it. The brick floor was of herring-bone pattern.
South-east of the churchyard is a rather derelict cottage that has a wide fire-place and 17th-century timber-framing and ceilings.
Griff House Farm, about a mile south of the church, is mainly a tall 18th-century brick house facing east with north and south gable ends. It has very tall upper windows and a modern bay-window at the north end. Over the entrance is a tablet to George Eliot who lived here many years. At the back is a lower wing with some 17th-century timber-framing.
A cottage a little farther south on the west side of the main road opposite the Griffin Inn has 17th-century square framing and a pantiled roof.
About the beginning of the 17th century the records of Chilvers Coton contain many references to mills. There was a water-mill on the lands of the Hospitallers in 1541, (fn. 4) and in 1556 there was also a windmill, the property of Edward Scarminge. (fn. 5) In the 16th century one John Ruding was seised of a water-mill, a close called Milnehamme otherwise Wall greene otherwise Goose greene, and a stream which had served the mill for 300 or 400 years. He conveyed this to John Wright, yeoman, who became involved in 1601 in a suit with Margaret Knollys, lady of the manor of Attleborough. (fn. 6) He evidently won his case, for five members of his family later gave a quitclaim to Thomas Wood of land and six mills in Chilvers Coton. (fn. 7) Possibly some of these were used to drain the flooded coalmines there, as lengthy proceedings took place in Chancery in 1602 between Jeffery Foxe and Robert Osbourne, Walter Gifford and others, in which Gifford states that the plaintiff drained the mine by means of mills and a pond, 'thereby destroying a very good orchard'. (fn. 8)
Among distinguished residents in the parish were Henry Beighton (1686–1743), the surveyor and illustrator of Dr. Thomas's edition of Dugdale's Warwickshire, and Mary Ann Evans (fn. 9) ('George Eliot'), who was born in 1819 at Arbury Farm. Her father was Francis Newdigate's agent for his estates at Kirk Hallam, co. Derby, and Arbury. A year later, the family moved to Griff House, and Chilvers Coton is the setting of her Scenes of Clerical Life. 'George Eliot' finally left the parish in 1841, having taken charge of her father's household for the previous four years. (fn. 9)
At the time of the Conqueror's Survey Harold, the son of Earl Ralf, held 8 hides in CHILVERS COTON of the King, (fn. 10) which his father had held before him. John son of this Harold took the surname of Sudeley from his estates in Gloucestershire, and his son Ralph founded the Priory of Arbury in Chilvers Coton, (fn. 11) and endowed it with lands and the advowson of the church there. He also granted lands to the Templars, who are returned in the inquest of 1185 as holding lands there of the fee of Ralph Sudeley, which he himself held to farm for the annual rent of 6½ marks. (fn. 12) In 1267 the right of free warren was granted to Bartholomew Sudeley for this lordship. (fn. 13) After this time the Sudeley estates descended with their manor of Griff in this parish.
At an early date the manor of GRIFF was included in that of Chilvers Coton, and thus belonged to the Sudeley family. When Ralph Sudeley gave most of Chilvers Coton to the Templars and to Arbury Priory Griff became the seat of the family. His great-grandson John Sudeley in 1285 claimed to hold there view of frankpledge, assize of bread and ale, gallows, infangentheof, waifs, and free warren, the last by charter and the rest by prescription. These claims were allowed on his acknowledging that he was bound to make suit at the hundred court and to contribute ward-penny and sheriff's aid. (fn. 14) John's grandson John Sudeley died in 1367 holding the manor of Griff, worth £8 a year, in which Thomas of Merynton held 1 / 7 of a knight's fee. He also held the right of presentation to Arbury Priory. His heirs were Thomas Boteler, son of his sister Joan, and Margery his younger sister. (fn. 15) In the next year the latter received Griff and other manors as her purparty, (fn. 16) but on her death in 1380 it went to Thomas Boteler, (fn. 17) who in 1385 settled the manor on himself and his wife Alice, (fn. 18) and she received livery thereof in 1398. (fn. 19)
The Botelers continued to hold the manor, the descent being fully set out in a patent to Ralph Boteler in 1469. (fn. 20) After his death in 1473 without issue living, Griff was assigned to his nephew Sir John Norbury as co-heir, (fn. 21) from whom it passed to Edward Belknapp, the other co-heir. (fn. 22) On his death it evidently reverted, as by 1539 it was in the hands of Sir Edmund Bray and his wife Jane granddaughter of John Norbury. (fn. 23) On her death in 1558 the manor seems first to have been divided between her six co-heirs, (fn. 24) but subsequently to have been assigned to the youngest daughter Frances and her husband Thomas Lyfield, (fn. 25) who sold it in 1561 to John Gifford and Joyce his wife. (fn. 26) It was settled by John Gifford on his son Walter when he married, (fn. 27) and Walter and his son Peter sold it in 1633 to Richard Chamberlain, (fn. 28) whose daughter Elizabeth had married Walter's brother Gerard. (fn. 29) It would seem, however, to have already come into the hands of the Newdigates, as in a suit of 1631 between Richard Chamberlain and John and Richard Newdigate the interrogatories imply that John Newdigate was holding courts leet and baron for Griff and Coton, Arbury and Morebarne; (fn. 30) and in 1621 Griff is among the manors settled by John Newdigate on his marriage with Susan daughter of Arnold Lulls, (fn. 31) after which it descended with the Arbury manor of Morebarne (q.v.).
The lands in Chilvers Coton which Ralph Sudeley had given to the Templars passed to the Knights Hospitallers when the former Order was disbanded. A reference in 1338 to rents of £15 17s. 6d. received by the Hospitallers in 'Chelidcote' in Warwickshire presumably refers to Chilvers Coton. (fn. 32) In the 15th century the land was leased to Sir Edward Grey, (fn. 33) and in 1481 (fn. 34) Edward Grey, Lord Lisle, was granted the stewardship of the lordship of Chilvers Coton, with a fee of 26s. 8d. Thenceforward the property is always referred to as a manor. About the year 1529 an action was brought in Chancery by William Weston, Prior of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England, against Martin Docwra, a kinsman of Thomas Docwra, late Prior, concerning his detinue of deeds relating to the commandery of Balsall and its possessions, among them the manor of CHILVERS COTON. (fn. 35)
After the dissolution of the Order these lands went to the Crown and surveys made in 1541 (fn. 36) state that the farm of the manor was demised to Robert Akers at £18 a year. It was not apparently returned to the Order by Philip and Mary in 1558, as it is not mentioned in the patent of that year which recited their possessions county by county. The tenancy of the land remained with the Acres family, and Henry Acres, by his will dated 15 September 1567 and proved in the following August, bequeathed to his wife a life interest in the 'capital house called the Temple, with the barn, barn yard, chapel yard, the dove house', and various named fields. (fn. 37)
By 1591 the land had come into the possession of one George Toone, who died seised of it, together with land in Lutmansend. (fn. 38) After that it evidently changed hands fairly frequently until it came into the hands of Richard Chamberlain, who lived in the Temple House in 1632, for one of the questions (unfortunately remaining unanswered) in an Exchequer Deposition of that year asks whether it was not previously owned by George Toone, Richard Toone, John Parker, Edmund Parker, Robert Goodall, and George his son. (fn. 39)
The manorial rights, however, seem to have been retained by the Crown until 1562, when the manor of Chilvers Coton, late belonging to the preceptory of Balsall, was granted to Thomas Dabridgecourt. (fn. 40) His granddaughter Christian married William Belcher, who died in 1609, (fn. 41) when she and her son Dabridgecourt Belcher sold the manor to Walter Giffard, (fn. 42) who transferred it in 1629 to Richard Chamberlain. (fn. 43) His sons John and Thomas Chamberlain in 1669 conveyed the manor to German Pole and George Parker, (fn. 44) who were probably acting for Sir Richard Newdigate, as the manor of ST. JOHN IN JERUSALEM was among the Newdigate estates in Coton in 1711, (fn. 45) and continued to be accounted a separate manor until at least the middle of the 19th century. (fn. 46)
After the Dissolution various leases were made and the reversion of the site of ARBURY PRIORY was given to Charles, Duke of Suffolk. (fn. 47) A survey made at about the same time gave the demesne of the priory as in all 232 acres, bringing in a total of £13 19s. 4¾d. a year. (fn. 48) After the death of the duke it passed to his daughter and co-heir Frances Stokes, in spite of an attempt by her half-sister Anne, wife of Randall Hayward, to upset her title. (fn. 49) The site of the priory had been let by the duke to Edmund Scarminge, and by him had been sublet to Thomas Arundel, whose widow he sued for waste in the early years of Elizabeth's reign. The property then consisted of the site of the monastery, one mill, the lands called the Church close, the park meadow, the Great Haunche, the Little Haunche, the Millfelde, the Quarrellfelde, the Stockinge, the wyndemill field, and the wyndmill meadow. (fn. 50)
In 1567 Francis Carsey or Kersey, cousin and one of the co-heirs of the Duke of Suffolk, conveyed the manor, now called MOREBARN, to Sir Edmund Anderson (fn. 51) who, on 20 Nov. 1586, conveyed it with the site of Arbury Priory to John Newdegate in exchange for the manor of Harefield, co. Middlesex. (fn. 52) By this date the old priory had been pulled down and 'a very fair structure in a quadrangular form' erected in its place. (fn. 53) This house and lands were settled by John Newdegate on his son John on the occasion of the latter's marriage with Anne, daughter of Sir Edward Fitton (fn. 54) and younger sister of the Mary Fitton who was maid of honour to Queen Elizabeth. (fn. 55)
Sir Richard Newdigate, the younger son of John and Anne, succeeded his brother at Arbury in 1643 and was created a baronet in 1677. On the death of his great-grandson Sir Roger, 5th baronet, in 1809 the main line became extinct and the estates passed to Sir Roger's cousin Millicent and her husband William Parker, who assumed the name of Newdigate and with whose descendants the property has remained. On the death of Francis Alexander Newdigate-Newdegate in 1936 it passed to his daughter Lucia Charlotte Susan, wife of John Maurice Fitzroy, the present owner. (fn. 56)
The parish church of ALL SAINTS consists of a chancel, nave, north and south aisles, north-east organ-chamber, north-west vestry, and a west tower. (fn. 57)
The chancel, and probably also the nave, date from the second half of the 13th century. The north aisle was added in 1837. The south aisle was an earlier addition and has 13th-century masonry at the east end, suggesting that there was a transept of this period which was afterwards lengthened to form an aisle. (fn. 58) This was almost entirely rebuilt and a new arcade inserted in 1889–91. The organ-chamber and vestry are of the same date. The west tower was added in the 15th century. The clasping buttresses in the lower part are unusual for this period and may indicate an earlier origin.
The modern traditions of the church and parish are associated with George Eliot the novelist (Mary Anne Evans), and the visitor is shown entries in the registers in connexion with her and her family, also graves of relatives and friends said to be originals of characters in her novels.
The chancel (about 27 ft. by 17 ft.) has an east window of three pointed lights with intersecting tracery in a two-centred head with an external hood-mould; the jambs and hood are of the 13th century. In the east half of the north wall is a window of two trefoiled lights and modern tracery of late-13th-century style in a two-centred head; the external hood-mould has headstops. This window was blocked before the 1891 restoration. Farther west is a modern archway to the organ-chamber. In the south wall are two similar windows, the eastern of the late 13th century; the western is modern or restored. Between them is a modern pointed doorway.
The walls are of cream sandstone ashlar with chamfered plinths. At the east angles are 15th-century diagonal buttresses: much of the masonry has been renovated. Under the south-east window is a blocked light to a sub-vault. The gabled roof is modern; it is of three bays with arched trusses.
The chancel arch has responds with three-quarter round shafts with capitals and bases, and a two-centred head of two chamfered orders with a west hood-mould. The stonework is modern. The 1887 plan shows responds with triple shafts.
The nave (about 47 ft. by 21 ft.) has a modern north arcade of three 15½-ft. bays with octagonal pillars and four-centred heads. The south arcade of 1890–1 is of four 12½-ft. bays with octagonal pillars and two-centred arches. If there is any ancient (late-13th-century) masonry reused and retooled it might be the capitals and bases of the second and third pillars from the east. The pillars are also in smaller courses than would be expected in modern workmanship. None of the voussoirs appears to be old. The roof is modern.
The north aisle (nearly 16 ft. wide) has an east archway into the organ-chamber and vestry; in the north wall are two tall windows of two lights under four-centred heads, and between them an archway into a small baptistry, formerly a porch. A west doorway opens into the west vestry, and over it is a two-light window.
The south aisle (the same width) has a restored east window of three trefoiled pointed lights and intersecting tracery in a two-centred head with an external hood-mould. In the south wall are three windows; the eastern of two trefoiled pointed lights with soffit cusps and a quatrefoiled piercing, in a two-centred head; the external hood-mould has defaced head-stops. The 1887 plan shows another window east of this, but it has been abolished. The other two are modern copies. At the west end of the wall is a modern doorway and over it a small round window to the gallery. East of them is an upper doorway to the gallery, approached by an external stone stair. In the west wall is another twolight window. The wall about the eastern south window is of ancient weatherworn cream-coloured ashlar and it leans outward a little; the remainder is modern. The gabled roof of three bays may be partly of the 16th century. It has trusses with moulded tiebeams carrying sloping struts or posts and having modern braces under the ends. The purlins have straight windbraces. There are modern intermediate trusses.
The west tower (10 ft. square) is of three stages with walls of cream-white sandstone ashlar. There are moulded string-courses at the springing line of the west window and the base of the bell-chamber. The plinth has a moulded top course and chamfered lower, the space between them being panelled with quatrefoiled circles in squares, &c., on the west face. The restored parapet is embattled. At the angles are square clasping buttresses up to the lower string-course level only: above that are 15th-century diagonal buttresses up to the bell-chamber. In the south-east angle is a projecting square staircase; the vice has a four-centred inner doorway and modern outer doorway. The archway to the nave, only 6½ ft. wide, is of two orders, the outer wavemoulded towards the nave and chamfered on the west; the inner has a half-octagonal shaft with a moulded capital; the head is two-centred. There is an additional square order towards the nave, probably the piercing of the earlier nave-wall. The west doorway is entirely modern; the partly restored window over it is of three cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a fourcentred head, the string-course being carried over it as a hood-mould. In the second stage are rectangular lights and the bell-chamber has windows of three trefoiled and cinquefoiled lights under a four-centred head without a hood-mould.
There are no ancient fittings or monuments. A piece of board said to have come from the bell-chamber is inscribed ANNO 1601 TC TC. All along the north aisle and west part of the south aisle are galleries, the latter entered by the outside stair. The boarded-up north window of the chancel contains some ancient glass including two shields one, or two bends gules (Sudeley), the other with a cheveron, (fn. 59) and an inscription that it was formerly in the east window. Inscriptions record the enlarging of the church in 1837 and the recasting of the three bells into eight in 1908. The three ancient clappers are preserved in the tower by the west doorway.
The plate includes a communion cup of 1641.
The registers date from 1654, the first book ending in 1699.
The advowson of the church of All Saints Chilvers Coton was granted to Arbury Priory on its foundation in the 13th century. On 12 May 1401 it was confirmed to them by Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury. (fn. 60) In 1291 the church was valued at £5 6s. 8d., (fn. 61) and in 1535 at £7 4s. (fn. 62) After the Dissolution the patronage went to the Crown, with whom it remained until at least 1786. (fn. 63) It is now in the hands of Mrs. Fitzroy.
In 1546 the rectory of Potters Coton (fn. 64) was in the hands of John Yonge and Robert Browne, of London, who sold it to Edward Scarminge, (fn. 65) the lessee of Arbury, and he conveyed it to Thomas Starkye. (fn. 66) The latter sold it in 1583 to Stephen Kyrton. (fn. 67) In 1598 William Wright and Ursula his wife granted it to Henry Mounford, (fn. 68) but eight years later they combined to convey it to Edward Baker, (fn. 69) who next year sold it to Anne widow of Sir John Newdegate, (fn. 70) after which it descended with the other property of that family.
The vicarage tithes were the subject of a lawsuit in 1657, and the response of one of the witnesses in the suit states explicitly of what they consisted:
'It has been the Constant Custome within the said parish since the Respts remembrance that the vicar of the said parish hath constantly enjoyed and had all small tithes and vicars dues as Wooll lambes piggs geese Calves from the Inhabitants there and at Easter his Easter booke and eggs withal other vicars dues and small tithes and hath usually had the lambe at Mayday and the Calve when it is a fortnight old or fitt for the butcher and piggs at the age of three weekes and geese about Lammas And that the parishioners of the said parish have Constantly paid to the said Complainants and his predecessors ministers here the like tithes aforesaid . . . and further saith that the usual oblation payable to the vicar of the same parish of Chilverscoton aforesaid hath beene and yett is for every marryed person two pence for euery servant two pence and for every receiver of the Lord's supper two pence every tradesman and Aleseller four pence a piece for Smoake one penny garden one penny all which oblations are payable at Easter yearly.' (fn. 71)
Certain lands in Coton and Griff given for the support of lamps in the church were granted in 1548 to Thomas Fisher and Thomas Dabridgecourt. (fn. 72) They seem later to have come to Edward Printopp, from whom John Toone bought 'the Lampe lands' in about 1580. (fn. 73)
Dr. Hinckley gave 20s. per annum payable out of a field called Barley Field to be distributed as follows: 6s. 8d. to the curate of the parish, and 13s. 4d. in bread to the poor. The charge is received and distributed by the vicar and churchwardens as directed.
Unknown Donor's Charity. The endowment of this charity originally consisted of a rentcharge of 12s. charged on lands in Attleborough. The charge was redeemed in 1884 in consideration of £20 Consols producing 10s. annually, which is paid to the churchwardens towards church expenses.
Church Money or Dugdale's Annuity. The origin of this charity, the endowment of which consists of a rentcharge of £2 13s. 4d. is unknown. The charge is received from Sir William Dugdale and paid to the churchwardens towards church expenses.
Thomas Garrett by will proved 26 Jan. 1881 bequeathed to the vicar and churchwardens £100, the interest to be distributed among the deserving poor of the parish. The legacy produces £2 10s. annually.