A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 7, the City of Birmingham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1964.
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All the Warwickshire manors within the area of modern Birmingham (except for Berwood and Sheldon) and all the manors in Handsworth parish (fn. 1) were held in the early Middle Ages by a single line of overlords. In 1086 William FitzAnsculf was recorded as holding Birmingham, Edgbaston, Aston, Erdington, Witton, Handsworth, Perry, and Little Barr, (fn. 2) and William's successors were overlords of other manors in Aston parish — Bordesley, Little Bromwich, Duddeston, Saltley, and Nechells— that are first mentioned in the 12th or 13th century. (fn. 3) William's estates passed, with Dudley Castle, to the Paynels — Fulk, Ralph and Gervase in turn — and when Gervase Paynel died in 1194, his only child Robert having already died, he was succeeded by his sister Hawise, widow of John de Somery. The estates were held by successive members of the Somery family until the death of another John de Somery in 1322. (fn. 4) His coheirs were his sisters: the barony of Dudley, together with the manors of Birmingham, Perry, and Little Barr, was allotted in 1323 to Margaret, wife of John de Sutton, while Handsworth manor, Edgbaston manor, and the manors in Aston parish went to Joan, widow of Thomas Botetourt. (fn. 5) The overlordship of Perry and Little Barr is not subsequently mentioned, but the Sutton (or Dudley) family continued as overlords of Birmingham. (fn. 6) Joan Botetourt was succeeded in 1338 by her son John, who was in turn succeeded in 1386 by Joyce, daughter of John's son John, and wife of Hugh Burnell. Joyce died in 1407; between then and Hugh's death in 1420 (fn. 7) two of her three coheirs (fn. 8) sold their reversionary title to her estates. Hugh de Stranley and his wife Joyce (the greatgranddaughter of the elder John Botetourt) in 1417 conveyed their ½ interest to Nicholas Rugeley and his wife Edith who at once conveyed it to Joan, widow of Sir William Beauchamp of Bergavenny, (fn. 9) and in 1419 Joan Beauchamp acquired the ⅓ interest of Sir Adam Peshale and his wife Joyce (daughter of the elder John Botetourt). (fn. 10) The remaining ⅓ passed on Hugh Burnell's death to Sir Maurice Berkeley, the son of Katherine (daughter of the elder John Botetourt), (fn. 11) but this share also was subsequently acquired by Joan Beauchamp. (fn. 12) She was the last person to be named as overlord of any of the above-named manors in Joan Botetourt's inheritance. (fn. 13)
In 1086 4 hides in BIRMINGHAM which Ulwin had held under the Confessor were held by Ricoard under William FitzAnsculf. (fn. 14) Henry II made a grant of free warren in Birmingham and Handsworth to Peter the Steward (dapifer), (fn. 15) who occurs as Peter son of William, steward of Dudley, in 1153 and had a grant of a market at his castle of Birmingham in 1166, (fn. 16) in which year he, as Peter de Bramingaham, held 9 knights' fees in Staffordshire and Warwickshire under Gervase Paynel. (fn. 17) He died in or soon after 1171 (fn. 18) and his son William had a charter from Richard I confirming the market and other franchises. (fn. 19) William's son William (II) de Birmingham in 1232 sued 17 holders of messuages in Birmingham to do the service of lifting his hay when required, in addition to paying 8d. rent for each messuage and at every brewing providing a pennyworth of ale for a halfpenny; (fn. 20) eventually he remitted the service for 15 marks and a yearly rent of 2s. (fn. 21) This William had a grant in 1250 of a fair at Birmingham for four days at Ascensiontide, (fn. 22) and died c. 1263, (fn. 23) when his widow Maud claimed ⅓ of the manor of Birmingham in dower. (fn. 24) His son William (III) was killed at Evesham in 1265 fighting against the king, who seized the manor and gave it to Roger de Clifford; (fn. 25) it was, however, afterwards assigned to William's widow Isabel, who subsequently married Peter de Chalons (Schalyns). (fn. 26) William (IV) recovered his father's lands and in 1283 had a grant of free warren in this manor. (fn. 27) In 1285 he proved his right to the market, fair, warren, view of frankpledge, and other franchises. (fn. 28) He died in or before 1302, when his widow Isabel presented to the church. (fn. 29)
A settlement of the manor was made in 1324 to William (V) de Birmingham in tail male with contingent reversion to Henry, probably his brother, and his heirs. (fn. 30) He died about 1345, (fn. 31) leaving a widow Maud, (fn. 32) and was succeeded by his son William (VI), whose son Fulk inherited the manor. (fn. 33) Fulk, by his first wife Joan, (fn. 34) had two sons, John and Thomas, and died about 1375. Sir John in 1376 acquired from William son of William Coleson of Walsall and Elizabeth his wife, who was presumably the widow of Fulk, her dower of ⅓ of the manor of Birmingham. (fn. 35) He married Elizabeth, younger daughter and coheir of William de la Plaunche, and died in 1380, (fn. 36) leaving no issue. The manor passed to his brother Thomas (who died c. 1386, when his widow Isabel is mentioned), (fn. 37) subject to the life interest of Sir John's widow Elizabeth. She, who had been married to Sir John at the age of nine, next married Robert, Lord Grey of Rotherfield, and then, in 1388, John, Lord Clinton, immediately after whose death in 1398 she married Sir John Russell. (fn. 38) In 1389 she conveyed her life interest in ⅓ of the manor to Sir Bernard Brocas, (fn. 39) the third husband of her sister Katherine, (fn. 40) whose first husband had been William de Birmingham (fn. 41) — presumably William (VII), brother of Sir Fulk. (fn. 42) In 1423 Elizabeth died, holding for life the manor of Birmingham, with the advowsons of the church and of the Priory of St. John, a market on Thursday and fairs at Ascensiontide and Michaelmas, 3 messuages called the Butchery, Drapery, and Mercery, and 3 water-mills. Her husband's heirs were stated to be Ellen wife of Sir Edmund Ferrers, Lord Chartley, and Elizabeth wife of George Longueville, daughters of Elizabeth daughter of Thomas de Birmingham, (fn. 43) who had married Thomas Roche. (fn. 44) On the death in 1435 of Sir Edmund Ferrers, who left a son William, (fn. 45) his widow received one moiety of the manor, held undivided jointly with George Longueville, tenant by courtesy in right of his late wife Elizabeth, by whom he had a son Richard; and the manor was said to be held in chief of the king as 1/100 knight's fee. (fn. 46) In 1440, however, Sir John Sutton of Dudley protested that it was held of his castle of Dudley by knight service, castleward, and suit at the 'Knyghton Court' of Sedgley. (fn. 47)
Meanwhile, under the entail of 1324, the reversion of the manor should have gone to Sir William (IX) de Birmingham — son of William (VIII), son of William (VII) (fn. 48) — and he evidently took up his residence there, as on Sunday before Holy Cross day 1424 (after the death of Lady Elizabeth de Clinton) Sir Edmund Ferrers with a large company of armed men forcibly ejected Sir William, his wife Joan, his sons and daughters, and his household. (fn. 49) Sir William died before 16 June 1425, (fn. 50) leaving an infant son William (X), (fn. 51) one of whose guardians was Thomas Chaucer, (fn. 52) the poet's son. This Sir William married, before 1453, Isabel, daughter of William Hilton, (fn. 53) and died in 1478 seised of the manor of Birmingham, held of Sir John Sutton, Lord Dudley, leaving a son William (XI), (fn. 54) and a widow Agnes, who in 1480 claimed ⅓ of 4/5 of the manor in dower (fn. 55) and in 1485 was accused by her stepson William of waste by allowing a mill to be unroofed and by cutting down trees. (fn. 56) William (XI) Birmingham died in 1500, holding the manor of Sir Edward Sutton, Lord Dudley, his heir being his grandson Edward, son of Nicholas, aged three. (fn. 57)
Edward Birmingham, being indebted to the king and also being under conviction of felony, (fn. 58) made over the manor of Birmingham to Henry VIII in 1536, (fn. 59) with a reservation of £40 yearly to Edward and his wife Elizabeth (fn. 60) during their lives, (fn. 61) which was reduced to £20 after his death in 1539. (fn. 62) According to tradition, the accusation of felony had been achieved by a trick by John Dudley, who wished to obtain the manor. (fn. 63) It was, however, not until December 1545 that he, as Viscount Lisle, received a grant of the lordship of Birmingham, worth £50, the borough, and advowson, with various lands and mills; (fn. 64) and his tenure was short, for in 1553 on his attainder, as Duke of Northumberland the estate escheated to the Crown.
In 1557 Thomas Marrow received a grant of the lordship or foreign manor and borough of Birmingham and the reversion of various parcels of land which had been granted out on lease, including one lot leased in 1541 to Elizabeth Ludford, (fn. 65) the widow of Edward Birmingham, who had married William Ludford. (fn. 66) Thomas died in 1561, having settled the manor, which included the manor-house with a mill standing in the outer court, on his son Samuel at his marriage with Margaret daughter of John Littleton of Frankley (Worcs.). (fn. 67) It was again settled on this Samuel's grandson Samuel when he married, in 1621, Elizabeth (fn. 68) daughter of Gerard Whorwood, who survived him at his death on 21 August 1636, when he left a son Edward, aged eight. (fn. 69) Edward's son Samuel Marrow was created a baronet in 1679 and died at some date between 1683 and 1686, (fn. 70) leaving five daughters as his coheirs. The eldest, Anne, and her husband Sir Arthur Kaye, bt., (fn. 71) seem to have had some priority here, (fn. 72) but all five, with the husbands of three of them — Arthur Kaye and Anne, John Knightley and Mary, Robert Wilmot and Ursula, Elizabeth and Arabella Marrow — were dealing jointly with the manor in 1707; (fn. 73) and in 1746 their representatives combined to sell the manor of Birmingham to Thomas Archer, (fn. 74) who became Lord Archer of Umberslade in the following year. On the death of Andrew, 2nd and last Lord Archer, in 1778 the manorial rights passed to his daughters (fn. 75) who were apparently still sharing them in 1830; (fn. 76) but in 1850 Christopher Musgrave (son of the second daughter) is named as lord. (fn. 77) No subsequent mention of the lordship has been found.
The old manor-house, the seat of the Birmingham family, stood on a moated site bounded by Moat Lane, Moat Row, and Jamaica Row. (fn. 78) None of the lords lived there after the manor was forfeited by Edward Birmingham; Hutton infers that it was then decayed, (fn. 79) but the manor-house with a mill standing in the outer court was mentioned in a settlement of c. 1560. (fn. 80) A new house was built on the site c. 1740 by John Francis, a manufacturer; this and surviving medieval outbuildings were removed, and the moat finally filled in, in 1816 when work was begun on Smithfield market, which in 1959 still occupied the site. (fn. 81)
Before the Conquest ASTON belonged to Earl Eadwin; in 1086 it was held of William FitzAnsculf by Godmund. It was assessed at 8 hides and had woodland 3 leagues in length by ½ league broad attached to it. (fn. 82) The overlordship of the manor was recorded in 1235; (fn. 83) later references to the overlordship of property in Aston may relate only to lesser estates. (fn. 84)
Ralph de Somery is said to have enfeoffed Thomas son of William de Erdington in Aston about 1200. (fn. 85) One John de Montagu seems to have disputed possession with Thomas in 1204, (fn. 86) and promised to grant the manors of Aston and Duddeston to John Marshall within the next four years, or else to give him 100s. rent in lieu thereof. (fn. 87) Thomas de Erdington, however, was in possession when he died in or before 1218, in which year the manor of Aston was assigned to his widow Rose de Cokefield. (fn. 88) Giles son of Thomas (fn. 89) was succeeded by his nephew Henry de Erdington, (fn. 90) who subinfeudated the manor to Thomas de Maidenhacche (fn. 91) shortly before 1286, in which year Thomas had a grant of free warren here. (fn. 92) In 1285 Thomas successfully claimed by prescription various franchises, including the assize of bread and ale, gallows, and view of frankpledge for his manor of Aston, (fn. 93) which may have been co-extensive with the 3 virgates of land ascribed to him in 1291. (fn. 94) The manor was settled in 1286 on Thomas and his wife Isabel, (fn. 95) who survived him and died in 1318. (fn. 96) Their heirs were their four daughters, Joan wife of John Daundely, Sybil, Isabel, and Margaret. (fn. 97) Sybil married Adam de Grymesarwe and in 1320 they settled the whole manor on themselves and her heirs, with William de Tendryng and Margaret his wife (presumably Sybil's sister) registering a claim. (fn. 98) On the death of Sybil's son John without issue c. 1360 the manor is said to have passed to Maud de Grymesarwe, daughter of John brother of Adam, and to have been conveyed by her in 1366 to John atte Holte (Holt) of Birmingham. (fn. 99) On his death it passed to his uncle Walter Holte, who in 1377 settled it on himself and his wife Margery, daughter of Sir William Bagot, and his heirs. (fn. 100) Margery survived him and enfeoffed John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, Sir William Bagot, and others. (fn. 101) Her elder son John subsequently granted the fee of the manor to Sir William Bagot, (fn. 102) but when the latter fell into disgrace for supporting Richard II John's younger brother William Holte obtained from Henry IV a grant of the manor for life. (fn. 103) John's son Aymer in 1431 sued William for the manor of Aston, (fn. 104) but in 1436 made over his rights therein to him. (fn. 105) William also defeated a claim by Sir William Bagot, (fn. 106) and in 1441 his nephew and heir John (son of Simon) Holte received a grant of the manor, advowson and liberties. (fn. 107) It then descended through five generations to Sir Thomas Holte, who inclosed the park and built the great house, and who was created a baronet in 1611. (fn. 108) On the death of Sir Charles Holte, 6th and last bt., in 1782 Aston passed to his daughter Mary Elizabeth, who had married Abraham Bracebridge of Atherstone. (fn. 109) They still held the manor in 1811, (fn. 110) but by the death of their grandson, Charles Holte Bracebridge, without issue in 1872 the line became extinct (fn. 111) and the manorial rights seem to have lapsed. The Hall had been sold after the death of Dame Sarah Holte, widow of Sir Lister, 5th bt., in 1794 to the Hon. Heneage Legge, (fn. 112) and was acquired about 1820 by the younger James Watt. After his death in 1848 the survival of Aston Hall and Park was in doubt. Birmingham Corporation was empowered to buy the property by an Act of 1854, but it was a private company that bought it, in 1857, and persuaded Queen Victoria to open it officially to the public in the following year. Subsequently, in 1864, the corporation acquired the park (redesigned in 1924 and comprising 49 a. in 1950) as a public park and the Hall as a museum and art gallery. (fn. 113) The park was once far larger: it was over 300 a. in 1758, but much of it was sold as building sites in the mid-19th century. (fn. 114)
Aston Hall is one of the more important of the large group of country mansions built in England during the first third of the 17th century. It was begun by Sir Thomas Holte in 1618, occupied in 1631, and completed in 1635. (fn. 115) Undated plans, showing the house in a slightly different form, are included in the collection of drawings by John Thorpe (c. 1563–1655) at the Soane Museum. (fn. 116) It cannot be assumed on this evidence that Thorpe was responsible for the design of Aston Hall but it may be worth noting that the house has a good deal in common with Holland House, a building which he claimed to have 'perfected'. (fn. 117)
Aston Hall stands at the highest point of its sloping park and is built of dark red brick with a diaper pattern of darker brick and lavish stone dressings. (fn. 118) Many of its features are typical of the period, including the Flemish character of the stonework detail and the complicated skyline with its curvilinear gables, ogee-headed turrets, and clusters of tall chimneys. The half-H plan is also typical; on the east or entrance front, projecting side wings enclose a forecourt which is carried forward by flanking screen walls terminating in twin lodges, designed in the same style as the house. On the inner face of each front wing is a square stair turret crowned with an ogee dome, the ground floor serving as an entrance porch. Both wings have twostoried oriel windows at their gable ends. The south wing contains living rooms and a former chapel while in the north wing are kitchens and service rooms. The design of the central block, containing the great hall flanked by staircase wells, may have been modified with changing fashion during the construction of the house. On Thorpe's drawing the hall is shown with a screens passage across its north end, a legacy from the standard medieval plan. This asymmetrical arrangement is masked externally by a large central window flanked by a projecting oriel and a porch. In the completed house the screens passage and the projections are missing and the great hall, entered directly from the forecourt by a central doorway, has declined in status from a principal living room to a 'hall' in the modern sense. A further symmetrical emphasis is given to the entrance front by a central tower, rising three stories above the parapet; there are structural indications that a tower in this position was also a later modification. (fn. 119) Behind the great hall a row of smaller rooms is surmounted on the first floor by a magnificent long gallery (136 ft.) facing west over the garden. It was originally the intention to light the gallery entirely by oriel windows, both on the west front (fn. 120) and at its north and south ends; only the north oriel now survives. On the south side of the house the former chapel, with the great drawing room above it, forms a projecting central feature flanked on the ground floor by stone-arcaded loggias. There is evidence that the chapel and drawing room were formerly lit by a two-storied oriel window. (fn. 121) At both east and west ends of this front the rooms above the loggias are later work, probably additions of 1687, a date which appears on a lead rainwater-head. (fn. 122) A corresponding room has been added at the northeast corner of the house to preserve the symmetry of the entrance front. The north side of the house has been considerably altered at various periods and the sash-windowed bedrooms above the kitchens were probably remodelled during the tenancy of the younger James Watt (see above).
Internally many original features survive including fine chimneypieces, woodwork, and plaster ceilings. The great staircase, consisting of two complete flights, has a balustrade of strapwork panels and elaborately carved newels with finials and pendants. Damage to the balustrade, said to have been caused by the parliamentary bombardment in the Civil War, is still visible. (fn. 123) Apart from the long gallery and the great hall the most notable room is probably the great drawing room which has particularly fine plasterwork, the frieze incorporating niches with figures of the Nine Worthies. Adjoining it is the room where Charles I is said to have slept in October 1642; here the plaster frieze consists of a row of trees and animals, real and imaginary, worked in high relief. A somewhat similar frieze in the great hall is thought to be an early-19th-century copy. (fn. 124) 'Lady Holte's Drawing Room', on the first floor, contains needlework hangings and a carpet worked by Mary Holte, one of the hangings being signed with the date 1744. In 1882 a ground-floor room was fitted with early-18th-century panelling brought from the demolished house in Old Square originally belonging to Dr. Edmund Hector, friend of Samuel Johnson. (fn. 125) Many of the works of art and pieces of period furniture now in the house have been provided by the Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery since the Second World War. (fn. 126)
A gabled stable block, probably of 18th-century date, stands near the north-east corner of the house. The entrance gateway to the park from Witton Lane, thought to be of the same period, consists of a central carriage opening surmounted by a crocketted ogee arch and flanked by smaller openings and single-storied lodges.
The priory of Tickford or Newport Pagnell (Bucks.), impropriators of Aston church, (fn. 127) had certain property in Aston which seems to have constituted a rectorial manor. In 1525, after the suppression of the priory, its possessions were said to have included 'the manor of TICKFORD in the parish of Aston', which was given to Wolsey for his college at Oxford. (fn. 128) At about this time land in Aston belonging to the rectory was valued at £18 8s. 4d. (fn. 129) The manor was granted to Henry VIII's College in 1532; the estate included the advowson of the vicarage and a pension of 40s. from Aston church. (fn. 130) The rectorial estate seems to have passed into the possession of the Holte family between 1535 and 1552, (fn. 131) and thus to have become united with the manor of Aston.
In the middle of the 13th century William de Kilkenny, then Rector of Aston, appropriated to the rectory the view of the frankpledge of his tenants in Aston. Thereafter the priors of Tickford seem to have exercised the liberty, but it was forfeited in 1285 when the prior failed to come before the eyre to vindicate it. (fn. 132) The profits of the view of the frankpledge seem, however, to have been confirmed or regranted to the priory in 1310. (fn. 133)
The manor of DUDDESTON, in Aston parish, is found linked with that of Aston in 1204; (fn. 134) and in 1286 Thomas de Maidenhacche had a grant of free warren in both Duddeston and Aston. (fn. 135) Walter Holte in 1400 held with the manor of Aston 4 messuages and 4 carucates of land in Duddeston and Bordesley, which estate was confirmed to his grandson John in 1441 (fn. 136) and is usually called the manor of Duddeston from early in the 16th century onwards. (fn. 137) Duddeston continued to descend with Aston (see above) and was the seat of the Holtes until they moved in 1631 to Aston Hall. (fn. 138) The manor-house, known as Duddeston Hall, stood on the left bank of the Rea a little south-west of the site of Vauxhall and Duddeston station. (fn. 139) It was occupied c. 1725 by Lady Holte, (fn. 140) presumably a dowager. It is shown on a map of 1770, (fn. 141) but by 1781 it had been largely demolished and the grounds were used for pleasure gardens. (fn. 142) Named Vauxhall after the similar gardens in London, they became a favourite resort of the inhabitants of Birmingham. (fn. 143) Their popularity, however, waned after the building of the Grand Junction Railway, and they were closed in 1850. (fn. 144)
Another estate in Duddeston (fn. 145) was held by Roger de Aylesbury of John de Somery as 1/32 knight's fee, which was assigned in 1323 to Joan Botetourt. (fn. 146) This Roger is said to have styled himself lord of Duddeston, as did Philip de Aylesbury in 1376–7. (fn. 147) Philip's lands came to Richard de Clodeshale (fn. 148) and it is probable that this property was absorbed into his estate of Saltley.
The 'hamlet' of Duddeston was stated to be parcel of the manor of Bordesley in 1386 (fn. 149) and 1407, (fn. 150) and a 'manor' of Duddeston was conveyed with Bordesley to Edward Arden in 1563. (fn. 151)
By 1226 (fn. 152) BORDESLEY was held in demesne by the overlords of the other manors in Aston parish and in the second half of the 13th century it was the centre of a court leet for the neighbouring vills. (fn. 153) On the death of the younger Roger de Somery in 1291 it was certified as containing 61 acres of demesne, with meadows in Bordesley and in Duddeston and Overton (i.e. Water Orton); there were 4 freeholders, each with a messuage and a half-yardland, and 78 others without houses holding land newly brought under cultivation, and 16 customary tenants holding 6½ yardlands; the total value was £27 12s. 2d., of which £4 8s. 5¾d. was assigned to his widow Agnes in dower. (fn. 154) She subsequently obtained the custody of the manor during the minority of her son John. (fn. 155) After the death of John de Somery in 1322 Bordesley, described as a member of Dudley, (fn. 156) was assigned to his younger sister Joan widow of Thomas Botetourt and passed in 1338 to her son John, then aged nineteen. (fn. 157) Sir John Botetourt in 1370, after the death of his only son John, (fn. 158) settled the manor on himself for life with remainder of part to Hugh de Segrave and Isabel his wife and their heirs. (fn. 159) The part so assigned was the 'manor', (fn. 160) or messuage and 3 carucates of land, (fn. 161) called HAYBARN. In 1390 Thomas Blount and Isabel his wife (presumably widow of Hugh de Segrave) joined in a settlement of the manors of Bordesley and Haybarn (henceforward usually linked together) on Sir Hugh Burnell and Joyce and her heirs. (fn. 162) Thereafter the manor passed through the same ownership and divisions as the overlordship of the other manors in Aston parish. (fn. 163) When Joan Beauchamp's grandson James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire, was attainted in 1461 he was seised of the manor of Bordesley. (fn. 164) His niece Anne married Sir James St. Leger and in 1519 settled the manor on John St. Leger, eldest son of her son George, on his marriage with Catherine daughter of Sir William Compton. (fn. 165) They conveyed it in 1563 to Edward Arden, (fn. 166) who was attainted in 1584, after which the queen retained the estates until the death of his wife Mary in 1603. Their son Robert settled the manors on his son Henry when he married Dorothy Fielding in 1608. Henry died in 1616 and Dorothy in 1625, so that when Robert died in 1636 he was succeeded by his grandson Robert Arden. (fn. 167) This Robert died in 1643 without issue, leaving four sisters and coheirs: Elizabeth, wife of Sir William Poley of Boxstead Hall (Suff.); Godith, wife of Herbert Price; Dorothy, wife of Hervey Bagot of Pype Hall; and Anne, wife of Sir Charles Adderley of Lea. (fn. 168) Arden Adderley, son of Sir Charles, in 1679 sold his share to Arden Bagot, son of Hervey, (fn. 169) and this half of the manor descended with Berwood in Curdworth. (fn. 170) The quarter held by Godith and Herbert was probably sold by their son John with Park Hall in Castle Bromwich (fn. 171) to John Bridgeman, as Sir John Bridgeman was dealing with it in 1719 (fn. 172) and George Augustus Bridgeman in 1811. (fn. 173) The remaining quarter was conveyed in 1658 to Oliver Raymond and John Berners by Sir William Poley and Anthony Maxey and Susan his wife (fn. 174) (daughter of Sir William). (fn. 175) It appears to have been acquired by Sir Charles Holte by 1706, (fn. 176) and to have descended with Aston (see above), being in the hands of a later Sir Charles Holte in 1770. (fn. 177) The Georgian house known as Bordesley Hall, which stood in a park of 6 acres south of the Coventry road near its junction with Bordesley High Street, may have been the successor of a medieval manor-house. In the 18th century it was owned by John Taylor, and was burnt down during the Priestley riots. (fn. 178)
ERDINGTON had belonged to Earl Eadwin of Mercia, but after the Conquest it was given to William FitzAnsculf, of whom it was held by Peter. It was assessed at 3 hides, and the woodland, 1 league long by ½ broad, had been set apart for the king's hunting preserves. (fn. 179) The last known mention of the overlordship was in 1435. (fn. 180)
At some date between 1135 and 1166 Gervase Paynel granted a knight's fee to Henry de Erdington, (fn. 181) who was succeeded by William. (fn. 182) The vill of Erdington was before 1218 divided between three coheirs, Thomas de Erdington, Roger de Erdington and Walter Maunsel. (fn. 183) This division is echoed in 1323, when among the fees of John de Somery was one fee in Erdington held by Henry de Erdington, Roger Hillary and Richard de Pype. (fn. 184) Each of the three divisions was later described as a manor.
Thomas de Erdington died in 1218 (fn. 185) when his widow Rose (previously wife of Adam) (fn. 186) de Cokefield was given seisin of the manors of Erdington and Aston until dower was assigned to her. (fn. 187) His elder son Peter having died on crusade, (fn. 188) his heir was his younger son Giles, then under age. Giles was a king's clerk, constantly employed as a justice of assize from 1245 onwards; (fn. 189) he was Dean of Wolverhampton from about 1248 (fn. 190) until his death late in 1268, (fn. 191) when he was succeeded in his estates by his nephew (fn. 192) Henry de Erdington. Henry married Maud, daughter and coheir of Roger de Somery, (fn. 193) and died in 1282, leaving a son Giles, then aged ten. (fn. 194) Giles died young and his brother Henry succeeded, receiving his father's lands in 1295 and those of his mother on her death in 1302. (fn. 195) He was knighted in 1306 and by summons to the Parliament of 1335–6 is held to have become Lord Erdington. (fn. 196) In 1297 he settled the manor of Erdington on himself and his wife Joan with remainder to their son Giles. (fn. 197) Sir Giles was living in 1359 (fn. 198) and his widow Elizabeth died in 1375, when the manor, which she had held for life, went to her eldest surviving son, Sir Thomas. (fn. 199) He died in 1395, having previously settled the manor on his son Thomas and his wife Anne, daughter of Thomas de Harcourt, (fn. 200) and his widow Margaret retained ⅓ of the manor until her death in 1405. (fn. 201) The younger Sir Thomas died seised of the manor in 1434, (fn. 202) leaving a widow (his second wife) Sybil, who died a year later. (fn. 203) The next Sir Thomas, son of the last by his first wife, married Joyce, daughter and co heir of Sir Edward Burnell and died without issue in 1467, his heirs being unknown. (fn. 204)
The manor seems then to have lapsed to the Crown and to have been granted to George, Duke of Clarence, (fn. 205) during the minority of whose heir the Crown appointed bailiffs and stewards. (fn. 206) By 1495 it was in the hands of Robert Wright, who then granted it to Sir Reynold Bray, (fn. 207) who left it to his nephew Sir Edmund Bray. (fn. 208) In 1530 Sir Edmund sold the manor, which passed to Thomas Englefield, (fn. 209) who died seised of it in 1537, leaving a son Francis, then aged fifteen. (fn. 210) Sir Francis Englefield sold the manor in 1550 to Humphrey Dymmock of Cesters Over (in Monks Kirby). (fn. 211) Humphrey's son Francis conveyed it to his brother Sir Henry Dymmock in 1581, (fn. 212) on whose death it passed to Sir Walter Earle of Charborough (Dors.), who had married Anne, daughter and heir of Francis. (fn. 213) They sold the manor in 1626 to Sir Walter Devereux, (fn. 214) afterwards Viscount Hereford, from whom it was acquired in 1647 by Sir Thomas Holte, (fn. 215) in whose family Erdington then descended with the manor of Aston (see above).
The Erdington family had at Erdington a fortified and moated manor-house standing on the left bank of the Tame above Bromford Bridge. In the 13th and 14th centuries the house included a private chapel, (fn. 216) still discernible among the ruins of the house in the mid-17th century. (fn. 217) Sir Henry Dymmock lived in Erdington at the end of the 16th century, (fn. 218) but whether in this house or another is not known. A later house, Erdington Hall, was built on or near the site of the old manor-house probably in the 1650s or 1660s by John Jennens or by his son, Humphrey. (fn. 219) Humphrey Jennens (d. 1690) is described in 1671 as 'of Erdington Hall' and apparently held the Hall on lease from Sir Charles Holte (then lord of the manor of Erdington) for life and for a term of 21 years after his death. He left it in his will to his wife with successive remainders to his four younger sons. The Jennens family was still at the Hall in the early years of the 18th century. (fn. 220) In 1858 it was occupied by William Wheelwright, (fn. 221) a farmer, who may have given his name to Wheelwright Road, leading from the house to Gravelly Hill. The house was occupied in 1908 (fn. 222) but was demolished in 1912. (fn. 223) It was a brick building with stone dressings and Dutch gables, having three stories and attics, in style quite consistent with a building date of 1662.
The portion of Erdington assigned to Roger de Erdington (see above) seems to correspond with the part of a knight's fee held in 1323 by Roger Hillary. (fn. 224) Meadow in Erdington was held of Roger Hillary in 1334 by Richard de Thrymalowe. (fn. 225) Roger Hillary had a grant of free warren in his demesne lands there in 1344 (fn. 226) and died in 1356 seised of 20 acres of land, 6 acres of meadow, and 13s. rent in Erdington and 5s. rent in Aston, held of Sir John Botetourt by render of 1d. yearly. (fn. 227) In 1403 Margaret, widow of Sir Roger Hillary who had died in 1400, had livery of 14s. rent in Erdington and 5s. in Aston. (fn. 228) In 1512 the ⅓ fee late of Roger Hillary was held by Robert Massy and William Lane. (fn. 229) Robert Massy, a member of a Cheshire family, had married Elizabeth daughter and heir of Thomas Holden, who claimed descent from Roger de Erdington. (fn. 230) His great-grandson Hugh Massy, heir of Edward Lane, (fn. 231) held the ⅓ fee in 1586. (fn. 232) Hugh married Bridget daughter of William Arden of Park Hall, and their son John sold his manor in Erdington in 1604–5. (fn. 233) The subsequent history of this manor is unknown. (fn. 234)
The portion of Erdington assigned to Walter Maunsel (see above) was held in 1248 by Walter's son William. William Maunsel (probably the son of this. William) is said to have left an only daughter Emma who married first Sir Henry de Harcourt, by whom she had a daughter Margaret, and secondly Richard de Pype. (fn. 235) In 1303 Richard and Emma settled a messuage, a carucate of land, 10 acres of meadow, 60 acres of wood, 46s. 8d. rents, and the moiety of a mill (fn. 236) in Erdington on themselves in tail, with contingent remainders to Margaret and to John de Pype, Richard's son by his first wife. (fn. 237) Margaret married first John de Pype (fn. 238) and secondly John de Saundrested, who died in 1353 holding in her right ⅓ of the manor of Erdington. (fn. 239) This then reverted to Margaret and passed to her son Richard de Pype, whose son Henry had seven children, of whom all except Margery died, with their mother, of the plague. (fn. 240) John, Duke of Lancaster, as guardian of Margery, entrusted her to John de Stafford, canon of Lichfield, who caused her to make a grant of the 'manor' of Erdington to Simon de Lychefeld and Ellen his wife for their lives, (fn. 241) and in 1373 conveyed the reversion of it to Margery's uncle Thomas de Pype, Abbot of Stoneleigh. (fn. 242) The next abbot sold it to Thomas, Earl of Warwick, (fn. 243) upon whose forfeiture the reversion of the manor after the death of Simon was granted in 1397 to John, Earl of Salisbury. (fn. 244) It then reverted to the earldom of Warwick and came with it into the hands of the Crown. The estate, by then styled the manor of PYPE or PYPE HALL, was leased for 30 years to William Ruggeley in 1521 (fn. 245) and granted in 1544 to William Stanford (Stamford), justice of Common Pleas, (fn. 246) who two years later had licence to alienate it to John Butler. (fn. 247) John's widow Katherine with her then husband Anthony Throckmorton and her son Richard Butler sold the manor in 1569 to Edward Holte, (fn. 248) who sold it in 1573 to Francis Dymmock, lord of Erdington (see above), with which the manorial rights subsequently descended. (fn. 249)
The site of the manor-house, 'commonly called Pype Orchard', with fisheries and other appurtenances, was conveyed by Edward Holte in 1569 to Humphrey Holden (d. 1601), (fn. 250) a member of a family associated with Erdington for some five centuries. (fn. 251) The estate then passed from father to son, and c. 1730 was owned and occupied by Robert Holden, (fn. 252) the fifth in line after Humphrey (d. 1601). (fn. 253) John Holden (d. 1759), apparently Robert's son, was succeeded by a John Holden of Stourbridge (Worcs.), whose son John was alive in 1811 and was succeeded by two daughters. (fn. 254)
The manor-house occupied a moated site in the south-west angle of Bromford Lane and Kingsbury Road. The moat and earthworks survived in 1959, (fn. 255) but the house itself, built c. 1600 and later known as Wood End House, (fn. 256) was demolished in 1932. It was a timber-framed building with a six-gabled front, said to have been built by John Butler in 1543 and enlarged by a Humphrey Holden in 1662. (fn. 257)
Pype Hayes Hall or House, in Pype Hayes Park, was a separate estate which may have been connected with John Massy's manor of Erdington, for John's mother Bridget (Arden) was great-aunt to the father-in-law of Hervey Bagot, who in 1670 was described as of Pype Hayes Hall. The house descended in the Bagot family, (fn. 258) and in 1850 was occupied by the Revd. Egerton Arden Bagot. (fn. 259) In 1908 it was occupied by James Rollason, (fn. 260) and in 1919 the house and park were acquired by Birmingham Corporation, who opened the park as a recreation ground and the house as a convalescent home. After the Second World War the house was used as a children's residential nursery. (fn. 261) The building apparently dates from the first half of the 17th century and contains some panelling of this period. The older part consists of a central block flanked by gabled cross-wings, all much restored and faced with stucco. The principal front has a row of small gables to the parapet and four boldlyprojecting two-storied bay windows, the latter being much restored. The pedimented porch and several internal features are of the mid-18th century and the date 1762 appears on an altered stable range. The house was altered and enlarged c. 1850 and there are several recent additions.
Gervase Paynel seems to have granted SALTLEY to Henry de Rokeby, (fn. 262) whose descendant Anabel, daughter and heir of Ranulf de Rokeby, married Sir John Gobaut. (fn. 263) In 1333 they leased the manor of Saltley to Walter de Clodeshale and his son Richard for their lives. (fn. 264) Anabel survived Sir John and married John Brown of Burbage (Leics.) with whom in 1343 she sold the manor to the same Walter and Richard. (fn. 265) Richard's grandson Richard died in 1428, (fn. 266) leaving an only daughter Elizabeth, who married Robert Arden, of Park Hall (in Castle Bromwich), (fn. 267) with which manor Saltley descended until 1643, (fn. 268) when it was first divided between the four sisters of Robert Arden (fn. 269) and ultimately assigned to Anne wife of Sir Charles Adderley. (fn. 270) Charles Bowyer Adderley (created Baron Norton in 1878) was lord of the manor in 1850. Although manorial rights appear to have lapsed, Lord Norton and his heirs remained major landowners in Saltley. (fn. 271) Members of the Clodeshale family appear to have resided at Saltley: they received licences for an oratory there in 1360, 1371, and 1373. (fn. 272) Their manor-house may be represented by the farmhouse called Saltley Hall, which stood north-west of Hall Road. This house was owned by Charles Bowyer Adderley in 1760, and then, as in 1850, was let to a farmer. It had been demolished by 1913. (fn. 273)
In 1262 Thomas de Bromwych sued Robert son of Henry de Bromwych for land in Little Bromwich which Thomas claimed as brother and heir of Simon son of Roger son of Thomas son of Godwin brother of Guy, who had held it in the time of Henry II. (fn. 274) This may have been the 3 virgates in Bromwich held of Roger de Somery in 1291 by John de Bradwell as 1/10 knight's fee. (fn. 275) This 1/10 fee was among the fees of John de Somery assigned in 1323 to his sister Joan, widow of Thomas Botetourt, and then also held by a John de Bradwell. (fn. 276) It is possibly the messuage and land in Little Bromwich and Bordesley held as 1/10 fee by John Brandwood in 1586, (fn. 277) whose namesake held land in Little Bromwich in 1512. (fn. 278) The estate apparently remained in the same family for in 1730 the manor of LITTLE BROMWICH, later called ALUM ROCK, was the property of Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Richard Brandwood and wife of Isaac Spooner. Elizabeth died without issue, (fn. 279) and the manor apparently reverted to her father's family, for in 1759, when it comprised about 80 acres, it belonged to a Mr. Brandwood (d. 1759 or 1760) (fn. 280) and between 1765 and 1778 to Elizabeth and Jane Brandwood, who were possibly Mr. Brandwood's coheirs. Jane Brandwood alone was named as lord of the manor in 1784 and 1788. (fn. 281) Her successors as lord of the manor were William Ward (in 1797) and Robert Ward, a surgeon of Birmingham (in 1807), (fn. 282) and in 1868 William Ward, named as one of the principal landowners in 1850, sold his estates known as Treaford Hall and Alum Rock, in which the manorial rights seem to have lapsed. (fn. 283) The manor-house, however, which stood on the north side of Alum Rock Road west of its junction with Sladefield Road, (fn. 284) was by 1848 owned by W. Webb Essington and occupied by Isaac Marshall. (fn. 285) In 1911 the house, then known as the Moat House, became a convent of the (Anglican) Society of the Incarnation of the Eternal Son, which runs boys' orphanages, and was still so used in 1959. Several additions and alterations were made to the existing brick building which appears to be an 18th-century structure of the farmhouse type. A chapel was built in the garden in 1912. (fn. 286)
A family called Ward was established in Little Bromwich by the end of the 13th century and is thought to have given Ward End its name. (fn. 287) In 1512 William Ward held an estate at Ward End which he had inherited from his father, (fn. 288) and it may have been from William that John Bond, a clothier of Coventry, (fn. 289) acquired his estate there at some date before 1515, when he inclosed 30 acres to make a deer park. (fn. 290) Bond died in 1548, (fn. 291) and Margery Bond, one of the daughters of his son Thomas, married Edward Kynnersley, (fn. 292) who, with his wife made a settlement of the manor of WARD END or LITTLE BROMWICH. (fn. 293) In 1612 Margery, then a widow, and her son John Kynnersley were dealing with the manor, (fn. 294) and in 1658 John and his wife Martha conveyed the manor to Thomas Bayly. (fn. 295) Subsequently the manor was divided into moieties: in 1702 John Raby and Anne, (fn. 296) and in 1721 John Vernon and Anne, (fn. 297) were dealing with a moiety. Charles Blackham owned Ward End Hall, the manor-house, c. 1725, (fn. 298) and in 1730 a Mr. Blackham, ironmonger of Birmingham, was said to be lord of the manor, (fn. 299) though he may have held only one moiety: Thomas Blackham and John Biddulph with their wives conveyed the manor (apparently entire) to Abraham Spooner (half-brother of Elizabeth Spooner's husband Isaac) (fn. 300) in 1749. (fn. 301) In 1759 the estate comprised about 370 acres. (fn. 302) Spooner's descendants, Abraham Spooner-Lillingston and the latter's son Isaac William, (fn. 303) were dealing with the manor in 1830. (fn. 304) In 1848 the Hall, and about 100 acres including the park, were owned by Thomas Hutton. (fn. 305) The park, 53 acres in extent, was bought by Birmingham Corporation in 1903 and opened as a public park the following year. (fn. 306) William Hutton, the owner of the Hall, still lived there in 1908. (fn. 307) In 1939 it was apparently empty, (fn. 308) and was demolished after the Second World War to make way for a municipal housing estate. The house was a small classical building reputedly built in 1710 (fn. 309) and standing immediately north of the church outside the existing park. An earlier house stood nearby on a moated site which survived until after the Second World War. (fn. 310)
Before the Conquest WITTON was held by Stannachetel, and he still held it in 1086, but as tenant under William FitzAnsculf. (fn. 311) Land here was held in 1241 by Andrew de Witton, orders being given in that year for a perambulation between his land in Witton and that of William of Perry in Perry. (fn. 312) In 1291 John son of William de Dixley held 1 hide in Witton of Roger de Somery as 1/8 knight's fee, (fn. 313) and this was held of John de Somery in 1323 by John de Dixley, (fn. 314) whose name, qualified as 'lord of Witton', occurs in a number of deeds between 1307 and 1331. (fn. 315) He was dead by 1333, when his widow Sarah is mentioned, (fn. 316) and in 1340 she, with John of Barr, conveyed the manor (excepting 100 acres of pasture and 40s. rent) to Richard of Perry. (fn. 317) He is said to have been succeeded by Philip of Perry, whose widow Marion held it in 1361. (fn. 318) In 1373 William de la Hay and Marion his wife had the manor, which passed with their daughter Marion to Thomas East before 1427. (fn. 319) His son Thomas was lord of Witton in 1478 (fn. 320) and left a son Henry East of Hay Hall in Yardley, who sold the manor to John Bond of Coventry. Bond's eventual coheirs were the three daughters of his son Thomas, and the manor of Witton was assigned to Alice, who married Michael Joyner and with him in 1606 conveyed it to John Kynnersley, son of her sister Margery. He sold most of the land and in 1620 conveyed the manor to William Booth, of the Inner Temple (London), who was succeeded in or before 1650, by his son William, an antiquary to whom Dugdale acknowledged his indebtedness. (fn. 321) This William died in 1673, and his son dying in 1679 the manor passed to the latter's sister, Alice wife of William Allestrey. Their son Booth Allestrey held it c. 1730 (fn. 322) but soon afterwards parted with it, and in 1736 Theophilus Levett conveyed the manor to John Wyrley Birch. (fn. 323) He died in 1775 and left his estate to his relative George Birch, whose son Wyrley was lord of the manor in 1850 (fn. 324) and died in 1866, being succeeded by his grandson Wyrley Birch. (fn. 325) Witton Hall, the manorhouse, stands at the junction of Brookvale Road and George Road. By 1850 it was being used as a private school, (fn. 326) and c. 1907 was acquired by the Aston Board of Guardians as a home for the aged, (fn. 327) a purpose which it continued to serve, under Birmingham Corporation, in 1959. The buildings have been much extended, both before and after the Second World War, but the original house is represented by a tall square three-storied block dating from c. 1730. Internally a panelled room and the original staircase have survived.
The manor of NECHELLS, or ECHELLES, (fn. 328) is said to have been granted by Osbert de Parles to his bastard son Reynold, whose son Simon left three daughters. (fn. 329) The estate came to Alice, daughter of Agnes, the second daughter; she married Sir George de Castello, (fn. 330) and their son William de Castello held Nechells of Roger de Somery in 1291 (fn. 331) and of John de Somery in 1323 (fn. 332) as 1/32 knight's fee. Alice, as a widow, is said to have conveyed her rights in the manor to Simon Holte in 1330, (fn. 333) and he presumably acquired it from her heir, as it continued to descend in the Holte family with Duddeston and Aston, (fn. 334) being still held in 1586, by Edward Holte, of the manor of Bordesley as 1/32; knight's fee by a rent of three barbed arrows. (fn. 335) There is no evidence that there was ever a manor-house at Nechells. (fn. 336)
EDGBASTON appears in the Domesday Survey (as 'Celboldestone') among the lands of William FitzAnsculf, of whom it was held in 1086 by Drew; it had formerly been held by Aschi and Alwi, and was assessed at 2 hides. (fn. 337) Edgbaston was held of Roger de Somery in 1235 as half a fee. (fn. 338) A mesne lordship, held by William de Birmingham, is mentioned in 1291 and 1323. (fn. 339)
The first tenants in fee seem to have taken their name from the place; Henry de Edgbaston quitclaimed the advowson of the church to the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield in 1284, (fn. 340) and he was holding the ½ fee of William de Birmingham in 1291. (fn. 341) In 1343 Henry's son John settled the manor on himself and his wife Isabel in tail, with successive contingent remainders to his sister Alice, Roger de Edgbaston, and Sir Richard de Edgbaston. (fn. 342) John was dead by 1361, when his widow Isabel was dealing with the manor. (fn. 343) It subsequently passed to Isabel, grand-daughter of Sir Richard de Edgbaston, who married Thomas Middlemore, (fn. 344) with whose descendants it remained for three hundred years. (fn. 345) At the time of the Civil War Richard Middlemore was a royalist and papist: Edgbaston manor was sequestered in 1644 and was assigned to Col. Fox, who was in command of the parliamentary garrison that had been installed in the manor-house. (fn. 346) On the death of Richard in 1647 his son Robert petitioned for the manor; (fn. 347) but he also was a recusant, and the estate was still under sequestration in 1651, when his son Richard, then aged three, was placed in ward to Sir Edward Nichols of Faxton (Northants.) to be brought up as a Protestant. (fn. 348) Robert was dealing with the manor in 1672–8, (fn. 349) and his daughter Mary married Sir John Gage and died in 1686, leaving two daughters, Mary who married Sir John Shelley, and Bridget who married Thomas Belasyse, Viscount Fauconberg. (fn. 350) In 1717 they sold it to Sir Richard Gough. (fn. 351) He was succeeded in 1728 by his son Sir Henry, who was created a baronet in 1728 and died in 1774. His son Sir Henry was created Baron Calthorpe in 1796 and died in 1798, and the manor descended with the title until the death of Augustus 6th Lord Calthorpe in 1910. The Edgbaston estates then passed to Augustus's eldest daughter Rachel: she married Fitzroy Hamilton Anstruther, who changed his name to AnstrutherGough-Calthorpe. She died in 1951 and was succeeded by her son, Brig. R. H. Anstruther-GoughCalthorpe, Bt. (fn. 352)
The manor-house, known as Edgbaston Hall, was burnt down in 1688 by the people of Birmingham to prevent its use as a sanctuary for papists, (fn. 353) and was rebuilt in 1717. (fn. 354) It was the home of William Withering from 1786 to 1791, and of Edward Johnstone from 1805 to 1851; both men were consultants of the Birmingham General Hospital, and Johnstone was the first principal of Queen's College. (fn. 355) Sir James Smith, first Lord Mayor of Birmingham, lived there from 1908 (fn. 356) until his death in 1932. (fn. 357) The Hall subsequently became the clubhouse for the Edgbaston Golf Club, and the park, originally created c. 1730, (fn. 358) was laid out as an 18-hole golf course in 1936–7. A woodland beyond Edgbaston Pool at the western extremity of the grounds is designated as a nature reserve. (fn. 359) The house, built of brick, stands on high ground with wide views over the park to the south and west. The central three-storied block and a back wing date from 1717 and carry the Gough arms on lead rainwater-heads. The staircase and some internal panelling are of the same period. Later alterations include a two-storied wing to the north-east and various service rooms at the rear, a new porch, and a brick cornice. (fn. 360)
In Domesday Book HANDSWORTH is mentioned as part of the holdings of William FitzAnsculf in Offlow hundred (Staffs.). It consisted of one hide held of William by Drew; Ailverd and Alwin held the manor formerly with sac and soc. (fn. 361) There is also an entry in Domesday for Oxfordshire in which 5 hides in 'Hunesworde' are described as held by William FitzAnsculf, and of him by Walter. This is probably a mistake for a holding in Chislehampton (Oxon.), later part of the barony of Dudley. (fn. 362) It has, however, been suggested that it represents another manor in Handsworth which was copied into the wrong county, (fn. 363) though there is no later evidence that such a manor existed.
In 1235 and 1242 Roger de Somery held 1/5 knight's fee in Handsworth in chief. (fn. 364) In 1242 it was held of him by John de Parles; this is the first certain reference after 1086 to an under-tenant, but it has been held, possibly on the evidence of documents no longer extant, that Pain de Parles held the manor in right of his wife in the reign of Henry II. (fn. 365) In 1212 William de Parles claimed lands in Handsworth, which he said Pain de Parles and Alice his mother held as her right, and which he said belonged to the hide which he held there. (fn. 366) In 1216 the sheriff of Staffordshire was ordered to deliver to Robert de Teneray all William de Parles's lands in Handsworth because of William's adherence to the king's enemies. (fn. 367) William (d. before 1227), John, and Henry de Parles all held land in Handsworth in the early 13th century. (fn. 368) Another William acknowledged in 1255 that he owed to Roger de Somery the service of one knight's fee and suit of court at Dudley with his peers on occasions when robbers and pleas of right were tried, and upon reasonable summons; Roger had apparently been demanding suit of court every three weeks. (fn. 369) William held the manor in 1271 though it was alleged in 1277 that Henry III had given his lands to Roger de Clifford because William had opposed the king in the war; it was also said that he had quitclaimed his rights to others by deed, but William replied that he had been in Roger de Somery's prison at the time so that the deed was invalid. (fn. 370) In any case William held Handsworth as of Dudley castle at his death in 1279. According to different inquisitions he held it for ½ or ¼ fee, and for suit of court; in one of them the manor was said to have been held formerly of the manor of Birmingham, but recently of the lords of Dudley. William was hanged for felony and Handsworth was therefore forfeited to Roger de Somery. (fn. 371) Several unsuccessful efforts were made in the next fifty years by William's family to regain the manor, (fn. 372) which was retained in demesne by Roger and his successors, though part of the land and the manor-house may have been held from the 13th century by the Wyrley family. (fn. 373) Roger de Somery's widow Agnes (d. c. 1308) held Handsworth in dower and was said in 1293 to hold there and in the manor of Rowley Regis (Staffs.) pleas of the Crown and to have free warren, a fair, market, gallows, waif, and the assize of bread and ale. (fn. 374) Roger's son John died holding the manor in 1322, (fn. 375) and thereafter it descended with Clent (Worcs.) until 1555. (fn. 376) Joan Beauchamp was recorded as holding it in demesne in 1428. (fn. 377) On the attainder of her grandson James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire, in 1461, Handsworth was granted suc cessively to Fulk Stafford, Walter Wrottesley, and Humphrey Stafford. Humphrey was attainted in 1485 and the attainder of the Earl of Wiltshire was reversed, so that James Butler's brother, Thomas Earl of Ormond, recovered Handsworth along with other lands. It then passed to his daughter Anne, widow of Sir James St. Leger. Her grandson John sold it in 1555 to Sir William Stanford, justice of Common Pleas. (fn. 378) Sir William was succeeded by his son Robert (d. 1607), and Robert by his son Edward, who settled the manor on the wife of his son William and died in 1632. (fn. 379) William was followed by his son Edward who sold Handsworth in 1659 to Richard Best, whose son Richard (fn. 380) sold it again in 1679 to Humphrey Wyrley. (fn. 381) Another Humphrey, probably his son, held the manor in 1735; his grandson John Wyrley Birch left it on his death in 1775 to George Birch and his wife Anne, the grand-daughter of another daughter of the second Humphrey. George Birch held it in 1801. (fn. 382) In 1819 it was purchased from his son Wyrley Birch by the Earl of Dartmouth who was lord of the manor in 1851. (fn. 383)
The ancient manor-house appears to be represented by Hamstead Hall (see below). There was a park pertaining to the manor from the 13th century, when it was first mentioned, until its destruction in the 18th century. (fn. 384) It was held of the lord of the manor by William Wyrley in 1538. (fn. 385) Joan Botetourt was granted free warren in her demesne lands in Handsworth in 1334 and this right together with a free fishery in the Tame, first mentioned in 1291, descended with the manor until 1794 at least. (fn. 386)
The manor of HAMSTEAD (fn. 387) centred in, if it did not solely consist of, the house called Wyrley's or Hamstead Hall. In 1538 William Wyrley held, as freehold of the manor of Handsworth, his chief mansion of Wyrley's with the lands belonging to it, the properties called Holford and Milwards, the mills of Hamstead and Holford (or Hurstford), a fishery in the Tame and other lands, mostly by nominal rents. He also held the park for £5 a year. (fn. 388) It is not known when the Wyrleys first acquired Hamstead, which appears to have originally been the manor-house of Handsworth manor. (fn. 389) Members of the family had held land in Handsworth, Perry, and Hamstead from the 13th century at least. William of Wyrley was vicar and possibly rector in the 13th century; (fn. 390) William son of Robert of Wyrley laid claim to the manor of Perry, with at least temporary success, in 1279, (fn. 391) and John son of Robert of Wyrley and Robert son of Guy of Wyrley held land in Perry in the early 14th century. (fn. 392) No Wyrleys were named in the subsidy roll of 1327 but in 1332 Robert of Wyrley, assessed at 6s. 4½d., follows Joan Botetourt at the head of the list for Handsworth, and John of Wyrley in Perry and Little Barr paid 5s. 4½d. (fn. 393) There is much evidence of the family's tenure of unidentified lands in Handsworth from the 14th century, (fn. 394) and the first clear evidence of the family's possession of its later estates is the grant of Holford mill with a fishery in the Tame which Roger of Wyrley received from John Botetourt in 1358. (fn. 395) John Wyrley was Maurice Berkeley's bailiff in Handsworth in the 15th century. (fn. 396) Hamstead Hall, together with considerable property in Handsworth, remained in the Wyrley family, (fn. 397) along with half the manor of Perry (from 1546) and the manor of Handsworth (from 1679), and passed to their descendants the Birches in the 18th century. Hamstead Hall stood near Hamstead mill on the Tame until the late 18th century, when the old one was pulled down and a new one built about ¼ mile further west. (fn. 398) It ceased to be the residence of the lords of the manor in the early 19th century when the Birch family moved to Norfolk and the estate was sold to the Earl of Dartmouth, who lived at Sandwell Park just across the boundary of West Bromwich. (fn. 399) The house was a long rectangular twostoried structure with the entrance under a pedimented gable at one end; (fn. 400) it was pulled down c. 1935 to make way for new housing (fn. 401) but a part of the old gardens along the river bank survived as woodland in 1959.
PERRY(or PERRY BARR) (fn. 402) was held in 1086 by William FitzAnsculf. It was assessed at three hides, and was held of him by Drew. Before the Conquest it was held by Luvare with sac and soc. (fn. 403) After 1323, when Perry was allotted to Margaret, wife of John de Sutton, (fn. 404) there is no reference to the overlordship, unless the later estate of the Earl of Warwick (see below) can have been derived from it rather than from the under-tenancy. There was also a mesne lordship held by the Birmingham family: in 1242 the under-tenants held directly of Roger de Somery, but in 1263 Maud, widow of William de Birmingham, sued William's son William for her dower including ⅓ fee in Perry. (fn. 405) In 1284, Richard of Perry held Perry of William de Birmingham who in turn held of Roger de Somery, (fn. 406) and William de Birmingham was John de Somery's tenant in 1322. (fn. 407) In 1333 the same arrangement obtained, (fn. 408) and in 1346 Fulk, son of William de Birmingham, sued his tenant for services; it was agreed that the services due were the gift of a rose annually and two appearances at William's court at Birmingham, but they had been in arrears for two years. (fn. 409) There is no later reference to the Birmingham holding.
In 1213 Hugh of Perry granted land in Hamstead (fn. 410) later a subsidiary manor of Perry, to Henry of Hamstead, to hold of Hugh and his heirs. (fn. 411) In 1242 William of Perry held Perry under Roger de Somery. (fn. 412) According to statements made in a suit of 1333, a Henry of Perry held the manor in the reign of Henry III and was succeeded by his son William. William died without heirs and was followed by his brother Henry and Henry's son Richard. (fn. 413) Richard son of Henry of Perry was in possession in 1279 when he was sued by William son of Robert Wyrley for 2/3 manor of Perry. Richard acknowledged his charter to William, which was produced, and which granted William all Richard's right in the two-thirds and the remainder when it should fall to him, and William won the case. (fn. 414) Nevertheless Richard was in possession in 1284 when he held Perry and Hamstead as one fee. (fn. 415) In 1293 he disavowed all claim to hold pleas of the Crown and to have free warren and other franchises in Perry. (fn. 416) His widow Isolda and his son William sued John Wyrley and Robert Wyrley for land in Perry in 1303 and 1326 respectively. (fn. 417) William held the manor in 1333, (fn. 418) and in 1346 was in arrears with the services owed to Fulk de Birmingham. (fn. 419) In 1352 a Philip of Perry was described as brother and heir of blood of William of Perry, (fn. 420) and in 1356 Roger Hillary held property in Perry and Hamstead of Philip of Perry. (fn. 421)
In 1397 the king granted John, Marquess of Dorset, and Margaret his wife the manor or manors of Perry and Hamstead which had been forfeited to the Crown by Thomas, Earl of Warwick. (fn. 422) This grant, however, was recognized in 1399 to have been void since two-thirds of the manors had been leased to William Spernore for life long before Warwick's forfeiture. The remaining third was held by Alice, widow of Philip of Perry, as her dower. The grant was therefore renewed subject to these two lifetenancies. (fn. 423) In 1400 Roger Hillary held land in Perry of the heir of Philip of Perry. (fn. 424) Warwick was restored on Henry IV's accession and died in possession in 1401, when it was stated that he had granted the manor of Perry to William Redd for his life, with reversion to Warwick and his heirs. (fn. 425) Despite this grant, William Spernore on his death a few months later was seised of the manor, which then reverted according to the terms of his holding to Richard, Earl of Warwick. (fn. 426) Margaret, widow of Thomas, Earl of Warwick, held a third of the manors of Perry, Little Barr, and Hamstead as dower until her death in 1407, when they were to revert to Robert Huggeford for life by grant of Richard, Earl of Warwick. (fn. 427) The Earl of Warwick was said to hold one fee in Perry in 1428 (fn. 428) and died holding it in 1439. It was then said that he did not hold in chief, but that the overlord was not known, and that Richard Curzon and Isabel his wife held the manor for life. (fn. 429) Perry descended with the earldom and castle of Warwick to the Duke of Clarence who forfeited them in 1478 to the Crown. Anne, dowager Countess of Warwick, received a grant of the Clarence lands in 1487 but immediately reconveyed them to the Crown. (fn. 430) The manor was apparently not leased until 1519, when Henry Knight received a 21-year lease of it. Martin Arden held it on a similar term in 1526, and it was leased for another to David Vincent in 1539. (fn. 431) In 1544 Sir Andrew Noel was granted the manor in fee, and in 1546 he received licence to alienate it to William Stanford and William Wyrley, each to hold a moiety. (fn. 432) The whole manor was said in 1589 to be in the tenure of Henry Knight and Nicholas Bradshawe. (fn. 433)
William Stanford's moiety descended with the manor of Handsworth until 1671 when Richard Best sold it to Henry Gough. (fn. 434) His grandson Walter was holding it in 1739 (fn. 435) and his son John, who succeeded his father in 1773, was said to be lord of a moiety of the manor in 1801 and 1818. (fn. 436) His son John was described as lord of the manor in 1834. (fn. 437) On his death in 1844 an estate which was, apparently, the whole manor passed to the Hon. Frederick Gough (later 4th Baron Calthorpe), great-grandson of a brother of the Henry who first bought the moiety of the manor. He was described as lord of the manor and principal landowner in Perry Barr in 1851, (fn. 438) as was his third son Gen. S. J. GoughCalthorpe (later 7th Baron Calthorpe) in 1908. (fn. 439)
The other moiety of Perry, which had been bought by William Wyrley, passed on his death in 1561 to his son Thomas (d. 1584) and his wife Dorothy on whom the manor was settled. Dorothy survived her husband, and after her death the manor passed to their son John who died in 1595. (fn. 440) His son Humphrey held the manor until 1634 or later, and his son, another Humphrey, held it in 1689. (fn. 441) From then until the early 19th century it presumably followed the same descent as Handsworth, since George and Anne Birch held it in 1794 and Wyrley Birch in 1832. (fn. 442) By 1848 this moiety had been reunited with the other moiety in the possession of the Gough family. (fn. 443)
Perry Hall, the manor-house, stood on a moated site on the left bank of the Tame in a small park. (fn. 444) The house was separated from the rest of the estate, presumably in the 15th century when the lords of the manor, the earls of Warwick, needed no residence at Perry, and was sometimes described as a separate manor called PERRY HALL. John Molyneux, who also held lands in Handsworth manor, held Perry Hall at his death in 1473 of the Duke of Clarence's manor of Sutton Coldfield. (fn. 445) He was succeeded by his daughter Cecily, who was succeeded at her death in 1503 by her son Eustace Fitzherbert. (fn. 446) Eustace left two daughters (fn. 447) of whom Elizabeth, with her husband William Smith, sold Perry Hall to William Stanford in 1546. (fn. 448) Thereafter it was held by and usually occupied by the lords of the Stanford or Gough moiety of Perry manor, (fn. 449) and in 1908 was the seat of Gen. S. J. Gough-Calthorpe. (fn. 450) In 1871 it was described as a gabled house of three stories enclosing a courtyard and with massive projecting chimneys on its east side. It bore the date 1576. At some time in the late 1840s additions were made by the architect S. S. Teulon including a porch carried on an archway across the moat. (fn. 451) It was sold c. 1928. (fn. 452) In 1929 the park was opened by Birmingham Corporation as Perry Hall Playing Fields (159 a.), (fn. 453) and the house was pulled down soon afterwards. The moat survived as a boating-pond in 1959. (fn. 454)
LITTLE BARR is not mentioned specifically in Domesday, but there are two separate entries for Barr. One, with the same tenant as Aldridge, was probably Great Barr, and the other which was entered after Perry, may have been Little Barr. Drew held three hides there, formerly held by Alfred with sac and soc, under William FitzAnsculf. It was valued at 5s. (fn. 455)
William FitzAnsculf's holding descended to Roger de Somery who held ½ fee here in 1235. (fn. 456) In 1284 it was rated at ¼ fee, (fn. 457) and in 1291 and 1322, when Roger and John de Somery died, at ½ fee. (fn. 458) After it passed, with neighbouring manors, to Margaret wife of John de Sutton in 1323 (fn. 459) there is no record of the overlordship. (fn. 460)
The distinction between Great and Little Barr did not appear until 1234, when no under-tenant there was recorded, but some earlier references to Barr may relate to Little Barr: in particular, a claim in 1212 that land held by William de Parles in Handsworth belonged to William of Barr's two hides in Barr, seems likely to refer to Little Barr. (fn. 461) Guy of Barr held a free tenement in Little Barr in 1272. In 1284 Richard of Barr and in 1291 John of Little Barr, held Little Barr of William de Birmingham and he of Roger de Somery. (fn. 462) In 1293 John of Barr was summoned to show his title to hold pleas of the Crown and to have a fair, market, gallows and waif in his manor of Little Barr. He replied that he held only two courts yearly, where his jurisdiction was the same as the sheriff had in his tourn; the jury said that his ancestors had usurped the rights of gallows and waif in John's reign and that they had held their franchises by a rent of 20d. payable to the Prior of the Hospitallers. It was considered that the franchises should be forfeited. (fn. 463) John of Little Barr was named again as lord in 1316 (fn. 464) and in 1337 John of Barr called Geoffrey of Barr to account for the times when he was his bailiff in Little Barr. (fn. 465) In 1338 John son of Richard of Perry accused John son of Richard of Barr of failing to carry out a covenant between them about the manor. (fn. 466) John of Little Barr was lord in 1348. (fn. 467) Roger Hillary died in 1356 holding land in Little Barr of Richard of Barr, (fn. 468) and Sir Roger Hillary who died in 1400 held land there of Richard's unnamed heir. (fn. 469) Margaret, Countess of Warwick (d. 1407), held ⅓ of the manors of Perry, Little Barr, and Hamstead in dower. (fn. 470) After this the manor of Little Barr seems to have disappeared or become merged in that of Perry: they had for long been closely connected. (fn. 471)
A medieval estate known as HAMSTEAD, quite distinct from the manor of the same name mentioned above as a subsidiary manor of Handsworth manor, was a subsidiary manor of Perry. In 1213 Hugh of Perry granted ¾ virgate of land in Hamstead to Henry of Hamstead to hold of him and his heirs. (fn. 472) In 1250 Thomas of Hamstead accused William of Perry of waste in the woods of Hamstead which William held as his guardian. (fn. 473) Richard of Perry held Perry and Hamstead as one fee of William de Birmingham in 1284, and Thomas of Hamstead held Hamstead of Richard as ¼ fee. (fn. 474) In 1293 Thomas disclaimed all right to hold pleas of the Crown and to have free warren, gallows and waif in his manor of Hamstead. (fn. 475) In 1356 land at Perry and Hamstead was held of Philip of Perry, (fn. 476) and Hamstead was granted with Perry to the Marquess of Dorset in 1397 and 1399. (fn. 477) In 1407 Margaret, Countess of Warwick, held Hamstead with Perry and Little Barr. (fn. 478)
In 1086 the Bishop of Chester held HARBORNE as a member of his manor of Lichfield. Harborne was held of him by Robert and there was land for one plough. (fn. 479) In 1293 Harborne owed suit yearly to the view of frankpledge held by the bishop at Lichfield. (fn. 480) The overlordship of the manor continued in the hands of the bishops of Coventry and Lichfield until the 16th century, when it was apparently granted to Sir William Paget as pertaining to the manor of Longdon (Staffs.) which he received from Henry VIII in 1546. (fn. 481) After the attainder of Lord Paget in 1587, (fn. 482) Harborne was named among the manors held of the queen's manor of Longdon, which had lately belonged to Lord Paget and before that to the bishop. (fn. 483) There is no later record of the overlordship, though it presumably reverted to the Paget family with Longdon.
In 1166, Henry FitzGerold held ½ knight's fee of the Bishop of Coventry, (fn. 484) and this probably comprised Harborne and Smethwick, two manors (within a single parish) which were in one tenure until c. 1710. (fn. 485) His son Warin FitzGerold (d. 1217– 18) (fn. 486) was said in 1222 and 1260 to have held Harborne, (fn. 487) and in 1216 the Sheriff of Staffordshire was ordered to give Warin's land in Harborne to Thomas de Erdington. (fn. 488) Warin's heir was his daughter Margaret who married first Baldwin de Rivers (d. 1216), and then Fawkes de Breauté (d. 1226). (fn. 489) Giles de Erdington claimed land in Harborne and Smethwick from Fawkes and Margaret in 1221, and from the Abbot of Halesowen in 1260. (fn. 490) Thomas de Erdington, who died in the reign of Henry III and was said to hold Smethwick and Harborne by a charter granted to him by Fawkes, (fn. 491) was apparently he to whom the manor was granted in 1216, and the father of Giles. Their claim was however unsuccessful, since Margaret granted the manor to Halesowen Abbey (fn. 492) which held it until the Dissolution. Her grant was probably made before 1227 (fn. 493) when the abbot was said to hold a free tenement in Harborne, and certainly before 1229 when the abbot summoned Margaret to acquit him of services claimed from him by the bishop as chief lord of the fee. Margaret replied that she did not hold of the bishop; this plea was accepted, since the abbot was unable to deny it. (fn. 494)
In 1242 the abbot held ¼ fee in Harborne of the bishop, the de Rivers mesne lordship being ignored, (fn. 495) as it was in 1284 when the holding was specified as being both there and in Smethwick; the abbot then paid a mark yearly for it. (fn. 496)
The abbey retained the manor until 1538 when it was surrendered to Henry VIII. (fn. 497) In the same year it was granted with Halesowen to Sir John Dudley, later Duke of Northumberland. (fn. 498) After being forfeited on his attainder in 1553, it was granted in the next year to his nephew Edward, Lord Dudley (d. 1586). (fn. 499) Edward's son held it at the time of Lord Paget's attainder in 1587, (fn. 500) and sold it to Sir Charles Cornwallis in 1604. (fn. 501) Sir Charles died at Harborne in 1629 (fn. 502) and his grandson Charles held the manor in 1634. (fn. 503) He sold it in 1661 to Thomas Foley. (fn. 504) Philip Foley was holding it in 1685 and 1690, (fn. 505) and sold it c. 1710 to George Birch (d. 1721) (fn. 506) who was followed as lord by his son Sir Thomas (d. 1757), justice of Common Pleas. (fn. 507) Sir Thomas's son George sold the manor after 1786 (fn. 508) to Thomas Green, a nail-master and justice of the peace. It next passed to his nephew, (fn. 509) Thomas Green Simcox (d. 1828) (fn. 510) whose son the Revd. T. G. Simcox was lord in 1834, 1851, (fn. 511) and probably in 1871, when he still lived there. (fn. 512) In 1908 the lord of the manor was said to be the Marquess of Anglesey. The principal landowners then were the trustees of the Revd. H. K. Simcox (d. 1905), Lord Calthorpe, and Sir H. A. Wiggin, Bt. (fn. 513)
Harborne House, the former manor-house, stands east of the parish church on the other side of Old Church Road. In 1871 it was the seat of the lord of the manor. (fn. 514) Since c. 1911 (fn. 515) it has been used as a residence for the bishops of Birmingham diocese and is now known as Bishop's Croft. The house, a brick building with stone dressings, is thought to have been erected by Thomas Green in the late 18th century. (fn. 516) It consists of a central three-storied block flanked by pedimented side wings. The wings appear to have been much altered in the early 20th century and many of the internal fittings are of this date although in imitation of earlier styles. A chapel was built to the south-west of the house in 1923. (fn. 517)