Fisherton de la Mere

A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 8, Warminster, Westbury and Whorwellsdown Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1965.

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'Fisherton de la Mere', in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 8, Warminster, Westbury and Whorwellsdown Hundreds( London, 1965), British History Online [accessed 24 July 2024].

'Fisherton de la Mere', in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 8, Warminster, Westbury and Whorwellsdown Hundreds( London, 1965), British History Online, accessed July 24, 2024,

"Fisherton de la Mere". A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 8, Warminster, Westbury and Whorwellsdown Hundreds. (London, 1965), , British History Online. Web. 24 July 2024.

In this section


THE ancient parish of Fisherton de la Mere formed, with Dinton and Teffont Magna, a detached part of the hundred. (fn. 1) It lay on the River Wylye and consisted of two villages, Fisherton proper and Bapton. Its life was extinguished in 1934, when Fisherton, which accounted for 1,660 of its 2,834 acres, was transferred to Wylye, and Bapton to Stockton. (fn. 2)

In shape it was a rather narrow oblong. (fn. 3) On the north-east its boundary ran along the old road, now largely grass-grown, that connected Chitterne with Serrington, in Stapleford; on the south it coincided with Grovely Grim's Dyke. The other boundaries followed no geographical feature, either natural or artificial. The area that the former boundaries enclosed runs roughly north and south up into the down on either side the river. Each slope descends from an altitude of 550–600ft., but the north slope is rather steeper than the south one. The southern extremity forms a plateau, extending into Wylye and called by 1838 the Bake. (fn. 4) To the south-west the boundary cuts through a combe called Roakham Bottom. Both slopes of the valley are chalk; the valley itself is gravel and alluvium. (fn. 5) It is upon the gravel, perforated by many wells, (fn. 6) that Bapton is built. The area of the former parish has always been devoted to husbandry. Of Fisherton an estate agent declared in 1898 that the village was 'so picturesque that artists often resort there when wishing to paint truly beautiful and real country scenery'. (fn. 7)

In 1086 12 a. of wood were attributed to Fisherton. (fn. 8) Presumably these lay in the south of the ancient parish, where in 1742, (fn. 9) as to this day, the western edge of Stockton Wood extended across the southern slope of the Bake into Wylye. The tithe award of 1838 is accordingly misleading when it declares that the parish was without woodland. In the 19th century small plantations began to appear on the north slope of the valley. By 1817 one had been set on the down just south of Parry's Field Barn. By 1881 there was a rather larger one to the east of this, called Gilbert's Plantation in 1889, strips to the north and west of the barn, and 3 small spinneys towards the northern parish boundary. By 1898 there had been a further increase, so that by that time some dozen plantations could be numbered. (fn. 10) All these still existed in 1963.

Fisherton, which is first mentioned in 1086, (fn. 11) takes its suffix from the de la Mere family, who held the manor in the later 14th century. (fn. 12) Bapton is first mentioned in a document that cannot be earlier than 1216. (fn. 13) Each settlement was reckoned a township in 1249. (fn. 14) Fisherton lies just south of the present main road from Warminster to Salisbury, hereinafter called the Codford-Deptford road. Bapton is strung along a minor road, hereinafter called the Stockton-Wylye road, running to the south of, and parallel with the other. In 1838 the boundary between the two villages ran eastwards along the main stream of the Wylye to a point just south of Bapton Manor House, then south almost to the Stockton-Wylye road, and then east to the boundary with Wylye, taking Little Bapton in. (fn. 15) The north-south line, but not the rest, can be traced from 1742. (fn. 16) The area between the roads is traversed by the river and by several artificial water-carriages which already existed in 1742. (fn. 17) Many drainage ditches have subsequently been added.

Of the appearance of the villages we know nothing until 1742, when Fisherton manor (including Bapton) was first mapped and surveyed. (fn. 18) At that time Fisherton extended along a street, Fisherton Street, running a little south of the Codford-Deptford road. At its east end, which was not built up, Fisherton Street debouched upon that road at two points. One of these was close to what is now called The Old Vicarage. (fn. 19) The other, which was further to the east, was at what was once known as Black Gate. (fn. 20) The west end of Fisherton Street was blind, as it is today. A little to the west of the church, which stands near the west end of the street, a lane curved up hill to join the Codford-Deptford road at a point where that road made a dog's leg bend in its onward course to the west. This lane originally traversed what is now the village green. The green, however, is now completely grass-grown and a newer road leaves Fisherton Street a little further to the west at right angles to it. The kink in the Codford-Deptford road was later straightened out, presumably when the road was turnpiked in 1760–2. (fn. 21) There is some reason to believe that before 1742 the street had not taken a northward direction at its eastern end but had continued eastwards in a gentle curve to Deptford. A line of trees or bushes which existed in 1742 could well mark that former course, and it could be that a house lying on the parish boundary at a point where this hedge touches it was once accessible from the street. North of the street an L-shaped road, called Church Lane, led eastwards and then northwards from the east end of the church into the Codford-Deptford road. It was then called Church Lane but was known in the present century as Gilbert's Lane, no doubt after the local family of that name. (fn. 22)

Between 1807 and 1838 the course of Fisherton Street was changed. (fn. 23) The eastern section disappeared, together with the houses that flanked it. The north-south section was severed from the rest and became simply a lane leading into the fields, as it is today. The middle section, east of the church, fused itself into the east-west branch of Church Lane, which henceforth replaced Fisherton Street as the means of access to the houses that had once fronted upon that street. The back gardens of those houses were cut off and converted into orchards. The houses along Church Lane declined in number between 1838 and 1881 and have since become less numerous still. (fn. 24)

In 1742 Bapton lay a little to the north of the Stockton-Wylye road. (fn. 25) A lane ran northward and westward from that road and returned to it in a southward direction. It was, no doubt, this curving road which was called Bapton Street in the 16th and 17th centuries. (fn. 26) From it a track and footpath led northward across a tree-fringed water-carriage to Fisherton and terminated there in a roadway called Mill Way. (fn. 27) This route was still open in 1838, (fn. 28) but since 1889 at least (fn. 29) its southern end has lain further to the east. Between 1742 and 1838 the east-west branch of the lane that in the mid-18th century had run round the village was cut short about half way in its course, so that there was no longer any means of access from the more easterly of the two north-south lanes to the east-west lane. Since 1838 what remains of the east-west lane has become a footpath and the eastern north-south lane has been brought into the grounds of Bapton Manor House. The houses of Bapton, like those of Fisherton, are less numerous than they were in 1742 and even in 1838.

East of Bapton, and connected with it by a line of beeches, lies a small group of houses, three of which are thatched. The houses are marked on the maps of 1742 (fn. 30) and 1838, (fn. 31) and since 1889 (fn. 32) have been called Little Bapton.

Apart from Fisherton House, (fn. 33) the Manor, (fn. 34) The Old Vicarage, (fn. 35) and Bapton Manor, (fn. 36) there are no houses of any size. A few yeomen's houses still exist and there are one or two 18th- and 19th-century cottages. Of the yeomen's houses in Fisherton mention may be made of two that stand at the west end of Fisherton Street. The more southerly of these, an L-shaped building, much altered, may date in part from the 17th century. It was Joseph Rebbeck's house and malthouse in 1742 (fn. 37) and by 1881 had become the dairy of Fisherton farm. (fn. 38) The other, a thatched building of 2 stories, with attic, was in 1742 one of four farms occupied by William Ingram. (fn. 39) No. 3 Watermeadow Lane, Bapton, still thatched, may date from the early 17th century. It was John Rebbeck's house in 1742. (fn. 40) Another house (The Laurels), in the same lane, which has had its roof raised, is rather later. It was in the nominal occupation of George Slade in 1742. (fn. 41) All these four were private houses in 1963. The T-shaped Dairy House, to the north-west of Bapton Manor, occupied by Edward Green in 1742. (fn. 42) was built at various times in the later 16th or earlier 17th century. It has stone-mullioned windows with drip moulds and a thatched roof. The dairy itself was added on the east side, after 1838. (fn. 43) It is now fitted up as a hostel for farm workers, but is not so used. (fn. 44) The parish does not contain, and probably never has contained, any inns. (fn. 45) A recreation room in Bapton, on the Stockton-Wylye road, existed by 1923. (fn. 46)

Outside Fisherton village, about ¾ mile due north of the church, there was built some time between 1817 (fn. 47) and 1838 (fn. 48) a house with farm buildings and yard. The buildings have been called Parry's Field Barn since 1889, (fn. 49) and since 1881 have included dwellings. (fn. 50)

Access to the parish in 1742 (fn. 51) was chiefly gained by means of the Codford-Deptford and Stockton-Wylye roads. In addition there was a road running north-westward and then northward from near Fisherton Manor House to join the ancient road from Chitterne to Serrington. This road, which is still passable, connected at the northern tip of the parish with other downland roads to Maddington, Tilshead, and Codford. On the south a road led out of Bapton to join the Wylye-Hindon (now the Wylye-Mere) road. This road is now only open at its northern end.

Poll-tax payers in Fisherton and Bapton together numbered 142 in 1377–a total divided almost equally between the two villages and exceeding that of any other place in the hundred apart from Dinton (156) and Warminster. If the taxation tithings be grouped together in such a way as to form parishes, this figure implies that Fisherton with Bapton was fifth in population among the ten parishes in the hundred for which receipts survive. Among the seven parishes in this part of the Wylye valley it was fourth. (fn. 52) In 1801 the population of the parish was 270. It had fallen to 195 in 1931. In the intervening decades it reached its highest point in 1851 when it was 373. The average between 1801 and 1931 was 283. (fn. 53)

Fisherton House was the home of Mrs. Josephine Mary Newall (d. 1923), a distinguished embroideress, who taught cripples to embroider in it. (fn. 54) At Bapton Manor lived Sir Cecil Chubb, Bt. (d. 1934), who, in 1905, bought Stonehenge and presented it to the public. (fn. 55) The parish is otherwise undistinguished and of its form of government virtually nothing is known. It is indeed almost a classic example of the happiness that comes from an absence of annals. In 1621 the tithingmen presented that they had 'no popish recusants', no absentees from church, 'no inns or alehouses licensed or unlicensed, no unlawful weights or measures, no neglect of hues and cries, no roads out of repair, no wandering rogues or vagabonds, and no inmates of whom they desire reformation'; and they added 'thanks be to Almighty God therefor'. (fn. 56)


The manor of FISHERTON DE LA MERE was held before the Conquest by Bondi, a Scandinavian. (fn. 57) After the Conquest it passed to Roger de Courcelles, (fn. 58) a large landowner in Somerset, though in Wiltshire he held this manor only. (fn. 59) He was succeeded here as in nearly all his other manors by the Malets, who, Round thought, obtained Roger's possessions by a fresh grant, rather than by descent. (fn. 60) The manor descended in the Malet family until 1216 when William Malet II died leaving two daughters, one of whom, Mabel, married Hugh de Vivon, (fn. 61) and the other, Helewise, Hugh Pointz. (fn. 62) Pointz was dead by 1220, (fn. 63) and his relict married Robert de Muscegros by 1221. (fn. 64) Muscegros seems to have obtained through her the honor of Curry Mallet and a moiety of Fisherton manor, rated at ½ fee. (fn. 65) After his death in 1253–4 (fn. 66) this moiety passed to Nicholas Pointz, his step-son, by which time the other moiety belonged to William Forz, (fn. 67) to whom it had passed on the death of his father, Hugh de Vivon, c. 1249. (fn. 68) By 1274–5 Nicholas had acquired both moieties, rated as a whole fee. (fn. 69) Thereafter the overlordship descended in the Pointz family until 1358, when it was sold with Curry Mallet by Sir Nicholas Pointz to Matthew de Gurney. (fn. 70) It passed from the Gurneys to the Crown about the middle of the 15th century, and in 1492 belonged to Arthur, Prince of Wales, (fn. 71) to whom the Crown had presumably assigned it. It was stated in 1346 that the service due from the manor was that of inclosing part of Curry Mallet park with a hedge. (fn. 72) While the foregoing correctly states the formal position, there was a period in the 14th century when the Crown successfully deprived the Pointzes of their rights. In 1325 the Crown seized the wardship of the heir to one of the shares of the under-tenancy (fn. 73) and in 1326–8 and 1351 presented to the rectory, then annexed to the manor, during similar minorities. (fn. 74)

The overlords subinfeudated the manor at an early date, but the history of the tenure in demesne is hard to unravel. By 1193–4 Godfrey de St. Martin held an estate in Fisherton ('Fisserton Godefridi de S. Martino') which was then being administered as an escheat, perhaps because of its lord's adhesion to Count John. (fn. 75) In 1194–5 Wandrille de Courcelles, presumably a descendant of Roger the former overlord, was trying to secure a judgment against Godfrey and one Constance, daughter of Robert de la Stane. (fn. 76) Godfrey appears to have married Constance by 1210 (fn. 77) and to have died by c. 1232, when Constance gave land in Fisherton to Maiden Bradley priory. (fn. 78) By 1200 Fisherton is called a 'manor' (fn. 79) and by 1201 Wandrille was pursuing his claim to it against Godfrey and Constance by writ of 'mort d'ancestor'. (fn. 80) The judgment, if any, is not known, but by 1223 Ralph FitzBernard and his wife Eleanor were claiming the manor, as Eleanor's right, against John de la Stane, (fn. 81) and in 1227 the joint overlords were claiming it against the same John by novel disseisin. (fn. 82) The presumption is that a Courcelles overlord had died about 1194–5, that Wandrille tried to repossess himself in demesne of the manor which his ancestor had subinfeudated, but that he and his successors in the overlordship were frustrated by the terre tenants and their heirs. Whatever may be the precise explanation, John de la Stane was holding in demesne ½ knight's fee in Fisherton and Bapton in 1242–3. (fn. 83)

Between 1249 and 1253 John de la Stane's tenement was being claimed against him by William Braunche and Joan his wife, in Joan's right. Joan's mother's name was Eleanor and she may be the same as Eleanor the wife of Ralph FitzBernard. (fn. 84) The suit was unsuccessful, for in 1274–5 Peter de la Stane was holding Fisherton, then rated as a whole fee. (fn. 85)

Peter de la Stane died ante 7 Feb. 1312 (fn. 86) leaving three daughters, Elizabeth, who married Sir James de Norton, Margery, who married William Saffrey (otherwise Reed or Rude), and Christine, who married Anthony Bydik. (fn. 87) Dower was assigned to Christine de la Stane, who died ante 1 March 1319. (fn. 88) Elizabeth de Norton died in or before 1315–16, (fn. 89) having borne her husband two sons, Peter, who died vivente patre, (fn. 90) and Thomas. James de Norton died ante 27 Jan. 1330 and was succeeded in his third share by Thomas, (fn. 91) who died, a knight, in 1346. (fn. 92) A third of Thomas's share was given in dower to his wife, Margaret, (fn. 93) who later married Robert de la Puylle. (fn. 94) The remaining two-thirds were assigned to the custody of Peter de Brewes until Ralph, Thomas's son, should come of age. (fn. 95)

William Saffrey died ante 13 May 1325, leaving a minor son Brian, (fn. 96) whose wardship, despite the protests of Hugh Pointz as overlord, (fn. 97) was granted by the Crown to Brian de Papworth, Rector of Great Houghton (Northants). (fn. 98) In 1331 the wardship was transferred to Master Henry de Clif, a canon of Salisbury, (fn. 99) who sold it in 1332 to John de Leicester. (fn. 100) By 1345 the Bydik third had passed from Anthony and Christine to John Bydik, who appears to have granted it to a Dorset priest called John of Tilshead. In that year the third was claimed by Sir John de la Mere and Henry Russell, (fn. 101) but the outcome is unknown.

Margaret de la Puylle was still holding dower in the Norton third in 1359. In that year Ralph de Norton settled the remainder of this share upon himself with reversion, in default of heirs, to one John de Erdington, the elder. (fn. 102) By stages that are uncertain this third and the Saffreys' third became vested in Sir John de la Mere, of Nunney (Som.), who in 1375 settled two-thirds of the manor and advowson in trust. (fn. 103) In 1381 Godfrey Bydik sold him the remaining third. (fn. 104) Sir Philip de la Mere, son of John, held the whole manor in 1390. (fn. 105) Sir Ellis de la Mere, who was probably Philip's son, (fn. 106) was apparently seised of the manor by 1412. (fn. 107) He died, without issue, some time between September 1414 (fn. 108) and 14 March 1428, (fn. 109) and was succeeded by his nephew Sir John Paulet (I), son of his sister Eleanor. (fn. 110) He was succeeded by his son another John (II), who in 1460 settled it upon himself and his wife Eleanor. (fn. 111) He died in 1492 and was succeeded by his son John (III), (fn. 112) who on his death in 1525 was succeeded by his son William, Lord St. John, (fn. 113) created Marquess of Winchester in 1551. (fn. 114) The manor descended in the line of the marquesses of Winchester until after the fall of Basing House (Hants) in 1645. John, 5th marquess, was then imprisoned and declared a traitor and his lands forfeited by Act of Parliament (1651). (fn. 115) Fisherton appears to have been sold by the Treason Trustees to Lt.-General Charles Fleetwood and four others in 1652. (fn. 116) Successful efforts were, however, made to keep it in the family, (fn. 117) and in 1655 the marquess's son, Charles Paulet, Lord St. John of Basing, was conveying lands in Fisherton to a Thomas Jaques. (fn. 118) These conflicts in the evidence are at present unresolved. In 1660 all the marquess's estates were restored to him. The marquess died in 1675 and Charles became Duke of Bolton in 1689. Thereafter the lands descended with the dukedom until the death of Charles, Duke of Bolton, in 1765. (fn. 119) It was then settled by Chancery decree that the trusts established by the will should be discharged, (fn. 120) and the manor sold to enable certain liabilities on the estate to be met. It was sold accordingly to Edward Whatmore, who occupied land in Fisherton in 1780–7. (fn. 121) He was, however, exonerated from the purchase by mutual agreement, and by order of the court the manor was resold in 1789 to James Graham, of Lincoln's Inn. He, in turn, in 1790 sold it, with statutory authority, to Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset (d. 1792). (fn. 122) Edward Augustus, Duke of Somerset (d. 1880), the late Duke's nephew, who had succeeded to the manor, sold it, together with the rectory and advowson to a trustee to the use of the brothers John (d. 1840) and Thomas (d. 1816) Davis. The Davises, who had for some time held much of the land on lease, determined between themselves what each should hold. John took lands in Bapton and William the manor of Fisherton and lands there. (fn. 123) On John's death, John (d. 1860), his nephew, acquired all the property, and in 1841 the legal estate, (fn. 124) and from him it passed to his sons John (d. 1878) and William. (fn. 125) The manor and farm lands, which had been mortgaged in 1877, were then sold, without the then manor house, to William and John Parry, (fn. 126) who had been farming the land since 1872. (fn. 127) The manor was then owned successively by W. H. Pettey (1895, 1899), F. R. Hunt (1903), William McMinnies (1907), John Young (1911, 1915), M. R. C. Young (1920), and Dr. C. H. Brookes (1923). (fn. 128) In 1929 it was bought by Lt.-Col. F. W. N. Jeans, (fn. 129) who was lord in 1963. (fn. 130)

Fisherton farm, presumably with the manor house annexed, was leased in 1574 by Lord Winchester to Thomas Topp and Alexander and John Topp sons of John Topp of Stockton. (fn. 131) Thomas was one of the Topps of Stockton—a familia generosa according to a near-contemporary account. (fn. 132) He died in 1586 and left the farm in trust until his son Alexander should come of age. (fn. 133) Alexander was Hugh Broughton's companion on his continental travels. (fn. 134) The lease was still in being in 1597, (fn. 135) and a Topp still the most highlytaxed inhabitant in 1648. (fn. 136) After the death of Alexander Topp in 1663 it was jointly leased to William Ingram and Thomas Kellow. (fn. 137) Ingram occupied the house in 1742. (fn. 138) A lease of Ingram's moiety in reversion was granted by the Duke of Bolton to John Davis (d. 1791) in 1769. (fn. 139) The other moiety seems to have belonged to the Bowles family who leased it to John Davis (d. 1840), probably not for the first time, in 1798 and again in 1817. (fn. 140) It is not known in what circumstances the freehold was eventually acquired by the Davises. The farm land was leased to Thomas Compton in 1865. (fn. 141)

The house, which since at least 1876 has been called Fisherton Delamere House, (fn. 142) lies to the north of the church, apparently on the site of the medieval manor house. (fn. 143) It was a small building in 1742 (fn. 144) but had been much enlarged by 1838. (fn. 145) Extensive works were done upon it in 1863 (fn. 146) and in 1865. More recent alterations made about the middle of the 20th century have preserved the Georgian style of the original house. John Davis (d. 1878), who had by that time moved to Richmond (Surr.), leased it to Mrs. Alice Everett. (fn. 147) From 1871 it was leased by Laurence Birch, a former House of Lords clerk. (fn. 148) When the manor was sold to the Parrys in 1881 Birch purchased the house, with its park of 17 a., (fn. 149) and lived there until his death in 1895. (fn. 150) It was then sold to G. R. Ryder, a former M. P. for Salisbury, on whose death in 1901 it was bought by Arthur Newall. (fn. 151) In 1955 it was sold by Arthur's son, Mr. R. S. Newall, to Col. H. Blake-Tyler. (fn. 152)

After the former manor house had been detached from the manor at the sale of 1881, the lords of the manor lived in what had previously been called Fisherton Delamere Farm. Since 1889 (fn. 153) it has been called officially, if not popularly, The Manor. It is a stone building, and is the only house in the former parish to lie north of the Codford-Deptford road. A map of 1773 marks no house on the site, nor does the tithe map of 1838, (fn. 154) and the house appears to date from the second quarter of the 19th century. Additions made in the 1920's include a Georgian porch, french windows on the south front, and many internal fittings.

Court rolls or books survive for 1662, (fn. 155) 1686, (fn. 156) 1700–54 and 1771–89. (fn. 157) In addition to these there are transcripts of proceedings for 1684 and for some years between 1801 and 1841. (fn. 158) So far as has been established, courts baron were held throughout the period. On various occasions between 1804 and 1825 customary courts also sat. (fn. 159)

At some time, probably in the early 14th century, Baldwin de Bellany gave lands in Boulsbury in South Damerham (Hants) and 1/5 virgate in Fisherton, which his brother William held, to Hugh Wake, lord of Winterbourne Stoke. They were to be a marriage portion for Joan, his daughter. (fn. 160) About 1329 Joan died seised of 5 virgates in Bapton and Fisherton of which the 1/5 virgate mentioned above very possibly formed a part. Her son, Thomas, was her heir, (fn. 161) and in 1384 was dealing with lands in both places. (fn. 162) He died after 1398–9 and was succeeded by his cousin and heir, Thomas Poynings, Lord St. John (d. 1429), who in 1426–7 conveyed the lands to Sir Walter Hungerford, later Lord Hungerford (d. 1449). From him they descended in the Hungerford line to Mary, Lady Hungerford, who married Edward, Lord Hastings, in 1481. (fn. 163) They were called the manor of BAPTON in 1487. (fn. 164) Edward and Mary Hastings transmitted them to their son George Hastings, Earl of Hundingdon (d. 1545), who held them in 1532 by the name of the manors of Fisherton and Bapton. (fn. 165) In 1537 he granted them to William Paulet, Lord St. John, and thereupon they became an integral part of the capital manor. (fn. 166)

The ownership of an estate in BAPTON, then claimed as a 'manor', was contested in the early 16th century between members of the Kellaway family and other suitors. Some time between 1486 and 1493 or between 1504 and 1505 a Thomas Hymerford claimed to have been seised of the 'manor', but to have been deprived of the deeds by Thomas Kellaway, (fn. 167) and in the period 1532–44 Edmund, son of Thomas Estcourt, laid a similar charge against Robert Kellaway. (fn. 168) In 1545 a John Kellaway was living in Bapton, (fn. 169) and it was no doubt he who in 1566 bought out Edmund Estcourt's interests in Fisherton and other places (fn. 170) and who died in 1568 seised of a capital messuage and lands in Bapton and Tisbury, held of the Marquess of Winchester as of Fisherton manor. (fn. 171) There is some reason to think that Robert and Thomas Kellaway, mentioned above, were respectively his father and grandfather. (fn. 172) If this is so, then John's great-grandfather was called William Kellaway. William married a Joan Barret, and in 1413 a John Barret was holding land in Bapton, Tisbury, and other nearby places, which he acquired from his cousin, Thomas Payne, who, in his turn, had acquired them from his father-in-law, John Ellis. This Ellis had another son-in-law, called Walter Estcott—presumably the same as Estcourt. (fn. 173) It is possible that it was through the gift of John Payne to John Barret that the Kellaway lands in Bapton were first acquired and the claim to those lands by Edmund Estcourt first set up.

John Kellaway was succeeded in the capital messuage by his son Henry. (fn. 174) He and his son Robert leased the property to Joan Hibberd and Henry Hoskins, her son, in succession, and in 1599 this lease was renewed to Hoskins alone. This second lease took effect about 1620. (fn. 175) In 1625 Robert Kellaway, his son Robert, and a third person sold the freehold, under the name of Bapton Farm, to Sir Edward Wardour, (fn. 176) who by 1627 had also acquired the interest in the lease of 1599. (fn. 177) Wardour, in turn, sold it in 1627 to John Davis, a yeoman from North Wraxall, (fn. 178) who in 1626 had married Joan Hoskins (d. c. 1654), (fn. 179) presumably Henry's relict. The property remained in the Davis family, who eventually acquired Fisherton manor and almost all the land in Fisherton and Bapton, (fn. 180) until 1871. It was then sold, with the rest of the Davis property in Bapton, to Joseph Deans Willis, the tenant. (fn. 181) Willis (d. 1895) left all his property to his sons Joseph Deane Willis (d. 1942) and J. G. D. Willis, between whom it was settled in 1897 that the former should own Bapton absolutely. (fn. 182) He remained owner, and reputed lord of the manor, until about 1927 when the property was acquired by Sir Cecil Chubb, Bt. (d. 1934). (fn. 183) In 1939 it was sold by the Chubb family to Alfred Douglas Hamilton, Duke of Hamilton and Brandon (d. 1940), whose representatives sold it in 1946 to Mr. E. Leigh Pearson. In 1959 it was bought by Major R. H. Heywood-Lonsdale, the present owner and occupier. (fn. 184)

John Davis (d. 1840) appears to have lived in the house until his death and farmed most of the 1,059-acre estate. (fn. 185) In 1841 the house and farm were leased to George Fleetwood, and in 1866 to the elder Willis. (fn. 186) In 1927 Major Dunbar Kelly, Chubb's agent, was living in the house. (fn. 187) During the Second World War it was in military occupation. (fn. 188)

The earliest part of the stone-built house, now called Bapton Manor, is the east end, which seems to date from the 17th century if not from an earlier time. To the west of this is a block, dating from the 1730's with a symmetrical ashlar front of 5 bays and a broken central pediment. (fn. 189) In the later 19th century various extensions were made on the north. In 1742 a garden abutted the house to the south and an avenue of trees connected it with a large field on that side. An orchard, paddocks, and, on the east, farm buildings adjoined, and there was also a way in, perhaps the front entrance, from the north. (fn. 190) By 1838 the surrounding paddocks had been much altered. (fn. 191) The road northwards of the house having been closed, (fn. 192) the north entrance naturally ceased to have any justification, and access was gained by two drives across the southern fields. The adjacent farm buildings have now (1963) been pulled down, though some boundary walls remain in the garden. The modern farm buildings are to the west and replace a large barn burnt in 1958. (fn. 193)


In the 16th century the Mompesson family held an estate in Fisherton and Bapton under the Paulets, (fn. 194) as of the manor of Fisherton. It had descended to them from the Lamberts, who had interests there in the early 15th century. (fn. 195) John Mompesson died in 1500 seised of 3 houses and 3 virgates in Bapton and ½ virgate in Fisherton. (fn. 196) His grandson John, son of Drew Mompesson, succeeded, and died seised in 1511. (fn. 197) He left an infant son, Edmund, on whose death in 1553, without male issue, the lands were divided between his three sisters Anne, wife of William Weyt, Elizabeth, wife of Richard Perkyns, and Susan Mompesson, and his nephew, Gilbert, son of Mary Wells. (fn. 198) In the earlier years of the century the Mompessons appear to have claimed that villeins were regardant to this estate. (fn. 199)

In or shortly before 1232 Constance, daughter of Robert de la Stane, gave a hide of land in Fisherton to Bradenstoke priory in free alms. (fn. 200) It was valued at 30s. in 1291 (fn. 201) and is no doubt the messuage and 4 virgates which the priory leased in 1528 to William Snelgar at a little above that sum. (fn. 202) In 1539 it was granted to Sir William Paulet, Lord St. John. (fn. 203) A virgate and a rusticus in Bapton (Babigton) were given by a William Malet to Warminster church in settlement of a dispute over 1½ hide of land. (fn. 204) The conveyance cannot have been earlier than 1156 or later than c. 1216. (fn. 205) In 1221 Robert Goyon (Guiun) gave a hide in Bapton to Thomas of Bapton (Babinton) (fn. 206). Nothing further is known of either of these estates.


Fisherton presumably owes its origin to fishing. In 1086 it was assessed at 10 hides of which 5½ were in demesne. There were 10 ploughlands, 3 of them in demesne, 12 a. of meadow, and pasture ½ league square. There were 16 villeins, 12 bordars, and 14 cottars. (fn. 207) Bapton is not named in the Survey.

Fisherton with Bapton was rated at £9 to the fifteenth and tenth of 1334. Compared with other places in the hundred and in the vale of Wylye this figure is a high one. Within the hundred only Warminster with Boreham, Bugley, and Smallbrook (£9 18s.) was more highly rated, though Upton Scudamore, with Norridge and Thoulstone (£8 18s.), ran it pretty close. No contiguous vale parish attained so high a rating; the nearest was Steeple Langford, with Bathampton and Hanging Langford (£7 1s. 4d.). (fn. 208) The conclusion must, therefore, be either that Fisherton was unexpectedly prosperous or that its boundaries were more extensive than they are today. In the 16th century, if taxation assessments be any guide, this preeminence was not maintained. In 1576 Fisherton with Bapton was eighth among the ten parishes of the hundred, and, apart from Sherrington, the least prosperous of the adjacent valley parishes. (fn. 209)

The only extents of the capital manor, surviving from medieval times, are dated 1319, (fn. 210) 1325, (fn. 211) 1330, (fn. 212) and 1346. (fn. 213) They relate to fractions and consequently give no reliable picture of that manor as a whole. It is clear from them, however, that the manor was peopled by bond tenants or virgaters, who might hold either a virgate or half a virgate, and by cottars. The extent of 1330 also mentions free tenants. It was also then said that the virgaters and cottars were bound to mow and carry the meadow, and that the meadow could be mown each year before Lammas and that after mowing it lay in common until Candlemas. In 1346 it was remarked that a part of the meadow, lying next Salisbury Plain, could not be mown in a dry summer.

In 1415–6 the Hungerford manor in Fisherton played its part in the system for exchanging stock between the different estates belonging to that family. Cart-horses, lambs, and pigs of varying ages were exported from the manor in that year, and 160 sheep and one or two beeves received in return, together with some corn. (fn. 214)

In 1600 the common of pasture appurtenant to a yardland was for 30 sheep, 4 rother beasts, a yearling, and a horse. (fn. 215) The yardland, however, which formed the main constituent of the glebe, was said from 1605 to 1807 to be fit to be stocked with 60 sheep, 3 horses, 3 beasts, and a 'rearer'. (fn. 216)

A lack of surveys makes it impossible to draw any satisfactory picture of the husbandry practised in the village in the 16th and 17th centuries. A study of a number of surviving wills and inventories, however, leads to the following tentative conclusions. (fn. 217) Between 1500 and 1660 barley and wheat were the staple crops, barley preponderating. From the late 16th century small quantities of vetches and peas were grown and in the 17th century of oats as well. In 1617 a woman had a stock of woad. (fn. 218) Naturally many sheep were reared. In the period 1546–98 Thomas Topp seems to have owned over 700 at his death, but it does not follow that all of them were folded in Fisherton parish. (fn. 219) Most flocks were much smaller but in the 1640's two testators left over 200 each. (fn. 220) William Merywether, of Bapton (d. 1580), employed a shepherd. (fn. 221) The crops and livestock are such as we should expect at this time in the Wiltshire chalk country. (fn. 222)

The land seems to have been divided among small family farmers. Of those with a long connexion with the parish mention may be made first of the family of Snelgar, one member of which, William, apparently in the early 16th century, purchased his land from John Mompesson to extinguish any claim to servile obligations that might be thought to inhere in it. (fn. 223) Another—or perhaps the same— William farmed the rectorial estate in 1530–6. (fn. 224) What appears to be the last Snelgar was living in 1720. (fn. 225) Other such families were those of Kellaway (16th cent.), (fn. 226) Foster (1545–1648), (fn. 227) Rebbeck (1576–1805), (fn. 228) Wansborough (1546–1745), (fn. 229) Eyles or Hicks (1573–1730), (fn. 230) Topp (1574–1783), (fn. 231) and Ingram (1549–1809). (fn. 232) Families originating apparently in the 17th century include those of Doughty (1610–1838), (fn. 233) Pashion, Patient, or Patience (1610– 1785), (fn. 234) and Davis (1627–1878), (fn. 235) though the last was not of much account until the later 17th century. The Gilberts, (fn. 236) the Slades, and the Bowleses do not become prominent until the 18th century, although a Bowles was buried in 1597. (fn. 237)

In 1742 the manor of Fisherton, with Bapton, was carefully surveyed and minutely described. (fn. 238) It consisted, according to contemporary measurement, of 2,724 statute acres. Of this total Fisherton proper amounted to 1,676 a., and to this portion belonged 3 fields all lying N. of the Codford-Deptford road. These were North Field, East Field to the S. of it, and West Field to the W. of both. N. of North Field lay Fisherton Sheep Down (252 a.). S. of the Codford-Deptford road lay a substantial area of meadow, all by this time held in severalty, together with orchards and gardens.

The Bapton portion was divided into West, Middle, Greenland, and East Fields. (fn. 239) S. of these lay the large area of Bapton Sheep Down. Beyond this, still further southward, were Bapton Cow Down on the W. and the Furze ('Fuzey') on the E. S. of the Furze lay another part of the Sheep Down. These pastures totalled some 480 a. N. of Bapton village were the meadows and orchards belonging to Bapton. Some of these were several, but on the N.W. there lay Bapton Common Meadow, and, to the E. of it, two stretches of common land, devoted to pasture. The lay-out of the two villages makes it obvious that there had once been two distinct village communities— in fact two manors—but that they had been fused in consequence of a long-standing common lordship.

In the Fisherton portion there were at this time 20 separate tenements, held by 16 tenants. To most of these a house was annexed and most tenants held strips in the common fields together with parcels of the downland. These 'down pieces' were said to represent what the tenants had purchased for 4-year terms, after the expiration of which their plots were again laid down as downland. The average holding was a little under 85 a., the largest that of Mr. Bowles, who held 521 a. The whole of the W. side of this portion, called the Field Lands, was made up of newly-broken ground, divided into large compact fields and shared between Bowles himself and William Ingram. In the Bapton portion there were 17 tenants and tenements, apart from cottage holdings of 7 a. and below. These were a mixture of freeholds and copyholds. The average holding was about 60 a., the largest apparently John Davis's (d. 1743) of 120 a. Of the area of the whole manor (Fisherton with Bapton) 740 a. were pasture, 164 a. meadow, 10 a. gardens and orchards, and 2 a. oziers. There were also 5 a. described as 'waste', which included 11 empty houses.

A valuer, reporting apparently at the time of the sale by the Duke of Somerset in 1790, describes the meadow ground of the manor as in general 'of a very deep black soil rather too much inclinable to the moor or swampy kind'. This he considered reduced its value, which he set at £2 an acre. He found the quality of the arable very variable, 'that in the bottoms being much better than that on the hills, except it be the flinty parts' which were as good as the bottoms. In particular the arable in Bapton fields was much better than that in Fisherton fields and was capable of growing fine barley. (fn. 240) The crop returns of 1801 showed an equal acreage of wheat and barley, 250 in each case, with 40 a. of oats, and 20 each of peas and root crops. (fn. 241)

Some information survives about the manorial economy in the century before inclosure. Five times between 1722 and 1728 the manorial tenants were forbidden to put cattle in Bapton common meadow until the furlong of corn 'opposite' to it had been gathered in. In 1730 this regulation was altered, so that the meadow was out of bounds to cattle until two furlongs, one each side of the Stockton-Wylye road, had been harvested. The regulation was constantly reiterated in the same form between 1771 and 1805. Many times between 1701 and 1805 the tenants in Bapton, and latterly in the whole manor, were forbidden to graze cattle on the lands' ends or 'meres' of the common fields before the corn harvest. The cutting of bushes on Bapton Down was forbidden in 1708, 1711, 1732, and 1733. Between 1700 and 1745 and between 1771 and 1787 the tenants in both villages, but those in Bapton the oftener, were repeatedly directed to meet, usually in the early summer, and set or repair the boundary stones or boundaries in the common fields. Perambulations either at Rogationtide or on Maundy Thursday were ordered in 1724, 1732, and 1739, and after 1751 were often combined with the foregoing operation. Haywards, one for each village, were appointed in 1739, and in 1704, 1724, and 1727 two men were chosen to number the sheep, so that the common might not be surcharged. In 1738 the number of sheep to a yardland was limited to 42. In 1801 and 1805 it was declared to be the custom that only sheep should be fed in the summer fields. (fn. 242)

Fisherton was inclosed in 1807 and Bapton in 1810, in each instance by private agreement. (fn. 243) In Fisherton there were only three allottees apart from the two Davises, in Bapton only two. Of these the chief beneficiary was John Gilbert who received 105 a.

Such an uncomplicated settlement was possible because, for a generation or more, the Davis family had been engrossing the land. Many leases testify to the extent to which the family had acquired parcels of land as tenants in the 18th century, (fn. 244) but the stages of accumulation are made clearer by the land tax assessments. In 1740 John and William Davis together occupied 9 out of 33 tenements assessed, in 1800 14, and in 1810 25. In 1820 and 1830 the two John Davises occupied 29 out of 34 assessed tenements. Viewed from another standpoint there were 13 separate occupiers in 1780 and only 6 in 1830. (fn. 245). In 1838 the Davis family occupied all but 124 a. of the parish, (fn. 246) and by 1840 they owned everything except the glebe. (fn. 247) Thus a parish which in 1640 and 1740 was a community of small farmers had by 1840 been monopolized by one. In 1838 942 a. were reckoned to be meadow or pasture of which 792 were downland. (fn. 248)

During the 19th century the Davises and their tenants improved their property both as an agricultural and a sporting estate, building houses, cottages, and barns, and planting woodlands. (fn. 249) A surveyor, reporting on Fisherton Farm in 1877, after Bapton had been sold off, (fn. 250) said that it made 'a fine holding of average quality' and that it was 'in the hands of good and apparently substantial tenants', who kept 'a fair dairy of cows and an exceptionally fine breeding stock of sheep'. (fn. 251) Sale particulars of 1898 declared that the land then carried nearly 2,000 Hampshire Downs sheep and 100 milch cows. (fn. 252) Bapton became the home of shorthorn breeding. A herd was established there about 1854 by J. Deans Willis (d. 1895), the tenant, and continued by his son J. Deane Willis (d. 1942) and by Sir Cecil Chubb. It has been said that at one time, presumably in the early 20th century, it was 'second to none in the kingdom'. (fn. 253) In 1905 the whole parish contained 1,415 a. of arable, 545 a. of permanent grass, and 60 a. of woodland. (fn. 254)

There was a mill at Fisherton in 1086. (fn. 255) It is not expressly mentioned again until 1375, when it was annexed to the 2/3 of the manor and was declared to have formerly belonged to Walter de Freynes. (fn. 256) There was a miller in 1439. (fn. 257) In Elizabeth I's reign John Ember held mills in Fisherton as a lessee. By his will dated 1582 he bequeathed the lease to John Slade, his grandson. On the death of the former, about 1588–9, a disagreement about the lease arose between Slade and John Barnaby, another of Ember's grandsons. (fn. 258) Evidently Barnaby was worsted, for, in 1594, Slade, then called 'miller', sold all his rights in the mills to John Topp, of Stockton. (fn. 259) Presumably these mills (or mill) were owned by Lord Winchester. At all events in 1646 he, with others, let a corn mill at Fisherton to Nicholas Whitehart, of Wylye. Whitehart's interest descended to William Clare, of Heytesbury, who in 1697 assigned his interest to John Ingram of Bapton. (fn. 260) By 1771 Ingram's interest had descended to John Davis (d. 1791), who next year acquired from the Duke of Bolton an extension in his own right. (fn. 261) The ownership of the mill was included in the grant of the manor to John Davis (fn. 262) and was sold with the Fisherton estate in 1881. (fn. 263) The mill was no doubt often let. In 1867 it was in the hands of Thomas Compton, but in 1895 Pettey, the lord of the manor, was himself described as a miller. From 1911 to 1931 Charles Carpenter occupied the mill, and in 1935 Charles Carpenter & Sons. (fn. 264) The Carpenters remained in occupation until c. 1956, (fn. 265) since when the mill has fallen out of use. In 1898 the mill not only ground corn but drove pumps that supplied water to the estate. (fn. 266)

Thomas Moore (or More), of Bapton, a millwright, died in 1640, leaving a 'working-house' full of tools. (fn. 267) He was apparently descended from the Ingrams through the female line and had once been a farmer. (fn. 268) A youth was apprenticed to a Fisherton maltster in 1720 (fn. 269) and two malthouses existed in Fisherton in 1742. (fn. 270) William Wansborough, described as a husbandman in 1701, was an 'edgetool-maker' in 1708 and 1710. (fn. 271).


Although its masonry attests its 12th-century origin, the church of Fisherton is not mentioned until 1291, (fn. 272) and the rector not until 1314. (fn. 273) In 1326 the advowson was the subject of a dispute between Sir James de Norton and the king, as guardian of William Saffrey's heir. A writ of ne admittatis was issued in January of that year, pending a settlement of the dispute, (fn. 274) but in December, before any settlement was reached, Norton and Edward II, as guardian, presented rival clerks. (fn. 275) Edward III, on his accession, renewed his father's presentation. (fn. 276) A vacancy, however, seems to have occurred shortly after, for in October 1327 the bishop collated by devolution. (fn. 277) Next year the king recovered the presentation, (fn. 278) presented a new clerk, (fn. 279) and successfully issued process against the bishop to enforce institution. (fn. 280) He presented again in 1351 during the minority of a Norton. (fn. 281) In 1381 Sir Ralph de Norton presented. (fn. 282) It appears from these facts that from at least 1326 the advowson was appurtenant to the manor, and was exercised in turn by those who owned shares in it. In 1314 a rector and vicar coexisted (fn. 283) and on six occasions between 1329 and 1398 the rector presented a vicar. (fn. 284)

In 1390 Philip son of Sir John de la Mere, with the assent of Sir Matthew Gurney as overlord, granted the advowson, with an acre of land, to Maiden Bradley priory. (fn. 285) The priory, which also appropriated the rectory, exercised the patronage until the Dissolution, except in 1448 when, for unknown reasons, the Abbess of Shaftesbury presented, and in 1530 when the prior granted it to Thomas Mayo of Maiden Bradley. (fn. 286) After the priory was dissolved in 1536, the Crown granted both rectory and advowson, in 1539, to Sir William Paulet, Lord St. John. (fn. 287) Both then descended with the manor until 1804. In 1637, however, John Foyle, of Kimpton (Hants), presented by grant from Lord Winchester, and in 1673, Charles, Lord St. John of Basing. (fn. 288) Presumably this was because the marquess, as a Roman Catholic, could not present. In 1778 the bishop collated by lapse. (fn. 289)

In 1804 the Duke of Somerset conveyed the rectory and advowson, with the manor, in trust to John and William Davis, who agreed to exercise the patronage in turn. (fn. 290) John Davis (d. 1840) presented in 1820 and John Davis (d. 1860), his nephew, in 1830 as legatee of his father's turn. In 1840 this John acquired both turns and presented in 1854 and 1868. (fn. 291) The advowson was mortgaged with the manor in 1877 and sold in 1881 to William Chapman. (fn. 292) He sold it in 1883 to Mrs. Mary Davies, (fn. 293) who presented twice in 1884. (fn. 294) The Revd. T. Ratcliffe presented in 1885, the bishop collated by lapse in 1893, and Athelstan Riley presented in 1898. (fn. 295) In 1929 the benefice was united with Wylye. (fn. 296) An attempt made in 1649–50 to unite Deptford and Great Bathampton Farm, both in Wylye, with Fisherton, and to detach Bapton and unite it with Stockton, was frustrated. (fn. 297)

Notwithstanding a statement by Hoare (fn. 298), repeated by Jackson, (fn. 299) there is no evidence of any chantry having been established in the church.

The rectory was valued at £6 13s. 4d. in 1291. (fn. 300) Between 1445 and 1535 its gross revenues were charged with small payments to the Bishop, the Archdeacon, and the Chapter of Salisbury, and with £6 13s. 4d. which formed a pension for a chaplain at Nunney. (fn. 301) The pension had been granted by Philip de la Mere in 1394 in return for the advowson and the acre of land referred to above and he in turn had used it to endow a family chantry. (fn. 302) After the Dissolution of chantries it was settled on William, Marquess of Winchester, in 1561. (fn. 303) In 1445–52 the rectory was farmed for £14 13s. 4d. (fn. 304) Its letting value then declined to £12 in 1466–7 (fn. 305) and £10 16s. 8d. in 1530. (fn. 306) In 1535 it was said to be let for only £2 2s. 7d. (fn. 307) In 1605 the lay rector owned half the tithes of hay. (fn. 308) A parsonage house existed in 1445–6. (fn. 309) There was still a 'parsonage' in 1742, (fn. 310) doubtless the lay rector's home, but it was empty.

The vicarage was valued at £8 7s. 10d. net in 1535. (fn. 311) It is not appraised again for many generations, but it is known to have been let for £30 in 1705 (fn. 312) and to have been let again, without the house, in 1806 for £135. (fn. 313) In 1783 it was described as 'of small value'. (fn. 314) In 1831 its capital value was augmented by £400, of which Queen Anne's Bounty paid a half, (fn. 315) and four years later its mean income was set at £135. (fn. 316) A valuation made c. 1883, apparently with care, set it at £197 gross and £158 net. (fn. 317)

A late 16th-century terrier describes the nature of the benefice income. Glebe consisted of a yardland (29½ a. of arable), 1 a. of common, and 1 a. of several meadows. Tithe arose from the following sources: half the hay of the common meadows of Fisherton and Bapton and of 'Banmead' in Norton Bavant; from all the hay of the 'hamlets' below Fisherton Street, the 'hamlets' and closes in Bapton, the orchards and gardens in both villages, 3 hams between the Common (or Moor) and Bapton Street, most of the closes, 'hamlets', and orchards west of the Hindon road, (fn. 318) and Brimble Close (just north of Bapton Manor House); from corn from 1½ yard above Bapton village; from 12 bz. of corn of the mill; and from 24 pigeons. In 1605 2 a. of ground in the Marsh had been added to the glebe, and common of pasture was expressly declared to be appurtenant to the yardland. Tithe arose as before, except that corn might now be taken from 2½ yards in Bapton field. The area of glebe remained virtually unchanged until the inclosure of Fisherton in 1807. In 1680 and 1705 the tithe hay was said to come from grounds lying north and west of Bapton Street and south of Fisherton Street. By 1807 hay was no longer taken from these home grounds and corn and pigeons were no longer tithed. Otherwise the system was much as in 1605. (fn. 319) At inclosure the glebe was consolidated into an estate of 20 a. on the east edge of Fisherton village. (fn. 320) It was undiminished in 1883. (fn. 321) In 1838 tithe was commuted for £143. (fn. 322)

A vicarage house existed in 1605. (fn. 323) In 1742 it stood in Fisherton Street, well to the east of the church. (fn. 324) At inclosure a plot of land was allotted to the vicar, at the extreme east edge of the parish on the Codford-Deptford road, in lieu of this house. (fn. 325) It was promptly let to John and William Davis, (fn. 326) and, with the glebe, was still on lease in 1838. (fn. 327) Its fate thereafter is uncertain. There was no house in 1835, (fn. 328) but at that time a new one is said to have been built to replace the 'miserable cottage inhabited by a pauper' that was then the nominal vicarage. (fn. 329) This new vicarage, now called The Old Vicarage, still stands in the Codford-Deptford road and is a substantial stone building of 7 bays.

The Protestant inclinations of the vicar in Mary's reign may perhaps be deduced from his failure, when Pole's legatine visitation took place in 1556, to reerect the altar. (fn. 330) He was also presented at the same time for living 'incontinently' with a woman (fn. 331) —possibly his lawful wife. Thomas Crockford (1613–34) (fn. 332) kept the registers in florid Latin and noted in them many personal details about his parishioners. He died, a happy instance of a 'reading' clergyman, possessed of 338 books. (fn. 333) The views of Interregnum vicars, whose names are not known, may possibly be deduced from the fact that in 1662 the church possessed no book of homilies, no copy of Jewell's Apology, and no surplice. (fn. 334) In 1783 service was held but once on Sundays and had never been held more frequently within living memory. Communion was administered at Easter, Whitsun, and Christmas to about 16 persons. Services were conducted by a curate, who was also curate at Codford St. Mary. (fn. 335) A curate signed the crop returns of 1801. (fn. 336) The vicar presented in 1829 was also Rector of Sutton Veny and employed a curate to serve Fisherton. (fn. 337) It was a curate who made the return to the Ecclesiastical Census of 1851. (fn. 338)

On census day 85 attended morning and 102 evening service. The figures for Sunday school attendance were respectively 48 and 44. (fn. 339) The average morning and evening congregations were said to be 85 and 102 respectively. In 1864 services were held twice on Sundays and there were also services on Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent, Christmas Day, Good Friday, and Ash Wednesday. Communion was administered on the three great festivals and on the first Sunday in each month to from 17 to 30 people. (fn. 340) In 1881 also there were two Sunday services. (fn. 341)

The church of ST. NICHOLAS, which already bore that dedication in 1326, (fn. 342) consists of chancel, nave with west and south doors, north transept, vestry, and south porch with tower above. (fn. 343) The earliest work in the church dates from the late 12th century and from that period survive the responds of the chancel arch with their carved capitals, several voussoirs with chevron ornament built into the south wall of the nave, and two detached capitals. The chancel itself appears to have been completed by the mid-13th century and, although rebuilt in 1861, retains most of its original features. These include narrow lancet windows, buttresses, and corbel tables to both north and south walls. Twin lancets at the east end have moulded rear arches with attached shafts and a quatrefoil pierced in the spandrel between them. In the 14th century 2-light windows were inserted in the nave and also near the east end of the chancel. The north transept is probably of this date; a drawing of c. 1804 (fn. 344) shows it as a low gabled projection with a blocked door or window of 14th-century character in its north wall. In the 15th or 16th century a low tower was built on the south side of the nave. Serious dilapidations were reported in 1583 and 1585, (fn. 345) and in 1595 money seems to have been collected for the repair of the fabric. (fn. 346) In 1662 attention was drawn to further decay. (fn. 347) It has been thought (fn. 348) that it was after this report that the masonry of the tower was extended above the string-course and capped with a wooden belfry, and the chancel arch raised and remodelled above the imposts. It was perhaps in the 18th century that the east wall was strengthened with angle buttresses and the west wall with a pilaster buttress. (fn. 349) Hoare's plan of c. 1822 shows a north door to the nave, immediately opposite the existing south doorway; no access, either from the outside or from the nave, is shown to the north transept. Hoare commented that though the chancel was 'early', the rest of the building seemed to have been 'rebuilt out of the ruins of the former church'. (fn. 350)

In 1833 John Davis (d. 1840) restored and altered the building. (fn. 351) He appears to have rebuilt the nave and transept, raising the walls by 2 ft. and consequently altering the pitch of the roofs, changed the fenestration, inserted a west door, closed the north door, built a vestry east of the transept, and replaced the wooden belfry, then used as a pigeon house, (fn. 352) by a 'Perpendicular' tower of stone. In 1861 John Davis (d. 1878) had the chancel taken down and carefully rebuilt under the superintendence of W. Hardwick, a Warminster surveyor. (fn. 353) The only important alteration then made was the elimination of the 'Decorated' windows in favour of lancets, 3 new ones being added to the 3 already existing. A heating system was introduced in 1905 and in 1912 the church was again restored. (fn. 354) Since 1856 at least the church has been equipped with a west gallery and has been ceiled. (fn. 355)

The font is of the 12th or 13th century. The achievement of Royal Arms dates from 1801–16. (fn. 356) The altar was given by Bishop Wordsworth in 1868. The Jacobean pulpit, fitted with a new stem and base, was brought from an unknown East Anglian church in the early 20th century. The pews, inserted in 1912, replace deal pews dating from the 1833 rebuilding, which in turn replaced box pews. (fn. 357). Of these earlier pews vestiges remain. The screen was provided in 1914, apparently by Athelstan Riley. (fn. 358) The chief monument (fn. 359) within the church, formerly on the north-east buttress, (fn. 360) commemorates, in a florid inscription, two infant children of Thomas Crockford, vicar 1613–34. There are several monuments to members of the Davis family.

A chalice (11 oz.) was left for the use of the church by the commissioners of 1553, and 2½ oz. silver taken for the king. There is also a chalice, dated 1631, a paten and flagon given in 1842 by John Davis (d. 1860), and an almsdish given by him in 1851. (fn. 361) There were 3 bells in 1553. Of the present 5, 2 were cast by James Burrough, of Devizes, in 1745, and 3, cast by C & G. Mears, of London, were given by John Davis (d. 1860) in 1844. (fn. 362) The registers of baptisms date from 1561, of marriages from 1566, and of burials from 1567. The baptisms are complete. Marriages are wanting between 1708 and 1744 and burials between 1638 and 1677.


The tithingmen declared in 1621 that the parish was free of every kind of recusancy. (fn. 363) Seven persons failed to attend church in 1662 and 2 in 1674. (fn. 364) They may not have been professed dissenters; one of them in the former year refused to pay the church rate. In 1676 there were said to be 3 Protestant dissenters and no papists. (fn. 365) William Fowels's house was registered, for Independent worship, in 1799, (fn. 366) and James Titford's house in Bapton, for worship by an unspecified congregation, in 1813. (fn. 367) There is no other evidence of nonconformity.


In 1808 there was no school, (fn. 368) but in 1840 about 40 very young children were receiving some form of schooling. It was said then that as soon as they were old enough they were sent to work in the fields. (fn. 369) In c. 1858 between 30 and 40 children and 15 infants were taught by a mistress in two rooms in a cottage lent by 'the squire'. (fn. 370) Presumably it was not long after this that the present building, which abuts a house standing to the west of the church, was erected. By 1871, when the building was settled in trust, (fn. 371) grants towards the school had been made by the state and the National Society. (fn. 372) At this time there was also a private school in the parish. (fn. 373) In 1919 average attendance at the church school was only 18, (fn. 374) and in 1922 it was closed. (fn. 375)


In 1449–50 6s. 8d. (fn. 376) and in 1466–7 3s. 4d. (fn. 377) were paid by the farmer of Fisherton parsonage to the poor. Since, on the second occasion, this was said to be done ex antiqua consuetudine, the payments may be said to bear some resemblance to an endowed charity. It was reported at a manor court held in 1705 that the inhabitants, largely at their own cost, had erected seven houses within the manor for the use of the poor. The homage declared it to be its wish that these houses should be permanently consecrated to that use. (fn. 378) Otherwise no charities are known.


  • 1. This article was written in 1963. Its author is grateful to Lt.-Col. F. W. N. Jeans and to Mr. R. S. Newall for some help in its compilation.
  • 2. V.C.H. Wilts. iv. 361; Census 1931, Pt. II.
  • 3. The boundaries are incorrectly drawn in Andrews and Dury, Map (W.A.S. Rec. Brch.), pl. 5 and on the map at p. 4 of V.C.H. Wilts. v.
  • 4. W.R.O. Tithe Award.
  • 5. O.S. Drift Geol. Map 1" CCXCVIII.
  • 6. O.S. Map 6" Wilts. LIX (1st edn.) marks 9.
  • 7. W.A.S. Libr., Devizes, Sale Cat.
  • 8. V.C.H. Wilts. ii, p. 154.
  • 9. W.R.O. 628, Survey of Fisherton manor.
  • 10. O.S. Map 1", sheet 17 (1st edn.); 6" Wilts. LIII, LIX (1st edn.); W.A.S. Libr., Devizes, Sale Cat. For the barn, see p. 36.
  • 11. V.C.H. Wilts. ii, p. 154.
  • 12. See. p. 38.
  • 13. See p. 41.
  • 14. Crown Pleas Wilts. Eyre, 1249 (W.A.S. Rec. Brch.), p. 211.
  • 15. W.R.O. Tithe Award.
  • 16. W.R.O. 628, Survey of Fisherton manor.
  • 17. Ibid.
  • 18. Ibid. See pl. facing p. 15 for small part of map.
  • 19. See p. 45.
  • 20. Ex inf. Mr. R.S. Newall.
  • 21. V.C.H. Wilts. iv. 261–2.
  • 22. Ex inf. Mr. R. S. Newall. For the Gilberts, see p. 42.
  • 23. W.R.O. Inclosure and Tithe Awards.
  • 24. W.A.S. Libr., Devizes, Sale Cat. The map shows clearly a fragment of the old street, at its W. end.
  • 25. W.R.O. 628, Survey of Fisherton manor.
  • 26. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Glebe Terriers.
  • 27. W.R.O. 628, Survey of Fisherton manor
  • 28. W.R.O. Tithe Award.
  • 29. O.S. Map 6" Wilts. LIX (1st edn.).
  • 30. W.R.O. 628, Survey of Fisherton manor.
  • 31. W.R.O. Tithe Award.
  • 32. O.S. Map 6" Wilts. LIX (1st edn.).
  • 33. See p. 39.
  • 34. Ibid.
  • 35. See p. 45.
  • 36. See p. 40.
  • 37. W.R.O. 628, Survey of Fisherton manor.
  • 38. W.A.S. Libr., Devizes, Sale Cat.
  • 39. W.R.O. 628, Survey of Fisherton manor.
  • 40. Ibid.
  • 41. Ibid.
  • 42. Ibid.
  • 43. Not marked on Tithe Map.
  • 44. Ex inf. Major R. H. Heywood-Lonsdale.
  • 45. W.R.O. Aleho. Recogs.; Kelly's Dirs. Wilts.
  • 46. O.S. Map 6" Wilts. LIX (3rd edn.).
  • 47. O.S. Map 1", sheet 17 (1st edn.).
  • 48. W.R.O. Tithe Award.
  • 49. O.S. Map 6" Wilts. LIX (1st edn.).
  • 50. W.A.S. Libr., Devizes, Sale Cat.
  • 51. W.R.O. 628, Survey of Fisherton manor.
  • 52. V.C.H. Wilts. iv. 306–11.
  • 53. Ibid. 348.
  • 54. Wilts. Gaz. 23 May 1918; W.A.M. xlii, 510.
  • 55. W.A.M. xlvii. 130.
  • 56. Hist. MSS. Com. Var. Coll. i. 93.
  • 57. V.C.H. Wilts ii, pp. 68, 154.
  • 58. Ibid. p. 154.
  • 59. Ibid. p. 104–5.
  • 60. V.C.H. Som. i. 413.
  • 61. Ex. e Rot. Fin. (Rec. Com.), i. 109.
  • 62. Rot. Litt. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i. 30
  • 63. Ex. e Rot. Fin. (Rec. Com.), i. 45. 2.
  • 64. Ibid. 61.
  • 65. Bk. of Fees, 718, 731.
  • 66. Cal. Inq. p.m. i, p. 82.
  • 67. Close R. 1251–3, 440.
  • 68. Ex. e Rot. Fin . (Rec. Com.), ii. 62.
  • 69. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 277.
  • 70. Pedes Finium . . . for . . . Somerset, 1347–99 (Som. Rec. Soc.), 39.
  • 71. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, i, p. 353.
  • 72. Cal. Inq. p.m. viii, p. 467.
  • 73. See below.
  • 74. See pp. 43–44.
  • 75. Pipe R. 1194 (P.R.S. N.S. v.), 18.
  • 76. Pipe R. 1195 (P.R.S. N.S. vi), 233 (entered under Somerset and Dorset, nova promissa). The entry is repeated in Pipe R. 1196 (P.R.S. N.S. vii), 217. See also B.M. Stowe MS. 925, ff. 91 v.–92.
  • 77. Curia Regis R. i. 374.
  • 78. See p. 40. The grant states Godfrey was buried in the priory ch.
  • 79. Curia Regis R. i. 208.
  • 80. Ibid. 374.
  • 81. Ibid. xi. 158.
  • 82. Ibid. xiii. 87.
  • 83. Bk. of Fees, 718, 731.
  • 84. J.I. 1/996 m. 10; Close R. 1151–3, 440; G. Wrottesley, Pedigrees from the Plea R. 497 (1259).
  • 85. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 276.
  • 86. I.p.m. on Nicholas Pointz: Cal. Inq. p.m. v, p. 195. Pointz's ½ fee in Fisherton and Bapton was then said to be shared between James de Norton and William Saffrey only. This was repeated in 1315: Cal. Close, 1313–18, 168.
  • 87. Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, p. 94. For the name of Norton's first wife see ibid. vii, p. 163. For Saffrey's aliases see C 60/144 mm. 1 and 3 (where he is called Rude) and Rot. Parl. i. 429 (where he is called Reed).
  • 88. Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, p. 94.
  • 89. By this year Norton had married a woman called Margaret: C 143/114/17.
  • 90. Inferred from the ultimate descent to Thos. For his name see Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, p. 94.
  • 91. Ibid. vii, pp. 162–3.
  • 92. Ibid. viii, pp. 466–7.
  • 93. Cal. Close, 1346–9, 95.
  • 94. C.P. 25(1)/288/46/559.
  • 95. Cal. Close, 1346–9, 95.
  • 96. Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, p. 361.
  • 97. Rot. Parl. i. 429. Brian's mother is here called Elizabeth, evidently in error.
  • 98. Cal. Fine R. 1319–27, 346.
  • 99. Cal. Close, 1330–3, 302.
  • 100. Cal. Pat. 1330–4, 314.
  • 101. C.P. 40/344 rot. 462.
  • 102. C.P. 25(1)/288/559 and /567.
  • 103. Cal. Close, 1374–7, 323.
  • 104. C.P. 25(1)/289/53/54.
  • 105. Cal. Pat. 1388–92, 335.
  • 106. Hoare, Mod. Wilts. Heytesbury, 255.
  • 107. Feud. Aids, vi. 532.
  • 108. He was sheriff 1413–14: P.R.O. List of Sheriffs.
  • 109. Cal. Close, 1429–35, 66.
  • 110. Ibid.
  • 111. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, i. p. 353.
  • 112. Ibid.
  • 113. C142/44/94.
  • 114. Complete Peerage.
  • 115. Ibid.; Acts and Ords. of Interr. ed. Firth and Rait, ii. 520.
  • 116. S.P. 23/18 f. 754.
  • 117. Hants R.O. 11 M 49/230 (acct. of Daniel Witcharley, the purchaser of part of the Paulet estates, 'to prevent the sale thereof to strangers' 1651–4); C.P. 43/278 rot. 113–113d. (conveyance by 3 Paulets to Witcharley and another, 1652). It seems, however, that a doc. once existed whereby Fisherton was conveyed in 1653 by the marquess and 5 others to Robt. Smith of Upton (Essex): Soc. Antiq. Jackson MSS. vol. vii.
  • 118. C.P. 25(2)/609/1655 East.
  • 119. Complete Peerage.
  • 120. W.R.O. 628, Abstract of Title, 1870; 30 Geo. III, c. 37 (priv. act).
  • 121. W.R.O. Land Tax Assessments.
  • 122. W.R.O. 628, Abstract of Title, 1870; 30 Geo. III, c. 37 (priv. act).
  • 123. W.R.O. 628, Abstract of Title, 1870 and Note on the Descent, 1840.
  • 124. At any rate the legal estate in the advowson passed in this year: W.R.O. 628, Note on Advowson, 1877.
  • 125. W.R.O. 628, Wills of John Davis (d. 1860) and John Davis (d. 1878).
  • 126. W.R.O. 628, Docs. about sale of Fisherton Estate.
  • 127. W.R.O. 628, Assignment of the interest of the former lessee by his administrator.
  • 128. Kelly's Dirs. Wilts.
  • 129. H. J. S. Banks, Ch. of . . . Fisherton Delamare, 7.
  • 130. Ex inf. Lt.-Col. Jeans.
  • 131. C 54/1027.
  • 132. W.R.O. Parish Records, Burial Reg.
  • 133. P.C.C. 13 Spencer.
  • 134. D.N.B. s.v. Broughton, Hugh.
  • 135. C3/373/2.
  • 136. W.A.M. xxxvii. 369.
  • 137. Hants R.O. 11 M 49/458.
  • 138. W.R.O. 628, Survey of Fisherton manor.
  • 139. W.R.O. 628, Lease.
  • 140. W.R.O. 467/3 and /5. A tenement belonging to Wm. Bowles was occupied by John Davis in 1785: W.R.O. Land Tax Assessments. For the concentration of estates in the hands of the Davises, see p. 43.
  • 141. W.R.O. 628, Lease.
  • 142. Ibid.; Kelly's Dirs. Wilts. It was called Fisherton House in 1867: Kelly's Dir. Wilts.
  • 143. Hoare, Mod. Wilts. Heytesbury, 259.
  • 144. W.R.O. 628, Survey of Fisherton manor.
  • 145. W.R.O. Tithe Award.
  • 146. W.R.O. 628, Building Accts.
  • 147. W.R.O. 628, Lease.
  • 148. Ibid.
  • 149. W.R.O. 628, Docs. about sale.
  • 150. Kelly's Dirs. Wilts.; Wilts. Cuttings, xvi. 170.
  • 151. Wilts. County Mirror, 9 Aug. 1901 (Wilts. Cuttings, vii, 242); ex. inf. Mr. R. S. Newall.
  • 152. Ex inf. Mr. R. S. Newall.
  • 153. O.S. Map 6", Wilts. LIX (1st edn.) calls it Fisherton Delamere Farm, but Kelly's Dir. Wilts. gives it its new title.
  • 154. Andrews and Dury, Map (W.A.S. Rec. Brch.), pl. 5; W.R.O. Tithe Award.
  • 155. Hants R.O. 11 M 49/9 (homage only).
  • 156. Dors. R.O. 10936.
  • 157. Ibid. D45.
  • 158. W.R.O. 467/2; ibid. 628, Papers about Court. For most years between 1716 and 1740 there are presentments: Hants R.O. 11 M 49/356.
  • 159. W.R.O. 628, Papers about Court.
  • 160. W.R.O. 490, Hungerford Cart. f. 30. Hugh was married by 1308 (Feet of F. Wilts. 1272–1327 (W.A.S. Rec. Brch.), 71). and was dead by 1314 (Wilts. Inq. p.m. 1242–1326 (Index Libr.), 394). The witnesses make the date 1308–1314 a possible one. 'Balleborne', mentioned in the grant, can only conjecturally be identified with Boulsbury.
  • 161. Cal. Inq. p.m. vii, p. 241 (1331). There is an earlier and defective inquisition of 1329 (ibid. p. 165) which tells substantially the same story, but misrepresents the facts about the overlordship.
  • 162. Cal. Close, 1381–5, 565.
  • 163. Hoare, Mod. Wilts. Addenda, 34–35.
  • 164. Cal. Close, 1485–1500, 48.
  • 165. Hist. MSS. Com. Hastings, i. 309.
  • 166. E40/12751.
  • 167. C1/139/27.
  • 168. C1/785/20.
  • 169. Taxation Lists (W.A.S. Rec. Brch.), 36.
  • 170. C.P. 24 (1)/2/8 Eliz. I Hil.
  • 171. C 142/152/171.
  • 172. Hutchins (Hist. Dors. iv. 194) prints a pedigree. This branch of the Kellaways came from Dors. but intermarried with Wilts. families. Robt. Kellaway, when conveying Bapton in 1625, was described as late of Lillington (Dors.). Robt. Keilway, the law reporter (D.N.B.), was presumably a member of this family.
  • 173. B.M. Add. Ch. 26777.
  • 174. C142/152/171.
  • 175. W.R.O. 628, Bargain and Sale, 1627.
  • 176. W.R.O. 467/13.
  • 177. W.R.O. 628, Bargain and Sale, 1627.
  • 178. Ibid.
  • 179. W.R.O. Parish Records, Marriage Reg., where Davis is described as of S. Wraxall. For Joan's will, see P.C.C. 175 Alchin.
  • 180. See pp. 38–39, 43.
  • 181. W.R.O. 628, Papers about sale. Willis leased the property from 1866: W.R.O. 628, Lease.
  • 182. W.R.O. 628, Copy of Willis's will, 1895, and deed of partition, 1897.
  • 183. Kelly's Dirs. Wilts. (1923, 1927).
  • 184. Ex inf. Major Heywood-Lonsdale.
  • 185. So estimated when leased in 1841. The lessor was then in occupation of 1,013 a.: W.R.O. 628, Lease to Geo. Fleetwood. John Davis's whole estate in Bapton was, however, estimated at 1,081 a. in 1840: W.R.O. 628. Note on the Davis estate in Fisherton and Bapton.
  • 186. W.R.O. 628, Leases to Fleetwood and Willis.
  • 187. Kelly's Dir. Wilts. (1927); ex inf. Mr. R. S. Newall.
  • 188. Ex inf. Major Heywood-Lonsdale.
  • 189. Ex inf. Major Heywood-Lonsdale, who states that the last figure of the date stone is illegible.
  • 190. W.R.O. 628, Survey of Fisherton manor.
  • 191. W.R.O. Tithe Award.
  • 192. See pp. 35–36.
  • 193. Ex inf. Major Heywood-Lonsdale.
  • 194. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, ii, p. 317.
  • 195. Req. 2/4/327. John, son of Edmund Lambert, of Bapton, quitclaimed land in Fisherton to Thomas Bonham in 1409: Cal. Close, 1405–9, 530.
  • 196. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, ii, p. 317.
  • 197. C 142/26/127.
  • 198. C 142/104/123.
  • 199. C1/567/52 (1518–29); Req. 2/4/327 (temp. Hen. VII or Hen. VIII).
  • 200. B. M. Stowe MS. 925, ff. 91v.–92; royal confirmation in Cal. Chart. R. i. 160. A Robt. de la Stane held land in Dors. and Som. in 1167–8: Pipe R. 1168 (Pipe R. Soc. xii), 135.
  • 201. V.C.H. Wilts. iii. 282.
  • 202. S.C. 6/Hen. VIII/3985 m. 57.
  • 203. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xiv (1), p. 421.
  • 204. Hist. MSS. Com. Wells, i. 59.
  • 205. Wm. Malet I fl. c. 1156, d. 1169; Wm. Malet II succeeded 1194, d. 1216: Sanders, English Baronies, 38.
  • 206. C.P. 25(1)/250/4/10.
  • 207. V.C.H. Wilts. ii, p. 154.
  • 208. Ibid. iv. 297, 299, 302.
  • 209. Taxation Lists (W.A.S. Rec. Brch.), 145–9. In order to arrive at these conclusions the ratings of the several taxation tithings have been assembled as far as possible according to the boundaries of the several 'ancient' parishes.
  • 210. Wilts. Inq. p.m. 1242–1326 (Index Libr.), 418.
  • 211. Ibid. 440.
  • 212. Ibid. 1327–77, 43.
  • 213. Ibid. 171.
  • 214. S.C. 6/1053/15. Cf. V.C.H. Wilts. iv. 19.
  • 215. C 2/Eliz. I/R. 7/15.
  • 216. Sar. Dioc. R. O. Glebe Terriers; W.R.O. Inclosure Award.
  • 217. The wills and inventories examined comprise those of testators and intestates, with Fisherton and Bapton addresses, whose wills were proved or estates administered in the P.C.C., the Bp.'s Consistory Ct., and the Archdeacon of Sarum's Ct.
  • 218. W.R.O. Arch. Sar., Inv. of Eliz. Doughty.
  • 219. He had a house in Wilton and probably interests in the Codfords, Stockton, and Wylye: P.C.C. 13 Spencer.
  • 220. W.R.O. Arch. Sar., Invs. of John Ingram (1646) and Hen. Rebbeck (1641).
  • 221. Ibid. Bk. 6, f. 2.
  • 222. V.C.H. Wilts. iv. 45, 54–55.
  • 223. C 1/567/52. The bill may be assigned to 1518–29.
  • 224. E 210/5653; S.C. 6/Hen. VIII/3969 m. 6. A Thos. Snelgar was presented to the living in 1530: Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. i. 201.
  • 225. Hants R.O. 11 M 49/356.
  • 226. See p. 39.
  • 227. Taxation Lists (W.A.S. Rec. Brch.), 36; W.A.M. xxxvii. 369.
  • 228. Taxation Lists (W.A.S. Rec. Brch.), 146; W.R.O. Land Tax Assessments. He was still an owner, though not an occupier in 1831, as the Land Tax Assessments show.
  • 229. W.R.O. Arch. Sar., Bk. 2, f. 41; W.R.O. 628, Marriage Settlement of Eliz. Wansborough, relict of Wm.
  • 230. W.R.O. Arch. Sar., Bk. 5, f. 142; Hants R.O. 11 M 49/356.
  • 231. W.R.O. Parish Regs., and see p. 38. There is some reason to feel that by the 18th cent. the Topps had come down in the world.
  • 232. W.R.O. Arch. Sar., Bk. 5, f. 63; W.R.O. 628, Label on bdle. of conveyances from Ingram to Davis. Edw. Ingram was said to have made a conveyance in 1548–9: C 2/Eliz. I/R. 7/15.
  • 233. W.R.O. Arch. Sar., Bk. 8, f. 195; ibid. Tithe Award. The first Doughty (Joel, d. 1610) was vicar of the parish.
  • 234. W.R.O. Arch. Sar., Bk. 8, f. 116; ibid. Land Tax Assessments, 1785, though at that time the man in question, Wm. Patient, was not an occupier.
  • 235. See p. 40.
  • 236. W.R.O. 628, Survey of Fisherton manor.
  • 237. W.R.O. Parish Reg.
  • 238. W.R.O. 628, Survey of Fisherton manor.
  • 239. The W. field of Bapton is mentioned in 1569 (W.R.O. Arch. Sar., Bk. 5, f. 63); the E. field in 1620 (ibid. Bk. 8, f. 182).
  • 240. W.R.O. 628. The report is undated, but a reference to Wm. Bowles as the tenant of half Fisherton Farm (see p. 38), together with the presumption that a sale was impending, give a sufficiently exact indication of the period.
  • 241. H.O. 67/23.
  • 242. Hants R.O. 11 M/356; E.R.O. 628, Papers about Fisherton manor ct.
  • 243. W.R.O. Fisherton and Bapton Inclosure Awards. To the former a map of some of the parcels of land is annexed. In W.R.O. 628 is a list of deeds relating to the Davis estate, one entry in which reads: '3 Dec. 1784. Agreement by John Davies and others, owners of the common fields and downs in Bapton, for dividing, allotting, and enclosing them'. The original has not been found, but the presumption is that there was an abortive attempt to inclose Bapton 36 years before inclosure was achieved.
  • 244. These are in W.R.O. 628 and W.R.O. 467. See also Hackwood Hall, Hants, Lease Bk. ff. 153–67, which shows that between 1761 and 1788 10 separate leases were granted by the Boltons to members of this family.
  • 245. In W.R.O.
  • 246. W.R.O. Tithe Award. The award states the area of the parish as both 2,861 and 2,865 a. Hence the lands occupied by the Davises may be variously reckoned as 124 or 128 a.
  • 247. W.R.O. 628, Note dated 1840 and Abstract of Title.
  • 248. W.R.O. Tithe Award.
  • 249. See p. 35.
  • 250. See p. 40.
  • 251. W.R.O. 628, Messrs. Bailey, Norman & Brown's report, 1877.
  • 252. W.A.S. Libr., Devizes, Sale Cat.
  • 253. W.A.M. xlv. 339; xlvii. 130.
  • 254. Statistics supplied by the then Bd. of Agriculture.
  • 255. V.C.H. Wilts. ii, p. 154.
  • 256. Cal. Close, 1374–7, 323.
  • 257. W.A.M. xiii. 114.
  • 258. Req. 2/35/100.
  • 259. Bristol Univ. Libr., MS. W. 282 (extracted from TS. list in Inst. Hist. Research).
  • 260. W.R.O. 467/8.
  • 261. W.R.O. 467/8 and /14.
  • 262. W.R.O. 467/1.
  • 263. W.R.O. 628, Sale Cat.; W.A.S. Libr., Devizes, Sale Cat.
  • 264. Kelly's Dirs. Wilts.
  • 265. Ex inf. Major J. G. Cassels.
  • 266. Devizes Gaz. 23 June 1898.
  • 267. W.R.O. Arch. Sar., Inv.
  • 268. C 2 Eliz. I/R. 7/15.
  • 269. Wilts. Apprentices (W.A.S. Rec. Brch.), 8.
  • 270. W.R.O. 628, Survey of Fisherton manor.
  • 271. W.R.O. 628, Deeds and Abstract of Title to Davis estates.
  • 272. Tax Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 181.
  • 273. B.M. Add. Ch. 13014. He was Wm. de Beloney, perhaps a relative of Baldwin de Bellany (see p. 39).
  • 274. Reg. Martival (Cant. and York Soc.), i. 379.
  • 275. Ibid. 367–8.
  • 276. Ibid. 370; Cal. Pat. 1327–30, 15. The entry of a presentation by the Crown of a different clerk on the same day is presumably an error: ibid. 11.
  • 277. Reg. Martival (Cant. and York Soc.), i. 379.
  • 278. Ibid.
  • 279. Cal. Pat. 1327–30, 310.
  • 280. Reg. Martival (Cant. and York Soc.), i. 379.
  • 281. Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. i. 50.
  • 282. Ibid. 65.
  • 283. B.M. Add. Ch. 13014.
  • 284. Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. i. 25, 50, 52, 73, 79, 84.
  • 285. Cal. Pat. 1388–92, 335; B.M. Eg. Ch. 587.
  • 286. Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. i. 140, 201.
  • 287. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xiv (i), p. 421.
  • 288. Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. ii, 19, 32.
  • 289. Ibid. 89.
  • 290. W.R.O. 628, Note on Advowson.
  • 291. Ibid.; Sar. Dioc. Regy. Bp.'s Regs.
  • 292. W.R.O. 628, Papers about Advowson.
  • 293. Ibid.
  • 294. Sar. Dioc. Regy. Bp.'s Regs.
  • 295. Ibid.
  • 296. Order in Council, 17 Dec. 1929.
  • 297. W.A.M. xl. 299.
  • 298. Hoare, Mod. Wilts. Heytesbury, 255–56.
  • 299. W.A.M. x. 282.
  • 300. Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 181.
  • 301. S.C. 6/1054/11, /12, /14; S.C. 6/1108/20; S.C. 6/ Hen. VIII/3969 m. 6.
  • 302. Cal. Pat. 1391–6, 370. Cf. V.C.H. Wilts. iii. 298–9, where it is incorrectly stated that the pension was exchanged for Fisherton manor.
  • 303. Cal. Pat. 1560–3, 50.
  • 304. S.C. 6/1054/11, /12; S.C. 6/1108/20.
  • 305. S.C. 6/1054/14.
  • 306. E 210/5653.
  • 307. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii. 98.
  • 308. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Glebe Terrier.
  • 309. S.C. 6/1108/20.
  • 310. W.R.O. 628, Survey of Fisherton manor.
  • 311. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii. 103; S.C. 6/Hen. VIII/ 3969 m. 6.
  • 312. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Glebe Terrier.
  • 313. W.R.O. 467/7.
  • 314. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Vis. Queries, 1783.
  • 315. Hodgson, Queen Anne's Bounty, p. cccxxxv.
  • 316. Rep. Com. Eccl. Revenues, H.C. 54, pp. 834–5 (1835), xxii.
  • 317. W.R.O. 628, printed Advertisement for sale of advowson.
  • 318. Presumably this means the road (now a track) that leads S. from the Stockton-Wylye road just opposite Bapton Manor Ho.
  • 319. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Glebe Terriers of late 16th cent., 1605, 1671, 1680.
  • 320. W.R.O. Inclosure Award.
  • 321. W.R.O. 628, Printed Advertisement for sale of advowson.
  • 322. W.R.O. Tithe Award.
  • 323. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Glebe Terrier.
  • 324. W.R.O. 628, Survey of Fisherton manor.
  • 325. W.R.O. Inclosure Award. The plot is numbered 9 in the award but no such number can be found on the map.
  • 326. W.R.O. 628, Lease.
  • 327. W.R.O. Tithe Award.
  • 328. Rep. Com. Eccl. Revenues (1835), pp. 834–5.
  • 329. H. J. S. Banks, Ch. of St. Nicholas, Fisherton Delamere [?1962]. Mr. R. S. Newall reports the belief that the 'miserable cottage' was a cottage still standing to the W. of the ch. in the lane running N. into the CodfordDeptford road, just S. of the farm-yard belonging to Fisherton Delamere House.
  • 330. V.C.H. Wilts. iii. 31.
  • 331. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Ep. Vis.
  • 332. W.A.M. xii. 210.
  • 333. W.R.O. Consist. Ct. Wills.
  • 334. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Ep. Vis.
  • 335. Ibid. Vis. Queries, 1783.
  • 336. H.O. 67/23.
  • 337. Rep. Com. Eccl. Revenues (1835), pp. 834–5.
  • 338. H.O. 129/10/265.
  • 339. Ibid.
  • 340. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Vis. Queries, 1864.
  • 341. W.R.O. 628, Sale Cat. 1881.
  • 342. Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. i. 23.
  • 343. For the building before its restoration in 1833, see B.M. Add. MS. 36391, ff. 125, 125b, which appear to be sketches for water-colours among the Buckler drawings (iii. 29) in W.A.S. Libr., Devizes. The water-colours are dated 1804. See also Hoare, Mod. Wilts. Heytesbury (1822), 257 with plan. For the building after this but before the restoration of the chancel in 1861 see Soc. Antiq. Jackson MSS. vol. vii, which includes a description of the church written in Aug. 1856. See also Banks, Fisherton Delamere Church, which contains a plan ut nunc.
  • 344. B.M. Add. MS. 36391, f. 125.
  • 345. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Ep. Vis.
  • 346. W.R.O. Arch. Sar., Will of Phil. Williams.
  • 347. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Ep. Vis.
  • 348. Banks, op. cit.
  • 349. Ibid.
  • 350. Hoare, Mod. Wilts. Heytesbury, 257.
  • 351. Inscription on tower.
  • 352. Hoare, op. cit. 257.
  • 353. W.R.O. 628, Faculty and Building Accts.
  • 354. Wilts. Times, 23 Nov. 1912 (Wilts. Cuttings, xiii. 273).
  • 355. Soc. Antiq. Jackson MSS. vol. vii.
  • 356. W.A.M. xlviii. 108.
  • 357. Banks, Fisherton Delamere Church.
  • 358. Ibid.; Wilts. Times, 23 Nov. 1921.
  • 359. For M. Is. see Soc. Antiq. Jackson MSS. vol. vii, and, for those in the chyd., W.A.S. M.Is. viii.
  • 360. B.M. Add. MS. 36391, f. 125; Hoare, Mod. Wilts. Heytesbury, 257.
  • 361. Nightingale, Wilts. Plate, 70.
  • 362. Walters, Wilts. Bells, 87.
  • 363. Hist. MSS. Com. Var. Coll. i. 93.
  • 364. Sar. Dioc. R.O. Chwdns'. Pres. 1662, 1674.
  • 365. W.N.&.Q. iii. 537.
  • 366. G.R.O. Retns. of Regns.
  • 367. W.R.O. Certs. of Dissenters' Meeting Houses.
  • 368. Lambeth Palace Libr. MS. 1732.
  • 369. Digest of Returns to Cttee. of Educ. of Poor, H.C. 224 (1819), ix (2).
  • 370. Acct. of Wilts. Schools, H.C. 27 (1859 Sess. 1), xxi (2).
  • 371. W.R.O. 628, Draft of Trust Deed.
  • 372. Return Relating to Elem. Educ. H.C. 201 (1871), lv; Nat. Soc. files.
  • 373. Acct. of Wilts. Schools (1859).
  • 374. Bd. of Educ. List 21, 1919.
  • 375. Ibid. 1922.
  • 376. S.C.6/1054/11.
  • 377. S.C. 6/1054/14.
  • 378. Dors. R.O. D45.