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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WARMINSTER belonged to the kings of England before the Conquest, and was still in the hands of William I in 1086. (fn. 1) By 1156 it had been granted to William FitzHamon, (fn. 2) a tenant in several counties and constable of Salisbury Castle in the earlier part of the reign of Henry II. (fn. 3) William held it until 1175, (fn. 4) when it reverted to the Crown, probably by his death. It was immediately regranted in fee to Robert Mauduit, (fn. 5) a royal chamberlain and younger son of a family whose chief estates were in Buckinghamshire. (fn. 6) He had succeeded FitzHamon in his constableship of Salisbury, and it is possible that the estate was regarded as appurtenant to that office. (fn. 7) Robert obtained a renewal of the grant when Richard I succeeded to the throne, (fn. 8) but was dead by 1191. (fn. 9) His son and heir Thomas was a minor, and was in the successive wardships of Robert de Tregoze (fn. 10) and Hugh de Bosco (fn. 11) until he came of age by Michaelmas 1204. (fn. 12) Thomas held Warminster, except for a forfeiture when he joined John's enemies, (fn. 13) until his death c. 1244, when he was succeeded by his son William. (fn. 14) William was dead by 1264, leaving a son Thomas, a minor, whose wardship was granted to Warin de Bassingburn, his uncle. (fn. 15) In 1270 Thomas was given licence to let the manor of Warminster while he went to the Holy Land with Prince Edward. (fn. 16) He probably died abroad, for in 1271 the wardship of his heir Warin was granted to Richard, King of the Romans. (fn. 17) In 1275 Thomas's widow Joan held Warminster in dower. (fn. 18) Warin came of age c. 1290 and in 1294 was licensed to let Warminster to Bogo de Knoville, the last holder of his wardship, for six years. (fn. 19) At Warin's death in 1300 he was succeeded by his son Thomas, (fn. 20) who came of age in 1308 (fn. 21) and was executed after the battle of Boroughbridge in 1322. (fn. 22) Warminster was immediately granted to Hugh le Despenser the elder, (fn. 23) but on the accession of Edward III Thomas's widow Eleanor was assigned her dower in it, (fn. 24) and the custody of the remainder granted to John de Kingston during the minority of John, the heir. (fn. 25) John came of age in 1332, and settled Warminster on himself and Juliane his wife in the same year. (fn. 26) He died in 1364 leaving as heir, after the termination of his widow's estate, his granddaughter Maud, daughter of his son Thomas who was already dead. (fn. 27)
Maud took the Mauduit inheritance to a Northhamptonshire family, for she married Sir Henry Greene of Drayton near Kettering. (fn. 28) He was executed in 1399 and succeeded in turn by his sons Ralph, who died without issue in 1417, (fn. 29) and John, who died in 1433. (fn. 30) John's son Henry died in 1467 leaving an only daughter and heir Constance, who married John Stafford, third son of Humphrey, Duke of Buckingham. (fn. 31) Stafford was created Earl of Wiltshire in 1470 and died three years later. His only son Edward died without issue in 1499, and after a long dispute his property passed to the heirs of his maternal grandfather Henry Greene, who were the descendants of Greene's sisters Isabel and Margaret. (fn. 32) Of these, Margaret left by her husband Sir William Huddleston a daughter Elizabeth, who married Sir Thomas Cheney and died without issue in 1502. (fn. 33) The whole inheritance thus passed to the issue of Isabel Greene, who had married Sir Richard Vere. Their son Sir Henry Vere left four daughters; of these one died without issue, so that Warminster was divided into thirds amongst the others. (fn. 34)
Of these three coheirs, Anne married Sir Humphrey Brown of Abbess Roding (Essex), a Justice of the Common Pleas who died in 1562. Their only son George died without surviving issue soon after his father, and this share of Warminster descended to his three half-sisters by his father's second marriage. (fn. 35) The second coheir Audrey married into the same family of Browns, and by her husband John left a son George and a grandson Wistan. (fn. 36) The third coheir Elizabeth married John Mordaunt created Baron Mordaunt in 1532, and her share of Warminster descended to her grandson Lewis, the 3rd baron. (fn. 37) In the reign of Mary Sir John Thynne of Longleat attempted to buy the share of Warminster which belonged to Audrey's issue. Conveyances were made (fn. 38) but for some reason never implemented, which gave rise to extended litigation. (fn. 39) In 1577, however, the manor passed by sale for the first time since the original grant to the Mauduit family when all the interested parties conveyed their shares to George Tuchet, Lord Audley (d. 1617). (fn. 40) In 1611 he sold Warminster to Sir Thomas Thynne, (fn. 41) and the manor has since descended in that family, created Viscounts Weymouth in 1682, and Marquesses of Bath in 1789. (fn. 42) Most of the property in the town was sold in lots in 1919, but several farms west of the town still belong to the Longleat estate in 1962. (fn. 43)
A capital messuage is mentioned in the earliest known extent of the manor, (fn. 44) and was clearly the regular dwelling-place of the Mauduit family. Henry Greene made agreements for its repair in 1386 and 1389, and a new kitchen and chamber were built in 1390. (fn. 45) It is not known to have been used by any later lords of the manor, and was regularly let with the demesne farm. (fn. 46) When the farm was divided in the 17th century parts described as the old and the new buildings were let with the two portions. (fn. 47) About 1790 the lessee under Lord Bath sold the lease of the house to Thomas Marsh, a timber merchant, who rebuilt it in 1791. (fn. 48) The plain house, of 3 storeys and attics, has since been altered by the addition of bay windows to one side of the front. In 1851 it was held with 30 a. of land under Lord Bath, and was described as a gentleman's residence. (fn. 49) In the 20th century it has been used both as a guest house and as flats, and in 1961 the park round it had been covered with an estate of small private houses.
Among the properties held freely of the lords of Warminster were several which were styled manors, and for which courts are known to have been held. The manor of BOREHAM or BURTON DELAMERE or BISHOPSTROW (fn. 50) took its suffix from a family which was seated at Nunney Castle (Som.). The de la Meres may have acquired the land c. 1200 by the marriage of Nicholas de la Mere with Grace de Meysey, who was heir to considerable estates in Wiltshire and Somerset (fn. 51) which apparently included Nunney. (fn. 52) In 1217 Nicholas was given seisin of his land of Bishopstrow on returning to the king's service. (fn. 53) He was succeeded by his son by Grace, Ellis de la Mere; he held the manor by 1227, (fn. 54) and was still living, as was his mother, in 1263. (fn. 55) He was dead by 1271, (fn. 56) and succeeded by his son Nicholas; (fn. 57) he or another Nicholas still held it in 1300, when the property was described as 2 carucates of land held at a rent of 3s. (fn. 58) In 1303 it was said to be 1/5 knight's fee. (fn. 59) By 1330 the manor had passed to Thomas de la Mere, who then settled it on himself and his wife Margery. (fn. 60) They were the parents of Sir John de la Mere (fn. 61) from whom the manor descended in the same way as the manor of Fisherton de la Mere to the Paulet family. (fn. 62) In 1574 John Paulet, Marquess of Winchester, sold Boreham to Thomas Webb of Beckington (Som.), clothier. In 1590 Thomas's son Robert sold the manor to Alexander Staples of Yate (Glos.). (fn. 63) His son Richard, who succeeded him in the same year, (fn. 64) sold parts of the property, (fn. 65) and by 1656 apparently only retained the demesne farm. (fn. 66) He left no issue, and Boreham Farm passed to his nephew Oliver, who in 1663 sold it to Benjamin Gifford of Boreham. (fn. 67) Its subsequent history is dealt with below. (fn. 68)
The manor house of Boreham stood on the south side of the road from Warminster to Salisbury just east of the turning to Bishopstrow. (fn. 69) Between the house and the Wylye lay fishponds (fn. 70) which survived in Daniell's time. (fn. 71) In 1821, however, the site was occupied by three cottages. (fn. 72) Later in the century the large Victorian house called Boreham Manor was built on it.
The estate later known as the manor of NEWPORT or PORTWAY seems to have originated in property held in Warminster by junior members of the Mauduit family. In the earlier 13th century William Mauduit granted an estate to his younger son Warin with remainder to another son William. (fn. 73) Warin apparently left no issue, for c. 1293 William Mauduit held estates in Warminster which his brothers Warin and John had formerly held. (fn. 74) Thomas, son of William Mauduit, held land there in 1322; (fn. 75) it was perhaps his son, another William, described as of Newport, who granted all the corn growing on his lands in Warminster to the lord of Warminster in 1339. (fn. 76) This William was succeeded by his son John, who in 1356 granted his lands to Thomas Mauduit, lord of Warminster, for Thomas's life; (fn. 77) they included at least one house in Newport. (fn. 78) It is fairly certain that this was the same property which in the early 15th century had descended to Alice, daughter and heir of another William Mauduit. (fn. 79) She married John Laffull and left an only daughter and heir Maud, who married William Mohun. They left three daughters and coheirs, (fn. 80) and the manor was divided in thirds for over a century.
One daughter Alice married William Barrell; their son William (fn. 81) had a son Robert, who was dealing with the Warminster property in 1474, (fn. 82) but is said to have sold his share of it c. 1480 to the Poole family (fn. 83) of Sapperton (Glos.). (fn. 84) It descended in this family to Sir Giles Poole who in 1565 sold it to John Poole of Stanton St. Bernard. Three years later John Poole sold his third share of the manor to Richard Middlecott of Bishopstrow, clothier. (fn. 85)
Another coheir of Alice Mauduit, Eleanor, married John Wolley. She apparently left two coheirs, Maud Jakes and Agnes Nowers, who in 1499 sold their share of the manor to John Gilbert of Steeple Ashton. (fn. 86) In 1515 Gilbert sold it to William Bird, Vicar of Bradford, and Thomas Horton. (fn. 87) This was no doubt to endow Bird's chantry in Bradford church, but in 1540 he was attainted of high treason and his property forfeited to the Crown. (fn. 88) In 1546 it was granted to Sir Thomas Moyle, (fn. 89) who two years later sold the lands in Warminster to John Wysse, the purchaser in 1550 of the manor of Smallbrook. (fn. 90) Wysse died in 1554, (fn. 91) and in 1559 his son Thomas sold his share of the manor to Richard Middlecott. (fn. 92)
The third of Alice Mauduit's coheirs, Agnes, married Thomas Blanchard of Cutteridge in North Bradley, and her share descended in the same way as Cutteridge manor to Richard Kirton, who held it by 1481 and still in 1497. (fn. 93) Another Richard Kirton died seised of it in 1558, (fn. 94) and in 1565 Christopher Kirton of Cheddar (Som.) sold it to Richard Middlecott. (fn. 95) The whole manor of Newport was thus reunited in his hands, and remained in his family for 250 years. In 1820 Edward Middlecott sold all his lands in Warminster, amounting to about 500 a., to Lord Bath. (fn. 96)
Portway House was built by Edward Middlecott in the early 18th century; a panel bearing his initials is dated 1722. It is of three stories and basement and built of ashlar Bath stone. The front is of seven bays, the centre one slightly projecting and with its windows enriched with fluted pilasters at the two upper stories. In the 19th century the main entrance was moved to a newly-erected two-story wing on the south side, and a large bay window replaced it in the centre of the east front A similar two-story wing on the north side was added in the present century. The house has a fine staircase, and several panelled rooms. In front of it the low garden wall carries elaborate wrought iron railings with central gateway, contemporary with the house. In 1963 they were under repair following much discussion about whether it was possible to preserve them because of their bad state.
The manor of WARMINSTER SCUDAMORE probably originated in a conveyance of over 100 a. of land from Nicholas Malemayns to Walter Scudamore, lord of Upton Scudamore in 1312. (fn. 97) In succeeding years several conveyances of small estates in Warminster were made to Walter's two successors, (fn. 98) and the estate was referred to as a manor in 1372. (fn. 99) It descended in the same way as Upton Scudamore (fn. 100) to Walter, Lord Hungerford, who added to it a considerable estate bought of Peter Morgan in 1537 and 1538. (fn. 101) Still in the same way as Upton this manor passed from the Hungerfords to Sir Stephen Fox, who in 1687 sold it to Thomas, Viscount Weymouth. (fn. 102) Lord Weymouth sold the demesne farm of the manor in the same year to Edward Halliday, a dyer, who had held it on lease from the Hungerfords since 1664. (fn. 103) From Halliday a considerable property descended for several generations to John Edmund Halliday who died in 1913.
If the Hallidays lived on the site of the manor in the 19th century, the manor house lay on the north side of East Street. The house called Yard House is a plain building of stone, partly of the late 18th century with a large addition of the mid-19th. There was however a strong tradition that the manor house of the Hungerfords lay near the junction of Common Close and High Street. Daniell had heard that it was on the site of Bartlett's brewery in the High Street. (fn. 104)
In 1298 John le Squire conveyed to Gilbert Francis a half-virgate of land (fn. 105) held under the lords of Warminster by a rent of 8d. (fn. 106) Francis conveyed this property to John de Kingston in 1317, (fn. 107) and it probably formed part of the estate later known as the manor of KINGSTON'S. By 1329 Kingston held a considerably larger property, described as two carucates of land in Warminster, which was then settled on him and his son Thomas. (fn. 108) This descended in the same way as the manor of Little Sutton to Chidiock Paulet, (fn. 109) who apparently sold it to William Clevelode of Warminster, clothier. At his death in 1558 Clevelode left his freehold property to William, son of William Bird, citizen and mercer of London, (fn. 110) who in 1577 mortgaged it under the name Kingston's. (fn. 111) Soon afterwards he sold the estate to Edward Horton of Westwood. (fn. 112) Horton died in 1603, and Kingston's was sold by his trustees to Edward Scutt of Warminster in 1609. (fn. 113) Its descent from this time is probably the same as the manor of Cheyneys. (fn. 114)
In 1268 the Prior of the Hospital of St. John at Wilton recovered arrears of a rent of a qr. of wheat and a qr. of rye which was payable to him out of lands at Warminster held by Humphrey of Bradley. (fn. 115) These lands were probably the same as the five virgates held by William of Bradley early in the 13th century. (fn. 116) They can more certainly be identified with the property known in the 15th century as the manor of CHEYNEYS, for in 1465 the same rent was payable out of it to St. John's Hospital. (fn. 117) They had probably passed from the Bradleys to the Cheyneys by 1300, for then Walter de Cheyney held a carucate of land of the lords of Warminster by the rent of 10s. (fn. 118) John Cheyney, mentioned in 1356, (fn. 119) but dead by c. 1363, (fn. 120) must also have held this property. By 1364 some property which had belonged to him was held by Thomas Hungerford. (fn. 121) Thomas was a free tenant under the lord of Warminster c. 1360–70 (fn. 122) and at his death in 1397 he held property at Henford's Marsh. (fn. 123) The manor of Cheyneys Court was certainly held by Thomas's son Walter, who settled it on his son Robert in 1421. (fn. 124) It cannot, therefore, have formed part of the property which Robert's son Robert derived from his marriage to the heir of William, Lord Moleyns; yet on the partition of the Hungerford estates after the death of Margaret, Lady Hungerford and Botreaux, in 1479, Cheyneys was separated from the other Hungerford property in the district, and instead went to Mary, daughter and heir of Sir Thomas Hungerford (d. 1469) with a group of properties which had formed part of the Moleyns inheritance. (fn. 125) Mary Hungerford married Edward, Lord Hastings (d. 1506). In 1538 their son George, Earl of Huntingdon, (fn. 126) conveyed Cheyneys to William Dauntsey, alderman of London, who was apparently acting on behalf of Stephen Agard, (fn. 127) of a family seated at Broughton (Northants.). (fn. 128) Stephen's son Ambrose Agard sold Cheyneys to Robert Manley in 1609, (fn. 129) who in the following year sold it to Edward Scutt of Warminster. (fn. 130) Scutt's daughter Joan married Ralph Hastings; (fn. 131) in 1647 they sold the manor to William Gifford (fn. 132) of Boreham and thereafter it descended in the same way as the remainder of the Gifford property. (fn. 133)
The manor of FURNAX or AVENEL'S FEE was not held of the lords of Warminster and so must have been granted away from the Crown before the capital manor was. In 1130 the sheriff accounted for the issues of land in Warminster which had belonged to Robert Malet. (fn. 134) It evidently descended in the same way as his barony of Curry Mallet (Som.) to William Malet (d. c. 1216) and then with a moiety of the barony to William's daughter Mabel, who married as her first husband Nicholas Avenel. (fn. 135) In 1242–3 her second husband, Hugh de Vivon, was overlord of this manor, which was held of him by the service of enclosing one perch of his park at Curry Mallet. (fn. 136) The overlordship evidently descended with the 1/8 of the barony which passed to the Beauchamps of Hatch Beauchamp (Som.), for in 1343 Avenel's Fee was held of John, Lord Beauchamp. (fn. 137) No further mention of their overlordship has been noted, and in 1401–2 Furnax was held of the Duchy of Lancaster. (fn. 138) This tenure still continued in the 17th century. (fn. 139)
The earliest known tenant under the Malets was perhaps Robert de Pirou, who, it was said late in the 12th century, had received land in Warminster and the church there by gift of Henry 1. (fn. 140) Robert was steward to the Earl Ferrers early in the reign of Henry II, (fn. 141) and a tenant under him in Derbyshire. (fn. 142) He was still living in 1172, (fn. 143) but probably died soon after, leaving a son William. (fn. 144) William was probably father of Ralph FitzWilliam, who gave the church of Warminster to Wells Cathedral, (fn. 145) and also of Robert FitzWilliam, mentioned as a former tenant in a lawsuit of 1243. (fn. 146) Robert left three daughters and coheirs. His Warminster property passed to the husband of one of these, Nicholas Avenel, (fn. 147) who held it in 1242–3. (fn. 148) His relationship to the Nicholas Avenel, who married Mabel Malet and was dead by November 1223, is not clear. (fn. 149) The second Nicholas Avenel died c. 1246, (fn. 150) and was succeeded by his son William who died without issue in 1253. His heir was Matthew de Furneaux, (fn. 151) who was descended from another coheir of Robert FitzWilliam, who had married Henry de Furneaux. (fn. 152) This Matthew was dead by 1284–5, (fn. 153) and was succeeded by another Matthew. By 1297 the second Matthew had conveyed his Warminster property to his son Simon, (fn. 154) and in 1308 this conveyance was confirmed with remainders to three of Simon's brothers. (fn. 155) Simon died in 1358 leaving as heir his daughter Elizabeth, the wife of John Blount. (fn. 156) She in turn left an only daughter and heir Alice, wife of Sir Richard Stury, who held this manor in 1412, (fn. 157) but died childless in 1414. Alice's property was divided up between the descendants of her four great-aunts, the daughters of the last Sir Matthew de Furneaux, Simon's younger brothers having left no issue.
The Warminster property was allotted to the descendants of the youngest of these daughters, Margaret, who had married Sir John Beaupré. Their daughter Isabel married John Longland (fn. 158) and left three daughters and coheirs. Of these the eldest, Margaret, married Sir Leonard Hackluyt, and left a daughter who married into the Stapleton family of Shropshire and had a son Leonard. The third, Anne, married John Farwaye and left two daughters, one of whom married Thomas Berkeley. At the division of the Furneaux property in 1421, Warminster was divided between Leonard Stapleton, who received 2/3, and Thomas Berkeley, who received ⅓. (fn. 159)
Leonard Stapleton died without issue, and his widow Joyce sued his feoffees for a life estate in the lands in Warminster which had been promised her. (fn. 160) Stapleton's estates, however, went to the heirs of a certain John Stapleton, perhaps his brother, whose lands in Shropshire were the subject of a lawsuit in 1470. (fn. 161) The Warminster property was evidently divided between two of the coheirs of John Stapleton, for in 1483 William Ruynon quitclaimed all the lands in Warminster which he had by feoffment of Leonard Stapleton to George Booth and Katharine his wife, John Leighton, and Robert Cressett and Christine his wife. (fn. 162) Of these, Leighton was the son of Elizabeth, one of John Stapleton's coheirs. Elizabeth's sister Margaret had married a Cressett of Upton Cressett (Salop.), and left two daughters, one of whom married Robert Cressett and the other Robert Mountfort. (fn. 163) Mountfort's daughter and heir married George Booth of Dunham Massey, (Cheshire). (fn. 164) Thus of Stapleton's 2/3 of Furnax, ⅓ had passed to John Leighton and 1/6 each to Robert Cressett and George Booth.
The remaining descent of all these shares derived from Stapleton can be quickly dealt with. In 1511 George Booth's son, Sir William Booth, sold his 1/6 to John FitzJames, later Lord Chief Justice, who used it to endow the grammar school which he helped to found in the Abbey of Bruton (Som.) in 1519. (fn. 165) Although it passed to the Crown at the Dissolution, this part of Furnax was regranted to the school at Bruton refounded by Edward VI in 1550. In 1516 Thomas Cressett, son of Robert, and Sir Thomas Leighton both sold their shares to Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester, who used them for the endowment of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, which he founded. (fn. 166)
The ⅓ of Furnax which passed to Thomas Berkeley descended to John Berkeley, who left it at his death in 1479 to endow a chantry in the church of Tickenham (Som.), and specifically ordered the exclusion of his sister and heir, Cecily Ashe. (fn. 167) In spite of this Cecily brought a successful action against his feoffees and obtained the whole of the estate. (fn. 168) Furnax descended in the Ashe family to her great-great-grandson, John Ashe of Tickenham, (fn. 169) who apparently left three daughters and coheirs. One of these, Jane, married William Bassett of Uley (Glos.), and her 1/9 of the manor passed to her son Edward. (fn. 170) Edward's widow Isabel joined with her second husband in conveying it to Simon Sloper of Warminster. (fn. 171) The names or marriages of the other coheirs of John Ashe are not certainly known. (fn. 172) One may have married or been mother of William Rosseter, grocer of London, who in 1572 sold a share of Furnax to William Fry alias Gysse of Combe St. Nicholas (Som.). In the following year Fry sold it to Thomas Fry of North Petherton (Som.) who in 1589 sold it to Corpus Christi College. (fn. 173) The third of the Ashe coheirs may have married or been mother of Michael Godwin of Longbridge Deverill who in 1595 sold a share of Furnax to Edmund Ludlow of Hill Deverill. (fn. 174)
By 1638 then, Furnax was divided among four lords in various proportions; in that year the school and the college brought proceedings against Simon Sloper and Henry Ludlow, because, as was alleged, they were using their nearness to the property to deprive the larger but more distant owners of their profits. A decree in chancery ordered the division of the manor, and Sloper and Ludlow were allotted land in proportion to their shares but no part of the manorial rights. (fn. 175) The rest of the manor remained in the undivided lordship of the college and the school in the proportion 5½ to 1½ until 1883, when a partition was authorized by the Charity Commissioners; (fn. 176) the college retained some property in Warminster until the 1920's, when the last lots were sold. (fn. 177)
There was a capital messuage belonging to the manor in the 14th century, (fn. 178) but in the 16th century the demesnes were let without a house. (fn. 179) In 1638 the tenant of the demesne farm held under the lords two houses at the east end of the Market place on the south side, (fn. 180) and this site is still remembered traditionally as the site of the manor house. (fn. 181)
The manor of SMALLBROOK was held by Mainard before the Conquest, and in 1086 by Aubrey the chamberlain. (fn. 182) In the 12th century this manor was held of the honor of Gloucester, (fn. 183) and the overlordship descended with the honor to Richard de Clare. At his death in 1314 the honor was divided between two sisters and coheirs, (fn. 184) and Smallbrook passed to Eleanor, whose husband, Hugh de Audley, died in 1347. (fn. 185) His daughter Margaret married Ralph, Earl of Stafford, (fn. 186) and the overlordship descended with that title to Humphrey, Earl of Stafford, who was created Duke of Buckingham and died in 1460, and thence to Edward, Duke of Buckingham, who was executed in 1521. (fn. 187) It remained in the Crown until 1585, when it was granted to Anthony Collins and others, (fn. 188) but no further mention of it has been found. From the 14th century it was regularly described as the profits of a court leet at Smallbrook. (fn. 189)
Smallbrook was probably among the five fees held of the honor of Gloucester by Roger Waspail in 1166, (fn. 190) and by another Roger Waspail in the early 13th century. (fn. 191) In 1233 this Roger was succeeded by another Roger (fn. 192) who held in 1242–3. (fn. 193) By this time it had, however, been long subinfeudated by these Waspails to another branch of the same family. The first known tenant of Smallbrook was Osbert Waspail (fn. 194) who was succeeded, probably by 1194, (fn. 195) by his son also called Osbert. This second Osbert left a daughter Cecily, who died under age, leaving Smallbrook disputed between Robert Waspail and Henry Waspail, which Henry apparently held Hill Deverill under Roger Waspail. (fn. 196) The outcome of the suit was in Henry's favour, but in 1232 he acknowledged that Robert held the manor of Smallbrook of him by the service of two knights and suit at his court of Deverill. (fn. 197) Smallbrook was thus held by Robert of Henry of Roger of the honor of Gloucester, but these intermediate overlordships are not mentioned after 1242–3, (fn. 198) and the Waspails who held it held directly of the honor.
Robert Waspail's heir was his brother Godfrey, (fn. 199) who had succeeded him by 1242–3. (fn. 200) He in turn was succeeded by William Waspail, who was dead by 1268, when his widow claimed dower in Smallbrook. (fn. 201) His son and heir was no doubt the William Waspail who held the manor at the end of the 13th century, (fn. 202) and whose son John had apparently succeeded him by c. 1318. (fn. 203) This John was apparently succeeded by another John, (fn. 204) who died in 1361 leaving a son and heir William. (fn. 205) By this time the family was principally seated at Hartley Wespall (Hants), (fn. 206) and Smallbrook descended in the same way as that manor to William's grandson John Waspail who died in 1448 having settled his property on Hugh Pakenham, son of his wife by her first husband John Pakenham. (fn. 207) In 1460 Pakenham sold Smallbrook to Thomas Rogers of Bradford, serjeant-at-law, (fn. 208) who died in possession in 1478. (fn. 209) It descended in the same way as Rogers's manor of Bradford to his great grandson Anthony Rogers, (fn. 210) who in 1550 sold it to John Wysse, citizen and founder of London, (fn. 211) and owner of a share of the manor of Portway. (fn. 212) After Wysse's death his son Thomas sold the manor in 1559 in two parts; the manor house and demesne lands to John Bennett and the remainder to Richard Middlecott of Bishopstrow, clothier. (fn. 213) The manor descended in the same way as Portway in the Middlecott family, and was probably sold with their estate to the Thynnes in 1820. (fn. 214)
John Bennett, the purchaser of the demesne farm, died in 1584, leaving a son and heir, John, aged 13. (fn. 215) This younger John was probably the father of Francis, who held the estate and died in 1667, leaving a son John. (fn. 216) It was probably a grandson of this John, also called John, who married Susan Halliday in 1696 and died in 1744. (fn. 217) Their son John married Ann Temple in 1723, and died in 1734 leaving a son John. (fn. 218) By 1769 the estate was heavily encumbered by mortgages and about 250 a. had to be conveyed to trustees to sell for paying off the debts. Most of this was sold and at the inclosure in 1784 the estate was reduced to a few fields near the manor house. (fn. 219) It was then held by yet another John, on whom it had been settled in 1767. (fn. 220) His only son Edward died unmarried in 1826 and the estate was divided between his three sisters. (fn. 221)
The manor house of Smallbrook stood in front of the present Smallbrook Farm, where an elaborate pair of gate pillars may still be seen in 1962. It was demolished in the 19th century. (fn. 222)