Preface: The purpose of this page is to share the history and some of the archival records of Goldstone in Shropshire with those who may be interested in and/or connected with the place. This history is prompted by the rediscovery of archives that had been lost and separated, but are now reunited. Readers should be aware that this is very much 'a work in progress' and contains incomplete details, sometimes placed here purposely like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that there hasn't been time to put into the correct places. Consequently, the text below will have unedited errors and will be being updated as and when there is time to add new information or correct and edit the current text. Details of sources have been provided throughout the text, to as great an extent as possible, so that interested readers may follow these trails more extensively, should that be of interest for them and helpful to their own research.
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The Story of a Shropshire Manor and its people over more than 800 years
This is the history of the small township and manor of Goldstone in the County of Shropshire and the families whose inter-relationships maintained an unbroken historical thread of continuity at Goldstone for over eight hundred years, from the 12th century up until the modern day - from the Goldstones of Goldstone through to their kinsmen the Vardons of Goldstone, one of the surviving branches of the de Verdun (Verdon) family of Alton Castle, Staffordshire. Up until the middle of the 20th century the geographic integrity of the lands of the lordship and manor of Goldstone were largely maintained and its shape still visible on modern ordnance survey maps. From then on the estate including Goldstone Hall itself, which lies alongside and incorporates part of the site of the older Manor House, was sold piecemeal, with only a few fragments continuing in the family's ownership, allowing the remarkably long historical continuity in the story of Goldstone to extend into the 21st century.
Ruth Donaldson-Hudson wrote the key text on the history of Cheswardine with her magnificent book An Historical Survey of the Parish of Cheswardine, published in Shrewsbury, 1939. In it she included a chapter on Goldstone, which provided as much data as was available to her at that time. It is hoped that the account below will add greatly to her record and that by filling gaps that clearly left her with unanswered questions and revealing the family relationships that were unknown to her, thereby provide as comprehensive a record as is possible of the history of Goldstone and its connected families. Bernard Lazarus brought the story of Cheswardine up to date with his wonderful book Country Reflections around Cheswardine, which builds on Ruth Donaldson-Hudson's history by providing many interesting and amusing recollections and anecdotes. In so doing Lazarus's work brings Cheswardine and its people very much alive.
The account of Goldstone detailed below pulls together information from previously unpublished family archives and other sources. It is intended as a repository of information for easy access by anyone who may be interested in Goldstone as a place, its history, farms and families. Any new data will be added as it becomes available. Another website has been set up to record and publish details of Cheswardine Manor - this can be accessed via this link: Cheswardine Manor
ABOVE - a view of Goldstone Hall in 1848, painted at the time from a drawing by Hugh James Vardon, younger brother of William Vardon of Goldstone. The Manor House, joined to the Hall in the 20th Century, lies behind, out of sight. It is interesting to see the older, and perhaps original 'White Gate'.
Goldstone is a township of the parish of Cheswardine and a geographically separated sub-manor of Childs Ercall. It lies along the parish's western boundary with Hinstock, in north east Shropshire. Simon Bagshaw's 1851 History, Gazetteer and Directory of Shropshire provides a good description of Goldstone at that time and is as good as any other guide in terms of pinpointing the place and its size.
1851 History, Gazetteer and Directory of Shropshire, by Simon Bagshaw
…….. The parish comprehends the townships of Cheswardine, Chipnall, Goldstone, Sambrook and Sowdley, and contains 5,723a 3r 4p. of land.
GOLDSTONE is a township and small village pleasantly situated on the declivity of a hill about a mile and a half west by south from Cheswardine church. The township contains 452a. 1r. 16p. of land, and at the census of 1841 there were 14 houses and 75 inhabitants. Rateable value, £598. 1s. 6d. There are only three farms in this township, two of which are the property of William Vardon, Esq., and the other is possessed by Mrs. Charlotte Masefield. GOLDSTONE HALL is a neat brick house, the occasional residence of William Vardon, Esq. Near to the hall is an antique house, chiefly composed of timber and plaster, which was most probably erected about the middle of the fifteenth century; it is now the residence of Mr. Alfred Holden, farmer. On the banks of the Shropshire Union Canal, which passes about half a mile from the village, there is a wharf where coal is sold, called Goldstone Wharf.
The resident farmers in this township are Thomas Beeston, Alfred Holden, and Anna Lea; William Vardon, Esq., The Hall; Thomas Finn, gardener to W. Vardon, Esq.
The Goldstones of Goldstone
The story of Goldstone starts with the Goldstones of Goldstone in the Middle Ages. A family with the name de Goldestan appear to have been settled at Goldstone since before the 1180s. The Goldstones of Goldstone continued to hold Goldstone until the 18th century, when the Manor and Lordship of Goldstone was passed to a cousin on his marriage to a Goldstone heiress. Their heirs and successors retained Goldstone's old manorial lands intact whilst expanding the estate through inheritance, marriage, enclosure awards and purchase from other landowners.
The earliest mention of Goldstone is in 1180 when an Alan de Goldestan appears in a section of the Mount Gilbert (i.e. Wrekin) Forest Roll. The Forest Roll names Goldestan and Cipenol as among those places where assarts (a piece of land cleared of timber and fit for tilling), or imbladments (the sowing of lands within the bounds of a Royal forest) were assessed. Eyton in his Antiquities of Shropshire Volume X writes:
The Forest-Roll of 1180 shows that, previously to John le Strange's Fine with King John, all this district was reckoned within jurisdiction of the Shropshire Forests. For instance, the men of Sulleia [i.e. Soudley] were assessed 16s. for as many acres of wheat, the men of Goldestan 2s. for 2 acres of wheat, Alan de Goldestan 1s. for 2 acres of oats, and the men of Cipenol 1s. for the same.
The spelling of Alan's name, that of Walter de Goldestan in 1185/6 (see below) and the township provides an indication that the name of Goldstone may have originated from the Anglo-Saxon (Old English) personal name 'Golda' being added to the old English ‘Stān’ and then applied to a place called (literally) Golda's Stone. This etymology has encouraged some to suggest the name referred to the location of a 'gold stone' or important boundary marker. However, we are reliant on published transcriptions of medieval manuscripts for the spelling 'Goldestan' and a closer examination of the text may reveal that antiquarians like Eyton had misread the word. Alternatively, and perhaps more likely (even if the word was written 'Goldestan'), the name may simply signify Golda's Tūn i.e. the village, farmstead or estate of a woman called 'Golda'. There is a possibility that we might just be able to identify the specific 'Golda' who gave her name to Goldstone, and at the same time perhaps understand the reason for its original connection with Childs Ercall. It is J. Bernard Burke, author of 'The Landed Gentry', who we have to thank for providing us with the information that leads us to suggest a hypothesis about the person who gave their name to Goldstone, but Burke's data does contain flaws. This is what Burke published:
Heraldic Illustrations with Annotations (1853)by J. Bernard BurkeExtract from Plate CXVIII / pages 61-62
- the text in brackets has been added to show more accepted versions of personal names.
The descent of Wolrich is traced by a direct male succession down to his late mother, the wife of David Stansfeld, Esq. of Leeds, and Armley House the last of her line, from Ordgar, Earl of Devonshire and Cornwall, (whose dau. Elfrida [Ælfthryth] was the Queen of Edgar,) through Edulph, his son and heir, who m. Elfwina [Ælfwynn], only child and heiress of Ethelred [Æthelred] Duke of Mercia, by Ethelfleda [Æthelflaed], dau. of Alfred the Great. Her great-grandson Godwin, son of Leofwine, Earl of Mercia, m. Golda dau. of Richard II., the Good, Duke of Normandy, by Estritha [Elstrid Svensdatter], dau. of Sweyn, King of England and Denmark, and sister of Canute the Great, which lady m. secondly Earl Ulpho [Ulf Jarl], and had by him another Sweyn, King of Denmark. Golda was first cousin to Edward the Confessor, her eldest son Wolfric [Wulfric], from whom the family now treated of derives its name and descent, standing in the same relation to the Conqueror. Golda was by Godwin, lineally or through representative heiresses, the ancestress of some of the highest and most ancient families of the British Peerage of the present period, and by a second marriage the mother of Reginald Bailiol, from whom descended the Baliols, Kings of Scotland.
This genealogy throws up some rather intriguing connections for Goldstone, but it also includes obvious errors and unverified data without source references, and therefore could be historically misleading:
Ælfwynn, daughter of Æthelred and Æthelflaed, Lady of the Mercians, is known to have been pushed aside by her uncle King Edward the Elder, after her mother's death in 918, and sent to Wessex. She disappears from the historical record, so there is no information for Burke to suggest, above, any marriage to anyone, let alone Edulph. However, Shashi Jayakumar, in her chapter contribution ('Eadwig and Edgar: English Politics, Propaganda, Faction', page 94) in Donald Scragg's 'Edgar, King of the English, 959-975' (Boydell Press, 2008), suggests that Æthelstan Half-King's wife Ælfwynn may be Ælfwynn of Mercia - apparently reference is made of her royal lineage by Byrthferth of Ramsey, but no facts that tell us anything specific about the precise nature of her royal relationship. Therefore, this suggestion, albeit very interesting, remains a hypothesis at this point in time.
Æthelred of Mercia was not recorded with the title 'Duke'. Burke simply ascribed such a title to illustrate the standing Æthelred had as leader of Mercia, under the overlordship of King Alfred of Wessex.
There is no evidence that Richard II of Normandy had any children by a lady called Elstrid Svensdatter.
Despite Burke's errors and imaginings, his mention of Golda remains intriguing and worth further exploration. Her parentage isn't of direct importance when considering the origin of the name 'Goldstone'. What is important is that according to Burke, Golda's first husband, Godwine, was the son of Leofwine, Ealdorman of the Hwicce - the tribe whose lands were located in the south western area of Mercia, that included Worcestershire. Another of Leofwine's sons, Leofric, became Earl of Mercia and married Godgifu, a lady who is better known to us today as 'Lady Godiva'. Domesday confirms that in 1066, Countess Godiva was Lord of Sutton-upon-Tern north of Childs Ercall, Chetwynd near Newport and Little Drayton next to Market Drayton; and historians of Cheswardine have also claimed that the Godiva who held Cheswardine in 1066 is the same 'Lady' Godiva. It has been said that her brother-in-law, Godwine, died before 1057 (but perhaps he died later), and Burke tells us that his widow Golda remarried and had a son called Rainald de Bailleul. Rainald is well known to history as Reginald the Sheriff of Shropshire, who served under Roger de Montgomery 1st Earl of Shrewsbury. Domesday records that Reginald held many lands by 1086, including Knightley in Staffordshire c.5.5 miles south east of Goldstone; this link explains why he is sometimes referred to as 'Reginald de Knightley'. For us, perhaps the most interesting fact about Reginald is that Domesday states that in 1086 he was tenant-in-chief and lord of the manor of Childs Ercall; before the Conquest it had been held by Siward the Fat son of Æthelgar, a kinsman of Edward the Confessor. Reginald was also (joint) Lord of Sheriffhales in 1086, a place Domesday tells us was held in 1066 by Godiva's son 'Earl Algar' i.e. Ælfgar, the nephew of Godwine and his supposed wife Golda. Earl Ælfgar was also lord of Meretown near Newport, in 1066 and his son Earl Edwin of Mercia is recorded by Domesday as having been Lord of nearby Puleston that same year.
If one accepts the possibility that Burke's claim of a marriage between Godwine and a lady called 'Golda', then perhaps the following hypothesis may be worth considering: that when Reginald had Childs Ercall granted to him, it came to him with an unattached pre-conquest manor, where his mother Golda settled or had already been resident, resulting in the place being named 'Golda's tun', evolving into Goldeston and Goldstone. Perhaps Golda's first or second husband (before his death) had held Childs Ercall and Goldstone, thus explaining the logic of it being granted later to her son Reginald.
Annie Whitehead, Author and Historian (see website here), has provided what may be a particularly relevant insight that adds further weight to the suggestion that Goldstone (Goldestan) was named after Golda. This is what Whitehead wrote within a blog post in 2017:
English Place Names, Wednesday, 13 September 2017
Often tūn (ton) developed where an estate was once part of a larger demesne. An estate given to a thegn named Wulfgar came over time to be called Aughton (Aeffe’s estate, Aeffe being Wulfgar’s widow).
Sadly, and perhaps typically, Burke does not reveal the source of his information, so we may never be able to verify whether this Golda gave her name to Goldstone. Others have alluded to this genealogy but, like Burke, they have not provided or explained their sources. Even if Golda had existed as Burke says, which cannot be confirmed, no historical record appears to exist to support the claim that her father was Duke Richard II of Normandy. However, what we do know is that 'Godiva' held Cheswardine manor in 1066, and that she is claimed to be the same person as 'Lady Godiva', sister-in-law of Godwine son of Leofwine. Also, that Reginald the Sheriff, whose mother is claimed to have been Golda, was recorded as Lord of Childs Ercall in 1086, and that Goldstone was most likely named after someone called 'Golda'. If that person was Reginald's mother, then it provides us with an original historical connection with Childs Ercall. It is a good story, and would make historical sense, but can only be conjectured at this time. If it is true, who knows what else may be discovered - perhaps the Goldstones of Goldstone may be the descendants of Reginald and/or his mother Golda.
There is another place called Goldstone, in Kent, the etymology of which seems to have originated from a man: it was recorded in the early 13th century as Goldstanestun i.e. 'settlement of Goldstan'. Today's maps show Upper Goldstone and Lower Goldstone just north of Ash and some miles north west of Sandwich in Kent. Another family by the name of Goldstone came from this place. Other old references to people with this name outside Shropshire include: Wulfric filius Goldstan (Kent 1180), Richard Golstan (Templars, Essex 1185), John de Goldeston (Fleet of Fines, Essex 1312). The name appears twice in Domesday Book as Goldstan in Kent and Essex; in the latter case some records give the name as Golstan. The Domesday Book record for Colchester lists a man called Goldstan as one of the burgesses who pay the customary due and note that he had one house and five acres. Three moneyers in Lewes, Sussex, before the Norman Conquest are named as: Goldstan, Sexbyrht and Theodgar.
In the 1623 Visitation of Wiltshire a family called Goldston is recorded, descended from a Ricardus Goldston de London whose son was Ricardus Goldston de Alderberie in Com Wilts; bur. Alderbury 14 Feb. 1634/5. It is not known whether the elder Richard Goldston was related to any of the other Goldston/Goldstone families from Kent or Shropshire, but it seems unlikely that he was related to the latter, even if it was ultimately discovered that they are related. The reason for presuming there may be no relationship is that the Heralds recorded a very different coat of arms for the Goldstons of Wiltshire, as follows: Arms: - Or, four barrulets gules and on a chief azure three escallops or. The Visitation of Shropshire in 1623 recorded the following coat of arms for the Goldstones of Goldstone: ARMS. – Gules, on a fesse between three saltires couped argent an annulet sable. It is surmised that Richard Goldston of Alderbury was descended from or connected to a family of the same name in Gloucester. William Goldston is mentioned in 1548 at Gloucester and had a wife called Elinor. He died in 1569 (Will dated 2nd August 1569, proved 2nd September 1569), and he had a brother called Richard Goldston whose first wife Elizabeth died in 1558, afterwhich Richard married Joan Chambers. William's painting and that of his sister in law Joan Goldston can be seen via these links:- William Goldston of Gloucester and Joan Goldston of Gloucester.
We return to the Goldstones of Shropshire.......
The next mention of one of the Goldstones of Goldstone in Shropshire is found within the Pipe Rolls in the 31st year of the reign of King Henry II, a year that ran from 19th December 1184 to 18th December 1185. Within the section covering Shropshire (Salopesscira) appears a Walter de Goldestan, one of the associates of Gilbert Pipard. Pipard appears in records appointed to quite a few important roles by Henry II, both in England and in Ireland, and often working with another of the king's trusted men, Bertram III de Verdun.
The Publications of the Pipe Roll Society, Volume 34, 1913. Page 128:
Nova placita et nove conventiones per Gillebertum Pipard' et Michaelem Belet et Walterum Map et socios eorum.
[trans: 'Pleas and nine new agreements by Gilbert Pipard and Michael Belet and Walter Map and their associates]
Immediately underneath this sub-heading is written:
Walterus de Goldestan redd. comp. de dim. m. quia retraxit se de
appellatione sua. In thesauro .iiij. s. Et debet .ij. s. et .viij. d.
The others mentioned under him are: Robertus le Sage, Petrus Largus and Galfridus de Ledwich.
Walter appears again the following year, listed as the first of the associates of Gilbert Pipard:
The Great Roll of the Pipe for the year of the reign of King Henry II A.D. 1185-1186 (32 HEN. II.)
Publications of the Pipe Roll Society, Volume XXXVI, 1914.
Page 55 (under the heading on page 54 : 'SALOPESSCIRA')
De placitis Gilleberti Pipard' et sociorum ejus
[trans: the pleas of Gilbert Pipard and his associates/followers]
Walterus de Goldestan redd. comp. de .ij. s. et .viij. d. quia
retraxit se de appellatione sua. In theasauro liberavit.
Et quietus est.
The others mentioned under him are: Robertus le Sage, Petrus Largus and Ricardus filius Adeline.
Some sixty years later, c.1240, we find Richard de Golston mentioned in a charter of John le Strange to Haughmond Abbey, which related to Cheswardine and appears in The Cartulary of Haughmond Abbey. The date of 1240 is estimated since John le Strange III succeeded his father John le Strange II c.1237 and Robert de Girros, who is mentioned in the charter, died in 1250 (ref: Corpus Christi College Cambridge M.S. 433, f.14v). Eyton also mentions this, as follows:
There are two charters of John le Strange (III) to Haughmond Abbey, which relate to Cheswardine. In one, styling himself John, son of John le Strange, he recovers the land of Norslepe, by giving the Canons a virgate at Cheswordin [i.e. Cheswardine] in exchange, which virgate was held by Helias the Priest, Henry the Beadle, Richard de Golston, and Ernod fitz Reginald. This Deed was attested by Robert de Girros, and probably passed about 1240.
In 1256 William de Golstan is recorded as having appeared in an assize suit. He had complained against Ralph le Botiler (Boteler / Botiller) and his wife Matilda (otherwise called 'Maud') for their having disseized him of common pasture in Tyrley. It was recorded that William de Golstan withdrew his prosecution against Ralph and Matilda le Boteler at those assizes, and that his sureties de prosequenti were William FitzHugh and Thomas le Franceis, both of Seworthyn i.e. Cheswardine. Tyrley and its castle lay to the north of Goldstone, south of Drayton-in-Hales. This Ralph le Boteler was Lord of Oversley in Warwickshire and became Baron Boteler of Wem by right of his wife, Matilda who was the heiress of William Pantulf, Baron of Wem. William was the son of Hugh Pantulf and his wife a daughter of William FitzAlan I. Hugh was a son of Ivo Pantulf by his first wife. Ivo Pantulf's second wife was Alicia de Verdun, daughter of Norman de Verdun and sister of Bertram III de Verdun. Ivo and Alicia had sons William and Norman. Ralph and Matilda le Boteler's descendant Elizabeth, heiress of the Boteler's Barony of Wem married Sir Robert de Ferrers, who thereby became 1st Baron Ferrers of Wem. Sir Robert and Elizabeth's 2x great granddaughter, Joan Neville married Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe and her inheritance, which included the manor of Hinstock, passed to their Gascoigne descendants. Sir William's brother John Gascoigne's daughter Margaret, after the death of her 1st husband, married Edmund Verdon of Fulshaw, Cheshire and Beswick, Yorkshire. Edmund was a descendant of one of Bertram III de Verdun's younger sons and an ancestor of later Verdons/Vardons of Cheshire and Yorkshire.
At the time of William de Golstan's dispute with Ralph le Boteler, the Wem barony included Goldstone's neighbour Hinstock, which as has already been mentioned above, became a Gascoigne inheritance. Along with Wem and Tyrley, the barony also included the manors of Beslow, Bratton, Buntingsdale, Colehurst, Dawley, Eyton-on-the-Weald Moors, Harcourt, Lawley, Sutton-on-Tern, Tibberton and Waters Upton. Drayton itself had once formed part of the Wem barony until the first William Pandolf lord of Wem granted it to the monks of Noron, near Falaise, where William was lord. Domesday Book records in 1086 that he held 27 manors in Shropshire. His overlord in Normandy was Roger de Montgomery, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury.
The Quo Warranto Inquisition of 1278 shows Goldstone as forming, with Ellerton and Sambrook, one of the four townships of Cheswardine parish. However, the Feodaries of 1284-86 give Roger le Strange as Lord of Little Ercall [i.e. Childs Ercall] and names Golston as one of the members of that manor, along with Atton [Hungry Haton] and Leyes [The Lee Farm] - the other member, Naghinton [Nagington Grange] was said to have been given to the Abbot of Haughmond Abbey by Hamo Extraneus [i.e. Le Strange] in pure arms. Another earlier member was Dodicote [Dodecote Grange] south east of Childs Ercall.
Goldstone is referred to twice in 1280 in an Extent of the Manor of Cheswardine, which was then held by Roger Le Strange, at the same time that he was also lord of the manor of Childs Ercall. Hugh de Golstan is mentioned as one of the Free Tenants holding land of Roger Le Strange in his manor of Cheswardine. But for the history of Goldstone, a more important mention is made within this Extent of the Manor of Cheswardine and a moiety of the manor of Childs Ercall, extracted and translated by Mr. W.K. Boyd and published in the Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological & Historical Society, Series 3, Volume VIII, 1894 (pages 362 - 364). The relevant section appears on page 362 under the heading Extent of the Manor of Cheswardine. Rentals and Surveys. Portf. 14. No. 23. P.R.O. The 'Extent of a Moiety of the Manor of Childs Ercall' appears later in the article, from page 364 through to page 367.
At the top of page 362:
EXTENT OF THE MANOR OF CHESWARDINE.
Rentals and Surveys. Portf. 14, No.23. PRO
[24th Oct., A.D., 1280]
Extent of the Manor of Cheswardine made on Thursday next after the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist in the 8th year of the reign of King Edward; before Thomas Bosse, Thomas de Thorp, and Philip de Say, Clerk; by William de Chippenknolle, Richard Forester, Richard Wodeclerk, Richard del Hull, Hugh le Paumer, Alexander du Clay, John de Huntebeche, William son of William, son of Hugh, Hugh son of Henry, and other Jurors.
Who say on Oath that the lord holds in demesne 44 acres of land, the worth of an acre 8d, sum whereof 29s 4d, and that the lord [i.e. Roger Le Strange] holds two water-mills which render 30 quarters of ripe corn the worth of a quarter 3s [shillings]. The sum whereof 4li [pounds] 10s. For which mills he pays to William Chippeknolle half a mark; and to the Lord of Tirley 6d [pence]; and to the Lord of Golston 6d.
And that the lord holds 2.5 vivaries, which are worth 26s 8d by the year.
And that the herbage of the park is worth 6s 8d.
sum 8li 15d.
On page 363:
And Hugh de Golstan holds one oxgang of land and two assarts by charter, and renders 2s 10d by the year.
This reference to a 'Lord of Goldstone' confirms that the then Lord of Cheswardine and Childs Ercall Manors recognised a separate lordship of Goldstone, in 1280. It is this lordship that was held by the Goldstones of Goldstone and their successors.
Although Goldstone had originally been a member of Childs Ercall Manor, it is clear from the Extent of Cheswardine and later records that a subordinate lord had been enfoeffed at Goldstone, but we shall probably never know exactly when and how this change occurred. It is possible that Hugh de Golstan, who is recorded as holding land by charter in the Manor of Cheswardine from its lord, Roger le Strange, could also have been the 'Lord of Golston' referred to. However, this cannot be confirmed. All we know is that the de Goldstone family who were probably descended from Hugh or a close relation, appear recorded as Lords of Goldstone at a later date.
The Lord of Tyrley in 1280 was Ralph (III) le Boteler of Oversley, the same man against whom William de Golstan had brought his assize suit in 1256 - see above. Ralph had gained the manor of Tyrley and Barony of Wem through marriage to Matilda/Maud Pantulf, daughter of William Pantulf, Baron of Wem (grandson of Alicia de Verdun and Ivo Pantulf) and his wife Hawise FitzWarin, daughter of Fulk (III) FitzWarin of Whittington Castle.
The de Goldstone family continued to own land in Cheswardine, which might conceivably include the land that Hugh held in the lordship of Cheswardine; this is shown on a 1771 map of Goldstone Lordship and Estates in the Parish of Hinstock, which is covered in more detail further on in this history.
Two other 'members' of the Manor of Childs Ercall are recorded as having become manors in their own right - Dodecote and Nagington. The former was centred on what is now called Dodecote Grange. The following are extracts from accounts of each place in Eyton's Antiquities of Shropshire, Volume VIII - Childs Ercall, pages 16-18:
DODICOTE. - We have seen how this member of Little Ercall passed to Combermere Abbey by grant of William fitz Alan (I.). Thenceforward it became a separate Manor and requires a distinct account. ............. In 1255 the Bradford Hundred-Roll says most accurately that "the Abbot of Combermere holds Dotecote by gift of William fitz Alan, in pure almoign, and that it is not hidated." An inquisition seems to have been taken in 1286, relative to the Abbot of Combermere disforesting a grove (nemus) at Dodecote, which was within the Forest of Mount Gilbert; but the document is lost.
NAGINGTON. This member of Little Ercall fell, as we have seen, to Haughmond Abbey about the year 1159. Pope Alexander's Confirmation of 1172 describes the gift as ex divisâ Hamonis Extranei assensu Williemi filii Alani domini sui et Radulfi fratris et heredis sui. The Confirmation of William fitz Alan (II.) I have given elsewhere.1 In 1255 the Hundred-Roll says that "the Abbot of Haymon is Lord of the vill of Nagington" and that "it is hidated with the Manor of Hercalwe." The Abbey had it in pure alms by gift of Hamo le Strange. It owed suit to the Hundred twice yearly, at the Sherriff's Tourn.2 In 1284 John de Nagington held this Manor under Haughmond Abbey. The Feodaries erroneously state Wydo le Strange to have held it in capite, as a member of Little Ercall, and to have given it to Haughmond.
1 Supra, Vol. VII. p.276.
2 Rot. Hundred. II. 55.
The feodaries of 1284-86 provide another example in Shropshire of a 'member' of a Manor which was a sub-manor - Whitchurch had Tilstock as a member and this was later recognised as a manor in it's own right. It is known that many of the large manors in the Domesday Book contained sub-manors. Although no entirely consistent definition of sub-manors appears to exist, sub-manors have been identified and recognised in cases where separate ownership and statistics are recorded for a distinct unit, or member, of a larger manor.
After the Norman conquest the King granted manors to tenants-in-chief who in turn granted some of their manors to their own tenants in return for nilitary service - this process was known as subinfeudation. Likewise, tenants of a subinfeudated manor are known to have subinfeudated land to sub-tenants. Such subinfeudation continued into the 13th century. A history of Midgley in Yorkshire (Midgleyana by John F. Midgley, Chapter 4) describes the creation of a 'minor manor' as a result of subinfeudation.
A curious circumstance, probably rare in the Manor of Wakefield, was that between A. D. 1100 and A. D. 1200 Midgley was 'sub-infeudated', that is the powers of a minor manor court were conferred upon the Township, probably due to the presence of some outstanding family, maybe a Lacey or Soothill, related by marriage or in succession to the Earls of Warren.
In the chapter Domesday Book: Estate Structures in the West Midlands by John D. Hamshere, page 155 of the published collection of papers read at the Novocentenary Conference of the Royal Historical Society and the Institute of British Geographers (edited by J. C. Holt and published by the Boydell Press), the following words are written:-
A manor could either be held in demesne, that is in the hands of the tenant-in-chief, or it could be subinfeudated, that is sublet, usually on payment of some form of feudal rent. One many occasions a single manor could contain both elements, being partly retained in demesne and partly sublet. In certain instances the subinfeudated portion formed, to all intents and purposes, a sub-manor within the main manorial structure.
Eyton believed that Goldstone was considered as a member of Cheswardine manor in later medieval times and that the change may have arisen at the time of the partition of John Le Strange's estates after his death in 1330. In Volume VIII (page 18), where he deals with Childs Ercall, Eyton writes:
GOLDSTONE. The Feodaries of 1284-5 concur in making Goldstone a member of Ercall. I have no later proof of the fact. In after times it was considered as a member of Cheswardine, in which Parish it was at all times situated. The manorial change might easily arise from the tenure of Cheswardine and Ercall having been for a time nearly identical. I have nothing to say of the place except that a Richard de Goldston occurs about 1240 and a Thomas de Goldston in 1306.
However, it is known that Goldstone remained linked to Childs Ercall as a subordinate manor into the 17th century (see below) and Eyton provides a note on page 32 of Volume X of his Antiquities of Shropshire that shows he recognised his earlier mistake, as follows:
Goldstone was not really a member of Cheswardine, but of Childs Ercall.
Goldstone is different from all other members of Childs Ercall, like Nagington and Dodecote, in that it was geographically detached. It is possible that Goldstone represented the survival of a pre-Norman conquest manor that was later attached to Childs Ercall (see above in relation to Reginald the Sheriff and his mother Golda), before becoming separated once more, but we will never know if such a supposition is correct.
The reference to Richard Goldston in 1240 is already recorded above, but the context of the reference to Thomas de Goldston in 1306 is not known. The dates suggest that Thomas could be the next generation following on from Hugh de Golstan mentioned in 1280 (see above), even Hugh's son. However, we cannot know for sure. All we can tell is that Thomas Goldstone fills a generational gap after Hugh and may be the father or grandfather of Margaret, daughter of the then Goulston of Goulston, as detailed below.
The next mention of one of the Goldstones is in a Grant dated in 1322, from William son of Hugh de Goldstone, of Chipnall to Richard Miller. The date makes it highly likely that the Hugh de Goldstone referred to is the same man as Hugh de Golstan, who is mentioned in the 1280 Extent of the Manor of Cheswardine. The reoccurrence of the name 'William' may suggest the possibility that this William's father Hugh had named his son after his own father, who may have been William de Golstan who brought the assize suit against Ralph le Boteler in 1256. The old 1322 grant is preserved in the Shropshire Archives, within its collection of Deeds of Chipnall (System Ref: XM14204/7, Document Ref: M14204/7).
Then, five years later another member of the family appears in the Lay Subsidy Roll of 1327 - Richard de Goldstone. He could conceivably be another son of Hugh de Goldstone, or perhaps the son or brother of the Thomas de Goldston mentioned in 1306 (see above). It is a pity that we do not have all of the pieces of the jigsaw available to plot the family relationships between all these early de Goldstones and those documented afterwards.
The Harleian Society's publication of the Heralds’ Visitation of Shropshire, 1623 includes the family of Barker of Wollerton, Coulshurst and Haughmond. In this record it is recorded that William Barker ali’s Couerall de Couerall (Coverall or Corverall) married Margaret da. & heire to ……Goulston of Goulston. The same visitation recorded that William’s father was Randulfe de Couerall who was living Anno 12 E.2., in other words in the 12th year of the reign of Edward II, which would have been 1318/1319. Coverall is known as Calverhall today. The visitation gave Randulfe’s wife as Margarett, daughter of Peter Pigott of Willaston, Shropshire. Margaret Goulston’s father may have been Richard de Goldstone mentioned below, or perhaps she was Richard’s sister. The entry in the visitation for this Barker family includes the following description of one of a series of Coats of Arms used by the Barker family, as recorded in Harleian Manuscript 1396:
ARMS: Harl. 1396. – Quarterly: 1 and 4, Azure, five escallops in cross or, for BARKER; 2, Gules, on a fesse between three saltires argent an annulet sable for GOULSTON; 3 Argent, on a fesse between six cross-crosslets fitchée sable three escallops or, for TITLEY.
There is a mention on a website that Margaret Goldstone was the daughter of Francis Goldstone of Goldstone, but the source of this information has yet to be checked. According to the 1623 Visitation, William Barker, by his wife Margaret Goldstone, had a son John Barker alias Couerall of Coulshurst (i.e. Colehurst), whose son John Barker of Wollerton married Elizabeth, da. to Thomas Hill (of Hodnet & one of the coheirs) sister & heire to Sr Rowland Hill Kt maior of London [1549, who purchased Haghmond]. Sir Rowland Hill became the first Protestant Lord Mayor of London in 1549. It is possible that the visitation missed a generation, or has confused the pedigrees in some way, because there appears to be a stretch of 230 years, filled by only four generations from Randulfe de Couerall to Elizabeth, sister of Sir Rowland Hill. John Barker & Elizabeth Hill's daughter Alice married Sir Thomas Leigh, Lord Mayor of London (1558), and like Sir Rowland Hill a member of the Mercers' Company. The Barkers are said to have been at Colehurst since 1275 and built the present beautiful old Elizabethan manor house in 1580. They continued to live at Colehurst Manor into the 18th century.
Later in the 14th Century reference is found to another possible member of the family, resident in Shrewsbury, is recorded within pages 210-221 of volume 11, Staffordshire Historical Collections (1890) the editors of which were Major-General Hon. G. Wrottesley & Rev. F. Parker. Under the heading Staffordshire Fines: Henry IV the following is written:
Final Concords, Staffordshire. Temp. Hen. IV.
No. 11. On the Morrow of the Ascension. 2 Hen. IV. [Note: Henry IV reigned from 3rd April 1367 to 20th March 1413].
And afterwards recorded on the Quindene of Holy Trinity. 3 Hen. IV.
Between Thomas Wyght, Chaplain, Robert Merford, Chaplain, Richard Admondeston, Chaplain, and Thomas Heuster, of Lichefeld, complainants, and John Golston, of Salop, Skynner, and Joan his wife, deforciants of a messuage and 6d. of rent in Lichefeld. John and Joan remit all right to the complainants and delivered to them the rent and they further granted that the said messuage, which Hugh Yoxhale, of Lichefeld, and Isabella his wife, and John, son of Hugh and Isabella, held for their lives, of the inheritance of Joan, after their decease shall remain to the complainants, and for this grant, the complainants gave 10 marks of silver.
Then in 1381 members of the family appear in Shropshire's Poll Tax records for Bradford Hundred. These have been published in 2001 for the British Academy by Oxford University Press, in New Series 29 of Records of Social and History: The Poll Taxes of 1377, 1379 and 1381, Part 2 Lincolnshire - Westmorland, edited by Carolyn C. Fenwick. The pages covering Shropshire start on page 374, which provides the source reference - E179/242/34, described as consisting of seven membranes, which are stitched together continuously. The editor explains why it is believed that this covers the Poll Tax returns of 1381. This was a significant year, for it was when the unpopularity of the imposition of the Poll Tax came to a head, following on from what had been a very difficult historic period of economic hardship preceding and made catastrophic by the Black Death. In the south of England, Wat Tyler led the rebellion remembered today as 'the Peasants' Revolt'.
Back in Shropshire, these are the transcriptions of records from the fateful 1381 Poll Tax that show members of the Goldstone family in Goldstone and Great Soudley:
Shropshire Poll Tax return - Bradford Hundred
Page 392 (follows on immediately after Ercalwas Parva / Child's Ercall on page 391)
Rogerus de Colston' [Roger, clearly meant to be written 'de Golston', heads the list of entries for Goldstone]
Sibilla ux' eius ['Sibilla his wife']
Johannes Bercar' [possibly one of the Barker family, mentioned above]
Ricardus Reyner (?)
Agn. ux' eius
Rogerus filius Rogeri Bosse
Agn. ux' eius
[9 entries, then:]
E179/242/34 m.4 c.2
[appearing as the 7th entry under this:]
Johannes de Golston'
Agn. ux' eius ['Agnes his wife']
As is said in a note above, Roger de Goldstone heads the record of people in Goldstone. It can be assumed that he was the head of the family, resident at the place from which they took their name. Roger's wife Sibilla and John de Goldstone's wife Agnes are the first Goldstone wives yet to be found mentioned in any historical record. It is not yet known what families they came from. Perhaps John de Goldstone of Great Soudley was Roger's brother or son.
These Goldstones bring us much closer to the Gouldstons of Goldstone who appear in the Heralds Visitation of Shropshire with a family tree that starts with Francis Goldstone of Goldstone. We do not know what his relationship is to the de Goldstones, but he may be the grandson of Roger de Goldstone mentioned in 1381. Although we may never know if the later Goldstones were definitely the direct descendants of the de Goldstones of the medieval period, they have understood themselves to be so and the continuity of the surname and the apparent early incorporation of their heraldry within the quarterings of the Barkers of Colehurst, arising from a 14th century marriage to a Goldstone lady, would all strongly support the claim that they are the same family.
Before moving on to the family of Francis Goldstone, there was another possible member of the family who appears in records relating to Shropshire in the year 1397, a man called William Goldstone. He is found in the Coroners Rolls covering the years 1265 to 1413, under the heading of 'Shropshire', as follows:
Inquest was taken at Stamford before William Skirmestone, the king's coroner in Shropshire, on Tuesday1 next after the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul in the twenty-first year of King Richard the Second, on view of the body of William Goldstone, by four neighbouring vills, to wit, Stamford, Woodhouse, Priors Lee, Hadley, and by the verdict of twelve jurors, namely ... They say on their oath that on Monday next after the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul in the said year William of Herford feloniously murdered the said William Goldstone at Underhillsfield [by striking him] on the head with a staff of no value, and fled after committing the felony; and that he [William of Herford] has no chattels.
1 July 3, 1397
Notes in relation to the text above, but not published with it:
Richard II's reign was from 21st June 1377 to 30th September 1399, so the 21st year of his reign would have run from 21st June 1397 to 20th June 1398.
Hadley and Priors Lee are places that now form part of modern-day Telford. 'Woodhouse' may be most likely to refer to a place now remembered by 'Woodhouse Farm' just over a mile to the north east of Priors Lee. Alternatively it may refer to another settlement within the manor of Idsall / Shifnal, hence the property that existed called 'The Woodhouse'. Another possibility is that it was a settlement in the manor of Stoke on Tern, also remembered by the name 'Woodhouse Farm'. Stoke on Tern is not far from Goldstone, and (coincidentally) was once held by the de Verdon family, who gained it via a marriage with a de Lacy heiress.
The Victoria County History's 'A History of the County of Shropshire' (Volume 11, pages 266-69) may provide the answer to the location of 'Stamford', with the help of this statement in the narrative about Ketley: On Watling Street (whose north side lay in Hadley township) a settlement called Staneford occupied the site of modern Beveley in 1447. Hadley was the site of an old moated manor house that the Charlton family were given permission to crenallate in 1327 and thereby became Apley Castle.
'Herford' probably means 'Hereford'.
The original Latin transcription of the copy of the Coroners Rolls, which was published with an English translation, spells 'Underhillsfield' as Underhullesfeld. It has not yet been ascertained where this place was, but in the Extent of the Manor of Cheswardine in the year 1280 detailed above, we find mention of Richard del Hull. This may possibly suggest a location that would be connected with Goldstone since 'Hull' is the old name for the settlement at Cheswardine that gave its name to 'The Hill', which was the property that preceded the later Cheswardine Hall. However, this simply may be a complete coincidence; a detailed study of field-names in Shropshire may reveal more, even with the existence of so many hills in the County.
What is not known is whether William Goldstone lived somewhere near the places mentioned or at Goldstone itself. It is possible that he just happened to have been killed in the part of Shropshire where the inquest was held and the four neighbouring vills were located.
Francis Goldstone, who heads the pedigree of the family that was drawn up by the Heraldic Visitation of Shropshire had two sons: Philip Goldstone of Goldstone, and Francis Goldstone of Astley Abbotts near Bridgnorth who died without issue. This is the first time that a Goldstone connection with Astley Abbotts is mentioned and we do not yet know how the family came to possess property in that parish; it is likely that Francis lived at Dunval.
Philip, who seems to have been the eldest son, married Dorothy, daughter of Hughe Adams of Warwickshire. They had a son and heir Hugh Goldstone of Goldstone.
According to the genealogy drawn up by the Heralds during their visitation in 1623 (see reference above), Hugh Goldstone, in turn, had a son and heir Humfrey Goldstone of Goldstone.
It appears likely that the heralds missed another member of the family, John Goldstone of Goldstone who was perhaps the elder son of Hugh, or even conceivably Hugh’s son and father of Humfrey. The former is most likely, and may explain how Humfrey came to live near Bridgnorth rather than Goldstone. How, you ask, does all this conjecture arise? An old, possibly 18th century transcription of entries from Court Rolls of Childs Ercall, which appear within papers entitled
‘Memorandums of Goldstone Manor’ (see reference below) records the following:
In Arcoll Court Rolls in the Custody of Sir Robert Corbet the particulars following appear (viz) 1539 – 30th year of King Henry 8th on the death of John Goldstone of Goldstone his best Beast became due for an Herriott to the Lord of the Manor of Arcoll for which the value of an Ox was paid to the said Lord.
John may be the man who is recorded on page 25 of 'A List of Families in the Archdeaconry of Stafford 1532-3', published by the Stafford Record Society in 1976 (view online copy here), or if not, it may be a relative who shared his name. A transcription of the entry is copied below:
Dreyton Bassett Decolacio Sancti Johennis Baptist...
Dominus John Golston, capilanus
The introduction to the Stafford Record Society's work explains that the designation Dominus tended to be applied to members of the Clergy, so in this case it may mean 'Master' rather than 'Lord'. However, other historical sources show 'Dom.' or 'Dominus' being used to mean 'lord' - of a manor, rather than the person being a Baron. The four principal men designated as 'Dominus' at the top of the people recorded under Drayton Bassett were (in order of appearance): Dominus William Carrear, curatus ibidem [i.e. 'Curate there'], Dominus John Lege, capilanus, Dominus Nicholas Halle, capilanus, and Dominus John Golston, capilanus. John Lege is separately recorded as being a Chantry Chaplain pro (for) St John the Evangelist at Drayton Bassett from 1533 to 1548.
A 'capilanus' was a leader / Captain of soldiers, but in this instance it must refer to someone being a Chaplain.
Drayton Bassett is located c.2.5km south south west of Tamworth, in Staffordshire. The location may not make it less likely that John Golston was John Goldstone of Goldstone, since Ralph Crych of Cheswardine is mentioned twice in the same records, in Wetwood, Staffordshire and Cheswardine, Shropshire (see below). If it is John Goldstone recorded, then perhaps this may explain why he did not appear to have had children, and Goldstone itself was inherited by his (presumed) brother Humphrey Goldstone.
The other John Goldstone of Goldstone who is recorded about this time, and who appears in the Herald’s Visitation genealogy, is Humfrey Goldstone’s son John, who is known to have died in 1567. It is quite possible, that the example of the brothers Philip Goldstone of Goldstone and Francis Goldstone of Astley Abbotts was followed and the family’s estates were divided between another older and younger set of brothers, in this case John of Goldstone and Humfrey of Dunval in the parish of Astley Abbotts. If John had died without heirs, then it would have made sense that Humfrey or his son John inherited Goldstone. We may never know the exact details.
Whatever, it is presumed that the Heriot would have been paid by the Goldstones to the Corbets as their superior lord, for the Goldstones' Manor of Goldstone, which despite being an autonomous manor in its own right appears to have maintained some feudal subordination to the Manor of Childs Ercall. 'The Memorandums of Goldstone Manor' tell us that the Goldstones received chief rent - a rent then due to the lord of a manor - from all properties in Goldstone except one, which paid a heriot to the Corbets. This information is contained in an entry in the memorandums, an extract of which is transcribed and also copied in its original state further below.
Humphrey Goldstone of Goldstone & Astley Abbotts ( bef. 1501-1556)
- Member of Parliament for Bridgnorth and Wool Merchant, he probably lived at Dunval.
As mentioned above, Humphrey (or Humfrey) Goldstone was the son and heir of Hugh Goldstone of Goldstone, son of Philip Goldstone of Goldstone. Philip's father was Francis Goldstone and he had a brother also called Francis, who is recorded in the Heralds' Visitation of Shropshire was being of Astley Abbotts. It is very likely that this younger Francis was the first of the family to live at Dunval; perhaps he married an heiress of that place. Whatever the answer may be, the story of his life may explain how the Goldstones ended up with a close connection with Bridgnorth and for a number of generations had their principal residence at Dunval in the Parish of Astley Abbotts.
Humphrey married a lady called Margery, whose parentage has yet to be ascertained.
Humphrey Goldiston is recorded as having been one of the two Members of Parliament for Bridgnorth in 1529, the other being George Hayward. It is likely that Humphrey was living at nearby Dunval at the time. Whatever the answer may be, he is recorded as a resident of Bridgnorth and was a Bailiff there both before and after his term as MP.
Much more information about Humphrey is detailed in the History of Parliament Trust publication on the House of Commons 1509-1558 as follows:
GOLDSTON, Humphrey (by 1501-56), of Bridgnorth, Salop.
b. by 1501, s. of Hugh Goldston. m. 2s. 3da.1
Bailiff, Bridgnorth 1523-4, 1536-7, 1545-6, 1550,
alderman by 1543; commr. Subsidy, Salop 1524. 2
There is some trace of the Goldston family in Shropshire in the early 15th century, but the pedigree in the heraldic visitation begins only with Humphrey Goldston’s father. The first glimse of Goldston himself comes in 1522 when he was admitted to the freedom of Bridgnorth on payment of £1 6s. 8d. A year later he was chosen one of the two bailiffs: he was to hold this office three more times, on the last occasion, in 1550, as replacement for a man who died in mid-term. One of Goldston’s sons was bailiff for the year 1550-1. 3
Unless he sat in the Parliament of 1523, for which the names are lost, Goldston’s entry to the Commons followed several years after his first term as bailiff, and he took precedence over his fellow-townsman George Hayward. Nothing is known of his part in the proceedings of this Parliament, but he probably represented Bridgnorth again in its successor of 1536, when the King asked for the re-election of the previous Members, and perhaps in 1539, both being Parliaments for which the names of the borough’s Members are missing.
It transpires from a chancery suit brought against Goldston, during More’s tenure of the great seal, that he had been supplying wool to the West Riding cloth industry, but whether this was his principal business activity does not appear: his only other known one, mentioned in 1541, was that of receiving income of lands at Astley Abbotts, north of Bridgnorth, formerly belonging to Shrewsbury abbey. Two years later his name stands fourth in a list of the 24 aldermen of Bridgnorth. No member of the family appears in a similar list of 1565, Goldston having died in 1556 and been buried in the church of St. Leonard on 22 Sept. At Bridgnorth his family is still commemorated by ‘Goldston’s furlong’. 4
1 Date of birth estimated from admission as freeman. Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. Xxviii), 203.
2 Bridgnorth mss 9(1), ff. 45, 168, 190; 9(2), ff. 557, 561; LP Hen VIII, iv.
3 H. Owen and J. B. Blakeway, Shrewsbury, i. 315; Bridgnorth mss 9(2), f. 563.
4 LP Hen VIII, xvi, xix; Bridgnorth mss 9(2), ff. 14, 540; Shrewsbury lib., T/S par. Reg. St. Leonard’s Bridgnorth; information from J. F. A. Mason. A.H.
It seems that Humphrey had farmland he rented at Morville, west of Bridgnorth, for on 15th February 1538, he appears mentioned in a letter of attorney from John Fyssher, Prebendary of Morville to Fulk Lee of Bridgnorth, giving him the power to recover rent due on 'the farm of Morville'. This appears in 'A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds', Vol. IV, edited by Sir Henry Churchill Maxwell Lyte and published in London 1902. Maxwell Lyte was Deputy Keeper of the Public Records 1886-1926. The document that mentions Humphrey is listed as Deed 'A. 8550'.
A. 8550. Letter of attorney by John Fyssher, clerk, and prebendary of the prebend of Morvelt in the collegiate church of St. Mary Magdalen of Brygnorth, co. Salop, to Fulk Lee of Brignorth, gentleman, to recover from Humphrey Golston of the same 3l. due to him for arrears of rent of the farm of Morvelt. Dated at Warr', 15 February, 29 Henry VIII. Signed: Per me Johannem Fysshar, clericum.
Humfrey Goldston is recorded on 27th June 1555, with his fellow Bridgnorth MP George Heyward, as Patron of Rochford Chapel in Worcestershire, representing the late Convent of Shene. The Presentee was Roland Gosnell, S.T.B. [i.e. 'Sacrae Theologiae Baccalaureus']. In later times, Rochford became annexed to Tenbury Wells.
Humphrey Goldstone's fellow MP for Bridgnorth George Hayward was the son of John Hayward of Brockton. It is not known whether there was a connection between the later Haywards of Goldstone and the Haywards of Bridgnorth. George married Margaret, daughter of John Whitbrooke of Bridgnorth and had a son Sir Rowland Hayward Kt.
Rowland became a London merchant and in 1559 was Master of The Clothworkers' Company, and a member of the Company of Merchant Adventurers exporting English cloth and trading with Antwerp. In 1563 he was elected Sheriff of the City of London and in 1570 he became Lord Mayor of London, after which he was knighted. When he died on 5th December 1593, his Executors were two of his close friends - Edward Pilsworth, a fellow Clothworker and William Cotton, a leading member of The Drapers' Company of the City of London. The Cottons were also from Shropshire. William's son Rowland Cotton (1581-1634) became a Member of Parliament representing Shropshire and lived at Bellaport Hall in the parish of Norton-in-Hales, coincidentally not far from Goldstone. An earlier owner of Bellaport, William Grosvenor married Ann Hayward, daughter and co-heir of William Hayward (or Heywood) of Stoney Low (also written as: 'Stonelow' or 'Stoneleigh') in the parish of Madeley near Mucklestone, Staffordshire. The later Haywards who inherited Goldstone owned and once lived at Aston Cliffe in Madeley and are very likely to be related to or descended from William. William Cotton's brother Sir Allen Cotton was another leading member of The Drapers' Company of London, serving as its Master in 1616/1617; he was elected Lord Mayor of London in 1624. An impressive portrait of Sir Allen Cotton hangs in the Guildhall Art Gallery:
ABOVE - Sir Allen Cotton, Master of The Drapers' Company 1616, Lord Mayor of London 1625.
It is intriguing that there seem to have been a variety of connections between the families of Goldstone and The Drapers of London and Shrewsbury that crop up throughout the ensuring centuries, as further detailed below.
Humphrey Goldstone died in 1556 and was buried at St. Leonard's Church, Bridgnorth on 22nd September. His wife Margery Goldston wid[ow] was buried at St Leonard's Bridgnorth on 5th January 1559 (Church Year 1559, Calendar Year 1560).
He and Margery had at least five children, as follows (order of birth not confirmed):
(i) John Goldstone of Goldstone - presumed eldest son and heir to his father (see below).
(ii) Thomas Goldstone of the City of Coventry. In the pedigree shown in the Heralds' Visitation of Shropshire, Thomas is placed as if he may have been the eldest son with the words: Thomas Gouldston = Dorothy da. to Richard Stamford. Elsewhere he is said to have married Dorothy, daughter of Richard Stamford of Warwickshire. Despite this placing of his birth before that of his brother John, it is the latter who appears as his father's heir, so this makes one presume that John was older than Thomas, but perhaps that is not correct. Thomas died in 1598. An extensive Inventory of his Estate survives, dated 1st August 1598, which begins with these words: A true Inventory of all such goods and chattels of Thomas Goulstone of the Cittie of Coventrie late deceased in the countie of Warwick, musission, and praysed by four indifferent men whose names are heare under written. Taken the first daye of August 1598. The 40th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth .
It is not known what took Thomas to Coventry or whether he was always resident there, but it appears that he was appointed as Leader of the City Waits in the years before he died (Source: Records of Early English Drama, edited by R.W. Ingram, University of Toronto Press 1981, published in Great Britain by Manchester University Press). A city's 'Waits' were their musicians including pipers, who seem to have developed from or incorporated roles as watchmen who used musical instruments to signal times of watches etc. Thomas succeeded James Hewet as Leader of the Waites - Hewet had been one of the waits named in 1570 and 1583; in 1570 one of his fellow waits was Thomas Nichols (otherwise Nycoll), a member of The Drapers' Company of Coventry, who was Mayor of the City in 1570-71. The Coventry Chamberlains' and Wardens' Account Book records quite a few entries relating to payments to Thomas e.g. 1st December 1590: iiij li paid to mr Goldston for ye waites of this cittie. In 1590, 28th November, a payment is recorded to his widow: iiij li paid to mr Goldstons wiffe for the waites wages. There was a company of Drapers in Coventry, just as in Shrewsbury. Thomas's father's involvement with the wool trade, its connection with Drapers and membership of relatives of the Drapers' Company of Shrewsbury, may explain Thomas's presence in Coventry, but we simply do not know. In the same publication that records payments to Thomas in connection with Coventry's Waits, there is a mention in the accounts of The Drapers' of Coventry in 1588 that records: payd mr Goldeston by the masters Comandymet iij s iiij d.
If Thomas was his father Humphrey's eldest son, as the Visitation seems to suggest, he may have inherited Goldstone and held it until his death, as argued below, since his assumed younger brother John was resident at Dunval, as was his son, also called John. This younger John also died in 1598, and it was his son Francis who was noted as being 'of Goldstone' whilst still connected to Dunval. Francis's son Lawrence resided at Goldstone, and did not retain a continuing connection with Dunval or Astley Abbotts. More information needs to be found to inform us more about the life of Thomas Goldstone of Coventry, son of Humphrey Goldstone.
It appears that Thomas and Dorothy had a son, also called Thomas (see below).
(a) Thomas Goldstone - we only know of the existence of Thomas from mention of him in the Coventry's Chamberlains' and Wardens' Account Books (see source references above) in 1599, a year after the death of his father: paid by maister maiors Comandement to Thomas Goldston at his going to Cambridge towards his setling ther at Sir John Haringtons Colledg. 'Sir John Harrington's College' is what we know today as King's College. What further became of Thomas after his time at Cambridge is not yet known.
(iii) Elizabeth Goldstone who married Thomas Hunt of Cheswardine. They had two sons - Richard and Thomas.
(a) Richard Hunt - Alderman of Shrewsbury and member of The Drapers' Company of Shrewsbury. Richard married Eleanor, widow of Francis Cooke, Draper and sister of Rowland Heylyn of Pentrehelyn in Montgomeryshire, Alderman & Sheriff of London and Master of The Ironmongers’ Company. In 1655 a later Rowland Heylyn, son of Robert of Shrewsbury, was admitted to the Freedom of The Drapers’ Company of London, having been apprenticed to Abraham Heylyn, Draper. Some Goldstones also became members of The Drapers’ Company in London: In 1497 John Goldstone became a Freeman and in 1502 John Goldstone appears in records as Master to new apprentice Thomas Langley. Later in 1531 another John Golston is recorded as a new apprentice to Thomas Richardson, Draper. Their relationship (if any) to the Goldstones of Shropshire is not yet known, but there does seem to be a Goldstone-Drapers connection - a later record of Richard Goldstone, son of Francis Goldstone of Goldstone being a member of The Drapers' Company of Shrewsbury, whose records note that Richard was apprenticed in 1628. As mentioned below, when he was admitted as a Burgess of Shrewsbury in 1636 he was noted as 'Richard Gowldston of Shrewsbury, Draper'. It is interesting that the Goldstone's kinsmen and successors at Goldstone were themselves members of The Drapers' Company in the City of London.
(b) Thomas Hunt (junior) - became High Sheriff of Shropshire in 1656, was MP for Shrewsbury during the Long Parliament and became the town's Mayor in 1657. He was a Colonel in the army of Parliament and was one of the leaders of the parliamentary cause in Shropshire, along with Sir John Corbet, who as lord of the manor of Childs Ercall was the Goldstone's feudal superior. Thomas's son Rowland Hunt acquired the estate of Boreatton near Baschurch in 1664, and built the Old Hall there, where his descendants continued to live until the early part of the 20th century. The property seems to have had an ealier, probably coincidental Drapers link, which is revealed by a Assignment of Mortgage by Demise (Shropshire Archives: Doc. Ref. 2922/11/1/99): the assignment dated 19th March 1658, records that by an indenture 20th December 1654, Sir Thomas Harris Bart. had demised the manors of Boreatton, Byrch, Leebotwood and Ratlinghope for a term of 1,000 years to Richard Hampden of St. Paul's Churchyard, London, Draper. The assignment then goes on to tell us that the estate became forfeit, as a result of default of repayments, and by 1658 the same property was in the possession of Andrew Newport of London, who now demised it to Sir Edward Ford for the same term of 1,000 years. Major Rowland Hunt sold the newer Boreatton Park, built in 1857, along with its older deer park, to Salop County Council in 1934.
(iv) Dorothy Goldstone who married Edward Brogden Member of Parliament for Worcester 1553/54. His biography published by The History of Parliament Trust gives alternative versions of his surname as: Bragdan and Brockenden, presumably arising from sources that record him named in these ways. Dorothy is mentioned in her brother John's will. Edward was the second son of Thomas & Eleanor Brogden (or Bragdon) of Worcester. They had at least two children: John and Anne. Edward died in 1557, leaving a Will dated 18th August that same year. The administrators of his estate were his widow Dorothy, his brother-in-law John Goldstone and a Clothier of Worcester (like Edward's father), Christopher Brat.
(v) Jane Goldstone who married ____? Clark of Warwickshire.
John Goldstone of Goldstone & Dunval (__?-1567)
married Anne Broughton, daughter of Thomas Broughton of Henley in the parish of Bitterley
It is not known when John was born, but he appears to have been his father's surviving heir to Goldstone. He married Anne Broughton, daughter of Thomas Broughton of Henley, in the parish of Bitterley near Ludlow. It seems that her father was Thomas Broughton, son of Walter Broughton of and her mother was therefore Katherine, co-heir of Edmund Hodnet.
John seems to have lived at Dunval in the parish of Astley Abbotts near Bridgnorth, Shropshire, a property that is likely to have come to the family at an early time, perhaps through marriage; as already mentioned above, Francis Goldstone 'of Astley Abbotts' was living there in the 15th century, whilst at the same time his older brother Philip Goldstone was referred to as being 'of Goldstone'. It appears that the family came to prefer Dunval as a place to live rather than Goldstone, up until the early part of the 17th century. Perhaps its closeness to Bridgnorth and their mercantile interests there may account for this, or the lands there were of greater value; certainly the fields around Dunval tended to have been more productive than those around Goldstone.
John is mentioned in May 1544, in relation to Dunval, within the 'Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 19 Part 1, January - July 1544', as follows:
Henry VIII : May 1544, 26-31
116. Licences to alienate lands [f. n6]:-
(May 14th, Westminster)
Thos. Sheldon and Laur. Poyner to Wm. Chese. Lands (named and described) in Asteley, Salop, and within the manor of Asteley Brugge, leased to Rose Chese, widow, Wm. Chese, her son, and Joan his wife, and in Nordeley alias Northeley, Salop, in tenure of Hugh Webbe alias Walker. (14th.) P. 23, m. 29.
The same to John Goldeston, jun., one of the sons of Humph. Goldeston. Lands in Dunvo, Salop, and within the manor of Asteley Brugge in tenure of Edw. and Eliz. Harley, and Ric. Chese, and in Nordeley alias Northeley in tenure of John Webbe alias Walker and Joan his wife, and Ric. Webbe, their son. (14th.) lb.
All are dated at Westminster. In this abstract the day of the month appears in parenthesis before the reference to part and membrane of the Patent Roll of 36 Hen. VIII
It is interesting to see mention of John being decsribed as 'John Goldeston, jun[ior]' - this seems to confirm that it is correct to place John Goldstone who lived at Goldstone and died in 1539 as Humphrey's probable older brother (see above). The 1544 reference to John 'junior' suggests that the memory of the older John was still too recent, so it was thought important to be clear which of them the Licence was referring to. The entry for the Goldstones in the Visitation of 1623 suggests that Thomas Goldstone of Coventry was Humphrey's eldest son, but there is no way of knowing whether this is correct. All we know is that the other son, John Goldstone junior became Humphrey's heir.
Before moving on from this, it may be worth mentioning the entry that appeared immediately above that for 'Thos. Sheldon':
John Staveley to Wm. Strelley and Thos. Lowe in survivorship. Manor or lordship of Lyndbye, Notts, on condition that they shall lease it to the said John and Constance his wife, in survivorship, with remainder to Thomas Staveley s. and heir apparent of the said John. (14th.) P. 13, m. 20.
As detailed further on within this history, the relationship between the Verdon (ancestors of the Vardons of Goldstone, kinsmen and successors of the Goldstones of Goldstone), Newton and Lowe families, mention of a Staveley in the Will of Geoffrey de Verdon in 1421, and John Verdon who died in 1500 being Rector of Lyndbye (Linby, Nottinghamshire), may all be coincidental, but it may also point to reasons why John was appointed to the post. See below for more details on these people.
The present Dunval Hall is said to have been built c.1580, about the same time as Bishop Percy's house in Bridgnorth. It is possible that it was built on the site of an older house, and certainly the property is mentioned in records in earlier times. The first floor built over the main hall, is Elizabethan, which confirms that the house must certainly have been built at some point before 1603. The last of the Goldstones to be recorded baptised at Astley Abbotts was in 1594, then that child's sibling was baptised at Cheswardine in 1605. A marriage contract of John Goldstone's grandson Francis, which mentions Dunval is dated 1601, and later the remarriage of John's son John's widow Dorothy occurs at Astley Abbotts in 1607, and members of the family continued to be buried there up until 1638. These dates that record the Goldstones continuing to be living at, or connected to Dunval into the early years of the 17th century suggests that the present house was built by the Goldstones, even if it was later modified by the Actons, who the Goldstones appear to have become related to through marriage in later generations - this suggestion is covered in more detail below.
ABOVE - Dunval, as featured on an old postcard.
John Goldstone of Dunval appears in the Calendar of Patent Rolls in 1563, with reference to Dunval, as follows:
Reign of Elizabeth I, published volume covering 1563-66, page 616.
Calendar of Patent Rolls
Licence, for 11s. in the hanaper, for John Golston to alienate lands (tenants named) in Abbottes Astley, Astley, Norley and Dunvale, co. Salop, to Simon Kemsey and Charles Brokton and the heirs of Kemsey to the use of Golston and Anne his wife for the life of Anne, with remainder to Golston and his heirs.
Note: The Clerk to the Hanaper was an old office within the chancery, and 'hanapers' were the wicker baskets within which writs and other papers were stored. So, 'in the hanaper' is most likely to mean the licence was 'filed' at the offices of the Clerk of the Hanaper.
John Goldstone died in 1567. The parish registers of Astley Abbotts recorded that: Anno Dom, 1567 - John Goldston gent Died and was buryed the xith [11th] day of Maye. He left a Will dated 22nd April 1567, on which probate was given 10th December 1567.
The Calendar of Patent Rolls makes reference to John having died, within this entry for 1570:
Reign of Elizabeth I, Volume 5, 1569-72, page 9.
12 Elizabeth I : Part 1
60) 6 June 1570. Grant to Anne Golstone, widow, of the wardship and marriage of John Goldston, son and heir of John Golston; with an annuity of 33s. 4d. from 11 May, 9 Eliz., when John the father died. Yearly value of the inheritance [m. 33] £7 8s. 2d.
It is interesting that the Queen granted the wardship of John to his mother, whereas the wardship of his great grandson Lawrence Goldstone was held by Sir John Corbet, before being sold to Lawrence's mother and grandfather - see below. Perhaps Sir John didn't really have a proper claim to it, on the basis of the precedent set in 1570. Alternatively, the grant of wardship attached to Dunval, with Goldstone being held at that time perhaps by John's older brother Thomas Goldstone of Coventry, who is said to have died c.1598, almost 30 years later.
Anne Goldstone died in 1583 and was buried at Astley Abbotts on 13th March 1582/3: Anne Goldston wydowe dyed and was buryed the xiiith daye of March. The Will of her husband John Goldstone reveals that he had a manor and farms in Dunval, Astley, Moxley and also Worcester, but it made not direct mention of Goldstone - its inclusion in the Will may have been covered by the words 'with all other my Landes and gooddes and takinges in and at Shropshere', or as mentioned above perhaps Goldstone was then owned by John's brother Thomas. It is not known precisely where his farm was in Worcester; but the Moxley referred to must be the place near Wolverhampton and Wednesbury in Staffordshire, within the area that became a centre of the industrial revolution and thereby gained it's nickname 'the Black Country' from the layers of soot that covered the buildings. In John Goldstone's time it would have been pleasant countryside. What happened to all of his farms is not yet known. The Memorandums of Goldstone Manor have an extract from the Court Rolls of Arcoll that record: 1582 - 24th Queen Elizabeth the value of an Ox was paid to the said Lord as an Herriott on the death of John Goldstone. It is presumed that this is indeed a reference to John, son of Humfrey, but if so the payment was made quite a few years after John's death.
John Goldstone of Goldstone above, son of Humfrey had at least two children by his wife Anne Broughton:
(i) John Goldstone of Goldstone & Dunval - bapt. 25th July 1557 at St. Leonard's, Bridgnorth. Son and heir to his father - see below.
(ii) Margery Goldstone - buried at Astley Abbotts 28th February 1572.
It is possible that John and Anne had a third child - a marriage of an Elizabeth Goldstone is found in the parish register of St. Leonard's Bridgnorth in 1600/1: Edward Cooke & Eliz: Goldston were married the vth of Januarie - year in the register '1600' but actually calendar year 1601. If Elizabeth isn't John's daughter then she may have been another relative or a widow of one of the Goldstones.
John Goldstone of Goldstone & Dunval (1557-1598)
married Dorothy Ottley, daughter of Adam Ottley of Pitchford
John was born in 1557, probably at Dunval or in Bridgnorth where he was christened on 25th July at St. Leonard's Church.
In his Will, John's father had left instructions about his education - he was to be sent to Oxford or Cambridge and after that to spend four years at the Inns of Court, studying law. Here is the relevant extract:
Item. I gyve to Anne my wife my Mannor or Farme of Donvall and all the gooddes and Cattall thereunto belonging, with my howses in Astley and Moxley with all other my Landes and gooddes and takinges in and at Shropshere during her naturall lief., in Condicion that she doo kepe her self unmarried and bringe up my sonne till he coome unto the age of twentie one yeres; my will ys that he be putt to Oxford or Cambridge when he cometh to the age of twelve yeres . there to remeyne fowre yeres and afterward to the Innes of Court; my will ys that he shall have at the Innes of Court thertene poundes a yere So that he be in her custodie and government to fynde hym.
He married Dorothy, daughter of Adam Ottley of Pitchford Hall, at Pitchford on 22nd October 1576. The parish register of Pitchford records the marriage with the following words:
John Gouldston and Dorothie Ottley were maried the 22nd of October 1576.
Dorothy's mother was Mary Mainwaring, daughter of Sir Richard Mainwaring of Ightfield and sister of Sir Arthur Mainwaring. The Ottleys of Pitchford descended from the Ottleys of Ottley near Ellesmere, Shropshire. Dorothy was named after her grandmother Dorothy Corbet, wife of Sir Richard Mainwaring and daughter of Sir Robert Corbet of Moreton Corbet, Shropshire by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Henry Vernon of Haddon. Elizabeth's mother was Anne, daughter of Sir John Talbot KG, 2nd Earl of Shrewsbury. Her family had property in Bridgnorth where her brother Thomas Ottley was returned as Member of Parliament in 1571. Like John Goldstone's grandfather Humphrey, also an MP for Bridgnorth, Adam Ottley was involved in the wool trade. He built Pitchford c.1560, on the site of an earlier property and it remains to this day, one of England's finest surviving Elizabethan manor houses. Pitchford Hall, in the same way as Goldstone, was owned by a succession of related families, until its sale in 1992. But as if by magic, in 2016 one of the Colthurst family, who had been the heirs of the Ottleys, bought it back again. SAVE Britain's Heritage put out a press release on 5th October 2016: Pitchford Hall - 'Sleeping Beauty Awakens', The Shropshire Star followed suit, capturing this historic moment with a piece headlined 'Fairytale Shropshire home awakens as family returns' (10th Nov 2016). It was a wonderful moment for Shropshire's historic heritage. This absolute treasure of a building is being completely renovated, and successfully brought back to life.
ABOVE - Tomb slab effigy of Dorothy Goldstone's parents, Adam & Mary Ottley of Pitchford. This can be seen inside the Parish Church of St. Michael & All Angels, Pitchford, to the right of the altar, along the south wall. Images representing their children, including one for Dorothy, are carved at the bottom of the slab.
The 1623 Visitation of Shropshire seems to have mixed up the marriages of two of Adam Ottley's daughters - it shows Dorothy as being the wife of an un-named man (Dorothea uxor ....), and her sister Eliza being the wife of Lancelot Ridly of Astley Abbotts, then after remarriage, presumably after Lancelot's death, the wife of John Goldstone of Dunval & Astley Abbotts in Shropshire. A transcription of the Herald's Visitation entry is copied below:
Eliza. uxor Lanceloti Ridly de Astley in com. Salop renupta Joh'i Go[u]lston de Dunwallin [et Astley] in com. Salop.
If this was correct, John Goldstone would perhaps have had to have married Elizabeth after the death of her first husband Lancelot Ridley, and then later married her sister Dorothy Ottley, naming one of their sons Lancelot in memory of Dorothy's late brother-in-law. However, in addition to the entry in the Pitchford registers recording the marriage of John Goldstone & Dorothy Ottley, these entries from the parish registers of Astley Abbotts confirm without doubt that the Visitation record was not correct:
Elisabeth Ridley wife of Lancelot Ridley died and was buryed the eighth day of December .
Launcelot Ridley gent was buried the 15th Day of November Anno Do[min]i 1619.
According to the pedigree in the visitation, Eliza and Dorothy's sister Mary married firstly Richard Crompton of Acton Burnell, then secondly Edward Walter, and then lastly Richard Eyton. Their other sisters were: Katherine who married John Hord of Bridgnorth, Ann who married George Kerry of Binweston, Johanna who married Thomas Heynes of Stretton and Jane who married Edward Fox. Of their brothers: the second son, Thomas Ottley married Chrisabella, daughter of Richard Lister of Rowton, and the eldest son Richard Ottley of Pitchford married Katherine the daughter of John Macworth of Betton Strange, in Shropshire.
John Goldstone died in 1598 and was buried at Astley Abbotts on 21st April 1598. Dorothy re-married as her second husband Thomas Medlicott on 26th May 1607 at Astley Abbotts. The Visitation of Shropshire and parish register recorded Thomas's surname as 'Medlicon' but his name was definitely a Medlicott, under which name he and Dorothy appear in later records.
John Goldstone and his wife Dorothy née Ottley of Pitchford had ten children:
(i) Richard Goldstone - bapt 14th August 1580 at Pitchford: Richard Gouldston the sonne of John Gouldston and Dorothie his wieff was baptised the 14 of August 1580. He died a few months later and was buried on 25th October 1580 at Astley Abbotts: Rycharde Goldston sonne of John Goldston died and was buryed the xxvth daye of October.
(ii) Francis Goldstone of Goldstone - bapt 23rd June 1583 at Astley Abbotts: ffrancis Goldston sonne of John Goldston was baptyzed the xxiiith daye of June. Inherited Goldstone as heir to his father (see below).
(iii) Lancelot Goldstone - bapt 20 October 1584 at Astley Abbotts: Lancelot Goldston was baptized the xxth Daye of October.
(iv) Jane Goldstone - bapt 12 October 1585 at Astley Abbotts: Jane Goldston daughter of John Goldston was baptyzed the xiith daye of October.
(v) Thomas Goldstone - bapt 14 January 1586/7 (i.e. 1587) at Astley Abbotts: Thomas Goldston sonne of John Goldston was baptized the xiiii daye of January. He is recorded as having died an infant.
(vi) Bridget Goldstone - bapt 13 January 1588/9 (i.e. 1589) at Astley Abbotts: Bridget Goldston daughter of John Goldston was baptyzed the xiiith daye of January. She married Thomas Wright on 31st January 1609 at Cheswardine.
(vii) Marie Goldstone - bapt 1st September 1592 at Astley Abbotts: Marie Goldston daughter of John Goldston was baptyzed the first daye of September.
(viii) Thomas Goldstone - bapt 2 June 1593 at Astley Abbotts: Thomas Goldston sonne of John Goldstone was baptyzed the seconde daye of June.
(ix) Katherine Goldstone - bapt 3 February 1594/5 (i.e. 1595) at Astley Abbotts: Katheren Goldston daughter of John Goldston was baptyzed the third daye of ffebruarye.
(x) Elizabeth Goldstone - bapt 20 July 1605 at Cheswardine: Elizabeth daughter of John Goldston was baptized 20 of July.
Francis Goldstone of Goldstone & Dunval (1583-1613)
married Susanna Whitton, daughter of Francis Whitton of Whitton, near Ludlow
Francis was born in 1583, presumably at Dunval, since his baptism was recorded at Astley Abbotts on 23rd June 1583. It appears that Francis is likely to have been the last of the family to have lived at Dunval. He was buried at Dunval's parish church, St. Calixtus Astley Abbotts on 10th January 1613. Members of the family continued to be buried at Astley Abbotts after this date - Francis' son and heir John Goldstone was buried there in 1638. It is likely that there was a family vault in the church or the surrounding churchyard, which would explain why John's body was returned to Astley Abbotts for burial rather than at Cheswardine. At the 1623 Visitation of Shropshire the Goldstones are recorded at Goldstone, and Richard Acton is recorded as being of Dunvall, with his wife Margrett da. of Michaell Lister of Rowton. Richard's father was Robert Acton of Aldenham, and his eldest brother Walter Acton of Aldenham. It appears that Francis Goldstone's grandson Lawrence Goldstone of Goldstone had married one of the Actons - this is detailed below, under the section dealing with Lawrence.
Francis brought a legal case against his mother and step-father. An account of the decision is recorded in papers from the Court of Chancery during the reign of James I, dated sometime 1603-1625. The Plaintiff is given as Francis Gouldston and the defendants were Thomas Medlicott and Dorothy Medlicott his wife. The case concerned a tenement and lands in Nordley in Astley Abbots, Shropshire. One potential reason that Francis brought the case could have been a claim to rights over land that were his inheritance from his father, which perhaps had been held in trust for him by his mother, together with her new husband Thomas. Francis would have come of age in 1604, and since his mother married Thomas Medlicott in 1607, the case must have been brought sometime from that year.
His father had died in 1598, the same year that his great uncle Thomas Goldstone of Coventry died. If, as the Visitation suggested, Thomas had been the eldest son and held Goldstone, then Francis would have come to inherit that estate in due course. This might therefore explain the family's subsequent move from their home at Dunval, 'back' to Goldstone. But if Thomas had a son Thomas, and Francis's father John Goldstone was the eldest son, then events would have been influenced by other factors. It does appear much more likely that John inherited Goldstone, not Thomas, but the family continued living at Dunval.
Francis married Susanna Whitton, daughter of Francis Whitton of Whitton near Ludlow. Susanna is named as benefactress to the poor on a board inside Cheswardine Church, having donated £3. As Anne Goldston she also appears in a Conveyance of the Manor of Whitton dated 10th May 1609 - the Shropshire Records reference is: The Whitton Estate, Manorial records, Manor of Whitton and property in Wotton, Whitton, Burford and Cainham. From the scope and content, the following is provided: Lease from Frauncis Whitton [father of Susanna Goldstone] to John Spicer, of the reversion of a tenement leased to Edward James, for lives of John Whitton, Elizabeth Whitton and Anne Goldston. rent 26s 8d. Note: John, Elizabeth and Anne may have been siblings.
Another note from the Memorandums of Goldstone Manor that appears to be another extract from the Court Rolls of Arcoll records details about the marriage of Francis Goldstone to Susanna Whitton:
Note. 1605 february 20th
- 3rd James 1st A Marriage Settlement is dated and a fine suffered wherein Dorothie Goldstone of Dunval in the County of Salop and Francis Goldstone of Dunval her son and son & heir apparent of John Goldstone of Goldstone deceased in Consideration of a Marriage already had & solemnized between the said Francis Goldstone and Susan, one of the daughters of Francis Whitton Esq of Whitton in the said County of Salop and of 280 pounds paid by the said Dorothie and Francis Goldstone settled all their Estates in Abbotts Astley Goldstone Nordly Bridgnorth Dunval & Cheswardine in the County of Salop to several Trustees therein named & to several uses.
In the margins on the same page is a note that:
in the said Court Rolls no Herriott appears to be paid on the death of the said Francis.
Inside on the wall of the Vestry of St. Swithun's Cheswardine is a large board recording The names of those Pious - BENEFACTORS - who have given MONEY to the POOR of the Parish of CHESWARDINE. One of those listed is Susanna Goldstone, wife of Francis Goldstone as detailed above. Also listed on the board is her husband's Great Uncle Thomas Hunt of Gouldstone, another relation of the Goldstones Mr Richard Jervis of Chipnall and the Goldstone's 19th century successor, a connected relation, William Vardon Esq of Goldstone Hall (of whom more is written below). Other names on the board include representatives of families whose names have been well known in the area.
ABOVE - the board in the Vestry recording the names of benefactors to the Poor.
Francis Goldstone, above, succeeded his father to the Goldstone estates. He died in January 1613. The burial of ffrancis Gouldston gentilman is recorded in the Parish Registers of Astley Abbotts on 10th January - he was probably buried in a family vault or plot. No will seems to survive but there does appear to be a reference to him having written one in 1611. An Inventory of his possessions was made on 18th January 1613 and Probate was granted on 30th January. The Inventory begins with these words:
Inventory of Francis Goldestone, taken on 18th January 1612/13
A true and perfecte Inventorye of all the goodes Cattells and Chattells of Francis Goldestone of Goldstone in the parishe of Cheswardine in the Countie of Salloppe, gent, deceased, taken, valued & prysed the 18th day of Januarie in the yeare of our Lorde god according to the computation of the churche of Englande one thousande sixe hundred and twelve [i.e. 1613] and in the tenth reigne of our soveraigne Lorde James by the grace of god of Englande, Fraunce and Irelande, king, defender of the faith, and of Scotlande the 46th, etcm prysed by Richard Smithiman, Raphe Tilston, Richarde Corfielde & Chrystopher Mulliners.
It is clear that it was towards the end of Francis's life that the family had begun to shift its focus back to Goldstone. Some of his children were baptised at Cheswardine, some at Astley Abbotts. Francis himself was buried at Astley Abbotts, but his Inventory called him 'Francis Goldstone of Goldstone' rather than Dunval, even though the family clearly still held Dunval and were sometimes resident there at least until the baptism of Francis's son Humphrey in 1610.
Francis and Susanna had at least six children, as follows (order of birth unconfirmed):
(i) Anne Goldstone - bapt 18th December 1603 at Cheswardine: Anne daughter of ffrancis Goldston was baptized the 18 of Decemeber. It may be thought that she is the Anne Goldston who is mentioned in the Conveyance of the Manor of Whitton dated 10th May 1609, detailed above; however it seems that it relates to a lease by her grandfather Francis Whitton and mentions her mother Susanna (as Anne) and her uncle and aunt John Whitton and Elizabeth Whitton. Further research may reverse the view that the Anne Goldston mentioned is Anne Goldstone, daughter of Susanna & Francis Goldstone.
(ii) Elizabeth Goldstone - married [William?] Poole. She is known from being mentioned in her brother John's Will in September 1638.
(iii) John Goldstone of Goldstone - bapt 28th August 1608 at Astley Abbotts. heir to his father (see below). John married Elizabeth Thompson daughter of Lawrence Thompson of Drayton-in-Hales. Elizabeth was born in 1610 and died in 1643. John died in 1638 and was buried on 8th October 1638 at Astley Abbotts. His will is dated 13th September 1638 and proved the following month at Lichfield on 22nd October. They had five children, as detailed below. John's widow Elizabeth married again - her second husband was Griffith Crouch, son of Reginald Cryche / Crouch of The Hill, Cheswardine. Griffith's sister Dorothy married Thomas Jervis. These two Crouch marriages came to have great significance for the Cheswardine and Goldstone estates, for it was Griffith and Dorothy's descendants who would ultimately succeed to and inherit both. In addition, the Jervises later became joint lords of the manor of Cheswardine and at one time owned the minority of Goldstone not already owned by the descendants of Griffith & Elizabeth Crouch, who succeeded their Goldstone cousins as lords of the manor of Goldstone. All of this is explained and detailed further below.
(iv) Humphrey Goldstone of Drayton-in-Hales; bapt 19th April 1610 at Astley Abbotts: Humffrey Goldston sonne of ffrancis Gouldston was baptized the xixth day of April 1610. He married Margaret Sheare, known as 'Margery' and otherwise recorded as Margery Shore (Shaw?) on 24th May 1631, at St Mary's Church, Drayton-in-Hales. Humphrey died in 1624. Like his father, no will survives, but an inventory of his possessions does, headed by the following: Inventory of Humfry Gouldston, 1642 / A perfite Inventory of the goods Cattells and Chattells of Humfry Gouldston late of Drayton in Hales in the County of Salop, deceased, taken and prised the nyne and twentieth day of May Anno Domini one thousand six hundred forty two, by us whose names are heare under written (signed at the bottom of the inventory: Thomas Wriggle, Thomas Wolley, William Brodhurst and William Bayly). An Administration Bond also survives dated 2nd July 1642, granting administration to Humphrey’s widow Margery Gouldston of Drayton. Humphrey is known to have held some lands in Drayton-in-Hales as he is mentioned in some deeds relating to the Chetwynd/ Puleston estate in relation to a Lease dated 24th July 1641 (in the 17th year of the reign of Charles I). The Goldstone Estate included land in Drayton-in-Hales (i.e. Market Drayton) into the 20th century, but it is not yet known if they equated to those mentioned in 1641. The relevant documents within the Goldstone estate archives have not all been transcribed. Whatever, the Scope and Content records the following: Lease for 2 lives - The Rt. Hon. Robert Viscount Killmorey in Ireland and the Hon. Robert Nedham his son to Robert Blakeway of Drayton in Hales, one of his lordships servants, and Anne his wife, Lease of a messuage in Drayton called the Phenix. Also lands. [.......further down after mention of other land].............. 2 other lands lie on a flatt "shuting down" towards the Meare lane between land now or late in the holding of Mary Lea eastward and turning south upon land now or late in the holding of Humphrey Gouldston, 2 other lands lie in a short flatt in the Meare Field between land now or late in the holding of Humphrey Steventon towards the west and land now or late in the holding of John Grippon towards the west and shuting endways towards the South on the way leading to Betton.
(v) Richard Goldstone of Shrewsbury, Draper - baptised on 6th February 1611/12 (i.e. 1612) at Cheswardine: Richard the son of ffrancis Goldstone gent. was bapt the 6th ffebruary. He married Anne Poyner on 10th July 1638 at St. Chad's Church, Shrewsbury: Ju;y 10 Richard Gouldstone and Ann Poyner with Licence. The name 'Poyner' appears in an old Deed relating to the Goldstones and Dunval, in 1544 - whether this is coincidental or there may be a connection cannot be known without further investigation. Richard is mentioned in the records of The Drapers' Company of Shrewsbury as having been apprenticed in 1628: Gouldstone, Richard, s. [son of] Francis, of Goldstone, gent. 1628. Eight years later Richard became a Burgess of Shrewsbury; the Shrewsbury Burgess Roll records him as follows: GOWLDSTON, Richard, of Shrewsbury, Draper, son of Francis of Gowldston, Esq. Admitted [as a Burgess in] 1636. A number of Richard's Hunt relations are also recorded in the Shrewsbury Burgess Roll. He died in 1644 and left a will dated 1st May 1643, which mentions two children, a son Francis and a daughter Ann.
(b) Francis Goldstone - named after his grandfather Francis Goldstone of Goldstone and Dunval. He was mentioned in his father's will dated 1st May 1643.
(a) Anne Goldstone - named after her mother, and perhaps also her Goldstone grandmother, who although appearing as 'Susanna' and 'Susan' is also mentioned as Anne in a Whitton deed. Anne Golston daughter of Richard & Anne Golston was bapt. at St, Chad's Shrewsbury on 4th August 1642 and died (or was buried there) on 19th August 1648.
(vi) Jane Goldstone - she was born posthumously after the death of her father and was baptised on 22nd June 1613 at Cheswardine. Very sadly she died in 1620 and was buried at Cheswardine on 5th October 1620.
John Goldstone of Goldstone (1608-1638)
married Elizabeth Thompson, daughter of Lawrence Thompson, Mercer, of Drayton-in-Hales
As mentioned above, John Goldstone was born in 1608, the son of Francis & Susanna Goldstone. Since he was baptised at St. Calixtus Astley Abbotts on 28th August 1608, it is likely that he was born at Dunval. John's father died in January 1613 and was buried at Astley Abbotts. This followed the death of John's great uncle Thomas Goldstone c.1598, and the two events may have been the catalyst for the move of the family's centre of operations to Goldstone itself.
He married Elizabeth Thompson daughter of Lawrence Thompson, a Mercer of nearby Drayton-in-Hales on 23rd July 1629 at St. Mary's Church Drayton-in-Hales (i.e. Market Drayton). Elizabeth was born in 1610 and died in 1643.
John & Elizabeth appear to have had at least five children, as follows:
(i) John Goldstone - born in 1630, bapt at Drayton-in-Hales on 28th August 1630. John was buried at Cheswardine on 4th June 1636, at the age of 5. The 1623 Visitation of Shropshire states that John was the eldest son and died aged five.
(ii) Lawrence Goldstone of Goldstone - born in 1632 and baptised at Drayton-in-Hales on 2nd December 1632. Lawrence was Heir to his father (see below). The 1623 Visitation of Shropshire states that Lawrence was John and Elizabeth's second son.
(iii) Francis Goldstone - bapt 14 March 1634 at Cheswardine; he died only nine years later and his burial at Cheswardine is recorded in the parish register: ffrancis gouldston buried ye first day of June 1643.
(iv) Susanna Goldstone - bapt 11 April 1637 at Cheswardine. She is most likely to be the same Susanna Goldstone who was buried at Cheswardine on 2nd September 1637.
(v) Elizabeth Goldstone - married Richard Luttwich (or 'Lutwyche') 15th March 1676 at Cheswardine. This marriage was also recorded in the Harleian Society's Staffordshire Pedigrees 1664-1700 compiled from the Heralds Visitation of Staffordshire 1663-4 page 204, the Lutwich family of Swinerton. This branch was (according to the Harleian publication) founded by Stocket Lutwich [Lutwyche], Rector of Swinerton in Staffordshire - he was a second son, the eldest being Edward Lutwich of Lutwich in Shropshire. The family were from Lutwyche in the parish of Easthope in south Shropshire. Stocket married Joane Benbow and had a son John Lutwich of Blakelow juxt. Swinerton who was living at Darlaston in Staffordshire in 1680. Coincidentally, Darlaston had been held in the medieval period by the Goldstones' heirs, the Vardons of Goldstone - see below. John married Catherine daughter of Richard Parker of Audley, Staffordshire; their first son was John of Seighford, near Stafford, and their second son was Richard Lutwich of Snape Hall in Whitmore in the parish of Stoke [on Trent]. Richard Luttwich married twice. The Heralds did not know the name and parentage of one wife, but she appears to have been Richard's second wife; his other wife was recorded in the visitation as a daughter of ......Golston of Golston co. Salop - we now know that her name was Elizabeth. The date of their marriage suggests that she was John & Elizabeth Goldstone's daughter, but no record of her christening exists.
John died in 1638 and was buried on 8th October, like his father and so many other members of the family at St. Calixtus, Astley Abbotts. He wrote a detailed will only a short time before he died - it is dated 13th September 1638 and was proved at Lichfield on 22nd October 1638. He signs his name as John Gouldstone but is recorded by the person who drew up the Will as John Gouldston of Gouldston in the County of salop Gentleman; the outer wrapping that encloses the will and record of chattels etc, gives his name as John Goldston, Goldston. This serves to confirm the lack of consistency in the spelling of surnames that appear written in documents at this time.
Amongst the people John mentions in his Will are:
Elizabeth my lovinge wife
Lawrance Gouldston my sonne and heir
ffrancis my youngest sonne
my loving Brother Richard Gouldston
my loving Brother Humfrey Gouldston
my loving Sister Elizabeth Poole
my Brother Poole (who may be mentioned later in the Will as 'William Poole')
my loving ffatherinlaw Lawrance Tomson
my Brotherinlaw Lawrence Tomson and to his wife
my Brotherinlaw Wedgwood & to his wife (Sowdley/Soudley Wedgwood - he was probably the husband of a sister of John Goldstone's wife Elizabeth Thompson, or otherwise, a sister of John himself)
John's father-in-law Lawrence Tomson and brother-in-law Lawrence Tompson junior sign as two of the witnesses to the Will. The other witnesses seem to be: Sowdley Wedgwood, and Nath.[____?]. Sowdley or otherwise Soudley Wedgwood was the son of Margaret Soudley, daughter of John & Katherine (née Hanmer) Soudley, and her husband William Wedgwood of Biddulph. William was the great uncle of Josiah Wedgwood, the famous potter.
After John Goldstone's death in 1638, his Widow Elizabeth re-married (as her second husband) Griffith Cryche of Cheswardine (otherwise Crouch, or as in his Will 'Croyetch'), son of Reginald Cryche (Crouch), who Ruth Donaldson-Hudson, in her history of Cheswardine, refers to as Renald Cryche of The Hill, Cheswardine - this place was otherwise called Hill Hall, which is understood to have been located on the same site as today's Cheswardine Hall. Renald Crych was baptised at Cheswardine on 22nd June 1563. He was the son of John Crych of Cheswardine, whose Will was dated 24th January 1585/6 (i.e. 1586) and mentions within in both his son Reynald Cryche and wife Elizabeth. John Crych may have been the son of Ralph Cryche who is found recorded with his wife Joan in the 1530s, at Cheswardine in Shropshire and at Wetwood in the parish of Eccleshall, Staffordshire. Wetwood is located between Chatcull and Cheswardine. Here is a transcription of what is recorded:
Paroche de Cheswerden (Cheswardine):
Ralph Criche, Joan, uxor eius, William Bowde, sp'us, cum pueris. [page 55]
Ralph Criche, Joan, uxor eius, William Bowde, sp'us. [page 103]
It seems that sp'us indicates that William Bowde was Joan's first husband. Cum pueris clearly indicates that they had sons.
Source: A List of Families in the Archdeaconry of Stafford 1532-3. Stafford Record Society, 1976. (view online copy here)
A pedigree compiled in 1870 from old records provides helpful details about Reginald Crouch and his son Griffith, showing the connections between the Crouch, Hayward and Vardon families. It states that Griffith was born in 1592 and died in 1676, aged 84.
ABOVE - a section from the pedigree mentioned above showing the Crouch / Thomson / Pegg / Hayward connections.
ABOVE - (to left) Reginald Crouch's coat of arms on a shield and (right) his son Griffith Crouch's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Elizabeth (née Thompson).
Elizabeth appears to have been Griffith's second wife, since the parish registers of Cheswardine record that Griffith Crich married Mary Virggs there on 9th July 1614. The family's surname is also found recorded as Cryche, Croych, Croyetch, and Chrych, before being later mentioned as Crouch. Perhaps they originated at Crich in Derbyshire.
Since Elizabeth and her first husband John Goldstone's last child, Susanna was born in 1637 and John died in 1638, she married Griffith Crouch soon after - probably late 1638 or early 1639 when their first child and only daughter Margaret was born. Griffith and Elizabeth had a son born in 1641, named 'Griffith' after his father, and baptised at Cheswardine as the parish register records: Griffith sonne of Gryffyth Croych was baptized the 20th day of ffebruarie 1641.
Mention is made of the Thompson and Crouch families in a lease dated 24th July 1649, which is found within documents from the Vardon Family's Goldstone estate archives relating to the manors of Betton and Tyrley and property in Drayton-in-Hales. The originals are held in Shropshire Archives. The lease itself records the following:
Scope and Content
January 166[?]- : Assignment 1. Lawrence Tompson of Drayton in Hales, mercer 2. Frauncis Steuenton of t. Almington, co. Stafford, husbandman Of enclosure called the Coate Leasowe and the Coate 'therevppon nowe standinge' for 21 years from 2 February next. Rent: 6d. Consideration: £35. Property is part that in Lease 24 July 1649 by (i) Richard Church of Tunstall; Robert Sandford of Roudone; James Prowd of Little Drayton, gents., to (ii) Lawrance Tompson (party) of 1/3rd of m. or tmt. in Almington and lands, etc. in tenure of Richard Preston of Almington, husbandman, and 1/3rd of pasture called the Ould Springe ('Sixe Beastes grasse') in lordship of Terly, co. Stafford For lives of Richard Preston, Judith Preston, his dter., and Griffith Croytch son of Griffith Croytch of Gouldston at 10s. rent.
'Griffith Croytch son of Griffith Croytch of Gouldston' may be the boy who was born at Cheswardine in 1614 (see above). When Griffith senior's 1676 Will makes no mention of his son Griffith, so one presumes the younger man had died by then.
The Crouch family were related to the Soudleys and Griffith's mother may very well have been a Soudley, as suggested by the following extracts from an incomplete transcription from bundles of old family papers - these ones are headed:
Sundry Miscellaneous papers relating to the Property of Edward Hayward Esq:-
Item 1: notes Concerning Gouldstone - ___? 1676
Christopher Mullmors and Tho. Mullmors did gett unto John Soudley one moittie of a livinge in Gouldstone, for ye Consideration of 14th for 21 years which indenture.......
Griffith Soudley did by his last will & testament grant unto Griffith Crouch all the abovementioned Lands.
8th July 1603: Griffith Sowdley by will in writing devised all his lands to Reynold Sowdley, John Sowdley & Griffith Crouch And their heirs male successively And for want of such issue to the right heirs of the said Griffith Sowdley.
These notes show how the Soudley and Crouch lands became attached to those of the Goldstones through Edward Pegg and Thomas Hayward (see below). It is thought that as well as land in Goldstone the Crouch-Soudley inheritance may have included Soudley lands in Ellerton. Griffithe Sowdeleye was baptised at Cheswardine on 12th July 1566. It may well be that he was the brother-in-law of Reginald Crouch, thus explaining how his son, Griffith Crouch, came to be named.
As mentioned above, Griffith Crouch, second husband of Elizabeth Thompson, widow of John Goldstone, died in 1676, aged 84. The Will and Inventory of Griffith Croyetch of Gouldston in the Count[y] of Salop Yeoman survives amongst the Lichfield Consistory Court Wills (1650-1700) and is dated 30th July 1676. In it he first mentions Jane Croyetch my loving wife, which immediately tells us that he remarried after the death of Elizabeth. His principal heirs appear to have been his daughter Margaret and her husband, Griffith's son-in-law, Edward Slaney. Others mentioned included his grandsons Griffith Slaney (the elder brother) and Richard Slaney, sons of Edward & Margaret, Lawrence Gouldston his sonn in law (i.e. his step-son). Griffith stipulated that the estate should pass in sucession from Edward & Margaret to their elder son Griffith, then Richard, and after that to their sisters. He leaves houses and lands in the parishes of Cheswardine and Hinstock, and makes Edward Slaney his Executor. He ends his Will saying that it is his will and desire that Jane my living wife may live in my howse one halffe yeare after my decease. The house he refers to was not Goldstone Hall, where one assumes he had lived previously after marrying the widowed Elizabeth Goldstone. The reason for this conclusion was that (as detailed below), Lawrence Goldstone was in residence there by 1672 and Griffith was living in another property in Goldstone. Perhaps Griffith and his wife Jane were living in a property next to the Hall - where Goldstone Hall Farm or Goldstone Manor Farm were found at a later date. Griffith's inheritance ultimately passed to Jane Slaney who married Thomas Hayward and her sister Wilmot Slaney who married John Pegg, and as is detailed below, John's son Edward ended up marrying Lawrence Goldstone's daughter Jane.
John and Elizabeth Goldstone's eldest son Lawrence was the heir to Goldstone.
Lawrence Goldstone of Goldstone (1632-1693)
married Elizabeth, who appears to have been Elizabeth Acton a daughter of Richard Acton of Dunval and widow of Robert Hanbury
Lawrence was born in 1632, the second son of John & Elizabeth Goldstone of Goldstone and named after his maternal grandfather Lawrence Thompson of Drayton in Hales, Mercer. His birth may have been in late November or at the start of December, since he was baptised at Drayton-in-Hales on 2nd December 1632. After the death of his brother John in 1636, Lawrence was recognised as heir to his father.
Lawrence's father died in 1638 when he was still too young to inherit. As a result, he became a Ward to Sir John Corbet, Lord of the Manor of Childs Ercall, who had been created a Baronet by Charles I. Sir John sold the wardship to Lawrence's mother Elizabeth, and his grandfather Lawrence Thompson, with the proviso that they had to present Lawrence at Sir John's house every two years for 14 years until he came of age i.e. 21 years old.
The Memorandums of Goldstone Manor record another extract from the Court Rolls of Arcoll as follows:
1639 - 14 King Charles 1st On the death of John Goldstone Lawrence Goldstone then an Infant fell ward to Sir John Corbet and Lawrence Thompson & Elizabeth (his mother) paid £40 to the said Sir John Corbet in in Consideration of his assigning over to them by deed his wardship and Management of his Estate for fourteen years till of Age counterpart of which Deed Sir Robert Corbet has.
One historian has said that this transaction not only showed that the Corbets were the Goldstone's feudal superiors but also that their tenure was one of military service.
ABOVE - the coat of arms of Lawrence Goldstone of Goldstone, on an old decorative wooden shield that William Vardon had made. William was one of Lawrence's related successors at Goldstone. The coat of arms is identical to the one that features in the Heralds' Visitation of Shropshire of 1623.
Lawrence succeeded to the Goldstone estates and is recorded as having been Lord of the Soil of Goldstone - in other words, Lord of the Manor of Goldstone.
Either before or after inheriting, Lawrence married a lady called Elizabeth, of whom nothing more is currently known, but she may have been a member of the Acton family, possibly Elizabeth Acton, daughter of Richard Acton of Dunval and the widowed wife of Robert Hanbury. Lawrence and Elizabeth's first child Bridget was buried at Acton Scot in 1661, and their second child Maria was baptised there the following year. Acton Scott lies in south west Shropshire, a place the Goldstones are not known to have had any connection with until this time. There are some interesting hints that Lawrence's wife Elizabeth was one of the Actons, or at the very least that an Acton connection existed. The reason for thinking this is that Robert Acton of Aldenham had three sons by his wife Bridget Doddington of Doddington. The 2nd son, Richard Acton was the first of the family to live at Dunval Hall, after the Goldstones had moved their principal residence back to Goldstone. He died in 1651. The eldest son, Walter Acton of Aldenham married his cousin Frances, daughter of Edward Acton of Acton Scott, and by this marriage gained inheritance of Acton Scott by right of his wife. Walter Acton of Aldenham served as High Sheriff of Shropshire in 1629. Their son and heir was Sir Edward Acton of Aldenham Hall who was created a Baronet on 17th January 1644, for his loyalty to Charles I.
Richard Acton of Dunval had eight children, including a daughter called Elizabeth, a son called Edward and two other daughters called Bridget and Mary - these last three were names used for Lawrence's children. Perhaps Elizabeth is the lady who married Lawrence Goldstone, after her marriage to Robert Hanbury. However, if Lawrence did marry this Elizabeth, she would have been 15 years older than Lawrence at the time and 52 years old when their last child was born - this is not impossible, and many other similar examples of age differences can be found at that time, but it may make the marriage seem much less likely. Elizabeth was born in 1618, and baptised at Astley Abbotts; the parish register records that Elizabeth Acton daughter of Richard Acton was baptised the 17th day of January 1617 (i.e. Church year 1617, Calendar year 1618). Elizabeth's older brother Walter Acton inherited Dunval but died without issue in 1655. The Will of Walter Acton of Dunvall in the parish of Abbotts Astley is dated 21st July 1654, and was proved on 28th May 1655. In his Will, he mentions his sister Elizabeth Hanbury Widow, and his deceased ffather Richard Acton of Dunvall. This means that Elizabeth would have been free to have married Lawrence Goldstone sometime before 1661, when their first child was buried at Acton Scott. Walter left his Mansion house known by the name Dunvall to his younger brother Edward. This same Edward Acton of Dunvall is recorded as having married as his second wife, Elizabeth Goold on 19th June 1684 at St. Leonard's Church, Bridgnorth - it is tempting to wonder if 'Goold' may have been a mis-representation of the name 'Gouldston' (Goldstone). Lawrence Goldstone's surviving son and heir was named 'Edward' - this was the first time that any of the Goldstone family was christened with the name Edward. The link between Aldenham, Dunval, Acton Scott and the Goldstones may be entirely coincidental, but it does appear that Lawrence's wife Elizabeth was born an Acton. More research is required to confirm with absolute certainty that she was the daughter of Richard Acton of Dunval, another Acton or someone from another family altogether.
The period of Lawrence's childhood coincided with the Civil War and at this time the family appears to have faded somewhat - whether there is any connection with the next generation's move to London is not known, but perhaps a study of the Corbets' history may illuminate matters further. The Goldstone's relation Thomas Hunt was a leading Parliamentarian in Shropshire as was Sir John Corbet - if they had been on the Royalist side, like their Ottley cousins, they may have suffered penalties; but if they owed military allegiance to Sir John Corbet then they may have supported the cause of parliament. Blakeway records, in reference to Sir John: This gentleman was one of those five illustrious patriots worthy of the eternal gratitude of their country, who opposed the forced loan in 1627, a most illegal measure of CHARLES I, while under the sway of Buckingham; which, if it had succeeded, would have turned this limited monarchy into a Turkish despotism.
The Actons were Royalists. Sir Edward Acton 1st Baronet, son of Walter Acton of Aldenham was a Colonel in the royalist army and took part in the Battle of Edgehill. He was present at the siege of Bridgnorth, which he represented as one of its Members of Parliament in the Long Parliament, and Short Parliament, as well as sitting in Charles I's Oxford Parliament. It was his uncle Richard Acton who became the first of that family to reside at Dunval, after the departure of the Goldstones, and whose widowed daughter Elizabeth is believed to have become the wife of Lawrence Goldstone.
Whichever side the Goldstone family were on during the Civil War, there is an old family legend that is said to date from this time and is still recounted today, about a royalist cavalier who hid his 'treasure' at Goldstone, to keep it out of the hands of Cromwell's men. However, if the story has any origin in events from those days, it is quite likely that the man collected his goods some time afterwards. Alternatively, if the story is not true, the tale is very likely to have been invented to keep children busy hunting for the treasure, thereby leaving their parents to enjoy some peace and quiet - certainly every inch of the cellars were searched many times over and the grounds around the Hall also. Some thirty years ago a metal detector that joined the hunt only managed to turn up some old pennies and useless bits of scrap metal!
In the 1672 'Hearth Tax Roll' for Shropshire, Goldstone was recorded with Ercall Parva (i.e. Childs Ercall), in the Hundred of Bradford North. Mr Lawrence Goldston was recorded as having had 4 hearths and paid tax of £0 and 8 shillings. It is very clear from the records that Lawrence was regarded as the second most important person in Childs Ercall and Goldstone. This can be deduced from the records of other people listed in these places, for example the most significant person recorded was The Lady Corbett who had 10 hearths taxed at £1; the only other person with 4 hearths to match Lawrence's was Thomas Hotchkys but Lawrence was the only person listed in Ercall Parva and Goldstone who was accorded the form of address 'Mr'. This indicated his status as a Gentleman, and would place him appropriately as lord of the manor of Goldstone in relation to Lady Corbett who was lord of the manor of Childs Ercall. Interestingly, Griffith Crouch is also listed, 4 years before his death, and was recorded as having 2 hearths paying tax of £0 and 4 shillings.
The last mention of Lawrence, before he died, was in 1690, when his name is recorded in the Court of Quarter Sessions for Shropshire, January 1660 to April 1694. An abstract of the Orders made by this court was published by Shropshire County Records and edited by R. Lloyd Kenyon. Lawrence is mentioned on page 125:
Muster Roll Mem. to enter in the Muster Roll Mr. Lawrence Gouldston instead of Reynold Harper.
The Quarter Sessions were when Shropshire's Justices of the Peace met, at Epiphany, Easter, Midsummer and Michaelmas. In 1690, Easter Sunday was on 26th March. It is possible that this Muster Roll related to the Hundred of South Bradford, but that is still to be confirmed. Lawrence would have been aged 57 at the time.
Lawrence Goldstone died in January 1693. The parish register of Cheswardine records that Lawrence Gouldstone Gent. was buryed Jan: 11th Certified Jan: 17th 1692/3 (i.e. 1693 in today's calendar) - this certification meant he was buried in a woollen shroud. A series of Acts of Parliament in the reigns of Charles I and II made it law that all had to be buried in English wool, rather than foreign cloth, except the victims of plague and those too poor to afford a woollen shroud. His wife Elizabeth died in November 1684 and was buried at Cheswardine - the parish register entry reads: Mrs Elizabeth Gouldston was buried November ye 22nd certified November ye 25th.
He and his wife Elizabeth are known to have had at least six children:
(i) Bridget Goldstone - Bridget Gouldston is recorded as having been buried at Acton Scott on 19th April 1661. She is assumed to be the first child of Lawrence & Elizabeth Goldstone.
(ii) Maria Goldstone - bapt 31 July 1662 at Acton Scott, Maria daughter of Laurence & Elizabeth Gouldston.
(iii) Edward Goldstone of Goldstone - heir to his father, born sometime before 1667. See details below.
(iv) John Goldstone - bapt 20th October 1666, buried 3rd December 1666 at Cheswardine.
(v) a son - died in infancy; buried 1st December 1667 at Cheswardine.
(vi) Jane Goldstone - bapt 27th February 1669 at Cheswardine. It appears that it was this Jane Goldstone who married her much younger cousin Edward Pegg (see below) on 4th December 1718 at St. Mildred Poultry in the City of London, and the Goldstone estate, manor and lordship passed to them (see further details below). Jane died in 1757 and her burial was recorded in the Parish Register of Cheswardine with these words under the heading of '1757': Jane the wife of Mr Edward Pegg bur: May: 13. As detailed below, it is this record that helps to reconfirm that Edward's wife cannot have been Edward Goldstone's daughter Jane, but is his sister, one of the daughters of Lawrence Goldstone.
Lawrence Goldstone's heir was his eldest known, and only surviving son Edward Goldstone.
Edward Goldstone of Goldstone (bef. 1667 - 1730)
— married Joanna / Johanna. Edward was the last of the male Goldstones of Goldstone. His sister Jane married their cousin Edward Pegg, to whom Goldstone was transferred. Edward and Jane resided at Goldstone.
Edward Goldstone of Goldstone was probably born sometime before 1667, perhaps at Acton Scott, like his sister Maria, as his baptism does not appear in the registers of Cheswardine. He is mentioned in the Letters of Administration (or inventory of property) of of his father, dated 12th April 1695, as follows:
Appeared Edward Goldstone and affirmed that Lawrence Gouldston, whilst he lived of the parish of Cheswardine in the county of Staff [sic], died intestate and that he was the natural and lawful son of the deceased.
Edward married Joanna ___? (her name was otherwise recorded as spelled 'Johanna'). In view of their possibly second child being baptised, and most likely born in the parish of Hay-on-Wye in 1700, where Joanna was recorded as having died in 1745 (see below), Joanna's family may have come from that area of the Welsh borders. It would also explain why they gave a Welsh name to their younger son 'Gwynn' Goldstone.
The Memorandums of Goldstone Manor record that Edward received Chief Rent from all houses in Goldstone except one, which paid a herriott to the Corbets. Chief Rent was the customary annual payment by freeholders to the lord of the manor.
ABOVE - from the cover of the Memorandums of Goldstone Manor.
A transcription of a page from the document entitled on its cover: Memorandums of Goldstone Manor appears to have been compiled by Thomas Hayward of Goldstone (see below), or his nephew Edward Hayward of Goldstone. The reference at the bottom of the cover: 'EH No.69' seems to suggest Edward Hayward's authorship, but it is perhaps more likely to be his reference in relation to something Thomas Hayward wrote, or perhaps even Edward Pegg, despite the third party references to his name. What is certain is that it is not written in Edward Hayward’s hand. Further examination of their signatures and writing should confirm who wrote the notes in this document. On the inside cover is written the words: '8 pages'.
The details below are from the last page of the Memorandums of Goldstone Manor:-
Edward Goldstone of Goldstone received Chief Rent from every House in Goldstone except one – his father fell the Timber on the Waste [i.e. ‘the Waste’/ Goldstone Common] & was reputed Lord of the Soil his Grandfather gather’d Ways & Strays as appears by a Woman about 70 who had it from her Mother who was a servant to him. The whole Town [i.e. Township, of Goldstone] appear only at Wellington Court Leet Lord Bradford being Lord Paramount. Their’s [i.e. ‘there are’] only three cottages on the Wast One built near 40 years, since had a Lease granted by Mr Goldstone’s father & pays 5s per Annum one built long before is now and ever has been in ye memory of Man in Possession of Mr Goldstone and Ancestors the other built for a pauper by the Parish consent about 30 years since pays nothing to any body. Sr Robert Corbet has the Coppy of an old Court Roll which he shewed to Edward Pegg in the year 1736 wherein one Tilstone that lived in the House that does not pay Mr Goldstone Cheif rent was fined at Sr Robert’s Court at Arcol for keeping a base Woman in his House. Sr Robert has a Herriot from that house but no Chief [Rent] from any in Town[ship of Goldstone] though that House which was purchased from the Eytons and Two more in the Town have paid Chief to the heirs of the Eytons and to the persons they sold to
Arthur Meeson pd 2s for one that was Wicks & 6d for his old Estates as Chief to ye Eytons each [?] Chief rent. Mr Jervis purchased from ye Eytons & after Purchased part of Meeson Estate & then released both sd Cheifs to Meason.
Measons Old Estate is nearest to Mr Jervis’s.
Edd Goldstone from whom Mr E. Pegg Purchased recd 2d from one & 6d from the other of Meason’s two Houses the same as [the] Eytons did.
There is mention below, on another page that:
he (Mr Jervis) relinquished and gave up the Claim.
This document from the Memorandums of Goldstone Manor provides some fascinating anecdotal insights about property ownership in Goldstone at the time. It tells us that Edward Goldstone the elder was understood to have received Chief Rent in his capacity as lord of the manor of Goldstone, and that whatever Chief Rent the Eytons once received from Meason's two houses in Goldstone, those houses later paid that Chief Rent to Edward Goldstone. It seems that 'the persons' the Eytons sold to were the Goldstones' cousins the Jervises of Cheswardine; but although 'Mr Jervis' released 'both said Chiefs to Meason', it was the Goldstones who ended up being paid those chief rents. Perhaps this was linked to the statement that Mr Jervis 'relinquished and gave up the Claim', and perhaps he did so because he recognised that these chief rents were due to the Goldstones as lords of Goldstone and not to himself as owner of a moiety of the neighbouring manor of Cheswardine. Edward Goldstone was the brother of Jane Goldstone, and therefore became brother-in-law to Edward Pegg, their cousin, on his marriage to Jane. Ownership of Goldstone was passed to Pegg in connection with the resulting marriage settlement - this is covered in more detail further below.
ABOVE - The original page from which the transcription above was made.
Edward was recorded as Churchwarden of Cheswardine in 1709. He died on 13th March 1730 (1729 in old form), aged 63 years and was buried at Cheswardine on 16th March 1729/30: Mr Edward Goldston bur March 16th. This places his birth in approximately 1666/7. His family had a brass memorial tablet erected to his memory and this is now on the south wall of St. Swithun's Church Cheswardine, underneath the memorial to his relative Edward Hayward (see mention of and inscription below). The words on the memorial to Edward Goldstone (mis-spelling the way he and his family wrote their surname) are:
THE BODY OF
WHO DIED 13TH MARCH
AGED 63 YEARS
There is a separate note that he died in 1730, which concurs with the entry in the parish register and is correct, the two different years records being explained by the difference between the year recorded by the Church and what is now the modern calendar year. In other words, March in 1729 for the Church would now be referred to as March 1730.
The brass memorial indicates that Edward was buried in the church itself, under the tablet to his memory - what we do not know is whether the brass is still above the spot where he was buried, as the church has been re-built twice since he died. His surname is not spelt as he himself and his sons wrote it, or had it recorded in documents, but in another form - Gouldstone. Quite why this occurred, we shall never know, but perhaps there was some idea that this was how it should have been spelt.
Edward's wife Joanna died on 15th January 1745 at the Hay in Brecknockshire (as recorded in Edward Hayward's diary - see reference below).
Edward and Joanna Goldstone are recorded as having had the following children:
(i) Francis Goldstone - mentioned in 1720 as son and heir to his father.
(ii) Edward Goldstone of the City of London. He is presumed to have been born in 1700 since he was baptised on 2nd April that year at Hay-on-Wye, Brecknockshire. The parish register records that Edward ye son of Edward Goldstone by Joane his wife was Baptized April ye 2 1700. The later mention of the connection with Hay (see Edward Hayward's memorandum book) seems to confirm that Edward Goldstone of Hay and Edward Goldstone of the City of London are one and the same person. He is next mentioned in a release of lands to Edward Pegg in 1733; next to his signature he has placed his wax seal with a clear copy of the Goldstone coat of arms as shown below.
(iii) Jane - born: 1st May, bapt: 6th May, buried 12th August 1702 at Cheswardine. The entry in the parish register reads: Jane the daughter of Edward & Johanna Gouldstone was Buryed Aug. 12th certif. 16th day.
(iv) Jane Goldstone - born: 11th January, bapt: 16 January 1703/4 at Cheswardine. The entry in the parish register reads: Jane the daughter of Edward & Johanna Gouldstone was Born Jan: 11 & Baptizd 16th. She married a Mr James Francis Delafontaine (see mentioned under her sister Elizabeth). They had at least six children, four daughters and two sons:
(a) Joanna Delafontaine - born 11th July 1753, baptised 29th July 1753 at St Anne's Soho, Westminster. A transcription of the entry gives her parents as James Francis & Jane Delafontaine.
(b) Jane Dalafontaine.
(c) Louisa Helena Delafontaine - bapt. 10th May 1754, Westminster, dau of James Francis & Jane Delafontaine.
(d) John Francis Delafontaine - bapt. 7th June 1755, Westminster, son of James Francis & Jane Delafontaine.
(e) Anne Frances Delafontaine - bapt. 26th March 1758, Westminster, dau of James Francis & Jane Delafontaine. It is probably the same Anne Frances Delafontaine who is found marrying Thomas Hammond on 12th April 1783, at Chelsea (one presumes the Old Church).
(f) Gwynn Samuel Delafontaine - bapt. 28th January 1761, Westminster, son of James Francis & Jane Delafontaine.
(v) Gwynn Goldstone of Howard Street, St Clement Danes Parish, Westminster - born: 5th May, bapt: 16th May 1706 at Cheswardine. He married Grace Duckett on 23rd June 1744 at Enfield (see their children mentioned below). After Gwynn's death, Grace married John Walton of Kensington.
(vi) Susannah Goldstone - born: 14th June, bapt: 23rd June 1709 at Cheswardine: Susanna the daughter of Edward & Johanna Gouldstone was borne June 14th & Baptizd : 23. She died later that year; the parish registers of Cheswardine record that Susanna the daughter of Edward and Johanna Gouldstone was Buryed November the 7th day and certified Novem. 14th day.
(vii) Ann Goldstone - born: 1714; baptised at Cheswardine on 7th June 1714. The entry in the parish register reads: Anne the Daughter of Edward and Johanna Gouldstone was Baptized the 7th day of June Anno 1714.
(viii) Elizabeth Goldstone - otherwise unrecorded sister of Gwynn Goldstone; of Howard Street, St. Clement Danes Parish, Westminster. Will of Elizabeth Goldstone, Spinster, dated 7th February 1770, to which she attached a Codicil dated 22nd March 1778. The Will was proved on 3rd June 1782. In it she mentions her sister Sarah, wife of John Jones and their children Gwynn and Mary Jones. Also, Elizabeth mentions her Sister in Law Mrs Walton and Mr John Walton of Howard Street, who was appointed as her sole Executor. Additionally, she mentions her two nieces Jane Delafontaine and Joanna Delafontaine. Elizabeth adds a codicil to her Will, dated 22nd March 1778, leaving an additional legacy to her sister-in-law Grace Walton wife of John Walton of Kensington in the County of Middlesex Esquire, and widow of Elizabeth's brother Gwynn. Grace Walton was the sister of Thomas Duckett.
(ix) Sarah Goldstone - another otherwise unrecorded daughter of Edward Goldstone, who was mentioned in her sister Elizabeth's Will, 7th February 1770. In it she is referred to as 'Sarah Jones' the wife of 'John Jones'. She and John had the following children, who are mentioned in Elizabeth's Will: Gwynn Jones and Mary Jones.
Transfer of ownership of the Manor & Lordship of Goldstone to Edward Pegg, cousin and husband of Jane Goldstone, daughter of Edward Goldstone of Goldstone
In 1720 Edward Goldstone, son of Lawrence Goldstone, having moved to London broke the entail on the Manor and Lordship of Goldstone and settled it on his brother-in-law and cousin Edward Pegg. This transfer of ownership within the family was achieved by recourse to a complicated but not un-common legal mechanism called The Common Recovery, which enabled the inheritance of the Manor through entail to be changed and was a mechanism by which a fictitious suit was used to convey property. It was used to seal a settlement already prepared by private negotiation between the parties - in this case, no doubt resulting from the marriage of Jane Goldstone to her cousin Edward Pegg, who already had estates in Goldstone, Cheswardine, Lockley Wood, Ellerton and Soudley.
The transaction was recorded on two large manuscripts written on vellum. The first document of the two is dated 13th June 1720. The title states that it is a:
Bargain and Sale for one year of the Manor of Goldstone and a capital messuage and lands in Goldstone.
The first parties are Edward Goldstone, Joanna Goldstone, Francis Goldstone and Edward Pegg, to the second parties William Manlowe and Richard Manlowe. The second document of the two is dated 14th June 1720. The title states that it is a:
Bond of Release to make William Manlowe Tenant to the freehold in order to sue out a recovery of the Manor of Goldstone and a capital messuage and lands in Goldstone.
The Bond is signed between (in the first part) Edward Goldstone, Joanna Goldstone and Francis Goldstone, and (in the second part) Edward Pegg, and (in the third part) William Manlowe and Richard Manlowe, and (in the fourth part) Robert Slaney, who was a cousin of both Edward Pegg and the Goldstones. Their seals are all affixed to the bottom of the manuscripts and the Goldstone coat of arms is clearly visible on Edward and Francis Goldstone’s seals. Both documents can be seen via this link: Transfer of the ownership of the Manor of Goldstone 1720.
ABOVE - Edward Goldstone's signature and seal on the 14th June 1720 document mentioned above.
ABOVE - a close-up of the seal itself.
It seems that Edward Goldstone may have moved away from Goldstone itself before 1700. The reason for this is that Edward Pegg is recorded twice in the Church Lewn of 1698 relating to those levied in Goldstone township: Mr Edward Pegg for Mr. Gouldston 2s. 6d. Mr Edward Pegg is then separately recorded as having paid 1s. 3d. on for himself. Edward Pegg appeared again in the Church Lewn of 1722 as having paid 2s for Mr Gouldstone.
Ruth Donaldson-Hudson, in her book on Cheswardine, records the following entries from the Church Lewn of 1738:
Mr. Pegg for Mr. Goldston's Land 2s. 1d.
Mr. Pegg for his own new house 9½d.
Mr. Pegg for part of Week's Land 7½d.
Mr. Pegg for land at Ellerton 4½d.
The continuance of Pegg's payments for 'Mr Goldston' makes sense since Edward Goldstone Snr's son, Edward, appeared to have retained some interest in land at Goldstone. This is evident from an agreement between himself and Edward Pegg dated 13th November 1733 - this could have been done to tie up loose ends after his father Edward Goldstone's death. It makes references to quite a lot of fields by name and a number of tenants on each part of the estate that is mentioned.
The wording of the indenture of November 1733 begins:-
This Indenture made the thirteenth day of November Anno Dom 1733 and in the seventh year of the Reign of George the Second King over great Brittain – Between Edward Goldstone of the City of London Gent. (son of Edward Goldstone of Goldstone in the County of Salop Gent. Deceased) of the one part & Edward Pegg of Goldstone aforesd of the other part. Wittnesseth that ye said Edward Goldstone of ye City of London Gent for divers good causes & considerations him thereunto moving Hath remised released & for ever quitt claimes & by these presents for himself & his heirs doth fully clearly & absolutely remiss release & for ever quitt claim unto ye said Edward Pegg All that Capital Messuage Mansion House or Tenement with the appurtenances in Goldstone aforesd ...............
ABOVE - a photograph of the agreement between Edward Goldstone and Edward Pegg.
In her book on Cheswardine, Ruth Donaldson-Hudson records that the Churchwardens Accounts for 1736 record that "Mr. Edward Pegg paid the soyle breach in the church for Mr. Edward Goldstone of Goldstone and two grandchildren whose surnames were Tyler['s] soyle breach and laid their graves at his own expense 7s. 6d." She suggests that the two children may be the children of Ann, daughter of Edward Goldstone of Goldstone (see above), but neither she nor I have managed to find any record of these Tylers. The term 'soyle breach' is presumed to relate to the digging of their graves, which would have entailed the 'breaching' of the soil.
It is not known why the Goldstones left Shropshire, but this branch of the family did not die out in the male line until the death of Gwynn Goldstone, son of Edward Goldstone junior.
Gwynn Goldstone of London (1706 - 1761)
married Grace Duckett, daughter of George Duckett M.P., of Hartham House, Wiltshire
As has already been mentioned, Gwynn lived on Howard Street in the Parish of St. Clement Danes, Westminster. He had been born at Goldstone on 5th May 1706 and baptised at Cheswardine some days later, on 16th May. He married Grace Duckett on 23rd June 1744 at Enfield, daughter of George Duckett of Hartham House in Wiltshire, who was MP for Calne in the same County, and one of the Commissioners of Excise. Gwynn died in 1761 and left a Will on which probate was granted 7th May 1761. His Will tells us that he was a Wine Merchant of St. Clement Danes parish, Westminster, Middlesex.
After Gwynn's death, Grace remarried John Walton, who was mentioned in the Will of Gwynn's sister Elizabeth as being of Howard Street in 1770, and by 1778 'of Kensington'.
Gwynn and Grace's daughter Grace married Robert Neale JP DL of Shaw House, Wiltshire, on 26th July 1770 at St. Clement Danes, Westminster. The Saturday's Post / Country News records the marriage with the following words: Robert Neale the Younger of Corsham in Wilts, Esq; to Miss Goldstone, only Daughter of Gwyn Goldstone, late of Howard Street in the Strand, Esq; deceased.
Robert and Grace Neale's elder of two daughters, Grace Elizabeth, married Admiral Sir Harry Burrard GCB GCMG, 2nd Baronet, Admiral of the White and Lord of the Admiralty, on 15th April 1795. Sir Harry assumed the additional name and coat of arms of Neale of Walhampton, Gloucestershire. Grace Elizabeth was a Lady in Waiting to Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, and Companion to one of their daughters Princess Amelia. Grace Elizabeth inherited the beautiful Great Chalfield Manor from her grandfather Robert Neale (the elder) who died in 1776, and when she came of age in 1794, a framed survey map of Great Chalfield was made for her, and this still remains in the house to this day. She and Sir Harry did not live there, but at his home - Walhampton House at Boldre in the New Forest.
Great Chalfield Manor is located near Melksham, Wiltshire and is now a National Trust property. It has featured as Thomas Cromwell's Austin Friars home in the 2015 BBC television adaptation of Hilary Mantel's book 'Wolf Hall' (see more via these links: the BBC's guide here and one from The National Trust here). Cromwell's house was acquired by The Drapers' Company and is the site of today's Drapers' Hall. This is quite coincidental as some of Grace Elizabeth's Goldstone relatives were members of The Drapers' Company of Shrewsbury, and her later Vardon kinsmen of Goldstone were members of The Drapers' Company of the City of London and, as mentioned below, two have been Master Draper.
To continue this theme of serendipity, by happy 'planned coincidental continuity' (if such a definition can be allowed!), the manor is now lived in and managed for the National Trust by Robert & Patsy Floyd (see this website: www.greatchalfield.co.uk) - the reason for the coincidence is that Grace Elizabeth's half brother, Sir George Duckett (2nd Baronet - see link to Neale-Burrard-Duckett-Goldstone family tree below) married Isabella Floyd, daughter of Stainbank Floyd. George & Isabella's only surviving daughter Isabella Duckett married Sir Harry Burrard-Neale's nephew Sir George Burrard 4th Bart. This George was the son of the Reverend Sir George Burrard 3rd Bart. and his first wife wife Elizabeth Anne Coppell. Lady Grace Burrard-Neale sold Great Chalfield Manor to the Rev. Sir George, 3rd Bart. George Burrard and his wife Isabella (née Floyd) had no children, so the title passed to his half brother, Sir Harry Burrard 5th Bart., son of Rev'd Sir George Burrard and his second wife Emma Bingham, daughter of Admiral Joseph Bingham, Commander-in-Chief HM Fleet in the West Indies, by Sarah his wife, daughter of Admiral Sir William Parker Bart. All of this is quite complicated, but laid out in an easily understood chart - see link below, before the next section headed 'Edward Pegg of Goldstone'. The Rev'd Sir George Burrard sold Great Chalfield to George P. Fuller (clearly lots of George's about those days!) in 1878.
Fuller is the great grandfather of Mr Robert Floyd of Great Chalfield. His son, Robert Floyd (for ease of comprehension, we shall call him 'the younger'), bought Great Chalfield from his father in 1913 and then restored it, later giving it to The National Trust in 1943. Stainbank Floyd (1724-1788) is a kinsman - his elder brother died of wounds in 1759, after the battle of Minden, and his young son John Floyd, who was subsequently brought up by the Pembroke (Herbert) family at Wilton, is Robert Floyd's ancestor. The tale of Great Chalfield Manor appears to involve as many complicated twists and turns between related families as that of Goldstone, and by chance Stainbank Floyd is recorded as being of Shrewsbury, Salop, not far from Goldstone. This fact is recorded in 'The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1790-1820', edited by R. Thorne, and published in 1986, within the entry for his son-in-law Sir George Duckett 2nd Bart. - an extract from this fuller entry is copied below:
DUCKETT, George (1777-1856), of Upper Grosvenor Street, Mdx.
Family and Education
b. 17 July 1777, o. surv. s. of Sir George Jackson* (afterwards Duckett), 1st Bt., of Hartham House, Corsham, Wilts. by 2nd w. Grace, da. and h. of Gwyn Goldstone, London merchant, of Goldstone, Salop, wid. of Robert Neale jun. of Shaw House, Melksham, Wilts. educ. Charterhouse 1788-91; Ritterakademie, Lüneburg; Brunswick. m. (1) 17 July 1810, Isabella (d. 10 Oct. 1844), da. and coh. of Stainbank Floyd of Shrewsbury, Salop and Barnard Castle, co. Durham, 1s. 1da.; (2) 30 Apr. 1846, Charlotte, da. of Edmond Seymour of Inholmes, Berks. and Crowood Park, Wilts., wid. of Joseph Laxe, s.p. Took the name of Duckett with his fa. 3 Feb. 1797, suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 15 Dec. 1822.
Back to Admiral Sir Harry Burrard and his wife Grace Elizabeth.
The Admiral died on 7th February 1840, aged 74 and he was buried in Lymington, Hampshire. Grace Elizabeth died on 21st December 1855. A magnificent obelisk monument was erected to his memory at Walhampton (click to see a photograph of this).
ABOVE - portrait of Admiral Sir Harry Burrard-Neale GCB GCMG, 2nd Baronet, Admiral of The White and Lord of the Admiralty, husband of Grace Elizabeth Neale, daughter of Robert Neale and his wife Grace (née Goldstone). The painting is now in the National Museum of the Royal Navy within the wonderful historic dockyard at Portsmouth.
Robert and Grace Neale's younger daughter, Lydia Frances Neale, was born on 23rd January 1773 and christened on 24th March 1773 at St. Mary's, St. Marylebone, London. She married Henry Gawler of Lincoln's Inn son of John Gawler of Weyhill, Hampshire by his wife Caroline Ker, eldest daughter of John Ker, 3rd Lord Bellenden. John Gawler (1786-1803) became a very wealthy lawyer of the Inner Temple and lived at Ramridge House, north of Weyhill in the parish of Penton Grafton, Hampshire. Henry’s elder brother was John Bellenden Ker (née Gawler). Lydia and Henry did not have any children.
A historian, David Richmond, has very kindly given copyright permission for some of his research about the Neales and the Gawlers to be published within this history of Goldstone, ahead of a publication he is preparing. His research indicates that Henry Gawler was not a pleasant man and in effect took all of Lydia's dowry; their marriage was not a happy one, leading to an estrangement. Lydia moved to live in Clifton, near Bristol, where she died in 1814 at the young age of 41. She was buried in Bristol Cathedral. It is clear that her kind sister Lady Grace Elizabeth Burrard arranged for this and had a fine memorial set up in the Cathedral to Lydia's memory. David Richmond provides a description and photograph of this:
High on the wall of the south transept in Bristol cathedral may be found a memorial stone to Lydia Frances Gawler. It is undated but has, in fact, been in the cathedral for almost two centuries. The carving is typical of the early nineteenth century, well finished, expensive and full of sentimentality. The inscription reads:-
Sacred to the Memory
Of a Beloved Sister
LYDIA FRANCES GAWLER
youngeft Daughter of Robt Neale Efqe
of Shaw House Wilts
of their mutual Love and Affection
is placed here
her furviving Sifter
GRACE ELIZABETH NEALE
Wife of Sir HARRY NEALE Bart
“As for our God he is in Heaven
He hath done whatfoever pleafed Him”
Richmond provides a lot of detail about the Neales and the Gawlers from which this additional extract is taken:
Lydia’s husband-to-be, Henry Gawler, would have been very aware of the great fortune that attached to Lydia Neale. He was a Barrister of Lincolns Inn, the younger son of a highly successful lawyer, John Gawler, who hailed from Hereford and had used the considerable wealth he had acquired to win the hand of the Honourable Caroline Bellenden, the daughter of the impecunious 3rd Lord Bellenden. The marriage gave him access to Society since Caroline had many aristocratic acquaintances and was a personal friend of the king himself. John and Caroline’s elder son, another John, became prominent in Georgian society, a ‘man of wit and fashion’, to quote the DNB, and a habitué of the finest houses and salons of Georgian London. He became involved in a number of scandals and affairs, some of which made salacious reading in the popular press of the time.
The Gawler family had a collective nose for money. Lydia was young, naïve, and had lost both her father and grandfather by the age of three. Without a strong male influence to advise her, she would have been easy prey to the overtures of the ambitious, manipulative and wealth-seeking Gawlers. No time was lost in the wooing of her; on 23 January 1794 she attained her age of twenty one and came into her fortune. By early February a Marriage Settlement had been prepared. In it, for his part, Henry’s father, John Gawler, declared that he had already laid out £4,500 on purchasing and furnishing, complete with library, chambers in Lincolns Inn for Henry and promised within 12 months of the marriage to settle on him the Manor of Blissmore Hall in Hampshire. The Settlement also declared that Henry, on solemnization of the marriage, became ‘intitled to take and receive the whole of the said fortune [£30,000] to and for his own use and benefit and … it shall not be subject or liable to the power or control of the said Lydia Frances Neale…..’. The Settlement was signed on 15 February by Gawler, senior, Henry Gawler, (both lawyers) his brother John Bellenden, Grace Elizabeth Neale and Lydia herself. Bearing in mind that Lydia was only just turned 21 and would have been in the charge of guardians appointed by her grandfather up to this point, the omission of any signatures on her side of the agreement other than her own and her sister’s is surprising and adds weight to the notion that she had been virtually seduced or kidnapped by the Gawlers and lured into the marriage.
Henry Gawler, declaring himself to be of the parish of Bathwick and that the usual place of abode of Lydia Frances Neale had been within the parish of Bathwick for the space of four weeks immediately past, had already purchased, at a cost of £200, a marriage licence on the 5th February 1794. The marriage itself was solemnized at Bathwick on 17 February 1794, less than 4 weeks after Lydia’s twenty first birthday and two days after Lydia has signed away her fortune. The prize was won and Henry Gawler, at a stroke, was a seriously wealthy man.
Hereonafter we know nothing further of the marriage until 1803 when we find, in an item in The Times, that ‘Mr Gawler and his Lady lived separate, not in consequence of any misconduct on her part, for she was admitted by all the world to be a lady of honour and of fashion. Mrs Henry Gawler had a separate maintenance from her husband; and considering the fortune she had brought him, she conceived the sum was not adequate according to the manner in which she had been accustomed to live’ (Times 16 Dec 1803). Clearly this was not a happy or successful marriage; Henry Gawler had, it would appear, made off with her money for his own, and probably his family’s uses, leaving Lydia’s fortunes seriously diminished. By 1814, Lydia, was living in Clifton. She died there, childless, aged 41, and was buried in the Cathedral on 18 March 1814. Estranged from her husband, it fell to her sister to provide her memorial.
Robert Neale died in 1774 and Grace re-married Sir George Jackson Bart., eldest surviving son of George Jackson of Richmond Yorkshire. Sir George was Judge Advocate of the Fleet and MP for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis. He was created a Baronet on 21st June 1791. The Dictionary of National Biography records that he had married as his second wife "Grace, daughter of Gwynn Goldstone of Goldstone, Shropshire, by Grace, daughter and coheiress of George Duckett of Hartham House, Wiltshire" and that he and Grace left a surviving son George, who became the second Baronet. Their marriage was on 9th September 1775 at St. Margaret's Church, Westminster.
In 1797, Sir George Jackson assumed the surname of Duckett, in accordance with the will of Grace's uncle, Thomas Duckett. There is a record that Grace died on 2nd March 1798 and was buried at Trinity Church in South Audley Street, London. Her husband, George, died on 15th December 1822 at his home in Upper Grosvenor Street and was buried at Bishop's Stortford.
Sir George Duckett, 2nd Bt., son of George & Grace above, married Isabella Floyd and had an only daughter called Isabella. This Isabella married, on 3rd January 1830, Sir George Burrard, 4th Bt., son of the Reverend Sir George Burrard, 3rd Bt., by his first wife Elizabeth Anne Coppell. The Reverend Sir George Burrard, 3rd Bart., was the younger brother of Admiral Sir Harry Burrard, who married Sir George Duckett, 2nd Bart's half-sister Grace Elizabeth Neale! Sir George Burrard, 4th Bt. died without issue on 7th September 1870 at the age of 64. Isabella Burrard died on 7th December 1876. She and Sir George had no children, so his title passed to Harry Burrard (who became 5th Bart.), son of Sir George Burrard 3rd Bart., by his second wife Emma Bingham, daughter of Admiral Joseph Bingham, Commander-in-Chief HM Fleet in the West Indies, by Sarah his wife, dau of Admiral Sir William Parker, Bart. (so created in 1797 for his services in the victory over the Spanish Fleet off Cape St. Vincent).
A family tree showing the Goldstone-Duckett-Burrard connections is shown here.
With the death of Lady Isabella Burrard in 1876 without children, it seems that Gwynn Goldstone's family line ran out in this generation. But it is highly likely that the families of his sisters, the Jones and Delafontaines may have continued to exist.
Edward Pegg of Goldstone
(husband of Jane Goldstone, daughter of his grandmother's half-brother Lawrence Goldstone)
Returning to Goldstone - Edward Pegg was the son of John Pegg by his wife Wilmot Slaney, who he married at Ightfield on 11th October 1688. Wilmot was born in 1672 and died in 1693; her father was Edward Slaney and his wife Margaret, only daughter of Griffith Crouch by his second wife Elizabeth Goldstone. Elizabeth was the daughter of Lawrence Thompson of Drayton-in-Hales [i.e. Market Drayton] and had married as her first husband John Goldstone of Goldstone (1608-1638). John & Elizabeth Goldstone were the parents of c.5 children, including Lawrence Goldstone, father of Edward Pegg's wife Jane Goldstone and her brother Edward Goldstone.
ABOVE - (left) Edward Slaney's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Margaret (née Crouch) and (right) John Pegg's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Wilmot, daughter of Edward Slaney and Margaret (née Crouch), all as recorded by William Vardon.
Griffith Crouch (or: Cryche)'s sister Dorothy married Thomas Jervis who thereby gained possession of the Cryche estate of The Hill (i.e. Hill Hall), Cheswardine. Dorothy Crych, daughter of Renald Crych was baptised at Cheswardine on 29th November 1695. Thomas was born in 1596 and died in 1650. This may have explained the small land holdings the Jervis family later owned in Goldstone, which accounted for amost all the land in Goldstone that the Haywards did not own - together, these kinsmen owned pretty much all the land within Goldstone manor and township. Dorothy & Thomas Jervis had named their son and heir Griffith, after Dorothy's brother Griffith Cryche (otherwise recorded as: Crouch).
The Crouch connection with Cheswardine may also explain the existence of Goldstone estate land and property in Cheswardine village and its environs, which were owned by Edward Pegg and his successors; these included the existing Fox & Hounds public house. The Crouch family therefore acted as a link of kinship between the Goldstone, Pegg, Hayward and Jervis families, and their various inheritances were not only an important ingredient that influenced the development and inheritance of the Goldstone estate, but continued to shape the pattern of ownership of almost all of the land within the manor and township of Goldstone until the 20th century.
In the 17th century the ownership of the manor of Cheswardine was split, with the Jervis family and the Earls of Shrewsbury being joint Lords of the Manor of Cheswardine. In her book on Cheswardine, Ruth Donaldson-Hudson explains how this came to be:
Gilbert, 7th Earl of Shrewsbury alienated a third of the manor of Cheswardine, and settled it on his daughter Alathea (a god-daughter of Queen Elizabeth) at the time of her marriage with Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel. The remaining two thirds of the manor went to the heirs of the Earldom (of Shrewsbury). Her youngest son, William Howard (1614-80), succeeded to her share in the manor of Cheswardine. He married in 1637 Mary Stafford, sister and sole heir of Henry Stafford, fifth Baron Stafford (a descendant of that Duke of Buckingham, whose daughter had married the third Earl of Shrewsbury). In 1640 Sir William Howard and Mary his wife, were created Baron and Baroness Stafford. Some years later he became the victim of the alleged popish plot. On the perjured evidence of Titus Oates he was, in 1678, found guilty of high treason; he was attainted and all his honours were forfeited; in 1680 he was beheaded. His innocence was subsequently established and, in 1688, his widow was created Countess Stafford. She continued in possession of her husband's property in Cheswradine until her death in 1693-4. ................Henry, first Earl of Stafford succeeded to the estates of his mother, Mary Countess of Stafford. But having gone into exile with James II in 1688, and remaining in France until his death in 1719, he never enjoyed them. His third share of Cheswardine manor he sold to Henry Jervis, of The Hill. Thereafter, and until the Jervis estate was sold to Thomas Hudson at the beginning of the nineteenth century, we always find the Earls of Shrewsbury and the Jervises of The Hill named as joint Lords of the Manor.
When Henry Zacharia Jervis tried to sell his estate in 1811, Donaldson-Hudson writes that:
The Morning Post of June 7th, 1811 had the following advertisement on his front page:-
SHROPSHIRE MANSION AND ESTATE - to be SOLD by PRIVATE CONTRACT. One third of the Lordship of the Manor of Cheswardine......also a capital well-built Mansion-House, unfinished called The Hill.........etc.........To view the Estate apply to Mr Wm. Spendelow, or Richard Davies, both of Cheswardine.
Henry didn't succeed in selling the estate, which was finally sold in 1833 to Thomas Hudson by his son Captain Henry Jervis, who was the 3x great grandson of Thomas Jervis and his wife Dorothy Cryche (or Crouch). Thomas Hudson was the forebear of the Donaldson-Hudson family of Cheswardine Hall (the site of the older Hill Hall). What is not yet clear is whether the Donaldson-Hudsons succeeded in acquiring the other two thirds of the Lordship of the Manor of Cheswardine, and if not, who now owns the majority share today.
As has already been detailed above, Edward Pegg married his cousin Jane Goldstone on 4th December 1718. The marriage was at St. Mildred Poultry, just by the Mansion House in the City of London - the parish register described Edward Pegg as having been of ye Inner Temple - in other words he was a lawyer; the same entry in the register recorded that Jane was of St. Margaret's [parish] Westminster.
ABOVE - Edward Pegg's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Jane (née Goldstone), as recorded by William Vardon. This shield is particularly important in illustrating the marriage alliance that saw the passing of the Manor of Goldstone from the Goldstones to Edward Pegg, a descendant of Elizabeth Goldstone by her second marriage to Griffith Crouch.
It has been thought that Edward Pegg built a new house at Goldstone, on or alongside the site of the Goldstone family's Elizabethan manor house, but it is more likely that he simply made changes, or built an extension to the original property. We know that further changes were made after the time of Edward Pegg, up until the 20th century. Perhaps Pegg simply rebuilt on the same footprint of part of the old Hall, replacing the timber-framed structure with brick, leaving some of the old house still standing. Edward Hayward, who is mentioned below in relation to the notes he made in his Journals, recorded an interesting event in one memorandum, writing that the Old House at Goldstone [was] pulled down April 1801. Perhaps this may have been the original manor house of the Goldstone family, situated next to Goldstone Hall - other writers appear to have made reference to the existence of an 'old house' at Goldstone, but not its location. It is possible that Goldstone was constructed in a similar timber-framed style to Wollerton Old Hall near Market Drayton, alternatively it may have echoed the style of Dunval or Old Colehurst Manor, which the Goldstones' kinsmen built c.1580 and is also near Market Drayton. However, since the old house at Goldstone was pulled down in 1801 we will never know, unless old foundations are revealed sometime in the future, which may tell us more. The front elevation of Goldstone with its gable to the left of the front door certainly has the shape of an older property that may have been timber framed. There are large oak timbers inside the house that are medieval and/or Elizabethan, as is also the case at Goldstone Bank Farm - it would have been quite usual to re-use such timber structures in replacement buildings. We know that a building marked on old maps and called by the family 'The Manor House' was until recent times situated next to the Hall. It is possible that this was on the site of the original Hall. The Manor House only came to be attached to the Hall in the 20th century, when a later heir to the Goldstone estate, H.G.E. Vardon, implemented some changes to the two properties. The Manor House can be clearly seen marked on the 1891 Ordnance Survey map.
It was either Pegg or his relation and successor Thomas Hayward who compiled the Memorandums of Goldstone Manor.
Edward Pegg extended his estate by adding new parcels of land, the most significant of which was Mount Pleasant Farm, which he acquired from Sir Corbet Corbet in 1748, on a 500 year lease. Roughly one third of this comprised of land in Lockley Wood, near Goldstone Common. This farm was originally known as Lockley Farm or Over Lockley.
In 1767 he is recorded as having paid the Poor's Levy for Mr Goldstone's Estate. The details of this are recorded in the Red Folio book of his successor at Goldstone - Mr Edward Hayward.
ABOVE - a record of the Poor's Levy of 1767 for the Townships of Goldstone, Ellerton and Sambrook.
Jane Pegg (née Goldstone) died in 1757 and was buried at Cheswardine on 13th May 1757. As already mentioned above, this is recorded in the parish register: Jane wife of Mr Edward Pegg bur: May: 13. Her husband Edward Pegg died in 1768 and his burial was recorded in the parish register with these words, under the year 1768: Mr Edward Pegg of Goldstone Buried Jany 21st. He was buried in Cheswardine churchyard in a tomb he had already had prepared, which is still there, next to the later, larger one where his successor William Vardon of Goldstone was buried (see details below). His heir became his cousin Thomas Hayward, who was joint Executor to Edward's will (proved 21st January 1768).
The Haywards of Goldstone
(cousins of Edward Pegg and Edward Goldstone)
Edward & Jane had no children so the estate passed to Thomas Hayward, another cousin of the Goldstones, who was - like Pegg - descended from Elizabeth Goldstone (née Thompson) by her second marriage to Griffith Crouch of Cheswardine, son of Reginald Crouch of The Hill, Cheswardine. Elizabeth Thompson's first marriage was to John Goldstone of Goldstone, the father of Lawrence Goldstone.
Thomas Hayward of Goldstone (1716-1782)
married Jane Slaney, daughter of Edward Slaney by Margaret, daughter of Griffith Crouch & Elizabeth Thompson, widow of John Goldstone of Goldstone and mother of Lawrence Goldstone of Goldstone.
Thomas was born in 1716 in Peterborough. He was the son of Edward Hayward and Sarah Chowne. This Edward Hayward (born: 1689, died: 1729) was the son of Thomas Hayward and Jane Slaney, who was a sister of Wilmot Slaney (see above). Thomas Hayward senior (i.e. Thomas of Goldstone's grandfather) was christened on 8th February 1665 at Sandon in Staffordshire - his father, Robert Hayward lived on the family's estate at Aston Cliffe north east of Market Drayton, which he had aquired. Thomas senior had an elder brother Robert who inherited Aston Cliffe.
ABOVE - (left) Thomas Hayward's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Jane, daughter of Edward Slaney by his wife Margaret Crouch, daughter of Griffith Crouch by his wife Elizabeth Goldstone; and (right) his son Edward Hayward's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Sarah (née Chowne), as recorded by William Vardon who inherited Goldstone in the 19th century.
Click here to view an incomplete but illustrative family tree showing the Goldstone, Pegg and Hayward connections: Goldstone, Crouch, Pegg, Hayward, Vardon family tree.
In December 1721, Edward Hayward, father of Thomas Hayward of Goldstone, signed Articles of Agreement with his 1st cousin Edward Pegg of Goldstone, with regard to the inheritance that they shared from the estate of Griffith Crouch. These appear to have influenced the inheritance of Goldstone from Pegg by Edward Hayward's son Thomas. The context of the agreement is made clear by this section:
Whereas Griffith Crouch, by his last Will & Testament bearing date on or about the thirtieth day of July in the year of our Lord God one thousand six hundred seventy and six, Did (inter alia) Devise unto Edward Slaney & Margarett his daughter, Grandmother to the parties to these parents, All his Lands, Tenements and Hereditaments in the said County of Salop for her life, and after her decease to Griffith Slaney her son & his heires for ever,
And for want of such heires to Richard Slaney, brother to the said Griffith, & his heires, & for want of such heires to the heires male of the said Edward upon the body of the said Margarett his said Wife to be begotten, & in default of such Issue To the Daughters of the aforesaid Edward Slaney & his said Wife & to their Heires, for ever
And Whereas the said Edward Slaney & his said Wife had Issue Jane Slaney & Wilmott Slaney besides other children that dyed without Issue, The said Jane having by her husband Thomas Hayward the said Edward Hayward, party to these presents, And the said Wilmott having by John Pegg her husband the said Edward Pegg, party also to these presents........
The agreement refers to land that Griffith Crouch bequeathed to his heirs - it mentions Great Sowdley, Goldstone, Ellerton and Hinstock, as follows:
All those several Messuages, Tenements, lands, hereditaments & other the premises thereto belonging, situate, lying & being in the respective Townshipes of Great Sowdley, Goldston, Ellerton & Hinstock & in the severall parishes of Cheswardine & Hinstock aforesaid & in either of them, with their & every their Appurtenances
Thomas Hayward junior came to live at Goldstone and had his estate surveyed by John Wedge in 1771, resulting in a beautiful vellum map being painted entitled:
and Estates in the
Parish of Hinstock
and County of Salop
Tho.s Hayward Esq r.
Survey’d 1771 by Jn.o Wedge
This map lay hidden for years in the vault of a law firm in London until being sent, after a clearout of old papers, back to the family in the early 1990s to re-join the rest of the archive collection in Shrewsbury. The map shows each field with its name and acreage, all of which can be plotted easily onto a modern 25:000 Ordnance Survey map, or even better on an 1891 Ordnance Survey map. This shows how little the historical shape of the Goldstone estate has changed over the centuries, and illustrates how the family retained the lands on the 1771 map within an enlarged estate well into the 20th century. Goldstone Hall is clearly shown on the vellum map, with the building that represented the old manor house lying detached alongside it - the Manor is also shown in the same place on much more recent 19th and early 20th century maps, before it was joined to the main Hall.
ABOVE - a small picture of the 1771 map of Goldstone Lordship (see link above for a larger version).
ABOVE - a section of the map showing land owned around Cheswardine village, with an interesting picture of St, Swithun's Church providing us with a sense of what it looked like in 1771.
ABOVE - a drawing of the church in 1807, to compare with the one above.
The 1771 map clearly shows the boundaries of the Manor of Goldstone. It was bounded on the east by the brook in the valley between Goldstone and Cheswardine, the line of which is now followed by the Shropshire Union Canal. The map also shows the boundary of Goldstone as having encompassed Goldstone Common. The boundary with Hinstock parish lay on the west, although that part of Goldstone Common that lay within Hinstock was enclosed and the land awarded to Edward Hayward who was lord of the manor of Goldstone. Thomas's successor at Goldstone, his nephew Edward Hayward recorded an interesting note in his journal under Memorandums, Observations, and Appointments in May 1805, Tuesday 21st May:
This day Mr Pierpoint of Ellerton told me that the proper old course of the Goldstone Brook is by the Gate going into Sowdley Lane which is also the Boundary of Goldstone Manor. This he heard the late Mr E. Pegg of Goldstone declare when he refused to give one of the large stones there to [---?] Jones the Miller.
The large stones that Edward Pegg refused to give to the Miller may have been the original boundary marker stones of Goldstone Manor, hence their importance to Edward Pegg. It is possible that one of these large stones may have survived into the 21st century, but not in the same location as it was in Pegg's day. It is thought that the large boulder that used to sit at the top of Westcott Lane by the driveway to Goldstone Hall was a surviving boundary stone. The boulder was placed at the right angle of the wall that partly surrounded the grounds of the Hall itself, in order to protect the wall from being knocked by vehicles, and it proved its value on a number of occasions. Sadly, if it is an original surviving old boundary marker, it disappeared from the top of Westcott Lane and its fate was thought to have been unknown. However, it may be that the large stones now inside the drive at Goldstone Hall are Edward Pegg's precious manorial boundary stones.
ABOVE - what may be the original 'boundary stones' of the manor of Goldstone that Edward Pegg refused to give permission for the Miller to turn into mill-stones.
The eastern boundary of Goldstone is believed to have marked the old border between Shropshire and Staffordshire, when Cheswardine village and manor was in Staffordshire and Goldstone in Shropshire. As has already been mentioned, Thomas Hayward's cousin John Jervis of The Hill, Cheswardine, owned the bits of Goldstone that Thomas didn't own; this is shown on the map.
In 1777 Thomas Hayward is recorded as having paid the Poor's Levy for Mr Goldstone's Estate, just as Edward Pegg had done before him. The details of this are recorded in the Red Folio book of his nephew and heir Mr Edward Hayward.
ABOVE - a record of the Poor's Levy of 1777 for the Townships of Goldstone, Ellerton and Sambrook.
Thomas Hayward married Elizabeth Andrew of Cheswardine on 5th February 1782, but he died later that same year, on 2nd December 1782 at Goldstone, aged 66. Thomas was buried at Cheswardine on 6th December.
Since he had no children Goldstone was inherited by his nephew Edward Hayward.
Edward Hayward of Goldstone (1752-1827)
married Rachel Potter
Edward was born in 1752, married Rachel Potter, and died in 1827. He kept his Goldstone estate records and accounts in his Red Folio. He was an assiduous recorder of an eclectic range of details, most of which he recorded in his Red Folio or in his diary and memoranda books / journals. He was also, clearly, very proud of his family's ancient connection with Goldstone and wrote about how much of the estate had been in the family for 350 years and some for over 700. His diary and memorandum books record a variety of miscelaneous facts and figures about Goldstone: details of deaths and births of members of the family, leases on land to tenants, boundaries of Goldstone Manor, the price the Hayward's paid for the Aston Cliffe estate and much more. In his 'Red Folio' he kept records of tenancy agreements on each farm in Goldstone, the amount of beer brewed each year, awards he received when common land was enclosed in Hinstock and Woodseaves, his contract for a carriage and driver for a year, from the Phoenix Yard off Oxford Street in London to enable him to travel between his various estates, contributions to Poors Relief, poems written by family members, such as 'Verses on Gypsey a Mare of my Father's' (his daughter's poem about her father's mare), and many other eclectic notes and records.
Verses on Gypsey a Mare of my Father’s
that was shot on the 10th day of August 1802
written by Elizabeth H. Hayward when she was between 8 & 9 years of age
Farewell poor Gyp thy joy hath cost thee dear,
Thou art at rest thy head lies quiet here;
And those that know, it made them weep,
But now they cannot raise thee from thy sleep.
Thou hast now got a perfect skreen,
Thy Body will never more be seen;
And in the sixteenth of thy age,
Thou paid thy life to meet their rage.
Ah Gypsey now no more thou will see
That sun that once did shine on thee.
BELOW: a transcription of a page from Edward Hayward of Goldstone's 'Red Folio', which records a poem written by his daughter Elizabeth about the demise of her father's mare:-
Of my Mother’s Funeral on 19th March 1807
Two Pastors on Horseback
Ten Bearers on Foot
Four Tradesmen Do
Messrs Slater & Steel }
Messrs Wanalls }
Four Pall Bearers on Horseback }
Messrs Dickinson & Hallin }
The Rev.d Mr Ravenscroft & }
Mr Martin }
Four Tenants on Foot }
Bennett & Boffey }
Taylor & Dunn }
The Parish Clerk on Horseback
The Clergyman & Apothecary Do }
The Rev.d Mr Wingfield }
Mr Hopkins }
Drawn by 4 Horses
Chaise with Chief Mourner } A Page
Son of the Deceased }
Chaise with Assistant Mourners } A Page
Messrs T. Taylor & T Uneth }
Ten Tenants on Horseback
Messrs Allen & Nixon
Foden & Brittain
J. Pierpoint & W, Ditto
Cartwright & Lea
Jones & Gee
Extra Attendants: Messrs Croxton, Parsonage, Markuder,
Besford & R. Lockley
Edward also provided in his 'Red Folio', details of the formal procession at Cheswardine organised for his mother Hannah's funeral on 19th March 1807, a transcription of which is copied below:-
ABOVE - front cover of Edward Hayward's 'Red Folio', with wording written by Hugh Ernest Vardon.
ABOVE - a copy of the Faculty that Thomas Hayward of Goldstone and John Jervis of Cheswardine had from the Bishop of Lichfield & Coventry to enlarge the Goldstone and Cheswardine pews in St. Swithun's Cheswardine.
Ruth Donaldson-Hudson's book on Cheswardine confirms that there were a number of larger pews in the church; two in the chancel, where the choir stalls later existed, were for the manor of Cheswardine and the vicarage. The other large pew, located in front of the pulpit, was for the manor of Goldstone. John Jervis and Thomas Hayward's faculty illustrated above appears to have related to the creation of the large pews that Ruth Donaldson-Hudson refers to.
ABOVE - an old picture of the inside of St. Swithun's Church, Cheswardine (dedicated 1810, demolished 1886), with what appears to be the larger Goldstone Pew visible at the front of the right hand line of pews, in front of the pulpit.
The Goldstone Estate also had three pews in St. Oswald's Church, Hinstock, for the use of the family and its tenants on farms in the parish of Hinstock.
ABOVE - Edward Hayward's Goldstone bookplate, showing his coat of arms impaled (on the right) with the arms of his wife Rachel Potter. The Latin motto translates as: 'To be rather than to seem to be'.
Like his uncle before him, Edward moved to live at Goldstone and had three children, as recorded in a family tree amongst family papers:
(i) Jane Rachel - born: 24th January 1786, died: 1810 aged 24.
(ii) Mary Hugh Hannah - born at Walton-on-Thames 16th July 1791, died: 4th February 1793 and was buried on 9th February 1793.
(iii) Elizabeth Hannah - born: 15th January 1794, died: 27th October 1818 aged 24. She had married John Hall in 1815 and they had a daughter:
(a) Eliza Rachel Mary - born: 14th February 1817, died: 28th October 1837 aged 20. She was buried at Radford Semele in Warwickshire (c.1.5 miles south east of Leamington Spa).
Edward gained land from the enclosure of Common lands in Hinstock, which included that part of Goldstone Common that lay in Hinstock parish. He recorded this in his Red Folio book.
ABOVE - the page from Edward Hayward's Red Folio that records his award.
Edward appears to have had a copy made of a map showing the area of land being enclosed, by tracing over the original. This copy has survived and shows all the pieces of land Edward recorded in his Red Folio.
ABOVE - Edward Hayward's map of the Hinstock enclosures, which illustrates that Goldstone Common once extended across the parish boundary of Cheswardine into Hinstock parish (click on the picture to view it in larger scale).
In the early part of the 19th century, the canal came to Goldstone and a large amount of material was required for construction of this important transport link. The line of the canal followed the valley that lay between Goldstone and Cheswardine, where the Goldstone Brook also ran. Goldstone Wharf was built next to the road from Goldstone Common to Cheswardine. In their rush to build the canal, and to extract the necessary materials from fields nearby, the proprietors of the canal company appear to have fallen foul of Edward Hayward and over-reached the bounds within which they could get stone. The result was that Edward had a Notice served on them by William Lockley, on 21st July 1827, and a true copy survives amongst family papers. A transcription of this is to be found via a link to the following page: Edward Hayward's Notice to the Company of Canal Proprietors, 14th July 1827. History does not record what the response of the proprietors was, but we do know that the Notice was almost the last thing that Edward signed, apart from a codicil to his will which he also signed on 14th July 1827.
Edward's wife Rachel died in 1824. The Gentleman's Magazine published an Obituary notice that reads as follows: WARWICKSHIRE.- Aug.31. At Leamington Priors, Rachel, wife of Edw. Hayward, esq. of Goldstone, Salop. She was buried at Radford Semele, Warwickshire.
Edward died at Goldstone on 2nd August 1827, but he was buried at Radford Semele in Warwickshire, where his wife Rachel (née Potter) had been buried three years earlier and where her family appear to have come from. The Gentleman's Magazine of 1827 featured an Obituary on page 381 that read: At Goldstone, aged 75, Edward Hayward, esq. The Staffordshire Advertiser of 11th August 1827 recorded Edward's death as follows: On the 2nd inst. at his house at Goldstone in the County of Salop. Edward HAYWARD Esq. in his 70th year [clearly the age they printed was incorrect].
Ruth Donaldson-Hudson records the following about Edward Hayward of Goldstone in her book on Cheswardine:
In his will he left his estate, which included not only Goldstone and Radford, but also properties near Congleton and at Aston Cliffe, Staffordshire, to his friends William Vardon of Gracechurch St. in the City of London, ironmonger, and Josiah Grahame Kowe of Goldsmith St., Cheapside in the City of London, trimming dealer in trust for his granddaughter, Eliza Rachel Mary Hall and her heirs. Miss Hall seems to have been a spirited young woman, for the story goes that at the age of nineteen she made a runaway match, in defiance of her guardians and trustees. She died, however, within a year or two of her marriage, leaving no heirs; whereupon, under the terms of her grandfather's will, the estate devolved on William Vardon, great uncle of Mr H.G.E. Vardon, the present owner.
A full transcription of Edward Hayward's will dated 17th May 1827, with a codicil dated 14th July 1827, can be found on another page via this link: Edward Hayward's will.
William Vardon was more than just a 'friend', he was the eldest son of Edward's cousin John Vardon. No family record provides any evidence that Eliza Rachel Mary actually married and the record of her burial at Radford Semele indicates that she was unmarried. It must therefore be presumed that Ruth Donaldson-Hudson's source for this story of scandal was gossip repeated from those days, but we are likely never to know the full truth of it. Eliza died ten years after her grandfather Edward Hayward, less than 4 months before her 21st birthday and was buried near her grandparents in Radford Semele, Warwickshire. Under the terms of her grandfather's Will, since she died without heirs, the estate devolved upon her cousin and trustee William Vardon. We do not know the exact year that he took possession of the estate, but it seems that he had previously held it in trust for some years.
A pedigree chart, created about 1870 for William Vardon's nephew Hugh Ernest Vardon, records the Crouch / Goldstone / Pegg / Hayward connections. It provides a lot of rich data about dates of birth, christenings, marriages and burials. The reason for it having been created is detailed below.
ABOVE - the Crouch / Pegg / Goldstone / Hayward pedigree chart.
ABOVE - the arms of William Vardon of Goldstone on an old decorative wooden shield, placed alongside others including the Goldstones of Goldstone and Haywards of Goldstone. This collection of shields was designed to illustrate the line of succession to Goldstone between related families, and marriages that brought together elements of William Vardon's inheritances in Shropshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire.
William Vardon's path to inheritance was not simple. As is noted above, Eliza Rachel Mary Hall granddaughter of Edward Hayward of Goldstone, died in 1837. There seems to have been a later dispute between her father John Hall and William Vardon. Amongst family papers there is a reference as follows: Box 2, Bundle 27, Schedule fo. 38,39, Also particulars as to the dispute in 1843 between Wm Vardon & John Hall in regard to the possession of the Bank Farm & Lightwood Farm, known as the "Settled Estate". The full details of the case do not survive, but it seems to have been settled by the death of John Hall the following year. A note amongst the pages of Edward Hayward's Memoranda books (see reference above) records that John Hall died at Great Barr in Staffordshire suddenly on 21st July 1844.
Although the dispute ended suddenly, William appears to have been preparing his case with his solicitors; this resulted in the survival amongst family papers of a fascinating record of verbal evidence taken from Goldstone people who had known the Hayward family and the estate. The value of these is that they provide snippets of information that illuminate what would otherwise have been unrecorded events and insights into the lives of the Haywards and those providing the evidence. A full transcription of these is provided on another page via this link: In the Common Pleas / Doc on Wm Vardon v Hall / Examinations of Witnesses / Cranch, 15 London Street, Fenchurch Street.a
On inheriting Goldstone, William Vardon had a memorial erected to his cousin Edward Hayward's memory which still remains on the south wall inside the church of St. Swithun in Cheswardine. It features the coat of arms shown above and has the following words enscribed:
EDWARD HAYWARD ESQr
OF GOLDSTONE HALL IN THIS PARISH
DIED THE 2ND of AUGUST 1827
HE LIES INTERRED IN A VAULT IN THE CHURCHYARD OF BRADFORD SEMELE
IN THE COUNTY OF WARWICK
AS A TRIBUTE TO HIS MEMORY, THIS TABLET HAS BEEN PLACED HERE
BY HIS GRATEFUL FRIEND AND RELATIVE
Just below Edward's memorial is one erected to Edward Goldstone, the last of that family to have lived at Goldstone, as detailed above.
ABOVE - a view of the south side of the Church of St. Swithun, Cheswardine from the High Street through the village, and the lovely porch that leads to the church. Just to the left of the signpost shown below is the Fox & Hounds Pub, which used to be owned by the Goldstone Estate. The pub is identified on the third picture, which shows the wonderful view from the porch of the church down the High Street.
The Vardons of Goldstone
( de Verdun / Verdon )
(cousins of the Haywards of Goldstone)
The Vardons of Goldstone are a cadet branch of the de Verdun (Verdon) family of Alton Castle in Staffordshire who settled nearby in Cheshire and by the end of the 16th century were living in Congleton. This connection with the de Verdons of Alton explains why they share the same coat of arms. However, the Vardon's crest of a stags head is different - an apocryphal story in the family tells that this crest came from an incident when a member of the family cut off a stags head at the end of a hunt and presented it to the King, who was present.
BELOW - Coat of Arms of the Vardon family. The shield's design is described in heraldic terms as Or, Fretty Gules. The family's arms below was painted in honour of one of the family, based on an original black and white bookplate that belonged to John Vardon, younger brother of William Vardon of Goldstone, of whom more below. The motto is an older one used by the family, and which featured on John Vardon's coat of arms: Cœli sub rore virescens, which means Prospering under the dews of Heaven.
A detailed history of the de Verdun family of England and Normandy, in particular the line from which the Vardons of Goldstone descend, is provided on another page - www.de-verdon.uk. A shorter summary follows below.
The first historical record of the appearance of Bertram (Bertrand) de Verdun is in a charter of the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, signed at Avranches. The original charter was destroyed in 1944; a copy provides a date of mo. lxo. vio. i.e. 1066, but it doesn't seem possible for that date to be correct - the charter can be dated sometime 1068-1085 on the basis of some individuals within the charter being cited as holding specific offices, the dates of their appointment to which are known from other records. 1076 may be the correct date, since the copy may have simply omitted an extra 'x', with the original therefore having shown the date as mo. lxxo. vio. The charter records a grant by Guillelmus (William) son of Guimundi of Avranches to the Abbey of tithes at Le Luot, near La Haye-Pesnil, c.10km north of Avranches. The charter mentions his friend Erneisi de Verduno (Ernée de Verdun, who may be a brother or otherwise a relative of Bertram de Verdun) a Canon of Avranches and is signed by six people in this order: Guillelmus himself, Mathildis his wife, Bertranni de Verduno (Bertrand de Verdun), Gaufredi de Cauinne (Geoffroi de Cavigny), Radulfi de sancto Johanne (Raoul de Saint-Jean-de-Thomas) and Radulfi de Musca (Raoul de la Mouche).1
1 Sources: Cartulaire du Mont-Saint-Michel, folios 83v et 84. M. l'abbé Jean-Jacques Desroches : Annales Religieuses de l'Avranchin (1847), page 68; and Desroches : Histoire du Mont Saint-Michel et de l'ancien Diocèse d'Avranches (Caen, 1838), tome 1, page 208]
Some historians have postulated that Bertram was a son of Godfrey III, Duke of Upper Lorraine, also (later) Duke of Lower Lorraine and Count of Verdun-sur-Meuse in Lorraine, but this now appears to be an error based on assumptions about the family's toponym and heraldry. After 1066, Bertram de Verdun was given the Manor of Farnham Royal in Buckinghamshire. This manor had been held previously by Goda, daughter of Emma of Normandy by her husband King Æthelred the Unready and therefore sister of Edward the Confessor. Following Goda's death, her second husband (her first had been Count Drogo of the Véxin) Count Eustace II of Boulogne married Ida the daughter of Godfrey III, supposed father of Bertram de Verdun. This would have made Bertram the brother-in-law of Goda's second husband, which may provide an argument that might explain why he was granted Farnham Royal. A book by writer and historian Beryl Platts - 'Scottish Hazard, Volume Two: The Flemish Heritage' (latest edition 1990) - supports the story of the de Verdun family of Normandy's descent from the Counts of Verdun-sur-Meuse in Lorraine. Platts proposes that a number of leading Norman nobles who settled in Scotland, including the de Brus family, were members of exiled or émigré noble families from Flanders, who had become tenants of lands in Normandy before 1066. On pages 59-60, in a discussion about the feudal tenants in the Cotentin, including reference to some of their heraldry, she writes:
"The lordly names, all assumed to belong to Normans because Normandy is where they were in 1066, must have their antecedents probed. The task is not so formidable; they lived boldly, publicly, and left clues - in their use of names, their marital alliances, their heraldry. Ferrers bore the mascles of Quincy. The arms of Mandeville and Vere were those of Senlis. Hay used the shield upon shield of Wavrin. Haig adopted the saltire of Praet. Some men called their homes St. Vaast, Gavere, Verdun..... The more their antecedents are studied, the plainer it becomes that they were non-Normans, almost certainly recruited by the new French dynasty from the remnants of a Carolingian system of government further east, to teach the raw and lawless Normans some of the traditional ways of civilised life. In the case of Richard le Goz, the appointment's implications would be softened for William of Normandy because Richard has married his half sister, Emma de Conteville. Thurstan's origins are not known, but if there was suporting evidence we might guess that his unlikely surname was a shortened version of Gozelo, a name common among displaced sons of the Count of Verdun. In fact, at least some supporting evidence is there. French genealogists give Richard de Surdeval, who lived near the comital centre at Mortain, a descent from Verdun, on the Meuse; and Bertram de Verdun's presence at a place in the Avranchin called, evocatively enough, Bouillon, speaks for itself".
This postulated Lorraine connection for the de Verdun family remains a completely unproven hypothesis. Not a single contemporary historical source confirms it. More research into medieval records in Normandy is uncovering more extensive knowledge of members of the de Verdun family and their lands there and, at this point in time, is strongly indicating and even confirming that the family's origins had no connection with Verdun-sur-Meuse and that the other tradition within the family is correct: that they were Normans who took their toponym from one of their fiefs in the Avranchin area of Normandy - highly likely to be 'Verdun' by Saint-Martin-des-Champs.
Platts was incorrect about Thurstan Goz's origins - they have been well known; William of Jumièges and other historians recorded that his father was 'Ansfrid the Dane'. However, what Platts writes above is of additional interest because the 1st Earl of Chester of the second creation, Hugh d'Avranches succeeded his father Richard le Goz as Vicomte of Avranches and the de Verdun family held lands in Normandy and England from Hugh and his descendants. This old connection between the Earls and the de Verduns continued to be maintained over many generations. Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester and 1st Earl of Lincoln, was also Vicomte d'Avranches in Normandy, like his forebears. He was a young boy when he inherited the Earldom on the death of his father Hugh de Kevelioc, son of Ranulf de Gernon. One of the men who administered his inheritance during his minority was Bertram (III) de Verdun of Alton, who was an influential and trusted administrator of King Richard I, with whom he went on Crusade in 1189. This Bertram III was a son of Norman de Verdun whose own father (or otherwise grandfather - see discussed here) was Bertram de Verdun the Domesday lord of Farnham Royal which he held as Tenant-in-Chief to the King. Charter evidence in both Normandy and England suggests that another Bertram de Verdun who appears to be of the same generation as Norman de Verdun was his brother, and therefore another son of the 1st Bertram. To avoid any confusion, it is helpful to refer to him as 'Bertram II' de Verdun, so that Norman's son may be signified by the name 'Bertram III' de Verdun.
The de Verduns manor of Farnham Royal was held by the 'grand sergeantry' of providing a glove for the King's right hand on the day of his coronation, and supporting his right arm during the said service, so long as he bore the royal sceptre. Some have supposed this sergeanty to have begun in the time of the first Bertram, but it seems more likely that this holding of Farnham Royal by 'Grand Sergeanty' was a change that dated from the time of Bertram III de Verdun, when Hagger tells us that the hundred rolls state that Farnham Royal manor was 'in the hand of the lord King Henry, father of King John. And the same Henry gave the manor to Bertram de Verdun for his service' - source: Rotuli Hundredorum in Turri Londinensi, Record Commission (London, 1812, 1818), 1, p. 46. Hagger suggests that perhaps the manor had at some point been lost by the de Verduns, or the hundred rolls were simply recording the creation of the sergeanty as the new basis upon which Bertram held Farnham Royal, which from 1086 had otherwise been recorded as held directly from the King. If this sergeanty was created in the reign of Henry II then it is likely that the first time a de Verdun performed such a service was at the coronation of King Richard I at Westminster Abbey on 3rd September 1189. Records confirm that the service continued to be performed by his heirs and successors into the 19th century, or at times by someone who stood in for them.
Bertram III de Verdun was made Governor of Acre in the Holy Land. The Chronicle of Croxden Abbey, a Cistercian house that Bertram had founded in 1176, records his death in 1192 with the words: 1192: Bertram de Verdun of pious memory founder died and on St. Bartholomew's Day was buried at Acre (translation published in Charles Lynam's 'The Abbey of St. Mary, Croxden, Staffordshire. A Monogram'). St. Bartholomew's Day that year is noted by Hagger to have been 25th August. It is Roger de Hoveden in his 'Gesta Regis Henrici II & Gesta Ricardi' who records that Bertram died at Jaffa. Another record states that Bertram was buried at St. John's Church in Acre.
He was succeeded first by his eldest son Thomas, and then after his death, by his second son Nicholas. They had a younger brother - Henry I de Verdun. In 1204, Henry was recorded as holding the manor of Bucknall (now a suburb north west of Stoke-on-Trent) from his older brother Nicholas de Verdun. He married Hawise, daughter and heiress of Engenulf de Gresley and his wife Alina (otherwise also recorded as Aliva or Aline) and died c.1238. Engenulf had lands with his wife in Tunstall and Chell, now parts of Stoke-on-Trent. His name also appears as Engenulph, Eugenulf and Ingenulfus. The de Gresley family were a cadet branch of the de Stafford family whose surname was a toponym taken from their manor of Gresley.
Alina, the lady of Darlaston, was the heiress of her brother Ralph, and their father was Robert fitzOrme of Darlaston, one of the sons of Orme le Guidon - a name literally translated as Orme the standard bearer, and his wife who is cited in contemporary records as having been a daughter of Nicholai Vicecomitis i.e. 'Nicholas the Sheriff' of Staffordshire. It has been speculated that this Nicholas the Sheriff may have been either Nicholas de Stafford, another son of Robert de Stafford, or Nicholas de Beauchamp whose identity otherwise remains something of a mystery. An Abstract of the Contents of the Burton Abbey Chartulary (then in the possession of the Marquis of Angelsey at Beaudesert) was published in the Staffordshire Collections Volume 5, Part I in 1884. Major-General Wrottesley who provided this abstract suggests in a footnote (page 10) that some entries seems to establish the identity of Nicholas the Sheriff of Staffordshire temp. Henry I. and that he was Nicholas de Beauchamp. However, Wrottesley's use of the word 'seems' rather suggests that he wasn't entirely certain, so it remains possible that this Sheriff was Nicholas de Stafford, elder son of Robert de Stafford and the brother of Nigel de Stafford, Alina de Gresley's ancestor. His name does not appear anywhere in the Chartulary as Nicholas 'de Beauchamp', but (in the order in which these names appear in the text) as: Nicholao Vicecomiti de Stafford, Nicholaum de Stafford Vicecomitem, Nicholao Vicecomiti Staffordiæ and N. de Stafford Vicecomitem.
Orme also appears in contemporary records as Ormus de Derlavestona i.e. 'of Darlaston'. He is also found mentioned as Orme le Guldon, and his first name is found given as Orm, Orme, Ormus, and Horm. Some have conjectured that Orme was the King's standard bearer, or perhaps of one of the great nobles like the Staffords. Orme's father appears in Domesday as Ricardi Forestari ('Richard the Forester') who is called 'Chief Forester of Staffordshire' by Major-General Hon. George Wrottesley, in his abstract of the Plea Rolls of Staffordshire, and elsewhere as Keeper of the king's Forest of Cannock and the New Forest of Staffordshire, which stretched from Tunstall south along the line of the Trent as far south as Tixall to the east of Stafford, and in width from the west of Stone, encompassing Darlaston, eastwards almost to Uttoxeter. Whatever the precise wording of the official appointment Richard the Forester held and royal service he owed for his lands, a number of his Staffordshire estates were located within the bounds of the then much extended Forest of Cannock, and the district to its north that later became known as the New Forest of Staffordshire.
Domesday records that Richard the Forester (also found as 'Ricardus Forestarius') held ten manors in Staffordshire as Tenant-in-Chief, from the King. These ten are entered in Domesday under the heading TERRA RICARDI FOREST’ and immediately underneath in the first entry given as RICARDI forestari. Four of these - Whitmore, Thursfield (now called 'Newchapel'), Hanford and Clayton were held from Richard by Nigel de Stafford, grandfather of Engenulf de Gresley who married Alina the great granddaughter of Richard the Forester, and their daughter Alina inherited some of the Staffordshire estates held by Richard in 1086. Some of these were subsequently inherited by Alina and Engenulph's daughter Hawise on her marriage to Henry I de Verdun, already mentioned above. The other manors Richard the Forester held in Staffordshire as tenant-in-chief were: Dimsdale, Estendone (believed to be 'Huntington' in the old parish of Cannock), Hanchurch, Knutton, Rodbaston and, lastly, Normacot whose lords in 1086 were Almer and Wulfric. In the next column he appears under another section/chapter heading for lands of the King's Thanes (Terra Tainorum Regis) simply as RICARDI holding an eleventh Staffordshire manor at (Little) Onn, which in the Domesday entry is spelled 'Anne'.
Richard's lands in Warwickshire appear listed under the heading TERRA RICARDI FORESTARII, and within the entries for the separate estates that he held his name is also given as R. Venator ('Richard the Hunter'). These included 'three parts of Chesterton' and Kenilworth, which he held directly of King William the Conqueror as part of the King's manor of Stoneleigh. King Edward the Confessor had held Kenilworth in 1066, and it was later held by Geoffrey de Clinton, father of Henry de Verdun's grandmother Lescelina de Verdun. It is the later Book of Fees that has led historians to conclude that Richard the Forester of Warwickshire was the same man as Richard the Forester of Staffordshire, since it records that Chesterton, then held by one of his descendants Hugo de Loges for the service of forestership of Cannock in Staffordshire: Hugo de Loges tenet per forestarium de Canoc in Cestreton (Source: Liber Feodorum. The Book of Fees commonly called Testa de Nevill, Part 1. A.D. 1198-1242 page 8, A.D. 1198, Warwick and Leicester). It is suggested that this may have been the case in 1086 and that Richard may therefore have held his lands in both counties by 'forest-serjeanty'. More details are provided in Wrottesley's abstraction of the Plea Rolls of Staffordshire, in 1270:
Plea Rolls for Staffordshire: 1269-70
The Victoria History of the County of Warwickshire (edited by H. Arthur Doubleday and William Page F.S.A.) has more to tell us about Richard the Forester and provides further confirmation of his role as custodian of the Forest of Cannock.
Alina of Darlaston's 1st cousin Emma, daughter of Radulphus ('Ralph') fitzOrm married Adam de Audley, son of Liulf de Audley (otherwise recorded as 'Aldithley'), who was one of the English tenants of the de Verduns of Alton. Hagger tells us that Orme of Darlaston was another of the de Verdons' English tenants, holding lands in Fenton, Biddulph and Bucknall from the de Verdons.
Hawise de Gresley brought in marriage to Henry de Verdun, her manor of Darlaston (by Stone) and the manor of Nether Biddulph in Staffordshire along with the advowson of the church at Biddulph, and other property in Derbyshire. Biddulph adjoins the Cheshire parish of Astbury and the villages are only a few miles apart. Darlaston had been confirmed to her grandfather Robert fitzOrme by the Abbott of Burton Abbey. At one time, the Verdons of Astbury parish (see below) had also held lands in the parish of Biddulph, but this was entirely coincidental, after inheriting them through marriage. Henry and Hawise, and their descendants, came to hold other estates in Staffordshire and also in Cheshire. For example, in 1199 Henry claimed a virgate in Levedale, Staffordshire, in his wife's right (ref: Staffordshire Historical Collections Vol. I, 163, 165). The de Verduns continued to hold this land generations later. Hawise's ancestor, Robert de Stafford had held 3 hides in Levedale in 1086. As already mentioned, the de Gresleys were the same family as the de Staffords. Engenulf's father was William fitzNigel of Gresley founder of Gresley Priory, son of Nigel de Stafford. Nigel was the son of Robert de Stafford and his wife Avice de Clare, said to have been a daughter of Richard fitz Gilbert (by his wife Rohese Giffard), the son of Gilbert, Count of Brionne. Gilbert's father was Geoffrey, Count of Eu illegitimate son of Duke Richard I of Normandy, nicknamed "sans peur'', whose great grandson was William the Conqueror.
Robert de Stafford was a younger brother of Ralph de Tosny Lord of Conches, hereditary standard-bearer of Normandy and one of the men who presence at Hastings is proven by historical sources. Robert is also supposed to have been present. He appears mentioned with his brother Ralph in some of the Rolls of William's companions, most notably the list of names carved on the wall inside the church of Notre-Dame at Dives-sur-Mere. Domesday records that the two brothers were well rewarded with extensive estates in England as tenants-in-chief holding their lands directly from the king. Robert's lands were centred on Staffordshire where he was the dominant landowner, holding 81 of his more than 130 English manors. He built the first Stafford Castle circa 1070, after the battle there in 1069.
Robert and Ralph's father was Roger de Tosny and according to William of Jumièges their mother was Gotelina, otherwise recorded as 'Godehildis'. Other historians have suggested she was Roger's second wife of unknown parentage and that his first wife was Estefania, daughter of Count Raymond of Barcelona and his wife Ermesinde of Carcassonne - the marriage arising from the exploits of Roger and his men against the Moors of Spain whilst fighting for Ermesinde when she was Regent of Barcelona during her son's minority. The chronicler and monk Adémar de Chabannes (d. 1034) relates some of the earliest recorded tales about Roger's adventuring in Spain and is the first to mention that Ermesinde gave her daughter in marriage to him, but Adémar does not provide a name for this daughter - it is others who provide the name 'Estefania'. In his book The Gresley's of Drakelow, the historian Falconer Madan concurs with others in giving Godehildis as the mother of Ralph and Robert, but takes the view that she was the daughter of Count Raymond. Madan may be mistaken, unless Godehildis was another of Ermesinde's children and her identity confused with that of Estefania. If not, she may have been a lady from a family in Normandy. What we do know is that after Roger de Tosny's death in 1040, during a war with Roger de Beaumont - part of a wider set of private feuds between the nobility of Normandy during the unstable years of Duke William's minority, Godehildis was married to Richard, Count of Évreux, who was the son of Robert, Archbishop of Rouen and Count of Évreux, whose father was Duke Richard I of Normandy.
Professor David Douglas provides some interesting details about the de Tosny family in his book on William the Conqueror, and this particular excerpt is worth including here:-
Henry I de Verdun and his brother Nicholas de Verdun are found together in 1223 attesting Henry de Audley's foundation charter of Hulton (Hilton) Abbey in Staffordshire. Their names appear as Nicholao de Verdon and Henrico de Verdun in the full transcription of this Carta Fundationis, which was published in Volume 5 of the expanded 1846 edition of Monasticon Anglicanum, by Sir William Dugdale, Knight, Garter Principal King at Arms.
Henry de Verdun is known to have been Sheriff of Staffordshire and Shropshire (the roles were combined from 1204 to 1344), and also Coroner, in succession to Henry de Deneston. This is revealed in the Plea Rolls of Staffordshire for 1228, in a case from the Hundred of Offelawe, recorded under the Pleas of the Crown heard at Lichfield:
Collections for a History of Staffordshire, Volume 4, 1883, pp 68-75
Pleas of the Crown.Roll No.30. Hundred of Offelawe. m. 11.
Robert de Bosco, accused of the death of John Buche, before M. de Patushill and his associate Justiciaries last itinerent withdrew himself; and Henry de Anestun (de Deneston) then Sheriff and Coroner, was commanded to put him in exigenda and to outlaw him, because it was testified that he was guilty; and Henry de Verdun, Sheriff and Coroner, states that he [i.e. Robert de Bosco] was not outlawed.... The sureties of Henry the Sheriff [i.e. Henry de Deneston] are Geoffrey de Greselega [Gresley], John fitz Philip, and Milo de Verdun [Henry's brother].....
The de Verduns of Darlaston had lands and connections in Cheshire, which included 'Tiverton', having been granted c.1208 by R. de Verdun, Dean of Chester, to his sister Luciae, which Ormerod recorded in his History of Cheshire (Volume II, page 276).
The next time the de Verduns' estate in Tiverton is mentioned, it was in the hands of Henry I de Verdun. This suggests that Perhaps Lucy may have been his sister, and 'R. de Verdun' his brother, whose name may have been remembered by Henry calling one of his own sons 'Roger'. At this point, no records have emerged to confirm one way or another, but it is a hypothesis that would make sense.
Returning to Ormerod's history (Volume II), his sub-chapter on 'Tiverton' continues on page 149 with these words:
Henry de Verdont, shortly afterwards, in the time of king John, or Henry the Third, granted by deeds without date, to Matthew son of Matthew de Hulgreve, an estate in Teverton, with the homages and services thereunto annexed, in free marriage with Alice de Verdon, his daughter; which grant was confirmed by Roger de Verdon, her brother, in 1232. Henry de Verdon sealed with two lions indorsed.
This Matthew de Hulgreveu, the representative of a younger branch of the Vernon family, resided at Hulgreve, near Minshull, where his family continued until the extinction of the male line, in the person of Henry de Hulgreve, anno 13 Ric. II.
t Harleian MS 2038. p.74
u The Hulgreve pedigree will be found in the account of Hulgreve.
Tiverton's connection between the de Verdun and de Hulgreve families is mentioned again in 'Parentia : Genealogical Memoirs', by George Ormerod DCL FRS of Tyldsley & Sedbury Park. Published within this is A Memoir of the Cheshire Domesday Roll, formerly preserved in the Exchequer of that Palatinate to which are appended A Calendar of Fragments of this lost record collected by the author and Notices of the Justiciaries of Chester in the Thirteenth Century. On page 13, under the sub-heading of 'In the time of Sir William de Vernon. 1229-1232 (itself part of a section that begins on page 11: Calendar of such entries in the Cheshire Domesday Roll as have been recovered from the documents cited.) appears the following:
16. Enrollment of grant by Henry de Verdon of vi bovates, etc., in Teverton, in frank marriage with Alice his daughter, to Matthew son of Matthew de Hulgreve, 1231. (F. 19.)
17. Enrollment of grant by Matthew de Hulgreve, to Matthew his eldest son, of half his lands in Hulgreve, Herdeswic, and Fudac, saving the capital messuage therein, and with engagement not to give, sell, or pledge, the other moiety, or divert it from said son or his heirs by Alice his wife, 1231. (F. 20.)
The man mentioned above in relation to Tiverton is Henry I de Verdun.
A third of Teverton was still in the possession of the de Verdons in 1394 - we know this thanks to a record in the “Recognizance Rolls of Chester”, which mention that a third of the manor of Teverton, held of John de Verdon in socage.
Henry I de Verdun is mentioned in another early Cheshire deed, which refers to other lands he held in the county. This deed is published, translated, in The Cheshire Sheaf, page 97, November 1920, under the heading 'Some Early Cheshire Deeds - continued from No. 4160'.
Henry de Verdon gave to Roger his son two shillings and twopence farthing rent which Wm. de Norleg held of him in Chester at Gloverston [at Chester] and an assart in the vill of Louton [Lowton near Wigan] which Keneric held of him, and lands which Adam de Faradon held of him and Wm Clerk in Middlecliff and his plot near the mill rendering 4 barbed arrows.
Wtn. Wm. Parton, Rob. de Sumerton, Ivo de Aston, Ran. de Bovile, Rob. Salmon, Wm Chanu, Alex. de Bonebury, Patric de Bonebury, Rob. son of Wm. Chanu, Simon de Tyrisford, Wm. Clerk of Louton.
S. d. verie ancient.
T. +SIG HENRICI DE VERDUN, in a rundle 2 lyons counter saleant.
Henry's seal of '2 lyons counter saleant' is the same as that described above in the Tiverton deed as 'two lions indorsed'.
The Public Record Office throws up another helpful insight into the de Verdun family of Darlaston & Biddulph's connections with Cheshire, within the Chester County Pleas in the 20th/21st year of the reign of Edward I. In this case it relates to the testament of Thomas de Staundon (or Standon), Rector of Rostherne, which is located 4.5km south east of High Legh ('Legh', which is also mentioned below), 12km south west of Gatley and 10km north west of Fulshaw. Thomas's executors were Henry III de Verdun of Darlaston and Biddulph, and Robert de Bromlegh. Henry's grandfather Henry I de Verdun was a son of Bertram III de Verdun, whose close involvement with Cheshire is mentioned above. Henry III de Verdun had married a sister of Vivian de Standon (Staundon), who had a brother called Thomas, no doubt the same man as Thomas de Staundon the Rector, which would perhaps explain how Henry came to be Thomas's executor. Perhaps he played a role in Thomas being appointed Rector of Rostherne. Henry named his son Vivian de Verdun after his brother-in-law (whose father may also have been Vivian de Standon).
Either before or after this case was recorded, a 'Jordan de Verdon' is mentioned in another old document that relates to Legh and also mentions Sir Richard de Mascy and Thomas de Legh. This may well suggest that Jordan was closely related to Henry III de Verdun - in fact, he seems to have been Henry's brother. Ormerod in his History of Cheshire, in writing of 'Legh' (i.e. High Legh, located c.15km west/south west of Gatley and the same distance north/northwest of Wilmslow) wrote of one half of a moiety having been purchased by Sir Richard Massy of Tatton, towards the middle of Edward the First's reign, which lasted from 16th November 1272 to 7th July 1307).
That Jordan de Verdon was the son of Henry II de Verdon (de Verdun) of Darlaston is further suggested by the appearance in 1327 of 'Henry son of Jordan de Verdon'. He is mentioned in the Calendar of Patent Rolls covering the years 1327 - 1330 within the reign of Edward III (published in 1891). The entry appears on page 121 within 'Membrane 15. This and other membranes seem to record a very large number of pardons for crimes committed after the Coronation of Edward III on 1st February 1327. Perhaps the long list of pardons related to the acts connected with the conflict between Edward II and his nobles, or scores settled between parties who took advantage of a power vacuum that encouraged anarchy. The entry in the Patent Rolls does not tell us whose side (if any) Henry de Verdon (son of Jordan) may have been on, but it is more likely that those being pardoned may have been supportive of Mortimer, hence the young King having to pardon them. The entry reads as follows:
1 EDWARD III. - PART II.
Membrane 15 - cont.
1327. July 11. Topclif'.
William son of Thomas Legh, Robert Legh, John de Rodeyard, John de Legh, Thomas Danyers, Geoffrey le Byroun, William de Chetelton, for the deaths of William de Modburghlegh, Henry son of Jordan de Verdon, William son of Roger de Modburghlegh, Hugh Reynald and Thomas de Dounes, killed after the coronation, with the condition.
The parentage of Henry III de Verdun adds further evidence to bolster the argument that Jordan de Verdon was his brother. His father Henry II de Verdun of Darlaston married Amice, sister of Sir Roger de Pyvelesdon (otherwise occurring spelt 'Pulesdon' or 'Puleston') - the name 'Jordan' occurs with some regularity in Amice and Roger's family at this time, with one of the bearers of the name appearing to be Amice's own brother and/or her nephew. Puleston is a hamlet in the parish of Chetwynd just to the north of Newport, Shropshire. It is only after Henry's marriage to Amice that the name 'Jordan' appears in the de Verdun family. The de Verduns and de Pyvelesdons are found mentioned together in a number of records.
It seems that Amice lived a long life if it is she who appears mentioned as Amicia de Verdun in the Exchequer Subsidy Roll for the Hundred of Pirehill in Staffordshire in 1327, under Derleston and is recorded as paying 3s 2d. But this may in fact be the widow of Henry III de Verdun, sister of Vivian de Staundon. If so, then the man at the top of the list of people under Darlaston Viviano de Verdon who pays 4s 6d, is her son; and Henr' de Verdon who pays 2s 2d, a younger son. Vivian de Staundon is listed under Staundon and pays 6s, and Jordano de Peulesdon under Flossebroke (i.e. Flashbrook) and pays 8d.
The well known 'Puleston Cross' in Newport by St. Nicholas's Church was erected in the 1280s to the memory of Sir Roger de Pyvelesdon, father of Alice (who married Sir Robert de Harley), Jordan and Roger de Pyvelesdon and their other siblings, and therefore either the father or brother of Amice de Verdun. Recent investigation during a redevelopment around the site in 2010 concluded that this historic market cross has stood on the same spot since c.1280. A more precise date may be suggested by mention of a deed signed by Roger, son of Sir Roger de Pyvelesdon in 1285, which includes the words: "the cross set up for the soul of Roger de Pyvelsdon who died in 1272" - the deed is mentioned in the book 'The Early Pulestons' by Mrs Sunter Harrison of Wrexham, published in 1975.
ABOVE – The Puleston Cross in front of St. Nicholas's Church, Newport, Shropshire :-
As mentioned above, Henry II de Verdun had died before 1272. It appears that along with many others from Staffordshire including his wife Amice's brother or nephew Jordan de Puleston, Henry had been part of Simon de Montfort's rebellion against King Henry III. This is mentioned in The Collections for a History of Staffordshire (Volume 8, 1887; pages 4-5), within a chapter titled 'Notes on the Military Service performed by Staffordshire Tenants during the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries.'
The Barons’ war, 48 to 51 Hen. III
A.D. 1264 to A.D. 1266
In some suits Coram Rege of Hillary Term, 56 Hen. III., respecting the amount of redemption to be paid for the forfeited estates of Henry de Verdun and Hugh de Weston, it was testified that the whole of the county of Stafford was against the King, and juries from the counties of Worcester and Warwick were summoned in consequence to decide the cases. The Chronicles however bear testimoney to the loyalty of three at least of the principal tenants of Staffordshire. These were Philip Marmion, James de Audeley, and Roger de Somery. On the other hand, Robert Earl of Ferrars, and Hugh le Despencer the Justiciary of England, and Ralph Basset of Drayton took a leading part in favour of Simon de Montfort and his adherents. With regard to the head of the House of Stafford there is no evidence as to the part he took. Robert de Stafford at this time was a man advanced in life, and it is probable he remained neutral during the strife. Of the lesser tenants, William Bagot of the Hyde, Adam de Brimpton, William Wyther, and Hugh de Okeover, remained loyal to the Crown. The following are shown by the Rolls to have been in arms against the King :
Robert de Staundon
Henry de Verdun of Darlaston
Philip de Mutton
William de Handsacre
Robert de Pipe
John fitz Philip
Hugh de Weston
Geoffrey de Gresley
John de Audley of Blore
Robert de Knighteley
Henry de Charnes
Roger Bagot of Brinton
William de Parles
Roger de Walton
John de Swynnerton
Richard de Loges
Gilbert le Mareschal of Aston
Richard de Bromley
William de Harecourt
Bertram de Burgo
William de Rideware
Jordan de Pulestone
Richard de Flotesbroc (Flashbrook)
Richard de Vernon
Giles de Erdington
Robert de Melbourne of Hoarcross
Geoffrey de Aston
Henry de Wyverstone
It is quite possible that Jordan de Verdon was named after an uncle or other relative called Jordan de Pyvelesdon, although the name Jordan was not uncommon in this period and others close to the family had borne it; for example, Jordan de Humez, son of Richard de Humez in whose household Bertram III de Verdun had been brought up (see above).
The de Verdons had a connection with Astbury in Cheshire, which is rather coincidental because St Mary's Astbury was the parish church for Congleton, where predecessors of the Vardons of Goldstone once lived, and were therefore christened, married and buried at St Mary's Astbury for hundreds of years. They had farms in Astbury parish as well as property holdings in Congleton itself. As it happens, the Cheshire Court Rolls record under the heading 'County Court of St. Peter's Chair, 22nd February 1288-89, a case is recorded as follows:
Abbot of St. Werburgh's, Chester v. [versus] William son of Thomas de Venables; advowson of Astebury church. The abbot said he last presented one Mr John de Stanlegh, clerk, in time of peace, and he was duly instituted by the Bishop of Chester. The church is now vacant by his death. William being under age, his guardian Roger de Verdun [son of Henry III de Verdun] said the matter must be adjourned till he came of age; meantime it was alleged that though the abbot presented the last incumbent he was not the true patron at the time but an intruder (quasi male fidei occupator), the heirs being unwilling.
The extract continues without further mention of Roger de Verdun, who was the son of Henry III de Verdon and brother of Vivian de Verdon. However, this is not the only early record that mentions both Astbury and one of the de Verdun family.
Additionally, in 1576 there used to be a window in Astbury church with two shields displaying the coat of arms of the de Verdun family, alongside a third displaying the arms of the Earl of Chester. We know this from a transcription in George Ormerod's book 'History of the County Palatinate and City of Chester', Volume III (1819) - it appears as a footnote on page 19 (which is completed on page 20) within the section dealing with Newbold Astbury, in the chapter on Northwich Hundred:
p. In Harl. MSS. 2151 [Harleian Manuscript No. 2151, held in the British Library], p. 4, are the following notices of "monuments and coates" in Astbury church, "taken an'o 1576." The parts of the description placed within hooks refer to rude drawings in the original MS.
"In the east window northwood are these monuments and coates, (four compartments, apparently divided by the mullions of the east window of the north chancel. In the first, a male and female figure with three sons and two daughters severally kneeling behind them. In the second and third similar figures, with three daughters and five sons, each charged on the breast with a cross patèe fitchèe [patée fitchée]. In the fourth, a male figure in armour, also kneeling. Under the entire line this inscription :
"Orate pro a'i'bus Radulfi Moreton de Moreton, Joh'is fr'is ejus, parentem benefactor' et o'i'u fideliu' defunctor' qui vitriacione' istius fenestra fecerunt.
"In the head of three windowes in the north ile these coates [Or, fretty Gules; the same; and Azure, three garbs Or.].
Perhaps these three coats of arms - two for the de Verdons (Vardons) and one for the Earl of Chester, were communicating the connection between the Earldom of Chester and Bertram III de Verdun, who was given custody of the Honour of Chester during Ranulf de Blondeville's minority, succeeding Gilbert Pipard in this role from 1185; and perhaps Bertram's brother William, or uncle (if he lived a long life) William de Verdun, one of Ranulf's grandfather Ranulf de Gernon's knights, who is mentioned above.
Records confirm that it was in the later 17th century that the Verdons' surname changed to Vardon. It is believed that this change of spelling reflected the way in which Verdon (previously de Verdon/Verdun) had come to be spoken phonetically, influenced by the great English vowel changes that began in the 14/1500s. In the same way, some of the Berkeley family changed their surname to Barclay, and the City of Derby came to be pronounced 'Darby', which is how Abraham Darby and his famous family of Quaker ironmasters spelt their name. Those descendants of the Verdons of Fulshaw who were still living in and around Wilmslow parish, Cheshire in the 1600s also changed the spelling of their name to Vardon at about the same time as their relation John Verdon had moved to live in Congleton. In addition, the Verdons of Caverswall, near Stoke-on-Trent and Alton experienced a change in the spelling of their name to Vardon in the 17th century, and some of the Verdons of Norfolk & Suffolk are also found recorded with this spelling.
In the same way, 'Verdontown' by Over Alderley, not far from Woodford and Prestbury, where the Verdons held land before Fulshaw, is now known as 'Vardentown'. Verdon House and Verdon Bridge in Hough by Wilmslow are also now known as 'Vardon House Farm' and 'Varden Bridge'. Earwaker tells us in his History of East Cheshire (1877) that these places were part of 'dominium de Verdone in Com. Cestriae'. This 'Lordship of Verdone' is recorded to have been given to the Preceptory of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem at Yeaveley in Derbyshire. Yeaveley also received the Manor of Fulshaw from Richard de Fitton, which was later held by Edmund Verdon son of Nicholas de Verdon, and it was granted other lands by Ranulf, Earl of Chester. Some of the de Verduns held land in Derbyshire at Aston & Weston-on-Trent of the Earls of Chester from an early time and the first of them - 'Sir William de Verdun' - married an heiress whose family held another nearby estate at Osgathorpe in Leicestershire from Bertram III de Verdun; these same de Verduns occur frequently in the chartulary of the Abbey of St. Werburgh in Chester in relation to grants of land to the abbey as well as other matters. Sir William may be the earlier William de Verdun of Cheshire and Normandy, or his son, or probably even Bertram III's brother.
Some of the de Verduns also appear in The Cheshire Court Rolls: Jordan de Verdun appeared at the County Court on St. Alphege's Day in the 17th year of the reign of Edward I (i.e. 19th April 1289) in relation to land at Poynton near Woodford. Jordan is very likely to be the same man who appeared in the c.1290s deed above, relating to land he had at Legh (i.e. High Legh), where Henry III de Verdun also appears to be connected. Then 'William de Verdoun' appeared in the Macclesfield Eyre Roll (included within the Cheshire Court Rolls) in 1290 in relation to land previously held by him at Gaticlyve (i.e. Gatley) by Cheadle, west of Stockport.
Approximately 50 years later, three descendants of these men, who are also the ancestors of the Verdons of Fulshaw, are mentioned in 'The early history of the Davenports of Davenport', published by the Chetham Society (3rd series, 9, 1960), within transcriptions from the 'Rotelus de Portura' (i.e. 'The Puture Roll'). The first of these, 'Jordan de Verdun' is mentioned in 1342-3 in the 19th year of the reign of Edward III in relation to land at Woodford, in the parish of Prestbury, Cheshire - likely to be the same land mentioned in relation to Jordan de Verdun in 1289 above. Then Nicholas de Verdon is recorded with his son Edmund in 1355-6 in the 29th year of the reign of King Edward III. 'Nicholas de Verdon' is listed in connection with land at Romelegh - this place is Romilly, a township in the parish of Stockport, Cheshire, close to Gatley (i.e. Gaticlyve mentioned above in relation to the earlier William de Verdoun). Then Nicholas's son - 'Edmundus filius Nichole de Verdon' - is listed in relation to land at Wernwyth cum Romylegh (in the parish of Stockport, Cheshire). Nicholas is not mentioned under Romelegh in the Puture Roll after Easter 1378 (1st year of the reign of King Richard II), so he may have died before this time. Whatever the answer, in 1387 his son Edmund de Verdon was recorded as having land at Woodford in the parish of Prestbury, Cheshire.
Earwaker in his history of East Cheshire provides details of many more of the family of Nicholas and Jordan de Verdon:
East Cheshire: Past and Present; or A History of the Hundred of Macclesfield in the County Palatine of Chester. From Original Records. In Two Volumes - Volume I. London 1877, by J. P. Earwaker, MA, FSA (of Merton College, Oxford)
Chapter: Wilmslow Parish, Section: Fulshaw Township, Page: 151-152
The share of Fulshaw that Crosse held appears to have passed to the Leghs of Adlington, and the share of the Sherts to have been devided between the Verdons who actually acquired theirs by marriage with Margaret del Shert an heiress; a family of the name Scorgel,[x] whose lands ultimately passed in 1388 to the Leghs of Adlington; and the Davenports. In 1387 EDMUND LE VERDON held lands in Woodford, in Prestbury parish; his son Geoffrey le Verdon, married Margaret del Sherd, the daughter of Thomas del Sherd, a younger brother of Robert del Sherd, and is so mentioned in an entail in 1339. GEOFFREY LE VERDON died in 1421, z beqeauthing in his will his best beast as a mortuary, and 2s. 4d. to make a torch, and to William Staveley, The chaplain 6d. HENRY VERDON, his son, is mentioned in his father’s will; and in 1491 a THOMAS VERDON next occurs; and in 1507, by a deed dated “at Scherd in Fulshaw”, he grants all his lands in Fulshaw, in trust to perform his will to William Hondford of Hondford, Esq., Nicholas Davenport of Woodford, Humphrey Newton of Newton, gentleman, and John Hondford, Rector of the Church of Aston. The witnesses to this deed are Sir William Bothe of Bolyn, Knight, Thomas Davenport (of Fulshaw), gent., Robert Ryley (of Chorley), John Gatley, and Thomas Matley, chaplains, and others. In it he mentions his wife Janet and eight sons. His son and heir EDMUND VERDON, succeeded his father, but was dead before 1530, in which year “THOMAS VERDON, of Sherd, son and heir of Edmund Verdon, late deceased,” is mentioned. His father appears to have resided much in Yorkshire; and amongst the Fulshaw deeds is a very curious one date 1530, in which “Thomas, the Prior of the monastry of Watton, of the order of Saint Gilbert, nigh Beverley co.York,” and a number of knights, esquires, gentry, and clergy made a declaration that Thomas Verdon was the only son of his father, and that he was born at Beswick, and baptised at Kinwick, co.York, and “had to his godfathers Thomas Dalby, late Archdeacon of Richmond, and Sir Henry Thwaitts, knight and Mastres Metham, wiff of Thomas Metham of Metham, squire, yet being of lyf, to his godmoder.” a In 1537 he leased all his lands in Fulshaw to Humphrey Newton, son of Humphrey Newton (of Pownall) the elder, and in 1561, by a deed dated April 12th in that year, in which he is described as “Thomas Verdon of Knottyngley, in the countie of York, gentillman,” b he sells them to Humphrey Newton then called “of Fulshaw, senior,1 ” for the sum of £112; and in 1581 William Verdon, his son and heir releases all his rights in the said lands to William Newton of Fulshaw, son and heir of Humphrey Newton of Fulshaw.
Footnotes provided with the text:-
z In 1393 he effected an exchange with John Scorgel and Cecilia his wife, of one acre of land in Fulshaw called Gudamons. This is perhaps what was afterwards known as “Goodmans Acre.”
a To this curious deed there were ten small seals attached seven of which now remain; but they are not heraldic.
b A pedigree of this family of Verdon of Fulshaw is in my Cheshire MSS., Vol. ii.
1 Clearly 'Humphrey Newton then called "of Fulshaw, senior"' is the son of 'Humphrey Newton (of Pownall) the elder', who is mentioned above (he married Ellen Fitton and died in 1536), and father of 'William Newton of Fulshaw' mentioned below. The reason for the confusion is no doubt due to the fact that Humphrey Newton who married Ethelreda Starkey and was father of William Newton, had other sons who included yet another Humphrey, who from 1536 would have been 'junior' to his father, who had become 'senior', after the death of his own father in 1536.
In 1445 an Edward Verdon appears in the Vale Royal's list of the names of the Knights, Gentlemen, and Freeholders in Cheshire in Macclesfield Hundred - historian and antiquarian J. P. Earwaker publishes this in his book on East Cheshire, and mentions that Edward Verdon had the 'Holding of St. John of Jerusalem'. His correct name may have been 'Edmund', like others of the family; not all names published in King's 'Vale Royal' were correctly recorded. Edward may have been a son of Geoffrey and brother of Henry.
In respect of Henry Verdon, son of Geoffrey, nothing is known beyond the details provided above. However, his son Thomas Verdon who succeeded Henry in possession of Fulshaw appears in a variety of documents, as does Thomas's presumed brother John Verdon, Rector of Lyndeby in Nottinghamshire. He first appears in a charter dated 1467/8 of Richard Newton of Newton near Wideford (i.e. Woodford) in Cheshire, and is recorded as John Verdon Rector of the Parish Church of Lyndby in the county of Nottingham. Earwaker translated and transcribed these charters under the heading of 'The Newton Chartulary'. They are held at The British Library - the original chartulary is BL. Add. MS 42134. A. and Earwaker's translation is BL. Add. MS 42134. B.
Edmund Verdon, mentioned above as the son of Thomas Verdon of Fulshaw, had moved to live in Yorkshire, at Beswick in the parish of Kilnwick, where he married Margaret Gascoigne, the widow of William Danyell of Beswick and they had a son called Thomas and a daughter called Anne. Margaret's parentage has been a matter of debate, but is now very clear - all the details of this can be seen on the page that provides a history of the de Verdun family (see link provided above). What can be confirmed is that Edmund Verdon married Margaret, daughter of John Gascoigne of Thorpe-on-the-Hill, son of Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe and Margaret Clarell. Edmund & Margaret's son Thomas Verdon was, through his mother's grandmother Margaret Clarell, directly descended from Theobald II de Verdon, 2nd Baron Verdon of Alton, through his eldest daughter Joan de Verdon, who married Sir Thomas Furnival, 2nd Baron Furnival. This gave Thomas quite an interesting pedigree. His Gascoigne family made him very well connected and meant that he and his descendants were descended not only from a cadet branch of the de Verdun family, but also from the last of the Verdon Barons from Alton.
An old deed refers to Edmund Verdon as being a 'Servant unto Master Dalby Archdeacon of Richmond and Provost of Beverley', and reference is found to one role Edmund held as a result of his association with Dalby, within the Visitations and Memorials of Southwell Minster in Nottinghamshire, edited by Arthur Francis Leach and published in 1891. On page 151, within a list of appointments of Canons of Southwell transcribed from page 16 of the original document, it is recorded that Thomas Dalbie Mag.[i.e. Magister/'Master'] was admitted, installed and inducted as Canon of Southwell on 16th November 1505. His Proctor was recorded as being Ed. Verdon, and the Prebend being North Leverton, also in Nottinghamshire. A further list on page 156 repeats that Thomas Dalby was admitted on 16th November 1505 and adds that he died in post. His successor Robert Nooke S.T.B. was admitted on 6th July 1526. A proctor was a form of legal officer or representative who would represent and act for a member of the Clergy and might sit in Chapter for them. In this particular period of history, proctors acting for Bishops used to represent and appear for them in Parliament. In the Diocese of York, it seems that each Archdeaconry might have had two proctors.
Edmund died in 1516, whilst he was still involved with Archdeacon Dalby and acting as his proctor at Southwell. Edmund drew up a deed dated 12th June 1516, which placed his Fulshaw estate in Cheshire into the hands of foeffees, creating a settlement for the benefit of his wife Margaret and son Thomas - see below. A grant of Administration of his estate to his widow Margaret and Roger Ward of Cottingham survives, and records the following:
Edmundus Verden’ de Beswike nup decessit et xxvijmo die mensis Augusti [Anno] d’ni Mill’mo quingentesimo sextodecimo
co’missa direct’ fuit co’missio [deca]no de Hertehill ad co’mittend’ admi’strac’oem o’im bonor que fue[runt] d’ci defu’cti ab intestat’ decedents Margarete Rel’ce ip’ius defu[ncti] et Rogero Warde de Cotingham et h’ent die’ venrjs px’ post fe[stum] s’ci Mich’is Arch’i px’ futur’1 ad certificand’ et ad exhibend’ Inue[ntarium]
1 3rd October 1516
Edmund Verden of Beswike has lately died, and on the 27th day of the month of August in the year of the Lord 1516, a commission was directed to the Dean of Hertehill to commit administration of all the goods that were of the said deceased, dying intestate, to Margaret relict of the said deceased, and to Roger Warde of Cotingham; and they have Friday after Michaelmas next to certify and to exhibit an inventory
(Note: the transcription and translation above is the work of David Bethell and is reproduced here with his permission.)
Although the grant of Administration to Margaret on 16th August 1516 states that Edmund died intestate, as mentioned above, he had already settled his estate in anticipation of his death, two months earlier. This is revealed by a deed and connected indenture that were helpfully copied by Earwaker, and appear in his folio collection in the order in which they appear below. They concern only Edmund's lands in Cheshire.
Extract of Transcription of Earwaker’s Collection, ref: ZCR-63-1-43
Pages 60 / 61 and 62 / 63
12th June 1516 - Original deed No.9
Edmund Verdon [late of Beswyke near to Watton co. York, gent] by his deed dated 12th June 8 Hen: 8 [i.e. 1516] gives to Andrew Newton gent and Charles Verdon his Brother, all his Messuage Lands, Tenements, Burgages, Rents, Reversions and services with their appurts [i.e. appurtenances] in Fulshaw in the County of Chester. To hold the same premises to the aforesaid Andrew and Charles their heirs and assigns of the chief Lorde of the Fee, for the service thereof due [cont. folio page 63] and of Right accustomed for ever to the purpose of performing and fulfilling the will of the said Edmund as in a certain Indenture to the Charter annexed fully appeats re “Sciant presentes et futuri qd. Ego Edmundus.
Extract of Transcription of Earwaker’s Collection, ref: ZCR-63-1-43
Page 64 / 65
12th June 1516
This Indenture made the twelfth day of June in the viij yere of the reigne of our Sovereign Lord Kyng Henry the viij [i.e. 12th June 1516] Witnesseth that the wyll and intent of me the foresaid Edmund Verdon ys that Andrew Newton of Newton and Charles Verdon my brother, beying my Feoffez of all my Meses [i.e. Messuages], Landys [Lands], Tenements, Burgages, rents, revercions and services with their appurtenances in thys Dede indented to thys indenture annexed shall thereof stand possessed and seasid [seized?] to the use of me the said Edmund during my lyff in maner and forme followynge That ys to say of one Mefs [messuage] with thappurtenances and certain pastur called the Ryddyngs and a Close called the Single More lying in Fulshaw I will that my said foeffes and their Heyrs shall make an Estate thereof to Margaret my wyffe for terme of hyr liff in the name of hyr jointure and Dower, and after my decease I will that my said feoffez and their Heyrs shall make an Estate of all the said Messes Lands tenements Burgages Rents, Reversions and Services, with their appurtenances except the said Messe [Messuage] to the said Margaret terme of hyr lyff to Thomas Verdon my son, and to the heyrs make of his body lawfully begotyn forever. In Witness Whereof to the Ded and Indenture amerced thereto I have set my seal the day and yere above reherssed.
Earwaker's collection confirms that Edmund's widowed mother Johanne Verdon was still alive in 1521, and she appears in an indenture with her younger son, Edmund's brother Charles.
A deed dated 1537 confirms that Thomas Verdon was resident at Burghwallis c.12km south of Knottingley, a manor held by the Gascoigne family. Thomas Verdon's presence may suggest that he had been brought up at Burghwallis by Gascoigne relatives; but he may just as well have been brought up in the home of his grandmother Elizabeth, widow of John Gascoigne, who married 2ndly William Arthyngton of Burghwallis and 3rdly Leonard Redman of Burghwallis. Thomas Verdon may have inherited some land there that had once belonged to his mother Margaret.
Transcription of Earwaker’s Collection ZCR-63-1-43
Page 77 to 83
1537 – Original Deed No.12
This Indenture made the XXth day of July the XXIXth yere of the reigne of King Henry the VIII Betwxe Thomas Vardon 1 son and haire of Edmounde Vardon deceased of the one partie and Humfrey Newton the younger son of Humfrey Newton the Elder of the other partie. Witnesseth that the said Thomas haythe devysed granted and to ferme letten and by thies presents devyseth granteth and to ferme letteth unto the said Humfry Newton the Younger all hys Messuages, Landes, Tenements, Meadows and Pastures with their appurtenances in Fulshawe......
cont: Also it is agreed between the said parties that the said Rent shall be paid yearly be paid by the said Humfrey or his assignies at the Dwelling House of ffrancis ffrobiser in Doncaster, Gentleman......
[the deed continues]
1537 – Original Deed No.13 (follows on immediately below Original Deed No.12)
For the performance of the Covenant in the above Lease, Thomas Vardon of Burghewallis in Co. York gent. Binds himself to Humfrey Newton in a Bond of 10 Marks penalty of the same date with the lease.
Footnotes not included in the original text:
1 This seems to be the earliest recorded appearance of the family's surname as 'VARDON' instead of 'Verdon'.
Immediately below 'Original Deed No.13' is another deed that confirms that Thomas was still 'of Burghwallis' in 1540. Thereafter he is mentioned as being 'of Knottingley'.
1540 – Original Deed No.14
Thomas Verdon of Burghwalles in the County of York Gentleman, by his Deed dated 18th June 32. Hen: 8. Gives to Richard Flecher and Robert Usher all his messuages, Lands, Tenements, Meadows, Pastures and Feedings with their appurtenances in Fulshaw in the County of Chester, which said Messuages, Lands and Tenements and the rest of the premises were there in the tenure of Humfrey Newton, to Hold all the aforesaid Premises to the aforesd Richd and Robttheir Heirs and assignes of the Chief Lords of the fee, by the accustomed services upon condition however that the said Richard and Robert do make thereof a good and lawful Estate to the said Thomas and Isabelle his wife, and to the heirs male of his Body, begotten on the body of the said Isabelle and for default of such issue, then to the said Thomas and his Heirs for ever.
It is in 1560 that Thomas is first found mentioned as being 'of Knottingley', in another of Earwaker's transcription of Fulshaw deeds.
Precisely what caused Thomas to move from Burghwallis to Knottingley is not known. A William Arthington of Knottingley, Gent., who was connected with Burghwallis, left a bequest in his Will (18th July 1548, Proved 8th May 1549) to his godson William Vardon (Verdon), who is clearly the son of Thomas and his wife Isabelle. Thomas Verdon had died sometime before 1581, when his son William Verdon appears on a deed confirming Fulshaw to William Newton, son of Humphrey.
Deborah Youngs, in her book 'Humphrey Newton (1466-1536), An Early Tudor Gentleman' [i.e. Humphrey Newton the elder of Pownall - see above], discusses the Verdon's shift of focus to Yorkshire (page 103) as explanation for why they steadily reduced their estate in Fulshaw. This may be true since we know an expanding branch remained up in Yorkshire near Knottingley, where they appear in the registers of Kellington, Beal, Snaith and Brotherton (amongst others); their surname became recorded variously as 'Verdon', 'Verden', 'Verdin', 'Verdine', 'Varden' and 'Vardon'. However, William Verdon who released all his rights to Fulshaw to William Newton in 1581 appears to have had quite a few siblings, including another 'Edmund Verdon', who remained steadfastly attached to estates in the parish of Wilmslow and other parts of Cheshire. Their surname also evolved and became 'Vardon' in the 1600s.
Youngs writes (also page 103): The Verdon family had close relations with the Newtons, which can be traced through land deeds to the late fourteenth century; by the early sixteenth century kinship further connected the families. Humphrey himself had acted as one of the feoffees of the Verdon estate and was executor for the Wilmslow lands of John Verdon (d. 1522). Her source for this is given as the 'Cheshire Sheaf, series III, volume XVII, pages 65-66 (PCC, 25 Maynwaring)', published in 1920, but she does not elaborate any further or provide any specific data on the 'kinship' between the Newtons and Verdons.
However, a close study of the Fulshaw deeds transcribed by Earwaker confirms what Youngs writes about the close interaction between the Verdons and Newtons. In one of these, Thomas Verdon (father of Edmund) and Humphrey Newton Senior are specifically referred to as 'kinsmen' - this phrase is often used to describe the relationship of brother-in-law. As it happens, Thomas Verdon's wife was called Johanna and Humphrey had a sister of this name. The deeds point very clearly at Thomas having married Humphrey's sister.
The John Verdon whose Will Youngs mentions was Edmund Verdon of Beswick's brother and so another of the sons of Thomas Verdon of Fulshaw and his wife Johanna Newton, sister of Humphrey Newton the elder. He was member of the Royal Household of Henry VIII. The publication 'Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 1: 1509-1514' (published 1920) provides some information about John's earlier role in the Royal Household:
Dated January 1511:
Beverley. Inspeximus. See below
John Verdon, groom of the Pitcherhouse, and Thomas Wilding, page of the Ewry. Grant, in survivorship, of certain lands called "White's landes," in the town of Pole 1, escheated by death of William White without heirs. Richmond, 2 Jan., 2 Hen. VIII. Del. Knoll, 18 Jan. P.S. (in English). Pat. 2 Hen. VIII. p. 2, m. 16. [1432.]
1 Poole, near Otley in Yorkshire.
John's Will, dated 1522, mentions his brother Charles Verdon and also Nicholas Horncliffe, who is likely to be the same man who in October 1536 was ‘Bailiff of Beverley’ (Bailiff of the Liberty of Beverley), during the Pilgrimage of Grace. The Will confirms that John had become a member of the royal household and his last appointment had been 'Page of the Buttery'.
A few generations later, another Verdon-Newton marriage is found - John Verdon (Vardon), son of John Verdon of Congleton married as his third wife Mary Newton sometime before 1657. An old scroll on which an extensive family tree is recorded, has a note next to John Verdon the younger's entry that reads: my brother-in-law William Newton. Perhaps this is William Newton, grandson of the William Newton who William Verdon of Knottingley released all his rights in Fulshaw to in 1581. This younger William Newton's wife was Alice, daughter of Henry Haworth an Alderman of Congleton and his wife Elizabeth Drakeford, sister of William Drakeford of Congleton. Henry's grandson, Henry Haworth of Caverswall in Staffordshire married Mary, daughter of William Moreton of Hulme Walfield in the parish of Astbury. Their daughter Elizabeth Haworth married Robert Hayward of Aston Cliffe - it is through this marriage that the estate of Hulme Walfield was inherited by the Haywards, and later passed to their cousins the Vardons descended from John Verdon of Congleton and his wife Mary Newton.
The first mention of any of the Verdon family being in Congleton is in relation to 'John Verdon the elder' who is recorded on the old pedigree scroll as born in 1570. He married Joan Poynton at Congleton 13th October 1594 and they had five children baptised at Astbury between 1595 and 1606: Isabell, Richard, John (died 1602), Margery and John. Their father is recorded in 1595 as John Verdon, an Officer paid for conducting a felon from Congleton to Halton Castle. The Manor of Congleton was a part of the Barony of Halton and it is likely that John held an office of the manor at the time, which would explain why it was he who conducted the felon to Halton. His name appears (as John Verdon) along with Randall Poynton and Richard Foxholes as the compilers of the Inventory of Richard Drakeford of Congleton dated 17th (or otherwise 18th) May 1598. Richard Drakeford's Will reveals that his wife was called Ellen, they had a son called William Drakeford, Richard was the brother of Thomas and Steven Drakeford, and Randall Poynton and Richard Foxholes were his 'brothers-in-law'. This may suggest that these two men married Richard Drakeford's sisters, or his wife Ellen was the sister of one of the men and the other was married to Richard's sister - more certainty remains to be confirmed. Seven years later the same John Verdon is recorded as one of the men who compiled the Inventory of the effects of the late Ralph Lowe, Mercer of Congleton, in 1604, and was also a witness to his Will, signing his name with a particularly distinctive flourish and formation of the initial 'V' as appears in his signature on his own Will in 1639. He appears again as one of the men who compiled the Inventory of Charles Brereton, Gentleman, of Congleton, which is dated 28th February 1607.
It is possible that Ellena Varden widow who is recorded in the parish registers of Astbury as buried 3rd March 1606 may be John's mother.
John Verdon thelder of Congleton's Will, dated 11th December 1639 (Probate 1640), includes one variation in the spelling of the family's name by the person who drew up the Will, which may represent fairly suggestive evidence of the period within which the family's surname began to change:
In the Name of God Amen the Eleaventhe daie of December In the yeare of our Lorde God one Thousande five hundred Thirtie and nyne And in the Fifteenth yeare of the Raigne of our Sovraigne Lorde Charles by the grace of God, Kinge of Englande, Scotlande, Frannce and Irelande defender of the faithe &r I John Verdon thelder of Congleton in the Countie of Chester Ironmonger........ Imprimis I do give and bequeathe unto my Sonne Richard Verdon ..... [cont.] ......I doe give and bequeathe unto my sonne John Vardon...
[cont.].......And I doe Ordayne Constitute and make the said John Verdon Randall Smithe 1 and Rauffe Comberbache 2 [his two sons-in-law] Executors of this my said Laste will and Testament....
Witmesses: William Lingard, Ro[bt] Groome, Roger Drakeforde
Signed: John Verdon
1 Randall Smith was married to John Verdon's daughter Margery.
2 Rauffe Comberbache was married to John Verdon's daughter Isabell (Isabella Verdon married Ralph Cumberbatch at St. Mary's Astbury 5th March 1613. Source: Parish Register). The only other Isabella / Isabelle Verdon found mentioned before her in Cheshire was Isabelle the wife of Thomas Verdon of Fulshaw the son of Edmund Verdon of Fulshaw, Cheshire & Beswick, Yorkshire. As Earwaker's transcription of 'Original Deed No.23' makes clear (see above) Thomas Verdon of Fulshaw had died by 16th May 1581.
John Verdon the elder's son John is recorded in 1661, in his own Will, as John Verdin, and his brother who was an executor signs the inventory as Richard Verdin. It was only after the 1660s that the family's name settled into its current form of 'Vardon', although there was a branch who reverted back to 'Verdon' in the 1700s. As mentioned above, descendants of the Verdons of Fulshaw who remained living around Wilmslow also began to change their surname to 'Vardon' in the later 17th century and the same was true for the Verdons in Derbyshire who lived at Fritchley, Pentrich and around Crich - near to Denby, the home of the Lowe family, forebears of the Verdons of Fulshaw descended from Thomas Verdon of Burghwallis. Members of the family continue to be mentioned in old records with their surname spelled 'VERDON' until a final record in 1691. When one branch of the Verdons in Ireland moved across the Irish Sea and settled near Northwich, Cheshire in the 18th century, their surname changed to 'VERDIN', and one of these became the first of the Verdin Baronets (see that page: link).
The family had another connection to the Newtons. As mentioned above, John Verdon the elder married Joan Poynton of Congleton. Her brother Roger Poynton of Congleton married Ellen Newton, daughter of Richard Newton of Buglawton in the parish of Astbury. Richard died in 1637 and was buried at Astbury, leaving a will dated 1633 in which he refers to himself as I Richard Newton thelder of Buglawton. He also refers to two siblings Roger Newton and William Newton my brothers, as well as his children - Richard Newton, Roger Newton, William Newton and Ellen (Poynton). As already mentioned above, William Newton, son of William Newton of Fulshaw and Alice Haworth, married Elizabeth, daughter of William Byron of Buglawton c.1647. William who married Alice was the only son of Robert Newton of Fulshaw and Ellen, daughter of Randal Brownsword of Eaton near Congleton. Robert, who died before 1598, was the eldest son of William Newton of Fulshaw (who died in 1621) and Katherine Riley, daughter of Robert Riley of Chorley i.e. Alderley Edge. It is just possible that Richard Newton of Buglawton was Richard, son of William Newton & Katherine Riley. Earwaker, in one of his pedigrees of the Newtons tells us that Richard was baptised at Wilmslow on 11th November 1585 and was living in 1598; he has a sister called Ellen. Roger Poynton and Ellen Newton's great great granddaughter Martha Burgess married John Verdon & Joan Poynton's great grandson James Vardon, ancestor of the Vardons of Goldstone.
James Vardon's son John was the first of the family to live in the City of London - at No.3 Gracechurch Street, and he became a Liveryman of The Drapers' Company. There are a number of links between Cheshire families related to John, and The Drapers. John's great great grandmother Joan Poynton, wife of John Verdon had two confirmed sisters - Elizabeth who married James Lingard, Woollen Draper of Congleton, and Alice who died a spinster in 1635. In her will (18th Feb 1634) Alice refers to her kinsman William Lingard and his wife Mary, and also to her kinswoman Margery Lingard - in view of James Lingard having already died in 1631 and his wife (Alice's sister) Elizabeth having died in 1633, it seems likely that William and Margery were two of James & Elizabeth's three children (the third having been Edward), all of whom are mentioned in the wills of their parents. If this is correct, then William Lingard's wife may be Mary Mainwaring, and it is therefore their marriage licence that is found recorded in the Chester Archdeaconry records of 1623. A William Lingard, who may be his father or even himself, was apprenticed to William Hall, Draper in 1575. William Lyngard, was admitted as a Freeman of The Drapers’ Company of London in 1581. On 30th April 1599, he took on his own apprentice, George Bromley. William Lyngard, Cloth Draper was one of the appraisers of the chattels of his Alice Poynton in 1634, along with Roger Drakeford, Edward Drakeford and Edward Lyngard. On 19th Nov 1619, Roger’s brother Edward Drakeford, son of Roger Drakeford of Congleton was apprenticed to Francis Umpton of The Drapers’ Company of London, (an uphoulster ‘behind the Exchange’). Ethelreda Newton, daughter of William Newton of Fulshaw & his wife Katherine Riley, married Samuel Urmston at Wilmslow on 13th August 1604. John Urmston, son of Samuel Urmston of Wilmslow was apprenticed to Robert Rowbotham of The Drapers’ Company of London in 1634 and admitted to the Freedom of The Drapers’ Company in 1641. Perhaps all of these connections, and other links that are being discovered, explains why John Vardon of Congleton and Gracechurch Street was admitted to the Freedom of The Drapers' Company in 1785 and the Livery in 1795.
Before coming to William Vardon of Goldstone, we will take a moment to say some final words about the Verdons of Fulshaw and Yorkshire. Some of the Verdons moved permanently to Yorkshire and spread out from Knottingley to nearby Beal in the parish of Kellington and Snaith, places they are found up until the late 18th century, with their surname sometimes appearing as 'Verdin'. It is to be presumed that these were the descendants of the senior line of the family descended from Thomas Verdon of Knottingley and his son William Verdon, the last of Fulshaw. This may be why William released his lands in Fulshaw to his cousin Humphrey Newton.
The family of a man who bears the familiar name of Edmund Verdon, who seems to be one Thomas's younger sons, or otherwise a son of one of Thomas's many uncles, remained living around Wilmslow. As has been mentioned above, all these Verdons from Wilmslow and beyond appear to have experienced a change in the spelling of their surname to 'Vardon' in the same period of the 17th century, as did the places named after the family: Verdontown, Verdon Bridge and Verdon House, which now appear on maps as Vardentown, Varden Bridge and Vardon House Farm.
It is a coincidence in relation to Goldstone that the de Verdons of Alton used to hold the manor of Stoke-on-Tern, not far from Goldstone, and that some centuries later the manor was held by the Corbets of Adderley who were lords of Childs Ercall, from which Goldstone emerged as a manor in its own right. Adderley had also been held by the de Verdons and appears mentioned as one of his manors in the Inquisition Post Mortem of John de Verdon in October 1274.
The first Vardon of Goldstone was a descendant of John Verdon the younger surviving son of John Verdon who was the first of the family to live in Congleton.
William Vardon of Goldstone (1783-1856)
William Vardon was born in Congleton, Cheshire, in 1783. His father was John Vardon, son of James Vardon of Congleton by his wife Martha. Martha was the daughter of Catherine Keene, by her husband John Burgess - Catherine's parents were John Keene and his wife Dorothy Hayward, sister of Robert Hayward junior of Aston Cliffe and Thomas Hayward who was the father of Thomas Hayward of Goldstone.
William's father John Vardon had left Congleton as a young man and moved to the City of London where he was an ironmonger and lived at No.3 Gracechurch Street, on the side of the Churchyard of St. Peter's Cornhill. He married Ellen Wood. They and other members of the family were buried in a vault under the church and there still exists a large memorial on the north wall recording the names of a number of the family.
ABOVE - the memorial inside St. Peter's Cornhill to John & Ellen Vardon, parents of William Vardon of Goldstone.
ABOVE - the shield on the memorial above displaying John Vardon's coat of arms impaled with his wife Ellen's father's coat of arms. The motto is Gratia Dei Sum Id Quod Sum which means By the Grace of God I am what I am (this is found in verse 10 of Chapter 15 of St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians). It is interesting that the crescent mark of cadency shown in the bookplate above is not added, suggesting that it started to appear in versions of the Vardon arms as a result of its use by John & Ellen Vardon's son John.
The coat of arms above appears to have been taken from an earlier recorded version that has been found in an old book - this is illustrated below.
ABOVE - the coat of arms for John Vardon of Congleton and the City of London, impaling the arms of his wife Ellen Wood's family.
In William, all Goldstone, Crouch, some Soudley (see note above about the Crouch-Soudley connection), Slaney, Hayward and Vardon estates were combined. William was clearly pleased with his inheritance, but also respectful of the Goldstone estate and manor's historical significance. He had coats of arms painted of almost all the families whose intermarriages had shaped his inheritance - some of these have already been illustrated above. A number were single coats of arms of heirs, but most show shields that had husband and wife coats of arms combined together to illustrate how marriages shaped inheritances. Families recorded include: Goldstone, Crouch (Cryche), Slaney, Chowne, Burgess, Hayward and Vardon.
BELOW - (left) John Burgess's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Martha (née Hayward) and (middle) their son in law James Vardon's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Martha Burgess, daughter of John Burgess and Catherine Keene. Finally (right) the Vardon's ancestral coat of arms without the cadet mark shown above. All these shields were made and recorded by William Vardon, to show the complicated family connections that resulted in him inheriting so many estates. In particular, William was illustrating the story of how the Goldstone estate and lordship had passed from the Goldstones of Goldstone through to their Hayward cousins, before being inherited by their cousin William himself:-
William Vardon lived most of his life in London, spending time up at Goldstone after inheriting Edward Hayward's estate. Initially he lived at No.3 Gracechurch Street in the City of London where the family lived and had an ironmongery business, and later at No.41 Half Moon Street, Mayfair, where he died in 1856. On inheriting Goldstone and moving from the City, he presented two alter chairs to the church of St. Peter Cornhill - these are still there and each has a plaque on the back which mentions Goldstone. There are memorials to William in three churches! These are: Cheswardine, Astbury (near Congleton) and St. Peter's Cornhill.
ABOVE - the two chairs that William Vardon gave to St. Peter's Cornhill, still there next to the Altar.
ABOVE: each chair has a plaque on the back to confirm where they came from.
Following a proposal by Churchwarden Hopkins at a General Vestry meeting of the parish of St. Peter's Cornhill on 6th June 1845, a decorative scroll was presented to William Vardon to record the Vestry's unanimous thanks for his gift.
ABOVE: the scroll presented to William Vardon:-
William had estates in Shropshire (Goldstone, Cheswardine, Hinstock, Lockely Wood, Ellerton), Staffordshire (Aston Cliffe and Crowborough) and Cheshire (Hulme Walfield and Congleton). The Hulme Walfield estate and other Cheshire and Staffordshire inheritances other than the Vardon land in and around Congleton and Staffordshire came via Hugh Hayward, a 2nd cousin of Edward Hayward. Hugh was a wealthy lawyer who died without having married and with no children. In his will Hugh left inheritances to his cousin Thomas Hayward of Goldstone and Thomas's nephew Edward Hayward. He also left a large part of his estate to John Vardon of Congleton, father of William Vardon as the extracts from his will show below:-
A Copy of the Will of Hugh Hayward
Will dated 1 January 1782
Codicil 12 August 1788
Proved at Chester
16 September 1788
................Upon Trust nevertheless and to, for and upon the several uses, trusts, intents and purposes as are mentioned and expressed in the will of the said Peter Shakerley, deceased, concerning the same, and to and for no other use, intent or purpose whatsoever, and with respect to my real Estate scituate at Aston Cliffe in the County of Stafford, and in the possession of Joshua Reade as Tenant thereof, I Give and devise the same (subject to a Mortgage for securing the sum of two thousand four hundred pounds due to George Townsend of the City of Chester, Esquire, and which I hereby direct shall be paid out of that Estate and not out of any other part of my real or personal Estate, unto Thomas Hayward of Goldstone in the County of Salop, Gentleman, for and during the term of his natural life, and from and after his decease I give and devise the same unto his Nephew Edward Hayward, his heirs and Assigns for ever and as for and concerning all other my Manors or reputed Manors, Messuage, Lands, Tenements and hereditaments of what nature or kind soever and wheresoever, scituate, lying or being, I Give and devise the same and all my right, Title and interest therein unto John Vardon of Congleton in the County of Chester, Ironmonger, his heirs and assigns for ever.
ABOVE - picture of Hugh Hayward as a young man, that used to be at Goldstone Hall.
Hugh was the son of Robert Hayward (III) of Aston Cliffe in the Parish of Mucklestone, Staffordshire, and his wife Hannah Starky, daughter of Hugh Starkey who was an Alderman of Chester. His grandparents were Robert Hayward (II) of Aston Cliffe and Elizabeth Haworth, daughter of Henry Haworth of Caverswall in Staffordshire, by his wife Mary Moreton daughter of William Moreton of Hulme Walfield, from a branch of the Moretons of Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire. Hugh's grandfather was the elder son of Robert Hayward (I) of Aston Cliffe and his wife Dorothy Pearson. Robert & Dorothy's younger son Thomas Hayward and his wife Jane Slaney were the parents of Edward Hayward (1st cousin of Edward Pegg) whose son Thomas (by Sarah Chowne) inherited Goldstone from Edward Pegg.
When he inherited Goldstone, William was helped by a man called Thomas Beeston, who lived at Goldstone and appears to have acted as his agent. Thomas was related to the Jervis family of Cheswardine, and therefore to the Haywards of Goldstone, through the Crouch (Cryche) connection. He may be the 'Tommy Beeston' who Ruth Donaldson-Hudson refers to as having been such a character in her book on Cheswardine - if not, she would have been referring to his son Thomas, who appears to have continued his father's role as agent to the Vardons. Whichever, he certainly seemed a character and wrote letters to William and his representatives providing anecdotes about Goldstone and its people. Some of these tales include Thomas Hayward exercising his rights as lord of the manor of Goldstone, and how encroachments by the freeholders of Hinstock onto Goldstone Common were prevented at a time when Hinstock and Goldstone commons were joined together. He also mentions the holding of a Court Leet at Goldstone, as follows:
Since I last wrote you I have seen Mr Wm Lockley he recollects Mr Ew'd Hayward holding a Court Leet at Goldstone that he himself Mr D. Lea Senr & Mr Wm Jones of Lightwood attending believes Mr Hayward acted as Steward & Manager of the Court himself, but perfectly recalls Mr Hayward writing & making entry thereon either on a peice of paper or Book which he supposes you would be able to find amongst his papers.
ABOVE - a picture that is thought to be of William Vardon (1783-1856), that used to be at Goldstone Hall.
William appears to have had modifications made on Goldstone Hall that included a panel featuring his crest of a stag's head with his monogram ('WV') below. This is still visible, and the same appears on the side of a cottage on the road to Woodseaves from Goldstone, in Lightwood.
ABOVE - William Vardon's crest and monogram on the side of Goldstone Hall.
ABOVE – another example on the front of one of William Vardon’s other properties Holly Cottage by Goldstone Common.
William died in 1856. A stone memorial was erected to his memory in St. Swithun's Church, Cheswardine, on the north wall, with the words:
IS ERECTED TO THE MEMORY
WILLIAM VARDON ESQr
OF GOLDSTONE HALL IN THIS PARISH
AND OF ASTBURY
IN THE COUNTY OF CHESHIRE
OBIT 15TH DECEMBER 1856
ARE INTERRED IN A VAULT
IN THE CHURCHYARD
ABOVE - William Vardon's memorial, on the north wall of Cheswardine Church. The words engraved have become somewhat faded over the years.
At the top of the tablet is a painted carving of his coat of arms and crest, which is exactly like the Vardon coat of arms shown above, with the exception of a different motto: Levius Fit Patientia - this can be translated as either 'It becomes lighter with endurance' or ‘It is rendered lighter by patience’. This motto was used by some of William's successors in favour of the one first used by John Vardon, on his bookplate, as mentioned above. William was indeed buried in the churchyard at Cheswardine and his large tomb lies beyond the west door towards a side gate into the churchyard. He had himself buried next to Edward Hayward's narrower but taller memorial, which also records the burial of other Haywards. It is possible that this may also be the location of Edward Pegg's grave as the gravestones sit above a family vault.
BELOW - a picture of the coat of arms featured on William's Memorial in Cheswardine Church. The stag's antlers in the crest above the shield have long since broken off. The memorial was erected by his family and they seem to have taken his younger brother John Vardon's arms as the model, hence the inclusion of the crescent badge of a second son - William was actually the eldest so it was perhaps an error to have added it on this occasion, unless the intention was to indicate that the family as a whole were a younger branch:-
Memorials were also put up inside St. Mary's Astbury near Congleton and St. Peter's Cornhill in the City of London.
ABOVE - William Vardon's much more ornate Memorial inside St. Mary's Church, Astbury, Cheshire.
The words on the memorial at Astbury read as follows:-
IS ERECTED TO THE MEMORY
WILLIAM VARDON ESQRE
OF GOLDSTONE HALL
IN THE PARISH OF CHESWARDINE
IN THE COUNTY OF SALOP
AND OF HULME WALFIELD
IN THIS PARISH
OBIT 15TH DECEMBER 1856
HIS REMAINS ARE INTERRED
IN THE CHURCHYARD
ABOVE - The coat of arms on William Vardon's Memorial at Astbury. The stag's antlers have survived on this memorial, thanks to the way in which the crest appears to have been sculptured into the stone and thereby incorporated into the whole structure.
ABOVE - William Vardon's Memorial inside St. Peter's Cornhill, on the wall next to the large Memorial to his parents and other members of the family.
ABOVE - the coat of arms on the Memorial above.
Some time after William Vardon's death and 1870 there appears to have been an intriguing dispute over the inheritance of his estatet involving a man called Wood. It has not yet been ascertained whether he was a relation of Ellen Wood, the wife of John Vardon of Congleton and mother of William Vardon. Whatever, the case was due to have come to court but Mr Wood failed to show at the hearing, which subsequently found for the Vardons. Hugh Ernest Vardon kept a copy of Eddowes's Shrewsbury Journal dated 23rd March 1870, which recorded the story's conclusion, along with his handwritten note at the bottom of the page Plaintiff never appeared! HEV.
ABOVE - Eddowes's Shrewsbury Journal 23rd March 1870.
The pedigree chart prepared as part of Hugh Vardon's case is detailed above. It never had to be used but its survival provides a helpful confirmation of dates of birth and other data about the Crouch / Pegg / Goldstone / Hayward family relationship.
Ellen & Emily Vardon of Goldstone
William never married and had no children. On his death Goldstone was inherited by his sisters Ellen and Emily Vardon, the youngest of the children of John Vardon, father of William. The sisters lived together at Honeydean in North Cray, Kent. John Vardon had been a liveryman of the Drapers' Company of the City of London and his sons (William, John, Charles and Hugh James) were also members of the Company. Hugh James became Master of the Drapers' Company in 1871. The Drapers of London have forged close links with the Drapers' Company of Shrewsbury in recent years and helped provide some funding for their old Hall in Shrewsbury - coincidently, Richard Goldstone and Richard Hunt (son of Elizabeth Goldstone and Thomas Hunt), mentioned above, were both Shrewsbury Drapers, so the Vardons renewed a Drapers connection with Goldstone.
Kelly's 1885 Directory of Shropshire confirms that the two Vardon sisters held Goldstone at the time:
Kelly’s Directory of Shropshire 1885
Cheswardine is a parish, village and township, 5 miles south from Market Drayton station on the Great Western railway station, 8 north from Newport and 17 north-east from Shrewsbury, in the Northern division of North Bradford hundred, Market Drayton union, petty sessional division and county court district, rural deanery of Hodnet, archdeaconry of Salop and diocese of Lichfield: it is situated on the road from Newport to Market Drayton…...
[there is more detail about Cheswardine including mention of the Church of St. Swithun having been rebuilt in/from 1885]
……..Cheswardine Hall, the seat of Charles Donaldson-Hudson esq. M.P., J.P. has been entirely rebuilt, and is a fine Elizabethan mansion of red brick, with stone facings, standing in a park of about 300 acres.
Charles Donaldson-Hudson esq. M.P., J.P. is chief landowner; there are no manorial rights.
Cheswardine township contains 1,708A 1r. 9p.
Chipnall is a township 1 mile north-west. Charles Donaldson-Hudson is chief landowner. It contains 1,309A 0r. 10p. Lipley is a hamlet here.
Ellerton is a township 2 miles south containing 443A 0r. 21p. Lieut.-Col. Robert Taylor Masefield J.P. is chief landowner.
Goldstone a township, 1 mile south-west, contains 346A 1r. 26p. The Misses Vardon are chief landowners.
Great Sowdley a township 1 mile south. The area is 1,396A 0r. 34p. Here is a Wesleyan Chapel. Mrs. Wilkinson, C. Donaldson-Hudson esq. M.P., J.P. Lieut-Col. R.T. Masefield J.P. and Thomas S. Addison esq. are chief landowners.
Sambrook will be found under a separate head.
Beeston The Misses, Goldstone Hall
Meakin William, farmer
Peplow George, farmer
Simpson Geo, farmer, Goldstone bank
Whitfield William, farmer, Manor farm
Ellen and Emily died in 1878 and 1884 r