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 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. Anyone is welcome to offer any corrections or request additional data be added - an email is provided at the bottom of this page to enable them to do so. 
Caveat Genealogists: Be careful in using any data provided - check it all yourself before adding it to any online genealogy programme, so you can be as certain as you can that you aren't about to spread any unintentional errors (& therefore misinformation) on the internet. Note the use of phrases like 'might be', 'could be', 'appears to be' and 'possibly' etc.
Note on Copyright: Please respect the Copyright details at the bottom of the page, particularly any specific Copyright references within the text that relate to images reproduced with the kind permission of their owners.


The Story of a Shropshire Manor and its people

over more than 800 years

This website is a work in progress and is designed to provide a historical account 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 for the lordship and manor of Goldstone from the 12th century to the present day, that began with the Goldstones of Goldstone and continued with their kinsmen the Vardons of Goldstone, one of the surviving branches of the de Verdon family of Alton, Staffordshire.

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 

BELOW - 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.

Extract from:

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 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. Others have suggested that it referred to the location of a 'gold stone' or important boundary marker. Alternatively, the name may simply signify Golda's Tūn i.e. the town / village / homestead / farm / manor of a woman called 'Golda' or a man called 'Goldstan'. There is another place called Goldstone, in Kent - this one 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.

There is a possibility that we may be able to identify the specific 'Golda' who 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 relevant information:

Heraldic Illustrations with Annotations (1853)

by J. Bernard Burke

Extract 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.

Golda's first husband, Godwin 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 Lady Godiva had held the manor of Cheswardine in 1066. She also held nearby Sutton-upon-Tern, Little Drayton and Chetwynd; her other possessions in Shropshire were Chetton and Highley. It has been said that Godiva's brother-in-law Godwin 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. If one accepts Burke's genealogy, then perhaps the following hypothesis may be worth further exploration: 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 had held Childs Ercall and Goldstone, thus explaining the logic of it being granted later to her son Reginald.

Sadly, Burke does not reveal the source of his information, so we may never know 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, her father may not have been Duke Richard II of Normandy - no record has yet been found to substantiate this. However, what we do know is that Lady Godiva, sister-in-law of Godwin son of Leofwine, held Cheswardine manor, that a Godwin had held lands west of Goldstone and north of Childs Ercall, at Colehurst, 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.

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 orThe 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 and who remarried 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 25th October 1185 to 5th July 1186. Within the section covering Shropshire (Salopesscira) appears a Walter de Goldestan, on page 128 of 'The Publications of the Pipe Roll Society', Volume 34 (1913), as follows:

Nova placita et nove conventiones per Gillebertum Pipard' et Michaelem Belet et Walterum Map et socios eorum. [translated: 'Pleas and nine new agreements by Gilbert Pipard and Michael Belet and Walter Map and their allies].

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.

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 Botiler 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 Botiler was Lord of Oversley in Warwickshire and became Baron Botiler 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 and his wife Alicia de Verdun, daughter of Bertram II de Verdun and sister of Norman de Verdun. It is coincidental that Norman de Verdun is the ancestor of the Verdons (Vardons) of Congleton, Cheshire from whom the Vardons of Goldstone descend. Ralph and Matilda le Botiler's descendant Elizabeth, heiress of the Botiler's Barony of Wem married Sir Robert de Ferrers, who thereby became 1st Baron Ferrers of Wem. Sir Robert and Elizabeth's 3x great granddaughter was Margaret Gascoigne, daughter of Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe. A Margaret Gascoigne, 'daughter of Sir William Gascoigne' is noted in a number of Visitations of Yorkshire as having married William Danyell of Beswick; the same lady is recorded in other records as having been widowed and married as her 2nd husband Edmund Verdon of Fulshaw (Cheshire) and Beswick (Yorkshire). Edmund was the ancestor of the later Verdons/Vardons of Cheshire and Yorkshire. However, as detailed further below, it seems that Edmund Verdon's wife may have been from another generation - there were a run of fathers and sons all called 'Sir William Gascoigne'.

At the time of William de Golstan's dispute with Ralph le Botiler, the Wem barony included Goldstone's neighbour Hinstock. 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 [Naginton] 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. He was also lord of the manor of Childs Ercall at that time. 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 the Extent of the Manor of Cheswardine under the section headed Rentals and Surveys. The two references are provided below from extracts of a translation of the Extent by Mr. W.K. Boyd for the Shropshire Archaeological & Historical Society and published in the Society's Transactions 2nd Series, XI., 252, etc.


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 woth 6s 8d. 

                                                       sum 8li 15d.


Free Tenants

               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 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 &c, 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 Dodecote 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 divisd 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. 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. 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.

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 Goldstone 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, 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 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 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 1319. Coverall is known as Calverhall today. Randulfe’s wife was 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 betweeb 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. 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, daughter of Thomas Hill of Hodnet. Elizabeth’s brother was Sir Rowland Hill, who became the first Protestant Lord Mayor of London in 1549. Rowland is recorded as having purchased Haughmond. The Barkers are said to have been at Colthurst since 1275 and built the present beautiful old Elizabethan manor house in 1580. They continued to live at Colehurst Manor into the 18th century. 

The next mention of one of the Goldstones, after Margaret, was in the Lay Subsidy Roll of 1327, which lists a Richard de Goldstone. He could conceivably be the son of the Thomas Goldston mentioned in 1309 (see above). It is a pity that we do not have all of the jigsaw available to plot the family relationships between all these early de Goldstones and those documented afterwards.

Later in the 14th Century reference is found to another possible member of the family 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.


Richard de Goldstone of 1327 and John Golston of 1368/9 bring us 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 Richard de Goldstone mentioned in 1327. Although we may never know if the later Goldstones were definately the direct descendants of the de Goldestans of the medieval period, they have understood themselves to be so and the continuity of the surname would strongly support the claim that they were the same family.

Before moving on to the family of Francis Goldstone, there was mother 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 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:

Drayton Bassett

Dreyton Bassett Decolacio Sancti Johennis Baptist...

Dominus John Golston, capilanus

  1. 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'. 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, capilanusDominus 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.
  2. A 'capilanus' was a leader / Captain of soldiers, but in this instance it must refer to someone being a Chaplain. 
  3. 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.


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. 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, 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:


BELOW - 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, one of the Drapers of Coventry, who was Mayor of the City in 1570-01. 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 was entirely resident 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 Goldstones 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. Major Rowland Hunt sold the newer Boreatton Park, which was built in 1857, and the 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)

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; one of the Goldstones was living at Astley Abbotts in the 15th century. The family appear to have come to prefer it as a place to live rather than Goldstone, up until the early part of the 17th century. 

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

Page 385

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.

Footnote n6:

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 in the 1580s, 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. 

BELOW - 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


23 Jan.

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

C. 66/1061

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. 

By Q. 

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 1582 and was buried at Astley Abbotts on 13th March 1582. 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 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.

John Goldstone of Goldstone & Dunval (1557-1598)

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. 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. 

BELOW - 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 [1595].

Launcelot Ridley gent was buried the 15th Day of November Anno Do[min]i 1629.

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, buried 25th October 1580 at Astley Abbotts.

(ii) Francis Goldstone of Goldstone - bapt 23rd June 1583 at Astley Abbotts. Inherited Goldstone as heir to his father (see below). 

(iii) Lancelot Goldstone - bapt 20 October 1584 at Astley Abbotts.

(iv) Jane Goldstone - bapt 12 October 1585 at Astley Abbotts.

(v) Thomas Goldstone - bapt 14 January 1586 at Astley Abbotts. He is recorded as having died an infant.

(vi) Bridget Goldstone - bapt 13 January 1588 at Astley Abbotts. She married Thomas Wright on 31st January 1609 at Cheswardine.

(vii) Marie Goldstone - bapt 5 September 1592 at Astley Abbotts. 

(viii) Thomas Goldstone - bapt 2 June 1593 at Astley Abbotts.

(ix) Katheren Goldstone - bapt 3 February 1594 at Astley Abbotts.

(x) Elizabeth Goldstone - bapt 20 July 1605 at Cheswardine.


Francis Goldstone of Goldstone & Dunval (1583-1613)

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 married their cousin Francis, daughter of Edward Acton of Acton Scott. 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. 


BELOW - 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. 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) 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 Crouch / Cryche 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.

(iii) Humphrey Goldstone of Drayton-in-Hales; bapt 19th April 1610 at Astley Abbotts. 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.

(iv) Richard Goldstone of Shrewsbury, Draper - baptised on 6th February 1611 at Cheswardine. He married Anne Poyner on 10th July 1638 at St. Chad's Church, Shrewsbury. 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.

(v) 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.

(vi) Elizabeth Goldstone - married [William?] Poole. She is known from being mentioned in her brother John's Will in September 1638.


John Goldstone of Goldstone (1608-1638)

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; buried 1st June 1643 at Cheswardine.

(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 (Sowdley/Soudley Wedgwood - he was probably the husband of a sister of John Goldstone's wife Elizabeth Thompson)
  • ffrancis Bayliss

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 Crouch of Cheswardine, son of Reginald Crouch (or: Cryche), 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. It is possible that he was the son of John Crych of Cheswardine, whose Will was dated 24th January 1585/6 (i.e. 1586). 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]

Wettwod (Wetwood): 

Ralph Criche, Joan, uxor eius, William Bowde, sp'us. [page 103]

  1. It seems that sp'us indicates that William Bowde was Joan's first husband. Cum pueris clearly indicates that they had sons
  2. 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.


BELOW - a section from the pedigree mentioned above showing the Crouch / Thomson / Pegg / Hayward connections:-


BELOW - (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 CrycheCroych, Croyetch, and Chrych, before being later mentioned as Crouch. Perhaps they originated at Crich in Derbyshire.

Griffith Crich who was baptised at Cheswardine on 9th June 1614 may have been the older Griffith's son; if so, he was either born out of wedlock to Griffith's first wife Mary Virggs, or an earlier wife who died in childbirth (or soon after young Griffith's birth), or to another unknown woman. If it wasn't for the pedigree copied above, one might assume that Griffith born in 1614 is the man who died in 1676, rather than Griffith the elder.

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' is likely to be the boy who was born at Cheswardine in 1614 (see above). 

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 (or: Chrych), Yeoman of the parish of Cheswardine survives amongst the Lichfield Consistory Court Wills (1650-1700).


John and Elizabeth's eldest son Lawrence was the heir to Goldstone.



Lawrence Goldstone of Goldstone (1632-1693)

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.

BELOW - 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. 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 served as High Sheriff of Shropshire in 1629. Frances & Walter's 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 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 Richard 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. This means that she 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:

Easter 1690

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

Lawrence Goldstone's heir was his eldest known, and only surviving son Edward Goldstone.

Edward Goldstone of Goldstone (bef. 1667 - 1730)

Edward was the last of the male Goldstones of Goldstone. His daughter Jane married her cousin Edward Pegg, to whom the estate, manor and lordship of Goldstone passed. He 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 ___? 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.


BELOW - 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 father of Jane Goldstone, and became father-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.

BELOW - The original page from which the transcription above was made:-

Edward was recorded as Churchwarden of Cheswardine in 1709. He died on 13th March 1729, aged 63 years (according to a brass inscription put up by his successors) and was buried at Cheswardine on 16th March 1729. 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 north 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 are:








There is a separate note that he died in 1730 – this is also correct and illustrates 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 her third 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).

(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. 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 readsAnne the Daughter of Edward and Johanna Gouldstone was Baptized the 7th day of June Anno 1714. It is most likely that it was Ann who married a Mr James Francis Delafontaine (see mentioned under her sister Elizabeth). They had at least two children, their daughters:

(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. 'Jane' is assumed to have been an error, and the entry (and / or possibly the transcription) should have read 'Anne'. However, is this is not correct and 'Jane' was her name, that would then indicate that Edward Pegg married Jane Goldstone, Gwyn Goldstone's aunt, born in 1669 and not Gwyn's sister Jane, who was born in 1704.

(b) Jane Dalafontaine.

(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 son-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

BELOW - Edward Goldstone's signature and seal on the 14th June 1720 document mentioned above:-

BELOW - 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 ...............


BELOW - a photograph of the agreement between Edward Goldstone and Edward Pegg:-

(click on picture to enlarge it)

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)

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. 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: - 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).

BELOW - 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 clearly 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


youngeft Daughter of Robt Neale Efqe

of Shaw House Wilts

This Memorial

of their mutual Love and Affection

is placed here


her furviving Sifter


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 father's 1st cousin Edward 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 father-in-law Edward Goldstone of Goldstone.


BELOW - (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.

He 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).


As has already been detailed above, Edward Pegg married his 2nd cousin Jane Goldstone on 4th December 1718. The marriage was at St. Mildred Poultry 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.


BELOW - 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 which 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.


BELOW - a record of the Poor's Levy of 1767 for the Townships of Goldstone, Ellerton and Sambrook:-

(click on picture to enlarge it)

Jane Pegg (née Goldstone) died in 1757 and was buried at Cheswardine on 13th May 1757. Her husband Edward Pegg died in 1768 and was buried at Cheswardine on 21st January 1768, in a tomb he had already had prepared. This is still there, next to the later (and 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 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)

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.


BELOW - (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:


Goldstone Lordship 

and Estates in the 

Parish of Hinstock 

and County of Salop 

Belonging to 

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.


BELOW - a small picture of the 1771 map of Goldstone Lordship (see link above for a larger version):-

BELOW - 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:-

BELOW - 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.

BELOW - 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.


BELOW - 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)

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.

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:-


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.


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:-




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

BELOW - front cover of Edward Hayward's 'Red Folio', with wording written by Hugh Ernest Vardon:-


In both his journals and his Red Folio, he provided information on his lordship of the manor and various activities he was involved in, such as claiming family pews in the churches of Hinstock and Cheswardine and the earlier gallery built by his uncle Thomas Hayward in St. Swithun's Cheswardine.


BELOW - 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.


BELOW - 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.


BELOW - Edward Hayward's Goldstone bookplate (inc. his wife's arms on the right). The motto means '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.


BELOW - 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.

BELOW - 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.


BELOW - the Crouch/Pegg/Goldstone/Hayward pedigree chart:-


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.


On inheriting Goldstone, William Vardon had a memorial erected to his cousin Edward Hayward's memory which still remains on the western inside wall of the church of St. Swithun in Cheswardine. It features the coat of arms shown above and has the following words enscribed:













Just below Edward's memorial is one erected to Edward Goldstone, the last of that family to have lived at Goldstone, as detailed above.


BELOW - 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 picture is painted from an original black and white bookplate, which explains the dots that represent gold in heraldry in the absence of colour.  The crescent badge is a heraldic mark of cadency that is usually added to the arms of a second son - this makes sense as it belonged to John Vardon, younger brother of William Vardon of Goldstone, of whom more below. The crescent could also have signified that this family recognised itself as being a cadet branch descended from a younger son.

The first of the family in England was Bertram I de Verdun, one of the companions of William the Conqueror. 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, and more recent research has strengthened this view. 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. Perhaps this connection explains why he was granted Farnham Royal. In all likelihood we will never know for sure.

However, a book by historian and heraldic expert 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 argues, persuasively, 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, 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.". 

She continues by mentioning the first Earls of Norfolk, from whom a branch of the de Verdun family held manors in Norfolk from the beginning of the 12th century:

"The first Bigod...was Robert 'le Bigot', grandfather of the girls who would marry the two Williams d'Aubigny. He was in the service of William de Warlaing, and perhaps acted as his second-in-command. William de Jumièges, who supplied that information, added that he was married to a sister of Thurstan Goz. Richard, Thurstan's son, was made vicomte of Avranches, perhaps (as with Cotentin and Bessin) at the instigation of the king of France. David C. Douglas, in his [book] William the Conqueror, has touched on the role of the Norman vicomtes, which was both military and judicial, without examining the pedigrees of the men who attained such office. 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 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. On the death of Hugh, the Earldom passed to his son Richard d'Avranches. He and his wife died with William the Æthling, son of King Henry I, on the White Ship in 1120, whereupon the Earldom passed in 1121 to his first cousin Ranulf le Meschin, son of Hugh d'Avranches's sister Margaret and Ranulf de Briquessart. On Ranulf's death, his son Ranulf II 'de Gernon' became 4th Earl of Chester and also Vicomte d'Avranches. The titles then passed to this second Earl Ranulf's son Hugh Kevelioc, who was succeeded in turn by his eldest son Ranulf III 'de Blondeville' who was born in 1170.

Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester (Ranulf III 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. Bertram's father Norman de Verdun was closely connected with Ranulf (II) de Gernon, Earl of Chester, the grandfather of Ranulf (III) de Blondeville, from whom he held a number of manors. Historian Mark Hagger, in his book The de Verdun family in England, Ireland and Wales confirms that Norman witnessed eighteen of Ranulf II's charters - more than any other person, except Ranulf's butler. He goes on to mention that Norman clearly travelled extensively with this Ranulf as he is mentioned being with him at Rhuddlan in c.1135, at Lincoln in 1144-6 and in Carlisle in 1149, witnessing a grant by Ranulf to Lancaster Priory on the return leg of the journey. Finally, Hagger supports other sources that inform us that Norman's father Bertram II de Verdun attested a charter in 1124 relating to Mont St. Michel in presence of Ranulf (I) le Meschin, Vicomte d'Avranches, the father of Ranulf II. The Treaty of Devizes was signed in January 1153, between Ranulf II and Henry, Duke of Normandy (i.e. the future Henry III - King Stephen died in 1154). It has great relevance for the de Verdun family as Henry gave Ranulf de Gernon the whole of Staffordshire, with a few exceptions, but including the entirety of the fee of Norman de Verdun, who had died the year before. One of the witnesses to the treaty is Willelmo de Verdon, who is presumed to have signed as the elder representative of the family, since his nephew Bertram was in his minority and being brought up in the household of Richard de Humez, Constable of Normandy. The de Verdun honour of Alton and its connected manors were then held for some time of the Earl of Chester and no longer directly of the King.

Bertram III de Verdun was made Governor of Acre in the Holy Land and according to the Chronicle of Croxden Abbey, a Cistercian house that he had founded in 1176, Bertram was killed on 24th August 1192 at Jaffa, and buried at St. John's Church in Acre. He is said to have had a positive influence on Ranulf (III) de Blondeville, who also became very close to Richard I and accompanied the King and Bertram on crusade. Matthew of Westminster records that in September 1194, Ranulf was one of the three sword bearers at the ceremonial re-crowning of King Richard, along with Hamelin de Warrenne and William the Lion, King of Scotland. Ranulf married Constance of Brittany, the widow of Richard's brother Geoffrey. The two became estranged and there was conflict over the claim to succession to the throne by Arthur, her son by Geoffrey. Apparently the King and Ranulf plotted to reduce the power of Constance and in March 1195, Ranulf and Richard met at the former's castle in the town of Sainte-James-de-Beuvron to sign a charter relating to the Abbaye de Montmorel near Falaise. Those also recorded as having been present were: Roger de Chester (Ranulf's brother), Roger de Lacy (Constable of Chester), Baldwin Wake and William de Verdun. This William is very likely to be the same man who signed the Treaty of Devizes, and therefore Bertram III de Verdun's uncle, but if not he may be Bertram's brother or even the older William's son.

Bertram III de Verdun 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 to the 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 also had lands in Derbyshire, at Swadlincote, Gresley and elsewhere.

Alina de Gresley was one of the two daughters and heiresses of Robert fitzOrme of Darlaston, one of the sons of Orme (or Ormus) le Guidon (literally translated as Orme the standard bearer) of Biddulph and his wife, who is said to have been a daughter of Nicholas de Beauchamp, Sheriff of Staffordshire. 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 is recorded as having been Richard le Forester, Keeper of Cannock Chase 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 west of Stone, encompassing Darlaston, eastwards almost to Uttoxeter. Richard Forestarius appears in Domesday Book, holding ten estates in Staffordshire, four of which - Whitmore, Thursfield, Hanford and Clayton, he held as Tenant in Chief from Nigel de Toeni / de Stafford, grandfather of Engenulf de Gresley. The other manors Richard was lord and tenant in chief of in Staffordshire were: Estendone, Dimsdale, Hanchurch, Knutton, Little Onn and Rodbaston. In addition, he was Tenant-in-Chief of Normacot whose lords in 1086 were Almer and Wulfric. His lands in Warwickshire included Chesterton, which he held as lord and tenant-in-chief, and Kenilworth, which he held as lord from King William the Conqueror who was tenant-in-chief; King Edward the Confessor had held Kenilworth in 1066.

Alina's sister Emma married Adam de Audley, son of Liuf 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, holdings lands in Fenton, Biddulph and Bucknall from the de Verdons.

The Darlaston held by the family is the small settlement located south of Stoke-on-Trent, a few miles west of Stone, on the other side of the River Trent, not the other place by Wolverhampton in south Staffordshire. Darlaston is the site of 'Wulferecester', now marked on maps as 'Bury Bank', traditionally said to have been the location of a palace of King Wulfere of Mercia. Whatever the precise truth may be, the older name and tradition suggests that it was an important centre of power within Mercia. The parish of Biddulph adjoins the Cheshire parish of Astbury and the villages are only a few miles apart. At one time, the Verdons of Astbury parish (see below) had also held lands in the parish of Biddulph, but this was entirely coincidental since they inherited them through marriage with another family.

Hawise de Gresley brought in marriage to Henry de Verdun, her manor of Darlaston and the manor of Nether Biddulph in Staffordshire along with the advowson of the church at Biddulph, and other property in Derbyshire, including Swadlincote. 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. 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 the son of Roger de Tosny (otherwise Toeni). This is confirmed by a number of old charters, one of which was Henry I's charter to Conches (found in Gallia Christiana, XI) - Professor Judith Green mentions this in her 'The Aristocracy of Norman England' (1997), in which she writes that Robert of Stafford was a younger son of Roger de Tosny, and the source she gives for this is 'Gallia Christiana, XI': Henry I's charter for Conches included confirmation of a charter of Robert of Stafford son of Roger de Tosny. The charter was made by Robert with the consent of his son Nicholas - filio meo Nicholao. The same source is quoted to support the view that Robert de Stafford was the son of Roger de Tosny, in 'The Gresleys of Drakelow', published in 1899 by the William Salt Archaeological Society as part of its 'Collections for a History of Staffordshire'. A confirmation to Wotton Wawen Priory in Warwickshire recorded by Dugdale in his 'Monasticon Anglicanum' (page 994, Vol.6, Part 2, James Bohn edition, 1846) provides more insight into the Stafford-de Tosny link: Robertus de Stafford....avus meus Robertus de Toenio, et pater meus Nicolaus de Stafford, which translates as 'Robert de grandfather Robert de Tosny and my father Nicholas de Stafford'. The heading of this entry is Wotton-Wawen, in agro Warwicensi, Cella Abbatiae de Conchis in Normannia, which thereby confirms that Wotton Wawen was a daughter house of the Abbey of Conches. 


Roger de Tosny's wife was Godehildis, daughter of 'Raymond Count of Barcelona' (see page 223: The Gresleys of Drakelow by Falconer Madan, 1899). Godehildis married as her second husband Richard, Count of Évreux, who was the son of Robert, Archbishop of Rouen and Count of Évreux, whose father was Duke Richard I of NormandyThe Gresley's became Baronets of Drakelow in Derbyshire, just south of Burton-upon-Trent in Staffordshire and west of nearby Swadlincote, which was itself located to the south west of Weston-on-Trent and Aston-on-Trent, home to other de Verdons (see below).

The de Verduns of Darlaston, Bucknall and Biddulph in Staffordshire 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). slightly expanded transcription of the same charter, translated into English, appeared in The Cheshire Sheaf, 29th December 1920, page 114; Notes / [4212] Some Cheshire Deeds (continued from No. [4200]. The introductory description reads: Some Cheshire Deeds. The following notes of deeds have been taken from Volume No.3 of the Shakerley MSS., in the possession of Sir Walter Shakerley Bt. of Somerford Park, Congleton, who kindly allowed me to examine some of the volumes.  Most of the collections are the work of William Vernon of Shakerley and Somerford, the Cheshire Antiquary. The name of the 'author' of these words is provided at the bottom of the set of printed and transcribed deeds - R. Stewart Brown. 

This transcription helpfully records the full list of witnesses, which enables us to date it approximately, and also throws up connections between some of the witnesses that provides a good suggestion about the identity of 'R. de Verdun':

Tiverton: R. de Verdun, Dean of Chester had given to Lucy de Verdun his sister, for fealty and service, 4 bovates in Teverton of his demesne and two of the land of Rushtcorn. Rent a pair of spurs or 3d at St. Martin. Witn: Ph. de Orreby then Justice of Chester; Warin de Vernun, Ha. de Mascy, Wm. de Venables, Liulf sheriff, Master Alexander, Bertram chamberlain, Alex. de ____, Hen. Torpelegh, Rob. de Pulle, John de Sancta Maria, Ran. Dubold (ay), Ric. son of Radulf, Rad. Farrede "juvene", Alex. of Oxford. 

Date: [About 1208]


- Teverton, known today as Tiverton, is in the parish of Bunbury almost exactly midway between Chester and Nantwich, Cheshire. 

- ‘Rushtcorn’ is ‘Runcornc.5km north east of Tiverton, c.6 miles east of Winsford and c.2 miles north east of Tarporley

- Philip de Orreby is noted as Justice of Chester 1202-1229 [source: Cheshire Sheaf, 3rd Series, Volume XX, page 61]. This helps confirm that 'Bertram chamberlain' cannot be Bertram III de Verdun as he died on Crusade in 1192.

- Bertram chamberlain - as already detailed above, he is easily confused with Bertram III de Verdun, who once acted as chamberlain of the Earldom of Chester during the minority of Ranulf de Blondeville. In this particular deed, 'Bertram the Chamberlain' is the man who Hugh Kevelioc, Earl of Chester granted in marriage Maud, daughter of William Flamenc, along with her inheritance of Meols.  

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 are the Chancery Rolls of the Palatinate of Chester and contain enrolments of Charters, Letters Patent, Commissions and other documents. Here is the relevant extract:

1394, November 18th: (Beston, Beeston - cont.)

John de [Beeston], and Margaret, his wife, writ of livery to, on finding of an inquisition, viz., that Alice, who was the wife of William de Hulgreve of Teverton, died seized to herself, and her heirs of her body, and the body of the said William, her husband, of the gift of Hugh de Tofte, chaplain, of land in Erdeswyck called “Mayonesegh,” which John de Olton gave to Matthew de Hulgreve and Matthew, his son; of a third of the manor of Teverton, held of John de Verdon in socage; and of land in Minshull Vernon called Hulgreve, held of Ralph de Vernon, Kt, in socage, and by the service of six heads of barbed arrows; and that Margaret wife of the said John, and daughter of the said Alice, was next heir, and of the age of 24. [18 & 19 Ric.2. m. 1 d. (3), (5), (6).]

John son of William de Beston, John de Golburn, of Horton, and Richard Wodener, of Chester, tailor, sureties for the relief of. [Ibid. (4).]


  • The John de Verdon mentioned above must be Sir John de Verdon, son of Vivian de Verdun of Biddulph, Darlaston and Bucknall who was the heir and probably eldest son of Henry III de Verdun and great grandson of Henry I de Verdun, the first of his name to have held Darlaston, Biddulph and Bucknall in Staffordshire. This Henry was one of the sons of Bertram III de Verdun of Alton Castle, Staffordshire and a brother of Nicholas de Verdun, father of the great de Verdun heiress Roesia, whose son John by Theobald le Botiller assumed his mother's name rather than his father's. 
  • John de Beeston's wife Margaret was the daughter and heiress of William de Hulgreve of Teverton, who was the 2x great grandson of Matthew de Hulgreve and Alice, daughter of Henry I de Verdun. They had two daughters - Isabella de Teverton, d.s.p. living 8 Henry V, and Elizabeth who married firstly Sir Robert Aston of Aston. It was through this marriage that Hulgreve and Tiverton passed into the Aston family. Elizabeth remarried John de Carrington, presumably after the death of Sir Robert (source: pedigree chart on p.145 of Vol. II of Ormerod's history - on page 145 Ormerod gives Aston's name as 'Sir Roger' and on page 149 he changes this to 'Sir Robert'.). It is not yet confirmed what relationship, if any, that this John de Carrington has with Sir William de Carrington, who appears in a deed from 1358, witnessed by (amongst others) Nicholas de Verdon, father of Edmund de Verdon - see below; but John and Sir William were likely to be members of the same family. If so, this would mean that the Carringtons and de Verduns may have been related to each other.

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 and an assart in the vill of Louton 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'. 

Mention of Ivo de Aston may help date this deed, since Ivo's brother Robert fitz Payne (son of Robert fitz Payne who lived c.1166) died in 1233, and his brother Noel is mentioned in 1203.

The places mentioned are:

Gloverston (otherwise known as Gloverstone and Castle Gloverstone), was an area between Chester Castle and the City of Chester.

Louton is Lowton, a place c.7 miles south of Wigan in Lancashire, between Manchester and Liverpool.

Middlecliff may refer to Middle Cliff near Bradnop c.2.5km south east of Leek in Staffordshire (and c.5km north of Ipstones in Staffordshire). There is a Middle Cliff Farm there. Or it may refer to an as yet unidentified place in Cheshire.

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).

The following entry appears in the Chester County Pleas 20-21 Edward I, ref: Chester 29/7 m. 2d, and is dated 18th August 1293, in Chester.


Ric’s de Mascy recognouit se debere Hugoni de Dutton’ Mag’ro Rob’to de Bromlegh’ & Henr’ de Verdun Executor’ testamenti Thom’ de Staundon’ Rector’ Eccl’ie de Routhestorn in qatuor mrcis strlingor p  decimis garbar de Tatton’ ad soluend’ vnam medietate’ ad Natiuitatem s’ci Joh’is Bapt’e px’m sequ’2. & ad f’m o’ium s’cor px’m sequ’3 aliam medietatem sine vltriori dil’oe. Et ni fecrit vult & concedit q’d vic’ Cestr’ fieri faciat prd’cam pecuniam de trris & catall’ suis prfatis Hugoni Rob’to & Henr’ sine dil’oe reddend’


Richard de Mascy recognized that he owes to Hugh de Dutton, master Robert de Bromlegh and Henry de Verdun, executors of the testament of Thomas de Staundon rector of the church of Routesthorn, 4 marks sterling for the tithe sheaves of Tatton, to pay half at Midsummer next and at All Saints then next following the other half, without further delay. And if he do not, he wills and grants that the sheriff of Chester may cause the money aforesaid to be raised from his lands and chattels, to be rendered to the aforesaid Hugh, Robert and Henry without delay


Thom’ de Legh’ recognouit se debere Hugoni de Dutton’ Mag’ro Rob’to de Bromlegh’ & Henr’ de Verdun in duodecim marcis strlingor ad soluend’ ad trmi’os prd’cos p deci’a garbar de Legh’  Et nisi fecit vult & concedit q’d vic’ fieri faciat prd’cam pecuniam de trris & catall’ suis in forma prd’ca


Thomas de Legh recognized that he owes Hugh de Dutton, master Robert de Bromlegh and Henry de Verdun 12 marks sterling to pay at the terms aforesaid for the tithe sheaves of Legh. And if he do not, he wills and grants that the sheriff may cause the money aforesaid to be raised from his lands and chattels, in form aforesaid.


1 this whole entry is crossed through, the debt having been paid

2 Thursday 24 June 1294

3 Monday 1 November 1294

4 this whole entry is crossed through, the debt having been paid

The transcription and translation above is the work of David Bethell of The Original Record, and has been reproduced here with his permission. 

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 son. 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). Ormerod then produces a transcription of a copy of a deed of this partition, as follows:

Hæc est partitio terrarum in villa de Legh. Inter dominum Ricardum de Massy, militem, et Thomam de Legh ex unâ parte ; et Hugonem quondam dominum de medietate villæ de Legh, et Johannem filium et hæredem ejusdem Hugonis, et Matthæum de Alpraham custodem ejusdem Johannis, ex alterâ parte ; videlicet, quod terra et tenementa subscripta remaneant in perpetuùm domino Ricardo de Massy et Thomæ de Legh, et hæredibus eorum seu assignatis, in campo Jordani de Verdon sex acræ. And so of several other parcels. Lib. C. fol. 267. 9, 10. This was in the reign of Edward the First. The original penès Legh de West Hall, l665.

That Jordan de Verdon was the son of Henry III 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, but before the murder of his father Edward II at Berkeley Castle, who had been imprisoned there by his wife Queen Isabella's lover Roger Mortimer, Earl of March. One story records that a message from Berkeley Castle was received by Prince Edward at Lincoln Castle, informing him that his father had died on 21st September 1327, but there are other theories. One recent and powerfully argued claim that Edward II died many years later on the continent, where he even met with Edward III, is covered with great detail and fascinating detective work by Ian Mortimer in his magnificent biography 'The Perfect King, The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation'. Whatever the truth may have been, Edward III's reign began formally on 25th January 1327 at a time when his father was still alive and the country was suffering a period of instability, with Roger Mortimer acting as de facto ruler of England alongside Isabella. It was not until 1330 that Edward III was able to become his own man, seize the power of kingship and have Mortimer executed. 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:


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 same incident is referred to in the Patent Rolls for a second time, almost two weeks later, when the pardon of another of the guilty men is recorded, as follows:


Membrane 25 - cont. 

1327. July 27. Hayden

Pardon to Philip Ferour of Glastyngbury for the death of Richard Greygrom, killed before the coronation, on condition of his serving against the Scots. By p.s.

The like to the following : —  .....two other cases are mentioned then:

Roger Hervy for the deaths of William de Modburle, Henry le Verdoun, William son of Roger de Modburle and Hugh Reynald, before the coronation.

It has been postulated that 'with the condition' may have referred to them having been pardoned on the condition that they served in the King's army against the Scots. This is confirmed by an entry in the Calendar of Patent Rolls in 1327, Membrane 4:

1327. July 18 [at] Todhou. [i.e. 'Tudhoe' a manor south of Durham]

Protection, with clause volumus, until Michaelman, for Roger Hervy, going to Scotland by command.

The like for the following : -

Thomas Danyers, Geoffrey Byron, John de Rodeyard, William de Leghe, John de Leghe, William de Chetelton, William Wylym, and Simon de Holand, who is going with the king. 

William de Modburghlegh's name comes from an old formation of the placename 'Mobberley', a settlement c.5km south east of Rostherne, the same distance west of Fulshaw & Wilmslow and c.10km south east of High Legh.

The parentage of Henry III de Verdun adds further evidence to bolster the argument that Jordan de Verdon was his son. His father Henry II de Verdun of Darlaston married Amice, sister of 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 father. 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 appear mentioned together in a number of records. It is one extract of a charter that appears in the Collections for a History of Staffordshire of 1911 that provides a specific mention of Amice being the sister of Roger de Pyvelesdon. This is found on page 421, in a chapter headed 'Staffordshire Cartulary 1200-1327'. The first half of the page provides a genealogical chart that explains the inter-relationships between people who are mentioned in the transcription of a charter dated c.1244-50, on page 420: The agreement betwixt Henry de Verdon and Thomas, son of Roger de Bidulf, concerning Suit of Court. The pedigree is entitled 'Lords of Aston and Walton by Stone'.

The Roger de Pywelsdon detailed above, who married Joan, daughter of Robert de Walton and widow of Thomas de Venables, appears to be the brother of Amice de Verdon, as is revealed in the text below the pedigree. This is a transcription of a charter from the Staffordshire Cartulary, dated c.1252-56, which records Hawise, daughter of Henry I de Verdon, releasing to her brother Henry II de Verdon (husband of Amice) all the rights she had of her father, in Biddulph. The text below appears printed underneath the pedigree shown above:

Collections for a History of Staffordshire, 1911

edited by The William Salt Archaeological Society.

Staffordshire Cartulary. 1200-1327

Page 421.

[1252-6.] Hawise the daughter of Henry de Verdon releases to her brother Henry.1

      Noverint universi has literas visuri vel audituri quod ego Hawisia filia Henrici de Verdoyn dedi et concessi et quieteclammavi Henrico fratri meo et heredibus suis et assignatis suis totum jus meum et clamum quod habui et habere potui in tota illa terra cum omnibus pertinenciis quam predictus Henricus pater meus dedit mihi in villa de Bidolf, ita, videlicet, quod ego predicta Hawysia et heredes mei nunquam decetero jus nec clamum in predicta terra exigere possumus nec debemus. Et quare volo quod hec mea concessio et quietaclamacio rata sit et in perpetuum robur optineat firmitatis presentes literas sigilli mei impressione corroboravi. Hiis testibus, Domino Roberto tunc tempore Abbate de Lillishul, Domino T. de Chetewynd, Domino Rogero de Piuelisdon, Magistro Thome filio suo2, Domino Philippo persona de Northbury, Roberto Marescallo, Rogero filio Orm de Derlastona et multis aliis. 

      Robert, Abbot of Lilleshull, must be Robert of Ercall, who was abbot in 1253-4, between Richard, abbot 1240-52, and Ralf, abbot in 1256. (Eyton, Salop, Vol. IX.) 

      Roger de Pulesdon (Pyvelsdon), see above. His sister Amice married Henry de Verdon the younger.

Added Footnotes that do not appear in the original text:

1 The same Latin charter had been published two years earlier in another of the Collections for a History of Staffordshire - Volume XII, New Series (1909). It appears on page 12 under the heading of 'Biddulph Deeds', within a transcription of 'Collections for a History of Pirehill by Walter Chetwynd Esq, A.D. 1679' (with notes by Rev. F. Parker). The same work includes mentions of many other members of the de Verdon family.

2 Lord Roger of Pulesdon and Master Thomas, his son.

There is a degree of confusion over the precise connections between different members of the de Pyvelesdon family, complicated by the frequent use of the same personal names within and between its different branches. Walter Chetwynd, in his ‘History of Pirehill Hundred’ has perhaps come closer than most people to mapping the family accurately, but even this is not without faults. ‘W. Chetwynd’s Pedigree of Puylesdon, etc’ is found within the version of his history published in ‘Collections for a History of Staffordshire’ by the William Salt Archaeological Society in 1914 (page 74). However, the reason for the certainty of the statement above, that Amice who married Henry de Verdon was the sister of Roger de Pyvelesdon, is the evidence arising from a Staffordshire Assize in 1277. The mention of Geoffrey & Petronilla de Walton also appears to indicate, but not entirely confirm, that this was the same Roger de Pyvelesdon who married Joan de Walton, the widow of Thomas de Venables.

Plea Rolls of the Reign of Edward I.

Published in: Collections for a History of Staffordshire, Part 1, Volume VI. (1885)

Page 91-92.


Assizes taken at Kynefare in co. Stafford on the Tuesday after the Quindene of Holy Trinity, before S. de Boffa and Magister Thomas de Sudington, Justices assigned, etc., 5 E. I. [8th June 1277]

Staff. An assize, etc., if Amice the widow of Henry de Verdun of Derlaweston (Darlaston), William Donne of Derlaveston, and seven others named, had unjustly disseised Geoffrey de Waleton of a messuage and a virgate of land in Aston near Stone. Amice stated that Engelard de Akton had demised the tenement to one Henry Manipeny for term of his life for a rent of 6s. annually, and Engelard had afterwards enfeoffed one Roger de Puvelesdon of the rent of 6s., together with all his right in the tenement after the death of Henry; and Roger being in good seisin of the tenement had given the rent to Henry de Verdun in frank marriage with the said Amice his sister, together with all his right in the tenement after the death of Henry Manipeny; and afterwards the said Henry de Verdun had given the same rent to Geoffrey de Waleton and Petronilla his wife in frank marriage. And after the death of Henry Manipeny she, Amice, had entered into the tenemant as of her maritagium.

Explanatory notes, not included with the text:

Geoffrey de Waleton: was the brother of Ivo de Walton, so great uncle to Joan, who married Amice’s brother Roger de Pyvelesdon as her 2nd husband, after the death of her 1st, Thomas de Venables.

Petronilla: was the daughter of Robert de fitzPayne of Aston-by-Stone, and sister of Joan who married Richard Venables – their son was Thomas de Venables, who married Joan de Walton.

Maritagium: i.e. the portion of an estate/land that was given to Amice by her father, on her marriage to Henry de Verdun.

8th June 1277: this date of the Assize was arrived at on the basis that Holy Trinity (Trinity Sunday) is the Sunday after Pentecost, which is itself seven weeks after Easter Sunday, and the 'Quindene' is the fifteenth day after a day, including that day itself (i.e. 14 days later). The source used for dates in the 13th century is the very helpful 'A Medieval English Calendar'. 

However, this still leaves the question as to who Roger de Pyvelesdon and his sister Amice's father was. Some records say that Roger, husband of Joan was the son of Jordan de Pyvelesdon. There were a few of the family with the name 'Jordan'. What the following deed confirms is that Roger de Pyvelesdon who married Joan de Walton, widow of Thomas de Venables, was not the same man as 'Roger son of Jordan de Pyvelesdon, who is still found living after Joan's husband had died.

Collections for a History of Staffordshire

edited by The William Salt Archaeological Society

Part I, Volume VI. 1885.

Page 72:


No date or heading (probably Michaelmas, 3, E. I). [if so, the date is 29th Sept 1275]


Staff. Roger de Pivelesdon and Joan his wife give half a mark for license of concord with Roger son of Jordan de Pivelesdon in a plea of warranty of charter.1 m. 15, dorso.


1 See Fine No. 10, Staffordshire Fines, temp. E. I. It is dated on the morrow of St. Martin, 3 E. I. (19th November, 1275), and gives the date of the Roll. By the terms of the fine Roger son of Jordan grants 3 carucates of land, and 22½ marks of rent in Aston, Burston, Stoke, and Walton, Levedale, Chatwelle, and Barton to Roger de Pyveleston and Joan his wife, for which they gave him 100.


Through his marriage to Joan (de Walton), widow of Thomas de Venables, Sir Roger de Pyvelesdon appears to have gained some lands in Cheshire at Astbury. This is discovered from some deeds that are found in the Public Record Office:

A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient deeds in the Public Record Office.

Published 1915.

Volume IV, pages 11 and 144:

[Chester.] C. 3856. Grant by Richard Sauvage to Sir Roger de Peulisdon and Joan his wife of all his tenement in the manor of Neubolt of the gift of Thomas de Venablys, late lord of Neubolt, and William, late lord of Astbur', saving the messuage with buildings thereon, and the curtilage within the bounds of the town of Astbur', for 101. 10s. paid down. Witnesses : Sir William, baron of Kinderton, Sir Richard de Massy, and Sir Richard de Sondbach, knights, Ralph, lord of Morton, Ranulf, lord of Astbur', Richard de Suethenam, Gralom de Morton, and other.

[Chester.] C. 4888. Grant by Richard Sauvage to Sir Roger de Pulysdon and Joan his wife of the whole tenement in the manor of Neubold which he had by the gift of Thomas de Venablys, late lord of Neubold, and William, late lord of Astebur', saving to him and his heirs a messuage with buildings thereon and a curtilage in Astebur' ; to hold to them and their assigns, viz. to whom and when they please to give it (tarn in lecto mortali quam extra) in fee and heredity ; for this they gave him 10Z. 10s. beforehand. Witnesses : Sir William, baron of Kyndirton, Sir Richard de Mascy and Sir Richard de Sondbache, knights, Ralph, lord of Morton, Ranulf, lord of Astebur', Gralom de Morton, Robert de Rod', Richard de Swethenam, Peter the clerk, and other. Cf. C. 3856.

Since the pedigree from the Staffordshire Cartulary above shows that Sir Roger was dead in 1294 and Thomas de Venables also, then either the deeds above were signed just after Thomas died and/or just before Sir Roger died. We know that if Amice was indeed the sister of Roger de Pyvelesdon who married Joan, then she was not the daughter of Jordan de Pyvelesdon, whose wife was Alice, a daughter of Adam de ChetwyndThere is clearly more work to do to gain more certain clarity, but it looks as if Amice was the sister of Roger de Pyvelesdon who was killed by Welsh rebels at Caernarfon at Michaelmas (September) 1294. Their father was Roger, whose memorial cross in Newport, Shropshire, is mentioned below. 

Roger had another daughter, Amice's sister Alice, who married Sir Robert de Harley, son of Sir Nicholas de Harley, Lord of Harley in Shropshire, whose father was Sir William de Harley a Crusader who is said to have been made a knight of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The marriage between Alice and Robert is confirmed by a charter of 1255 in which Roger de Pyvelesdon grants rent payable by one of his tenants - William de Dirwill, in Farlow, Shropshire, to Robert de Harlegh in frank marriage with Roger's daughter Alice. Robert and Alice had a son and heir Sir Richard de Harley, and according to other records another son Philip de Harley. Sir Richard's son, another Sir Robert de Harley was Sheriff of Shropshire in 1302 and fought at the Battle of Crécy in 1346. These dates from 1255 to the 1300s place Amice in the same generation as Alice, thereby providing more reassurance that she was the sister of Roger de Pyvelesdon who died in 1294 and daughter of Sir Roger de Pyvelesdon who died in 1272. 

Amice's son Roger de Verdun was guardian of William de Venables, son of Thomas de Venables and Joan de Walton (later wife of Roger de Pyvelesdon), as confirmed below in relation to Astbury Church in Cheshire. In view of later links between Astbury and the Verdon/Vardon family, it is interesting to see these earlier connections with this church.

It seems that Amice lived a long life if it is she, rather than a daughter or daughter-in-law 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. Also appearing under Darlaston is her son Viviano de Verdon who pays 4s 6d and another son Henr' de Verdon who pays 2s 2d. Vivian de Staundon is listed under Staundon and pays 6s, and Jordano de Peulesdon under Flossebroke (i.e. Flashbrook) and pays 8d. Jordan would be Roger de Pulesdon and Amice's brother.

This same Jordan de Pyvelesdon, who is found witnessing a charter with his brother (or father) Roger de Pyvelesdon, whereby William de Ercall made grants to the Priory of St Leonard and the White Nuns of Brewood. The charter either preceded or followed a connected Fine levied at Shrewsbury on 3rd February 1256 between Agnes, Prioress of St. Leonard of Brewood, Plaintiff and William de Ercalew. The details are provided on page 85-86 of Volume IX of The Rev. R. W. Eyton's 'Antiquities of Shropshire':

William de Ercal, for the souls of himself and his wife Emma, gives to St. Leonard and to the White Nuns of Brewode a ninth of the sheaves, of two carucates, and lone carucate, in his demesnes of La More and Ercal respectively, he not being bound to pay the said ninths to the House of Wombrugg according to a Cyrograph made between himself and the said House. He further gives to Brewode a ninth of his hay near Tyrne except that of Wennemore-meadow. As security he gives power of distress on Ercal Mill, to the extent of 20 measures of best corn. He further gives the Nuns 40 feet of land near his Court of La More to make a Weir. 

Witnesses: Robert Corbet, Lord of Morton, Roger Corbet of Hedleg, John fitz Hugh, Sir Hamund le Strange, Odo de Hodnet, Roger de Pyvelsdon, and Jurdan de Pyvelesdon.1


1 Newport Evidences

The source that Eyton cites here as 'Newport Evidences' are Reverend J. B. Blakeway's extracts from Newport deeds that are preserved along with Blakeway's other MSS., at the Bodleian Library.

La More was where the Prioress of St. Leonard's grange was built.

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 Amice de Verdun, Alice de Harley, Jordan and Roger de Pyvelesdon and their other siblings. 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, and extract provided in the book 'The Early Pulestons' by Mrs Sunter Harrison of Wrexham, published in 1975. 

I am indebted to historian Haydn Puleston Jones for the information he has shared with me about the de Pyvelesdon / Puleston family. His excellent website 'Puleston Jones Family History' is the most extensive accessible source of data on the early de Pyvelesdons, and is a valuable resource for those researching the family. Here is his page that covers Sir Roger de Pyvelesdon, to whom Newport's Puleston Cross is dedicated: click here

BELOW – 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 brother-in-law Jordan de Puleston, he had been part of Simon de Montfort's rebellion against 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
William Trumwyne
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 Eideware
Jordan de Pulestone
Richard de Flotesbroc (Flashbrook)
Richard de Vernon
Philip Noel
Giles de Erdington
Robert de Melbourne of Hoarcross
Geoffrey de Aston
Henry de Wyverstone

The Robert de Staundon who is listed above Henry de Verdun of Darlaston is Sir Robert, whose daughter married Henry's son Henry (III), brother of Jordan de Verdun and father of Vivian de Verdun.

It is quite possible that Jordan de Verdon was named after his uncle 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). 

As already mentioned, Henry III de Verdun married a sister of Vivian de Standon, and with her Henry had at least four children - his heir Vivian de Verdon, Thomas de Verdon, Roger de Verdon the Rector of Biddulph, and (yet another) Henry de Verdon who is cited as an executor to his father's estate.

Henry III de Verdon's family also appear to have had a connection with Astbury in Cheshire, a parish that lay alongside that of Biddulph in Staffordshire.

Since Congleton's parish church was St. Mary's in the nearby village of Astbury, predecessors of the Vardons of Goldstone were christened, married and buried there 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 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 pate fichèe. 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, are illustrating and confirming the connection between Ranulf de Gernon, Earl of Chester, Bertram III de Verdun and Bertram's brother, or uncle (if he lived a long life) William de Verdun, one of Ranulf's knights and companions.

Records confirm that it was in the 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. On 13th April 1260, in the 44th year of the reign of King Henry III, 'Nicholas de Verdun' is mentioned in the County Court Roll of Cheshire as a witness in a case brought by the attorney of the Abbot of Chester against Richard the son of William the Clerk of Chester. The attorney claimed that Richard was the abbots man for land at Upton [near Chester], held by rendering yearly a pair of spurs, and that he had wrongfully withdrawn his service. Almost thirty years later, three more of the family appear in the same County Court Rolls. Firstly 'Theobald de Verdun' (son of John de Verdun and grandson of Roesia de Verdun) is mentioned in a case dated 18th January 1289 relating to land at Weston by Bertumlegh (i.e. Weston, near Barthomley, just south east of Crewe and c.17km south west of Congleton). Later that same year, mention is made of 'Jordan de Verdun', who 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' edited by TP Highet, and published by the Chetham Society, 3rd series, 9, 1960 - all appear in the details transcribed 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.

By J. P. Earwaker, MA, FSA (of Merton College, Oxford)

In Two Volumes - Volume I. London 1877

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, night, 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. 

Additional footnotes:

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 NottinghamshireHe 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', which he wrote had been made by Humphrey Newton of Pownall Hall 1525?. 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. The charter in question appears on page 96 and 97. 

Extract from 'The Newton Chartulary'

The British Library BL. Add. MS 42134. B.

‘B’ is the translation by Earwaker of what he called the ‘Newton Chartulary’ and describes as having been ‘made by Humphrey Newton of Pownall Hall 1525?’. The original chartulary, now bound, is ‘BL. Add. MS 42134. A.’

Pages 96 and 97

Date: [ 1467 - 8 ]

Let all present and future know that I Richard Newton of Newton1 near Widford2 have given, granted and by this my present charter confirmed in Randle Davenport Rector of the Parish Church of Wilmslow, James Hall Rector of the Parish Church of Northenden, John Verdon Rector of the Parish Church of Lyndby3 in the county of Nottingham, Geoffrey Davy Rector of the Parish Church of Swettenham, Ralph Arden Chaplain, Lawrence Lowe, Humphrey Newton son of the said Richard, Thomas Fitton of Earthen [???], Robert Newton and Thomas Newton my brothers, John Moburley, John Bradley son of Christopher Bradley, all my lands and tenements, rents and reversions and services with all their appurtenances which I have in Newton aforesaid and elsewhere within the county of Cheshire, and all my goods and chattels, To have and to hold all the aforesaid lands and tenements, rents, reversions, and services with all their appurtenances to the said Randle James, John Verdon, Geoffrey, Randle, Lawrence, Humphrey, Thomas Fitton, Robert, Thomas Newton, John Moburley, and John, their heirs and assigns forever, of the chief lords of those fees by the service thence due and of right accustomed. And I, truly the aforesaid Richard Newton and my heirs, all the aforesaid lands and tenements, rents, reversions, and services with all their appurtenances, to the aforesaid Randle, James, John Verdon, Geoffrey, Randle, Lawrence, Humphrey, Thomas Fitton, Robert, Thomas Newton, John Modburley4, and Bradley, theirs and assigns, aganst all people will warrant and for ever defend. In testimony of which thing to this my present charter, I have placed my seal. 

These being witnesses : Robert Leigh of Adlington, senior Esquire, John Honford of Honford, Esquire, Christopher Davenport of Wideford, Esquire, John Davenport son and heir apparent of him the said Christopher, Christopher Bradley and many others.

Given on Monday next after the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary [February 2nd] in the 7th year of the reign of King Edward the Fourth after the conquest of England. [1467-8].

Footnotes (not given within Earwaker’s text):

1 Richard Newton of Newton : Richard (born 1441, died 1497) was the son of Oliver Newton (died 1452-3). He married Jane (died 1498), daughter of Geoffrey Lowe of Denby and had a son Humphrey Newton of Pownall, who married Ellen, daughter and co-heir of Thomas Fitton of Pownall (died 1506). Humphrey was born in 1466 and died in the 28th year of the reign of Henry VIII (1536). His heir was his eldest son William Newton of Pownall. His second son, Humphrey Newton junior, married Ethelreda Starkey and leased, then acquired the Verdons’ lands at Fulshaw from Thomas Verdon, son of Edmund.

Widford : Woodford, Cheshire.

Lyndby : Linby in Nottinghamshire, situated north of Nottingham and c.20km south east of Chesterfield.

Modburley : i.e. Mobberley, otherwise written in this charter as ‘Moburley’.

As well as being Rector of Lyndeby/Linby in Nottinghamshire, in the Diocese of York, John Verdon became chaplain of the Chantry Chapel of St. Michael the Archangel, in the parish Church of All Saints, Chesterfield. He was probably a brother of Thomas Verdon of Fulshaw who granted his lands at Fulshaw in trust to his son and heir Edmund Verdon in 1507, and therefore an uncle to the younger John Verdon from Wilmslow, who was in royal service in London where he died in 1522 (see below). 

John died on 2nd May 1500 and was buried in All Saints, Chesterfield. The place is marked by a brass plate memorial to the east side of the south door. The memorial has these words on it: 

Hic subtus humantur ossa Domini Johannis Verdon, quondam Rectoris de Lyndeby in Comitatu Nottinghamiae, Ebor. Dioec. et Capellani Cantariae Sancti Michaelis Archangeli, in Ecclesia paroch. Omniium Sanctorum de Chesterfield; qui obiit secundo die mensis Maii, Anno Domini Mo. D o., pro cujus anima. sic quaeso, orate, et ut pro vestris animabus orare volueritis. 

This is recorded on page 96 of ‘The History of Chesterfield, With Particulars of the Hamlets Contiguous to the Town, and descriptive accounts of Chatsworth, Hardwick and Bolsover Castle’ by Rev. George Hall. On the same page, Hall provides a translation, which misses out the words ‘Chantry Chapel’:

Here underneath are interred the mortal remains of John Verdon*, formerly Rector of Lyndeby, in the county of Nottingham, in the Diocese of York, and chaplain of St. Michael the Archangel, in the parish Church of All Saints, in Chesterfield; who died on the 2nd day of May, in the year of our Lord 1500; for whose soul, I entreat you, pray, even as you would pray for your own souls. 

Footnote featured within the original text:

One of the representatives of the County of Derby, in the fourth Parliament of Edward the third, was named John de Verdon, and probably an ancestor of the above Mr. John Verdon.1 

Additional Footnote:

1   It is possible that Hall has confused the Parliaments of Edward III and has not realised that the John Verdon of Chesterfield was descended from the de Verdons of Woodford and Fulshaw, Cheshire who are a different branch of de Verdons than the man called to Edward III’s Parliaments. Edward III’s fourth Parliament was summoned on 5th March 1328; it assembled and met at York on 24th April and was dissolved on 14th May 1328. Cokayne in his ‘Complete Peerage’ tells us that John de Verdon, son of Sir Thomas de Verdon of Brixworth (Northamptonshire), Bressingham (Norfolk) and other manors in Norfolk, Suffolk, Northamptonshire and Hertfordshire, was summoned to Parliament from 27th January 1331/2 (i.e. 1332) in the 6th year of the reign of Edward III, by writs directed [to] Johanni de Verdon, whereby he is held to have become LORD VERDON. Cokayne adds (in a footnote) that this same John de Verdon was also summoned to Great Councils in 1342 and 1347 (source: Lords’ Report; Calendar of Close Rolls, 1346-49, p 373). He is also recorded as having been summoned to the Great Council of 1324, as Knight of Derbyshire, Northamptonshire & Hertfordshire. The 1332 Parliament was Edward III’s 9th Parliament. It assembled and met at Winchester on 16th March and was dissolved on 21st March 1332.

Lyndeby or Linby as it is on today's maps, is located c.12km west of Southwell, also in Nottinghamshire. As detailed further below, five years after John Verdon's death, his nephew Edmund Verdon appeared in church records in relation to Southwell Minster. Perhaps it was through John's influence that Edmund ended up working within the church's hierarchy in Yorkshire for a man with a role that was connected to the Diocese of Chester.

The pedigree Earwaker refers to, in his History of the Hundred of Macclesfield, within the chapter covering Fulshaw) - A pedigree of this family of Verdon of Fulshaw is in my Cheshire MSS., Vol. ii. (see above) has recently been re-found, having been unwittingly hidden from view as a result of a spelling error on the labelling of an archive collection. It reveals that Edmund Verdon had moved to live in Yorkshire, at Beswick in the parish of Kilnwick, where he married Margaret, the widow of William Danyell of Beswick and they had a son called Thomas and a daughter called Anne. 

It is clear that Margaret was a member of the Gascoigne family, the senior branch of which was seated at Gawthorpe, in the parish of Harewood, north of Leeds. However, there has been confusion over the identity of her father, caused by errors and conflicting data presented by the various Heraldic Visitations of Yorkshire. William Danyell died in 1505 and was buried at Kilnwick; he left a Will dated 1st September 1504, on which Probate was granted 22nd March 1504. The Visitation of Yorkshire 1563-4 by William Flower, Norroy King of Arms (published 1881) has an entry for the Danylls of Beswick on page 29; it tells us about their coat of arms and the lineage that connects with the Gascoignes: 

Danyell : “Beryth Gules, on a crosse Argent fyve Egles Sable.”

William Danyell of Beswyke in Yorkshire. = Ales doughter to Sir John Normanvyle.

[their son:-] 

William Danyell son & heyre = Margaret, doughter to Sir William Gascoigne

Harvey's Visitation of 1552, which is published by The Surtees Society, also claims that William Danyell's wife was the daughter of Sir William Gascoigne (Visitations of the North, Part 1, pages 12-13):  

WYLLIAM DANYELL of Beswyke, maryd Alyce, dowghter to Sir John Normanvylle, and had yssu Wylliam. 

WYLLIAM DANYELL, sone and heyre to Wylliam, maryed Margaret, dowghter of Sir William Gascoyne, and had yssu Wylliam; Ysabell, wedyd to Warde of Loconton; Margaret, wedyd [blank]; Elenore, wedyd to William Clyffe; Alyce, wedyd to Hornby of Holderness.

However, Margaret's parentage as recorded in these publications, is not correct. The first suggestion of this is found within William Flower's 1563-4 Visitation of Yorkshire, in the entries for the Gascoigne family of Gawthorpe. There is no mention of any 'Sir William Gascoigne', with a daughter named Margaret who is recorded as having married a man called Verdon. But there is mention in the same Visitation of an Elizabeth Gascoigne, granddaughter of Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe and daughter of his 3rd son, John Gascoigne of Gawthorpe, who married a man with the surname 'Verden'. The entry appears on page 134 of the Harleian Society's 1881 publication of Flower's Visitation, edited by Charles Best Norcliffe MA:

Sir William Gaskon son & heyr = Margaret doughter to Thomas Clarell to her 2 husband Robert Waterton & after to John Fytz William of Sprotboroo.

[their 3rd son]

John Gaskon of Gawthorpe 3 son to Sir William. Of this John cam the house of Thorpe of the Hill. = F 98 says - ". . . . . doter & heyr of Swyllyngton,"

[their daughter]

Elsabeth wyff to . . . . Verden.

In 1874, Joseph Foster's 'Pedigrees of The County Families of Yorkshire' was published, which provided detailed and extensive genealogies based on the Visitations - a true magnus opus; the title page stated the pedigrees been 'authenticated by the members of each family'. Although the pedigrees are not without errors, Foster's work is fairly magisterial. In Volume I, which deals with the West Riding, he covers the Gascoignes of Gawthorpe and their cadet branches, including the family of Thorpe-on-the-Hill. Unfortunately, Foster provides no footnotes to enlighten us about his sources, but perhaps the notes he made in preparation for his publication exist in an archive somewhere. Below is an extract from Foster's pedigree of the Gascoignes, relating to the family of Thorpe-on-the-Hill:

British Library ref: Wq7-7674 (Volume 1), with other copies L.1.a.2. and 1861.b.16.

1. Sir WILLIAM GASCOIGNE, Knt., of Gawthorp, high sheriff, co. York 1442. and died before 1466. = MARGARET, youngest daughter of Thomas Clarell, of Aldwarke, widow, 1st, of John Fitzwilliam, of Sprotborough, who died at Rouen, in 1421, and 2ndly, of Sir Robert Waterton, of Waterton, dead before 1425/6. On 7 February, 1425/6, a commission was granted to adsolve Thomas Clarel, chaplain, for celebrating this third marriage, it being clandestine (see CLARELL pedigree).

[their 3rd son]

3. JOHN GASCOIGNE, of Gawthorpe, and j.u. of Thorp-on-the-Hill, married Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Sir William Swillington, of Thorp, Knt. She married, 2ndly, to William Arthington, of Arthington (? Redman). She died 7 September, 1528.

Their children:

WILLIAM GASCOIGNE, of Thorp-on-the-Hill, died 13 June, 1565. = JOANE, daughter of Thos. Thwaites, Esq., of Marston, died 21 Jan., 1561.


ELIZABETH, married to ...... Verdon

Although Foster was clearly uncertain about Elizabeth's remarriage to a Redman, he was on the right track and other manuscripts provide ample proof to confirm this.

A suit arose sometime between 1502 and 1503, which reveals the first evidence that leads us to be able to confirm the parentage of Margaret Gascoigne, wife of William Danyell and Edmund Verdon, and in so doing correct the errors made in some of the Visitations.

Early Chancery Proceedings Preserved in the Public Record Office

Published by the Public Record Office, 1963.

Volume IV

Bundle No: 262 [on page 81]

No. of Suit: 83.

Addressed to: William Warham, Bishop of London, Keeper

Period: 1502 - 1503

Name of person applying to the Chancery for a writ: Richard Grene

Name of the other party in the suit: Leonard Redmayn and Elizabeth, his wife, previously the wife of William Arthyngton.

Details of the subject of the suit: Action of Sir Rauf Bygod against complainant as surety for the late William Arthyngton.

County: [blank]

William Arthyngton had been resident at Burghwallis when he died, a fact that is revealed by the Will that survives of Will'ms Ardyngton' de Burghwales, dated 20th January 1485/6 [i.e. 1486]. It is written in latin and mentions his wife Elizabeth [i.e. Elizabeth Swillington/Gascoigne], Sir Henry Horseman of Burghwales and Thomas Slyngesby gentleman, as well as witnesses Sir William Hall chaplain and Thomas Cooke. He left bequests to the church and to the nuns of Arthington Priory. William stipulates that he was to be buried in his parish church of St. Helen of Burghwallis. The Will was proved on 24th March 1486. 

Leonard Redmayn appears to have been from Burghwallis, where Thomas Verdon, son of Margaret Gascoigne (Danyell) and Edmund Verdon, is found living years after his father's death. We discover this from Leonard's appearance in a list of people given General Pardons by Henry VII in 1487. The details are recorded as follows within 'Materials for a History of the Reign of Henry VII, from original documents preserved in The Public Record Office:

The Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Journal

Volume II. (published in 1873)Volume 2, edited by William Campbell.

Page 200:

1487, 26th October: General Pardon to Leonard Redmayn (or Redman) of Burghwaleys (or Borughwaleys), co. York, gentleman, with restitution of goods and chattelsGiven at the castle of Warrewic. 

E. October 30. P.S. No. 235. Pat. P. 1. m. 19 (8).

Foster tells us that Elizabeth died on 7th September 1528 (see above). In 1524 we find a record of her continued residence or otherwise ownership of land at Thorpe-on-the-Hill, from the Subsidy Roll for Agbrigg and Morley; the same record also mentions a William Arthyngton, who one assumes must have been the son of Elizabeth's 2nd husband, William Arthington. Whether this William was Elizabeth's son has not been established, but it is not impossible that she was his mother.

January, 1524: Wapentake of Morley within the Honour of Pontefract

Page 47: Subsidy Roll for Agbrigg and Morley

THORP OF THE HYLL — William Arthyngton for 16l. guds. 8s. ;

Elizabeth Redman for 4l. lands, 4s.

Sum 12s.

The mention of William Arthington is potentially significant because the Will (18th July 1548, proved 8th May 1549) of another William Arthington 'of Knottingley' mentions a bequest to his godson William Vardon i.e. William Verdon, son of Edmund Verdon's son Thomas, who lived at Knottingley after having been brought up with relatives at Burghwallis. This is dealt with in more detail below. William Arthington's wife is named in his will as 'Jennet' and when probate was granted her name is given as 'Joan'. He names his children Robert, Thomas, Nicholas, William, Jennett and Anne; and leaves property in Knottingley and Ripon. he leaves a ring to Sir John Reademan. More about the identity of Sir John Reademan has yet to be uncovered, but it's possible he is related to Leonard Redmayn - perhaps his son or brother, and potentially also a relative of William Arthington.. 

It is clear there was some debate about whether John Gascoigne married the daughter of Sir William Swillington, Sir Thomas Swillington or the unknighted William Swillington, and whether this Gascoigne-Swillington marriage even occurred in this generation. It is quite possible that Sir William and Sir Thomas may be mistaken references to earlier members of the Swillington family and there is a chance that Elizabeth was in fact the daughter of William Swillington of Driffield. Interestingly, Driffield is only c.6 miles north of Beswick and Kilnwick. This William may be the grandson of Adam Swillington, who is mentioned by Canon Beanlands, in his work 'The Swillingtons of Swillington': Now one of the Adam de Swillingtons had a bastard son William, whose descendant, another William was of Driffield, and claimed in 1430 to be the heir of Sir Roger. Blomfield says: “At this time Sir William was living who accompanied John, Duke of Lancaster, into Spain, son of Adam, and brother of Sir Robert, he was of Driffield, and married Margaret daughter and heiress of John Dringe. Harley MS 1487 may support this proposition. It  provides slightly differing data on John Gascoigne, his wife and parents, calling Elizabeth's father 'William' rather than 'Sir William'. The entry is found within what is described on the title page as: The Visitation of Yorkshire made by Robert Glouer Somerset Herald, Marshall & Deputie to Norroy King of Armes Anno Dommini 1584 and 1585 together wth the Visitation of the same Countie made by Richard St. George Esq: alias Norroy King of Armes Anno Dom: 1612. And inlarged with the Visitation made by Thomas Tong ats Norroy King of Armes in the tyme of King Henry ye 8th 1530. [signed] John Withy.

This is the information that is provided on folio page 268 (r) of Harley MS 1487:

Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorp Kt oldest sonne = Mary or Margaret d: of Tho: Clarell & relict of Jo: Fitzwilliame 2 wife

John 3 sonn Mard: Eliz: d: & coh: of Wm Swillington.

However, confusingly on folio page 272, a pedigree for Gascoigne of Thorpe-on-the-Hill, contradicts what Glover / St George had recorded on page 268 - they give John's parents as:

Sir Willm Gascoigne of Gawthorpe Kt and a da: & h: of Sir Robt. Clarell, record that John Gascoigne was their 3rd son, and that John's wife was Eliz: da & h: of Sir Wm Swillington of Thorpe on the Hill.  

Harley MS 1487 contradicts other visitations by recording that Sir William married 1stly Jane d: & h: of Hen: Wyman by Anne his wife d & heir of John Bardon. This error is corrected in 1875 by the publication of Joseph Foster's edited The Visitation of Yorkshire made in the years 1584/5, by Robert Glover, Somerset Herald; to which is added The subsequent Visitation made in 1612 by Richard St. George, Norroy King of Arms, with several additional pedigrees. This shows Jane Wyman as the daughter and heiress of Henry Wyman, wife of Sir William Gascoigne and mother of Sir William who married Margaret, daughter of Thomas Clarrell.

This now brings us back to the preseumed error made in the visitations with regard to the name of John Gascoigne of Thorpe-on-the-Hill's daughter who married firstly William Danyell and secondly Edmund Verdon.

William Danyell's will, dated 1st September 1504 provides the proof we need. In it he refers to Leonrd Redyma' my fader i lawe, who William appointed as one of his executors, and to whom Probate was granted on 20th October 1504.

On the basis that Leonard Redmayn married William Danyell's wife's mother, then that person was Elizabeth Swillington, wife of John Gascoigne of Gawthorpe and through his wife's inheritance 'of Thorpe-on-the-Hill'. We know that William Danyell married Margaret Gascoigne, who after being widowed remarried Edmund Verdon. So, we can say with confidence that Edmund Verdon married Margaret, daughter of John Gascoigne of Thorpe-on-the-Hill, and that either the Heralds misnamed her 'Elizabeth' in their visitations, or Edmund Verdon married two sisters - Elizabeth and then Margaret. However, in view of the other mix-ups in the visitations, the most likely explanation is that Margaret was mistakenly written down as 'Elizabeth', confusing her name with that of her mother. In reference to her appearing in the Danyell of Beswick entry in one visitation as the daughter of Sir William Gascoigne, it may be that when the Heralds were examining the Danyell family's records, they were told by the member of the family they liaised with that Margaret was the daughter of Sir William Gascoigne when she was in fact the granddaughter of Sir William Gascoigne and his wife Margaret Clarell, and the 1st cousin of their son and namesake Sir William Gascoigne. Her cousin's eldest son and heir was Sir William Gascoigne thelder Knyght, who was a signatory to a deed (copied below) that was concerned about the inheritance of Margaret's son Thomas Verdon. This would then explain why, when the same Herald's visitation gleaned information from the Gascoigne family, it produced no mention of a daughter of any Sir William Gascoigne having married William Danyell, but did record a marriage between a man called 'Verdon' and a daughter of John Gascoigne, son of Sir William Gascoigne.

Through his mother's grandmother, Margaret Clarell, Thomas Verdon was 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.

BELOW – the effigy of Chief Justice of England Sir William Gascoigne (died 1419) and his 1st wife Elizabeth Mowbray, inside Harewood Church, Yorkshire. Sir William was the grandfather of Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe who married Margaret Clarell (see effigies below). Thomas Verdon is descended from them through his mother, Margaret Gascoigne, wife of Edmund Verdon:-

Please note that the picture below is published with the kind permission of its owner.

Copyright © Jean McCreanor, JMC4 Church Explorer

the effigy of Sir William Gascoigne (grandson of Sir William Gascoigne, Chief Justice, and Elizabeth Mowbray; died 1454) and his wife Margaret Clarell (died 1465), inside Harewood Church, Yorkshire. Thomas Verdon is descended from them through his mother, Margaret Gascoigne, wife of Edmund Verdon. Margaret Clarell was distantly related to Edmund through her descent from the eldest daughter and co-heiress of Theobald II de Verdon, the last of the Verdon Barons of Alton, Staffordshire:-

Please note that the picture below is published with the kind permission of its owner.

Copyright © Jean McCreanor, JMC4 Church Explorer

More about Thomas Verdon's connections and relationships with the Gascoignes and other leading families in that part of Yorkshire can be learned from the 'curious deed' that Earwaker refers to. A transcription of this has also been found, along with a painting of the original deed, wrapped up with multiple seals attached to it, hanging down. It is to be found in Cheshire Archives in Earwaker's transcription of Fulshaw deeds that were in the possession of Samuel Finney of Fulshaw.

Extract of Transcription of Earwaker’s Collection, ref: ZCR-63-1-43

Page 73 to 77 – Yorkshire Deed. Earwaker (or another author) wrote on page 76 that this was Original Deed No. 12

The Reader will see the word release mentioned in this deed explained in the former volume […?]

To all Crysten people unto whom this present wryting testymonial shall come to here rede or see. We Thomas Priour of the Monasterye of Watton of the Ordre of Saint Gilbert nygh Beverlay in the countie of Yorke, Sir William Gascoign thelder Knyght, Sir Henry Gascoign Clerk, William Gascoign of Thorp squyer, William Gascoign of Barneby Squier, William Danyel Squyer, William Thwaites of Marston Squier, Seth Snawsell of Bylton esquire, Master John Hastyngs Parson of Baynton, and Mr Wade Vicar of Hinton Crawnswik sendeth greeting in our Lord god ev’lasting fforasmuche as it is right meritoiouse and nedefull to testifie and recorde the truthe and playnes in eu? cause doubtefull therefore we above named testifieth recordeth and sayeth that about the 22nd yere of the Reign of our late Sov’ain lorde Kyng Henry the VIIth (7th) 1 oon Edmound Verdon at that tyme being s’vaunt unto Master Dalby Archedeacon of Richemound and Provvest of Bev’lay 2 at the Parishe Churche of Kynwyk in the said Countie of York, married and toke to wiff Margarete Danyell late wiff of William Danyell esquire In the presence of Sr John Honthome of Scorburgh Knyght, Sr John Normaville of Kynwik Knyght, Sr Henry Thwaitts of Lunde Knyght, Edmound Kay of Beswik yoman, Robert Kay of the same yoman, Edmound Gylys of the same Yoman, John Wilson of the same yoman, and many others honest p’sonnes, the which Edmound Verdon and Margarette his wif hade issue betwene theym lawfully begotten, Thomas Verdon. And also they hade oone doughter called Anne Verdon, and no moo children. The which Thomas Verdon was bourne at Beswik and cristened at the Parishe Churche of Kynwik aforesaid. And hade to his godfathers Thomas Dalby late Archdeacon of Richmound and Sr Henry Thwaitts Knyght and Mastres Metham wiff of Thomas Metham of Metham Squier yet being of lyf to his godmoder, all which we the above named Recorders well avery and justifil is true as the lawe well require in that behalf Wherefor we desire, and in our right hartie man’ praye you and ev’y of yoou to whom in the case his shall app’teigne peasibly and quietly f’wythe and suffer the forsaid Thomas Verdon as son and right heir of the said Edmond and the forsaid Margaret his wiff soe lawfully begotten to have occupie use enjoie the inheritances of the same Edmound Verdon his ffader without any your lett disturbance or contradiccon as we maye doo unto you any like pleasance herafter And for the moore assurances prouffs witnesse that these p’mysses are true & unfeyned. Alle we the aforenamed Witnesses to this our present writing testymoniall hathe sette our Seales the XXIII day of ffebruary in the XXI yerer 3. of the Reign of our souv’ain Lorde King Henry the VIIIth 4.

10 Seals. _

Additional Footnotes, not included in the original text:

1   i.e. c.1506/7 - Henry VII's reign began on 22nd August 1485 and ended on 21st April 1509.

2   Beverley. Richmond in Yorkshire was at that time part of the Diocese of Chester.

3   The numerals as transcribed by Earwaker for both dates are '24' and '21' written in 'Secretary' script.

4   i.e. 24th February 1530, which is precisely the date written on the cover of the deed.

Details about the key individuals mentioned in the text:  

1.    Signatories to the Deed

Sir William Gascoign thelder Knyght 

Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe, who married 1stly Alice Frognall, and 2ndly Margaret Neville. His parents were Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe & his wife Lady Margaret Percy. Since Thomas Verdon's mother was the daughter of John Gascoigne of Gawthorpe and jure uxoris Thorpe-on-the-Hill, then Sir William Gascoign thelder was his 2nd cousin and the then head of the family. He was created a Knight of the Bath at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth, wife of Henry VII, on 25th November 1487. He is mentioned in other places as Sir William Gascoigne 'the elder'. The records of the Yorkshire Star Chamber (page 74): Thomas Clarke, chantry priest at Harewood v. Sir William Gascoigne, knt., and others. Assault (1529): ‘Sir William Gascoigne,a late of Gawkethorpe in the countie of York the elder, knight, George Gascoigne, late of the same towne, gentilman, Marmadewe Gascoigne, late of the same towne, gentilman’ – the note: a Eldest son and heir of Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe, knight, who died March 12, 1486-7, and Margaret, daughter of Henry, earl of Northumberland. He was aged 19 and upwards when his father died. He sold the manor of Tyrley, co. Stafford, to Sir Rowland Hill and others in 1533 (Inq. p. m., Hen. VII, No.357). He is called “Sir Wyllyam Gascoign, the vth of that name,” in Tonge’s Visitation (p.15). His will was proved on March 23, 1551-2. By his first wife, Alice, dau of Sir Richard Frognall, of Frognall, he was father of the above-named George and Marmaduke Gascoigne. He is mentioned again on page 77 of the same records: Marmaduke Constable, clerk v. William Carre and others. Forcible entry, Ripley Church: mentions the same ‘Sir William Gascoigne thelder, knyght’.

Sir Henry Gascoign Clerk

He would appear to be Sir Henry Gascoigne, 2nd son of Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe & his wife Lady Margaret Percy; therefore the brother of Sir William above, and would have shared the same relationship with Thomas Verdon. Henry married Isabel (sometimes mentioned as 'Elizabeth'), daughter of Sir Henry Boynton of Sedbury. Sedbury is c.5km NE of Richmond, Yorkshire, by Scotch Corner. It is in the Civil Parish of Gilling with Hartforth and Sedbury, which (in 2017) includes the villages of Gilling West and Hartforth. In Ralph Gascoigne of Wheldale’s Will (considered to be a son of Ralph Gascoigne of Burnby, Will printed in Test. Ebor iv. 15), dated 10th September 1522, he mentions one of his executors being Sir Henry Gascoigne, parsone of Burghwall i.e. Burghwallis, where Thomas Verdon is found living later on. Ralph’s wife was called Isabell, like Henry’s wife. Thomas married a lady called ‘Isabelle’ / ‘Isabell’ – it begs the question whether there may be a connection. Sir Henry Gascoigne was presented to the living of Burghwallis on 27th May 1521, by his relative Thomas Gascoigne of Burghwallis (Will dated 22nd December 1540). There is another suggestion that Sir Henry Gascoigne, Parson of Burghwallis was the brother of John Gascoigne, Vicar of Friston and that their father was Ralph Gascoigne, whose Will is mentioned above. However, if this was to be correct, it is odd that their father did not mention them as his sons in his Will, in the way he did with his other children. Joseph Foster records a John Gascoigne who may be the man who was Vicar of Friston, in his compilation of the visitation pedigrees: John Gascoigne a priest (? vicar of Friston, co-York, 1522, brother of Sir William Gascoigne who married Alice Frognall.

William Gascoign of Thorp squyer

William Gascoigne of Thorpe-on-the-Hill (now part of Leeds), son of John Gascoigne who is said to have gained Thorpe by marriage with Elizabeth Swillington. He was therefore Thomas Verdon's uncle, the brother of Thomas's mother Margaret. Various Heraldic Visitations of Yorkshire show Elizabeth to have been the daughter of Sir William or Sir Thomas Swillington of Thorpe-on-the-Hill. However, as already mentioned above, it may be that these names are of much earlier members of the Swillington family and that Elizabeth was actually the daughter of William Swillington of Driffield, a place located c.6 miles north of Beswick and Kilnwick. In his ‘William Gascoigne: Seventeenth Century Astronomer’, David Sellers provides a family tree of the Gascoignes of Thorp-on-the-Hill (From The Visitation of Yorkshire (London, 1875), ed. J. Foster). It shows that William Gascoigne of Thorpe, son of John, married Joane, daughter of Thomas Thwaites of (Long) Marston – perhaps this should have been correctly recorded by Foster as ‘William Thwaites of Marston’, who is detailed below; if not, Thomas Thwaites of Marston would have been a close relative. The same work provides a date of William Gascoigne of Thorpe's death as 20 May H. VIII. i.e. 1538.

William Gascoign of Barneby Squier

William Gascoigne of Burnby – Burnby is shown on modern maps as being c.15km west of Kilnwick. The Gascoignes of Burnby were relatives of the Gascoignes of Gawthorpe. William seems to be the son of Rauffe Gascoigne of Burnby, esquire who according to Glover’s Visitation was the 4th son of Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe & Margaret Clarell. This makes him a 1st cousin to William Gascoigne of Thorpe and his sister Margaret who married Edmund Verdon. He is therefore a 1st cousin once removed to Thomas Verdon. Ralph was the husband of Eleanor, daughter of John Routh. William Gascoigne, his son and heir to Burnby / Burneby married Katherine, daughter of William Nelson, Alderman and former Lord Mayor of York, and at one time also the city's Member of Parliament.

William Danyel Squyer

William Danyell the younger, whose mother Margaret married Edmund Verdon, after his father William’s death. He was therefore a half-brother to Thomas Verdon. His wife was Ann Salvin, daughter of Sir Raffe Salveyne of Newbygyn (Sir Ralph Salvin of Newbiggin) by his wife Elizabeth Hastyngs, dau of Sir Hugh Hastyngs of Fenwick and his wife Ales doughter to Sir William Gaskon of Gawthorpe [1563-64 Visitation of Yorkshire] – the Visitation records that it was Anne, daughter of Sir William Gaskon & his wife Margaret Clarell who was wyff to Sir Hugh Hastynges. Elizabeth Hastyngs’ sister Izabell was wyff to Sir John Hotham, Knight, who was one of the witnesses to the marriage of Thomas Verdon's parents, as recorded in the deed above.

William Thwaites of Marston Squier

William Thwaites of Long Marston, which is c.2 miles east north east of Bilton-in-Ainsty. He married Elizabeth Redmayne, daughter of Thomas Redmayne or Redman of Bossall. William died sometime before 8th January 1533. A Joan Thwaites, daughter of Thomas Thwaites of Marston (who seems to be William's grandfather) married William Gascoigne of Thorpe (see above), son of John Gascoigne of Thorpe-on-the-Hill; Joan is recorded in Joseph Foster's pedigree of the Gascoignes as having died on 21st January 1561. Since Edmund Verdon married the daughter of John Gascoigne, that means William Thwaites' aunt was also Thomas Verdon's aunt. However, there is another possibility. William Paver included a genealogy of the Thwaites of Marston in his 'The Heraldic Visitations of Yorkshire consolidated and the Pedigrees re-arranged and placed in alphabetical order, with additions from legal evidence and other creditable sources' (British Library Add. MS. 29647). The genealogy presented by Paver suggests that Joan Thwaites who married William Gascoigne was the daughter of Thomas Thwaites of Marston by a daughter of . . . Middleton of Stockeld, and that Thomas had a son called William who married a daughter of . . . Mauleverer of Wothersome and had a son William Thwaites of Marston - it may be the elder William who is the William Thwaites of Marston Squier who signed this deed, in which case he was the brother-in-law of William Gascoigne of Thorpe, who was Thomas Verdon's uncle.

Seth Snawsell of Bylton esquire

Seth Snawsell of Bilton-in-Ainsty, Lord of the Manor of Bilton, son of William Snawsell, Goldsmith and Alderman of York and his wife Jennett, daughter of John Thwenge (or Thwynge) of York. Seth Snawsell's daughter Anne married Robert Metham, son of Sir Thomas Metham of Metham by his wife Elizabeth Wentworth, who was one of Thomas Verdon's godparents - see below. William Paver's genealogy for the Snawsells of Bilton (British Library Add. MS. 29647) states that Seth Snawsell Esq of Bilton died in 1537, was probably buried at Bilton and had 22 children. Paver records that he married twice - firstly to Elizabeth, daughter and heir of William Davile of Bilton, who is found mentioned living in 1493 or 1494 and was the mother of Anne wife of Robert Metham of Lockton (in the Metham visitation pedigree the place is written 'Locton', but is probably Lockington near Beswick, Kilnwick and Lund. Seth married secondly to Catherine, daughter of . . . Pulleyne and widow of Thomas de la Mere (the printed copy of Glover's visitation says 'de la More'). After Seth's death, Catherine married Henry Ughtred.

Master John Hastyngs Parson of Baynton

Bainton is in the East Riding and located c.1.3km North West of Beswick. He may be related to Sir Hugh Hastyngs (Hastings), who married Anne Gascoigne, sister of John Gascoigne, and so aunt to William Gascoigne of Burnby and William Gascoigne of Thorpe, and great aunt to Sir William Gascoigne the elder Knight. Anne and Sir Hugh's daughter Elizabeth married Sir Ralph Salvin of Newbiggin; and their daughter Anne married William Danyell, son of Margaret Gascoigne and William Danyell i.e. half brother of Thomas Verdon. Perhaps John Hastyngs was Elizabeth Salvin's brother.

Mr Wade Vicar of Hinton Crawnswik 

Robert Wade, Vicar of Hutton Cranswick, c.3 miles north of Beswick. The Patrons of the Church were the Priors of the Convent of Watton. Robert Wade became Vicar on 7th March 1508/9 (i.e. 1509) and died in or before 1549.

2.    Witnesses to the marriage at Kilnwick of Edmund Verdon and Margaret Danyell / Gascoigne

Sir John Honthome of Scorburgh Knyght

Sir John Hotham of Scorborough, a place located c.3km south of Beswick. Sir John Hotham was born in 1458, the son of John Hotham Esquire and Isabel Hildyard, daughter of Sir Robert Hildyard. Sir John's father 'John Hotham Esquire' was the eldest son of Sir John Hotham - the two of them died at the brutal battle of Towton on Palm Sunday 1461, leaving the younger John aged above 2 years old. Sir John served as High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1498/99. He married twice, firstly to Isabel Hastings, daughter of Sir Hugh Hastings of Fenwick by his wife Anne Gascoigne, daughter of Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe and his wife Margaret Clarell. Isabell was a 1st cousin to the Elizabeth Gascoigne, daughter of John Gascoigne of Thorpe-on-the-Hill, who is shown to have married a Verdon (see mention above). Her sister Elizabeth married Sir Ralph Salvin/Salveyne of Newbiggin and their daughter Anne married William Danyell of Beswick, son of William Danyell and his wife Margaret Gascoigne whose second husband was Edmund Verdon. Sir John Hotham's second wife was Lora Constable, daughter of Ralph Constable. He died in 1509.

Sir John Normaville of Kynwik Knyght

Sir John Normanville of Kilnwick – the father of Alice, mother of Margaret Verdon’s 1st husband William Danyell of Beswick. Sir John died in 1520 leaving a Will dated 19th May 1520, which was Proved 30th July 1521. It is clear that he died only a short time before his brother William, who in his own Will (dated 14th December 1520, Proved 20th February 1521) asks his executors to discharge my brother, Sir John Normaville, of al dettes & legacies. In his Will, Sir John asks that he be buried at the qwhere within the church of Kilnewik and wills that his executors shal cause a convenient tumbe of marble to be maid over my body in the church and my picture to be gravyn oppon wt such poses & scripture theroppon as shalbe thought good & convenient. His executors were his wife, his brother William, his cousin Thomas Fairfax, Sir Richard Ellys, clerk, John Wright and Richard Clederowe. He also mentions his sisters ElinourAnne Darbe, and Elisabeth Snayton. His brother William's executors were: Sir Antony Ugtreght knyght, Sir Nicholas Farefax knyght of Seynt John's of Jerusalem, Thomas Fairfax lerned man, Maister Robert Waid vicar of Hoton Crauncewyke (see above), John Beilby gentleman, & Sir Robert Cordwyner chaplayne

Sir Henry Thwaitts of Lunde Knyght

Sir Henry Thwaites of Lund, son of Henry Thwaites son and heir of Edmund Thwaites of Lund on the Wolds, Yorkshire - just a few miles west of Beswick and Kilnwick. The Will of Sir Herry Thwaites of Lounde, knyght is dated 30th June 1520. He died after his wife and was buried with her in the Chancel of All Hallows Church, Lund. Edmund Thwaites’ Will is dated 21st May 1500. Edmund's father was Henry Thwaites of Lund on the Wolds, Yorkshire (Will dated 31st March 1478, probate granted 9th September 1480). One of Edmund's feoffees was William Daniel / Danyell of Beswick, whose widow Margaret Gascoigne married 2ndly Edmund Verdon. His Will records that his feoffees were: Sir Ralph Bigod (of Settrington), Sir Robert Aske (father of the Pilgrimage of Grace rebel, Robert Aske), Sir John GowerSir John Wandesford (of Kirklington), knts, John St. Quintin (his son-in-law, husband of Edmund's daughter Elinour), William Babthorpe, John Arthington, John Vavasour, Thomas Ellis, William Daniell, esqrs. Sir Henry Thwaites married as his 1st wife Agnes Constable (dead by 1520), daughter of Sir Robert Constable of North Cliffe (Will dated 2nd September 1501 and proved 13 January 1501/2, Inquisition Post Mortem 14th October 1502; held land at North Cliffe, Sledmere, Newsham ), son of Sir Robert Constable of Flamborough and Agnes Wentworth of Nettlestead in Suffolk. Agnes Constable’s brother was Marmaduke Constable of North Cliffe. Sir Henry Thwaites remarried after the death of his wife Agnes Constable. His 2nd wife was called Anne, who was mentioned in his Will as Anne, my wiff. In his Will, he mentions his daughters Frances and Katherine, his sister Elyn Killyngale (probably Eleanor, wife of William Killinghall of Middleto St. George, Co. Durham), his uncle Peers Bigott, and his foeffees: Sir John Constable, Sir Marmaduke Constable, Sir Walter Calverley knyghtes, Peres Bigott, Rauff Bigot and Herry Savile esquiers. He also mentions Kateryne Povy, Jane Lancastre, Isabell Chambirlene, Davy his shepherd, Sir John Noble, his servant James Sandall and Thomas Covell, John Vincent, William Pereson, John Tipping, and another servant Philipp Gibson. His general executors were his wife Anne, Sir Marmduke Constable and Roger WilberfosseHis daughter Frances married Sir Thomas Gresham and had Lund for her portion. Lund passed from the Greshams to Sir Henry Neville, and thereafter to the Remingtons.

3.    Thomas Verdon's Godparents

Thomas Dalby late Archdeacon of Richmound

Thomas Dalby, Archdeacon of Richmond in Yorkshire,  Provost of Beverley and Canon of SouthwellEdmund Verdon worked for Dalby and was his Proctor at Southwell.

Sir Henry Thwaitts Knyght

Sir Henry Thwaites of Lund, son of Edmund Thwaites of Lund, a place very close to Beswick. He married 1stly Agnes, daughter of Sir Robert Constable Knt of Flamborough, which made him a brother-in-law to Elizabeth Metham, who was a fellow godparent to Thomas Verdon.

Mastres Metham wiff of Thomas Metham of Metham Squier

Elizabeth Metham, wife of Thomas Metham of Metham and daughter of Sir Robert Constable of Flamborough and his wife Agnes Wentworth, daughter of Sir Roger Wentworth of Nettlestead. Agnes's mother was Margery (Margaret), widow of John, Baron de Ros, and daughter and heiress of Sir Philip le Despencer of Nettlestead, Suffolk. Elizabeth's husband Sir Thomas Metham (VIII) fought at the Battle of Flodden and died 26th May 1514; he was 30 years old at his father’s Inquisition Post Mortem dated 14 January, 14 Henry VII i.e. 1499 [Dugdale]. His parents were Sir Thomas Metham of Metham (VII) and his first wife Anne, daughter of Sir John Tempest of Bracewell [Dugdale]. After Anne’s death, Sir Thomas married Isabel, daughter of Sir Robert Hildyard, Knt., the relict of Sir John Hotham, Knt., of Scorborough (near Beswick), who died at the Battle of Towton in 1461. Thomas’s sister Margaret (or ‘Mundane) married Sir John Hotham, Knight, of Scorborough [Dugdale]. Her husband is likely to have been the younger Sir John Hotham, Sheriff of Yorkshire, who was born in 1458 and died in 1513, rather than his father who died at Towton in 1461. Elizabeth and Thomas's eldest son Sir Thomas Metham of Metham was Knighted 24th May 1533 and died 25th March 1539 [Dugdale] and he married Maude, daughter of Sir John Hotham of Scorborough, son of Sir John Hotham and either his 1st wife Isabell Hastings or 2nd wife Lora Constable. Thomas and Elizabeth's 2nd son, Robert Metham of Bullington, Lincolnshire, married Ann, daughter of Seth Sawsell of Bilton-in-Ainsty, one of the witnesses to the marriage of Edmund Verdon to Margaret Gascoigne/Danyell. 

Page 74 of Earwaker's transcription of the deed features a painting of the deed as wrapped up, with the ten seals hanging from it. It seems that this representation of the original deed is the work of Earwaker himself. The writing on the cover of the deed provides a date of 24th February in the 21st year of the reign of Henry VIII, 1529. This doesn't seem to agree with Earwaker's transcription since the reign of Henry VIII began on 21st April 1509, which means that the first year ran to 20th April 1510 and so 24th February in the 21st year of the reign of Henry VIII would have been in 1530. This mix up can be explained by the common use of Church years up until Easter. Therefore February 1529 would have been the calendar year 1530.

The Deed would very much appear to have been drawn up as a result of Thomas Verdon coming of age, having passed his 21st birthday, and this means he would have been born c.1508/09. In view of his father having died in 1516, his relatives and friends in Yorkshire, who were signatories to this Deed, were demonstrating their appreciation of the fact that Thomas should now gain possession of those of his father and mother's estates to which he now had a right. Perhaps his claim might also have been challenged or the lands held in trust until his majority, particularly in respect of Cheshire, where his father's foeffees and relations may have required legal reassurance of Thomas's identity and right to inherit. This would seem to explain the need for conclusive evidence of his birth and parentage, and the lawful marriage of his parents, quoting past and signed by present witnesses, whose credibility and authority could not be doubtedThis all appears to be confirmed by deeds Edmund drew up just a few months before his death, in which he placed his estate into the hands of feoffees - his brother Charles Verdon, and Andrew Newton Gent., to provide a dower for Edmund's wife Margaret and provide for ultimate inheritance by their son Thomas. A transcription is provided below. 

Above: picture that appears on page 74 of Earwaker’s Collection reference ZCR-63-1-43.
It is believed to have been painted by Earwaker himself. 
Please note that this is Reproduced with permission of Cheshire Archives & Local Studies 
and the owner/depositor to whom copyright is reserved.

The precise nature of Edmund Verdon's appointment as a 'Servant unto Master Dalby Archdeacon of Richmond and Provost of Beverley' is not known, but one role Edmund held as a result of his association with Dalby is recorded in 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, a person who would represent and act for a member of the Clergy and, for example, would 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.

Thomas Dalby became Archdeacon of Richmond on 24th September 1506, in the 21st year of the reign of Henry VII, so the marriage of Edmund Verdon to Margaret Danyell / Gascoigne must have occurred sometime between 22nd August 1507 and 21st August 1508 (the 22nd year of Henry VII's reign - see above). It was a year of two after this that Dalby would have become Godfather to Edmund's son Thomas. In his 'The History and Antiquities of the Town and Minster of Beverley' George Oliver mentions Thomas Dalby in a list of Provosts of Beverley, and tells us that he was appointed to the role in the 10th year of the reign of King Edward V, 1493. Oliver adds a note that In 1509, Thomas Dalby was archdeacon of Richmond and King's chaplain. Rym. Foed. tom. xiii. p.247. He was constituted an overseer of the bishoprick during the vacancy of the see of Durham, with full powers, &c. Rot. Pat. 24 Hen. VII. m.26. He was also a canon of Beverley, prebendary of Stevelington, chaplian to Henry VII. and Henry VIII. successively, and dean of the chapel of the duke of Somerset. He died 26 June, 1525, and was buried at York. 

Edmund died in 1516, whilst he was still involved with Archdeacon Dalby and acting as his proctor at Southwell. No Will per se appears to survive, but 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.)

By her first marriage to William Danyell of Beswick, Margaret had a daughter called Isabell who married a Roger Ward of Lockington, a place c.1 mile west of Beswick. It has not been ascertained whether he is the same person as Roger Warde of Cotingham who was granted joint administration of Edmund Verdon's estate with Margaret, but very likely to be the case. Cottingham is situated in the East Riding south of Beverley, and about 15km from Beswick. 

What may be of further interest, and suggest another connection, is that 'Roger Warde' was the name of the father of Sir Christopher Warde of Givendale. Sir Christopher had married Margaret Gascoigne, daughter of Sir William Gascoigne and his wife Lady Joan Neville, daughter and sole heiress of John Neville, Baron of Oversley in Warwickshire and Lord of Wymersley in Yorkshire. This Margaret's brother was Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe, husband of Lady Margaret Percy, whose children included Sir William Gascoign thelder Knight and Sir Henry Gascoign Clerk, who head the list of signatories to the 1530 deed concerning Thomas Verdon's inheritance (see above). Margaret Warde's sister Agnes Gascoigne married Sir Robert Plumpton. Sir Christopher died on 31st December 1521 at the age of 68 (Inquisition Post Mortem dated 4th February 1523). There is mention that Margaret Gascoigne was also dead by 1522. Sir Christopher had been Master of the Hart Hounds to Richard III and is mentioned with Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe in The Ballad of Bosworth Field as supporters of King Richard, along with quite a list of Northern magnates. However, he gave his support to the new Tudor dynasty and along with a number of Gascoignes (Sir William Gascoign thelder Knight's son William was knighted at Flodden) was one of the many leading men from Yorkshire who had fought at the Battle of Flodden on 9th September 1513. Sir Christopher Warde is mentioned in a number of sources as having been Standard-bearer to King Henry VIII at the Siege of Boulogne (1544), but this may be a mix-up as Sir Christopher had already died by then - it is more likely that he was Standard Bearer to Henry VII at the earlier Siege of Boulogne in 1492.

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.

Transcription of Earwaker’s Collection ZCR-63-1-43

Page 66/67 through to folio page 73

13th October 1531

This Indenture made in ye fest of Translation of Seynt Edward, the thirteenth yeare of the reigne of King Henry the Eight [13th October 1521], Between Johane Verdon, late wife of Thomas Verdon deceased of the one partie and Charles Verdon son of the said Thomas of the other partie, Witnessith yt ye said Charles and Johane are agreed in manner and forme following That is to sey, the said Charles is agreed, and grants by these presents to the said Johane, that she shall yerely take and receive the Chief rentes hereafter following that is to Witt Fyve and twenty shelyngs of the lands in Fulshawe, belonging to George Legh of Adlynton squyer and of the lands of Thomas Davenport in Fulshaw aforesaid, fourteyne Shelyngs and also of the lands late of Thomas Verdon deceased in Fulshawe pertaining to Robert Keyley fourpens, to have and to hold alle and every the said Chief Rentes yearly to the said Johne during the terme of four and thyrty yerys without sute or trouble of the said Charles hys heyres [continues on folio page 69] Executors or Assigns provided always that if the said Johane hap to decesse within the said terme that from thensforth the said terme to cease expire and be voide and that all the covenantes, grantes, provisions, articles and agreements upon the partie of the said Charles bindes hym hys heires Executors and Assigns by these presents to the said Johane her Executors and assigns in forty Marks of lawful money. In Witness thereof the parties aforesaid to these indenturs interchangeably, have set their seals the day and year abovesaid.

Earwaker adds the following note immediately underneath this:

This Charles Verdon as we have elsewhere seen, had a lease from Thomas Docwra1 the Prior of St John of Jerusalem of their confratry [i.e. confraternity] in Cheshire with their Courts and Chief Rents, of which these in Fulshaw were a part. That Lease was dated 1519 and was for the term of 40 years paying to the Preceptory of Iveley2 a yearly rent of 10d.


1 Thomas Docwra was the well-known Grand Prior of the Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, otherwise known as the Knights Hospitaller. He became Grand Prior in 1501, after Sir John Kendall. It was Docwra who leased the land at Hampton to Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York, on which Hampton Palace was constructed. 

2 i.e. Yeaveley, in Derbyshire.

Page 73 of Earwaker's folio collection continues with a transcription of another indenture with the date 20th January 1530. If it is the church year given, that means the calendar year was 1531 and would therefore confirm that Thomas Verdon, son of Edmund & Margaret had been successful in inheriting his father's Cheshire estate, further to the deed above signed by many of his mother and father's Yorkshire relatives and friends on 24th February 1530. This seems to be confirmed by him having signed and agreed the indenture with his cousin Humphrey Newton, perhaps at Thomas's manor house of Sherd, in Fulshaw.

Transcription of Earwaker’s Collection ZCR-63-1-43

Page 70/71 through to 72/73

20th January 1530 (i.e. Church year 1530, calendar year 1531)

This Indenture made the XXth day of January in the XXIth yere of ye reigne of Kyng Henry the viiith [20th January 1530] betweene Thomas Verdon of Sherd Son and Heir of Edmond Verdon late deceased and Humfry Neuton of Pownall the elder feoffes of the landez of ye said Thomas of ye one partie, and Humfrey Neuton ye Yonger son of ye said Humfrey the Elder of the other p’tie Witnesseth that ye said Thomas & Humfrey th’Elder have devised, graunted, covenanted, and to terme, let by these presents unto the said Humfrey the Yonger alle their messez [messuages] [start of page 71] Landez Tenetez [tenancies] and servicez with their appurtenancez in ffulshawe in ye Countie of Chester late in ye holding of Willm Bothe and John Aleyne, to have & to hold alle ye said Mesez landez tenetez and servycez with their appurts to ye said Humfrey the Yonger his Executors Assigns and administratorz of his Goodez from ye first of ye Annunciation of our blessed Lady [25th March] next ensuing ye date hereof unto ye end & terme of seven yerez ye next and immediately folowyng to be fully complete and ended yielding and paying therefor yerely to ye said Thomas his heirez and Executorz or Assignez for the first yere a peper corne at ye fest of Seynt Martin in Winter [11th November] if it be asked and for every yer after during six yeres four (iiii) marks of Rent and Income of goode and lawful money of Englond at ye fests of Seynt John Baptist [24th June] and Seynt Martin in Wynter by even porcions or wtin 20th days either fest yeu next ensuing at Burghwales and to ye Chief Lord of the fee xiiiiS (fourteen shillings) during ye said terme except ye Relefe. Also ye said Humfry the Yonger convenantez and grauntez by these presentez to ye said Thomas, to make & kepe up alle manner reparacions of ye Housez & rentez being on ye said grounde tenantable upon his owne costez & chargez during ye said terme. Also ye said Thomas covenantes & grantez by these presentez to ye said Humfrey ye Yonger, that if ye said [start of folio page 73] Thomas be disposed to set ye said Mesez Landez & other ye Premysses or make any forther bargeyn, thereof to any persone or persons that ye said Humfrey ye Yonger and his assignez shall have ye same messez landez and other ye premisez and bargeyn afor any other person or persons doing as another wyll do offer reasonable manr and the said Thomas and his Heirez all ye said Messez Landez Tentez and other ye premyssez with their apputenancez to ye said Humfrey ye Yonger, his executor` assignez and administratorz of his goodes during ye term aforsaid and defende by these presentez In Witnes Whereof the parties aforesaid to these Indenturez inter – Changeablie have set their seals the day and yer aforesaid.

fo me Thoma Verdon              fo me Humfrid’ Neuton

Earwaker note in left margin: two red seals 1st a letter H, 2. A horses head(?)

Underneath Earwaker adds these words:

The Reader will see the word release mentioned in this Deed explained in the former Volume pa –

A deed dated 1537 confirms that Thomas Verdon was resident at Burghwallis, which is located c.10km north of Doncaster and c.12km south of Knottingley. Burghwallis was a manor held by the Gascoigne family. Thomas Gascoigne, son of Sir William Gascoigne and his wife Margaret FitzWilliam of Aldwarke, inherited Burghwallis and bequeathed it in his Will (dated 1552) to his sister Barbara and her husband Leonard West. Perhaps Thomas Verdon's presence may suggest that he had been brought up by Gascoigne relatives - perhaps by Sir Henry Gascoigne after he became Rector of Burghwallis; 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 aforesRichd 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. 

Further mentions of Burghwallis provide additional suggestions of a connection with Thorpe-on-the-Hill, which may also help explain how Thomas Verdon found himself living at Burghwallis. There is a record of a legal case in Chancery (Roll ref: C78/184, no. 7 [182]), dated 19th November 1612, involving Henry Gascoigne of Thorpe on the Hill, son of John Gascoigne of Thorpe on the Hill and his wife Margaret, daughter of Henry Tempest of Tong. Henry was in dispute with his (presumed) relative Richard Tempest of Tonge, Yorks, Michael Gledhill of Barkeslande and Dorothy his wife. The case concerned Profits from trust settlement of lands in Thorpe on the Hill and Northfall, Yorks and Rodwell, Burghwallis and Shadwell, Lincs and coalmine in Gresebrooke, Yorks. Henry is the complainant and the case discusses aspects of the will of his late father, John Gascoigne of Thorpe on the Hill. Earlier legal papers that clearly relate to the same dispute are found in the records of the Tempest family of Tony Hall, dated 26th January 1610, regarding 'An undertaking by Henry Gascoigne of Thorpe in the Hill, Esq., not to further proceed against Richard Tempest of Tong, Esq. in the Chancery for any debts due to Henry Gascoigne by Richard Tempest's father. These are augmented by more papers that appear in the Court of Chancery: 

Reference: C 2/JasI/G14/2


Short title: Gascoigne v Tempest.

Plaintiffs: Henry Gascoigne.

Defendants: Richard Tempest, Michael Gledhill and Dorothy Gledhill his wife.

Subject: manors of Thorpe on the Hill and North Elmsall, also messuages in Burghwallis and Shadwell and messuages and lands in Haxey in the Isle of Axholme; coal mine in Gresebrooke [Greasbrough], and land called the Hopes lying in Rodwell, held by demise from the late Lord Darcy of the North, in Yorkshire,and Lincolnshire.

Document type: [pleadings]

Date: 1603-1625

It is in 1560 that Thomas is first found mentioned as being 'of Knottingley', in another of Earwaker's transcription of Fulshaw deeds..

Transcription of Earwaker’s Collection ZCR-63-1-43 : Page 89.

1560 – Original Deed No.17

This Bill maid the Xth day of Julie in the seconde yere of the reigne of our sovereigne Ladie Elizabeth, by the Grace of God, quene of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faythe & witnessythe that I Thomas Verdon of Knottyngley in the countie of York gent have received and had the day and making hereof at the hands of Omfryde Newton of Fullshawe in the parish of Wymslawe in the County of Chester gent. the sum of twelves pounds of good and lawful English money in part of payment of [???] [???] for the bargain and sale of certayne lands and tenements in Fullshawe aforesaid for the which said sum of [???] the said Thomas Verdon knowlegith we myne Heirs and Assigns well and truly content and paid & thereof doth exonerate acquite and clearly discharge the said Omfryde his Heyres executors administrators and assignes and every one of them for ever by thes presents. In Witness whereof I the said Thomas Verdon hereunto have sett my seall and hand, the day and year aforesaid, thes being Witnes, Thmas Cowper, John Stagg, Laurence Adams, Henry Whyttynstall, Robert Mayson and others.

(signed) by me Thomas Verdon

- seal gone

Precisely what caused Thomas to move from Burghwallis to Knottingley is not known. Mention has already been made above to a William Arthington of Knottingley, Gentleman, who was connected with Burghwallis and 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 Isabelle. We know Thomas was connected to the Arthingtons via his grandmother, but one also wonders whether his wife Isabelle was related to them in any way.

Earwaker transcribed more deeds and indentures that appear to record the transition of ownership of the manor of Fulshaw from the Verdons to the Newtons. The one above is followed the following year by another.

Transcription of Earwaker’s Collection ZCR/63/1/43

Page 90 / 91

(at the top is the continuation of another deed on previous pages)

Original Deed No.18


This Indenture made the xxth day of April in the third yeare of the Reigne of our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth by the Grace of God Quene of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faythe &c. Between Thomas Verdon of Knottingley in the Countie of York gentillman of the one partie and Humfrey Newton the elder of Fulshaw in the countie of Chester gent of the other partie. Witnesseth that the said Thomas Verdon have bargained sold, given granted and confyrmed and by thes presentes dothe fully bargayne sell give grant and confyrme to the said Humfrey, his heires and assigns for ever, All and singular that and those The Manor, Messuages, Buildings, Lands, Tenements, Meadows, Closes pastures, Wods, underwoods, Rents, Reversions, Servyces, gaytes, waies, chayshes, waters, comyns and turbary and other Hereditaments, now or late of the said Thomas, whatsoever situate, lyinge, and being in Fulshawe in the Parish of Wilmslowe in the County of Chester aforesaid, with all and singular the Deeds, Charters, Evidences, writings, escripts and Munimentes concerning the Premises, To have and to hold all and singular the said manor, Messuages, Buyldings, Landes 

[page 92/93]

Tenements and other the premiseswith the appurtenances to the said Humfrey Newton, his heirs and assigns to the use perfect and behove of the same Humfraye and of his heires and assigns for ever. ………[it continues]

Transcription of Earwaker’s Collection ZCR/63/1/43

Page 102 / 103, through to 104 / 105

Original Deed No.22


A fine levied at Chester on Monday the 19th day of July 5th of Eliz: before John Throgmorton Justice of Chester, Between Humfrey Newton Plt[?] querent and Thomas Verdon son and heir of Edmond Verdon deforciant of the manor of Fulshaw, two messuages, two gardens, thirty acres of land, ten acres of meadow, forty acres of pasture, six acres of wood and forty acres of more, forty acres of heath and marshes, forty acres of turbary with appurtenances in Fulshaw and Lindowe, By which fine the said Thomas acknowledges the manor and tenements aforesaid, with appurtenances, to be the right of the aforesaid Humfrey as those which he had of the gift of the said Thomas &c. 

Thomas Verdon had died sometime before 1581, when his son William Verdon appears on a deed confirming Fulshaw to William Newton, son of Humphrey.

Transcription of Earwaker’s Collection ZCR/63/1/43

Page 104 / 105 and 106 / 107

Original Deed No.23


William Verdon son and Heir of Thomas Verdon late of Knottingley deceased, by his Deed dated 16th May 23. Eliz Releases to William Newton of Fulshaw Gentleman, his heirs and assigns, All his Right and Tite to all and singular the Manor, Messuages, Buildings, Cottages, Tofts, Orchards, Gardens, Lands, Tenements, Meadows, Pastures, Woods, Heaths, Mores, Mosses, Comons, Turbaries, Waters, fisheries, ways, paths, Wasts, Rents and services, and other the Hereditaments whatsoever situate, lying and being in Fulshaw in the Parish of Wilmslow in the County of Chester and elsewhere upon Lindowe in the said Parish, and also releases him fro all and all manner of errors, writs, suits, executions and demands whatsoever &c. 

On page 104, Earwaker has painted a copy of the seal that appeared on the original deed. It features the image of a lamb and the initials ‘RL’. A later note is written under the text on page 105 that explains the initials: one of the witnesses was Edward Lambe!

..overleaf, page 107:

1581 Omnibus Christi fidelibus.

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 had siblings, including a brother - 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 Page of the Buttery.

John Verdon’s Will, 1522 – an incomplete transcription:

In the name of God amen on the yere of our Lorde god [.. ...]xxi and the xiiij daie I John Verdon Page of the Buttre [..] our sovereigne lorde king henry the viij hole of mynde and perfite of memorie make and ordayne this my last will and testement as in forme folowing . ffirst I bequeath my soule to almighti god our lady seynt mari and to all the holy company in heven . my body to be buried in the church of Seynt Sepulere in London w'out newgate . Also I beque[.]th to the high aulter of the same church vjs viij [...] And I beque[.]th to the church of wonderslaw in the conitie of Chesshire x£ to the [ineytem'nt] before the ymage of our blessed lady the mother of god a light daily brynnyng at the time of prayre And also I will that the saide x£ be al[ayed] and borne of my lands that my brother Charles and other of my ten'ntie hath in their hands as now  and hath had for the space of this viij years wherfor I will that the saide x£ shall be paide to the church wardeynes of the ch'rch of wonderslaw of the Reragis that is due to me of the saide landes for the saide terme of viij year . And that my saide Brother and ten'nte shuld have paide me yearly four markes And so Remaynes in their hands as yet for the saide termes of viij years to the Some of xxj£ vjs viijd if it may be Recovered . then I will that the saide my legacie of xli be welle and truly content and paide to the saide c'rch of Wonderslaw [....] the legacie of x£ to stande voyde and of none effecte And to Recover the saide Reragis of xxj£ vjs viijd . I make and ordeyne Robert a Walle gentelman dwelling in ffulshaw And umphrey Newton in Welmslow parishe And them I make my Executor to mynester all suche goods and Landes that I have in chesshire  It'm I bequethe to Thomas Pete my servant xxs in money one gowne of [violet] one Russet cote And a doblet of yellow sarsnet And also I will that Edwarde ap John grome of the Buttre And Nich'las Hornclif yoman of the kynge [......] be [maid] Executors to mynyster for the helthe of my soule all suche my goodes moveabill and unmoveable as I have out of chesshire and the[i] the saide Edwarde and Nich'as to pay my debts and my funeral expense of [dednote] and thise my legacies fulfilled &nd the residue of my [.....] my debts paid my funerall [exspen...] I put to the [deserecion] of my Executors Edward ap John and Nich'as horn'clif ther to dispose them for the helth of my soule and all [....... soules] there Witnesses John Thorpe my curat Sir [...... ........ priest and John Throer grocer of London with other meme

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 who was born c.1570 and died in 1640. He appears 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. John's Will, dated 11th December 1639 includes the following variations in the spelling of his name, which provides 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 the elder of Congleton in the Countie of Chester........ Imprimis I do give and bequeathe unto my Sonne Richard Verdon ..... [cont.] ......I doe give and bequeathe unto my sonne John Verdon...

[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 Vardon


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 family had another connection to the Newtons. 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 the said Richard Newton the younger, helpfully revealing the name of his father. 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. 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 who seems to be one Thomas's younger sons, or his cousin - Edmund Verdon, perhaps named after Thomas's father - remained living around Wilmslow and, as has been mentioned above, all appear to have experienced a change in the spelling of their surname to 'Vardon' in the 17th century, as did the place-names VerdontownVerdon Bridge and Verdon House, which now appear on maps as Vardentown, Varden Bridge and Vardon House Farm.

Click here for more details about the de Verdun, Verdon and Vardon families of England, Normandy and Ireland, and the heraldic connections that continue to signpost their shared history on both sides of 'La Manche', which perhaps should be more appropriately named 'The Norman Channel'.

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, 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.


BELOW - the memorial inside St. Peter's Cornhill to John & Ellen Vardon, parents of William Vardon of Goldstone:-

BELOW - 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 appear to have been taken from an earlier recorded version that has been found in an old book - this is illustrated below.  


BELOW - 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, Slaney, Chowne, Burgess, Hayward and Vardon.


BELOW - (left) John Keene's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Dorothy (née Hayward) and (middle) their son in law James Vardon's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Martha Burgess's mother Catherine (née 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. More particularly William was illustrating how the manor and lordship of Goldstone had passed from the Goldstones through to the Haywards and finally to 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. 


BELOW - the two chairs that William Vardon gave to St. Peter's Cornhill, still there next to the Altar:-




...........with a plaque behind each of them 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.

BELOW: 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

of Chester

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


BELOW - 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.


BELOW - a picture that is thought may 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.


 BELOW - William Vardon's crest and monogram on the side of Goldstone Hall:-

BELOW – 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:















BELOW - a picture of 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 William's successors rather than the other used by John Vardon, whose bookplate is featured 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 Pegg, whose square memorial is much smaller, but taller than William's. What is thought to be Pegg's grave may actually be that of the Haywards - certainly some of them are recorded on the memorial; alternatively the Haywards may have used the same burial place and the memorial itself.

BELOW - a picture of the coat of arms featured on William's Memorial in Cheswardine Church, somewhat blurred but showing the overall design and the fact that the stag's antlers have long since broken off the crest. The memorial was erected by his family and took 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:-


Memorials were also put up inside St. Mary's Astbury near Congleton and St. Peter's Cornhill in the City of London. 


BELOW - William Vardon's much more ornate Memorial inside St. Mary's Church, Astbury, Cheshire:-

The words on the memorial at Astbury read as follows:-















BELOW - The coat of arms on William Vardon's Memorial at Astbury:-

BELOW - 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:-

BELOW - 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 estate 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.  

BELOW - 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 respectively, whereupon the Goldstone estate was inherited by their nephew Hugh Ernest Vardon.

Hugh Ernest Vardon of Goldstone (1832-1911)

Hugh Ernest Vardon, son of Hugh James Vardon, a younger brother of William Vardon. Hugh lived in Ewell, Surrey at a house called Astbury, which he had named after Astbury near Congleton in Cheshire where the Vardon family had once lived. 

As has already been mentioned, Hugh's father Hugh James Vardon and his Uncle John Vardon were both members of the Drapers' Company of the City of London. At a time when the Court Dining Room of Drapers' Hall was being refurbished, members of the Company's Court of Assistants of the year 1868/69 had their coats of arms added to the ceiling decoration. Since both John and Hugh James were members of the Court of Assistants they became the only two members of the same family whose arms appeared on the ceiling. Their shields appear in different locations in the room but have been placed together below. The date after each of their names - 1831 - is the year they were both admitted to the Livery of the Company. John's shield has a crescent mark of cadency (he was their father's second surviving son after William) and Hugh James has a crescent within a crescent. Strictly speaking this double crescent would usually signify a second son of a second son, so the designer who had the shields made must have sought to show the order of precedence between the brothers, but made a slight error in the process. Correspondence survives which appears to show that they checked the heraldic design used in a similar way for a shield in Ironmongers' Hall, for their cousin Thomas Vardon of Battersea, who was a member of the Livery of the Ironmongers' Company. John and Hugh James's deceased brother William Vardon was also a member of the Livery of the Drapers' Company, as were Hugh James's sons Hugh Ernest, and Henry Vardon.

BELOW - the two brothers' coat of arms which appear on the ceiling of the Court Dining Room inside Drapers' Hall, Throgmorton Street, in the City of London:-

Hugh's interests at Goldstone were overseen by Thomas Beeston junior, whose father Thomas had worked as agent (and tenant) of William Vardon, and (George) Gordon Warren. Gordon was a solicitor in Market Drayton, had married Hugh's sister Charlotte Ellen Vardon and they lived at Poynton House in Market Drayton. Gordon had been brought up at Morville Hall, his family's home near Bridgnorth in South Shropshire and was a Lt. Colonel in the 2nd Salop Volunteers. During this period it seems that a dispute arose between Hugh Vardon and the Donaldson-Hudsons who were Lords of the Manor of Cheswardine, over claim to the lordship of Goldstone. The matter may have arisen over the extraction of gravel from Goldstone Common. Hugh wrote a letter to Thomas Beeston about this on 26th December 1895 and he concluded it with the words: I may here mention that I am Lord of the Manor of Goldstone and my predecessors were so before. A series of letters and other documents flew back and forth between Hugh and his brother-in-law and the conclusion was that the Donaldson-Hudsons withdrew from the metaphorical field of battle, having found that the bounds of Cheswardine Manor did not equate to those of the parish. This left Hugh Vardon in unchallenged possession, able to continue to enjoy eating the pheasants shot on Goldstone Common that Thomas Beeston sent to him in Surrey.

BELOW - a view of Goldstone Bank Farm:- 

A copy of the tenancy of Goldstone Bank Farm survives between Hugh Ernest Vardon and William Davies, dated 22nd March 1900. This recorded the names and acreages of each field and what use was made of each, as follows:

The outside of the document recorded the following:

Dated March 22nd 1900 

Agreement from year to year between

Hugh Ernest Vardon Esq


Mr William Davies

for the

Goldstone Bank Farm


                          A.    R.   P.

Total acreage – 114 : 1 : 17


Rent £ 171,,0,,0

                                                            Tithe Free


Inside was a schedule and detailed wording, partial transcriptions of which are shown below:

This Agreement made and entered into this twenty second day of March 1900, between Hugh Ernest Vardon of Astbury in the Parish of Ewell County of Surrey (who is hereinafter termed “THE LANDLORD,”) for himself, his heirs, executors, and administrators of the one part, and William Davies of Goldstone Bank, and Henry Morgan of Westcott in the Parish of Cheswardine County of Shropshire – (who are hereinafter called “THE TENANTS”) for themselves, their executors and administrators of the other part

Witnesseth, that in consideration of the rents hereinafter reserved, and of the covenants and stipulations hereinafter contained, the Landlord agrees to let, and the Tenants agree to take all that Farm-house, Homestead, Buildings, pieces or parcels of Land, and Premises, thereto belonging, situate at Goldstone Bank in the Parishes of Cheswardine and Hinstock County of Shropshire containing one hundred and fourteen acres, one rood, and seventeen perches or thereabouts, as more particularly described in the Schedule hereto annexed, and which said Farm-house, Homestead, Buildings, pieces or parcels of Land, and Premises, are hereinafter included in, and described by, the expression, “The Farm,” late in the occupation of Frederick Palin…………………….etc  



Some of the fields are now combined with each other. Even by 1900 some of the fields above had already combined with others whose names lasted until at least the middle of the 19th Century. Witness to the signatures on the agreement of William Davies and Henry Morgan was Thos Beeston of Market Drayton.

 In 1922, Kelly's Shropshire Directory recorded the following about Goldstone:-

Kelly's Shropshire Directory 1922



.....; on the walls [inside the church] are several ancient brasses, including one to John Sowdley, of Ellerton, esq. ob. 4 April, 1610;


Goldstone is a hamlet 1 mile south-west. Hugh E. Vardon esq. is the chief landowner.



Vardon Hugh, Goldstone Hall

Cartwright John, farmer

Cope Frederick William, farmer

Davies William, farmer, Goldstone bank

Hoole Montague, farmer

Talbot John Thomas, farmer

Hugh Ernest married Williamina Henrietta, only child of William Henry Wells, a surgeon from London. They had no children so on the death of Hugh in 1911 Goldstone was inherited by way of entail by his nephew, Henry George Evelyn Vardon, known as Jack. Hugh left his library to Epsom College and half of his residuary estate for the foundation of scholarships.

Henry George Evelyn ("Jack") Vardon of Goldstone (1888-1951)


Jack was born on 24th October 1888, the only child of Hugh Ernest Vardon's younger brother Henry Vardon and his wife Mary, who was the daughter of Colonel George Palmer Evelyn of Hartley Manor in Kent and his wife Esther Emiline Phillips, daughter of Lewis & Sarah Phillips of Marylebone. 

George Palmer Evelyn wrote A Diary of the Crimea, which was a record of his service during the Crimean War as an officer of The Rifle Brigade attached to the Turkish Army. George was the son of Captain George Evelyn of Wotton House, one of the family of the celebrated diarist John Evelyn of Wotton. This older George fought at the Battle of Waterloo in the 3rd Foot Guards (now known as The Scots Guards) and he was wounded during the fierce fighting for possession of the strategically located chateau of Le Hougemont. He wrote an account of how he was shot through the damaged gate of the chateau as he was involved in trying to shut it against a French assault, and described how he lay unable to see through the smoke hearing French one moment and then English another, as possession passed from one side to the other. Whilst he had lain wounded on the ground, he was surrounded by French soldiers who had broken in and one of them offered him some water, saying 'fortune de guerre monsieur, fortune de guerre'. The gate of Hougemont was shut again, and never fell to the French - its possession was a key factor in Wellington's victory. George recovered from his injury in Brussels and returned home to live the rest of his life on his estate at Wotton. 

It is apparent that it was in memory of these two Georges that Jack Vardon of Goldstone gained his middle names, and he was given his first name after his own father Henry Vardon. He became known as Jack to family and friends, but no one knows why.

Like the Vardons, the Evelyn family is said to have come from Normandy and to have been a branch of the French family of Evelin. In her History of the Evelyn Family, published in 1915, Helen Evelyn wrote:

This family took a prominent part in the Crusades, and in fact took its name from Ibelin, a locality in Palestine lying between Joppa and Ascalon. A 'French Herauld's Book' was brought over to England in 1650 by John Evelyn, author of 'Sylva', who translated it into English. It relates that a member of the family went to the Holy Land with Robert, Duke of Normandy, and became possessed of Baruth, a seaport [i.e. Beirut in today's Lebanon]. It also states that the Evelins intermarried with the royal families of Jerusalem and Cyprus. A member of the family returned to France in 1475 and bought a fief in Normandy which he called "Eveliniere". 

In John Evelyn's time the representative of the French Evelyns was Guillaume Evelin, described as "Physician and Counselour to Henry IV, Louis XIII, and Louis XIV." John Evelyn met him in 1670 when he came over to England with Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, sister to Charles II. The following is an extract from John Evelyn's 'Diary' describing the meeting between them:-

"May 26, 1670. Receiving a letter from Mr Philip Howard, Lord Almoner to the Queen, that Monsieur Evelin, first physician to Madame (who was now come to Dover to visit the King her brother) was come to towne, greately desirous to see me, but his stay was so short that he could not come to me, I went with my brother to meete him at the Tower, where he was seeing the Magazines and other curiousities, having never before ben in England: we renew'd our alliance and friendship, with much regret on both sides that he being to returne towards Dover that evening, we could not enjoy one another any longer. How this French familie, Evelin, of Evelin in Normandy, a very ancient and noble house is grafted into our Pedigree, see in the collection brought by me from Paris in 1650." 

The pedigree that John Evelyn brought from France differs slightly from the one for the Evelins which appears in Du Cange's Lignages d'Outre Mer. The first of John Evelyn's family to be in England was supposed to have been a William Evelyn of Harrow-on-the-Hill who died in 1476. So, he is not likely to be descended from Guillaume (William) Evelin who was said to have gone from France to England in 1489. However, this doesn't mean that they weren't close relations, and it is interesting that the French Evelins were so certain of the relationship and that John Evelyn wrote about how the Evelins' pedigree grafted into his own. Perhaps the date for Guillaume Evelin coming to England was incorrectly recorded.

In the pedigree that appears in the Lignages d'outre Mer Guillaume Evelin who went to England in 1489 and never returned is shown as the son of Henri Evelin, whose father Henri Evelin went to Normandy in 1475 and bought Evelinière, near Coutances. This elder Henri was the son of ___ d'Ibelin, whose own parents were Guy (or Balian) d'Ibelin, Seneschal of Cyprus and Isabella, daughter of Baldwin d'Ibelin. The Guillame Evelin who John Evelyn met in England was descended from Henri Evelin of Eveliniere's son Jean Evelin, who lived at Rohan.

The name 'Balian d'Ibelin' or Balian, Lord of Ibelin, will be well known to those who have watched the Ridley Scott directed film Kingdom of Heaven, in which Orlando Bloom is cast as Balian - see below: 

Balian, Lord of Ibelin in 'Kingdom of Heaven'

Although the film went beyond the realms of historical fact, Balian really did exist. He was the son of Balian le Francois and his wife Helvis, daughter and heir of Baldwin, Seigneur of Rama and Mirabel. In 1177 their son Balian married  Queen Marie (Maria Komnene), widow of Amalric I, King of Jerusalem. She was the daughter of John Komnenos, Byzantine Duke of Cyprus and grand-niece of the Byzantine Emperor Manual I Komnenos. Her grandfather, Andronikos Komnenos, was the second son of the Emperor John II Komnenos and died at sea in 1142 whilst on his way back to Constantinople with the body of his older brother Alexios, who had been killed in a hunting accident at Attalia (Antalya, a port on the southern coast of Turkey). Their father died the following year, and designated his fourth son Manuel as his heir, overlooking his third son Isaac. 

Balian was the commander who led the defence of Jerusalem against the illustrious and great military commander Saladin in 1187, which is how he is portrayed in Ridley Scott's film. It is Amalric's son, Baldwin IV who is shown as King of Jerusalem in the film, along with his sister Sybilla, who really did marry Guy de Lusignan. However, contrary to the film's storyline, she didn't marry Balian as her second husband. He was already married to Amalric's widow, Queen Marie. The film is correct in recording that Balian made a large number of men knights during his defence of Jerusalem, but perhaps not quite as many as shown in the film! 

The Evelins descend from Balian and Marie's son Jean d'Ibelin, Seigneur de Beirut and Constable of Jerusalem, via his son Guy d'Ibelin, whose son Balian had a son Guy (or Balian) mentioned above. 

There is a fine write up about Jean d'Ibelin, the 'Old Lord of Beirut' on Wikipedia - see: Jean of Ibelin. As half brother of Queen Isabella of Jerusalem (daughter of Amalric and Marie) he had a great deal of influence. He is known to have rebuilt Beirut after its destruction by Saladin and made the city the Ibelin family's home. Jean is said to have built an opulent palace there, which expressed the culture of the Levant by combining Byzantine and Muslim artistic influences. In its central hall was a magnificent marble fountain with a dragon.

Returning to George Palmer Evelyn's wife Esther, daughter of Lewis & Sarah Phillips. Her family lived at 31 Thayer Street, Marylebone, only a few hundred yards along George Street from Evelyns' London home at 28 Gloucester Place. Helen Evelyn's 'History of the Evelyn Family' mentions that Esther's grandfather was 'Rev Philip Phillips of Frankfort'. More is revealed in an Obituary published in The Jewish Chronicle for her uncle Lazarus, which states that Esther's grandfather was a former Dayan of Amsterdam, Rabbi Uri. Her father Lewis's gravestone records he was the youngest son of The Reverend Phillip Phillips, Rabbi of Frankfurt-on-the-Maine, which accords with what Helen Evelyn wrote. Philip's name and rabbinical title is inscribed in Hebrew on Lazarus's tombstone as מהור״ר אורי (Mohr"r Uri / Moreinu HaRav Rabbi Uri: 'our Teacher and Rabbi Uri'), and on Lewis's as מור״ר אורי פייס (Mor"r [equivalent to Mohr"r] Uri Feiss). Records in Amsterdam confirm he was from Frankfurt, and make reference to Philip's own father as 'the Honourable Rabbi Hirts' (i.e. Hertz/Hirsch etc). This rabbinical tradition continued in the family through Esther's cousins Rev. Isaac Phillips, Minister of Portsmouth Synagogue and Rev. Philip Phillips, Minister of the Maiden Lane and Western Synagogues in London after time he spent serving at Cheltenham, and prior to that in Australia at Adelaide and Melbourne. One of Philip's sons was Rabbi Eleazar Philip Phillips of Garnethill, Glasgow whose grandson was colonial administrator Sir Henry Ellis Isidore Phillips CMG MBE. Two of Isaac's sons also became Ministers - Rev. Jacob Phillips, Minister of Park Place Synagogue in Manchester following Port Elizabeth in South Africa, and Rev. Lewis Phillips, Minister of Pretoria, South Africa and then Prince's Road Synagogue in Liverpool. Rev. Isaac's grandson was Rabbi Henry Phillips Silverman of Jamaica.

So, Jack Vardon was born into a rather romantic and diverse historical story and heritage. He was the only surviving descendant of his grandparents George Palmer & Esther (Phillips) Evelyn and also of his grandfather Hugh James Vardon, so a great hope rested on his shoulders. The Evelyn name continues to be used as a middle name by members of the family into the present generation, keeping the connection alive.

BELOW - a painting of Jack Vardon as a boy (the only known representation of him at a young age, which had been owned by Rose Martin, his mother's maid, who very kindly gave it to one of Jack's descendants):- 


BELOW - a picture said to be of Jack's father Henry Vardon that was at Goldstone Hall before the sale of most of its contents:-  


Jack came into his inheritance on his attaining the stipulated age of 30. He had married Cecilia Laura Lenox-Conyngham, daughter of Rev. George Hugh Lenox-Conyngham, Rector of Lavenham in Suffolk on 26th January 1918 at Lavenham. George Lenox-Conyngham was a son of Sir William Fitzwilliam Lenox-Conynham of Springhill, Co. Londonderry; his wife was Barbara Josephine Turton, daughter of Edmund Turton of Upsall Castle, Yorkshire by his wife Lady Cecilia Leeson daughter of Joseph Leeson 4th Earl of Milltown whose family home was Russborough in Co. Wicklow, Ireland. Joseph's wife, Barbara, Countess of Milltown, was the daughter of Sir Joshua Colles Meredyth, 8th Baronet, of Greenhills, Co. Kildare. In 1798, Sir Joshua is said to have been the last British subject to have been made a Knight of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem by the last Grand Master Ferdinand von Hompesch, whilst the Order remained resident at its headquarters on the island of Malta before Napoleon's invasion. Sir Joshua was appointed Lieutenant Prior of England and was one of those who survived to join the restored Order there. He died on 27th July 1850 and his obituary in The Gentleman's Magazine includes these words: He was knighted May 16, 1794, by the Earl of Westmoreland, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, being at that time a Captain in the 89th Foot. He also received the order of Military Merit from Louis XVIII and that of Louis of Hesse, from the Grand Duke of Hesse; and he was a Knight Grand Cross of St. John of Jerusalem. It was from his daughter that other Barbaras in the family took their name.

Cecilia was 18 years old when they married.  Her parents only gave their consent for a marriage at such a young age because it was expected that Jack would be posted to the Western Front, separating the young couple. Jack had enlisted in the 2nd Battalion of the Honourable Artillery Company as a private soldier, but like many at the time was then commissioned and posted to another regiment - in Jack's case he was sent to the 2/1st Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, who were anticipated to be posted to the front like the 1/1st Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry. 

BELOW - Jack in his Wiltshire Yeomanry uniform, probably sometime before his marriage:

Understandably, Jack's father-in-law was concerned that Cecilia might become a widow and even a mother before he received his inheritance, and be left without income. He therefore suggested that Jack insured his life. By a huge stroke of irony, he was actually diverted from France to Ireland where the troubles had broken out and this took him and Cecilia to where she already had many relations. They lived together in Ireland from 1918-19. It must have been a relief to his widowed mother who saw so many of his generation go to France never to return, even though it cannot have been easy for Jack and others to have been prevented from serving at the Front alongside their comrades. At the time, Jack was the last male Vardon of his branch of the family, after a run of almost 200 years, so perhaps divine providence decided that he needed to survive and continue the family.

BELOW - the wedding party pictured at the reception at The Rectory, Lavenham:

One of the people who feature in the family group photograph above was Cecilia's Aunt Cecilia Turton, who came to live at Goldstone during the latter years of her life. After her death, 'Aunt Cissy', as she was known in the family, was buried in the Churchyard at Cheswardine. 

BELOW - (to left) Jack & Cecilia Vardon at Lavenham Rectory after their marriage on 26th January 1918 

and (to right) the couple before Jack returned to his regiment:-

Jack inherited from his uncle Hugh Ernest Vardon in October 1918, whilst he and Cecilia were in Ireland, but he wasn't able to take possession of all of his inheritance straight away as they had to wait for Goldstone Hall to become vacant and extensive alterations to be completed before moving in. So, when they returned from Ireland after the War they rented near-by Hinstock Villa (now known as 'Hinstock Court') from Captain Cyril Samuel Townsend, who had a lease on the property.

The alterations that Jack and Cecilia made to Goldstone Hall included the building of a large dining room that connected the two buildings of Goldstone Hall itself and the Manor house, which thereby became incorporated within the Hall. The dining room had a sprung floor put in at Cecilia’s suggestion because Jack had a love of dancing, and they both enjoyed a good party.

BELOW - a drawing of Goldstone Hall in 1924:-

The maps below show Goldstone Hall and the old Manor House plotted on the 1771 map of Goldstone Lordship and on a 1950s map. The latter shows the Hall and Manor joined together. The 1771 map shows a rather different shaped Hall - this may have been a result of artistic licence or may make sense of the entry in one of Edward Hayward's Memorandum Books recording: the Old House at Goldstone pulled down April 1801. Goldstone Manor Farm can also be made out on the maps. The 1771 map appears to show Manor Farm on the site of today's Goldstone Barns - the more substantial buildings in 1771 suggest that was where the farm used to be located, before new buildings were erected the other side of the road alongside the Hall. Other than that, the field pattern had hardly changed in 200 years. The 1771 map shows some land that is labelled Mr Jervis's - this was one of the parts of Goldstone manor that was not part of the Goldstone estate. It probably passed to Thomas Jervis when he married the sister of Griffith Crouch, whose family had land in Goldstone. Sometime after 1771 another farm house and associated buildings were erected on this old Jervis land, and in the 20th century this became the home of the Hoole family. Confusingly, the name of the older Goldstone Manor Farm, which was part of the Goldstone Estate and appears mentioned in old estate records, seems to have attached itself to the newer farm on the Jervis land; its farmhouse has now been renamed 'Goldstone Manor', which adds to the confusion, because the original Goldstone Manor was where the Hall is today. It therefore seems that when what was known as 'Goldstone Manor Farm' (the home farm) became known as 'Goldstone Hall Farm', it resulted in potential confusion between historic and modern records, particularly once the newer farm was built on the Jervis land began to assume the older name of Goldstone Manor Farm. The boundary between the two farms in the 1950s can be clearly viewed via this link.

BELOW - Goldstone Hall and the old Manor House at Goldstone, illustrated on maps from 1771 and the 1950s:-

Soon after they had moved there, Jack had to contend with yet another challenge from the Donaldson-Hudsons. Mr Donaldson-Hudson, and later his gamekeeper, had been found shooting on Goldstone Common in an apparent attempt to exercise the rights that the Donaldson-Hudsons claimed over Goldstone as lords of the manor of Cheswardine. The dispute was resolved after H.G.E. ('Jack') Vardon met the gamekeeper shooting on the Common, got him to stop and the gamekeeper in question later wrote to apologise. Jack Vardon had inherited the Goldstone Estate from his uncle Hugh Ernest Vardon only a few years before.

One rather interesting document that survives the short-lived dispute with the Donaldson-Hudsons is a declaration dated 11th March 1921 by James Titley of Hoar Lake who provided evidence in support of the Vardon's claim to the ownership of Goldstone Common and Lordship of the Manor of Goldstone. The declaration provides some interesting snippets about James Titley's family history as well as Goldstone itself. It provides biographical information about himself, such as his birth at Ellerton on 29th September 1837, and some miscellaneous facts about Goldstone.

Here is a transcription:

James Titley's declaration 11th March 1921 

I JAMES TITLEY of Hoar Lake in the Parish of Hinstock in the County of Salop DO HEREBY SOLEMNLY AND SINCERLEY DECLARE:- - - - - - - - - - -

That I was born at Ellerton in the adjoining Parish to this on the 29th day of September 1837 where I lived until I came to reside in this Parish in the year 1842 and I have lived at Hoar Lake aforesaid since the year 1881.

I have worked for the Misses Vardon and Mr. Hugh E. Vardon former owners of the Goldstone Estate and for Mr H.G.E. Vardon the present Owner of the Goldstone Estate on their property since about 1870 & I am very well acquainted with this property & with Goldstone Common which adjoins this property upon three sides

As their servant I have always felled timber got & carted away gravel and sand from off the Common for the said Owners without making any payment therefor and without permission from any other party.

I can well remember over 60 years ago certain persons requiring sand asking Mr. Beeston who was then the Agent for the Goldstone Estate for permission to get the same off the Common.

I have acted for many years as Game Keeper for the Owners and until Mr. Hudson of Cheswardine commenced to shoot on the Commons few years ago no other person but the Owners or their friends ever shot or claimed any right to shoot over the said Common.

I have always understood and it has always been understood in the neighbourhood that there was a separate Manor of Goldstone and that the Vardons were the sole Lords of the Manor.

And I MAKE this solemn Declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of The Statutory Declarations Act 1835.

Declared before me at

Market Drayton

this 11th day of 

March 1921

Thomas H. Garside

A Commissioner for Oaths

[signed by]

James Titley

In his Game Log book, Jack recorded game shot on Goldstone Common and other places on the Goldstone estate over the next few decades during formal shooting parties and the odd informal foray with close friends. This provides ample evidence of the shooting rights over the Common that continued to be exercised by the Vardons.

Jack and Cecilia had five children and lived very happily at Goldstone. They had five children, their first being a daughter Barbara, then Hugh, Veronica and the twins John and Johanna. 

BELOW - Cecilia, with who is believed to be her first child Barbara: 

Since Jack had inherited an entailed estate at Goldstone (i.e. one that had to be inherited by the eldest son) the birth of their second child and son George Hugh Vardon ("Hugh") on 27th November 1922 was particularly significant. Jack & Cecilia presented a new altar frontal for St. Swithun's Church Cheswardine to mark Hugh's birth - a white cloth at the centre of which was an embroidered golden cross with golden rays around it. In the middle of the cross there used to be a large stone, like amber, that may have been meant as a reference to 'gold stone'. Sadly the stone was stolen from the church some years later, but happily the altar frontal itself is still used to this day at Christmas and Easter, a beautiful sign of thanksgiving for the safe delivery of an heir for Goldstone.

BELOW - the Vardon/Goldstone altar frontal, Easter 2008:-


Jack had been called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn and continued his career as a barrister on being de-mobbed at the end of the Great War. He featured in the 1950 edition of Kelly's Handbook as follows:-

Vardon, Henry George Evelyn, so. of late Henry Vardon, of 40 West Cromwell rd. S.W.5; b. 1888; educ. Uppingham and Exeter Coll. Oxford; m. 1918, Cecilia Laura, eld. dau. of late rev. G.H. Lenox-Conyngham, M.A., R.D., of The Rectory, Lavenham, Suffolk; 2 s., 3 daus.; barr. Inner Temple 1912; served in Great War 1914-19 on headqrs. staff British Red Cross and Order of St. John, with H.A.C. and as Lt. R. Wilts Yeo.; C.D. rural organiser and Head warden 1939-45; chm. Oswestry Divn. Unionist Assocn. 1934-49; commr. income tax and land tax; freeman City of London and liveryman Worshipful Co. of Drapers: Hurlingham club; Goldstone Hall, Cheswardine, Market Drayton, Salop (Cheswardine 202).

BELOW - H.G.E. ('Jack') Vardon of Goldstone:-



In Chapter 5 of his book Country Reflections around Cheswardine, Bernard Lazarus provides a record of The Village Post Office, beginning it by accurately describing Colonel Davies, the village post master, as follows:

Colonel Davies was one of the best loved men in the village. his extreme politeness, and cheery countenance endeared him to all who visited the post office. he was postmaster at Cheswardine from 1945 to 1981. He was but a link in the chain of the Davies family who ran the post office without a break from 1861. A remarkable record of service. 

Lazarus goes on to tell a story about Colonel's father and Jack Vardon, within a paragraph that paints a particularly poignant image when one considers how post offices have disappeared from most villages in Shropshire and more are threatened with closure along with village schools:

Colonel's sister Vera remembers vividly those hectic post office days, when almost everyone used the Royal Mail for sending letters and parcels. Postage was cheap, the service excellent, so vast quantities of mail were dealt with each day. Business was brisk. The tradition of the post office was that the mail was more important than anything. Their motto was "the mail must get through". This tradition goes back to the days of the stage coach, when the mail coach was the most important vehicle on the road and had precedence over all other road users. Toll gates were opened before the mail coach was due so that the horses could gallop through without hindrance. The mail guard with his blunderbus was responsible for good time keeping but above all making sure that mail got through. Even the passengers took second place to the sacred mail bag. This tradition carried through to the postmen of Colonel's day. No matter what the weather the mail had to be delivered. In the bleak winter of 1940 when January blizzards ravaged the countryside, Colonel's father struggled to reach Goldstone Hall, a journey which took three times as long as usual. Old Mr Vardon was so incensed that Mr. Davies had to venture out in such deplorable conditions that he telephoned the main office at Market Drayton to complain. The only reply he received was, "he's got to take the rough with the smooth". It was expected that every postman did his duty, no matter what.  

After next providing details of the delivery route, Lazarus tells us that Cheswardine Hall and Goldstone Hall paid the Post Office for an extra afternoon delivery daily. The author of this record of Goldstone remembers as a child being taken to visit Colonel Davies at his home in Cheswardine, and what a warm, hospitable and characterful man he was.

Goldstone during the Second World War

The dark clouds that gathered in 1939 had quite an impact on Goldstone which was located so close to a number of airfields. During the second world war, Jack and Cecilia Vardon threw open the house and gardens as a place for officers at Tern Hill and other nearby RAF stations to use. The idea was to provide a home environment for those for whom England was not home. Men from all over the commonwealth came for meals, parties, to play tennis, croquet and swim.... even using the swimming pool to practice their skills in event of being shot down over the sea, as shown in the photograph below.

BELOW - group picture with airmen and members of the Vardon family with one of the RAF's life rafts. The three Vardon children are Veronica (in the life boat/raft), Johanna (on the shoulders of the airman on the left) and John (on the shoulders of the airman on the right). Their father Jack Vardon is slightly hidden behind, holding another child (whose name is not known) behind his son John:



A visitors book was kept that records the names and comments of hundreds of these men who came to enjoy the hospitality of Goldstone - New Zealanders, Australians, South Africans, Americans, Canadians, Poles, Czechs, Hungarians; even the Free French came to Goldstone, causing Cecilia to come up with the memorable quip 'so French, so free' - not realising what connotations would be put upon such an innocent comment in more modern times. 

A few RAF families came to live at Goldstone Hall or one of its properties during, and soon after, the war years. Amongst them were the Cadwalladers (Wal Cadwallader was a great character whose family originally hailed from Stoke Lacy in South Shropshire) and the Hardhams - both from New Zealand, the Munros from England and the De Salis family from Australia. Jerome De Salis, who was based at Tern Hill, and his wife Sally had originally come to stay with their family for two weeks and ended up staying for five years. With so many people living at the Hall, a dance was able to be organised each Thursday, making good use of the sprung dance floor Cecilia and Jack Vardon had installed between the wars. Goldstone became home to a very large and happy extended 'family', with the result that many lasting friendships were forged, connecting far flung places around the globe. These continue through the generations to this day.

Jerome De Salis's two sons went to school at Lancing College which had been evacuated to and was operating from Ashford Court in the village of Ashford Carbonell near Ludlow. They bicycled between Ashford and Goldstone to start each new term, or after exeats. Tim De Salis followed his father into the RAF and rose to the rank of Squadron Leader.

BELOW - Timothy ('Tim') W. De Salis, next to his Spitfire (the picture may have been in Malaya):-

BELOW - a picture of a Boulton Paul Defiant fighter aircraft and bomber interceptor, drawn by Tim De Salis.

Perhaps it was one based at Tern Hill during the war. Whatever the case, it conjures up memories of the war years at Goldstone, in which the adventures of RAF pilots based nearby played such a large part:-


One American soldier, Francis Clifford, who remained a lifelong family friend was particularly remembered for his memorable account of a picnic he had on a trip from his base - when asked by one of the family at Goldstone where he had been, he replied that he'd spent an enjoyable time by a lovely brook - it transpired that the 'brook' was none other than Shropshire's pride and joy, the great River Severn!! About 40 years later, the American was able to explain the use of the term 'brook', during a visit by Philip, one of Jack & Cecilia Vardon's grandsons to his home in upper New York State. After retelling the story of his picnic by the Severn, he drove Philip to the River Niagra and up to the Niagra Falls, where he announced: "Now that's what we call a river!!" 

During the early years of the war, a happy event occurred on 23rd August 1941, when Jack & Cecilia's eldest child Barbara was married at St. Swithun's Cheswardine to James Reginald Alfred Bottomley (later to become Sir James Bottomley KCMG), son of Sir Cecil Bottomley KCMG and his wife Alice, daughter of Sir Richard Robinson JP DL, who chaired London County Council 1907-8. The reception was held at Goldstone Hall.

BELOW - the newly married Mr & Mrs Bottomley leave the church. Hugh Vardon is pictured holding the umbrella over the groom:- 


BELOW - The parents of the bride & groom, from left to right: Cecilia Vardon, Alice Bottomley, Jack Vardon, Cecil Bottomley - the young Vardon twins Johanna & John are either side of their mother Cecilia:- 

The war brought some changes to roles at Goldstone. It turned out that Mr Tew, the gardener was a conscientious objector. He was told, rightly, that he didn't have to join the army and fight, but he couldn't remain a gardener but rather do something "for the war effort". So it was decided that he would swap jobs with Mr Griffiths. Now Griffiths was the man who fixed the drainage on the estate and did all manner of other odd jobs. The problem with this change caused by the War Office's insistence that Tew couldn't continue as a gardener during the war, was that neither could do the other's job - the drains became blocked and the garden got in quite a muddle, and things went from bad to worse! Mr and Mrs Griffiths lived in a house by Lightwoods Farm, where the Walley's farmed. Mrs Griffiths was blind and would feel the heads of the Vardon children to check how they were growing. One day, Cecilia Vardon told Mr Griffiths that she was going to Market Drayton and asked if she could get anything for Mrs Griffiths. His answer was "yes, could you get an 'eye' for the wife". Cecilia was a little taken aback but went on to the shop were glass eyes could be bought. As she looked down at eyes of all sizes and colours she realised that she had no idea what colour or size to buy!

Goldstone Common

- how the majority of it was lost

During the second world war Goldstone Common, comprising approximately 88 acres, was requisitioned under Defence Regulations 1939, Section 51, for food production. Fred Cope of Goldstone Stud Farm, where heavy horses were bred, set fire to the majority of the Common to clear it for production, but forgot that where heather grew, the fire would also spread underground!

At the end of the war Jack Vardon was determined that the land should be de-requisitioned and by 1950 the larger cultivated part was no longer really needed in the way it had been during the war itself and the lean years that followed. He had contact with the ‘Commons, Open Spaces and Footpaths Preservation Society’, who were very supportive on this point.

It is clear that attempts to grow crops on the land during the war had not been an unqualified success. An extract from a Record of Condition dated 2nd December 1942, prepared by the late Mr W. T. Hall FSI FLAS, then a partner of Messrs. Hall, Stevenson and Thole, chartered land agents of College Hill, Shrewsbury recorded the following:

O.S. No. 617 The total area is divided as follows:-


Let to Mr F.W. Cope and cultivated by him as follows:

Swedes, Turnips and Rape about      36 acres

Potatoes                           "                      17   "


                                                              53            53


Cultivated by Mr H. Taylor, and 

3 acres planted potatoes 1942

Uncultivated grass occupied by him

  abt.                                           2 acres       5





The portion cultivated by Mr. Cope was broken up by him in the late spring of this year. The turnips etc. sown for sheep keep are of a very poor crop and part is being folded. The potatoes, still in the ground are practically a failure, though some seed may be obtained. The potatoes grown by Mr. Taylor have been lifted and were apparently a better crop.

All this cultivated land is full of roots of gorse and the remains of heather fern and bilberry. The bracken commenced to grow again over most of the land. The grass land held by Mr. Taylor is very poor. The unreclaimed portion is covered with scrub birch etc. with a considerable amount of bracken heather etc.

The sequence of events that followed the end of the war are detailed below. 

An informal meeting was held on 1st July 1950 at the Corbet Arms Hotel, Market Drayton, to hear the views of the Lord of the Manor, the Commoners and other interested parties on the Minister of Agriculture’s proposal to compulsory purchase the Common. The meeting was chaired by Mr B. Engholm Assistant Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry had taken the view that the land should not be allowed to fall back into what it described as a ‘rough semi-derelict condition’, but rather continue in agricultural use. Looking back from the perspective of the 21st century where so much land has been set aside as part of the European Union farming strategy and with people having become very much more sensitive about the preservation of common land, the Ministry’s view in 1950 must seem to be pretty high-handed. It led to the permanent loss of over two thirds of Goldstone Common with the resultant loss of wildlife habitat and amenity use that it may have offered in the future.

A further public meeting was held at the Parish Hall in Cheswardine on 10th October 1950 for interested parties to make verbal representations against the proposed purchase of part of Goldstone Common.

Jack Vardon died in 1951 before matters were resolved and his heir G.H. (‘Hugh’) Vardon was left to pursue the issue. On 19th March 1951, approximately 24 acres of the Common was de-requisitioned with effect from 25th March that same year, but the track that led to Taylor’s smallholding at the northern tip of the Common was not de-requisitioned until 19th December 1953 with effect from 25th December 1953. These two parcels of wooded land represent what is marked on modern maps as the surviving extent of Goldstone Common.

In 1952 the majority of the land of Goldstone Common comprising 61.76 acres that had not been de-requisitioned was purchased under the Goldstone Common Compulsory Purchase Order of 1952, certified by the then Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries under Sections 85 and 92 of the Agriculture Act 1947, and sealed on his behalf on the 5th March 1952. The order was then laid before Parliament and became operative on the 27th April 1953. On 30th September 1952 Goldstone Common was placed under the control of the Agricultural Land Commission with effect from 30th September 1952 till 21st March 1962. As mentioned already, the track that ran to Taylor’s small holding was de-requisitioned later, with effect from 25th December 1953.

On 16 December 1954 Mr Hudd the District Valuer valued all of the common right interests at the time of requisition as £1,300 and the freehold interest of the Lord of the Manor in the land’s present condition as £3,900. It was recorded that a Notice to Treat dated 23rd August 1955 was sent on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to Mr George Hugh Vardon of Goldstone Hall, Market Drayton, Shropshire, in which he is stated to be 'Lord of the Manor'.

Further to this, on 16th January 1956 a public meeting was held at the Parish Hall in Cheswardine to appoint a Commoners' Committee in relation to the payment of compensation to Lord of the Manor and those who had lost Common Rights as a result of the compulsory purchase in 1952. Mr G. H. Vardon as Lord of the Manor was appointed Chairman of the committee and the other members who claimed rights over the Common were Mr A.J. Shropshire, Mr H. Taylor, Mr T. Talbot and one other whose name was not recorded. Mr Hudd, for the Ministry of Agriculture, assessed apportioned figures of compensation as follows: the Lord of the Manor £620 and each of the Commoners £310. On 28th January 1959 the Solicitor for the Ministry of Agriculture wrote to Mr Vardon making an unconditional offer of £620 for the interest of the Lord of the Manor and £310 for each of the Commoners’ interests. On 19th December 1959, The Lands Tribunal met in the Court Room, Welsh Row, Nantwich, Cheshire and confirmed the valuations determined by Mr Hudd.

The formal Lands Tribunal Determination mentions two notices sent by the Lands Tribunal Solicitor to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food requiring the Tribunal to determine the compensation payable by the Minister in exercise of his powers of compulsory purchase of 61.76 acres or thereabouts of land forming part of Goldstone Common, Cheswardine, Shropshire:

REF/33/1959 - Between G.H. Vardon, Claimant and The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Acquiring Authority

- the compensation was recorded as having been To the Lord of the Manor for "The Right in the Soil subject to any Rights of Common".


REF/34/1959 - Between G.H. Vardon, A.J. Shropshire, H. Taylor, J.B.W. Hoole and T. Talbot, Claimants and The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Acquiring Authority

- the compensation was recorded as having been For "the extinguishment of the commonable and other Rights in or over the land other than the compensation to the Lord of the Manor in respect of his rights in the Soil thereof".


A further public meeting was held at Cheswardine Parish Hall on 13th Dec 1960 to apportion the compensation to the Commoners, who were recorded as: Mr F.W. Cope of Goldstone Stud Farm, Mr A.J. Shropshire of 6 Heywood Lane, Cheswardine, Mrs A.E. Alger of Palins Farm, Knighton, Adbaston, and Mr T. Talbot of Westcott Mill Farm, Cheswardine.

On 21 March 1962 a sale by public auction was held at the Corbet Arms Hotel in Market Drayton at which 61.76 acres of Goldstone Common was sold in two lots. Mr F.W. Cope bought 54.45 acres and Mr G.H. Vardon bought 7.31 acres. The remaining part of Goldstone Common was recorded as being approximately 26 acres.

BELOW - the view across some of the lost area of Common looking east from the track that runs alongside the old western boundary of the Common and which is itself still part of the Common:-


BELOW - a view along the track looking to the left (i.e. north) of the view across the lost area of Common shown above. The track and land along it is still part of the Common:-

The Commons Registration Act of 1965 required local authorities in England and Wales to establish registers of common land and town and village greens within their areas: recording the extent of the land, the owners of the land and any rights held over the common. In relation to Goldstone Common, Fred Cope, Arthur Shropshire and Mr Talbot all registered their common rights and Hugh Vardon registered himself as owner of Goldstone Common. His entry is dated 6th February 1970 and the register later recorded (under G.H. Vardon’s entry) that The Registration at entry No.1 above, being undisputed, became final on 1st August 1972.

For some reason, despite the unconditional offer made in 1959 to Hugh Vardon for the freehold interest of the Lord of the Manor, he does not appear to have responded. It was not until many years after his death that an application to the High Court finally resulted in the compensation money that had been held in the Court being released to the family. This was the final chapter in a long saga over the loss of the majority of Goldstone Common that began in 1939 with its requisition at the beginning of the Second World War.

BELOW - a view along the road that bisects the Common from Goldstone Bank Farm towards Lightwood:-

In 1950 Jack and his family were included in Burke's Landed Gentry, with a very abbreviated genealogy, and another version of the design of his family's coat of arms was illustrated with the favoured motto "Levius Fit Patientia" (It becomes lighter with endurance). It is not known from where the design was taken.

BELOW - the start of the entry in Burke's Landed Gentry for Vardon of Goldstone Hall


Jack died suddenly at Goldstone on Palm Sunday, 18th March 1951, the feast day of St. Edward the Martyr, King of England in succession to Edgar. The Goldstone estate and lordship passed to his entailed heir (George) Hugh Vardon, second child and eldest son. The impact of death duties was immediately felt.

Jack's wife Cecilia lived a widow for a further forty years, dying on 10th September 1991, after having moved from Meretown to live with her daughter Veronica and family at Munslow House in South Shropshire. She was a great character and had remained a very active lady into old age, often able to exhaust much younger people with her tireless energy. She last drove people to hospital as a volunteer driver aged 90! Almost every year Cecilia visited her sister Eileen Schefer (née Lenox-Conyngham) in Falls Church, Virginia on the edge of Washington DC, and Eileen would make return visits to England. Cecilia used to make her journey by ship, until this became too much and she finally took her first flight in an aeroplane at the age of 70. The family had had a long association with the sea and went on a number of maiden voyages. As a young girl, Eileen had travelled on the Titanic with her mother, brother Denis and Aunt Alice Lenox-Conyngham. Crucially, and luckily, they all got off at Cherbourg before the great ship crossed the Atlantic. Decades later, a letter Eileen had written to a friend was being sold by Sothebys and the Washington Post ran a story about a letter being sold from a young girl who had perished in the Titanic. Eileen called the editor and told him that she was very much alive, living near Washington and not very pleased that her private correspondence was being sold - the media in America was fascinated at 'discovering' a hitherto unknown 'survivor' and Eileen was feted at the next Titanic convention which she attended with her sister Cecilia's grand-daughter Diana. Of course, Eileen had a memory of the ship unaffected by the trauma of what followed, so she was a good choice as interviewee. She bought her letter back, but another one written by her Aunt Alice was sold a few years ago, it is believed to a pub in Dublin.

(George) Hugh Vardon of Goldstone (1922-1979)

Some time after Hugh inherited Goldstone, his mother Cecilia moved with her unmarried younger children to live in their new home at Meretown near Newport, Shropshire. The following link shows the extent of the Goldstone Estate in the years that followed: Goldstone Estate in the 1950s. Added to this were the farms at Hulme Walfield near Congleton, Cheshire and other land including a half share of land in County Durham, the other half of which was owned by Haswell Colliery and later sold to the Coal Board when they nationalised it.


BELOW - Hugh Vardon as a young man:

The Vardons’ estates in Shropshire included the following:

Goldstone Hall - which incorporated the site of the old manor house at Goldstone, whose replacement building was connected to form an enlarged Goldstone Hall, by H.G.E. Vardon after the First World War.

Goldstone Hall Bungalow - built between the wars by Jack & Cecilia Vardon, in response to the call for more homes in Britain, after the First World War.

Goldstone Hall Farm – farmed by Alfred Jones, and later the Beeston family. (the home farm, that appears in older records as 'Goldstone Manor Farm').

Goldstone Bank Farm – 107.875 acres, farmed by Sydney Thomas Cartwright (the Cartwrights had originally farmed the home farm, Goldstone Manor Farm.

Lightwoods Farm – 87.487 acres, farmed by Phillip George Walley.

Mount Pleasant Farm – 118.378 acres (+3.084 acres of woodland), farmed by Harry Maynard Emms. Mount Pleasant, once known as Lockley and also Over Lockley farm, probably had the best land on the estate and was situated in a fine position...perhaps explaining its change of name to Mount Pleasant.

Lockley Wood – the other third of the entire Mount Pleasant Farm, which had been created from the enclosure and let to Edward Pegg in 1748; the Vardon family later acquired the freehold of this land.

The Rallics Farm – farmed by Charles Henry Richards.

Berringtons Farm – in Woodseaves on the road from Hinstock.

Taylor’s smallholding – at the northern tip of Goldstone Common.

Lightwood Farm – on the Woodseaves road alongside the former northern part of Goldstone Common. This may be the farm once called 'Goldstone Common Farm'.

Holly Cottage – below Lightwood Farm.

Hoar Lake – this farm was no longer part of the estate by the mid-1950s.

Hugh Vardon sold almost all of the estate over a series of years, an exercise that was concluded with the sale of Goldstone Hall itself and much of its contents. Goldstone Bank Farm was sold to Sydney Thomas Cartwright in September 1956. The Cartwrights had originally farmed Goldstone Manor Farm (the home farm / Goldstone Hall Farm).

BELOW - a view from the Goldstone road across the fields to Goldstone Bank Farm (right) and the woods of Goldstone Common, on a late afternoon in early autumn:- 



BELOW - Mr & Mrs Edward Cartwright of Goldstone Bank Farm, with views across the valley of the Goldstone Brook: 

Lightwoods Farm was sold to Phillip George Walley on 6th September 1956. Mount Pleasant Farm, excluding the third part at Lockley Wood) was sold to Harry Maynard Emms on 31st July 1967. The Lockley Wood land, under Edward Pegg’s original 1748 lease was sold on 10th September 1956, but the Vardons retain the freehold ownership of it. Lightwood Farm on the Woodseaves road was sold on 29th June 1956. Holly Cottage, below Lightwood Farm, was sold with some nearby fields on 29th June 1956.

But on a happier note, the last Vardon bride of the century was married at St. Swithin's Cheswardine on 23rd April 1959. The photograph below of her arriving at the church must reflect similar scenes at Cheswardine weddings up to the present day. 

BELOW - (Cecilia Mary) Veronica Vardon arriving at the church with her cousin Charles Lenox-Conyngham who gave her away in marriage to Major Ian Alexander Beddows, son of Colonel William Beddows MC TD DL JP and his wife Esmé (née McBean) of Ackleton House near Bridgnorth, Shropshire. Esmé was the daughter of Colonel Alexander McBean VD DL JP and his wife Lisa (née Amatt). Ian was later to become heir to the last of this branch of Clan MacBean, Captain Russell Hamilton McBean DSO DSC RN, of Chattan Lodge, Mweiga, Kenya. Russell was one of the heroes of the raid on Kronstadt in 1919, which contributed to the preservation of the newly emerging Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and LithuaniaThe picture below shows the view down the High Street with the Fox & Hounds pub to the right and a crowd of well-wishers accompanied by two local policemen:-

BELOW - the bride & groom after having been married by the Bishop of Shrewsbury, Robert Leighton Hodson. At the reception at Meretown House (where Cecilia Vardon had moved with her younger children) the happy couple arrived to a guard of honour in the form of Veronica's prize Jersey cows, from the small Meretown herd she had established. 

Ian and Veronica shared a historical coincidence - each had an ancestor who founded a Cistercian Abbey, both dedicated to St. Mary, who also happens to be the Patron Saint of The Drapers' Company, which Veronica had become a member of, like her father. Ian's forebear Cadwallon ap Madog, Prince of Maelienydd founded Abbey Cwm Hir in mid-Wales in 1176. In the very same year, Veronica's forebear Bertram III de Verdun granted land at Cotton in Staffordshire to the Cistercian Abbey of Aunay-sur-Odon in Normandy and in 1179 he endowed a new site a short distance to the south at Croxden where the new abbey was built. The remains of Croxden Abbey are very impressive. Less remains of Abbey Cwm Hir, whose fourteen bay nave at 242 feet is longer than many British cathedrals, although some of its arches and other elements can be seen incorporated within Llanidloes parish church, in Montgomeryshire and a beautiful screen from the abbey can be seen in Llananno church in Radnorshire, very close to the abbey.

It was ironic that Ian should marry a wife whose forbear had set out across the Channel from Normandy to invade England, fight at Hastings and thereby play a part in changing the course of world history, since Ian, after being at both battles of El Alamein (under Auchinleck and Montgomery), then set out across the same stretch of sea, in the opposite direction from England to Normandy with the largest invasion force in history, which was to begin the liberation of France. He was amongst the first men to land on Gold Beach on D-Day, at Asnelles by Arromanches, attached to 1st Battalion the Royal Hampshire Regiment. Having joined Combined Operations and undergone commando training in Scotland and parachute training elsewhere, he was posted to 6th Airborne and began preparations for D-Day. However, about a week before D-Day, he was re-posted to be one of the FOB (Forward Observation Bombardment) Officers on Gold Beach, directing the powerful guns of the Royal Navy so that German defensive strongpoints overlooking the beach could be destroyed, thereby helping the allied soldiers to get off the landing grounds. A small insight into his experience is provided in the book 'Soldier, Sailor' a history of Combined Operations' Bombardment Units by Geoffrey Sanders (1947): "Captain I. A. Beddows, who was in support of 1st Bn. Hampshires, must have had more targets than any of the Force 'G' FO'sB on D-day. He carried out shoots on two 75-m.m. guns and a radar station with Grenville." - this was HMS Grenville, a Cruiser. In the days ahead, he did the same with HMS Ajax and continued the role as far as and beyond Bayeux, whose cathedral tower he used as an observation post, arriving a few minutes after a German officer who had just come down the steps having used the tower for the same purpose.

Veronica's sister Barbara had also married another Normandy veteran - James Bottomley (their marriage is mentioned above), who as an Officer in the Inns of Court Regiment had landed after D-Day itself. He was seriously wounded in an incident at the Pont de Vère a few kilometres north of Flers, on 15th August 1944. His Colonel, 'Bertie' Bingley had suggested he, a Sergeant and two men might go ahead to recconnoitre and hold the bridge for up to 36 hours, by which time the main force from 11th Armoured Division would have been expected to have reached it. However, they were spotted by a force of German soldiers and James was shot twice. The Sergeant reported their news back to HQ and asked if the Colonel still wished them to hold the bridge - in view of their numbers and injured officer, it was not surprising that they were advised to return. Coincidentally, the Inns of Court's Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel Robert Albert Glanville Bingley, was married to a cousin of James's wife Barbara - Mary Olivia ('May') Lenox-Conyngham, daughter of Lt. Colonel Hubert Lenox-Conyngham, one of four of the sons of Sir William who became Colonels during the First World War. A book about the 11th Armoured Division, 'The Charge of the Bull' (the division's emblem was a bull) tells more about the exploits of the Inns of Court Regiment in Normandy. 

The Pont de Vère was eventually taken by the 4th Battalion of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry, with support from 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, facing tough opposition from the German 3rd Parachute Division. 

After the war, local people in the area of Flers expressed a wish to erect a memorial to the men of the 11th Armoured Division who had died liberating them. The memorial was placed at the Pont de Vère, close to the very spot where James Bottomley had been wounded. It has been said that the land where it was placed had been owned by a M. Henri Vardon. Whether this is correct or not, M. & Mme Henri Vardon and their family are mentioned in 'The Charge of the Bull'. A few kilometres to the east of Flers is a small settlement consisting of Le Haut & Le Bas Vardon, the old home of the 'de Vardon' family from whom the Vardons of Normandy appear to descend. It is a coincidence that they share the same surname as the Vardons of Goldstone since the latter's name was originally 'de Verdun' and evolved into Vardon during the mid to late 17th century in England; but perhaps the Vardons who appear in Normandy records from c.1600 were also connected to the de Verduns of Normandy. They are mentioned in a little more detail in 'The de Verdun family of England, Normandy & Ireland'. Perhaps the most famous of these Vardons was Harry Vardon, the champion golfer, who bequeathed to the game of golf 'the Vardon grip' and the many golf courses he designed in Britain and elsewhere.

James became a distinguished diplomat and was knighted in recognition of his services, becoming a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.

In 1978 Hugh Vardon sold Goldstone Hall itself to members of the Ward family of High Hatton Hall - it is quite incredible to think that this was the first time the old home or its predecessors on the site had been sold, resulting in it passing out of the hands of the related families who had held it since the Middle Ages. There was an auction of contents from the house. A number of items were stolen before the sale, very sadly including the decorative wooden jousting shield with the family's coat of arms painted on it, which had hung in the hall.

However, luckily, some time before the Hall was sold, Hugh deposited the family's extensive archives, from their estates in Shropshire and Cheshire, in Shrewsbury Record Office, and it has been these and others relating to the Manor of Goldstone including the 1771 map of Goldstone Lordship that were discovered in a clear-up of law firm Farrer & Co's vault in London that have enabled this short history to be written, hopefully piecing together a coherent story.

BELOW - Goldstone Hall before being sold in 1978:-

Hugh Vardon suffered ill health for much of his later life. As a child he had had damage to his ears, which greatly affected his hearing and this was compounded by subsequent complications. After the war broke out he volunteered for the army. Keen to do his bit but knowing that he had a disability, he managed to fool the medical examiners and get himself posted to The Royal Tank Regiment. However, they soon discovered he couldn't hear very much at all and should not have passed the army medical, so he was invalided out and spent the rest of the war at Goldstone but had served in the army long enough to be awarded a service medal.

Hugh had married Jean Nixon, daughter of Edward Nixon of Hodnet, Shropshire on 24th March 1957, but they had no children and later divorced. Jean re-married Mr E.N. Jackson. After the sale of Goldstone, Hugh moved to live at Meretown but died at the beginning of the following year on 25th January 1979. His funeral was held at St. Swithun’s Church Cheswardine, where his coffin was carried in the traditional manner through the old west door. He was buried next to the graves of William Vardon and Edward Pegg. The lights that light up the Church at night were given in memory of him by his family.

BELOW - St. Swithun's Church, Cheswardine lit up at night:-

Hugh's younger brother John Lenox-Conyngham Vardon is now the head of this branch of Vardons. Like his brother Hugh, John went to Eton College. He married Maureen Ward, daughter of Richard Ward, on 24th March 1962. By chance they live not far from the Vardon/Verdon family's older Cheshire properties in and around Congleton and the even older ancient seat of the de Verdons at Alton Castle.

During the time of Hugh Vardon the ongoing series of sales of property, culminating in the sale of Goldstone Hall and much of its contents, meant that in a single generation an end was brought to a period of many hundreds of years during which the integrity of the original lands of Goldstone Manor had been maintained. Apart from the private arrangement that resulted in transfer of ownership within the family of the lordship and manor of Goldstone in the 1700s, the original manorial lands had never been sold. It was something of a tragedy for the family. However, continuity on some of the farms is still happily maintained – the next generations of the Cartwrights and Walleys still farm at Goldstone Bank Farm and Lightwoods Farm, the Beestons are still at Goldstone Hall Farm (the original Manor Farm), and the Hooles, who had owned and farmed the old Jervis land that lay alongside the Hall for many generations, are also still there.

In addition, despite the sale of almost all of the Goldstone estate, parts of the Goldstone inheritance remain in the ownership of members of the Vardon family, including the farmland at Lockley Wood that formed part of Edward Pegg's Mount Pleasant Farm, woodland in Goldstone and Lightwood and Goldstone Common itself. These fragments of a once large estate, with its other lands in Cheshire, maintain an historical thread in the story of the manor of Goldstone and its family connections that have endured there for over 800 years from the 12th to the 21st century. There are not many manors in Shropshire that have such continuity. One can but hope that this will continue many centuries more.

But the story of the Vardons began far away from Goldstone and even further away than nearby Cheshire and Staffordshire where they lived for centuries with their older family name of de Verdun/de Verdon, then simply Verdon. Even Normandy was once new to them, having begun their journey long ago at Verdun-sur-Meuse where their forebears had been Counts de Verdun and Dukes of Lower and Upper Lorraine. They will continue to open up many new avenues that stretch well beyond the bounds of Goldstone. Ironically, some of Jack & Cecilia Vardon's descendants have even crossed the channel and returned to live in France.


BELOW - the road from Goldstone Common on the way towards Goldstone Hall:-

Jack & Cecilia Vardon's eldest child, Barbara, whose marriage to Sir James Bottomley is covered above, died in 1994. She was the very first woman in the family to go to university and graduated from the London School of Economics. In the New Year's Honours, January 2011, it was announced that her elder son Peter Bottomley, MP for Worthing West, was to become a Knight Bachelor. He has thereby become the third generation of his father's family to be knighted on individual merit as a reward for and recognition of public service rather than by hereditary succession. His grandmother Cecilia's family also had a long tradition of public service in the armed services and in the political arena, with members sitting in both Houses of Parliament. Two of her first cousins received life peerages: Robin Turton, MP for Thirsk and Father of the House of Commons, became Baron Tranmire of Upsall in the North Riding of Yorkshire and James Chichester-Clark, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland 1969-71, became Baron Moyola of Castledawson Co. Londonderry. In 2002-2003, Peter Bottomley also emulated another of his forebears when he served as Master of the Drapers' Company of the City of London, following in the footsteps of his Great great grandfather Hugh James Vardon who, as mentioned earlier in this story, was Master in 1871.

ABOVE: Sir Peter Bottomley being invested as a Knight Bachelor by Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II 

at an Investiture Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on 10th March 2011. 

Goldstone Hall, which was sold in 1978, is now a well known hotel and has been advertised as a 'Seat of Shropshire Squires'. The Hall's status as a hotel, along with its gardens, have resulted in road signs being put up pointing the way to the Hall, and its gardens are advertised on most road maps; thus the little hamlet of Goldstone has been truly 'put on the map'. Many wedding receptions are held at the Hall and it appears to have an excellent reputation for food, wine, ambience etc. What guests may not know today is how appropriate this is in view of the way in which Goldstone threw its arms wide open to welcome people from all over the world during the Second World War.

BELOW - Goldstone Hall today:-