George Luttrell, MP, of Dunster Castle

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About George Luttrell, MP, of Dunster Castle

  • LUTTRELL, George (1560-1629), of Dunster Castle, Som.
  • b. Sept. 1560 at Carhampton, 1st s. of Thomas Luttrell of Marshwood and Dunster by Margaret, da. of Christopher Hadley of Withycombe. educ. privately; Caius, Camb. 1576; G. Inn 1580. m. (1) 25 Sept. 1580, Joan, da. of Hugh Stukeley of Marsh, 5s. 7da.; (2) 3 Oct. 1622, Silvestra, da. of James Capps of Jews, nr. Wiveliscombe, Devon, 2da. suc. fa. 1571.
  • Offices Held
    • J.p. Som. from c.1591, sheriff 1593, 1609.2
  • Luttrell’s wardship was sold by the Crown to Hugh Stukeley, a shady lawyer who took advantage of his youth and inheritance to offer him, at the age of 15, the choice of his two daughters. He chose Joan, his junior by a year or two, and Stukeley arranged witnesses to some kind of betrothal ceremony. The Luttrells were naturally opposed to this union, to ‘a slut and [of] no good qualities’ and Dame Margaret, his grandmother, threatened to prevent him succeeding to Dunster priory. The marriage took place within two months of his grandmother’s death. Stukeley made strong rent demands against his son-in-law as soon as he came of age.3
  • Luttrell was now returned to Parliament for the family borough of Minehead, at a by-election in January 1581, and was re-elected in 1584 along with a distant relative. But this was the last occasion on which he chose to occupy the seat himself, perhaps because he continued his father’s quarrel with the Minehead council. At any rate he was actively engaged before the end of the reign in trying to revoke the 1559 charter on the grounds of the borough’s inability to keep the port in good repair. Two royal commissions, in 1601 and 1602, inquired into the running of the borough, and early in James’s reign the charter was abrogated on the grounds that the inhabitants were incapable of governing their town properly. Luttrell also drew up a petition (which may or may not have been presented) to the Commons stating that the town ‘did never choose any burgess for the Parliament, as appeareth by record, until the fifth year of the reign of the late memorable Queen Elizabeth’. It would be ‘a great indignity’ to that ‘honourable assembly’, the petition added, that burgesses should be chosen ‘without legal power and authority’. This attempt to disfranchise Minehead failed, but the Luttrells managed to retain control of one seat.4
  • Luttrell was active in local affairs, particularly in the defence of the Somerset coast against any possible invasion from Spain or Ireland. He provided a demilance and two light horsemen in the years before the Armada and contributed £50 towards national defence in 1588. In 1593 he was a captain of the Somerset forces and in 1601 a commissioner to raise men for the Irish wars. He lived all his life at Dunster Castle and increased its estates on the deaths of his grandmother in 1580, his aunt in 1588 and his mother in 1607. During his lifetime improvements were made to the castle, including the reconstruction of the principal façade, by William Arnold, architect of Wadham College, Oxford. He also renovated the house at Marshwood for his married son, and the manor of Quantoxhead for his second wife, and built the well-known octagonal market cross in Dunster.5
  • Perhaps the most striking aspect of Luttrell’s career was the number of lawsuits, one extending for four, another for ten years, in which he was involved. He left a vast quantity of scribbled notes and other material about rents, boundaries, and feudal tenure, and sued his father-in-law, his aunt, many tradesmen, tenants and neighbours. One deposition described him as ‘a very great and potent gentleman [who] published [that he was prepared] to spend £5,000 ... to terrify and dismay his opponent’. He brought an action against a widowed copyholder to find out if she lost her estate through incontinence, and claimed the property of his second cousin on the ground that he was a bastard. He sent his bailiff to take livestock from reluctant tenants, and, in one dispute, used force to help secure the £5 relief on a knight’s fee which had become due 25 years before. Surprisingly, a contemporary document refers to him as ‘much noted for his hospitality and the general love and respect of his neighbours’. Even his architect had to sue him to obtain his money.6
  • Less than a year after the death of his first wife, he married at the age of 62, a woman of humble origin who was just as unpopular with his relatives as his first. He remained active until Charles I’s reign, being buried at Dunster 23 Apr. 1629. His will left the bulk of his property first to his wife, who remarried twice and was still living in 1655, and then to his heir, Thomas. A codicil added shortly before his death provided £140 for the poor of Dunster.7
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  • George Luttrell1
  • M, #595753
  • Last Edited=28 Oct 2012
  • Child of George Luttrell
    • 1.Margaret Luttrell+2
  • Citations
  • 1.[S37] BP2003 volume 3, page 3931. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  • 2.[S37] BP2003. [S37]
  • From:


  • George LUTTRELL (Esq.) Sheriff of Somerset.
  • Born: 12 Sep 1560, Dunster Castle
  • Died: 1 Apr 1629
  • Notes: 1593 Sheriff of Somerset. Added considerably to the buildings of Dunster Castle, and lived there in the greatest hospitality, enjoying, in an eminent degree, the love and respect of his neighbourhood. He married first, Joan, daughter of his guardian Hugh Stewkley of Marsh, in the county of Somerset, although his marriage had been arranged by his mother with a niece of Sir James Fitzjames, of the ancient family of that name in Wales. He married, secondly, Sylvestra Capper.
  • Father: Thomas LUTTRELL (Esq.)
  • Mother: Margaret HADLEY
  • Married 1: Joan STUCKLEY (dau. of Hugh Stewkley of Marsh, Esq.)
  • Children:
    • 1. Thomas LUTTRELL (Esq.)
    • 2. Hugh LUTTRELL
  • Married 2: Sylvestra CAPPER (m.2 Sir Edmund Story - m.3 Gyles Penny, Esq.)
  • Children:
    • 3. Dau. LUTTRELL
    • 4. Dau. LUTTRELL
  • From: LUTTRELL (Esq.)1


  • LUTTRELL, Thomas (d.1571), of Marshwood and Dunster Castle, Som.
  • 2nd s. of Sir Andrew Luttrell of Dunster Castle by Margaret, da. of Sir Thomas Wyndham of Felbrigg, Norf. m. Margaret, da. of Christopher Hadley of Withycombe, 3s. inc. George and John 4da. suc. fa. to Marshwood 1538, bro. 1551.1
  • .... etc.
  • Luttrell did not enjoy undisputed possession of his lands in the last years of his life. In 1565 a lawyer named Stukeley, whose daughter was later to marry Luttrell’s son George, unsuccessfully claimed Minehead park on a foreclosed mortgage. In like fashion Richard Hadley, presumably a relative of Luttrell’s wife, claimed—also unsuccessfully—that the Hadley lands were entailed to heirs male and thus did not belong to Margaret and her husband. For the last ten years at least of his life Luttrell was firmly established in county affairs, training local forces and preparing coastal defences against invasion. He died intestate while in office as sheriff on 16 Jan. 1571, being buried 6 Feb. at Dunster, where a monument to him can still be seen. His wife was granted the administration of his property in 1573. She remarried twice and died in 1607.6
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  • LUTTRELL, Thomas (1583-1644), of Dunster Castle, Som.
  • bap. 26 Feb. 1583,1 1st s. of George Luttrell of Dunster Castle and his 1st w. Joan, da. of Hugh Stukeley of Marsh, Som.2 educ. Lincoln Coll. Oxf. 1597, BA 1599, MA 1602; L. Inn 1604.3 m. 15 May 16214 (with £3,000),5 Jane (d.1668), da. of Sir Francis Popham* of Littlecote, Wilts., 4s. (2 d.v.p.), 1da.6 suc. fa. 1629.7 bur. 7 Feb. 1644.8
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Court House, East Quantoxhead

  • The Court House in East Quantoxhead, Somerset, England has a medieval tower and other parts of the building which date from the 17th century. It has been designated as a grade I listed building.[2]
  • The manor has been held by the Luttrell family, who also owned Dunster Castle, since they acquired it around 1070. Only a tower survives from the medieval manor house which was built around 1400 to replace the one constructed in 1273. Most of the current building was added in the 1620s by George Luttrell and his wife Silvestra Capps. It was then used as a farmhouse until the 20th century when the latest descendents of the Luttrell line lived in it again.
  • The house includes a hall and gallery with a large kitchen area. The interior of the house is noted for plasterwork friezes. Surrounding the house are gardens of 5 acres (2.0 ha) with 3 acres (1.2 ha) of woodland.
  • It has been owned by the Luttrell family, who also owned Dunster Castle, for many generations since they acquired it around 1070.[3][4]
  • The original manor house was constructed around 1273. The only remaining section of the medieval house is the four-storey tower with battlements which was dated in a survey during 2003 by English Heritage as coming from the late 14th or early 15th century.[5] The rest of the current building was constructed in the 17th century.[6]
  • By the time George Luttrell inherited Dunster castle in 1571, it was dilapidated, with the family preferring to live at Court House.[7] In the 1620s George Luttrell's first wife and mother of his twelve children died. He remarried to Silvestra Capps who persuaded him to expand the existing building with the addition of the south west wing and new porch. The expansion and improvements which left the house largely in the form it exists today were completed by 1628.[4][8] After Capps death in 1655 the house was leased as a farmhouse, and although some minor damage was done during the next few hundred years when it was used as a granary the only structural alteration was the addition of a door at wagon level to enable loading and unloading.[4] In the 1860s quarter sessions were held at the house and it has been known as Court House ever since.[6]
  • In the 20th century the house was returned to residential use and occupied by Lieutenant colonel G.W. Luttrell and his wife.[4] The building was refurbished with masonry repairs and lead re-roofing in 2011 and 2012.[9]
  • The two-storey house is laid out around a courtyard.[1] The front of the building is Jacobean with the main entry being the two storey porch. The main hall has a gallery above reached via a tudor oak staircase. The kitchen includes two fireplaces one of which is 12 feet 6 inches (3.81 m) wide and could be used to roast a whole cow. The outer kitchen was used for cider making and contained a large apple press. A small room off the kitchen was used as a cell for drunks awaiting sentence in the court.[4]
  • The base of the tower includes a court for Cockfights. and other "sporting" memoriabilia in the house includes oak staves used for glatting to catch Conger eels with dogs on the nearby beach at Kilve.[10][4]
  • The interior of the house is noted for plasterwork friezes.[11] In the hall the fireplace mantel, which dates from 1629, bears the Luttrell coat of arms with soldiers on either side. It was created by two Flemish workers brought in by George Luttrell. They and their descendants stayed in West Somerset and are responsible for the plasterwork in all the great houses in the area, including Court House and Dunster Castle. In most of the rooms of the house the friezes depict biblical scenes. In the drawing room is a representation of Christ with the children, the north bedroom has Christs entry into Jerusalem, another room depicts Christs descent from the cross.[4] The scenes are taken from a book Vita, Passio, et Resurrection Jesu Christi published in Antwerp in 1566.[8]
  • .... etc.
  • From:,_East_Quantoxhead


  • 'Stukeley2'
  • .... etc.
  • Possibly connected to the above family was ...
  • George Stewkley of Marsh, Somerset
  • m. Joan Luttrell (dau of Sir James Luttrell of Dunster)
    • 1. Peter Stewkley or Stukeley of Marsh
      • A. Hugh Stewkley or Stukeley of Marsh
      • m. Elizabeth Chamberlayne (dau of Richard Chamberlayne, alderman of London)
        • i. Sir Thomas Stewkley or Stukeley of Marsh and Hinton (a 1623)
        • m. Elizabeth Goodwin (dau of John Goodwin of Over Wichingdon, son of Sir John)
          • a. Sir John Stukeley (Stewkley), 1st Bart of Hinton (d c1642)
          • m. Sarah Dauntsey (dau of Ambrose Dauntsey of Lavington)
            • (1) Sir Hugh Stukeley (Stewkley), 2nd Bart of Hinton (d 1719)
            • m1. Catherine Trott (dau of Sir John Trott, Bart of Laverstoke, by Elizabeth, dau of Sir Edmund Wright, Lord Mayor of London)
              • (A) Catherine Stewkley (d c1683)
              • m. (c09.1679) Sir Charles Shuckburgh, 2nd Bart of Shuckburgh (b 1659, d 02.09.1705)
            • m2. Mary Young (dau of John Young)
              • (B) Mary Stewkley (b c1683, d 20.07.1740)
              • m. Edward Stawell, 4th Lord of Somerton (b c1685, d 07.04.1755)
            • Probably of this generation, but (if so) by which wife is unknown, was ...
              • (C) Sarah Stewkley
              • m1. John Cobb (dsp 1725)
              • m2. (1726) (Ellis) St. John of Farley
              • m3. Francis Townsend
        • ii. George Luttrell Stewkley or Stukeley (dsp)
        • m. Elizabeth Drewell (dau of Sir Humphrey Drewell)
        • iii. Joan Stewkley or Stukeley
        • m. (1580) George Luttrell, Sheriff of Somerset (d 11.04.1629)
        • iv. Susan Stewkley or Stukeley
        • m. Sir Henry Drewry of Hewgley
        • v. Ursula Stewkley or Stukeley
        • m. Henry St. John of Farley (b 1568-9, d 1621)
        • vi. Margaret Stewkley or Stukeley (d unm)
  • Main source(s):
  • (1) For upper section : BP1934 (Stucley), Visitation (J.L. Vivian (1895), Devon, 1531+1564+1620+additions, Stucley of Affeton)
  • (2) For lower section (first uploaded within SZmisc05 on 21.12.05, in Stukeley1 from 16.05.09 to 19.07.12) : BEB1841 (Stukeley of Hinton)
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George Luttrell, MP, of Dunster Castle's Timeline

September 12, 1560
Age 22
Dunster, Somerset, UK
Age 23
Age 28
Age 29
Age 31
Age 32
Age 33