Peirce à Court

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Peirce à Court

Birthdate: (47)
Birthplace: Ivy Church, Wiltshire
Death: March 20, 1724 (47)
Place of Burial: Raddon
Immediate Family:

Son of John à Court and Mary à Court
Husband of Elizabeth à Court
Father of Gen William Ashe-à Court, MP; Pierce à Court Ashe, MP; Alexander à Court; Edward à Court; Elizabeth à Court and 1 other

Managed by: Private User
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About Peirce à Court

The à Court family were living in Somerset in the early 17th Century. William à Court was married to Susanna Horner, who died in 1654 in Frome. Susanna's grandfather was Sir John Horner, known as Jack, who is supposed to have been the object of the Nursery Rhyme.

"The popular story is that at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries (1536-1539), the Abbot of Glastonbury sent his steward, John Horner, to Henry VIII with the deeds of Mells Manor concealed in a pie. As Jack Horner traveled up to the town in the Abbot's wagon, he lifted the crust of the pie and stole the gift of the manor. When John returned he told the Abbot that the King had given him the gift. The plum in the rhyme was the deed of the Manor of Mells which is still possessed by his descendants. Records show, however, that Thomas Horner purchased the manor."

In 1705 Peirce à Court, a descendant of William à Court, married Elizabeth Ashe. Elizabeth was heir to the Heytesbury Estate, which had been bought by her grandfather, Edward Ashe,in 1641. The Ashe family had become extremely wealthy in the early 17th Century from making woollen cloth in Somerset and selling it in London and abroad, which enabled Edward to buy the 'Manor and Hundred' of Heytesbury from a Thomas Moore. The Manor of Heytesbury had earlier been in the possession of the Hungerford family since at least the 13th Century, but when Walter Hungerford (created First Baron Hungerford of Heytesbury in 1536) was executed at the Tower of London in 1540/1 it is believed that the Heytesbury Estates were confiscated by the crown. The Manor of Heytesbury (and apparently Tytherington) was granted to Henry Wheeler by the Crown in 1553, who later sold it to the Moore family.

Since Elizabeth Ashe had no male sibling she retained her maiden name on marrying Peirce, and hence the family surname became Ashe à Court. Peirce and Elizabeth had six children, one of whom was William Ashe à Court, born in 1708. William became an Army General and married Annabella Vernon in 1747. An ancestor of Annabella's, Henry Vernon, was in 1648 given a silk morning cap by Charles I as a gesture of thanks when the king stayed at his house in Farnham, Surrey, when on his way to his execution in London. The cap was passed down the generations and is now on display in a local museum.

William and Annabella had a son William Peirce, who was born in 1747. William was a Colonel in the Army, and was made baronet in 1795. William Pierce married Laetitia Wyndham. Their first child, also named Laetitia, died in childbirth with still born twins in 1810 at the age of 31. A memorial to her resides in the family pew in Heytesbury Church. Their second child was William, born in 1779, who was a diplomat and held a number of appointments, including Envoy to the Barbary States (1813), Envoy to Naples (1814), Envoy to Spain (1822), Ambassador to Portugal (1824), Ambassador to Russia (1828-1832), Viceroy of Ireland (1844-1846). He was created First Baron Heytesbury in 1828.

William married Maria Bouverie in 1808. Maria died in 1844 in Dublin while William was Viceroy of Ireland. Their eldest son was the William Ashe à Court who married Elizabeth Holmes.


Peirce à Court (John4, John3, William2, William1) was born 1677. Peirce died 20/03/1724 at 46 years of age. 1724 or 1725 His body was interred 1724 in Rodden, Somerset.

He married Elizabeth Ashe in St Giles in the Fields, 27/11/1705. Elizabeth was born 1682. Elizabeth was the daughter of William Ashe and Anne Popham. Elizabeth died 1746 at 64 years of age. Her body was interred 1746 in Rodden, Somerset.

He made a will 20/02/1724. 1724 or 1725 Of Ivy Church, Wiltshire

MP for Heytesbury 1713 - 1715 & 1722 - 1724.

Peirce à Court and Elizabeth Ashe had the following children:

child 21 i. Peirce à Court was born 1706. Peirce died 6/09/1768 at 62 years of age. His body was interred 1768 in Rodden, Somerset. He married Janet Brown 1762. Janet was the daughter of Colonel Robert Brown. Janet died 1763.

He was baptized in Heytesbury, Wiltshire, 24/09/1706. He made a will 02/05/1767. Wadham College, Oxford, matriculated 17 July 1725. MP for Heytesbury 1734 - 1768.

He assumed the surname Ashe pursuant to the will of uncle Edward, and on the death of his cousin William Ashe s.p., 1750, succeeded to the Heytesbury Estate. Lived with Janet for many years before marrying. Died without issue.

Was Peirce à Court Ashe when he died in 1768.

child 22 ii. John à Court was born 1707. John died c1708 at 1 year of age. He was christened in Alderbury, Wiltshire, 20/10/1707. Died in infancy.


William Ashe à Court

child + 23 iii. William à Court was born 1708.

child 24 iv. Alexander à Court was born 1710. Alexander died 1/03/1777 at 66 years of age. His body was interred 1777 in Rodden, Somerset. He was christened in Alderbury, Wiltshire, 20/11/1710. Alexander was promoted on 2/03/1734 to Lieutenant. Alexander was promoted on 27/09/1740 to Commander. A Captain in the Royal Navy

child 25 v. Edward à Court was born 1711. Edward died December 1745 in Ireland, at 34 years of age. His body was interred 1745 in St Patricks Cathedral, Dublin. He was christened in Alderbury, Wiltshire, 10/12/1711. A Captain in the army. Went to Ireland as Aid de Camp to the Lord Lieutenant and died there in 1745

child 26 vi. Elizabeth à Court was born 1719. Elizabeth died 1723 at 4 years of age. Her body was interred 1723 in Alderbury, Wiltshire. She was christened in Alderbury, Wiltshire, 19/09/1719.

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Peirce à Court's Timeline

Ivy Church, Wiltshire
September 1706
Age 29
October 20, 1707
Age 30
Age 31
Age 33
Age 34
Age 40
March 20, 1724
Age 47