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About Peter atte Wode
About Peter de Wyckhurst (DeWyckhurst) 'Ye Atte Wode Annals' says: 'The first mention I find of the name Attwood is of an 'ancient family' at Wynolverley,' Worcestershire. Indeed, legend says this family was originally of Gael-Brython stock. When armorial bearing came into use, this family took a red field, sown with golden acorns and bearing a silver rampant lion. These arms, with often a variation to the number of acorns, are to be found in several other English counties. In Suffolk, the acorns are six; in Surrey, three. 'I find at least five other families with landed estates, named Atwood, whose arms show independent origin. But every Attwood in encyclopedias and histories at hand, who were of note as mathematicians, composers, lawyers, members of Parliament and professors in English Universities, are of a stock whose arms show them to trace from the family at Wolverley. More than half the English Attwood yeomanry were of this stock. 'A. D. 1203, one Peter de Wyckhurst bought outright from the Abbey of Chertsey, the 40 acre Estate in Coulsdon Parish, County Surrey, now known as Hooley House. Wick means dwelling and hurst is a Wooded knoll, so Peter may well have been of 'Wood House,' and perhaps from Suffolk. 'The owner of so small an estate would not naturally make much of a mark in history and we would not know his successor, except that William Attewode, in 1278, signed a surety bond, as a yeoman of this parish. 'This is the first appearance of this surname in Surrey. The very next year finds Peter Atte Wode and wife Alice suing to record title to a 220 acre tract nearby, which is known today as Wood Place. Peter doubtless lived at Hooley House, for in 1313, he had the buildings and part of the land of Wood Place leased to one Roger de Bosco, or de Wood. It is merely assumed William was the son of Peter de WyckhurSt. He was the first one in Surrey to carry the name Attewode. The name Wyckhurst translated would mean "house of Wood", and in later years the owners of "The Hooley House" were Atte Wodes. Peter de Wyckhurst purchased the Hooley House estate in 1203 from the Abbey of Chertsey. William being an adult in 1278 probably with several years of maturity would be in the correct generation to be a son of Peter. Peter de Wyckhurst was born about 1160 and married to unknown. He was granted a 36-acre tract of land in 1203, known as Hooley house, from the abbey of Chertsey in Coulsdon parish. "wyck", meant dwelling place or home and "hurst", was a woods, hence peter of the home in the woods, an early form of Atwood. This land is later found in Atwood wills. The name Atwood is believed to have been of Saxon origin. Reliable sources place its beginning at Coulsdon, a parish in Surrey County, 12 miles south of London and adjoining Croydon and Sanderstead. The unusual compounding of the preposition (atte) with the noun (wudu) distinguishes the Atwood name from other local names. In the majority of English+ surnames, the preposition is disguised, unlike those of French origin in which it is obvious and found in names like Dubois and DuPont. The first record of the name appears in the 12th century pipe rolls and is spelled Atewode. These rolls give a detailed accounting of the king’s receipts and rents, fines and private expenditures and are one of our most valuable sources of nomenclature of the middle and upper classes of English citizens. Since there was no standardized spelling of the English language until after the 17th century, ancient records show the name in many forms: Atte Wode, de Woode, DeBois (French), de Bosco (Latin), Atte Woodd, Attwood and Atwood. In certain documents of William Prynne (1600 to 1699), an English puritan, there is evidence of repeated interchange of "wood" and "Atwood" as the name of one of his constituents at bath. The Atwoods of Worcestershire of Saxon times, the Atwoods of Suffolk of early Norman times, the Atwoods of Gloucestershire and the Atwoods of surrey and Kent, our line, all have similar coat of arms, except for the number of acorns in the field. Thus it would seem that there may stemmed from a common ancestor back in the dim past where records do not reach and the different number of acorns were used to designate the cousin lines of the family. In all, 15 coats of arms were granted to the Atwood name. The "o" does not seem to have been doubled before the 16th century. It was always written "Wode" when designated a "forest" in poetry as well as when applied to one who lived near or "at" a forest in prose documents. In the time of John Hewson AtWoode (1520 to 1562) there was a Wm. De Wode of Kent who was also known as wm. De Wude. County Surrey is, according to the encyclopedia Britannica, an area of forest, swamp, heath, and open down land. The Romans passed through the area at the time of the invasion by Julius Caesar (55 BC). Perhaps using the ancient tract along the downs, later known as the pilgrim way. Romanization, however, didn't come until the time of Claudius (43 AD) for the next four centuries Surrey was ruled by the Romans and though roman remains are relatively few, large settlements appear to have been at Southwork, Kington upon Thames, Parley Heath near Albury and at Woodcote near Croydon. No roman town survived the settlement of Surrey by the Saxons and there are few place names of Roman origin. Surrey was never an independent Saxon kingdom. The name means southern district. Nearly all place names are of Saxon origin, a large proportion are pagan. The area had a very small population compared with neighboring counties. As late as the 13th and 14th centuries there must have been a strong contrast between the ecclesiastical dignitaries, sharing in the life of the metropolitan city. The town of Chertsey, 22 miles southwest of London, is situated on the right bank of the Thames river. Chertsey abbey was founded in 666 AD by St. Erkenwald who became its first abbot. Burned during the Danish wars, about 871 C and the monks killed, it was re-established for Benedictines in the 10th century. It maintained a prominent position and held many manors including Chertsey, Egham, Thorpe, Chobham, Epson, Sutton and Coulsdon, until it was dissolved in 1537. During the reign of Edward the confessor, Godwin, earl of Wessex, and members of his family including Harold, held many manors in surrey. After the battle of Hastings in 1066, William I, took these for himself or his Norman followers. Following the insurrection of the 15th century, Surrey under the Tudors became a country of royal residences. Henry vii, rebuilt the palace at sheen, renaming it Richmond. Henry VIII and Elizabeth iI, resided there and Henry VIII received Hampton Court from Cardinal Wolsey, just across the Thames. This brought court officials to the villages, to the Surrey side. After the dissolution of the monasteries (1536\1539), Henry began to build a flamboyant hunting lodge in surrey, called Nonsuch (located near Ewell). This was built partly of materials from the dissolved monastery, Merton, and on the site of the village of Codington, which he had destroyed. Stones from Waverly abbey were used in building Loseley house. Oatlands palace (Weybridge) had stones from Chertsey abbey. The remains of Chertsey abbey fell into decay in the 17th century and for many years only the ground plan was traceable. During Shakespeare’s time, the county of Surrey could boast of the globe theatre at southwark, and today of racecourses at Epson Downs, Sandown Park and Lingfileld Park and of the all England lawn tennis club at Wimbledon. Birth records were not kept in those days except to preserve titles of kings and others. However, land titles, wills, and other records have been found. The land was owned by the king and put under the control of a lord or men of other titles or was owned by the church under the control of a bishop. This was the manor system. To become a yeoman or a freeholder of a small piece of land one had to be of some service to the king or the bishop. Over the years the Atwoods seem to have served both. When the Atwoods began to acquire their estate, London was a town of about 350,000 and the population of all England was not over three million. Today most of that estate lies within greater London, but in the beginning it was just south across the Thames in the counties of Surrey and Kent. They had a home in the parish of St. Martin in the fields, then a suburb of London, and went out to Sanderstead in surrey, to their home in the country. The names Sanderstead, Sanderstead manor, Sanderstead court and Sanderstead place are not easily identifiable in the sources used to compile this volume as a best guess, it appears that Sanderstead manor consisted of many hydes (farms), buildings and dwellings. It was church property at one time, but not necessarily a monastery. Sanderstead court was a large mansion and probably was part of the manor. One source states that it was built in 1676 by Harman Atwood, but other sources claim that "Sanderstede Corte" existed as Early as 1586. Perhaps it was rebuilt or added onto in 1676. Sanderstead place was yet another principal dwelling attached to the manor. It was built about the time Henry confiscated some of the church property and was torn down near the end of the 19th century. 871 AD ... The earliest mention of Sanderstead is found in Saxon charters and is mentioned in the will of the Duke Alfred (Raelfrid), where it is spelled "Sonderstede". The origin of the name is from "Soude" or "Stede" meaning Sandy place. The character of the soil is of a sandy nature, a feature very uncommon to the area. 944\977 AD ... During the reign of King Edgar, Athelfieda, wife and queen, daughter of Earl Ordmar, mother of St. Edward, Knig and martyr, gave "Sandelstede", with 18 hydes and church to the abbey of hydes. 1085 AD ... Shortly after the conquest of England, William the conqueror ordered an inventory of all lands and properties for taxation. This record is known as the doomsday book. Here "Sandestede" contains only 5 hydes. 1536 AD ... Henry VIII, as head of the church, dissolved the lesser monasteries and confiscated church lands including Sanderstead, which contained Sanderstead manor owned then by John Hewson Wood or Atwood. The manor was then deeded to Sir John Gresham, uncle of Sir Thomas Gresham, founder of the London exchange. Although the Atwoods remained in possession of part of the manor, they lived in the parish of St. Martin most of the year. 1556 ... Upon his death, Sir John Gresham willed Sanderstead manor to his wife, Katherine, for her life, with the remainder of his property to his third son, Edmond. 1576\77 ... Katherine C died and her son, Edmond, inherited the manor. He was of Thorpe market in Norfolk, and a mercer (textile merchant) of London. 1586 ... Edmond Gresham died and willed Sanderstead manor to his son, richard. 1591\92 ... John Ownstead, Esq. (1534\1600), son of John Ownstead and Agnes Wood (Atwood) and the grandson of John Wood (died in 1525), bought Sanderstead Manor from Richard Gresham. 1600 ... John Ownstead died, august 09, 1600, without issue. 1604 ... Harman wood probably remained in London until after the death of John Ownstead, as the baptism of his oldest child does not appear in the Sanderstead register. He resumed the old family name of "Atwood" at the birth of his third child. The size of the estate was approximately 3,000 acres at one time. Coulsdon: a few miles south of Croydon and adjoining Sanderstead on the southwest. Coulsdon is the only place in Surrey where records of the Atwood name is found before about 1400. The manor of Coulsdon belonged to the Abbey of Chertsey as did the estates of Hooley House and Wood Place. 1203 ... In the 4th year of the reign of John, the Abbott of Chertsey, then lord of the manor, granted a messuage (dwelling house with buildings, curtilage and adjoining lands), called Hooley House, and 30 acres of land and 4 acres of wood to peter de Wyckhurst and his heirs. They paying full value of the land. 1313 ... In the 6th year of the reign of Edward ii, a messuage, called wood place, valued at two shillings a year and about 20 acres of land, 60 acres worth 20 shillings, 15 acres of wood worth 7 shillings 6d, held by peter Atte Wode by service of 13 shillings 4d, a year came into the king's hands by reason of idiocy of John, son of Roger de Bosco, Lucy his sister being his next heir. 1347 ... In the 20th year of the reign of Edward III, Hooley house was found devolved on Geoffrey Atte Wode, who had license to hold same of the king by service of one 40th part of a knight's fee, as parcel of the manor of Coulsdon . 1357 ... Peter Atte Wode had the bishop's license for a private chapel in his house at la Wode in Coulsdon. The 4 acres of wood at Hooley House or the 15 at wood place are probably the same as la Wode of Peter's license. Children were: Atte Wode.