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Horley and Hornton Manors, Oxfordshire, England

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Horley and Hornton Manors, Oxfordshire, England

Hornton was not mentioned in Domesday Book but clearly was included under Horley, where there were 2 large and 2 small estates in 1086. One 10-hide estate, held by Berenger de Todeni and of him by Ralph, had been held before the Conquest by Queen Edith and Turgot the law man (lageman). (fn. 49) Like another of Berenger's estates, Hutton Bardolf (N.R. Yorks.), this estate, the later lay manor of HORLEY AND HORNTON, was held in the 13th century by the Bardolf family. (fn. 50) It formed part of the honor of Brandon, which, according to Dugdale, comprised 10 fees attached to Brandon Castle in Wolston (Warws.). (fn. 51) The overlordship of Horley and Hornton may thus have followed the descent of Brandon which passed from Geoffrey de Clinton to his daughter Lesceline, who in the early 12th century married Norman de Verdun. (fn. 52) In the 1220s Nicholas de Verdun was recorded as overlord. (fn. 53) On the death of Theobald de Verdun in 1316 a fee in Horley and Hornton was among the lands which were to be divided between his four daughters and in 1344 it formed part of the inheritance of his daughter Margery and her husband Mark Hussee. (fn. 54) As in the case of other manors granted to the Hussees all trace of the overlordship then disappears. (fn. 55) In 1458, however, Horley and Hornton were said to be held of the Earl of Warwick; (fn. 56) this may perhaps be explained by the fact that the earls of Warwick held the overlordship of Brandon in the 13th century. (fn. 57)


Horley Manor House

In 1222 Hugh Bardolf and Robert the Chamberlain, both descendants of Osbert, Sheriff of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire (d. by 1116) (fn. 58) made a division of lands, Hugh taking the ½ fee in Horley and Hornton. (fn. 59) Hugh made a grant in the 1220s to Stanley Abbey (Wilts.) (fn. 60) and sold the rest of the ½ fee to Robert Lexington, a royal judge. (fn. 61) He held it in 1230 but had granted it before 1236 to his brother John, who in 1239 was allowed free warren in his demesne lands in Horley and Hornton. (fn. 62) John Lexington died in 1257 holding 10 hides in Horley and Hornton and leaving as heir his brother Henry Lexington, Bishop of Lincoln. (fn. 63) On the bishop's death in 1258 Horley passed to his nephew William Sutton, a member of a Nottinghamshire family. (fn. 64) William was dead by 1276, and his widow Eve was married to Robert Paynel, who held the manor during her lifetime, (fn. 65) and claimed free warren in the parish. (fn. 66) William Sutton's son Robert was already dead, and the manor eventually descended to his grandson Sir Richard Sutton, whose son John married Margaret, the sister and later the coheir of Sir John de Somery. (fn. 67) In 1307 Richard agreed with Agnes de Somery, Margaret's widowed mother, that he would hold Horley and Hornton and other manors for life, and that he would not alienate them so that they could not descend to his son. (fn. 68) Richard Sutton held a fee in Horley and Hornton in 1316, and still held it in 1344 and 1346. (fn. 69) The family descended in the male line, (fn. 70) but no later reference has been found of any connexion with Horley.


A manor of Horley is next found in the possession of the Arden family of Drayton, but it is not clear that this was the Sutton holding. Robert Arden had held land there by at least 1327, when he was granted free warren in his demesne lands. (fn. 71) In 1329 he was allowed view of frankpledge there. (fn. 72) Sir Giles Arden held Horley manor with his wife at his death in 1376. (fn. 73) He left two young coheirs one of whom, Margaret, married Lewis Greville. (fn. 74) Their son William, on whom Horley was settled in 1398, was living there in 1406, but later lived at Drayton, (fn. 75) and the family connexion with Horley came to an end.

By 1428 John Langston, presumably John Langston of Caversfield, held the lands in Horley and Hornton which had once belonged to Richard Sutton. (fn. 76) They seem to have passed to the Dynhams, for on his death in 1458 Sir John Dynham and his wife Joan held the manors of Horley and Hornton. This is the first time they are described as 2 manors. (fn. 77) They passed to his son John Lord Dynham, who died childless in 1501, (fn. 78) and for the next 40 years the 2 manors followed a somewhat different descent. In the end, however, both were acquired by the Light family. (fn. 79) Hornton had been settled by Lord Dynham on his brother-in-law Sir John Sapcote of Elton (Hunts.), the husband of Elizabeth Dynham, and his heirs. (fn. 80) Sapcote died in 1501 and in 1541 his son Sir Richard Sapcote sold Hornton manor to Christopher Light. (fn. 81) Horley manor, on the other hand, which in 1501 was held for life by Sir Reynold Bray (d. 1503) by gift of Lord Dynham, (fn. 82) was divided into quarters among the families of Lord Dynham's four sisters. (fn. 83) One quarter, which must have been that which went to Joan Dynham and her husband Lord Zouche, was bought in 1540 from Joan and Prudence Coke by Christopher Light (d. 1546); (fn. 84) in 1544 Light bought another quarter from Sir Michael Dormer, who in 1542 had bought it from Sir William FitzWilliam and his wife Anne, said to be the daughter and heir of Sir Richard Sapcote, who died in 1542; (fn. 85) in 1553 the younger Christopher Light bought another quarter from Sir John Arundell, the grandson of Sir Thomas Arundell and Katherine Dynham; (fn. 86) while the fourth quarter, which had gone to the Carew family, passed like their quarter of Souldern to the Comptons, (fn. 87) and was bought in 1580 by Christopher Light. (fn. 88) Light died at Horley in 1584, leaving half the manor-house and his demesne in Horley to his wife Margaret for life, and the rest of the two manors to his son Richard, aged four. (fn. 89) Richard Light probably sold off the land of Hornton manor, for there are no later references to it. (fn. 90) By 1617 he had left Horley for Banbury, and in that year he and his mother, who was again widowed, sold Horley manor to Daniel Danvers and his son Anthony. (fn. 91) In 1661 Anthony transferred the estate to his son and heir John Danvers, a London sugar refiner, (fn. 92) and in 1663 the Danvers family sold the manor to Sir Charles Wolseley, Bt. (fn. 93) Wolseley, who was connected with the neighbourhood through his marriage to a daughter of William, Lord Saye and Sele, sold the manor in 1668 to Richard Thomson of Edgcott (Northants.). (fn. 94) By 1680 Thomson was living at Horley, but in 1718 he sold the property to Sir John Cope of Bramshill (Hants), the son of Sir John Cope, Bt. (d. 1721), lord of the neighbouring manor of Hanwell. (fn. 95) While Hanwell went in 1721 to another branch of the Cope family, Horley descended with the title in the main branch. (fn. 96) By 1663, however, Horley manor consisted of only 6 yardlands, (fn. 97) and it is doubtful whether any manorial rights belonged to it. This manor is constantly referred to in 18th-century deeds, (fn. 98) and until at least 1813, but the inclosure award and other records refer only to the lords of the prebendal manor. (fn. 99) The Copes, however, continued to be landowners in the parish, their chief farm being Bramshill Park Farm. (fn. 100)


Little Lane, Horley

The second manor, known later as the PREBENDAL MANOR OF HORLEY AND HORNTON, probably descended from the 10-hide estate held in 1086 by Robert, Count of Mortain. (fn. 101) Robert's tenant Ralph may have been Ranulf Flambard (d. 1128), the royal minister, (fn. 102) who in the early 12th century held land in Horley of the king. In 1115 Henry I granted Horley with the church of King's Sutton (Northants.) to augment the prebend which Ranulf and his son Elias held in Lincoln Cathedral. By the terms of the grant the prebend was to be held by Elias for life with reversion to Ranulf for life and remainder to the cathedral. (fn. 103) By 1146 Horley was listed among Lincoln's prebendal endowments (fn. 104) and the manor, which also included land in Hornton, was held by the prebendaries of Sutton-cum-Buckingham. (fn. 105)

In the early 13th century the archdeacons of Buckingham were usually the prebendaries: in 1212–14, for example, the archdeacon is found defending his right to 4 yardlands in Hornton; (fn. 106) in 1239 he was granted free warren in his demesne lands in Horley and Hornton; (fn. 107) and in 1243 he was returned as holding half Horley vill in free alms of the Bishop of Lincoln's fee. (fn. 108) Later the archdeacons of Buckingham ceased to be prebendaries and in 1276 the Archdeacon of Northampton claimed, as prebendary, free warren in the parish. (fn. 109) In the 14th century several cardinals held the prebend. (fn. 110) In 1535 the prebend was leased by the prebendary, Richard Pate, to John Pate, who was in the service of Bishop Longland. (fn. 111) On Richard Pate's attainder his successor, Richard Cox, a royal chaplain and later Bishop of Ely, was appointed in 1542 by Henry VIII. (fn. 112) Cox's rapid advancement under Edward VI (fn. 113) owed something perhaps to the fact that in 1547 he surrendered the endowment of this 'noble prebend' to the Crown. (fn. 114) Soon afterwards it formed part of a large grant to the Duke of Somerset, on whose attainder in 1552 it reverted to the Crown. (fn. 115) The prebend itself was never formally dissolved, but being 'disseised of its estate' the bishop's attempts to fill it were unsuccessful. (fn. 116)

During the rest of the 16th century the estate was leased by the Crown, first to Sir John Mason, who was in possession in 1554, (fn. 117) and in 1569 to Henry Seymour for life, a grant which was renewed in 1595. (fn. 118) In 1609 the estate was granted by James I to Sir Robert Brett, a gentleman usher of the Privy Chamber, (fn. 119) who at once divided it and sold the part in Horley and Hornton to Richard Light, the lord of the other manor in the parish. (fn. 120) It was charged with a rent of £20 to the Crown which was paid until it was redeemed in 1769. (fn. 121) In 1624 Light sold the manor to John Austin who settled it on his son Robert. (fn. 122) On John's death in 1639 (fn. 123) the property passed to his son Robert, and then to the latter's son John, who was probably the John Austin, the elder, who died in 1687. (fn. 124) He was succeeded by his son Nathaniel (d. 1728), (fn. 125) and by his grandson, John Austin of Drayton, who sold the property to Edward Metcalfe in 1741. (fn. 126) At the time of the Inclosure Act in 1765 Metcalfe was the only lord of the manor in the parish. (fn. 127) He only owned about 6½ yardlands, all in Horley, but also had manorial rights in Hornton. (fn. 128) After his death the estate was held by his relict Elizabeth until her death in 1791 when it passed to John Metcalfe Wardle, a relative by marriage. (fn. 129) In 1828 either Wardle or his son of the same name sold it to Daniel Stuart, the owner of Wickham Park, (fn. 130) and on his death in 1846 he left it for life to his daughter Catherine. (fn. 131) She never married and after her death it was sold in 1892 to James Stockton, a Banbury solicitor. (fn. 132) At this time the estate consisted mainly of Horley Manor farm (306 a.), the manor-house, and the manorial rights of Horley and Hornton manors, which were worth about £5 a year. (fn. 133) The property passed to Stockton's son, Lt.-Col. Arthur Stockton. (fn. 134) By 1965 manorial rights had lapsed.

From British History Online


48. G.A. Oxon. b 91(13), 14: Sale cat.
49. V.C.H. Oxon. i. 417. Broughton, also held by Berenger, followed a completely different descent, but in 1501 Hornton was said to be held of William Fiennes as of his Broughton manor, and in 1516 Horley was similarly held: Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, ii, p. 271; C 142/31/18. 50. V.C.H. Yorks. N.R. ii. 153 and see below. 51. Dugdale, Warws. (1656), 29. 52. V.C.H. Warws. vi. 276. 53. W. de G. Birch, 'The Cistercian Abbey of Stanley', Wilts. Arch. Mag. xv. 286. 54. Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, p. 38; Cal. Close, 1343–6, 278, 346. For Margery's husbands see Complete Peerage, vii. 5–6. 55. e.g. V.C.H. Warws. v. 36, 67. 56. C 139/170/1. 57. V.C.H. Warws. vi. 276. 58. For Osbert see Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum, ii, p. 295, and the refs. given there. 59. Fines Oxon. 232–3; but sec Yorks. Fines, 1218–31 (Yorks. Arch. Soc. Record Ser. lxii), 42, which says 1 fee, and lists the Lincs. lands but none in Yorks. 60. See p. 128. 61. Cal. Inq. Misc. i, p. 308. For him see D.N.B. 62. Fines Oxon. 87–88; Bk. of Fees, 448, 823; Reg. Antiquiss. i. 180–1. 63. Cal. Inq. p.m. i, pp. 102–3. For them both see D.N.B. Horley is not mentioned in the bishop's inquisition. 64. Feet of Fines, Essex (Essex Arch. Soc.), i. 232–3; Cal. Inq. p.m. i, p. 109. For the Suttons see V.C.H. Essex, iv. 277. 65. Cal. Inq. Misc. i, p. 308; Cat. Anct. D. iv. A 7099. 66. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 32. 67. Cal. Inq. p.m. ii. p. 43; Complete Peerage, xii (1). 115 n. 68. Cal. Close, 1302–7, 536. Horley is not mentioned in a division of his estates in 1307: P.R.O. Lists & Indexes, xvii, p. 101. 69. Feud. Aids, iv. 166, 178; Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, p. 38; ibid. vii, p. 499: Feud. Aids, iv. 178. 70. For them see H. S. Grazebrook, 'An Account of the Barons of Dudley', Hist. Colln. Staffs. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc.), ix (2). 51 sqq. 71. Cal. Chart. R. 1327–41, 25. 72. Ibid. 117, 118. 73. C 136/18/2. 74. Linc. Reg. xxi, f. 88v. 75. C.P. 25 (1)/191/24/71; Cal. Pat. 1405–8, 282; Par. Colln. ii. 127. 76. V.C.H. Oxon. vi. 336; Feud. Aids, iv. 186. 77. C 139/170/1. 78. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, ii, pp. 270–1. For family see Complete Peerage, iv. 377–82. 79. For them see Oxon. Visit. 141–2. 80. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, ii, p. 271. 81. V.C.H. Hunts. iii. 161; C.P. 25(2)/34/228/49; Bodl. MS. Ch. Oxon. 3678. 82. Cal. Inq. p.m. ii, p. 271. For him see D.N.B. 83. For details see V.C.H. Oxon. vi. 305. 84. C.P. 25(2)/34/228/48; Bodl. MS. Ch. Oxon. 3670; Hants. R.O. 43 M 48/625. 85. C.P. 40/1120, rot. 6; C.P. 25(2)/34/229/11. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xix (2), p. 469. For the Sapcotes see Visit. Hunts. (Camd. Soc. 1st ser. xliii), 12. Since the family descended in the male line it is not clear why Anne was Sir Richard's heir. For the FitzWilliams see Burke, Peerage (1959), under FitzWilliam. 86. C.P. 25(2)/62/494/41; Hants R.O. 43 M 48/626, 629; V.C.H. Oxon. vi. 305. His father had held this at his death in 1545: C 142/86/11. 87. Peter Compton held a quarter at his death in 1544: C 142/72/68. For a transaction of 1567 about it see C.P. 40/268, rot. 652; Hants R.O. 43 M 48/627, 628. 88. C.P. 25(2)/260/Mich. 22 & 23 Eliz. I; C.P. 40/386, rot. 151; Hants R.O. 43 M 48/629, 630. 89. C 142/247/46; Par. Rec., reg. 90. e.g. O.R.O. Misc. Pe. 111/28. For a recovery of 1578 see C.P. 40/368, rot. 302. 91. C.P. 25(2)/340/Mich. 15 Jas. I; Hants R.O. 43 M 48/631–4. For the Danvers pedigree see Macnamara, Danvers Family, 408. 92. Hants R.O. 43 M 48/638; Macnamara, Danvers Family, 435. 93. C.P. 25(2)/707/Trin. 15 Chas. II; Hants R.O. 43 M 48/639–43. 94. G.E.C. Baronetage, ii. 62; C.P. 25(2)/708/Mich. 20 Chas. II; Hants R.O. 43 M 48/650–53. 95. Par. Colln. ii. 181; Hants R.O. 43 M 48/672–6. For a settlement on Thomson's son Knightley in 1695 and other deeds see ibid. 657–76. For the family see G.E.C. Baronetage, i. 37. 96. See p. 116; Burke, Peerage (1959). 97. Hants R.O. 43 M 48/639, 644. 98. e.g. ibid. 43 M 48/1077. 99. Ibid.; C.P. 43/734, rot. 43 (Mich. 7 Geo. III); O.R.O., gamekprs' deps. 100. Ex inf. Mr. W. P. Astell, Bramshill Park Farm. 101. V.C.H. Oxon. i. 409. 102. D.N.B. 103. Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum, ii, p. 128. 104. Reg. Antiquiss. i. 199, 207. 105. By the early 13th century Buckingham church had been added to the prebend's endowment: V.C.H. Bucks. iii. 487. 106. Cur. Reg. R. vi. 241; vii. 10, 48, 91, 113. 107. Reg. Antiquiss. i. 180–1. 108. Bk. of Fees, 832. 109. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 32. 110. Feud. Aids, iv. 166; Cal. Pat. 1381–5, 417; Cal. Papal Regs. vi. 196. For a list of prebendaries see Browne Willis, Survey of Cathedrals (1742), ii. 245–8; Le Neve, Fasti, ed. T. D. Hardy, ii. 216–17. 111. Linc. Chapter Acts, 1526–36 (L.R.S. xii), 186–7. 112. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xvii, p. 216. 113. D.N.B. 114. Willis, op. cit. 248. The actual surrender has not been found. 115. Cal. Pat. 1547–8, 190. 116. H. Bradshaw & C. Wordsworth, Lincoln Cathedral Statutes, ii (2). 656, 671. The tenant of the estate, and later the owner of the Sutton part of it, continued to make the payments to the cathedral formerly made by the prebendary: ibid.; Willis, op. cit. 245. 117. Lipscomb, Bucks. ii. 575; Linc. Reg. xxviii, f. 106v. 118. Lipscomb, Bucks. ii. 573; V.C.H. Bucks. iii. 483; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1595–7, 5. 119. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1603–10, 526; K.B. 28/6, m. 4. 120. K.B. 28/6, m. 4; Sir J. H. Seymour, A Plain Statement of Facts (2nd ed. Banbury, 1839), 47–48: copy in Bodl. G.A. Oxon. 8° 1308. 121. Seymour, op. cit. 49. 122. K.B. 28/6, m. 4 where the descent of the Austin family is given; C.P. 25(2)/340/Mich. 22 Jas. I. 123. C 142/492/46. 124. C.P. 25(2)/588/East. 9 Chas. II; Par. Colln. ii. 180. 125. He apparently mortgaged the manor in 1689: C.P. 25(2)/863)/Trin. 1 Wm. & Mary; C.P. 43/425, rot. 37 (Trin. 1 Wm. & Mary); O.R.O., S. & F. colln. (uncat.); MS. Oxf. Archd. Oxon. c 156, f. 40v.; ibid. b 60, f. 45. 126. Seymour, op. cit. 48. 127. Horley Incl. Act, 5 Geo. III, c. 25 (priv. act). 128. Seymour, A Plain Statement, 48. It is probable that the estate had been reduced by Richard Light who seems to have sold off part of the lay manor in the early 17th century: see p. 126. 129. Seymour, op. cit. 48; O.R.O., land tax assess. 130. Seymour, op. cit. 48. 131. MS. Top. Oxon. d 42, f. 73. 132. Bodl. G.A. Oxon. b 85a (35): Sale cat. (1892). 133. Ibid. 134. Bodl. G.A. Oxon 4° 593: MS. hist. of Horley.