The Lay Manor of Bradford on Avon

(1) The Abbess was bound to assist in some public works, and more especially to provide a certain number of fighting men to attend the King, her chief Lord, in his wars undertaken for the protection of his dominions. Agnes de Ferrar who was Abbess from 1252 to 1267, and Juliana Bauceyn, her successor, were both called upon for such help by Edward I. in his expeditions against Llewellyn, King of Wales. To enable her to provide such help, the Abbess, like all other tenants in chief, exacted from those who held a certain amount of land within the Manor the same free service which the king exacted from her. The portions of land held under such conditions were called Knights' Fees. The annual value of a knights' fee in England was fixed at £20, and every estate supposed to be of this value, or assessed at that amount, was bound to contribute the service of a soldier, or to pay, in the stead of this, a proportionate amercement called Escuage. The length of seryice demanded, or the amount of payment required, diminished with the quantity of land. For half a knight's fee 20 days' service was due, for an eighth part but 5 ; and when this was commuted for the pecuniary assessment above alluded to, a similar proportion
observed. We have many instances of tenures by Snight-within the Manor of Bradford. In the record for 1629 __John Hall, at Bradford, - John Blanchard, at Great Ashley, _Sir William Lisle, at Holte, - Daniel Yerbury, at Wrasall, _and others are said to have held lands by this tenure. [Queen Elizabeth's grant of the manor to Walsingham was for £13 : 16 : fij and A knight's fee.]
Every tenant within the Manor by Knight- Service was bonnd to render fealty, if not homage, to the Abbess. From both these obligations, she, as the head of a religions house, was exempted, and as the latter could only be received by the Lord in person, and the affairs of the Abbess were managed through her Steward or Seneschall, (as he was termed), it is conceived that an oath of fealty was all that was demanded from the superior tenants within this Manor. What was implied in this service is best explained in the words of Littleton- " Fealty is the same that fidelitas Is in Latin - And when a freeholder doth fealty to his Lord, he shall holde his right hand upon a booke, and shall say thus : - ' Know ye this, my Lord, that I shall be faithfull and true unto you, and faith to you shall beare for the lands which I claime to hold of you, and that I shall lawfully doe to you the cue tomes and service which I ought to doe, at the terms assigned, so help me God ud his saints ; ' and he shall kisse the booke."1
But in addition to this obligation which was thns binding on the higher order of Tenants within the Manor, all the vassals, of whatever degree, were bound to attend the Lord's courts, and 'do suit and service,' as it was termed. Of the courts themselves we shall speak presently : all that we will now say IB that in course of years this practice fell into desuetude, and was commuted into a money payment instead of personal attendance. Here we find such entries as the following, shewing to what a late period these payments to the Lord of the Manor were continued. The extracts are of the date1629-1631
" Freeholders fines for Respite of Suite to the Courts. Sir William Lisle payeth yearly for Suite fine ............ 0 3 Q
Sir William Sire payeth yearly for the like .............. 0 1 Q
John Hall, Esqrefor the like............................ 0 0 8
William Powlett, Esqre for the like...................... 0 1 o
Thomas Westley, Gentn for the like .................... 0 1 0
Thomas Barnfield, Gentn for the like .................... 0 0 8
SamuelYerbury ...................................... 0 0 4
Intoto............O 6 8"
In the following extract from the same record we have similar charges made on the several Tythings and Parishes within the Hundred. In the case of one Tything, Leigb. *nii Woolley, it seems that through their ' Tythingman' they were wont, even as recently aa two centuries ago, to render personal service and suit of Court.

(2) The following extracts from the record of 1629 will illustrate our
" WALTER GRAUNT holdeth by fealty, suite of Court, and IB. Id. rent, ud 1 Ib. of wax;-one burgago in St. Olaves Street pr rent ISd.,-one messuage with a Dovecote in the same street pr rent 124.,-and one other house, sometimes a backhouse, pr rent 2s.; in all 4s. Id."
" DANIEL YERBUBY holdeth freely [certain lands therein described at Wrajall] by Knight -service, and 13s. rent, and one mounctuary* viz,, one horso with his harness, suite of Court to the Hundred and Court of the Manor, and 2s. yearly for certain works to be done yearly in earinge\ of too acres of the Lord's land at seed time, and carriage of thru load of hay J°f the Lard from Micliel Mead to Barton JTarme, which work were time °ut of mind turned to \deest~] rent pr ann. in lieu thereof."
" ELIZABETH BLANCHARD, SUSAN BLANCHARD, and JOANE BLANCHARD, i and coheirs of JOHH BLANCHARD .... hold freely, one messuage
l.c. Murtunry. This was a payment mode on the decease of a tenant, ^he difference between a Mortiiary and a Iferiot, was, that the latter waa paid oa a l BQbieotion to tbo lendal Lord, the former na n supposed compensation for omitted to ba patd to the Sector. As onr Abbess occnpiod both o( theae B In Bradford, she, ol course, enjoyed bothprlvllegeB. Hart's' Eccleaiaaticiil

(3)Abbess of Shaftsbury owned manor in 1000a.d. Both Hall family and Lisle family appear in rentals. Manor was in two parts -the Prebend Manor and the Lay Manor. By 1543 Henry VIII gives the Prebend Manor to Dean and Chapter of Bristol , shortly afterwards Parsonage built in St. Margaret's Street Between 1731 and 1770 the Lord Farmer was the Duke of Kingston who paid a rent of £57.8s. The Lay Manor was granted in 1576 by Queen Elizabeth to Sir Francis Walsigham, her Secretary of State., Sir Francis later settled the Manor on his only child Frances on her marriage with Sir Philip Sidney. Sidney died in 1586 and in 1590 Frances married Robert Devereux, 19th Earl of Essex (d. 1601). As her third husband she married Richard de Burgh, 4th Earl of Clanricarde and later 1st Earl of St. Albans (d.1635). In 1610 the site of the manor was leased to Constance Lucy, widow, to hold for the lives of her sons George, Robert, and Francis Lucy at a rent of £22. 3s. Francis Lucy was still holding it in about 166o. Frances Countess of St. Albans died in 1632 and in 1634 the Earl conveyed Bradford to John Paulet,5th Marquess of Winchester (d. 1675).This was probably a settlement on the occasion of the marriage of the Marquess with Honora, daughter of the 1st Earl of St. Albans.
During the Civil War the Marquess of Winchester held his house at Basing (Hants)-for the king and after it had fallen in 1645 he was imprisoned in the Tower. His estates were sequestered and in 1650 the manor of Bradford was bought by Walter Strickland.86 Strick-land, John Chicheley, and George Cony held the court of the manor in 1654 and 1655.The Marquess of Winchester recovered his estates in 1660. His wife Honora died in the following year and on his death Bradford passed to Lord Francis Paulet, their second but eldest surviving son. Lord Francis died in 1696, leaving a son Francis (d. 1712) and a. daughter Anne who later married the Revd. Nathan Wrighte(d. 1721) son of Sir Nathan Wrighte (d. 1721) Keeper of the Great Seal. The manor of Bradford was apparently held until 1728 by Lady Anne Paulet, relict of Lord Francis. In or before 1738 it passed to Paulet Wrighte, son of Anne and the Revd. Nathan Wrighte. Paulet Wrighte was succeeded by his son of the same name, who in 1774 sold the manor to Paul Methuen of Corsham, subject to an annual payment of 3 8s. from the manor to the old almshouses in Bradford.
The manor was bought about 1850 from Paul Methuen, 1st Baron Methuen (d. 1849), or from his son Frederick H. P. Methuen, 2nd Baron Methuen (d. 1891), by John Cam Hobhouse, ist Baron Broughton (d. 1869). On the death of Lord Broughton, Bradford was purchased from his heirs by his nephew (and successor as baronet) Sir Charles Parry Hobhouse, 3rd Baronet (d. 1916). Before 1907 Sir Charles transferred the manor to his son Charles E. H. Hobhouse, later 4th Baronet (d. I941). The manor then descended with the baronetcy to the present lord, Sir Charles Chisholm Hobhouse.
The manor house or grange of the capital manor is represented by Barton Farm. It was presumably this building which, under the name of the site of the manor, was leased in 1539 for 7 years to William Webbe.


(4) The Lay Manor remained with the crown until granted to Sir Francis Walsingham in 1576 by Queen Elizabeth I. Then given as a dowry for his daughter Frances when she married Sir Philip Sidney. She later married The Earl of Essex and finally the Earl of Clanricarde. By 1613 they were in financial difficulties and sold off much of the estate to John Bayley, Richard Dicke, Edward Long, Robert Graunt, Walter Yerbury and others. What was left of the borough of Bradford was passed on to John Powlett, Marquis of Winchester who had married their daughter Honora do Burgh in 1633.A descendant Mr Powlett Wright sold the Manor of Bradford except Barton Farm and some other properties to Paul Methuen of Corsham Court in 1774.
Anthony Rogers died in 1583, and his estates passed to his son-in-Iaw, John Hall, but his widow, Anne, was succeeded in Holt Manor by Anthony Lisle, who was the son of Thomas Lisle, Anne's son by her first husband, Lancelot Lisle.
(5)Manor of Englefield had supposedly been the residence of the Englefield family since the reign of King Edgar the Peaceable in the early 9th century. Though Sir Francis Englefield tried hard to keep his home, after almost 800 years of residence, the family was finally forced to leave, in 1559, due to their catholic religious beliefs. They, however, remained loyal to their old home and continued to be buried in the Englefield Chapel of the parish church until 1822. The house passed through diverse non-resident hands after the Englefields left, though the Earl & Countess of Essex seem to have taken a shine to it. In 1635, the Countess' son-in-law, the Marquis of Winchester, bought the house and it was to Englefield that he retired after his return from exile during the Commonwealth. The Marquis' descendants the Powlets and the Wrights continued to live there during the 17th and 18th centuries, until it passed, by marriage, to the Benyon family, the present owners
Benyon family of Berkshire
[from Administrative History] The descent of Englefield is involved. In the mid-17th century it case into the hands St. John Poulet, Marquis of Winchester, the defender of Basing House, and after his death passed to a younger son, Lord Francis Faulet or Powlet. In 1712 Englefield passed to Anne, dau. of Lord Francis and wife of Rev. Nathan Wrighte, and their son Powlet Wrighte succeeded in 1729. On the death of Powlet Wrighte his son, another Powlet, succeeded him and dying childless in 1779 the estate passed to his uncle Nathan Wrighte for life. Powlet's mother, however, had married as her second husband Richard Benyon, governor of Fort St. George. This lady was the dau. of Francis Lyssen of Rackney who had married the dau. of Richard Beauvoir of Essex. The son of Richard Benyon therefore not only inherited the Benyon properties at Gidea Hall, Romfors but also Beauvoir and Tyssen estates, and as half-brother to the younger Powlet Wrighte succeeded to Englefield on the death of Nathan Wrighte in 1789. The third Richard Benyon succeeded at his father's death and took the name of Powlet Wrighte in 1814 and de Beauvoir in 1822. On his death in 1854 Englefield passed to his nephew Richard Fellowes on condition that he took the name of Benyon.