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Shirleys of Astwell
Northamptonshire

 

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11(i). Sir George Shirley of Astwell Northamptonshire, Lord of Ettington b 1559 d. 1622 Astwell, Northampton Co. Buried in Breedon on the Hill. Son of John Shirley of Rakedale Leicestershire and Jane Lovett. This marriage brought several manors to the Shirleys: Astwell in the county of Northampton, South Newington (Newton), in the county of Oxford, Dorington in the county of Gloucester, and St. Botolph's Bridge in the county of Huntington.

He studied at Hart Hall (Later known as Hartford College), in the University of Oxford in 1573. "By the advantage of the most famous and learned tutors, he acquired a knowledge not common of the Greek and Latin tongues, of philosophy, of history, of politics, and other liberal sciences. After he had finished his studies, he presented his service at Court, and undertook the voyage of Holland in 1585 with Robert Earl of Leicester, ever putting himself in those places most eminent for danger and honour".

He entered Gloucester Hall in 1587 and was of Grays Inn in 1602. In 1603 he served as sheriff of Northamptonshire at the time, in company with many gallant men who conducted James the First through that county to his coronation. In 1611, he was created a Baronet. [Note: A William Bell came to London from Worcester to study law. He shared chamber and bed with George Shirley. Bell became a Roman Priest and was executed in 1643].

George Shirleys arms were taken away for 4 years as he was suspected as being a Catholic, although he outwardly conformed to the church of England. (If a Papists refused to come to church on Sunday, they were liable to a penalty of 20 pounds for every lunar month during which they absented themselves). He appears to have died a Catholic. "His piety was so remarkable in his large and bountiful alms, that he merited the glorious title of father and nourisher of the poor, relieving during the great dearth, 500 a day at his gates"

married 1) Frances Berkeley in 1587, daughter of Henry Lord Berkeley (by Catherine, daughter of Henry Earl of Surrey).

married 2) Dorothy Wroughton (no children by George). - Dorothy appears to have a marriage contract when she married George Shirley. First she doth require to reserve her own living entire to herself, to bestow the commodities of it to her own pleasure, without any controls; secondly, she doth demand a thousand pounds yearly jointure; third, 500 pounds land to be tyed upon her son, if by any good means there may be one gotten; fourthly, if it so fall out that her husband and she should fall out, she doth require 500__??, a year out of his living, and to live apart from him with that added to her living of Farinton.

children:

12(i). George Shirley Jr. d. infant in his cradle

12(ii). Sir Henry Shirley of Staunton Harold, Leicestershire, Lord of Ettington born 1588 d. 1633, of Staunton Harold, Leicestershire. buried in Breedon on the Hill. He had a large carved pew made for Breedon on the Hill. His father gave him a noble education, an exact knowledge of the liberal sciences, and from Oxford he was sent for the bettering of his understanding and the gaining of languages, with license of the King, to travel beyond the seas. With all the qualities that complete a gentleman, he returned to his country and addressed himself to Henry Prince of Wales, and was received with honor. When Henry Prince of Wales died, it so devastated him that he retired into the country to live a solitary life, determining not to think of courtly pomp or glory. Upon the persuasion of his honored father, he married Dorothy Devereux, daughter of Robert Earl of Essex, the favorite of the Queen, and sister of Robert the last Earl. Immediately upon the death of his father, Sir Henry by indenture, dated May 9, 1622, executed a strict entail of the family estates in Shirley, Brailesford, Hone, Ednaston, Longford, Boobton, Hollington, Yeveley, Rodisley, Wyaston, Borowes,Thurvaston, and Bradley (Derby Co.), Silby and Ratcliff. In 1628, Henry was a prisoner in the Fleet for scandalising Earl of Huntingdon. In 1633 he was busy rebuilding the manor house of Ragdale in Leicester Co., an estate inherited from the Bassett family by marriage with the Shirleys. Henry was also a Roman Catholic.

married Dorothy Devereaux on 18 May 1615 at St. Lawrence Pountney, London. In 1633, James Shirley, the poet, wrote a poem about Dorothy, widow of Henry.

12(iii). Sir Thomas Shirley antiquarian of St Botolphs Bridge, Huntingtonshire; born 1590 d.1654 Lived St. Botolphs Bridge, Huntington. He was of St. Clements Inn).

12(iv). John Shirley d. an infant

 

 


   

 ASTWELL MANOR HOUSE
Northamptonshire

In 1453 Arthur Brook, of a Warwickshire family, was in possession, and in 1471 his son William exchanged the manors of Astwell and Falcutt with one Thomas Lovett for the manors of Rushton and Great Oakley near Kettering. Thomas Lovett's daughter, Margaret, married John, son of William Brooke.

Soon after Thomas Lovett came to Astwell - this was Edward IV's reign - he set to work to build the manor house anew, and the surviving gate-house is part of his work. The rest of the house was built round a courtyard; there was a moat, and, said the Ministry of Works in 1958, "it must have been an imposing place." Four generations of Lovetts lived here and the family was of some standing in the County, for three different Thomas Lovetts served as High Sheriff in the reigns respectively of Edward IV, Henry VII, and Elizabeth I.

The last Thomas Lovett of Astwell, who died in 1586, married Elizabeth Fermor of Easton Neston, and their only child, Jane, by her marriage with John, younger son of Francis Shirley of Ragsdale and Staunton Harold in Leicestershire, carried Astwell into the Shirley family.

The Shirleys

John Shirley, the husband of Jane Lovett, died in 1570 leaving a son, George, who, born in 1559, inherited Stanton Harold in 1571, and Astwell (on the death of his Lovett grandfather) in 1586.

The Shirleys were by far the most interesting of the owners of Astwell, and, in fact, managed to produce contemporaneously a murderer and founder of a religious sect.

With George Shirley the light at last begins to shine brightly on Astwell. He was a man highly typical of his age. Educated at Hart Hall, Oxford, he received some training at one of the Inns of Court and later served for a while with the Earl of Leicester in Holland. On succeeding to Astwell, with which he immediately feel in love, he became henceforth a Northamptonshire rather than a Leicestershire man and was sheriff of the County in the year that Queen Elizabeth died.

Early in the next reign he demolished the greater part of the manor house, and, smitten with building fever then raging among Northamptonshire squires, built himself a large and beautiful mansion alongside the old Thomas Lovett's tower. The new house, which had gables and mullioned windows in the prevailing style, was completed in about 1606. There were over forty rooms, including a hall, a chapel, a great and a little parlour, and a gallery hung with twenty-four pictures, as we know from an inventory of 1622 which gives the names of all the rooms. These and also the tower were luxuriously furnished with court cupboards, four-poster beds, chairs and stools covered with velvet, needle-work or leather, green and red rugs, hangings and "carpets" of arras, velvet cushions, coloured window curtains, chests, cabinets, long oak tables with benches and joint stools, tow pair of virginals, a "harpiscall", a bell to ring to prayers, etc., etc., etc. With a small army of servants inside and out, a stable full of horses, at least three coaches, those were surely the greatest days of Astwell, when for beauty and importance it must have ranked with such places as Gawsley, Deene, or Great Oakley Hall. George signed the work of his period with his initials and coat of arms in several rooms, the example on the stone mantel-piece in the sitting room of the present house being the only one now surviving.

George Shirley "with many gallant gentlemen" conducted James I across Northamptonshire on his way south at his accession, and was one of the first batch of baronets created by that monarch. An open-handed man, "relieving during the great dearth 500 a day at his gates", he reminds us of his contemporary the first Lord Montagu of Boughton on the other side of the County. The year of the "great dearth" was 1608.

Shirley's religious position was ambiguous, unless, which we doubt, he was an arrant hypocrite. He was an avowed Roman Catholic, and therefore placed on the list of suspected Papists in Northamptonshire. All his armour and weapons were removed from Astwell House in his absence over-seas in 1618 on the plea that his servants were recusants. Lord Exeter, then Lord Lieutenant, thereupon wrote to the Privy Council on his behalf that "he had always been loyal and forward in service and declared himself no recusant". Three years later his arms were restored to him. He was certainly an outward conformer to the Church of England, and the following letter to Dr. Lambe, Chancellor of the Diocese of Peterborourgh, from four of the local clergy, suggests very strongly that his attendance at their services was more than a mere formality. He was perhaps one of those who had "true unity, which is most glorious."


Astwell Manor house visited during Shirley Association trip

 

"May it please you, Sir, Whereas we whose names are hereunder written are intreated by Sir George Shirley of Astwell in your Countie of Northampton Baronet, to certifie our knowledge to your worship of his conformities in coming to the church and hearing devine service and sermons there, upon Sundays and Holldayes, according to the lawe in that case; we do hereby certifie you that the said Sir George Shirley (being an old gent. and his house farr from the parish churche) and having an auntient privileged chappell in his house, hathe, according to the booke of Common prayer, service red in the same chappell by Mr. Jones. a Batchelor in Divinitie and Chaplen in his house, who hathe of him a yearely stipend for reading prayer and preaching there, to which service and sermons himselfe, his Ladie and his familie doe come verie orderly, and we doe further certifie your worship that we ourselves doe verifie often every yeare in the absence of his said chaplen, or when we are thereunto entreated by the said Sir George Shirley, come thither and read service and preache in his his said chappell to him, his Ladie and his familie; and this with remembrance of our humble dutie we committ you to God, and rest.

Your worhip's always to command, Richard Lewis (S.T.P.) (Vicar of Brakley). William Jonnes (Clerk) [Rector of Syreham]. Chr. Middleton (Clerk) [Rector of Aston-le-Walls]. Edward Wade (Clerk) [Rector of Holdenby and Church Brampton]. Dated the 23 of January 1618 [1619].

Sir George Shirley, in the words of his son, Thomas, died on 27th of April 1622, aged 63, "in the bosom of his mother, the Roman Catholick Church".

On the death of Sir George, his descendants did not entirely desert Astwell. Sir Robert, the 4th baronet, lived there as a boy during the early years of the Civil War, and his widow make it her home for many years. The house was kept up and the family probably came for a part of each year, buy they took little or no part in the affairs of the County and inclined more and more to Staunton Harold and their other residences.

Sir Robert Shirley the 7th baronet, became Lord Ferrers of Chartley when this ancient barony was called out of abeyance by Charles II in 1677. In 1711 he was created Earl Ferrers by Queen Anne. His chief claim to distinction, however was the number of his children. By his first wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Lawrence Washington of Garsden (Wiltshire Co.) he had 17 children and by his second wife 10, "besides some 30 natural children".

During the life-time of his son Washing, the second Earl Ferrers, John Bridges was at work on his history of Northamptonshire, and has preserved for us a glimpse of what "Astwell, an old seat of Earl Ferrers" as he called it, looked like 240 years ago.

"Behind the gate-house is a little court and entry into the hall. The hall windows project n ronde and have battlements over them. The wainscot and chimney pieces in several rooms are adorned with the arms of the family with other carved work: and the window, which are of chrystal, are stained with flowers, birds, horses and other ornaments. At the east end of the great parlour was formerly a chapel, where Dr. Sheldon, afterwards, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Dr. Dolben, afterwards Archbishop of York, are said to have successively officiated as chaplains of the family".

Of this Lord Ferrers a contemporary wrote: "He keeps as hospitable an house and entertains as nobly as any peer of the realm", buy on the whole the second and third earls were quite unremarkable people. Not so the fourth, -- Laurence Shirley (1720-1760) -- who succeeded his uncle, the third earl, in 1745. Of him Burke writes in his Peerage:--

"Although not bereaved of intellect, this nobleman frequently evinced strong symptoms of a constitutional violence of temper; and in one of the paroxisms of rage habitual with his lordship put to his own confidential land-steward, and aged gentleman of the name of Johnson".

Lord Ferrers wished to evict Johnson from his farm, and failing to do so, got him into his room at Staunton Harold, locked the door, pulled a pistol out of his pocket and shot him. He was tried by his peers in Westminster hall, found guilty of murder, and sentenced to death. During his imprisonment in the Tower of London before his execution, he was several times visited by his cousin Selina, Countess of Huntingdon.

Ferres decided to die in the grand manner even though it was the death of a felon. When the fatal day arrived he put on a suit embroidered with silver and was driven from the Tower to Tyburn in his own landau drawn by six horses, and, according to tradition, was hanged with the silken cord which was the privilege of a peer instead of the hempen rope used for common murderers. A vast multitude of people assembled to watch the execution for which the "new drop" (just introduced instead of the cart, ladder and medieval gibbet) was used for the first time. Tyburn gallows stood close to the site of the marble Arch on the boundary of the parishes of St. Marylebone and Westminster. 

   

 


Manoral Records for Astwell to 1800 (sorted for mentions of Shirley)

A complete list of documents held at Leicestershire Record Office pertaining to Astwell & Falcutt. The index of manuscripts (Nos. 558 - 836) can be found in the Collection of Ferrars and Shirley documents at the Leceistershire Record Office, in accession nos. 26D53, 25D60 or 22D64.

669 N.d. Temp. Eliz
Sir George Shirley's bill in Star Chamber re disturbance and damage to his rabbit warren at Astwell (draft)

671 1 May 1563
Agreement between Francis Shirley of Staunton Harold, esq., and Thomas Lovett of Astwell esq., in consid; of £400 and of a marriage between John Shirley son and heir of Francis and Jane Lovett, dau., and heiress of Thomas Lovett, that: 1. Thomas Lovett, John Shirley and Jane his wife and John Lovett (brother of Thomas) shall levy a fine unto William Mathew and Edmund Foster of the manors of Astwell and Falcutt with 7 messuages, 7 tofts, 3 mills, 1 dovecot, 14 gardens, 200 acres of land, 140 acres of meadow, 500 acres of pasture, 200 acres of wood, 300 acres of furze and heather, 10 acres of moor and 10 acres of marsh and fishing, and £10 rent in Astwell and Falcutt by which the property shall pass to Mathew and Foster and his heirs. 2. It is to be held to the use of Thomas Lovett during his life. After his death as much as is of the yearly value of £20 is to be to the use of the same Thomas's executors for 12 years towards the ex- cution of his will and after this the whole property is to be to the use of any future wife or wives of Thomas and after their death to his eldest son, then any other sons, then to the use of John and Jane afore- said and their heirs with reversion to heirs of Thomas. 3. If Thomas Lovett makes any leases of the same property for not more than 99 years at the accustomed (or greater) rents then Mathew and Foster shall be seised of the same and the terms of leases shall stand.

673 16 April 1564
Copy of a final concord made between William Mathewe and Edmund Foster and: Thomas Lovet, esq., John Shirley and Joan his wife, and John Lovet, whereby: the latter parties recognise William and Edmund's claim to the manors of Astwell and Falcutt, and 7 messuages, 7 tofts, 3 watermills, 1 windmill, 1 dovecote, 14 gardens, 200 acres of land, 140 acres of meadow, 500 acres of pasture, 200 acres of wood, 300 acres of heath, 10 acres of moor, 10 acres of marsh and £10 rents in the same, and warrant them in the same. Consideration not readable because document torn.

687 1579 - 87
George Shirley of Staunton Harold's bill of complaint in Chancery versus Edward Thorne alias Dorne re common rights in Astwell.

689 N.d. ante 1582
George Shirley of Staunton Harold's bill of complaint in Star Chamber against William Grey and Richard Nanfan for attempting to defraud him of the manors of Astwell and Falcutt.

690 18 Feb. 1581/2 N.B Shirley, Derbyshire
Lease from Geo.Shirley of Staunton Harold, esq., to William Greye of Danebury (Essex) esq., and Jane his wife of the capital messuage of Shirley, Shirley Park and Shirley mill and the miller's house, to be held for 21 years (timber reserved).

694 28 Sept. 1582
Quitclaim from Richard Nanfan of London, gent., to George Shirley of the provisions in an indenture of 29 June 1582 and of all other claims to the manors of Astwell and Falcutt and to the messuages, lands etc., of the same.

695 2 October 1582
Bargain and sale from Richard Nanfan of London gent., William Graye of Shirley, Derbs., esq., to George Shirley of Staunton Harold esq., in consid: of a certain sum of money, of the manors of Astwell and Falcutt with all lands, tenements and hereditaments belonging to the same Nanfan and Greye. Endorsement re enrolment on Close Roll.

700 14 Jan. 1582/3
George Shirley to Francis Beaumont and Henry Beaumont, Covenant that George Shirley shall be seized of all the manors of Astwell and Falcutt for life, and after his death such person(s) as he shall devise it to by will or other writing, then to his first son and his heirs and then to 2nd son and his hairs and then to his 3rd son and his heirs, then to heirs male of George Shirley and then to heirs male of deceased (George's father). Proviso that if George Shirley pay Francis and Henry Beaumont 10s at any time during his lifetime, in the hall of his mansion house, then this indenture shall be void. Consid: brotherly love and affection, property to continue in Shirley family, payment of debts and legacies of George Shirley, after his decease.

701 21 April 1584
Attested copy of a lease from Thomas Lovett of Astwell esq., to Geo. Shirley of Staunton Harold esq., his grandson, in consideration of natural love and affection, of the manors of Astwell and Falcutt, with all lands, tenements, etc., including Astwell Park, except those already leased to John Willard and William Savage and except all lands, tithes, etc., lately purchased from Sir George Peckham; to be held for 99 years at annual rent of £80.

702 21 April 1584
Revocation by Thomas Lovett of Astwell of a lease of the manors of Astwell and Falcutt made to George Shirley of Staunton Harold, esq., of 25 March 1581/2, according to the terms of the original lease, on the tender of 20s.

703 21 April 1584
Lease from Thomas Lovett of Astwell esq., to George Shirley of Staunton Harold esq., his grandson, in consideration of natural love and affection of the manors of Astwell and Falcutt, and Astwell Park, excepting the messuages, lands. etc., leased to John and Isabel Willarde and to William Savage and excepting the lands recently purchased of Sir George Peckham bart., and Mary his wife; to be held for 99 years at annual rent of £80.

704 23 April 1584
Counterpart lease from George Shirley of Staunton Harold, esq., to John Willard alias Wilette of Falcutt yeoman, Isabel his wife, and George Gyfford of Astwell, gent, of the manors of Astwell and Falcutt, except Astwell Park and certain other property already leased to John Willarde; to be held from the death of Thomas Lovette of Astwell esq., for 6 months at a perppercorn rent.

706 19 Sept. 1590
Grant by Geo. Shirley of Staunton Harold, esq., to Thomas Poole of Ednaston (Derbys.,) his servant, of an annuity of £50 from a messuage in Falcutt and Astwell in the tenure of William Warde. Proviso that if George Shirley shall tender Thomas Poole 10s during the next 5 years at Staunton Harold manor house, the grant shall be void.

707 26 April 1592
Release by Thomas Leeson of Frankton (Warks.,) gent., and Humphry Agarde of Long Whatton (Leics.,) yeoman to Geo. Shirley of Staunton Harold esq., of: any right they may in virtue of lease(s) have to a messuage called Falcutt lodge and part of 'Wormeshill', all in Falcutt in the ternure of John Willet.

708 31 April 1592
Lease from Geo. Shirley of Staunton Harold, esq., to Thomas Leeson of Frankton (Warks.,) of a messuage in Falcutt in the tenure of John Willett and another messuage called Falcutt Lodge in tenure of same, to- gether with that part of Wormshill in tenure of same, and 1 close adjoining Falcutt Lodge, all in Falcutt, to be held for 3 years at annual rent of £3.

709 Trinity term 1592
Sir Geo. Shirley's plea versus William Warde for damage to property in Falcutt..

710 24 Nov. 1593
Assignment from Michael Harcourte of Leckhamstead (Bucks.,) to Geo. Shirley of Astwell, esq., in consid: of 100 marks, of the residue of 60 years lease of 2 messuages in Falcutt, one called Falcutt Lodge, part of Wormeshill and a close, all in Falcutt, formerly leased by Thomas Lovet of Astwell, esq., to John Willard, sen., and Isabel his wife, and assigned by them to Harcourte.

711 29.Feb. 1585/6
Counterpart lease from Geo.Shirley of Staunton Harold, esq., to Robert Warren of Falcutt husbandman and Henry Warren, his son, of a messuage in Falcutt, 4 yardlands and 3 closes (named); the Lodge and its orchard being reserved to Shirley and certain enclosed lands and timber also reserved. Lease for term of 21 years at annual rent of 46s 8d.

713 19 April 1596
Indictment of Robert Polton of Wood Burcote (Northants.) labourer for perjury as a witness in the case between Michael Harcourte esq., and Geo. Shirley esq., when he gave false evidence re common rights in Astwell Park.

714 N.d c.1596-1617
Bill of complaint in Chancery of George Shirley of Staunton Harold, esq., versus Sir William Spenser and William Lancaster re common rights in a piece of land near Crowfield and adjoining 'Wythie Fielde' in Astwell with Falcutt.

716 N.d. Late 16th or early 17th cent.
Jury list for George Shirley esq., versus William Lancaster for trespass, in Astwell with Falcutt.

717 N.d. late 16th or early 17th cent.
Interrogatories in case Shirley versus Spencer. (See also last 3 items, above.)

719 N.d. post June 1597
Sir George Shirley's bill in Star Chamber against witnesses for perjury in the case about common rights in Crowfield, in Astwell.

721 N.d. Late 16th, early 17th cent.
The demurer of Thomas Howse and others to the bill of complaint of George Shirley esq., accusing them of perjury in the trial between Lawned and Eagers. Common rights in Astwell involved.

722 N.D. Early 17th cent.
The Solicitor General's report following the demurrer of Thomas Howse and others to the bill of complaint of Geo. Shirley charging the defendant with perjury re the prescription of a common then in dispute. He advises that they should not be proceeded against.

723 N.d. Early 17th cent.
Interrogatories to be administered on behalf of George Shirley esq., versus Thomas Howse and others, re common rights reputed to belong to Radstone manor in Crowfield. (Astwell with Falcutt area) See also No. 724, below, for map.

728 N.d. Late l6th early 17th cent.
Interrogatories to be administered on behalf of George Shirley versus Thomas Howse and others, re common rights in Crowfield reputed to belong to Radstone manor.

731 1598 Hilary term.
Brief in George Shirley esq., versus William Lancaster re pasture rights in Crowfield.

735 23 Aug. 1598
Counterpart agreement betw. Geo. Shirley of Staunton Harold and: Sir Henry Poole of Sapperton (Gloucs.,) Sir Christopher Litcote of Basildon (Berks.,) , Giles Wroughton of Broad Hinton (Wilts.,) and Ralph Gibbes of Himington (Warks.,) esqs., in consideration of a marriage between Geo. Shirley and Lady Dorothy Unton Widow of Henry Unton, bart., that: 1. Geo. Shirley will levy a fine to Sir Henry Poole etc., of the manors of Astwell and Falcutt, and 7 messuages, 7 tofts, 3 mills, 1 dovecote, 14 gardens, 200 acres of land, 140 acres of meadow, 500 acres of pasture, 200 acres of wood, 300 acres of heath and furze, 10 acres of moor, 10 acres of marsh and fishing and £10 rents in the same, and shall recognise that they belong to them and warrant the same. 2. The property is to be held to the use of Geo. Shirley and Lady Dorothy Unton, then to their heirs male, then to their daughters to provide dowries of £1,500, then to the heirs male of Geo. Shirley, and then to the right heirs of Geo. Shirley.

736 2. Sept. 1598
Licence from the Crown to Geo. Shirley esq., to alienate the manors of Astwell and Falcutt and all the messuages, lands, etc., as enumerated in no. 735, see above, in Astwell, Falcutt, Wappenham and Syresham, to Henry Poole, knight, Christopher Ludcote, kt., Giles Wroughton, esq., and Ralph Gibbes esq., to be held to the use of George Shirley and Dorothy Unton, with detailed provision for succession. Consid: £8 6s. 8d. Great Seal.

741 6 Oct. 1598
Final concord between Henry Poole kt., Christopher Ludcott, kt., Giles Wroughton esq., and Ralph Gibbs esq., and: Geo. Shirley esq., whereby George recognises the right of the first mentioned parties to the manors of Astwell and Falcutt and all messuages, lands, etc., as enumerated in no.735 and above, in Astwell and Falcutt, Wappenham and Syresham, and warrants them in the same. Consid; £500

743 7 March 1598/99
Quitclaim from Edward Dorne of Silverstone, gent., to Geo. Shirley of Astwell, of all claim to common rights in Astwell Park.

745 23 May 1600
Counterpart lease from Geo. Shirley of Astwell and Dame Dorothy Unton his wife, to Henry Clifford of same, gent., of a messuage in which Richard Scales lives, in Falcutt, and 2½ yardlands in same, and 3 closes (described) in same, to be held for 21 years at annual rent of 33s. 4d, owing heriot of best beast.

746 1 June 1600
Counterpart lease from Geo. Shirley of Astwell esq., and Dame Dorothy Unton his wife, to Thomas Gymes of Falcutt servant to the same, of a messuage in which he lives in Falcutt, for 21 years if he so long live with residue to his wife as long as unmarried, at annual rent of 40s, owing heriot of best beast, with proviso that he shall serve Shirley as gardener.

747 15 Oct.. 1601
Counterpart lease: George Shirley of Staunton Harold esq., and Dame Dorothy Unton his wife to Thomas Guyse of Falcutt yeoman of a pasture ground in Falcutt called 'Wormeshill' (except wood, etc.,) for 19 years at annual rent of £9.

748 4 Dec. 1603
Counterpart lease: Robert Earl Ferrers of Staunton Harold to Thos. Burnell of Falcutt of a messuage and 2 yardlands on Falcutt in tenure of same, for 20 years. Annual rent: £15

749 N.d. c. 1603 - 1617
George Shirley of Staunton Harold, esq., 's bill in Chancery against Sir Wm Spencer for encroachments on a piece of land adjoining Wythyfield and near Crow- field (in Astwell) through his tenant William Lancaster and for claims on a piece of ground called 'Freebord'

752 N.d. Late l6th early 17th cent.
List of jurors in case between Roger Lawnde and George Shirley. Also a small rough note re case.

753 10 July 1611
Counterpart lease: Sir Geo. Shirley bart., of Staunton Harold to Thomas Gwyes of Falcutt yeoman of a piece of ground called 'New Parke' wtih the ley belonging to it, to be held for 21 years at annual rent of £6 which is to be received by the Constable or Thirdburrowe for certain uses.

754 20 Feb. 1611/12
Lease from Sir George Shirley bart., of Staunton Harold and Lady Dorothy his wife to Henry Warren of Falcutt, husbandman, in consideration of £100, of a messuage in Falcutt, 4 yardlands and 3 closes (named) in the same, in the tenure of the said Henry (timber only excepted) for 21 years at annual rent of 46s. 8d.

755 7 Jan. 1613/14
Counterpart lease: Sir Geo. Shirley of Astwell and Dame Dorothy Unton his wife to: Thomas Gymes of Falcutt yeoman, servant to the same, of a messuage with appurts., in Falcutt in which he now lives, for term of 21 years (if he dies it is to pass to his wife Margaret for as long as she remains unmarried) at annual rent of 402., provided that he continues to serve as gardener. Heriot of best beast owed.

756 3 Dec. 1616
Counterpart lease: Sir Geo. Shirley of Staunton H., to Geo. Browne of Astwell of a close called 'Drye Feilde' in Falcutt and common for 80 sheep in 'Crowfeild' all late in occupation of Thomas Gwyes of Falcutt (wood and underwood reserved) at annual rent of 6 quarters of corn and £5, to be held for 10 years.

757 1 June 1621
Counterpart lease. From Sir George Shirley of Staunton H., esq., and Dame Dorothy his wife, to Henry Clifford of Astwell Park, gent., Of a pasture ground called 'Upper Ground' and a meadow called 'The Pooles' in Astwell, in the tenure of the same, for 7 years Annual rent: £44
759 1 June 1658
Counterpart lease: Dame Katherine Shirley of Astwell, widow, to John Clifford of same gent., of a yardland in Wappenham in the occupation of the same, and the closes called 'Butchers Close' 'Ox Close' and the two 'Putfords', all in Astwell, for 60 years. . Annual rent: £47

760 22 Nov. 1658
Counterpart lease: Dame Katherine Shirley of Astwell to Thomas Pomfrett jun., of Falcutt, yeoman, of a messuage in Falcutt in the tenure of the same, and various fields (specified) to be held for 60 years, (if Dame Katherine lives so long) Annual rent: £163

761 28 March 1660
Lease: Dame Katherine Shirley, widow of Sir Robert Shirley, to Edward Gardnor of Wappenham, of 3 water- mills in Astwell with 2 closes, and a windmill in Wappenham, for 21 years. Annual rent: £27 Attached is short inventory of implements.

762 1 April 1668
Counterpart lease: Dame Katherine Shirley of Astwell to Edward Paradine of Slapton, miller, of 2 water- mills in Astwell with apppurts;., and 2 closes belonging thereto, and 1 windmill in Wappenham field with appurts;, for 21 years (if Dame Katherine shall live so long) at annual rent of £27. Attached is an inventory of implements.

763 1 April 1668
Counterpart lease: Dame Katherine Shirley of Astwell to Robert Berrie sen., of Falcutt yeoman of 3 closes, called 'Stonnie Clapper' 'High Filed' and 'Humor' in Astwell and the great barn near Astwell house and the adjoining yard and the sheep common belonging to Astwell house, to be held for 40 years, if Dame Katherine live so long, at annual rent of £30 for 1st year and £62 thereafter.
764 1 April 1669
Lease: John Clifford of Astwell Park to Newman Williatt senr., of Biddlesden (Bucks.,) yeoman and Hugh his son, in consideration of £145, of all right concerning the depasturing, keeping of cows and horses etc., in Astwell Park, in particular to pasturing of 9 cows, 1 bull and 2 horses therein and all fees connected therewith, to be held for 50 years, owing annual rent of £3 6s. 8d. to Dame Katherine Shirley of Astwell.

765 1 Feb. 1668/70
Counterpart lease: Lady Katherine Shirley of Astwell widow to Newman Willett of Biddlesdon (Bucks.,) gent, of: Astwell Park (with certain reservations) for 6 years, if Lady Katherine lives so long, at annual rent of £100, 2 bucks, 2 does and 2 fawns.

766 26 Dec. 1671
Lease. Sir Robert Shirley of Staunton Harold, bart., to Sir Joseph Sheldon of London kt., and William Pargiter of Greatworth (Northants.,) esq., of manors of Astwell and Falcutt and all other lands adjoining in Astwell, Falcutt, Wappenham and Syresham, (Northants.,) the manors of Staunton Harold, Ragdale, Ratcliffe, Sileby and Willowes, and lands and property in the above and in Thrussington (Leics.,) and manors of Shirley, Brailsford and Ednaston with lands and property in Ettington, Oxhill, Fulready and Whatcote, (Warks.,) and the manor of Sutton Bonington with all lands and property there (Notts.,) for term of 1 year. Consid: 5s. Peppercorn rent.

767 1 May 1673
Counterpart lease: Sir Robert Shirley of Staunton Harold, bart., to Anthony Buckingham of St. Andrew's mill in Kingsthorpe miller, of two mills in Astwell called Lowes mill and Margaret's mill, with their appurts., and 2 closes, and 1 windmill in Wappenham with appurts., for term of 11 years at annual rent of £27. Attached is inventory of implements.

768 1 May 1673
Counterpart lease: Sir Robert Shirley of Astwell to Thomas Pomfrett of Falcutt yeoman of a messuage in Falcutt in which he lives and various (specified) lands, for 21 years at annual rent of £159 for first year, £177 for second year and £219 thereafter.

769 18 July 1673
Lease: Sir Robert Shirley of Astwell to Henry Saunders of Falcutt yeoman of a messuage and various lands (specified) in Astwell and Falcutt for 21 years at annual rent of £101.

770 19 July 1673
Counterpart lease: Sir Robert Shirley of Staunton Harold to Numan Williat of Biddlesdon (Bucks.,) gent., and Numan Williatt jun., his son, of: Astwell Park (with certain reservations), to be held for 21 years at annual rent of £100 and 2 bucks, 2 does, and 2 fawns.

771 24 June 1674
Counterpart lease: Sir Robert Shirley of Staunton Harold bart., to Joseph King of Falcutt, yeoman, of a messuage in Falcutt in the occupation of Robert Bury with various lands and closes (specified), to be held for 10 years. Annual rent of £160 for 1st year, £200 for 2nd and 3rd years, and £220 for subsequent years.

772 1 May 1677
Lease: Sir Robert Shirley of Staunton Harold, to: Thomas Pomfrett of Falcutt, gent., of 'Oxe Close' in Astwell and a yardland in Wappenham in the common field in the tenure of John Clifford, with all appurts;, to be held for 17 years at annual rent of £13.

773 1 May 1677
Lease from Sir Robert Shirley of Staunton Harold to Thomas Pomfrett of Facutt gent., of a close called 'Oxe Close' in Astwell and 1 yardland of ground in Wappenham with their apppurts., for 17 years at annual rent of £13.

774 11 May 1677
Lease: Sir Robt.Shirley of Staunton H., to John Whitton of Helmdon husbandman of: a messuage in Falcutt in the occupation of Henry Saunders and 2 yardlands belonging to the same, and closes called 'Hewmore' and 'Five Acres' and common rights in 'Crowfield', all in the same, for 10 years, at an annual rent of £54.

775 11 May 1677
Counterpart lease: Sir Robt. Shirley of Staunton H., to Richard Clarke of Hemdon husbandman of: the closes called 'Seaven Acres' and' Wythyfeild' and another little close, for 10 years at annual rent of £25.
776 13 Nov. 1679
Receipt from William Roberts, Receiver, to Hon. Robert Lord Ferrers for 22s. 10d rent due to the king for Astwell manor

777a. 1 May 1684
Counterpart lease: Robert Lord Ferrers of Staunton Harold to Anthony Buckingham of Astwell, miller, of: 2 watermills in Astwell with their apppurts., and 2 closes belonging thereto, and 1 windmill in Wappenham with appurts., for 11 years at annual rent of £27. Attached is an inventory of implements.

777b. 1 May 1684
Bond in £100 of Anthony Buckingham of Astwell, miller, John Coleman of Greens Norton (Northants.,) miller, and Martin Haycocke of Weedon Lois (N'hants.,), miller, to: Robert Lord Ferrers of Staunton Harold to observe the conditions of an indenture of even date. (see above, no 777.a.)

778 7 June 1684
Counterpart lease: Robert Lord Ferrers of Staunton Harold to: Daniel Whitton of Helmdon, yeoman, of: Helmdon Close and the Long Meadow in Falcutt, for 7 years at annual rent of £43.

779 7 June 1684
Counterpart lease: Robert Ferrers of Staunton Harold to Edward Herriott of Helmdon, yeoman, of: Helmdon Close' and 'Broad Meadow' in Falcutt, of 7 years at annual rent of £64.

780 June 1684
Counterpart lease: Robert Ferrers of Staunton H., to John Blood of Astwell yeoman of: a messuage in Falcutt in tenure of Joseph King and various specified fields, to be held for 7 years, at annual rent of £79.

781 7 June 1684
Counterpart lease: Robert Lord Ferrers of Staunton H., to Richard Pettefer of Helmdon, yeoman, of: 'Church Leyes' 'Chappell Closes' and 'Eaneing Closes' in Falcutt, for 7 years at annual rent of £34.

782 25 Feb. 1692
Counterpart lease: Robert Lord Ferrers of Staunton H., to Richard Cockerill of Wappenham butcher, of 'Brookfeild' 'Pullfords' and 'Officers' closes, all in Astwell, and late in tenure of John Blood, for 21 years at annual rent of £40.

783 25 Feb. 1692/3
Lease: Robert Lord Ferrers to John Buswell of Astwell miller, of 2 watermills in Astwell with appurts., and 2 closes belonging thereto, with certain rights in the 'Old Brooke' and one windmill with appurts., in Wappenham for 21 years, at annual rent of £27. Attached is an inventory of implements.

784 25 Feb. 1692/3
Lease: Robert Lord Ferrers of Staunton H. to John Jennings of Astwell yeoman, of a messuage called Astwell House with 'Bowling Leys' the 'Oate Close' and ' Connygreane Close' all in Astwell, for 21 years, at annual rent of £69.
788 2 Nov. 1693
Counterpart lease: Robert Lord Ferrers of Staunton H., to John Jennings Astwell, yeoman, of 'Stony Clappers' 'Hughmoor' 'Bushy Ground' 'Highfeild' and 'Abbots Meadow', all in or nearAstwell and in the tenure of Thomas Pomfrett. For 20 years at annual rent of £103.

789 4 Dec. 1693
Lease: Hon . Robert Lord Ferrars of Staunton H., to Thomas Burnell and James Baileys of Falcutt, yeoman, of the closes called ;'Wythyfeild', 'Great Seven Acres', and 'Little Seven Acres', in Falcutt for 20 years, at annual rent of £26.

790 4 Dec. 1693
Counterpart lease: Robert Lord Ferrers of Stasunton H., to William Whitten of Falcutt, yeoman of a messuage in Falcutt now in the tenure of Thomas Pomfret and a cottage in Falcutt in the tenure of Elisabeth Pomfrett and various (specified) closes, for 20 years at an annual rent of £136.

791 4 Dec. 1693
Counterpart lease: Robert Lord Ferrers of Staunton H., to John Blood of Falcutt yeoman of a messuage, 2 yardlands and 'Dryfeild, ' Hughmoor', 'Hughmoor Meadow', 'Five Acres', fields all in and around Falcutt, in the tenure of William Whitten, for 20 years at annual rent of £54.

792 4 Dec. 1693
Lease from Robert Lord Ferrers of Staunton H., to Thos. Burnell of Falcutt, of a messuage, 2 yardlands in Falcutt, in the tenure of the same, for 20 years, at annual rent of £15.
796 2 June 1695
Counterpart lease: Hon. Robert Shirley of Chartley to Thomas Paine of Syresham, husbandman, of 'Kenbles Corner' (a close) in Astwell Park, for 20 years at annual rent of £18.

797 2 June 1695
Lease: Hon. Robert Shirley of Chartley, etc., to Henry Flowers of Syresham, yeoman, of 'Barecoppice Close' in Astwell Park for 20 years at annual rent of £15.

798 2 June 1695
Counterpart lease: Hon. Robert Shirley of Chartley, Staffs., esq., to William Baileys of Falcutt yeoman of 'Padockes Close' in Astwell Park with a cottage standing thereon, for 20 years at annual rent of £30.

799 June 1695
Bond in £100 of William Baileys of Falcutt to Hon., Robert Shirley of Chartley to observe covenants of an indenture of even date.

800 2 June 1695
Counterpart lease from Hon. Robert Shirley of Chartley, esq., to Abraham Perkins of Astwell, labourer, of 'Ram' close in Astwell with a cottage thereon, for 20 years at annual rent of £10.
802 a & b 10 and 11 June 1715
Conveyance by means of lease and release from: Washington Shirley esq., called Viscount Tamworth, to: Richard Levenige of Parwick (Derbys.,) esq., and John Coates of Woodcote (Salop.) esq., in consideration of affection for his wife and children and of 5s received from Levenige and Coates, of the manors of Astwell and Falcutt and all lands, tenements (including the mansion house) in Astwell, Falcutt, Wappenham and Syresham to be held on trust to the following uses: To Washington Shirley himself for life, and then for the next 500 years to the son(s) of Washington and Mary his wife and their heirs male, all in seniority, then to the brothers of Washington and their heirs male, also in seniority, with reversion to the right heirs of Robert Earl Ferrers, with the limitation that if Mary Shirley survives Washington she is to occupy Astwell mansion house, rent free while remaining unmarried and to receive an annuity of £600 (provision also made for a future wife if Mary predeceases him.). The trustees may dispose of the property by means of lease, sale and mortgage to raise sum(s) not exceeding £20,000 to the following uses: Sum(s) not exceeding £6000 to Washington himself: sum(s) not exceeding £12,000 as portions for younger children, a sum of £2,.000 to Mary on widowhood. If Mary and her children predecease Washington, the sums of £12,000 and £2,000 are payable to him.
804 4 March 1722/23
Attested copy of a mortgage in £4,000 and 5% interest from Washington Earl Ferrers to Amy Castleton widow of Nathaniel Castleton, secured on Astwell and Falcutt manors.

805 3 June 1728
Copy of deed of Washington Earl Ferrers to Theophilus Earl of Huntingdon for securing the further sum of £5000, part of the marriage portion of Selina Shirley concerning the third part of estates in Derby, Leics., Northants., Notts., and Warwicks.,
809 & 810 a 5 March 1739/40
Counterpart of assignment by way of mortgage from Viscount Kilmorey and Mary his wife (one of dau. of Washington Earl Ferrers) with consent of Lawrence Shirley the elder of Staunton Harold, to Christian Fred., Zincke of Covent Garden, of sum of £5000 due to them and charged upon estate in Leics., Derby., Warks., Notts., and N'hants.,; to secure £5000. Same date. Deed of covenant of Lawrence Shirley to Zincke for the payment of £5000 in same indenture upon certain dates. Endorsed: "1"
811 & 812 18 Dec. 1740
Assignment by Jos. Gascoigne Nightingale, by direction of Lawrence Shirley, to Christian Fred. Zincke of sum of £2251 10s 6d - remainder of £5000 charged upon the estates in Derby., Leics., Warks., Notts., and N'hants., to secure to Theophilus, Earl of Huntingdon, a like sum. 18 Dec. 1740 Covenant by Lawrence Shirley to Zincke for the repayment of the mortgage sum from the manors comcerned. Endorsed "7".

813 18 Dec. 1740
Counterpart deed of covenant of Lawrence Shirley to Christian Fred. Zincke for repayment of £2251 10s 6d advanced to Theophilus Earl of Huntingdon upon mortgage of similar sum, being part of £5000 due to Lady Eliz. Nightingale and charged on Ferrers estates in Leics., Derbys., Warks., Notts;, and Northants.,

814 18 Dec. 1740
Counterpart of assignment by way of mortgage from Jos. Gascoigne Nightingale, with consent of Lawrence Shirley, to Christian Fred. Zincke of £2251 10s. 6d. being remainder of £5000 charged upon estates in Leics., Derbys., Warks., Notts., and Northants., and due to Lady Eliz. Nightingale, to secure to Theophilus Earl of Huntingdon the sum of £2251 10s. 6d.
816 21 Nov. 1745
Lease: Lawrence Earl Ferrers to Richard Phillips of New Inn (Middlesex) in consideration of 5s. of the manors of Astwell and Falcutt with all lands, messuages etc., etc., to be held for 1 year, at a peppercorn rent.

817 22 Nov. 1745
Attested copy of a deed to lead the uses of a recovery, whereby Lawrence, Earl Ferrers grants the manors of Astwell and Falcutt with all lands, messuages, etc., to Richard Phillips of New Inn gent., to the intent that they may be recovered to George Sherwood of New Inn gent., to the use of the said Earl.
819 19 Jun. 1749/50
Attested copy of a lease from Lawrence Earl Ferrers to John Dashwood King of Halton (Bucks.,) esq., and James Winstanley of Braunstone (Leics.,) esq., in consideration of 5s, of the manors of Astwell and Falcutt and all other manors, lands, tenements, etc., in Astwell, Falcutt, Wappenham and Syresham, to be held for 1 year at a peppercorn rent.

820 20 Jan 1749/50
Attested copy of a deed of trust for Astwell and Falcutt manors, subsequent to a Chancery award about the property and previous mortgages and trusts, securing them to Lawrence, Earl Ferrers and his descendants through John Dashwood King and James Winstanley as trustees.

821 22 Jan. 1749/50
Attested copy of lease for a year from Laurence Earl Ferrers to Thomas Goostrey of Westminster, gent., in consideration of 5s, of the manors of Astwell and Falcutt with all messuages, lands, etc., in Astwell, Falcutt, Wappenham and Syresham.

822 23 Jan. 1749/50
Attested copy of a deed to lead the uses of a recovery whereby Laurence Earl Ferrers grants to Thomas Goostrey of Westminster, gent., the manors of Astwell and Falcutt, with all lands, messuages, etc., to the intent that they may be recovered to Richard Balshaw of Westminster to the use of the said Earl.
824 17 April 1760
Counterpart mortgage (by means of release) in £1548 and interest by Frederick Campbell of the Middle Temple and Theophilus Meredith of St. Margaret's Westminster (appointed trustees by Parliament for the raising of money to cover the expenses of the separation of Mary Countess Ferrers from the Earl, her husband) on a 500 lease of the manor of Astwell and Falcutt and messuages, lands and tenaments in Wappenham and Syresham, to Samuel Wright of Knutsford
825 23 April 1750
Declaration by Charlotte Digby of trust in mortgaged estates of Earl Ferrers in Northants., according to Chancery order of 16 Jan. last: to hold same after payment of £4000 to Amy Castleton, in trust for Earl Ferrers to raise £6000.

826 16 May 1750
Declaration of trust by Christian Fred. Zincke to Laurence, Earl Ferrers to hold manors in Northants., security for mortgage loan of £2251 10s. 6d. after payment of same, in trust, according to terms of Chancery of 16 Jan. last.

827 31 May 1763
Counterpart mortgage in £4,000 and interest from Washington, Earl Ferrers Viscount Tamworth to Edward Holden Cruttenden of Middlesex, esq., on a 500 year lease of Astwell and Falcutt manors with lands, messuage, etc., therein, paying a peppercorn rent

828 26 Aug. 1763
Counterpart mortgage by way of release in £14,000 and interest from Washington Earl Ferrers, Viscount Tamworth to Edward Holden Cruttenden of Middlesex esq., of the manor of Astwell and Falcutt, with lands and messuages etc., (specified) in the same.

829 29 Sept. 1764
Counterpart mortgage in £3000 and interest from Washington, Earl Ferrers, to John Stevenson of London, warehouseman, on the manors of Astwell and Falcutt with certain lands, messuages, etc., (specified).

830 21 Feb. 1767
Mortgage (by means of release) from Washington, Earl Ferrers to Thomas Parker of the Inner Temple in £2807 at 5% interest, on the manors of Astwell and Falcutt and all manors, messuages, lands etc., in Wappenham and elsewhere in Northants.,

831 1767
Unexecuted lease from Washington, Earl Ferrers to Rev. Porter Bringloe of the manors of Astwell and Falcutt with all lands and appurts., to be held for one year at a peppercorn rent. Consid: 5s.

832 1767
Unexecuted mortgage, by way of release, in £500 and interest, from Washington, Earl Ferrers to Rev. Porter Bringloe, on the manors of Astwell and Falcutt.

833 14 March 1768
Bill of complaint of John Stevenson of London, warehouseman, in Chancery, versus Washington, Earl Ferrers, re a mortgage on manors of Astwell and Falcutt.
834 9 Nov. 1770
Counterpart lease: Washington, Earl Ferrers to Wm. Brown of Spratton (N'hants.,) yeoman of Astwell Park House, with various (specified) closes for 7 years, at an annual rent of £259 12s. 11½d.

835 5 March 1774
Counterpart mortgage in £9,384 and interest from Washington, Earl Ferrers to John Webster of Derby, gent., on a 2,000 year lease of the manors of Astwell and Falcutt with specified lands and messuages in Wappenham and Syresham, held at peppercorn rent.

836 29 Dec. (year not given, probably late 17th cent.)
Lease from Robert Lord Ferrers of Staunton Harold,, guardian to Hon. Robert Shirley an infant, to James Baylis of Falcutt, of 'Wormshill' close and 'Wormshill' meadow, both in Falcutt, for 6 years, at annual rent of £25.

   


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