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Tamworth Castle

In 1423, the Castle passed to Sir Thomas Ferrers. He was a descendant of Henry de Ferrers, who came to England with the Conqueror. From the Ferrers' the Castle passed by marriage to the Shirleys of Chartley in 1688, and by marriage to the Comptons, Earls of Northampton in 1715 and by marriage to the Townshends in 1751.  


Lords of Tamworth

The following summarizes the way in which the castle descended from the first lord to its acquisition by Tamworth Corporation in 1897. From the main Tamworth Castle website

c.1070: Robert le Dispensator, (Marmion?) to whom the Conqueror gave the site of the castle, and adjoining lands. The date of his death is uncertain, but is believed to have taken place at the beginning of the twelfth century.

c.1101: Sir Roger Marmion. He entertained King Henry I at the castle.

1129: Sir Robert Marmion, son of Sir Roger. He is believed to have entertained Henry I; reinstated at Polesworth the nuns who had been expelled from Tamworth by the first lord; slain at Coventry.

1143: Sir Robert Marmion, son of Sir Robert. Received Henry II and Thomas à Beckett at the castle; spent much of his time in Normandy, and died there.

1185: Sir Robert Marmion, son of the previous Sir Robert. He was a renowned student of the law and was one of the itinerant justices appointed by Henry II in 1176, serving in this capacity in the Midland counties for many years. Having joined the barons in the struggle against King John, the latter ordered the destruction of the castle, but met with such resistance that the order was not carried out.

1217: Sir Robert Marmion, son of the previous Sir Robert. His brother was also called Sir Robert. "Sir Robert the Younger" held the castle for a time while "Sir Robert the Elder" was abroad.

1241: Sir Philip Marmion, son of Sir Robert the Elder. He entertained Henry III at the castle, and was sometime sheriff of Warwick and Leicester. He received grants of the two parts of the borough in 1266, and in exercising this proprietorship he antagonised the burgesses, by encroaching on the market place to extend his grounds and by attempting to deprive them of their rights to elect the town bailiffs; founded the Hospital of St. James in Ashby Road. He was the last of the male line of the Marmions.

1291: Joan Mortein, eldest daughter of Sir Philip.

1294: Sir Alexander Freville, husband of Jane Cromwell who was the niece of Joan Mortein and grand-daughter of Sir Philip. Sir Alexander and his wife assigned the castle to their son Baldwin in 1323 on the condition that they were to be allowed to live in it for the rest of their lives. In 1327 he performed the office of Royal Champion at the coronation of Edward III.

1328: Jane Freville, widow of Sir Alexander.

1340: Sir Baldwin Freville, son of Sir Alexander. He held the Warwickshire part of Tamworth by grant from Edward II from 1317 to 1319, when the King granted it to the burgesses.

1343: Sir Baldwin Freville, son of the previous Sir Baldwin. In 1348 he quarrelled with the burgesses, who besieged him in his castle and cut off all supplies of food for some time. He fought in wars with France, where he died, having spent his later years there.

1375: Sir Baldwin Freville, son of the previous Sir Baldwin. He lost his claim to act as Royal Champion at the coronation of Richard II in 1377, when it was adjudged that the right was attached to the manor of Scrivelsby in Lincolnshire, an estate which had descended through the Marmion family.

1387: Sir Baldwin Freville, son of the previous Sir Baldwin.

1400: Sir Baldwin Freville, son of the previous Sir Baldwin. He was only two years old when his father died. He himself died unmarried.

1418: Elizabeth and Margaret Freville, as sisters and co-heiresses of the last Sir Baldwin.

1423: Thomas Ferrers, husband of Elizabeth Freville, to whom the castle was assigned upon a partition of the estates of Sir Baldwin; heiresses automatically transferred their rights to their husbands. He made Tamworth Caste his principal residence.

1458: Sir Thomas Ferrers, son of Thomas Ferrers. He was knighted in 1461. Buried in Tamworth Church. His son John predeceased him.

1498: Sir John Ferrers, grandson of Sir Thomas. He was High Steward of Tamworth. Buried in Tamworth Church.

1512: Sir Humphrey Ferrers, son of Sir John. He also was High Steward. It was during his time that Leland, the historian and surveyor to Henry VIII, visited Tamworth and recorded of the Castle:- "the base court and great ward of the castle is cleane decayed, and the wall fallen down, and therein be now but houses of office, of noe notable buildings," referring to the buildings below the mound, and adding "the Dungeon Hill yet standeth, and a great round tower of stone wherein Mr Ferrers dwelleth, and now repaireth it. "Sir Humphrey spent the later years of his life at his manor of Walton-on-Trent.

1554: John Ferrers. He was High Steward of Tamworth.

1576: Sir Humphrey Ferrers, son of John Ferrers. He was High Steward of Tamworth until the Earl of Essex was appointed to that office by the charter of 1588. He lived alternately at Tamworth and Walton-on-Trent.

1607-8: (1) Sir John Ferrers, son of Sir Humphrey. He was knighted in 1603. MP for Tamworth; entertained King James I at the Castle, which he repaired and altered, although he spent much of his life at Walton-on-Trent. Buried in Tamworth Church.

1633: Sir Humphrey Ferrers, son of Sir John. He was knighted in 1617. He lived to own the castle for a few months only, although he had resided in it for some time while his father lived at Walton-on-Trent.

1633: John Ferrers, son of Sir Humphrey. In 1642 the castle was occupied by the Royalists in the Civil War, but it surrendered to Cromwell's forces in the following year.

1680: Anne Ferrers, grand-daughter of John Ferrers. She succeeded to the castle as her father had been accidentally drowned in the Trent two years previously.

1688: Robert Shirley, by his marriage to Anne Ferrers.

1697-8: (1) Robert Shirley, son of Anne Ferrers. Died unmarried.

1714: Elizabeth Shirley, sister of Robert Shirley and daughter of Anne Ferrers.

1714-15: (1) James Compton, 5th Earl of Northampton, by marriage to Elizabeth Shirley.

1754: George Townshend, by marriage to Lady Charlotte Compton, daughter of the 5th Earl of Northampton. He was created Marquis Townshend in 1786.

1807: George Townshend, 2nd Marquis Townshend, son of the 1st Marquis. Who restored and made major alterations to the Castle.

1811: George Townshend, 3rd Marquis Townshend, son of the 2nd Marquis who rejected his eldest son as heir and, after his death, the ownership of the Castle was contested.

and so forth...



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