THE DESCENT OF THE MANORS

The succession of the manors of Corhampton is exceedingly complicated. There were at various times no less than five: the main manor of Corhampton, the sub-manor of Corhampton, Preshaw, Lomer and Lomer Turville. A great many of the holders died without issue; several times the succession passed through daughters and new families came in: and there were some violent deaths. But few of the holders were local people and the frequent changes would have had little effect on the life of the village.

Details can be found in the Victoria County History. A summary will be sufficient here.

THE MAIN MANOR OF CORHAMPTON

In the reign of Edward the Confessor this was held by Alwin, but by the time of the Domesday survey it had passed into the hands of Hugh de Port and it remained with his descendants the St. Johns as late, at least, as the fifteenth century. They held a large number of manors as overlords, including Warnford, but settled the manors tm various other people. There was Geoffrey in the twelfth century and Adam de Corhampton in the thirteenth, who was liable to the St. Johns for two knights’ fees. His heir was Nicholas de Corhampton who split the manor, granting one third to his nephew Adam, and soon afterwards the remaining two thirds passed to William de Clare. brother of Richard Earl of Gloucester and Hertford. In 1256 he acquired the mill and various lands and rents in Corhampton in exchange for tenements in Buriton. William died without issue and was followed by his brother who only lived four years more. He was followed by the next Earl Gilbert who had married Joan. daughter of King Edward 1. Gilbert died in 1295 and two years later Joan secretly married a commoner Ralph de Monthermer. The King was so angry that he locked up Ralph in Bristol Castle, but he was let out after a time and given the custody of the lands in Corhampton during the minority of Gilbert the son and heir of the late Earl. When Joan died in 1307 she was holding the manor from the St. Johns. In 1313 Gilbert granted the manor to Gilbert de St. Owen and Joan his wife with reversion in default of heirs to Earl Gilbert but the Earl was killed at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 without heirs, and the property went to his sister Margaret who married Hugh de Audley and assumed the title of Earl of Gloucester in right. of his wife. Their only daughter married Ralph, second Lord Stafford.

      The manor remained with the Stafford family till 1521 when Edward Duke of Buckingham was executed for treason and his estates were confiscated. He appears in Shakespeare’s Henry VIII and makes a fine speech before his execution. The King then granted the manor to Sir Richard Weston whose son and heir Francis was executed as one of the alleged accomplices of Anne Boleyn, but his son Henry was allowed to inherit on his Grandfather’s death in 1541. His son Richard conveyed the manor in 1595 to Hugh Sexey who sold it a year later to Thomas Hanbury who was able to buy the Crown’s remaining share of the manor for £266.17.6. In 1655 it passed to Henry Croucher and from him to the Henslow family. A Henslow daughter married Henry Williamson and their son sold it to Henry Wyndham, who is recorded as being Lord of the Manor in 1750.

Henry’s grandson Wadham, who was the owner at the time of the Exton tithe map, died without issue in 1843 and Corhampton passed to his sister who had married John Campbell. Their son John Henry took the surname and arms of Wyndham, but he died without issue in 1868 and the estate passed to his second sister, Mrs. Thornton Wyndham and on her death a year later to his third sister Mrs. King Wyndham, who died in 1890, neither sister leaving male issue. It then went to Mrs. Pleydell Bouverie Campbell Wyndham, the daughter of the eldest sister of John Henry who held it till 1908, her son Richard dying in 1909. Then came Walter Vansittart Campbell Wyndham Long, who died in 1944, and when his wife died in 1948 the house was bought by Hampshire County Council and became an Old Peoples Home.

Of all this great number of people de Clare is the only name which has survived locally and that in a changed form. There are two St. Clair farms, one a mile and a half south of Droxford on the A32, and one just off the Corhampton-Morstead road at the bottom of Sailors Lane.

THE SUB-MANOR OF CORHAMPTON.

In origin this was the third part of the two knights fees of the main manor granted to Adam de Corhampton by his uncle Nicholas in the thirteenth century. The grant has survived in great detail, and mention is made in it of the third part of the mill and the fishery beside it Adam soon so1d this third part to Peter des Roches Bishop of Winchester who granted it to the Abbey of Titchfield which he had founded in 1231. William de Clare the holder of the main manor confirmed the grant and in return received £10 and the third part of the mill which from then on belonged to the main manor. The abbey continued to hold this third part, which developed into a separate manor, until its dissolution in 1537 when the King granted it to Thomas Wriothesly, later Earl of Southampton. During his life time a certain Isabel alias Alice Collen alias Collins farmed the manor for an annual payment of £4. The Earl died in 1550 leaving a son Henry aged 3 and under his will the manor was left to King Edward VI to hold during the minority of Henry, “for a remembrance of my duty towards my sovereign 1ord, and for the great benefits that I have received of his most noble father of famous memory, the late King Henry VIII”.

The manor remained in the possession of the Earls of Southampton till 1598 and then was conveyed to the Collins family who held it till some date after 1750. Briefly it passed through the hands of Edward and William Homer and Richard Richards who sold it in 1777 to Henry Wyndham the lord of the main manor and so the two manors were reunited.

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