This website is a work in progress and is designed to provide historical information about the small township and Manor of Goldstone in the County of Shropshire and the connected families, from the Goldstones to the Vardons, one of the surviving branches of the de Verdun / Verdon family of Alton Castle, whose family relationships maintained an unbroken thread of continuity for the Manor & Lordship of Goldstone from the Middle Ages into the present day.
Ruth Donaldson-Hudson wrote the key text on the history of Cheswardine with her magnificent book An Historical Survey of the Parish of Cheswardine, published in Shrewsbury, 1939. In it she included a chapter on Goldstone, which provided as much data as was available to her at that time. It is hoped that the account below will add greatly to her record and by filling gaps that clearly left her with unanswered questions, and thereby provide as comprehensive a record of Goldstone's history as is possible. Bernard Lazarus brought the story of Cheswardine up to date with his wonderful book Country Reflections around Cheswardine, which builds on Ruth Donaldson-Hudson's history by providing many interesting and amusing recollections and anecdotes. In so doing Lazarus's work brings Cheswardine and its people very much alive.
The account of Goldstone detailed below pulls together information from previously unpublished family archives and other sources. It is intended as a repository of information for easy access by anyone who may be interested in Goldstone as a place, its history, farms and families. Any new data will be added as it becomes available. Another website has been set up to record and publish details of Cheswardine Manor - this can be accessed via this link: Cheswardine Manor
BELOW - a view of Goldstone Hall in 1848, painted at the time from a drawing by Hugh James Vardon, younger brother of William Vardon of Goldstone:-
Goldstone is a township of the parish of Cheswardine and a geographically separated sub-manor of Childs Ercall. It lies along the parish's western boundary with Hinstock, in north east Shropshire. Simon Bagshaw's 1851 History, Gazetteer and Directory of Shropshire provides a good description of Goldstone at that time and is as good as any other guide in terms of pinpointing the place and its size.
1851 History, Gazetteer and Directory of Shropshire, by Simon Bagshaw
…….. The parish comprehends the townships of Cheswardine, Chipnall, Goldstone, Sambrook and Sowdley, and contains 5,723a 3r 4p. of land.
GOLDSTONE is a township and small village pleasantly situated on the declivity of a hill about a mile and a half west by south from Cheswardine church. The township contains 452a. 1r. 16p. of land, and at the census of 1841 there were 14 houses and 75 inhabitants. Rateable value, £598. 1s. 6d. There are only three farms in this township, two of which are the property of William Vardon, Esq., and the other is possessed by Mrs. Charlotte Masefield. GOLDSTONE HALL is a neat brick house, the occasional residence of William Vardon, Esq. Near to the hall is an antique house, chiefly composed of timber and plaster, which was most probably erected about the middle of the fifteenth century; it is now the residence of Mr. Alfred Holden, farmer. On the banks of the Shropshire Union Canal, which passes about half a mile from the village, there is a wharf where coal is sold, called Goldstone Wharf.
The resident farmers in this township are Thomas Beeston, Alfred Holden, and Anna Lea; William Vardon, Esq., The Hall; Thomas Finn, gardener to W. Vardon, Esq.
The Goldstones of Goldstone
The Story of Goldstone starts with the Goldstones of Goldstone in the middle ages. A family with the name de Goldestan appear to have been settled at Goldstone since before the 1160s and the Goldstones of Goldstone owned estates there until the 18th century, before ownership passed to the husband of a Goldstone heiress, and thereon to other relations, whose heirs still retain the Lordship of Goldstone.
The earliest mention of Goldstone is in 1180 when an Alan de Goldestan appears in a section of the Mount Gilbert (i.e. Wrekin) Forest Roll. The Forest Roll names Goldestan and Cipenol as among those places where assarts (a piece of land cleared of timber and fit for tilling), or imbladments (the sowing of lands within the bounds of a Royal forest) were assessed. Eyton in his Antiquities of Shropshire Volume X Writes:
The Forest-Roll of 1180 shows that, previously to John le Strange's Fine with King John, all this district was reckoned within jurisdiction of the Shropshire Forests. For instance, the men of Sulleia [i.e. Soudley] were assessed 16s. for as many acres of wheat, the men of Goldestan 2s. for 2 acres of wheat, Alan de Goldestan 1s. for 2 acres of oats, and the men of Cipenol 1s. for the same.
The spelling of Alan's name, that of Walter de Goldestan in 1185/6 (see below) and the township provides an indication that the name of Goldstone may have originated from the Anglo-Saxon (Old English) personal name 'Golda' being added to the old English ‘Stān’ and then applied to a place called (literally) Golda's Stone. Others have suggested that it referred to the location of a 'gold stone' or important boundary marker. There is another place called Goldstone, in Kent - this one was recorded in the early 13th century as Goldstanestun i.e. 'settlement of Goldstan'. Today's maps show Upper Goldstone and Lower Goldstone just north of Ash and some miles north west of Sandwich in Kent. Another family by the name of Goldstone came from this place. Other old references to people with this name outside Shropshire include: Wulfric filius Goldstan (Kent 1180), Richard Golstan (Templars, Essex 1185), John de Goldeston (Fleet of Fines, Essex 1312). The name appears twice in Domesday Book as Goldstan in Kent and Essex; in the latter case some records give the name as Golstan. The Domesday Book record for Colchester lists a man called Goldstan as one of the burgesses who pay the customary due and note that he had one house and five acres. Three moneyers in Lewes, Sussex, before the Norman Conquest are named as: Goldstan, Sexbyrht and Theodgar.
In the 1623 Visitation of Wiltshire a family called Goldston is recorded, descended from a Ricardus Goldston de London whose son was Ricardus Goldston de Alderberie in Com Wilts; bur. Alderbury 14 Feb. 1634/5. It is not known whether the elder Richard Goldston was related to any of the other Goldston/Goldstone families from Kent or Shropshire, but it seems unlikely that he was related to the latter, even if it was ultimately discovered that they are related. The reason for presuming there may be no relationship is that the Heralds recorded a very different coat of arms for the Goldstons of Wiltshire, as follows: Arms: - Or, four barrulets gules and on a chief azure three escallops or. The Visitation of Shropshire in 1623 recorded the following coat of arms for the Goldstones of Goldstone: ARMS. – Gules, on a fesse between three saltires couped argent an annulet sable. It is surmised that Richard Goldston of Alderbury was descended from or connected to a family of the same name in Gloucester. William Goldston is mentioned in 1548 at Gloucester and had a wife called Elinor. He died in 1569 (Will dated 2nd August 1569, proved 2nd September 1569), and he had a brother called Richard Goldston whose first wife Elizabeth died in 1558 and who remarried Joan Chambers. William's painting and that of his sister in law Joan Goldston can be seen via this link:- Goldston of Gloucester.
We return to the Goldstones of Shropshire........
The next mention of one of the Goldstones of Goldstone in Shropshire is found within the Pipe Rolls in the 31st year of the reign of King Henry II, a year that ran from 25th October 1185 to 5th July 1186. Within the section covering Shropshire (Salopesscira) appears a Walter de Goldestan, on page 128 of 'The Publications of the Pipe Roll Society', Volume 34 (1913), as follows:
Nova placita et nove conventiones per Gillebertum Pipard' et Michaelem Belet et Walterum Map et socios eorum. [translated: 'Pleas and nine new agreements by Gilbert Pipard and Michael Belet and Walter Map and their allies].
Immediately underneath this sub-heading is written:
Walterus de Goldestan redd. comp. de dim. m. quia retraxit se de appellatione sua. In thesauro .iiij. s. Et debet .ij. s. et .viij. d.
Some sixty years later, c.1240, we find Richard de Golston mentioned in a charter of John le Strange to Haughmond Abbey, which related to Cheswardine and appears in The Cartulary of Haughmond Abbey. The date of 1240 is estimated since John le Strange III succeeded his father John le Strange II c.1237 and Robert de Girros, who is mentioned in the charter, died in 1250 (ref: Corpus Christi College Cambridge M.S. 433, f.14v). Eyton also mentions this, as follows:
There are two charters of John le Strange (III) to Haughmond Abbey, which relate to Cheswardine. In one, styling himself John, son of John le Strange, he recovers the land of Norslepe, by giving the Canons a virgate at Cheswordin [i.e. Cheswardine] in exchange, which virgate was held by Helias the Priest, Henry the Beadle, Richard de Golston, and Ernod fitz Reginald. This Deed was attested by Robert de Girros, and probably passed about 1240.
In 1256 William de Golstan is recorded as having appeared in an assize suit. He had complained against Ralph le Butiller and his wife Matilda for their having disseized him of common pasture in Tyrley. It was recorded that William de Golstan withdrew his prosecution against Ralph and Matilda le Butiller at those assizes, and that his sureties de prosequenti were William FitzHugh and Thomas le Franceis, both of Seworthyn. Tyrley and its castle lay to the north of Goldstone, south of Drayton-in-Hales.
The Quo Warranto Inquisition of 1278 shows Goldstone as forming, with Ellerton and Sambrook, one of the four townships of Cheswardine parish. However, the Feodaries of 1284-86 give Roger le Strange as Lord of Little Ercall [i.e. Childs Ercall] and names Golston as one of the members of that manor, along with Atton [Hungry Haton] and Leyes [The Lee Farm] - the other member, Naghinton [Naginton] was said to have been given to the Abbot of Haughmond Abbey by Hamo Extraneus [i.e. Le Strange] in pure arms. Another earlier member was Dodicote [Dodecote Grange] south east of Childs Ercall.
Goldstone is referred to twice in 1280 in an Extent of the Manor of Cheswardine, which was then held by Roger Le Strange. He was also lord of the manor of Childs Ercall at that time. Hugh de Golstan is mentioned as one of the Free Tenants of Roger Le Strange. But for the history of Goldstone, a more important mention is made within the Extent of the Manor of Cheswardine under the section headed Rentals and Surveys. The two references are provided below from extracts of a translation of the Extent by Mr. W.K. Boyd for the Shropshire Archaeological & Historical Society and published in the Society's Transactions 2nd Series, XI., 252, etc.
EXTENT OF THE MANOR OF CHESWARDINE.
Rentals and Surveys. Portf. 14, No.23. PRO
[24th Oct., A.D., 1280]
Extent of the Manor of Cheswardine made on Thursday next after the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist in the 8th year of the reign of King Edward; before Thomas Bosse, Thomas de Thorp, and Philip de Say, Clerk; by William de Chippenknolle, Richard Forester, Richard Wodeclerk, Richard del Hull, Hugh le Paumer, Alexander du Clay, John de Huntebeche, William son of William, son of Hugh, Hugh son of Henry, and other Jurors.
Who say on Oath that the lord holds in demesne 44 acres of land, the worth of an acre 8d, sum whereof 29s 4d, and that the lord [i.e. Roger Le Strange] holds two water-mills which render 30 quarters of ripe corn the worth of a quarter 3s [shillings]. The sum whereof 4li [pounds] 10s. For which mills he pays to William Chippeknolle half a mark; and to the Lord of Tirley 6d [pence]; and to the Lord of Golston 6d.
And that the lord holds 2.5 vivaries, which are worth 26s 8d by the year.
And that the herbage of the park is woth 6s 8d.
sum 8li 15d.
And Hugh de Golstan holds one oxgang of land and two assarts by charter, and renders 2s 10d by the year.
This reference to a 'Lord of Goldstone' confirms that the then
Lord of Cheswardine and Childs Ercall Manors recognised a separate
lordship of Goldstone, in 1280. It is this lordship that ended up in the
posession of the Goldstones of Goldstone and their successors. Although Goldstone
had originally been a member of
Childs Ercall Manor, it is clear from the Extent of Cheswardine and later
records that a subordinate lord had been enfoeffed at Goldstone, but we
shall probably never know exactly when and how this change occurred. It is possible that Hugh de Golstan, who is recorded as holding land by charter in the Manor of Cheswardine from its lord, Roger le Strange, could also have been the 'Lord of Golston' referred to. However, this cannot be confirmed. All we know is that the de Goldstone family who were probably descended from Hugh or a close relation, appear recorded as Lords of Goldstone at a later date.
Two other 'members' of the Manor of Childs Ercall are recorded as having become manors in their own right - Dodecote and Nagington. The former was centred on what is now called Dodecote Grange. The following are extracts from accounts of each place in Eyton's Antiquities of Shropshire, Volume VIII - Childs Ercall, pages 16-18:
DODICOTE. - We have seen how this member of Little Ercall passed to Combermere Abbey by grant of William fitz Alan (I.). Thenceforward it became a separate Manor and requires a distinct account. ............... In 1255 the Bradford Hundred-Roll says most accurately that "the Abbot of Combermere holds Dodecote by gift of William fitz Alan, in pure almoign, and that it is not hidated." An inquisition seems to have been taken in 1286, relative to the Abbot of Combermere disforesting a grove (nemus) at Dodecote, which was within the Forest of Mount Gilbert; but the document is lost.
NAGINGTON. This member of Little Ercall fell, as we have seen, to Haughmond Abbey about the year 1159. Pope Alexander's Confirmation of 1172 describes the gift as ex divisd Hamonis Extranei assensu Williemi filii Alani domini sui et Radulfi fratris et heredis sui. The Confirmation of William fitz Alan (II.) I have given elsewhere. In 1255 the Hundred-Roll says that "the Abbot of Haymon is Lord of the vill of Nagington" and that "it is hidated with the Manor of Hercalwe." The Abbey had it in pure alms by gift of Hamo le Strange. It owed suit to the Hundred twice yearly, at the Sherriff's Tourn. In 1284 John de Nagington held this Manor under Haughmond Abbey. The Feodaries erroneously state Wydo le Strange to have held it in capite, as a member of Little Ercall, and to have given it to Haughmond.
The feodaries of 1284-86 provide another example in Shropshire of a 'member' of a Manor which was a sub-manor - Whitchurch had Tilstock as a member and this was later recognised as a manor in it's own right. It is known that many of the large manors in the Domesday Book contained sub-manors. Although no entirely consistent definition of sub-manors appears to exist, sub-manors have been identified and recognised in cases where separate ownership and statistics are recorded for a distinct unit, or member, of a larger manor.
After the Norman conquest the King granted manors to tenants-in-chief who in turn granted some of their manors to their own tenants in return for nilitary service - this process was known as subinfeudation. Likewise, tenants of a subinfeudated manor are known to have subinfeudated land to sub-tenants. Such subinfeudation continued into the 13th century. A history of Midgley in Yorkshire (Midgleyana by John F. Midgley, Chapter 4) describes the creation of a 'minor manor' as a result of subinfeudation:
A curious circumstance, probably rare in the Manor of Wakefield, was that between A. D. 1100 and A. D. 1200 Midgley was 'sub-infeudated', that is the powers of a minor manor court were conferred upon the Township, probably due to the presence of some outstanding family, maybe a Lacey or Soothill, related by marriage or in succession to the Earls of Warren.
In the chapter Domesday Book: Estate Structures in the West Midlands by John D. Hamshere, page 155 of the published collection of papers read at the Novocentenary Conference of the Royal Historical Society and the Institute of British Geographers (edited by J. C. Holt and published by the Boydell Press), the following words are written:-
A manor could either be held in demesne, that is in the hands of the tenant-in-chief, or it could be subinfeudated, that is sublet, usually on payment of some form of feudal rent. One many occasions a single manor could contain both elements, being partly retained in demesne and partly sublet. In certain instances the subinfeudated portion formed, to all intents and purposes, a sub-manor within the main manorial structure.
Eyton believed that Goldstone was considered as a member of Cheswardine manor in later medieval times and that the change may have arisen at the time of the partition of John Le Strange's estates after his death in 1330. In Volume VIII (page 18), where he deals with Childs Ercall, Eyton writes:
GOLDSTONE. The Feodaries of 1284-5 concur in making Goldstone a member of Ercall. I have no later proof of the fact. In after times it was considered as a member of Cheswardine, in which Parish it was at all times situated. The manorial change might easily arise from the tenure of Cheswardine and Ercall having been for a time nearly identical. I have nothing to say of the place except that a Richard de Goldston occurs about 1240 and a Thomas de Goldstone in 1306
However, it is known that Goldstone remained linked to Childs Ercall as a subordinate manor into the 17th century (see below) and Eyton provides a note on page 32 of Volume X of his Antiquities of Shropshire that shows he recognised his earlier mistake, as follows:
Goldstone was not really a member of Cheswardine, but of Childs Ercall.
Goldstone is different from all other members of Childs Ercall, like Nagington and Dodecote, in that it was geographically detached. It is possible that Goldstone represented the survival of a pre-Norman conquest manor that was later attached to Childs Ercall, before becoming separated once more, but we will never know if such a supposition is correct.
The reference to Richard Goldston in 1240 is already recorded above, but the context of the reference to Thomas Goldston in 1306 is not known. The dates suggest that Thomas could be the next generation following on from Hugh de Golstan mentioned in 1280 (see above), even Hugh's son. However, we cannot know for sure. All we can tell is that Thomas Goldstone fills a generational gap after Hugh and may be the father or grandfather of Margaret, daughter of the then Goulston of Goulston, as detailed below.
The Harleian Society's publication of the Heralds’ Visitation of Shropshire, 1623 includes the family of Barker of Wollerton, Coulshurst and Haughmond. In this record it is recorded that William Barker ali’s Couerall de Couerall (Coverall or Corverall) married Margaret da. & heire to ……Goulston of Goulston. The same visitation recorded that William’s father was Randulfe de Couerall who was living Anno 12 E.2., in other words in the 12th year of the reign of Edward II, which would have been 1319. Coverall is known as Calverhall today. Randulfe’s wife was Margarett, daughter of Peter Pigott of Willaston, Shropshire. Margaret Goulston’s father may have been Richard de Goldstone mentioned below, or perhaps she was Richard’s sister. The entry in the visitation for this Barker family includes the following description of one of a series of Coats of Arms used by the Barker family, as recorded in Harleian Manuscript 1396:
ARMS: Harl.1396. – Quarterly: 1 and 4, Azure, five escallops in cross or, for BARKER; 2, Gules, on a fesse between three saltires argent an annulet sable for GOULSTON; 3 Argent, on a fesse betweeb six cross-crosslets fitchée sable three escallops or, for TITLEY.
There is a mention on a website that Margaret Goldstone was the daughter of Francis Goldstone of Goldstone, but the source of this information has yet to be checked. William Barker, by his wife Margaret Goldstone, had a son John Barker alias Couerall of Coulshurst, whose son John Barker of Wollerton married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Hill of Hodnet. Elizabeth’s brother was Sir Rowland Hill, who became the first Protestant Lord Mayor of London in 1549. Rowland is recorded as having purchased Haughmond.
The next mention of one of the Goldstones, after Margaret, was in the Lay Subsidy Roll of 1327, which lists a Richard de Goldstone. He could conceivably be the son of the Thomas Goldston mentioned in 1309 (see above). It is a pity that we do not have all of the jigsaw available to plot the family relationships between all these early de Goldstones and those documented afterwards.
Later in the 14th Century reference is found to another possible member of the family is recorded within pages 210-221 of volume 11, Staffordshire Historical Collections (1890) the editors of which were Major-General Hon. G. Wrottesley & Rev. F. Parker. Under the heading Staffordshire Fines: Henry IV the following is written:
Final Concords, Staffordshire. Temp. Hen. IV.
No. 11. On the Morrow of the Ascension. 2 Hen. IV. [Note: Henry IV reigned from 3rd April 1367 to 20th March 1413].
And afterwards recorded on the Quindene of Holy Trinity. 3 Hen. IV.
Between Thomas Wyght, Chaplain, Robert Merford, Chaplain, Richard Admondeston, Chaplain, and Thomas Heuster, of Lichefeld, complainants, and John Golston, of Salop, Skynner, and Joan his wife, deforciants of a messuage and 6d. of rent in Lichefeld. John and Joan remit all right to the complainants and delivered to them the rent and they further granted that the said messuage, which Hugh Yoxhale, of Lichefeld, and Isabella his wife, and John, son of Hugh and Isabella, held for their lives, of the inheritance of Joan, after their decease shall remain to the complainants, and for this grant, the complainants gave 10 marks of silver.
Richard de Goldstone of 1327 and John Golston of 1368/9 bring us closer to the Gouldstons of Goldstone who appear in the Heralds Visitation of Shropshire with a family tree that starts with Francis Goldstone of Goldstone. We do not know what his relationship is to the de Goldstones, but he may be the grandson of Richard de Goldstone mentioned in 1327. Although we may never know if the later Goldstones were definately the direct descendants of the de Goldestans of the medieval period, they are strongly believed to be the same family.
Francis Goldstone had two sons: Philip Goldstone of Goldstone and Francis Goldstone of Astley Abbotts near Bridgnorth, who died without issue. This is the first time that a Goldstone connection with Astley Abbotts is mentioned and we do not yet know how the family came to possess property in that parish; it is likely that Francis lived at Dunval. Philip, who seems to have been the eldest son, married Dorothy, daughter of Hughe Adams of Warwickshire. They had a son and heir Hugh Goldstone of Goldstone.
According to the genealogy drawn up by the Heralds during their visitation in 1623 (see reference above), Hugh Goldstone, in turn, had a son and heir Humfrey Goldstone of Goldstone.
It appears likely that the heralds missed another member of the family, John Goldstone of Goldstone who was perhaps the elder son of Hugh, or even conceivably Hugh’s son and father of Humfrey. The former is most likely, and may explain how Humfrey came to live near Bridgnorth rather than Goldstone. How, you ask, does all this conjecture arise? An old, possibly 18th century transcription of entries from Court Rolls of Childs Ercall, which appear within papers entitled
‘Memorandums of Goldstone Manor’ (see reference below) records the following:
In Arcoll Court Rolls in the Custody of Sir Robert Corbet the particulars following appear (viz) 1539 – 30th year of King Henry 8th on the death of John Goldstone of Goldstone his best Beast became due for an Herriott to the Lord of the Manor of Arcoll for which the value of an Ox was paid to the said Lord.
The other John Goldstone of Goldstone who is recorded about this time, and who appears in the Herald’s Visitation genealogy, is Humfrey Goldstone’s son John, who is known to have died in 1567. It is quite possible, that the example of the brothers Philip Goldstone of Goldstone and Francis Goldstone of Astley Abbotts was followed and the family’s estates were divided between another older and younger set of brothers, in this case John of Goldstone and Humfrey of Dunval in the parish of Astley Abbotts. If John had died without heirs, then it would have made sense that Humfrey or his son John inherited Goldstone. We may never know the exact details.
Whatever, it is presumed that the Heriot would have been paid by the Goldstones to the Corbets as their superior lord, for the Goldstones' Manor of Goldstone, which despite being an autonomous manor in its own right appears to have maintained some feudal subordination to the Manor of Childs Ercall. 'The Memorandums of Goldstone Manor' tell us that the Goldstones received chief rent - a rent then due to the lord of a manor - from all properties in Goldstone except one, which paid a heriot to the Corbets. This information is contained in an entry in the memorandums, an extract of which is transcribed and also copied in its original state further below.
The same Humphrey Goldiston was recorded as having been one of the two Members of Parliament for Bridgnorth in 1529, the other being George Hayward. Perhaps Humphrey was living at Dunval, just outside Bridgnorth, at the time; whichever, he is recorded as a resident of Bridgnorth and was a Bailiff there both before and after his term as MP.
Much more information about Humphrey is detailed in the History of Parliament Trust publication on the House of Commons 1509-1558 as follows:
GOLDSTON, Humphrey (by 1501-56), of Bridgnorth, Salop.
b. by 1501, s. of Hugh Goldston. m. 2s. 3da.1
Bailiff, Bridgnorth 1523-4, 1536-7, 1545-6, 1550,
alderman by 1543; commr. Subsidy, Salop 1524. 2
There is some trace of the Goldston family in Shropshire in the early 15th century, but the pedigree in the heraldic visitation begins only with Humphrey Goldston’s father. The first glimse of Goldston himself comes in 1522 when he was admitted to the freedom of Bridgnorth on payment of £1 6s. 8d. A year later he was chosen one of the two bailiffs: he was to hold this office three more times, on the last occasion, in 1550, as replacement for a man who died in mid-term. One of Goldston’s sons was bailiff for the year 1550-1. 3
Unless he sat in the Parliament of 1523, for which the names are lost, Goldston’s entry to the Commons followed several years after his first term as bailiff, and he took precedence over his fellow-townsman George Hayward. Nothing is known of his part in the proceedings of this Parliament, but he probably represented Bridgnorth again in its successor of 1536, when the King asked for the re-election of the previous Members, and perhaps in 1539, both being Parliaments for which the names of the borough’s Members are missing.
It transpires from a chancery suit brought against Goldston, during More’s tenure of the great seal, that he had been supplying wool to the West Riding cloth industry, but whether this was his principal business activity does not appear: his only other known one, mentioned in 1541, was that of receiving income of lands at Astley Abbotts, north of Bridgnorth, formerly belonging to Shrewsbury abbey. Two years later his name stands fourth in a list of the 24 aldermen of Bridgnorth. No member of the family appears in a similar list of 1565, Goldston having died in 1556 and been buried in the church of St. Leonard on 22 Sept. At Bridgnorth his family is still commemorated by ‘Goldston’s furlong’. 4
1 Date of birth estimated from admission as freeman. Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. Xxviii), 203.
2 Bridgnorth mss 9(1), ff. 45, 168, 190; 9(2), ff. 557, 561; LP Hen VIII, iv.
3 H. Owen and J. B. Blakeway, Shrewsbury, i. 315; Bridgnorth mss 9(2), f. 563.
4 LP Hen VIII, xvi, xix; Bridgnorth mss 9(2), ff. 14, 540; Shrewsbury lib., T/S par. Reg. St. Leonard’s Bridgnorth; information from J. F. A. Mason.
Humfrey Goldstone had at least five children, as follows (order of birth not confirmed):
(i) Thomas Goldstone of the City of Coventry, who married Dorothy, daughter of Richard Stamford of Warwickshire. Thomas died in 1598.
(ii) John Goldstone of Goldstone who appears to have been his father's surviving heir to Goldstone. He married Anne Broughton, daughter of Thomas Broughton of Henley near Ludlow. John seems to have lived at Dunval Manor in the parish of Astley Abbotts near Bridgnorth, Shrosphire. This place must have come to the family at an early time and the family appear to have prefered it as a place to live in preference to Goldstone. The present Dunval Hall is built on the site of the earlier Goldstone manor. He died in 1567, was buried at Astley Abbotts on 11th May 1567 and left a Will dated 22nd April 1567, on which probate was given on 10th December 1567. Anne died in 1582 and was buried at Astley Abbotts on 13th March 1582. John's will reveals that he had a manor and farms in Dunval, Astley, Moxley and also Worcester. It is not known precisely where his farm was in Worcester, but the Moxley referred to must be the place near Wolverhampton and Wednesbury in Staffordshire - the area that became a centre of the industrial revolution and thereby gained it's nickname 'the Black Country' from all the soot that covered the buildings. In John Goldstone's time it would have been pleasant countryside. What happened to all of his farms is not yet known. The Memorandums of Goldstone Manor have an extract from the Court Rolls of Arcoll that record: 1582 - 24th Queen Elizabeth the value of an Ox was paid to the said Lord as an Herriott on the death of John Goldstone. It is presumed that this is indeed a reference to John, son of Humfrey, but if so the payment was made quite a few years after John's death.
(iii) Elizabeth Goldstone who married Thomas Hunt of Cheswardine. They had two sons: Richard Hunt of Shrewsbury, Draper and Thomas Hunt who became High Sheriff of Shropshire in 1656, was MP for Shrewsbury during the Long Parliament and became the town's Mayor in 1657. He was a Colonel in the army of Parliament and was one of the leaders of the parliamentary cause in Shropshire, along with Sir John Corbet, who as lord of the manor of Childs Ercall was the Goldstone's feudal superior. Thomas Hunt junior's son Rowland Hunt acquired the estate of Boreatton near Baschurch in 1664, and built the Old Hall there, where his descendants continued to live until the early part of the 20th century. Major Rowland Hunt sold the newer Boreatton Park, which was built in 1857, and the deer park to Salop County Council in 1934.
(iv) Dorothy Goldstone who married Edward Bragdon MP for Worcester. Dorothy is mentioned in her brother John's will. Edward was the second son of Thomas & Eleanor Bragdon. They had two children: John and Anne.
(v) Jane Goldstone who married ____? Clark of Warwickshire.
John Goldstone of Goldstone above, son of Humfrey had two children by his wife Anne Broughton:
(i) John Goldstone of Goldstone & Dunval - bapt. 25th July 1557 at St. Leonard's, Bridgnorth. John married Dorothy, daughter of Adam Ottley of Ottley Hall and Pitchford, in October 1576 at Pitchford. John died in 1598 and was buried at Astley Abbotts on 21st April 1598. Dorothy re-married as her second husband Thomas Medlicon on 26th May 1607 at Astley Abbotts.
(ii) Margery Goldstone - buried at Astley Abbotts 28th February 1572.
John & Dorothy Goldstone had ten children:
(i) Richard Goldstone - bapt 14th August 1580 at Pitchford, buried 25th October 1580 at Astley Abbotts.
(ii) Francis Goldstone of Goldstone - bapt 23rd June 1583 at Astley Abbotts. He married Susanna Whitton, daughter of Francis Whitton of Whitton near Ludlow. Francis Goldstone died in 1612 and was buried at Astley Abbotts on 10 June 1612. Susanna is named as benefactress to the poor on a board inside Cheswardine Church, having donated £3. As Anne Goldston she also appears in a Conveyance of the Manor of Whitton dated 10th May 1609 - the Shropshire Records reference is: The Whitton Estate, Manorial records, Manor of Whitton and property in Wotton, Whitton, Burford and Cainham. From the scope and content, the following is provided: Lease from Frauncis Whitton [father of Susanna Goldstone] to John Spicer, of the reversion of a tenement leased to Edward James, for lives of John Whitton, Elizabeth Whitton and Anne Goldston. rent 26s 8d. John, Elizabeth and Anne may have been siblings.
(iii) Lancelot Goldstone - bapt 20 October 1584 at Astley Abbotts.
(iv) Jane Goldstone - bapt 12 October 1585 at Astley Abbotts.
(v) Thomas Goldstone - bapt 14 January 1586 at Astley Abbotts. He is recorded as having died an infant.
(vi) Bridget Goldstone - bapt 13 January 1588 at Astley Abbotts. She married Thomas Wright on 31st January 1609 at Cheswardine.
(vii) Marie Goldstone - bapt 5 September 1592 at Astley Abbotts.
(viii) Thomas Goldstone - bapt 2 June 1593 at Astley Abbotts.
(ix) Katheren Goldstone - bapt 3 February 1594 at Astley Abbotts.
(x) Elizabeth Goldstone - bapt 20 July 1605 at Cheswardine.
Another note from the Memorandums of Goldstone Manor that appears to be another extract from the Court Rolls of Arcoll records details about the marriage of Francis Goldstone to Susanna Whitton:
Note. 1605 february 20th
- 3rd James 1st A Marriage Settlement is dated and a fine suffered wherein Dorothie Goldstone of Dunval in the County of Salop and Francis Goldstone of Dunval her son and son & heir apparent of John Goldstone of Goldstone deceased in Consideration of a Marriage already had & solemnizes between the said Francis Goldstone and Susan, one of the daughters of Francis Whitton Esq of Whitton in the said County of Salop and of 280 pounds paid by the said Dorothie and Francis Goldstone settled all their Estates in Abbotts Astley Goldstone Nordly Bridgnorth Dunval & Cheswardine in the County of Salop to several Trustees therein named & to several uses.
In the margins on the same page is a note that:
in the said Court Rolls no Herriott appears to be paid on the death of the said Francis.
Inside on the wall of the Vestry of St. Swithun's Cheswardine is a large board recording The names of those Pious - BENEFACTORS - who have given MONEY to the POOR of the Parish of CHESWARDINE. One of those listed is Susanna Goldstone, wife of Francis Goldstone as detailed above. Also listed on the board is her husband's Great Uncle Thomas Hunt of Gouldstone, another relation of the Goldstones Mr Richard Jervis of Chipnall and the Goldstone's 19th century successor, a connected relation, William Vardon Esq of Goldstone Hall (of whom more is written below). Other names on the board include representatives of families whose names have been well known in the area.
BELOW - the board in the Vestry recording the names of benefactors to the Poor:-
Francis Goldstone, above, succeeded his father to the Goldstone estates. He died in 1612. No will seems to survive but an Inventory of his possessions starts by recording the following:
Inventory of Francis Goldestone, 1612
A true and perfecte Inventorye of all the goodes Cattells and Chattells of Francis Goldestone of Goldstone in the parishe of Cheswardine in the Countie of Salloppe, gent, deceased, taken, valued & prysed the 18th day of Januarie in the yeare of our Lorde god according to the computation of the churche of Englande one thousande sixe hundred band twelve and in the tenth reigne of our soveraigne Lorde James by the grace of god of Englande, Fraunce and Irelande, king, defender of the faith, and of Scotlande the 46th, etcm prysed by Richard Smithiman, Raphe Tilston, Richarde Corfielde & Chrystopher Mulliners.
Francis and Susanna had five children, as follows (order of birth unconfirmed):
(ii) Anne Goldstone - bapt 18th December 1603 at Cheswardine. It may be thought that she is the Anne Goldston who is mentioned in the Conveyance of the Manor of Whitton dated 10th May 1609, detailed above; however it seems that it relates to a lease by her grandfather Francis Whitton and mentions her mother Susanna (as Anne) and her uncle and aunt John Whitton and Elizabeth Whitton. Further research may reverse the view that the Anne Goldston mentioned is Anne Goldstone, daughter of Susanna & Francis Goldstone.
(i) John Goldstone of Goldstone - bapt 28th August 1608 at Astley Abbotts. John married Elizabeth Thompson daughter of Lawrence Thompson of Drayton-in-Hales. Elizabeth was born in 1610 and died in 1643. John died in 1638 and was buried on 8th October 1638 at Astley Abbotts. His will is dated 1638 and proved at Lichfield. They had five children, as detailed below. John's widow Elizabeth married again - her second husband was Griffith Crouch, son of Reginald Crouch of The Hill, Cheswardine. Griffith's sister Dorothy married Thomas Jervis. These two Crouch marriages came to have great significance for the Cheswardine and Goldstone estates, for it was Griffith and Dorothy's descendants who would ultimately succeed to and inherit both. In addition, the Jervises later became joint lords of the manor of Cheswardine and at one time owned the minority of Goldstone not already owned by the descendants of Griffith & Elizabeth Crouch, who succeeded their Goldstone cousins as lords of the manor of Goldstone. All of this is explained and detailed further below.
(iii) Humphrey Goldstone of Drayton-in-Hales; bapt 19th April 1610 at Astley Abbotts. He married Margaret (or: Margery) Sheare and died in 1624. Like his father, no will survives, but an inventory of his possessions does, headed by the following: Inventory of Humfry Gouldston, 1642 / A perfite Inventory of the goods Cattells and Chattells of Humfry Gouldston late of Drayton in Hales in the County of Salop, deceased, taken and prised the nyne and twentieth day of May Anno Domini one thousand six hundred forty two, by us whose names are heare under written (signed at the bottom of the inventory: Thomas Wriggle, Thomas Wolley, William Brodhurst and William Bayly). An Administration Bond also survives dated 2nd July 1642, granting administration to Humphrey’s widow Margery Gouldston of Drayton. Humphrey is known to have held some lands in Drayton-in-Hales as he is mentioned in some deeds relating to the Chetwynd/ Puleston estate in relation to a Lease dated 24th July 1641 (in the 17th year of the reign of Charles I). The Goldstone Estate included land in Drayton-in-Hales (i.e. Market Drayton) into the 20th century, but it is not yet known if they equated to those mentioned in 1641. The relevant documents within the Goldstone estate archives have not all been transcribed. Whatever, the Scope and Content records the following: Lease for 2 lives - The Rt. Hon. Robert Viscount Killmorey in Ireland and the Hon. Robert Nedham his son to Robert Blakeway of Drayton in Hales, one of his lordships servants, and Anne his wife, Lease of a messuage in Drayton called the Phenix. Also lands. [.......further down after mention of other land].............. 2 other lands lie on a flatt "shuting down" towards the Meare lane between land now or late in the holding of Mary Lea eastward and turning south upon land now or late in the holding of Humphrey Gouldston, 2 other lands lie in a short flatt in the Meare Field between land now or late in the holding of Humphrey Steventon towards the west and land now or late in the holding of John Grippon towards the west and shuting endways towards the South on the way leading to Betton.
(iv) Richard Goldstone of Shrewsbury, Draper - baptised on 6th February 1611 at Cheswardine. He married Anne ___? Richard became a Burgess of Shrewsbury - the Shrewsbury Burgess Roll records him as follows: GOWLDSTON, Richard, of Shrewsbury, Draper, son of Francis of Gowldston, Esq. Admitted [as a Burgess in] 1636. A number of Richard's Hunt relations are also recorded in the Shrewsbury Burgess Roll. He died in 1644 and left a will dated 1st May 1643, which mentions two children, a son Francis and a daughter Ann.
(b) Francis Goldstone - mentioned in his father's will dated 1st May 1643.
(a) Anne Goldstone - Anne Golston daughter of Richard & Anne Golston was bapt. at St, Chad's Shrewsbury on 4th August 1642 and died (or was buried there) on 19th August 1648.
(v) Jane Goldstone - she was born posthumously after the death of her father and was baptised on 22nd June 1613 at Cheswardine. Very sadly she died in 1620 and was buried at Cheswardine on 5th October 1620.
As mentioned above, John Goldstone, son of Francis & Susanna Goldstone, married Elizabeth Thompson daughter of Lawrence Thompson of Drayton-in-Hales. Elizabeth was born in 1610 and died in 1643. They had five children, as detailed below. After John Goldstone's death in 1638, his Widow Elizabeth re-married (as her second husband) Griffith Crouch of Cheswardine, son of Reginald Crouch (or: Cryche), who Ruth Donaldson-Hudson, in her history of Cheswardine, refers to as Renald Cryche of The Hill, Cheswardine - this place was otherwise called Hill Hall and is the site of the present Cheswardine Hall. Renald Crych was baptised at Cheswardine on 22nd June 1563. Griffith was born in 1592 and died in 1676. A Griffith Crich who was baptised at Cheswardine on 9th June 1614 may have been his son - if so, he does not appear to have survived into adulthood.
A pedigree compiled in 1870 from old records provides helpful details about Reginald Crouch and his son Griffith, showing the connections between the Crouch, Hayward and Vardon families.
BELOW - a section from the pedigree mentioned above showing the Crouch / Thomson / Pegg / Hayward connections:-
BELOW - (to left) Reginald Crouch's coat of arms on a shield and (right) his son Griffith Crouch's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Elizabeth (née Thompson):-
Elizabeth appears to have been Griffith's second wife, his first wife Mary Virggs (who he married at Cheswardine on 9th July 1614) having died. The parish register recorded Griffith's name as Crich in 1614 and the family are sometimes mentioned as Cryche and Croych.
Mention is made of the Thompson and Crouch families in a lease dated 24th July 1649, which is found within documents from the Vardon Family's Goldstone estate archives relating to the manors of Betton and Tyrley and property in Drayton-in-Hales. The originals are held in Shropshire Archives. The lease itself records the following:
Scope and Content
January 166- : Assignment 1. Lawrence Tompson of Drayton in Hales, mercer 2. Frauncis Steuenton of t. Almington, co. Stafford, husbandman Of enclosure called the Coate Leasowe and the Coate 'therevppon nowe standinge' for 21 years from 2 February next. Rent: 6d. Consideration: £35. Property is part that in Lease 24 July 1649 by (i) Richard Church of Tunstall; Robert Sandford of Roudone; James Prowd of Little Drayton, gents., to (ii) Lawrance Tompson (party) of 1/3rd of m. or tmt. in Almington and lands, etc. in tenure of Richard Preston of Almington, husbandman, and 1/3rd of pasture called the Ould Springe ('Sixe Beastes grasse') in lordship of Terly, co. Stafford For lives of Richard Preston, Judith Preston, his dter., and Griffith Croytch son of Griffith Croytch of Gouldston at 10s. rent.
The Crouch family were related to the Soudleys and Griffith's mother may very well have been a Soudley, as suggested by the following extracts from an incomplete transcription from bundles of old family papers - these ones are headed:
Sundry Miscellaneous papers relating to the Property of Edward Hayward Esq:-
Item 1: notes Concerning Gouldstone - ___? 1676
Christopher Mullmors and Tho. Mullmors did gett unto John Soudley one moittie of a livinge in Gouldstone, for ye Consideration of 14th for 21 years which indenture.......
Griffith Soudley did by his last will & testament grant unto Griffith Crouch all the abovementioned Lands.
8th July 1603: Griffith Sowdley by will in writing devised all his lands to Reynold Sowdley, John Sowdley & Griffith Crouch And their heirs male successively And for want of such issue to the right heirs of the said Griffith Sowdley.
These notes show how the Soudley and Crouch lands became attached to those of the Goldstones through Edward Pegg and Thomas Hayward (see below). It is thought that as well as land in Goldstone the Crouch-Soudley inheritance may have included Soudley lands in Ellerton. Griffithe Sowdeleye was baptised at Cheswardine on 12th July 1566. It may well be that he was the brother-in-law of Reginald Crouch, thus explaining how his son, Griffith Crouch, came to be named.
John & Elizabeth Goldstone's children:
(i) John Goldstone - buried at Cheswardine 4th June 1636, at the age of 5.
(ii) Lawrence Goldstone of Goldstone - heir to his father (see below).
(iii) Francis Goldstone - bapt 14 March 1634 at Cheswardine; buried 1st June 1643 at Cheswardine.
(iv) Susanna Goldstone - bapt 11 April 1637 at Cheswardine. She is most likely to be the same Susanna Goldstone who was buried at Cheswardine on 2nd September 1637.
(v) Elizabeth Goldstone - married Richard Luttwich 15th March 1676 at Cheswardine. This marriage was also recorded in the Harleian Society's Staffordshire Pedigrees 1664-1700 compiled from the Heralds Visitation of Staffordshire 1663-4 page 204, the Lutwich family of Swinerton. This branch was (according to the Harleian publication) founded by Stocket Lutwich, Rector of Swinerton in Staffordshire - he was a second son, the eldest being Edward Lutwich of Lutwich in Shropshire. Stocket married Joane Benbow and had a son John Lutwich of Blakelow juxt. Swinerton who was living at Darlaston in Staffordshire in 1680. He married Catherine daughter of Richard Parker of Audley, Staffordshire. Their first son was John of Sighford and their second son was Richard Lutwich of Snape Hall in Whitmore in the parish of Stoke [on Trent]. He married twice. The Heralds recorded that one of his wives was ........ daughter of ......Golston of Golston co. Salop - we now know that this was Elizabeth. The date of their marriage suggests that she was John & Elizabeth Goldstone's daughter, but no record of her christening exists.
Lawrence Goldstone of Goldstone (_?_-1693)
Lawrence Goldstone of Goldstone's baptism has not yet been found. He married Elizabeth ____? Lawrence's father died in 1638 when Lawrence was still too young to inherit. As a result, he became a Ward to Sir John Corbet, Lord of the Manor of Childs Ercall, who had been created a Baronet by Charles I. Sir John sold the wardship to Lawrence's mother Elizabeth, and his grandfather Lawrence Thompson; they had to present Lawrence at Sir John's house every two years. The Memorandums of Goldstone Manor record another extract from the Court Rolls of Arcoll as follows:
1639 - 14 King Charles 1st On the death of John Goldstone Lawrence Goldstone then an Infant fell ward to Sir John Corbet and Lawrence Thompson & Elizabeth (his mother) paid £40 to the said Sir John Corbet in in Consideration of his assigning over to them by deed his wardship and Management of his Estate for fourteen years till of Age counterpart of which Deed Sir Robert Corbet has.
One historian has said that this transaction not only showed that the Corbets were the Goldstone's feudal superiors but also that their tenure was one of military service.
Lawrence succeeded to the Goldstone estates and is recorded as having been Lord of the Soil of Goldstone - in other words, Lord of the Manor of Goldstone.
The period of Lawrence's childhood coincided with the Civil War and it is at this time that the family appears to have faded somewhat - whether there is any connection with the next generation's move to London is not known, but perhaps a study of the Corbets' history may illuminate matters further. The Goldstone's relation Thomas Hunt was a leading Parliamentarian in Shropshire as was Sir John Corbet - if they had been on the Royalist side (like their relations the Ottleys) they may have suffered penalties; but if they owed military allegiance to Sir John Corbet then they may have supported the cause of parliament. Blakeway records, in reference to Sir John, This gentleman was one of those five illustrious patriots worthy of the eternal gratitude of their country, who opposed the forced loan in 1627, a most illegal measure of CHARLES I, while under the sway of Buckingham; which, if it had succeeded, would have turned this limited monarchy into a Turkish despotism.
Whatever side the Goldstone family were on, there is an old family legend that is said to date from this time and is still recounted today, about a royalist cavalier who hid his 'treasure' at Goldstone, to keep it out of the hands of Cromwell's men. However, if the story has any origin in events from those days, it is quite likely that the man collected his goods some time afterwards. Alternatively, if the story is not true, the tale is very likely to have been invented to keep children busy hunting for the treasure, thereby leaving their parents to enjoy some peace and quiet - certainly every inch of the cellars were searched many times over and the grounds around the Hall also. Some thirty years ago a metal detector that joined the hunt only managed to turn up some old pennies and useless bits of scrap metal!
In the 1672 'Hearth Tax Roll' for Shropshire, Goldstone was recorded with Ercall Parva (i.e. Childs Ercall), in the Hundred of Bradford North. Mr Lawrence Goldston was recorded as having had 4 hearths and paid tax of £0 and 8 shillings. It is very clear from the records that Lawrence was regarded as the second most important person in Childs Ercall and Goldstone. This can be deduced from the records of other people listed in these places, for example the most significant person recorded was The Lady Corbett who had 10 hearths taxed at £1; the only other person with 4 hearths to match Lawrence's was Thomas Hotchkys but Lawrence was the only person listed in Ercall Parva and Goldstone who was accorded the form of address 'Mr'. This indicated his status as a Gentleman, and would place him appropriately as lord of the manor of Goldstone in relation to Lady Corbett who was lord of the manor of Childs Ercall. Interestingly, Griffith Crouch is also listed, 4 years before his death, and was recorded as having 2 hearths paying tax of £0 and 4 shillings.
BELOW - the coat of arms of Lawrence Goldstone of Goldstone, on an old decorative wooden shield that William Vardon had made. William was one of Lawrence's related successors at Goldstone. The coat of arms is identical to the one that features in the Heralds' Visitation of Shropshire of 1623:
Lawrence Goldstone died in 1693; the parish register records that Lawrence Goldstone Gent. was buried at Cheswardine on 11th January 1692/3 (i.e. 1693 in today's calendar), certified 17th January - this certification meant he was buried in woollen. His wife Elizabeth had died in 1684 and was buried at Cheswardine on 22nd November 1684, certified. He and his wife Elizabeth are known to have had at least five children:
(i) Maria Goldstone - bapt 31 July 1662 at Acton Scott.
(ii) John Goldstone - bapt 20th October, buried 3rd December 1666 at Cheswardine.
(iii) Edward Goldstone of Goldstone - heir to his father, born c.1666/7. See details below.
(iv) a son - died in infancy; buried 1st December 1667 at Cheswardine.
(v) Jane Goldstone - bapt 27th February 1669 at Cheswardine.
Edward Goldstone of Goldstone (_?_-1730)
Edward Goldstone of Goldstone married Joanna ____? He is mentioned in the Letters of Administration (or inventory of property) of of his father, dated 12th April 1695, as follows:
Appeared Edward Goldstone and affirmed that Lawrence Gouldston, whilst he lived of the parish of Cheswardine in the county of Staff [sic], died intestate and that he was the natural and lawful son of the deceased.
The Memorandums of Goldstone Manor record that Edward received Chief Rent from all houses in Goldstone except one, which paid a herriott to the Corbets. Chief Rent was the customary annual payment by freeholders to the lord of the manor.
BELOW - from the cover of the Memorandums of Goldstone Manor:-
A transcription of a page from the document entitled on its cover: Memorandums of Goldstone Manor appears to have been compiled by Thomas Hayward of Goldstone (see below), or his nephew Edward Hayward of Goldstone. The reference at the bottom of the cover: 'EH No.69' seems to suggest Edward Hayward's authorship, but it is perhaps more likely to be his reference in relation to something Thomas Hayward wrote, or even conceivably Edward Pegg. What is certain is that it is not written in Edward Hayward’s hand. Further examination of their signatures and writing should confirm who wrote the notes in this document. On the inside cover is written the words: '8 pages'.
The details below are from the last page of the Memorandums of Goldstone Manor:-
Edward Goldstone of Goldstone received Chief Rent from every house in Goldstone except one – his father fell the Timber on the Waste [i.e. Goldstone Common] & was reputed Lord of the Soil his Grandfather gathered Ways & Strays as appears by a woman about 70 who had it from her mother who was a servant to him. The whole Town [i.e. Township, of Goldstone] appear only at Wellington Court Leet Lord Bradford being Lord Paramount. Theirs only three cottages on the Wast One built near 40 years, since had a lease granted to Mr Goldstone’s father & pays 5s per Annum one built long before is now and ever has been in the possession of Mr Goldstone and Ancestors the other built for a pauper by the Parish consent about 30 years since pays nothing to anybody. Sir Robert Corbet has the Coppy of an old Court Roll (which he shewed to Edward Pegg in the year 1736) wherein one Tilstone that lived in the House that does not pay Mr Goldstone Chief rent was fined at Sir Robert’s Court at Arcol for keeping a base woman in his house. Sir Robert has a Herriot from that house but no Chief [Rent] from any in Town[ship of Goldstone] though that House which was purchased from the Eytons and Two more in the Town have paid Chief to the heirs of the Eytons and to the persons they sold to.
BELOW - The original page from which the transcription above was made:-
Edward was recorded as Churchwarden of Cheswardine in 1709. He died on 13th March 1729, aged 63 years (according to a brass inscription put up by his successors) and was buried at Cheswardine on 16th March 1729. This places his birth in approximately 1666/7. His family had a brass memorial tablet erected to his memory and this is now on the north wall of St. Swithun's Church Cheswardine, underneath the memorial to his relative Edward Hayward (see mention of and inscription below). The words on the memorial to Edward Goldstone are:
THE BODY OF
WHO DIED 13TH MARCH
AGED 63 YEARS
There is a separate note that he died in 1730 – this is also correct and illustrates the difference between the year recorded by the Church and what is now the modern calendar year. In other words, March in 1729 for the Church would now be referred to as March 1730.
The brass memorial indicates that Edward was buried in the church itself, under the tablet to his memory - what we do not know is whether the brass is still above the spot where he was buried, as the church has been re-built twice since he died. His surname is not spelt as he himself and his sons wrote it, or had it recorded in documents, but in another form - Gouldstone. Quite why this occurred, we shall never know, but perhaps there was some idea that this was how it should have been spelt.
Edward's wife Joanna died on 15th January 1745 at the Hay in Brecknockshire (as recorded in Edward Hayward's diary - see reference below).
The last of the Goldstones of Goldstone
Edward and Joanna Goldstone had the following children:
(i) Francis Goldstone - mentioned in 1720 as son and heir to his father.
(ii) Edward Goldstone of the City of London. A record of the baptism of Edward Goldstone on 2nd April 1700 at Hay-on-Wye in Breckonshire as been found, and although no details of his parents is provided, the later mention of the connection with Hay (see Edward Hayward's memorandum book) seems to confirm that Edward Goldstone of Hay and Edward Goldstone of the City of London are one and the same person. He is next mentioned in a release of lands to Edward Pegg in 1733; next to his signature he has placed his wax seal with a clear copy of the Goldstone coat of arms as shown below.
(iii) Jane - born: 1st May, bapt: 6th May, buried 12th August 1702 at Cheswardine.
(iv) Jane Goldstone - born: 11th January, bapt: 16 January 1703/4 at Cheswardine. She married her third cousin Edward Pegg (see below) on 4th December 1718 at St. Mildred Poultry in the City of London (see further details below).
(v) Gwynn Goldstone of Howard Street, St Clement Danes Parish, Westminster - born: 5th May, bapt: 16th May 1706 at Cheswardine. He married Grace Duckett on 23rd June 1744 at Enfield (see their children mentioned below).
(vi) Susannah Goldstone - born: 14th June, bapt: 23rd June 1709 at Cheswardine.
(vii) Ann Goldstone - bapt: 7th June 1714 at Cheswardine.
(viii) Elizabeth Goldstone – otherwise unrecorded sister of Gwynn Goldstone; of Howard Street, St. Clement Danes Parish, Westminster. Will of Elizabeth Goldstone, Spinster, dated 7th February 1770. Will proved 3rd June 1772.
Sale of The Manor & Lordship of Goldstone
In 1720 Edward Goldstone, son of Lawrence Goldstone, having moved to London, sold the Manor and Lordship of Goldstone to his son-in-law and cousin Edward Pegg. This sale was achieved by recourse to a complicated but not un-common legal mechanism called The Common Recovery, which had the effect of breaking the entail to the inheritance of the Manor. It was the mechanism by which a fictitious suit was used to convey property. It was used to seal a settlement already prepared by private negotiation between the parties. Edward Pegg had estates in Goldstone, Cheswardine, Lockley Wood, Ellerton and Soudley.
The transaction by which the Lordship and Manor of Goldstone was sold involved the use of two large manuscripts written on vellum. The first document of the two is dated 13th June 1720. The title states that it is a:
Bargain and Sale for one year of the manor of Goldstone and a capital messuage and lands in Goldstone.
The first parties are Edward Goldstone, Joanna Goldstone, Francis Goldstone and Edward Pegg, to the second parties William Manlowe and Richard Manlowe. The second document of the two is dated 14th June 1720. The title states that it is a:
Bond of Release to make William Manlowe Tenant to the freehold in order to sue out a recovery of the Manor of Goldstone and a capital messuage and lands in Goldstone.
The Bond is signed between (in the first part) Edward Goldstone, Joanna Goldstone and Francis Goldstone, and (in the second part) Edward Pegg, and (in the third part) William Manlowe and Richard Manlowe, and (in the fourth part) Robert Slaney, who was a cousin of both Edward Pegg and the Goldstones. Their seals are all affixed to the bottom of the manuscripts and the Goldstone coat of arms is clearly visible on Edward and Francis Goldstone’s seals. Both documents can be seen via this link: Sale of the Lordship & Manor of Goldstone, 1720.
BELOW - Edward Goldstone's signature and seal on the 14th June 1720 document mentioned above:-
BELOW - a close-up of the seal itself:-
It seems that Edward Goldstone may have moved away from Goldstone itself before 1700. The reason for this is that Edward Pegg is recorded twice in the Church Lewn of 1698 relating to those levied in Goldstone township: Mr Edward Pegg for Mr. Gouldston 2s. 6d. Mr Edward Pegg is then separately recorded as having paid 1s. 3d. on for himself. Edward Pegg appeared again in the Church Lewn of 1722 as having paid 2s for Mr Gouldstone.
Ruth Donaldson-Hudson, in her book on Cheswardine, records the following entries from the Church Lewn of 1738:
Mr. Pegg for Mr. Goldston's Land 2s. 1d.
Mr. Pegg for his own new house 9½d.
Mr. Pegg for part of Week's Land 7½d.
Mr. Pegg for land at Ellerton 4½d.
The continuance of Pegg's payments for 'Mr Goldston' makes sense since Edward Goldstone Snr's son, Edward, appeared to have retained some interest in land at Goldstone. This is evident from an agreement between himself and Edward Pegg dated 13th November 1733 - this could have been done to tie up loose ends after his father Edward Goldstone's death. It makes references to quite a lot of fields by name and a number of tenants on each part of the estate that is mentioned.
The wording of the indenture of November 1733 begins:-
This Indenture made the thirteenth day of November Anno Dom 1733 and in the seventh year of the Reign of George the Second King over great Brittain – Between Edward Goldstone of the City of London Gent. (son of Edward Goldstone of Goldstone in the County of Salop Gent. Deceased) of the one part & Edward Pegg of Goldstone aforesd of the other part. Wittnesseth that ye said Edward Goldstone of ye City of London Gent for divers good causes & considerations him thereunto moving Hath remised released & for ever quitt claimes & by these presents for himself & his heirs doth fully clearly & absolutely remiss release & for ever quitt claim unto ye said Edward Pegg All that Capital Messuage Mansion House or Tenement with the appurtenances in Goldstone aforesd ...............
BELOW - a photograph of the agreement between Edward Goldstone and Edward Pegg:-
(click on picture to enlarge it)
In her book on Cheswardine, Ruth Donaldson-Hudson records that the Churchwardens Accounts for 1736 record that "Mr. Edward Pegg paid the soyle breach in the church for Mr. Edward Goldstone of Goldstone and two grandchildren whose surnames were Tyler['s] soyle breach and laid their graves at his own expense 7s. 6d." She suggests that the two children may be the children of Ann, daughter of Edward Goldstone of Goldstone (see above), but neither she nor I have managed to find any record of these Tylers. The term 'soyle breach' is presumed to relate to the digging of their graves, which would have entailed the 'breaching' of the soil.
It is not known why the Goldstones left Shropshire, but this branch of the family did not die out in the male line until the death of Gwynn Goldstone, son of Edward Goldstone junior. As has already been mentioned, Gwynn married Grace Duckett in 1744. Gwynn's will, dated 7th May 1761, provides the information that he was a Wine Merchant of St. Clement Danes parish, Westminster, Middlesex.
Gwynn and Grace's daughter Grace married Robert Neale JP DL of Shaw House, Wiltshire, on 26th July 1770 at St. Clement Danes, Westminster. The Saturday's Post / Country News records the marriage with the following words: Robert Neale the Younger of Corsham in Wilts, Esq; to Miss Goldstone, only Daughter of Gwyn Goldstone, late of Howard Street in the Strand, Esq; deceased.
Robert and Grace Neale's
elder of two daughters, Grace Elizabeth, married Admiral Sir Harry Burrard GCB GCMG, 2nd Baronet, Admiral of
the White and Lord of the Admiralty, on 15th April 1795. Sir Harry assumed the additional name and
coat of arms of Neale of Walhampton,
Gloucestershire. Grace Elizabeth was a Lady in Waiting to Queen
Charlotte, wife of King George III, and Companion to one of their daughters
Princess Amelia. Grace Elizabeth inherited the beautiful Great Chalfield Manor from her grandfather Robert Neale (the elder) who died in 1776, and when she came of age in 1794, a framed survey map of Great Chalfield was made for her, and this still remains in the house to this day. She and Sir Harry did not live there, but at his home - Walhampton House at Boldre in the New Forest.
Great Chalfield Manor is located near Melksham, Wiltshire and is now a National Trust property. It has featured as Thomas Cromwell's Austin Friars home in the 2015 BBC television adaptation of Hilary Mantel's book 'Wolf Hall' (see more via these links: the BBC's guide here and one from The National Trust here). Cromwell's house was acquired by The Drapers' Company and is the site of today's Drapers' Hall. This is quite coincidental as some of Grace Elizabeth's Goldstone relatives were members of The Drapers' Company of Shrewsbury, and her later Vardon kinsmen of Goldstone were members of The Drapers' Company of the City of London and, as mentioned below, two have been Master Draper.
To continue this theme of serendipity, by happy 'planned coincidental continuity' (if such a definition can be allowed!), the manor is now lived in and managed for the National Trust by Robert & Patsy Floyd (see this website: www.greatchalfield.co.uk) - the reason for the coincidence is that Grace Elizabeth's half brother, Sir George Duckett (2nd Baronet - see link to Neale-Burrard-Duckett-Goldstone family tree below) married Isabella Floyd, daughter of Stainbank Floyd. George & Isabella's only surviving daughter Isabella Duckett married Sir Harry Burrard-Neale's nephew Sir George Burrard 4th Bart. This George was the son of the Reverend Sir George Burrard 3rd Bart. and his first wife wife Elizabeth Anne Coppell. Lady Grace Burrard-Neale sold Great Chalfield Manor to the Rev. Sir George, 3rd Bart. George Burrard and his wife Isabella (née Floyd) had no children, so the title passed to his half brother, Sir Harry Burrard 5th Bart., son of Rev'd Sir George Burrard and his second wife Emma Bingham, daughter of Admiral Joseph Bingham, Commander-in-Chief HM Fleet in the West Indies, by Sarah his wife, daughter of Admiral Sir William Parker Bart. All of this is quite complicated, but laid out in an easily understood chart - see link below, before the next section headed 'Edward Pegg of Goldstone'. The Rev'd Sir George Burrard sold Great Chalfield to George P. Fuller (clearly lots of George's about those days!) in 1878.
Fuller is the great grandfather of Mr Robert Floyd of Great Chalfield. His son, Robert Floyd (for ease of comprehension, we shall call him 'the younger'), bought Great Chalfield from his father in 1913 and then restored it, later giving it to The National Trust in 1943. Stainbank Floyd (1724-1788) is a kinsman - his elder brother died of wounds in 1759, after the battle of Minden, and his young son John Floyd, who was subsequently brought up by the Pembroke (Herbert) family at Wilton, is Robert Floyd's ancestor. The tale of Great Chalfield Manor appears to involve as many complicated twists and turns between related families as that of Goldstone, and by chance Stainbank Floyd is recorded as being of Shrewsbury, Salop, not far from Goldstone. This fact is recorded in 'The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1790-1820', edited by R. Thorne, and published in 1986, within the entry for his son-in-law Sir George Duckett 2nd Bart. - an extract from this fuller entry is copied below:
b. 17 July 1777, o. surv. s. of Sir George Jackson* (afterwards Duckett), 1st Bt., of Hartham House, Corsham, Wilts. by 2nd w. Grace, da. and h. of Gwyn Goldstone, London merchant, of Goldstone, Salop, wid. of Robert Neale jun. of Shaw House, Melksham, Wilts. educ. Charterhouse 1788-91; Ritterakademie, Lüneburg; Brunswick. m. (1) 17 July 1810, Isabella (d. 10 Oct. 1844), da. and coh. of Stainbank Floyd of Shrewsbury, Salop and Barnard Castle, co. Durham, 1s. 1da.; (2) 30 Apr. 1846, Charlotte, da. of Edmond Seymour of Inholmes, Berks. and Crowood Park, Wilts., wid. of Joseph Laxe, s.p. Took the name of Duckett with his fa. 3 Feb. 1797, suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 15 Dec. 1822.
Back to Admiral Sir Harry Burrard and his wife Grace Elizabeth.
The Admiral died on 7th February 1840, aged 74 and he was buried in Lymington, Hampshire. Grace Elizabeth died on 21st December 1855. A magnificent obelisk monument was erected to his memory at Walhampton (click to see a photograph of this).
BELOW - portrait of Admiral Sir Harry Burrard-Neale GCB GCMG, 2nd Baronet, Admiral of The White and Lord of the Admiralty, husband of Grace Elizabeth Neale, daughter of Robert Neale and his wife Grace (née Goldstone). The painting is now in the National Museum of the Royal Navy within the wonderful historic dockyard at Portsmouth:-
Robert and Grace Neale's
younger daughter, Lydia Frances Neale, was born on 23rd January 1773 and
christened on 24th March 1773 at St. Mary's, St. Marylebone, London. She
married Henry Gawler of Lincoln's Inn son
of John Gawler of Weyhill, Hampshire by his wife Caroline Ker, eldest daughter
of John Ker, 3rd Lord Bellenden. John Gawler (1786-1803) became a very wealthy
lawyer of the Inner Temple and lived at Ramridge House, north of
Weyhill in the parish of Penton Grafton, Hampshire. Henry’s elder brother was John Bellenden Ker (née Gawler). Lydia and Henry did not have any
A historian, David Richmond, has very kindly given copyright permission for some of his research about the Neales and the Gawlers to be published within this history of Goldstone, ahead of a publication he is preparing. His research indicates that Henry Gawler was not a pleasant man and in effect took all of Lydia's dowry; their marriage was not a happy one, leading to an estrangement. Lydia moved to live in Clifton, near Bristol, where she died in 1814 at the young age of 41. She was buried in Bristol Cathedral. It is clear that her kind sister Lady Grace Elizabeth Burrard clearly arranged for this and had a fine memorial set up in the Cathedral to Lydia's memory. David Richmond provides a description and photograph of this:
High on the wall of the south transept in Bristol cathedral may be found a memorial stone to Lydia Frances Gawler. It is undated but has, in fact, been in the cathedral for almost two centuries. The carving is typical of the early nineteenth century, well finished, expensive and full of sentimentality. The inscription reads:-
Sacred to the Memory
Of a Beloved Sister
LYDIA FRANCES GAWLER
youngeft Daughter of Robt Neale Efqe
of Shaw House Wilts
of their mutual Love and Affection
is placed here
her furviving Sifter
GRACE ELIZABETH NEALE
Wife of Sir HARRY NEALE Bart
“As for our God he is in Heaven
He hath done whatfoever pleafed Him”
Richmond provides a lot of detail about the Neales and the Gawlers from which this additional extract is taken:
Lydia’s husband-to-be, Henry Gawler, would have been very aware of the great fortune that attached to Lydia Neale. He was a Barrister of Lincolns Inn, the younger son of a highly successful lawyer, John Gawler, who hailed from Hereford and had used the considerable wealth he had acquired to win the hand of the Honourable Caroline Bellenden, the daughter of the impecunious 3rd Lord Bellenden. The marriage gave him access to Society since Caroline had many aristocratic acquaintances and was a personal friend of the king himself. John and Caroline’s elder son, another John, became prominent in Georgian society, a ‘man of wit and fashion’, to quote the DNB, and a habitué of the finest houses and salons of Georgian London. He became involved in a number of scandals and affairs, some of which made salacious reading in the popular press of the time.
The Gawler family had a collective nose for money. Lydia was young, naïve, and had lost both her father and grandfather by the age of three. Without a strong male influence to advise her, she would have been easy prey to the overtures of the ambitious, manipulative and wealth-seeking Gawlers. No time was lost in the wooing of her; on 23 January 1794 she attained her age of twenty one and came into her fortune. By early February a Marriage Settlement had been prepared. In it, for his part, Henry’s father, John Gawler, declared that he had already laid out £4,500 on purchasing and furnishing, complete with library, chambers in Lincolns Inn for Henry and promised within 12 months of the marriage to settle on him the Manor of Blissmore Hall in Hampshire. The Settlement also declared that Henry, on solemnization of the marriage, became ‘intitled to take and receive the whole of the said fortune [£30,000] to and for his own use and benefit and … it shall not be subject or liable to the power or control of the said Lydia Frances Neale…..’. The Settlement was signed on 15 February by Gawler, senior, Henry Gawler, (both lawyers) his brother John Bellenden, Grace Elizabeth Neale and Lydia herself. Bearing in mind that Lydia was only just turned 21 and would have been in the charge of guardians appointed by her grandfather up to this point, the omission of any signatures on her side of the agreement other than her own and her sister’s is surprising and adds weight to the notion that she had been virtually seduced or kidnapped by the Gawlers and lured into the marriage.
Henry Gawler, declaring himself to be of the parish of Bathwick and that the usual place of abode of Lydia Frances Neale had been within the parish of Bathwick for the space of four weeks immediately past, had already purchased, at a cost of £200, a marriage licence on the 5th February 1794. The marriage itself was solemnized at Bathwick on 17 February 1794, less than 4 weeks after Lydia’s twenty first birthday and two days after Lydia has signed away her fortune. The prize was won and Henry Gawler, at a stroke, was a seriously wealthy man.
Hereonafter we know nothing further of the marriage until 1803 when we find, in an item in The Times, that ‘Mr Gawler and his Lady lived separate, not in consequence of any misconduct on her part, for she was admitted by all the world to be a lady of honour and of fashion. Mrs Henry Gawler had a separate maintenance from her husband; and considering the fortune she had brought him, she conceived the sum was not adequate according to the manner in which she had been accustomed to live’ (Times 16 Dec 1803). Clearly this was not a happy or successful marriage; Henry Gawler had, it would appear, made off with her money for his own, and probably his family’s uses, leaving Lydia’s fortunes seriously diminished. By 1814, Lydia, was living in Clifton. She died there, childless, aged 41, and was buried in the Cathedral on 18 March 1814. Estranged from her husband, it fell to her sister to provide her memorial.
Robert Neale died in 1774 and Grace re-married Sir George Jackson Bart., eldest surviving son of George Jackson of Richmond Yorkshire. Sir George was Judge Advocate of the Fleet and MP for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis. He was created a Baronet on 21st June 1791. The Dictionary of National Biography records that he had married as his second wife "Grace, daughter of Gwynn Goldstone of Goldstone, Shropshire, by Grace, daughter and coheiress of George Duckett of Hartham House, Wiltshire" and that he and Grace left a surviving son George, who became the second Baronet. Their marriage was on 9th September 1775 at St. Margaret's Church, Westminster.
In 1797, Sir George Jackson assumed the surname of Duckett, in accordance with the will of Grace's uncle, Thomas Duckett. There is a record that Grace died on 2nd March 1798 and was buried at Trinity Church in South Audley Street, London. Her husband, George, died on 15th December 1822 at his home in Upper Grosvenor Street and was buried at Bishop's Stortford.
Sir George Duckett, 2nd Bt., son of George & Grace above, married Isabella Floyd and had an only daughter called Isabella. This Isabella married, on 3rd January 1830, Sir George Burrard, 4th Bt., son of the Reverend Sir George Burrard, 3rd Bt., by his first wife Elizabeth Anne Coppell. The Reverend Sir George Burrard, 3rd Bart., was the younger brother of Admiral Sir Harry Burrard, who married Sir George Duckett, 2nd Bart's half-sister Grace Elizabeth Neale! Sir George Burrard, 4th Bt. died without issue on 7th September 1870 at the age of 64. Isabella Burrard died on 7th December 1876. She and Sir George had no children, so his title passed to Harry Burrard (who became 5th Bart.), son of Sir George Burrard 3rd Bart., by his second wife Emma Bingham, daughter of Admiral Joseph Bingham, Commander-in-Chief HM Fleet in the West Indies, by Sarah his wife, dau of Admiral Sir William Parker, Bart. (so created in 1797 for his services in the victory over the Spanish Fleet off Cape St. Vincent).
A family tree showing the Goldstone-Duckett-Burrard connections is shown here.
With the death of Lady Isabella Burrard in 1876 without children, it seems that Gwynn Goldstone's family line ran out in this generation.
Edward Pegg of Goldstone
(husband of Jane Goldstone, daughter of his cousin Edward Goldstone)
Returning to Goldstone - Edward Pegg was the son of John Pegg by his wife Wilmot Slaney, who he married at Ightfield on 11th October 1688. Wilmot was born in 1672 and died in 1693; her father was Edward Slaney and his wife Margaret, only daughter of Griffith Crouch by his second wife Elizabeth Goldstone. Elizabeth was the daughter of Lawrence Thompson of Drayton-in-Hales [i.e. Market Drayton] and had married as her first husband John Goldstone of Goldstone (1608-1638). John & Elizabeth Goldstone were the parents of c.5 children, including Lawrence Goldstone, father of Edward Pegg's father-in-law Edward Goldstone of Goldstone.
BELOW - (left) Edward Slaney's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Margaret (née Crouch) and (right) John Pegg's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Wilmot, daughter of Edward Slaney and Margaret (née Crouch), all as recorded by William Vardon:-
Griffith Crouch (or: Cryche)'s sister Dorothy married Thomas Jervis who thereby gained possession of the Cryche estate of The Hill (i.e. Hill Hall), Cheswardine. Dorothy Crych, daughter of Renald Crych was baptised at Cheswardine on 29th November 1695. Thomas was born in 1596 and died in 1650. This may have explained the small land holdings the Jervis family later owned in Goldstone, which accounted for amost all the land in Goldstone that the Haywards did not own - together, these kinsmen owned pretty much all the land within Goldstone manor and township. Dorothy & Thomas Jervis had named their son and heir Griffith, after Dorothy's brother Griffith Cryche (otherwise recorded as: Crouch).
The Crouch connection with Cheswardine may also explain the existence of Goldstone estate land and property in Cheswardine village and its environs, which were owned by Edward Pegg and his successors; these included the existing Fox & Hounds public house. The Crouch family therefore acted as a link of kinship between the Goldstone, Pegg, Hayward and Jervis families, and their various inheritances were not only an important ingredient that influenced the development and inheritance of the Goldstone estate, but continued to shape the pattern of ownership of almost all of the land within the manor and township of Goldstone until the 20th century.
In the 17th century the ownership of the manor of Cheswardine was split, with the Jervis family and the Earls of Shrewsbury being joint Lords of the Manor of Cheswardine. In her book on Cheswardine, Ruth Donaldson-Hudson explains how this came to be:
Gilbert, 7th Earl of Shrewsbury alienated a third of the manor of Cheswardine, and settled it on his daughter Alathea (a god-daughter of Queen Elizabeth) at the time of her marriage with Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel. The remaining two thirds of the manor went to the heirs of the Earldom
(of Shrewsbury). Her youngest son, William Howard (1614-80), succeeded to her share in the manor of Cheswardine. He married in 1637 Mary Stafford, sister and sole heir of Henry Stafford, fifth Baron Stafford (a descendant of that Duke of Buckingham, whose daughter had married the third Earl of Shrewsbury). In 1640 Sir William Howard and Mary his wife, were created Baron and Baroness Stafford. Some years later he became the victim of the alleged popish plot. On the perjured evidence of Titus Oates he was, in 1678, found guilty of high treason; he was attainted and all his honours were forfeited; in 1680 he was beheaded. His innocence was subsequently established and, in 1688, his widow was created Countess Stafford. She continued in possession of her husband's property in Cheswradine until her death in 1693-4. ................Henry, first Earl of Stafford succeeded to the estates of his mother, Mary Countess of Stafford. But having gone into exile with James II in 1688, and remaining in France until his death in 1719, he never enjoyed them. His third share of Cheswardine manor he sold to Henry Jervis, of The Hill. Thereafter, and until the Jervis estate was sold to Thomas Hudson at the beginning of the nineteenth century, we always find the Earls of Shrewsbury and the Jervises of The Hill named as joint Lords of the Manor.
When Henry Zacharia Jervis tried to sell his estate in 1811, Donaldson-Hudson writes that:
The Morning Post of June 7th, 1811 had the following advertisement on his front page:-
SHROPSHIRE MANSION AND ESTATE - to be SOLD by PRIVATE CONTRACT. One third of the Lordship of the Manor of Cheswardine......also a capital well-built Mansion-House, unfinished called The Hill.........etc.........To view the Estate apply to Mr Wm. Spendelow, or Richard Davies, both of Cheswardine.
He didn't succeed in selling the estate, which was finally sold in 1833 to Thomas Hudson by his son Captain Henry Jervis, who was the 3x great grandson of Thomas Jervis and his wife Dorothy Cryche (or Crouch). Thomas Hudson was the forebear of the Donaldson-Hudson family of Cheswardine Hall (the site of the older Hill Hall).
As has already been detailed above, Edward Pegg married his third cousin Jane Goldstone on 4th December 1718. The marriage was at St. Mildred Poultry in the City of London - the parish register described Edward Pegg as having been of ye Inner Temple - in other words he was a lawyer; the same entry in the register recorded that Jane was of St. Margaret's [parish] Westminster.
BELOW - Edward Pegg's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Jane (née Goldstone), as recorded by William Vardon. This shield is particularly important in illustrating the marriage alliance that saw the passing of the lordship and manor of Goldstone from the Goldstones to Edward Pegg, a descendant of Elizabeth Goldstone by her second marriage to Griffith Crouch:-
Edward Pegg built a new house at Goldstone, on or alongside the site of the Goldstone family's Elizabethan manor house. This is the present Goldstone Hall, with additions added since the 1700s. Edward Hayward, who is mentioned below in relation to the notes he made in his Journals, made an interesting note in one memorandum, writing that the Old House at Goldstone [was] pulled down April 1801. Perhaps this may have been the original manor house of the Goldstone family, situated next to Goldstone Hall - other writers appear to have made reference to the existance of an 'old house' at Goldstone, but not its location. What we do know is that a building called the 'Manor House' by the family until recent times was situated next to the Hall. This building only came to be attached to the hall in the 20th century, when a later heir to the Goldstone estate, H.G.E. Vardon, implemented some extensive changes to the two properties. It can be clearly seen on the 1891 Ordnance Survey map. What is today called 'Goldstone Manor' is actually the farmhouse of Goldstone Manor Farm.
It was either Pegg or his relation and successor Thomas Hayward who compiled the Memorandums of Goldstone Manor.
Edward Pegg extended his estate by adding new parcels of land, the most significant of which was Mount Pleasant Farm, which he acquired from Sir Corbet Corbet, in 1748, on a 500 year lease. Roughly one third of this comprised of land in Lockley Wood, near Goldstone Common. This farm was originally known as Lockley Farm or Over Lockley.
In 1767 he is recorded as having paid the Poor's Levy for Mr Goldstone's Estate. The details of this are recorded in the Red Folio book of his successor at Goldstone - Mr Edward Hayward.
BELOW - a record of the Poor's Levy of 1767 for the Townships of Goldstone, Ellerton and Sambrook:-
(click on picture to enlarge it)
Jane Pegg (née Goldstone) died in 1757 and was buried at Cheswardine on 13th May 1757. Her husband Edward Pegg died in 1768 and was buried at Cheswardine on 21st January 1768, in a tomb he had already had prepared. This is still there, next to the later (and larger) one where his successor William Vardon of Goldstone was buried (see details below). His heir became his cousin Thomas Hayward, who was joint Executor to Edward's will (proved 21st January 1768).
The Haywards of Goldstone
(cousins of Edward Pegg and Edward Goldstone)
Edward & Jane had no children so the estate passed to Thomas Hayward, another cousin who was, like Pegg, descended from Elizabeth Goldstone (née Thompson) by her second marriage to Griffith Crouch of Cheswardine, son of Reginald Crouch of The Hill, Cheswardine. Elizabeth Thompson's first marriage was to John Goldstone of Goldstone, the father of Lawrence Goldstone.
Thomas Hayward of Goldstone (1716-1782)
Thomas was born in 1716 in Peterborough. He was the son of Edward Hayward and Sarah Chowne. This Edward Hayward (born: 1689, died: 1729) was the son of Thomas Hayward and Jane Slaney, who was a sister of Wilmot Slaney (see above). Thomas Hayward senior (i.e. Thomas of Goldstone's grandfather) was christened on 8th February 1665 at Sandon in Staffordshire - his father, Robert Hayward lived on the family's estate at Aston Cliffe north east of Market Drayton, which he had aquired. Thomas senior had an elder brother Robert who inherited Aston Cliffe.
BELOW - (left) Thomas Hayward's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Jane, daughter of Edward Slaney by his wife Margaret Crouch, daughter of Griffith Crouch by his wife Elizabeth Goldstone; and (right) his son Edward Hayward's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Sarah (née Chowne), as recorded by William Vardon who inherited Goldstone in the 19th century:-
Click here to view an incomplete but illustrative family tree showing the Goldstone, Pegg and Hayward connections: Goldstone, Crouch, Pegg, Hayward, Vardon family tree.
In December 1721, Edward Hayward, father of Thomas Hayward of Goldstone, signed Articles of Agreement with his 1st cousin Edward Pegg of Goldstone, with regard to the inheritance that they shared from the estate of Griffith Crouch. These may have influenced the inheritance of Goldstone from Pegg by Edward Hayward's son Thomas.
Thomas junior came to live at Goldstone and had his estate surveyed by John Wedge in 1771, resulting in a beautiful vellum map being painted entitled:
Goldstone Lordship, and Estates in the Parish of Hinstock and County of Salop Belonging to Thomas Hayward Esq.
This map lay hidden for years in the vault of a law firm in London until being sent, after a clearout of old papers, back to the family in the early 1990s to re-join the rest of the archive collection in Shrewsbury. The map shows each field with its name and acreage, all of which can be plotted easily onto a modern 25:000 Ordnance Survey map, or even better on an 1891 Ordnance Survey map. This shows how little the historical shape of the Goldstone estate has changed over the centuries, and illustrates how the family retained the lands on the 1771 map within an enlarged estate well into the 20th century. Goldstone Hall is clearly shown on the vellum map, with the building that represented the old manor house lying detached alongside it - the Manor is also shown in the same place on much more recent 19th and early 20th century maps, before it was joined to the main Hall.
BELOW - a small picture of the 1771 map of Goldstone Lordship (see link above for a larger version):-
BELOW - a section of the map showing land owned around Cheswardine village, with an interesting picture of St, Swithun's Church providing us with a sense of what it looked like in 1771:-
The 1771 map clearly shows the boundaries of the Manor of Goldstone. It was bounded on the east by the brook in the valley between Goldstone and Cheswardine, the line of which is now followed by the Shropshire Union Canal. The map also shows the boundary of Goldstone as having encompassed Goldstone Common. The boundary with Hinstock parish lay on the west, although that part of Goldstone Common that lay within Hinstock was enclosed and the land awarded to Edward Hayward who was lord of the manor of Goldstone. Thomas's successor at Goldstone, his nephew Edward Hayward recorded an interesting note in his journal under Memorandums, Observations, and Appointments in May 1805, Tuesday 21st May:
This day Mr Pierpoint of Ellerton told me that the proper old course of the Goldstone Brook is by the Gate going into Sowdley Lane which is also the Boundary of Goldstone Manor. This he heard the late Mr E. Pegg of Goldstone declare when he refused to give one of the large stones there to [---?] Jones the Miller.
The large stones that Edward Pegg refused to give to the Miller may have been the original boundary marker stones of Goldstone Manor, hence their importance to Edward Pegg. It is possible that one of these large stones may have survived into the 21st century, but not in the same location as it was in Pegg's day. It is thought that the large boulder that used to sit at the top of Westcott Lane by the driveway to Goldstone Hall was a surviving boundary stone. The boulder was placed at the right angle of the wall that partly surrounded the grounds of the Hall itself, in order to protect the wall from being knocked by vehicles, and it proved its value on a number of occasions. Sadly, if it is an original surviving old boundary marker, it disappeared from the top of Westcott Lane and its fate was thought to have been unknown. However, it may be that the large stones now inside the drive at Goldstone Hall are Edward Pegg's precious manorial boundary stones.
The eastern boundary of Goldstone is believed to have marked the old border between Shropshire and Staffordshire, when Cheswardine village and manor was in Staffordshire and Goldstone in Shropshire. As has already been mentioned, Thomas Hayward's cousin John Jervis of The Hill, Cheswardine, owned the bits of Goldstone that Thomas didn't own; this is shown on the map.
In 1777 Thomas Hayward is recorded as having paid the Poor's Levy for Mr Goldstone's Estate, just as Edward Pegg had done before him. The details of this are recorded in the Red Folio book of his nephew and heir Mr Edward Hayward.
BELOW - a record of the Poor's Levy of 1777 for the Townships of Goldstone, Ellerton and Sambrook:-
Thomas Hayward married Elizabeth Andrew of Cheswardine on 5th February 1782, but he died later that same year, on 2nd December 1782 at Goldstone, aged 66. Thomas was buried at Cheswardine on 6th December.
Since he had no children Goldstone was inherited by his nephew Edward Hayward.
Edward Hayward of Goldstone (1752-1827)
Edward was born in 1752, married Rachel Potter, and died in 1827. He kept his Goldstone estate records and accounts in his Red Folio. He was an assiduous recorder of an eclectic range of details, most of which he recorded in his Red Folio or in his diary and memoranda books / journals. He was also, clearly, very proud of his family's ancient connection with Goldstone and wrote about how much of the estate had been in the family for 350 years and some for over 700. His diary and memorandum books record a variety of miscelaneous facts and figures about Goldstone: details of deaths and births of members of the family, leases on land to tenants, boundaries of Goldstone Manor, the price the Hayward's paid for the Aston Cliffe estate and much more. In his 'Red Folio' he kept records of tenancy agreements on each farm in Goldstone, the amount of beer brewed each year, awards he received when common land was enclosed in Hinstock and Woodseaves, his contract for a carriage and driver for a year, from the Phoenix Yard off Oxford Street in London to enable him to travel between his various estates, contributions to Poors Relief, poems written by family members, such as 'Verses on Gypsey a Mare of my Father's' (his daughter's poem about her father's mare), and many other eclectic notes and records.
BELOW: a transcription of a page from Edward Hayward of Goldstone's 'Red Folio', which
records a poem written by his daughter Elizabeth about the demise of her father's mare:-
Verses on Gypsey a Mare of my Father’s
that was shot on the 10th day of August 1802
written by Elizabeth H. Hayward when she was between 8 & 9 years of age
Farewell poor Gyp thy joy hath cost thee dear,
Thou art at rest thy head lies quiet here;
And those that know, it made them weep,
But now they cannot raise thee from thy sleep.
Thou hast now got a perfect skreen,
Thy Body will never more be seen;
And in the sixteenth of thy age,
Thou paid thy life to meet their rage.
Ah Gypsey now no more thou will see
That sun that once did shine on thee.
Edward also provided in his 'Red Folio', details of the incredibly formal procession at Cheswardine
organised for his mother Hannah's
funeral on 19th March 1807, a transcription of which is copied below:-
Of my Mother’s Funeral on 19th March 1807
Two Pastors on Horseback
Ten Bearers on Foot
Four Tradesmen Do
Messrs Slater & Steel }
Messrs Wanalls }
Four Pall Bearers on Horseback }
Messrs Dickinson & Hallin }
The Rev.d Mr Ravenscroft & }
Mr Martin }
Four Tenants on Foot }
Bennett & Boffey }
Taylor & Dunn }
The Parish Clerk on Horseback
The Clergyman & Apothecary Do }
The Rev.d Mr Wingfield }
Mr Hopkins }
Drawn by 4 Horses
Chaise with Chief Mourner } A Page
Son of the Deceased }
Chaise with Assistant Mourners } A Page
Messrs T. Taylor & T Uneth }
Ten Tenants on Horseback
Messrs Allen & Nixon
Foden & Brittain
J. Pierpoint & W, Ditto
Cartwright & Lea
Jones & Gee
Extra Attendants: Messrs Croxton, Parsonage, Markuder,
Besford & R. Lockley
BELOW - front cover of Edward Hayward's 'Red Folio', with wording written by Hugh Ernest Vardon:-
In both his journals and his Red Folio, he provided information on his lordship of the manor and various activities he was involved in, such as claiming family pews in the churches of Hinstock and Cheswardine and the earlier gallery built by his uncle Thomas Hayward in St. Swithun's Cheswardine.
BELOW - a copy of the Faculty that Thomas Hayward of Goldstone and John Jervis of Cheswardine had from the Bishop of Lichfield & Coventry to enlarge the Goldstone and Cheswardine pews in St. Swithun's Cheswardine:-
Ruth Donaldson-Hudson's book on Cheswardine confirms that there were a number of larger pews in the church; two in the chancel, where the choir stalls later existed, were for the manor of Cheswardine and the vicarage. The other large pew, located in front of the pulpit, was for the manor of Goldstone. John Jervis and Thomas Hayward's faculty illustrated above appears to have related to the creation of the large pews that Ruth Donaldson-Hudson refers to.
BELOW - an old picture of the inside of St. Swithun's Church, Cheswardine (dedicated 1810, demolished 1886), with what appears to be the larger Goldstone Pew visible at the front of the right hand line of pews, in front of the pulpit:-
The Goldstone Estate also had three pews in St. Oswald's Church, Hinstock, for the use of the family and its tenants on farms in the parish of Hinstock.
BELOW - Edward Hayward's Goldstone bookplate (inc. his wife's arms on the right). The motto means 'To be rather than to seem to be':-
Like his uncle before him, Edward moved to live at Goldstone and had three children, as recorded in a family tree amongst family papers:
(i) Jane Rachel - born: 24th January 1786, died: 1810 aged 24.
(ii) Mary Hugh Hannah - born at Walton-on-Thames 16th July 1791, died: 4th February 1793 and was buried on 9th February 1793.
(iii) Elizabeth Hannah - born: 15th January 1794, died: 27th October 1818 aged 24. She had married John Hall in 1815 and they had a daughter:
(a) Eliza Rachel Mary - born: 14th February 1817, died: 28th October 1837 aged 20. She was buried at Radford Semele in Warwickshire (c.1.5 miles south east of Leamington Spa).
Edward gained land from the enclosure of Common lands in Hinstock, which included that part of Goldstone Common that lay in Hinstock parish. He recorded this in his Red Folio book.
BELOW - the page from Edward Hayward's Red Folio that records his award:-
Edward appears to have had a copy made of a map showing the area of land being enclosed, by tracing over the original. This copy has survived and shows all the pieces of land Edward recorded in his Red Folio.
BELOW - Edward Hayward's map of the Hinstock enclosures, which illustrates that Goldstone Common once extended across the parish boundary of Cheswardine into Hinstock parish (click on the picture to view it in larger scale):-
In the early part of the 19th century, the canal came to Goldstone and a large amount of material was required for construction of this important transport link. The line of the canal followed the valley that lay between Goldstone and Cheswardine, where the Goldstone Brook also ran. Goldstone Wharf was built next to the road from Goldstone Common to Cheswardine. In their rush to build the canal, and to extract the necessary materials from fields nearby, the proprietors of the canal company appear to have fallen foul of Edward Hayward and over-reached the bounds within which they could get stone. The result was that Edward had a Notice served on them by William Lockley, on 21st July 1827, and a true copy survives amongst family papers. A transcription of this is to be found via a link to the following page: Edward Hayward's Notice to the Company of Canal Proprietors, 14th July 1827. History does not record what the response of the proprietors was, but we do know that the Notice was almost the last thing that Edward signed, apart from a codicil to his will which he also signed on 14th July 1827.
Edward's wife Rachel died in 1824. The Gentleman's Magazine published an Obituary notice that reads as follows: WARWICKSHIRE.- Aug.31. At Leamington Priors, Rachel, wife of Edw. Hayward, esq. of Goldstone, Salop. She was buried at Radford Semele, Warwickshire.
Edward died at Goldstone on 2nd August 1827, but he was buried at Radford Semele in Warwickshire, where his wife Rachel (née Potter) had been buried three years earlier and where her family appear to have come from. The Gentleman's Magazine of 1827 featured an Obituary on page 381 that read: At Goldstone, aged 75, Edward Hayward, esq. The Staffordshire Advertiser of 11th August 1827 recorded Edward's death as follows: On the 2nd inst. at his house at Goldstone in the County of Salop. Edward HAYWARD Esq. in his 70th year [clearly the age they printed was incorrect].
Ruth Donaldson-Hudson records the following about Edward Hayward of Goldstone in her book on Cheswardine:
In his will he left his estate, which included not only Goldstone and Radford, but also properties near Congleton and at Aston Cliffe, Staffordshire, to his friends William Vardon of Gracechurch St. in the City of London, ironmonger, and Josiah Grahame Kowe of Goldsmith St., Cheapside in the City of London, trimming dealer in trust for his granddaughter, Eliza Rachel Mary Hall and her heirs. Miss Hall seems to have been a spirited young woman, for the story goes that at the age of nineteen she made a runaway match, in defiance of her guardians and trustees. She died, however, within a year or two of her marriage, leaving no heirs; whereupon, under the terms of her grandfather's will, the estate devolved on William Vardon, great uncle of Mr H.G.E. Vardon, the present owner.
A full transcription of Edward Hayward's will dated 17th May 1827, with a codicil dated 14th July 1827, can be found on another page via this link: Edward Hayward's will.
William Vardon was more than just a 'friend', he was the eldest son of Edward's cousin John Vardon. No family record provides any evidence that Eliza Rachel Mary actually married and the record of her burial at Radford Semele indicates that she was unmarried. It must therefore be presumed that Ruth Donaldson-Hudson's source for this story of scandal was gossip repeated from those days, but we are likely never to know the full truth of it. Eliza died ten years after her grandfather Edward Hayward, less than 4 months before her 21st birthday and was buried near her grandparents in Radford Semele, Warwickshire. Under the terms of her grandfather's Will, since she died without heirs, the estate devolved upon her cousin and trustee William Vardon. We do not know the exact year that he took possession of the estate, but it seems that he had previously held it in trust for some years.
A pedigree chart, created about 1870 for William Vardon's nephew Hugh Ernest Vardon, records the Crouch / Goldstone / Pegg / Hayward connections. It provides a lot of rich data about dates of birth, christenings, marriages and burials. The reason for it having been created is detailed below.
BELOW - the Crouch/Pegg/Goldstone/Hayward pedigree chart:-
William Vardon's path to inheritance was not simple. As is noted above, Eliza Rachel Mary Hall granddaughter of Edward Hayward of Goldstone, died in 1837. There seems to have been a later dispute between her father John Hall and William Vardon. Amongst family papers there is a reference as follows: Box 2, Bundle 27, Schedule fo. 38,39, Also particulars as to the dispute in 1843 between Wm Vardon & John Hall in regard to the possession of the Bank Farm & Lightwood Farm, known as the "Settled Estate". The full details of the case do not survive, but it seems to have been settled by the death of John Hall the following year. A note amongst the pages of Edward Hayward's Memoranda books (see reference above) records that John Hall died at Great Barr in Staffordshire suddenly on 21st July 1844.
Although the dispute ended so suddenly, William appears to have been preparing his case with his solicitors; this resulted in the survival amongst family papers of a fascinating record of verbal evidence taken from Goldstone people who had known the Hayward family and the estate. The value of these is that they provide snippets of information that illuminate what would otherwise have been unrecorded events and insights into the lives of the Haywards and those providing the evidence. A full transcription of these is provided on another page via this link: In the Common Pleas / Doc on Wm Vardon v Hall / Examinations of Witnesses / Cranch, 15 London Street, Fenchurch Street.
On inheriting Goldstone, William Vardon had a memorial erected to his cousin Edward Hayward's memory which still remains on the western inside wall of the church of St. Swithun in Cheswardine. It features the coat of arms shown above and has the following words enscribed:
EDWARD HAYWARD ESQr
OF GOLDSTONE HALL IN THIS PARISH
DIED THE 2ND of AUGUST 1827
HE LIES INTERRED IN A VAULT IN THE CHURCHYARD OF BRADFORD SEMELE
IN THE COUNTY OF WARWICK
AS A TRIBUTE TO HIS MEMORY, THIS TABLET HAS BEEN PLACED HERE
BY HIS GRATEFUL FRIEND AND RELATIVE
Just below Edward's memorial is one erected to Edward Goldstone, the last of that family to have lived at Goldstone, as detailed above.
BELOW - a view of the south side of the Church of St. Swithun, Cheswardine from the High Street through the village, and the lovely porch that leads to the church. Just to the left of the signpost shown below is the Fox & Hounds Pub, which used to be owned by the Goldstone Estate. The pub is identified on the third picture, which shows the wonderful view from the porch of the church down the High Street:-
The Vardons of Goldstone
( de Verdun / Verdon )
(cousins of the Haywards of Goldstone)
The Vardons of Goldstone are a cadet branch of the baronial de Verdun (otherwise: de Verdon) family of Alton Castle in Staffordshire who settled nearby in Cheshire and by the end of the 16th century were living in Congleton. This connection with the de Verdons of Alton explains why they share the same coat of arms. However, the Vardon's crest of a stags head is different - an apocryphal story in the family tells that this crest came from an incident when a member of the family cut off a stags head at the end of a hunt and presented it to the King, who was present.
BELOW - Coat of Arms of the Vardon family. The shield's design is described in heraldic terms as Or, Fretty Gules. The picture is painted from an original black and white bookplate, which explains the dots that represent gold in heraldry in the absence of colour. The crescent badge is a heraldic mark of cadency that is usually added to the arms of a second son - this makes sense as it belonged to John Vardon, younger brother of William Vardon of Goldstone, of whom more below. The crescent could also have signified that this family recognised itself as being a cadet branch descended from a younger son.
The first of the family in England was Bertram I de Verdun, one of the companions of William the Conqueror. Some historians have postulated that Bertram was a son of Godfrey III, Duke of Upper Lorraine, also (later) Duke of Lower Lorraine and Count of Verdun-sur-Meuse in Lorraine, and more recent research has strengthened this view. After 1066, Bertram de Verdun was given the Manor of Farnham Royal in Buckinghamshire. This manor had been held previously by Goda, daughter of Emma of Normandy by her husband King Æthelred the Unready and therefore sister of Edward the Confessor. Following Goda's death, her second husband (her first had been Count Drogo of the Véxin) Count Eustace II of Boulogne married Ida the daughter of Godfrey III, supposed father of Bertram de Verdun. This would have made Bertram the brother-in-law of Goda's second husband. Perhaps this connection explains why he was granted Farnham Royal. In all likelihood we will never know for sure.
However, a book by historian and heraldic expert Beryl Platts - 'Scottish Hazard, Volume Two: The Flemish Heritage' (latest edition 1990) - supports the story of the de Verdun family of Normandy's descent from the Counts of Verdun-sur-Meuse in Lorraine. Platts argues, persuasively, that a number of leading Norman nobles who settled in Scotland, including the de Brus family, were members of exiled or émigré noble families from Flanders, who had become tenants of lands in Normandy before 1066. On pages 59-60, in a discussion about the feudal tenants in the Cotentin, she writes:
"The lordly names, all assumed to belong to Normans because Normandy is where they were in 1066, must have their antecedents probed. The task is not so formidable; they lived boldly, publicly, and left clues - in their use of names, their marital alliances, their heraldry. Ferrers bore the mascles of Quincy. The arms of Mandeville and Vere were those of Senlis. Hay used the shield upon shield of Wavrin. Haig adopted the saltire of Praet. Some men called their homes St. Vaast, Gavere, Verdun.".
She continues by mentioning the first Earls of Norfolk, from whom a branch of the de Verdun family held manors in Norfolk from the beginning of the 12th century:
"The first Bigod...was Robert 'le Bigot', grandfather of the girls who would marry the two Williams d'Aubigny. He was in the service of William de Warlaing, and perhaps acted as his second-in-command. William de Jumièges, who supplied that information, added that he was married to a sister of Thurstan Goz. Richard, Thurstan's son, was made vicomte of Avranches, perhaps (as with Cotentin and Bessin) at the instigation of the king of France. David C. Douglas, in his [book] William the Conqueror, has touched on the role of the Norman vicomtes, which was both military and judicial, without examining the pedigrees of the men who attained such office. The more their antecedents are studied, the plainer it becomes that they were non-Normans, almost certainly recruited by the new French dynasty from the remnants of a Carolingian system of government further east, to teach the raw and lawless Normans some of the traditional ways of civilised life. In the case of Richard le Goz, the appointment's implications would be softened for William of Normandy because Richard has married his half sister, Emma de Conteville. Thurstan's origins are not known, but if there was suporting evidence we might guess that his unlikely surname was a shortened version of Gozelo, a name common among displaced sons of the Count of Verdun. In fact, at least some supporting evidence is there. French genealogists give Richard de Surdeval, who lived near the comital centre at Mortain, a descent from Verdun, on the Meuse; and Bertram de Verdun's presence at a place in the Avranchin called, evocatively enough, Bouillon, speaks for itself".
This is of additional interest because the 1st Earl of Chester of the second creation, Hugh d'Avranches succeeded his father Richard le Goz as Vicomte of Avranches and the de Verdun family held lands in Normandy and England from Hugh and his descendants. This old connection between the Earls and the de Verduns continued to be maintained over many generations. On the death of Hugh, the Earldom passed to his son Richard d'Avranches. He and his wife died with William the Æthling, son of King Henry I, on the White Ship in 1120, whereupon the Earldom passed in 1121 to his first cousin Ranulf le Meschin, son of Hugh d'Avranches's sister Margaret and Ranulf de Briquessart. On Ranulf's death, his son Ranulf II 'de Gernon' became 4th Earl of Chester and also Vicomte d'Avranches. The titles then passed to this second Earl Ranulf's son Hugh Kevelioc, who was succeeded in turn by his eldest son Ranulf III 'de Blondeville' who was born in 1170.
Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester (Ranulf III of Chester) and 1st Earl of Lincoln, was also Vicomte d'Avranches in Normandy, like his forebears. He was a young boy when he inherited the Earldom on the death of his father Hugh de Kevelioc, son of Ranulf de Gernon. One of the men who administered his inheritance during his minority was Bertram III de Verdun of Alton, who was an influential and trusted administrator of King Richard I, with whom he went on Crusade in 1189. Bertram's father Norman de Verdun was closely connected with Ranulf (II) de Gernon, Earl of Chester, the grandfather of Ranulf (III) de Blondeville, from whom he held a number of manors. Historian Mark Hagger, in his book The de Verdun family in England, Ireland and Wales confirms that Norman witnessed eighteen of Ranulf II's charters - more than any other person, except Ranulf's butler. He goes on to mention that Norman clearly travelled extensively with this Ranulf as he is mentioned being with him at Rhuddlan in c.1135, at Lincoln in 1144-6 and in Carlisle in 1149, witnessing a grant by Ranulf to Lancaster Priory on the return leg of the journey. Finally, Hagger supports other sources that inform us that Norman's father Bertram II de Verdun attested a charter in 1124 relating to Mont St. Michel in presence of Ranulf (I) le Meschin, Vicomte d'Avranches, the father of Ranulf II. The Treaty of Devizes was signed in January 1153, between Ranulf II and Henry, Duke of Normandy (i.e. the future Henry III - King Stephen died in 1154). It has great relevance for the de Verdun family as Henry gave Ranulf de Gernon the whole of Staffordshire, with a few exceptions, but including the entirety of the fee of Norman de Verdun, who had died the year before. One of the witnesses to the treaty is Willelmo de Verdon, who is presumed to have signed as the elder representative of the family, since his nephew Bertram was in his minority and being brought up in the household of Richard de Humez, Constable of Normandy. The de Verdun honour of Alton and its connected manors were then held for some time of the Earl of Chester and no longer directly of the King.
Bertram III de Verdun was made Governor of Acre in the Holy Land and according to the Chronicle of Croxden Abbey, a Cistercian house that he had founded in 1176, Bertram was killed on 24th August 1192 at Jaffa, and buried at St. John's Church in Acre. He is said to have had a positive influence on Ranulf (III) de Blondeville, who also became very close to Richard I and accompanied the King and Bertram on crusade. Matthew of Westminster records that in September 1194, Ranulf was one of the three sword bearers at the ceremonial re-crowning of King Richard, along with Hamelin de Warrenne and William the Lion, King of Scotland. Ranulf married Constance of Brittany, the widow of Richard's brother Geoffrey. The two became estranged and there was conflict over the claim to succession to the throne by Arthur, her son by Geoffrey. Apparently the King and Ranulf plotted to reduce the power of Constance and in March 1195, Ranulf and Richard met at the former's castle in the town of Sainte-James-de-Beuvron to sign a charter relating to the Abbaye de Montmorel near Falaise. Those also recorded as having been present were: Roger de Chester (Ranulf's brother), Roger de Lacy (Constable of Chester), Baldwin Wake and William de Verdun. This William is very likely to be the same man who signed the Treaty of Devizes, and therefore Bertram III de Verdun's uncle, but if not he may be Bertram's brother or even the older William's son.
The de Verduns of Biddulph and Darlaston were descended from Henry I de Verdun, a son of Bertram III de Verdun. Their Darlaston is the small settlement in Staffordshire, south of Stoke-on-Trent and west of Stone, on the other side of the River Trent. By comparison, Biddulph is right on the Staffordshire border and is only a couple of miles away from Congleton in Cheshire. The Vardons happen at one time to have held lands in the parish of Biddulph, but this was entirely coincidental since they inherited them through marriage with another family.
Henry I de Verdun was the first of the de Verdons of Darlaston & Biddulph. In 1204 he was recorded as holding the manor of Bucknall (now a suburb to the north west of Stoke-on-Trent) from his brother Nicholas de Verdun. He married Hawise, daughter and heiress of Engenulph de Gresley and his wife Alina (otherwise also recorded as Aliva or Aline) and died c.1238. Engenulph had lands with his wife in Tunstall and Chell, now parts of Stoke-on-Trent. The de Gresley family had lands in Derbyshire also, at Swadlincote, Gresley and elsewhere. Alina de Gresley was the only child and therefore heiress of Robert fitzOrme of Darlaston, one of the sons of Orme le Guidon (literally translated as Orme the standard bearer) of Biddulph. Orme's father is recorded as having been Richard le Forester, Keeper of Cannock Chase and the New Forest of Staffordshire, which stretched from Tunstall south along the line of the Trent as far south as Tixall to the east of Stafford, and in width from west of Stone (including within it Darlaston) eastwards almost to Uttoxeter.
Hawise de Gresley brought the manor of Darlaston and Biddulph in Staffordshire and other property in Derbyshire, including Swadlincote. Henry and Hawise, and their descendants came to hold other estates in Staffordshire and also in Cheshire. The de Gresleys were the same family as the de Staffords. Engenulph's father was William fitzNigel of Gresley, son of Nigel de Stafford, whose father was Robert de Stafford, son of Roger de Toeni and his wife Godchildis, daughter of Raymund Count of Barcelona. Godchildis married as her second husband Richard, Count of Evreux. The Gresley's became Baronets of Drakelow in Derbyshire, just south of Burton-upon-Trent in Staffordshire and west of nearby Swadlincote, which was itself located to the south west of Weston-on-Trent and Aston-on-Trent, home to other de Verdons who appear in the Cartulary of St. Werburgh's Abbey, Chester as these lands had historic connections with the Earldom of Cheshire.
The de Verduns of Darlaston & Biddulph had other lands in Tiverton, Cheshire. This connection is confirmed in the following charter that appears in 'The Cheshire Sheaf', 29th December 1920, page 114; Notes /  Some Cheshire Deeds (continued from No. . The introductory description provided in The Cheshire Sheaf reads: Some Cheshire Deeds. The following notes of deeds have been taken from Volume No.3 of the Shakerley MSS., in the possession of Sir Walter Shakerley Bt. of Somerford Park, Congleton, who kindly allowed me to examine some of the volumes. Most of the collections are the work of William Vernon of Shakerley and Somerford, the Cheshire Antiquary. The name of the 'author' of these words is provided at the bottom of the set of printed and transcribed deeds - R. Stewart Brown.:
Tiverton: R. de Verdun, Dean of Chester had given to Lucy de Verdun his sister, for fealty and service, 4 bovates in Teverton [Tiverton] of his demesne and two of the land of Rushtcorn [Runcorn]. Rent a pair of spurs or 3d at St. Martin. Witn: Ph. de Orreby then Justice of Chester; Warin de Vernun, Ha. de Mascy, Wm. de Venables, Liulf sheriff, Master Alexander, Bertram chamberlain [i.e. Bertram de Verdun], Alex. de ____, Hen. Torpelegh, Rob. de Pulle, John de Sancta Maria, Ran. Dubold (ay), Ric. son of Radulf, Rad. Farrede "juvene", Alex. of Oxford.
Date: [About 1208]
The details within this extract expand on another version that appears in Ormerod's History of Cheshire, within a section on 'Teverton' in Cheshire (i.e. Tiverton) in a chapter concerning Edisbury Hundred (page 148). Ormerod continues on the next page (149) with these words:
Henry de Verdon, shortly afterwards, in the time of king John, or Henry the Third, granted by deeds without date, to Matthew son of Matthew de Hulgreve, an estate in Teverton, with the homages and services thereunto annexed, in free marriage with Alice de Verdon, his daughter; which grant was confirmed by Roger de Verdon, her brother, in 1232. Henry de Verdon sealed with two lions indorsed.
This Matthew de Hulgreve, the representative of a younger branch of the Vernon family, resided at Hulgreve, near Minshull, where his family continued until the extinction of the male line, in the person of Henry de Hulgreve, anno 13 Ric. II.
The man mentioned here is Henry I de Verdun. A third of Teverton was still in the possession of the de Verdons in 1394 - we know this thanks to a record in the “Recognizance Rolls of Chester”, which are the Chancery Rolls of the Palatinate of Chester and contain enrolments of Charters, Letters Patent, Commissions and other documents. Here is the extract:
1394, November 18th: (Beston, Beeston - cont.)
John de, and Margaret, his wife, writ of livery to, on finding of an inquisition, viz., that Alice, who was the wife of William de Hulgreve of Teverton, died seized to herself, and her heirs of her body, and the body of the said William, her husband, of the gift of Hugh de Tofte, chaplain, of land in Erdeswyck called “Mayonesegh,” which John de Olton gave to Matthew de Hulgreve and Matthew, his son; of a third of the manor of Teverton, held of John de Verdon in socage; and of land in Minshull Vernon called Hulgreve, held of Ralph de Vernon, Kt, in socage, and by the service of six heads of barbed arrows; and that Margaret wife of the said John, and daughter of the said Alice, was next heir, and of the age of 24. [18 & 19 Ric.2. m. 1 d. (3), (5), (6).]
John son of William de Beston, John de Golburn, of Horton, and Richard Wodener, of Chester, tailor, sureties for the relief of. [Ibid. (4).]
The John de Verdon mentioned above must be Sir John de Verdon, son of Vivian de Verdon of Biddulph, Darlaston and Bucknall, who was the heir and probably eldest son of Henry III de Verdun and great grandson of Henry I de Verdon.
Tiverton is in the parish of Bunbury almost exactly midway between Chester and Nantwich, Cheshire.
Henry I de Verdun is mentioned in another early Cheshire deed, which refers to other lands he held in the county. This deed is published, translated, in The Cheshire Sheaf, page 97, November 1920, under the heading 'Some Early Cheshire Deeds - continued from No. 4160'.
Henry de Verdon gave to Roger his son two shillings and twopence farthing rent which Wm. de Norleg held of him in Chester at Gloverston and an assart in the vill of Louton which Keneric held of him, and lands which Adam de Faradon held of him and Wm Clerk in Middlecliff and his plot near the mill rendering 4 barbed arrows.
Wtn. Wm. Parton, Rob. de Sumerton, Ivo de Aston, Ran. de Bovile, Rob. Salmon, Wm Chanu, Alex. de Bonebury, Patric de Bonebury, Rob. son of Wm. Chanu, Simon de Tyrisford, Wm. Clerk of Louton.
S. d. verie ancient.
T. +SIG HENRICI DE VERDUN, in a rundle 2 lyons counter saleant.
Henry's seal of '2 lyons counter saleant' is the same as that described above in the Tiverton deed as 'two lions indorsed'.
Mention of Ivo de Aston may help date this deed, since Ivo's brother Robert fitz Payne (son of Robert fitz Payne who lived c.1166) died in 1233, and his brother Noel is mentioned in 1203. Since Henry is giving his son Roger de Verdon land just on the edge of Chester itself, perhaps this tells us that the man named as R. de Verdun, Dean of Chester in the deed detailed above relating to Tiverton is in fact Roger de Verdun, son of Henry I de Verdun. But for all we know he could just as well be Henry's brother.
The places mentioned are:
Gloverston (otherwise known as Gloverstone and Castle Gloverstone), was an area between Chester Castle and the City of Chester.
Louton is Lowton, a place c.7 miles south of Wigan in Lancashire, between Manchester and Liverpool.
Middlecliff may refer to Middle Cliff near Bradnop c.2.5km south east of Leek in Staffordshire (and c.5km north of Ipstones in Staffordshire). There is a Middle Cliff Farm there.
The Public Record Office throws up another helpful insight into the de Verdun family of Darlaston & Biddulph's connections with Cheshire, within the Chester County Pleas in the 20th/21st year of the reign of Edward I. In this case it relates to the testament of Thomas de Staundon (or Standon), Rector of Rostherne, which is located 4.5km south east of High Legh ('Legh', which is also mentioned below), 12km south west of Gatley and 10km north west of Fulshaw. Thomas's executors were Henry III de Verdun of Darlaston and Biddulph, and Robert de Bromlegh. Henry's grandfather Henry I de Verdun was a son of Bertram III de Verdun, whose close involvement with Cheshire is mentioned above. Henry III de Verdun had married to a sister of Vivian de Standon (Staundon), who may have been Thomas's brother, which would perhaps explain how Henry came to be Thomas's executor. Perhaps he played a role in Thomas being appointed Rector of Rostherne. Henry named his son Vivian de Verdun after his brother-in-law (whose father may also have been Vivian de Standon).
The following entry appears in the Chester County Pleas 20-21 Edward I, ref: Chester 29/7 m. 2d, and is dated 18th August 1293, in Chester.
Ric’s de Mascy recognouit se debere Hugoni de Dutton’ Mag’ro Rob’to de Bromlegh’ & Henr’ de Verdun Executor’ testamenti Thom’ de Staundon’ Rector’ Eccl’ie de Routhestorn in qatuor mrcis strlingor p decimis garbar de Tatton’ ad soluend’ vnam medietate’ ad Natiuitatem s’ci Joh’is Bapt’e px’m sequ’2. & ad f’m o’ium s’cor px’m sequ’3 aliam medietatem sine vltriori dil’oe. Et ni fecrit vult & concedit q’d vic’ Cestr’ fieri faciat prd’cam pecuniam de trris & catall’ suis prfatis Hugoni Rob’to & Henr’ sine dil’oe reddend’
Richard de Mascy recognized that he owes to Hugh de Dutton, master Robert de Bromlegh and Henry de Verdun, executors of the testament of Thomas de Staundon rector of the church of Routesthorn, 4 marks sterling for the tithe sheaves of Tatton, to pay half at Midsummer next and at All Saints then next following the other half, without further delay. And if he do not, he wills and grants that the sheriff of Chester may cause the money aforesaid to be raised from his lands and chattels, to be rendered to the aforesaid Hugh, Robert and Henry without delay
Thom’ de Legh’ recognouit se debere Hugoni de Dutton’ Mag’ro Rob’to de Bromlegh’ & Henr’ de Verdun in duodecim marcis strlingor ad soluend’ ad trmi’os prd’cos p deci’a garbar de Legh’ Et nisi fecit vult & concedit q’d vic’ fieri faciat prd’cam pecuniam de trris & catall’ suis in forma prd’ca
Thomas de Legh recognized that he owes Hugh de Dutton, master Robert de Bromlegh and Henry de Verdun 12 marks sterling to pay at the terms aforesaid for the tithe sheaves of Legh. And if he do not, he wills and grants that the sheriff may cause the money aforesaid to be raised from his lands and chattels, in form aforesaid.
1 this whole entry is crossed through, the debt having been paid
2 Thursday 24 June 1294
3 Monday 1 November 1294
4 this whole entry is crossed through, the debt having been paid
The transcription and translation above is the work of David Bethell of The Original Record, and has been reproduced here with his permission.
Either before or after this case was recorded, a 'Jordan de Verdun' is mentioned in another old document that relates to Legh and also mentions Sir Richard de Mascy and Thomas de Legh. This may well suggest that Jordan was, if not another son of Henry III de Verdun, at least a very close relation. Ormerod in his History of Cheshire, in writing of 'Legh' (i.e. High Legh, located c.15km west/south west of Gatley and the same distance north/northwest of Wilmslow) wrote of one half of a moiety having been purchased by Sir Richard Massy of Tatton, towards the middle of Edward the First's reign, which lasted from 16th November 1272 to 7th July 1307). Ormerod then produces a transcription of a copy of a deed of this partition, as follows:
Hæc est partitio terrarum in villa de Legh. Inter dominum Ricardum de Massy, militem, et Thomam de Legh ex unâ parte ; et Hugonem quondam dominum de medietate villæ de Legh, et Johannem filium et hæredem ejusdem Hugonis, et Matthæum de Alpraham custodem ejusdem Johannis, ex alterâ parte ; videlicet, quod terra et tenementa subscripta remaneant in perpetuùm domino Ricardo de Massy et Thomæ de Legh, et hæredibus eorum seu assignatis, in campo Jordani de Verdon sex acræ. And so of several other parcels. Lib. C. fol. 267. 9, 10. This was in the reign of Edward the First. The original penès Legh de West Hall, l665.
The thought that Jordan de Verdon was related to Henry III de Verdon (de Verdun) of Darlaston and Biddulph is further suggested by a reference to 'Henry son of Jordan de Verdon' in the Calendar of Patent Rolls, July 11th 1327, the first year of the reign of Edward III. The entry appears within 'Membrane 15. This and other membranes seem to record a very large number of pardons for crimes committed after the Coronation of Edward III on 1st February 1327, but before the murder of his father Edward II at Berkeley Castle. Edward III's reign had began formally on 25th January 1327 at a time when his father was still alive and the country was suffering a period of instability, with Roger Mortimer acting as de facto ruler of England alongside Isabella. It was not until 1330 that Edward III was able to become his own man, seize the power of kingship and have Mortimer executed. Perhaps the long list of pardons related to the acts connected with the conflict between Edward II and his nobles, or scores settled between parties who took advantage of a power vacuum that encouraged anarchy. The entry in the Patent Rolls does not tell us whose side (if any) Henry de Verdon may have been on, but it is more likely that those being pardoned may have been supportive of Mortimer, hence the young King having to pardon them. The entry reads as follows:
1 EDWARD III. - PART II.
Membrane 15 - cont.
1327. July 11. Topclif'.
William son of Thomas Legh, Robert Legh, John de Rodeyard, John de Legh, Thomas Danyers, Geoffrey le Byroun, William de Chetelton, for the deaths of William de Modburghlegh, Henry son of Jordan de Verdon, William son of Roger de Modburghlegh, Hugh Reynald and Thomas de Dounes, killed after the coronation, with the condition.
has been postulated that 'with the condition' may have referred to them
having been pardoned on the condition that they served in the King's
army against the Scots. William de Modburghlegh's name comes from an old
formation of the placename 'Mobberley', a settlement c.5km south east
of Rostherne, the same distance west of Fulshaw & Wilmslow and c.10km south east of High Legh.
The connection suggested between Jordan and Henry III de Verdun may be thought increasingly confirmed when one considers Henry's parents. His father Henry II de Verdun, Lord of Darlaston, Biddulph & Bucknall married Amice de Puleston, sister of Roger de Puleston (otherwise occurring spelt 'Pyvelesdon' or 'Pulesdon'); Puleston is a hamlet in the parish of Chetwynd just to the north of Newport, Shropshire. Amice also had another brother, Jordan de Puleston, who is found witnessing a charter with his brother (or father) Roger de Puleston, whereby William de Ercall made grants to the Priory of St Leonard and the White Nuns of Brewood. The charter either preceded or followed a connected Fine levied at Shrewsbury on 3rd February 1256 between Agnes, Prioress of St. Leonard of Brewood, Plaintiff and William de Ercalew. The details are provided on page 85-86 of Volume IX of The Rev. R. W. Eyton's 'Antiquities of Shropshire':
William de Ercal, for the souls of himself and his wife Emma, gives to St. Leonard and to the White Nuns of Brewode a ninth of the sheaves, of two carucates, and lone carucate, in his demesnes of La More and Ercal respectively, he not being bound to pay the said ninths to the House of Wombrugg according to a Cyrograph made between himself and the said House. He further gives to Brewode a ninth of his hay near Tyrne except that of Wennemore-meadow. As security he gives power of distress on Ercal Mill, to the extent of 20 measures of best corn. He further gives the Nuns 40 feet of land near his Court of La More to make a Weir.
Witnesses: Robert Corbet, Lord of Morton, Roger Corbet of Hedleg, John fitz Hugh, Sir Hamund le Strange, Odo de Hodnet, Roger de Pyvelsdon, and Jurdan de Pyvelesdon.1
1 Newport Evidences
The source that Eyton cites here as 'Newport Evidences' are Reverend J. B. Blakeway's extracts from Newport deeds that are preserved along with Blakeway's other MSS., at the Bodleian Library.
La More was where the Prioress of St. Leonard's grange was built.
The well known 'Puleston Cross' in Newport by St. Nicholas's Church was erected in the 1280s to the memory of Sir Roger de Puleston, father of Jordan, Roger and their other siblings. Recent investigation during a redevelopment around the site in 2010 concluded that this historic market cross has stood on the same spot since c.1280. A more precise date may be suggested by mention of a deed signed by Roger, son of Sir Roger de Puleston in 1285, which includes the words: "the cross set up for the soul of Roger de Pyvelsdon who died in 1272" - the deed is mentioned, and extract provided in the book 'The Early Pulestons' by Mrs Sunter Harrison of Wrexham, published in 1975.
Henry II de Verdun had died before 1272. It appears that along with many other from Staffordshire including his brother-in-law Jordan de Puleston, he had been part of Simon de Montfort's rebellion against Henry III. This is mentioned in The Collections for a History of Staffordshire (Volume 8, 1887; pages 4-5), within a chapter titled 'Notes on the Military Service performed by Staffordshire Tenants during the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries.'
The Barons’ war, 48 to 51 Hen. III
A.D. 1264 to A.D. 1266
In some suits Coram Rege of Hillary Term, 56 Hen. III., respecting the amount of redemption to be paid for the forfeited estates of Henry de Verdun and Hugh de Weston, it was testified that the whole of the county of Stafford was against the King, and juries from the counties of Worcester and Warwick were summoned in consequence to decide the cases. The Chronicles however bear testimoney to the loyalty of three at least of the principal tenants of Staffordshire. These were Philip Marmion, James de Audeley, and Roger de Somery. On the other hand, Robert Earl of Ferrars, and Hugh le Despencer the Justiciary of England, and Ralph Basset of Drayton took a leading part in favour of Simon de Montfort and his adherents. With regard to the head of the House of Stafford there is no evidence as to the part he took. Robert de Stafford at this time was a man advanced in life, and it is probable he remained neutral during the strife. Of the lesser tenants, William Bagot of the Hyde, Adam de Brimpton, William Wyther, and Hugh de Okeover, remained loyal to the Crown. The following are shown by the Rolls to have been in arms against the King :
| Robert de Staundon|
Henry de Verdun of Darlaston
Philip de Mutton
William de Handsacre
Robert de Pipe
John fitz Philip
Hugh de Weston
Geoffrey de Gresley
John de Audley of Blore
Robert de Knighteley
Henry de Charnes
Roger Bagot of Brinton
William de Parles
Roger de Walton
John de Swynnerton
| Richard de Loges|
Gilbert le Mareschal of Aston
Richard de Bromley
William de HarecourtBertram de Burgo
William de Eideware
Jordan de Pulestone
Richard de Flotesbroc (Flashbrook)
Richard de Vernon
Giles de Erdington
Robert de Melbourne of Hoarcross
Geoffrey de Aston
Henry de Wyverstone
Therefore, it may be the case that Jordan de Verdon was named after Jordan de Puleston, who seems to have been his uncle, although the name Jordan was not uncommon ion this period and others close to the family had borne it. For example, Jordan de Humez, son of Richard de Humez in whose household Bertram III de Verdun had been brought up (see above).
Henry III de Verdon's family also appear to have had a connection with Astbury in Cheshire, a parish that lay alongside that of Biddulph in Staffordshire.
Since Congleton's parish church was St. Mary's in the nearby village of Astbury, predecessors of the Vardons of Goldstone were christened, married and buried there for hundreds of years. They had farms in Astbury parish as well as property holdings in Congleton itself. As it happens, the Cheshire Court Rolls record under the heading 'County Court of St. Peter's Chair, 22nd February 1288-89, a case is recorded as follows:
Abbot of St. Werburgh's, Chester v. [versus] William son of Thomas de Venables; advowson of Astebury church. The abbot said he last presented one Mr John de Stanlegh, clerk, in time of peace, and he was duly instituted by the Bishop of Chester. The church is now vacant by his death. William being under age, his guardian Roger de Verdun said the matter must be adjourned till he came of age; meantime it was alleged that though the abbot presented the last incumbent he was not the true patron at the time but an intruder (quasi male fidei occupator), the heirs being unwilling.
The extract continues without further mention of Roger de Verdun, who was the son of Henry III de Verdon and brother of Vivian de Verdon. However, this is not the only early record that mentions both Astbury and one of the de Verdun family.
Additionally, in 1576 there used to be a window in Astbury church with two shields displaying the coat of arms of the de Verdun family, alongside a third displaying the arms of the Earl of Chester. We know this from a transcription in George Ormerod's book 'History of the County Palatinate and City of Chester', Volume III (1819) - it appears as a footnote on page 19 (which is completed on page 20) within the section dealing with Newbold Astbury, in the chapter on Northwich Hundred:
p. In Harl. MSS. 2151 [Harleian Manuscript No. 2151, held in the British Library], p. 4, are the following notices of "monuments and coates" in Astbury church, "taken an'o 1576." The parts of the description placed within hooks refer to rude drawings in the original MS.
"In the east window northwood are these monuments and coates, (four compartments, apparently divided by the mullions of the east window of the north chancel. In the first, a male and female figure with three sons and two daughters severally kneeling behind them. In the second and third similar figures, with three daughters and five sons, each charged on the breast with a cross pate fichèe. In the fourth, a male figure in armour, also kneeling. Under the entire line this inscription :
"Orate pro a'i'bus Radulfi Moreton de Moreton, Joh'is fr'is ejus, parentem benefactor' et o'i'u fideliu' defunctor' qui vitriacione' istius fenestra fecerunt.
"In the head of three windowes in the north ile these coates [Or, fretty Gules; the same; and Azure, three garbs Or.].
Perhaps these three coats of arms - two for the de Verdons (Vardons) and one for the Earl of Chester, are illustrating and confirming the connection between Ranulf de Gernon, Earl of Chester, Bertram III de Verdun and Bertram's brother, or uncle (if he lived a long life) William de Verdun, one of Ranulf's knights and companions.
Records confirm that it was in the 17th century that the Verdons' surname changed to Vardon. It is believed that this change of spelling reflected the way in which Verdon (previously de Verdon/Verdun) had come to be spoken phonetically, influenced by the great English vowel changes that began in the 14/1500s. In the same way, some of the Berkeley family changed their surname to Barclay, and the City of Derby came to be pronounced 'Darby', which is how Abraham Darby and his famous family of Quaker ironmasters spelt their name. Those descendants of the Verdons of Fulshaw who were still living in and around Wilmslow parish, Cheshire in the 1600s also changed the spelling of their name to Vardon at about the same time as their relation John Verdon had moved to live in Congleton. In addition, the Verdons of Caverswall, near Stoke-on-Trent and Alton experienced a change in the spelling of their name to Vardon in the 17th century, and some of the Verdons of Norfolk & Suffolk are also found recorded with this spelling.
In the same way, 'Verdontown' by Over Alderley, not far from Woodford and Prestbury, where the Verdons held land before Fulshaw, is now known as 'Vardentown'. Verdon House and Verdon Bridge in Hough by Wilmslow are also now known as 'Vardon House Farm' and 'Varden Bridge'. Earwaker tells us in his History of East Cheshire (1877) that these places were part of 'dominium de Verdone in Com. Cestriae'. This 'Lordship of Verdone' is recorded to have been given to the Preceptory of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem at Yeaveley in Derbyshire. Yeaveley also received the Manor of Fulshaw from Richard de Fitton, which was later held by Edmund Verdon son of Nicholas de Verdon, and it was granted other lands by Ranulf, Earl of Chester. Some of the de Verduns held land in Derbyshire at Aston & Weston-on-Trent of the Earls of Chester from an early time and the first of them - 'Sir William de Verdun' - married an heiress whose family held another nearby estate at Osgathorpe in Leicestershire from Bertram III de Verdun; these same de Verduns occur frequently in the chartulary of the Abbey of St. Werburgh in Chester in relation to grants of land to the abbey as well as other matters. Sir William may be the earlier William de Verdun of Cheshire and Normandy, or his son, or probably even Bertram III's brother.
Some of the de Verduns also appear in The Cheshire Court Rolls. On 13th April 1260, in the 44th year of the reign of King Henry III, 'Nicholas de Verdun' is mentioned in the County Court Roll of Cheshire as a witness in a case brought by the attorney of the Abbot of Chester against Richard the son of William the Clerk of Chester. The attorney claimed that Richard was the abbots man for land at Upton [near Chester], held by rendering yearly a pair of spurs, and that he had wrongfully withdrawn his service. Almost thirty years later, three more of the family appear in the same County Court Rolls. Firstly 'Theobald de Verdun' (son of John de Verdun and grandson of Roesia de Verdun) is mentioned in a case dated 18th January 1289 relating to land at Weston by Bertumlegh (i.e. Weston, near Barthomley, just south east of Crewe and c.17km south west of Congleton). Later that same year, mention is made of 'Jordan de Verdun', who appeared at the County Court on St. Alphege's Day in the 17th year of the reign of Edward I (i.e. 19th April 1289) in relation to land at Poynton near Woodford. Jordan is very likely to be the same man who appeared in the c.1290s deed above, relating to land he had at Legh (i.e. High Legh), where Henry III de Verdun also appears to be connected. Then 'William de Verdoun' appeared in the Macclesfield Eyre Roll (included within the Cheshire Court Rolls) in 1290 in relation to land previously held by him at Gaticlyve (i.e. Gatley) by Cheadle, west of Stockport.
Approximately 50 years later, three descendants of these men, who are also the ancestors of the Verdons of Fulshaw, are mentioned in 'The early history of the Davenports of Davenport' edited by TP Highet, and published by the Chetham Society, 3rd series, 9, 1960 - all appear in the details transcribed from the 'Rotelus de Portura' (i.e. 'The Puture Roll'). The first of these, 'Jordan de Verdun' is mentioned in 1342-3 in the 19th year of the reign of Edward III in relation to land at Woodford, in the parish of Prestbury, Cheshire - likely to be the same land mentioned in relation to Jordan de Verdun in 1289 above. Then Nicholas de Verdon is recorded with his son Edmund in 1355-6 in the 29th year of the reign of King Edward III. 'Nicholas de Verdon' is listed in connection with land at Romelegh - this place is Romilly, a township in the parish of Stockport, Cheshire, close to Gatley (i.e. Gaticlyve mentioned above in relation to the earlier William de Verdoun). Then Nicholas's son - 'Edmundus filius Nichole de Verdon' - is listed in relation to land at Wernwyth cum Romylegh (in the parish of Stockport, Cheshire). Nicholas is not mentioned under Romelegh in the Puture Roll after Easter 1378 (1st year of the reign of King Richard II), so he may have died before this time. Whatever the answer, in 1387 his son Edmund de Verdon was recorded as having land at Woodford in the parish of Prestbury, Cheshire. Into the next century, in 1445 Edward Verdon (or perhaps this should be 'Edmund') was recorded as one of the Knights and Gentlemen of Cheshire, in the Hundred of Macclesfield and his land was associated with the Holding of St. John of Jerusalem.
Click here for more details about the de Verdun, Verdon and Vardon families of England, Normandy and Ireland, and the heraldic connections that continue to signpost their shared history on both sides of 'La Manche', which perhaps should be more appropriately named 'The Norman Channel'!
It is a coincidence in relation to Goldstone that the de Verdons of Alton used to hold the manor of Stoke-on-Tern, not far from Goldstone, and that some centuries later the manor was held by the Corbets of Adderley who were lords of Childs Ercall, from which Goldstone emerged as a manor in its own right. Adderley had also been held by the de Verdons and appears mentioned as one of his manors in the Inquisition Post Mortem of John de Verdon in October 1274.
William Vardon of Goldstone (1783-1856)
William Vardon was born in Congleton, Cheshire, in 1783. His father was John Vardon, son of James Vardon of Congleton by his wife Martha. Martha was the daughter of Catherine Keene, by her husband John Burgess - Catherine's parents were John Keene and his wife Dorothy Hayward, sister of Robert Hayward junior of Aston Cliffe and Thomas Hayward who was the father of Thomas Hayward of Goldstone.
William's father John Vardon had left Congleton as a young man and moved to the City of London where he had an ironmongery business and lived at No.3 Gracechurch Street, on the side of the Churchyard of St. Peter's Cornhill. He married Ellen Wood. They and other members of the family were buried in a vault under the church and there still exists a large memorial on the north wall recording the names of a number of the family.
BELOW - the memorial inside St. Peter's Cornhill to John & Ellen Vardon, parents of William Vardon of Goldstone:-
BELOW - the shield on the memorial above displaying John Vardon's coat of arms impaled with his wife Ellen's father's coat of arms. The motto is Gratia Dei Sum Id Quod Sum which means By the Grace of God I am what I am (this is found in verse 10 of Chapter 15 of St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians). It is interesting that the crescent mark of cadency shown in the bookplate above is not added, suggesting that it started to appear in versions of the Vardon arms as a result of its use by John & Ellen Vardon's son John:-
The coat of arms above appear to have been taken from an earlier recorded version that has been found in an old book - this is illustrated below.
BELOW - the coat of arms for John Vardon of Congleton and the City of London, impaling the arms of his wife Ellen Wood's family:-
In William, all Goldstone, Crouch, some Soudley (see note above about the Crouch-Soudley connection), Slaney, Hayward and Vardon estates were combined. William was clearly pleased with his inheritance, but also respectful of the Goldstone estate and manor's historical significance. He had coats of arms painted of almost all the families whose intermarriages had shaped his inheritance - some of these have already been illustrated above. A number were single coats of arms of heirs, but most show shields that had husband and wife coats of arms combined together to illustrate how marriages shaped inheritances. Families recorded include: Goldstone, Crouch, Slaney, Chowne, Burgess, Hayward and Vardon.
BELOW - (left) John Keene's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Dorothy (née Hayward) and (middle) their son in law James Vardon's coat of arms impaling those of his wife Martha Burgess's mother Catherine (née Keene). Finally (right) the Vardon's ancestral coat of arms without the cadet mark shown above. All these shields were made and recorded by William Vardon, to show the complicated family connections that resulted in him inheriting so many estates. More particularly William was illustrating how the manor and lordship of Goldstone had passed from the Goldstones through to the Haywards and finally to William himself:-
William Vardon lived most of his life in London, spending time up at Goldstone after inheriting Edward Hayward's estate. Initially he lived at No.3 Gracechurch Street in the City of London where the family lived and had an ironmongery business, and later at No.41 Half Moon Street, Mayfair, where he died in 1856. On inheriting Goldstone and moving from the City, he presented two alter chairs to the church of St. Peter Cornhill - these are still there and each has a plaque on the back which mentions Goldstone. There are memorials to William in three churches! These are: Cheswardine, Astbury (near Congleton) and St. Peter's Cornhill.
BELOW - the two chairs that William Vardon gave to St. Peter's Cornhill, still there next to the Altar:-
...........with a plaque behind each of them to confirm where they came from:-
Following a proposal by Churchwarden Hopkins at a General Vestry meeting of the parish of St. Peter's Cornhill on 6th June 1845, a decorative scroll was presented to William Vardon to record the Vestry's unanimous thanks for his gift.
BELOW: the scroll presented to William Vardon:-
William had estates in Shropshire (Goldstone, Cheswardine, Hinstock, Lockely Wood, Ellerton), Staffordshire (Aston Cliffe and Crowborough) and Cheshire (Hulme Walfield and Congleton). The Hulme Walfield estate and other Cheshire and Staffordshire inheritances other than the Vardon land in and around Congleton and Staffordshire came via Hugh Hayward, a 2nd cousin of Edward Hayward who died without having married and with no children. In his will Hugh left inheritances to his cousin Thomas Hayward of Goldstone and Thomas's nephew Edward Hayward. He also left a large part of his estate to John Vardon of Congleton, father of William Vardon as the extracts from his will show below:-
A Copy of the Will of Hugh Hayward
Will dated 1 January 1782
Codicil 12 August 1788
Proved at Chester
16 September 1788
................Upon Trust nevertheless and to, for and upon the several uses, trusts, intents and purposes as are mentioned and expressed in the will of the said Peter Shakerley, deceased, concerning the same, and to and for no other use, intent or purpose whatsoever, and with respect to my real Estate scituate at Aston Cliffe in the County of Stafford, and in the possession of Joshua Reade as Tenant thereof, I Give and devise the same (subject to a Mortgage for securing the sum of two thousand four hundred pounds due to George Townsend of the City of Chester, Esquire, and which I hereby direct shall be paid out of that Estate and not out of any other part of my real or personal Estate, unto Thomas Hayward of Goldstone in the County of Salop, Gentleman, for and during the term of his natural life, and from and after his decease I give and devise the same unto his Nephew Edward Hayward, his heirs and Assigns for ever and as for and concerning all other my Manors or reputed Manors, Messuage, Lands, Tenements and hereditaments of what nature or kind soever and wheresoever, scituate, lying or being, I Give and devise the same and all my right, Title and interest therein unto John Vardon of Congleton in the County of Chester, Ironmonger, his heirs and assigns for ever
BELOW - picture of Hugh Hayward as a young man, that used to be at Goldstone Hall:-
Hugh was the son of Robert Hayward of Aston Cliffe whose wife was Hannah Starky and who was the son of Robert Hayward of Aston Cliffe by his wife Elizabeth Haworth, daughter of Henry Haworth of Caverswall, Staffordshire, by his wife Mary Moreton daughter of William Moreton of Hulme Walfield - one of the same family as the Moretons of Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire. Elizabeth's husband Robert was the elder son of Robert & Dorothy Hayward of Aston Cliffe, whose younger son was Thomas Hayward, husband of Jane Slaney and father of Edward Hayward (1st cousin of Edward Pegg) whose son Thomas (by Sarah Chowne) inherited Goldstone from Edward Pegg.
When he inherited Goldstone, William was helped by a man called Thomas Beeston, who appears to have acted as his agent and actually lived at Goldstone. Thomas was was related to the Jervis family of Cheswardine, and therefore to the Haywards of Goldstone, through the Crouch (Cryche) connection. He may be the 'Tommy Beeston' who Ruth Donaldson-Hudson refers to as having been such a character in her book on Cheswardine - if not, she would have been referring to his son Thomas, who appears to have continued his father's role as agent to the Vardons. Whichever, he certainly seemed a character and wrote letters to William and his representatives providing anecdotes about Goldstone and its people. Some of these tales include Thomas Hayward exercising his rights as lord of the manor of Goldstone, and how encroachments by the freeholders of Hinstock onto Goldstone Common were prevented at a time when Hinstock and Goldstone commons were joined together. He also mentions the holding of a Court Leet at Goldstone, as follows:
Since I last wrote you I have seen Mr Wm Lockley he recollects Mr Ew'd Hayward holding a Court Leet at Goldstone that he himself Mr D. Lea Senr & Mr Wm Jones of Lightwood attending believes Mr Hayward acted as Steward & Manager of the Court himself, but perfectly recalls Mr Hayward writing & making entry thereon either on a peice of paper or Book which he supposes you would be able to find amongst his papers.
BELOW - a picture that is thought may be of William Vardon (1783-1856), that used to be at Goldstone Hall:-
William appears to have had modifications made on Goldstone Hall that included a panel featuring his crest of a stag's head with his monogram ('WV') below. This is still visible, and the same appears on the side of a cottage on the road to Woodseaves from Goldstone, in Lightwood.
BELOW - William Vardon's crest and monogram on the side of Goldstone Hall:-
BELOW – another example on the front of one of William Vardon’s other properties Holly Cottage by Goldstone Common
William died in 1856. A stone memorial was erected to his memory in St. Swithun's Church, Cheswardine, on the north wall, with the words:
IS ERECTED TO THE MEMORY
WILLIAM VARDON ESQr
OF GOLDSTONE HALL IN THIS PARISH
AND OF ASTBURY
IN THE COUNTY OF CHESHIRE
OBIT 15TH DECEMBER 1856
ARE INTERRED IN A VAULT
IN THE CHURCHYARD
BELOW - a picture of William Vardon's memorial, on the north wall of Cheswardine Church. The words engraved have become somewhat faded over the years:-
At the top of the tablet is a painted carving of his coat of arms
and crest, which is exactly like the Vardon coat of arms shown above, with the
exception of a different motto: Levius
Fit Patientia - this can be translated as either 'It becomes lighter with
endurance' or ‘It is rendered lighter by patience’. This motto was used by
William's successors rather than the other used by John Vardon, whose bookplate
is featured above. William was indeed buried in the churchyard at
Cheswardine and his large tomb lies beyond the west door towards a
side gate into the churchyard. He had himself buried next to Edward Pegg, whose
square memorial is much smaller, but taller than William's. What is thought to
be Pegg's grave may actually be that of the Haywards - certainly some of them
are recorded on the memorial; alternatively the Haywards may have used the same
burial place and the memorial itself.
BELOW - a picture of the coat of arms featured on William's Memorial in Cheswardine Church, somewhat blurred but showing the overall design and the fact that the stag's antlers have long since broken off the crest. The memorial was erected by his family and took his younger brother John Vardon's arms as the model, hence the inclusion of the crescent badge of a second son - William was actually the eldest so it was perhaps an error to have added it on this occasion:-
Memorials were also put up inside St. Mary's Astbury near Congleton and St. Peter's Cornhill in the City of London.
BELOW - William Vardon's much more ornate Memorial inside St. Mary's Church, Astbury, Cheshire:-
The words on the memorial at Astbury read as follows:-
IS ERECTED TO THE MEMORY
WILLIAM VARDON ESQRE
OF GOLDSTONE HALL
IN THE PARISH OF CHESWARDINE
IN THE COUNTY OF SALOP
AND OF HULME WALFIELD
IN THIS PARISH
OBIT 15TH DECEMBER 1856
HIS REMAINS ARE INTERRED
IN THE CHURCHYARD
BELOW - The coat of arms on William Vardon's Memorial at Astbury:-
BELOW - William Vardon's Memorial inside St. Peter's Cornhill, on the wall next to the large Memorial to his parents and other members of the family:-
BELOW - the coat of arms on the Memorial above:-
Some time after William Vardon's death and 1870 there appears to have been an intriguing dispute over the inheritance of his estate involving a man called Wood. It has not yet been ascertained whether he was a relation of Ellen Wood, the wife of John Vardon of Congleton and mother of William Vardon. Whatever, the case was due to have come to court but Mr Wood failed to show at the hearing, which subsequently found for the Vardons. Hugh Ernest Vardon kept a copy of Eddowes's Shrewsbury Journal dated 23rd March 1870, which recorded the story's conclusion, along with his handwritten note at the bottom of the page Plaintiff never appeared! HEV.
BELOW - Eddowes's Shrewsbury Journal 23rd March 1870:-
The pedigree chart prepared as part of Hugh Vardon's case is detailed above. It never had to be used but its survival provides a helpful confirmation of dates of birth and other data about the Crouch / Pegg / Goldstone / Hayward family relationship.
Emily Vardon of Goldstone
William never married and had no children. On his death
Goldstone was inherited by his sisters Ellen and
Emily Vardon, the youngest of the children of John Vardon, father of
William. The sisters lived together at Honeydean in North Cray, Kent. John
Vardon had been a liveryman of the Drapers' Company of the City of London and
his sons (William, John, Charles and Hugh James) were also members of the
Company. Hugh James became Master of the Drapers' Company in 1871. The Drapers
of London have forged close links with the Drapers' Company of Shrewsbury in
recent years and helped provide some funding for their old Hall in Shrewsbury -
coincidently, Richard Goldstone and Richard Hunt (son of Elizabeth Goldstone
and Thomas Hunt), mentioned above, were both Shrewsbury Drapers, so the Vardons
renewed a Drapers connection with Goldstone.
Kelly's 1885 Directory of Shropshire confirms that the two Vardon
sisters held Goldstone at the time:-
Kelly’s Directory of Shropshire 1885
Cheswardine is a parish, village and township, 5 miles south from Market Drayton station on the Great Western railway station, 8 north from Newport and 17 north-east from Shrewsbury, in the Northern division of North Bradford hundred, Market Drayton union, petty sessional division and county court district, rural deanery of Hodnet, archdeaconry of Salop and diocese of Lichfield: it is situated on the road from Newport to Market Drayton…...
[there is more detail about Cheswardine including mention of the Church of St. Swithun having been rebuilt in/from 1885]
……..Cheswardine Hall, the
seat of Charles Donaldson-Hudson esq. M.P., J.P. has been entirely rebuilt, and
is a fine Elizabethan mansion of red brick, with stone facings, standing in a
park of about 300 acres.
Charles Donaldson-Hudson esq. M.P., J.P. is
chief landowner; there are no manorial rights.
Cheswardine township contains 1,708A 1r. 9p.
Chipnall is a township 1 mile north-west. Charles Donaldson-Hudson is chief landowner. It contains 1,309A 0r. 10p. Lipley is a hamlet here.
Ellerton is a township 2 miles south
containing 443A 0r. 21p. Lieut.-Col.
Robert Taylor Masefield J.P. is chief landowner.
Goldstone a township, 1 mile south-west, contains 346A 1r. 26p. The Misses Vardon are chief landowners.
Great Sowdley a township 1 mile south. The area is 1,396A 0r. 34p. Here is a Wesleyan Chapel. Mrs. Wilkinson, C. Donaldson-Hudson esq. M.P., J.P. Lieut-Col. R.T. Masefield J.P. and Thomas S. Addison esq. are chief landowners.
Sambrook will be found under a separate head.
Beeston The Misses, Goldstone Hall
Meakin William, farmer
Peplow George, farmer
Simpson Geo, farmer, Goldstone bank
Whitfield William, farmer, Manor farm
Ellen and Emily died in 1878 and 1884 respectively, whereupon
the Goldstone estate was inherited by their nephew Hugh Ernest Vardon.
Hugh Ernest Vardon of Goldstone (1832-1911)
Hugh Ernest Vardon, son of Hugh James Vardon, a younger brother of William Vardon. Hugh lived in Ewell, Surrey at a house called Astbury, which he had named after Astbury near Congleton in Cheshire where the Vardon family had once lived.
As has already been mentioned, Hugh's father Hugh James Vardon and his Uncle John Vardon were both members of the Drapers' Company of the City of London. At a time when the Court Dining Room of Drapers' Hall was being refurbished, members of the Company's Court of Assistants of the year 1868/69 had their coats of arms added to the ceiling decoration. Since both John and Hugh James were members of the Court of Assistants they became the only two members of the same family whose arms appeared on the ceiling. Their shields appear in different locations in the room but have been placed together below. The date after each of their names - 1831 - is the year they were both admitted to the Livery of the Company. John's shield has a crescent mark of cadency (he was their father's second surviving son after William) and Hugh James has a crescent within a crescent. Strictly speaking this double crescent would usually signify a second son of a second son, so the designer who had the shields made must have sought to show the order of precedence between the brothers, but made a slight error in the process. Correspondence survives which appears to show that they checked the heraldic design used in a similar way for a shield in Ironmongers' Hall, for their cousin Thomas Vardon of Battersea, who was a member of the Livery of the Ironmongers' Company. John and Hugh James's deceased brother William Vardon was also a member of the Livery of the Drapers' Company, as were Hugh James's sons Hugh Ernest, and Henry Vardon.
BELOW - the two brothers' coat of arms which appear on the ceiling of the Court Dining Room inside Drapers' Hall, Throgmorton Street, in the City of London:-
Hugh's interests at Goldstone were overseen by Thomas Beeston junior, whose father Thomas had worked as agent (and tenant) of William Vardon, and (George) Gordon Warren. Gordon was a solicitor in Market Drayton, had married Hugh's sister Charlotte Ellen Vardon and they lived at Poynton House in Market Drayton. Gordon had been brought up at Morville Hall, his family's home near Bridgnorth in South Shropshire and was a Lt. Colonel in the 2nd Salop Volunteers. During this period it seems that a dispute arose between Hugh Vardon and the Donaldson-Hudsons who were Lords of the Manor of Cheswardine, over claim to the lordship of Goldstone. The matter may have arisen over the extraction of gravel from Goldstone Common. Hugh wrote a letter to Thomas Beeston about this on 26th December 1895 and he concluded it with the words: I may here mention that I am Lord of the Manor of Goldstone and my predecessors were so before. A series of letters and other documents flew back and forth between Hugh and his brother-in-law and the conclusion was that the Donaldson-Hudsons withdrew from the metaphorical field of battle, having found that the bounds of Cheswardine Manor did not equate to those of the parish. This left Hugh Vardon in unchallenged possession, able to continue to enjoy eating the pheasants shot on Goldstone Common that Thomas Beeston sent to him in Surrey.
BELOW - a view of Goldstone Bank Farm:-
A copy of the tenancy of Goldstone Bank Farm survives between Hugh Ernest Vardon and William Davies, dated 22nd March 1900. This recorded the names and acreages of each field and what use was made of each, as follows:
The outside of the document recorded the following:
Dated March 22nd 1900
Agreement from year to year between
Hugh Ernest Vardon Esq
Mr William Davies
Goldstone Bank Farm
A. R. P.
Total acreage – 114 : 1 : 17
Rent £ 171,,0,,0
Inside was a schedule and detailed wording, partial transcriptions of which are shown below:
This Agreement made and entered into this twenty second day of March 1900, between Hugh Ernest Vardon of Astbury in the Parish of Ewell County of Surrey (who is hereinafter termed “THE LANDLORD,”) for himself, his heirs, executors, and administrators of the one part, and William Davies of Goldstone Bank, and Henry Morgan of Westcott in the Parish of Cheswardine County of Shropshire – (who are hereinafter called “THE TENANTS”) for themselves, their executors and administrators of the other part
Witnesseth, that in consideration of the rents hereinafter reserved, and of the covenants and stipulations hereinafter contained, the Landlord agrees to let, and the Tenants agree to take all that Farm-house, Homestead, Buildings, pieces or parcels of Land, and Premises, thereto belonging, situate at Goldstone Bank in the Parishes of Cheswardine and Hinstock County of Shropshire containing one hundred and fourteen acres, one rood, and seventeen perches or thereabouts, as more particularly described in the Schedule hereto annexed, and which said Farm-house, Homestead, Buildings, pieces or parcels of Land, and Premises, are hereinafter included in, and described by, the expression, “The Farm,” late in the occupation of Frederick Palin…………………….etc
Some of the fields are now combined with each other. Even by
1900 some of the fields above had already combined with others whose names
lasted until at least the middle of the 19th Century. Witness to the signatures
on the agreement of William Davies and Henry Morgan was Thos Beeston of Market Drayton.
In 1922, Kelly's Shropshire Directory recorded the
following about Goldstone:-
Kelly's Shropshire Directory 1922
.....; on the walls [inside the church] are several ancient brasses, including one to John Sowdley, of Ellerton, esq. ob. 4 April, 1610;
Goldstone is a hamlet 1 mile south-west. Hugh E. Vardon esq. is the chief landowner.
Vardon Hugh, Goldstone Hall
Cartwright John, farmer
Cope Frederick William, farmer
Davies William, farmer, Goldstone bank
Hoole Montague, farmer
Talbot John Thomas, farmer
Hugh Ernest married Williamina Henrietta, only child of William
Henry Wells, a surgeon from London. They had no children so on the death
of Hugh in 1911 Goldstone was inherited by way of entail by his
nephew, Henry George Evelyn Vardon,
known as Jack. Hugh left his library to Epsom College and half of his residuary estate for the foundation of scholarships.
Henry George Evelyn ("Jack") Vardon of Goldstone (1888-1951)
Jack was born on 24th October 1888, the only child of Hugh Ernest Vardon's younger brother Henry Vardon and his wife Mary, who was the daughter of Colonel George Palmer Evelyn of Hartley Manor in Kent and his wife Esther Emiline Phillips. George wrote A Diary of the Crimea, which was a record of his service during the Crimean War as an officer of The Rifle Brigade attached to the Turkish Army. George was the son of Captain George Evelyn of Wotton House, one of the family of the celebrated diarist John Evelyn of Wotton. This older George fought at the Battle of Waterloo in the 3rd Foot Guards (now known as The Scots Guards) and he was wounded during the fierce fighting for possession of the strategically located chateau of Le Hougemont. He wrote an account of this and described how he lay unable to see through the smoke hearing French one moment and then English another, as possession passed from one side to the other. Finally, as we know, Wellington's troops won the day and George returned home to live the rest of his life on his estate at Wotton.
It is likely that it was in memory of these two Georges that Jack Vardon of Goldstone gained his middle names, and he was given his first name after his own father Henry Vardon. He became known as Jack to family and friends, but no one knows why.
Like the Vardons, the Evelyn family is said to have come from Normandy and to have been a branch of the French family of Evelin. In her History of the Evelyn Family, published in 1915, Helen Evelyn wrote:
This family took a prominent part in the Crusades, and in fact took its name from Ibelin, a locality in Palestine lying between Joppa and Ascalon. A 'French Herauld's Book' was brought over to England in 1650 by John Evelyn, author of 'Sylva', who translated it into English. It relates that a member of the family went to the Holy Land with Robert, Duke of Normandy, and became possessed of Baruth, a seaport [i.e. Beirut in today's Lebanon]. It also states that the Evelins intermarried with the royal families of Jerusalem and Cyprus. A member of the family returned to France in 1475 and bought a fief in Normandy which he called "Eveliniere".
In John Evelyn's time the representative of the French Evelyns was Guillaume Evelin, described as "Physician and Counselour to Henry IV, Louis XIII, and Louis XIV." John Evelyn met him in 1670 when he came over to England with Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, sister to Charles II. The following is an extract from John Evelyn's 'Diary' describing the meeting between them:-
"May 26, 1670. Receiving a letter from Mr Philip Howard, Lord Almoner to the Queen, that Monsieur Evelin, first physician to Madame (who was now come to Dover to visit the King her brother) was come to towne, greately desirous to see me, but his stay was so short that he could not come to me, I went with my brother to meete him at the Tower, where he was seeing the Magazines and other curiousities, having never before ben in England: we renew'd our alliance and friendship, with much regret on both sides that he being to returne towards Dover that evening, we could not enjoy one another any longer. How this French familie, Evelin, of Evelin in Normandy, a very ancient and noble house is grafted into our Pedigree, see in the collection brought by me from Paris in 1650."
The pedigree that John Evelyn brought from France differs slightly from the one for the Evelins which appears in Du Cange's Lignages d'Outre Mer. The first of John Evelyn's family to be in England was supposed to have been a William Evelyn of Harrow-on-the-Hill who died in 1476. So, he is not likely to be descended from Guillaume (William) Evelin who was said to have gone from France to England in 1489. However, this doesn't mean that they weren't close relations, and it is interesting that the French Evelins were so certain of the relationship and that John Evelyn wrote about how the Evelins' pedigree grafted into his own. Perhaps the date for Guillaume Evelin coming to England was incorrectly recorded.
In the pedigree that appears in the Lignages d'outre Mer Guillaume Evelin who went to England in 1489 and never returned is shown as the son of Henri Evelin, whose father Henri Evelin went to Normandy in 1475 and bought Evelinière, near Coutances. This elder Henri was the son of ___ d'Ibelin, whose own parents were Guy (or Balian) d'Ibelin, Seneschal of Cyprus and Isabella, daughter of Baldwin d'Ibelin. The Guillame Evelin who John Evelyn met in England was descended from Henri Evelin of Eveliniere's son Jean Evelin, who lived at Rohan.
The name 'Balian d'Ibelin' or Balian, Lord of Ibelin, will be well known to those who have watched the Ridley Scott directed film Kingdom of Heaven, in which Orlando Bloom is cast as Balian - see below:
Although the film went beyond the realms of historical fact, Balian really did exist. He was the son of Balian le Francois and his wife Helvis, daughter and heir of Baldwin, Seigneur of Rama and Mirabel. In 1177 their son Balian married Queen Marie (Maria Komnene), widow of Amalric I, King of Jerusalem. She was the daughter of John Komnenos, Byzantine Duke of Cyprus and grand-niece of the Byzantine Emperor Manual I Komnenos. Her grandfather, Andronikos Komnenos, was the second son of the Emperor John II Komnenos and died at sea in 1142 whilst on his way back to Constantinople with the body of his older brother Alexios, who had been killed in a hunting accident at Attalia (Antalya, a port on the southern coast of Turkey). Their father died the following year, and designated his fourth son Manuel as his heir, overlooking his third son Isaac.
Balian was the commander who led the defence of Jerusalem against the illustrious and great military commander Saladin in 1187, which is how he is portrayed in Ridley Scott's film. It is Amalric's son, Baldwin IV who is shown as King of Jerusalem in the film, along with his sister Sybilla, who really did marry Guy de Lusignan. However, contrary to the film's storyline, she didn't marry Balian as her second husband. He was already married to Amalric's widow, Queen Marie. The film is correct in recording that Balian made a large number of men knights during his defence of Jerusalem, but perhaps not quite as many as shown in the film!
The Evelins descend from Balian and Marie's son Jean d'Ibelin, Seigneur de Beirut and Constable of Jerusalem, via his son Guy d'Ibelin, whose son Balian had a son Guy (or Balian) mentioned above.
There is a fine write up about Jean d'Ibelin, the 'Old Lord of Beirut' on Wikipedia - see: Jean of Ibelin. As half brother of Queen Isabella of Jerusalem (daughter of Amalric and Marie) he had a great deal of influence. He is known to have rebuilt Beirut after its destruction by Saladin and made the city the Ibelin family's home. Jean is said to have built an opulent palace there, which expressed the culture of the Levant by combining Byzantine and Muslim artistic influences. In its central hall was a magnificent marble fountain with a dragon.
So, with his Evelyn (or Ibelin) and Vardon (or de Verdun) ancestry, Jack Vardon was born into a rich and romantic historical story and heritage. The Evelyn name continues to be used as a middle name by members of the family into the present generation, keeping the connection alive.
BELOW - a painting of Jack Vardon as a boy (the only known representation of him at a young age, which had been owned by Rose Martin, his mother's maid, who very kindly gave it to one of Jack's descendants):-
BELOW - a picture said to be of Jack's father Henry Vardon that was at Goldstone Hall before the sale of most of its contents:-
Jack came into his inheritance on his attaining the stipulated age of 30. He had married Cecilia Laura Lenox-Conyngham, daughter of Rev. George Hugh Lenox-Conyngham, Rector of Lavenham in Suffolk on 26th January 1918 at Lavenham. George Lenox-Conyngham was a son of Sir William Fitzwilliam Lenox-Conynham of Springhill, Co. Londonderry; his wife was Barbara Josephine Turton, daughter of Edmund Turton of Upsall Castle, Yorkshire by his wife Lady Cecilia Leeson daughter of Joseph Leeson 4th Earl of Milltown whose family home was Russborough in Co. Wicklow, Ireland. Joseph's wife, Barbara, Countess of Milltown, was the daughter of Sir Joshua Colles Meredyth, 8th Baronet, of Greenhills, Co. Kildare. In 1798, Sir Joshua is said to have been the last British subject to have been made a Knight of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem by the last Grand Master Ferdinand von Hompesch, whilst the Order remained resident at its headquarters on the island of Malta before Napoleon's invasion. Sir Joshua was appointed Lieutenant Prior of England and was one of those who survived to join the restored Order there. He died on 27th July 1850 and his obituary in The Gentleman's Magazine includes these words: He was knighted May 16, 1794, by the Earl of Westmoreland, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, being at that time a Captain in the 89th Foot. He also received the order of Military Merit from Louis XVIII and that of Louis of Hesse, from the Grand Duke of Hesse; and he was a Knight Grand Cross of St. John of Jerusalem. It was from his daughter that other Barbaras in the family took their name.
Cecilia was 18 years old when they married. Her parents only gave their consent for a marriage at such a young age because it was expected that Jack would be posted to the Western Front, separating the young couple. Jack had enlisted in the 2nd Battalion of the Honourable Artillery Company as a private soldier, but like many at the time was then commissioned and posted to another regiment - in Jack's case he was sent to the 2/1st Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, who were anticipated to be posted to the front like the 1/1st Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry. Understandably, Jack's father-in-law was concerned that Cecilia might become a widow and even a mother before he received his inheritance, and be left without income. He therefore suggested that Jack insured his life. By a huge stroke of irony, he was actually diverted from France to Ireland where the troubles had broken out and this took him and Cecilia to where she already had many relations. They lived together in Ireland from 1918-19. It must have been a relief to his widowed mother who saw so many of his generation go to France never to return, even though it cannot have been easy for Jack and others to have been prevented from serving at the Front alongside their comrades. At the time, Jack was the last male Vardon of his branch of the family, after a run of almost 200 years, so perhaps divine providence decided that he needed to survive and continue the family.
BELOW - the wedding party pictured at the reception at The Rectory, Lavenham:
BELOW - (to left) Jack & Cecilia Vardon at Lavenham Rectory after their marriage on 26th January 1918
and (to right) the couple before Jack returned to his regiment:-
Jack inherited from his uncle Hugh Ernest Vardon in October 1918, whilst he and Cecilia were in Ireland, but he wasn't able to take possession of all of his inheritance straight away as they had to wait for Goldstone Hall to become vacant and extensive alterations to be completed before moving in. So, when they returned from Ireland after the War they rented near-by Hinstock Villa (now known as 'Hinstock Court') from Captain Cyril Samuel Townsend, who had a lease on the property.
The alterations that Jack and Cecilia made to Goldstone Hall included the building of a large dining room that connected the two buildings of Goldstone Hall itself and the Manor house, which thereby became incorporated within the Hall. The dining room had a sprung floor put in at Cecilia’s suggestion because Jack had a love of dancing, and they both enjoyed a good party.
BELOW - a drawing of Goldstone Hall in 1924:-
BELOW - Goldstone Hall and the old Manor House at Goldstone, illustrated on maps from 1771 and the 1950s:-
Soon after they had moved there, Jack had to contend with yet
another challenge from the Donaldson-Hudsons. Mr Donaldson-Hudson, and
later his gamekeeper, had been found shooting on Goldstone Common in an
apparent attempt to exercise the rights that the Donaldson-Hudsons claimed over
Goldstone as lords of the manor of Cheswardine. The dispute was resolved after
H.G.E. ('Jack') Vardon met the gamekeeper shooting on the Common, got him to
stop and the gamekeeper in question later wrote to apologise. Jack
Vardon had inherited the estate and lordship of the manor of Goldstone
from his uncle Hugh Ernest Vardon only a few years before.
One rather interesting document that survives the short-lived
dispute with the Donaldson-Hudsons is a declaration
dated 11th March 1921 by James Titley of Hoar Lake who provided evidence in support of the
Vardon's claim to the ownership of Goldstone Common and Lordship of the Manor
of Goldstone. The declaration provides some interesting snippets about James
Titley's family history as well as Goldstone itself. It provides biographical
information about himself, such as his birth at Ellerton on 29th September
1837, and some miscellaneous facts about Goldstone.
Here is a transcription:
James Titley's declaration 11th March 1921
I JAMES TITLEY of Hoar Lake in the Parish of Hinstock in the County of Salop DO HEREBY SOLEMNLY AND SINCERLEY DECLARE:- - - - - - - - - - -
That I was born at Ellerton in the adjoining Parish to this on the 29th day of September 1837 where I lived until I came to reside in this Parish in the year 1842 and I have lived at Hoar Lake aforesaid since the year 1881.
I have worked for the Misses Vardon and Mr. Hugh E. Vardon former owners of the Goldstone Estate and for Mr H.G.E. Vardon the present Owner of the Goldstone Estate on their property since about 1870 & I am very well acquainted with this property & with Goldstone Common which adjoins this property upon three sides
As their servant I have always felled timber got & carted away gravel and sand from off the Common for the said Owners without making any payment therefor and without permission from any other party.
I can well remember over 60 years ago certain persons requiring sand asking Mr. Beeston who was then the Agent for the Goldstone Estate for permission to get the same off the Common.
I have acted for many years as Game Keeper for the Owners and until Mr. Hudson of Cheswardine commenced to shoot on the Commons few years ago no other person but the Owners or their friends ever shot or claimed any right to shoot over the said Common.
I have always understood and it has always been understood in the neighbourhood that there was a separate Manor of Goldstone and that the Vardons were the sole Lords of the Manor.
And I MAKE this solemn Declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of The Statutory Declarations Act 1835.
Declared before me at
this 11th day of
Thomas H. Garside
A Commissioner for Oaths
In his Game Log book, Jack recorded game shot on the Common and other places on the Goldstone estate over the next few decades during formal shooting parties and the odd informal foray with close friends. This provides ample evidence of the shooting rights over Goldstone Common exercised by the Vardons in their capacity as lords of the manor of Goldstone.
Jack and Cecilia had five children and lived very happily at Goldstone. They had five children, their first being a daughter Barbara, then Hugh, Veronica and the twins John and Johanna.
BELOW - Cecilia, with who is believed to be her first child Barbara:
Since Jack had inherited an entailed estate at Goldstone (i.e. one that had to be inherited by the eldest son) the birth of their second child and son George Hugh Vardon ("Hugh") on 27th November 1922 was particularly significant. Jack & Cecilia presented a new altar frontal for St. Swithun's Church Cheswardine to mark Hugh's birth - a white cloth at the centre of which was an embroidered golden cross with golden rays around it. In the middle of the cross there used to be a large stone, like amber, that may have been meant as a reference to 'gold stone'. Sadly the stone was stolen from the church some years later, but happily the altar frontal itself is still used to this day at Christmas and Easter, a beautiful sign of thanksgiving for the safe delivery of an heir for Goldstone.
BELOW - the Vardon/Goldstone altar frontal, Easter 2008:-
Jack had been called to the Bar at
Lincoln’s Inn and continued his career as a barrister on being de-mobbed at the
end of the Great War. He featured in the 1950 edition of Kelly's Handbook as follows:-
Vardon, Henry George Evelyn, so. of late Henry Vardon, of 40 West Cromwell rd. S.W.5; b. 1888; educ. Uppingham and Exeter Coll. Oxford; m. 1918, Cecilia Laura, eld. dau. of late rev. G.H. Lenox-Conyngham, M.A., R.D., of The Rectory, Lavenham, Suffolk; 2 s., 3 daus.; barr. Inner Temple 1912; served in Great War 1914-19 on headqrs. staff British Red Cross and Order of St. John, with H.A.C. and as Lt. R. Wilts Yeo.; C.D. rural organiser and Head warden 1939-45; chm. Oswestry Divn. Unionist Assocn. 1934-49; commr. income tax and land tax; freeman City of London and liveryman Worshipful Co. of Drapers: Hurlingham club; Goldstone Hall, Cheswardine, Market Drayton, Salop (Cheswardine 202).
BELOW - H.G.E. ('Jack') Vardon of Goldstone:-
In Chapter 5 of his book Country Reflections around Cheswardine, Bernard Lazarus provides a record of The Village Post Office, beginning it by accurately describing Colonel Davies, the village post master, as follows:
Colonel Davies was one of the best loved men in the village. his extreme politeness, and cheery countenance endeared him to all who visited the post office. he was postmaster at Cheswardine from 1945 to 1981. He was but a link in the chain of the Davies family who ran the post office without a break from 1861. A remarkable record of service.
Lazarus goes on to tell a story about Colonel's father and Jack Vardon, within a paragraph that paints a particularly poignant image when one considers how post offices have disappeared from most villages in Shropshire and more are threatened with closure along with village schools:
sister Vera remembers vividly those hectic post office days, when almost
everyone used the Royal Mail for sending letters and parcels. Postage was
cheap, the service excellent, so vast quantities of mail were dealt with each
day. Business was brisk. The tradition of the post office was that the mail
was more important than anything. Their motto was "the mail must get
through". This tradition goes back to the days of the stage coach, when
the mail coach was the most important vehicle on the road and had precedence
over all other road users. Toll gates were opened before the mail coach was due
so that the horses could gallop through without hindrance. The mail guard with
his blunderbus was responsible for good time keeping but above all making sure
that mail got through. Even the passengers took second place to the sacred mail
bag. This tradition carried through to the postmen of Colonel's day. No matter
what the weather the mail had to be delivered. In the bleak winter of 1940 when
January blizzards ravaged the countryside, Colonel's father struggled to
reach Goldstone Hall, a journey which took three times as long as usual. Old Mr
Vardon was so incensed that Mr. Davies had to venture out in such deplorable conditions
that he telephoned the main office at Market Drayton to complain. The only
reply he received was, "he's got to take the rough with the smooth".
It was expected that every postman did his duty, no matter what.
After next providing details of the delivery route, Lazarus tells us that Cheswardine Hall and Goldstone Hall paid the Post Office for an extra afternoon delivery daily. The author of this record of Goldstone remembers as a child being taken to visit Colonel Davies at his home in Cheswardine, and what a warm, hospitable and characterful man he was.
Goldstone during the Second World War
The dark clouds that gathered in 1939 had quite an impact on Goldstone which was located so close to a number of airfields. During the second world war, Jack and Cecilia Vardon threw open the house and gardens as a place for officers at Tern Hill and other nearby RAF stations to use. The idea was to provide a home environment for those for whom England was not home. Men from all over the commonwealth came for meals, parties, to play tennis, croquet and swim.... even using the swimming pool to practice their skills in event of being shot down over the sea, as shown in the photograph below.
BELOW - group picture with airmen and members of the Vardon family with one of the RAF's life rafts. The three Vardon children are Veronica (in the life boat/raft), Johanna (on the shoulders of the airman on the left) and John (on the shoulders of the airman on the right). Their father Jack Vardon is slightly hidden behind, holding another child (whose name is not known) behind his son John:
A few RAF families came to live at Goldstone Hall or one of its properties during, and soon after, the war years. Amongst them were the Cadwalladers (Wal Cadwallader was a great character whose family originally hailed from Stoke Lacy in South Shropshire) and the Hardhams - both from New Zealand, the Munros from England and the De Salis family from Australia. Jerome De Salis, who was based at Tern Hill, and his wife Sally had originally come to stay with their family for two weeks and ended up staying for five years. With so many people living at the Hall, a dance was able to be organised each Thursday, making good use of the sprung dance floor Cecilia and Jack Vardon had installed between the wars. Goldstone became home to a very large and happy extended 'family', with the result that many lasting friendships were forged, connecting far flung places around the globe. These continue through the generations to this day.
Jerome De Salis's two sons went to school at Lancing College which had been evacuated to and was operating from Ashford Court in the village of Ashford Carbonell near Ludlow. They bicycled between Ashford and Goldstone to start each new term, or after exeats. Tim De Salis followed his father into the RAF and rose to the rank of Squadron Leader.
BELOW - Timothy ('Tim') W. De Salis, next to his Spitfire (the picture may have been in Malaya):-
BELOW - a picture of a Boulton Paul Defiant fighter aircraft and bomber interceptor, drawn by Tim De Salis.
Perhaps it was one based at Tern Hill during the war. Whatever the case, it conjures up memories of the war years at Goldstone, in which the adventures of RAF pilots based nearby played such a large part:-
One American soldier, Francis Clifford, who remained a lifelong family friend was particularly remembered for his memorable account of a picnic he had on a trip from his base - when asked by one of the family at Goldstone where he had been, he replied that he'd spent an enjoyable time by a lovely brook - it transpired that the 'brook' was none other than Shropshire's pride and joy, the great River Severn!! About 40 years later, the American was able to explain the use of the term 'brook', during a visit by Philip, one of Jack & Cecilia Vardon's grandsons to his home in upper New York State. After retelling the story of his picnic by the Severn, he drove Philip to the River Niagra and up to the Niagra Falls, where he announced: "Now that's what we call a river!!"
During the early years of the war, a happy event occurred on 23rd August 1941, when Jack & Cecilia's eldest child Barbara was married at St. Swithun's Cheswardine to James Bottomley (later to become Sir James Reginald Alfred Bottomley KCMG). The reception was held at Goldstone Hall.
BELOW - the newly married Mr & Mrs Bottomley leave the church. Hugh Vardon is pictured holding the umbrella over the groom:-
BELOW - The parents of the bride & groom, from left to right: Cecilia Vardon, Lady Alice Bottomley, Jack Vardon, Sir (William) Cecil Bottomley - the young Vardon twins Johanna & John are either side of their mother Cecilia:-
The war brought some changes to roles at Goldstone. It turned out that Mr Tew, the gardener was a conscientious objector. He was told, rightly, that he didn't have to join the army and fight, but he couldn't remain a gardener but rather do something "for the war effort". So it was decided that he would swap jobs with Mr Griffiths. Now Griffiths was the man who fixed the drainage on the estate and did all manner of other odd jobs. The problem with this change caused by the War Office's insistence that Tew couldn't continue as a gardener during the war, was that neither could do the other's job - the drains became blocked and the garden got in quite a muddle, and things went from bad to worse! Mr and Mrs Griffiths lived in a house by Lightwoods Farm, where the Walley's farmed. Mrs Griffiths was blind and would feel the heads of the Vardon children to check how they were growing. One day, Cecilia Vardon told Mr Griffiths that she was going to Market Drayton and asked if she could get anything for Mrs Griffiths. His answer was "yes, could you get an 'eye' for the wife". Cecilia was a little taken aback but went on to the shop were glass eyes could be bought. As she looked down at eyes of all sizes and colours she realised that she had no idea what colour or size to buy!
- how the majority of it was lost
During the second world war Goldstone Common, comprising approximately 88 acres, was requisitioned under Defence Regulations 1939, Section 51, for food production. Fred Cope of Goldstone Stud Farm, where heavy horses were bred, set fire to the majority of the Common to clear it for production, but forgot that where heather grew, the fire would also spread underground!
At the end of the war Jack Vardon was determined that the land should be de-requisitioned and by 1950 the larger cultivated part was no longer really needed in the way it had been during the war itself and the lean years that followed. He had contact with the ‘Commons, Open Spaces and Footpaths Preservation Society’, who were very supportive on this point.
It is clear that attempts to grow
crops on the land during the war had not been an unqualified success. An
extract from a Record of Condition
dated 2nd December 1942, prepared by the late Mr W. T. Hall FSI FLAS, then a
partner of Messrs. Hall, Stevenson and Thole, chartered land agents of College
Hill, Shrewsbury recorded the following:
O.S. No. 617 The total area is divided as follows:-
Let to Mr F.W. Cope and cultivated by him as follows:
Swedes, Turnips and Rape about 36 acres
Potatoes " 17 "
Cultivated by Mr H. Taylor, and
3 acres planted potatoes 1942
Uncultivated grass occupied by him
abt. 2 acres 5
The portion cultivated by Mr. Cope was broken up by him in the late spring of this year. The turnips etc. sown for sheep keep are of a very poor crop and part is being folded. The potatoes, still in the ground are practically a failure, though some seed may be obtained. The potatoes grown by Mr. Taylor have been lifted and were apparently a better crop.
All this cultivated land is full of roots of gorse and the remains
of heather fern and bilberry. The bracken commenced to grow again over most of
the land. The grass land held by Mr. Taylor is very poor. The unreclaimed
portion is covered with scrub birch etc. with a considerable amount of bracken
The sequence of events that followed the end of the war are detailed below.
An informal meeting was held on 1st
July 1950 at the Corbet Arms Hotel, Market Drayton, to hear the views of the
Lord of the Manor, the Commoners and other interested parties on the Minister
of Agriculture’s proposal to compulsory purchase the Common. The meeting was
chaired by Mr B. Engholm Assistant Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture.
The Ministry had taken the view that the land should not be allowed to fall
back into what it described as a ‘rough semi-derelict condition’, but rather
continue in agricultural use. Looking back from the perspective of the 21st
century where so much land has been set aside as part of the European Union
farming strategy and with people having become very much more sensitive about
the preservation of common land, the Ministry’s view in 1950 must seem to be
pretty high-handed. It led to the permanent loss of over two thirds of
Goldstone Common with the resultant loss of wildlife habitat and amenity use
that it may have offered in the future.
A further public meeting was held at
the Parish Hall in Cheswardine on 10th October 1950 for interested parties to
make verbal representations against the proposed purchase of part of Goldstone
Jack Vardon died in 1951 before
matters were resolved and his heir G.H. (‘Hugh’) Vardon was left to pursue the
issue. On 19th March 1951, approximately 24 acres of the Common was
de-requisitioned with effect from 25th March that same year, but the track that
led to Taylor’s small holding at the northern tip of the Common was not
de-requisitioned until 19th December 1953 with effect from 25th December 1953.
These two parcels of wooded land represent what is marked on modern maps as the
surviving extent of Goldstone Common.
In 1952 the majority of the land of
Goldstone Common comprising 61.76 acres that had not been de-requisitioned was
purchased under the Goldstone Common
Compulsory Purchase Order of 1952, certified by the then Minister of
Agriculture and Fisheries under Sections 85 and 92 of the Agriculture Act
1947, and sealed on his behalf on the 5th March 1952. The order was then laid
before Parliament and became operative on the 27th April 1953. On 30th
September 1952 Goldstone Common was placed under the control of the
Agricultural Land Commission with effect from 30th September 1952 till 21st
March 1962. As mentioned already, the track that ran to Taylor’s small holding
was de-requisitioned later, with effect from 25th December 1953.
On 16 December 1954 Mr Hudd the
District Valuer valued all of the common right interests at the time of
requisition as £1,300 and the freehold interest of the Lord of the Manor in the
land’s present condition as £3,900. It was recorded that a Notice to Treat
dated 23rd August 1955 was sent on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture,
Fisheries and Food to Mr George Hugh Vardon of Goldstone Hall, Market Drayton,
Shropshire; he is stated to be the Lord of the Manor.
Further to this, on 16th January
1956 a public meeting was held at the Parish Hall in Cheswardine to appoint a
Commoners' Committee re the payment of compensation to Lord of the Manor
and those who had lost Common Rights as a result of the compulsory purchase in
1952. Mr G.H. Vardon as Lord of the Manor was appointed Chairman of the
committee and the other members who claimed rights over the Common were Mr A.J.
Shropshire, Mr H. Taylor, Mr T. Talbot and one other whose name was not
recorded. Mr Hudd, for the Ministry of Agriculture, assessed apportioned
figures of compensation as follows: the Lord of the Manor £620 and each of the
Commoners £310. On 28th January 1959 the Solicitor for the Ministry of
Agriculture wrote to Mr Vardon making an unconditional offer of £620 for the
interest of the Lord of the Manor and £310 for each of the Commoners’ interests.
On 19th December 1959, The Lands Tribunal met in the Court Room, Welsh Row,
Nantwich, Cheshire and confirmed the valuations determined by Mr Hudd.
The formal Lands Tribunal
Determination mentions two notices sent by the Lands Tribunal Solicitor
to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food requiring the Tribunal
to determine the compensation payable by the Minister in exercise of his powers
of compulsory purchase of 61.76 acres or thereabouts of land forming part of
Goldstone Common, Cheswardine, Shropshire:
REF/33/1959 - Between G.H. Vardon, Claimant and The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Acquiring Authority
- the compensation was recorded as having been To the Lord of the Manor for "The Right in the Soil subject to any Rights of Common".
REF/34/1959 - Between G.H. Vardon, A.J. Shropshire, H. Taylor, J.B.W. Hoole and T. Talbot, Claimants and The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Acquiring Authority
- the compensation was recorded as having been For "the extinguishment of the commonable and other Rights in or over the land other than the compensation to the Lord of the Manor in respect of his rights in the Soil thereof".
A further public meeting was held at Cheswardine Parish Hall on 13th Dec 1960 to apportion the compensation to the Commoners, who were recorded as: Mr F.W. Cope of Goldstone Stud Farm, Mr A.J. Shropshire of 6 Heywood Lane, Cheswardine, Mrs A.E. Alger of Palins Farm, Knighton, Adbaston, and Mr T. Talbot of Westcott Mill Farm, Cheswardine.
On 21 March 1962 a sale by public
auction was held at the Corbet Arms Hotel in Market Drayton at which 61.76
acres of Goldstone Common was sold in two lots. Mr F.W. Cope bought 54.45 acres
and Mr G.H. Vardon bought 7.31 acres. The remaining part of Goldstone Common was
recorded as being approximately 26 acres.
BELOW - the view across some of the lost area of Common
looking east from the track that runs alongside the old western boundary of the
Common and which is itself still part of the Common:-
BELOW - a view along the track looking to the left (i.e. north) of the view across the lost area of Common shown above. The track and land along it is still part of the Common:-
The Commons Registration Act of 1965 required local authorities in England and Wales to establish registers of common land and town and village greens within their areas: recording the extent of the land, the owners of the land and any rights held over the common. In relation to Goldstone Common, Fred Cope, Arthur Shropshire and Mr Talbot all registered their common rights and Hugh Vardon registered himself as owner of Goldstone Common. His entry is dated 6th February 1970 and the register later recorded (under G.H. Vardon’s entry) that The Registration at entry No.1 above, being undisputed, became final on 1st August 1972.
For some reason, despite the
unconditional offer made in 1959 to Hugh Vardon for the freehold interest of
the Lord of the Manor, he does not appear to have responded. It was not until
many years after his death that an application to the High Court finally
resulted in the compensation money that had been held in the Court being
released to the family. This was the final chapter in a long saga over the loss
of the majority of Goldstone Common that began in 1939 with its requisition at
the beginning of the Second World War.
BELOW - a view along the road that bisects the Common from Goldstone Bank Farm towards Lightwood:-
In 1950 Jack and his family were included in Burke's Landed
Gentry, with a very abbreviated genealogy, and another version of the design of
his family's coat of arms was illustrated with the favoured motto "Levius
Fit Patientia" (It becomes lighter with endurance). It is not known from
where the design was taken.
BELOW - the start of the entry in Burke's Landed Gentry for Vardon of Goldstone Hall:
(George) Hugh Vardon of Goldstone
Some time after Hugh inherited Goldstone, his mother Cecilia moved with her unmarried younger children to live in their new home at Meretown near Newport, Shropshire. The following link shows the extent of the Goldstone Estate in the years that followed: Goldstone Estate in the 1950s. Added to this were the farms at Hulme Walfield near Congleton, Cheshire and other land including a half share of land in County Durham, the other half of which was owned by Haswell Colliery and later sold to the Coal Board when they nationalised it.
BELOW - Hugh Vardon as a young man:
The Vardons’ estates in Shropshire included the following:
Goldstone Hall - which incorporated the site of the old manor house at Goldstone, whose replacement building was connected to form an enlarged Goldstone Hall, by H.G.E. Vardon after the First World War.
Goldstone Hall Bungalow - built between the wars by Jack & Cecilia Vardon, in response to the call for more homes in Britain, after the First World War.
Goldstone Hall Farm – farmed by Alfred Jones.
Goldstone Manor Farm - farmed by John Montagu Hoole
Goldstone Bank Farm – 107.875 acres, farmed by Sydney Thomas Cartwright (the Cartwrights had originally farmed the home farm, Goldstone Manor Farm.
Lightwoods Farm – 87.487 acres, farmed by Phillip George Walley.
Mount Pleasant Farm – 118.378 acres (+3.084 acres of woodland), farmed by Harry Maynard Emms. Mount Pleasant, once known as Lockley and also Over Lockley farm, probably had the best land on the estate and was situated in a fine position...perhaps explaining its change of name to Mount Pleasant.
Lockley Wood – the other third of the entire Mount Pleasant Farm, which had been created from the enclosure and let to Edward Pegg in 1748; the family later acquired the freehold of this land.
The Rallics Farm – farmed by Charles Henry Richards.
Berringtons Farm – in Woodseaves on the road from Hinstock.
Taylor’s smallholding – at the northern tip of Goldstone Common.
Lightwood Farm – on the Woodseaves road alongside the former northern part of Goldstone Common
Holly Cottage – below Lightwood Farm.
Lake – this farm was no longer part of the estate by
Hugh Vardon sold almost all of the estate over a series of years, an exercise that was concluded with the sale of Goldstone Hall itself and much of its contents. Goldstone Bank Farm was sold to Sydney Thomas Cartwright in September 1956. The Cartwrights had originally farmed Goldstone Manor Farm.
BELOW - a view from the Goldstone road across the fields to Goldstone Bank Farm (right) and the woods of Goldstone Common, on a late afternoon in early autumn:-
BELOW - Mr & Mrs Edward Cartwright of Goldstone Bank Farm, with views across the valley of the Goldstone Brook:
Lightwoods Farm was sold to Phillip George Walley on 6th September 1956. Mount Pleasant Farm, excluding the third part at Lockley Wood) was sold to Harry Maynard Emms on 31st July 1967. The Lockley Wood land, under Edward Pegg’s original 1748 lease was sold on 10th September 1956, but the Vardons had the freehold ownership of it. Lightwood Farm on the Woodseaves road was sold on 29th June 1956. Holly Cottage, below Lightwood Farm, was sold with some nearby fields on 29th June 1956.
But on a happier note, the last Vardon bride of the century was married at St. Swithin's Cheswardine on 23rd April 1959. The picture below of her arriving at the church must reflect similar scenes at Cheswardine weddings up to the present day.
BELOW - (Cecilia Mary) Veronica Vardon arriving at the church with her cousin Charles Lenox-Conyngham who gave her away in marriage to Major Ian Alexander Beddows, son of Colonel William Beddows MC TD DL JP and his wife Esmé (née McBean) of Ackleton House near Bridgnorth, Shropshire. Esmé was the daughter of Colonel Alexander McBean VD DL JP and his wife Lisa (née Amatt). Ian was later to become heir to the last of this branch of Clan MacBean, Captain Russell Hamilton McBean DSO DSC RN, of Chattan Lodge, Mweiga, Kenya, one of the heroes of the raid on Kronstadt. The picture shows the view down the High Street with the Fox & Hounds pub to the right and a crowd of well-wishers accompanied by two local policemen:-
BELOW - the bride & groom after having been married by the Bishop of Shrewsbury, Robert Leighton Hodson. At the reception at Meretown House (where Cecilia Vardon had moved with her younger children) the happy couple arrived to a guard of honour in the form of Veronica's prize Jersey cows, from the small Meretown herd she had established.
In 1978 Hugh Vardon sold Goldstone Hall itself to members of the Ward family of High Hatton Hall - it is quite incredible to think that this was the first time the old home or its predecessors on the site had been sold, resulting in it passing out of the hands of the related families who had lived there since the Middle Ages. There was an auction of contents from the house. A number of items were stolen before the sale, very sadly including the decorative wooden jousting shield with the family's coat of arms painted on it, which had hung in the hall.
However, luckily, some time before the Hall was sold, Hugh deposited the family's extensive archives, from their estates in Shropshire and Cheshire, in Shrewsbury Record Office, and it has been these and others relating to the Manor of Goldstone that turned up in a clear-up of law firm Farrer & Co's vault in London that have enabled this short history to be written, hopefully piecing together a coherent story.
BELOW - Goldstone Hall before being sold in 1978:-
Hugh Vardon suffered ill health for much of his later life. As a child he suffered damage to his ears, which greatly affected his hearing and this was compounded by subsequent complications. After the war broke out he volunteered for the army. Keen to do his bit but knowing that he had a disability, he managed to fool the medical examiners and get himself posted to The Royal Tank Regiment. However, they soon discovered he couldn't hear very much at all and should not have passed the army medical, so he was invalided out and spent the rest of the war at Goldstone but had served in the army long enough to be awarded a service medal.
Hugh had married Jean Nixon, daughter of Edward Nixon of Hodnet, Shropshire on 24th March 1957, but they had no children and later divorced. Jean re-married Mr E.N. Jackson. After the sale of Goldstone, Hugh moved to live at Meretown but died at the beginning of the following year on 25th January 1979. His funeral was held at St. Swithun’s Church Cheswardine, where his coffin was carried in the traditional manner through the old west door. He was buried next to the graves of William Vardon and Edward Pegg. The lights that light up the Church at night were given in memory of him by his family.
BELOW - St. Swithun's Church, Cheswardine lit up at night:-
Hugh's younger brother John Lenox-Conyngham Vardon is now the head of this branch of Vardons. Like his brother Hugh, John went to Eton College. He married Maureen Ward, daughter of Richard Ward, on 24th March 1962. By chance they live not far from the Vardon/Verdon family's older Cheshire properties in and around Congleton and the even older ancient seat of the de Verdons at Alton Castle.
During the time of Hugh Vardon the ongoing series of sales of property, culminating in the sale of Goldstone Hall and much of its contents, meant that in a single generation an end was brought to a period of many hundreds of years during which the integrity of the original lands of Goldstone Manor had been maintained. Apart from the private arrangement that resulted in transfer of ownership within the family of the lordship and manor of Goldstone in the 1700s, the original manorial lands had never been sold. It was something of a tragedy for the family. However, continuity on some of the farms is still happily maintained – the next generations of Cartwrights and the Walleys still farm at Goldstone Bank Farm and Lightwoods Farm, and the Hooles still live at Goldstone Manor Farm House.
In addition, despite the sale of almost all of the Goldstone estate, parts of the Goldstone inheritance remain in the ownership of members of the Vardon family, including land at Lockley Wood that formed part of Edward Pegg's Mount Pleasant Farm, woodland in Goldstone and Lightwood and Goldstone Common itself. These fragments of a once large estate, along with the ownership of the lordship of the manor of Goldstone maintain a historical thread and long family connections that have endured there for over 800 years from the 12th to the 21st century. There cannot be many manors in Shropshire that have such continuity. One can but hope that this will continue many centuries more.
But the story of the Vardons began far away from Goldstone and even further away than nearby Cheshire and Staffordshire where they lived for centuries with their older family name of de Verdun/de Verdon, then simply Verdon. Even Normandy was once new to them, having begun their journey long ago at Verdun-sur-Meuse where their forebears had been Counts de Verdun and Dukes of Lower and Upper Lorraine. They will continue to open up many new avenues that stretch well beyond the bounds of Goldstone. Ironically, some of Jack & Cecilia Vardon's descendants have even crossed the channel and returned to live in France.
BELOW - the road from Goldstone Common on the way towards Goldstone Hall:-
Before this story reaches a conclusion on these pages it is worth mentioning something of John Vardon's sisters.
The youngest, and John's twin was Johanna. In 1965 she founded the now world renowned 'National Foaling Bank', which has pioneered equine adoptions matching orphaned foals with mares who have lost their own foals at birth. This all began with her sister Veronica giving her a mare called Flicka. She had seen the mare for sale at what was known as The Dirty Fair at Market Drayton, but a man called 'Mr Hands' had bought her; undaunted, Veronica went to see Hands and bought Flicka off him for £30. One Christmas morning, Veronica brought Flicka into the house via the pantry at Goldstone, as a special present for Johanna. Flicka grew up and moved to Meretown with the family. Her first foal was a colt named Thunderhead and then a filly named Crown Jewel. When Flicka lost her third foal it caused her great distress, so Johanna persuaded the BBC to put out an appeal for an orphan foster foal during its coverage of a major day of horse racing. This resulted in a large number of responses, many from the racing world and revealed a real need for help in dealing with these situations, which were much more common than had been realised. Flicka was not at all keen to adopt the foal that arrived, and one solution was to tie one of her legs up so she couldn't harm the foal or run away from it. Finally the adoption worked.
Moving away from the topic of horses, after the death of her father Veronica had started a small herd of Jersey cows at Goldstone, with one heifer named Moorland Hope, bought from a herd at Pullock's Hill in Bedfordshire. When Moorland Hope arrived recently in calf, Veronica had to learn how to milk her - a team of family and others gathered around the milking machine and it was decided it could be made to work if connected to the manifold of the car. Hugh Vardon was the first to have a go, having declared he knew how to milk a cow, but the young heifer produced nothing. So Hugh fetched Bert Cartwright, brother of Sydney Cartwright, and Bert had the same lack of success. The two men decided that the poor cow had been affected by the journey from Bedfordshire, and that what she needed was a rest. Veronica, finding that she was alone decided she would have a go herself, but before she attached the milking machine, she fed the cow some food and 'voila' what appeared was milk! As the day of her calf's birth neared, Hope-ity Hope, as she was known, went dry. She gave birth to a bull-calf and as Veronica was congratulating her clever young cow, she looked around and saw that she had had a second, another bull-calf. It seemed lucky to have bought a heifer in calf with twins. After this auspicious start, nothing could stop Veronica and she successfully grew the herd at Meretown. Her milk won awards for its quality and cleanliness from the new Muller Dairy at Market Drayton. She wanted to study dairy farming at Harper Adams College, but at that time women were not allowed to attend that course, so she ended up studying poultry farming, adding chickens to her menagerie and later pigs.
Since Veronica's marriage and her move to live at Ackleton House, near Bridgnorth (the home of the Beddows) her herd of Jersey cows was reduced to a small number, which meant there was room for horses, and that is how Meretown was able to begin its story as a well known stud and the home of The National Foaling Bank. Flicka's second foal, Crown Jewel became the founder of a long line of horses with the 'Crown' prefix. Johanna has a Royal Warrant from HM The Queen in relation to this work and was awarded an MBE after decades of service to the equine world. Those who want to know more should click on this link: Meretown Stud
Jack & Cecilia Vardon's eldest child, Barbara, whose marriage to Sir James Bottomley is covered above, died in 1994. She was the very first woman in the family to go to university and graduated from the London School of Economics. In the New Year's Honours, January 2011, it was announced that her elder son Peter Bottomley, MP for Worthing West, was to become a Knight Bachelor. He has thereby become the third generation of his father's family to be knighted on individual merit as a reward for and recognition of public service rather than by hereditary succession. His grandmother Cecilia's family also had a long tradition of public service in the armed services and in the political arena, with members sitting in both Houses of Parliament. Two of her first cousins received life peerages: Robin Turton, MP for Thirsk and Father of the House of Commons, became Baron Tranmire of Upsall in the North Riding of Yorkshire and James Chichester-Clark, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland 1969-71, became Baron Moyola of Castledawson Co. Londonderry. In 2002-2003, Peter Bottomley also emulated another of his forebears when he served as Master of the Drapers' Company of the City of London, following in the footsteps of his Great great grandfather Hugh James Vardon who, as mentioned earlier in this story, was Master in 1871.
ABOVE: Sir Peter Bottomley being invested as a Knight Bachelor by Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II
at an Investiture Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on 10th March 2011.
Goldstone Hall, which was sold in 1978, is now a well known hotel and has been advertised as a 'Seat of Shropshire Squires'. The Hall's status as a hotel, along with its gardens, have resulted in road signs being put up pointing the way to the Hall, and its gardens are advertised on most road maps; thus the little hamlet of Goldstone has been truly 'put on the map'. Many wedding receptions are held at the Hall and it appears to have an excellent reputation for food, wine, ambience etc. What guests may not know today is how appropriate this is in view of the way in which Goldstone threw its arms wide open to welcome people from all over the world during the second world war.
Goldstone continues to be filled with people and provides a
warm welcome to folk who have travelled from far and wide. In its
garden there is a sundial that dates back to the time of the Goldstones
and when last seen it still marked the hours that pass leisurely in the
peaceful surroundings of this old Shropshire home.
Written in memory of, and as a tribute to:
H. G. E. ‘Jack’ & Cecilia Vardon,
of Goldstone Hall