STRETTON EN LE FIELD
So called to diftinguifh it from Strettons Manga and Parva in this county, from Stretton Parva in Scarfdaleon the Icknield ftreet, from the two in Staffordshire on that and the Watling, and from the four in Warwickshire, three of them on the Fofs, can but in part be accounted a member of this county; the church, manor houfe, and full one half of the lordship, lying in Derbyfhire ; two entire farms, however ( or what lately were fuch ), with interfperfed parts of others, and fome fay even the manor ftables, are in Leicefterfhire. The Derbyfhire part of Stretton forms one conftablewick with Willefley and the Derbyfhire part of Ravenfton. The Leicefterfhire parts of the parifh, and fome portion of Appleby, are in Seale conftablewick. It is two miles from Appleby; five from Afhby-de-la-Zouch ; about 19 from Leicefter ; and, in the ecclefiaftical divifion of Derbyfhire, is within the deanry of Repington, and in the diocefe of Coventry and Lichfield.
The late Rev. Dr. Pegge, in his MS Deryfhire notes, fays, “ The name of Stretton muft be derived from the fituation of the towns fo called on fome of the ftreet-ways, or via ftrata, paved ways, of the Romans ; this Stretton being near the Watling-ftreet way, as Stretton upon Dove in Staffordfhire is near Icknield-ftreet ; as without doubt is alfo Stretton in Scarfdale, if that way lead to Chefterfield, as cannot be doubted, though after Little Chefter we cannot find any certain traces of it .” The learned Doctor, however, is totally wrong in what he says of Stretton en le Field; Watling-ftreet, at its nearft point, being fcarcely within ten miles of it. In fact, Icknield is rather nearer of the two. Perhaps the fource of a confufed idea in the Doctor will ere long appear. Meanwhile it is noted that there is but one road paffing through or very near the village of Stretton, which has been, at any period, a formed line or ridge, fuchas could ever have been denominated a Via ftrata. This is the prefent turnpike-road from Burton on Trent, along the fhorter of the two branches into which it divides in this part ( that by way of Stretton and Appleby, re-uniting with the older Meafham branch at Twycrofs ) towards Atherton. The faid branch to Meafham, and the turnpike-road from Tamworth to the fame place, leave Stretton village ( though to the lordship the latter is a boundary for fome length ) far in the midft, at nearly a mile’s diftance from either. Two other mere wagon-tracks through inclofures in a manner, one from the village of Childecote, the other a nearer route from the Tamworth road at No-Man’s-Heath, point into Stretton; but there they ftop, the body of the village, which lies on the other, that is on the Eaftern, fide of the Burton road, being not even a thoroughfare. The Burton road here fpoken of as what alone could have conferred the name Street-town, may be conjectured to have been made by the Romans, to cut off the right or perhaps fomewhat acute angle, formed by the Ikenild and Watling ftreets at Wall, near Lichfield. Though by no means fo lineal as their grand ways, being poffibly the work of a period fomewhat after them, and lefs equal to great performances, it is as ftrait as moft of our exifting roadsof the fame length; and in feveral parts is a high ridge. It comes from Burton bridge in a general courfe of about S. by E. On the eminence between Appleby and Twycrofs it falls in with another road of antient name, though poffibly not fo antient as the Roman times. This name is Salter’s-ftreet, the appellation of various portions of road in this part of England; and Salter’s is the denomination of a bridge which croffes the Tame a little above its conflux with Trent, and which, being the direct courfe from this our Salter’s-ftreet in particular towards the Northweftern falinae, both Shirley-wich in Staffordfhire, and the three Wiches in Chefhire, may feem, with the feveral tracts of road juft mentioned, to derive their common name from being the ufal antient route for the conveyance falt, that great article abfolutely neceffary ufe, into the South-eaft of the kingdom. The courfe from Salter’s bridge would be through Harlafton and Clifton to No-Man’s-Heath; and on leaving this laft fmall common the name Salter’s-ftreet is conftantly applied to the road at this day. The latter, joined in the courfe of another mile by the Stretton road, proceeds in its own direction, ( that is, about one point more Easftward than the other, ) which carries it forward beyond the point of re-union with the Meafham branch; the turnpike road, quickly after that re-union, bearing to the right, with a confiderable circuit before reaching Atherfton. Near Temple Hall our fuppofed Via ftrata turns almoft due South, and paffes through Sibefton, Atterton, and Drayton, into the Watling-ftreet, one and a half miles S. E. from the oblong-fquare agger, which ftill diftinetly marks the antient works of Mandueffedum. And this miffing of that well-fixed ftatica will perhaps be thought a main argument, that this Stretton road, after all, muft claim no origin from the Romans.
“ At this town ( as the tradition goes ) was the feat of Edric de Stretton, by fome writers called Streone ( that is, treacherous or covetous ), fometime a duke of Merchland ( Mercia ), who, by command of king Canute, was in 1017 ftrangled, and flung out of a window into the Thames.” ( This tradition may alfo be fupported by a comparifort of Matthew of Weftminfter and Hoveden with the will of Wlfric Spot, the founder of Burton Abbey. ) “ The name of Stretton continued here long after; for, on the North window of the church, I have feen under the pictures of men on the old glafs these Saxon names written, EDREDUS DE STRETTON, and OSBERTUS DE STRETTON. And at this prefent there is yet remaining one freeholder, and fome others of that name, but of yeoman rank. This, call it tradition or a notion of Burton, feems deftitute of any ground. To omit the utter diffimilarity in found between Streone and Stretton, there is a wide gap of 300 years between the fuppofed Edred or Edric in 1017 and the real Ofbert in exifting autographs. Allowing Edric the addition de Stretton, on what grounds do we appropriate to him this in particular out of the fcores of Strettons within the bounds of Mercia? We fhall fee by and by, on the actual record, an Edric, of the Confeffor’s time, and at anotherStretton “in ley Field.”
One ploughland in Streitun was held ad geldam by AEluric under Henry de Ferieres. The land was equal to one plough; four villans had two ploughs, a mill of five fhillings value, and ten acres of meadow. Roger was tenant to AEluric. This part of the lordfhip, which in the time of king Edward had been valued at twenty fhillings, was worth but fifteen fhillings at the general furvey.
One other ploughland in Stretone, one in Donifthorpe and one in Orton, which all lay wafte, but were worth two fhillings, were held, at the general furvey, by Roger, under the fame Henry de Ferieres.
In the Tefta de Nevill, compiled about 1240, we find “In Stretton dimidium feodum quod heres Raduphi Exnei ( Extranei ) tenet de eodem Johanne ( fil. Alani ); and alfo, “ In Stretton dim’ feodum quod heres Willielmi le Bretun tenet de Radulpho de Tormey.”
It may be a queftion, whether Roger de Stretton and his fon William, of whom, efpecially the latter, ( with his wife Agnes, the fifter and heir of Ralph de Seile junior, ) fo much has been feen under Seale article, were not fucceffively the lords of the place whichgave them name, and anceftors to the Strettons of fucceeding times. Against this idea ftands, not only a memorandum of the antiquary S. Roper ( the fame who is mentioned in pages 74 and 1114 of Dugdale’s Warwickfhire , ed. 1730, and by Dr. Thoroton, end of Preface, as having helped him with evidences, ) in thefe words, “Ifte Walterus ( dominus de Strettone1304 ) fuit filius Willielmi filii Walklini domini de Stretton, fient extat apud mr;” but alfo an inquifition, in 1457, which traces the inheritance diftinctly and particularly up to the faid Will’ fil’ Walelini and beyond. This copy of a record muft have its weight; Mr. Ropers’s fragments, here and fubfequently quoted, are un-authenticated, and in fome parts incorrect enough. Both Roger and his faid fon are in the long lift of landholders, lords of the furrounding manors and chief vaffals of Will’ earl Ferrars, who atteft his notable confirmation, “coram tota curia,” of the grant ( poffibly ‘tis the grant itfelf and confirmation all in one; fee it p. 979, ) of Seile mill; and are alfo among fome witneffes of eminence to the curious grant to William Noreis in p. 980. Roger de Stretton too attefts the one, and Will. Fil. Rogeri the other, of the Wenlok Prior’s remarkable conventionswith the parfon, and with the once patron, of Seale, in p. 1001; and William de Stretton in particularis continually met with in his own deeds, or thofe of others, throughout the Seile autographs and the Rydeware Chartulary. ( See his SIGILLVM defscribed in No. 15, p. 1001. ) While in neither of thofe collections is found the name either of Will’ fil’ Wakelin or Walter his fon, fave in the fingle inftance of their attefting the parfon’s compofition with the two Over Seile co-lords, printed p. 1001-2. At the fame time, that William fil’ Rogeri had a fon Walter, though not ( at the time ) his eldeft, feems fhewn by this deed, the 2d No. 11 of the Rydeware Chartulary, p. 1001.
“Sciant tam prefentes quam future, quod ego Wills fil’ Rogeri de Stretton & Augnes uxor mea conceffimus & quietam clamavimus Willo de Rydeware & heredibus fuis, de nobis & noftris heredibus, partem noftram quam habuimus in Bofco de Scheyl, de illo Bofco quem Wills comes de Ferrariis dedit predicto Willo de Rydeware, & aliam partem noftram quam habuimus de Bofco illo quod predictus Wills de Rydeware recuperavit fuper Lucianum de Scheyle. Pro hac vero conceffione & quieta clamatione dedit mihi predictus Wills de Rydeware unam marcam argenti, & Augneti uxori mee unam marcam argenti, & Thome filio meo duodeeim denarios. Hiis teftibus, Rob’ filio Walkel, Rob’to fil fuo, Joh’e Botchevill, Willo de Grefele, Henr’ de Ferrl, Henr’ fil’ Sewall, Stephan’ de Curcun’, Alano de Sumervill, Rad’o de Edeingli, Ric’o fr’e fuo, Willo Albo, Walt fil’ Willi fil’ Rogeri, & multis aliis.”
The following piece of pedigree feems tolerably eftablifhed by the Seile evidences, either originals or in the Rydeware Chartulary, with the help of one or two from Willefley and Caldwell, co. Derby.
Among William earl of Derby’s witneffes to his Carta de paflura in Nedwode, printed in p. 1002, is Robert de Strettone, Eafter 1252-3.
William parfon of Stretton, followed by Walter de Stretton, ( contemporary deeds, of Robert Maulovel fil. Stephani de Rampton and Henry fil. Willi quondam rectoris de Seyla , write them “ Walter de Stretton, Willus perfona frater fuus “ and “ Willus frater fuus rector ecclie de Stretton” ) is co-teftis, in p. 983, with Galfr’ de Grefele, then fenefchal ( who feems dead before date of his fon fir William’s deed, Purific. 1243 ), and William de Appleby; and in the preceding p. 982, Walter is found with both William de Appelbi and Robert his father. This might perhaps be the fame Walter lord of Stretton a witnefs to the prior of Dudley’s releafe, 1275, fhortly ftated in p. 1000, and the abbot of Miravalle’s nearly contemporary one ( confidering five of its witneffs out of feven are among thofe of the other ) abftracted in p. 982, where he is followed by a Galfr. de Stretton in Clyfton. But it feems not poffible he could be the “ Walterus dominus “ who attefts adeed by fir Thomas de Rydeware, probably after 1300, ( a cottage-grant in Scheyl to another Walter de Stretton and Margery his wife in tail fpecial, ) and the following deed, 1304; or his brother William the rector the fame “ Willus perfona “ who appears with Walterus dominus, as it feems, in both this laft and the enfuing one of 1326 :
“ Die Domininica proxima ante feftum Sanfti Gregorii Pape, anno regni Regis Edwardi tricefimo tertio, fuit hec convention facta inter Letitiam quondam uxorem Radulphi Cementarii de Wyvelefley exparte una, & Ofbertum filium Walteri domini de Strettone, capitalis domini mei, ex altera; videlicet, quod dicta Letitia feoffaret dictum Ofbertum de omnibus terries & tenementis fuis, pratis, bofcis, & pafturis, cum fuis pertinentiis, que ipfa unquam habuit, vel in pofterumhabere vel vendicare poterit, in villa vel campis deWivelefley, &c. Hiis teftibus, Waltero domino de Strettone, Willielmo fratre ejus, Roberto Develin, Henrico de Norton, & aliis. Datum apud Stretton, die & anno fupradictis.”
“ Johannes fil’ Willielmi Elys de Okthorp, Elizabethe filie Walteri domini de Stretton, meffuagium & tres acras in Okthorp, ad totam vitam Elizabethe; remaneant domino Wliiielmo perfone ecclefie de Stretton & heredibus. Teftibus, Rogero de Durandifthorp, Rogero del Chapelhous, &c. Ricardo de Stretton, & aliis. Dominica ante Michaelis 20 Edw. 11.
So that there is great appearance of two fucceffive Walters, lords of Stretton, with each a rector-brother William. The elder of fuch Walters might be the fon of William fil. Walkelini, which fon attefts in Rydeware Chartulary No. 43, rather before 1205 ( or fon of William fil. Rogeri, as the thruth may be. ) But Walter, the father of Ofbert, in 1304 and perhaps ftill later, could never be the fon of either William : in that part, both Mr. Roper’s note before-quoted, and the inquifition of 1457,hereafter ftated, muft be wrong. Ofbert appears to have fucceeded his father Walter, and to be lord in February 1320 and Auguft 1323.
Among the fragments already mentioned is preferved this deed :
“Sciant prefentes & future, quod Johannes de Stretton, dominus de Stretton, dedi, &c. Johanni de Lee, domino de Stotfold, & Thome de Marnham, totum manerium de Stretton, cum advocatione ecclefie ejufdem ville, cum omnibus fervitiis tam liberorum quam nativorum, pro termino vite, &c. Hiis teftibus ; domino Edmundo de Appelbi, Egidio Meynil,Roberto de Grefleye, militibus; Johanne Humfrey, & Johanne Arnold. Datum apud Streton, anno ….Edw.111.”
In 1412 Margery daughter and coheir of John de Stretton releafed all her title to this manor and the advowfon of the church to John the fon of John de Finderne, of Finderne, co. Derby; thefe being witneffes, John de Lathbury, William de Ingwardby, William Marefchall of Stretton, Thomas de Witherley of Clilcote, Roger de Montgomery, and Henry Holland of Scheile, efqs. Within the same year, her hufband AdomarTaverner’s coufin and heir, William Leichfield, made a like releafe to the fame John for lands in a number of neighbouring townfhips.
In 1441, Walter de Stretton died feifed of the manor of Stretton in le field, together with the advowfon of the church there; held of the king, by the ferviceof one knights fee.
The relation of the Walter, here faid to die feifed 1441, to the family, appears not. But Margery his predeceffor, niece it will appear to one who was lord as early as 1320, could furely not very long furvive her releafe to John de Finderne in 1411-12; and not improbably much litigation, with alternate feizins and dif-feizins, might take place in the interval between her death and the following proceeding :
On an inquifition taken in 1457, it was found, that William de Ferrariis, late earl of Derby, was feifed in his demefne as of fee of the manor of Stretton in le Field, and of the advowfon of the church; and, being fo feifed, the faid premiffes, by the name of 15 bovates of land, cum pertinentiis, in Stretton, were granted to Richard de Mortuomari, and the heirs of his body begotten, to holdof the earl and his heirs for ever, by the fourth part of a knights fee.
That Richard was thereby feifed, and died feifed; whereupon it defcended to William, fon of Walclin de Stretton, and of Margaret, late wife of the faid Walclin, of the bodies of the faid Margaret and faid Walclin begotten, as coufin and heir of the faid Richard, viz. as fon of the faid Margaret, daughter of Richard.
The William fon of Walclin was feifed; whereupon the premifes defcended to Walter de Stretton, as fon and heir of the faid William fon of Walclin.
That Walter was feifed, and died feifed; whereupon the premises defcended to Ofbert de Stretton, as fon and heir of the faid Walter.
That Ofbert was feifed, and died feifed; whereupon the premises defcended to Margery de Stretton, que fuit uxor Adomari Tavener, as coufin and heir of the faid Ofbert, viz. as daughter of John, brother of the faid Ofbert; for Ofbert died without iffue.
And that Margery was feifed, and died feifed, without iffue; and that John Bate clerk, fon of Alice, daughter of Elene, daughter of Hugh fon of Lettice, one of the daughters of the faid Walter, and John Kendale, fon of Elizabeth, daughter of Richard, fon of John, fon of Agnes, another daughter of the faid Walter; and Thomas Stretton, fon of William fon of William, fon of Richard, fon of Idone, the third daughter of Walter, were coufins and heirs of the faid Margery de Stretton, and of full age.
That there were in the faid manor, in the town fieldsof Stretton in le fields, 11 meffuages, one orchard, one croft, one garden, one cottage, and ….. virgates of land, value per annum ult. Reprif. 9l. 12s. 8d.; that the church aforefaid was worth per annum 20 marks; and that the manor aforefaid was held of the king by one knight’s fee.
Mr Roper’s fragments afford alfo the following memoranda :
“ Agnes filia Ofberti de Strettun mariata fuit Ricardo Fitzherbert domino de Twicroffe, qui habuerunt exitum inter eos Johannem Fitzherbert, qui quidem Johannes habuit exitum Ricardum, qui quidem Ricardus habuit exitum Elizabetham nuptam Thome Kendale, qui quidem Thomas & Elizabetha habuerunt exitum Johannem, qui quidem Johannes habuit exitum Bartholmeum Kendale ( de manu mea propria ita ; S. Roper ). Ifte Ofbertus fuit filius Walteri dommi de Stretton in le field, Willefley, Donnefthorp, &c. qui vixit tempore reg. H.III.E.I.E.III. ficut luculenter patet in rotulo apud me, S. Roper”.
On obferving Dugdale’s Warwickshire, 1730, p. 50, it is found that the place there treated of, Stretton-Bafkerville, was both poffeffed, in the Confeffor’s time, by an Edric ; and, after the Conqueft, by Ralph de Mortimer ; and farther, that one-fourth of a fee there was held in 20 Edw. III. under Tutebury. These are circumftances, which, compared with the above inquifition and Burton’s quoted tradition, immediately incline one, not only to believe that, if any duke Edric was fornamed de Stretton at all in Mercian times, it was probably from this Warwickfhire Stretton ; but alfo to ftrongly fufpect that a like confuftion of the names has prevailed, even as far back as the making up of the inquifition 1457, and that any R. de Mortuomari may in truth have had no more to do with the fubject of the prefent article, than Edric had : efpecially when we note too, in the fame Dugdales page’s 49, 51, both that he,juft before beginning the article Stretton-Bafkerville, calls it “ a depopulated place, known by the name Stretton Fields, “ and that Dr. Thomas inferts, in an after-note, “otherwife called” m(inter alia) “Stretton in ley Field.” And when we perceive fuch various caufes of doubt, it fomewhat fhakes our reliance on the defcent found from William fon of Walkelin. It may be thought another inconfiftent and fufpicious circumftance, that the inquifition, after finding this our Stretton granted to Rich. De Mortuomari to hold by a quarter of a fee, concludes with finding the fame minor held by a whole fee. Another point which muft be wrong, is the making Margery immediate heir to her uncle Ofbert, when we fee, by her father John’s own deed in page 1026, that himfelf lived to be lord.
It muft be owned however, that, independent of what regard may be due to the inquifition, there are two particulars connected with the portion of a pedigree above drawn out, which make againft the fuppofitions of William fon of Roger being the lord of Stretton, and of a defcentof the Stretton’s from him. In the fift place, he has been fuffofed, in a note to p. 988, to be the fame perfon with the laft witnefs to the deed No. 43 in p. 1002. Certainly Agnes his relict expreffly ftyles him, in No.12, William de Wivrfle ; and the deed in No. 43. is fixed to his agenearly, by that of the delegate P. abbot of Leicefter. And, granting him to be the perfon, it does feem unlikely that he, if lord of Stretton, fhould be preceded (with Warine de Snipeftun between) by a William and his fon Walter, denominated from that place ; the rather, as there is no crowd of witneffes, only four clerks with fix laics, all of feeming note. The fecund particular is, that the two following deeds fhew a daughter of William, (ftill by the defcription “fon of Roger de Wifelefle,”) his fucceffor (and there might be more, coheirs) in a certainportion of lands and tenements in Wyvelefle ; a prima facie argument againft his being anceftor to a male line of Strettons.
“Ego Regio’ de Wyvefle dedi & conceffi, & hac mea carta confirmavi, affenfu & voluntate Edithe uxoris, Willo de Rydeware & heredibus fuis, duas virgatas & dimidiam virgatam terre in villa de Wyvelifle, fcilicer, unam virgatam quam Ofbertus tenuit, & aliamde dominico meo quam ego tenui in manu mea fine tofto, dimidiam virgatam juxta fluvium cum tofto. Et quartam partem molendini de Wyvelefle , cum fecta & pertinentiis que adjacent illi quarre parti fnolendini , & fervicium filii Walti de Durandefthorp de oribus virgatis terre in Durandefthorp, quas predictus Waltus tenuit de me per miliciam. Hec omnia, cum omnibus pertinentiis, dedi predicto Willo de Rydeware & heredibus fuis, tenenda de me & heredibus meis, in feodo & hereditate, libere, quiete, & integre, reddendo inde annuatim mihi & heredibus meis fex denarios pro omni fervicio, falvo forinfeco. Hujus nunc tenementi prefatus Willus de Rydeware efb meus affidatus. Hiis teftibus ; Willo clerico de Scheyl, Willo de Greffel, Rado Grym, Olivo de Durandefthorp, Rado de Hedenighat, Willo fratre fuo, Robto Hafard, Robt fil Suan’, & multis aliis.”
“Ego Eda (in the title “Editha”) filia Willi filii Rogi de Wifelefle, in viduitate mea, dedi & conceffi & hac prefenti carra mea confirmavi Walto de Rydeware & heredibus fuis, pro homagio & heredibus fuis, pro homagio & fervicio fuo, totam partem meam molendini de Wyvelefle, & in eadem villa tres virgatas terre, quarum Hamo Prencheval tenet unam virgatam & dimidiam, Willus Capellanus unam virgatam, & Jacobus dimidiam virgatam, habenda & tenenda de me & de heredibus meis fibi & heredibus fuis, libere, quiete, & pacifice poffidenda, cum omnibus pertinentiis & ayfiamentis ; reddendo inde annuatim mihi & heredibus duodecim denarios ad ducs anni terminos pro omni fervicio confuetudine & leculari demanda, feilicer, ad feftum, &c. Pro hac autem donacione, &c. dedit mihi predictus Waltus tres marcas fterlingorum. Et ego Eda & heredes mei predicto Walto & heredibus fuis predictam partem molendini, & predictas, &c. ut predivifum eft, contra omnes homines & feminas warantizabimus. Et ut hec mea donacio & conceffio & carte hujus confirmacio rata & inconcuffa permaneat, prefens feriptum figilli mei impreffione roboravi. Hiis teftibus ; Galf’ de Grefeleye tunc fenefe’, Rogo de Rydeware, Willo pa. de Scheyl Walto de Stretton, Willo p’a de Stretton, Sim’ capellano de Luch, Rad de Bufchevil, Petr’ de Durandefthorp, Rogo Templario, Henr’ de Scheyl, & multis aliis.
A fuppofition may be made (which would obviate the latter of the above arguments) that William fil. Rogeri left furviving male iffue, by another wife than the mother of his daughter or daughters, which mother being a Willefley heir, or coheir, might occaftion his fixing at that refidence, and finally acquiring the name. (As to Agnes de Seile, the perhaps left no iffue, as the above deed, the 2d No. 11, fays “Thome filio meo,” not “noftro.”) And it feems not unlikely, from William de Rydeware’s grant to Nicholaus and Cefily de Ingwardeby, towards 1270, of the Willefley property acquired by his grandfather and father under the two laft-printed deeds, (in which grant the fhare in the mill which Reginald defcribes as a fourth, and Eda his relict in general terms only as “totam partem mean,” paffes from Rydeware as only two-thirds of a fourth, fo that the mill was divided intotwelfths,) and from grants of the like import as yet but barely feem among Willefley archives, that the inheritance of this laft lordfhip was fplit among coheirs, even before William de Stretton had to do there.
But, on confidering the deed of Eda, a third prefumption may be obferved againft a Stretton defcent from William fon of Roger. For among its witneffes are the two firft Stretton brothers, Walter and William perfona ; who, if of the aforefaid Williams line at all, muft almoft to certainty have been his fons, half-brothers. to the grantor Eda ; and this laft would furely, in that café, have been very apt fo to name them.
What authentic genealogy we can collect of this feries of the Strettons, from whichever of the two Williams originating, will ftand thus :
In the laft-named year, 1461, John Bate, clerk, John Kendale, and Thomas Stretton, were bound to ftand to the award of William Vernon and John Stanley, knights, William Comberford and Robert Staunton, arbitrators as well of their part as of the part of Nicholas Finderne, efq. and Margaret his wife, John Finderne, fon and heir of the faid Nicholas, and Alice his wife, Henry Kniveton the elder, efq. and of all heirs claiming any right in the manor of Stretton and the advowfon of the church there, and all other lands (of Margaret, fometime the wife of Adomare Taverner of Lichfield, daughter and coheir of John Stretton) in Stretton, Okenthorpe, Willefley, Gopfhall, and Twycrofs, Appleby, Aminton, Edninghale, and elfewhere, in the counties of Leicefter, Derby, Stafford, and Warwick, dated 2 Edward IV.
Nicholas Finderne, by indenture dated 1465, covenanted to fell this manor to Walter lord Mountjoy ; which he afterwards did accordingly.
In 1474, Walter Blunt, knight, lord of Mountjoy, died fiefed of the manor of Stretton in the Field, held of John Babington, as of his manor of Meyfham. His grandfon Edward was his heir.
For above a centuryfrom 1474, we are at a lofs, after many vain endeavours to obtain a fight of family evidences, for the hiftory of Stretton ; and, in particular, are quite in the dark both as to its continuance in the Blount family, and as to its firft coming into that of Browne.
William and Joyce Aftley in 1494 fuffered a recovery of the manors of Stretton, Shepey, Sheynton, Nailfton, &c. and of divers lands in the lands in the counties of Stafford and Salop. But it appears not whether this Stretton was Stretton en le Field.
The feifin of Stretton in John Browne 12 Hen. IV. Reported by Burton, a note by Mr. Roper has long ago remarked to have been as feoffee in truft only. And we fee that it could not poffibly have been butin fome fuch capacity, from Margery de Stretton’s grant, in the very year following, of this her paternal inheritance, and from the ownerfhip thence to 1474, above deduced.
Brownes there were, if not in Stretton, yet in its immediate vicinity, at a period much earlier than that mentioned by Burton. In the Rydeware Chartulary we have “ Terra Rogeri le Brune ,” and “ Oky fon of Alexander le Broune” a grantor, both in Sheile, as early at laeft as 1273. Richard Brun held lands in Overton fubt. Arden, 1320. Henry Broun, of Lichfield, was enfeoffed in meffuages, &c. at Nether Sheyle 1392, in all appearance the perfon whofe fon John is faid by Burton to have dwelt there 8 Hen. VI. Which John too was probably the above feoffee of Stretton in 12 Hen. IV.
In 11 Hen. VI. Hugo Broun was parfon of Stretton, and a joint feoftee of the manor of Caldwell, co. Derby. The fame year, 9th Feb. 1432, John Broun of Shayll had, with fir Richard Vernon, a bond for their enjoyment of Donafthorpe lands, late of Thomas Caleys. In 1437 the fame John, apparently, and Alice Delves, were enfeoffed as mentioned under Seale. In 1438 or 9, Galfr. Grefley, efq. with affent of co-feoffees, granted lands in Wynfhull, near Burton on Trent, formerly of John Broun, fon of William Broun of Pontefract. And in 1484, Thomas Broun was rector of Appleby.
Juft a century after the fettlement on John Broun of Sheyle and the above Alice, another John Browne of London, efq. and Alice his wife, were tenants in a recovery, Pafch. 28 Hen. VIII. Of lands in Willyfley ; the ufes, apparently, to George Abney, efq.
As this gets nearer to the time when the prefent Browne family is found to certainly fettled at Stretton, it may be thought likely that this laft-mentioned John, a land-holder in Willefley, a neighbour townfhip and in fome refpects connected, was a progenitor. But in this and the other cafes, conjecture, for want of evidences alluded to, is all that is left us. In the inftance of John Browne 1430, the arms fet up in Seile church argue a contrary way. Burton indeed fpeaks of this coat as only a maternal one, borne “ for his own,” fo that, on this idea, his paternal one might, for aught appearing, be that of the now Brownes. But grounds have been ftated for at leaft furmifing, that the Freford coat might be properly and paternally John Browne’s, on the fuppofition that Brun, or le Brun, de Freford was the original name of the family afterwards ftyled, in the elder line, fimply de Freford.
Mr. Charles Browne, who resided here at the beginning of the feventeenth century, was about that period the founder of the prefent refpectable brick manfion-houfe, Plate CXXXV.-“ On digging the foundation for this houfe, there were found, deep in the ground, the remains of an antient building of ftone,
(This is a large picture and may take a while to load)
of great bignefs and proportion, which extended to a great plot of ground ; and were fuppofed to be parts of the feat of Edric de Stretton.”
Mr. Charles Browne was fucceeded by his fon John, who in 1630 was lorf of the manor and patron of the church. He had for his fecond wife Magdalen, one of the daughters of Anthony earl of Kent ; and died May 17, 1669, at the age of 77.
Thomas Browne, efq. died lord of this manor Sept. 3, 1705, in his 56th year.
The late William Browne, efq (who married the daughter and heirefs of Zouch Tate of Delapre), having no iffue male furviving, bequeathed his eftate to his grandfon, John Cave, efq. who took the name and arms of the Browne by act of parliament ; and married Catharine, daughter and heir of Thomas Aftley, gent. Of the city of Weftminfter, by whom he left a numerous family, as may be feen in the Pedigree here annexed. To the North fide of his houfe he made a handfome ftone addition.
The family of the Moores had in 1712 a good eftate here, and the patronage of the living.
A venerable yew tree at Stretton was mentioned in an advertifement in 1792.
The lordship contains pretty near 1050 acres of land, principally of the old inclofure ; 900 or more belonging to the manor, 90 to the rev. John Bakewell, 40 or 50 to the rectory ; and is rated to the land-tax with Willefley and Raunfton.
By the return to Parliament in 1801, Stretton le Field contained 55 houfes and the fame number of families ; 106 males, and 106 females, in all 212 ; of whom 47 were ufually employed in agriculture, and 13 in trade, manufactures, &c.
ADD RETURNS TO PARLIAMENT
The Return made to Parliament in 1786, in anfwer to an enquiry refpecting the charitable donations in the Leicefterfhire part of this parifh, may be feen in vol. I. p. 78.
The CHURCH, (fee Plate CXXXV.)
Dedicated to St, Michael, is pleafingly fituated on an eminence by the manor-houfe of William Cave-Browne, efq. and picturefquely wooded, forming a delightful groupe to the country around. It confifts of a nave, with three fmall clereftory windows, a chancel, and a North aile, with three pointed arches, and two windows enlarged within modern times.
The embattled tower at the Weft end, very taper, having in it three bells, fupports a flender fpire.
The chancel South door and window are ftopped up, and the church North door.
Inftead of a font, is a bafon like a porringer in a drawer in the reading defk.
In the South wall is a locker, the cavity probably of a pifcina.
In the Eaft window of the chancel Mr. Burton describes thefe arms ; fig. 1 – 14 :
Argent, two bars Azure, on a canton of the fecond, a martlet of the firft. Lathbury.
Azure, three arrows Or, 2 and 1. Archer.
Gules, feven mafeles conjoined, voided Or, a label Argent. Quincy.
Argent, three falcons Gules. Falconer.
Quarterly, 1. and
To be continued until document is complete