ANCESTRY OF DOROTHY OAKLEY (est 1610 - ?)
The INGRAM Family
The INGRAM family of JOHN OAKLEY
wife JOAN INGRAM lived for many centuries in Great Wolford parish in
Warwickshire. The parish had an area of about 2,700 acres, equally divided
between Great Wolford to the west and Little Wolford to the east. The church is
situated in the village of Great Wolford, which stands at an elevation of 300
ft, protected by ancient earthworks, and faces the hamlet of Little Wolford at a
similar elevation across the Nethercote Brook. In 1730, when a second edition of
Sir William Dugdale’s Antiquities of Warwickshire was published, ‘Wolford
Magna’ (Great Wolford) had 10 farmhouses and about 16 cottages, and ‘Wolford
Parva’ (Little Wolford) had 12 farmhouses and the manor house and about 22
cottages. The Victoria County History (VCH) for Warwickshire gives the
population of each part in the early 20th century as about 150.
The surname ‘INGRAM’, sometimes spelled ‘Ingraham’ in the 16th century, was introduced to England by the Normans (Dictionary of Surnames). It is derived from a Germanic personal name, either ‘Engil’ or ‘Ing’, and ‘hraben’, meaning raven, so the name ‘Engeram’ or ‘Ingeram’, found in Wolford in the 13th century before surnames were adopted, might be a precursor of the later surname. Indeed, the inscription on the monument in Wolford church to Aston INGRAM, who died in 1711, claims that he was ‘descended from Engeram de Wlwarth who levied a Fine of certain lands in the Manour of little Wolford in the year of our Lord 1202’.
Aston’s widow Barbara possessed a paper listing names and dates of Ingram family members back to that early century, and some of them were supported by documentary evidence provided by Dugdale’s record of the county gentry of Warwickshire, which he published in his Antiquities in 1656. As described in the Dictionary of National Biography, Dugdale was made a herald in 1638 and had access to many state and family records, and he also transcribed monumental inscriptions throughout England. He made a series of Visitations in the 1660s, and eventually became Garter King of Arms. Other Wolford records pertaining to the INGRAMs were published in the VCH, and recent research has revealed further deeds at Warwick and Stratford Record Offices which identify the family as landowners in the parish. This collection of early deeds can be interpreted as covering an almost complete series of generations from 1202, and Dugdale was prepared to accept that the family were descended from ‘Engeram’, though in the VCH it is pointed out that there is no documentary evidence to prove this descent (Vol.V, p.217). These possible early ancestors are listed next.
ENGERAM 1202. Aston INGRAM clearly knew of the deed dated 3 John, i.e. the 3rd year of king John’s reign, 1202, now published in Warwickshire Feet of Fines, vol. I, p.107, whereby ENGERAM, son of JOHN de Wlwarth, held 3 hides and 1 virgate of land in Wlwarth, i.e. Wolford, the original name of the village being Wolward or Wolwarth. A hide of land or 4 virgates was the amount considered adequate for the support of one free family with its dependents, and was equivalent in Warwickshire to about 90 acres. Simon de Barton (of the next village, Barton-on-the-Heath) had inherited and granted to John and his heirs 5 virgates and a messuage (house) to hold by service of one-eighth knight’s fee. According to the VCH, ‘ENGERAM’ or ‘INGERAM’ was the son of JOHN and grandson of ROGER, as he had an uncle Ingeram ‘the elder’, son of ROGER. They seem to have been associated with the family of Hastang of Leamington Hastings near Warwick, as he is called INGELRAM HASTINGS in 1221 and his uncle was known by the same name earlier. The names Hastang and Hastings were constantly confused even in early medieval records, and the INGRAMs in the 17th century used Hastings as a forename but quartered the arms of Hastang (VCH, Vol.V, p.216, note 50). The younger INGERAM is also called ‘of Wolford’ and ‘of Barton’ in 1221, when he was acquitted of having being associated with Roger of Wolford when the latter killed Simon de Barton.
INGERAM 1242, 1252. One generation later, INGERAM of Wolford held the half-fee of Little Wolford in 1242 and in 1252 of the overlord Robert de Stafford. In early Norman times a knight’s fee would have meant an area of land of about 5 hides whose tenant had to provide for his lord the services of one fully armed horseman for 40 days in each year, but it had soon come to mean a unit of land valued at £20 a year.
WILLIAM INGELRAM 1279. He was included in Barbara INGRAM’S list, and the date refers to the Warwickshire Hundred Roll of that year. This consists of a long list of landholdings and the names of tenants and undertenants, in which WILLIAM INGELRAM or INGERHAM appears frequently as a landowner. In all he was lord of 13 virgates, about 300 acres, representing about 25% of Little Wolford, and it was stated that ‘The same WILLIAM holds from Baron de Stafford all the aforesaid land for a half Knight’s fee and is gelded [taxed] and makes two attendances at the Hundred of the King and gives scutage [a tax on a knight’s fee in lieu of personal service] and the Baron holds from the King.’ The first entry says that ‘Thomas of Little Wolford is Lord of the same Town and holds … by service of one knight’s fee’, and he may have been related to WILLIAM, as one entry reads ‘Alice Glay holds from WILLIAM INGELRAM for 1 lb of cumin and WILLIAM from the aforesaid Thomas freely as a marriage portion’.
JOHN INGRAM (I) 1327. In the Lay Subsidy Roll of 1327, JOHN INGRAM paid tax of 16 pence out of a total assessment of 23 shillings in Little Wolford. A ‘William called Ingeram of Wlford’, whose ordination as a priest in 1310 is noted in Bishop Reynolds Register, may be a younger brother.
There then is a gap of a generation during the disturbed period after the plague years of the Black Death, in which no references to INGRAMs have been found, but from 1392 on we can be more confident in relating one generation to the next, and thus in constructing a pedigree showing JOAN INGRAM’s ancestry. She is counted as generation 4 in the overall list which began with DOROTHY OAKLEY as generation 1 (see The OAKLEY Family).
WILLIAM INGRAM (I)
The Inquisition Post Mortem of Thomas, Earl of Stafford, dated 16 July 16 Richard II, i.e.1392, lists the land he owned and shows that WILLIAM INGRAM held one knight’s fee in Great Wolford and half a knight’s fee in Little Wolford. The fees were still held by WILLIAM at the IPM of Thomas Stafford’s brother William on 11 February 1399 (22 Richard II), and at the IPM of Edmund Earl of Stafford on 9 August 1403 (4 Henry IV) (PRO, Chancery C136, nos.224 and 1280; C137, no.843). Dugdale tells us (p. 596) that ‘WILLIAM INGERAM’ was a witness on 13 March 1418 (5 Henry V) to a deed concerning property in Little Wolford. Barbara INGRAM’s list included WILLIAM’s name and two of these dates.
A John INGRAM who was a chaplain named in a deed of 1406 in Warwickshire Feet of Fines, Vol.III, may perhaps be WILLIAM’S brother. The right heirs of this John were to keep title to 8 messuages (houses) and 80 acres of land in Over Brailes and Nether Brailes about 4 miles from Wolford, the advowson (the right to choose a new incumbent) of the free chapel of Chelmescote (near Brailes), and a moiety (half share) of the manor of Chelmescote and two virgates of land in Middle Aston in Oxfordshire (15 miles from Wolford).
JOHN INGRAM (II) and his Family
Barbara INGRAM’s list gives the name JOHN INGRAM after that of WILLIAM, and the date 1444-5 (23 Henry (VI)) would make it likely that he was WILLIAM’s son. Though no deed of that date has been found, three years later on 4 April 1448 (26 Henry (VI)), JOHN INGRAM of Little Wolford and EMMOT his wife were granted (i.e. given permission to purchase) a messuage with curtilege (yard) and croft (enclosed piece of arable land near the house) in Wolford, together with a half virgate of arable land in the town and fields, by William Berston the son of Thomas Berston of Stourton near Wolford (deed ER3/255 at Stratford Record Office). Emmot is a West Country name.
Then in 1460-1 (39 Henry (VI)), JOHN and EMMOT received a lease of a messuage and lands in Wolford for 12 years from Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, and Richard Mountford the parson of Ilmington near Wolford. This was later one of the deeds noted in the catalogue of the sale of deeds that belonged to Samuel Amy SEVERNE who inherited the INGRAM estate in the 19th century (Stratford R.O., DR31/142), but the present whereabouts of the deed are not known. JOHN INGRAM was also a member of the jury with William Verney, Robert Compton and John Clopton of Stratford (three families who appear again later) which heard a case about landholdings in Little Wolford on 7 July 1467 (7 Edward (VI)) (Stratford R.O., ER3/257).
JOHN had died by 1474, as one of the documents in the SEVERNE sale was a release of lands in Wolford, dated 1473-4 (13 Edward (IV)) from EMMOT INGRAM of Little Wolford, widow, and WILLIAM her son. The story of her son WILLIAM (II), presumably named after his grandfather WILLIAM (I), will be told next.
WILLIAM INGRAM (II) and his Family
We have seen that WILLIAM was the son of JOHN (II), and he follows him in Barbara INGRAM’s list with the year 1507-8 (23 Henry (VII)). Again no deed has been found for that date, and it may refer to the year when WILLIAM died. Much earlier, on 1 August 1458 (36 Henry (VI)), WILLIAM had witnessed a grant by William Verney esquire to four named persons of the manor of Wolford Magna and Parva which Verney had leased from the Earl of Stafford in the previous year. These documents are among the Compton family papers at Castle Ashby, which are available on microfilm MI167/1 at Warwick Record Office.
On 24 January 1478/9 (18 Edward (IV)), after his father’s death, WILLIAM YNGGRAM of Little Wolford joined with Thomas Cokkebell of Brailes in granting a messuage and a virgate of land in Little Wolford to William Leson and his wife Alice. The document (number CR456/33 at Warwick Record Office) was signed by William Verney amongst others. Document 31 in the same series is a grant from WILLIAM INGRAM and JOAN his wife to Thomas Cokesey, knight, William Verney, esquire, John Hyll the vicar of Brailes, Thomas Ley the vicar of Little Wolford (sic) and William Willington of Todenham, yeoman, of a messuage, 3 tofts (unoccupied farmhouses) and 3 virgates of arable land in Little Wolford. The document in Latin is dated 7 September 1489 (5 Henry (VII)), and the first witness was Robert INGRAM, who may have been WILLIAM’s brother. Document 19 shows that William Willington, esquire, then of Barcheston to the north of Wolford, leased a toft and close and 1 yardland and meadows in Little Wolford to John Myche, husbandman, which were described as ‘late in the holding of JOHN INGRAM gent’. We will see later that one of William Willington’s daughters married William II SHELDON and that another became the grandmother of Robert Catesby.
JOHN INGRAM (III) and his Family
JOHN was named after his grandfather, and on 31 January 1505/6 (21 Henry (VII)), Thomas Franklen granted to JOHN INGRAM ‘a half part of one messuage, a virgate and a half of arable land and a croft with all its appurtenances and other lands and tenements in the town and fields of Little Wolford, situated between the tenement of Thomas Rawlens on the south and the tenement of JOHN INGRAM on the north and abutting the king’s highway’ (document CR456/21 at Warwick Record Office). This was confirmed on 14 June 1512 (4 Henry VIII), when Thomas Franklen quitclaimed to JOHN all his lands etc. in Little Wolford (document 23).
Document 30 in the above series is a deed of bargain and sale from Thomas Herryson, husbandman, to JOHN INGRAM of all his land, messuages and tenements in Little Wolford on 29 May 1525 (17 Henry VIII), and the Severne sale documents included the lease from William Yns of Brackley, gent, to JOHN INGRAM of a messuage and trees in Little Wolford in the year 1522/3 (14 Henry (VIII)). Thus JOHN continued to be able to afford to invest in property. It was a time of peace after the end of the Wars of the Roses, so presumably his existing landholding was bringing in a good income.
this time JOHN’s overlord had changed. The Stafford family had been overlords of
Wolford since the Domesday Book in 1086, but in 1520 Edward Stafford, Duke of
Buckingham, conveyed the manors of Tysoe, Whatcote and Wolford Magna and Parva
for £1,600 to trustees for sale to Sir William Compton of Compton Wynyates,
which is between Brailes and Tysoe 6 miles north east of Wolford. In the
following year the Duke was convicted of high treason and his lands fell to the
crown, but in 1525 Sir William was able to reclaim these manors by petitioning
Henry VIII. He had become friends with the king at the age of 11 in 1493 on the
death of his father, as he became a ward of the crown and was appointed page to
Prince Harry aged 2. When Henry succeeded to the throne in 1509, William was
made First Gentleman of the Bedchamber, and it was part of his duties as Keeper
of the Privy Purse to carry and spend the king’s pocket money, frequently
drawing amounts of £2,000 and £3,000 ‘for the King’s use’. He was
knighted in 1513 and received many other profitable appointments. The family had
held Compton Wynyates since 1204, and William’s father built the earliest part
of the present house, though the most impressive features were added by William.
They moved to Castle Ashby in Northamptonshire around 1600, where they became
Earls of Northampton, and this helped to preserve the beautiful house from too
many later alterations. It is hidden away in a hollow or combe, hence the
name, and has been compared to a jewel dropped onto a cushion. The walls are
deep red with a blue diapered pattern, the roofs of local slates, and the
skyline is made up of chimneys and turrets.
A 17th century deed records that in 1524 the estate of the Duke of Buckingham received £100 from JOHN INGRAM for a knight’s fee (VCH, Vol. V, p.217), thus making him lord of the manor, a position held by his descendants for 300 years. In this capacity he held manorial courts. It is not clear whether the present manor house at Little Wolford existed in his time or was built by his son Richard. A description of the house is given later.
Around this same time, JOHN (III) acquired from Merton College, Oxford, the lease of the Parsonage in Great Wolford and the glebe lands. The Warden and scholars of the College had become the rector of the parish in 1322, and leased out the house and land, taking half the entry fine of the lease with the remainder going to the College, for which the rental of this and their other properties provided an important part of its income. The College registers, which record the annual payment of rent by the leaseholders, are still held in the College library. They show that in 1483 the lease had been held by Richard Grene, and in 1486 he acquired a new 20-year lease of ‘the manse of the rectory of Wolford, with the glebe or demesne lands of the rectory, and the tithes of corn, lambs and hay’ at an annual rent of £12. The lease stated that ‘the tenant … shall render his account once a year at the College, for which he shall receive a gown, worth 6/8’. The lease was renewed in 1506 by Richard and John Grene, and on 10 March 1508/9 John Molder the vicar of Wolford, Richard Grene, husbandman, and JOHN INGRAM, yeoman, were to be proctors at the bishop’s visitation. The registers also show that on 1 July 1511 (3 Henry (VIII)), Richard INGRAM, who may have been JOHN’s brother, was leased the manse of the chapel of Burmington, north of Wolford, and a virgate and a half of land and the tithes for 16 years at a rent of 26 shillings and 8 pence.
Each year until the lease expired in 1526, John Grene appeared at the College to pay the rent, but from 1527 onwards it was JOHN INGRAM’s name that was entered in the register. The terms of his lease have not survived, but the VCH notes that in 1535 the rectory was farmed by JOHN INGRAM at £13.6.8 (i.e. he took the profits of the land and tithes in return for this fixed payment), and that he received a fee of 6 shillings and 8 pence as bailiff (VCH, Vol. V, p.218). We saw in The OAKLEY Family that JOHN SEVERNE (II) acted in a similar capacity in Shrawley.
Barbara INGRAM’s list associated JOHN (III) with the year 27 Henry (VIII) (1535-6), presumably because a lease of Tidmington near Burmington that had been granted to him in that year by the Abbot of Evesham was quoted in a Chancery case by his grandson Anthony II INGRAM in 1589, and the family retained the document awarding the case to Anthony, which is now at Warwick Record Office as CR456/14.
JOHN (III) died in 1541, and an Inquisition Post Mortem was held at Henley in Arden on 16 August 1542 (34 Henry (VIII)), which is reported in Chancery Series II C142/67 and in Exchequer Series II E150/1144. IPMs had been limited to those who held land directly of the king, but the scope had been widened to include the next level down, presumably to produce extra revenue for the crown. The witnesses said that JOHN was seized of the manor of Wolford and of 6 messuages, 3 cottages, 2 tofts, 600 acres of (arable) land, 100 acres of meadow, 200 acres of pasture, 6 acres of woods and 20 shillings (£1) worth of rents in Wolford, and a messuage and 2 virgates of land in Willington, north of Burmington. The jury were shown a deed of 21 June 1530 by which he had granted all of the above property except the manor to Anthony Cope esquire and others, as trustees for Richard I INGRAM, his son and heir, and Richard’s wife Mary and their heirs. By another deed shown to the jurors, he had sold to Richard the manor of Little Wolford and all his other lands. The manor was worth £6.13.4 annually, and the land in Wolford £9, and they were held of Peter Compton esquire by service of one knight’s fee. The property in Willington was worth 20 shillings annually and was held of Compton by service of one-eighteenth part of a knight’s fee. It was reported that JOHN had died in Little Wolford on 20 June 1541 (33 Henry VIII), and that Richard his son and heir was ‘aged 32 and more’.
JOHN INGRAM (III)’s Family
JOHN’s widow AGNES survived him by little more than two years, making her will in Wolford on 29 September 1543, and she asked to be buried beside her husband in the chancel of the parish church. She bequeathed 12 pence for the high altar of the church and four pence to the mother church of Worcester, and she left a bushel of barley for the maintenance of the bells, and a bushel of corn for the poor men of Wolford. From the will we find that she and JOHN had an elder daughter JOAN, who had been named after JOHN’s mother and who had married JOHN OAKLEY (I). They also had a younger daughter Ann, and two sons, Richard (I) and John (V). Ann was bequeathed AGNES’s best gown and best kirtle (outer petticoat), Richard’s wife received another gown, and their children Anthony (II), William (III) and Edward 13 shillings and four pence, JOAN a table board (a table top supported on trestles that could be stored against a wall), her husband JOHN OAKLEY a worte pan (for infusion of malt to make beer), and their daughter Ann OAKLEY a cow. AGNES’s son John (V) was to have the lease of the Parsonage and was to be the executor, his brother Richard (who had inherited the Little Wolford estate) was to be the overseer, and the will was proved at Worcester on 6 May 1544.
JOHN (III) and AGNES’s younger son John (V) INGRAM and his Family
In 1544 after his mother’s death, John (V) INGRAM took out a 40 year lease of the Parsonage, and in subsequent years the College register reports his annual payment of rent, the sum mentioned varying around £6. In 1545 he married Alice Sambache in Broadway, as we saw in THE OAKLEY FAMILY, and her brother John Sambache lived in Great Wolford on land leased by their father from Richard (I) INGRAM. John and Alice INGRAM had five children, Anne, Mary, Helen, John VI who was christened in Broadway in 1554, and Anthony I.
John (V) made his will in Great Wolford on 6 December 1568, and asked to be buried in the chancel ‘nigh the place where John [IV] Ingram my late brother deceased was buried there’. He left £2 to Merton College, 2 shillings for the bells, three shillings and four pence to the poor of Wolford, 40 marks (about £27) to his daughter Anne to be paid within 2 years of her marriage, and £20 each to his daughters Mary and Helen in similar circumstances. His younger son Anthony was to have one yardland which was part of the glebe (the land associated with the Parsonage) and the tithes from the age of 21 during the term of the lease. His wife Alice was to enjoy the profits of the Parsonage until his elder son John VI was 21, after which John was to occupy half the Parsonage and Alice the other half during her lifetime, and John was to pay his mother £20. John was also to have all his father’s leases. Meanwhile, Alice was to maintain both of the sons at school until they were 21. Alice and John were made the executors and residuary legatees, and John (V)’s nephew THOMAS OAKLEY, William Moch, and the parson of Chastleton were to be the overseers and were to keep the leases safe on behalf of his wife and sons. The witnesses included the overseers and the Master of Merton College, and the will was proved in Worcester a year later on 6 December 1569.
The inventory of John’s goods had been compiled by the parson and THOMAS OAKLEY and three others on 18 November 1569. It included 12 beds and other house contents valued at £40; 5 silver spoons; farm animals and equipment valued at £34; corn and hay worth £45; and the lease of the parsonage, which was valued at £30, the total coming to £160. Thus despite being a younger son, his goods were worth nearly twice as much as those of his ‘gentleman’ father-in-law Richard Sambache, and in some respects they equalled those of the wealthy JOHN SEVERNE (II) of Shrawley, who also benefited from the profits of the lease of a Parsonage (see The OAKLEY Family)
His son John (VI) inherited most of his father’s wealth. He was a student at New College, Oxford, and at the Middle Temple where he studied law, and from 1574 he paid rent each year on the Parsonage. On 26 August 1584 he took out a new lease for his life and the lives of Thomas and Anne Munday, the sons of his sister Anne and her husband Thomas Munday, who was a mercer in Oxford. A year later the lease was revised to include the life of Ingraham Horsman, the son of Anthony Horsman of Barton-on-the-Heath, who had married John’s sister Mary in 1580. He continued to pay the rent until 1587, and he then transferred the lease to his cousin’s son EDWARD (I) OAKLEY, to whom he had sold Coopers Yardland, which was farmed by Anthony Horsman. It is interesting to note that EDWARD was able to purchase the source of John’s wealth using his inheritance from his father-in-law JOHN SEVERNE, while having sufficient funds in addition to make other investments. As we saw earlier, these properties remained with EDWARD’S descendants for 200 years. John was buried in Broadway on 21 April 1601, and his will was proved in London on 4 November of that year. He had no children, so in this branch the INGRAM surname died out.
JOHN (III) and AGNES’s elder son Richard INGRAM (I) and his Family
The INGRAM pedigree back to JOHN (III) appeared in the Herald’s Visitation of Worcestershire for 1569, and it showed that his son RICHARD (I) married twice. His first wife Mary was described as the sister of ‘Sir John Asheley of the Jewel house’, though the surname is given elsewhere as Astley. A son Richard (II) was included, in addition to the three sons Anthony (II), William (III) and Edward (I) to whom their grandmother Agnes had made bequests. Edward was described as having died childless, and there was no mention of William, who may also have died. It is possible that there was also a daughter of this marriage, as an Anne Ingram, thought to be of Wolford, married Richard Hyckes, the maker of the SHELDON tapestries as will be described later, and they named sons William and Edward.
Richard (I) had inherited the manor of Wolford, and in the VCH it is recorded that in 1544 he settled it on his wife Mary and son Anthony, but Mary must have died soon afterwards, as Richard married Anne the daughter of John Lingain of Sutton in Herefordshire, the widow and second wife of John Gower of Earls Court near Worcester. John Gower’s first marriage had produced a daughter and heiress Elizabeth Gower, and the pedigree shows that by 1569 she had married Richard INGRAM’S son Richard (II). Their grandson Henry INGRAM of Earls Court provided his pedigree for the 1634 Visitation of Worcestershire.
The 1569 pedigree also shows that Richard (I) had two sons by his second marriage to Anne, and confusingly they were given the same names, Anthony and William, as sons from his first marriage. He made his will on 4 December 1562, and he had over-reached himself financially, because he owed £210 (an enormous sum, £40,000 in present-day terms) to Mr Robert Branden the Queen’s goldsmith, and £56 to other persons, so he asked his son Richard (II) and his wife to release the legacies of her father John Gower so as to allow him £100 ‘towards my great charges laying out for them, and that I … may enjoy [the profits of] Earls Court … for 8 years’. He also arranged to repay the £43 he had borrowed from his brother John V. He asked for his land in Willington and Great Wolford to be sold and divided for the marriages of his four children by his second wife Anne. To their son Anthony he bequeathed all the rest of his lands except his wife’s jointure, and their son William was bequeathed the lease of a farm from the College of Worcester. His wife was to have the lands towards the maintenance of their children until they came of age, and she proved the will in London on 31 January 1562/3 (PCC, 5 Chayre).
In the list later held by Barbara INGRAM, Richard was associated with the year 1563 (6 Elizabeth), and this is the year in which his IPM was held in Stratford-upon-Avon. He was found to be seized of the manor of Little Wolford, which was worth 20 marks and was held from Henry Compton esquire by military service of one knight’s fee, and the jury were shown a deed of 1551 whereby the manor had been granted to John Lingain esquire to the use of Richard and Anne, presumably as part of their marriage settlement. Like his father, Richard was seized of land in Willington, which was worth £1, but in addition he also held the manors of Long Compton and Tidmington, which were worth £19 and were held of the Queen by service of the fourth part of a knight’s fee.
Richard (I) had died on 6 December 1562, and his son Anthony (II) by his first marriage was described as his ‘nearest heir’ and as ‘aged 26 years and more’ on the day of the Inquisition. Anthony successfully disputed the will, as his father had left all the property to his sons by his second marriage, and it was declared null and void on 17 July 1565. The outcome was a quitclaim by his stepmother ‘Anne Ingraham of Longford in the county of Hereford’, who for £56 gave up all her rights of dower in any of the lands of Richard I or his son Anthony II. Her sons therefore did not inherit, and according to the pedigree, Anthony (III) lived at Kentchurch in Herefordshire, and William IV lived in Windsor.
Richard had lived at the attractive manor house in Little Wolford, of which a detailed description and a plan drawing are given in the VCH. It is remarkable that the building survived to our own time relatively unchanged, though with new owners, and the following photographs were taken by Derek Williams in 1992 by courtesy of the present owners. The house was built in the local Cotswold limestone as a hall and parlour range in the 15th or 16th century, so it may also have been occupied by RICHARD’s father JOHN INGRAM (III) (and his daughter, our ancestor JOAN), but the date it was built is not certain. Short timber-framed wings enclosing a courtyard were added in the 16th century, though the east wing has since been removed. The plan is shown here with the stone north range at the bottom of the diagram.
The north side at the back of the house, shown below, is plain apart from two dormer windows, a projecting chimneystack, and a short wing overlapping both hall and parlour, which is a later addition
The view of the south side of the house which is shown below includes the four-light window in the hall, but the other window is hidden by the bushes. On the right is a projecting octagonal turret which contains a spiral staircase to the upstairs rooms, as internal wooden staircases had not been perfected at this early date. The gabled porch on the left covers the entrance to the screens passage which has 15th century jambs and a four-centred arch and a contemporary oak door. On the left is a part of the west wing with a jettied and timber-framed upper story.
In the seven lights of the two south windows of the hall are set coloured shields of the INGRAM and Hastang arms impaling other arms, four of them in Tudor wreaths. The INGRAM arms were ‘Ermine, on a fesse Gules three scallops Or’, i.e. an ermine shield, depicted by black tails on a white background, with three gold shells on a central red band, and they are described in the 1569 Visitation. The Hastang arms with which they were usually quartered were ‘Azure, a chief Gules, over all a lion rampant Or’, i.e. a blue shield with the upper segment in red and a gold lion standing upright on one hind leg. In one of the hall lights (on the left in the photograph below), INGRAM and Hastang impale the Astley arms, an ermine flower on a blue shield, for Richard I’s first wife. In the arms shown in the centre, the Lingain arms for his second wife are impaled, in which alternate gold and blue stripes are crossed by a red band with three silver flowers. It also has the date 1557, which may indicate that Richard rebuilt or extended the house in that year. The INGRAM arms can also be seen on the right, with a crest above, and another light, which is not shown, has the Hungerford arms of Richard’s son’s wife, who later lived in the house.
Descendants of Richard (I) INGRAM at Little Wolford
The INGRAM family continued as owners of the manor house in Little Wolford for three centuries down to 1835, so it is interesting to summarize at least some of the figures of the later family among the descendants of Richard, brother of our ancestor JOAN INGRAM, wife of JOHN OAKLEY (I).
Richard’s son Anthony (II) inherited the Little Wolford estate when his father’s will was overturned in 1565, and he recovered his father’s other manors and lands in the same year, as shown by one of the deeds in the Severne sale. In 1574 he married Dorothy the daughter of Sir John Hungerford of Down Ampney in Gloucestershire, and they had four children. He died in 1600, and this was the year associated with him in Barbara INGRAM’s list of family members.
His eldest son John (VII) married Cecily the daughter of Robert Williamson of Minster Lovell in Oxfordshire, and they named their son Hastings after the family from whom they claimed an ancient descent. However, John died before his father in 1598, and Cecily married Simon Clifford of Boscombe near Salisbury in Wiltshire, by whom she had ten children. The Clifford family has a lengthy pedigree which includes King Henry II’s mistress ‘Fair Rosamund’ and the builders of Clifford Castle and Llandovery Castle in Wales.
John’s son Hastings (I) INGRAM (1597-1665) was brought up in Wiltshire, but when he came of age he returned to Wolford and married Catherine the daughter of Sir William Peyto of Chesterton House near Warwick. They had ten children, but Catherine died in childbirth in 1632. The Peyto arms (a shield of alternate silver and red stripes separated by a vertical indented line, where the colours also alternate on opposite sides of the line) appear on the stone overmantel of the hall fireplace in the INGRAM manor house.
Hastings and his brother-in-law Sir Edward Peyto took part in the Civil War, as described in Philip Tennant’s Edgehill and Beyond. Sir Edward was a staunch Parliamentarian, and at the outbreak of the war he was placed in charge of Warwick Castle, which he defended during the Royalist siege of August 1642. Hastings INGRAM was at first neutral before opting for Parliament, and was imprisoned by the Royalists in Oxford, but escaped in January 1643 and briefly became governor of the garrison at Kenilworth Castle. The area around Wolford did not avoid the disruption caused by the presence of troops. An attack by Royalists on the manor house was probably prompted by the presence of Parliamentary forces nearby. A neighbour reported that the occupants were forced to flee for their lives: “About August 1643, one Hastings INGRAM Esquire taking up arms then for ye Parliament, I did furnish him with four soldiers whereof one was my eldest son; which soldiers did stand out in his house with him in their defence against part of ye King’s army till he was forced to yield and then to fly the house, being fired over their heads” (p.118).
Hastings survived the War, Cromwell’s Commonwealth, and the restoration of Charles II to the throne. The Hearth Tax records show that “Hastings INGRAM senior Esquire” paid tax on 7 hearths, and his son “Hastings junior gent” paid on 4 hearths, which were combined together as 11 hearths after his father’s death in 1665. The manor was a large house, but not as large as Compton Wynyates with 26 hearths, or the SHELDONS’ Weston Palace nearby, with 38 hearths. Hastings’s memorial tablet on the south side of the nave in Wolford church shows the arms of INGRAM and Hastang impaling Peyto.
In 1655 Hastings INGRAM (II) (1621-1693) married Anne Mollins, who was the daughter and co-heiress of Edward Mollins of Westhall near Sherborne in Dorset, and his wife Frances the daughter of Sir Thomas Aston of Aston in Cheshire. Hastings and Anne had six sons and two daughters, and the eldest son was given the name Aston INGRAM. The porch at the manor house was decorated with the carved arms of INGRAM quartering Hastang fronted by the Mollins arms (‘Ermine, a mill rind Sable’, i.e. an ermine shield with a black millwheel support) and with their initials HIA and the date 1671.
Hastings (II) kept an Account Book which has survived (CR2855 at Warwick Record Office), and it records important family events and dates, including the marriage of his cousin John (IV) OAKLEY in 1684 and the birth and christening of John’s son Edward. The main purpose of the book was to record his expenditure, including his wife’s allowance and any interest due to her, and gifts to younger sons as they left for London (some of whom were still described by their childhood names, such as ‘Nanly’ for ‘Anthony’). An interesting glimpse into the production of the Herald’s Visitations is provided by the item, “Paid August 26th at Shipton to Thomas May, Chester Herald, and Gregory King, Rouge Dragon, Officers at Arms Marshals and Deputies to Clarence King of Arms, for registering my descent and arms from my great great grandfather Richard INGRAM, £1.17.6.” This descent duly appeared in the Warwickshire Visitation for that year. Hastings (II) died in 1693, and his gravestone is inscribed with an epitaph of his own composition. His inventory included £93 in ready money, clothes £40, household goods and plate £92, recoverable debts and mortgage bonds £1,192 and £133 due in rents, corn and hay £71, a coach and two coach mares £30, and farm animals and equipment £102. The total came to over £2,100, equivalent to about £150,000 today, but it included ‘desperate’ (i.e. unrecoverable) debts of £382 due on bonds from a London goldsmith who was bankrupt, and £6 due for rent from a miller who had run away.
The eldest son Aston INGRAM (1656-1711) married Barbara the second daughter of Sir John Clopton of Clopton House, Stratford-upon-Avon, who was an MP, Deputy Lieutenant of the county, and Recorder of Stratford. The Clopton family can be traced back in the town to 1211, and they included Hugh Clopton who was a Merchant of the Staple and became Lord Mayor of London in 1492, after which he returned to Stratford and built Clopton Bridge, which still provides safe access to the town during floods, and New Place which later became the home of William Shakespeare in his retirement in Stratford. Barbara was named after her mother, who was the only child of Sir Edward Walker, Garter King of Arms. He had followed Charles II into exile, and became head of the College of Arms at the Restoration, and in 1675 he purchased New Place. In 1706 Aston bought from his brothers-in-law Nash House next to New Place, which had belonged to Thomas Nash the first husband of Shakespeare’s granddaughter, and is now a museum. He also acquired ‘the great garden’, part of the grounds of New Place.
Aston died in 1711 leaving five children who were still under age, so he made provision for them in his will and made two of Barbara’s brothers trustees. His monument on the chancel wall commemorates his descent from ‘Engeram’ in 1202, and above are the INGRAM arms in colour, for once without Hastang. His widow Barbara was the person who possessed the list of names and dates back to Engeram.
Aston and Barbara’s youngest son Edward (IV) (1706-1780) became a prosperous merchant in London, and late in life his son Edward (V) (1748-1818) unexpectedly inherited the Clopton estate at Stratford, as the male line of the Cloptons had died out. On his death it went to his younger brother John (X), who moved from London to Stratford, but again it came too late for him to enjoy it and he died in 1824, and as neither brother had married, the estate passed to another female line of the Cloptons.
Aston and Barbara’s second son John (IX) (1696-1752) took his BA at Oxford in 1716 and was ordained in 1721, and he became vicar of Whichford near Wolford. In 1734 he married Anne the daughter of Captain Fleetwood Watkins of Whichford, and they had 7 children. In 1735 he became vicar of Chastleton as well, where the OAKLEYs had lived at one time, and this provided him with extra income. His eldest brother Hastings (IV) never married, and he died in 1747 at the age of 53, whereupon John succeeded to the Little Wolford estate. He outlived his brother only five years, and his widow remarried about 10 years after his death.
John’s eldest son John (XI) succeeded to Wolford, and he died unmarried in 1785, being described as a JP and Senior Captain of the Warwickshire Militia. His eldest sister Anne (1737-1812) remained at the manor house, and had Edward (IV)’s daughter Barbara (III) to live with her. A description of Anne by an unknown author survives in the Ward Collection at Warwick Record Office under the heading Little Wolford. It says: ‘She was a woman of superior and refined understanding polished by education and an intimate intercourse with the higher ranks. Her penetrating mind was clothed with a general knowledge of men and books, and her manners were elegant and accomplished. She conversed with good sense and pleasantness on various subjects; she was affable and condescending to her inferiors, kind and charitable to the poor, and a generous landlady to her tenants, and was fond of society and it was her happy element’. An example of her ‘intimate intercourse with the higher ranks’ is provided by a letter, also at Warwick, which she wrote from Wolford in 1785 to the Duchess of Marlborough at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, who was the daughter of the Duke of Bedford, and the eldest son took the additional name of Churchill which had been that of his ancestor the first Duke. One of his descendants was Sir Winston Churchill, who was Prime Minister of Britain during the Second World War. When Anne died in 1812 she left Barbara much jewellery and a picture of King Charles I with their ancestor Sir Edward Walker, which must have been a copy of the portrait now in the National Gallery in London.
John’s third daughter Katherine Milcah (1744-1808) was the only one of his children to marry. Her husband Michael Woodhall of Thenford Lodge in Northamptonshire was a man of wealth and learning who wrote poetry and translations from the Greek, and possessed a fine library. The Dictionary of National Biography describes him as a keen Whig in politics and High Sheriff of the county in 1783. Katherine died without issue in 1808, and her husband died 8 years later, leaving his estate to her youngest sister Mary INGRAM (1748-1824). Mary had lived for many years with the Woodhalls, and she was joined at Thenford by her cousin Barbara (III). Although Mary inherited Little Wolford jointly with her sister Anne in 1785, and absolutely on Anne’s death in 1812, she probably never lived there. It seems likely that all the most valuable and useful contents of the manor house at Little Wolford were removed to Thenford, so that the house was left unoccupied, a victim of damp and neglect. Thus the INGRAMS left Little Wolford at much the same time as the OAKLEYs had given up the lease of the Parsonage at Great Wolford, though the INGRAMs had been there much longer – at least 400 years and perhaps 600 years.
When Mary made her will in 1824 she left Little Wolford to Barbara (III), and the Thenford estate to Samuel Amy SEVERNE, who was related to the Woodhalls. He also shared with the OAKLEYs a descent from JOHN (I) SEVERNE as was explained in the OAKLEY FAMILY. Anne had also made a small bequest to him, as he had married the daughter of a neighbouring farmer who had been adopted by Anne. When Barbara (III) died in 1835 aged 89, and was buried at Wolford, a tablet was erected in the church in her memory and that of Anne by ‘Samuel Amy SEVERNE, Esquire, of Wallop Hall in the county of Salop, and of Thenford, Northamptonshire’, and by her death he inherited the Little Wolford estate as well. In 1844, the year before his death, he sold Wolford for £47,500 to Sir George Philips of Weston Park in Long Compton, the old SHELDON property, who was a member of a wealthy Lancashire cotton family. It still consisted of close to the 900 acres that JOHN INGRAM (III) had owned in 1541. A description of the house at that time, including the arms in the hall windows and the pairs of spurs which had been part of the feudal dues of a tenant, was published in 1843 in Volume 8 of Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica. Having been unoccupied the house was in poor condition, and the hall was subsequently used as a non-conformist meeting place and as the village schoolroom, but it was eventually restored in the 1930s and has survived to display something of the INGRAM family who had lived there so long.
By Derek Williams
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Derek Williams 2006, 2011