Manor and Estates: Upleadon Manor; Other Estates

Manor and Estates

(Victoria History of Gloucestershire XIII, draft text by John Juřica: © University of London 2011)

Soon after the Norman Conquest Upleadon became part of the estates of Gloucester abbey. After the Dissolution the manor was retained for a time by the Crown and a house and land set aside by the abbey for the service of Upleadon’s church passed with the Upleadon tithes to the dean and chapter of Gloucester cathedral to form a rectory estate. The descent of the manorial rights became uncertain in the 17th century but the site of the manor at Upleadon Court remained the centre of the parish’s main estate. Several of the freehold farms recorded from the later 18th century were bought by the owner of Upleadon Court at the end of the 19th century but passed again into separate ownership when the enlarged estate was broken up soon after the First World War. 

Upleadon Manor

Upleadon manor was represented by an estate called Leadon given by Walter de Lacy (d. 1085) to Gloucester abbey[1] and assessed for four hides in 1086.[2] The abbey held the estate from the Mortimers, earls of March, for a knight’s fee in the late 14th and early 15th century[3] and leased its Upleadon and Highleadon manors together with a grove in Hartpury to John Arnold by 1536.[4] After the Dissolution the Crown retained Upleadon manor until 1599 and following its sale to John Burges and Hieronymus Cocke[5] it was acquired by Sir Thomas Lucy (d. 1605), to whom the lease granted to John Arnold had descended.[6] Sir Thomas sold the demesne in 1602[7] but evidently retained the manorial rights.[8] They presumably passed with his manor of Leadon or Leadon’s Court in Highleadon[9] but, although John Guise was entitled to a chief rent in Upleadon in the late 18th century,[10] their ownership became unclear.[11] In the early 18th century Thomas Browne, owner of Upleadon Court, was said to be lord of the manor.[12] The dean and chapter of Gloucester, accorded that status later,[13] owned the impropriation.[14]

Upleadon Court

Upleadon Court occupies the site of the manor held under Gloucester abbey in 1515 by Giles Keys and in 1522 by his son William.[15] In 1602 John Keys bought the site and demesne from Sir Thomas Lucy and in 1627 his son John Keys sold the estate to Henry Browne, a London clothworker, and his wife Elizabeth.[16] The estate, which under Henry (d. by 1648) was sequestered for his opposition to Parliament during the Civil War,[17] passed to his son Thomas Browne of Gloucester. Thomas died in 1663 and his son and heir Thomas,[18] who was appointed a Gloucester alderman in 1687,[19] enlarged the estate, purchasing from Henry Nourse in 1700 a farm that had belonged to the Lucy family.[20] Thomas (d. 1730)[21] left the estate to Thomas Hammond of Somersham (Hunts.)[22] who by will proved 1748 left it to his sister Amy, wife of the physician Noel Broxholme[23] (d. 1748) of Hampton Court (Middx) and widow of William Dowdeswell (d. 1728). Amy died in 1754 and her Upleadon  estate, which included the lease of the impropriate rectory, passed to her son William Dowdeswell. William, who had inherited Pull Court in Bushley (Worcs.), was MP for Tewkesbury 1747–54 and for Worcestershire from 1761 and Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1765 and 1766. He died in 1775[24] and the Upleadon estate passed to his son Thomas and by 1794 it had been sold to John Foley,[25] vicar of Newent.[26]  John died in 1803[27] and on the death of his widow Elizabeth in 1824 the estate passed to his daughters Eliza (d. 1843) and Anne Mary (d. 1850).[28] On the death of the latter’s husband Revd Richard Hodges in 1866 the estate passed to her son Richard John Hodges (d. 1881), whose trustees sold it in 1882 as the Upleadon Court estate (504 a.) to John Dearman Birchall of Bowden Hall in Upton St Leonards.[29] He died in 1897 and his son and heir John Dearman Birchall, who was to become an MP for Leeds (Yorks. W.R.) and be knighted,[30] purchased several neighbouring farms in the next few years but sold them off after the First World War.[31] Upleadon Court and its farm were sold to Ernest Cloke, a farmer, in 1921 and were purchased by Ernest Henry Dunn in 1936.[32] The Dunn family retained the house and farm in 2010.



In 1700 the farmhouse at Middletown was the centre of a freehold estate or farm of 89 a. owned by Nicholas Webb.[33] Nicholas, a Gloucester alderman, died in 1712 and his son and heir Nicholas (d. 1714) left the farm with other property in turn to his wife Joyce and nephew Nicholas Hyett.[34] From Nicholas (d. 1777) Middletown descended with Bulley manor[35] until W.H. Hyett sold the farm in 1867.[36] Edwin Ford, the owner in 1889, sold it in 1897[37] and Albert Estcourt, a Gloucester builder,[38] sold it the following year to J.D. Birchall. He sold it together with Bayton’s farm in 1919 to Leonard George Palmer.[39] In 1943 the two farms (150 a.) were owned by Edith and Florence Godwin of Coleford.[40]

Bayton’s Farm

William Mynd, John Knottesford, and Matthew Paul sold Bayton’s farm in 1776 to Charles Jones of Okle in Newent. At his death in 1792 Charles left the farm to his nephew Benjamin Aycrigg,[41] a Newent attorney,[42] who in 1813 sold it to Benjamin Hodges of Westminster (Mddx), a distiller, and his son William Robert Hodges.[43] W.R. Hodges (d. 1863) left the farm (88 a.) to his four sons and in 1869 it was sold to Henry Thompson.[44] He sold it in 1899 to J.D. Birchall, from whom it passed with Middletown farm in 1919.[45]

Upper and Lower House

Upper and Lower House were part of an estate in the south of Upleadon held in 1776 by a clergyman surnamed Sergeaunt and a woman surnamed Rogers and in 1782 by John Bower and Charles Jones. James de Visme, the estate’s owner in 1794,[46] also acquired land in Newent where, in the town, he built himself a mansion. At his death in 1826 he was succeeded by his son Revd James Edward de Visme[47] who owned 221 a. in Upleadon[48] and sold the estate in 1845.  Benjamin Hooke, who bought Upper and Lower House, died in 1848 leaving his Upleadon property to his younger children and in 1869, following the death of his widow Sophia, [49] it was offered for sale.[50] Lower House farm, which belonged to the trustees of R. Hodges Carter at the turn of the century, was owned by Alfred Merchant in 1918 and 1942. Upper House farm belonged to William Goulding in 1910 and was owned by Mrs White in 1942.[51]

The Moat or Drew’s Farm

The farm (c.100 a.) passed from Capel Pain, its owner in 1776, to George Pain and was acquired by 1799 by William White and by 1821 by Anthony Ellis. In the late 1820s the farm passed to James (‘Jemmy’) Wood (d. 1836), the Gloucester banker,[52] and in 1842 his executors sold it to George Whitcomb (d. 1849). Henry Thompson, who bought the farm in 1852 and also acquired Bayton’s farm,[53] sold Drew’s farm to J.D. Birchall in 1899. He put it up for sale in 1919[54] and M.B. Bryden owned it in 1921[55] and W.H. Williams in 1943.[56]

Hay Farm

In the early 18th century an estate in the south of Upleadon called the Hay  (later Hay farm) belonged to the Beale family of Newent[57] of whom the clothier Miles Beale (d. 1713) left it in turn to his wife Sarah (d. 1714) and son Miles (d. 1748). John Beale, son and heir of the younger Miles, died a bachelor in 1775 and his uncle Thomas Beale[58] owned the estate in 1776.[59] He died in 1784[60] and the estate passed by 1806 from Revd Thomas Beale of Bengeworth (Worcs.) to his nephew Thomas Beale Cooper. T.B. Cooper, who also owned Hogsend farm in Newent, died in 1854[61] and in 1906 his trustees sold Hay farm, 132 a. of which the greater part was in Newent, to Christopher John Cloke. He sold it in 1917 or 1918 to J. Horsley Cardeux of Langford (Som.)[62] and in 1921 it belonged to William Charles Perry, a farmer.[63]

Upleadon Rectory

Gloucester abbey, which had a portion in the Upleadon chapel valued at £2 in 1291,[64] took Upleadon’s tithes[65] and set aside part of them with a house and 18 a. in the parish for the service of the chapel.[66] The house and land passed to the dean and chapter of Gloucester, as did the tithes on their endowment in 1541,[67] and were retained by the dean and chapter despite the Crown granting them to John Farnham in 1579.[68]

Under the dean and chapter the house (the Parsonage) and land (later 17 a.)[69] were held by a lessee with part of the tithes for the service of the chapel. William Willett was the lessee in 1610. Edward Nourse of Gloucester, the lessee in 1623,[70] died in 1675[71] and his son Henry was the lessee in 1680. By 1702 the lease has passed to Thomas Browne,[72] the owner of Upleadon Court with which it descended.[73] Although the house and land were long regarded as the curate’s glebe,[74] they belonged to the impropriate rectory[75] until 1862 when the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, in whom the dean and chapter’s estate had been vested, sold them to Revd Richard Hodges, the owner of Upleadon Court.[76] The tithes were commuted in 1840 for a corn rent charge of £359 3s. 10d.[77]

[1]           Hist. & Cart. Mon. Glouc. I, 92, 374–5. For Walter, I.J. Sanders, Eng. Baronies (1960), 95.

[2]           Domesday Book (Rec. Com.), I, 165v.

[3]           Cal. Inq. p.m. XVII, p. 450; XXII, p. 473; Cal. Close 1396–9, 458. Upleadon in Herefordshire was the place where, according to the first two sources, the master of Dinmore had a fee.

[4]           TNA, SC 6/Hen. VIII/1248, rot. 14; see Valor Eccl. II, 409.

[5]           TNA, C 66/1151, mm. 24–8.

[6]           GA, D 936/E 12/1, ff. 159–61. For the descent from John Arnold, see VCH Glos. X, 18.

[7]           Below (Upleadon Court).

[8]           He was described posthumously as the lord in Smith, Men and Armour, 64.

[9]           See Rudford and Highleadon, manors; GA, D 326/T 114.

[10]         GA, D 936/E 194.

[11]         See Fosbrooke, Glos. II, 216.

[12]         Atkyns, Glos. 792; see below (Upleadon Court).

[13]         Bigland, Glos. III, no 282.

[14]         See below (other estates: Upleadon rectory). Glouc. Cath. Libr., Reg. Abb. Malvern, I, ff. 15v.–16, 196v.–197v.

[16]         GA, D 2957/320/2.

[17]         Cal. Cttee. for Compounding, I, 87.

[18]         GA, D 2957/320/5; GDR wills 1663/213; Fosbrooke, Glouc. 142.

[19]         VCH Glos. IV, 378.

[20]         GA, D 2957/320/9, 15.

[21]         P.J.G. Ripley, ‘City of Gloucester 1660–1740’ (Bristol Univ. M.Litt. thesis, 1977), 314.

[22]         TNA, PROB 11/642, ff. 367v.–368v.

[23]         Ibid. PROB 11/762, ff. 150–152v.

[24]         Oxford DNB, s.vv. Noel Broxholme (1686–1748); Wm. Dowdeswell (1721–75); GA, D 678/1 F12/1/328; D 936/E 112; Bp. Benson’s Surv. of Dioc. of Glouc. 1735–50, 19.

[25]         GA, Q/REl 1, Botloe hundred; VCH Worcs. IV, 48; Rudge, Hist. of Glos. II, 49, which in identifying Foley’s interest as leasehold confuses the manor with the impropriation.

[26]         Bigland, Glos. II, 240.

[27]         GA, P 225/IN 1/3.

[28]         Ibid. D 1297, Upleadon deeds 1808–85. GDR, T 1/188 credits Eliza Foley as sole owner.

[29]         GA, D 2094/31.

[30]         VCH Glos. VII, 204; Who Was Who, 1941–50, 103.

[31]         GA, D 2299/1801.

[32]         Ibid. 6241; see Kelly’s Dir. Glos. (1919–39 edns)..

[33]         GA, D 6/P 1.

[34]         Fosbrooke, Glouc. 179; GDR wills 1713/211; 1715/85; see GA, P 154/14/IN 1/3.

[35]         See Bulley, manors (Bulley manor); GA, D 2176/1/2/5; D 6/E 4, no 3; Rudge, Hist. of Glos. II, 50; GDR, T 1/188. For the Hyetts, see VCH Glos. IX, 68.

[36]         F.A. Hyett, ‘Hyetts of Painswick’ (1907, TS in GA), 68; see Glos. Colln. RF 320.1.

[37]         GA, G/NE 160/14/1–2; D 2299/2/6/49.

[38]         VCH Glos. IV, 180; see GA, D 2299/2/6/91.

[39]         GA, D 2299/1801; see ibid. G/NE 159/12/1, 4.

[40]         Ibid. D 2299/7099a; TNA, MAF 32/110/174.

[41]         TNA, PROB 11/1222, ff. 99–102v.; GA, Q/REl 1, Botloe hundred; D 6/E 4, no 3.

[42]         VCH Glos. XII, 19.

[43]         GA, D 602.

[44]         Ibid. D 2094/31; GDR, T 1/188.

[45]         GA, D 2299/1801; above (this section).

[46]         GA, Q/REl 1, Botloe hundred; D 2957/320/1; Rudge, Hist. of Glos. II,  50.

[47]         VCH Glos. XII, 41, 48.

[48]         GDR, T 1/188.

[49]         GA, D 2379/2.

[50]         Ibid. D 2299/1557.

[51]         Ibid. G/NE 160/14/2; D 2299/1468, 1557; D 2428/1/24; TNA MAF 32/110/174.

[52]         GA, Q/REl 1, Botloe hundred; D 6/E 4, no 3; Rudge, Hist. of Glos. II,             50. For Wood, VCH Glos. IV, 140–1, 177.

[53]         GA, D 2094/31. For Wood’s executors, ibid. D 626, Sandhurst deeds 1800–44.

[54]         Ibid. D 2299/1801.

[55]         Ibid. G/NE 159/12/2, 4.

[56]         TNA,  MAF 32/110/174.

[57]         For whom, VCH Glos. XII, 40.

[58]         TNA, PROB 11/536, ff. 186–187v.; Bigland, Glos. II, 241.

[59]         GA, Q/REl 1, Botloe hundred.

[60]         Ibid. P 225/IN 1.3.

[61]         GA, D 4587/2; Q/REl 1, Botloe hundred; Rudge, Hist. of Glos. II, 50.

[62]         GA, D 2299/477.

[63]         Ibid. G/NE 159/12/2. For Perry, see Kelly’s Dir. Glos. (1923), 353.

[64]         Tax. Eccl. 161.

[65]         Reg. Trillek , 228–9,

[66]         Glouc. Cath. Libr., Reg. Abb. Malvern, II, ff. 69v.–70; below, religious hist. (patronage and endowment).

[67]         L&P Hen. VIII, XVI, 572–3; TNA, REQ 2/73, no 92; E 134/28 Eliz. I Hil./10; GA, D 936/E 12/1, ff. 48v.–9; 2, ff. 414–15.

[68]         TNA, C 66/1193, mm. 1–13.

[69]         GDR, T 1/188. For the Parsonage, above, introd. (settlement and bldgs.).

[70]         Glouc. Cath. Libr., treasurer’s acct. book 1609–34; GA, D 936/E 12/2, ff. 161v.–162v., 414–15.

[71]         GA, P 154/11/IN 1/1.

[72]         Ibid. D 935/E 112; TNA, PROB 11/351, ff. 385v.–386v.

[73]         Above (Upleadon manor: Upleadon Ct.); GA, D 936/E  112. Atkyns, Glos. 792; Rudder, Glos. 784–5, where Amy Broxholme is called Mrs Broxoline.

[74]         TNA, REQ 2/73, no 92; GDR, V5/320t 1, 4–6.   

[75]         See GA, D 936/E 119/5, 12, 19; Y 56.

[76]         Ibid. D 936/T 20.

[77]         GDR, T 1/188.