Lordship Title of Didcot ID1444

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There is no reference to DIDCOT by name in the Domesday Survey. It is possible that a part at least of it was included in the 4 hides and a virgate at Wibalditone held of Henry de Ferrers by Niel (Daubeny) in 1086. Before the Conquest Wibalditone had been held of the king by Turchil, a freeman. Niel Daubeny with his wife Amice gave the church, which is mentioned in the Domesday Survey, with 2 virgates to Tutbury Priory. The name Wibalditone possibly survives in 'Willington's Farm' and 'Willington's Down Farm' in the neighbouring parish of Long Wittenham. Its proximity to Didcot is proved by the boundaries of a charter of King Alfred. It seems probable that the remainder of Niel's holding is represented by Didcot, which was in the tenure of Robert Daubeny in the 11th century, and the supposition is strengthened by a subsequent claim to Didcot Church put forward by the Prior of Tutbury. It is said that Robert Daubeny threw a stone and hit King Henry II. The event probably took place before Bedford Castle, possibly when Henry invaded England in 1153. In lieu of the heavy penalty due for the hurt done to his liege lord, Daubeny surrendered Didcot Manor to the king in his court at Westminster in 1155. Henry gave it, in recognition of services done to the Empress Maud, to Hugh de Mare to hold of the honour of Wallingford by service of half a knight's fee. The manor continued to be held of the honour of Wallingford. To Hugh de Mare succeeded Geoffrey de Mare, possibly his son. This Geoffrey fell into debt to Bonechose the Jew and pledged Didcot to him for a term of years. The manor thus came to King John in 1204, when he seized all the lands of the Jews, and in the same year he gave it to Robert Aguillon, who was to pay £17 yearly to the king and 60s. to Geoffrey de Mare. Geoffrey recovered it in 1208 by paying 100 marks and a palfrey to the king. He was evidently succeeded by his son Hugh de Mare, who died about the year 1237. His heir was his daughter Ellen wife of Andrew Blunt (le Blund). In 1240 Andrew and his wife sued Emma de Mare concerning lands in Berkshire. Evidently these included Didcot. Andrew's widow paid 200 marks to have the custody of his land and heir in 1259, and about 1261 she married David de Ossington. Andrew Blunt's heir was his son Robert, who forfeited his lands, possibly including Didcot, as a supporter of Simon de Montfort. They were granted to Queen Eleanor, but were probably recovered by Robert or his heir under the Dictum of Kenilworth. Robert's successor was Sir Hugh Blunt, who had grant of free warren in Didcot in 1305. He settled the manor upon himself and his wife Nicholaa in 1315, and in 1317 they sold the remainder contingent upon their deaths to John Stonor, afterwards Sir John Stonor, kt., and to his wife Maud. Sir Hugh Blunt was dead before 1350, but his wife survived him and married John de Alveton, with whom she held the manor jointly during her life. Sir John Stonor, son of the John mentioned above, died seised of Didcot on 10 July 1361, leaving a son and heir Edmund. The latter pledged an annuity of £50 from Didcot to William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, as security for the undisturbed possession of Ashe Manor (co. Hants), which he had recently sold to the bishop. Edmund Stonor died 25 April 1382, when his eldest son John was aged thirteen. This John died while still a minor in the king's custody, and was succeeded by his brother Ralph, afterwards Sir Ralph, Stonor. In 1394 Sir Ralph died seised of Didcot Manor, leaving an infant son Gilbert Stonor, who died while still a minor. His brother and heir Thomas conveyed the manor to Thomas Chaucer and other feoffees in 1417 and died in 1430. To him succeeded Thomas his son, whose widow Joan held Didcot for life. She survived William son and heir of Thomas Stonor, whose only son John died in infancy. Didcot had been settled in tail-male and passed to Sir Walter Stonor, kt., son of Thomas, brother of William Stonor. Under Sir Walter, and probably in the time of his predecessors, the demesne lands were let to farm, and about 1539 considerable illfeeling was roused between the lord and his farmer on account of the former's attempts to inclose pasture and convert arable into meadow land, to which reference has already been made. Sir Walter Stonor died 8 January 1550–1, having bequeathed Didcot to his younger brother John Stonor of North Stoke. The latter's son Sir Francis Stonor inherited under this will and sold the manor in 1563 to Edward Griffin. In 1599 Edward Griffin conveyed to Rice Griffi of Burnells Broome (co. Warw.), who in 1602 resold the manor to Sir Francis Stonor of Stonor. In 1600 Rice Griffin had enfeoffed Robert Winter and others of this manor, probably for the purposes of the sale to Stonor. Robert Winter was implicated in the Gunpowder Plot with his brother Thomas, one of its chief movers. After his execution in 1606 Didcot was seized by the king, but was evidently recovered by Sir Francis Stonor, who was dealing with it in 1616 and in 1621–2 settled it on his third son William Stonor upon the occasion of his marriage with Elizabeth daughter of Sir Thomas Lake. William Stonor was convicted of recusancy in 1627, and in February 1635–6 it was agreed that he should have a forty-one years' lease of the two-thirds of Didcot and other lands forfeited to the Crown, and should be pardoned upon payment of a yearly rent to the Crown. Thomas Stonor, his son and heir, alienated the manor in 1653 to John Crisp of London. The latter petitioned for its restoration in 1654, as it had again been sequestered for the recusancy of William Stonor. The sequestration was discharged, but Thomas Stonor evidently recovered the manor from Crisp. In 1671 he conveyed it to Dr. John Cawley, who sold it to Thomas Wight and Robert Jenings in 1678. It evidently descended to Samuel Wight, living in 1699, and was afterwards purchased by Richard Blake, who lived at Didcot and dealt with the manor between 1731 and 1756. His son and heir Henry Blake the elder sold it in 1778 to John Baker of Little Berkhampstead (co. Herts.). William Robert Baker, great-nephew of the purchaser, sold the manor in 1857 to Lewis Loyd, father of Samuel-Jones Loyd, first Lord Overstone, to whom the estate descended. His daughter Lady Wantage is the present lady of the manor.
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