Lordship Title of Hurley ID1519

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The manor of HURLEY was held under Edward the Confessor by Asgar (or Esgar). his staller or master of the horse. It was granted by William the Conqueror to Geoffrey de Mandeville, who at the instance of his second wife Lasceline and for the soul of his first wife Athelaise, the mother of his sons, granted the vill of Hurley and the adjoining wood to the priory which he had founded there as a cell of St. Peter's, Westminster. The right of the priory to the wood was confirmed by the founder after certain of his tenants at Waltham had committed waste there, and later William Earl of Essex confirmed the wood belonging to the manor of Hurley and also the wood belonging to the vill of Little Waltham to the priory. In February 1236 the prior obtained a royal charter confirming the liberties of soc and sac, toll and theam, infangentheof and outfangentheof, and all the other liberties enjoyed by the Abbot of Westminster throughout his lands. The charter was consequent, apparently, on a demand for 20s. by the sheriff for view of frankpledge and 5s. for hidage, from which a charter of liberties to Westminster and its cells had made the priory free in the previous July. The new charter was to be read by the sheriff in full court, also by the constable of Windsor, by the bailiff of the Seven Hundreds, and by the justices itinerant for the forest. In 1275 it was returned that 1 hide of land in Hurley and Bisham called Chadenhanger, which had been formerly held by Nicholas de Oxehache and his ancestors, and which owed suit at the hundred court of Beynhurst, had been acquired by the prior to the damage of the king, since the suit done by Nicholas and his ancestors had been withdrawn. The prior was then said to hold pleas de namio vetito, to have gallows, assize of bread and ale, and the right of warren. He was presented for exceeding the limits of his own chase and hunting in the king's forest, also for withholding the payment of 20s. to the view of frankpledge and 5s. for hidage, and for not permitting his tenants to come before the king's coroners or to any royal inquests held outside his liberty. A grant in 1401 from Henry IV gave licence to the prior and convent to cut down and sell their wood within the forest of Windsor to the value of 100 marks for the repair of the church, belfry and houses. The charter mentions the fact that the king's first wife, Mary de Bohun, was a descendant of the Mandevilles, the founders of the priory. Hurley was included among the lesser monasteries suppressed in 1536, and the site and manor with view of frankpledge were granted to the abbey of Westminster in exchange for various lands in London, exception being made of the great wood called Hurley Wood, which had been already granted to the abbey in exchange for Convent Garden. In 1540 the abbey surrendered to the king, and in the following year the manor of Hurley, with the fishery in the Thames and the 'game of swannes there,' was granted to Charles Howard. Howard sold the property in 1543 to Leonard Chamberleyn. Chamberleyn conveyed the manor in 1545 to John Lovelace, to whom he gave a receipt for the purchase money between 2 and 3 o'clock P.M. at the font of St. Paul's Cathedral. The grant was to take effect after the expiration of a lease granted for nineteen years in 1544 to one Ralph Nutting. John Lovelace died in 1558, his will of that year being dated at 'the mansion called Ladye Place,' which he had evidently built on the site of the ruined priory and named from its dedication in honour of the Blessed Virgin. Richard Lovelace, his son and heir, was involved in 1563 in a suit with his mother Grace and her second husband Richard Stafferton, who claimed one-third of the manor as dower, in addition to Lady Place and other premises settled on her by will. Richard Lovelace was succeeded in March 1601–2 by his son Richard, who was then thirty years of age. He was dealing with the manor by fine in 1616. Having fought in the Irish Wars he was knighted at Dublin in 1599 and created Lord Lovelace of Hurley in 1627. He died in 1634, leaving a son and heir John and a second son Francis, who dealt with the manor by fine and recovery in 1655 and 1656. John Lord Lovelace made a settlement of the manor in 1657. In 1663 he levied a fine preparatory to a settlement on Martha, wife of his son and heir-apparent John Lovelace, daughter and co-heir of Sir Edmund Pye. John Lovelace the younger came into possession of the estate in 1670, and in 1678 made a settlement of the manor. His father had been an ardent Royalist, but he was a Whig, and was arrested in 1683 for alleged complicity in the Rye House plot. It was during his brief tenure of the manor of Hurley that meetings were held in the vault beneath Lady Place by the followers of William of Orange. He was arrested and imprisoned by order of James II in 1688, but regained his liberty upon the accession of William III, who made him captain of the gentlemen pensioners. After his death in 1693 he was succeeded in the peerage by his cousin John Lovelace, grandson of Francis mentioned above, whose inheritance consisted chiefly of debts. The manor was sold by decree of the Court of Chancery, and is said to have been bought by Vincent Oakley, a solicitor, for himself and his clients. In 1708 Oakley sold the more valuable part of the property, including the manorial rights and the great tithes, to the trustees of the will of Sir Robert Gayer. His son Robert Gayer of Stoke Poges, presented to the church in 1723. James Gayer, D.D., his second but apparently eldest surviving son, was holding in 1765. Three years later he parted with the estate to George Duke of Marlborough, who in 1790 sold it to Thomas Walker. The granddaughter and heir of the latter married Henry Jeffery, fourth Lord Ashbrooke, who held it in her right after her death in 1810. Their son, the Hon. Henry Flower (afterwards Walker, which name he took on coming of age) Viscount Ashbrooke, sold the estate together with the other less valuable part, which he had acquired from the relatives of Mr. Richard Troughton, to the trustees of the late Sir Gilbert East, bart., of Hall Place, in 1841. A portion of the manor, including Lady Place, was purchased with their consent by Colonel Thomas Peers Williams of Temple House, Bisham. Sir Gilbert Augustus Clayton East, bart., of Hall Place, is the present lord of the manor.
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