Lordship Title of Ruscombe or Ruscombe Northbury or Ruscombe Southbury ID1595

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The first mention of RUSCOMBE occurs in 1091 in the foundation charter of the cathedral of Old Sarum, from which it appears that 10 hides here were among the lands granted to it by Osmund Bishop of Salisbury. The manor was assigned to one of the prebendaries of the cathedral before 1209. The prebend of Ruscombe was held by the succentor of Sarum. Though it was usual in the first centuries after the Conquest for the prebendaries to reside for at least a part of the year upon the manors which supported them, Ruscombe appears to have been occupied in 1209 by a certain Elias de Chivele as lessee, who had the right of entry into the garth (gerstona). In 1316 the Bishop of Salisbury is returned as lord of the vill of Sonning-cum-Ruscombe. In 1535 the prebend was held by William Chamberlain, prebendary. The estate was then divided into Ruscombe Northbury and Ruscombe Southbury. In 1650 Ruscombe Northbury was purchased from the trustees for the sale of ecclesiastical lands by William Barker, but reverted to the cathedral at the Restoration. During the 17th century a family named Strowde had a lease of the manor. William Strowde left a daughter and heir Margaret, who married Nathan Knight, and thus the property passed to that family. A warrant was issued in 1688 for the arrest of Nathan Knight, probably in connexion with the political unrest of the period, as an order was given that no one should hold conference with him. His descendants are said to have continued to hold the lease of the manor until towards the end of the 18th century, when William Walter Knight conveyed it to Richard Palmer, the ancestor of the Palmers of Holme Park, Sonning, who also purchased other property in the parish. In 1787 Richard Palmer sold the manor to Sir James Eyre, chief justice of the Common Pleas, who had been engaged as counsel in the Wilkes case. He occupied the mansion known as Ruscombe House, near Southbury Farm, and practically rebuilt it. This had formerly been owned by a Mr. Foster, and from 1710 to 1718 had been the home of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. After the death of Sir James Eyre in 1799 his widow remained in possession of the property, but the reversion was sold to Mr. John Leveson-Gower, whose son General Leveson-Gower pulled down the house in 1830. In the Inclosure Act of 1829 he is described as lord of the manors of Ruscombe Northbury and Southbury and lessee of the prebendary. The estate was afterwards purchased by Mr. Thomas Collecton Garth of Haines Hill, and is now held by Captain Godsal (see Hurst in Charlton Hundred). At the sale of the cathedral lands during the Commonwealth Ruscombe Southbury was purchased by George Hatton, a goldsmith, and William Boyer, a linen-draper, citizens of London. At the Restoration it returned to the cathedral, and during the 17th century was leased to the family of Hyde. It now belongs with Northbury to Captain Godsal. The right of fishery in Ruscombe was held in 1612 by William Strowde. Similar rights were held by other landowners.
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Listed in the Domesday Book:

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