Lordship Title of Greenacres or Clapham or Vauxes ID13891

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The first tenant of the property of whom mention has been found is William Mauduit Earl of Warwick, who before the year 1268 alienated it to William le Brun. The property then comprised land to the value of £4 12s. 6d., with 17s. 6d. rent from the free tenants and a fishery and villeinage customs of the annual value of 50s. Ten years later John le Brun, a descendant of the above, held rather more than 3 hides in Clapham, (fn. 22) being two-fifths part of the whole manor, the remainder at this date being held by John de Burnaby, Ralf de Wedon and Walter Burdun. John le Brun's daughter and heir Sarah married Henry Spigurnel. Henry and Sarah continued to increase their Clapham property, and at the time of the former's death in 1328 they were seised of the whole manor except a few acres. Their son and heir Thomas Spigurnel alienated the manor in 1344 to Sir Bartholomew de Burgherssh. The latter died in 1355 seised of the manor, then worth £20 a year, leaving a son and heir Bartholomew, aged twenty-six. The date of the transfer of the manor from this family is uncertain. In 1379 Richard Whytacre held two knights' fees in Clapham, Oakley and elsewhere, whilst in the following year Richard Greenacre died seised of the manor of Clapham. At this period there were in the manor 402 acres of arable land, two parts of which were worth £4 9s. 4d. per annum and the third part nothing, as every year it lay fallow and in common; 16 acres of meadow worth 24s. and several pastures worth 40d. per annum. Richard de Greenacre succeeded his father the elder Richard. His wife Isabel afterwards married John Dymoke and died seised of the manor in 1415, leaving John, a son by her first husband, as heir. Nothing further has been discovered about John Greenacre, who was a clerk, but he appears to have been succeeded by Henry Cokayn, who in 1428 held two parts of a knight's fee in Clapham which Thomas Spigurnel once held. Possibly his heir was a daughter Elizabeth, for in 1455 a Thomas Strathum and Elizabeth his wife made over the manor of Clapham to John Fitz Jeffrey, who died seised of it in 1480, leaving a son and heir John, aged nine years. The manor for the next fifty-six years remained in the hands of the Fitz Jeffrey family. In a list of fines for knighthood in 1536 there appears the name of John Fitz Jeffrey of Clapham, whilst in 1542 his widow, who had taken for her second husband William Rowse, was with her husband enfeoffed of the manor by trustees to hold for their lives with remainder to Francis Fitz Jeffrey, probably a son of John. The latter duly succeeded and died seised of the manor in 1548. His son and heir Leonard alienated the manor in 1562 to Thomas Rowe, an alderman of London, who was afterwards knighted. Sir Thomas Rowe died in 1570 and was succeeded by his son John, on whose death in 1586–7 the manors of Clapham passed to Thomas Rowe of Trumpington (co. Camb.). In 1591 Thomas Rowe owed £6,000 to Arden Waferer, a bencher of Lincoln's Inn and a recusant, the money to be raised on all his lands and estates in England. The debt was considered cancelled on the carrying out of an arrangement made the same year by which Thomas Rowe sold the manor of Clapham for £3,644 to George Wyatt, Edmund Scanden, John Wright and Valentine Saunders acting as trustees for Arden Waferer. Two of the trustees having died, others were appointed in 1610 to act with Valentine Saunders. At their will Arden Waferer enjoyed the profits of the manor during his life. He died in 1617, and by his will dated 4 May 1609 he left his Clapham property to his wife Elizabeth until his son James should be twenty-five years old. Elizabeth resided at Clapham Manor at the pleasure of Valentine Saunders. She was a recusant, and on her refusal to pay her fine for non-attendance at church two parts of her property were seized by the Crown officers pending payment. Her son James, having succeeded her by 1627, alienated the manor in that year to Richard Taylor, serjeant-at-law. On the latter's death, in accordance with his will dated 8 May 1641, his brother-in-law Sir John Sanders held the manor on lease for ten years to the end that Richard Taylor's younger sons might each receive a sum of £600 on coming of age. The Royalist sympathies of his elder son Richard caused the sequestration of the manor in 1649, but the younger sons having an interest in the profits of the manor until 1651 the sequestration was later confined to Richard's share. The third son William Taylor was captured near Chester fighting for the king; a fine was levied by the committee for compounding on his interest under his father's will. Thomas Taylor, probably a son of Richard above named, was lord of the manor in 1655. His eldest daughter Katherine, eventually sole heiress, married William second Lord Ashburnham. Thomas Taylor left his Clapham property to his wife Ursula for life, but by 1708, some years before her death, Lord Ashburnham and his wife appear to have had possession of the manor, and in that year levied a fine of it. Lord Ashburnham died in 1710 and his wife the following year; the former's brother John first Earl of Ashburnham succeeded him in the tenure of the manor. John second Earl of Ashburnham was lord of the manor in 1751. His son George levied a fine of the property in 1813. The latter's grandson Bertram sold a large part of his Clapham estates to James Howard in 1862, who established there a model farm and farmed the land under new and scientific methods. The property was sold piece by piece during the last century by the Ashburnhams, and all manorial rights have lapsed.
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