Lordship Title of Smewyns ID14119

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The so-called manor of SMEWYNS in White Waltham and Shottesbrook derived its name from tenants settled at an early date in this parish. Roger Smewyn witnessed an agreement between the Abbot of Waltham and William Cumin, rector of White Waltham, towards the close of the 12th century. Rather more than fifty years after Ralph Smewyn was holding half a virgate of the Abbot of Waltham. Edmund Smewyn owned land in White Waltham in the reigns of Edward III and Richard II. In 1467 a 'croft called Smewyns in Litilefeld' was in the possession of Alice Clare, one of the daughters and co-heirs of Roger Waltham, who released it at that date to John Ripon and Beatrice his wife. John Ripon died seised of the capital messuage called Smewyns or Ripons, held of the Abbot of Chertsey, in 1485, his brother Charles Ripon being his heir. In 1535 Thomas Decons was holding a manor of White Waltham, which five years later he conveyed as the manor of White Waltham alias Smewyns to George Throckmorton of Deerhurst, co. Gloucester, for the sum of £180. The latter exchanged it in 1542 with the king for the priory of Deerhurst. In 1558 Throckmorton purchased it from the Crown on behalf of John Norreys, then a minor. William Norreys of Fyfield died seised of it in 1591, and Smewyns then followed the descent of Heywood in White Waltham until the death of the Countess of Kellie in 1621. There were dealings with it by the Earl of Kellie in that year and in 1622 Sir Peter Vanlore (cf. Heywood) conveyed it to Henry Martyn. The latter held it until 1641, when it passed into the hands of Henry Powle. It was probably purchased later by William Cherry (see manor of Shottesbrook). In the time of Francis Cherry, his son, the house was occupied by his friend Dr. Dodwell, the nonjuror. After the death of Francis Cherry in 1713 his estates were sold, and Smewyns with others came into the possession of Arthur Vansittart, who was holding it in 1723, and from this date it follows the descent of the manor of Shottesbrook. Smewyns is now a farm. No foundation has been found for the legend of its having been a hunting-seat of Prince Arthur, the eldest son of Henry VII. Traces of the moat are still to be seen round the house, which is situated in the parish of Shottesbrook.
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