Lordship Title of Sulhamstead Bannister ID14177

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The history of the underlords of Sulhamstead Bannister Manor is very obscure, but it is probable that the family of Bannister, who gave their name to the parish and held the advowson of the church, held a manor from an early date. At all events, they were important free tenants holding considerable property in the parish. In the reign of Henry I Robert Achard enfeoffed three knights named Alard de Banactune, John de Banactune and Hugh Brutinolle with part of his demesne. It is possible that Banactune is a corrupt form of Bannister. William son of John Bannister made various grants of land to Reading Abbey at the beginning of the 13th century. Later in the century John Bannister was in seisin of one knight's fee in Sulhamstead. He is probably not to be identified with the John Bannister who died in 1242. Philip de Covele, a tenant of John Bannister, granted certain of his lands in Sulhamstead to Reading Abbey about this date, and the latter, in the time of Abbot Richard, remitted the rent from this land paid by the abbey. From this time the Bannister family continued to hold land in the parish for more than two centuries, but this holding does not seem ever to be called a manor. In 1292 Robert Achard, lord of Aldermaston, obtained a grant of free warren in his demesne lands of Sulhamstead Bannister. From the Achards the manor of Aldermaston passed to the Delamares. Sulhamstead Bannister is not mentioned, however, among the manors held by Sir Thomas Delamare on his death about 1404. The descent of the manor is obscure at this date. Sir Thomas Delamare's descendant Thomas Delamare died in 1493, his lands passing eventually to his sister Elizabeth, who is usually said to have brought the manor of Sulhamstead Bannister to her husband Sir George Forster. No proof of the descent of any manor in the Forster family, however, is forthcoming (though it is clear that they owned land in the parish) until 1607, when the manor of Sulhamstead Bannister was in the hands of Sir George Forster's great-great-grandson Sir William Forster. On the other hand, property described as the manor of Sulhamstead Bannister was in the hands of Sir John Langford on his death in 1509, when it passed to his daughter and heiress Anne. She brought it by marriage to William Stafford, and he settled it in 1534 on his son Thomas Stafford, who died in 1584. Sir Reade Stafford, his son, held it at his death in 1605, and it descended to his nephew Sir Edward. The Forster manor was held by Humphrey Forster, the son of Sir William, in 1618, when he sold it to William Wilder. The latter held it for ten years, selling it in 1628 to William Brackeston, whose descendants held it for many years. In 1714 Edward Brackeston sold Sulhamstead Bannister Manor to John Ball, who died in 1742. Before 1746 it had come into the hands of John Jennings, whose mother Elizabeth was daughter and heiress of John Ball. It was sold in 1750 to Joel Stephens, whose nephew Joel Stephens, a minor, had succeeded to it before 1759. The latter sold it in 1774 to William Thoyts; the estate was sold after the death of Major W. R. M. Thoyts in 1910 to the present lord of the manor, Sir William G. Watson, bart. Court Rolls of Aldermaston, of which Sulhamstead Bannister was a tithing, for the 15th century are preserved in the Record Office. View of frankpledge, the right of free warren and free fishery are mentioned as appurtenant to the manor in 1618.
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Listed in the Domesday Book:

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