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Morant's 18th Century account of Wicken Bonhunt
Transcription From History & Antiquities of the County of Essex
Vol.11 pp. 587-588
Philip Morant 1768
Is otherwise written in records Wicken, Wiken, Wickin, Wykyn, Wylden. Bonant, Bonnet.
The addition of Bonhunt, from one of the manors in this parish, seems to have been for the sake of distinguishing it from two other parishes in this County, named Wickham St. Paul, and Wickham Bishop’. The meaning of the Saxon word Wic hath been explained above, p.173, and of Ham, p. 276.
In Edward the Confessor’s reign, Wickham belonged to Sexi, a freeman; and Banhunt to Aluric, also a freeman; But, at the time of the survey, the first was holden by Gislebert son of Turold (G), and the latter by one Saisselin (H).
Wickham, or Wicken-hall, stands a little way north-west from the Church. And Bonhunt-hall near half mile north-east from the same. Very little account can be had of this parish from records, or otherwise.
These two manors seem to have been distinct till Qu. Elizabeth’s reign; at that time they are reckoned as one. I find nothing of Wicken higher than the time of King Henry VI. Of Bonhunt mention is made in 1340, the 14th of King Edward III, when John Flambard of Bonhunt had licence to endow St. Leonard’s Hospital at Newport, that the brethren might find him a Chaplain to celebrate mass for his soul within his manor of Bonhunt in the Chapel of St. Elene there.
I shall lay together here all that I have further met concerning this manor of Bonhunt. In 1436, Thomas Grene released to Walter Grene Esq; and heirs, all his right in the manor of Bonhunt, which was lately given to him by Catherine, wife of Thomas Daniell Esq; (x) – John Grene who dyed in October 1485, held this manor of Bonhunt of the King, as his Duchy of Lancaster, by knight’s service – John Grene his son and heir was 12 years old (y). He had also in Finchingfeild one messuage and 100 acres of land called Colbayns. It belonged afterwards to the families of Bradbury and Nightingale.
As to the manor of Wickham, or Wicken, it belonged to several generations to the ancient family of Barlee, and under Clavering: which held it for the King s of his Dutchy of Lancaster. – John Barley dyed possessed of it in 1445; as did Henry his son in 1475 (z). - - William, son of the latter, held, at the time of his decease, 7 March 1522, this manor of Wylden, as it is called in the Inquisition, and the advowson of the Church. Henry, his son, dyed 12 November 1529, leaving William, his son (a). This William sold it; for a fine passed in 1557, between Robert Chatterton plaintiff, and William Barlee deforc’, of the manor of Wicken, and Advowson of the Church, the right of the said Robert (b). R. Chatterton sold it to
Mathew Bradbury, second son of Robert, and nephew of Thomas Bradbury, Sheriff of London in 1498, and Lord Mayor in 1509, descended from the Bradburys of Braughing in Hertfordshire. Mathew the purchaser of this estate, married Margaret daughter of Rowse of Cambridgeshire, and had by her William; Thomas and Barbara, that had four husbands, Sir Thomas Cutts; Sir Thomas Flud; Sir Edward Gille; and Covent. Mathew the father, at the time of his decease 26 February 1587, held this manor of Wicken-hall, alias Wicken Bonant with the advowson of the Church, and 8 messuages, 10 cottages, 8 tofts, 4 dovehouses, 10 gardens, 10 orchards, 500 acres of arable, 100 of meadow, 200 of pasture, 40 of wood, 100 of furze and heath, and 8s. rent: and the manor or grange called Bonhaunt, alias Bonant, and 1 messuage, 50 acres of arable, 20 of meadow, 50 of pasture, 20 of wood, and 20s. rent: all holden of the Queen as of her Dutchy of Lancaster. – William the eldest son, then 40 years old (c), married … daughter of Richard Eden of St. Edmundsbury, and had by her Mathew; Wimond; Henry: and three daughters. – Mathew, the eldest son and heir, by Jane his wife daughter of William Whitgift of Clavering, had John; Francis; Mathew; Edward: and three daughters. – Francis, the second son and heir, married Anne daughter of George James of Manuden Esq. and had by her, John who dyed without issue; Francis, of Clifford’s inn, that dyed single; William, a captain in the guards, killed in a duel; James, educated at Magdalen college in Cambridge, and Chaplain in the Army. He adventuring further than the duty of his place required, during the war in Spain, received a wound of which he dyed; Thomas dyed an infant: He also had two daughters, Anne, wife of John Barrell of Clifford’s inn Esq.; and Bridget, that dyed young. All these children thus deceasing without issue. Mathew, next brother to Francis, inherited this estate (I). He left an only daughter and heir Dorinda, that was married to Mr. Joseph Sharp. They sold this manor, with appertenances to Joseph Hetherington Esq., who dying in 1745 was succeeded by his brother Henry Hetherington Esq.
John Oylebar and John Hedland have also some lands here.
This parish is rated to the Land-tax at 351l /20s/0d.
The CHURCH, dedicated to St. Margaret is small, of one pace with the Chancel; the whole tyled. A wooden steeple contains 3 bells. This rectory seems to have been all along appendent to the manor.
James Bradbury 23 Septemb. 1712, upon Carter’s d.
Francis Bradbury Wentworth Bradbury, M.A. 26 Novemb. 1720, upon Bradbury’s d.
Francis Bradbury Charles Gretton, M.A. 7 March 1765, upon Bradbury’s d. John Griffith, Gent
(w) Inquis. 14 Edw. III.
(x) Claus. 15 Hen. VI. (y) Inquis. 2 Hen. Octob. 28
(z) Inquis. 24 Hen. VI. & 15 Edw. IV.
(a) Inquis. 1 Hen. VIII. Dec. 12. & 2 Hen. VIII. May 27.
(b) Fine Pasch. 4&5 Phil. & Ma.
(c)Inquis. 29 Eliz. Nu. 282.
(G) Terra Gisleberti Turoldi. Hund’ de Udelesfort. Wicam tenuit Sexius, T.R.E. liber homo, pro Manerio & pro iii hidis et xii acris. Tunc & post viii borderaii, modo xi. Semper iii fervi, & ii carucate in dominio, & iii carucate hominum. Tunc & post ilva c porcis, modo lx. x acre prati. Semper valuit vii libras. Tunc i runcinus, & L oves, xxx porci, xxxvi capre, modo i runcinus, XL oves, xxx capre, xxvi porci, ii animalia.
(H) Terra Saisselini. Hund’ de Udelesfort. Banhuntam tenet Saiffelinus pro maerio, quod tenuit Aluricus liber homo T.R.E. pro manerio et pro ii hidis. Quando receipt iv bordarii, & modo. Semper I carucata in dominio, modo dimidium carucate hominum. x acre prati. Tunc i amimal, & i pocus. modo xxx oves, ii animalia, i runcinus. Tunc & post valuit xL folidos, modo Lv. Lib. Domesd. fol. 93. a. Tit. 58