Somerset Standard Village Histories: 1. Nunney

 

The copy of the pamphlet from which this is transcribed was kindly provided by Cherice Mayer. There are annotations in the text, probably written by her great grandfather, Benjamin Edward Rawlings. These are reproduced as footnotes to this transcript. The final pages of the pamphlet are missing.

 

This history of Nunney was written in the year 1887, in which year it was published in the Somerset Standard. In reading it this date should be steadily borne in mind, as certain features which existed then do not exist now. It should stimulate research, and show to what extent the ancient glories of Nunney have either been main­tained or diminished.

 

SOME three miles from Frome, towards the south-west, lies the parish and scattered village of Nunney, and it is the task of the compiler of this book to recapitulate something of its history. Its present area contains 2,421 acres. Domesday Book, however, limits its size to about half that number, and says it was the property of William de Moine. This Baron, the first of the family of whom mention is made, came over with the Conqueror, and for his services obtained a grant of Dunster Castle and 55 manors in Somerset and other counties. The male line failed on the death of John de Mohun in the reign of Edward III., and his three daughters, Phillipa, Elizabeth and Maud, divided the estates and the Barony fell into abeyance amongst these ladies, and so continues with their descendants and representatives. Another manor besides that of de Mohun is said to have existed in Nunney, and to have belonged to Glastonbury Abbey and called “Nunney Glaston.” Collinson the county historian, speaks of it, anti after the dissolution lands in Nunney and Trudoxhill were granted to Queen Elizabeth among a batch of estates lately belonging to Glastonbury.

 

The arms of Mohun are Gules, a maunch ermine therein a hand ppr. holding a fleur-de-lis argent. Through the assistance of the late Rev. B. Peacock, of Nunney, I am enabled to give my readers the name of the Lord of the Manor in 1260. It was Henry de Montfort. In that year a charter for a market every Wednesday, and a fair once a year for three days, namely, on the Vigil, the day, and the day after the feast of St. Martin (11th November) was granted to that nobleman by Henry III, for his manor of Nunney. This Henry de Montfort was the eldest son of Simon de Montfort, who perished at the Battle of Eve­sham in 1265-6, as also did Henry whilst leading the van of his father’s army. Simon was Earl of Leicester, which title was attainted, and the Earldom became extinct. Arms: Gules a lion rampant queve forchee argent.

 

The next lords we know of were the De la Meres, and they are stated to have been so early in 1300, and that in 1373 the Castle at Nunney was either built or finished by Sir John do la Mere. The De la Mere family were large landowners in Somerset and Wilts. They are said to have come into England with the Con­queror. In 1377 John de la Mere, of Nunney, was Sheriff of Dorset and Somerset. In 1390 they owned Fisherton de la Mere, Wilts. In 1413 Elias de La Mere was Sheriff of Wilts, Richard was Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1422, Thomas was Sheriff of Wilts in 1467. Their arms were: Gules, two lions pass. guardant arg. At length the male line failed in the person of Sir Elias de la Mere, Sheriff of Wilts, in the second year Henry V., and his eldest sister, Eleanor, became his heir and married William PauIett, Esq., Sergt.-at-law, second son of Sir John Paulett, of Melcombe. By this marriage the manor came to the Pauletts. Arms of Paulett : Sable, 3 swords in pile, points in base argent, pommels and hilts or.

                                                                                                                                                                            

And now it is a disputed point who were the next owners of the manor. One authority says that in the reign of Henry VII, Richard Mawdley died, seized of the manor of Nunney and other lands; and the name appears in the parish registers from 1547 to 1674. The arms of this family were: Argent on a chevron azure between 3 lozenges gules, as many fleur-de-lis, or, a bordure eng. sa. The male line failed, and a daughter married a Sambourne and took the manor into that name. The shield of Sambourne was Argent a chev. sa. between 3 mullets gules pierced or (Visitation of Somerset, 1623). From the last Lords the manor passed to the Whitchurch family, who were owners early in the 18th century. Towards the middle of 1700 it was sold to pay some debts and legacies by William Whitchurch, but his widow subsequently re-purchased it, and in 1719 left it by will to James Theobald, Esq., of Waltham Place, Berks, and on his death about 1758 the manor descended to his son James, who died in 1802, having by will devised it to his widow for her life, and after her death, which happened in 1816, to Thomas Poole, Esq., who assumed the surname of Theobald. This gentleman died in 1859; the manor fell to James Poole Theobald, Esq., of Hyde Abbey, Winchester, who died in 1871, and his son James is the present lord. The arms of Whitchurch are: Gules 3 talbots’ heads era. or, on a chief arg. guttee de sang a lion pass. sa.

 

Another authority states that in the reign of Queen Elizabeth the family of Prater obtained the manor of Nunney. It is quite certain that the Praters dwelt in the castle and defended it against Cromwell, as I shall presently relate. Leland, who visited Nunney about 1542, thus speaks of it :- “ From Frome into Nunney de la Mere, a good village all by champion ground, fruitful of corn. There is a pretty castle at the west end of the parish church, having at each end by north and south two pretty round towers gathered by compass to join into one. The walls be very strong and thick, the stairs narrow, the lodging within somewhat dark. It standeth on the left side of the river, dividing it from the Churchyard. The castle is moated about, and this moat is served by water conveyed into it out of the river. There is a strong wall without the moat round about saving at the cast part of the castle, where it is defended by the brook. Delamere and his wife, makers of the castle, lie buried in the north side of the parish church at Nunney. Nunney brook cometh down as I marked from south-south-west, and three miles lower down it goeth into the river Frome. This castle belonged to Delamere, since to Powlett Lord St. John.”— Leland Itin Folio 73, Vol. VII.

 

Now, taking this last paragraph, written by Leland in 1542, it would seem that at that date the Pauletts still held Nunney, and this scarcely agrees with the authority who states that Mawdley was Lord in the reign of Henry VII. The name of Nunney is derived from the Saxon word NUNI, signifying a nun and a rivulet, there having been in Saxon times a nunnery on the little stream.

 

Before I proceed to say anything of the village and church, I will shortly describe the castle. According to Mr. Giles, the castle is one of the few exceptions to the numerous very valuable remains of the domestic architecture of our ancestors in the county of Somerset which carries us back prior to the 15th century. And he also says that Nunney Castle seems to have been the residence of a knight or gentleman. The form of the building is a double square. Its length inside 61 feet, breadth 25 feet. It has a round tower at each corner 15½ feet interior diameter, their height as well as that of the walls is 63 feet. The walls are 7 ~ feet thick. The ground floor was the kitchen and stables, the second the great hail. In the south-east tower on the second floor was the domestic chapel. Passages and staircases were carried up in the thickness of the walls. A moat 22 feet wide and 10 feet deep surrounded the whole building. In Collinson’s time the strong outer wall existed, it was embattled, and 12 feet high. Mr. Cues further writes of this castle as follows:-

 

The castle consisted of four stories, and the entrance was at the north by a doorway four feet wide and nine feet high, guarded by two narrow loopholes in the side turrets. By the side of the doorway rises a staircase carried in the thickness of the wall leading only to the first floor. It was here that the breach was effected, this being a weak point in consequence of the staircase dividing the wail and reducing the thickness to 2½ feet. The north-west turret contained the grand staircase, from which access to all four floors was obtained. This staircase is entirely gone, but the bearings of the steps are still visible winding round the walls. The other turrets appear to have formed private rooms opening into the hall by 4½ feet door­ways.

 

Under the north-east window the well for the supply of the castle existed. In the south-east wall are the remains of two fireplaces 12 feet wide, close to the lower of which is an oven cased with brick. The third and last floor must have been the pleasantest, since the increased height allowed the introduction of larger windows.

 

During the Civil War the castle was garrisoned for the King and had a large magazine. In August, 1645, Fairfax ar­rived at Castle Cary; on the 18th he met Colonel Rainsborough with two regiments, Col. Hammond’s and his own, to attack Nunney Castle. On September 8th it surrendered after a des­perate defence. It is said that during the siege the garrison to delude the besiegers caused a young sucking pig they chanced to have to be conveyed to one of the back towers where its cries could be distinctly heard, and there, pulling him violently by the ears and tail, would have it believed they killed a pig every day. A deserter from the castle betrayed them, and a 36-pounder gun having been brought from Shepton, the wall before alluded to was battered down and a breach being made, the garrison surrendered.

 

The number is stated to have been 14, by others 24. Seven of the besiegers were killed. The loss of the garrison was the deserter. When Cromwell’s Army entered they burnt the building to prevent its future use for the King. Colonel Prater was owner and also commanded the castle, and not wishing his place destroyed surrendered, and offered to change his allegiance and hold the place for Parliament.

 

With respect to the family of Prater, there are some curious records which were furnished by the Rev. E. Peacock.

 

Recusant Rolls, 34 Eliz.- Margaret Prater, late of Nunneye, Somerset, wid., abstained from attending church for two years, from 20th April last, and has made no submission. Fined

£500.

 

HUMPHREY PRATER, Gent,

}

 

 

RICHARD PRATER, Gent,

£500.

 

GRACE PRATER,

 

 

Star Chamber, Elizabeth 28th (1586). Richard Mawdley, of Nunney, Somt., Gent. v. Margaret Prater, widow. - Margaret Prater, widow, and George Prater, her son, were seized in the castle of Nunney adjoining the mansion house of your subject: they conceived great malice against him by reason of certain lands in controversy between them, so that your subject, son and servant, dare not travel abroad nor goe about their ordynary busyness for fear of the continual dangers and mischiefs con­spired against them by Margaret and George Prater and their confederates.

 

Then follows a charge of their plucking down hedges in some pastures of R. Mawdley. And also your subject between the fasts of St. Michael’s and All Saints was travelling about his necessary affairs and business in the highway in Nunney accompanied only by a little lad named John Haywood wayting upon him, neither of them having any weapons. Humphrey and Richard, brothers of Geo. Prater, with others unknown, arrayed with swords, bucklers and daggers, upon your subject and his said lad did riotously and forciblie make an assault and did them beat, wound, and evil entreate and put them in fear of their lives. Other assaults described.

 

Also Richard Humphrey and Thomas Prater, on the 20th March last past, in riotous manner weaponed and arrayed, Humphrey with a sword and buckler, Richard with a gaunlette sword and dagger, and Thomas with a large staff, 7 or 8 foot long, by the procurement of Margaret and George Prater, did assemble themselves at Nunney, near into a courtyard apper­tayning to the mansion house of your subject, and did enter with force and armes upon Roger Mawdley, son and heir ap­parent of your subject, being a young man of 17 years of age, did make an assault and hem with the said weapons did beate, wound and evil entreat, and the said Roger end eavouring by flying into the gate of your subject’s mansion house to save his life. They followed him with their weapons, gave him divers sore blows and wounds in his head and shoulders as he was flying before he could escape out of their hands, of which wounds he presently languished and was in danger of death.

 

Then follows an account of Richard Mawdley going to Sir John Homer to make complaint, and asking for the arrest of Richard Prater, and when the constable came to Nunney Castle f or that purpose, George Prater with force of arms resisted him, and in scornful and contemptuous manner scoffing at the said constable, said that his brother Richard was lame in his leg, and could not and should not go with the justice. And shortly after that the said Roger Mawdley, by reason of his wounds, and hurts grew very sick, and in great danger of death, insomuch that he lost both his speech and memorie thereby. And then Richard Mawdley repaired to Sir John homer and Arthur Hopton, Esq., and enforced them of the present danger of his said son, and they directed a second warrant, etc. The constable and the bailiff of the Hundred then went softly and with silence into the hall of the said house, but being espied by Richard Prater, he slipped into a chamber, and fast barred time door thereof, and resisted the constable so that they could not appre­hend him, saying that “if they did not void the house quietly they should be sent packing.” The constable returned to Sir John Homer, setting the bailiff to watch Richard Prater. Margaret Prater followed him to Cloford, and promised to de­liver up the bodies of Richard and Thomas to the constable, which was done privately and by collusion, for they were set at liberty again, and she sent them away privately.

 

The foregoing presents a picture of country life in the days of good Queen Bess, and also proves that Mawdley and Prater were both landowners and people of consequence in Nunney. I think it is possible that one may have been the lord of the manor of Nunney Glaston, the other of Nunney proper.

 

The arms of Prater are, according to Burke, sable, 3 wolves’ heads erased arg. on a chief or, a lion pass. of the first. There is a great similarity to the arms of Whitchurch, already given, in this shield. From the same source as the last I gather that Richard Mawdley, of Nunney, Somerset, made a will which was proved 5th June, 1600. He married, first Ann _, she was buried Feb. 15, 1588-9; 2nd, Ann Thynne (1591), daughter of William Thynne, of Erith, Kent, Master of the household to Henry VIII., by whom he had no issue. A Star Chamber suit was caused by this lady, and a quarrel about her husband’s will. Roger Mawdley, of whose treatment I have written when lie was assaulted by the Praters, was son of Richard by his first wife. Dorothy, his sister, was baptised at Nunney, 14th Oct., 1575. She, in 1593, married Christopher Aubrey.

 

Before I proceed further with the village as it now is, I will shortly refer to some relics of antiquity that have been found in the parish. In the year 1837, in digging a hole for a post for a railing round a rick, portions of a tesselated pavement were thrown tip. This led to further discoveries, when a Roman villa was uncovered with a very fine tesselated pavement, and the remains of a hypocaust which heated a bath. It is supposed the owner of the villa melted lead and iron at the place, the scoria of those metals having been found. The field is the property of Mr. John H. Shore, J.P., of Whatley. On the 15th October, 1869, as two men were ploughing in a field called the Eleven Acres, on West Down Farm, in the parish of Nunney, they broke a small urn full of coins. The number of coins was 249, viz., 10 British coins in gold, 232 in silver, 3 Roman silver, and 4 in brass. A coin of Claudius, A.D. 41, was amongst them. it is supposed the owner of this treasure perished in the Roman wars, A.D. 50 to 55. The urn was only six inches below the surface, and had been protected by an old yew tree that was cut down a short time before the discovery of the urn. A token of the 17th century bears on one side the legend, GEORGE ASHE, surrounding a shield, on the other OF NUNNEY, 1632; in the centre the initials, G. A.

 

The charities of Nunney are very large, the principal is called “Turner’s.” Mr. Thomas Turner, who died in May, 1839, aged 64, by his will gave certain monies to be invested and the income to be applied as follows by seven trustees:- £30 per annum for the relief of women in confinements, the wife of the Rector to distribute the same; £2 2s. to Bath Hospital; 4s. a week, clothing, and medical attendance, for poor men or women over 60 years of age, at the discretion of the trustees; £30 per annum for secretary and treasurer. The amount left to provide all this was, I believe, £14,000. James Singer, gentleman, gave £100, the interest to be given away on Easter Monday and 26th December. In 1819 John Fussell, by deed of gift, gave £300 to trustees, interest of which to be distributed as follows: - For preaching a sermon on Sunday evenings, £3; to choir, £1; to the National Schools, £4; £7 in money gifts to poor families in sums not less than 10s. or more than 20s. to each. Thomas Harris, of Bristol, who died in 1797, gave £1,000, the interest to be paid by the minister and churchwardens in the month of December to such women as had been married in the Parish Church of Nunney the previous year, they being natives of Nunney. In 1797 the Rev. Samuel Whitchurch left by will a piece of land and £100 3 per cents. for charitable uses, namely, the rent of the land to be given for a sermon to be preached on Good Friday, or in default to be laid out in bread to be given away on Easter Sunday. The interest of the £100 to be divided, 25s.to the Boys’ Sunday School, 25s. to the Girls’, and a half crown piece to the boy and the same to the girl who, in the opinion of the minister, can best say his or her Catechism. Failing this, thou the interest to be divided be­tween eight poor families of the parish.

 

In the Church was formerly a chantry, the last priest of which was granted in 1553 a pension of £5. The Chantry House and mansion with a garden and orchard adjoining, situated within the precincts of the castle, and two cottages, one yard of arable, and 3 acres of meadow in Truddoxhill, with a rent of £6 3s. 4d. issuing out of the manor and rectory of Fisherton-de­-la-Mere, in Wilts, belonging to the said Chantry, and other lands and hereditaments were granted by Queen Elizabeth in 1561 to William, Marquis of Winchester. This William Paulet was grandson of William Paulet, Sergt.-at-law, and Eleanor De-la-Mere, his wife. The Marquis died in 1571-2.

 

I paid my first visit to Nunney on a breezy day in May, the road from Frome lay through pastures enamelled with cow­slips in vast profusion. When I reached the crest of the hill before descending into the village a fine panorama extended on every side. In the distance to my front was Cranmore Tower rearing its head from amidst a grove of luxuriant trees. Looking back, I could descry Westbury White horse on the hillside, and then the eye travelled over the Downs to Warminster, and passing the vale rested on Clay lull, that outlier of chalk, and then followed the woods of Longleat, and the fringe of trees behind Marston. From my point of vantage I descended into the vale below, and there lay the village of Nunney with the church and the old castle in the centre separated only by the roadway.


My first visit was paid to the venerable fabric, which consists of a chancel, north and south transepts, nave with side aisles, south porch and a western tower, square and emnbattled, and crowned with four crocketted pinnacles. The tower contains a clock and six bells, and on the south face is a sun dial. The tracery of the windows in the nave is early English, the style of those in the transepts is Transition from the Decorated to the Perpendicular, and may be assigned to the middle of the 14th century. The tower is of the Perpendicular era, and contains a window which it is impossible to describe save by saying it is precisely of the pattern seen in a Union. On either side of the chancel arch are two squints or hagiscopes. The font is com­paratively modern, and I think that probably the date on its cover, 1684, marks time date of its erection. The organ stands in the north transept the pulpit on time south side of the chancel arch. The chancel was rebuilt by the late rector, Mr. Theobald, some 16 years ago. The chancel screen was placed there by the present rector, who found it in a dilapidated condition in the Manor house. It is thought it was originally time screen that enclosed the Manor Chapel. The roof of the nave is wagon shaped and plastered, and the nave itself is separated from its aisles by an arcade of three pointed arches. In 1819 these aisles were lengthened to the west front of the tower. The vestry is on the north side of the chancel. Not many years ago a singing gallery was at the west end; this was removed, and time church has been re-seated.

 

There are numerous tablets and three altar tombs within the walls, and I shall shortly glance at them. Firstly, the altar tombs. These are now to be seen behind the organ in the north chapel. The first, which is behind the other two, merely presents the top slab, on which is a recumbent effigy of one of time De-la-Meres, probably Sir Nicholas, 1290-1320. The other two have at some period been taken to pieces and placed in their present position; one side only can be seen, and the end only of one, because as they now stand the feet of the one comes close to the head of the other. It is said the older of these erec­tions, which has on it a male and female, life-size, carved in stone, represents members of the De-la-Mere family. The male figure is attired in armour, with time De-la-Mere lion emblazoned on his surcoat, and his feet resting on the same device, round his neck is a collar of S.S., with a badge pendant therefrom. The figure has no beard, and the head has no helmet. This tomb is also said to be a memorial of the De-la-Meres. On the only side now visible to time spectator are five shields of arms, namely, first - a bend imp. two lions statant; second, defaced; third, lion ramp. imp. 3 water bougets ; fourth, quar. of 4, 1st and 4th, three daggers in pile for Paulett, 2nd and 3rd; two lions pass. guard. in pale for De-la-Mere; fifth, the shield of De-la-Mere. On the wall at the back of this tomb, or rather at the back of the first one, is a shield on which are the arms of De-la-Mere. Now my theory is that these two figures are the effigies of the last two De-la-Meres, whose daughter and heir married Paulet, or why do the arms of that latter family appear on the tomb? Round the edge of the slab on which the figures lie is the device of a key attached to a knotted cord, and in the centre is a boar passant. The end panel of this tomb is now to be seen outside the tower, beneath the clock face, some parish authority having placed it there when the tombs were arranged as they now are: this panel has the cord and key. Can this badge have reference to any office held by De-la-Mere? The third and last tomb bears the recumbent figures of a man and woman, dressed in the costume of the time of Elizabeth. He has the ruff and she the coil of the period. The end of this tomb has a defaced shield. On the front are three shields. The first is a gate; the second is defaced ; the third, quar. of four, 1st and 4th, 3 mullets on the fesse point a fleur de lis, 2nd, two lions ramp. addorsed, 3rd, three lions pass. guar. in pale. I have read that the arms of Prater, already given, are on this tomb, but if so, they must be on the other side, and it is said the figures represent Prater, but I have no proof to offer in support of this assertion.[1]

 

In the middle of the main aisle is a small piece of marble let into a slab, with the letters I.W.W. for James Wadham Whit­church, in the upper part; S. et E in the centre; and W under­neath, and over the first pier in the main aisle is a marble tablet, with the arms of Whitchurch (see ante) and an epitaph in memory of Elizabeth and James Whitchurch, also James Wadham Whit­church, the beloved curate of Nunney, 5 Jan., 1776, sons and daughters of the Rev. Samuel Whitchurch, rector, and Elizabeth his wife, daur. of Thos. Coward, Esq.

 

On the east wall of the south chapel are three tablets, the first is to Richard, John, Roger, and Richard Mawdley, Esqs., 1600. The second, Mawdley Samborne of Timsbery 7 Dec., 1690, arms Samborne (see ante) imp. 3 bugle horns – garnished – Crest - on a wreath of the colours a mullet as in The arms. The third is to Mary Samborne, widow of the last, 13 Nov., 1690. At the foot of this tablet is a piece of white marble, inserted on which is Stag lodged regar. holding in the mouth a branch slipped, and below that is a shield with a charge such as on the last tablet. On the east wall of the south chapel is a tablet to the memory of Henrietta Minshull daughter of Samuel Goodenough, LL.D., Bishop of Carlisle, wife of Francis Minshull, rector 4th April, 1802, aged 24. Also to William, son of William Morgan, D.D., 6th August, 1804, aged 16. Also to the said Francis Minshull, A.M., 20 years rector of Nunney, 25th June, 1817, aged 48. On the south wall of the same chapel, Thomas Turner, 21st May, 1839, aged 64 (see ante). On the same wall, Mawdley Flower, 2nd Sept., 1723, aged 28; Robert Whither, gent, 1st April, 4761, aged 27. On the west wall of the same chapel Edward Flower, clothier, 6th April, 1727, aged 61; Sarah, his wife, daughter of Mawdley Samborne, 19th July, 1708, and several of their children. On a pew in the body of the church, John Fussell, 15th Nov., 1821, aged 68; John, their son, 16th Sept., 1783, aged 2 years and 5 months; Sarah, their daughter, widow of John Washborough, 15th Aug., 1841, aged 64. On south wall of south aisle, George Clark, 26th Nov., 1821, aged 74 On north wall of north aisle, Ruth, wife of Jos. Hooper, 20th Feb., 1816, aged 56, and sir of their children. Another to Miss Sarah Allen, 21st May, 1862, aged 73. North chapel, north wall, Stephen Smith, 28th June, 1814, aged 73; and his wife Ann, who died 21st Dec., 1822, aged 72. Also to their daughter, Ann, wife of William Croom. Also to William Croom, 31st Aug., 1846, aged 73.[2]

 

On the chancel floor are two stones, almost illegible, to the memory of time Hoddinott family, and the other to Elizabeth Selle, 18th Feb., 1725, aged 62. The east window of stained glass is erected to the memory of Francis P. Devenish, who died 29th July, 1868, and the Rev. C. W. Devenish, who died 15th Aug., 1870; it represents the Crucifixion .

 

The Registers, called the registers of Nounie and Trudoxhill, begin in 1547. At first baptisms, marriages and burials are all kept together and entered as they happened, till the year 1598, when the burials are entered by themselves. In 1553 is as follows: - “Nothinge was written for lack of a curate, the parson not being resident.” At the end of the register for 1566 there is this entry: “Within this year Mr. Grigorie was made parson of Nunney presented by m Lo: Marquis.” N.B.- This was the Marquis of Winchester. Another entry: “Here endeth the Register of Mr. John Grigorie’s time, who was buried the 3rd of Maie, 1585, havinge beene the pn. heere 18 yeere, who was presented to the rectory of Nouny by the Lord Marquis.” Joseph Collier succeeded him, presented by Mr, Mawdley, instituted the 29th July, 1585.

 

After 1597 the Baptisms are entered in a mixture of Latin and English. In 1604, “Christopher, the son of Roger Stare, baptized Dec. 27. He clymed up a ladder to the top of the house 23rd Oct., 1606; being seven weeks and odd days less than two yeares old.” This young gentleman commenced to rise early in life. In 1612 is this note “ Nathaniel Hellierd came to serve the cure engrossed the whole register word by word out of the old one.” From 1621 to 1653 there is a gap, and from this latter date the registers are very badly kept, and by an uneducated man. In 1656, and up to 1663, Births, not Bap­tisms, are entered. In 1699 and 1700 after the record of each baptism are the words- ”Tax to be paid by the father.” This tax was imposed in 1695, the duty to be paid being in accord­ance with the rank of the parents. The same tax was again imposed in 1783, every entry being 3d.

 

During the Commonwealth justices of the peace performed marriages, which were a civil contract. Justice Carey and Jus­tice Smith, of Wells, appear in the Nunney registers. Names cling to localities. Thus I found in the registers, amongst the burials, “1630, Margery Mawdley, wife of Roger Mawdley.” This was the Roger who was so beaten. William De-la-Mere, 1634, evidently a scion of the old Lords. After this period the name is spelt Dallimore, and there is no doubt these people were the representatives of the old Norman House. In 1887, living in one room beneath the shadow of the castle, dwelt an old lady, aged 91, whose grandfather was a Dallimore, brother of the man who built Rockfield, and she was the last of the old stock who for centuries owned Nunney. Time Rector told the writer that her cousin, Nelson Dallimore, a day labourer, who died in the parish some years since, bore in his person and manners the distinct traces of his gentle descent. Ternpora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis.

 

Further on I read: “Thomas Samborne, 1636.” This gent married the heir of the Mawdleys. “Joan Mawdley, 1673,” the last entry of the name. “Eliz. Montfort, 1674.” This takes us back to the time of De Montfort, 1266. James Dallimore, aged 73, 1676.” Already the old name was changed. “ Ger­trude Prater, 1675.”

 

In the weddings I found “Roger Mawdley and Margaret Chancellor, 1600,” and also the birth of their daughter and heir Ann, in “Maie,” 1604. It would seem from their registers that the rector was non-resident, for they are generally signed by the curate-in-charge. The only names of rectors I could find were: 1566, John Gregorie, pat., Marquis of Winchester; 1585,



[1]    Handwritten the left margin: “Sarah Ann Rawlings/Interred at Olveston Parish Church”

      At the foot of the page: “William Abbott Allard/my father’s cousin/Trudoxhill Frome/Interred in Frome Cemetery June 13 1907”

[2]   Handwritten upside-down at the top of the page: “Julia Hoddinott Rawlings/Marsh Blatchbridge/Interred in St Catherine Church East Woodlands May 3 1883”

      In the left margin: “Elizabeth daughter of  Edward Hoddinott (Lilac House Trudoxhill)/Born 1807”

      In the right margin: “My father’s mother family – Benjamin Hoddinott/Buckland Dinham/Churchyard/B. E. Rawlings”

      At the foot of the page: “Hannah Hoddinott interred/Greatness Park  Cemetery Sevenoaks”