A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode

History of Southam, Gloucestershire

Southam – An Historical Account of the Hamlet and Parish of Southam in Gloucestershire (June 1962) by Brian E. Torode

Back in 1962 Brian Torode produced this historical study of the village of Southam whilst studying for teaching at St Paul’s College, Cheltenham. It is fascinating today to read about this village just before it was changed by late twentieth century residential developments.

Please press on the link below:



Typescript of the first six chapters:

An Historical Account of the Hamlet and Parish of Southam, in the County of Gloucestershire by Brian E. Torode, June 1962


1(a) A brief Account of Method, Aim and Sources

Chapter I A General description of Southam and the Cotswolds

Chapter II Ancient Civilization in the Parish of Southam. Cleeve Hill Camps

Chapter III Southam Manor from 1100 to 1636

Chapter IV Southam from 1636 to 1831

Chapter V Southam from 1831 to 1921

Chapter VI The Descent of Manorial Rights

Chapter VII Life and Manor of Southam

Chapter VIII Ancient Customs and Buildings

Chapter IX Present-day Southam, including a Farm Study.


Map I. Parish and Surroundings showing Parish Boundary, roads, Contours and drainage.

Plate I. Southam from Evesham Rd

Fig i. Sketch-Map of the Cotswolds – Geology

Fig ii. Geology of Cotswolds – Cross Section

Fig iii. Cross Section of Cleeve Hill area of Cotswolds

Fig iv. Cleeve Hill Area – Geology

Fig v. Sketch Map of N.W. Peninsula of Cleeve Hill Plateau (1904)

Fig vi. Profile of excavated area. Diagram showing the profile of the area excavated as a result of finds of historical interest on Cleeve Hill.

Fig vii. Moats and Hill Forts of the area being studied (diagrammatic)

Fig viii. Iron Age and Roman Camps of Cotswolds. Camps on the Cotswolds were probably trading posts. This is suggested by their position.

Fig ix Taylor’s Map of 1777 (sketch)

Map II. Estate Plans of Ellenborough Estate 1921

Fig x. Cary’s Map of 1787 (sketch)

Map III. Roads 1796

Plate II, III, IV. Typical Views of Cotswold Scarp

Plate V. Old Road, Southam

Fig xi. Greenwood’s Map 1824

Fig xii. Hall’s Map 1834

Fig xiii. Davis Map 1845

Fig xiv. Map from Ellenborough Estate Papers

Plate VI. Chapel of the Ascension

Plate VII. Pigeon House

Plate VIII. Barn

Plate IX. Southam Delabere from Winchcombe Road

Plate X. Manor Farm

Plate XI. Southam Delabere, front facade

Plate XII. Modern houses, Southam

Map IV. Map showing modern development

Plate XIII. Kayte Farm from Southam Lane

Plate XIV. Kayte Farm from Southam Lane (close up)

Map V. Section of Kayte Farm, 200acres

Hamlet and Parish of Southam, in the County of Gloucestershire

Method and Sources of Information

This Study was started in October 1961 with the aim of discovering how one would set about introducing schoolchildren to a local studies series of lessons.

The place chosen for study is Southam, a Hamlet and Parish in the County of Gloucestershire. Southam was chosen for various reasons amongst which were the following:

  1. Southam is within easy reach of Cheltenham.
  2. There are many old and interesting buildings in the Hamlet.
  3. According to George Elliot, Sloutham is the happiest “nation” in that it has no history.
  4. The last reason was the one which influenced my final choice the most. Every village no matter how small, must have some history, and I knew Southam was no exception.

I therefore made a definite choice of Southam and decided to concentrate on tracing the history of this hamlet, and to include also some information about the present Parish.

As George Elliot had said that Southam had no history, I assumed that there were few, if any, books on Southam. After consulting the Rector of Bishop’s Cleeve, who could offer no help at all, I examined all books, including deeds and guides, which might have some reference to Southam.


Shepherd’s Country, Messingham

Highways and Byways of Gloucestershire, Hutton

Gloucestershire, edited by Arthur Mee

Llanthony, by John Clarke, pub. 1853

Country Life Magazine, 26th October 1907, P. 594-601

History of Gloucestershire, Rudder

History of Cheltenham and Environs, Rutt, 1803

Bishop’s Cleeve, Hanson, 1922

Domesday Book

Dictionary of National biography

Royal Victorian County Histories

Kelly’s Directory 1939

Hockaday Abstracts, ‘gloucester Records’ at Gloucester Library

County of Gloucestershire Review Order, 1935

Charity Commissioners’ Report 1824-1868

Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society Transactions: Volumes for years 1879-1880, 1898-1900, 1905-1906, 1911-1912. Also volumes numbered 11, 18, 28, 40, 48 and 50.

Cotswold and Naturalist’s Field Club: Volumes numbered 11, 12, 15, 18, 21, 28 and 29.

History of Cheltenham, A. Miles: Volumes numbered 1,2, 5 and 7.

Sale Catalogue of lord Ellenborough’s Estate

Bishop’s Cleeve Records

Other information has been collected as a result of interviews and correspondence with:

Mrs. Ratcliffe of Southam

Mrs. Cumming, nee De La Bere, of Prestbury

Mr. B. Harrison of Prestbury

Mr. Lewis, Solicitor of Cheltenham

Secretary, Southam Delabere School

Mr. Gray, Archivist, Gloucester Shire hall

Miss Eyre, Southam Delabere School

Mr. Sargent, Archivist, (Gloucester) Worcester Shire Hall

The Dean of Worcester

The Canon of Tewkesbury

Among other sources of information were the following:

Deeds of the Delabere family, including wills

Surveyor’s Plans, 1796

Rights and Regulations, Cleeve Common, 1900

Estate Papers of Mr. Rogers, 17th Cent.

Maps and Estate papers, belonging to lord Ellenborough, discovered in 1961 in London, not yet classified, and not on general view to the public.

Thus much has been spent in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Southam, and although this would not be possible with a class of children, it has given me ideas of how to set about such a study.

Included in this historical study is therefore a short account of ancient civilisation in the parish, a description of the parish, including physical features, a history of the descent of the Manor from 1100 to the present day, and accounts of the divisions in the estate. Also I have included an account of the old buildings and an account of customs of the village.

Many of the sources consulted gave conflicting evidence and I have drawn conclusions as a result of comparing various evidence given, which may not be generally accepted to be true, but which I believe to have justified.

Chapter I

Southam, a general description of the Parish and the Cotswolds.

Sources of Information: Geology and Scenery in England and Wales, A.E. Trueman; Notes kindly loaned by Mr. S. Morton-Jackson.

The Cotswold scarp stretches from Northants Uplands in the north to near Bath in the South. The land seldom rises over 1,000 feet, Cleeve Hill being one of the exceptions, and the general altitude is 400 – 800 feet. They are built up of a mostly light coloured limestone which weathers to a rich and varied tint of brown and yellow. These rocks are often near the surface and the light brown soils in the fields are made up of a rubble of pale limestone fragments. Such limestone is seen in innumerable small quarries, and in many areas this limestone is full of shells.

The structure of the Cotswolds is chiefly oolitic, consisting mainly of rounded spheres of calcium carbonate massed together. But not all is oolite. It is obvious that some are composed of shells or shell fragments. These shelly limestones break easily and irregularly and can only be used for rough walling. These stones are called ragstones by the quarrymen, and freestones is the name given to those stones which can be used for building, and which can be dressed.

The Cotswolds are a region of essentially easy structure with older rocks occupying the surface in the west, and newer rocks in the east.

Inferior oolite is the limestone forming high ground over 600 feet (Cleeve Cloud for example). It has an excellent water bearing formation, and powerful springs occur at the base. Hence many villages occur at the base of the hills – Southam is an excellent example of such a village.

The Cotswold Ridge is an escarpment, controlled as seen in the diagram above, by the occurrence of a hard band between soft bands:

  1. On lower lias clay, there is plenty of surface water and good dairy farm land. In winter it offers a very damp surface.
  2. Middle lias is a sandy clay, which being well drained is good for either ploughing or pasture.
  3. Middle lias Marlestone causes flat topped hills, whilst
  4. Inferior oolite, is the limestone forming high ground over 600 feet. It has an excellent water bearing formation, and powerful springs occur at the base. Hence many villages are at the base of the hills.

Southam is just one of these villages, and owes its present position to the above facts. One of the chief factors in deciding where to settle was the presence of water. The spring line of the Cotswolds is at 650 – 700 feet, and this was the chief factor for deciding the present position of Southam. The lower lias clay admirably suits the dairy farming done in the Parish whilst the middle lias offers good pasture land.

Cleve Hill is typical of an area controlled by the occurrence of a hard band between two softer ones. The worn edge gradually gives rise to a steep slope, whilst the exposed upper surface of the hard band forms a gentle slope. The area is typical scarp land, for not only may the whole mass be regarded as a great escarpment, but within the mass itself all the features resulting from the occurrence of clays between limestones similarly exhibit steep westward facing slopes, and gentle eastward facing slopes.

The front of the ridge is always wooded in this Parish, Nutterswood, Queenswood – and beech is the commonest on these dry soils, but pines also occur.

On the uplands, rivers flow N. to E. or N.W. to N.E. All these streams follow the general course of the dip of the beds. These streams are often dip or consequent streams, since their direction may be a consequence of the inclination of the beds on which they flow. These streams occupy wide and shallow valleys on the upland surface. They introduce the chief diversity into the uplands for along them extend belts of woodland, and in them are situated many villages. Many valleys are dry for example the one on Cleeve Hill, but water may be obtained in them by wells of smaller depth than are required on the main part of the upland.

As a preview of the next chapter, some observations on the Cleeve Hill area might be useful. Cleeve Hill forms part of the N.W. edge of the Cotswolds and overlooks the Severn Vale and the hill country beyond. Cleeve Common covers 2,000 acres. A drystone wall makes its boundary which is about 3 miles across and 10 miles round. The “Cloud” is a square mass of rock that crosses the summit of the Hill above Thrift Wood. The highest point is near the wireless masts – trig point 1083. Cleeve technically, therefore, is a mountain.

The once overworked extensive quarries are now sealed off. About 2,000 sheep graze on the land and at West Down the exercise of racing horses is very popular.

Obviously there is little vegetation, but the grass is good for grazing. The ground is dry due to the nature of the soil, and the exposed position of the Common.

The main road climbs steeply on the West to Winchcombe, reaching 700 feet at its highest point. There is little habitation apart from one or two isolated farms which are not on roads.

In Thrift Wood, just below the Cloud, the soil is dark brown, oolitic. There is little vegetation above the wood except for a few stumpy trees in the hollows and some very fine grass. Below the wood, beyond the spring line, is found brushwood, hawthorn, a few stunted trees and some rich grass.

Chapter II

Ancient Civilisation in Southam Parish. Cleeve Hill Camps

Sources of Information: notes lent by Mrs. Ratcliffe of Southam, Notes lent by Mr. Harrison of Prestbury and Cotswold and Naturalist Field Club volumes 12, 15, 18 and 21.

Cleeve Hill forms a large portion of the Parish of Southam, and overlooks the present hamlet. On Cleeve Hill there is a small platform at a height of about 800 feet, lying under the western side of Ben’s Trump, running in a North-South direction, and measuring about 90 x 20 yards. The southern part of this platform is bounded by road running into the Rising Sun, and Gambles’ Lane. The other side is bounded by a track leading to Ben’s Trump, where it divides, one branch leading to Prestbury Hill Gate, and the West Downs, by way of Cleeve Cloud.

During excavations in 1902, a number of ancient pits, composed of three types, were discovered.

Type I was composed of different layers in a pit 3” – 4” deep

  1. A dirt band, in which were found a few teeth, and some bones.
  2. A water rolled stone band, also containing a few small teeth and bones.
  3. A layer of gravel in which were embedded small stones and bones.
  4. A bed of wood ash and very fine soil containing bones and pottery.

There are three pits of this first type:

Type II. There were twenty other pits, some containing clay, which must have been imported, as the nearest clay beds are 50 yards away, and each pit contained burnt wood, bones, clay, and pottery.

Type III. This type was a shallow pit, into which debris had been washed, and six or seven pits of this type were found.

Amongst other objects found were oolite stones for corn grinding and pounding, as well as game stones and quartz pebbles, foreign to Cleeve Hill. Three flints, a knife, a scraper, a bone needle maker, and several stones were also found. Plenty of small, coarse pottery was also found, but all the pottery had been badly fired.

The Camps were undoubtedly occupied by the Romans, although no Roman or Romano/British pottery has been found. All the tumuli proved pre-Roman however. Three Roman coins were found, struck in London A.D. 293. They were in perfect mint condition, which suggests that they were covered up soon after being struck. A little flint or stone was found in the open ones, but in the undisturbed barrows, no metal at all was found. Ruff’s suggestion that the camps were built by the Romans, “because pre Roman Britains were barbarous with regard to dress and houses, and ignorant of military discipline and experience, they therefore lived in open level country and we could not expect them to be the authors of such places,” has been certainly disproved, and does not even give food for consideration.

Amongst the animal bones found were those of humans, and mollusca, and suggested a long headed short-statured race. Remains of burnt wattle and daub, and remains of houses formed with burnt clay were found. In Stables’Quarry, pottery and bones were discovered in shallow pits of Type III. Similar remains were found at King’s Beeches, and near to these entrenchments. Thus various settlements are suggested, Cleeve Cloud and Postlip being just two.

Probably the land between Wickfield Lane and King’s Beeches was occupied in the Iron Age, as tools, pottery, sawn antlers of deer, and the absence of flint suggest. Stone mortar found here suggests some form of agriculture. There can be no definite date as to the period of the occupation of King’s Beeches but probably some Celtic tribes, perhaps the Dobuni, lived here before the Romans. In this particular settlement bones were of domestic type – horse, dog, man, pig, sheep, deer and fowl. Little signs of hunting were discovered, but as we know they were agriculturalists, people of Iron Age times are suggested. They appear to have been a small community with flock and pastures.

In Nutter’s Wood, a small coppice in the Parish, are six small circles in stone, each one being about two to three feet square. The purpose of these stones is a matter of conjecture. They may have been temples or sepulchres.

Cleeve Camp itself is in semi-circular form facing the Downs from whence attacks were most expected: whatever period we may like to suggest for these camps, there is no doubt that they were occupied by the Romans. Every Roman or Romano/British fort in the Cotswolds has a counterpart in the valley, in a Moat or Waterfort. Cleeve Hill Camp has its counterpart in Prestbury. The line of easterly Moats is united by continuous and ancient roads, running parallel to the foot of the Hills, commencing at Gotherington, through Woodmancote, in times past to the east of Southam Chapel, and to the west of Southam Delabere, through Prestbury. The first, most northerly is from Gotherington to the Severn, near Deerhurst, and the next from Southam, Cate Gate Lane, via the Hyde and Swindon and the Old Gloucester Road.

These valley forts and hill forts were connected by roads sunk below land level. Old maps and prints (some in the possession of Mrs. Ratcliffe) show that these now disused roads were important highways of the past. As late as 1698, in Ogilby’s “Roads in England and Wales”, we read that “in Prestbury, avoid turning left to Southam, and go through an irregular way over a Hill of one mile by a beacon on the left, and Postlip on the right, to Winchcombe.” Only 300 years ago then, the road to Winchcombe followed the Roman original road, and missed the hamlet of Southam.

The Camps on Cleeve Hill may not have any bearing on present-day Southam. Probably all the Hill forts along the Cotswold Scarp were meeting places for exchange of cattle and other goods, as their form suggests. The roads, however, were just as important as these Forts and Moats in the history of the pre-Roman and post-Roman story of our country, and were later found useful by invading Saxons.

Chapter III

Southam from Milo in 1100 to Richard in 1636

Sources of Information:

B.G.A.S. Transactions: Volumes 28, 50, 1879-80, 1905

Country Life Magazine 1907

History of Gloucestershire, Rudder

History of Cheltenham and Environs, Ruff

Rights and Regulations of Cleeve Common 1900

Highways and Byways of Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire, edited by A. Mee

Cotswold and Naturalist Field Club: volumes 11, 28, 29

Domesday Book

Hockadays Abstracts

Bishops Cleeve Church Records

Estate Papers at Shire Hall

Mrs. Ratcliffe’s Notes

The origin of Southam, and its early history are doubtful and at the same time muddled. It was originally spelt Surham, as in the Domesday Book where we read “Durrand the Sheriff holds of the Church of the Manor of Clyve (Cleeve) of the Bishop of Worcester. Also six hides in Surham. Ralph holds four hides in Sapleton, and Turstin six hides in Gotherington. In these three lands there are eight ploughs, twenty two villaines, seven borders, thirteen ploughs, twenty bondsmen, and three moors, also a mill of twelve pence with very little meadow.” The Durrand mentioned died in 1101. Southam was the a tything in Cleeve and called Surham or Southam, either because it is south of Cleeve Church, or just because it is a southern farm or estate, i.e. a south hamlet. In Saxon English, ham meant a private estate with a village on it, or, just a manor.

How the Southam Manor became part of the Bishop of Worcester’s property, it is not known, but Milo, Earl of Hereford held it of the Bishop of Worcester, and milo died in 1146. Milo’s son died without sons, and the estate then passed to Milo’s daughters – Lucy, who married Herbert Fitzherbert, and Bertha, who married William de Brewes.

Thus there are now two estates, the Fitzherbert’s and the De Brewes’. The de Brewes portion was about two thirds of the original, and included the manorial rights. The Fitzherbert estate constituted the other third portion. The history of the two estates is very involved from this time onwards, and I intend to consider them separately, for the next three hundred years. I shall deal firstly with the one third portion of the estate which passed to the Fitzherberts.

Milo had founded Llanthony Priory near Gloucester and part of the endowment contained parts of Southam and tithes of Southam. Henceforth the history of both estates is very vague, but in 1285, when we next hear of the Fitzherbert Southam, it was given legally to Reginald, the son of Peter. Six years later, in 1291, the Prior of Llanthony granted to William de Agmundesham all lands which he held of the Convent in Cleeve Parish rendering 10/- p.a. at Prior’s Court in Prestbury. The estate seems to have exchanged hands innumerable times and its history is further complicated, when we find in the records, that the estate returned to the Bishop of Worcester.

In 1320, John, son of William de Agmundesham who had been granted the lands in 1291 by the Prior of Llanthony, gave to his brother, Thomas, all his rights in these lands, which had belonged to their father. During the reign of Edward III, 1327-1377, Matthew Fitzherbert granted all his rights in Southam to his brother Reginald. This was in 1317 and after this we hear no more of land belonging to the Fitzherberts. Apparently it was split up and sold. In Henry VII’s reign, 1485-1509, Sir John Huddlestone bought land from a Mr. Goodman. The two estates were still quite distinct. Sir John’s son, in his will of 1545, states that he inherited a lot of estates that his father had bought in the county. He added to them, and Southam House was one addition. His daughter Elynor was not married when he made his will, but he left her some of his land in Southam, and left the rest of it to his other children. She married Kenard Delabere, between 1545 and 1554 thus bringing to him lands in Southam and Prestbury, including Southam House.

In 1554, Frances Evans gave his portion of the estate to Elynor and Kenard, and in 1581 Antony Huddlestone, Elynor’s brother, confirms the giving of his lands to her, to avoid disputes arising later on. By 1588, Elynor and Kenard Delabere had acquired all of the Fitzherbert Estate.

We know that the De Brewes’ estate was two thirds of the original and included the manorial rights. Bertha, a daughter of Milo, married a De Brewes, and they became Lord and Lady of the Manor. They had a daughter who married a De Bohun, and to them passed the manorial rights. In 1216, however, we learn that Southam Manor belonged to Tewkesbury Abbey by Henry III, who acquired it during his reign 1216-1272. In 1275, Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Essex, held two parts of Southam Manor, by service of coming once to the court of the Bishop of Worcester at Clyve, and the service of 1½ knight’s fees, worth £16.0.1½ per annum each.

In 1298 Humphrey de Bohun obtained all the Manor from the Bishop of Worcester, Godfrey Giffard. Humphrey died in 1361, nearly 90 years old, and he was succeeded by his cousin, Humphrey. He married a Joan Delabere, and they had two daughters, one of whom married Henry Plantagenet, later Henry IV. Henry IV, reigned 1399-1413, and he, in marrying a De Bohun heiress added the Manor to his lands. Henry V, reigning 1413-1422, inherited the land and gave it to his Queen in Dower, by which it became attached to the Duchy of Lancaster. William Stokes owned the manorial estate in Henry VI’s reign, 1422-1461, but no one knows how or when he acquired it. In the reign of Richard III, 1483-1485, he gave it to the Duke of Buckingham thus still keeping it Crown Property.

In 1574, the Court Roll of the Manor of Southam gives Queen Elizabeth the title of Lady of the Manor. She in 1577 leased it to Thomas Duke for 31 years at £12.2.0 per annum. The lease was not allowed to expire, for in 1604, James I leased it to Peter Vanlore and William Blake. The lease was a short one, or else it was broken, for in 1605, James leased it to Lord Cranborne, later Earl of Salisbury, for £1300. Thomas Duke’s lease had definitely not expired for in 1605, Lord Cranborne bought the remainder of the terms of the lease from a William Jenison, who had acquired them from Duke. In 1607, James I gave the Manor to Lord Cranborne with the manorial rights. He did not keep it for long, and sold it in 1608 to Richard Delabere, for £3,200.

Kenard, who married Elynor, was the son of John Delabere of Kinnersley, Herefordshire. It was this Kenard’s son, Richard, who bought the De Bohun Estate from Lord Cranborne. He was also, first cousin to Elynor’s husband, Kenard Delabere. Thus we have two cousins holding the two original estates, side by side. When Richard died in 1636, without issue, his next male heir was his cousin Kenard’s son, also named Kenard. To him went all Richard’s property and thus the Southam Estate was again whole for the first time since Milo had held it in the twelfth century.

It is interesting to look at the legal transactions and buying and selling of land up to the time of the re-joining of the two estates in 1636. I will not deal with the various divisions in the two estates, as these have been dealt with above. The majority of information is concerned with the De Bohun Estate, as this was the one which had the manorial rights.

Sir John Huddlestone, at the time of buying his Southam property, was Steward of Sudeley Castle and one of the last benefactors of Hailes Abbey. We have already mentioned that he died in 1513 and his son, John, built Southam House, now Southam Delabere. In his will he left at Southam, 3 messuages, 300 acres of land, 100 acres of meadow, 300 acres of pasture and 300 acres of wood. A messuage was a portion of land intended as a site for a dwelling-house, in modern English, a building plot.

In Cleeve there wer six ancient manors: one at Stoke Orchard, one at Bishop’s Cleeve, two at Southam (called collectively Southam Manor) and two at Gotherington. Southam became two manors after the split on Milo’s death. The Manor House of the De Bohuns, the true manorial residence, was no doubt the present Pigeon House, near the Tithe Barn. The site of the Fitzherbert Manor is not known, and Southam Delabere is the residence built by Sir john Huddlestone.

The Delaberes accompanied William the Conqueror to England and obtained a settlement at Kinnersley in Herefordshire. The first Sir Richard Delabere rescued the Black Prince at Cressy, for which he was made a baronet, and Edward III granted him a coat of arms of three ostrich feathers standing in a ducal coronet.

Before the Manor was sold, that is, while it was still in the possession of Queen Elizabeth I, she leased it to “Edward Darbishiere and John Beare, all tythes of blade hay wood wool flax and hemp and lamb and all other tythes, whatsoever, as well great as small, lying and being grown renewing and arising in the town fields parish or hamlet of Southam amounting to the yearly value of fifty three shillings and four pence, late in the tenure of Giles Broadway and Mary his wife; the lands being the late possessions of the Priory of Llantony, to have and to hold all the property for the sum of £830.12.8”

Darbishiere and Beare did complete the transaction for in the fifth year of the reign of Elizabeth, 1563, they sold to a Mr. Walwyne, all they had obtained in the earlier indenture.

In 1607 Richard Delabere and his lady held their first court as Lord and Lady of the Manor, but even though Lord Cranborne had sold it to them in 1607, Royal Licence to transfer the estate from him to the Delaberes was not granted until 1609 and not until 1611 did Lord Cranborne confirm the sale, and complete transactions.

Richard Delabere was keen to enlarge the estate, or to reclaim former portions of it. In 1613 he exchanged a smith’s shop for Queenswood. This was a transaction very much in his favour, and in 1625, he bought Upper Park Hall from Giles Broadway.

In 1614, William and Joseph Huddlestone, sons of Antony Huddlestone, had renounced their claims to any land in Southam in favour of Richard, the grandson of Sir John Huddlestone. So now Richard had almost the whole of the original de Bohun Estate, before 1636.

Thus, when Richard died in 1636, the Estate as we have already seen, passed to Kenard, and the Southam Estate was, as far as is possible to tell, almost the same as the estate Milo held in the twelfth century, with just a few minor additions or subtractions.

Chapter IV

Southam from Richard in 1636 to Lord Ellenborough in 1831

Sources of Information:

B.G.A.S. Transactions volume 28

Country Life Magazine 1907

History of Cheltenham and Environs, Ruff

History of Gloucestershire, Rudder

Numerous Deeds and Estate Papers at Shire Hall

Mr. Lewis of Cheltenham, Solicitor

In 1636 Southam Estate was as far as is possible to tell, of close proximity in size to the estate held by Milo in the twelfth century. It passed in 1636 to Kenard Delabere, born c.1606, the second cousin of Richard Delabere, and this started a new era in the history of Southam. Kenard married Joan Hales of Coventry and they had two children, John, born c. 1649, who married Anne Stephens, and Kenard, born c. 1644, who married Sarah Buckie. John inherited the estate, and by his wife Anne, had three children, John, born c. 1663 who died without issue in 1690; Kenard, born c. 1666, who married Hester Neale, their marriage being childless: and Anne, born c. 1664, who married William Baghott of Prestbury. Kenard and Hester inherited the estate, Kenard dying in 1734. In his will of 1732, he makes the following provisions,

“I give to my wife all my tythes I bought of John Ellis which are chargeable, out of part of the lands of the two farms in Southam… and all these lands after her death to my nephew William Baghott, provided that his name he add by consent Delabere.”

This William Baghott was the son of Kenard’s sister Anne. He was born in 1690 and died in 1764. In inheriting the estate, he assumed the name Delabere in 1702, thus becoming legally known as William Baghott Delabere. He married Hester, the daughter of a Thomas Stevenson of Upper Lypiatt, in 1725. In 1732 he exchanged some of his lands for some of those owned by a Mr. Newman. In 1741 he cut off the entact and was succeeded in 1764 by his son Thomas Baghott Delabere, born in 1729. He also makes this provision in his will,

“I leave to my brother-in-law, John Stevens, and Kenard Baghott and heirs all several pastures and meadow ground called Upper Bittons, Lower Bittons, Kear Lays and Kear Lays Bottom in the hamlet of Southam except that is set upon my wife, and even that upon her decease. Also my messuage, tenement or farm called Wingmore, in Southam.”

Thomas inheriting his share of the estate in 1764, immediately mortgaged it to Giles Nash. On his death in 1821, aged 92, having no wife or child, Thomas left his estate to his two sisters – Grace, born 1740, who married Richard Webb in 1771, and Sarah born 1747.

William Baghott, who first assumed the name Delabere in 1702, had a brother Thomas who was born in 1693. He was Rector of Naunton and married Anne Small. They had a daughter Elizabeth in 1737 and she married Thomas Wathen of Kings Stanley. They had two daughters, Anne, who married Paul Wathen in 1791, he later becoming Sir Paul Baghott of Lypiatt, and Jane, who in 1788 married Thomas Edwards of Bristol, born in 1764. The girls’ mother, Elizabeth, was the first cousin of Grace and Sarah, and the two old ladies in a deed, gifted Thomas Edwards. Elizabeth’s son-in-law, their residuary legatee, and when they died in c. 1829 he inherited the house and the property appertaining to it.

In 1829 then, the property belonged to Thomas Edwards. He sold some of it to Lord Ellenborough and two dates have been suggested – 1831 and 1839. The former is probably the correct date for in a deed dated that year, Thomas mentions selling the Estate to Lord Ellenborough, including the house, built by Sir John Huddlestone. Also in 1831, Lord Ellenborough, writing home to his mother says,

“I have the villagers in a happy state of ignorance and have neither school nor beer house. They were said to have behaved well in the last disturbances. The farmers are excellent. I shall but everything from my tenants.”

In 1835, Thomas Edwards made over the part he had not sold to Lord Ellenborough, to his son John, Vicar of Presbury, who married Elizabeth Milford. Thomas died in 1838. John assumed the name Baghott Delabere by Royal Licence in 1879. He died in 1885, and his property, which by now must have been only a portion of the original estate, was left to the Rev. John Delabere, who too was a Vicar of Prestbury. It was valued at £1500 p.a. but finding this beyond his means, he sold it to Lord Ellenborough in 1839. This final transaction adds confusion to confusion, and gives reason for people to assume that Lord Ellenborough bought the estate in 1839. How could this be at all possible, if John did not inherit it until 1885. Presumably the date on the deed was misprinted, but even then, he could not have sold it to Lord Ellenborough, as he died in 1871.

Up to the time of Lord Ellenborough, the estate had been split, by selling or exchange, and the estate Lord Ellenborough bought, although we have no map, was probably only a small part of the original.

Chapter V

Southam from 1831 to 1921

Sources of Information:

Mrs Ratcliffe’s notes

Cotswold and Vale, Branch

Gloucestershire, ed. A. Mee

History of Gloucestershire, Miles, vol. 1

Dictionary of National Biography

Sale Catalogue – Lord Ellenborough’s Estate

Lord Ellenborough’s private papers

Records at the Shire Hall

Mrs. Cumming of Prestbury

Mr. Lewis, Solicitor

Lord Ellenborough bought the estate from Thomas Edwards in 1831, and added to it as frequently as he possibly could, by buying land every time any was offered for sale. The Estate, when Lord Ellenborough bought it, received tithes from 300 acres within the hamlet, and two thirds of Southam Manor, extending over 2,000 acres. Two thirds of Postlip Quarry was also included in the estate, as were also Knight’s Hay, Studfield Wood, Bridge Hay Wood and Queenswood. The whole was sold to Lord Ellenborough for £33, 700.

Edward Law, Earl of Ellenborough, 1790-1871, was the eldest son of Edward, Baron Ellenborough. He was educated at Eton and St. John’s College, Cambridge, obtaining his M.A. in 1809. At his father’s wish, he entered Parliament in 1813 and in that year married Lady Octavia Stewart. In 1818 he succeeded his father to the peerage. In the Wellington Administration of 1823, he was Lord Privy Seal, and in 1841 he was President of the Board of Control. On 24th October 1841 he was unanimously appointed by the Court of Directors, to succeed Lord Auckland as Governor General of India. In June 1844, he was recalled. For his services he was created Earl of Ellenborough and Viscount Southam.

Lord Ellenborough died at Southam in 1871. He had one child by his second wife of 1824, and various illegitimate children by “ladies” of Cheltenham. The legitimate child died, and on Lord Ellenborough’s death, the earldom became extinct. He was succeeded in the barony, by his nephew, Charles Edmund.

In his will Lord Ellenborough entailed Southam and his other estates on Edward Richmond, who died in 1891, when the estate passed to Mrs. Noblett, wife of Captain Noblett. In 1921 the estate was put up for sale in numerous lots. The map shows how the estate was divided up for sale, and below are the prices paid for the various lots (Map 2)

No of Lot and Price Paid

1, 2, 3: £8,350

4,5,6, 18, 20, 22, 37: £10,400

7, 8, 9: £2,000

31: £450

10, 11, 12, 14: £2,310

13: £850

15, 19: £3,600

16: £200

17 and part of 15: £500

21: £75

25: £250

38, 39: £1,300

40, 57: £5,100

50-53 and 59: £400

41 and 54: £2,150

42 and 45: £6,250

23 and 24: £1,845

36: £2,500

34: £400

55: £140

43: £150

46: £237.10

47: £120

48: £325

26 and 27: £20

3: bought back

4: unsold

The total value of the House and furnishings reached £12,500. Farms and settlements were sold separately. The House was rented to Mrs. Ratcliffe, complete with all the original Delabere furniture, and pictures. They lived there for many years, leaving it sometime before the Second World War. Miss Ratcliffe moved to Pigeon House where she now lives. The furniture and house were again sold, and the House was turned into the school it is today.

Lord Ellenborough added Delabere to the name of Southam, so as to distinguish it from the Warwickshire village of the same name. This he did in 1865.

Chapter VI

The Descent of Manorial Rights

Sources of Information:

B.G.A.S. Transactions Volume 28

Deeds at Shire Hall

Lord Ellenborough’s Private Papers

History of Cheltenham and Environs, Ruff

Cotswold and Naturalist Field Club Volumes 28, 29

Miles’ History of Gloucestershire

It is known that the two estates were joined at the death of Richard in 1636. The Manor House was presumably what is now Pigeon House, although an older house stood on the opposite side of the present Southam Delabere, called Fletcher’s Croft. Kenard was living in the present Southam Delabere House, built by Sir John in the years between 1489 and 1547. More detail about the buildings in Southam will be given in a later chapter, but our present aim is to try to trace the Manorial Rights of Southam.

On Milo’s death in 1146, the Rights passed to the De Brewes and then to the de Bohuns. Henry V, 1413-1422, inherited the manor, later giving it to his Queen in Dower. Henry VI, 1422-1461, leased the Manor to William Stokes, and Richard III gave it to the Duke of Buckingham, between 1483 and 1485.

In 1574 the Court Roll named Queen Elizabeth as Lady of the Manor, which she leased in 1577 to Thomas Duke. In 1604, under James I, it passed to Peter Vanlore, and William Blake, till in 1605, James leased it to Lord Cranborne, and finally sold it to him in 1607.

Lord Cranborne sold it to Richard Delabere in 1608, Richard thus becoming Lord of the Manor. The Court Roll of 1608 tells us that Richard Delabere and his Lady held their first Court as Lord and Lady in October of this year.

Upon Richard’s death, the estate passed to Kenard, but there is reason to believe that this did not include the Manorial Rights; neither did all the land go to Kenard, because Richard made provision for some of it to stay in the possession of his lady, Margaret Newman. It was held under his name however, because a deed of 1648 states that, “Richard Delabere holds by order of the Court Roll, according to the Custom of the Manor, twenty first of May, of Richard Baker, Lord of the Manor, in all 33 acres, 20 poles.” All available evidence leads one to suppose that Richard Baker was Lord until 1696.

During the eighteenth century, the Manor passed to the Rogers family. Rudder in 1779 says, “Cockbury is a farm holding in Southam.” Eventually it returned to the Delaberes, for Ruff, published 1803 says, “Southam is a large tithing in Cleeve Parish. Thomas Delabere is Lord of the Manor.” It was presumably passed on to successive buyers of Southam, until it became extinct.

It is reasonable to assume that Southam Delabere was the Manor House only after the Rogers family had held the Manorial Rights, in c. 1750.

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This entry was posted on January 9, 2017 by in More Local History and tagged , , , , .
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