Saturday, July 23, 2011


[Ancestral Link: Marguerite Anderson (Miller), daughter of Hannah Anderson (Anderson), daughter of Mary Margaret Edmiston (Anderson), daughter of Martha Jane Snow (Edmiston), daughter of Sarah Sawyer Hastings (Snow), daughter of Jonathan Hastings, son of Mary Hartwell (Hastings), daughter of Jonathan Hartwell, son of John Hartwell, son of William Hartwell, son of Francis Hartwell, son of Jasper Hartwell.]

How Jasper Hartwell lost Preston Manor
1500s , Northamptonshire
PrestonThe manor of Preston, lies in a small valley in a rural area among the gently rolling meadowlands ofNorthamptonshire about 3 1/2 miles south and east of the city ofNorthampton. The nearest villages are Piddington and Hackleton which lie about two miles to the south and west of Preston. The manor today consists of a small group of buildings in a grove of trees clustered about the small church with its 12th Century tower. Directly to the north of the church is the present manor house which was probably originally built in the 17th Century. A small stream flows through the manor lands from west to east dividing it into a north and south portion. Viewed +ram the present highway at the top of the shallow valley, the manor of Preston probably looks no different today than it did in the middle of the 16th Century, with its buildings centered about the square tower of the church rising above a clump of trees. with the meandering brook edged with rushes dividing the trees from the meadowlands where today as then the cattle wander aimlessly munching the green grass of Northamptonshire.The manor of Preston in the 16th Century was the chief, but not the only landed property of the Hartwell family who had held it for severalgenerations. The manor had become the property by inheritance, about 1545, of one Jasper Hartwell upon the death of his parents. That same year a marriage was arranged between Jasper Hartwell as heir to the Hartwell estates with Martha Tregian, daughter of John Tregian, Esq. of Wolveden, County Cornwall, at which time both were minors and wards of the Crown. Jasper had been born about 1525 and Martha sometime before 1537. It is possible that the marriage, though arranged in 1545, did not actually take place until about 1560, at which time an Act of Parliament guaranteed Martha's dower rights to the Hartwell properties.Jasper and Martha (Tregian) Hartwell had three sons - Arthur, who diedyoung, and Robert born about 1569 and Francis. The Hartwells probably spent most oftheir time in London as they had rented a house there as early as 1563.Robert was ten years old when his father died at St. Dunstan's-in-the-Westoutside London on November 8, 1579.At this time the whole of the Hartwell estates was heavily mortgaged aswas obvious by the conditions of Jasper's will. He had probably been anabsentee landlord whose only interest in his country estates had beenconcerned with the amounts of money his estate steward could squeeze out ofthem and send to him,allowing him to play the art of a gentleman at Court.In the period just before his death, Jasper had even sold the lead from theroof of the church at Preston as well as its bell for old metal.In his will, Jasper Hartwell left control of his estate to his widow whowas to have complete responsibility for paying the mortgage fees andmaintaining his heir Robert in the manner of a gentleman. She was directedto see that Robert was educated for the profession of the law. For her ownuse she was to have the profit of one small manor of Little Hampton forlife and control of the profits from the other parts of the estate duringthe minority of Robert. If Robert were to die before reaching the age of21, she would inherit the whole manor of Preston.The steward or bailiff of the Hartwell estates at this time seems to havebeen Robert Harlow who, by virtue of his office, probably had a house andsome land for his own use an the manor of Preston. He also had control ofthe family lands in Piddington, Hackleton, Great Houghton, Little Hampton,Northampton, and Hardington., At the time of Jasper's death, Robert wasprobably a middle-aged widower with one son Robert. Within a few months ofthe death of Jasper Hartwell, his widow married Robert Harlow who to allintents then assumed control of the finances of the entire Hartwell estate.That Robert Harlow controlled the Hartwell estates during this period inon junction with his wife is evidenced by the records of a lawsuit broughtagainst them in Chancery Court by one Francis Samwell of the neighboringmanor of Piddington concerning leases of the tithe barns and tithes inPiddington which had been granted to them by the Master of St. John'sHospital. This lawsuit was initiated in 1579/1580 and dragged on, as manycases in Chancery Court were likely to do, until 1587 at which time it waseither settled or dropped.During the period from 1580 1588, Robert Harlow evidently made theHartwell estates pay as mortgage fees were paid to those holding mortgagesagainst various parts of the estate and the annuity owed by Jasper Hartwellto the Lanes of Horton for the north half of the manor of Preston wascontinued. It is also likely that at this time this same north half of themanor was deeded to Robert Harlow by his wife for his own use as his sonRobert was still receiving rents from it some forty years later.
found on

No comments:

Post a Comment