The History of Shavington: In the County of Salop, England

This volume owes its existence to the time-honoured disputes of which it contains an account. When Mr. Heywood-Lonsdale agreed to purchase the Shavington Estates in 1884, various rumours of these ancient differences came to his ears which he naturally desired to have explained.

In the first place, he learnt that Mr. Corbet, of Adderley, claimed a heriot on the alienation of Shavington, though it seemed doubtful what the nature of the heriot might be. The only ascertainable fact was that the present Earl had compounded for the heriot for s on the death of his grandfather the late Earl, but vague rumours were afloat of much greater demands having been enforced on former occasions. There was a story of a former Viscount having had his best hunter taken by an ancestor of Mr. Corbet; on which occasion his Lordship, with the humour characteristic of his family, employed the crier of Market Drayton to proclaim his loss and announce a reward for the discovery of the perpetrator of the theft. The rights of the matter were, however, unknown.

There is, moreover, a family chapel, or aisle, in Adderley Church, which has been occupied by the family of Lord Kilmorey for many generations, and which Mr. Heywoood-Lonsdale naturally wished to have made over to him. About this chapel, too, there were stories afloat of forcible ejection on the part of the Corbet family, even to the extent of armed intervention during Divine Service. No one could, however, say what were the rights of the dispute, or what might be Lord Kilmorey's title to the pew.

The immediate result of the researches made by me at that time was to prove conclusively that no heriot at all was claimable in respect of Shavington proper, though a heriot on death, bat not on alienation, is claimable in respect of certain fields, copyhold of the manor of Stoke-upon-Tern, as will be mentioned hereafter. Further, it appeared that the able had been erected by a former Viscount Kilmorey, and that, though his right to erect it in the first instance had been disputed, and his occupation of the pew at one time forcibly contested, yet that, by license of the bishop and by the usage of centuries, it had been assigned to the use of the owner of Shavington.


Table of Contents

Introduction i
Chapter I. Topography of Shavington 1
Chapter II. Early History of the Manor of Shavington [10661290] 5
Chapter III. The Early History of Shavington [12901430] 11
Chapter IV. The Needhams at Shavington [14301556] 18
Chapter V. The Suit about the Tenure of Shavington [15561611] 24
Chapter VI. Adderley Church [16111625] 32
Chapter VII. Shavington Chapel [16251631] 37
Chapter VIII. The Right of Way [1631,1632] 40
Chapter IX. Shavington Chapel Appeal [1633] 44
Chapter X. The Irish Footboy [1633,1634] 50
Chapter XI. The Kilmorey Chapel [1635-1640] 57
Chapter XII. The Tenure of Shavington [1635-1640] 65
Chapter XIII. The Seizure of Kilmorey Chapel [1641,1642] 69
Chapter XIV. The Sequestration [16421649] 74
Chapter XV. The Imprisonment [16491653] 81
Chapter XVI. The Commonwealth and the Restoration [16541668] 90
Chapter XVII. The public Life of Thomas, 6th Viscount Kilmorey [16681687] 97
Chapter XVIII. Shavington Hall [1685] 105
Chapter XIX. Ightfidd [16871768] 108
Chapter XX. The Restoration of Adderley Church [17681818] 115
Chapter XXI. Francis, 1st Earl of Kilmorey [18181832] 119
Chapter XXII. The Close of the Needham Regime at Shavington [18321885] 122
Appendix I. List of Names occurring in old Shavington MSS. [12451435] 127
Appendix II. The Petition of the Inhabitants of Chester to Henry VI. 130
Appendix III. Some old Rentals of Shavington 133


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The manor of Shavington, which gives its name to an estate now greatly extended beyond the limits of the manor, forms as it were the nucleus of the whole estate; successive lords of Shavington having enlarged their borders in all directions, and gradually raised a small and insignificant manor to the proportions of a large estate. The accretions which have effected this alteration are shown on the plan of the estate, wherein the different colours indicate different purchases.