The Tyrells of Thornton

The Lineage of the Tyrells of Thornton from 1517 - 1755
The Thornton Vault
The Pedigrees of the Tyrells of Thornton
The Tyrells of South Ockendon and Thornton (Heraldic Arms)
The Tyrell Arms of England from the 1200's
The Blount Arms

Amalgam of the two significant coats of Tyrell - designed by O.F. Brown

Amalgam of the two significant coats of Tyrell - designed by O.F. Brown

Robert Ingleton was succeeded by his son, George, who married Sibyl Billing, and dying in 1494 left a son, Robert, who married Anne, the daughter of Sir Richard Empson, Henry VII’s tax-gatherer and ‘one of the most hated men in the realm’. They had one daughter, Jane, born in 1502, and Robert died in 1503 when Jane, as a minor, was committed as a ward to Sir Richard Empson, her grandfather. When Empson was attainted and executed by Henry VIII in 1510, Jane was given in charge of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, who in 1514 assigned the wardship to John Bradbury of London and James Bodley of Walden in Essex. He was presumably a son of the Thomas Bodley whose daughter, Elisabeth, had married William Tyrell of Ockendon, as Jane was given in marriage by James Bodley to Humphrey TyreIl, the son of William and Elisabeth, c. 1517 (V.C.H. Buckinghamshire gives ‘by 1517’. James Bodley was grandfather of Thomas Bodley, 1545-1613, the founder of the Bodleian Library at Oxford.) It is noted in 1518: ‘Humphrey son and heir apparent of William Tirell of South Wokyngdon, Essex, granted livery of the lands of his wife Joan who is daughter and heiress of Robert son of George and Sibilla Yngleton’.

1517-1549. Humphrey Tyrell of Ockendon and Thornton

After schooling at Eton he was admitted at King’s College, Cambridge, in 1497. He died in January 1548/9 and was buried at South Ockendon. Jane, his widow, subsequently married Alexander St. John, as recorded on her tomb, which also states she had one son, George, who was aged 27 at the time 0f her decease. Jane died in 1557, aged 54 years and was buried at Thornton (Browne Willis in his history of Buckingham Hundred records the inscription around Jane’s slab and gives her age as 55, but the sketch included in his notes recording the monuments at Thornton reads ‘fuit qincquagint. quatr. anmos’, that is to say, 54 years.’ It is noticeable that there an also differences between these notes and the printed book for other monumental inscriptions at Thornton.)

1549 - 1571. George Tyrell. Born, c. 1530, died 10 May, 1571, and was buried at Thornton.

On the first page of the Thornton Register that began in 1562 it is written that George was buried on 17 May 1570, but on a loose sheet his internment is given as 16 May 1571. The latter must be the correct date as his I.P.M. records that he died on 10 May, 13 Elizabeth, i.e., 1571.

He married firstly Helen or Elinor, the daughter of Sir Edward Montagu, Chief Justice (who died in 1557 and is shown in his official robes and cap of office on his tomb in the church of Weekley, Northamptonshire). George’s children, by this wife, are said to have been: Sir Edward of Thornton, his eldest son and heir; William of Ockendon; Thomas of Rushton, 'filius spurius’ (see Tyrells of Rushton), Margery, the wife of Thomas Yorke (but see below).

George married, secondly, Margery Cooke of Cheshire (V), who subsequently re-married to Richard Leigh of High Leigh, Cheshire, and Oakley, Buckinshamshire. They are said to have had one daughter, Jane, who married (I) Matthew Claver; (2) John Philips; but because of the name it would seem more than probable that Margery was also born of this marriage.

George made his will in l563, declaring Edward to be his son and heir, and died in 1571, when his I.P.M. records that Edward was aged 19 years, 11 months and 20 days on 18 May, 13 Elizabeth (1571). His Thornton estate is given as: 6 messuages, 4 cottages, 2 water mills, 3 dovecotes, 7 gardens, 7 orchards, 40 acres land, 100 acres meadow, 1,200 acres pasture, 40 acres woods, and a fishery in the water of Thornton’, and the advowson. In addition, he held the Manor of Oakley, 9 messuages, 4 cottages, 300 acres land, 10 acres meadow, 100 acres pasture, and 160 acres of wood in Oakley and Drill, and also the Manor of Lymes End, alias Little Leckhampstead; 7 messuages, a dove house, 40 acres land 100 acres meadow, and 100 acres pasture, with a fishery in Little Leckhampstead, alias Lymes End aforesaid; 5 messuages, 2 cottages, 3 gardens and orchards, 200 acres land, 80 acres meadow, 100 acres pasture, and a Fishery in Great Leckhampstead; 1 messuage, 40 acres land, 8 acres meadow, and 6 acres pasture. in Nuthorp at Leckhampstead; and 200 acres of wood in Westbury.

Browne Willis stated that George Tyrell 'impaired the Estates of the family very much, and squandered away several Manors, but the evidence for this statement is none too strong. It is possible, now, to make some comparison between the estate of George at his death, and that which Humphrey, his father, obtained by marriage half a century previously. Unknown to Browne Willis, the Muster of 1522 lists the value of lands in the county held by Humphrey in that year:


in Thornton
(and £20 in goods)
in Leckhamstead

in Worminghall

in Oakley

in Stoke Hammond


Both ‘Thornton and Oakley came to the Tyrells by marriage with the logicians and seemingly remained in the family unchanged in their extents throughout this period of half a century. It might, therefore, be expected that the ratio of the 1522 tax assessments of these two manors would approximate to a ratio derived from their 1571 land quantities reduced to a common unit—the annual value per acre of respective types of land. Such, unfortunately, is not the case, which prevents any meaningful deductions being drawn concerning the amounts of land held in the other places in 1522.

For comparison, the estates of Humphrey Tyrell in 1522, shortly after he came into these, and those of his son, George, at his death in 1571 are set out below:



Thornton 30
40 land, 100 meadow, 1,200 pasture, 40 wood (6 messuages, 4 cottages, two mills, three dovecots, 7 gardens and seven orchards.
Oakley 16
300 land, 10 meadow, 100 pasture, 160 wood (9 messuages, 4 cottages)
Stoke Hammond 9
Worminghall 14
Westbury -
200 wood
Lechamstead 6 0 0 40 land, 100 meadow, 100 pasture (7 messuages, 1 dovecot), Lymes End. 200 land, 80 meadow, 100 pasture (5 messuages), 2 cottages, 3 gardens and orchards), Great Lechampstead. 40 land, 8 meadow, 6 pastures, Nuthorp in Lechampstead.

George TyrelI’s Estates

George Tyrell inherited from his mother at her death in i557: the Manor of Thornton; land at Stoke Hammond; land, probably 'Nast End', at Leckhampstead, the adjacent parish to Thornton. These all came to the Ingletons, via Barton, from the Chastillon family, and although there is no mention of land at Westbury (north-west of Buckingham) in the 1522 list, 200 acres of wood shown there in 1571 must surely have also descended in the same way from the Chastillons, who are shown to have had associations with that place in earlier times.

Oakley and Worminghall lands were held by the family of Fitz Ellis, whose heiress, Margery, married Thomas Billing. Their daughter. Sibyl, married George Ihgleton, and was the mother of Jane, and thus these estates came, similarly, to Humphrey Tyrell by marriage. Oakley was kept in the family and later became the seat of one of its branches, but the Worminghall lands—presumably of like extent to those at Oakley by comparison i~th the 1522 acreages—were the subject of a series of fines from 1549 to 1555, culminating in their conveyance to Thomas Tipping of Shabbington. The Stoke Hammond land was sold in 1557 to Edward Kirke of Bow

Brickhill, and it might appear that George Tyrell disposed of these lands of inheritance immediately after the death of his mother. However, it must be noted that in 1557 he bought. from Thomas Pygott of Loughton, ‘Lymes End in Leck-hampstead, and the explanation might very well be that it was desirable to increase his land holding in the adjacent parish, and the capital to acquire this came from the sale of other, more scattered, lands.

Although it is not possible to draw up any accurate credit and debit balance sheet of his land transactions, it is apparent that prior to his death in 1571 he had built up a substantial holding in Leckhampstead - an acreage approximating to half that of his manor of Thornton; and it was upon this 'manor’ that his son, Edward, built, in 1603, the house known as 'The Toy’ at an estimated cost of £3,000.

The depopulation and virtual disappearance of the village of Thornton is, however, laid firmly at the door of George Tvrell by an inquisition which ccurs as an extraneous item contained within a Bodleian Library manuscript. This enquiry, conducted on 29 May 1564, declares that in 1558 (between July and November) George enclosed and converted to pasture 1,000 acres of land at Thornton. He was said to be ‘lately seised in his demesne … of 19 messuages, 11 cottages and 1,000 acres of land, ploughed and sown with the messuages since time out of mind …'. (This statement appears to bear out the supposition that he did not inherit the Thornton estate at his father’s death in 1549, but after the decease of his mother in 1557, a perfectly understandable circumstance, as Jane herself owned the land in her own sight by inheritance.) The inquisition goes on to record that this conversion of arable to pasture was to the detriment of 200 persons holding and working the land; and George's I.P.M. of 1571 records that by that date there were only 6 messuages and 4 cottages remaining out of a previous 30 messuages and cottages.

1571 -1605. Sir Edward Tyrrell

Born May 1551 (from evidence of father’s I.P.M.), and died 29 January 1605, being buried at Thornton on 2 February. In 37 Elizabeth (c. 1595) he was Sheriff of Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire as Edward Tyrell, Esq., but in 1603 he was knighted and in that year was elected MP, for Buckingham. ‘He died during his office'.

He married at Thornton on 20 January 1571, Mary Lee, said to be the daughter of Benedict Lee, but the register records Robert Lee as witness. Possibly her father was deceased and this was her brother. Either this date is incorrect, or it was a ‘shotgun wedding as their first child, Henry, was baptised only six weeks later on 1 March 1571, and buried on 2 April the same year. They had five other children: Edward, eldest surviving son and heir, born 26 February 1573, Francis, born 28 June 1574; Cassandra, born 27 April 1576 - married (1) Henry Winston, (2) … Vaughan. and (3) . . . Herbert (V); Maria, born 14 December 1578 - married William Tyrell (V); Charles, born 18 April 1579 as a result of whose birth Mary died.

Mary died the same day as Charles was born, 18 April and was buried at Thornton 19 April. Edward evidently re-married within a year or two, as further children are baptised at Thornton from 1585 to 1595, but this wedding was not at Thornton. and curiously at least one child - Timothy 'of Oakley' - was not baptised there. Those entered in the Thornton register are: Frances, born 3 December 1585 - married Sir Edward Broughton (V); Theodosia, born 12 March 1586 - married Edmund West of Marsworth (q.v.); Philippa, born 2 January 1589 married John Nourse of Chilling Place, Oxfordshire, the son of John Nourse of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire (V), Thomas, born 23 January 1594, ‘of Castlethorpe’ (see Tyrells of Castlethorpe); Bridget, born 19 August 1595.

The visitation pedigree gives Sir Timothy of Oakley of this marriage and calls him second son of Sir Edward, and also gives a John as third son, with Francis as fourth son, omitting altogether Thomas of Castlethorpe. It is thus of no value in determining the order of birth. There seems no reason to doubt that Sir Timothy of Oakley was a son of Sir Edward of Thornton, in which case he must have been christened elsewhere and was born, possibly, between 1586 and 1594, when only one child was christened at Thornton in a period of eight years, though it is conceivable that he was born before 1585. There appears also to have been another daughter, Penelope (V), who married Captain Richard Gardner of Leatherhead, mentioned as ‘mistress Gardner, sister of my deceased husband’ in the will of Sir Timothy’s widow, 1647.

Edward’s second wife is given as Margaret, the daughter of Thomas Aston, in the 1634 visitation of Buckinghamshire, and Browne Willis credits three sons and six daughters to the marriage, although he does not name them. The authenticity of Margaret as the surviving wife appears to be guaranteed by Edward’s own testamentary bequest in January 1605/6, his widow Margaret receiving an estate in Nast End, Great Leckhampstead, and Oakley Manor; but Lipscomb’s assertion that she died in 1632 and was buried at Thornton cannot be verified from the church register, in which she would certainly have been entered if buried there.

However, there is an entry in the Thornton register at about this time which requires explanation, viz.: ‘The Lady Elizabeth Tyrrell widdowe, late the wife of Sir Edward Tyrrell Kt. deceased’, was buried 26 June 1631. Described in these terms, she cannot really be anyone but the widow of the first Sir Edward; it relates that she is a widow and he deceased, whereas the second Sir Edward was still living. Furthermore, Edward, the son, was a baronet four years before that date, which again indicates that this Elizabeth was the wife of the father, Sir Edward, Kt., as stated.

Now, Sir Edward’s reference to his widow, Margaret, in 1605 rules out her earlier demise and his subsequent third marriage to a lady called Elizabeth, but the phrasing of the entry in the register cannot be compatible with a wife of Edward II. Such conflicting evidence can be reconciled only by postulating that the first Sir Edward’s second wife possessed both names, Margaret and Elizabeth, the former that by which she was usually known, but the latter used in the burial entry. Why this should occur is entirely speculative: was Elizabeth perhaps her first Christian name, or was the clerk who made the entry confused by the two Elizabeths, wives of the second Edward? Not very convincing reasons one might think, but what other explanation can be brought forward to fit all the facts?

The achievement of arms remaining in window glass at Thornton Hall (now the Convent of Jesus and Mary) belongs to this period, and includes in its quarterings the families with which the Tyrrells of Essex had intermarried, in addition to the Ingletons of Thornton (see Plate III, 2, and section on Heraldry). The glass is said to be of Italian workmanship and certainly the style of helm owes more to Renaissance Europe than English tradition. It dates from the end of the 16th century, and it is very curious that Browne Willis makes no mention of the window in his description of Thornton Hall, referring only to… ‘in a Bow Window of the Great Parlor, are these Arms in painted Glass’. The coat he describes is discussed later; it appears to be incorrectly recorded, as were the arms on the tomb of Robert Ingleton, but this does not explain why the Tyrrell quarterings in window glass are not recorded at all.

1605 - 1656. Sir Edward Tyrrell, Kt., and First Baronet of Thornton born 26 February 1573, died 2 July 1656, buried at Thornton, 3 July. Knighted 1607, Sheriff for Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire 1613. Sir Edward created a baronetcy in 1627, and in 1638 took out a second patent giving reversion to his second son, Toby. This was done, apparently, to debar his eldest son, Robert; nowhere does it appear why he should wish to do this, but perhaps Robert was ‘of unsound mind’.

Sir Edward had two wives, both of whom were, confusingly, called Elisabeth. The Buckinghamshire visitation pedigree of Tyrrell states that his first wife, and mother of all his children, was Elisabeth, daughter of Sir Edward Watson of Rockingham, and that he subsequently married Elisabeth Kingsmill, by whom he had no issue. On the other hand, Lipscomb declares that Sir Edward’s children were all born to his first wife Elisabeth Kingsmill, who died in 1621, and he states that Elisabeth Watson was buried on 26 June 1637. Rather curiously, he does not give the place of burial, but the visitation of Northamptonshire 1681 relates that ‘Elisabeth the daughter of Sir Edward Watson, of Rockingham Castle, the widow of Sir John Needham of Lichborough married secondly Sir Edward Tyrrell of Thornton Bart., and was buried on 26 June 1637 at Thornton’. The Thornton church registers supply names for all the children born and baptised there to Sir Edward, but only with the last three, Toby, Francis and Mary, is his wife’s name also given, though as it states only ‘Elizabeth’ it does not help to clarify matters. (N.B. - Neither parent is mentioned in the 1610 baptism of Edward, but his naming as ‘Edwardus Tyrrell, generosus’ surely signifies his status as son of the lord of the manor.) These children are as follows: Maria, born 21 June 16O7 - not mentioned in visitation, Robert, born 14 May 1609, eldest son, ‘disinherited’ by his father, but died in his lifetime. Buried at Thornton 20 May 1644. Said to have two daughters, Dorothy and Elizabeth (V); Edward, born

23 April 1610 not mentioned in visitation, ? died 1620: ‘Edward Tyrell was buried the twentieth day of March; Elizabeth, born 7 October 1611 - married 27 October 1645 at Thornton, William Saunders of Brixworth (their son, Edward, born 21 September 1646, baptised at Thornton. Mentioned in will of cousin, Timothy, son of Toby, in 1675) - not mentioned in visitation; Hester, born 12 May 1613 - married (1) Sir Peter le Maire on 1 September 1631 at Leckhampstead, Buckinghamshire (register). He died January 1632 and she married (2) Sir Thomas Salisbury, Kt. and baronet, 22 December 1632 at Thornton. Two of their children were baptised at Thornton: Francis in October 1636, and Hester in October 1638; Dorothy and Jane, twins, born 21 July 1614. Dorothy died in 1639, buried 3 July at Thornton - not mentioned in visitation; Brandon, born 5 October 1615 - not mentioned in visitation, ? died young; Toby, born 1617, baptised 9 October - the heir to Sir Edward; Francis, born 1619, baptised 10 August, died 23 October 1669 (see below; Francis of Morcott); Mary, born 1621, baptised 10 September - not mentioned in visitation - the cause of her mother’s death; ‘The Lady Elizabeth wife of Sr. Edward Tyrrell, Knight, was buried ye first of September et ex partu mortue est ‘.

Fortunately, the problem of the two Elizabeths can be solved. At Litchborough, near Towcester, Northamptonshire, is an altar tomb with alabaster effigy of a knight in armour to Sir John Needham, and above this a wall monument records his death as 15 November 1618. The inscription reads: ‘Sr. John Needham late of Litchborough in the countie of Northampton Knight Marryed Elizabeth Watson one of the Daughters of Sr. Edward Watson of Rockingham Castle in the said countie Knight deceased. Shee erected this Monument for him the said Sr. John Needham Anno Domini 1633 after shee was married to Sr. Edward Tyrrell of Thornton in the Countie of Buck Knight and Baronett’.

From this evidence there can be no doubt that Edward’s first wife was Elizabeth Kingsmill and she was the mother of all his children recorded above. There is just one query, raised by the Visitation of Worcestershire 1634 which gives ‘Thomas Good of Redmarley, 1634, J.P. co. Worcs. married Lucy, daughter of Sir Edward Tyrrell Bart. of Thornton’, and shows a daughter, Mary. If there was a daughter Lucy she might have been born to Edward and the second Elizabeth, but in this case the baptism should appear in the Thornton registers. Otherwise, she would require to be a daughter of Elizabeth Kingsmill, born perhaps c. 1604/5, when she and Sir Edward were probably living elsewhere before moving to Thornton after his father’s death in 1605. Sir Edward’s will of 1656 refers to ‘Lady Needham my late wife’, so she appears to have died prior to that date. Lipscomb’s pedigree gives her death as 26 June 1637, whilst Browne-Willis - who turns out to have the correct orders of wives and children - gives 26 June 1631, buried at Thornton, so conceivably the ‘1637’ could have arisen from a copying error of the 1631 record. This particular burial was discussed under the first Edward and placed as his widow (v.s.), and further proof of the correctness of that deduction is evinced by the Litchborough monument which demonstrates that Elizabeth Needham was still alive in 1633.

Francis of Morcott

Married Frances, daughter of Sir Richard Goddard (T). In his father’s will, 1656, he received lands in Lichborough and Blakesley, Northamptonshire, and the ‘household stuff which belonged to the late Lady Needham’. He was mentioned in the will of his brother Toby, 1671, as ‘lately deceased’. In his own will of 1670 he is called ‘Francis Tyrrell of Morcot, Rutland, Gent.’ and he refers to his ‘nephew Timothy Tyrrell, youngest son of Sir Toby Tyrrell’, his ‘kinsman Sir Peter Tyrrell Bart.’ (i.e., his cousin, the son of Sir Thomas of Castlethorpe); and brother Sir Toby Tyrrell, Bart., to be trustees of his lands in Northamptonshire until his son Charles was of age. He also mentions two daughters, Katherine and Elisabeth.

On the north wall of the chancel of St. Mary the Virgin, Morcott, is a monument erected in 1687 by these three surviving children in memory of their father, Francis, who died on 23 October 1669 in his fifty-first year, and their mother, Frances) who survived him by nearly eighteen years, dying on 22 July 1687 in her fifty-sixth year. The inscription records that there were five children of the marriage, two other daughters, Maria and Hester, being already dead (and evidently predeceasing their father, who did not include them in his will). Frances is declared to have been the daughter of Richard Goddard of Crookham in the county of Berkshire, Gent., not a knight as suggested by the Rev. Wm. Tirrell (v.s.), and above the monument is a cartouche bearing the arms of Tyrrell (two chevrons a border engrailed) impailing a chevron engrailed between three crescents, evidently representing Goddard. However, although there are one or two coats listed in Papworth (Dictionary of Coats of Arms) with a chevron engrailed, none of these is attributable to Goddard whose arms are gules a chevron vair between three crescents argent or ermine, and associated with Wiltshire or Hampshire. The engrailed chevron at Morcott thus suggests either that Richard Goddard was using a differenced coat, not recorded, or an error by the monumental mason, the latter being rather more probable than the first.

When Francis died in 1669 his only son and heir would have been just 11 years old as he is shown to have been aged 17 in 1675 when he matriculated at Oxford. He was therefore born about 1658 when his mother was aged 26, but his father 39 years old, so it looks rather as if Francis did not marry until he was in his thirties.

1656 -1671. Sir Toby Tyrrell, Second Baronet

Baptised on 9 October 1617 at Thornton, he died on 1 October 1671, and was buried at Thornton on 7 October. He asked in his will ‘to be buried in the chancel at Thornton (within two days of death) as neare by my deare father as may be, without a lamp or state but privately’. His request to be buried within two days of death was not fulfilled, it seems, probably because he died away from home (‘at Waresley’) on the Huntingdonshire/Bedfordshire/Cambridgeshire borders, at the home of his daughter, Frances Hewett.

Sir Toby married, firstly, Edith, the daughter of Sir Thomas Windebank on 1 December 1638 at St. Giles in the Fields. Edward ‘the sonne of Toby Tyrell Esq.’ was buried at Thornton 15 June 1643, and was presumably a child of Edith, who must herself have died prior to this date, as later in the same year began the series of baptisms of the children of Toby’s second wife, Lucy. She was the daughter of Sir Thomas Barrington and widow of William Cheyne of Chesham Bois, Buckinghamshire, who survived Toby by 20 years. She died in 1691, aged 70, and was buried at Chesham Bois, where the ledger stone in her memory has in more recent years been moved to form a step to the sanctuary and vandalised by fixing posts through it.

Browne Willis states, under Thornton Hall, ‘in a Bow Window of the Great Parlor, are these Arms in painted Glass, viz.: Argent, on a chevron between three pellets, as many Roses of the Field’. This window glass no longer exists, but the arms described are not applicable to anyone in the Tyrrell family of Thornton, and are those of Baldington or BABBINGTON. The most likely explanation is that they were not there at all, and what was in fact displayed was the coat of BARRINGTON. It has been pointed out above that Browne Willis could not have recorded the Ingleton tomb personally, but relied upon second.hand information. Thus, his correspondent probably reported to him that this window carried the arms of BARRINGTON, without giving the blazon, and Browne Willis misread this for BABBINGTON and described the arms of that family.

The children of Sir Toby and Lucy Barrington were: Thomas, the heir of Sir Toby is not mentioned in the baptisms at Thornton, but must have been born before 1653 in which year was born the next surviving son. Looking at the dates of the other children suggests that Thomas was born possibly between 1643 and 1646, or prior to 1643, in which case he could be either Lucy’s first child, or possibly born to Edith before her death. Lucy, baptised 12 October 1643; stated in Sir Toby’s will to be his eldest daughter. Barrington, born 6 March 1647; died 1649 and buried at Thornton 12 November. Dorothea, baptised 27 December 1649; died 1651 and buried at Thornton 20 June. William, baptised 29 May 1651; died 1652 and buried at Thornton 20 November. Timothy, born 16 August 1653. Will 1675 of ‘Timothy Tyrell of Thornton Gent.’ requested to be buried at Thornton ‘neare to my deare father’ Made bequests to ‘sisters Lucy and Hester’ and to ‘cosin Saunders of Brixworth, Northants. £20 owed for Diett whilst I lived with him’. He died 4 June 1674 and was buried at Thornton on 6 June. Hester, baptised 5 May 1656. Mentioned in wills of father, Sir Toby, and brother Timothy. Frances, not mentioned in the Thornton register, but the evidence for her as another daughter is quite acceptable, although some of the statements are incorrect. Browne Willis and Lipscomb both record Frances as the daughter of Sir Toby by his first wife, Edith Windebank, but Sir Toby specifically refers in his will to Lucy as his eldest daughter and her baptismal entry in 1643 declares her to be the daughter of Lucy, Sir Toby’s second wife. Frances must, therefore, have been born subsequent to this and be another daughter of Lucy; her birth presumably falling between 1643 and 1647.

In the will of her grandfather, Sir Edward, in 1656, she is Frances Tyrell, but some time between then and 1671, in which year Sir Toby died, and referred in his will to ‘my daughter the lady Hyett’, she was married to Sir John Hewett of Waresley in the county of Huntingdon, Bart., according to Browne Willis and Lipscomb. Frances could not have been any older than 27 at the outside in 1671, so it is quite conceivable that she did subsequently have a second husband, Philip Cotton, Esq., as related by Lipscomb. It may be significant in this context to note that Sir Toby appointed as one of the executors of his will ‘nephew Sir Robert Cotton of Cheshire, Kt.’.

The bequests in Sir Toby’s will, after repaying debts of £1,000 outstanding, were to his family: his wearing apparel and ‘the best diamond ring she can choose’ for his wife; ‘all the deer in my park, and all stones and items etc. belonging to water-mills’, to his eldest son, Thomas, his heir at Thornton. ‘£lO for a ring’ was awarded to each of the two executors, and this also was the bequest to ‘my sister the lady Salisbury’ and ‘my daughter the lady Hyett’. In fact, tokens of remembrance. The other surviving son, Timothy, received ‘all the books, £100 at age 18’ [he would have attained this age about two months after his father’s death], and £1,000 settled on him’. Hester the ‘youngest daughter’, then aged 15, was left ‘a fair necklace of two rows of pearls, and £1,200 for her portion in Mr. Anthony Chester’s lands upon mortgage’, while ‘all else to the use of my eldest daughter Lucy Tyrell for her portion - viz. all the monies made of the personal estate, the legacies etc.’

Such legacies to younger children in a large family could prove crippling and even disastrous to the estate. This was clearly recognised by Timothy who, dying only four years after his father, ordered in his will that ‘whereas the Manor of Thornton stands charged with £1,000 to be raised for my portion, and I intend to free the burden - I bequeath to my brother Sir Thomas Tyrell £1,000 to discharge the premises from debt’.

1671 - 1705. Sir Thomas Tyrrell, Third Baronet

Born c. 1640 - 46; died 10 October 1705, and was buried at Thornton ‘ye Sunday following’. Matriculated 1660. He married Frances, the daughter of Sir Henry Blount of Tittenhanger, Hertfordshire, who died on 7 June 1699 and was buried at Thornton 11 June. They probably married in 1665, as Sir Toby’s will refers to an Indenture Quinquepartite of February that year which includes Thomas, the son and heir, and Sir Henry Blount. This document, dated 6 February 1665, records that ‘a marriage is soon to take place’ between Frances, the only daughter of Sir Henry Blount and Thomas Tyrell, whereby in consideration of a marriage portion of £4,000 paid by Sir Henry Blount to Sir Toby Tyrell, the latter ‘conveys’ [‘or mortgages’] the Manor of Thornton. They had ‘six sons and four daughters’ (T), but only three Sons appear in the Thornton register; the other three are said to be John and Timothy (T), and Charles (see below).

Harry or Henry, the heir. Not christened, but buried, at Thornton; and is confirmed as ‘the first son of Sir Thomas by Dame Frances his wife’ in an extant deed. Charles, ? died 1728 (T), father of Thomas who claimed as eighth baronet, Elisabeth, the wife of the Hon. John Forester and Frances. Hester, who married 29 October 1687 at Thornton, Mr. John Shepherd of Lidcote, by licence. Their second child was christened Frances Philadelphia, suggesting sympathy if not family connections with the settlers in Pennsylvania. Thomas Shepherd, their youngest son, was baptised at Stewkley in 1702 and buried there in 1763. He married three times, in 1734, 1741, and 1744, and by Frances, his third wife, he had Thomas, baptised at Stewkley in 1746, who married, in 1774, Elisabeth Cotton, the grand-daughter of Charles Tyrell the last baronet of Thornton. Thomas, died 1675, buried 12 January at Thornton. Penelope, born 5 December 1679; died 1694 and buried at Thornton on 1 March. The register records receipt of the affidavit of her ‘buryall in Woollen’. (It was enacted in 1666 that bodies must have a woollen shroud instead of linen, as a move to help the wool weavers on the one hand, and the paper trade on the other, as best paper was made from linen rags. This law was frequently not observed, and gradually fell completely into disuse, being finally repealed in 1863.) Anne, born 21 June 1681; died 1694, buried 1 May at Thornton. Thomas, born 29 December 1682; died 27 February 1706 and buried at Thornton on 1 March. Elisabeth, born 15 May 1686.

1705 - 1708. Sir Harry Tyrell, Fourth Baronet

Born ? mid-1660s; died 6 November 1708, buried 10 November at Thornton. The register refers to him as ‘Harry’ in all instances, as do existing deeds. He married Hester, the daughter of Charles Blount, Esq., and niece of his mother, Frances, about the end of 1692 (marriage settlement dated 21 October 1692); Thomas, their eldest child was born in 1693. (A younger brother of Hester was, it seems, born at Thornton in 1681 when the register records ‘Charles ye son of Charles Blount Esq. and of Elenor his wife was born 12 Sept. and Bapt. 14 Sept.’). Hester died in 1752 and was buried at Thornton on 11 May. They had five children: two daughters, Frances, born 10 October 1699, married Thomas Vernon; Penelope, born 6 December 1702, married Charles Bentley, and their daughter, Penelope, was baptised at Thornton in 1723; and three sons, successively baronets of Thornton.

1708 - 1718. Sir Thomas Tyrrell, Fifth Baronet

The eldest son of Sir Harry, he was born 29 September 1693 ‘about a quarter of an hour afore noon'. Matriculated at Oxford 17lO/11. Died 25 December 1718, and buried 1 January 1719 at Thornton. No issue.

1718 -1720. Sir Harry Tyrrell, Sixth Baronet

The second son of Sir Harry; born 8 November 1695. Matriculated at Oxford 1711. Died 7 November 1720 and buried 12 November at Thornton. No issue.

1720 - 1748. Sir Charles Tyrrell, Seventh Baronet

The third son of Sir Harry; born 1708. Said to be posthumous son. Died 1748, and buried 28 January at Thornton. He married, in 1726, Jane Elisabeth Sellon of Geneva, by whom he is said to have had two sons, who both died young, James, 1727-29, and Henry, 1728-29, and one daughter, Hester Mafia, the family heiress who married the Rev. Dr. William Cotton. Hester died in 1778 and was buried at Thornton on 3 October.~ Cotton died in 1782. Their daughter and heiress, Elisabeth, married Thomas Sheppard of Littlecote.

1748 -1755. Sir Thomas, Tyrrell, ?Eighth Baronet

The baronetcy is stated to have become extinct after the death of Charles, but his cousin, Thomas - the son of Charles, the brother of the first Sir Harry - was the family heir at Thornton, and was buried there in 1755. The register refers to him as Sir Thomas Tyrell, Bart., and the memorial placed on the church wall by his sister, Elisabeth Forrester, states ‘In memory of Sir Thomas Tyrrell Bart.’. It is said that he claimed the title but was not recognised by the college of Heralds (T), though it is difficult to understand why this should be unless there was some doubt of his paternity. He is given as ‘Thomas Tyrrell Esq. created Bart.’ by Lipscomb, - but Burke, General Armory (1884), and G. E. C., Complete Baronetage, 1902, both state the Thornton baronetcy became extinct in 1749.

Confirmation that Thomas was not considered by the county to be the next baronet in 1749 is found in a letter from Henry Purefoy of Shalstone to Thomas Sheppard (the elder) his attorney, concerning his swearing in as Sheriff of Bucking-hamshire, for which he appeared to need, or desire, a baronet: "and as to the Bart. you may chuse him yourself for now Sir Charles Tyrrell is dead I don't know of any one of that Rank near us".


Continue - The Lineage of the Tyrells of Thornton from 1517 - 1755

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