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DEEDS RELATING TO EARLY TENURES OF LAND, &c., IN MINSHULL VERNON AND ADJACENT TOWNSHIPS IN
BY FRANK RENAUD, M.D., F.S.Á.
WHEN, in the preceding volumes of Transactions,
an account was published of the families of Foxwist and Duncalf, the investigation brought to light many deeds in connection with their former territorial interests in the hitherto scantily recorded history of Minshull Vernon and townships adjacent, all of which were surrendered when Foxwist estate passed from the family of Duncalf to that of Legh in the reign of Elizabeth.
To supply this deficiency in some measure, and with a view to enable any future historian of the county to make them available, these deeds, to the number of thirty-three, dating from the reign of Henry III. onwards to that of Henry VIII., which have hitherto remained dormant, have now been collated, arranged chronologically, and abbreviated, nothing essential having been omitted.
For purposes of the present inquiry Minshull, Minshull Vernon, and Church Minshull may all three be accounted one district, manor, and parish, situate about midway
between Middlewich and Crewe, in the hundred, deanery, and barony of Nantwich, within which, inter alia, the monks of St. John of Jerusalem held a grange. In early deeds Minshull is variously written as Minshule, Munshull, Minschulf, Munchulf, and Munsehillf. The suffix was added after Vernon, baron of Shipbrook, became superior lord. The elder branch of the family of Minshull having failed in heirs male at an early date, the inheritance became divisible amongst heirs female, who intermarried with the families of Oulton, Hulgreave, Erdeswick, and others, though a junior branch carried down the name, at Minshull, into the reign of Elizabeth. From an antiquarian standpoint the deeds now under consideration derive their value as casting light on names of early tenants, names of witnesses, and as filling in a gap in Cheshire history and topography. They are as follows:
Thomas son of Peter de Warinhull quitclaimed for himself and heirs saltworks lying between those of Alexander Oribet and Thomas de Menwaring in Middlewich, which he himself and his father had held as tenants of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, in consideration of a money payment of three marks, together with a reserved annual rent of three shillings and ten pence to the Hospital due at Michaelmas. Witnesses: Sir Thomas de Menwarin, Sir Richard de Wilbram then sheriff of Cheshire, Sir Richard de Hale, Warin de Croxton, Richard Dudley, Alexander Alexander and Peter, Ralph Hargene, Bate Malbul, Orach de Conache priest, and others.*
*In this deed the earliest mention of the family of Warinhull is recorded, viz., that of Peter, father of Thomas. The name is found written as Warinhull, Warihull, and Waryhull. Richard's name occurs as witness to a deed in the 4 Edward III., and also as one of the farmers of Middlewich. Robert was Chamberlain of Chester in the 6 Henry VI., and in the 9 Henry VIII. William of Middlewich suffered a recovery of a messuage, &c.
Richard lord of Munshillf granted to Henry son of Mococ of Minshul a messuage in Munchulf with a garden and curtilage (ie., garden produce) and other appurtenances in Longsowons save and except what was due to the Monks and Lords Spiritual to hold the same to himself and his heirs. Witnesses: Thomas de Erdeswike, Harold de Munchulf, Ralph de Sprorstoke, Robert the Chorister in the Choir at Chester, William his brother, and others (coressicant).*
I EDWARD II.
John de Legh gave and granted to Robert his son and his heirs all of his possessions in Middlewich. Failing Robert and his heirs lawfully begotten, to William his brother in like manner, rendering accustomed service to the superior lord. Failing both, these possessions to revert to himself. Witnesses: Sir Robert de Holand then Justice of Cheshire, Sir John Arderne, Sir Ralph de Vernon, Sir Peter de Dutton, Richard de Fouleshurst then Sheriff of Cheshire, Ralph de Vernon, Robert de Masey, Thomas de Legh, William de Baghiley, Roger de Leycester, Roger de Toft, Robert de Cundaelif priest, and others. Seal, a lion rampant, circumscription illegible.t
William the son of Philip (de Munshul) and Mabel (Erdeswik) his wife granted to Harold son of Gilbert de Munschull an acre of land and place called Reginaldhay, with water rights, in exchange for Longhay with like water rights. Witnesses: Richard de Fouleshurst sheriff of Cheshire, Robert de Bulkelegh vicar of Munschul priest of Erdeswike, John de Eldoctone priest (Occleston ?), and many others. Seal, the
* Was not the above-named Richard the younger son of Matthew de Hulgreve to whom his father gave a grant of Erdeswick?
Richard de Foulehurst was sheriff in 1307.
lamb and crucifix used by the knights of St. John of Jerusalem.*
Alice daughter of Harold de Minshull of Minshull covenanted in the year 1308 at Pentecost with her father to let to farm a place called Mere for thirty years at an annual rental of twelve pennies, but upon condition that should the said Alice be married or espoused the same should revert to her. Witnesses: Richard lord of Munschull, Randle de Spurstowe, William son of Philip de Munschul, William de Dutton, William son of Thomas de Munschull, and others.
William de Ducton of Munshull granted to William son of Philip de Munschull and to Mabel his wife the half of a place of land in Minshull called Ganisles End, and an assart in another butt of land in the same town called the Werebin, together with his part of Okalerbroken de Calvestegrenes in the same vill, also a certain selion of land in the same called Hertesbut, and another called le Hadland adjoining a field called Echeles, in exchange for other portions lying between his land and that of Randle de Spurstowe. In testimony of which William and Mabel set their seals to one part, whilst the other remained in possession of William Dutton. nesses: Richard de Foulehurst then Sheriff of Cheshire, Robert de Bulkelegh, Richard de Minshull, Thomas de Ereswick, Martin de Hulgreve, John de Aldington, and others. Given at Minshull on Thursday next after the festival of the purification of the Virgin Mary in the seventh year of the reign of King Edward son of King Edward.
William son of Philip de Munschull and Mabel his wife granted to Harold son of Gilbert of the same a tenement and
* Richard de Foulehurst was sheriff for the second time in 1320.