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seems to have been partly built on the site of an older edifice, an interesting portion of which remains. The first of the family of Poticary noticed at Stockton, is Jerome, described in the parish register as an eminent clothier, and evidently a person of some importance. The inscription on his monument shews that he was engaged in an extensive business, part of which was carried on at Stockton, then a much more populous place than it is at present. The register shows that many of the inhabitants were at that time weavers. Jerome Poticary was probably the builder of the more modern part of the house, as there was a date over the old porch 1587. He was twice married, and had a numerous issue. There seems to have been some awkwardness connected with his second marriage which took place within three months after the death of his first wife. The Poticarys were allied by marriage with some respectable Wiltshire families, and the following entry in the register of burials at Stockton, shews a connection of some kind with the Topps :
"Joanna Poticary, an aged Matron and Widow, of the Topp family, and relict of Elisha Poticary, descended from the Poticarys of Wilton; buried in the Church March 1st, 1603, aged 80 and upwards."
There was also a sort of connection with the Topp family through the Hoopers of Boveridge. James Hooper, brother of Mrs. Topp, married the sister of Mary, wife of the first Christopher Poticary. The Poticarys of Wylye are probably a branch of this family, as Eleanor, daughter of Jessie Poticary of Wylye, was buried here in 1611, aged 17. The last notice of the family in the parish register is the burial of the elder Christopher Poticary in 1650; he died at Heytesbury. His grandson Christopher, was baptized at Stockton in 1639, and probably the family removed from hence to Heytesbury soon after. There is reason to suppose that the Poticarys of Warminster and those of Hookswood near Farnham, Dorset, descended from the Stockton family.
The house in which this family resided at Stockton, remained much in its original state till the year 1832, when it was repaired and the interior re-arranged. The part supposed to have been built by the first Jerome Poticary, is attached to an old half
timbered building, the remains of a more ancient dwelling. This is an interesting specimen of a very picturesque style of architecture, of which few good examples remain; and there is a tradition in the parish that it was the original manor house of Stockton.
The rectory house, a plain brick building, was erected in the year 1790, by the Rev. Henry Good, then Rector. The old parsonage which stood in the kitchen garden and had fallen to decay, was occupied in two tenements by cottagers when Mr. Good took the living. The house has been much improved in the interior by Mr. St. Barbe, when Rector. The house on the south side of the church, and the farm attached to it, called in the old parish book Mr. Topp's lower farm, was purchased of Mr. Lansdown, who married one of the coheiresses of the Topps, by Mr. John Pinchard, probably about 1754. The cottage on the north side of the churchyard was a small farmhouse, held with a copyhold by Mr. Price the Rector, from whom it went to the Pinchard family, and from them returned to the lord of the manor. On the green before the house, were three ancient lime trees, probably planted by Mr. Price. Two of them were cut down in 1829. The other, which had then become a very large tree, was cut down in December, 1842. In the garden was a very large old walnut tree, which was blown down by a gale from the north, April 29th, 1835. The four yew trees on the green before the cottage, were planted by William King, late gardener at Stockton house, and cannot be much more than fifty years old. The stone in the centre of the trees, is the base of the village cross. The steps on which it stood were removed within memory. The porch in front of the cottage was built in 1846, to preserve the ancient carving placed over the entrance. It is part of a chimney-piece found at Codford farmhouse, when a part of it was taken down and re-built. The arms were those of the Hungerford family, who were in no way connected with Codford St. Mary; and it is not unlikely that this chimney-piece was removed to Codford, when the old mansion house at Heytesbury was destroyed. I learn from Canon Jackson of Leigh Delamere, that the arms on the carved stone of the porch door at the cottage, are-1. Hungerford, impaling Zouche,
viz., 10 bezants and a canton ermine. These are the arms of Sir Edward Hungerford of Heytesbury, who married Jane, daughter of Lord Zouche of Harringworth, Northamptonshire. Sir Edward Hungerford died cir. 1521. 2. Hungerford, impaling Sandes, viz., a cross raguly. These are the arms of Walter Lord Hungerford of Heytesbury, son of Sir Edward above named; created a Baron by Henry VIII., and beheaded in 1540. He was thrice married, and his second wife was Alice, daughter of Lord Sandes of the Vine. On the attainder of Walter Lord Hungerford, Heytesbury finally passed from the family.
Stockton almshouse was endowed by John Topp, Esq., the founder of the manor house, who by his will dated 1638, left £1000 in trust for some charitable purpose, to be chosen by his executors. The charity money was not made use of for several years after the death of Mr. Topp; but in 1657, the surviving trustees purchased the farm called "Speary Well," in the parish of Mottisfont, Hants, with which they endowed the almshouse built about this time. In 1658, farmer Pile rented Mottisfont at £50 per annum. In 1670, it was lowered to £40. (From an old paper at Stockton house.) In 1685, the tenant was allowed £3 11s. 6d. for maintaining a soldier one month.
John Topp, jun., brother of the founder, gave also by deed an annuity of £4 out of a close at Stockton, called "Barnes Close," formerly the land of Christopher Poticary, as the stipend for the steward to collect the rents and manage the affairs of the charity. Martin Tanner was the first person appointed to the office of steward. The original almshouse consisted of the six tenements in the court; and in 1714, the trustees directed that all the stock in hand except £250, should be expended in adding to the building, so that the number of dwellings might be increased to eight. On the 2nd of August, 1668, articles and constitutions for the better government of the almsmen and women, and of the lands and revenues of the almshouse, were made and established by John Topp, Esq., of Stockton, son and heir of Edward Topp, Esq., of Stockton, deceased; Thomas Lambert, Esq., of Boyton; Mathew Davis of Shaston, Dorset, Esq.; Henry Whitaker of Motcomb,
Dorset, Esq.; Edward Hooper of Hurne Court, Hants, Esq.; James Harris of Sarum, Gent.; and John Murvine of Pitwood, Gent., Governors of the hospital or almshouse of Stockton. The last of these articles speaks of the original governors having appointed a warden to receive the rents and pay the poor; and it orders that office to be discontinued, and its duties to be executed by the steward, for whom a provision of £4 a year had been made by John Topp, Esq., late deceased brother of the founder. Martin Tanner was the first steward of the almshouse. It is stated in an old paper at Stockton house, that in 1711 "the accounts of Martin Tanner, first steward of the almshouse, were finally settled after his death, and after holding that office fifty-three years." The succession of legal trustees having been lost, Harry Biggs, Esq., as lord of the manor, acted in the capacity of trustee for several years before the visitation of the Charity Commissioners in the year 1833, when a new trust was appointed, and the original articles for the regulation of the almshouse, with a few alterations, were re-established by the trustees. The new trustees were, Harry Biggs, Esq., lord of the manor; Henry Godolphin Biggs, Esq. ; Lord Heytesbury; Aylmer Bourke Lambert, Esq., of Boyton House; William Temple, Esq., of Bishopstrow; and the Rector of Stockton and Codford St. Mary, for the time being. The instrument of foundation orders that eight poor persons, either men or women, of the parishes of Stockton and Codford St. Mary; single and above the age of 60 years, should be received into the house, and be allowed two shillings a week, and a blue gown or cloak once a year. Kinsmen, or descendants of the founder, were by his will to have the first claim. It appears from an old paper at Stockton house, that in 1685, Luke Allen of Hindon was received into the almshouse for the default of a kinsman or any one in Stockton or Codford St, Mary better qualified. In 1700, William Yates of Chilmark was admitted for want, &c. In 1704, William Chiveral of Hindon, and Mary Aubery of Shrewton, were admitted for want, &c. The remainder of the income arising out of the trust property, to be expended in apprenticing boys belonging to the two parishes. For many years past the inmates of the alms