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Fillis

FillisRecords  from the  Hampshire archive suggest that the shadowing building shown on the edge of Chewton Priory in the 1794 map may have been a holding occupied by the Fillis family.
People with names like Filer,  Fitter, Fillis and Phillis appear in various records and sometimes the name looked closer to Hills when it was written by some people. The Hampshire archives uses the Fillis spelling which is used in this website.
Records from the same source also suggest this could have been the ‘roofless tenement’ that was previously occupied by the Adams family. Alternatively, either property  could have been Red Sheard.
The Fillis family may be traced back to John Fillol who was held land, or may have been lord of the manor of Emborough before his daughter, Cecily, married Simon de Trewethosa in 1339.
Hampshire archive record 19M61/811 is concerned with the grant of an annuity to Daniel Kingsmill by his mother, Bridget. The annuity came from the will of his father, Sir Henry who had died in 1623. One of the trustees was a Sir Edward Filmer and Filmer is a name that could easily have been corrupted into Fillis.
The churchwardens accounts records a Richard Fillis in 1706 and the poor book shows a Richard Fillis was paying for ‘Sperrings’ in the Middlesex tithing. This suggests he was living in Sperrings Lane rather than Sperrings Green Farm but the property that stood on Sperrings Green Lane is a third possibility. These records suggest that there were two Richard Fillis’ involved, probably father and son, and that the first Richard Fillis died c1742-1750.
They were listed as rate payers in the West End and East End rather than the Town tithing  but Bathway could be described as being any of the tree tithings.
Some members of the family were listed as recipients of poor relief and they stop paying poor rates c1750 when Robert Hipsilsey was responsible for Fillis’. The name has changed to Phillis by 1750 but James Fillis was responsible for an estate ‘late Newman’s’ in 1758.
Hampshire archive record 19M61/914 is an abstract of title for Chewton Priory which includes details of when Richard Jenkins  bought the property from the Kingsmills. Letters between Robert Kingsmill and Richard Jenkins (19M61/973) make reference to ruins near to ‘Fillis house’ which match the property shown in the 1794 map.
  The letters make reference to the proximity of a ‘ruinous cottage’ dated 1781 and provides other clues that it is the house seen in the map.
The 1766 map is very faint but it suggests that the site was still broken up into small fields at the time. This probably means that the Chewton priory site was a farm occupied by Richard Fillis
The Hampshire archives include a series of letters that make reference to a dispute about the ownership of a property that had been occupied by somebody called Fillis. Other records suggest his name was Thomas.
The records provide evidence that Richard Jenkins built a Gothic style house  and stables c1781. This may conflict with Edmund Rack’s survey which was conducted about the same time who failed to mention Mr Jenkins’ house but he may have missed it.
 There are numerous references to ‘ruins’ belonging to ‘Fillis’ in the correspondence which could refer to the buildings shown in the 1794 map. This could have just been domestic or agricultural building in the position shown but the letters make reference to a conflict with the newly built stable block which probably still stands but in a modified state.
There are records for a Church House and Court House that may have been nearby which may have been the ruins that Mr Jenkins found so inconvenient.
The last record for the Fillis family found so far was dated 1791 when James Fillis as paying rent to Robert Kingsmill. This was probably for Quarrs Farm or it may have been Cutlers Green which were both Kingsmill properties at the time.
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