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Lords of the Manor

The focus of this website is on the owners of the rectory manor and the incumbents of the church but it is
necessary to identify who held the temporal manor. Several families were involved ad the title passed through the female line on several occasions. The temporal manor consisted of most of the farms and some of the village, the rectory manor consisted of most of the village and some of the farms.
 899 Chewton Mendip was mentioned in the will of Alfred the Great but the territory it covered was not defined but it was probably already
the centre of a hundred. The Bishopric of Wells had already been established and Chewton Mendip was probably already a minster church serving  some of the parishes in the Chewton Hundred.
 1066 Chewton Mendip was held by Queen Edith, the wife of Henry the Confessor. She may have given part of it to Giso, the Bishop of Wells, who increasing his holdings through purchase.
 1886  William the Conqueror held the temporal manor at the time of the Doomsday survey,  Edith had died in 1075, whilst the priory of Jumieges in Normandy had been awarded the rectory manor. This was probably dived between the Bishop of Wells (one third) and Jumieges (two thirds) as specified by Cannon law.
 1216 Hugh de Vivonis/Vivonia/Vivonne is first mentioned owning  land in Chewton Mendip in 1216. He married Mabel, the elder co-heir of   William Malet, Baron of Eye, he had two sons, William and Hugh, and a daughter. Hugh de Vivonne, who also used the name Fortibus, was Constable of Corfe Castle  in 1240, Sheriff of Dorset and Somerset, Steward of Poitou, Aquitaine and  Gascony until he died in 1249. The prior of Jumieges and the bishop of Bath & Wells made an agreement in 1241 about sharing the rectory of Chewton Mendip.
Fortibus was a variation of the name de Forz and another variation of the name is Delaforce. The family can be traced back to a  Guillaume of Gaufridus who married Adelaid/Adeliza, the sister of William the Conqueror.
1248 William, the eldest son of Hugh de Vivonis, went to France in 1248  to try and recover lands of his uncle, probably without success . He married Maud de Kyme by whom he had four daughters.  His eldest daughter was Joan born in 1251. He died in Chewton Mendip in 1259
1251 Joan de Vivonis was born in Curry Mallet in 1251. She was the first heir of her father. She married  Reginald FitzPeter (c1215-1286).
She died c1314 in Chewton Mendip.
1272 According to Collinson’s, the manor of Chewton belonged to Geoffrey Martel, chief butler to of Henry III, (1216-1272). Collinson lists a number of descendants without giving any dates.
Collison may have been referring to the same family mentioned in ‘The Antiquities of Shropshire’. That includes a passage dated 1165 “…The Feodary of 1165, known as the Liber Niger, tells of one–Geoffrey Fitz Reginald, who held half a knight’s-fee of old feoffment under Richard Peche, then Bishop of Coventry.3 There are very good reasons for assuming that Geoffrey fitz Reginald’s tenure consisted of the Staffordshire Manors of Norton-underCannock, and Little Wyrley, and of the Shropshire Manor of Longner. Moreover we infer that Geoffrey fitz Reginald’s ancestors had been thus enfeoffed at least 30 years before. Geoffrey fitz Reginald was living in or after the year 1203. Between th…”
1284 Most sources agree that Sir Reginald FitzPeter  was married to Joan de Vivonis. He held the manor of Chewton Mendip in 1284 and was Sheriff of Hampshire, Constable of Winchester Castle 3 d. 4 May 1286.
1293 Isabella de Redvers (b1237 d1293) was the daughter of the Earl of Devon. She was the second wife of William de Fortibus was 4th Earl of Albemarle. There was a family link between the de Fortibus family and the de Vivonis family although she lived in Carisbrooke Castle in the Isle of Wight. Her children died before her so her lands and titles passed to her cousin once removed, Hugh de Courtenay.  The link to Devon an the de Courtney family would later become significant .
1322  Sir Peter FitReginald, the son of Reginald FitzPeter and Joan  Vivonis (born 1251),  was born in Chewton Mendip  in 1274.
He was given Chewton by his mother and sometimes went by the name FitzReynold or Martel in honour of his wife’s family.  He married Ela Martel, daughter of Sir Roger Martel, Lord Hinton Martel and Joan, circa 1294. They had one son, Roger Martel.  Peter FitReginald  was conservator of array in Surrey and Sussex in 1321 died 18th November 1322 at  Broadmayne, Dorset.
 1338  The records are very fragmented at this time because the  black death. It  started in Weymouth and quickly spreads to Bristol
killing one half to two thirds of the population, especially the clergy who were the main record keepers in addition to ministering to the sick which caused their high casualty rates.
 1340  Robert de Gurdeny was acting on behalf of Edward II as the kings Procurator when Jumieges Priory was disposed and control of the
Chewton Mendip rectory was assigned to Hayling Island priory in Hampshire.
 1353  Henry FitzRoger was born in Curry Rival in 1318 and died in 1353.
 1372  John was the son of Geoffrey Martel. He succeeded him as the Lord of the Manor of Chewton Mendip according to the  Collinsons history of Somerset but no dates are specified. He may have been John FitzRoger born in 1345 and died in 1372.
 1393  Elizabeth FitzRoger married a William Bonville of Shute In Devon. The dates are not known and there were several generations of
William Bonville. A William Bonville , the son of Elizabeth Fitzroger, was born  in 1393.
 The Bonville family were related to the de Courtney family who had inherited the de Redvers land and titles through Isabella de Fortibus.
 1461  The Sir William Bonville, who was the last Bonville lord of the manor of Chewton Mendip, is well documented. His tenure coincided
with the transfer of the rectory of Chewton Mendip to the Carthusians of Sheen Priory. Sir William and all of his male heirs were casualties of the war of the roses so his ands passed to his great granddaughter, Cecily.
 1529  Cecily Bonville, 7thBaroness Harington and 2nd Baroness Bonville married Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset who then became the owner of her wealth, lands and titles. There was some dispute over who inherited the land of her two husbands even though most of it was originally hers.
 1530  Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquis of Dorset was the son of Cecily Bonville and Thomas Grey, 1st Marquis of Dorset. He briefly held Chewton Mendip after the death of his mother.
 1530  The second Marquis  was succeeded by his son, Henry Grey.  He was the Marquis of Dorset who was one  of the ‘Lords of the Mendips’ in 1542. This was due to his ownership of the temporal manor of Chewton Mendip. It is not certain who owned the lands of Sheen Priory when it was dissolved for the first time in 1539 but Edward, Earl of Hertford, later Duke of Somerset, was granted the Chapter House of Sheen in 1540 and may have acquired the rectory of Chewton Mendip at the same time.
 1542 John Leyland conducted a tour of the West Country just after the dissolution of the monasteries. The image below is taken from the
SAHNS article ‘Leyland in Somersetshire 1540 – 1542.
 1552 Henry Grey took the title 1st Duke of Suffolk in 1551 through  marriage and he acquired the Chapter House of Sheen in 1552 when Edward Seymour was executed. Henry Grey made  the Chapter House  of Sheen his home and  may have held both the temporal and rectory manors of Chewton Mendip. The Kingsmills later acquired the rectory lands of Chewton Mendip and held them until the 19th century.
 1554  Henry Grey and his daughter, Lady Jane Grey who was briefly queen for nine days was executed for treason  by Mary I. She awarded the temporal manor of Chewton Mendip to sir Edward Waldegrave and the family  still owns a significant amount of land in the village. The Waldegraves did not combine the roles of  temporal lords and lay rectors until the 20th century.
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