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Melhuish

Thomas Melhuish may never have lived in Chewton Mendip and it is not a family name that appears in the history of the village. He was probably born in 1818 and was living in High Littleton in 1861 when he is shown as a “Register of Births & Deaths”.
 His inclusion in this website is that he purchased a significant amount of land from the Kingsmills on 29th March 1854 (Bristol archive ref 2841/18) when he was living in Temple Cloud. He also bought land in Temple Cloud in 1857 occupied by a Robert Brice (Bristol archive ref 33768/7). The record of the purchase of ‘houses and farms’ in Chewton Mendip is not clear so a process of elimination  working from the various maps is required
 The Chewton Priory and Sages Farm site had been sold in the 18th century so it can be discounted.
 It is unlikely that he purchased what is now the Old Vicarage because that was sold to David Drakeford by William Kingsmill in 1856 unless he was acting on behalf of the Rev Drakeford. He did not buy the Old Rectory or other land close to the church because the Rev Phillpot  probably owned that  in 1858.
 He did not buy Cutler’s Green. A 2000 year lease was sold by William Kingsmill on 3rd May 1849. It is unlikely that he bought Shooters Bottom either because that was  mentioned in deeds of  Cutler’s Green which suggests it was sold at the same time or previously.
 Letters between Dorothy Kingsmill and her brother, George Mogg support the theory that Shooters Bottom was sold before the 1840s and also suggest that the land Eakers Hill and Tor Hole was sold earlier unless Thomas Melhuish was the ‘speculator’ she complained about. Another possibility was William Cuxford James.
There is no evidence of him living in Chewton Mendip so he probably did not buy Chewton House. It is possible that he was just buying investment properties in 1854 or he was acting on behalf of a client but Chewton House is the sort of gentleman’s residence that an ambitious man would aspire to.
 Double Farm  is a possibility for the farms mentioned in the 1854 transaction. Franklyn’s Farm was probably a Kingmill property up to the early 18th century.
Bathway Farm and  Quarrs Farm  probably used to be belong to the Kingsmills but  Bathway Farm was held by the Hippisleys before 1848. Quarrs can also be discounted because Henry Robbins sold it in 1846.
 Chewton Cottage/Veal Farm on Lower Street was shown as a Kingsmill property in 1740 but it was a Waldegrave of Hippisley property by 1794. It may have been sold in 1785.
Bray’s Batch and the former Dowlings land occupied by the Salvidge , Culliford and Habbgood families iare possibilities. The Kingsmills owned tithe plot 547 on the Litton Road  in 1794 but it was not offered for sale in 1848 and is the most likely.
Somerset archive record (A\ALI/2/3) dated 1902 suggests that at least one ancestor of Thomas Melhuish made their living as an auctioneer.
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