Skip to content


The Rosewell  family may have been one of the  many familesthat benefited form the disolution of themonsatries. They apear in the histories of several villages as signifiant land owners and minor gentry.
John Roswell was paying poor rates to Chewton Mendip in beginning the 18th century but the name may have gone through several transitions. Rouswell may have  became Rousall and variations such as Rousell, Russell and many variations are fairly obvious.
Another possibility is that there was a family with a name like Rousell who were French Huguenots. Lewis Thiery  of Hinton Blewett was defiantly a religious refugee and  a number of other possible Huguenot families have been identified.  Laspers is another name that may have had french origions.
Some of the references may be confused with  the function of a Reeve, a term that was still in use in Chewton Mendip in th 17th and 18th century. The modern name for the farm the Rosewells probably occupied is Eakers Hill but an earlier name was Reeves Lane  as shown in the 1794 map.
A separate issue is that a farm house and yard based in one location may have fields in other parts of the village or other parishes. Reeves Lane is usually described as  being in the West End tithing but it could be described as being in Middlesex.
The following examples from the 18th century churchwarden accounts and poor book  show how the Roswell name may have changed or may have been confused with other people or other things. Some of the records suggests that there was a physical farmstead and a more ephemeral group of fields linked to the Rosewell family. A number of names were pronounced in the local dialect quite differently from what the spelling would suggest to the modern eye which may be confused by the script used.
 This is an example of John Roswell’s name written in the 1711 accounts. The first ‘e’ in the name after the ‘s’ appears and disappears on a frequent basis.
 John Rosioull 1718The name is written which looks like Rosoull by 1718 but this my just be a hang over from the way the letter ‘W’  was written at the time.
  George Yorke  appears to be responsible for an estate called Rooves or possibly Greens in 1720. These records may refer to  East End or Red hill.
John Rosewell 1724 Rosewell may have always been pronounced ‘Roosell’ but his name was still being written as John Rosewell in 1724. The first John Rosewell either died around 1735 or he relinquished control over part of his estate.
Roossles 1736 A Thomas Dalimore was paying poor rates for the ‘Roosels’ estate in 1736. Pronouncement may be significant as the letter ‘f’ and ‘v’ are pronounced in a very similar way in the local dialect.
 Reeves 1738Mr Cramphoine was paying poor rates for the same estate in 1738 by which time it is written as ‘Reeves’.
 A John Rosewell reappears in the records paying poor rates  for a property in West End in 1738 and continues to do so throughout the period covered by the churchwarden accounts. This could be the same John Rosewell but it could be his son. A number of people continue to pay poor rates for the original Rosewell/Reeves estate.
 Reeves 1748Mr Dalimore was paying poor rate for the Reeves’ estate again in 1738-1740 but  this example is from in 1745.
John Rouswell 1745This is an example of the other entry for John Rosewell in 1745. The records do not show if he was the same person paying rates before 1738 but the spelling shows the transition between Rosewell and Roousell was still flexible.
The Hunts and Greens had holdings in several tithings. Francis Palmer is paying poor rates for  Rosewells/Reeves in the 1740s but it was common for estates to be divided. It is beleived Francis Palmer was living in East End.
 Reeves 1754This is taken from the introduction of the accounts for 1754 when Thomas Dalimore was a churchwarden and was based in the Reeves estate.
The Dalimore estate was sometime called Reeves & Nobels and Nobels is a farm that is dificult to identify.
 John Rosewell junior was recorded as paying rates in several estates and he may have given his name to Rouse Turning, or Rouse Corner,  which is now a lay by between Bathway and Nedge but was once a distinctive right-angled corner in the road. There was a building close by which has disappeared with out trace. Rouse Corner is one of the few features that can be seen in the 1766 map.
 A James Rosewll was holding a lease for a sacrafield property in 1766 which was probably in the Eaker Hill area. This obscure term may have been linked to the Carthusian monks who once held land in the area.
 Joseph Roswell was listed as an occupant of a garden in Sperrings Lane, which connects Reeves Lane with Mearns cross, in 1840.
Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: