Last Name:   First Name:
Log In
Advanced Search
What's New
Most Wanted
All Media
Dates and Anniversaries
Change Language
Contact Us
Register for a User Account


HomeHome    SearchSearch    PrintPrint    Login - User: anonymousLogin    Add BookmarkAdd Bookmark

» Show All     «Prev «1 ... 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 ... 466» Next»

A History of Peter Stay's Ancestors Part 2

Chapter 11
Rentrol of Property Dated 1778

Our next evidence is a document found in the Hampshire Record Office that records the rent paid for the Vaggs Lane property. It is dated 1778 and is called a Rentrol document. (Rentrol = Rent roll)

This document lists Richard Stay, Oct. 8, 1778, and then describes the Vaggs Lane lease property. Note the spelling; this is our tie from Stoy to Stay our present spelling. The 1702 lease spells the name as "Stoy”.


In a column listed as "Lives”, we note four entries: Richard Stay 55 (lives) It is then crossed out and he is listed as dead. I have discussed this with specialists at the Family History Library and they concur that 55 lives translates to 55 years in this case. The lease was for 99 lives or years.

The Survey with Swaye Quarr (Hampshire Record Office Ref 8m56/282) is as follows:

A Table

Richard Stay was crossed out with a notation "dead”

Then "Elizabeth wife of the d.' was crossed out with "dead " listed. This would most likely be Elizabeth Holley, wife of Richard the younger, noted in the Lease.

Elizabeth wife of the dead

John Hampton is listed on the last entry in the column "John Hampton living, aged 63 May 1818. John Hampton is related to the Stays through marriage.

Facsimile of the column of the Rentrol showing the list of "Lives”. This notation of "Richard Stay 55 lives” and "dead” gives us the approximate age of Richard the younger when he died. If he was about 25 years old at time of Lease signing in 1702, then he would have been about (25+55= 80) 80 years old at time of his death


1. This document proves the fact that the name spelled Stoy evolved into Stay during the period of this lease.

2. We have to assume that the Rentrol document is a document that was added to over time. It was not static.

3. Richard Stoy the younger lived for 55 years after the 1702 lease was signed. If he was about 25 years old, then he would have died at about 80 years of age. (55+25=80)

4. The "lives” column is confusing in several ways. Elizabeth is listed as "Wife of the above”. The name of John Hampton is directly above his name, but Richard Stay 55 lives, is above John's name. So is Elizabeth a wife of John or is she Elizabeth Holley wife of Richard the younger? If she is wife to Richard the younger, then she would be very old at the time of this listing.

5. The Richard Stay shown in the preamble was the son of Richard Stay the younger and married to Hannah Hampton. He was the great grandfather of Peter Stay.

6. Richard Stay was approximately age 52 years at the date of the Rentrol in 1778.

7. We have to assume that both listings of John Hampton are one and the same; however, it is possible that it is a father and son.

8. Because of this document we have a tie between the Hampton family and the Stay family. This ties Hannah wife of Richard, and most likely her younger brother John Hampton. John Hampton was listed twice on the Rentrol "Lives” column.

9. Richard and Hannah were married in 1746. This would put their births at about 1726/1730 (1746-20=1726) (Peter's great grandparents)

10. Richard married to Ann son of Richard and Hannah possibly was born at the Vaggs Lane property and would have been about age 4 in 1778 (Peter's grandfather).

11. John Hampton, (likely a younger brother of Hannah), who was listed as age 63 in 1818, would have been 40 years old at the time the Rentrol was written. John would probably have taken over the property when Richard and Hannah were either too old or unable to care for the orchard and garden.

There is also a notation in the far Right column "This Cottage burnt down.” When I (Gary Stay) visited this property, I found burned wood amongst the bricks and weeds where the cottage foundation was. There also was a bricked-in well about 20 feet from the foundation.
Another entry in the Right column – "Wm Morris Wid. Is now in this tenement. I told him I would give him no answer.” We don't know anything about Morris, but it indicates that the cottage (tenement) was not "burnt” until after the Stays vacated.

Chapter 12
Some thoughts from trip to Hampshire 7/13/2002 Gary Stay

Hampshire Record Office visit (Winchester), Harry Stay and I. We first had a look at the actual lease of 1702 and took photos.

Looked at Tithe map for the parish of Hordle (dated 20 Sept 184. It is a large role about 8 feet wide and about 15 feet long. (See picture page 68)

Dated 1842, it is one of the earliest complete maps of Hordle Parish that we know of. There had to have been an earlier tithe map due to the first Ordinance Survey prior to that date. It shows that the Ordinance Survey maps during this period were based upon the Tithe maps. Considerable detail is on the map each parcel or field is numbered and then referenced in a large book listing the owners and the size of the land. We have previously noted that the parish consists of two Tithings: one listed as Arnewood and the second as the Hordle Tithing. They are split approximately in half. In the past we have attempted to locate where Elizabeth Holley and her father Samuel Holley the weaver were from. They were listed as from Arnewood. Now that we have determined that all the northern tithing is listed as Arnewood, they could have been from any village and not necessarily from the Manor of Arnewood or from Little Arnewood as previously thought.

Found the property on Vaggs Lane and it is configured with three parcels. The first property next to the road looks to be about ½ acre - Then a ditch down the middle with two additional parcels of land shown just as the map in the Stay Family history map.

The map documentation lists location addresses #724, 723, and 722. Thomas Thorn is listed as the occupier in 1844.

Chapter 13
Visit with Gordon Brown and Harry Stay to the site on Vaggs Lane:

Gordon Brown who contacted us through the Internet, lives one farm away from the site, indicated that the property is now owned by the county and is public land. The rear two parcels are now a part of a large football and cricket field owned by the county. One can still see the indentations where the ditch ran across the field. Also, they have put in a drainage system with a manhole cover to drain the playing field. The front portion of the property listed in the 1702 lease, is about ½ acre and is overgrown with trees, bushes, and weeds. A ditch runs down one side of the parcel of land. We located an old wall about 18 inches thick running about six feet.

Scattered around the wall, were a number of large red bricks (About 12 inches long, 2 ½ inches thick and 3 inches wide). I took one of the bricks back to Chris Uptons – they looked to be of recent origin. However, Harry and I looked at a number of old brick walls in the area and found them to be of the same size and construction. We located a pub in Brockenhurst, built in 1704, and found large bricks with the exact same discoloration due to firing as that on the brick we took. There were burnt pieces of wood interspersed around the bricks and buried in the soil. I dug down and took a piece of burnt wood (Wonder what it would cost to have a carbon dating of this to see if it was about 200 years old). We note in the Survey with Sway Quarr. 1798 that "Richard Stay” was written and then crossed out with the comment "dead”. Further across the page it says "this cottage burnt down”.

There was no indication today of an orchard having been at the location, but it could have been on the land to the rear where the football field has been developed. There is an orchard today across the street from the property and also one house away. It would not seem likely that an orchard would survive in any way for 300 years.

Adjacent to the wall and bricks we located a well which was flush with the ground and about 2 ½ feet across. It was lined with the same type of bricks. I would assume that the well would not be deep due to the standing water in the ditch about 25 feet from the well location. There is trash and debris in the well and it may be interesting to see if it would be possible to excavate the trash out of the well to see what of interest could be found. I picked up a very old rusty piece of iron about one foot long by ½ inches wide that was pointed on one end. Gordon thought it was a gate hinge. Chris Upton has a hobby of using a metal detector to find coins and indicates he may check out the site to see what may be found.

It then would appear from our survey of the property that there was, indeed, a cottage that "burnt” down in the past. Thus, we have located the actual location where three generations of Stays lived. Richard Stoy the older, Richard Stoy the Younger (from the lease) and the younger's son Richard Stay (note change in the spelling of the name. This is significant because Stay is listed in the BM56/282 document Survey with Sway Quarr. 1778 not Stoy. An Elizabeth (perhaps Elizabeth Holley) was listed on the Tithe map still living on a parcel of land near Vaggs Lane. We still do not know the actual circumstances about Elizabeth Holley noted in the lease with Richard Stoy the younger and William Stoy his brother. We have assumed that Elizabeth was betrothed to Richard. But why was her name listed on the Rentrol lists for the other property as Elizabeth Holley if this is our Elizabeth?

End of trip notes.

Chapter 14
Sir Robert Smyth

Sir Robert Smyth and his wife Jane Ann of Buckland executed the Lease with Richard Stay, his betrothed Elizabeth Holley, and William Stay, Richard's Brother.

Recently Harry Stay found the following information about Sir Robert Smyth, Buckland. "Sir Robert Smyth the 3rd of the Manor of Buckland was Baronet of Buckland House 1689 & 1705, Burgess of Lymington in 1686 and Churchwarden 1703-04.” This information confirms Sir Robert Smythe leased land from the Lord of Hordle Manor, and was a Baronet who leased land to the Richard Stoys on Vaggs Lane.

Sir Robert Smyth Bt., is listed under "Gentry” in the Lymington Parish in the Parson and Parish in Eighteenth-Century Hampshire: replies to Bishops' Visitations Hampshire County Council, Winchester 1995. Secondly that Sir Robert Smyth was listed in the same reference as a Trustees of a free school in Lymington.

Lynda Watts our informant in England, found that in 1689 Sir Robert Smith Bart. Was a mayor of Lymington. She also found Sir Robert Smyth 1st, 2nd., 3rd, with wives, children etc. Sir Robert 3rd said to have died in 1743.

Chapter 15
Historical Perspective – Stay Family Roots New Forest Area

Background - -The discovery of recusants by the name of Stoy in the Brockenhurst Parish in the 1600s opens up the extending of our family line to that period. The fact that Brockenhurst is just a few miles nearly due north of the Hordle Parish and that the Stay name in not recorded in the Milford/Hordle/Milton parishes prior to 1724 would lead us to believe that the family migrated to the Hordle parish from another location.

The discovery of the 1702 lease between a Sir Robert Smyth III and Richard Stoy son of Richard Stoy husbandman, from Arnewood (Arnewood is the northern tithing of the Hordle Parish) gives us a trail of the family from the Brockenhurst parish. We also find reference to Richard Stoy of Brockenhurst in the Calendar of New Forest Documents 15th-17th Centuries. He is listed as a local authority (a juror) along with others from Brockenhurst, in 1660, 1663, and 1669. In 1663, he was fined 6s 8d for keeping ten sheep to the surcharging and nuisance of the forest We also have a listing in the Brockenhurst parish registers in 1641 when Richard Stoy married Catherine Butlor in 1679 when Catherine died We have his Inventory upon his death dated 1692. Richard Stoy the Elder is also listed in the Vaggs Lane lease of 1702 i.e. "All which said premises before devised were lately in the tenure or occupation of Richard Stoy the elder” (See Lease Between Sir Richard Smyth and Richard Stoy 1702).

This area around Brockenhurst and Setley is known as the New Forest and contains ancient forest families with forest roots of that go back to pre-Roman times. We fourth generation Americans are unfamiliar with the history of England. To gain a historical perspective of the area during the 1600s and the conditions surrounding "recusants” of the time, it may be good to provide a background in English history specifically as it pertains to the New Forest area.

A recent excellent historical novel by the author Edward Rutherfurd, The Forest, Crown Publishers, New York 2000 is a novel about the New Forest. Rutherfurd has written two previous books about Sarum and London. I have found his historical research and facts to be very well presented and generally correct. For that reason, to get a feeling of the times, I have extracted excerpts from the book that will help to provide a historical feel for the Stay family who lived in Brockenhurst. They were in all likelihood, "Forest People”. Research has cleared up just who these New Forest Stoys were; we have now tied them to the Hordle Stay family of the late 1700s.

Historical Perspective (text from Rutherfurd and other sources)

Starting in the late 1500s King Henry VIII had "dissolved the monasteries huge tracts of the county had changed hands. In the New Forest, in particular, the great monastery of Beaulieu, the lands of Christchurch priory to the south-west, the smaller house of Breamore in the Avon valley and the great abbey of Romsey just above the Forest – these were all stolen, their buildings stripped and left to fall into ruin.” P. 224

Note: the Manor in the Hordle Parish was known as the Breamore Hordle Manor, at this time we do not know the connection between Hordle and Breamore. It appears that it goes back to the early period when the Trenchard family ownership of the Hordle Manor and the Breamore estate.

Protestant reformers took charge and "Thus the English Church was liberated from popery.”

Queen Elizabeth's period "The Pope had not only excommunicated her but absolved all Catholics from Allegiance to the heretic queen, Elizabeth couldn't tolerate that: the Roman Church was outlawed in her realm.” - - - And few places in southern England contained more loyal Catholics than the Winchester diocese,- - Many of the better sort, as the gentry and merchant class were called, quite openly maintained their Catholic faith.”

"The Isle of Wight and the inlets on the Southampton stretch of the southern coast were natural places to land Roman priests, and the loyal Catholic gentry, the recusants as they were called and were strictly illegal; no less than four had been discovered in the Winchester diocese and taken away for burning.” (p.226)

"Thomas Carew* had been the previous captain of Hurst Castle. His family, good Catholics all of them, still lived at the village of Hordle at the Forest's edge, only a few miles away.” p. 245)

She (Lady Albion) "had visited,- - - that many of the peasants, perhaps most, were still faithful to the old religious ways, in this assessment she was perfectly correct .'(1588 - p. 272)

Forest Rights: "if there was one thing that had changed scarcely at all in the New Forest since the days of the Conqueror it was the common rights of the forest folk. Given their smallholdings and the poverty of much of the soil, this continuity was natural: the exercise of common rights was still the only way in which the local economy could work.

"There were chiefly four, by name, The right of Pasture – of turning out animals to graze in the king's forest; of Turbary, an allowance of turves, cut for fuel; of Mast, the turning out of pigs in September to eat the green acorns; and Estovers - - the taking of underwood for fuel. These were the four; although there were also some customary rights to marl, for enriching your land, and of cutting bracken as bedding for livestock.”

"The system by which these ancient rights were allocated, like ancient common law, was often complex and they might attach to an individual cottage; but it had been the custom to consider them as belonging to each landowner, who would claim them on behalf of himself and his tenants.”(p.300)

" On August 33 1591, two thirds of the manor of Hordle Bremor (Hordle Breamore) with appurtenances and the Manor of Keyhaven, Hants and other lands in Hants., and Dorset on which day the same premises were taken and sized into the Queens hands from Henry Carye Esq., recusant (The grandson of Thomas Carew the first captain of Hurst Castle). Publications of the Catholic Record Society Vol. XLIII”

King James Period (1603-1625)

It was the first time as anybody knew, that a complete list of all the common rights had ever been written down.(The communing rights) Sought - - "toleration for both religions in England”(p.301

King Charles I (1629 – 1649)

Conducted a Forest Eyre 1635"The forest Eyre went back to Plantagenet times. Every so often –years might pass between these visitations – the king's special justices would go down to inspect the whole system, correct any maladministration, clear up any outstanding cases and, you could be sure, levy some handsome fines.” - - - "That summer of 1635 there had been no less than two hundred and sixty-eight prosecutions brought before the Forest court. The average had usually been about a dozen.” King Charles was favorable to his wife's Catholic religion; conflict between the Royalists and Parliamentarians (Puritans) led to the civil war. He was executed January 1649.

"Charles had favored the Catholic powers.”- - - "Many of the Parliament men were gentlemen of property. They wanted order; they favored Protestantism, preferably without King Charle's bishops; but order, social and religious.- - - These independents wanted complete freedom for each parish to choose its own form of religion - - so long as it was Protestant, of course.” (p. 307) King Charles I was held in Hurst Castle prior to his trial in Westminster Hall in January 1649. (Note: Hurst Castle was at that time in the Hordle parish.)

1648 Oliver Cromwell period (civil war) - The Commonwealth Regime 1649 - 1660-

In 1649 after King Charles I was executed, "Cromwell The Protector”, was all-powerful, he and his family, joining the same Puritan group at worship as Colonel Penruddock.

The Commonwealth Regime "was tolerant in matters of religion. That tolerance, of course, did not extend to the Roman Church.” - - - But within the broad range of protestant congregations, stern Cromwell was surprisingly liberal. He had refused to allow the Presbyterians to impose their forms upon everyone; independent churches, choosing their ministers and their own forms of worship.”(p.325)

During the period of the Commonwealth Regime, many church records and legal documents were not kept. In particular, there are few wills available for this period.

Charles II period (1660 – 1685)

"the acts of Parliament followed and the new king could not stop them. Only the Anglican prayer book with its formal services might be used in churches. Protestant sects – Dissenters as they were called-- were banned from any church.” (p.330)

In his desire for religious freedom, so that the Catholics might have their churches again, Charles II was entirely sincere. For the time being. That he had also, that very summer, signed a secret treaty with his cousin Louis XIV promising to adopt the Roman Catholic faith and enforce it in England as soon as possible- - -"

"King Charle's promise to Alice (Alice Lisle) at Bolderwood, that he would give his subjects religious freedom, had finally come to pass in 1672. But it hadn't lasted. Within a year, Parliament had struck it down. Dissenters were thrust back to the margin of society and forbidden all public office. The only effect of the brief freedom was to cause all the dissenters to come out into the open so they'd be known in future.” (p.349)

1685 - King Charles II death, "There might be some in the country who still hankered for the old Catholic faith, but the century since the Armada had thinned their ranks greatly- -" (p.354) King Charles died February 1685.

Note: This is the period when the Stays were listed as "Recusants” in the parish of Brockenhurst, i.e. 1680 – 1682 - 1683. From this information, the Stays could well have been Protestant recusants rather than Catholic recusants. Were the Stays members of Monmouth's Rebellion? Recent information from a Popish Recusant List in the House of Lords library lists "Katherine Wife of John Stoy, Brockenhurst,” as one of the Popish Recusants in Hampshire. This meant that she was indeed Catholic and was prosecuted as such.

Before Charles II died on 6 February 1685, he was received into the Roman Catholic Church

King James II 1685-1688 (second son of Charles I, Catholic king, converted to the Roman Church in 1668)

Monmouth's Rebellion (Monmouth the Protestant - King Charles II's son). Over a thousand Protestants rebelled to bring Monmouth to the throne instead of King James II the Catholic. The rebellion took place in Dorset and Hampshire and included the New Forest area. Monmouth was captured near Ringwood.(Ringwood is just a few miles East of Brockenhurst) "In June 1685 -- - - Charles II's eldest illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth, landed in the south-west of England. The rebel leaders had assumed that their countries would refuse to obey a Roman Catholic king but the invasions were defeated without undue difficulty.” Monmouth was executed in1686.

We learn from this information that during this period, considerable religious and political turmoil took place in Hampshire near where the Stay family resided. It is not surprising that we are not able to provide a complete record of births, marriages and deaths.

Bloody Jeffreys.

In 1685, in Winchester, "five judges- - - and - - - Jack Ketch the official and highly incompetent executioner, - - - and others arrived "to hang decapitate, burn, whip or transport to the colonies the more than twelve hundred men unlucky enough to be caught after marching with Monmouth.” - - -In particular, this included the "Right Honorable George, Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys.” - - - "after executing three hundred and thirty and sending eight hundred and fifty to the American plantations, it was known as Bloody Assize”. Alice Lisle of the New Forest was tried and beheaded in Winchester's old market place. Family history, Harry Stay's family, indicates that the family moved south to escape Bloody Judge Jefferies

King James "was annoyed when a resolution was passed asking him to publish a proclamation to put in force the laws against "all dissenters whatsoever from the Church of England”. For James's intention was precisely the opposite. He was determined to place both Roman Catholics and Protestant dissenters in a position of civic equality with his Anglican subjects.”(A Royal History of England - Fraser p. 72)

William III 1688 – 1702 and Mary (1688 – 1694)

William (Prince of Orange, Netherlands, nephew of Charles II) a strict Calvinist and Mary, brought up in the Church of England, but the daughter of the Roman Catholic Duke of York. At this time an " Act of Indulgence permitted Christian nonconformists (but not Roman Catholics) to worship freely subject to specific conditions.” In 1701 "an Act of Settlement was passed which, among other things, not only provided for the Protestant succession, but required future monarchs specifically to be members of the Church of England- -'ibid p. 86.

Queen Anne (Anne Hyde second daughter of James II by his first wife) (1702 – 1714)

Queen Anne was a stout pillar of the Church of England. England was from that point forward affiliated with the Church of England. (Anglican)

Chapter 16
A Family History of Dissenters

Several items lead us to believe that our Stay family lived counter to the teachings of the Anglican Church for a period of over 200 years..

1.Early Stays from Brockenhurst during the late 1600s were listed as Popish Recusants. These Stays are now considered our line.

RECUSANT - a person (especially a Roman Catholic) who refuses to attend the Church of England when it was legally compulsory.

2. The Reverend James Harington Evans had a loyal congregation in Milford. Evans and some of his flock left the Church of England with his congregation and established a Baptist church in the area. Peter and his family Christened children in the parish at the time of this occurrence (See page 15 this document).

3. The family moved to Christchurch where Peter=s children were baptized into AThe Congregation of Protestant Dissenters@ in 1827\28 at Christchurch ( page 14)

4. Members of the Stay family continued to be members of congregations not associated with the Church of England following the death of Peter.

5. Joseph Stay joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints just prior to his marriage in about 1845.

It should be noted however, that most recusants or dissenters had their children christened at a Church of England service. The majority of recusants were married in an Anglican church, largely to secure their children=s rights of inheritance. The requirement to bury the dead in consecrated ground presented a serious problem for recusants. Anglican vicars objected to burying recusants in their churchyards. (Tracing Catholic Ancestors, Doreen Hopwood, Family History Monthly, No.54 March 2000, Warwickshire Family History Society)

Chapter 17
The Recusant's in Brockenhurst & Hordle

We note that the Manor of Hordle was taken from the Carey family in 1593/94 . This family was noted to be Catholic for over three generations. The first captain of the Hurst Castle was from this family and may account for their holdings in Hordle and Keyhaven.

I have been trying to locate information about the Hordle Manor. I would assume that a large manor house did not exist but that the Hordle Manor Farm was the seat of the Manor. I do note that a Manor house also existed in the Keyhaven area belonging to the Carey Family

Early information about the Manor of Hordle and Keyhaven

I would assume that a large manor house did not exist but that the Hordle Manor Farm or the Taddyford Farm was the seat of the Manor

Two notations from the Exchequer Rolls of the courts apply to the Manor of Hordle.

"Persistent recusancy was expensive and after 1586, those who couldn't afford the fines risked having two-thirds of their land and all their movable property seized by the Crown.”

p. 38 Roll 2. MICH. 35-36 ELIZ. (1593-4)

[Lease of sized land. Rental]

[19] farm. John Goyte, William Bake and John Thomas [lessees]. C: £ll-16-11¾. D: Two-thirds of the manor of Hordell Bremor [Hordle Breamore], Hants. With appurtenances and of the manor of Keyhaven, Hants.; also of the manor of Southam [Southam] alias Hamworthie [Hamworthy], Co. Dorset. B: Henry Carye of Tadford, Hants, Esq., recusant. H (a) Aforesaid John Goyte, William Bake & John Thomas, their executors and assigns. H(b) : From 15 Dec., 34 Eliz. [1591]. - - - On 17 April, 36 Eliz. [1594] £5-

"August 1999 (Note from Harry Stay)

Phone call from Betty Peters saying she had found ASTAYS@ amongst lists of recusants living in Brockenhurst in the 1680s. We visited her with Joan (Harry's wife) and made a note of these names and the dates of burials (or deaths). There was no mention of marriages or births, Betty's information indicated this family was Catholic. (as follows).

1679/1680 Katherine, wife of Richard Stoy
1682/83 John Stoy (difficulties with the calendar change made problems!)
Sept 1683 Catherine, daughter of John Stoy
April 22nd 1688 Elizabeth, wife of Richard Stoy (her death)*

*Note: A marriage is recorded in the Boldre Parish Register showing a marriage between a Richard Stoy and Elizabeth Farding on Oct. 12, 1680. This is a possible second marriage 12 years prior to his death. If this is a second marriage for Richard the Elder, then it may show up in the inventory dated 1692 when it arrives.

Gary Stay visited the repository at the House of Lords in London to look up Recusant Stoys. After an extensive search found one entry dated Dec 3, 1680, "Convicted Popish Recusants” that of "Catherine Stoy wife of John Stoy”.

Catherine Stoy doc

The above document provides. "A list of the names of the Popish Recusants within the County of Hampshire.” The document talks about a "plot and conspiracy, and carried on by those of the Popish Religion”.

The source of Betty Peter's references above are not known. Betty was a Catholic and a friend of Harry's wife Joan. Visited Betty and found her conversant with the Recusant History of the Hordle, Milford, and area.

Chapter 18
Catholics in Southwest Hampshire

We have spent some time in documenting Catholic activities in and around Brockenhurst, Boldre, Hordle, and Milford. We feel it important to examine this connection because if the Stay\Stoy family were indeed Catholic in Brockenhurst and migrated over five generations to Hordle and Milford, then we need to carefully review Catholic families and their activities south of Brockenhurst.

By 1725, there were not many practicing Catholics in Brockenhurst and Boldre, an enumeration of the time listed only a scant few. However, this same list indicates a much larger listing in the parish of Milford. Two of the individuals with rather large holdings were listed.

From the Registers and Records of Winchester, Catholic History Society, the following:

Deanery of Fordingbridge (about 1724)

Boldre & Brockenhurst Only 2 or 3 papists
Lymington 10 papists no estates
Christchurch 4 Popish families
Breamore 5 Papists
Holdenhurst One Popish family
Fordingbridge 3 Papists
Milford 23 Papists, Richard White and John Lacy worth 1000
Ringwood may be ten Papists
Sopley There are four popish families but of small estate

This list is suspect because the total is only 73 families, however if you equated four individuals per family the total Catholic population would be about 300 souls for the entire area. This list is based upon estimates from each of the parishes represented by the Anglican clergy at that time.

"Over much of Hampshire as of Surrey the organized Catholic cause collapsed with the total desertion of the propertied classes, leaving behind a sad and tiny unshepherded Diaspora who could certainly be of little use to any attempt to overthrow the Protestant succession by force.” - - - The dissenting enterprise in Hampshire in this period was clearly on a much bigger scale than that of Roman Catholicism, but the returns are not very informative about it.” Circa 1725 (P. xxiv, and xxv, Parson and Parish, Introduction by W.R. Ward, Hampshire county council, Winchester 1995 - Hampshire Record Series Volume XIII)

Prior to this period (1724), the large Catholic land owners had their estates confiscated. In 1593-4 two thirds of the manor of Hordell Bremor (Hordle Breamore) and the Manor of Keyhaven was taken from Henry Carye Esq. recusant, and seized into the Queen's hands. (see section about Henry Cary Esq.)

A notation in the family Bible Family Bible held by Chris Upton, indicates that the "family came from up north in Somerset”. "At the time, we felt that any place up north was called Somerset”, which could well have been Brockenhurst.

Catholics in Milford

From the census of Catholics in the area in 1724, (23 families) listed above, it appears that Brockenhurst had only a few, Boldre having one or two families with Milford having a considerable number. This could account for a move from the Brockenhurst area to Arnewood and Hordle. They would likely gather to an area where support from others of their belief was available.

Much Catholic activity continued in the Milford, Hordle, Keyhaven area. Following are various items from the Catholic Record Society texts about the Registers of Sopley (selected quotes).

Registers of Sopley i.e. The Catholic Mission

Note: In early times, a Catholic "Mission” that included parts of Southern Hampshire and a part of Dorset existed. It included Pennington, Christchurch, Lymington, Bournemouth, Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst, New Milton and Ringwood.

p. 90 "In recent years a little more evidence has come to light showing the existence of Catholic families around Milford and Pennington, among whom the shadowy form of Father Paul Atkinson, O.F.M., seems to move. We find that three families all Catholics, succeeded each other at Everton.” (about 1 mile north of Hordle and Milford, Everton, otherwise Yelverton, Yeovilton, Evelton, Evilton)

p. 91 About the year 1725 the Lacys came to live in Efford Cottage, on the main road between Everton and Lymington. Father Paul Atkinson, O.F.M., a prisoner in Hurst Castle since 1699, use to say Mass at Efford Cottage. - - - -Fr. Paul, a dark, tonsured man, once said Mass on the steps of what is now the Churchyard Cross at Milford.”

p. 92 "After Mr. Lacy's death [1749] they were married at Milford Church by my father's old friend, the Rev. Richard Warner, and afterwards by Dr. Milner according to the Rites of the Catholic Church; I suppose at Yelverton House, as there was a chapel in the house, and Mr. Greenwood was the priest.

p. 92 "The Milford Record (I, No. 3, 1910) also shows that there was a Catholic school at Milford. - - -James Thorne, the Parish Clerk of Milford, deposed, among other things, that there was a school in Milford carried on by a Roman Catholic to teach children reading, writing and arithmetic. Thomas Godwin of Milford, a gentleman, deposed that Milford already had two schools- - -one kept by "one Lane, a notorious sort,” and the other by "W. Matthews, a reputed Papist.”

p.92-93 "In his 1741 visitation Bishop Challoner records that the congregation at Pennington and Avon numbered about two hundred”, and higher up on the same page under the name of the priest, "Frankland, gives one hundred and twenty communicants.”

The forgoing source leads us to believe that there were some 320 Catholics in Pennington and Avon. That number is considerably larger than those listed by the Anglican clergy for their congregations.

In 1593-94, two thirds of the "Manor of Hordell Bremor” (Hordle Breamore) and the "Manor of Key Haven” was sequestrated for Recusancy from Henry Carye Esq. recusant, and seized into the Queen's hands. Catholic Register Society publications: Vol. XLIII.

"There in fact, we find quite a number of farmers and laborers entered as recusants and owing huge sums to the Royal Exchequer. Next when the veil is lifted on this corner of Hampshire, we find an astonishingly large number of Catholics in the List of Convicted recusants of 1662/3. The List is very imperfect and contains the names of none of the Catholic gentry. Yet we find twenty-three convicted recusants in the "Hundred of Christchurch,” four in the "Town of Christchurch.” One in Ringwood and another eleven in the Liberty of Westover (C.R.S. VI, 314-5)

A footnote on page 88 speaks of Henry Cary. "*Henry Cary, recusant, of Tadford, Hants, grandson of Thomas, the first captain of Hurst Castle. This family persisted in recusancy for a long while, Unfortunately the name appears in various documents as "Carew,” "Cary,” "Carey,” and "Carce” (cf. C.R.S., Xiii, 121; v, 313; XXIV, 275). (See section on Henry Carey)

Note: Tadford or Taddyford, is a farm about 400 yards East of the Old Parish Church at the original village of Hordle.

We conclude from these records that considerable activity by Catholics living in and around Milford/Hordle took place. Our premise that the Stays may well have left Brockenhurst and settled to the south in Arnewood and Hordle may have validity. A review of the parish registers of Brockenhurst and Milford support this premise.

There are gaps regarding Stays in the Milford and Hordle parish records. This may be accounted for if the family was Catholic during this period. We note from the Family History Monthly March 2000, Hopwood "Tracing Catholic Ancestors A guide to Sources” the following items:

"Most Catholics had their children christened at a Church of England service and the parish register would generally record these events with no indication that the parents weren't Anglicans.” - - - The majority of Catholics were married in an Anglican church, largely to secure their children's' rights of inheritance. However, many couples underwent a second wedding service, conducted by a traveling Roman Catholic priest. " - - - "The dangers of performing an illegal marriage increased after Hardwicke's Marriage Act was passed in 1753, stipulating that priests conducting ‘irregular' marriage ceremonies should be transported for 14 years.” - - - The risks of keeping Catholic registers of births, marriages and deaths, meant that many records were destroyed or that these events were never written down at all.” - - - "While the 1837 Registration Act removed the necessity for Catholics to be buried, married and christened in Anglican churches, they still had to prove their wills in Church of England courts until 1858.” (Ibid)

After this lengthy discourse, we have no proof that the Stoy/Stays were Catholic after the initial documented Stoys in Brockenhurst during the 1600s.

Chapter 18
St Nicholas Church of England Brockenhurst Parish

Parish Church Sign

Photo Parish Church St. Nicholas

The Parish Church. Christians have worshipped on the site since AD737. The Domesday Book records the church as being in "Broceste", as the Normans called Brockenhurst. It is regarded as the oldest church in the Forest, standing on top of a hill overlooking the village, the railway station, and the level crossing on the A337 Lymington Road. The Church was enlarged by the Victorians but in the south wall of the old Nave there is some Saxon herring-bone masonry. The South doorway is a fine example of Norman work with chevron mouldings. The Arms of Queen Anne are displayed above and to the side of this door. The Purbeck stone and lead lined font is Norman. Services are held each Sunday at 11:15 am and 6pm. In the churchyard, to the left of the south entrance porch, is an ancient yew tree, estimated to be well over 1,000 years old.


The earliest signs of habitation in Brockenhurst date back 4,000 years to the Bronze Age: the area is dotted with burial mounds - called tumuli. Beyond that, few signs remain of other habitation during the next 3,000 years, when the Saxon period was brought to an end by the events of 1066.
William the Conqueror created his Nova Forest in 1079, a vast hunting area lying south and west of his capital at Winchester; it stretched south to the coast at Barton on Sea and west to what is now Bournemouth. Four years later, the Domesday Book recorded that there were four small Saxon manors in the Brockenhurst area, Mapleham, and Hinchelsea. Mapleham no longer exists, but the name Hinchelsea continues to the west of Brockenhurst. The third manor, Brochelie, was given the modern name of Brookley, and was the most important, having a regular weekly market and an annual fair lasting several days. At that time, forest rights did not exist. However, Brochelie had the right to graze sheep on the open forest, but only between Wilverley and what is now Rhinefield Road.

The manor house of Brochelie lay between the modern Brookley Road and The Rise and between the Watersplash Hotel and St Saviour's Church. The fourth Saxon manor of the area was Broceste - pronounced Brockerste - which gives the village its name.

At that time, St Nicholas' Church, was no more than an outlying chapel linked to Twynham - later Christchurch Priory. William Rufus visited Brockenhurst, worshipping in St Nicholas' church, as at least two writs were issued by him from here.

In 1348, all mention of Brochelie ceases. During this time the Black Death killed a third of the population of England, which could be a good explanation.

By the eighteenth century, nearby Lymington was a thriving town due to the manufacture of salt from sea water. By the end of the 1700s, the Lymington road had become a turnpike and a regular route for the mail coaches from Lyndhurst and the north. During this time, Brockenhurst grew in size, with dwellings and inns strung along the main road.

In 1745, Henry Thurston, a local man who left to make his fortune in London, died, leaving a bequest to set up a school in the village. This was located at the corner of what is now Mill Lane.

In 1770, Edward Morant, using some of the vast wealth that flowed from the family estates in Jamaica, purchased Brockenhurst House - an Elizabethan farmhouse - for £6,400. He rebuilt it as a large Georgian mansion, laid out the avenues in the grounds and acquired adjacent land, eventually peaking at some 3,000 acres (12 km²).

Configuration of Setley

Configuration of Brockenhurst

Portions from the current map showing the configuration of Setley and of Brockenhurst as they exist today, not much different from early 1700 maps. The St. Nicholas Church is identified in the lower map.

Chapter 20
A study of the Swainmote Court Documents

Source: "A Calendar of New Forest documents, the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries”

Edited by D. J. Stagg

Book is in the Salt Lake Family History Library

It is a publication of the (Winchester): Hampshire Record Office for Hampshire County Council c1983. Hampshire Record Series; v.5

Call Number: 942.27 B4hr v.5 – FHL British Book

Page xix entitled "THE FOREST COURTS”

- - - - -"The fundamentals of forest law, were comparatively straightforward. In practice, the majority of offences were concerned either with the poaching of deer or the stealing of timber, and the treatment of offenders varied with the circumstances. When an offender was taken while committing an offence, depending upon the seriousness and nature of the offence, either he could be released upon the provision of sureties or bail, or he could be detained until trial. Such offenders would appear at the attachment or swainmote court, where the foresters would make presentments of alleged offences, and these would be examined by a jury. "

"A number of offences were judged by the Court, including for hunting and chasing with dogs, for hunting the king's deer, for putting sheep in the forest. Also for taking firewood, oaks for firewood to be converted for colewood. A fine was imposed and paid to a Samuel Reinold.”

"The swainmote court was held once a year on the 14th of September during the mid 1600s. A jury made up of 12 jurors representing the various villages surrounding and in the Forest. The "Forest Law” went back into antiquity and was required to follow specific rules and laws.”

"The roll lists the names of the vills, and the reeve and four men of each vill. (Village) On the Court held the 14th of September 1660, Richard Stoy is listed for the "Vill of Brockenhurst and Brookley. William Smith was listed as the reeve. John Merrifield, William Farver, Richard Stoy, John Smith.” Were sworn and listed as having appeared.”

"The next reference was for the Court – "The New Forest in the County of Southampton. Court and Pleas called the Swainmote held at Lyndhurst on the 14th September 1663 before the foresters, verderers, regarders, agisters, and all other ministers of the forest, just as is written below:”

"Vill of Brockenhurst and Brookley. William Arnes reeve, William Farver, Richard Stoy, Edward Rowland, and John Pilliean are sworn.” At this 1663 court, we found the following notation:

"(3) That Richard Stoy yeoman, recently of Brockenhurst on the 17th of August 1663 at Setley had placed and permitted his ten sheep to wander and departure in and upon the herbage growing in the forest, depasturing and laying waste to the surcharge of the forest. (6s 8d)”

This entry is significant in our study of Richard Stoy. It appears that he violated the law by letting his 10 sheep graze in the forest. In addition, he was empanelled as a juror at the same court.

Setley consisted of only a few cottages and was only about 1 to 1 ½ miles just south of Brockenhurst.

It is also significant that Setley is within just 2 ½ to 3 miles just north of Hordle Parish and particularly the Arnewood tithing, the northern portion of the Parish where Vaggs Lane occurs.

"Richard Stoy, the juror”, is also listed as serving on three other courts held in 1660, 1667 and 1669.

A second reference to the violation of the forest law by Richard Stoy refers to the same incident.

"Richard Slye, 17th August 1663, for keeping ten sheep to the surcharging and nuisance of the forest fined 6s 8d (paid Reinild). A note indicates that Richard Slye was an alias for Richard Stoy.

We ask the question, are there two Richard Stoys listed in the document or are they one and the same. How can a Richard Stoy serve as a juror and be a yeoman being charged and fined in the same court? After a review of the records, it was common that jurors were fined for offences.

We make note in the book that "The detection and reporting of offences required the local knowledge of the foresters and under foresters, but they were the very people who had the greatest opportunity to carry out such crimes and also sufficient local authority and power to make detection difficult.- - - The overlap between the duties of forest officers, the involvement of jurors, and the responsibility of outside officials for the sentencing of offenders and general supervision of judicial and administrative matters, were all necessary components if the forests were to be managed in a proper manner.”


That Richard Stoy a juror and Richard Stoy the yeoman who pastured his 10 sheep in the forest are very likely one and the same.

Secondly, the above information places Richard Stoy, recently of Brockenhurst, at Setley which is 1 to 1 ½ miles due south of the current village of Brockenhurst, and quite near to Arnewood in the Hordle Parish.

We may surmise that this individual was "Richard Stoy the Elder, deceased,” noted in the 1702 Vaggs Lane lease, about 39 years later.

The lease also indicates that Richard Stoy the elder was the previous lessee of the property.

Setley & Brockenhurst were affiliated with the Parish of Boldre, the fact that Richard Stoy and Joane Stoy were Christened at Boldre in 1675 and 1676, but from Hordle and Arnewood, ties Richard Stoy the Elder to Boldre and is the father of Richard and Joane. Arnewood is a tithing of the Hordle Parish.

Owner/SourceGary Stay
File nameA History of Peter Stay's Ancestors Part 2
File Size
Linked toPeter (also Petter) STAY

» Show All     «Prev «1 ... 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 ... 466» Next»