Lovell families in Dorset

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The Lovell family of Eling had several connections to Dorset.

  • Richard Lovell (b est 1485) married the daughter of Sir Henry Rogers of Bryanston, Dorset from whom he inherited property in Northanger, in Eling parish.
  • Walter Lovell (b est 1530), the nephew of Richard of Northanger, lived in Chalbury, Dorset, and his son lived in the neighbouring parish of Horton, Dorset.
  • John Lovell (b est 1400) lived in Rockford according to the Dorset visitation. Assuming Rockford is the Hampshire village, it is by the Dorset border and less than ten miles from Horton and Chalbury.

This leads me to wonder whether the Eling family might have been related to any of the Lovell families living in Dorset at this time. At the moment I have found no evidence for such a connection.

The Lovells of Chalbury

The 1623 Visitation of Dorset contains a long genealogy for a branch of the Lovell family of Eling.[1]

  1. Walter Louell of … = Edith da. of Rob. West
  2. Joh: Louell of Rockford =
  3. Joh: Louell of Barkleye = Joane da: & heyre of Will'm White of Barkley
  4. Rich: Louell of Barkleye = Agnes da: & hey: of Wm Mullward of Laneford
    • Joh: Louell 1 sone.
    • Thom: Louell of Netley 2 sone. [see below]
  5. Thom: Louell of Netley 2 sone. =
    • Rich: Louell of Northhangr eldest sonne. = Margt da. & hey: of Hen. Rogers of Brienston in Dorsetsh.
    • Will'm Louell of Netley [see below]
    • Margt Louell
    • Christia' Louell
  6. Will'm Louell of Netley = Dorothie da. of Rob't Arney.
    • Walter Louell of Netley [see below]
    • Elizb Louell
    • Alice Louell
    • Margt Louell
  7. Walter Louell of Netley = the da. of Lawrence of Tisbury in com. Dors:
    • Thomas Louell of Netley in com. South' & Wilsford in com. Dorset [see below]
    • Charles Louell 2 sone.
  8. Thomas Louell of Netley in com. South' & Wilsford in com. Dorset = Alice da. of John Hancock al's Barklet.
    • George Louell 2 sone.
    • Charles Louell 3 sone.
    • Thomas Louell sonne & hey: ætat. 23, 1623
    • Deborah Louell 1 da.
    • Elizabeth Louell 2 da.

I am currently unable to determine where Wilsford might be. The most recent generation nearly matches a series of baptisms at Horton, Dorset: Walter (bp 4 Jan 1597/8), Thomas (bp 15 Feb 1598/9; bur 3 Mar 1599/1600), Thomas (bp 17 Jul 1600), George (bp 17 Jun 1602), Charles (bp 6 Nov 1604), William (bp 2 Aug 1607, bur 6 Apr 1608), Deborah (bp 22 Jan 1608/9).[2] No parents are given on the first five baptisms, but a Mr Thomas Lovell is listed as father of William and Deborah. Elizabeth is not listed although the records from 1610–15 are barely legible; probably Elizabeth was baptised five miles away over the Hampshire border in Ringwood on 10 Apr 1614, the father being listed as "Tho Lovell, gent."[3] There are no other Lovells recorded in Ringwood until a generation later. Probably Walter, the eldest, died before the visitation, though there is no record of his burial. The 1600 baptism for Thomas is consistent with him being aged 23 in 1623.

Thomas Lovell of Horton (or of Netley and Wilsford, per the visitation), father of generation 8, would probably have been born in the 1570s. Netley was in the parish of Eling, whose parish register begins in 1538, but there is no record of either Thomas or his brother Charles being baptised at Eling or elsewhere in Hampshire.[3] However, most of the adjacent parishes do not have registers going back that far, and they may have been baptised in one of those parishes. Nor do Walter and his siblings, who were likely born in the 1530s or '40s, appear in the Eling register.

A Walter Lovell of Chalbury, Dorset left a will dated 14 Nov 40 Eliz I [1598] and proved 6 Feb 1598/9.[4] Chalbury is the parish immediately west of Horton, and it is clear that this Walter is the father of the Thomas whose children were baptised in Horton as he bequeaths 40/– to "Walter Lovell the sonne of Thomas Lovell my sonne", the child baptised less than a year earlier. The will mentions children Thomas Lovell, Alice Redman, Marye Forde, Jane Withington, Margaret Horoies and Charles Lovell, as well as his wife Mary. The two sons, Thomas and Charles, match the sons given in the Dorset visitation. The will mentions no places besides Chalbury. Although Chalbury is only five miles from Tarrant Rawston, there is no evidence that the Lovells of Tarrant Rawston are related to Walter.

Walter's father William Lovell was the younger brother of Richard of Northanger who can have been born no later than the early 1480s. There were also two sisters, and very probably other siblings who died young or otherwise went unrecorded. It is not therefore infeasible that William might be as much as twenty years younger than Richard. But even then, the generations in the Netley family are rather stretched. Thomas (bp 1600), the subject of the visitation genealogy, appears to be the eldest surviving son of an eldest son of an only son, and for the genealogy to work, the age difference between generations must be unusually high. However there is some evidence to support this. A Walter Lovell is mentioned in inventory of church goods for Chalbury, Dorset taken in 1552; the implication being that he is a parishioner.[5] If this is the same Walter who died in 1598, for him to have been of age in 1552, he must have been born no later than 1531, 70 years before his grandson.

So far I have found no contemporary evidence for the existence of William, and it is conceivable there was no such person. Possibly he was invented at the time of the visitation as a means of grafting the Chalbury family onto the better established Eling family. Such inventions are by no means uncommon in visitations.

The Lovells of Tarrant Rawston

Five miles west of Chalbury lies Tarrant Rawston, where there was a Lovell family. Two branches of the family are recorded in 1565 Visitation of Dorset sharing a common progenitor, William Lovell of Tarrant Rawston:[6]

William Lovell of Tarrant Rawston alias Antyocheston, co. Dorset, Gent. mar Elizabeth, da. to … Twynihoe of the said co. Gent., and by her hath issue, — William, his eldest son; John, second son; Anthony, third son; Marmaduke, fourth son; Margaret, mar. to her first husband … George, after to Thomas Mountford; Edithe, mar. to John Waryn.

This is clearly the same William Lovell who left a will dated 3 Feb 1524, as the list of children matches exactly.[7] The will mentions William's son-in-law, Thomas Mounford, indicating that his daughter, Margaret, was old enough to have been married twice. This suggests that 1470 might be a reasonable estimate for the William's birth.

It had crossed my mind that this William might turn out to be the same person as Walter of Chalbury's father, William of Netley, but the dates are wrong. This William is a generation too old to be Walter's father. The 1565 visitation shows no Walter in the next generation, and in any case, were to have been, it would contradict the 1623 visitation that shows Walter to be the son of William, son of Thomas.[1]

William's will also indicates that he held the manor of Tarrant Antioch.[7] According to a 1901 article by G.R. Elwes, the manor came into the Lovell family by marriage during Henry VI's reign (1422–61 & 1470–71).[8]

In 1316 Nicholas Antioch was certified by the Sheriff as "Lord of the township of Tarant Antioch." In 1409 John Antioche held lands in Bakebere, Cheping-Blandford, Auntycheston, all in the County of Dorset. In Henry VI's reign the heiress of the family conveyed the estates away by her marriage to John Lovel. The Manor of Antiocheston, or Tarent Antioch, is now incorporated with Tarent Rawson, and has been so for a long time.

Elwes cites no source to back this up. From the dates, John might be the father or grandfather of William.

Sources consulted

  1. 1.0 1.1 Rylands, John Paul, editor. The Visitation of the County of Dorset taken in the year 1623. London: The Harleian Society, 1885. Citing British Library, Harl. MS. 1166.
  2. Dorset History Centre. Parish registers. Digital image, : accessed 26 May 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hampshire Genealogical Society. Hampshire Baptism Index: 1537–1659, CD-ROM database. 2013.
  4. National Archives. "Will of Walter Lovell, Gentleman of Chalbury, Dorset" (PROB 11/93/92), Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.
  5. J.H.W., "Inventories of Church Goods, Dorset, 1552" in Notes & Queries for Somerset and Dorset, vol 3, 1893. Citing "Exchequer, Q.R. Church Goods, Dorset, 2/17" (probably National Archive, E 117/2/17).
  6. Metcalfe, Walter C, editor. The Visitation of Dorsetshire: 1565. Exeter: William Pollard & Co., 1887.
  7. 7.0 7.1 National Archives. "Will of William Lovell" (PROB 11/21/275), Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.
  8. Elwes, G.R. "Eponymous Families of Dorset" in Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, volume 22 (1901), pp 119–146.
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