Lovell family of Eling

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This page discusses a possible link between the Bull family of Ringwood, Hants, and the Lovell family of Eling in the early 17th century. The Lovell had been minor gentry in Eling parish since at least the early 15th century, and are the related to the Rogers family of Bryanston, Dorset.


Jane Lovell's origin

On 14 Dec 1656, Francis Bull married Jane Lovell at Ringwood, Hants.[1] Francis was baptised there in 1625,[2] and it seems reasonable to assume Jane was a similar age. There's no baptism for her in Ringwood parish, though a Hester Lovell was baptised there on 12 Apr 1640, daughter of a Mr John Lovell,[2] and a George son of John was buried there on 20 May 1641.[3] A Mr Lovell was buried on 29 Mar 1643 which could be John.[3] Evidence that Jane Bull née Lovell is the son of this John Lovell can be found in the 1685 will of a John Lovell of Cranborne, Dorset.[4] This will names three of John's sisters: Jane, the wife of Francis Bull; Elizabeth, the wife of William Bessant of Ringwood; and Hester, the wife of John Bull of Ringwood. Hester and John's marriage licence says that she was aged 31 on 8 Dec 1671,[5] which is consistent with the 1640 baptism, demonstrating that John of Ringwood was Jane's father.

A few years earlier, a John Lovell was living in Eling parish and had children John (bp 4 Apr 1628), Jane (bp 13 Jan 1629/30), Bridget (bp 27 Jan 1631/32), Elizabeth (bp 21 Apr 1634) and Walter (bp 24 Aug 1636, identifying his mother as Jane)[2]. This Jane is of the right age to be the Jane who married Francis Bull, and Hester fits well on the end of this sequence. There are suitable baptisms for John of Cranborne and Elizabeth Bessant too, and there are plausible burials at Eling for the other two children (Walter on 17 Feb 1637, Bridget on 24 Aug 1639)[3] to explain their absence from the will. The coincidence of names would by itself be strong evidence that Jane came from Eling, but the link with Eling is further established by John of Cranborne leaving 20/– to the poor of Eling and mentioning a "kinsman", Henry Lovell of Totton in the parish of Eling.[4]

On 24 Jul 1623, a marriage licence was granted for John Lovell of Eling to marry Jane Howell of Millbrook in either parish.[6] As no marriage is recorded at Eling it presumably happened at Millbrook where the marriage register only begins in 1633.[1] This matches the mother's name given in baptism of their younger son, Walter. John of Cranborne also mentions a godson, Charles son of John Howell of North Stoneham.[4] North Stoneham parish borders Millbrook,[7] and the two Johns may well be cousins; but regardless of their precise relationship, it is evidence of a connection between the Ringwood Lovells and the Howells of Millbrook. It therefore seems safe to conclude that John and Jane are the parents of Jane Bull née Lovell.

A useful check on the plausibility of the link between the Lovells of Eling and Bulls of Ringwood is that the families were of similar social class. If, as seems likely, Jane's father John was the Mr Lovell buried in 1643, he must have been at least a wealthy yeoman to be afforded the title "Mr". Other Lovell family wills indicate that they were minor gentry in Eling. I do not yet know how Francis Bull was described, but at the time of his death in 1688 his estate was valued at £173 11s 10d, mostly in corn and livestock, suggesting that he was a comfortably off yeoman.[8] His father Thomas Bull had only been a husbandman who had died in 1638 with an estate worth just £39 15s 6d,[9] so the family was seemingly moving up in the world, perhaps partly by inheritance from Jane's brother, John Lovell of Cranborne. The residue of John's estate was inherited by Thomas's son, Charles Bull, who was John's executor. Charles married into the affluent Braxton family of yeomen in Beaulieu, and their eldest son was described as a gentleman in a 1731.[10] When Francis married Jane, it was a marriage between two people of similar social class, and consistent with the Bull family's increasing social status.

(Many online family trees on Ancestry and Genes Reunited say that Jane was born in 1634, but none of those trees are meaningfully sourced: they reference each other in a tangle of mutual attribution, never leading to a real source. They often also put Jane's death on 19 Aug 1695 in Weymouth, Dorset, again with no adequate source: that is the date of the burial of Jane widow of Francis Bull, but at Ringwood. From other details in some of the trees, it seems likely that this has originated due to a confusion between Weymouth, Massachusetts and Weymouth, Dorset. It seems that a Jane Hatch of about the same age as the Ringwood Jane Lovell settled in that colony as a child, and went on to marry a John Lovell there. It seems that some researcher has confused the two Weymouths, and the woman's married and maiden names.[11] In the absence of adequate source citations, I see no reason to take these genealogies at all seriously.)

The Lovells of Eling

There is a baptism in Eling on 19 July 1601 for a John, son of Henry Lovell.[2] It would make John about 22 when married, about 27 when his first child was born, and about 39 when Hester was baptised in 1640. This is quite feasible. This is not the only candidate baptism in Eling. The John son of Felix, baptised in 1618, is certainly too recent; but there were Johns baptised in 1582 and 1586, neither of which record the parents.[2] These are possible, especially if his wife were younger, but they put John in his 40s when he married which would be unusual. There are no suitable surviving baptisms records in Hampshire other than at Eling. On balance, the 1601 baptism seems the most probable.

Henry's children baptised at Eling were Henry (21 Jan 1587/8), Alice (22 Aug 1591), Bridget (1 Jan 1593/4), Felix (19 Apr 1595), James (28 May 1598), John (19 Jul 1601)[2]. A Henry Lovell married Bridget Rickman on 17 Apr 1577 in Eling.[1] It could be the same Henry, and the big gap between marriage and first recorded child can easily be explained because parents are not given in the Eling baptism register before 1587. Other Lovell children baptised between 1577 and 1588 are Christopher (1579), Amy (1580), William (1581), John (1582), Stephen (1584) and John (1586)[2], quite probably some of these were Henry and Bridget's children, but some may be part of other Lovell families.

Henry left a dated 10 Apr 1612 and proved later that year on 31 Oct.[12] He gives £100 to his daughter Bridget when she marries or reaches her 20th birthday, and 100 marks (£66 13s 4d) each to his sons James and John when they reach 21. Three others sons (Henry, Felix and William) are mentioned, but do not receive bequests in cash. This is entirely consistent with baptisms found at Eling. Presumably Alice died, and there is a suitable burial on 13 Aug 1592.[3] Of the earlier baptisms with no parents given, the William baptised in 1581 was presumably Henry's son, and the others either belonged to other families or died young. Henry makes his wife Bridget his executrix, and appoints Stephen Hurst of Whiteparish and John Grindham overseers of his will.

Henry's wife Bridget left a will dated 23 Jul 1615 in which she mentions the same six children, and appoints James and John her executors.[13] The will seems to have proved twice, once in 1615 and again in 1623, and it seems that between those dates James died and John came of age.[14] Bridget's burial was on 26 Jul 1615 at Eling, and it is likely that her son James's burial is the one on 3 May 1620.[3] Knowing that John survived to adulthood adds support to the suggestion that it is Henry and Bridget's son John who married Jane in about 1628.

It is possible that John's father Henry is the Henry baptised in Eling in 25 Feb 1547/8,[2] making him 30 on marriage and 54 when John, his last child, was born. As usual in the Eling register at this time, his father is not given. If this is the correct baptism, Bridget his wife must have been a bit younger to avoid her being infeasibly old when John was born.

The visitation of Wiltshire

The 1565 Visitation of Wiltshire contains a genealogy for the Lovell family of Bulford, Wilts, which I reproduce here:[15]

  1. Richard Lovell of Berkley, co. South'ton in the time of Henry the Sixth, mar. and had issue, — Thomas, his eldest son.
  2. Thomas Lovell of Berkley, Gent., son and heir of Richard, mar. and had issue. — Richard, his eldest son.
  3. Richard Lovell of Northanger, co. South'ton, Gent., eldest son and heir of Thomas, mar. Margerett, da. of Sir Henry Rogers, of Bryanston, co. Dorset, Kt., and by her had issue. — Henry, his eldest son; Stephen, second son.
  4. Henry Lovell of Northanger, Gent., eldest son and heir of Richard, mar. Edith, da. of … Camplin of Marchwood, co. afs'd, and by her had issue, — Thomas, eldest son and heir; Henry, second son; Richard, third son; Margerett, mar. to Stephen Hurst of Whiteparish, co. Wilts.
  5. Thomas Lovell of Bulford, co. Wilts, Gent., son and heir of Henry, mar. Mawd, da. of Richard Cooper of Durington, co. afs'd, and by her hath issue, — James, his eldest son and heir apparent; and a da. named Ellyn.

Thomas Lovell of Bulford left a will dated 31 Nov 1589,[16] in which he mentions five children, William, Henry, James, Agnes and Ellen, of which William and Agnes were not yet 21, and James as the main beneficiary was presumably eldest son. This suggest Thomas probably married in the early 1560s, and therefore was born in the late 1530s. The baptism at Eling on 16 Nov 1539 is probably therefore his.[2] There are two Margaret Lovells baptised in Eling at this time: one in 1542, the other in 1545. One is presumably the daughter of Henry who married Stephen Hurst. These dates are consistent with Henry's second son, Henry (the father of John), being born in 1547/8. Thomas's will mentions his brother Henry Lovell, demonstrating that he was still alive in 1589, and the fact that Henry's 1612 will makes Stephen Hurst an overseer[12] seems to confirm that Thomas of Bulford is the brother of the Henry who had children in Eling in the 1590s.

Thomas of Bulford's youngest brother Richard Lovell dictated a short will from his sickbed on 20 Nov 1571.[17] He left bequests to his "brother" (really brother-in-law) Steven Hurst and Steven's wife and children, who he does not name; the residue of his estate went to his brother Thomas. He presumably had neither children nor a wife. Richard was buried on 24 Nov 1571 at Eling.[3]

The marriage between Henry Lovell, their father, and Edith Camplin is not in the Eling parish register.[1] This is not particularly surprising as the first marriage in the register is in 1539, the year in which their eldest son Thomas was baptised. However the first name of Henry's wife is confirmed by Henry's will dated 28 Mar 1556. In this he leaves an annual annuity of £4 to his mother Margaret, and 40/– to his son and heir Thomas. After his mother's death, the use of his house called "Hanger" goes to his wife Edith and son Henry who are directed to pay Thomas £6 (probably annually). The house reverts to Thomas if Henry dies before coming of age. Ten kine [cows] go to his son Richard, and 40 marks a piece to his unmarried daughters Margaret and Barbara. In the event that all three sons die without heirs male, his lands are to go to his brother Stephen and his heirs male. The inventory shows goods and chattels totalling £146 11s 8d.[18]

Henry Lovell, the father, would likely have been born in the 1510s, based on when Thomas was born, and if he were of age in c1530 for Rogers v Lovell (discussed later),[19] that puts his birth no later than 1510.

The Rogers link

The link to the Rogers family is corroborated by a chancery suit, Rogers v Lovell.[19] Although undated, if refers to Sir Thomas Moore as Lord Chancellor, which dates it to 1529–32. The suit concerns a messuage, cottage and land in Eling, which was in the possession of Henry Lovell but claimed by Sir John Rogers, son and heir of Henry Sir Rogers. Sir John's claim appears to be that even if Sir Henry gave the land to Lovells, the land was held in fee tail and the gift therefore invalid. But it is genealogical information given in Henry Lovell's response that is of particular interest:

… by Indenture beryng Date the xxvijth Day of Apprell in the xvijth yere of the raigne of kyng Henry the vijth made betwene the said Sr Henry Rogers of the on' partie and the said Thomas on the other partie, amonges other thynges it was covennted and agreed that the said Richard the sone and heire apparant of the said Thomas Lovell should before the feast of the Nativyte of seynt John the Baptist next ensuyng the date of the said Indetures mary and take to wif the said Margeret bastard daughter unto the said Sr Henry. And also it is by the same indentures ferther agreed that the said Sr Henry should make or cause to be made sufficient and sure estate in the lawe of his manor of Northhanger lyeng in the countie of Sutht'

The indenture mentioned was dated 27 Apr 1502 and the next Feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist is 24 June 1502. Although the relevant part of the manuscript is damaged, it appears to confirm that Richard Lovell and Margaret [Rogers?] were indeed married in 1502. (Margaret's maiden name is not mentioned. She was clearly acknowledged by her father, so she may have taken his surname, but she may have used her mother's surname.) This suggests Richard Lovell may have been born in c1480, and certainly no later. Henry is quite explicit in his response that he is son and heir to both Richard and Margaret, and that both parents were alive at the time of the suit. Margaret was still alive in 1556 when Henry wrote his will[18], but Richard seemingly wasn't: quite possibly Richard was buried at Eling on 4 Sep 1540.[3]

If Margaret were an illegitimate daughter of Sir Henry Rogers and already provided for, this might explain why she is not mentioned in Henry's will,[20] which only lists four sons: John (the eldest), James, Thomas and Richard. Sir Henry's daughter Margaret does, however, appear in a genealogy of the Stourton family compiled by a herald during Henry VII's reign.[21] It lists Avice Stourton who "wedded to Harry Rogers, Esq", with children John Rogers, Alexander, Thomas and Margaret. (The description in Collectanea topographica et genealogica suggests the manuscript was produced in c1505, though the fact that Henry Rogers was described as esquire rather than a knight makes me suspect it was produced no later than 1501, as Henry was made a Knight of the Bath on 17 Nov 1501, for Prince Arthur's marriage.[22] Regardless of the precise date, it is a contemporary source.)

If the line discussed here from Jane Lovell the wife of Francis Bull back to Sir Henry Rogers is correct, this provides a Plantagenet descent for the family. However I do not currently believe there is a sufficient evidence to be sure that Henry Lovell (bp 1547/8) is the grandfather of Jane Bull née Lovell.


Northanger, where Henry Lovell lived, is also interesting. It's not a name you'll find on a modern map. But the Victoria County History gives brief details of it:[23]

Land at Hanger was included in Totton in 1227–8. This land known afterwards as the capital messuage of Northanger was held of the lord of the manor of Totton by suit at his court and followed the descent of the manor of Dibden Hanger.

Northanger was owned by the owners of Dibden Hanger, and the VCH is more forthcoming on that manor.[24]

By 1422 both this [the manor of Dibden Hanger] and the manor of Dibden Poleyn had come to the hands of John Hall, who granted them at that date to John Roger or Rogers. Consequently in the 'Aid' of six years later John Rogers junior appears with Thomas de Dibden in the place of Richard atte Hanger and Walter Nott. After the death of John Rogers, his wife Ann, who married John Tuchet Lord Audley, held the manor. She died seised of it in 1498, leaving a son Henry Rogers, aged fifty-two, as her heir. In 1544 Sir John Rogers grandson of Henry sold the manors to William Webb, Mayor of Salisbury in 1523 and 1534, who died in 1553.

This describes the descent of Northanger and Dibden Hanger from John Rogers, to his widow Anne Echyngham (later Lady Audley), to her son Sir Henry. Sir Henry evidently then tried to separate Northanger from the manor to give it as a dowry to his son-in-law, Richard Lovell in 1502. Sir John Rogers's claim seems to have been that Northanger was "in hys demeane [demesne] as of fee taill" and therefore Sir Henry had not been free to dispose of it.[19] The inquisition post mortem of Anne Audley indicates that the manor and advowson of Dibden were granted to "Anne, late the wife of John Rogers, esquire, for the term of her life, with remainder to Henry Rogers, son and heir of John Rogers, in tail, with remainder in default to the right heirs of the said John Rogers".[25] An entail therefore seems to have existed on the manor; but according to the VCH, "Northanger was held of the lord of the manor of Totton" rather than Dibden Hanger,[23] and there is no indication that the Rogers family ever held Totton manor. Whether Northanger was similarly entailed is now unclear, and the outcome of the chancery suit seems not to be recorded. However as Henry Lovell mentioned a house called "Hanger" in his 1556,[18] it seems reasonable to suppose Sir John lost or abandoned the claim.

At the time of the chancery suit, Northanger was described as "a mese [mesuage] and a [...] a cotage wt a crtelage to the said cotage belonging, and of CC acres of wood, xx acres of meadow, C acres of pasture, and of xl acres of arrable land".[19] At over half a square mile, this is a substantial property. In a 1670, the "ancient messuage called Hanger, alias North Hanger Farm, in Totton, in the parish of Eling" was described as having "132 acres of arable land and pasture, five acres of meadow, [and] fifty-nine acres of wood and underwood".[26] Perhaps some woodland had by then been sold, or perhaps this was simply more accurate measuring.

As a side note, this seems to be the North Hanger Farm where the novelist Jane Austen lived for three years from 1806.[27] Presumably Austen was already familiar with the place as the novel Northanger Abbey was named three years before she moved there.

It seems likely that this is the same place as the Hanger Farm just north-east of Netley Marsh church, marked on 1872 Ordnance Survey map of Hampshire.[28] It is now an arts centre operated by Totton College.

Earlier generations

The 1623 Visitation of Dorset contains a longer and more detailed genealogy of a different branch of the Lovell family.[29] The first five generations are as follows:

  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 = Dorothie da. of Rob't Arney.
    • Margt Louell
    • Christia' Louell

The genealogy continues with William of Netley's descendants who became the Lovell family of Chalbury, Dorset.

The last two generations are largely in agreement with the earlier Wilshire pedigree, though with minor differences. This pedigree makes Margaret the daughter and heir to Sir Henry Rogers. In light of the evidence already discussed, it seems certain she was not heir. Was Thomas, the father of Richard of Northanger, the first or second son of Richard of Berkley? The Wiltshire pedigree makes him the eldest,[15] this one the second. Perhaps the eldest son John died without issue, and was ignored in the Wilshire pedigree. But these are minor differences. That the father of Richard of Northanger was indeed called Thomas Lovell seems undeniable. Not only do the Dorset and Wiltshire visitations agree on it, but so does the 1530 chancery suit.[19]

The only other evidence to supply dates for the earlier generations, is from the Wiltshire pedigree which implies that the Richard of Berkley was an adult in the reign of Henry VI (1422–61 & 1470–71). In order to marry in 1502, Richard of Northanger would have been born no later than the early 1480s, and the stretched generations required in the the Chalbury family mean that William of Netley was probably born rather later, perhaps in the mid 1490s, suggesting Richard of Northanger wasn't born much earlier than the late 1470s. Taking an average generation of 25 years, this puts Richard of Berkley's birth in about 1430, entirely consistent with being an adult during Henry VI's reign.

This puts the earliest events recorded in the Dorset genealogy two-and-a-half centuries before the 1623 visitation, however the visitation records "This Descent taken out of a parchment Roll written in an old hand; from the first Walt' vnto Will'm: who mar: the da: of Rob: Arney." This the whole of the section quoted above, which suggests the "parchment roll" was produced a century before the 1623 visitation. The 1530 visitation of Hampshire would be an obvious candidate for this "parchment roll", but no Lovell pedigree appears in it.[30]

It may be that contemporary evidence can be found to support the earlier generations of this descent, but at present without such corroboration the earliest four generations must be treated with considerable caution.

Sources consulted

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Hampshire Genealogical Society. Hampshire Marriage Index: 1538–1659, CD-ROM database. 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Hampshire Genealogical Society. Hampshire Baptism Index: 1537–1659, CD-ROM database. 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Hampshire Genealogical Society. Hampshire Burial Index: 1400–1841, CD-ROM database. 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 National Archives. "Will of John Lovell, Gentleman of Cranborne, Dorset" (PROB 11/386/251), Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.
  5. Willis, Arthur J. Hampshire marriage licences: 1669–1680. Folkestone, Kent: 1963. Digital index on : accessed 27 Nov 2014.
  6. Willis, Arthur J. Hampshire marriage licences: 1607–1640. London: Research Publishing Co., 1960. Digital index on : accessed 27 Nov 2014.
  7. Humphrey-Smith, Cecil R. The Phillimore Atlas & Index of Parish Registers (3rd ed.). Andover: Phillimore & Co., 2003.
  8. Hampshire Archives and Local Studies. "Inventory of Francis Bull of Ringwood, Hampshire" (1688AD/017).
  9. Hampshire Archives and Local Studies. "Inventory of Thomas Bull of Ringwood, Hampshire, husbandman" (1638AD/033).
  10. National Archives. "Bull v Braxton" (C 11/2778/14), Records created, acquired, and inherited by Chancery. Discussed in The Bulls of Beaulieu.
  11. Gamelin, Leslie. On-line tree published on : accessed 11 Apr 2014. [Note: this source is quoted as an example of incorrect research.]
  12. 12.0 12.1 Hampshire Archives and Local Studies. "Will and inventory of Henry Lovell of Marchwood Romsey, Eling, Hampshire, yeoman" (1612B/056).
  13. Hampshire Archives and Local Studies. "Will and inventory of Bridget Lovell of Marchwood Romsey, Eling, Hampshire, widow" (1615A/52).
  14. Hampshire Archives and Local Studies. "Will of Bridget Lovell of Marchwood Romsey, Eling, Hampshire, widow" (1623A/50).
  15. 15.0 15.1 Metcalfe, Walter C, editor. The Visitation of Wiltshire: 1565. Exeter: William Pollard & Co., 1897.
  16. National Archives. "Will of Thomas Lovell, Gentleman of Bulford, Wiltshire" (PROB 11/76/342), Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.
  17. Hampshire Archives and Local Studies. "Will of Richard Lovell of Eling, Hampshire, yeoman" (1572B/064).
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Hampshire Archives and Local Studies. "Will and inventory of Henry Lovell of Eling, Hampshire" (1556U/41).
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 National Archives. "Rogers v Lovell" (C 1/671/43), Records created, acquired, and inherited by Chancery.
  20. National Archives. "Will of Sir Henry Rogers" (PROB 11/15/26), Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.
  21. Collectanea topographica et genealogica, vol. 1. (1834). London: John Bowyer Nichols & Son, 1834; p. 312; citing British Library, Harl. MS. 1074.
  22. Rapin de Thoyras, Paul M. The History of England. London, 1747; Vol 4, part 2, p 264.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Page, William, editor. The Victoria History of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, volume 4, pp. 546–558 ("Parishes: Eling"). Victoria County History. London: Constable & Co., 1911.
  24. Page, William, editor. The Victoria History of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, volume 4, pp. 655–658 ("The liberty of Dibden"). Victoria County History. London: Constable & Co., 1911.
  25. H. M. Stationery Office. Calendars of inquisitions post mortem and other analogous documents — Henry VII, vol. 2 (1496–1504), pp. 101–2 & 106–8. London: 1915.
  26. Abstract of All the Claims on the New Forest, p. 153. Salisbury: 1776.
  27. Keymar, Thomas. "Northanger Abbey and Sense and Sensibility" in The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen, 2nd ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011; p. 23; citing An Abstract of All the Claims on the New Forest (Salisbury, 1776), p. 153.
  28. Ordnance Survey. 1:10,560 (6 inches : 1 mile) map of Hampshire. 1872. Digital image, British History Online : accessed 9 Sept 2014.
  29. 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.
  30. Rylands, W. Harry, editor. Pedigrees from the visitation of Hampshire: 1530, 1575 & 1622. London: The Harliean Society, 1913. Citing British Library, Harl. MS. 1544.
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