Lowndes marriage settlement 1703

When Robert Lowndes, son of William the builder of Winslow Hall, married Margaret Atcherley in 1703, his father drew up an elaborate marriage settlement. There is a copy of the document in the Winslow archives from which this transcription has been made, and another at the Centre for Bucks Studies, D/LO/4/3. Only the more interesting parts have been transcribed here (it consists of 6 very large parchment sheets). The settlement included the manor of Winslow, nearly 600 acres of land, the market and tithes, "the Parsonage Close and barn" and "the Capital messuage or mansion house lately built at Winslow". According to Jennifer Moss (Ways and Means, p.77) the value of the property was £23,462.

The manor was already held in trust under arrangements made in 1698. Now William Lowndes handed it over to new trustees along with other land he had acquired since then, the new house, and the lands (mainly at Broughton and Stoke Mandeville, but some in Winslow) purchased with the £4,000 marriage portion provided by Margaret's uncle. Two of the trustees were William's associates from London but the other two were William Gyles (the younger), Winslow's leading Baptist after his father's death in 1702, and Peter Lowndes, a cousin who looked after Lowndes interests in Winslow. The trust meant that Robert had the use of Winslow Hall and the revenue from the manor but could not sell any of it as it was entailed to his future sons.

The document was signed and sealed at different times and places. William Gyles and Peter Lowndes must have signed in Winslow, and the witnesses were the Baptist-hating vicar John Croft, the local lawyer Nicholas Merwin and William Gyles' Baptist brother Daniel.

Signatures of William Gyles and Peter Lowndes

[f.1] This Indenture Quinquipartite made the Twelveth daye of June In the year of our Lord One Thousand Seaven hundred and Three And in the Second year of the reigne of our Sovereign Lady Anne by the grace of God of England Scotland France and Ireland Queen Defender of the faith &c. Between William Lowndes of Winslow in the County of Bucks Esquire Robert Lowndes Son and Heir apparent of the said William Lowndes and Charles Twitty of Westminster in the County of Middlesex Esquire of the first part the Honourable Richard Hill of the parish of St. James within the Liberty of Westminster in the said County of Middx Esquire And Margarett Atcherley Spinster Neice of the said Richard Hill of the Second part George Townsend of Lincolnes Inne in the County of Middx aforesaid Esq(uire) And William Clayton of the said Parish of St. James w(i)thin ye Lib(er)ty of Westm(inst)er Esq(uire) of the third part Thomas Jett the Younger of Westm(inst)er aforesaid Gent “  - “  -  “  - of the fourth part And Charles Shales of London Goldsmith William Gyles of Winslow aforesaid Linen draper and Peter Lowndes of Winslow aforesaid Yeoman of the fifth part Witnesseth That for and in Considerac(i)on of a Marriage intended by Gods grace to be shortly had and Solemnized between the said Robert Lowndes and Margarett Atcherley and of Four Thousand pounds of lawfull English money paid by the said Richard Hill by the directon of the said William Lowndes and Robert Lowndes into the hands of the said George Townesend and William Clayton for the Marriage Porc(i)on of the said Margarett Atacherley to be laid out in the purchasing of Lands to be setled in the manner and forme herein after menc(i)oned  The receipt and payment of which said sum(m)e is hereby acknowledged And for providing a Joynture for the said Margarett for her Support and maintenance in case the said Marriage shall take effect and she shall happen to survive the said Robert Lowndes And for setling the Mannors Rectory Lands and Hereditaments hereby granted or conveyed or menc(i)oned to be granted or conveyed  So that the same may continue so long as it shall please God in the name and Family of the said William Lowndes And for other good causes and Considerac(i)ons the said William Lowndes Robert his Son and Charles Twitty in this behalfe moving The said Charles Twitty by the direct(i)on and appointment of the said William Lowndes testified by his being a party to and signing and sealing these presents And also the said William Lowndes and Robert Lowndes have and every of them hath granted bargained sold aliened released and confirmed ... unto the said George Townesend and William Clayton (in their actuall possession being by virtue of a Bargaine and Sale by Indenture bearing date the day next before the day of the date of these presents to them made by the said Charles Twitty by the direct(i)on of the said William Lowndes and by them the said William Lowndes and Robert Lowndes for One Year commencing from the day next before the day of the date thereof and by force of the Statute for Transferring Uses into possession) and to their Heirs All that the Mannor of Winslow with the rights members and appurtenances thereof in the said County of Bucks And All that the Towne of Winslow  in the said County of Bucks with all the Faires and Marketts to be holden there and the profits thereof And all those the Mannors of Shipton Greenborough and Little Horwood in the same County of Bucks (being Members of the said Mannor of Winslow) with all and singular the rights members and appurtenances thereof  And all those Free and Customary Rents and other Rents whatsoever (being parcell \of/ or reputed to belong to the said Mannors or any of them in Winslow Shipton Little Horwood Greenborough North Merston and Oving or any of them in the said County of Bucks And those Eight acres of Land within the parish of Winslow aforesaid which Nicholas Goodwyn the Elder formerly purchased and laid to the said Mannor And all that the Rectory or Parsonage Impropriate of Winslow with the rights members and appurtenances thereof in the said county of Bucks with the Close called the Parsonage Close there and the great Barne therein  And all the Tythes of or belonging to the said Rectory in Winslow Shipton or elsewhere within the same County Of all which said Mannors Rectory and other the Premisses before menc(i)oned the said Charles Twitty doth now stand seized to him and his Heires In Trust for the said William Lowndes and his Heires And all those Lands conteyning by admeasurement Eighty nine acres and an halfe more or lesse which are part of the Lands called the Berry Lands within the parish of Winslow aforesaid which were purchased from S(i)r Robert Clayton knight and others  And all that piece or parcell of Meadow and pasture Ground called Tookey Mead conteyning by estimac(i)on Eight acres more or lesse within the parish of Winslow aforesaid  And all that Close and parcell of Meadow and Swerd Ground called Reveham containing by estimac(i)on Three acres more or lesse within the same parish  And all that Messuage or Tenement and those Close and parcells of Land in Shendly alias Nether Shenley in the said County of Bucks conteyning by estimac(i)on Fifty three acres more or lesse now or late in the tenure or occupac(i)on of the Widow Turvey or her Assignes ... (The Customary Estates of and in all that Capitall Messuage lately built by the said William Lowndes at Winslow aforesaid ... excepted) Unto the said George Townesend & William Clayton ... To the use of the said William Lowndes ... untill the solemnisac(i)on of the said intended Marriage ... Then To the use of the said Robert Lowndes for the Terme of his naturall life without impeachment of Wast ... And upon Trust neverthelesse to permitt the said Robert Lowndes during his life to receive and take the rents issues and profitts ... And i(m)mediately from and after the decease of the said Robert Lowndes To the use of the said Margarett Atcherley his intended wife for her life for her Joynture and in lieu barr and satisfaction of all her Dower and Thirds of in or to all or any the Mannors Lands Tenements or Hereditaments which the said Robert Lowndes shall have at any time ... And after the decease of the said Robert Lowndes and Margarett and of the survivor of them Then to the use of the first son of the body of the said Robert Lowndes on the body of the said Margarett lawfully begotten and of the heires male of the body of such first son And for default of such issue Then To the use of the second son ...

[f.4] And whereas since the making of the Surrender and Indenture before menc(i)oned severall other Coppyhold Tenements Lands and Hereditaments (parcell of the said Manor of Winslow and its Members and lying or being within the Townes Feilds or Precincts of Winslow and Shipton aforesaid) have been purchased by the said William Lowndes party to these presents (That is to say) One peice of Land upon which a Cottage lately stood which was in the occupac(i)on of Henry Tims at or near the Lane called Astons Lane another peice of Land upon which a Cottage lately stood which was in the occupac(i)on of William Britten at or near the Lane last menc(i)oned, and a peice of Land upon which a Cottage lately stood in or near the Street called the Sheepstreet which was in the occupac(i)on of William Shelton with the Yards Gardens and appurtenances which belonged to the said Three Cottages All which were Surrendered by Henry Tims Marrian his wife William Britten Elizabeth his wife and William Shelton and Ellen his wife at a Court holden for the said Mannor of Winslow on the Twenty fourth day of Aprill One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety Nine and by Adjournment on the One and Thirtieth day of May One Thousand Six hundred Ninety Nine Two acres of Land in the Common Feilds of Winslow aforesaid which were Surrendred by William Kurby and Jane his wife at the same Court Two leyes conteyning One acre more or lesse upon which a Brick Kilne lately stood and a peice of Land called Westerne Knob conteyning one acre more or lesse which were lately in the occupac(i)on of John Stutsbery and Two Leyes conteyning One acre more or lesse lately in the occupac(i)on of Robert Wyat All which premisses last menc(i)oned were surrendred by Henry Honor John Stutsbery Elizabeth his wife Robert Wyat and Diana his wife at the same Court holden for the said Mannor of Winslow Two leyes conteyning One acre more or lesse lately in the occupac(i)on of John Chennalls which were Surrendered by him and Sarah his wife at the same Court  Two acres of Land late of John Godwin which were by the said William Lowndes party to these presents and the said Rebecca his wife surrendred at a Court holden for the said Mannor on or about the Eighteenth day of August One Thousand Seaven Hundred and One  A Peice of pasture Land called Albons Close and a peice of meadow called Blackthorn Platt conteyning together Five acres more or lesse which were surrendred by Thomas Arnett on or about the said Eighteenth day of August One Thousand Seaven hundred and One  One Messuage at the Bridge foot in Winslow with One Close near the same conteyning Two acres more or less and several Lands conteyning Eight acres and an halfe or thereabouts to the said Messuage belonging which were Surrendred by Thomas Kerby at a Court holden for the said Mannor of Winslow on or about the fourth day of October 1701  And one Tenement called Frenchs Tenement which was surrendred by John Wyat and Ann his wife on or about the Twenty Seaventh day of Aprill 1702  All which Surrenders so made since the said Generall Surrender of the Six and Twentieth day of November One Thousand Six hundred Ninety Eight (being of Lands and Tenements in the Precincts of Winslow aforesaid) were made to the use of the said Richard Martin Charles Shales William Gyles and Peter Lowndes and their heires upon the same Trusts and Subject to such Provisoes and powers as are specified in the said Indenture of the Six and twentieth day of November One Thousand Six hundred Ninety Eight of and concerning the Lands in Winslow therein menc(i)oned and Six acres of Land in the Blackgrove Feild of Shipton aforesaid which at the said Court holden for the Mannor of Winslow on the Twenty fourth day of Aprill One Thousand Six hundred Ninety Nine \and by adjournm(en)t on the said One and Thirtieth day of May 1699/ were Surrendred by Thomas Blake and Elizabeth his wife To the use of the same Trustees and their Heires Upon such Trusts and Subject to such Provisoes and Powers as are specified in the said Indenture of the Six and Twentieth day of November One Thousand Six hundred Ninety Eight of and concerning the Lands in Shipton therein menc(i)oned All which Lands so purchased and surrendred upon the said severall Trusts since the said Six and Twentieth day of November One Thousand Six hundred Ninety Eight in

Folio 5 of the marriage settlement

[f.5]  Winslow and Shipton do amount to One and Thirty acres more or lesse And the said last menc(i)oned Trustees or the Survivors of them have been admitted thereunto accordingly  As by the Court Rolls of the said Mannor of Winslow or the Coppies thereof may more fully appear And whereas upon some part of the Coppyhold Lands and Tenements surrendred upon or since the said Six and Twentieth day of November One Thousand Six hundred Ninety Eight upon such Trusts as aforesaid the said William Lowndes party to these presents hath lately built a Capitall Messuage or Mansion house with Outhouses and other Conveniencys thereunto belonging  Now this Indenture further witnesseth that for the better maintenance and support of the said Robert Lowndes upon the said Marriage and for preserving the benefitt of the said Coppyhold Estates Surrendred upon such Trusts as aforesaid to the name and Family of the said William Lowndes party to these presents so long as it shall please Almighty God And for other good Causes and Considerac(i)ons He  the said William Lowndes party to these presents is contented and well pleased And doth hereby declare that it is his mind will and pleasure to alter change revoke frustrate determine extinguish and make void And doth by this present deed or Writing ... revoke frustrate determine extinguish and make void all and every the Trusts Lymittac(i)ons Declarac(i)ons Appointments and Uses whatsoever which by the said recited Indenture or by any Surrender or Surrenders relating thereunto are lym(m)itted appointed expressed or declared Aswell of and concerning the said Coppyhold Lands conteyning Five hundred Forty Seaven acres more or lesse As of and concerning the said Coppyhold Lands conteyning One and Thirty acres more or lesse and of and concerning all other the Customary Messuages Tenements Lands and Hereditaments whatsoever parcell or reputed parcell of the said Mannor of Winslow and its Members and lying and being in the Townes Feilds or Precincts of Winslow and Shipton aforesaid or either of them which in and by the said Surrender of the Six and Twentieth day of November One Thousand Six hundred Ninety Eight or by the Subsequent Surrenders aforesaid or by any other Surrender or Surrenders made since the said Six and Twentieth day of November One Thousand Six hundred Ninety Eight have been surrendred or passed to the use of the said Richard Martin Charles Shales William Gyles and Peter Lowndes and their Heires or to the use of the Survivors of them and their Heires upon all or any the Trusts in the said Indenture of the Six and Twentieth day of November One Thousand Six hundred Ninety eight conteyned or expressed and of and concerning the said Capitall Messuage or Mansion House and all other Edifices and Buildings lately erected upon the said Coppyhold premisses or some of them with all and singular the appurtenances thereunto belonging and of concerning the Rents Issues and Profitts of the same (Except the severall Coppyhold Tenements Lands and Hereditaments which are excepted in the said Surrender of the Six and Twentieth day of November One Thousand Six hundred Ninety eight And Except One Messuage and those Lands conteyning Forty two acres and an halfe more or lesse situate and being in Winslow and Shipton aforesaid which at the last Court holden for the said Mannor were purchased from Doctor William Holloway by the said William Lowndes party to these presents and are surrendred to the use of him and his Heires)

[f.6] And the said William Lowndes ... thinks fitt <to> order and declare that the said Charles Shailes William Gyles and Peter Lowndes ... shall stand and be seized of and in the said Capitall Messuage or Mansion House and the said Coppyhold Lands conteyning Five hundred Forty seaven acres ... and the said Coppyhold Lands conteyning one and Thirty acres ... surrendered ... in the said indenture of the six and twentieth of November 1698 ... (Except the said Coppyhold Tenements Lands and Hereditaments ... excepted) And Except the said Messuage and those Lands conteyning Forty two acres and an halfe ... Upon such Trusts ... as are hereafter in these presents menc(i)oned ... That they ... shall permitt and suffer the said William Lowndes ... to receive the rents issues and profitts of the said Capitall Messuage and all other the said Coppyhold Messuages Lands and premisses ... until the Solemnizac(i)on of the said intended Marriage And from and after the solemnizac(i)on thereof shall permitt and suffer the said Robert Lowndes to receive ... the rents issues and profitts of the same for the terme of his naturall life And from and after the decease of the said Robert Lowndes shall permitt and suffer the said William Lowndes ... to receive ... the rents issues and profitts ... for the Terme of his naturall life And from and after the decease of the said Robert Lowndes and William lowndes ... shall p(er)mitt and suffer the first son of the body of the s(ai)d Robert Lowndes on the body of the said Margarett ... and the heires male of the body of such first son ... to take and enjoy the rents issues and profitts ...


Robert Lowndes

Robert Lowndes signature and sealRobert Lowndes was the only child of William Lowndes' first marriage to Elizabeth Harsnett. He was born in London in 1680 and named after his Lowndes grandfather. In his will, William wrote about the settlement he had made for Robert: "all which I have freely and heartily done in a full sense of that particular affection which I bear towards my said Eldest Son (the only Issue which I had by my first Wife Elizabeth Daughter of Sr. Roger Harsnet Knight deceased) and with regard to his primogeniture and in memory of the true love that was between me and his dear mother whom it pleased God to take from me soon after his birth". William remained on good terms with his father-in-law, who made him the executor of his will and left him and Robert £10 each, presumably on the grounds that they were already benefiting from whatever provisions he had made under Elizabeth's marriage settlement. Robert's uncle Robert Harsnett was one of the witnesses to the 1703 marriage settlement.

Robert must have been brought up by a series of stepmothers (his father married four times in all). He is recorded as a student at Gloucester Hall, Oxford, aged 14 (1695; father given as William Lowndes esq. of Westmorland in Oxford University Alumni), and then at the Inner Temple (admitted 1696; father recorded as of Westminster). He may be the Robert Lowndes who was one of the commissioners for wine licences c.1701-17, with a salary of £200, and / or the Robert Lowndes recorded as a supernumerary clerk at the Treasury 1704-7. On 24 July 1714 Robert Lowndes of Winslow and his brother William (of Westminster) became two of the seven Auditors of the Exchequer Court for Crown Land Revenues,"with the fees and profits thereof except the £200 per an. salary as annuity which the said office heretofore enjoyed." (Queen's Warrant Book XXVI, pp. 156–7).

Robert does not seem to have been a financial success; his father in his will (made 1721, proved 1724) wrote: "I do hereby freely Release to my said son Robert the balance or Debt from him due to me upon all accounts whatsoever between us and my Will is that whatsoever he shall owe to me at the time of my decease for or upon account of such balance or Debt then owing to me shall be fully and absolutely released and discharged"

Robert's wife Margaret was the niece of Sir Richard Hill, a diplomat and government minister and substantial landowner in Shropshire, who provided her marriage portion. They divided their time between Winslow and London. They had 16 children in all, including 4 pairs of twins.  Some were born in London, some in Winslow, and over half of them died young. Robert died unexpectedly when he fell down dead after dismounting from his horse, and he was buried at Winslow on 3 Sep 1727. Margaret was buried on 23 April 1728. Winslow Hall passed under the terms of the marriage settlement to their eldest surviving son Richard. Robert did not leave a will; as his property had all been entailed by his father, there may not have been much point.


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Copyright 27 May, 2016