Sutton Cheney
Sutton Cheney

Origin:Southern Tun and Cheney is a family name

Domesday:Crowland Abbey holds 2 carucates of land in Sutton Ceney and 2 carucates of land in Stapleton. There is land for 5 ploughs. There 6 villans with 2 bordars have 1 1/2 ploughs. It was worth 60s; now 40s.

Arnold holds of Hugh 1 carucate of land in Sutton Cheney. There is land for half a plough. This plough is there in demesne. It was worth 3s; now 10s.

A small village in South Leicestershire adjacent to Bosworth Field.

The Normans gave 2 carucates of land and a windmill in Sutton Cheney to the Abbey of Croyland. In 1279 the village was made up of 3 manors, Verdon, Hastinges and Crowland.

By 1564 there were 25 families living there. In 1630 there were 4 freeholders, William Roberts (knight), Richard May, William Drakeley and John Swinsen (gent). The freeholders rose to 17 in 1719 but declined to 9 by 1775. By 1800 there were 64 houses with 160 males and 156 females; 79 of the population were engaged in agriculture and 76 in trade/ manufacture.

The Almshouses, accommodating 6 poor people, were founded in 1612 by William Roberts who provided an endowment of 30 a year to run them. In the Civil War the Roberts family were royalists and in 1646 were fined 780 for "delinquency" for "residing in the enemy's garrison".

 

A imposing Manor House still exists in the village

 

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It was in Sutton Cheney church that, in 1485, Richard 111 said mass prior to the Battle of Bosworth. Richard lost his horse, his crown, his life and, latterly, his reputation at the hands of Shakespeare. There is a Richard 111 Society, which seeks to uphold Richard's reputation and holds a service periodically in the church. Amongst those killed at Bosworth were Richard's secretary, John Kendall, and two sons of William Kendall of Smithsby and Twycross, Richard and Thomas Kendall.

 

The village today is attractive, rather than "pretty". Brick cottages and outbuildings have been sympathetically maintained and the row of Alms Houses adjacent to the church is quite a feature but seemingly too large for such a small village.

 

The church seems open on a regular basis, perhaps because it contains an exhibition about Richard 111 (it did when I went at least).

 

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The first Kendalls in the village (excluding those who died at Bosworth) were William Kendall who married Mary Sands there in 1687. I can find no trace of earlier Kendalls/Sands in the Parish Registers though Mary Sands senior, wife of Thomas Sands, died there in 1691 and could perhaps have been "my" Mary's mother. The Kendall family continued to live in the village to the end of the 1800s, with my branch leaving in the 1850s.According to the registers "On 28 OCT 1774 William Kendall was put in Clark", presumably parish clerk.

If you have any information on Sutton Cheney or the Kendell and Sands families (in particular where they might have come from) I would be pleased to hear from you.

 

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For a description of the village in the mid 1800s a Directory of 1849 is attached.