Whelan 1874
Whelan 1874

ASTON-LE-WALLS PARISH.

This parish, which includes the hamlet of Appletree, and part of the grange or reputed manor of West Warden, is bounded on the north by Boddington, on the east by Byfield, on the south by Chipping Warden, and on the west by Claydon and Cropedy in Oxfordshire. The East and West Junction Railway passes through this parish, which contains 1000 acres. Its population in 1801 was 235; in 1831, 240; in 1841, 253; in 1851, 254; in 1861, 221; and in 1871, 183. The rateable value of the parish is 2148, and the gross estimated rental 2287. The land varies from a strong loam to a sandy soil, and the lordship is nearly equally divided between arable and pasture. Wm. H. F. Plowden, Esq. (lord of the manor), and Richard Aubrey Cartwright, Esq., arc the principal proprietors.

Manor.-At the time of the Conqueror's survey, Estone, as it is written in the Domesday Book, or Aston, Aston-le-Walls, or Aston-in-the-Walls, as it is variously written in later records, contained six hides of land, which were held by Malger of Geoffrey de Mandeville. These six hides were then valued at 5, though in I the Confessor's reign they were rated only at 5 s. -This Geoffrey de Mandeville," writes Bridges, " was distinguished by his valour in the battle of Hastings, and after the victory was richly rewarded by the Conqueror. Besides the lordships he gave him, seven of which lay in Northamptonshire, he made him Constable of the Tower of London, and continued him in that post during life." In the reign of Henry II., the lordship of Aston, with the hamlet of Apeltre, contained seven hides, and was held by William de Bologna of the successor of Geoffrey de Mandeville. In the second year of the reign of Edward I. (1274), Robert de Sutton died seized of this manor, and in the ninth of Edward II. (1316), Richard, his son, was certified to be lord of Aston and Apeltre. With the family of Sutton it continued for many generations, and in the twenty-second of Henry VI11. (15311), Edward Sutton, Lord Dudley, levied a fine of it. This nobleman was succeeded by Sir John Dudley, Knight, who in the thirty-second of the same reign obtained a grant of the manor of Appletree, which before the dissolution of the monasteries belonged to the monks of Chacomb, in this county, and the manor of West Warden, in Bedfordshire, all of which, with the manor of Aston, passed from him in marriage with his daughter to John Butler, Esq., second son of Ralph Butler, Esq. of Sabridgeworth, in Hertfordshire. From John Butler1, Esq., this manor descended lineally to his great-grandson, Alban Butler, Esq., who died in 1617, and his estates passed to his daughter and heiress, Elizabeth, wife of Eraneis Plowden, Esq. of Plowden, in Shropshire. William Plowden, Esq., great-grandson to Francis, we are told by Mr Baker, "was a colonel in King James II.'s guards, whose fortunes he followed into Ireland and France ; but after a short residence at the court of St Germains, was, through the interest of his wife's uncle, the Duke of Shrewsbury, and the Countess of Sunderland, permitted to return to England and take possession of the family estates, his three elder brothers having died without issue. From his presumed attachment to the countess originated the song of ' Plowden of Plowden Hall,' by Wycherley, the comic poet. He rebuilt the manor-house at Aston, and lived there a few years; but being a Catholic, he became an obnoxious man to the violent Whigs of the neighbourhood, particularly to a Colonel Montague, who then resided in the present Lord Guil ford's house, at Chipping Warden ; and not having taken the oath of allegiance to King Wiliiam, his six coach-horses, by virtue of an act recently passed against nonjurors, were seized on entering Banbury, and impounded by a magistrate, being worth above five pounds each. He immediately quitted Aston in disgust, and it has been deserted by' the family ever since." The estate continued in the possession of the family, and now belongs to William Henry Francis Plowden, Esq. of Plowden Hall, Shropshire, who succeeded his father, William Plowden, Esq., in 1869.

The Manor-House, now a farmhouse, stands west of the church. Traces of its original splendour are still visible.

The Village of Aston-le-Walls is situated in a wooded valley about eight miles north-east from Banbury. Bridges tells us that " the town is reported to have been formerly larger, and foundation walls have been dug up towards Apeltre."

The Church, dedicated to St Leonard, consists of a nave and side aisles, south porch, chancel, and a low tower containing three bells and a clock. The chancel is entered under an open arch, and the altar is ascended by three high steps. In the south wall are stone seats for the priest and deacon, and a double piscinas. The living is a rectory in the Deanery of Brackley, rated in the king's books at 9, 9s. 7d.; and now worth about 600 per annum. In the north wall of the chancel is the monumental effigy of an ecclesiastic, under an arch, and in the nave are brasses and a marble slab to the memory of the family of Butler. The patronage is vested in the President and Fellows of St John's College, Oxford, who purchased it in 1720 from William Plowden Esq., the then lord of the manor, and the Rev. Henry Thorpe, M.A., is incumbent. The rectory consists of 140 acres of land, and rnoduses of 174, 1s. 6d from Appletree, and 24,10s. for that portion of West Warden which is within this parish.

The Rectory House stands near the centre of the village. The Catholic Chapel, which stands at the south-east end of the village, was built and endowed by Edmund Plowden, Esq., in 1826, and was opened in July 1827. The windows are partly filled with stained glass; the altar-piece is a representation of our Saviour crucified between the two thieves. The chancel is separated from the body by a handsome screen, surmounted by the rood bearing the figure of our crucified Redeemer. There is a small gallery at the west end, in which there is a harmonium. Near the chapel is the presbytery, and there is a day-school attached to the chapel, built in 1873 by the trustees of the late Wm. Plowden, Esq., and supported by his son, the present lord of the manor. The Rev. William Hamrnond is the priest.

APETREE or APPLETREE is a hamlet forming the south-western division of this parish, the rateable value of which is 1074; the gross estimated rental is 1200. It contains from six to seven hundred acres, of which Lord Overstone, Thomas Horley, Esq., Captain Severn, and the Rev. Henry A. Holden are the principal proprietors. Appletree being a member of Aston, its manorial history is included in it. This hamlet supports its own poor.

Biography.€"The Rev. Alban Butler, a learned Catholic divine, was the second son of Simon Butler, Esq. of Appletree, and born here in 1710. For extent of possessions and splendour of descent, his family once vied with the noblest and the wealthiest of the land, but were reduced to slender circumstances at the lime of his birth. His grandfather was a Protestant, and according to the tradition of the family, was the confidential agent of the Duke of Devonshire and the Earl of Warrington in inviting the Prince of Orange to England. The subject of this notice, when about eight years old, was sent to the English College at Douay, Mr Holman of Warkworth undertaking to defray the expenses of his education; "and no student was more humble, more devout, more exact in every duty, more obedient or mortified." After completing the usual course of studies he received holy orders, and after making a tour through Europe as tutor and companion to three young noblemen, members of the illustrious house of Talbot, he was appointed to a mission in Staffordshire, and here he brought to a conclusion his great work on the " Lives of the Saints." It was first published in London in 1745, in 5 vols. 4to; a Dublin edition appeared in 1780, in 12 vols. 8vo; an Edinburgh edition in 1800; a London stereotype edition in 1815; and another edition m the same number of vols. in Derby in 1842. He was a perfect master of the Italian, Spanish, French, Latin, and Greek languages, and possessed some skill also in those of the East. He was elected President of the English College of St Diner's, and Vicar-General to the Bishops of Arras, St Omer, Ipres, and Boulogne ; and after a life of the most exemplary piety, he died on the 10th of May 1773, in the sixty-third year of his age. A "Treatise on the Movable Feasts," written by him, has been since edited by Mr Challoncr ; three volumes of his "Discourses" have been published under the superintendence of Mr Jones, and an " Account of his Life and Writings " has been published by Mr Chas. Butler of Lincoln's Inn, his nephew, who erected a handsome monument to his memory in the chapel of the English College at St Omer.

WEST WARDEN hamlet, containing one farmhouse, is situated partly in this and partly in the parishes of Chipping Warden and Woodford. This estate formed part of the possessions of the Abbey of Warden, in Bedfordshire, prior to the dissolution of the religious houses in the reign of Henry VIII. Aubrey Cartwright, Esq., is the present proprietor.

Post-Office.-Letters received here through the Leamington post-office.

Budd Misses Susanna, Ann, and Mary

Hammond, Rev Wm. (Catholic)

Thorpe, Rev.Henry,M.A.rector

Farmers and Graziers.

(Marked * reside at Appletree.)

* Archer Benj.

*Astel John and William

Budd Henry

Carpenter Edward

Haslewood Thomas

Johnson Daniel, Red Hill

Mattingley Thos. Manor-House

Phillips John

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