The Stanhope Family.

In "Burke's Landed Gentry," it is stated that "Sir John Stanhope, M.P. for Newcastle, 1359, married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Stephen Maulovel of Rampton." The Close Rolls state that in 1374, John Stanhope de Rampton was appointed escheator in Notts. and Derbyshire. An escheator was an officer anciently appointed in every county to look after the escheats of the sovereign and certify them to the treasury. The word "escheat" was given to the resulting back of any land or tenements to the lord of the fee, or to the estate through failure of heirs.

In the Patent Rolls, November 29th, 1379, there is an entry "John de Stanhope alias Stanhope de Rampton alias Stanope co Notts for not appearing to tender a horse value £10."

The explanation of this is "that John de Stanhope held land direct from the King on Grand or Petty Sergeantry, connected with which was furnishing a horse to the King on some special occasion, the alternative of not furnishing stood assessed at £10, by which it was assumed that the King could buy the horse with the money, and the odds were the King, always in need, would put the money in his pocket. John de Stanhope, on his side, would look which was his best step—to deliver the horse, possibly in Scotland, at, say a cost of £12, or let it go by default and pay the £10, or it might be the King hinted it would suit him best to handle the coin." (W. Stevenson).

He was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir Richard, who was created a knight at the coronation of Henry IV. (1399), and served for the county of Notts, in Parliament repeatedly in the reigns of Henry IV., Henry V., and Henry VI. Thoroton states that his "first wife was Elizabeth, but by others said to be Joane, the daughter of Robert, son of Ralph Staveley or Staley." Both he and his wife are buried in Rampton Church; on the tombstone, she is said to be Johanna, the daughter of Robert Staley. The explanation of the confusion of names is that he was married twice,—first to Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of John Longvilliers; secondly, to Johanna Staley, by whom he had divers children, Richard, Thomas, James, Elizabeth, Agnes. Agnes married Robert Strelley, son of Sir Nicholas.

Sketch of monumental stones of Richard Stanhope, his wife Joan and his grandson's wife, the daughter of Dr Thomas Talbot of Bashall (Throsby's edition of Thoroton's Antiquities of Nottinghamshire, 1796).
Sketch of monumental stones of Richard Stanhope, his wife Joan and his grandson's wife, the daughter of Dr Thomas Talbot of Bashall (Throsby's edition of Thoroton's Antiquities of Nottinghamshire, 1796).

Sir Richard, born in 1377, died in 1436, and his wife in 1440. His tombstone is on the floor of the chancel; it was originally in the south aisle, which was probably built or enlarged by him. In 1414 the King's tenants in Darlton and Ragnall made complaint to the King, that Sir Richard Stanhope "had enclosed certain fields and pastures which they formerly had use of, so that they cannot pay the rents and service due from their holding."

His eldest son, Robert, died in 1434 without issue. His second son, Richard, was married twice; (i) Elizabeth, daughter of John Markham, (2) Maud, daughter and heiress of William, son of John, Lord de Deincourt, and sister-in-law to Sir Ralph Crumwell, whose estates passed to her in 1455. By her he had Henry Stanhope, and a daughter Maud (Thoroton calls her Matilda) first married to Robert Willouby; secondly, to Thomas Nevile; and thirdly, to Gervas Clifton; she had no issue by any of her husbands; and another daughter Joane, married to Humphrey Bouchier. Richard died March and, 1431, and is buried in Tuxford Church. He held the Manors of "Rampton, Ansty, Skegby, Southcotam, Lancaster ducat membr. half Egmanton, one third of Tuxford," (Inquis. 14 Hen. VII.).

The heir to the Manor was now John, son of Richard by his first wife Elizabeth; he succeeded his grandfather, Sir Richard in 1436. In 1425, he married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Talbot, Knight, of Bashall, co. York. Thoroton states that "John Stanhope esq 14 May, 1455, paid relief for lands in Rampton, Tuxford, and Egmanton, which till that year Matilda (Maud), the wife of his grandfather [or perhaps father] held." There is a tombstone on the south side of the chancel of Rampton church, to the memory of his wife, date 1455. In 1462 he was appointed executor for Thomas Stanhope, who willed to be buried in the church of All Saints, Rampton, "before the cross."

In the book of Licences at York there is the following entry, dated August 19th, 1459. "The vow of Elizabeth Stanhope, widow, taken before the Archbishop at Scrooby:—

In the name of God, Amen. I, Elizabeth Stanhope
promit and vow to God, and oure Lady, and all the
Sayntes, to be chaste fro thys tyme forward. In the
presence of you, most referent fadir in God, Whom be
the grace of God Archbishop of  York,  primat of
England, and legat of ye court of Rome, and I promit to
leve stably in this vowe during my life. And in witness
thereof with myne owyn hand make here this subscription.
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, Amen."

The place of her abode is not stated. If not of Rampton, she was no doubt connected with that family.

Thoroton states that "This John's eldest son was Thomas Stanhope esq, who by his first wife Mary, the daughter of Edward Jermingham of Sommer Laytun in Suffolk, was father of Sir Edward Stanhope; and his second son Henry Stanhope, 17th Edward, 3 IV., (1477) married Joane, the daughter of Henry Rochford esq of Stoke, Lincolnshire, by whom he had Edmund Stanhope, whose  daughter and heir, Margaret, was widow of Thomas, son of Sir William Skeffington." But according to an inquisition John died without issue, and his heir and successor was his cousin Edward, son of his uncle Thomas Stanhope.

Inquisition. December 20th. 9 Henry VII. (1493) "John Stanhope esq. He enfeoffod Robert Markham, Knight, Gervas Clifton, Thomas Fitz-William, Thomas Molyneux, John Leek, and Ralph Stanhope, clerk, of the undermentioned manors of Rampton etc. to the intent that after his death they should make sufficient estate thereof in law to Edward Stanhope, his cousin and heir apparent, in tail. One Walter, Vicar of the church of Lexton, gave the undermentioned manor of Hoghton and lands in Elkesley and Allerton to one Thomas Longuillers for the term of his life with remainder to John his son in tail with remainder in default to Thomas, right heirs. On the death of Thomas the premises remained to the said John Longuillers and descended on his death to Elizabeth his daughter and heir. She took to husband one Richard Stanhope, and had issue Richard Stanhope esq, to whom on his death the premises descended to her son and heir. After the death of the said Richard the son, the said manor and lands descended to the said John Stanhope as his son and heir, and cousin and heir of the said John Longuillers, viz. son of Richard, son of Elizabeth, daughter and heir of the said John. At the death of the said John Stanhope the said premises descended to Edward Stanhope his cousin and heir. He died 12 Dec 9 Henry VII (1493) seized of the undermentioned lands Willouby, Kyrton, etc, in fee. The said Edward Stanhope aged 24 and more is his cousin and heir, viz. son of Thomas his son and heir. Notts manor of Rampton worth £20 held by the King, as of the duchy of Lancaster by Knight's service viz, of a Knight's fee and other property."

In 1493, John Stanhope founded a chantry in the south aisle of Rampton Church, the income of which was derived from the rent of certain lands and tenements, and which endowment was to last for 100 years.

The following is taken from the King's Book, A.D.


"Cantanade Rampton infra Jurisdiciem de Southwell predicta Oliver Belamy chauntre priest there having 3 tenements in feoffement in Rampton for certain years as it appeareth by the last will of John Stanhope vli iiiis Whereof paid to Wheatley fee vis viiid Ferny vale rent viiid, and also for Treswell rent yerely iid Suma repris' viis vid It reman' clare £iiii xvis vid.

According to the founder's will the endowment was to last a hundred years, at the expiration of that time the land was to be sold and the proceeds used in supplying dowries for poor maidens, relieving poor households, and making roads in the parish.

The following is the evidence given before the Commissioners of Henry VIII. on oath by the stipendiary priest:—"The Stipendaric at Rampton, named in the boke of tenthe A Chantrie: nevertheless Olyver Belamye, Stipendarie pryste there, saithe uppon his oathe that it is neyther chaunterie nor perpetuite, for that the landis belonging to the same were putt in feoffment anno ix° Regis nuper anglie Henrici VII (1) for the fyndynge of a preste oon hundrethe yeres, (2) and an use declared that after those hundrethe yeres expired that (3) the same landis shuld be solde and the monye thereof comynge to be disposed uppon the marriage of pore maidens, relyvinge the pore householders, and makinge high ways within the parishe of Rampton aforesaid, as by the Wrythinges thereof shewed to the Commyssioners dothe appere; and as concerning his payment of his tenthes he supposeth that it was doon att the First withe oute good grounde or cause Reasonable."

The following is the report of the Commission:—

"The Stipendarye of Rampton, Founded by whom ys not presented to mayntayn a preiste to sing masses ther for terme of certayne yeres yet not expired ys worthe by yere in landis, Tenementis and other possessions lying and being in sondry placis of the said parishe of Rampton, as by the survey thereof made particulerly yt apperethe cs xxid. Rent Resolute yerely viis. id, and so Remayneth clere yerely unto Oliver Bellamy, chauntery preiste there, of the age Ix yeres of honest conversation having none other promocion: £iiii xiiis. viiid. Preacher schoolmaster of the poore relieved or mayntaned by this chauntry other the aforesaid chauntry priest and now Goodes remayning to the King's Majistes use over and besides one chalice parcell gilte waying xi oz all delivered unto thandes of the master of his grace's Jewell house as by an inventory thereof made particularly it apperethe. The lands appertayning a priest to sing as before expressed, and after the terme of the said yeres be expired and ended to be solde, and the money thereof coming to be distributed as well in marrying of poore maydens and in releving the poore folkes, as also to be employed and bestowed upon the highe wayes within the parish of Rampton aforesaid." The chantry was suppressed in 1548. In the following reign we find Oliver Bellamye on the pension list of Cardinal Pole. "Stipendar in Ramptone per ann xvis. viiid.

John Stanhope also endowed a chantry in Tuxford Church, or rather increased the endowment of an already existing chantry, founded by Sir Thomas Longuillers. The grant which appears to have been £2 13s. 1d., was like that of Rampton for a term of years only, at the expiration of which "the somme of £2 13s. 1d. to remayne with the heyres of Stanhoppe for ever."

Sir Edward, who received the honour of knighthood upon the field of battle from Henry VII., for his distinguished conduct against the Cornish rebels, under Lord Audley in 1497, and was made Constable of Sandal, Yorkshire, 18 Henry VII. (1502), married (1) Avelina, daughter of Sir Gervas Clifton, K.B., and had children, Richard, Marianne, John, Elizabeth, and Michael. He married (2) Elizabeth, daughter of Foulk Bouchier, Lord Fitz-Warine, and by her had an only daughter Anne, who became the second wife of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector in the time of Edward VI. Sir Edward Stanhope died 1512.

Richard Stanhope, esq., his eldest son, married Anne, one of the four daughters and co-heirs of John Strelley, esq., who was afterwards married to John Markham ; by her the said Richard had one only daughter and heir, Saunchia, who married John Babington, by which marriage the Manor of Rampton passed into possession of that family, having been in the Stanhope family for over 150 years, that is from 1374 to 1531.

The family of Stanhope was continued by the youngest son of Sir Edward, Sir Michael Stanhope of Shelford, who, sharing in the ruin of his brother-in-law, the Duke of Somerset, was found guilty of conspiring the death of Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, and beheaded with Sir Thomas Arundel on Tower Hill, 25th February, 1552. The name of Stanhope still survives in the neighbourhood, a farmstead in the adjoining parish of Treswell being called "Stanhope farm."

The Babington Family.

Saunchia was born May 10th, 1513. Her father died on January 21st, 1526-7, when she was 131/2 years old, but before his death he had arranged for Saunchia's wedding to John Babington, a younger son of Anthony Babington, of Kingston-on-Soar, this agreement was made on February 10th, 1519-20. The marriage took place, possibly in Rampton Church and from the old Hall, on October 5th, 1520. She was then seven years and five months old. Her estate and her husband's estate were placed in the hands of trustees. John Babington was about the same age, certainly not more than two or three years her senior. It was agreed that if either child died before the age of eighteen the arrangement about the estate was to be off, or reconsidered, and it was arranged that they came together as man and wife in 1531. The trustees were to act until John came of age, which was probably in 1531; Saunchia would be twenty-one in 1534.

Saunchia inherited property at  Laxton, generally known as Bekering Manor, which was sold to Augustus Hynde of Moorhouse in 1541. About that time, "that part of Tuxford which descended with Rampton to the family of Stanhope was by Saunchia and John Babington, her husband, sold to John (or Thomas) White esq, whose grandchild, Sir John White, purchased in most of the rest." (Thoroton).

The gateway in the corner of the churchyard: "an uncommonly lavish piece of Early Tudor brickwork" according to Nikolaus Pevsner (photo: A. Nicholson, 2001).
The gateway in the corner of the churchyard (photo: A. Nicholson, 2001).

Perhaps it was on acquisition of the purchase money that the handsome gateway was erected at the east side of the Rampton churchyard, leading into the grounds of the old Manor. Throsby states that the old mansion was built in the time of Henry VIII., so no doubt a still older edifice was either re-built, or enlarged and embellished at the time. It has been pointed out to the writer, by Mr. William Stevenson, that the celebrated stone monument to the Babingtons in Kingston-on-Soar church bears the arms of the Stanhopes and of other families with which they have intermarried, viz., Maulovell, Longvillers, Strelley, Markham, which seems to point to the probability that it was erected by John and Saunchia to the memory of Sir John Babington. He says, "It is clear the architect or master builder with his staff must have operated for the two," i.e., the monument at Kingston-on-Soar and the gateway at Rampton.

The gateway at Rampton, c.1834.The gateway at Rampton, c.1834.

This beautiful old gateway is thus described in Throsby's edition of Thoroton (1797):—" In the centre is a large frame richly wrought with open foliage, within which is a shield bearing the arms Babington (with a crescent for difference), impaling Stanhope, viz., John Babington and Saunchia, his wife, only daughter and heir of Richard Stanhope, elder brother of Sir Michael Stanhope, by which marriage he became possessor of Rampton, Houghton, etc. There were supporters and a crest which were much defaced. On the right is a frame with a shield bearing the arms of Babington, impaling Ferrers, viz.: Sir Anthony Babington and his second wife, Katherine, daughter of Sir John Ferrers, father and mother to the above-named Saunchia. Above all these is the rose and crown with a border of H. and K. On the opposite side of the gateway the arms are different, though disposed in the same manner; for in the centre are the arms of Babington with their quarterings, viz.: Dethick, etc. In the place of the crest is a device, the figure of J. S. (the initials of John and Saunchia), and beneath the shield is the name of Babington in large letters. There have not been any supporters to this shield. Above them is the rose and crown as on the other side. The emblem is not infrequently placed upon buildings raised in the reign of Henry VIII. by the partizans of the Tudor family, amongst which the Stanhopes and Babingtons were distinguished, especially the former; for Sir Edward Stanhope, grandfather to Saunchia, was a principal commander for Henry VII. at the battle of Stoke, in this county. The Tun, a punning emblem, cognizance, or device of the family is interspersed among the foliage and in different parts of the gateway. Along the wall, the arms of John Babington and Saunchia Stanhope are frequently to be seen in the brick work."

Saunchia is a Spanish name. It is the same as Sanctus (holy). The Sanctus-bell which was rung at the singing of the Ter-sanctus and the elevation of the Host, was also called the Saunce-bell.

In the old register the name "Sench" frequently occurs as a girl's Christian name. Possibly it was a shortened form or pet word, for Saunchia, the parishioners naming their girls after the lady of the manor, out of respect and affection for her.

John Babington was one of the commissioners for the suppression of religious houses. It was an important office for a man of his age to hold, for he could not have been more than twenty-nine years of age in 1536. On May 2nd, 1536, Sir Anthony Babington wrote to Cromwell telling him of the death of the Abbot of Beauchief. He reminded Cromwell that his son John had been appointed one of the commissioners, and begged that if other houses were going to stand, by composition or pleasure of the King, his house (Beauchief) might be amongst the number. Recognizing, as all his correspondents did, the Vicar-general's accessibility to bribes, he added that if the house was spared, for the sake of his wife's ancestors (the Chaworths of Alfreton, who were the founders and patrons), lying there, he would give his Mastership five fodders of lead and his daily service at command in these parts. (Victoria County History of Derby). Leland, in his Itinerary, when at Torksey, notes that "John Babington dwelleth at Rampton Village over Trent a good mile from Torksey."

John Babington died 3rd October, 1563, in London. Throsby states that there is a stone in the south aisle of the church with this inscription, "John Babington of Rampton esqr died the third daye of October, 1563, at London, buried—. Margaret wife of Original Babington esqr, daughter of Richard Gaily of Oldfield esqr, who died 28 August 1571." This stone is now hidden by a wooden floor.

Saunchia survived her husband; she was alive in 1565, in which year she sold, with the consent of her son, Original Babington, to William Hewit, Knight, "Cotton Closes in Dunham, Egmanton, Fledborough, Ragnall, and Bargrave." John and Saunchia had one son and two daughters.

Original Babington married Margaret, daughter of Richard Gally of Oldfield; she was buried at Rampton as recorded above. Original was also buried at Rampton, 18th November, 1577, but no stone marks his resting place. He was succeeded by his son and heir John, who married Elizabeth, daughter of John Bussey of Hether, county Leicester. He also was buried in Rampton Church, 16th April, 1588. His will was proved at Southwell, which was as follows:—"I, John Babington esqr, sicke and weake of bodie, but whole in mynde, and of good remembrance (the Lord be thanked for it) do make and ordayne this my last will and testement in manner and form following. I bequaythe my soul to Almighty God that gave it in full assurance of everlasting salvation by the bloode of Jesus Christ onelye, and my bodie to the earth from whence it came, and to be buried in the chancell or church of Rampton at the discretion of myne executors. My goods I leave to the world, and dispose of them as follows. I give to the poore of Rampton to be divided amongst them at the discretion of myne executors within one ffortnitt after my death xxxs., and to the poore in Treswell xiiis. iiiid. . . . (here follow several bequests to his servants) ... I bequeath to every one of my godchildren iis. and iiiid. or Mr. Jervas Babington his booke upon the ten commandments at the discretion of myne executors. I will that John Babington my son shall cause a causie to be made of stone through the town of Rampton according as I by my father his laste will was enjoined." He appoints as his sole executor his son Thomas. His wife survived him, she is not buried at Rampton.

He was succeeded by his son John, who married Mary, fifth daughter of George Neville of Grove and Thorney, and niece of Sir John Hersey of Grove. By her he had two daughters, Barbara and Elizabeth. He was buried at Rampton, 16th May, 1608, and his widow became the wife of Anthony Eyre. They were married in Rampton Church, 29th August, 1609.

Barbara was married in Rampton Church on 17th April, 1636, to Thomas Boswell of Edlington, co. York ; after his decease she was married to William Moore, DD. Her younger sister, Elizabeth, baptized at Rampton, 6th August, 1607, was married here, 3oth November, 1624, to Sir Gervas Eyre, the son of her step-father, who purchased from Barbara the other moiety of this Manor, and so the estate passed to the Eyre family, having been in possession of the Babingtons for about a hundred years.