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The History of Dunsley from 1220 – Download our free PDF now.

Below is our snap shot – by year table; of significant dates.

The History of Dunsley from 1220
Year
Name
Sold
1200
Richard Throckmorton of Throckmorton Fladbury
1304
1304
Gilbert de Dunsley
1326
1326
Richard Throckmorton of Throckmorton Fladbury
1326
1327
Richard Atwell of Overdon (now Orton Wombourne)
1440
1440
William Everdon Lord of Overdon
1458
1458
Thomas Everdon (son)
1479
1479
Humphrey Everdon
1515
1515
John and William Whorwood Lord of Kinver
1545
1545
Anne (d 1552)(m Ambrose Dudley) and Margaret Whorwood
1555
1555
Ambrose Dudley & William Rice (Thomas Whorwood Annes heir)
1578
1578
Thomas & Margaret Whorwood
1580
1580
Thomas Whorwood
1584
1584
John Whorwood and son Sir William
1651
1651
John’s son in law (William Carter) mortaged in 1635
1651
1669
John Carter (son)
1669
Catherine Carter (daughter) m John Hammerton
1709
Philip Foley
1918
1894
Alfred Marsh rented and then purchased at auction in
1918
1918
Marsh & Baxter
1929
1938
Mr E E Marsh
2006
2006
Mrs T Beardsmore nee Upton
 
 
Dunsley Hall is an amazing place and we would like to learn more about the past owners.

 

We would appreciate any help in tracing the history of the Atwells, Everdon, Whoorwood and Carters.
 
Dunsley was always a wealthy Manor House having a water mill virgate and reed fields which produced reeds for basket weaving.
medieval_mill_with_undershot_wheel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Edward I was on the Throne and when Dunsley Hall was Built by the Throckmortons he was also known as Longshanks, hammer of the Scots.

 

 
We have researched the Throckmorton family and understand that Robert Throckmorton born about 1231 died 1306 married Prudence de Compton (b) 1235 (d)?
 
They were the first owners.The Hall was passed to their son Simon (b) 1251 (d) 1314 who married Isabel De Donesley born abt. 1255 (d)? At Throckmorton (this could be the original name of Dunsley Hall “Donesley Hall) it was then passed to their heir Richard De Throckmorton who in turn sold it to Gilbert De Dunsley in 1304.
 
Isabel De Donesley4505 was born Abt. 12554505. She married Simon Throckmartin on Abt. 1270 in Throckmorton, Worcestershire, England4505, son of Robert Throckmartin and Prudence De Compton.

More About Isabel De Donesley and Simon Throckmartin:
Marriage: Abt. 1270, Throckmorton, Worcestershire, England.
4505

Children of Isabel De Donesley and Simon Throckmartin are:

 

 

 

1304
Unfortunately, we do not have much history on Gilbert.He died in 1326 and as they quote was a Bastard with no heir so the Hall went back to Throckmorton.This is why we feel that he was related to Isabel De Donesley.The Hall was then sold to:
 
1327
Richard Attwell who was Lord of Overdon.The Hall stayed in the family until 1440.
 
1440
William Everdon Lord of Overdon (Orton of Wombourne) Orton Lane.. then to his son Thomas and then to Humphrey Everdon,
 
1515
The Hall was then sold to John and Sir William Whorwood Lord of Kinver. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_WhorwoodHis wife was Cassandra (nee) Grey (Part of Lady Jane Grey’s family The Whittington Inn). 
 
Sir William was Solicitor General from 1536 to 1540 and then Attorney General under Henry VIII until his death.
 
He was a younger son of John Whorwood, one of a family of minor gentry, who had long lived at Compton in Kinver.He bought from the King the Manor of Kinver along with Stourton Castle, which was a hunting Lodge of Henry VII and of Henry VIII and also the rectory impropriate of Kinver, which, remained in the family until
 
1672.Sir William had also acquired various estates elsewhere.He lived at Dunsley with his wife Margaret.The had two daughters:
Anne (b) ? (d) 1552 married Ambrose Dudley Earl of Warwick.The Marriage was childless.Her share of her Fathers estate passed to Thomas Whorwood , Sir Williams great nephew.But Dunsley was left to Ambrose and William Whorwood Lord of Kinver.
Margaret (b) ? (d)? married Thomas Throckmorton of Coughton Court.
 
Anne’s marriage to Ambrose was a happy one they kept the Hall and tenanted it out, and moved to Otford in Kent.Anne bore him a son.They named him John in 1550 but he died in 1552.Anne also died at their home in Otford Kent on 26th May 1552.Ambrose was devastated at their deaths.He married again to Elizabeth Talboys (of Kyme) in September 1553.We assume that Elizabeth dies as Ambrose married again on 11th November 1565 at the Queen’s Chapel Whitehall to Anne Russell.

 

 
ambrosedudley

 

 
 
Ambrose was born about 1528/1529 his mother being Jane (nee Guildford). As a youth Ambrose was imprisoned with his brothers in the Beauchamp Tower at the Tower of London following the attempt by his father to place Lady Jane Grey http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Jane_Grey (The Whittington Inn) wife of Ambrose brother Guildford Dudley, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Guildford_Dudley on the throne. 
 
After nine months in the Tower Ambrose along with his brothers he was released by Queen Mary I http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_I_of_England on October 18th 1554 and duly pardoned on 22nd January 1555.
 
Two years later, in the first month of 1557, when a conflict between France and Spain flared up Ambrose used his influence to raise an army for King Philip II http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_II_of_Spain of Spain.He did this in exchange for the return of his family estates, which, had been withdrawn when Northumberland was Executed.
 
Ambrose, his brothers Henry and Robert all joined the forces of Philip II and went to fight in France.They too part in the battle of St Quentin, where Henry was killed.For these services Ambrose, together with his brother Robert and sisters, was restored in blood by an act of Parliament on March 7th 1558.
 
With the death of the French King Francis II in 1560 the Franco-Scottish Queen Mary found herself a widow at the age of 18.The French throne was assumed by the late Kings Mother Catherine de’ Medici. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_de%E2%80%99_Medici These “bittersweet events” in Europe confounded English court with politics and led to the return of Mary to Scotland, with a all is attendant problems for Queen Elizabeth. 
 
Whilst in France Catherine de’ Medici was struggling to avert civil war with the Protestant Huguenots who were restricted to a limited freedom of worship.They restored to arms to resist the Catholic rulers.
 
After lengthy prevarication Queen Elizabeth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_I_of_England eventually conceded to pressure from her court to send some six thousand English troops to assist in the struggling Huguenots.Ambrose was chosen to lead the expedition.
 
Ambrose Dudley’s determination to retain the town of “Newhaven” (Le Havre) against the forces of the Duke of Guise, the leader of the Catholic army and Uncle of Mary Queen of Scotts, was hampered from the outset by misadventures ranging from the simple lace of troops and finance to a plague that decimated his army.
 
When more troops were eventually deployed they were prevented from landing in France from bad weather and adverse winds that prevented them from entering the Port.Even then, once ashore they too fell to the plague, which, was claiming about sixty of his men each day.Queen Elizabeth finally conceded defeat, not so much on account of the Catholic siege as because of the general circumstances allowed Ambrose to withdraw.The consequence was that the troops imported the plague to London, where, a further 21,000 victems fell ill and died.This affair was a total disaster for the Queen and fashioned her future reluctance to engage in ill-affordable foreign conflicts.
 
In 1563 Ambrose Dudley was created Baron Lisle and Earl of Warwick.He stood high in favours with the Queen as did his third wife Ann, daughter of Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford.
 
Ambrose Dudley died after having a diseased leg amputated, at Bedford House in the Strand London.He was apparently re-buried on April 9th 1590 in the Lady Chapel of Warwick Collegiate Church.
 
Ambrose The Earl of Warwick was also Lord of Bedale after the execution of Simon Digby for having partaken in the rising of the North for Mary Queen of Scotland.Digby himself had been the Tudor replacement for Bedale Ricardian Francis Lovell, 1st Viscount Lovell after the Battle of Bosworth Field.
 
1578
Thomas & Margaret Whorwood
 
1580
Thomas Whorwood
 
1584
John Whorwood and son Sir William Whorwood
 
1651
John’s son in law (William Carter) who put a mortgage on Dunsley in 1635
Catherine Carter (daughter) married John Hammerton
 
1669
John Carter (son)
In total the Hall was owned by the Whorwoods and eventually their son in laws from 1515to 1669 a total of 154 years.
 
1709
 
Philip Foley (b) 12th May 1648 (d) December 1716. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Foley Philip was the youngest of the three surviving sons of the British Ironmaster Thomas Foley (1616-1677) owner of Whitley Court Worcestershire.
 
His Father transferred to him in 1668 and 1669 all his Ironworks in the Midlands for £60,000.He also settled an estate at Prestwood Stourbridge when Philip married, to which Philip added the manor of Kinver.Dunsley was always tenanted as far as we know Philip Foley never lived at Dunsley Hall, his home was Prestwood, which, is now a nursing home.
 
Philip ran the ironworks but found that they were not profitable as they had been and from 1674 he started to sell them off.Philip remained a partner for the rest of his life in some of the reduced business but the family sold all of his shares off shortly after his death. The property was rented for a while until it was sold in the 1920’s to Mr Marsh

 

 

 

Tennants of Dunsley Hall 1881 – 1991
Sampson and Jane Bird (Byrd)

Sampson Bird (1827 – 1891) was born in Church Eaton, Staffordshire, the son of a Saddler.  After the death of his wife Sampson’s father and several of the children emigrated to America, however Sampson and some of the others remained in England, By 1848 Sampson was a fruitier and was living in Edgbaston, Birmingham when he married Jane Newton (1819 – 1895) daughter of William Newton a pig dealer and breeder from Bobbington, near Wolverhampton, Staffordshire. William’s father was a yeoman farmer from Stockton, Shropshire. Sampson, sometimes known as Samuel, and Jane had moved to Constitution Hill, Birmingham when their daughter Jane was born.

By 1861 Sampson and Jane moved to Cookley, Worcestershire where Sampson farmed at Austcliffe House farm. He built up the land he farmed from 72 acres in 1861 to 202 acres in 1881. However at some point after the 1881 census he took the tenancy at Dunsley Hall, and their son-in-law Alfred Harrison, married to Jane (Jeannie) (1852 – 1929) the only child of Sampson and Jane, took over the Austcliffe House farm.   Alfred helped his father run the Cookley wire and nail mill, as well as farming.

Alfred and Jeannie had five daughters. On the 1891 census 2 of the girls are staying at Dunsley Hall, Ethel is described as a dairymaid.  Writing about 1900, a cousin of the sisters chronicled the lives of the young ‘Austcliffe Five’.

Sampson died shortly after the census was taken in April 1891

Early 1900’s The Marsh Family

 

The Marsh family lived in Dunsley for almost 100years.  They owned Marsh and Baxter in Brierley Hill. Marsh and Baxter’s was a major employer in the town, manufacturing meat products and was once the biggest meat processing plant in Europe. The company was founded by Alfred Marsh, who bought a pork butcher’s shop in High Street, Brierley Hill in 1867.

In 1871 he established a ham curing and sausage manufacturing business in one shop with slaughtering facilities in Brierley Hill. By 1912, Marsh had bought the old factory of A.R. Baxter of Dale End, Birmingham. Alfred Marsh died in 1918.

After the First World War (1914-1918) I Marsh & Baxter Ltd absorbed a number of smaller firms. It became famous for its York Hams, Wiltshire bacon, sausages and pork pies, and from the time of George V held a Royal Warrant for York Hams, and sold to Harrods. Later, Marsh & Baxter became essentially a bacon and pork works. Dunsley was passed on to Edward Marsh and remained in the family until the death of Elizabeth Marsh, Edwards second wife.
2006 to date

Terrie Wilf and Simon Beardsmore.

Mrs Terrie Beardsmore (nee Upton) was the local Estate Agent in the Village of Kinver and fell in love with Dunsley Hall.  Wilf was a Production Director for a security company and Simon had his own business as a plumber.  They all decided to pull together to make Dunsley Hall into one of the most beautiful Hotels in the Midlands.  All of them gave up their careers to ensure the success of the Hall and still work full time at Dunsley and look forward to meeting you all soon.

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