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Clifford Manor

Part of a piece in Country Life, Aug 4th 1928

Clifford Manor was the home of The Revd Arthur Annesley (b.30 October 1769; d. 9 February 1845) who was both Rector and Lord of the Manor. His son, Revd Francis Hanbury Annesley (b.8 December 1800; d.2 August 1882) was also Rector Clifford Rectory of Clifford Chambers at one time, but we think lived in the Rectory, not the Manor House, since Arthur divided his estate equally among his children, which meant that the Manor House had to be sold. Francis Hanbury Annesley married Charlotte Mogg, and the Manor belong in 1928 to Mrs Rees Mogg. I have not tried to find the connection. Among the children of Revd Arthur Annesley was George, whose daughter Georgina Cecilia married Charles Ball-Acton. Their children included Evelyn Caroline Annesley Ball-Acton. She recalled being sent to stay at Clifford as a punishment for being naughty! She later married Edward Nixon Wynne, and had Emily Evelyn. She married Martin Parsons. See the Parsons page under Family History for them and their children. Anyhow, here is the fragment from Country Life.

A Wren period block was added to a pre-Reformation grange. Both have been rebuilt by Sir Edwin Lutyens since a fire in 1918.

The village of Clifford Chambers is a line of heavily thatched, black and white cottages beside the River Stour, where the road crosses it to Stratford-on-Avon,a mile away. Out of the village a straight drive leads between a pair of grey piers to the ruddy brick front of the Manor House. Situated, as it is, on the extreme edge of the county, its coming within Gloucestershire, and not Warwickshire is, geographically, rather deceptive. All its historical associations, however, are with Gloucester, even though the tribe of Shakespeare had many Front view of Clifford Manor representatives living here across the county boundary. Before the Conquest—a period which is apt to contribute little to our knowledge of a place, beyond the fact that somebody with an unpronounceable name possessed an oxgang worth so many shillings - a dramatic figure is associated with Clifford. Brictric, son of Algar, thane of Gloucester, owned it, and was sent by Edward the Confessor of embassy to the Count of Flanders at Bruges. There he had the misfortune to attract the Count's daughter, Matilda, whom, most injudiciously, he appears to have refused to satisfy. She subsequently married Duke William of Normandy, but, according to tradition, treasured up her resentment against the virtuous Saxon. After the Conquest, therefore, she took on the role of the daughter of Herodias, and demanded the estate of her former beloved. William, " forgetting that such hatred,"as Freeman puts it, " might be deemed to savour of love," granted her petition and imprisoned Brictric. Before the Queen's death in 1083, the manor of Clifford had been given by her to Roger de Busli or Bushlev, who immediately transferred it to the Benedictine abbey of St. Peter at Gloucester, with which for four and a half centuries, it was thenceforward associated.

The income from the property was earmarked by the abbey for the use of the chamberlain or chamberer, who was responsible for the clothing of the monks, the upkeep of the abbot's lodging and of the guest chamber. The Chamberlain of Gloucester administered three other properties as well: Buckland, Guiting and Hinton. Clifford soon came to be known as Clifford Chamberer or Chambers. From an "extent" of 1266, the value of the manor in rents appears to have been some eight or nine pounds. There were five free tenants, who, together with a couple of mills, contributed £5 0s. 6d. between them, and nine cottagers, who produced £3 16s. 6d. Of the twenty-five customary tenants who held either 36 or 28 acres apiece, .....

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