Catisfield - PAPERS..... Catisfield Manor

Following articles appeared in FAREHAM PAST AND PRESENT Book V (Spring 1967) and Book VI (Autumn 1967). By R R Wade.


The first mention of Catisfield appears in the Pipe Roll of the Bishoprick of Winchester where, in 1210, it is mentioned that a tax (Church ?soot? ) was paid to Fareham by Catisfield, and in 1279 the tithing of Catisfield had been added to the Court of Fareham and had neglected to do suit there.

Whether one can assume from the reference that a separate manor was in existence at the time it is difficult to say. It appears from early times that the Manor of Fareham had as its lord the Bishop of Winchester and in 1316 Henry - ?de Blois -, Bishop of Winchester,is mentioned as holding Catesfeld. In 1543 there is mention of land in the tithing of Catisfield which is held ,by a copy of the Court Roll for the Manor of Fareham. However ,the earliest Court for the Manor in existence dates from 1569, so that one can assume that by that date a separate manor was in existence which appears to have been leased to various local landowners until in 1862 the Bishop is mentioned as being Lord of the Manor.

These people are mentioned as being lords of the Manor;- Sir Thomas Wriothesley; William Rickman, 1764; James Stares, 1766; William Thresher, 1806, and James Thresher.

As there is no 'perambulation of the manor' in existence, it is difficult to say what it's exact boundaries were. However, from the Court Books one can glean some information. The Award Map of 1807 tells us that Catisfield Common was 109 acres in extent and mentions ancient enclosure belonging to John English, through Frosthole Gate over Catisfield Common and terminating at the end of a lane called Ash Pond Lane (where there was a pond or pound). (The site can still be seen by' the entrance to Place House Close).

There is frequent mention of a hayward being appointed ,and the gates at Conduit Hill, Frost Hole, Blackbrook Lane, 'Peech' Lane, and Ranvels Lane are often 'presented' as being out of repair. Both sheep and cattle were kept on the Common, (a common pasture for two beasts and 20 sheep is mentioned) and the locals evidently attempted to put more animals on the common than they were entitled to, (in 1729 John Bissell is 'presented' for putting more cattle on the common than he had a right to).

In 1774 there is mention of common pasture in Northmead, Rochmead, Denmead and Catisfield Heath. Evidently there was encrroachment on the common land because in the same year William Whitear surrendered to the lord a cottage erected by him on Catisfield Heath and a piece of waste land there enclosed.

Apart from their names, we have little information about the occupations of the inhabitants during the 17th and 18th Centuries, but no doubt they must have worked the land. There is no mention of yeomen or husbandmen. Of their houses, also, we have little information, although in 1790 we have a messuage mentioned containing two upper and two lower rooms, an orchard and garden, and a well there.

Neither are their wills very informative; in 1605 we hear of'wearing apparel, except his best cloak', and in 1802 of an eight-day clock. They make their marks instead of signing their names, so that one can assume that the poorer inhabitants could neither read nor write.

We have a number of rents paid to the Manor which appears to be low but which I assume were customary ones; 1773, Thomas Fryer pays 4d. 'for a messuage and garden with all other works, heriots, customs and services due'. Three acres of meadowland paid 4p; one acre of coppice in Blind Piddle, 11dI , for a messuage, garden and yard called ?yle House 1/2.d.; a purrock of land containing two acres called 'Staples' 2d;for one parcel of land of 15 acres called '10 Acres' 6/8d; one toft of land called Hill Close, otherwise Yallock, with a little coppice 3/4d; Mary Jenman, for a messuage, orchard and garden id.

The Stares family appear to have been in the Manor for a long time:- a Charles Stares is mentioneed in 1713 and a William Stares held land in the manor in 1879. Other names mentioned between 1713 and 1730 are Paffard, Bodbrook, Russell, Bissell, Lee, Holt, Sabin, Churcher, Glyde and Cawte. Some of the names of fields are rather intriguing:- Banqueting House Field, Upper Nalders, Lower Flabbins, Great Wheelers and Cowlease.

THE MANOR OF CATISFIELD (continued) Book VI (Autumn 1967).

Towards the end of the 18th century, the picture began to change because the wealthy began to buy the copyholds. Admiiral John Faulkner, an Admiral of the Blue, held 14 copyholds; Captain Pakenham is 'presented' because he dug across the road from the corner of the barn in the possession of John Stares, to the house in the possession of Mr B.Biddle; in1798 Edward Fry, a cabinet maker of Fareham, sells land to George Purvis, Secretary to the Earl of St Vincents, Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty's Britannic Navy in the Mediterranean. George Purvis is shortly after presented' for carting gravel and carting turf In 1803 there is mention of Robert Briggs, a Vice Admiral, and Captain Edward Brace, who, by 1840, had become Admiral Sir Edward Brace, K.C.B., ans who, in his will of Dec.1843, mentions his 'Silver Coffee Pot, my large and small silver tea pots, silver sugar basin, silver cream jug'. Domestic servants, who had been with him for five years and upwards had £10, for three years £5. There is also mention of his carriage and carriage horses, their harness, apparel and furniture.

It was about this period that the big houses were built. Sir Edward Brace lived at Catisfield Lodge, and,at the same time, Stiles House was occupied by Mary O'Bryan, who, in 1848, left the house to her nephew, James, Marquess of Thomond, who promptly sold it. Catisfield House and Heathfield House also belong to this period.

The Court Books do not usually provide us with details of accounts. There are the usual medieval terms; 'tithingmen' are appointed and the 'homage' is sworn in; 'heriots' or fines are imposed and 'bondland' and tenants of the 'praecipe' are mentioned. One account of June 1773 may, however, be of interest:'At a Court Baron held the 28th June 1773, William Hammond, Esquire, Debtor, respecting admittances to the entailed estate being six copies.
To one Death 'presented' 0 2 6
Copy and Admittance 0 10 0
Entering in the book 0 1 0
1. Proclamation 0 1 0
Fealty 0 1 0
Cryer 0 0 4
    15s 4d

Change also comes to the area when the railways arrived (in 1889). In October 1840, Stephen Bissell was paid £86 by the London and South Western Railwaay, under an Act dated the 2nd Year of Victoria, 'for making a branch railway to the Port of Portsmouth'.

  The Census of 1841 gives us a picture of the Manor. There was at that time a population of 192; there were 33 houses; 16 agricultural labourers; 10 bricklayers; 15 laboureers; a brick labourer; 27 servants; 2 gardeners; 1 yeoman; 1 painter; 1 gamekeeper; 2 independent people; 2 in the Navy and 2 in the Army.

In Kelly's Directory of 1903, Lieut. Col. Charles Atchinson,R.A.. is living in Elm House; Capt Dunham Belcome at Littlecroft; Miss Delves Broughton at Elmhurst; Mrs James Mathias at Catisfield Lodge; Harry Lennox Peel at Catisfield Lodge; Frederick A. Stapleton-Bretherton J.P. and the Hon Mrs. at Heathfield House; Admiral Napier at Catisfield Cottage. Col. Waring and Major-General Thornton also lived in the village. At the Limes was living Henry Holliday, sheep and cattle dealer. Mrs Elizabeth Jane Knight was the shopkeeper.

Mrs Edney, who was parlourmaid to the Limes from 1907 to 1914, told me that most of the larger houses had their own carriages, and she well remembers Mrs Mathias' coachman. If she wanted to go into Fareham, she had to walk because there was only one carrier a day and he charged 6d. for a single fare.


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