Old Wonersh Families

These notes are taken from existing papers and booklets, and are therefore not original research.  Acknowledgement is given to :-
  The booklets “Four Families in Wonersh and Bramley” and “Our Village” by Wonersh History Society.
  The History of
Wonersh Church by Revd A L Brown.
Reference is also made to Manning & Bray (available in the Reference Library at both Cranleigh and Bramley). 

Very many letters and documents are summarised and published online in the Surrey History Centre Collections Catalogue. It has not been found possible to link these references directly, however from the SEARCH page it is possible to bring up the relevant collection of documents, with the search criteria highlighted. These include :-
 County Records & Deeds relating to Manors of Bramley,  Collection ref: 892 – Including a concise summary of the descent of the title.
 Norton Family – Deeds of
Surrey Estates, Collection Refs: G24, G60, G1275.
 Loseley papers, Collection Section LM
Events may be placed in wider historical context by clicking

Carrills (Caryll) and Duncombes

See Manning & Bray Vol II page 109 

Timeline  In Wonersh church in 1542 Clemence Bartlett, daughter (or possibly sister) of John Burley (d1551), married Richard Carrill (d1576) younger son of John Caryll of Warnham near Horsham (there is a Caryl Chapel at St Margaret’s Warnham), Attorney to the Duchy of Lancaster and member of an old Catholic family. He was admitted the same year to the Mercers Company in the City of London; many of his descendants followed this trade. In 1545 Great Tangley was bequeathed (by reversion) to Richard after the death of John Burley or his wife Sybil. In 1559 Richard became Lord of the Manor by acquisition from Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk of Tangley Manor now known as the Manor of East Bramley. They had a son John Carrill (d1612) who was baptized in Wonersh 1543 and married Lettice Lane in 1571, and the following year the first of 9 children, a son Simon (1572-1619), was born. Sybil died after Richard in 1578 so he never got to reside at Great Tangley and it was John and Lettice who rebuilt the house, putting in the present Tudor front and took up residence around 1582. They already had three children and between 1582 and 1591 six more were christened at Wonersh. By the end of the century he was the largest landowner in Wonersh. It is probable that the anonymous memorial on the west wall of Wonersh Church, is that of John Carrill. It was originally placed in the Tangley Chapel but all brasswork and inscription is missing. 

One of their daughters was Judith Carill. In due course she married George Duncombe (d1646) of Weston near Albury (Albury Manor); they had memorials in the old church at Albury. They had numerous children and they figure as the head of many a family tree. George was a lawyer and conveyancer, who purchased many estates in the surrounding villages, including Burningham in Dunsfold in 1604 and Weston sometime before 1611 (see SHC Archive 1322). He is also named as Steward at the Court of Bramley from 1617 until his death in 1646 (SHC Ref 892/5/2&3). He and his descendants are named as the patrons of Wonersh church until 1765.

Simon Carill married Elizabeth Aungier in 1607, but he died when their son, another John, was just four, so she obtained wardship and later remarried. Sometime between 1632 and 1637 John Carill (d1656) married Hester Stynt (d1675) of London, and her sister Jane Stynt married John Duncombe (d1656) son of Judith Duncombe. John and Hester had three daughters, Lettice, Elizabeth and Margaret. With the gradual disappearance of the wool trade, life was getting more difficult in this part of Surrey and the estate became seriously mortgaged. In 1649 John granted East Bramley as security to his cousin, another George Duncombe (d1677), for life at a peppercorn rent. 

When John died the estate was divided between his three daughters: Lettice Ramsden (East Bramley), Margaret Ludlow (West Bramley, including Little Tangley) and Elizabeth Fermor (the other third). His widow Hester married Francis Duncombe (d1670), probably grandson of Judith. He apparently gave up his profession as barrister to look after the affairs of his step daughters. The daughters did not get along with their stepfather and the dispute went to court. At the age of 16 Lettice Carill married John Ramsden of Wonersh. The Manor was partitioned in 1677, after the death of George Duncombe, with the manor house Great Tangley (now known as East Bramley) going to Lettice; this was sold in 1673. Her sister Elizabeth Carill married Peter Fermor in 1674 and the land allotted to her was almost immediately sold to Richard Gwynne. The youngest sister Margaret Carill married Henry Ludlow, a solicitor from MiddleTemple and her portion known as West Bramley, which also comprised land at Little Tangley, became part of the Grantley estate in 1809. 

Timeline   Surrey History Centre Archives indicate that the Carrill family operated during the Civil War from Great Tangley on the Royalist side, this being supported by the fact that King Charles II created John a baronet after the Restoration. On the other hand the puritan parliament of Cromwell heavily fined Royalist gentry, possibly accounting for their declining fortunes. This certainly happened to their relations in Harting in 1643. John and Hester had six children, only one boy who died childless. The epitaphs, recorded by Manning, of monuments now missing are:- 

Simon, eldest son of John, who succeeded to the estate in 1612. The monument was a marble slab on the floor of the Tangley Chapel, probably described as modest in relation to the monument to his father:-

Here lyeth the body of Simon Caryll of Tangley, Esquire,
Sonne of John Caryll, Esquire, and Lettice his wife, in
Whose memory his loving wife hath caused this stone to be
 Laid, though no sumptuous monument of his deserts and her
love Anno D’ni 1619, aged 44 years, April 30th 

John, eldest son of Simon, was only 5 when his father died, but the widow survived him for 31 years, and her long period of dominance in the manor house may explain why she alone of the ladies has an epitaph. The marble slab on the floor of the chapel was inscribed:-

Here lyeth buried, this 25th October 1650, the body of
Dame Elizabeth, daughter of Francis, Lord Aungier, Baron
of Longford, wife of Simon Caryll of Tangley, Esq.  He in memory of
so good a wife and mother, hath caused this stone to be
layed this 20th of September 1651. 

The second John Caryll survived his mother less than 6 years and died, like his father, at the early age of 44. His gravestone was at the east end of the south aisle, bearing the inscription which Aubrey noted down. It implies that his honourable interment at the cost of his widow was because his own estate was insufficient for the purpose!

If true Religion, Prudence, sober Zeal,
Constant Love to Church and Commonweal,
Could have restrained the fatal hand of health,
He now had lived who lieth underneath.
But let this silence griefe, and playnts strike dumb,
The Just is taken from the ill to come.
And now, which long before he did desire,
Caryll sings Carols in the heavenly Quire,
Here lyeth the body of John Caryll of Tangley, Esq, son
of Simon Caryll of Tangley, Esq, and Dame Elizabeth his
wife; which John died on 30th day of May 1655, and
was honourably interred at the charge of his loving wife
Hester, by whom he had four children, John deceased,
Lettice, Elizabeth and Margaret.  

This John died in infancy. There is no record of any baptism at Wonersh:-

Reader, believe without suspense,
Here lyes entombed innocence:
Which to the earth once showed its face,
But finding there no resting place,
It quickly left its loathed room,
And sought for refuge in the Tomb.
Here lyeth the body of John Caryll, the son of John Caryll of
Tangley, Esquire, and Hester, his wife, who dyed an infant
On the 5th day of February, 1639. 

Francis Duncombe married John Caryll’s widow Hester. His marble tomb stone exists in the south chapel; only words highlighted in red are readable but were given by Manning & Bray as:--:  

Sir Francis Duncombe, Baronett, dyed the 26th of October,
Anno D’ni 1670, and in the 42nd year of his age.
Freed from all griefes he now lies asleepe;
Death, by his fall, made his relations weepe.
Untimely ‘twas; and by his death did prove,
not unto him, then that did him love,
Cruel and tyrant like; and by’t show
unto mankind what malice he doth owe.
More Death could not do; for at last he shall
be brought forth glorious at the Trumpet’s call.    

The Cliftons, Chapples & Nortons (later Lord Grantley) 

Timeline  The family connection with Wonersh perhaps starts with Richard Gwynne (Gwinn) (d1701) who in 1677 took posession of Elizabeth Fermor's (Carrill) third of their estate, later to become known as Wonersh Deer Park. His tomb can be seen in the vestry (south chapel). The manorial status of the purchase was assumed rather than a right (it having no court); however he behaved as Lord of the Manor exercising rights over Wonersh church, including family burial in the Tangley Chapel. The estate came without a suitable manor house so Gwynn chose a farmhouse at the side of the village green (opposite the church) and set about rebuilding it as his residence, later known as Wonersh Hall or House. It is thought that His Lordship's Pew in the chancel originated at this time, being enlarged subsequently (the oak from this pew was used in 1901 to make the screen in the vestry). The charity that he set up in his will continued to help provide schooling in the parish. 

On his death in 1701 his estate passed to his niece Susanna Clifton (d1725). After her death in 1725 her only son Richard Clifton, Filacer of London & Middlesex, survived just one year. Their epitaphs are recorded by Manning & Bray to be on the sides of the Gwynn tomb; however if so they are now obscured by the organ platform. Her only daughter Trehane Clifton (born 1691) inherited the estate. 

Painting of Wonersh Church circa 1710

In 1710 Trehane married Mr William Chapple (d1744) barrister of the Middle Temple, 2nd son of John Chapple of Upway Dorset. The large painting depicting the old house and church is considered to represent this wedding party. Their eldest son William evidently married without the approval of his parents. The Victoria County History says “in the Wonersh Register his marriage is entered but is erased with such success that though his name and parentage are legible that of the lady is entirely gone and details of the probable misalliance are consequently lost.” He never remarried and all four sons of the marriage died without issue, so in around 1756 Grace became the heiress. William Chapple became a Justice of the King’s Bench in 1737 and was Knighted; he presided over the trial of Dick Turpin at York in 1739. Sir William died in 1745 (note that his tomb records 1744, however the Gregorian calendar was not introduced until 1751). In the vestry at Wonersh is a floor tablet recording the Chapple epitaphs on black marble, originally on a raised white stone tomb, of Sir William Chapple, Dame Trehane Chapple (d1765) and several of their children. 

Their daughter Grace Chapple married Fletcher Norton in 1731. He was a rising young barrister at the time and his career was meteoric. He came from an old family whose seat was at Grantley near Rippon in Yorkshire. He became King’s Counsel (KC) in 1754, MP for Appleby in 1756 and in 1759 he purchased the manorial estate of Great Tangley (also known as East Bramley) to become the Lord of the Manor. The same year he was admitted to the Freedom of Guildford. He became MP for Wigan in 1761, and Solicitor General and Knighted in 1762, and Attorney General the following year. His mother-in-law, the dowager Dame Trehane, died in 1765. The same year he purchased the Great (Rectorial) Tithes and advowson (patronage) of the church, becoming the first resident Lay Rector. This brought with it the privileges and responsibility for upkeep of the chancel and the right to introduce a new vicar. During this period the church was in decline, and fell into a state of disrepair. Sir Fletcher was elected MP for Guildford, and made Recorder, and the following year received his only judicial office, that of Chief Justice of Eyre, south of Trent. In 1770 he became Speaker of the House of Commons, a post he kept for 10 years. He was not re-elected and in 1782 he was created Baron Grantley of Markenfield. There are several portraits of Lord Grantley in the NPG. His children were William (d1822), Fletcher (d1820), Chapple (d1818), Edward (d1786) and Grace (d1813). He died in 1789 and the dowager Lady Grace died at Wonersh in 1803. See Surrey History Centre Collections G60 and 1229.

A floor tablet in the vestry is in memory of Fletcher Norton’s 4th son Edward. It is undated, however he was MP for Haslemere and Carlisle and died 1786. 

William became Baron, 2nd Lord Grantley on the death of his father in 1789, marrying Anna Margareta Midgely of Beverley in 1791. Sadly two children died in infancy and she died suddenly in 1795. In 1793 the church was in such dilapidation that it had to be almost completely rebuilt. The south chapel was torn down and replaced by the 2nd Lord Grantley as a family mausoleum, said to have been designed by his butler. As patron he presented two new vicars. In 1808 he then bought West Bramley, thus reuniting the old Carrill properties. In 1814 he became High Steward of Guildford. He died in 1822 and since he had no children he was succeeded by his nephew Fletcher (son of the 1st Lord’s second son, Fletcher). The burial hatchments of the 2nd Lord and his wife are on the south nave wall. 

There is a large tomb in the graveyard for the children (and their immediate families) of the 1st Lord Grantley. It was originally in the mausoleum and moved outside in 1901. The inscriptions on the top and all four sides:-

  • The Honourable Fletcher Norton, Senior Baron of His Majesty’s Court of Exchequer in
    The Honourable Caroline Elizabeth, widow of the Honourable Fletcher Norton, Born April 9th1769 died March 17th1846.
    Scotland, died June 19th 1820 aged 76 years
  • The Right Honourable William, Lord Grantley, Baron Markenfield, Lord High Steward of Allertonshire and Guildford, Colonel of the First Royal Surrey Regiment of Militia, FSA &c &c &c Orbit November 12th 1822 Aetatis suae 82.
  • The Right Honourable Grace, Dowager Lady Grantley, died October 30th 1803 Aged 95 years.
  • The Honourable James Norton, son of Lord Grantley, died March 1st 1794 aged 1month and 3 days.
  • The Right Honourable Anna Margaretta, Lady Grantley, died April 16th 1795 aged 21 years.
  • The Honourable William Fletcher Conyers Norton, born November 16th 1792, died October 16th 1793, only child of the Rt Honble Lord and Lady Grantley.
  • General the Honourable Chapple Norton died March 27th 1818 aged 72 years.
  • The Right Honourable Grace Norton, Countess of Portsmouth died November 16th 1813 aged 61 years. Her burial hatchment is on the north wall of the nave.

Fletcher Norton, the 3rd Lord Grantley (d 1875), had fought at Waterloo. In 1825 he married Charlotte, youngest daughter of Sir William Beechey, the painter. In 1841 he was High Steward of Guildford, Lay Rector of Wonersh church, owner of many properties in Wonersh, Bramley, Dunsfold, Guildford and elsewhere and had purchased Guildford Castle from The Duke of Norfolk. Just ten years later he was evidently short of money and was consolidating mortgages on his Surrey properties. Fletcher and Charlotte had no children. Charlotte Earle died in 1878 and is buried at Shamley Green. As patron he presented one vicar. There is a 15-segment window which he gave to Ripon Cathedral

His presumptive heir was his brother George, someone who was always short of money. George created a stir when he kidnapped his own children and held them at the family home. His wife Caroline embarked on a bitter struggle to regain them, leading to the enactment of the Custody of Infants Bill in 1839. His son Thomas Brinsley had suffered a fall from a horse and was almost uncontrollable; he lived in Capri and in 1854 married Maria Federigo, the daughter of a solicitor in Florence. They had a son John Richard Brinsley. In 1875 George Norton died, and a few months later 3rd Lord Grantley followed him. Thomas Brinsley became 4th Lord Grantley but remained in Capri and he died two years later in 1877. His burial hatchment is located on the north wall of the nave. The dowager Caroline died shortly after, followed in 1878 by Charlotte. 

John Brinsley became 5th Lord Grantley in 1877. He eloped and eventually married his cousin’s American wife. He decided to dispose of all his Surrey property and return to the family seat in Yorkshire. These included besides Wonersh Park (292 Acres) Great Tangley Manor Farm (178 Acres), Norcote, Derry’s, Northbrook, Hallams, Chinthurst and other lands in Wonersh amounting to some 700 Acres, also 317 Acres in Dunsfold, and Guildford Castle and adjacent lands. Between 1884 and 1889 all the property was sold. He sold the rectorial tithes at this time to Lord Ashcombe, but retained patronage of Wonersh church until shortly after 1900. 

In the nave of Wonersh church we have the funeral hatchments of :-
·  Grace (d1813), Countess of Portsmouth, daughter of 1st Lord Grantley,
·  William, 2nd Lord Grantley (d1822),
·  Anna, wife of 2nd Lord Grantley (d1795)
·  Thomas Brinsley, 4th Lord Grantley (d1877), whose remains were returned from

See also website www.genuki.org.uk - Sir Fletcher Norton and Seats of Surrey 1828 by G F Prosser, Wonersh  - Google Book Search  

 The Sparkes 

Timeline  The Sparkes family were large landowners in the Bramley and Wonersh areas during the 18th and 19th C. The name appears in the registers and monuments in both Wonersh and Bramley; however evidence of the relationship between the parts of the family (whose residences included Rowleys, Little Tangley & Green Place) has not so far been found. 

Green Place in Wonersh is adjacent to the Church. In the 15th Century it was the home of the Elyott family (whose brasses record the life of Thomas and his son Henry). After they left the house fell into disrepair and is recorded in the 17th C as being in a state of dilapidation. Richard Sparkes (1715-1786) evidently purchased the property and so their family name first appears in Wonersh. The house today features a big curved staircase of this period that is thought to have been the inspiration for E H Shepherd's illustration to AA Milne’s poem “Halfway Down”, which shows Pooh Bear lying at the top of a staircase. 

The property was passed down through his son to Richard (d1815) and Sarah Sparkes (d1837), (buried in the churchyard). In 1806 he inherited Green Place and also purchased the Manor of Rowley (several generations lived in the Manor House). They had four children: Mary (d1809, aged 27), Sarah (1800 married Robert Surlock of Snowdenham, whose grandson inherited Woodhill), John (d1862, married 1814 Anne Street (buried in the churchyard) and purchased Woodhill farm in Shamley Green), and Richard (d1850, married 1851 Sarah of Abinger). In Wonersh nave there is a monument to Mary and her parents; a further inscription on the monument has been totally removed. John and his sisters lived for some time in White House in Bramley (on the present site of the Bramley Grange), so perhaps this was also a family home of their father (who had also lived there). 

It was Richard who inherited Green Place and by Sarah had at least 8 children: Sarah, Francis, Alice and Jane, Robert (who in 1903 inherited Woodhill from his 2nd cousin William Henning), Richard (the eldest who became Rector of Alfold and had some 18 children), and John (2nd son, who in 1849 married Catherine and inherited Green Place). 

John and Catherine had 3 children: John (who became a Colonel and lived in Woodyers), Robert (who became an Admiral and inherited Woodhill), and Frank (who built Sparkes Place, died aged 60 in France in 1920); a wall plaque in Wonersh nave records his life. 

A window in Wonersh nave is in memory of John Sparkes, given in 1901 by his son Richard, but there is no date or indication of which part of the family he came from. The brass reading lectern, in the form of an eagle, is inscribed “To the Glory of God in memory of John Sparkes Born 1815 died 1899”.

The chancel parclose (side screen), now forming part of the notice board in the entrance porch, was designed by Sir Charles Nicholson and made in 1929 in remembrance of the Sparkes family and has the inscription:- In memory of the two sons and six daughters of Richard and Sarah Sparkes of Green Place this screen is erected by the Nephews and Nieces the children of John and his sister Sarah.

It is recorded that John Sparkes of Gosden (Bramley) bought Chinthurst Manor in 1791, remaining in the family for several generations. SHC Ref G106

West Family

There is an entry in our Marriage Register for 7th April 1605 for Edward West and Katherine Loick. Two generations later John and Frances West established a Trust Fund for future family members and this is active today. John b1640 was Master of the Clothworkers Company, perhaps a connection with the weavers of Wonersh. This includes a strong connection with Christ's Hospital School at Horsham. Wonersh was chosen for the meeting of the John & Frances West Family Group in 2010. 

Very many letters and documents are summarised and published online in the Surrey History Centre Archive.