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Fortescue, family, Earls Fortescue

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This page summarises records created by this Family

The summary includes a brief description of the collection(s) (usually including the covering dates of the collection), the name of the archive where they are held, and reference information to help you find the collection.

History:

The Fortescue family was settled in south Devon by the late 12th century, but the first major acquisitions of land were made in the time of Sir John Fortescue, Chief Justice of England (d. 1479). By marriage he acquired estates in Somerset (Norton St. Philip) and Wiltshire (sold in 1725); and in 1457 he purchased land at Ebrington (Gloucestershire) from the Corbet family. His son Martin Fortescue acquired by marriage (1454) the main group of north Devon estates based upon Weare Giffard and Filleigh (renamed Castle Hill in c.1740).

Between the 16th and the early 18th centuries additional lands were acquired, mainly through wardship or purchase, in south Devon (Lamerton, Tavistock etc.), on Exmoor (Challacombe, High Bray etc.) and on the north Devon coast (Georgeham, Mortehoe) as well as in Somerset (including the former estates of Bath Priory and the Guild of Holy Trinity and St John the Baptist, Shepton Mallet), Gloucestershire (Hidcote etc.) and Leicestershire.

The marriage in 1692 of Hugh Fortescue to Bridget Boscawen, granddaughter and co-heir of the 4th Earl of Lincoln, brought lands in Cornwall and Lincolnshire, including former Sidney family estates at Tattershall (Lincs) granted to Lord Clinton in 1574. In 1781, following the death without issue of the 2nd Lord Fortescue of Credan, the estates of that family, including the former Aland family estates in Co. Waterford, also passed to the Fortescues of Castle Hill. The 3rd Baron was created 1st Earl Fortescue in 1789.

Estates in 1883: 20,171 acres in Devon; 5,116 acres in Lincolnshire; 1,071 acres in Gloucestershire; 571 acres in Cornwall; 3,958 acres in Co. Waterford, worth a total of £28,673 a year.

Places:
  • Ashwick, Somerset
  • Billingborough, Lincolnshire
  • Castle Hill, Devon
  • Challacombe, Devon
  • Dunmore, County Waterford
  • Ebrington, Gloucestershire
  • Filleigh, Devon
  • Georgeham, Devon
  • Hidecote, Gloucestershire
  • High Bray, Devon
  • Lamerton, Devon
  • Norton St Philip, Somerset
  • Nymph Hall, County Waterford
  • Port Gaverne, Cornwall
  • Sempringham, Lincolnshire
  • Stretton Magna, Leicestershire
  • Tattershall, Lincolnshire
  • Weare Giffard, Devon
Sources of authority: Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996, pp. 64-5.
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/F88479 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/F3325 )
Collections
  Description Held by Reference Further information
1
12th cent-20th cent: Devon (Castle Hill, etc), Cornwall (Port Gaverne, etc), Gloucs (Ebrington, etc) and Somerset (Ashwick, etc) deeds, family and estate papers 12th-20th cent, with deeds and papers for Leics (Stretton Magna) and Lincs (Tattershall, etc) 16th-20th cent and Co Waterford (Nymph Hall, etc) 17th-19th cent
Devon Heritage Centre
NRA 6304 Fortescue

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [39a]
2
18th cent-20th cent: further Devon estate and family papers
Devon Heritage Centre
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [Addenda]; Annual Report 1995
3
1903-1904: Devon estate account book (copy)
Devon Heritage Centre
See Annual Return 1995
4
1430-1497: Devon (Lamerton, Weare Gifford and Filleigh) manorial court rolls
Devon Heritage Centre
NRA 8073 Michelmore

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [39b]
5
17th-19th cent: Devon deeds and estate papers
Devon Heritage Centre
See Annual return 1999
6
12th cent-20th cent: Gloucs (Ebrington, etc) deeds and estate papers
Devon Heritage Centre
NRA 6304 Fortescue

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [39a]
7
1815-1816: Records
Gloucestershire Archives
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [39c]; Handlist 1990 p180
8
1777-1819: Gloucs (Ebrington, etc) manorial court rolls 1777-1818, with lists of inhabitants 1819
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
NRA 4523 Shakespeare misc

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [39d]
9
1777-1800: Gloucs (Ebrington, etc) court orders
Gloucestershire Archives
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [39e]
10
1801: Ebrington (Gloucs) rental
Oxford University: Bodleian Library, Special Collections
NRA 26260 Phillipps

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [39f]
11
16th cent-20th cent: Lincs (Tattershall, etc) deeds and estate papers
Devon Heritage Centre
NRA 6304 Fortescue

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [39a]
12
1782-1908: Lincs (Tattershall and Billingborough) estate papers
Devon Heritage Centre
NRA 6304 Fortescue

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [39g]
13
17th cent-19th cent: Lincs (Sempringham and Tattershall) estate papers
Lincolnshire Archives
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [39h]; Archivists Report 1973-75 p86
14
1657: Tattershall (Lincs) rental
Manchester University: University of Manchester Library
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [39i]
15
1693-1694: Lincs (Tattershall and Billingborough) receivers' accounts
The National Archives
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [39j]
16
18th cent: legal papers of the 1st Baron Fortescue of Credan
British Library, Manuscript Collections
17
1715-1716: papers of the 1st Baron Fortescue of Credan as Solicitor-General
Society of Antiquaries of London
NRA 27819
18
1815-1816: Records
Gloucestershire Archives
19
1605-1864: Records
Gloucestershire Archives
20
1336-1600: Records
Gloucestershire Archives
21
1822: estate map book of John Inglett Fortescue (1758-1840) Buckland Brewer
North Devon Record Office
See Annual Return 2009