Manorial records, deeds, estate and family papers of the Benyon family
This extensive archive consists of the estate and family papers of the Benyon family of Englefield and their forebears (Paulet/Powlett, Wright, Tyssen, Beauvoir), c. 1250 - 1959. Some material relates to estates elsewhere, mainly in Essex, Hampshire, Dorset and Hackney (other out-county material being deposited locally). In Berkshire there is a particularly good series of records for Stratfield Mortimer manor, 1590 - 1910. Of wider interest are papers relating to the family's East Indies interests, 1724 - 1782, especially those of Richard Benyon, Governor of Fort St George for the East India Company, which include an illuminated letter in Persian from Benyon as captain of the port of Chinapatam (Madras) to Nasir Jang, son of the Nazir of Hyderabad, c. 1744. There are over 100 maps and plans of the family's estates and relating to other interests, including several 18th century plans of English settlements in India. Letters to Robert Scott, director of the Meteorological Office, and Sir Edward Sabine, c. 1820 - 1887, mostly from English and foreign scientists are also of interest. Title deeds include a royal grant of the office of swanherd on the river Thames, 1445. The archive also includes minutes of the Berkshire Association of Voluntary Schools, 1897 - 1902, and an order from Charles I to the mayor of Reading to assemble arms, 1642.
|Held by:||Berkshire Record Office, not available at The National Archives|
|Extent:||135 vols, 799 bdls, 253 docs, 6 rolls|
The descent of Englefield is involved. In the mid-17th century it case into the hands St. John Poulet, Marquis of Winchester, the defender of Basing House, and after his death passed to a younger son, Lord Francis Faulet or Powlet. In 1712 Englefield passed to Anne, dau. of Lord Francis and wife of Rev. Nathan Wrighte, and their son Powlet Wrighte succeeded in 1729. On the death of Powlet Wrighte his son, another Powlet, succeeded him and dying childless in 1779 the estate passed to his uncle Nathan Wrighte for life. Powlet's mother, however, had married as her second husband Richard Benyon, governor of Fort St. George. This lady was the dau. of Francis Lyssen of Rackney who had married the dau. of Richard Beauvoir of Essex. The son of Richard Benyon therefore not only inherited the Benyon properties at Gidea Hall, Romfors but also Beauvoir and Tyssen estates, and as half-brother to the younger Powlet Wrighte succeeded to Englefield on the death of Nathan Wrighte in 1789. The third Richard Benyon succeeded at his father's death and took the name of Powlet Wrighte in 1814 and de Beauvoir in 1822. On his death in 1854 Englefield passed to his nephew Richard Fellowes on condition that he took the name of Benyon.
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