Neville family, Barons Braybrooke
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Thomas Audley (d. 1544), Lord Chancellor and founder of Magdalene College, Cambridge, was created Baron Audley in 1538 and granted the Walden Abbey estate in Saffron Walden (Essex). His daughter and sole heir, Margaret, married as her second husband, Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk. Thomas Howard (1561-1626), the eldest son of this marriage, who was created Baron Howard (of Walden) in 1597 and Earl of Suffolk in 1603, inherited the estate and built Audley End 1603-16. He married a daughter and co-heir of Sir Henry Knyvett of Charlton (Wiltshire), whose Wiltshire inheritance was settled on their younger son, created Earl of Berkshire in 1626, the elder inheriting the earldom of Suffolk. The 5th Earl of Suffolk (d. 1709) married the widow of Sir John Maynard, but her Gunnersbury (Middlesex) and other estates passed at her death to the Hobart family (see Kerr, Marquesses of Lothian). The mansion of Audley End, though not the estate, was sold to King Charles II in 1669 but reconveyed to the fifth Earl in 1701.
On the death of the 10th Earl in 1745 the earldom of Suffolk devolved upon his cousin the 4th Earl of Berkshire, but the title to his estates passed to his heirs general, the descendants of the two daughters of the 3rd Earl of Suffolk The estate was divided in 1753, when one portion was received by the Countess of Portsmouth (d. 1762) and Anne Whitwell (d. 1770), both daughters of the 2nd Baron Griffin of Braybrooke, and the other portion by George Hervey, 2nd Earl of Bristol. The first portion was subsequently united in the possession of John Griffin Griffin, Anne Whitwell's son, created 4th Baron Howard in 1784 and Baron Braybrooke in 1788, who also inherited property in Northamptonshire from his Griffin ancestors. On Braybrooke's death in 1797 he was succeeded in his barony of Braybooke (but not of Howard) and his estates by his cousin Richard Aldworth Neville (1750-1825), who adopted the surname Griffin.
Neville inherited from his father, Richard Neville Aldworth Neville (d. 1793), the Aldworth family estate at Stanlake (Berkshire), including Ruscombe, Hurst and Frogmore House (New Windsor). He also inherited the Neville family estate at Billingbear Park (Berkshire), with property in Wargrave, Warfield and elsewhere, including Ashridge hundred (Wiltshire until 1844), which had passed to Richard Neville Aldworth Neville in 1762 from the Countess of Portsmouth, widow of his maternal uncle Henry Neville alias Grey. (Grey's father had married a sister of the fourth and last Baron Grey of Wark (d. 1702), but no Grey property appears to have devolved to her or her Neville descendants.)
In 1814 the 2nd Baron Braybrooke purchased Lord Bristol's portion of the Audley End estate (Littlebury). During the 19th century the adjacent Heydon estate in Great and Little Chishall (Essex, Cambridgeshire after 1895) was acquired and Chrishall (Essex) was bought from the Buckworth-Herne-Soame family. By the end of the 19th century the Braybrooke (Northamptonshire) and Wargrave estates had been sold, and Audley End was sold to the Ministry of Works in 1948. The Braybrooke archive includes papers of the Cornwallis family acquired by the marriage in 1819 of the third Baron Braybrooke to Jane, eldest daughter and co-heir of the second Marquess Cornwallis (d. 1823).
Estates in 1883: Essex 9,820 acres, Berkshire 3,691 acres, total 13,511 acres worth £18,173 a year.
|Sources of authority:||Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Principal family and estate collections L-Z, 1999.|
|Name authority reference:||GB/NNAF/F82718 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/F10778 )|