Catalogue description Dobell and Lane families of Streat and Folkington, East Sussex

This record is held by East Sussex Record Office

Details of SAS-M/1
Reference: SAS-M/1
Title: Dobell and Lane families of Streat and Folkington, East Sussex

This catalogue was originally published in 1924 as Sussex Record Society volume 29, 'Abstracts of Sussex deeds and documents from the muniments of the late H. C. Lane, esq., of Middleton Manor, Westmeston, Sussex', edited by Walter Budgen. The documents were subsequently deposited with the Sussex Archaeological Trust and the collection designated as 'M' for Middleton Manor. The Sussex Archaeological Society transferred them to East Sussex Record Office in 1982, where they were designated 'SAS/M'. The collection now (2003) has the reference 'SAS-M/1', with SAS/Ma becoming 'SAS-M/2'


The introduction below is taken from the 1924 volume. As the introduction explains, where documents relate mainly to lands in one parish, they have been arranged under the heading of that place, the parishes being in alphabetical order. As these groups by parish seem not to be bundles for specific properties when the archive was in current use, they are not here identified as series, but are listed in the table of contents below. Rather, the name of the parish has been added as the first word of the title of each document, as partial compensation for the fact that the abstracts give placenames as they appear in the documents and the index has not been reproduced here. Budgen's cross-references have to a large extent been updated to give the SAS-M/1 reference, but some may have been missed and remain as 'No.' and 'Nos.' or in forms such as 'the last named premises' or 'as in last Deed'. In such cases, the abstract for the immediately preceding document should be consulted. Dates have been standardised to the year beginning on 1 January




THE important series of Deeds and Documents which furnish the Abstracts printed in this volume relate to manors and lands formerly belonging to the family of DOBELL, of Streat and Folkington near Eastbourne. They are concerned with lands in upwards of 120 parishes so widely distributed in Sussex as Pett and Winchelsea in the east, and Bosham and Walberton in the west


The principal estates form two groups


(1) The manors of Streat, Middleton and Westmeston, and outlying lands near Lewes


(2) The manors of Folkington, Westdean, Clapham in Litlington and Lullington, all in the neighbourhood of Eastbourne, and Sutton-Sandore in Sutton and Seaford


The Streat estate, comprising group (1) was built up by degrees by the Dobell family mainly during the first half of the 17th century, the first purchase, of a house and lands in Westmeston, being made by Walter Dobell, then of Falmer, from George Goring in 1601. (See No. SAS-M/1/562.) This group of manors passed to the family of LANE by the marriage, in 1748, of Dr. Thomas Lane with Mary Dobell, who was devisee of the estate under the will of her uncle, William Dobell, who died in 1752. The estate continued in the Lane family, and it is by the courtesy of Mrs. Bothamley, formerly the wife of Mr. H. C. Lane, and the present owner of the Middleton property, that we are able to publish these abstracts


The manors in Group (2) passed, in 1706, under the Will of Sir William Thomas, Bt., of Folkington (see No. SAS-M/1/763) to William Dobell, his kinsman, who thereafter made Folkington his place of residence. He died in 1752, and under the terms of his Will (proved 31 Oct., 1752, P.C.C. Bettesworth), which is not among the abstracted documents, the Folkington and Wootton property, with lands in Jevington, Willingdon, Hailsham, and Arlington, passed on the death of his daughter, Mary Dobell, in 1796, to Lancelot Harrison, son of Charles Harrison, of Seaford. This estate was acquired by Thomas Sheppard in or about 1846, and by Mr. J. E. A. Gwynne in 1877


The manors in Litlington and Lullington, Sutton, Seaford, and Westdean were devised by William Dobell, subject to the life interest of his wife, who died in 1764, to Charles Harrison of Seaford. The manor of Sutton-Sandore was retained by the Harrison family; the manor of Westdean was sold to J. H. Durand, and later was purchased by the Earl of Burlington, from whom it descended to the Duke of Devonshire. The manor of Clapham in Litlington and Lullington was acquired by the Rev. T. Scutt, and is now owned, with the manor of Litlington, by Mr. F. C. Browne


Many of the other Deeds are accounted for by additions to the Dobell estates as the result of marriages. Walter Dobell and his brother, Dr. Barnham Dobell, married, in 1654 and 1668 respectively, Sarah and Mary, daughters of Peter Farnden of Sedlescombe, and these marriages gave the Dobell family an interest in lands in Sedlescombe, Westfield and elsewhere in East Sussex. (See SAS-M/1/733-741, &c.) Dr. Barnham Dobell married as his second wife, Grisell, daughter of Sir John Farington of Chichester, and their daughter married Thomas Peckham (knighted in 1722), of Nyton in Aldingbourne. Richard Peckham, son of Sir Thomas and Elizabeth, ultimately succeeded to estates of the Faringtons, as well as to those of his father, and on his death, in 1742, the property passed to his kinsman (second cousin) William Dobell of Folkington. These estates were at the western end of the county, at Aldingbourne, Arundel, Bosham, Chichester, Felpham, & c


Any general consideration of genealogical matters is not called for here, as a full and complete genealogy of the Dobell family, compiled by Mr. Alan F. Radcliffe, from which we have been permitted to quote, will appear in Vol. LXVI. of the Sussex Archaeological Collections


The fact that the Deeds still remain in the possession of the descendants of the Dobells, although many of the estates have passed into other hands, is curious. It seems that when Streat Place ceased to be the residence of the family the Deeds remained there either mis-laid or fotgotten. But, in 1853, when Mr. H. C. Lane, then an officer in the Life Guards, came of age and succeeded to the estates, it appears from the recollection of Miss Emily Fitzhugh, his cousin, that the Deeds came to light and were sent from Streat to Mr. Lane's house at Middleton. A cursory inspection followed--primarily, it is suggested, in search of seals--and this not proving particularly interesting to the young squire, the Deeds were put on one side and nothing more was thought of them; at all events, their very existence was unknown to Mrs. Lane for 50 years


Mr. H. C. Lane died in 1906, and in 1918 Mrs. Lane re-married with Mr. Henry Harper Bothamley. Subsequently, Mrs. Bothamley by chance found some of the documents in one of her first husband's uniform cases, and enquiry led to the discovery of the remainder in a locked-up outhouse to which they had apparently been removed from the house some years previously. The documents, when found, were loose and mixed up in their boxes, and many were in bad condition from the effects of damp and mildew, but, at the cost of great pains and labour, Mr. Bothamley dried, cleaned and re-arranged them, and when he kindly brought them under the writer's notice in 1922, they were in excellent order, neatly arranged in docketed bundles and accompanied by careful lists. The fact that the Deeds still remain together must be ascribed to their period of oblivion at Streat Place, but to Mr. Bothamley belongs the credit of having saved them from complete destruction. All interested in the Records of the county are greatly indebted to Mr. Bothamley for his care in the matter, and to him and Mrs. Bothamley for readily affording facilities for the preparation of these abstracts. The Editor has also to thank Mr. Bothamley for his kindness in comparing the proof-sheets with the documents and for valuable suggestions


It will be noted that the greater number of the documents fall within the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, but there are some interesting exceptions. Among the earlier original documents, Nos. SAS-M/1/643 and 673 are Bailiffs Accounts of the manors of Streat for the year 1366, and Westdean for 1378; unfortunately the accounts do not lend themselves to abstracting. Nos. SAS-M/1/108 to 113, 394 to 398, and SAS-M/1/402a to 406, with some well-known names, are all prior to 1500; they relate to Excete and Westdean. No. SAS-M/1/243 is a 15th century lease of Clapham manor in Litlington, granted by Battle Abbey, the former owner


For information from still earlier documents--the originals not being in the collection--we may direct attention to Nos. SAS-M/1/331-349, which relate to Sandore Sutton, formerly belonging to Roberts-bridge Abbey, and are of a period from the 12th to the 15th centuries. Nos. SAS-M/1/668 and 671 give particulars of a number of early grants, also relating to Sutton and Seaford. No. SAS-M/1/674 is important in regard to the topography of Westdean, but it does not permit of abstracting in detail


Among the more miscellaneous documents, No. SAS-M/1/761 is a Quittance to Sir William Thomas for the customary payment of £1000 for maintaining troops in Ireland, at that time expected from every grantee of a Baronetcy. No. SAS-M/1/808 is an unusual document, a Pardon by James I. for a breach of his edict against duels; it refers to the King having heard the case in person in the Court of Star Chamber


The general arrangement of the Abstracts will be seen from the list of "Contents," which follows. Where documents relate mainly to lands in one parish, they are arranged under the heading of that place, the parishes being in alphabetical order. But in many cases the deeds are concerned with lands in more places than one; these are grouped under the title "Lands in Divers Parishes," each series under this head being arranged in chronological order. Following a series of additional documents relating to Sutton, Westdean, Arlington and Hailsham, there will be found the headings, "Thomas family," "Dobell family," and finally "Miscellaneous."


It should be noted that the Abstracts do not necessarily follow the form of legal Abstracts intended to show a title to property; their object is to give as concisely as possible the Nature of the document, the names and description of the Parties and full details of the Property concerned. The material part of documents recited or facts stated by way of leading up to the operative part of a deed are in these abstracts generally placed after the description of the property. Trusts and Covenants unless they introduce names which would not otherwise appear, are omitted


All the earlier documents and many even in Elizabethan times, are in Latin. The Deed of Feoffment, here designated a "Grant," on which "livery of seisin" was endorsed, is often in Latin at a later period still, but it is frequently accompanied with a "Bargain and Sale," in English, containing covenants by the parties. Late in the 17th century there came into use the method of conveyancing by a Lease for a year followed immediately by a Release of all the lessor's interest, this method obviating the necessity for the "livery of seisin." The "Fine," invariably in Latin, except during the Commonwealth, occurs in the more important transactions all through the period. The document described as a "Quit-claim," is a Release by a person, not having the legal estate in the land in question, of all his interest


In the addresses of the parties, and in regard to all Place-names, "Sussex" is to be understood, unless some other county is mentioned


In the statement of the acreage of lands, the words "by estimation," commonly occurring in the Deeds, are omitted; in many cases the area given is "tenantry" and not statute measure


In the spelling of names of Persons and Places the form used in the document is retained in the Abstract, consequently some strange perversions will be found, e.g. "Phelfam" for Felpham, "Flokington" for Folkington. In the index [not reproduced here] the modern form of Placenames is adopted


Field-names are not generally indexed


W. B














BOSHAM 57-100


CHICHESTER (see also Divers Parishes) 101-106






FALMER 119-120


FELPHAM 121-162








HAILSHAM 224-233










PAGHAM 267-270


RIPE 271


SELSEY 272-273


STREAT 274-330
















YAPTON 664-667


SUTTON (additional) 668-672


WESTDEAN (additional) 673-684


ARLINGTON AND HAILSHAM (additional) 685-690









Date: 1314-1822
Held by: East Sussex Record Office, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Dobell family of Streat and Folkington, East Sussex

Lane family of Streat and Folkington, East Sussex

Physical description: About 820 items
  • Streat, East Sussex
  • Folkington, East Sussex
  • Land tenure
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