Catalogue description Records of the Belmont Estate.

This record is held by Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre

Details of C38
Reference: C38
Title: Records of the Belmont Estate.

Deeds, 18th and 19th C. Estate papers, 19th C.




Muniments of Title and allied material:


Deeds and papers to title and purchases for properties bought by the Reverend Dr. Prosser in 1826-7, (Old Hill, Lugwardine, mansion of Belmont, Lordship of Grafton and Haywood, messuages and farms in neighbourhood). Also copies and drafts, including copies of the will of Colonel John Matthews, and abstracts of title. Among these are miscellaneous items for other properties once part of the Matthews inheritance, e.g. for estates in Garway and probate copy of the will of Mary Tomkyns of Monnington-on-Wye, widow of Uvedale Tomkyns, 1729, Box 1-19.


Papers relating to wills and settlements mainly concerning settlement of the marriage of the Rev. Dr. R. Prosser with Miss Sarah Wegg and to his will and business arising from the administration thereof, 1841-1855, including correspondence about the administration of the estate, valuations and some rentals, Box 20-23.


Deeds and papers for properties purchased by the trustees of Dr. Prosser's will, mainly for the old Aubrey inheritance in Clehonger. The deeds for the Aubrey property in Clehonger go back to 1748. They include those for the Tuck Mill. With these, deeds also for the Aubrey ownership of the manor of Brampton Abbotts, 1716-1824. Also papers relating to purchase of lands in Clehonger from Lord Ashburton and deeds and papers for purchase of an estate called Warham (mainly leasehold and copyhold) in Breinton and the leasehold property in Hunderton and Breinton (under Lordship of the Dean and Chapter and the Vicars Choral.), Box 24-40.


Papers concerning F. R. Wegg Prosser's inheritance through his mother's family, mainly relating to the Redholm estate in Yorkshire, 41.


Deeds and papers for F. R. Wegg Prosser's administration of the estate. These include items concerning the foundation and endowment of the monastery and school and the building of the Church, 1853-1866, and for sale of land for railways running over the Belmont estate (Abergavenny - Hereford railway.), Box 42-43.


Deeds and papers, mainly for settlement on the marriage of F. R. Wegg Prosser with Lady Harriott Somers Cocks and mortgages and assignments, 1850-1888, Box 44-46.


Estate Records:


Surveys and valuations of Brampton Abbotts estates, 1814, and maps and surveys of Clehonger estates, 1817 and undated, 19th C., including a number of farm plans shewing cultivation, Box 49.


Timber accounts and valuations, Box 49.


Sundry leases, and estates correspondence, papers concerning land drainage and vouchers to accounts, 19th C. (a small quantity), Box 49-54.


(Note: Correspondence filed among the deeds contain much reference to estate matters and some estate records appear to have been always kept for reference with some of the title and purchase deeds).


Household Records:


Statement, 1867-1873, "Statement of money spent and extravagantly wasted on the building of the house from October, 1867 to February, 1873. "Names of contractors and suppliers given. The house of Belmont was refashioned by F. R. Wegg-Prosser to modernise the house designed for Colonel John Matthews by Wyatt, which had replaced the old Aubrey mansion reputedly burnt down in 1785.).


Catalogue of Books, undated; Box 55.


Personal Records:


Licence to Francis Richard Haggitt to take the name Wegg Prosser and bear those arms quarterly with his own, and Grant of Arms, 1849. Congratulatory address from the Belmont tenancy to F. R. Wegg-Prosser on his return home on marriage, 1850, and on the birth of a son to him and his wife, 1854, Box 56-58.


A few items relating to F. R. Wegg-Prosser's shrievalty, 1855.

Date: 17th - 19th century

Note on the arrangement of the list


The bulk of these records were found as apparently arranged by the firm of Appleyard, the family's London solicitors, at some time in the mid-nineteenth century, with copies and abstracts put together presumably for reference in connection with settlements and trusteeships. Where this order has been broken down an attempt has been made to arrange the collection on the same lines as giving the clearest indication of the history of the estates. There is thus a clear sequence (Part A) of records of title and allied Papers (deeds with drafts and copies). Records of estate administration (Part B), and of household and personal affairs (Part C) are classed separately and form further sections of their own following the muniments of title. Some papers of miscellaneous nature, and others of recent date have been added at the end (Part D).

Held by: Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Wegg Prosser family of Clehonger, Herefordshire

Physical description: 4 sub-fonds
  • Herefordshire
Administrative / biographical background:

The manor of Clehonger, the capital messuage known as Belmont and its appurtenant lands had, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, been the possession of the Aubrey family, kin to John Aubrey, the seventeenth century biographer and antiquary, whose miscellaneous writings contain references to Herefordshire and to Clehonger, drawn from his visits to his relations in this county. At the end of the eighteenth century the property was bought by Col. John Matthews, heir to property at Linton, who combined an army career with that of being a not very good poet. He added to this nucleus by also acquiring other properties in the neighbourhood. Some of these were copyhold under the Dean and Chapter of Hereford and among the others were the lordship or reputed lordship of Grafton, Haywood and Clehonger. In 1826 Colonel John Matthews died. Some of his estates were directed to be sold by devisees in trust and were bought almost immediately by the Reverend Dr. Richard Prosser who thus acquired the Manor of Old Hill in Lugwardine, the mansion of Belmont, lands in Clehonger, the lordship of Grafton and Haywood and sundry farms. The bulk of the Aubrey inheritance in Clehonger, however, remained with Colonel Matthews' son, also a John, who eventually sold out to the trustees of the will of Dr. Prosser whose heir, his great nephew, Francis Haggitt, later Wegg Prosser, thus became possessed of the whole, as well as of further properties bought either by himself or by the trustees of his great-uncle's will. Amongst these were considerable properties (mainly copyhold and leasehold) in Breinton and further properties in Clehonger bought from Lord Ashburton.


Francis Wegg Prosser became a Roman Catholic and founded the monastery at Belmont for a community of Benedictines. The records of this estate include letters and papers, 1853-1864, relating to the endowment and building. The Church of the Monastery was consecrated in 1860, and a school was later established there. A history of the monastery in which use was made of the papers summarised here, was published before the records were deposited at the County Record Office.

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