Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2003-04 > 1050911517

From: "Affray" <>
Subject: Re: Sir George COTTON
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2003 08:51:57 +0100
References: <owHoa.34798$>

Jon (et al),
If you are tracing COTTON, you may be interested in this extract from an
article I wrote for the Tewkesbury Battlefield Society.
"What happened on the battlefield may have depend upon whether Queen
Margaret stayed at the original Gupshill Manor, whether Dame Agnes Wenlock
was with her, and what steps John (Lord) Wenlock took to ensure their safety
when it became apparent that King Edward IV was definitely going to attack.
A 'family tree' that was recently hanging on a wall in Gupshill Inn,
indicated that a previous owner of the original Manor, named Rainsford
(Randsford or Radford), was married to an Alice Danvers who was born in the
same village as Agnes (ne Danvers), the second wife of John (Lord) Wenlock.
A lot of my assumptions would hang together if it could be 'proved' that the
occupant of the original Gupshill Manor in 1471 was a relative of Dame Agnes
Wenlock. If Dame Agnes was travelling with the Queen it would be natural for
them to visit this relative for food and a rest, even if they didn't stay
there during the night. That might have led to the rumour that the Queen
'stayed' at Gupshill Manor.

So far I have discovered that Alice Rainsford was the daughter of Agnes's
half-sister and therefore a niece of Agnes, but I haven't been able to prove
that the Rainsfords lived at Gupshill. However, I have accumulated a lot of
information about the ownership of property in the battlefield area post
1471, and I thought that this might be of interest to members.

On the 12th Nov 1502 George Cotton leased Gupshill Manor from a Robert Cole
of Gloucester. In those days the 'p' in Gupshill seems to have been
pronounced as a 'b'.

[1] Robert COLE of Gloucester.
[2] George COTTON, gent.
Payment of annual rent of 40s. and delivery of muniments relating to
the rent of the manor of Gubsyll, Tewkesbury.

On the 6th November 1518 George Cotton, the tenant of Gupshill, made his

"In the name of god Amen. I George Cotton of Guppishill in the Countie of
glour[stershire] gentilman, beyng of hoole mynde and memorie make this my
last will the vith daye of the moneth of novembre in the yere of our Lorde
god Ml CCCCC XVIII in man[er] and forme followyng, ffirst I beq[u]eth my
soule to almyghty god and to our blessyd lady and all the hooly company of
hevyn. And my body to be buryed where it shall pleyse myne executor. Also I
bequethe to the highe Aulter of the parish churche of Tukesbury for tythes
and and oblations forgoten iijs. iiijd. Also to the p[er]sone of Whyttyngton
for tythes or oblatons not duely [payed?] iis. Also I gyve and bequethe to
Annie Cotton my wif all the goodes and houshold stuff and all that my goodes
and cattals which be now at Guppishill. Also I gyve and bequeth to Richard
Cotton my son my form[] and ferm[] which of the man[or] or lordeship of
Whytyngton w[ith] all that my goodes portable which I had within the same
Lordship or ells where co(...)hold, Also I bequeth unto hym all myne
apparell where soer' it be. Also I Bequeth to Elynor Cotton my daughter
forty pounds sterlynge. And all In wytnes wherof to this my present
testement and last will I have putt my seale these beiyng p[re]sent Richard
Hall and Robert (Cousins?)."the Residue of my goodes and detts I remyite to
myne executors for payment of my detts and p[er]formorary of my will and I
(beff) and ordigne the said Annie Cotton my wif and the said Richard Cotton
my Sonne myne executors. In wytnes wherof to this my present testement and
last will I have putt my seale these beiyng p[re]sent Richard Hall and
Robert (Cousins?)."

On the 4th October 1520 (i.e. 12 Henry VIII), George's widow handed
Gupshill to her son Richard, but retained some dower rights, including the
grazing for 200 sheep!

From Anne COTON of Guppishill, wydowe, executrix of the testament of George
COTTON, gent.
To Richard COTON, gent, their sone and heyr.
Manor and lordship of Wyttynton. 6 quarters of barley and 4 bushels of wheat
if demanded, discharge from a half share in the profits of the mill. 26/s.
per quarter, rights for 200 sheep, and other interests 40s. 'in name of
Quitclaim to be executed.
Consideration 100s.
Covenant of levy fine.

On the 7th Nov 1532 there was a bond signed between Robert Cole, now
described as "of Tewkesbury", and a George Cotton. (Should it be Richard

[1] Robert COLE of Tewkesbury, gent.
[2] George COTTON, (of Guppeshill).
Observance by Johane COMYN, widow of Harry COMYN, of an award as to the
title of capital messuage called Guppeshyll, and land and tenements in
Fiddington, Tredington, Walton, Southwick, and Tewkesbury.

Another deed on the 16th Oct. 1553 indicates that the Cotton family were
prospering and extending their property.

[1] Edward COWPER, clericus, Valentine FAIRWETHER, citizen and haberdasher
of London
[2] John COTTON and Anne his wife. Land in a field called Gaston, by the
Cheltenham Way, to the park called Tewkesbury Park, formerly in the
occupation of Humphrey DRYVER, tailor, Reddclose Mede (11 sellions), 2
sellions in Connigrie, Little Hill (7 sellions and 1 acre), Whilehoddes
Close near Culverhouse Close, Culverhouse Close (2acres), Prieste Bridge (
acre), Vingals (2acres), all in Southwick, near Guppeshill. (Dowdeswell).

Finally there is an undated covenant in which Ralph Cotton seems to have
been unloading some of the the property that he had inherited from his

Covenants and extent of lands annexed:
From Ralph COTTON.
To Sir Walter COPE and Sir Roger WILBRAHAM.
Grant of special livery in respect of lands in Whittington, Glos., and lands
in Bucks., and Carmarthen, inherited by Ralph COTTON from William COTTON,
his brother.
With extent of lands annexed.

Much of the land around Tewkesbury belonged to the Earl of Warwick (Warwick
the Kingmaker), and I have found the name Ranford in his retinue, but I have
not established a connection between this Ranford and Tewkesbury. However, I
have found further connections between Dame Agnes and Tewkesbury.

Agnes (ne Danvers) was initially married to Sir Thomas Baldington by whom
she had three children, Agnes, Alice, and Isabella. Alice Baldington married
Henry (Harry) Tracy from Toddington in Gloucestershire, and he eventually
became sheriff of Gloucester. Incidentally, the Berkley family changed their
family name to Tracy in the 14th century. The children of Henry and Alice
were William Tracy who married Margaret Throckmorton; Raffe Tracy; Ann Tracy
who married William Wye; Richard Tracy; and Elizabeth Tracy who married a
Langley. Ann was sometimes called Ann of Tewkesbury, or Ann Tewkesbury.

When Sir Thomas Baldington died in August 1436 Agnes Baldington was 8 years
old, Alice Baldington 1 year old and Isabella Baldington 1 month old. Dame
Agnes then married Sir John Fray, circa 1437, just after he had become chief
Baron of the Exchequer, and she had another four daughters by him,
Elizabeth, Margaret, another Agnes, and Katherine. When Sir John Fray died
in July 1461, his daughter's ages were given as 21 years, 19 years, 18
years, and 14 years, respectively. The third husband of Dame Agnes was John
(Lord) Wenlock, who had previously been married to Elizabeth (ne Drayton),
the widow of Christopher Preston . It is pertinent to note that Dame Agnes
must have firstly become pregnant in 1427/8, and therefore she was probably
in her mid sixties by 1471, and I have evidence suggesting that John (Lord)
Wenlock was about 70 years old!


This interim report highlights some of the difficulties faced when trying to
interpret historical data and validate a hypothesis, particularly when the
study involves a period when spying and intrigue were rife. Nonetheless, I
hope that some of my findings will be of interest and produce food for
thought and discussion.


"Jon Stallard" <> wrote in message
> Hello, again, all!
> Regarding Sir George Cotton of Combermere, Salop who married Mary Olney.
> Two questions:
> 1) My source says he was knighted by HVIII. When? Where? Do we know?
> 2) Another source says he was a KT; That doesn't seem likely in 1540-ish,
> does it? Wasn't that a Scottish order?
> Any help would be appreciated, as always.
> Cheers!

This thread: