Sunday, November 06, 2011

Downe Court/Downe Hall-Kent,England

Downe Court Manor Statutory Listed – Grade 11

There is an early deed referring to Downe Court Manor dated 1287.  The present building dates from around 1690. Years ago it was surrounded by ponds which tend to suggest the original manor house could have been moated.  Sir Thomas Mervyn owned the house in 1518 and was Lord Mayor of London. When he died he left one penny to each prisoner in the London gaols. One time owner was Sir Thomas Smyth who was governor of the East India Company and Treasurer of the Virginia Company.

Another owner was Henry Manning Marshal of the Household under Henry V111 and Queen Elizabeth is believed to have attended the christening of his daughter Margaret in 1559.  Parish Register records the ceremony took place ‘after ye Queene’s visitation’.

Then came Jacob Verzillini an Italian from Murano, near Venice who took over a glass-making factory in Crutched Friars in London around 1571.  He was granted a 21 year licence to make drinking glasses providing he taught his skills to Englishmen and did not import the glasses.

He was very successful and bought quite a lot of property in the area. There may be as many as nine of his glasses remaining.  V and A has one so does the British Museum. Windsor Castle and another at Cambridge and several are abroad.  One was dropped at auction.  When he died he bequeathed ‘cloth to 6d a yard for a new coat for all villagers to attend my funeral’.

Downe Hall –Locally Listed

There has been a building on this site since 1290.  Originally named after Richard Godarde the building was named ‘Goddards’. Sold to the Manning family in the 14th century.  It was originally of flint and stone and some windows were made of horn.  The Mannings were the oldest and most distinguished family in Downe. Some were among the first to emigrate to America where even today there is the Manning Association.

According to the Hearth Tax in 1645 there were 8 taxable hearths.  The largest number in the village.  After the Carew family came the Sandys, the last of whom died in 1694, and in 1698 Sandys widow married the Earl of Eglintoun – she was 96 at the time.

In 1820 the house burned down and the present building erected.  One time owned by the Lubbock family it has been considerably restored in recent years.


Richard Manning said...

Hi Steve, How interesting. I am "a Manning" in Hampshire, UK and my Manning male line goes back to the beginning of the 1800's in Newmarket, Suffolk. 5 generations in Horseracing since 1841... I am trying to push my timeline back now as we have children and I am keen to tell them "where they come from". So... To summarise my findings, there would appear to me to be 4 or 5 branches of the family who go back to Simon De Manning the Crusader in Kent. As per the Coat of Arms which you appear to "carry" too. The Kent, Norfolk, Cheshire, Irish and American Mannings of which you must be in the male line ? Very interesting to read your research. But have you come across the first Manning in Norfolk ? Must have been a male from Kent or the name wouldn't have arisen there. I am trying to link them to the Kent Mannings via the name amd coat of Arms. Cross Patonce surrounded by trefoils, Gold on red. Crest Eagle coming out of a ducal coronet with 2 Ostrich feathers. The moto does seem to change and I have even found evidence of the family moving "back" to Ireland from the same Manning Coat of Arms that was depicted in O'Farrell's Linea Antiqua 1709... Although the name is an Anglicisation of the Irish names O'Mainnin and O'Mannin even if we do not come from there ourselves.. I was in Norfolk over the weekend doing some research and the earliest Manning I have found there so far is Christian Manning daughter of John Manning from Great Ellingham who married a DeGray in Merton and put her arms on his burial slab in the church. Have pics if you want to see.. From 1475. It is still conceivable to me and extremely possible that we do all originate from Ireland but that would have to be in the early 1,000's. Not sure what your thoughts are on that ? My email is please email me or leave a reply. It would be interesting to exchange notes. I was in Kentucky a couple of times, to see the Horses, of course !! And have noticed the family there in good numbers. Hope to hear from you soon. Best Wishes. Richard C.J.M... (Hants :-)

Julie Sandys Bianchi said...

I don’t know your source of Catherine St. Quintan’s age at her marriage to the Earl of Eglinton, but the relative age of her older sister calculated by on the birth of her oldest and youngest children tells me that Catherine was born AFTER 1610. Identified as William St. Quintan’s oldest of 5 daughters, Dorothy St. Quintan was married to Sir William Cayley and had their first child in 1633. This would indicate that Dorothy was born NO LATER than 1619 (to have been a 14 year-old mother). Dorothy’s last child was born in 1664, which indicates Dorothy would have been born AFTER 1610 (to have been a 54 year-old mother.) Catherine St. Quintan, being younger than her sister Dorothy would have therefore been born NO EARLIER than 1611. But, since Catherine’s first husband Michael Wentworth was born in 1622, her second husband was born in 1616 and her third husband Henry Sandys was born in 1642, I would estimate her birth year as having been about 1625.

Julie Sandys Bianchi