Alveston Manor, Warwickshire

Francis Fortescue (1772 to 1859) was bequeathed the manors of Alveston and Teddington by his father’s cousin John Knottesford. On becoming of age he took the name Knottesford – a condition of the will. His son, Edward Bowles, however resumed the name of Fortescue. Today Alveston Manor near Stratford on Avon is a Hotel.

The Manor was held by the church of Worcester from at least the 10th until the 16th century. However in 1562 Elizabeth granted the manor to Edward Williams and Ralph Browne of the Inner Temple, agents for Sir Ambrose Cave, to whom they sold it for £1,007 a few weeks later; and he sold it again in the following year to Ludovic Greville of Milcote. On Greville’s death in 1589 his estates passed to his son Sir Edward Greville, who is afterwards referred to as having held lands in Alveston of the Crown by military service. He sold the manor in 1603 to Richard Lane of Bridgetown, son of that Nicholas Lane whose effigy is in the old church. Lane died in 1613. His son Edward (1589–1625) sold it to his brother-in-law, Richard Bishop, of Cholsey near Wallingford.) Bishop was knighted and became a justice of the peace for the county after the Restoration and died at the age of 88 in 1673. His son William (1626–1700) succeeded him. He was knighted in 1678 and, having no issue, bequeathed the manor to his nephew Hugh Brawn, son of his sister Elizabeth and John Brawn, rector of Saintbury. Hugh Brawn left a son of the same name, who succeeded him, and three daughters: Elizabeth, who married Charles Knottesford of Studley in 1712; Theodosia, married in 1721 to John Fortescue of Cookhill and of Gray’s Inn; and Judith, who remained unmarried. Hugh Brawn the younger died 24 April 1767 and the manor then came to his sister Judith and his nephew John Knottesford. The estate by this time consisted of little more than the manor-house at Bridgetown and the surrounding fields. In the inclosure of 1772 there were no manorial rights to be compensated and the allotment to Miss Brawn and her nephew for their holding in the open fields of the manor was only 1 rood and 13 perches. Knottesford was sole lord of the manor by 1776. On his death he devised it in trust for his kinsman Francis Fortescue, then a minor, who took the additional name of Knottesford as a condition of his succeeding to the estate. The Rev. Francis Knottesford-Fortescue lived at the manor-house until his death in 1859. His great-grandson, the Rev. J. N. Fortescue, vicar of Wilmcote, sold the estate about 1940. It then comprised the manor-house, and about 150 acres of land.