The Time of the Tudors

Whilst little is known about Robert or John other than what has already been told, it is John's son William who figures as the first of our ancestors to be named in a parish register, and for that reason he marks the start of much more reliable records. Those registers did not begin anywhere before 1530 so it is remarkable, and fortuitous, that William's name became included.... as father to an adult son being buried!

Happily for the researcher, Subsidy Rolls concerned with taxes levied on owners of property tell us considerably more about William and those descended from him so that it has been possible to construct a very much more complete picture of the family's situation.

From such records, it is known that William (he married Aline Covert) was born around 1499 and died between 1525 and 1545, and was the father of at least four sons named Robert, John, Richard and Edmund, all of whom were born between 1476 and 1500; of these sons, Edmund - possibly the youngest since he seems not to have owned land - was buried at St. Mary's the Virgin (*), the parish church of the village of Piddleton (since renamed "Puddletown") four miles north-west of Fordington and Dorchester and close to Werdesford Castle. This burial took place on 1st January, 1540.


... St. Mary's, Piddleton, was consecrated in 1195 but existed for some time before that date and was built on land given to Christchurch Abbey by Robert de Mortaine, whose principal family seat was Waterston Manor, Piddlehinton. The surrounding land passed from the Mortaines (later Martins) to the Montacutes, Earls of Salisbury etc.

The vicar of St. Mary's from 1422 to 1437 was John Churchull whose family then lived at Stinsford Manor, were friends of the Bartelots and to whom the Bartletts of Piddleton firstly leased Muston Manor; then, in 1612, finally sold the place. That purchase was made by William & John Churchill.

...the Manor of Baldolfeston at Piddleton is recorded as being partly owned by the Peverals until 1475, but around that time (or somewhat later) passed into possession of the Kellaways before becoming owned by the Martyns.

...Little Chesilborne Manor, Piddleton, anciently held by William de Govis, was granted to Thomas Husee (Hussey) in the reign of Henry VI, and the Hussey family in 1563 purchased Edmondsham House, Cranborne, where they became again neighbours of Bartletts since John Bartlett alias Hancock had already acquired "Eastworth" in 1546.

... Waterston Manor passed from the Martyns (de Mortaines) in the fiftieth year of the reign of Edward III, when Johanne Martyn married John de Govis. However, later the property became owned by the Viscounts Bindon.

From his Subsidy liability in the Piddleton parish, £30, collected in 1525 (see figure 7 ) it is evident that William was a substantial landholder there: but since he was also liable for a payment of £25, for a property known as Sock Dennis Manor that was situated between Ilchester, Somerset and the nearby Dorset border, we know his interests were in both counties. The record also tells us that he only owned a half-share of Sock Dennis.

That he must have also paid tax at Dorchester on Fordington Manor can be assumed from the inheritance of that property by his son Robert, upon William's death about 1530, at which time his other son, Richard, was left the share of Sock Dennis. As has been mentioned, son Edmund died at the very end of 1539 but does not appear anywhere as owner of property, so we are left only with the remaining son, John, unaccounted for at this point.

It is this John Bartelot and his descendants that will ultimately lead us over the border into Somerset and to Pendomer, but his life and career was such as to demand considerable attention so, before dealing with him, there are other features contained in the Subsidy Lists and Muster Rolls that are reproduced in see figure 7 which, although at first somewhat puzzling, are important to what is to follow and must therefore be explained.

From the contents of that page it will be seen that (i) besides Bartelot, another family name - Hancock - is included in the Muster Roll for Piddleton, and (ii) comparison of Subsidies of 1525 with those of 1549 shows John to have evidently inherited the bulk at least of his father's Piddleton property. Because William's brothers (John's uncles) were already living at, respectively, Robert at Fordington and Richard at Sock Dennis, we are faced with the need to identify the Richard, William, Robert and Thomas also included in 1545.

Of course it can be seen that these same four names appear alongside John on the 1542 Muster Roll.... where all five are called "Hancock".... why should this be?

At first something of a puzzle, the explanation has been found in the marriage of John to an Agnes Hancock and application - of the Norman law of primogeniture, still in force, that required all property in the form of land to be inherited only by the eldest son or male. Although this law was to be repealed shortly after 1545, it had applied at the time of the marriage, when Agnes brought with her as what we might describe as "dowry" an inheritance under terms of which she and her descendants had rights of occupation, usage and revenue from certain property in her maiden name.

Over the centuries, ways of getting around the primogeniture had been found, one of which was the creation of in-tail trusts in respect of land property under terms of which any child (or for that matter, children) might be named as beneficiary. It was by no means unusual for husbands joined with a wife so named to add her name to his so as to facilitate resolution of any difficulties that might arise.... and this is what John had done!

The four young men who attended the Muster of 1942 are the same four taxed as owners of Piddleton properties in 1545... and were all sons of Agnes and John Bartelot "alias Hancock".

Turning next to the change in spelling of Bartelot to Bartlett it can be pointed out that, with the introduction of the need to maintain written parish registers in 1530, there first arose throughout England the complementary need for in some cases, the cleric preparing the record to decide how sounds he was hearing ought to be expressed on paper, and in a great many cases to even compose an actual name for the first time! This was due to widespread illiteracy - especially in the country - together with the past use of descriptions to identify particular persons... e.g. "John's son", "Jack's son" and "Ulf the baker".

In effect, the local parish priest had always been the arbiter of descriptions by which his parishioners were known for virtually any sort of records required by authority... he was likely to be the only person capable of so doing... so how he did so was the deciding factor in a general sense!... He often created names!

It can therefore be readily understood that, when in 1530 these clerics became compelled to be consistent with regular church entries on a continuing basis, how they saw each name in their own minds became projected as the "norm".

At St. Mary's, Piddleton, the vicar in 1530 was Reginald Pole (later to become well known as Cardinal Pole) and there can be little doubt that it was he who was responsible for both the altered spelling and the confusion over use of Hancock.

However, it was not he who first began recording the register at St. Mary's, Piddleton, but the Reverend John Draper - another noted scholar who was at the time also the Abbot of Christchurch Abbey but undertook the duties at St. Mary's himself pending appointment of a replacement for Pole after his departure.

In view of the Bartletts' long association with the parish, it is appropriate perhaps that the very first register entry is that of the marriage of a Thomas Bartlett to Melioza Curland, which took place on 30th November, 1538. This Thomas is not the person of the same name included in the 1542 Muster and 1545 Subsidy lists, but is likely to have been a son of another Bartlett - perhaps Edmund.

The four sons of John and Agnes named in those two lists are identified in St. Mary's registers as -

Richard who married Alice Hames on 20th January 1541;
Robert who married Alice Prowte on 20th July 1542;
Thomas who married Edith Skottes on 11th November 1542; and
William whose daughter was baptised Johane 6th March 1547.

We shall deal with the lives of these brothers as we progress, but for the time being must concentrate on their father, John, whose life and career was to have quite dramatic consequences for them all.

That this, John was something of a rogue and scoundrel is made all too clear from letters he wrote to Thomas Cromwell, Lord Privy Seal and adviser to the King, in which he pleaded for clemency after being disclosed for what he was! Those letters are contained in the published "Papers and Letters of Henry VIII" and tell us much about John... not least that he used the original spelling - Bartelot - for his appointment to the position of "investigator" of monasteries.

Since it would have been through influence exerted by other members of the Bartelot family, John was given the post, we can understand why he used the original name!

Rather interestingly, it was in the course of correspondence exchanged by the compiler and England's Professor J.H. Beattie - an acknowledged authority, and author of books, on the reign of Henry VIII and the Dissolution of Monasteries - that it became recognised a "cartel" of wealthy Dorset landowners living around Piddleton and of which John was a member had banded together to defraud the Crown!

From what has already been outlined about John and Agnes it will be evident how important their lives are to the Bartlett History and that they represent a period our story must traverse in some detail.

Turning next to John's life, let us give him a sub-title:

"The Reign of Henry VIII, 1509-1547"

This seems an appropriate way in which to head-up this part of our history since it was during King Henry's reign that, so far as Court circles are concerned, the Bartelot name reached a kind of zenith!

In an age when Royal authority was absolute, so that closeness to the crown meant real influence, a surprising number of family members achieved positions that took them into the Royal circle: Richard Bartelot (#), President of the Royal College of Physicians, was personal physician to the King, Thomas Bartelot was the King's Printer, (as well as Governor of Christ's Hospital... he lived at "..the sign of Lucretia Romana.." in Fleet Street), whilst John Bartelot was Royal Confectionaire and Richard Bartelot was Secretary to Thomas Cromwell, Lord Privy Seal and Chief Minister.

(#)....born in 1471, this Richard also acquired many ex-church properties including the manor at East Compton. He had 3 sons, Richard, Thomas and John. Richard inherited Castle Morton; Thomas died without heir, whilst nothing is known about John.

Just how far Thomas Cromwell was prepared to go to help the Bartelots is shown by his intervention in what was essentially a legal wrangle to compel Sir John Dawtry to hand back land in Sussex taken from the family... perhaps it is therefore not so surprising that, when instructed by the King to investigate monasteries through-out England in search of misconduct, Cromwell chose to appoint our John Bartelot of Piddleton as one of the investigators! The Bartelot name was clearly something of an asset!

Just how enthusiastically John set about the task is made obvious in "Letters and Papers of Henry VIII" among which are to be found letters written by John to Cromwell pleading innocence after being accused (and rightfully!) of extracting large sums of money from senior churchmen whom he had caught in compromising situations. The unconvincing nature of John's letters would surely have been rejected out-of-hand by anyone not pre-disposed to overlook his disgraceful behaviour... yet Cromwell did not punish him, and at a later stage John even appears to have been promoted!

One of these letters to Cromwell is reproduced in figure 8 below and gives us a picture of John's character - although the obsequious form it takes was probably customary in those times. It may also infer that perhaps because of the things he had shown himself to be capable, John was destined to become part of a plan to cheat the Treasury in a very much more enterprising way than his simple blackmail!

After passage of the Dissolution of Monasteries Act, which was designed to legalise closure of monasteries that had been found in their investigation to have been acting improperly and to take their property, a large number of such religious institutions all over England were closed, their land and other property including treasures, taken by the Crown.... and for the most part offered to the highest bidder with proceeds going into Treasury coffers!

Selected individuals were appointed as Commissioners with the responsibility for valuing such ex-church possessions as land, buildings and advowsons (appointments to localised church 'livings') and in spite of his record our John Bartelot was amongst these! That something strange was happening might be inferred from the appointment of Sir John Tregonwell - admittedly a renowned jurist - who just happened to live at the Manor of Athelhampston in Piddleton, Dorset, as Chief Commissioner for Dorset and Somerset! The Tregonwells were related by marriage to the Churchills, the Kellaways and the Martyns all also Piddleton property owners.

From what we know of John Bartelot this might look suspicious but suspicion turns to certainty when Crown sales of ex-monastery properties etc., are examined to reveal a seemingly endless list of sales made to Tregonwell, Kellaway, Churchill, the Freke family (and of course that is a most familiar name), Rogers to whom the Manor of Bryanston has passed by inheritance from the Bartelots, ...and of course John Bartelot himself! (#)

(#) ...Remember Richard Barthelot, Royal Physician, and his acquisitions!

Although far too numerous to be reproduced in this history, such vast institutions as Bath Abbey, Milton Abbey, Cerne Abbey and Hinton Abbey as well as a multitude of smaller monastery owned manors, farms and mills and prebends were acquired by this cartel of Piddleton based families. That the cartel had extremely influential backing is made clear from individual standing of those involved in it's dealings besides Tregonwell, Robert Freke was Auditor and Teller of the Exchequer, and Sir Matthew Coulthurst, who purchased through cartel members, was the Royal Auditor.

Some idea of what was going on can be got from examining one of the purchases made by John Bartelot in the names of "John Bartlett alias Hancock and son Robert Bartlett alias Hancock" and relating the size and real value of properties involved with the amount actually paid by the Bartletts for them.

The University of Bristol has identified our John Bartelot of piddleton as one of Henry VIII's appointees in 1535 to inquire into the state of monasteries in England. Since Sir John Tregonswell of piddleton was Chief Commissioner in control of the sale of all ex-church property resumed by the Crown under theDissolution of Monasteries Act and Bartelot was also on the Commision, it is clear that these two headed a "cartel" of local Dorset associates and friends who were able to acquire such properties under favourable terms! This would account for John's use of an alias and reluctance to disclose a place of abode in such property transactions.

Besides Bartelot and Tregonswell, the "cartel" surely included Kelloway, Hussey, Arnold, Freke, Churchill (of Corton Denham) and apparently Sir mathew Coulthurst, the Royal Auditor, who acquired Bath Abbey.

Thomas Cromwell, Chief Minister to Henry VIII was hanged in 1540 when sales of ex-monastery properties were about to begin. In view of the Bartelot involvement in Somerset and at Corton Denham, the fact that Thomas Cromwell represented Taunton in Parlaiment and had a Bartelot as his secretary may have had a bearing upon his appointment of John ..... and subsequent leniency!!

John Bartelot, the subject of the following letter, is probably the same person who will be found a little later concerned in a somewhat similar discovery to that here mentioned. His transaction with the prior of the Crutched friars is not greatly to his credit: and the chancellor appears to have formed no very unjust opinion of him.


[From MS. Cotton. Cleopat E. IV. fol. 134 ]

Pleas it your honourable mastership to be advertisid, that in the tyme of Lent last past your contynuell oratour John Bartelot, with other to the noumber of v personez of good conversation, ffound the prior of the Crossid Fryers in London at that tvme beyng in bedde with his hoore, both nakyd, abought xj of the clok in the for none, upon a Fryday, at which to tyme the said priour; to thentent his mysdemeaner and shamfull facte shuld not be knowen wherby he shuld susteyn opyn shame, knelid upon his kneez, and not only desyrid vour said oratour and his cumpany to kepe secret his said acte and not to disclose in any wise the same, but also for the same entent frely of his owen mocion yaf amonges theym about xxxli which he then was possessid of, of the which summe your oratour hadde by the said yef (*) abought vijli.

And also the said priour promysid to yef amonges the said company xxxli more by a certen day. And after by mediacion of ffrendes of the said priour, the said xxxli was releasid to the summe of vjli which vjli. the said priour bound hym self to pay to your oratour by his bill obligatorie at a certen day in the same lymittid. Yet this notwithstonding, for because your said oratour for nonpavment of the said vjli. did arrest the said ffryer, he hath so heynously enformed the lord chauncellour ayenst your oratour, that he not oonly will put hym to suertie, making the premisses a heynous robery, sayeng opynly that your oratour is worthy to be hangid, but also vill by his high auctorite compell your oratour to repay ayen to the said ffryer the summe of xxxli., oonles your moost charitable goodnes be therin othenvise shewid. Yt may therfor pleas your good mastership, of vour aboundaunt goodnes, to provyd that the premissez may be duly examyned according to equite, for this is the very and hole truth in the same. And your said oratour shall pray to God for your honour and preservacion long to endewer.

By your humble to his pour duryng his lif,


To the right honourable master secretory

(*) Gift

Figure 8

That the use of a different spelling along with the alias was intended to obfuscate the record of transactions seems evident, and the purchase now described was made in the year 1545/6:- In its original form the record reads:

"37 Henry VIII...The Manor of Muston alias Musterton alias Piddle Musterton and its farm, in Piddle Hinton and Piddleton, pasture for 100 ewes, 4 rams and their lambs, the stock and moiety of hay on the farm belonging to Cerne Abbey, value £10.10.4.; lands in Rumford near Worth, and Eastworth parcel of Tewkesbury Abbey; lands in Tarent Rawson parcel of Tarent Abbey; Chipmans Coppice in Milborne St.Andrew; the site of the Priory of Hinton co. Somerset; to John Bartlett alias Hancock and his son Robert and their heirs for the sum of £710.5/-."

(Hutchins vol.11,8O3)

The Manor of Muston was comprised 610 acres of land, the manor house and farm house; Eastworth was a manor at Cranborne, Dorset, and made up of two manor houses (according to Hutchins both included in this one sale grant) named "Eastworth" and "Holwell", as well as tithing and hamlet one-and-a-half miles east of Cranborne itself, which casts considerable doubt upon the price paid by the Bartletts without considering all the other components it included! The Priory of Hinton - also known as Hinton Abbey and Hinton Charterhouse - was of considerable size, stretching from Hinton to the next village of Wellow (where Dorothy Popham nee Bartlett was buried, 1614, in a tomb bearing the crescent blazons of the Bartelots of Stopham) and might have been expected to fetch such a price on its own.

In subsequent title deeds for Muston Manor the name is variously spelt Bartlet, Bartelett, Beryett and Bartlett, whilst the alias also varies being sometimes spelt Hancocke.

These same title deeds dated 1556; 1586; 1592; 1607; 1608/9 and 1612, name as parties to them or witnesses: Matthew Coulthard alias Colchester; William Churchill of Dorchester; John Churchill of Corton; Sir Thomas Freke of Middle Temple; Sir Robert Freke; as well as signatures of Johannes Lowman and Edward Collier to whom Muston was first leased by the Bartletts, but who were beneficiaries under the Will of Lord De la Lynde by which they were given control of his Halstock estate near Pendomer, Somerset. Even Christopher Greye, by whom Stanscomb at Litton Cheney was enfeoffed to John and William Bartlett in 1609 has a place as a party to a marriage settlement in which Muston figures principally.

Whilst there are doubtless good reasons why so many familiar names should exist on documents relating to Muston, the fact that they are all found there together indicates a willingness to combine in such a connection and provides a legitimate basis for supposing the same common links wherever they are found together elsewhere.

After his activities for the Crown, which probably came to an end around 1548 after the death of Henry VIII and when all ex-church properties had been disposed of, John seems to have retired to live at Piddleton where he was buried at St.Mary's on 15th December, 1558. It is more than likely that, with the child Edward assuming the throne and the Protector Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, discarding earlier Court favourites, names such as Bartelot were no longer wanted.

The Will left by John included provision for his widow, Agnes, and also included as beneficiaries his son Robert (whose name appeared jointly with his father in deeds of Muston) another Robert, perhaps a grandson or nephew, and a Roger.

When considering how John's properties then became distributed, it can be assumed that, since these were held in a variety of names as well as under different title conditions, the Hancock alias became continued as necessary. That is certainly known to have been the case at Muston Manor and farm which was purchased in both names but also at Longburton/Yetminster where the alias was still recorded along with Bartlett in the 17th century. This factor will be again referred to as we now turn to the generation that followed John and his wife Agnes.

As has just been noted, a name - Roger - appeared for the first time in John's 1558 Will and is therefore known to have been a relative, probably a close one, and a beneficiary. If he was a son, which is possible, then he must have been a relatively latecomer since his name does not appear in either 1543 Muster nor 1545 Subsidy lists. On the other hand he could well have been a second son (and therefore brother to Thomas) of Edmund, making him John's nephew.

In any event he is known to have fitted into the family scene somewhere... and is seen as the likely founder of a line of Bartletts using the alias Hancock that is recorded at Longburton and nearby Yetminster where an infant was baptised "Alexander Bartlett alias Hancock on 21st November, 1580, followed by the death of another Alexander whose Will was proved there in 1599 and included a bequest to the Robert Bartlett then living at Piddleton.

At Yetminster, two-and-a-half miles away, John Bartlett alias Hancock died in 1589 and is recorded in the register there as having been "..of Longburton.." which suggests he may have been a brother of the alder Alexander.

This John of Yetminster is recorded as leaving a widow named Edith and offspring Thomas, John, Joan, William and Anstice, whilst a further notation in the register tells us that he had a sister called Agnes whose married name was Toogood.(#)

Note:... The Yetminster Visitation of 1720 includes (all Bartletts)

  • ..26th September... baptism of Mary, daughter of Robert & Edith
  • ..13th February... baptism of Elizabeth, daughter of Robert & Martha
  • ..27th December.. .baptism of Mary daughter of Thomas & Elizabeth.

(#) by his Will, this John Bartlett alias Hancock of Yetminster appointed his brother-in-law, Rev. John Toogood, to be his administrator, and described Toogood as, quote, " brother in Christ.." thus inferring that both were in deed Churchmen. All evidence points to this John being a brother to Alexander and Agnes, and having been born around 1540, thus ruling out any direct connection with the 1581 marriage at Piddleton of a similarly named John with Edith Mason. They could of course been children of Master Hancock of Sherborne School, not far away, and using the alternative name for property reasons.

There are several interesting and perhaps significant elements that can be extracted from those records:-

Given the many and consistent appearances of the Bartlett and Hancock names from as early as the 1200's as well as the presence of 'taster Hancock as the second headmaster of Sherborne School along with Thomas Hancock being personal secretary to Sir Walter Raleigh, (who owned and lived at Sherborne Castle) it does seem as though both families contributed to clerical pursuits. Thomas Hancock entered into a suicide pact with Sir Walter after his master was confined to the Tower of London... but whereas Sir Walter only succeeded in wounding himself, Hancock was more thorough!

History also tells of the Hancock who spent much of his life during the 16th century travelling around Dorset decrying what he considered the Popish and hypocritical dogma of the church until as an old man he finally retired to live at Weymouth. (see previous note)

The name Roger reoccurred on 12th November, 1756, at Folke church, one-half mile from Longburton, when Roger Bartlett married Martha KELLAWAY... a name familiar at Piddleton two centuries earlier! A further local connection is with a property known as Holway Farm which in 1544 was the home of John Bartlett, son of the Margaret who paid tax on homes left her by her husband at Corton Denham! (see 'Somerset Notes & Queries' )

With so much apparently connecting this Bartlett line to those at Piddleton it is certain they were of the same stock and possibly linked by the marriage of a John Bartlett to Edith Mason at Piddleton on 7th October, 1501... and the disappearance of both from subsequent records there.

As is already known from what has been said earlier, William Bartelot possessed a half-share in the manor of Sock Dennis situated near Ilchester and the border with Dorset, but also only about six miles from Corton Denham where, in the year 1558/9 a widow name Margaret Bartlett was taxed £15 in respect of property there left her by her deceased husband. For reasons that will be explained that husband is considered to have been the Richard, son of William, who had moved away from Fordington/Piddleton before 1542.

This Margaret had two sons and two daughters - all born between 1524 & 1536 and baptised with familiar names:- John, Richard, Joan and Agnes.

On the 18th September, 1547, this son Richard married Joan Martyn... and the family seat of the Martin family (once known as the Mortaines) was at that time Waterston Manor, Piddlehinton and shared its boundaries with Muston owned by the Bartletts there. On the 16th November 1585, a son of John, the other brother, named Richard after his uncle, also married... and his bride was Alice Freke, a grand-daughter of the same Sir John Freke involved with John Bartelot alias Hancock in the property cartel, and also a witness whose signature appears on the Muston Manor deeds!

Such positive links between Bartletts living at Corton Denham and those at Piddleton, plus the earlier part ownership of Sock Dennis, leave little, if any, room for doubt that it was here Richard moved when he married and left the paternal home. A line of Bartletts has also been traced at Ilchester ( see figure ?? below) which being so close may very well be therefore descended from William' s brother who inherited the other share of Sock Dennis from his father Thomas back in 1480.

At Fordington Manor, passed on by William at his death, a succession of Robert Bartletts are recorded at least until mid -1700's (see Figure 10 ) evidencing continued presence of family members there and it was sons of the Robert (*) living there (born 1568) that emigrated to North America to found new colonies. In light of the historic contribution made by their descendants to the creation of the United States of America more will be included about this, but it is interesting in view of what was written earlier about religious unrest at Dorchester and the possible involvement of Fordington Bartelots, that descendants should be identified amongst those seeking a new life free of the same papal influences more than 150 years later!

(*).. This Robert married a Piddleton girl named Alice Barker at St.Mary's on 16th October 1589, and the couple went to live at Fordington where they had 5 known children Liddia (2.8.1590), Ruth (22.4.1591), Richard (17.5.1592), Martha (5.11.1598) and Robert (27.5.1603); there may have been another son named John. The youngest, Robert, sailed with the Pilgrim Fathers on the "Anne" to America in 1623, followed later by brother Richard, and his son, also named Richard, on board the "Lillian & Frances" in 1632. Their stories are told, along with their descendants, in the histories of the States of New Hampshire and Massachusetts but sole details of their families etc., have been included in the support documents to this history. Yet another Robert Bartlett, baptised at Frampton, Dorset, and son of William Bartlett, sailed to North America with his sister Magdaline. Their baptism dates were Magdaline 23.3.1630, Robert 4.2.1639.


Recorded descent of Bartelots/Bartletts at Fordington, Dorset.

circa 1568
circa 1570
2. 8.1590
17. 7.1592
27. 5.1603
26. 8.1620
2. 2.1669
18. 8.1728
2. 2.1747
3. 7.1769
28. 7.1772
1890 - 1395
Robert Bartelot Mayor of Dorchester Town.
John Bartelot Bailiff of Dorchester Town.
Henry Bartelot curate, Dorchester but attached to Stinsford church.
Robert Bartlett born (m. Alice Barker 16.10.1589)
Richard Bartlett born.
Richard Bartlett baptised. (Sailed to America 1632)
Liddia Bartlett baptised.
Ruth Bartlett baptised.
Martha Bartlett baptised.
Richard Bartlett (m) Joane.
Robert Bartlett born.
John Bartlett born.
William Bartlett (m) Kathryn Ingram
Richard (son of Richard/Joane) born.
Richard (son of Richard/Joane) baptised at Tincleton.
Richardo Bartlett (m) John Strickland.
John Bartlett (m) Mary Warren (i)
Tristram Bartlett (m) Frances White.
Bridget Bartlett (m) Thomas Lamont.
Joan Bartlett (m) Thomas Wollfrie.
John Bartlett (m) Eleanor Brown.
John Bartlett (m) Sarah Wodford.
Edith Bartlett (m) William Style (ii) (of Piddleton)
Joan Bartlett (m) Henry Green.
Robert Bartlett (m) Judah Loveless.
Dorothy Bartlett (m) John Coward.
Joseph Bartlett (m) Elizabeth Lester (at All Saints Dorchester)
James Bartlett (m) Martha Bedloe.
Mary Bartlett (m) John Burt.
John Bartlett (m) Ann Masters.
Grace Bartlett (m) Joseph Nightingail.
Rev. Richard Grosvenor Bartlett vicar at Fordington.


(i) Robert who sailed to America in 1623, met a Mary Warren on board the "ANNE" during the voyage, and married her!
(ii) the Styles were a well known armiger family at Piddleton.
(iii).. another Robert Bartlett, son of William Bartlett of Frampton and baptized there 4.2.1639, sailed to North America with a sister, Magdaline, baptised 23.3.1630.

Figure 9



Alive 1525
13. 11. 1611
1. 1. 1611
18. .8. 1621
1. 11. 1622
11. 2. 1705
18. 9.1791
13. 2.1794
7. 2. 1803
20. 7.1806
6. 6.1811

Ralph Bartelot, brother of William, and vicar at Poyntingdon, Somerset
Edward baptised.
Richard, son of John, baptised.
John married Pascha.
Robert, son of Thornas, baptised.
Jone (?), of Thomas, baptised.
Elizabeth, daughter of Edward, baptised.
Elizabeth, daughter of Edward, baptised
Edith, married Cuthbert Ornell.
Mary, daughter of Thomas, baptised.
Cecily baptised.
Mary married Simon Bartlett (of Corton Denham?)
Samuel, son of Richard & Mary, baptised.
Sarah, daughter of Brian & Betty, baptised.
Betty, daughter of Brian & Betty, baptised.
Martha, daughter of Brian & Betty, baptised.
Edward/Mary twins of Brian & Betty, baptised.
Mary married Simon Sibley.
Elizabeth married Thomas Sibley.
Elizabeth, daughter of John & Sarah, baptised.
William married Sarah Bush.

Figure 10

The younger of the two, Robert, was first to depart, sailing on the "Anne" with the Pilgrim Fathers in 1623, and meeting young Nary Warren on board. The couple got married upon arrival at New Plymouth, where they made their home on one acre of land.

Richard had married in England and - perhaps hearing from his brother - decided to follow him, taking a young son also christened Richard, with him; no mention is made of a wife; they sailed in 1632 on the "William and Francis" to finally settle in Newbury, Massachusetts, where the Bartlett name remains to-day recognised in the form of their original home, "The Lion's South", a National Trust property, as well as in the history of USA., through the part played by their descendant Dr. Josiah Bartlett who drafted and was a signatory to both Declaration of Independence & Articles of Confederation.

Josiah Bartlett Josiah Bartlett, served New Hampshire and the nation for forty-five years, largely during the revolutionary period. He was a member of new Hampshire's legislature, a justice on state courts, a part of the state convention that ratified the Federal Constitution, and president and governor of the state.

Figure 11

Having learned all that is presently known of the earlier generations we may now move on to examine the lives of the four sons identified from local records as children of John Bartelot/Bartlett alias Hancock and his wife Agnes (nee Hancock).

Of these Robert poses no problem since his name is linked jointly with his father on deeds of Muston Manor and farm and also figures in Piddleton parish records to tell us that he and his wife Alice remained living there until death. This is clear from the following obituary composed and included in Church documents by Rev. Thomas Genge, vicar of St.Mary's when Alice died in 1599. That obituary reads:-

"Alice Bartlett, ye onlie wyfe of Robert Bartlett deceased, kepte great hospitalitie in this parish fifty years, eight months and eight dayes, all of which time the poore wanted no necessarie sustenance either in sickness or health.
She departed this life the 10th daye of March to the griefe of many in this world but to the joy of many in Heaven, in the year of Our Lord as above written."

What the Rev.Genge recorded not only confirms the couple lived out their days at Piddleton but also tells us something of the family's standing in the community.

It is known the Bartletts never occupied Muston since both manor and farm were firstly leased to Collier and Lowman, then to the Churchills to whom sold by Nathaniel Bartlett in 1612. (*)

(*)... Nathaniel was the only son of John, & grandson of Robert, but had sisters Alice, Elizabeth, Mary, Martha and Rebecca.

Robert's brother, William, also remained at Piddleton where he married and had at least two known children, Johane and Robert, baptised at St.Mary's on 6th March, 1547 & 29th March, 1551. The family can be presumed to have continued to live on the Ilsington estate since descendants were still living there into the 17th century after the marriage of a John Bartlett to Emme Arnold in 1568, at some time following which the Manor house only was transferred into the Arnold name. However, Robert apparently occupied the main house whilst William (and his descendants) continued to live at, and operate, the farm.

Bartletts and Arnolds, whose principal seat was at Bagber, were closely linked over the centuries and their graves can still be found alongside one another at St.Mary's.

The Bartlett name continued to be part of Piddleton history for the next three centuries, even to the extent that in 1729 a plan of adjoining Piddlehinton households includes a Bartlett still occupying one of Muston's cottages and Anne, widow of a Robert Bartlett living at Waterston in the "Dairy House" with her three children, Robert, William and Grace, plus two servants named Jane Smith and William Gillingham.

Turning next to the son named Richard, the picture is somewhat obscure since it is evident that, after his marriage on the 20th January 1541 to Alice Hames, and the death in 1550 of their daughter Agnes, the couple left Piddleton to make their home elsewhere.

As has been mentioned earlier, it is known that the father John Bartelot acquired the house in Cathedral Close, Salisbury, in 1543 and that three years later he purchased various ex-monastery properties including "Eastworth" at Cranborne, so it is logical to look there as a possible destination for missing Richard.

... the town of Salisbury was more than a cathedral town and became the centre of administrative activities for Wiltshire and much of the surrounding country in other counties. Probably because of this, and whilst he was a commisioner investigating monasteries in Wessex, John Bartelot alias Bartlett alias Hancock, purchased a house in Cathedral Close, Salisbury, in the year 1543. (see extract from Sarum Close)

There it is found a family of Bartletts was living in a house named "Holwell" in the 18th century and - even more significantly - another John Bartlett choirmaster at the Cathedral, was occupying the house in Cathedral Close only some 46 years after its purchase by John Bartelot alias Bartlett alias Hancock!

Even of themselves these things are too much to be coincidence, but when we add to them Hutchins statement in his History of Dorset that "Holwell" was in fact included in the Crown lease of Eastworth acquired by John Bartelot, then it can only be concluded that the later appearances were descended from him! That would mean Eastworth was inherited by one of his sons and since only Richard is unaccounted for, it is the compiler's conclusion he and Alice went to Eastworth.

A pedigree of the Holwell Bartletts was compiled and lodged with the Heralds College in 1891 {#}by a Bartlett (trying to prove his descent from the Sussex Bartelots) which careful examination shows to have been founded on inaccurate interpretations of Salisbury Cathedral records and the obvious disregard for Eastworth's background! Information (see Figure 12) provided by the Cathedral Archivist discloses Bartletts to have been in Salisbury before that pedigree would permit possible, at the same time confirming their name was spelt in that way - thus negating further the premise upon which the pedigree was later distorted!

{#}... this pedigree claimed the first "Thomas" was brother to John, the choirmaster... and both moved to Salisbury from Sussex about 1593 (when for some unexplained (!) reason spelling of the name changed!

Letter from Salisbury Cathedral Library
Figure 12

As if those things are not enough, a Holwell Bartlett married a Tregonwell widow and their daughter married a Napper of the Piddleton family of Napper! Indeed they actually donated land adjoining that of the Bartletts there as a site for a poorhouse.

It is therefore accepted in this history of our family that the Bartletts who lived at Holwell House, Cranborne, were in truth a branch of those at Piddleton, and descended from Richard.

To follow the path that is to take us over the border of Somerset to the small community at Pendomer we must now turn to John's remaining son, Thomas, who married Edith Skottes at St.Mary's, Piddleton, on 11th November 1542. It is not known precisely when that journey was made but on the evidence available must have been about 1548 to 1550.

Just why the couple chose to go to Pendomer is also not clear although, like other sons, Thomas might be expected to have received an inheritance and there are grounds for believing Hinton Charterhouse (purchased by John see (#) in figure 13) may have owned land here upon which a small "cell" of monks lived independently. Of course the Bartelots had also once held nearby Bradford Abbas, whilst adjoining estates were owned by Collier and Lowman, lessees of Muston, with Richard, uncle to Thomas, only a short distance away at Corton Denham


"BAPTISM: Edmond..son of Edmont and Prudence BARTHOLET. 14th October, 1649."



"On April 27th, 1539, Prior Edmund Horde signed the surrender of the Monastery. . ."

(#)"After the Dissolution the monastic buildings did not long remain intact. After the execution of Lord Hungerford the property was granted to John Bartlett who sold it to Matthew Colthurst..."


As is known from Crown records of the fate Sf monasteries seized by the Crown under the Dissolution Act, Minton Charterhouse (Abbey) was at first promised to Lord Hungerford but then sold to John & Robert Bartlett alias Hancock of Piddleton. The Colthurst named above was the Royal Auditor and a member of the cartel with John Bartelot/Bartlett and others.

In addition to the above mentioned baptism there, it seems unlikely that it should be coincidence that in ;Wellow Church, Hinton Charterhouse (once part of the Abbey itself) there can be still seen the magnificent alter tomb of Dorothy Popham (nee Bartelot) 1588-1614, wife of Edward Popham, and daughter of Richard Bartelot of Compton. This tomb includes the coat-of-arms of the Bartelots of Stopham, whilst the Popham family (Henry Popham in 1419 followed by Stephen, his son) were part owners of Bardolfeston Manor, Piddleton, immediately following the Bartelots' interest in the place (see notes ?? and ??)

Compton, where Dorothy was born, was acquired by father Richard from the Crown (along with other ex-monastery properties) at the time the John Bartelot - John Tregonwell "cartel" was operating!

Figure 13

That other branches of Bartelot/Bartletts had existed in various places around Somerset also since the demise of the de Bryan name - even as close to Pendomer as Taunton and Bath - is a fact.

Whatever the reasons for the move, it is clear from Bishops' Transcripts ....and no parish records for the period have survived for Pendomer or other surrounding districts.... that Thomas and Edith had a daughter named after her mother born around 1544 because this daughter was married back at Piddleton in 1561 to a son of the Rev. Thomas Genge! (#) The couple also had two sons baptised respectively William (6.9.1561) and John (12.9.1568) and a daughter, Dorothy (3.3.1565)... all three at Pendomer. It seems likely that, because of the absence of clergy at Pendomer, these baptisms occurred late in life.

(#)... as the Genge name promptly turned up at and around Pendomer from this time, it can be taken that Edith and her husband Lawrence Genge moved back there after their marriage.

There were probably more children born than those named and that this was so is supported by subsequent marriages recorded in Transcripts, but the ones given here are important because they help to establish the beginning of the Bartlett presence here.

No doubt springing from marriages of sons and/or grandsons of Thomas and Edith at Pendomer is the consistent appearance of this same first name, Edith, in a family of Bartletts with its roots in the village of East Chinnock, less than one mile west of Pendomer, is certainly consistent with it having been started by a son of Thomas. As with the rest of the area, any parish records that may have existed before the 17th century have been lost but, interestingly, what do remain include an Edith and a Richard as well as all what might be termed "traditional" baptism names. .....So, with the setting of our story having moved out of Dorset and over the border to the hamlet and Manor of Pendomer it is appropriate to begin a new chapter which will take us through the next three centuries.

SUMMARY THUS FAR:- A further "milestone" having been reached in the Bartlett saga as Thomas and Edith move across the border between Dorset and Somerset to Pendomer, it is timely to briefly summarise some of the principal discoveries made about the family up until this point:-
i... we now know the French origin of our name and something about the life and death of the first to bear the name.
ii... the importance of early association with the de Bryans and relationship with Bartelots and de Stophams of Sussex, as well as the effect these had upon the family's future, have been explained.
iii... some idea of the spread of our name, and reasons for the directions it took, have been given.
iv... family members living in Dorset and elsewhere before 1500 A.D. have been identified; with those directly involved in our history at Litton Cheney, Dorchester, Riddleton, Stockwood etc., being traced individually by relationship.
v... the career and life of John Bartelot alias Bartlett alias Hancock have been examined because of his far-reaching influence upon those descended from him.
vi... evidence has been extracted to identify and link with each other, branches of the larger Bartlett descent that were founded at Corton Denham, Yetminster, Fordington, Stourton Caundle and Ilchester...and USA.
vii... and, finally, details of properties acquired from the Crown and elsewhere have been extracted and their disposition by inheritance disclosed.
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