Ivan Hurst's exploration of Genealogy

Audley Stanbridge Earls retirement village

Standbridge and Standbridge Erles

Standridge is a Tudor Manor House situated near Romsey, Hampshire.

It is also known variously as Standbridge Erles, Stand Bridge, Stanbridge and Stanbridge Earls.

The manor came to my attention whilst researching my Family Tree where an Abraham Hurst was born in 1756, his father, Abraham, was 30 and his mother, Martha, was 30. He married Sarah Pragnell on 16 October 1780 in Houghton, Hampshire. According to Ancestry and other information Sarah Pragnell was born in 1759 in Lockerley, Hampshire, her father, John Fifield, was 40, and her mother, Catharine, was 19. John is recorded as having married a Catharine but not Catharine Pragnell. Hampshire Genealogical Society information from the parish records indicate that on 23 May 1764 in the parish of Romsey John Fifield married Catharine Pearce. He would have been 45 at this time, which is late for the time and therefore possibly a second marriage. His will recognises and illegitimate daughter Elizabeth, another daughter Catharine together with four sons Jno [John] Fifield, Benjn [Benjamin] Fifield, Job Fifield, and Richd [Richard] Fifield. This seems to suggest the the John Fifield and the one in the will are one in the same. 

The search continues for more information on both John Fifield and his estates, in particular Standbridge. Hopefully, to establish the relationship between John Fifield and Sarah Pragnell. DNA enhanced trees will also be used, where possible, to establish a link.

Below in information found to date, in chronological order of the information.

Newspaper Article from the British Library

The article is OCR but needs lots of corrections, which I am working through.

Hampshire Chronicle - Monday 11 October 1790


A LIST of the CERTIFICATES,issued in the County aforesaid, with respect to the said DUTY, between the 1st of July and the 1st of September, both Days inclusive, pursuant to Act of Parliament
DUTY at Ten Shillings and Sixpence each.
Gamekeepers. ¦ By whom deputed. ¦ Manors

FIFIELD, John, jun. ¦ John Fifield, Gent. ¦ ( Standbridge, a. Standbridge Erles, and two undivided third parts of the Manor of Roke )

The same [Guy, Thomas] ¦ E. B. Batson, Esq. ¦ Avon-Tyrell





Transcript of Probate register for the Will of John Fiffield d 1796

From National Archives

Reference IR 26/416/40

Abstract of Will of John Fifield, Gentleman of Standbridge otherwise Standbridge Erles in the parish of Romsey, Hampshire. Proved in the Court of Winchester.


Date of the Probate and Sum sworn 22 March 1796 - £5,000
If you want to compare the value of a £5,000 0s 0d Income or Wealth , in 1796 there are four choices. In 2018 the relative:
real wage or real wealth value of that income or wealth is £482,900.00
labour earnings of that income or wealth is £6,371,000.00
relative income value of that income or wealth is £6,805,000.00
relative output value of that income or wealth is £40,730,000.00
{Link to Measuring Wealth}


TNA Will John Fifield d 1796 P1


TNA Will John Fifield d 1796 P2


 TNA Will John Fifield d 1796 P3


Fifield, John of Standbridge otherwise Standbridge Erles in the parish of Romsey, Gentleman

I give devise and bequeath devise unto Joseph ????? {possibly Tanner} of the town of Romsey Infra Wine Merchant Benjn [Benjamin] Godfrey of the Parish of Romsey Extra Draper & my son Jno [John] Fiffield & to the Survivors of them and the Heirs of those survivors. All those my Freehold Estates following that is too say. All separate xxxxx on Estate called Rogers’s. All that separate ?????? on Estates called Saunders both in my occupation. And also all those two undivided third parts or shares of and in all that Manor Farm and lands called Roke Farm now in the occupation of John Faithorn together with all & singular the xxxxx Buildings Rights Members Hereditaments and Appurtenances there unto belonging ??hold to them the said Joseph xxxxx Benjn [Benjamin] Godfrey and my said son Jno [John] Fifield and to the survivors of them and the heirs of such survivors UPON TRUST to sell and dispose of the aforesaid Estates to the best Purchaser or Purchasers that can be got for the same in Fee Simple and then upon this further Trust that they my said Trustees or the Survivors of them or the heirs of such survivors do and in the first Place ^^ pay and apply ^^ so much of the Monies arising by such sale as will satisfy and discharge all my just Debts of what nature or kind so ever they may happen to be xx after full payment and satisfaction of the same. UPON TRUST to pay to my illegitimate dau¬r [daughter] Elizth [Elizabeth] Fifield and my dau¬r [daughter]Catharine Fifield the Sum of £200 each on their respectively arriving at the age of 21 years the interest thereof in the meantime at 5% xxxx to be applied to their support and Maintenance and the residue of the said Trust monies (if any) I hereby will and direct shall be equally shared and divided my said son John Fifield & my Sons Benjn [Benjamin], Job Fifield, Rd [Richard] Fifield their Ex¬ors & Adm¬ors [Executors & Administrators] to take as Tenants in Common. Also I give and devise unto my xx sons Jno [John] Fifield Benjn [Benjamin] Fifield, Job Fifield and Richd [Richard] Fifield. All that my Manor Farm and Estate called Standbridge otherwise Standbridge Erles now in my occupation situate in the parish of Romsey Extra aforesaid together with all Houses Outhouses Barns Stables Buildings Rights Members Hereditaments and Appurtenances thereunto belonging or appertaining to hold the same unto the said John Fifield, Benjamin Fifield, Job Fifield and Richard Fifield and their off??? as joint tenants for and during and un??? the full End and Term and of Ninety and Nine Years if they or either of them shall happen so long to live and from and after the Determination of that Estate I give and devise the said Premises with the Appurtenances to the first and every other Son and Sons of my said Son John Fifield successively in Tail Male & in Default of such issue the Remainder to the first and every other Son and Sons of my said Son Benjamin Fifield successively in Tail Male & in Default of such issue the Remainder to the first and every other Son and Sons of my said Son Richard Fifield successively in Tail Male & in Default of such issue the Remainder to my own Right Heirs for ever. But notwithstanding the Before mentioned devise of Stand Bridge Estate it is my Will and Intention and I do hereby give and devise unto my said Trustees Joseph ???? Benjn [Benjamin] Godfrey and John Fifield and to the survivor of them and Ex¬ors & Adm¬ors [Executors or Administrators] of such survivors all the timber over the size of twenty feet which shall be standing or growing on my said Estate called Standbridge together with Free Liberty to enter on the ?? Estate at all Times UPON TRUST that they ?? Trustees or the Survivor of them or Ex¬ors & Adm¬ors [Executors & Administrators] of such survivors do and shall as soon as conveniently may be cut sell and dispose of such Timber with the Monies arising therefrom ?? and shall in the first place pay the Debts and Legacies herein before mentioned in Case the Purchase Monies of the aforesaid Estates of Roke, Roger’s and Saunders shall not be sufficient and after full payment thereof. UPON TRUST that they the said Trustees or the Survivor of them or Ex¬ors & Adm¬ors [Executors & Administrators] of such survivors do and shall out of the residue of the said Money arising by sale of the said Timber put in good and substantial repair All the Houses Barns Stables and Buildings ^^ on ??? Est [Estate] called Standbridge ??? after the ?? House Barns Stables ?????? ^^ shall be so put in good and substantial Repair then UPON TRUST to pay share and divide the residue of the said Money arising from the sale of the said Timber unto and amongst my said sons Jno [John] Benjn [Benjamin] Job and Richd [Richard] Fifield and their Ex¬ors & Adm¬ors [Executors or Administrators] share and share alike to take as Tenants in Common Also I give and bequeath unto the said Josh [Joseph] T???? Benjn [Benjamin] Godfrey and John Fifield All my Goods Chattels Stock in Husbandry Corn Grain and all other my Personal Estate whatsoever and wheresoever To hold the same to them & the survivor of them and the Ex¬ors & Adm¬ors [Executors & Administrators] of such Survivor UPON TRUST by and out of the same to pay all my Funeral Expenses Charges of this my Will and all other Expenses incident thereto and attending all the Trusts hereby in them ???? and after payment of the same to pay and discharge the Legacies hereinbefore bequeathed in Case the Monies hereinbefore given for that Purpose shall not be sufficient and after full payment and satisfaction thereof UPON TRUST to pay share and divide the residue of my ?? Personal Estate unto and amongst my said sons Jno [John] Benjn [Benjamin] Job and Richd [Richard] Fifield and their Ex¬ors & Adm¬ors [Executors & Administrators] equally between them as Tenants in Common.


Estates extracted from Will;-

Saunders: Parish: Awbridge: All Saints
Manor Farm: <michelmarsh?> <timsbury?> Parish: Michelmersh: St Mary Parish: Timsbury: St Andrew
Roke Farm: Parish: Awbridge: All Saints http://www.romseynet.org.uk/genealogy/2011/rokemanor.pdf 
Standbridge otherwise Standbridge Erles (aka Stand Bridge and Stanbridge Earls): - Parish: Romsey: St Mary & St Ethelflaeda - https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=67bce0ed36dd4ee0af7a16bc079aa09a

Detailed History
Stanbridge Earls is reputed to be the place where Ethelwulf, King of the West Saxons and father of Alfred the Great died and was buried. However, it has not been proven. After 1066 various families possessed the estate. It was well-endowed, with fishing rights in the River Test, arable and meadowland, orchards and plentiful woodland.
Even so, in the time of John Fifield (the late-18th-century) it was allowed to fall into decay and become ruinous. The estate was saved by a number of owners in the early-20th-century, who were prepared to invest money in restoring and beautifying it. In this way a scenic area south of the house was created, a variety of plants, some exotic, some Alpine, were introduced into the gardens and more trees were planted. Facilities for sports were also introduced.

 Family extracted from Will;-

Elizabeth Fifield (illegitimate),  John Fifield, Benjamin Fifield, Job Fifield, Richard Fifield, Catharine Fifield. His wife Catherine (1731 - 1800) does not appear to be mentioned in the will, despite still being alive at the time of her husbands death.

Name   Birth and death age at Father's death 1796 age at death

surviving at

Tithe Apportionment - 1840

Heir at 1840
 Elizabeth Fifield (illegitimate)  d  1764 - 1817  32  53  No  
 John Fifield s  1766 -  30      
 Benjamin Fifield s  1767 - 1799  29  32  No  
 Job Fifield s  1769 - 1840  27  71  Yes  
 Richard Fifield s  1770 - 1815  26  45  No  
 Catharine Fifield d  1771 - 1846  25  75  Yes  

 Dates added from ancestry


There next line of investigation let to the Tithe Apportionment and Maps.

The estates are located in;-

Rogers’s: Not located yet
Saunders: Parish: Awbridge: All Saints
Manor Farm:  Parish: Michelmersh: St Mary or Parish: Timsbury: St Andrew
Roke Farm: Parish: Awbridge: All Saints 
Standbridge otherwise Standbridge Erles - Parish: Romsey: St Mary & St Ethelflaeda

Hampshire Parishes Map

Above is a map of the Parishes of The County of Hampshire. 

Our search started with Job Fifield in Michelmersh and resulted in finding over 10 plots attributed to him as both owner and occupier. It was in a strange and isolated section of the Parish of Michelmersh totally disconnected from the main parish, almost an island surrounded by the Parish of Romsey. The lands were known Tithe Free Lands Monks and the buildings Monk's cottages. The map below shows the current parish segment. Plot 830 of the Tithe Map is described as 'Tithe Free Lands Monks, Three Cottages & Gardens' Landowner; Job Fifield, Occupier; William Young and Others. Job's lands in this area include copses, orchards, arable, meadow and pasture in excess of 23 acres, in addition to the properties, part of a road and part of the River Test. It is currently a mystery as to why there are isolated elements of the Parish of Michelmersh.



Searching for information as to why Michelmersh Parish has some Isolated outliers I found a site with transcriptions of parish records, some of which may be useful in this research  and are accordingly captured here, with links back to the source. (Moved to John Fifield d 1796)

The same site states in its 'A Potted History of the Villages';

8,000 years ago, close to the end of the Ice Age, one of the largest Middle Stone Age settlements in Great Britain flourished nearby on Broom Hill, Braishfield.

There is much evidence of habitation in Saxon times when kilns in Michelmersh produced cooking pots, pitchers.

985 - The original parish of Michelmersh, which included Braishfield and the whole of Awbridge was granted by King Aethelred II (‘Ethelred the Unready’) to Aelferd as a gift for life. It does not appear in Doomsday as it remained Crown Property until …

1043 - King Ethelred died his wife Queen Emma gave the Michelmersh Estates to the Priory of St Swithun’s Winchester, possibly in gratitude for not overheating the nine (red-hot?) ploughshares, which she is reported to have walked over barefoot in the cathedral to prove her innocence of the charge of criminal familiarity with Bishop Alwyn.

1200's - Michelmersh Church was built, or rebuilt. Timsbury Church also dates from this period.

1205 - The first mention of Michelmersh Manor Farm. Michelmersh Manor was a large grange with a fortified gate house, Great Hall, chambers for visiting monks and squires, an office for the bailiff, kitchen, Chapel, parts of which are still extant – a chamber, a gardrobe for the prior, etc.

1850 - Act passed for purchase of Redbridge-Andover canal and turning it into a Railway.

1855 - Braishfield becomes a separate parish

1877 - Awbridge becomes a separate parish



Moving again to the tithe apportionments, but in the Parish of Romsey instead of Michelmersh, Job Fifield has as landowner and occupier over 200 acres with him living in Roke Farm, plot 877 . Rogers Field is plot 893. {Is this part of the Roger's Estate mentioned in the John Fifield d 1796 will?} West Park Farm is also mentioned, in part. He is joint landowner with Charles John Hall, and occupier of a further 162 acres. Charles John Hall was recorded as occupier of a further 238 acres and the house garden yard and buildings at plot 908, Stanbridge Farm. William Fifield was recorded as the lifeowner of plot 1082, Brickkiln and yard, on the Hundred Romsey and freeholder nearby of plot 1042 Brick field, or Bresk Field, arable. Job Fifield also rented some fields adjacent to Viscount Palmerston's land near Romsey, from Anne Julia Daman.

Charles John Hall married Catharine Fifield, a daughter of Job Fifield, on 15 July 1826 in Romsey, Hampshire, and instantly became part of the Fifield family or dynasty, with between them, about 640 acres, of prime Hampshire land under their control.

Fifield Family Tithe Map

Above is an extract of the 'Map of the titheable lands in the Parish of Romsey including Romsey Infra and Romsey Extra in the County of Southampton. This was at a time when the county name was Southampton or Southamptonshire instead of the more normal Hampshire. Romsey is the town slightly below the shaded areas.

Key to coloured areas;- 

  Shading  Landowner  Occupier    
  Blue  Job Fifield  Job Fifield    
  Orange  Job Fifield & Charles John Hall  Job Fifield    
  Yellow  Job Fifield & Charles John Hall  Charles John Hall    
  Light green  Anne Julia Daman  Job Fifield    
  Pink Charles John Hall Charles John Hall    
  Mauve Charles John Hall Various    
  Red  John Fifield  John Fifield    
  Light Blue  Job Fifield  Job Fifield In the Parish of Michelmersh  


By the time of the 'Return of Owners of Land, 1873' for Hampshire, Charles J Hall had lands of 31 acres in Romsey, with an estimated annual rental income of £65. Richard Fifield held lands of 149 acres in Littleton, Hampshire. 

Searching the tithe apportionments records of Hampshire, there are several groups of Fifield in addition to this group around Romsey. Winchester also had a Fifieklds in the city council. A Benjamin Fyfield was a Mayor of Romsey. 

1721 Benjamin Fyfield, a Tanner http://www.romseynet.org.uk/genealogy/romsey-mayors.pdf Records for Benjamin are held at Hampshire Record Office. Perhaps a trip comming on!






In my meanderings around the Fifield family, I found the name Humby, and I have a later relative William Edward Humby 1831-1906; father-in-law of 2nd great-aunt who lived in 1 Rose Hill Cottages, Romsey Road, Old Shirley, Millbrook, Hampshire, England. I have found him  in the 1871 Census which I have plotted the Enumerators route and William's home on the map below.







more later





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