An Article on Regilbury
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An article on Regilbury from Somerset & Dorset Notes & Queries. VOL. XVI. PART CIXIV. JANUARY, 1919. Pages 121 to 124 By "K"
Regilbury, Somerset. - In a secluded part of Somerset away from the principal main roads, and seven miles from the nearest railway station (which is Pensford on the North Somerset Railway); stands what remains of a once fine mansion known as Regilbury House, but now designated Regilbury Park Farm, and convey "but little evidence of its former grandeur Regilbury in the parish of Nempnett Thrubwell, and is described as a manor by Collinson, hut is not recorded in Domesday: Concerning it Collinson (History of Somerset, vol. ii, page 3l9) writes as follows: - "The village of Nemnet is not mentioned in the Conqueror's survey. It was always' heretofore (tho' now a parish) an appendage to the manor of Regilbury in this parish, and held by the families of Martin and Perceval for several generations of the abbot of Flaxley, chief lord of that manor. After the dissolution of monasteries that manor with lands and appurtenances in Nemnet, Blagdon, Winford, Butcombe and Regilbury was granted, by Henry VIII in the 34th year of his reign (1543) to Sir, Anthony Kingston, whose son Edward Kingston, 7 Eliz., sold it to Edward Barnard, esq., and he the year following conveyed the same to Edward Baber, esq., sergeant at law, and his heirs. From him descended Edward Baber, esq.:, who lived in the beginning of the present century, and transmitted this with other estates to Sir Charles Kemeys Tynte, bart., and his heirs.
The manor-house is a large building called Regilbury-house, and is famous for being sometime the retirement of Sir William Wyndham."
At some little distance from Regilbury Park-farm is Regilbury Court (now also a farm-house): and we may infer from its name and antiquity that if ever Regilbury was a manor the Court would have been the manor-house, but Collinson appears to have been ignorant of its existence.
Regilbury was more probably a tithing in the manor of Ridgehill ('Ragiol' in Domesday) in the adjoining parish of Winford. Rutter in his " Delineation's of the North Western Division of the County of Somerset" (published 1829) states on page 108 that
"Nempnett is an ancient village, and is deserving of notice on account of its containing a large old manorial mansion called Regilbury House, for some time the residence of Sir William Wyndham on his retirement from the cares of state."
At this period the Regilbury estate had passed to the Tynte family of Halswell, and it was their representative therefore who let or lent the mansion to Sir William Wyndham. There is no record as to when or by whom the mansion was erected, but it must have been at a comparatively early date; as we find from the Strachey MSS., under the head of 'Regil' that
"Edward Baber, great grandson of Edward Baber, Serjt. At Law, and son of Francis Baber; Esq., dwelt here in great splendour, repaired, rebuilt, enlarged and beautified the old House and dying issueless, left it to Florence his wife, daughter and heiress of Bourne of Gothelney; who not long surviving, left it in 1713, and her husbands estate to Sir Halswell Tynte, her husband's next kinsman, as she did her own estate to her own kinsman Thomas Bourne of Sandford."
The repairing and re-edifying of the old house by this Edward Baber (who was great great grandson of the Serjeant-at-Law) must have occurred about 1700, as he died in 1711 at the age of 47; and as it was an old house at that date it was probably erected by the Serjeant-at-Law in the time of Elizabeth.
The late Mr. Frederick A. Wood in his "Parochial History of Chew Magna" gives an elaborate account of the Baber Family, and he assumes that the first of the name who owned Regilbury was John Baber, youngest son of John Babyr, or Baber, of Chew Stoke, whose will was proved Feb.14, 1527 (see Brown's Somerset Wills, vol. vi, p. 103). The Visitations of Somerset for 1531 and 1573 begin the pedigree of the Babers with this John Baber of Regilbury. His will was proved
June 8, 1559 (Somerset Wills, vol. Vi, p. 103), but Mr. Wood says the date is wrong, yet does not correct it. John Baber of Regilbury according to the Visitations was grandfather of Edward
Baber, Serjeant at law, who was born in 1531, and died Sep. 23, 1578. His will was proved Feb. 10, 1578-9, and Mr. Wood states,
" He speaks of Regilbury as inherited from his father John, deceased. This contradicts Collinson."
John Baber's son Francis Baber was born in 1565, and married Anne, daughter of William Whitmore of Apley, Salop, esq., and sister of Sir George Whitmore Kt.; of Balmes, Middlesex,
the staunch Royalist, Lord Mayor of London, 1631-2. Francis Baber was justice of the peace under three Sovereigns-Elizabeth, James I and Charles I, and was High Sheriff for Somerset in 1611. He died Sep. 9, 1643, and was succeeded by his son Francis Baber, D C L., of Regilbury; who matriculated at Oxford 1616, aetat 17. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John Adderley, esq., and had, with other issue, a son John; who married Barbara, daughter, by his first marriage, of Colonel John Tynte, of Chelvey Court; and by her had two sons, Francis and Edward.
Francis, the elder, of Christchurch College, Oxford, died under age in 1678; and was succeeded by his brother Edward.
Edward Baber who was the last owner of Regilbury of the name, and `dwelt here in great splendour' (Strachey MSS.), matriculated at Oxford in 1680 at the age of 16. He married Florence, daughter and heiress of Roger Bourne, of Gothelney in the parish of Charlinch, esq., but had no issue.
Edward Baber died in 1711, aged 47. By his will he bequeathed Regilbury and his other estates to his wife for her life, with remainder to his kinsman Sir Halswell Tynte and his heirs.
His widow survived him but four years, and on her death Regilbury passed into the possession of the Tynte family; appear that after the tenancy of Regilbury House by Sir William Wyndham had expired (by his death or otherwise) the old house lapsed again into decay; was dismantled and partly pulled down, and what remained of it turned into a farm-house as it remains at the present day.
There are fine whole length portraits (artist unknown) of Edward Baber and his wife, Florence, at Halswell, the seat of Lord Wharton, who is the representative of the Tynte family and consequent present owner of Regilbury ; and it is from a photograph of an old oil painting at Halswell that the accompanying illustration of Regilbury House, as it was in its splendour is produced.
If any readers of this note are able to throw further light on the history of this old mansion I shall be pleased; and I would suggest that if other subscribers to S. & D. N. & Q. would contribute old houses to its pages particulars and views of interesting old houses in their localities, of which little is know or has been written, it would largely increase its popularity, and would be of consider able service to any future historian of either of these respective counties.
ST. David M. Kemeys - Tynte.
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