It would be strange if there was no family connection between the Estcourt and Codrington families given the number of documents that show the names of both families.
All that can be found, however, is a reference in the will of Thomas Estcourt, dated 1599, to his sister Codrington and it seems there are no other records for this marriage between the two families.
Thomas Estcourt (1547-1599) was party to several legal documents concerning the Codrington family, including the arrangements for the marriage of Robert Codrington and Anne Stubbes dated 1593.
The said Simon Codrington being so seised a fine was levied in Michaelmas term 36 Elizabeth between William Stubbes and Thomas Estcourte, esquires, plaintiffs, and the said Simon and Agnes his wife, […] to the use of the said Simon for his life, and after his death to the use of Robert Codrington, gent., then son and heir of the said Simon and of Anne Stubbes, afterwards his wife […]
The Estcourt family lived at Shipton Moyne in Gloucestershire, close to Didmarton where the senior branch of the Codrington family were based at this time.
Simon Codrington (1554-1631) seems to have been associated with this older Thomas and his son, Thomas, a friend of Simon’s son Robert – both having been at Grey’s Inn at about the same time. Thomas Estcourt was one of the overseers of Robert’s will.
But there do not seem to be any male Codrington family members in the pedigree that could be the husband of an Estcourt daughter, and RHC did not know about this otherwise I’m sure it would have been mentioned in his Memoirs of the Codrington family.
I have therefore tried to match an un-named sister of Thomas Estcourt the elder, to an unknown son of Thomas Codrington and Mary Kellaway.
There are only two sons mentioned in the Codrington pedigree – Simon Codrington the eldest son who married Agnes Seacole, and John Codrington, who married Ann Howper of Meriot, Somerset.
Both Simon and John were alive until at least 1630 – outliving Simon’s son and heir, Robert who died in 1618. Agnes Seacole was known to be alive until 1618 but not much is known of Ann Howper.
Dates for this branch of the family are a bit vague but I think it is possible for John to have remarried after his two known sons, Thomas and Edward, were born about 1590/95 – assuming his wife Ann had died.
It is not known if another Codrington brother was alive in 1599, when Thomas Estcourt wrote his will, but he is not mentioned as a brother in law and, if he had died then his wife had not remarried.
The Estcourt Sisters
There are four sisters mentioned in the will of Thomas Estcourt in 1599: Edith Iles, sister Pateshall, sister Codrington and sister Sperte, as well as several brothers-in-law who are husbands of sisters or, in some cases, fathers of daughters-in-law.
Matching these up leaves only sister Codrington and sister Spert unaccounted for – supposedly their husbands may both have been dead by 1599.
This means that John Codrington cannot to be the husband of sister Codrington as he lived until 1633 – and Simon was still married to Agnes.
It is also possible that the husbands were simply not listed as brothers-in-law in the will, but I can see no reason why they should have been excluded unless they were dead.
Additional information is available in the will of Anne Estcourt, (who did not marry), one of the daughters of Edmund and Praxeda, and older sister of Thomas.
However she only mentions one sister, Edith Iles, several brothers and lots of god-children, nieces and nephews and seems to have had a lot of money to distribute between them.
Anne Estcourt died in 1581, some time before her brother Thomas, so it is possible that sister Codrington was not married at the time, and is simply not named for some reason – perhaps she was married but had no children or was just a younger sister?
Anne seems to have been about 10 years older than Thomas and closer in age to sister Edith, so if Thomas was the eldest son there could have been a lot of sisters born earlier.
If Anne was born in 1538 [her father was born 1525 so one of these dates appears wrong] then a sister born about the same time could almost have married a Codrington from an earlier generation, but still be alive in 1599, probably as a widow.
I think this is unlikely though, and I still favour an additional Codrington son, Thomas, as the most likely option.
The sister of Agnes Seacole, who married Simon Codrington, had also married into the Spert family.
Griselle Seacole = Richard Spert.
Richard was the son of Sir Thomas Spert, founder of Trinity House and Master of the Mary Rose and the Henri Grace a Dieu. Sir Thomas had also married into the Seacole family but had no children from that marriage, possibly his wife, Anne, had died in childbirth?
Robert Spert, who married another unknown Estcourt daughter, is unlikely to be his brother, but is probably a relative of some sort.
William Soper the M.P. for Southampton – who may have been related to the John Soper that married Alice Codrington – was also involved in the navy of Henry V and the building of the Gracedieu that was started in Southampton in 1416.
Soper played a notable part in the greatest naval enterprise of the time, the scheme to build a ship of 1,400 tons’ estimated capacity—the Gracedieu.
THOMAS ESTCOURT, of Shipton Moyne, co. Glouc. Will dated – 1 June 19, 1599, proved Nov. 13, 1599. [88 Kidd.]
To be buried in my Chapel at Shipton Moyne.
My brothers in law William Savage & Walter Hungerford, esq, & Richard Patsall.
My sister Pateshall.
My son Edmund Estcourt.
My son in law John Hungerford.
My sister Edith Iles, wife of Richd Iles.
My daughter Mary [Savage], wife of my son Thomas Estcourt.
My brothers George & Richard Estcourt.
Books in my Study in Gray’s Inn, London, to my son Edmund Estcourt.
To my daughter Anne Estcourt, £1,000 to her marriage.
Lands, &c., to Edmund my son, if Thomas dies without issue.
My cousin Sir Willm. Eyer, of Chalfield, Wilts.
My wife Emma.
My father Edmund Estcourt, decd.
My son Richard Estcourt, 200 marks towards the making of his stock in trade.
My sister Codrington.
My sister Sperte.
ANNE Estcourt of Shipton Moyne. Will dated 7 Nov 1580, Probate 26 Sep 1581
Brother Thomas, sister in law Emma
Brother George, children Edmund, John, Emma, Mary
Brother Richard, children Anne, Edmund, Thomas, Cicilie, Mazie
Sister Edith Iles, children Thomas Anne, Praxeda
The South Connection
One possible solution to this is that the death of Thomas Codrington as 1594 is incorrect, and this date applies to a previously unrecorded son, also called Thomas.
Some research into the inheritance of property in Wiltshire and Shaftsbury, Dorset has shown that it was passed to Thomas South, his nephew, about 1565, which also may be when Thomas Codrington died.
The properties in question appear to have come from Joan, Thomas’ grandmother.
Edward Codrington and Elizabeth his wife were seised in her right, of the manor of Swallowcliffe, with remainder to William South, her son and heir by a previous husband, and that the purport of the fine was, with William’s consent, to postpone his estate, whether in tail or in fee, to a life estate thereby created in favour of Thomas Codrington, his half-brother ex parte materna.
Thomas South was the son of Thomas’s half-brother, William South. Their mother, Elizabeth, was first married to Giles South before marrying Edward Codrington in about 1495. Thomas Codrington was born about 1520 and his death in about 1565 in not inconsistent with the birth dates of his children – and perhaps the reason he did not have more.
This pedigree from Wiltshire notes and queries (volume 7) shows Thomas Codrington born about 1500, which I think too early, but if true gives more weight to him dying about 1565, being of a good age, and the 1594 date would therefore have to apply to a son.
Upon these entries one would conclude that, by purchase or as heir, Thomas South, of 1574 [son of William South], succeeded Thomas Codrington, of 1552, and transmitted the messuage in Shaftesbury to his son, Thomas South, of 1606. And it may be stated that Thomas Codrington was certainly dead in 1565. The succession then may have been upon death; but it is quite certain that Thomas South was not Thomas Codrington’s heir.
The death of the younger Thomas in 1594 fits perfectly with him marrying into the Estcourt family about 1590, but then leaving a widow who is mentioned in her brother’s will of 1599 as Sister Codrington.
Thomas Codrington died intestate in 1594, which would be understandable if this was the will of the younger Thomas, but an older Thomas – aged about 80, [assuming he was born 1515] would surely have written a will?
Thomas is described as “while he lived of Swallowcliffe ” and RHC says that administration of his estate was granted to his son, Simon, in 1594. But these facts do not fit with other records that say that the estate was in the possession of Thomas South in 1567, perhaps the biggest indication that Thomas had died early.
Land which a member of the South family, possibly Giles South, acquired in Swallowcliffe before 1528 may have been part of the Mandevilles’ Swallowcliffe estate. The land, reputed a manor, was in 1528 settled on Elizabeth Codrington, perhaps Giles’s relict, her husband Edward Codrington, and her son Thomas Codrington for their lives with remainder to William South, possibly Elizabeth’s son by Giles South. Thomas Codrington was apparently in possession in 1545. William’s son Thomas South held the estate in 1567. It passed to Thomas’s son Thomas, who died holding it in 1606. The land presumably passed to that Thomas’s son Edward South, the lord of Swallowcliffe manor.
RHC may have been mistaken and the estate of Thomas, in 1594, may have been granted to his brother Simon. This leaves the family looking like this:
Thomas I (1515-1565) = Mary Kellaway (1525-1589)
Mary? (-) = Hugh Hervey
Alice (1550-1629) = Thomas Hyett
Simon (1550-1631) = Agnes Seacole
John (1555-1633) = Anne Howper
Thomas II (1560-1594) = ?? Estcourt
Birth dates are approximate based on probably marriage dates etc.
Then there is the date mentioned above: Thomas Codrington of 1552. What does this date refer to? I doubt if this is when he died, but could be the date that he married Mary Kellaway – or possibly the birth for a younger Thomas? Most likely this is when the survey of lands was carried out.
And what of the date associated with Thomas South of 1574? It seems he was already in possession of the Swallowcliffe property by then and that this is when he died. The estate was then passed to his son, another Thomas who died in 1606.
The Codrington Connection
The elder Thomas Codrington was not the heir to the Codrington estate. This had been passed by his uncle, Christopher Codrington, and his wife Ankarette Twynyho, to their daughter, Alice, who married John Soper.
The pedigree of John Soper, probably of Somerset, is not clear, however his arms are shown in the chapel of Codrington Court where he died.
arg. on a fess gules between three phials or bottles, three mullets or.
These arms are impaled with those of the elder Codrington family, but they are different to other Soper arms, so perhaps he was the last of his family to use these.
The couple only had one daughter, Alice, who was the heir of the Codrington estate when she married Walter Dennys of Dyrham in Gloucestershire as his second wife .
But the couple did not have any children and when Alice Dennys died the Codrington and Wapley properties were passed to her second cousin Simon Codrington, the eldest son of Thomas Codrington and Mary Kellaway.
Unfortunately we do not know exactly when Alice Dennys died. If she died before 1594 – when she would have been 75 years old – then the lands could have gone to Thomas Codrington and not his son Simon.
However it was in February 1570 that Simon was named as “Consanguineus et haeres apparens” [Cousin and heir apparent] to Alice and Walter Dennys, so it is possible that the elder Thomas had died a few years earlier, otherwise I would have thought he would have been made heir, but this is not certain. Thomas would have been about the same age as Alice.
This also means that another Simon Codrington Esq. – who married Walter’s daughter, Anne, (Alice’s step daughter) from his first marriage in 1543 – must also have died by this time.
This Simon and Anne had no children so it is likely that he also died young. In the lives of the Berkeleys it says:
And the said Anne the last of the sisters of the said Richard Denis was maryed to Simon Codrington Esq. who is dead without issue.
Elizabeth, the wife of Edward and mother of Simon and Thomas Codrington, first married Giles South and had a son, William who was half-brother to Simon and Thomas.
The documents referenced in Wiltshire Notes and Queries indicate that the properties mentioned in Dorset came from Elizabeth’s mother, Joan, from her first marriage, but the name of her first husband is unknown. She is known to have remarried to James Brown or Broune.
?? = Joan ? = James Broune
Elizabeth ? = Giles South = Edward Codrington
There is a possibility that Joan’s first husband was John Twynyho based simply on the disputed identity of the second husband of his widow, Joanne.
John Twynyho = Joanne Corbet = ??
There are indications that Joanne’s second husband was Thomas Cressett, but the suggested birth dates for his children seem much too early, and it is more likely that Thomas Cressett married a sister of Joanne, possibly named Eleanor, or that he was the son of a marriage between the two families a generation earlier.
It’s quite possible that Thomas Cressett’s wife was Elizabeth’s youngest daughter with Sir Roger Corbet, born in the 1460s, and not married until the latter years of Edward IV’s reign.
Either way I have discounted a marriage between Thomas Cressett and Joanne, for now.
The Twynyho Connection
John Twynyho died in 1485 leaving Joanne as a widow and they could have had a daughter, Elizabeth [born about 1470] of an age to marry Giles South and to have a son, William, about 1490.
There is no record for an daughter Elizabeth but that does not mean that she didn’t exist, and if so, she could have been named after her grandmother Elizabeth Corbett. This means that Joan may have been Joanne Corbett and her daughter, Elizabeth Twynyho.
The uncle of Thomas Codrington, Christopher, had married Ankarette Twynyho – named after her grandmother Ankarette Hawkstone – and would have been cousin to Elizabeth. So this is what the relationship could have been …
John Twynho = Joan Corbett = James Broune
Elizabeth Twynyho = Giles South = Edward Codrington
William South, Thomas Codrington
The British History Online record says that the Wiltshire land was originally owned by the South family and granted to Elizabeth – and not Joanne – on her marriage to Giles South. It was then passed through second husband, Edward Codrington, then his son Thomas and then back to the South family, as agreed prior to the marriage.
The agreement regarding Swallowcliffe was for the life of Thomas, so in 1567, when Thomas South held the estate, Thomas Codrington, the son of Edward and Elizabeth, must have been dead, leaving a younger son, Thomas, who married an Estcourt daughter but died intestate in 1594.
And there is more to support this.
As well as Swallowcliffe there are also properties in Shaftsbury, Dorset that were passed to Thomas South from Thomas Codrington in the same way, and these records also contain the name of Twynyho.
In the Octave of St. Martin 2 Richard III  James Broune and Joan his wife, levied a fine to William Twyneo of a messuage and garden in Shaftesbury, which William Twyneo thereby granted to the said James and Joan for the term of their lives, with remainder to Giles South and Elizabeth his wife, and the heirs of their bodies, with remainder in default to the, heirs of the body of Elizabeth, with remainder in default to the right heirs of Joan.
This William Twynyho was likely the father-in-law of Christopher Codrington, but at this time there were no family connections between the South and the Codrington families – the daughter of Joan, Elizabeth, married Edward Codrington after the death of Giles, mentioned above.
So the most likely connection is through Joan, who would have been his sister in law, the widow of his brother John. The marriage between Elizabeth, the widow of Giles South, and Edward Codrington was perhaps arranged through the Twynyho family that had connections to both the Codrington and South families.
The ownership of the properties in both Wiltshire and Dorset shows that it is highly likely that there were two Thomas Codringtons – father and son – and that it was the younger who married into the Estcourt family but died in 1594 leaving a widow, sister Codrington, as mentioned in the will of Thomas Estcourt in 1599.
The identification of Elizabeth, who married Edward Codrington, as the likely daughter of John Twynyho and Joanne Corbett is an unexpected bonus.
Thomas South the younger, who took possession of Swallowcliffe from Thomas Codrington, died in 1606 leaving three sons – Edward, Thomas and Richard.
His grand-daughter Mary [probably the daughter of eldest son Edward] was married to Philip Poore at Swallowcliffe in 1639. Their son, also Philip, married Elizabeth Codrington, the youngest daughter of John Codrington and his second wife Ann Still, the grand-daughter of the bishop of Bath and Wells.
Chris Sidney 2015