A Shropshire genealogy

Poem L in Housman’s A Shropshire Lad begins:

Clunton and Clunbury,
Clungunford and Clun,
Are the quietest places
Under the sun.

In Clun, you can admire the ruins of a 13-th century castle. From Clunbury, there’s only a six-mile, fifteen-minute drive to the next ex-fortress, in the village of Cheney Longville. (All in the same civil parish, Craven Arms.) The Cheney Longville castle, it is said, is little more than a fortified manor, but there’s more to the village than this relic.

By way of introduction, an extract from Shropshire Parish Registers (volume 17, part 4) published in 1900:

CHENEY LONGVILLE, formerly called Longfield, before Domesday belonged to Siward, a Saxon, but was given by William the Conqueror to Earl Roger… In 1315 Roger de Cheyney was the lord, and the manor continued in his family for 200 years. From the Cheneys it passed to the Howards, and from them to the Plowdens. In 1682 John Talbot of Longfield purchased it for £1,375. In 1739 John Talbot conveyed it to Peregrine Widrington of St. James’, Westminster, who sold it 25th September, 1745, to William Beddoes of Cheney Longville. On his death it came to his son Thomas Beddoes, whose descendant William F. Beddoes, Esq., of Minton, is the present lord of the manor.

In this extract, William Beddoes, the man who bought the estate in 1745, is designated “of Cheney Longville,” but his descendant W. F. Beddoes is “of Minton,” a hamlet four miles north-north-west of Cheney Longville, near the town of Church Stretton. Why?

As explained in A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 10 (1998), a Thomas Minton became the sole owner of Minton manor in 1704. The estate then passed to his son (Thomas) and grandson (also Thomas, d. 1765). In 1773, Priscilla Minton, that grandson’s daughter, married Thomas Beddoes, the owner of Cheney Longville. Eventually she inherited the whole of her father’s estate. As a result, Priscilla’s and Thomas’s descendants would be lords of the manor in both Minton and Cheney Longville.

This explains why Priscilla’s grandson William, a doctor (1817-1870), was known as “William Minton Beddoes, Esq., of Minton, and of Longville Castle, Shropshire.” His son William Francis, a lawyer, was listed in The County Families of the United Kingdom (1919) as a “Magistrate for Shropshire.” This is the William F. Beddoes mentioned in the first quote above.

Like good, sport-loving country squires, the Beddoeses used to keep a pack of hounds at Cheney Longville going back to the 1790s and possibly earlier. Now, on to the 20th century:

[On W. F. Beddoes’] death without issue in 1928 it passed to his nephew E. W. Minton Beddoes. When the latter died in 1952 his executors immediately offered Minton House… for sale… though without mention of any manorial rights. E. W. Minton Beddoes’s son and heir S. W. Minton Beddoes, who sold Minton hill common to the National Trust in 1965, remained lord of the manor in 1969.

S. W. (Stewart William) is sometimes referred to as Major Minton-Beddoes of Cheney Longville, so I imagine he moved back to the old Beddoes manor house at some point during or after his army career. He married a young German lady, Ilse, and in 1967 they had a daughter, who came to be known as Zanny.

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