Genealogy Notes for the parish of Hardwick with Tusmore, Oxfordshire
For related information see List, Place Index and Wills Index

Location and general description

Tusmore Park

Hardwick with Tusmore, or Hardwick-cum-Tusmore, consists of  Tusmore Park and the nearby manor of Hardwick. The two parishes were united in the 17th C under the Fermor family and have remained so ever since. The Fermors were staunchly Catholic and throughout the 17th and 18th Cs this part of Oxfordshire therefore attracted non conformists. In Hardwick, being an out of the way village, a small Roman Catholic community flourished.


A selection of those that had, or might have had, connections with this family. 

Tusmore Park

Tusmore Park was, for many years, the ancestral home of the FERMOR family.

Manor Farm (aka Hardwick Hall)

The former manor house is now Manor Farm. The FERMOR family built it at some point between 1580 and 1643, having obtained the manor in three steps [Lobel, 1959, 'Hardwick']:

The estate was united with that of Tusmore in 1606 when Sir Richard  FERMOR aquired it from his father Thomas FERMOR, the two have since descended together [Lobel, 1959, 'Hardwick']. 

In 1665 the manor house, along with the rectory and a single house were the only properties assessed for hearth tax [Lobel, 1959, 'Hardwick']. 

The hall was the residence of one Ralph HATTON, possibly a tenant of the FERMOR family [Lobel, 1959, 'Hardwick'].

DAY family appear to have followed the HATTONs as tenents of the manor and occupied the farm until 1793 [Lobel, 1959, 'Hardwick'].


A selection of those that had, or might have had, connections with this family.

The HATTON Family of Hardwick

In 1612 one Ralph HATTON was christened in nearby Fritwell, Oxon. This appears to be the Ralph who was later buried in Hardwick.

In 1625 two women, a HATTON and a DAY, were fined for nonconformity somewhat further down the Cherwell at Noke, Oxfordshire [Lobel, 1959, 'Noke']. A DAY family would later be associated with Hardwick.

The Will of Ralph HATTON 'of Hardwick', dated 20 June 1690, mentions his wife Mary, along with others, and a friendship with Lawrence LORD of neighbouring Cottisford, Oxfordshire.

Ralph HATTON (c.1612 - d. 1694/5) and his wife Mary (d. 1717) are both buried in the Church. The inscription as follows 'Ralph HATTON, gent, died Feb. 10, 1694 aged 81 years, "Requiescant in Pace"; also Mary his widow died Oct 4 1717 aged 88.' [Wood & Rawlinson, 1922, pg 165]. Theirs was the only monument listed by Wood & Rawlinson.

Coats of Arms

Wood & Rawlinson  [1922, 164-5] list the following arms (my notes in italics):

In a Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England survey, covering the City of Oxford, the arms of RAVENSCROFT, when used for NORREYS, are given as argent a cheveron between three ravens heads razed sable. Eden [1927, 56-7] suggests "it was no uncommon thing for one who married an heiress to adopt the arms of her family in lieu of his own, a custom of which there are many instances. A case in point is that of the Norris family of Berkshire" . . . "The original arms of Norris — quarterly argent and gules with a goldjrette in the second and third quarters and a fesse azure over all — were exchanged on a Norris marriage with an heiress of the family of Ravenscroft for her own arms — a chevron between three ravens' heads erased sable on a silver field."

Wood & Rawlinson [1920, 95] give the following inscription at Churchill, Oxon. "Arg. a chevron gules between 3 lyons ramp, sab., a cheif
ermine. Bourne, sometimes without a cheif; impaling, Arg. a chevron gules between 3 unicorns' heads erased, bl." These seem to relate to the memorial described above as to "Elizabeth Bourne / wife of Anthony Bourne Esq. / & only daugh. & heiress of/ Edm. Home [sic=HORNE]". Balliol Archives have published a picture of arms attributed to John Horne of Sarsdon, Oxon., and Elizabeth his wife. They describe them thus "Argent, on a chevron engrailed gules between three unicon's heads erased azure a crescent". Elizabeth HORNE was the daughter of William DELAFORD of Iver, Bucks and the widow of Richard BLOUT (died 1508). Hodgson [2013] notes that Sir William NORREYS (1433-1507) married, as his third wife, Joan, daughter of Alderman Robert HORNE of London (by Joan, daughter of Edward FABIAN. She was half-sister to the brothers, Richard, Anthony, Sir Thomas and William FETTIPLACE . Hodgson [2013] further notes that a daughter of Sir William NORREYS (possibly by Isabel INGOLDESTHORPE, but more likely by Joan DE VERE) married William FERMOR, Esq., of Somerton, co. Oxford. The church at Hardwick was the FERMOR family chapel.

Related links

A selection of links to other sites with information about this place


Any transcripts and images on this page are Copyright R I Kirby 2008 unless stated otherwise.