Genealogy Notes for the Village of Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire
A miscellany of pictures and data arising out of research into the KIRBY's family trees (but not all linked to them). This is a work in progress so please treat the data with appropriate caution. For related information see List, Place Index and Wills Index

Location and general description

Minster Lovell (aka Minster Level) is situated in the Windrush valley, the next village upstream from Witney, Oxon., (about 3km) and about 2km NNW of Curbridge. A picture postcard village with thatched cottages and ruins to add to the atmosphere. 

In 1809 a goverment report stated 'Minster Level belongs to Mr. Coke, of Norfolk. It is a tract of turnip land, which Mr. Pratt thinks lett from 15s. to 90s. per acre. It is much intermixed withwoods.; and therefore, perhaps it is, in his opinion, that they are subject to the mildew.' (Board of Agriculture, 1809, 6-7)


Minster Lovell Hall (the Manor House)

Occupied for a time by the COKE family.

Little Minster Manor

Occupied for a time by the HEYLYN family.


The COKE family (pronounced 'Cook')

In 1602 Sir Edward COKE purchased the Manor of Minster Lovell, although he and his second wife Lady HATTON generally resided elsewhere. Lady HATTON was the widow of Sir William HATTON (formerly Sir William NEWPORT of Holdenby) the heir to Sir Christopher HATTON. Her maiden name was Elizabeth CECIL. The last of the COKE family to live at Minster Lovell was Thomas COKE. In 1747 the COKE family moved to Holkham in Norfolk in 1747 and left the property at Minster Lovell to be robbed for stone and decay. The Lady HATTON sold Clay Hall to Sir John WOLSTENHOLME, possibly a relative of the BRAY/RAINTON family of Shilton, Oxon., via Sir Nicholas RAINTON, whose great grandfather-in-law was Sir John WOLSTENHOLME, 1st Bart. Lady Elizabeth's 1st husband Christopher HATTON was heir to Sir Christopher HATTON (heir to Lord Chancellor Christopher HATTON) the brother in law of Katherine FANSHAWE (nee WOLSTENHOLME, daughter of John WOLSTENHOLME, possibly the father of the Sir John mentioned above). It was this Lady HATTON who fought off Bishop WREN's attempts to recover Ely Place, Holbon demolished the palace and began the transformation of the garden into Hatton Garden in the City of London

George HAMILTON, 1st Earl of Orkney was the Great Nephew in Law of  Lady HATTON's daughter, Frances COKE (Viscountess Purbeck), via her husband John VILLIERS' brother Edward VILLIERS and his son Edward. The Earl is mentioned repeatedly in the papers for the Bradwell Grove Estate at Oxfordshire Record Office [Hey/I - Hey/VII] in transactions around 1617/18 that relate to Shilton, Berks, Bray, Berks, Broadwell, Oxon and etc, and involving HORDE, BRODERICK and TURNER many others. In 1719 he was involved in a transaction involving Mary PETTY, executrix of Jane BRAY of Shilton, Berks, wife of Reginald BRAY of Great Barrington, Gloucs (Hey/II/iii/36)

The HEYLYN family

Edward HAYLYN, brother of Peter HEYLYN, prebendry of Westminster, and his son Henry HAYLYN appear to have lived for a time at Little Minster Manor. When Peter HEYLYN suffered a reverse of fortunes under CROMWELL, he found sanctuary on a farm in the village until his fortunes were restored and he returned to a clerical position.

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 2005 unless stated otherwise.