The Stratfords
By Gerald H. Stratford.

Chapter 4. The Pedigree and Who Married Whom.

The Head of the Pedigree as recorded by the Herald's Visitations, i.e. John De Stratford, was Member of Parliament for Gloucestershire, and married Elizabeth the daughter of Mohan Walgrave, leaving a son and heir

Robert De Stratford, the grandfather of the above was an original Burgess for the Town of Stratford upon Avon, and had issue of John, Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert, Bishop of Chichester, Henry, a Clerk in the King's Service, Thomas, Dean of Gloucester and, Stephen. This Stephen was the father of the above John the head of the recorded Pedigree in 1314

The recorded son of the above was Sir Stephen Stratford, Knight, who married Elizabeth, the daughter of Lord Robert Monthault. At this time any person holding land to the yearly value of £25, or more was obliged to take the title and obligations of a Knight.

There is the following entry in 'Some Feudal Coats of Arms'


Monthault, Sir Roger, Baron 1295, Henry the Third Roll, bore Arms, Azure and Lion Rampant Argent.

The Glover and Howard Rolls, his brother Sir Robert, Bannoret, Baron in 1290, bore the same Arms at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298, and at the siege of Carlowe Rock in 1300. A further entry is Sir Andrew Monthault of Masendon, bore, at the siege of Calais, 1345 to 1348, Azure a Lion Rampant Argent, a Bordure Or.

Ranulphus, Earl of Chester, descended from Leofries, Earl of Leicester, was succeeded by his heir, Hugh, Earl of Chester, who lived only ten years, dying in the May of 1243, and being buried at Wymundham Priory in Norfolk, which his ancestors had founded. He left his great inheritance to his four sisters, and their descendants. The eldest married Robert De Tatstall, Isabell married John FitzAlan, Nichola married Roger Somery, and Cecilia married Roger Monthault, insomuch as that in the 28th year of Henry the Third, Cecilia had the Castle and Manor of Rising in Norfolk with Coventry, and held many great Lordships.

Roger De Monthault was one of the Earl of Chester's Barons, and Seneschall of Chester in the 30th year of Henry the Third having a Charter of Free Warren dated the 26th of March of that year, and in the 33rd year of Henry the Third Geoffrey De Langley made a suit with him for diverting a stream in Coventry from its original concourse. In the 34th year of Henry the Third, he intended visiting the holy Land, and to assist him he was furnished with a large amount of money by the Monks of Coventry, for which consideration with Cecilia his wife, of whose inheritance was joined along with the Advowson of St. Michael Church, and Chapelrys thereto belonging to the said Monks in Fee Ferme, in which sale were exerted to them and to their heirs their Manor House at Cheylesmore with the enclosed Park and the Religious House, or Frier's Minor, situated near to the said Park, along with the Advowson of Sponne Hospital, having Free Liberty to the said Roger Monthault and heirs whenever they should visit Coventry for hunting and hawking within the precincts of the said Manor.

A Fine levied in the 34th year of Henry the Third, by Roger De Monthault a Cecilia for Warranty of the afore mentioned premises was so granted, Cecilia in her widowhood by her Deed of Release quit all he interest of the said Manor as also the Hospital and Chapel of Sponne, sometime pertaining to the Abbey of Basing in Flint.

After this in the 3rd year of Edward the First, upon the extent of the Manor after the death of Robert De Monthault, the son and heir of the afar mentioned Roger, the Manor House, with the Park, and the Mill, were valued at five Marks per annum, the rent thereto £39.9.7d.

In the 9th year of the Reign of Edward the Second, the Prior of Coventry and Robert De Monthault were certified Lords of this Place which Robert, being brother and heir to Roger, the son of the last mentioned Robert with Emme his wife, and in the First year of Edward the Third levied a Fine of all Interests here, by the name of the Manor of Cheylesmore of £96.6.8d yearly rent.

Leofries was not only Earl of Leicester but the Earl of Mercia, and married the legendary Lady Godiva, who rode through the streets of Coventry naked, thus entering the Stratford Pedigree on the maternal side.

The Pedigree is shown thus.

Leofricus Comes Leicester temp Ethelred Rigis Mercia AD 716
Algarus Primus above 836, Wiglaff the King of Mercians.
Algarus Secundus above 860, beorred King of Mercians but slain at Ketheven by
Danes in 870 /
Leofries Secundus
Leofwinus Comes, about the year 1,000 under King Ethelred
Leofricus, Count of Mercia founder of Coventry Abbey, died 13th Conf, married
Goditha dau of Thorold, Earl of Leicester. /
Algaraus, Earl of mercia died 1059.
Lucia, married her first cousin Ranulphus De Bricaford, Earl of Chester
Ranulphus, Earl of Chester. /
Hugo, Earl of Chester, leaving no issue, his co-heiress including his sister Cecilia
who married Robert De Monthault.

The two are obviously the same Family as their Coat Armour is identical except that Sir Andrew had a Bordure Or for difference indicating he was a younger son.

The issue of Sir Stephen Stratford and Elizabeth Monthault was John, where it is recorded that he married Maud, the daughter of Sir Henry Ceeley Knight, of the County of Nottingham.

The Ceeley Family was of Norman Descent, the head of the Pedigree being :e Sire Ce Gaulle, who came over with the Duke of Normandy in 1066. From the former was descended Sir Benedict Ceeley, living during the reign of King Edward the Third, distinguishing himself under the Black Prince. His son, Sir Henry Ceeley, a large wool Merchant, purchased an Estate in the Cotswold area of Gloucestershire.

John Stratford's direct son and heir, was Henry who married Margaret Loudham whose Pedigree is as follows. Richard Barwell of the County of Leicester had a son and heir, Richard, who married Eleanor, the daughter and heiress of William Stoke. They had issue of a daughter and heiress who married Rafe Loudham. Margaret was the daughter and heiress of this marriage. At his death Henry's heir was John Stratford, who married Elizabeth Stenmarsh, the daughter of John Stenmarsh of the County of Stafford. They left issue of a son and heir Sir John Stratford.

Sir John Stratford, was buried at the Priory of the Holy Trinity in London, an had married the daughter and heiress of Henry Eyton, by Catherine his wife. She had been the co-heiress of Thomas Langley the son of Sir Henry Langley, and it is the quartering of these Family Arms which were presented and accepted at the Herald's Visitations of Gloucestershire as previously recited.

During the Reign of Henry the Third, at Pinley, Geoff De Langley, a man of great note, at this time made it his seat, probably due to the nearness to Coventry, for in the 22nd year of Henry the Third, he had a grant from the King of certain timber and trees out of the Kenilworth Woods for the building of his house,. which became the chief seat of the Family.

The first of note of the Family was in Henry the Second's time, when the King confirmed a Grant made by one Geoff De Langley, to the Monks of Combe, named Hendeberg, in the County of Warwick, and it is likely that he was the father of the afore said Geoff De Langley. The Geoff De Langley Senior was the first Marshal of the King's Household, an office normally belonging to the Earl Marshal of England in Fee, who, with the King's consent, would appoint a Knight under him to execute the same. He appeared to be so efficient at this task and thrifty that the King held him in some great respect, although others did not hold him in such awe as he cut back on allowances for the King's Table and lessened the hospitality at Court.

In the 23rd year of Henry the Third's Reign, he obtained a Charter of Free Warren in all his lands and in the 26th year of Henry the Third, he attended the King on his expedition to Gascoign, where his reputation again further profited and advanced. In the 34th year of Henry the Third he obtained a Patent to his own use, dated the 29th of December, of benefit accruing by expedition of dogs throughout all the forests of England, and on the following 4th of March he became Justice of the King's Forests from the Trent southwards. A few days later he was appointed Governor of the Castle and Honour of Rockingham in Northamptonshire, and had a Licence to stop up and enclose a certain highway which interposed between his house and the woods at Pinley.

An author wrote:
About these times, saith he, a certain Knight, called Geoffrey De Langley, who was Bailiff to the King and a strict Inquisitor after all trespasses committed in forests, rode through most parts of England. In which office he behaved himself with cunning, forwardness and violence, in extorting vast sums of money especially from the Northern Gentry, as that the very Auditors themselves were astonished at such a mass. And for the better carrying on this course of operation he rode with a great company of attendants, all well armed, so that if any of those against whom he proceeded did but seem to excuse themselves in a muttering way, their enemy's being Judges, he presently caused them to be cast into prison. Neither did he use any proportion in the punishment suitable to the offence, for, were it but the killing of a fawn or a hare, and that crossing the way in a man's passage, though he were a great Nobleman that did it, he would ruin him. So that his cruelty made the memory of his predecessors precious.

A younger son of his was in the Welsh expedition along with his brother Walter in the 41st year of Henry the Third. Walter obtained a special exemption from serving on any juries so long as he lived. He died leaving a son and heir, John De Langley, 22 years of age and a younger son Robert. Sir Henry Langley afore mentioned, was in direct descent of the afore said Geoffrey De Langley.

The Family of Eyton, were living at a very early period at Eyton on the Wyldmores, and are presumed from their Armorial Bearings, to have been of the early Vassals of Pantule, Baron Wem, who was the mesne Lord of Eyton, at the time of the Domesday Book Survey. The first named of the Pedigree is Robert De Eyton, who witnessed a Grant to Robert Corbet to the Abbey of Shrewsbury, together with William, Alan, and Hugh, sons of Hugh Pantule, and Granted himself that Religious House, the lands of Buttery, during the Reign of Henry the Second. The ninth in descent from Robert was John De Eyton, Sheriff of Shropshire in 1394, who had issue of the afore mentioned Henry Eyton. Sir John Stratford and Catherine Eyton left issue of a son and heir, Robert Stratford who married Anne, the daughter and heiress of Nicholas Attwood of the County of Stafford, leaving issue of a son and heir, Richard Stratford.

At the Herald's Visitations of Gloucestershire in 1543, Richard Stratford then described as of Farmcote and Hawling, replied to the College the recorded and accepted fore going Pedigree, adding the Pedigree currently living at the time. Richard Stratford, living in 1484, married Frances the daughter of Thomas Kirkeby, leaving a son and heir, John Stratford.

The afore mentioned John Stratford, was known as of Farmcote, and married Margaret, the daughter of Richard Howell, dying in 1553, being at that time the Lord of the Manor of Farmcote, Hawling, Guiting Power, Temple Guiting, Sudeley, Hailes, Wyck Rissington, Upper Swell, Cold Aston, and Aston Blank. He was one of the Commissioners along with Richard Tracy responsible for the Dissolution of Hailes Abbey. His second son William, was responsible for a large number of descendants. One married into the Rouse Family of Rouse Lench, Rutters of Quinton, and on married Thomas Whitmore of the Pantry of Charles the Second, another son William was slain in a Duel by Holte of London. The second son William Stratford, married secondly into the Walwyn Family and the Arms of Stratford and Walwyn are still above the old doorway at Farmcote Manor House. This marriage amongst other descent, was responsible for the Walford Branch of the Stratford's in Herefordshire, near Ross on Wye.

The Walwyn's are of very Ancient descent from Gwallain of Walwyn Castle in Pembrokeshire of which Family was Sir Philip Walwyn who had certain lands assigned to him by William Rufus. The eleventh in direct descent from Sir Philip was John Walwyn of Longford who married Agnes, the daughter and co-heir of Simon Milborne, and had nine sons and three daughters. The eighth son , George, married Anne, the daughter of Simon Beaumont Esquire of Oxfordshire, and had issue of Edward of Southam, who married Christiana, the daughter of John Stratford of Farmcote. The ninth son married Brina, the daughter of Bridges of Hall Court, having issue of Anne, who married the afore mentioned William Stratford of Farmcote.

The third son of John Stratford and Margaret Howell was Richard of Hawling, whose son and grandsons married into the Cole Family, Bannisters of Turkdean, the De La Bere Family, and the Dovers of Cotswold Games fame. Through these marriages can be traced a relationship with the Bard William Shakespeare.

My main concern is now to continue with the direct descent from John Stratford, Archbishop of Canterbury, and myself, and all i am attempting to at this point is relating to the reader the origination and relationships with other notable families.

The eldest son of John Stratford and Margaret Howell, was another John Stratford, who married Margaret, the daughter of Sir Robert Tracy of Toddington in Gloucestershire. the Family of Tracy has so much history peculiar to itself that i will dwell on my maternal descent through this Family in a separate chapter later on.

John Stratford and Margaret Tracy, had a son and heir, Henry, whom I will deal with shortly. Their second son was Richard, third son George, fourth Edward, fifth Charles, and the sixth Gyles of London. Gyles and his wife both died young leaving issue of two sons. These children were fostered by his brother Anthony, whom Mr. Pullman refers to in his letter to William Dugdale mentioned earlier. Anthony became Lord of the manor of Bushley, near Tewkesbury. One of the sons was the founder of the Merevale Branch of the Stratford Family, and eventually the Earldom of Aldborough, County Kildare, in the Kingdom of Ireland. The seventh son was John, the tobacco grower, and the eighth was Anthony, Lord of the manor of Bushley, who married Margaret Haywood. they had issue and this branch settled in this place until the Manor was sold to the Dowderswell Family, and the house, namely Payn's Place.

His nephew, Sir William Tracy, lived with them for a time at Bushley, and a descendent of Anthony's was killed at the Battle of Worcester, in the Royalist cause during the Civil War. An entry in the Parish register of Bushley reads.

Anthony Stratford, Gentleman, who although he was not buried, was not with standing, not to be forgotten, or left out of this place, for that ye remembrance of this man will not easily be forgotten. I have not heard of any man that was buried within forty years that his death was made lamented by all sorts of people than this man was. He died on horse back, riding towards Stanway in Gloucestershire and was buried in Stanway Church on the 16th of March 1608.

He had married Margaret Haywood at Bushley on the 26th of April 1577. Another brother William, is not mentioned by the Herald's but in a deed of complaint he is stated as residing in Bristol, and a most unsavoury character.

The son and heir of John Stratford and Margaret Tracy was Henry who married Mary the daughter of John Maire of the County of Chester. He was in London when press ganged into the Navy, and died under Capt Shackley at the Siege of Ostend, but he left issue of a son and heir John Stratford of Farmcote. This John Stratford married Mary Throgmorton, the daughter of Sir Anthony Throgmorton, thus formulating a relationship with Sir Walter Raleigh. It was probably through this relationship that the Stratford family cultivated tobacco in the Cotswolds, which of course is another story. They had five sons, George his heir, Robert who served with Sir Francis Drake and died on one of his expeditions, Anthony who emigrated to Ireland, and was possibly the gentleman described as the Governor of Fort Dungannon, John, known as John of Prestbury, and who was responsible for that branch of the Stratford's, and Henry.

George Stratford, the eldest son and her of John Stratford and Mary Throgmorton, was known as of Sudeley. In fact he married at Didbrook Parish Church on the 1st of October 1601, Elizabeth the daughter of William Hobby of Hailles Abbey. This William Hobby was buried at Didbrook on the 17th of March 1602, aged 103 years old, making him being born in 1499. George Stratford was buried at Didbrook on the 19th of December 1632. Again there are several Cadet Branches descended from George Stratford and Elizabeth Hobby.

The son and heir of the afar mentioned George and Elizabeth, was William Stratford who was baptised at Didbrook on the 25th of August 1602, and buried at Farmcote on the 13th of September 1682. He served as a Royalist during the Civil war in the 18th Regiment of Foot, and in 1640 he was described as an Ensign, with a retiring Rank of Major. He billeted Prince Rupert's Cavalry at Farmcote, and entertained the Prince their on the night prior to the Battle of Edgehill. he was sequested for £763 for his Estates by Parliament.

He married firstly Anne the daughter of Moore of Payne's Farm, Cockerup, having issue by her which resulted in the Stratford Branches of Milham Post, and Swindon Village, Cheltenham, with Francis Paul Stratford, Master in Chancery of Bedford Square and Thorpe Lubenham Hall being one of his descendents.

William Stratford married secondly Lady Magdeline Overbury, his eldest son's mother in law, and the widow of Sir Walter Overbury, and married thirdly Susannah Leigh, the widow of George Leigh of Longborough, and she was buried in the Chancel of Shipton Sollers Parish Church beside her first husband.

The son and heir of William Stratford and Anne Moore was William Stratford baptised at Farmcote on the 26th of April 1635, and married at Barton on the Heath on the 30th of November 1665, Anne, the daughter of Sir Water and lady Magdeline Overbury, and being buried at Farmcote on the 23rd of July 1711.

He was described in his later life as living at Little Farmcote. This Family relationship of course, relates the maternal descent with the famous mystery of Sir Thomas Overbury, who was subject of murder and intrigue in the Tower of London. The eldest son of William Stratford and Anne Overbury was baptised at Walford on the 28th of March 1668, but appears not to have survived as Walter Overbury Stratford was their heir, although there was another younger brother Thomas and a daughter Anne. the Family of Overbury will be dealt with in a later Chapter.

Walter Overbury Stratford, was baptised at Barton on the Heath on the 16th of December 1672, and was responsible for the financial downfall of the Main Stock of the family, and it was during his lifetime that the Farmcote Estate was Mortgaged, but in his defence he was buried at Farmcote on the 1st of July 1753 and the Estate was not finally given up until 1754, being sold in 1756.

Walter Overbury Stratford, married firstly Anne, the daughter of Charles Guillam of Woodmancote in 1700, having a son George who died, Mary who never married, and Anne who married William Lawrence of Sevenhampton. Anne Guillam died and Water Overbury Stratford married secondly Frances the daughter of John Bapters of Bristol, and Anne Charmont, known as Bapters, alias Draghay, with issue of nine sons.

The eldest son John Overbury Stratford died in infancy, and the second son, William was baptised at Guiting Power on the 8th of September 1715, lived in London and died in 1782, leaving issue of William his son and his grandson William Samuel Stratford, Secretary of the Astrological Society, born in 1790, and the Branch eventually died out with John Farmcote Henry Stratford who provided brass's and an Altar Cross for Guiting Power Parish Church and Farmcote Chapel.

Other sons of Walter Overbury Stratford and Frances, were Walter, baptised 7th of April 1716, Thomas whom we shall look at later, Edward baptised 12th July 1718. Ferdinando, baptised 4th July 1719, a Surveyor, of London who Surveyed the Hawling Estates, Anthony, who went to America, baptised on the 17th of February 1720, Francis baptised 14th January 1722, and George who was baptised on the 2nd of July 1724, all at Guiting Power Parish Church. George Stratford, the youngest son, lived at Wootton Warwen, and was buried there in April 1791. He was the founder of the Birmingham and Sheffield Branches.

Thomas Stratford, the fourth son of Walter Overbury Stratford and Frances Bapters was baptised at Guiting Power on the 9th of June 1717, and married by Banns, on the 20th of January 1745, Sarah Davis of Bisley, and resided there until his death, being buried there on the 14th of March 1784. He left issue of at least four sons, and a daughter, including William Stratford, my Great Great Great Grandfather.

William Stratford afore mentioned was born at Bisley in 1748, and married firstly on the 28th of October 1771 at Charlton Abbott's Anne Painter, who was buried at Sevenhampton on the 10th of November 1791. They had no issue, and William married secondly on the 16th of November 1795, Mary Acock, but a baptism is recorded of a William Stratford the son of William Stratford and Mary Acock previous to their marriage on the 14th of June 1795. This afore mentioned William married and settled at Prestbury having amongst other issue Thomas, who married Mary Burford, and she died shortly after having a daughter Elizabeth, who was brought up at Sevenhampton by Sarah Ellis the sister of the said William, ie. Thomas's father. William Stratford and Mary Acock had other issue of Thomas, who is described later and Richard an Ironmonger at Condicote when he died in 1865.

Further issue of this Marriage was Sarah whom I have just described, whose descendent Sandra Hands now resides at Fareham, Hants, and Martha who died very young, and Mary Acock never recovered from a difficult birth.

Thomas Stratford my Great Great Grandfather was baptised at Sevenhampton on the 14th of April 1797, and married Mary Hill of Liskeard. He died on the 26th of march 1869, at Swindon Village, Cheltenham, the birthplace of his mother. He enlisted in the Royal Marines at Plymouth on the 22nd of January 1824, and by the 9th of March 1844 had served 21 years and was still serving, they left issue of three sons, and two daughters, one son of which was my Great Grandfather, John George Stratford who was born at East Stonehouse, Plymouth, on the 1st of August 1834.

John George Stratford joined his father on H.M.S. Druid, aged 7 years, on the 10th of August 1841, and was admitted to the Lower School. Greenwich on the 19th of August 1845. He married on the 6th of September 1855, Mary Anne Day, at St. George's, East Stonehouse. He died on the 12th of March 1867, of Pethesis at the age of 33 years. He left issue of Mary, born in 1862, who never married, Priscilla born in 1860, who married Thomas Corner of Dawlish, and my Grandfather William Richard Thomas Stratford.

William Richard Thomas Stratford, was born at East Stonehouse on the 28th of February 1865, and married Nellie Comer of Dawlish on the 21st of December 1890. as you may have gathered, brother and sister married brother and sister. He was twice Mayor of Truro, and Lord Mayor, a Headmaster of a Public School, a Provincial Grand Master of the Grand Masonic Lodge and a friend of Edward the Eighth. He died on the 2nd of February 1953, being buried at Kenwyn, Truro, leaving issue of four sons, William O'Grady Stratford, Willie Stratford, my father Gerald Stratford, and Alan John Stratford. My father Gerald Stratford was a Brevet Colonel in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and a Headmaster, born on the 18th of February 1896, and married Frances Mabel Howland, the daughter of Leonard Howland who at that time was General Manager of the Carron Iron and Steel works in Scotland, on the 13th of July 1918, and died at Dinnington on the 1st of February 1955, leaving issue of myself and an older brother.

I was born at Dinnington on the 3rd of June 1934, and married Rita May Hodkin the daughter of Sydney James Hodkin a builder on the 26th of February 1955.

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Data transcribed by Colin Hinson from:
A document written by
Gerald H. Stratford in 1988.
Reproduced here by permission
© Gerald H. Stratford.