Hampshire, Nunwell House, 16th Century

Sir John Oglander's Notes and Accounts

Isle of Wight Record Office and Archive: OG/AA/28

f 29v

...In those dayes there wase moore innocent mirth then now Mistris worsely the wyfe of Rychard ye sonn of Sir James, beinge of ye howse of ye Simbarber, aftorwardes she maryed Sir ffrancis walsingame by whome she had that Daughter married to ye 3 worthies, Sir Phillip Sydney, my lord of Essex, and Kyldare: this Mistris woorseley and Mistris Milles weare to handsome tale proper women, and they woold Dawnce aftor a poore Tabor and pipe from hasely howse to ye foote of ye hill...

f 34v


The maiors ffeast of Nuport is alwayes kept ye ffirst Sonday after maye Daye & and it wase an Awntient Coustome for ye Baylie and all his Brethren to meete at ye wood Ovis in ye fforest (a place now not knowne but it wase ye edge of ye wood where ye hill beginneth to ryse as soone as you ar vp hoonnye hill and it wase so thicke a wood that a man myght goe from tree to tree almost 2 miles in lenght) and whoesoeuor missed to be ther befor ye soone rysinge he wase to forfeyte a pottell of ffrench wyne and a greene Goose to ye Baylie ther ye kepors mett them and Presented them with Greene Boughes. And so they came all home and Dined with ye Baylie Now Maior, for it wase a Baylie town tell ye second yer of Kinge James when ffleminge beinge Lord Chefe Barron and in Credite Procured them a Charter for a maior & one Justice, and a non Intromittas for ye Justices at Lardge, whoe befor had all ye Power in ye Towne and licenced all theyre Alehowses &c.

  • Footnotes
    • & and: dittography at beginning of line
    • hoonnye: second o written over another letter
  • Glossed Terms
    • aftorwardes adv afterwards
    • awntient adj ancient
    • baylie n bailiff; baalife, baylef, baylief, bayly; baylyespl
  • Endnote

    The Oglander family was resident at Nunwell House.

    These excerpts are found on ff 29v and 34v of the section of the manuscript foliated in ink.

    The first (f 29v) is one of Oglander's stories recounting 'honest recreations' that occurred some years before his own birth in 1585. Sir James Worsley lived at Appuldurcombe Manor in Godshill parish, in the south-eastern part of the Isle of Wight. His son Richard succeeded him in 1538 when the manor was visited by Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell. By 1621 Sir Henry Worsley, several generations later, was in possession (VCH: Hampshire, vol 5, pp 170–7, British History Online, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/hants/vol5/pp170-177 [accessed 22 April 2018]). Mistress Worsley, Richard's wife, was Ursula St Barbe ('Simbarber') (d. 1602), who after Richard's death in 1565 married Sir Francis Walsingham (c 1532–90). Her daughter with Walsingham, named Frances (1567–1631/2), was married to Sir Philip Sidney (1554–86), then to Robert Devereux (1565–1600/1), 19th earl of Essex, and finally to Richard Burke [de Burgh] (1572–1635), 4th earl of Clanricarde. Oglander's reference to 'Kyldare' was likely an error; he may have misremembered 'Kinsale', a title Burke gained for his efforts in the battle there, or 'Clanricarde', the earldom which Burke inherited in 1601.

    Of Mistress Mills, Oglander says: 'Mistress Milles, wyfe of George, lived longe a widdowe, kept a braue howse, soiurned Sir Edward Horsey, browght up moste of ye yonge gentlewomen in ye Island, and had ye swaye of ye Island for many yeres. She and Sir Edward lived together at Hazely; not without soome taxe of incontinency; for nothinge stoped theyre maryadge but that he had a wyfe alive in ffrance. She dyed ano dom. 1603' (Oglander, Oglander Memoirs, pp 81–2). George Mill or Mills owned Haseley House in Arreton parish, located south of Newport, between Newport and Appuldurcombe. John Mill purchased the manor of Haseley from Thomas Wriothesley (1505–50), 1st Baron Wriothesley of Titchfield, in 1538 and passed it on to his son George, of whom Oglander wrote that he 'kept a brave house and lived worshipfully'(VCH: Hampshire, vol 5, pp 139–51, British History Online, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/hants/vol5/pp139-151 [accessed 24 April 2017]). In 1547 George Mill received a thousand pounds for work on Yarmouth Castle and the discharge of the soldiers there, the castle being constructed under the direction of Richard Worsley as captain of the Isle of Wight (VCH: Hampshire, vol 5, pp 286–92, British History Online , http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/hants/vol5/pp286-292 [accessed 22 April 2018]).

    The 'Awntient Coustome' Oglander refers to on f 34v is the seasonal festivity described in more detail in the Newport Ligger Book (f 17); it involved the young people of the town choosing a lord and going into Parkhurst Forest to collect greenery, attended by a minstrel, a vice, and morris dancers. For a fuller study of this festivity see Cowling, 'Wood Eaves,' pp 20–8.

  • Document Description

    Record title: Sir John Oglander's Notes and Accounts
    Repository: Isle of Wight Record Office and Archive
    Shelfmark: OG/AA/28
    Repository location: Newport

    Sir John Oglander (1585–1655) was deputy governor of the Isle of Wight and represented the island borough of Yarmouth in parliament. He lived at Nunwell House near Brading. This manuscript is one of a series of notebooks in which he entered accounts, memories, maxims, quotations, and observations on people and things of the Isle of Wight.

    This manuscript is formerly OG/90/3.

    Midsummer 1629–November 1631; English; paper; i + 130; 290mm x 190mm; written from both ends, one end uses ink foliation (possibly Oglander's) starting on second leaf, 1–54, the other end uses modern pencil foliation to f 77 (which is written on the verso of f 54 from the other end); original brown leather cover over cardboard, no title on cover but on flyleaf is 'S: Ioh: Oglanders: | Booke of Accoumpts: | :1628.'

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