The Elms

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Sir William Petre was immensely wealthy and used his position as Secretary of State for King's Henry VIII, Edward, Queen's Mary and Elizabeth to increase it with the dissolution of the monastic estates. He was known to have 36,000 acres in Devon alone.
The house he had built, Ingatestone in Essex is still home for his descendants. He died in 1572 and briefly his son Sir John Petre owned Charmouth. Altogether they were to be landlords for just 10 years, but there is a record of this time in the Deeds to several houses in the village which detail Sir John giving 2000 years leases on them. The Elms" has the distinction of being the only house to retain its lease for 2,000 years, which was made between John Petre of Writtle and Richard Piers of Lyme in 27th April 1575. Two other houses had similar leases but they have been lost. John Petre was son of Sir W.Petre, described as being the statesman, who by carefully trimming his sails to the stormy politics of the age, contrived to retain the confidence of monarchs so diverse as Henry VIII, Mary and Elizabeth; Petre's daughter Dorothy married Nicholas Wadham, founder of Wadham College Oxford. Richard Piers was a Lyme draper. The house in 1575 was known as "Mann's Tenement" and was occupied by Thomas Mann. The lease describes it as "a cottage with one acre of land adiorninge (ad­joining) to the south sido also another acar of land lying between the land of Thomas Jese on the north side and the land of William Webber on the south side and comon of pasture for a mare and her fole or two rother bests" (horned cattle, i.e.cows). In 1743 it was owned by Samuel Burrow, blacksmith, who sold it to Walter Oke of Axmouth. In 1805 Thomas Shute was the owner