The ownership of the Hundred of Bradford on Avon during the reigns of the Tudors.
King Henry VIII
Queen Elizabeth I
Sir Francis Walsingham
Sir Philip Sydney
Henry VIII owned the village in 1539, after taking it from the Abbess of Shaftesbury. He later granted the manor to Sir Edward Bellingham and then to the Earls of Pembroke of Wilton House, near Salisbury.
Queen Elizabeth I gave her private secretary, the infamous Sir Francis Walsingham, the Hundred of Bradford, which consisted of the town and a number of surrounding villages including Limpley Stoke.
St Mary's was described as a ruin called Our Lady of Limpley's Chapel when she granted it and the Church House (the old school) to John Mersche and John Turpyn in 1578.
In 1576, Sir Francis Walsingham included the village with other property in the wedding dowry of his daughter Frances (right) on her marriage to the famous courtier and poet, Sir Philip Sidney in 1584. When he died in battle, she married the Queen's favourite, Robert, Earl of Essex, in 1590. After he was beheaded in 1601, she eventually married the Earl of Clanricarde from Ireland in 1603. By 1610 she was heavily in debt and decided to sell most of her properties, including the village. She and her husband retained the town of Bradford, which descended to the Paulet family and then the Methuens.
Two documents survive in the Wiltshire Record Office which provide information about the village at the time, with descriptions of properties and their tenants. The first one shows the sale of the mill and part of Turleigh in 1614. The second, more important deed is the sale of Limpley Stoke and Midford the following year. They were purchased by Richard Dicke, the wealthy clothier from Turleigh, and his son. The family owned and controlled the village for the next 200 years.
Robert, Earl of Essex
Descent of Limpley Stoke in Tudor Times