Medieval England

25.4.2001 Christine Brown to John Patrick CC: Mike Parle

Subj: Parles

Today John I have found three refs to our Parles. I would prefer to post them to you, as it would be better to read. Lots to type out, plus they are very large copies. I could not copy them on A4 paper.

No -1- ref - (Walter Parle)
No -2 - ref - Osbert or Osbertus Parle. The second been correct, as in Latin. (Heading was Nechells)
No - 3 -ref - William de Parles his Knightman and his heirs.

Theses were the three refs on the Parles that I found in my reading.

If you forward your address John I will send them immediately to you, plus copies of all others, including the Map ref.  It would take me hours to type them out !!!!. Some is a little Latin but readable.  Shakespeare was married into the Arden family.

Bye for now,  Christine

 

And later to Mike Parle

Hi Mike,

I will post all copies to you tomorrow; I will do the same for John.

The Parle name in the year of King William the Conqueror has an (s) on the end. I was told it was not sounded. I am sure you will find the three copies of great interest.

I hope to find more tomorrow and next week. You will find a map included, it is a ref as to where they all lived. It is better for me to post it to you, as it would take me a long time to type.

Bye for now,  Christine

 

Letter from Birmingham city archives

From: Jpparle@aol.com
Sent: Wednesday 25 April 2001 
To: Mike Parle, Dennis Parle

Hi Mike and Dennis,
Here is an e-mail form of the letter that Christine got just recently from the Birmingham city archives. I'm going to post this at the Parle listserv tonight. 

John Patrick

-----------------------
Birmingham City Archives, Central Library
Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, UK
B3 3HQ

18 April, 2001
Re: Parle Family

Dear Ms. Christine [Parle]

Thank you for your enquiry regarding the above. I can find no mention of the name of Parle in any books or the indexes to our collection. I have, however, found some mention of the name Parles, should this be of interest. The "Victoria County History of Warwickshire" (VCR) mentions the Parles as follows:

Vol. IV p. 35 "Bickenhill was held by...the Arden family...in 1326 Walter Parles held the manor; he was grandson of William Parles, who had married Joan, one of four daughters and co-heirs of Eustace de Watford, who was grandson of Eustace de Arden. Walter seems to have transferred it in 1327 to Sir John Pecche of Hampton."

Vol. IV p. 222 "Land of Widney was granted early in the 13th century by Philip de Cumton to William de Parles, whose namesake in the reign of Edward I conveyed to William de Aylesbury all his land here which he had by the gift of William Bagot."

This information in the VCH came from Sir William Dugdale's "The Antiquities of Warwickshire" (published in 1656) which might hold more information. If you would like to read the VCH yourself, I am sure you will find it in [your] Central Library.

We also have references to approximately 25 documents relating to various members of the Parles families of Coleshill and Castle Bromwich, largely dating from the 13th and 14th centuries, in our Digby collection. If you are interested in any of these you will probably need to come to the Archives yourself to have a look at them. I am afraid that, as the documents will be on parchment, we cannot photocopy them.

In regard to the "Aston Manor document," I am afraid that it will be very difficult to prove its authenticity. We hold a variety of records relating to Aston Hall here, but I can see nothing obvious that looks like it might be your document. One large collection, however, which consists of 26 boxes of 18th and 19th century material, is uncatalogued.

There is no "Ashton" in Warwickshire, so I should imagine that it is referring to Aston, which is next to Birmingham. You can read more about Aston in volume VII of the VCH (p. 60 onwards). You may be interested in the book "The Grand Old Mansion: The Holtes and Their Successors at Aston Hall, 1618-1864," by Oliver Faircloth (published in 1984). This book mentions John Thorpe (c. 1565-1655) as a land-surveyor, who designed Aston Hall around 1618, but does not seem to have been involved further. I do not think, on this evidence, that you can assume that this is the "much respected chronicler and herald" mentioned in your document.

In regard to the Parle coat of arms, I suggest that you contact the College of Arms. Their address is: Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 4BT. If you have not already done so, you may wish to write to Warwickshire County Record Office about the Parle(s) families. Their address is: Priory Park, Cape Road, Warwick, CV34 4JS.

In case you wish to visit the Archives, I enclose some leaflets giving our location and opening hours. I hope this information is helpful to you and wish you well in your research.


Yours sincerely,

Sarah Chubb
Archivist

More on Parles

From: John Patrick Parle
To: parle@yahoogroups.com 
Sent: 1st Nov 2002

Greetings Parle researchers,

Below are several e-mails on a family of de Parles who were active in Warwickshire in the 1100s to 1300s, and it appears that one of these de Parles gave the Holte family the area of Aston manor. Aston Hall was later built by the Holte family.

There is also some info about a Sir William de Parles, who had been knighted but then got into some trouble with felonious activities. For more info on Osbertus de Parles, there is a posting dated 5-9-01 about him at the Parle egroup archive at Yahoo:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/parle 

Also further down is some explanation of Birmingham and Aston's connection with Warwickshire. Best wishes.

John Patrick Parle, Michigan

 

Medieval Parles in Warwickshire

Hello Mike, Dennis, and Michael,

Christine in Leeds has found this quite interesting bit of information from the Handsworth parish, a suburb of Birmingham in England. (Birmingham is where Aston Hall is.) Well, the de Parles family goes back in Handsworth to the time of Henry II, circa 1180. So indeed there were Parle folk in or near Warwickshire in medieval times, per the info below. The text presumes the de Parles were Norman.

quoted below from Handsworth Historical Society website, address:
www.handsworth-history.org.uk/hhs_early_1.html#parles 

 

The de Parles Family

Towards the end of Henry II's reign (1154-1189), Pagan de Parles, presumably a Norman, married Alice, an English girl, who brought him as her marriage portion, the estate of Handsworth, held under the Baron of Dudley. In 1216, Pagan's son William, who adhered to the King' enemies, had his lands taken from him by the Sheriff of Staffordshire and delivered to Robert de Teneray. William's son John de Parles in 1243 held one-fifth knight's fee in Handsworth and added to it the advowson of the parish church. In 1254, John's son William, who had been knighted, accompanied by his wife and a number of neighbours and supporters, ejected from his residence in Weddington in Warwickshire the parson and then proceeded to carry off his goods and chattels. When summoned to court, they were unable to give a satisfactory explanation of their conduct. In the same year, William, accompanied by Adam, Lord of Perry, and a following of retainers, attacked Sandwell Priory. The Prior escaped by barricading himself within his monastery.

In 1255, Sir William acknowledged that he owed Roger de Somery, Baron of Dudley, service of one knight's fee and suit of court at Dudley. In spite of this, Sir William was on the side of the rebel barons in the Civil War of 1265, though his overlord, Roger de Somery, remained true to the King. After the defeat of Simon de Montford at Evesham. Sir William was punished, his manor was handed over to Roger de Clifford, and William himself imprisoned in Dudley Castle. A year or two later, he appears to have recovered his possessions and to have been restored to royal favour. Henry III not only re-instated him tin the possession of Handsworth, but granted him (1275) superior rights in the whole Hundred of Offlow. He was privileged to hold a free court outside the jurisdiction of the Sheriff, and also had manorial rights of 'frank-pledge' and 'waif'.

In Edward I's reign, the Sheriff stated that Sir William was disobedient and rebellious to the Sheriff's precept so that the King's commands could not be carried out.  Sir William borrowed money from Sampson, a money lender of Lichfield, who, unable to collect his debts from the borrower, sold them to Roger de Somery who, by virtue of the royal course, took possession of the manor of Handsworth and all goods and chattels which had been given in pledge for these debts. Sir William, with his son John and his friend and neighbour, Adam, Lord of Perry, organised a raid on his forfeited property and broke into the Park of Handsworth one night and drove off sixty head of cattle. He was arrested and imprisoned. It is said that upon recovering his freedom, he proposed to join the VII Crusade to the Holy Land which was being planned.  Handsworth was taxed from the Crusade, but there is no proof that Sir William actually set out.

In August 1271, Sir William was called to the Assize at Wolverhampton to answer charges. It is stated that he did not appear, but his Bailiff answered for him. There is no suggestion that Sir William was out of the country. Later he was charged as a felon and hanged. At the time of his death, according to different Inquisitions, he held Handsworth for a half or quarter knight's fee and after the customary lapse of a year and a day, Roger de Somery took over the manor on the grounds that the property of a felon is forfeited.

Sir William's son, John de Parles, preferred to make his claim for the sub-tenure of the manor, not as the son of a felon but as through hereditary descent from Alice, who brought the property into the family by marriage. During the next fifty years, other members of the family also attempted to recover the manor, but it was retained in demesne by Roger de Somery and his successors.

 

More Osbertus de Parles of medieval times

Hi Christine,

I found this below on the Web, from St. Joseph's Church in present Birmingham. It's the Osbertus de Parles family you discovered a while back. This says a descendant of Osbert de Parle gave the Holte family the area around Aston in medieval times. The Holte family is who built Aston Hall.

I wonder if there were two sets of related Parle families in medieval Birmingham then? Here's the quote:

“Nechells Green includes Aston, Ashted, Bloomsbury, Duddeston, Saltley, Witton and Ward End. All these in Catholic Times belonged to the parish of Aston, as also Deritend, Castle Bromwich, Park Hall, Water Orton and Erdington.”

“The name of Nechells or Echels signifies a wood. The word “echels” in German (of which Saxon is a branch) signifies what quercus does in Latin. One of the Barons of Dudley gave it to the family of Parles, along with some lands at Hannerworth, or Handsworth.

“Osbert de Parle conferred all his lands here in Asselles, or Nechells, upon a natural son, called Raynald de Asselles. A descendant of his in 1330, for 42. He also gave the manor to Simon del Holte, of Birmingham, and his heirs, with whom it shared the fortunes of Aston. It was anciently a very pretty village, for in the 34th year of Edward III. Sir Thomas de Arden, a knight, built a mansion here, as appears by a license granted to him by Robert de Stretton, Bishop of the Diocese, to have a private oratory and a chaplain for himself and his family.

“About the year 1730 Nechells consisted of four farms and one cottage.”

The above information was a description of Nechells, also taken from the report of 1873 from St Joseph's Church. 

“Birmingham had been a market town from the 12th century. The farmers in Nechells were able to sell their produce to the town dwellers. By 1760, all land in Nechells was "enclosed", except 10 acres at Nechells Green. 

“There were three rivers bordering the area - the Tame to the north, the Rea to the east and Aston Brook to the west. Water was used to drive mills, initially to grind corn and later for industrial purposes. Thimble Mill used water from Aston Brook and was the first metal rolling mill in the city circa l740, but had been used for making blades since 1532. Edge tools were made at Benton's Mill. Another blade mill was Nechells Park Mill, started in 1693.

Few traces of mills remain today, except in road names.

“In 1838, Nechells became part of the borough of Birmingham. With the rapid expansion of industries and higher wages these provided, people surged into the area (during the Industrial Revolution).”  quoted from: www.stjosephs-rc.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk [page moved, now at www.virtualbrum.co.uk/history/nechells.htm .]

Well, perhaps it really is true that the Parle family was connected with Aston manor way back in time. 

John Patrick Parle

 

The Question on Warwickshire

Hi Christine,

I'm trying to make some sense of geography. I've been thinking all the long that Birmingham is part of Warwickshire, and Aston Hall too. My 1966 Encyclopedia Britannica says that Birmingham is in northwest Warwickshire, and the Aston Manor Document ways that Aston Hall is in Warwickshire.

I wonder if I'm out of date. I'm seeing elsewhere that Birmingham is now part of the West Midlands. A more recent article on Warwickshire doesn't seem to include Birmingham. Can you clear this up for me? I wondered if Birmingham used to be part of Warwickshire, but in recent years, governmental boundaries have changes such that it is in the West Midlands.

Best wishes from the confused,  John Patrick Parle

 

response from Paula in Birmingham

Dear Christine,

Thanks for messages. Okay - Aston was once part of Warwickshire but it was (and is) adjacent to Birmingham, so when Birmingham grew bigger and bigger after the Industrial Revolution - say from 1830 onwards - more and more people came into the Birmingham area to find work in the new factories, and, of course, they needed housing. The houses thrown up for them in the 1830s and 1840s (and after) soon became slums, and after the Artisans Dwellings Act which I think off the top of my head was about 1879, Birmingham looked around for more building land. Aston then became a huge housing estate (in fact my great-grandfather moved into it) in the 1890s and my mother was born there. In its turn, it has declined as a desirable place to live. Much of Birmingham suffered bomb damage in World War II, and parts were destroyed, so gradually some parts of Aston and surrounding areas were rebuilt, and periodically now they attack bits of it and rebuild.

This housing in Aston has engulfed Aston Hall, which is rather a pity, because it is a beautiful Jacobean mansion. The Villa football ground is in the middle of it, as is Aston Parish Church (Saint Peter and Saint Paul). We were always being taken to visit Aston Hall when I was a child because admission was free and it was something to do on a wet Sunday. 'Aston Manor' was the name given to one of the parliamentary districts. THE OLD ASTON MANOR HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ASTON HALL!!! Aston Hall wasn't built or thought of until the early part of the 17th century, when, no doubt, Thos. Holte wished to impress his neighbours! It came under siege in the Civil Wars and you can still see the canon ball that made a hole in the banister of the main staircase.

Birmingham, Walsall, Wolverhampton, West Bromwich, Wednesbury, Aldridge, Brownhills, Harborne, Handsworth and goodness knows how many other places which objected violently at the time became part of a new local government area known as the West Midlands in 1972. (And I still don't like it! Aldridge ought to be in Staffordshire, Birmingham ought to be in Warwickshire, etc. as they were for centuries.) Therefore a 1966 Encyclopedia Britannica would state that Birmingham was in Warwickshire because this was printed prior to the boundary changes.

The ancient manor of Aston refers to the feudal manor as in the manorial system, which William the Conqueror introduced after he conquered England in 1066. Although traces of the manors remained (manorial courts existed in some places until the 1920s), by and large the manors had declined by the end of the late Middle Ages - say around 1530 or thereabouts. Therefore Aston Hall did not exist as a manorial centre, so to speak. It was built as a gentleman's residence.

> Your friend Paula.

 

Christine,

Fr. Richard Parle sent this. There is a John Parles who was on the burrough council of the Colchester area between 1313 and 1322. --John

http://www.trytel.com/~tristan/towns/mapp1_2f.html 

Note: Not in Warwickshire

 

Medieval Parles in Birmingham area

From: John Patrick Parle
Sent: Sunday 27 October 2002 
To: Mike Parle; Dennis Parle; Michael A Parle
Cc: Christine Brown

Hello Mike, Dennis, and Michael,
Christine in Leeds has found this quite interesting bit of information from the Handsworth parish, a suburb of Birmingham in England. (Birmingham is where Aston Hall is.) Well, the de Parles family goes back in Handsworth to the time of Henry II, circa 1180. So indeed there were Parle folk in or near Warwickshire in medieval times, per the info below. The text presumes the de Parles were Norman. 

Best wishes to all.
John Patrick Parle

quoted below from Handsworth Historical Society website, address:
http://www.handsworth-history.org.uk/hhs_early_1.html#parles 

The de Parles Family

Towards the end of Henry II's reign (1154-1189), Pagan de Parles, presumably a Norman, married Alice, an English girl, who brought him as her marriage portion, the estate of Handsworth, held under the Baron of Dudley. In 1216, Pagan's son William, who adhered to the King' enemies, had his lands taken from him by the Sheriff of Staffordshire and delivered to Robert de Teneray.

William's son John de Parles in 1243 held one-fifth knight's fee in Handsworth and added to it the advowson of the parish church. In 1254, John's son William, who had been knighted, accompanied by his wife and a number of neighbours and supporters, ejected from his residence in Weddington in Warwickshire the parson and then proceeded to carry off his goods and chattels. When summoned to court, they were unable to give a satisfactory explanation of their conduct. In the same year, William, accompanied by Adam, Lord of Perry, and a following of retainers, attacked Sandwell Priory. The Prior escaped by barricading himself within his monastery. 

In 1255, Sir William acknowledged that he owed Roger de Somery, Baron of Dudley, service of one knight's fee and suit of court at Dudley. In spite of this, Sir William was on the side of the rebel barons in the Civil War of 1265, though his overlord, Roger de Somery, remained true to the King. After the defeat of Simon de Montford at Evesham. Sir William was punished, his manor was handed over to Roger de Clifford, and William himself imprisoned in Dudley Castle. A year or two later, he appears to have recovered his 
possessions and to have been restored to royal favour. Henry III not only re-instated him tin the possession of Handsworth, but granted him (1275) superior rights in the whole Hundred of Offlow. He was privileged to hold a free court outside the jurisdiction of the Sheriff, and also had manorial rights of 'frank-pledge' and 'waif'. 

In Edward I's reign, the Sheriff stated that Sir William was disobedient and rebellious to the Sheriff's precept so that the King's commands could not be carried out. 

Sir William borrowed money from Sampson, a money lender of Lichfield, who, unable to collect his debts from the borrower, sold them to Roger de Somery who, by virtue of the royal course, took possession of the manor of Handsworth and all goods and chattels which had been given in pledge for these debts. Sir William, with his son John and his friend and neighbour, Adam, Lord of Perry, organised a raid on his forfeited property and broke into the Park of Handsworth one night and drove off sixty head of cattle. He was arrested and imprisoned. It is said that upon recovering his freedom, he proposed to join the VII Crusade to the Holy Land which was being planned. Handsworth was taxed from the Crusade, but there is no proof that Sir William actually set out. 

In August 1271, Sir William was called to the Assize at Wolverhampton to answer charges. It is stated that he did not appear, but his Bailiff answered for him. There is no suggestion that Sir William was out of the country. Later he was charged as a felon and hanged. At the time of his death, according to different Inquisitions, he held Handsworth for a half or quarter knight's fee and after the customary lapse of a year and a day, Roger de Somery took over the manor on the grounds that the property of a felon is forfeited. 

Sir William's son, John de Parles, preferred to make his claim for the sub-tenure of the manor, not as the son of a felon but as through hereditary descent from Alice, who brought the property into the family by marriage. During the next fifty years, other members of the family also attempted to recover the manor, but it was retained in demesne by Roger de Somery and his successors. 

 

 

 

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