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MonteagleFarm

Page history last edited by Peter Tipton 12 years, 7 months ago

MONTEAGLE FARM IN VICTORIA'S REIGN

page by Peter Tipton created March 2009

By the beginning of the reign of Queen Victoria the house named "Monteagle" or "Mount Eagle" in Yateley had existed for well over 200 years. The earliest description is from the Gentleman's Magazine 1794, "A farm house in this tithing is said to have been in former times the residence of Lord Montegle; but of this there is no internal evidence. It is a small old building, standing on a hill, with a good prospect."

The house had started life as a Gentleman's Residence. William Cave, Clerk to the Auditor for Wales, his son and his grandson, had been successive owners in the 17th century. The house and land had then in 1789 been sold to Walter Phillips, citizen of London, and member of the Company of Fletchers.  Before he died in 1715 he had doubled the acreage of farm land. His son inherited Monteagle in Yateley but also inherited his mother's property in Sussex.  He changed his surname to Goodwin, his mother's maiden name, and moved away from Yateley. Until 1760 members of the same family held Monteagle as an investment.

In 1760 the house and land was sold to John Hockley a local farmer, the family's then tenant. Ownership then passed through a sucession of farmers until, 100 years later, it was purchased by the Shute family trust. The Shutes had moved into the Robin's Grove estate nearby. Finally in 1915 a Shute daughter enfranchised the copyholding, and sold the freehold to a Boer War VC, who lived just across the parish boundary in Eversley.  In 1920 he sold Monteagle to Col Lowis, recently retired from the Indian Army.  He enlarged the rear of the house, converting it again to a Gentleman's Residence fit for the 20th century and a succession of owners, the majority of whom were also Colonels.

This project will look at the owners and occupiers of Monteagele Farm from 1750 to 1920 when the property was a small working farm.  During some of this period the land was farmed by the copyholder but mostly the farmhouse and land were occupied by tenants, sometimes known as bailiffs. There was a turnover of owners (copyholders) but from 1778 until 1915 there were essentially only two families involved. There was however a much larger turnover of farmers/bailiffs, and probably an even larger succession of farm labourers.

There were thus many lives which sometimes fleetingly passed through this one small 69 acre farm. Where had they come from, where did they go off to, and what family relationships did they have with other families living in Yateley? Can we begin to discern any patterns in migration and social relationships which a larger study might confirm?

This study will concentrate on the period of Victoria's reign since there were seven census taken between 1841 and 1901; civil registration of births, marriages and deaths had commenced in 1837; and we have a complete set of parish registers covering baptisms, marriages and burials for the whole period, and beyond.  The Yateley Society also has a transcription of the admissions and surrenders from the manorial Court books of Crondall Manor for Yateley copyholdings back to 1729.  The family group sheets of the owners and occupiers of Monteagle Farm have been entered into Family Tree Maker software, and extended at least one generation earlier and later than the  family living at Monteagle in order to find out where they came from and where the family went to.  Siblings and their families have been added to determine local social relationships.

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