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A History of Horncastle by James Conway Walter

Richard Thimbleby built Irnham Hall


in other places the Clinton family seem to have been succeeded by the Thymelbys, of these we have several records. An Escheator's Inquisition of the reign of Henry VIII., {22a} taken by Roger Hilton, at Horncastle, Oct. 5, 1512, shewed that "Richard Thymylby, Esquire, was seized of the manor of Parish-fee, in Horncastre, held of the Bishop of Carlisle, as of his soke of Horncastre, by fealty, and a rent of 7 pounds by the year." He was also "seized of one messuage, with appurtenances, in Horncastre, called Fool-thyng, parcel of the said manor of Parish-fee." {22b} The said Richard died 3 March, 3 Henry VIII. (A.D. 1512). This was, however, by no means the first of this family connected with Horncastle. Deriving their name from the parish of Thimbleby, in the soke of Horncastle, we find the first mention of a Thymelby in that parish in a post mortem Inquisition of the reign of Edward III., {22c} which shews that Nicholas de Thymelby then held land in Thimbleby under the Bishop of Carlisle, A.D. 1333; but nearly a century before that date a Lincoln document {22d} mentions one Ivo, son of Odo de Thymelby, as holding under the Bishop in Horncastle, in the reign of Henry III., A.D. 1248.

Further, in the reign of Edward I., as is shewn by a Harleian MS., in the British Museum, {22e} Richard de Thymelby was Dean of Horncastle; Thomas, son of the above Nicholas de Thymelby, presented to the benefice of Ruckland in 1381, John de Thymelby presented

to Tetford in 1388, and John again to Somersby in 1394, {22f} and other members of the family presented at later periods. The family continued to advance in wealth and position until in the reign of Edward VI. it was found by an Inquisition {22g} that Matthew Thymelby, of Poolham (their chief residence in this neighbourhood), owned the manor of Thymbleby, that of Parish-fee in Horncastle and five others, with lands in eight other parishes, and the advowsons of Ruckland, Farforth, Somersby and Tetford. He married Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Hussey. Other influential marriages were those of John Thymelby, "Lord of Polum" (Poolham), to Isabel, {22h} daughter of Sir John Fflete, Knt. (circa 1409); William (probably) to Joan, daughter of Sir Walter Tailboys (circa 1432), {22i} a connection of the Earl of Angus; Matthew's widow marrying Sir Robert Savile, Knt. {22j}

[Picture: Plan of Horncastle, 1908--from the Ordnance Survey]

In connection with the marriage of William to Joan Tailboys we may mention that the base, all that now remains, of the churchyard cross at Tetford bears on its west side the Thimbleby arms "differenced" with those of Tailboys, the north side having the Thimbleby arms pure and simple. {24a}

Another important marriage was that of Richard Thimbleby (A.D. 1510) to Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Godfrey Hilton of Irnham Manor near Grantham, through which alliance that property passed to the Thimblebys. It had been granted to Ralph Paganel by the Conqueror, afterwards passed to Sir Andrew Luterel, Knt., and later to Sir Geoffrey Hilton, Knt. Richard Thimbleby built Irnham Hall; he was succeeded by his son and heir, Sir John Thimbleby, who thus became the head of the family, which has in later times become almost extinct. This fine mansion, in the Tudor style of architecture, standing in a deer park of more than 250 acres, was destroyed by fire, Nov. 12, 1887, being then owned by W. Hervey Woodhouse, Esq., who bought it of Lord Clifford's son. {24b}

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