Origins of the Banbury (Burnebury) Name

Tracking early medieval/ tudor records it is very apparent that the name Banbury does not appear in any west country records before the 1700's and that it was derived from the Burnaby (Burnebury) family of Bratton Clovelly. Our Banburys are all found in a small area around Bridgerule, Launcells, Clawton and Pyworthy and in the parish registers for Launcells it can be clearly seen how it changed to Banbury around 1677. The earlier Launcells parish records have the spelling Barnbery, Burnebury, Bambury and Burnberry and Abraham's will which was written in 1693 has his name as Burnbery.


Burnbury of Devon

The Visitation of the County of Devon in the year 1564 page 28


The Burnaby family of Bratton Clovelly are recorded in the Visitations of Devon in 1564. They were obviously a very influential family who gained their lands through several good marriages to heiresses. Edward had married Joan Moyle, his son Thomas married a co-heiress of Nicholas Hengescott and she brought into the family many lands around the Clawton area. Thomas's son John married Mary Croke who was an heiress to both her parent's lands. Their coat of arms can be quartered with the Moyle, Hengescott & Clifford families arms.

The family appears to have moved to Cornwall in the late 1300's when John Burneby, citizen and armourer of London became a creditor to Thomas Trewennok of Cornwall. Thomas Trewennock was close to John of Gaunt and fought for him. It could have been that this was his downfall because his first creditor in 1384 was John Blake of Devon, who we know was tried for treason as he was a member of the Kings Council and was subsequently beheaded in 1388. John Burneby then took over the debt which was dated 1385 and had not been paid.

7th February, 1388 Debtor: Thomas Trewennok of Cornwall, esquire. Creditor: John Burneby, citizen and armourer of London. Amount: £22 13s. 4d. Before whom: Nicholas Brembre, Mayor of the Staple of Westminster. When taken: 07/10/1385 First term: 25/12/1385 Last term: 25/12/1385 Sent by: Nicholas Exton, Mayor of the Staple of Westminster.

23rd April, 1388 - Debtor: Thomas Trewennok of Cornwall, esquire. Creditor: John Burneby, citizen and armourer of London. Amount: £22 15s. 4d. Before whom: Nicholas Exton, Mayor of the Staple of Westminster. When taken: 07/10/1385 First term: 25/12/1385 Last term: 25/12/1385 Writ to: Sheriff of London Sent by: Chancery Endorsement: Reply of William Venour and Hugh Fastolf, Sheriffs: this writ was delivered too late to be executed in the time set.

8th May, 1389 Debtor: Thomas Trewennok of Cornwall, esquire. Creditor: John Burneby, citizen and armourer of London. Amount: £22 15s. 4d Before whom: Nicholas Brembre, Mayor of the Staple of Westminster. When taken: 07/10/1385 First term: 25/12/1385 Last term: 25/12/1385 Writ to: Sheriff of Cornwall Sent by: Chancery.

26th June, 1389 Debtor: Thomas Trewennok of Cornwall, esquire. Creditor: John Burneby, citizen and esquire of London. Amount: £22 15s. 4d. Before whom: Nicholas Brembre, Mayor of the Staple of Westminster. When taken: 07/10/1385 First term: 25/12/1385 Last term: 25/12/1385 Writ to: Sheriff of Cornwall Sent by: Chancery Endorsement: Richard Sergeaux, Sheriff, replies that he has delivered to John Burneby, citizen and armourer of London, the manor of Trewennok, and half the manor of Trewynt.

20th April, 1391 - Debtor: Thomas Trewennok of Cornwall, esquire. Creditor: John Burneby, citizen and armourer of London. Amount: £22 15s. 4d Before whom: Nicholas Brembre, Mayor of the Staple of Westminster. When taken: 07/10/1385 First term: 25/12/1385 Last term: 25/12/1385 Writ to: Sheriff of Cornwall Sent by: Chancery Endorsement: John Restkymer, Sheriff, replies that he has imprisoned Thomas Trewennok in the King'a gaol in Launceston.

What these deeds tell us is that John Burneby was given the manor of Treweenok and half the manor of Trewynt as the law then was that the creditor would obtain possession of all the lands and other property and receive the profits until the debt was repaid and as Thomas was imprisoned in 1391 it is likely John acquired all his lands for a period of time.

It is highly probable that Edward was his son and much has been documented on Edward as he was an attorney and a member of parliament for Launceston on seven occasions. However there is also a Henry de Bornebury who acquired lands in Churndon (bottom ight hand corner of map) in 1371, which is very close to Banbury ( the bottom left hand corner of the map). This Henry could have been John's father and probably came from the Bunbury family of Bunbury Manor, Cheshire or the Burnaby Family of Baggrave Hall Although I think the name is associated with the Burnaby Family of Baggrave Hall, because of the position of the family in Northampton at this time. Eustace was Sheriff of Northampton and also an M.P. and Northampton is very close to London.

CP 25/1/44/60, number 387. County:Devon. Place: Westminster.Date: Two weeks from St Michael, 45 Edward III [13 October 1371]. And afterwards one week from St Hilary in the same year [20 January 1372]. Parties: Henry de Bornebury , querent, and Thomas Antony of Radeclyue and Christian , his wife, deforciants. Property:1 messuage, 54 acres of land and 6 acres of meadow in Chorndon' . Action: Plea of covenant. Agreement:Thomas and Christian have acknowledged the tenements to be the right of Henry, as those which he has of their gift, and have remised and quitclaimed them from themselves and the heirs of Christian to him and his heirs for ever.

Warranty. For this:Henry has given them 100 marks of silver (alot of money!!) . Standardised forms of names. (These are tentative suggestions, intended only as a finding aid.) Persons: Henry de Burnbury, Thomas Anthony, Christian AnthonyPlaces:'Radeclyue', Churndon


This biography on him from the History of Parliament states he had lands in St Neot not too far from the lands John acquired, and Duchy of Cornwall land which he might well have been given by the King. Edward married Joan Moyle and lived at Bodmalgan which was the property of the Moyle family. They were an ancient Cornish family, clearly of considerable importance in Bodmin in the fourteenth century. They held the manor of Lancarffe, near Bodmin on a lease from the Whalesboroughs, which included property in the parishes of Landrake, St Eval, St Germans, Egloskerry and St Keverne. William Moyle who was MP for Bodmin in 1393 and stood surety for the attendance of Parliament in November 1414 for his relative Edward Burnebury who was representing Launceston. In 1388 John Moyle and Elinor his wife, (Joan's parents), requested that the chancellor be ordered to give them restitution of their lands in Penscombe and Bethgal, which were disseised of them by Tresilian and had come into the king's hands by Tresilian's forfeiture. was charged for treason by the Lord Appellants and executed). Joan was a co-heiress, along with her three sisters, and her coat of arms were allowed to be quartered with those of the Burnburys.

BURNEBURY, Edward (d.I432), of Bosmaugan in St. Winnow, Cornw. M.P. for LAUNCESTON (DUNHEVED) I4IO, I4II, I4I3 (May), I414 (Nov.), 14I7, I4I9, 1422 m. Joan ?da. and coh. of John Moyle of Bosmaugan, 1 st son, Thomas .Commr. of inquiry, Devon, Cornw_ Aug. 1416 (estates of William, Lord Zouche), Cornw. Nov. 1418 (treasons and felonies), May 1427 (estates of John Chenduyt"); to hold an assession court of the duchy of Cornw. May 1429. Coroner, Comw. by Aug.-Oct. 1423

Burnebury's background is obscure, but he may have come from Fawton in the parish of St. Neot, where he is known to have held land, and he lived at 'Bodmalgan' (now Bosmaugan), a duchy estate near Lostwithiel. Under a settlement made in I4I5 he obtained a reversionary interest in substantial proper­ties in Bodmin, Grampound and elsewhere in Corn­wall, after the deaths of John Nanskelly and his descendants. Burnebury's brother John (d.1459), parson of Exbourne, who was also named in this transaction, achieved success in the Church, even­tually serving, under Bishop Lacy, as treasurer of Exeter cathedral, and it may have been with his help that, in June 1421, Edward and his wife obtained a licence from the bishop to have their own oratory in any suitable place within the diocese.

Although he is not known to have owned property in Launceston, Burnebury was certainly a frequent visitor to the town and built up a practice as an attorney at the CornIsh assIzes which normally took place there. He attended the shire elections held at Launceston in 14I9, and was subsequently present in all the Cornish elections (usually at Lostwithiel) between March I42I and April I432, with the exception only of those for the Parliament of 1431. The ­borough of Launceston formed part of the duchy of Cornwall, and Burnebury evidently became involved in the administration of other estates pertaining to it: in 1420 he was appointed along with the steward and other duchy officials to demise certain of its proper ties on seven-year leases; and, according!y in June and Ju!y that year, he assisted in holding assession courts. Burnebury briefly occupied the office of coroner in Cornwall, being replaced however, in October 1423 on the grounds that he was ‘too sick and aged' to continue. Burnebury's advice was occasionally sought by members of the local gentry: in 1416, for example, he had been counsel to (Sir) John Colshull II*. The burgesses of Launceston retained his services, too, in 1432 paying him a fee of 10s and in the same year the town also gave him a pottle of wine for consumption at the funeral­ of his mother. .

That summer, on 24 July, Burnebury was drowned in a well near his house at Bosmaugan but it was not until November that suspicions were voiced that he had committed suicide. Two royal commissions were set up to investigate the matter and, when these failed to report, further commissions were issued, in October 1435. Even so, it was not until 1437 that a jury met at Launceston to give evidence. They said that Burnebury had been lifting a bucket full of water when he had tripped on the chain attached to the bucket, slipped on a wet stone and fallen into the well, and that the bucket, chain and stone which caused his death (and so were deodands) were worth 3s. 6d. It was probably their statement that Burnebury had occupied no property whatsoever in Cornwall which caused their evidence to be with viewed with scepticism; in December 1439, more than seven vears after Burneburv's death commissioners were again ordered to hold-inquiries'. (Extracted from 'The House of Commons 1386-1421' by John S Roskell's The History of Parliament

Edward's brother, John, who died in 1459 was executor to Edmund, the Bishop of Exeter's will.

1458 John Cobbethorn, Henry Webber, John Germyn and John Burnebury, executors of Edmund, bishop of Exeter v Hugh William, priest: Evasion of an obligation by defendant to the bishop of Exeter. Bill by plaintiffs, answer by defendant and replication to the answer by plaintiffs.

It was Edward's son, Thomas's marriage to Wilmot Henscott that seems to have brought into the family, the Devon lands which probably included Burnaby in Bratton Clovelly. Wilmot was a co-heiress, her sister married William Pontington. Her parents were Nicholas Henscott and Margery and when their only son died the heirs of the daughters inherited all the lands. Thomas was probably dead by this time as it is John who is defending the claims.

These chancery pleadings, held by The National Archives, Kew, illustrate the extent of the lands that were inherited and the many people who tried to lay claims on them:-

Thomas, son of William Pontyngdon and Thomasyn, his wife, and John, son of Thomas Burneby and Wylmote, his wife. v. William Bell: Detention of deeds relating to land in Henscote (Bradford), East Ryghton (East Rowdon – Broodwood Widger), Carspytt (Culmpit – Bratton Clovelly), Thrushelton, Southcote, Woodford, Chipping Torrington, Wyrthyate, Little Lachebroke, Geteferthisworthy, Lopped Thorn, and elsewhere, late of Nicholas Henscote, father of the said Thomasyn and Wylmote.: Devon. Covering dates 1486-1493, or 1504-1515

Thomas Pountyngdon and John Burneby, in right of their mothers Thomasyn and Wilmote, daughters of Nicholas and Margery Henstecote. v. William Beld: Detention of deeds relating to messuages and land in Henstecote, East Righteton, Rokeworthy, Bradford, Frankeborowe (Frankborough, Broadwood Widger), Kerspytt, Thrushelton, Southcote (Holsworthy), Woodford , Chipping Torrington, Wirthyate (Worthygate - Parkham), Little Lashbrook (Thornbury), Gytefarysworthy, (Grendisworthy in Ashwater), and Loppedethorn, descended to complainants by default of issue to John, son of Nicholas Henstecote.: Devon Covering dates 1504-1515

Thomas Puntyngdon and John Burneby, nephews of John Henstecote. v. Robert Frensshe, parson of Thornbury, and William Roggers, feoffees to uses.: Messuages and land late of Nicholas Henstecote.: Devon Covering dates 1504-1515

1532-1538 - John Burnely and Thomas Puntyngton, cousins and heirs of Nicholas Henscott. v. Richard and Raymond Norlegh.: Detention of deeds relating to messuages and land in Hole (Broadwood Widger), Tynacre (Clawton), Lurchydon, Worthiate and Toriton, and a messuage and lands called Chemysworth and East and West Rudston.: Devon

Thomas also held lands in Cornwall as in 1465 he is listed in the Launceston Manorial records as holding land in Launceston and in 1461 he was mayor of Launceston with stewards John Whyte Page and John Mannyng. In 1486 a chancery pleading was brought against him by Oliver Kelly, son and heir of John Kelly re detention of deeds relating to the manors of Kelly and Heavitree, Devon. (107/643 25 July, 16 Edward IV (1476)). His mother's sister was married to a Kelly so the dispute could have arisen through this. He was still alive in 1502 when along with Thomas Seynt Aubyn he granted lands in Hemoutte Michelwor... Tolworthe and Liskeard to Nicholas Opy and his wife Elizabeth.

His eldest son John, married Mary Croke and by then they were living in Bratton Clovelly. He is the John mentioned in the chancery pleadings, son of Wilmot Henscott. Interestingly, although the family died out around 1620 in Bratton Clovelly, their Barnaby property has now been renamed Banbury (East & West). However I think Thomas had at least another son and that it is this Richard who is listed in the Bridgerule land subsidies in 1524 and that he was the probable progenitor of the Launcells/Bridgerule Banbury family.

Richard had a son John, who had a son John, as in the 1549 Bridgerule land subsidies a John Borneberry with goods worth £8 was listed with a John Borneberry junior. The latter died in 1610, as John Burnbury, and left a will which unfortunately is now lost. There are no other entries for Bridgerule, but in 1623 a Richard Barnbery was baptised in Launcells the son of Richard Barnbery & Grace and in 1625 a Richard Burnebury died and left a will. In the 1641 Launcells Protestations a John Burnberie and Abraham Burnberie are recorded and these would have been the older sons of Richard & Grace. Abraham had a son Abraham, as in 1684 there is an entry for the burial of Abraham son of Abraham Burnebury and the first Abraham would have been too old to have been having children. It is this Abraham whose will was proved in 1700 and left everything to his son Thomas. Thomas Banbury then married Grace Yeo and started the Banbury line.


By Sheila Yeo, July, 2009

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