Robin Hood's Horn (Loxley, Bramshall)
|Vicinity||c. 2.7 km SSE of Bramshall; c. 2.4 km SSW of Uttoxeter|
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2020-10-15. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-02-12.
A horn said to have belonged to Robin Hood and hence known as 'Robin Hood's Horn' was preserved at Loxley, near Bramshall, Staffordshire, according to Francis Redfern's History of the Town of Uttoxeter (1865) and J. L. Randall's History of Meynell Hounds and Country, 1780 to 1901 (1901).
The horn allegedly belonged to the De Ferrers family of Chartley, then to the Loxley branch of that family, and thence, via marriage, to the family of Kynersley at Loxley. On the horn are or were the initials R. H. and, in a shield, three horse-shoes, which is said to indicate the ownership of Thomas de Ferrers of Loxley and probably a Robert 'who preceded him apparently towards the close of the twelfth century' (see 1865 Allusion cited below). Does this horn still exist?
A junior Ferrers of Tutbury held Loxley, which is about two miles west of Uttoxeter, in Henry II.'s reign, and in the time of Henry III. it belonged to Robert de Ferrers. In 1327 John de Kynardesleye married Johanna, daughter to a second Thomas de Ferrers. John Kynnersley was owner of Loxley eighteen Edward III. Thomas Kynnersley, twenty-second Charles I.; Craven Kynnersley, seven George II.; and Clement Kynnersley, ten George III., were sheriffs. An ancestor of the Kynnersley's was seated at Kynnersley Castle, Herefordshire, at the Conquest. There is a horn preserved at Loxley, with the proud name of "Robin Hood's Horn," which was formerly in the family of Ferrers, at Chartly. There is no particular reason given for its being Robin Hood's Horn, although it bears his initials; but from bearing three horse-shoes (two and one) it probably belonged to the Ferrars, and came into the family of Kynnersley by the marriage of Johanna, daughter of [p. 328:] Thomas de Ferrers, to John de Kynnardesleye, through which marriage it is supposed Loxley also came into the possession of the Kynnersleys. Loxley Hall is a modern residence, the previous ancient house having been destroyed about sixty years ago, and the ornamental stone work of it, with the ancient sculptured arms of the family, have been formed into a beautiful grotto. The entrance-hall of the present house contains the emblazoned arms of all the chief families of distinction in the kingdom, and paintings of the family for generations back. The present proprietor is C. T. S. Kynnersley, Esq., who resides at the High Fields, near Uttoxeter.
Loxley has attained a degree of celebrity as being, if not the birth-place of Robin Hood, at least the scene of many of his bold exploits. An old chronicle of the date of 1621 relates, that after his return to [p. 329:] Loxley from his visit to his uncle Gamewell, in Warwickshire, after certain inquiries concerning his men,
"Clorinda came by,
The queen of the shepherds was she,"
with whom he fell in love,
"Sir Roger, the parson of Dubridge, was sent for in haste:
He brought his mass book, and bid them take hands,
And joined them in marriage full fast."
According to the traditions of the neighbourhood the honeymoon was spent in the beautiful demesne of Loxley; and many engaging stories have been related by the gardener of Loxley ninety years ago—the maternal grandfather of a friend of mine—respecting both the rendezvous and doings of this celebrated outlaw. These lines are supposed to have reference to the gallant freebooter, on his return to Loxley, after the marriage with his wife—
"Bold Robin Hood and his sweet bride,
Went hand in hand into the green bower;
The birds sung with pleasure in those merry green groves;
O this was a most joyful hour."
Loxley, in the parish of Uttoxeter, on the west, is an old Saxon name, and a place of considerable interest. It was a grant from the Crown to Robert de Ferrars, first Earl of Derby, who died in 1184. By the second Earl William, it was granted to his younger son Wakelin, and it was held by a Robert, an Alan, a Thomas, and Henry. From an inquisition taken after 1297, it appears that Loxley manor was held by the heirs of Thomas de Ferrars, who was the youngest son of William, third earl of Derby, who did homage for Chartley, which was exchanged by Thomas with his brother for Loxley. There is a blank here in this branch for one generation at least, and therefore the second Thomas, whose daughter Johanna, as sole heiress, brought Loxley to the Kynersleys by marriage in 1327 with John de Kynnardsley, must have been of a third generation from the first Thomas. In existing deeds there are evidences of a William and a Robert holding Loxley. William Earl de Ferrars, grants in or near Lockesleid "Will'o, filio Will'i, filiolo meo." In a deed [p. 426:] of Lord Bagot, "Robert de Ferr', avunculus com, de Ferr," grants "eight bonatas in Lochesl' to Osbert, homini meo de Lockesleid;" yet besides this Robert "avunculus" there was a Robert de Ferrariis de Lokesle, co-witness with Robert avunculus de Monastic. (Angl. II. 506.) The above John de Kynardsley is mentioned in a deed of 1330, as "Dominus de Lockesley." He was descended from the family of Kynardsley of Kynardsley Castle, in Herefordshire, where they were seated at and before the time of the Conquest. His two immediate ancestors were, William, seated at Kynardsley Casde, and William, lord of the manor of Wyebridge. John Kynardsley and three brothers were advanced with estates (most by returning to John or issue) by an uncle, "dom's John de Kynardesley, cleric's Thomse com, Lancaster," and rector of Stoke. The estate has descended in uninterrupted succession from father to son (except in instances, when in default of issue, brother succeeded brother), to Clement Kynersley, Esq., who died in 1815, having devised this estate to his nephew, Thomas Sneyed, Esq., a son of his eldest sister, Penelope, by John Sneyed, of Belmont, Esq., and who, in compliance with the will of his uncle, Thomas Sneyd, took the name of Kynersley in addition to his own. He died by an accident in 1844. His eldest son and heir, Clement John Sneyd Kynersley, dying in 1840, he was succeeded by his grandson, the eldest son of C. T. S. Kynersley, who was born in 1833, and since deceased. Thomas Kynersley, twenty-two, Charles I.; Craven Kynersley, seventh, George II.; and Clement Kynersley, tenth, George III., were sheriffs.
Some of the land now belonging to Loxley estate was of recent acquisition in the early part of the reign of Charles I., and is then spoken of in writings in the ensuing words : — "Thomas Kynnersley, Esq., houldeth by fealty Knight service and suit the manor of Little Loxley, and he houldeth freely one part of the reputed manor of Little Bromshulfe, in three parts to be divided, and certain other lands sometimes Walter's land by the yearly rent of [p. 437:] xviiis." The ancient Loxley inheritance is mentioned in these words: — "The said Thomas Kynnersley, Esq., houldeth divers lands and tenements, the ancient lands of Kynnersley, at the rent of xxxiiis. iiiid." The hall is referred to in the same records as "The Ould Hall," and "The Ould Hall Meadow." The ancient residence was probably superseded by the hall which was partly demolished by Thomas Sneyd Kynersley, Esq.,"who built the present edifice, which is of stone. The preceding house was of red brick with stone dressings and pediment, Ionic pillars with elaborately carved Corinthian capitals. The front hall is a noble room with a gallery. The arms of the principal families in the Kingdom in 1608, are painted round the room, and those of the Royal family over the fire-place, which is supported by ancient and beautifully carved oak pillars. A painting of the old hall, as well as one of Ashcombe Hall, is also over the fireplace on a panel. A little beneath the row of almost innumerable coats-of-arms, there are old paintings let in antique oak panelling of the wainscotting, of the apostles and disciples of Christ. In the hall are also preserved a number of ancient family portraits. The Corinthian capitals, the beautifully carved volutes and floral designs in stone, the stonework of the open parapet of the old hall, the armorial bearings of the family cut in stone, and a fine grotesque mask in the same material, all having been ornamental portions in the front of the old mansion, have been built into a grotto which stands in the Long Walk. In the windows of the grotto were also inserted small square panes of glass from the same ancient residence, bearing the arms of the Ferrars in the form of horse-shoes, and which were doubtless executed before Loxley came to the family of Kynnersley. The elaborately carved oaken door in oak-leaf work, probably of the decorated period, in the grotto, was the front door of the old hall. When I saw this interesting place some nine or ten years ago it looked very forlorn, and the last piece of coloured glass with a horse-shoe represented on it bid fair to follow others which have been broken to pieces [p. 428:] within the last twenty-five years. Loxley Hall has not been occupied by the representatives of the family of Kynnersley for many years, but has been rented successively by Joseph Mallaby, Esq., Colonel the Hon. Thomas Stanley, and now by Dr. Mould, of Cheadle, near Manchester, as a convalescent home for wealthy patients, who are under the care of Dr. Fletcher, of Uttoxeter.
Loxley Park and Paddock, with a small intake, comprise 212a., and the Hall, pleasure-grounds and gardens, about 7 a. or. 2 p.
Loxley has attained a degree of celebrity as having been the reputed birthplace and scene of the marriage and of many of the bold exploits of Robin Hood, who, it is believed, was no other than a Robert de Ferrars. It is supposed he may have had the name of Hood from being hooded, and that of Huntingdon from engaging in hunting, and although Norman by blood, it is thought not improbable that he might take up the popular cause. There is in existence in the family of Kynnersley, an ancient horn having the proud name of Robin Hood's horn, and which was formerly in the possession of the Ferrars, of Chartley, and then of the branch of the same family at Loxley, and so passed to the family of Kynnersley by the marriage of the heiress of Ferrars with John de Kynardsley. It has the initials of R. H., and three horse-shoes, two and one in a shield, that being the way in which the arms were borne by the first Thomas de Ferrars of Loxley, and probably by a Robert, who preceded him apparently towards the close of the twelfth century, and as they were on the coloured glass of which I have spoken, the traditionary connection of the horn with the name of Robin Hood is interesting. The horn is mounted with silver ferrules, and has a silver chain attached to it for suspension. As will be perceived by the engraving, ornamentation is also carved upon it, including a star, which may be emblematic, having long and short radiations alternating, and all cut in notches. [p. 429:]
With respect to the marriage of Robin Hood at Loxley, an old chronicle states that after his return there from a visit to his uncle Gamewell, in Warwickshire, after certain enquiries concerning his men,
"Clorinda came by,
The queen of the shepherds was she,"
with whom he fell in love, when,
Sir Roger, the parson of Dubridge, was sent for in haste:
He brought his mass book and bid them take hands,
And joined them in marriage full fast.
According to the traditions of the neighbourhood, the honeymoon was spent at the beautiful demesne of Loxley; and many engaging stories have been related by the old gardener of Loxley a hundred and ten years ago—the maternal grandfather of a friend of mine, Mr. G. Foster, of Endon—respecting both the rendezvous and doings of this celebrated outlaw. These lines are supposed to have reference to the gallant freebooter, on his return to Loxley after the marriage with his wife:—
Bold Robin Hood and his sweet bride,
Went hand in hand into the green bower:
The birds sang with pleasure in those merry green groves;
O, this was a most joyful hour.
Loxley is also interesting from its connection with Robin Hood, who is said not only to have been born there, but to have been married there as well. He is thought by some to have been a Robert de Ferrers. To quote the exact words of Mr. Redfern, from whose history and antiquities of Uttoxeter this account is taken, "It is supposed that he may have had the name of Hood from being hooded, and that of Huntingdon from being engaged in hunting, and, although Norman by blood, it is thought not impossible that he might take up the popular cause. There is in existence in the family of Kynersley, an ancient horn having the proud name of Robin Hood's horn, and which was formerly in the possession of the Ferrers of Chartley, and then of the branch of the same family at Loxley, and so passed to the family of Kynersley by the marriage of the heiress of Ferrers with John de Kynardsley. It has the initials R. H., and three horse-shoes, two and one, in a shield, that being the way in which the arms were borne by the first Thomas de Ferrers of Loxley, and probably by a Robert, who preceded him apparently towards the close of the twelfth century; and as they were on the coloured glass (in the house) of which I have spoken, the traditionary connection with Robin Hood is interesting. The horn is mounted with silver ferrules, and has a silver chain attached to it for suspension. . . ."
With respect to the marriage of Robin Hood at Loxley, an old chronicle states that after his return there from a visit to his uncle Gamewell, in Warwickshire, after certain inquiries concerning his men,
The queen of the shepherds was she,"
with whom he fell in love, when
"Sir Roger, the parson of Dubridge, was sent for in haste;
He brought his Mass book and bid them take hands,
And joined them in marriage full fast."
[vol. II, p. 187:] "Dubridge" is the old spelling of Doveridge. Dove is the old British word " Dwfr," which means water.
- Not included in Dobson, R. B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), pp. 293-311.
- 25" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXII.5 (1901; rev. 1899) (georeferenced)
- 25" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXII.5 (c. 1882; surveyed c. 1881). No copy in NLS
- 25" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXII.5 (1901; rev. 1899)
- 25" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXII.5 (1923; rev. 1920)
- 25" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXI.8 (c. 1882; surveyed c. 1880–81). No copy in NLS
- 25" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXI.8 (1901; rev. 1900)
- 25" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXI.8 (1924; rev. 1922)
- 25" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXII.9 (c. 1883; surveyed c. 1879). No copy in NLS
- 25" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXII.9 (1901; rev. 1899)
- 25" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXII.9 (1923; rev. 1922).
- 6" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXI.NE (1887; surveyed 1880–81)
- 6" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXI.NE (1925; rev. 1922)
- 6" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXI.NE (1901; rev. 1900).
- 6" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXII.NW (1901; rev. 1899–1900) (georeferenced)
- 6" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXII.NW (1901; rev. 1899–1900)
- 6" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXII.NW (1884; surveyed 1881)
- 6" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXII.SW (1901; rev. 1899–1900)
- 6" O.S. map Staffordshire XXXII.SW (1884; surveyed 1881–82)
- 6" O.S. map Derbyshire LII (c. 1949; rev. 1938)
- 6" O.S. map Derbyshire LII (1924; rev. 1920)
- Redfern, Francis. History of the Town of Uttoxeter: with Notices of Places in its Neighbourhood (London; Uttoxeter; Derby, 1865), pp. 327-29.
- Redfern, Francis. History and Antiquities of the Town and Neighbourhood of Uttoxeter: with Notices of Adjoining Places. Second Edition (Hanley; London; Uttoxeter, 1886), pp. 425-29
- Randall, J. L. A History of the Meynell Hounds and Country 1780 to 1901 (London, 1901), vol. II, pp. 186-87.