BRADMERE. Broad Mere, or Lake.
The principal Manor of Bradmere in Doomsday Book is that which Azor held before the Conquest, for which he was rated to the Dane-Geld as twelve Bovats. The Land
was three Car. But at the Time of that Survey Robert Malet had in Demesne three
Car. and sixteen Vill. and eight Bord. having five Car. The Value then and before was
3l. it had Soc in Ruddington, and so had the Manor of Ruddington here. It is manifest also
that Part of this Township was of Raph Fitz-Hubert's Fee involved in Boney, else he or
some of his acquired Robert Malets very shortly after the Conquest, or both, which is
Hubert Fitz-Raph gave to Richard de Bradmere (fn. 1) his Man (or Tenant) and Uncle,
all his Land which he held in Bradmere that Year and Day in which King Henry was
alive and dead; besides the Land and Brother and Heir held for the tenth Part of a
Knight's Fee. The Witnesses were Mr. Richard, Robert Sautcheverel, and Robert his
Son, and others. Raph (fn. 2) Son of (the said) Richard, the Knight of Bradmere, gave and
granted to Robert de Glamorgan, who was the Pope's Sub-Deacon and Rector of Boney;
the Homages, Rents and Services of John, the Son of Thomas, the Chaplain of Plumtre, and his Heirs, and of William his own Son and Heir, and of very many others who
held of him in Bradmere, all which, with divers other Lands, Rents and Services, were
given by the said Robert to God and the blessed Virgin, and Sir Roger the Prior of
Lenton, and the Monks there serving God, for the Souls of his Ancestors and Successors,
chiefly of Philip de Glamorgan his Father, and Amabile his Mother; and that the said
Prior and Convent should pay him and his Successors at Boney yearly, on Easter-Day, a
Penny for all Services, yet so that they should of their Charity celebrate his Obit, and
the Obits of the said Sir Philip his Father, and the Lady Amabil his Mother, of Britan de
Insula, Raph de Fressenville, and Willimina his Wife, every Year.
Mr. Gervase de Somerville (fn. 3) gave to the Hospital of St. Anthony, within the Court or
Church-yard of Lenton, seven Bovats of Land here, for the free and charitable Sustentation of such as should be troubled with St. Anthony's Fire. Raph de Freschevile confirmed the said seven Bovats (fn. 4) and added the Service of eighth, which they had of the
Gift of the said Mr. Gervas de Sumerville, with Common of Pasture, as well as Turbary of Boney, belonging to Bradmere. Sir Geoffry de Boney, and Sarah his Wife confirmed the same seven Bovats. (fn. 5)
In the Year 1262, an Exchange was made between Roger, (fn. 6) Prior, and the Convent
of Lenton, and John Barre of Torlaton; the Prior gave all his Lands in Keworth, of the
Fee of Sir Thomas Fitz-Williams of Plumptre, for all the said John Barre's Lands in
Bradmere: Sir Philip de Colwick, and Sir John de Vilers, were Witnesses.
The Fee of Rad. Fitz-Hubert in the Time of H. 2. (fn. 7) was parted between Henry de
Stuteville and Hubert Fitz-Ralph. And Henry de Stuteville (his Grandson 'tis like) had
100s. Land here in the Time of H. 3. (fn. 8) and John de Stotevile paid for fifteen Knights
Fees of Raph Fitz. Hubert's Barony after Henry, in the same King's Reign. Estout de
Estotevile (Son of John) bound himself, 5. E. 2. to enseoffe Sir Richard Grey, (fn. 9) Lord
of Codenor, in the Manors of Barton-upon-Trent and Bradmere, and thereof to acknowledge to him a Fine, and to give him all legal Security in the Courts of France and England, Richard paying therefore at London 800l. sterling on a certain Day, and for Default
thereof Estout to re-enter. Stout de Stoteville Son and Heir of Sir Nicolas de Stoteville,
Knight, (fn. 10) 6 E. 3. passed the Manors of Barton and Bradmere to Richard Lord Grey, of
Codnor, and his Heirs, with the Knights Fees, of which there was a Fine levied in Michaelmas Term the said Year.
There was a Charter, 12 E. 2. granted to Richard de Willughby (fn. 11) and his Heirs of Free
Warren in his Demesne Lands here and at Barneby in this County, and at Wimundeswold
in Leicestershire, where he also had a Market every Wednesday, and a Fair for two Days,
viz. on the Eve and Day of St. Peter and St. Paul yearly. The Jury found 7 H. 4. (fn. 12)
that Hugh Willughby, when he died, held the Manor of Wollaton, and the Manor of
Bradmere, and that William Mallory of Leicestershire, and Betram Mounboucher were
Cousins and Heirs of the said Hugh. Howbeit this continued with the Willughbyes of
Wollaton, till Queen Elizabeth's Time, that it was sold to the before-named Richard
Parkins, of Boney, and with his Posterity at that Place it still remains. Queen Eliz. (fn. 13)
April 27, in the 18th Year of her Reign, granted to Roger Mannors, Esq. with the Rectories of Grandby, Boney, and Annesley, and other Things, a Mess. in Bradmere, late belonging to Lenton. John Earl of Rutland had lately a Farm here.
THE Lordship contains 1400 acres of open field land, only proprietor Sir Thomas
Parkyns, Bart. who resides here. This Lordship and Bradmore have been in the
possession of the family, ever since the reign of Elizabeth, by purchase.
The village consists of 60 dwellings; a good School-house and an Hospital; both
founded or endowed by Dame Ann Parkyns; the former for the children of Bradmore and
those of Bunney; the latter for two men and two women.—I am informed that there is
not a dissenter in it.
The church has a nave and two side aisles; 6 bells, and a good spire steeple: the body
of the church appears ancient; it is dedicated to St. Mary; but the chancel is a more
modern pile of building. In the latter is a thick wrestling figure, intended to represent
Sir Thomas Parkyns, Knight once famous for athletic exercises. Round the shoulder
of this figure "Artisics satatus iple suit." A figure seems to tell us that "the mighty
"Goliah of Gath is fallen." We are informed by the monument that Sir Thomas was
a great wrestler, and a justice of the peace for the counties of Nottingham and Leicester.
It says also, that he new roofed the chancel, built the vault below, and erected this
monument (which was wrought out of a fine piece of marble, by his chaplain, in a barn).
Among other things it says, that he studied physic for the benefit of his neighbours; that
he wrote the "Cornish hugg wrestler" and was buried in 1741, aged 78 years. He had
two wives; one a grand-daughter of a London alderman, and the other an alderman's
daughter of York. He had two or three stone coffins made for his body's use after
death, that while living he might have choice; one of which remains in the church for
any one who may fall in love with it. It might not be amiss, that he was a knight,
loved wrestling and ringing, studied physic, wrote a book on the art of wrestling, had
his coffin and monument made in his life-time, loved the daughters and grand-daughters
of aldermen, roofed the chancel and made a vault to sleep in; but that a figure of Him,
Big Ben, or Johnson, should find a place in the chancel of a church, in a bruising position,
even to encounter Master Allbones, alias Death; to me appears unseemly.
This gentleman, let me observe however, lived esteemed. He was a man of probity
and learning, was an excellent magistrate, and died, in consequence, much lamented.
I have been informed that his book on the art he was so great a patron of, he presented
to George the Ist. with a manuscript dedication. His monument has these lines
Quem modo stravisti longo certamine, tempus,
Hic recubat britonum clarus in orbe pugil
Nunc primum stratus, præter te vicerat omnes
De te-etiam victor, quando resurgat, erit.
Thus we find it translated in Deering.
At length he falls, the long contest's o'er,
And time has thrown whom none e'er threw before,
Yet boast not (Time) thy victory for he
At last shall rise again and conquer thee.
Near this is a slight monument to the memory of Dame Ann Parkyns, who died in
1725, aged 92: it gives her, deservedly, an excellent character. She spent a long life
in giving comfort to the needy. She is figured kneeling, accompanied with two
hour glasses. A number of this family lie buried here, some of which I will enumerate.
Richard Parkyns, Esq. died in 1603. Isham Parkyns, Esq. eldest son of Sir George
Parkyns, Governor of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, in the civil wars, died in 1667, aged 70. Sir
Thomas Parkyns, Bart. died in 1684. Beaumont Parkyns died in 1714, aged 47.
Charles Parkyns, Esq. died in 1730, aged 34. Stanhope Parkyns, Esq. died in 1759,
aged 65. Sir George Parkyns, Knight, died in 1626. In the west aisle is a table to
perpetuate the memory of Mr. Henry Cropper, who died suddenly in 1726, (it says)
much lamented. Register begun in 1556. The five first years baptised 95, buried 85
in the earliest. In the latest five years, baptised 93, buried 71.
STEEPLE stands without a church; the church was burnt down, and never since
rebuilt: it is a plain spire upon an ordinary tower. The lordship belongs entirely to Sir
Thomas Parkyns, Bart. It contains about 1400 acres of land, inclosed about eighteen
The village consists of 60 dwellings; and although it is a dependent place on bunney,
it has its own churchwardens, and, I judge by its size, deserves a church.
Patron of the living of Bunney, &c. Sir Thomas Parkyns. Incumbent, the Rev.
Mr. Botham resident. Valued at 40l. per annum. In Bacon 16l. 5s. 0d. Archiepiso.
pro Syn. 6l. 0s. 0d. Archidiac. pro prox. 7s. 6d. Val. in mans. cum gleb. ibid per
annum 1l. 3s. 0d. in decim molend. vent. lan. agn. porc. anc. &c. Prior Ulverscrost,
proper. Sir Thomas Parkyns, Bart. presented in 1690, 1714, 1769, 1781, 1784.
Bunney Park Hall,
THE seat of Sir Thomas Parkyns, Bart. stands adjoining the village of that name,
6 miles from Nottingham, and 8 from Loughborough. The front of this seat as you
pass over the turnpike road to and from Nottingham has the appearance of a ruin;
particularly that part which resembles a tower. The annexed view is illustrative of this
part of the mansion. It was so intolerably cold when I took it, that I procured permission from a good woman in a house opposite, to make my drawing from her chamber
window. This circumstance perhaps it is necessary to mention: as it lies so near a great
road, there may be more than ordinary judges to notice the view.
There is about this mansion some romantic scenery; the hills around are adorned with
patches of bramble wood; and in some places losty oaks and firs, which have a pretty
effect. Sir Thomas's estates about this mansion are very extensive, and in some parts
woody. One eminence, on the left, as you leave this seat for Nottingham, is an admirable situation, in my opinion, for a family residence, below which is a fine and extensive
sheet of water. Sir Thomas has fine covers for game: which abound with pheasants,
hares, woodcocks, &c. and he is favourable to the fox-chase, by keeping covers for the
breed of the wiley reynard. This gentleman has been a lover of fox-hunting, and on
every occasion that presents itself, instead of checking by his authority, (which reaches
over an extensive track of land) he endeavours to render more agreeable that most
healthful and most eligible pastime for men of fortune; and I am informed that now,
although he is, from an advanced age, prevented from accompanying the neighbouring
pack in the chase, on the days of hunting near him, he is always dressed in scarlet with
his hunting cap on, on those days, and from his windows looks upon the noble chase,
while in sight, with much pleasure.
The house is a massy pile of building, and seems the patchwork of different periods.
The rooms are large and losty. It has nothing internally to recommend it to those who
delight in historical representations of the pencil. A few portraits I saw. The dining
parlour has a good portrait of the late Sir Thomas, by John Vanderbank, and also one
of his second lady.
The house was built, I am informed, in the late Sir Thomas's time. He also built
a large cellar in the park, a quarter of a mile distant from the house, but it has never
been used since his time. In the park beside the fine sheet of water, there is a long
avenue betwixt some losty trees, which guides your eye from Bunney to a village church
at a considerable distance.
Thomas Boothby Parkyns, Esq. by Sir Thomas's first wife, is heir to his title and
estates, and was chosen representative of the borough of Leicester in 1790.
Motto. Honeste Audax. See the arms in the view of Bunney-Park Hall (fn. 14)