The Treghistins, or Treghistans, of Ewell in the 16th century

By Tre, Pol and Pen, Ye shall know Cornishmen.

The Margery Treghistin plaque in St Mary's Ewell
The Margery Treghistin plaque in St Mary's Ewell
Image courtesy of Jeremy Harte, Curator, Bourne Hall Museum

A Declaration of the lands and holdings of Richard Vynes, 'in right of Elizabeth his wife, widow of John Codyngton, son and heir of Thomas de Codyngton,' from Westminster Abbey Muniments, dating to the time of Henry VII [1485 -1507], mentions an abuttal in Lyngcroft off Gallowstrete [West Street, Ewell] upon land of John Tregelston.

Abstracts of Feet of Fines, 1509 - 1558, Surrey Record Society, 1946, includes in 1 Henry VIII (1509) an entry for John Codyngton, gent., ( r) , and Henry Saunder, gent., plaintiffs: John Treglyston and Margaret (h), his wife, deforciants. This related to a messuage and garden in Ewell which would have been held freehold and indicates a conveyance from the deforciants to the plaintiffs (querents). Evidently the Treghistons had become established in the manor before that date.

The brass plate above, which originally was lettered in black, is one of the earliest to survive at St Mary's, Ewell, although re-sited in the present church. It relates to Margery Treghistin and depicts her in a mantle wearing a gable, pyramidal or kennel [from its similarity to the gable end of a dog-kennel] head-dress of the period, such as may still be seen depicted on the Queens of playing cards to the present day.

In The Victoria History of the County of Surrey it is described as a figure of a lady wearing a long, loose head-dress and gown with fur cuffs with below it an inscription: -
"Hic jacet Margeria Treghistan nup' consors Johannis Treghistan que quidem Margeria obiit xxiii die Octobris Anno Domini movoxxio cujus anime propicietur deus Amen.'

[Here lies Margery, lately spouse of John Trehistan, who died 23 October 1521. Of your charity, pray for her soul.]
John Aubrey's The Natural History and Antiquities of Surrey also mentions fragments of lettering 'On a rough Grave-Stone, much defaced; the Image torn off, round the edge is this Inscription' to 'Treghstynn'. Manning and Bray augment this from an earlier source as: -
'Pater noster say, and pray that mercy and grace my soule may have. I crave a joy and solace and place for my body, all cloddy, lyeth here basse. Treghystynn John, a Cornish man.'
On a plate in the middle were the following verses: -

"Thus am I now as under fote you see,
That in tyme past was suche as now be ye,
And as I am, hereafter shall ye be;
Wherefore, take on my Soule pyte,
And pray to God for his benyngnyte,
As after this thow woldest Men dyd for the;
To take my Soule to his most gret Mercy
Obiit,... cuj[us] a' i' e' [anime] Ao. Christi Mvcxx."

Aubrey also reported: -
'On the Top': -

     1. Three greyhounds current
     2. A Bucks Head cabossed with a cross between the horns


'At the Bottom':-

     A Bucks Head cabossed

[The most frequent bearing of bucks' heads is in the front position, otherwise called caboshed.]
A Bucks Head cabossed
A Bucks Head cabossed

Although John had died in 1520 an apparent reference to him, or more likely a son with the same name, appeared in the 1549 Ewell Rental as follows:-
"Robert Roger holds by Copy given the 21st day of April in the 24th year of the reign of Henry VIII [1532/3] a parcel of a messuage lying in Ewell, viz the south part of a pasture containing 2 [...] and all other buildings of the south part of this parlour, a herb garden lying on the east of this, a building and 17 acres of land lying in different parcels in the common fields of Ewell the same late of John Tregilston"

A SURVEY of all the Hereditamentes whatsoever of Ewell as being parte holden of the Lordship of Ewell with the particular bounders of the same takeyn September and October 1577 and in reign the of our Souereigne Lady Elizabeth by grace of god Quene of England Fraunce and Ireland Defender of the faithe etc., by Thomas Taylor [SHC: 2238/10/158] subsequently included: -
"Marget Rogers the reuercion to Robert Rogers holde by Copy of the said Manor the southe parte of a tenemente conteyning in the streteside lxiiij foote by measure and of a barne owtkitchen garden orchard and of a pigtell of lande of the south parte of the said orchard abutting upon the said Roger Lambertes lande of the southe upon the landes of Blaunche Wilkins of thest and upon the said highway of the west and upon the residue of the said tenemente and lands above the said measure belonging to the parsonage there of the northe parte conteyning by estimacion j acre." [The northern part of the tenement then held freehold by Henry Rogers lay 'upon the said highwaye or street leding thorough to Kingeston and leading up to the Church of Ewell'.
and, in summary,
"Margaret Rogers and - theire of Rogers in howses and landes conteyning in thole xv acres viz [Howses] the Southparte of one howse and landes conteyning ij acres.[Southfelde] xj acres di. [Inclosed] j acre di." ['di' is an abbreviation meaning 'half']
The location of a tenement in the shared occupation of Margaret and Henry Rogers, as described above, is shown on the southern part of a map drawn by C R Haybittle for Philip Shearman's article on Ewell in 1577 - SAC Vol. 54 pp 102-127. On 'the road to Reigate' (Cheam Road), it became much later part of the George Inn (King William IV) premises - Plot 283 in the 1803 Enclosure Award [Link To Ewell Copyholds].

Plot 283 on the Ewell Enclosure Map
Plot 283 on the Ewell Enclosure Map

The widowed Margaret Rogers' death was recorded on 23 October 1598 and her life interest then came to an end. The copyhold land, described in the Court Rolls as 'Messuage, barn and 14 acres', then descended through the Rogers family. Succeeding generations are listed in relation to 'A messuage, garden, yard and orchard in West Street, near what is now Gibraltar Recreation Ground; plot 336/7 on the Enclosure Award' as may be found on the Ewell Copyholds page.

So one has a good idea of where Mr and Mrs Tregistin would have lived near Church Street and how their additional land might have been distributed but nothing more about their family background. Bearing mind that copyholdings usually passed by inheritance, however, one may speculate the surrender in 1532 could have been from John, probably a son of the John Treghistin who had died in 1520, and that Robert Rogers had married a Treghistin daughter.

Brian Bouchard © June 2012


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