AdminHistoryIn 1581 the manor, rectory and hundred of Puddletown was granted to Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon. For the previous 250 years it had formed a part of the property of the estate of Christchurch Priory (For more information on the ownership of the Puddletown estate until 1581 see Hutchins, History and antiquities of the county of Dorset, vol 2 pp614-615). Henry already owned the manor of Christchurch.. This Henry is however not to be confused with the second son of George, 4th Earl of Huntingdon. Henry Hastings was reputedly born in 1551, though his actual birthdate may be around 10 years later (The dictionary of national biography gives 1551, but The complete peerage gives the 4th Earl as having been born in 1540, and Henry's older brother Francis in 1560). He acquired his seat and the estate at Woodlands through his marriage to Dorothy Willoughby of Wollaton, Notts. He sold the Christchurch estate in 1601. James I conveyed the Puddletown estate to him in 1611 and 1614 (See Hutchins, vol 2 p615; the grant of 1614 is in Dorset County Record Office, D/BOP: D/PUD/A3/6).. Henry lived until 1650 and was a local character, the subject of a inscripton on a portrait by his neighbour the 1st Earl of Shaftesbury (Hutchins vol 3 p154). A royalist, his estates had been sequestered in 1645 by Parliament, from whom he extracted them for £500 (The dictionary of national biography). On his death the estate passed quickly from his son Sir George, who died in 1657, to Sir George's daughter Frances. Frances married John Roy of London, and after their deaths the Hastings estates were split: Woodlands went to their son John, while Puddletown came to their daughter Frances, who had married Samuel Rolle of Heanton Satchville, Devon (The two estates may have been reunited on John Roy's death in 1668. Hutchins vol 3 p155 indicates that this occurred and that Samuel Rolle then sold Woodlands in 1710).. Although Frances died childless, Samuel remarried, and it is from his heiress Margaret [1709-1781] that the Puddletown estate together with the Rolle estates in Cornwall and Devon came to the Walpoles.. Robert Walpole [1701-1751], son of the famous Prime Minister, had been created Baron Walpole of Walpole, Norfolk in 1723. A year later he married Margaret Rolle (The complete peerage vol 4, Alan Sutton 1982, pX85). He succeeded as 2nd Earl of Orford on the death of his father in 1745, and was in turn succeeded by his son George [1730-1791] in 1751. It was George who inherited through his mother the title of Lord Clinton; in 1781 the combined estates were settled, with the result that when George died unmarried in 1791 the Puddletown estate went to his uncle Horatio, 4th Earl of Orford [1717-1797], and the title Lord Clinton devolved onto his cousin, Robert George William Trefusis (See D/PUD/C2/1-2). When Horatio too died unmarried the estate came to his cousin Horatio, Baron Walpole of Wolterton [1723-1809]. Horatio was created 1st Earl of Orford of a new creation in 1806.. The estate subsequently passed directly to Horatio, 2nd Earl [1752-1822] in 1809, Horatio, 3rd Earl [1783-1858] in 1822 and Horatio William, 4th Earl [1813-1894] in 1858. It was the 4th Earl who sold the estate to John Brymer in 1861, thus bringing to an end Puddletown's rule by absentee landlords. The Walpoles had for many years resided at their homes in Wolterton and Mannington, Norfolk.. Further introductory notes can be found at the start of D/PUD/A, B and D/PUD/E1, 2, 3 and D/PUD/E4..
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