The History of Ilmington -
Introduction & Contents
This is the work of two amateurs resident in Ilmington. Neither of us is a trained historian and it is for this reason that we have not attempted to sketch in any national historical background. We have also tried to avoid any generalisations. These are the facts which we have been able to piece together for this village. They may not apply to other villages.
Except where stated in the text, our sources are original and unpublished.
We have received help from the following public bodies, libraries, record offices and newspapers and would like to thank their officers for their unfailing help.
Historical Manuscripts Commission
Public Record Office, Chancery Lane
County Record Office, Warwick
St Helen's Record Office, Worcester
Hertfordshire Record Office
Kent Record Office
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
House of Lords Record Office
Bodleian Library - The Keeper of Printed Books
Reference Library, Birmingham
Reference Library, Manchester
Gloucester City Library
Folger Library, Washington USA
Birmingham, Department of Geography
London, Department of Geography - London School of Economics
British Museum, Map Room
Shipston Rural District Council
We are also grateful to Dr. D.M. Barratt and the Dugdale Society.
In addition to advice from these we have been helped by photo and Xerox copies of documents, and from Birmingham, translation of latin documents.
From Miss M.K. Ashby, author of Joseph Ashby of Tysoe, we have received further information on her father's survey of Warwickshire villages, and on the Purser family, and from George Purser in New Zealand copies of his father's account.
Local people have been generous in loaning deeds of their property, and many elderly, and some not so elderly, inhabitants have been invaluable in recalling and recounting their memories, and searching out old photographs and possessions. Much of the latter part of this account could not have been written without their help. Their recollections are extremely accurate and the necessary checking has seldom proved them wrong.
The work has occupied us with varying degrees of intensity for the past eight years. The final result presented here is a highly selective use of the material from which we have tried to produce for the layman a coherent account of this rather isolated community. Few of the documents have been quoted in full but we have given our sources.
We have avoided any attempt to include the history of the Parish Church because the existing pamphlet on this was being revised by others while we were working.
We have made no attempt to deal with Compton Scorpion. From very early days this has been a separate Manor and became part of the parish in fairly recent years.
That Ilmington's documentation is widely scattered is perhaps clear from our list of the places from which it has been obtained. That it is also discontinuous will be clear from the text. When enquiring for documents which might help to fill the gaps, fires have often been mentioned, and this may be one of the reasons for many losses in this village, with its abundance of thatch till the end of the 19th century.
The search has been enthralling, and though we have followed up nearly all clues we are well aware that we have done little more than skim the surface.
Maps were prepared by S.M. Gardner and final drawings made by John Bucknall.
Since this account was completed 'The Changing English Village 1066-1914' by M.K. Ashby has been published. It sets the well-documented history of Bledington against the national background and is a most important book for those interested in village history.
List of Maps
= page number in original text