Genealogy of the Scales Family

The Shelford/Caxton Line

The Shelford/Caxton Line
Hardwin’s son Richard de Scalers (c.1070-1140) was Lord of the Manor of Shelford, which included Caxton. Their manor house was on the western bank of the River Cam. The present house on the site looks 18th century. Several estates held land in Shelford as witnessed by a number of surviving moats and earthworks.
Despite Richard’s adopted title, the major seat of this branch of the family was at Caxton. In fact, Hugh and Richard were both born in Caxton, so presumably Hardwin had moved there before about 1070. All of Richard’s descendants were also born there. The manor house at Shelford was probably not much used by the family; it may have been occupied by a bailiff for the estate. The reason for locating at Caxton may well have been that the Roman Road Ermine Street passes through the village, connecting the estate with the other de Scalers domains to the south at Whaddon and Reed, and with London.
Richard's son Stephen (c.1102-1168) married Gillian and was succeeded by their son William (c.1122-1199), who married Sybil. They in turn were succeeded by their son William (c.1148-1222) and his son Richard (c.1172-1231), who married Alice. Richard was the last male bearer of the Scalers name in this line. His heiress was his daughter Lucy de Scalers (c.1205-1256).
Linked with the Shelford/Caxton line by a cadet branch of which there are no further details was John de Scalers (c.1223-1312) of Caxton. He was Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire intermittently between 1246 and 1264.
Caxton Moats
A complex of moated enclosures known as Caxton Moats exists about a mile to the north-west of the present village of Caxton. The site has traces of Saxon or Norman occupation and parts may have formed the castle of the Domesday holder of the estate; other parts are thought to date from the mid 12th century. It is almost certainly the seat of the de Scalers family in Caxton, though the earliest clear documentary evidence dates from 1312, when it was occupied by the de Freville family, descendants of Lucy de Scalers and her husband Sir Baldwin de Freville. The expanded complex, with its moated enclosures, additional islands, fishponds and warren, may derive from this later period and the need to create a more prestigious dwelling reflecting the increasing status of the family at that time. Google Earth shows the site in some detail.
The Churches of All Saints and St. Andrew
The Saxon church that became All Saints in Little Shelford had belonged to the monks of Ely before it was seized by Hardwin de Scalers. Part of the nave north wall, including a doorway and window, survives from a 12th-century building, though much of the present structure dates from the 13th and 14th centuries. The stalls in the church bear the arms of the de Freville family (see below), who were again sponsors, and there are early 14th to early 15th century carvings and brasses of some of them.
A church had been established in Caxton by c. 1145 when Stephen de Scalers granted it to Lewes Priory. Not much survives of the original church except for some loose carved stones inside, a few fragments re-used in the aisle wall and possibly the thick west wall of the nave. Much of what became the church of St. Andrew dates from around the time of Lucy and Baldwin de Freville (see below) and their immediate successors and the de Frevilles were presumably patrons.
Lucy de Scalers and the de Freville Family
In 1230 Lucy de Scalers, heiress of the Scalers of Shelford and Caxton, married Sir Baldwin de Freville (d.c.1257) from a prominent Cambridgeshire family, who had a short time before paid 200 marks for her marriage and the custody of her land. Lucy's death in 1256 marked 7 generations and some 200 years of this branch of the Scalers family.
The de Frevilles of Shelford and Caxton Manors
Lucy and Baldwin de Freville's son Richard (d.1299) had three known sons: Baldwin, John and Alexander. Baldwin, the eldest, died without issue and the Manors of Shelford and Caxton passed to his younger brother John (d.1312).
The earliest clear documentary evidence of the family's occupation of the Caxton Moats site dates from the year of John's death. The Shelford manor house was first recorded in the late 13th century. By 1349 it included a chapel and in the 1520s a hall, two parlours, and a great and little chamber.
Shelford and Caxton Manors descended in a not entirely straightforward manner to John de Freville's great-great-grandson William (d.1460). In 1424, William handed over Caxton Manor via a quitclaim to John Burgoyne of nearby Dry Drayton, who held half a knight's fee at Caxton (for military services rendered). The manor changed hands many times over the succeeding centuries. From the current OS map, it appears that the manor moved to a new site to the south-east, near the church, at some stage.
William presumably concentrated his interests on Shelford Manor. The manor stayed in the de Freville family until William's great-great-grandson George, a judge and baron of the Exchequer, sold it in 1577 to one John Bankes. It subsequently changed hands many times down to the present day (it was sold again a few years ago).
The de Frevilles of Tamworth Castle
Lucy and Baldwin de Freville's youngest grandson Alexander (1250-1328) married Joan de Cromwell, heir to the prestigious Norman Marmion family through her mother Mazera de Marmion, in 1291. The Marmion family had had their seat at Tamworth Castle since the early 12th century and this now passed into Alexander's hands. He fought in the Scottish wars in the time of Edward I and Edward II and at the start of Edward III's reign in 1327 was summoned to parliament as Baron de Freville.
Alexander's grandson Baldwin (1317-1375) had accumulated land in Warwickshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Wiltshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. He served in the wars with Gascony with Edward the Black Prince, so he would have been there with his distant cousin Robert 3rd Baron Scales (see later on this site).
This Baldwin's great-great-grandson Baldwin (and there were plenty more of that name) died without issue in 1418 and there this de Freville line ended. The vast estate was split between his three aunts Elizabeth, Margaret and Joyce, who all made prestigious marriages. Elizabeth married Sir Thomas Ferrers, son of William 5th Baron Ferrers of Groby (near Leicester), and acquired Tamworth Castle and lands in Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Staffordshire. Margaret married Sir Hugh Willoughby and then Sir Richard Bingham and acquired lands in Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire and Herefordshire. Joyce married Roger Aston and acquired lands in Surrey, Wiltshire and Warwickshire.
From the de Ferrers, Tamworth Castle passed by marriage to the Shirleys of Chartley in 1688, again by marriage to the Comptons, Earls of Northampton, in 1715, and finally to the Townshends of Raynham in 1751, with whom it remained until 1897.
All Saints Church in Little Shelford
St. Andrew's Church in Caxton
Maps produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Map reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.
Freely licensed images courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.
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