of Hilton & Shaftesbury
b circa 1520
There appears to be very little on record concerning , John other than he took over the Walter’s lands, at Buckland Newton and Hilton from in 1557 after the death of Bridget, as I’ve mentioned earlier. I have never been able to find any reference to Walters will or an inquest PM. I am sure there is one or the other lurking somewhere in the archives. Due to the absence of either of these documents, one cannot be certain what exactly he did inherit, but I am pretty certain, that he did get almost the whole of the estate, with a small amount going to Francis, Walters younger son. With John, also there seems to have been no will recorded , but one thing is certain he did have a son also named John who died at Shaftesbury in 1610.
of Hilton & Shaftesbury
It is from the will left by John that we learn of the full extent of this branch of the family’s holdings, which were mostly handed down by Walter, through his heirs, these were roughly as I have mentioned previously, as being originally owned by Richard, who died in 1552, but also there is a bit of a mystery in this will regarding lands known as East and West Orchard, these are the names given in various documents as being in the Purbecks, which at this time are recorded as being owned by the Kimmeridge branch of the family.
The reference to this piece of estate could be due to him having lands in Shaftesbury with a similar names, or that this branch of the family also inherited a portion of this property, from The older Richard who died in 1483. I think that the latter is probably the case, I have seen other such anomalies, elsewhere in records, especially those of later date. From the small number of wills that I have inspected the family in general did not stick to what is widely stated, as the family tradition of leaving everything to their oldest son and heir, but rather spreading the estate around, more fairly and evenly, amongst their other children, the daughters and their husbands also getting their quota.
John had four surviving children. George, John, Elizabeth and Edith. George inherited some of the Shaftesbury estate and the Somerset properties, with various parts of it going to his daughters and their husbands . From thereon the will gets a little muddled.
But what is certain is that, his younger son John, who is from who we all have descended, received the Hilton Buckland Newton and Dorchester properties and land.
The anomalies regarding land ownership, which I have just mentioned become obvious, in these later generations in as much as some, members of the family of this branch seem to have had some connection with both Quarleston and winterborne Whitchurch, these also being the areas inhabited, by members of the Purbeck branch.
On taking the face value of the documentation, that the Purbeck and the Hilton/ Shaftesbury branches of the family were entirely independent, but I do believe that there was quite a strong connection between them for instance, they would probably meet at the Dorchester, Blandford or other local markets, and as I suggest in the previous paragraph, they did also own some adjacent land, and they could have also rented or sold land to each other.
George the eldest of Johns sons inherited most of the Shaftesbury property, and appears to have lived there for the rest of his life becoming a much respected citizen and between the year 1635-1636 was mayor he was also chairman of the Watch committee.