Bicester, Oxfordshire

The Oxfordshire Staveley line was founded by William Staveley 1460-1498 who settled in Bignell, near Bicester in Oxfordshire.  This line is believed to be directly connected to the Staveleys of Stainley and Ripon. The family later spread out into a large family group who latterly moved to a village near Market Harborough in Leicestershire. Additional branches of the Oxfordshire line appear to have settled in London (the City), Essex.

William Staveley (1460-1498) of Bignell married Alice FRANCES, daughter and coheir of John Frances, Knight.  William and Alice had the following children:

Mary Staveley1 b. Bignell, Oxfordshire
George Staveley1 b. Bignell, Oxfordshire
Isabell Staveley1 b. Bignell, Oxfordshire
John Staveley b. Bignell, Oxfordshire
William Staveley b. Bignell, Oxfordshire


William died October 10, 1498 and the following memorial is reported to be at "Byssitur Chirch In a Tombe of Marble":

Willm. Saveley2, Esqr, somtyme lord of Bygnell & Alce his wyffe, daughtr & on of theyres of John ffraunces, knight, & of dame Isabell his wyff, daughter & heire of Sr henry plesyngton, knight, wch Willm. ob. Xth of October, mccccxcviii. & Alic, ob. the XX  of Octobr, mv.


A copy of William's last will and testament survives, and the following is a partial transcript:

In dei nomme Amen the ? day of October the yere of our Lorde God CCCCDXVII ? in the ? yere of the Regne of Kinge Henry the VII I Willyam Staveley Esquyer hole of mynd and remembrance make my testament and laste will in this manner. Firste I relate and bequethe my soule to almighty God to oure Lady Saignt Marie and to all the company of heven and my bodie to be buried in the Channcell ther the ? set with in the pishe church of Burcester. Also I bequeth to the Cath church of ? Vj d viij s Also I bequeth to the monastery of burcester to have remembrance of me in their masse and ? ? ? vij s Also I bequeth to the vicar of Burcester in satisfaccion of forgoten tithes Vj d Viij s Also I bequeth to the saide church of Burcester my white ? ? for an image of Seynte George and ? to the makyng of the same. Also I bequeth to the churche of Chesterton Vj d Vij s Also I bequethe to the church of ? Vj d Vii s Also I bequeth to the church of Marston Vj d Vij s Also I bequeth to the church of Middleton iij d iij s Also I bequeth to the church of Bukenall iij d iij s Also I bequeth to master ? of ? Colige in Oxford ?ij d iij s and that he shall ? and ? of masse for me. Also I bequethe to ? Robert Marshall ?ij d iij s that he shall fined ? of masse for my soule. Also I bequeth to ? Robert Floxton Vj d vij s to pray? for me. Also it is my hertily will that my maner of Broughton with the appurtenice within the countie of Buckingham which I purchased of Sir Thomas Tresham and my maner of Biggenhall which I purchased of John Stokes esquyer with the appurtenances within the countie of Oxenforde to remayne to Alice my wife to use of her life with due ?pishement of ? And after the decease of the saide Alice the saide maners with the appurtenances to remayn to George Staveley my sonne and to the heires of his bodie lawfully begoten and for ? of suche ? the saide maners with thappurtenances to the heires of the bodie lawfully begotten of me the said William Staveley and Alice my wife to remayn and if it happen me the said William Staveley and Alice my wife to die withoute heires of oure bodies lawfully begoten that then the said Maner of Broughton to remayn to Alice my wife her heires and assignes for evermore then my maner of Biggenhall with all the appurtenice to remane to the (University?) collige in Oxenford Uxor this condicion that the saide college shall fynde ? which shalbe chosen ? of the saide college to ? the ? of the same and to pay for in the saide William Staveley and Alice my wife forenamed and for all the ? ? I the saide Willam Staveley and Alice my wife be ? to pay for and that the saide maner with all the appurtenances be not shared exchanged or lende to morgage or sold contrarie to this my laste will by my saide sonne George or by anye ? that shalhave any interest or title or right in the saide maner as they shal ? ? at the dredfull daie of jugement before the face of almightie god. Also I will that William Staveley and John Staveley my sonnes shalhave to theym and theire heires of theire bodie lawfully begoten after the decease of Alice my wife all my lands and tenements with all thappurtenice set and lying in the maner of ?iggeham in the countie of Berk (Buck?) which I purchased of John Stokes Esquire and all my lands and tenements ? called Follie and Gilles in the ? ? and lying in the ? and felde of Burcester aforesaide in the same countie of Oxforde the which I lately had and purchased of William Huntyngdon and John ? and also my lands in the? in the towne and felde in the countie of Oxforde aforesaide towne called ?lande and if it shall ? herafter that either of the saide William and John my sones be ? theme I wil that he of theyme the which is no protif shalhave and ? all the foresiade lands and tenements to hym and to his heires of his bodie lawfully begoten and if it happen the saide Willyam and John my sonnes to be ? or decease without sire of their bodies lawfully begoten thanne I will that all the saide lands and tenements with thappurtenances shall remayn to Marie Staveley and Isabell Staveley my daughters equally betwene them to be devyded and to the heires of their bodies lawfully begoten and for lacke of such Sire I will that the saide lands and tenements with thappurtences remayne to Alice my wife to her heires and assignes for evermor in the which landes and tenements I the saide Willyam Staveley have enfeoffed for Robert Harcourt ? Alice my wife John E??stall and Robert Marshall Clerke to this ? a fore written also I bequeth to John Staveley my sonne my best g? of ? ? with formes Also I bequeath to Willyam Staveley my sonne my ? of Scarlet ? with ? Also I bequeth to Thomas Gifforde the yonger the which shall by the grace of god marie Mary my daughter the ? ? of ? ? ? I bequethe to Marie my daughter my ? ? ? and the ? sume of CC ? toward her mariage Also I bequethe to Isabell Staveley my daughter of ? and my ? gowne of ? furred with white Also I bequethe to ? ? my friende CC ? And my tawny gowne and a blak doblet Also I bequeth to John Lambert my friende my tawny gowne furred with white Lambe. Also I make with my herty wille the said Alice my lovying wife my chefe executur master John E???nall and Robert Marshall helpers to my treue and faithefull execution to perform fulfill and accomplishe this my present testament and laste will and as for the residue of all my goods after the paiment and ? of all my attir accomplishement of this my said testament and laste will I frely give and beqethe to the said Alice my lovying wife that she maie do therwith and dispose as she shall ? moste to her ? pleasure and ? And this I end in stedfaste faith and eileve of holy church ? my wife and all ? ? people to (pray?) for me and to Willyam John Marie and Isabella ? blessying and myne ? I give. In Witnesse herof of my laste will I have subscribed my name with my owne hande witnessith ? Nuttall John Lambert Willyam Felde ? with my ? ? the daie and yere above written.


William and Alice's daughter Mary married Thomas GIFFORD of Twyford, Buckinghamshire, and had a daughter Ursula.  Daughter Isabell married first Sir Francis TANFIELD of Geyton, and second Richard HUMPHREY of Barton Seagrave.

Son George married Isabell STRELLEY of Lynby, Nottinghamshire the sister of Sir Nicholas Strelley, Knight.  George and Isabell had a son John (b. 1510) who married Constance DANVERS and had the following children:

Edward Staveley b. Bignell, Oxfordshire
Dorothy Staveley b. Bignell, Oxfordshire
Thomas Staveley b. Bignell, Oxfordshire
Mary Staveley b. Bignell, Oxfordshire
Isabell Staveley b. Bignell, Oxfordshire


There are a few references regarding George's son John Staveley, and the Manor of Lynby, to which John's mother was co-heir along with her brother Nicholas Strelley.

September 30, 1540

John Staveley de Ripon parke co. York Esq. appoints Ninian Staveley his son & heir apparent and Robert Mease his attorneys to receive seisin for his use of the premises in Thurkelby, Duggilby, Caitwike and Bewholme in Holdernes according to a certain Charter of Feoffment of Bargain and Sale by John Staveley de lynby co. Nottingham Esq. and Constance his wife to John Staveley de Ripon parke. (Signed:) per me Johannem Staveley.

Decorative Divider

November 5, 1542

Recognizance of Statute Staple from John Staveley of Lynby co. Nottingham, esq., to Edward Steward, citizen and cellarer of London, in the sum of £60.

Decorative Divider

March 24, 1543

Recognizance of Statute Staple from John Staveley of Lynby co. Nottingham, esq., and John Waylande, citizen and court hand writer of London, to Thomas Walker, citizen and vintner of London, in the sum of £160.

Decorative Divider

The record from 1540 suggests an association between the Staveleys of Bicester, and Ripon Park.  There is an earlier reference regarding John Staveley of Ripon Park and Nicholas Strelley:


John Staveley of Ripon, and Margaret, his wife, granddaughter of Johan Devias. v. Nicholas Strelley of the county of Nottingham, esquire.: Detention of deeds relating to a close with fishponds.: Nottingham.

John and Constance's son Thomas Staveley (1535-1582) of Bignell, Oxon married Margarett BAWDE, the daughter of John Bawde of Harwold, Bedfordshire.  Thomas and Margarett had a son Thomas who later married Margery BROKE of Okeley, daughter of Arthur Broke.  Thomas and Margaret are also believed to have had a son Henry (d. 1660) who married Mary, and had a son Ambrose.  Ambrose married Mary WHISTLER of Gatehampton, Oxfordshire and settled in Pangbourne, Berkshire.


1 Lineage extracted from The Visitations of the County of Oxford, Taken in the Years 1566 (Harvey), 1574 (Lee), 1634 (Philpott, Somerset, Ryley, & Bluemantle); Together with The Gatherings of Oxfordshire (Lee) 1574.  William Turner Ed., London 1871.

2 The Staveley Arms are described twice within this visitation text.  In conjunction with the memorial at Bicester Church, the arms are described "Argent on a chevron Azure between three lozenges Sable three bucks' heads cabossed (untinctured)."  Later in association with the Pedigree listed on page 192 of the Visitation, the arms are described as "Argent, on a chevron azure between three lozenges three bucks' faces cabossed Or."  In the second case, the color of the lozenges has been omitted, and the bucks heads are now Or (gold), rather than 'untinctured'.


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