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The Noyes Family
of Trunkwell & Southcote

There seem to be four main Noyes families in Wessex, originating from Berkshire, Hampshire & Wiltshire. The main Berkshire & Hampshire families are probably one and the same. They certainly intermarried a number of times. The main Wiltshire family may be related back beyond the 16th century, when fewer records were kept. One branch from Hathedren at Tangley (Hampshire) certainly married into the Berkshire family. The Noyes family from Kimpton (Hampshire) includes the prominent early 17th century Puritan cleric, William Noyes, Rector of Cholderton, whose sons, Rev. James and Nicholas Noyes, founded, in 1635, the town of Newbury in Massachusetts Ė James having previously lived and worked in Newbury in Berkshire as assistant teacher at the local Free School. All families seem to have been centred around Andover.

The earliest record of the Berkshire Noyeses is from Frilsham, not far from Newbury, where Richard Noyes and his widow died in the mid-16th century. One of their sons, Thomas, carried on there, whilst two brothers moved further east: Richard to Hurst and John to Beech Hill (then the Berkshire part of Stratfield Saye). The latter established himself at Trunkwell House in the parish before the end of the century and contributed £25 to defend the country against the Spanish Armada. His daughter and heiress, Agnes, brought the property to her husband, Peter Noyes II of Blismore Hall in Weyhill, near Andover (the son of Peter Noyes I). The two were probably relatively close cousins. Peter II was prominent in the local government of Andover and helped to procure the townís new charter in 1599. He was the local MP in 1614. In the 1630s, he seems to have left Andover, under something of a cloud, and settled instead at Trunkwell. Their son, Peter III, had become Andoverís town clerk in 1619, and stayed on at their Hampshire estates. His children were christened at Andover and Weyhill in the 1620s and 30s, Both men died in the middle of the Civil War, the younger predeceasing the old man by two years, perhaps suggesting he was involved in the fighting.

Although the Noyeses retained their estates in Weyhill and Andover, they seemed to now favour Trunkwell as a family home. Peter Noyes IV was certainly living at Trunkwell in 1665, the year before he died, when the Windsor Herald, Sir Elias Ashmole, sent for him to attend his Heraldís Court at the Bear Inn in Reading and prove his right to bear heraldic arms. His children had all been christened in their favoured parish church in adjoining Shinfield in the previous ten years. His son, Peter V, followed suit with his two daughters (one of whom died young). He finally sold their Weyhill and Andover properties, some time before he died at Trunkwell in 1711. His only surviving (childless) daughter, Elizabeth, wife of Joseph Kiffin, had predeceased him, and his widow followed them a few years later. His heir was, Peter Noyes VI, second son of his brother, William. He had no children of his own and chose to live in London. William lived in Reading and had married, in 1694, Margaret Clarke, the heiress of the East Mascalls estate, near Haywards Heath, in West Sussex. The descendants of his eldest son, also William, continued there for some generations, although their coat-arms has variant colours, being white crosses on a blue background.

The elder branch of the Andover family were descended from Peter Noyes IIís elder brother, William Noyes of Ramridge House in Penton Grafton (Hampshire). In the late 17th century, the family began to acquire large tracts of land in Berkshire. In 1693, his great great grandson, George Noyes Senior of Andover had married Sarah, the daughter and co-heiress of the Rev. Richard Buckeridge of Kingsclere (Hampshire) son and eventual heir of Thomas Buckeridge (d. 1651) from the large Wood Green Farm estate in Basildon, by his wife, Dorothy, daughter and co-heiress of Anthony Goddard of Clyffe Pypard (Wiltshire). Thus making them founderís kin to St. Johnís College, Oxford through Thomasí Kibblewhite mother.

Marrying heiresses, then became something of a tradition in this branch of the family. The coupleís son, George Noyes Junior of Andover, acquired land in Basingstoke and Southcote Lodge in the parish of St. Mary's, Reading, through his marriage, in 1730, to Anne, eldest daughter of Charles May, some time Mayor of Basingstoke, (and sister and co-heiress of Daniel May of Sulhamstead House) by Anne, the daughter of Robert Noake of Southcote Lodge, some time Mayor of Reading, who ran that townís Castle Brewery, and sister and eventual heiress of William Noake, some time High Sheriff of Berkshire. George Noyes Junior became Receiver-General of Land Tax for Hampshire. Two of his daughters married prominent lawyers of the day, Edward Benton of Lincoln's Inn, Master of the King's Bench and Jerome Knapp, Barrister-at-Law and Clerk of Assize of the Home Circuit. 

His son, Thomas Buckeridge Noyes of Southcote Lodge married another heiress, Sarah, the daughter and eventually the heiress of the Abingdon MP, Robert Hucks of Aldenham House in Hertfordshire (now the Haberdashers' Aske's Schools) by Sarah, only surviving child of Henry Coghill of Aldenham House (the Manor of Wigbournes). They had only two daughters who lived beyond their youth and, after their parentsí death, they became rich spinsters living in Portman and Montague Squares in Marylebone. Their heirs were their Knapp cousins, now represented by Lord Wynford.

Further information is sought regarding  an account of "Master Noyes, a young gentleman of good family, not far from Reading, in Berkshire" apparently recorded in a Martyrology published in 1678.


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