Saturday, November 25, 2006


Ayscoughfee Hall
Address:Churchgate, Spalding, PE11 2RA
24th August 2007 - update
Click the title above to link to more information about Gooch.
After reading "A Tudor Tapestry" by Derek Wilson, I can now safely say that the house was originally built by a wool merchant, Richard Alwyn in 1420. The grant of land at Spalding was made to Sir William Ayscough by Henry VIII. E.H. Gooch offers information about "Ayscoughfee Hall" in his book "The History of Spalding", 1940. Sir William Ayscough died in 1541. The Ayscough family were apparently very good at "sniffing out money" and through carefully calculated marriages the family acquired estates and land around Stallingborough, Ashby, South Kelsey, Basford, Nuttall & Spalding and reluctantly got caught up in the Lincolnshire Risings. He was the father of Anne Askew (Ayscough- Kyme) martyred in 1546. Read the book, its gripping stuff!.....

Some more interesting information came to light the other day when Anne Clark (my 3rd cousin once removed) emailed me with information about AyscoughFee Hall, a Restored 1420's Manor House on the banks of the River Welland, Spalding, Lincolnshire. We (Jonathon and I) have been looking for the missing link – when and why did the Ayscough’s move to Mawdesley, Lancashire? Where did they live before the 1650’s? Could it be that the name Ainscough was derived from Ayscough? After scanning the evolution of the surname over the centuries in many church records, this is self evident, perhaps due to an inability to spell and general typo errors – who knows the reason?

Early records from Croston, Lancs. indicate that Hugh & Elizabeth Ainscough (b. 1670’s GGGGGGG grandparents) took part in the Jacobite Uprising (1715), along with sons, cousins and uncles. EM Hartley also documented this as part of her research about Henry Anderton and Elizabeth Ainscough (see earlier blog item- September 17th 2006 archive) and she went on to write……

"............Among the family traditions spoken of in my childhood none was more colourful than that of the Andertons (from Mawdesley). Unlikely as it seemed in a family with strong Methodist connections, we had some Catholic ancestors; Elizabeth Anderton (daughter of Elizabeth nee Ainscough and Henry Anderton) had after the Jocobite rising (1715) crossed the Pennines into Yorkshire, her brother Thomas as a boy of 10 held the bridles of the horses while his father and uncle fought in the battle; and Elizabeth as an old lady asserted that her mother was a lady born; that her grandfather (Hugh 1670) ‘was a Baron with 3 towns of his own’ and that she was born at Lostock Hall. Now Lostock Hall (near Bolton) was the home of rich, catholic Andertons, the last to live there being Sir Francis Anderton, and so insistent were the Cleggs on this story that granddaughters born in 1912 & 1914 were named ‘Sylvia Francis Lewis’ and ‘Patricia Rosemary Anderton’………………….”

Text by Rosalyn Pursglove for the South Holland Museum service 1994
Transcribed from a 1994 Museum Leaflet. Full text is available on my Flickr site as scanned images:

The 16th Century – AyscoughFee Hall -The Ayscough Family

During the early part of the 16th Century the Hall is reputed to have been owned by the Ayscoughs, a noted Lincolnshire family, coming mainly from the North of the county around Stallingborough where brasses and memorials to several family members can be found in the Parish church. The only indication of their ownership is in the name of the Hall. The word “fee” means a knight’s fee which was a territorial grant, made to the man who was knighted, as his property, which should be of a large enough size to maintain him as a knight. In various publications the house is referred to as Ayscough Fee Hall, the words Ayscough and Fee having, over the centuries been pushed together to create one word. Thus Ayscoughfee Hall is the manor, estate or fee of the Ayscoughs. This term could also refer to the ownership of the land on which the house was built rather than the house itself and this begs the question, did the Ayscoughs live at and own th Hall or is the Fee the manor or land rather than the building? It is reputed that various family members were buried at Spalding Priory. The Ayscoughs also owned land in Lenton, Nottingham. In the 15th Century the Ayscoughs had supported the Lancastrian side during the Wars of the Roses and later held posts at Courts of both Henry VII and Henty VIII. Sir William Ayscough of Stallingborough was knighted in 1513 during the reign of Henry VIII, his son Edward Ayscough was cup bearer to Henry VIII, another son Sir Francis Ayscough was knighted at “the wining of Boulogne” and was Sheriff of Lincoln in 1545, 1549 and 1554. He is buried in St. Mary’s Church, South Kelsey, Lincs. The family fell into disfavour after the Lincolnshire Rising against the dissolution of the monasteries.”

This is the first time we have seen a reference to this branch of Ayscoughs having fallen out of favour and being linked to the Lincolnshire Rising... although we have read about the Ayscoughs providing a cup-bearer to Henry VIII... we’ve never seen it documented that they fell out of favour. That's the missing link..... now just need to validate it!!! I feel more reading coming on, perhaps Rosalyn Pursglove is the one to speak to?

Books and Papers for Research:

AyscoughFee Hall & Its History – Free Press Publication 1912

AyscoughFee Hall & Its History – Free Press Publication 1923

AyscoughFee Hall; the building of a great merchants house & Its History –
David L Roberts. Lincs. History & Archaeology Vol. 10 1975

AyscoughFee Hall & Its Owners over 550 years – Jennifer Vernon M.A, A.M.A 1983 (unpublished)

“A Tudor Tapestry” Derek Wilson

1 comment:

B.E.Ayscough said...

Dear Barbara, Was in your country 10 years ago and was unaware of Ayscoughfee Hall till afterwards,although I had been at Peterborough. I wrote to the said Hall from here and the reply was that they did not know of how the connection was to our name. Keep up the good work, I am interested in the result,regards, Barry Ayscough, Qld. Australia.