I'ANSON international

Transcript of "The History of the I'Anson Family" by Brian I'Anson



JAMES I’ANSON, Vintner, of Cornhill, younger son of John I’Anson, Captain of a Man-of-War in the reign of Henry VIII., was born in the year 1505, and was apprenticed to a member of the Vintners’ Company, afterwards entering into business as a Vintner in Cornhill. He married Agnes, ar anne Carlyll, daughter of William Carlyll, one of the family of Carlyll of Sewarby, Co. York, and related to Alexander Carlyll, a member of the Vintners’ Company, and its Master I 1561, the year of his death. It has already, in an earlier chapter of this history, been recorded that James I’Anson took his nephew, William I’Anson, son of his older brother Christopher, as apprentice in his business, to which he appears afterwards to have suceeded.

According to his Will, James I’Anson had five children – two sons and three daughters. Two of the daughters had died in the lifetime of their father, and were buried in the churchyard of St, Gregory, in "Powles Churchyard," London. The children who survived him were – 

Sons – 

  1. Bryan, baptised 18th August, 1560.
  2. Henry, baptised 14th February, 1568.
Daughter –  Margery, baptised 4th July, 1563. Anne, wife of James, survived him, and he left his estate, after payment of debts &c., to her, and his two sons, making his wife and eldest son, Bryan, executors. An abstract of the Will appears in a later chapter.

BRYAN I’ANSON, eldest son of James I’Anson, baptised at St. Gregory’s on 18th August, 1560, became a Draper in the City of London and amassed a considerable fortune. He was Alderman and Sheriff of the City of London, purchased the Manors of Basetbury near High Wycombe, in the county of Bucks., and of Southy, near Ockingham (Ockingham is the old name for Wokingham, Co. Berks.). He also purchased the manor of Ashby St. Ledgers, in Northamptonshire, and had lands at Binfield, and houses in Reading of good value. He was High Sheriff of the County of Bucks. He married Anne, daughter of Robert Lee, of Beaconsfield, Co. Bucks, a nephew of Sir Henry Lee, of Lees Rest, Co. Bucks, and Ditchlee, in Co. Oxon, Knight of the Garter, Privy Counillor, and Champion to Queen Elizabeth. Bryan I’Anson obtained, on 27th May, 1605 – being then resident at Bassetbury, Co. Bucks – a grant of arms, which is the first record we have of arms borne by the family subsequent to the settlement in England of John I’Anson, grandfather of Bryan. The arms borne by the family in france were never recorded to the Heralds by Bryan or any of the other members of the family in this country.

An account of the estates of Bryan I’Anson appears later, illustrated with a reproduction of an old print of the Manor House, Ashby St. Ledgers, and with photographs of the gateway to the Manor House (celebrated as the meeting place of the Gunpowder Plot Conspirators), and of Bassetbury Manor House, near High Wycombe.

[Transcription Note: The illustrations mentioned above were not with the photocopy of the Book from which this Transcription was made.]

Bryan died on 10th November, 1634, aged 74, and on the 13th day of the month was interred in the chancel of the Parish Church of Ashby St. Ledgers. He made his Will on 5th November, 1634, and it was proved on 13th December. Therin he gives a legacy to the poor of St. Margaret Moses and of Beaconsfield, and leaves to his son-in-law, Robert Thorpe, and Anne his wife, his lands in Oxfordshire, and his rights in land in Ireland belonging to the Drapers’ Company. No mention is made of his other children, who had, in his lifetime, already been provided for.

From the appendix to the Verney Paper the following extracts, which refer to Bryan I’Anson, have been taken:- 



A Book of the King’s Majesties Privy Seales, sent into the county of Bucks, the second yeare of his highnes reigne, 1604, unto the severall persons hereunder written, for the loan of the particular summes of money in them conteyned, delivered unto Sir Alexander Hampden, Knoght, at severall times, as herein is sett downe.

Brian Ironson, Gent., £20.

Theise persons hearunder writen remaine out of the sheare, and, therefore, the private seales to them directed are re-delivered to Mr. Thomas Kerry.

Bryan Ironson, Gent.


Thomas Waller of Beacomsfield, ar. £13.

Bryan Jansan, de eodem, ar. £10.

According to the very handsome monument in the Church of ashby St. Ledgers, Bryan I’Anson had ten children, five sons and five daughters.

Sons - 

  1. JOHN I’ANSON, of ashby St. Ledgers. Of whom presently.
  2. BRYAN (afterwards Sir Bryan), born in 1590, ten months younger than his brother John. Of whom presently.
  3. James, ob. s.p.
  4. Clement, ob. s.p.
  5. Richard, ob. s.p.
Daughters – 
  1. Elizabeth, died young.
  2. Hannah.
  3. Margaret.
  4. Elizabeth.
  5. Anne, referred to in the (frequently inaccurate, as in this instance) records of Heralds’ College as "onely daughter of Bryan I’anson, married to Robt. Thorpe, Councillor-at-Law, and Bencher of the Middle Temple, and hath issue 3 sons and d daurs." These children are recorded on the large Pedigree bound in this volume.

BASSETBURY, Co. BUCKS, appears to have been purchased not long after the death of James I’Anson. The Manor House was, at that time, a considerable structure, and had, on more than one occasion, been visited by Royalty, Queen Elizabeth sleeping here one night en route for London. From th illustration of the house, it can be seen that a wing has evidently been pulled downm, having probably fallen into decay, and a new chimney stack has been erected, the buider apparently having made use of much of the old stone and brickwork. The old window frames have also been pulled out, and ugly modern ones substituted. Even now the place is of picturesque appearance, and occupies a charming situation. It is not recorded at what time the property passed out of the hands of the I’Anson family. It appears to have descended to Sir Bryan (second son of Bryan I’Anson by his wife anne Lee), and as Sir Bryan was reduced to a state of poverty through his zeal in the support of the cause of King Charles I. (it being on record that he and his son Henry took to the King at Edge Hill £10,000 and a regiment of horse), he probably sold the property.


THE MANOR HOUSE forms one of the most beautiful specimens of an early Tudor Manorial House extant. It is approached from the village by two drives, each with gateway, guarded by a massive pair of stone pillars. The main drive enters the groundson the western side of the residence; while the other approach traverses an enclosed courtyard of considerable area and passes through an old gate House, in which is the room where, according to tradition, the conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot were wont to meet.

For many ceturies the residence was in the hands of the Catesby family, one of whom, William catesby, the favourite of Richard III., was taken at the battle of Bosworth, and afterwards executed, by Hnery VII. In 1485.

The house, which has been extended from time to time, dates back to the 14th Century, and the oldest portion is still in excellent condition. The principal front is supposed to have been erected in the time of Edward III.; an addition was made about 1640; and a further extension has been made during recent years. The materials employed vary somewhat with the different periods, but the walls are principally formed of local stonework with freestne dresings, now creeper or ivy clad, and with tiled roof. Although thus built at different periods, the house in its entirety is, nevertheless, in perfect harmony with its surroundings, the slight variations in style being such as, by contrast or comparison, to balance the clearly-defined characteristics of the original building. Taken in conjunction with its fine old oak fitments and panellings, the residence undoubtedly represents one of the best specimens of an Early Manorial House to be found in the Kingdom. 

Return to Site Map