Combs &c. Research
The Lovetts of Normandy
Early English Manors

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The earliest Lovetts in England were, according to a number of sources, originally from Normandy. According to Burke, "The family of LOUETH, LUUETH, DE LUVIET, DE LUVET, LOVET or LOVETT, as the name is variously written in Domesday, is of Norman extraction. Richard DE LOUET, de Normania, was living at the time of the Conquest, and was accompanied into England by his two sons, William and Robert, from the latter descended the LOVETS of Worcestershire.


William LOVETT, the eldest son, held considerable estates in the counties of Bedford, Berks, Leicester, and Northampton, in cupite, by grant from the Conqueror. He was also appointed master of the wolf hounds, in consequence of which, he took for his arms argent, three wolves passant, in pale, sable. He made Northamptonshire his chief residence, as did his descendants for several generations, until their removal to Liscombe, in Buckinghamshire, which subsequently continued their abode for five hundred years. This William, besides being represented as a man in high favour with the king for his military talents, is said to have been one of the strongest and stoutest men of the day, of which many feats are still recorded. He married a French lady, at whose death he was so deeply affected, that taking her remains over to Normandy to be buried, he retired himself into an adjacent monastery, and every day until the day of his death, payed a visit to her tomb, and on that day caused himself to be carried and laid upon the grave, where he expired. In his family this was long a nursery story, and gave rise to a nursery song. He lived to a great age, and was s. [survived] by his son, William LOVETT... Richardus de LOUET, who was one of the few who acompanied the Conqueror into England without receiving pay for his services, returned to die in his own country, and his tomb may be seen to this day in the cathedral at Rouen [France]. " (Lovett Lineages)


According to The Domesday Book, the following manors were, or had been, in the hands of the Lovetts by 1085-6:


Ed. Note: Neither Sussex nor Northamptonshire entries have been added here yet.
Flitwick (modern), Bedfordshire. Flicteuuiche: William LOVETT. Mill."
The Domesday Book adds that this is a "Small town; mill on the River Flitt," and mention of Flitwich [sic] is also made in The Lovett Memorials as having been received from William the Conqueror.
Husborne Crawley (modern), Bedfordshire. "Crauelai/Crawelai: Thorgils from Nigel d'Aubigny; William LOVETT. 2 mills."
Mention of Crawley (also Grawley and Cranalei) is made in The Lovett Memorials as having been received from William the Conqueror, and The Domesday Book adds that this is now a manor house.
Donnington (modern), Berkshire. "Deritone: William LOVETT."
The Lovett Memorials refer to this manor as Dentone, and The Domesday Book adds "The ruins of 14th century Donnington Castle; successfully defended by Royalist Sir John Boys during the Civil War, are nearby." (See Combs &c. of Berkshire for more re both Donnington and Enborne (next)
Enborne (modern), Berkshire. "Taneburne/Aneborne: William LOVETT; William FitzCorbucion; Giles, brother of Ansculf; Roger de Lacy. Mill."
The Lovett Memorials refer to this as "Anebone."
South Moreton (modern), Berkshire. "Moretune: William LOVETT; Humphrey Visdeloup. Church, mill."
The Lovett Memorials refer to this as "Mortune" and The Domesday Book adds that it is: "On Mill Brook; moat; church with a Saxon doorway."
Theobald Street (modern), Hertfordshire. "Titeberst(h): Adam from Bishop of Bayeux; Wesminster Abbey and Geoffrey de Mandeville from the Abbey; Geoffrey de Bec from St. Alban's Church; Ralph from Geoffrey de Mandeville; LOVETT from Goeffrey de Bec."
This may be the "Tideworth" in Leicestershire to which the Lovett Memorials refers, but is in Hertfordshire, not Leicestershire. The Domesday Book adds: "Temple Bar, originally in London, was erected here in 1888."
Diseworth (modern), Leicestershire. "Diwort: William LOVETT."
The Lovett Memorials refer to this as "Duvort," and The Domesday Book adds that "William Lilley the 17th century astrologer was born nearby. Langley Priory was built on the site of a nunnery founded soon after the Conquest."
Great Bowden (modern), Leicestershire. Bugedone: King's land; William LOVETT; Robert de Bucy from the Countess Judith."
The Lovett Memorials make no mention of this manor. According to The Domesday Book, it is a "Suburb of Market Harborough; large green."
Great Glen (modern), Leicestershire. "Glen: LOVETT and Alwin from Hugh de Grandmesnil. Mill."
The Domesday Book adds that Great Glen is "Large; church with Saxon and Norman remains. A royal charter was issued in 849." The Lovett Memorials include no mention of it.
Elmley Lovett (modern), Worcester. "Aelmeleia: Walter from Ralph de Tosny, formerly Queen Edith. 3 mills, 4 salthouses."
Elmley Lovett was a later acquisition, about which the Lovett Memorials state that the name Lovett was added as a result.
Hampton Lovett (modern), Worcester. Hamtune: Robert from Urso d'Abetot. 8 salthouses, mill."
Hampton Lovett was also a later acquisition, and The Lovett Memorials also claim the addition of Lovett to the name was the result. The Domesday Book adds that it is "Hampton Farm; on the outskirts of Evesham."
Sewstern (modern), Leicestershire. "Sewesten: William LOVETT."
Mention of this manor is also made in the Lovett Memorials. The Domesday Book adds that an old drove road is nearby.

The Lovetts did not acquire their manors in Buckinghamshire until the twelfth century according to the Memorials, which refer to "...Robert LOVETT, of Liscombe, being the Lord of the Manors of Soulbury, Liscombe, Chelmscote and Hollendon..." in 1301.

In Northamptonshire, Astwell was a Norman acquisition and Thomas LOVETT of Astwell Manor was High Sheriff for that County in 1482 according to the Lovett Memorials, which state that he was also Lord of the Manors of Falcote and Wappenham in that county. They also state that Thomas was "Lord of the Manors of Astwell, Flacote, Gifford alias Billing and Wappenham," further explaining that Astwell and Falcote, were acquired from his father-in-law, William BROKE, with whom he exchanged the manors of Rushton and Much or Great Oakley [Warwickshire], together with lands in Bulwyke, Henwyke, Stanyarne, Newton, Wykely (Weekley) and Little Oakley... "which Manors and lands had descended to Thomas LOVETT, from William LOVETT, and his wife, who was a daughter of Vitalis ENGAINE..." Burke also refers to the manors of Rushton and Newton, Warwickshire, stating that Thomas also had the manor of "Dodistorp, near Peterborough..." and Cester Over (purchased from his WEAVER inlaws). Burke also refers to the manors of Welford, and Richton, and Overbury (county not stated).


This same Thomas LOVETT, states the Lovett memorials, "by marriage with his 3rd wife Joan, daughter and heir of Thomas BILLINGE, son and heir of Sir Thomas BILLING, Knt. became possessed of Gifford alias Billing's Manor..." and that the manor and "Lordship of Helmdon, came from the de TURVILLES (1) to the LOVETTS in 1309..."


Ed. Note: This report is still very much incomplete. It is our goal to ultimately identify the names and locations of all the early manors, both in order to determine if there were early Combs or Archdale connections, and also to try to "map" the various Lovetts descended from the original Richard and his two sons, William and Robert. Likewise, we also intend to reserach Rouen, Normandy for Lovett (then Louett). In the meantime, this report will be updated as more facts are learned about this family.

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