THE AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES OF THE MASSINGBERDS OF SOUTH ORMSBY, LINCOLNSHIRE, 1638–c. 1750
Author: Holderness, B. A.
Source: Midland History, Volume 1, Number 3, 1972 , pp. 15-25(11)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:More than 60 years ago the well-known Lincolnshire historian, W. O. Massingberd, produced a detailed account of his own family and the parish of South Ormsby which is still useful, although he employed only a fraction of the abundant material available in the family muniments. The whole background of family history can be obtained from his book, and here it is only necessary to establish the context in which the Massingberds acquired and dominated the Wold estate of Ormsby. Drayner Massingberd was a younger son of Thomas Massingberd, Esq. of Bratoft, a leading local landowner, by a second marriage. Drayner inherited a personal fortune through his mother from Thomas Drayner of Hoxton, Middx., with which apparently he bought his Lincolnshire estates. He purchased Ormsby from the declining family of Skipwiths in 1638 and, between 1640 and about 1660, added also the manor and estate of Calceby nearby (about 680 acres) and lands in Swaby, Tetford and Brinkhill on the Wolds, and Huttoft and Ingoldmells in the marsh of Lindsey. By 1660 his Lincolnshire properties amounted to some 2,600 acres (including 1,700 acres in South Ormsby). Later additions included the estate of Driby (1,400 acres) bought in 1714 and the small village of Sutterby acquired in two halves in 1714 and 1804 (466 acres). The family estates, concentrated within a few miles of South Ormsby, were never more than those of a substantial squire, but by good luck and careful management, they were kept under a firm financial control and remained largely intact till the end of the 19th century. Fortune was kind inasmuch as only four members of the family possessed the estates for two centuries after 1638, interspersed with two fairly long periods of minority (1689?1704 and 1728?39) when things went less well. Three of these four men Drayner (1615?89), Burrell (1683?1728) and Charles Burrell (d. 1839) were notably efficient estate administrators and William Burrell Massingberd, during 60 years, held his own, being neither ill-advised nor extravagant.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1972-01-01