Numerous records have been found with reference to individuals holding the FOXCOTT or FOXCOTE name from the early 12th century to the early 16th century and, in some cases, links to previous generations can be identified by means of land tenure.  In some cases FOXCOTE would simply be a juror at a court hearing or a witness to a document, but in some instances the records are concerned with the person themselves.

It would appear that a number of these early FOXCOTEs were people of some importance, holding titles such as Knight, Sheriff and Sergeant at Arms.  These most certainly moved in Royal circles and are frequently referred to in the records of the Royal Courts.
The Foxcote’s of Foxcott, Andover, Hampshire

The earliest family appears to eminate from the manor of Foxcote near Andover in Hampshire.  In the Domesday Book of 1086, the manor was held by Waleran Hunter and the entry reads thus:

In Andover Hundred
Waleran also holds Foxcotte and Ralph from him. 2 free men held it from King Edward in freehold as two manors.  Then and now it paid tax for 3 hides.Land for 4 ploughs.  In lordship 2 ploughs; 10 villagers and 13 smallholders with 4 ploughs, 3 slaves.  Value before 1066, 50s; later 40s; now 70s.

Foxcote Church TowerThe manor was therefore expanding in value and over the next 250 years saw a steady growth and prosperity due to the wool trade.  Unfortunately it was severely hit by the Black Death in the 14th century and declined rapidly thereafter.  The fortunes of the Foxcott family followed the rise and fall of the village with their association ending around the beginning of the 15th century.  Vestiges of their association remained however for another 300 years as the local vicar in 1680 owned Foskett farm in the area.  Recent excavations have shown that it was quite a large community but today, nothing remains except for the bell tower of the old church which was turned into an art gallery some years ago and is now a private home.

Foxcote ManorEdward de Foxcote held the manor at the end of the 11th century and there is a reference in the description of the village that Edward awarded the tythes to the Church of St Mary’s in Andover in order to avoid destruction of the village by William Rufus, (King William II), who died in 1100 AD.  The picture shows the entrance to the present manor house which is a more modern building.

Foxcote Manor Farm
The picture left shows the unassuming entrance to Foxcotte Manor Farm which lies adjacent to the manor house.  This is probably the same farm called Foskett Farm in 1680.

Herbert de Foxcote was mentioned here in 1167. This same Herbert de Foxcote is found in Somerset in 1166 according to Collinson’s History of Somerset:

Foxcote or Fosscot formerly called Westone now called Foxcote
           “After the Conquest this place had owners of its name; but their residence was in Wiltshire, where 12HII Herbert de Foxcote held lands of Walter Waleran by the service of finding one knight to keep the castle of Sarum.  In the same reign, William de Foxcote held 2 knight’s fees of Humphrey de Bohun but the Berkeley’s were the mesne lords of the manor”

By virtue of their connections with the name Waleran, the tenant in chief in Foxcote, Andover, a tenuous link between the Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset Foxcote families is therefore established.  It is possible that this William de Foxcote is the same person who went to the Holy Land with the Second Crusade.

In the time of Richard I, (the Lionheart, 1189-1199), Edulf de Foxcote, Walter de Foxcote, Adam de Foxcote the elder, Adam Foxcote the younger, Miles de Foxcote and Robert de Foxcote with Geoffrey, son of Ralph were impleaded for building a wall and ordered to take it down. (VCH for Hampshire)

Lots more to this space!

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