Richard Whitcombe, barrister at law, perfected the Whitcombe Pedigree at the Heralds' College in 1816 so far as he could gather information. It was further researched by Harold A. Whitcombe of Birmingham and his findings entered in the Pedigree Register of 1910 and 1912. It was updated by Philip Whitcombe of Lake in the 1960s. The present updating has been made by Christopher Whitcombe of Chester in 1993.
According to the Domesday Survey the township of Martock in the county of Somerset was held in chief of the Conqueror by Eustace, Count of Boulogne. His daughter, who was his heir, conveyed it through marriage to Stephen, Count de Blois, afterwards King of England. Their younger son, William, Count de Boulogne, then conceded it to his kinsman, Pharamus de Bolonia.
It iIs interesting to note that Pharamus was the grandson of Geoffrey de Bolonia (or Boulogne) whose eldest brother was the illustrious Godfrey de Bolonia, Duke of Lorraine, the famous Crusader who was elected the first Christian King of Jerusalem.
Pharamus seems to have settled the lordships of Wydecombe and Ashe within the manor of Martock, on his brother Eustace who is shown on the tree above. They passed to the latter's son, Thomas, and in turn to his son, Pharamus, who is recorded as a knight in 1242/3. It was around 1150 that the name Wydecombe first emerged. Succeeding generations gradually adopted "de Wydecombe" as the surname which in time became "Whitcombe". Notes in the church history of All Saints Martock, c.1937, refer to the de Widcombes and to the original Manor House. A John de Widcombe was buried in Martock church as late as 1527. A new Manor House was built in the 17thC in the main street. All that remained in 1937 of the old Manor was an ancient bridge that had crossed the moat. The old Manor is where Pharamus the elder must have lived. His brother Eustace probably settled at Ashe on assuming the lordships there. What is now Witcombe Farm, Ash, was most likely his home and that of his descendant Robert Whitcombe, later MP for Shrewsbury.
The Pedigree after Robert Whitcombe is authentic, but that which precedes it is to some degree apocryphal since several of the links are rather speculative. Robert was a Somerset man and his son, Thomas, married Edith who was the heiress of Malveysin. Thus the lordship of Berwick Mavesyn (now Maviston) passed to the Whitcombe family. The manor of Malveysin, within the parish of Atcham in Salop, had been granted by William the Conqueror to his companion Walter de Malvoisin: his name appears in the famous Roll of Battle Abbey. Edith was the niece of John Mavesyn who was twelfth in descent from Walter Malvoisin.
In like manner the lordship passed to the Grants when Mary, the last Whitcombe heiress, married Thomas Grant of Hambrook in the county of Gloucester. Their grandson Richard Grant sold the entire heritage in 1777 to Thomas Hill of Tern Hall which is now Attingham Park. Hill's son became Lord Berwick having taken his title from Berwick Maviston. The house of the Whitcombes, which was moated, was by then called Grant's Mansion.
It was demolished c.1798 by the second Lord Berwick. Part of the moat and the outline of buildings can still be seen in the undergrowth by the Home Farm at Attlngham. The present Whitcombe descendants, as shown on the family tree, left Berwick Malvesyn c.1600. They lived at The Morrey, Orleton and Eastham near Tenbury Wells.
William who became Rector of Eastham built the Parsonage House there in 1735. His son, Edmund, was a surgeon and he lived at Cleoury Mortimer where he practised medicine. He died in 1782 and there is a plaque in the church in his memory and beside it is a window to his son who died in 1848. He also was a surgeon and he lived at Hollywaste a mile outside Cleobury on the Ludlow road.
Philip, his son followed in the family tradition and became a doctor. He trained at Guy's in London and when qualified he bought a horse and rode to Bristol where he practised for a while. He then rode his horse back to London to become Medical Officer to the Port of London. He was the instigator of the Yellow Jack which had to be flown by any ship having an infectious disease aboard before entering port.
He settled at Gravesend where Robert Henry, my father, was born. Known as Harry, he won a scholarship to Winchester and then took a double first at New College, Oxford. He trained as a barrister but was never called. After teaching at Wellington for three years and at Eton for ten years, where he married Annie Evans daughter of Samuel Evans, the school Drawing Master, Harry was ordained and became a parish priest, first at Hardwick in Buckinghamshire and then at Romford in Essex, before being appointed Suffragan Bishop of Colchester.
Samuel was the son of William Evans who had been Drawing Master before him and founded Evans House. His son W Sidney V Evans, retired in 1922, bringing to an end an Eton connexion that had lasted four generations. Harry's son, Philip Sidney, became a professional soldier and retired as a Major General after serving in both world wars.
It is hoped that this tree will enable the younger generations to make contact with each other and keep the spirit of this long line alive.