Finding Beauchamp Manor

Wednesday, July 02, 2014 - by Mary Helms

The trip of a lifetime to England was planned by the Colonial Dames NSCDA for the centenary celebration of their support of Sulgrave Manor, the ancestral home of George Washington.  Armed with the knowledge that my Colonial Dames ancestor Edmund Beauchamp was born near Sulgrave in Cosgrove, Northamptonshire, in 1625, I was hopeful of locating Beauchamp Manor.

 SWS tour coach driver Len arranged for Trevor, who drives a taxi for his company, to pick me up at Sulgrave mid-afternoon on June 7 to set off for the village of Cosgrove.  First Trevor and I planned our strategy.  He suggested that we visit his friend who formerly owned a farm in Cosgrove.  Fortunately she was at home, but did not know of the Beauchamps, so she directed us to the home of Wendy Page, the Cosgrove village historian and genealogist.  To my delight Wendy was home and invited us in.  She consulted her laptop, and with her information and my documentation she deduced that the house is now named Cosgrove Priory.  Wendy informed me that the Beauchamps were “too posh” for Cosgrove; this would be their country home.

My excitement rose as Trevor turned into the private lane leading to the home.  We stopped at a stone cottage and explained to the man at the gate why we were intruding, and he said, “Explain to the owner.  He’s coming up behind you.”  Trevor and I motored down the lane and waited in front of the house.  The owner looked at my documentation and said, “I’ve been wanting to know more about the history of the house.  Won’t you come in?”

The owner’s wife graciously showed me the home.  Many famous people have stayed in the newer part, and brass plaques mark the doors of these rooms.  Saving the best for last, she led me to the oldest part, which was standing when Edmund Beauchamp was born.  To say I was elated is an understatement.  I was standing where my ancestors had lived almost four hundred years ago.  The rooms were lovely, with beautiful wood paneling and ceiling beams.  

The ownership of Cosgrove Priory by Edmund’s father John Beauchamp is chronicled in the Victoria County History.  John Beauchamp, who described himself as “Merchant of London,” was one of the principal financiers of the Mayflower, as documented by William Bradford.  John Beauchamp died at Reigate, Surrey, England in about 1655. 

At the invitation of Governor Charles Calvert, Edmund Beauchamp came to Maryland to be the first clerk of Somerset County on the Eastern Shore.  He died in 1691 in Annemessex, Somerset County, Maryland.  The home of his son Edmund Jr. still stands there.

 Mary Helms

 Town Chair, Chattanooga Committee, Colonial Dames NSCDA


Service Auto Parts Once Kept Chattanooga's Cars Running

When I think about working on cars, I think of the times that I helped my father (or vice versa, after I started driving).  Engines were simpler then, with enough space under the hood for a mother cat and kittens to ride as stowaways one day to my father's work.  "Where is that meowing coming from?" he thought.  Fortunately, the felines were fine, though their nine ... (click for more)

Reader Seeks Information on African-American Race Track from 1940's

A reader is searching for information on a segregated car racing track in Alton Park in the 1940's.  He came across an article in my previous series on River City racing (http://www.chattanoogan.com/2010/4/18/173711/River-City-Racing---Warner-Park-and.aspx).   The following is the reader's e-mail: "I saw the story linked below in which you wrote about, among ... (click for more)

DA Looking Into Issue Of County Commission Candidate's Campaign Sending Filled-Out Request For Absentee Ballot To Elderly Voters

The District Attorney's Office has been provided with documents that a County Commission candidate's campaign sent filled-out requests for absentee ballots to elderly voters. Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said there have been four instances in which such requests came from the Elect John Brooks campaign. He said state law says in Section 2-6-202:  (3) A person ... (click for more)

Citizens To Comment Next Tuesday On Sound Control Ordinance That Allows Higher Sound Around Downtown Clubs

Citizens will be allowed to comment next Tuesday on a new Sound Control Ordinance that allows higher sound from nightclubs in a downtown Controlled Sound Boundary. Track 29 behind the Chattanooga Choo Choo, that has drawn the wrath of some nearby Southside residents, is within the boundary, which goes from Fourth Street to Main Street. The hearing before the City Council ... (click for more)

The Truth- From Weston’s Sister

I try not to read the negative articles and opinions about my older brother. Growing up around politics, I learned a long time ago that thick skin is not only necessary, it’s paramount. But this time, the lies and the rumors and the inaccurate information has gone too far. It’s too ridiculous for me to ignore. So let’s clear a few things up: Weston and I do not “come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oscar Brock’s True Passion

I don’t pay much attention to the Hamilton County School Board. Once the moon and the stars aligned behind Superintendent Rick Smith, you hear very little, if anything, from the nine-member council that oversees an annual budget of almost $400 million and employs 4,480 people. So chew this for a minute: approximately 2,000 of those people are not teachers. Yes, there are 78 principals ... (click for more)