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Even after Bradeley Hall estate was alienated we see recorded Bradeley Hall is now a farm-house. The case of the Malbons is not an isolated one, except that the Malbons were acknowledged gentry and bore arms. It is presumed they did their own farming, the same as an ordinary tenant farmer or yeoman and, later, husbandman. The size of their holding would not necessitate much hired help unless, at an Inquisition post mort. the extent of the estate was minimized. Secrets have been kept throughout the ages!

GEORGE MALBON appears to have been the son of Ralph, as John, son of Thomas, and his brother Thomas have interests elsewhere, to be given account of later. The following Inquisition p.m. is taken from Halls Nantwich: Inq. p.m. taken at Wich-Malbanc, on the 9th May 35 Elizabeth (1593) before Sir Hugh Cholmondeley the younger, Kt. Escheator, and Thomas Wilbraham, Esq., Richard Wilbraham, Ralph Wilbraham, Ralph Hassall, Gents., feodaries, etc. after the death of George Malbon of Haslington, in the County of Chester, by the Oath of Thos. Mynshull, Richard Brereton, Thomas Chetwoode, Esqs., Robert Whitney, Thomas Brooke, Richard Horton, John Cheevers, John Witter, Richard Wilbraham (well represented!), Roger Wettenhall, Robert Alger, Randle(?) Poole, William Salmon, Robert Rawley, and William Salmon, Gents., who say that GEORGE MALBON died seized in his demesne as of fee of and in one messuage (his home), 10 acres of land, 8 acres of pasture 4 acres of meadow and one watermill with watercourse belonging to the same in Haslington, which he held of the heirs of Reginald de Valletort in socage by the service of 3s.6d. per annum and rendering 12d. per ann. to Thomas Vernon of Haslington , Esq. on the feasts of St. Martin (11 Nov.) and St. John the Baptist (24 June) by equal portions being of the total value of 20s. per annum.

(An item of interest to attach to the above description of his small manor home would be an Inventory taken of the goods and chattels, stock and articles of husbandry)

: Also the said GEORGE MALBON died seized, etc., of one toft and 4 acres of arable land which he held of the Queen as Countess of Chester by Knight service in capite of the value of 3s. per annum. That the said George died on the 11th Nov. before the taking of this Inquisition, and that Thomas Malbon is his son and heir of the age of 16 years on the 14th of March last past (1592-3). The said GEORGE MALBON had to wife Matilda, the daughter of William Liversage, who is now living at Haslington.

THOMAS MALBON who was under age at the time of his fatherís death was born, as may be inferred from the above Inquisition, on the 14th March, 1577-8. He obtained livery of his fatherís lands a Bradeley by Writ dated 20th August 1599 (Ches. Recog. Rolls) and in 1616 according to a tablet with armorial carvings that once adorned old Bradley Hall re-built the home of his ancestors. For many years, however, he was connected with Nantwich, where on Feb. 14th, 1597- 8, he married, for his first wife, Elizabeth, eldest daughter to Richard Clutton, Lawyer of Nantwich, and himself followed the profession of the Law. In 1623 he occurs as Sir Randolphe Crewes Steward for his Manor Court of the Countess of Warwickís Fee (an account of which has been given on p.9. One item of interest is worth mentioning here: Names of the Jury for the Lord and King
Thomas Shenton, of Stoke
Ralph Stockton, of the same
Thomas Highfield, Jr. of the same
William Savage of Wich-Malbanc
Edward Massie, of the same
Thomas Cartwright, of Stoke
Hugh Filcocke, of Cholmeston Thomas Maykyn, of the same
Thomas Hodgson, of the same
John Daye, of the same
Edward Aston, of Aston Henry Pendleton, of the same
William Aston, of the same John Watson, of the same
The said Jurye upon their Othes doe sent (present):

That the Xth daye of Julye in the 21 James I (1623) One Baye trottinge Mare wth a peece cutt furthe of the utter pte (outer part) of the Eare from the Mare, with a Saddle and Brydle was taken up att Cholmeston aforesaid, as a wayfe, and steyed (seized) by the Baylyff for the use of the lord. And afterwards was p=92ved (proved) to have byn the goods of one Thomas Mynshull wch was apprehended for stealing a Nagge from one Rondull Betteley of Cholmeston aforesaid & was executed for the same att Chester att the assize holden theire the xxixth daye of Septr. In the said year 21 James I.

A true Copy of the examination by me the said THOMAS MALBON, Steward of the said Court, 1624.

The above account appears in his own handwriting.

Again quoting Hall:

Thomas Malbon fulfilled the office of Churchwarden at Nantwich in 1626-7 and during those years kept the Parish Registers. In 1642 he signed the Remonstrance; in 1644 he was one of the Committee of Sequestrators; (while the Malbanc-Draycots in Staffordshire, being on the opposite side were being Sequestrated!) in 1651 he wrote the account of the Civil War in Cheshire and the adjacent counties.

His first wife, Elizabeth, died on 21 March, 1622-3, and was buried at Nantwich, leaving as issue two sons George and Thomas; and seven daughters, Margery, baptized 7th Nov. 1601; Dorothy, bapt. 19th Feb. 1605-6; four daughters whose baptisms are not recorded at Nantwich; and Katherine, bapt. 28th Oct. 1621.

By his second wife Sarah*, who only survived her husband about five months and was buried at Barthomley on 22 Nov. No issue.

*Arms: Malbon differenced with Crescent impaling Or on a fesse wavy 3 crescents. (Ex. Cheshire Sheaf vol. xx.100.A.D.1658.

Thomas Malbon was buried in Barthomley Church on 23rd June 1658; and on the south wall a brass was placed to his memory, inscribed as follows:


The Rev. Edward Hinchliffe (Hist. Of Barthomley, p. 35) says, the achievements of the Malbon family were hanging upon the walls over their graves when I was young; dusky and ragged mementos of the departed; but, unfortunately, they were taken down without authority, and, as I am told, their sound and well-seasoned oak backs were applied to the repairs of the pigstye doors of the glebe farm. It may also be added that the stones, which formerly covered the Malbon vault, have of late years been removed into the churchyard, and now form part of the pavement along the north side of the church. They have lozenge-shaped brasses, with arms engraved (Or, two bendlets compone Argent and Gules) and inscribed as follows:
Sarah the wife of Thomas Malbon of Namptwitch, Gent. Died 20 Nov 1658. Thomas Malbon of Bradley, Gent., died ye 21st day of June 1658. Catherine, first wife of George Malbon of Bradley, Gent. 1644. Elizabeth, second wife of George Malbon of Bradley, Gent. died 27 Sept. 1654. George, son and heir of George Malbon of Bradley, Gent. Died 27 Oct. 1708.

GEORGE MALBON, of Bradley, Gent., eldest son of Thomas Malbon, was born c. 1598. He was married at Wich-Malbanc (Nantwich) to Catherine Wood on 24th Sept. 1639, who was buried at Barthomley in 1644. His second wife, Elizabeth died on 27th Sept. 1654 and was buried at Barthomley. By his first wife, Catherine, he had a son:

GEORGE MALBON, who died 27th October, 1708. (Arms of Catherine: Malbon impaling quarterly (1 ff on a 3 fleur de lis 2 & 3 on a fess 3 cocks)

This Bradley Estate, homestead, and seat of a long line of the Malbon family was alienated about the year 1720 terminating in an heir general who married into the family of Bover about the middle of the 18th century. It was afterwards sold and re-sold.

Bradley Hall is of timber with plaster. It has a gable roof and the principal windows are of the bay type. A wide moat circled the Hall. It is now occupied as a farmhouse; or rather was!

With its abundance of good timber Cheshire builders could afford to be lavish. Compared with other manor houses outside the county Bradley Hall held dignity by its stout timbers, elaborate mouldings and carvings. The ornamental heavy gables have probably been replaced by the modern plain barge board and the original weighty, broad, stone flags on the roof have given way to straight lined standard-sized slate tiles.

For a period of some 500 years the Malbon family had dwelt at Bradeley and now the scene changes to the manor of Bridgemere but first of all an item taken from Thomas Malbon History of the Civil War in relation to his two sons will be of interest.

Thomas Malbon, Lawyer and historian who died 1658, had two sons who both served as officers in the Parliamentary Army; they were George and Thomas.
An item reads (Ex Hall):
On Sundaye (7th July, 1644) they (the Nantwich forces) marched toward Cholmley Howse in the evenynge wth three or foure peeces of Ordnance &c, iiij cases of Drakes where the two voluntier Companyes from Namptwiche, wth theire two Captyns, & other of the officers, Captyn George Malbon and Captyn Thomas Malbon, gardinge the great Brasse peece of ordnance did meete them. The Mondaye mornynge towards springe of daye the(y) had planted their ordnance (the greatest of theim) wthin pistoll Shott of the Howse: And about three of foure of the Clocke in the mornynge, after they had Somond the Howse, The(y) playd upon yt wth their ordnance and shott ytt many tymes throwe (being a tymber howse). They in the Howse, wth theire musketts, did shoot very fast att theim & about fyve a Clocke in the mornynge the(y) killed one Rauffe Mylton, a servante under maior Croxton. But the pliamt forces playinge on the howse wth theire ordnance & smale shott contynuallie, did beate theim furthe of the Howse to theire workes, where they did shoote & maynteyne the servys (beinge but a fewe in number) very bravelie; & killed maior Pynkney, a brave comander, and about foure or fyve more of the pliamt side. But the same daye, beinge the eighte of Julye 1644 they att the Howse, pceyvinge they weire not able to stand out, about one(e) a Clocke in thafter noone, havinge a fierce assaulte made upon theim, called for Quarter; wch was Graunted, etc., etc.

A footnote states, George Malbon had a Majorís Commission from the Council of State in 1650; and Thomas Malbon occurs as Captain of a Cheshire troop in the same year.The attacking forces were under the command of Basil Fielding, Earl of Denbigh, Sir Thomas Middleton, Col. George Booth and Col. Maynwaring. Throughout the Civil War the Malbanc or Malbedenc-Draycots of Staffordshire were Royalists; and staunch supporters of the Roman Catholic faith.

THOMAS MALBON, Captain, brother of the above George, was the second son of Thomas Malbon. He was baptized at Nantwich on the 11th July, 1613, and buried there on the 4th August, 1688. By his wife Elizabeth he had a son:
THOMAS MALBON, baptized at Nantwich 13th December, 1655, and buried there on 30th July, 1697; from whom descended
THOMAS MALBON of BRIDGEMERE, gent., who was Churchwarden at Wybunbury in 1692 and had three sons baptized there: Thomas, baptized 1st December, 1687; George, baptized 21st May 1689; William, baptized 10 March, 1691-2.
THOMAS MALBON of BRIDGEMERE. His descent is here left for others to probe.
In the church of Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, is a memorial tablet in the chancel to the Reverend George Malbon, the friend of Samuel Bentley. A poem written by him on the River Dove perpetuates the memory of his tutor:

The cell where the bank slow doth bend
Was Malbon, the learned and the sage;
My teacher, Mecaenas and friend,
With pleasantry tempered with age.
Flow tears the dear urn to bedew;
Flow elegy mournfully tuned;
Oh! Could I those chords wake anew,
When Milton his Lycidas mourned.

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