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Re: JOHN ALLNUTT OF Towersey,Oxford,UK,1744
Posted by: jane lacey nee allnutt Date: May 16, 2000 at 12:38:47
In Reply to: JOHN ALLNUTT OF Towersey,Oxford,UK,1744 by LEWIS HAWLEY MCCANN of 124

I hope this is of some help to a fellow allnutt. forgive any spelling mistakes as this is an extract from an old book scanned in to the computer.

The Families of Allnutt and .Allnatt

Through the generosity of a member of the Allnatt family the present
writer was enabled to carry out a genealogical research which resulted in
a privately published book the Families of ,allnutt and Allnatt, 1962.
Copies were presented to members of the families and to certain libraries.
Since then much new data has been received about the known families
and several new branches have been found. Because the book is not
generally available, it was thought useful to make a summary of the
genealogy of the more important lines and branches.
This is one of the few families whose name has survived almost un-
altered from Saxon times. The personal names-Allot, Almond, Alight
and other variations are found in 11th-century records: by the middle of
the l2th century these personal names had become surnames to which a
Christian name was attached, sometimes with filius but more often without.
This interesting family originated in the south of England and is still
almost confined to this region. It has always been numerically small and
in England today probably comprises about 500 individuals.
A Thomas Alnutt went to Virginia in 1623; his descendants are scattered
throughout the United States but many still live in the States of Virginia
and Maryland. Among those who emigrated in the l9th century was a
Charles Allnatt who settled in Cherry Creek, New York State and his
descendants still farm in the same place. As so often happens, emigration
to the New World regenerated the progenitiveness of a family and this
has happened to these families for there are now more in America than in
It is not, strictly speaking an armigerous family. The men of the
Ibstone line of Buckinghamshire used a coat from 1650 and probably
earlier, but no grant has been found. This is: Quarterly per pale or and
gules, in the first quarter five lozenges conjoined in a cross of the second.
The only grant of arms was to John Allnutt of Clapham Common in
1861, a modification of the coat used by the Ibstone family. The crest is a
heron between six bulrushes.
The earliest authentic record of the name is on a Cornish cross at
Tintagel. It has a Latin inscription in Anglo-Saxon capitals and minus-
cules, the translation of which is:
There is a brief reference in Robert Chambersís Book of Days to a Saint
Alnoth, a servant of Saint Wereburgh, daughter of a King of Wessex; he
is said to have been murdered by Danes in A.D. 670.

The General Introduction to the Domesday Book by Sir H. Ellis lists
men of the personal names Aethelnoth, Aelnod, Ailnoth, Alnod, Alnot
and Alnoth who held land in the time of Edward the Confessor. One
Alnod, cild, owned the manor of Bramley in Kent. The term cild is
thought by some authorities to indicate a connection with a royal family.
He was sent to Normandy as a hostage and, after the Conquest, imprisoned
at Salisbury. One of his manors in Sussex was given by William I to Battle
What happened to these men after the Conquest? In the list of tenants
holding land under William I only one Alnod is found. Presumably they
were stripped of their land with the exception perhaps of some who had
the protection of the Church.
However, before the end of the l2th century some of the descendants of
Saxon families had established themselves as landowners and were in
positions of some importance. The Cartularies of Osney Abbey, the Hos-
pital of St. John the Baptist and the Abbey of St. Fridiswith, in the County
of Oxfordshire, have references to men named Ailnod, Aylnoth and 
Elnod and in most cases a Christian name is prefixed. An Ailnoth,
ingineator, was in charge of the royal buildings during the reign of Henry
II and figures prominently in the years 1175-8. He was keeper of the
King's houses and of the Fleet Prison.
Some of these Oxfordshire men were moneyers. Silver pennies of the
reign of William II bear the name Aegelnoth. In the reign of Henry II
(1154-1189) a moneyer Ailnot has his name on the reverse of coins and in
one example, now in the Hunter Collection, Glasgow, the name is
spelt Allnot. One of these is credibly identified with Reymondus Aylnoth
who held the office of Praepositer of the City of Oxford and had a house
called Aylnoths Hall. A house in Oxford is mentioned in the Osney Abbey
Cartulary in 1417 as Domus Ailnot.
In the early part of the l3th century one of these men had the misfortune
to lose his seal. Some 750 years later it was found by a man doing a bit of
gardening at Wheatley. It is a Romanesque seal made of a copper alloy and
is in perfect condition. The inscription SIGIL AILGNOTI surrounds a
device of a squirrel eating a nut-probably a punning allusion to the last
syllable of the name. This seal, which is now in the Ashmolean, was
described by Dr. W. O. Hassall in Oxoniensis, Vol. XXI, 1957.
From the end of the l2th century until the middle of the l6th century
only occasional glimpses of men of this name are found, showing that
there were families on the land in the counties of Buckinghamshire,
Berkshire and Oxfordshire, with a few in the Eastern Counties. In the
l4th century there was a family of Arnyat in Wallingford: they were of
some importance being aldermen, mayors and two were Members of
Parliament for the town in 1330 and from 1373 to 1393. arnyat could well
be a variant of Alnat. The substitution of r for l has been found elsewhere,
due perhaps to the pronunciation of the name in a local dialect by an
illiterate and phonetically recorded by a clerk. A family of Allnatt later
Iived in this district and also provided aldermen and mayors to the town.
In the l6th century, from parish registers, wills, etc., two important
landowning families are known--one at Ibstone in Buckinghamshire and
the other at Ipsden, Oxon. These two places are only ten miles apart, so
surely they had a common ancestry. The descendants have been traced to
the present day and both have similar histories. Some remained on their
land while others became attorneys, doctors, etc., or went into trade or
commerce-and most successfully in the case of an Ipsden branch.

The first identified ancestor was Zachary Alnutt, born about 1570 and
probably the son of a priest of Henley-on-Thames. He was a remarkable
man who managed to accumulate considerable land which later set up
his sons as prosperous yeomen. Unfortunately he was a man of violent
temper and came into conflict with the Church. In 1634 he was arraigned
before the Court of High Commission and charged with evil ways-
swearing and blaspheming, insulting the parson and aiding and abetting
his manservantís and maidservants to lead an immoral life. He was found
guilty and fined £500 to His Majesty King Charles I-,a very large sum at
that time. He was also to make public submission in the parish church of
Ibstone. His will of 1639 has a long preamble about the disposal of his
soul and his expectation to be placed at the right hand of God. He was
evidently prized as an ancestor for the name Zachary, usually given to an
eldest son, persisted for 12 generations; the last Zachary Allnutt died in
I 942.
His youngest son, Henry, was educated at Oxford and inherited much
of his father's fortune. He was knighted by Charles II at Newmarket in
1682. It is not known how he merited the honour for he had taken no
part in the Civil war. In fact the Allnutts seem to have kept out of the war
and stayed on their farms. Perhaps Henry was able to give Charles a good
racing tip !
Henry Alnutt had a long correspondence about money which he had
lent on mortgage on the lands of a Roman Catholic family. It is strange
that an Oxford M.A. should be uncertain of the correct spelling of his
surname, but he signed his letters in three ways-Alnut, Alnutt and All-
Sir Henry had four sons but in the next generation there was no male
descendant. His third son, also Henry, inherited much of the family land.
He was a barrister of the Middle Temple and appears to have had a
somewhat stormy life for He was imprisoned in the Marshalsea; this is
unlikely to have been for debt, for He was affluent, but it is known that he
was an "abhorrer" (a Tory opponent of the Earl of Shaftesbury) and many
of them were imprisoned.
He died unmarried in 1724 and left nothing to his relations. He asked
to be buried in the parish church of Ibstone "as near my father and mother
as might be". He left £100 a year toward the discharge of poor prisoners in
the Marshalsea. The rest of his estate he willed for the building and
endowing of an almshouse at Goring Heath, Oxon, for twelve poor men
and a school for placing poor children of five parishes in apprenticeships.
The almshouse was begun by Henry Alnut and completed by his friend
Richard Clement. These elegant buildings of mellowed red brick include
a chapel, chaplain's house and school stand almost unaltered. The school
has been skilfully enlarged and serves the farms and villages in the vicinity.
A bust of Henry Alnut with his coat of arms stands in the chapel: an
American visitor remarked: "It's a pity we inherited his nose and not his
money !"
The other sons of Zachary (1) were yeomen living on their Buckingham-
shire land but in the next generations three Zacharies were attorneys of
High Wycombe, well-to-do men but of no particular distinction. A silver
tankard presented to Zachary Allnutt about 1725 with a long inscription
recording the gratitude of the Warden and Sisters of the Almshouse of
Sir Thomas Drake at Amersham, was willed three times to eldest sons and
then disappeared.
In Thomas Phillibrown's Journal Book (in the Bodleian) there is one
of those delightful irrelevancies that leaven otherwise dull reading. In
1756 Mr. Phillibrown visited his old schoolfellows Zachary and Henry
Allnutt and had a convivial evening at The Swan at High Wycombe. The
guests were "Hill, the surgeon, a drunken fellow. . . a clergyman Rev. Mr.
Clarke is in (what is called) Holy Orders but quite a drunken, bawdry,
rattleheaded fellow. At about  past 10 the rest of the guests took their
leave except Zachary, Clarke, the drunken clergyman, Hill the surgeon and
Pharsnage the attorney. As the glass circulated the landlord and the
parson became so enfeebled they could scarse fill their glasses and the
parson was forced to walk off'. At about 3/4 past 12 we all broke up, Zachary
and Parsonage in good spirits and myself in good sober order. Landlord
Bracknell we left dead drunk in his chair." Alas, Zachary died soon after,
but Henry, who left early, lived to a ripe old age.
A grandson of Zachary (1) had a distinguished Army career. Born in
London in 1663, Thomas Aleut fought at the siege of Limerick in 1690,
and served in Spain and the West Indies, in 1706 he was a Colonel and
the Order for the Battle of Almanza 1707 lists "Colonel Alnutt's Regiment
of Foot". He was seriously wounded and taken prisoner, exchanged but
died of his wounds in 1708. his regiment became the 36th Foot and later
the Worcestershire Regiment. His estate consisted largely of unredeemed
tallies for pay and a large sum owing to him for the clothing of his troops.
In the latter part of the l8th century there were four branches of the
Ibstone Family for which separate pedigrees were made. The founders of
these were nonconformists and Henry, mentioned above, was a dissenter.
Zachary, the attorney, mentioned by Phillibrown had two sons. The
eldest, Zachary, was Controller of Customs in Jamaica. He had an only
son, Zachary, whose descendants have recently been traced in a family of
Twickenham. In this branch the name Zachary was carried down for a
further four generations.
( 1 ) From Henry Allnutt of Great Marlow, second son of Zachary,
born in 1745.
From his will of 1820 it is clear that his eldest son Henry was an un-
reliable character. To him was left a sum of money in trust for life and
then to his children "whether legitimate or not". Evidently a broad-minded
man. But his daughter, Catherine, who predeceased him, required him to
pay her funeral expenses : "she had been a faithful servant to him for many
years with pay not sufficient for her station."
His third son, Zachary, was a Controller of the Thames Navigation
Commission and wrote pamphlets on the navigation of the Thames and
Canals west of London. As a side line he had 40 acres planted with
lavender and distilled the essence. His son Henry was the founder of The
Estates Gazette which celebrated its centenary in 1958. This line died out
in the l9th century.
(2) From Henry Alnutt of High Wycombe, born in 1746. He is described
as Draper and Burgess of the town. In a directory of 1800 "Among the
gentry of the town first-Mr. Henry Allnutt". In early life he was a non-
conformist but a tablet in the parish church of High Wycombe commem-
orating his death in 1813 indicates that he returned to the orthodox fold.
His eldest son, Henry, born in 1789, is described in his father's will as
farmer. He started a paper manufactury near Maidstone which later
became Henry Allnutt & Co. and the name is still there though the
family connection has long ceased. He married Mary Ann Lea and her
maiden name has been given as a second name to many descendants in
England and in Australia. Two of Henry's sons became priests of the
Church of England and five of his grandsons were ordained. One of these,
the Rev. Percy Riddell Allnutt was a most eccentric character (see Venn's
Alumni Cantabrigiensis) but his will is the genealogist's answer to prayer
for he left his considerable fortune, being unmarried, to nephews, nieces
and cousins and, in each case, detailing their parentage.
Two of the grandsons of Henry Allnutt emigrated to Australia: The
Rev. George Herbert, Canon of St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, whose
descendants are still in Australia and some bear the name Lea. Samuel
Lea Allnutt, the youngest son, born in 1834 acquired a large estate in
Victoria State. He had 14 children whom he settled on farms or businesses
thereby helping to fill some of the open spaces. His many descendants live
in various parts of Australia-a thriving family and the name Lea has
occurred in each generation.
(3) From Zachary Allnutt of Maidenhead, born in 1747. He was a
brewer and owned several inns in Buckinghamshire. his second son,
John, was a paper manufacturer with a mill on the Chess. Misfortune
struck this family because John went bankrupt and his son, Zachary,
also a paper manufacturer, had his newly installed machinery destroyed
by a mob of rioters in 1830. He disappeared and was never heard of again.
The sons of John and Zachary, despite these setbacks, founded families
that included several men of note. William Winkworth Allnutt was
connmissioned in the Royal Marine Corps and saw much active service in
China and in West Africa. He retired with the rank of Colonel in 1884.
His brother Walter Bruce Allnutt was ordained : he was what, in an
earlier generation, would have been called a "squarson"-a man devoted to
field sports of all kinds. His son, Edward Bruce, born in 1885, Colonel
R.A.M.C., had a distinguished army career and, like his father, has a love
of sport of many kinds.
(4) From Samuel Allnutt of Henley-on-Thames born in 1758. He was
a farmer but later seems to have had a wine business. His son Samuel was
an apothecary of Portsea and the maker of a famous lozenge. It is related
that he was a nonconformist and his wife Church : they compromised by
attending chapel in the morning and church in the evening. His sons
became surgeons and barristers and their descendants continue to live in

This line is traced from Edward Alnott, a yeoman farmer born about
1570. His sons and grandsons inherited the farms at Berins Hill and Well
Place and continued there for about two centuries. A Richard Allnutt,
born in 1679, moved to Sutton Courtney, Berkshire. Three of his sons,
with little prospect of inheriting land, went to London. The descendants of
Richard Allnutt are the subjects of separate pedigrees.
(I) From Matthew Allnutt of Sutton Courtney, born in 1706. Four
generations are known from him, but in the l9th century this branch died
out there being no sons. There were two interesting men in the last genera-
tion-The Ven. John Charles Parrott Allnutt, Archdeacon of Loddon,
Victoria, Australia and William Henry, Assistant Librarian at the Bod-
leian who compiled much of the genealogical data of the Ipsden line.
(2) From Richard Allnutt of London and Penshurst, Kent, born in
1713. He founded a wine business and became rich. He bought land in
various parts of Kent and built a house known as South Park, Penshurst.
His son, Thomas entered the business and made a prosperous marriage,
but died in 1779 leaving a young family of four sons and a daughter. In
his will his father is instructed to send his sons "to Eaton or Harrow not
Westminster". In fact, they did not go to any of these schools, so grand-
father may have held other views about the value of a public school
Much is known about this Allnutt branch from The History of the
Woodgate.r of Stonewall Park and Summerhill in Kent which contains a
chapter about the Allnutts; the opening sentence is "The Allnutts were a
family of great opulence".
Richard, Thomas's eldest son, inherited the Penshurst estate. He had
been educated at the Gervaise Whitehead school at Sevenoaks and then
went to Christ's College, Cambridge. He married Franccs Woodgate in
1794 and his sister Anna married William Woodgate in 1795-thus the
close connection between the two families, A Miss Woodgate, writing
just before Richard s death in 1827 says "I was happy to learn poor mr.,
Allnutt is so resigned to his situation. He has been an in mate of this house
where from his colloquial mirth he was a great favourite."
John Allnutt inherited an estate in Eltham and succeeded to the business
and increased his fortune. He had his portrait and those of his two wives
and daughter painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence. His is a splendid painting
depicting him in riding costume, standing beside his horse. He obtained
a grant of Arms in I861.
In the next generation, there was only one surviving son, John Allnutt
the fourth son of John Allnutt above-three had died in infancy. He
succeeded to the business which today would be described as Merchant
Bankers. He married twice into wealthy families and when he died in 1881
he was a very rich man. He had four children but his son and one daughter
died young. The greater part of his fortune went to his daughter Anna by
his first wife. She married Thomas Brassey, Civil Lord of the Admiralty
in Gladstone's Administration ; he later became Earl Brassey. He founded
Brassey's Naval Annual. Lady Brassey accompanied her husband on a
world voyage in his yacht and wrote The voyage of the Sunbeam, a record
of an exciting and often perilous adventure. their son, Thomas Allnutt
Brassey, succeeded to the peerage but had no male heir. Their three
daughters, well dowered, married Charles Augustus Egerton, Earl De La
Warr, and Viscount Willingdon.
(3) From John Allnutt of Sutton Courtney, born in 1718. A Family
Bible which records baptisms, marriages and burials of this branch from
the early years of the l8th century has been carefully treasured. His
descendants have been traced for another six generations. Thomas
Alexander Allnutt born in 1808 made a good marriage and two of his sons
farmed on a large scale in Berkshire. Fourteen of the descendants of this
branch have been identified.
A curious anomaly is found in the Christian names of the men of the
Ibstone and Ipsden lines. In that of Ibstone not a single William oecurs
while this name is common in the Ipsden families. On the other hand
Henry which is found in most of the Ibstone generations is absent in those
of Ipsden. The Allnatt line which is of the same stock as that of Ipsden is
also barren of Henrys. No plausible explanation has been found.

While the majority have spelt their surname Allnutt, a considerable
family has used the form Allnatt since the middle of the l7th century. It
is an offshoot of the Ipsden line. They are known from parish registers, of
Wallingford and neighbouring villages. Like their kinsmen they were
yeomen and village craftsmen. Edward Allnatt born in 1712 became a
maltster at Wallingford and apprenticed his son to an attorney in London.
John Allnatt practised in Wallingford and became an important man in
the town for he was Mayor five times between 1776 and 181 l. His eldest
son, Charles Atherton Allnatt, born in 1767 was also a prominent figure,
an attorney, a partner in the firm of Wells and Allnatt, Bankers and with
commercial interests. During a financial crisis in 1825 a manifesto signed
by over a hundred Farmers, Mealmen and others expressed their confidence
in the Bank "and inform the Public that we shall continue to take their
notes as usual". Like his father, Charles Atherton was Mayor of his town
five times. His portrait by John Bridges, a very fine painting, hangs in the
Council Chamber. His descendants and those of his half-brother John
Benwell Allnatt have been traced to the present day and include Dr.
Francis John Benwell Allnatt, born about 1840, Dean of Divinity in
Bishop's University, Quebec.
Another branch of the Allnatts originated in Northstoke and Crow-
marsh, villages near Wallingford. John Allnatt, born in 1735, was a
yeoman and Collector of Taxes. Thanks to a Family Bible and the re-
searches of an American kinsman, Melvin L,eroy Merritt, the descendants
have been traced for eight generations. For three generations most of the
sons farmed in Berkshire. Richard of Henley-on-Thames, born in 1789,
is remembered as a man of great strength, a daring horseman but too fond
of the convivial life. A disastrous fire and a taste for litigation had reduced
him to poverty when he died in 1874. But his four sons prospered as
farmers, and his grandson, John Edward Allnatt of Wokingham, born in
1875, started a business after the First War which his third son Alfred
Ernest Allnatt further developed as Allnatt Limited, engaged in major
engineering projects.
The two spellings of the surname has caused diffilculty in sorting one
family from another because it has happened more than once, that in the
same family, sons have differed as to final vowel-u or a. On the occasion
of a wedding late in the l9th century the principals quarrelled about the
correct spelling and the parson refused to go ahead with the marriage
until they could agree.

At the time of writing the book a certain amount of information about
the early emigrants had been found. Since then more has been obtained
by members of the family in the United States.
Thomas Alnutt, born in England about I600 went to Virginia in the
Gifte and his wiife in the Marigold and in February 1623/4 he was settled
at "ye neck of land near James Citee and with his servant had planted".
The ancestry of Thomas has not been established; he could have been a
son of Zachary (1) of Ibstone. He died in 1626 and it is now known that
he had at least one son. There is a gap from here to a William Alnutt born
in 1690, who farmed in Calvert County, Maryland. Unfortunately records
of this intervening period have been lost but there is circumstantial
evidence to connect William with the first emigrant.
William Alnutt had two sons and the younger James had 13 children
by two marriages. James had an estate on Plum Point on Chesapeake
Bay and another in Montgomery County. He was a patriarchal figure :
when his sons married they were given 100 acres. His eldest son, Jesse,
had married a determined young woman who plagued her father-in-law
to give them a title to the land. In the end the old man gave way telling
them they were fools not to trust him. When he died the other sons all
got more land than the original hundred acres-but Jesse got one cent!
In the third generation came the War of Independence; James and his
five sons are in the list of Revolutionary Patriots.
The descendants of James Allnutt have been traced for a further six
generations, and individuals sought their fortune in many parts of the
United States. However, today there are many living in Maryland and
Virginia where their ancestors settled. The pedigree, as originally drawn,
has some thirty living members and, through the researches of several
keen genealogists many more have since been added.
There was much intermarriage with families of Chiswell, Darby, Daw-
son, Viers and White and frequent marriages of cousins. These names
have been bestowed on many of the Allnutt children, thereby greatly
helping to prove ancestry.
About 800 individuals have been identified and are included in the 19
published pedigrees or in the text. Three additional pedigrees have been
added and the original ones extended. Of these, about 280 members of
the families were living in 1964.


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