Created by Barry Thompson © 2011-2018 Aston on Trent on Trent Local History Group, all rights reserved
Aston on Trent History – The Break Up Of The Old Estates And The Arrival of the Holden Family - Part 2
The Abbey of St Werburgh owned the manor of Weston with its lands in Weston, Aston, Shardlow, and Wilne at the beginning of the sixteenth
century, which was the greatest landowner in Aston. At the dissolution of the monasteries, the manor with the advowsons of Weston on Trent
and Aston on Trent fell into the hands of the King, only to be given about 1541 to the newly created Bishopric of Chester as part of its
endowment. Five or six years later, the bishop was forced to give the manor and advowsons up, so that Henry VIII could sell them to Sir William
Paget, his secretary for £5.70s 18s 5½d, an indication of the size and richness of the manor. Sir William settled the property on a younger son,
Charles who probably came into his inheritance in 1569. He was a fervent Catholic whose involvement in the religious politics of the day drove
him into exile in France where he became a prominent member of the English ‘émigré’ Catholic group.
In consequence, he was attainted of High Treason and his lands reverted to the Crown, in whose hands they remained (though leased out) until
1603, when James I pardoned Charles and restored his lands to him. From Charles Paget they descended to his great niece Mary Gerard, who
married Anthony Roper of Eltham in Kent, esq., in 1612. Mary died ten years later leaving an only child, another Mary, her heir, but Anthony
remained in possession of his first wife’s lands until his death, when he left all his Derbyshire lands to be sold. By then, he was also the owner of
the Aston on Trent Hall property, which he was free to sell, but his daughter Mary stepped in to claim the Weston inheritance. On 1st October
1647, she sold to Nicholas Wilmot (or Willymot) of Grays Inn, esq., most of the lands belonging to Weston manor, 18 messuages (houses), over 40
and 10 cottages in Weston, four messuages, 73 yardlines and a cottage in Wilne and Shardlow, and seven messuages, 11 yardlands and three
cottages in Aston. It cost him £3,150.
In February 1648 Roper’s trustees sold the Aston on Trent property bought from Gregorie to Nicholas Wilmot’s cousin, Robert Holden, of
Shardlow, gentleman. He was the son of Henry Holden, husbandman who had settled in Great Wilne from Findern in or before 1569, had
prospered and died styling himself Yeoman. Robert seems to have made his money out of rearing beef cattle. He paid £400 for the Aston on Trent
property, which was to remain in his and his descendants possession for 250 years. On 6th March following he paid Rogers trustees £3,436. 5s. 4d
for Weston Hall, the manor, well over 200 acres of meadow and pasture, some of it in Aston, and three messuages with yardlands in Shardlow
and Wilne. In June of the same year, he bought the advowsons of the church of Aston on Trent and Weston on Trent, for £300, and bought out
Anne Hunts surviving rights in Aston on Trent for £320.