Collateral Branches of the Family

by Henry Edmondstone Medlicott

Medlycotts of Ven

This branch of the family, in which the “y” is used, is descended from the eldest son of Thomas Medlicott of Pontesbury, see Pedigree opposite page 8. The story is fully chronicled in Burke’s Peerage. The decent is made out through an heiress, on the failure of male issue, Miss Elizabeth Medlicott having married John Hutchings of Sherborne, Dorset, in 1726, and her son taking the name Medlicott in 1765.

For further information see Burke’s Peerage.

Medlycotts of Rocketts Castle.

Thomas Medlicott of Binfield, Berkshire, and of Dublin was a son of Thomas Medlicott of Abingdon, M.P. (b. 1628), see Pedigree opposite p.8. He was born in 1662 and was Chief Commissioner of Revenue in Ireland and M.P. for County Kildare. He had one daughter, Anne, who married the Rt. Hon. Edward Riggs, M.P. of Dublin.

The account printed in Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland states that Thomas Medlicott of Binfield had also a son, Thomas John Medlicott, of Newport Pratt, Co. Mayo, from whom are descended the Medlycotts of Rocketts Castle.

Thomas John was educated at Athy School, and he appears to have borne the surname of both Medlicott and Muschamp at different periods, but his descendants adhered to the name of Medlycott.

A picture of Thomas Medlycott at Rocketts Castle by Gainsborough was sold at Christy’s in June 1911 for 4,410 guineas.

Medlicotts of Dunmurry.

Thomas Medlicott of Abingdon had a fourth son, George, who in 1712 purchased estates in Co. Kildare from Lord FitzHarding. a full account of this line appears in Burke’s Landed Gentry, and a photograph of the article in the 1937 edition is reproduced on page 118.

Medlicotts of Barnes, formerly of Medlicott.

James Medlicott baptized 6th November 1765, died 21st January 1844, (No. 14 on Pedigree facing page 42) had children, Edward, Thomas, Richard and James, and two daughters.

Of the sons, Thomas Medlicott was the grandfather of Samuel Thomas Medlicott of 58 Castlenau, Barnes S.W.13. Mr. Samuel Thomas Medlicott’s, direct line of decent from John Medlicott, of Medlicott, who married Eleanor, daughter of William Thin, is given in Burke’s Landed Gentry, 1937. A reproduction of this article can be seen on page 118.

Medlicotts of Northamptonshire.

The Medlicotts of Northants also traced their decent from Thomas Medlicott of Abingdon. His second son, Charles, of Cottingham, Norfolk, married Barbara (surname not given). His son, Thomas, married Anne, only daughter of Richard Buckley, and died in 1761, leaving two daughters Barbara and Elizabeth.

Barbara married George Hill of Rothwell Manor, Northants, Sergeant-at-Law. Elizabeth married his brother, the Rev John Hill. LL.D. Prebendary of Windsor and Rector of Thorpe Mansel, Northants, and also of Kelmarsh. George and Barbara Hill of Rothwell had two daughters, Ann and Barbara. Anne married Thomas Cecil Maunsell of Thorpe Malsor, as second wife, and died 1794. Barbara married the Hon. William Cokayne. 2nd son of Viscount Cullen of Rushton Hall, Northants, who died in 1809 leaving 10 daughters#. The 3rd. married William Adams, who died in 1873 leaving G.E. Adams, Norroy King of Arms, who assumed by Royal Licence in 1873 the name and arms of Cokayne, and was of Rothwell Manor. Two other daughters married Maunsels of Thorpe Malsor. Barbara widow of the Hon. William Cokayne was eventually sole heiress of Mr. Sergeant Hill and also of her Maternal Grandfather Thomas Medlicott of Cottingham, in accordance with whose Will she took the name and arms of Medlicott by Act of Parliament in 1801. She survived her husband 30 years and died in 1839 aged 85. She was buried at Rothwell, where was a hachment quartering arms of Medlicott and Hill, and a monument with arms and inscriptions written by a Mrs. West, Authoress, a friend of Barbara’s (on which the name is spelt Medlicott, H.E.M.)

At Rushton Hall are portraits , amongst others, of Mrs. Hill Medlycott, wife of Mr. Sergeant Hill, by Sir Benjamin West, and a miniature of the Hon. Barbara Cokayne Medlycott.

From Burke’s Extinct Peerage, under Viscount Cullen, ed. 1883.

#For a full account of the issue of this marriage, see Burke’s Peerage, under Cullen of Ashbourne, Baron.

H. E. M. got into communication with G.E. Cokayne, who wrote to him as follows:-

December 1884, College of Arms.

“Dear Sir,
The portrait of my great grandmother Mrs. Hill Medlycott is now at my cousin’s Edmund H. C. Pery, Esq., Colcroman, Bellina, Co. Mayo. It was removed there on the death of his Mother, my Aunt the Hon. Elizabeth Pery, in 1883.”

He adds: “the best printed account of the Medlycott Family is in Playfairs, ‘British Family Antiquities’, 9 vols, Qrto, circa 1810, vide the Vol. “English Baronets'”.

Yours etc.
G.E. Cokayne.

There is a cutting attached to the letter, dated August 1911, “Death of Mr. George Cokayne, Exeter College, Roehampton, aged 86, son of Dr. Wm. Adams and the Hon. M.A. Cokayne, Exeter College, Oxford, Barrister, Lincoln’s Inn, 1853. Assumed name of Cokayne in 1873. Appointed Rouge Dragon 1859, Lancaster Herald 1870, Norroy King of Arms 1882, Clarenceux King of Arms 1894, of Rothwell Manor, which he inherited from his great grandmother Mrs. Hill Medlicott.”

His Aunt, the Hon. Elizabeth Pery who lately had the portrait was the youngest of the ten daughters of Wm. Cokayne and married the Hon. Edmund Pery, youngest son of Lord Limerick.

Rushton Hall was sold in 1825 to Wm. Hope of Amsterdam, subsequently re-sold to Clarke Thornhill Esq. Vide Genealogist Vol.III p. 437.

“The Miniature of the Hon. Barbara Cokayne Medlicott aged about 25 passed into the possession of the Hon. Caroline Eliza Maunsell of Thorpe Malsor”. Vide Genealogist Vol. III. p. 457.

The 4 elder daughters of the 10 daughters of the Hon. William Cokayne were raised to the rank of Viscount’s daughters by Royal warrant Sept. 1836.
viz.: Matilda Sophia = Austen
Mary Ann = Adams
Georgina = Maunsell
Caroline = do.

“Lawyers and there Haunts” III “Lawyers’ Wives”,
“The Leisure Hour”, March 1883.

Another notable lawyer was Sergeant Hill, the famous black-letter lawyer of George III’s earlier times. This equally eccentric and learned Sergeant married Miss Medlycott of Cottingham, Northamptonshire, an heiress who was empowered by special Act of Parliament to retain her maiden name after marriage. Even on his wedding-day the lawyer could not get the better of his eccentricity, so as to behave like a common-place bridegroom. Beginning the day in perfect forgetfulness of the principal matter of to be done upon it, he was receiving his clients in his chambers when a party of his friends broke in upon him and carried him off by main force to the church where Miss Medlycott had been waiting for him more than an hour. The nuptial ceremony over, the Sergeant, forgetting to kiss his bride, and sublimely indifferent to the good cheer of the bridal banquet, hurried back to the chambers to a consultation (possibly on that interesting question about herbage and pannage.) Whatever their differences at home, the Sergeant and his wife had the good sense to wear a show of mutual affection to the world, but from their opposite sides of the domestic hearth in Bedford Square they exchanged sharp words about Mrs. Medlycott’s jealous and punctilious exercise of her right to her maiden name, in her estimation a name greatly superior to the sergeant’s patronymic of four letters. In these disputes about a name, the lawyer was often moved to remark, “My name is Hill, madam, my father’s name was Hill, madam; all the Hill’s have been named Hill ,madam; Hill is a good name, madam; and I say this, madam, as you are a Hill. you shall call yourself Hill, and shan’t go on calling yourself Medlycott”. On other matters the sergeant was more compliant. Pride in and sensitiveness for the whiteness of the pipeclayed steps before the chief door of her Bedford Square mansion were amongst Mrs. Medlycott’s old-maidenly peculiarities; and with proper care for her feelings on this matter, Sergeant Hill used to start daily for chambers by way of the kitchen steps. After Mrs. Medlycott’s death, the Sergeant remarked to a friend who was condoling with him on his recent bereavement, “Ay, my poor wife is gone! She was a good sort of woman – in her way, a very good sort of woman. I do honestly declare my belief that in her way she had no equal. But – but – I’ll tell you something in confidence, If ever I marry again, I won’t marry merely for money.

Medlicotts in Lincolnshire.

At Kirton in Holland (Lincolnshire) there is an endowed School called “Sir Thomas Middlecott’s Endowed School”, founded in 1624 by Thomas (afterwards Sir Thomas) Middlecott, Esq. of Boston.

Extract from a letter to John Medlicott from C. Delaval Cobham, Larnaca, Cyprus, March 9th, 1896:
Dear Mr. Medlicott,

The arms you saw in my room are described thus by a friend in the British Museum, as – Az. an Eagle displayed ermine, on a chief-gu. 3 Escallops Or. They are assigned to Middlecot – Co. Lincoln.

From London Magazine April 1753:

James Medlicott of East Grange, Lincs. was Knighted.


The following passages, discrepancies in which it is impossible to reconcile at this distance of time, are of interest, especially in view of the fact that one of them ascribes another son to Charles and Barbara Medlicott (see above.)

From the Gentleman’s Magazine, Vol. 19, p. 426;
August 1749. A smuggler executed at Maidstone confessed the murder of Mr. C. Medlycott of Lincoln about 10 years ago, with whom he then lived as servant. Mr. Medlycott was to have been married the same morning and the pistol being found by him, it was till this confession, supposed that he had shot himself.”

Extract from a letter (no date) from the Rev. Ed. Trollope, Rector of Leasingham, Sledford, Lincs, to Sir W. Coles Medlycott, re murder of Mr. C. Medlycott at Leasingham 1737.
“Charles Medlycott, 2nd son of Charles and Barbara Medlycott of Cottingham, Northants, lived in a very respectable old House in this Parish, still remaining as in his time. He only hired it as a Sir Richard Cust had done before him. He was a bachelor attended by a confidential servant, to whom he had made a promise of future provision. He fell in love with a lady living in a small hall close by and the day was fixed for his wedding. But on the morning of the day, or the previous one, Mr. Medlycott was found with his throat cut, and his favourite servant had disappeared, so that the event was involved in mystery.

I do not know whether any inquest was held – Mr. M. was buried in this church, near the Altar rail, January 26th, 1737, in a leaden coffin, just beneath the pavement, and covered with a marble slab having his arms, name and date thereon.

Some years afterwards a man was convicted of sheep stealing at Peterborough (?). He was condemned to death and confessed that he had been the servant to Mr. C. Medlicott who was about to be married, which he anticipated would deprive him of his master’s promised provision, and knowing there was a sum of money in the house provided for the wedding trip, he appropriated it, and murdered his master to favour his own escape and avoid pursuit.”

(N.B. The Rev Ed. Trollope, Rector of Leasingham, a younger brother of Lord Kesteven was afterwards Bishop Suffragan of Nottingham. He died in 1893. H.E.M. wrote to the sexton in 1912 to send him a copy of the inscription and he wrote in reply as follows:-

Leasingham, Sleaford,
Sept. 5th/ 1912

Dear Sir.
I received your letter and have been to the Church, and send you a copy of the inscription of Charles Medlycott on the marble slab which lays flat just to the right of the aisle and the head comes close to the step of the chancel, and the bottom to the front of the first seat, and it appears to be as good now as when it was first placed. It is a splendid piece of work and admired by all.

I have been to the lady this morning who owns and lives in the same house this last fifty years. She told me the stain is still there on the landing at the top of the house.

I have lived here 48 years and was with the Rev. E. Trollope till his death as gardener.

Yours faithfully,
John Muxton,
Parish Clerk.

Copy of Inscription:-

Carolus Medlycot
Obit. 20 Jan:

Medlicotts of Longmeadow, Mass, U.S.A.

This family was first mentioned to me by Bernard Quaritch, Bookseller, Piccadilly, London in 1867, who told me that a Mr. Medlicott living in Mass. U.S.A. was a man of considerable wealth, born in the West of England, and a great collector of books, especially Anglo-Saxon.

I have several letters from his son William B.M. who is much interested in pedigree matters, but cannot give me much information as to his forebears. I make out the following:

Thomas M. (? of London)
James M. ( do.)

William M. of 77 The Quay Bristol. (I have verified this item) born 4. Aug. 1792, apprenticed to Wm. Gibbons, Mayor of Bristol, Shipping Merchant, buried at Bristol. He married Mary Ann Josephs of London.

William Gibbons M. born 1816 at Bristol – at 19 sailed for New York – was shipwrecked – landed at N.Y. and at once got work – 1835 – founded a successful business at Springfield, Mass. acquired wealth, collected a noted Anglo-Saxon library (of which Mr. W.M. sent me a catalogue, H.E.M.) died 1883 – long newspaper notices on him. He married Marianne Dean of New York. He was followed to America by his Mother and four sisters and a brother, Henry, who died 1865. One of the sisters married Alexander Guild, and died at Worthing, England, in 1911, aged 90, leaving a daughter, wife of Edwin Tate, brother of Sir Henry Tate.

Arthur, eldest son, married Mary Mather of Longmeadow and died 1908.

William B.M. (my correspondent) married Grace Harding and has five children living.
A sister married – Cowley and was mother of one of the Federal Judges in Mass.
W.B.M. is amongst other things a Lecturer at Harvard and in considerable business.
I have heard of others of the name in the West, I believe in timber business in Washington Territory. I have interesting letters, newspaper cuttings, and photos relating to the Longmeadow family.

Medlicotts in Australia and New Zealand.

The following details concerning the colonial Medlicotts have been gleaned from letters to H.E. Medlicott from W.A. Medlicott, of 14 Ormonde Street, Paddington, New South Wales. There is a certain incoherence and lack of precision in the particulars but it may be gathered that one named Edward Medlicott, who had come from Ireland, married as his second wife, a sister of two Ross brothers. They started a business in Melbourne as wholesale merchants.

Edward Medlicott, who at one time was in the Queen’s Printing Office in London, had issue, five children; two sons, William Strother and Henry, a bank manager in New Zealand, who died unmarried; and three daughters, Julia, Emily, and another.

The eldest son, William Strother Medlicott was born 20th August, 1835, in or near London, and was sent for together with his brother, Henry, by the Ross brothers, who were (if our reading of the notes is correct) his uncles. William Strother Medlicott started business at Melbourne, married there in 1856, Anna Maria Osmond, from Barnstaple, North Devon. She was living in 1910 aged 103.

They had issue: W.A. Medlicott, born in Victoria, 10th May 1861, married 3rd July 1890, Harriet Levell and has three boys and two girls living; Ernest Medlicott, a chemist in New South Wales, born 22nd April 1863, married and had three boys, Constance Emily, born 1864; Blanche, born 1871; four other children who died.

W.S. Medlicott had a crest “a phoenix rising from flames”.
Mr. and Mrs W.A. Medlicott paid H.E. Medlicott a flying visit at Sandfield Potterne, Wiltshire, on a motor trip through England in June 1913.

There is another family of Medlicott in Sydney.

H.E Medlicott writes:
“I have heard of other Medlicott’s:-
Samuel M., Farmer, Waimate, near Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand.
T. M. & Sons, Ironworkers, 36 Foucart Street, Rozelle, Sydney
F. M., 142 Cecily Street, Leichart, Sydney.
R. M., 139 Cecily Street.
R.S. M., Carpenter, Craigend, Sydney.
Richard S.M., 2 Hughs Street, Sydney.