P R O F I L
Historical Summary 4
Poynings and Newtimber in Sussex
mid 16th century another Osborne dynasty is established as a land
owning family in Sussex. This is the lineage from which a direct descent to the
Tadworth Osbornes can be traced. We find Alice Osborne, with lands in Withdean,
Sussex, surviving her husband to 1567. Her only son John, (1520-1597) of Poynings went on to
have two sons, both also called John. Such naming of sons was often a device to avoid
the premium payable on copyhold lands on death. John the elder, established
himself as a Yeoman in the Weald, of which more later. John the younger, also a
Yeoman, meanwhile located in Poynings and in turn one of his sons in Newtimber.
generations of Thomas Osbornes followed John the younger. They located in Newtimber where they held lands and created a substantial mansion called Newtimber Place. Anne, wife of the second generation Thomas was cheated of plate and gold
by five gypsies at Newtimber Place. She was later found dead in the moat. It was
the third generation Thomas however who secured the grant of arms, thereby
confirming in 1724 with the Heraldic Visitation, the descent from the same line
as the Osbornes of Hartlip and the ducal family of Leeds, in spite of being from
the "younger" John Osborne. It could be argued that the "elder" branch of the
family had the true entitlement to the arms.
Thereafter the Newtimber branch
went into decline, first with a number of mysterious child deaths while the
family resided in Horsted Keynes for four years early in the 18th
century. Then with the surviving eldest brother Leyton Osborne incurring
gambling debts, the Newtimber estate was sold in 1741, the year of his death. There followed a legal dispute about the estate and although Leighton had a son Thomas, this particular Osborne lineage appears to have became extinct thereafter.
A parallel land owning branch descended from William Osborne, younger brother to
the second generation Thomas. They remained in Poynings for five generations
before moving elsewhere in Sussex where the line continues to this day.
branches of this family had close associations with their respective churches.
Within Newtimber Church there survive a considerable number of memorials to the
It was the lineage of John the Elder that was to give rise to the "Tower House" Osbornes. The inheriting of entitlement to arms lies with this "elder" line. John the Elder located in Cuckfield in the Weald and subsequent successive generations were eventually to produce the Tower House Osbornes.
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