Coleorton and The Beaumonts are almost synonymous in our local heritage and typically the Beaumonts we celebrate are men like Huntingdon Beaumont the mining engineer, the 3rd Viscount of Swords who endowed the first Coleorton School and George Beaumont the great patron of the arts who helped set up the National Gallery. But as the saying goes, behind every great man there is a great woman, and looking more closely at history we see the same is true for Coleorton.
It was a woman - Philippa, or Philippina, Maureward.
Philippa was born around 1391 in Coleorton. She was the only daughter and heir of Thomas Maureward, a prominent soldier and MP for Leicestershire, who owned large tracts of land in Leicestershire including Coleorton. Her mother was Elizabeth Oddingseles who had title of lands in Oxfordshire from her family and an earlier marriage. The Maurewards became Lords of the Manor of Coleorton in 1230 which included 540 acres of farmland, 300 acres of woodland, St Mary’s Church and around 16 households.
In 1413 Philippa married Sir Thomas Beaumont Seigneur of Basqueville (son of Sir John de Beaumont, 4th Lord Beaumont and Catherine Everingham) so becoming Philippa Beaumont.
In 1426 her father died and she inherited Coleorton Manor absolutely to be passed on to her children. The Beaumont family have been associated with Coleorton from that time.
A couple of years ago we had a visit from Francesca Beaumont-Clarke who is the daughter of the last (12th) Baronet Beaumont. She and her twin sister were his only children and so the baronetcy ceased. But, she explained, her father had not been Baronet of Coleorton – but the 12th Baronet of Stoughton Grange.
During the reign of Elizabeth I Nicholas Beaumont of Cole Orton was MP for Leicestershire, Justice of the Peace and High Sheriff of Leicestershire. His 3rd son Thomas didn’t inherit Coleorton but married Katherine Farnham who owned in her own right the Stoughton estates south east of Leicester near Oadby. Stoughton Grange had been a moated Augustinian Grange of Leicester Abbey. Their grandson Thomas was granted the Beaumont Baronetcy of Stoughton Grange in 1661 by Charles II.
In 1619 James I created the Coleorton baronetcy for Thomas Beaumont, of Coleorton, who was later made Viscount Beaumont of Swords (a suburb of Dublin). His grandson Thomas Beaumont, 3rd Viscount Beaumont of Swords and baronet of Coleorton, lived at Coleorton and endowed on his death in 1702 the first Coleorton school and the Alms house for 6 widows. Queen Anne had just ascended to the throne.
However he died without children and so the Coleorton baronetcy ceased and the Coleorton estates were inherited by his closest Beaumont relatives who were the Baronets of Stoughton Grange, at this time living in Dunmow, Essex.
Coleorton stayed within the Beaumont family until 1948, but the line of succession was not always straightforward and Coleorton Hall was not always occupied by Beaumonts being frequently sub-let or managed by other families.
Coleorton Heritage Group
More about the Beaumonts: