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last updated 7 May 2014




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The last day of April was the most beautiful Kentish day ....




Oast House - designed originally for drying hops and at one time a frequent sight in Kent



In April the guns are silent and pheasant cocks are out and about looking to create new content for next winter's pheasant pies.



In fact a perfect day for a drive through country lanes of West Kent to Mereworth, one time stomping ground of Adrian's 11x Grt Grandparents Sir Thomas Fane (c1510 - 1589 (79)) and Marie Fane (Neville) Baroness le Despenser (c1554 - 1626 (72)). 



Quite a bit has happened since the uber-rich Tom & Marie lived at Badsell and around here.  In 1624 their son, Sir Francis Fane (product of Maidstone Grammar and Queens Cambridge, and later inter alia MP for Maidstone), became the first Earl of Westmoreland - or the seventh if you count the Neville family earls of Raby Castle (Co Durham) who had lost the lot - titles and lands - in 1571, as a result of mistakenly (and more importantly unsuccessfully) trying to liberate Mary Queen of Scots.


In the 1720s the seventh of the new earls (John Fane 1685-1763 (78)) demolished the old fortified manor house known as Mereworth Castle, and commissioned architect Colen Campbell to replace it with a close copy of a classic Palladian.  The old Mereworth parish church got in the way of the symmetry of the new buildings, so the Earl demolished it "because it was an ancient building and most inconvenient" and between 1744 and 1746 built a new church half a mile away.


More about the earlier Fanes of Badsell



The Church of St Laurence, Mereworth (Kent)




You can see the church spire for miles around, but the big surprise is .....




...... when you walk into St Laurence you are transported back to Rome - it is a beautifully proportioned basilica !



The tomb of Sir Thomas Fane (c1510 - 1589 (79)) and Marie Fane (Neville) Baroness le Despenser (c1554 - 1626 (72)) was moved from old to new churches in 1746.




Tomb of  Sir Thomas Fane (c1510 - 1589 (79)) and Marie Fane (Neville) Baroness le Despenser (c1554 - 1626 (72)) in the church of St Laurence, Mereworth (Kent)


It's time to explain how they came to be Adrian's 11x Grt Grandparents ........


- Sir Thomas Fane (c1510 - 1589 (79)) (of Badsell) and Marie Fane (Neville) Baroness le Despenser (c1554 - 1626 (72)). Marie was one of the wealthiest people in England, and Francis was her sole heir.

note:  her Christian name was Marie in her will, which we have a copy of.


- Rt Hon Sir Francis Fane, First Earl of (revived earldom of) Westmoreland* (1580 - 1629 (49)) and Mary Fane (Mildmay) (? - 1640) (Adrian's 10xGrt Grandparents).  Mary's grandfather, Thomas Mildmay of Chelmsford, Adrian's 13xGrt Grandfather (one of 32,768 13xGrts) was the Royal Commissioner responsible for receiving the assets of the Monasteries closed by Henry VIII in the 1530s, like a third or more of the monetary wealth of England, whilst her father was a major Elizabethan political mover and shaker.  


- Hon Robert Fane* (1610 - 1657 (47)) (7th and youngest son of Francis Fane) and Dorothy Fane (Sedley) (1614 - 1654 (40)) from Igtham, Kent


- Lewis Incledon (1636 - 1698 (62)) (Devon landed gentry) and Elizabeth Incledon (Fane)* (1648 - ?)


- Henry Incledon* (1674 - 1736 (62)) and Mary Incledon (Davie) (1682 - 1710 (28))


- John Incledon* (1702 - 1746 (44)) and Elizabeth Incledon (Northcote) (1700 - 1758 (58))


- Philip Rogers Webber (1732 - 1819 (86)) (from a line of Barnstaple pewterers) and Mary Webber* (Incledon) (1736 - 1807 (71)) (Adrian's 5xGrt Grandparents)



Philip Rogers Webber's father was Alexander Webber (1685-1739 (54)).  A pewterer of note, 1737 Mayor of Barnstaple and Adrian's 6xgrt grandfather.  His portrait by Thomas Hudson can be found in the Barnstaple Guildhall.



- Maj Gen Henry Webber* (1762 - 1833 (71) (Madras Army) and unknown (Indian) mistress


- Henry Webber* (1784 - 1854 (70)) (Madras Clerk) and Jane (Johana) Webber (Dosseyn) (1799 - 1878 (79))


- Priscilla Burton* (Webber) (1826 - 1887 (61)) and Charles Benjamin Burton (1824 - 1884 (60)) (Madras Clerk)


- Surgeon Lt Col John Adolphus Burton* (1854 - 1924 (69)) (Indian Medical Service) and "Gem" Burton (Middlecoat) (1871 - 1953 (82))


- Ethel Fletcher* (Burton) (1890 - 1968 (78)) (c Madras) and Dr Frank Rex ("Jimmy") Fletcher (1890 - 1974 (84)) (Folkestone doctor in peacetimes)


- Col Michael Fletcher* (1918 - 2007 (89)) (British Army) and Peggy Sproule (1917 - 2005 (88))


- Adrian Fletcher* (1943 -    )











Adrian Fletcher's main website



Paradoxplace, a place full of  the buildings (especially abbeys cathedrals and churches), art, books, history and stories of the movers and shakers of Medieval and Early Modern Europe / Renaissance Italy and Western Europe plus lots of foodie stuff. 



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Bellatrovata is the original "on the road" site for Adrian (aka Adriano and Dom Paradox) Fletcher's European explorations.  Material relating to explorations in Italy (including Tuscany, Rome and Venice), Spain, France and Britain between 2004 and 2006 has now been transferred to Adrian's main web site - Paradoxplace - and Bellatrovata has been spring cleaned in preparation for the next road trips in England (Autumn 2009) and  Northern Italy and Burgundy (May 2010).



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