The Digby's


The medieval Digby's and the transfer by feoffment of the Woodhouse Manor from the Stuffyn's to knight in service, Simon Dygby, is covered on my 'Feudal' page. The medieval manor was passed into the hands of Thomas Digby, Simon Digby's youngest son c1530. The image below is an extract from a copy of the original transfer deed written in Medieval Latin.

According to Burke's Peerage, Thomas was the first recorded Digby to live at the Manor House. The Woodhouse parish records of births, marriages & deaths began in 1653 and the first record is of Sir John Digby's eldest son, John, and his marriage to Frances Pynkney in 1663.This is followed by christenings: Kenelm 1665, John 1668, Lucy 1670, George 1672, Elizabeth 1674, Frances 1676. All the children are recorded in a memorial plaque in St Edmunds church as dying young except John. The father John, died in 1696 aged 58.

The next generation of Digby's living at the Manor House according to the parish record, starts with John (1668) who married Jane Wharton, daughter of Lord Wharton of Edlington, Yorkshire.The records begin with their christenings: Frances 1700, Jane 1701, Lucy 1702, twins Elizabeth & Ann 1703, John 1705, Philadelphia 1706, Rosamond 1707, twins Thomas & Mary, Priscilla 1711, Henrietta 1712 and finally! Lucy 1714. Thats 13 christenings! Lucy (1702) and twins Elizabeth & Ann (1703) died in infancy. Eldest son, John died in 1728 aged just 23 and Rosamond and Thomas also died young. There are 4 more records of marriages of their daughters the last one being in 1730. Their father, John Digby died in 1722. According to his parliamentary biography he suffered excrutiating agony with gout that often confined him to bed. A memorial inscription on the south wall of St Edmunds dated 1747 was made by the mother Jane Digby.

This family was large.......its clearly the reason why the house was extended so many times! In St Edmunds church, next door, Digby memorials are numerous including the one below of Sir John Digby, the celebrated Royalist who defended Newark against a Parliamentarian army.

The memorial to Sir John Digby and his wife Lucie in St Edmunds Church, Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire.

In 1642, at the start of the English Civil War, Royalist and High Sheriff, Sir John Digby, emulated his medieval ancestors gaining a knighthood from Charles I for defending the strategically important town of Newark on the 'Great North Road' against Parliamentarian forces.