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Sibilla, the daughter of Earl Roger, who became heiress to his estates, married Robert Fitz Hamon, who, being Lord of the Honor of Gloucester, united to it the manor of Loseley, which was afterwards held as the appurtenance to that house.
In the reign of Henry III. this manor was held of the House of Gloucester by the military service of half a knight's fee; but in the succeeding reigns of Edward I., II., and 111., it was held of the same house by the service of a whole knight's see, and valued at twenty pounds per annum. In 1592, Christopher More, Esq., who had previously settled in Derbyshire, became by purchase possessor of the entire Loseley estate, and obtained a grant of free warren, with a licence to make a park here, as appears from a writ of privy seal of Henry vill. preserved among the muniments at Loseley. It is dated Chelseheth (Chelsea), 14th of December, in the 24th of Henry's reign, A.D. 1533; and gives licence to Christopher More, characterized as one of the clerks of the Exchequer, to impark and surround with hedges, ditches, and pedes, two hundred acres of land at his manor of Loseley, free warren to the same, etc. Red deer were then kept in this park. This Christopher More was Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex, both in the 24th and 31st years of Henry VIII., on the first of which occasions he received the honour of knighthood. In the 37th of Henry's reign he held the office of King's Remembrancer of the Exchequer, which he retained until his decease in
William More, the eldest surviving son of Christopher, was born on January the 30th, 1519-20. He sat in Parliament as member for the borough of Guildford several times in the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth, and in that of the latter he was chosen knight of the shire for Surrey ; he was also appointed Vice-Admiral of Sussex, the duty of which office was to enforce the rights of the Admiralty on the shores of the district entrusted to his jurisdiction. On the 14th of May 1576, the honour of knighthood was conferred on him by Dudley Earl of Leicester, in the Earl of Lincoln's garden at Pirford, in Surrey, in the presence of Queen Elizabeth, who, on giving him her hand to kiss, told him that he well deserved the honour which she had then conferred upon him.' He may be considered as the founder of Loseley House ; for in 1562 he began to build the central compartment of the mansion, somewhat to the north, probably, of an earlier edifice, some vestiges of which have been placed in the Great Hall of the present building. On the wainscot is a monogram composed of the letters H. K. P., for Henry and Katherine Parr; H. R., the fleur-de-lis, the rose, and the portcullis, with the motto, Dieu et mon Droit,—all evidently executed in the reign of Henry VIII.
Sir William More died, much respected, on the 20th of July 1600, in the 81st year of his age, and was buried in the family vault at St. Nicholas' Church, Guildford. This gentleman was highly esteemed by Queen Elizabeth, who visited him at Loseley in the years 1577, 1583, and 1594,
and probably also on one or two other occasions. He was a firm supporter of the Protestant religion ; and in 1570 the safe keeping of Henry Wriothesley, second Earl of Southampton, who had been subjected to restraint as a suspected Papist, was entrusted to him; and the Earl, in consequence, became his prisoner-guest at Loseley for nearly three years.
Among the manuscripts at Loseley several letters are extant respecting the arrangements for the Queen's visits, and the caution that was taken to prevent Her Majesty being exposed to any infectious disease during her progresses. In a letter dated from the Court at Oatlands in August 1583, Sir Christopher Hatton informs Sir William More that 'Her Matie hath an intention about ten or twelve days hence to visit yor House by Guylford, and to remayne theere some foure or fyve dayes, wch I thought good to advertise you of, that in the meane whyle you might see every thinge well ordered, and your House kept sweate and cleane, to receave her Hygnes whensoever she shal be pleased to see it.' Sir Christopher was at that time the Queen's chamberlain.
How highly Sir William More stood in the Queen's favour
may be inferred from a letter sent to him by his daughter Elizabeth, who was one of the ladies of Her Majesty's Privy Chamber.
This letter was apparently written in the autumn of 1595, but is not dated, and includes the following passage in reference to Sir William, the spelling modernized :
—Since my coming to the Court, I
have had many gracious words of Her Majesty, and many time she bade me welcome with all her heart, ever since I have waited. Yesterday she wore the gown you gave her, and took thereby occasion to speak of you, saying ere long I should find a mother-in-law, which was herself; but she was afraid of the two widows that are with you, that they would be angry with her for it; and that she would give ten thousand pounds you were twenty years younger ; for she hath but few such servants as you are.'-Loseley Manuscripts, edited by A. J. Kempe.
George, the only son and heir of Sir William More, was born in 1553, and educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. In 1604 he presented divers manuscripts to the public library at Oxford, together with forty pounds for the purchase of printed books. In 1597 he was nominated Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex, and about that time was knighted. Like his father, he acquired the special favour of the Queen, who on 3d November 1601 augmented his estate by the grant of the lordship and hundred of Godalming. Early in the next reign he was appointed Treasurer to Henry Prince of Wales. On the 11th and 12th August 1603, both King James and his Queen were 'royally entertained' at Loseley by Sir George More; and on 21st August 1606 he was again honoured by a visit from the king. In 1610 His Majesty promoted him to the Chancellorship of the Order of the Garter; and in 1615, from a full 'confidence in his honesty,' and, as James himself expresses it, without the knowledge of any,' he appointed
him Lieutenant of the Tower, after the removal of Sir Gervase Elwes from that important command, in consequence of his being implicated in the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury.
Among the Loseley manuscripts printed by Mr. Kempe, F.S.A., are four original letters from King James to Sir George More, from which it appears that His Majesty was deeply indebted to Sir George for his management of Somerset previously to his trial for the murder of Overbury. In one of his letters the king says: “It is easie to be seene that he (the Earl) while threattin me with laying an aspersion upon me of being in some sorte accessorie to the cryme.' Mr. Kempe, in another part of his work, states that, 'from the drafts of sundry disregarded memorials at Loseley, Sir George appears to have been ill requited for his services to James, who neglected him in his declining years. He is noticed in Nichols' Progresses of that king, as attending his funeral in his office of Chancellor of the Garter in a very infirm state.'
In August 1617 Sir George More entertained the Prince of Wales, afterwards Charles I., at Loseley. Sir George sat in Parliament for Guildford in the reigns of Elizabeth and James I., and for the county of Surrey in the reigns of these two sovereigns and Charles I. Sir George died in his 79th year, 16th October 1632. By his wife Ann, daughter and
. co-heiress of Sir Adrian Poynings, he had four sons and five daughters, of whom Ann, born May 1584, was privately married in 1600 to John Donne, afterwards celebrated as