February 2011

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The surname of this family may derive from a hamlet named Wilcote at Quinton, Celflede Hundred, Gloucester, named in the Domesday records.  The family is sometimes said to have been a branch of the Rainsford family because of the use of the Rainsford arms "Azure, an eagle displayed argent, ducally gorged or." The family flourished for less than 200 years and is now thought to be extinct in the male line. Most Wilcotts who lived in the United States have been shown by historical records or DNA tests of their descendants to be descendants of Wolcott families, and not from this family.

Some of this information is from "The Berks, Bucks, & Oxon Archeological Journal, Vol. 1-3 pp. 99-107; "The Berkshire Archeological Journal Vol. 11-12 pp 107-113; and "The Early History of Woodstock", pp. 104-6.


(1) (probably) Thomas Wilcote or Willicotes of Quinton, Gloucestershire; m. Elizabeth Hall, dau. of Edward Hall of Grearford. Quinton is on the Gloucester-Warwickshire border.

(2) Sir William Wilcote or Willicotes, of Hedington and Northleigh, b. c.1350-d. 1412 represented Oxfordshire in Parliament 1385, 1389-90, 1394-5, 1397, and 1409-10; William Wilcote of Wilcote was Sheriff of Berkshire and Oxfordshire 1392-3 and 1399-1400; JP for Oxfordshire 1394-9 and  1403-1412; steward of the estates of Queen Anne from 1394; Privy Councilor 1397.  In 1397 he purchased the manor of Willecote in Gloucestershire; he also held the adjascent manor of Alvescot in Preston on Stour.  In 1399 he received a royal grant of the manor of Hedington, with the hundreds of Bullington and Northgate, Oxfordshire, for which he paid 30s annually to the King, and was made custodian of Cornbury Park 1402-1412. In 1402 Henry IV granted to William Willicotes, esq., and his heirs, free warren in all his demesne lands of Willicote or Alvescote in the County of Gloucestershire, and in the manors of Ipwell, Walcote, and Wodepary in the county of Oxford. He purchased rents and reversion of lands at Northleigh, and jointly with John Norbury was granted the farm of the manor of Woodstock and hundred of Wootton from the queen, Joanna of Navarre, which King Henry said: "of our special favor and for the laudable services which our beloved gentlemen, John Norbury and William Wilcotes, now deceased, had conferred upon us, we have granted and to farm let to the same John and William our manors of Woodstock, Hamburgh, Wotton, and Stonfield, with all their members and hamlets and other profits, and all their appurtenances, and also our hundred of Wotton... for the term of our life... rendering yearly 175 pounds...." In 12 Henry IV William is returned as having died seized of "tur et reddit in Northlye, Wealicott, Wodeparye and Ypwell, co. Oxon", and the manor of Hedington in socage for himself and his heirs at a yearly rent of 40 pounds and that Thomas Willecot was his son and heir; m. c.1380 Elizabeth, dau. and heiress of Sir John Trillowe of Chasleton, Warwickshire, and had as her dowry the manors of Chastleton, lying in Oxford, Gloucester, Worcester, and Warwickshire, and Saltford, Warwick and lands in Northleigh, Oxford; in c,1410 Elizabeth inherited the manor of Wilcote from her nephew Thomas Perrot.  2 sons, 5 dau.. The widow, Elizabeth, m. (2) Sir John Blakett who d. 1420; her arms arg a chevron engrailed sa. between 3 escallops of the second; In 1438-9 she built the Wilcote Chapel, in the church of Northleigh, where there is a monument to herself, and, as is commonly supposed, her first husband, William Willicotes, with their effegies.  Elizabeth Blaket obtained a licence in mortmain to found a chantry with an endowment for two priests.  Her two sons, Thomas and John Willecotes, joined with her in the application for the license, as appears in the letters patents; and this is a reason why the effigy may be considered to be that of her former husband, who was their father, and not of Sir John Blaket. Sir William Wilcote and his wife Lady Elizabeth Blacket were once believed to travel around the village in a phantom coach. Their ghosts are believed to have been laid by a team of priests. She d. in 1445, seized of the manor of Wodepary, Madecroft, and Horley Close, Oxfordshire, and other lands ; bur. Northleigh church; the Wilcote tomb has on it the arms: a chevron engrailes between 3 escallops and on the other side a spread eagle.

(3) Sir Thomas Wilcott, 1389-d. 1415; inherited from his father the manor of Headington and the hundred of Bullingdon, which were in his possession in 1415; retained by Queen Joan as Controller of Works at Woodstock and died of illness shortly after returning home after the siege of Harfleur;  unm..

(3) Sir John Wilcott, c.1392-c.1440; inherited the manor of Headington from his brother; killed in the French Wars; m. Elizabeth Daniels, d.s.p..  The widow m. (2) Sir Thomas Blount.

(3) Elizabeth Wilcott, c.1300-; m. Sir Thomas Perott Wykeham of Broughton, d.1443, great-nephew and heir of Archbishop William of Wykham; son William, ae 24 and more in 1445.

(3) Margaret Wilcott; m. John Beaufoy, son Richard.

(3) Isabel, the only child surviving in 1445, d. 1457; m. John Burton MP; m. (2) Sir Robert Shotesbrook.

(3) Ann Wilcott; m. ___ Conyers, son Thomas age 17 in 1445.

(3) Philippa, m. William Bishopsden, daughters Elizabeth wife of Thomas Palmer and Philippa wife of William Catesby.

(2) Sir John Wilcote or Willicotes of Tewe Magna and Heythorpe; c.1360-1422; his relation to Sir William Wilcote based on William leaving his manor of Great Tewe to Sir John Wilcote's son if William's daughter, Elizabeth died without heirs. John Wilcotes was a soldier in the service of Thomas, Lord de Spencer, who in about 1390 granted him an annuity of £10 out of the manor of Brodeton, Wiltshire. He was MP for Oxfordshire 1399-1422 except 1415-6 when he represented Kent; Receiver General for the Duchy of Cornwall in 1400 and steward of the Duchy in Devon and Jurate of the Stannary Court 1413-22, Sheriff of Gloucestershire 1420-22, JP for Oxfordshire 1403-22; Escheator for Oxfordshire and Berkshire 1403-22 High Sheriff of Berkshire and Oxfordshire 1401-22; given the wardship of Thomas St. Clair, lord of Stanton, Oxfordshire, in 1418; member of the Privy Council 1417 and in 1418 a witness to the King's will; m. (1) c.1396 Alice Chelmscote of Great Chew with settlement of the manor of Great Tewe on the couple, with reversion to Alice's daughter Emma, and then to the heirs of John Wilcotes; m. (2)  c.1410 Elizabeth Cheney, dau. Richard Cheyne of Shurland, he d. 1467; widow of William Septvance of Milton, Kent, who d. 1407, Elizabeth remarried (3) Sir Richard Walksteade and d. 1410.  Arms:Az. an eagle displayed Arg. beaked and legged Or, on its breast an escallop Sa..

(3) Thomas Wilcott, son of Alice; b. c.1400, represented Bletchingly in Parliament 1449; in 1541 he, being childless, deeded his manors of Dene and Chalcford to trustees for the benefit of Oriel College and to provide for masses to be said for his father and the father's 2 wives and his daughters, and for himself and wife; m. Eleanor ____, who m. (2) John Hay.

(3) Elizabeth Wilcott, b. 1413; inherited from her father the manor of Tewe Magna; m. Henry Rainsford of Tew;  son William Rainsford of Great Tew c.1444-1487; m. Alice Ashton; grandson John Rainsford m. Alice Danvers, granddaughter Dorothy Rainsford m. John Danvers.

(3) Margaret Wilcott, b. c.1415; inherited from her father the manor of Heythrop, relinquishing to her half-brother, Thomas Wilcott, rights to land in Dene and Chalcford; m. John Ashford.

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