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Origins of the Pollicott name

The orgins of the Pollicott name

The name Pollicott appears as a Manor in Buckinghamshire in the Doomsday book from 1086, which was a major land survey ordered by William the Conquerer [King William I, Duke of Normandy], following the Norman Invasion of 1066. Pollicott was part of Ashendon, itself one of the Buckinghamshire Northen Hundreds (An administrative region within a shire):

"In Ashendon hundred Walter [Giffard] holds Pollicot himself,. It answers for 10 hides [=1200 arcres]. Land for 8 ploughs. Two men at arms hold from Walter. In lordship 4 ploughs. 13 villagers will 1 smallholder have 4 ploughs, 4 slaves; meadow for 8 ploughs he total value is and was 6 pounds; before 1066 7 pounds. Alric son of Goding held 5 hides of this manor, and three brothers held 5 hides; they could sell to whom they would".

A possible origin of the place name comes from "cott(age) of the people from Pol", where Pol is probably a saxon tribal name, related to "pool" or "stream".

A little history

Prior to the Conquest, the manor of Ashendon was held by three brothers, with Pollicott belonging to Alric, son of Godinge. Subsequently, the chief land owner, Walter Gifford, was a Norman from Longueville-sur-Scie, near Dieppe. He was the son of Walter Giffard of Bolbec, and a cousin of William. He married a daughter of Gerard Fleitel, and his children were: Walter Gifford II; William, bishop of Winchester; and Rohais, wife of Richard I of Clare. The family continued as Earls of Buckingamshire, but the male line died out in 1164.The name appears in pipe roles in 1130 [spelling, Pollicote]; c 1155 in Charters in Oxford [speilling Pulicote]; and 1241 in Assize rolls [spelling Pulicote]. During the 13th century it became the practice for individuals to adopt surnames, usually based on the names of places where they lived. Earler references to the family name occur for Ralph Polecot (~1234), John Polecote (~1286) and William Poleycote (~1373) living in neighbouring Stone.

The family crest is a leopard's head with the inscription " Rara avis in Terris [nigroque simillima cycno]", which is a quote from Juvenal (Satires, VI.165) meaning "A rare bird upon the earth [and very much like a black swan]"

To reflect the susbequent Norman lords, the Manor was subsequently renamed Pollicot le Marshal, Policot Cressey, Bucktot and Valence in rapid succession. However, the name finally became simply Upper Pollicott and Lower Pollicott.

The manor belonged to the Earls of Pembroke and passed by a female heir to the Talbots, and afterwards the Staffords. At a later period it belonged to the family of Palmer, from whom it was purchased by the Grenvilles, and is now the property of the Marquis of Buckingham, who holds the manor, or reputed manor, of Little Pollicott, as lessee under Lincoln College in Oxford. This estate is said to have been given to Lincoln College prior to 1479 by John Bucktot, a priest. The manor house was a retireat for the college during the plague.

The College held the Manor until 1952 when it was bought by the sitting tenant, a farmer. The farmhouse, probably representing the site of the manor, was eventually sold to a private buyer.

A desription of Upper and Lower Pollicott

''This parish includes more than 2127 acres, of which about one eight is arable, while the rest, except 11 acres of woodland, is pasture. The soil is loam and clay on a subsoil of Kimmeridge Clay and Corallian. The land rises from 300ft above the ordnance datum in the north-west to 500ft near the village, whence it sinks to about 300ft at Lower Pollicott.The village, which is small and consists of farm houses and thatched or tiled cottages grouped irregularly on high ground, lies in the west of the parish on a road which enters it from Westcott on the north. The church stands on a hill at the south-west extremity of the village. East Farm, about 250 yards in a north-easterly direction from the church, and the farm 50 yards further on, are both of late 17th century origin but much altered and restored. About a quarter of a mile south-west of the church is the hamlet of Upper Pollicott, south of which Lower Pollicott lies in a hollow a little distance from the main road. Lower Pollicott farm-house, about three quarters of a mile south of the church, was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century. It was originally timber-framed, but as been partly refaced in later times with stone rubble and brick-work. Three of the original chimney stacks survive, and some original oak panelling remains internally.''

- The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire

"This parish includes more than 2127 acres, of which about one eight is arable, while the rest, except 11 acres of woodland, is pasture. The soil is loam and clay on a subsoil of Kimmeridge Clay and Corallian. The land rises from 300ft above the ordnance datum in the north-west to 500ft near the village, whence it sinks to about 300ft at Lower Pollicott.

The village, which is small and consists of farm houses and thatched or tiled cottages grouped irregularly on high ground, lies in the west of the parish on a road which enters it from Westcott on the north. The church stands on a hill at the south-west extremity of the village. East Farm, about 250 yards in a north-easterly direction from the church, and the farm 50 yards further on, are both of late 17th century origin but much altered and restored. About a quarter of a mile south-west of the church is the hamlet of Upper Pollicott, south of which Lower Pollicott lies in a hollow a little distance from the main road. Lower Pollicott farm-house, about three quarters of a mile south of the church, was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century. It was originally timber-framed, but as been partly refaced in later times with stone rubble and brick-work. Three of the original chimney stacks survive, and some original oak panelling remains internally."

The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire

My link to the Pollicotts of Buckinghamshire

My own link with the family goes something like the following:

  • Godfrey Pollicott (d.1408)
  • John Pollicott (d.1434)
  • John Pollicott (b.~1400)
  • Thomas Pollicott (d.~1494)
  • John Pollicott (d.1544)
  • Richard Pollicott (d.1545)
  • Francis Pollicott (d.1592)
  • Francis Pollicott (b.1568)
  • Thomas Pollicott (b.1599)
  • Thomas Pollicott
  • Thomas Pollicott (b.1685)
  • James Pollicott (b.1721)
  • William Pollicott (b.1771)
  • Thomas Pollicott (b.1797)
  • Samuel Pollicott (b.1823)
  • Mary Pollicott (b.1849)
  • William Pollicott (b.1869)
  • Joseph Pollicott (b.1889)
  • Kenneth Pollicott (b.1928)
  • Mark Pollicott (b.1959)