Genealogy Notes for the Village of Great Barrington, Gloucestershire
A miscellany of pictures and data arising out of research into the KIRBY's family trees (but not all linked to them). This is a work in progress so please treat the data with appropriate caution. For related information see List, Place Index and Wills Index

Location and general description

A tiny Cotswold stone village, just upstream from Burford on northern slopes of the Windrush valley. The village is dominated by the ancestral home of the BRAY family.


The Manor

The manor estates in Barrington were formed from those of  Llanthony Priory (Elrington, 1965). It was bought in 1553 by Reginald BRAY of Northmoor (Oxon.) and his father-in-law Richard MONNINGTON of Barrington (Elrington, 1965). The BRAY family resided at the Manor over several generations, as shown in my draft BRAY family tree, and eventually had connections with Shilton, Oxon, as well.

St Mary's Church

St Mary's Church is attached to the Great Barrington Estate. It contains an impressive monument to the BRAY family who at one time based themselves there.

 St Mary's Church, Great Barrington


The BRAY family

The BRAY family connection with Great Barrington began when it was bought in 1553 by Reginald BRAY of Northmoor (Oxon.) and his father-in-law Richard MONNINGTON of Barrington (Elrington, 1965), Reginald having married Anne MONINGTON, had issue by her

Edmund BRAY (-1620) of Taynton, Oxon, married Agnes HARMAN, daughter of  Edmund HARMAN of Taynton (Abt 1509-1577) and his wife Agnes (nee SYLVESTER). Edward was barber to Henry VIII, a prestigious position that rewarded him with significant landholdings around Burford, including four mills. Edmund and Agnes had issue, but the manor bypassed the next generation, coming to reside with Edmund's grandson Sir Giles BRAY (-1641, son of Edmund BRAY) of Barrington .

Sir Giles BRAY married Anne CHITWOOD by whom he had Edmund BRAY (-1684), the next incumbent of Great Barrington Manor.

Edmund BRAY (-1684) married Frances ASHCOMBE by whom he had Sir Reginald BRAY of Great Barrington (abt 1637-1688 or 1705). Sir Reginald married Jane RAINTON (1641-1716), the Daughter of William RAINTON of 
Bibury, Oxon, and then Shilton, Oxon, and Barbara his wife (nee TRINDER). This William was probably closely related to Nicholas RAINTON of Enfield, Middx, at one time Lord Mayor of London, he was also related through a kinswoman to the HALL family of Arlington, Bibury, Oxon. After the death of William, Barbera RAINTON (nee TRINDER) took as her second husband Thomas HORDE of Cote House, Bampton, Oxon.

Bray Monument

The BRAY monument in St Mary's church was erected at some point after 1771 and tells the story of the BRAY family's battle with smallpox over several generations.
The inscription on the monument, based on the transcription given by Bever H Blacker (1881, 358-359), but confirmed and formatted following examination of personal photographs of the monument, is taken to read as follows:

"This monument was erected by EDMUND BRAY Esq. and FRANCES his Wife, in Memory of their dear Children JANE and EDWARD.
She dyed of the Small pox, at her aunt CATCHMAYS in Gloucester, on Monday the one and twentieth Day of May, 1711, in the eighth
Year of her Age, much lamented; her extreme good Qualities having engaged the Affection of all that knew her.

He dyed upon Christmas Day, 1720, of the Small pox, at the Royal Academy at Angiers, in France, in the fifteenth Year
of his Age. So much esteemed for his Good Sense and fine Temper, that every Gentleman of the Academy (Foreigner, as well as Briton)
seem'd to rival each other in paying just Honours to his Memory; and the Beautys of his Person were equal to those of his Mind.

The Free Stone Effegie is for Captain EDMUND BRAY, whose Father REGINALD BRAY was Buried at Taynton, but most of
the underwritten (Descendants from him) lye here Interred; vizt., REGINALD, his Son; Sr. GILES,  his Grandson; REGINALD, his Son,
and REGINALD, his Grandson, who Dying before Sr. GILES, the Estate came to Sr. EDMUND BRAY, the youngest Son of Sr. GILES. He married FRANCES, one of the Daughters and Coheiresses of Sr. WILLIAM ASHCOMB, of Alvescot, in Oxfordshire.
And by Her had five Sons, vizt., REGINALD, GILES, EDMUND, JOHN, and ASHCOMBE, and two Daughters, ANN and MARY.

REGINALD dyed of the Small pox December 23, 1688; EDMUND was bred to Arms, and dyed Major to Sr. HARRY JONES'
Regiment of Horse, at the Siege of Mastrick, of the Small pox. GILES, JOHN, ASHCOMBE, and MARY, all Dyed also of the same fatal Distemper to this ffamily; ANN dyed an Infant: the last named REGINALD married JANE, Daughter and Heiress of WILLIAM
RAINTON, Esquire, of Shilton, in Berkshire, and had by her six Sons, vizt., GILES, REGINALD, WILLIAM,
FRANCES, MARGARET, and ELIZABETH. GILES dyed of a Consumption at Oxford; REGINALD dyed young. WILLIAM
dyed of the Small pox, The second REGINALD was bred at St John's College, at Oxford, and dyed greatly lamented Oct. 4, 1712.
The second WILLIAM dyed upon the ninth of April 1720. He was many years a Lieutenant Colonel of Horse,
here and in Flanders, and was universally esteemed in the Army. In the first parliament of King George he
was chosen for Monmouth. He was a true Patriot, a good Soldier, a faithfull Friend, and a kind Brother. FRANCES Dyed
of the Small pox, 1674: MARGARET dyed 1705; CATHERINE dyed 1706; ELIZABETH dyed 1723; BARBARA, JANE, ANN, MARY
and the second FRANCES are yet living."

The STEPHENS family

St Mary's Church contains a monument to James & Barbara STEPHENS. Barbera was the daughter of  Sir Reginald BRAY of Great Barrington (abt 1637-1688 or 1705)

Stephens Monument

'Near this place lies interred / Body of James Stephens / Esq (who married Barbara / Daughter of Reginald Bray / Esq and Jane his Wife) he died / on 1 May 1692 / Aged 68 / Near him lies also the bodyes / of John and James Stephens / son of the said James and / Barbara John died the 28th / of October 1688 aged two / months James died the 22nd / of November 1695 aged / five years'

Related links

A selection of links to other sites with information about this place


Any transcripts and images on this page are Copyright R I Kirby 2005 unless stated otherwise.