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WHORWOOD, Field (c1592-1658) – Wickhamford Manor tenant

The following information is accredited by the Evesham historian, E.A.B. Barnard, to Sir Thomas Phillipps of Middle Hill, Broadway. Barnard says Phillipps was always very exact, but that the documents “are no longer available” (writing in 1935).  The Manor of Wickhamford was leased to Field Whorwood by Samuel Sandys, his wife Mary and mother Penelope, on 15th February 1637, for 40 years.

Whorwood was from Nethercote, Oxfordshire.  He was born about 1592, one of 14 children of William Whorwood of Sandwell and his wife Ann, née Field (Jane Austen is one of their distant descendants).  He was a citizen of London where he is recorded as an ironmonger and was an Alderman, elected on 12th July 1653, to represent Farringdon Without.

He died in July 1658 and is buried in West Bromwich. His will was proved in Wootton. His niece, Jane Whorwood, was a Royalist supporter in the Civil War and there is a book about her entitled The King's Smuggler by John Fox (2010). 

In his book, Fox has about ten references to Field Whorwood, whom he mentions as a banker and goldsmith, of Lombard Street, London.  When Field's brother, Sir Thomas Whorwood, died in 1634, he moved to his house, Holton, a few miles east of Oxford, to be with his sister-in-law, Lady Ursula.  He was a City banker when Oxford declared for the King on 13th August 1643, at the start of the English Civil War.  Whorwood's niece, Jane, smuggled gold for the King and, as Whorwood was a goldsmith and financier, he almost certainly helped her in her smuggling.  Fox writes that Whorwood also issued England's first banknotes.

Oxford surrendered in June 1646 and Field Whorwood was accused by the Parliamentarians of joining the King's garrison at Oxford, purely because his home at Horton was within the Royalist controlled area.  After they occupied Horton, Oliver Cromwell's daughter, Bridget, married a Parliamentarian commander, Henry Ireton, there in 1647.  Lady Ursula had died in February 1647 and she left Field Whorwood a silver-lidded tankard in her Will.  He composed his own Will in January 1654 and died on 14th July 1658.

It would appear that although Field Whorwood rented Wickhamford Manor, there is no evidence that he ever resided there. Before he died, the Manor had been conveyed to Sir John Pettus in a marriage settlement of 1657.