Recently I was invited by the committee of the Somerset & Dorset FHS to be their RID(E)OUT archivist with a view to curating a large collection of genealogical material, much of which was bequeathed to the Society by the late Bill Ridout of Berkhamsted.
It is well known that historically Ridout and Rideout families could be found in many of Dorset’s towns, villages and hamlets as well as in the bordering counties. If we suppose that there may only have been two or three ancestral Rid(e)out progenitors it might be possible, using traditional genealogical methods, yDNA study and a dose of sheer good luck, to coalesce some of the many twigs and branches into more substantial trees. Over the years, many Ridout researchers have donated their family histories and pedigrees to the S&DFHS Centre at Sherborne and so I decided to start a tree building project with these. Maybe you will recognise names and places; perhaps you can help?
As I started researching these trees I noticed the name Philip Ridout or Rideout cropped up more than once – in trees from Compton Abbas, Iwerne Courtney, Ashmore and Farnham; then I remembered that there was also a vicar of that name who was connected with Fontmell Magna. I marked some of the places associated with Philip Rid(e)outs on a map; they’re quite close together… could the various branches perhaps be of the same family? Maybe; here is the story of one of those families…
Musgrave’s Obituary referenced a report in the London Magazine for December 1743:
“-Rev. Mr Philip Rideout M.A. by whose Death the Rectory of Farnham and Vicarage of Iwerne cum Hanley in Dorsetshire, Hinton St Mary, Margaret Marsh and Gussage become void-”
I was quite persuaded that this report must true; the facts were repeated in a couple of newspapers, using the same wording. However, the details failed to tally with the very excellent Clergy of the Church of England Database (CCED) which shows that on the 20th May 1741 the Rector of Farnham, Rev Richard PASSINGHAM, was forced to vacate his rectory there as he was also Rector of Puncknowle and couldn’t hold both livings (Richard died in 1754, not 1743). The empty post in Farnham was filled, on the very same day, by Rev Philip Rideout and there he stayed for a good few years. Quite what had generated a false report of his death I do not know; I searched for burials throughout Dorset but couldn’t find one for a Philip Rid(e)out in 1743.
Rev. Philip Rideout I, as I call him to avoid confusion, was the son of Philip Rideout and his wife Mary (née HAYTER; mar. 25th May 1695 in Fisherton Anger, Tisbury, Wiltshire). The younger Philip was baptised in Tisbury on the 10th March 1696. Luckily, the details of his parent’s marriage were provided in a Sarum marriage licence bond, dated 25th May 1695 at Sutton Mandeville in Wiltshire. This handy document shows that Philip was a bachelor aged 30 and Mary was a 25 year old spinster, daughter of Augustine Hayter, Rector of Sutton Mandeville (from 1662-1709). Philip and Mary had other children baptised in Tisbury: Mary (bp. 18th March 1695), Robert (bp. 17th September 1701) and, I think, a son Thomas for whom I can trace no baptism.
Rev Philip’s ecclesiastical career can be traced from the CCED and from Joseph Foster’s Alumni Oxonienses: The Members of the University of Oxford, 1715-1886:
“Rideout, Philip, son of Philip, of Chickgrove, parish of Tisbury, Wilts. pleb. Hart Hall, matric. 4 Nov. 1713, aged 18; B.A. from Merton College. 1717, M.A. 1720, vicar of Ewerne 1722, and rector of Farnham, Dorset, 1741-63, father of Philip 1745).”
This entry shows that Philip Sr was not himself a cleric, as I had at first wondered, but a commoner (‘pleb’). Incidentally, the identification of Rev Philip I as being the father of the following incumbent, Rev. Philip Rideout II, is, as will become clear, incorrect.
When I started looking at this family I had to give myself a crash course in how the church worked with respect to the various positions within it. I didn’t know the difference between a curate, a deacon, a vicar, a rector; I didn’t know that a rectory and a vicarage related to the actual benefices rather than simply the buildings in which a vicar or rector lived! It was a steep learning curve. Some men, like Philip, were pluralists, meaning that they held a position in more than one parish (it depended on the parishes in question as to whether this was allowed) and most were university educated. Hence Philip studied at Oxford for four years, was ordained a deacon at St James’ Westminster on the 27th October 1717 and then continued his theological studies for a further three years before being ordained as a priest on the 4th June 1721. He was appointed vicar of Iwerne Minster on the 11th October 1722, a living which was recorded as void on the 30th December 1764. Philip was also the rector of Farnham until resigning his post on the 18th May 1763; he was buried in Iwerne Minster on the 1st August 1764.
Philip married Henrietta HUGHES from Sonning in Berkshire; fortunately another marriage bond, dated the 15th May 1727, was available online and this showed her bondsman to be the elegantly named Theophilus HUGHES, soon to become curate of Sonning; I suspect that Theophilus was Henrietta’s brother. A will, written by another villager in 1729, revealed a relationship: “Item I give to the Reverend Mr William Hughes Vicar of Sunning aforesaid five pounds desiring him to preach me a funeral sermon but if the said Mr William Hughes die before me I give to his son the Reverend Mr Theophilus Mountjoy Hughes the sum of five pounds and do desire him the said Theophilus to preach my Funeral sermon.” Yet another clerical connection with the Rideout family!
Sadly, Henrietta died after just three years of marriage and the couple, as far as I know, had no children; she was buried at Iwerne Minster on the 3rd June 1730. Her widower Philip left a will, written before 11th September 1764 (when it went to probate) but, frustratingly, only a fragment remains from which it is possible to make out a few lines. Philip leaves bequests to a niece with the surname HARVEY, daughter of Hannah, a niece Betty, daughter of Mary Rideout, a nephew Philip Rideout, sister Mary LAWRENCE, brother Philip Rideout and another brother Thomas and family, who he says is “in very good circumstances, much better than myself and my……..(missing)…….. children) which is the only reason I give him no legacy but if he will be pleased to accept my best suit of clothes I desire it may be delivered to him.” That last part is rather enigmatic; perhaps Philip did have children but I have found no evidence of it, or perhaps he was referring to his other siblings and their children.
As Rev Philip Rideout I had no son he couldn’t have been the father of the next incumbent, Rev Philip Rideout II, as the Clergy Database records suggest; in fact Philip II was definitely the son of Philip I’s younger brother Robert Rideout of Fontmell Magna (bp. 1701). Robert married a lady called Cicely (indexed as Cisily, Cicley and Cicily) whose surname is currently unknown as I’ve found no marriage. One of Robert’s children was baptised Hannah (bp. Feb 1734 at Fontmell Magna); she married George HARVEY in 1757 and had a daughter Anna in 1761 – this was likely to have been one of the two nieces (actually a grand niece) to which Philip I referred in his will.
Robert and Cicely’s son Philip (bp. 13 Sep 1728 at Fontmell Magna) followed much the same career path as his uncle before him; he went up to Oxford at the age of 17, in 1745, gained a BA in 1749; two years later he was ordained as a deacon at Christchurch in Oxford and was awarded a MA in 1752. On the 18th May 1763 he became rector of Farnham, on the same day that his uncle resigned.
Rev Philip Rideout II married Anna Susanna HINCKESMAN (sometimes HINXMAN) on the 23rd May 1775 at St Martin’s in Salisbury according to Dorset Notes & Queries (volume XIII p.132) although an online source quotes the year as 1771, which is more likely given the birth years of their first two children! In 1777 a wealthy patron, Lucy CLOTTERBOOK, left Philip her freehold lease of Hookwood Farm and also gave his then 5 year old daughter Anna Susanna an emerald ring. Philip and Anna Susanna had several children:
Anna Susanna RIDEOUT (1772-1843)
Richard Hinckesman RIDEOUT (b.1773, bur.1773)
Rev Philip RIDEOUT (III) of Farnham & Shapwick (1775-1834)
Rev Peter Richard RIDEOUT (b.1778, bur.1850)
Henry Francis RIDEOUT (bap.1780)
Mary Louisa RIDEOUT of Hartgrove (b.1783, bur.1844)
George RIDEOUT (1786-1812)
Robert RIDEOUT (1792-1816)
This is a part of Philip’s will, written in 1813:
“I give and bequeath and devise to my eldest son Phillip Ridout clerk, rector of Farnham in trust my leasehold estate called Hooks Wood in the parish of Farnham held under the Duke of Bolton subject to such incumbrances herein after mentioned that is a mortgage to Mister Shile of Knoyle for the sum of four hundred pounds and subject also to all my other debts which I trust he will pay off in the course of seven years after my decease and I likewise charge on the said estate an annuity of twenty pounds a year to be paid to my son Peter Ridout and to continue the same payment yearly until he is possessed of some advantageous living or legacy. I give and bequeath unto my son Henry Ridout all the corn and hay, livestock and husbandry utensils which I require to be continued on the farm and his brothers to pay him interest for it to make up to him for his assistance in the business or thirty pounds per annum in lieu of interest for the stock.
I give and devise my leasehold estate at Hartgrove in the parish of Fontmell Magna held under the right Hon Lord Arundell in trust to my executors, the rents and the profits thereof to be equally divided between my sons George and Robert and my daughters Anna Susanna and Mary Louisa Ridout.
I also give unto Henry Ridout my son twenty pounds a year to be paid by my executors out of my aforesaid estate at Hartgrove in the parish of Fontmell.
And it is my express will and desire that the Life or Lives that shall and may first happen to drop be replaced by a renewal of other lives in their stead from and out of the rents and profits deriving from my property agreeable to the will and desire of my son Henry in any or either of my leasehold estates but in case my sons Philip or Robert or either of them should be in such affluent circumstances and not in want of their share of the rents and profits of my property then and in that case their share of such rents shall be equally divided between my son Henry and my two daughters and at their disposal and not subject to the control of a husband in case either of them should be married and to their children after them shall be entitled to their mother’s share of the estates and interest therein to come and my daughters or either of them or the survivors of them and their estates to kept full stated for the express and purposes aforesaid at the expense of my executors.
I give and bequeath and device to my well beloved wife for and during her natural life the mils called Farrington Mills and the appurtenances thereto belonging. I also give to my beloved wife the house at Hooks Wood and furniture for the same with the appurtenances thereto belonging now occupied by Harry Feret so long as she continue and remain my widow and I do hereby nominate and appoint my dearly beloved wife executorex (sic) and my eldest son Phillip Ridout and my second son Peter Ridout executors in trust of this my last will and testament….”
From this will it can be seen that two more churchmen were produced in this family. Rev. Philip Rideout III (bp. 15 Aug 1775 at Farnham, Dorset) travelled the route of his forebears; he matriculated Exeter College, Oxford on the 2nd November 1793 at the age of 18 and gained a BA in 1797. He was appointed as the curate at Tollard Royal on the 29th March 1798 and was ordained the following year, becoming the third so named rector of Farnham on the day his uncle stepped down for him, the 16th November 1799. Philip was later instituted vicar of Shapwick, on the 15th October 1811.
Philip married Sarah ROYALL on the 14th October 1805 at St George Hanover Square in London and the couple had the following children:
Richard Hinckesman RIDEOUT (bap.1806)
Anna Susanna RIDEOUT (bap.1808)
Emma Mary RIDEOUT (bap.1810, d.1825)
Amelia Sarah RIDEOUT (bap.1811)
Robert George RIDEOUT (1816-1816)
Arabella RIDEOUT ( – )
Robert’s second son, Rev Peter Richard Rideout (bp. 8 Feb 1778 Farnham, Dorset) gained his BA from Wadham College, Oxford in 1799 and MA in 1805; he became the perpetual curate of Motcombe (near Shatesbury) between 1808 and 1850. Peter married Margaret RADCLYFFE on the 3rd December 1805 and the couple had two children, Frances (b.1812) and George (b.1814).
Robert and Cicely’s eldest two sons evidently grew up, had families and achieved their presumed ambitions of entering the church; their two younger sons were tragically less fortunate. Robert, born on the 4th April 1792 at Farnham, enlisted into the army joining the 15th Regiment of Foot (The Duke of York’s Own) as Ensign on the 9th February 1809. He was promoted to Lieutenant on the 5th March 1812 and died in 1816. The cause of his death is not reported and I have not yet searched the regimental diaries to see what campaign, if any, he was involved with at that time.
Robert’s brother George was born on the 27th December 1786 at Farnham; he enlisted and served with the 43 Regiment of Foot and his brief story appears in an account of the Pensinsular War between Napoleon’s army and the combined forces of Spain, Britain and Portugal. The Gentleman’s Magazine, Vol LXXXIII page 396 reports: “Death April 1813 Abroad Lately at Burgos aged 26 Lieut G Rideout son of Revd P Rideout of Hookswood. George was buried at Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca, West Spain.” From ‘Medals and Campaigns of the 43rd Foot now 1st Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry by Maj. William J Freer writes the following account:
“On November the 12th (1812) the whole army assembled at Salamanca, and on the 14th moved towards Alba de Tormes, the enemy having crossed two leagues above that town, the Light Division acting as rear guard. Next morning, as the men were roasting acorns after a thoroughly wet night, an officer of the 43rd saw French cavalry stealing through the wood, and gave the alarm. Lord Wellington rode up to No. 1 Company of that regiment and said, “The enemy must not cross here. And well did the 43rd do their duty at the combat of the Huebra. They, however, suffered heavily, for Lieutenant Rideout was killed and Lieutenant Baillie wounded, in addition to some 30 rank and file killed or wounded. Lieutenant Rideout, who was much liked in the regiment, was buried beside General Crawford at Ciudad Rodrigo.” Also: “Mentioned in Despatches three times: Lieutenant George Ridout, 43rd Foot, wounded 15-19 November 1812. Died 23 November 1812” (Napoleonic Guide).
Here then is a relatively simple outline of some of the members of four generations of a Rideout family whose stories often cross reference each to the other; their tree is below (click to enlarge). In the next instalment I will add a layer of complexity inasmuch as I will toy with the idea that the very first Philip married not once but twice and had another son by his first wife Mary – Thomas – who may just represent the founder member of another large Rideout dynasty – that belonging to Compton Abbas.
With grateful thanks to Mr Barry Brock at S&DFHS for the three photographs relating to Farnham church.