‘The Philips’: Tisbury, Fontmell Magna and Farnham RIDEOUTs

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…

Several Philip Rideouts lived in N. Dorset.

Several Philip Rideouts lived in N. Dorset.

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.

Farnham Church (St Lawrence)

Farnham Church (St Lawrence)

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!

Will fragment

Will fragment

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 & Sarah's memorial

Philip & Sarah’s memorial at Farnham church

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).

Unknown arms on Philip & Sarah's memorial

Unknown arms on Philip & Sarah’s memorial

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:

2nd Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, 1812.

2nd Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, 1812.

“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.

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20 Responses to ‘The Philips’: Tisbury, Fontmell Magna and Farnham RIDEOUTs

  1. Patricia Spencer says:

    A fascinating read – even for someone without Ridout ancestors!

    • Prevaricat says:

      Thank you Patricia, that’s very kind of you to say… it is a bit dry… all dates etc. However I am enjoying the notion of attaching another tree to this one – but will it stick? 🙂

  2. barrybrock says:

    Great photographs too!

  3. Birgit Arvids says:

    So interesting to read! Happy each time I get your mali

  4. Nigel Rideout says:

    Dear Prevaricat,
    I am the last of the Sussex Rideouts and have all your information about the Dorset Ridouts handwritten, plus more recent photos, in an old vellum bound Victorian book, compiled by my forebears, but I am not certain of the connection.
    On my family tree, my direct ancestor, Richard Rideout ( he inserted the ‘e’ on arriving in Sussex, was born in Folke in 1644, the son of William Ridout of Alweston and Chettle. Richard only moved to Sussex as he inherited lands and property from his uncle, Richard Ballard, in Marden and Wadhurst. The family seemed to acquire considerable property over the years ,connecting with other large families. All documents that I have inherited are with the West Sussex Archives in Chichester and I am now searching for a museum to receive certain artefacts- oil paintings etc.
    The whole extensive tree is on : MyHeritage.com. Would you be interested in linking on to that as I would love to connect us all up.
    If so, I can invite you via the correct email address to see if you can spot the link!!!!!
    I attach a list of the properties we were involved with at certain times.
    All good wishes,
    Nigel Rideout.

  5. Prevaricat says:

    Dear Nigel

    Many thanks for getting in touch; I am familiar with the early parts of your tree – I wrote a piece on here somewhere about the Chettle people, William, his nephew Walter, Walter’s son William and then, of course, William’s son Richard your ancestor. I would be very interested (understatement) to connect to your tree – and you – to ‘talk family’. Please can you write to me at: ranaridibunda@hotmail.com and we can go from there 🙂


  6. Pingback: The Compton Abbas Rideouts: Thomas and who? | The Ridouts of Sherborne and Bath

  7. Pingback: The Ridouts of Sherborne and Bath

  8. Dear Prevaricat,

    Philip Rideout 1 was my 6th great-uncle, Your article is brilliant and sorts out my puzzle of how he was related to Robert Rideout. Rev Philip Rideout II married Anna Susanna HINCKESMAN at St Martin’s Tisbury where Philip Rideout 1 ‘s parents were married. Anna Susanna HINCKESMAN is featured in the very large HINCKESMANS of Andover family tree.

    Philip Rideout III became was Rector of Farnham in 1799 and as this is very close to Chettle may have a hand in writing the obituary of his friend the Rev. John Tregonwell Lewis Napier. The hunting, shooting and fishing Rector of Chettle, Dorset published in Volume 5 of the Sporting Magazine.
    see https://myancestors.wordpress.com/2008/04/21/john-tregonwell-napier-rector-of-chettle/

    Those were the days my friend.

    My very best regards

    Malcolm Shykles

    • Prevaricat says:

      Hi Malcolm

      Thank you for dropping by: I’m glad you found the article interesting; it’s nice to ‘speak’ to a descendant of the Philips, as I have come to call them. Thank also for the link; the connection between Napier, Chettle and Rid(e)out was intriguing as there were much earlier Chettle Rid(e)outs (see posts on William and his nephew Walter) so I am wondering now if there is any possibility of the earliest Philip, of Tisbury (although, I think probably born in Fontmell Magna to which he returned after his first wife’s death), was related to the early Chettle Rid(e)outs. Hmm…. food for thought indeed 🙂

      Kind Regards

  9. Obituary
    29 Aug 1825 Emma Mary RIDEOUT : Died on the 12th instant, aged 15, at Fordington, at the house of R. Rideout Harvey, Esq. on her return from Weymouth, where she had been staying for the re-establishment of her health, Emma Mary, second daughter of the Rev. Philip Rideout, Rector of Farnham. Her performance of religious and moral obligations in the days of health, although of so tender an age, contributed the blessing of a calm resignation to the divine command during the period of her illness, and particularly at the awful moment of her dissolution: her duty and affection to her parents, her sympathetic feeling for the distressed, and her endearing manners to every one, gained the love and esteem of all her acquaintance .Salisbury & Winchester Journal http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~fordingtondorset/Files/FordingtonNewspapertranscripts.html

    Kind Regards
    Malcolm Shykles

    • Prevaricat says:

      Thank you Malcolm… poor girl, to die so young; clearly a very religious and dutiful daughter.

      I recently wrote about Morris Hutchins and his marriage to Emma’s great aunt Mary. The latter had been a parishioner of Melcombe Regis at the time of their marriage and I wondered, since her family lived in Farnham, why she might be in Weymouth. Perhaps the family had a property there and used it to take the sea air at Weymouth for health benefits or for holidays?

  10. Ella says:

    Whilst trying to find details of Phillip Ridout b. about 1726 – son of Robert Ridout and Rachel Gatehouse of Fontmell Magna.. I came across the birth of a Robert Ridout b. 1732 (Marnhull) – a base born son of Cicily Cooms and Robert Ridout. Could this be the Cicily that you do not have a surname for?

  11. I have enjoyed reading the article and have noted that the family tree mentions names I have researched in past years. My interest in the Rideouts comes from information related by a sister-in-law that my wife is a love child of George Rideout c1872? of Nottingham and Ellen Maria Hall also of Nottingham but born in London 1895. He did raise a legitimate family in Nottingham. However his paternal family traces back to Rev. Philip Rideout c1728 Farnham Dorset through Rev. Peter Rideout and Margaret Radclyffe

    • Prevaricat says:

      Hi Douglas… I have only just seen your comment; somehow, although I obviously ‘approved’ it I clearly didn’t read it or reply to it – so sorry!

      I’ve not heard of George & Ellen before, but then I don’t follow all Ridout/Rideout families into modern times as it would take years, as you can imagine. However, I think from memory, I have at least traced down to Peter and so it wouldn’t be that difficult to find George. It is unfortunate that his ‘love child’ is a female because, obviously, you aren’t able to prove the connection by yDNA testing, which would be foolproof if there was a match. Having said that, my project doesn’t include any other proven descendant from ‘the Philips’ anyway. I really enjoyed researching this line so I hope the information in the blog is of interest/use to you. Thank you for getting in touch and, again, apologies for my tardiness in replying!

      Best wishes, Karen

      • Thank you Karen for your response. During my research into the Hideouts I found a Philip 16/2/1871 bapt. 31/6/1871, father Philp Hingesman Hideout. Also Philip Hicksman Rideout bn 16/3/1842, bapt. 13/4/1842 father Philip Rideout mo. Georgiana.St.Heliar, Jersey. There other Rideouts listed there but this space is too small to write further,please see the St Helisr site on Internet.

      • Prevaricat says:

        Hi… have you read the other messages on this thread Douglas? There are clearly other folk on here that probably know more about this line than I do and have even posted links to an online tree. Good luck with your hunting and keep me posted 🙂 Cheers, Karen

      • Yes I have read them Karen! Some mention lines I have I have researched like the Philip Rideout branch of the family. George Rideout 1875, Lenton Nottm. Was a retired Church Reader at a census. That indicates a continuing interest in church matters by the family as his g/f was also a George Rideout c1814 the Sedgehill Rectory, Wilts., he married his cousin
        Arabella Rideout, bn c 1813 Farnham, Wilts., marr’d June 1848 GRO ref. 7. 393. Winchester

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