C. The Dunham Massey Estate and the Cottrells of Cheshire

There are strong connections between the family of James Cottrell with the Chethams, the Booths, the Dunham Massey estate in Cheshire, and the Mascies of Cheshire.  The family name Chantrell or Chauntrell is traceable back to the Catheralls of Horton near Leek, and thus back to Catterall and Little Mitton, near Whalley.  The Chantrell branch of the family settled at Bache, just south of Chester sometime before 1434, and also held part of the Dunham Massey estate until at least 1586.  The change from “C” to “Ch” is by no means uncommon, the Roman “Cestre” became “Chester”, and in Old English, “c” is pronounced “ch”.  “u” and “n” are just about indistinguishable in Middle English script ([TWOMEY99] quotes Meil Ker “As usual with an English scribe n and u are indistinguishable”.

C.1. Chantrell of Bache

The following items of evidence are culled from Ormerod's “History of Cheshire” [ORMEROD82]

  • 1434 - John Chauntrell and his wife Margery held Bache and a 4th. part of the Dunham Massey estates in joint tenure with Thomas de Bolde.  Bache then remained the seat of the Chauntrells until 1641 when it was sold to Robert Cottton.

  • 1439 - Their son and heir, William Chauntrell (died 1439), Sergeant-at-law to Thomas Stanley in 1433, held the lands in Dunham Massey.  He married Alice who died 1482, holding in dower one third of the 4th. part of Dunham Massey.  His younger brother, John, married Lucy, the sister of Robert Booth who had laid claim to the Dunham Massey estate.  This claim was settled with one quarter going to each of Stanley and Chauntrell, and one half to Booth.

  • 1473 - John Chantrell, son and heir of William and Alice, died 1473.

  • 1503 - Robert Chantrell, died 1503, held the 4th. part of Dunham Massey.

  • In 1508, Wiliam Chantrell (aged more than 30 in 1503) was bound over “in £40 to keep the peace towards Hamo son of sir John Legh of Baguley, kt”.  His sureties in this were Robert Barton, Richard Mascy of Grafton, Robert Mascy of Golborne and Hohn Leche of Cauredon.  In 1520 he held the 4th. part of Dunham Massey.  Chantrel is associated with Booths and Masseys.

  • 1526 - Robert Chantrell (died 1541) held 40 messuages, 1000 acres of land, 100 of meadows, 200 of pasture, 100 of wood, part of a watermill, and 59s. of rent in Bache, Stockport, Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Sale, Upton, Newton and Chester.  (This is Newton near Chester.)  In 1541 he held the manor of Bache and the 4th. part of the manor and lands in Dunham Massie.

  • 1558 - Lawrence Chantrell died 1558 possessed of 4th. part of Dunham Massey.

  • 1585 - [VISITCHESH] records Elizabeth Booth, daughter of George Booth of Dunham, married William Chantrell de Bache .

  • 1586 - William died 1586 still holding 4th. part of Dunham Massey.

  • 1641 - the Chantrells sold Bache estates to Richard Cotton (was he by any chance a relation of Sir Robert Cotton (1571-1631) who owned the Nero A.x manuscript?)

Vantuono, [VANTUONO99] (p.xxi) claims that “Dunham Massey became a centre of cultural excellence in the fourteenth century under Henry [Henry de Grosmont], and in the fifteenth century under the Booths”.