About 700 years ago, our village was called Caundell Haddon. The ‘lord of the manor’ at that time, Sir Henry de Haddon only fathered a daughter, Amicia. She, as heiress to her father’s estate married Sir William Fitzwaryn, and when he died of the pestilence in 1361, their son, Ivo, duly inherited the manor of Caundell Haddon.

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The ancient house of Stourton derives its surname from the Manor of Stourton in Wiltshire, which was the seat of the Stourton family from before the time of the Norman Conquest until 1714. William Stourton, the 2nd Baron Stourton, inherited our village, known as Caundel Haddon, when he married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Chidiock about 1450. The Lords Stourton managed to avoid siding with either of the two factions during the Wars of the Roses and so remained in favour with Henry VII on his accession in 1485.

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Ivo’s father, William, was a younger son of Fulk, Lord Fitzwaryn (who died of the plague in 1349), and was a member of an important family whose estates centred on Whittington (Shropshire) and Wantage (Berkshire).

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In August 1402, Sir Ivo made arrangements for some of his estates in Somerset and Wiltshire to pass to his daughter, Alice, and her husband, Richard Whittington, and the rest of his holdings to his other daughter, Eleanor, at that time the wife of John Chideock. By that time it was clear that he and his wife, Maud who was by then aged about 54, would produce no male children.

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Sir Ivo died on 6 September 1414, another casualty of the plague, and Richard Whityngton was one of the executors of his will. It is very significant that Sir Ivo stipulated that “the sum of £2 was left to mend the way between the lordship of Caundle and Lydlinch”

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The ‘pestilence’ or plague dealt a serious blow to the village back in the 14th/15th Century. Killing Ivo’s grandfather Henry de Haddon, and then both his father and his mother. His father had been Member of Parliament and died when Ivo was just 13 years old. Having lost his parents, Ivo led an intrepid early life taking possession of his inheritance in 1369 and by 1371 he had been knighted for his chivalry.

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Ivo was knighted around 1370-1371 and seems to have led a very eventful military career during the 1370’s spending much time abroad such as in June 1373 to April 1374 in the company of Thomas Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, in the forces led by John of Gaunt. Much of the action took place in France as part of the Hundred Years War.

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