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 Families - Bullock family




This is the family tree of the Bullock family of Arborfield as it is found in the publication "Memoirs of the Family of Bullock A.D. 1166 to 1905" written by Revd. Llewellyn C.W.Bullock, 1905.

The Bullock family is thought to have been of Saxon origin. OSMUND BULLOC of Edburgefeld, Berks. was probably the first member of his family to bear the name and it is likely that it was in his case a personal nickname (from the Anglo-Saxon "Bulluca" i.e. young bull). The Bulloc surname was then handed down to his descendants.


He was living and 'of age' in 1166 when first mentioned.  In 1190 Osmund Bullock presented John, rector of Barkham, to the living of the chapel of Edbergefeld (Arborfield) which was at this time under Sunning (Sonning).

2. RICHARD BULLOC (BULLOCK) of Erbergefeld (Arborfield)

He seems to have been the son and immediate successor of Osmund. He was living in 1222 during the reign of King Henry III and is mentioned twice as "Ricardus Bulloc de Edburgefeld" in the "Testa de Nevill" where he appears as holding land under the Bishop of Sarum (Salisbury) as his feudal superior. The Salisbury diocesan records also relate that during a visitation in 1222 by the then Dean of Salisbury, there was found "a certain aged priest of Reading" at the home of Richard Bulloc of Erbergefeld. This priest was unable to quote accurately a single text from either the Old or New Testament and was subsequently inhibited from further ministration in the Chapel there.

3. GILBERT BULLOC (BULLOCK) of Erbergefeld and Sunning

Gilbert succeeded his father Richard and in 1250 the family is mentioned again in the Salisbury Register. In this year Gilbert Bullock of Erbergefeld made formal declaration that all the land held by him in the Manor of Sunning (Sonning) was so held subject to the goodwill of the Bishop of Salisbury and he bound himself and his heirs, to deliver it up to the Bishop or his successors whenever called upon to do so.

4. ROBERT BULLOK "Lord of Erburghfeld"

Robert was the successor of Gilbert and is known to have been trustee for the Crown (Edward III) of certain land in Barkham. This land was supposed to have originally belonged to John Mautravers and was forfeited by him to the King, along with other possessions. Agnes (or Anne) de Neville claimed to have been wrongly dispossessed of this land by Mautravers. She was successful in her claim and Robert Bullock was authorized to make the land over to her in 1335.

Robert Bullock is referred to as "Lord of Erburghfeld" in 1331 and this is the earliest indication that the Bullock family held the Lordship of the Manor of Arborfield.

In 1341 Robert settled the manor on his son Robert and Joan Drokensford, his wife.

5. GILBERT BULLOCK of Herburghfield

Gilbert Bullock was a son of Robert, Lord of Arborfield. He brought home a wife from the neighbouring hamlet of Barkham, namely Anne (or Agnes) Nevill who was daughter and heir of Thomas Nevill of Barkham. They were married in 1330. This was the same Anne to whom Robert Bullock was to make over land in 1335. It is believed that through this marriage the Bullocks acquired the Lordship of Barkham, although they seemed to have interests there long before
this. In 1341 the manor of Arborfield it appears, was settled on Gilbert's brother Robert.
In 1343 Gilbert Bullock is known to have presented John de Insula as new rector of Barkham Church.

6. ROBERT BULLOCK "Lord of Herburgh and Hurst"

Robert Bullock followed Gilbert as Lord of the Manor and he attained a notable degree of local importance. Twice during the reign of Richard II in 1385 and 1392 Robert was Sheriff for the counties of Berkshire and Oxfordshire, while in 1394 he was the Commission of Peace for Oxfordshire. In 1388 it is on record that "Robert Bullock of Eberfeld, late Sheriff of Oxford", received a pardon from the King for the escape of a prisoner from Oxford Gaol. A few years previously in 1382 his name occurs as witness to a deed in which he is described as "Lord of Erburghfield and Hurst", just half a century after the title "Lord of Erburghfield" had been similarly applied to his grandfather. It is believed that Robert the Sheriff married Margaret Foxley, daughter of Sir John Foxley of Bray and Bramshill, Knight of the Shire for Berks. Robert is thought to have died in 1405.

7. THOMAS BULLOCK of Aberfield, Esq.

Thomas Bullock became Lord of the Manor of Arborfield in circa 1421. He was already Lord of the Manor of Barkham and now became Lord of both until his death in c. 1463.

Thomas lived and perhaps fought through the earlier Wars of the Roses. He married Alice, the daughter and heiress to William Yeading Esq. of Yeading in Middlesex and by 1439 the manor of Yeading had become the property of Thomas and Alice. By 1491 this property belonged to Thomasine Bullock, widow of John Bullock, a younger son of Thomas and Alice.

Thomas and Alice left Robert, their eldest son as heir to the Manor of Arborfield.

8. ROBERT BULLOCK of Aberfield, Esq.

Robert Bullock, eldest son of Thomas and Alice now became Lord of Arborfield and of Barkham. He was married to Ellenor and in 1478 he was appointed a Commissioner for the Conservancy of the River Thames (with duties to survey The Thames and its tributaries in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire) and "hear and determine all offences against that statute of Magna Carta and other statutes concerning the erection of weirs, mill, stanks, piles and kiddles."

In the mid to late 1480ís Barkham Court (Church Cottages) was built or rebuilt for Ellenor, now Robertís widow, as a dower house. In 1489 she presented John Hawkyns as rector to Barkham Church.
Following Ellenorís death, Arborfield became the permanent seat of the Bullocks and the manor house at Barkham was let as a farm.

9. GILBERT BULLOCK of Aberfield, Esq.

Gilbert Bullock was the eldest son of Robert and Ellenor and he became Lord of the two Manors of Arborfield and Barkham.

Gilbert married Margaret, daughter of Sir William Norreys of Bray and Yattendon, Berks., (Knight of the Body to King Edward IV). Margaret was aunt to Sir Henry Norris (later usher of the Black Rod and Esquire of the Body to
Henry VIII), who was tried and executed in 1536 for his alleged romantic relations with Queen Anne Boleyn.
Gilbert and Margaret had at least six children, their eldest son and heir being Thomas.
Some sources state that Gilbert died in 1500, however others believe that he presented Robert Townsend to the rectory of Barkham in 1504 and that he had died by 1514.

Margaret, his wife, outlived him and married again to Sir John Langford of Bradfield.

10. THOMAS BULLOCK of Arberfield, Esq.

Thomas Bullock was the eldest son and heir of Gilbert and Margaret. He was lord of the manors of Arborfield and Barkham by 1514 and was married to Alice, a daughter of John Kingsmill of Hampshire (who was a Justice of the Court of Common Pleas in the reign of Henry VIII). It is believed that Thomas and Alice had seven sons and six daughters. Thomas later married again to Agnes, who survived him.

Thomas was appointed a Gentleman Usher Extraordinary to the King (Henry VIII) in 1516 and his name appears on the Royal Household list.

A few years later he was appointed as one of the Commissioners for the County of Berkshire to collect the subsidy which was levied by Henry VIII.

In 1544 Thomas Bullock was returned among the Nobles and Gentry of England who supplied men and horses for the war with France. His contingent consisted of "archers eight, and billmen thirteen". At this time a change was made in the family crest and it is not improbable that the 'seven billsí were granted to him in allusion to this martial aid to his sovereign in time of war.

By his will of 1557, Thomas made a number of bequests which included:

  • to Barkham Church, a pair of white satin vestments, embroidered with a red velvet cross;

  • to Arborfield Church "all suche ornaments vestments and coopes all which I bought of Thomas Champyon";

  • 3s 4d for the "relief of the poore of Barkham";

  • a direction that Barkham Court should be leased to his widow, Agnes;

  • and the poor of Swallowfield parish also benefited under his will.

11. RICHARD BULLOCK of Arberfield, Esq.

Richard was the eldest son and heir of Thomas and Alice and succeeded his father as Lord of the Manor of Arborfield and Barkham.

He married Alice, daughter to William Berrington of Reading, Gentleman and they had at least seven children, five sons and two daughters; Thomas being their eldest son and heir.
Richard died in 1570 and it is believed that he desired that his body should be buried in the chancel of Arborfield Church, next to the tomb of Robert Bullock (6), Sheriff of Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

12. WILLIAM BULLOCK of Stratfield Mortimer, Berks.

Son of Thomas and Alice, and uncle to Thomas, Last of Arborfield. At some time between 1530-1540 William Bullock of Stratfield Mortimer married his third wife, Elizabeth Bellet, thought to have been the daughter of John Bellot of Moreton, Cheshire. This marriage was destined to restore the fortunes of the Bullock family.

In the latter part of the 16th century, William Bullock's eldest son, John, took up his residence at the Manor House of Mulsham, in Great Wigborough and this established the Essex branch of the family which for at least three centuries was the chief representative of the old Arborfield stock.

13. THOMAS BULLOCK of Arberfield, Esq., Sheriff of Berks., Last of Arborfield.

Born circa 1546, son of Richard and Alice Bullock. He succeeded his father to the manors of Arborfield and Barkham and married Dorothy, daughter of Sir William Forster of Aldermaston. It is thought that they remained childless.
In 1581 Thomas was an agent of the Crown of Oxon. and Berks. and he also served as High Sheriff of Berkshire in 1581/2.

In 1574 Thomas leased the site and demense of the manor of Barkham to his brother, William for 21 years at £15.00 per year.

By 1589 a heavy accumulation of debts, some monies being owed to Queen Elizabeth 1 it is believed, forced Thomas to sell the two manors for £4,000. The lordships of Arborfield and Barkham, together with 2,200 acres (78% of the two parishes) were sold to Edmond Standen, Clerk of the Petty Bag of the Court of Chancery. It is thought that they were sold subject to a lease-back to Thomas for the rest of his life at a rent of £150 per annum.

Thomas died at 48 years of age in circa 1595. He was the last of the Bullocks resident in the old home in Arborfield, where the family had been seated for more than four centuries.

The sale of the manors to Edmond Standen was strongly disputed by members of the Bullock family and initially by William Bullock of Barkham, brother and legal heir of Thomas. The disputes resulted in a multiplicity of law suits and the matter was not settled finally for seventy three years, until 1662, in favour of the Standens. For more details, click here.


By the middle of the 16th century, the Bullocks had evidently become extensive landowners in their native county of Berkshire, but the property by no means remained in the hands of the head of the family at Arborfield. Shortly after the middle of the century members of it were settled at Stratfield Mortimer, Stratfield Saye and Uckfield. One member of the family was resident with possession at Barkham, where his children were baptized. This was a Robert Bullock and we find his three daughters ( Alice, Margaret and Agnes) claiming, as his heirs, "lands in Berkham, Hurst, Arberfield and Ockingham".

Also estates which were sold to Edmund Standen are described as "The Manors of Aberfield and Barkham, lying in the towns, villages and fields of Arberfield, Barkham, Hurst, Ockingham, Shingfield and Erley". Also the mention of Swallowfield among the parishes whose poor benefited under the will of Thomas Bullock of Arborfield (1557) would seem to imply some degree of ownership in that parish also.

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