Having had an interest in Kirby since around 1220, Kirby became the home of the Pakeman family in 1302. Simon Pakeman was a well- respected Lord of the Manor, Knight of the Shire and Steward of the Honour of Leicester.
An important note here is the conflicting information regarding the identification of a Joan Pakeman. Whilst one source identifies her as being Simon’s sister, another claims that she is in fact one of two daughters born of his wife Agnes, the other being a Katherine Pakeman. There are two reasons why this is of such relevance, firstly because I would like to be able to factually inform you, and secondly it has sent me round in circles for three days and I’m still not sure of the answer. (if you know, or someone you know knows, please tell me by leaving a comment on the site).
If we are to believe another source, the moated manor house in which the Pakeman family dwelled was known as “Pakeman’s Place”. Another claims that “Brickmans hill”, for which there is a map in J.D. Welding’ “Leicestershire in 1777”, near Elms Farm was formerly “Pakemansdale”. Did the Lord of The Manor have an inflated ego, or is it merely hearsay?
“De Villiers of Brooksby”
Some research identifies Kirby as a Danish settlement under the name of “Brooksby”, this appears to collaborate the link between the “Viliers” family of Brooksby from whom William Lord Hastings gained manorial rights in 1474.
Kirby Manor was subsequently inherited by The de Villiers Family of Brooksby through the marriage of Sir Simon Pakemans Daughter, Joan. There was some conflicting information here, as previously mentioned under sir Simon that Joan was either his sister or his daughter, I am inclined to believe that Joan was his daughter, marrying a John de Villiers in 1352. However, It appears through the ancestral line that both were encompassed in The De Villiers Family in one century or another. Whilst Joan married John de Villiers, her sister Katherine married a Robert Digby of Brooksby and following the ancestral line, there was indeed another marriage into de Villiers family around the 17th Century, (a big gap but there was a fine stock of men in brooksby, including Dukes).
“Sir Robert Le Herle
Having a significant interest in Kirby was The le Herle family. William Herle was The Lord of the Manor of Braunstone and overlord of Sir Simon Pakeman of Kirby Muxloe.
As Chief Justice of Common Pleas, (Head of a court hearing civil/commoners cases), Lord Warden of Cinque Ports, (five coastal ports identified as significant for the defence of England), an attendant of The Earl of Warwick and an officer in the kings household, he was fundamental in the running of the Earls estates and was awarded a lifetime agreement in rents, land and a castle at Wadborough.
Robert who inherited titles, estates and possessions from his father, left the manor of Kirby to his sisters son, Sir Ralph Hastings when he died in1364 being the last male of the ancestral line.
The most famous of all our Lords was William Hastings 1st Baron of Huntingdon. Born 1430 as the son of Sir Ralph Hastings, he married Katherine Neville in 1460 who was the daughter of Sir Richard Neville the Earl of Warwick He inherited the Manor of Kirby as the son of Margaret Herle, Sister of Robert Herle Lord of Braunstone.
As a loyal supporter of Edward IV he was appointed Lord Chamberlain in 1461. Midlands estates forfeited by Lancastrian peers gave him a sizable allowance after he was created 1st Baron Hastings following Edwards coronation. Amongst Williams estates were Ashby de-le-zouch and Bagworth.
By 1455 the whole Manor of Kirby was owned by The Hastings Family, in1461 “Lord William Hastings” became steward for the mannor of Kirby and ranger of the forest.
He gained manorial rights from the villiers of Brooksby in1474, though quite how he acquired them i am not sure, (again if anyones knows i would be very grateful).
It is this village in Leicestershire that his uncompleted castle ruins lay, with very little continued building after his execution by Richard III for treason in June 1483.
Kirby remained connected with the Hastings family until around 1630 when it came into the possession of Sir Robert Banaster.
In 1649 the Hastings estates in Kirby and Braunstone were sold to the Winstanly family
William and his wife Katherine had eleven children and consequently had/have many descendents.
It was 1909 that David Lloyd George, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, made a proposal for land tax, obviously opposed by those whom were to pay it. I believe it was the Landowners, lawyers and Land Reforms of the 19th Century that began the descent of the British aristocracy and our manors. Many landowners followed the example set by The Duke of Bedford, by breaking their lands into portions and selling them on, mainly to sitting tenants and farmers.
Some land-owning Lords remain although most peerage titles are now created. For those genuinely entitled peers, the title falls into abeyance along with the last remaining male of the ancestral line. I think the girls will have to burn more than their Braziers and chain themselves to railings for this one.