Xmera / Gloucestershire Gentry / Poyntz of Iron Acton and Rendcomb

Poyntz of Iron Acton

The Poyntz family had held Iron Acton since the fourteenth century.



Acton Court

Sir Nicholas (d. 1556)

He was the son of Sir Anthony Poyntz (1480-1535), a naval commander and Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Huddesfield of Shillingfor, Devon. His sister Margaret was the first wife of Sir John Newton of Barrs Court. He was a groom of the bedchamber to Henry VIII and held keeperships of various royal parks and forests. He was engaged in military action in Ireland, Calais and Scotland as well as in suppressing the Pilgrimage of Grace and other civil disturbances. He supported a number of reformists during the early years of the Reformation, endowing lectures at his parish church. He built a new wing at Acton Court for a visit by Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn in 1535, which may be when he received his knighthood. While MP for Gloucestershire from 1547 he was imprisoned in the Tower during the winter of 1551-2 as a close adherent of Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset.

He married Joan (d. 1564), the daughter of Thomas, lord Berkeley in 1527.
Disputes over the property that had been settled on his wife, exacerbated by religious differences between himself and Anne, Lady Berkeley, led to a privy council investigation in 1541, his imprisonment in the Fleet in 1542 and further litigation in Edward VI's reign.

Sir Nicholas enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle that far exceeded his income and died in debt. He built Newark Park in Ozleworth in Edward VI's reign, according to Smyth using materials from the demolished monastery of Kingswood and crosses in neighbouring parishes. His widow Joan subsequently married Sir Thomas Dyer of Weston, Som., who allegedly mistreated her.


Sir Nicholas (d. 1585) Son

He married

  1. Anne, daughter of Sir Ralph Verney of Middle Clayton, Bucks.
    • Sir John - see below
    • Ursula - died unmarried
    • Mary (d. 1591) married
      1. Francis Codrington (d. 1581) of Frampton-on-Severn by whom she had a daughter Margaret.
      2. John Sydenham (d. 1590) of Nympsfield by she had two daughters Anne and Ursula.
        Mary was pregnant when she wrote her will, so there may have been a further child.
  2. Margaret (d. 1586), daughter of Edward Stanley, earl of Derby and widow of John Jermyn of Rushbrooke, Suff.
    • Edward (c1575-1613) married 1) Florence (d. 1598), daughter of John Jones of Treowen, Monmouths. and 2) Mary ?, who survived him
      • Nicholas (c1597 - 1631)) had three sons: Rowland, Nicholas and John by his two wives 1) Bridget, daughter of Talbot Badger and 2) Jeanette (d. 1644), widow of John Richard Edmunds.
      • John (1602-71), who died at Ghent.
      • Mary - living unmarried in Paris in 1651
      Initially of Tockington, he later moved to Caerleon, where he died.
    • Hugh (d. 1605) of Tockingon - unmarried
    • Robert married 1) Ann ? and 2) Elizabeth (d. 1632), daughter of William Walsh of Iron Acton.
      According to Smyth he was still alive in 1628.

He served as sheriff in 1569-70 and MP for Gloucestershire in 1571. The house at Newark was sold in 1572. He was suspected as a Catholic, being dropped from the commission of the peace after 1579 and appearing on a list of Catholics in 1582. His wife Margaret made the Catholic Edward, lord Herbert (subsequently Earl of Worcester, guardian of her three sons in her will.


Sir John (1560-1633) Son

He married

  1. Ursula, daughter of Sir John Sydenham of Brympton, Som.
  2. Elizabeth (d. 1595), daughter of Alexander Sydenham of Luxborough, Som. She died in childbed and was buried at St Margaret's, Westminster.
    • Sir Robert - see below
    • Dorothy married John Peny (1563-1613) of East Coker, Som.
    • Elizabeth (1584-1697) married 1) Thomas Butler, lord Thurles (d. 1619), son of the Earl of Ormonde and 2) George Mathews of Radyr, Glam.
  3. Frances (d. 1599), daughter of John, younger son of Sir John Newton (d. 1568) of Barrs Court

    Sir Nicholas Poyntz had been overseer of her grandfather's will. She held the lease of Thornbury, which she bequeathed to her husband, along with an unusual bequest of a piece of gold to all her servants - even the kitchen boy.

  4. Grissell (d. 1647), daughter of Walter Roberts of Glassenbury, Kent and widow of Gervase Gibbons (d. 1595) and of Gregory Price
    • Nicholas (1607-50) married Eleanor, daughter of Rice Davies of Tickenham, Som. by his 3rd wife Mary Pitt, widow of Robert Owen of Bristol .
      Their daughter Eleanor (d. 1709) married 1) Edmund Ashfield and 2) Richard Glanville.
    • Frances married ? Gifford
    • Anne married Isaac Bromwich esq.
    • Mary married 1) John Walter and 2) Walter Bethell (d. 1686)

The codicil to his stepmother's will reveals that there was a breach between them at the time of her death, possibly on the grounds of religion, or money, or both. In 1612 he was reputedly £10,000 in debt. In 1610 his niece Ursula and her husband Edward Mollineux took action against him as the executor of Ursula's father's will for non-payment of her inheritance, which led to his imprisonment when he failed to make the payments agreed under the settlement. It is likely that he died insolvent.


Sir Robert (1588-1665) Son

He matriculated at Brasenose, Oxford in 1605. He was made a knight of the Bath at Charles I's coronation. He sat for Gloucestershire in the parliament of 1626. In the following year he was imprisoned for his oppostition to the forced loan. He sat again for Gloucestershire in 1628 and was sheriff in 1637. In 1642 he supported the king and in 1661 he published A vindication of monarchy and the government long established in the church and kingdome of England.

He married

  1. Frances (d. 1638), daughter of Gervase Gibbons of Benenden, Kent in 1604
    • Grissell married Richard Porter of Ettington, Warws.
    • Margaret married 1) Thomas, son of Sir Robert Gorges of Redlynch, Som. 2) Sir Richard Hastings 3) Samuel Gorges of the Inner Temple
    Both her daughters had sons named Poyntz. In 1637 Sir Robert was briefly imprisoned for insulting a judge during a protracted Chancery suit over his wife's inheritance.
  2. Cecily (d. 1678), daughter of Thomas Smith of Acton Court, Som.
    • Sir John - see below

Sir John (d. 1680) Son

He married Anne (d. 1729), daughter of Robert Caesar of Willian, Herts. They had no children. After John's death Anne married the Jacobite Sir George Barclay (c1636-1710).

He left his estate to his wife, but with the proviso that, if his nephew Poyntz Porter paid off the mortgage and settled an annuity on Anne, he should inherit. His nephew having failed to pay off the debts, the estate was sold.


Sources