The Mansel Family in Cosgrove

Mansel Close in Cosgrove is named for the Mansel family, at one time holders of the Manor and Advowson of the village.

This family traces their origins back to the Conquest, and variously held lands and properties in Oxwich, South Wales, Penrice and Margam Abbeys. From the 12th century Mansels, or Maunsells, had ties at Chicheley, Bedfordshire, and then at Newport Pagnell and Haversham in North Buckinghamshire from 1300. Maunsells appear widely in documents from Hanslope from the 16th century, and notes below show how their Cosgrove branch developed from that time.

The Mansel Tree compiled here has links to pages in our website about the various well known and exceptional characters in the family.

If you are interested in the day to day workings of the Mansels as they managed events in Cosgrove, try using the Search button on the HOME page.

Samuel Maunsell and Nightingale Furtho

The Furtho family owned both the Furtho estate and a large house in Cosgrove – possibly on the site of Cosgrove Hall. Edward Furtho restored the Furtho property but not necessarily the Manor House when he inherited in 1619.

When Edward died in 1621 he had only two daughters. Nightingale inherited his land at Cosgrove, as well as Knotwood, and married Samuel Maunsell. They settled at Cosgrove, but Samuel died in 1632.

Nightingale married a second time, a lucrative match in Francis Longueville, from the wealthy Wolverton family, and we believe they built a new farmhouse on the Hall site in 1652.

Nightingale had both Mansel and Longueville Mansel descendants, mainly military and Church men.

She is reputed at some time to have written to Charles II to request a reduction of taxes on the grounds of being a widow with ten children – this exaggeration has never been proved!

We learn from Baker, 1781 that “Edward Furtho (d. 1621) was seised of manor of Furtho and two capital messuages in Cosgrove. On partition of estates between his two sister and coheirs, Cosgrove was assigned to Nightingale, wife of Samuel Maunsell. Soon after his death about 1630, she married for her second husband Francis Longueville, who d. 1646. She had one son by first husband, Edward Mansell, from whom was descended J. C. Mansel. By her 2nd husband she also had one son, Henry Longueville. He had three sons, the survivor of whom was Henry Longueville.

Of two capital messuages in Cosgrove which fell to Nightingale’s share, one was probably the house west of the church now known as The Cottage; other probably the old building lying between the Hall and the church, now unoccupied. On this there is a carved stone;


This house was eventually moved piecemeal across the road in 1927 where it still exists as the Little Manor.

Nightingale's third son, Edward, married Millicent Draper. After his death she signed the document below transferring her husband's goods and chattels to their son, also Edward, who was a clergyman in Ecclestone, Yorkshire.

Edward Mansell 1696

Know all men by those present that I Millicent Mansell the Widow and Relict of Edward Mansell late of Cosgrave in the County of Northampton Gent  deceased haveing right and tytle to the Administration of all and singular the Goods Chattells and Creditts of the said deceased doe for divers Good Causes and Considerations me hereunto moveing renounce the said Administration and doe Consent that the said Administration of all and singular the Goods Chattells and Credtts of my said husband deceased may be Committed and Granted to Edward Mansell of Eccesfield in the County of Yorke Clerke, the natural and lawfull son of the said deceased And to the End that this my Renunciation and Consent may have its due effect in Law I doe hereby nominate Constitute and appoint Mr Thomas Lutton Notary Publiq and One of the Procuators Generall of the Consistory Court of Peterborough my true and Lawfull Procurator for me and in my name to appear before the Right Worshipful Sir Tho: Linfold Knight doctor of Lawes and Chancellour of the diocesse of Peterborough or his Lawfull Surrogate or any other Competent Judge in this behalf and to Exhibit this my Proxy of Renunciation and Consent and Procure the same to be admitted and to act and doe herein for me what shall seem requisite  and necessary and what my said Procurator shall doe and cause to be done in and about the Premisses  I doe hereby Promise to ratifye and Constitute In Wittnesse whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seale the Twentyeth day of November Anno Domini One Thousand six Hundred and Ninety and six

Millicent Mansell

Signal Sigillat and deliberat .. and sealia

Mary Barton

Martha Butcher

Thus the wealth of the Cosgrove Mansel family was in the hands of their son in Yorkshire. Only nine years later he died and his will below shows him transferring the Cosgrove assets back to his clergyman brother Christopher in Cosgrove. These two brothers' birthdates require further research.

Edward Mansole [Mansel] 1705

Northamptonshire Record Office

Vicar of Ecclesfield 1684-1705
Death 3 April 1705

I Edw Mansole of Ecclesfield in the County of York, Clerk, being in good health of Body and of sound mind and memory blessed be God first but being uncertain how long it may please God to continue these blessings to me and not knowing however and how suddenly I may die do make this my last Will and Testament, I give and devise to my trustee and wole blessed friends and relations Edw Draper of Sibson in the County of Leicester Clerk my Honoured Unkle and John Mansole of Cosgrave in the County of Northampton Clerk my Honoured Cousin and the heir of foresaid Edw Draper all my Messuages Lands Tenements and Hereditaments of what nature or kind soever in Cosgrave and Furtho Yardley Gubbion Old Stratford Pottersperry and Coghanhoe alias Cuckno in the County of Northampton and the remainder and reservations of them and every of them upon their special trust and confidence that the said Edwd Draper and John Mansole and the survivor of them and the heirs of foresaid Edwd Draper shall out of the rents issues and profits of the Messuages Lands Tenements and Hereditaments so soon as the same can be raised pay or cause to be paid to my dear wife Frances Mansole the sum of four hundred pounds (in case and upon condition and not otherwise the payout of my present personal Estate being part of my wifes portion of like sum of Four hundred pounds to my Sister Mary Mansole before this will take place which said sum of fourhundred pounds is charged by my Father upon the said Lands as a portion for my said Sister and now due and payable to her) and that they pay or cause to be paid to my Loa? Bro: Christopher Mansole the sum of two hundred and fifty pounds and to my Loo: sister Mary Mansole the sum of two hundred and fifty pounds and to my old Friend Obadiah Brown of Whiston in the County of York Clerk the sum of one hundred pounds to my Neece Mary Mansole the sum of Ten pounds in such order and priority as the same are before herein mentioned and Expressed And from and after the several and respective sums of money shall be so paid and satisfied either by the perception of the rents issues and profits of the said Messuages Lands Tenements and hereditaments or by such person or persons who shall have the rent and immediate interest in the said premises given him by this my last will and Testament then my Will and mind is that if the said Edw: Draper and John Mansole and the heirs of the said Edwd Draper shall stand and be Seised of the said Messuages Lands Tenements and hereditaments to the Use and behoof of my Bro: Charles Mansole during the term of his natural Life without impeachment of or for any manner of Waste and after his decease to the use of the first son of the body of the said Charles Mansole and the heirs Males of the body of such first son lawfully to be begotten and for default of such issue to the Use and behoof of the second son of the body of the said Charles Mansole lawfully to be begotten and for so default of such issue to the use and behoof of the third fourth fifth sixth seventh eighth ninth tenth and all other of the sons of the said Charles Mansole lawfully to be begotten severally and successively one after another in order and course as they shall be in seniority of age and priority of birth and the several heirs males of their several and respective bodies lawfully To be Begotten the elder of the said sons and the heirs Males of his body being allways preferred before the younger and the heirs males of their body and for default of such issue my will and mind is that the said Edw Draper and John Mansole and the heirs of the said Edw Draper shall be and stand seised to the use and behoof of my Bro: Christopher Mansol for and during the term of his natural Life without impeachment of or for any manner of waste and from and after his decease to the use of the first son of the body of the said Christopher Mansole lawfully to be begotten and for default of such issue to the use of the second son of the body of the said Christopher Mansole lawfully to be begotten and the heirs males of such second son lawfully to be begotten and for default of such issue to the use and behoof of the third fourth fifth sixth seventh eighth ninth tenth and all other sons of the said Christopher Mansole lawfully to be begotten severally and successively one after another in order and course as they shall be born in seniority of Age and priority of birth and the several heirs Males of their several and respective bodys lawfully to be begotten the elder of the said sons and the heirs male of his body being always preferred before the younger and the heirs males of their bodys and for default of such issue of use  and behoof of all the daughters of the said Charles Mansole and of the said Christopher Mansole to be equally divided amongst them and for want of such issue to the right heirs of the said Christopher Mansole for ever; And my mind and will is and I do devise and declare notwithstanding any devices or limitation herein before mentioned that the said Charles Mansole when he shall have every estate in Possession in the premises or in every part thereof by virtue of this my last will and Testament shall have full power liberty and authority by my deed or deeds under his hand and seal by him subscribed and sealed in the presence of three or more credible witnesses to assign limit or appoint to or to the use of or in trust for any woman or women for or in leiu name or stead of her Jointure or part of jointure and the said aswell before as after marriage that shall be the wife or wives of the said Charles Mansole for and during the term of the natural Lives of such woman or women or any of the said messuages lands tenements and hereditaments herein before devised to him for his life as aforesaid and my mind and will is that the said Christopher Mansole after he shall have any estate in Possession in the premises in any part thereof by virtue of this my last Will and Testament that the aforesaid Christopher Mansole shall also have a like power liberty and authority to make a jointure to any woman or women that he shall Marry as is herein before devised and given to my Bro: Charles Mansole and I do make my dearly beloved Wife Frances Mansole the sole executrix of this my last Will and Testament and I do give and bequeath to her all the personal estate I shall die possessed of she paying out of it all my just debts funeral charges except such portions and Legacys as are charged upon my real Estate for my Bro: Christopher Mansole and for my sister Mary Mansole she paying likewise ten pounds to the poor of Ecclesfield and fifty shillings to the poor of Cosgrave soon after my decease and a Mourning ring to my honoured and dear mother Millicent Mansole the like to my Unkle Draper aforesaid and to my Cousin Mansole aforesaid and the like to my olf Friend Obadiah Brown aforesaid and to my Bro: and sister Westly and to my Bro and sister Kent and to my sister Laughton and to my sister Ann Mansole relict of my Bro: John Mansole deceased and as for all my lands in Ecclesfield I give and evise them to my Lov: Wife for and during the term of her natural Life and after her decease I devise all the said Lands to the succeeding Vicars or Vicarage of the Parish Church of Ecclesfield for ever the better to Enable them to maintain and keep a Curate to Assist them in Holy Officer in their large and populous parish and for the greater concern of their keeping cows and horses for the use of their family there being so very little glebe land belonging to the Vicaridge and I do request of all my successors that they will preach or cause to be preached in the afternoon upon every Lord’s Day during the summertime as sermon in the parish Church of Ecclesfield or else to expound the Church Catechism for the benefit of the people of the parish But in case any of the succeeding Vicars of Ecclesfield shall at any time hereafter in any year for the who[le] or the greatest part of the time betwixt Easter and Michaelmas reaffect or refuse to preach or cause to be preached a sermon or to expound the Church Catechism as aforesaid upon each Lord’s Day in the afternoon during the season aforesaid then upon and for such neglect and failure I give and devise all the said Lands to the Church Wardens and Overseers of the Poor of Ecclesfield for the time being for them to dispose all the rents issues and profits of the said Lands during the time of such neglect and failure and no longer to the use of the best living poor of the said parish that are the freest from open or in [piteous] vice or immorality and that do most frequent the public worship of God upon Lord’s Day and especially that come most constantly to the Holy Sacrament of the Lords supper In Witness whereof I the said Edw Mansol have hereunto set my hand and seal Ninth day of may in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and three Edward Mansole [the mark of] sealed signed and published in the presence of Kathrin Townend Regnald Brammall Mary [her mark] Barber

This copy agrees with the original will of the said deceased proved in the Consistory Court of his Grace the Lord Archbishop of York being duly compassed and examined therewith by me Richd Mackley Deputy Regester

Reverend John Mansel, priest, botanist and physician

John Mansel M A succeeded as Rector upon the death of the previous incumbent in 1698. He was also a Rector of Furtho and held the Rectorship there for 51 years as well as being Rector of Cosgrove for 31 of those years. He died in 1729 aged 86.

John Mansel the botanist


John Mansell



Record Type:

Christening (Baptism)

Baptism Date:

4 Feb 1643

Baptism Place:

St Saviour, Southwark, Surrey, England


Register Type:

Parish Register

In Cosgrove, the Reverend John Mansel was instituted as Rector in 1698. Below appear Morton’s notes from 1712 on Mansel’s admirable botanical work, at the Rectory (Medlar House) at Cosgrove.

Botanists started to hybridize tulips. Hybrids and mutations of the flower were seen as rarities and a sign of high status. In the months of late 1636 to early 1637 there was complete "Tulipomania" in the Netherlands. Some examples could cost more than a house in Amsterdam at this time.

There was an inevitable crash in prices in 1637, when people came to their senses and stopped purchasing the bulbs at such high prices. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, interest in the tulip remained, but the Dutch became the true connoisseurs and stockists.

Page 380 (Tulips)

With relation to tulips, the ingenious Mr Mansel of Cosgrave, a skilful and experience’d Tulipist, has observed, that the roots raised from seeds in the Netherlands, which are called Breeders, do by various cultures produce variety of variegated flowers of very noble kinds, constant and lasting; according to Dr Lister’s observation in his Journey to Paris. In this manner Mr Mansel has changed very near 200 sorts, some of them admirable and valuable….

To these the ingenious Mr Mansel of Cosgrave adds, the Purple Centory, as we call it; as also Self-Heal; both which he assures me he has found with white flowers, somewhere nigh Cosgrave.

We also meet with wild indigenous herbs, whose flowers are discolour’d in part only, with white. There was brought to him out of the neighbouring field, a Geranium Batrachoides or Crow’s Foot Cranesbill elegantly variegated, its bluish purple flower with white, whose seeds, being sown in his garden, continued to produce the same variety from year to year. And so amongst the common or bluish colour’d Digitalis, a white one being accidentally (tho not unfrequently) found, its seed continues its own colour without any change; as has been proved by above thirty years experience in Mr Mansel’s garden at Cosgrave.

Page 364 (wild plants)

[Two considerable varieties of Liverwort] One….   The other by the Reverend Mr Mansel, in bogs near Cosgrave, with scarlet heads; which perhaps is only a variety of the Lichen minimus, &c capitulis nigris lucidis Raii, Hist Pant, p4.

John Mansel the physician

The Rev John Mansel was performing medical treatments from the Cosgrove Rectory (Medlar House) during his incumbency from 1698 to 1729, described by Morton in 1712.

Page 464 (medicine)

On the Channel bone of Susannah Oldham, of Old Stratford, in the Parish of Cosgrave, of above fifty years of age, there grew a wen as big as an ordinary Child’s Head. Its contents under a musculous coat of about half an inch thick had the appearance of such flocks wherewith the meaner sort of people fill their beds, very closely coagulated into a body, just like the white of an egg when boil’d…….. At length was restored again to her health successfully by the truly worthy Mr Mansell of Cosgrave.

A young maid of Yardley Gubbins, in the Parish of Potters-perry, had the King’s Evil appearing first in her eyes, which in a little time arose upon the inside of the arm, below the elbow, opening by a round ulcer above two inches diameter, which baffled the skill of two London surgeons.After some applications to that ulcer, a tumour rose on her left cheek as big as a hen’s egg, not very painful nor discolouring the skin, and a fluid matter being perceiv’d to fluctuate in it ‘twas open’d by a lancet….. Both sores were in a small time well cured by the ingenious Mr Mansel of Cosgrave, and she continues well these twelve years.

But of all the extraordinary cures in surgery, perform’d by that ingenious gentleman, this, in my opinion is the most considerable.

Gabriel Smith of Cosgrave, a youth somewhat above sixteen, in the beginning of Hay-season, 1704, received a blow upon his eye with a small piece of hard lime, which caused a vehement inflammation and tumour in the eyelid and vessels of the eye, but by a timely application the sight was preserved. The first application was green hyssop stampt, tyed close up in a fine linnen rag, dipp’d in scalding water and bound upon the swelling; this prevented all further ill accidents there and preserv’d the sight. The hyssop was continued upon it every night, and in the day was applied a plaister of Opthalmick Oyntment. But in two days, notwithstanding this, the ball of the ye rose out of its orbit a full inch and a half (yet the sight still preserv’d), with a huffing swelling under the eye. Upon which, considering it came with a contusion, and imagining ‘twas a grumous blood, that occasion’s the protrusion of the eye, a small aperture was made in the tumour under they eye with a fine lancet, at which, according to expectation, a good spoonful of clodded blood was discharg’d, the eye immediately upon the operation sinking one half. The opening was repeated four times, at a distance of about two days each. Whereupon the eye was reduc’d to due place, and all the symptoms vanish’d.


The Revd Mr John Mansell

Event Type:


Burial Date:

3 Feb 1729

Burial Place:

Cosgrove, Northamptonshire, England

Parish as it Appears:


Register Type:

Bishops Transcripts

Major General John Mansel

This section of the Mansel family tree shows how the Mansels came to be holders of the Manor and advowson of Cosgrove, and how the Thorold family later rose to prominence in the village.

On 9th June 1768 Major General John Mansel, youngest son of Revd Christopher Mansel, married Mary Anne Biggin, daughter of the holder of the Manor of Cosgrove, John Biggin. She was brought up at The Priory, Cosgrove, at times living with her family at their properties in Lambeth. John Biggin died in 1788, by which time John Mansel and Mary Anne had a substantial family of six children. Mary Anne’s brother George became the heir of the Priory, and it is assumed that John Mansel and Mary Anne were living on the Cosgrove Hall site in the old farmhouse or over the road at the Dower House. The couple continued to reside at times at the Biggin house in Belvedere Road Lambeth, where their first child was born three years later.

This dynastic marriage took place only a year after the Inclosures of Cosgrove in 1767 and we might deduce that Mansel’s father in law took care to consolidate his holdings in Cosgrove – later inherited by John and Mary Anne.

John’s military career is described by Baker (1781)

John Mansel esq. youngest son of the Revd Christopher Mansel, then within age. He entered the army in early life, rose to the rank of a major-general, and in the duke of York’s campaign in 1794 had the command of a brigade of heavy cavalry. On the 23rd of April prince Cobourg requested the duke to make a reconnaissance in the direction of the camp of Caesar, near Cambray, where it was known the French had assembled in great force; and accordingly general Mansel’s brigade, forming part of general Otto’s detachment was ordered about a league in front of the camp. Early the next morning the 15th light dragoons, with two squadrons of Austrian hussars, charged the enemy with such force and velocity, that had they been properly supported a complete victory would have followed, but by some mistake general Mansel’s brigade did not arrive on time. The blame for this unfortunate delay must surely have rested alone with Otto as having the command, and not on general Mansel, who acted, it may be presumed, according to his instructions; but impatient of the slightest, though undeserved, imputation on his zeal or courage, the general, when the French renewed the attack on the 26th, devoted himself to death, and his troops, animated by his example, performed prodigies of valour. Being directed by general Otto to fall on the flank of the enemy, after some manoeuvres he came up with them in the village of Cawdry, charged, and completely defeated them. He then rushed at the head of his brigade against a battery of fourteen pieces of cannon, placed on an eminence behind a deep ravine into which many of the front ranks fell; he passed the ravine with a considerable body of men, and charged the cannon with inconceivable intrepidity and complete success. This event is said to have decided the day, but at the mouth of this battery, the brave and worthy general, having three horses killed under him in the course of the day, received his death wound; one grape shot entered his chin, fracturing the spine and coming out between the shoulders, and another broke his arm to splinters.

Major. General. JOHN MANSEL
Killed in the Act of charging the French Artillery
Buried on the Field of Battle. 26TH. APRIL. 1794.

Mansel's coat and diary were sent home to Cosgrove Hall to his family, who displayed them in a glass case in the entrance hall. Eventually they were given to Peterborough Museum, by whose kind permission this photograph is shown.

The death of Major General John Mansel at Beaumont 26th April 1794
By kind permission of the Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018

Many paintings of historical interest are to be found at

Hs son and aide de camp, the present Major Mansel, anxious to save his father’s life, darted forwards, but was wounded and taken prisoner. On the 29th the general was buried in a redoubt at the head of the camp. Six generals supported the pall, and the duke of York, the Stadtholder, the hereditary prince of Orange, and all the officers of the army attended the funeral.

John Mansel 1794

This is the last Will and Testament of John Mansel the elder of Cosgrove in the county of Northamptonshire Esquire make this eighteenth day of May in the year of our Lord Christ One thousand seven hundred and ninety three in manner and form following (that is to say) iron wheel and direct That all my Plate Linen China Books Household Furniture Goods Cattle Stock and effects whatsoever shall be appraised as soon as conveniently may be after my decease and (chargeable with the payment of all my just debts and Funeral expenses) I hereby Give and bequeath the same and every part thereof according to the value and amount thereof upon such of appraisement unto and amongst my sons John Mansel Robert Mansel George Mansel and Henry Longville Mansel equally to be divided between them share and share alike and as to all the ready money that may be found in my house at the time of my death securities for money public and private and personal Estate whatsoever and wheresoever and of every nature kind and sort sell soever that I may be possessed of or any ways legally intitled unto and capable of bequeathing at the time of my decease and not hereinbefore disposed of Save and except all dispositions thereof in any manner already provided for under and by virtue of my marriage Settlement I do hereby give and bequeath the same and every part thereof (chargeable as aforesaid) unto and amongst my said Sons John Robert George and Henry Longville and daughter Mary Ann equally to be divided amongst them share and share alike And I hereby direct that the shares or portions of my said sons of and in my said Effects and Personal Estate shall be paid to them respectively by my Executor and Executrix hereafter named at their respective age of Twenty one years and that the share or portion of my said daughter of and in the same effects and Personal Estate shall be paid to her at her age of twenty one years or day of Marriage which shall first happen provided that if any of my said Children shall happen to die before his her or their share or shares of and in the said effects and personal Estate shall become payable as aforesaid Then then and in such Case I hereby direct that the share or shares of him or her or them so dying shall go to and be equally divided amongst the survivors and shall not go to his her or their Executors or Administrators And I hereby make constitute and appoint my said Son John and Dennis Withers Wade now or late of Davenport in the county of Chester spinster Executor and Executrix of this my last Will and Testament and Guardians to my said sons George and Henry Longville and daughter Mary Ann And I hereby charge them that my said Executor and Executrix with the maintenance education and bringing up of my said three younger Children during the minority and until their respective shares of and in my said effects and Personal Estate shall become payable as aforesaid And lastly I hereby revoke all former and other Wills by me at any time heretofore made declaring this alone to be and contain my true last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I have to this my last Will and Testament contained in this and the preceding sheet of paper set my hand and seal to wit my hand to the preceding sheet and my hand and seal to the second or last sheet thereof the day and year first before written Jno Mansel Signed Sealed Published and declared by the Testator John Mansel the older as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as Witnesses at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other H: Rigby Tho Ewesdin

On twentieth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety four Administration (with the Will annexed) of all and singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of John Mansel late of Cosgrove in the county of Northampton and Major Colonel of his Majesty’s Forces Esquire deceased was granted to George Biggin Esquire the Uncle next of kin and Curator or Guardian lawfully assigned to Mary Ann Mansel Spinster George Mansel and Henry Longville Mansell Minors the natural and lawful Children and three of the residuary Legatees named in the said Will having been first sworn duly to Administer as well for the use and benefit of the said Minors and until one of them shall attain the age of twenty one years as for John Mansel the Son and one other of the residuary Legatees and of Dennis Withers Wade Spinster Executors named in the said Will was residing in France and Robert Mansel the son also of the said deceased and other residuary Legatee now residing in the Kingdom of Denmark and until one of them the said John Mansel and Dennis Withers Wade shall return to the kingdom of Great Britain

This Will was proved at London the third July One thousand seven hundred and ninety five before the Worshipful Thomas Champion Crespigny Doctor of Laws and Surrogate of the Right Honourable Sir William Wynne of the Prorogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the Oaths of John Mansel the son and Dennis Withers Wase Spinster the Executors named in the said Will to whom Administration was granted having being first sworn duly to Administer The Letters of Administration with the Will annexed of the Goods Chattels and Credits of the deceased granted in June One thousand seven hundred and ninety four to George Biggin Esquire for the use and benefit of the said Executors and there until one of them should return to England being ceased and expired by reason of their return

Monument in Cosgrove Church

Major. General. JOHN MANSEL 
Killed in the Act of charging the French Artillery
Buried on the Field of Battle. 26TH. APRIL. 1794

Major John Christopher Mansel 1771 – 1839

Major John Christopher Mansel, son of Major General Mansel and Mary Anne Biggin, was married to Maria Antonia Linskill, of Tynemouth Lodge, Northumberland, in 1795.

By 1781 Baker was describing Mansel’s holdings in Cosgrove thus

“The lordship of Cosgrave contains altogether about 1760 acres, of which about 1100 acres belong to John Christopher Mansel esq., lord of the manor.”

The couple were responsible for commissioning the plans for the stunning rebuilding of Cosgrove Hall in 1799. Shortly afterwards in 1803 he was a major beneficiary of the will of George Biggin, his mother’s brother, and became holder of the Manor of Cosgrove. The Hall therefore also became the Manor House, and John Mansel began to lease the Priory to distinguished persons as a retreat or as a hunting lodge.

During this Mr Mansel’s ownership of the Hall, Cosgrove changed radically when the Grand Junction Canal drove straight through the middle of the village.

John Mansel’s military career continued locally as can be seen in this newspaper report

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 15 April 1820


THE Gentlemen of the TOWCESTER TROOP of YEOMANRY CAVALRY are requested to meet at Towcester, on Monday the 24th Instant, at Two o'Clock in the Afternoon. The Troop will remain in Quarters till Friday the 28th, both Days inclusive.

The Troop will meet on Foot with Pistols and side Arms, and after firing three Vollies in Honour of his Majesty's Birth Day, will dine together at Saracen's Head Inn."

JOHN C. MANSEL, Captain.
Cosgrove, April 14, 1820

He was also responsible for local legal negotiations and adjudications.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 26 May 1821

NOTICE is hereby given. That the Court Leet and Court Baron of John Christopher Mansel, Lord of the Manor of Cosgrove cum Furtho, in the County of Northampton, will held at the Plough, in Cosgrove aforesaid, on Thursday the 31st Day of May instant, at Eleven o'Clock in the Forenoon, when and where all Tenants of, and Residents within the said Manor, and other Persons owing Suit and Service to the said Court, are required to attend.left

And Notice hereby also given.

That the Minister Churchwardens and other Inhabitants of the Parish aforesaid, will meet at the Parish Church there, the said 31st  May instant, at Ten o'Clock in the Forenoon, and from thence proceed to perambulate the Boundaries of the said Parish.

Steward of the said Court.

Various other reports about Mansel from contemporaneous newspapers can be found at Newspaper Reports on the home page.

Surprisingly, at John Mansel’s death in 1839 the local newspaper reports only extended to the need to fill one of the many community roles he left vacant:

Bucks Gazette Saturday 13 April 1839

By the death of Major Mansel, of Cosgrove, the office of Verderer for the forest of Whittlewood is vacated. Capt. George Fitzroy of Grafton, and Gilbert Flesher Esq. Of Towcester, have announced themselves as candidates. The election is in the freeholders of the county. 

However, the following obituary appeared in the Gentleman’s Magazine vol 165.

J C Mansel Esq

At Cosgrave, Northamptonshire, in his 69th year, John Christopher Mansel Esq, a magistrate for the Counties of Northampton and Buckingham, and late Major in the 3rd Regiment of Dragoon Guards.

Major Mansel was born at Lambeth in 1771, the eldest son of Major General John Mansel, by Mary Anne, daughter of John Biggin, of Cosgrave, esq, and sister and heiress to Robert Biggin of Lambeth, esq. His next brother, Robert Mansel, esq, a Rear Admiral RN, died on 5th January last year, and a memoir of him was given in our vol IX. p. 430.

General Mansel, in the Duke of York’s campaign in Flanders, commanded a brigade of cavalry, and was killed on the 29th of April 1794, in the act of heading a most gallant charge near the Heights of Coteau. His son, who was then his aide de camp, was wounded and taken prisoner in the same action and detained at Paris during part of the sanguinary reign of Robespierre. Having at length effected an exchange, he returned to England, and attained the rank of Major in his own regiment, the 3rd Dragoon Guards.

He afterwards retired from the Army to reside on his paternal estate at Cosgrave. He became a Verderer of Whittlebury Forest and a Deputy Lieutenant of the County. As long as his health permitted, he was a very active and zealous magistrate, and continued even to the last to perform the duties of that situation to the utmost of his powers. The latter years of his life were embittered by bodily infirmities, which he bore with Christian patience and resignation. As a warm hearted and sincere friend, a kind and hospitable neighbour and a benefactor to the poor, few could surpass him.

Major Mansel married at Shields, in 1795, Maria Antonia, daughter of William Linskill, of Tynemouth Lodge, Northumberland Esq, but had no issue, and will be succeeded in his estates by his nephew, John Christopher Mansel, esq, eldest son of the Admiral before mentioned. (see the pedigree in Baker’s History of Northamptonshire vol ii p. 132)

Rear-Admiral Robert Mansel was born on 15 March 1773. He was the son of Maj.-General John Mansel and Mary Anne Biggin.

 He married Frances Charlotta Thorold, daughter of William Thorold , on 29 May 1803, with whom he had three children. Robert died on 5 January 1838 at age 64.
He gained the rank of Rear-Admiral in the service of the Royal Navy


Rear Admiral Mansel was the second son of John Mansel esq of Cosgrave. He entered the Royal Navy as a Midshipman on board the Sampson 64, bearing the flag of Vice Admiral Millbanke, in 1784; sailed for the West Indies with Captain Peter Rainier in the Astrea frigate about October 1786; removed with that officer into the Monarch 74 at the period of the Spanish Armament; and subsequently accompanied him into the Suffolk of similar force, from which he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in November 1793. His first appointment as such was to La Prompte of 20 guns, commanded by Captain Taylor, under whom he afterwards served as senior Lieutenant of the Andromeda frigate, on the North Sea, Newfoundland and Halifax stations.

His promotion to the rank of Commander took place in 1794. In 1797 he was first of the Iris frigate, from which he was removed to the Mary Yacht, when the King made an attempt to visit his fleet at the Nore.

Captain Mansel commanded the Adventure 44 during the expeditions against the Helder and Quiberon; and subsequently the Penguin of 18 guns, on the coast of Ireland. In that vessel he sustained a gallant action in February 1801, with a corvette of 24 guns and two other ships each of 16, when on his passage to the Cape, with despatches for Sir Roger Curtis, but it ended in the enemy’s escape. In the same year he was promoted to post rank, and appointed to the Berschamer 50, the command of which ship he retained until 1803; when a severe wound he received from part of a large block, which split and fell from the rigging on his head, rendered him incapable of further service afloat.

He was promoted to the rank of Retired Rear Admiral. A kinder hearted, more unaffected, or honourable English gentleman never lived; and his loss will be deeply felt and sincerely lamented by all who knew him.

Rear Admiral Mansel married in 1803 France-Charlotte, daughter of the Rev William Thorold, of Weelsby House, co Lincoln, by whom he had issue two sons and one daughter. John Christopher, born in 1813, now heir presumptive to his uncle, Robert-Thorold, who died in 1921 in his fourth year, and Maria Antonia, who was married in 1831 to Henry Thorold of Coxwould, co Lincoln, esq.

John Christopher Mansel 1813 - 1895

The manor of Cosgrove, the manor house, the two capital messuages, the water mill and the whole estate passed to John Christopher Mansel who died April 3, 1839. From him the estates went to [another] John Christopher Mansel, the son of his brother, Robert Mansel, who pre-deceased him.

This John Christopher Mansel, by deed dated October 7, 1881, conveyed the Hall and the greater part of the Cosgrove estate to Alexander William Thorold Grant Thorold of Weelsby, County Lincoln, Esquire, who was the son of his mother’s sister, who was the daughter of William Thorold, of Weelsby, Esquire.

John Christopher Mansel was born on 1 September 1813. He married a cousin, Katherine Margaret Mansel, daughter of Reverend Henry Longueville Mansel and Maria Margaret Moorsom, on 28 June 1853.
He held the office of High Sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1858 and the office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for Buckinghamshire.1 He held the office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for Northamptonshire.

He lived in the Cottage, or Dower House, at the end of his life. He died on 27 May 1895 at age 81.

7th October 1881 BY INDENTURE of this date made between John Christopher Mansel of Cosgrove Hall in the County of Northampton Esquire of the 1st part George Christopher Mansel of No. 23 Aynlye Road West Kensington in the Coy of Middlesex Esquire of the 2nd part and Alexander William Thorold Grant Thorold of Weelsby House in the Coy of Lincoln Esquire of the 3rd part. ( By the Will of John Christopher Mansel leaving after his decease Geo. C. Mansel the estate for his life. J. C. Mansel agreed with A. W. T. G. Thorold for the sale to him for the sum of £9,000 of the hereditaments for an estate for the life of the said J. C. Mansel. And the said G. C. Mansel agreed with A. W. T. G. Thorold for the sale to him for the sum of £21,500 for an estate of inheritance on the death of J. C. Mansel.

Admin of his will granted to Harry Grant Thorold retired major HM army

Effects £1190. 2s.2d

Former grants DR Northampton July 1895 and PR I January 1896 Cessate and DR Northampton 1896 revoked.

Northampton Mercury - Friday 31 May 1895


Mr. John Christopher Mansel, late of Cosgrove Hall, died at the advanced age of 81, at Cosgrove, on Monday. The deceased gentleman was a son of the late Rear Admiral Robert Mansel (who died in 1843), by Frances Charlotte, daughter of the late Rev. William Thorold, of Weelsby House, Lincolnshire. He was educated at Harrow, and married in 1853 his cousin, Katherine Margaret, daughter of the late Rev. Henry Longueville Mansel. The deceased was a magistrate for the Counties of Northampton and Buckingham, being High Sheriff for the latter county in 1858, and was Lord of the Manor of Cosgrove.

From this Mr Mansel's death the control of the Cosgrove estates passed to the equally important Thorold family.

Henry Longville-Mansel 1820 - 1871

The eldest son, but with five older sisters, Henry Longueville Mansel was brought up in Cosgrove Rectory, where his father held the living. He was a thoughtful but somewhat strange child, asking bizarre questions at an early age.

On 29 Sept. 1830 he entered Merchant Taylors' School, and was placed in the house of the head-master, J. W. Bellamy. He was irascible, though easily pacified, and cared little for games, but soon showed remarkable powers of concentration and acquisition. He had a very powerful memory, and spent all his pocket-money on books, forming ‘quite a large library of the English poets.’ He was already a strong Tory, as became a member of an old family of soldiers and clergymen. He wrote in the ‘School Magazine’ in 1832–3, and in 1838 published a volume of youthful verses, ‘The Demons of the Wind and other Poems.

In 1838 Mansel won the prize for English verse and a Hebrew medal given by Sir Moses Montefiore. In 1839 he won two of the four chief classical prizes, and on 11 June 1839 was matriculated as a scholar of St. John's College, Oxford. He was a model undergraduate, never missing the morning service at chapel, rising at six, and, until his health manifestly suffered, at four, and working hard at classics and mathematics, while at the same time he was sociable and popular. His private tutor for his last years was Archdeacon Hessey, who was much impressed by his thoroughness in attacking difficulties and his skill in humorous application of parallels to Aristotle, drawn from Shakespeare or ‘Pickwick.’ In the Easter term of 1843 he took a ‘double first.’ His vivâ voce examination is said to have been disappointing, because he insisted upon arguing against a false assumption involved in his examiner's first question.

He began to take pupils directly after his degree, and soon became one of the leading private tutors at Oxford. He was ordained deacon at Christmas 1844, and priest at Christmas 1845 by the Bishop of Oxford. He found time to study French, German, and Hebrew, the English divines, and early ecclesiastical history. He became also popular in the common- room, where his brilliant wit and memory, stored with anecdotes and literary knowledge, made him a leader of conversation.

On 16 Aug. 1855, Mansel married Charlotte Augusta, third daughter of Daniel Taylor of Clapham Common (she died in 1908 aged 83). He gave up teaching pupils and lived in the High Street at Oxford.

He continued to tutor and lecture to Philosophy students at St John’s.

From 1864 to 1868 Mansel was examining chaplain to the Bishop of Peterborough (Dr. Jeune). At the end of 1866 he was appointed by Lord Derby to the professorship of ecclesiastical history, vacant by the death of Dr. Shirley on 30 Nov. He delivered in the Lent term of 1868 a course of lectures upon ‘The Gnostic Heresies,’ published after his death.

In 1868 Mansel was appointed to the deanery of St. Paul's by Mr. Disraeli. His health was weakened by the pressure of business at Oxford, and he had been much distressed by the direction in which the university had been developing. He hoped to find more leisure for literary projects in his new position. There was, however, much to be done in arranging a final settlement with the ecclesiastical commissioners, and he was much occupied in finishing his share of the ‘Speaker's Commentary’ (the first two gospels) which he had undertaken in 1863.

He  also took the lead in promoting the new scheme for the decoration of the cathedral.

' I should wish to see such decorations introduced into St. Paul's as may give some splendour, while they would not disturb the solemnity or the exquisitely harmonious simplicity of the edifice ; some colour to enliven and gladden the eye, from foreign or native marbles, the most permanent and safe modes of embellishing a building exposed to the atmosphere of London. I would see the dome, instead of brooding like a dead weight over the area below, expanding and elevating the soul towards heaven. I would see the sullen white of the roof, the arches, the cornices, the capitals, and the walls broken and relieved by gilding, as we find it by experience the most lasting as well as the most appropriate decoration. I would see the adornment carried out in a rich but harmonious (and as far as possible from gaudy) style in unison with our simpler form of worship.”

Mansel was a personal friend of Lord Carnarvon, who described him thus:

“I remember, during part of a summer that I spent with him by the seaside, his characteristic determination to understand the method of sailing a boat, and the acuteness with which he resolved the practical details, as he got them from an old fisherman, into the more scientific principles by which they were really governed. I remember, on another occasion, the keen interest with which he learnt from a gamekeeper some of the mysteries of his craft in the rearing of birds; and though Dean Mansel would never have become a good pilot or gamekeeper, yet this keen interest in the occupations of others kept his own mind singularly fresh and active.”

Mansel paid visits with his wife to his brother-in-law at Cosgrove Hall during his tenure of the deanery, and while staying there in 1871 he died suddenly in his sleep (30 July), from the rupture of a blood-vessel in the brain. A memorial window, representing the incredulity of St. Thomas, was erected to his memory in the north chapel of St. Paul's Cathedral, and unveiled on St. Paul's day 1879. St Paul’s cathedral staff told us that this window was destroyed by a bomb blast during WW2.

The Very Reverend Henry Longueville Mansel, D.D. (6 October 1820 – 1 July 1871) was an English philosopher and ecclesiastic.

He was born at Cosgrove, Northamptonshire (where his father, also Henry Longueville Mansel, fourth son of General John Mansel, was rector). He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, London and St John's College, Oxford. He took a double first in 1843, and became tutor of his college. He was appointed reader in moral and metaphysical philosophy at Magdalen College in 1855, and Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy in 1859. He was a great opponent of university reform and of the Hegelianism which was then beginning to take root in Oxford. In 1867 he succeeded Arthur Penrhyn Stanley as regius professor of ecclesiastical history, and in 1868 he was appointed Dean of St Paul's.

He paid visits with his wife (daughter of Admiral Moorsom) to his brother-in-law at Cosgrove Hall during his tenure of the deanery, and while staying there in 1871 he died suddenly in his sleep (30 July), from the rupture of a blood-vessel in the brain.

A memorial window, representing the incredulity of St. Thomas, was erected to Dean Mansel’s memory in the north chapel of St. Paul's Cathedral, and unveiled on St. Paul's day 1879. It was destroyed by bomb damage during the Second World War.

In the cathedral collections is a bust of Dean Mansel sculpted by E W Wyon. Catalogue number 5158. 77cm high.

Dean Mansel is also represented in the National Portrait Gallery.

Mansel’s philosophical teachings are difficult to understand. He maintained the purely formal character of logic, the duality of consciousness as testifying to both self and the external world, and the limitation of knowledge to the finite and "conditioned."

He applied metaphysical agnosticism to Christian theology. Consciousness, he held — agreeing with the doctrine of "natural realism" — implies knowledge both of self and of the external world.

The funeral of the Very Rev. Henry Longueville Mansel, D.D., late Dean of St. Paul's, took place on Saturday morning, Cosgrove (near Stony Stratford,) a picturesque village in Northamptonshire, of which place his father was rector for many years. The mother, widow, two sisters, and other ladies connected with the family were present during the service in the church. The vault in which the late dean is laid is at the east end of the north chancel, immediately adjoining that of his father.

Mansel’s books are still in publication, in print and electronic format