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Shottesbrooke Church
Folklore or Fact?

The existence of Sir William Trussell Junior is beyond doubt. He was Constable of Odiham Castle, just over the border in Hampshire, and the son of Sir William Trussell the Elder, a King's yeoman from Kibblestone, Staffordshire and Billesley, Warwickshire. He probably moved to Berkshire when his uncle, Oliver De Bordeaux, left him his Manor of Foliejon Park in Winkfield. William did not stay there long, for the King wanted to attach the manor to Windsor Forest and made him swap it for Eaton Hastings. He bought Shottesbrooke Manor from a London Vintner, John of Oxford, in 1335. The parish church dates from approximately two years later, when William founded an ecclesiastical college in the village. Presumably both were established in thanks for his seeing the light and deciding to become 'tee total'. A warden named John Loddington was appointed to run the establishment, along with five chaplains and two clerks. They were to sing masses for the souls of the King, for William and for all his ancestors and descendants. In return they received 40s in rent from the manor and the right to appoint the parish priest. A few older building stones in the fabric of the present church indicate that Sir William rebuilt an earlier structure rather than starting from scratch. Some people say the "O.O." memorial marks the grave of this new building's architect and not the local smith at all. The date of the church does enable us to identify the lady in question though: William's first wife, Isabelle. She died around 1345, he in 1364, and they were buried in adjoining graves in Shottesbrooke Church.

The Story
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