17th Century Kirby Muxloe

The manor of Kirby changed hands at least a couple of times in the 17th century. Walter Hastings, who was buried in Kirby in 1616, was a great-grandson of William, first Lord Hastings, and was the last male Hastings to occupy the castle. In 1630, the Hastings family sold it to Sir Robert Bannaster of Passenham, Northamptonshire.

Between 1646 and 1664, it was then sold to William Wollaston of Shenton.

Transcripts of some of the Parish Registers can be seen here.

Here are a few random jottings about our village history at this time.

Castle in use

Although Kirby Castle remained unfinished, it was still habitable. During the Civil War seige of Leicester in 1645, a garrison of Parliamentary troops was supposedly billeted there.

After the war

The end of the Civil War left the country in a poor condition, from which it took many years to recover.

In 1670, the Hearth Tax returns show that there were only 21 families in Kirby, of which 8 were excused payment on grounds of poverty.

As ever, there were those who were more fortunate. When Thomas Penford died in 1663, he left an estate valued at £740, which is believed to have included Castle Farm. The inventory showed 555 sheep, 72 cattle, 3 mares, 3 foals, 2 fillies and a stock of wool.

Lest we give the impression that Kirby was all about farming, it is worth mentioning the probate inventory of Thomas Bagshaw, gentleman, who died in 1690. This included swords, pistols, rings, buckles, looking glasses, pictures, two guns, and finally, knives and forks.

The above information is taken from the late Jonathan Wilshere's book

"Old Kirby (Muxloe)", with kind permission of the Wilshere family.