THE BROUGHTON FAMILY
The Domesday survey for Staffordshire in 1086 records that Broughton (Hereborgeton) measured half a carucate [approx 50 acres] and was "Waste".  It has held in Saxon times by the Bishops of Chester and confirmed to them in the Domesday Book.  In 1271 Roger de Newland gave the estate to his nephew Roger, son of Henry de Napton, who then became styled as Roger de Broughton.  Ten years later he married Juliana of Charnes, the neighbouring estate.

The family prospered.  In 1631 Thomas Broughton became High Sherriff of Staffordshire.  He married Frances, daughter of Walter Bagot of Blithfield.  He built the hall and founded this chapel.  When civil war broke out in 1642, Thomas took the King's side.  He was imprisoned at Stafford and the hall and estate were sequestrated and Cromwell's troopers were billeted in the hall. Thomas later recovered his freedom and his estate on payment of the then huge sum of £3,500. Thomas died in 1648 and is buried in the chapel.  His stone in the sanctuary describes him as 'Fundatoris' [founder]. His eldest son, Brian, escaped to the continent and joined Charles II and shared his uncomfortable exile.  His loyalty was rewarded on the restoration.  He was appointed High Sherriff and in 1661 was created a baronet by the King.


On 10th February 1711 at St Chad's Church in Norton in Hales, the third baronet married Elizabeth the only daughter and sole heiress of Sir Thomas Delves of Doddington.  The Broughton family now acquired the very much larger Delves' estates in Cheshire; but there was a condition - the memorial tablet to the fourth baronet on the North side of the East window records this:


'To the Memory of Sir Brian Delves, Bart, only son of Sir Brian Broughton, Bart, by Elizabeth, only daughter of Sir Thomas Delves, Bart.  He took upon himself the surname Delves only to entitle himself to possession of the estate which the said Sir Thomas settled upon him and his issue on that express condition.  Deceased 11th August 1744'.


That understanding was honoured for only one generation.  The title passed to his son, Sir Brian the fifth baronet, a Member of Parliament, who died without issue.  The title then passed to his brother, the revd. Sir Thomas, who served the chapel as chaplain from 1791-1802. Sir Thomas was High Sherriff of Staffordshire in 1772.  It is at this time the family began withdrawing from Broughton and removing to Doddington.  He began rebuilding Doddington Hall in 1777 and completed in 1798.  His memorial on the south wall of the chancel records that:


'He greatly enlarged and consolidated his vast possessions ... without encumbering his family estates with a shilling'.


This memorial also records that he married Mary, daughter of John Wicker of Horsham, County Sussex, who produced thirteen children and died aged 37 giving birth to the fourteenth.  The thirteen children are listed on the memorial with their subsequent marriages.  The males are all christened Delves so that the family name Delves Broughton dates from this time.


All twelve baronets lie in the vault here.  The last internment was of Sir Evelyn, the twelfth baronet on 5th January 1993.


The tenth baronet died in 1914 and the eleventh baronet, Sir Henry, sold the estate in 1917 when it was purchased by Mr John Hall, who proved to be an imaginative and generous patron, as this story will show.