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The Bingham Family of Melcombe Bingham, Dorset

   Robert de Bingham, the first at Melcombe Bingham was mentioned in the Hundred Rolls of 1273. The younger brother of William de Bingham of Sutton, Robert acquired the Manor of Melcombe in Dorset upon his marriage with Lucy Turberville, daughter of Sir Richard Turberville. Thomas Hardy used the Turberville name in his classic story, Tess of the D' Urbervilles, in which the character Parson Tringham is said to refer to the Reverend Charles William Bingham.


   The Melcombe Binghams have armorial bearings entirely different from those of Nottingham Binghams. The Melcombe line has been traced for almost eight centuries and is still extant today. The line has given rise to the Irish Binghams and has been fairly well chronicled by Rose McCalmont in Memoirs of the Binghams. London: Spottiswoode & CO. LTD., 1915. The ancient manor house of Melcombe Bingham still stands in Dorset. although only a small portion of it remains from Tudor days.

Above: Dorset County

    By the late 1550s, three de Bingham brothers of the Melcombe Bingham line served governorships in Ireland under Elizabeth I. The notorious and bloodthirsty Sir Richard, one of the extraordinary men of his time, was the third son and eldest of the three in military service. He became Governor of Connaught. Sir Richard was born in 1528 and died in Athlone, Ireland on the 19 January 1598/9 and was buried in Westminster Abby. Inscribed on a monument in the Abby are the various campaigns in which he took part. Sir Richard’s will is dated the 7 January 1598/9 and was probated in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in 1599 (49 Kidd).

   Sir George, the fourth son, was Governor of Sligo in 1593,  Sir George's son Henry Bingham was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia in 1634 and the Earls of Lucan descend from him.

   Sir John, the sixth son, was Governor of Castlebar, County Mayo. John’s son John was an M.P. for Castlebar 1692-95 and for  Co. Mayo 1695-96 and the Barons Clanmorris descend from him.

  The Melcombe Bingham family pedigree was recorded by Robert Cooke, Esq. Clarenceux, during his Heralds visitation in 1587. The manor descended for nine generations through the male line to another Robert Bingham. This Robert was the eldest brother of Sir Richard Bingham, Governor of Connaught mentioned previously. Robert married Joan or Jane, the daughter of Robert Williams of Winterbourne Heringston, co. Dorset. Robert’s date of birth is not known and he possibly died in 1593. He and Joan had four sons and four daughters.

Above: Manor of Melcombe showing Melcombe Bingham to the east.


    Robert's eldest son was also Robert. Robert (Junior) married Anne, daughter and heiress of William Chaldecott of Quarleston, co. Dorset. Robert (Junior) died at Quarleston in 1587 and his death seems to have happened early in life as it occurred six years before his father and sixty-nine years (or forty-nine years) before that of his eldest son who died in 1656 (Stirnet: 1636). His widow remarried eight years later in 1595. His will was probated in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in 1588 (11 Leicester).

    The manor of Melcombe Bingham remained in this Bingham family until approximately 1900 when the owner Lt. Col. Richard Charles William Bingham (1845-1902) sold the estate.


The entries for the Binghams in Melcombe in the County of Dorset in the International Genealogical Index should be ignored as they contain a great deal of incorrect or unsubstantiated material.


for more detail see Rose McCalmont’s book cited above and


Robert de BINGHAM = Lucy Turberville

                                             (abt 1246; mentioned in

                                              Hundred Rolls 1273)       


nine generations



              |                                                                     |                                                        |

Robert BINGHAM= Joan Williams             Sir Richard, Kt.                              Sir George
  d. 1593                        dau. Robert of                                                                      (Earls of Lucan)
                                       Winterbourne Heringston                                                 (Barons Clanmorris)                                                                                



      |                                                         |          |               |               |           |          |              |
   Robert BINGHAM = Anne         John   Thomas   Francis   Mary   Joan   Cicely   Anne

    1587 ?                          Chaldecott

                                         dau. William of Quarrelston




Richard BINGHAM, Esq. = Jane Hopton

   Sheriff 1627                           dau. Sir Arthur Hopton, Kt

   d. 1636 or 1656                     of Witham Friary


At one time Melcombe Bingham and Bingham’s Melcombe were one and the same place.  Today Melcombe Bingham is known as Melcombe Horsey and Melcombe’s Bingham is just the manor house next to the church.

Right: Current Map of

Location of Melcombe



Left:  Aerial View of Melcombe Bingham

Below: Two Postcard Views of Bingham’s Melcombe Manor House


Melcombe Binghams, Dorset

  Contributed by John Bingham and Frank Creswell, 8th October 2000
     edited by Donna Bingham Munger

Donna G. Bingham Munger asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this website.

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