Blithfield (St. Leonard)
BLITHFIELD (St. Leonard), a parish, in the union of Uttoxeter, hundred of South Pirehill, N. division of the county of Stafford, 4¼ miles (N.) from Rugeley; containing, with Newton liberty and Admaston hamlet, 390 inhabitants. The Bagot family, of great eminence and antiquity, possessed this and the adjoining estate of Bagot's-Bromley, at the time of the Domesday survey. In 1195 Hervey Bagot married the heiress of Baron Stafford; his son assumed the surname and title of Stafford, and became progenitor to the succeeding barons and earls of Stafford, and dukes of Buckingham. Of that branch of the family resident at Blithfield and Bromley, was Sir John Bagot, Knt., ancestor of Hervey Bagot, who was created a baronet in 1627: William Bagot was made a baron in 1780. Blithfield Hall, the family seat, is an ancient mansion with embattled towers and walls; it stands in the vale of the Blithe or Blythe, on a beautiful lawn, and contains a large and valuable collection of paintings, among which are portraits of many distinguished persons. Bagot's Park, which forms part of Lord Bagot's pleasuregrounds, is distant a mile and a half to the north-east, in the parish of Abbot's-Bromley; and is well wooded with ancient oaks, and stocked with deer. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10. 19. 2., and in the patronage of the noble baron; net income, £388. The church stands a quarter of a mile west of Admaston. Elizabeth Bagot and Jane Jones, in 1729, gave land now producing about £35 per annum, which is applied to the support of a school on the national system; and there are some benefactions for distribution among the poor, one of which, of £10 per annum, was left in 1702 by Sir Walter Bagot.