THE ABERGAVENNY FAMILY AND KIDBROOKE.
This ancient and noble family, described by one historian as being to mediaeval England what the Douglas family was to Scotland, had a very intimate connection with East Grinstead for a period which extended a little over a century.
The mansion of Kidbrooke, at Forest Row, was built for William, the 42nd Lord Abergavenny and 14th Baron of the present creation, the money for the purpose being provided by a special Act of Parliament passed in 1733, authorising the sale of the Abergavenny entailed estates at Kidderminster, known as the Manors of Kidderminster Borough and Kidderminster Forren, and the re-investment of the proceeds in this parish. In 1744 another Act of Parliament was obtained for settling the mansion of Kidbrooke and the lands belonging to it to the uses of the family estates.
The Harleian manuscripts in the British Museum contain a pedigree which professes to show the descent of this illustrious family from Adam, through Enos and Mahalahael to Noah, thence on to Woden, from him to Hengist, King of Kent, then to Uchtred the Saxon, then through the Earls of Northumberland to the present known line. But modern historians generally content themselves with tracing its descent from Gilbert de Nevill, a Norman chieftain, who is said to have been Admiral to William the Conqueror.
The particular branch of the family which occupied Kidbrooke sprang from Sir Edward Nevill, K.G. (whose mother was a daughter of John of Gaunt), sixth son of Ralph, 1st Earl of Westmoreland, and uncle to the