Weoley and Weeley have two quite separate origins. Weoley (often spelt Wheeley) apparently derives from Weoley Castle, now a suburb of Birmingham; Weeley from the village in Essex. Dr William Weoley merely confused matters when he purchased the estate by changing the spelling of his name, dropping the “o” for an “e”; all known Weeleys in Essex probably derive their surname from Worcestershire rather than Essex
Dr William Weoley was a direct descendant of Henry Weoleye of Broad Campden in the Cotswolds who is first mentioned in a Subsidy Roll of 1327. Members of the family are recorded in London from the 16th C onwards, Dr William was living in Fetter Lane, off Fleet Street when he christened his children.
As you say the estate passed out of the family in 1795, it was bequeathed to his farm manager, John March and his descendants, upon condition that they change their surname to Weeley, his descendants live in the village to this day.
Dr William’s bloodline did not die out in 1795 (as I’d originally assumed) his last known descendant died in 1986, there are probably some still alive.
Hope the above has been of some use, two books worth getting hold of, if you haven’t already are “Weeley through the ages” by Donald J. Brown 1996 published by Weeley parish church and “Richard Weoley of Chipping Campden “ by H. S. Stannus, 1930.
I have a number of wills and other documents relating to the family, should you be interested, I can also pass on the address of David Weeley who has an interest in the family, being a direct descendant of John March/Weeley.
Michael J. Smither.
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