Select Saville Miscellany

Here are some Saville stories and accounts over the years:

Peter de Sayvell in 1286

In 1286 there was recorded a lunacy inquisition conducted against Peter de Sayvell at York, which contained a list of some of his lands and possessions. The inquisition opened by stating: 

“Peter de Sayvell is clearly mad and an idiot and incapable of managing his land.”  

The inquisition recorded that Peter de Sayvell held land in Smeaton, Skelebrook, Golcar and Thurleston, all in the West Riding of Yorkshire.  Although these lands might have been relatively small, they showed that the Savile family had a significant presence in West Yorkshire by the late 13th century

The Will of Sir Thomas Savile

The will of Sir Thomas Savile who died in 1449 suggests he was a pious man, with many grants to religious houses in the vicinity of the Savile estates.  Certainly he was a patron of Thornhill parish church and in 1447 he had paid for an extension to the Church to provide a private family chapel.  

The surviving stained glass in the windows of this chapel link it to Sir Thomas, with a Latin inscription that translated:  

“Pray for the soul of Thomas Savile, Knight, who caused this chapel to be built, AD 1447.” 

The illustration in the glass showed Sir Thomas and his wife, Margaret, at prayer, with the arms of the Savile and Thornhill families quartered on Lady Margaret’s dress and Sir Thomas’s armour.  

In this will Savile also bequeathed his best horse and trappings towards the expenses of his funeral and a set of vestments of yellow cloth and a cap for the priest, deacon and sub-deacon of the church at Thornhill.  Since the seat of the family had transferred to the Thornhill estate, Sir Thomas left instructions for his body to be interred with his wife in this church and three marks were left for a tomb to be raised over their bodies.  

Most of Sir Thomas’s goods were granted to Sir John, his son and heir, who was also named executor by his father. Apart from Sir John, Sir Thomas Savile left three daughters, all of who married into local families of esquire or knightly status

Savile Row in London

Savile Row is a street in Mayfair in London, known principally for its traditional bespoke tailoring for men.  The street has had a varied history that included accommodating the headquarters of the Royal Geographical Society and, more recently, the Apple office of the Beatles.  

The first house in what would become Savile Row was "a fine house and ground," built in 1674 and occupied by a series of nobles until it was demolished in 1730 in preparation for the laying out of the houses on the east of Savile Row as part of the Burlington estate.  Savile Row was named after Lady Dorothy Savile, the wife of the 3rd Earl of Burlington.  Initially the street was occupied by military officers and their wives.

The Baron Savile Line

The 8th Earl of Scarbrough, who built the magnificent entrance gates at Rufford Abbey, was walking one day in Hyde Park and saw a young French girl drowning in the Serpentine.  He rescued the girl, known as Agnes, fell in love with her and brought her back to Rufford where they lived in unmarried bliss for some years, producing six children.

The sons of course could not inherit the earldom but one of them, John, was a distinguished antiquary, diplomat and ambassador to Rome. He was created Baron Savile in 1888.  The title was then remaindered to his nephew, also John, who became the 2nd Baron and the father of the late George, 3rd Lord Savile.

Reader Feedback - Irish Savilles in Baltimore

I am descended from the line of John Saville and Araminta Savington. They settled in Baltimore, Maryland.  John originally came over from Northern Ireland sometime in the late 1700's. They had one child John Wesley Saville Sr. that I can prove and possibly a second son William. John married Caroline Sisco and they had five children - Margaret A. Saville, William Oliver Saville, John Wesley Saville, George Washington Saville, and Walter Aquilla Saville.  
I am from the line of George Washington Saville.  He married Mary R. Eagle and they had four children - Ada who died very young (can’t find any records on her), John Oliver Saville, Lillian Margaret Saville, and Edith Saville.  

George later married Florence Susan Ott. They had two sons - George Walter Saville and Harold Wheeler Saville. George Walter Saville was my grandfather.  

George married Frances Mary Pepper and they had two sons - Walter Henry Saville and William Franklin Saville. William died at the age of 12 weeks from whooping cough.  Walter married Helen Edith Spevar and they had six children. 

Obviously my interest is in the history of this line of Savilles from Ireland. If there is anything else you can tell me about our history it would be greatly appreciated.  

Paul W. Saville (

The Abraham Saville Monument

Abraham Saville was a soldier in the Pennsylvania militia during the Revolutionary War.   For enlisting in the militia he was excommunicated by his Quaker community.

He relocated to Rockbridge county, Virginia in 1795.  He built a cabin there and farmed on the land until his death in 1841.  He is remembered by the Abraham Saville monument that was unveiled in 2013 in a ceremony that many of his descendants attended.

Alfred Savill of Savills

Alfred Savill was the founder of Savills, one of the UK’s largest estate agents.  Born in Chigwell in Essex in 1829, he became a land agent, surveyor and auctioneer, before opening the first office of Savills in the City of London in 1855.  

Although located in the City, his practice was largely Essex-related and agricultural.  He did commission the building of Chigwell Hall in 1876 and was retained as professional adviser to a number of Essex lordships.  

At the time of his death in 1905, his sons Alfred, Edwin and Norman were already firmly established in partnership and they developed the business in the inter-war years.   By the 1970’s the firm was re-branded as Savills.  Fifty eight partners operated from the head office in London and from fifteen country offices in England and Wales.  By the 1990’s Savills had established an international presence in both Europe and Asia

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