John Mill, originally from Sussex, came to Southampton in 1504, where he prospered in trade and commerce and became very wealthy and influential. He was appointed town clerk in 1509 and recorder in 1514. He and his son George held various posts as stewards of monastic lands in Southampton and elsewhere. In the 1540s John was paymaster for the coastal defence works and supervised the victualling of the army and navy. He invested his wealth in land, acquiring the manors of Nursling Beaufo, Swaythling and Newtonbury in 1527, and the manor of Millbrook in 1545. There is a memorial to him in Nursling Church and the family's coat of arms is on the western buttress of the Bargate.
His descendants added more land in Nursling and Millbrook in the next two centuries. Mottisfont Abbey was inherited in the 18th century. In the 19th century the estate passed to John Barker, nephew of the 10th Baronet Sir Charles Mill. He changed his name to Barker-Mill and was created a baronet in 1836.
Much of the Barker-Mill family lands and buildings were sold off in the 19th and 20th century to balance the estate’s books. The Lordshill and Millbrook housing estates are on former Barker-Mill land.
Newspaper clippings (available at the Local Studies Library):
- "A local dynasty" - (The Daily Echo, 28/11/2000). Article describes some of the notable people in the family.
Millbrook: The Hidden Past, by Rosaleen Wilkinson, p10-11, 13-14. (HS/h)
The Barker-Mill Story: A Hampshire Family Since the Sixteenth Century, by Tessa Lecomber.
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