6 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Col. Basil Dixwell, cr. bt 1660 of Broome, Barham, Kent. (Index)

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

There have been 3 baronetcies created for members of the Dixwell family, all of whom are descended from Charles Dixwell (died 1591) of Coton House, near Churchover, Warwickshire. All 3 baronetcies are extinct.
Sir Basil Dixwell, 1st Baronet (1640–1668)

The Dixwell Baronetcy, of Broome House, Barham, situated midway between Folkestone and Canterbury, in the County of Kent, was created on 19 June 1660, for Basil Dixwell great nephew and heir of Sir Basil Dixwell of Tirlington, from whom he inherited the Broome House estate.

His son, the 2nd Baronet, was Governor of Dover Castle, and MP for Dover 1689–90 and 1699–1700.

Sounds like Sir Basil is someone who did something important for Charles II during the exile years, who was rewarded for it, but the reason is lost to history.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The location of Broome House at Barham suggests that the Dixwells may have hosted Royalists on their way to and from the Continent during the Civil War years???:

More than most villages in Kent, Barham has had a ringside seat to history.

It lies among Barham Downs, and it was on these Downs the Romans camped on their way inland from landing at Thanet.
William the Conqueror met the Men of Kent here, heard them swear fealty and took delivery of the hostages they surrendered against their fulfillment of that oath.

It was here that William, son of King Stephen, fell from his horse and broke his thigh on his way to Dover to meet the Earl of Flanders,
and it was here that King John camped with 50,000 men in preparation for war with France.

Simon de Montfort assembled a huge army on Barham Downs in 1265, during the Barons' War;
and in 1422 Henry VI came from his crowning in Paris to be met here by his Barons and Commons and escorted to Canterbury and on to London.

King Charles I picnicked on them during his return to London with his bride, Henrietta Maria.
During the Civil Wars, Royalist troops massed here for their attack on Dover Castle in 1642;
and Charles II was welcomed home here after his long years of exile by the Kentish Regiment of Foot, in 1660.

Many locals say it is on Barham Downs, in one of the hundreds of prehistoric burial mounds there, that the legendary golden statue of Woden lies buried.
Henry VIII took the legend sufficiently seriously to order the excavation of one mound, and the diggers did find gold-embellished armour.

Broome Park at Barham is a 17th century mansion designed by Inigo Jones.
[Between 1635 and 1638 Dixwell built Broome Park, Barham, situated midway between Folkestone and Canterbury, at a cost of £8,000. FOR SIR BASIL DIXWELL MP 1585 - 1642 https://www.historyofparliamenton… ]

Barham is an attractive village, with a long street over which towers the green copper spire of the 13th century church of St. John the Baptist.

Nearby Barham Court was once the home of that FitzUrse who was one of the knights who murdered Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. The three bears on the village sign that stands on the green are a reference to the FitzUrse family.

For many years the most distinctive local landmark, after the church, was Barham windmill but that was destroyed by fire during restoration in 1970.

The village information above is taken from The Kent Village Book, written by Alan Bignell and published by Countryside Books.

Broome Park is a golf course and hotel these days. You can visit.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

There's a novel about more famous member of the Dixwell family from these times: John Dixwell MP, 1607-1689, unmentioned in Pepys' Diary. John Dixwell was one of 3 regicides who fled to New England.

The younger son of Edward Dixwell, a Warwickshire gentleman, John Dixwell was probably brought up by his uncle Sir Basil Dixwell of Brome in Kent.
He attended Lincoln's Inn and was called to the bar in 1638. During the First Civil War, he was on the Kent county committee and a captain in the Kent militia.
On the death of his elder brother in 1644, John Dixwell MP succeeded to the estate inherited from their uncle, and became guardian of his brother's children.

In 1646, Dixwell was elected to the Long Parliament as MP for Dover, where he became associated with the Independent faction.
He retained his seat after Pride's Purge and was nominated to the High Court of Justice to try the King in January 1649.
Dixwell attended every session of King Charles' trial and was a signatory of the death warrant.

During the Commonwealth, Dixwell was a political ally of the republicans Ludlow and Marten. He was appointed to the Council of State in 1651-2, and took a particular interest in naval affairs.
In January 1652, he was appointed governor of Dover Castle, which was of vital strategic importance during the first Anglo-Dutch War of 1652-4.

Despite reservations about the establishment of a Protectorate, Dixwell was loyal to both Oliver and Richard Cromwell. He sat in all 3 Protectorate Parliaments.
During the turmoil of 1659, John Dixwell MP was re-elected to the Council of State.
Dixwell held Dover Castle on behalf of the civilian republican faction against the interests of Major-Gen. Lambert and the Council of Officers.

[Wikipedia doesn't list a Gov. of Dover Castle when Montegu, Pepys and the fleet were anthored in the Downs:
Sir Edward Boys 1642–1646
Major John Boys 1646–1648
Sir Algernon Sydney 1648–1651
Col. Thomas Kelsey 1651–1656 [DIXWELL HELD CASTLE WHILE KELSEY FOUGHT?????]
Adm. Robert Blake 1656–1657
Heneage Finch, 3rd Earl of Winchilsea 1660 (unconfirmed term; may have been father/son) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lor… ]

Realising the Restoration was inevitable, Dixwell fled early in 1660. He joined other regicides at Hanau, Germany.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


John Dixwell for New England in 1665. He settled at New Haven, Conn., where he assumed the name of James Davids. He is visited the former Major-Generals Whalley and Goffe at Hadley, Mass.

Dixwell married twice during his New England exile. In 1673, he married Joanna Ling, a widow, who died within a month of the marriage. Dixwell inherited Joanna's house. In 1677, at the age of 70, he married Bathsheba How, who was aged about 30. They had a son and two daughters.

Regicide John Dixwell died at New Haven in March 1689.
The novel is "Act of Oblivion" by Robert Harris. It's a peaceful book for a "manhunt", focusing on the 4 main characters -- the fugitives and the man sent to bring them to trial. The author explores what drove them to make their choices and draws vivid pictures of the 17th century New England colonies.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sir Basil "1st Baronet Dixwell of Broome House" Dixwell
Born 22 Jun 1640 in Folkestone, Kent
Died 7 May 1668, aged 27 in London

Son of Mark Dixwell and Elizabeth (Reade) Oxenden
Brother of Elizabeth (Dixwell) Chute,
Alice Dixwell,
Bennett (Dixwell) Digges,
Herdson Dixwell
and William Dixwell

Husband of Dorothy (Peyton) Dixwell — married 15 Mar 1659 in Chelsea, London

Father of Elizabeth (Dixwell) Oxenden,
Dorothy Dixwell,
Basil Dixwell MP, the 2nd Baronet Dixwell
and Mark Dixwell


To be a colonel when you are a teenager, even at a time when it was an honorary title indicating you paid for a troop of soldiers, takes some doing. He is not mentioned anywhere that I can find to have done that.

And Basil Dixwell was honored as the 1st Baronet at aged 20, a month into the Restoration. WHY??? Charles II owed him for something.

My theory is that the Dixwells had sheltered some high profile Royalists at Broome House, who were on their way to the Continent via Deal or Dover during the Interregnum. Again, I have no proof of that to offer.

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