Cio che Dio vuole, io voglio – What God Wills, I Will

Dormer family crest in All Saints Church Wing Buckinghamshie
Dormer family crest

The Dormer family was the earliest “noble” family of Wing, and resided at Ascott House. A notable aspect about the family is that they were Catholic – in challenging times the Dormers were able to successfully retain their faith with minimal persecution.


Below is an outline of the descent of the various titles and assets that the Dormers held associated specifically with Wing, useful for determining exactly which Lord Dormer, Lady Dormer, Baron Dormer, Sir Robert or Sir William is being referred to at any given time! Hyperlinks will take you to the family tree of that individual along with more detailed information (where known). Some additional individuals, not specifically connected with Wing, have been included in order to place our Wing Dormers in context.

Geffrey Dormerm. Ursula
 of West Wycombe, Bucks?
William Dormerm. Jane Lancellyn
 of West Wycombe, Bucks
Sir Robert Dormerm. Jane Newdigate
? – 1552purchased manor of Wenge 1515, inclosed Wing Park and built Ascott House
 granted advowson & rectory of Wing 1544
 monument in north aisle of All Saints Church
Sir William Dormerm. Mary Sidney, Dorothy Catesby
1503? (Eythrope) – 1575 (Wing)monument in apse of All Saints Church
Robert Lord Dormerm. Elizabeth Browne
1551 – 1616 (Wing)High Sheriff of Buckingham 1585
 made Baron Dormer of Wenge 1615
 monument in apse of All Saints Church
Sir William Dormerm. Alice Molyneux
1586 – 1616 (Wing)never held baronetcy as predeceased his father
Robert Lord Dormerm. Anne Sophia Herbert
1610 – 1643made Earl of Carnarvon 1628
 made Viscount Ascott 1628
 died at Battle of Newbury
Charles Lord Dormerm. Elizabeth Capell, Mary Montague
1632 – 17092nd Earl of Carnarvon & 2nd Viscount Ascott

As Charles Lord Dormer had no surviving sons, the titles of Earl of Carnarvon and Viscount Ascott became extinct upon his death. The barony and title of Lord Dormer did not, reverting to other branches of the family who were not based at Wing and had no connection to the village beyond the title Baron of Wing. Control of the manor of Wing and Ascott House passed down to Charles’ eldest grandson, the son of his daughter Elizabeth who had married Philip Stanhope 2nd Earl of Chesterfield.

Philip Stanhope3rd Earl of Chesterfield
1672 – 1726 
Sir William Stanhope2nd son of 3rd Earl of Chesterfield
1702 – 1772Was given the manor of Wing by his father, but allowed Ascott House to fall into disrepair from 1720, and in 1727 sold the deer and felled the trees for timber (some of this timber went to Fenny Stratford and was used to build the church there). He died with no sons so the property reverted back to his older brother.
Philip Dormer Stanhope4th Earl of Chesterfield (formerly Lord Stanhope)
1694 – 1773Politician and author of Letters To His Son. This illegitimate son (and only child) predeceased him, and he subsequently adopted his godson Philip Stanhope.
Philip Stanhope5th Earl of Chesterfield (adopted son of Philip Dormer Stanhope)
1755-1815Around 1800 the foundations of Ascott House were finally cleared away and the bricks used for road repairs around Wing.
George Stanhope6th Earl of Chesterfield
1805-1866Sold Ascott House to J B Harcourt by 1847


Dormer's Hospital plaque in Wing Buckinghamshire
Dormer’s Hospital plaque

There are two historical charities established by Dormer family members for the benefit of Wing residents.

Dame Dorothy Pelham (formerly Dame Dorothy Dormer) established the Almshouses, also known as Dormer’s Hospital, in 1596. The building provided accommodation for eight men and women and by 1853 the inmates were receiving 4s a week to support themselves. The Grade II listed building still exists (some present-day photos are here) on the corner of Aylesbury Road and High Street, was converted from eight flats to four in the 1800s, and further renovated in 1982.

Lady Mary Carnarvon bequeathed the sum of £50 to the parish upon her death in 1709. In 1714 this was combined with other funds provided by William Hoare and invested in a field of about six acres at Burcott. The rental from this was used for clothing and blankets for the poor of the parish.


The Visitations of Buckinghamshire 1634, pp 40-43

The Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, The St. Catherine Press Ltd., 1910-1916, pp 44-45 and 412-415

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press 2004 (1st Earl of Carnarvon & Dame Dorothy Pelham)

A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3 (1925), pp. 449-58

Lipscomb’s History & Antiquities of the County of Buckingham Vol 3 1847

Parish registers of All Saints Church, Wing

Memorial inscriptions of All Saints Church, Wing