Six large land-holders are recorded in the TAs who ‘hold a lease of the said Tithes arising from or accruing due upon the Titheable lands’; they or their predecessors had appropriated the rectorial tithes. These were ‘lessees’ of the diocese but they, in effect, owned most of the parish.
One was John Bonham Carter JP, below, the owner of a substantial Portsmouth brewing business and MP for Winchester. He lived in Steep and, like most of these landowners, did not live in the parish: Joliffe (MP for Petersfield) and Hylton had extensive holdings around Petersfield. Lord Gage lived in Firle Place in Sussex but his brother, the Hon. Thomas William, lived at Westbury House and managed Westbury Manor Farm. These were all ‘gentlemen’ except John Christmas, a ‘yeoman’ farmer.
John Bonham Carter was born John Carter and changed his name when he inherited the Bonham family estates from his cousin; he lived in Steep. John Christmas a successful yeoman farmer whose father came from Selbourne; he farmed most of the land he owned. William Weeks farmed more land than Christmas but was not a ‘lessee’.