Pusey Family Kept Up Manor for 900 Years

President's Ancestor Received the Land For Good Spying

King Knowde geve Wyllam Pewse Thys Horne to hold by Thy londe. And thus, in the year 1016, did Canute King of the Danes give William Pusey lands and an oxhorn as a symbol of the gift. It was a reward for Pusey's successful behind-the-lines spying against the Saxons. A few years ago, President Pusey visited the old manor which rests between Farington and Oxford.

Penna and Pusey

The President traces his ties to the old homestead through two Puseys who left England in 1682 on a boat carrying William Penn. Exactly which branch of the family tree the President sprouted from, however, is not definitely known. Official Administration sources describe the relationship as "rather vague."

But even if the latter day Puseys can not trace their family tree, an accurate description of the manor's history and the activities of some men who lived there is contained in Law School textbook by Professors Casner and Leach entitled "Cases and Texts on Property." The books notes that the Puseys performed their outstanding feat by remaining in control of the family manor for nearly 900 years, surviving the War of the Roses and finally World War I only to be ruined by the depression in 1933. As Professors Casner and Leach note with grim efficiency, "Pusey manor is no longer owned by the Pusey family."

A Sporting Property'

When this manor--one of the last vestiges of the proud old days--was up for sale, the London papers advertised "A Georgian residence, woodlands and farms, and a good sporting property." The tradition-conscious London Times stiffened its upper lip and noted, "The Sheraton and Chippendale furniture...is now being taken away to the sale rooms."

Memories, nevertheless, still remain, The Times remembered "The beer that was formerly brewed at the Pusey House was famed for its strength, and the story is still told there of how the austere wife of a famous Oxford Don of the last century, after having drunk some, protested in an uncertain voice, 'But I see two staircases." And today, Mrs. Pusey serves tea to professors and their wives, and dilutes the drink with cream.

Disdaining the Academic

But once there was Pusey who liked the adventurous and disdained the academic. This was Philip Pusey who entered Oxford in 1817 and, the records considerately say, "Left without taking a degree." Philip romanced a while after Oxford, then went to the continent, probably at the request of his father who disapproved of a young lady whom Philip found fascinating. Shortly, however, young Philip returned to marry the girl and his father died soon thereafter. Philip somewhat redeemed himself by his later conduct as a champion of progressive agriculture. Philip, of course, was the first man to use a McCormick reaper.

Perhaps the only weak link in almost nine centuries of tradition was 1789 when the Puseys of Pusey Manor found themselves without a male heir. Ever resourceful, they import the a nephew from France who, like a good Frenchman, adopted the family name and produced a long line of male Puseys, some of whom still live in England, some in France, and some--however remotely related--in Cambridge.