|Agar, Earls of Normanton|
|Somerley at its greatest extent, before the removal of the wings in the 1960s|
|Somerley in 2012.|
|Somerley: Ashley Lodge in 2013. Image: Rightmove|
The Agars of Somerley
Agar, Most Rev. Charles (1736-1809), Archbishop of Dublin, 1st Baron & 1st Viscount Somerton and 1st Earl of Normanton.
|Most Rev. Charles Agar|
1st Earl of Normanton
(1) Welbore Ellis Agar (1778-1868), 2nd Earl of Normanton (q.v.);
(2) Capt. Hon. George Charles Agar FRS (1780-1856), born 1 August 1780; educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1800; BA 1804; MA 1807); served in 3rd Guards; died unmarried, 24 January 1856; will proved in P.C.C., 29 February 1856;
(3) Hon. and Ven. James Agar (1781-1866) of Greenmount Manor, Antrim and 47 St Stephen's Green, Dublin, born 10 July 1781; educated at Westminster and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1801, BA 1805; MA 1808); curate of St Nicholas Within, Dublin and prebendary of Timothan in St. Patrick's, Dublin, 1805-09; vicar of Carrigallen (Leitrim), 1809-66; rector and vicar of Holywood (Down), 1814-66; archdeacon of Kilmore (sinecure), 1816-66; married, 7 July 1829, Louisa (d. 1885), youngest daughter of Samuel Thompson of Greenmount (Antrim), but died without issue, 6 September 1866 and was buried in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin; administration of goods granted 22 November 1866 (estate under £50,000);
(4) Lady Frances Anne Agar (d. 1839), m. 14 December 1798, Thomas Ralph Maude, 2nd Viscount Hawarden (1767-1807), but died without issue, 23 May 1839.
He died 14 July 1809, aged 72, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, where his wife was also interred after her death, 25 October 1826. They are commemorated by a monument designed in 1815 by John Bacon junior with 'an immodest but accurate' inscription. His will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 3 August 1809 (estate estimated at £400,000).
Agar, Welbore Ellis (1778-1868), 2nd Earl of Normanton. Eldest son of Most Rev. Charles Agar (1736-1809), 1st Earl of Normanton, and his wife Jane, elder daughter of William Benson of Downpatrick (Down), born 12 November 1778. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1798; BA 1802). Described as 'short and thick-set in person, and always dressed in the plainest manner'. He was a great connoisseur of works of art and built the picture gallery at Somerley to house his collection. He married, 17 May 1816, Lady Diana Herbert (1790-1841), daughter of 11th Earl of Pembroke and 8th Earl of Montgomery, and had issue:
(1) James Charles Herbert Welbore Ellis Agar (1818-96), 3rd Earl of Normanton (q.v.);
(2) Lady Mary Jane Diana Agar (1822-1904), m. 28 July 1845, Rt. Hon. Horatio Nelson, 3rd Earl Nelson (1823-1913) and had issue five sons and four daughters;
(3) Hon. Herbert Welbore Ellis Agar (1823-1901) of Stanton House, Highworth (Wilts); born 19 September 1823; educated at Harrow and Magdalene College, Cambridge (admitted 1844), m. 10 August 1871, Helen Millicent (d. 1932), daughter of James A. Gibson MLA Tasmania and had issue one son and two daughters; died 9 August 1901; will proved 2 January and 20 December 1902 (estate £54,035)
(4) Capt. Charles Welbore Herbert Agar, 44th Foot (1824-55), born 12 November 1824; killed at the Battle of Sebastopol, 18 June 1855; died unmarried and without issue; will proved 5 February 1869 (estate under £14,000);
He rented Ditchley Park (Oxon) from 1818, and acquired the Somerley estate in Hampshire in 1825, where he added the picture gallery to the house in 1850-51.
He died 26 August 1868 in London, aged 89, and was buried at Somerley. His will was proved 2 November 1868 (estate under £700,000).
Agar, James Charles Herbert Welbore Ellis (1818-96), 3rd Earl of Normanton.
|3rd Earl of Normanton|
by Camille Silvy, 1860
(1) Lady Caroline Elizabeth Agar (1857-94), born 21 March 1857; m. 6 September 1876, Edward Hyde Villiers, 5th Earl of Clarendon (1846-1914) and had issue one son and one daughter; died 9 May 1894, aged 37; buried at Vicarage Road Cemetery, Watford (Herts);
(2) Charles George Welbore Ellis Agar, Viscount Somerton (1858-94), born 27 April 1858; died of influenza, unmarried and in the lifetime of his father, 17 January 1894, aged 35; administration of goods granted 7 March 1894 (estate £1,608)
(3) Lady Mary Beatrice Agar (1859-1943), born 10 August 1859; died unmarried, 20 August 1943, aged 84; will proved 10 March 1944 (estate £8,518)
(4) Lady Margaret Elizabeth Diana Agar (1863-1941), born 10 December 1863; m. 23 July 1884 Hon. Ivan Campbell, younger son of John Alexander Gavin Campbell, 6th Earl of Breadalbane and Holland and had issue; died 21 March 1941, aged 77;
(5) Sidney James Agar (1865-1933), 4th Earl of Normanton (q.v.);
(6) Lady Mary Adelaide Agar (1869-1921), born 18 August 1869; m. 14 July 1894, Henry St. George Foley, son of Gen. the Hon. Sir St. George Gerald Foley, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 7 June 1921, aged 51; will proved 17 December 1921 (estate £8,657)
(7) Hon. Henry Augustus Bernard Agar (1870-85), born 21 November 1870; died unmarried, 25 April 1885, aged 14;
(8) Hon. Francis William Arthur Agar (1873-1936), born 19 October 1873; m. 26 October 1897, Laura Astley (d. 1960), daughter of Henry Steinmetz Kennard, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 18 August 1936; will proved 28 September 1936 (estate £9,445).
He inherited the Somerley estate and the lease of Ditchley Park from his father in 1868 and made further alterations to the house at Somerley in 1868-70. In 1883 he owned 10,060 acres in Wiltshire, 9,468 acres in Hampshire, 7,020 acres in Lincolnshire (Postland in Crowland), 1,153 acres in Dorset, 1,065 acres in Northamptonshire, 7,625 acres in Tipperary, 5,567 acres in Kilkenny and 1,003 acres in Limerick; making a total of 42,961 acres worth £48,280 a year.
He died 19 December 1896, aged 78; buried at Ellingham (Hants), where his widow was also interred. His will was proved 3 March 1897 and 10 August 1898 (estate totalling £52,665)
Agar, Sidney James (1865-1933), 4th Earl of Normanton.
|4th Earl of Normanton|
by Elliott & Fry, 1881
(1) Lady Georgina Mary Elizabeth Agar (1896-1967), born 1 May 1896; died unmarried, March 1967;
(2) Lady Alexandra Henrietta Alice Agar (1897-1971), born 23 April 1897; m. 12 April 1917 (div. 1951) Peter Haig Thomas, son of John Howard Thomas of Yscyborwen (Glam) and had issue one son and three daughters; died 5 January 1971;
(3) Lady Caroline Amy Cora Agar (1899-1989); born 11 July 1899; died unmarried, May 1989;
(4) Lady (Mary) Karen Agar (1901-75), born 14 November 1901; m. 9 December 1925 (div. 1945), Lt-Cdr Herbert Ernest Pretyman RN, younger son of Ernest George Pretyman and had issue one son and one daughter;
(5) Lady Diana Julia Agar (1904-29), born 13 June 1904; died unmarried, 18 March 1929, aged 24;
(6) Lady Amy Louise Agar (1905-83), born 4 October 1905; m. 21 October 1925, Michael William John Biddulph, 3rd Baron Biddulph and had issue two sons and two daughters;
(7) Lady Rosemary Beatrice Agar (1908-84), born 3 June 1908; m. 23 April 1931, Capt. Christopher John Darell Jeffreys, only son of 1st Baron Jeffreys and had issue two sons; died 13 August 1984;
(8) Edward John Sidney Christian Welbore Ellis Agar (1910-67), 5th Earl of Normanton (q.v.).
He inherited the Somerley estate from his father in 1896.
He died 25 November 1933, aged 68, and was buried at Ellingham (Hants). His will was proved 20 February and 10 May 1934 (estate totalling £627,412)
Agar, Edward John Sidney Christian Welbore Ellis (1910-67), 5th Earl of Normanton. Only son of Sidney James Agar (1865-1933), 4th Earl of Normanton, and his wife Lady Amy Frederica Alice, daughter of Henry William John Byng, 4th Earl of Strafford, born 29 March 1910. Educated Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (BA); Capt, Royal Horse Guards, WW2. He married, 1st, 5 July 1937 (div. 1943), Hon. Barbara Mary, only daughter of Sir Frederick Frankland and Baroness Zouche and formerly wife of Brig. Otho Leslie Prior-Palmer DSO MP; and 2nd, 30 October 1944, Lady Fiona Pratt (1911-85), younger daughter of John Charles Pratt, 4th Marquess Camden and formerly wife of Maj. Sir (John) Gerard Henry Fleetwood Fuller, 2nd bt. and had issue:
(2.1) Shaun James Christian Welbore Ellis Agar (b. 1945), 6th Earl of Normanton (q.v.);
(2.2) Hon. Mark Sidney Andrew Agar (b. 1948), of Bathealton Court (Somerset), born 2 September 1948; m.1st, 1973 (div. 1979), Rosemary, daughter of Maj. Philip Marnham; and 2nd, 8 February 1985, Arabella Clare, daughter of John Gilbert Gilbey and formerly wife of Thomas Charles Blackwell, and has issue two sons.
He inherited the Somerley estate from his father in 1933. His widow built a new dower house on the estate in 1970.
He died 28 January 1967, aged 57.
Agar, Shaun James Christian Welbore Ellis (b. 1945), 6th Earl of Normanton.
Elder son of Edward John Sidney Christian Welbore Ellis Agar (1910-67), 5th Earl of Normanton and his second wife, Lady Fiona, daughter of John Charles Pratt, 4th Marquess Camden, born 21 August 1945. Educated at Eton; Capt., Blues & Royals. In 1974 he succeeded his kinsman, the 8th Viscount Clifden, in his subsidiary title as 9th Baron Mendip. He married 1st, 29 April 1970 (div. 2000), Victoria Susan, daughter of John H.C. Beard of Ringwood (Hants) and La Tourelle, St Peter Port, Guernsey (who m2, Timothy Chadwick of Fulham, Middx); and 2nd, January 2009 Rosalind Nott (1955-2011) and has issue:
(1.1) James Shaun Christian Welbore Ellis Agar, Viscount Somerton (b. 1982), born 7 September 1982; m. June 2012 Lady Lucy Caroline Alexander (b. 1984), younger daughter of 2nd Earl Alexander of Tunis and has issue two sons and one daughter;
(1.2) Lady Portia Caroline Agar (b. 1976), m. 2003, Harry Baker, son of Charles Baker of Chiddingfold (Surrey) and has issue one son and one daughter;
(1.3) Lady Marisa Charlotte Agar (b. 1979).
He inherited the Somerley estate from his father in 1967.
Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, successive editions; Sir N. Pevsner & D. Lloyd, The buildings of England: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, 1967, pp. 508-09; J.M. Robinson, The latest country houses, 1984, p. 226; A.P.W. Malcolmson, Archbishop Charles Agar, 2002.
Where are their papers?
Agar family of Somerley, Earls of Normanton: deeds, manorial records, family and estate papers concerning Somerley estate and property in Wiltshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Ireland, 15th-20th cents. (Hampshire Archives, 21M57); family correspondence, 19th cent. (Hampshire Archives, 34M69)
James Charles Herbert Welbore Ellis Agar, 3rd Earl of Normanton (1818-96): estate and family correspondence and papers, 1840-1908 (Georgetown Univ., Lauinger Lib.: Earl of Normanton papers)
Revision and acknowledgements
This account was first published 5 July 2013 and was updated 13 May 2014, 18 February and 29 February 2016 and 13 March 2018.