|Arkwright of Willersley|
|Cromford Mills by night, by Joseph Wright of Derby|
Image: Derby Museum & Art Gallery
Although Sir Richard never lost a certain awkwardness in the company of his social superiors, his increasing wealth gave him a position in the county that led to his being knighted in 1786 and made High Sheriff the following year. In the 1780s he decided to invest some of his wealth in the building of a new mansion house at Cromford, although because of a catastrophic fire that destroyed the interiors while they were still being finished, it was not completed until after his death.
Sir Richard's only son, Richard Arkwright (1755-1843) had grown up in the years of his father's early business struggles, and inherited much of his business acumen. In 1783 he set up as a cotton-spinner on his own account, but after his father died he decided to diversify his business interests to achieve greater resilience in the face of a cyclical economy. He sold some of the cotton-spinning operations and invested in banking, Government stocks, and above all in landed property, which throughout the period of the Napoleonic wars produced a handsome return. The profits of cotton-spinning and later of banking fuelled further estate purchases and by the 1820s each of his sons was established as the manager of a landed estate. At the time of his death, aged 87, in 1843, he was reputedly the richest commoner in England, with a total wealth estimated at £3.25m, and substantial landholdings in seven counties.
At his death, each of his surviving sons received a large cash legacy as well as the estate on which they were established, and four of them - Robert, John, Peter and Joseph - passed on their property to their descendants. Peter Arkwright (1784-1866), the third son, who was a partner in the Arkwright bank, inherited the core Willersley Castle estate, and also much of his father's remaining cotton-spinning interests. Following in the family tradition he produced an enormous family of sixteen children, all but three of whom survived to maturity. At his death in 1866, he was worth an estimated £800,000, which was distributed among his surviving children and grandchildren. Willersley Castle passed to his eldest son, Frederic Arkwright (1806-74) and subsequently descended to Frederic's son, Frederick Charles Arkwright (1853-1923) and to his son, Richard Alleyne Arkwright (1884-1965). The latter chose not to move into the house, and sold it in 1927 to a consortium of Midlands businessmen who opened it as a Methodist hotel and holiday home. Richard had previously bought a smaller and more modern house in Gloucestershire called Willersey House. Is it fanciful to imagine that he was attracted to it because of the similarity of its name to his ancestral seat? Willersey House was left to his son, Col. Peter Arkwright (1913-87) and only sold after the latter's death.
The Hatton estate in Warwickshire was apparently purchased by Peter Arkwright (1784-1866) in 1830 for his second son, Edward Arkwright (1808-50), and a new house was probably built there after his marriage in 1845. When Edward died young in 1850, Hatton became the home of his youngest surviving brother, John Thomas Arkwright (1823-1906); another unmarried brother, Ferdinand William Arkwright (1814-95) may also have lived there. John Thomas Arkwright left the estate to his son, John Peter Arkwright (1864-1931), whose heir, John Brassey Arkwright (1912-41) was killed in action in the Second World War. The estate was taken on by his younger brother, Percy Frederic Arkwright (1915-89), and was handed over to his son, Andrew John Arkwright (b. 1953) in 1982. Mr. Arkwright and his wife have developed the redundant farm buildings on the estate in a number of business ventures, including a craft centre and a farm park (now Hatton Adventure World) that are now a popular visitor attraction.
Willersley Castle, Cromford, Derbyshire
|Willersley Castle: seen from Cromford Hill opposite. Image: Christoph Doppelhofer.|
|Willersley Castle: an engraving of 1792 after a perspective drawing by William Thomas. The drawing betrays no awareness of the local topography and must have been made before Thomas visited the site.|
|Willersley Castle: the east wing altered by Gardner, showing also the angled porch added by Edward Blore in 1843 and the single-storey addition on the east front. Image: J147. Some rights reserved.|
The plan of Willersley as originally intended was much simpler and more traditional than the plan of Dalquharran, which had rooms of an astonishing variety of different shapes within a regular exterior. At Willersley, spatial inventiveness was confined to a top-lit oval staircase, which must have been quite steep. None of Thomas' interiors survive, however, as on the night of 8th August 1791, before work was quite finished or the family had moved in, the interior was burned out in a fire which started in an over-heated stove. By then, William Thomas had already been dismissed in a dispute over the costs of the building, which led him to take legal action against Arkwright for his fees.
The reinstatement of the interior, carried out in 1793-95, was therefore entrusted to Thomas Gardner of Uttoxeter, whose designs for a classical house at Willersley had been rejected in the 1780s. Gardner's client was in practice Sir Richard's son, who inherited Willesley in 1792 before work had begun. He simplified the decoration of the interiors, removing the 'gee-gaw fretwork' ceilings criticised by Lord Torrington, and moved the staircase from the oval central hall (which was retained as a circulation space) to a gloomy adjoining space where he made a remorselessly plain one with straight flights, looking remarkably like a service stair. He also formed a new entrance in the east wing, facing the approach to the house along a natural terrace on the hillside. The finest room is still the oval hall in the centre of the house with galleries on both upper storeys and a domed skylight; other rooms are less striking, but several of them preserve good fireplaces and cornices. Gardner also built the stables and entrance gates.
|Willersley Castle: the oval hall, looking up to the skylight. Image: Peter Barr. Some rights reserved.|
The house was altered again about 1843 by Edward Blore, who created a new entrance in the angle between the central block and the right-hand wing; something that was needed because a single-storey room was added to the east wing in front of the entrance created there by Gardner.
The grounds were landscaped by John Webb in the 1790s. Webb may well have been suggested to Arkwright by Thomas Gardner, since the two men had been assistants to their respective masters William Emes and Joseph Pickford in work at Etruria Hall in 1769-72 and had been among the leading practitioners in their respective fields in the north Midlands since then. In this naturally dramatic spot Webb did not have to work very hard to create the desired Picturesque setting. He cleared away a jumble of buildings around the bridge at Cromford to improve the prospect of the house and to provide an appropriate setting for a new classical chapel (later Cromford parish church and since altered) which was probably designed by Gardner in 1795-97. Webb also planted some 350,000 trees across the estate and up the gorge to Matlock Bath before 1802.
Descent: Hon. Henry Talbot; to daughter, Gertrude, wife of Robert Pierrepont, 1st Earl of Kingston; to son, William Pierrepont; to widow, who gave it to her kinsman, Sir Darcy Dawes, bt.; to daughter, wife of Edwin Lascelles, 1st Baron Harewood; sold 1778 to Edmund Hodgkinson of Overton Hall, Ashover; sold c.1779 to Thomas Hallett Hughes, who sold 1782 to Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-92); to son, Richard Arkwright (1755-1843); to son, Peter Arkwright (1784-1866); to son, Frederic Arkwright (1806-74); to son, Frederic Charles Arkwright (1853-1923); to son, Richard Alleyne Arkwright (1884-1965), who sold 1927 to Sir Albert Ball and others; given to Methodist Guild as a Christian hotel and holiday centre.
Hatton House, Warwickshire
A two-storey, five by eight bay, early 19th century classical house of red brick and stone dressings, with a low pitched slate hipped roof behind a parapet. Although the date of construction is not certain, there was no house on the site in 1814 and it was probably built soon after Edward Arkwright married in 1845. The shorter entrance front of five bays has a stone cornice, rusticated quoins, plinth and moulded window architraves, and a central Doric porch with stone columns and a heavy entablature; a lower service wing projects to the right. To the left, the longer garden front is of eight bays, with two-bay units at either end projecting a little from the plane of the wall. The house sits in a small park-like setting, sandwiched between the Hockley Road and the Grand Union Canal, which was no doubt laid out when the house was built.
Descent: sold 1830 to Peter Arkwright (1784-1866) for his son, Edward Arkwright (1808-50); to brother, John Thomas Arkwright (1823-1906); to son, John Peter Arkwright (1864-1931); to son, John Brassey Arkwright (1912-41); to brother, Percy Frederic Arkwright (1915-89); given 1982 to son, Andrew John Arkwright (b. 1953).
Willersey House, Gloucestershire
|Willersey House: original design proposed by A.N. Prentice, 1907, from The Builder|
|Willersey House: the house as built in 1912. Image: © Michael Hill & Nicholas Kingsley|
Arkwright family of Willersley Castle
|Sir Richard Arkwright, by Mather Brown|
|Willersley Castle and Masson Mills. |
Image: Richard Bird. Some rights reserved
(1.1) Richard Arkwright (1755-1843) (q.v.);
(2.1) Susannah Arkwright (1756-1835), born 20 December 1761 and baptised at Bank St. Presbyterian Chapel; married Charles Hurt (1758-1834) of Wirksworth (Derbys) and had issue six sons and five daughters; died 4 May 1835;
(2.2) Anne Arkwright (b. & d. 1762); died in infancy;
(2.3) Ellen Arkwright (b. 1764), born 26 February 1764; died in infancy.
He also had a long-term affair with Ada/Ellen Hodgkinson, whom he installed in Derwent House in the grounds of Willersley Castle, and by whom he had:
(X1) William Arkwright alias Hodgkinson (1775-1856), born 1 October 1775 and baptised 8 January 1786 at the age of 10; married, 29 August 1797 at Darley (Derbys), Ann Pidcock and had issue; died at Derby, 12 March 1856.
He bought land at Cromford from 1770 onwards, and made his home at Rock House. He acquired the Willersley estate in 1782 and built a new house there in 1786-91, although it was not finished before his death. In 1788 he also bought 8 Adam Street in the Adelphi in London and furnished it as a home for use during his protracted patent litigation.
He died 3 August 1792 and was buried at Matlock, 10 August 1792; his body was later moved and placed under the altar of Cromford Chapel. His first wife died 6 October 1756 and was buried with her mother; the gravestone erected by her father omitted her married name. His widow died 25 December 1811.
* Arkwright's failure to defend his patents in the 1780s determined Boulton & Watt's approach to patent ligitation a decade later.
|Richard Arkwright junior|
(1) Elizabeth Arkwright (1780-1838), born 29 May 1780 (just a month after her parents' wedding); married, 27 October 1802 at Matlock, Francis Edward Hurt (1781-1854) of Alderwasley (Derbys) and had issue one son and seven daughters; died 30 January 1838;
(2) Richard Arkwright (1781-1832) [see my post on the Arkwrights of Sutton Scarsdale];
(3) Robert Arkwright (1783-1859) [see my post on the Arkwrights of Sutton Scarsdale];
(4) Peter Arkwright (1784-1866) (q.v.);
(5) John Arkwright (1785-1858) [see my post on the Arkwrights of Hampton Court];
(6) Charles Arkwright (1786-1850) of Dunstall Hall (Staffs), born 22 November 1786; educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (did not matriculate). JP for Staffordshire; High Sheriff of Staffordshire, 1849; married, 12 December 1811 at Morley (Derbys), Mary (1786-1858), daughter of Edward Sacheverell Wilmot-Sitwell of Stainsby but had no issue; died 28 December 1850 and was buried at Cromford; will proved 18 February 1851;
(7) Mary Arkwright (1788-1803), born 2 August 1788; died young, 9 June 1803;
(8) Rev. Joseph Arkwright (1791-1864) [see my post on the Arkwrights of Mark Hall];
(9) Anne Arkwright (1793-1844); married, 24 December 1818, Rt. Hon. Sir James Wigram (d. 1866), kt., vice-chancellor of the Court of Chancery, 1841-50 and third son of Sir Robert Wigram, 1st bt., and had issue four sons and five daughters; died 3 February 1844;
(10) Frances Arkwright (1796-1863), born 28 August 1796; an invalid who died unmarried, 4 November 1863;
(11) Harriet Arkwright (1798-1815), born 9 February 1798; died unmarried, 7 November 1815.
He inherited the Willersley Castle estate from his father in 1792 and acquired the Normanton Turville (Leics) estate in 1796; Hampton Court (Herefs) in 1810; Dunstall Hall (Staffs) in 1814, Mark Hall (Essex) in 1819 and Sutton Scarsdale (Derbys) in 1824. After his death his estates were divided among his surviving sons: Robert received Sutton Scarsdale; Peter, Willersley Castle; John, Hampton Court; Charles, Dunstall Hall; and Joseph, Mark Hall and Normanton Turville. Dunstall Hall was sold after Charles' death, as he had no children.
He died 23 April 1848; his will was proved 24 May 1843; his wealth at death was published as "over £1,000,000" (that being the threshold for the highest level of estate duty) but is estimated to have been some £3,250,000, and he was described as "the richest commoner in England". His wife died 23 February 1827.
Arkwright, Peter (1784-1866). Third son of Richard Arkwright (1755-1843) and his wife Mary, daughter of Adam Simpson of Bonsall (Derbys), born at Bakewell (Derbys), 17 April 1784. Educated at Eton. Cotton-spinner, in partnership with his father, 1806-12 and later his brother Robert, 1812-32, after which Robert withdrew from the business to concentrate on running his estates. From the 1820s changes in demand, a failure to modernise the machinery, and a reduction in the water supply to Cromford Mills meant that the concerns ceased to be profitable and in the 1840s all his mills except Masson Mill closed. From 1829 he was also a partner in his father's bank, Richard Arkwright & Co., and he also had shares in the Cromford Canal. Captain in the Derbyshire Militia, 1803; JP and DL for Derbyshire; High Sheriff of Derbyshire, 1855. He married, 2 September 1805, Mary Anne (1786-1872), daughter of Charles Hurt of Wirksworth, and had issue:
(1) Frederic Arkwright (1806-74) (q.v.);
(2) Mary Anne Arkwright (1807-91), born 26 September 1807 and baptised 27 April 1808; married, 11 July 1850 at Matlock, Robert Strange MD (1797-1872), a Scottish doctor, but had no issue; died in Brighton (Sussex), 10 March 1891 and was buried at Matlock Bath, 14 March 1891; her will was proved 8 May 1891 (effects £75,768);
(3) Edward Arkwright (1808-50) (q.v.);
(4) Francis Arkwright (1809-12), born 17 December 1809; died young, 12 June 1812;
(5) Rev. Henry Arkwright (1811-89), born 26 March 1811; educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1831; BA 1835; MA 1838); ordained deacon, 1836 and priest, 1837; vicar of Bodenham (Herefs), 1842-88 and chaplain of Coningsby Hospital, Hereford; married 1st, 20 September 1838, Henrietta (d. 1844), daughter of Rev. Charles Thorneycroft of Thorneycroft (Ches.) and had issue one son and three daughters; married 2nd, 1 July 1847, Ellen (d. 1883), daughter of Capt. John Home Purves of Coldingham (Berwicks) and had issue three sons and five daughters; died 13 January 1889; will proved 28 March 1889 (effects £134,421);
(6) Alfred Arkwright (1812-87) of The Gate House, Wirksworth and later of Scarborough (Yorks), born 19 June and baptised 25 June 1812; banker; JP and DL for Derbyshire; married, 13 March 1845, Elizabeth (1814-85), daughter of Col. George Henry Crutchley of Sunninghill Park (Berks) and had issue two daughters; died 19 January 1887; will proved 28 March 1887 (effects £165,106);
(7) James Charles Arkwright (1813-96), born 1 October and baptised 23 December 1813; married 1st, 29 June 1854, Isabel (1825-55), daughter of Col. William Leigh Clowes of Broughton Hall (Lancs) and 2nd, 28 April 1864, Mary Esther (1825-1918), eldest daughter of William Brodhurst of The Friary, Newark (Notts), but had no issue; died 16 May 1896; will proved 7 July 1896 (effects £352,514);
(8) Ferdinand William Arkwright (1814-95), baptised 10 December 1814; an officer in the army, 1833-37 (Lt., 1837); JP and DL for Warwickshire; died unmarried in London, 4 February and was buried at Hatton, 8 February 1895; will proved 3 April 1895 (effects £74,213);
(9) Susan Maria Arkwright (1816-64), born 11 February 1816; married, 12 February 1839, Rt. Rev. Joseph Cotton Wigram DD (d. 1867), bishop of Rochester and had issue; died 27 June 1864 at Mark Hall; administration of goods granted 26 January 1889 (effects £480);
(10) Fanny Jane Arkwright (1817-94), born 30 August 1817; married, 21 January 1873, Darwin Galton (1814-1903) of Claverdon Leys (Warks), eldest son of Samuel Tertius Galton, but had no issue; died 9 November and was buried at Wootton Wawen (Warks), 13 November 1894; will proved 19 February 1903 (estate £57,439);
(11) Margaret Helen Arkwright (1819-83), born 8 January 1819; married, 31 July 1845 at Matlock, her first cousin, James Richard Wigram (1819-92), eldest son of Sir James Wigram, kt., and had issue four sons and two daughters; died 5 November 1883; administration of goods granted 28 December 1888 (effects £480);
(12) Cmdr. Augustus Peter Arkwright (1821-87), born 2 March 1821; an officer in the Royal Navy (Commander; retired in 1850s); MP for North Derbyshire, 1868-80; died unmarried, 6 October 1887;
(13) Octavius Arkwright (1822-23), born 20 July 1822; died in infancy, 9 April 1823;
(14) John Thomas Arkwright (1823-1906) (q.v.);
(15) Caroline Elizabeth Arkwright (1825-1907), born 7 March 1825; married, 22 January 1852, John Clowes (1823-1909), son of William Leigh Clowes of Broughton Hall (Lancs), and had issue three sons and two daughters; died 20 October 1907; will proved 7 February 1908 (estate £765);
(16) Arthur Arkwright (b. & d. 1827), born 2 January 1827; died in infancy, 20 June 1827.
He lived at Rock House, Cromford (which he enlarged to accommodate his large family) until he inherited Willersley Castle from his father in 1843.
He died 19 September 1866 and was buried at Cromford; his will was proved 5 November 1866 (effects under £800,000). His widow died 6 September 1872 and was buried at Cromford; her will was proved 11 October 1872 (effects under £25,000).
Arkwright, Frederic (1806-74). Eldest son of Peter Arkwright (1784-1866) and his wife Mary Anne, daughter of Charles Hurt of Wirksworth, born 16 August 1806. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1828; MA 1831). He married, 21 October 1845* at Sible Hedingham (Essex), Susan Sabrina (1818-74), daughter of Ven. Charles Parr Burney, archdeacon of St. Albans, and had issue:
(1) Ellen Mary Arkwright (1847-1933), born 3 April 1847; married, 29 July 1868 at Belper (Derbys), Rev. Frederick Fawkes (1833-1900) of Farnley Hall (Yorks), rector of Escrick (Yorks), second son of Rev. Ayscough Fawkes of Farnley and had issue five sons and four daughters; died 18 December 1933; will proved 19 January 1934 (estate £13,227);
(2) Susan Alice Arkwright (1851-1900), baptised 24 July 1851; married, 17 February 1897 at Holy Trinity, Brompton (Middx), Maj. Edward Levett (1833-99) of 10th Hussars but had no issue; died at Pau (France), 4 April 1900 and was buried at Rowsley (Derbys); will proved 3 July 1900 (estate £31,795);
(3) Frederic Charles Arkwright (1853-1923) (q.v.).
He lived at Spondon Hall (Derbys) until he inherited Willersley Castle from his father in 1866.
He died 6 December 1874 and was buried at Cromford; his will was proved 19 February 1875 (effects under £140,000). His wife died 7 October 1874 and was also buried at Cromford; administration of her goods was granted 8 May 1878 (effects under £200).
* Some genealogies say 4 November 1845.
Arkwright, Frederic Charles (1853-1923). Only son of Frederic Arkwright (1806-74) and his wife Susan Sabrina, daughter of Ven. Charles Parr Burney, archdeacon of St. Albans, born 7 November 1853. JP and DL for Derbyshire; High Sheriff of Derbyshire, 1887; Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Derbyshire, 1916-21. He married, 7 November 1883, Rebecca Olton (1860-1944), third daughter of Sir John Gay Newton Alleyne, 3rd bt. of Chevin (Derbys) and had issue:
(1) Richard Alleyne Arkwright (1884-1965) (q.v.);
(2) Frederic George Alleyne Arkwright (1885-1915), born 23 October 1885; educated at Eton and Sandhurst; an officer of 11th Hussars (2nd Lt., 1905; Lt., 1906; Capt., 1914), with whom he served in France in WW1 (wounded) before being attached to the Royal Flying Corps; killed in a flying accident in Scotland while on duty, 14 October 1915 and was buried at Cromford;
(3) Kathleen Rebecca Arkwright (1890-1943), born 16 July 1890; married, 18 October 1911, Capt. Guy Bonham-Carter (1885-1915), son of Alfred Bonham-Carter and had issue one son and one daughter; died 26 May 1943; will proved 17 July 1943 (estate £65,854).
He inherited Willersley Castle from his father in 1874.
He died 18 July 1923 and was buried at Cromford; his will was proved 1 November 1923 (estate £284,351). His widow died 9 March 1944; her will was proved 30 August 1944 (estate £3,606).
Arkwright, Richard Alleyne (1884-1965). Elder and only surviving son of Frederic Charles Arkwright (1853-1923) and his wife Rebecca Olton, daughter of Sir John Gay Newton Alleyne of Chevin (Derbys), born 1 September 1884. Educated at Eton and Royal Military College, Sandhurst. An officer in the Coldstream Guards, 1904-19 (2nd Lt., 1904; Lt., 1906; Capt., 1914; Adjutant, Reserve Brigade, 1917); ADC to Governor of Trinidad & Tobago, 1909-10. JP for Derbyshire. He married, 16 April 1912, Marjorie (1888-1965), second daughter of Frank Hardcastle MP and had issue:
(1) Col. Peter Arkwright OBE (1913-87) (q.v.);
(2) Maj. Michael Richard Arkwright MBE (1915-2001) of Cloneen, Delgany (Wicklow), born 5 October 1915 and baptised at St George's Chapel, Windsor, November 1915; educated at Eton and Royal Military College, Sandhurst; an officer in the 1st King's Dragoons (2nd Lt., 1935; Major; retired 1948); married, 2 June 1951, Pamela Emily Mary (b. 1922), daughter of Capt. Evan Lloyd and had issue; died 26 July 2001 and was buried at Delgany;
(3) Ann Marjorie Arkwright (b. 1919), born 1 March 1919; served in WW2 with Special Operations Executive; married, 3 January 1946, Lt-Col. Harold Covernton Selby MC (1912-95), second son of Dr. John S.E. Selby of Bozeat (Northants) and had issue one son and two daughters.
He inherited Willersley Castle from his father in 1923 but sold it in 1927. He lived from c.1922 at Willersey House in Gloucestershire.
He died 29 April 1965; his will was proved 24 June 1965 (estate £69,731). His wife died 15 February 1965; her will was proved 26 April 1965 (estate £22,311).
Arkwright, Col. Peter (1913-87) OBE. Elder son of Richard Alleyne Arkwright (1884-1965) and his wife Marjorie, daughter of Frank Hardcastle MP, born 2 April 1913. Educated at Eton and Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Colonel of 11th Hussars. ADC to the Governor of Bombay, 1937-39; served in WW2, 1939-45; attached to British Army staff in Washington DC (USA), 1941-42; GSO2, HQ Allied Land Forces in SE Asia, 1945; Lt-Col. commanding 11th Hussars, 1952-55; GSO1, British Joint Services Mission, Washington DC, 1956-58; President of War Office Selection Board, 1958-61; Assistant Adjutant General, War Office, 1961-63. He married, 8 May 1958 at St James RC church, Spanish Place, London, (Beatrice) Margeurite, twin daughter of Capt. Francis Reynolds Verdon of Littlefields, Sidbury (Devon) and had issue:
(1) Charles Richard Francis Arkwright (b. 1960); married, 1987, Anne-Louise Marie-Noelle Miranda Josephine (b. 1962), daughter of Bernard Noel David George Terrence Kelly and had issue four daughters;
(2) Martin Peter Verdon Arkwright (b. 1961); served in Royal Armoured Corps, 1981; director of Secura Monde Ltd. and later Managing Director of ShireMoor Engineering; married, Oct-Dec 1992, Amanda J. Hodges and had issue;
(3) Mary Rose M. Arkwright (b. 1964), born 11 August 1964; married, 1990, Jonathan Guy Campion Jackson (b. 1964), son of Geoffrey Laird Jackson of Plas Newydd, Llanfair DC, Ruthin (Denbighs), and had issue one daughter.
He inherited Willersey House from his father in 1965. It was sold after his death to Mr & Mrs George Hacker, who remodelled the house.
He died 16 November 1987; his will was proved 5 February 1988 (estate £2,686,704). His widow married 2nd, 1989, Maj-Gen. David St John Maur Tabor (1922-2004), whose will was proved 5 May 2005.
Arkwright family of Hatton House (Warwickshire)
Arkwright, Edward (1808-50) of Hatton House. Second son of Peter Arkwright (1784-1866) of Willersley Castle (Derbys) and his wife Mary Anne, daughter of Charles Hurt of Wirksworth, born 15 and baptised 18 December 1808. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1827 but did not maticulate). He married, 24 April 1845 at Morley (Derbys), Charlotte (1822-55), daughter of Robert Sacheverell Wilmot-Sitwell of Morley and had issue:
(1) Constance Charlotte Arkwright (1847-1917), born 11 July 1847; married, 20 February 1873 at Cromford, Maj. Francis Fawkes (1837-1919), and had issue one son and seven daughters; died at Cheltenham (Glos), 19 February 1917; adminstration of goods granted to husband, 19 April 1917 (effects £1,043);
(2) Edith Anne Arkwright (1849-1929), born 22 February 1849; married, 19 April 1870 at Bakewell (Derbys), Richard Digby Cleasby (1839-1905) but had no issue; died 7 February 1929; will proved 28 March 1929 (estate £122,244);
(3) Mary Anne Arkwright (1850-1949), born 3 August 1850; married, 10 October 1871, Rev. Sir Richard Fitzherbert (1846-1906), 5th bt., and had issue three sons and one daughter who all died young in the spring of 1881; died 17 January 1949, aged 98; will proved 19 March 1949 (estate £2,777).
He purchased the Hatton House estate in 1830 and built a new house there, probably after his marriage in 1845.
He died 18 December and was buried at Hatton (Warks), 26 December 1850; his will has not been traced. His widow died in 1855; her will was proved 1 November 1855.
Arkwright, John Thomas (1823-1906) of Hatton House. Youngest surviving son of Peter Arkwright (1784-1866) of Willersley Castle (Derbys) and his wife Mary Anne, daughter of Charles Hurt of Wirksworth, born 22 November 1823 and baptised 17 September 1824 at Cromford. JP and DL for Warwickshire; High Sheriff of Warwickshire, 1871; Capt. in Warwickshire Yeomanry; Secretary of the North Warwickshire Hunt. He married, 3 April 1856 at Offchurch (Warks), Laura (c.1830-86), daughter of Rev. Edward Willes of Hamstall Ridware (Staffs) and had issue:
(1) Laura Jane Arkwright (1857-1934), born Apr-Jun 1857; married, 6 August 1877 at Hatton, James Broughton Dugdale (1855-1927) but had no issue; died 11 September 1934; will proved 10 January 1935 (estate £25,891);
(2) Emmeline Louisa Arkwright (1858-1929), born 29 August and baptised 28 September 1858; married, 23 January 1890 at Hatton, Capt. Frederick Ernest Arundell Hunter (1854-1906), son of Frederick Ernest Hunter, and had issue one daughter; died 15 April 1929; will proved 27 May 1929 (estate £18,120);
(3) Edward John Arkwright (1862-63), baptised 2 September 1862; died in infancy, January 1863, aged 5 months;
(4) John Peter Arkwright (1864-1931) (q.v.);
(5) Ferdinand George Arkwright (1867-1939) of The Elms, Dunchurch (Warks), born 1 April and baptised 2 June 1867; educated at Eton; married, 30 July 1899 at Burrough-on-the-Hill (Leics), Charlotte Elizabeth Evelyn Peake (1878-1962) and had issue two daughters; died 28 March 1939; will proved 15 June 1939 (estate £83,933).
He inherited Hatton House from his elder brother, Edward Arkwright, in 1850.
He died 12 February 1906 and was buried at Hatton, 16 February 1906; his will was proved 22 March 1906 (estate £121,125). His wife died in 1886.
|John Peter Arkwright|
(1) Rose Emmeline Arkwright (1907-98), baptised 12 January 1908; married, Apr-Jun 1928, Lt-Col. John Patrick Moreton OBE MC (1896-1981), son of Loftus Moreton of Moseley Hall, nr Wolverhampton (Staffs) and had issue; in 1937 they bought Saddell House near Campbeltown (Argyllshire); died 1998;
(2) Susan Bertha Arkwright (1909-2011), baptised 5 December 1909; married 1st, 1954, Col. Percy Leslie Mains Wright, of Haseley House (Warks), son of James Leslie Wright but had no issue; married 2nd, 1981, Maj-Gen. Sir Charles Dunphie (1902-99); died 28 September 2011 aged 101;
(3) John Brassey Arkwright (1912-41), born Oct-Dec 1912; served in WW2 with the Warwickshire Yeomanry; killed in action, 27 August 1941; buried in the Tehran War Cemetery (Iran); will proved 13 September 1941 (estate £16,892);
(4) Percy Frederick Arkwright (1915-89) (q.v.);
(5) Albert Peter Arkwright (1919-40); served in WW2 with 11th Hussars; died of wounds, 24 May 1940; buried at Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery, Pas de Calais (France); will proved 24 October 1940 (estate £2,814).
He inherited Hatton House from his father in 1906. At his death it was left to his widow for life.
He died 18 November 1931 and was buried at Hatton, 21 November 1931; his will was proved 11 February 1932 (estate £68,658). His widow died 20 February 1963; her will was proved 25 April 1963 (estate £82,260).
Arkwright, Percy Frederick (1915-89) of Hatton House. Second son of John Peter Arkwright (1864-1931) and his wife Violet Catherine Brassey, born 24 March 1915. An officer in the army (2nd Lt., 1935; Lt. 1938). Educated at Eton. He married, 18 December 1951 at Guilsborough (Northants), Elizabeth Mary, daughter of Andrew MacIlwaine of Northampton, and had issue:
(1) Andrew John Arkwright (b. 1953) of Hatton House, born Jan-Mar 1953; chartered surveyor; married, 1999, Arabella Marianne Henderson Robb (b. 1967) and had issue one son and one daughter;
(2) Jane Elizabeth Arkwright (b. 1955); married, Apr-Jun 1982, Michael S. Wills and had issue;
(2) Thomas Frederick Arkwright (b. 1958), born Jan-Mar 1958.
He had taken over management of the Hatton House estate from his mother by 1952 and handed it over to his elder son in 1982.
He died 19 December 1989; his will was proved 11 April 1990 (estate £1,461,136).
SourcesBurke's Landed Gentry, 1965, pp. 22-24; The Builder, 15 June 1907; R.S. Fitton & A.P. Wadsworth, The Strutts and the Arkwrights, 1958; Sir N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, The buildings of England: Derbyshire, 2nd edn., 1978, pp. 157-60; A. Stuart Grey, Edwardian Architecture: A Biographical Dictionary, 1985, p. 294; R.S. Fitton, The Arkwrights: spinners of fortune, 1989; D. Verey and A. Brooks, The buildings of England: Gloucestershire - The Cotswolds, 1999, p. 725; B. Joyce & D. Buxton, 'Willersley Castle, Cromford', Derwent Valley Mills Research Report, 2011; M. Craven, ‘Willersley: an Adam castle in Derbyshire’, Georgian Group Journal, 2014, pp. 109-22; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography articles on Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-92) and Richard Arkwright (1755-1843).
Location of archives
Arkwright family of Willersley: family and business papers, 17th-20th cent. [Derbyshire Record Office, D7573]
Arkwright, Sir Richard (1732-92): estate papers, 18th cent. [British Library, Add MSS. 6668-97]
Arkwright, Richard (1755-1843): copies of family and personal correspondence, c.1776-1843 [Derbyshire Record Office, D978]
Sir Richard Arkwright & Co. Ltd., cotton-spinners: business archives, 1782-1815 [Columbia University Libraries Rare Book & Manuscript Library; Derbyshire Record Office, D6907]
Coat of arms
Argent, on a mount vert, a cotton tree, fructed proper, on a chief azure between two bezants, an escutcheon of the field, charge with a bee volant proper.
Can you help?
Here are a few notes about information and images which would help to improve the account above. If you can help with any of these or with other additions or corrections, please use the contact form in the sidebar to get in touch.
- Can anyone supply a photograph of Hatton House or more accurate information about its date of construction? Edward Arkwright seems to have moved into it in about 1849.
- There are some gaps in the genealogy of the more recent generations of the Arkwright family: can anyone tell me whether Anne Marjorie Selby (b. 1919) is still alive or provide more information about the descendants of her brothers?
- Does anyone know the story behind the death of all the children of Richard Fitzherbert and Mary Anne Arkwright in the spring of 1881?
Revision and acknowledgements
This post was first published 9th July 2015.