|Baldwyn of Aqualate|
|Baldwin of Diddlebury|
Richard Baldwyn (d. 1585) evidently divided his estate between his sons, and while Thomas received the manor of Diddlebury, Richard's second son, William Baldwyn (c.1548-1616) received Elsich Manor, which he enlarged towards the end of the century. The younger sons probably received modest cash legacies, but one of them, Edward Baldwyn (d. 1620), took a lease of Stokesay Castle at some point in the late 16th or early 17th century. Since his mother was born into the Ludlow family, for whom Stokesay was built, the castle was probably viewed as a family house, even though the Ludlows no longer owned it.
Elsich Manor passed in 1616 to William Baldwyn's son, Charles Baldwyn (1598-1674). Fairly soon after he inherited, he seems to have taken on the lease of Stokesay Castle. The exact circumstances in which this took place are not clear, as Edward Baldwyn of Stokesay left a widow and several children at his death in 1620, but a change of tenant may have been facilitated by the fact that his death coincided with the purchase of the freehold of the castle by Sir William Craven (from 1627, the 1st Baron Craven). The Baldwyns continued to rent the castle from the Cravens until 1779, although as we shall see they moved on to grander accommodation in the 18th century, and Stokesay declined into agricultural use. Charles also had at his disposal his wife's manor house at Burwarton (Shrops.), which seems to have been where he lived most of the time: when his two eldest sons went to University he was described as 'of Burwarton'. Charles was the first of the family to serve as an MP, being elected for Ludlow in 1639. As a Royalist, he would have attended very little if at all after the Civil War broke out in 1642, and he was excluded from the Commons in 1643. In 1644 he was one of the officers present when the Royalists captured Hopton Castle and executed the garrison, but in 1645 the tables were turned when the Parliamentarians besieged Stokesay Castle. Charles does not seem to have been present at the siege (although his eldest son may have been), but after the Parliamentarians won the war he was classed as a delinquent and obliged to pay a substantial fine to recover his estates. In 1647 Parliament ordered the slighting of Stokesay Castle to prevent it being used as a stronghold in future, but in practice the damage seems to have been limited to the demolition of part of the curtain wall and the gatehouse. In 1648, when Charles' eldest son, Sir Samuel Baldwyn (1618-83), kt., was getting married, Charles renewed the lease on the castle and made it over to Samuel, who after undertaking repairs (and perhaps the construction of the present, semi-timbered gatehouse), was able to move in during 1649 or 1650. The church adjoining the house seems to have suffered greater damage during the siege, and was repaired more slowly, from 1654 onwards.
Sir Samuel Baldwyn (knighted in 1673) and his younger brother, Sir Timothy Baldwyn (1619-96), knighted in 1670, were both educated at Oxford and trained as lawyers at the Inner Temple. Samuel qualified as a barrister, was MP for Ludlow in 1659, and became a Serjeant-at-Law in 1669 and one of the King's Serjeants in 1672. A successful legal career such as his was commonly a path to considerable wealth at this period, but he was a major sufferer from the Great Fire of London in 1666, which he claimed in his will had cost him £10,000. Both brothers were also major investors in an abortive scheme to make the rivers Stour and Salwarpe in Worcestershire into navigable waterways, which will have cost them several thousands more. Sir Timothy at first followed an academic path, and throughout the troubles of the Civil War he was a Fellow of All Souls. As a Royalist, he was threatened with the loss of his fellowship in 1648, but he seems to have had friends in the right places and his exclusion was not pursued. In 1660 he became Principal of Hart Hall (a former University hall, dissolved in 1816, some of the buildings of which were later part of Hertford College), but in 1663 he gave up his Oxford life for a legal appointment as Chancellor of the dioceses of Worcester and Hereford, and from 1670-82 he was also a Master in Chancery. He was twice married, and his second wife, Mary, was the sister and co-heir of Edwin Skrymshire (d. 1689) of Aqualate Hall (Staffs), and the widow of Nicholas Acton of Bockleton (Worcs).
On the death of Sir Samuel Baldwyn in 1683, Stokesay Castle passed to his only surviving son, Charles Baldwyn (1652-1707), who had married Elizabeth, the daughter and heir of his aunt Mary by her first husband, Nicholas Acton. She brought him the Bockleton and Aqualate estates, and they seem to have lived at Bockleton until Charles' death in 1707. Elizabeth lived on for a further twenty years, apparently at Aqualate, although she was buried at Bockleton in 1727. Like his father, Charles was a lawyer and MP, sitting for Ludlow in 1681, 1689-90 and 1695-98. In 1694 he succeeded his uncle as Chancellor of the Diocese of Hereford, and he was also Recorder of Ludlow for the last three years of his life. Charles and Elizabeth had four sons and one daughter. The eldest son died young, but the second, Acton Baldwyn (1681-1727), inherited Bockleton. His marriage was childless (although he may have had an illegitimate son), and when he died, the Bockleton estate passed to his brother Charles Baldwyn (1684-1751), who after attending Oxford and making a Grand Tour to Italy, had become a barrister in London. At the time of his inheritance he was a bachelor, but when, a few months after he inherited Bockleton from his brother, his mother died and left him Aqualate Hall too, he seems to have lost no time in finding a wife, starting a family, setting about modernising the estate and making Aqualate his home. Already in 1728 he was remodelling the house and in 1730 he build a new stable block. At the same time he began landscaping the grounds, at first to his own designs and then from 1731 with the assistance of Stephen Switzer. His known work was largely over by the mid-1730s, and it may be that his motivation dwindled after the death of his first wife in 1732.
Charles was succeeded by his elder son and namesake, Charles Baldwyn (1729-1801), who was barely of age when his father died. He made a good match when he was married in 1752 to the heiress of the Childe family's Kinlet estate on the borders of Shropshire and Worcestershire, but after that he showed little discretion in the handling of his life or inheritance. He sat as an MP for Shropshire from 1766-80, and although not as silent as many back-benchers were at the time, was regarded as 'puzzle-headed' by one contemporary, which I take to mean that he found simple things confusing. He gave loyal support to the Government of the day, which may explain his secret service pension of £600 a year, but even with this augmentation of his income he spent more lavishly than he could afford. Among other extravagances he remodelled Aqualate Hall, added wings to the house, and perhaps continued with the landscaping of the grounds, and he borrowed money to make unwise investments in land. By 1780 his affairs were so confused that he could not continue as an MP, and he was selling anything he had power to sell. He expected his eldest son, William (1755-1824), who had inherited the Kinlet estate and taken the name Childe in 1770, to bail him out, and in 1782, when William declined to do so they fell out in a big way. The Aqualate estate was entailed, so Charles had no power to sell the freehold without William's consent, but in 1796 William was reluctantly persuaded to co-operate in the sale so that his father could clear his debts. The sale realised more than the sum required, but Charles had managed to run through the surplus by the time of his death in 1801.
William Childe (1755-1824) was thus deprived of his paternal inheritance of Aqualate, but he had his mother's estate at Kinlet as compensation. After he married and came of age in 1776 he became a noted agriculturalist, but his principal reputation was as a sportsman. He is said to have won a wager that he would ride from his club in London to Kinlet in a time his contemporaries considered impossibly short, and he became a daring rider to hounds, known as 'the flying Childe'. He was always up at the front of the field, jumping everything in sight, and was one of those for whom the term 'thruster' was coined. By his first wife he had a son and daughter, but after she died in 1816 he married his long-term mistress, by whom he had had two illegitimate sons. This may have been the reason why he fell out with his legitimate son and heir, William Lacon Childe (1786-1880), who inherited Kinlet. His two illegitimate sons were acknowledged and took the name Childe, although under English law they were not legitimated: one became a schoolmaster and died young, while the other became a clergyman and had a long and successful career. An account of Kinlet Hall and of William Childe's descendants and maternal ancestors is reserved for a future post on the Childe family.
Elsich Manor, Diddlebury, Shropshire
|Elsich Manor, Diddlebury: the projecting wing in the distance dates from c.1545 and the rest from fifty years later.|
Stokesay Castle, Shropshire
|Stokesay Castle: pen and ink drawing of the castle from the churchyard by Sydney Maiden, 1951. Image: Sulis Fine Art.|
|Stokesay Castle: the gatehouse, probably built in c.1648-49 for Samuel Baldwyn, as part of his restoration of the house after the Civil War.|
Aqualate Hall, Forton, Staffordshire
|Aqualate Hall: the house of c.1600, with the forecourt of c.1670. Detail of M. Burgher's engraving of 1686 for Plot's Natural History of Staffordshire.|
There has been a house on this site since the mid 16th century. Thomas Skyrmsher (1482-1551) bought the manor of Aqualate in 1545 and either he or his son John (c.1514-69) built Aqualate Hall soon afterwards on the brow of a low hill overlooking the Mere, which was then larger and longer than it is today. There is no record of the appearance of this first house, which was rebuilt by John's grandson, Sir Thomas Skrymsher (1576-1633) in about 1600, as a rather plain and not-quite-symmetrical three-storey brick house. The main north front had mullion and transom windows, a row of four low gables in the centre, and two-storey canted bays with balustraded tops either side of the front door, which may represent the gatehouse of the previous building. The house is known from an engraving published in Plot's Natural History of Staffordshire in 1686, which also shows an elaborate forecourt, apparently inspired by that of the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, which must have been created in about 1670 by Edwin Skrymsher (c.1631-89), who had attended Trinity College. The forecourt had wrought iron railings between thirteen tall, rusticated piers topped with large carved heads, but unlike the sophisticated Roman emperors around the Sheldonian, the sole surviving Aqualate head is disappointingly rustic. The forecourt appears to have been removed in 1729, when a new terrace was created on the north side of the house.
Following the death of Edwin Skrymsher in 1689, the estate was divided between his two sisters. On the death of one of the sisters, Mary, in 1702, her share descended to Charles Baldwyn (1652-1707), who had married her daughter Elizabeth, and he bought out the other half share. At this time, Aqualate was surrounded by the usual outbuildings of a 17th century manorial site, but there was evidently already a small deer park, since a deercote is mentioned in 1689, when there was also a summerhouse in the garden.
In 1727, Charles Baldwyn (1684-1751), a younger son who had made some money as a lawyer, inherited the estate unexpectedly following the deaths in quick succession of his elder brother and his mother, and in the same year he married the widowed Lady Strachan. He seems at once to have consulted Francis Smith of Warwick about the possibility of remodelling the house, but Smith evidently advised him to pull the house down and rebuild it from scratch. This Baldwyn could not afford to do, but he adopted Smith's suggestion of some internal remodelling as an interim measure, and work was in progress throughout 1728. In 1730, he also built the elegant new pedimented quadrangular stable block of red brick east of the house, which can confidently be attributed to Smith.
|Aqualate Hall: the house, seen from the north across the landscaped Aqualate Mere in the late 18th century. Image: Historic England BB84/704.|
|Aqualate Hall: the house from the north after the addition of wings and the installation of regular sash windows, c.1770. Image: Historic England BB82/1837|
By 1796, Charles Baldwyn's extravagance had forced him to sell the estate. It was bought by the trustees of John Fenton Fletcher of Betley Court (Staffs), who was then still a minor, but who came of age in 1805 and soon afterwards changed his name to John Fenton Fletcher-Boughey in acknowledgement of a large inheritance from his grandmother's cousin; he inherited his father's baronetcy in 1812. When Fletcher acquired Aqualate, much of the land between the house and the mere was still open pasture and the deer park enclosed only 127 acres. In 1804, John Webb, who practised in the north-west Midlands as a landscape gardener and architect, was invited to submit plans for altering both the house and its setting. His designs for the house were rejected, but his plans for the park were implemented. The road in front of the hall was diverted to its present line, well to the south, and new carriage approaches were laid out from lodges at the south-east and south-west corners of the park. Some 57,000 trees were planted in the park to screen the mere from view from the carriage approaches, so that the vast lake would be a surprise when visitors first saw it from the windows of the house. John Webb was paid off in 1807 and attention then turned to the remodelling of the house, but in 1812 Humphry Repton was consulted about further work on the park, including a shrubbery and terrace, although it seems probable that nothing was done to his design.
|Aqualate Hall: the house as remodelled and extended to the west by John Nash, 1806-09. Image: Historic England FF82/60.|
|Aqualate Hall: the house as altered by Nash from the south-west, from a postcard of c.1905. Image: Historic England BB82/1842.|
|Aqualate Hall: plan of the ground floor as proposed to be altered by Nash, c.1806. This was not the final arrangement, as an additional octagonal tower was added at the north-east angle in 1807. Image: Historic England BB82/1835.|
|Aqualate Hall: the toplit central gallery from the landing of the staircase. Image: Historic England BB82/1853.|
|Aqualate Hall: the central gallery, looking towards the staircase. Image: Historic England BB82/1851.|
|Aqualate Hall: a watercolour of the interior of the library designed by John Nash. Image: Historic England BB83/4782.|
Aqualate was little altered in Victorian times, but in the 1850s Sir Thomas Fletcher Fenton contemplated further work in the gardens. W.A. Nesfield was consulted in 1854 and in 1855 William Barron, the Derbyshire landscape gardener, produced a design for a tree-lined walk and flower garden in the shrubbery which was at least partially executed.
|Aqualate Hall: the smoking ruins of the house in the aftermath of the fire in 1910. Image: Historic England BB82/1845.|
Aqualate Hall: the house as restored after the fire, from a postcard of c.1920. Image: Historic England BB84/709.
|Aqualate Hall: the house from the north as reconstructed by W.D. Caroe in 1927-30. Image: Historic England AA62/2355|
|Aqualate Hall: the house from the south-west as reconstructed by W.D. Caroe in 1927-30. Image: Historic England AA62/2357|
In 1927, on the death of Sir Francis Boughey (1848-1927), 8th bt., the estate passed to his daughter, Ethel Morris. She evidently did not like the house as it stood, and brought in W.D. Caröe (who I think of as a church architect) to remodel it once more. The last vestiges of Nash's fantasy were swept away and replaced by largely new elevations of oatmeal coloured brick in a subdued Tudor style in 1927-31. Balustraded tops to the bay windows give a faint pale echo of the style of the previous house. The building does, however, incorporate the core of the 17th century house, reduced in height by one storey. The gabled service wing projecting to the south survived and was extended by a plain hipped-roof block with tall chimneys designed by Caröe, and the 18th century stable block was also preserved.
|Aqualate Hall: the folly known as Aqualate Castle. Image: Historic England AA62/2365.|
|Aqualate Hall: gate lodge, perhaps by Nash but probably later. Image: Tim Mowl.|
Baldwyn family of Elsich Manor, Stokesay Castle and Aqualate Hall
Baldwyn, Richard (c.1510-85) of Diddlebury. Younger son of John Baldwyn (fl. c.1497), Yeoman of the Crown (a member of the royal bodyguard), and his wife Alice, daughter of John Botterell of Aston Botterell (Shrops.), born about 1510. He had a grant of arms, 1580. He married, 7 November 1545 at Shipton (Salop), Margery alias Margaret, daughter of Lawrence Ludlow of Moore House, Corvedale (Shropshire), and had issue including:
(1) Thomas Baldwyn (1546-1614) (q.v.);
(2) William Baldwyn (c.1548-1616) (q.v.);
(3) Henry Baldwyn (fl. 1616);
(4) Elizabeth Baldwyn; married, before 1584, Richard Higgins (d. 1598), son of George Higgins, and had issue two daughters;
(5) Dorothy Baldwyn (fl. 1596); married Walter Beck (d. 1598) of Shrewsbury, but had no surviving issue;
(6) Mary Baldwyn (fl. 1611); married, before 1589, George Mason of Diddlebury and had issue;
(7) Charles Baldwyn (d. 1586), buried at Diddlebury, 8 April 1586;
(8) Edward Baldwyn (d. 1620); was of Stokesay and was probably the first of his line to lease the castle there from Sir Thomas Baker and Sir Richard Francis; married 1st, 7 February 1584 at Stokesay, Johanna Hibbins (d. 1593) and had issue two sons and two daughters; married 2nd [name unknown] and had further issue two sons and two daughters; buried at Stokesay, 2 January 1620/1;
(9) John Baldwyn (fl. 1611), named in his mother's will;
(10) Richard Baldwyn (fl. 1611), named in his mother's will.
He was heir to his elder brother William and lived at Diddlebury (Shropshire), where he may have built the first part of Elsich Manor in 1545.
He was buried at Diddlebury, 9 December 1585. His wife died in October 1611; her will was proved at Hereford, 20 October 1611.
Baldwyn, Thomas (1546-1614) of Diddlebury. Eldest son of Richard Baldwyn (c.1510-85) of Diddlebury and his wife Margery, daughter of Laurence Ludlow of Moore House, Corvedale (Shropshire), born 1546. An agent of George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, he was one of the trusted retainers on whom the Earl relied to guard Mary, Queen of Scots, in the years when he was responsible for her custody (1569-84). By 1584, however, he became suspected of involvement in a plot to secure the release of the Queen of Scots, because an encrypted letter from her to him was intercepted, and he was confined in the Tower of London for three years; an inscription which he made on the wall of his prison was found in the 19th century. The wording of his epitaph, which records his escape from 'the sea, the sword and the cruel tower' seems to hint at further adventures, which are now lost to memory. After being released, he married Gertrude, daughter of Robert Corbet of Stanwardine, and had issue:
(1) Edward Baldwyn (d. 1664); a Royalist in the Civil War, he served in Sir Vincent Corbet's regiment and compounded for his estates for £245; married Mary (d. 1678), daughter of Edward Lutwyche and had issue one son (from whom descended the later Baldwyns of Diddlebury alias Delbury Hall, which they sold in 1752) and three daughters; buried at Diddlebury, 28 July 1664;
(2) John Baldwyn (d. 1671), of Middlehope; an esquire of the Earl of Shrewsbury by 1616; married Mary [surname unknown] (d. 1659); buried at Diddlebury, 11 August 1671; administration of his goods was granted 3 October 1671;
(3) Richard Baldwyn (d. 1639), of Diddlebury; married Anne Rickards and had issue one son and two daughters; died in July 1639; will proved 25 July 1639;
(4) Dorothy Baldwyn;
(5) Susan Baldwyn.
He lived at Diddlebury.
He died 7 October 1614 and was buried at Diddlebury, where he is commemorated by a monument. His widow was still living in 1639.
Baldwyn, William (c.1548-1616). Second son of Richard Baldwyn (c.1510-85) of Diddlebury and his wife Margery, daughter of Laurence Ludlow of Moore House, Corvedale (Shropshire), born about 1548. In 1598 he was described as 'of Clement's Inn', one of the Chancery inns in London, so he was probably legally trained. He married 1st, Barbara, daughter of Richard Brooke of Whitchurch (Hants), and 2nd, Jane [surname unknown]*, and had issue:
(1.1) Charles Baldwyn (1598-1674) (q.v.).
He lived at Elsich Manor, Diddlebury and probably enlarged it c.1590-1600.
He died in 1616 and was probably buried at Diddlebury; his will was proved 23 April 1616. His first wife's date of death is unknown. His widow's date of death is unknown.
* This could be the marriage of William Baldwyne and Jane Stevenson at Kings Langley (Herts) on 28 October 1611.
Baldwyn, Charles (1598-1674). Son of William Baldwyn (c.1548-1616) of Elsich Manor and his first wife Barbara, daughter of Richard Brooke of Whitchurch (Hants), baptised at Ludlow, 26 November 1598. A freeman and common councilman of Ludlow; bailiff of Ludlow by 1638. MP for Ludlow, 1639-46 (excluded 1643). A Royalist during the Civil War, he was one of the officers present at the siege of Hopton Castle (Shrops.), which after a fortnight's resistance was surrendered only when it became clear that it would be captured; the garrison expected to be given quarter, but this was refused and they were all executed (except for the Governor, Col. Samuel More, who was taken prisoner); he was obliged to compound for his estates (for a fine of nearly £500). He married, 18 June 1617 at Burwarton (Shrops.), Mary (d. 1669), daughter and co-heir of Francis Holland of Burwarton and widow of Robert Lutley, fourth son of Adam Lutley of Broncroft, and had issue:
(1) Sir Samuel Baldwyn (1618-83), kt. (q.v.);
(2) Sir Timothy Baldwyn (1619-96), kt., baptised at Burwarton (Shrops.), 28 September 1619; educated at Balliol College, Oxford (matriculated 1634/5; BA 1638) and Inner Temple (admitted 1635); Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, 1639-61 (BCL 1641; DCL 1652); sinecure rector of Llandrillo in Rhos, 1647; author of The privileges of an ambassador (1654), translator and editor of Lord Herbert of Chirbury's (1656) and editor of Richard Zouch's Jurisdiction of the Admiralty in England (1663); Principal of Hart Hall, Oxford, 1660-63; Chancellor of the Dioceses of Hereford and Worcester, 1663-96; steward of Leominster, 1667-85, 1688-96; Master in Chancery, 1670-82; knighted, 10 July 1670; married 1st, c.1668, Ellen, daughter of Sir William Owen, kt., of Condover and widow of Sir George Norton (d. 1668), kt of Abbots Leigh (Somerset); married 2nd, before 1685; Mary (1630-1702), daughter of Gerard Skrymsher of Aqualate and widow of Nicholas Acton (d. 1664) of Bockleton (Worcs), but had no issue; died before August 1696; will proved 22 February 1696/7;
(3) twin, Benjamin Baldwyn (b. 1622), baptised at Burwarton, 20 September 1622; living in 1686;
(4) twin, Barbara Baldwyn (1622-70), baptised at Burwarton, 20 September 1622; married, 23 August 1660 at St Michael, Paternoster Royal, London, George Lee, but had no issue; buried in Temple Church, London, 15 January 1670.
He inherited Elsich Manor from his father in 1616 and took a lease of Stokesay Castle (Shropshire), from the Craven family soon after they acquired it in 1620. The castle was slighted in 1647 but he negotiated a new lease in 1647-48 before making the house over to his son on the latter's marriage in 1648. He seems to have lived mainly at his wife's estate at Burwarton.
He died 14 February and was buried at Diddlebury, 17 February 1674, where he is commemorated by a monument. His wife was buried at Stokesay, April 1669.
Baldwyn, Sir Samuel (1618-83), kt. Elder son of Charles Baldwyn (1598-1674) and his wife Mary, daughter and co-heir of Francis Holland of Burwarton (Shropshire) and widow of Robert Lutley, baptised at Burwarton (Shrops.), 7 June 1618. Educated at Balliol College, Oxford (matriculated 1634/5) and Inner Temple (admitted 1635; called to bar 1646; bencher 1662). The Civil War interrupted his legal studies in London, and he may have been among the Royalist garrison which surrendered Stokesay Castle in 1645. Barrister-at-law; Serjeant-at-law, 1669; King's Serjeant, 1672. MP for Ludlow, 1659. From 1665 he was a major investor in the abortive Stour Navigation Scheme, but he had 'great losses by the late dismall fire at London and other accidents to the value of £10,000'. Knighted 5 February 1672/3. He married, 27 July 1648 at St Bartholomew the Less, London, Elizabeth (c.1622-93), daughter of Richard Walcot of London, merchant, and had issue:
(1) William Baldwyn (c.1649-72?); educated at Queen's College, Oxford (matriculated 1666) and Inner Temple (admitted 1664); died unmarried before 1679 and was perhaps the person of this name buried at St Sepulchre, Holborn (Middx), 15 October 1672;
(2) Anne Baldwyn (1650-1720), baptised at Stokesay, 29 May 1650; married, 24 January 1688 at Stokesay, Rev. Adam Ottley DD (1655-1723), rector of Prestbury (Shrops.), archdeacon of Shropshire and later bishop of St. Davids, 1713-23, second surviving son of Sir Richard Ottley of Pitchford (Shrops.), but had no issue; buried at Pitchford, 14 April 1720;
(3) Elizabeth Baldwyn (1651-1725), baptised at St Dunstan in the West, London, 15 March 1650/1; married, 26 August 1674 at Stokesay, Thomas Ottley (1651-95), eldest surviving son of Sir Richard Ottley of Pitchford (Shrops) and had issue three sons and one daughter; buried at Pitchford, 5 April 1725;
(4) Charles Baldwyn (1652-1707) (q.v.);
(5) Mary Baldwyn (b. 1653), baptised at St Dunstan in the West, London, 19 July 1653; died before 1679;
(6) Timothy Baldwyn (d. 1667); buried at Stokesay, 18 September 1667.
He was given the lease of Stokesay Castle on his marriage in 1648. The castle was repaired and reoccupied by 1649 (probably including the building of the new gatehouse) and he repaired the church in 1654-64. In 1674 he was taxed on seventeen hearths at Stokesay.
He died 15 July and was buried in the Temple Church, London, 17 July 1683, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 19 October 1683. His widow was buried at Stokesay, 28 January 1692/3.
Baldwyn, Charles (1652-1707). Fourth but only surviving son of Sir Samuel Baldwyn (1618-83), kt., and his wife, the daughter of Richard Walcot of London, merchant, baptised at St Dunstan-in-the-West, London, 19 February 1651/2. Educated at Shrewsbury School, Queen's College, Oxford (matriculated 1667) and Inner Temple (admitted 1665; called to bar, 1674). Barrister-at-law. MP for Ludlow, 1681, 1689-90, 1695-98. He was a Freeman of Ludlow (admitted 1679; common councilman, 1681-85, 1690-1701; alderman, 1701-07) and of Much Wenlock (admitted 1680); High Sheriff of Herefordshire, 1690-91; High Steward of Leominster (Herefs), 1691-96; Chancellor of the Diocese of Hereford, 1694-1707; Recorder of Ludlow, 1704-07. He married, 13 May 1679 at St Paul, Covent Garden, London, Elizabeth (1663-1727), daughter and heiress of Nicholas Acton of Bockleton (Worcs) by Mary his wife (who was sister and co-heir of Edwin Skrymsher of Aqualate), and had issue:
(1) Edwin Baldwyn (b. 1679), baptised at St Dunstan-in-the-West, London, 6 January 1679/80; evidently died young;
(2) Acton Baldwyn (1681-1727) (q.v.);
(3) Elizabeth Baldwyn (1682-1737), baptised at Bockleton, 20 August 1682; died unmarried and was buried at Forton, 13 April 1737; will proved at Lichfield, 10 September 1737;
He inherited the lease of Stokesay Castle and through his marriage inherited Bockleton. His wife was also heiress to the Aqualate estate, and on her death in 1727 that estate passed to their son, Charles Baldwyn.
He died 4 January 1706/7 and was buried at Bockleton, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 4 February 1706/7. His widow was buried at Bockleton, 13 January 1726/7; her will was proved 29 March 1727.
Baldwyn, Acton (1681-1727). Eldest surviving son of Charles Baldwyn (1652-1707) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Nicholas Acton of Bockleton (Worcs), born 27 June and baptised at Bockleton, 10 July 1681. Educated at Balliol College, Oxford (matriculated 1698) and Inner Temple (admitted 1701). In politics, he was a moderate Tory, who occasionally voted with the Whigs, although his name was given to the Old Pretender as a likely 'well-wisher' in the event of an invasion; MP for Ludlow, 1705-15, 1722-27. He was a freeman and common councilman of Ludlow, 1710-27. In 1723 he paid for alterations to the church at Aqualate. He married, 17 October 1702 at Norbury (Staffs), Eleanor (1680-1718), third daughter of Sir Charles Skrymsher of Norbury, but had no issue.*
He inherited Bockleton from his father in 1707. At his death the estate passed to his next brother.
He was buried at Bockleton, 28 or 30 January 1726/7; his will was proved 29 March 1727. His wife was buried at Norbury, 29 March 1718.
* He may, however, have had an illegitimate son: Thomas, son of Acton Baldwyn, was baptised at St Luke, Chelsea (Middx), 17 May 1721, but perhaps died young as there is no mention of him in Acton Baldwyn's will.
Baldwyn, Charles (1684-1751). Second surviving son of Charles Baldwyn (1652-1707) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Nicholas Acton of Bockleton (Worcs), born 13 March and baptised at Bockleton, 24 March 1684. Educated at Balliol College, Oxford (admitted 1704) and Lincoln's Inn (admitted 1707; called to the bar, 1714) and undertook a Grand Tour with Burrell Massingberd of Ormsby (Lincs) in 1711-12, visiting the Netherlands, Germany, Turin, Milan, Genoa, Florence, Rome (where they met William Kent), Naples, Bologna, Venice, Padua, Vicenza and Verona, and found it necessary to 'take some days of repose after passing the [Alps], before one could get the thoughts of that unpleasant country out of one's head'. Barrister-at-law. He married 1st, 29 July 1727 at St Paul, Covent Garden, London, Elizabeth (1695?-1732), daughter of John Allgood of Newcastle-on-Tyne and widow of Sir Patrick Strachan (d. 1726) of Glenkindie (Aberdeens.), and 2nd, 18 February 1741 at Atcham (Shrops.), Anne (1698-1759?), daughter of Robert Gayer of Stoke Park, Stoke Poges (Bucks) and widow of Rev. Francis Annesley LLD (1699-1740), rector of Winwick (Lancs), and had issue:
(1.1) Elizabeth Baldwyn (1728-83), born 4 August and baptised at St James, Piccadilly, Westminster (Middx), 21 August 1728; married, 27 February 1755 at Forton (Staffs), Arthur Annesley (1732-73) of Bletchingdon Park (Oxon), son of Rev. Francis Annesley of Winwick (Lancs), and had issue (with others who did not survive), two sons and two daughters; said to have been buried at Bletchingdon, 18 May 1783;
(1.2) Charles Baldwyn (1729-1801) (q.v.);
(1.3) Samuel Baldwyn (1731-38), born 12 March 1730/1 and baptised at St James, Piccadilly, 5 April 1731; died young and was buried at Forton, 19 January 1737/8;
(1.4) Barbara Baldwyn (1732-88), baptised at Forton, 10 April 1732; died unmarried and was buried at St Swithin, Walcot, Bath (Somerset), 1 January 1789; will proved 26 January 1789.
He lived in London until 1727. He inherited Stokesay Castle from his father in 1707, Bockleton from his elder brother in 1727, and Aqualate Hall through his mother in the same year; he remodelled the house at Aqualate and built the stables there to the designs of Francis Smith, and created a landscape park with the assistance of Stephen Switzer.
He was buried at Forton, 8 April 1751; his will was proved 25 June 1751. His first wife died in childbirth and was buried at Forton, 6 April 1732. His widow was perhaps the Ann Baldwin buried at Finchley (Middx), 30 August 1759.
Baldwyn, Charles (1729-1801). Elder son of Charles Baldwyn (1684-1751) and his first wife, Elizabeth, daughter of John Allgood of Newcastle-on-Tyne and widow of Sir Patrick Strachan of Glenkindie (Aberdeens.), baptised at Forton, 29 September 1729. Educated at St Mary Hall, Oxford (matriculated 1747). MP for Shropshire, 1766-80, in which role he was described as 'a puzzle-headed country gentleman, of Tory views'. He was recklessly extravagant and despite having a secret service pension of £600 a year (probably a reward for his consistent support for the Government during his years in Parliament), he became hopelessly financially embarrassed. The state of his affairs prevented him continuing in Parliament and in 1782 he published a short self-justificatory pamphlet, the burden of which was that he had beggared himself for the sake of his eldest son, who now refused to assist him financially, although the truth of the case seems to be that he had exercised poor judgement and speculated in land: borrowing money when it was cheap to buy land when it was dear, being unable to meet the repayments when interest rates rose, and being forced to sell the land at a loss. The Aqualate estate was eventually a casualty of this catastrophic career, and with the reluctant consent of his son was sold in 1796, though he had dissipated what remained of the purchase money after the payment of his debts before his death. He married, 14 May 1752 at Kinlet, Catherine (1722-70), eldest daughter and co-heir of William Lacon Childe of Kinlet Hall (Shropshire), and had issue:
(1) Catherine Baldwyn (1753-1838), born 11 March and baptised at Kinlet, 14 March 1753; died unmarried at Bath (Somerset), 6 July, and was buried at Kinlet, 14 July 1838; will proved 1 August 1838;
(2) William Baldwyn (later Childe) (1755-1824) (q.v.);
(3) Charles Baldwyn (1758-1811), born 26 February 1758; educated at Harrow and St John's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1775) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1776); died unmarried in Bristol, 18 September and was buried at Kinlet, 29 September 1811; will proved 2 November 1811.
He inherited Aqualate Hall from his father in 1751, but lived at his wife's estate of Kinlet Hall from 1757 until her death in 1770. He then returned to Aqualate, which he remodelled soon afterwards, but he was obliged to sell it in 1796. On his wife's death in 1770, Kinlet passed under her father's will to the trustees of their eldest son, who was then a minor but came of age in 1776.
He died 28 September 1801 and was buried at Eastbourne (Sussex); his will was proved 15 October 1801. His wife died of smallpox and was buried at Kinlet, 2 June 1770.
Baldwyn (later Childe), William (1755-1824). Elder son of Charles Baldwyn (1729-1801) and his wife Catherine, eldest daughter and co-heir of William Lacon Childe (1700-57) of Kinlet Hall (Shropshire), baptised at Forton, 23 November 1755. He adopted the name of Childe in lieu of Baldwyn on inheriting the Kinlet estate through his mother in 1770. Educated at Harrow, New College, Oxford (matriculated 1773) and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1774). He was estranged from his father, who accused him of ingratitude in a pamphlet published in 1782 and who cut him out of his will. He was a celebrated agriculturalist and daring rider to hounds, whose exploits in the saddle earned him the nickname 'the flying Childe' - now the title of the newsletter of the Ludlow Hunt, of which he was the founding Master. He married 1st, 19 April 1776 at Kinlet, Annabella (d. 1816), second daughter and eventual co-heir of Sir Charles Leighton, 3rd bt. of Wattlesborough, and 2nd, 20 April 1818 at St Sepulchre without Newgate, London, his former mistress, Marian or Mary Anne (1779-1850), daughter of John Hughes of Broseley (Shrops.), and had issue:
(1.1) Annabella Childe (1778-1857), baptised at Kinlet, 8 October 1778; married 1st, 16 July 1798 at Cheltenham (Glos), Richard Alleyne the younger of Cheltenham and of Golden (Tipperary), and had issue three daughters; as a widow lived at Exmouth (Devon); married 2nd, 16 February 1827 at St James, Bath (Somerset), Henry Peard (1784-1866) of Bath; buried in Bath Abbey, 6 March 1857;
(1.2) William Lacon Childe (1786-1880) of Kinlet and Kyre House, born 3 January 1786; educated at Harrow, 1798-1803, and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1803); an officer in the South Shropshire Militia, 1808-26 (Capt.); JP and DL for Shropshire and Worcestershire; High Sheriff of Shropshire, 1828-29 and of Herefordshire, 1859-60; MP for Wenlock, 1820-26; inherited Kinlet estate from his father in 1824 and Kyre estate in Worcestershire from Jonathan Pytts in 1832; married, 13 August 1807 at Wrockwardine (Shrops.), Harriet, youngest daughter of William Cludde of Orleton (Shropshire) and had issue six sons and five daughters; died aged 94, 15 December 1880; a further account of his family and descendants will be given in a future post on the Childe family of Kinlet.
William Baldwyn (later Childe) also had issue by his mistress, who became his second wife:
(X1) William Henry Hughes alias Childe (1801-38), born 10 March 1801 and baptised at St Mary, St Marylebone (Middx), 27 January 1815; schoolmaster in Cheltenham, 1835-38, and organist at King St. Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Cheltenham, 1833-38; probably the man who married, 22 June 1826 at Broseley (Shrops.), Mary Ann (1805-88), daughter of Benjamin Ball of Broseley, and had issue one son and two daughters; died 3 June 1838;
(X2) Rev. Charles Frederick Hughes alias Williams alias Childe (b. 1807), born 7 December 1807 and baptised at St Mary, St Marylebone, 27 January 1815; educated at St John's and Emmanuel Colleges, Cambridge (matriculated 1827; BA 1832; MA 1837); ordained deacon, 1831 and priest, 1832; curate of St Michael, Cambridge, 1833-38; perpetual curate of St Paul, Walsall and headmaster of Walsall Grammar School, 1837-39; author of a volume of Sermons preached at St Paul's episcopal chapel, Walsall (1839); principal of the Church Missionary Society College, Islington, 1839-58; rector of Holbrook (Suffk), 1858-84; lived in retirement at St Leonards on Sea; married 1st, 29 December 1828 at St Sepulchre without Newgate, London, Frances Anne Harvey Rogers (1806-69), and had issue three sons and one daughter; married 2nd, 14 December 1870 at Chorley (Cheshire), Elizabeth (1814-79), daughter of Joseph Ashton and widow of John Daniel Burton (1812-55); married 3rd, 30 March 1880 at Buxted (Sussex), Harriet Isabella (1824-96), daughter of Philip Gell; died aged 90 at Bramleigh, Cheltenham (Glos) on 17 December and was buried in Cheltenham Cemetery, 21 December 1897; will proved 14 February 1898 (effects £3,373).
He inherited Kinlet Hall (Shropshire) from his maternal grandfather on his mother's death in 1770, and reluctantly co-operated in his father's sale of the Aqualate Hall estate in 1796.
He died in London, 3 February and was buried 14 February 1824; his will was proved 18 June 1824. His first wife died 21 January 1816 and was buried at St Julian, Shrewsbury (Shrops.). His widow married 2nd, about June 1837, James Hemming (d. 1855) of Ealing (Middx) and died in Cheltenham, Apr-Jun 1850.
Burke's Landed Gentry, 1898, i, pp. 269-70; E.H. Martin, 'The history of several families connected with Diddlebury', Transactions of Shropshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, 1912, pp. 133-85, 299-385; VCH Staffordshire, vol. 4, 1958, p. 104 and facing pls.; Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Staffordshire, 1974, p. 133; A.S. Gray, Edwardian architecture: a biographical dictionary, 1985, pp. 134-7; J.M. Freeman, W.D. Caroe: his architectural achievement, 1990, pp. 106-7; M. Mansbridge, John Nash: a complete catalogue, 1991, pp. 120-21; N. Temple, George Repton's Pavilion Notebook: a catalogue raisonée, 1993, pp. 56-59; D. Yale, 'The Landscaping of Aqualate park 1805-1813', Staffordshire Studies 6, 1994, pp. 27-43; J. Ingamells, A dictionary of British and Irish travellers in Italy, 1701-1800, 1997, pp. 43-44; A. Gomme, Smith of Warwick, 2000, pp. 461, 513; T. Mowl & D. Barre, The historic gardens of England: Staffordshire, 2009, pp. 75-79, 203-06, 235-36; G. Tyack (ed.), John Nash: architect of the picturesque, 2013, pp. 46-49; W.A. Brogden, Ichnographia Rustica, 2017, pp. 187-88; ODNB entry on George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury.
Location of archives
Baldwin family of Diddlebury and Stokesay: some deeds and estate papers, 17th-18th cents are found among the papers of the Childe family of Kinlet Hall [Shropshire Archives, 1045];
Baldwin and Skrymsher families: rentals and estate papers, 1618-18th cent. [Staffordshire Record Office, D1021, D3468]
Coat of arms
Baldwin of Diddlebury: Argent, a saltire sable.
Baldwin of Aqualate: Per pale, argent and sable, a lion counterchanged.
Revision and acknowldgements
This post was first published 25 August 2018.