Sunday, 24 October 2021

(472) Bamford of Hawthornden Manor, Wootton Lodge and Daylesford House

Bamford, Baron Bamford
In the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Bamfords were a Roman Catholic family of millers, builders and toolmakers in the Worcestershire and Staffordshire area, occupying a middling station in society on a par with the larger farmers and not aspiring to gentry status. Henry Bamford (1818-96), with whom the genealogy below begins, married in 1844 Julia, the only daughter of Samuel Brassington of Uttoxeter, a prosperous cooper. Brassington bought the couple a property in the market square of Uttoxeter where Henry Bamford opened an ironmongery business in 1845. Initially retailing the products of other manufacturers to the local farming community, Bamford began to diversify into implement manufacture, using castings supplied by local foundries. In about 1861, Henry's eldest son Samuel Brassington Bamford (1845-1932) joined the business, and quickly showed a flair for making improvements in the design of products such as water butt taps, garden engines, hot air stoves, cheese presses and curd mills. In 1871 Samuel and his father started the firm later known as Henry Bamford & Sons, which established the Leighton ironworks on the outskirts of Uttoxeter and began manufacturing a wider range of improved farm equipment and machinery: by 1881 their catalogue ran to forty pages and they were employing over 30 men. Although Henry Bamford provided the capital to start this business, it was from the first entirely in Samuel's hands, with Henry remaining the proprietor of the retail ironmongery business (although he later helped with travelling to promote the products of his son's firm). From about 1878, Samuel was in partnership with four of his younger brothers, who each took responsibility for a particular area of the business:
John (1853-1918) was responsible for office management, Henry (1849-1928) for purchasing and advertising, Robert (1864-1934) was on the sales side and Joseph (1860-1936), like his eldest brother, was an engineer (one of his inventions being an improved cash register). By 1883 the firm was growing rapidly, and they acquired the Lichfield Agricultural Co. Joseph moved to Lichfield to manage this business, remaining there until 1905. Samuel, Henry, John and Joseph all became justices of the peace, and Joseph served as sheriff of Lichfield in 1899-1900. 
Oldfields Hall, Uttoxeter: the home of John Bamford (1853-1918)
All the brothers acquired or built substantial houses around the town which, although they are best described as villas rather than country houses, were indicative of very comfortable circumstances. The largest of them was Samuel's Hawthornden Manor, built on a 26 acre site west of the town. John lived at the more elegant and perhaps more distinguished Oldfields Hall, Joseph at St Mary's Mount, and Robert at Weaver Lodge, while Henry commuted on a daily basis from his home at Park House, Stafford.

In 1896, Henry Bamford senior died and Samuel's two eldest sons, Henry Brassington Bamford (1876-1955) and Oswald Joseph Bamford (1877-1915), who was killed in the First World War, joined the business. In 1897, when Henry came of age, the firm had 500 employees, so there were plenty of openings for other members of the family to join the business. Joseph's sons, Cyril Joseph Bamford (1885-1951) and Gerald Wilfred Bamford (1888-1930), did so in 1905, and John's son, Henry John Bamford (1891-1947) had done so by 1912, although he went off to fight in the First World War before returning as a director in 1919. The war seems to have affected the firm less than one might expect, and although it did take on the manufacture of 4½" shells and hand grenades, its routine products were deemed critical to food production and continued. In 1916 the firm became a limited company, and Edmund Dobbins, who joined the firm in 1902 and retired in 1954, became the first board member from outside the family as company secretary.

Photograph of the directors of Bamford & Sons Ltd. taken at Hawthornden Manor at the 50th anniversary of the firm, in September 1921.
Back row, L to R: Henry Bernard Bamford (1876-1955), Henry John Bamford (1891-1947), Gerald W. Bamford (1888-1930), Cyril J. Bamford (1885-1951). Front row: Robert Bamford (1864-1934), Samuel Brassington Bamford JP (1846-1932),  Henry Brassington Bamford JP (1849-1928) and Joseph Bamford JP (1860-1936). The insets show three former directors: left, John Bamford JP (1853-1918), centre, Henry Bamford (1819-96) and right, Oswald J.Bamford (1877-1915). Image: Staffordshire Archives.
In the 1920s, the firm diversified into the manufacture of stationary engines, and introduced a highly successful potato lifter. It also greatly extended its international market. Samuel Bamford remained chairman until his death in 1932, after which his brother Joseph took over until he died four years later. Samuel's son, Henry Bernard Bamford (1876-1955), who was managing director from 1919, then took over as chairman, continuing in the dual role until his death. It thus fell to Henry, who lived at Eaton Lodge, Doveridge (Derbys), to steer the firm through the Second World War, when part of the works was taken over by Daimler Ltd to manufacture scout cars, and the firm's regular product range was streamlined as part of a Government-led strategic rationalisation of the sector, and came to include tractor-hauled mowing machines for the first time. Several members of the family joined the services during the war, although Henry's son, Vincent (1910-2004) was recalled to act as works manager after a short time. Another junior member of the firm who joined up was Cyril's son, Joseph Cyril Bamford (1916-2001), who after the war founded his own business (J.C. Bamford (Excavators)) making agricultural and construction machinery, which quickly grew into a high successful, innovative and paternalistic firm, familiar to all from its distinctive yellow livery and 'JCB' logo.

In 1958 Bamford & Sons became a public limited company, and soon afterwards they started importing combine harvesters and tractors, which there was not room at Uttoxeter to design and build from scratch. In 1968 he firm rejected a takeover bid from rival family firm J.C. Bamford (Excavators), and in 1970, there were still three members of the Bamford family on the board, though they no longer controlled the firm. Bamford & Sons went into liquidation a few years later. 

J.C. Bamford (Excavators) went from strength to strength, however, and became noted as a generous employer. In about 1960, Joseph Cyril Bamford was able to buy and restore one of the finest houses in Staffordshire, the Jacobean Wootton Lodge. He lived there until 1975, when he handed over control of the company to his sons Anthony and Mark, left his wife Marjorie (d. 2003), and went off to live with his secretary in tax exile in Switzerland. Wootton Lodge remained the home of his wife until the 1990s, when she moved to a purpose-built new house, called Wootton Grange, nearby. 

Anthony Bamford (b. 1945), who was knighted in 1990 and raised to a life peerage as Baron Bamford in 2003, has been chairman of the JCB group of companies since 1975. In 1988 he and his second wife, Carole, bought and restored Daylesford House (Glos), which has had three high-profile owners since the Second World War, each of whom has redecorated and remodelled the interior. Lady Bamford has developed the Daylesford Organics brand as part of a commitment to organic farming which has transformed the Daylesford and Wootton estates. The accruing profits from his stake in JCB has made Lord Bamford one of Britain's richest men, with estimated wealth of nearly £4.6 billion placing him 38th on the Sunday Times Rich List. In addition to his English properties, he owns a chateau in France and a house in Barbados, and today, Daylesford and Wootton Lodge are rare and encouraging examples of country houses still occupied in the grand tradition and fulfilling the purpose for which they were designed, of being a setting for displaying the wealth, taste and patronage of their owners.

Hawthornden Manor, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire

A large stone villa built between 1880 and 1896 for Samuel Bamford (1845-1932) on a 26-acre site then on the outskirts of the town, although now swallowed by suburbia. The house is in the late Victorian free style and draws on both Old English and continental Renaissance sources for inspiration. 

Hawthornden Manor, Uttoxeter: the house in the early 20th century, from an old postcard.
The south-facing entrance front has a roughly central doorcase, with a canted bay window to its left which rises through three storeys and is surmounted by a witch's hat roof with oversailing eaves. To the right of the entrance is a broader bay rising into a tall gable with applied half-timbering on the top storey and decorative terracotta tile-hanging above that. The side elevations have more broad gables with tile hanging, and there was formerly a large and elaborate conservatory attached to the south-west corner; the service wing ran off to the north at the rear of the building.  The house was used as an ARP First Aid Post during the Second World War and had been converted into flats by 1946.

Descent: built c.1890 for Samuel Brassington Bamford (1845-1932); to widow, Annie Mary Bamford (d. 1961); sold c.1936 to Samuel Elkes; converted into flats c.1946.

Wootton Lodge, Staffordshire

A beautifully proportioned and elegant house with a somewhat more complex history than its external appearance suggests. It stands in a fine position on a promontory overlooking a deep and steep-sided valley, and was built in the early 17th century for Sir Richard Fleetwood of Calwich Abbey (Staffs), which is only a few miles away. There was a deer park at Wootton from at least the 13th century, and the house was probably intended as a hunting lodge and standing. It consists of a tall main front range, of three storeys over a basement, fronting a forecourt flanked by walls that now terminate in little 18th century pavilions, although there was probably a gatehouse here until the Civil War. Behind the main block more severe ranges are arranged around three sides of a small courtyard that may once have been closed by a fourth range demolished in the later 17th or 18th centuries. These rear ranges may incorporate some walling from the previous building on the site.

Wootton Lodge: distant view of the entrance front, 1959. Image: Country Life.
The new front range is attributed with some confidence to the leading Elizabethan mason, Robert Smythson (d. 1614), who is also believed to have designed Burton Agnes Hall (Yorks ER) - a house of 1601-10 which shares some characteristics with Wootton Lodge - for Sir Richard Fleetwood's cousin, Sir Henry Griffith. If it is by Smythson, Wootton Lodge, which is thought to date from c.1610, would have been one of his last works, and although he built many larger and grander houses elsewhere, this perfect little building seems a distillation of his personal style in an enchanting and almost toy-like structure. The date of the building is suggested by the panel depicting Fleetwood's arms over the doorway, which shows the 'red hand of Ulster', a symbol which Fleetwood only became entitled to use on becoming one of the first baronets in 1611, so it is probable that construction was still in progress then.

Wootton Lodge: the entrance front, c.1950. Image: Historic England.
A group of four drawings of the 1590s in the Soane Museum show Smythson experimenting with plans for courtyard houses, the symmetrical outer faces of which are composed of flat walls given movement and variety by full-height canted bay windows and square towers and porches. The front block of Wootton Lodge follows this pattern, with a square central porch, canted bays towards the ends of the facade, and semi-circular bays on the ends of the range. The range is perfectly symmetrical, and apart from the doorcase and the balustraded parapet, is entirely devoid of ornament, so that the whole aesthetic effect is dependent on balance and proportion. As at Smythson's Hardwick Hall (Derbys), the top two floors are taller than the ground floor, which in turn is taller than the basement, and the proportions of these different levels, and the balance of window to wall, are perfectly judged so as to create a harmonious whole. The exact original internal arrangement has been lost in later changes, but it seems probable that the basement was occupied by the kitchen and other service rooms; the ground floor by the hall and principal parlour; the first floor by a great chamber over the hall and a second parlour; and the top floor by a long gallery running its entire length.

Wootton Lodge: the house from the garden terrace, 1910. Image: Country Life.
In the 17th century Civil War, the house was bombarded and perhaps sacked: it was described after 1660 as 'demolished in the late wars', and although 'demolished' is here used in an archaic and less extreme sense than we would understand today, there can be little doubt that the house was left derelict and perhaps burned out. It may not have been fully reinstated until John Wheeler, a Stourbridge ironmaster, bought it at the end of the 17th century. If it had not previously been demolished, he pulled down the range enclosing the courtyard at the rear, and he completely refitted the interior, and built the present entrance steps and parapet, and the pavilions flanking the entrance court.

Wootton Lodge: the panelled dining room installed about 1700 by John Wheeler when the house was refitted, photographed in 1959.
Image: Country Life.
When the house was acquired by J.C. Bamford in the 1960s it was heavily restored and remodelled. The internal framing was replaced in concrete, and the 18th century interiors were altered using materials, including a complete staircase, from Osmaston Hall (Derbys), then being demolished. The exterior was sand-blasted, the glazing altered, and the surroundings were re-landscaped, but the quiet perfection of the exterior has survived all these interventions unspoiled.

Wootton Lodge: the house in recent years. Image: ©Adam P. Towers.

Descent: Sir William Cecil sold 1560 to John Fleetwood (d. 1590); to son, Thomas Fleetwood (d. 1603); to son, Sir Richard Fleetwood (d. 1654), 1st bt.; to grandson, Sir Richard Fleetwood (d. 1721), 3rd bt.; sold to John Wheeler (d. 1708); to son, John Wheeler; to nephew, Edward Wheeler (d. 1761); to friend, James Unwin (1717-76); to son, James William Edward Wheeler Unwin (1763-1818); to brother, Rev. Edward Unwin (1767-1847); to son, Edward Wilberforce Unwin (1818-88); to son, Captain Edwin Unwin RN VC (1864-1950); sold to Brig-Gen. Sir Hill Child; sold 1950 to Major Alan Rook (d. 1990); sold c.1960 to J.C. Bamford (1916-2001); to son, Sir Anthony Bamford (b. 1945), Baron Bamford.

Daylesford House, Gloucestershire

The Hastings family had owned the manor of Daylesford from 1408 until 1715, when financial ruin forced Penyston Hastings to sell the estate to a Bristol merchant called Jacob Knight. Nothing is known of the Hastings family's manor house, which reputedly lay 150 yards from the church; in 1823 J.P. Neale described it as 'long destroyed', though 'the remains of it shewed it to be a grand structure'.

Jacob Knight began but never finished a new house on the present site, and his stonework shell lies at the core of the present Daylesford. This was not suspected until alterations in the 1980s exposed some hitherto invisible blocked windows and occasioned the drawing up of accurate plans: even now the extent of his work is in some doubt. A 1786 estate plan shows the house to have consisted of a rectangular central block linked by short sections of wall to four pavilion wings. The central block can be clearly identified with the seven by five bay building which forms the centre of the present house, although it has been shown that this was originally of two storeys rather than the present three. The windows of this house had unmistakably Baroque detailing, with prominent keystones and sills, and in some cases segmental heads. All these details suggest a date before 1730, but the obviously Palladian inspiration of the four semi-detached pavilion blocks makes a later date possible: this sort of stylistic mingling between the Baroque and the Palladian was very common in the mid 18th century in the Bristol area, from which Knight haled. The house was certainly never finished, being described as 'the shell part only of an intended Mansion House', and was apparently not altered by Jacob Knight's son, Thomas, who when he came to sell it in the 1780s he claimed it had 'cost his father, erected as it now stands, near £3,000'.

Daylesford House: an early 19th century sketch showing the house soon after completion. Image: Thomas Lloyd.
The purchaser, in a deal eventually concluded in 1788, was Warren Hastings, an 'Indian nabob' who had been Governor-General of Bengal, and who was a grandson of the Penyston Hastings who had been obliged to sell the estate in 1715. Despite the uncertainty surrounding Hastings' future during an impeachment trial on 27 dubious charges of embezzlement, cruelty and the abuse of power, which lasted from 1788-95, he had retained an architect and a landscape gardener within six months of completing the purchase. His architect was Samuel Pepys Cockerell, a young man who perhaps came to Hastings' notice through the fact that both his brothers were in service with the East India Company. (It has often been suggested that S.P. Cockerell came to Hastings' notice because his brother John owned the nearby Sezincote estate, but John Cockerell did not buy Sezincote until 1792, when Hastings' agent, William Walford, acted for him). Cockerell was given the task of taking the incomplete shell of the Knight house at Daylesford and completing it in a suitably modern and sumptuous style. He began by adding an attic storey to the existing centre block and shaving the keystones and sills off all the visible windows. The most important façade was intended to be, and remains, the west front, although this has never been the entrance side. Here Cockerell added a broad curved bay, capped by a shallow dome with a copper ball and spike of vaguely exotic suggestion. The details are largely French in inspiration, and this front can be compared with Rousseau's Hôtel de Salm in Paris, 1784 85, which Cockerell may perhaps have known.

Daylesford House: the west front in 1985. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

Daylesford House: south and east fronts in 1950. Image: Historic England.

The south front has a much more straightforward, late Palladian feel, and could easily have been designed by Cockerell's former master, Sir Robert Taylor. It has indeed been suggested that another architect was responsible for this front, but the evidence of the plan of 1786 and of an entry in Hastings' diary for 11 April 1789, recording 'Library only 13 feet high' - the Library being the central room on this side - seem conclusive evidence that this front was part of Cockerell's work. It is framed by two canted bays, added to the two pavilion wings projecting from the Knight house on this side, whilst in between is a flat front of three bays. This was the original entrance side, but when a terrace was formed in front of it in the 1850s, the entrance was moved to the east front. The east elevation is different again, the plainness of the early 18th century core being least disguised on this side, where Cockerell's main adaptation was to form a single storey corridor projection between the wings. The large, Italianate central porch dates from after 1853, when this became the entrance.

Daylesford House: the east front and orangery in 1985. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

The interior of the house as Cockerell decorated and Hastings furnished it was both rich and exotic, but the rooms have been much altered and the original furnishings dispersed. The entrance through the south front led into an octagonal hall in the rustic, which is strikingly reminiscent of Taylor's entrance hall at Sharpham House, Devon. From this there was access into a grand staircase that ascended to the piano nobile and also extended to the first floor. This was removed in the 19th century, when the space into which it rose became known as the Gallery.
Daylesford House: detail of the chimneypiece now in the saloon. Image: Historic England.
The main reception rooms were along the south front, and consisted of a saloon in the south-west bay, a library in the centre, and a drawing room in the south-east corner. The saloon had until the 1980s a chimneypiece with an exquisite relief of Old Father Thames, which was perhaps that supplied by John Bacon in 1796 for £225. This has now been moved upstairs to the Dome Room, and another, depicting two elephants pouring a libation over a goddess, installed in this room.

Daylesford Park: the drawing room chimneypiece.
The drawing room has an even richer chimneypiece, carved by Sir Thomas Banks and supplied in 1792, which depicts an Indian sacrificial scene, and has Indian female figures as supporters on either side. The Indian tone of this chimneypiece was undoubtedly appropriate, since the room contained Hastings' suites of gilt ivory furniture and other very ornate furnishings, described in a sale catalogue of 1853. The library, in the centre of the south front, was the largest room in Hastings' day, and was no doubt always used as a reception room. It housed only 2,500 books, and in 1853 had an important suite of painted armchairs by Ince and Mayhew as well. The Dome Room, on the first floor, was Mrs. Hastings' cabinet or boudoir, and must always have been the most dramatic room in the house. It is a large circular room behind the bow on the west front, and its dome is a false ceiling with an oculus at the centre, through which a further ceiling painted to resemble sky can be seen. The room is decorated in Cockerell's elegant French neo-Classical style. The walls have thin colonnettes, which burst into ostrich feather capitals supporting a delicate frieze. The dome itself is decorated with leaf mouldings that divide it into alternate broad and narrow segments. The broad ones are then further decorated with medallions and panels.

The park at Daylesford was of almost equal interest with the house to Warren Hastings, who employed John Davenport as his landscape gardener from 1788-91. As early as January 1789 Davenport was instructed to build the garden walls and hot house, and to start laying out the pleasure and flower gardens. Work on the lake and stream continued until 1795, but by then Davenport had been dismissed for attempting to commit Hastings to expensive and grandiose schemes which had not been approved. The construction of an unwanted bridge over the Upper Pond was a particular bone of contention, and although it was apparently built, it does not survive. Davenport's most important surviving contribution is undoubtedly the large and very pretty Gothick orangery, which was completed by spring 1790, and which was until recently attributed to Cockerell.

Daylesford House: the orangery in 1985. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.
Warren Hastings died in 1818 at the great age of 86, and his wife lived on at Daylesford until her death, aged 90, in 1837. Her son (Hastings' stepson), General Sir Charles Imhoff, then owned the house until his death in 1853, when it was sold and the contents dispersed. The purchaser, a stockbroker called Harman Grisewood, employed Robert Trollope to adapt the house for Victorian country house life. The entrance was moved to the east front and a new entrance hall made. The original staircase was removed, and a smaller oak one inserted in the centre of the house. The room under the Dome Room became a dining room and was decorated in a Pompeiian style. The changes impeded the flow of the plan but increased the total number of reception rooms.

In 1874 Daylesford was bought by R. Nichol Byass, a sherry importer, and on his death it was acquired by C.E. Baring Young MP. On the death of his brother, Arthur Young, the house was sold and it stood empty at the outbreak of the Second World War. During hostilities, it was occupied by soldiers, and it was in very poor condition when acquired by Viscount Rothermere in 1946. He carried out a full restoration, with Philip Jebb as architect and John Fowler as decorator, in 1960-63. In 1978, however, the house became the English home of Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza who expunged much of Fowler's decoration in favour of an unsympathetic scheme by Renzo Mongiardino, an Italian decorator. In 1988, the house was bought by Sir Anthony & Lady Bamford, who returned to the firm of Colefax and Fowler for the restoration of the character of the house. Their work included the replacement of the Victorian stair with a more appropriate cantilevered one executed in Portland stone. The restoration has also extended to the grounds, where the orangery was restored and the walled garden created by John Davenport and the adjoining rose garden were replanned in 1989 by Lady Mary Keen, with a new orchid house designed by Philip Jebb.

Descent: Penyston Hastings sold 1715 to Jacob Knight; to son, Thomas Knight; sold 1788 to Warren Hastings (1732-1818); to widow (d. 1837) and then his stepson, Gen. Sir Charles Imhoff (d. 1853); sold after his death to Harman Grisewood; sold 1874 to R. Nicholl Byass (d. c.1884); sold after his death to Charles Edward Baring Young MP (1850-1928); to brother, Arthur Young (d. 1936); requisitioned for military use in WW2; sold 1946 to Esmond Cecil Harmsworth (1898-1978), 2nd Viscount Rothermere; sold 1978 to Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza (1921-2002); sold 1988 to Sir Anthony Bamford (b. 1945), kt., later Baron Bamford, and Lady Bamford.

Wootton Grange, Staffordshire

A five-bay two-storey classical house with a hipped roof, built on a greenfield site on the opposite site of Waste Lane to Wootton Lodge. It was designed by Digby Harris of Francis Johnson & Partners in 1986-95 as a dower house for Wootton Lodge, and was occupied by Marjorie Bamford until her death in 2003. The house has a service court at the rear.

Bamford family of Hawthornden Manor, Wootton Lodge and Daylesford Park

Bamford, Henry (1818-96). Son of John Bamford (1775-1862) of Hoar Cross (Staffs), builder and joiner, and his wife Mary Jones (d. 1830), born 12 November 1818 and baptised at Needwood RC church, 14 November 1819. In 1845 his father-in-law bought him premises in Uttoxeter in which to run an ironmongery business (later the Uttoxeter Agricultural Co.). In 1871 he assisted his son Samuel with the founding of Henry Bamford & Sons, agricultural implement makers, although he remained engaged with the ironmongery business. He married, 6 February 1844 at Alton Towers (Staffs), Julia (c.1822-86), only daughter of Samuel Brassington of Uttoxeter, cooper, and had issue*:
(1) Samuel Brassington Bamford (1845-1932) (q.v.);
(2) Julia Maria Brassington Bamford (1847-52), born 1 October and baptised at Uttoxeter, 3 November 1847; died young, Jul-Sept 1852;
(3) Henry Brassington Bamford (1849-1928), baptised at Uttoxeter RC church, 20 October 1849; partner in Henry Bamford & Sons from 1878; lived at Park House, Stafford; JP for Staffordshire; married, 7 February 1878 at Stafford RC church, Mary (1847-1943), daughter of Francis Emery of Cobridge (Staffs), and had issue one son and four daughters; died 29 April 1928; will proved 28 August 1928 (estate £67,058);
(4) John Bamford (1851-52), baptised at Uttoxeter RC church, 17 August 1851; died in infancy, Jan-Mar 1852;
(5) John Bamford (1853-1918), baptised at Uttoxeter RC church, 2o March 1853; a partner in Henry Bamford & Sons; JP for Staffordshire; lived at Oldfields Hall, Uttoxeter; married, 1883, Mary Sutton (1852-1919), daughter of Henry Orme Hawthorne, and had issue one son (Henry John Bamford (1891-1947), a director of the company from 1919) and two daughters; died 16 April 1918; will proved 12 December 1918 (estate £47,274);
(6) Julia Mary Bamford (1854-1938), baptised at Uttoxeter RC church, 21 May 1854; lived in Walsall (Staffs); died unmarried, 31 July 1938; will proved 8 October 1938 (estate £31,321);
(7) Frances Mary Bamford (1856-1940), baptised at Uttoxeter RC church, 13 March 1856; married, 1899, Dr. John Joseph Lynch MD (c.1859-1926) of Walsall (Staffs), but had no issue; died 22 February 1940; will proved 23 July 1940 (estate £24,288);
(8) Charles Robert Bamford (1857-58), born 25 December 1857 and baptised at Uttoxeter RC church, 1 January 1858; died in infancy, Jan-Mar 1858;
(9) Charles Robert Bamford (1859-1924), born 7 March and baptised at Uttoxeter RC church, 13 March 1859; physician and surgeon (MRCS 1882; LRCP) who retired from practice c.1900; lived at The Hermitage, Uttoxeter; married, 8 February 1893 at St James RC church, Spanish Place, London, Ellen Mary Faulkner (c.1864-1931), but had no issue; died 4 January 1924; will proved 29 April 1924 (estate £10,572);
(10) Joseph Bamford (1860-1936) (q.v.);
(11) Robert Bamford (1864-1934), baptised at Uttoxeter, 14 August 1864; a partner in Henry Bamford & Sons Ltd.; lived at Weaver Lodge, Uttoxeter; married, Oct-Dec 1893 at Roscrea (Ireland), Jane Frances Louisa (1871-1931), daughter of James Lewis Somers, but had no issue; died 20 September 1934; will proved 22 January 1935 (estate £37,862);
(12) Thomas Bamford (1866-1936), baptised 7 March 1866; educated at University College, London (MB), physician and surgeon (MRCS, 1891; LRCP, 1891); medical officer of health for Uttoxeter; lived at Enville House, Ballance St., Uttoxeter; married, 1896 Mary (k/a Polly) (1866-1953), daughter of James Bill of Hanley (Staffs), and had issue one daughter; died 3 March 1936; will proved 22 May 1936 (estate £3,294).
He lived in the Market Place at Uttoxeter (Staffs).
He died 27 October and was buried at Uttoxeter, 30 October 1896; will proved 12 February 1897 (estate £14,056). His wife was buried at Uttoxeter, 1 April 1886.
* There are said to have been 13 children of the marriage but I can only trace 12.

Bamford, Samuel Brassington (1845-1932). Eldest son of Henry Bamford (1818-96) and his wife Julia, daughter of Samuel Brassington of Uttoxeter, cooper, born 22 November and baptised at Uttoxeter, 5 December 1845. After leaving school, he joined his father's ironmongery business, but he showed a talent for inventions and innovation, and in 1871 he established Henry Bamford & Sons with the help of his father to manufacture tools, some of his own design. From about 1878 he was in partnership with his brothers John, Henry, Joseph and Robert, and in 1916 the firm became a limited company. From 1920 the firm began to manufacture stationery engines as well as agricultural equipment. Samuel remained chairman until his death in 1932. JP for Staffordshire from 1894. He married, 1st, Apr-Jun 1875, Dorothy Bond Hawthorn (1842-1910), and 2nd, 3 February 1912 at St Edmund RC church, Southampton, Annie Mary (d. 1961), daughter of Dr. Farmer of Hexham (Northbld), and had issue:
(1.1) Henry Bernard Bamford (1876-1955) (q.v.);
(1.2) Oswald Joseph Bamford (1877-1915), baptised at Uttoxeter, 6 May 1877; married, 14 April 1910 at Our Lady of Victories, Kensington (Middx), Olga Daisy Beatrice (who m2, [forename unknown] Harrison), daughter of Michael Sefi of Kensington, and had issue two daughters; killed in action at the battle of Loos in the First World War, 13 October 1915; administration of goods granted to his widow, 13 May 1916 (estate £14,085);
(1.3) Fr. Julian Hawthorn Bamford (1879-1932), baptised at Uttoxeter, 27 April 1879; educated at Stonyhurst College and St Cuthbert's College, Durham; ordained a Roman Catholic priest, 1905; priest at Leamington Spa, 1908-15, 1919-33; war chaplain, 1915-19; died unmarried, 15 December 1932; will proved 17 February 1933 (estate £7,862);
(1.4) Alban Aloysius Bamford (1883-1944), baptised at Uttoxeter, 24 June 1883; educated at Stonyhurst College; by 1939 a patient at Claybury Mental Hospital, Ilford (Essex), where he died unmarried, 30 May 1944; administration of goods granted 12 September 1944 (estate £6,348);
(1.5) Gilbert John Bamford (1885-91), baptised at Uttoxeter, 22 November 1885; died young, 9 February and was buried at Uttoxeter RC cemetery, 13 February 1891;
(2.1) Raymund Joseph Aloysius Bamford (1913-2009), born 25 February 1913; educated at Nottingham University College (DipEE, 1936); electrical engineer; served in the Indian army (Lt.) during Second World War; died unmarried, 14 March 2009; will proved 8 April 2009;
(2.2) Anne Maud Theresa Bamford (1916-2007), born 27 July 1916; married 1st, 11 July 1935 at Uttoxeter RC church, Philip Francis Kent (1905-60) of Haregate Hall, Leek (Staffs), pottery manufacturer, second son of James Kent of The Mount, Stone (Staffs); married 2nd, Jan-Mar 1946, Edward William Bell Wade (1915-84), son of Charles Oliver Wade, and had issue two daughters; died 18 June 2007; will proved 11 September 2007.
He built Hawthornden Manor, Uttoxeter, for his own occupation c.1890 and lived there until his death.
He died 8 February 1932 and was buried at Uttoxeter RC Cemetery; his will was proved 25 May 1932 (estate £78,178). His first wife died 23 August 1910; administration of her goods was granted 7 October 1910 (estate £244). His widow died 3 October 1961; her will was proved 20 February 1962 (estate £36,501).

Bamford, Henry Bernard (1876-1955). Eldest son of Samuel Brassington Bamford (1845-1932) and his first wife Dorothy Bond Hawthorn, born 12 June and baptised at Uttoxeter, 15 June 1876. He joined Henry Bamford & Sons Ltd after leaving school, and became managing director from 1919 and, Chairman, 1936-55. He married, 18 July 1907 at St James RC church, Twickenham (Middx), Maddalena Letitia (1884-1960), daughter of Benedicto Giovanno Longinotto, and had issue:
(1) Maddalena Letitia Dorothea Bamford (1907-91), born 19 October and baptised at Uttoxeter, 26 October 1907; married, 25 June 1936 at Uttoxeter RC church, Dr. William Herbert Cotton Croft MD (1905-90), son of Dr. J.T.H. Croft of Mary Mount, Coventry (Warks), and had issue three daughters; died 23 July 1991 and was buried at Avon Dassett (Warks); will proved 25 October 1991 (estate £298,919);
(2) Henry Vincent B. Bamford (1910-2004), born 13 August 1910; educated at Downside; joined Bamfords Ltd in 1928 and was a director from 1937; during the Second World War he joined the Royal Artillery (2nd Lt., 1939) but was released from service to act as works director of the company, later managing director and Chairman, 1955-67; married, Jan-Mar 1948, Marion Lee (1910-2006), daughter of Richard Runciman Terry, organist and choirmaster at Westminster Cathedral, and widow of Adrian Morgan Squire (1910-40), electrical engineer, but had no issue; died 22 February 2004; will proved 22 June 2004;
(3) Richard Hawthorn Bamford (1913-2004), born 19 April 1913; educated at Downside and Nottingham University College; joined Bamfords Ltd in 1935 and became a director from 1948, but served in Second World War with Royal Artillery (2nd Lt., 1939; prisoner of war); Associate of Institute of Mechanical Engineers, 1939; married, 1970, Miriam Barbara Bauer (1921-2001), but had no issue; died 14 October 2004; will proved 20 April 2005;
(4) Oswald Joseph Bamford (1917-57), born 12 October 1917; brewer; an officer in the army during the Second World War (Capt.); married, 16 November 1946 at St James' RC church, Spanish Place, London, Angela M.E. Bodega of Edgware (Middx), and had issue one son; died 26 June 1957; will proved 31 January 1958 (estate £33,243).
He lived at Eaton Lodge, Doveridge (Derbys).
He died 22 July 1955; his will was proved 27 October 1955 (estate £47,104). His widow died 11 July 1960; her will was proved 23 March 1961 (estate £15,713).


Bamford, Joseph (1860-1936). Seventh son of Henry Bamford (1819-96) and his wife Julia, daughter of Samuel Brassington of Uttoxeter, cooper, baptised at Uttoxeter, 11 August 1860. Agricultural engineer and inventor; a partner in Bamfords Ltd. from 1878; manager of the Lichfield Agricultural Co. subsidiary, 1883-1905; chairman, 1932-36. Among his inventions was an improved cash register. Sheriff of Lichfield, 1899-1900; JP for Staffordshire, 1920-36. He married, 10 November 1883 at Stoke-on-Trent RC church, Ellen Frances (1859-1940), daughter of Thomas Henry Emery of Stoke-on-Trent, and had issue:
(1) Cyril Joseph Bamford (1885?-1951) (q.v.);
(2) Ethel Mary Bamford (b. 1885), born 31 December 1885 and baptised at Holy Cross, Lichfield (Staffs), 3 January 1886; joined Bellerive Convent, a Roman Catholic teaching convent in Liverpool before 1911; living at Poles Convent School, Ware (Herts) as an invalid in 1939, but death not traced;
(3) Gerald Wilfred Bamford (1888-1930), born Apr-Jun 1888; joined Bamfords Ltd. about 1905; married, 21 May 1913, Dorothy Millicent (1889-1985), daughter of Alfred Henry Scott, grocer, and had issue one daughter; died at St Andrew's Mental Hospital, Northampton, 27 May 1930; administration of his goods granted 20 November 1930 (estate £20,445);
(4) Julia Winifred Bamford (1890-1956), born 30 September and baptised at Holy Cross, Lichfield, 7 October 1890; died unmarried, 6 February 1956; administration of goods granted, 2 July 1956 (estate £2,024).
He lived at St Mary's Mount, Uttoxeter (Staffs).
He died 20 December 1936; his will was proved 27 February 1937 (estate £64,030). His widow died 18 October 1940; her will was proved 4 February 1941 (estate £4,181).

Bamford, Cyril Joseph (1885?-1951). Elder son of Joseph Bamford (1860-1936) and his wife Ellen Frances, daughter of Thomas Henry Emery of Stoke-on-Trent, born 16 July 1885?* He joined Bamfords Ltd about 1905 and was a director from 1919. He married, 23 November 1914 at Bilbao (Spain), Dolores Alicia (1889-1966), daughter of J. Turner of the Plaza Eliptica, Bilbao, and had issue:
(1) Joseph Cyril Bamford (1916-2001) (q.v.);
(2) Edgar Cyril Bamford (1918-20), born about January 1918; died young, 10 April and was buried at Uttoxeter RC Cemetery, 12 April 1920;
(3) Rupert Cyril Bamford (1920-2009), born Jul-Sept 1920; joined Bamfords Ltd. in 1945 and became a director from 1948; married, Oct-Dec 1961, Marianne J. Bennett (1928-2011); died 23 November 2009; will proved 4 March 2010;
(4) David Charles Bamford (1926-95), born 17 August 1926; joined Bamfords Ltd after the Second World War; married, 1953, Anne Graham (1927-2012), and had issue two sons and two daughters; died at Pembury (Kent), 30 December 1995; will proved 7 March 1996.
He lived at The Parks, Uttoxeter (Staffs).
He died 19 August 1951; will proved 13 November 1951 (estate £78,386). His widow died 14 July 1966; her will was proved 15 November 1966 (estate £24,147).
* His date of birth seems not be recorded in any contemporary sources. Later sources give the date stated here, but this is only five months before the birth of his sister, which is recorded in contemporary sources. The 1939 register gives this date but it was amended later to 1888, an equally implausible date as it would conflict with the birth of his brother.

J.C. Bamford (1916-2001) 
Bamford, Joseph Cyril (1916-2001).
Eldest son of Cyril Joseph Bamford (1885-1951) and his wife Dolores Alicia Turner, born 21 June 1916. Educated at Stonyhurst College. After leaving school he joined Alfred Herbert & Co., of Coventry, machine tool manufacturers, and became their representative in the Gold Coast (now Ghana). In 1938 he returned to England and joined the family agricultural engineering business, Bamfords Ltd. From 1941-44 he served with the Royal Air Force, returning to the Gold Coast to run a staging post for USAF planes being ferried to the Middle East. In 1945 he established his own business manufacturing heavy plant and machinery for the agricultural and construction sectors. The prominent 'JCB' logo and distinctive yellow livery used on all his products after 1951 made the business a household name, while a focus on innovation and customer service, and an obsessive personal attention to detail ensured that his firm grew rapidly. 
At the time of his death, JCB was the largest privately owned engineering company in Britain, employing 4,500 people and manufacturing 30,000 machines a year in twelve factories on three continents. It had revenues of £850m in 1999, earned from 140 countries. Bamford was a 20th century echo of the sort of entrepreneur whom Samuel Smiles admired in the 19th century: a non-smoking teetotaller who routinely worked fourteen hours a day and who took a paternalistic approach to his workforce, paying generous wages and developing Rocester (Staffs) as a company village surrounded by a 10,000 acre estate where his employees were free to shoot, fish, swim and sail. He refused to recognise trade unions, but was rewarded for his generosity by his workforce with remarkable loyalty, flexibility and productivity. He retired in 1975 and subsequently transferred half of the company to his two sons and placed the other half in trust for himself and his partner, Jayne Ellis, for life. He was appointed CBE, 1969, and awarded honorary degrees by the Universities of Loughborough (DTech, 1989), Buckingham (DBA 1991), Sheffield (DEng, 1992), Warwick (DSc 1998) and Keele (DTech, 2000). He married, Jan-Mar 1942 (sep. 1975), Marjorie (1918-2003), daughter of William Henry Griffin, labourer, and had issue:
(1) Anthony Paul Bamford (b. 1945), kt., Baron Bamford (q.v.);
(2) Mark Joseph Cyril Bamford (b. 1951), born June 1951; educated at Millfield School; entered JCB, c.1970 and is a director of eight companies within the J.C. Bamford Group as well as as having shipping and investment interests; a board member of The Conservative Foundation Ltd.
After leaving his wife he moved to Switzerland as a tax exile, where he set up home with his former secretary, Jayne (b. c.1946), formerly wife of Gordon Ellis.
He purchased Wootton Lodge c.1960. After 1975 he lived on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland and had a holiday home on Majorca.
He died in a London clinic, 1 March 2001; his will was proved 20 April 2004. His widow died 25 December 2003; her will was proved 16 September 2004 and 20 June 2006. His partner, who inherited his Swiss and Spanish properties and a life interest in half of the JCB company, married, 2010 in Majorca (Spain), Robert Jansen.

Anthony Bamford, Lord Bamford 
Bamford, Anthony Paul (b. 1945), kt., Baron Bamford.
Elder son of Joseph Cyril Bamford (1916-2001) and his wife Marjorie, daughter of William Henry Griffin, born 23 October 1945. Educated at Ampleforth and Grenoble Univ. He joined JCB in 1964 and succeeded his father as Chairman and Managing Director of the J.C. Bamford Group, 1975. He was also a director of Tarmac plc, 1988-94, a member of the Design Council, 1987-88, and a member of the president's committee of the Confederation of British Industry, 1986-88. He was President of the Staffordshire Agricultural Society, 1987-88 and of Burton-on-Trent Conservative Association, 1987-90, and was 
elected a Fellow of the Institute of Agricultural Engineers, 2003. High Sheriff of Staffordshire, 1985-86; DL for Staffordshire, 1989. He was knighted in 1990, and raised to a life peerage as Baron Bamford of Daylesford and Wootton, 2013; he also holds several foreign orders. He received several awards for entrepreneurship and for exports and holds honorary degrees from the Universities of Birmingham (MEng, 1987), Keele (DUniv, 1988), Cranfield (DSc, 1994), Robert Gordon Univ, Aberdeen (BDA, 1996), Staffordshire (DTech, 1998) and Loughborough (DTech, 2002). He married 1st, 1971 at St John's RC Chapel, Alton (Staffs), Gillian Caroline Weston Shenton (1946-72), and 2nd, 1974, Carole Gray Whitt (b. 1946), founder of Daylesford Organic, racehorse owner and philanthropist, and had issue:
(2.1) Hon. Alice Camille Bamford (b. 1976), born in Washington DC (USA), April 1976; film and record producer and biodynamic farmer at One Gun Ranch, Malibu, California (USA); in a partnership with Ann Eysenring, estate agent; they have a son and daughter;
(2.2) Hon. Joseph Cyril Edward Bamford (b. 1977), born in Baltimore (USA), 21 December 1977; educated at Edinburgh University (BA); joined JCB in about 2005 (director since 2009); also director of many other companies, especially in the renewable energy field; bought Tidmington House (Warks) in 2008; married, September 2007 at Chelsea Old Church (Middx), Alexandra V., knitwear designer, daughter of Anthony Giles Spencer Gore-Browne of London, and has issue one son and one daughter;
(2.3) Hon. George Harry Anthony Bamford (b. 1980), born December 1980; founder of the Bamford Watch department; married, 30 May 2008 at St John's Cathedral, Limerick, Leonora Greta, daughter of David B. Pearl of Ballyneale House (Co. Limerick) and has issue two sons and one daughter.
He lived with his first wife at Farley Hall (Staffs). He purchased Daylesford House in 1998, and restored both the house and grounds. He inherited Wootton Lodge from his father in 2001. He also owns a house in Barbados and a chateau in Provence.
Now living. His first wife was killed in a car crash, 23 January 1972; administration of her goods was granted 1 January 1973 (estate £600). His second wife is now living.

Principal sources

Debrett's Peerage & Baronetage, 2015, p. P82; J.P. Neale, Views of Seats, series 1, vol. 5.; V.C.H. Worcs, ii, pp. 336‑37; M. Girouard, Robert Smythson and the Elizabethan country house, 2nd edn, 1983, pp. 199-204; A. Ginger, 'Daylesford House and Warren Hastings', Georgian Group Report and Journal, 1989, pp. 80‑101; N.W. Kingsley, The country houses of Gloucestershire: vol. 2, 1660-1830, 1992, pp. 113-17; M. Girouard, Elizabethan architecture, 2009, pp. 380-82; article on J.C. Bamford in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Location of archives

Henry Bamford & Sons Ltd: catalogues and miscellaneous papers, c.1880-1970 [Museum of English Rural Life, Reading University, TR BAM]
I assume that family papers remain with the family and records of companies in the JCB Group at the corporate headquarters in Rocester (Staffs).

Coat of arms

Bamford, Baron Bamford: Gules a sword erect proper, pommel and hilt or, surrounded by a fess wavy erminois; in chief two cross crosslets fitchee or.

Can you help?

  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide photographs or portraits of people whose names appear in bold above.
  • If anyone can offer further information or corrections I should be most grateful. I am always particularly pleased to hear from current owners or the descendants of families associated with a property who can supply information from their own research or personal knowledge for inclusion.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 24 October 2021.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

(471) Baesh alias Bashe of Stanstead Bury

Baesh of Stanstead Bury
This account of the Baesh family of Stanstead Bury (Hertfordshire) has perforce to leave a great deal uncertain. Not only are the family unusually difficult to trace in the records because of the bewildering variety of ways in which their name is spelt
 (Bashe, Bash, Baesh, Baeshe, Basshe and Baesshe are common and Bache, Bacsh and other variants are also found), but the fact that the Stanstead Abbots parish registers do not survive before 1679 means that much basic genealogical detail is absent. It follows that if anyone is able to add even trivial details to the biographies below from other sources, I shall be most grateful to receive the information.

Like so many of the newly wealthy families of Tudor England, the Baeshes rose to prominence through the talent-spotting prowess of Henry VIII's ministers. Edward Baesh (c.1507-87), with whom the genealogy below begins, was one of Thomas Cromwell's recruits to royal service. Unfortunately his origins are obscure, as there would seem to have been two nearly contemporary men of the same name who were educated respectively at Lyon's Inn and the Inner Temple, and were granted arms in 1550 and 1572. According to the Visitation of Hertfordshire, the Edward we are concerned with was the eldest son of Alexander Baesh, but the Visitation of London says Alexander died without issue, and that Edward was the son of Richard Baesh of Worcester. The latter seems more likely to be correct, since it accords with the biographical information given in a later lampoon, the 'Libell written against Baeshe', in which his early life was set out in exotic and, no doubt, largely fictitious detail. The anonymous author, who seems to have been a rival for the affections of Baesh's second wife Jane, mocked him as 'the new made squire of Stansted', for his humble origins, and for his alleged taste for strong ale. The first official appointment in which he can be traced was in 1538 as deputy secretary to the Council for the Marches of Wales, but by 1545 he had begun working on the victualling of the navy, and he became joint Surveyor of Victualling in 1547 and sole Surveyor in 1550. He continued in post through the reign of Queen Mary I and was confirmed in office by Queen Elizabeth I in 1560. In April 1565 the victualling service was reorganized and the surveyor was given a contract to provide for a given number of men at fixed rates, rather than an annual salary. Inflation in food prices made this challenging for Baesh, and he complained constantly about the difficulty of operating within the budget, even though the per capita rate was twice raised. He seems, however, to have been honest and effective, as there were few complaints about the victuals he provided, and he contrived to prosper sufficiently to invest in property. He held the Surveyorship until 1582, when he retired, although he continued to shower unsolicited advice on naval matters on the Lord Treasurer, Lord Burghley.

Throughout his career, Baesh was assiduous in acquiring lands as a way of investing his steadily growing capital. His earliest acquisitions were the the rectory and advowson of Feltham (Middx) in 1549, and in 1550 the manor of Cullynges in Hertfordshire. He lived in London at this time but in about 1556, he moved to Hertfordshire, and became a JP for the county. In 1559 he bought the manor of Stanstead Abbotts (Herts) and also teamed up with his fellow navy official, Sir William Winter, to buy lands in the Forest of Dean and Dorset, and he later acquired other small properties scattered around the Home Counties, most of which were later sold. He settled at Stanstead Bury, where he remodelled and enlarged the house, so that he was able to entertain Queen Elizabeth there on two occasions in 1571 and 1576.

According to his monument at Stanstead Abbotts, Baesh had two sons and three daughters by his second marriage. His will suggests that only his widow and the two sons survived at the time of his death, and neither of the sons lived very long. The elder, Ralph Baesh (d. 1598) was, however, married while still a child, and left one surviving son, Sir Edward Baesh (1594-1653), kt.  Ralph's widow married a neighbour, Sir George Manners (c.1580-1641), who in 1532 inherited the earldom of Rutland. Manners seems to have been largely responsible for Edward's upbringing, and it was no doubt his influence which secured Edward's knighthood in 1616 and his election to Parliament for seats in Lincolnshire, where the Manners influence was strong. Although he married twice, Sir Edward produced no children, and on his death in 1653 his estates passed, under a settlement of 1635, to his kinsman, Sir Ralph Bashe (d. c.1663).

At the time when the settlement of 1635 was drawn up, Sir Edward's heir presumptive was Edward, son of Nicholas Bashe (d. 1591) of Stanstead St. Margarets (Herts), whose precise relationship to Sir Edward is unclear, as Nicholas Bashe's origins are obscure. The Visitation of Hertfordshire makes him the son of Alexander Baesh and the brother of Edward Baesh (c.1507-87), but there is evidently some confusion here. He was married in or before 1563 to Dorothy, the daughter of William Tooke (1508-88), auditor of the Court of Wards and Liveries, so it seems possible that he was a generation younger than Edward (c.1507-87). He is unlikely to be Edward's son by his first wife - although this would fit chronologically - as he is not mentioned in Edward's will, and there is no mention of him on Edward's monument. Perhaps his father was Alexander, who might have been a brother or half-brother of Edward (c.1507-87)?

By the time Sir Edward died in 1653 his cousin Edward had died, and the operation of the entail brought the Stanstead Bury estate to Edward's son, Ralph or Rafe Bashe (c.1623-c.1663), who had been an enthusiastic Royalist in the Civil War and had amassed heavy debts as a result. When the Restoration came he was - like so many loyal supporters - rewarded with honours rather than cash, being made a Knight of the Bath in 1661. In the same year he obtained an act of parliament allowing him to sell part of his settled estate. He died shortly afterwards, probably in 1663, leaving a widow and a son and daughter. His son, Sir Edward Bashe (c.1653-1708), was educated at Cambridge and married in 1671 to Anne Wade of Battles, Manuden (Essex). He inherited a poor financial position from his father, and it seems to have got rapidly worse, so that in 1678 he was obliged to sell the remainder of the Stanstead Bury estate. In 1677, he is recorded as joining the army as an ensign, but there is no record of his promotion and his career was probably brief. By 1698 he was said to have sold all his property, and to be 'very poor', and he was involved in a series of legal cases about his wife's interest in the Battles estate. With his death without issue in 1708 and that of his widow in 1714, the line of the landowning Bashes came to an end.

Stanstead Bury, Stanstead Abbotts, Hertfordshire

The house as it stands is a complex and confusing building, with work of successive periods so overlaid one upon another that very little of the medieval and 16th century house is now apparent. Fortunately, the house has been thoroughly investigated by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, and the account that follows is largely a precis of their analysis.

The manor belonged to Waltham Abbey until 1531, and the oldest part of the present house - the 15th century west end of the south range - was presumably built by the abbey or one of its tenants. The surviving work of this date seems to be part of a open hall house with a crown post roof (although the tie beams and crown posts do not survive). In 1531 the manor was exchanged with the Crown for lands in Essex, and soon afterwards Henry VIII gave Stanstead Abbotts to Anne Boleyn, although it reverted to the Crown after Anne's execution in 1536. The estate was, however, let, first to John Rodes (c.1522-42) and later to Philip Paris. It was most probably Rodes who made the first known alterations to the house, building a brick range to the east of, and at right-angles to, the earlier hall, with a principal floor built above an undercroft. The depth of the block (22 feet) suggests it may have been built as a new hall range, which would imply a complete reworking of the older house to provide new service accommodation. In 1556 it was said that 'the manor place is in decay and will ask much reparation in timber and tiling', and in 1559 Queen Elizabeth I granted the estate to Edward Baesh (c.1507-87). He evidently restored and extended the house, for in 1571 and 1576 he was able to entertain the Queen and her entourage at Stanstead. Baesh's addition, perhaps of 1563 (the date on some reset stained glass) was a large square block to the north, probably comprising a parlour with a great chamber above and a cellar below. A timber-framed stair turret containing a fine newel stair provided access between the floors. Baesh was probably also responsible for the construction of a two-storey gatehouse, entered through a four-centred arch.

Stanstead Bury: an engraving of the house from the east by J. Drapentier, published in Chauncy's history of Hertfordshire in 1700.
Note the gatehouse on the left and the second house peeking out from behind the main building.
At some point in the late 16th or early 17th century, a second house was built next to the main building. Although examples of this 'one site, two houses' arrangement are found occasionally in vernacular buildings - for example where two brothers inherited a farm jointly and built separate houses for their families - it is almost unheard of in high status buildings, where it would be more usual to provide separate apartments within a single structure, or to build two houses a substantial distance apart. The principal rooms of the second house were evidently on the first floor, for a view of c.1800 shows large mullioned and transomed windows on the upper floor, and four light mullioned windows on the ground floor. The appearance implies a 16th century origin for the building, with later improvements to the upper floor, perhaps in the early 17th century. It is possible that the second house was constructed originally to form additional lodgings in order to accommodate the royal retinue when Queen Elizabeth visited; an alternative context would be that it was built to provide a home for Edward Baesh's widow Jane (d. 1614), who is known to have remained at Stanstead Bury after her husband's death.

Stanstead Bury: the house in 1798, before the demolition of the second house and the reconstruction of the south wing.
Image: Historic England/estate of A.G. Trower.
Sir Ralph Baesh paid tax on 35 hearths in 1662 and two years later his widow paid tax on 39 hearths, so the two buildings together made a very substantial property. The Baesh family sold the house in 1678 to Sir Thomas Field (d. 1689), and his son Edward Field remodelled the north range to create a new, regular, seven bay east front in the first years of the 18th century. His facade has a three-bay centre supporting a pediment and dormer windows with alternate triangular and segmental pediments. Inside, a fine large staircase hall occupies the left hand two bays of the new block, with a drawing room in the centre and a dining room beyond it.

In 1794 the house was sold away from its estate to George Porter, from whom it passed to Capt. Robert Jocelyn RN, and it was probably he who remodelled the eastern end of the south front as a three bay two-storey block with floor levels matching those of the 18th century block. It had a three-bay south front with windows in arched recesses, and a new entrance which continued in use as the main front door until 1930. Jocelyn is also believed to have demolished the second house to the south-west.

Stanstead Bury: the west (entrance) front today, with the semi-timbered staircase tower on the right.

Stanstead Bury: the east front today, with the service wing of 1930-31 on the right.
The house was advertised to let in 1833, when it was said to have 'recently undergone a most complete and thorough repair in every respect, painted, papered. etc. in very superior style, and furnished in [a] corresponding manner', and it continued to be let throughout the 19th century. Between 1842 and 1852 it was a 'hydropathic establishment', but after that it passed to the Trower family as private tenants, who in 1907 bought the freehold. In 1930-31, Sir William Gosselin Trower carried out extensive alterations, including building a new service wing north of the existing house and moving the entrance from the south side to the west front. The house remains the property of the Trower family today.

Descent: Waltham Abbey exchanged 1531 with the Crown; granted 1532 to Anne Boleyn (d. 1536), Marchioness of Pembroke and later second wife of King Henry VIII; reverted to Crown on her attainder and execution; granted 1559 to Edward Baesh (c.1507-87); to son, Ralph Baesh (d. 1598); to son, Sir Edward Baesh (1594-1653), kt.; to kinsman, Sir Ralph Bashe (c.1623-c.1663), KB; to son, Sir Edward Bashe (c.1653-1708), kt., who sold 1678 to trustees for Sir Thomas Field (d. 1689), kt.; to son, Edmund Field; to son, Thomas Field (1701-19); to brother, Edmund Field (1704-29); to brother, Paul Field (1711-83); to first cousin once removed, William Henry Feilde (1755-1833); house sold separately from manor in 1794 to George Porter; sold 1802 to Capt. Robert Jocelyn RN (d. 1806); to son, Robert Salusbury Jocelyn (1780-1812); to mother, Elizabeth Jocelyn (d. 1817);to daughter, Caroline Mary (d. 1854), wife of Lt-Col. John Powell ffoulkes (1770-1826), who let the house from 1833. The tenant from 1852 was Capt. Edward Spencer Trower (d. 1896), whose son, Sir Walter Trower (1853-1924), kt. bought the freehold in 1907; to son, Sir William Gosselin Trower (1889-1963), kt.; to son, Anthony Gosselin Trower (1921-2005); to son, Jonathan Charles Gosselin Trower (b. 1958).

Baesh alias Bashe family of Stanstead Bury

Baesh, Edward (c.1507-87). Parentage uncertain, but possibly the eldest son of Richard or Robert Bashe of Worcester, evidently a shoemaker or shoehorn maker, and his wife Joyce, daughter of Thomas Bolte of Worcestershire, born about 1507. Educated at Lyon's Inn (admitted c.1526) or Inner Temple. He began his career as an official in the service of Thomas Cromwell, and was appointed deputy Secretary of the Council for the Marches of Wales c.1538. By 1545 he was acting as one of the agents engaged in victualling the royal navy, and he became joint Surveyor of Victuals for the Navy in 1547 and Surveyor General in 1550; his appointment being confirmed for life in 1560. In 1565 he contracted to undertake the whole of the victualling for a fixed sum per head of naval personnel, and although this sum was increased in 1575 it proved insufficient and he was for a time heavily indebted to the Crown. He was Constable of Porchester Castle and lieutenant of Southbere Forest, 1557-60, and MP for Rochester, 1554, 1559, 1563 and for Preston, 1571. JP for Hertfordshire from c.1556, and for Middlesex from 1562; High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, 1571-72 and 1584-85. He married 1st, 30 November 1538 at St. Dionis Backchurch, London, Thomasine (fl. 1567), daughter of [forename unknown] Ager*, and 2nd, 1567x1574, Jane (d. 1614), daughter of Sir Ralph Sadler (1507-87) of Standon (Herts), and had issue by his second wife, with three daughters who probably died young, as they are not mentioned in his will:
(2.1) Ralph Baesh (d. 1598) (q.v.);
(2.2) William Baesh; living in 1587 but said to have drowned under London Bridge.
He purchased Rye House in the 1540s and was granted the manor of Stanstead Abbotts in 1559, and also acquired a town house in London and estates in other counties, most of which he re-sold. He remodelled and enlarged the house at Stanstead Bury, where he twice entertained Queen Elizabeth, in 1571 and 1576.
He died 2 May 1587, and was buried at Stanstead Abbotts, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved in the PCC, 17 October 1587 and an inquisition post mortem was held in 1587. His first wife was living in 1567. His widow died 7 April 1614 and was buried with her husband; her will was proved in the PCC, 19 May 1614.
* Thus in the parish register, although it was recorded in later centuries as Baker, which is perhaps the result of aural corruption and the substitution of a familiar name for a more unusual one.

Baesh, Ralph (d. 1598). Elder son of Edward Baesh (c.1507-87) and his second wife, Jane, daughter of Sir Ralph Sadler of Standon (Herts). He married, 1586, when they were probably both children, Frances (d. 1653), daughter of Sir Edward Carey (d. 1618), kt., of Aldenham (Herts), Master of the Jewel House, and had issue:
(1) Ralph Baesh; died in infancy;
(2) Edward Baesh (1594-1653) (q.v.);
(3) William Baesh; probably died young;
(4) Frances Baesh (d. 1596); died in infancy, 20 July 1596.
He inherited the Stanstead Bury estate from his father in 1587.
He died 8 May 1598 and was buried at Stanstead Abbotts, where he is commemorated by a plaque on his father's monument. His widow married 2nd, 3 March 1605 at Aldenham (Herts), Sir George Manners (c.1580-1641) of Fulbeck (Lincs) and The Savoy, Westminster (Middx), later 7th Earl of Rutland, but had no further issue; she died 16 March 1653.

Baesh, Sir Edward (1594-1653). Second, but first surviving son of Ralph Baesh (d. 1598) and his wife Frances, daughter of Sir Edward Carey, kt., master of the Jewels 1595-1618, of Aldenham (Herts), born at Aldenham, 1 January 1594. After his father's death, he became a ward of his maternal grandfather, Sir Edward Carey, but was brought up mainly by his stepfather, Sir George Manners (later 7th Earl of Rutland), who was no doubt responsible for his election to parliament. Educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge (matriculated 1608). He was knighted, 6 June 1616. MP for Lincoln, 1614, Stamford, 1628-29 and Grantham, 1640. Chamberlain of the Exchequer, 1625-53. JP for Hertfordshire, 1626-37, after which he was removed for non-attendance. By a deed of 1635 he endowed a free grammar school and a row of almshouses in Stanstead Abbotts. He was named by the king as a commissioner of array in 1642, and his estate in London and Hertfordshire was sequestrated in 1643, but recovered after he paid fines and charges totalling £800; he thereafter maintained a position of neutrality during the Civil War. He married 1st, Sara, daughter of David la Maire of Aldgate, London, a foreign merchant, and 2nd, 24 April 1633 at St Botolph, Bishopsgate, London, Mary (b. c.1614), daughter and co-heir of Sir Charles Montagu of Cranbrook, Barking (Essex), but had no issue.
He inherited the Stanstead Bury estate from his father in 1598, and came of age in 1615. In 1620 he purchased the adjoining Rye House estate. After his death without issue the whole estate passed to his kinsman, Sir Ralph Bashe (c.1623-c.1663).
He died 12 May 1653 and was buried at Stanstead Abbotts; his will was proved in the PCC, 28 May 1653. His first wife died between 1618 and 1633. His widow is said to have married 2nd, one of his Carey cousins, but neither her remarriage nor her burial have been traced.


Baesh, Nicholas (d. 1591). Parentage uncertain, but possibly a younger son or grandson of Richard or Robert Bashe of Worcester, shoemaker or shoehorn maker, and his wife Joyce, daughter of Thomas Bolte of Worcestershire, and thus the brother or nephew of Edward Baesh (c.1507-87) of Stanstead Bury. He married, in or before 1563, Dorothy (fl. 1591), daughter of William Tooke (1508-88) of Popes (Herts), auditor of the Court of Wards and Liveries, 1544-88, and had issue:
(1) Edward Bashe (fl. 1590-1625) (q.v.),
He lived at Stanstead St. Margarets (Herts).
He died in February 1590/1; an inquisition post mortem was held in 1591. His widow married 2nd, 1591 (licence 18 November) Robert Booth (fl. 1616), but her burial has not been traced.

Bashe, Edward (fl. 1590-1635). Son of Nicholas Baesh (d. 1591) of Stanstead St. Margaret's (Herts) and his wife Dorothy, daughter of William Tooke of Popes (Herts), auditor of the Court of Wards and Liveries. He married 1st, [forename unknown] Duncombe, and 2nd, 29 June 1620 at Widford (Herts), Frances Wright of Northampton, and had issue:
(2.1) Edward Bashe (c.1621-c.1645); educated at St Catherine's College, Cambridge (admitted 1639); died unmarried aged 24 and was buried at Stanstead Abbotts;
(2.2) Sir Ralph Bashe (c.1623-c.1663) (q.v.);
(2.3) Philadelphia Bashe; married, before 1648, Michael Lilly of Great Parndon (Essex) and Yardley (Herts), and had issue one daughter.
He lived at Stanstead St. Margarets (Herts).
He died between 1635 and 1653. His first wife died before 1620. His second wife's date of death is unknown.

Bashe, Sir Ralph (c.1623-c.1663), kt. Son of Edward Bashe (fl. 1590-1635) of Stanstead St. Margaret's and his second wife Frances Wright of Northampton, born about 1623. Educated at St Catherine's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1639). He was a Royalist in the Civil War and was suspected of complicity in Sir George Booth's uprising in 1659, when his estate was sequestered briefly. As a result, he accumulated many debts, in recognition of which he was made a Knight of the Bath at the Coronation of King Charles II, 1661. He married, c.1650, Anne (b. 1622), daughter of Edward Skipwith of Gosberton (Lincs), and had issue:
(1) Sir Edward Bashe (c.1653-1708) (q.v.);
(2) Anne Bashe (d. c.1700?); married Sir William Duncombe (1658-1706), 2nd and last bt., of Tangley (Surrey) but died without issue; she predeceased her husband but her date of death has not been traced.
He inherited the Stanstead Bury estate from his cousin, Sir Edward Baesh, in 1653, and in 1661 obtained an Act of Parliament allowing him to sell part of the estate to the value of £300 a year.
He died between 1662 and 1664 and was buried at Stanstead Abbotts; his will is said to have been proved in 1664. His widow was living in 1673.

Bashe, Sir Edward (c.1653-1708), kt. Son of Sir Ralph Bashe (c.1623-c.1663) and his wife Anne, daughter of Edward Skipwith of Gosberton (Lincs), born about 1653. Educated at St John's College, Oxford (matriculated 1668) and Grays Inn (admitted 1670); also admitted at Cambridge University, 1668, and awarded an MA there in 1682. He was knighted at Whitehall, London, 20 March 1671/2. An officer in the army (Cornet, 1677) who was 'employed about the Charles galley at Tangiers', 1677. He was permanently short of money and had sold all his real estate by 1698, when he was described as 'very poor'. He married, 1671 (licence 26 July), at the Savoy Chapel, Anne Wade (c.1650-1714) of Battles, Manuden (Essex), but had no issue.
He inherited the Stanstead Bury estate from his father in about 1663, but sold it in about 1676 to Edward Field of Marden (Herts).
He was buried at Manuden (Essex), 26 October 1708. His widow was buried at Manuden, 14 May 1714.

Principal sources

VCH Hertfordshire, vol. 3, 1912, pp. 366-73; J.T. Smith, English Houses 1200-1800: the Hertfordshire evidence, RCHME 1992, pp. 131-32; J.T. Smith, Hertfordshire Houses: a selective inventory, RCHME 1993, pp. 179-81; Sir J. Baker, The men of court, 1440-1550, 2012, vol. 1, p. 276; J. Bettley, Sir N. Pevsner & B. Cherry, The buildings of England: Hertfordshire, 3rd edn., 2019, p. 532; History of Parliament biographies of Edward Bashe (d. 1587) and Sir Edward Baesh (1594-1653); Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article on Edward Baeshe (d. 1587).

Location of archives

No significant accumulation of records is known to survive.

Coat of arms

Per chevron, argent and gules, in chief two cocks sable in base a saltire or. [NB Some earlier blazons give moorhens rather than cocks.]

Can you help?

  • As noted at the head of this article, the genealogical information for this family is unusually deficient, and I should be most grateful to anyone who can provide additional information from reliable sources. I am always particularly pleased to hear from current owners or the descendants of families associated with a property who can supply information from their own research or personal knowledge for inclusion.
  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide portraits of any of the people whose names appear in bold above.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 16 October 2021.