Saturday, 12 June 2021

(459) Battersby of Bobsville, Lakefield, Newcastle House and Lough Bawn

Battersby of Lough Bawn 
The earlier editions of Burke's Landed Gentry state that this family came over to Ireland with King William III at the end of the 17th century, and "claims to derive from an ancient house of the same name, formerly seated in the co. of York, of which was Nicholas Battersby of Harrabeare in Cornwall, who entered his pedigree in the Herald's visitation of that county [in] 1620, grandson of Nicholas Battersby of Battersby Hall, co. York". This claim was however, dropped from later editions, and it remains very doubtful whether there was such a connection. The genealogy below begins with William Battersby, who was perhaps the first of his family to settle in Ireland, and who came into possession of Smithstown and Cloneybrany in Co. Meath by the early 18th century. He had at least five sons, of whom the eldest, William junior (d. c. 1790) inherited Smithstown, but dying without issue bequeathed it to his brother-in-law, and thus out of the family. The second son, Robert Battersby (1721-85), inherited Cloneybrany and built a new house close to it in about 1765, which he called Bobsville, although whether the name represents 'the Irish taste for irony and self-mockery' or merely an acute poverty of imagination is unclear. The third son, John Battersby (1722-1803) bought a property in the same area of Co. Meath where he built Lakefield House (sometimes Leakfield in the records) in about 1774. John's son, Thomas Battersby (1767-1839), acquired or built Newcastle House near Oldcastle (Co. Meath), and his son, George Battersby (1802-80) built Lough Bawn House after 1837. The history of these four houses and of the families which owned them, are traced below.

Robert Battersby of Bobsville also came into possession, in right of his wife, of an estate called Lislin in Co. Cavan, which was left to his eldest son, Haynes Wade Battersby (1765-1841?). Bobsville passed to his second son, William Battersby (1767-1837), who was Lt-Col. of the Royal Meath Militia and served his turn as High Sheriff of Co. Meath in 1804-05. William's wife, Anna Maria (1776-1856), was the daughter of Col. Richard Hutchinson Long of Longfield (Co. Tipperary) by his wife or concubine, an Indian lady who is said to have been a daughter of the Nawab of Arcot. Over a period of twenty-four years, William and Anna Maria produced at least fifteen children. Of the eight sons who survived to adulthood, two went into the church and one each into the law and the army; the four youngest became farmers. The Rev. Robert Battersby (1796-1888) seems to have inherited Bobsville, but he got into financial difficulties and sold the estate through the Incumbered Estates Court in 1854. It would appear that the house and the core of the estate were bought by his younger brother, John Long Battersby (1814-85), who may already have been farming the estate. At his death the property passed to his son, Francis Robert Battersby (1859-1906), who died unmarried, and at some point following his death the estate was sold to the Gilsenan family.

John Battersby (1722-1803) of Lakefield married twice, and the estate descended at his death to the fourth son of his second marriage, John Battersby (1781-1839). The younger John left it to his second son, Robert Henry Battersby (1811-98), who was unmarried and had no issue. He farmed at Lakefield until he was in his early 80s, and then dispersed the estate at auction in 1893.

Thomas Battersby (1767-1839), the second son of the second marriage of John Battersby of Lakefield, purchased a lease of part of the Loughcrew estate in 1810 and was probably responsible for building Newcastle House on it soon afterwards. He and his wife had thirteen children. Newcastle House was left to his second son, Thomas Battersby (1803-87), perhaps because his eldest son, George Battersby (1802-80), had already acquired the Lough Bawn estate and begun to build Lough Bawn House on it, but also perhaps because George was providing for himself through a successful career at the bar (and later as a judge). The younger sons pursued a diverse range of careers: one in the navy, one in the law; one in the church and one in medicine. Newcastle House passed to Thomas junior's son, Thomas Battersby (d. 1888), and then to his brother, John Albert Battersby (c.1855-1937), who seems to have sold it in the 1920s or 1930s. Lough Bawn descended to George's son, John Radcliffe Battersby (1839-1912), a barrister like his father, and then to his son George Battersby (1877-1919), who died without issue. His brother, John Radcliffe Battersby (1886-1960) succeeded, and since he also died without issue, he left the estate to his nephew, Col. George Francis Maxwell (1911-76), whose daughter Verity is the current owner.

Bobsville House, Crossakeel, Co. Meath


Bobsville House, Crossakeel: entrance front in 2019.
A pleasant example of provincial Irish Georgian classicism, which is similar to nearby Belview, a house that has been attributed to Nathaniel Clements. Bobsville was built for Robert Battersby (1721-85) in about 1765. The house itself is of two storeys and three bays, with a basement and a hipped roof. The original sash windows were regrettably replaced by plate glass sashes in the 19th century, but the spacing of the windows is original. The doorcase, with rusticated pilasters supporting an open pediment, is a standard motif of the 1760s and can be seen on contemporary buildings in Dublin and Drogheda. The plan is two rooms deep, but the central hall opens directly into the handsome dog-leg stair behind it, which is lit by a round-headed window in the rear elevation. The staircase itself was evidently altered or replaced in the mid 19th century.

Descent: built for Robert Battersby (1721-85); to son, William Battersby (1767-1837); to son, John Long Battersby (1814-85); to son, Francis Robert Battersby (c.1861-1906)...Frank Gilsenan (d. 1943); to son, Matthew Gilsenan (d. 1993); sold c.1966... Patrick Gibney (b. 1941).

Lakefield House, Crossakeel, Co. Meath


Lakefield House, Crossakeel: entrance front, 2014.
Another mid 18th century house, probably originally very similar to Bobsville, and built for John Battersby (1722-1803), the younger brother of the builder of Bobsville. reputedly in 1774. The exterior of the house was remodelled in the mid 19th century, but the house was originally a three-bay, two-storey building with four principal rooms on the ground floor and a central entrance and staircase hall, as at Bobsville. Slightly set back from the main house are two wings, which housed dairies, sculleries, a harness room and servants quarters on one side and a ballroom (later converted to further staff accommodation) on the other. At the rear, a line of stables with a hay loft above adjoin the house and its wings and completely enclose a cobbled courtyard. Inside the house, some of the 18th century woodwork (lugged door surrounds) and chimneypieces (black marble with fossil inclusions) survive to establish the date of the building.

Descent: built c.1774 for John Battersby (1722-1803); to son, John Battersby (1781-1839); to son, Robert Battersby (d. 1898); sold 1893...John Frederick O'Neill (fl. 1957)... sold 2014.

Newcastle House, Oldcastle, Co. Meath

No illustration seems to be known of this house, which was a roughly square, three-bay building with a central porch on the entrance side, set in a small park north-east of Oldcastle village. It was probably built for Thomas Battersby after he leased the lands from the Naper family of Loughcrew in 1810.  It was evidently still standing in 1937 but had been demolished by the late 20th century.

Descent: probably built c.1810 for Thomas Battersby (1767-1839); to son, Thomas Battersby (1803-87); to son, Thomas Battersby (d. 1888); to brother, John Albert Battersby (c.1855-1937)...

Lough Bawn House, Collinstown, Co. Westmeath


Lough Bawn House, Co. Westmeath: entrance front
A modest and unpretentious house, built for George Battersby (1802-80). It is often dated 'c.1820', but the house is not shown on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey of Ireland 6" map surveyed in 1837, though it was probably built soon after that. As first built, Lough Bawn was probably of three bays and two storeys, with a central porch, and thus similar to Bobsville and Lakefield, although lacking the exposed basement. The wider fourth bay, on the left, is probably a later 19th century addition, as is the canted bay window on the dining room. As at the family's earlier houses, the central entrance gave onto a hall that ran back to the staircase hall behind, although at Lough Bawn the staircase rises centrally to a half-pace until a window in the rear wall, and then divides and returns in two flights to the first-floor landing. The two principal reception rooms on the ground floor have fine grey marble chimneypieces. The house is now operated as a luxury 'bed and breakfast', and further pictures can be found on the owner's website.

Descent: built for George Battersby (1802-80); to son, John Radcliffe Battersby (1839-1912); to son, George Battersby (1877-1919); to brother, John Radcliffe Battesby (1886-1960); to nephew, George Francis Maxwell (1911-76); to daughter, Verity Victoria (b. 1948), wife of William Robin Butterfield.

Battersby family of Bobsville


Battersby William (1676?-1762?). Parentage unknown; reputedly born in 1676. He married Mary, daughter of Ambrose Sherman, and had issue:
(1) William Battersby (d. c. 1790), of Smithstown (Co. Meath); married, 1737/8 (licence 12 January), Mary Garnett, but had no issue; buried at Kells (Co. Meath), will proved 1790, by which he left his property to his brother-in-law, John Garnett;
(2) Robert Battersby (1721-85) (q.v.);
(3) John Battersby (1722-1803) [for whom see Battersby family of Lakefield, below];
(4) Francis Battersby (d. c. 1753), of Monaghan (Co. Monaghan), merchant; married and had issue three sons; will proved 1753;
(5) Charles Battersby (d. c. 1757), of Phillipstown (Co. Meath), married, 1746, Susanna Hastings (who 'eloped from [him]' before 1752), and had issue one son and one daughter; will proved 1757;
(6) Elizabeth Battersby (d. 1736); married [forename unknown] Balls; will proved 26 January 1736/7;
(7) Caroline Battersby (fl. 1752); married [forename unknown] Hawkins;
(8) Mary Battersby (fl. 1752); married William Wallace (fl. 1785) of Dublin, merchant.
He was perhaps the first of his family to come to Ireland, and settled at Smithstown and Cloneybrany (Co. Meath).
He is said to have died at an advanced age in 1762. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Battersby, Robert (1721-85). Second son of William Battersby (1676?-1762?) of Smithstown, near Crossakeel (Co. Meath) and his wife Mary, daughter of Ambrose Sharman, born 1721. He married, 1763, Marianne (fl. 1783), daughter and co-heiress of Haynes Wade of Lislin (Co. Cavan), and had issue:
(1) Haynes Wade Battersby (1765-1841?), born 1765; inherited Lislin from his father; married, 1804, Judith (1771-1847), daughter of Rev. Dr. Charles Woodward DD of Drumbarrow, and had issue two sons and one daughter; said to have died in 1841;
(2) William Battersby (1767-1837) (q.v.);
(4) Robert Battersby (1773-1824), born 1773; married, 1796 (licence 30 June) his cousin, Penelope, daughter of John Battersby of Lakefield House, and had surviving issue one son and five daughters; died 1824;
(3) (Thomas) John Battersby (c. 1775-1820?); an officer in the army (Lt. by 1817; retired on half-pay, 1819); will proved 1820;
(5) Edward George Battersby (1777-1856) of Hickory Lodge (Co. Meath); emigrated to America, 1835; married, about November 1809, Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. William Ryan of Kilvemnon (Co. Tipperary), and had issue three sons; died 20 May and was buried at Green Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York (USA), 21 May 1856;
(6) Francis Battersby; died young;
(7) Mary Anne Battersby (fl. 1783-1841), noted amateur botanical and wildlife artist who presented a collection of her drawings to the Royal Dublin Society; died unmarried;
(8) Abigail Battersby (fl. 1783-1813); married, 1813, Alexander Morland;
(9) Catherine Battersby (fl. 1783); married, May 1803, Edward John Smith.
He built Bobsville House in about 1765.
He died in 1785; his will was proved 5 October 1785. His widow's date of death is unknown.

Battersby, William (1767-1837). Second son of Robert Battersby (1721-85) and his wife Marianne, daughter and co-heiress of Haynes Wade of Lislin (Co. Cavan, born 1767. An officer in the Royal Meath Militia (Capt. by 1798; Lt-Col.); JP and DL for Meath; High Sheriff of Meath, 1804. He married, 17 June 1794, Anna Maria* (1776-1856), daughter of Col. Richard Hutchinson Long of Longfield House, near Cashel (Co. Tipperary), and had issue:
(1) Rev. Robert Battersby (1796-1888), born 22 January 1796; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1813; BA 1819); ordained deacon and priest, 1820; priest-in-charge of Killeagh, 1834-73; chaplain to the Marquess of Headfort; inherited Bobsville but sold part of the lands in the Incumbered Estates Court in 1854, while the house and remaining land was bought by his younger brother, John Long Battersby; apparently died unmarried, aged 92, on 17 September 1888 and was buried at Loughcrew (Co. Meath); will proved 27 October 1888 (effects £920);
(2) Rosetta Charity Battersby (b. & d. 1797), born 12 May 1797; died in infancy, 17 June 1797;
(3) Richard Long Battersby (1798-1879), born 13 December 1798; an officer in the 15th Foot (Ensign, 1818; Lt., 1825; Capt., 1830; retired 1834); probably the man of this name who was declared insolvent and briefly imprisoned in the Marshalsea, London, 1835; died in London, January 1879;
(4) Rev. William Battersby (1800-82), of Boltown, Crossakeel (Co. Meath), born 1 January 1800; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1816; BA 1821; MA 1832); priest-in-charge of Drumraney, 1824-44; married, 1840, Mary Maud (d. 1857), daughter of Lt-Col. William Caulfeild of Benown; died 12 July 1882 at Boltown (Co. Meath); will proved 25 August 1882 (estate £10,819);
(5) Haynes Wade Battersby (b. & d. 1800), born 29 November and died in infancy, 9 December 1800;
(6) Marianne Battersby (1802-21 or 41), born 1802; said to have died unmarried, 1821/1841;
(7) Thomas John Battersby (1804-37?), born 1804; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1819; BA 1824; MA 1832), Lincoln's Inn (admitted 1824) and Kings Inns, Dublin (admitted 1826; called to Irish bar, 1829); barrister-at-law; Recorder of Kells, 1831-37; possibly the man of this name who died in Dublin, 22 February 1837;
(8) Edward Haynes Battersby (b. & d. 1805), born 1805 and died in infancy, 1805;
(9) Henry Battersby (1806-26), born 1806; died unmarried, 1826;
(10) Harriet Battersby (c.1808-78), born about 1808; died unmarried, aged 70, at Boltown (Co. Meath), 15 November 1878;
(11) Francis Battersby (1810-82); JP (from 1841) for Co. Meath; died 2 July 1882 and was buried at Oldcastle; will proved 25 August 1882 (estate £5,468);
(12) Charles Battersby (1811-55), of Fyanstown Castle (Co. Meath); educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1829 but did not graduate); JP (from 1849) for Co. Meath; died 28 or 30 July 1855; will proved 1855;
(13) John Long Battersby (1814-85) (q.v.);
(14) Anna Battersby (b. & d. 1817), born 1817, and died in infancy, 1817;
(15) Hercules Soane Jenyns Battersby (1820-59); probably the man of this name jailed for 24 hours for 'collecting a crowd' in 1852; subsequently emigrated to Australia, where he died 8 June 1859 and was buried at Calton North Cemetery, Melbourne, Victoria.
He inherited Bobsville House from his father in 1785.
He died April 1837. His widow died 19 July 1856.
* According to family tradition, she is said to have been the daughter of her father by his Indian wife or mistress, Hedjeba, who is alleged to have been a daughter of the Nawab of Arcot (India).

Battersby, John Long (1814-85). Tenth son of William Battersby (1767-1837) and his wife Anna Maria, daughter of Col. Richard Hutchinson Long of Longfield (Co. Tipperary), born 1814. JP for Co. Meath (from 1882). He married 1st, 17 March 1841 at St Peter, Dublin, Catherine (c.1818-42), daughter of Rev. Thomas Blakeney of Holywell (Co. Roscommon) and 2nd, February 1855 at Ballintemple, his half-first cousin, Charity alias Cherrie (c.1831-1921), eldest daughter of Samuel Cooper of Killenure Castle (Co. Tipperary), and had issue:
(2.1) Anna Louisa Battersby (1855-72), born 6 December 1855; died unmarried, 5 December 1872;
(2.2) William Cooper Battersby (1857-92), born 2 December 1857; died unmarried, 26 July, and was buried at St James' Cemetery, Liverpool, 28 July 1892; administration of goods granted 3 July 1893 and 21 July 1906 (effects £3,961);
(2.3) Francis Robert Battersby (1859-1906) (q.v.);
(2.5) Charles Austin Battersby (1864-99), born 16 May 1864; died unmarried, 4 June 1899; administration of goods granted 23 January 1900 and 21 July 1906 (estate £9,691).
He purchased Bobsville House from his elder brother in 1854.
He died 9 February 1885; his will was proved 14 March 1885 (effects £40,962). His first wife died 28 January 1842. His widow died 9 June 1921 and was buried at Oldcastle.

Battersby, Francis Robert (1859-1906). Second son of John Long Battersby (1814-85) and his second wife Charity alias Cherrie, daughter of Samuel Cooper of Killenure Castle (Co. Tipperary), born 13 August 1859. JP for Co. Meath; High Sheriff of Co. Meath, 1903-04. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Bobsville House from his father in 1885. It was probably sold soon after his death.
He died 26 February 1906; his will was proved 24 April 1906 (estate £22,797).

Battersby family of Lakefield 


Battersby, John (1722-1803). Third son of William Battersby (1676-1762) of Smithstown, near Crossakeel (Co. Meath) and his wife Mary, daughter of Ambrose Sharman, born 1722. JP for Co. Meath. He married 1st, Elizabeth Shields of Monaghan, and 2nd, 7 September 1765, Sarah (d. 1830?), daughter of Rev. Henry Leslie of Nutfield (Co. Fermanagh), and had issue:
(1.1) William Battersby (1764-1847), of Freffans (Co. Meath), born 16 November 1764; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1782; BA 1787), Kings Inns, Dublin (admitted 1785; called 1789) and Lincoln's Inn (admitted 1786); barrister-at-law; married Frances (d. 1856), daughter of Nathaniel Preston of Swainstown, and had issue five sons and three daughters; will proved 1847;
(2.1) Rev. Leslie Battersby (1766-1819), of Skreene (Co. Sligo), born 20 July 1766; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1784; BA 1789; MA 1805; LLB and LLD 1819); curate, 1795-97; priest-in-charge of Lisnadill (Armagh), 1797-1800; rector of Skreen (Co. Sligo), 1801-14; vicar of Ardfinnan and Newcastle and rector of Mortlestown (Co. Tipperary), 1814-19; Vicar General of the Diocese of Killala; married, 5 July 1796, Anna Maria (d. 1834), daughter of Patrick Palmer, barrister at law and Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, and had issue nine sons and six daughters; died 9 July 1819;
(2.2) Thomas Battersby (1767-1839) [for whom see below, Battersby family of Newcastle House and Lough Bawn House]
(2.3) Isabella Battersby (c.1768-1852); married, about May 1791 (licence 8 April), Rev. Allen Noble Adams (1765-1805) of Shercock House (Co. Cavan), rector of Shercock, son of Richard Adams of Shercock House, and had issue six sons and three daughters; died 20 June 1852;
(2.4) Mary Battersby (d. c.1802); married, before 1801, Andrew Higginbotham, one of the founder members of the Dublin Lodge of the Orange Order, and had issue; died in 1801 or 1802;
(2.5) Penelope Battersby (fl. 1801); married, 1796 (licence 30 June), her cousin, Robert Battersby (1773-1824) [for whom see above], son of Robert Battersby of Bobsville (Co. Meath), and had issue one son and five daughters;
(2.6) Col. Francis Battersby (1775-1844), of Listoke House, Drogheda (Co. Louth), born 19 September 1775; an officer in the 8th Foot (Capt., 1801; Maj., 1809; Lt.-Col., 1812; retired 1826); appointed CB; married, 12 December 1823 at St Anne, Dublin, Elizabeth Jane, second daughter of George Rotherham of Crossdrum (Co. Meath), and had issue one son and one daughter; died 18 December 1844; will proved 1845;
(2.7) Elizabeth Battersby (d. 1836); married [forename unknown] Sheils; died in Dublin, 2 December 1836;
(2.8) Sarah Battersby (fl. 1801); married, 3 June 1799, Joseph Cooper (1776-1814), son of John Cooper of Barn Hall, Castletown (Co. Kildare), and had issue two sons and four daughters;
(2.9) John Battersby (1781-1839) (q.v.);
(2.10) Alexander Battersby (b. 1783), born 10 August 1783; woollen draper in Dublin (bankrupt, 1810); freeman of city of Dublin, 1804; married, 10 July 1807, Elizabeth, daughter of James Cusack of Lara (Co. Kildare), and had issue one son; he disappears from the records soon after his bankruptcy and perhaps died or went abroad;
(2.11) Capt. Henry Robert Battersby (c.1785-1816), born about 1785; an officer in the Royal Navy (Lt., 1806; Cmdr., 1809; Capt., 1814); married, 10 May 1816, Marianne (who m2, about November 1820, Edward Wells Bell), daughter of William Chapman and niece of Sir Thomas Chapman, 2nd bt., of Killua Castle (Co. Westmeath), but had no issue; died 28 November 1816;
(2.12) George Battersby (1788-1815), born 20 April 1788; an officer in the 1st Dragoon Guards (Cornet, 1808; Lt., 1809; Capt., 1813); he was unmarried and without issue; killed in action at the Battle of Waterloo, 18 June 1815.
He built Lakefield House in about 1774. 
He died in 1803; his will was proved in Dublin, 16 June 1803. His first wife probably died following childbirth in 1764. His widow may be the woman of this name for whose goods administration was granted in 1830.

Battersby, John (1781-1839). Fourth son of John Battersby (1722-1803) and his second wife, Sarah, daughter of Rev. Henry Leslie of Nutfield (Co. Fermanagh), born 28 June 1781. JP for Co. Meath. He married Frances (d. 1847?), daughter of Robert Wade of Clonabrany (Co. Meath), and had issue:
(1) Frances Letitia Battersby (c.1808-92), born about 1808; died unmarried, 13 August 1892; will proved 7 September 1892 (effects £395);
(2) Rev. John Francis Battersby (1809-77), of Drumelton (Co. Westmeath); educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1826; BA 1831); curate of Clondehorkey (Co. Donegal), 1833-44; rector of Vastina (Co. Westmeath), 1844-76; married, 23 January 1840 at Blackrock (Co. Dublin), Elizabeth (d. 1870), daughter of John Minton of Springvale (Co. Cork), but had no issue; died 30 September 1877; will proved 8 November 1877 (effects under £2,000);
(3) Robert Henry Battersby (1811-98) (q.v.);
(4) Thomas Battersby; probably the man of this name who was an officer in the Demifore Yeomanry in Co. Meath (2nd Lt., 1831); JP for Co. Meath from 1840; died without issue;
(5) Marianne Battersby (b. c.1813?); married, 4 October 1855, at St George, Dublin, John Daly of Lakeview, Mullingar (Co. Westmeath), son of Owen Daly of Mornington (Co. Westmeath), and had issue one daughter.
He inherited Lakefield House from his father in 1803.
He died in August 1839. His widow was probably the woman of this name who died in Kingstown (Co. Dublin) in 1847; her will was proved 5 November 1847.

Battersby, Robert Henry (1811-98). Second son of John Battersby (1781-1839) and his wife Frances, daughter of Robert Wade of Clonabrany (Co. Meath), born 1811. JP for Co. Meath. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Lakefield House from his father in 1839, but dispersed the estate at auction in 1893.
He died 20 June 1898; no will traced.

Battersby family of Newcastle House and Lough Bawn House


Battersby, Thomas (1767-1839). Second son of John Battersby (1722-1803) and his second wife, Sarah, daughter of Rev. Henry Leslie of Nutfield (Co. Fermanagh), born 23 October 1767. JP for Co. Meath. He married, 16 October 1799, Margaret Catherine (1783-1862), eldest daughter of George Rotherham of Triermore (Co. Meath), and had issue:
(1) George Battersby (1802-80) (q.v.);
(2) Thomas Battersby (1803-87), of Newcastle House, Oldcastle (Co. Meath), born 16 October 1803; JP for Cos. Meath, Westmeath and Cavan; married, 17 May 1837 at Loughcrew (Co. Meath), Henrietta Mary Anne (d. 1894), daughter of John Rotton of Laura Lodge, Bath (Som.), and had issue five sons and two daughters; died 27 April 1887 and was buried at Oldcastle; will proved 19 August 1887;
(3) Edward Battersby (1805-39), born 3 May 1805; an officer in the Royal Navy (Lt., 1829); died unmarried, 4 October 1839, and was buried in Barbados;
(4) Catherine Battersby (c.1806-66); married, 16 November 1836, William Smith Harman (1804-76) of Upper Crossdrum House (Co. Meath), son of William Morton Harman, and had issue; died aged 60 on 15 December 1866;
(5) Henry Battersby (1808-68), born 4 April 1808 and baptised at Oldcastle; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1829, MA 1832) and Kings Inns (admitted 1829); solicitor; JP for Co. Meath; married 1st, 13 February 1846, Frances (d. 1854), daughter of T. Rutherford of St. Doolagh's (Co. Dublin); married 2nd, 24 February 1857 at St Anne, Dublin, Anne Maria (1817-1910), daughter of Lt-Col. Richard Kelly, but had no issue; died in London, 11 September 1868 and was buried at Moyliska (Co. Westmeath); administration of goods granted 28 January 1869;
(6) Sarah Battersby (c.1809-81), born about 1809; married, 29 January 1841 at Oldcastle, Rev. Hugh Henry O'Neill (c.1804-72), rector of Knockbride (Co. Cavan), son of John O'Neill, and had issue at least two daughters; died 30 January 1881; administration of goods granted 31 May 1881 (effects under £800);
(7) Dr. Francis Battersby (1812-91), born 10 November 1812; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1834; MB 1836); physician and surgeon (FRCSI 1841); married 1st, 11 March 1852, Elizabeth (1828-55), daughter of Rev. Robert Stephenson Crooke, and had issue one son; married 2nd, 25 June 1861 at St Peter, Dublin, Charlotte (d. 1879), daughter of John Brien of Castletown (Co. Fermanagh), but had no further issue; died in Dublin and was buried at Loughcrew, 7 October 1891;
(8) Elizabeth Jane Battersby (1815-83), born 3 November 1815; died unmarried in Dublin, 3 May 1883 and was buried at Loughcrew; will proved 28 June 1883 (effects £3,157);
(9) Isabella Battersby (1817-1900), born 29 April 1817; died unmarried, 16 April 1900 and was buried at Loughcrew; will proved 2 July 1900 (estate £3,592);
(10) Frederick William Battersby (1819-47), born 15 May 1819; married, 9 October 1845 at Oldcastle, Margaretta Elizabeth Kannaun (d. 1869), eldest daughter of Captain Henry Keating of Millbrook House (Co. Meath), but had no issue; died of typhus fever, 16 April 1847;
(11) Charles John Battersby (1821-97), of Cromlyn, Rathowen (Co. Westmeath), born 3 February 1821; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1843); married, 12 January 1854 at Laracor (Co. Meath), Frances Isabella (1828-1909), daughter of William Battersby of Freffans (Co. Meath) [for whom see Battersby family of Lakefield, above], and had issue one son and five daughters; died 22 May 1897 and was buried at Rathowen; will proved 26 July 1897;
(12) Rev. William Alexander Battersby (1825-80), born 4 June 1825; educated at Enniskillen and Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1842; BA 1845); ordained deacon, 1846 and priest, 1847; perpetual curate of Carrick, 1847-54; priest-in-charge of St Augustine, Derry, 1854-70, and rector of Bovevagh (Co. Londonderry), 1876-78, when he resigned; he was unmarried and without issue; found drowned in Tamneymore Basin, Derry City, 5 August 1880 and was buried at Derry; administration of goods granted 9 September 1880 (effects under £3,000);
(13) Barbara Jane Battersby (c.1828-1905), born about 1828; married, 6 August 1851 at Collinstown, Thomas White JP (1820-66) of Peppard's Castle (Co. Wexford), and had issue; died at Peppard's Castle, 8 February 1905 and was buried at Donamore; administration of her goods was granted 14 April 1905 (estate £2,057).
He purchased a lease of the Newcastle estate, Oldcastle (Co. Meath), in about 1810, and probably built Newcastle House.
He died 27 February 1839 and was buried at Loughcrew (Co. Meath); his will was proved 6 April 1839. His widow died in Dublin, 17 December 1862 and was buried at Loughcrew; her will was proved 8 January 1863.

Battersby, George (1802-80). Eldest son of Thomas Battersby (1767-1839) and his wife Margaret Catherine, eldest daughter of George Rotherham of Crossdrum (Co. Meath), born 8 September 1802. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1818; BA 1824; LLB and LLD, 1832), Lincoln's Inn (admitted 1824) and Kings Inns, Dublin (admitted 1826; called to Irish bar, 1826; bencher, 1861). Barrister-at-law (QC, 1844). Judge of the Dublin Consistory Court (abolished 1869) and later Chancellor of the United Diocesan Court of Dublin, Glenadalough and Kildare, 1869-80; senior Crown Prosecutor for Cos. Kildare and Offaly, and occasional substitute Assizes judge. JP for Co. Meath. A Liberal in politics. Author of a manuscript 'Tour in Europe' (c.1823), now in the National Library of Ireland. He married, 10 December 1830, Charlotte Sarah (c.1806-76), daughter of Rt. Hon. John Radcliff LLD, of Mespil House (Co. Dublin), judge of the Prerogative Court of Ireland, and had issue (with another son, stillborn in 1837):
(1) Bettana Catherine Battersby (1831-1913), born 16 October and baptised at St Peter, Dublin, 18 November 1831; married, 10 January 1852 at St Peter, Dublin, John Colley Pounden (1827-98) of Ballywater House, Gorey (Co. Wexford), and had issue two sons and eleven daughters; died 30 August 1913; 
(2) Thomas George Battersby (1832-71), born 9 October 1832; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1850; BA 1855; LLB and LLD, 1862), Inner Temple (admitted 1854) and Kings Inns (admitted 1853; called 1856); barrister-at-law; married, 8 December 1864 at St Stephen, Dublin, Georgina Mary Bessy (c.1836-83) (who in 1875 assumed the additional name of Wybrants, married 2nd, 16 May 1876 at Victoria Hotel, Killarney (Co. Kerry), Capt. Temple Leighton Phipson (later Phipson-Wybrants) (1846-80), son of Thomas Barroll Phipson of Heathfield (Kent)), daughter of Col. William Middleton, and had issue two daughters; died 11 September 1871; will proved 6 October 1871;
(3) John Radcliffe Battersby (1839-1912) (q.v.).
He purchased the site of Lough Bawn House (Co. Westmeath) in the 1830s, and built Lough Bawn House after 1837. He had a town house at 20 Lower Leeson St., Dublin.
He died in Dublin, 9 June 1880 and was buried at Loughcrew; his will was proved 14 July 1880 (effects under £25,000). His wife died 17 August 1876.

Battersby, John Radcliffe (1839-1912). Second, but only surviving, son of George Battersby (1802-80) and his wife Charlotte Sarah, daughter of Rt. Hon. John Radcliff LLD, of Mespil House (Co. Dublin), judge of the Prerogative Court of Ireland, born 30 September 1839. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1858; BA 1862) and Lincoln's Inn (admitted 1862) and Kings Inns (admitted 1861; called to Irish bar, 1864). Barrister-at-law. JP for Cos. Meath and Westmeath. He married, 9 August 1873 at Rathconnell (Co. Westmeath), Augusta Helen (d. 1927), daughter of John Rynd of Reynella (Co. Westmeath), and had issue:
(1) Edith Frances Battersby (1874-1960) (q.v.);
(2) A female child (b. & d. 1876), born 15 February 1876 and died the same day;
(3) George Battersby (1877-1919) (q.v.);
(4) John Radcliffe Battersby (1878-79), born 15 December 1878; died in infancy, 8 April 1879;
(5) Millicent Battersby (1882-1965), born 26 November 1882; married, 22 July 1909, George Astley Rotheram (1874-1951) of Sallymount, Castlepollard (Co. Westmeath), and had issue one daughter; died 17 May 1965 and was buried at Loughcrew Cemetery (Co. Meath); will proved 20 January 1966 (estate £10,951);
(6) Rev. Augustus Wolfe Battersby (1885-1915), born 10 February 1885; educated at Corrig School, Kingstown and Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1909); ordained deacon, 1910; curate of All Saints church, Antrim, 1910-13; served in First World War with 4th battalion, Connaught Rangers (2nd Lt., 1914; Lt., 1915); died of fever at Douala (Cameroon) while attached to West African Frontier Force, 15 June 1915; will proved 27 November 1915 (estate £315);
(7) John Radcliff Battersby (1886-1960) (q.v.); 
(8) A female child (b. 1888), born 20 May 1888; apparently died in infancy;
(9) Dorothy Battersby (1889-1975), born 26 May 1889; served in First World War as a VAD nurse in England and later worked as a teacher; lived with her sister Mona at Carrick House, Ashwellthorpe (Norfk); died unmarried, 1 July 1975; will proved 20 August 1975 (estate £8,262);
(10) Thomas Charles Battersby (b. & d. 1891), born 9 January 1891; died in infancy, 27 March 1891;
(11) Rosalie Battersby (1892-1983), born 25 March 1892; worked as nurse with British Red Cross, 1916-19 and in Women's Royal Air Force, 1919-20; married, 20 July 1920 at Collinstown (Co. Westmeath), Cdr. Thomas Crauford Anderson RN (d. 1950), son of Thomas Anderson of Briggs Main House (Northbld), coal owner, and had issue two sons; died 17 March 1983; will proved 4 May 1983 (estate under £25,000);
(12) Mona Phillippa Battersby (1894-1984), born 9 November 1894; district nurse; lived with her sister Dorothy at Carrick House, Ashwellthorpe (Norfk); died unmarried aged 89, 1 March 1984; will proved 15 May 1984 (estate under £40,000).
He inherited Lough Bawn House from his father in 1880.
He died 9 October 1912; will proved 10 February 1913 (estate £8,337). His widow died 8 June 1927.

Battersby, George (1877-1919). Eldest son of John Radcliffe Battersby (1839-1912) and his wife Augusta Helen, daughter of John Rynd of Reynella (Co. Westmeath), born in Dublin, 11 January 1877. Educated at Cheltenham College and Portora Royal School. Farmer. He married, 23 December 1914 at the Dublin Registry Office, Katherine (d. 1959?), daughter of Michael Whalley, farmer, but had no issue.
He inherited Lough Bown House from his father in 1912.
He died of cancer of the throat and neck, 18 August 1919. His widow married 2nd, 30 June 1927 at St Andrew, Dublin, Thomas Joseph Burke of Cavan, chemist, son of Matthew Burke, farmer, and is said to have died in 1959.

Battersby, John Radcliffe (1886-1960). Third and youngest surviving son of John Radcliffe Battersby (1839-1912) and his wife Augusta Helen, daughter of John Rynd of Reynella (Co. Westmeath), born 26 January 1886. Educated at Corrig School, Kingstown (Co. Dublin). Merchant trading in Argentina before the First World War, when he served with the 3/4th King's African Rifles and the the East African Mounted Rifles. He married 1st, 2 July 1927, Phyllis Frances (c.1904-45), eldest daughter of Charles Henry Alley of Hill of Ward, Athboy (Co. Meath), and 2nd, 26 December 1948, Elise Evelyn Hope Margeurite (1899-1987), daughter of Thomas Albert Clear of Wandsworth (Surrey) and widow of Herbert Judge, railway worker, but had no issue.
He inherited Lough Bawn House from his elder brother in 1919. At his death it passed to his nephew, Col. George Francis Maxwell.
He died 14 August 1960. His first wife died 25 March 1945 and was buried at Loughcrew Cemetery (Co. Meath). His widow died 13 August 1987; her will was proved 26 February 1988 (estate in England & Wales, £6,513).

Battersby, Edith Frances (1874-1960). Eldest daughter of John Radcliffe Battersby (1839-1912) and his wife Augusta Helen, daughter of John Rynd of Reynella (Co. Westmeath), born 5 September 1874. She married, 5 May 1909 at Collinstown (Co. Westmeath), George Maxwell (1874-1837), an Inspector with the Royal Irish Constabulary, son of Arthur Henry Maxwell (d. 1909) of Corduff (Co. Dublin), and had issue:
(1) Col. George Francis Maxwell (1911-76) (q.v.).
She and her husband lived in various places in connection with his job but Ireland eventually became too dangerous for Protestant RIC officers and they moved to Brittany (France). They eventually returned to live at Lough Bawn in the 1930s.
She died 23 December 1960; her will was proved 14 September 1961 (estate £4,996). Her husband died of pneumonia, 12 June 1937 having caught a cold while out fishing on Lough Bawn; administration of his goods was granted in 1938 (estate £3,949).

Maxwell, Col. George Francis (1911-76). Only child of George Maxwell (1874-1937) of Lough Bawn House and his wife Edith Frances, eldest daughter of John Radcliffe Battersby of Lough Bawn House, born 1911. An officer in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (2nd Lt., 1932; Lt., 1935; Capt., 1940; Maj. 1942; Lt-Col., 1954; Col., 1958; retired 1961). He married, 1939, Stella Mary de Beauvoir Jeayes (1914-2004), daughter of Rev. Wilfred Arthur Jeayes of Verwood (Hants), and had issue:
(1) Bridget Michelle Maxwell (b. 1941), born 20 August 1941; educated at Harper Adams Agricultural College, Newport (Shrops.); married, 5 September 1964, David John Murry Taylor (b. 1940), elder son of W/Cdr. Donald Taylor, and had issue two sons;
(2) Verity Victoria Maxwell (b. 1948), born in Kenya, 17 June 1948; now of Lough Bawn House; married, 1 June 1968, William Robin Butterfield, younger son of Geoffrey Butterfield of East Haddon Hill (Northants), and had issue three daughters.
He inherited Corduff House from his father in 1937 and Lough Bawn House from his uncle in 1960. In 1976 Lough Bawn was occupied by his elder daughter, but it is now operated as a B&B by his younger daughter.
He died 27 November 1976; his will was proved in Dublin, 16 May 1977 (estate in Ireland, £208,339), and in London, 1 July 1977 (estate in England & Wales, £6,433). His widow died aged 89 on 28 September 2004; her will was proved 30 May 2007.

Principal sources

Burke's Landed Gentry, 1850, vol. 1, pp. 70-71; Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1912, pp. 33-34; Burke's Irish Family Records, 1976, pp. 814-16; J.J. Howard & F.A. Crisp, Visitation of Ireland, vol. 5, 1911, pp. 129-34;

Location of archives

No substantial accumulation is known to survive, but papers may remain with the family.

Coat of arms

Or, a saltire paly of twelve ermine and gules, a crescent in chief sable.

Can you help?

  • Can anyone provide earlier or better drawings or photographs of any of the houses discussed in this article? I am particularly anxious to obtain a view of Newcastle House, Oldcastle (which needs to be carefully distinguished from the houses of the same name near Kells and Enfield in Co. Meath, as well as those elsewhere in Ireland!)
  • Can anyone provide fuller information about the ownership of Bobsville, Lakefield House or Newcastle House since they were sold by the Battersby family?
  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide photographs or portraits of people whose names appear in bold above, and who are not already illustrated.
  • As usual with Irish families, the very limited online availability of parish registers and the poor survival of many other records means the genealogical details above are thinner and less reliable than I would like. If anyone can offer further information or corrections I should be most grateful. I am always particularly pleased to hear from descendants of the family who can supply information from their own research or personal knowledge for inclusion.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 12 June 2021.

Monday, 31 May 2021

(458) Batten of Aldon and Upcerne and Batten (later Chisholm-Batten) of Thornfalcon

Batten of Aldon and Upcerne 
This family was established as yeoman farmers at Michaelchurch and later North Petherton (Somerset) for several generations in the 16th and 17th centuries. They do not feature in the heralds' visitation of Somerset in 1623, and it is not clear when they were first granted arms, but the good marriages of James Batten (1654-1708) and his son Robert Batten (c.1690-1773), and a growing portfolio of freehold, leasehold and copyhold property across south Somerset and west Dorset placed them unambiguously among the gentry by the early 18th century. The family were nonconformists (Presbyterians and later Unitarians) in the 18th and early 19th centuries, and held Liberal views over an even longer period. Robert Batten (d. 1773) was a friend and associate of Sir Richard Steele, the Irish Whig journalist and playwright, and is said to have contributed a number of articles to Steele's journal, The Spectator, under the initials 'R.B.'. His only recorded son, Nathaniel Butler Batten (c.1713-85) was articled in 1730 to John Prigge of Ilminster (Som.), solicitor, and having served his term of five years and qualified as a solicitor, he married Prigge's daughter and set up in practice a few miles away at Yeovil (Som.) before 1740. Although no longer in the family's control, the firm of Batten & Co., solicitors, still exists and still has an office in Yeovil.

Nathaniel Butler Batten had four sons and a daughter by his two wives. All four sons (John Prigge Batten (1738-1809); Nathaniel Batten (1743-1819), Robert Batten (c.1745-1824) and Edmund Batten (c.1748-1836)) were articled to their father, but the career of the eldest is obscure and he may not have practised as a solicitor. He seems to have divided his time between London and Burton Pynsent (Som.), which he perhaps leased from William Pitt. The three younger sons were lawyers, and practised either in either Yeovil or London or both. Edmund Batten branched out into banking in 1819 in partnership with two other Somerset solicitors, and from 1819 with his nephew, John Batten (c.1774-1854), the son of John Prigge Batten. Since none of the three younger brothers had any sons to inherit their property, John Batten was the eventual beneficiary of all four brothers, bringing him the manor of Thornfalcon (Som.), which he inherited partly in 1819 and partly in 1836, and extensive if scattered lands across south Somerset. In 1829 he bought an estate on the south-western edge of Yeovil and built Aldon House, although he later handed this over to his eldest son, John Batten (1815-1900); his second son, Edmund Batten (later Chisholm-Batten) (1817-97) inherited the Thornfalcon estate.

Fairlee House, Newport (Isle of Wight)
John Batten (1815-1900) took another step up the social ladder through his marriage to Grace Eleanor White (d. 1883), who was heiress of the Upcerne House estate in Dorset and also Fairlee House, Newport on the Isle of Wight. Like his father, John was a solicitor and banker in Yeovil, and although he sold his controlling interest in the family bank in 1849, the family remained closely associated with its successor, Stuckey's bank, until 1920. His passion in life was, however, his antiquarian studies, focused on the local history of Somerset and Dorset.  When Grace came into possession of Upcerne and Fairlee in 1865, they seem at first to have been let, but the family evidently later spent some time at Upcerne, marked by John being High Sheriff of Dorset in 1881-82. John and Grace had three sons and two daughters who survived to maturity, and when he died in 1900 John divided his property between them. The eldest son, Col. John Mount Batten (1843-1916) received Upcerne Manor, which it is interesting to see was regarded as the principal estate; the second son, Henry Butler Batten (1845-1912) took over the family legal practice and inherited Aldon House; while the third son, Lt-Col. Herbert Cary George Batten (1849-1926) inherited Fairlee House and other property in Somerset and Dorset. Herbert trained as a barrister rather than a solicitor, but in about 1888 he became manager the Bristol branch of Stuckey's Bank, and in due course a director of the bank and of several other companies as well. He moved to Abbots Leigh, on the southern outskirts of Bristol, but also acquired Keyford at Barwick near Yeovil as a secondary seat, and the manor of Ryme Intrinseca in Dorset. Fairlee House was let out and sold after his death in 1926, but his other property seems to have descended to his younger son, Maj. Herbert Copeland Cary Batten (1884-1963), who was a partner in the family legal practice in Yeovil.

Col. John Mount Batten was the first eldest son of the family to step away from a legal career in more than a century. He became a career soldier, first in the regular army and then in the militia, ending his career as Col. of the 2nd Royal Lancashire Militia, which saw service in South Africa in the Boer War. After his retirement he was High Sheriff of Dorset in 1903, and soon afterwards he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, 1906-16. He had two sons and four daughters, but his eldest son, John Henry Strode Batten (1875-1914), who followed him into the army, was killed in action in the First World War. The Upcerne estate therefore passed in 1916 to the Colonel's younger son, Nathaniel Prygge Batten (1881-1941), who was prevented by a disability from pursuing a military career. He was married but had no issue, so on his death the Upcerne estate passed to his sister Winifred (1882-1965), who sold it in 1947.

Henry Butler Batten (1845-1912) inherited Aldon House and the family legal practice in 1900, and was also Town Clerk of Yeovil in succession to his father. He was unmarried and at his death bequeathed Aldon House and the practice to his nephew, Maj. Herbert Copeland Cary Batten (1884-1963), who later also inherited from his father property at Barwick (Som.) and Ryme Intrinseca (Dorset). These properties passed in turn to his son, William Henry Batten (1926-2013), who sold Aldon House in 1966 and lived latterly at Ryme Intrinseca, where his son, David Henry Cary Batten (b. 1952), still farms.

When John Batten (c.1774-1854) inherited the second moiety of the Thornfalcon estate in 1836, he gave the property to his younger son, Edmund Batten (1817-97), who enlarged the estate by additional land purchases. In 1843 he married Jemima Chisholm, the daughter of William Chisholm of Erchless Castle (Inverness-shire), who, on the death of her brother in 1858, inherited the Aigas Forest estate in the highlands of Scotland. As a condition of the inheritance, she and her husband and their children took the name Chisholm-Batten. Both the Thornfalcon and Scottish properties descended to their eldest son, Col. James Forbes Chisholm Chisholm-Batten (1847-1915), and then to the latter's son, James Utermark Chisholm-Batten (1884-1915), who was killed in the First World War just six months later. James was unmarried, so the estates descended to his younger brother, Edmund Rodolphe Chisholm-Batten (1887-1982), who also inherited Erchless Castle on the death of a distant cousin in 1935. He sold all his Scottish estates in 1937 and lived at Thornfalcon until 1979, when he was over ninety. The estate was then sold and the Court House was divided into two dwellings.

Court House, Thornfalcon, Somerset

The core of the house is a late medieval hall house, parts of the smoke-blackened roof of which remain in situ, but it was extensively remodelled in the 16th century and again in about 1870. The house is of two storeys, and is built of blue lias rubble stone with Ham stone dressings, and areas of roughcast. The entrance front has a central gabled two-storey porch with slightly projecting gabled cross-wings to either side, but the house was extended c.1870 in both directions beyond the cross-wings, so that there are now five gables in total, as well as a small gabled dormer to the right of the porch. The windows are now apparently all Victorian or later mullioned or mullioned and transomed ones, filled with plate glass which contributes markedly to the rather bleak appearance. Oriel windows on the first floor under the gables of both end bays give a specious appearance of symmetry to the façade. The rear elevation is much less regular than the entrance front and makes no effort at symmetry or even balance, with areas of blank wall, the size and position of windows dictated by the functional requirements of the rooms within, and one of the cross-wings having a steeper-pitch roof than the others. 

Court House, Thornfalcon: entrance front
The house as originally built had a three room and through-passage plan, with the hall (to the left of the porch) being open to the roof and heated from an open hearth; the parlour beyond the hall had a large fireplace in the side wall, where there is still a notable early 15th century fireplace with panels of flowing ogee tracery with shields and rosettes. The solar above the parlour was also heated. The service end of the house (to the right of the porch) seems also to have originally been open to the roof, but in the late 16th century the hall and service end were both divided by the construction of floors to create chambers above. The moulded framed plaster ceilings in the hall and parlour date from the same period: that in the hall has turned wooden pendants in the panels. The major enlargement of the house came in about 1870, when the additional gabled wings with oriel windows were built at either end of the house. The dining room (formerly the library) has a Jacobean-style chimneypiece with a pilastered overmantel, panelling, and a ceiling with moulded panels and pendants. There are two main staircases, of the early and later 19th century, and much late 19th century panelling and other woodwork throughout the house. An 18th century chimneypiece survives in the chamber over the hall. The house was divided into two dwellings after 1979, and a single-storey wing was added to the left of the main building in about 2000.

Descent: sold to Nathaniel Butler Batten (c.1713-85); to son, Nathaniel Batten (1743-1819); who left one moiety to his brother Robert Batten (c.1745-1824) and the other to his nephew John Batten (c.1774-1854); Robert's moiety passed to his brother Edmund Batten (c.1748-1836) who bequeathed it to his nephew, John Batten (c.1774-1854), possessor of the other moiety; given c.1840 to son, Edmund Batten (later Chisholm-Batten) (1817-97); to son, James Forbes Chisholm Batten (later Chisholm-Batten) (1847-1915); to son, James Utermark Chisholm-Batten (1884-1915); to brother, Edmund Rodolphe Chisholm-Batten (1887-1982), who sold 1979.

Aldon House, Yeovil, Somerset

A beautifully-situated house, built on the site of an earlier farmhouse for John Batten (1775-1854) in 1829-30. The house is built of Ham stone and is mainly of two storeys, although there are smaller-scale three-storey additions on the north-west; the entrance front is classical - or rather Italianate - and the garden front neo-JacobeanThe architect is unknown, but the entrance side is rather in the manner of Henry Goodridge's villas in Bath, and has two open-pedimented wings framing a five bay entrance front. The original central semi-circular arched doorway has been blocked, and entrance is now through a single storey porch in the angle between the centre and the right-hand wing. 

Aldon House, Yeovil: the entrance front. 

Aldon House, Yeovil: garden front, c.1905.


The garden front has three Dutch gables and mullioned windows in 17th century style, and to its side there once stood a large mid 19th century glazed conservatory. After the Batten family sold the house in 1966 it became a language school until 2006, when it was divided into nine apartments.

Aldon House: cottage orné in Ninesprings valley in the mid 20th century.
The Battens made a romantic walk of the steep valley below the house, with cascades and ponds, to which the public were admitted by ticket in the early 20th century. After the estate was sold, the park was acquired by the local council in the 1970s and is now Ninesprings Park. A cottage ornée lodge built about 1840 stands at the end of the drive, and has deeply overhanging bargeboarded gables, heavily latticed casement windows under dripmoulds and a two oriel windows. A similar cottage once stood in the park, which was used for serving teas to visitors before the Second World War. Unfortunately it became neglected during the war and fell into disrepair. It was demolished in 1973 and only the foundations remain today.

Descent: built for John Batten (c.1774-1854); to son, John Batten (1815-1900); to son, Henry Butler Batten (1845-1912); to nephew, Maj. Herbert Copeland Cary Batten (1884-1963); to son, William Henry Batten (1924-2013), who sold 1966.

Upcerne House, Dorset

The Upcerne estate belonged in the 16th century to the Stourton family, but after the attainder and execution of the 8th Baron Stourton for murder it passed into the hands of the Crown. It was granted in 1572 to John Marsh and Francis Grencham, who sold it almost at once to John Meller of Winterbourne Came (Dorset). According to an early 18th century source, the present house was built by Meller's son, Sir Robert Meller (1564-1624). 

Upcerne Manor: entrance front in 1939. Crown copyright, licenced under the Open Government Licence

Upcerne Manor: phased plan of the house published in 1952. Crown copyright, licenced under the Open Government Licence.

A detailed description of the building in its original form was published in second edition of Hutchins' Dorset in 1813 and accords well with photographs of the house taken before alterations in about 1970. The north-west facing entrance front had a hall at the centre and two projecting gabled cross-wings to either side of a single-storey central porch. The windows were stone mullioned casements with four-centred arched lights and label moulds, of the type 
which continued to be fashionable in Dorset until much later than elsewhere. Hutchins mentions carved stonework and 'capitals of Gothic pillars' built into the walls, and suggested that much of the stone for the new house was reused from Cerne Abbey. This seems very likely, but none of the carved work can still be seen today. The left-hand cross-wing contained the kitchens and other offices, while the right-hand wing at the southern end of the house contained the family accommodation. There were two rooms on the ground floor with panelling and decorative plasterwork, while the finest room in the house was a great chamber which ran the full length of the wing on the first floor and had a coved ceiling with decorative plasterwork in the spandrels at either end depicting the Judgement of Solomon and the story of Abraham and Isaac. Almost certainly the room had a fine chimneypiece too, and there may have been simpler decorative plasterwork on the body of the ceiling, inviting a comparison with the great chamber of Herringston (Dorset), which was created at about the same time. Access to the chamber would have been by the 'Great Stair' which is mentioned by Hutchins, but the position of which is uncertain, since it was removed when the wing was drastically remodelled in about 1840.

Upcerne Manor: garden front as remodelled c.1875-80, photographed c.1892.
In the mid 18th century a short, brick-built service range was added to the north end of the house. The estate then descended rather tortuously to John White, who must have been responsible for the regrettable stripping out of the historic interiors in the 1840s. In 1865 it passed into the more sympathetic hands of John Batten, who remodelled the garden front between 1875 and 1880. Hutchins says that this front originally had a single octagonal bay window running through both floors of the family wing at the southern end of the house, and a recessed centre between this bay and the other cross-wing. Batten completely refaced the elevation, filling in between the gable ends of the two original wings with a plain ashlar facade supporting battlements, and providing both wings with two-storey polygonal bay windows under half-conical roofs. The fenestration echoes the original windows on the entrance front. Later 19th and early 20th century changes were minor: the house was re-roofed in 1892, and a secondary stair turret was added at the north-east end of the main range in 1909.

Upcerne Manor: the entrance front in 2011. Image: Gareth Dawkins. Some rights reserved.
In 1947 the estate was sold by the Battens to Reginald and Vera Broadhead, who created a Capability Brown-style park around it by damming the Cerne river to create a chain of four lakes, two of which have islands, and planting clumps of trees, which now have a convincingly mature feel. Rather later, perhaps c.1970, they altered the house. The first floor above the hall was removed to create a double-height space, and the original stone mullioned casements on the entrance front were replaced by full-height mullioned and transomed windows that copied the detailing of their predecessors. The entrance porch was also altered, with the doorway moved from the front face to the left-hand side wall - perhaps to reduce draughts.

Descent: Crown sold 1572 to John Marsh and Francis Grencham; sold to John Meller (d. 1595); to son, Sir Robert Meller (1564-1624)... Edward Meller (d. 1699); sold 1685 to Nicholas Cary (c.1651-97) of Hackney (Middx), goldsmith; to son, Nicholas Cary... Thomas Strode Cary (d. 1784); to aunt, Grace, wife of John White of Fairlee (IoW);... John White (d. c.1840); to son, John White (1816-45); to brother, William White (d. 1865); to sister, Grace Eleanor (1817-83), wife of John Batten (1815-1900); to son, Col. John Mount Batten (1843-1916), who at first let it to Cdr. the Hon. Gerald Fitzmaurice Digby (1858-1942), but was resident by 1909; to son, Nathaniel Prygge Batten (1881-1941); to sister, Winifred Eleanor Sarah (1882-1965), who sold 1947 to Reginald and Vera Broadhead; sold 1979.... Archduke Michael von Habsburg-Lothringen (b. 1942).

Batten family of Alden and Upcerne


Batten, James (1654-1708). Eldest son of John Batten (d. 1685) of Tuckerton in North Petherton (Som.) and his wife, baptised at Pitminster (Som.), 21 November 1654. He married, 14 September 1688 at Pitminster, Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of Robert Drake of Pitminster, a descendant of the ancient family of Drake of Ashe (Devon), and had issue:
(1) John Batten; who inherited the Tuckerton estate from his father;
(2) Robert Batten (c.1690-1773) (q.v.);
(3) James Batten.
He lived at Tuckerton in North Petherton (Som.).
He died in 1708; his will was proved at Taunton in the same year. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Batten, Robert (c.1690-1773). Second son of James Batten (d. 1708) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of Robert Drake of Pitminster (Som.), born c.1690. He was a friend of Sir Richard Steele and an occasional contributor to The Spectator under the initials 'R.B.'. He married, 29 October 1712 at Lyme Regis (Dorset), Sarah (1681-1774), daughter and co-heiress of Nathaniel Butler of Lyme Regis, goldsmith and mayor of that town in 1690 and 1705, and had issue:
(1) Nathaniel Butler Batten (c.1713-85) (q.v.);
(2) Elizabeth Batten (c.1714-1802), born about 1714; married, 1751, Peter Clark (d. 1772) of Exeter (Devon), merchant, and had issue two daughters; died 18 July, and was buried at the Mint Presbyterian Church, Exeter, 23 July 1802; will proved in the PCC, 25 August 1802.
He lived at Charmouth (Dorset) and later at Ilminster (Som.), and had lands at Taunton, North Petherton, Pitminster and Lyng which were mostly inherited from his grandfather.
He was buried at Lyme Regis, 14 June 1773; his will was proved in the PCC, 12 July 1773. His widow was buried at Lyme Regis, 13 June 1774.

Batten, Nathaniel Butler (c.1713-85). Only son of Robert Batten (c.1690-1773) of Charmouth (Dorset) and his wife Sarah, daughter and co-heiress of Nathaniel Butler of Lyme Regis (Dorset), goldsmith, born about 1713. Articled clerk to John Prigge of Yeovil, attorney, 1730. Solicitor in Yeovil, in independent practice by 1740. A nonconformist, probably a Presbyterian, in religion. He married 1st, 13 December 1737 at Ilminster (Som.), Joanna (1710-38?), daughter and heiress of John Prigge, and 2nd, 1740, Ann (d. 1802), daughter of Edward Adams of Ilminster, mercer, and had issue:
(1.1) John Prigge Batten (1738-1809) (q.v.);
(2.1) Nathaniel Batten (1743-1819), articled clerk to his father, 1762; admitted to Inner Temple, 1777; solicitor in Yeovil; lived at Kingston House, Yeovil and inherited the manor of Thornfalcon from his father; buried at Yeovil, 6 December 1819; will proved in the PCC, 25 May 1820;
(2.2) Robert Batten (c.1745-1824), articled clerk to his father, 1758; solicitor in Hare Court, Inner Temple; a Unitarian in religion; inherited a moiety of the manor of Thornfalcon from his elder brother; said to have married Hannah, daughter of John Copeland of Peckham and Lingfield Lodge (Surrey), and had issue one daughter; buried at the Unitarian chapel, Yeovil, from which his remains were exhumed when the site was redeveloped in 1982-83; will proved in the PCC, 10 June 1825;
(2.3) Edmund Batten (c.1748-1836), articled clerk to his father, 1772; solicitor in Yeovil; clerk to Yeovil Turnpike Trust; a Town Commissioner, 1830-36; banker (in partnership with Samuel Sparkes and Lazarus Baker, solicitors of Crewkerne and Chard, 1819-29 and then with his nephew, John Batten until his death in 1836); a Unitarian in religion; married, 24 April 1810 at Templecombe (Som.), Ann (1766-1845), daughter of Robert Chaffey of Stoke-sub-Hamdon (Som.) and widow of John Brine (d. 1804), but had no issue; probably built Hollands House, Yeovil, as his residence, and inherited a moiety of the manor of Thornfalcon from his brother Robert; lived latterly at Kingston House, Yeovil; died 4 January, and was buried at Yeovil, 14 January 1836; will proved in the PCC, 6 July 1836;
(2.4) Susannah Batten (d. 1841); married, 11 July 1809 at Yeovil, as his second wife, Rev. Samuel Fawcett (1751-1835), the radical Unitarian minister of Yeovil, 1801-16, but had no issue; died Jan-Mar 1841; her will was proved in the PCC, 18 January 1843.
He lived at Yeovil (Som.), where he probably built Church House in about 1770. He inherited an estate at Pitminster (Som.) from his father but sold it and purchased the manor of Thornfalcon.
He was buried at Yeovil, 1 October 1785. His first wife is said to have died, probably in childbirth, in 1738. His widow was buried at Yeovil, 9 September 1802.

Batten, John Prigge (1738-1809). Only son of Nathaniel Butler Batten (c.1713-85) and his first wife, Joanna, daughter and heiress of John Prigge, born 3 November 1738 and baptised at Ilminster Presbyterian church. Articled clerk to his father, 1754. A Unitarian in religion. He married, 25 September 1760 at Yeovil, Ann, daughter of William Wallis, and had issue:
(1) Joanna Batten (c.1762-1828); mentioned as a beneficiary in the wills of her uncles Nathaniel and Robert Batten; married, 13 September 1790 at Whitechapel (Middx), Rev. John Burrow of Taunton, and had issue; buried at Yeovil, 29 November 1828;
(2) Ann Batten (fl. 1829)mentioned as a beneficiary in the wills of her uncles Nathaniel and Robert Batten and her aunt Susannah; probably died unmarried;
(3) Elizabeth Batten (fl. 1829)mentioned as a beneficiary in the wills of her uncles Nathaniel and Robert Batten and her aunt Susannahprobably died unmarried;
(4) Harriet Batten (c.1771-1831), born about 1771mentioned as a beneficiary in the wills of her uncles Nathaniel and Robert Batten and her aunt Susannah; married, 20 April 1795 in Whitechapel (Middx), as his second wife, William Pulham; died 9 June and was buried at Ilminster Presbyterian Chapel (Som.), 16 June 1831;
(5) John Batten (c.1774-1854) (q.v.);
(6) Sarah Batten (c.1774-1824), born about 1774; mentioned as a beneficiary in the will of her uncle Nathaniel Batten; lived at East Coker (Som.); died unmarried and was buried at Yeovil, 20 September 1824.
He lived at Burton Pynsent (Som.).
He died in London and was buried at Bunhill Fields burial ground, 7 February 1809. His wife's date of death is unknown.

John Batten (c.1774-1854) 
Batten, John (c.1774-1854).
Only son of John Prigge Batten (1738-1809) and his wife Ann, daughter of William Wallis, born about 1774. Educated at Inner Temple (admitted 1800). Solicitor in Yeovil in partnership with his son from c.1838; partner in Yeovil Old Bank (Batten, Sparks & Co.) from 1829. JP and DL for Somerset. He married, 8 March 1813 at Christchurch, Newgate St., London, Sarah (c.1780-1821), daughter and eventual co-heiress of John Copeland of Amen Corner, London, wholesale tea dealer, and also of Iver (Bucks) and Lingfield Lodge (Surrey), and had issue:
(1) Mary Anne Batten (c.1814-27), born about 1814; died aged 13 on 2 April and was buried at Yeovil, 10 April 1827;
(2) John Batten (1815-1900) (q.v.);
(3) Emily Batten (c.1816-53); married, 31 July 1849 at Yeovil (Som.), Thomas Bates (1810-82), barrister-at-law, of Lincoln's Inn, Aydon White House and Heddon-on-the-Wall (Northbld), and sometime Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, and had issue one son; died 23 December, and was buried at Yeovil, 31 December 1853; administration of goods granted 22 July 1863 (effects under £20);
(4) Edmund Batten (1817-97) [for whom see Batten (later Chisholm-Batten) of Thornfalcon below];
(5) Herbert Butler Batten (1820-99) of Hollands, Yeovil (Som.), born 25 July 1820; JP and DL for Somerset and JP for Dorset; an officer in the 1st Somerset Militia (Capt.); married, 27 November 1858 at Stoke Trister (Som.), Elizabeth (1827-99), daughter of Rev. William Phelips of Cucklington (Som.) and sister of William Phelips of Montacute (Som.), and had issue (including Herbert Phelips Batten (1859-1918) of Lufton Manor, Yeovil, Somerset); died 9 January 1899 and was buried at Lufton (Som.); will proved 21 March 1899 (estate £91,536).
He built Aldon, Yeovil (Som.) in 1829-30 but appears to have handed it over to his eldest son around the time of the latter's marriage in 1841, and lived latterly at Hollands House, Yeovil. He inherited one moiety of the manor of Thornfalcon from his uncle Nathaniel Batten in 1819 and the other from his uncle Edmund Batten in 1836, together with extensive lands in Thornfalcon, Yeovil, North Petherton, South Petherton, Somerton, Odcombe, Baltonsborough, West Coker, Hardington Mandeville, North Perrott, Queen Camel, West Camel, Ashington and Montacute, all in Somerset.
He died 27 June and was buried at Yeovil, 4 July 1854; his will was proved in the PCC, 4 August 1854. His wife died 27 November and was buried at Yeovil, 4 December 1821.

John Batten (1815-1900) 
Batten, John (1815-1900).
Eldest son of John Batten (c.1774-1854) of Aldon and his wife Sarah, daughter and eventual co-heiress of John Copeland of Iver (Bucks) and Lingfield Lodge (Surrey?), born 17 February 1815. Articled clerk to his father, 1832, and qualified as a solicitor, c.1838. He was subequently in practice as a solicitor at Yeovil in partnership with his father and later with his son as Batten & Son; Town Clerk of Yeovil; clerk to the Yeovil Petty Sessions and the Commissioners of Taxes. Partner in Yeovil Old Bank from 1836 to 1849, when the concern was sold to Stuckey's Bank of Langport (Som.). DL for Somerset and JP for Somerset and Dorset; High Sheriff of Dorset, 1881-82. A Liberal in politics, but did not play an active part in political affairs. He was an ardent antiquarian, a founder member of the Somerset and Dorset Notes & Queries Society, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He married, 25 May 1841 at Brympton (Som.), Grace Eleanor (1817-83), daughter of John White of Upcerne (Dorset) and Fairlee (IoW), and had issue:
(1) Col. John Mount Batten (1843-1916) (q.v.);
(2) Eleanor Harriet Batten (1844-1917), born 1844; married 1st, 29 July 1880 at Yeovil, as his second wife, Rev. Dr. Charles William Williams DD (1819-89), rector of Christchurch, Brondesbury (Middx) and headmaster of North London Collegiate School, son of Rev. Samuel Williams, and 2nd, 17 July 1890 (probably bigamously) at Windermere (Westmld), 'Charles Walter Baker Farquharson', a fraudster and serial bigamist who made a living by marrying women with private incomes and defrauding them; he abandoned her after receiving £1,500 and some jewellery, but was eventually tried and convicted for his crimes under the name Albert Charles Baker in 1896, and was sentenced to seven years in prison; she then reverted to the surname Williams; she died 16 February 1917 and administration of her goods was granted 2 August 1917 (estate £2,249);
(3) Henry Butler Batten (1845-1912) (q.v.);
(4) Emily Jane or Cicely Batten (b. 1847), birth registered as Emily Jane, Apr-June 1847, but probably the child baptised at Yeovil as Cicely Batten, 17 September 1847; apparently died in infancy;
(5) Col. Herbert Cary George Batten (1849-1926) (q.v.);
(6) Arthur John Batten (b. 1850), baptised at Yeovil, 13 May 1850; died in infancy and was buried at Yeovil, 18 May 1850;
(7) Cecily Alice Batten (c.1851-1932), baptised at Preston Plucknett (Som.), 3 February 1852; educated at Missenden House School, Newchurch (IoW); married 1st, 12 June 1879 at Yeovil, Alexander Crawford (1831-87) of Leeds (Yorks WR), architect, son of Samuel Crawford, a Presbyterian minister, and had issue three daughters; married 2nd, 22 August 1895 at Abbots Leigh (Som.), Col. Walter John Tarte (1833-1918) of Wyke Regis (Dorset); died 20 January and was buried at Wyke Regis, 23 January 1932; her will was proved 8 July 1932 and 18 August 1933 (estate £17,229).
He lived at Kingston House, Yeovil until he took over Aldon from his father in about 1841. His wife inherited Upcerne and Fairlee from her brother in 1865.
He died at Weymouth, 8 November, and was buried at Barwick (Som.), 12 November 1900; his will was proved 14 March 1901 (estate £40,102). His wife died 4 July and was buried at Barwick, 9 July 1883*.
* Entered in the register as 9 June in error.

Col. John Mount Batten (1843-1916) 
painted by his father-in-law, James Sant 
Batten, Col. John Mount (1843-1916).
Eldest son of John Batten (1815-1900) and his wife Grace Eleanor, daughter of John White of Upcerne (Dorset) and Fairlee (IoW), born 7 April 1843. Educated at Winchester. JP for Somerset and Dorset; High Sheriff of Dorset, 1903; Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, 1906-16. An officer in the army (Ensign, 1861; Lt., 1865; Capt., 1871; retired 1878; Major, 1887) and in 2nd Royal Lancashire Militia (Capt., 1878; Hon. Major, 1882; Hon. Lt-Col., 1889; Hon. Col. by 1889), who served in the Boer War; he was appointed CB, 1903. He was a Liberal member of Dorset County Council, 1889-92, an Alderman of the County Council, 1901-16, and a Governor of Sherborne School, 1905-16. He married 1st, 16 July 1873 at St James, Piccadilly, Westminster (Middx), Margaret Annie (d. 1893), eldest daughter of Rev. John Brooks, rector of Walton-le-Dale (Lancs), and 2nd, 8 August 1895 at St Mary, West Kensington (Middx), Mary Edith (1852-1949), eldest daughter of James Sant RA, artist, and widow of Howard Frederick Nalder, and had issue:
(1.1) Grace Amy Margaret Batten (1874-1968), baptised at Upcerne, 3 November 1874; married, 6 January 1898 at St Mary Abbots, Kensington (Middx), Lt-Col. Edward George Troyte Bullock CMG TD DL JP (1862-1942) of Zeals House (Wilts), and had issue one son and three daughters; died aged 94 on 28 September 1968; will proved 21 January 1969 (estate £9,708);
(1.2) John Henry Strode Batten (1875-1914), born 23 December 1875; educated at Rossall School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge (matriculated 1894; BA, 1898); JP for Dorset (from 1896); an officer in the King's Liverpool Regt. (2nd Lt., 1899; Lt., 1900; Capt., 1909), who served in the Boer War, where he was in the garrison at Ladysmith throughout the siege, and in the First World War; married, 21 July 1908 at St George, Hanover Sq., Westminster (Middx), Alberta Theresa (1880-1960) (who m2, 29 January 1916, at Christ Church, Mayfair, Westminster (Middx), Arthur Henry Addenbrooke Simcox (d. 1942) of the Indian Civil Service, son of Rev. Henry Kingdom Simcox, and had issue), daughter of Dr. Patrick Kavanagh MD, but had no issue; killed in action in the lifetime of his father, 26 October 1914; will proved 3 March 1915 (estate £896);
(1.3) Nathaniel Prygge Batten (1881-1941) (q.v.);
(1.4) Winifred Eleanor Sarah Batten (1882-1965) (q.v.);
(1.5) Frances Maud Batten (1886-1951), born 16 October 1886 and baptised at Upcerne, 30 June 1887; married, 6 July 1908 at St Mary Abbots, Kensington, Capt. Francis John Langdon (1873-1948), son of John William Langdon of Clifton, merchant, and had issue one daughter; died 12 October 1951; will proved 17 December 1951 (estate £4,318);
(1.6) Catherine Constance Mount Batten (1889-1934), born 10 August and baptised at Upcerne, 13 October 1889; died unmarried, 24 December 1934; administration of goods granted 25 May 1934 (estate £1,878).
He lived at Coker Court, East Coker (Som.) until he inherited the Upcerne (Dorset) estate from his father in 1900. He also had a London home at Mornington Lodge, West Kensington.
He died 5 March and was buried at Upcerne, 9 March 1916; his will was proved 23 June 1916 (estate £14,751). His first wife died 26 September and was buried at Upcerne, 30 September 1893; her will was proved 1 November 1893 (estate £386). His widow died aged 97 on 4 November 1949; her will was proved 29 December 1949 (estate £262,850).

Batten, Nathaniel Prygge (1881-1941). Second, but eldest surviving, son of Col. John Mount Batten (1843-1916) and his first wife, Margaret Annie, eldest daughter of Rev. John Brooks, rector of Walton-le-Dale (Lancs), born 1881. Educated at Sherborne School and Exeter College, Oxford (BA 1905; MA). Solicitor. He suffered from a physical disability which prevented his acceptance for military service, but he volunteered for service in Belgium as a civilian ambulance driver in the First World War. His disability also prevented him from riding but he was a good cricketer and enjoyed shooting, and as a young man he played table tennis competitively. He married, 9 April 1913 at Christ Church, Mayfair, Westminster (Middx), Lily Saunders Graham (1881-1955), daughter of Dr John Eadie MD, but had no issue.
He inherited the Upcerne estate from his father in 1916 but lived at the former parsonage rather than the manor house. At his death the estate passed to his sister Winifred.
He died 25 September and was buried at Upcerne, 27 September 1941; his will was proved 13 May 1942 and 14 May 1943 (estate £5,429). His widow died in Dublin, 30 June 1955; her will was proved 31 October 1955 (estate £899).

Batten, Winifred Eleanor Sarah (1882-1965). Second daughter of Col. John Mount Batten (1843-1916) and his first wife, Margaret Annie, eldest daughter of Rev. John Brooks, rector of Walton-le-Dale (Lancs), born 3 July 1882 and baptised at Up Cerne, 15 April 1883. She served in the First World War with the Voluntary Aid Detachment (Commandant) and Women's Royal Air Force, 1916-18. She was unmarried and without issue.
She inherited the Upcerne estate from her brother in 1941 but sold it in 1947.
She died at Shaftesbury (Dorset), 13 September 1965; her will was proved 10 March 1966 (estate £17,433).

Henry Butler Batten (1845-1912) 
Batten, Henry Butler (1845-1912).
Second son 
of John Batten (1815-1900) and his wife Grace Eleanor, daughter of John White of Upcerne (Dorset) and Fairlee (IoW), born 13 October 1845. Educated at New College, Oxford (matriculated 1864; BA 1869). Solicitor in Yeovil by 1875, presumably after being articled to his father; Town Clerk of Yeovil; clerk to the Yeovil and County Justices. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Aldon, Yeovil from his father in 1900.
He died 1 February 1912 and was buried at Yeovil; his will was proved 16 May 1912 (estate £89,885).





Col. Herbert Cary George Batten (1849-1926) 
Batten, Col. Herbert Cary George (1849-1926).
Third son 
of John Batten (1815-1900) and his wife Grace Eleanor, daughter of John White of Upcerne (Dorset) and Fairlee (IoW), born 3 March 1849 and baptised at Preston Plucknett (Som.), 3 February 1852. Educated at Cheltenham College, Trinity Hall, Cambridge (matriculated 1866; BA 1870) and the Inner Temple (admitted 1869; called 1874). Barrister-at-law on the western circuit and later banker (Director of Stuckey's Bank in Bristol, 1888-1918, and later of the London County and Westminster Bank, and Parr's Bank)He was also Chairman of the Bristol & South Wales Wagon Company and the Bristol Dogs' Home, and a board member of many other hospitals and charitable bodies. JP (from 1890) and DL for Somerset; Sheriff of Bristol, 1904-05, 1907-08. A Liberal in politics he stood unsuccessfully for parliament in East Sussex in 1884 and in West Dorset in 1885 and 1886. He was an officer in the Cambridgeshire Rifle Volunteers (Lt., 1867) and later the 3rd (Militia) Battn, Dorset Regiment (Capt. by 1885; Maj., 1897; Lt-Col commanding, 1901; retired 1909) and later Hon. Col of the battalion. During the First World War he was commander of the Bristol portion of the Gloucestershire Volunteers, and was appointed OBE. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, a member of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, and a talented cultivator of orchids, and while living at Abbots Leigh he built up a noted herd of Guernsey Cattle and established a model dairy, which was managed by his wife. He was a keen sportsman, hunting in Dorset for nearly seventy years, and also enjoyed shooting. He married 1st, 6 August 1878 at Holy Trinity, Brompton (Middx), Frances Eleanor (c.1859-93), daughter of John Beardmore of Uplands Park, Fareham (Hants), and 2nd, 5 October 1898 at St Peter, Cranley Gardens, Kensington (Middx), Isabel Frances (1866-1946), daughter of Gen. Sir Robert Bright GCB, and had issue:
(1.1) Frances Eva Cary Batten (1881-1950), born 26 February and baptised at Up Cerne, 2 October 1881; an accomplished violin and viola player and a member of the Dorset Choral Association; married, 6 February 1907 at Abbots Leigh (Som.), Lt-Col. Richard Bright* (1872-1938) of Prince's Place, Ryme Intrinseca, youngest son of Gen. Sir Robert Bright GCB, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 8 February 1950; will proved 3 July 1950 (estate £20,157);
(1.2) Lt-Col. John Beardmore Batten (1883-1955), born 30 March and baptised at Up Cerne, 5 June 1883; educated at Winchester; an officer in the Royal Fusiliers (2nd Lt., 1901; Capt., 1910; retired as Lt-Col., 1912) who served in the First World War as an officer (Maj.) in Special Reserve Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (wounded; mentioned in despatches) and in civil defence in the Second World War; awarded DSO, 1917; borough councillor for Pennington, Lymington (Hants), 1946-49; married 1st, 10 October 1910 (div. 1926), Mary Evelyn (d. 1962), daughter of John Locke of Kilbeggan (Co. Westmeath) and had issue one son; married 2nd, 17 August 1927, Eleanor Leslie (d. 1959), younger daughter of Canon William Gardner Melville, vicar of Stratford-on-Avon (Warks), and had issue one daughter; died 23 April 1955; will proved 18 July 1955 (estate £1,910);
(1.3) Maj. Herbert Copeland Cary Batten (1884-1963) (q.v.).
His principal residence was at Chetnole House (Dorset) until 1888 when he moved to Leigh Lodge, Abbots Leigh (Som.). He retired to Wyndham House, Sutton Bingham (Som.). He maintained Keyford, Barwick (Som.) as a secondary seat and enlarged it in the 1920s. A serious fire damaged the house in 1926 but it had largely been restored before his death. He also owned Fairlee House in the Isle of Wight (which was let, and sold after his death) and virtually the whole parish of Ryme Intrinseca (Dorset).
He died 26 November 1926, and was buried at Barwick; his will was proved 25 March 1927 (estate £50,046). His first wife died in 1893. His widow died in May 1946.
* His elder sister was his wife's stepmother.

Batten, Maj. Herbert Copeland Cary (1884-1963). Second son of Col. Herbert Cary George Batten (1849-1926) and his first wife, Frances Eleanor, daughter of John Beardmore of Uplands (Hants), born 5 December 1884 and baptised at Up Cerne, 3 May 1885. Educated at Winchester and Trinity Hall, Cambridge (BA). Solicitor; principal of Batten & Co., Yeovil; Town Clerk of Yeovil. JP for Dorset (from 1912) and DL for Somerset (from 1939). An officer in the 3rd Battn, Dorsetshire Regiment (Maj.) who served in First World War (mentioned in despatches, wounded; awarded DSO); Hon. Col. of 663 Super Heavy Regiment, Royal Artillery (Territorial Army), 1948. Freeman of the borough of Yeovil. Master of Cattistock Foxhounds, 1939-55, 1957-60 and Chairman of the hunt, 1960-63. President of Bath & West and Southern Counties Agricultural Society, 1959. He married 1st, 14 August 1912 at Chilfrome (Dorset), Dorothy Lilian Hyde (1892-1951), third daughter of Rev. Edgar Astley Milne MFH, of Chilfrome, and 2nd, 9 June 1952, Pamela Betty (1906-71), second daughter of John Fletcher-Mossop of Ford Castle (Northbld) and widow of F/Offr John Nigel Richards (1908-44), and had issue:
(1.1) Frances Eleanor Daphne Batten (1915-2002), born 12 July 1915; served in Second World War with First Aid Nursing Yeomanry and Auxiliary Territorial Service; married, 8 May 1947, Brig. Anthony Crook MC MRCSE LRCP (1913-2005) of Colly Farm, Dottery, Bridport (Dorset) and had issue two daughters; died 17 October 2002; will proved 12 May 2003;
(1.2) William Henry Batten (1926-2013) (q.v.).
He inherited Aldon House, Yeovil from his uncle Henry in 1912.
He died 30 November 1963 and was buried at Ryme Intrinseca (Dorset), 5 December 1963; his will was proved 21 February 1964 (estate £61,664). His first wife died 24 September 1951 and was buried at Ryme Intrinseca; administration of her goods was granted 30 November 1951 (estate £4,960). His widow died 22 February 1971; her will was proved 16 July 1971 (estate £165,146).

Batten, William Henry (1926-2013). Only son of Maj. Herbert Copeland Cary Batten (1884-1963), and his first wife, Dorothy Lilian Hyde, third daughter of Rev. Edgar Astley Milne of Chilfrome (Dorset), born 29 January 1926. Educated at Marlborough College. An officer in the Royal Marines (2nd Lt., 1944; Lt., 1946; retired, 1949) and in Territorial Army (Capt., 1953; Major, 1958; retired 1961). Admitted a solicitor, 1954. He married, 2 September 1950 at Symondsbury (Dorset), Susan Helen Frances (b. 1929), elder daughter of Sir William Philip Colfox, 1st bt. of Symondsbury Manor, and had issue:
(1) David Henry Cary Batten (b. 1952), born 3 March 1952; educated at Eton; married, Apr-Jun 1981, Sarah G. (b. 1953), daughter of Brig. John Gordon Bagnall MC OBE, but had no issue;
(2) Tessa Mary Batten (b. 1953), born 22 October 1953; married, Jul-Sept 1976, John Garvie Mackenzie-Green (1953-2005) of Beaminster (Dorset), insurance company executive and farmer, son of Jack Green, and had issue two sons and one daughter;
(3) Caroline Bridget Batten (b. 1955), born 13 July 1955; married, Oct-Dec 1978, Angus Handasyde Dick (b. 1954) of Ivybridge (Devon), and had issue two sons and one daughter;
(4) Michael John Batten (b. 1960) of Ryme Intrinseca (Dorset), born 29 January 1960; married, Jul-Sept 1984, Joanna Patricia Winslade (b. 1961), and had issue two sons and one daughter.
He inherited Aldon House, Yeovil from his father in 1963, but sold it in 1966. He lived latterly at Church Farm, Ryme Intrinseca (Dorset).
He died 25 May 2013. His widow is now living.

Batten (later Chisholm-Batten) family of Thornfalcon


Batten (later Chisholm-Batten), Edmund (1817-97). Second son of John Batten (c.1774-1854) of Aldon and his wife Sarah, daughter and eventual co-heiress of John Copeland of Iver (Bucks) and Lingfield Lodge (Surrey), born 3 November 1817. Educated at Sherborne School (head boy), Edinburgh University (admitted 1834; MA), Magdalen Hall, Oxford (matriculated 1845), and the Inner Temple (admitted 1838; called 1842); he was also admitted to Lincoln's Inn in 1849. Barrister-at-law, who was in regular practice for many years, and wrote a number of legal treatises. JP for Somerset and Inverness-shire. He had literary and antiquarian interests, and was a founder member of the Somerset Archaeological & Natural History Society, in whose journal he published almost annually, and was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh from 1857. He was the editor of The charters of the priory of Beauly (1877), and The Register of Richard Fox, Bishop of Bath and Wells (1889). He took the additional surname of Chisholm by royal licence, 1859, and he and his wife matriculated the arms of Chisholm in Scotland in 1860. He married, 1 August 1843 at Windlesham (Surrey), Jemima (1817-83), only daughter of William Chisholm of Erchless Castle (Inverness-shire) and sister and heir of Duncan Macdonnell Chisholm of Chisholm, and had issue:
(1) Jemima Emily Batten (later Chisholm-Batten) (1844-82), baptised at St Mary, Bryanston Sq., London, 1 August 1844; died unmarried and was buried at Thornfalcon, 10 April 1882; administration of her goods granted to her father, 23 November 1882 (effects £230);
(2) James Forbes Chisholm Batten (later Chisholm-Batten) (1847-1915) (q.v.);
(3) Edith Ursula Batten (later Chisholm-Batten) (1849-1902), born 24 February and baptised at St Mary, Bryanston Sq., London, 5 June 1849; died unmarried and was buried at Thornfalcon, 5 December 1902; will proved 26 January 1903 (estate £4,267);
(4) Admiral Alexander William Batten (later Chisholm-Batten) (1851-1925), born 28 September 1851; an officer in the Royal Navy (Lt., 1875; Cdr., 1886; Capt. 1893; retired 1903; Rear-Adm., 1905; Vice-Adm., 1909; Admiral, 1913; returned to active duty as a Capt., 1915); ADC to King Edward VII, 1904-05; appointed MVO, 1903 and DSO, 1917; in 1915 he was nearly drowned while attempting to rescue a man from a dock basin in Portsmouth; married, c.1887, Britannia Ellen (1861-1932), daughter of Nathaniel Wood of Knightsbridge (Middx), greengrocer, and had issue one son and two daughters; after retirement he lived in Edinburgh; died 2 November 1925; will confirmed in Edinburgh, 10 March 1926 (estate £3,062);
(5) Sarah Annette Eliza Batten (later Chisholm-Batten) (1853-1920), baptised at Thornfalcon, 31 July 1853; died unmarried, 9 June 1920; will proved 4 September 1920 (estate £5,227);
(6) Amye Fanny Batten (later Chisholm-Batten) (1856-1932), born 18 May 1856; died unmarried, 24 February 1932; will proved 12 April 1932 (estate £4,465);
(7) An un-named son (1858-59), born 16 December 1858; died in infancy, 1 March 1859;
(8) Lilias Mary Chisholm-Batten (1860-63), born 10 May 1860; died young and was buried at Thornfalcon, 6 June 1863;
(9) Rose Jane Chisholm-Batten (1862-1931), born 18 May and baptised at Mortlake (Surrey), 28 June 1862; died unmarried, 23 November 1931; will proved 8 February 1932 (estate £7,148).
He was apparently given Court House, Thornfalcon by his father and bought further land in the parish from the Wyndham family in about 1840. His wife inherited the Aigas Forest estate (Inverness-shire) from her brother in 1858.
He died 13 February 1897 and was buried at Thornfalcon; administration of his goods was granted to his elder son, 17 May 1897 (effects £18,225). His wife died intestate, 30/31 August 1883 and was buried at Thornfalcon; administration of her goods was granted 4 March 1886 (estate £27).

Batten (later Chisholm-Batten), James Forbes Chisholm (1847-1915). Elder son of Edmund Batten (1817-97) and his wife Jemima, only daughter of William Chisholm and sister and heir of Duncan Macdonnell Chisholm of Chisholm, born 13 January and baptised at St Mary, Bryanston Sq., London, 14 April 1847. His surname became Chisholm-Batten in 1859. Educated at Winchester and Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1866; BA 1870). An officer in the army (Ensign, 1869; Lt., 1871; Capt., 1880; retired from active service and moved to pay dept, 1881; Maj., 1895; Lt-Col. 1900; retired 1905). JP for Somerset and Inverness-shire. He married, 9 August 1883 at Erith (Kent), Anne Douglas (d. 1917), eldest daughter of John de Havilland Utermarck, bailiff of Guernsey, and widow of Capt. William Bothwell Potter, and had issue:
(1) James Utermark Chisholm-Batten (1884-1915), born 29 May 1884; an officer in 3rd Battalion, Dorset Regiment (2nd Lt., 1909; Lt., 1912); he was unmarried and without issue when he was killed in action, 30 September 1915; administration of goods granted to his mother, 5 September 1916 (estate £731);
(2) Harry Copeland Chisholm-Batten (1885-86), born 21 October and baptised at Ambala, Bengal (India), 21 November 1885; died in infancy, Jan-Mar 1886;
(3) Edmund Rodolphe Chisholm-Batten (1887-1982) (q.v.);
(4) Maj. John de Havilland Chisholm-Batten (1889-1917), born 14 October 1889; educated at Winchester; an officer in the 58th Battalion, Royal Field Artillery (Maj.), who served in First World War; he was unmarried and without issue when he was killed in action, 7 August 1917; he was buried at Wulverghem-Lindenhoek Road Military Cemetery, Heuvelland (Belgium).
He inherited Court House, Thornfalcon and Aigas Forest from his father in 1897. After his death they passed in turn to his sons James (who was killed six months later) and Edmund.
He died 17 March 1915 and was buried at Thornfalcon; his will was proved February 1916 and 31 May 1917 (estate £19,633). His widow died 1 December 1917.

Chisholm-Batten, Edmund Rodolphe (1887-1982). Third son of James Forbes Chisholm Batten (later Chisholm-Batten) (1847-1915) and his wife Anne Douglas, eldest daughter of John de Havilland Utermark, bailiff of Guernsey, and widow of Capt. William Bothwell Potter, born 10 May 1887. Educated at HMS Britannia (Naval cadet, 1902; Midshipman, 1903; retired 1905) and Tamworth Agricultural College. He married, 29 September 1920 at All Saints, Woodham (Surrey), Winifred Mary (1893-1975), elder daughter of Ernest Harry Cain of Chobham (Surrey), and had issue:
(1) Evelyn Anne Chisholm-Batten (1921-2019), born 21 July 1921; married, 29 August 1942, John Henry Cromwell-Bush, farmer in Kenya, elder son of Rev. Paul Cromwell-Bush, vicar of Queen Camel (Som.), and had issue two sons and two daughters; died aged 98 on 3 February 2019; will proved 30 May 2019;
(2) Walter Rodolphe Chisholm-Batten (1923-2020), born 25 July 1923; educated at Marlborough and Edinburgh University (MD); an officer in the Royal Navy (Surgeon-Lt., 1954; ret. about 1962) and later physician in general practice (MRCS, LRCP); married 1st, 20 December 1946 at Thornfalcon (div. 1968), Jean Elizabeth (1927-89), younger daughter of Capt. George Henry Taberman of Harrow-on-the-Hill (Middx) and had issue two sons and two daughters; married 2nd, 2 November 1968, Shirley Elizabeth Innes, eldest daughter of Norman Dyson Innes Rycroft of The Grove, Thornton Hough (Ches.) and formerly wife of David P.S. Terry, and had further issue one son and one daughter; died aged 97 on 17 December 2020;
(3) Robert Edmund Chisholm-Batten (1928-2008), born 7 June 1928; educated at Marlborough; he was unmarried and had no issue, but in 1955 was prosecuted and fined in a Dublin court for the seduction of Mrs. Leonard Hailey; died 23 September 2008 and was buried at Thornfalcon; his will was proved 24 November 2008.
He inherited Court House, Thornfalcon, and Aigas Forest from his elder brother in 1915, and Erchless Castle (Inverness-shire) from his kinswoman in 1935. The Scottish estates were sold in 1937. Thornfalcon was sold in 1979.
He died aged 94 on 15 March 1982 and was buried at Thornfalcon; his will was proved 17 March 1983 (estate £81,641). His wife died 8 July 1975 and was buried at Thornfalcon; her will was proved 15 October 1975 (estate £5,660).

Principal sources

Burke's Landed Gentry, 1972, pp. 48-50; Somerset Vernacular Building Research Group report, March 2001; J. Orbach & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Somerset - South and West, 2014, pp. 636, 723; M.J. Hill, West Dorset Country Houses, 2014, pp. 281-84;

Location of archives

Batten of Aldon, Yeovil: manorial records, deeds, estate papers, correspondence, legal papers, maps, diaries, genealogical and antiquarian papers and records of legal practice in Yeovil, 14th-20th cents. [Somerset Heritage Centre A\EIK]

Coat of arms

Batten of Aldon and Upcerne: Azure, a chevron nebuly ermine between three anchors erect, each entwined with a cable or, a chief enarched of the last.
Chisholm-Batten of Thornfalcon: Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Azure, a chevron nebuly ermine between three anchors erect, each entwined with a cable or, a chief enarched of the last; 2nd and 3rd, Gules, a boar's head couped or, langued azure.

Can you help?

  • I am always interested to see additional images of the houses depicted in posts, especially early drawings, watercolours or photographs, if anyone has these. 
  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide photographs or portraits of people whose names appear in bold above, and who are not already illustrated, or better images of the portraits I already have.
  • Any other additions or corrections to the text above will be gratefully received and incorporated. I am always particularly pleased to hear from descendants of the family who can supply information from their own research or personal knowledge for inclusion.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 31 May 2021.