|Bell of Woolsington|
The eldest son of Matthew IV was Matthew Bell V (1793-1871), who was educated at Eton and Oxford, and inherited Woolsington shortly before coming of age. He acquired an early reputation as a public speaker and interested himself in public affairs, becoming a JP and Deputy Lieutenant, and serving as High Sheriff in 1816-17. In 1826 he was elected to Parliament as one of the MPs for Northumberland, after a ruinously expensive bye-election, and then incurred further expense in defending his seat at the general election later that year. He claimed the two contests had cost him £43,000, but the true figure may have been even higher, and financing them placed a burden of debt on the Woolsington estate which was never wholly eliminated by his successors. Fortunately, after 1826 he was returned unopposed and he retained the seat until 1853. In the same year as he was elected to Parliament, he became the commanding officer of the Northumberland Yeomanry Cavalry, a post he retained until 1867, when he was 74 years of age! Matthew V and his wife were childless, so on his death Woolsington passed to his younger brother Henry Bell (1803-87), who after a brief career in the army had lived most of his life in relatively modest circumstances at Cheltenham (Glos). On inheriting the estate, he worked hard to pay off the debts his brother had incurred in the 1820s, but there was still a significant burden when he was succeeded by his nephew, Charles Loraine Bell (1836-1921), who had been a career civil servant at the Board of Trade until he retired in 1886. He inherited an estate with flourishing coal revenues, and continued his uncle's policy of paying off mortgages whenever possible, but increasing taxation and philanthropic interests meant he could never quite clear the debts. His only son, Walter Loraine Bell (1877-1965), must also have been a source of constant anxiety and expense, as he consistently lived beyond his means. His extreme enthusiasm for bloodsports led to his becoming MFH of several different hunts in England and Ireland at different times, and to several brushes with the law: rarely can the Oscar Wilde tag "the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable" have been more justly applied. In 1920 his father sold most of the Woolsington estate and after he inherited the following year he also sold the house. He may then have gone abroad for a time, but lived the later years of his life at Budleigh Salterton (Devon).
Woolsington Hall, Northumberland
The house was built, perhaps on the site of an earlier predecessor, in the late 17th century, and shows the influence of Robert Trollope, the leading master mason of Newcastle, some of whose distinctive Baroque devices are employed, although there is no evidence to suggest he worked here himself. The identity of the client is not certain: it has been suggested that it was built for the Errington family of Ponteland (Northbld), but it seems to have belonged to the Jenison family of Elswick (Northbld) by 1663, so they are the more likely builders.
As first constructed the house was a square double-pile building with the main rooms facing south over the park. The south front (now rendered) has a three bay centre framed by giant angle pilasters with ball finials, and a parapet, making the house a rustic cousin of Capheaton Hall. The windows are mullioned and transomed and three lights wide, of stone on the upper floor, and timber below; and all of them have a kind of depressed shell motif instead of pediments. The windows and the central doorcase are framed by unusually thick and very distinctive bead mouldings. To either side of this 17th century block flanking stone wings with vases on their parapets were added in 1794 (left) and in the early 19th century (right). At the rear, there is a Venetian window lighting the staircase hall with broad (and thus probably early or mid 18th century) glazing bars, and two surviving cross-windows, one of which is now blind. To the east is an early 19th century wing, perhaps to be associated with the work which John Dobson is known to have carried out here in 1828, which was further extended in the late 19th century. There are also a collection of 18th and 19th century outbuildings, including an orangery with urn finials dated on its rainwater heads to 1797.
|Woolsington Hall: the house from the north-west in 2010. Image: Peter Maddison. Some rights reserved.|
All this is written in the present tense, but the house stood empty and decaying for more than two decades after it was acquired by Sir John Hall's property development company in 1994. Schemes for it becoming the centre of a training ground for Newcastle United FC and for its development for a hotel and housing fell through, and on 29 December 2015 arsonists started a series of fires throughout the building which completely gutted the historic core.
The roof and mid 18th century staircase, the most significant internal features, were completely destroyed. Parts of the building that survived the fire subsequently collapsed or were dismantled for safety reasons, and emergency works saw scaffolding put in place to hold up the external walls. The opportunity was taken for detailed archaeological recording of the surviving parts of the structure and reclaimed materials, and plans for reinstatement of the roof and shell in preparation for a revived hotel scheme seem now to have been implemented. The suburbs of Newcastle are now lapping energetically at the southern edge of the park and have indeed swallowed one quarter of the park, while immediately to the north is Newcastle airport. In such a location the future of the house must inevitably be commercial or institutional.
|Woolsington Hall: the staircase destroyed in the fire of 2015.|
A map of 1727 shows a formal garden to the south and east of the house, with a central path leading to gates on the southern boundary of the garden, while a grove of trees lay to the west and the kitchen garden stood to the north-east. By 1769 the house was approached from the west, but there is no indication of the informal parkland that had been laid out by the early 19th century, with a long drive to the south ending at a set of four early 19th century gatepiers on the Newcastle-Ponteland road, where there was a lodge by 1858. A brick walled garden stands north-west of the house, while to the east is an orangery dated 1797, which presumably gives a fair indication of when the main park improvements were undertaken. A linear lake some half a mile south of the house, formed by damming the Ouse Burn, divided the southern third of the park from the rest. The identity of the landscape architect responsible for the scheme is unknown.
Descent: sold 1653 to Thomas Wharton and Gilbert Crouch, land speculators; sold by 1663 to Ralph Jenison of Elswick; to son?, Henry Jenison (b. 1676; fl. 1723); to son?, Robert Jenison (fl. 1732); sold 1741 to John Dagnia (d. 1743); to sons, of whom James Dagnia bought out his brothers and sold 1748 to Matthew Bell II (1708-86); to grandson, Matthew Bell IV (1768-1811); to son, Matthew Bell V (1793-1871); to brother, Henry Bell (1803-87); to nephew, Charles Loraine Bell (1836-1921); to son, Walter Loraine Bell (1877-1965) who sold in 1922 to John Angus; sold by 1930 to Sidney Harrison Smith (1882-1965); to son, William Scott Smith (d. 1988), who sold...; sold 1994 to Cameron Hall Developments.
Bell family of Woolsington Hall
Bell, Matthew I (1677-1748). Said to be the son of John Bell (1650-1716) of Mersington, Eccles (Berwicks), baptised 21 March 1677. At various times described as a butcher, woollen draper, coal owner, and merchant adventurer in Newcastle-on-Tyne. He married 1st, 9 March 1694/5 at St Nicholas, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Frances (d. 1700?), widow of [forename unknown] Jamieson or Jennison, and 2nd, 25 November 1701, Ann (1673-1732?), daughter of Thomas Salkeld (d. 1727) of Newcastle, and had issue:
(2.1) Thomas Bell (1702-40), born 12 July and baptised at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 17 September 1702; apprenticed to John Stephenson, boothman (corn merchant), 1726, and made a freeman of Newcastle, 1736; said to have died at Bristol (Glos), 1740;
(2.2) James Bell (1703-05), baptised at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 26 October 1703; died in infancy and was buried at St Nicholas, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 21 January 1704/5;(2.3) Elizabeth Bell (1705-89), born 22 January and baptised at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 8 February 1704/5; married, 14 October 1722 at Boldon (Co. Durham), John Stephenson (1685-1761), alderman and sheriff of Newcastle, and had issue fifteen children; died 25 January and was buried at St Nicholas, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 29 January 1789, where she and her husband are commemorated by a monument;(2.4) Margaret Bell (1706-07), born 22 July 1706 and baptised at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 13 February 1706/7; died in infancy and was buried at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 7 November 1707;(2.5) Matthew Bell II (1708-86) (q.v.);(2.6) George Bell (b. & d. 1709), born 28 April 1709; died in infancy and was buried at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 26 May 1709;(2.7) Ann Bell (1712-40), born 25 September and baptised at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 16 October 1712; married, 23 November 1739 at Boldon, William Fenwick; died 23 February and was buried at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 26 February 1739/40;(2.8) Barbera Bell (1714-41), born 24 April and baptised at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 11 May 1714; died unmarried and was buried at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 17 November 1741.
He lived in Newcastle on Tyne.
He died 3 June and was buried at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 6 June 1748. His first wife is said to have died in 1700. His second wife is said to have died 12 April 1732*.
* I cannot find a corresponding burial, but there is one for an Ann Bell buried at St Nicholas, Newcastle-on-Tyne on 28 January 1730/1, which may refer to her.
Bell, Matthew II (1708-86). Only surviving son of Matthew Bell I (1677-1748) of Newcastle-on-Tyne and Mersington (Berwicks), and his wife Ann, daughter of Thomas Salkeld, born 17 March 1707/8 and baptised at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 6 April 1708. Apprenticed to his grandfather, Thomas Salkeld (d. 1727), boothman (corn merchant), 1724 and later transferred to John Stephenson, 1728; made a freeman of Newcastle, 1733. One of the 'hostmen' of Newcastle, a cartel controlling the export of coal from the River Tyne, and a partner in the Newcastle Bank, and the Newcastle Whale Fishing Company; Alderman of Newcastle (Sheriff, 1736 and Mayor, 1757-58). He married, 19 February 1744 at Gosforth (Northbld), Jane (1721-92), daughter of Rev. Richard Ridley of Heaton (Northbld), and had issue:
(1) Matthew Bell III (1746-82) (q.v.);(2) Margaret Bell (1749-1839), born 15 July and baptised at St John, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 14 August 1749; married, 24 July 1771 at Newburn (Northbld), John Ford (1749-1829) of London and Bath (Som.), lawyer, and had issue two sons and two daughters; died at Walcot, Bath aged 90, and was buried at Bathford (Som.), 19 November 1839;(3) Ann Bell (1750-51), baptised at St John, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 25 June 1750; died in infancy and was buried at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 17 July 1751;(4) Jane Bell (1753-1803), born 9 January and baptised at St John, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 19 February 1752/3; married, 14 October 1777 at Newcastle-on-Tyne, James Wilkinson (1755-1810), and had issue two daughters; buried at St John, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 26 November 1803;(5) Richard Bell (1756-1824?), born 20 July and baptised at St John, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 16 August 1756; sheriff of Newcastle, 1782; possibly the man of this name buried at Ballast Hills Cemetery, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 17 December 1824.
He purchased the Woolsington Hall estate in 1748.
He died 2/3 September and was buried at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 6 September 1786. His widow was buried at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 19 June 1792.
Bell, Matthew III (1746-82). Elder son of Matthew Bell II (1708-86) and his wife Jane, daughter of Richard Ridley of Heaton (Northbld), born 30 April and baptised at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 29 May 1746. An officer in the Northumberland militia (Lt-Col. commanding). He became a freeman of Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1766. He married*, 23 July 1767 at Bishop Auckland (Co. Durham), Dulcibella (1747-78), second daughter of Sir Robert Eden, 3rd bt., of Windlestone (Co. Durham), and had issue:
(1) Matthew Bell IV (1768-1811) (q.v.);(2) Maria Bell (1769-97), born 13 November and baptised 12 December 1769; died unmarried, 5 May and was buried at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 8 May 1797;(3) Jane Bell (1771-93), born 4 January and baptised at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 5 February 1771; married, 7 January 1792 at Ford (Northbld), the Hon. William Hay (1772-1819), who in 1798 succeeded his brother as 17th Earl of Erroll (he m2, 3 August 1796, Alicia (d. 1812), third daughter of Samuel Eliot of Antigua, and had further issue three sons and five daughters, and m3, 14 October 1816 at Bishops Caundle (Dorset), Hon. Harriet (d. 1864), third daughter of Lt-Col. the Hon. Hugh Somerville, and had further issue one son and two daughters), and had issue one daughter; died following childbirth, 16 April, and was buried at Ford, 18 April 1793;(4) Col. Robert Bell (1772-1851), born 16 February and baptised at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 17 March 1772; became a freeman of Newcastle on Tyne, 1819; mayor Newcastle, 1822-23 and 1828-29; lived at Longbenton and later at Fenham Hall, Newcastle (Northbld); married 1st, 22 June 1807 at Cantley (Yorks WR), Anna Mildreda (1781-1816), daughter of Childers Walbank Childers of Cantley Lodge, and had issue one daughter; married 2nd, 23 June 1832 at Chester-le-Street (Co. Durham), Emma Donna (1786-1859), daughter of Isaac Cookson of Whitehill; died 10 January 1851;(5) Dulcibella Bell (1773-1856), born 12 May and baptised at St Nicholas, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 10 June 1773; married, 2 January 1800 at in the chapel of Lambeth Palace (Surrey), Rev. Robert Moore (1777-1865), a canon of Canterbury Cathedral who also held a sinecure position in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury worth more than £10,000 a year, third son of Most Rev. John Moore (1730-1805), Archbishop of Canterbury, 1783-1805, and had issue one son and three daughters; died 4 August 1856;(6) Henry Bell (1774-1836), born 24 July and baptised at St Nicholas, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 22 August 1774; an officer in the Wolsington Loyal Yeomanry Cavalry (Lt., 1798); became a freeman of Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1806; sheriff of Newcastle, 1832-33 and mayor of Newcastle, 1833-34; married, 2 June 1807 at St Giles, Northampton (Northants), Susanna Jane (1788-1871), daughter of Rowland Mainwaring of Northampton, and had issue four sons and five daughters; died 8 July and was buried at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 13 July 1836.
He seems to have lived in Newcastle-on-Tyne.
He died in the lifetime of his father, 28 December 1782, and was buried at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 2 January 1783. His first wife died 24 September and was buried 28 September 1778.
* Some sources say he married 2nd, 26 August 1779 at Beverley Minster (Yorks ER), Elizabeth Grand, but this seems to involve another person of the same name.
Bell, Matthew IV (1768-1811). Eldest son of Col. Matthew Bell III (1746-82) and his wife Dulcibella, second daughter of Sir Robert Eden, 3rd bt., born 11 July and baptised at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 6 August 1768. Educated at Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1785). High Sheriff of Northumberland, 1797-98; an officer in the Wolsington Loyal Yeomanry Cavalry (Capt. commanding, 1798). He married, 9 June 1792 at Middleton Lodge, Rothwell (Yorks WR), by special licence, Sarah Frances (1770-1866), daughter of Charles Brandling of Gosforth House (Northbld), and had issue:
(1) Matthew Bell V (1793-1871) (q.v.);(2) Elizabeth Jane Bell (1794-1868), born 19 November 1794 and baptised at Ponteland, 12 January 1795; lived at Cheltenham (Glos) and later at Tunbridge Wells (Kent); died unmarried, 14 February 1868; will proved 2 July 1869 (effects under £6,000);(3) Dulicibella Bell (1796-1801), born 4 June and baptised at Ponteland, 4 July 1796; died young and was buried at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 19 September 1801;(4) Sarah Frances Bell (1798-1857), born 16 January and baptised at Ponteland, 10 February 1798; married, 25 May 1826 at British Chaplaincy, Geneva (Switzerland), Sir John James Walsham (1805-74), 1st bt., of Knill Court (Herefs), poor law inspector, and had issue four sons and two daughters; died at Devon Cottage, Blackheath (Kent), 19 August 1857;(5) Charles Bell (1799-1844), born 26 January and baptised at Ponteland, 24 February 1799; an officer in the Royal Navy (midshipman, 1813; Lt., 1821; Cmdr., 1827); married 1st, 11 December 1828 at Gosforth (Northbld), Mary (1802-31), youngest daughter of Rev. Ralph Henry Brandling, rector of Rothwell (Yorks WR); and 2nd, 18 April 1837 at Longbenton (Northbld), Rachel Ann (1819-86), (who m2, 9 August 1855 at Newcastle-on-Tyne, Sir Peter Fairbairn (1799-1861), kt., engineer, inventor, and mayor of Leeds, 1857-59) fourth daughter of Robert William Brandling of Low Gosforth (Northbld), but died without issue when he drowned in the Bay of Islands (New Zealand), 8 August 1844; buried at Christ Church (New Zealand);(6) Robert John Bell (1800-26), born 7 June 1800 and baptised at Ponteland, 18 April 1801; educated at Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1818; BA 1823; MA 1825); died at Acton Priory (Middx), 9 September and was buried at Hambleden (Bucks), 16 September 1826;(7) Henry Bell (1803-87) (q.v.);(8) Rev. John Bell (1805-69) (q.v.);(9) Capt. William Bell (1806-57), born 23 October and baptised at Ponteland, 5 November 1806; an officer in the 43rd regiment (Ensign, 1824; Lt., 1828; Capt., 1831) and later barrack master at Ipswich (Suffk); married, 10 March 1842 at Simonburn (Northbld), Jane (1814-84), third daughter of John Ridley of Park End, Simonburn (Northbld), and had issue one son and one daughter; died at Ipswich, 14 August 1857;(10) Dulcibella Bell (1807-1901), born 27 December 1807 and baptised at Ponteland, 11 January 1808; companion to her widowed mother; lived latterly at Newcastle-on-Tyne; died unmarried, 6 June 1901; will proved 28 August 1901 (estate £6,689).
He inherited the Woolsington Hall estate from his grandfather in 1786.
He died in London, 26 April, and was buried at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 6 May 1811; his will was proved 22 October 1811 (effects under £50,000). His widow died aged 96 at Cheltenham (Glos), 14 August 1866.
|Matthew Bell (1793-1871) .|
Image: National Portrait Gallery.
He inherited the Woolsington Hall estate from his father in 1811 and was one of the 'Great Northern coal owners'. He built Fawdon House as a dower house for his mother's use. At his death the estate was placed in trust for his next surviving brother, Henry.
He died 28 October 1871; his will was proved 22 December 1871 (effects under £30,000). His widow died 30 December 1873; her will was proved 6 March 1874 (effects under £20,000).
Bell, Henry (1803-87). Fourth son of Matthew Bell IV (1768-1811) and his wife Sarah Frances, daughter of Charles Brandling, born 1 April and baptised at Ponteland (Northbld), 15 April 1803. An officer in the army (Ensign, 1820; Lt., 1825; Capt., 1826; retired on half-pay). After inheriting the Woolsington estate, he worked to reduce the burden of debt on the property. He married, 2 August 1831 at Cheltenham (Glos), Helen (1811-78), only daughter and heiress of Sir William Bagenal Burdett (1770-1840), 3rd bt., but had no issue.
After leaving the army, he lived at Chalfont Lodge, Leckhampton (Glos) until he inherited the Woolsington Hall estate from his elder brother in 1871. At his death it passed to his nephew, Claude Loraine Bell (1836-1921).
He died 17 November 1887 and was buried at Dinnington (Northbld), where he is commemorated by two monuments; his will was proved 27 March 1888 (effects £38,479). His wife died 5 July 1878 and was also buried at Dinnington, where she is commemorated by a monument; administration of her goods was granted 16 September 1878 (effects under £5,000).
Bell, Rev. John (1805-69). Fifth son of Matthew Bell IV (1768-1811) and his wife Sarah Frances, daughter of Charles Brandling, born 28 June and baptised at Ponteland, 14 July 1805. Educated at University College, Oxford (matriculated 1822; BA 1827; MA 1832). Ordained deacon, 1829 and priest, 1830. Vicar of Rothwell (Yorks WR), 1829-69; chaplain to the Earl of Mexborough; rural dean of Wakefield by 1858; proctor in convocation for the archdeaconry of Craven; and canon of Ripon Cathedral, 1869. He held moderate High Church views, and was much respected by his brother clergy in the diocese of York. He married, 20 December 1828 at St John, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Isabella Elizabeth (1805-81), only daughter of Sir Charles Loraine (1779-1833), 5th bt., of Kirkharle (Northbld), and had issue:(1) Isabella Elizabeth Bell (1829-1910), born 23 October 1829 and baptised at Gosforth (Northbld), 2 April 1830; after her mother died, lived at the Palazzo Consiglio, via Amadeo, Naples (Italy) for much of her life; died unmarried, 1 February 1910; will proved 22 June 1910 (effects in England, £1,890);(2) Matthew Bell (1831-59), born 11 February and baptised at Rothwell, 4 April 1831; educated at Eton; an officer in the army (Ensign, 1849; Lt., 1853); died unmarried of smallpox at Peshawar, Bengal (India), 11 January 1859, and was buried there the following day;(3) John Bell (1832-77?), born 24 June and baptised at Rothwell, 11 July 1832; said to have died at Beaufort, Victoria (Australia), 1877;(4) Robert John Bell (1833-58), born 16 September and baptised at Rothwell, 18 October 1833; an officer in 37th regiment (Ensign, 1854; Lt.,1855); died at sea on his way home from Calcutta, 12 May 1858;(5) Frances Sarah Bell (1835-1905), born 13 April and baptised at Rothwell, 22 May 1835; married, 23 April 1863 at Rothwell, Rev. Shepley Watson Hemingway (later Watson) (1827-99), rector of Barton (Cumbld), 1875-78 and Bootle (Cumbld), 1878-99, and had issue four sons and one daughter; died at Dawlish (Devon), 23 April 1905; administration of goods granted 13 July 1905 (estate £810);(6) Charles Loraine Bell (1836-1921) (q.v.);(7) Rev. Henry Bell (1838-1919), born 4 January and baptised at Rothwell, 12 March 1838; educated at Marlborough College and Durham University (L.Th 1861); ordained deacon, 1862 and priest, 1864; assistant master, Marlborough College, 1861-73; chaplain to Lord Muncaster and vicar of Muncaster (Cumbld), 1873-1907; rural dean of Gosforth, 1878-1907; hon. canon of Carlisle Cathedral, 1883-1907; lived latterly at St Jean-de-Luz (France); married, 17 April 1873 at Kilmore (Co. Kerry), Katherine (c.1846-1927), daughter of Sir Peter George Fitzgerald (1808-80), 1st bt. and 19th Knight of Kerry, and had issue three sons and three daughters; died in France, 11 June 1919; will proved 18 September 1919 (estate £7,180);(8) William Bell (1839-1916), born 24 March and baptised at Rothwell, 22 April 1839; educated at Rossall Hall (Lancs); served in the Royal Navy but emigrated to Cleveland, Ohio (USA) in 1873, and was naturalised as an American citizen, 1889; married, 27 July 1873 at Braddan (Isle of Man), Martha (1854-1939), daughter of Joseph Hill, and had issue one son and two daughters; died at Cleveland, 20 March 1916;(9) Emma Rachel Bell (1840-1909), born 7 December 1840 and baptised at Rothwell, 19 January 1841; married, 10 June 1869 at Rothwell, Capt. Albert Frank Adams (1843-1913), second son of Francis Adams (1812-85) of Clifton (Glos), and had issue seven sons and one daughter; died 20 August and was buried at Dawlish (Devon), 24 August 1909;(10) Frank Bell (1842-1902?), born 21 May and baptised at Longhoughton (Northbld), 23 September 1842; served in Royal Navy and afterwards emigrated to Torna, New South Wales (Australia); said to have died in 1902;(11) Helen Alice Bell (1843-1903), born 3 December 1843 and baptised at Rothwell, 19 February 1844; lived at Carlisle (Cumbld); died unmarried at Woolsington Hall, 5 April 1903; will proved 2 June 1903 (estate £4,414);(12) Edward Savile Bell (1845-77), born 30 March and baptised at Rothwell, 19 May 1845; educated at Marlborough College; schoolmaster; emigrated to Beechworth, Victoria (Australia); married, 1873, Jessie Hamilton, and had issue one son; died of heatstroke at sea, 21 June/21 July 1877; will proved 15 October 1877;(13) Arthur George Bell (1846-89), born 20 August and baptised at Rothwell, 16 September 1846; corresponding clerk; lived at Shrewsbury and later at Prees (Shrops.); married, 13 January 1876 at St Mary, Shrewsbury, Mary (1836-1908), daughter of Joseph Harper of Wolverley, Wem (Shrops.), farmer, and widow of John Cheshire, grocer, and had issue two daughters; died 29 January and was buried at Prees, 1 February 1889; administration of goods granted to his widow, 16 February 1889 (effects £231);(14) Gertrude Mary Bell (1848-78), born 24 June and baptised at Rothwell, 26 August 1848; married, 1 August 1872 at Rothwell, Richard Harrison (1846-1906) of Grimston Lodge, Tadcaster (Yorks WR), son of Richard Harrison, and had issue two sons and four daughters; died 25 October and was buried at Rothwell, 29 October 1878.
He lived at Oulton House and later at Hemingway House, Oulton Green (Yorks WR).
He died 14 October and was buried at Rothwell, 18 October 1869; administration of his goods was granted 14 December 1869 (effects under £14,000). His widow died at Neville Hall, Middleham (Yorks NR), 15 March 1881; her will was proved 11 April 1881 (effects under £300).
|Charles Loraine Bell (1836-1921)|
(1) Margaret Ellen Bell (1873-1953), born 15 March and baptised at Great Stanmore (Middx), 23 April 1873; married, 12 June 1901 at Dinnington (Northbld), her cousin, Claude Henry Watson (1869-1945), land agent, third son of Rev. Shepley Watson Hemingway (later Watson) of Bootle (Cumbld), and had issue one son and two daughters; died 24 January 1953 and was buried at Dinnington, where she and her husband are commemorated by a monument; will proved 17 April 1953 (estate £11,132);(2) Isabel Gertrude Bell (1875-1954), born 13 March and baptised at Great Stanmore, 20 March 1875; married, 14 July 1898 at Ponteland (Northbld), Lt-Col. Eustace Guinness RA (1860-1901) of Burton Hall, Stillorgan (Co. Dublin), son of Henry Guinness (1829-93), and had issue two sons; died in London, 19 November and was buried at Haslemere (Surrey), 23 November 1954; will proved 18 April 1955 (estate £4,047);(3) Walter Loraine Bell (1877-1965) (q.v.);(4) Dulcibella Mildreda Bell (1887-1931), born 6 February and baptised at St Mary, Watford (Herts), 3 April 1887; girl guides commissioner for Bedfordshire; a lifelong asthmatic; married, 1 June 1920 at All Saints, Gosforth (Northbld), Lt-Col. Norman Percy Clarke (1878-1945) of Blunham Grange (Beds.); died 19 June 1931 and was buried at Tempsford (Beds), 23 June 1931.
He inherited the Woolsington Hall estate from his uncle in 1887, but sold much of the land in 1920.
He died 13 November 1921 and was buried at Dinnington (Northbld); will proved 15 May 1922 (estate £21,787). His widow died 21 May 1933.
Bell, Walter Loraine (1877-1965). Only son of Charles Loraine Bell (1836-1921) and his wife Anna Roberta, youngest daughter of Charles Bernard, born 30 May and baptised at Great Stanmore (Middx), 12 July 1877. Master of East Cheriton Otter Hounds, 1905 and later of East Galway Fox Hounds and joint Master of the Duhallow Hunt. He troubled the courts on several occasions, being fined for trespass in pursuit of game in 1901; jailed (though reduced to a fine on appeal) for cruelty to cats in 1905; and appearing as co-respondent in his second wife's divorce from her first husband in 1915. He told his first wife he was going abroad in 1913 and may have done so, but he served in the First World War as a private in the Royal Fusiliers, 1915-16 (invalided). He married 1st, 30 November 1899 at St George's Chapel, Albemarle St., Westminster (Middx) (but abandoned her in 1913 and was divorced in 1916), Winifred Margaret (1859-1928), daughter of Henry William Watson of Burnopfield (Co. Durham), colliery owner, and widow of John Loxley Firth (c.1858-97)* of Hope (Derbys), and 2nd, c.1916?**, Susan Frederica Lilian May (b. 1875; fl. 1966), daughter of John Lloyd of Gloster (Co. Offaly) and formerly wife of Brig-Gen. Edwin Charles Barnes Cotgrave, but had no issue.
He evidently rented various properties in England and Ireland (including Duntisbourne House (Glos) in 1901 and Farmleigh, Abbeyleix (Co. Leix) in 1913) before he inherited the Woolsington Hall estate from his father in 1921; he sold Woolsington in 1922 except for one farm. He lived latterly at Budleigh Salterton (Devon).
He died 18 December 1965; his will was proved 3 May 1966 (estate £16,646). His first wife married 3rd, 6 June 1917, Chief Inspector Kerry Leyne Supple (1862-1921) of the Royal Irish Constabulary; she lived latterly at Prescott House (Glos.) and died 29 September 1928; her will was proved 24 April 1929 (estate £2,141). His second wife's date of death is unknown.
* She had children by her first marriage, including a daughter (Christina Winifred Firth), who was the mother of the painter Francis Bacon (1909-92), who lived with his grandmother and her third husband at Farmleigh 1918-21.
** I have been unable to trace his second marriage, which probably took place fairly soon after his divorce: it presumably took place abroad. He may have lived abroad for an extended period as the seems to be no trace of him on the 1921 census or 1939 register.
Burke's Landed Gentry, 1952, p. 151; L. Loraine, Pedigree and memoirs of the family of Loraine of Kirkharle, 1902; M.H. Dodds, A history of Northumberland, vol. 13, pp. 207-10; Sir N. Pevsner, I. Richmond et al., The buildings of England: Northumberland, 1992, pp. 635-36; Tyne & Wear CC, A Guide to the Historic Parks and Gardens of Tyne and Wear, 1995, pp. 21-22;
Location of archives
Bell family of Woolsington: deeds, estate papers, plans and colliery records, 17th-19th cents. [Northumberland Archives, 01219]
Coat of arms
Sable, a fesse erminois, in chief an escallop between two bells, and in base a bell between two escallops, all argent.
Can you help?
- Can anyone provide information about the ownership of Woolsington Hall between 1965 and 1994?
- Can anyone provide further information about Walter Loraine Bell after the sale of Woolsington Hall, or the date of death of his second wife?
- Can anyone provide portraits of the people whose names appear in bold above, for whom no image is currently shown?
- If anyone can offer further information or corrections to any part of this article I should be most grateful. I am always particularly pleased to hear from current owners or the descendants of families associated with a property who can supply information from their own research or personal knowledge for inclusion.
Revision and acknowledgements
This post was first published 27 March 2023.