Saturday 8 June 2024

(578) Berington of Little Malvern Court

Berington of Little Malvern 
The Beringtons are a complex clan of Recusant minor gentry families in the Welsh borders, whose seats in Shrewsbury, and at Moat Hall, Pontesbury (Shropshire) and Winsley, Hope-under-Dinmore (Herefordshire) were not quite country houses within the definition used by my project, although Moat Hall had good panelled 17th century interiors until they were sold in the early years of the 20th century. However, Thomas Berington (1673-1755), a younger son of John Berington (b. 1648) of Winsley (with whom the genealogy below begins), married Elizabeth Russell, the elder of two sisters who were the co-heirs of their brother, Thomas Russell of Little Malvern Court, and who brought him that estate. Little Malvern Priory had been acquired by the Russells in the aftermath of the dissolution of the monasteries, initially on a lease granted to John Russell (d. 1540), secretary to the Council of the Marches of Wales, and later by grant of Queen Mary I to his son, Henry Russell (d. 1558). Although John Russell was close to Thomas Cromwell and Richard Rich, Henry Russell was evidently in favour with Queen Mary and it seems likely that he cleaved to the Catholic faith. It is rather ironic that a family which in its descendants was to prove so staunchly recusant, should end up in possession of a formerly monastic site, and have been responsible for the demolition of most of the monastic buildings!

Thomas Berington and Elizabeth Russell had only one child, a daughter called Elizabeth (1715-89), who married Thomas Williams (d. 1766?), a Catholic pharmacist with lead mining interests in Flintshire. They inherited Little Malvern Court although it seems unclear how much they occupied the house. Elizabeth is said to have been somewhat eccentric, and to have charged her house guests for their food and lodging, as though she was running an inn. The Williamses in turn had only one child, a daughter called Mary (c.1750-1828), who did not marry until after her mother's death, by which time she was probably past childbearing age. Her husband, William Wakeman (d. 1800), was an elderly Tewkesbury physician, and died after just four years of marriage. Mary was responsible for the conversion of the prior's hall into a chapel, and may have made other changes to the house. When she died in 1828 she bequeathed the Court and its estate to a fairly distant kinsman, William Berington (1794-1847), a descendant of the Beringtons of Winsley. He undertook a programme of improvements and repairs to the house before moving in with his Spanish wife and small family. When William died in 1847, he left a sole surviving son, Charles Michael Berington (1830-97), who also inherited Winsley (Herefs), Moat Hall (Shrops.) and Trellynia (Flints), bringing together most of the family's scattered properties. He married twice, and although his first wife died after only a few years of marriage, leaving no surviving issue, his second wife produced three sons and nine daughters (four of whom became nuns) between 1869 and 1885. All three sons pursued successful careers in the army, with the younger two retiring as majors, but some mystery attaches to the marriages of Maj. Charles Michael Berington (1876-1946), which I should be grateful if any reader can help me to resolve.

The eldest son, and the heir to his father's portfolio of properties, was Capt. William Berington (1873-1940). He sold Winsley before 1900, but retained the rest. He and his wife produced three sons and two daughters, and his property passed to his eldest son, William James Charles Berington (1904-57), who served during the Second World War as an intelligence officer with the Special Operations Executive. He never married, and sold Trellynia in 1941 and Moat Hall in 1943, as well as outlying portions of the Little Malvern estate in 1947, no doubt at least partly to meet the death duties payable at this time. He lived at Wintercott (formerly 'The Farm'), which became the dower house to the estate, and let the Court to a religious order (until 1954) and later as an hotel. He died suddenly in 1957 and the estate passed to his next brother, Thomas Patrick Berington (1905-83), who had pursued a career in business in America and married a wealthy heiress, Olguita Queeny (1899-1981), daughter of the founder of the Monsanto Chemical Co. This background enabled him and his wife to undertake a restoration of the house in the 1960s and to return it to residential occupation. They were succeeded by their only son, Thomas Monsanto Berington (1933-94), who with his wife laid out a modern garden around the house in the 1980s. The couple had only one son, Thomas Patrick Monsanto Berington (b. 1978), who at the time of his father's death was a minor. The estate therefore passed to his widow for life, and has remained in her possession to the present day, although at the time of writing the property was on the market, potentially bringing to an end nearly five centuries of Russell and Berington ownership.


Little Malvern Court, Worcestershire

The core of what is now a complex and much altered courtyard house is a surviving fragment of the claustral buildings of Little Malvern Priory, a Benedictine house founded c.1127 and dissolved in 1534, when there were just six monks besides the prior. Following the dissolution, the nave of the church was pulled down and the transepts and eastern chapels were abandoned, but the central tower and chancel were retained for parochial worship and remain in use today. The buildings around the southern and eastern sides of the cloister have also been very largely lost, but the west claustral range, was adapted into a house by John Russell. This part of the conventual building contained the prior's lodging (so often the part preserved in monastic conversions because it was the easiest to adapt to lay domestic purposes), including a large first-floor hall or refectory, probably of the early 14th century, above a basement. 

Little Malvern Court: east front. The stone-built part on the right contains the medieval prior's hall.
The complex development of the house makes it very confusing for the visitor to understand, and it is probably easiest to describe the four external elevations in turn. The east front stands on the site of the west claustral range of the priory, and the stone section contains the prior's hall. The three-storeyed semi-timbered building to its left dates to the late 16th or early 17th century. The first floor was originally approached by a flight of steps and formed a porch giving access to the screens passage at the service end of the prior's hall. 

Little Malvern Court: an early photograph of the house showing the Georgian south-west wing, pulled down and rebuilt in 1859-60.

Little Malvern Court: south front in c.1912. Image: Victoria County History/Historic England

Little Malvern Court: south and west fronts after alterations in the 1960s, from an old postcard.
Turning the corner, the south front is composed of three sections: first the semi-timbered wing of c.1600, which contained service accommodation, and which was formerly rendered, then a three-storey stone block, which may be medieval in origin, but the features of which are now c.1600 and later. The prominent round tower at the corner of this block was originally a garderobe tower but now contains a spiral staircase; the top with its conical cap dates from a rebuilding of 1856. There is another spiral staircase in the diagonally opposite corner of this block, connecting it with the prior's hall. To the left of the round tower, and forming the corner of the south and west fronts  is a neo-Tudor block built in 1859-60 by Joseph Hansom & Son. This replaced a mid 18th century block on much the same footprint, which is recorded in the earliest known photograph of the house. The Victorian wing which replaced it originally had gables on both fronts which gave it more presence and dignity, but they were sadly removed in the 1960s.

Little Malvern Court: the west and north fronts.
The west front has the Victorian block at its southern end, but continues with two timber-framed blocks whose close studding suggests a 15th or 16th century date. Given the history of the site, it seems likely that these were constructed as part of the conversion of the site to domestic use. The block at the north-west corner has gables facing north and west and a massive external chimney-breast of stone on the north front. A single-storey flat-roofed dining room and vestibule were built in front of the range in the late 19th century. The final elevation is the north side, which was refronted in brick in the early 19th century, but the walling may incorporate some stonework from the south wall of the former priory church.

Little Malvern Court: the 14th century prior's hall.
The prior's hall is now approached by an external staircase on the east front, and was used as a chapel (with an inserted barrel vault) from 1791 until the 1960s. (Prior to that, a room over the porch was used as a chapel during the penal years). A legacy of this use is a large wooden reredos at the south end of the room, made up from fragments of mainly continental woodwork by Hardman & Co. in the late 19th century. The magnificent four-bay open timber roof was exposed during restoration work in 1964-67 which was planned by the great timber-framing expert Freddie Charles but carried out by Ivan Bellamy. The screens passage which formerly existed at the south end has disappeared, but its position is indicated by a narrow extra roof bay divided from the rest of the room by a spere truss with quatrefoil and dagger decoration in the spandrels, which may be a little earlier than the roof. Improvements to the domestic accommodation seem to have begun in the early 18th century, when a new staircase was inserted, and the additions made to the house in the late 19th century provided the spaces required for contemporary country house living, including a dining room, drawing room and library.

A fine garden was laid out in 1983-88 by Michael Balston, in conjunction with Arabella Lennox-Boyd, consisting of small 'garden rooms' close to the house and a chain of descending lakes further south, presumably adapted from former monastic fish ponds. At the time of writing, the whole Little Malvern Court estate is on the market.

Descent: Crown leased 1538 to John Russell (d. 1540) and sold 1543 to Richard Andrews and Nicholas Temple, who sold 1552 to Henry Russell (d. 1558); to widow, Milbore Russell (d. 1575); to son, John Russell (d. 1588); to brother, Henry Russell (d. 1608); to son, John Russell (d. 1641); to son, Thomas Russell; to son, John Russell (d. 1700); to son, Thomas Russell (d. 1737); to sister, Elizabeth (1685-1743?), wife of Thomas Berington (1673-1755); to daughter Elizabeth (1715-89), wife of Thomas Williams (d. 1766?) of Trellynia (Flints.); to daughter Mary (c.1750-1828), wife of Walter Wakeman (d. 1800); to second cousin once removed, William Berington (1794-1847) of Hereford; to son, Charles Michael Berington (1830-97); to son, Capt. William Berington (1873-1940); to son, William James Charles Berington (1904-57); to brother, Thomas Patrick Berington (1905-83); to son, Thomas Monsanto Berington (1933-94); to widow, Alexandra Susan Caroline Berington (b. 1943).

Berington family of Little Malvern Court


Berington, John (b. 1648). Son of John Berington (1611-83) of Winsley (Herefs) and his wife Jane, daughter of Henry Cassy of Wightfield (Glos), born 1648. He married Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Wolrych (1598-1668) of Dudmaston (Shrops), and had issue:
(1) John Berington (d. c.1721);
(2) Thomas Berington (1673-1755) (q.v.);
(3) Fr. Simon Berington (1680-1755), born January 1679/80; educated at Douai College, where he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest; chaplain to St Thomas' Priory, Stafford (Staffs), c.1720-33; librarian of the clergy library in Grays Inn, London; author of some twenty literary and religious works, including The charms of Hampton Court [in Herefordshire]; died 16 April 1755;
(4) Elizabeth Berington (d. by 1755); married Richard Clough of Clough Hall, Myndtown (Shrops.), and had issue at least one son and three daughters;
(5) William Berington.
He inherited the Winsley estate from his father in 1683.
He was living in 1717 but his date of death is unknown. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Berington, Thomas (1673-1755). Second son of John Berington (b. 1648) and his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Wolrych of Dudmaston (Shrops.), born 1673. He married, before 1715,  Elizabeth (1685-1743?), daughter of John Russell (d. 1700) of Little Malvern Court (Worcs), and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Berington (1715-89) (q.v.).
His wife inherited Little Malvern Court after the death of her brother Thomas in 1737.
He died in London, and may be the 'Thomas Barrington' buried at St Pancras, Camden (Middx), 23 December 1755; his will was proved in the PCC, 29 December 1755. His wife is said to have died in 1744, but she may be the 'Elizabeth Barrington' buried at St George the Martyr, Bloomsbury (Middx), 16 May 1743.

Berington, Elizabeth (1715-89). Only child of Thomas Berington (1673-1755) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Russell of Little Malvern Court (Worcs), born 1715. She married, 1748/9, Thomas Williams (d. 1766?) of Trellynia, Cilcain (Flints), a Catholic pharmacist with business interests in London and lead mining interests in Flintshire, and had issue:
(1) Mary Williams (c.1750-1828) (q.v.).
She and her husband inherited Little Malvern Court from her father in 1755.
She was buried at Little Malvern, 5 March 1789; her will was proved in the PCC, 12 June 1798. Her husband predeceased her and is said to have died in 1766, but may be the Thomas Williams buried at Cilcain, 23 April 1763.

Williams, Mary (c.1750-1828). Only child of Thomas Williams (d. 1766?) of Trellynia (Flints) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Berington of Little Malvern Court (Worcs), born about 1750. She married, 19 September 1796 at Little Malvern, Walter Wakeman (d. 1800), physician and bibliophile, of Tewkesbury (Glos), but had no issue.
She and her husband inherited Little Malvern Court from her mother in 1789, and converted the lower half of the prior's hall into a chapel. At her death she bequeathed the estate to her second cousin once removed, William Berington (1794-1847) (q.v.).
She was buried at Little Malvern, 27 November 1828. Her husband died in 1800; his will was proved 19 June 1801.

---

Berington, Charles (1747-1809). Fourth son of John Berington (c.1707-94) of Winsley, and his wife Winifred (d. 1791), daughter of John Hornyold of Blackmore Park (Worcs), born 5 April 1747. He married, 1 December 1770 at Hope-under-Dinmore (Herefs), Mary (1750-1810), youngest daughter and co-heir of William Jay of Wintercott (Herefs), and had issue including:
(1) Winifred Berington (1773-c.1847); a Franciscan nun at Bruges (clothed 1791; professed 1793); mother superior of Taunton Lodge Convent School (Som.), 1830-47;
(2) Frances Berington (c.1783-1867), born about 1783; lived in Hereford; died 3 July 1867; will proved 6 July 1868 (effects under £2,000);
(3) (Mary) Theresa Berington (c.1789-1864), born about 1789; lived in Hereford with her elder sister; died 27 December 1864; will proved 30 December 1865 (effects under £2,000);
(4) Joanna Berington (b. c.1792); married, 8 January 1812 at Abergavenny (Mon.), Clement Powell Lorymer (1790-1827), a surveyor who drowned while exploring in Tasmania, and had issue at least two sons; probably died in Australia;
(5) Jane Berington (d. 1820); will proved at Hereford, 14 April 1820 (effects under £2,000);
(6) William Berington (1794-1847) (q.v.).
He inherited Wintercott (Herefs) in right of his wife.
He died 9 February and was buried at Rushen (Isle of Man), 10 February 1809. His widow died 5 January and was buried at Leominster (Herefs), 10 January 1810; her will was proved at Hereford, 14 July 1810 (effects under £600).

Berington, William (1794-1847). Only surviving son of Charles Berington (1747-1809) and his wife Mary, youngest daughter and co-heir of William Jay of Wintercott (Herefs), born 13 February 1794. He married, 18 May 1829 at St James, Bath (Som.), Mary Frances (c.1796-1866), only child of Don Josef Brun of Cadiz (Spain), and had issue:
(1) Charles Michael Berington (1830-97) (q.v.);
(2) Mary Josephine Berington (c.1831-47), died 'in her sixteenth year', 12 June 1847;
(3) William Joseph Berington (1832-37), born 1832; died at Bruges (Belgium), 24 November 1837.
He inherited Little Malvern Court and Trellynia (Flints) from his distant cousin, Mary Wakeman in 1828 and undertook a programme of repairs and modernisation before moving in to the former c.1832.
He died 16 April and was buried at Little Malvern, 27 April 1847, where he and his wife and daughter are commemorated by a memorial brass. His widow died 12 October 1866.

Berington, Charles Michael (1830-97). Only surviving son of William Berington (1794-1847) and his wife Mary Frances, only child of Don Josef Brun of Cadiz (Spain), born at Bath (Som.), 15 February 1830. An officer in the Worcestershire Yeomanry Cavalry (Capt.); JP and DL for Worcestershire; High Sheriff of Worcestershire, 1868-69. After the death of his first wife and all her children he is reported to have considered becoming a Carthusian monk, but instead he married again. He married 1st, 2 July 1858, Ellen Mary (1833-66), daughter of James Balfe of Runnymede (Co. Roscommon), and 2nd, 3 February 1869 at Holy Apostles RC church, Clifton (Glos), Mary Louisa Patricia (1847-1916), eldest daughter of Michael Agnew Coxon, and had issue eight children by his first wife, who all died in infancy, and 
(2.1) Frances Mary Berington (1869-1947), born 12 December 1869; lived latterly at Wintercott, Little Malvern; died unmarried, 22 August 1947; will proved 18 October 1947 (estate £1,051);
(2.2) Mary Josephine Berington (1871-1959), born 25 January 1871; a Carmelite nun at Lanherne Convent (Cornwall); died 7 April 1959;
(2.3) Ellen Mary Berington (1872-1948), born 27 February 1872; lived latterly at Wintercott, Little Malvern, with her elder sister; died unmarried, 18 April 1948;
(2.4) William Berington (1873-1940) (q.v.);
(2.5) Mary Gabriel Berington (1874-1951), born 2 September 1874; an Augustinian nun by 1901; prioress of St Augustine's Priory, Abbotskerswell (Devon) (as Mother Joseph Magdalene); died 16 March 1951;
(2.6) Maj. Charles Michael Berington (1876-1946), born 16 May 1876; an officer in the army (2nd Lt., 1900; Lt., 1900; Capt., 1903; retired 1908); in 1913 he and his wife emigrated to Bessemer, Ontario (Canada), but they returned to England in 1915, so he could rejoin his regiment (Capt., 1915; retired as Maj., 1920), and serve in the First World War; he then joined the auxiliary division of Royal Irish Constabulary, 1920-21 (wounded; discharged medically unfit); later in business as a wood merchant and timber feller at Malvern (partnership dissolved 1927); lived latterly at Stretton-on-the-Fosse (Som.); he married* 1st, c.1908, Ethel [surname uncertain but possibly Martyn**] (b. c.1877) and 2nd, 1915 (licence 5 January) at Toronto (Canada), Agnes Mary (1872-1951), daughter of Alexander Mackie of Worcester; died at Bath (Som.), 13 July 1946; buried at St Benedict's RC church, Stretton-on-the-Fosse, 16 July 1946;
(2.7) Winifred Mary Berington (1877-1955), born 13 June 1877; a Benedictine nun at St Mary's Priory, Princethorpe (Warks); died 13 March 1955;
(2.8) Milburga Mary Berington (1878-1936), born 12 October 1878; a Benedictine nun at Stanbrook Abbey (Worcs); died 26 October 1936;
(2.9) Agatha Mary Berington (1880-1959), born 11 February 1880; married, 24 November 1911 at Bath (Som.), her deceased younger sister's husband, Capt. Francis Mary Hodgson RN (1879-1965), second son of Lt. Thomas Tarleton Hodgson RN, and had issue two daughters; died 25 September 1959;
(2.10) Margaret Mary Berington (1881-1910), born 19 May 1881; married, 2 May 1907 at Buckfast Abbey (Devon), Capt. Francis Mary Hodgson RN (1879-1965), second son of Lt. Thomas Tarleton Hodgson RN, and had issue one daughter; died 8 February 1910;
(2.11) Maj. John Joseph Berington (1883-1955), born 10 March 1883; educated at Downside; an officer in the Royal Marines (2nd Lt., 1914; Lt., 1915; Capt., 1916; Maj., 1918); married, 26 May 1919 at St James' RC church, Spanish Place, Westminster (Middx), Florence Mary (1883-1941), third daughter of Edward Tierney Gilchrist Darell and widow of Archibald Fitzroy George Hay (1855-1916), 13th Earl of Kinnoull, and had issue one son; died 19 August 1955; will proved 15 October 1955 (estate £1,255);
(2.12) Angela Mary Berington (1885-1963), born 3 June 1885; died unmarried, 8 September 1963; will proved 29 November 1963 (estate £1,588).
He inherited Little Malvern Court and Trellynia from his father in 1847 and came of age in 1851. In 1859-60 he rebuilt the south-west corner of the house, apparently with funds provided by his first wife. He inherited Moat Hall, Pontesbury (Shrops.) and Winsley (Herefs) from his kinsman, John Berington (1822-92) in 1892.
He died 4 August 1897; his will was proved 14 October 1897 (effects £3,154). His first wife died at Boulogne (France), 18 August 1866. His widow died at Buckfast (Devon), 24 December 1916, and was buried at St Wulstan's RC church, Little Malvern, 5 January 1917; administration of her goods was granted 14 February 1917 (estate £1,856).
* His first marriage has not been found, but the 1911 census shows the couple living at Wintercott, and says they had been married 3 years. The licence for his second marriage describes him as a bachelor not a widower, which may imply that his first marriage was annulled. I can, however, find no record of either annulment or divorce in the sources available to me. It is also curious that according to the immigration records, he returned to England just a month after his second marriage with his first wife. Neither he nor either of his wives appears in the 1921 census for England (he was presumably in Ireland then) but he is living with his second wife in 1939, and only she attended his funeral.
** According to one internet source, she was a niece of Edward Martyn (1859-1923), who served as the first President of Sinn Fein in Ireland, 1905-08.

Berington, William (1873-1940). Eldest son of Charles Michael Berington (1830-97) and his second wife, Mary Louisa Patricia, eldest daughter of Michael Agnew Coxon, born 3 May 1873. An officer in the army (Capt.); JP for Worcestershire. Through the Malvern Festival, he became a friend of George Bernard Shaw, who was a frequent visitor to Little Malvern Court in the 1930s. He married, 30 April 1903 at the Convent of the Faithful Virgin, South Norwood (Surrey), Katherine Wilhelmina (1879-1966), eldest daughter of William Louis Purcell of South Norwood, and had issue:
(1) William James Charles Berington (1904-57) (q.v.);
(2) Thomas Patrick Berington (1905-83) (q.v.);
(3) John Louis Berington (1907-63), born 25 March 1907; educated at Downside; married, 29 March 1950 in Mexico, Gwendolyn (b. 1909), daughter of P.A. Alexander of Hendon (Middx) and formerly wife of Geoffrey Raoul de Havilland OBE (d. 1946), chief test pilot of the de Havilland Aircraft Corporation; died at St. Antonio, Texas (USA), 2 February 1963; administration of goods with will annexed granted 19 August 1964 (effects in England, £291);
(4) Ellen Mary Katherine Berington (1908-74), born 28 September 1908; married, 24 October 1934, Maj. John Allington Warburton Bate (1908-78), of The Old Rectory, Marchwiel (Flints), solicitor, only child of Joseph Henry Bate of Stansty (Flints), and had issue one son and two daughters; died 6 August 1974 and was buried at St Wulstan's RC graveyard, Little Malvern;
(5) Mary Consuelo Helena Josephine Berington (1914-86), born 2 June 1914; married, 11 September 1937 at Our Lady & St Alphonsus RC church, Blackmore End (Worcs), John Townshend (b. 1910; fl. 1960), corn merchant, son of Henry Townshend of Albion Mills, Worcester; died 2 July 1986; will proved 8 December 1986 (estate £365,243).
He inherited Little Malvern Court, Moat Hall, Winsley House and Trillynia from his father in 1897, but sold Winsley before 1900.
He died 14 April 1940; his will was proved 25 April and 16 October 1941 (estate £50,046). His widow died 9 March 1966; her will was proved 25 July 1966 (estate £31,141).

Berington, William James Charles (1904-57). Eldest son of William Berington (1873-1940) and his wife Katherine Wilhelmina, eldest daughter of William Louis Purcell of South Norwood (Surrey), born 17 May 1904. Educated at Downside and Magdalene College, Cambridge (MA 1930). He served in the Second World War as an intelligence officer with the Special Operations Executive. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Little Malvern Court, Moat Hall and Trellynia from his father in 1940, but sold Trellynia in 1941, Moat Hall in 1943, and outlying portions of the Little Malvern estate in 1947. He lived at Wintercott, Little Malvern, and until 1954 let the Court to the Little Sisters of the Assumption, who used it as a rest and retreat house. It was subsequently let to Phillip Green as an hotel.
He died 8 June 1957; his will was proved 11 July 1957 (estate £54,671).

T.P. Berington (1905-83) 
Berington, Thomas Patrick (1905-83).
Second 
son of William Berington (1873-1940) and his wife Katherine Wilhelmina, eldest daughter of William Louis Purcell of South Norwood (Surrey), born 14 June 1905. Educated at Downside and Magdalene College, Cambridge (to which he left £25,000 in his will). Employed as a director of Monsanto Chemicals Ltd, the British arm of the American conglomerate, to 1963; Chairman of Mazapil Copper Co., Uganda, from 1953. He served in the Second World War as an intelligence officer with the Special Operations Executive. High Sheriff of Worcestershire, 1973-74. He married, 30 August 1928, Olguita (1899-1981), daughter of John Queeny of St. Louis, Missouri (USA), the founder of the Monsanto Chemical Company, and had issue:
(1) Thomas Monsanto Berington (1933-94) (q.v.).
He lived mainly in America until he inherited Little Malvern Court from his elder brother in 1957, but he maintained a house in Kensington for occasional residence in the 1930s. He terminated the lease of the Court as an hotel and restored it in 1964-67.
He died 12 January 1983; his will was proved 13 September 1983 (estate £1,151,701). His wife died 17 May 1981; her will was proved 26 August 1981 (estate £1,072,299), but by a trust deed of 1964 she had already established the Hawthorne Charitable Trust with a substantial capital endowment.

Berington, Thomas Monsanto (1933-94). Only child of Thomas Patrick Berington (1905-83) and his wife Olguita, daughter of John Queeny of St. Louis, Missouri (USA), born 25 February 1933. Educated at Eton and Magdalene College, Cambridge. High Sheriff of Hereford & Worcester, 1988-89. He married 1st, 24 January 1959 at Holy Trinity, Brompton (Middx)  (div. 1965), Patricia Mary (b. 1929), daughter of Lt-Col. Frank Charles Laxton (1894-1970) of Mapperley Park, Nottingham, and 2nd, 1977, Alexandra Susan Caroline (b. 1943), daughter of Lt-Col. Patrick Charles Britten (1917-2001) of Wichenford Court (Worcs), and had issue:
(2.1) Thomas Patrick Monsanto Berington (b. 1978), born October 1978; company director.
He inherited Little Malvern Court from his father in 1983. At his death it passed to his widow for life.
He died 4 May 1994; his will was proved 5 August 1994 (estate £4,861,877). His first wife's date of death is not known. His widow is now living.


Principal sources

Burke's Landed Gentry, 1969, pp. 43-45; VCH Worcs, vol. 3, 1913, pp. 449-53; W.J.C. Berington, Little Malvern Court, Worcestershire, 1948; A. Brooks & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Worcestershire, 2nd edn., 2007, pp. 433-34; A.M. Hodgson & M. Hodgetts, Little Malvern Letters, 1482-1737, Catholic Record Society, 2011, pp. xl-xli; G. Williams, The country houses of Shropshire, 2021, pp. 446-47.

Location of archives

Berington of Little Malvern Court: deeds, manorial records, family, estate, legal and household papers, 1260-19th cent. [Worcestershire Archives & Archaeology Service, 705:24]

Coat of arms

Sable, three greyhounds courant argent, collared gules, within a bordure of the last, a crescent for difference.

Can you help?

  • Can anyone resolve the apparently incompatible evidence of the records about the two wives of Maj. Charles Michael Berington (1876-1946)?
  • Can anyone provide photographs or 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 8 June 2024 and was updated 9 June 2024.

Tuesday 28 May 2024

(577) Beridge and Sparrow of Algarkirk Hall and Gosfield Place

Beridge of Algarkirk
This post tells the intertwined stories of two families: the Beridges of Algarkirk (Lincs) and the Sparrows of Gosfield Place (Essex), who became connected through the marriage of James Goodeve Sparrow and Dorothy Beridge in 1817. The Beridges were a clerical family for at least three centuries. The genealogy below begins with the Rev. Dr. John Beridge (c.1572-1632), precentor of Lincoln Cathedral and rector of Shelton (Beds) and Kibworth Beauchamp (Leics), but it could be taken at least one generation further back, since his father William was also rector of Shelton and Kibworth Beauchamp. Four of John's sons became clergymen, with the eldest, William (1608-40) succeeding him at Kibworth, Basil (1613-78) acquiring the rich living of Algarkirk, Ferdinando (1609-1702) Great Paxton (Hunts) and John (1624-90) Great Massingham and Pensthorpe (Norfolk). The Rev. Basil Beridge also acquired the advowson of Algarkirk (the right to present future rectors) and bought freehold land in the parish to add to the glebe land which came with the living; and he rebuilt Algarkirk Hall. From then until 1894, the rectory was held almost continuously by members of the Beridge family, in a remarkable record of squarsonical continuity. Since he had no surviving children, Basil bequeathed the hall, the advowson and his lands to his nephew, the Rev. Charles Beridge (1655-93), one of the sons of the Rev. Ferdinando Beridge, who duly presented himself to the living in 1678. When Charles died, his son and intended heir, Basil, was only seven, so the rectory and hall were briefly separated, only to be reunited in 1716 when Basil (c.1686-1737), having been ordained, presented himself to the living. One of Basil's sons, the Rev. Charles Beridge (1711-82), succeeded him and also held a prebend in Lincoln Cathedral. He had no surviving children, so left Algarkirk to his nephew, the Rev. Basil Bury Beridge (1736-1808), who remodelled the hall, adding canted bay windows and redecorating the interior. He settled his property, including the advowson, on his male heirs. He married twice, but his only children were from his second marriage, and they were all still minors when he died in 1808. The hall and rectory were therefore again briefly separated before his eldest son, the Rev. Basil Beridge (1797-1881) was able to present himself in 1822. He added a new block to the house soon afterwards, perhaps around the time of his first marriage in 1823. His wife having died only a few months later, he tried again in 1828, but he was destined to remain childless. He invested heavily in the parish, restoring the church, building schools, creating endowments to support maintenance and services, and making over the hall to the benefice as a rectory house.

Dorothy (1794-1833), the older sister of the Rev. Basil Beridge, connected the Beridge and Sparrow families when in 1817 she became the second wife of James Goodeve Sparrow (1770-1838). James was the youngest of the three sons of James Sparrow (1725-77), who had bought an estate called Biggs at Gosfield (Essex) in the 1750s, but who also owned farms across nearly a dozen parishes in Essex and Suffolk. His elder brothers inherited their father's lands and James pursued a career in banking, becoming the senior partner in the largest Essex bank. However, both of the elder brothers died young and without issue, so by 1794 most of his father's property had devolved on him. In 1799 he married his first wife, Anne Crowe, and set about remodelling the 'ruinous mansion' of Biggs as a smart new neo-classical villa designed by Richard Elsam, which he renamed Gosfield Place, and laying out the grounds to the designs of Humphry Repton. Anne died in 1813, after giving him six children, and when he married Dorothy in 1817 he started a second family. For reasons which are unclear they did not at first live at Gosfield, but settled in Bristol, where Dorothy evidently had connections to the Weare family: William Weare (1750-1836) stood godfather to their eldest son in 1819 and her younger sister, Frances Beridge, was buried on his estate at Abbots Leigh (Som.) in 1808. By 1828, however, they were living at Gosfield again, and they remained there until their deaths in the 1830s. The Gosfield estate then passed (the only son of James' first marriage having predeceased him) to their eldest son, Henry Weare Sparrow (1819-94), whose behaviour gave increasing cause for concern in the years following his inheritance. When his eccentricities became too manifest to be concealed, he was sent to live at Brighton in the care of his old nurse, but incidents in 1842 caused him to be declared insane and his affairs to be managed by the Lord Chancellor. He never recovered his wits, and his younger brother, Basil Sparrow (1820-80), who had inherited his father's banking interests, took over the Gosfield Place estate and rebuilt the house in the 1860s, almost certainly to the designs of J.T. Knowles senior.

When the Rev. Basil Beridge died in 1881, the operation of his father's settlement ensured that the Algarkirk Hall estate and the advowson of Algarkirk passed to Henry Weare Sparrow, and as a consequence of his lunacy the patronage of the living was exercised by the Lord Chancellor, who appointed the third son of James Goodeve Sparrow, the Rev. John Beridge Sparrow (1828-97), who was then rector of Great Cornard (Suffk), one of the parishes where the Sparrows held land. On the death of Henry Weare Sparrow in 1894 the advowson and lands descended to the eldest son of Basil Sparrow, the Rev. Basil James Harold Sparrow (1853-1929), on condition that he took the name Beridge, which he duly did. He then sought to present himself to the living of Algarkirk, but the bishop of Lincoln declined to induct him, as he thought him insufficiently experienced. He had been a clergyman since 1878, but had never progressed from early career curacies to having a parish of his own. Shocked and disappointed to be turned down, he decided to sell the advowson, and doubtless with the object of enhancing its value presented the oldest available clergyman he could find, so as to sell the advowson with a short life in possession. Changed conditions in the late 19th century and the prospect of taking on a large rectory in poor condition in an undesirable part of the country meant that no clergyman could be found to buy the advowson, even of a rich living, with a view to presenting himself, and in the end a benefactor was found who purchased the advowson, apportioned part of the glebe to the support of a newly-constituted parish in Lincoln, and then vested the patronage in the bishop of Lincoln.

On the death of Henry Weare Sparrow in 1894 the Rev. Basil James Harold Sparrow Beridge had also inherited Gosfield Place. His mother, who had been living in the house, moved out, and Basil and his wife and son moved in. Within a few years, however, he had separated from his wife and disowned his son, and from 1907 Gosfield was let. Basil moved to Clacton-on-Sea, where he again briefly held a curacy. In 1920 he tried to sell the estate, but although the farms were bought, the house and park found no takers. He remained estranged from his son, but it may be no coincidence that it was after his son's death in 1923 that he again tried to find a buyer for the house. In the end, he sold in 1924 to a demolition contractor, who pulled the house down in 1924-25 and sold the materials. His wife died in 1925 and Basil himself in 1929, bring to an end one of the longest squarson traditions in England.

Algarkirk Hall, Lincolnshire

From 1637 until 1897 the rectory of Algarkirk was held almost continually by members of the Beridge family, and successive rectors built up a significant land holding in the parish in addition to the 130 acres of glebe land which came with the rectory. As a result, the family house, Algarkirk Hall, came to be regarded as the rectory long before it was formally made over to the benefice in the mid 19th century. Sadly, the house was demolished in 1954-55, and much of what is known and conjectured about its appearance and development is derived from photographs and observations made just prior to, and during, the demolition process. No documentation relating to the building works of different generations is known to survive.

Algarkirk Hall: conjectural phased plan by the late Hilary Healey, based on observations made during demolition in the 1950s
The earliest house, described as 'a faire mansion howse' in 1633, was evidently timber-framed, but it seems to have been replaced in the mid- or later-17th century by an east-facing hall house with two cross-wings, set in a small park lying west of the house. The hall was probably entered centrally from the start, for a massive chimneystack serving the hall and what was no doubt the adjoining kitchen stood at the north end of the hall, where a screens passage would have stood in a more traditional layout. The hall was separated by a lobby and staircase from a pair of parlours in the south wing, which also shared a large chimneystack. A further large room behind the hall, perhaps a great chamber or dining room, appears to have been contemporary with the 17th century rebuilding.

Algarkirk Hall: view of the house in 1791 by J.C. Nattes (Image: Lincolnshire Archives)
The next alterations of which anything is known would seem to date from the time of the Rev. Basil Bury Beridge, who inherited in 1782 and died in 1808. These included a redecoration of the interior, and the addition of canted bay windows to the ends of the cross-wings on the east front, and also to the side and rear elevations. The bay windows had been constructed by 1791, when J.C. Nattes drew a view of the house now in Lincolnshire Archives. At the same time, the grounds would seem to have been landscaped, for Nattes shows young trees and a glasshouse, and it is known that there was an ice house and a pond ('the ice pond') from which it was stocked, near to the church. The drive which led east across the park from Sutterton to the house was probably laid out as part of these works, and the pair of circular lodges which stood either side of the drive at the edge of Sutterton village were perhaps built at the same time, or just a little later. Both lodges were extended later in the 19th century, but one of them was needlessly demolished by Boston Rural District Council in the 1950s. The other was damaged by fire in the early 1950s but restored, and survives as a cottage known as The Roundhouse.

Algarkirk Hall: lodges either side of the drive from Sutterton village, from a 1930s postcard

Algarkirk Hall: west front in c.1951.
On the Rev. B.B. Beridge's death in 1808, the family's property descended to his son, the Rev. Basil Beridge (c.1797-1881), who was only about eleven years old. As a result, the rectory and its lands passed out of the family until 1822, when Basil was ordained and able to present himself to the living. Soon afterwards, he seems to have made further improvements to the house, adding a three-bay, two-storey south-west block to the house, with floor-length windows on the ground floor, which contained a large drawing room. 

Algarkirk Hall: east front in c.1951. 
After the death of the Rev. Basil Beridge, his nephew, the Rev. John Beridge Sparrow (1828-97) was appointed to the living. His nephew, the Rev. Basil James Harold Sparrow Beridge (1853-1929) inherited the advowson, but sold it in 1903, and he probably disposed of his freehold lands in the parish at much the same time. The hall continued to the used as a rectory until the 1950s, and at some point in the early 20th century a large conservatory was built between the wings on the east front. 20th century rectors did not have the means to maintain the house, however, and after wartime neglect it was in very poor condition. A new rectory was therefore built in the grounds, and the old house was pulled down in 1954-55.

Descent: Rev. Basil Beridge (1613-78); to nephew, Rev. Basil Beridge (d. 1686); to brother, Rev. Charles Beridge (c.1655-93); to son, Rev. Basil Beridge (c.1686-1739); to son, Rev. Charles Beridge (d. 1782); to nephew, Rev. Basil Bury Beridge (1737-1808); to son, Rev. Basil Beridge (c.1797-1881); to Henry Weare Sparrow (1819-94), a lunatic; to nephew, Rev. Basil James Harold Sparrow Beridge (1853-1929), who sold the advowson c.1898.


Gosfield Place, Essex

The house, previously known as 'Biggs' after the family which owned it in the middle ages, stood three-quarters of a mile south-east of the village, and was described as ‘a ruinous mansion’ by Richard Elsam, who was appointed by James Goodeve Sparrow after his marriage in 1799 to remodel and update it. His designs were published in 1803 in An essay on rural architecture, but he admits in the associated text that they were not closely followed when the house was remodelled. 

Gosfield Place: design for the front of the villa by Richard Elsam, published in 1803.

Gosfield Place: plan of the house as published by Richard Elsam, 1803

Gosfield Place: landscaping proposal by Humphry Repton, 1811, showing the house had a block plan similar to that suggested by Robert Elsam.
Humphry Repton provided designs for landscaping the park c.1811, which were apparently partly followed, and his scheme gives a block plan of the house which is broadly consistent withe Elsam's proposal. He created a small piece of water immediately west of the house and a drawing by him was engraved in 1818 for Cromwell's Excursions in Essex shows a typically Reptonian covered walkway leading to a large summerhouse or conservatory with trellised walls, although it is not certain that this was ever built. He also proposed a lake to the north which was not created until the 1830s.

Gosfield Place: engraving from a drawing by Humphry Repton, published in Cromwell's Excursions into Essex, 1819.
However, an early 19th century view exists which is said to be of Gosfield Place, showing a battlemented Gothic house. Does this represent an unexecuted project for rebuilding or has it simply have been mislabelled? (Mislabelling seems possible because yet another view purporting to show Gosfield Place, which came from a family source, actually shows Kingston Lisle House in Berkshire!). Between 1832 and 1843, the lake proposed by Repton was created to the north of the house by the damming of Bourne Brook, although probably not to his design. This was later spanned by a cantilevered bridge with stays suspended from four cast-iron towers, probably built c.1865. The bridge survives but is now in very poor condition and has lost most of its decorative cast-iron balustrades.

Gosfield Place: the house as rebuilt on a new site for Basil Beridge in 1863-65
Gosfield Place: the side elevation of the house built in 1862-63.
In the mid 19th century the estate was administered under a Commission in Lunacy, and it would seem that for a time the house was not occupied and fell into disrepair. In the late 1850s Basil Sparrow, the banker brother of the owner, wished to put the house into repair and live there, but successive reports by Mr Stock, the Chancery surveyor, and Sparrow's architect Mr. Abrahams (presumably H.R. Abrahams) drastically underestimated the scale and cost of the repairs required. By 1860 parts of the house had been pulled down, perhaps in an attempt to excise the dry rot which had been found earlier, and in the end the decision was taken to completely rebuild the house on a site a little further east and uphill from its predecessor. The work was undertaken in 1863-65 for Basil Sparrow (1820-80), reputedly at the stupendous cost of £62,000. No documentary evidence survives to prove the identity of the architect, but the centre was so similar to the centre of J.T. Knowles senior's Hedsor House (Bucks) that it can be attributed to him with some confidence. The house was an H-shaped building consisting of a two-storey central block and taller wings, all liberally decorated with two-storey canted bay windows. The wings were more sober than those of Hedsor House, lacking the corner towers with pavilion roofs. The house was even larger than its predecessor - there were 23 principal bedrooms in 1907 - and far beyond the needs of the Rev. Basil James Harold Sparrow Beridge (1853-1929), who inherited it in 1894, and whose family consisted only of his wife and one son. Inside, the house is said to have had a circular hall, but little else is known of the internal arrangements or decoration.

In the early 20th century, Sparrow Beridge separated from his wife, and was estranged from his son, whose debts led eventually to bankruptcy, and in 1907 the house was let. Sparrow Beridge moved to Clacton-on-Sea, and in 1920 he began selling the estate. His first efforts to sell the house and park failed but after the death of his son in 1923 he tried again and eventually in 1924 he sold the house to a local builder, A.D. Letch, for demolition, which had been completed by the spring of 1925. It is said that Letch more than recovered the cost of purchasing the estate from the sale of the materials.

Descent: sold to James Sparrow (1725-77); to son, James Goodeve Sparrow (1770-1838), who remodelled the house; to son, Henry Weare Sparrow (later Beridge) (1819-94), a lunatic, whose brother, Basil Sparrow (1820-88) and his wife Julia (c.1826-97) occupied and rebuilt the house; to son, Rev. Basil James Harold Sparrow (later Sparrow Beridge) (1853-1929), who sold it 1924 to A.D. Letch, who demolished it.

Beridge family of Algarkirk


Beridge alias Beveridge, Rev. Dr. John (c.1572-1632). Son of the Rev. William Beridge, rector of Shelton (Beds) from 1564 and Kibworth Beauchamp (Leics) from 1565, born at Shelton (Beds), c.1572. Educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge (matriculated 1586; BA 1590?; MA 1593; DD 1617). Ordained deacon, 1597 and priest, 1601. Rector of Shelton (Beds) and Kibworth Beauchamp (Leics) 1601-32; vicar of Barrow-upon-Soar (Leics) 1617-20; prebendary and precentor of Lincoln Cathedral, 1621-32. He purchased the manor and advowson of Kibworth Beauchamp in 1619 and the advowson of Barrow-upon-Soar in 1622. He married Dorothea (d. 1652?), daughter of Ferdinand Feilding, and had issue:
(1) Mary Beridge (b. c.1605?), born about 1605; god-daughter of her great-aunt, Mary Aglionby (widow of Edward Aglionby (c.1520-91)); died before 1620; 
(2) Gooditha Beridge (b. 1606), baptised at Kibworth Beauchamp, 30 March 1606; living in 1620 but died in the lifetime of her father;
(3) Basil Beridge (b. & d. 1607), baptised at Kibworth Beauchamp, 5 April 1607; died in infancy and was buried at Kibworth Beauchamp, 3 May 1607;
(4) Rev. William Beridge (1608-40), baptised at Kibworth Beauchamp, 24 April 1608; educated at Trinity College, Oxford (matriculated 1627; BA 1627; MA 1629); succeeded his father as rector and patron of Kibworth Beauchamp, 1632-40; married, 1632/3 Dorothy, daughter of Rev. Ambrose Sacheverell (d. 1647), vicar of Tadmarton (Oxon), and had issue two sons and three daughters; buried at Kibworth Beauchamp, 31 January 1639/40; 
(5) Rev. Ferdinand Beridge (1609-1702) (q.v.);
(6) George Beridge (b. 1611), baptised at Kibworth Beauchamp, 25 August 1611; living in 1620;
(7) Rev. Basil Beridge (1613-78) (q.v.);
(8) Michael Beridge (b. 1614), baptised 24 June 1614; living in 1620 but died in the lifetime of his father;
(9) James Beridge (b. 1615), baptised at Kibworth Beauchamp, 25 July 1615; died in the lifetime of his father;
(10) Jonathan Beridge (b. 1617), baptised at Kibworth Beauchamp, 6 April 1617;
(11) Samuel Beridge (b. 1620), baptised at Kibworth Beauchamp, 6 May 1620;
(12) Rev. John Beridge (1624-90), baptised at Kibworth Beauchamp, 28 April 1624; educated at Kibworth, Jesus College, Cambridge and Christ's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1642; BA 1647; MA 1651); ordained deacon, 1647 and priest, 1648; rector of Great Massingham (Norfk), 1661-90 and of Pensthorpe (Norfk), 1679-90; married 1st, Dorothy Hewett; married 2nd, Ann Miller (d. 1727), by whom he had issue one daughter; died 9 November and was buried at Great Massingham, 11 November 1690, where he is commemorated by a monument; will proved in the PCC, 6 July 1691;
(13) Festina Beridge; died in the lifetime of her father.
He lived at Kibworth Beauchamp and later at Barrow-upon-Soar (Leics).
He died in London, 12 May 1632 and was buried at Kibworth, 14 May 1632, where he is commemorated by a monument; administration of his goods was granted to his son William, 1634. His wife was living in 1624 and was probably the 'Dorothy Berrig' buried at Wigston Magna (Leics), 27 December 1652, who was then described as 'above the age of three-score and ten'.

Beridge, Rev. Basil (1613-78). Fifth son of Rev. John Beridge alias Beveridge (c.1572-1632), rector of Kibworth Beauchamp (Leics), and his wife Dorothea, daughter of Ferdinand Feilding, baptised at Kibworth Beauchamp, 25 April 1613. Educated at Christ's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1630; BA 1634; MA 1637). Ordained deacon, 1636 and priest, 1637. Rector and patron of Algarkirk (Lincs) from 1637. He married, 13 January 1652/3 at Wartnaby (Leics), Judith alias Gooditha (d. 1681), daughter of Sir Thomas Brooks of Gaddesby (Leics), and had no surviving issue, although he is said to have had two sons who died young.
He lived at Algarkirk Hall.
He died 2 November 1678 and was buried at Algarkirk. His wife died 25 November 1681 and was buried at Algarkirk. 

Beridge, Rev. Ferdinand alias Ferdinando (1609-1702*)  Third son of Rev. John Beridge alias Beveridge (c.1572-1632), rector of Kibworth Beauchamp (Leics), and his wife Dorothea, daughter of Ferdinand Feilding, baptised at Kibworth Beauchamp, 29 September 1609. Ordained deacon, 1644 and priest, 1660. Vicar of Great Paxton (Hunts), 1661-1702. In 1654 he published an almanac. He married, c.1650, Anne [surname unknown] (d. 1707) and had issue:
(1) Lucy Beridge (1652-86), baptised at Wartnaby, 4 March 1651/2; married, 10 July 1673 at Great Paxton, Henry Hickuck; buried at Great Paxton, 17 February 1685/6;
(2) Rev. Charles Beridge (1655-93) (q.v.);
(3) Rev. Basil Beridge (1662-86) (q.v.);
(4) Baptius Beridge (b. 1663), baptised at Great Paxton, 20 February 1662/3; perhaps died young.
He lived at Great Paxton (Hunts).
He was buried at Great Paxton, 14 March 1702. His widow was buried at Great Paxton, 11 May 1707.
* I was initially suspicious about the identification of the vicar of Great Paxton with the child baptised in 1609, since if this is correct he would have been 93 when he died. An ordination in 1644 would normally suggest birth about 1620, making him a more plausible 82 at death, and there is no evidence of his pursuing another career before he entered the church. However, I have been unable to find any evidence that there were two Ferdinand(o)s at this time, so I have concluded that Maddison may be right in linking him to the 1609 baptism.

Beridge, Rev. Basil (1662-86). Second son of Rev. Ferdinand Beridge (1609-1702) and his wife Anne, baptised at Great Paxton (Hunts), 13 February 1661/2. Educated at Knotting (Beds) and St John's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1679; BA 1683; MA 1686). Ordained deacon, 1684 and priest, 1685. He was unmarried and without issue.
He died 28 December 1686 and was buried at Algarkirk.

Beridge, Rev. Charles (1655-93). Elder son of Rev. Ferdinand Beridge (1609-1702) and his wife Anne, born at Wartnaby (Leics), 28 November 1655. Educated at Offord (Hunts) and St John's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1671; BA 1675; MA 1678). Rector and patron of Algarkirk, 1678-93. He married, 20 April 1681 at Great Paxton (Hunts), Barbara (1659-94), daughter of Richard Naylour of Offord Darcy (Hunts), and had issue:
(1) Barbara Beridge (1682-1713), baptised at Algarkirk, 20 April 1682; married, 11 December 1712 at Pinchbeck (Lincs), Edward Watson (b. 1675) of Pinchbeck; died without issue and was buried at Algarkirk, 22 November 1713;
(2) Mary Beridge (b. 1683), baptised at Algarkirk, 1 November 1683; said to have married [forename unknown] Ranby;
(3) Rev. Basil Beridge (c.1686-1737) (q.v.);
(4) Anne Beridge (1689-93), baptised at Algarkirk, 2 May 1689; died young, 28 April 1693, and was buried at Algarkirk.
He lived at Algarkirk Hall.
He died 2 December 1693 and was buried at Algarkirk; his will was proved 2 January 1693/4. His widow died in January or February 1693/4; her will was proved 10 February 1693/4.

Beridge, Rev. Basil (c.1686-1737). Only son of Rev. Charles Beridge (1655-93) and his wife Barbara, daughter of Richard Naylour of Offord Darcy (Hunts), born about 1686. Educated at Pembroke College and Trinity Hall, Cambridge (matriculated 1702; LLB 1708). Ordained deacon, 1708 and priest, 1710. Rector of Blankney (Lincs), 1712-22; rector of Algarkirk, 1716-37 and vicar of Sutterton, 1722-37. He married, 25 November 1708 at Saltfleetby St Peter (Lincs), Mary (c.1687-1752), daughter of John Williamson of Saltfleetby, and had issue:
(1) Basil Beridge (1709-53), baptised at Pinchbeck (Lincs), 3 November 1708; farmer; died unmarried, 27 February, and was buried at Algarkirk, 7 March 1753;
(2) John Beridge (1710-15), baptised at Pinchbeck, 31 August 1710; died young and was buried at Pinchbeck, 11 November 1715;
(3) Rev. Charles Beridge (1711-82) (q.v.);
(4) Rev. John Beridge (1712-44) (q.v.).
He lived at Algarkirk Hall.
He died 13 October and was buried at Algarkirk, 15 October 1737; his will was proved in the PCC, 21 April 1738. His widow died 10 January 1752 and was buried at Algarkirk.

Beridge, Rev. Charles (1711-82). Third son of Rev. Basil Beridge (c.1686-1737) and his wife Mary, daughter of John Williamson of Saltfleetby (Lincs), baptised at Pinchbeck (Lincs), 26 July 1711. Educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge (matriculated 1730; LLB 1736; LLD 1749); Fellow of Trinity Hall, 1734-38. Ordained deacon and priest, 1737. Rector and patron of Algarkirk, 1737-82; prebendary of Lincoln Cathedral, 1762-69. He married, by 1742, Lettice (1715-78), daughter of Alderman Thomas Fox of Cambridge, and had issue:
(1) Charles Williamson Beridge (b. & d. 1743), born 22 July and baptised at Algarkirk, 1 September 1743; died in infancy and was buried at Algarkirk, 7 October 1743.
He lived at Algarkirk Hall but also had a house in Trinity Lane, Cambridge.
He died in Cambridge, 12 June and was buried at Algarkirk, 20 June 1782. His wife died 6 November and was buried at Algarkirk, 11 November 1778, where she is commemorated by a monument.

Beridge, Rev. John (1712-44). Fourth son of Rev. Basil Beridge (c.1686-1737) and his wife Mary, daughter of John Williamson of Saltfleetby (Lincs), baptised at Pinchbeck (Lincs), 17 July 1712. Educated at St Catherine's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1731; BA 1735). Ordained deacon, 1735 and priest, 1737. Curate of Sutterton (Lincs), 1735-37; vicar of Wethersfield (Essex), and Barkston (Lincs), 1737-44, but evidently employed a curate at the former as he resided in Lincolnshire. He married 1st, 8 May 1736 at Sproxton (Leics), Ruth (1713-39), daughter of Leonard Bury of Sewston (Leics) and widow of John Scott of Buckminster (Leics), and 2nd, 25 February 1741 at Spalding (Lincs), Susanna (c.1721-49), daughter of Robert Butler of Spalding, merchant, and had issue:
(1.1) Rev. Basil Bury Beridge (1736-1808) (q.v.);
(1.2) Rev. Leonard Beridge (1738-91), baptised at Barkston (Lincs), 5 June 1738; educated at Jesus College, Cambridge (matriculated 1756; BA 1760; MA 1763; DD 1763); Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, 1763-71; ordained deacon, 1766 and priest, 1767; vicar of Sutterton (Lincs), 1770-91; died unmarried at Matlock Bath (Derbys), 4 April 1791; 
(1.3) Charles Beridge (1739-40), born 11 June and baptised at Barkston, 25 June 1739; died in infancy and was buried at Buckminster (Leics), 21 May 1740;
(2.1) Frances Beridge (1743-1817), born 29 May and baptised at Barkston, 1 July 1743; married, 30 March 1772 at Tickhill (Yorks WR), Maj-Gen. Henry Gladwin (c.1730-91) of Stubbing Court (Derbys), and had issue two sons and eight daughters; buried at Wingerworth (Derbys), 4 November 1817; will proved in the PCC, 7 February 1818;
(2.2) John Beridge (1744-88), baptised at Carlton Scroop (Lincs), between July and December 1744; educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge (matriculated 1763; MB 1769); physician in Derby; married, 2 October 1775 at Bradbourne (Derbys), Martha (1747-1827) (who m2, 28 April 1792, Rev. Thomas Francis Twigge (1755-1821), vicar of Tickhill), daughter of Rev. German Buckstone of Bradbourne, but had no issue; died 17 October and was buried at Algarkirk, 25 October 1788, where he is commemorated by a monument; will proved in the PCC, 15 December 1788.
He lived latterly at Carlton Scroop (Lincs).
He died 18 October 1744, and was buried at Algarkirk, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved in the PCC, 9 February 1744/5. His first wife died 22 June 1739 and was buried at Buckminster. His widow married 2nd, 10 January 1747/8 at Sutterton (Lincs), Henry Boulton of Moulton (Lincs), gent.; she died 10 November, and was buried at Moulton, 14 November 1749.

Beridge, Rev. Basil Bury (1736-1808). Eldest son of Rev. John Beridge (1712-44) and his first wife, Ruth, daughter of Leonard Bury of Sewston (Leics), born 4 April and baptised at Barkston (Lincs), 11 May 1736. Educated at Eton and Trinity Hall, Cambridge (matriculated 1756). Ordained deacon and priest, 1761. A prebendary of Lincoln Cathedral, 1770-1808; rector and patron of Algarkirk, 1782-1808. He married 1st, 7 November 1760 at Mansfield (Notts), Dorothy (d. 1792), daughter of Henry Gladwin (1692-1763) of Stubbing Court (Derbys), and 2nd, 27 June 1793 at St Michael, Paternoster Royal, London, Dorothy (1767-1840), daughter and co-heir of John Tanfield of Carthorpe (Yorks), and had issue:
(2.1) Dorothy Beridge (1794-1833); baptised at Algarkirk, 2 December 1794; married (as his second wife), 18 December 1817, at the house of the British consul in Marseilles (France), James Goodeve Sparrow (1770-1838) of Gosfield Place (Essex), and had issue three sons and two daughters [for whom see below, under Sparrow of Gosfield Place]; died 12 February and was buried at Gosfield (Essex), 21 February 1833;
(2.2) Frances Beridge (1795-1808), baptised at Algarkirk, 9 November 1795; died young at Cleve Dale, Mangotsfield (Glos), 10 October, and was buried at Abbots Leigh (Som.), 18 October 1808;
(2.3) Rev. Basil Beridge (1797-1881) (q.v.);
(2.4) Tanfield Basil Beridge (1798-c.1819), baptised at Algarkirk, 8 April 1798; an officer in the 4th Dragoon Guards (Cornet, 1813; Lt. 1814); died unmarried in South America, c.1819;
(2.5) Marianna Beridge (1800-84), born December 1800 and baptised at Algarkirk, 11 January 1801; married, 24 October 1820 at Algarkirk, Capt. the Rev. Charles Boothby (1786-1846), vicar of Sutterton, rector of Barnoldby-le-Beck (Lincs) and prebendary of Southwell Minster, third son of Sir William Boothby, 4th & 5th bt., and had issue one son and two daughters; died at Coombe Bury, Kingston-on-Thames (Surrey), 22 December, and was buried at Algarkirk, 30 December 1884; administration of goods granted 13 March 1885 (effects £248).
He lived at Algarkirk Hall and apparently remodelled it and laid out the grounds.
He died 22 February 1808 and was buried at Algarkirk; his will was proved in the PCC, 17 August 1808. His first wife died 4 June and was buried at Algarkirk, 9 June 1792. His second wife married 2nd, 30 March 1814 at Sutterton, John Harriott Roe (c.1768-1833); she died 5 November and was buried at Algarkirk, 12 November 1840.

Beridge, Rev. Basil (1797-1881). Elder son of Rev. Basil Bury Beridge (1736-1808) and his second wife Dorothy, daughter and co-heir of John Tanfield of Carthorpe (Yorks), born 10 January and baptised at Algarkirk, 19 January 1797. Educated at Harrow and Magdalen College, Oxford (matriculated 1815). Ordained deacon and priest, 1822; rector and patron of Algarkirk, 1822-81; prebendary and canon of Lincoln Cathedral, 1872-81. In 1843 he was made responsible for the custody of his nephew, Henry Weare Sparrow, who had been declared a lunatic. He married 1st, 30 October 1823 at Tathwell (Lincs), Bettina Mary Elizabeth (1805-24), only daughter of William Chaplin of Thorpe Hall (Lincs), and 2nd, 21 August 1828 at St George, Hanover Sq., Westminster (Middx), Judith Pulteney (1808-60), daughter of John Fawcett (later Pulteney) of Northerwood (Hants), but had no issue.
He lived at Algarkirk Hall which he remodelled c.1825.
He died at Coombe Bury, Kingston-upon-Thames (Surrey), 20 July 1881, and was buried at Algarkirk; his will was proved 6 September 1881 (effects £65,627). His first wife died at Clifton near Bristol (Glos), 6 July 1824. His second wife died at Scarborough (Yorks), 10 August 1860; her will was proved in October 1860 but after her husband's death a later will was found and administration was granted to her husband's executors, 1 September 1881 (effects £9,959).

Sparrow, Rev. John Beridge (1828-97). Third son of James Goodeve Sparrow (1770-1838) [for whom see below, under Sparrow of Gosfield Place] and his wife Dorothy, eldest daughter of Rev. Basil Bury Beridge of Algarkirk Hall (Lincs), born 24 June and baptised at Gosfield, 7 July 1828. Educated privately and at Magdalene College, Cambridge (matriculated 1847; BA 1851). Ordained deacon, 1851 and priest, 1853. Curate of St Thomas, Dudley (Worcs), 1851-53; vicar of Offton and rector of Little Bricett (Suffk), 1853-58; vicar of Great Cornard (Suffk), 1858-81, and rector of Algarkirk with Fosdyke, 1881-97. JP for Lincolnshire (from 1884). He married, 14 July 1859, Louisa Henrietta (1838-1916), daughter of Rev. Samuel Hartopp Knapp, rector of Letchworth (Herts), and had issue:
(1) Constance Julia Sparrow (1860-1933), born 13 April and baptised at Great Cornard, 13 May 1860; married, 9 April 1885 at Algarkirk, Robert Wyndham Jermyn Rushbrooke (1858-1908), of Rushbrooke Hall (Suffk), and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 9 January 1933; will proved 23 May 1933 (estate £6,746);
(2) Mabel Eleanor Sparrow (1861-1947), baptised at Great Cornard, 15 September 1861; married, 9 October 1884 at Algarkirk, Bartholomew Claypon Garfit (1857-1922), son of Thomas Garfit of Kenwick Hall  (Lincs), and had issue five daughters; died 20 January 1947;  will proved 25 April 1947 (estate £10.732);
(3) Violet Dorothy Sparrow (1864-1907), baptised at Great Cornard, 17 July 1864; died unmarried at Thurston (Suffk), 26 July 1907;
(4) Hugh Cuthbert Beridge Sparrow (1867-1943), baptised at Great Cornard, 27 October 1867; served in the Imperial Yeomanry during the Boer War; farmer at Chartknole, Beaminster (Dorset);  married, 29 April 1912 at Beaminster, Evelyn Lucy Margaret (1882-1960), daughter of George Frederic Pinney of Brooklands, Beaminster; died 13 October 1943; will proved 17 January 1944 (estate £20,521);
(5) Sylvia Margaret Sparrow (1871-1955), baptised at Great Cornard, 5 February 1871; married, 18 January 1898 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster (Middx), William Cranford Hurrell, son of S.W. Hurrell of Burgh (Lincs), and had issue four children; lived latterly at Probus (Cornw.); died 18 April 1955 and was buried at Probus; will proved 22 November 1955 (estate £4,994).
He lived at Abbas Hall, Great Cornard from c.1858 and at Algarkirk Hall from 1881.
He died 18 September and was buried at Great Cornard (Suffk), 20 September 1897; his will was proved 25 October 1897 (effects £12,702). His widow died at Thurston (Suffk), 4 July 1916, and was buried at Great Cornard (Suffk).

Sparrow of Gosfield Place


Sparrow, James (1725-77). Only son of John Sparrow (1697-1742?) of Halstead (Essex), and his first wife Jane, only daughter and heir of Robert Sparrow of Offton (Suffk), baptised at Sible Hedingham (Essex), 8 April 1725. Farmer and landowner with property at Sible Hedingham, Gosfield and Halstead (Essex) and several parishes in Suffolk, who described himself as 'gentleman' rather than 'esquire'. He married Margaret (d. 1790), daughter and co-heir of Rev. Thomas Bernard, rector of Little Bardfield (Essex), and had issue:
(1) Jane Sparrow (1751-1800), baptised at Stisted (Essex), 4 June 1751; married, 16 February 1775 at Gosfield, Lt. Fiske Manistre RN (1742-82) of Halstead, son of John Manistre of Halstead, surgeon, and had issue one son; died 31 July 1800, and was buried at Sible Hedingham, where she is commemorated on her brother Thomas' monument;
(2) Rev. John Sparrow (1756-86), of Gosfield, born 7 February and baptised at Gosfield, 2 March 1756; educated at Witham GS and St John's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1773; BA 1777; MA 1780); ordained deacon, 1780, and priest, 1781; rector of Thorpe Morieux (Suffk), 1781-86 and rector of Kettleburgh and vicar of Parham and Hacheston (Suffk), 1786; died unmarried and was buried at Sible Hedingham, 30 August 1786;
(3) Sarah Sparrow (1760-1830), born 5 June and baptised at Gosfield, 17 June 1760; married, 11 May 1795 at Gosfield, Rev. Charles Edward Holden (1763-1848), vicar of Great Cornard (Suffk), son of the Rev. Edward Holden of Barsham (Suffk), but had no issue; died 6 April and was buried at Barsham, 14 April 1830; administration (with will annexed) granted to her husband, 15 June 1830;
(4) Thomas Bernard Sparrow (1766-93), born 4 November and baptised at Gosfield, 26 November 1766; educated at Bury St Edmunds GS (from which he was expelled for locking the headmaster out of the school) and St John's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1784; BA 1788); inherited the Gosfield Place estate from his father in 1777; died unmarried when he was accidentally drowned while bathing near his home, 23 April, and was buried at Sible Hedingham, 2 May 1793, where he is commemorated by a monument;
(5) Martha Sparrow (1768-1861), born 5 February and baptised at Gosfield, 11 March 1768; married, 16 January 1798 at Gosfield, Rev. Newman John Stubbin (1768-1835), vicar of Offton with Little Bricett (Suffk) and perpetual curate of Higham St Mary (Suffk), son of John Stubbin, and had issue two sons; lived latterly at Whitton Villa (Suffk); died aged 93 on 25 April 1861; will proved 20 July 1861 (estate under £4,000).
(6) James Goodeve Sparrow (1770-1838) (q.v.).
He purchased the Biggs (later Gosfield Place) estate, apparently in the 1750s.
He died 29 October and was buried at Sible Hedingham, 6 November 1777; his will was proved in the PCC, 13 February 1778. His widow died 13 March 1790; her will was proved in the PCC, 26 July 1790.

Sparrow, James Goodeve (1770-1838). Third son of James Sparrow (1725-77) and his wife Margaret, daughter and co-heir of Rev. Thomas Bernard, rector of Little Bardfield (Essex), born 28 January and baptised at Gosfield, 23 February 1770. Educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (matriculated 1788). Partner in Suffolk & Essex Bank, later Messrs. Sparrow, Walford, Notledge & Greenwood of Chelmsford and Braintree, bankers. A freemason from 1821. He married 1st, 29 October 1799 at Lakenham (Norfk), Anne (1781-1813), youngest daughter of James Crowe of Lakenham, and 2nd, 18 December 1817, Dorothy (1794-1833), daughter of Rev. Basil Bury Beridge of Algarkirk (Lincs), and had issue:
(1.1) Elizabeth Ann Sparrow (1801-25), born 25 May and baptised at Lakenham, 21 June 1801; died unmarried, 27 July and was buried at Lakenham, 5 August 1825;
(1.2) James Crowe Sparrow (1802-20), born 3 November 1802 and baptised at Gosfield, 23 September 1805; died unmarried 'of a decline' [probably tuberculosis] and was buried at Gosfield, 19 September 1820;
(1.3) Margaret Sparrow (1803-04), born 17 November and baptised at Lakenham, 18 December 1803; died 17 July and was buried at Gosfield, 20 July 1804;
(1.4) Margaret Sparrow (1805-92), born about 1805; married, 10 November 1824 at Lakenham, Col. William Bragge (1788-1863) of Sadbarow (Dorset), and had issue three sons and six daughters; died at Weymouth (Dorset), 16 January 1892;
(1.5) Sarah Augusta Sparrow (1807-31), born 12 August 1807 and baptised at Lakenham, 10 November 1811; died unmarried in Brighton (Sussex), 8 December, and was buried at Gosfield, 21 December 1831;
(1.6) Jane Sparrow (1808-91), born 19 November 1808 and baptised at Lakenham, 10 November 1811; married 1st, 27 March 1826 in the chapel of the British Embassy in Paris (annulled on grounds of non-consummation, 1842), Fiske Goodeve Harrison (later Fiske-Harrison (1793-1872) of Copford Hall (Essex), eldest son of John Haynes Harrison, but had no issue; married 2nd, 13 July 1843 at St Marylebone (Middx), Thomas Pynsent (1809-87) of Pitt House, Chudleigh (Devon) and later of Lakenham House (Devon), and had issue three daughters; lived latterly at Belmont House, Northam (Devon); died in Clifton (Glos), 30 January 1891; will proved 7 April 1891 (effects £104,307);
(2.1) Henry Weare Sparrow (later Beridge) (1819-95) (q.v.);
(2.2) Basil Sparrow (1820-80) (q.v.);
(2.3) Dorothy Emma Sparrow (1821-69), born 4 December 1821 and baptised at Christ Church, Bristol, 1 January 1822; married, 27 April 1847 at the house of the British consul in Florence (Italy), as his second wife, Dr Edward John Tilt MD (1815-93) of Grosvenor Sq., Westminster (Middx), obstetrician and gynaecologist; died 17 March and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, 23 March 1869; will proved 12 May 1869 (effects under £100);
(2.4) Annette Rosalie Sparrow (1825-1910), born 4 September and baptised at St Andrew, Clifton (Glos), 20 September 1825; married, 14 December 1848 at Holy Trinity, Paddington (Middx), William Devoy (c.1811-62) of Woodlands, Potters Bar (Herts) and Gosfield Grange (Essex), barrister-at-law, son of William Devoy; died at Loughton (Essex), 3 January 1910; will proved 8 August 1912 (estate £18,153);
(2.5) Rev. John Beridge Sparrow (1828-97) [for whom see below, Beridge of Algarkirk].
He inherited Gosfield Place from his elder brother in 1793 and remodelled it c.1800-03. He and his family seem to have lived at Lakenham while the work was in progress. In the early 1820s he and his second wife lived in Bristol for some years.
He died 3 October 1838; his will was proved in the PCC, 30 November 1838. His first wife died at Clifton (Glos) after a long illness, 24 January 1813 and was buried at Gosfield, 7 February 1813. His second wife died 12 February and was buried at Gosfield, 21 February 1833, although curiously the codicil to his will made following her death is dated 1831, presumably in error.

Sparrow (later Beridge), Henry Weare (1819-94). Eldest son of James Goodeve Sparrow (1770-1838) and his wife Dorothy, eldest daughter of Rev. Basil Bury Beridge of Algarkirk Hall (Lincs), born 5 February and baptised at Christ Church, Bristol, 18 February 1819. Educated at Eton. He became mentally ill in the late 1830s and was found to be a lunatic in 1842 and placed in the custody of his uncle, Rev. Basil Beridge (1797-1881) [for whom see above, under Beridge of Algarkirk] but was confined in asylums from 1848 onwards. His affairs were subsequently under the control of the Lord Chancellor. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Gosfield Place (Essex) from his father in 1838 and the Algarkirk Hall estate from his uncle in 1881.
He died at Hailsham (Sussex), 18 September, and was buried at Gosfield, 22 September 1894.

Sparrow, Basil (1820-80). Second son of James Goodeve Sparrow (1770-1838) and his wife Dorothy, eldest daughter of Rev. Basil Bury Beridge of Algarkirk Hall (Lincs), born 1 August and baptised at Christ Church, Bristol, 2 September 1820. Educated at Shrewsbury School and Worcester College, Oxford (matriculated 1838). Banker with Sparrow Tufnell & Co. of Chelmsford and other Essex towns. JP and DL for Essex. A Conservative in politics. He married, 28 December 1846 at Gosfield, Julia (1825-97), daughter of James Scratton of Prittlewell Priory (Essex), and had issue:
(1) Amy Julia Sparrow (1850-76), born 9 June and baptised at Gosfield, 25 August 1850; married, 8 October 1872 at Gosfield, Rev. William Edward Lionel Lampet (1841-1921), vicar of Great Bardfield (Essex), 1867-1921, son of Barrett Edward Lampet, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 19 August and was buried at Great Bardfield, 24 August 1876;
(2) Isabel Mary Sparrow (1851-1922), born 10 September and baptised at Gosfield, 23 November 1851; married, 14 December 1876 at Gosfield, Bendyshe William Ellys Walton (1855-85) of Bower Hall, Steeple Bumpstead (Essex), son of Maj. Charles Walton, but had no issue; lived latterly at Cosgrove Lodge, Lexden (Essex); died 16 October 1922; will proved 13 December 1922 (estate £21,252);
(3) Serena Elizabeth Sparrow (1852-1920), born 16 October and baptised at Gosfield, 26 December 1852; married, 5 June 1888 at St Mary Abbotts, Kensington (Middx), as his third wife, George Courtauld (1830-1920) of Cut Hedge, Gosfield, multi-millionaire partner in Samuel Courtauld & Co. Ltd., cloth manufacturers, and Liberal MP for Maldon (Essex), 1878-85, and had issue one son, who predeceased her; died 4 July 1920; will proved 17 September 1920 (estate £127,948);
(4) Rev. Basil James Harold Sparrow (later Beridge) (1853-1929) (q.v.);
(5) Florence Ellen Sparrow (1854-1937), born 25 November 1854 and baptised at Gosfield, 16 August 1855; lived at Rookwoods, Sible Hedingham (Essex); died unmarried, 3 May 1937; will proved 3 August 1937 (estate £50,979);
(6) Valentine Arthur George John Sparrow (1856-72), born 14 February and baptised at Gosfield, 15 June 1856; died young, 10 July and was buried at Gosfield, 27 July 1872;
(7) Herbert Edward Sparrow (1857-82), born 14 March and baptised at Gosfield, 12 August 1857; educated at Charterhouse and Emmanuel College, Cambridge (matriculated 1874); banker in the family bank; died unmarried following an accident in which he was thrown from a dog cart driven by his brother Reginald near Gosfield, 12 April, and was buried at Gosfield, 17 April 1882; administration of goods granted 20 June 1882 (effects £1,285) and 11 November 1897 (effects £2,265);
(8) Lucy Margaret Sparrow (1858-69), born 30 June and baptised at Gosfield, 14 October 1858; died young, 4 January, and was buried at Gosfield, 8 January 1869;
(9) Beatrice Emma Sparrow (1859-1941), born 22 September and baptised at Gosfield, 30 November 1859; married, 2 April 1891 at Gosfield, Maj. John Charles Lawrie (1859-1915), son of Maj. John Lawrie, and had issue one daughter; died at Glebe House, Stanway (Essex), 10 December, and was buried at White Notley (Essex), 13 December 1941; will proved 25 February 1942 (estate £8,240);
(10) Reginald Bragge Sparrow (1860-82), born 11 December 1860; an officer in the Dublin City militia (2nd Lt., 1878; 'services dispensed with', 1883); died unmarried, 31 December 1882; administration of goods granted, 7 June 1883 (effects £160);
(11) Ethel Bertha Sparrow (1862-1943), born 10 March and baptised at Gosfield, 21 April 1862; a keen member of the East Essex Hunt for more than fifty years; lived with her older sister at Rookwoods, Sible Hedingham (Essex) from 1891; died 28 October 1943; will proved 21 March 1944 (estate £80,504);
(12) Augusta Rosalie Sparrow (1865-70), born 21 March and baptised at Gosfield, 7 May 1865; died young, 6 June, and was buried at Gosfield, 11 June 1870;
(13) Col. Richard Sparrow (1871-1953), born 10 June and baptised at Gosfield, 23 July 1871; an officer in the army (2nd Lt., 1892; Lt. 1895; Capt., 1899; Maj., 1903; Lt-Col., 1914; retired as Col., 1919) who was appointed CMG, 1916 and DSO, 1918; lived at The Lodge, Colne Engaine (Essex); married 1st, 16 November 1918 at St Margaret, Westminster (Middx), his first cousin, Cecily Mabel (1890-1940), daughter of Maj. Bartholomew Claypon Garfit and widow of Capt. Lawrence Heyworth of Dalby Hall, Spilsby (Lincs); married 2nd, 10 September 1941 at Hackthorn (Lincs), Dorothea Barbara (1873-1968), daughter of William Goddard Jackson and widow of Arthur Bruce Peacock (later Willson) of Rauceby Hall (Lincs); died 6 December 1953.
He lived at Gosfield Place (Essex), which he rebuilt on a new site in 1863-65 at a cost of £62,000, probably to the designs of J.T. Knowles senior. He lived at Attwoods, Halstead and later at Twinstead Hall (Essex) while the rebuilding was in progress.
He died 21 September, and was buried at Gosfield, 25 September 1880; his will was proved 18 December 1880 (effects under £60,000). His widow died suddenly, 8 February, and was buried at Gosfield, 12 February 1897; her will was proved 21 April 1897 (effects £5,188).

Sparrow (later Beridge), Rev. Basil James Harold (1853-1929). Eldest son of Basil Sparrow (1820-80) and his wife Julia, daughter of James Scratton of Prittlewell Priory (Essex), born 23 November and baptised at Gosfield, 28 December 1853. Educated at Charterhouse and Christ's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1872; BA 1876; MA 1880). Ordained deacon, 1877 and priest, 1878. He was curate of Chaceley (Worcs), 1877-80, Bocking (Essex), 1880-81 and of Clacton-on-Sea, 1902-03, but was otherwise without clerical employment. He took the name and arms of Beridge in lieu of Sparrow by royal licence, 1895. He appointed an elderly (and, as it proved, eccentric) clergyman who was not a member of the family to the vacant living of Algarkirk and sold the advowson in 1903. He married, 18 July 1882 at Hove (Sussex) (sep. by 1911*), Margaret Louisa (1861-1925), daughter of Henry Capel Elliot of South Kensington (Middx), and widow of Mark Markwick (d. 1881), gent., and had issue:
(1) Basil James Goodeve Sparrow Beridge (1883-1923), born 26 September 1883 and was baptised at Gosfield (Essex), 31 July 1884; an officer in the army (2nd Lt., 1901; resigned 1902); bankrupt, 1906; and later a non-commissioned officer in the army; married, Apr-Jun 1908 at Westminster (Middx), Grace Louise (1880-1967), daughter of Frederick Henry Hurburgh of Limehouse (Middx), master mariner, and had issue one son and two daughters; died at Brighton (Sussex) in the lifetime of his father, 1923; after his death his widow became a boarding house keeper in Brighton.
He inherited Gosfield Place (Essex) from his uncle in 1894, but sold it in 1924 to Mr A.D. Letch, builder, for £1,400 for demolition and lived latterly at Clacton-on-Sea (Essex). Gosfield Place was demolished in 1924-25: Letch is said to have realised more from the sale of the building materials than he paid for the property.
He died at Clacton-on-Sea (Essex), 13 March 1929, and was buried at Gosfield; his will was proved 19 April 1929 (estate £53,429). His wife died April-June 1925.
* He appears not only to have separated from his wife but also to have ceased to acknowledge his son, publishing a notice in 1902 that he would not be responsible for his son's debts and stating in the 1911 census that he and his wife had had no children.

Principal sources

A.R. Maddison, Lincolnshire pedigrees, vol. 1, 1902, pp. 124-27; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1925, p. 120; H. Healey 'Beridges, benefice and bricks: an Algarkirk miscellany' in C. Sturman (ed.), Lincolnshire People & Places, 1996, pp. 43-50; J. Bettley & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Essex, 2nd edn., 2007, p. 381; R. Pacey, Lost Lincolnshire Country Houses, vol. 6, 2010; R. Burrows, St Peter and St Paul, Algarkirk: Conservation Management Plan, 2013, pp. 11-12; D.L. Roberts, Lincolnshire houses, 2018, p. 424.


Location of archives

Beridge and Sparrow families of Algarkirk: estate and family papers, 1782-1910 [Lincolnshire Archives, Beridge]
Sparrow, Tufnell & Co. of Chelmsford etc., bankers: partnership, branch and customer records, correspondence and accounts, 1808-96 [Barclays Group Archives]
Sparrow and Beridge families of Gosfield Place: deeds, estate and family papers, 1460-1925 [Essex Record Office D/DBm]

Coat of arms

Argent, a saltire engrailed between four escallops sable.

Can you help?

  • Does anyone have any further views of Gosfield Place before the 1860s rebuilding, or any pictures of the interior of the 1860s house?
  • Can anyone provide photographs or 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 28 May 2024 and updated 12 June 2024. I am most grateful for the assistance of James Bettley, Rory O'Donnell and Phillip Judge with unscrambling the history of Gosfield Place.