Saturday, 22 February 2020

(407) Barrett of Milton Manor House

Barrett of Milton Manor House
This Roman Catholic family owes its rise to gentry status and prosperity to Bryant Barrett (1714-90), the son of a London wax chandler who died when Bryant was only seven years old. He was apprenticed in 1730 to a London weaver, who was probably himself a specialist manufacturer of the gold and silver lace with which the elaborate costumes and uniforms of the day were decorated. Certainly such 'lace' became Bryant Barrett's chief product, and he made a good deal of money from its supply to the Court and the aristocracy from his shop in The Strand, even holding a Royal Warrant for its supply to the Royal Mews (where it was perhaps used mostly in the finishing of coaches). In 1750, Bryant married the daughter of a Catholic landowner from Oxfordshire , Maurice Belson, and her brother John became one of his closest friends. When he decided to invest in the purchase of a landed estate, it was probably this connection which persuaded him to look westward up the Thames valley and to settle on Milton near Didcot, which he bought in 1764. It would seem that the manor house at Milton had been somewhat neglected in the years before his purchase, for the sale particulars state that the service block of the house had burned down and not been replaced. Barrett lost no time in planning the renaissance of the house, engaging Stephen Wright of the Office of Works to add wings either side of the original block, which were built between 1764 and 1769. One wing provided new service accommodation and the other two vital facilities which the existing house lacked: a Roman Catholic chapel and a Library. The chapel, where the decoration was not completed until 1772, was blessed in 1773, and remains in use today. Among the priests whom he invited to stay and say mass in the chapel was the saintly Richard Chaloner, Vicar Apostolic of the London district, who was buried in the family's vault (in the Anglican church at Milton) in 1781. Chaloner evidently impressed even the local Anglican clergyman, who recorded the burial in the parish register as that of 'the Rev. Dr. Richard Chaloner, a Popish Priest and Titular Bishop of London and Salisbury, a very pious and good man of great learning and extensive abilities'. The library, which seems to have been finished by 1769, was designed to accommodate Barrett's exceptional collection of some 2,000 books. Sadly, the collection itself was dispersed at auction in 1911, but we know from the auction catalogue what was in it, and it reveals Barrett not just as a pious Catholic but also as an intellectual with wide-ranging interests. 

The house and estate remains the property of Bryant Barrett's descendants, and remarkably has had just seven owners since 1764. Barrett's first wife died without issue in 1768 and the following year, when he was fifty-five, he married again, this time to a member of the leading Catholic family in the area, the Eystons. By his second wife he had six sons (two of whom became Catholic priests) and two daughters. His eldest son, John Richard Barrett (1771-1843), began an apprenticeship in the weaving trade in London in 1788, and the intention was probably that in due course he should take over the management of the gold and silver lace-making business. However, it seems unlikely that this ever happened, as his father died in 1790 before he had completed his term, and he probably took over the management of the Milton estate instead. When Bryant Barrett retired in 1786, he left the business in the hands of John Barrett and Thomas Corney. The John Barrett in the firm cannot have been Bryant's son (who was only fifteen in 1786 and had not yet begun his apprenticeship), but must have been a close relative. The business continued to trade as Barrett & Corney (and later as Barrett, Corney and Carney) until 1811, when Thomas Corney died. At that point the firm ceased trading and the shop stock of gold and silver wires, spangles, laces etc. and raw and dyed silks was auctioned off.

John Richard Barrett became a magistrate in Berkshire when the last anti-Catholic restrictions were finally lifted in the early 19th century, and he seems to have engaged with the administrative work of the justices of the peace as well as their judicial functions. He married four times but at his death left only one son and two daughters. His son, and the heir to Milton, was John Basil Barrett (1818-86), who comes across as a very traditional Berkshire squire, distinguished chiefly by his Catholic faith from many others who shared his preoccupations with foxhunting, farming and local public affairs. He was, however, keen on technical innovations in farming, and put a lot of money into improving steam ploughing. He and his wife had two sons and four daughters, and on his death in 1886 Milton passed first to his widow (d. 1897), and then to his elder son, Louis Arthur Barrett (1869-1951), who never married. Perhaps because, as a bachelor, he found the house absurdly large for his needs, by 1908 he had moved out to a farm on the estate. The fine library built up by Bryant Barrett in the 18th century was dispersed at a Sothebys auction in 1911, and although the house was not abandoned it became neglected. It was requisitioned by the Government during the Second World War, when a lack of maintenance took a further toll on the fabric, but after the war Mr Barrett leased the house to his sister-in-law, who lived here with her daughter, and the eventual heir to Milton, Marjorie Mockler (1910-90). Marjorie, who was a passionate enthusiast for the house, its contents, and the family tradition it represented, gradually nursed the house back to life in the 1950s, helped by grant-aid and the income from opening the house to the public, which she began to do in 1951. By the 1970s, when I knew her, she was a brisk, elegant woman who enjoyed the company of those who shared her enthusiasm for the house, and she helped me enormously with my first country house research project through her advice and her generosity with introductions. After her death in 1990, Milton passed to her elder son, Anthony Mockler-Barrett (b. 1936), who took the additional name Barrett at the request of his great-uncle, and who remains the owner today.

Milton Manor House, Berkshire

A charming house consisting of a square central block in the 'Artisan Mannerist' style, probably built for Paul Calton soon after his marriage in 1659, with flanking wings added in 1764-69 by Stephen Wright for Bryant Barrett. 

Milton Manor House: the entrance front photographed by John Piper in the mid 20th century. Image: Tate Gallery Archive 8728/1/2/156.

The five bay central block is a fine example of the compact, classically inspired and Dutch-influenced red brick houses which became popular around London in the mid 17th century. Its date has been the subject of much debate, since a stylistically incredible tradition (which was already current when the house was sold in 1764) that it was designed by Inigo Jones has prompted some writers to suggest a date before the Civil War, while a reference to it being 'newly built' in 1696 has misled others. In practice it seems to have been built between 1659, when Paul Calton was given the estate on his marriage, and 1663, when the house was taxed on 19 hearths, which would be about right for the completed building. Calton's wife brought him a dowry in the form of a one-sixth share of an estate in the Isle of Ely, which the couple sold in 1661, and which no doubt funded the building of the new house. After 1666 Calton was raising money by mortgaging parts of the estate, and by the 1690s the bailiffs were in possession, seeking payment of a debt which was disputed between Calton and his son. It seems unlikely, therefore, that a date much after 1663 is feasible. The designer could have been Peter Mills, for the house is clearly influenced by the form of Thorpe Hall (Hunts), a house that may well have been familiar to Calton's wife, Susanna Ballam, who came from the Isle of Ely.

The house has three storeys above the basement, a wooden modillion cornice, hipped roof, and lanky Ionic giant pilasters of stone that articulate the east and west fronts. As originally built, there were dormers in the roof and taller chimneystacks (removed after 1771), which would have added yet more height to the composition. The giant pilasters are coupled at the angles, but the outer ones turn rather awkwardly into flat raised quoins above the stringcourse that separates the ground and first floors. The pilasters are further decorated with fleurs-de-lys at first floor level and have carved wreaths between the volutes of the capitals which are very like those on the College of Arms building in London (of 1671-73). 

Milton Manor House: garden front in 2007. Adapted from an image by Des Blenkinsopp. Some rights reserved.
The service accommodation, perhaps in a detached pavilion (as at Ashdown House) which accompanied the 17th century house had burned down before Bryant Barrett bought the estate in 1764, and he built the wings to provide replacement service areas as well as a new library and Roman Catholic chapel. They are remarkably tactful additions, keeping to the same colour of brickwork and even repeating the pilaster strips (though without their decoration or capitals) and the unusual raised quoins of the centre. On the entrance front, the wings are set a little back from the central block and form three-bay pavilions with hipped roofs and a single window on each floor flanked by niches. On the garden front, by contrast, the wings project as canted bays, but with chimneystacks rather than windows in the outer faces of the bays, an unusual and slightly unsettling effect that further contributes to the verticality of the facade.
Milton Manor House: sketch ground plan of central block (wings omitted).

Milton is a double-pile house with the rooms on the two fronts divided by a wall running from north to south that contains all the chimneystacks and rises from the basement to the attic. It is also divided from east to west on each floor by a passage (as was also the case at Thorpe Hall), with the result that each floor is divided into four segments. The main entrance on the east front leads into one end of the ground floor cross passage, which is here separated from the hall in the north-east corner by rounded wooden arches. The hall itself has an elaborate wooden chimneypiece which formerly stood in a second-floor bedroom, but which was perhaps originally in one of the ground-floor rooms redecorated in the 18th century. The fireplace is flanked by thick carved garlands and the overmantel incorporates a still life painting of game birds set below a cartouche of the Calton arms held between a pair of robustly-carved ladies holding cornucopias. 


Milton Manor House: hall chimneypiece brought from a
second-floor bedroom. Image: Country Life.
Milton Manor House: drawing room chimneypiece
from Gunnersbury House. Image: Country Life.

The drawing room stands on the other side of th
e corridor, i
n the south-east corner, and has an original plaster ceiling, subdivided by beams decorated with oak leaves into nine compartments of unequal size, each of which has a laurel wreath in the centre. The panelling and cornice of the room are, however, 18th century, and the splendid fireplace and overmantel were designed by John Webb for Gunnersbury House (c.1658-63) and were moved here after Gunnersbury was rebuilt in 1801. The south-west corner is occupied by the staircase, which is of oak and rises round a narrow open well from the ground floor. The balustrade is composed of robust turned balusters, now regrettably painted white in contrast to the dark oak of the simple newel posts and moulded handrail. The north-west corner of the house is occupied by the dining room, which was redecorated when the wings were added, and has plain panelling, two round-headed serving niches on the north wall, and a pedimented overmantel, carved by Stephen Laurence, which seems not to fit the much broader fireplace beneath. On the first floor the decoration is simpler and was altered more in the 18th century, when one bedroom and its dressing room were given a Chinese wallpaper. 

Milton Manor House: the library in the south wing, completed in 1772. Image: A.F. Kersting/Historic England.

The south wing added between 1764 and 1772 contains on the ground floor a library and above it, a Catholic chapel. Both rooms, rather unexpectedly, are Gothick, and this is still the light, Rococo Gothick of Strawberry Hill (where Stephen Laurence, who is known to have done carving at the house, also worked) and of William Kent, for whom Stephen Wright had worked in the 1740s, and some of whose buildings he completed. The library has a plain ceiling but ogee-arched bookcases with clustered shafts supporting canopies containing quatrefoil decoration, and similar window surrounds with Gothick pendants in the embrasures. The chapel above is less playful, with low-relief panelling formed of interlaced ogee arches, but has an ornamented coved plaster ceiling with thin ribs and pendants. The sanctuary windows have late 14th century stained glass brought here from Steventon church, and also some 16th century Dutch glass, installed when the chapel was built in 1772.

Milton Manor House: the chapel. Image: A.F. Kersting/Historic England.
There were minor additions and alterations to the house by E.P. Warren in about 1900, but essentially it has been little changed since the Georgian period. It was in poor condition when Marjorie Mockler inherited it in 1951, but she made it her mission to care for and preserve the house, and to gently revive it as funds allowed. She also took the decision to open the house to the public, and it has remained open ever since. Sadly, the house is now once again in need of an injection of funds for repairs, especially to the sash windows, and it is currently on Historic England's 'Buildings at Risk' list.

At the time of the 18th century remodelling, the grounds were laid out for Bryant Barrett, with lawns surrounding the house and a small serpentine lake facing the entrance front. It is possible that the design was produced by Stephen Wright, although he is not otherwise known as a landscape designer, but given Barrett's Catholic faith and connections, it is also possible that he engaged Richard Woods (1715-93), who worked for so many Catholic patrons in the south of England, and who has three known commissions in Berkshire.

Descent: Crown granted 1546 to Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, who sold later the same year to Thomas Calton of London, goldsmith; to widow (d. 1571); to grandson, Thomas Calton (c.1563-87); to son, Paul Calton (d. 1637); to kinsman, Robert Calton of Goring, who in 1639 settled it on his son Robert Calton (b. 1592), who in turn in 1659 settled it on his son, Paul Calton, who rebuilt it; he also settled it on his son, Paul Calton, in 1688 but subsequently fell out with him; to son, Paul Calton (d. 1752); to sisters and co-heirs, who sold 1764 to Bryant Barrett (1714-90), who added the wings; to son, John Richard Barrett (1771-1843); to son, John Basil Barrett (1818-86); to widow, Ellen Barrett (c.1837-97); to son, Louis Arthur Barrett (1869-1951); to niece, Marjorie Mockler (1910-90); to son, Anthony Bryan Patrick Barrett (later Moulton-Barrett) (b. 1936).


Barrett family of Milton Manor House



Barrett, Bryant (1714-90). Third and youngest son of Nicholas Barrett (d. 1721) of London, wax chandler, and his wife Letitia (d. 1735?), daughter of Isaac Hancock, baptised at St Clement Danes, London, 29 August 1714. Apprenticed to William Basnett, weaver, in London, 1730. He became a gold and silver lace maker and merchant in The Strand, London, and built a profitable business from the supply of luxury fabrics to the Court and the elite. He held a royal warrant for the supply of such goods to the Royal Mews and when he retired from business in 1786, he was succeeded by John Barrett (no doubt a relation but apparently not his son, who had not yet served his apprenticeship) and Thomas Corney, who continued the business until Corney's death in 1811. A study of the library of some 2,000 volumes which he built up (and catalogues of which survive), reveals him as an eminently practical man who was also an intellectual: a devout Roman Catholic who was also a well-read man of the world. He married 1st, 3 September 1750, Mary (d. 1768), daughter of Maurice Belson of Stokenchurch and Aston Rowant (Oxon), and 2nd, 19 December 1769 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, Winifred (d. c.1826), daughter of Thomas John Eyston of East Hendred (Berks), and had issue including:
(2.1) John Richard Barrett (1771-1843) (q.v.);
(2.2) (Joseph) Bryant Barrett (1773-1818), born at Milton, 28 October 1773; probably a solicitor at Grays Inn and perhaps in partnership with his younger brother; married, 18 September 1804 at St George, Hanover Sq., London, Martha, daughter of Thomas Richard Spence, and had issue two daughters; died in March 1818; will proved in the PCC, 14 June 1821;
(2.3) Charles Isaac Barrett (1775-1832), born at Milton, 25 April 1775; married and had issue; buried at St John, Waterloo, Lambeth (Surrey), 14 February 1832;
(2.4) James William Barrett (1776-1864), born at Milton, 24 July 1776; educated at Douai College; said to have been the first Roman Catholic to be admitted a solicitor after the relaxation of the penal laws; practised in Abingdon (Berks) and at Grays Inn; married, 25 January 1808 at St Pancras (Middx), Mary Maria (1787-1855?), daughter of Samuel Tibbitts, and had issue two sons and six daughters; died at Speen Hill, Newbury (Berks), 20 February 1864; will proved 23 April 1864 (effects under £14,000);
(2.5) Fr. George Barrett (b. 1779), born at Milton, 10 April 1779; educated at St. Omer but was forced to return to England by the French Revolution and went subsequently to Douai College in exile at Crook Hall (Co. Durham), where he trained as a Roman Catholic priest, and was subsequently priest at East Hendred (Berks); living in 1815;
(2.6) Mary Letitia Barrett (1780-1841?), born at Milton, 15 May 1780; unmarried and living in 1815; probably the Letitia Barrett who was buried at St Pancras (Middx), 19 May 1841;
(2.7) Fr. Basil Richard Barrett (1781-1858), born at Milton, 11 May 1781; educated at St. Omer but was forced to return to England by the French Revolution and went subsequently to Douai College at Crook Hall (Co. Durham); ordained as a Roman Catholic priest about July 1806, and served at Pocklington (Yorks ER) and Yealand Conyers (Lancs), where he wrote a Life of Cardinal Ximenes (1813) and other works; in 1818 he seems to have had a mental breakdown, and after an unsuccessful attempt to return to work at a chapel in Lincolns Inn Fields he was in 1821 placed in the care of Dr. Edward Long Fox at Brislington House Asylum, Bristol, from where he was removed in 1829 to a hospital for the care of invalid priests at Froidement (Belgium), where he died 3 May 1858;
(2.8) Sarah Winifred Barrett (1783-1857), born at Milton, 17 June 1783; died unmarried in Worcester, 6 December, and was buried at Overbury (Worcs) RC burial ground, 12 December 1857; will proved 20 February 1858 (estate under £2,000).
He purchased the Milton Manor estate in 1764, and added the wings.
He was buried at Milton, 7 April 1790; his will was proved in the PCC, 17 April 1790. His first wife died 9 December and was buried at Milton, 20 December 1768. His widow died in about 1826; her will was proved 18 January 1827.

Barrett, John Richard (1771-1843). Eldest son of Bryant Barrett (1714-90) and his wife Winifred, daughter of Thomas John Eyston of East Hendred (Berks), born at Milton, 30 September 1771. Apprenticed to Timothy Elsam of London, weaver, 1788. JP for Berkshire and a member of the Finance Committee of Quarter Sessions. He married 1st, Louisa Grano (c.1777-99); 2nd, 11 May 1800 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, Martha Thorne (d. 1811) of 'Hallutt' [recte Hulcott?] (Bucks); 3rd, 21 November 1812 at St Katherine Cree, London, Martha (1794-1818), daughter of Charles Norrington; and 4th, 14 May 1821 at Sutton Courtenay (Berks), Elizabeth (c.1782-1862), daughter and co-heir of Francis Elderfield of The Manor House, Sutton Courtenay, and had issue:
(2.1) Elizabeth Barrett (1802-93), born 2 July and was baptised 3 July 1802; married John Hutchinson Bourne (1804-45), Chief Justice of Newfoundland, son of John Bourne of Eastwood (Notts), and had issue; died 27 December and was buried in Reading Cemetery, 30 December 1893;
(2.2) John Richard Barrett (b. & d. 1804); buried at Milton, 25 August 1804;
(2.3) John Richard Barrett (d. 1806); buried at Milton, 12 August 1806;
(2.4) George Barrett (c.1810-38), said to have been born 27 October and was baptised 28 October 1812, but this cannot be right as his mother died in September 1811; died unmarried in the lifetime of his father, 15 March 1838, and was buried at St Mary RC church, Moorfields, London;
(3.1) Louisa Catherine Barrett (1813-94), born 14 September and baptised at Catholic chapel in Lincoln's Inn Fields, 27 September 1813; married, 9 August 1849, Martin Archer Shee QC (1804-99), son of Sir Martin Archer Shee PRA, but had no issue; died 22 April 1894;
(3.2) John Basil Barrett (1818-86) (q.v.).
He inherited the Milton Manor estate from his father.
He died 9 or 14 November 1843; his will was proved in the PCC, 19 March 1844. His first wife was buried at Cowes (IoW), 27 July 1799. His second wife died at Milton, 11 September 1811. His third wife was buried at Milton, 12 April 1818. His widow died 30 November 1862.

Barrett, John Basil (1818-86). Only surviving son of John Richard Barrett (1771-1843) by his third wife, Martha, daughter of Charles Norrington, said to have born 29 August and baptised 30 August 1818, but this cannot be right as his mother died in April 1818. Educated at Oscott College, Birmingham and then articled clerk to William Robert Hall of Hungerford, solicitor, 1838. JP for Berkshire from 1844; Steward of Abingdon Wool Fair, 1847, 1857; Chairman of Abingdon Highway Board. He was a pioneer of steam ploughing, and invested a good deal of money in developing that technology. He was also a keen foxhunting man, riding with the Old Berkshire and Vale of White Horse Hunts. A Roman Catholic in religion. He married, 10 October 1861 at Abingdon RC church, Ellen (c.1837-97), eldest daughter and co-heiress of John Box of Abingdon (Berks) and The Priory, Great Milton (Oxon), and had issue:
(1) Ellen Mary Louisa Barrett (1863-69), born 2 May and baptised at East Hendred RC church, 20 May 1863; died young, 7 November and was buried at Milton, 9 November 1869;
(2) Theresa Barrett (1864-1928), born 2 July and baptised at East Hendred RC church, 14 July 1864; died unmarried at Torquay (Devon), 25 November 1928; will proved 23 January 1929 (estate £6,143);
(3) John Basil Joseph Barrett (1865-81), born 1 December and baptised at East Hendred RC church, 12 December 1865; died young at Milton, 9 March and was buried at Milton, 16 March 1881;
(4) George Bryant Martin Barrett (1867-83), born 23 October and baptised at East Hendred RC church, 5 November 1867; died young at Ramsgate (Kent), 6 May 1883;
(5) Louis Arthur Barrett (1869-1951) (q.v.);
(6) Herbert Augustine Barrett (1871-1941) (q.v.);
He inherited the Milton Manor estate from his father in 1843. At his death it passed to his widow for life and then to his elder surviving son.
He died 27 December 1886 and was buried at Milton, 3 January 1887; his will was proved 9 May 1887 (effects £5,757). His widow died 17 March and was buried at Milton, 22 March 1897.

Barrett, Louis Arthur (1869-1951). Third, but oldest surviving, son of John Basil Barrett (1818-86) and his wife Ellen, eldest daughter and co-heiress of John Box of Abingdon (Berks) and The Priory, Great Milton (Oxon), born 25 August and was baptised at East Hendred RC church, 31 August 1869. Educated at Beaumont College. A Roman Catholic in religion. He seems to have had few interests outside farming, and took no part in public affairs. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Milton Manor estate on the death of his mother in 1897, but probably found the house too big for him as a bachelor. By 1908 the house was unoccupied and in 1911 he sold the library at Sothebys. After 1908 he lived chiefly at Manor Farm.
He died 14 March 1951; his will was proved 7 June 1951 (estate £43,800).

Barrett, Herbert Augustine (1871-1941). Fourth son of John Basil Barrett (1818-86) and his wife Ellen, eldest daughter and co-heiress of John Box of Abingdon (Berks) and The Priory, Great Milton (Oxon), born 26 May and baptised at East Hendred RC church, 5 June 1871. Educated at Beaumont College. Colonial merchant in London and director of Stoughton (Perak) Rubber Plantations Ltd. A Roman Catholic in religion. He married, 1 June 1907 at Buckland RC church (Berks), Florence Constance (1882-1956), daughter of Richard Stephen Watton Teevan, and had issue:
(1) Marjorie Mary Barrett (1910-90) (q.v.).
He lived at Overy Manor, Dorchester-on-Thames (Oxon) and at 1 Kent Terrace, Regent's Park, London.
He died 16 January 1941; his will was proved 25 April 1941 (estate £12,393). His widow died 17 May 1956; her will was proved 16 July 1956 (estate £8,951).

Barrett, Marjorie Mary (1910-90). Only child of Herbert Augustine Barrett (1871-1941) of Overy Manor, Dorchester-on-Thames (Oxon) and his wife Florence Constance, daughter of Richard Stephen Watton Teevan, born 9 June 1910. A Roman Catholic in religion. She married, 9 February 1935 in Malta, Surgeon-Capt. Edmond Joseph Mockler MB DPH RN (1902-83), son of Thomas Mockler of Ardeen, Blackrock (Co. Cork), and had issue:
(1) Anthony Bryan Patrick Mockler (b. 1936) (q.v.);
(2) Jacqueline Frances Mockler (b. 1939), born Apr-Jun 1939;
(3) Suzanne Mary Mockler (b. 1941), born in Singapore, 9 July 1941; had a brief career as an actress; married, July 1976, John M. von Pflügl, antiques dealer, and had issue one daughter;
(4) Christopher Geoffrey Mockler (b. 1945), born January 1945; educated at Hertford College, Oxford (matriculated 1963; MA); public affairs and policy adviser with Conservative Party research department in 1970s and more recently in the health sector; married, 17 June 1968 in the chapel at Milton Manor, Lucy, elder daughter of John van Sickle of Barnstaple, Massachusetts (USA), and had issue two sons.
She inherited the Milton Manor estate from her uncle, Louis Arthur Barrett, in 1951, restored the house and opened it to the public.
She died 18 November 1990 and was buried at St Mary's RC churchyard, East Hendred; her will was proved 7-8 January 1991 (estate £1,881,263). Her husband died 20 January 1983 and was buried at St Mary's RC churchyard, East Hendred; his will was proved 23 May 1983 (estate £79,523).

Mockler (later Mockler-Barrett), Anthony Bryan Patrick (b. 1936). Elder son of Surgeon-Capt. Edmond J. Mockler MB DPH RN and his wife Marjorie Mary, daughter of Herbert Augustine Barrett of Overy Manor, Dorchester-on-Thames (Oxon), born 18 February 1936. Barrister-at-law, but practised only briefly before embarking on a varied career as a breeder of Shetland ponies, the proprietor of a package holiday company, and an author of historical biographies of figures as varied as Haile Selassie, Cardinal Newman and Graham Greene. He has campaigned for the Vale of White Horse to be returned from Oxfordshire to Berkshire, built new thatched cottages on his estate, and stood for Parliament in Wantage as a Wessex Regionalist (in 1983). A Roman Catholic in religion. He is unmarried and without issue, but lives in a partnership with the actress and comedienne, Gwenda Marsh.
He lived in Hammersmith before inheriting the Milton Manor estate from his mother in 1990.
Now living.


Principal sources


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1952, p.121; J.J. Howard & F.A. Crisp, The visitation of England & Wales, vol. 8, 1893, p. 57; A. Oswald, 'The Manor House, Milton, Berkshire', Country Life, 17 December 1948, pp. 1274-77 and 24 December 1948, pp. 1330-33; G. Worsley, 'Milton Manor, Berkshire', Country Life, 14 November 1991, pp. 58-61; A. Gomme & A. Maguire, Design and plan in the country house, 2008, pp. 144, 214-15; G. Tyack, S. Bradley & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Berkshire, 2nd edn., 2010, pp. 385-87.


Location of archives


Barrett family of Milton Manor House: deeds, manorial records, estate and family papers, 16th-19th cents. [Berkshire Record Office, D/EBt]. Some further records are understood to remain at the house.


Coat of arms


Gules on a chief indented argent, three escallops of the field.


Can you help?


  • Can anyone provide further information about the careers of the younger children of Bryant Barrett (1714-90), and particularly a date of death for Fr. George Barrett?
  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide photographs or portraits of people whose names appear in bold above, and who are not already illustrated.
  • As always, any additions or corrections to the account given above will be gratefully received and incorporated.

Revision and acknowledgements
This post was first published 22 February 2020.

Monday, 17 February 2020

(406) Barran of Chapel Allerton and Sawley Hall, baronets

Barran of Chapel Allerton Hall 
and Sawley Hall, baronets
By the middle of the 19th century, successful merchants and industrialists no longer needed to put a large part of their capital into a landed estate to be accepted into the gentry class. (Indeed, the established gentry were gradually diversifying their investments away from land into more liquid assets that offered a more lucrative return). In the mushrooming industrial cities, the result of this change was the emergence of a new class of urban gentry, who might still be actively engaged in business or the professions, but who lived in considerable style in a suburban villa, and had the leisure and money to devote to political or philanthropic or artistic interests. The Barrans are a clear example of this pattern. The family's fortunes were founded by John Barran (1821-1905), the elder surviving son of a London gunsmith. He made his way to Leeds in 1842 to become assistant to a pawnbroker who had extended his business into dealing in jewellery and clothing. Perhaps inspired by observing the customers who had found things to fit them from the pawnbroker's stock of clothing, he realised the mass-market potential for ready-made, as opposed to bespoke, clothing, and set himself up in business as a tailor to supply this market. Helped by some technical innovations in the cutting and finishing of cloth, he was able to produce clothing in this way much more cheaply than traditional tailors, and his business expanded to supply the large resulting market. His firm provided work for some of the many Jewish refugees who settled in Leeds after fleeing pogroms in Eastern Europe. In due course, several of his sons entered the business, particularly his eldest son, John Barran (1844-86), who became his principal assistant. In the 1860s the elder John bought and remodelled Chapel Allerton Hall, which he made quite a large house, although it sat on a small plot of just a few acres on the northern outskirts of the city. From this base, John Barran engaged in first municipal and then national politics, becoming Mayor of Leeds in 1870-71 and the following year, and then MP for Leeds, 1876-85 and later for Otley, 1886-95; he was raised to a baronetcy on his retirement from Parliament. Of his six sons, one died young and Alfred Barran (1851-1927) was not involved in the family firm: his father bought him an established wallpaper manufacturing business in 1888, which he continued to run throughout his working life.


Of the four sons who joined the family business, John, the eldest, died in 1886, shortly after building a large villa called Parcmount at Roundhay for his family; Charles Barran (1849-1929) was a partner until 1888 but then left the business by mutual agreement and settled in Devon. John junior was replaced as his father's principal assistant by Henry Barran (1856-1942), who became head of the firm on his father's retirement in 1898 and Chairman when it became a limited company in 1903. In 1901 he purchased Shadwell Grange on the edge of Leeds, from which base he and his wife, and later his daughter Elaine Barran (1892-1981) played an important role in the artistic and philanthropic life of the city. His son, Henry Vernon Flower Barran (1894-1943) was a barrister in London, but around the time of his marriage he bought Madehurst Lodge (Sussex) as a 'place in the country', which became his main home in 1939, when he retired from the law and took up farming; his widow remained at Madehurst until her death in 1986. Sir John's youngest son, Sir Rowland Hirst Barran (1858-1949), kt., took over as Chairman when Henry retired in 1918 and also followed his father into politics, becoming MP for Leeds North, 1902-18, and being knighted on his retirement.

When Sir John Barran, 1st bt., died in 1905 he left Chapel Allerton Hall to his widow (who was his second wife and stepmother to his children) for life, and she remained there until her death in 1917; it subsequently passed to Sir Rowland Barran's son, Hugh Bradley Barran (1889-1975), who sold it for conversion to flats during the Second World War. Sir John's baronetcy devolved on his grandson, Sir John Nicholson Barran (1872-1952), 2nd bt., who became a director of the family firm but never controlled the business. Instead, he became the chairman of Barry Staines Ltd, a linoleum producer with factories at Staines (Middx) and Kirkcaldy (Fife), and he went into Parliament as MP for Hawick Burghs, 1909-18 and served as parliamentary private secretary to the Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith. In 1906 he bought Sawley Hall near Ripon, an 18th century country house in landscaped grounds, which remained his home until his death, and which he bequeathed to his son, Sir John Leighton Barran (1904-74), 3rd bt., although the latter sold it in the early 1960s, when Barry Staines Ltd was in financial difficulties as a result of the decline in popularity of linoleum as a floor covering. The house he bought instead was a much smaller village house in Suffolk, which remains the property of his descendants today.

It can be seen how, over several generations, the family remained engaged in business. Not all of the Barrans were equally well cut out for commerce: in the first generation Charles Barran gave up his partnership in the family firm for a life of rural pursuits in Devon; and the 3rd baronet seems to have made a poor job of diversifying the activities of Barry Staines Ltd in the light of declining sales, being replaced as Chairman in 1963 by his younger brother, Edward Nicholson Barran (1910-94). 
Brent Eleigh Hall: acquired by Sir David Haven Barran (1912-2002) but sold in 2014.
(By then the firm was beyond saving and it was eventually the subject of a hostile takeover in 1967). The business flair of the first Sir John Barran was more apparent, however, in some other members of the family: in Philip Austyn Barran (1876-1953), who was managing director of John Barran & Sons from c.1925-38, and most notably in Sir David Haven Barran (1912-2002), the youngest son of the 2nd baronet, who crowned a career in the oil industry by becoming Chairman of the Shell Oil Co. and being knighted for services to industry in 1971. He acquired the magnificent Brent Eleigh Hall in Suffolk, although it was sold in 2014.



Chapel Allerton Hall, Leeds, Yorkshire (West Riding)


Chapel Allerton Hall: the house in 1872, soon after refronting by Sir John Barran.

A house existed on this site by the late 18th century, and a stable block and coach house survives from that time. The two storey main house of brick that exists today is a later rebuilding, with a core of perhaps c.1830. The 1st edition 6" map of 1848 shows that its footprint was then very much as it appears in the engraving shown here, although the entrance front was altered and given a very fancy Gothic porch between 1866 and 1872 for Sir John Barran. 
Chapel Allerton Hall in about 1910, from an old postcard.
Chapel Allerton Hall: Gothic porch added by Sir John Barran c.1866-72.
Detail of an image by Mark Stevenson. Some rights reserved.
Sir John made a further addition later in the 19th century, extending the wing nearest the viewpoint in the engraving in a similar style. The house passed on Sir John's death to his widow, and then to one of his grandsons, who was occupying it in the 1930s, but the house had been sold and converted into flats by 1947. It remains in multiple occupation today.

Descent: Tottie family, woollen cloth merchants; sold 1782 to the botanist R.A. Salisbury; sold 1799 to Thomas Nicholson (1764-1821); to half-brother, Stephen Nicholson (1779-1858) of Roundhay Park; to nephew, William Nicholson Philips (later Nicholson) (1803-68), who sold about 1864 to Sir John Barran (1821-1905), 1st bt; to widow (d. 1917); then to grandson, Capt. Hugh Bradley Barran (1889-1975)...sold and divided into flats by 1947. The house was let in the mid 19th century to tenants including Thomas Benson Pease (1782-1846), his son Thomas Pease (1816-84), and Isaac Burkill (fl. 1865).


Shadwell Grange, Leeds, Yorkshire (West Riding)


A substantial villa on the edge of Leeds, built in about 1824 for Stephen Nicholson of Roundhay Park, which was grafted onto a slightly earlier group of farm buildings dating from c.1810 that are formally arranged around three sides of a courtyard. 
Shadwell Grange: entrance font, as altered by Bedford & Kitson, 1903.
Shadwell Grange: south front
The house has two-storey five-bay west and south fronts, the latter with a central bow window. In 1870, when the house was offered for sale after Nicholson's death, it contained a drawing room, dining room, library, breakfast room, eight bedrooms and offices. The house was altered and extended for Henry Barran (1856-1942) by Bedford & Kitson in 1903. Their work included adding a west wing, the parapet and pediment on the south front and the decorative centrepiece on the west front. They also supplied simple plasterwork in the style of Robert Adam, a new staircase and a lodge.

Descent: farm sold 1821 to Stephen Nicholson (1779-1858); to nephew, William Nicholson Philips (later Nicholson) (1803-68); sold 1871 to Mrs. Elizabeth Shaw (d. 1894)... sold 1902 to Henry Barran (1856-1942); to daughter, Elaine Isobel Flower Barran (1892-1981)... Mr & Mrs Peter Hartley (fl. 1996-2017); to let at the time of writing.



Sawley Hall, Yorkshire (West Riding)


Sawley Hall: the south and east fronts.

The present house is said to have been built as a dower house for the Norton family of Grantley Hall in about 1770. There is, however, known to have been an earlier hall, probably on the same site, some of the fabric of which may be incorporated in the present building. The house now has a late 18th century rendered seven bay, two-and-a-half storey south front, with the central bay framed by giant pilasters, and quoins at the angles; the east side is a five-bay elevation in matching style. At the rear of the house the service accommodation is built of rubble stone and not rendered, while to the west the house adjoins a courtyard of lower two-storey ranges housing the stables and further service accommodation. Inside, the staircase rises in three straight flights lit by a Venetian window at the rear of the entrance hall, and has slender column balusters. The dining room, to the left of the entrance hall, has a columned screen at one end and and a decorated apsidal buffet recess at the other end. The grounds were landscaped in the 18th century, presumably around the time of the rebuilding, and in the 20th century new gardens and walks have been laid out around the house.

Descent: Frances Oates (1689-1770), wife of Gabeties Norton; to Fletcher Norton MP (1716-89); to Conyers Norton; to Edward Norton; sold to Henry Wormald (d. 1871); to W. Wormald (fl. 1890); sold to Thomas Binns (d. 1896); sold to Sir Charles Norris Nicholson (1857-1918), 1st bt.; who sold 1906 to Sir John Nicholson Barran (1872-1952), 2nd bt. (no relation); to son, Sir John Leighton Barran (1904-74), 3rd bt., who sold c.1962 to David William Fattorini (1934-2013); sold 1993 to Jeremy Pilkington; sold to Mr & Mrs S. Fenby.


Madehurst Lodge, Sussex


The house, which was at first simply called 'The Lodge', was described in 1796 as the 'elegant cottage' of Sir George Thomas (c.1748-1815), 3rd bt., who put together an estate at Madehurst, eventually of some 2,300 acres, by buying a series of small copyhold properties from about 1780 onwards. The Lodge had been built by 1781, and served as Sir George's home until the completion of Dale Park in about 1790, when that house superseded The Lodge as the centre of the estate. 


Madehurst Lodge: the east-facing entrance front in 2018.
Madehurst Lodge: the south front with its glazed veranda in 2018.
The house probably functioned in the 19th century as a dower house, and in about 1830 it was enlarged by the addition of extremely attractive south and east ranges, with deep Tuscan-style eaves, which wrap around and effectively conceal the original cottage. The east (entrance) front has a pediment and a domed cast iron porch, while the south front has a glazed veranda along its whole length. Inside, the entrance hall leads into a larger staircase hall formed out of part of the original building. The drawing room and dining room lie either side of a garden hall along the south front, and small a small morning room and study stand adjacent to the entrance hall and staircase hall respectively.


Madehurst Lodge: the staircase in 2018.

Madehurst Lodge: the drawing room in 2018.

Madehurst Lodge remained part of the Dale Park estate until the estate was broken up in 1920, but it continued to be privately occupied for almost another century. In 2018 it was sold for conversion into a boutique hotel in the remarkably successful 'Pig' group, which is due to open in 2020.

Descent: built c.1780 for Sir George Thomas (c.1748-1815), 3rd bt.; sold to Thomas Read Kemp MP; sold 1825 to John Smith MP (1767-1842); to son, John Abel Smith (1802-71); sold 1848 to James Hamilton (1811-85), 2nd Marquess and later 1st Duke of Abercorn; sold 1852 to John Charles Fletcher (d. 1875); to son, Charles John Fletcher (1843-1914); to son, Lt-Col. Arthur Francis Fletcher (b. 1876); sold 1920 to Henry Vernon Flower Barran (1894-1943); to widow, Cicely Barran (1899-1985); probably sold after her death;... sold 2018 to Home Grown Hotels Ltd.


Barran family of Chapel Allerton Hall and Sawley Hall, baronets



Barran, John (1790-1880). Parentage unknown, born at Tamworth (Warks), October 1790. Gunmaker in London. He married, 12 December 1812 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, Elizabeth (d. 1841), daughter of Henry Fletcher, and had issue:
(1) Harriet Barran (1817-65), baptised at St George, Hanover Sq., London, 26 January 1817; bonnet maker; married, 4 May 1840 at Holy Trinity, Chelsea (Middx), George William Basham (1819-69), smith, son of William Basham, bricklayer, and had issue one daughter (who died in infancy); died in St. Pancras (Middx), 19 March 1865; will proved 15 April 1865 (effects under £600);
(2) George Barran (1818-20), baptised at St George, Hanover Sq., London, 28 December 1818; died in infancy and was buried at St George, Hanover Sq., London, 10 December 1820;
(3) Sir John Barran (1821-1905), 1st bt. (q.v.);
(4) Eliza Barran (1824-1906), born 31 March and baptised at St Margaret, Westminster, 18 April 1824; married, 1854 at Chelsea, James Batchelar, and had issue; died Apr-Jun 1906;
(5) Augusta Barran (1829-94), baptised at St George, Hanover Sq., London, 24 January 1829; died unmarried at Sydenham (Kent), 10 May 1894; will proved 26 July 1894 (estate £291);
(6) Alfred Barran (1831-1900?), born 24 October and baptised at St Margaret, Westminster, 13 November 1831; perhaps the man of this name buried at Hunslet Cemetery, Leeds, 28 November 1900; administration of goods granted 11 January 1901 (estate £144).
He lived in London.
He died at St John's Hill, New Wandsworth (Surrey), aged 89, on 3 February 1880; his will was proved 5 June 1880 (estate under £1,500). His wife died 12 January 1841.


Sir John Barran (1821-1905), 1st bt.
Barran, Sir John (1821-1905), 1st bt. Elder surviving son of John Barran (1790-1880) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Fletcher, born 3 August 1821 and baptised at St Margaret, Westminster, 15 September 1822. Moved from London to Leeds in 1842, initially as assistant to Mr Gresham, a pawnbroker, but soon afterwards founded his own tailoring shop, which grew into the firm of John Barran & Sons, clothing merchants and manufacturers. He pioneered the manufacture of ready-to-wear clothing, and made technical innovations (such as the use of a band saw to cut cloth) that speeded up production and reduced costs. His scale of operation was made possible by the migration of a large workforce of Jewish people with tailoring skills fleeing from pogroms in eastern Europe. JP for Leeds and the West Riding of Yorkshire. Leeds City Councillor, 1853-68, Alderman, 1868-77 and Mayor, 1870-72, in which capacity he laid out £127,000 on the purchase of Roundhay Park to allow the city council time to secure legal authority to purchase it; he was eventually repaid with interest. Liberal MP for Leeds, 1876-85 and for Otley, 1886-95. Life Governor and Treasurer of Leeds University; President of Leeds Chamber of Commerce. He was created a baronet, 11 February 1895, and was awarded an honorary degree by Leeds University (LLD). He married 1st, 22 December 1842 at South Parade Chapel, Leeds, Ann (1821-74), daughter of Major* Hirst of Leeds, woollen draper, and 2nd, 10 January 1878 at South Cliff Congregational Chapel, Scarborough (Yorks NR), Eliza (1828-1917), daughter of William Brown of Helensburgh (Dumbartons.) and widow of John Bilton (1821-72) of Scarborough (Yorks), and had issue:
(1.1) Elizabeth (k/a Lillie) Barran (1843-92), born Oct-Dec 1843; married, 3 March 1875 in Leeds, William Town (1839-1912) of The Hills, Bingley (Yorks WR) and had issue two sons and three daughters; died at Eastbourne (Sussex), 2 March 1892;
(1.2) John Barran (1844-86) (q.v.);
(1.3) Major* Barran (1846-66), born 1 December 1846; educated at Fulneck Boys Boarding School, Pudsey (Yorks WR); died unmarried, 21 September, and was buried at Beckett St. Cemetery, Leeds, 24 September 1866;
(1.4) Anne Barran (1848-1930), born Apr-Jun 1848; married, 25 December 1867, Rev. Lundy Edward William Foote (1842-1925), vicar of St Peter, Harrogate (Yorks WR), and had issue six sons and two daughters; died 22 July 1930; will proved 25 September 1930 (estate £4,756);
(1.5) Charles Barran (1849-1929) of the Manor House, Berry Pomeroy (Devon), born 22 November 1849; partner in John Barran & Sons to 1888; JP for Devon from 1894; Chairman of Dart District Conservators; Hon. Secretary and later Chairman of Totnes Cottage Hospital; married, 8 June 1876, Louisa Anne (1855-1939), painter, daughter of John McNab of Midtonfield (Renfrews.), and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 7 November 1929;
(1.6) Alfred Barran (1851-1927), of Giggleswick (Yorks WR), born 29 June 1851; established in business by his father, who bought the firm of Trumble & Co., wallpaper manufacturers, for him in 1888; JP for Leeds and West Riding of Yorkshire; a Liberal in politics, he was a prominent Baptist and served as President of the Yorkshire Association of that church in 1907; he was a keen mountaineer in his youth and a member of the Alpine Club; married 1st, 8 August 1883, Lilly Maria (c.1858-85), daughter of Thomas Scattergood MRCS and had issue one son; married 2nd, 6 April 1904, Anne Mabel (1872-1950), only daughter of Capt. Thomas Candler Wharton, and had further issue two sons; died 12 October 1927; will proved 22 December 1927 (estate £19,008);
(1.7) Eliza Barran (1853-1941), born 3 March 1853; after a long spinsterhood, while travelling in Spain she met and married, 8 August 1907, Sir Nathan Bodington (1848-1911), first Vice-Chancellor of Leeds University; died 21 January 1941; will proved 29 July 1941 (estate £14,909);
(1.8) Louisa Barran (1855-1944), born 11 February 1855; president of Northampton branch of YWCA during the Second World War; married 8 September 1909, Harry Manfield (1855-1923) of Moulton Grange, Pitsford (Northants), elder son of Sir Moses Philip Manfield MP; died 20 February 1944; will proved 30 June 1944 (estate £67,157);
(1.9) Henry Barran (1856-1942) [for whom, see below, under Barran of Shadwell Grange]
(1.10) Sir Rowland Hirst Barran (1858-1949), kt., of Leathley Hall (Yorks WR), born 7 August 1858; partner in John Barran & Sons (Chairman from 1918); MP for Leeds North, 1902-18; member of the Court of Leeds University; knighted, 1917; married 1st, 10 February 1887 at Dudley (Worcs), Rose Cardew (1867-1952), daughter of Rev. Gilbert Bradley, and had issue two sons and two daughters, but was divorced on the grounds of her adultery with William Hazlehurst, 1899; married 2nd, 7 April 1909, Louise Buchanan (1876-1947), daughter of John Stevenson Brown of Montreal (Canada), but had no further issue; died 6 August 1949; will proved 21 October 1949 (estate £107,577).
He purchased Chapel Allerton Hall in about 1864 and remodelled and extended it, partly before 1872 and partly afterwards.
He died 3 May 1905 and was buried at Beckett St. Cemetery; his will was proved 12 July 1905 (estate £408,048). His first wife died 15 January 1874 and was buried at Beckett St. Cemetery, Leeds. His widow died 4 May 1917 and was also buried at Beckett St. Cemetery; her will was proved in February 1918 (estate £28,560).
* For the avoidance of doubt, 'Major' was in these instances a forename and not a rank.

Barran, John (1844-86). Eldest son of Sir John Barran (1821-1905), 1st bt., and his first wife, Ann, daughter of Major Hirst of Leeds, born 25 December 1844. Partner in John Barran & Sons. He married, 22 June 1870, Eliza Henrietta (1854-1929), daughter of Edward Nicholson* of Matthews Green, Wokingham (Berks), and had issue:
(1) Ruth Barran (1871-1948), born Jul-Sept 1871; married 1st, 7 November 1900, Francis Edward Montague Donner (1860-1927) of Mere Court, Chelford (Ches.), cotton exporter, son of Edward Sedgefield Donner, and had issue four sons; married 2nd, 30 September 1942, Canon Albert Darell Tupper-Carey (1866-1943); died 11 September 1948; will proved 10 December 1948 (estate £6,901);
(2) Sir John Nicholson Barran (1872-1952), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(3) Lorna Barran (1873-1965), born Oct-Dec 1873; educated at Hallewick House Ladies Boarding School, Friern Barnet (Middx); amateur violinist; captain of ladies section of Leeds Golf Club, 1905-06; died unmarried, 2 April 1965; will proved 9 June 1965 (estate £77,572);
(4) Edith Barran (1875-1953), born Jan-Mar 1875; amateur violinist; ran a People's Music Festival in the East End of London, 1907-28; died unmarried, 10 September 1953; will proved 1 January 1954 (estate £19,055);
(5) Philip Austyn Barran (1876-1953), of The Elms, Chapel Allerton, born 20 March 1876 and baptised at Chapel Allerton, 4 April 1892; educated at Malvern College and Christ's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1897; BA 1900); worked in the engineering industry; then a director of John Barran & Sons Ltd. c.1908-38 (managing director from about 1925), resigning to become Board of Trade divisional food officer for Yorkshire, 1938-46; he was an officer in a voluntary battalion of the Royal Garrison Artillery (2nd Lt., 1901; Capt., 1908; Maj. 1914) and after leaving the army in 1918 was an inspector of munitions in the USA for the Ministry of Munitions; chairman of Leeds Maternity Hospital Board, c.1925-48 and an member of the Leeds United Hospitals Board, 1948-53; Chairman of Leeds Children's Holiday Camp Association; member of the Unemployment Assistance Board Advisory Committee; JP for Leeds, 1937-53; married, 2 January 1908 at Mill Hill Congregational Church, Leeds, Dorothy Currer (1884-1956), only daughter of Arthur Currer Briggs of Leeds and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 8 February 1953; will proved 11 June 1953 (estate £45,169);
(6) Margaret Elma Barran (1878-1916), born Apr-Jun 1878; amateur singer and cellist; died unmarried, 8 or 11 September 1916 and was buried at Lawnswood Cemetery, Leeds; will proved 23 February 1917 (estate £6,907);
(7) Dorothy Hilda Barran (1881-1949), born 16 September 1881; married, 21 April 1909 at Holy Trinity, Chelsea (Middx), Lt-Col. Alfred James Napier Bartlett DSO OBE (1884-1956) of The Red House, Iffley (Oxon), youngest son of John Edward Bartlett, banker, of Peverel Court, Aylesbury (Bucks), and had issue one son and two daughters; died 4 July 1949; will proved 19 January 1950 (estate £8,069);
(8) Nathalie Beatrice Barran (1883-1972), born 1 August 1883; married, 16 April 1914 at Holy Trinity, Brompton (Middx), Maj. Anthony Drummond Boden (1873-1914), son of Henry Boden of The Friary, Derby, and had issue one son; died 17 November 1972; will proved 16 March 1973 (estate £38,729).
He lived in or near Leeds. In 1883 he built Parcmont on one of the villa sites at Roundhay allotted for development by the City Council.
He died in the lifetime of his father, 19 February 1886. His widow died 2 March 1929.
* He seems to have been unrelated to the prominent Leeds family of the same name. 


Sir John Nicholson Barran, 2nd bt.
Barran, Sir John Nicholson (1872-1952), 2nd bt. Elder son of John Barran (1844-86) and his wife Eliza Henrietta (d. 1929), daughter of Edward Nicholson of Matthews Green, Wokingham (Berks), born 16 August 1872. Educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1894). He succeeded his grandfather as 2nd baronet, 3 May 1905. A director of John Barran & Sons and later chairman of Barry Staines Linoleum Ltd. Liberal MP for Hawick Burghs, 1909-18; parliamentary private secretary, 1910-16, latterly to Herbert Asquith as Prime Minister; chairman of Port and Transit Executive Committee, 1920-21. He married 1st, 18 November 1902, Alice Margarita (1879-1939), eldest daughter of Rev. Dr. Leighton Parks, rector of St Bartholomew, New York (USA) and 2nd, 14 November 1946, Esther Frances Eveleigh (1900-91), concert pianist and professor at Royal College of Music, elder daughter of Hon. Francis Marion Bates Fisher of Ngongotaha, Rotorua, New Zealand, tennis player and Minister of Trade & Customs in NZ government, and had issue:
(1.1) Sir John Leighton Barran (1904-74), 3rd bt. (q.v.);
(1.2) Elise Margarita Barran (1906-68), born 3 June 1906; married, 14 November 1941, as his second wife, Piers Henry Augustine Butler (1903-66), 16th Viscount Mountgarret, of Nidd Hall (Yorks WR), but had no issue; died 8 August 1968;
(1.3) Edward Nicholson Barran (1910-94), born 30 March 1910; educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1931; MA 1935); served with 5th (TA) Battn., Inniskilling Dragoon Guards (2nd Lt; Lt., 1933; Capt. by 1942; retired as Hon. Maj., 1944); with Barry & Staines Linoleum Ltd. from 1931-67 (Director, 1952; succeeded his elder brother as Chairman 1963-67, when the firm was taken over); married 1st, 4 December 1940 at St James, Spanish Place, London (div. 1953), Daphne Margaret (1919-87), only daughter of Herbert William Bird of Cranleigh (Surrey) and had issue two sons and one daughter; married 2nd, 28 January 1955, Patricia Helen (1920-2003), eldest daughter of Alexander Granville Blake of Ascot (Berks) and had further issue one son and one daughter; died 20 August 1994; will proved 10 March 1995 (estate £156,018);
(1.4) Sir David Haven Barran (1912-2002) of Brent Eleigh Hall, born 23 May 1912; educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1934); worked with Asiatic Petroleum Co. in the Middle East, Sudan and India, 1934-61 (president in New York, 1958-61); managing director of Royal Dutch Shell Group, 1961-72; chairman of Shell Oil Co., 1970-72; director of Shell Transport and Trading Co., 1961-83 (chairman, 1967-72 and managing director, 1964-73); also a director of many other companies, including Midland Bank (deputy chairman, 1975-80; chairman, 1980-82); chairman of the Court of Governors of the Administrative Staff College, 1971-76; Governor of the Centre for Environmental Studies, 1972-75; knighted in 1971, appointed a Commander of the Order of Orange Nassau, 1971, and awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1980; married, 29 March 1944, Jane Lechmere (1918-2014), second daughter of Nicholas Lechmere Cunningham Macaskie QC of London, and had issue four sons and three daughters; died aged 90 on 1 June 2002.
He lived at The Elms, Chapeltown until 1906; he then bought Sawley Hall and lived there until his death. He also had a house in London.
He died 8 July 1952; his will was proved 22 November 1952 (estate £64,300). His first wife died 1 July 1939; will proved 8 March 1940 (estate £5,169). His widow died 12 February 1991; her will was proved 5 April 1991 (estate £683,037).

Sir John Leighton Barran, 3rd bt.
Barran, Sir John Leighton (1904-74), 3rd bt. Eldest son of Sir John Nicholson Barran (1872-1952), 2nd bt., and his first wife, Alice Margarita (d. 1939), eldest daughter of the Rev. Dr. Leighton Parks of New York (USA), born 24 March 1904. Educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1925). Served with Royal Naval Volunteer Supplementary Reserve (Lt., 1939; Cdr., 1943) in Second World War. Chairman of Barry Staines Lineoleum Ltd, 1952-63, which got into financial difficulties with the decline in the popularity of linoleum as a floor covering in the 1950s and 1960s. JP and County Councillor for West Riding of Yorkshire from 1952. He succeeded his father as 3rd baronet, 8 July 1952. Director of City Investing Co. (New York and Zurich), 1972-74. He married, 5 March 1929 in the Guards Chapel, London, Hon. Alison Mary (1902-73), twin third daughter of Walter Patrick Hore-Ruthven, 10th Lord Ruthven of Freeland and 2nd Baron Ruthven of Gowrie, and had issue:
(1) Sir John Napoleon Barran (1934-2010), 4th bt. (q.v.).
He inherited Sawley Hall from his father but sold it in about 1962 and purchased The Hermitage, East Bergholt (Suffk).
He died 28 December 1974; administration of goods with will annexed granted 17 March 1975 (estate £7,657). His wife died 2 October 1973; administration of her goods was granted 23 January 1974 (estate £1,234).

Barran, Sir John Napoleon Ruthven (1934-2010), 4th bt. Only child of Sir John Leighton Barran (1904-74), 3rd bt., and his wife, the Hon. Alison Mary Hore-Ruthven, third daughter of 9th Lord Ruthven, born 14 February 1934. Educated at Winchester and University College, London (BA 1994). National service with 5th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards (Lt.), 1952-54. Advertising executive, 1954-63; First Secretary at British High Commission in Ottawa (Canada), 1964-67; with Central Office of Information, 1967-87 (Head of Information Technology, 1985-87); member of council of Association of Lloyds' Members, 1990-93. He succeeded his father as 4th baronet, 28 December 1974. He married, 7 September 1965 in New York (USA), Jane Margaret (b. 1940), only child of Sir Stanley George Hooker of Wotton-under-Edge (Glos), engineer, and had issue:
(1) (Sir) John Ruthven Barran (b. 1971), 5th bt., born 10 November 1971; educated at Framlingham College and University of Leeds (BA 1994); succeeded his father as 5th baronet, 25 March 2010, but does not use the title and is not entered on the official roll of baronets; cricket commentator and broadcaster for BBC and others; married, 12 September 2005, Helen Elizabeth (b. 1976), elder daughter of Robert Ward of Westbury-sub-Mendip (Som.), and has issue one son;
(2) Susannah Margaret Barran (b. 1981), born 22 April 1981; educated at Francis Holland School and Edinburgh University; speech and language therapist at Guys & St Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust since 2009.
He lived at The Hermitage, East Bergholt (Suffk).
He died 25 March 2010; his will was proved 24 November 2010. His widow is now living.


Barran of Shadwell Grange and Madehurst Lodge



Henry Barran (1856-1942). Fifth son of Sir John Barran (1821-1905), 1st bt. and his first wife Ann, daughter of Major Hirst of Leeds, born 5 October 1856 and baptised at St Peter, Leeds, 18 November 1910. Educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge (matriculated 1882; BA & LLB 1884; MA and LLM 1888) and Inner Temple (admitted 1881; called 1886). He was intended for a legal career but the death of his elder brother John in 1886 meant that he never practised as a barrister, and caused him to join John Barran & Sons as a director, where he became Chairman on the formation of a limited company in 1903. He was an active member of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce (President, 1905-06) and Chairman of the Leeds Trade Protection Association in succession to his father. He was prominent in charitable and welfare work in the city, and was a life member of the Court of Leeds University, Chairman of the Leeds Women & Children's Hospital and a member of the Board of Leeds General Infirmary. He was Vice-Chairman of the Leeds YMCA Boys Work Committee, and in 1933 gave £8,000 towards the building of a youth and community centre on the Gipton housing estate, which now bears his name. He was a collector of works of art, and gave a number of paintings to Leeds City Art Gallery, of whose Committee he became a co-opted member. In the 1920s he laid out a six-hole golf course at Alwoodley (Yorks WR), which eventually became part of Sand Moor Golf Club. He was a JP for the West Riding of Yorkshire from 1903, but took no part in national or municipal politics. He married, 10 February 1891 at Stratford-on-Avon (Warks), Rosalie Mary (1860-1914), eldest daughter of Edgar Flower of The Hill, Stratford-on-Avon (Warks), and had issue:
(1) Elaine Isabel Flower Barran (1892-1981) (q.v.);
(2) Henry Vernon Flower Barran (1894-1943) (q.v.).
He lived Shadwell Grange (which he enlarged to the designs of Sydney Kitson in 1901-03).
He died 7 May 1942 and was buried with his wife at Lawnswood Cemetery; his will was proved 31 July 1942 (estate £167,888). His wife died 2 January 1914 and was buried at Lawnswood Cemetery; her will was proved 26 February 1914 and 4 February 1919 (estate £9,389).

Barran, Elaine Isabel Flower (1892-1981). Only daughter of Henry Barran (1856-1942) and his wife Rosalie Mary, eldest daughter of Edgar Flower of The Hill, Stratford-on-Avon (Warks), born 21 November 1892. Educated at Leeds College of Art and Chelsea School of Art. Watercolourist and landscape painter who was a member of the Leeds Fine Art Club (Chairman and Hon. Sec. in the 1950s) and the Women's International Art Club in London; she exhibited there and at the Salon des Artistes Français in Paris. She was a prominent figure in the arts and cultural field in Leeds, continued her father's support for Leeds City Art Gallery, and continued to develop his art collection. She was unmarried and without issue.
She inherited Shadwell Grange on the death of her father in 1942; after leasing it for a few years she took up residence in about 1947 and lived there until her death.
She died 6 September 1981 and was buried with her parents at Lawnswood Cemetery, Leeds; her will was proved 25 February 1982 (estate £376,101).

Barran, Henry Vernon Flower (1894-1943). Only son of Henry Barran (1856-1942) and his wife Rosalie Mary, eldest daughter of Edgar Flower of The Hill, Stratford-on-Avon (Warks), born 30 July 1894; educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (BA) and Inner Temple (admitted 1915; called 1921). He served in the First World War in the Royal Field Artillery Reserve (2nd Lt., 1917); barrister at law with chambers in Lincoln's Inn, 1921-39; farmer at Madehurst, 1939-43. He was a member of North Kensington Borough Council, and had musical and literary interests. He married, 21 July 1921, Cicely (1899-1985), daughter of Vice-Adm. Francis Wade Caulfeild, and had issue: 
(1) Mary Rosalie Barran (1922-2019), born 14 October 1922; educated at St Mary's Convent School, Wantage (Berks) and St Anne's College, Oxford (BA 1955); married, 5 January 1963, (Antony) Giles Heron (b. 1928), but had no issue; died 27 August 2019;
(2) Alethea Katharine Barran (1925-77), born 13 July 1925; married, 18 October 1950, Rev. John Manifold Courtenay (1908-88), but had no issue; died 21 April 1977; administration of goods granted 2 January 1979 (estate £17,771);
(3) Bridget Flower Barran (1927-89), born 19 May 1927; married, 2 December 1949, Denis Martin Browne (b. 1926), architect, son of Elliott Martin Browne, and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 20 February 1989; will proved 17 October 1989 (estate £292,852);
(4) Elfrida Cicely Barran (b. 1929), born 5 April 1929; married, 2 March 1957, Martin Bennett Cordeaux (1927-2006) of Lincoln, son of Capt. Edward Cawdron Cordeaux, and had issue one son and two daughters;
(5) Selina Elizabeth Barran (b. 1934), born 24 May 1934; married, 1 October 1960, Michael Stanley Makower (b. 1936) of Gogar House (Stirlings.), son of Anthony Makower, and had issue three daughters;
(6) Dr. Christabel Lucy Barran (b. 1939), born 24 February 1939; doctor of medicine (LRCP 1971) and later farmer, specialising in rare breeds, at Woolhouse Farm, Stedham (Sussex); living in 2019.
He seems to have purchased Madehurst Lodge at the 1920 sale of the Dale Park estate, or soon afterwards, but his principal home was on Campden Hill, Kensington (Middx) until 1939 when he moved to Madehurst Lodge. His widow occupied Madehurst Lodge until her death.
He died following an operation, 21 June 1943; will proved 10 January 1944 (estate £135,023). His widow died 11 December 1985; her will was proved 3 June 1986 (estate £429,532).


Principal sources


Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 2003, pp. 267-70; P. Leach & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Yorkshire West Riding - Leeds, Bradford and the North, 2009, pp. 521, 538; E. Williamson, T. Hudson, J. Musson & I. Nairn, The buildings of England: Sussex - West, 2019, p. 505;  
https://openplaques.org/plaques/40502
https://www.parksandgardens.org/places/dale-park-madehurst


Location of archives


John Barran & Sons Ltd., clothing merchants and manufacturers, of Leeds: minutes, accounts, reports, share registers, financial records, employee records, correspondence, deeds, plans and agreements etc., 1845-1959 [West Yorkshire Archives Service, Leeds]
Barran family of Shadwell Grange: family and estate papers, 1870-1970 [West Yorkshire Archives Service, Leeds WYL1112]


Coat of arms


Per saltire gules and sable, a bear passant or, muzzled of the second, between two mascles palewise of the third.


Can you help?


  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide photographs or portraits of people whose names appear in bold above, and who are not already illustrated.
  • As always, any additions or corrections to the account given above will be gratefully received and incorporated.

Revision and acknowledgements

This account was first published 17 February 2020 and was updated 18 February 2020.