Sunday, 15 November 2020

(436) Bassett of Bonvilston and Crossways

Bassett of Bonvilston
This family trace their origin to a cadet branch of the Bassets of Beaupré who settled at Lantrithyd (Glam.), Bonvilston and Talyfan Castle, Welsh St. Donats (Glam.) in the 16th century. John Basset (d. 1551) began the construction of the mansion at Lantrithyd in about 1546, although it was finished by his daughter and son-in-law, from whom it passed by marriage to the Aubrey family. For several generations thereafter the male heirs were clergymen in Glamorganshire. The first to style himself as 'of Bonvilston' was John Bassett (1747?-1827), with whom the genealogy below begins. He was a solicitor and appears to have inherited his Bonvilston property from his clergyman father. It seems likely that he built a new house or altered an existing one at Bonvilston which became the seat of the family, but nothing is known of the predecessor of the house built in 1838-40 except that one existed. He also had a house at Welsh St. Donats. John left two sons: John James Bassett (1779-1838), who inherited the Bonvilston estate but never married, and Thomas Morgan Bassett (1780-1840), who succeeded his father in his legal practice, working from both Cardiff and Bonvilston. Until 1834 he was in partnership with a relative called Richard Bassett, although the nature of the relationship has not been established. 

In 1837, Thomas inherited from his great-aunt the Crossways estate at Llanblethian, which he continued to let to the existing tenant, Col. Robert Entwistle; and in 1840 he also succeeded to the Bonvilston estate on the death of his brother. He seems at once to have commissioned the building of a new house at Bonvilston from local architect David Vaughan, which was built in 1838-40, and may not have been quite finished when Thomas died, leaving a widow and young family. He bequeathed Bonvilston, with its new house, to his eldest son, John Morgan Bassett, and Crossways to his second son, Richard Bassett (1820-91). However, John Morgan Bassett (1817-41) survived his father by only ten weeks and his will left Bonvilston to his youngest brother, William Watkin Bassett (1827-69). He recognised, however, that this left the younger of his brothers with the superior estate, so he encouraged them to arrange an exchange, which seems to have happened as William was left in possession of Crossways while Richard lived at Bonvilston with their mother. William died unmarried in 1869, and with a view to keeping the two estates in distinct ownership, left Crossways to Richard's second son, Ralph Thurstan Bassett (1851-1903), who greatly enlarged the house there and made it his home. However, Richard's eldest son, John Richard Bassett (1847-73), died in India in his father's lifetime, so on Richard's death in 1891 the two estates were once again united in the ownership of Ralph Thurstan Bassett. The union was brief, however, for Ralph moved to Hampshire and both houses were sold after his death in 1903. Much of the land was retained by Ralph's two daughters, however, and even after they died in the 1920s, continued to be held jointly by their respective heirs.

Bonvilston House, Glamorganshire

The Bassett family's connection to Bonvilston was revived by John Bassett (1745-1827) who returned to live in the village and probably built the first house on the later site in the village. However, nothing seems to be known of this building, which was replaced in 1838-40 to the designs of David Vaughan for Richard Bassett. 
Bonvilston House: the garden front of the house of 1838-40 as originally built.
The west-facing garden front of the new house had a central canted bay window under a pyramidal roof, with gabled bays to either side. In 1872, when the house was first leased to tenants, it was said that 'considerable additions and improvements...being made to the house... are now on the point of completion'. The changes may have included the addition of a Doric portico to the canted bay, or this may have happened rather later, after the house was sold away from the estate to R.H. Williams in 1904. 

Bonvilston House: the garden front as altered in 1872,
photographed at the time of the 1968 sale. 

After the Second World War the house fell into disrepair. It was sold by the Williams family in 1968 and after standing empty for more than a decade it was demolished in 1979 and the site was redeveloped as a small estate of detached houses. The former lodge house survives (as Woodland Lodge) and was given a rather tactful upper storey when converted into a dwelling.

Descent: John Bassett (1745-1827); to son, John James Bassett (d. 1838); to brother, Thomas Morgan Bassett (1780-1840); to son, John Morgan Bassett (1817-41); to brother, William Watkin Bassett (1827-69), who seems to have exchanged it for Crossways with his brother, Richard Bassett (1820-91); to son, Ralph Thurstan Bassett (1851-1903); sold 1904 to R.H. Williams; sold 1968; demolished 1979. In the late 19th century, the tenants were the Rev. Lewis Morgan, 1872-78 (brother-in-law); Tudor Crawshay (1854-1916), 1878-97; Col. Homfray, (cousin), c.1899-1902; and J.T. Brain, c.1902-04.

Crossways, Llanblethian, Glamorganshire

Crossways looks today like a late 19th and 20th century building, but the core of the house is much older. The right-hand side of the entrance front may be 17th century in origin, although the first mention of the house is from 1700, when it belonged to Edward Deere, a significant landowner in the Vale of Glamorgan. In the early 19th century, the house was let to a number of tenants, including Col. Robert Entwistle and his sister Margaret, who were presumably related to the Philip Boye Entwistle who married one of John Bassett's daughters.
Crossways, Llanblethian: a pencil sketch of the house, probably showing it before the
remodelling of the 1870s. Image: Cowbridge History Society/People's Collection Wales.

Entwistle farmed Crossways and may have been responsible for a remodelling of the house, as the first visual record of the building suggests that it had tripartite sash windows and steeply pitched roofs, a combination that is likely to date from c.1840. Entwistle was succeeded by his sister, who continued to farm the estate until she retired in about 1853. She was replaced as tenant by the Rev. W.H. Beever, headmaster of Cowbridge Grammar School, who lived in the schoolhouse and installed one of his workers at Crossways. This suggests that Crossways was gradually sliding down the social scale, although the process may have been arrested by the next tenant, Edward Thomas, who kept two live-in servants in 1871.

Crossways, Llanblethian: entrance front in the 1920s. The earliest part of the house is on the right; the wing of the 1870s on the left with the porch, probably of 1891-94, in the angle between them.  Image: Cowbridge History Society/People's Collection Wales
Crossways, Llanblethian: the garden front in c.1905. Image: National Library of Wales.
After the death of William Watkin Bassett in 1869, Crossways passed to his nephew, Ralph Thurstan Bassett who seems to have extensively remodelled and enlarged the house before 1877, as the footprint shown on the Ordnance Survey map of that year indicates that significant parts of the Victorian fabric were already in existence. The architect of the remodelling is not recorded, but he seems to have wrapped the old house around with new ranges that are rather fussily decorated with large mullioned and transomed windows, gables rising into chimneys, little gablets in different styles, broad canted bays, and a glazed cupola above the staircase. Later photographs show that the interior was decorated in the same vein, with elaborately moulded and mirrored overmantels and a rather plainer neo-Jacobean staircase. Further alterations seem to have been made to the house and outbuildings in 1891-94 by Seward & Thomas of Cardiff, for which loans totalling some £3,500 were raised from the Board of Agriculture; these works included the building of two gate lodges.



Crossways, Llanblethian: the addition of c.1917 forms a north wing. 
Image: Cowbridge History Society/People's Collection Wales
The house was further enlarged after 1917 for Owen Williams, a shipowner who briefly brought real wealth to the estate. He extended the house to the north, over the line of an existing roadway. To accommodate a sharp fall in the ground level, the addition was a storey higher than the part of the house it adjoined, but it replicated the design of the canted bay which marked the end of the 1870s build. Williams' 
wealth and marriage had both collapsed by 1924, leading to the sale of the estate. By 1930, Crossways had become an orthopaedic hospital for children. A newspaper report stated “It was a pleasing revelation to the visitors to note the manner in which the stately old mansion had become adapted to such great and noble work”. The hospital also became a centre of nurse training, and some of the glass-fronted hospital ward remains incorporated into the present house. The hospital closed in 1965 and the house returned to private ownership, being run as bed and breakfast accommodation for many years; it now also houses a number of apartments.

Descent: Edward Deere (fl. 1700)... Margery Deere (d. 1787); to Rev. Henry Jones (d. 1795); to widow, Catherine Jones (d. 1837) and then to his great-nephew, Thomas Morgan Bassett (1780-1840); to son, Richard Bassett (1820-91), who seems to have exchanged it for Bonvilston with his brother, William Watkin Bassett (1827-69); to nephew, Ralph Thurstan Bassett (1851-1903); to daughters, who sold 1906 to Anthony Miers; sold to Sir William John Thomas; sold 1917 to Owen Williams, shipowner; sold to Prince of Wales Orthopaedic Hospital; sold after 1965 to Patterson family; sold before 1999 to Mr & Mrs John Davies, who ran it as bed & breakfast accommodation; sold 1999 and 2011.


Bassett family of Bonvilston


Bassett, John (1747?-1827). Son of Rev. John Bassett, prebendary of Llandaff and his wife, usually said to have been born 1745 but possibly the man of this name baptised at St Hilary, 10 December 1747. A solicitor, in partnership with his son. An officer in the Eastern Regiment of Glamorgan Militia (Lt-Col., 1809); JP for Glamorganshire; High Sheriff of Glamorganshire, 1824-25. He married, 13 April 1778 at Llandough-juxta-Cowbridge (Glam.), Anne Morgan (c.1744-1822), of Bonvilston, and had issue:
(1) John James Bassett (1779-1838) (q.v.);
(2) Thomas Morgan Bassett (1780-1840) (q.v.);
(3) Mary Ann Bassett (1784-1837), baptised at Bonvilston, 9 July 1784; married, 9 October 1821 at St Brides Major (Glam.), Philip Boye Entwistle of Southerndown, youngest son of John Entwistle of Foxholes (Lancs); died 22 March 1837.
He inherited the Bonvilston estate from his father and may have built a new house here.
He died 11 December and was buried at Bonvilston, 17 December 1827; his will was proved in the PCC, 8 March 1828. His wife was buried at Llandough-juxta-Cowbridge, 5 August 1822.

Bassett, John James (1779-1838). Elder son of John Bassett (1745-1827) and his wife Anne Morgan, baptised at Llanblethian, 29 January 1779. An officer in the Glamorgan Volunteer Infantry (Lt., 1803) and Central Regiment of Glamorgan Militia (Capt., 1809); JP and DL for Glamorganshire. 'A gentleman much respected for the warmth and firmness of his friendship and the integrity of his life'. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Bonvilston estate from his father in 1827. At his death it passed to his younger brother.
He died 12 September and was buried at Bonvilston, 19 September 1838; his will was proved in the PCC, 31 January 1842.

Bassett, Thomas Morgan (1780-1840). Younger son of John Bassett (1745-1827) and his wife Anne Morgan, born 9 February 1781 and baptised at Bonvilston, 13 February 1783. A solicitor in partnership with his father and Richard Bassett (dissolved 1834). He married, 27 May 1815 at St Paul, Bristol, Anne (c.1793-1871), probably the eldest daughter of Rev. Dr. James? Morgan, vicar of Llantrisant (Glam.), and had issue:
(1) John Morgan Bassett (1817-41), baptised at Welsh St. Donats, 17 June 1817; educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1835; BA 1839) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1838); survived his father by only ten weeks; died unmarried, 22 January and was buried at Bonvilston, 29 January 1841; will proved 24 March 1841;
(2) Mary Bassett (1818-48), baptised at Welsh St. Donats, 25 October 1818; married, 12 June 1843 at Bonvilston, Rev. Charles Rumsey Knight (1817-97) of Tythegston Court, vicar of St Bride's Major (Glam.) (who m2, 28 November 1854 at St John, Cardiff, Mary Anne Elizabeth, only daughter of Rev. Thomas Stacey, precentor of Llandaff, and had further issue) and had issue one daughter; died 18 November and was buried at Newton Nottage (Glam), 24 November 1848;
(3) Richard Bassett (1820-91) (q.v.);
(4) William Watkin Bassett (1827-69), baptised at Welsh St. Donats, 15 July 1827; inherited the Bonvilston estate from his eldest brother in 1841 but exchanged it for Crossways with his next brother, and came of age in 1848; an officer in the 56th Regt. (Ensign, 1846; Lt., 1848; Capt., 1854; retired 1865); JP for Glamorganshire, 1867; lived latterly in Duke St., St. James', Westminster; died unmarried at Haywards Heath (Sussex), 14 May 1869; will proved 27 May 1869 (effects under £3,000);
(5) Susannah Bassett (1822-1902), baptised at Welsh St. Donats, 15 December 1822; married, 20 April 1844 at St Martin-in-the-Fields (Middx), Jean Louis Thouroude of Tours (France), 'proprietor', and had issue; died 8 October 1902; will proved 17 March 1903 (effects in England, £6,250);
(6) Louisa Catherine Bassett (1829-1924), born 27 October and baptised at Welsh St. Donats, 12 November 1829; married, 2 June 1853 at St Marylebone (Middx), Rev. Lewis Thomas (later Morgan) (1827-92), rector of St. Hilary (Glam.) and secretary of the Glamorgan Education Board, son of Evan Thomas, customs officer, and had issue one daughter; died aged 94 on 10 March, and was buried at St Hilary, 13 March 1924; will proved 16 August 1924 (estate £22,337).
He inherited the Bonvilston estate from his brother in 1838 and commissioned the new house there, but may have died before it was completed. At his death ownership passed to his eldest son, John Morgan Bassett, who survived him by only a few weeks. John in turn left the Bonvilston estate to his youngest brother, William, who seems to have exchanged it for Crossways with their middle brother, Richard. However, Bonvilston continued to be occupied by their mother until shortly before her death in 1871.
He died at Welsh St. Donats, 5 November and was buried at Bonvilston, 12 November 1840; his will was proved in the PCC, 24 March 1841. His widow died at Dimlands House, 31 October and was buried at Bonvilston, 6 November 1871; her will was proved 15 November 1871 (effects under £12,000).

Basset, Richard (1820-91). Second son of Thomas Morgan Bassett (1780-1840) and his wife Anne, eldest daughter of Rev. Dr. Morgan, born 21 June and baptised at Welsh St Donats (Glam.), 23 July 1820. JP (by 1846) and DL (from 1846) for Glamorganshire. A director of the Great Western Railway Co., c.1850-91. He spelled his name with one t in his later years, and his second family consistently used this spelling. He married 1st, 24 October 1843, Anna Maria (1821-63), second daughter of John Homfray of Penlline Castle (Glam.) and 2nd, 25 June 1878, Honor Georgina (1842-99), eldest daughter of William Blundell Fortescue of Octon, Torquay (Devon), and had issue:
(1.1) Mary Elizabeth Constance Bassett (1845-1909), baptised at Cheltenham, 12 September 1845; married, 25 May 1874 at St Matthias, West Brompton (Middx), Rev. Archibald John Norman Macdonald (1846-82), headmaster of Earls Court Grammar School, son of Norman William Macdonald of Priory Field House, Taunton (Som.), Governor of Sierra Leone, but had no issue; died at Villa Sylvie, Nice (France), 1 May 1909; will proved 27 July 1909 (estate £410);
(1.2) John Richard Bassett (1847-73), born 31 May 1847; educated at Sherborne School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge (matriculated 1865); died unmarried in India, 28 February 1874, and was buried at Dibrugarh Cemeteries, Assam (India);
(1.3) Ralph Thurstan Bassett (1851-1903) (q.v.);
(1.4) Ann Maria Bassett (1852-53), baptised at Bonvilston, 25 July 1852; died in infancy, Apr-June 1853;
(1.5) Anne Maria Rosamond Bassett (1855-1934), baptised at Bonvilston, 29 July 1855; married, 23 August 1876 at St Andrew's Episcopal Church, Edinburgh, Benjamin Hardwick (b. c.1838), solicitor, of Kenmure House, South Kensington (Middx), son of Benjamin Hardwick, but had no issue; died at Nice (France), 5 January 1934; administration of goods granted 12 March 1934 (estate £112);
(2.1) William Fortescue Basset (1879-1953) (q.v.);
(2.2) Hugh Fortescue Basset (1881-1931), born 3 June 1881; educated at Marlborough College; served in Boer War with Highland Light Infantry (2nd Lt., 1900) and in First World War with Royal Army Service Corps (Lt., 1914; Capt., 1915); managing director of Union Motor Car Co., Victoria and Battersea, a dealership specialising in bespoke bodywork; JP for County of London; Westminster City Councillor, 1912-22 and Alderman, 1922-31; converted to Roman Catholicism, 1906; married, 1907, Mary Bessie Lee (1869-1941), daughter of Capt. B.J. Cooper, RN, and had issue two sons (who both became Jesuit priests) and two daughters (one of whom became a nun); died 29 March 1931 and after a requiem mass in Westminster Cathedral was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery; will proved 2 May 1931 (estate £11,579).
He inherited the Crossways estate at Llanblethian from his father in 1840 and exchanged it for Bonvilston with his younger brother perhaps about 1848. He lived with his mother at Bonvilston, but after her death in 1871, he let it.
He died 17 January 1891; his will was proved 25 March 1891 (estate £48,000). His first wife died in July 1863. His widow died at Octon, 15 December 1899; her will was proved 6 February 1900 (estate £14,647).

Bassett, Ralph Thurstan (1851-1903). Second, but eldest surviving, son of Richard Basset (1820-91) and his first wife, Anna Maria, second daughter of John Homfray of Penlline Castle (Glam.), born 15 January and baptised at Cheltenham (Glos), 19 March 1851. JP and DL for Glamorganshire; High Sheriff of Glamorgan, 1895-96; Master of the Glamorgan Hunt. He married, 12 June 1878 at St Marylebone (Middx), Augusta Maria (1858-1917), second daughter of Capt. Charles Frederick Tyler of Cottrell, Cardiff, and had issue:
(1) Dorothy Sysyllt Bassett (1879-1929), born 11 March 1879; married 1st, 14 April 1898 (div. 1920, on the grounds of her adultery), the Hon. Frederick George Morgan (later 5th Baron Tredegar) (1873-1954) of Boughrood Castle (Radnor.), and had issue one son and one daughter; married 2nd, 9 May 1921 at Bath Registry Office (Som.), the co-respondent in her divorce case, Ralph William Kirby (1891-1969); died 1 October 1929; will proved 19 November 1929 (estate £4,288);
(2) Olive Bassett (1882-1926), baptised at Llanblethian, 4 October 1882; married, 14 April 1904 (div. 1918), Lt-Col. Roland Stuart Forestier-Walker DSO (1871-1938) (who m2, 1921, Norah Jacintha (1878-1935), daughter of Charles Nicholas Paul Phipps and widow of Sir John Michael Fleetwood Fuller, 1st bt.), son of Sir George Ferdinand Radziwill Forestier-Walker, 2nd bt., but had no issue; died 4 July 1926; administration of her goods granted to her sister, 10 November 1926 (estate £2,789);
(3) Margery Bassett (1886-88), baptised 2 November 1886; died in infancy, 2 November 1888.
He inherited the Crossways estate from his uncle William in 1869 and largely rebuilt the house there before 1877. In 1891 he inherited Bonvilston from his father, but continued to let it. He lived at Crossways, Lanblethian (Glam.) and later at Ivy House, East Woodhay (Hants). After his death both Crossways and Bonvilston House were sold; the estate land passed to his two daughters as co-heirs. On their deaths, Dorothy's share passed to her son, and Olive's to her half-brother, William Fortescue Bassett.
He died 26 November 1903 and was buried at Cowbridge (Glam.); his will was proved 29 February 1904 (estate £16,289). His widow died at Bridgend (Glam), 16 August, and was buried at Llanblethian, 18 August 1917; her will was proved 18 September 1917 (estate £753).

Basset, Lt-Col. William Fortescue (1879-1953). Elder son of Richard Basset (1820-91) and his second wife, Honor Georgina, eldest daughter of William Blundell Fortescue,, born 7 April 1879. Educated at Marlborough. An officer in the Rifle Brigade and later on the General Staff (2nd Lt., 1899; Lt., 1900; Adjutant, 1904-07; Capt., 1905; retired as Lt-Col., 1919); ADC to Commander-in-Chief, East Indies, 1907-09; Deputy Assistant Adjutant General, War Office, 1916-17; Assistant Adjutant-General, War Office (as temp. Lt-Col.), 1917-19. He was appointed OBE, 1918. He married, 17 February 1910 at Mickleham (Surrey), Mary (1886-1982), daughter of Henry Parkman Sturgis of Givons, Leatherhead (Surrey), and had issue:
(1) Nancy Ursula Basset (1910-80), born 22 November and baptised at St Andrew, Darjeeling, Bengal (India), 25 December 1910; married 1st, 25 April 1935 at Faccombe (Hants), Maj. Robert John Horn (d. 1945), second son of H.J. Horn of Faccombe Manor, and had issue two children; married 2nd, 1947, William Douglas Elmes Brown (1913-84) of Littlewick Green (Berks); died 27 February 1980; will proved 27 June 1980 (estate £3,619);
(2) Richard Thurstine Basset (1913-95), born 27 April and baptised at Laleston (Glam), 2 June 1913; educated at Stowe School; an officer in the Rifle Brigade (2nd Lt., 1933; Lt., 1936; Capt., 1941; Maj., 1946) and Territorial Army reserve of officers (Maj. before 1953; Lt-Col., 1955; br. Col., 1959); awarded MC, 1941 and appointed MBE, 1953; died unmarried in Brighton (Sussex), 3 January 1995; will proved 16 February 1995 (estate under £125,000);
(3) David William Basset (1916-2000), born 22 February and baptised at Petersham (Surrey), 25 March 1916; educated at Stowe School; farm manager; married, 6 September 1947 at St Paul, Knightsbridge (Middx) (div. before 1965), Jane Christian (1926-2009) (who m2, 1966, Nigel R. West, and had further issue), daughter of John Cyril Moinet, and had issue one son; died 4 May 2000; will proved 25 July 2000;
(4) Lydia Mary Basset (1920-83), born 13 July 1920; married, 9 December 1950 at Woolton Hill (Hants), Lt-Cdr. Lionel Charles Digby Godwin RN DSC (1909-96) of Manor Cottage, Stoke Trister (Som.), son of Lionel James Godwin; died 24 December 1983; will proved 15 February 1984 (estate £26,129).
He lived at Restharrow, Godalming (Surrey) and later at Netherton, Andover (Hants) and Brambles, Woolton Hill (Hants). He inherited a half-share in the Bonvilston estate from his half sister in 1926.
He died 21 June 1953; his will was proved 16 October 1953 (estate £14,936). His widow died aged 96 on 2 September 1982; her will was proved 24 November 1982 (estate £3,807).

Principal sources

Burke's Landed Gentry, 1937, pp. 112-13; T. Lloyd, The lost houses of Wales, 2nd edn., 1989, p. 88; Cowbridge History Society, Llanblethian buildings and people, 2001.

Location of archives

Bassett family of Bonvilston: estate and family papers, 19th-20th cents. [Glamorgan Archives, DWP1]

Coat of arms

Bassett of Bonvilston: Argent, a chevron between three bugle horns stringed sable.

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.
  • Any additions or corrections to the account given above will be gratefully received and incorporated.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 15 November 2020.



Wednesday, 11 November 2020

(435) Basset of Tehidy Park, Barons de Dunstanville and Basset of Stratton

Basset of Tehidy
The Bassets (usually spelled with one t since the 17th century, but often with two before that date) are one of the most ancient Cornish families, and claimed descent from Thurstan, who is reputed to have been a companion of King William I at the time of his invasion of Britain in 1066. However, Sir Ralph Bassett (d. c.1127), who was born in Normandy and became one of the leading justices in England under King Henry I, is the earliest ancestor who can be identified with any confidence. His second son, Osmund Bassett, was settled on lands at Oakley (Bucks) and Ipsden (Oxon), and Ipsden remained the home of his grandson, William Bassett, who in about 1205 married Cecilia, the daughter of Alan de Dunstanville, who was lord of Tehidy in Cornwall. As a result of this marriage, Tehidy became the principal home of the family in the 13th century, although they retained ownership of Ipsden until the 15th century, when it was sold to John Arundell (c.1421-73) of Lanherne. In 1311, Sir William Bassett had licence to crenellate his house at Tehidy from King Edward II, and in 1334 received a grant of markets and fairs at Redruth. The family remained minor to middle-ranking gentry until the end of the 15th century, when as the result of the marriage of John Bassett (1377-1463) and Joan Beaumont, their grandson, Sir John Basset (1463-1529) became heir to the extensive estates in Devon of the Beaumont and Dynham families. Lacking both the means to gain legal possession of this property and a male heir to inherit it, Sir John agreed to an arrangement with Giles Daubeney (1451-1508), 1st Baron Daubeney, whereby Daubeney paid the fines and other feudal incidents that were due on the inheritance, and in return Basset agreed to settle his estates on one of his daughters if she married Daubeney's son. However, Lord Daubeney died in 1508, the projected marriage never took place, Sir John produced an heir by his second wife, and after some legal wrangling that persisted into the 1530s, the estates stayed with the Bassets.

When Sir John died in 1529, he left a young family by his second wife, as well as several older daughters. His widow quickly remarried to Arthur Plantagenet, 1st Viscount Lisle, who was the illegitimate but acknowledged son of King Edward IV. Although Lord Lisle was always regarded with suspicion by the Tudors - the very existence of a Plantagenet heir was a potential threat to their dynasty - this marriage catapulted the Bassets into the world of the Tudor court, and several of Sir John's daughters became ladies in waiting to successive Queens. For once, we seem to know less about the sons, although the heir to Tehidy and the Devon estates, John Basset (1518-41), died so young that his career can only just have begun. At the time of his death, his widow was pregnant, and the child proved to be a son, Sir Arthur Basset (1541-86), kt., who inherited the family estates. His tenure was complicated, however, by the fact that his grandmother, Lady Lisle, retained a life interest in much of the property until her death in 1566. His mother (who was also Lady Lisle's stepdaughter), must have had a jointure on some part of the property too, which ended only with her death in 1568. Perhaps to ease his financial difficulties, or perhaps as part of a wider family arrangement the details of which are now lost, Sir Arthur conveyed some lands at Tehidy, and the reversion of the manor and the advowson of Illogan, to his uncle George Basset (c.1524-79?), retaining the family's Devonshire properties for his own use. Thus the senior male line of the family moved from Cornwall to Devon, while their ancient seat at Tehidy passed into the hands of a younger son: the story of the senior branch has been previously told.

George Basset died in 1579 or 1580, and was succeeded by his only son, James Basset (c.1565-1604), who produced five sons and four daughters in the short period of eleven years. His eldest son, Sir Francis Basset (1594-1645), kt., inherited at the age of ten, and was made Vice-Admiral of North Cornwall in 1623, and also a justice of the peace and deputy lieutenant. With the approach of the Civil War, he was active in raising, training and arming troops for the King, and he was present at the battles of Stratton and Braddock Down in 1643, at which the Parliamentarians were driven out of Cornwall. Having bought St Michaels' Mount, the King made him Governor of this natural stronghold in 1644, and he borrowed money to pay for its fortification. Two of his brothers were senior officers in the Royalist army, and when he died in 1645, the command of the Mount devolved upon Col. Sir Arthur Basset, although in 1646 he was forced to yield it to the Parliamentarians. With the cessation of hostilities in 1648 the family estates were sequestrated and Sir Francis' son and heir, John Basset (c.1624-61) was fined for joining the King's army, even though he had been a minor at the time. To pay the fine and clear his father's debts, John was obliged to sell property, including St. Michael's Mount, and he was left with a greatly reduced estate. At the Restoration his efforts to secure grants of land or even a baronetcy from the King in recognition of his and his father's sufferings were unavailing, although he was appointed to the office his father had held as Vice-Admiral of North Cornwall.

When John died in 1661, the heir was again a minor: his son, Francis Basset (1649-75). He was trained as a lawyer, probably with the hope that he might make sufficient money at that profession to recover the family fortunes. His early death ensured that he was denied the opportunity, but by the time his son Francis Basset (1675-1721) came of age in 1696, the discovery of tin and copper deposits on the Tehidy estate, coupled with the savings achieved during a long minority, had begun a rapid return to wealth. The younger Francis' first marriage was brief and childless, but in 1711 he married Mary Pendarves, who bore him two sons and four daughters. Mary was the putative heir to her elderly and childless uncle, Alexander Pendarves (d. 1722), who offered to settle his whole estate on the couple if they would take the name Pendarves, but this Francis declined to do. Piqued, Alexander Pendarves looked about for another wife who might finally give him a son, and he married the young and charming Mary Granville (later Mrs Delany), whose need for financial security persuaded her to accept him. No son resulted, however, and the only legacy of the marriage was a long and bitter legal dispute between Mrs. Delany and Mrs. Basset over their respective rights in the estate.

Tehidy passed on Francis Basset's death to his elder son, John Pendarves Basset (1713-39), who built a new mansion at Tehidy on the profits of his mines, making it one of the grandest and most up-to-date houses in Cornwall. He married in 1737, but his only child was born after his death. John Prideaux Bassett (1740-56) died unmarried and even younger than his father, so in 1756 the estate passed to John Pendarves Basset's younger brother, Francis Basset (1715-69), who had overseen the completion of the new Tehidy house after his brother's death. After his nephew was born in 1740, Francis no doubt assumed that he would never inherit Tehidy, and instead bought himself an estate in Northamptonshire, and built a new house there called Evenley Hall. After he did unexpectedly inherit Tehidy in 1756, he seems to have divided his time between the two estates, but he lived chiefly at Evenley, which is where most of his children were born. Francis had two sons and five daughters, and both Tehidy and Evenley were left to his elder son, Francis, who eventually sold Evenley Hall in about 1783.

Francis Basset (1757-1835) was made remarkably rich by the working of the mineral deposits on his land, and as one of the most prominent figures in the Cornish mining industry he appears in Winston Graham's Poldark novels, where he is sympathetically portrayed. In reality, he comes across as a rather spoiled character who used his money to make himself the centre of attention and influence in ways which his abilities did not justify. In particular, he made a nuisance of himself in politics, where he seems to have enjoyed being a disruptive force in Cornish elections without having any very consistent views or coherent programme to promote. In 1796, having succeeded in squeezing a peerage out of the Government (becoming Baron de Dunstanville), he turned his attention from electoral politics to the volunteer movement, where his money may at least have been more usefully employed. Since he had no son to inherit the Barony of De Dunstanville which was created with the standard limitation to male heirs, he secured a second peerage in 1797 as Baron Basset of Stratton, with a special remainder to his daughter and her male heirs. On his death in 1835, she duly became Baroness Basset in her own right, but since she never married, the peerage died with her in 1855.

On Lord de Dunstanville's death in 1835 the entailed portion of his estates descended to his nephew, John Basset (1791-1843), while Tehidy House and the remainder of the property passed to Baroness Basset. John Basset was a significant figure in the 19th century development of Cornish mining and seems to have visited European mining districts in search of innovations which could be adopted in Cornwall. He may have suffered from depression or another mental illness, for in 1843, and without apparent reason, he committed suicide while in Germany; two of his four sons were also long-term inmates of mental hospitals. The two moieties of the Tehidy estate were reunited in 1855 in the ownership of John Basset's eldest son, John Francis Basset (1831-69), who still enjoyed large mining revenues, although these were starting to fade as cheaper international sources of ore began to become available. In the 1860s he undertook a major enlargement of the house at Tehidy which was both aesthetically disastrous and made the house inconveniently large and expensive to run for later, less wealthy, generations of his family. John died childless, and following the death of his brother Arthur in 1870, the estate passed to the third brother, Gustavus Lambart Basset (1834-88), who was a lifelong supporter of technical education in general and the Camborne School of Mines in particular. He died relatively young, after struggling for many years with physical infirmities, and was succeeded by his only son, Arthur Francis Basset (1873-1950). Arthur was a passionate devotee of horse-racing and an inveterate gambler, and he came into possession of Tehidy at a time when the mining revenues were drying up, the Agricultural Depression was reducing the income from farming, and taxes on wealth and income were starting to rise. As a result he was quickly in position where could not afford to live at Tehidy, and in 1915 the entire estate was sold for £250,000 and subsequently broken up. Tehidy Park became a hospital but was badly damaged by fire soon after opening and the whole centre of the house was demolished and rebuilt. Arthur lived subsequently in a number of much smaller houses closer to London, but also maintained a town house in London and a shooting box in Scotland. His son, Ronald Lambart Basset (1898-1972), a company director and racehorse owner, lived in the Lodge House at Hatfield Park (Herts); he married Lady Elizabeth Legge (1908-2000), a daughter of the 7th Earl of Dartmouth, who was one of the closest confidants of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and one of her Ladies in Waiting. 

Tehidy Park, Cornwall

The Bassets acquired the manor of Tehidy from the Dunstanvilles by marriage in the 13th century and over the next three centuries became one of the leading gentry families in Cornwall. In the Civil War the family were very active Royalists, and the fines imposed on the family after the end of the Civil War crippled them economically for several generations, although they managed to retain possession of the estate. In the 18th century copper mining at the Dolcoath and Cook's Kitchen mines on their lands was generating an income that was typically £10,000 a year, and it is said that in one month they once gained over £7,000. Their new wealth was poured into building a grand new house at Tehidy, which obliterated all trace of the earlier house (of which nothing is known). 

Tehidy Park: the new house built in 1734-39 with four detached pavilions, from an engraving in William Borlase's Natural History of Cornwall (1758).
The new house was designed for John Pendarves Basset (1714-39) by Thomas Edwards (d. 1775) of Greenwich, a competent if not innovative architect in the tradition of James Gibbs, who had been apprenticed to John James. It is not clear what first drew him to Cornwall, but John James was Surveyor of St Paul's Cathedral, where the Dean was Dr. Henry Godolphin, a Cornishman for whom he also worked privately at Baylis House, Slough (Bucks) in 1733-35. It may be that Godolphin suggested there was an opening for a young architect in Cornwall and provided him with some introductions. Tehidy seems to have been Edwards' first Cornish commission, but he went on to build or remodel a string of other local houses (Trewithen, Nanswhyden, Carclew, Trelowarren, and the Mansion House and Princes House in Truro) and to rebuild Helston church. Many of his clients were prosperous mine-owners, and later in life he had mining interests of his own, which must have been a further bond with his clients. 

Tehidy Park: engraving of the house published by William Watts in 1781.
At Tehidy, he created an imposing Palladian mansion, influenced by the Villa Mocenigo, consisting of a main pedimented block with four detached quadrant pavilions. The centre block was five bays by three, and of two-and-a-half storeys, with a central three-bay pediment set above the attic on the entrance front. The four identical pavilions were of three by five bays and two storeys, with hipped roofs surmounted by ogee-roofed lanterns flanked by four chimneys. Work on the house began in the lifetime of John Pendarves Basset, but had not been completed at his death in 1739; it fell to his younger brother, Francis (who eventually inherited the estate in 1756) to complete the house for his infant nephew, who was the immediate heir.

Tehidy Park: a view of the house in its landscaped setting taken after the first addition to the house, c.1783. Image: Historic England/Rutland Gallery.
In the late 18th century, Francis's son, Francis Basset, 1st Baron de Dunstanville, appears to have enlarged the house by building a five-bay three-storey block behind the original centre. He was also largely responsible for the creation of the landscaped grounds, in connection with which Christopher Ebdon (a pupil of James Paine and formerly an assistant to Henry Holland) supplied designs for new lodges in 1783. It is not known whether he was responsible for the alterations to the house.

Tehidy Park: the house as enlarged by William Burn in 1861-63. Image: Historic England.
In 1855 the estate came to Francis Henry Basset (1831-69), for whom the house was regrettably further enlarged to the designs of William Burn, who destroyed the symmetry of the building by making a large and unsympathetic addition that swallowed up the original north-east pavilion. The remodelling, which is said to have cost £150,000, also included extensive alterations to the interiors of the Georgian house, since photographs show interior decoration which is typical of Burn's work at this time.

Tehidy Park: the hall, as remodelled by Burn in 1861-63. Image: Historic England.

Tehidy Park: the drawing room as redecorated by Burn. Image: Historic England. 
By the late 19th century the mining income of the family was dwindling, and Arthur Francis Basset, who inherited in 1888, gambled excessively on horses. Tehidy grew shabby, and in 1915 the estate was sold to a London-based consortium, which split it up and sold the farms and mineral rights separately. The house itself was unwanted and was at risk of demolition, but the County Council was happy to take it on as a TB sanatorium which was established in 1919 as a county war memorial. However, the hospital had only been open a fortnight when faulty electrical wiring caused a fire which gutted the central block of the house. The three remaining pavilions survived pretty well unscathed, and they were incorporated when a new hospital building was built in place of the old central block in 1922. Remarkably, this was not a plain utilitarian structure but a distinctive neo-Georgian block which does its best to respond to its setting. The composition is dominated by an exaggeratedly tall central clock tower. Tehidy remained a hospital until 1997, and was then converted to housing in 1997-2000, with further enabling development crowding the grounds along the drive. Part of the estate was made into a country park.

Descent: Sir John Basset (1441-85), kt.; to son, Sir John Basset (1463-1529), kt.; to son, John Basset (1518-41); to son, Sir Arthur Basset (1541-86), kt., who conveyed it 1558 to his uncle, George Basset (c.1524-79?); to son, James Basset (c.1565-1604); to son, Sir Francis Basset (1594-1645), kt.; to son, John Basset (c.1624-61); to son, Francis Basset (1649-75); to son, Francis Basset (1675-1721); to son, John Pendarves Basset (1713-39); to son, John Prideaux Basset (1740-56); to uncle, Francis Basset (1715-69); to son, Sir Francis Basset (1757-1835), 1st bt., 1st Baron de Dunstanville and 1st Baron Basset of Stratton; to daughter, Frances (1781-1855), 2nd Baroness Basset of Stratton; to first cousin once removed, John Francis Basset (1831-69); to brother, Arthur Basset (1833-70); to brother, Gustavus Lambart Basset (1834-88); to son, Arthur Francis Basset (1873-1950), who sold 1915; sold 1919 to Cornwall County Council; sold 1997 for redevelopment as housing.

Evenley Hall, Northamptonshire

An account of this house was given in this previous post.

Basset family of Tehidy Park, Barons de Dunstanville and Barons Basset of Stratton


Basset, Sir John (1441-85), kt. Only son of John Basset (1377-1463) of Tehidy and his wife Joan (or Johanna) Beaumont, the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Beaumont (1401–1450) of Shirwell, born 1441. He married, c.1461, Elizabeth Budockshyde, and had issue:
(1) Sir John Basset (1463-1529), kt. (q.v.);
(2) Thomas Basset; died in infancy;
(3) Martin Basset;
(4) John Basset junior;
(5) Thomas Basset;
(6) Margaret Basset (c.1470-1537); married, 1 June 1495 at Dorchester (Oxon), Thomas Beauforest (c.1470-1530), and had issue three sons and one daughter.
(7) Agnes Basset (b. c.1472); married Thomas Hache or Hatch (1470-1539) and had issue one daughter.
He inherited Tehidy and Whitechapel in Bishops Nympton (Devon) from his father in 1463.
He died 6 November 1485; an inquisition post mortem was held in 1485/6. His widow's date of death is unknown.

Basset, Sir John (1463-1529), kt. Eldest son of Sir John Basset (1441-85), kt. and his wife Elizabeth Budockshyde, born 1463. Educated at Lyon's Inn. JP for Cornwall from 1495 and for Devon from 1502; High Sheriff of Cornwall, 1497-98 (in which role he was a target for rebels under Richard Pendyn of Pendeen, who attacked and 'dismantled' his house at Tehidy), and again in 1517-18 and 1522-23; High Sheriff of Devon, 1524-25. He was made a Knight of the Bath in November 1501, at the marriage ceremony of Prince Arthur. In 1520 he was part of the Devon contingent which accompanied King Henry VIII to the Field of the Cloth of Gold. He inherited extensive property in Devon from his paternal grandmother but lacked the means to pay the entry fines and other charges necessary for him to take possession of the estate. In 1504, when he seems to have given up hope that his wife would provide a male heir, he therefore entered into an agreement with Giles Daubeney (1451-1508), 1st Baron Daubeney, who agreed to pay these costs (amounting to about £2,000) on condition that one of Sir John's daughters and co-heiresses would marry Daubeney's son Henry Daubeney (1493–1548), later 1st Earl of Bridgewater, before his 16th birthday. The expected outcome was that the Beaumont lands would be entailed upon the male issue of a Daubeney-Basset marriage. However the indenture allowed for Sir John Basset and his wife to retain possession during their lives of Umberleigh and lands in Bickington, and crucially, it also provided that if the marriage did not take place, the lands would revert to Sir John's heir general. Basset sent two of his four daughters, Anne and Thomasine, to live in the Daubeney household 'on approval', but - perhaps because Lord Daubeney died in 1508 - the marriage never took place and the lands stayed with the Bassets. He married 1st, before 1473, as a child, Elizabeth*, daughter of John Dennys of Orleigh Court, Buckland Brewer (Devon), and 2nd, c.1515, Honora (c.1493-1566), daughter of Sir Thomas Grenville of Stowe, Kilkhampton (Cornw.) and Bideford (Devon), and had issue:
(1.1) A son; who died in infancy;
(1.2) Anne Basset (c.1490-1531?); one of the daughters sent to live with Lord Daubeney with a view to a marriage with his son, which did not take place; married, 1511, James Courtenay (c.1479-1546) of Upcott, Cheriton Fitzpaine (Devon), a younger son of Sir William Courtenay, kt., of Powderham Castle (Devon); said to have died in 1531;
(1.3) Margery Basset; married William Marrys of Marhayes Manor, Week St Mary (Cornw.) and had issue one daughter;
(1.4) Jane Basset; 'a talkative and assertive character' she lived with her sister Thomasine at Umberleigh House and died unmarried, sometime in the 1540s;
(1.5) Thomasine Basset (d. 1536); one of the daughters sent to live with Lord Daubeney with a view to a marriage with his son, which did not take place; she lived with her sister Jane at Umberleigh House, although in 1534 she appears to have fled from Jane's domineering presence to her sister Margery's house; she apparently died unmarried while returning to Umberleigh, 9 April 1536;
(2.1) Honor Basset (b. 1515); probably died young;
(2.2) Philippa Basset (c.1516-82); arrested on suspicion of treason with her mother and sister Mary at Calais, 1540; married, before 1548, James Pitts of Overcombe; died 1582;
(2.3) John Basset (1518-41) (q.v.);
(2.4) Anne Basset (c.1521-c.1557); as a child she went with her mother and step-father Lord Lisle to Calais, and in November 1533 entered the household of Thybault Rouaud, Sire de Riou (d.1556), at Pont de Remy near Abbeville; she served as a maid of honour successively to Queens Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Katharine Parr, and also to Queen Mary I, 1553-54; she is said to have been a mistress of King Henry VIII and there were rumours that he might marry her in 1540 and 1542; married, 11 June 1554 at Richmond (Surrey), as his first wife, Sir Walter Hungerford MP (d. c.1596) and had issue two sons (who died young); died before 1558;
(2.5) Katherine Basset (b. c.1522); placed in the household of Eleanor Manners, Countess of Rutland, who was herself a lady in waiting to four of Henry VIII's Queens (Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard), until 1540; she then joined the household of Queen Anne of Cleves; married, 8 December 1547, Sir Henry Ashley (1519-88) MP, of Wimborne St Giles (Dorset), and had issue two sons; living in 1558 but predeceased her husband;
(2.6) George Basset (c.1524-79?) (q.v.);
(2.7) Mary Basset (c.1523-98); went with her mother and step-father Lord Lisle to Calais, and was placed about 1534 in the household of Nicholas de Montmorency, Sire de Bours (d. 1537), where she remained for almost four years; in 1540 she was secretly engaged to Gabriel de Montmorency, Seigneur de Bours, and her closeness to a French subject was incriminating evidence in Lord Lisle's arrest for treason, followed by the arrest of Mary herself, with her mother and sister Philippa Basset; she was released from house arrest at Calais in 1542 and later returned to England, where she married, 8 June 1557, John Wollacombe of Combe, Roborough, Devon and had issue; she was buried at Roborough, 21 May 1598;
(2.8) James Basset (1526-58), born 1526; briefly accompanied his mother and stepfather to Calais, was educated for a clerical career at Reading Abbey (in 1534), Calvy College, Paris (in 1535) and the College of Navarre, Paris (in 1537-38); from 1538 he was a member of the household of the staunchly Roman Catholic Stephen Gardiner (d. 1555), Bishop of Winchester, who was imprisoned and tried for his beliefs; Basset remained loyal to Gardiner and made several attempts to secure his relief and spoke in his defence at his trial in 1551; he was then briefly imprisoned in the Tower himself, and after being released fled to Flanders; on the accession of Queen Mary he return to England and to Gardiner's service; he was MP for Taunton, 1553, Downton, 1554 and Devon, 1554, 1555 and 1558; served as a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to Queen Mary I, and was awarded a pension of 1,300 crowns from her husband, King Philip II of Spain; a claim that in 1554 or 1555 he made an attempt to assassinate Mary's half-sister, the Protestant Princess Elizabeth, is probably apocryphal; granted wardship of his nephew, Sir Arthur Basset (1541-86), 1554; he married, c.1554, Mary (d. 1572), one of the ladies in waiting at Queen Mary's court, second daughter of Henry Roper of Canterbury and Eltham (Kent) and Chelsea (Middx) (and a granddaughter of Sir Thomas More), and widow of Stephen Clarke, and had issue two sons; died 21 November and was buried at Blackfriars, Smithfield, London, 26 November 1558; his will, proved in the PCC, 22 December 1558, shows that he left substantial debts and most of his property was sold to pay them.
He inherited Tehidy and Whitechapel from his father and was also heir to his paternal grandmother Joan (or Johanna) Beaumont, the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Beaumont (1401-50) of Shirwell by his wife Philippa Dinham, daughter of Sir John Dynham (1406-1458) of Nutwell, Kingskerswell and Hartland (all Devon). Joan Beaumont was heiress to her brother Sir Philip Beaumont (1432–1473), and also to her mother Phillipa Dynham. His widow had Tehidy, Umberleigh and Heanton for life as her jointure.
He died 31 January 1528/9 and was buried in the chapel at Umberleigh, where he was commemorated by a monument, later moved to Atherington church when the chapel was pulled down. Inquisitions post mortem were held at Exeter, 23 April 1529 and at Truro, 24 April 1529. His first wife's date of death is unknown. His second wife married 2nd, Arthur Plantagenet KG (d. 1542), 1st Viscount Lisle, the illegitimate son of King Edward IV, and died in 1566.
* Some sources, including Vivian, state that his wife was Elizabeth's sister Anne, but this seems not to be the case.

Basset, John (1518-41). Eldest son of Sir John Basset (1463-1529), kt. and his second wife, Honora, daughter of Sir Thomas Granville, born 26 October 1518. Educated at Lincolns Inn (admitted 1535). He married, 15 February 1538/9 at Umberleigh (Devon), Frances (1519-68), daughter and co-heir of Arthur Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle, and had issue:
(1) Eleanor Basset, born about 1540;
(2) Sir Arthur Bassett (1541-86), kt. [for whom see the previous post].
He inherited Tehidy, and the reversion of Umberleigh and Heanton from his father in 1528 and came of age in 1539. After his death his estates passed to his son, who retained Umberleigh and Heanton but conveyed Tehidy to George Basset (c.1524-79?) (q.v.).
He is said to have died, 17 April 1541. His widow married 2nd, as his first wife, Thomas Monke (c.1515-83) of Great Potheridge (Devon) and had further issue three sons and three daughters; she died 7 September 1568 and was buried in the chapel at Umberleigh (Devon).

Basset, George (c.1524-79?). Second son of Sir John Basset (1463-1529), kt. and his second wife, Honora, daughter of Sir Thomas Grenville, born about 1524. Educated at St Clement's Hostel, Camborne (Cornw.), 1544. JP for Cornwall from 1569; MP for Newport-juxta-Launceston, 1563, 1572 and for Bossiney, 1571. In 1564 he had confirmation from Queen Elizabeth I of the grant of a market, fairs and free warren at Tehidy to his ancestor William Basset by King Edward III. He married Jacquetta (d. 1588), daughter of George Coffin of Portledge (Devon), and had issue:
(1) James Basset (c.1565-1604);
(2) Catherine Basset (d. 1629); married James Cary (1563-1632) of Cockington (Devon), and had issue two sons and two daughters; died at Bideford (Devon), 3 September 1629;
(3) Blanche Basset (b. 1567), baptised at Illogan, 19 January 1567; married William Newman.
In 1558, his nephew, Sir Arthur Basset conveyed property at Tehidy to him, and agreed he should also inherit the manor and advowson on the death of Lady Lisle.
He is said to have died 5 November in 1579 or 1580. His widow married 2nd, Hugh Jones (d. 1588/9), died 23 December, and was buried at Illogan, 30 December 1588.

Basset, James (c.1565-1604). Only son of George Basset (c.1524-89) and his wife Jacquetta, daughter of George Coffin of Portledge (Devon), born about 1565. He married, 28 October 1593 at Breage (Cornw.), Jane (1571-1614), daughter of Sir Francis Godolphin, kt., of Godolphin (Cornw.), and had issue:
(1) Sir Francis Basset (1594-1645), kt. (q.v.);
(2) Maj-Gen. Sir Thomas Basset; a Royalist who commanded a division of the Royalist army at the Battle of Stamford Hill, 1643;
(3) James Basset; probably died young;
(4) Col. Sir Arthur Basset; an officer in the Royalist army; seems to have managed the family estate after the death of his eldest brother in 1645 and was his successor as Governor of St Michael's Mount, 1645-46;
(5) Nicholas Basset; probably died young;
(6) Margery Basset (d. c.1627); married, 1610 at Illogan, Henry Trengrove alias Nance (1556-1625), son of John Trengrove alias Nance, and had issue three sons and two daughters (who all died young apart from one son); died about 1627;
(7) Jane alias Joan(na) Basset; married, 22 July 1613 at Illogan, as his second wife, William Courtenay (d. 1641?) of Tremara (Cornw.), son of Richard Courtenay, and had issue four sons and four daughters;
(8) Grace Basset; died unmarried;
(9) Margaret Basset; died unmarried.
He inherited Tehidy from his father in 1589.
He died 8 February and was buried at Illogan, 10 February 1603/4; an inquisition post mortem was held at St Columb Major (Cornw.), 13 August 1604. His widow was buried at Illogan, 10 September 1614.

Basset, Sir Francis (1594-1645), kt. Eldest son of James Basset (c.1565-1604) and his wife Jane, daughter of Sir Francis Godolphin, kt., of Godolphin (Cornw.), born 1594. Educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1610) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1613). Vice-Admiral of North Cornwall, 1623-44; High Sheriff of Cornwall, 1642-44. He was a strenuous Royalist, who was active in raising, arming and drilling troops for the King and commanded one of the columns at the battles of Stamford Hill and Braddock Down in 1643, being knighted by the king after the latter engagement. He spent heavily on support for the Royalist cause, especially on modernising the defences of St Michael's Mount, of which he was appointed Governor in 1644 (which his widow claimed had cost him £1,620). His portrait was painted by Van Dyck. He married, 30 August 1620 at Pelynt (Cornw.), Anne (d. 1682), daughter of Sir Jonathan Trelawny, kt., of Trelawny, and had issue:
(1) Francis Basset (c.1622-35); eldest son, born before 1624; died young and was buried at Illogan, 17 January 1635;
(2) John Basset (c.1624-61) (q.v.);
(3) Charles Basset (d. 1627); died young and was buried at Illogan, 29 May 1627;
(4) Ann Basset (d. 1634); died young and was buried at Illogan, 10 April 1634;
(5) Francis Basset (c.1633-37), born in or after 1633; died without issue in the lifetime of his father, and was buried at Illogan, 18 January 1637;
(6) Anne Basset (c.1634-40), born in or after 1634; died young and was buried at Illogan, 1640;
(7) James Basset (b. 1635), baptised at Illogan, 17 January 1635/6;
(8) Elizabeth Basset (c.1638-91), born about 1638; married, 23 March 1667/8 at St Andrew, Holborn (Middx), as his third wife, Sir John Kelyng (1607-71) of Southill (Beds), Chief Justice of Kings Bench, but had no issue; buried at St Andrew, Holborn, 22 October 1691; will proved in the PCC, 28 October 1691;
(9) Jane Basset (c.1640-91), born about 1640; married, before 1664, as his third wife, Sir John Musters (1624-89), kt., and had issue one son; buried at Hornsey (Middx), 17 September 1691; will proved in the PCC, 8 October 1691.
He inherited Tehidy from his father in 1604, and purchased St Michael's Mount in 1640.
He died 19 September and was buried at Illogan, 23 September 1645. His widow was buried at Hornsey (Middx), 1682.

Basset, John (c.1624-61). Second but only surviving son of Sir Francis Basset (1594-1645), kt., and his wife Anne, daughter of Sir Jonathan Trelawny, kt. of Trelawny, born about 1624. He compounded for his estate after the Civil War and was fined £200, but the debts he inherited from his father, obliged him to sell much of his property, including St Michael's Mount. At the Restoration of the Monarchy he petitioned the king for a baronetcy in recognition of his family's service to the Crown during the Civil War, and also sought possession of estates in Cornwall, Northants, and Sussex as compensation for his losses: no grants were made to him but he was made JP for Cornwall, 1660-61 and Vice Admiral for North Cornwall, 1660-61. He was elected MP for St Ives, 1661, but died before he could take his seat. He married, 2 August 1648 at Bishops Tawton (Devon), Anne (d. 1715), daughter and heiress of Robert Delbridge of Barnstaple (Devon), and had issue:
(1) Francis Basset (1649-75) (q.v.);
(3) John Basset (c.1652-1709), born about 1652; educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1670); died unmarried and was buried at Illogan, 7 January 1708/9;
(2) Rev. Charles Basset (1654-1709), born 15 October 1654; educated at Exeter College and St. Alban Hall, Oxford (matriculated 1670; BA 1674); vicar of Launcells, 1682 and Camborne, 1684; rector of Illogan, 1684; died without issue and was buried at Illogan, 2 July 1709;
(4) Anne Basset (fl. 1691), living in 1691 when she was executrix of her aunt, Lady Kelyng; died unmarried;
(5) Elizabeth Basset (fl. 1691); died unmarried;
(6) Richard Basset (b. 1660), baptised at Illogan, 8 February 1659/60; probably died young.
He inherited Tehidy and St Michael's Mount from his father in 1645, but was obliged to sell the latter to Sir John St. Aubyn in 1657.
He died in 1661. His widow was probably the woman of this name buried at Illogan, 15 October 1715 (but this entry might alternatively relate to her daughter of the same name).

Basset, Francis (1649-75). Eldest son of John Basset (c.1624-61) and his wife Anne, daughter and heiress of Robert Delbridge of Barnstaple (Devon), baptised at Barnstaple, 29 October 1649. Educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1667) and Inner Temple (admitted 1669). He married, 23 April 1674 at Illogan, Lucy (d. 1719), daughter and heiress of John Hele, and had issue:
(1) Francis Basset (1675-1721) (q.v.);
(2) Lucy Basset (c.1676-1756) of Redruth, probably born posthumously; married, 29 April 1706 at Illogan, James Praed (c.1655-1706) of Trevethoe (Cornw.), MP for St. Ives and Recorder of Penzance, but had no issue; buried at Illogan, 23 September 1756.
He inherited Tehidy from his father in 1656.
He died in 1675, and may be the man of this name buried at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster (Middx), 24 December 1675. His widow was buried at Illogan, 28 February 1718/9.

Basset, Francis (1675-1721). Only son of Francis Basset (1649-75) and his wife Lucy, daughter and heiress of John Hele, born 10 February 1674/5. Educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge (matriculated 1693). Stannator for Tywarnhaile, 1703; High Sheriff of Cornwall, 1708; Tory MP for Mitchell, 1702-05. Mrs. Delany described him as ' man with enough ‘wit and cheerfulness’ to make up for his ‘despicable’ figure. He married 1st, 1701, Elizabeth (d. 1701), daughter and co-heiress of Sir Thomas Spencer, kt., of Yarnton (Oxon) and widow of Sir Samuel Gerard* (c.1664-95), 3rd bt., of Brafferton (Yorks), and 2nd, 21 June 1711 at Drewsteignton (Devon), Mary (1684-1740), daughter and heiress of Rev. John Pendarves, rector of Drewsteignton, and eventual heiress of her uncle, Alexander Pendarves**, and had issue:
(2.1) John Pendarves Basset (1713-39) (q.v.);
(2.2) Francis Basset (1715-69) (q.v.);
(2.3) Mary Basset (1716-43), born 4 September 1716; married, 9 September 1736 at St Gluvais (Cornw.), as his first wife, Rev. John Collins (1707-75), rector of Uny-Redruth (who m2, 1746, Constance (1715-47), daughter of Paul Michell and m3, c.1755, Anne Williams), and had issue one son; died following childbirth and was buried at Illogan, 18 July 1743;
(2.4) Lucy Basset (1717-58), baptised at Illogan, 9 February 1717; married John Enys (1710-73) of Enys (Cornw.), and had issue four sons and four daughters; died 1 January and was buried at St Gluvais, 4 January 1758; administration of goods granted at Exeter, 1758;
(2.5) Anne Basset (1718-65), baptised at Illogan, 16 March 1718; married, 31 December 1747 at Illogan (Cornw), Swete Nicholas Archer (1715-88) of Trelaske (Cornw.), but had no issue; buried at St. Ewe, 3 March 1765;
(2.6) Elizabeth Basset (d. c.1744); living in 1739; administration of goods granted to her sister Lucy, 19 April 1744.
He inherited Tehidy from his father in 1675. His widow inherited the bulk of Alexander Pendarves' estate in 1722.
After 'being seized of terrible fits that ended his life', he died 11 December 1721. His first wife was buried at Illogan, 11 May 1701. His widow was buried at Illogan, 17 April 1740.
* Not Sir Samuel Garrard, 4th bt., as stated by some sources.
** Pendarves ‘offered to settle on him his whole estate, provided he would after his death take his name’, which he declined to do. Pendarves then married Mary Granville, the future Mrs Delany, in the hopes of siring an heir of his own, but did not do so, and the majority of his property did eventually descend to Mrs Basset in her widowhood, much to the chagrin of Mrs. Pendarves, who was involved in a lengthy legal dispute with Mrs Basset to preserve her modest jointure interest in the estate.

Basset, John Pendarves (1713-39). Elder son of Francis Basset (1675-1721) and his second wife Mary, daughter and heiress of Rev. John Pendarves, rector of Drewsteignton and eventual heiress of her uncle, Alexander Pendarves, baptised at Illogan, 4 January 1713/4. Educated at Queen's College, Oxford (matriculated 1731). He married, 12 April 1737 at St Stephen-in-Brannel (Cornw.), Anne (1718-62), daughter and co-heiress of Sir Edmund Prideaux, 5th bt. of Netherton, and had issue:
(1) John Prideaux Basset (1740-56), born posthumously and baptised at St George, Bloomsbury (Middx), 21 May 1740; died young, 28 May 1756, and was buried at Illogan, 14 June 1756.
He inherited Tehidy from his father in 1721, came of age in 1734 and commissioned a new house from Thomas Edwards, c.1735-39. After his death it was completed by his younger brother, who eventually inherited the estate after John's posthumous son died before coming of age. John's widow purchased Haldon House (Devon) from Sir John Chichester in or before 1758; it was sold again after her death.
He died 19 September 1739 and was buried at Illogan; his will was proved in the PCC, 24 January 1739/40. His widow was buried at Illogan, 24 December 1762; her will was proved in the PCC, 18 March 1763.

Francis Basset (1715-69)
Image: National Trust
Basset, Francis (1715-69). 
Second son of Francis Basset (1675-1721) and his second wife Mary, daughter and heiress of Rev. John Pendarves, rector of Drewsteignton and eventual heiress of her uncle, Alexander Pendarves, born 1715. Educated at Queen's College, Oxford (matriculated 1732/3; BA 1736; MA 1739). He sat as MP for Penryn, 1766-69, but is not known to have spoken in the house. His portrait, painted by Thomas Gainsborough, is now at Lanhydrock House (Cornw.). He married, 19 October 1756 at Crowan (Cornw.), Margaret (1731-68), daughter of Sir John St. Aubyn, 3rd bt., of Clowance (Cornw.), and had issue:
(1) Sir Francis Basset (1757-1835), 1st bt. and 1st Baron de Dunstanville and 1st Baron Basset (q.v.);
(2) Margaret Basset (1758-1842), baptised at Illogan, 29 September 1758; married, 30 September 1776 at St Breock (Cornw.), John Rogers (1750-1832) of Treassowe and Penrose, Helston (Cornw.), and had issue six sons and thirteen daughters; died at York House near Penzance (Cornw.), 5 May 1842;
(3) Rev. John Basset (1760-1816) (q.v.);
(4) Anne Basset (1761-79), baptised at Evenley (Northants), 13 December 1761; died unmarried and was buried at Illogan, 23 September 1779;
(5) Cecilia Basset (1763-1846), baptised at Camborne (Cornw.), 13 February 1763; lived at Trevarthian, Marazion (Cornw.) and was noted for her charity to the poor of Helston and district; died unmarried, 20 February 1846;
(6) Mary Basset (1765-82?), baptised at Evenley (Northants), 25 March 1765; possibly the woman of this name who was buried at Evenley, 27 May 1782;
(7) Catherine Basset (1766-1817), baptised at Evenley, 3 April 1766; died unmarried and was buried at Illogan, 6 June 1817.
He built Evenley Hall (Northants) about 1740. He completed the building of Tehidy Park after his brother's death in 1739 and inherited that estate on the death of his nephew in 1756.
He died 17 November 1769; his will was proved in the PCC, 9 March 1770. His wife died 19 October 1768.

Sir Francis Basset (1757-1835) by P. Batoni
[Prado Museum, Madrid (Spain)]
Basset, Sir Francis (1757-1835), 1st bt., 1st Baron de Dunstanville and 1st Baron Basset.
Elder son of Francis Basset (1715-69) and his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir John St. Aubyn, 3rd bt., of Clowance (Cornw.), born at Walcot (Oxon), 9 August 1757. Educated at Harrow, Eton, and King's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1776; MA 1786), after which he undertook a Grand Tour in France and Italy (where he is known to have visited Rome and Venice), under the tutelage of 
the Rev. William Sandys, 1777-78. In Italy, which he again visited with his wife and daughter in 1788, he bought pictures and had his portrait painted by Pompeo Batoni. He derived a princely income from his tin mines and was a partner in the Cornish Bank at Truro, 1779-1801 and Chairman of the Cornish Metal Company, 1785-92. In the battle for the steam engine patent in the early 1790s, he was a supporter of Hornblower against Boulton and Watt (patronized by Lord Falmouth). By 1817, falling copper and tin prices had reduced his income, and some of his pictures were dispersed at a sale in 1824. He was created a baronet, 24 November 1779 in recognition of his financial and practical support to the Lord Lieutenant (Lord Mount Edgcumbe) in raising a body of tin miners to assist in the defence of Cornwall against an expected Franco-Spanish invasion. He seems to have enjoyed amateur soldiering: he was later an officer in the Cornwall Fencible Cavalry (Maj., 1794), the Penryn Volunteers (Maj. commanding, 1794; Lt-Col., 1795; Col. 1796) and the Cornwall Yeomanry (Maj. commanding 1802) and Penryn Yeomanry (Maj. commanding, 1803). Despite Lord Mount Edgcumbe's kindness to him over the baronetcy, he was a vociferous opponent of the Lord Lieutenant and Lord Falmouth in local politics, wresting his seat as MP for Penryn, 1780-96 from the control of the latter and securing the second Penryn seat for his nominee. He seemed 'driven by an inner urge to fight, without much thought of the purpose' and was inclined to see slights where none was intended. Having carried both Penryn seats against the Government's nominees, he supported the Government in the House until 1783, when he went into opposition as a Fox-ite Whig, only to change sides again in 1793 and support Pitt. In 1784 he and his supporters contested five Cornish boroughs but secured only three seats: 'a campaign on a scale greater than any other private individual had ever undertaken in Cornwall, with little value attached to its yield'. Indeed, there seems curiously little political drive behind his electioneering: Boswell suggest his personal views were High Tory and in 1783 he wrote a pamphlet opposing electoral reform; and yet he was for ten years a supporter of Fox and in 1817 he wrote that ‘borough interest is no object because I have no personal views’. Sir Lewis Namier considered that, 'he was egocentric, and lived in a world of his own preconceived, often contradictory, ideas'; perhaps, like certain politicians today, he liked to see himself making the headlines and making an impact, but had little to contribute*. He was Recorder of Penryn, 1778-1835 and of Bodmin, 1802. He was first promised a peerage in return for political support by the Duke of Portland in 1783 and more or less extorted the renewal of this promise in 1795. In 1796 he gave up his seat to devote more time to military affairs and he was raised to the peerage in the dissolution honours as Baron de Dunstanville, 17 June 1796. He was thereafter less active in electoral affairs, although he secured the return of two Pittites at Penryn in 1796. He was further created Baron Basset of Stratton, 7 November 1797, with a special remainder to his daughter Frances and her male issue. Fellow of the Royal Society, 1829-35. He married 1st, 16 May 1780 at St Marylebone (Middx), Frances Susanna (1761-1823), daughter of John Hippisley Coxe of Ston Easton (Som.) and 2nd, 13 June 1824 in the Chapel Royal, Westminster, Harriet (1777-1864), daughter of Sir William Lemon, 1st bt., of Carclew (Cornw.), and had issue:
(1.1) Frances Basset (1781-1855), 2nd Baroness Basset of Stratton (q.v.).
He inherited Evenley Hall and Tehidy Park from his father in 1769 and came of age in 1778. He sold Evenley Hall in about 1783.
He died 14 February 1835, when his baronetcy and the barony of de Dunstanville became extinct and the barony of Basset of Stratton passed to his daughter; his will was proved 29 April 1835. His first wife died 14 June 1823. His widow died 30 December 1864; her will was proved 28 January 1865 (estate under £25,000).
* He is a recurring character in Winston Graham's Poldark novels, where he is portrayed more sympathetically than I have felt able to do.

Basset, Frances (1781-1855), 2nd Baroness Basset of Stratton. Only child of Sir Francis Basset, 1st bt., 1st Baron de Dunstanville & 1st Baron Basset of Stratton, and his first wife, Frances Susanna, daughter of John Hippisley Coxe of Ston Easton (Som.), born 30 April and baptised at St Marylebone (Middx), 28 May 1781. She was unmarried and without issue.
She inherited Tehidy Park from her father in 1835.
She died 22 January 1855, when the barony of Basset of Stratton became extinct, and was buried at Illogan; her will was proved 11 June 1855.

Basset, Rev. John (1760-1816). Second son of Francis Basset (d. 1769) and his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir John St. Aubyn, 3rd bt., of Clowance (Cornw.), baptised at Illogan, 4 August 1760. Educated at Queen's College, Oxford (matriculated 1776; SCL; BCL, 1784). Ordained deacon, 1783 and priest, 1784. Rector of Illogan and Camborne (Cornw.), c.1784-1816. He married, 4 October 1790 at Upminster (Essex), Mary (b. 1770), daughter of George Wingfield of Cotham (Co. Durham) and Mickleham (Surrey), and had issue:
(1) John Basset (1791-1843) (q.v.).
He died 27 May and was buried at Illogan, 5 June 1816. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Basset, John (1791-1843). Only son of Rev. John Basset (1760-1816) of Illogan and Camborne (Cornw.) and his wife Mary, daughter of George Wingfield of Durham, born 17 November 1791. Educated at Eton, Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1810; BA 1814; MA 1836) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1813). JP and DL for Cornwall; High Sheriff of Cornwall, 1837-38. MP for Helston, 1840-41. He was the author of several treatises and pamphlets on Cornish mining, one of which promoted the introduction of lifts in place of ladders in many Cornish mines, which were widely adopted. He married, 26 June 1830 at St George, Hanover Sq., London, Elizabeth Mary (1805-47), daughter of Sir Rose Price, 1st bt. of Trengwainton (Cornw.), and had issue:
(1) John Francis Basset (1831-69) (q.v.);
(2) Arthur Basset (1833-70) (q.v.);
(3) Gustavus Lambart Basset (1834-88) (q.v.);
(4) Walter St. Aubyn Basset (1835-1920), born 4 December 1835 and baptised at St George, Hanover Sq., London, 15 January 1836; educated at Rugby and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1854; BA 1858; MA 1863); ordained priest, 1861; vicar of West Buckland (Devon), 1868-72 after which he bought a small estate at Treharrock, St. Kew (Cornw.), which his wife sold in 1889; became mentally ill in 1879 and was confined under restraint at Brislington Asylum, Bristol; married, 7 December 1872 at St Mary, West Brompton (Middx), Edith (b. c.1846), daughter of John Pine, farmer; died 10 April and was buried at Llanfair-is-Gaer (Caernarvons), 16 April 1920; administration of his goods (with will annexed) granted 2 July 1920 (effects £290).
He lived at 12 Upper Brook St., London and had a house at Stratton (Cornw.). He inherited the entailed part of Lord de Dunstanville's estate in 1835.
He committed suicide at Boppart (Germany), 4 July 1843, and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, London, 26 July 1843; his will was proved 12 October 1843. His widow died in Paris (France), 22 March 1847.

Basset, John Francis (1831-69). Eldest son of John Basset (1791-1843) and his wife Elizabeth Mary, daughter of Sir Rose Price, bt. of Trengwainton (Cornw.), born 15 July and baptised at St George, Hanover Sq., London, 16 August 1831. Educated at Eton. JP and DL (from 1856) for Cornwall; High Sheriff of Cornwall, 1861-62. A Conservative in politics. He married, 26 July 1858 at St Peter, Eaton Sq., London, Hon. Emily Henrietta (d. 1873), youngest daughter of John Prendergast Vereker, 3rd Viscount Gort, but had no issue.
He inherited the entailed Basset estates from his father in 1843 and came of age in 1852. He inherited Tehidy Park from his first cousin once removed, Lady Basset, in 1855, and substantially remodelled and extended it to the designs of William Burn. He also had a Scottish estate at Kinlochewe (Ross-shire).
He died 9 February 1869 and was buried at Illogan, where he is commemorated by a monument designed by James Sherwood Westmacott; his will was proved 16 April 1869 (effects under £80,000). His widow died at Great Malvern (Worcs), 3 July 1873; administration of her goods (with will annexed) was granted 26 August 1873 (effects under £14,000).

Basset, Arthur (1833-70). Second son of John Basset (1791-1843) and his wife Elizabeth Mary, daughter of Sir Rose Price, bt. of Trengwainton (Cornw.), born 12 May and baptised at St George, Hanover Sq., London, 29 June 1833. Educated at Eton. An officer in the 1st Dragoon Guards (Cornet, 1851; Lt., 1853; Capt., 1856), who served in the Crimean War, but was obliged to retire when he became mentally ill and was confined under restraint in an asylum at Ticehurst (Sussex) in 1856. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Tehidy Park from his elder brother in 1869.
He died at The Highlands, Ticehurst (Sussex), 7 May 1870; administration of his goods was granted to his next brother, 3 June 1870 (effects under £35,000).

Basset, Gustavus Lambart (1834-88). Third son of John Basset (1791-1843) and his wife Elizabeth Mary, daughter of Sir Rose Price, bt. of Trengwainton (Cornw.), born in London, 17 September and baptised at St Mary, Bryanston Sq, London, 20 October 1834. Educated at Eton. An officer in the infantry (Ensign, 1853; Lt., 1854; Capt. 1860; retired 1865), who served in the Crimean War. JP and DL for Cornwall. Deputy Warden of the Stannaries. He was a strong supporter of technical education and of the Camborne School of Mines in particular. In later life he suffered from severe physical infirmities, perhaps as a result of his military service. He married, 28 September 1869 at Swyncombe (Oxon), Charlotte Mary (1840-98), daughter of William Elmhirst of West Ashby (Lincs), and had issue:
(1) Arthur Francis Basset (1873-1950) (q.v.).
He managed the Tehidy Park after the death of his eldest brother in 1869 and inherited it in 1870.
He died 25 July 1888 and was buried at Illogan (Cornw.); his will was proved 5 September 1888 (effects £108,977). His widow died at Cockington, Torquay (Devon), 6 November 1898, and was buried at Illogan; her will was proved 22 December 1898 (effects £6,368).

Basset, Arthur Francis (1873-1950). Only son of Gustavus Lambart Basset (1834-88) and his wife Charlotte Mary, daughter of William Elmhirst of West Ashby (Lincs), born 29 January and baptised at Christ Church, Mayfair, London, 12 March 1873. Educated at Eton and Magdalene College, Cambridge (matriculated 1891). An officer in Royal North Devon Hussars (2nd Lt., 1893; retired 1897). JP and DL for Cornwall; High Sheriff of Cornwall, 1900-01. He was a passionate devotee of horse-racing and was a gambler; his losses are said to have materially impaired the viability of the estate. He married, 5 January 1898 in Truro Cathedral, Rebecca Harriet Buller (1875-1947), daughter of Sir William Lewis Salusbury Trelawny, 10th bt., of Trelawne, Pelynt (Cornw.) and had issue:
(1) Ronald Lambart Basset (1898-1972) of The Lodge House, Hatfield Park (Herts), born 30 November 1898; educated at Eton and RMC Sandhurst; an officer in 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) (Lt., 1918) in First World War and in Welsh Guards, 1940-44 (Lt-Col., 1943); company director and Chairman of Reeves Whitburn & Co., a discount house in the city of London, 1931-38; racehorse owner; married, 31 October 1931 at Holy Trinity, Brompton (Middx), Lady Elizabeth Legge (1908-2000), Woman of the Bedchamber 1959-81 and Lady in Waiting 1982-93 to HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (appointed CVO 1976 and DCVO 1989), second daughter of William Legge, 7th Earl of Dartmouth, and had issue two sons; died 24 September 1972; will proved 2 February 1973 (estate £63,340);
(2) Patience Mary Basset (1901-56), born 2 March 1901; served in Second World War as a Red Cross commandant; married, 17 November 1920 at Westminster Abbey (sep. 1941; div. 1945), Maj. the Hon. Arthur Victor Agar-Robartes MC (1887-1974) of Lanhydrock House (Cornw.), second surviving son of Thomas Charles Agar-Robartes, 2nd Baron Robartes and 6th Viscount Clifden, and had issue one daughter; died 13 December 1956; will proved 30 May 1957 (estate £27,146).
He inherited Tehidy Park from his father in 1888 and came of age in 1894. He sold the estate in 1915 for £250,000 to a syndicate which broke up the estate. The house became a tuberculosis sanatorium but the main block was badly damaged by fire a fortnight after it opened and was subsequently rebuilt to a different design. After selling the estate he lived at Crewkerne (Som.), then at Heath House, Stockbridge (in 1939) and Norcott Hill, Northchurch (Herts) (in 1950). He also retained a shooting box in Scotland and a town house at 7 Carlos Place, Westminster.
He died 30 May 1950; his will was proved 3 August 1950 (estate £204,851). His wife died in London, 27 November 1947; her will was proved 7 August 1948 (estate £44,722).


Principal sources

Burke's Landed Gentry, 1937, pp. 113-14; Sir B. Burke, Dormant and Extinct Peerages, 1883, p. 28; Commission of Lunacy on Rev. Walter St. Aubyn Basset, 1880; J.L. Vivian, The visitations of Cornwall, 1887, pp. 17-19; M. St. Clair Byrne, The Lisle Letters, 1981, vol. 1, pp. 299–350 and vol. 4, ch. 7; J. Ingamells, A dictionary of British and Irish travellers in Italy, 1700-1800, 1999, p. 58; Sir J. Baker, The men of court, 1440-1550, 2012, vol. 1, p. 278. 

Note: The parish registers of Illogan begin in 1538, but there are several large later gaps in the recording of baptisms, marriages and burials.

Location of archives

Basset family of Tehidy:  deeds, estate and family papers, 12th-20th cents [Kresen Kernow (Cornwall Record Office) B; BY/380-392; AD894/7; AD1061; AD1220; DDX1057; TEM; MEN; J1724-1851; AD894]

Coat of arms

Basset of Tehidy: Barry wavy of six, or and gules.

Can you help?

  • Does anyone know more about the circumstances of John Basset's suicide in 1843?
  • 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.
  • Any additions or corrections to the account given above will be gratefully received and incorporated.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 11 November 2020.