Wednesday, 3 November 2021

(474) Barnesley of Eardisley Park

The Eardisley Castle estate belonged from at least 1251 to the Baskerville family, but their house was largely destroyed in the Civil War, and the estate was sold in about 1685 to William Barnesley (d. 1737), a London barrister who evidently came from Staffordshire and may have been related to the Barnesleys of Trysull (Staffs). He built a new house on the site of one of the estate farms in the early 18th century. After Barnesley died, an unscrupulous Hereford attorney called Mansel Powell (c.1696-1775) and others acquired his estate by producing a forged will that  disinherited Barnsley’s only son, William Barnesley junior (c.1703-60), who seems to have had learning difficulties and was declared a lunatic in 1742. Powell enjoyed the estates until 1749 when, thanks to the efforts of William junior's wife, the will was proved a forgery and a decree of restitution was made in Chancery by Lord Hardwicke, under which Powell and his co-defendants had to pay costs and refund all the rents and other money they had received from the estate. This was not the end of the Barnesleys' travails, however, for there ensued an intra-familial legal dispute, which is said to have been the model for Jarndyce v. Jarndyce in Dickens' novel, Bleak House: the two disputes together are said to have lasted 35 years. After the younger William's widow died in 1773, the estate was sold. 

Eardisley Park, Herefordshire

The house was built (probably on the site of an existing farmhouse as some of the surrounding outbuildings are older) in the early 18th century for William Barnesley (d. 1737) as a two-storey five-by-five bay brick house. Mr. Perry, the owner at the end of the 18th century, is thought to have been responsible for adding an attic storey to the house and coating it in cement render. During the 19th century it had at first gentry tenants and later became 'a farmhouse of the superior type'. 

Eardisley Park: the three-storey house before the fire of 1999.

Eardisley Park: the smoking ruins of the house after the fire in 1999.
In 1996 the house was sold to the present owners, who restored it. Sadly, soon after work was completed the house was almost completely destroyed in a devastating fire in 1999 which left only parts of the external walls standing. The family quickly determined, however, to rebuilt it 'better than before' and engaged the services of Donald Insall Associates and Nicholas Keeble as designers. In effect, they reconstructed the Queen Anne house, with the addition of a two-storey bow on the west front and another on the side elevation which suggest late 18th century changes. The completed house won the Georgian Group's restoration of the year award in 2003 and also their West of England regional restoration of the century award in 2010.

Eardisley Park: the entrance front as reconstructed after the fire of 1999. Image: Country Life.
Descent: built for William Barnesley (1649?-1737); to son, William Barnesley (c.1703-60), who was however fradulently excluded from possession from 1738-49 by Mansel Powell and others; to widow, Elizabeth (1707-73); sold in 1778 to Dr Pettit; sold to [forename unknown] Perry...Thomas Perry (fl. 1811-37)... James Perry (fl. 1890); to W. Perry Herrick; sold c.1920 to Capt. Michael John Hunter (d. 1951); sold 1927... sold 1996 to Nigel Morris-Jones (b. 1959) and his wife, the Hon. Anne Morris-Jones. The house was let for much of the 19th century, latterly to farming tenants.

Barnesley family of Eardisley


Barnesley, William (1649?-1737)*. The records of the Inner Temple show that he was born at Stafford, and so he may have been the William Barnesley, son of Henry Barnesley and his wife Margery baptised at Bradley near Stafford, 11 July 1649. Educated at the Inner Temple (admitted 1668; called 1675; bencher, 1694; Treasurer, 1707-08); due to his long life, he was for many years the senior bencher of the inn. Barrister-at-law. JP and DL for Herefordshire; High Sheriff of Herefordshire, 1704-05. His son having married without his permission, he threatened to disinherit him, but he never executed a will; after his death, his solicitor and a distant cousin in London combined, with assistance from others, to fabricate a pretended will which was proved in London, and only later demonstrated to be a forgery. He married, 1696 (licence 1 June), Jane (d. 1734), daughter of Sir Nicholas L'Estrange, 4th bt., of Hunstanton (Norfk), and had issue:
(1) William Barnesley (c.1703-60) (q.v.).
He purchased the Eardisley estate in about 1685.
He died on 7 April, and was buried at Eardisley, 12 April 1737, where he and his wife are commemorated by a mural monument; the will forged by his solicitor and associates was proved 15 May 1742 but set aside following a Chancery decree in 1749. His wife died 20 November 1734.
* His monument gives his age at death as 93, but this seems to be an exaggeration; the baptism in 1649 is consistent with his admission to the Inner Temple in 1668. There is another entry in the Inner Temple admission registers for a William Barnesley of Stafford in 1670, but this seems likely to be a re-admission rather than a different person. The Inner Temple William seems also to be readily confused with another William Barnesley, clothworker of Old Jewry, London, who also died in 1736/7 and was buried in London; his wife was another Jane, daughter of Giles Sussex of London, merchant, and they had a daughter, Catherine (1692-1730), who married William Kingscote of Kingscote (Glos). The two men were probably related, as they are both involved in deeds relating to the Lurkenhope estate in Shropshire in 1704.

Barnesley, William (c.1703-60). Only son of William Barnesley (1649?-1737) and his wife Jane, daughter of Sir Nicholas L'Estrange, 4th bt., of Hunstanton (Norfk), born about 1703*. He evidently suffered from learning difficulties, and was easily influenced; he was eventually  declared a lunatic at his wife's request in 1742. He married, 26 August 1723 in the precincts of the Fleet Prison, London, Elizabeth (1707-73), daughter of Walter Price of Kaevenblane**, but had no issue.
He should have inherited the Eardisley estate from his father in 1737, but was defrauded by his father's solicitor, Mansel Powell, and others, who forged a will disinheriting him. He recovered his property in 1749 after a lengthy Chancery suit, vigorously pursued by his wife on his behalf. This was succeeded by a further legal dispute with relatives. After his widow's death the estate was sold in 1778 to Dr. Pettit.
He died 23 January 1760, and was buried at Eardisley, where he and his wife are commemorated by a monument designed by Thomas Symonds. His widow died 8 April 1773, and was also buried at Eardisley.
* Based on his recorded age at death, which may be inaccurate.
** Thus on her monument in Eardisley church; the estate has not been identified.

Principal sources

The Gentleman's Magazine, vol. 20, 1750, pp. 364-68; M. Binney, 'Eardisley Park, Herefordshire', Country Life, 5 February 2004, pp. 48-52; A. Brooks & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Herefordshire, 2nd edn, 2012, p. 217.

Location of archives

None known.

Coat of arms

None recorded.

Can you help?

  • Can anyone private fuller information about the descent of the property in the period when it was owned by the Perry family, or its ownership between 1927 and 1999?
  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide portraits of the people whose names appear in bold above.
  • If anyone can offer further information or corrections I should be most grateful. I am always particularly pleased to hear from current owners or the descendants of families associated with a property who can supply information from their own research or personal knowledge for inclusion.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 3 November 2021.

Saturday, 30 October 2021

(473) Barker and Hethersett of Shropham Hall

Hethersett of Shropham
Introduction
In 1678, Wormley Hethersett (d. 1709), with whom the genealogy below begins, purchased the manors of Great and Little Breckles (later Breccles and Shropham, respectively). Hethersett was a successful grocer from Thetford, who was mayor of that town on at least three occasions. He left his only son his property in the town and divided his agricultural lands between his widow and daughters. Little Breckles alias Shropham thus passed to his daughter Sarah (1672-1758), the wife of James Barker (d. 1718), and thence to their descendants. It has been suggested this Barker family were connections of the Barkers of Grimston Hall (Suffolk), but no connection has been demonstrated. We know only that James Barker (d. 1718) was the son of a John Barker, who is mentioned in a legal document of 1722. When James died at a comparatively young age, the estate passed to his eldest son, John Barker (1698-1756), who was educated as a gentleman at Cambridge and the Middle Temple. He built or remodelled Shropham House in about 1729, shortly after his marriage to Elizabeth Engle (c.1709-70), daughter of the first mayor of Great Yarmouth (Norfk). In 1756 John was chosen as High Sheriff of Norfolk, but he died during his term of office, leaving his eldest son, John Barker (1731-92) to complete the alterations he was making to Shropham Hall. The younger John was Lt-Colonel of the West Norfolk Militia but never married. Since he had no issue, his will provided for his property to descend to the eldest surviving son, or in the absence of a son, to the eldest surviving daughter, of his younger brother, Lt-Gen. James Barker (1736-1812). General Barker, who took the name Hethersett in 1804 for reasons which are unclear, seems to have gained effective possession of his brother's estate, and the income he derived from it allowed him to rebuild his house in the Isle of Wight, later called Stickworth Hall, in 1793-96, and to undertake estate improvements.  It was probably only after he died in 1812 that his daughter was able to enter into her inheritance. In 1821, at the age of about forty, she married a clergyman, but they had no children and enjoyed less than ten years of marriage before Sarah died. The Shropham estate then passed to her younger sister, Jane Maria (c.1783-1853), the wife of Maj. Henry d'Esterre Hemsworth (1790-1850), who was the second son of an Irish gentry family. It remained in the hands of their descendants until 1917, but an account of the later generations is reserved to a future post on the Hemsworths of Abbeville.

Shropham Hall, Norfolk

An engaging but not conventionally elegant early 18th century house, built for John Barker (1698-1756) and dated 1729 on one of the rainwater heads. In 1739, it was recorded that 'John Barker, the present owner, hath built a seat here'. It has, however, been suggested that Barker enlarged an earlier core (perhaps built for his grandfather, Wormley Hethersett, who bought the estate in 1687) rather than building from scratch. The unusual form of the present roof suggests the original house may have comprised the central three bays on the north and south fronts, with the curious pedimental gables on these fronts being the original gable-ends. In the attics there is some 17th century panelling, which if it is not imported, may have been re-set here when the house was remodelled in the 1720s. Unfortunately, there is no surviving documentation about the building of the house to support or challenge this hypothesis. The architect of the 1720s remodelling is not known, and parallels that have been drawn with Elmham Hall and West Harling Hall (both demolished) are not convincing. It is, however, known that the monument of 1718 to John Barker's father, in Shropham church, was executed by John Fellows of Kings Lynn, who is known to have completed some architectural projects. He must be a candidate.

Shropham Hall in 1908, when the whitewash was still intact.
The house is built of red brick laid in Flemish bond and finely mortared. The five bay entrance front faces south and builds up into a pedimental gable, half sunk into a parapet, over the central three bays. The stepped arrangement of the parapet and a narrow giant order pilaster at each side of the central three bays, means that the outermost bays, which also have lower roofs, have the appearance of wings. The outer edges of these 'wings' are also defined by pilasters, awkwardly slightly wider than the ones framing the centre.  The early 19th century central porch conceals the original round-headed fanlight under a broken pediment supported on scrolled brackets. Perhaps at the same time as the porch was built, the house was limewashed, but over 200 years this has gradually worn away, giving the house a scrofulous or patinated appearance, depending on your point of view. On the eastern and western fronts, a diaper effect is created by the appearance of dark head­ers. The north front has a pair of full-height canted bays with panelled parapets flanking the central three bays; these appear to have been added in 1756 (dates on rainwater heads), and were probably commissioned by John Barker to mark his shrievalty in that year, although they must have been completed by his son, also John Barker, after his father died in office.

Shropham Hall: the north front in c.2005. The canted bays are an addition of 1756.
Inside, the entrance hall, the staircase hall and the study (west of the entrance hall), all retain a distinctly early 18th century character. The entrance hall has original wainscoting to picture rail height, while Doric fluted pilasters rise higher to support the plaster cornice. The staircase hall, on the north side of the house, also has oak panelling and a fine staircase with three turned balusters to each tread, while the upper part of the hall has Ionic pilasters around the walls. The library, in the north-east corner of the house, was redecorated when it was given a broad canted bay in 1756, and has a handsome Rococo ceiling that extends into the bay and a fine marble chimneypiece. 

In the early 19th century, the Rev. and Mrs. G.R. Leathes added the porch on the entrance front, whitewashed the house, added a large bay window to the east front, and redecorated the drawing room with Gothic-style plasterwork. After the house passed to Mrs. Leathes' sister Jane and her husband, Henry d'Esterre Hemsworth, in the 1830s, a kitchen wing was built onto the east side of the house. Their grandson, Augustus Hemsworth, carried out a major refitting of the house in 1894, and added a substantial wing to the west, replacing an earlier service wing. The staircase hall may have been reduced in size at the same time, and the staircase rearranged in consequence, so as to enlarge the dining room. 

Descent: sold 1687 to Wormsley Hethersett; to daughter, Sarah (1672-1758) and her husband James Barker (d. 1718); to son, John Barker (1698-1756); to son, John Barker (1730-92); to niece, Sarah (c.1781-1830), wife of Rev. George Reading Leathes (1779-1836); to sister, Jane Maria (c.1783-1853), wife of Henry d'Esterre Hemsworth (1790-1850); to son, Henry William Hemsworth (1815-92); to nephew, Augustus Noel Campbell Hemsworth (1853-1931), who sold 1917 to Col. Sir Edward Ion Beresford Grogan (1873-1927), 2nd bt.; sold after his suicide to Rev. George Ronald Garnier (1880-1948); to widow, Mrs. Vera Garnier (d. 1974); sold after her death...; sold 1981... ; sold 1999 to George and Angela Lynne (fl. 2021). The house was let by H.W. Hemsworth from 1853-92.

Stickworth Hall, Arreton, Isle of Wight

Lt-Gen. James Barker (later Hethersett) (1735-1812) settled here after retiring from the army in about 1780, in what may at that time have been quite a small house called Redway (so named on the manuscript Ordnance Survey 2" drawing of 1793), although he owned other property on the Isle of Wight, for in 1788 he was the landlord of John Wilkes, the radical Liberal politician, who rented a 'villalet' at Sandown from Barker.

Stickworth Hall: an engraving of the house in the early 19th century.
In 1792, Barker's circumstances were radically altered when his elder brother John died without issue and bequeathed his estates in Norfolk and Suffolk to the General's eldest daughter, Sarah, then a child of about ten. The property ran to some 4,000 acres scattered across about a dozen parishes, and although his brother's will appointed trustees to administer the estate during Sarah's minority, the General seems to have secured effective possession of the property. His obituarist said that "of late years [he has] been chiefly employed in improving his estates, and is said to have died possessed of landed property to the amount of £80,000". This access of fortune enabled Barker to rebuild his house in 1793-96, which was renamed as Stickworth Grove House (later Stickworth Hall). The new house, which has no less than three datestones, was a four bay two-storey house, set in prettily landscaped grounds, which is recorded in an early 19th century engraving. This four-bay block is still recognisable as the core of the present house.

Stickworth Hall: entrance front today
Between 1863 and 1896 the house was remodelled and enlarged in a half-hearted hybrid of the Tudor and Gothic styles, and the principal features of this phase now are the Gothic porch and the Tudor-style chimneys. In the mid 20th century the house became an hotel, and a large bedroom block was added to the right of the entrance front in a fairly traditional style. The hotel later closed and the house and outbuildings have since been converted into a large number of small apartments.

Descent: built for Lt-Gen. James Barker (later Hethersett) (1736-1812); sold after his death to Robert Bell; to son-in-law, Charles Halson; to widow; sold after her death to H.W. Gibbings; sold to Robert Fox; sold 1897 to William Hartshorne Shorthouse (1862-1922)... converted to an hotel by 1972... converted to flats.

Barker and Hethersett family of Shropham Hall, Norfolk


Hethersett, Wormley (d. 1709). Son of Rev. Thomas Hethersett (1617-75), rector of Brettenham (Norfk), and his wife. Grocer in Thetford. Mayor of Thetford, 1674, 1692, 1698. He married, 14 January 1657 at Isleham (Cambs), Jane (1644-1709), daughter of William Sharpe of Isleham, and had issue:
(1) Edmund Hethersett (1659-1730), born 4 February 1658/9 and baptised at Thetford; died unmarried and was buried at Shropham, 25 August 1730, where he is commemorated by a ledger stone;
(2) Jane Hethersett (1661-1700), baptised at St Mary, Thetford, 17 March 1660/1; married, 11 April 1689 at Weeting (Norfk), Thomas Squire (d. by 1700), and had issue one daughter; buried at St Peter, Thetford, 17 April 1700;
(3) Mary Hethersett (1666-1743?), baptised at St Mary, Thetford, 1 July 1666; inherited manor of Great Breckles from her father; married, 9 October 1690 at East Harling (Norfk), Joseph Baylis alias Randall of London, and had issue at least one son; living in 1708 and said to have died in 1743;
(4) Elizabeth Hethersett (1668-1705?), baptised at St Mary, Thetford, 21 March 1668; said to have married Edward Owen and been buried at St Peter, Thetford, 11 November 1705;
(5) Sarah Hethersett (1672-1758) (q.v.).
He purchased the manors of Great Breckles and Little Breckles (alias Shropham) in 1678.
He died in 1709 and his will was proved in the PCC, 9 November 1709. His wife was buried at Isleham (Cambs), 17 September 1709.

Hethersett, Sarah (1672-1758). Youngest daughter of Wormley Hethersett and his wife Jane, daughter of William Sharpe of Isleham (Cambs), baptised at St Mary, Thetford, 8 February 1671/2. She married, 10 February 1696 at Thetford (Norfk), James Barker (d. 1718), son of John Barker, and had issue (perhaps among others who died young):
(1) John Barker (1698-1756) (q.v.);
(2) Wormley Barker (1700-20); apprenticed to Isaac Waldo of London, grocer, 1717; died 12 March 1720 and was buried at Thetford, where he is commemorated by a monument;
(3) Jane Barker (fl. 1722); eldest daughter; left a portion of £2,500 in her father's will; married, 23 November 1721 at St Martin-at-Oak, Norwich, Thomas Waller of Denham (Norfk), worsted weaver;
(4) Sarah Barker (c.1710-41); younger daughter; left a portion of £2,000 in her father's will; died unmarried, 28 December 1741;
(5) Rev. James Barker (c.1713-70), of Redgrave (Suffk), educated at Botesdale (Suffk) and Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (matriculated 1732; LLB 1737); Fellow of Gonville & Caius College, 1738-43; ordained deacon, 1740 and priest, 1743; rector of Bacton, 1743-70 and probably also vicar of Yaxley (Suffk), 1746-67; married, 28 November 1762 at St James, Bury St Edmunds (Suffk), as his second wife, Elizabeth Norman (fl. 1764) of Bury St Edmunds; died 23 January and was buried at Shropham, 24 January 1770; will proved at Norwich, 30 January 1770.
She and her husband inherited Little Breckles (alias Shropham) from her father.
She died in November 1758 and was buried at Shropham, 1 December 1758; her will was proved at Norwich, 1758. Her husband died 15 February 1718, and was buried at Shropham, where he is commemorated by a monument signed by John Fellows of Kings Lynn; his will was proved in the PCC, 20 April 1719.

Barker, John (1698-1756). Eldest son of James Barker (d. 1718) and his wife Sarah, daughter of Wormley Hethersett, baptised at Breccles (Norfk), 10 February 1697/8. Educated at Norwich, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (matriculated 1714; BA 1718) and Middle Temple (admitted 1718). High Sheriff of Norfolk, 1756, but died in office. He married, 1725 (sett., 24 June), Elizabeth (c.1709-70), daughter of Benjamin Engle, first Mayor of Great Yarmouth (Norfk) and had issue:
(1) John Barker (1731-92) (q.v.);
(2) Lt-Gen. James Barker (1736-1812) (q.v.);
(3) Sarah Elizabeth Barker (1739-1810), born 9 May and baptised at Shropham, 13 May 1739; married, 12 May 1772 at Quidenham (Norfk), John Huntington (d. by 1810), and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 18 May 1810 and was buried at Winterton (Norfk);
(4) Jane Barker (b. & d. 1741), born 8 February and baptised at Shropham, 11 February 1740/41; died in infancy and was buried at Shropham, 30 November 1741;
(5) Benjamin Barker (1742-1814), born 7 September and baptised at Shropham, 7 October 1742; lived at Carbrooke (Norfk); buried at Shropham, 22 April 1814;
(6) Rev. Edward Barker (1744-95), born 12 January and baptised at Shropham, 16 February 1743/4; educated at Wyverstone and Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (matriculated 1763; BA 1767; MA 1786); ordained deacon, 1767 and priest, 1768; rector of Bacton (Suffk), 1770-95 and vicar of Bramford (Suffk), 1785-95; married, 4 April 1771 at Elveden (Suffk), Anna Maria (1744-1819), daughter of George Burton, and had issue six sons and four daughters; died in London, 23 May 1795; his widow and daughter kept a school for young ladies at Grove House, Diss until about 1812;
(7) Peter Henry Barker (1744-1826), born 27 December 1744 and baptised at Shropham, 31 January 1744/5; lived at Carbrooke (Norfk); probably married, 9 June 1772 at Swaffham (Norfk), Mary Willis, and had issue; buried at Shropham, 9 February 1826;
(8) Jane Barker (b. & d. 1747), born 15 January 1746/7 and baptised at Shropham; died in infancy and was buried at Shropham, 20 May 1747;
(9) twin, Wormley Barker (b. & d. 1748), baptised at Shropham, 18 September 1748; died in infancy and was buried at Shropham, 10 October 1748;
(10) twin, Thomas Barker (b. & d. 1748), baptised at Shropham, 18 September 1748; died in infancy and was buried at Shropham, 30 September 1748;
(11) Mary Barker (1750-1821), born 18 February and baptised at Shropham, 22 March 1749/50; married, 1 October 1781 at Roydon (Norfk), Maj. Edward Frere (1742-1819), and had issue one son and two daughters; died 12 December 1821 and was buried at Finningham (Suffk).
He inherited the Shropham estate from his father in 1718 and came of age the following year. He rebuilt or remodelled the house at Shropham c.1729.
He died 27 January and was buried at Shropham, 1 February 1756, where he is commemorated by a ledger stone. His widow was buried at Shropham, 22 March 1770, where she is also commemorated by a ledger stone.

Barker, John (1731-92). Eldest son of John Barker (1698-1756) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Benjamin Engle of Great Yarmouth (Norfk), born 26 February and baptised at Shropham, 7 March 1730/1. Educated at Bury, Horstead, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (matriculated 1749/50) and Lincoln's Inn (admitted 1751). Lt-Colonel of West Norfolk Militia (resigned 1780). He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Shropham Hall estate from his father in 1756.
He died at Dawlish (Devon), March 1792; his will was proved in the PCC, 7 April 1792.

Barker (later Hethersett), Lt-Gen. James (1736-1812). Second son of John Barker (1698-1756) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Benjamin Engle of Great Yarmouth (Norfk), born 16 February 1735/6 and baptised at Shropham, 30 March 1736. Educated at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (matriculated 1754). As the second son, he was originally intended for a career in the church, but entered the army, serving chiefly in the 56th Foot (Capt. by 1759; Maj., 1773; Lt-Col., 1776; Col., 1794; Maj-Gen. 1796; Lt-Gen. 1803). He served under General Wolfe in America, and at
the capture of Quebec was ADC to the Marquess Townshend, who said 'his orders were never better executed than by Capt. Barker'. A rather intriguing sentence in his obituary says his retirement was motivated by "being disgusted with many of the measures adopted after the commencement of the present reign", which may be a reference to the major reduction in the size of the army that took place after the American War of Independence. He took the name Hethersett in lieu of Barker in 1804. He married, 3 April 1781 at Devynnock (Brecon), Mary Anne Coston (1759-1823), and had issue:
(1) Sarah Barker (later Hethersett) (c.1781-1830) (q.v.);
(2) Jane Maria Barker (later Hethersett) (c.1783-1853) (q.v.);
(3) Ann Amelia Barker (later Hethersett) (c.1784-1869), born about 1784; married, 24 July 1824 at the British ambassador's house in Paris, Marie Charles Francois Xavier Alfred De Freytag (1803-64), Comte de Freytag of Abbeville (France), but had no issue; died at Abbeville, 1 September 1869;
(4) Isabel Barker (later Hethersett) (1786-1874), born in 1786 but baptised at Arreton (IoW), 22 September 1790; married, 21 August 1813 at Shropham, as his 2nd wife, her first cousin, John Barker Huntington (1774-1832) of Somerton Hall, East Somerton (Norfk), and had issue three sons and two daughters; died aged 88 at Wembdon (Som.), 13 December and was buried at Winterton with East Somerton (Norfk), 19 December 1874;
(5) Mary Barker (1790-1804), baptised at Arreton, 22 September 1790; died young, 17 April and was buried at Shropham, 25 April 1804.
He was awarded a grant of land in Prince Edward's Island in recognition of his service in Canada. After leaving the army and marrying, he settled at a house called Redway or Stickworth in Arreton (Isle of Wight), which he rebuilt in 1793-96. The rebuilt house was known as Stickworth Grove House and later as Stickworth Hall. It was let in 1810 and sold after his death, and is now divided into flats. He also owned a cottage near Sandown which was let at one time to the celebrated Radical politician, John Wilkes. His brother left him an annuity in his will in 1792.
He died 'at his cottage at Scoulton' (Norfolk), 10 or 14 April, and was buried at Shropham, 25 April 1812. His widow died in London and was buried at Shropham, 15 January 1823.

Barker (later Hethersett), Sarah (c.1781-1830). Eldest daughter of Lt-Gen. James Barker (later Hethersett) (1736-1812) and his wife Mary Ann Coston, born about 1781. She married, 1 January 1821 at Shropham, Rev. George Reading Leathes (1779-1836), curate of Shropham and botanist, son of Rev. Edward Leathes, rector of Reedham (Norfk), but had no issue.
She inherited the Shropham Hall estate from her uncle in 1792 and came of age in 1806. After her death her widower vacated the house and moved to a smaller property called Shropham Villa.
She died 8 December and was buried at Shropham, 16 December 1830; her will was proved at Norwich, 1831. Her husband suffered a stroke while delivering the Christmas Day service at Shropham in 1835, and died 1 January following; he was buried at Shropham, 8 January 1836; his will was proved in the PCC, 19 July 1836.

Barker (later Hethersett), Jane Maria (c.1783-1853). Second daughter of Lt-Gen. James Barker (later Hethersett) (1736-1812) and his wife Mary Ann Costen, born at Arreton (IoW) in about 1783. She married, 6 August 1813 at Shropham, Maj. Henry d'Esterre Hemsworth JP DL (1790-1850), second son of Thomas Hemsworth of Abbeville (Co. Tipperary), and had issue:
(1) Amelia Hemsworth (1814-78), born 28 April 1814 and baptised at Shropham, 6 September 1815; married, 3 December 1846 at Wanstead (Essex), Francis Henry Huntington (1824-95), youngest son of John Barker Huntington of Somerton House (later known as Burnley Hall) (Norfk), and had issue one son; died at Hampstead (Middx), 18 June 1878;
(2) Henry William Hemsworth (1815-92), born in Norwich, 6 May and baptised at Shropham, 6 September 1815; inherited the Shropham Hall estate from his father in 1850 but was living at Malines (Belgium) at the time of his marriage and later lived chiefly in London; married, 24 May 1851 at British embassy, Brussels (Belgium), Ellen (1836-1906), daughter of Francis Kemble of Chesterfield St., Mayfair, Westminster (Middx), but had no issue; died at Stoke Newington (Middx), 9 November 1892; will proved 28 November 1892 (effects £1,697);
(3) Eliza Anna Maria Hemsworth (c.1819-80), born about 1819; married, 1 March 1849 at Shropham, Rev. Addison Browne Hemsworth JP (1822-91), rector of Rockland (Norfk), son of Lt. William Glassford Hemsworth RN, but had no issue; admitted to Grove Mental Hospital, Catton (Norfk), 1867, but was discharged 'relieved', six months later; died 9 July and was buried at Rockland, 14 July 1880; will proved 6 August 1880 (effects under £5,000);
(4) Rev. Augustus Barker Hemsworth (1822-89), born 2 March and baptised at Cheltenham (Glos), 11 December 1822; educated at Bury St Edmunds Grammar School and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1840; BA 1845; MA 1849); ordained deacon, 1845 and priest, 1846; vicar of Breccles (Norfk), 1846-50; perpetual curate of Thompson (Norfk), 1850-58; rector of Bacton (Suffk), 1858-89; married, 17 March 1847 at Shropham, Duncana (c.1823-94), eldest daughter of Alexander Campbell of Kilmartin (Argylls), and had issue two sons and three daughters; died 27 October 1889 and was buried at Bacton; will proved 14 February 1890 (effects £2,057);
(5) Jane Maria Hemsworth (1823-93), baptised at Cheltenham (Glos), 18 April 1823; married, 12 September 1844 at Shropham, Rev. Samuel Frederick Bignold (1819-73), rector of Tivetshall (Norfk), son of Sir Samuel Bignold MP, kt., and had issue four sons and one daughter; buried at Walton-le-Soken (Essex), 19 January 1893.
She and her husband inherited the Shropham Hall estate on the death of her sister in 1830. After her husband's death the estate passed to her eldest son, and on his death to his nephew. An account of later generations of the family is reserved for a future post on the Hemsworths of Abbeville (Co. Tipperary) and of Shropham.
She was buried at Shropham, 19 October 1853; her will was proved in the PCC, 7 November 1853. Her husband died 5 November 1850; his will was proved in the PCC, 20 December 1850.

Principal sources

Burke's Landed Gentry, 1952, p. 1204; VCH Hampshire, vol. 6, 1912, pp. 139-51; J. Musson, 'Shropham Hall, Norfolk', Country Life, 24 February 2005, pp. 76-81.

Location of archives

No significant accumulation is known to survive.

Coat of arms

Hethersett of Shropham: Azure, a lion rampant or, in the paw a battle-axe argent.

Can you help?

  • Can anyone provide information about the ownership of Shropham Hall between 1974 and 1999, or of Stickworth Hall between 1922 and 1972?
  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide photographs or portraits of people whose names appear in bold above.
  • If anyone can offer further information or corrections I should be most grateful. I am always particularly pleased to hear from current owners or the descendants of families associated with a property who can supply information from their own research or personal knowledge for inclusion.

Revision and acknowledgments

This post was first published 30 October 2021.


Sunday, 24 October 2021

(472) Bamford of Hawthornden Manor, Wootton Lodge and Daylesford House

Bamford, Baron Bamford
In the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Bamfords were a Roman Catholic family of millers, builders and toolmakers in the Worcestershire and Staffordshire area, occupying a middling station in society on a par with the larger farmers and not aspiring to gentry status. Henry Bamford (1818-96), with whom the genealogy below begins, married in 1844 Julia, the only daughter of Samuel Brassington of Uttoxeter, a prosperous cooper. Brassington bought the couple a property in the market square of Uttoxeter where Henry Bamford opened an ironmongery business in 1845. Initially retailing the products of other manufacturers to the local farming community, Bamford began to diversify into implement manufacture, using castings supplied by local foundries. In about 1861, Henry's eldest son Samuel Brassington Bamford (1845-1932) joined the business, and quickly showed a flair for making improvements in the design of products such as water butt taps, garden engines, hot air stoves, cheese presses and curd mills. In 1871 Samuel and his father started the firm later known as Henry Bamford & Sons, which established the Leighton ironworks on the outskirts of Uttoxeter and began manufacturing a wider range of improved farm equipment and machinery: by 1881 their catalogue ran to forty pages and they were employing over 30 men. Although Henry Bamford provided the capital to start this business, it was from the first entirely in Samuel's hands, with Henry remaining the proprietor of the retail ironmongery business (although he later helped with travelling to promote the products of his son's firm). From about 1878, Samuel was in partnership with four of his younger brothers, who each took responsibility for a particular area of the business:
John (1853-1918) was responsible for office management, Henry (1849-1928) for purchasing and advertising, Robert (1864-1934) was on the sales side and Joseph (1860-1936), like his eldest brother, was an engineer (one of his inventions being an improved cash register). By 1883 the firm was growing rapidly, and they acquired the Lichfield Agricultural Co. Joseph moved to Lichfield to manage this business, remaining there until 1905. Samuel, Henry, John and Joseph all became justices of the peace, and Joseph served as sheriff of Lichfield in 1899-1900. 
Oldfields Hall, Uttoxeter: the home of John Bamford (1853-1918)
All the brothers acquired or built substantial houses around the town which, although they are best described as villas rather than country houses, were indicative of very comfortable circumstances. The largest of them was Samuel's Hawthornden Manor, built on a 26 acre site west of the town. John lived at the more elegant and perhaps more distinguished Oldfields Hall, Joseph at St Mary's Mount, and Robert at Weaver Lodge, while Henry commuted on a daily basis from his home at Park House, Stafford.

In 1896, Henry Bamford senior died and Samuel's two eldest sons, Henry Brassington Bamford (1876-1955) and Oswald Joseph Bamford (1877-1915), who was killed in the First World War, joined the business. In 1897, when Henry came of age, the firm had 500 employees, so there were plenty of openings for other members of the family to join the business. Joseph's sons, Cyril Joseph Bamford (1885-1951) and Gerald Wilfred Bamford (1888-1930), did so in 1905, and John's son, Henry John Bamford (1891-1947) had done so by 1912, although he went off to fight in the First World War before returning as a director in 1919. The war seems to have affected the firm less than one might expect, and although it did take on the manufacture of 4½" shells and hand grenades, its routine products were deemed critical to food production and continued. In 1916 the firm became a limited company, and Edmund Dobbins, who joined the firm in 1902 and retired in 1954, became the first board member from outside the family as company secretary.

Photograph of the directors of Bamford & Sons Ltd. taken at Hawthornden Manor at the 50th anniversary of the firm, in September 1921.
Back row, L to R: Henry Bernard Bamford (1876-1955), Henry John Bamford (1891-1947), Gerald W. Bamford (1888-1930), Cyril J. Bamford (1885-1951). Front row: Robert Bamford (1864-1934), Samuel Brassington Bamford JP (1846-1932),  Henry Brassington Bamford JP (1849-1928) and Joseph Bamford JP (1860-1936). The insets show three former directors: left, John Bamford JP (1853-1918), centre, Henry Bamford (1819-96) and right, Oswald J.Bamford (1877-1915). Image: Staffordshire Archives.
In the 1920s, the firm diversified into the manufacture of stationary engines, and introduced a highly successful potato lifter. It also greatly extended its international market. Samuel Bamford remained chairman until his death in 1932, after which his brother Joseph took over until he died four years later. Samuel's son, Henry Bernard Bamford (1876-1955), who was managing director from 1919, then took over as chairman, continuing in the dual role until his death. It thus fell to Henry, who lived at Eaton Lodge, Doveridge (Derbys), to steer the firm through the Second World War, when part of the works was taken over by Daimler Ltd to manufacture scout cars, and the firm's regular product range was streamlined as part of a Government-led strategic rationalisation of the sector, and came to include tractor-hauled mowing machines for the first time. Several members of the family joined the services during the war, although Henry's son, Vincent (1910-2004) was recalled to act as works manager after a short time. Another junior member of the firm who joined up was Cyril's son, Joseph Cyril Bamford (1916-2001), who after the war founded his own business (J.C. Bamford (Excavators)) making agricultural and construction machinery, which quickly grew into a high successful, innovative and paternalistic firm, familiar to all from its distinctive yellow livery and 'JCB' logo.

In 1958 Bamford & Sons became a public limited company, and soon afterwards they started importing combine harvesters and tractors, which there was not room at Uttoxeter to design and build from scratch. In 1968 he firm rejected a takeover bid from rival family firm J.C. Bamford (Excavators), and in 1970, there were still three members of the Bamford family on the board, though they no longer controlled the firm. Bamford & Sons went into liquidation a few years later. 

J.C. Bamford (Excavators) went from strength to strength, however, and became noted as a generous employer. In about 1960, Joseph Cyril Bamford was able to buy and restore one of the finest houses in Staffordshire, the Jacobean Wootton Lodge. He lived there until 1975, when he handed over control of the company to his sons Anthony and Mark, left his wife Marjorie (d. 2003), and went off to live with his secretary in tax exile in Switzerland. Wootton Lodge remained the home of his wife until the 1990s, when she moved to a purpose-built new house, called Wootton Grange, nearby. 

Anthony Bamford (b. 1945), who was knighted in 1990 and raised to a life peerage as Baron Bamford in 2003, has been chairman of the JCB group of companies since 1975. In 1988 he and his second wife, Carole, bought and restored Daylesford House (Glos), which has had three high-profile owners since the Second World War, each of whom has redecorated and remodelled the interior. Lady Bamford has developed the Daylesford Organics brand as part of a commitment to organic farming which has transformed the Daylesford and Wootton estates. The accruing profits from his stake in JCB has made Lord Bamford one of Britain's richest men, with estimated wealth of nearly £4.6 billion placing him 38th on the Sunday Times Rich List. In addition to his English properties, he owns a chateau in France and a house in Barbados, and today, Daylesford and Wootton Lodge are rare and encouraging examples of country houses still occupied in the grand tradition and fulfilling the purpose for which they were designed, of being a setting for displaying the wealth, taste and patronage of their owners.

Hawthornden Manor, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire

A large stone villa built between 1880 and 1896 for Samuel Bamford (1845-1932) on a 26-acre site then on the outskirts of the town, although now swallowed by suburbia. The house is in the late Victorian free style and draws on both Old English and continental Renaissance sources for inspiration. 

Hawthornden Manor, Uttoxeter: the house in the early 20th century, from an old postcard.
The south-facing entrance front has a roughly central doorcase, with a canted bay window to its left which rises through three storeys and is surmounted by a witch's hat roof with oversailing eaves. To the right of the entrance is a broader bay rising into a tall gable with applied half-timbering on the top storey and decorative terracotta tile-hanging above that. The side elevations have more broad gables with tile hanging, and there was formerly a large and elaborate conservatory attached to the south-west corner; the service wing ran off to the north at the rear of the building.  The house was used as an ARP First Aid Post during the Second World War and had been converted into flats by 1946.

Descent: built c.1890 for Samuel Brassington Bamford (1845-1932); to widow, Annie Mary Bamford (d. 1961); sold c.1936 to Samuel Elkes; converted into flats c.1946.

Wootton Lodge, Staffordshire

A beautifully proportioned and elegant house with a somewhat more complex history than its external appearance suggests. It stands in a fine position on a promontory overlooking a deep and steep-sided valley, and was built in the early 17th century for Sir Richard Fleetwood of Calwich Abbey (Staffs), which is only a few miles away. There was a deer park at Wootton from at least the 13th century, and the house was probably intended as a hunting lodge and standing. It consists of a tall main front range, of three storeys over a basement, fronting a forecourt flanked by walls that now terminate in little 18th century pavilions, although there was probably a gatehouse here until the Civil War. Behind the main block more severe ranges are arranged around three sides of a small courtyard that may once have been closed by a fourth range demolished in the later 17th or 18th centuries. These rear ranges may incorporate some walling from the previous building on the site.

Wootton Lodge: distant view of the entrance front, 1959. Image: Country Life.
The new front range is attributed with some confidence to the leading Elizabethan mason, Robert Smythson (d. 1614), who is also believed to have designed Burton Agnes Hall (Yorks ER) - a house of 1601-10 which shares some characteristics with Wootton Lodge - for Sir Richard Fleetwood's cousin, Sir Henry Griffith. If it is by Smythson, Wootton Lodge, which is thought to date from c.1610, would have been one of his last works, and although he built many larger and grander houses elsewhere, this perfect little building seems a distillation of his personal style in an enchanting and almost toy-like structure. The date of the building is suggested by the panel depicting Fleetwood's arms over the doorway, which shows the 'red hand of Ulster', a symbol which Fleetwood only became entitled to use on becoming one of the first baronets in 1611, so it is probable that construction was still in progress then.

Wootton Lodge: the entrance front, c.1950. Image: Historic England.
A group of four drawings of the 1590s in the Soane Museum show Smythson experimenting with plans for courtyard houses, the symmetrical outer faces of which are composed of flat walls given movement and variety by full-height canted bay windows and square towers and porches. The front block of Wootton Lodge follows this pattern, with a square central porch, canted bays towards the ends of the facade, and semi-circular bays on the ends of the range. The range is perfectly symmetrical, and apart from the doorcase and the balustraded parapet, is entirely devoid of ornament, so that the whole aesthetic effect is dependent on balance and proportion. As at Smythson's Hardwick Hall (Derbys), the top two floors are taller than the ground floor, which in turn is taller than the basement, and the proportions of these different levels, and the balance of window to wall, are perfectly judged so as to create a harmonious whole. The exact original internal arrangement has been lost in later changes, but it seems probable that the basement was occupied by the kitchen and other service rooms; the ground floor by the hall and principal parlour; the first floor by a great chamber over the hall and a second parlour; and the top floor by a long gallery running its entire length.

Wootton Lodge: the house from the garden terrace, 1910. Image: Country Life.
In the 17th century Civil War, the house was bombarded and perhaps sacked: it was described after 1660 as 'demolished in the late wars', and although 'demolished' is here used in an archaic and less extreme sense than we would understand today, there can be little doubt that the house was left derelict and perhaps burned out. It may not have been fully reinstated until John Wheeler, a Stourbridge ironmaster, bought it at the end of the 17th century. If it had not previously been demolished, he pulled down the range enclosing the courtyard at the rear, and he completely refitted the interior, and built the present entrance steps and parapet, and the pavilions flanking the entrance court.

Wootton Lodge: the panelled dining room installed about 1700 by John Wheeler when the house was refitted, photographed in 1959.
Image: Country Life.
When the house was acquired by J.C. Bamford in the 1960s it was heavily restored and remodelled. The internal framing was replaced in concrete, and the 18th century interiors were altered using materials, including a complete staircase, from Osmaston Hall (Derbys), then being demolished. The exterior was sand-blasted, the glazing altered, and the surroundings were re-landscaped, but the quiet perfection of the exterior has survived all these interventions unspoiled.

Wootton Lodge: the house in recent years. Image: ©Adam P. Towers.

Descent: Sir William Cecil sold 1560 to John Fleetwood (d. 1590); to son, Thomas Fleetwood (d. 1603); to son, Sir Richard Fleetwood (d. 1654), 1st bt.; to grandson, Sir Richard Fleetwood (d. 1721), 3rd bt.; sold to John Wheeler (d. 1708); to son, John Wheeler; to nephew, Edward Wheeler (d. 1761); to friend, James Unwin (1717-76); to son, James William Edward Wheeler Unwin (1763-1818); to brother, Rev. Edward Unwin (1767-1847); to son, Edward Wilberforce Unwin (1818-88); to son, Captain Edwin Unwin RN VC (1864-1950); sold to Brig-Gen. Sir Hill Child; sold 1950 to Major Alan Rook (1909-90); sold c.1960 to J.C. Bamford (1916-2001); to son, Sir Anthony Bamford (b. 1945), Baron Bamford.

Daylesford House, Gloucestershire

The Hastings family had owned the manor of Daylesford from 1408 until 1715, when financial ruin forced Penyston Hastings to sell the estate to a Bristol merchant called Jacob Knight. Nothing is known of the Hastings family's manor house, which reputedly lay 150 yards from the church; in 1823 J.P. Neale described it as 'long destroyed', though 'the remains of it shewed it to be a grand structure'.

Jacob Knight began but never finished a new house on the present site, and his stonework shell lies at the core of the present Daylesford. This was not suspected until alterations in the 1980s exposed some hitherto invisible blocked windows and occasioned the drawing up of accurate plans: even now the extent of his work is in some doubt. A 1786 estate plan shows the house to have consisted of a rectangular central block linked by short sections of wall to four pavilion wings. The central block can be clearly identified with the seven by five bay building which forms the centre of the present house, although it has been shown that this was originally of two storeys rather than the present three. The windows of this house had unmistakably Baroque detailing, with prominent keystones and sills, and in some cases segmental heads. All these details suggest a date before 1730, but the obviously Palladian inspiration of the four semi-detached pavilion blocks makes a later date possible: this sort of stylistic mingling between the Baroque and the Palladian was very common in the mid 18th century in the Bristol area, from which Knight haled. The house was certainly never finished, being described as 'the shell part only of an intended Mansion House', and was apparently not altered by Jacob Knight's son, Thomas, who when he came to sell it in the 1780s he claimed it had 'cost his father, erected as it now stands, near £3,000'.

Daylesford House: an early 19th century sketch showing the house soon after completion. Image: Thomas Lloyd.
The purchaser, in a deal eventually concluded in 1788, was Warren Hastings, an 'Indian nabob' who had been Governor-General of Bengal, and who was a grandson of the Penyston Hastings who had been obliged to sell the estate in 1715. Despite the uncertainty surrounding Hastings' future during an impeachment trial on 27 dubious charges of embezzlement, cruelty and the abuse of power, which lasted from 1788-95, he had retained an architect and a landscape gardener within six months of completing the purchase. His architect was Samuel Pepys Cockerell, a young man who perhaps came to Hastings' notice through the fact that both his brothers were in service with the East India Company. (It has often been suggested that S.P. Cockerell came to Hastings' notice because his brother John owned the nearby Sezincote estate, but John Cockerell did not buy Sezincote until 1792, when Hastings' agent, William Walford, acted for him). Cockerell was given the task of taking the incomplete shell of the Knight house at Daylesford and completing it in a suitably modern and sumptuous style. He began by adding an attic storey to the existing centre block and shaving the keystones and sills off all the visible windows. The most important façade was intended to be, and remains, the west front, although this has never been the entrance side. Here Cockerell added a broad curved bay, capped by a shallow dome with a copper ball and spike of vaguely exotic suggestion. The details are largely French in inspiration, and this front can be compared with Rousseau's Hôtel de Salm in Paris, 1784 85, which Cockerell may perhaps have known.

Daylesford House: the west front in 1985. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

Daylesford House: south and east fronts in 1950. Image: Historic England.

The south front has a much more straightforward, late Palladian feel, and could easily have been designed by Cockerell's former master, Sir Robert Taylor. It has indeed been suggested that another architect was responsible for this front, but the evidence of the plan of 1786 and of an entry in Hastings' diary for 11 April 1789, recording 'Library only 13 feet high' - the Library being the central room on this side - seem conclusive evidence that this front was part of Cockerell's work. It is framed by two canted bays, added to the two pavilion wings projecting from the Knight house on this side, whilst in between is a flat front of three bays. This was the original entrance side, but when a terrace was formed in front of it in the 1850s, the entrance was moved to the east front. The east elevation is different again, the plainness of the early 18th century core being least disguised on this side, where Cockerell's main adaptation was to form a single storey corridor projection between the wings. The large, Italianate central porch dates from after 1853, when this became the entrance.

Daylesford House: the east front and orangery in 1985. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

The interior of the house as Cockerell decorated and Hastings furnished it was both rich and exotic, but the rooms have been much altered and the original furnishings dispersed. The entrance through the south front led into an octagonal hall in the rustic, which is strikingly reminiscent of Taylor's entrance hall at Sharpham House, Devon. From this there was access into a grand staircase that ascended to the piano nobile and also extended to the first floor. This was removed in the 19th century, when the space into which it rose became known as the Gallery.
Daylesford House: detail of the chimneypiece now in the saloon. Image: Historic England.
The main reception rooms were along the south front, and consisted of a saloon in the south-west bay, a library in the centre, and a drawing room in the south-east corner. The saloon had until the 1980s a chimneypiece with an exquisite relief of Old Father Thames, which was perhaps that supplied by John Bacon in 1796 for £225. This has now been moved upstairs to the Dome Room, and another, depicting two elephants pouring a libation over a goddess, installed in this room.


Daylesford Park: the drawing room chimneypiece.
The drawing room has an even richer chimneypiece, carved by Sir Thomas Banks and supplied in 1792, which depicts an Indian sacrificial scene, and has Indian female figures as supporters on either side. The Indian tone of this chimneypiece was undoubtedly appropriate, since the room contained Hastings' suites of gilt ivory furniture and other very ornate furnishings, described in a sale catalogue of 1853. The library, in the centre of the south front, was the largest room in Hastings' day, and was no doubt always used as a reception room. It housed only 2,500 books, and in 1853 had an important suite of painted armchairs by Ince and Mayhew as well. The Dome Room, on the first floor, was Mrs. Hastings' cabinet or boudoir, and must always have been the most dramatic room in the house. It is a large circular room behind the bow on the west front, and its dome is a false ceiling with an oculus at the centre, through which a further ceiling painted to resemble sky can be seen. The room is decorated in Cockerell's elegant French neo-Classical style. The walls have thin colonnettes, which burst into ostrich feather capitals supporting a delicate frieze. The dome itself is decorated with leaf mouldings that divide it into alternate broad and narrow segments. The broad ones are then further decorated with medallions and panels.

The park at Daylesford was of almost equal interest with the house to Warren Hastings, who employed John Davenport as his landscape gardener from 1788-91. As early as January 1789 Davenport was instructed to build the garden walls and hot house, and to start laying out the pleasure and flower gardens. Work on the lake and stream continued until 1795, but by then Davenport had been dismissed for attempting to commit Hastings to expensive and grandiose schemes which had not been approved. The construction of an unwanted bridge over the Upper Pond was a particular bone of contention, and although it was apparently built, it does not survive. Davenport's most important surviving contribution is undoubtedly the large and very pretty Gothick orangery, which was completed by spring 1790, and which was until recently attributed to Cockerell.

Daylesford House: the orangery in 1985. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.
Warren Hastings died in 1818 at the great age of 86, and his wife lived on at Daylesford until her death, aged 90, in 1837. Her son (Hastings' stepson), General Sir Charles Imhoff, then owned the house until his death in 1853, when it was sold and the contents dispersed. The purchaser, a stockbroker called Harman Grisewood, employed Robert Trollope to adapt the house for Victorian country house life. The entrance was moved to the east front and a new entrance hall made. The original staircase was removed, and a smaller oak one inserted in the centre of the house. The room under the Dome Room became a dining room and was decorated in a Pompeiian style. The changes impeded the flow of the plan but increased the total number of reception rooms.

In 1874 Daylesford was bought by R. Nichol Byass, a sherry importer, and on his death it was acquired by C.E. Baring Young MP. On the death of his brother, Arthur Young, the house was sold and it stood empty at the outbreak of the Second World War. During hostilities, it was occupied by soldiers, and it was in very poor condition when acquired by Viscount Rothermere in 1946. He carried out a full restoration, with Philip Jebb as architect and John Fowler as decorator, in 1960-63. In 1978, however, the house became the English home of Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza who expunged much of Fowler's decoration in favour of an unsympathetic scheme by Renzo Mongiardino, an Italian decorator. In 1988, the house was bought by Sir Anthony & Lady Bamford, who returned to the firm of Colefax and Fowler for the restoration of the character of the house. Their work included the replacement of the Victorian stair with a more appropriate cantilevered one executed in Portland stone. The restoration has also extended to the grounds, where the orangery was restored and the walled garden created by John Davenport and the adjoining rose garden were replanned in 1989 by Lady Mary Keen, with a new orchid house designed by Philip Jebb.

Descent: Penyston Hastings sold 1715 to Jacob Knight; to son, Thomas Knight; sold 1788 to Warren Hastings (1732-1818); to widow (d. 1837) and then his stepson, Gen. Sir Charles Imhoff (d. 1853); sold after his death to Harman Grisewood; sold 1874 to R. Nicholl Byass (d. c.1884); sold after his death to Charles Edward Baring Young MP (1850-1928); to brother, Arthur Young (d. 1936); requisitioned for military use in WW2; sold 1946 to Esmond Cecil Harmsworth (1898-1978), 2nd Viscount Rothermere; sold 1978 to Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza (1921-2002); sold 1988 to Sir Anthony Bamford (b. 1945), kt., later Baron Bamford, and Lady Bamford.

Wootton Grange, Staffordshire

A five-bay two-storey classical house with a hipped roof, built on a greenfield site on the opposite site of Waste Lane to Wootton Lodge. It was designed by Digby Harris of Francis Johnson & Partners in 1986-95 as a dower house for Wootton Lodge, and was occupied by Marjorie Bamford until her death in 2003. The house has a service court at the rear.

Bamford family of Hawthornden Manor, Wootton Lodge and Daylesford Park


Bamford, Henry (1818-96). Son of John Bamford (1775-1862) of Hoar Cross (Staffs), builder and joiner, and his wife Mary Jones (d. 1830), born 12 November 1818 and baptised at Needwood RC church, 14 November 1819. In 1845 his father-in-law bought him premises in Uttoxeter in which to run an ironmongery business (later the Uttoxeter Agricultural Co.). In 1871 he assisted his son Samuel with the founding of Henry Bamford & Sons, agricultural implement makers, although he remained engaged with the ironmongery business. He married, 6 February 1844 at Alton Towers (Staffs), Julia (c.1822-86), only daughter of Samuel Brassington of Uttoxeter, cooper, and had issue*:
(1) Samuel Brassington Bamford (1845-1932) (q.v.);
(2) Julia Maria Brassington Bamford (1847-52), born 1 October and baptised at Uttoxeter, 3 November 1847; died young, Jul-Sept 1852;
(3) Henry Brassington Bamford (1849-1928), baptised at Uttoxeter RC church, 20 October 1849; partner in Henry Bamford & Sons from 1878; lived at Park House, Stafford; JP for Staffordshire; married, 7 February 1878 at Stafford RC church, Mary (1847-1943), daughter of Francis Emery of Cobridge (Staffs), and had issue one son and four daughters; died 29 April 1928; will proved 28 August 1928 (estate £67,058);
(4) John Bamford (1851-52), baptised at Uttoxeter RC church, 17 August 1851; died in infancy, Jan-Mar 1852;
(5) John Bamford (1853-1918), baptised at Uttoxeter RC church, 2o March 1853; a partner in Henry Bamford & Sons; JP for Staffordshire; lived at Oldfields Hall, Uttoxeter; married, 1883, Mary Sutton (1852-1919), daughter of Henry Orme Hawthorne, and had issue one son (Henry John Bamford (1891-1947), a director of the company from 1919) and two daughters; died 16 April 1918; will proved 12 December 1918 (estate £47,274);
(6) Julia Mary Bamford (1854-1938), baptised at Uttoxeter RC church, 21 May 1854; lived in Walsall (Staffs); died unmarried, 31 July 1938; will proved 8 October 1938 (estate £31,321);
(7) Frances Mary Bamford (1856-1940), baptised at Uttoxeter RC church, 13 March 1856; married, 1899, Dr. John Joseph Lynch MD (c.1859-1926) of Walsall (Staffs), but had no issue; died 22 February 1940; will proved 23 July 1940 (estate £24,288);
(8) Charles Robert Bamford (1857-58), born 25 December 1857 and baptised at Uttoxeter RC church, 1 January 1858; died in infancy, Jan-Mar 1858;
(9) Charles Robert Bamford (1859-1924), born 7 March and baptised at Uttoxeter RC church, 13 March 1859; physician and surgeon (MRCS 1882; LRCP) who retired from practice c.1900; lived at The Hermitage, Uttoxeter; married, 8 February 1893 at St James RC church, Spanish Place, London, Ellen Mary Faulkner (c.1864-1931), but had no issue; died 4 January 1924; will proved 29 April 1924 (estate £10,572);
(10) Joseph Bamford (1860-1936) (q.v.);
(11) Robert Bamford (1864-1934), baptised at Uttoxeter, 14 August 1864; a partner in Henry Bamford & Sons Ltd.; lived at Weaver Lodge, Uttoxeter; married, Oct-Dec 1893 at Roscrea (Ireland), Jane Frances Louisa (1871-1931), daughter of James Lewis Somers, but had no issue; died 20 September 1934; will proved 22 January 1935 (estate £37,862);
(12) Thomas Bamford (1866-1936), baptised 7 March 1866; educated at University College, London (MB), physician and surgeon (MRCS, 1891; LRCP, 1891); medical officer of health for Uttoxeter; lived at Enville House, Ballance St., Uttoxeter; married, 1896 Mary (k/a Polly) (1866-1953), daughter of James Bill of Hanley (Staffs), and had issue one daughter; died 3 March 1936; will proved 22 May 1936 (estate £3,294).
He lived in the Market Place at Uttoxeter (Staffs).
He died 27 October and was buried at Uttoxeter, 30 October 1896; will proved 12 February 1897 (estate £14,056). His wife was buried at Uttoxeter, 1 April 1886.
* There are said to have been 13 children of the marriage but I can only trace 12.

Bamford, Samuel Brassington (1845-1932). Eldest son of Henry Bamford (1818-96) and his wife Julia, daughter of Samuel Brassington of Uttoxeter, cooper, born 22 November and baptised at Uttoxeter, 5 December 1845. After leaving school, he joined his father's ironmongery business, but he showed a talent for inventions and innovation, and in 1871 he established Henry Bamford & Sons with the help of his father to manufacture tools, some of his own design. From about 1878 he was in partnership with his brothers John, Henry, Joseph and Robert, and in 1916 the firm became a limited company. From 1920 the firm began to manufacture stationery engines as well as agricultural equipment. Samuel remained chairman until his death in 1932. JP for Staffordshire from 1894. He married, 1st, Apr-Jun 1875, Dorothy Bond Hawthorn (1842-1910), and 2nd, 3 February 1912 at St Edmund RC church, Southampton, Annie Mary (d. 1961), daughter of Dr. Farmer of Hexham (Northbld), and had issue:
(1.1) Henry Bernard Bamford (1876-1955) (q.v.);
(1.2) Oswald Joseph Bamford (1877-1915), baptised at Uttoxeter, 6 May 1877; married, 14 April 1910 at Our Lady of Victories, Kensington (Middx), Olga Daisy Beatrice (who m2, [forename unknown] Harrison), daughter of Michael Sefi of Kensington, and had issue two daughters; killed in action at the battle of Loos in the First World War, 13 October 1915; administration of goods granted to his widow, 13 May 1916 (estate £14,085);
(1.3) Fr. Julian Hawthorn Bamford (1879-1932), baptised at Uttoxeter, 27 April 1879; educated at Stonyhurst College and St Cuthbert's College, Durham; ordained a Roman Catholic priest, 1905; priest at Leamington Spa, 1908-15, 1919-33; war chaplain, 1915-19; died unmarried, 15 December 1932; will proved 17 February 1933 (estate £7,862);
(1.4) Alban Aloysius Bamford (1883-1944), baptised at Uttoxeter, 24 June 1883; educated at Stonyhurst College; by 1939 a patient at Claybury Mental Hospital, Ilford (Essex), where he died unmarried, 30 May 1944; administration of goods granted 12 September 1944 (estate £6,348);
(1.5) Gilbert John Bamford (1885-91), baptised at Uttoxeter, 22 November 1885; died young, 9 February and was buried at Uttoxeter RC cemetery, 13 February 1891;
(2.1) Raymund Joseph Aloysius Bamford (1913-2009), born 25 February 1913; educated at Nottingham University College (DipEE, 1936); electrical engineer; served in the Indian army (Lt.) during Second World War; died unmarried, 14 March 2009; will proved 8 April 2009;
(2.2) Anne Maud Theresa Bamford (1916-2007), born 27 July 1916; married 1st, 11 July 1935 at Uttoxeter RC church, Philip Francis Kent (1905-60) of Haregate Hall, Leek (Staffs), pottery manufacturer, second son of James Kent of The Mount, Stone (Staffs); married 2nd, Jan-Mar 1946, Edward William Bell Wade (1915-84), son of Charles Oliver Wade, and had issue two daughters; died 18 June 2007; will proved 11 September 2007.
He built Hawthornden Manor, Uttoxeter, for his own occupation c.1890 and lived there until his death.
He died 8 February 1932 and was buried at Uttoxeter RC Cemetery; his will was proved 25 May 1932 (estate £78,178). His first wife died 23 August 1910; administration of her goods was granted 7 October 1910 (estate £244). His widow died 3 October 1961; her will was proved 20 February 1962 (estate £36,501).

Bamford, Henry Bernard (1876-1955). Eldest son of Samuel Brassington Bamford (1845-1932) and his first wife Dorothy Bond Hawthorn, born 12 June and baptised at Uttoxeter, 15 June 1876. He joined Henry Bamford & Sons Ltd after leaving school, and became managing director from 1919 and, Chairman, 1936-55. He married, 18 July 1907 at St James RC church, Twickenham (Middx), Maddalena Letitia (1884-1960), daughter of Benedicto Giovanno Longinotto, and had issue:
(1) Maddalena Letitia Dorothea Bamford (1907-91), born 19 October and baptised at Uttoxeter, 26 October 1907; married, 25 June 1936 at Uttoxeter RC church, Dr. William Herbert Cotton Croft MD (1905-90), son of Dr. J.T.H. Croft of Mary Mount, Coventry (Warks), and had issue three daughters; died 23 July 1991 and was buried at Avon Dassett (Warks); will proved 25 October 1991 (estate £298,919);
(2) Henry Vincent B. Bamford (1910-2004), born 13 August 1910; educated at Downside; joined Bamfords Ltd in 1928 and was a director from 1937; during the Second World War he joined the Royal Artillery (2nd Lt., 1939) but was released from service to act as works director of the company, later managing director and Chairman, 1955-67; married, Jan-Mar 1948, Marion Lee (1910-2006), daughter of Richard Runciman Terry, organist and choirmaster at Westminster Cathedral, and widow of Adrian Morgan Squire (1910-40), electrical engineer, but had no issue; died 22 February 2004; will proved 22 June 2004;
(3) Richard Hawthorn Bamford (1913-2004), born 19 April 1913; educated at Downside and Nottingham University College; joined Bamfords Ltd in 1935 and became a director from 1948, but served in Second World War with Royal Artillery (2nd Lt., 1939; prisoner of war); Associate of Institute of Mechanical Engineers, 1939; married, 1970, Miriam Barbara Bauer (1921-2001), but had no issue; died 14 October 2004; will proved 20 April 2005;
(4) Oswald Joseph Bamford (1917-57), born 12 October 1917; brewer; an officer in the army during the Second World War (Capt.); married, 16 November 1946 at St James' RC church, Spanish Place, London, Angela M.E. Bodega of Edgware (Middx), and had issue one son; died 26 June 1957; will proved 31 January 1958 (estate £33,243).
He lived at Eaton Lodge, Doveridge (Derbys).
He died 22 July 1955; his will was proved 27 October 1955 (estate £47,104). His widow died 11 July 1960; her will was proved 23 March 1961 (estate £15,713).

---

Bamford, Joseph (1860-1936). Seventh son of Henry Bamford (1819-96) and his wife Julia, daughter of Samuel Brassington of Uttoxeter, cooper, baptised at Uttoxeter, 11 August 1860. Agricultural engineer and inventor; a partner in Bamfords Ltd. from 1878; manager of the Lichfield Agricultural Co. subsidiary, 1883-1905; chairman, 1932-36. Among his inventions was an improved cash register. Sheriff of Lichfield, 1899-1900; JP for Staffordshire, 1920-36. He married, 10 November 1883 at Stoke-on-Trent RC church, Ellen Frances (1859-1940), daughter of Thomas Henry Emery of Stoke-on-Trent, and had issue:
(1) Cyril Joseph Bamford (1885?-1951) (q.v.);
(2) Ethel Mary Bamford (b. 1885), born 31 December 1885 and baptised at Holy Cross, Lichfield (Staffs), 3 January 1886; joined Bellerive Convent, a Roman Catholic teaching convent in Liverpool before 1911; living at Poles Convent School, Ware (Herts) as an invalid in 1939, but death not traced;
(3) Gerald Wilfred Bamford (1888-1930), born Apr-Jun 1888; joined Bamfords Ltd. about 1905; married, 21 May 1913, Dorothy Millicent (1889-1985), daughter of Alfred Henry Scott, grocer, and had issue one daughter; died at St Andrew's Mental Hospital, Northampton, 27 May 1930; administration of his goods granted 20 November 1930 (estate £20,445);
(4) Julia Winifred Bamford (1890-1956), born 30 September and baptised at Holy Cross, Lichfield, 7 October 1890; died unmarried, 6 February 1956; administration of goods granted, 2 July 1956 (estate £2,024).
He lived at St Mary's Mount, Uttoxeter (Staffs).
He died 20 December 1936; his will was proved 27 February 1937 (estate £64,030). His widow died 18 October 1940; her will was proved 4 February 1941 (estate £4,181).

Bamford, Cyril Joseph (1885?-1951). Elder son of Joseph Bamford (1860-1936) and his wife Ellen Frances, daughter of Thomas Henry Emery of Stoke-on-Trent, born 16 July 1885?* He joined Bamfords Ltd about 1905 and was a director from 1919. He married, 23 November 1914 at Bilbao (Spain), Dolores Alicia (1889-1966), daughter of J. Turner of the Plaza Eliptica, Bilbao, and had issue:
(1) Joseph Cyril Bamford (1916-2001) (q.v.);
(2) Edgar Cyril Bamford (1918-20), born about January 1918; died young, 10 April and was buried at Uttoxeter RC Cemetery, 12 April 1920;
(3) Rupert Cyril Bamford (1920-2009), born Jul-Sept 1920; joined Bamfords Ltd. in 1945 and became a director from 1948; married, Oct-Dec 1961, Marianne J. Bennett (1928-2011); died 23 November 2009; will proved 4 March 2010;
(4) David Charles Bamford (1926-95), born 17 August 1926; joined Bamfords Ltd after the Second World War; married, 1953, Anne Graham (1927-2012), and had issue two sons and two daughters; died at Pembury (Kent), 30 December 1995; will proved 7 March 1996.
He lived at The Parks, Uttoxeter (Staffs).
He died 19 August 1951; will proved 13 November 1951 (estate £78,386). His widow died 14 July 1966; her will was proved 15 November 1966 (estate £24,147).
* His date of birth seems not be recorded in any contemporary sources. Later sources give the date stated here, but this is only five months before the birth of his sister, which is recorded in contemporary sources. The 1939 register gives this date but it was amended later to 1888, an equally implausible date as it would conflict with the birth of his brother.

J.C. Bamford (1916-2001) 
Bamford, Joseph Cyril (1916-2001).
Eldest son of Cyril Joseph Bamford (1885-1951) and his wife Dolores Alicia Turner, born 21 June 1916. Educated at Stonyhurst College. After leaving school he joined Alfred Herbert & Co., of Coventry, machine tool manufacturers, and became their representative in the Gold Coast (now Ghana). In 1938 he returned to England and joined the family agricultural engineering business, Bamfords Ltd. From 1941-44 he served with the Royal Air Force, returning to the Gold Coast to run a staging post for USAF planes being ferried to the Middle East. In 1945 he established his own business manufacturing heavy plant and machinery for the agricultural and construction sectors. The prominent 'JCB' logo and distinctive yellow livery used on all his products after 1951 made the business a household name, while a focus on innovation and customer service, and an obsessive personal attention to detail ensured that his firm grew rapidly. 
At the time of his death, JCB was the largest privately owned engineering company in Britain, employing 4,500 people and manufacturing 30,000 machines a year in twelve factories on three continents. It had revenues of £850m in 1999, earned from 140 countries. Bamford was a 20th century echo of the sort of entrepreneur whom Samuel Smiles admired in the 19th century: a non-smoking teetotaller who routinely worked fourteen hours a day and who took a paternalistic approach to his workforce, paying generous wages and developing Rocester (Staffs) as a company village surrounded by a 10,000 acre estate where his employees were free to shoot, fish, swim and sail. He refused to recognise trade unions, but was rewarded for his generosity by his workforce with remarkable loyalty, flexibility and productivity. He retired in 1975 and subsequently transferred half of the company to his two sons and placed the other half in trust for himself and his partner, Jayne Ellis, for life. He was appointed CBE, 1969, and awarded honorary degrees by the Universities of Loughborough (DTech, 1989), Buckingham (DBA 1991), Sheffield (DEng, 1992), Warwick (DSc 1998) and Keele (DTech, 2000). He married, Jan-Mar 1942 (sep. 1975), Marjorie (1918-2003), daughter of William Henry Griffin, labourer, and had issue:
(1) Anthony Paul Bamford (b. 1945), kt., Baron Bamford (q.v.);
(2) Mark Joseph Cyril Bamford (b. 1951), born June 1951; educated at Millfield School; entered JCB, c.1970 and is a director of eight companies within the J.C. Bamford Group as well as as having shipping and investment interests; a board member of The Conservative Foundation Ltd.
After leaving his wife he moved to Switzerland as a tax exile, where he set up home with his former secretary, Jayne (b. c.1946), formerly wife of Gordon Ellis.
He purchased Wootton Lodge c.1960. After 1975 he lived on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland and had a holiday home on Majorca.
He died in a London clinic, 1 March 2001; his will was proved 20 April 2004. His widow died 25 December 2003; her will was proved 16 September 2004 and 20 June 2006. His partner, who inherited his Swiss and Spanish properties and a life interest in half of the JCB company, married, 2010 in Majorca (Spain), Robert Jansen.

Anthony Bamford, Lord Bamford 
Bamford, Anthony Paul (b. 1945), kt., Baron Bamford.
Elder son of Joseph Cyril Bamford (1916-2001) and his wife Marjorie, daughter of William Henry Griffin, born 23 October 1945. Educated at Ampleforth and Grenoble Univ. He joined JCB in 1964 and succeeded his father as Chairman and Managing Director of the J.C. Bamford Group, 1975. He was also a director of Tarmac plc, 1988-94, a member of the Design Council, 1987-88, and a member of the president's committee of the Confederation of British Industry, 1986-88. He was President of the Staffordshire Agricultural Society, 1987-88 and of Burton-on-Trent Conservative Association, 1987-90, and was 
elected a Fellow of the Institute of Agricultural Engineers, 2003. High Sheriff of Staffordshire, 1985-86; DL for Staffordshire, 1989. He was knighted in 1990, and raised to a life peerage as Baron Bamford of Daylesford and Wootton, 2013; he also holds several foreign orders. He received several awards for entrepreneurship and for exports and holds honorary degrees from the Universities of Birmingham (MEng, 1987), Keele (DUniv, 1988), Cranfield (DSc, 1994), Robert Gordon Univ, Aberdeen (BDA, 1996), Staffordshire (DTech, 1998) and Loughborough (DTech, 2002). He married 1st, 1971 at St John's RC Chapel, Alton (Staffs), Gillian Caroline Weston Shenton (1946-72), and 2nd, 1974, Carole Gray Whitt (b. 1946), founder of Daylesford Organic, racehorse owner and philanthropist, and had issue:
(2.1) Hon. Alice Camille Bamford (b. 1976), born in Washington DC (USA), April 1976; film and record producer and biodynamic farmer at One Gun Ranch, Malibu, California (USA); in a partnership with Ann Eysenring, estate agent; they have a son and daughter;
(2.2) Hon. Joseph Cyril Edward Bamford (b. 1977), born in Baltimore (USA), 21 December 1977; educated at Edinburgh University (BA); joined JCB in about 2005 (director since 2009); also director of many other companies, especially in the renewable energy field; bought Tidmington House (Warks) in 2008; married, September 2007 at Chelsea Old Church (Middx), Alexandra V., knitwear designer, daughter of Anthony Giles Spencer Gore-Browne of London, and has issue one son and one daughter;
(2.3) Hon. George Harry Anthony Bamford (b. 1980), born December 1980; founder of the Bamford Watch department; married, 30 May 2008 at St John's Cathedral, Limerick, Leonora Greta, daughter of David B. Pearl of Ballyneale House (Co. Limerick) and has issue two sons and one daughter.
He lived with his first wife at Farley Hall (Staffs). He purchased Daylesford House in 1998, and restored both the house and grounds. He inherited Wootton Lodge from his father in 2001. He also owns a house in Barbados and a chateau in Provence.
Now living. His first wife was killed in a car crash, 23 January 1972; administration of her goods was granted 1 January 1973 (estate £600). His second wife is now living.

Principal sources

Debrett's Peerage & Baronetage, 2015, p. P82; J.P. Neale, Views of Seats, series 1, vol. 5.; V.C.H. Worcs, ii, pp. 336‑37; M. Girouard, Robert Smythson and the Elizabethan country house, 2nd edn, 1983, pp. 199-204; A. Ginger, 'Daylesford House and Warren Hastings', Georgian Group Report and Journal, 1989, pp. 80‑101; N.W. Kingsley, The country houses of Gloucestershire: vol. 2, 1660-1830, 1992, pp. 113-17; M. Girouard, Elizabethan architecture, 2009, pp. 380-82; article on J.C. Bamford in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Location of archives

Henry Bamford & Sons Ltd: catalogues and miscellaneous papers, c.1880-1970 [Museum of English Rural Life, Reading University, TR BAM]
I assume that family papers remain with the family and records of companies in the JCB Group at the corporate headquarters in Rocester (Staffs).

Coat of arms

Bamford, Baron Bamford: Gules a sword erect proper, pommel and hilt or, surrounded by a fess wavy erminois; in chief two cross crosslets fitchee or.

Can you help?

  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide photographs or portraits of people whose names appear in bold above.
  • If anyone can offer further information or corrections I should be most grateful. I am always particularly pleased to hear from current owners or the descendants of families associated with a property who can supply information from their own research or personal knowledge for inclusion.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 24 October 2021.