Saturday, 16 October 2021

(471) Baesh alias Bashe of Stanstead Bury

Baesh of Stanstead Bury
This account of the Baesh family of Stanstead Bury (Hertfordshire) has perforce to leave a great deal uncertain. Not only are the family unusually difficult to trace in the records because of the bewildering variety of ways in which their name is spelt
 (Bashe, Bash, Baesh, Baeshe, Basshe and Baesshe are common and Bache, Bacsh and other variants are also found), but the fact that the Stanstead Abbots parish registers do not survive before 1679 means that much basic genealogical detail is absent. It follows that if anyone is able to add even trivial details to the biographies below from other sources, I shall be most grateful to receive the information.

Like so many of the newly wealthy families of Tudor England, the Baeshes rose to prominence through the talent-spotting prowess of Henry VIII's ministers. Edward Baesh (c.1507-87), with whom the genealogy below begins, was one of Thomas Cromwell's recruits to royal service. Unfortunately his origins are obscure, as there would seem to have been two nearly contemporary men of the same name who were educated respectively at Lyon's Inn and the Inner Temple, and were granted arms in 1550 and 1572. According to the Visitation of Hertfordshire, the Edward we are concerned with was the eldest son of Alexander Baesh, but the Visitation of London says Alexander died without issue, and that Edward was the son of Richard Baesh of Worcester. The latter seems more likely to be correct, since it accords with the biographical information given in a later lampoon, the 'Libell written against Baeshe', in which his early life was set out in exotic and, no doubt, largely fictitious detail. The anonymous author, who seems to have been a rival for the affections of Baesh's second wife Jane, mocked him as 'the new made squire of Stansted', for his humble origins, and for his alleged taste for strong ale. The first official appointment in which he can be traced was in 1538 as deputy secretary to the Council for the Marches of Wales, but by 1545 he had begun working on the victualling of the navy, and he became joint Surveyor of Victualling in 1547 and sole Surveyor in 1550. He continued in post through the reign of Queen Mary I and was confirmed in office by Queen Elizabeth I in 1560. In April 1565 the victualling service was reorganized and the surveyor was given a contract to provide for a given number of men at fixed rates, rather than an annual salary. Inflation in food prices made this challenging for Baesh, and he complained constantly about the difficulty of operating within the budget, even though the per capita rate was twice raised. He seems, however, to have been honest and effective, as there were few complaints about the victuals he provided, and he contrived to prosper sufficiently to invest in property. He held the Surveyorship until 1582, when he retired, although he continued to shower unsolicited advice on naval matters on the Lord Treasurer, Lord Burghley.

Throughout his career, Baesh was assiduous in acquiring lands as a way of investing his steadily growing capital. His earliest acquisitions were the the rectory and advowson of Feltham (Middx) in 1549, and in 1550 the manor of Cullynges in Hertfordshire. He lived in London at this time but in about 1556, he moved to Hertfordshire, and became a JP for the county. In 1559 he bought the manor of Stanstead Abbotts (Herts) and also teamed up with his fellow navy official, Sir William Winter, to buy lands in the Forest of Dean and Dorset, and he later acquired other small properties scattered around the Home Counties, most of which were later sold. He settled at Stanstead Bury, where he remodelled and enlarged the house, so that he was able to entertain Queen Elizabeth there on two occasions in 1571 and 1576.

According to his monument at Stanstead Abbotts, Baesh had two sons and three daughters by his second marriage. His will suggests that only his widow and the two sons survived at the time of his death, and neither of the sons lived very long. The elder, Ralph Baesh (d. 1598) was, however, married while still a child, and left one surviving son, Sir Edward Baesh (1594-1653), kt.  Ralph's widow married a neighbour, Sir George Manners (c.1580-1641), who in 1532 inherited the earldom of Rutland. Manners seems to have been largely responsible for Edward's upbringing, and it was no doubt his influence which secured Edward's knighthood in 1616 and his election to Parliament for seats in Lincolnshire, where the Manners influence was strong. Although he married twice, Sir Edward produced no children, and on his death in 1653 his estates passed, under a settlement of 1635, to his kinsman, Sir Ralph Bashe (d. c.1663).

At the time when the settlement of 1635 was drawn up, Sir Edward's heir presumptive was Edward, son of Nicholas Bashe (d. 1591) of Stanstead St. Margarets (Herts), whose precise relationship to Sir Edward is unclear, as Nicholas Bashe's origins are obscure. The Visitation of Hertfordshire makes him the son of Alexander Baesh and the brother of Edward Baesh (c.1507-87), but there is evidently some confusion here. He was married in or before 1563 to Dorothy, the daughter of William Tooke (1508-88), auditor of the Court of Wards and Liveries, so it seems possible that he was a generation younger than Edward (c.1507-87). He is unlikely to be Edward's son by his first wife - although this would fit chronologically - as he is not mentioned in Edward's will, and there is no mention of him on Edward's monument. Perhaps his father was Alexander, who might have been a brother or half-brother of Edward (c.1507-87)?

By the time Sir Edward died in 1653 his cousin Edward had died, and the operation of the entail brought the Stanstead Bury estate to Edward's son, Ralph or Rafe Bashe (c.1623-c.1663), who had been an enthusiastic Royalist in the Civil War and had amassed heavy debts as a result. When the Restoration came he was - like so many loyal supporters - rewarded with honours rather than cash, being made a Knight of the Bath in 1661. In the same year he obtained an act of parliament allowing him to sell part of his settled estate. He died shortly afterwards, probably in 1663, leaving a widow and a son and daughter. His son, Sir Edward Bashe (c.1653-1708), was educated at Cambridge and married in 1671 to Anne Wade of Battles, Manuden (Essex). He inherited a poor financial position from his father, and it seems to have got rapidly worse, so that in 1678 he was obliged to sell the remainder of the Stanstead Bury estate. In 1677, he is recorded as joining the army as an ensign, but there is no record of his promotion and his career was probably brief. By 1698 he was said to have sold all his property, and to be 'very poor', and he was involved in a series of legal cases about his wife's interest in the Battles estate. With his death without issue in 1708 and that of his widow in 1714, the line of the landowning Bashes came to an end.

Stanstead Bury, Stanstead Abbotts, Hertfordshire

The house as it stands is a complex and confusing building, with work of successive periods so overlaid one upon another that very little of the medieval and 16th century house is now apparent. Fortunately, the house has been thoroughly investigated by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, and the account that follows is largely a precis of their analysis.

The manor belonged to Waltham Abbey until 1531, and the oldest part of the present house - the 15th century west end of the south range - was presumably built by the abbey or one of its tenants. The surviving work of this date seems to be part of a open hall house with a crown post roof (although the tie beams and crown posts do not survive). In 1531 the manor was exchanged with the Crown for lands in Essex, and soon afterwards Henry VIII gave Stanstead Abbotts to Anne Boleyn, although it reverted to the Crown after Anne's execution in 1536. The estate was, however, let, first to John Rodes (c.1522-42) and later to Philip Paris. It was most probably Rodes who made the first known alterations to the house, building a brick range to the east of, and at right-angles to, the earlier hall, with a principal floor built above an undercroft. The depth of the block (22 feet) suggests it may have been built as a new hall range, which would imply a complete reworking of the older house to provide new service accommodation. In 1556 it was said that 'the manor place is in decay and will ask much reparation in timber and tiling', and in 1559 Queen Elizabeth I granted the estate to Edward Baesh (c.1507-87). He evidently restored and extended the house, for in 1571 and 1576 he was able to entertain the Queen and her entourage at Stanstead. Baesh's addition, perhaps of 1563 (the date on some reset stained glass) was a large square block to the north, probably comprising a parlour with a great chamber above and a cellar below. A timber-framed stair turret containing a fine newel stair provided access between the floors. Baesh was probably also responsible for the construction of a two-storey gatehouse, entered through a four-centred arch.

Stanstead Bury: an engraving of the house from the east by J. Drapentier, published in Chauncy's history of Hertfordshire in 1700.
Note the gatehouse on the left and the second house peeking out from behind the main building.
At some point in the late 16th or early 17th century, a second house was built next to the main building. Although examples of this 'one site, two houses' arrangement are found occasionally in vernacular buildings - for example where two brothers inherited a farm jointly and built separate houses for their families - it is almost unheard of in high status buildings, where it would be more usual to provide separate apartments within a single structure, or to build two houses a substantial distance apart. The principal rooms of the second house were evidently on the first floor, for a view of c.1800 shows large mullioned and transomed windows on the upper floor, and four light mullioned windows on the ground floor. The appearance implies a 16th century origin for the building, with later improvements to the upper floor, perhaps in the early 17th century. It is possible that the second house was constructed originally to form additional lodgings in order to accommodate the royal retinue when Queen Elizabeth visited; an alternative context would be that it was built to provide a home for Edward Baesh's widow Jane (d. 1614), who is known to have remained at Stanstead Bury after her husband's death.

Stanstead Bury: the house in 1798, before the demolition of the second house and the reconstruction of the south wing.
Image: Historic England/estate of A.G. Trower.
Sir Ralph Baesh paid tax on 35 hearths in 1662 and two years later his widow paid tax on 39 hearths, so the two buildings together made a very substantial property. The Baesh family sold the house in 1678 to Sir Thomas Field (d. 1689), and his son Edward Field remodelled the north range to create a new, regular, seven bay east front in the first years of the 18th century. His facade has a three-bay centre supporting a pediment and dormer windows with alternate triangular and segmental pediments. Inside, a fine large staircase hall occupies the left hand two bays of the new block, with a drawing room in the centre and a dining room beyond it.

In 1794 the house was sold away from its estate to George Porter, from whom it passed to Capt. Robert Jocelyn RN, and it was probably he who remodelled the eastern end of the south front as a three bay two-storey block with floor levels matching those of the 18th century block. It had a three-bay south front with windows in arched recesses, and a new entrance which continued in use as the main front door until 1930. Jocelyn is also believed to have demolished the second house to the south-west.

Stanstead Bury: the west (entrance) front today, with the semi-timbered staircase tower on the right.

Stanstead Bury: the east front today, with the service wing of 1930-31 on the right.
The house was advertised to let in 1833, when it was said to have 'recently undergone a most complete and thorough repair in every respect, painted, papered. etc. in very superior style, and furnished in [a] corresponding manner', and it continued to be let throughout the 19th century. Between 1842 and 1852 it was a 'hydropathic establishment', but after that it passed to the Trower family as private tenants, who in 1907 bought the freehold. In 1930-31, Sir William Gosselin Trower carried out extensive alterations, including building a new service wing north of the existing house and moving the entrance from the south side to the west front. The house remains the property of the Trower family today.

Descent: Waltham Abbey exchanged 1531 with the Crown; granted 1532 to Anne Boleyn (d. 1536), Marchioness of Pembroke and later second wife of King Henry VIII; reverted to Crown on her attainder and execution; granted 1559 to Edward Baesh (c.1507-87); to son, Ralph Baesh (d. 1598); to son, Sir Edward Baesh (1594-1653), kt.; to kinsman, Sir Ralph Bashe (c.1623-c.1663), KB; to son, Sir Edward Bashe (c.1653-1708), kt., who sold 1678 to trustees for Sir Thomas Field (d. 1689), kt.; to son, Edmund Field; to son, Thomas Field (1701-19); to brother, Edmund Field (1704-29); to brother, Paul Field (1711-83); to first cousin once removed, William Henry Feilde (1755-1833); house sold separately from manor in 1794 to George Porter; sold 1802 to Capt. Robert Jocelyn RN (d. 1806); to son, Robert Salusbury Jocelyn (1780-1812); to mother, Elizabeth Jocelyn (d. 1817);to daughter, Caroline Mary (d. 1854), wife of Lt-Col. John Powell ffoulkes (1770-1826), who let the house from 1833. The tenant from 1852 was Capt. Edward Spencer Trower (d. 1896), whose son, Sir Walter Trower (1853-1924), kt. bought the freehold in 1907; to son, Sir William Gosselin Trower (1889-1963), kt.; to son, Anthony Gosselin Trower (1921-2005); to son, Jonathan Charles Gosselin Trower (b. 1958).

Baesh alias Bashe family of Stanstead Bury


Baesh, Edward (c.1507-87). Parentage uncertain, but possibly the eldest son of Richard or Robert Bashe of Worcester, evidently a shoemaker or shoehorn maker, and his wife Joyce, daughter of Thomas Bolte of Worcestershire, born about 1507. Educated at Lyon's Inn (admitted c.1526) or Inner Temple. He began his career as an official in the service of Thomas Cromwell, and was appointed deputy Secretary of the Council for the Marches of Wales c.1538. By 1545 he was acting as one of the agents engaged in victualling the royal navy, and he became joint Surveyor of Victuals for the Navy in 1547 and Surveyor General in 1550; his appointment being confirmed for life in 1560. In 1565 he contracted to undertake the whole of the victualling for a fixed sum per head of naval personnel, and although this sum was increased in 1575 it proved insufficient and he was for a time heavily indebted to the Crown. He was Constable of Porchester Castle and lieutenant of Southbere Forest, 1557-60, and MP for Rochester, 1554, 1559, 1563 and for Preston, 1571. JP for Hertfordshire from c.1556, and for Middlesex from 1562; High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, 1571-72 and 1584-85. He married 1st, 30 November 1538 at St. Dionis Backchurch, London, Thomasine (fl. 1567), daughter of [forename unknown] Ager*, and 2nd, 1567x1574, Jane (d. 1614), daughter of Sir Ralph Sadler (1507-87) of Standon (Herts), and had issue by his second wife, with three daughters who probably died young, as they are not mentioned in his will:
(2.1) Ralph Baesh (d. 1598) (q.v.);
(2.2) William Baesh; living in 1587 but said to have drowned under London Bridge.
He purchased Rye House in the 1540s and was granted the manor of Stanstead Abbotts in 1559, and also acquired a town house in London and estates in other counties, most of which he re-sold. He remodelled and enlarged the house at Stanstead Bury, where he twice entertained Queen Elizabeth, in 1571 and 1576.
He died 2 May 1587, and was buried at Stanstead Abbotts, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved in the PCC, 17 October 1587 and an inquisition post mortem was held in 1587. His first wife was living in 1567. His widow died 7 April 1614 and was buried with her husband; her will was proved in the PCC, 19 May 1614.
* Thus in the parish register, although it was recorded in later centuries as Baker, which is perhaps the result of aural corruption and the substitution of a familiar name for a more unusual one.

Baesh, Ralph (d. 1598). Elder son of Edward Baesh (c.1507-87) and his second wife, Jane, daughter of Sir Ralph Sadler of Standon (Herts). He married, 1586, when they were probably both children, Frances (d. 1653), daughter of Sir Edward Carey (d. 1618), kt., of Aldenham (Herts), Master of the Jewel House, and had issue:
(1) Ralph Baesh; died in infancy;
(2) Edward Baesh (1594-1653) (q.v.);
(3) William Baesh; probably died young;
(4) Frances Baesh (d. 1596); died in infancy, 20 July 1596.
He inherited the Stanstead Bury estate from his father in 1587.
He died 8 May 1598 and was buried at Stanstead Abbotts, where he is commemorated by a plaque on his father's monument. His widow married 2nd, 3 March 1605 at Aldenham (Herts), Sir George Manners (c.1580-1641) of Fulbeck (Lincs) and The Savoy, Westminster (Middx), later 7th Earl of Rutland, but had no further issue; she died 16 March 1653.

Baesh, Sir Edward (1594-1653). Second, but first surviving son of Ralph Baesh (d. 1598) and his wife Frances, daughter of Sir Edward Carey, kt., master of the Jewels 1595-1618, of Aldenham (Herts), born at Aldenham, 1 January 1594. After his father's death, he became a ward of his maternal grandfather, Sir Edward Carey, but was brought up mainly by his stepfather, Sir George Manners (later 7th Earl of Rutland), who was no doubt responsible for his election to parliament. Educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge (matriculated 1608). He was knighted, 6 June 1616. MP for Lincoln, 1614, Stamford, 1628-29 and Grantham, 1640. Chamberlain of the Exchequer, 1625-53. JP for Hertfordshire, 1626-37, after which he was removed for non-attendance. By a deed of 1635 he endowed a free grammar school and a row of almshouses in Stanstead Abbotts. He was named by the king as a commissioner of array in 1642, and his estate in London and Hertfordshire was sequestrated in 1643, but recovered after he paid fines and charges totalling £800; he thereafter maintained a position of neutrality during the Civil War. He married 1st, Sara, daughter of David la Maire of Aldgate, London, a foreign merchant, and 2nd, 24 April 1633 at St Botolph, Bishopsgate, London, Mary (b. c.1614), daughter and co-heir of Sir Charles Montagu of Cranbrook, Barking (Essex), but had no issue.
He inherited the Stanstead Bury estate from his father in 1598, and came of age in 1615. In 1620 he purchased the adjoining Rye House estate. After his death without issue the whole estate passed to his kinsman, Sir Ralph Bashe (c.1623-c.1663).
He died 12 May 1653 and was buried at Stanstead Abbotts; his will was proved in the PCC, 28 May 1653. His first wife died between 1618 and 1633. His widow is said to have married 2nd, one of his Carey cousins, but neither her remarriage nor her burial have been traced.

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Baesh, Nicholas (d. 1591). Parentage uncertain, but possibly a younger son or grandson of Richard or Robert Bashe of Worcester, shoemaker or shoehorn maker, and his wife Joyce, daughter of Thomas Bolte of Worcestershire, and thus the brother or nephew of Edward Baesh (c.1507-87) of Stanstead Bury. He married, in or before 1563, Dorothy (fl. 1591), daughter of William Tooke (1508-88) of Popes (Herts), auditor of the Court of Wards and Liveries, 1544-88, and had issue:
(1) Edward Bashe (fl. 1590-1625) (q.v.),
He lived at Stanstead St. Margarets (Herts).
He died in February 1590/1; an inquisition post mortem was held in 1591. His widow married 2nd, 1591 (licence 18 November) Robert Booth (fl. 1616), but her burial has not been traced.

Bashe, Edward (fl. 1590-1635). Son of Nicholas Baesh (d. 1591) of Stanstead St. Margaret's (Herts) and his wife Dorothy, daughter of William Tooke of Popes (Herts), auditor of the Court of Wards and Liveries. He married 1st, [forename unknown] Duncombe, and 2nd, 29 June 1620 at Widford (Herts), Frances Wright of Northampton, and had issue:
(2.1) Edward Bashe (c.1621-c.1645); educated at St Catherine's College, Cambridge (admitted 1639); died unmarried aged 24 and was buried at Stanstead Abbotts;
(2.2) Sir Ralph Bashe (c.1623-c.1663) (q.v.);
(2.3) Philadelphia Bashe; married, before 1648, Michael Lilly of Great Parndon (Essex) and Yardley (Herts), and had issue one daughter.
He lived at Stanstead St. Margarets (Herts).
He died between 1635 and 1653. His first wife died before 1620. His second wife's date of death is unknown.

Bashe, Sir Ralph (c.1623-c.1663), kt. Son of Edward Bashe (fl. 1590-1635) of Stanstead St. Margaret's and his second wife Frances Wright of Northampton, born about 1623. Educated at St Catherine's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1639). He was a Royalist in the Civil War and was suspected of complicity in Sir George Booth's uprising in 1659, when his estate was sequestered briefly. As a result, he accumulated many debts, in recognition of which he was made a Knight of the Bath at the Coronation of King Charles II, 1661. He married, c.1650, Anne (b. 1622), daughter of Edward Skipwith of Gosberton (Lincs), and had issue:
(1) Sir Edward Bashe (c.1653-1708) (q.v.);
(2) Anne Bashe (d. c.1700?); married Sir William Duncombe (1658-1706), 2nd and last bt., of Tangley (Surrey) but died without issue; she predeceased her husband but her date of death has not been traced.
He inherited the Stanstead Bury estate from his cousin, Sir Edward Baesh, in 1653, and in 1661 obtained an Act of Parliament allowing him to sell part of the estate to the value of £300 a year.
He died between 1662 and 1664 and was buried at Stanstead Abbotts; his will is said to have been proved in 1664. His widow was living in 1673.

Bashe, Sir Edward (c.1653-1708), kt. Son of Sir Ralph Bashe (c.1623-c.1663) and his wife Anne, daughter of Edward Skipwith of Gosberton (Lincs), born about 1653. Educated at St John's College, Oxford (matriculated 1668) and Grays Inn (admitted 1670); also admitted at Cambridge University, 1668, and awarded an MA there in 1682. He was knighted at Whitehall, London, 20 March 1671/2. An officer in the army (Cornet, 1677) who was 'employed about the Charles galley at Tangiers', 1677. He was permanently short of money and had sold all his real estate by 1698, when he was described as 'very poor'. He married, 1671 (licence 26 July), at the Savoy Chapel, Anne Wade (c.1650-1714) of Battles, Manuden (Essex), but had no issue.
He inherited the Stanstead Bury estate from his father in about 1663, but sold it in about 1676 to Edward Field of Marden (Herts).
He was buried at Manuden (Essex), 26 October 1708. His widow was buried at Manuden, 14 May 1714.

Principal sources

VCH Hertfordshire, vol. 3, 1912, pp. 366-73; J.T. Smith, English Houses 1200-1800: the Hertfordshire evidence, RCHME 1992, pp. 131-32; J.T. Smith, Hertfordshire Houses: a selective inventory, RCHME 1993, pp. 179-81; Sir J. Baker, The men of court, 1440-1550, 2012, vol. 1, p. 276; J. Bettley, Sir N. Pevsner & B. Cherry, The buildings of England: Hertfordshire, 3rd edn., 2019, p. 532; History of Parliament biographies of Edward Bashe (d. 1587) and Sir Edward Baesh (1594-1653); Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article on Edward Baeshe (d. 1587).

Location of archives

No significant accumulation of records is known to survive.

Coat of arms

Per chevron, argent and gules, in chief two cocks sable in base a saltire or. [NB Some earlier blazons give moorhens rather than cocks.]

Can you help?

  • As noted at the head of this article, the genealogical information for this family is unusually deficient, and I should be most grateful to anyone who can provide additional information from reliable sources. 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.
  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide portraits of any of the people whose names appear in bold above.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 16 October 2021.

Monday, 11 October 2021

(270) Aldous of Freston House and Chediston Hall

Aldous of Fressingfield etc. 
The genealogy of the Aldous family can be traced continuously from William Adams (d. c.1531) of Fressingfield (Suffk), in which village they were yeomen and minor gentry over several generations. William's great-grandson, Richard Aldous (1578-1656) settled at nearby Wingfield (Suffk), and his descendants were prosperous farmers who owned or leased properties in Wingfield, Hoxne and Stradbrooke through the 17th and 18th centuries: their social apogee was probably achieved when R
ichard Aldous (1686-1751), rented Wingfield Castle from Sir Charles Turner in the early 18th century. Their arms were recorded at the herald's visitation of 1664, but were subsequently respited, which probably implies a perceived decline in the family's social status, and Jonathan Aldous (1714-86) of Hoxne and Tannington was described simply as 'farmer'.  Jonathan's great-grandson, James Aldous (1802-68), moved to London, where he was working as a blacksmith in the dockyards of the East End by the 1820s, when he married Elizabeth Bugg, the daughter of another smith.

Their son, James Robert Aldous (1827-76), with whom the genealogy below begins, was thus born into pretty humble circumstances, but in his relatively short life he achieved a considerable reversal of the family fortunes. He became a salesman for J. & W. Nicholson, the London gin distillers (who are still in business), and was recorded in several documents as a commercial traveller. By 1867, however, he had become a partner in the firm, which suggests that he was an exceptionally good salesman, whose loyalty the firm needed to reward. It was probably this partnership which enabled him to send two of his sons to Cambridge University and to leave at his death a personal estate of £35,000. Although he left this property to his widow for life, with the capital to be divided equally between his children on his death, the family seem to have agreed a different arrangement, as his widow lived on until 1913, and by 1893 we know that each of the five sons had received money from their father's estate.

Of the five sons, the eldest, James Edward Aldous (1855-1920), became a barrister; he lived in London and married but had no children. The second son, Ralph Aldous (1857-93), went to Australia but came back and farmed in Surrey with a friend until he was killed in a shooting accident. The three remaining sons went into the brewing industry, and of these it was the eldest, Hugh Graham Aldous (1859-1930), who was the most successful, becoming managing director of Mitchell & Aldous at the Kilburn Brewery in north London until he retired in 1920.
Gedding Hall: aerial view in 2014.
In 1910 he obtained a regrant of the family coat of arms, and in 1924 he bought the spectacular moated Gedding Hall in Suffolk, although he lived to enjoy it for only six years. His three sons sold Gedding in 1933, but after the Second World War his youngest son, Guy Travers Aldous (1906-81), a barrister, settled at Freston House, which his wife's parents had bought in 1934. The eldest of the three brothers, James Robert Travers Aldous (1898-1985), pursued a career in the army, retiring in 1950 as a Brigadier-General. He bought Hitcham House (Suffk) in 1952, and his widow continued to live there until 1993. Freston House was occupied by Guy Aldous' widow and then his daughter until she sold it in about 1998, moving to a smaller property in Freston village.

Guy Aldous' eldest son, James Aldous (1933-2010), bought the Chediston Hall estate in Suffolk in 1969. The Tudor and 19th century house here had sadly been demolished in 1955, but James built a much smaller new house to act as a centre for the estate, which remains the property of his family today.

Freston House, Suffolk

Freston House: engraving of the house in 1854, showing it before the addition of the bow windows.
The house was built in the early 1850s as the rectory for the Rev. Alfred Bond (1827-1908), whose father had been the rector here until his death in 1831, and whose elder brother was the major local landowner. Alfred was the incumbent from 1853 until 1880, but it is possible that the house was built in anticipation of his being presented to the living as the family owned the advowson and could therefore ensure his appointment on the death or resignation of the existing incumbent. This is suggested by an engraving published in 1854 which shows the house complete. As first built it was a plain square three storey building given an Italianate air by wide oversailing eaves and a low pitched roof. The east and west fronts had three bays, and the north front two widely-spaced ones; a lower service wing lay on the south side. The house was altered by the addition of two canted bay windows on the north front and another two on the east front in about 1870

Freston House: the east front and service wing from an early 20th century postcard.
In 1887-88 a new rectory was built nearby, and this building passed into private ownership. It seems to have been little altered in the 20th century, but the present owners have built a large extension onto the south end of the house, more than doubling it in size, and have laid out a fine garden, which is occasionally open to the public under the National Gardens Scheme.

Descent: built c.1853 for Rev. Alfred Bond (1827-1908); sold by Church Commissioners c.1890 to Herbert Jervis-White-Jervis (1858-1934); sold after his death to Stuart Paul (1879-1961) of Freston Lodge for use of his daughter Elizabeth Angela (1910-89), wife of Guy Travers Aldous (1906-81); to daughter, Elizabeth Aldous (b. 1947), who sold c.1998 to Alfred Johnson Elbrick (b. 1938); sold 2004 to Andrew & Judith Whittle.

Chediston Hall, Suffolk

The house stands about halfway between the village of Chediston and the neighbouring town of Halesworth. An archaeological survey of the site did not reveal any evidence of medieval occupation, so it seems likely that the medieval manor house was in the village, and that the first house on this site was a timber-framed building of Tudor date, perhaps built for Walter Norton (d. 1609), whose father, Robert Norton (d. 1561), acquired the estate in about 1550. The Nortons sold the estate during or just before the Civil War to Sir John Pettus, a prominent Royalist, whose estate was sequestrated by the Parliamentarians, although he recovered it on payment of a fine of £886. In 1722, the estate was sold to Walter Plumer (d. 1746), and an estate map which was made at the time shows the Tudor house to have had a traditional E-plan form, with long wings projecting either side of a central hall range, and enclosing a courtyard which was closed on the fourth side by a high wall with large gates. There was a full-height porch in the centre of the hall range. Walter Plumer was said in 1735 to have 'lately rebuilt the Hall in a beautiful Manner and made it his seat', but later estate maps still show the E-plan. It seems likely that what Plumer did was to demolish the enclosing wall on the fourth side of the courtyard, shorten the wings, and provide new fenestration and new interiors, while retaining the basic E-plan form. He may also have laid out a garden, as a long rectangular canal in the grounds today is thought to be 18th century.

Chediston Hall: aerial view of the Tudor house altered by Edward Blore in 1932.
Chediston descended to William Plumer (d. 1822), being described in 1819 as 'now a farmhouse'. Plumer's widow married a Capt. Lewin and then the author Robert Ward, who took the additional name Plumer. He first mortgaged the estate to a company which exceeded its limited powers to hold land, with the result that the estate escheated to the Crown. The Crown regranted the estate to Ward, who then sold it in 1833 to George Parkyns (d. 1845), a scion of the Parkyns family of Bunny Hall (Notts), who is said to have rebuilt the house in neo-Jacobean style. This 'rebuilding' was again more in the nature of a remodelling than a complete reconstruction. Designs are known to have been prepared by Edward Blore, and although none of his known schemes was followed exactly, it seems possible that he was also responsible for the final design. The timber-framed building was encased in white bricks, and the full-height porch with polygonal angle-turrets was probably rebuilt. The house was given a battlemented parapet and string courses between the floors.

Chediston Hall: view of the house from the south-west.
After Parkyns' death it came to light that his title was defective, as he had been born in France and under the law as it then stood, was technically an alien and incapable of holding land in England, so the property again escheated to the Crown. The situation was regularised by the Crown regranting the property to Parkyns' daughter and heiress, Madame Marie Claire Leguen de Lacroix, who was naturalised as a British subject, and it then passed uneventfully to her descendants until the mid 20th century, although it was generally let to tenants. During the Second World War the house was requisitioned for military use, and was apparently badly damaged by a fire while being used to house Italian prisoners of war. After the war, the estate is said to have been acquired by Sir Bernard Docker's London Metropolitan Railway Co., but the house was not lived in again and was demolished in 1955.

Chediston Hall: the modern house of 1969. Image: Charles Aldous.
In 1969, the estate was bought by James Aldous (1933-2010). He built a new house as a centre for the estate to the designs of R.G. Carter (Norwich) Ltd. in 1969-70, which is essentially a five-bay, two storey block of red brick with a rear wing. The house is solidly constructed and pleasantly light and airy inside. The slightly broader central bay is fenestrated as three narrow bays, which gives a nod to a Georgian composition, but the proportions and materials of the building are otherwise entirely contemporary and urban. 


Descent: sold c.1550 to Robert Norton (d. 1561); to son, Walter Norton (d. 1609); to son, Henry Norton (d. 1638); sold after his death to Sir John Pettus; sold after 1662 to George Fleetwood (d. c.1695); to widow; to son, Gustavus Fleetwood (d. 1722); sold after his death to Walter Plumer (d. 1746); to brother, William Plumer (d. 1768); to son, William Plumer (d. 1822); to widow, who married Capt. Lewin and then Robert Ward (later Robert Plumer Ward); sold 1833 to George Parkyns (d. 1845); seized by Crown but regranted 1846 to Marie Claire Leguen de Lacroix...Eugene Jean Louis Leguen de Lacroix (d. 1936)...sold c.1950 to Sir Bernard Docker (London Metropolitan Railway Co.) and demolished; site sold 1969 to James Aldous (1933-2010), who built a new house; to widow, Sally Aldous.

Aldous family of Freston Hall and Chediston Hall


Aldous, James Robert (1827-76). Son of James Aldous (1802-68), blacksmith, and his wife Elizabeth Bugg, born 26 February, and baptised* at St George in the East, Tower Hamlets, 25 March 1827. A traveller for J. & W. Nicholson & Co., gin distillers, who presumably functioned as the firm's sales manager; he became a partner by 1867. He married, 13 July 1854, Rebecca Susannah Crawte (1828-1913), daughter of Edward Thomas Scoones of East Farleigh (Kent), blacksmith, and had issue:
(1) James Edward Aldous (1855-1920), born 7 April and baptised at Dalston (Middx), 13 June 1855; educated at Sherborne School and Queens' College, Cambridge (matriculated 1874; BA 1878; MA 1919) and Inner Temple (admitted 1878; called 1881); barrister-at-law on the South-Eastern Circuit; examiner to the Inns of Court, 1887; married, 27 August 1907 at All Saints, Battersea Park, London, Agnes (1865-1949), daughter of William Clark, but had no issue; died 24 October 1920 and was buried at Putney Vale Cemetery; will proved 17 December 1920 (estate £5,231);
(2) Ralph Aldous (1857-93), born 26 March and baptised at Dalston, 14 October 1857; spent some time in Australia but returned to England and became a gentleman farmer at Dormansland (Surrey) in partnership with Frank Woodin from about 1889; died unmarried as the result of a shooting accident or possible suicide, 4 November 1893;
(3) Hugh Graham Aldous (1859-1930) (q.v.);
(4) Thomas Duncan Aldous (1861-1921), born 5 July 1861; consulting brewer; married, 20 January 1887 at St John the Evangelist, Clifton, Bristol (Glos), Blanche Mary (1861-1942), daughter of Harry Joseph Manley, Bank of England clerk, but had no issue; died 12 November 1921; will proved 20 December 1921 (estate £8,095);
(5) Elizabeth Mary Rebecca Aldous (1863-1957), born 11 September and baptised at St Mary, Islington (Middx), 18 November 1863; married, 2 July 1895 at St Mary, The Boltons, Kensington (Middx), Rev. John Theodore Thomas Robinson (1864-1939), vicar of St Michael, Highgate (Middx), son of Rev. Charles Edward Robinson of Torquay (Devon), and had issue three children; died aged 93 on 25 January 1957; will proved 3 June 1957 (estate £376);
(6) Arthur George Aldous (1867-1942), born 3 January 1867; educated at Sherborne and Hertford College, Oxford (matriculated 1886; BA 1890; MA); hop merchant; married, 17 April 1902, Alice Maude (d. 1944), daughter of Edward Mackenzie Young of Adelaide, South Australia, and had issue one daughter; died 27 February 1942; will proved 11 May 1942 (estate £11,615);
(7) Edith Anne Aldous (1870-1958), born 24 September 1870; spent much of her life in mental hospitals and died unmarried at The Priory, Roehampton (Surrey), 15 April 1958; administration of goods (with will annexed) granted 28 November 1958 (estate £4,652).
He lived in the Hackney and Islington area of north London. His widow moved to Earls Court (Middx).
He died 7 December 1876; his will was proved 8 January 1877 (effects under £35,000). His widow died 29 September 1913; her will was proved 4 November 1913 (estate £485).
* James Robert was baptised as the child of James and Elizabeth Bugg, but in 1837 his father swore an affidavit that the name should have been entered as Aldous. James and Elizabeth Aldous were in fact married at Finsbury (Middx) on Christmas Day, 1825.

Aldous, Hugh Graham (1859-1930). Third son of James Robert Aldous (1827-76) and his wife Rebecca Susannah Crawte, daughter of Edward Thomas Scoones of Barming (Kent), born 15 May and baptised at All Saints, Haggerston (Middx),28 August 1859. Educated at Sherborne School and the Royal School of Mines, Cornwall. Managing director of Mitchell & Aldous, brewers at Kilburn Brewery (Middx) (retired 1920), and Vice-President of the Institute of Brewing; he became a member of the Institute's 'Laboratory Club' and was a pioneer in the application of scientific methods to brewing. He obtained a regrant of the family coat of arms in 1910. He married, 20 January 1898 at St Mary, The Boltons, Kensington (Middx), Catherine May Inez (1868-1946), only daughter of Maj-Gen. Richard Henry Travers, and had issue:
(1) Brig. James Robert Travers Aldous (1898-1985) (q.v.);
(2) Maj. Hugh Francis Travers Aldous (1900-79), born 30 September and baptised at St Mary, The Boltons, Kensington (Middx), 2 November 1900; educated at Cheltenham College; an officer in the Royal Engineers (2nd Lt., 1919; Lt., 1921; Capt., 1930; Maj. by 1938; retired disabled 1946); Associate Member of Institution of Electricial Engineers; married 1st, 27 June 1928 at St Peter, Pimlico, Westminster (Middx) (div. 1937), Aline Hester Vernon (1906-92), eldest daughter of William Evelyn Long of Hurts Hall (Suffk), and had issue one son and two daughters; married 2nd, 29 August 1941, Emily (1914-2008?), eldest daughter of Frank Watkinson of Scarborough (Yorks), and had further issue one son; died Apr-Jun 1979;
(3) Guy Travers Aldous (1906-81) (q.v.).
He purchased Gedding Hall (Suffk) in 1924, but it was sold by his executors in 1933.
He died 17 July 1930; his will was proved 17 October 1930 (estate £22,318). His widow died 9 March 1946 and was buried at Gedding; administration of her goods was granted 19 October 1946 (estate £2,873).

Aldous, Brigadier James Robert Travers (1898-1985). Eldest son of Hugh Graham Aldous (1859-1930) and his wife Catherine May Inez, only daughter of Col. Richard Henry Travers, born 5 October and baptised at St Mary, The Boltons, Kensington (Middx), 12 November 1898. Educated at Cheltenham College, Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and (after the First World War) at Magdalene College, Cambridge. An officer in the Royal Engineers (2nd Lt., 1916; Lt., 1917; Capt., 1925; Maj., 1934; Lt-Col., 1941; Col., 1944; Brig. 1948; retired 1950); awarded MC, 1918, appointed CBE, 1946 and awarded King Haakon VII Liberty Cross (Norway), 1949. DL for Suffolk, 1964; High Sheriff of Suffolk, 1969-70; County Councillor, 1952 and County Alderman, 1962 for West Suffolk; Vice-Chairman of West Suffolk County Council; member of East Anglian Regional Hospital Board, 1959. As a young man he was a member of the Oxford University Arctic Expedition of 1924, and he became a member of the Alpine Club, 1932. Author of Family Notebook (1964), about the Morse family and its links to the Pasteurs. He married, 31 October 1925, Nancy Corona JP (1902-93), only daughter of Sir George Henry Morse of Thorpe St. Andrew (Norfk), and had issue:
(1) Pamela Nancy Aldous (1926-2019), born 16 July 1926; married, 16 June 1956, Henry Anthony Lillingston (1925-2017), youngest son of Lt-Col. Edward George Grey Lillingston DSO of Salcombe (Devon) and had issue one son and two daughters; died aged 92 on 14 February 2019; will proved 4 September 2019;
(2) Inez Rosemary Aldous (1928-2013), born 13 July 1928; educated at Cheltenham Ladies College, Girton College, Cambridge (MB, 1955; BCh; DCH, 1958; DPH) and St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London; admitted LRCP, 1954; involved in controversial testing programme for measles vaccine, c.1960, and later physician in public health service; died unmarried, 30 September 2013; will proved 18 March 2014;
(3) Col. James Graham Aldous (b. 1942), born 4 October 1942; educated at Eton; an officer in the army (2nd Lt., 1963; Lt., 1966; Capt., 1969; Maj., 1975; Lt-Col., 1980; Col., 1989; retired 1997); awarded OBE, 1988; married, 13 December 1969, Susan Elizabeth Harding (b. 1944) and had issue two sons and three daughters; now living.
He lived bought Hitcham House (Suffk) before 1952; it was sold after his widow's death in 1993.
He died 11 July 1985; his will was proved 30 January 1986 (estate £172,174). His widow died 24 December 1993; her will was proved 1 February 1994 (estate £545,109).

Aldous, Guy Travers (1906-81). Third son of Hugh Graham Aldous (1859-1930) and his wife Catherine May Inez, only daughter of Col. Richard Henry Travers, born 30 August and baptised at St Mary, The Boltons, Kensington (Middx), 23 October 1906. Educated at Harrow, Trinity College, Cambridge (BA; LLB) and the Inner Temple (admitted 1926; called 1930; bencher, 1963); barrister-at-law specialising in patent and tax law (QC 1956; retired from bar, 1967). Director of Showerings Ltd., 1968-81; Master of Suffolk Hunt, 1958-60, and of Essex & Suffolk Hunt, 1967-76. He married, 22 September 1932, Elizabeth Angela (1910-89), daughter of Stuart Paul of Freston Lodge (Suffk), and had issue:
(1) James Aldous (1933-2010) (q.v.);
(2) Rt. Hon. Sir William Aldous (1936-2018), kt., born 17 March 1936; educated at Harrow, Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1957; MA 1960) and Inner Temple (called 1960; bencher, 1983); barrister-at-law (QC 1976); chairman of the Performing Rights Tribunal, 1986-88; a judge of the Chancery division of the High Court, 1988-95; a Lord Justice of Appeal, 1995-2003, and a Lord Justice of Appeal for Gibraltar, 2005-15; knighted, 1988 and sworn of the Privy Council, 1995; lived at Layham Lodge, Lower Layham (Suffk); chairman of British Eventing, 2005-06; married, 3 September 1960, Gillian Frances (fl. 2021), only daughter of John Gordon Henson CBE of Boothby Graffoe (Lincs), and had issue one son and two daughters; died 17 March 2018; will proved 19 July 2018;
(3) Thomas Aldous (b. 1938), of Steeple Claydon (Bucks), born 5 July 1938; educated at Harrow; director of Gillman & Spencer Ltd of Ipswich, brewers; married, 31 March 1962, Serena Margaret Clare (b. 1941), daughter of Col. Michael George Howard Henley CBE of Maunditts Park Farm, Little Somerford (Wilts), and had issue one son and one daughter; now living;
(4) Charles Aldous (b. 1943), born 3 July 1943; educated at Harrow, University College, London (LLB) and Inner Temple (called 1967); barrister-at-law (QC 1985); bencher of Lincoln's Inn, 1993; married, 17 May 1969, Hermione Sara (b. 1944), daughter of Montague George de Courcy-Ireland of Abington Pigotts Hall (Cambs), and had issue one son and three daughters;
(5) Elizabeth Aldous (b. 1947), born 23 April 1947; farmer; lived at Freston House, which she sold c.1998, and later in the village; chairman of Freston Parish Council.
His father-in-law bought Freston House (Suffolk) in 1934 and he lived there until his death, after which it was occupied by his widow and daughter.
He died 4 August 1981 and was buried at Freston; his will was proved 12 February 1982 (estate £399,729). His widow died 2 June 1989 and was also buried at Freston; her will was proved 17 January 1990 (estate £964,511).

Aldous, James (1933-2010). Eldest son of Guy Travers Aldous (1906-81) and his wife Elizabeth Angela, daughter of Stuart Paul of Freston Lodge (Suffk), born 16 October 1933. Educated at Harrow. An officer in the Prince of Wales' Dragoon Guards (Lt.); director of Paul's Foods Ltd, Ipswich (to 1969); farmer at Chediston Hall estate (from 1969) and a member of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists. He married, 2 April 1960, Dorothy Sarah (k/a Sally), elder daughter of Richard Peter Heywood of Manor Farm, Ingoldisthorpe (Norfk), and had issue:
(1) Peter James Guy Aldous (b. 1961), of Bonners Farm, Wissett (Suffk), born 26 August 1961; educated at Harrow and Reading Univ. (BSc, 1982); chartered surveyor in private practice in Norwich and Ipswich, 1983-2010; member of Suffolk County Council, 2001-05; Conservative MP for Waveney, 2010-date;
(2) Robert John Aldous (b. 1963), born 7 October 1963; educated at Harrow, Girton College, Cambridge (MA) and Inner Temple (called 1985); barrister-at-law in Norwich; married, 10 October 1998, Helen E., daughter of Edmund Charles Prinn, and has issue two sons;
(3) Simon Henry Aldous (b. 1972), born 20 June 1972; educated at Harrow; married, 2002, Vicky I. Cowley, and had issue one son and one daughter.
He purchased the Chedington Hall estate and built a new house there in 1969-70, funded in part by the sale of two Elizabeth farmhouses on the estate.
He died 28 July 2010; his will was proved 18 May 2011. His widow is now living.

Principal sources
Burke's Landed Gentry, 1965, pp. 7-9; P. Reid et al, Burke's & Savills Guide to Country Houses: vol. 3, East Anglia, 1981, p. 222; W.M. Roberts, Lost country houses of Suffolk, 2010, pp. 56-57

Location of archives
No significant accumulation is known to survive.

Coat of arms
Argent, a chevron between three parrots rising gules, on a chief sable, as many mullets of the first, pierced.

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 11 October 2021. I am most grateful for the encouragement of Charles Aldous to prepare this post.

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

(470) Bazley of Hatherop Castle, baronets

Bazley of Hatherop Castle 
This family owes its rise to wealth and a baronetcy to the cotton industry in and around Manchester in the early 19th century. Thomas Bazley (1773-1845), with whom the genealogy below begins, was a cotton manufacturer and merchant at Bolton. His five sons all followed him into different branches of the cotton trade, but it was his eldest son, later Sir Thomas Bazley (1797-1885), 1st bt., who was the most successful. He formed a partnership with Robert Gardner in 1826 which operated the New Bridge Mills, Manchester and Dean Mills, Bolton. Gardner retired from the partnership in 1847 and Bazley continued alone, building the firm up to be the largest fine spinning concern in the city by 1861.
New Bridge Mills, Manchester in the 1850s. Image: Salford Art Gallery
Both partners were Liberals with a strong concern for the welfare of their workforce, and at Dean Mills they created an influential model community which was widely visited in the mid 19th century, attracting the attention of Prince Albert and Benjamin Disraeli among others. Bazley's political activism led him to be a significant figure in the Anti-Corn Law movement in the 1840s and in the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. In 1858 he became one of the MPs for Manchester, and soon afterwards he decided to retire from business and concentrate on his political objectives, which included the introduction of a nationwide system of non-sectarian education, achieved in 1870. He was made a baronet on the nomination of Gladstone in 1869. Sir Thomas invested the capital realised from the sale of his business in the purchase of landed estates in Gloucestershire, where he bought and rebuilt Eyford Park near Stow-on-the-Wold for his own use and acquired the significantly larger Hatherop Castle near Fairford for his only son.
Eyford Park: the house built for Sir Thomas Bazley c.1870.
Hatherop was to remain the property of his descendants for the next century, but Eyford was sold after his death in 1885 and again rebuilt in the early 20th century. Since the estate belonged to the Bazley family for such a short period, an account of it is reserved for a future post on the Cheetham family.

Sir Thomas was succeeded in the baronetcy by his only son, Sir Thomas Sebastian Bazley (1829-1919), 2nd bt., who was educated at Cambridge but then entered his father's business. He married the daughter of his father's former partner in 1855 and lived for more than a decade at Agden Hall, Lymm (Ches.), which he apparently rented, although he invested quite heavily in remodelling the house and laying out the grounds to the designs of Edward Kemp. When his father sold the family business, he did not stay on to work under the new owners but retired to the life of a country gentleman at the house his father bought for him, Hatherop Castle. Here he was able to pursue his interest in mathematics and astronomy, and to practice ornamental wood-turning, about which he wrote two books in the 1870s. His wife, who had borne him one son and five daughters, died in 1890, and in 1899, when death duties were first raised to a significant level, he decided to hand over the estate to his son during his lifetime: if he made the gift more than seven years before his death, no duty would be payable. Although this early example of tax avoidance was successful in the sense that he survived the seven year gift period, his son, Gardner Sebastian Bazley (1863-1911) predeceased him, so that in effect the capital event was simply brought forward!

G.S. Bazley's heir was his son, Sir Thomas Stafford Bazley (1907-97), 3rd bt., who came of age in 1928 and lived at Hatherop until the house was requisitioned for military use in 1941. He was married in 1945 but the prospects of returning to live at Hatherop Castle in the pre-war manner must have seemed remote, and in 1946 he leased the house for use as a girls' secondary school and went to live at Eastleach Downs Farm on the estate, where he became a pioneer of organic farming. He sold the freehold of Hatherop Castle to the school in 1972, but retained the rest of the estate intact, maintaining a close control over the villages of Hatherop and Eastleach, so as to preserve the rural way of life and community spirit, until he died in 1997. His children, wishing to honour his lifelong commitment to the integrity of the estate but needing to realise its capital value, sold it in 2002 to the locally-based Ernest Cook Trust, which already owned the adjacent Fairford Park estate.

Hatherop Castle, Gloucestershire

The manor of Hatherop, which belonged to Lacock Abbey until the Dissolution of the Monasteries, was sold by the Crown to Sir William Sharington, and then passed to the Earl of Pembroke before being bought in 1553 by the tenant of fifteen years’ standing, John Blomer. Rudge’s statement that John Blomer built a new house ‘early in the reign of Elizabeth’ is untenable, since Blomer died in 1558, the year of Elizabeth’s accession, but the style of the house depicted in Kip’s view of c.1710 suggests it may well have been John’s son, William Blomer (d. 1613), who built it – perhaps not long after he inherited.

Hatherop Castle: detail of the Kip print showing the medieval and 16th century house.
Kip’s view shows the 16th century house had a main front facing north with a projecting porch-tower in the centre. To the right of this lay the hall and parlour, each with bay windows, while to the left lay an irregularly fenestrated service block of two storeys with three gabled dormers. This range was lower than the rest of the house and probably earlier in origin, as was the low square tower behind the hall/parlour range, the crenellated top of which appeared above the hall block and also above the west front of four gables. In 1672 the house was taxed on 25 hearths, making it one of the larger gentry houses in the county at that time.

Hatherop Castle: a pencil drawing of the garden front in 1829, showing clearly the old tower which was embedded in the later house.
Image: Gloucestershire Archives D3849
Hatherop remained in the Blomer family until 1686, when William Blomer died and the estate devolved upon his sister, the wife of Sir John Webb of Great Canford in Dorset. The Webbs regarded Canford as their main seat, although some later members of the family lived at Hatherop. The family were staunch Roman Catholics, as the Blomers before them had been, and maintained a priest at Hatherop who ministered to a sizeable local congregation.

In the 1770s Samuel Rudder recorded that a later Sir John Webb ‘had a noble house’ at Hatherop, ‘but not making it his constant residence, ‘tis too much neglected and the offices and gardens are falling to ruin’. By the time Rudder’s account was published in 1779, it was already out of date, for in 1778 Webb had agreed with Samuel Blackwell of Williamstrip Park that ‘whereas the grounds of their two houses adjoin, and whereas plans for improvements have from time to time been proposed by each to the other, and whereas the improvements have in part taken place, but some, including [pulling down Hatherop Mill], making a new lake and new plantations, had not been carried out’, they should execute a scheme drawn out by Richard Woods, one of the earliest rivals of Capability Brown, who developed a large practice in southern England from the 1750s onwards, working very largely for Catholic clients. The plan, which does not survive, appears to have been at least partially carried into effect, for landscaping is evident in early 19th century views of both estates and in the park at Williamstrip today.

Hatherop Castle: the entrance front of the house in 1985. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

At his death in 1797, Sir John Webb left his estates at Canford and Hatherop to his granddaughter, Lady Barbara Ashley Cooper (1788-1844). In 1814, she married William Ponsonby, who was created 1st Baron de Mauley in 1838. He rebuilt Canford Manor to the designs of Edward Blore in 1826-36, but two years after his wife died in 1844 he sold the Canford estate to Sir John Guest, the Merthyr Tydfil ironmaster. Rebuilding at Hatherop began in 1848, and may have been prompted by a serious fire in 1844, although according to a family history, the Ponsonbys simply found the house “unpleasant to live in”, and decided to pull most of it down and rebuilt it on a larger scale. By the time Lord de Mauley died in 1855, work was nearing completion to the designs of Henry Clutton, a young architect who had trained in Edward Blore’s office. Hatherop was a rewarding commission for Clutton, taking eight years to complete and costing just over £20,000, but his work was pedestrian and uninventive. Very little of the main part of the old house was retained, beyond the idea (not the actual masonry) of the original tower behind the north and west ranges, rebuilt to somewhat slimmer proportions and a storey higher. This originally had a crenellated parapet which was removed by 1975. The original fabric of the exterior of the eastern service wing was retained, although internally, it was entirely rebuilt. Generally, the proportions of architectural features on the north entrance front were retained, especially the three-storey porch, but otherwise the rebuilding was to an entirely new design.

Hatherop Castle: garden front from the sale particulars of 1867. Image: Gloucestershire Archives RR155.2
Externally, the most successful elevation was the relatively well-articulated south front, where the tower and the medieval-style octagonal kitchen (modelled on the abbot's kitchen at Glastonbury) both added variety to the composition. The enlarged plan provided the sequence of reception rooms considered necessary for a Victorian nobleman: the porch on the north front led directly into a double-height hall (a feature the previous house probably never possessed), which was given a Jacobethan ceiling and chimney-piece. The staircase lay west of the hall, the billiard room to the east, while along the south front were dining and drawing rooms and a garden entrance hall. The west front was occupied entirely by a long library and ante-room. All these rooms had heavy and elaborate decoration, and were permeated by an almost stygian gloom, since the fenestration was inadequate, the rooms deep and the decoration dark. The service accommodation was also greatly enlarged, and arranged around a courtyard.

Hatherop church. Image: Historic England.
Hatherop church, which adjoins the house and dates from 1854-55, is also a product of the collaboration between de Mauley and Clutton. It replaced a late medieval church, and is architecturally much more successful than the house. Clutton, who was at that time in partnership with William Burges, seems to have asked Burges to design the mortuary chapel. It is profoundly influenced in its design and detailing by the contemporary publication, the Dictionnaire Raisonné de L’Architecture Française du XIe au XVIe Siècle, by Viollet-le-Duc.  Burges was probably also responsible for the carved animals on the hoodmould stops over the carriageway arch at the east end of the house.

Hatherop Castle: the garden front c.1890, when it was owned by Sir T.S. Bazley. Image: Oxford City Libraries.
The house had hardly been completed before Charles Ponsonby, 2nd Baron de Mauley, sold it to his brother, Ashley Ponsonby MP, who in turn sold it in 1862 to the Maharajah Dhuleep Singh of Lahore. The maharajah lived here for five years while Elveden Hall in Suffolk was being turned into an Indian extravaganza for him by John Norton. When he sold it in 1867, the Prince of Wales considered the purchase of Hatherop as a country seat, but finally settled on Sandringham, apparently because of the better shooting, and Hatherop was sold to Sir Thomas Bazley, 1st bt., a Lancashire cotton magnate. for the use of his son, Thomas Sebastian Bazley. A summer house was added to the north-west corner of the forecourt in 1885 to celebrate T.S.  Bazley’s inheritance of the family baronetcy, and in 1900 the estate was handed on to the next generation. Gardner Sebastian Bazley (1863-1911) employed Walter Cave to create an Italian garden, but unfortunately he died in 1911, leaving as heir a child of four, who eventually succeeded his grandfather as Sir Thomas Stafford Bazley, 3rd bt., in 1919. A large and unexpectedly successful mural on the main staircase was painted in 1936-7 by the Danish artist Karin Leyden for the third baronet.

In 1941, Hatherop Castle was requisitioned by the Government and used as a training school for the Danish resistance. In 1946 Hatherop Castle became a girls’ boarding school, the building being at first leased from Sir Thomas Bazley, and the freehold being bought in 1972. By 1992 changes in the market for boarding education led the school to close and reopen as a nursery and preparatory school, a purpose which it continues to fulfil today.

Descent: Crown granted 1548 to Sir William Sharington (c.1495-1553), kt.; sold 1552 to William Herbert (d. 1570), 1st Earl of Pembroke; sold 1553 to John Blomer (d. 1558), tenant since 1538; to son, William Blomer (d. 1613); to son, Sir Henry Blomer (d. 1624); to brother, John Blomer (d. 1638); to widow, Frances Blomer (d. 1657); to son, John Blomer (d. 1685); to brother, William Blomer (d. 1686); to sister Mary (d. 1709), wife of Sir John Webb (d. 1700), 2nd bt.; to son, Sir John Webb (d. 1745), 3rd bt.; to son, Sir Thomas Webb (d. 1763), 4th bt.; to son, Sir John Webb (d. 1797), 5th bt.; to granddaughter, Lady Barbara Ashley Cooper (1788-1844), wife of William Francis Spencer Ponsonby (d. 1855), 1st Baron de Mauley; to son, Charles Frederick Ashley Cooper Ponsonby (1815-96), 2nd Baron de Mauley; sold to brother, Hon. Ashley George John Ponsonby MP (d. 1898); sold 1862 to Maharajah Duleep Singh of Lahore; sold 1867 to Sir Thomas Bazley (1797-1885), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Thomas Sebastian Bazley (1829-1919), 2nd bt.; given 1899 to son, Gardner Sebastian Bazley (1863-1911); to son, Sir Thomas Stafford Bazley (1907-97), 3rd bt., who leased it as a school from 1946 and sold the freehold to Hatherop Castle School, 1972.

Bazley family of Hatherop Castle, baronets


Bazley, Thomas (1773-1845). Son of John Bazley (1735-1815) of Warrington (Lancs) and his wife Elizabeth, born 15 January 1773. He was a merchant and cotton manufacturer, with mathematical and literary interests. He married, 10 July 1796 at Deane by Bolton (Lancs), Anne (k/a Nancy) (1770-1834), daughter of Charles Hilton of Horwich (Lancs), and had issue:
(1) Sir Thomas Bazley (1797-1885), 1st bt. (q.v.);
(2) John Hilton Bazley (1799-1860), baptised at Deane near Bolton (Lancs), 31 March 1799; merchant and warehouseman (bankrupt 1842); later emigrated to Philadelphia (USA); married, 2 July 1831 at Mottram-in-Longdendale (Ches.), Harriet Turner (d. 1853); buried at Philadelphia, 21 July 1860;
(3) Anne Bazley (1805-41), baptised at Bolton (Lancs), 21 April 1805; married, 5 February 1834 at St John, Deansgate, Manchester, Albert Hall (d. 1885), and had issue three sons and two daughters; buried at Stalybridge (Ches.), 17 April 1841;
(4) Martha Bazley (1809-89), baptised at Bolton, 25 June 1809; married, 1 May 1833 at St John, Deansgate, Manchester, George Bindloss (1806-56), and had issue one son and six daughters; buried at Harpurhey (Lancs), 5 July 1889;
(5) Robert Bazley (1811-45), baptised at Bolton, 11 August 1811; merchant in Manchester in partnership with his brother Henry; married, 2 October 1837 at St John, Deansgate, Manchester, Lucy (1816-88), daughter of John Kenworthy, carrier, and had issue two sons and three daughters; buried at St John, Deansgate, 6 September 1845; will proved in the PCY, January 1846 (effects under £14,000);
(6) Henry Bazley (1813-65), baptised at Bolton, 9 September 1813; cotton spinner and manufacturer in partnership with his brother Robert; married 1st, 16 August 1843 at Enschede (Netherlands), Justine Sophie (d. 1847), daughter of A. P. van de Siepkamp, and had issue one son and two daughters; married 2nd, 8 June 1853 at Wandsbeck near Hamburg (Germany), Lucy (1816-88), daughter of John Kenworthy, carrier, and widow of his brother, Robert Bazley (1811-45), and had further issue one son; died 5 December 1865; will proved 4 April 1866 (effects under £25,000);
(7) James Fairclough Bazley (1816-61), baptised at Bolton, 28 March 1816; yarn agent in Manchester; married, 3 December 1845 at Manchester Collegiate Church (now Cathedral), Sarah (1817-60), daughter of William Birch, engraver, and had issue two sons and four daughters; died 18 December 1861; will proved 27 February 1862 (effects under £4,000).
He lived at Bolton (Lancs) and also had a holiday residence at Lytham (Lancs).
He died at Lytham (Lancs), 6 June, and was buried at St John, Deansgate, Manchester, 11 June 1845; his will was proved 11 October 1845. His wife died 23 November and was buried at St John, Deansgate, 27 November 1834.

Bazley, Sir Thomas (1797-1885), 1st bt. Eldest son of Thomas Bazley (1773-1845) and his wife Anne (k/a Nancy), daughter of Charles Hinton of Horwich (Lancs), born 27 May and baptised at Deane by Bolton, 25 June 1797. Educated at Bolton Grammar School and then apprenticed to Messrs. Ainsworth & Co. of Bolton, 1812. In 1818 he started his own business as a yarn agent before in 1826 moving to Manchester where he formed a partnership with Robert Gardner to operate the New Bridge Mills and the Dean Mills at Halliwell, Bolton. Their firm specialised in fine spinning and linen thread and became the most extensive in this branch of Lancashire's textile industry, employing some 1400 hands in 1861. Gardner withdrew from the partnership in 1847 and Bazley continued alone until he sold the business to W.R. Callender in 1862 at the time of the cotton famine. Both partners were evangelical Anglicans, with a keen sense of responsibility for the welfare of their workers, and at Dean Mills they created a model community which became a much visited attraction. Bazley was a Liberal in politics and was active in local affairs. He was a director of Manchester Chamber of Commerce from the 1840s to 1880 and served as its President, 1845-59. He was also a significant figure in the Anti-Corn Law League, becoming one of the Liberal MPs for Manchester, 1858-80, and concerning himself particularly with the creation of a national system of secular education, realised under the Education Act of 1870. He was created a baronet, 30 November 1869, on the recommendation of Gladstone. Prince Albert, who visited Dean Mills, asked him to joint the Royal Commission for the Great Exhibition of 1851, and he went on to serve on the commissions for the Paris exhibitions of 1855 and 1867, as a result of which he was appointed to the French Legion d'honneur. He was a JP for Lancashire and later for Gloucestershire. He married, 2 June 1828 at Abergavenny (Mon.), Mary Maria Sarah (1801-97), daughter of Sebastian Nash, calico printer, of Clayton Mills (Lancs), and had issue:
(1) Sir Thomas Sebastian Bazley (1829-1919), 2nd bt. (q.v.).
He lived in Manchester. From 1860 he rented Tolmers Park, Shenley (Herts), which was convenient for London. After selling his company in 1862 he invested his capital in the purchase of estates in Gloucestershire, where he acquired Eyford Park for his own use and Hatherop Castle for his son.
He died at his summer residence, Riversleigh, Lytham (Lancs) on 18 March, and was buried next to his father at St John, Deansgate, Manchester, 23 March 1885; his will was proved 27 April 1885 (effects £91,977). His widow died aged 96 on 22 August 1897; her will was proved 26 October 1897 (effects £9,159).

Sir Thomas Sebastian Bazley, 2nd bt. 
Bazley, Sir Thomas Sebastian (1829-1919), 2nd bt.
Only child of Sir Thomas Bazley (1797-1885), 1st bt. and his wife Mary Maria Sarah, daughter of Sebastian Nash, calico printer of Clayton Mills (Lancs), born 30 April and baptised at St John, Manchester, 23 June 1829. Educated at a boarding school in Bootle (Lancs) and at Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1848; BA 1852; MA 1866). He initially entered his father's firm but left when the business was sold and became a gentleman of leisure. JP for Cheshire and JP and DL for Gloucestershire; High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, 1874-75. He was evidently of a mathematical turn of mind, and published The stars in their courses (1878) and two books on ornamental turning (1872, 1875) of which he was briefly an enthusiastic amateur. He became a freeman of the city of London in 1876. He married, 1 November 1855 at St George, Hanover Sq., Westminster (Middx), the daughter and principal heiress of his father's partner, Elizabeth (1827-90), daughter of Robert Gardner of Chaseley, Manchester, and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Mary Bazley (1857-1940), born 1 July 1857; married, 1883, Gen. Sir Edward Pemberton Leach VC (1847-1913), of the Royal Engineers, second son of Lt-Col. Sir George Archibald Leach KCB, and had issue one son (killed in First World War) and two daughters; died 9 January 1940; will proved 1 April 1940 (estate £15,867);
(2) Annie Caroline Bazley (1862-1944), born 25 February and baptised at Rostherne (Ches), 6 April 1862; married, 16 February 1887 at Hatherop, Frederic Pocock Bulley (1857-1940) of Lullingworth, Painswick (Glos), son of Frederic Bulley, President of Magdalen College, Oxford 1855-85, and had issue one son and four daughters; died 25 June 1944; will proved 9 November 1944 (estate £7,477);
(3) Gardner Sebastian Bazley (1863-1911) (q.v.);
(4) Frances Annette Ellen Bazley (1865-1945), born 3 July and baptised at Rostherne, 13 August 1865; married 5 June 1892 at Hatherop, Dr. Richard Assheton FRS (1863-1915), second son of Ralph Assheton of Downham Hall and Cuerdale (Lancs), and had issue one son and two daughters; died 19 June 1945; will proved 28 August 1945 (estate £3,864);
(5) Jessie Marion Atkinson Bazley (1867-1947), born 31 July and baptised at East Barnet (Herts), 27 August 1867; married, 20 April 1911, Rev. Frederick Douglas Bateman (d. 1933), vicar of Ampney St Mary (Glos) and later rector of Minchinhampton (Glos), but had no issue; died 8 June 1947; will proved 6 October 1947 (estate £7,620);
(6) Lucy Maud Mary Bazley (1869-1960), born 15 March and baptised at Hatherop, 31 May 1869; married, 27 July 1898 at Hatherop, Robert Dimsdale (1865-1950) of Ravenshill, Eastleach (Glos), third son of Robert Dimsdale MP, Baron Dimsdale (a Baron of the Russian Empire), banker and politician, and had issue; died aged 90 on 24 February 1960; will proved 29 September 1960 (estate £5,880).
He leased Agden Hall, Lymm (Ches.), 1855-67, but then moved to Hatherop Castle (Glos) which his father bought for his use. He gave Hatherop to his son in 1900, and spent his later years at Bournemouth and Kilmorie, Torquay - the latter a large villa which became an hotel after his death and was demolished in the 1960s.
He died aged 89 on 6 January and was buried at Hatherop, 10 January 1919; his will was proved 31 May 1919 (estate £229,690). His wife died 1 May 1890; her will was proved 4 June 1890 (effects £47,341).

Bazley, Gardner Sebastian (1863-1911). Only son of Sir Thomas Sebastian Bazley (1829-1919), 2nd bt., and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Gardner of Chaseley, Manchester, born 14 October and baptised at Rostherne (Ches.), 6 December 1863. Educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford (matriculated 1882; BA 1886; MA 1889) and Inner Temple (admitted 1885; called 1888). Barrister-at-law. JP (from 1889), DL (from 1899) and County Councillor for Gloucestershire; High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, 1901-02. He served in the 3rd (militia) battn of the Yorkshire Regiment (Lt., 1886; resigned 1889) and the 4th (militia) battn. of the Gloucestershire Regiment (Capt., 1889; resigned 1895). He married, 5 June 1903 at Holy Trinity, Brompton (Middx), Ruth Evelyn (d. 1962), elder daughter of Sir Edward Stafford Howard of Thornbury Castle (Glos), and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Rachel Bazley (1904-80), born 6 January and baptised at Hatherop, 24 February 1904; married, 16 October 1930, Christopher Evelyn Blunt OBE (1904-87) of Ramsbury Hill (Berks), merchant banker and numismatist, second son of Rev. Arthur Stanley Vaughan Blunt OBE, vicar of Ham (Surrey) and elder brother of the art historian and spy, Anthony Blunt, and had issue one son and two daughters; died 19 May 1980; will proved 31 July 1980 (estate £147,237);
(2) Frances Catherine Ruth Bazley (1905-85), born 16 December 1905 and baptised at Hatherop, 20 January 1906; mildly eccentric and unconventional artist; married, 8 January 1932 at Hatherop, Richard Arthur Warren Hughes OBE (1900-76) of Laugharne (Pembs), poet, playwright and novelist, second son of Arthur Hughes (1861-1905), and had issue two sons and three daughters; died 9 May 1985; will proved 14 August 1985 (estate £63,748);
(3) Sir Thomas Stafford Bazley (1907-97), 3rd bt. (q.v.);
(4) Rachel Constance Bazley (1909-94), born 2 May and baptised at Holy Trinity, Brompton, 18 June 1909; married, 25 January 1939 at Hatherop, (Edward John) Ronald Bennett (1902-77), farmer and racehorse trainer, son of Rev. Edward Herbert Bennett of Rendcomb (Glos), and had issue four sons and one daughter; died 2 December 1994; will proved 13 February 1995 (estate £188,632);
(5) Anthony Gardner Bazley (1911-37), born 4 June and baptised at Hatherop, 2 July 1911; farmer at Dean Farm, Fairford (Glos); an officer in 5th (militia) battn, Gloucestershire Regiment (2nd Lt., 1931); married, 9 February 1934, Anne (1913-2008) (who m2, 1 July 1944, Francis Philip Raphael Howard (1905-99), 2nd Baron Howard of Penrith), daughter of John Beaumont Hotham, and had issue two daughters; died in London, 23 May 1937 and was buried at Hatherop; will proved 31 July 1937 (estate £78,080).
He was given Hatherop Castle by his father in 1900 with a view to avoiding death duties. His widow and her second husband lived latterly at Quenington (Glos).
He died in the lifetime of his father, following an operation for appendicitis, 22 June, and was buried at Hatherop, 27 June 1911; his will was proved 12 September 1911 (estate £310,999). His widow married 2nd, 2 September 1913 at St Margaret, Brighton (Sussex), Cdr. Francis Charles Cadogan RN (d. 1970) and had further issue; she died 14 March 1962.

Bazley, Sir Thomas Stafford (1907-97), 3rd bt. Elder son of Gardner Sebastian Bazley (1863-1911) and his wife Ruth Evelyn, elder daughter of Sir Edward Stafford Howard of Thornbury Castle (Glos), born 5 October and baptised at Hatherop, 10 November 1907. Educated at Harrow and Magdalen College, Oxford. In the Second World War he served with the intelligence services and the Ministry of Information. He was an early pioneer of organic farming and founded Marigold Health Foods.  He married, 15 October 1945, Carmen Odette (1923-2009), only daughter of Jacinto Tulla of London W11, and had issue:
(1) Sir Thomas John Sebastian Bazley (b. 1948), 4th bt., born 31 August 1948; educated at St. Christopher's School, Letchworth (Herts) and Magdalen College, Oxford (BA); lives in Notting Hill, London W2; unmarried and without issue;
(2) Catherine Elisabet Annemarie Bazley (b. 1950), born 16 August 1950;
(3) Virginia Isabella Marged Bazley (b. 1953), born 19 April 1953;
(4) Anthony Martin Christopher Bazley (b. 1958), born 23 February 1958; heir presumptive to baronetcy; married, 27 April 1996, Claudia Patricia Montoya Cano, daughter of Ovidio Montoya of Colombia, and has issue one son and one daughter;
(5) John Francis Alexander Bazley (b. 1961), born 23 February 1961; married, 2005, Vanessa A. Clarke.
He inherited the Hatherop Castle estate on the death of his father in 1911. The house was requisitioned for military use during the Second World War and in 1946 he leased it for use as a girls' secondary school. The school bought the freehold in 1972. Sir Thomas lived latterly at Eastleach Downs Farm, from which the estate continued to be run until 2002 when his children sold it to the Ernest Cook Trust, with a view to preserving the character and sense of community in the villages of Hatherop and Eastleach.
He died 14 April 1997; his will was proved 13 June 1997. His widow died 19 October 2009; her will was proved 28 June 2010.

Principal sources

Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 2003, p. 297; Gloucestershire Life, April 1973, pp. 46-48; VCH Glos, vii, 1981, p. 91; P. Hunting, ‘Henry Clutton’s country houses’, Architectural History, 1983, pp. 96-104; D. Jaques, Georgian gardens, 1984, p. 83; Fiona Cowell, ‘Richard Woods: a preliminary account’, Garden History, xiv (2), 1986, pp. 85-119; xv (1), 1987, pp. 19-54; A. Coghlan, Hatherop Castle: a history, 1999; D. Verey & A. Brooks, The buildings of England: Gloucestershire - The Cotswolds, 1999, pp. 406-07; N.W. Kingsley, The country houses of Gloucestershire, vol. 1, 1500-1660, 2nd edn, 2001, pp. 112-13; N.W. Kingsley, The country houses of Gloucestershire, vol. 3, 1830-2000, 2001, pp. 156-58; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry for Sir Thomas Bazley, 1st bt.

Location of archives

Gardner & Bazley, cotton manufacturers: miscellaneous letters and papers, 1832-62 [Bolton Archives & Local Studies, ZHB]
Bazley family of Hatherop Castle, baronets: deeds, estate and family papers, 1515-1987 [Gloucestershire Archives, D540, D1924]

Coat of arms

Per pale, azure and sable, a bee volant or between three fleurs-de-lys argent.

Can you help?

  • If anyone can supply photographs of the interior of Hatherop Castle before it became a school, I should be very pleased to see them.
  • 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 5 October 2021.