Thursday 21 February 2013

(3) Abbott of Hendon Place, Barons Tenterden

Abbott, Barons Tenterden 
Sir Charles Abbott (1762-1832), 1st Baron Tenterden, a lawyer of humble origins who rose to become Lord Chief Justice of the Kings Bench, purchased the Hendon Place (Middx) estate in 1824.
  His son, John Henry Abbott (1796-1870), 2nd Baron Tenterden, made alterations to the house after inheriting it in 1832, but in 1862 sold the estate for building, and the family did not thereafter have a country house.

Hendon Place alias Tenterden Hall, Middlesex

A house later called Hendon Place was built in Parson Street for the abbots of Westminster, and was originally known as the Parsonage.  It was finished in 1326 and was built by Westminster Abbey workmen; in 1540 it contained a chapel on the ground floor. Cardinal Wolsey stayed there on his last journey to the north of England in 1530 and Queen Elizabeth I was a visitor in 1566, 1571, and 1576, when the Herberts were in possession, and again in 1594, when Sir John Fortescue was the tenant. In 1593 the building was called Hendon House and styled the manor-house.  It was described as pleasantly situated on a slope and large enough to entertain the king c. 1640, and had 23 hearths in 1664; in the 18th century it was said to have contained a fine gallery.  The estate was then a compact block of lands bordered by Parson Street, Finchley Lane, and Dollis brook, together with some fields in Finchley, and contained 132 a.  

In 1730 the estate was bought by Thomas Snow, a London goldsmith and banker, and either he or his son, who inherited in 1748, pulled down the old house and rebuilt it. Snow himself seems to have lived at Mill Hill, and the new house was leased out, first to the Earl of Northampton, and by 1774 to William Aislabie (c.1700-81) of Studley Royal. 

Hendon Place: alternative design by Robert Adam for new front, 1776. Image: © Sir John Soane’s Museum, London Adam volume 30/82.

Hendon Place: alternative design by Robert Adam for new front, 1776. Image: © Sir John Soane’s Museum, London Adam volume 30/81.

Hendon Place: watercolour showing the house as remodelled by Robert Adam for William Aislabie, 1776.
Image: © London Metropolitan Archives, Environs of London Collection.
Aislabie obtained designs (now in the Soane Museum) from Robert Adam for refronting the house in 1776, and later drawings and photographs suggest the work was carried out to a variant of these proposals. The executed scheme had a five bay, two-and-a-half storey centre with a central three-bay pediment. The ground floor was treated as a rusticated basement and supported a giant order of Corinthian columns that embraced the upper floors. To either side of the centre were three-bay single storey wings that continued the design of the basement, with six over six pane sash windows recessed within arches. Adam also supplied designs for the erection of a greenhouse and for the design of a ceiling, but it is not clear whether these were executed. The house continued to be leased until George Snow sold it in 1808.

Hendon Place: the loose representation of the house in its landscaped setting, made in the brief period when it was the seat of James Warre, c.1810.

By 1816, when the house was unoccupied, a large ballroom had been added. Further additions and alterations, including raising the height of the wings, were made by John Henry Abbott, 2nd Lord Tenterden of Hendon (1796-1870), after 1832, when the house became known as Tenterden Hall, but in 1862 he sold the estate for building. The house was used as a school in the 20th century, and Archbishop Trevor Huddleston (1913-98) and the actor and radio presenter, Nicholas Parsons (1923-2020), were among the pupils.  The school closed in the mid 1930s and the house was demolished in 1936.

Hendon Place from an old postcard, c.1910

Descent: Abbots of Westminster to c.1540; granted 1541 to bishop of Westminster; reverted to Crown on suppression of the see, 1550; granted 1550 to William Herbert, later 1st Earl of Pembroke (1506-70); probably settled 1569 on second son, Sir Edward Herbert (d. 1595); to son, William Herbert, 1st Baron Powis (d. 1656)... by c. 1640 it was in the hands of the Crown; sold to William Nicholl (d. 1645); to Paul Nicholl (1618-82); to son, John Nicholl (c.1644-1711); to son John Nicholl (1683-1746) who sold 1721 to John Edwards, a London merchant; to daughter Susanna, wife of William Sneyd of Bishton (Staffs.), who sold 1730 to Thomas Snow (1682-1748), a London goldsmith; to son, Robert Snow (1720-72); to son, George Snow of Langton (Dorset) (d. 1822) who sold 1808 to James Ware or Warre, who sold 1811 to John Carbonell; sold 1824 to Lord Chief Justice Sir Charles Abbott, later 1st Baron Tenterden of Hendon (1762-1832); to son, John Henry Abbott, 2nd Baron Tenterden (1796-1870), who sold 1862; grounds afterwards divided for building; the house later belonged to Sir Hugh Gilzean-Reid (1836-1911) and later became Tenterden Hall School.
Lessees: 1594: Sir John Fortescue (d. 1607). Mid-late 18th cent: Earl of Northampton; William Aislabie (c.1700-81); George Peters (fl. 1785-1807).

Abbott family of Hendon Place, Barons Tenterden

Charles Abbott,
1st Baron Tenterden
Abbott, Sir Charles (1762-1832),kt., 1st Baron Tenterden.  Second son of John Abbott (d. 1785) of Canterbury, hairdresser and wigmaker, and his wife Alice (d. 1793), daughter of Daniel Bunce of Canterbury, born 7 October 1762 at Canterbury (Kent) and baptised in Canterbury Cathedral, 26 October 1762.  Educated at King’s School, Canterbury (Captain of School, 1779); Corpus Christi College, Oxford (scholar, 1781; BA 1784; MA 1786; Chancellor’s Prize for Latin verse 1784; Chancellor’s Prize for English essay, 1786); Middle Temple (student 1787); transferred to Inner Temple (special pleader 1793; called to bar 1796). Fellow & Sub-Tutor of Corpus Christi College; junior Counsel to Treasury 1796-1806; Recorder of Oxford 1801; author of The law relating to merchant ships and seamen, 1802; in private practice as a barrister, 1806-16; Justice of the Common Pleas, 1816; Justice of Kings Bench 1816-18; Lord Chief Justice of Kings Bench 1818-32; sworn of the Privy Council, 1818; a Conservative in politics; a Governor of the Foundling Hospital, London.  He was knighted, 14 May 1816; and created Baron Tenterden of Hendon (Middx), 30 April 1827.   Described by contemporaries as a common-sense judge, having a mind and character peculiarly fitted for judicial office, a man of good habits of business and diligent reading, but in no respect a capacity more than ordinary; however ‘his unequalled diligence, his vast learning, perfect good temper and unspotted integrity constitute the highest praise that can be offered to a judge’.  He married, 13 July 1795 at Basildon (Berks), Mary (d. 1832), daughter of John Lagier Lamotte, of Grotto House, Basildon and his wife Mary and had issue:
(1) John Henry Abbott (1796-1870), 2nd Baron Tenterden (q.v.);
(2) The Hon. Mary Abbott (1798-1858), born 9 July 1798; died unmarried at Hendon Place, 9 August 1858;
(3) The Hon. Catherine Alice Abbott (1802-65), born 8 July 1802; married, 11 May 1839 at St George's, Hanover Square, London, Lt-Gen. Sir John Rowland Smyth KCB (1806-73), son of Grice Blakeney Smyth, and had issue, one daughter; died in London, 31 December 1865 and was buried at Brompton Cemetery (Middx), 6 January 1866;
(4) The Hon. Charles Abbott (1803-38) (q.v.).
He lived mainly in London at 28 Russell Square, but purchased the Hendon Place (Middx) estate in 1824.
He died at his house, 28 Russell Square, London on 4 November 1832, and  was buried in the chapel of the Foundling Hospital, where a monument was erected to his memory.  His will was proved 21 November 1832 (effects under £120,000). His wife died just a month after him, 20 December 1832, her death being 'accelerated by the recent loss of her lamented husband'.

Abbott, John Henry (1796-1870), 2nd Baron Tenterden.  Elder son of Charles Abbott (1762-1832), 1st Baron Tenterden, and his wife Mary, daughter of John Lagier Lamotte of Grotto House, Basildon (Berks), born 6 August 1796 and was baptised at St George the Martyr, Queen Square, London.  Educated at Balliol College, Oxford (matriculated 1814; BA 1818; MA 1821), and Inner Temple (called to bar 1825). Marshal and associate in the Court of Kings Bench c.1825-32. A Conservative in politics. He succeeded his father as 2nd Baron Tenterden, 4 November 1832. He was unmarried, and without issue.
He inherited the Hendon Place (Middx) estate from his father in 1832, and subsequently made alterations to the house there, but sold the estate for building development in 1862, after the death of his sister Mary, who had lived there. 
He died 10 April and was buried at Brompton Cemetery, 14 April 1870; administration of his goods was granted to the 3rd Baron's widow, 2 May 1908 (effects £551).

Abbott, The Hon. Charles (1803-38).  Younger son of Charles Abbott (1762-1832), 1st Baron Tenterden and his wife Mary, daughter of John Lagier Lamotte of Grotto House, Basildon (Berks), born 8 August and baptised 31 August 1803.  Educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1821, BA 1825). An officer in the Duchess of York’s Own (14th) Light Dragoons (Cornet 1826; Lt. 1829; retired 1833).  He married, 9 January 1834 at St Mary, Bryanston Sq., London, Emily Frances (1806-86), younger daughter of Rear-Admiral Lord George Stuart, and had issue:
(1) Charles Stuart Aubrey Abbott (1834-82), 3rd Baron Tenterden (q.v.).
He died at Brighton (Sussex), 17 December 1838; his will was proved in the PCC, 22 February 1839. His widow died 16 June 1886; her will was proved 31 July 1886 (effects £4,211).

Abbott, Sir Charles Stuart Aubrey (1834-82), 3rd Baron Tenterden, diplomat.  Only son of The Hon. Charles Abbott (1803-38) and his wife Emily Frances (d. 1886), daughter of Rear-Admiral Lord George Stuart, born 26 December 1834 at Dean Street, Mayfair. Educated at Eton, 1848-53. Clerk in the Foreign Office 1854; Secretary to the Garter Mission to Portugal 1865; précis writer at Foreign Office, 1866; Secretary to the Washington embassy, 1871; agent for settlement of the Alabama claims at the Geneva conference 1871-72; Assistant Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs 1871-73 and Permanent Under-Secretary 1873-82. He succeeded his uncle as 3rd Baron Tenterden, 10 April 1870, was appointed CB 1871 and KCB, 1878, and was a knight of the Tower and Sword of Portugal. He married 1st, 2 August 1859 at St Gabriel, Pimlico (Middx), his cousin Penelope Mary Gertrude (1840-79), daughter and heir of Lt-Gen. Sir John Rowland Smyth KCB (1806-73) and his wife Catherine Alice, daughter of Charles Abbott, 1st Baron Tenterden; he married 2nd, 13 January 1880 at St George, Hanover Square, Emma Mary (1843-1928), daughter of Charles Bailey (1796-1858) of Lee Abbey (Devon) and widow of Henry Rowcliffe QC (1822-78), and had issue:
(1.1) The Hon. Audrey Mary Florence Abbott (1862-1945), born 16 December 1861; married 1st, 30 March 1882, Maj. Robert Gordon Handcock (1849-1906) and 2nd, 8 July 1915, William Harry Nash (1848-1929), barrister, of Wood Lane House, Iver Heath (Bucks), but had no issue; died 24 November 1945; will proved 19 February 1946 (estate £7,422);
(1.2) The Hon. Geraldine Alice Ellen Abbott (1863-1919), born 30 September, and baptised at St Peter, Eaton Sq., Westminster (Middx), 25 November 1863; married, 6 October 1884 at Muree Punjab, Bengal (India), Lt-Col. Carbery Egan (1847-93), but had no issue; died 11 November 1919; will proved 28 January 1920 (estate £2,822);
(1.3) The Hon. Charles Stuart Henry Abbott (1865-1939), later 4th Baron Tenterden (q.v.);
(1.4) The Hon. Gwen Elca Violet Abbott (1868-91), baptised at St Peter, Pimlico, 28 April 1868; married, 20 March 1888, The Hon. Sir Edward Charles Macnaghten, 5th bt. (1859-1914), eldest son of Lord Macnaghten (1830-1913), and had issue one son; died 5 December and was buried at Brompton Cemetery, 9 December 1891.
He died of a cerebral haemorrhage at Nelson Cottage, Lynmouth (Devon), 22 September 1882, and was buried at Brendon (Devon); his will was proved 7 November 1882 (effects 1,394). His first wife died 30 March 1879; administration of her goods was granted to her husband's widow, 23 July 1908 (effects £242). His widow died at Monte Carlo, 21 May 1928, and was buried at Menton (France); her will was proved 10 July 1928 (estate £31,194).

Abbott, Charles Stuart Henry (1865-1939), 4th Baron Tenterden.  Only son of Sir Charles Stuart Aubrey Abbott, 3rd Baron Tenterden (1834-82) (q.v.) and his first wife, Penelope Mary Gertrude (1840-79), daughter of Lt-Gen. John Rowland Smyth, born 30 October 1865.  Educated at Eton (1879-80) and Trinity Hall, Cambridge (matriculated 1890).  Commissioned in York & Lancaster Regiment (Lt. 1886, resigned 1888; reappointed 1890; resigned 1894).  He succeeded his father as 4th Baron Tenterden, 22 September 1882. He married 10 January 1906 at Holy Trinity, Sloane St., London, Elfrida Charlotte (c.1887-1970), only daughter of Maj-Gen. Sir Alfred Turner KCB of Carlyle House, Chelsea and had issue:
(1) The Hon. Gwen Elfrida Penelope Abbott (1908-98), born 22 July and baptised at Holy Trinity, Chelsea, 15 August 1908; married, 1941, William Fischer (later Anglicised to Fisher) (1907-88); died at Hove, 10 March 1998; will proved 16 July 1998;
(2) The Hon. Charles Stuart Anthony Rowland Abbott (1909-28), born 25 July and baptised at Holy Trinity, Chelsea, 15 October 1909; died in the lifetime of his father, 14 March 1928; will proved 14 May 1928 (estate £329).
He died at Worthing (Sussex), 16 September 1939, when the barony of Tenterden became extinct, and was buried at Putney Vale Cemetery. His will was proved 3 November 1939 (estate £5,573) His widow died 12 May 1970; her will was proved 26 November 1970 (estate £4,487).


VCH Middlesex, vol. 5, 1976, pp. 16-20; Sir H.M. Colvin, A biographical dictionary of British architects, 1600-1840, 4th edn., 2008, p. 53; P. McGrandle, Trevor Huddleston, 2005, p.7;

Location of archives

Charles Stuart Aubrey Abbott, 3rd Baron Tenterden (1834-82), diplomat: corresp, 1873-82 [The National Archives, FO363]; letters and diplomatic memoranda, 1880-81 [British Library, Add MSS 64796]

Coat of arms

Purpure a pile wavy vairy or and gules; in base two water bougets fesswise of the second; on a canton argent a crozier erect azure.

Revision and acknowledgements

This account was first published 21 February 2013, and was revised 21 February 2015, 21 June 2017, 25 June 2018 and 12-13 July 2021.


  1. I'm delighted to find this page and see the photo of Hendon Place before its demolition. My ancestors were the Nicolls who lived there in the 17th and 18th centuries, although the connection was forgotten generations ago - all we had to go on was a gold sealing matrix which included the arms of Nicoll of Hendon Place. I've blogged about the background here:


  2. I too was delighted to happen across this page. My 5 x great grandfather, George Peters, purchased the long term lease of Hendon PLace in June 1781 for 2,330 guineas plus and annual rent of almost £200. I researched Hendon Place when writing my 2006 book about the illustrious life of George Peters (George Peters and His Descendants) who was for 30 years both Governor or Director of the Bank of England and was a very successful Russia Merchant and philanthropist amongst other things. On Thursday May 10th, 1798 an advertisement for Hendon House appeared in The Times: HENDON PLACE, MIDDLESEX – By Mr. Christie, At his Great Room in Pall Mall, on Wednesday, May 16th, at 1, A Spacious elegant LEASEHOLD VILLA, with roomy stabling, coach houses, numerous offices of every description, suited to the villa and farm, excellent kitchen garden, walled and cloathed with a great variety of choice fruit-trees, pinery, succession house, melon-pit etc; pleasure ground, elegant green-house, lawn, and rich meadows, refreshed and embellished with a river, bridge, etc. in the whole about 70 acres, principally surrounded by park paling, last the property and residence of GEO. PETERS, Esq. dec. desirably situated at Hendon, 7 miles from London, in the County of Middlesex; the surrounding country beautiful, and the roads excellent. A purchaser may be accommodated with the principal part of the elegant household furniture, and immediate possession. To be viewed with tickets, and printed particulars may be had 15 days prior to the sale, in Pall Mall, and at the Rainbow. Alistair Gordon, London

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