Thursday, 21 February 2013

(3) Abbott of Hendon Place, 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 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 on 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 Bishop Trevor Huddleston and the radio presenter, Nicholas Parsons, 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

Previous owners: 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 Lord 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), 1st Baron Tenterden, kt., lawyer.  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; Fellow & Sub-Tutor of Corpus Christi College), Middle Temple (student 1787) and Inner Temple (special pleader 1793; called to bar 1796); 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. 20 December 1832), daughter of John Lagier Lamotte, of Grotto House, Basildon and his wife Mary and had issue:
(1) The Hon. John Henry Abbott (1796-1870), later 2nd Baron Tenterden (q.v.);
(2) The Hon. Mary Abbott (1798-1858);
(3) The Hon. Catherine Alice Abbott (1802-65), married at St George's, Hanover Square, London, 11 May 1839, Lt-Gen. Sir John Rowland Smyth KCB (1806-73) and had issue, a daughter;
(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, aged 70, 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)

Abbott, John Henry (1796-1870), 2nd Baron Tenterden, lawyer.  Elder son of Charles Abbott, 1st Baron Tenterden (1762-1832) 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 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. 
He died unmarried, 10 April 1870, aged 74.

Abbott, The Hon. Charles (1803-38), soldier.  Younger son of Charles Abbott, 1st Baron Tenterden (1762-1832) 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); he obtained a commission as cornet in Duchess of York’s Own (14th) Light Dragoons (Cornet 1826; Lt. 1829).  Married 9 January 1834 Emily Frances (d. 1886), younger daughter of Rear-Admiral Lord George Stuart (d. 1841), and had issue:
(1) Charles Stuart Aubrey Abbott (1834-82), later 3rd Baron Tenterden (q.v.).
He died at Brighton (Sussex), 17 December 1838, aged 35.

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 took no part in politics. He was awarded CB 1871 and KCB, 1878; knight of the Tower and Sword of Portugal. He succeeded his uncle, John Henry Abbott, 2nd Baron Tenterden (1796-1870) as 3rd Baron, 10 April 1870. He married 1st, 2 August 1859 at St Gabriel, Pimlico, 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), widow of Henry Rowcliffe QC and daughter of Charles Bailey (c.1797-1858) of Lee Abbey (Devon) and had issue:
(1.1) The Hon. Audrey Mary Florence Abbott (1862-1945), married 1st, 30 March 1882, Maj. Robert Gordon Handcock (1849-1906) and 2nd, 8 July 1915, William Harry Nash (d. 1929), barrister of Wood Lane House, Iver Heath (Bucks); died 24 November 1945; will proved 19 February 1946 (estate £7,422);
(1.2) The Hon. Geraldine Alice Ellen Abbott (1863-1919), married, 1884, Lt-Col. Carbery Egan (d. 1893); 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), married, 20 March 1888, The Hon. Sir Edward Charles Macnaghten, 5th bt. (1859-1914), eldest son of Lord Macnaghten (1830-1913) and had issue.
He died of a cerebral haemorrhage at Nelson Cottage, Lynmouth (Devon), 22 September 1882, aged 47, and was buried at Brendon (Devon). His widow died at Monte Carlo and was buried at Menton.

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.  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, 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), m. 1941, William Fischer; died Jan-March 1998;
(2) The Hon. Charles Stuart Anthony Rowland Abbott (1909-28); died 14 March 1928; will proved 14 May 1928 (estate £329).
He died without surviving male issue on 16 September 1939 at Worthing (Sussex) and was buried at Putney Vale Cemetery.  On his death the barony of Tenterden became extinct.


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, vair, or and gules, between two water-bougets in base, of the second, on a canton, argent, a crosier erect, sable.

Revision and acknowledgements

This account was first published 21 February 2013, and was revised 21 February 2015, 21 June 2017 and 25 June 2018.


  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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