|Abney of Willesley|
Sir Thomas Abney, Lord Mayor of London in 1700, was a younger brother of Sir Edward Abney and acquired by marriage Abney House at Stoke Newington (Middx) which was begun by his father-in-law, John Gunston.
|Willesley Hall in 1831, from A descriptive and historical guide to Ashby-de-la-Zouch and the neighbourhood|
|Willesley Hall in the late 19th century, showing the additions of the 1840s. Picture courtesy of Matthew Beckett|
On Sir Charles' death in 1858 the estate passed to his kinswoman, Edith Maud Clifton (1833-74), 10th Countess of Loudoun in her own right, who took the name Abney-Hastings in lieu of Clifton. Her son, Charles Edward (1855-1920), 11th Earl of Loudoun, again changed his name (to Rawdon-Hastings), and in 1919 sold the house to a Nottingham solicitor, Major Ashworth, who made the house into an hotel and sold the park in 1921 to the local golf club, which retains it. The hotel closed in 1936, and the house then stood empty and decaying until it was finally pulled down in 1953. The park of 155 acres was laid out in the late 18th century, and included a majestic serpentine lake of 24 acres which reputedly drowned the former village of Willesley. The church, the facade of the stables and the lake still exist, and a statue of Diana still stands near the ninth hole of the golf course.
Abney House, Stoke Newington
|Abney House on the eve of demolition in 1845, from Old & New London|
|Watercolour by T.H. Shepherd of workmen removing the panelling|
from Dr. Watts' bedchamber during the demolition of Abney House, 1845
Abney family of Willesley
Lived at Willesley Hall.
Died 1 September 1550 and was buried at Willesley, with his wife.
Abney, George (d. 1578) of Willesley Hall. Son of John Abney (?1476-1550) (q.v.). He married 1st, Ellen Wolseley (d. 1571) of Wolseley (Staffs) and 2nd, Mary (fl. 1578) and had issue six sons and three daughters including:
(1.1) James Abney (d. 1620) (q.v.);
(1.2) Robert Abney (d. 1603) of Newton Burgoland (q.v.) [for whom see my post on the Abneys of Measham];
(1.3) Edmund Abney (d. 1604), mayor of Leicester in 1599; married, 1587, Catherine Ludlum and had issue two sons and three daughters; died 1 April 1604 and was buried at St Mary-de- Castro, Leicester, where he is commemorated by a later monument; his will was proved in the PCC, 25 June 1604;
(1.4) Ann Abney (fl. 1578); married a Mr. Hawsey and had issue;
(1.5) John Abney (fl. 1609); married, 29 October 1583 at Swepstone (Leics), Elizabeth Trowell, and had issue; living in 1609;
(1.6) Thomas Abney (fl. 1609); living in 1609;
(1.7) Walter Abney (d. 1630); buried at Packington (Leics).
He inherited Willesley Hall from his father in 1550.
He died 1 March 1578. His first wife died 3 December 1571. His widow's date of death is unknown.
Abney, James (d. 1620) of Willesley Hall. Eldest son of George Abney (d. 1578) and his wife Ellen Wolseley. He married Mary Milward and had issue including:
(1) George Abney (c.1565-1645) (q.v.);
(2) Ellen Abney, married Richard Adderley (c.1557-1641) of Coton Hall and had issue three sons and eight daughters;
He inherited Willesley Hall from his father in 1578.
His will was proved 7 April 1620. His wife's date of death is unknown.
(1.2) Susan Abney (1594-95), baptised at Barton-under-Needwood or Whittington (Staffs), 25 August 1594; died in infancy and was buried at Tatenhill (Staffs), 24 January 1594/5;
(1.3) Philip Abney (d. 1595); buried at Tatenhill, 16 July 1595;
(1.4) James Abney (1601-93) (q.v.);
(1.7) Elizabeth Abney (fl. 1643); living, unmarried, when her father made his will in 1643;
(1.8) Sarah Abney (fl. 1668); married Rev. Oliver Bromskill (c.1597-1668), a Puritan minister, rector of Loughborough (Leics), 1647-62, and had issue at least four sons and two daughters; living in 1668;
He inherited Willesley Hall from his father in 1620.
He died in 1645 and his will was proved 19 June 1646. His first wife died about 1610. His second wife's date of death is unknown.
Abney, James (1601-93), of Willesley Hall. Son of George Abney (c.1565-1645) (q.v.) and his first wife Margery, daughter of Michael Lowe of Tymore, baptised at Tatenhill, 31 January 1600/1. Educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (matriculated 1616) and Inner Temple (admitted 1619). Participated in the Royalist defence of Ashby Castle, 1642-46, but later favoured Parliament and served as a county commissioner for sequestrated estates and as High Sheriff of Derbyshire 1655-56. He married, 8 August 1625, Jane (d. c.1645), daughter of Edward Mainwaring (1577-1647) of Whitmore (Staffs) and had issue:
(1) James Abney (b. 1626), baptised at Whitmore, 8 October 1626; died young;
(3) George Abney (1629-62), baptised at Norton-juxta-Twycross (Leics), 4 March 1629; died without issue in the lifetime of his father, 1662;
(5) Sir Edward Abney (1631-1728) (q.v.);
(6) Sir Thomas Abney (1640-1722) (q.v.);
(7) Abigail Abney (c.1641-83), said to have been born about 1641; married, 14 September 1669 at Stretton-en-le-Field (Leics), Ralph Cotton (d. 1663) of Bellaport (Salop), and had issue one son; buried at Wybunbury (Ches.), 12 May 1683;
He inherited Willesley Hall from his father in 1645, and was probably responsible for the original building of the later house.
He was buried at Willesley, 1 June 1693, aged 92. His wife died about 1645.
(1.3) Frances Abney (b. 1667), baptised at St Andrew the Great, Cambridge, 13 April 1667; married 1st, 15 July 1686, Sir John Parker (c.1655-96), kt., of Fermoyle (Co. Longford) and had issue three sons; married 2nd, 1696 (licence 23 March) in Co. Carlow, James Butler (d. by 1723), son of Sir Thomas Butler, 3rd bt., and had further issue two sons; living in 1699 but date of death not traced;
(2.1) Edward Barre Abney (1690-1731?), baptised 5 June 1690; declared a lunatic, 1719; said to have died in 1731;
(2.2) Sir Thomas Abney (1691-1750) (q.v.).
He inherited Willesley Hall from his father in 1693 and was probably responsible for remodelling the house with a new rusticated entrance front.
He died 3 January and was buried at Willesley, 9 January 1727/8, aged 96, having been blind for the last twenty years of his life; his will was proved 22 January 1727/8. His first wife was buried at Willesley, 9 June 1687. His second wife died 23 January 1718.
Abney, Sir Thomas (1691-1750), of Willesley Hall, barrister and judge. Younger son of Sir Edward Abney (1631-1728) and his second wife, Judith, daughter of Peter Barr, baptised at Willesley, 3 April 1691. Educated at Wadham College, Oxford (matriculated 1707) and Inner Temple (admitted 1707; called 1713). Barrister-at-law (KC 1733), with chambers in the Inner Temple. He settled in Middlesex and was appointed Chairman of Middlesex Quarter Sessions, 1731; Attorney General of the Duchy of Lancaster, 1733; Judge of Marshalsea Court, 1735; Baron of the Exchequer 1740-43; Judge of Common Pleas, 1743-50. He was knighted, 23 December 1735. As an antiquarian, in the 1720s Abney made substantial additions to the text of William Woolley's manuscript history of Derbyshire. He married Frances (d. 1761), daughter of Joshua Burton of Brackley (Northants) and had issue:
(1) Thomas Abney (1726-91) (q.v.)
He inherited Willesley Hall from his father in 1731 and also had a home in Middlesex.
He contracted gaol fever at the 'Black Sessions' held at the Old Bailey in May 1750, which killed several of the judges, counsel and jurors assembled there; he died 19 May and was buried at Willesley, 29 May 1750; his will was proved in the PCC, 18 September 1750. His widow was buried at Willesley, 7 April 1761; her will was proved 19 May 1761.
He inherited Willesley Hall from his father in 1750.
He died 15 August, and was buried at Willesley, 26 August 1791. His widow was buried at Willesley, 29 May 1798.
(1) Selina Hastings (1790-95?). born 22 August and baptised at St George, Hanover Sq., Westminster (Middx), 30 August 1790; died young, reputedly in 1795;
(2) Sir Charles Abney-Hastings (1792-1858), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(3) Frank Abney-Hastings (1794-1828), born 6 February at Willesley and baptised at St. George, Hanover Sq, Westminster (Middx), 26 February 1794; an officer in the Royal Navy, who as a cadet was present at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, but who was later dismissed from the service for challenging his captain to a duel, 1820; in 1822 he joined the Greek navy and in 1824 made far-sighted proposals for transforming its efficiency and effectiveness; frustrated by Greek corruption, he used his own money to purchase a steamer and employ fifty men to demonstrate the effectiveness of his proposals, taking part in several actions against the Turks in 1827; he was severely wounded in the attack on Anatolikon, 25 May 1828, and died unmarried of his wounds in the harbour at Zante, 1 June 1828; he was buried at Poros where he is commemorated by a monument erected on the centenary of his death; will proved in the PCC, 29 November 1828.
She and her husband inherited Willesley Hall from her father in 1791.
He inherited Willesley Hall from his father in 1823, and maintained a London house at 6 Cavendish Square. At his death the Willesley estate passed to Lady Edith Maud Clifton (later Abney-Hastings), who became Countess of Loudoun in her own right, but property he had inherited from the Hastings family was bequeathed to her brother, the 4th Marquess of Hastings.
Abney family of Abney House, Stoke Newington (Middx)
He died at Theobalds, 6 February, and was buried at St Peter, Cornhill, London, 16 February 1722. His first wife died in 1698. His widow died 12 January and was buried at Stoke Newington, 25 January 1749/50; her will was proved in the PCC, 16 February 1749/50.
Location of archivesAbney-Hastings family of Willesley Hall: deeds, manorial records and estate papers, 12th-19th cents. (Huntington Library, San Marino, California, HU); family executorship and trust papers, 1829-65 (Derbyshire Record Office D2496); family trust papers, 19th-20th cents (Arundel Castle Archives). In the late 19th century the papers of the Abney-Hastings family became part of the archive of the Hastings family, Earls of Huntingdon, which was dispersed by sale in 1927. For a complete list of holdings, see the National Register of Archives.
Coat of arms
Or, on a chief gules, a lion passant argent.