Sunday 3 March 2013

(8) Abney of Measham Hall

Abney of Measham Hall
William Abney (1713-1800), a descendant of a younger son of George Abney of Willesley was a barrister of the Inner Temple, and purchased the Measham estate and built Measham Hall in 1767.  The estate passed in turn to his sons Robert (1748-c.1810) and Edward (1751-1827), and then to the latter's grandson, William Wotton Abney (1807-66), who died relatively young, leaving a life interest in the house to his widow, Helen John Sinclair Abney (1806-93).  It then passed to W.W. Abney's cousin, Sir William de Wivelslie Abney (1843-1920), kt., who had a distinguished career in astronomy and photography, and who seems to have altered the house.  After Sir William died in 1920, however, his heir, Lancelot Edward Guy Abney (1868-1939) sold the estate to Measham Colliery.  The colliery workings later undermined the house, which had to be demolished because of subsidence in 1959.

Measham Hall (Derbyshire, now Leicestershire)

Measham Hall.  Picture courtesy of Matthew Beckett

A seven bay, two and a half storey house built for William Abney in 1767, with a three-bay pediment containing a little decoration, a hipped roof and quoins.  At either side were one bay connecting links and three-bay two-storey angle pavilions with pyramid roofs.  The style suggests the architect may have been William Henderson of Loughborough.  The interior had a grand staircase, rising the full height of the house, with three turned balusters per tread.  In the later 19th century the ground floor fenestration was altered, with the insertion of large tripartite windows and a canted bay window.  The house was sold to the Measham Colliery Co. in 1924 and divided into flats after 1945, but it later became unsafe because of mining subsidence and was demolished in 1959.

Descent:  sold after 1760 to William Abney (1713-1800), who built a new house; to son, Edward Abney (1751-1827); to son, William Wotton Abney (1780-1822); to son, William Wotton Abney (1807-66); to widow, Helen John Sinclair Abney (c.1810-93) for life and then to Sir William de Wivelslie Abney (1843-1920); to son, Lancelot Edward Guy Abney (1868-1939), who sold 1924 to Measham Colliery Co; dem. 1959.

Abney of Measham Hall

Abney, Robert (d. 1603). Second son of George Abney (d. 1578) of Willesley Hall [for whom see my next post] and his first wife Ellen, daughter of John de Wolseley of Wolseley (Staffs). He married Audrey (d. 1642), daughter of Robert Howe esq. of Hertfordshire, and had issue:
(1) Thomas Abney (1585-1652) (q.v.);
(2) Anne Abney (b. 1586), baptised at Swepstone, 4 September 1586;
(3) Elinor Abney (b. 1591), baptised at Swepstone, 25 June 1591;
(4) John Abney (b. 1596), baptised at Swepstone, 22 December 1596.
He inherited an estate at Newton Burgoland from his father in 1578.
He was buried at Swepstone, 8 March 1602/3. His widow was buried at Swepstone, 7 December 1642.

Abney, Thomas (1585-1652). Son of Robert Abney (d. 1603) of Newton Burgoland and his wife Audrey, daughter of Robert Howe esq, of Hertfordshire, baptised at Swepstone, 18 April 1585. He married, 29 May 1615, Anne (1593-1678), daughter of Robert Smith of Lockington (Derbys), and had issue:
(1) Ellen Abney (b. 1616), baptised at Swepstone, 22 April 1616; married, 2 February 1633/4 at Swepstone, Robert Bate;
(2) Anne Abney (1617-49?), baptised at Swepstone, 2 November 1617; living in 1643; said to have died unmarried in 1649;
(3) Capt. Robert Abney (1621-58), baptised at Swepstone, 25 March 1621; an officer in Lord Grey's Horse Guards (Capt.) during the Civil War; inherited the Newton Burgoland estate from his father in 1652; married Ann [surname unknown], but died without issue, 1658 and was buried at Swepstone; will proved 27 April 1658;
(4) Rebecca Abney (1623-50?), baptised at Swepstone, 23 November 1623; living in 1643; said to have died unmarried in 1650;
(5) Mary Abney (b. 1626), baptised at Swepstone, 28 May 1626; died young before 1643;
(6) George Abney (b. & d. 1628), baptised at Swepstone, 21 September 1628; died in infancy and was buried at Swepstone, 26 September 1628;
(7) Sarah Abney (b. 1629), baptised at Swepstone, 27 September 1629; living in 1643;
(8) Thomas Abney (1632-1714) (q.v.).
He inherited the Newton Burgoland estate from his father in 1602. At his death it passed to his elder son, Robert (1621-58) and then to his younger son, Thomas (1632-1714).
He died in 1652; his will was proved 7 July 1652. His widow was buried at Swepstone, 4 June 1678.

Abney, Thomas (1632-1714). Third son of Thomas Abney (1585-1652) of Newton Burgoland and his wife Anne, daughter of Robert Smith of Lockington (Derbys), baptised at Swepstone, 10 July 1632. Grocer in London. He married 1st, Anne (b. 1632), daughter of George Ullock of Church Gresley (Derbys), and 2nd, 3 June 1662 at Ashby-de-la-Zouch (Leics), Susannah (1637-1732?), daughter of George Swindle of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, and had issue:
(1.1) Thomas Abney (b. c.1661); aged 21 on 16 March 1681/2; many sources give his date of burial as 1687 but this is based on an erroneous reading of the parish register entry for the burial of his half-sister, Prudence;
(2.1) Anne Abney (b. 1663), baptised at Swepstone, 30 June 1663; married, 1 January 1684/5, Arthur More of Shakerstone (Leics);
(2.2) George Abney (1665-66), baptised at Swepstone, 18 May 1665; died in infancy and was buried at Swepstone, 14 April 1666;
(2.3) Elizabeth Abney (1666-1727), baptised at Swepstone, 6 December 1666; married, 29 January 1702/3 at Swepstone, Robert Shipton of Tamworth (Warks); buried at Swepstone, 14 February 1726/7;
(2.4) Susanna Abney (1669-71), baptised at Swepstone, 14 September 1669; died in infancy and was buried 15 August 1671;
(2.5) Prudence Abney (1670-83), baptised at Swepstone, 20 November 1670; died young and was buried at Swepstone, 27 August 1683;
(2.6) Edward Abney (b. 1672), baptised at Swepstone, 10 January 1671/2; died in infancy;
(2.7) Robert Abney (1673-1745) (q.v.);
(2.8) Edward Abney (1674-1702), baptised at Swepstone, 23 April 1674; died unmarried and was buried at Swepstone, 17 January 1701/2;
(2.9) Mary Abney (b. & d. 1676), baptised at Swepstone, 15 May 1676; died in infancy and was buried at Swepstone, 27 May 1676;
(2.10) Samuel Abney (b. & d. 1677); died in infancy and was buried at Swepstone, 26 August 1677;
(2.11) Joseph Abney (b. 1678), baptised at Swepstone, 6 October 1678;
(2.12) George Abney (1680-1744), baptised at Swepstone, 14 July 1680; merchant at Lisbon (Portugal); died in Lisbon, 23 July 1744; will proved 19 January 1744/5.
He was buried at Swepstone, 29 May 1714. His first wife died before 1662. His widow may be the 'Mrs. Abney' who was buried at Swepstone, 10 January 1731/2.

Abney, Robert (1673-1745). Son of Thomas Abney of London and his second wife, Susannah, daughter of George Swindale of Ashby-de-la-Zouch (Leics), baptised at Swepstone, 1 March 1672/3. He married, 19 June 1701 at Swepstone (Leics), Mary (1685-1716), daughter of William Webb of Hamstall Ridware (Staffs), and had issue:
(1) Edward Abney (b. & d. 1703), baptised 24 January 1702/3 at Hamstall Ridware (Staffs); died in infancy and was buried at Hamstall Ridware, 24 February 1702/3;
(2) Thomas Abney (1705-28?), born 1 January and baptised 6 January 1704/5; possibly the man of this name who was buried at Swepstone, 5 April 1728;
(3) Joseph Abney (b. & d. 1706), baptised at Swepstone, 14 January 1705/6; died in infancy and was buried at Swepstone, 21 January 1705/6;
(4) Robert Abney (1706-c.1740) of Oldbury (Worcs), born 29 December 1706 and baptised 7 January 1706/7; apprenticed, 1722, to Robert Silke of Birmingham, ironmonger; married, 21 September 1735 at Handsworth (Staffs), Mary (d. 1770), daughter of Joseph Turton, and had issue one daughter; died before 1744;
(5) George Abney (b. 1707), born 26 December 1707 and baptised 6 January 1707/8; died before 1744;
(6) Susannah Abney (1708-63), born 23 February and baptised at Swepstone, 10 March 1707/8; married, 3 January 1734/5 at Swepstone, Matthew Iremonger of St. Albans; buried at Swepstone, 8 February 1763; will proved at St. Albans, 1765;
(7) James Abney (1711-29), baptised at Swepstone, 30 October 1711; died unmarried and was buried at Swepstone, 15 July 1729;
(8) William Abney (1713-1800) (q.v.);
(9) Mary Abney (1714-15), baptised at Swepstone, 28 December 1714; died in infancy and was buried at Swepstone, 16 January 1714/5.
He was buried at Swepstone, 26 April 1745; his will was proved 13 May 1745. His wife died in 1716.

Abney, William (1713-1800), of Measham Hall. Third but eldest surviving son of Robert Abney (1673-1745) of Newton Burgoland (Leics) and his wife Mary, daughter of William Webb of Hamstall Ridware (Staffs), born 25 November and baptised at Swepstone (Leics), 29 December 1713.  Educated at Inner Temple (admitted 1733; called to bar, 1739). Barrister-at-law; he refused a judicial appointment, and retired to his estates. JP for Leicestershire; High Sheriff of Leicestershire (by proxy), 1791. He was one of the last landowners to maintain traditional open-handed hospitality to his tenants and neighbours, and also retained the fashions of dress, livery and behaviour of his youth. He was, however, a Whig in politics, and had 'an almost idolatrous attachment to the House of Hanover'; in 1745 he led a party to Derby to oppose the advance of Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Jacobite uprising. He married, 20 June 1743 at Shenley (Herts), Catherine (1722-90), daughter and heir of Thomas Wotton of Little Cannons (Herts) and had issue:
(1) Mary Clarke Abney (b. 1744), baptised at Shenley, 9 June 1744; married, 9 November 1767 at Measham, John Grundy (later Swinfen) (c.1743-1828) of Swinfen Hall (Staffs) (who m2, 15 July 1784 at Hardenhuish (Wilts), Anne (d. 1829), daughter of Francis Ford, and had further issue), and had issue two sons; died before 1784;
(2) Robert Abney (1748-c.1810) (q.v.);
(3) Edward Abney (1751-1827) (q.v.);
(4) George Abney (c.1753-1800?), born about 1753; educated at Wadham College, Oxford (matriculated 1772); he evidently got into debt and was left only an allowance in his father's will; possibly the man of this name buried at Higham-on-the-Hill (Leics), 15 July 1800;
(5) William Abney (b. c.1755), died young;
(6) Catherine Abney (1760-1825), baptised at Tamworth (Staffs), 24 June 1760; married, 31 October 1780 at Measham, Rev. Thomas Beaumont Burnaby (1740-1823), rector of Asfordby (Leics), and had issue one son; buried at Asfordby, 12 April 1825.
He purchased Measham (Derbys now Leics) and built the Hall.
He died 2 August and was buried at Swepstone, 10 August 1800; his will was proved in the PCC, 11 September 1800. His wife was buried at Swepstone, 15 May 1790.

Abney, Robert (1748-c.1810).  Eldest son of William Abney (1713-1800) and his wife Catherine, daughter of Thomas Wotton of Little Cannons, Shenley (Herts), born 29 October 1748.  JP for Leicestershire; High Sheriff of Leicestershire, 1777; Captain commanding the Hinckley Volunteers, 1798.  He married 1st, 17 March 1770 at Higham-on-the-Hill (Derbys), Anne (d. 1793), daughter of Rev. Philip Bracebridge, rector of Fenny Drayton (Leics) and co-heir of her uncle Samuel Bracebridge of Lindley Hall (Warks) and Chios (Greece), and 2nd, 8 September 1800, as her third husband, Elizabeth Richards (née Kirk, then Bacon) (c.1740-1830) and had issue:
(1.1) Samuel Bracebridge Abney (1771-1803), baptised at Higham-on-the-Hill, 1 April 1771; died unmarried and without issue at Altona (Italy), 5 June 1803; will proved in the PCC, 1 July 1803;
(1.2) twin, William Bracebridge Abney (b. and d. 1772); buried at Fenny Drayton (Leics), 8 April 1772;
(1.3) twin, Anne Abney (1772-1843), baptised at Higham-on-the-Hill, 29 May 1772; married, 8 December 1800 at St Leonards, Shoreditch (Middx), Rev. Samuel Bracebridge Heming (1770-1856) of Lindley Hall and Belgrave Hall (Leics) and had issue; died Jan-Mar. 1843; will proved 28 April 1843.
He inherited Lindley Hall (Leics) in right of his first wife in 1786, and Measham Hall from his father in 1800.
He died between 1807 and 1812. His first wife died in 1793. His widow died 27 November 1830.

Edward Abney by Joseph Wright of Derby.  
Image Philip Mould Ltd
Abney, Edward (1751-1827) of Measham Hall. Second son of William Abney (1713-1800) and his wife Catherine, daughter of Thomas Wotton of Little Canons, born 8 February 1751.  Educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (matriculated 1770). Joseph Wright of Derby painted portraits of him and his second wife.   He married 1st, 16 October 1775 at St Martin, Leicester (Leics), Mary Sharpe of Leicester (c.1754-76) and 2nd, 17 November 1779 at St Peter, Nottingham (Notts), Hephzibah (1758-1841), who was active as a watercolourist c.1790-1820, daughter of Samuel Need of Nottingham, hosier, and had issue:
(1.1) Catharina Martha Abney (b. & d. 1776), baptised 11 August 1776; died in infancy and was buried at Swepstone, 3 September 1776;
(2.1) William Wotton Abney (1780-1822) (q.v.);
(2.2) Elizabeth Abney (1782-1850), baptised at Melbourne Independent Chapel, 16 December 1782; married, 8 September 1806 at Melbourne (Derbys), Henry Walker (1785-1860) of Blythe Hall and Clifton House (Notts) esq., eldest son of Joshua Walker, and had issue one son and two daughters; died 9 February 1850;
(2.3) Capt. Edward Abney (1788-1839) of Aldridge (Staffs); educated at Repton School, 1802; an officer in the 52nd Light Infantry (Ensign, 1805; Lt., 1808; Capt.); married, 10 December 1822 at West Bromwich (Staffs), Ellen Rose (1807-88), fourth daughter of Hyla Holden of Wednesbury (Staffs) and had issue three daughters; died 'after a lingering illness borne with Christian fortitude and resignation', 2 September 1839 and was buried at Wednesbury (Staffs), 7 September 1839; will proved 14 August 1840.
He lived at Ashby Folville (Leics) and Kings Newton (Derbys) until he inherited Measham Hall from his brother c.1810.
He died on 26 June and was buried at Swepstone, 3 July 1827; his will was proved in the PCC, 5 December 1827. His first wife was buried at Swepstone, 23 August 1776. His widow died at Stapenhill House (Derbys), 27 March, and was buried at Swepstone, 3 April 1841; her will was proved at Lichfield, 29 December 1841.

W.W. Abney.
Image: Kate Jarvis
Abney, William Wotton (1780-1822) of Measham Hall.  Elder son of Edward Abney (1751-1827) and his second wife, Hephzibah, daughter of Samuel Need; baptised (as William Hutton Abney) at Castle Gate Meeting House, Nottingham, 31 August 1780 .  An officer in the Royal Horse Guards (Blues), (Cornet 1801, Lieutenant 1803; Captain 1805).  A partner in the Mansfield Bank until his death in 1822.  He married, 8 April 1806 at Fulford (Yorks), Elizabeth (1785-1855), daughter of William Richardson of Fulford House, and had issue:
(1) William Wotton Abney (1807-66) (q.v.);
(2) Catherine Elizabeth Abney (1810-87), born 28 February and baptised at Fulford, 15 March 1810; married, 6 August 1835 at Measham, Rev. William Travis Sandys (1800-83), rector of Burton-le-Coggles (Lincs), and had issue five sons and four daughters; died 12 January 1887; will proved 3 March 1887 (effects £585);
(3) Rev. Preb. Edward Henry Abney (1811-92) (q.v.).
His wife inherited Fulford House from her father after his death; it subsequently belonged to his daughter and her descendants.
He died at Fulford (Yorks), 18 May 1822, in the lifetime of his father, and was buried at Fulford, 25 May 1822, where he is commemorated by a memorial. His widow died 1 September and was buried at Littleover (Derbys), 5 September 1855.

Abney, William Wotton (1807-66) of Measham Hall.  Elder son of William Wotton Abney (1780-1822) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of William Richardson of Fulford House, born 5 January 1807.  JP and DL for Leicestershire; High Sheriff of Leicestershire in 1847.  He married, 6 May 1828 at Blairvadock (Dumbartonshire), Helen John Sinclair (1806-93), eldest daughter of James Buchanan of Craigend Castle (Stirlingshire) and Blairvadock, and had issue:
(1) A son; died in infancy, December 1829.
He inherited Measham Hall from his grandfather in 1827 and came of age the following year. At his death the house passed to his widow for life, and then to his eldest surviving nephew.
He died 22 July, and was buried at Swepstone, 27 July 1866, when Measham Hall devolved on his widow for life; his will proved at Derby, 22 October 1866. His widow died 6 September and was buried at Swepstone, 9 September 1893; her will was proved 26 October 1893

Rev. E.H. Abney
Abney, Rev. Edward Henry (1811-92) of The Firs, Derby.   Second son of William Wotton Abney (1780-1822) and his wife Elizabeth (1785-1855), daughter of William Richardson of Fulford House (Yorks), born 22 September 1811.  Educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1829, BA 1833). Ordained deacon, 1834, and priest, 1835, at York; curate of Holy Trinity, Micklegate, York; vicar of St. Alkmund, Derby, 1841-86; prebendary of Lichfield Cathedral, 1873; Rural Dean of Derby.  In the 1840s, he was a pioneer of topographical photography and a friend of William Henry Fox-Talbot; by 1850 he was sharing his knowledge with two local enthusiasts, J.A. Warwick and Richard Keene, who founded the Derby Photographic Society.  He married, 31 January 1833, Catherine (1811-86), daughter of Jedidiah Strutt of Belper (Derbys) and had issue:
(1.1) Cecilia Elizabeth Abney (1834-35), born 22 December 1834 and baptised at Acomb (Yorks), 11 January 1835; died in infancy, 14 January 1835;
(1.2) Henry Wootton Abney (b. 1836), born 18 May and baptised at St Mary Bishophill, York, 23 May 1836; probably died young;
(1.3) Helen Elizabeth Abney (1838-1913), born 5 January and baptised at St Mary Bishophill, York, 11 January 1838; married, 2 June 1858 at St Alkmund, Derby, Joseph Paget (1826-96) of Stuffynwood Hall (Notts) and had issue one daughter; died 13 September 1913; will proved 26 November 1913 (estate £14,852);
(1.4) Catherine Mary Abney (1839-94), baptised at St Mary & St Gregory, York, 1 September 1839; married, 1 January 1861 at St Alkmund, Derby, Rev. Thomas William Bury (c.1831-1918) of Kilburn (Middx), rector of Aisthorpe (Lincs), and had issue one daughter; died 26 July 1894;
(1.5) Frances Beatrice Abney (1841-79), baptised at St Alkmund, Derby, 25 April 1841; married, 13 February 1866 at St Alkmund, Derby, Capt. Henry Stair Sandys RN (1841-1912) (who m2, 29 April 1884, Mary Alice Til and had further issue one son) and had issue five daughters; buried at Duffield (Derbys), 4 April 1879;
(1.6) Sir William de Wivelslie Abney (1843-1920) (q.v.);
(1.7) Florence Susan Grace Abney (1845-1928), born 10 December 1845 and baptised at St Alkmund, Derby, 14 September 1846; married, 5 June 1878 at St Alkmund, Derby, George Selwyn Edwards, civil engineer; died 13 March 1928; will proved 2 May 1928 (estate £8,893);
(1.8) Emily Maude Abney (1847-55), born 20 September and baptised at St Alkmund, Derby, 25 December 1847; died young and was buried at Littleover (Derbys), 14 July 1855;
(1.9) Charles Edward Abney (1850-1914), born Apr-Jun 1850; educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1868; BA 1871); solicitor in private practice with Cooper & Abney, Derby; an officer in the Derbyshire Rifles (Lt., 1877); married, 12 January 1878 at St Andrew, St. Marylebone (Middx), Sarah Alice (1857-1934), daughter of Joshua Gliddon, shorthand writer, and had issue three sons; died 14 February 1914; will proved 29 March 1915 (effects, £32). 
He died 13 May 1892 and was buried at Littleover; his will was proved 2 July 1892 (effects, £18,872). His wife died 4 October 1886. 

Sir William de Wivelslie Abney
Abney, Sir William de Wivelslie (1843-1920), kt. of Measham Hall.  Eldest surviving son of Rev. Edward Henry Abney (1811-92) and his wife Catherine, daughter of Jedidiah Strutt, born 24 July 1843.  Educated at Rossall School and Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. An officer in the Royal Engineers (Lt., 1861; Capt., 1873; retired 1881) who served in India, 1864-69 and later as Chemical Assistant at the Chatham School of Military Engineering. After leaving the army he joined the staff of the Science Museum in London (Assistant Director, 1884-93; Director, 1893-99) before moving on to be Principal Assistant Secretary, Secondary Branch, Board of Education 1889-1903 and Adviser in Science to the Board of Education. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society, 1876 (Rumford Medallist, 1882) and was President of Royal Astronomical Society, 1892-93, 1896 and 1903-04; Vice-President of Royal Institution 1905-06;  and President of the Physical Society. JP for Derbyshire and Leicestershire.  He had an early introduction to photography through his father's interest, and became a pioneer of several technical aspects of photography and a founder member of Derby Photographic Society, 1884 (of which he was later President and Patron). His experiments in the chemistry of photography produced useful photographic products and also developments in astronomy.  In 1874, Abney developed a dry photographic emulsion, and went on to invent new and useful types of photographic paper, including in 1882 a formula for gelatin silver chloride paper. His pioneering work lead to the development of color photography and laid the foundations for the later development of instant photographic processes (such as Polaroid). He conducted early research into the field of spectroscopy, developing a red-sensitive emulsion which was used for the infrared spectra of organic molecules. He also invented the "Abney Level", a combined clinometer and spirit level, used by surveyors to measure slopes and angles.  He was awarded honorary degrees by Durham University (DCL 1899) and Manchester University (DSc, 1900) and was appointed CB in 1888 and knighted (KCB) in 1900 for the body of his scientific work.  He married 1st, 4 August 1864 at Tickton (Yorks ER), Agnes Matilda (1846-88), second daughter of Edward William Smith of Tickton Hall, and 2nd, 3 December 1889, Mary Louisa (c.1857-1926), third daughter of Rev. Dr. Edward Nathaniel Mead DD of Scarboro, New York (USA) and had issue:
(1.1) Lancelot Edward Guy Abney (1868-1939) (q.v.);
(1.2) Ethel Wootton Abney (1869-1932), born 31 October 1869; married, 28 June 1894 at St Peter Cranley Gardens, Kensington (Middx), Adm. Sir William Reginald Hall MP (1870-1943), head of naval intelligence in First World War, son of Capt. William Henry Hall RN, and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 28 December 1932; will proved 16 February 1933 (estate £4,930);
(1.3) Helen Lilian de Wivelslie Abney (1870-1950), born 10 December 1870 and baptised at St Alkmund, Derby, 21 January 1871; died unmarried, 1 September, and was buried at Holy Trinity, Brompton (Middx), 4 September 1950; will proved 8 December 1950 (estate £7,115);
(2.1) Janet Marie de Wivelslie Abney (1891-1956), born 31 July 1891; married, Oct-Dec 1939 as his second wife, Andrew Sidney Ransome MB (1869-1960), physician, son of James Edward Ransome of Ipswich, but had no issue; died 11 July and was buried at Hawkinge (Kent), 14 July 1956; will proved 30 November 1956 (estate £6,869).
He lived in London.  He inherited Measham Hall on the death of his cousin’s wife in 1893.
He died in Folkestone (Kent), 3 December 1920, and was buried at St Martin's Cemetery, Cheriton (Kent); his will was proved in London, 24 January 1921 (estate £27, 534). His first wife died 30 June 1888; administration of her goods was granted 21 March 1890 (effects £3,262). His widow died 6 December 1926; her will was proved 24 March, 13 April and 14 May 1927 (estate £16,085).

Abney, Lancelot Edward Guy (1868-1939) of Measham Hall. Only son of Sir William de Wivelslie Abney (1843-1920) and his first wife Agnes Matilda, daughter of Edward William Smith of Tickton Hall (Yorks ER), born 4 February 1868 at Pau (France). Educated at Clifton College and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1886; BA 1889). In business with William Dawson and Sons, Ltd., London, booksellers and stationers; Chairman of the Federation of Wholesale Newsagents, 1929-32. He married, 25 October 1905 at St Mary Boltons, West Brompton (Middx), Annie Louise (1871-1955), daughter of Auguste de Wil and had issue:
(1) Agnes Mary de Wivelslie Abney (1907-85), born 16 June 1907; married, 12 October 1936, as his second wife, Ronald Arthur Charles Hill (1898-1965) of Indian Police, son of Col. Arthur Hill, and had issue: died 5 March 1985; will proved 21 June 1985 (estate £74,801);
(2) Isabel Joan de Wivelslie Abney (1910-98), born 13 April 1910; married, 23 October 1937 at Kew (Surrey), Clive Westgarth Bailey (1902-78), stockbroker, son of Harold Bailey, architect, of Coombe Hill, Kingston (Surrey) and had issue two daughters; died February 1998.
He inherited Measham Hall from his father in 1920 and sold it in 1924.
He died 13 March 1939; his will was proved 9 May 1939 (estate £4,345). His widow died 2 November 1955; her will was proved 22 February 1956 (estate £6,456).


Burke's Landed Gentry, successive editions; M. Craven & M. Stanley, The Derbyshire country house, 2001, vol 2, p. 290; P. Elliot, 'The Firs: a 19th century house and estate', Response: the University of Derby Online Journal, 9, 2011

Where are their papers?

No significant archive is known to survive. 

Revision & Acknowledgements

This post was first published on 3 March 2013 and revised 7 May 2014, 1 July 2015, 13-19 April 2017 and 16 July 2021. I am grateful to Kate Jarvis for additional information.


  1. The Gentleman's Magazine - Volume 12 - Page 543 gives an obit. for Lieut. General Samuel NEED from which it is possible to deduce that he was b:c.1766 (he died 18 Aug 1839 aged 73 at his residence Fountain Dale, Notts.)

    I have also found the following LDS record:
    Name: Hephiziba Need
    Event Type: Baptism
    Christening Date: 29 Sep 1758
    Christening Place: Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
    Father's Name: Samuel Need

    1. Lieut. General Samuel NEED c. 1766-18 Aug 1839 therefor this Hephzibah was born before the Lieut. General.
    2. If Edward Abney married Hephzibah Need on 17 Nov 1779 then Lieut. General Samuel NEED would only have been 3 years old!
    3. This Hephzibah would however have been 21 years old..

    Based on this I believe that the Hephzibah Need who married Edward Abney was probably the sister of Lieut. General Samuel Need and not his daughter.

    1. Thank you for this correction. It is easy to see how the mistake has been made, as both Hephzibah's father and brother were called Samuel. I have amended the entry accordingly.

  2. Love the genealogy you have pulled together on the Abney's of Measham. I have 2 large early 19c oil paintings originally from Measham Hall. One is of Cap't William Wooton painted in 1815 in his Blues uniform. The other was painting of a lady in the manner of Sir Peter Lely and inscribed as a wedding gift to Elizabeth Richards (when she married for the 3rd time) to Robert Abney in 1800, as the inherited daughter of "James" (? should this be Robert?)_Abney.
    If you want me to send you any pictures just let me know. Anything to clear up the James reference would help, was it a middle or pet name for Robert? or just a mistake around names?
    Graham Jarvis

  3. Thank you for getting in touch. If you would be happy for me to include an image of the painting of Capt. WW Abney in the blog I should be very pleased to have a photograph of it. Do you have my email address? I am not clear what the inscription on the other painting implies ("the inherited daughter" is a new phrase to me); is it clear who it was a gift from? It seems possible it could be from Elizabeth's side of the family, and hence not of an Abney at all. Certainly the name James Abney does not occur in this branch of the family, although it was extensively used in the 17th century among the Abneys of Willesley Hall.
    Nick Kingsley

  4. Need a starting point/recommendation to find the burial locations of the Measham ( and Willesley) Abneys. Robert Abney, USA...7th g-grandson of Edmund Abney, Leicester.

    1. I assume most of the Measham branch were buried at Measham. The registers survive from 1681 onwards (see The Abneys of Willesley may similarly be mainly at Willesley, where the burial registers survive from 1617 (see sets of records can be found at the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland at Wigston (
      Hope this helps.
      Nick Kingsley

  5. I'm trying to find out if a family member worked at Measham Hall. Are there any records of staff ?
    Many thanks
    Ruth Cobley

    1. Sadly I am not aware of the survival of an archive of the estate. You could contact the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland in case they hold any uncatalogued records which might help you. Contact details are here (cut and paste this link into you browser):


  6. Hello there.
    I live in the gate house to Measham Hall. I have tried to find any information on any of the original inhabitants but to no avail. Also can I assume, as yet again a lack of information, that the gate house, now known as Stanhope house (?) was built at around the same time as the Hall?

    1. Peter,
      Assuming I have correctly identified your house as this building ( it was obviously altered in the late 19th or early 20th century, but the core fabric is probably earlier. The fine jointing of the brickwork and the form of the brick cornice suggest that, but the asymmetrical plan makes me think that it is probably not much before 1840. It would be worth checking to see whether the dimensions and colour of the bricks used all round the house are the same, and also whether the mortar joints and brick bond are the same all round. If there are differences, it might suggest that an originally single-room lodge (perhaps of the late 18th or early 19th century) has been enlarged later. Hope that helps a bit. Nick Kingsley


Please leave a comment if you have any additional information or corrections to offer, or if you are able to help with additional images of the people or buildings in this post.