Sunday, 14 July 2013

(55) Aglionby of Nunnery and Drawdykes Castle

Aglionby of Nunnery
This ancient Cumberland family traces its origins to the 12th century, and were leading citizens of Carlisle and landed gentry from the early 16th century.  John Aglionby (1642-1717), recorder of Carlisle, remodelled Drawdykes Castle, Houghton (a 14th century pele tower on the site of a Hadrians Wall milecastle) in 1676 to designs of William Thackeray of Torpenhow.  He also bought Drumburgh Castle, which he exchanged with Sir John Lowther for the Nunnery estate at Armathwaite and Kirkoswald.  Nunnery became the principal family seat after it was rebuilt as a nine-bay house by Henry Aglionby MP (1684-1759) in the 1720s.  Henry’s grandson, Christopher Aglionby, laid out picturesque walks along the R. Eden on the estate, but died unmarried in 1785.  His estates were divided among his four sisters.  In due course Nunnery itself passed to his nephew Francis Yates (later Aglionby) (1777-1840), who was chairman of Quarter Sessions, 1818-40.  He in turn left only daughters, and the house passed first to his cousin, Henry Aglionby Bateman (later Aglionby) (1790-1854) and then to his nephew, Charles Yates (later Aglionby) (1807-91).  His son, Rev. Francis Keyes Aglionby (1848-1937), was rector of Christ Church, Westminster, and sold Nunnery in 1892 to his cousin Capt. Arthur Charles Aglionby (1872-1938), who retained it until 1919 when he sold it to the Denmans of Staffield Hall.  Capt. Aglionby was Governor of Winchester and Exeter Prisons and lived later at Poltimore (Devon).

Drawdykes Castle, Houghton, Cumberland

A 14th century tower house , built on the site of milecastle 64 of Hadrian’s Wall, which was refronted by the prominent local mason William Thackeray for John Aglionby, Recorder of Carlisle, in 1676 as a three bay, three storey house.  It now has a farmhouse of c.1764 attached to its short side.  The main block has alternating pediments over the windows of the ground and first floors, with Thackeray’s signature flat bit at the ends.  The windows are sashed now but probably had his characteristic flush cross-mullions originally.  On the parapet is a comical bust after the antique; two more are now mounted in the yard.  Roof flashing visible in the side wall indicates that the original hall range was taller than the present farmhouse.

Descent: Edward Aglionby (d. 1553); to son, John Aglionby (d. 1584); to son, Edward Aglionby (d. 1599); to son, Edward Aglionby (c.1586/7-1648); to son, John Aglionby (c.1610-65); to son, John Aglionby (d. 1718); to grandson, Henry Aglionby (1684-1759); to son, Henry Aglionby (c.1715-70); to son, Christopher Aglionby (c.1754-85); to sister, Mary (c.1750-1816), wife of John Orfeur Yates (d. 1818); to son, Francis Aglionby (née Yates) (1777-1840); to widow, Mary Aglionby (née Matthews); to daughter, Jane, wife of Charles Featherstonhaugh; to grandson, Arthur Clarke Aglionby (1872-1938) who sold 1919...

Drumburgh Castle, Bowness-on-Solway, Cumberland

Drumburgh Castle.  Image Rose & Trev Clough.  Licensed under a Creative Commons licence.

The original building was perhaps 13th century (Richard le Brun was granted licence to crenellate in 1307).  It is tall, perfectly rectangular, built of Roman stones of even size, and had services on the west, a solar on the east, and a broad round-arched door on the ground floor.  In 1518 Thomas, 2nd Lord Dacre, remodelled it into what is now called a Solway bastle: a house where the living accommodation is on the upper floors, entered by an external stair to a first-floor entrance placed immediately west of the earlier doorway.  Over the upper doorway is a damaged panel with the Dacre arms.  The tower appears to have had four floors, the middle two lit by narrow windows, and a watch turret on the western gable.  Its purpose was to protect the inhabitants and their goods if the Scots invaded ‘as when the sea ebbeth they may easily do’.  It was described in 1580 as ‘neyther castle nor tower, but a house of convenyent strength and defence’, though it seems to have been more of a barracks than a house.  

In 1680-81 Sir John Lowther remodelled the house again in a more domestic form, although interestingly defence was still not forgotten as all the windows were originally barred.  Sir John created two taller storeys in place of the earlier three upper floors and inserted large cross-mullioned windows, now sashes.  The ground floor remains low and dark, but was given fireplaces.  A narrow internal stair to the first floor was inserted crudely, as can be seen from the fact that it cuts through a joist.  The first floor is much taller and well lit, and a big room at the east end retains small-scale panelling with a reeded top section.  There is a good stair with fat bottle balusters up to the second floor, which again has generous headroom.  A proper stair up to the watch turret was lost when that end was rebuilt in 1977.  The roof trusses are kingposts, with raking queenposts.

Nunnery, Ainstable, Cumberland

There was a small Benedictine convent here in medieval times, dissolved in 1537.  The buildings were granted to William Grayme in 1552 and passed to the Aglionbys in 1694.  The rear of the house preserves work representative of all these periods: the walls are partly 13th century (large blocks of sandstone rubble) and partly 16th century (smaller sandstone rubble).  A datestone of 1694 which has now been moved to the stable block may have recorded alterations of which no trace is now discernible except perhaps for three cross-windows on the ground floor, but is perhaps more likely to have commemorated the date the estate was acquired by John Aglionby.

The present east front was built about 1727 by Henry Aglionby (the traditional date of 1715 seems too early for the design, and in 1727 he was behind in paying an allowance to his father partly because of the cost of building an expensive new house), and consists of a nine bay, two storey block, with the middle three bays set just a little forward; it is very like a rather grander version of Hutton Hall, Penrith.  
Nunnery, from an old postcard.

The house is built of deep red sandstone, and has windows with flat raised frames, a coved cornice and a balustrade.  The doorcase has Doric pilasters, a metope frieze, and a segmental pediment.  The plan of the building is a double pile, but this arises from the addition of the 18th century block to the existing house.  The interiors, badly cut about for hotel use, are mostly of the early 18th century.  The broad stair has three balusters per step and modestly carved tread ends.  
The Nunnery Walks, from an old postcard of 1916.

The ‘Nunnery Walks’, laid out by Christopher Aglionby (d. 1785), are a landscaped promenade a little way from the house which takes full advantage of the narrow valley of the River Croglin.  There are dramatically engineered paths, vertiginous steps and viewing platforms overlooking the river which forms a series of waterfalls and pools as it attempts to break through a band of harder rock before joining the broad and beautiful River Eden.  There are no embellishments or artificial aids to contemplation, except a small summerhouse.  The walks were described in 1794 as "wild and picturesque - romantic and unrivalled beauties attract the attention of all strangers, and the admiration of everyone who has taste to admire nature in those forms, where the grand, the sublime, the romantic and the beautiful are all united..."

Previous owners: Crown granted 1552 to William Grayme alias Graham; to son, Fergus Graham; to son, William Graham; to son, George Graham; to grandson, Richard Graham; to son, George Graham sold 1685/90 to Sir John Lowther; who exchanged 1694/96 with John Aglionby (1642-1718); given to grandson, Henry Aglionby (1684-1759); to son, Henry Aglionby (c.1715-70); to son, Christopher Aglionby (d. 1785); to sister, Elizabeth (d. 1822), wife of Richard Bamber (d. 1806); to nephew, Francis Yates (later Aglionby) (1777-1840); to cousin, Henry Aglionby Bateman (later Aglionby) (1790-1854); to cousin, Charles Yates (later Aglionby) (1807-91); to son, Rev. Francis Keyes Aglionby (1848-1937), who sold 1892 to cousin, Capt. Arthur Charles Aglionby (1872-1938), who sold 1919 to Denman family of Staffield Hall.

Skirwith Abbey, Cumberland

Aerial view of Skirwith Abbey

A classical house of seven by three bays and two storeys above a full basement, built by Thomas Addison, mason, in 1768-74 for John Orfeur Yates, who had made a fortune as a merchant in India, 1759-67.  The house has full-height canted bows to the side elevations.  A pair of lower wings are detached at a respectful distance on either side of the lawn.  The house has an interesting plan with eight rooms forming a circuit on the piano nobile, including a pair of octagonal rooms fitting the canted bays at the sides.  To either side of the hall and saloon are a pair of broad spiral cantilever staircases, set in octagonal top-lit wells.

Descent: John Orfeur Yates (d. 1818) who let the house from 1800-17; to son Francis Yates (later Aglionby) (1777-1840); who sold 1822 to William Parker (d. 1856); to kinsman Rev. Christopher Parker (1817-65); to son, Edward Wilson Parker (1853-c.1925); to son, Frederick Cyril Francis Parker (1888-1970); sold 1960s to Johnston family.

The Aglionbys of Nunnery

Aglionby, Edward (d. 1553), of Carlisle and Drawdykes Castle.  Son of Thomas Aglionby (d. c.1503) and his wife (fl. 1527); born about 1490.  A prominent citizen of Carlisle; appointed by King Henry VIII as a Captain on the Scottish borders, 1524, and he remained militarily active under successive Wardens of the Western March until 1543; he also saw service in Ireland in 1530 and 1534-35, and as a minor courtier accompanied the king on an embassy to France, 1532, and was appointed gentleman usher of the chamber by 1534. He served as MP for Carlisle, 1529, 1547; Escheator for Cumberland and Westmorland, 1531; Mayor of Carlisle, 1533, 1537, 1544; Constable of Penrith Castle, 1534; collector of customs at Newcastle, 1538; JP for Cumberland from 1538; High Sheriff of Cumberland, 1544.  He married Anne ?Middleton and had issue, with three other daughters whose names are not recorded:
(1) Thomas Aglionby (d. by 1536); may have died on military service in Ireland;
(2) John Aglionby (d. 1584) (q.v.);
(3) Edward Aglionby (c.1520-90/91) of Temple Balsall (Warks); educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge (MA 1544); in 1550 he published A notable and marvailous epistle...concerning the terrible judgement of god, upon hym that for feare of men, denyeth Christ and the knowen veritie, a translation of an account of the tragic death of Francesco Spiera, which came to be used as an object-lesson to evangelicals who felt inclined to conceal their conversion or recant it; MP for Carlisle, 1547, 1552, 1553 and perhaps 1559 and for Warwick, 1571; recorder of Warwick, 1572-87 and also of Stratford-on-Avon, c.1576-86 and Coventry, 1580-88; JP for Warwickshire; married 1st, by 1553, Katherine, daughter of Sir William Wigston of Temple Balsall, and 2nd, Mary Fielding (d. 1621), but died without issue; will proved 14 October 1591; 
(4) Richard Aglionby, married and had issue;
(5) Barnard Aglionby (d. 1579), a notary in Carlisle; m. Anne Hilton and had issue two sons as well as an illegitimate daughter; died 15 May 1579
(6) Leonard Aglionby (d. 1592/3), m. and had issue;
(7) Jane Aglionby;
(8) Eleanor Aglionby.
He lived in Carlisle and at Drawdykes Castle.
He died between March and July 1553 and was buried in St. Cuthbert, Carlisle.

Aglionby, John (d. 1584), of Carlisle.  Second but eldest surviving son of Edward Aglionby (d. 1553) and his wife Anne ?Middleton, born about 1518.  Participated in a raid into Scotland under the Warden of the Western March, 1544.  MP for Carlisle, 1553, 1559; Mayor of Carlisle, 1557/8, 1581 and Coroner for the City of Carlisle, JP for Cumberland by 1555 and until 1569.  He married c.1539/40 Katherine, daughter of Thomas Salkeld and had issue:
(1) Thomas Aglionby (d. 1584);
(2) Edward Aglionby (d. 1599) (q.v.);
(3) George Aglionby;
(4) William Aglionby;
(5) Mabel Aglionby;
(6) Alice Aglionby.
He lived in Carlisle and at Drawdykes Castle.
He died after January 1584.

Aglionby, Edward (d. 1599) of Carlisle.  Second but eldest surviving son of John Aglionby (d. 1584) and his wife Katherine, daughter of Thomas Salkeld, born about 1555. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1576) and embarked on a career in trade in London (including a visit to Naples in 1581) before unexpectedly inheriting his father's property.  MP for Carlisle, 1584, 1593 and Mayor of Carlisle, 1593.  In the 1590s he was embroiled in a number of legal disputes with other leading citizens of Carlisle and made a lot of enemies.  He married c.1585 Elizabeth, daughter of Cuthbert Musgrave of Crookdike and had issue:
(1) Edward Aglionby (d. 1648) (q.v.).
He lived in Carlisle and at Drawdykes Castle, but owned the manors of Aglionby and Tarraby and other lands in Warwick, Cumwhinton, Cotehill in Hayton, High Crindledyke, Kingmoor, Milnhouse, Raughton, Bousted in Burgh-by-Sands and Bankend, as well as burgages in Carlisle and houses in the suburbs of the city.
He was attacked while riding from Corby to Carlisle one evening in December, 1599 and died from his injuries on 25 December 1599.  His widow married 2ndly, c.1602 George Hudson.

Aglionby, Edward (c.1586/7-1648) of Carlisle.  Only son of Edward Aglionby (d. 1599) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Cuthbert Musgrave, born about 1586/7.  Mayor of Carlisle in 1610, 1612, 1613, 1625, 1630 and 1644-47 (when he seems to have been a figurehead acceptable to both royalists and parliamentarians), and MP for Carlisle, 1625; elected one of the first aldermen under a new city charter in 1638.  He was a minor when this father died and his wardship was granted in 1605 to Henry Brougham (d. 1622) of Blackhall near Carlisle, whose daughter, Jane, he married in c.1608.  They had issue:
(1) John Aglionby (c.1610-65);
(2) Edward Aglionby (b. c.1613); educated at Queen's College, Oxford (matriculated, 1631; BA 1635; MA 1639; Fellow 1639-43)
(3) George Aglionby; soldier who served in garrison at Carlisle in 1640s;
(4) Thomas Aglionby; probably died young;
(5) Mary Aglionby; m. c.1622 John Sandford of Askham
(6) Dorothy Aglionby; m. Alan Blennerhasset of Carlisle.
He lived in Carlisle and at Drawdykes Castle, but became financially embarrassed through unsuccessful business ventures and was supported by his son.
He died in 1648, aged 61.

Aglionby, John (c.1610-65), of Drawdykes Castle.  Eldest son of Edward Aglionby (c.1586/7-1648) and his wife Jane, daughter of Henry Brougham of Blackhall, born about 1610.  Mayor of Carlisle, 1639, 1663-64.  Active in the Royalist cause; his lands were sequestered and his house at Drawdykes was commandeered by two Scottish generals during the Civil War siege of Carlisle; in 1652 he claimed to have been left destitute by the siege.  Compounded for his estates in 1648 for a fine of £153.  He married c.1641 Margery, daughter of Christopher Richmond of Highhead and had issue:
(1) John Aglionby (d. 1718) (q.v.);
(2) Rev. Henry Aglionby (d. 1697); educated at St John's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1667/8; BA 1670/1; MA 1684); vicar of Addingham (Cumbld), 1674-91; rector of Bowness, 1691-97;
(3) Christopher Aglionby; supervisor of excise for Cumberland, to 1705 and Westmorland, from 1705;
(4) Richard Aglionby (d. 1729), registrar of the diocese of Carlisle; m. Mary (d. 1727), daughter of Richard Patrickson of Ennerdale and had issue a daughter;
(5) George Aglionby;
(6) Jane Aglionby;
(7) Isabel Aglionby; m. 1677/8 William Nicholson of Carlisle, merchant and had issue three daughters;
(8) Mary Aglionby.
He lived at Drawdykes Castle and in the 1660s in Carlisle.
He died in 1665.

Aglionby, John (d. 1718), of Nunnery.  Eldest son of John Aglionby (c.1610-65) and his wife Margery, daughter of Christopher Richmond of Highhead, born about 1642.  Educated at Grays Inn (admitted 1656, called to the bar, 1668; KC 1690) and became steward of the Howard barony of Burgh-by-Sands before 1675.  Involved in a dispute between the Howards and the Musgraves which resulted in his being brought before the Privy Council in 1668, ordered to make a public apology and losing his position as a magistrate for seven years. Mayor of Carlisle, 1669; JP from 1675; Recorder of Carlisle 1679-1718.  A high Tory in politics, he was not ejected from the magistracy under King James II, but succeeded in retaining his offices under King William III.  He was an enthusiastic antiquarian, who decorated his houses at Drawdykes and Drumburgh with Roman antiquities found in the Carlisle area.  He married, 1660, Barbara (d. 1709), daughter of John Patrickson of Calder Abbey, and had issue:
(1) John Aglionby (1663-1729) (q.v.);
(2) Edward Aglionby (d. 1702/3); possibly a naval officer; died unmarried;
(3) Bridget Aglionby (c.1679-1715); m. George Watson of Goswich Castle (Co. Durham) and had issue five sons
(4) Barbara Aglionby (1683-1719); born 10 March 1683; m. 1718, William Nugent (who m.2, Ursula Aglionby, a cousin of his first wife);
(5) Mary Aglionby, m. Adam Craik of Arbigland (Dumfries) and had issue nine children.
He lived at Drawdykes Castle, which he employed William Thackeray of Torpenhow to remodel in 1676, and sold the family house in Botchergate, Carlisle.  He purchased Drumburgh Castle in 1678 but exchanged it with Sir John Lowther in 1694 for the Nunnery estate at Ainstable, which he put into repair and made his main seat by 1698.  Having disinherited his son, he made a settlement in 1712 on his grandson of Nunnery and much other property, and probably retired to Carlisle.
He died in March 1718, aged about 76, and was buried in the family vault in St. Cuthbert's church, Carlisle.

Aglionby, John (1663-1729) of Nunnery.  Elder son of John Aglionby (d. 1718) and his wife Barbara, daughter of John Patrickson of Calder Abbey, born 1663.  JP for Cumberland by 1688.    He was dedicated to hunting and racing and by 1696 was notorious for loose living, and in due course he was disinherited by his father in favour of his eldest son.  He then moved to the Isle of Man, where he became a merchant, at times in partnership with Edward Nash of Douglas; despite being involved in substantial transactions he remained permanently hard up and was supported partly by an allowance from his father, continued after 1718 by his son.  He married c.1683 Dinah (d. 1718), daughter and co-heir of John Stoddart of Little Braithwaite in Crosthwaite, and had issue:
(1) Henry Aglionby (1684-1759) (q.v.);
(2) John Aglionby (1685), baptised 28 September 1685 but died young.
He lived on the Isle of Man.
He died 4 December 1729 and was buried beside his wife in Kirk Braddan churchyard.

Aglionby, Henry (1684-1759) of Nunnery.  Elder and only surviving son of John Aglionby (1663-1729) and his wife Dinah, daughter of John Stoddart of Little Braithwaite. MP for Carlisle, 1721, 1722; High Sheriff of Cumberland, 1732-33; Mayor of Carlisle 1738-39. He married1712 Elizabeth Lawson (d. 1757), granddaughter of Sir William Lawson of Brayton, and had issue:
(1) Henry Aglionby (d. 1770) (q.v.);
(2) Sarah Grace Aglionby (d. 1713), died young;
(3) John Aglionby (d. 1717), died young;
(4) Elizabeth Aglionby (1721-38); born 16 May 1721; died unmarried in December 1738, aged 17;
(5) John Aglionby (1722-42); educated at Queen's College, Oxford (matriculated 1738; BA 1742); died at Oxford, probably of scarlet fever;
(6) Sarah Aglionby (d. 1798), m. Richard Lowthian (d. 1784).
He acquired the Nunnery estate and other property in Cumberland from his grandfather under his marriage settlement of 1712 and at his grandfather's death in 1718 and partially rebuilt the house in the 1720s.  In the late 1740s he moved out to a secondary house at Crossfield.
He died in late July 1759 and was buried 10 August in Ainstable church alongside his wife, who was buried there, 30 December 1757.

Aglionby, Henry (c.1715-70) of Nunnery.  Eldest and only surviving son of Henry Aglionby (1684-1759) and his wife Elizabeth, granddaughter of Sir William Lawson of Brayton, born c.1715.  Mayor of Carlisle, 1741-45, although the duties were carried out by a deputy mayor, Thomas Pattinson, who failed to prevent the city falling into the hands of the Jacobite rebels.  High Sheriff of Cumberland, 1764.  He married in 1742, Anne (d. 1780), daughter of Sir Christopher Musgrave of Edenhall and had issue:
(1) Henry Aglionby (d. 1766); educated at Carlisle Grammar School and Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1762); died unmarried and was buried 10 October 1766;
(2) John Aglionby (d. 1763); established as a India merchant from 1759, but drowned at sea between India and China, 9 September 1763; died unmarried;
(3) Christopher Aglionby (d. 1785) (q.v.);
(4) Elizabeth Aglionby (d. 1822), m. Richard (d. 1806), son of Richard Brown Bamber (d. 1808) of Belmont (Down); died 5 January 1822;
(5) Anne Aglionby (d. 1830), m. Rev. Samuel Bateman (1751-1827), a hunting parson later of Newbiggin Hall (Cumberland) who died on the hunting field, and had issue a son, Henry Bateman (later Aglionby) (q.v.);
(6) Julia Aglionby (d. 1798) of Crossfield; will proved 30 August 1799 in PCC;
(7) Mary Aglionby (c.1750-1816) (q.v.).
He acquired the Nunnery estate and other property in Cumberland from his father under his marriage settlement in 1742 and his father's will.  In 1764 he added the farmhouse to the side of Drawdykes Castle.
He died at Nunnery, 15 December 1770 aged 55.  His widow died of smallpox in 1780.

Aglionby, Christopher (c.1754-85) of Nunnery.  Youngest but only surviving son of Henry Aglionby (c.1715-70) of Nunnery and his wife Anne, daughter of Sir Christopher Musgrave of Edenhall, born c.1754.   Probably originally intended for a career as a merchant and admitted as a burgess at Dumfries, 1769; after succeeding to the estates he attended Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1771).  High Sheriff of Cumberland, 1780-81.
He inherited the Nunnery estate from his father in 1770 and laid out the Nunnery Walks as a picturesque landscape c.1780.  Following his death, his property was divided by an order in Chancery among his sisters, Elizabeth receiving Nunnery; Mary, Drawdykes; Anne, Cumwhinton and Coathill, and Julia, Aglionby and the house at Crossfield.
He died unmarried and without issue, 6 October 1785 after a 'violent but short' illness, and was buried in Ainstable church.

Yates (née Aglionby), Mary (c.1750-1816), of Skirwith Abbey and Hutton Hall, Penrith.  Youngest daughter of Henry Aglionby (c.1715-70) of Nunnery and his wife Anne, daughter of Sir Christopher Musgrave of Edenhall, born c.1750.  She married 1768 John Orfeur Yates (d. 1818), who made a fortune as a merchant in India, 1759-67 and returned to England to marry and build Skirwith Abbey (Cumberland), living on the income from capital which remained invested in India.  Their marriage was increasingly unhappy and Yates could not bear to tell his family that his capital had been lost through a series of bankruptcies and frauds in India; he borrowed from his brother Charles and mortgaged Skirwith to him to cover his expenditure, until forced by his brother to reveal the truth in 1800, when his income was only £464 a year.  Mary responded by taking control of the family finances, leasing Skirwith - which she detested anyway - and moving to the more modest Hutton Hall in Penrith.  By instituting great domestic economies and applying her own small income she was eventually able to clear John Yates' debts; Charles Yates also generously remitted 60% of the mortgage on Skirwith when he died in 1809.  John and Mary Yates had issue:
(1) Mary Yates (1772-1843) of Hutton Hall; moved to Bath in 1835; died unmarried;
(2) Anne Yates (d. 1802); died 12 February 1802, perhaps from consumption;
(3) Francis Yates (later Aglionby) (1777-1840) (q.v.);
(4) John Yates (1779-1851), emigrated to America in 1792 (aged 13) to join his uncle, Charles Yates in Fredericksburg (Virginia); educated at Nassau Hall, Princeton (New Jersey) (admitted 1796) and William & Mary College, Williamsburg (admitted 1799), and m. 7 April 1803, Julia (d. 1866), daughter of William Lovell of Fox Neck, and had issue; inherited the Walnut Grove estate in the Shenandoah valley from his uncle in 1809; returned to England on a visit in 1851 and died at Nunnery, 6 July 1851; buried at Ainstable;
(5) Henry Yates (1784-1801); died of consumption, 18 May 1801.
She inherited the Drawdykes estate from her brother in 1785.
She died 8 September 1816 and was buried in Carlisle Cathedral. Her husband died in 1818; his will was proved 15 January 1819.

Aglionby (né Yates), Francis (1777-1840) of Skirwith Abbey and later Nunnery.  Eldest son of John Orfeur Yates (d. 1818) and his wife Mary, daughter of Henry Aglionby; born 1777.  Originally educated for a career at the bar but was unable to continue his studies after 1800 because of the family financial situation, and joined the Cumberland Militia (Captain, 1803; Major, 1805).  He was a tall man, and widely liked and respected; in 1829 the Carlisle Citizen paid tribute to his 'noble figure and countenance, and unassuming mien', describing him as 'that pattern of what a country gentleman ought to be'.  JP for Cumberland and Chairman of Quarter Sessions, 1818-40.  In 1822 he changed his name to Aglionby on inheriting the Nunnery estate.  A Whig in politics, he stood unsuccessfully for the West Cumberland parliamentary seat in 1833 and 1835 and was elected MP for East Cumberland in 1837.  He married c.1813 his cousin, Mary (d. 1855?), daughter of John Matthews of Wigton Hall by his wife Jane Yates, and had issue:
(1) Henry Aglionby (d. 1834); probably died of consumption;
(2) Mary Aglionby (b. c.1816), m. 1845, Rev. Beilby Porteus (c.1808-96), vicar of Edenhall (Cumberland) and had issue four daughters;
(3) Jane Aglionby (c.1820-74), m. 1847 Charles Featherstonhaugh (d. 1885) and had issue a daughter (Elizabeth Aglionby Fetherstonhaugh, whose son purchased the Nunnery estate in 1892); she died 21 May 1874; will proved at Carlisle, 17 March 1876.
He inherited Drawdykes Castle from his mother in 1816 and Skirwith Abbey from his father in 1818, having moved back into it the previous year, but in 1822 he inherited the property of his aunt, Elizabeth Bamber, comprising Nunnery, Aglionby and Crossfield, subject to his changing his name to Aglionby and living at Nunnery.  He sold Skirwith later the same year, improved the house at Nunnery, and later added to the estate by buying Staffield Hall nearby and the advowson of Ainstable.  At his death, the entailed Nunnery estate passed to his cousin, Henry Bateman (later Aglionby), but Staffield Hall and other unentailed property was left to his widow, Mary, who continued to live with her daughters at Nunnery as Henry's guests. Staffield was eventually given to Mary's daughter Jane Featherstonhaugh as a wedding gift, and rebuilt.
He died of a cerebral haemorrhage in Carlisle, 1 July 1840 and was buried in Ainstable church.  His widow died in ?1855.

Aglionby (né Bateman), Henry Aglionby (1790-1854), of Newbiggin Hall and Nunnery.  Son of Rev. Samuel Bateman (1751-1827) of Newbiggin Hall and his wife Anne, daughter of Henry Aglionby (c.1715-70) (q.v.), born 28 December 1790.  Educated at Sedbergh, St. John's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1808; BA 1813; MA 1816) and Lincoln's Inn (admitted, 1812; called to the bar, 1816).  Practised as a barrister on the northern circuit.  He was a radical Whig in politics, and stood unsuccessfully for Parliament in Carlisle in 1829 before being elected for Cockermouth in 1832; he was MP for the town until his death in 1854.  In 1840 he changed his name to Aglionby on inheriting the Nunnery estate.  He was described in youth as 'of diminutive stature' and 'a plain-looking young man...very grave and steady in his manners', but he developed a spendthrift tendency to exceed his income and tried to regain solvency through wild schemes which often cost him money and were sometimes doubtfully legal. In the 1840s he became a director of the New Zealand Company, set up to promote colonization, and used his parliamentary position to promote the scheme, unsuccessfully.  He married, 3 March 1852, Mary Anne, widow of James Sadd (d. 1850/51) of Caterham (Surrey), but had no issue.
He inherited Newbiggin Hall from his father in 1827, and the Nunnery estate in 1840 after the death of Francis Aglionby (1777-1840), but lived mainly in London, where he had chambers in the Middle Temple.  On his marriage in 1852 he acquired Manor Cottage in Caterham, which became his main residence.  At his death he left his personal property to his widow, and his real estate to trustees for his widow and then for Mary Aglionby and her daughters, while the entailed estates passed to Charles Yates, son of John Yates (1779-1851) and grandson of Mary Yates (née Aglionby) (c.1750-1816).
He died on 31 July 1854.  His will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 22 September 1854.

Aglionby (né Yates), Charles (1807-91), of Mount Pleasant (Virginia).  Son of John Yates (1779-1851) and his wife, Julia Lovell (d. 1866), born in Jefferson County, Virginia, 1807.  Educated at Princeton (BA 1826).  He married, 1844, Judith Frances (known as Fanny) (1821-1902), daughter of Col. James W. Walker of Virginia (USA) and had issue, with five other children who died young:
(1) Rev. Francis Keyes Aglionby (1848-1937) (q.v.);
(2) John Aglionby;
(3) William Aglionby (1854-70), died unmarried;
(3) Jeanette Aglionby;
(3) Horace Waller Aglionby (1860-82), died unmarried.
He was established after his marriage on Mount Pleasant farm on his father's estate in Jefferson County.  He inherited the Nunnery estate from Henry Aglionby Aglionby (1790-1854) under the terms of the entail, and also Newbiggin Hall (which he sold in 1855) and other property in Cumberland and Dumfriesshire.  The Dumfriesshire property was sold in 1877.  He visited England in 1855 on inheriting the property but it was subsequently managed through Bleaymires of Penrith, solicitors.
He died 31 January 1891.  His widow died 29 September 1902.

Aglionby, Rev. Francis Keyes (known as Frank) (1848-1937) of Nunnery.  Elder son of Charles Aglionby (né Yates) (1807-91) of Mount Pleasant (Virginia) and his wife Fanny, daughter of Col. James W. Walker of Virginia (USA), born 1848.  Emigrated from America to England in 1867 and was educated at Queen's College, Oxford (BA 1871; BD 1873; MA 1875; DD); ordained deacon, 1873 and priest, 1874; curate of St Paul, Holloway, London, 1873-76 and Christ Church, Hampstead (Middx), 1876-78; vicar of Plungar (Notts), 1878-79, rector of Hampton Poyle (Oxon), 1879-82, vicar of Christ Church, Westminster, 1882-1917 and Newbold Pacey (Warks), 1917-27; honorary canon of Coventry Cathedral, 1921-27.  He married, 9 August 1876, Amy, daughter of Rt. Rev. Edward Henry Bickersteth, bishop of Exeter, and had issue:
(1) (Francis) Basil Aglionby (1878-1962); educated at Charterhouse and Corpus Christi College, Oxford (BA 1901; BCL 1902); served 1915-18 in WW1 in Royal Artillery (Major); , solicitor in private practice, 1918-57; married 30 September 1930 Marjorie (d. 1965), daughter of Rev. Alfred Russell, vicar of Chingford (Essex) and widow of Oliver Coales (d. 1926) and had issue a son (His Honour Judge Francis Aglionby (1932-2002)) and a daughter; died 4 January 1962; will proved 24 July 1962 (estate £38,462);
(2) Rose Frances Aglionby (1881-1961) MBE; honorary secretary of the Accra Diocesan Association, 1941-51; died unmarried, 4 June 1961;
(3) Commander Charles Edward Aglionby (1882-1966), served in Royal Navy, 1895-1919 and later as a fishery officer with the Ministry of Agriculture in north Wales; m. 1918 Christina Elizabeth Annabella, daughter of Alexander James Henry Campbell of Dunstaffnage, and had issue one son and two daughters; died 11 May 1966;
(4) Rt. Rev. John Orfeur Aglionby (1884-1963); educated at Westminster and Queen's College, Oxford (BA 1910; MA 1910); ordained deacon 1911 and priest 1912; curate of Holy Trinity, South Shields, 1911-15; served in WW1 in Royal Army Medical Corps and later as a chaplain to the forces; MC 1917; vicar of St Bede, Monkwearmouth, 1918-23; bishop of Accra (Ghana), 1923-51; died unmarried, 15 May 1963;
(5) Maj. Arthur Hugh Aglionby (1885-1918); educated at Westminster and Corpus Christi College, Oxford (BA 1908); schoolmaster, 1908-14; served in WW1 with Royal Artillery (Captain, 1917; Major, 1918; died of wounds, 7 November 1918; MC posthumously, 1919);
(6) Rev. Wilfrid Henry Aglionby (1890-1958), educated at Westminster and Corpus Christi College, Oxford (BA 1912); ordained deacon 1913 and priest 1914; curate of St Mary of Eton, Hackney Wick, 1914-16; chaplain to the forces, 1916-18 (MC 1918); curate of St Michael, Shoreditch, 1920-23; vicar of St Frideswide, Poplar, 1923-37 and St. Saviour (later St Saviour and Christ Church), Ealing, 1937-58; died unmarried, 29 July 1958;
(7) Alice Mary Aglionby (1892-1974), rather eccentric smallholder in Kent and Sussex who bred dogs, pigs, goats and peacocks; died unmarried, 17 June 1974;
(6) Alan Bernard Aglionby (1899-1901), died young.
He inherited the Nunnery estate from his father in 1891, but sold it the following year to his cousin, Arthur Charles Aglionby (q.v.).  On his retirement he bought Hilden Grange in Tonbridge (Kent), which his widow sold in the early 1940s.
He died 6 November 1937, aged 88; his will was proved in London, 20 December 1937 (estate £18,637).  His widow died 30 October 1943, aged 87.

Aglionby (né Cooper), Arthur Charles (1872-1938) of Nunnery.  Only son of Lt-Col. Arthur Sisson Cooper (later Aglionby) and his wife Elizabeth Aglionby (d. 1885), daughter of Charles Featherstonhaugh of Staffield Hall and his wife Jane (née Aglionby), born 15 July 1872. Educated at Harrow and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and later at the Inner Temple (called to the bar, 1905).  Served in the army in the 3rd bttn, Connaught Rangers, 1899-1901 (Captain), then in military intelligence in Persia, before becoming district superintendent of police in Nigeria, 1904-08; deputy governor of Manchester Prison, 1908 and later governor of Winchester Prison and Exeter Prison.  He married 8 July 1909 Joyce (1889-1960), daughter of Joseph Wynn Goodman of Park Hatch (Surrey) and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Joyce Aglionby (b. 1911), born 15 February 1911; m. Charles Geoffrey Price;
(2) Barbara Aglionby (1915-79), born 18 July 1915; m. 1941, Richard P. Harding; died Jan-March 1979.
He inherited the Drawdykes estate from his grandmother and purchased the Nunnery estate from his cousin, Rev. Francis Keyes Aglionby (1848-1937) in 1892, but sold it again in 1919. He lived later at Gurney Court, West Harptree (Somerset) and Belfield, Poltimore (Devon), which he leased.
He died on 17 August 1938.


J.M. Robinson, A guide to the country houses of the North-West, 1991, pp. 104, 130; T. Longville, ‘Thrills and chills in the Cumbrian hills’, Country Life, 23 November 2000, pp. 60-63; H. Summerson, 'An ancient Squire's family': the history of the Aglionbys c.1130-2002, 2007; M. Hyde & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Cumbria, 2010, pp. 115, 164-65, 413

Location of archives

Aglionby of Nunnery and Drawdykes Castle (Cumberland): deeds, manorial records and family papers, 12th-20th cents (Cumbria RO, Carlisle D/AY)

Revision and acknowledgements

This account was first published 14 July 2013 and was revised 21 July 2014, 22 February 2016, 10 December 2020 and 12 July 2022.


  1. shows Edward Aglionby's father was Richard of Carlisle, rather than Edward as shown above.

    1. The History of Parliament is here following the information given in the Alumni Cantabrigiensis. I have preferred the account given by Henry Summerson in 'An ancient squire's family: the history of the Aglionbys, c.1130-2002', 2007, p. 66 which is based on exhaustive research in the family papers by the late Francis Aglionby who says "the overwhelming likelihood is that the [Cambridge] sources are in error, and that Edward's father was in fact his illustrious namesake, the MP for Carlisle...". Amongst the evidence for this is that Barnard Aglionby (d. 1579) named "my brother Edward Aglionby of Balshall" as an overseer of his will.

  2. Nick-
    Thanks for all your work on this informative Blog.
    I have been researching the family of John Aglionby (1567-1610).
    the Oxford scholar and Translator of the KJB.
    Most accounts state that he was the son of Edward (d. 1599) who married Elizabeth Musgrave daughter of Cuthbert. Also, that he and his brother Edward (1567/68-1648) had a sister Dorothy.
    Could you comment on this?
    Richard Lambert

    1. Richard,
      Once again, I am following the account given by Henry Summerson in 'An ancient squire's family: the history of the Aglionbys, c.1130-2002', which I have found to be based on generally accurate research. He says that John (d. 1610) was the second son of Barnard Aglionby (d. 1579), and that in his will Barnard made provision for the 'mayntenaunce and upbringing at the school and in lernyng' of his sons. But I am not aware of any irrefutable proof of this relationship.

  3. Captain Charles Arthur Aglionby - lived in Poltimore village but not in Poltimore House which was occupied in the 1920s by Poltimore College. He first appears in 1925 in Belfield, a farm on the outskirts of Poltimore - from Julia Neville, Poltimore Estate Research Society

    1. Thank you for this correction, which I have incorporated in the article. I should have spotted this when I wrote my post on the Bampfyldes (


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