|Aldridge of St. Leonard's House|
Robert Aldridge (1801-71) served as High Sheriff of Sussex in 1825 and in 1829 married Beauclerk’s second daughter, Caroline (1804-69) and they had four sons and three daughters. In about 1840 he substantially remodelled and extended St Leonard's House for his large family. In due course, the eldest son, Col. John Aldridge (1832-88) inherited; he was elected as Conservative MP for Horsham in 1868 but chose not to defend himself against an appeal and was unseated the following year in favour of his opponent. After 1878 he began selling land from the estate, presumably in response to the agricultural depression. After his death the property passed in succession to two of his sons: Robert Beauclerk Aldridge (1865-92) and Charles Powlett Aldridge (1866-1941), the later of whom completed the dispersal of the estate in 1906. The house and remaining estate changed hands twice in the first decade of the 20th century but by 1913 had passed to the McGaw family.
The youngest son of John Clater Aldridge was Robert (d. 1837). He inherited a valuable group of freehold and copyhold Kensington properties later known as the Gore House estate from the Reverend William Beaumont Busby, Dean of Rochester, in 1820. At his death they passed to his eldest son, John Aldridge (1804-93), who sold all his Kensington property to the Commissioners for the Great Exhibition of 1851 and bought Inholmes on the Berkshire downs north of Hungerford with the proceeds. When he died, Inholmes passed to his son and namesake (1837-1919), who sold the house in 1905 to H.C. Gooch, a barrister and MP, who rebuilt it to the designs of Leonard Stokes.
St. Leonard's House, Lower Beeding, Sussex
|St. Leonard's Forest: entrance front, 2007. Image: Peter Cox. Licenced under a Creative Commons licence.|
|St. Leonard's Forest: garden and side elevations|
The park may represent the medieval St. Leonard's park, first mentioned in 1310. In 1570 and 1573 the Crown required in leases that 500 deer should be kept for its use by the tenant. There were pleasure grounds at the house in 1795 and a park of 250 a. in 1876. There were deer in the park in 1896 and a menagerie of wild animals from various parts of the world in 1910. In 1962 there were still deer, and also wallabies, presumably the descendants of animals from the menagerie.
Inholmes, Woodlands St. Mary, Berkshire
|Inholmes: the house occupied by the Aldridge family in the 19th century. Image: © David Ford|
|Inholmes: the entrance front of the house as rebuilt by Leonard Stokes, 1905-07. Image: Neil Thompson. Some rights reserved.|
|Inholmes: the garden fronts of the house as rebuilt by Leonard Stokes, 1905-07. Image: Neil Thompson. Some rights reserved.|
Descent: William Seymour (d. 1568); to son, Thomas Seymour; to grandson, Thomas Seymour, who sold 1605 to his uncle, Thomas Seymour (d. 1608), who had leased the estate since 1579; to son, Roger Seymour (d. 1631); to son, Thomas Seymour (1628-c.1717); to daughters and co-heiresses, Anne Richmond, Frances Walford and Jane Seymour, who by a family arrangement settled the estate on Anne's son, Toby Richmond (d. 1761); to nephew, Edmund Seymour; to son, John Richard Seymour (d. 1848), after whose death sold to John Aldridge (1804-93); to son, Maj. John Aldridge (1837-1919), who sold 1905 to Sir Henry Cubitt Gooch, kt. (1871-1959), barrister and MP; sold 1919 to George Short Barwick (1879-1937), company director; to widow, Marianne Barwick (1882-1975); to daughter, Angela Ruth (1916-86), wife of John Gilbert Gilbey (1917-82); sold after 1986... sold 1998 to Sir Frank Williams (b. 1942), kt, motor racing entrepreneur.
The Aldridge family of St. Leonard's House
Aldridge, Abel (1674-1758), of Chalfont St. Giles (Bucks). Younger son of John Aldridge, farmer and lord of the manor of Sunninghill (Berks), baptised 12 October 1674. Perhaps a London merchant; recorded as gentleman of St Martin-in-the-Fields. He married, 27 June 1699 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, Sarah Evans (c.1673-1744) and had issue:
(1) Abel Aldridge (b. 1700), born 4 and baptised 9 August 1700; died young and was buried at East Molesey (Surrey), 25 December 1704;
(2) Jane Aldridge (b. 1701), baptised 18 January 1701/2; died young;
(3) Sarah Aldridge (b. 1703), baptised 6 June 1703; died young;
(4) John Aldridge (b. 1704), baptised 28 May 1704; died young;
(5) John Aldridge (1706-60), of London; inherited the St. Leonard's Forest estate from his cousin, Capt. William Powlett (d. 1746); married, 1734, Elizabeth Tharp (c.1712-72) but died without issue, 21 November 1760; buried at Chalfont St. Giles where he is commemorated by a monument; will proved in PCC, 3 December 1760;
(6) Abel Aldridge (b. 1707), baptised 23 March 1706/7; died young;
(7) Elizabeth Aldridge (b. 1708), baptised 17 March 1707/8; died young;
(8) Abel Aldridge (b. 1709), baptised 7 October 1709; died young;
(9) Sarah Aldridge (b. 1710), baptised 5 November 1710; died young;
(10) Catherine Aldridge (b. 1711), baptised 25 December 1711; died young;
(11) Abel Aldridge (1713-82) (q.v.);
(12) Anne Aldridge (1714-c.1762), baptised 15 February 1714; married Samuel Saville (d. 1763) of Colchester (Essex) and had issue two daughters;
(13) George Aldridge (b. 1716), born 21 and baptised 24 August 1716; died young.
He died 22 August 1758 and was buried at Chalfont St. Giles, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 5 September 1758. His wife died 22 September 1744 and was buried at Chalfont St. Giles, where she is commemorated by a monument.
Aldridge, Abel (1713-82) of Uxbridge and St. Leonard's House. Son of Abel Aldridge (1674-1758) of Chalfont St. Giles (Bucks) and his wife Sarah (d. 1744); baptised 18 February 1712/3. JP for Middlesex; High Constable of the Uxbridge division of Elthorne Hundred, 1758. He married, 15 April 1735, at St Benet, Paul's Wharf, London, Sarah Clater (fl. 1782) of Bloomsbury and had issue, with other children who died in infancy:
(1) Elizabeth Aldridge (c.1736-1816); married Frederick Thackeray MB (1737-82) of Windsor, son of Ven. Dr. Thomas Thackeray, Archdeacon of Surrey and Headmaster of Harrow School, and had issue; died at Leamington (Warks), 11 October 1816 and was buried at Hatton (Warks);
(2) John Clater Aldridge (1737-95) (q.v.);
(3) Mary Aldridge (1739- after 1800); baptised 4 March 1739; married at Hillingdon (Middx), 19 September 1769, Canon William Holcombe (d. 1796) of Christ's College, Cambridge, later rector of Cosheston and Manordivy (Pembs) and Canon of St. Davids and had issue;
(4) Abel Aldridge (b. 1741), baptised at Hillingdon, 24 May 1741;
(5) Anne Aldridge (1747-87), baptised at Hillingdon, 24 June 1747; married at Lambeth, 23 November 1780, John Warburton of Eltham (Kent), timber merchant, and had issue; died 9 February 1787 and was buried at Hillingdon (Middx).
He inherited the St. Leonard's Forest estate from his brother in 1760, and perhaps rebuilt the house called New Lodge (later St. Leonard's House).
He died aged about 69, and was buried at Hillingdon (Middx), 30 November 1782.
Aldridge, John Clater (1737-95), of St. Leonard's House. Only surviving son of Abel Aldridge (1713-82) and his wife Sarah Clater, baptised at Uxbridge, 30 March 1737. Educated at Merton College, Oxford (matriculated 1754; BA 1758) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1761); MP for Queenborough 1784-90, Shoreham 1790-92; Storekeeper of the Ordnance, 1782-95. He married, September 1765, Henrietta (1736/7-1806), daughter of Samuel Hopkins of Grays Inn and widow of Tomlinson Busby (m. and d. 1755), and had issue:
(1) John Aldridge (1766-1803) (q.v.);
(2) Sophia Aldridge (b. 1768), baptised 23 October 1768;
(3) Harriet Aldridge (fl. 1783), married 6 January 1783 at St Paul, Covent Garden, London, Edward Carter of Coolhurst (Sussex) and had issue one son and two daughters;
(4) Louisa Aldridge (1778-1843), married, 27 January 1812 as his second wife, Capt. Sir Francis John Hartwell (1757-1831), 1st bt. of Dale Hall (Essex), Director of Greenwich Hospital, and had issue; died at Naples, 13 June 1843;
(5) Charles Leonard Aldridge (c.1779-1839); died 8 February 1839; buried at Nuthurst (Sussex);
(6) Robert Aldridge-Busby (d. 1837) (q.v.).
He inherited the St. Leonard's House estate from his father in 1782.
He died at Horsham, 16 May 1795, aged 48. His widow died in 1806.
Aldridge, John (1766-1803), of St. Leonard's House. Eldest son of John Clater Aldridge (1737-95), and his wife Henrietta, baptised at Bignor (Sussex), 23 February 1766. Capt. in Royal Sussex Militia; JP and DL for Sussex. He married, 11 June 1799 at Stopham (Sussex), Anna Maria (d. 1825), daughter of Walter Smyth of Stopham (Sussex) and had issue:
(1) John Warburton Aldridge (1800-01);
(2) Robert Aldridge (1801-71) (q.v.).
He inherited the St. Leonard's House estate from his father in 1795; he sold 1,000 acres of the estate in 1803.
He died at Brighton, 7 April 1803, aged 37. His widow died 23 June 1825.
Aldridge, Robert (1801-71), of St. Leonard's House. Only surviving son of John Aldridge (1766-1803) and his wife Anna Maria, daughter of Walter Smyth of Stopham (Sussex), born 24 June and baptised at Horsham, 5 August 1801. JP and DL for Sussex; High Sheriff of Sussex, 1828. He married, 20 October 1829 at Cowfold (Sussex), Caroline Anne (1804-69), daughter of Charles George Beauclerk (1774-1845) of St. Leonard's Lodge (Sussex) and had issue:
(1) Emma Louisa Aldridge (1830-93), born 1 September 1830; married, 1 June 1852, Hon & Rev. Robert Henley (1831-1910), son of 2nd Baron Henley, rector of Putney (Surrey) and had issue three sons and five daughters; died 20 August 1893;
(2) Col. John Aldridge (1832-88) (q.v.);
(3) Anna Maria Aldridge (1833-1916), baptised 6 August 1833; married, 26 June 1855, Charles Spencer Scrase-Dickins of Coolhurst (Sussex) (1830-84) and had issue four sons and one daughter;
(4) Capt. Robert Barttelot Aldridge (1835-63), Captain in 71st Highland Light Infantry; died unmarried and without issue when killed in action at Umbelya Pass in India, 19 November 1863; commemorated by a memorial window in St Mary's church, Horsham; administration of goods granted 24 March 1864 (estate under £800);
(5) Caroline Diana Aldridge (1837-1920), baptised at Nuthurst (Sussex), 23 March 1838; married, 24 January 1857, Maj. the Hon. Charles James Keith-Falconer (1832-89), son of 7th Earl of Kintore and had issue three sons and six daughters; died at Hampton Court Palace, 24 February 1920; will proved 29 May 1920 (estate £1,370);
(6) Rev. Charles Compton Aldridge (1839-66), educated at Oriel College, Oxford (MA 1864); ordained priest in the diocese of London, 1863; died unmarried and without issue, 7 August 1866; will proved 10 October 1866 (estate under £450);
(7) Capt. Henry Aldridge (1842-76), Captain in 95th Regiment of Foot; died unmarried at Cork Barracks, 20 November 1876; will proved 22 December 1876 (estate under £1,500).
He inherited the St. Leonard's House estate from his father in 1803, aged 2.
He died 26 May and was buried at Lower Beeding (Sussex), 2 June 1871; his will was proved 11 December 1871 (estate under £7,000). His wife died 11 September and was buried at Lower Beeding, 17 September 1869.
Aldridge, Col. John (1832-88), of St. Leonard's House. Eldest son of Robert Aldridge (1801-71) and his wife Caroline Anne, daughter of Charles George Beauclerk of St. Leonard's Lodge (Sussex), born 4 January 1832. Major in Royal Scots Fusiliers then Colonel commanding 3rd and 4th battalions of Royal Sussex Regiment; JP and DL for Sussex; MP for Horsham, 1868-69, but was unseated after an appeal by his opponent. He married, 18 July 1863 at St James's Palace, Westminster, Mary Alethea (1828-1908), daughter of Samuel Matthews of Romford (Essex) and widow of Thomas Broadwood of Holmbush (Sussex) and had issue:
(1) Emily Marian Aldridge (1864-97), married, 18 June 1891, Rev. Richard Aubrey Chichester Bevan (1860-1925), youngest son of Richard Lee Bevan of Brixworth Hall (Northants) and had issue; died 16 March 1897; will proved 21 April 1897 (estate £6,895);
(2) Robert Beauclerk Aldridge (1865-92), born 11 June 1865; educated at University College, Oxford (matriculated 1884); Captain, 3rd battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment; succeeded his father in 1888, but died unmarried and without issue, 30 November 1892, aged 27;
(3) Charles Powlett Aldridge (1866-1941) (q.v.);
(4) Herbert Henry Aldridge (1869-1922); born 25 February 1869; captain in the army; died 4 September 1922; will proved 5 October 1922 (estate £31,882);
(5) Maj. John Barttelot Aldridge (1871-1909), born 8 February 1871; married, 1 August 1899, Margaret Jessica (1876-1937?), daughter of J. Goddard of Newton Harcourt Manor House and had issue three sons; died in India, 19 January 1909; will proved 3 March 1909 (estate £12,288).
He inherited the St. Leonard's House estate from his father in 1871, but sold some of the remaining land. At his death he was succeeded by his eldest two sons in turn.
He died 23 February and was buried at Lower Beeding, 27 February 1888; will proved 12 April 1888 (estate £3,354). His widow died 26 January 1908, aged 79; her will was proved 21 February 1908 (estate £694).
Aldridge, Charles Powlett (1866-1941), of St. Leonard's House. Second son of Col. John Aldridge (1832-88) and his wife Mary Alethea, daughter of Samuel Matthews of Romford (Essex), born 27 September 1866. Captain in Royal Sussex Regiment. He married, 27 April 1898, Gwladys Edith Henrietta (1876-1953), daughter of Lt-Col. Thomas Falconer Wisden of Broadwater (Sussex) and had issue:
(1) Hilda Aldridge (1904-78), born 27 April 1904; died unmarried, 1978;
(2) Diana Aldridge (1905-44), born 19 March 1905; married, 10 December 1925, Colin Temple Maclaren (1890-1970) and had issue one son and one daughter.
He inherited the St. Leonard's House estate from his father in 1888, but sold the house before 1900 and the remainder of the land by 1906.
He died in Golders Green (Middx), 17 September 1941, aged 74; his will was proved 24 October 1941 (estate £434). His widow died 28 March 1953; her will was proved 2 July 1953 (estate £3,926).
Aldridge-Busby (né Aldridge), Robert (d. 1837). Youngest son of John Clater Aldridge (1737-95) and his wife Henrietta. Collector of Customs in Cork; MP for Carysfort in the Irish Parliament, 1799-1801; Gentleman-at-Large to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1800; JP for Co. Cork. In 1820 he took the additional surname Busby on inheriting the Kensington property of his maternal kinsman, the Rev. William Beaumont Busby, Dean of Rochester. He married, 31 December 1802, Elizabeth (d. 1836), daughter of James Verner of Church Hill, Armagh and had issue:
(1) John Aldridge (1804-93) (q.v.);
(2) Rev. James Aldridge (c.1806-38); educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1824; BA 1827; MA 1830); ordained deacon 1830 and priest 1831 in the diocese of Exeter; curate of Moor Crichel (Dorset), 1830; vicar of Maresfield (Sussex); chaplain to Horsham gaol, 1837; died unmarried from drowning while bathing in Hawkins Pond near Horsham, 25 August 1838;
(3) Rev. Robert Aldridge (c.1813-96); educated at Chichester Diocesan College; ordained deacon, 1849 and priest, 1850 in the diocese of Chichester; curate of North and South Tilworth (Wilts); perpetual curate of Knowl Hill (Berks), 1859; married 1846, Olivia Verner (d. 1890) and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 29 October 1896; will proved 7 December 1896 (estate £15,905);
(4) Louisa Aldridge (d. 1895) of Aasleagh (Mayo), m. 27 December 1837, Hon. David Plunkett (d.1868), son of William Conyngham Plunkett, 1st Baron Plunkett of Newton but died without issue; will proved in London, 23 October 1895 (estate £22,044)
(5) Henrietta Maria Aldridge (d. 1875); died unmarried, 14 August 1875; will proved 11 September 1875 (estate under £2,000).
He inherited the Gore House estate in Kensington (Middx) in 1820.
He died of cholera near Naples, 8 August 1837; his will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 26 September 1837. His wife died 10 June 1836.
Aldridge, John (1804-93), of Inholmes. Eldest son of Robert Aldridge-Busby (d. 1837) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of James Verner of Church Hill, Armagh, born 1804. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1822, BA 1826, MA 1829) and at the Middle Temple (admitted, 1823; called to the bar, 1830); practised as a barrister. He married, 6 January 1835, Georgiana Emma Mary (c.1806-74), daughter of Thomas Wethered of Marlow (Bucks), and had issue:
(1) Maj. John Aldridge (1837-1919) (q.v.);
(2) Georgiana Aldridge (1838-1924); born 13 May and baptised at St. Pancras, London, 27 June 1838; died unmarried 6 August 1924; will proved 12 November 1924 (estate £17,594);
(3) Elizabeth Aldridge (1839-1913); born 14 September and baptised at St. Pancras, London, 16 November 1839; married 14 April 1863, Rev. William R.J. Dickson, curate of Welford (Berks) and later vicar of Woodlands St Mary, but died without issue, 19 January 1913; will proved 30 April 1913 (estate £24,433);
(4) Sarah Eve Aldridge (1841-97); born at Marlow, 1841; died unmarried, 11 November 1897; will proved 18 January 1898 (estate £11,341);
(5) Henrietta Aldridge (1843-1932); born 16 July and baptised at St Pancras, London, 2 August 1843; died unmarried, 6 October 1932; will proved 10 November 1932 (estate £20,269)
(6) Louisa Aldridge (b.1845); born 28 November 1845 and baptised at St. Pancras, London, 26 January 1846; died after 1891, probably unmarried.
He inherited the Gore House estate in Kensington (Middx) from his father in 1837, but sold it c.1850 and purchased Inholmes, near Lambourn (Berks). He also owned 20 Princes Gate, Hyde Park, Kensington (Middx).
He died 11 January 1893, aged 88; his will was proved 13 February 1893 (estate £44,839).
Aldridge, Maj. John (1837-1919), of Inholmes. Only son of John Aldridge (1804-93) of Inholmes and his wife Georgiana Emma Mary, daughter of Thomas Wethered of Marlow (Bucks), born 9 January and baptised at St. Pancras, London, 14 February 1837. Major in 4th Battalion, Leinster Regiment; JP for Berkshire. He married, 5 February 1871, Frances Mary (c.1850-1934), daughter of Col. Henry Daniel Carden of Knightstown (Leix), but had no issue.
He inherited Inholmes, near Lambourn (Berks) from his father in 1893, but sold it in 1905 and lived thereafter in a secondary house on the estate called Inholmes Lodge, which his widow occupied until her death.
He died in 1919; no will has been found for him. His widow died 3 March 1934; her will was proved 4 May 1934 (estate £23,310).
Burke's Landed Gentry, successive editions; VCH Sussex, vol. 6 (part 3), 1987, pp. 16-21; VCH Berkshire, vol. 3, pp. 251-66; G. Tyack, S. Bradley & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Berkshire, 2010, p. 731; http://www.hiddenhorsham.co.uk/97/stleonards.htm;
Location of archives
No significant archive is known to survive.
Coat of arms
Two versions of the family coat of arms seem to be recorded by different authorities:
1. Vert, on a fesse between three garbs or, banded gules, two branches of olive in saltire encircled by a ducal coronet of gold, between two robins proper, a bordure engrailed eriinois charged with eight torteaux.
2. Vert on a fesse or, between three garbs of the second a crown enclosed by a mound and a bird azure two leaves in saltire in the crown of the first.
Revision and acknowledgements
This account was first published 17 September 2013 and was revised 4 April 2015, 17-19 August 2018, 18 August 2020 and 6 April 2022. I am most grateful to David Ford and Neil Thompson for their assistance with my account of Inholmes.