|Alexander of London and Heathfield|
Aubrey House, Kensington, Middlesex
|Aubrey House: street frontage c.2007|
Descent: Sir Edward Lloyd, 1744-66 and remained the property of his descendants until 1823; let to Richard, Lord Grosvenor (later 1st Earl Grosvenor), 1766-67; Lady Mary Coke (daughter of 2nd Duke of Argyll), 1767-after 1788; succession of tenants and used as a school until 1819; empty 1819-23; sold 1823 to Joshua Flesher Hanson; sold to Thomas Williams (d. 1852); leased to Mary & Elizabeth Shepheard as a school, 1830-54; sold 1859 to James Malcolmson; sold 1863 to Peter Alfred Taylor MP; sold 1873 to William Cleverly Alexander (1840-1916); to daughters, Mary, Rachel and Jean Alexander, of whom the last died in 1972; to great-nephews, Peter & Francis Dinely and the actor, Jeffry Wickham; who sold the house (and the adjoining terrace designed by Raymond Erith to replace houses destroyed by bombing in world war II) 1998 to Dr Sigrid Rausing.
Heathfield Park, Sussex
|Heathfield Park: a drawing of 1788. Image: British Library.|
|Heathfield Park: a 19th century engraving showing the balustrade, pediments and veranda added perhaps by|
John Crunden c.1792-93.
|The Gibraltar Tower|
|Humphry Repton, image from the Red Book for Heathfield Park, 1794. Image: East Sussex Record Office.|
The stables east of the house date from 1766 and have two wings with giant arches, linked by a broad segmental carriage arch. The North Lodge, on the Battle Road, was designed by John Crunden in 1792. The main park lies west of the house and is heavily wooded, with a central stream feeding a chain of pools. It was probably first landscaped in 1766 but Humphrey Repton was brought in to make alterations in 1794 and his 'Red Book' is now in the East Sussex Record Office. Very little may actually have been built to his designs in this case; perhaps only a new approach drive.
|Heathfield Hall as remodelled by Sir Reginald Blomfield in 1896-97, from an old postcard|
|Heathfield Park: entrance front in 2007. Image: David Harvey via Wikimedia Commons|
Descent: Sir Walter Hungerford (d. 1596); to half-brother, Sir Edward Hungerford (d. 1607); to great-nephew, Sir Edward Hungerford (d. 1648); to half-brother, Anthony Hungerford (d. 1657); to son, Sir Edward Hungerford, who sold 1674 to Sir John Nicholas (d. 1704); to son, Edward Nicholas, who sold 1715 to John Howe (d. 1721); to son, John Howe (d. 1742), 1st Baron Chedworth; to son, John Howe (d. 1762), 2nd Baron Chedworth; to Henry Howe (d. 1781), 3rd Baron Chedworth; to son, John Howe (d. 1802), 4th Baron Chedworth; sold 1807 to Alexander Baring (d. 1848), 1st Baron Ashburton; to son, William Baring (d. 1864), 2nd Baron Ashburton; to brother, Francis Baring (d. 1868), 3rd Baron Ashburton; to son, Alexander Baring (d. 1889), 4th Baron Ashburton; to son, Francis Baring, 5th Baron Ashburton; sold c.1896 to E.T. Hooley, who became bankrupt; sold 1899 to Sir Christopher Furniss; sold 1909/10 to Cary Coles (fl. 1915); sold c.1918 to George Cleverly Alexander (1868-1959), who sold 1945 to L.E. Turner; sold 1958 to son, J.L. Turner (fl. 1992).
Brandfold, Goudhurst, KentA house was built on this site about 1820, probably for Charles Sneyd Edgeworth, the son of Richard Lovell Edgeworth and half-brother of Maria Edgeworth. Maria wrote following a visit to him in 1830:
Brandfold is a very pretty place, and to me a very pleasant house. The library, the principal room, has a trellis along the whole front, with 'spagnolette windows opening into it, and a pretty conservatory at the end, with another glass door opening into it. The views seen between the arches of the trellis beautiful; flower-knots in the grass, with stocks, hydrangeas, and crimson and pale China roses in profuse blow. Sneyd enjoys everything about him so much, it is quite delightful to see him in his home.This rather charming sounding house was apparently taken down and completely rebuilt in 1872. The replacement house was described in 1882 as 'an entirely new Tudor mansion in red brick and stone with a fine library and a private chapel, built by the late Joseph Ridgeway, late of Fairlawn'.
|Brandfold, Goudhurst, from an old postcard.|
Brandfold was remodelled and enlarged again in 1891 by Sir Reginald Blomfield for Robert Henry Alexander. The interior was elaborately fitted in the Arts & Crafts style. The house was empty during the First World War and was considered for conversion to a war hospital in 1917, but this did not happen and it was demolished between 1927 and 1930.
Descent: Miss Edgeworth (date unknown); Charles Sneyd Edgeworth (1786-1864) let to Thomas Cramer Roberts (fl. 1842) and later Mrs Cramer Roberts (fl. 1851-67); sold c.1870? to Joseph Ridgeway (1821-79); to Hon. John Stewart Gathorne-Hardy (1839-1911), later 2nd Earl of Cranbrook; sold c.1890 to Robert Henry Alexander (1838-1901); to widow, Catherine Yates Alexander (1838-1914); sold to Alfred Stern (1850-1917), a lunatic in the charge of Dr. William Douglas; empty 1917-18; sold before 1922 to Lt-Col. Cole Bryan Bartley OBE; demolished c.1930.
The Alexanders of Aubrey House, Heathfield Park and Winterbourne Stoke
Alexander, William (1769-1819). Second son of William Alexander (1733-85) of Rochester (Kent), a Quaker shipbuilder and teacher, and his wife Elizabeth Day, born 31 January 1769. Clerk with Smith, Wright & Cay, bankers,1792; Head Clerk, Roberts & Curtis; Partner in John Rickman & Co., bill brokers 1806-10; founded Alexander's Bank, 33 Lombard Street, 16 Jul 1810, which was continued after his accidental death by his widow. He married, 13 February 1801 in Doncaster (Yorks), Ann (1775-1861), daughter of William Barber, and had issue:
(1) George William Alexander (1802-90) (q.v.);
(2) Mary Barber Alexander (1804-1907) of Eckington Villa, London Road, Reigate (Surrey), born 11 September 1804; died unmarried, 25 February 1907, aged 102; will proved 24 April 1907 (estate £22,525);
(3) William Dollin Alexander (1805-87) of Summit House, Upper Clapton (Middx) and Broomhill Bank, Speldhurst (Kent), born 24 January 1805; partner in A. & G.M. Alexander; member of Worshipful Company of Plasterers by 1872; JP for Middlesex and Kent; married, 11 October 1851, Julian Ann Mary (d. 1878), daughter of John Joseph Tanner; died without issue in Brighton, 23 April 1887; will proved 15 June 1887 (estate £381,674);
(4) Henry Alexander (1808-99) of Cirencester, born 6 June 1808; ironmonger, millwright and ironfounder at Cirencester; left the Quakers by 1875; married at Calne (Wilts), 27 February 1835, Catherine (1805-82), daughter of Joseph Fry Gundry and had issue three sons and six daughters; died 19 September 1899; will proved 30 September 1899 (estate £1132);
(5) Samuel Alexander (1809-84) of Cirencester, born 26 August 1809; ironmonger at Cirencester and Gloucester (Glos), Bath (Somerset) and Leominster (Herefs); married first, Alice (b. 1812), daughter of Peter Taylor, and second, 30 September 1835 at Calne, Sarah (1809-60), daughter of Joseph Fry Gundry and had issue four sons; died at Leominster, 26 May 1884; will proved 10 February 1885 (estate £8,355);
(6) Frederick Alexander (1810-93) of Holloway (Middx) and later of Clifton, Bristol, born 13 April 1810; accountant; married, December 1839, Rebecca Capper (who petitioned for divorce on grounds of cruelty, 1870) and had issue four sons and one daughter; died 12 July 1893; will proved 5 September 1893 (estate £520);
(7) Elizabeth Alexander (1813-1907) of Eckington Villa, Reigate, born 13 April 1813; died unmarried, 12 February 1907; will proved November 1907 (estate £19,413);
(8) Sarah Ann Alexander (1817-1918) of Eckington Villa, Reigate, born 15 January 1817; died unmarried, 14 January 1918, aged 100; will proved 14 March 1918 (estate £2,413);
(9) Jane Alexander; perhaps died young.
He died 12 November 1819 after a fall from a coach, and was buried at Bunhill Fields, London.
|George William Alexander: detail from|
B. Haydon's picture of the 1840
Anti-Slavery Convention in London
(1.1) Mary Ann Alexander (1836-1920) of Fulner House, Worthing (Sussex), born 29 May or 5 October 1836; died unmarried, 3 January 1920; will proved 3 March 1920 (estate £108,669);
(1.2) Robert Henry Alexander (1838-1901) of 24 Hans Place, Chelsea and Brandfold, Goudhurst (Kent), born 2 May 1838; banker and bill broker; partner in the family firm, 1855-1900 and chairman, 1891-1900; married, 2 May 1859, Catherine Yates (1838-1914), daughter of William Thomas Beeby and had issue six sons and two daughters; died 26 May 1901 and was buried at Goudhurst; will proved 31 July 1901 (estate £295,810);
(1.3) William Cleverly Alexander (1840-1916) (q.v.);
(1.4) Henrietta Alexander (c.1843-46), born about 1843; died young, 8 September 1846;
(2.1) Priscilla Alexander (1853-64), born 2 July 1853; died young, 14 September 1864.
By 1850 he lived at a house in Paradise Row, Stoke Newington (Middx), which was later called The Willows or Kennaway House, and which he rebuilt in 1870. He also purchased Woodhatch House, Reigate (Surrey).
He died 23 or 24 November 1890 at Woodhatch House, aged 88; his will was proved 24 December 1890 (estae £227,610). His first wife died 20 June 1843 at Northfleet (Kent); his second wife died 8 June and was buried 12 June 1878.
Alexander, William Cleverly (1840-1916), of Aubrey House and Heathfield Park. Second son of George William Alexander (1802-90) and his first wife Sarah Cleverly, daughter of Robert Horsnaill, born 21 April 1840. Banker and bill broker; partner in the family firm, 1858-1901; member of the Burlington Fine Arts Club and a founder member of the National Art Collections Fund; he was a noted collector of Oriental art and a patron of James McNeill Whistler and friend of Roger Fry; he left the Quakers and joined the Church of England by 1867. He married, 29 August 1861, Rachel Agnes (1837-1900), daughter of Jeffery Lucas of Hitchin (Herts) and had issue:
(1) Agnes Mary Alexander (1862-1950), born 7 November 1862; baptised, 18 October 1867; died unmarried, 21 April 1950; will proved 31 July 1950 (estate £141,295);
(2) Cicely Henrietta Alexander (1864-1932) of The Glebe House, Burwash (Sussex); baptised 18 October 1867; married, 21 February 1906, Bernard Wilfred Charles (1869-1953), son of Hon. Charles William Thomas Spring-Rice; died 1 March 1932;
(3) William Geoffrey Alexander (1865-1911); baptised 18 October 1867; educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge; banker and bill broker; director of the family firm from 1891; married, 1 December 1887, Beatrice Rose (1865-1913), daughter of Daniel Fearon and had issue one daughter; died 15 September 1911; will proved 4 November 1911 (estate £110,502);
(4) Helen Christina Alexander (1866-97); baptised 18 October 1867; died unmarried at Newton Abbot (Devon), 22 October 1897; will proved 1 December 1897 (estate £215);
(5) Grace Lister Alexander (1867-1959); baptised 18 October 1868; married, 18 April 1894, Col. Sir William Tindall Lister (1868-1944), eye surgeon, son of Arthur Hugh Lister and had issue five sons; died 2 November 1959, aged 92; her will was proved 4 January 1960 (estate £71,021;
(6) George Cleverly Alexander (1868-1959) (q.v.);
(7) Emily Margaret Alexander (1871-1962); born 6 May and baptised 11 June 1871; married, 1897 at Hailsham (Sussex), Cmdr. Francis Goodyere Dineley RN (1865-1908) and had issue; died 14 December 1962; will proved 29 August 1963 (estate £106,845);
(8) Rachel Frances Alexander (1875-1964), born 13 May and baptised 19 June 1875; died unmarried, 8 December 1964; will proved 24 June 1965 (estate £235,296)
(9) Jean Ingelow Alexander (1877-1972), born 20 April and baptised 25 June 1877; trustee of the will of Ellen Beck, suffragette, 1940; died unmarried in Kensington (Middx), 1972, aged 95.
He rented Harringay House (Middx), 1869-73, but purchased Aubrey House, Kensington in 1873 and Heathfield Park (Sussex) in 1895.
He died after a fall down the basement stairs at Heathfield Park, 17 April 1916; his will was proved 31 August 1916 (estate £407, 093). His wife died 31 July 1900.
Alexander, George Cleverly (1868-1959) of Winterbourne Stoke Manor House (Wilts). Younger son of William Cleverly Alexander (1840-1916) and his wife Rachel Agnes, daughter of Jeffery Lucas, born 4 October and baptised at Reigate (Surrey), 18 December 1868. Educated at Eton. Served in Oxfordshire Imperial Yeomanry during Boer War, 1900-02. Director of Alexander & Co. from 1910 (and later Chairman); JP for Wiltshire, 1927. He married, 1909 at St George, Hanover Sq,, London, Louisa Craig (b. 1882), but had no issue.
He purchased Winterbourne Stoke Manor House in about 1918 but sold it in 1945.
He died at Brantridge Forest, 9 February 1959 and his will was proved 19 May 1959 (estate £59,130). His wife was living in 1939.
Location of archivesAlexander family of Aubrey House, Kensington: deeds, estate and family papers, 1861-1983 (Kensington & Chelsea Libraries, 5024-5133, 48882-49005); personal papers and photographs (Kensington & Chelsea Libraries, Local Studies 47810-33)
Coat of armsAlthough no coat of arms is recorded in contemporary sources for this family, there is evidence that they used the coat of arms of the Alexander family of Dover illustrated above (Barry of ten, argent and azure, a lion rampant gules holding a battleaxe or). They may simply have assumed this coat, or it may be that there was a legitimate connection through their Kentish origins with that family. The same coat of arms was also used in the 17th century by the Alexanders of Wistaston (Cheshire).
Revision & Acknowledgements
This account was first published 20 October 2013 and was revised on 29 March 2014, 2 January 2016, 28 October 2017, 22 April, 4 and 18 November 2018. I am grateful to Jeremy Musson, Chris Whittick, Edward Craig and John Alexander for additional information, and to David Brown for additional images.