Sunday 27 April 2014

(120) Ames of Bristol

Ames family of Bristol
The Ames family were among the "merchant princes" of Bristol, who prospered greatly from the city's involvement in the triangular Atlantic trade, and thus ultimately from slavery.  Their substantial wealth supported large families and enabled younger sons as well as their eldest brothers to have country houses and establish cadet branches of the family.  As a result this post is more complicated than most, and there are many houses to notice, although none remained in the family for more than about three generations.

In the 17th century the Ames family were yeomen farmers in Somerset.  Roger Ames (1635-1700) began their advancement when he bought and rebuilt Charlton House in the parish of Shepton Mallet in about 1668. His eldest son, Levi Ames (d. 1727) established connections with Bristol, and sent his younger sons into trade there. His youngest son, Jeremiah (or Jeremy) Ames (c.1706-76), was apprenticed to his elder brother as a grocer, but later moved into the manufacture of gunpowder at Littleton Mill in Somerset and became involved in the triangular Atlantic trade, sending guns and gunpowder to Africa on boats that sold their cargoes in the west African ports, took consignments of slaves to the West Indies and American colonies, and then brought sugar and tobacco back to England.  He became one of the leading citizens of Bristol and was mayor of the city in 1759. His children married into other Bristol commercial families, and his eldest surviving son, Levi Ames (1739-1820) moved into shipowning and banking, as one of the founding partners in Cave, Ames & Cave (later the Bristol Bank). Like his father, he was a Unitarian and played an active part in the civic life of Bristol, serving as mayor in 1789 and becoming the longest-serving member of the corporation.  At some point in the 18th century, he bought Clifton Wood House in the growing suburbs of Bristol, and there brought up his large family of ten children; he sold Charlton House in 1804.

Clifton Wood House.
When Levi Ames died in 1820, he left a fortune of £120,000 and six sons.  His eldest son, Lionel Ames (1775-1851) was trained as a barrister and inherited the Ayot House estate in Hertfordshire from his mother's uncle, Sir Lionel Lyde, in 1806. He subsequently took the name Lyde, but as he died unmarried and without issue, the Ayot House estate passed to his youngest brother, George Henry Ames (1786-1873). 

The third son of Levi Ames, his namesake Levi Ames junior (1778-1846), continued the family traditions of banking, shipowning, the West Indies trade, Unitarianism and civic leadership, but also began to shift his focus from Bristol to London.  He maintained a town house in London and his children made socially advantageous metropolitan marriages.  When he retired in the late 1820s, he leased Lamer Park in Hertfordshire as a country seat and in 1835 he bought an estate called The Hyde near Luton in Bedfordshire for his eldest son, Lionel Ames (1809-73). With Lionel the transition to the full-time landed gentry was complete; he seems never to have worked in business but had a commission in the 17th Lancers and was later Colonel of the Hertfordshire Militia. Levi junior's younger son, William Metcalfe Ames (1820-74), married a lady from the Northumberland county gentry and bought Linden Hall in 1861. His son, Louis Eric Ames (1855-1933) found the restrained classicism of Linden Hall less to his taste and built a new neo-Jacobean house nearby, which he called Ghyllheugh, and sold Linden Hall in 1904. Ghyllheugh remained the property of his descendants until the late 1950s.

Lionel Ames (1809-73) was succeeded in The Hyde by his son Lionel Neville Frederick Ames-Lyde (1850-83), who also inherited Ayot House from his great-uncle, George Henry Ames (1786-1873), the youngest of Levi Ames' children. George had inherited Ayot House in 1851 but it was something of a white elephant for a man whose interests were centred around Bristol, and it no doubt made sense to bequeath it away from his own children to a great-nephew who had other property in the area.

The next of Levi Ames' sons to require notice is John Ames (1784-1867), who seems to have been the most financially astute of his generation and in 1838 retired from business in Bristol to a house near Lyme Regis which he rebuilt and called Clevelands, although it has since reverted to its former name of Pinhay House.  He left a vast fortune of around £500,000 which was divided among his nieces and nephews, as he was unmarried and childless.  His nephew, Edward Levi Ames (1832-92) also inherited Clevelands, but although he left children it was sold after his death to the Allhusen family.

The youngest of Levi Ames' sons was George Henry Ames (1786-1873), who bought the very pretty Gothick Cote House near Bristol in about 1825.  He had a large family. His eldest son married the daughter of a German count and predeceased him; his second son made money in the Indian civil service and built a country house at Remenham in Berkshire; his third son inherited Clevelands from his uncle in 1867, and so it was his fourth son, Henry St. Vincent Ames (1833-1901), who inherited Cote House.  Henry, who had spent an adventurous youth working as a photographer in Canada, was married but died childless, so Cote House passed to his widow (d. 1917) and was later sold and tragically demolished.  

Thus a family whose wealth was astronomical in the 19th century have left no permanent legacy of country house ownership. Charlton House was bought in 1668 and sold in 1804; Ayot House was inherited in 1806 and sold in 1912; Cote House was bought in 1825 and sold in 1922; The Hyde was bought in 1835 and sold in 1920; Clevelands was bought in 1838 and sold in 1892; Linden Hall was bought in 1861 and sold in 1904 and Ghyllheugh was built in 1900-03 and sold in the late 1950s.

Charlton House, Shepton Mallet, Somerset

Charlton House: rear elevation showing some evidence of the original 17th century building. Image: Trip Advisor

Charlton House, Shepton Mallet. Image: Sarah Smith.

A 17th century house, said to have been built for the Ames family after they bought the estate in 1668, which was given a smart new six-bay front in about 1810-11. The debased Italianate porch is of c.1850, and the glazing bars of the windows were no doubt removed at the same time. The house was converted into a hotel and restaurant after 1965.

Descent: Roger Ames (d. 1700); to son, Levi Ames (d. 1727); to son, Jeremiah Ames of Bristol (d. 1776); to son, Levi Ames of Clifton Wood (d. 1820); sold 1804 to Rev. Provis Wickham, who remodelled the house; sold 1847 to Col. Leckonby Phipps; sold 1882 to Col. Clerk; sold 1919 to Charles Brunell (d. 1959); sold after his death to Mr. Hughes; sold 1960 to Mr. Dix of All Hallows School; sold 1965 to Mr & Mrs Seaton who converted it to a hotel-restaurant; sold 1996 to Roger & Monty Saul.

Ayot House, Ayot St. Lawrence, Hertfordshire

An early 18th century house with segmented-headed windows and the characteristic vertical strips and window trim of rubbed bricks. It was probably built for Thomas Lewis (d. 1718), who bought the estate in 1714, or his son of the same name, who sold it again in 1723. The main front was originally of three storeys and three bays, with a longer five-bay side elevation facing the garden. The purchaser in 1723 was Cornelius Lyde, a Bristol merchant, who bequeathed it to his daughter Rachel, who was married to her cousin, Sir Lionel Lyde (d. 1791), 1st bt., a tobacco merchant. He added the porch and the projecting service wing in 1765, and also created a drawing room decorated in the Adam style.

Ayot House: entrance front c.1800, from a watercolour by Samuel Davis. Image: Yale Center for British Art.

Ayot House: the entrance and garden fronts in about 1850. Image: Government Art Collection. Licenced under the Open Government Licence.
The Lydes had no children and on Sir Lionel's death it passed to his brother Samuel and then to their nephew, Sir Lionel Poole, who took the name Lyde. His nephew, Lionel Ames (1775-1851), who also took the name Lyde, left it to his brother, George Henry Ames (1786-1873), who was no doubt responsible for additions of c.1850, which included the addition of an off-centre canted bay to the five-bay front, and increasing the height of the service wing. George left the estate to his grandson, Lionel Neville Frederick (d. 1883), who took the name Lyde, and on his death it passed to his brother, Lt-Col. Gerard Vivian Ames (d. 1899). Col. Ames' son, Lionel Gerard Ames sold the estate in 1912 to Sir Frank Cecil Meyer (d. 1935), 2nd bt., for whom further single-storey additions were made in 1933. After his death it was sold to the Brocket estate, which let it during the Second World War to ex-King Michael of Roumania. After the war it used as a silk farm before being divided into apartments.

Ayot House in 1905

Ayot House in 2013.
In 1778-9 the owner of the house, Sir Lionel Lyde, paid for a new church, partly intended as an eyecatcher from the house. It was designed by Nicholas Revett using elements of the Greek Revival style which was just beginning to be fashionable in the wake of the publication of Stuart & Revett’s Antiquities of Athens, 1762, but the overall composition, with its side colonnades and little outer aedicules is still Palladian.

Ayot St Lawrence: the eyecatcher church, built in 1778-79 for Sir Lionel Lyde. Image: Diamond Geezer. Some rights reserved.

Descent: Crown granted 1543 to Nicholas Bristowe (d. 1585); to son Nicholas Bristowe (d. 1616); to son Nicholas Bristowe; to son Nicholas Bristowe; to brother Richard Bristowe (fl. 1661); to son, William Bristowe; to widow, ? Bristowe, who sold 1714 to Thomas Lewis (d. 1718); to son Thomas Lewis who sold 1723 to Cornelius Lyde, a Bristol merchant; to daughter Rachel, wife of her cousin Sir Lionel Lyde, 1st baronet (d. 1791), tobacco merchant; to brother Samuel Lyde (fl. 1799); to nephew Sir Lionel Poole (later Lyde); to nephew Lionel Ames (later Lyde) (1775-1851); to brother George Henry Ames (1786-1873); to grandson Lionel Neville Frederick (later Lyde) (d. 1883); to brother, Lt-Col. Gerard Vivian Ames (d. 1899); to son Lionel Gerard Ames (fl. 1912), who sold to Sir Frank Cecil Meyer, 2nd baronet (d. 1935). It was later sold to the Brocket estate and let to ex-King Michael of Roumania (b. 1921) before being divided into apartments.

Cote House, Westbury-on-Trym, Gloucestershire

When the heights of Durdham Down became a fashionable suburban retreat for Bristol merchants in the 18th century, a number of handsome villas sprang up along the road to Westbury‑on‑Trym. The largest and most interesting of these was Cote House, which incorporated an existing Jacobean building. In 1825, indeed, it was described as 'a fine, spacious and well‑preserved mansion built in the 17th century', but by 1779, when Rudder called the house “turreted and embattled” it had probably been given a delightful Gothick exterior. The earliest views of the house in its Gothicised form are by S.H. Grimm, who was sketching in the Bristol area in 1788-90, and the young J.M.W. Turner, who it is thought visited Bristol in the summer of 1791 and filled a sketchbook with drawings of local views and houses.  His view of Cote House was later worked up into a more finished watercolour.

J.M.W. Turner, Cote House.  Image: Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford

Neither the patron nor the architect of this transformation can be identified with certainty. In 1745 the house belonged to William Phelps, from whose widow it passed after 1760 to John Thomas. He sold it in about 1775 to Captain John Webb, M.P. for the City of Gloucester, and it continued to change hands rapidly, belonging to a Captain Fowler at the time of Turner’s view and being owned by John Wedgwood between 1797 and 1803, before passing in 1825 to the Ames family, who held it until 1923. The style of the Gothick work, with the persistent use of ogee‑headed windows with broad flat mouldings, recalls the remodelling of nearby Stoke Bishop House, apparently done c.1765‑73 for Robert Cann Jeffries, and it is perhaps most likely that Cote was altered at much the same time for John Thomas, although 
Professor Mowl suggests the Gothicisation was done a little earlier, c.1759, for William Phelps.

Cote House, from an engraving of 1825.

Views of the house suggest that its Gothick façades were true stage scenery pasteboard work, surrounding a fundamentally 17th‑century house. The main front was composed around a four‑storey tower with a vertically set oval window of the late 17th century in the top storey and the main doorway on the ground floor. To either side were two bays of three storeys, and beyond this lower, slightly projecting wings with broad canted bay windows. On the south end of the house rose a semicircular three‑storey tower, economically providing the requisite touch of asymmetry and the castle air. A large wing, also Gothick, projected on the west of the house, making it a very considerable size.  It is not known whether there were any Gothick interiors, although it seems very probable. The house retained a rather fine mid 17th-century open‑well staircase with tapered balusters, a little like the one at Wick Court. The architect of the 18th‑century work is not recorded, although Andrew Foyle has suggested that Thomas and James Paty were probably responsible for most of the Gothick work in the Bristol area. This is not a suggestion that has received support from the recent biographer of the Paty family, and the stylistic evidence perhaps suggests a more complex picture. One would like to know the designer’s name, however, for at Cote he succeeded miraculously in capturing the cheerful, light­hearted spirit of the best Gothick. 

Cote House in about 1913: unchanged, except for the growth of ivy. Image courtesy of Matthew Beckett.

Sadly, having survived the 19th century largely unaltered, Cote House was demolished in 1925 to make way for a hospital known as St Monica's Home.

Descent: William Phelps (fl. 1745); to widow; sold after 1760 to John Thomas; sold c.1775 to Capt. John Webb MP... Capt. Fowler (fl. 1790); sold 1797 to John Wedgwood; sold 1803... sold c.1825 to George Henry Ames (1786-1873); to son, Henry St. Vincent Ames (1833-1901); to widow, Charlotte Henrietta Ames (d. 1917); sold 1923 and demolished 1925.

The Hyde, Luton, Bedfordshire

A five by three bay, two-storey early 18th century house, believed to have been built for Philadelphia, Lady Cotton, after the death of her husband in 1715. The house is of red brick, with segmental-headed windows throughout, except for a Venetian window on the east front lighting the staircase. The house was considerably extended and given an attic storey in the 19th century but these accretions were removed and the house was restored in 1952-53. At the same time, the entrance was moved from the south to the north front, and the house was given a flat roof behind a parapet with balustraded sections over each window. There is a thatched lodge by Richardson & Gill, of 1930.

The Hyde: south front in 1967, after removal of 19th century additions.
 Descent: Philadelphia, Lady Cotton, widow of Sir Thomas Cotton (d. 1715), who built the house... John Bettesworth (d. 1779)... Robert Hibbert (fl. 1806)... sold 1835 to Levi Ames (1778-1846); given 1835 to son Col. Lionel Ames (d. 1873); to son, Neville Frederick Ames (d. 1883); to brother,  Lt-Col. Gerard Vivian Ames (1852-99); to son, Lionel Gerard Ames (b. 1889), who sold 1920 to Sir John Harrington (d. 1925); sold to Charles Thomas Hambro (d. 1933); to son, John Henry Hambro (d. 1965); to son, David Jocelyn Jersey Hambro (b. 1936). The house was let between 1873 and 1920.

Pinhay House (alias Pinney House or Clevelands), Uplyme, Devon

Pinhay House: the south front facing the sea views.
The house is set on the cliffs above an area of active landslip activity on the Jurassic coast near Lyme Regis, and was rebuilt in the Italianate style for John Ames after he bought the estate in 1838, and further remodelled and extended in the 1890s.  The house is of two storeys and is built of ashlar with a low pitched slate roof, moulded stone eaves cornice and a panelled frieze and band at first floor level. The south front, of five irregular bays, overlooks the terrace and the sea beyond, and has a low three-storey belvedere tower with a bracketed eaves cornice, three light round headed window and a stone balcony on brackets above a broad ground floor canted bay. To the left of this is a loggia with an elliptical arch flanked by small round arches on composite columns, with a recessed balcony above with a segmental vaulted ceiling. The right hand three bays, two of which project, is said to be a late 19th century addition. The west elevation of four bays has a wider right-hand bay with an open pediment over a round-headed window with fluted tympanum and broad canted bay window below. The entrance front on the north has a large square porch with pilasters and a round-headed doorway.  The house became a nursing home in the late 20th century.

The grounds were landscaped, probably in the 1840s, when John Ames was involved in a landmark legal dispute about a public right of way along the coast which he attempted to close; in the end a compromise was reached by which the path remained open but was enclosed between eight-foot walls where it passed through his grounds.

Descent: Mrs. Edye (fl. 1830); sold 1838 to John Ames (1784-1867); to nephew, Edward Levi Ames (1832-92); sold after his death to Christian Wilton Allhusen (1840-1924); to son, Major Ormsby Allhusen (1888-1964); to widow, Katharine Dracaena Allhusen (d. 2005); to son, who let it as a nursing home.

Linden Hall, Longhorsley, Northumberland

Linden Hall, Longhorsley.  Image:

A very plain and beautifully ashlared five bay two storey house designed in 1812 by Sir Charles Monck of Belsay for Charles William Bigge.  The central bay is much wider than the rest and has an extremely heavy and severe four-column porch with unfluted Greek Doric columns.  Inside there is an oblong central hall in which the staircase rises along three walls, under an oval roof lantern.  The house is now an hotel, and the stable block and outbuildings were converted to domestic accommodation in the 1980s by Ainsworth Spark.

Descent:  Charles William Bigge (d. 1849)... sold 1861 to Henry Metcalf Ames; to son, Louis Eric Ames, who sold 1903 to Lawrence William Adamson (1829-1911); to son, Lt-Col. John George Adamson (1855-1932); to daughters Muriel Adamson (1884-1963) and Eve Adamson (b. 1890), who sold 1963 to John M. Liddell; who sold 1978 for conversion to hotel.

Ghyllheugh, Longhorsley, Northumberland

Ghyllheugh in 2013.

Ghyllheugh: entrance front in 2013
A somewhat eclectic neo-Jacobean sandstone house with a Cumberland slate roof, built on a greenfield site on the banks of the River Coquet by J.T. Carse of Amble in 1900-03 for Louis Ames. 

Carse was essentially a builder and it is not clear whether the house was built to his own designs or whether another architect was involved. In addition to constructing the main house, Carse also built the stables, garden house, estate workshops and outbuildings. 

The interiors retain some original decorative features but have been substantially modernised in an unsympathetic style, no doubt improving livability at the expense of authenticity. The house was for sale in 2013.

Descent: Louis Eric Ames (1855-1933); to son, John Louis Metcalfe Ames (1882-1945); to widow, Eva Varina Bevis Ames (d. 1955); sold after her death...

Ames family of Linden Hall and Ghyllheugh

Ames, Roger (1635-1700), of Charlton House.  Elder son of Matthew or Matthias Ames (d. c.1651) of Doulting (Somerset) and his wife Mabel Short, baptised at Wedmore (Somerset). 20 December 1635. Farmer, landowner and hosier. He married, 15/16 June 1657, Mary Dory (d. 1702) and had issue including:
(1) Levi Ames (d. 1727) (q.v.);
(2) Mary Ames; married 2 January 1687/8, William Symes (d. 1691) of Shepton Mallet;
(3) John Ames (b. 1664), baptised 11 April 1664; married and had issue two sons and one daughter;
(3) Thomas Ames (b. 1665), baptised 28 December 1665; died in infancy;
(4) Thomas Ames (b. 1667), baptised 9 January 1667
(5) Jeremiah Ames (b. 1669), baptised 28 October 1669; died in infancy;
(6) Jonathan Ames (b. 1670), baptised at Shepton Mallet, 8 March 1670;
(7) Jeremiah Ames (b. 1674), baptised at Shepton Mallet, 19 July 1674;
(8) Sarah Ames (b. 1677), baptised at Shepton Mallet, 30 March 1677
He farmed at Jenkins and Charlton in Shepton Mallet and Doulting (Somerset) and bought and rebuilt Charlton House in 1668.
He died on 27 May 1700 and was buried at Doulting, 1 June 1700; his will was proved 23 August 1700. His widow died 1 July and was buried at Doulting, 4 July 1702.

Ames, Levi (d. 1727), of Charlton House.  Eldest son of Roger Ames (1635-1700) and his wife Mary Dory. Farmer, landowner and hosier. He married 1st, Hannah (d. 1711), daughter of John Watts of Bodden in Doulting (Somerset), 2nd Margaret Godwin (d. 1718), 3rd, 3 February 1718/9, Austace Court (d. 1737) and had issue:
(1.1) Roger Ames (d. 1765); clothier; married, 28 September 1724, Grace (d. 1741), daughter of William Tucker of Shepton Mallet and had issue two sons and two daughters; buried at Doulting, 1765; will proved 2 December 1765;
(1.2) Mary Ames (fl. 1709); married, 1709, as his third wife, Edward Goldney (d. 1713/4) of Bristol;
(1.3) Hannah Ames (d. 1760); married, 1724, as his second wife, Jonathan Byrt of Downside, Midsomer Norton (Somerset); died without issue, 24 Mary 1760 and was buried at Doulting;
(1.4) Levi Ames (d. 1723); apprenticed to William Hendy of Bristol, grocer, 1711 and subsequently pursued that trade; married 28 August 1718 at Bristol Cathedral, Sarah, daughter of Benjamin Gwyn of Bristol and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 1723; will proved 25 June 1723;
(1.5) Elizabeth Ames; married, 24 October 1727 at Temple Church, Bristol, Edward Webb and had issue;
(1.6) Mabel Ames (d. 1706); died 14 November 1706; buried at Doulting, where she is commemorated by a monumental inscription;
(1.7) Samuel Ames (d. 1729) of Bristol, merchant and mariner; died unmarried and was buried at Doulting, 28 November 1729; will proved, 13 June 1730;
(1.8) Jeremiah Ames (c.1706-76) (q.v.);
(2.1) Margaret Ames (fl. 1788); married John Goddard of Bruton (Somerset).
He inherited Charlton House from his father in 1700 and acquired land at Evercreech (Somerset).
He was buried 25 March 1727.  His first wife was buried 15 March 1711.  His second wife died in 1718. His widow was buried 28 March 1737.

Ames, Jeremiah (alias Jeremy) (1706-76), of Bristol.  Youngest son of Levi Ames (d. 1727) and his first wife Hannah, daughter of John Watts of Shepton Mallet and Bodden, born 20 July 1706. Apprenticed to his brother, Levi Ames (d. 1723) as a grocer at Bristol, 1719. In addition to his core business as a grocer, he diversified into sugar baking and refining, the manufacture of snuff and tobacco, gunpowder making, and dealing in iron goods; and also had extensive interests in shipping. In 1769 he was one of the founders of Harford's Bank, Bristol, as a natural extension of his commercial interests. He was a member of the City Council (alderman 1765-76, sheriff, 1742-43 and mayor, 1759-60). He married at Ilminster (Somerset), 2 March 1730/1, Pheobe (c.1706-79), daughter of Robert Collins of Horton (Somerset) and had issue:
(1) Mary Ames (1731-88), baptised 24 March 1731; married at St James', Bristol, 14 June 1768, as his second wife, John Olive of Oporto (Portugal) and later of London, wine merchant; died April 1788 and was buried in Unitarian cemetery, Brunswick Square, Bristol; will proved 9 May 1788;
(2) Hannah Ames (1733-85), baptised 27 December 1733; "a lady of true piety"; married, 26 July 1774, Dr. John Wright (1732-94) of Bristol, the philanthropist, Unitarian preacher and later doctor of medicine; died without issue, September 1785;
(3) William Ames (1737-41?), baptised 22 November 1737; probably died young and was buried 14 April 1741;
(4) Levi Ames (1739-1820) (q.v.);
(5) Sarah Ames (1741-1801), baptised 1 April 1741; married at St James', Bristol, 10 May 1763, Gregory Olive (d. 1779) of London, merchant and had issue; died 2 April 1801;
(6) John Ames (1742-1824), baptised 11 October 1742; died unmarried, 25 June 1824 and was buried in Unitarian cemetery, Brunswick Square, Bristol; will proved 14 July 1824;
(7) Joseph Ames (1745-1808), baptised 6 January 1745; died unmarried and was buried at Bridport (Dorset), 12 February 1808.
He inherited Charlton House from his father in 1727, but lived at 17 Lower Maudlin Lane in Bristol.
He died 3 April 1776 and was buried in the Unitarian cemetery, Brunswick Square, Bristol; his will was proved 27 July 1779.  His widow died 26 October 1779, aged 73, and was buried in the Unitarian cemetery, Brunswick Square, Bristol.

Levi Ames in 1789
Ames, Levi (1739-1820), of Clifton Wood House, Bristol.  Son of Jeremiah Ames (c.1706-76) of Bristol and his wife Pheobe, daughter of Robert Collins of Horton (Somerset), baptised 2 April 1739. Drysalter and banker in Bristol; founding partner in the Bristol Bank (Ames, Cave & Co.), 1786-1820; a Whig in politics; member of Bristol City Council 1771-1820 (alderman, 1792-1820; sheriff, 1771-72; mayor, 1788-89). A Unitarian in religion.  He married 1st,19 April 1770 at St Giles Cripplegate, London, Anna Maria (d. 1792), only daughter of Chauncey Poole of Bristol and London and niece of Sir Lionel Lyde (1724-91) of Ayot St. Lawrence (Herts), 1st bt., and 2nd, 14 July 1796 at St Swithin, Walcot, Bath (Som.), Elizabeth Wraxall (c.1746-1843) of Clifton (Glos), and had issue:
(1.1) Anna Maria Ames (1771-1851), born 9 May and baptised 4 June 1771; married at Clifton, 14 January 1800, Richard Llewellin (d. 1825) of Tregwynt (Pembs) and Holmwood, Westbury-on-Trym (Glos) and had issue; died 4 January 1851;
(1.2) Sarah Ames (1772-1815), born 3 and baptised at Lewins Mead Chapel, Bristol, 10 July 1772; married at Clifton, 6 May 1796, her cousin John Olive (1773-1815) of The Ton (Monmouths) and had issue two sons (of whom the Rev. John Olive (1804-74) was later rector of Ayot St. Lawrence); died 18 July 1815 and was buried in porch of St Paul, Bristol, 23 July 1815;
(1.3) Pheobe Ames (1774-1841), born 20 February and baptised 18 March 1774; married, 14 July 1800, her cousin, Rev. James Olive of Cloakham House, Axminster (Devon), vicar of St Paul, Bristol, and had issue four sons and one daughter; died 2 August 1841 and was buried in porch of St Paul, Bristol, 10 August 1841l;
(1.4) Lionel Ames (later Lyde) (1775-1851) (q.v.);
(1.5) Jeremiah Ames (1776-1820), born 8 December 1776 and baptised 9 January 1777; West India merchant in Bristol; married at St Augustine, Bristol, 10 April 1806, Mary (d. 1878), youngest daughter of John Pinney of Bristol; died without issue, 24 March 1820 and was buried at St Paul, Bristol; will proved 25 August 1820;
(1.6) Levi Ames (1778-1846) (q.v.);
(1.7) Harriett Ames (1780-1800), born 6 and baptised 31 August 1780; died unmarried, 26 March 1800 and was buried in Unitarian cemetery, Brunswick Square, Bristol;
(1.8) Charles Ames (1782-1803), born 4 February and baptised 11 March 1782; died unmarried, 26 July 1803 and was buried in Unitarian cemetery, Brunswick Square, Bristol;
(1.9) John Ames (1784-1867) of Clevelands, Uplyme (Devon), born 25 May and baptised 23 June 1784; shipowner and West India merchant in Bristol; bought and rebuilt Clevelands (later Pinhay House), 1838; died unmarried, 16 November 1867 and was buried at Uplyme (Devon), 26 November 1867; will proved 10 January 1868 (estate under £500,000);
(1.10) George Henry Ames (1786-1873) (q.v.);
He inherited Charlton House from his father in 1776, but sold it in 1804 and lived at Clifton Wood in the suburbs of Bristol.
He died 16 December 1820 and was buried in the Unitarian cemetery at Brunswick Square, Bristol; his will was proved 23 February 1821 (wealth at death £120,000). His first wife died 1 September 1792. His widow died 7 November 1843, aged 97.

Lyde (né Ames), Lionel (1775-1851), of Ayot House. Eldest son of Levi Ames (1739-1820) and his wife Anna Maria, only daughter of Chauncey Poole of Bristol and niece of Sir Lionel Lyde, 1st bt., of Ayot St. Lawrence, born 6 September 1775 and baptised at Lewins Mead Chapel, Bristol, 12 October 1775.  Educated at Clare College, Cambridge (admitted 1795; BA 1799) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1799; called to bar 1807). Barrister-at-law. He took the surname and arms of Lyde by royal licence, 1806. He was unmarried.
He inherited the estates of his great-uncle, Sir Lionel Lyde, at Ayot St. Lawrence (Herts) in 1806. At his death, the estate passed to his younger brother, George Henry Ames.
He died 22 January 1851 and was buried at East Hyde, 30 January 1851; his will was proved 21 February 1851.

Ames, Levi (1778-1846),of The Hyde.  Third son of Levi Ames (1739-1820) and his wife Anna Maria, only daughter of Chauncey Poole of Bristol and niece of Sir Lionel Lyde, 1st bt., of Ayot St. Lawrence, born 30 November 1778 and baptised 1 January 1779 at Lewins Mead Unitarian meeting house, Bristol.  Bristol merchant, shipowner and banker. Sheriff of Bristol, 1804; Trustee of the Trinity Hospital, Bristol; member of Bristol Corporation, 1804-35; JP for Beds and Herts and DL for Herts; High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, 1839. He married at Clifton, 13 June 1808, Anne Bird (d. 1853), daughter and heir of Henry Metcalfe of Murton and Seatonville (Northbld), and had issue:
(1) Lionel Ames (1809-73) (q.v.);
(2) Emily Anne Ames (1811-56), born 31 October 1811; married at St George's, Hanover Square, London, 11 July 1843, as his second wife, Rev. Edward Sullivan (d. 1873), rector of Kimpton (Herts); died without issue 25 April 1856; will proved 24 June 1856;
(3) Mary Ames (1814-98), born 22 December 1814; Woman of the Bedchamber to HM Queen Victoria; married at St George's, Hanover Square, London, 7 May 1836, Gen. Sir William John Codrington GCB (1804-84) and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 28 June 1898; will proved 11 August 1898 (estate £108,596);
(4) Margaret Rose Ames (1817-93), born 8 October 1817; married, 2 June 1845, Col. Robert Blane CB (d. 1871), 2nd Life Guards, military attaché at St. Petersburg; died without issue, 20 May 1893; will proved 21 August 1893 (estate £26,829);
(5) Levi Ames (1818-20), born 18 May 1818; died in infancy, 13 January 1820;
(6) Henry Metcalfe Ames (1820-74) (q.v.);
(7) Harriett Elizabeth Ames (1822-91), born February 1822; married, 2 June 1846, Lt-Col. Charles Sedley Burdett JP (d. 1880), Coldstream Guards, of Shrubhurst (Surrey) and had issue; died 12 February 1891; will proved 18 March 1891 (estate £7,720).
In the early 19th century he lived at Rodney Place, Clifton; he later leased 14 Hereford Street, London and Lamer Park (Herts). He purchased the estate of The Hyde, Luton (Beds) in 1835 and gave it to his son Lionel two years later.
He died 26 December 1846 and was buried at East Hyde; his will was proved in PCC, 13 February 1847 (wealth at death £50,000). His widow died in Oct-Dec. 1853 and was buried at East Hyde.

Ames, Lt-Col. Lionel (1809-73) of The Hyde. Elder son of Levi Ames (1778-1846) of The Hyde and his wife Anne Bird, daughter of Henry Metcalfe of Murton and Seatonville (Northbld), born 13 July 1809. JP and DL for Hertfordshire; JP for Bedfordshire; High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, 1866. Capt. in 17th Lancers; Lt-Col. of Hertfordshire Militia.  He married at St Luke's, Chelsea (Middx), 10 June 1848, Augusta Percy (d. 1902), daughter of Col. Sir John Morillyon Wilson CB KH and had issue:
(1) Capt. Lionel Neville Frederick Ames (later Ames-Lyde) (1850-83), born 21 February 1850; Capt. in Grenadier Guards; married, 27 August 1873, Edith Eliza (d. 1914), daughter and heiress of Maj. William Hogge of Thornham (Norfolk); died without issue, 17 January 1883 and was buried at Hyde, 23 January 1883; will proved 19 April 1883 (estate £24,326);
(2) Percy George Ames (1851-58), born 7 May 1851; died young, 16 April 1858;
(3) Lt-Col. Gerard Vivian Ames (1852-99) (q.v.);
(4) Edith Mary Ames (1854-1914); born 13 June 1854; died unmarried, 27 May 1914; will proved 2 July 1914 (estate £26,125);
(5) Ernest Fitzroy Ames (1855-1920), born 29 August 1855; married 1st, 3 January 1895, Mary Frances (d. 1914), daughter of Rev. Patrick Leslie Miller of Dalawinton (Dumfries) and 2nd, Blanche Mary, daughter of Maj. Cyril Wilson and widow of Capt. Herbert Dawson; died without issue, 6 February 1920; will proved 12 May 1920 (estate £16,452);
(6) Victor Charles Ames (1859-1934), born 9 February 1859; married, 29 April 1893, Violet Emily, only daughter of Arundel Berkeley Napier and had issue one son and one daughter; died 8 November 1934; will proved 13 March 1935 (estate £16,317);
(7) Lt-Col. Oswald Henry Ames (1862-1937), of Thornham Manor House (Norfolk) and Dunsfold Manor (Surrey), born 3 January 1862; Lt-Col. commanding 2nd Life Guards Reserve Regiment from 1914; married, 5 September 1901, Violet Dorothea (d. 1953), daughter of Lord Francis Horace Pierrepont Cecil (who m.2, 1 September 1942, Sir Maurice Bromley-Wilson, 7th bt., of Dallam Tower (Westmld)) and had issue one son and one daughter; died 6 November 1937;
(8) Hugh (known as Hugo) Laurenson Ames (1868-1943), born 23 April 1866; educated at Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1884); journalist and author; emigrated to America and became a naturalised American citizen, 1910; charged with bigamy after obtaining a divorce in America from his first wife which was not valid in England, 1912 and sentenced to six months in the second division; married 1st, 1890 (div. 1910 (in America) and 1912), Kate, daughter of A. Villiers Palmer and had issue two sons, and 2nd, 29 January 1910 (in Oakland, California), 27 January 1911 (in Chelsea (Middx), and 5 February 1914, Flora Matilda, daughter of Col. Charles Hayter CB and former wife of Col. Arthur Forbes Montenero; died Oct-Dec. 1943.
He was given The Hyde, Luton (Beds) by his father in 1837. At his death the estate passed to his eldest son, who bequeathed it to his brother Gerard.
He died 20 February 1873 and was buried at East Hyde; his will was proved 9 April 1873 (estate under £160,000). His widow died 14 July 1902; her will was proved 17 October 1902 (estate £18,240).

Ames, Lt-Col. Gerard Vivian (1852-99) of Ayot House and The Hyde.  Third son of Lt-Col. Lionel Ames (1809-73) and his wife Augusta Percy, daughter of Col. Sir John Morillyon Wilson CB KH, born 7 August 1852. JP for Bedfordshire. Lt-Col. of 1st Royal Dragoons. He married at the British Embassy in Paris, 20 February 1889, Alice Katherine (c.1851-1926), eldest daughter of Sir Philip John William Miles, 2nd bt. of Leigh Court, Abbotsleigh (Somerset) and widow of George Duppa of Hollingbourne House (Kent), and had issue:
(1) Capt. Lionel Gerard Ames (1889-1971) of Ayot House and The Hyde, Captain in Grenadier Guards and Royal Engineers; inherited Ayot House from his father but sold it c.1912 and lived subsequently at the smaller house known as Amesbury, Ayot St. Lawrence; married 1st, Oct-Dec. 1919 (div.), Doreen Mary Lea, daughter of Cmdr. George Leigh King RN, and 2nd, 1926, Monica Virginie Clarke, but died without issue;
(2) Eve Marjorie Ames (b. 1891), born 5 September 1891; married 1st, Jan-March 1917, Wilfrid A. Compton (d. before 1921) and 2nd, Jan-March 1937, Ronald Davies.
He inherited Ayot House and The Hyde from his elder brother in 1883, but let The Hyde. At his death it passed to his son, but his widow had a life interest in the house and it continued to be let. It was sold in 1920. Ayot House passed to his son in 1899 and was sold about 1912.
He died in Paris, 27 April 1899; his will was proved 8 June 1899 (estate £6,810). His widow died 3 April 1926; her will was proved 11 June 1926 and 4 March 1927 (estate £67,398).

Ames, Henry Metcalfe (1820-74) of Linden Hall. Younger son of Levi Ames (1778-1846) of The Hyde and his wife Anne Bird, daughter of Henry Metcalfe of Murton and Seatonville (Northbld), born 21 May and baptised at Clifton, 7 August 1820. Educated at Harrow. DL for Northumberland; High Sheriff of Northumberland, 1864. He married, 9 November 1852, Elizabeth Sarah (1834-68), only daughter of Maj. Hodgson Cadogan of Brinkburn Priory (Northbld) and had issue:
(1) Henrietta Elizabeth Ames (1853-1915), born 3 October 1853; married at St Mary Abbotts, Kensington (Middx), 16 December 1873, Rev. & Hon. William Charles Ellis, rector of Bothalhaugh (Northbld) and had issue five sons and two daughters; died 10 February 1915; will proved 28 October 1915 (estate £5,208);
(2) Louis Eric Ames (1855-1933) of Ghyllheugh (q.v.);
(3) Winifred Rose Ames (1857-1913), born 11 April 1857; married at St George's, Hanover Square, London, 26 July 1883, John Elphinstone Hugh Orr; died 13 October 1913; will proved 9 December 1913 (estate £1,371);
(4) Katharine Mary Ames (1859-1939), born 1 April 1859; married at St Paul, Knightsbridge (Middx), 17 October 1876, Hon. Reginald Parker (d. 1942), sixth son of 6th Earl of Macclesfield, and had issue; died 20 November 1939; will proved 2 May 1940 (estate £1,009);
(5) Felix Lyde Ames (1862-1948), born 17 August and baptised 21 September 1862; educated at Harrow and Merton College, Oxford (matriculated 1881); married, 15 December 1888, Ada (d. 1945), daughter of George Sims and had issue one daughter; died 12 July 1948; will proved 31 December 1948 (estate £23,911);
(6) Laurence Metcalfe Levi Ames (1865-1933), born 8 February 1865; educated at Harrow; married, 10 March 1891, Geraldine Mary (d. 1948), daughter of Richard Smith; died 28 May 1933;
(7) Anne Josephine Moselle Ames (1868-1957), born 28 January 1868; married 1st, 29 December 1888, Sir William Cecil Domville (1849-1904), 4th bt. and had issue, and 2nd, William Henry Harrison (d. 1936) and had further issue; died 30 November 1957; will proved 11 February 1958 (estate £1,668).
He purchased Linden Hall in 1861.
He died 1 May 1874 and was buried at Felton (Northbld); his will was proved 27 June 1874 (estate under £250,000). His wife died 29 February 1868 and was buried at Felton.

Ames, Louis Eric (1855-1933) of Ghyllheugh. Eldest son of Henry Metcalfe Ames (1820-74) of Linden Hall and his wife Elizabeth Sarah, daughter of Maj. Hodgson Cadogan of Brinkburn Priory, born 17 April 1855. Educated at Harrow. Served as Lt. in 2nd Life Guards. JP for Northumberland. He married, 25 April 1881, Margaret Wilhelmina (d. 1915), youngest daughter of William John Hamilton MP and sister of 10th Baron Belhaven & Stenton and had issue:
(1) John Louis Metcalfe Ames (1882-1945) (q.v.);
(2) Lt-Cmdr. Robert Henry Ames RN (1883-1930), born 26 October 1883; married, 28 February 1911, Beatrice, daughter of Gen. Montague Hall and died without issue, 25 August 1930; will proved 28 November 1930 (estate £1,643).
He inherited Linden Hall from his father in 1874. He built Ghyllheugh nearby in 1900-04 and sold Linden Hall in 1903.
He died 3 December 1933; his will was proved 22 January 1934 (estate £98,237). His wife died 4 January 1915; her will was proved 16 December 1915 (estate £1,027).

Ames, John Louis Metcalfe (1882-1945) of Ghyllheugh.  Elder son of Louis Eric Ames (1855-1933) of Ghyllheugh and his wife Margaret Wilhelmina, daughter of William John Hamilton MP, born 12 May 1882. Educated at Oratory School, Birmingham. Served as Lt. in Northumberland Fusiliers. He married 1st, 28 April 1908 (div. 1926), Chrystabel Mary, daughter and heir of John Claude Campbell Hamilton of Sundrum (Ayrs.) and 2nd, 4 October 1934, Eva Varina Bevis (d. 1955) of Dunsters House, Chipping Norton (Oxon), but had no issue.
He inherited Ghyllheugh from his father in 1933. At his death it passed to his widow and was sold after her death.
He died 20 January 1945; his will was proved 24 July 1945 (estate £4,649). His widow died 29 August 1955; her will was proved 1 November 1955 (estate £10,565).

Ames, George Henry (1786-1873) of Cote House. Sixth son of Levi Ames (1739-1820) and his wife Anna Maria, only daughter of Chauncey Poole of Bristol and niece of Sir Lionel Lyde, 1st bt., of Ayot St. Lawrence, born 30 October 1786 and baptised at Lewins Mead Unitarian meeting house, Bristol, 7 December 1786. West Indies merchant at Bristol; partner in Baillie, Ames & Baillie and the Great Western Cotton Works, Bristol. Founder member of the Camden Society. He married at Clifton (Glos), 3 August 1826, Anna (c.1804-89), daughter of Gideon Acland of Camberwell (Surrey) and had issue:
(1) George Acland Ames (1827-73), born 10 May 1827 and baptised 22 June at Lewins Mead Unitarian meeting house, Bristol; educated at Eton; served as cornet in Royal Gloucestershire Hussars; married, 13 July 1854 (div. 1869), Clara Henrietta Maria (1835-79), eldest daughter of Maximilian van Hanstein, Count von Poelzig of Saxe-Altenberg (Germany) and had issue two sons and four daughters; died 5 January 1873;
(2) Anna Ames (1828-1903), born 22 October 1828; married at Westbury-on-Trym, 6 October 1857, Maj. Maxwell Reeve (d. 1903), 5th Dragoon Guards, son of Admiral John Reeve; lived at Quinta da Pontinha, Funchal, Madeira; died 9 March 1903 (on the same day and a few hours after her husband); will proved 22 May 1903 (estate £1,026);
(3) Charles Herbert Ames (1830-78) of Remenham Place (Berks), born 14 May 1830; educated at Eton and Haileybury; admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, 1847 but did not reside; served with HEICS, Madras; married at Dyrham (Glos), 20 January 1863, Eliza Scott (d. 1924), daughter of Rev. William Scott Robinson, rector of Dyrham and had issue one son and four daughters; died 19 January and was buried at Remenham, 25 January 1878; will proved 8 March 1878 (estate under £70,000);
(4) Edward Levi Ames (1832-92) of Clevelands, Lyme Regis (Dorset), born 27 January and baptised at Lewins Mead Unitarian meeting house, 29 March 1832; educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1849; BA 1854; MA 1857) and Lincolns Inn (admitted, 1854); barrister-at-law; JP for Dorset; member of the Alpine Club; inherited Clevelands from his uncle, John Ames, in 1867; married at St Giles-in-the-Fields, London, 10 August 1859, Emily (d. 1864), daughter of Edward Lawford of Eden Park, Beckenham (Kent) and had issue one son and two daughters; died 7 January 1892; will proved 18 February 1892 (estate £100,116);
(5) Henry St. Vincent Ames (1833-1901) of Cote House (q.v.);
(6) Ellen Ames (1835-1921), born 9 March 1835; married, 29 April 1858, Rev. Thomas Coney (d. 1898), chaplain to the forces and son of Rev. Thomas Boucher Coney, rector of Pucklechurch, and had issue; died Jan-March 1921;
(7) Frederick Ames (1836-1918) of Hawford Lodge, Claines (Worcs), born 17 October 1836; served in Rifle Brigade; JP for Worcestershire; married at Syerston (Notts), 14 March 1865, Letitia (d. 1913), eldest daughter of George Fillingham of Syerston Hall but died without issue, 2 June 1918; will proved 23 July 1918 (estate £59,974);
(8) Alfred Ames (1839-1910), born 4 June 1839; educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1857); Lt. in Rifle Brigade; died unmarried in Paris, 8 April 1910; will proved 28 April 1910 (estate £264,725);
(9) Reginald Ames (1844-91), born 9 May 1844; educated at University College, Oxford (matriculated 1863; BA & MA 1869); died unmarried at Torquay (Devon), 3 December 1891; will proved 3 March 1892 (estate £107,560).
He purchased Cote House in about 1825.  At his death it passed to his fourth son.
He died 20 July 1873; his will was proved 15 August 1873 (estate under £90,000). His widow died 16 February 1889; her will was proved 15 March 1889 (estate £1,279).

H. St. V. Ames (1833-1901)
Ames, Henry St. Vincent (1833-1901) of Cote House. Fourth son of George Henry Ames (1786-1873) of Cote House and his wife Anna, daughter of Gideon Acland of Camberwell (Surrey), born 19 August 1833. Educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated, 1853; BA 1857; MA 1860); worked as a photographer in Canada in the 1860s. He married at Lurgan (Armagh), 29 April 1875, Charlotte Henrietta (c.1848-1917), daughter of Rev. George Robinson, rector of Tartaragan (Armagh), but had no issue.
He inherited Cote House from his father in 1873.  At his death he left it to his widow; it was sold after her death.
He died 10 March and was buried at Westbury-on-Trym (Glos), 14 March 1901; his will was proved 14 April 1901 (estate £148,639). His widow died 20 October 1917; her will was proved 6 December 1917 (estate £21,364). 


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1952, p. 35 and 1972, pp. 19-20; Rudder, Glos, 1779, p. 796; Brewer, Delineations of Glos, 1825‑27, p. 110; R. Ames, Genealogical memoranda of the family of Ames, 1889; E. Croft-Murray, ‘An unpublished early Watercolour by J.M.W Turner, Cote House, Bristol’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 90, 1948, pp.107-109, fig.2; Anon, 1250 years at Westbury‑on‑Trym, 1967, p.33; A. Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, London, 1979, pl. 21;  L. & J.F. Stone, An open elite?: England 1540-1880, 1984, p. 193; Pevsner, Richmond et al, The buildings of England: Northumberland, 2nd edn., 1992, p. 377; G. Priest, The Paty family: makers of 18th century Bristol, 2003; A. Foyle, Pevsner Architectural Guides: Bristol, 2004, p. 21; C. O'Brien & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire and Peterborough, 2014, p. 155;

Location of archives

No significant archive is known to survive.

Coat of arms

Argent on a bend cotised between two annulets sable a quatrefoil between two roses of the field.

Revision & Acknowledgements

This post was first published 27 April 2014 and was revised 28 March and 9 July 2015, 16 January 2018, 18-30 April 2020 and 11 October 2021. I am grateful to Elisabeth Frankish for information about the family's involvement in banking in Bristol and to Peter Shirley for corrections and other suggestions.

Monday 21 April 2014

(119) Cracroft-Amcotts of Kettlethorpe and Hackthorn

Cracroft of Hackthorn
Amcotts of Kettlethorpe
This post concerns two families, initially quite distinct, but which became so closely entwined in the 18th and 19th centuries that it makes sense to tell their story together.

In 1618, John Cracroft (c.1559-1622) inherited estates around Lincoln at Hackthorn, Dunholme and Whisby in Doddington from his maternal uncle, Robert Grantham.  He is reputed to have built a new house at Hackthorn, but the record provided by baptisms, marriages, burials and wills suggests that the family was not firmly centred there until the end of the 17th century. Almost all trace of their first house has, however, vanished, replaced by a neo-classical villa built in 1793-95 by John Cracroft (1748-1821). The Hackthorn estate has passed in an orderly way from generation to generation for some four hundred years. Robert Cracroft (d. 1677) enhanced it by the acquisition through marriage of lands at nearby Fulnetby, and his grandson, Robert Cracroft (1703-63) acquired the West Keal Hall estate near Spilsby, also through marriage, but otherwise the estate remained largely unchanged until the 19th century.

The Amcotts family were established by the mid 16th century at nearby Aisthorpe, about three miles from Hackthorn as the crow flies. A descendant of this family, Vincent Amcotts (c.1625-86), who had apparently had a successful legal practice in London, bought Harrington Hall near Spilsby (Lincs) in 1673 and rebuilt it shortly afterwards. He died leaving a young family by his second wife, Amy, and left the house to her until such time as his heir should come of age. Amy married again, and by her second husband produced a son, Charles Hall (d. 1743), who inherited Kettlethorpe Hall from his father's family and probably largely rebuilt it. He died without issue and bequeathed Kettlethorpe to his half-brother's son, Charles Amcotts (1729-77) of Harrington Hall. In youth, Charles gained a reputation as a firebrand Jacobite, and had the distinction of being expelled from Cambridge University for drinking the health of the Young Pretender in 1749. He remained a Tory in politics, but became part of the county establishment, serving as High Sheriff, MP for Boston, and Colonel of the county militia. The one thing he omitted to do was to marry and have a family, so at his death his property was divided among his sisters. Anna-Maria (d. 1800), the wife of Sir Wharton Emerson - who promptly changed his name to Amcotts - received Kettlethorpe; and Frances (1726-c.1810), the wife of Edward Buckworth, got Harrington.

Sir Wharton Amcotts (1740-1807) and his wife produced an only daughter, Elizabeth (d. 1812), who married Sir John Ingilby (d. 1815), the illegitimate heir to the Ripley Castle estate in Yorkshire. When her mother died, she obtained royal licence to call herself Lady Amcotts-Ingilby (although she actually used the form Ingilby-Amcotts!), and her only surviving son and heir, who inherited the baronetcies of her father (by special remainder) and her husband, and both the Ripley Castle and Kettlethorpe Hall estates, was Sir William Amcotts-Ingilby (1783-1854), 2nd bt.  Curiously, he seems initially to have been very short of money, and he lived abroad from some years after 1812 to avoid his creditors, but by 1815 when he inherited his father's estates he was back in England and he became the radical Whig MP for Lincolnshire, 1823-32. He married twice but had no children, so when he died in 1854 his Lincolnshire estates passed to his nephew, Weston Cracroft-Amcotts (1815-83) of Hackthorn Hall; this is where the two families join up.

Weston Cracroft-Amcotts also inherited the Hackthorn estate from his father in 1862. Perhaps because the classical house at Hackthorn was then very unfashionable, he chose to live at Kettlethorpe, which he extensively remodelled in 1863, giving the house its present form.  His eldest son and intended heir was Vincent (1845-81), who became a playwright in London, but died from an overdose of a sleeping draught shortly after he had leased a theatre to mount one of his plays.  When Weston Cracroft-Amcotts died two years later, he divided his estates between his two surviving sons. The elder, Edward Weston Cracroft (he dropped the Amcotts part of his surname) (1849-1933), received Hackthorn, and the younger, Frederick Augustus Cracroft-Amcotts (1853-97) got Kettlethorpe.  Frederick was killed in a hunting accident in 1897 and his widow remained at Kettlethorpe until her death in 1936, when it passed to her son, Sir Weston Cracroft-Amcotts (1888-1975), who had already inherited Hackthorn from his childless uncle.  Sir Weston made Hackthorn his home, and eventually sold Kettlethorpe in 1961 (although the estate was mostly sold off from 1942 onwards).  Hackthorn passed to Bridget (1933-2008), the third of his four daughters, and her husband Robert Peel Charles Eley (1931-96), who took the name Cracroft-Eley. Their son, William Cracroft-Eley, is the present owner of Hackthorn Hall.

Harrington Hall, Lincolnshire

Harrington Hall in 1986. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Licenced under this Creative Commons licence.

The house has a long west front and the part of this with a stone plinth marks the extent of the Tudor and Elizabethan house of the Copledyke family. Vincent Amcotts (c.1625-86) bought Harrington in 1673 and remodelled and extended the house over the next eight years, possibly to the designs of William Catlyn of Hull, who was building Brigg Grammar School at the time for a group of trustees of whom Amcotts was a member.  When the house was enlarged in the 1670s, the existing three-storey porch was retained, perhaps partly because it had relatively recently been rebuilt with Artisan Mannerist decoration of very elongated Ionic brick pilasters either side of the porch windows on the first and second floors, and perhaps partly  to provide a vertical accent in what would otherwise have been a long, low, rather monotonous facade. 

Harrington Hall in 1986: diaper work on the side of the porch betrays its Tudor origins. Image: Nicholas Kingsley
Licenced under this Creative Commons licence.

Either side of the porch there are six bay, two-storey ranges, with a projecting wooden modillion cornice, pitched roof and dormers.  The windows were altered later in the Georgian period, and perhaps at the same time a lower extension was added to the north end.  After that, the 19th and 20th centuries made only minor changes and additions, until in 1991 there was a disastrous fire while repairs were in hand for the new owners. Almost the entire interior was destroyed and the even the external shell was badly damaged, but both have been carefully restored by Guy Taylor Associates of Newark, who won a Europa Nostra award for the project.  The gardens were laid out in the 18th century, and have been enhanced in the last twenty years.  The west front faces a wide court with brick walls and gatepiers, the south wall of which is the boundary of an elevated terraced garden ornamented with rusticated piers and urns, added in 1722.  The terrace itself is 17th century and thought to have been built from the rubble of the old house.  The gardens have been open to the public for many years, but closed permanently at the end of 2013.

Harrington Hall, as depicted on the Ordnance Survey 6" map, 1887
Descent: Sir Roger Copledike (c.1316-63); to son, John Copledike (c.1338-80); to son, John Copledike (c.1360-1408); to son, William Copledike; to son, William Copledike (b. 1402); to son, John Copledike (1425-c.1488);... Sir John Copledike (d. 1557), who probably built the house c.1535; to son, John Copledyke (d. 1585); to brother, Francis Copledyke (d. 1599); to nephew, Edward Copledike (d. 1609); to widow for life and then (after much legal wrangling) to his brother Thomas Copledike (d. 1658); to widow, Mary Copledike, for life; to nephew, Hugh Bethell (fl. 1673), who sold 1673 to Vincent Amcotts (c.1625-86), who remodelled the house; to son, Vincent Amcotts (c.1683-1733); to son, Charles Amcotts (1729-77); to sister, Frances (c.1726-1810); to great-niece, Augusta (d. 1857), wife of Robert Cracroft of Hackthorn (1783-1862); to cousin, Rev. Sir Henry John Ingilby (1790-1870), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Henry Day Ingilby (1826-1911), 2nd bt.; sold c.1920 to Maj. Thomas Jessup; sold 1927 to Maj. W.H. Rawnsley of Well; sold c.1930 to Holliday Hartley and used in WW2 by an evacuated Barnado's Home from Sheffield; sold 1950 to Sir John Maitland MP (1903-77), kt.; to widow; sold after her death 1991 to David Price; sold 2014.

Kettlethorpe Hall, Lincolnshire

Kettlethorpe Hall: the 14th century gateway. Image: Richard Croft.
Licenced under this Creative Commons licence.
The house began in the 14th century as the home of the Swynford family, an association made famous by the marriage of Katharine Swynford to John of Gaunt, and more particularly by Anya Seton's novel about her.  Of this period, there remains only the stone gateway, with battlements and typical mouldings, which has been strengthened and repaired later in brick, and some remains of the moat.  There is also some old stonework in the south wall of the house itself, but otherwise the house dates largely from a rebuilding in the early 18th century, and especially from the last major remodelling in 1863. 
Kettlethorpe Hall as rebuilt in the early 18th century and remodelled in 1863.

Some earlier survivals include one room with reset 17th century panelling; the dining room which has Queen Anne panelling and a chimneypiece of c.1771 (for which there is a design in the Victoria & Albert Museum); and the adjacent room which has a very delicate stucco ceiling.  The original staircase of the 18th century house is said to be at Ripley Castle (Yorks), and was presumably moved in 1863.

Kettlethorpe Hall, as depicted on the Ordnance Survey 6" map, 1885 

Descent: Thomas Hall; to son, Charles Hall (d. 1743); to first cousin once removed, Charles Amcotts (1729-77); to sister, Anna-Maria (d. 1800), wife of Sir Wharton Emerson (later Amcotts) (1740-1807), 1st bt.; to daughter, Elizabeth (d. 1812), wife of Sir John Ingilby (d. 1815), 1st bt.; to son, Sir William Amcotts-Ingilby (1783-1854), 2nd bt.; to sister, Augusta (d. 1857), wife of Robert Cracroft (later Amcotts) (1783-1862); to son, Weston Cracroft Amcotts (1815-83); to son, Frederick Augustus Cracroft-Amcotts (1853-97); to widow (d. 1936); to son, Sir Weston Cracroft-Amcotts (1888-1975), kt, who sold 1961 to His Honour Edward Daly-Lewis (d. 1977); sold 1981 to C. Coulton; sold 1985 to Rt. Hon. Douglas Martin Hogg, 3rd Viscount Hailsham (b. 1945).

Hackthorn Hall, Lincolnshire

Hackthorn Hall: the 17th century house of the Cracroft family.

Hackthorn Hall in Lincolnshire has been the seat of the Cracroft family since 1618 when John Cracroft inherited the estate from his uncle, Robert Grantham. A painting shows the original 17th century hall, which was replaced in the 1790s by a new house on a different site west of the church. The old house seems to have been retained at first as a rectory, but was later pulled down. A sketch by Edmund Cracroft done in the 1790s shows the new house sitting alongside the old parish church and the old house in a bare new landscaped setting, created at the same time as the house was built.

Hackthorn Hall in the 1790s: a sketch by Edmund Cracroft showing the new house, old church, and old house in their newly-landscaped setting.

Hackthorn Hall: entrance front and west side, 2008. Image: East Yorkshire Local History Society

The 17th century house was replaced by the present four-square restrained neo-classical villa designed by James Lewis of London, which was built in 1793-95; a drawing of the completed house was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1798 and Lewis' designs remain at the house.  It is not clear how Lewis came to the attention of John Cracroft; in the next generation the two families were connected by marriage but there is nothing to suggest any earlier link and Hackthorn remains Lewis's only known Lincolnshire commission.  It may simply be that Cracroft had seen Lewis's book, Original Designs in Architecture, published in 1779-80. The new house was built in a pale Yorkshire stone, and is a square block with a long service wing added c.1858-60 on the east side. The north front has a semi-circular Ionic porch (regrettably ornamented in c.1860) and windows in arched recesses, and the south (garden) front has triangular pediments on alternate ground-floor windows, but otherwise the external decoration is minimal. 

Hackthorn Hall: garden front, 2009. Image: Thorpe. Licenced under this Creative Commons licence.

Inside, the rooms are grouped around an oval top-lit staircase hall containing a cantilevered stone staircase with an elegant wrought-iron handrail. The drawing room has a pretty and delicate plaster ceiling, the dining room a shallow sideboard recess, but the decoration is kept very simple and the house depends for much of its impact on the fine collection of family portraits and appropriate furnishings.  North-east of the house stands a mid 18th century stable block, altered in the later 18th century, and forming a group with the church (rebuilt in 1844-49).  Nearby are an old barn and another stable, the sole survivors from the earlier complex of buildings. The grounds were landscaped when the house was rebuilt, and a sketch by Edmund Cracroft done in the 1790s shows the new house sitting alongside the old parish church and the rectory in a bare new landscaped setting.

Hackthorn Hall, as depicted on the Ordnance Survey 6" map, 1885-86.

Descent: John Cracroft (c.1559-1622); to son, Robert Cracroft (d. 1666); to grandson, Robert Cracroft (d. 1677); to son, Robert Cracroft (1676-1712); to son, Robert Cracroft (1703-63); to son, Robert Wilson Cracroft (1746-87); to brother, John Cracroft (1748-1821), who rebuilt the house; to son, Robert Cracroft (later Amcotts) (1783-1862); to son, Weston Cracroft Amcotts (1815-83); to son, Edward Weston Cracroft (1849-1933); to nephew, Sir Weston Cracroft-Amcotts (1888-1975); to daughter, Bridget Katharine (1933-2008), wife of Robert Peel Charles Cracroft-Eley (1931-96); to son, Charles William Amcotts Cracroft-Eley (b. 1963). 

Amcotts family of Harrington Hall and Kettlethorpe Hall

Amcotts, Vincent (1625-86), of Harrington Hall. Son of Vincent Amcotts (d. 1637/8) of Langton-by-Wragby (Lincs) and his wife Anne, daughter of Anthony Norton of Burton (Lincs), born 23 September 1625. Educated at Grays Inn (admitted 1648). He married 1st, 18 February 1668, Helen Webberley of East Kirkby (Lincs), and 2nd, about July 1675, Amy (1648-1712/3), daughter of Henry Mildmay of Graces, Little Baddow (Essex), and had issue:
(1.1) Elizabeth Amcotts (b. & d. 1669), baptised at Nettleham, 28 November 1669; died in infancy and was buried at Nettleham, 7 December 1669;
(2.1) Annie Amcotts (b. 1676), born 16 and baptised 17 April 1676; died before 1686;
(2.2) Vincent Amcotts (1679-80), baptised 25 June 1679; died in infancy and was buried 9 April 1680;
(2.3) Mary Amcotts (1681-87), born 2 February 1681; died unmarried, 18 November 1687;
(2.4) Vincent Amcotts (1683-1733) (q.v.);
(2.5) Henry Amcotts (1684-1705), born 21 January 1684; died unmarried and without issue, 18 May 1705; will proved in PCC, 13 June 1711.
He purchased Harrington Hall in 1673 and rebuilt the house. At his death he left his estates to his widow until his son achieved his majority.
He died 25 May 1686 and was buried at Harrington, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 2 August 1686 and his inventory is here. His widow married 2nd, Thomas Hall of Kettlethorpe Hall and had issue a son, Charles Hall (d. 1743), who bequeathed Kettlethorpe to Charles Amcotts (1729-77) (q.v.). She died 20 February 1712/3.

Amcotts, Vincent (1683-1733), of Harrington Hall. Son of Vincent Amcotts (c.1625-86) and his second wife, Amy Mildmay, born 1683. Educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (admitted 1700) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1703). Sheriff of Lincolnshire, 1726. He married, 18 May 1720, Elizabeth (c.1694-1765), daughter of Rev. John Quincey of Aslackby (Lincs), and had issue:
(1) Vincent Amcotts (1721-30), baptised 22 July 1721; died young, 23 May and was buried 26 May 1730;
(2) Elizabeth Amcotts (1723-62), baptised 9 October 1723; died unmarried, 10 May 1762;
(3) Anna Maria Amcotts (1725-1800), baptised 21 April 1725; married, 16 April 1762, Sir Wharton Emerson (later Amcotts) (q.v.) and had issue a daughter; died 1 July 1800;
(4) Frances Amcotts (1726-1810), baptised 3 November 1726; married, 1 August 1754, Rev. Dr. Everard Buckworth (d. 1792) of Washingborough, but had no issue; inherited Harrington Hall from her brother in 1777, and left it to her great-niece Augusta Cracroft; died 21 April 1810;
(5) Col. Charles Amcotts (1729-77) (q.v.).
He inherited Harrington Hall on the expiry of his mother's interest in 1704. 
He died 26 August and was buried at Harrington, 4 September 1733; his will was proved 11 February 1735/6. His widow was buried at Harrington, 19 July 1765.

Amcotts, Col. Charles (1729-77), of Harrington Hall and Kettlethorpe Hall. Second but only surviving son of Vincent Amcotts (1683-1733) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Quincey of Aslackby (Lincs), baptised 25 June 1729. Educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge (admitted 1746; sent down for drinking the health of the Young Pretender, 1749); created DCL by the University of Oxford, 8 July 1763. A 'notorious Jacobite', he became Sheriff of Lincolnshire, 1753, Colonel of the Lincolnshire Militia, and Tory MP for Boston (Lincs), 1754-61, 1766-77; Alderman of Boston, 1774. He was unmarried.
He inherited Harrington Hall from his father in 1733 and Kettlethorpe Hall from his father's half-brother, Charles Hall, in 1743; he came of age in 1750. At his death, Kettlethorpe passed to his sister Anna-Maria and her husband and Harrington to his sister Frances and her husband.
He died 14 April 1777 and is buried at Harrington, where he is commemorated by a monument.

Amcotts (né Emerson), Sir Wharton (1740-1807), 1st bt., of Kettlethorpe Hall. Eldest son of Alexander Emerson (d. 1744) of East Retford (Notts) and Caister (Lincs) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Rev. Thomas Bosville of Ufford (Northants), born 23 February and baptised 24 February 1739/40. Served in 14th Foot (ensign, 1758; lieutenant, 1759; resigned 1760). Assumed the name of Amcotts in lieu of Emerson by royal licence, 13 May 1777, when his wife succeeded her brother in the Kettlethorpe estate.  MP for East Retford, 1780-90, 1796-1802; created a baronet, 11 May 1796. He married 1st, 16 April 1762, Anna Maria (1725-1800), daughter of Vincent Amcotts (1683-1733) of Harrington Hall, and 2nd, 20 October 1800, Amelia Theresa (d. 1833), daughter of Duncan Campbell of South Hall (Ayrshire), and had issue:
(1.1) Elizabeth Amcotts (later Ingilby, then Ingilby-Amcotts) (c.1763-1812) (q.v.);
(2.1) Sophia Louisa Emerson Amcotts (1804-33), born 16 January 1804 and baptised in a Catholic chapel in York on the same day; married, 15 June 1826 at St James, Piccadilly, Westminster (Middx), Mathew (later Sir Mathew) Wilson (1802-91), 1st bt., son of Mathew Wilson of Eshton Hall (Durham), and had issue one son; died 29 September 1833.
He inherited house property at East Retford (Notts). His wife inherited the Kettlethorpe Hall estate in 1777. At her death it passed to their daughter.
He died at Scarborough, 26 September 1807, and was buried at East Retford (Notts), 5 October 1807.  He was succeeded in the baronetcy by his grandson, by special remainder. His first wife died 1 July 1800. His widow married, 2nd, 29 May 1809, Richard Bradley Wainman and was buried at Kildwick (Yorks), 19 July 1833.

Ingilby-Amcotts (née Amcotts, then Ingilby), Elizabeth (c.1763-1812) of Ingilby Hall and Kettlethorpe Hall. Daughter of Sir Wharton Amcotts (né Emerson) and his first wife, Anna Maria, daughter of Vincent Amcotts of Harrington Hall, born 24 June 1763. She assumed by royal licence, 3 October 1800, the surname Amcotts in addition to that of Ingilby. She married, 25 October 1780, Sir John Ingilby (1758-1815), 1st bt. of Ripley (Yorks) and had issue:
(1) John Ingilby (1781-92), born 12 and baptised 13 August 1781; died young, December 1792;
(2) Charles Amcotts Ingilby (b. & d. 1782), baptised 13 June 1782; died in infancy and was buried 15 June 1782;
(3) Sir William Ingilby (later Amcotts-Ingilby) (1783-1854), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(4) Elizabeth Ingilby (b. 1784), born 11 May 1784;
(5) Augusta Ingilby (1786-1857), born 29 April and baptised 5 May 1786; married Robert Cracroft (1783-1862) of Hackthorn Hall (q.v.); inherited Kettlethorpe Hall from her brother in 1854; died 16 January 1857;
(6) Anna-Maria Ingilby; died in infancy;
(7) Anne Ingilby (d. 1790); died young in 1790;
(8) Diana Ingilby (1790-1841), born 16 and baptised 19 September 1790; married, April 1814, William Gunning-Campbell of Fairfield (Scotland); died 1841;
(9) Vincent Bosville Ingilby (1792-93), born 17 November and baptised 21 December 1792; died young in 1793;
(10) Julia Wharton Ingilby (1794-1836), born 12 February and baptised April 1794; married, 24 October 1816, Rear-Adm. Sir Robert Barrie RN and had issue one son and four daughters; died November 1836;
(11) Constance Ingilby (1795-1877), born 26 July 1795; married, 5 July 1819, Dr. Mark Theodore de Morlat MD; died 22 October 1877.
She inherited the Kettlethorpe Hall estate from her mother in 1800.  At her death it passed to her son.
She died 21 September 1812; her will was proved 27 October 1812. Her widower died 13/14 May 1815.

Political cartoon of Sir William Amcotts-Ingilby
Amcotts-Ingilby (né Ingilby), Sir William (1783-1854), 2nd bt., of Ingilby Hall and Kettlethorpe Hall. Only surviving son of Sir John Ingilby (d. 1815), 1st bt. of Ingilby Hall (Yorks) and his wife, Elizabeth Ingilby-Amcotts, daughter of Sir Wharton Amcotts, 1st bt., of Kettlethorpe Hall, born 20 June 1783.  Educated at Louth Grammar School. He succeeded his grandfather as 2nd bt. of Kettlethorpe by special remainder in 1807, and his father, also as 2nd bt. of Kettlethorpe, in 1815. Lieutenant in West Riding Yeomanry, 1803; High Sheriff of Yorkshire, 1821-22; MP for East Retford, 1807-12, Lincolnshire, 1823-32 and North Lincolnshire, 1832-35. Although apparently in youth a Tory, he became a radical Whig in politics, consistently supporting the cause of reform (and going so far as to support petitions for the introduction of the secret ballot), the abolition of slavery, Catholic emanicipation, and raising the living standards of working people. He had a reputation for drinking, gambling and eccentricity, and more than once was mistaken for a ‘poor farming-like sort of person’; his cigar-smoking, bizarre taste in cheap hats and facetiousness at political meetings endeared him to his constituents but made him the butt of political cartoonists. He assumed the name of Amcotts in addition to Ingilby on the death of his mother in 1812, and this was confirmed by royal licence, 11 April 1822.  In 1812 he slipped abroad to avoid his creditors and he may have stayed abroad until he succeeded his father in 1815. He enjoyed Continental travel and later visited Italy and Alsace-Lorraine, and in 1818 he was in Vienna. He married 1st, 18 April 1822, Louisa (d. 1836), daughter of John Atkinson of Maple Hayes (Staffs) and 2nd, 27 July 1843, Mary Anne, daughter of John Clementson, serjeant-at-arms to the House of Commons, but had no issue.
He inherited the Kettlethorpe Hall estate from his mother in 1812 and Ripley Castle from his father in 1815. At his death Kettlethorpe passed to his nephew, Weston Cracroft-Amcotts of Hackthorn Hall (q.v.) and Ripley to his cousin, Rev. Henry John Ingilby, "because I don't believe that you are any longer the canting hypocrite I took you for".
He died in London, 14 May 1854, when the baronetcies became extinct. His first wife died 22 July 1836. His widow's date of death is unknown.

Cracroft (later Cracroft-Amcotts) family of Hackthorn Hall

Cracroft, John (c.1559-1622), of Hackthorn and Dunholme. Elder son of Francis Cracroft (d. 1570) of Winthorpe (Lincs) and his first wife, Katherine, daughter of Hugh Grantham of Dunholme (Lincs), born about 1559. He married Elizabeth (1563-1602), daughter of William Beverley of North Grimston (Yorks), and had issue:
(1) Robert Cracroft (d. 1667) (q.v.);
(2) John Cracroft (d. before 1634);
(3) William Cracroft (d. 1637/8), of Cold Hanworth (Lincs); married before 1624, Elizabeth [surname unknown] and had issue one son; died 1 March 1637/8;
(4) Francis Cracroft (d. 1671), of Metheringham and Washingborough (Lincs); educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1622); married, 20 November 1623, Jane Waterhouse (d. 1641) and had issue seven sons and two daughters; buried at Spalding (Lincs), 28 May 1671;
(5) Bridget Cracroft; married (after 1621) [forename unknown] Dickenson;
(6) Elizabeth Cracroft; married (before 1621), Thomas Appleby;
(7) Anne Cracroft (d. 1656); married (before 1616), Charles Wilson of Sheepwash (Lincs); died 1656 and was buried at Canwick (Lincs); will proved 26 November 1656;
(8) Jane Cracroft (d. 1635); married, 22 January 1617/8, Michael Lawes of Lincoln, plumber; buried 3 April 1635;
(9) Catherine Cracroft; married, 30 June 1625, Edward Monke of Broughton (Lincs).
He inherited Hackthorn, Whisby in Doddington Pigot and Dunholme from his uncle, Robert Grantham of Black Monks, Lincoln, in 1618.
He was buried at Dunholme (Lincs), 6 November 1622; his will was proved 28 November 1622 and an inquisition post mortem was held at Sleaford, 19 June 1623. His wife died 23 August 1602 and was buried at North Grimston (Yorks).

Cracroft, Robert (d. 1667), of Hackthorn and Dunholme. Eldest son of John Cracroft (d. 1622) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of William Beverley of North Grimston (Yorks). He married, 28 February 1608/9, Martha (d. 1667), daughter of Sir Richard Amcotts KB of Aisthorpe (Lincs), and had issue:
(1) Robert Cracroft (1610-47) (q.v.);
(2) Mary Cracroft (b. 1611; fl. 1667), baptised at Aisthorpe, 28 March 1611; married, 22 October 1640, Rev. John Shelton and had issue a son;
(3) John Cracroft (c.1616-67); buried 17 August 1667; administration granted 6 September 1667;
(4) Elizabeth Cracroft (b. c.1615/6; fl. 1667), baptised at Wickenby (Lincs), 17 March 1615/6; married William Bedell;
(5) Richard Cracroft (1617-c.1685), baptised at Cold Hanworth (Lincs), 16 November 1617, innkeeper of Old White Hart, Lincoln; married Susannah [surname unknown] (d. 1666);
(6) Jane Cracroft (b. 1623; fl. 1667), baptised at Doddington Pigot (Lincs), 3 November 1623; married Francis Bland of Hablesthorp (Notts);
(7) Martha Cracroft (b. 1625; fl. 1684), baptised at Doddington Pigot, 8 January 1625; married (before 1666/7), Edward Barker;
(8) Thomas Cracroft (1628-81), baptised at Doddington Pigot, 8 April 1628; married Mary Whelpdale; will proved at Lincoln, 18 March 1680/81;
(9) Henry Cracroft (b. 1631), baptised at Doddington Pigot, 15 August 1631.
He inherited the Hackthorn and Dunholme estates from his father in 1622.
He was buried at Dunholme (Lincs), 14 September 1667; his will was proved at Lincoln, 19 November 1667. His wife was buried at Dunholme, 25 August 1667. The deaths of Robert, his wife and their son John in a short period in the autumn of 1667 suggest that they may have died of an infectious disease, perhaps even of the plague, which continued to break out across England that year.

Cracroft, Robert (1610-47). Eldest son of Robert Cracroft (d. 1666) and his wife Martha, daughter of Sir Richard Amcotts of Aisthorpe (Lincs), baptised at Aisthorpe, 4 May 1610. Educated at Grays Inn (admitted 1629). He married, 4 April 1636 at Lockington (Yorks), Margaret (d. 1655), daughter of Richard Remington of Lund (Yorks) and had issue:
(1) Robert Cracroft (d. 1677) (q.v.);
(2) Margaret Cracroft (fl. 1652);
(3) Mary Cracroft (fl. 1652).
He died in the lifetime of his father and was buried at St Mary-le-Wigford, Lincoln, 23 August 1647.  A grant of administration was issued for his widow on 3 October 1655.

Cracroft, Robert (d. 1677), of Hackthorn Hall. Only son of Robert Cracroft (1610-47) and his wife Margaret, daughter of Richard Remington of Lund (Yorks).  He married, 8 October 1664, Anne (1646-1717), daughter and co-heir of John Lodington of Fulnetby (Lincs) and had issue including:
(1) Mary Cracroft (b. 1665), baptised at Rand (Lincs), 4 November 1665;
(2) John Cracroft (1668-71), baptised at Hackthorn, 15 December 1668; died in infancy and was buried there, 17 January 1670/1;
(3) Richard Cracroft (1672-73), baptised at Hackthorn, 24 December 1672; died in infancy was buried there, 2 January 1672/3;
(4) Anne Cracroft (fl. 1681);
(5) Margaret Cracroft (fl. 1681); married, 2 August 1701, John Badisford;
(6) Jane Cracroft (b. 1674), baptised at Hackthorn, 9 April 1674; married, 9 July 1701 and Thurgarton (Notts), Robert Wilson;
(7) Elizabeth Cracroft (b. 1675), baptised at Hackthorn, 9 September 1675
(8) Robert Cracroft (1676-1712) (q.v.).
He inherited Hackthorn Hall from his grandfather in 1666 and Fulnetby in right of his wife.
He was buried at Hackthorn, 2 June 1677. His widow married 2nd, 1681, Francis Grantham of Wragby (Lincs).

Cracroft, Robert (1676-1712), of Hackthorn Hall and Fulnetby. Only surviving son of Robert Cracroft (d. 1677) and his wife Anne, daughter and co-heir of John Lodington of Fulnetby (Lincs), baptised at Hackthorn, 17 January 1676/7. He married, 2 October 1701, Grace (d. 1709), daughter of Rev. John Baxter of Lincoln, and had issue:
(1) Robert Cracroft (1703-63) (q.v.);
(2) Elizabeth Cracroft (1704-84), baptised at Hackthorn, 6 April 1703/4; died unmarried and was buried at Hackthorn, 19 July 1784;
(3) John Cracroft (1705-63), baptised at Hackthorn, 2 April 1705; married Sarah Edmonds (d. 1764); died 20 April 1763 and was buried at Louth; his will was proved 21 October 1763;
(4) Edward Cracroft (b. 1706), baptised at Hackthorn, 11 July 1706;
(5) Thomas Cracroft (d. 1708), buried at Hackthorn, 6 April 1708;
(6) Grace Cracroft (1708-76) of Louth, baptised at Hackthorn, 12 April 1708; died unmarried and was buried at Hackthorn, 9 February 1776; will proved 24 May 1776.
He inherited Hackthorn Hall and Fulnetby from his father in 1677.
He was buried at Hackthorn, 29 May 1712. His wife was buried at Hackthorn, 16 July 1709.

Cracroft, Robert (1703-63), of Hackthorn Hall. Eldest son of Robert Cracroft (1676-1712) and his wife Grace, daughter of Rev. John Baxter of Lincoln, born 6 February 1702/3 and baptised at Hackthorn.  He married 1st, 3 March 1729 Anne (1713-38), daughter and heiress of Martin Browne of Louth (Lincs) and 2nd, 30 May 1746, Rebecca (1722-1802), daughter of Edward Waldegrave of Louth and niece and heiress of Rev. Dr. Bernard Wilson of West Keal Hall (Lincs), vicar of Newark, and had issue:
(1.1) Anne Cracroft (b. & d. 1732), born at Louth (Lincs), 6 July 1732 and buried there, 23 August 1732;
(1.2) Anne Cracroft (c.1734-68), born about 1734; married, January 1767, Rev. John Langhorne (1735-79), formerly tutor to her father's second family and translator of Plutarch's Lives, and had issue; died 4 May 1768;
(1.3) Grace Cracroft (1735-90), born at Louth, 19 September 1735; married, 18 August 1757, William Marshall (1723-70) of Theddlethorpe (Lincs) and had issue; died at Louth, 3 June 1790;
(1.4) Mary Cracroft (1737-1809), born at Louth, 7 June 1737; married, 19 May 1766, John Nelthorpe (1736-84) of Little Grimsby Hall (Lincs) and had issue a daughter (Maria Janetta, who married 8th Duke of St. Albans); died at Lincoln, 12 January 1809 and was buried at Little Grimsby, 17 January 1809;
(2.1) Robert Wilson Cracroft (1746-87), of Hackthorn and Denham Court (Bucks), baptised at Louth, 10 March 1746; died unmarried at High Wycombe (Bucks), 27 February 1787 and was buried at Hackthorn, 15 March 1787; will proved 18 March 1787;
(2.2) John Cracroft (b. 1748) (q.v.);
(2.3) Thomas Cracroft (1749-1813) of West Keal Hall, baptised at Louth, 12 September 1749; married Elizabeth (d. 1807), daughter of Bentley Bennett of Keddington (Lincs) and had issue six sons and seven daughters; died at West Keal (Lincs), May 1813;
(2.4) Edward Cracroft (1750-63), baptised at Louth, 18 November 1750; died young and was buried at Hackthorn, 23 December 1763;
(2.5) Rev. Bernard Cracroft (1753-1821), baptised 1 February 1753; rector of Rippingale, East Keal and South Elkington (Lincs); married Mary Bennett (d. 1837) and had issue four sons and three daughters; died suddenly in Horbling church, 6 May 1821;
(2.6) Charles Cracroft (1754-1829), baptised at Louth, 2 June 1754; married, 3 October 1786, Dorothy Watkins (1769-1802) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died at Banff, 8 September 1829;
(2.7) Francis Tyrwhit Cracroft (b. 1755), baptised at Louth, 5 October 1755; emigrated to Baltimore (Maryland, USA); married Elizabeth [surname unknown] and had issue one son and two daughters;
(2.8) William Cracroft (b. 1757), baptised at Louth, 16 September 1757; married Elizabeth Sewell (d. 1837), daughter of Joseph Hawkes of London, merchant, and had issue two sons and four daughters;
(2.9) Elizabeth Clementina Cracroft (1760-71), baptised at Hackthorn, 13 October 1760; buried there 14 December 1771;
(2.10) Lt. Edmund Cracroft (1762-1830), baptised at Hackthorn, 2 July 1762; an officer in the Bengal Infantry; married, 6 October 1806, Sarah Lightburn (d. 1850) and had issue six sons and three daughters; died at Worcester, 1830.
He inherited the Hackthorn Hall estate from his father in 1712 and West Keal in right of his second wife.
He was buried at Hackthorn, 9 August 1763; his will was proved 11 April 1764.  His widow was buried at Hackthorn, 9 October 1802 and her will was proved at Lincoln the same day.

Cracroft, John (1748-1821), of Hackthorn Hall. Elder son of Robert Cracroft (b. 1702) and his second wife, Rebecca Waldegrave, baptised at Louth, 11 October 1748. High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, 1797. He married, 4 February 1782, Penelope Anne (d. 1821), daughter of Rev. Charles Fleetwood Weston of Somersby Hall (Lincs), rector of Therfield (Herts) and prebendary of Durham, and had issue:
(1) Robert Cracroft (later Cracroft-Amcotts) (1783-1862) (q.v.);
(2) Rev. John Cracroft (1784-1842); married 1st, 1807, Eliza Anne (d. 1811), daughter of James Lewis, architect, of Powis Place, London and had issue a daughter; married 2nd, 10 November 1814, Jane (d. 1857), daughter of Hezekiah Brown of Minster Yard, Lincoln, and had issue three sons and three daughters; died at Neuwied-am-Rhine (Germany), 21 September 1842; grant of administration of his goods, 2 September 1843;
(3) Penelope Anne Cracroft (1789-1861), baptised at Hackthorn, 5 July 1789; died unmarried in London, 10 May 1861;
(4) Emily Cracroft (1790-1828), baptised at Hackthorn, 30 August 1790; died unmarried, December 1828 and was buried at Hackthorn;
(5) Lucy Cracroft (1792-1870), baptised at Hackthorn, 11 June 1792; died unmarried in London, 11 May 1870;
(6) Arabella Cracroft (1801-73), baptised at Hackthorn, 22 July 1801; married, 1823, Matthew Henry Lister (1801-76) of Burwell Park and had issue; died 1 September 1873.
He inherited the Hackthorn and West Keal estates from his father, and rebuilt Hackthorn Hall to the designs of James Lewis.
He died 2 October 1821 and was buried at Hackthorn; his will was proved 14 November 1821. His wife died 29 September 1821 and was also buried at Hackthorn.

Cracroft-Amcotts (né Cracroft), Col. Robert (1783-1862), of Hackthorn Hall. Elder son of John Cracroft (b. 1748) of Hackthorn Hall and West Keal and his wife Penelope Anne, daughter of Rev. Charles Fleetwood Weston of Somersby Hall (Lincs) and rector of Therfield (Herts), born 25 January 1783.  He assumed the name and arms of Amcotts by royal licence in 1854. JP and DL for Lincolnshire. He married, 14 June 1814, Augusta Amcotts-Ingilby (d. 1857), daughter of Sir John Ingilby, 1st bt., of Ripley (Yorks) and Kettlethorpe (Lincs) (q.v.) and had issue:
(1) Weston Cracroft Amcotts (1815-83) (q.v.);
(2) Capt. Peter Cracroft-Amcotts (1816-65) CB RN, born 15 March and baptised at Harrington, 16 March 1816; Captain in the Royal Navy; married, 8 November 1851, Caroline (d. 1879), daughter of Sir Samuel Scott, 2nd bt. of Lytchett Minster (Dorset); died without issue at Port Royal (Jamaica), 2 August 1865;
(3) twin, Frances Amcotts Cracroft-Amcotts (1817-91), baptised at Harrington, 1 March 1817; married, 1841, Rev. Edwin Jarvis (1816-76), vicar of Hackthorn (Lincs) and rector of Cold Hanworth (Lincs), son of Col. George Ralph Payne Jarvis of Doddington Hall, and had issue; died 11 February 1891;
(4) twin, Augusta Cracroft-Amcotts (1817-55), baptised at Harrington, 1 March 1817; married, 1840, Rev. Charles Macquarie Jarvis (1804-63), rector of Doddington (Lincs), son of Col. George Ralph Payne Jarvis of Doddington Hall; died without issue, 1855;
(5) Louisa Cracroft-Amcotts (1819-1911), baptised at Harrington, 12 May 1819; married, 1 January 1846, Gervase Tottenham Waldo-Sibthorp MP (1815-61) of Canwick Hall and had issue; died 27 November 1911;
(6) Constance Elizabeth Cracroft-Amcotts (1821-98), baptised at Harrington, 22 April 1821; married, 17 February 1859, Capt. Charles Edmund Tennant RN (d. 1862) of Needwood House (Staffs) and had issue; died 26 October 1898;
(7) Rev. Robert Wentworth Cracroft-Amcotts (1826-1905), born 15 June and baptised 4 July 1826; rector of Harrington and Brinkhill (Lincs); married, 7 July 1864, Hon. Elizabeth Caroline Lane-Fox (d. 1879), daughter of Sackville Walter Lane-Fox MP and sister of Sackville George Lane-Fox, 12th Baron Conyers; died without issue, 22 March 1905.
He inherited the Hackthorn Hall estate from his father and the Kettlethorpe Hall estate in right of his wife in 1854.
He died 3 September 1862; his will was proved 10 October 1862 (estate under £35,000). His wife died 16 January 1857.

Cracroft-Amcotts, Weston (1815-83), of Hackthorn Hall and Kettlethorpe Hall. Eldest son of Col. Robert Cracroft (later Cracroft-Amcotts) (1783-1862) of Hackthorn Hall and his wife Augusta, daughter of Sir John Ingilby, 1st bt. of Ripley (Yorks) and Kettlethorpe Hall (Lincs), born 9 March 1815. Educated at Eton. JP and DL for Lincolnshire; High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, 1861; MP for Mid Lincolnshire, 1868-74; Lt-Col. of North Lincolnshire Militia. He married 1st, 16 May 1834 at Leominster (Herefs), Williama Emma (d. 1861), second daughter and co-heir of William George Cherry of Buckland (Herefs) and 2nd, 21 April 1864, Ellen Kempthorne (d. 1881), daughter of Rev. Charles Bryan of Woolaston (Glos) and widow of Henry Nevile of Wellingore Hall (Lincs), and had issue:
(1.1) Vincent Amcotts Cracroft-Amcotts (1845-81); educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford (matriculated 1863; BA 1867) and the Inner Temple (admitted 1867); playwright and classical dramatist; JP and DL for Lincolnshire; died unmarried in London from an overdose of chloral hydrate, 26 November 1881; will proved 7 January 1882 (estate £1,626);
(1.2) Edward Weston Cracroft-Amcotts (later Cracroft) (1849-1933) (q.v.);
(1.3) Frederick Augustus Cracroft-Amcotts (1853-97) (q.v.).
He inherited the Hackthorn and Kettlethorpe estates from his father.  At his death he left Hackthorn to his elder, and Kettlethorpe to his younger, surviving son.
He died at Harrogate (Yorks), 14 July 1883; his will was proved 22 August 1883 (estate £20,363). His first wife died 9 July 1861 and his second wife on 9 February 1881.

Cracroft (né Cracroft-Amcotts), Edward Weston (1849-1933), of Hackthorn Hall. Elder surviving son of Weston Cracroft-Amcotts (1815-83) and his first wife Williama Emma, daughter and co-heir of William George Cherry of Buckland (Herefs), born 5 January 1849. Educated at Magdalen College, Oxford. JP for Lincolnshire; High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, 1893. He discontinued the use of the surname Amcotts in 1885, reverting to Cracroft. He married, 24 April 1879, Cecily Sophia Mary (d. 1919), daughter of Henry Nevile of Walcot Hall (Northants) and Wellingore Hall (Lincs), but had no issue.
He inherited Hackthorn Hall from his father in 1883.  At his death it passed to his nephew, Sir Weston Cracroft-Amcotts (q.v.).
He died 30 January 1933; his will was proved 5 May 1933 (estate £70,965). His wife died 22 January 1919.

Cracroft-Amcotts, Maj. Frederick Augustus (1853-97), of Kettlethorpe Hall. Youngest son of Weston Cracroft-Amcotts (1815-83) and his first wife Williama Emma, daughter and co-heir of William George Cherry of Buckland (Herefs), born 3 May 1853. Major in 5th Dragoon Guards; resigned his commission to become a rancher in Montana, USA; JP for Lincolnshire. He married, 17 February 1885, Emily Grace (d. 1936), youngest daughter of Anthony Peacock (later Willson) of Rauceby Hall (Lincs), and had issue:
(1) Sylvia Cracroft-Amcotts (1886-1940), born 22 August 1886; married, 7 August 1919, George William Henderson (d. 1934) of Rauceby Hall (Lincs) and had issue; died 14 May 1940; will proved 26 July 1940 (estate £23,064);
(2) Sir Weston Cracroft-Amcotts (1888-1975) (q.v.);
(3) Lt-Cdr. John Cracroft-Amcotts (1891-1956) of Rauceby Hall (Lincs), born 3 January 1891; educated at HMS Britannia; Lieutenant-Commander in Royal Navy; JP for Kesteven; High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, 1937; married, 12 February 1930, May (1895-1979), daughter of H. Redfearn-Shaw and widow of Frederic Martin Campbell and had issue three daughters; died 30 May 1956; will proved 7 November 1956 (estate £102,491).
He inherited Kettlethorpe Hall from his father in 1883. At his death it passed to his widow for life.
He died in a hunting accident at Baumber (Lincs), 15 April 1897; his will was proved 23 July 1897 (estate £2,556). His widow died 13 October 1936; her will was proved 29 April 1937 (estate £29,812).

Cracroft-Amcotts, Sir Weston (1888-1975), kt., of Hackthorn Hall and Kettlethorpe Hall. Elder son of Maj. Frederick Augustus Cracroft-Amcotts (1853-97) and his wife Emily Grace, daughter of Anthony Willson of Rauceby Hall (Lincs), born 7 November 1888. Educated at Eton and Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Served in Royal Engineers, 1906-42 (Lt-Col; MC); JP and DL for Lincolnshire; High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, 1954; Chairman of Parts of Lindsey County Council; knighted, 1954. He married, 23 June 1927, Rhona (1901-97), only daughter of Edward Clifton Clifton-Brown of Burnham Grove (Bucks) and had issue:
(1) Rosemary Grace Cracroft-Amcotts (1928-2014), born 17 April 1928; married, 24 May 1952, Lt-Cdr. Gervis Hugh Frere Frere-Cook RN (1928-74) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 26 October 2014;
(2) Marian Cicely Cracroft-Amcotts (b. 1931), born 13 September 1931; married, 15 June 1957, Thomas Charles Weguelin Micklem, son of Maj. Charles Micklem of Long Cross House, Chertsey (Surrey) and had issue one son and two daughters;
(3) Bridget Katharine Cracroft-Amcotts (1933-2008) (q.v.); 
(4) Penelope Sylvia Cracroft-Amcotts (b. 1938), born 20 May 1938.
He inherited Hackthorn Hall from his uncle in 1933 and Kettlethorpe Hall from his mother in 1936; he sold Kettlethorpe in 1961.
He died in July-September 1975.

Cracroft-Eley (né Cracroft-Amcotts), Bridget Katharine (1933-2008). Third daughter of Sir Weston Cracroft-Amcotts (1888-1975) and his wife Rhona, only daughter of Edward Clifton Clifton-Brown of Burnham Grove (Bucks), born at Hertford, 29 October 1933.  High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, 1989; Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, 1995-2008, being the first woman to hold that office; High Steward of Lincoln Cathedral, 1998-2008. Appointed CVO, 2008 and Hon. LLD of De Montfort University, 2003. She married, 31 October 1959, Robert Peel Charles Eley (1931-96), elder son of Charles Ryves Maxwell Eley OBE of East Bergholt Place (Suffolk) and had issue:
(1) Annabel Louise Cracroft Cracroft-Eley (b. 1961), born 15 January 1961; married, 1987, Andrew Stewart Ross Jones, son of R.H. Jones of London, and had issue one son and one daughter;
(2) Charles William Amcotts Cracroft-Eley (b. 1963) (q.v.).
She inherited Hackthorn Hall from her father in 1975.
She died 29 August 2008. Her husband died 22 December 1996.

Cracroft-Eley, Charles William Amcotts (b. 1963) of Hackthorn Hall.  Only son of Robert Peel Charles Cracroft-Eley and his wife Bridget Katharine, daughter of Sir Weston Cracroft-Amcotts of Hackthorn Hall, born 8 March 1963.  He married, 1991 at Pershore (Worcs), Margaret Elizabeth, daughter of Roger Lole of Hermitage Farm, Wadborough (Leics), and had issue:
(1) Florence Elizabeth Cracroft-Eley (b. 1994), born 3 June 1994;
(2) Cecily Ophelia Violet Cracroft-Eley (b. 1996), born 5 February 1996;
(3) Elfreda Queenie Theodora Cracroft-Eley (b. 2000), born 24 January 2000.
He inherited Hackthorn Hall from his mother in 2008.
Now living.


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1965, pp. 16-17; P. Cracroft-Brennan, Three Black Birds: the 900-year history of a Lincolnshire family, 2003, vols 2-3; Sir H.M. Colvin, Biographical dictionary of British architects, 4th edn., 2008, pp. 649-51;

Location of archives

Cracroft-Amcotts family of Kettlethorpe etc: deeds, estate and legal papers, family and personal papers, 1409-20th cent. [Lincolnshire Archives, AMC, 2 AMC, MARTIN]; miscellaneous deeds and papers, 12th-19th cent. [West Yorkshire Archives Service, Leeds, WYL230].

Coat of arms

Amcotts: Argent, a tower triple-towered, between three covered cups azure.
Cracroft: Vert, on a bend dancettée, three martlets sable.
Cracroft-Amcotts: The two shields quartered with Amcotts in the 1st and 4th quarters and Cracroft 2nd and 3rd.

This account was first published 21 April 2014 and was revised 21 December 2014, 20 September 2015, 16 February 2016, 10 May, 15 July and 24 July 2018 and 19 December 2020. I am grateful to Rodge Brownlow and Rob Wheeler for some additional information.