Friday 18 April 2014

(118) Altham of Mark Hall, Oxhey Place and Timbercombe

The Althams were prominent citizens of London in the 16th century. James Altham (d. 1583/4) purchased the Mark Hall estate in Latton (Essex) in 1562, where there was a large Tudor courtyard house in which he entertained Queen Elizabeth no less than three times in the 1570s. His eldest son became a Roman Catholic and was excluded from the succession on that account, so Mark Hall passed to his second son, Edward Altham (d. 1605). James's youngest son, Sir James Altham (c.1555-1617), became a successful lawyer and judge and he and his son, Sir James Altham (d. 1624) lived at Oxhey Place in Hertfordshire.  Mark Hall passed in turn to two of Edward Altham's sons, Sir James Altham (1572-1610) and Sir Edward Altham (d. 1632), and then to the latter's son, Sir James Altham (1614-76), who was an active Royalist and was made a Knight of the Bath at the Restoration for his part in the Civil War. Sir James died without male issue and Mark Hall passed to his brother Leventhorpe Altham (1618-81), a London wine merchant, who was succeeded in turn by his son James Altham (1662-97) and grandson Peyton Altham (1695-1741).  Three of the latter's sons inherited in turn, the last of whom, Sir William Altham (1736-1818) altered the house before selling the estate in 1778 to his cousin William Lushington (1748-1823); Lushington rebuilt the house but sold it in 1786.  Sir William, who was unmarried, lived later at The White House, Thetford (Norfolk) and served as mayor of that town in 1793.

The eldest daughter of James Altham (1662-97), Mary Altham (1688-1752), married her kinsman, the Rev. Dr. Roger Altham, Archdeacon of Middlesex, and their eldest son, Roger Altham (1718-88) was a successful canon lawyer. His wife inherited a share in the Fenton House estate in Northumberland, which was sold by his daughter's trustees in 1829. The Althams might have faded into obscurity but for Maj. William Surtees Altham Cook (1813-87), who substituted the name Altham for Cook in 1862 and purchased the Timbercombe estate in Somerset in 1871. His second son was Lt-Gen. Sir Edward Altham Altham (1856-1943), who rose to prominence in the First World War.  His youngest son was Harry Surtees Altham (1888-1965), a schoolmaster at Winchester College who was a noted cricket writer and served as President of the MCC in 1959-60.

Mark Hall, Latton, Essex

Mark Hall shown on an estate map of 1616 (Essex RO D/DAr P1)

The manor house was first mentioned in 1270, but in 1422 it was described as ruinous. A new house was probably built in the early 16th century, as cellars of that date were recorded in 1921. Lord Morley, the lessee, was living at Mark Hall in 1538, and James Altham entertained Elizabeth I there in 1571, 1576, and 1578.  An old watercolour (the current whereabouts of which I have been unable to trace, but which was reproduced in the Essex Review in 1908) shows the house to have been laid out round a courtyard, with a main hall building with a porch and two cross-wings occupying one side, a gatehouse block on the far side of the court, and ranges of lodgings, stables and barns connecting the two.

The 16th century Mark Hall from an old watercolour, reproduced from the Essex Review, 1908

Considerable alterations to the house and grounds were made by William Altham shortly before 1771, when Mark Hall was said to be 'singular in its construction, though not disagreeable to the eye'. William Lushington, who bought the estate in 1778, built a new two storey classical house, with a double-bowed front, to the west of the old site. By 1819 the house contained a large entrance hall, a dining room 40 feet by 17; a drawing room, 38x25, an ante room to the drawing room, 24x18, a second dining room, 27x18, and a library on the ground floor, and a further drawing room, 24x17, eleven bedrooms and three dressing rooms on the first floor. William Lushington also began enlarging and landscaping the park, diverting the road past the church for the purpose, and demolishing the 'small but elaborate' Jacobean Latton Hall in the process. 

Mark Hall in about 1930.

Montagu Burgoyne is said to have spent £30,000 on the house and grounds, and it seems likely that much of this was on the grounds (although the interiors of the house could also have been unfinished in 1778).  Burgoyne is known to have consulted Humphry Repton on landscaping in 1789-91 and a view of the house by Repton appeared in Peacock's Polite Repository for 1792. The building was enlarged in the 19th century and given swan-necked pediments over the windows on the main front. 

Mark Hall from the Ordnance Survey 6" map surveyed in 1873-74. The map shows clearly the courtyard of the Tudor house and the adjacent site of the Georgian mansion.

The smoking ruins of Mark Hall, 1947

The service wing of the house undergoing renovation in 1948.
After the Gilbeys left, Mark Hall became a land girls' hostel, but it was largely destroyed by fire in 1947. The east wing, which survived the fire, was later used as a temporary school until 1958; there was then a second fire, after which dry rot was discovered in the building, and it was demolished in 1960. The 18th and 19th century stable block was converted into a veteran cycle museum by Harlow District Council in 1981 and part of the walled garden also survives. 

Descent: Edmund Shaa (who leased 1521 to Henry Parker, 10th Baron Morley); to brother, Thomas Shaa, who sold 1538 to Lord Morley (d. 1556); to Henry Parker (1531-77), 11th Baron Morley, who sold 1562 to James Altham (d. 1583); to son, Edward Altham (d. 1605); to son, Sir James Altham (d. 1610); to brother, Sir Edward Altham (d. 1632); to son, Sir James Altham (1614-); to brother, Leventhorpe Altham (1618-81); to son, James Altham (1662-97); to son, Peyton Altham (1695-1741); to son, James Altham (1723-44); to brother, Edward Altham (1731-57); to brother, Sir William Altham (1736-1818), who sold 1778 to his cousin, William Lushington (1748-1823), who sold 1786 to Montagu Burgoyne (1750-1836); who sold 1819 to Richard Arkwright, who gave it in 1820 to his son, Rev. Joseph Arkwright (d. 1864), vicar of Latton; to son, Loftus W. Arkwright (d. 1889) of Parndon Hall, who let it to relations; to son, Loftus J.W. Arkwright, who let it to Josiah Caldwell and then from c.1893 to Newman Gilbey (d. 1942); used as Land Girls Hostel, 1943-47 when burnt down; estate sold 1947 to Harlow Development Corporation.

Oxhey Place, Hertfordshire

The Oxhey Place estate (originally called St. Cleeres or St. Clowes) was formed at the end of the 16th century when the Oxhey Hall estate was broken up and disemparked. It is likely but not certain that a new house was built then by Francis Heydon, but Sir James Altham certainly added the chapel of 1612 which is the only part of the estate to survive today. 

Oxhey Place: the chapel of 1612. Image: Diamond Geezer. Licenced under this Creative Commons licence

Oxhey was sold by the Althams in 1639 and from 1668-1866 was a property of the Bucknall and Estcourt families. Sir John Bucknall was responsible for rebuilding the house in 1688, reputedly at a cost of £3,000.

Oxhey Place as rebuilt in 1688.  Image: Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies, DE/Of/7/84.

The only depiction of this building which I have found is a naive drawing in the Oldfield Collection in Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies, which shows a house with an eleven-bay, three-storey front, a balustraded parapet, some elaborate shaped pediments over the ground and first-floor windows, and an improbable centrepiece, which may have incorporated some stonework from the previous house.  Some of the woodwork from old St. Cleeres was also used to make a new reredos in the chapel at about the same date.

Ordnance Survey 6" map surveyed 1872-74, showing the site before the erection of the Victorian house

A view of the Oxhey Place estate after the demolition of the house, painted by Francis Goodall and exhibited at the Royal Academy, as reproduced in the Illustrated London News.

The Bucknalls Oxhey Place was taken down in 1799, leaving only a farmhouse to bear the name through much of the 19th century, but in 1877 Thomas Blackwell, a partner in the famous pickle-making firm, Crosse & Blackwell, bought part of the estate and built a new house, which survived until c.1955-60, when it was burned down.  By then the grounds had become a London County Council housing estate and the house was in use as a medical centre.

Descent: Francis Heydon (fl. 1598); sold 1601 to Henry Fleetwood, who sold 1602 to Robert Bowyer and Richard Fusse; who sold 1604 to Sir James Altham (c.1555-1617), kt.; to son, Sir James Altham (d. 1624); to son, Sutton Altham (1622-30); to sisters, Elizabeth (1620-98), Countess of Anglesey and Frances (1621-50), Countess of Carbery, who sold 1639 to John Heydon; sold 1668 to Sir William Bucknall (d. 1676), kt. of London; to son, Sir John Bucknall (d. 1711), kt, who rebuilt the house in 1688; to son, William Bucknall (d. 1746); to son, John Askell Bucknall (d. 1796); to nephew, William Grimston (later Bucknall) (d. 1814), who demolished the house in 1799; to brother, Harbottle Grimston (later Bucknall) (d. 1823); to sister, Jane (d. 1829), wife of Thomas Estcourt of Estcourt Park (Glos); to son, Thomas Grimston Bucknall Estcourt; to son, Thomas Henry Sutton Sotheron Estcourt, who sold 1866 to Rt. Hon. William Henry Smith, who sold part of the estate for building and the rest in 1877 to Thomas Blackwell, who built a new house; to son, Thomas F. Blackwell; to son, Walter R. Blackwell (fl. 1908)...London County Council who developed the estate for housing; the house was intended to be preserved as a medical centre but burned down c.1955-60.

Timbercombe, Broomfield, Somerset

Timbercombe from the air.  Image: Bing Maps

A large Victorian villa in the Quantocks, lying between Spaxton, Aisholt and Broomfield and now in the latter parish, although formerly in Spaxton.  The house appears to have been substantially remodelled, if not completely rebuilt, in recent years.

Descent: Orlando Reeves (fl. 1853); sold by order of Chancery in 1853 to Lt-Col. James Chicheley Hyde (d. 1867); sold 1871 to William Surtees Altham (d. 1887); to widow, who sold to William T. White (d. 1910); to widow, Janey Catherine Anne White (d. 1935); sold 1936 to Henry Herbert Sweet-Escott (d. 1954); sold 1959 to John Samuel Byard White (b. 1936).

Altham family of Mark Hall and Timbercombe

Altham, Edward (d. 1571). Son of Christopher Altham of Girlington (Yorks WR) (fl. 1482). Sheriff of London, 1531. He married Audrey, daughter of Richard Hildersham of Stitchworth (Cambs) and had issue (probably among others):
(1) James Altham (d. 1583) (q.v.).
His was buried at Latton, 5 November 1571.

Altham, James (d. 1583/4) of Mark Hall.  Son and heir of Edward Altham (fl. 1531) and his wife Audrey, daughter of Richard Hildersham of Stitchworth (Cambs). Clothworker of London; Sheriff of London, 1557; High Sheriff of Essex, 1570. He married 1st, 29 January 1548, Elizabeth (d. 1558), daughter of Thomas Blanke of London and sister and heir to Sir Thomas Blanke, Lord Mayor of London, and 2nd, Mary (1517-1602), daughter of Thomas Mathews of Colchester (Essex) and widow of Thomas Langton and Sir Andrew Judd, Lord Mayor of London in 1550, and had issue five children including:
(1.1) Thomas Altham (d. c.1607), who was disinherited by his father for becoming a Roman Catholic; lived in Monmouth, Hereford and Abergavenny but owned house property in London; married [forename unknown] Bray or Gunter and had issue one son and three daughters, one of whom became a nun in Belgium; will proved 19 December 1607;
(1.2) Edward Altham (d. 1605) (q.v.);
(1.3) Sir James Altham (c.1555-1617), of Oxhey Place (Herts) (q.v.) [see below, Altham family of Oxhey Place]
He purchased Mark Hall, Latton (Essex) and the adjoining Priory estate in 1562 and entertained Queen Elizabeth there in 1571, 1576 and 1578.
He died 28 February 1583/4 and was buried in the chancel of Latton church, 1 March 1583/4, where he is commemorated by a monument. His will was proved 19 March 1583.

Altham, Edward (d. 1605) of Mark Hall.  Second son and heir of James Altham (d. 1583/4) of Mark Hall and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Blanke of London. He married 1st, 16 June 1558, Fortune Fowell, and 2nd, 5 February 1577, Elizabeth (d. 1621), daughter and co-heir of John Barne of Willesden (Middx) and granddaughter of Sir John Barne, kt., Lord Mayor of London in 1552, and had issue:
(1.1) Helen Altham (b. 1568), baptised 10 February 1568;
(1.2) Sir James Altham (1572-1610), kt. (q.v.); 
(1.3) Sir Edward Altham (d. 1632), kt. (q.v.);
(2.1) Mary Altham (1578-1647); married, c.1598, Ralph Hawtry of Ruislip (Middx) and had issue three sons and one daughter; buried at Ruislip, 4 April 1647, where there is a monument to her memory;
(2.2) Richard Altham (d. 1599); buried 30 May 1599;
(2.3) Capt. Emmanuel Altham (d. 1635); visited America, 1623 and Mauritius, 1628 (from whence he sent a live dodo to his brother, Edward); died in the East Indies, 1635; will proved November 1638.
He inherited Mark Hall from his father in 1583. After his death his estates passed in turn to his two sons.
He died 1 April 1605 and was buried at Latton (Essex), 8 April 1605; his will was proved 7 August 1605. His widow was buried 7 January 1621 with her husband; her will was proved 10 January 1622.

Altham, Sir James (1572-1610), kt., of Mark Hall. Son of Edward Altham (d. 1605) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Barne of Willesden (Middx), baptised 25 February 1572. Educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (admitted 1599) and Grays Inn (admitted 1600). Knighted, 9 January 1609/10. He married Elizabeth (d. 1641), youngest daughter of Sir Francis Barrington, 1st bt., and had issue:
(1) Joan Altham (b. 1610), baptised 27 March 1610; married Oliver St. John (c.1598-1673), the leading Parliamentarian, and had issue two sons and two daughters; died before 1638.
He inherited Mark Hall from his father in 1605. At his death without male issue, it passed to his brother, Sir Edward Altham.
He was buried at Latton, 15 July 1610. His widow married 2nd, 21 June 1611 at Stratford-atte-Bowe (Middx), Sir William Masham (1591-1656), 1st bt., and had further issue three sons and one daughter; she was buried at High Laver (Essex), 1 April 1641.

Altham, Sir Edward (d. 1632), kt., of Mark Hall.  Second son of Edward Altham (d. 1605) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Barne of Willesden (Middx). Educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (admitted 1599) and Grays Inn (admitted 1604). Knighted by King James I at Royston (Herts), 21 May 1613. He married* 1st, 1 June 1608, Margaret (d. 1611), daughter of Thomas Nash, and 2nd, 31 March 1612, Joan (d. 1654), daughter of Sir John Leventhorpe, 1st bt. of Shingle Hall, Sawbridgeworth (Herts), and had issue:
(1.1) Jane Altham (1610-20), baptised 15 April 1610; died young, 20 February 1619/20;
(1.2) Margaret Altham (1611-25), baptised 25 August 1611; buried 28 August 1625;
(2.1) Joan Altham (1613-58), baptised 8 June 1613; married, 1632, Sir Thomas Smith (d. 1668), 1st bt., of Hill Hall (Essex) and had issue eleven sons and two daughters; died 14 July 1658;
(2.2) Sir James Altham (1614-76), knight (q.v.);
(2.3) Edward Altham (1615-16), baptised 18 June 1615; died in infancy and was buried, 26 March 1616;
(2.4) John Altham (1616-58), baptised 3 June 1616; educated at Bishops Stortford and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (admitted 1633/34) and Grays Inn (admitted 1637; called to bar, 1648; ancient of the inn, 1658); died unmarried and was buried 7 December 1658; will proved 11 January 1659;
(2.5) Elizabeth Altham (d. 1646/7); buried 28 February 1646/7;
(2.6) Leventhorpe Altham (1618-81) (q.v.);
(2.7) Mary Altham (1619-44); married Sir William Halton, bt. of Little Sampford (Essex) and had issue; buried 30 September 1644**;
(2.8) Edward Altham (1622-94), baptised 13 October 1622; educated at St Catherine's College, Cambridge (admitted 1641; BA 1643/4); left to continue his studies overseas; undertook an unsuccessful mercantile journey to Constantinople, 1647; settled in Rome (Italy) in 1648 as a merchant (in partnership with Edward Brome or Brown), art agent and painter; received into the Roman Catholic church, 1652; he apparently lived an eremitic life at one time and there is a self-portrait of him as a hermit in the style of Salvator Rosa at Kingston Lacy (Dorset); died unmarried, 12 February 1694;
(2.9) Bridget Altham (d. c.1660); married 4 December 1650, Sir Peter Tyrell (d. 1711), 1st bt. of Hanslope (Bucks) but had no issue; living in 1658 but dead by 1664/5;
(2.10) Emmanuel Altham (b. 1625), baptised 25 April 1625; was unable to settle to a profession and sponged upon his mother and brothers; a member of the bodyguard for King Charles II in the weeks after his return from exile; living in 1663.
He inherited Mark Hall from his elder brother in 1610.
He died 28 May 1632 and was buried at Latton, 29 May 1632, where he is commemorated by a monument attributed to Thomas Stanton; his will was proved 29 November 1632. His first wife was buried 25 August 1611. His widow was buried at Latton, 25 September 1654.
*The baptism of an Emanuel, son of Edward Altham at Latton on 7 September 1600 may be evidence of a previous, unrecorded marriage, or conceivably of an illegitimate child.
**The date in the register; her monument says 29 December 1644.

Altham, Sir James (1614-76), KB, of Mark Hall.  Elder son of Sir Edward Altham (d. 1632), kt., and his second wife Joan, daughter of Sir John Leventhorpe, bt. of Shingle Hall, Sawbridgeworth (Herts), baptised 23 July 1614. Educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (admitted 1629/30; BA 1632/3). A Royalist during the Civil War and was fined £500 as a delinquent by Parliament; made a Knight of the Bath at the Coronation of King Charles II. He married, 1630, Alice (d. 1678), only daughter and heir of Sir John Spencer bt. of Offley Place (Herts), and had issue:
(1) Mary Altham (b. 1637), baptised 15 June 1637; married, 1655 (later sep.), Sir John Tufton (1623-85), 2nd bt., but died without issue.
He inherited Mark Hall from his father in 1632. At his death it passed to his brother.
He was buried 4 February 1675/6 and his will was proved at Chelmsford. His widow was buried 13 May 1678.

Altham, Leventhorpe (1618-81), of Mark Hall.  Younger son of Sir Edward Altham (d. 1632), kt., and his second wife Joan, daughter of Sir John Leventhorpe, bt. of Shingle Hall, Sawbridgeworth (Herts), born 9 June and baptised 30 June 1618.  Wine merchant in London. He married, March 1656, Joan (c.1634-91), daughter of David Edwards of Oswestry (Shropshire) and had issue:
(1) Edward Altham (b. 1658), baptised 9 October 1658;
(2) James Altham (1662-97) (q.v.);
(3) Theodosia Altham (b. 1665), baptised 7 August 1665; married, 14 July 1691, John Tilley;
(4) John Altham (b. 1666), baptised 18 July 1666.
He lived in London and at Hackney (Middx) until he inherited Mark Hall from his brother in 1675/6.
He died 24 August 1681 and was buried at Latton the following day. His widow died 15 October 1691.

Altham, James (1662-97), of Mark Hall.  Only son of Leventhorpe Altham (1618-81) of Mark Hall and his wife Joan, daughter of David Edwards of Oswestry (Shropshire), born 1662. He married, after 18 July 1687, Mary (d. 1731), daughter of Admiral John Tinker, and had issue:
(1) Mary Altham (1688-1752) (q.v.);
(2) Elizabeth Altham (b. c.1690), baptised 20 January 1690/1; married, 6 January 1712/3, Dr. Daniel Turner (1667-1741), surgeon and medical writer, and had issue;
(3) James Altham (b. 1692), baptised 24 November 1692; died young;
(4) Dorothy Altham (c.1694-1730), married, 24 November 1724, John Peyton, younger brother of Sir Yelverton Peyton, bt. of Grimston (Norfolk) and had issue; died 4 May 1730.
(5) Peyton Altham (1695-1741) (q.v.);
(6) Jane Altham, married, 28 July 1711, Richard Strutt of Bishops Stortford (Herts), attorney, and had issue;
(7) James Altham (b. c.1697); living in 1731.
He inherited Mark Hall from his father in 1681.
He died 28 December 1697. His widow lived in Cambridge died 2 February and was buried at Latton, 5 February 1731/2; her will was proved 7 February 1731/2.

Altham, Peyton (1695-1741), of Mark Hall. Eldest surviving son of James Altham (1662-97) of Mark Hall and his wife Mary, daughter of Admiral John Tinker, born 1695. Educated at St. John's College, Cambridge (admitted 1715). He married at East Harling (Norfolk), 29 October 1721, Mary (d. 1768), daughter of John Beard, Governor of Bengal, and had issue:
(1) Mary Altham (1722-38), baptised 12 September 1722; buried 15 March 1737/8;
(2) James Altham (1723-44), baptised 11 September 1723; died in the East Indies;
(3) Charlotte Altham (1725-63), baptised 30 April 1725; married, 2 February 1762, James Altham (b. 1710); buried 24 February 1763;
(4) Elizabeth Altham (b. 1726), baptised 1 May 1726; died unmarried;
(5) Harriott Altham (1727-92), baptised 7 October 1727; married, 7 August 1759, Rev. Stotherd Abdy (c. 1728-73), rector of Theydon Garnons (Essex) and Archdeacon of Essex [see Abdy of Albyns]; buried at Stapleford Abbots (Essex), 3 March 1792;
(6) Frances Altham (1728-49), baptised 19 October 1728; buried 20 June 1749;
(6) Edward Altham (b. & d. 1730), baptised 2 May 1730; died in infancy and was buried 6 September 1730;
(7) Edward Altham (1731-57), baptised 29 June 1731; died unmarried and was buried 3 January 1757; will proved 18 January 1757;
(8) Sir William Altham (1736-1818), kt. (q.v.);
He inherited Mark Hall from his father in 1697 and came of age in 1716. At his death he left his widow a life interest in the house, which she gave up to her son in 1755.
He died 2 November 1741 and was buried at Latton, 6 November 1741, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 13 January 1741/2. His widow was buried 20 February 1768.

Altham, Sir William (1736-1818), of Mark Hall. Only son of Peyton Altham (1695-1741) of Mark Hall and his wife Mary, daughter of John Beard, Governor of Bengal, baptised 5 June 1736. Educated at Hitchin and Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1754). Knighted by King George III, 13 September 1786. Mayor of Thetford, 1793. In old age he suffered from asthma and found relief in a proprietary medicine called Stramonium, which he publicly endorsed. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Mark Hall from his elder brother in 1757, and he altered the old house before 1771. He sold the estate to William Lushington in 1778, and lived subsequently at The White House, Thetford (Norfolk) until 1802, when he is reported to have moved to Bath.
He died at Kensington House, 7 August and was buried at Latton, 14 August 1818.

Altham, Mary (1688-1752) Elder daughter of James Altham (1662-97) of Mark Hall and his wife Mary, daughter of Admiral John Tinker, baptised 19 September 1688. She married, after 31 May 1705, her kinsman, the Ven. Roger Altham DD (1658-1730), vicar of Latton, 1705-30, prebendary of St. Paul's Cathedral, 1695-1730 and Archdeacon of Middlesex, 1717-30, and had issue:
(1) Roger Altham (b. 1706), baptised 31 May 1706; died young;
(2) Mary Altham (later Lushington) (c.1707-75) (q.v.);
(3) Jane Altham (b. 1708/9), baptised 28 March 1709;
(4) James Altham (b. 1710), baptised 25 July 1710; married 1st, 8 September 1730, Mary Hanway (d. 1736) and had issue, and 2nd, 2 February 1762, Charlotte (1725-63), daughter of Peyton Altham of Mark Hall;
(5) Elizabeth Altham (b. 1712), baptised 21 April 1712; living in 1731; probably the person of this name who married, after 23 April 1736, John Cumberlege;
(6) John Altham (b. 1714); baptised 4 November 1714; possibly the person of this name who married, 27 August 1738, Martha Wilton;
(7) Roger Altham (1718-88) (q.v.).
(8) Dorothy Altham (b. 1721), baptised 19 October 1721; living in 1731.
She died in November 1752. Her husband died in February 1729/30 and was buried at Latton, 3 March 1729/30, where there is an inscription to his memory.

Mary Lushington
by J.H. Mortimer, 1774
Lushington (née Altham), Mary (c.1707-75).  Daughter of Ven. Roger Altham DD (1658-1730) and his wife Mary, elder daughter of James Altham of Mark Hall.  She married, 10 May 1737, Rev. Henry Lushington (1709-99), vicar of Eastbourne (Sussex), and had issue:
(1) Henry Lushington (1738-63), born 10 August and baptised 9 September 1738; on the staff of Maj-Gen. Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive (Clive of India); survived the Black Hole of Calcutta but was murdered in India in 1763;
(2) Charlotte Lushington (1739-c.1820), born 11 December 1739 and baptised 15 January 1739/40; married, 20 November 1762, Ralph Leycester (1737-1822) of Toft and had issue four sons and three daughters; died between 1817 and 1821;
(3) Jane Lushington (1739-), born 11 December 1739 and baptised 15 January 1739/40; married Rev. Thomas Altham LLD (d. 1782), son of Rev. James Altham of Woodford (Essex), and had issue one son and one daughter;
(4) Matthew Altham Lushington (1740-54), born 12 November and baptised 12 December 1740; educated at Charterhouse, but died there and was buried 26 December 1754;
(5) Maria Lushington (1742-1806). born 29 March and baptised 10 May 1742; married, 19 November 1767, John Tilson (d. 1774) of Watlington Park (Oxon) and had issue; will proved 17 February 1806;
(6) Sir Stephen Lushington (1744-1807), 1st bt., of South Hill Park (Berks), born 17 June 1744; Director of the East India Company (Chairman, 1790-91, 1795-6, 1799-1800), 1782-1805; MP for Hedon 1783-84, Helston 1790-96, Mitchell 1796-1802, Penrhyn 1802-06 and Plympton Erle 1806-07; created a baronet, 26 April 1791; married 6th June 1771, Hester (d. 1830), daughter of John Boldero of Aspenden Hall (Herts) and had issue three sons; died 12 January 1807 [see a future post on the Lushington family of South Hill Park];
(7) William Lushington (1748-1823) of Mark Hall; served with HEIC Bengal Service to 1773; MP for the City of London; purchased Mark Hall from his cousin, Sir William Altham, in 1778 and sold it to Montagu Burgoyne in 1786; married, 28 March 1769 in India, Paulina, daughter of Thomas French and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 1823;
(8) Catherine Lushington; died in infancy.
She died in 1775. Her husband married 2nd, Mary Gilbert, and died in 1799.

Altham, Roger (1718-88). Son of Ven. Roger Altham DD (1658-1730) and his wife Mary, elder daughter of James Altham of Mark Hall, baptised 25 September 1718. Proctor in Doctor's Commons; called to the bar in Inner Temple, 1754; Seal Keeper of the High Court of Admiralty; Registrar of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex and of the Dean & Chapter of Westminster. He married, 4 November 1746, Mary (d. 1781), daughter and co-heir of Robert Isaacson of Fenton (Northbld) and had issue: 
(1) Frances Altham (1749-1819), baptised 28 April 1749; married, 26 December 1777, James Heseltine (1745-1804) and had issue one son and one daughter; buried at Islington (Middx), 30 June 1819;
(2) Arabella Altham (1755-1827), baptised 14 May 1755; married 12 June 1780, John Graham Clarke of Kenton Lodge (Northbld) and had issue (including Mary Graham Clarke 1781-1828, the mother of Elizabeth Barrett Browning); died 10 November 1827;
(3) Mary Altham (1759-1810) (q.v.); 
(4) Jane Altham (1763-95), baptised 13 September 1762; married, 1783, Nathaniel Bishop (1760-1836) and had issue; died 25 May and was buried at Islington (Middx), 1 June 1795;
(5) Charlotte Altham; married, 25 September 1794, Thomas Lewis and had issue a son.
He inherited a moiety of the Fenton House estate in Northumberland in right of his wife, and at his death it was divided equally among his five daughters. In 1859 their descendants joined together to sell the whole moiety to the Earl of Durham, who also bought the other moiety, and whose descendants still own the estate.
He died 11 October 1788; his will was proved 29 October 1788. His wife died 3/8 March 1781.

Surtees (née Altham), Mary (1759-1810). Second daughter of Roger Altham (1718-88) of Fenton House (Northbld) and his wife Mary, daughter of Robert Isaacson of Fenton House, born 29 May 1759.  She married, 4 December 1781, Aubone Surtees (1752-1827) of Hauxley Hall (Northbld), second son of Aubone Surtees (1711-1800) of Newcastle, banker, and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Surtees (1783-1862) (q.v.)
She inherited one fifth of a moiety of the Fenton House estate from her father in 1788, but it was sold by the trustees of her marriage settlement in 1829.
She died 23 July 1810. Her husband died in 1827.

Cook (née Surtees), Elizabeth (1783-1862).  Only daughter of Aubone Surtees (1752-1827) and his wife Mary, daughter of Roger Altham of Fenton House (Northbld), born 18 July 1783. She married, 8 October 1808, Col. John Cook (1772-1829) of 28th Light Dragoons, Inspector of Yeomanry Cavalry and author of Observations on Fox-Hunting, and had issue (with other children who did not survive infancy):
(1) Rev. John Aubone Cook (1811-59), born 29 November 1811 at Pilgrim's Hatch, Brentwood (Essex); educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (admitted 1834; BA 1839; MA 1847); ordained deacon, 1838 and priest, 1839; curate of St Margaret, Westminster, 1844-50; vicar of South Benfleet (Essex) 1850-59 and Rural Dean of Canewdon; noted for his selfless care of his parishioners during a cholera outbreak in 1854; died unmarried, 29 September 1859; grant of adminstration 18 November 1859 (estate under £300);
(2) Elizabeth Sarah Cook (c.1811-87); died unmarried, 29 April 1887; will proved 6 June 1887 (estate £2,008);
(3) William Surtees Altham Cook (later Altham) (1813-87) (q.v.);
(4) Mary Susannah Altham Cook (d. 1883); died unmarried, 12 December 1883; will proved 15 January 1884 (estate £1,627);
(5) Susan Cook (b. c.1824), born in France; married, 1855, Thomas Brace Stone (d. 1855); died without issue after 1861.
The family lived in France when the children were growing up.
She died 1 September 1862; her will was proved 18 September 1862 (estate under £600). Her husband died 3 December 1829.

Altham (né Cook), Maj. William Surtees (1813-87), of Timbercombe. Second son of Col. John Cook and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Aubone Surtees, born 24 March 1813. Major in 83rd Foot. JP for Somerset. He assumed the name and arms of Altham by royal licence, 20 February 1862. He married 1st, 6 April 1850, his cousin Henrietta (1809-60), daughter of Edward Barrett Moulton-Barrett of Hope End (Herefs), and 2nd, 20 February 1862, his cousin Arabella (1820-1908), daughter of Jesse Addams QC, DCL, and had issue:
(1.1) Rev. Altham Surtees Altham (1851-1931) (q.v.);
(1.2) Mary Altham Altham (1853-1951); died unmarried aged 98, 7 June 1951; will proved 18 July 1951 (estate £250);
(1.3) Lt-Gen. Sir Edward Altham Altham (1856-1943) (q.v.);
(2.1) Charlotte Altham (1864-1934); married, 1889, Rev. Alexander Lamont Stewart (d. 1904), rector of Aisholt (Somerset), and had issue a daughter; died 20 October 1934; will proved 11 December 1934 (estate £1,637).
He purchased the Timbercombe estate in Somerset in 1871; at his death it passed to his wife, who sold it to William T. White.
He died 14 February 1887; his will was proved 14 May 1887 (estate £832). His widow died 7 February 1908; her will was proved 4 April 1908 (estate £7,856)

Altham, Rev. Altham Surtees (1851-1931). Elder son of Maj. William Surtees Cooke (later Altham) of Timbercombe, and his first wife, Henrietta, daughter of Edward Barrett Moulton-Barrett of Hope End (Herefs), born 23 January and baptised 5 February 1851. Educated at Winchester and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1869; BA 1872; MA 1876); ordained deacon, 1874 and priest, 1875; curate in Taunton, 1874-87; vicar of Holy Trinity, Taunton, 1887-90 and All Saints, Wellingborough (Northants), 1891-1903; rector of Lapford (Devon), 1903-27. He married, 26 April 1881, Bertha Emma, daughter of Rev. Francis Fisher, vicar of Hilmarton (Wilts), and had issue:
(1) Henrietta Fanny Altham (b. 1882), born 7 November 1882; died unmarried, 23 January 1957 and was buried at Lapford (Devon); will proved 8 March 1957 (estate £8,629);
(2) John Altham Surtees Altham (1886-1950); motor engineer; married, 1916, Violet May Wise and had issue a daughter; died 31 January 1950; administration of goods granted 23 June 1950 (estate £9,035).
He died 1 October 1931. His will was proved 10 December 1931 (estate £1,161).

Altham, Lt-Gen. Sir Edward Altham (1856-1943). Second son of Maj. William Surtees Cooke (later Altham) and his first wife, Henrietta, daughter of Edward Barrett Moulton-Barrett of Hope End (Herefs), born 13 April 1856. Educated at Winchester and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1874).  Joined Royal Scots Regiment, 1876; Bechunaland expedition 1884-1885; Staff College 1888-1889; Intelligence Div, War Office 1897-1899; Assistant Adjutant General, Intelligence, South Africa 1899-1900; Staff College 1900; Intelligence Div 1900-1904; General Staff, South Africa 1906-1908; in charge of Administration, Northern Command 1908-1910; Southern Command 1911-1915; World War I 1914-1918; Inspector General of Communications, Dardanelles 1915; Inspector General of Communications, Egyptian Expeditionary Force 1916; Quartermaster General, India 1917-1919; retired 1920; Col. of Royal Scots Greys, 1918-35; author of The principles of war, historically illustrated, 1914; appointed CMG, 1901; CB 1904; KCB 1916; KCIE 1919. He married, 5 November 1880, Georgina Emily (1855-1945), daughter of William Macpherson Nichol of Inverness and had issue:
(1) Capt. Edward Altham (1882-1950), born 7 January and baptised 17 February 1882; educated at Royal Naval College, Greenwich and HMS Britannia; served in Royal Navy 1896-1922 (Lt, 1902; Cmdr, 1913; Captain, 1919; ret. 1922); Secretary of Royal United Services Institute; Chief of Naval Postal & Telegraph Censorship, 1939-44; naval editor of Encyclopaedia Britannica; appointed CB 1919; married 1st, 23 May 1908 (div.), Fiorella Cecil, daughter of Reginald C.B. Willis of Ealing (Middx) and had issue one son and one daughter, and 2nd, 14 August 1922, Joyce Ellinor Mylius, daughter of Louis Henry Mylius Dick; lived in London; died 16 October 1950; will proved 29 December 1950 (estate £5,232);
(2) Dorothy Mary Altham (1883-1969), born 26 December 1883 and baptised 23 January 1884; died unmarried, 31 March 1969;
(3) Harry Surtees Altham (1888-1965), born 30 November 1888 and baptised 10 January 1989; educated at Repton and Trinity College, Oxford; schoolmaster at Winchester College, 1913-15, 1919-49; served with 69th Rifles in WW1, 1915-19; appointed MC and DSO, 1918; CBE 1957; Treasurer of MCC, 1950-63 and President, 1959-60; Chairman of MCC Youth Cricket Association, 1952-65; author of A history of cricket, 1926; Hampshire County Cricket, 1957 and editor of The MCC Cricket Coaching Book, 1952; married, 27 June 1917, (Winifred) Alison, daughter of Somerville Read Livingstone-Learmonth, a sheep farmer in Australia, and had issue one son and two daughters; lived at Kingsmead, Winchester; died 11 March 1965; will proved 19 May 1965 (estate £7,389).
In retirement he lived at 7 Kingsgate Street, Winchester (Hants).
He died 27 September 1943; his will was proved 8 December 1943 (estate £8,085). His widow died 27 September 1945

Altham family of Oxhey Place

Altham, Sir James (c.1555-1617), of Oxhey Place.  Youngest son of James Altham (d. 1583) of Mark Hall (Essex) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Blanke of London. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1571) and Grays Inn (admitted 1575; called to bar, 1581; ancient of the inn, 1595; bencher, 1599; reader, 1601); barrister-at-law; 
MP for Bramber, 1589; serjeant-at-law, 1603; knighted 15 February 1606/7; Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, 1607-17. A Puritan in religion. He married 1st, 1584, Margaret (d. 1597), daughter and heir of Oliver Skinner, 2nd, Mary, daughter of Hugh Staines of London and widow of [forename unknown] Grimes, and 3rd, Ellen or Helen (d. 1638), the widow of John Hyde of London, and had issue (probably among others):
(1.1) Sir James Altham (fl. 1621) of Oxhey Place (q.v.);
(2.1) Richard Altham (d. 1623); educated at Grays Inn (admitted 1614/5) and Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1615); died without issue, 1623;
(2.2) Mary Altham; married Sir Francis Stydolph, kt. of Norbury Park, Mickleham (Surrey) and had issue two sons;
(2.3) Elizabeth Altham (d. 1662/3); married 1st, Sir Francis Astley (d. 1638), kt. of Hillmorton (Warks), 2nd, Robert Digby (d. 1642), 1st Baron Digby of Geashill, and 3rd, Sir Robert Bernard (1601-66), 1st bt.; died 3 January 1662/3;
(2.4) Susan Altham.
He acquired the Oxhey Place (Herts) estate in 1604.
He died at Serjeant's Inn, 21 February 1617, and was buried at Oxhey, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 10 March 1617. His widow died in 1638; her will was proved 11 May 1638.

Altham, Sir James (d. 1624), of Oxhey Place. Son of Sir James Altham (fl. late 16th cent.) of Oxhey Place and his wife Margaret, daughter of Oliver Skinner. Educated at Grays Inn (admitted 1600) and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (admitted 1603). Knighted, 1608. He married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Sir Richard Sutton, kt. of London, one of the auditors to King James I, and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Altham (1620-98); married, 24 April 1638, Arthur Annesley (1614-86), 2nd Viscount Valentia and later 1st Earl of Anglesey, and had issue; buried 26 January 1697/8;
(2) Frances Altham (1621-50); married, 8 August 1637, Lt-Gen. Richard Vaughan (d. 1687), 2nd Earl of Carbery and had issue three sons and one daughter;
(3) Sutton Altham (1622-30), baptised 28 August 1622; died young in 1630.
He inherited Oxhey Place from his father in 1606.
He died 15 February 1623/4. His widow married 2nd, 1627 (licence 30 April), Sir John Ashfield (c.1597-1638), 2nd bt., of Netherhall and had further issue two sons and three daughters; she married 3rd, 12 November 1655 at St. Giles-in-the-Fields (Middx), Sir Richard Minshull (d. 1667) of Ongar Park (Essex); her date of death has not been traced.


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1898, i, p.19; Anon, 'Some Althams of Mark Hall in the seventeenth century', The Essex Review, 1908, pp. 74-87, 134-46; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1972, iii, p.17; J. Kenworthy-Browne et al, Burke's & Savill's Guide to Country Houses:  vol 3, East Anglia, 1981, p. 62; Carter, Goode & Laurie, Humphry Repton, 1982, p. 151; H. Lake, The Arkwrights and Harlow, 1996; J. Montagu, 'Edward Altham as a hermit', in E. Chaney & P. Mack, England and the Continental Renaissance, 1990; J. Bettley & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Essex, 2nd edn, 2007, pp. 455-56;

Location of archives

Altham family of Mark Hall: deeds and an estate map, 17th-18th cents. [Essex Record Office, D/DAr]; correspondence, 1618-1716 [Cambridge University Library, MS Add. 9270]
Altham, Sir James (d. 1610), MP and judge: misc. correspondence and papers, 16th-17th cent. [Inner Temple Library; British Library Add. MSS. 12497, 40746; Harleian MS. 1546; Lansdowne MS. 87]
Altham (né Cook), William Surtees (1813-87): diaries, 1847-87 [Baylor University, Waco, Texas: Armstrong-Browning Collection]

Coat of arms

Quarterly: 1st and 4th, paly of six, ermine and azure on a chief perpales or and gules, a lion, passant guardant counterchanged, a bordure engrailed of the last; 2nd and 3rd, azure, on a chevron argent, between three garbs or, as many fleurs-de-lis gules.

This account was first published 18 April 2014 and was revised 23 February and 12 July 2015, 8 February and 30 May 2016, 10 September 2018 and 7 March 2020.


  1. Sir- a few additional details of the descendants of Capt. Edward Altham (1882-1950) as above: by his first wife, Fiorella Cecil (b. 1883), dau. of Reginald Charles Bruce Willis of Ealing, Middx., Edward's children were:
    1) John Barrett Altham, b. 17 Mar 1909, who m. in 1939, Oona Elizabeth, dau. of the 1st Baron McNair, and had issue
    i) James Edward John, b. 13 Nov 1941, m. 1965, Patricia Mary Elizabeth, dau. of Robert Gray, and had issue
    a) Joseph Robert Edward, b. 23 Jan 1977
    ii) David Thomas Wale, b. 26 Jun 1945
    iii) Jane Henrietta, b. 23 Mar 1940, m. Pierre Philippe de Marigny-Lagesse and had issue
    a) Pierre Arnaud Marc, b. 2 Jun 1963
    b) Marie Henriette, b. 27 Jan 1961
    iv) Elizabeth Georgina, b. 12 Feb 1955
    2) Joan Isabel Psyche, b. 18 Feb 1912, m. George Berkeley Sheffield, son of Sir Berkeley Digby George Sheffield, 6th Bt, and d. 1945. He m. 2ndly, 21 Apr 1949, Agnes, dau. of Harry Duncan, 1st Baron McGowan (she having been previously married to Major Dermot Ralph Daly), and had issue
    i) Laura Diana, b. 26 Nov 1949, m. George William Pilkington and had issue (m. 2nd, 1990, Paul Sednaoui)
    a) Harry George, b. 5 Feb 1971, m. Iva, dau. of Prof. Bosko Milojevic
    A) Tatiana Rose, b. 1 Mar 2004
    B) Maya Petra, b. 22 Nov 2005
    b) Martha Mary, b. 1972
    ii) Davina Mary, b. 1 Mar 1951, m. 1981, Jonathan Derek Morley, son of Brig. Michael Frederick Morley
    a) Thomas George Frederick, b. 1983
    b) William Frederick Duncan, b. 1984
    c) Henry Quintus, b. 1987

    1. Thank you for this additional information, which brings the Altham story up to date. I had not pursued Edward Altham's descendants further since to my knowledge this branch of the family did not own a country house, but clearly there are connections through marriage with families which did.


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