Sunday, 11 May 2014

(122) Tyssen-Amherst (later Cecil) of Didlington Hall and Foulden Hall, Barons Amherst of Hackney

Cecil, Barons Amherst of Hackney
Francis Tyssen (c.1625-99) came to England from Flushing in Holland in the 1640s and settled in London. He owned plantations in Antigua in the West Indies, from leasing which he accumulated sufficient capital to purchase the Shacklewell estate at Hackney in 1685. His son, Francis Tyssen (c.1653-1710), inherited the Bridge plantation in Antigua and expanded the Hackney estate, buying all three manors in Hackney parish in 1697-99. When he died in 1710, the Hackney property went to his eldest son, Francis Tyssen (1690-1717), who married the heiress of the neighbouring Beauvoir estate in 1712, while the Antiguan plantation went to a younger son, Samuel Tyssen (1698-1748).  Dying at the age of 27, Francis (d. 1717) left a small young family consisting of a daughter, Mary (1715-77), who through her two marriages established the Benyon family at Englefield House (Berks), and a posthumous son, Francis John Tyssen (1717-81).  Francis John was a man of strikingly irregular life: he never married but left eight acknowledged illegitimate children by four different mistresses. Despite this, he became a JP for Middlesex and a Deputy Lieutenant of the Tower Hamlets liberty, and in the mid 18th century - perhaps in the 1760s - he bought the Foulden Hall estate in Norfolk.

Westbrook House, Upwey. Image: English Heritage
Foulden Hall passed to his eldest child, Mary Tyssen (c.1743-1800), who married Captain John Amherst of Rochester (Kent) in 1766.  Captain Amherst was distantly related to the Amhersts of Montreal House through a common ancestor in the 16th century, and his branch of the family had retained property at East Farleigh (Kent) through several generations. His name is sometimes spelled Amhurst, but Amherst is used consistently in this account. Capt. & Mrs. Amherst were survived by one daughter, Amelia Amherst (1775-1851), who in 1794 married William George Daniel (later Tyssen-Daniel) (1773-1838). Between them, they owned Westbrook House at Upwey (Dorset), Court Lodge at East Farleigh (Kent), and Foulden Hall (Norfolk), and they also acquired much of the Tyssens' Hackney estate as Amelia's uncles died off in the early 19th century. Their son, William George Tyssen Tyssen-Daniel (1801-55), who changed his name to Tyssen-Amherst in 1852, sold off the Kent and Dorset properties and purchased instead Didlington Hall in Norfolk, the adjacent estate to Foulden.  Didlington had a much larger house than Foulden, and Tyssen-Amherst threw himself into the task of making it bigger still and giving the existing building an Italianate makeover. Work was still unfinished when he died at the end of 1855, and his son, who inherited at the age of 20, completed the works.

William Amherst Tyssen-Amherst (1835-1909), 1st Baron Amherst of Hackney, served as Conservative MP for Norfolk seats from 1880-92 and was elevated to the peerage on his retirement. His passion, however, was for the collection of books and antiquities, and he built up a fine library, specialising in ecclesiastical history, especially of the Reformation and the Church of England, and in editions of the English Bible. He was also interested in the history of the spread of printing, and historic bookbindings. He bought steadily from the 1860s, and his library ultimately included seventeen Caxtons. A detailed catalogue of his collection was in preparation by Seymour De Ricci in 1906, when Charles Cheston, the solicitor entrusted with the administration of the Hackney estate, committed suicide. The cause proved to be that he had systematically embezzled estate and trust funds from Lord Amherst over many years to feed a gambling habit, and was on the point of discovery.  To recover his position, Lord Amherst had urgently to realise assets, and major sales by Sothebys were organized in 1908 and 1909; the Caxtons were sold privately to John Pierpont Morgan for £24,000. Lord Amherst also took a pioneering interest in Egyptian antiquities, and in 1879-86 he had carried out a further remodelling of the house (to the designs of Norman Shaw) as part of which a single-storey museum was built to house his collections.  In addition to the antiquities, the museum also housed old Gobelins and other tapestries, French and English furniture, Limoges enamels, and English majolica; all sold by Christies in 1908. 

Lord Amherst did not long survive the dispersal of his collections, and died in 1909, leaving six daughters but no sons.  By a special remainder in his peerage grant he was succeeded by his eldest daughter, Mary Rothes Margaret Tyssen-Amherst (1857-1919), who had married Lord William Cecil, a younger son of the Marquess of Exeter. She sold Didlington Hall in 1910 and the family moved back to Foulden Hall, which had recently been substantially rebuilt. Another daughter was Dame Alicia Margaret Tyssen-Amherst (1865-1941), later Lady Rockley, who inherited her father's academic interests but turned them in the direction of gardening.  She produced a number of widely-read works on gardening, including one of the earliest histories of the subject, first issued in 1895.

Baroness Amherst died in 1919 and (her eldest son having been killed in the First World War)  she was succeeded in the title and estates by her grandson, William Alexander Evering Cecil (1912-80), 3rd Baron Amherst of Hackney. Foulden Hall was sold in 1983, following his death. The family remain the lords of the manor of the three Hackney manors, although most of their estate there has now been sold off.

Shacklewell, Hackney, Middlesex

Shacklewell, Hackney, from a print of 1801.

The manor house at Shacklewell was probably first built in the early 16th century for Sir John Heron or his son Giles, who was the son-in-law of Sir Thomas More and who was executed for treason in 1540. The only records of its appearance, however, are two very similar prints published about 1800 and presumably based on an earlier drawing, which show it as refronted in the mid 17th century for the Rowe family. There is also a brief description from 1720, when it was called an ancient manor house and was said to be a brick building of three storeys with tall sash windows, a pair of Dutch gables and glass displaying the arms of the Rowes. It was assessed at 25 hearths for the Hearth Tax in 1665 and 1672, making it the largest mansion in Hackney.  The illustration shows that the 17th century front was an elaborate piece of Artisan Mannerist brickwork, and that it had a contemporary two-storey porch, with a first-floor closet room supported on columns below.

After the death of Francis Tyssen in 1717 the house seems to have been let, and in 1743 a Shoreditch carpenter assigned the lease to a Clerkenwell brewer. By 1762 it had been demolished and twelve new houses had been built on the three acre site. Ancient gate piers still survived in 1824 but were later removed.

Descent: Sir John Heron (d. 1522); to son, Giles Heron (executed 1540); to Crown; granted 1543 to Sir Ralph Sadleir; restored by 1554 to Thomas Heron, who sold 1566 to Sir Thomas Rowe, kt. (d. 1570); to son, Sir Henry Rowe, kt. (d. 1612); to son, Sir Henry Rowe, kt. (d. 1661), who probably refronted the house; to grandson, Henry Rowe (d. 1670); to son, Henry Rowe, who sold 1685 to Francis Tyssen (c.1625-1700); to son, Francis Tyssen (c.1653-1710); to son, Francis Tyssen (1690-1717); to son, Francis John Tyssen (1717-81) who let and later demolished the house.

Didlington Hall, Norfolk

The original 16th and 17th century house was extended several times and given a new two storey six bay north front shortly after 1800; the earlier origins were betrayed by some irregularity in the spacing of the windows and by some older features preserved in the interior, including a staircase moved to Foulden Hall in the 1950s. After the house was sold to William Tyssen-Amherst in 1853 he began a major remodelling and extension in a loosely Italianate style, which was completed by his son. 

Didlington Hall: the west front as remodelled in the 1850s

Didlington Hall: the west front as altered by Norman Shaw in 1879-86. Image: Matthew Beckett
In 1879-86 it was remodelled again (at a cost of £37,000) by Norman Shaw, who clothed the entire house in a classical style with 'Wrenaissance' touches, including the new west front and the long windows of the single-storey museum he added to house Lord Amherst's Egyptian and other collections. 

Didlington Hall: the south front before the addition of the museum

Didlington Hall: south front as altered by Norman Shaw, 1879-86. Image: Matthew Beckett
The house was occupied by the 7th Armoured Division in the Second World War and as usual returned in very poor condition. It was demolished in the 1950s for the value of the building materials, which were sold by auction in 1950, although the Edwardian red-brick stables, with a clock tower carrying a cupola, survive.  

Didlington Hall from the Ordnance Survey 6" map of 1884.

The grounds were laid out with a lime avenue aligned on the west front of the house in 1689, and later landscaped in a Brownian manner. By the 1830s there were two substantial areas of water south of the hall, one of which may have been an adaptation of an earlier canal; a lower lake had been added by 1884. The park was expanded to the east in 1867 and the grounds later included a herbaceous border over 500 yards long, a yew maze, a rose garden, fernery, bamboo plantation and a rock garden. Although most of the planting has gone, the hard landscaping and buildings survive, including a boat house on the upper lake and the folly, known as the Castle Cave, which was built on a high mound between the two lakes. This comprises a two-storey castellated tower with an attached octagonal room used as a summer house. In the 1920s Col. Smith constructed a swimming pool with an elaborate classical pavilion, which also survives.

Didlington Hall in the 1920s, from an old postcard.

The present owners of the estate built a new neo-classical house on the site of the old hall in 2007, and have restored the stables and garden buildings. 

Didlington Hall: the new house on the site of the old. Image: Hugh Macmillan

Descent: Col. Robert Wilson (1761-1838), 9th Baron Berners; to brother, Rev. Henry Wilson (1762-1851), 10th Baron Berners; sold 1846 to Lord William Powlett; sold 1853 to William George Tyssen Tyssen-Amherst (1801-55); to son, William Amherst Tyssen-Amherst (1835-1909), 1st Baron Amherst of Hackney; to daughter, Mary Rothes Margaret Tyssen-Amherst (1857-1919), 2nd Baroness Amherst of Hackney, wife of Col. Lord William Cecil; sold 1910 to Col. Herbert Francis Smith (d. c.1943)...sold 1950s to R.C.W. Ellison...

Foulden Hall, Norfolk

Foulden Hall in 2011.

The Holdich family had a large moated semi-timbered house here, built in the late 16th century, but of this only the brick gable-ends remain, with their external Elizabethan chimneys, rising to quadruple octagonal flues. The house between them was largely rebuilt in the 19th century with a porch and bay windows.  Another 16th century chimneystack with octagonal flues was incorporated at the rear of the house.  Inside there are fragments of the original timber-framed building, and one wind-braced roof.  The late 16th century staircase with turned balusters and newels was moved here from Didlington Hall when it was demolished in about 1950.

Descent: Richard Holdich (fl. 1540s); to son, Miles Holdich (fl. 1564); to son, John Holdich; to Henry Holdich; to daughter Elizabeth, wife of Sir Isaac Sidley (d. c.1627); to son, Sir John Sidley (d. 1673), who sold to Robert Long; to son, Robert Long; to son, who sold to Lady Bennet (widow of Sir Levinus Bennet (1631-93))... Francis John Tyssen (1717-81); to daughter, Mary Tyssen (c.1743-1800), wife of Capt. John Amherst (1724-88); to daughter, Amelia Amherst (1775-1851), wife of William George Daniel (later Daniel-Tyssen) (1773-1838); to son, William George Tyssen Daniel-Tyssen (later Tyssen-Amherst) (1801-55); to son, William Amherst Tyssen-Amherst (1835-1909), 1st Baron Amherst of Hackney; to daughter, Mary Rothes Margaret Tyssen-Amherst (1857-1919), 2nd Baroness Amherst of Hackney, wife of Col. Lord William Cecil; to grandson, William Alexander Evering Cecil (1912-80), 3rd Baron Amherst of Hackney, who sold c.1971.

Tyssen-Amherst (later Cecil) family, Barons Amherst of Hackney

Daniel, John (1734-90). Son of Nicholas Daniel (1695-1752) and his wife Elizabeth Lovett (d. 1754), baptised 12 June 1734. He married, 23 October 1762, Dorcas, daughter of Thomas Achmuty of Brianstown (Longford), and had issue including:
(1) William George Daniel (later Daniel-Tyssen) (d. 1838).
He died 20 November 1790.

Daniel (later Daniel-Tyssen), William George (1773-1838). Only son of John Daniel (1734-90) and his wife Dorcas, daughter of Thomas Achmuty of Brianstown, born 23 April 1773.  An officer in 91st Foot (Capt); Paymaster of Cavalry depot at Maidstone, 1797-1816. DL for Middlesex, 1822 and for Tower Hamlets, 1823. High Sheriff of Kent, 1825. He changed his name by royal licence, 14 March 1814. He married, 21 June 1794 at St Nicholas, Rochester (Kent), Amelia (1775-1851: see below), only surviving daughter and heiress of Capt. John Amherst RN, and had issue:
(1) Amelia Harriet Daniel-Tyssen (1795-1867), born 3 September and baptised at St Nicholas, Rochester, 23 September 1795; married, 22 June 1816 at Maidstone, Capt. Edward Connick, and had issue four sons and two daughters; died 23 October 1867; will proved 19 December 1867;
(2) Mary Ann Daniel-Tyssen (1796-1847), born 8 December 1796; married 9 January 1819 at Foulden (Norfolk), John Carter (1795-1847) of Northwold Lodge (Norfolk) and had issue five sons and five daughters; died 21 December and was buried at Northwold, 28 December 1847;
(3) Louisa Dorcas Daniel-Tyssen (b. & d. 1798), born 2 March and baptised 27 March 1798; died in infancy, and was buried at St Margaret, Rochester, 16 August 1798;
(4) Caroline Daniel-Tyssen (1799-1877), born 22 May and was baptised at Maidstone, 13 July 1799; married 12 August 1840, Christopher Alexander Hagerman (1792-1847) but had no issue; died 3 November 1877; will proved 9 February 1878;
(5) Charlotte Daniel-Tyssen (1800-72), born 12 July 1800; married 11 June 1823 at Maidstone, Courtney Stacey (1789-1853) of Sandling Place (Kent), banker and brewer, sont of Flint Stacey of Maidstone, brewer, and had issue two sons and three daughters; died 12 February 1872; will proved 1 March 1872;
(6) William George Tyssen Daniel-Tyssen (later Tyssen-Amherst) (1801-55) (q.v.);
(7) Capt. Charles Amherst Daniel-Tyssen (1804-82), of Northwold Lodge (Norfolk), born 6 June and baptised at Maidstone, 26 June 1804; died unmarried, 10 June 1882; will proved 24 November 1882;
(8) John Robert Daniel-Tyssen (1805-82), born 7 November 1805; solicitor; married, 28 May 1835 at Holy Trinity, Chelsea (Middx), Harriet Caroline Hopkinson (b. 1809) and had issue two sons and two daughters, died 11 June 1882 and was buried at Cheriton (Kent); will proved 3 August 1882;
(9) Francis Samuel Daniel-Tyssen (1813-75) of Castle House, Sandgate (Kent), born 13 March and was baptised at Maidstone, 15 March 1813; JP for Kent; married, 29 April 1843 at Putney (Surrey), Eliza Julia, daughter of Sir James Louis Knight-Bruce of Roehampton Priory, and had issue four sons and five daughters; died 3 September 1875 and was buried at Cheriton (Kent); will proved 16 November 1875;
(10) Thomas Auchmuty Daniel-Tyssen (b. & d. 1815), born, baptised and died, 19 December and was buried at East Farleigh (Kent), 22 December 1815.
He lived at Westbrook House, Upwey, Dorset.
He died 6 January 1838 and was buried at East Farleigh (Kent), 12/13 January 1838. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Tyssen, Francis (c.1653-1710).  Son of Francis Tyssen (c.1622-1700) of Flushing in Holland, (a Dutch merchant who settled in London, was naturalised in 1657, and bought the Shacklewell estate at Hackney in 1685) and his wife Dorothy (d. 1703), daughter of Garrett Collent, a Dutch merchant in London. He was aged 34 in 1687. Appointed agent in London for Albemarle County, Carolina (USA), 1680 and an Elder of the Dutch church in London, 1686. He was probably the man of this name who was Deputy Governor of the East India Company, 1692-94. DL for Middlesex, 1702; High Sheriff of Huntingdonshire, 1707. He married 1st, 1678 (settlement 24 September), Susannah, daughter of Peter Matthews of Great Gobions (Essex; but recte Herts?), merchant, and 2nd, 30 December 1686 at Shacklewell chapel, Hackney, Mary (d. 1731), daughter of Thomas Western, and had issue:
(1.1) Dorothy Tyssen (b. 1681), baptised at Austin Friars, 16 May 1681; died young;
(2.1) Ridley Tyssen (b. & d. 1687/8), baptised 5 February 1687/8; buried at Dutch church, Austin Friars, London, February 1687/8;
(2.2) Martha Tyssen (c.1689-1714), baptised 19 February 1690/1; married William Cook of London, attorney, and had issue two children; buried 27 July 1714;
(2.3) Francis Tyssen (1690-1717) (q.v.);
(2.4) Dorothy Tyssen (b. & d. 1691), baptised 11 June 1691; died in infancy, December 1691;
(2.5) Elizabeth Tyssen (b. & d. 1693); baptised 30 March 1693; buried at Dutch church, Austin Friars, London, April 1693;
(2.6) John Tyssen (1695-1726), baptised 24 January 1694/5 at Austin Friars; inherited his father's property in the city of London; married, 1716, Hester (1700-23), daughter of Caesar Child of Woodbury Hall, Barking (Essex) and had issue one son and one daughter; bankrupted as a result of speculation in the South Sea Bubble, 17 June 1726; buried at Hackney, 9 December 1726; will proved 3 September 1730;
(2.7) William Tyssen (1697-1720), baptised 26 May 1697 at Austin Friars; inherited his father's property in Hoxton, Shoreditch and Brick Lane (Middx); died unmarried and was buried at Hackney, 31 March 1720;
(2.8) Samuel Tyssen (1698-1748/9), baptised at Hackney, 27 June 1698; inherited his father's property at Offord Darcy and Offord Cluny (Hunts), and the Bridge plantation in Antigua; married, 28 April 1730 in St Paul's Cathedral, London, Sarah (d. 1778), daughter of Solomon Hougham and widow of John Eden Littell (d. 1727/8) and had issue four sons and four daughters; buried at St John, Hackney, 4 January 1748/9; will proved 17 January 1748/9;
(2.9) Mary Tyssen (1699-1742), baptised 15 December 1699; married 1st, Samuel Gotte (d. 1723/4), eldest son of Peter Gotte of Grays Inn, Godmersham (Kent) and Stanmer (Essex); and 2nd, Sir Roger Meredith MP (d. 1738) of Leeds (Kent), but had no issue; buried at Leeds (Kent), 26 April 1742;
(2.10) Dorothy Tyssen (1701-49), baptised at Hackney, 20 October 1701; married, 1734, as his second wife, William Hugesson (1681-1753), eldest son of William Hugesson of Provenders (Kent), and had issue one son; buried at Lynsted (Kent), 3 June 1749.
He inherited the Shacklewell estate from his father in 1700 and purchased the three manors of Hackney (Middx) (Lordshold, Kingshold and Grumbolds) in 1697-99. He also accumulated much other property in Middlesex and Huntingdonshire, which he distributed among his sons by his will.
He was buried at Hackney, 6 September 1710; his will was proved 20 December 1710. His first wife died before 1686. His widow was buried at Hackney, 22 April 1731; her will was proved 27 April 1731.

Tyssen, Francis (1690-1717).  Son of Francis Tyssen (c.1653-1710) and his second wife, Mary Western, baptised at Hackney, 6 July 1690. He married, 18 November 1712 at Hackney, Rachel (1690-1755), youngest daughter of Richard Beauvoir of Balmes, Hackney and the island of Guernsey, and had issue:
(1) Francis Tyssen (1714-15), baptised 10 February 1713/4; died in infancy and was buried at Hackney, 5 December 1715;
(2) Mary Tyssen (1715-77), baptised 16 January 1714/5; married 1st, 16 August 1737, Powlett Wrighte (d. 1741) of Englefield House (Berks) and had issue one son; married 2nd, 18 July 1745, Richard Benyon (1698-1774); buried at Englefield, 27 September 1777;
(3) Francis Tyssen (b. & d. 1716), baptised 6 January 1715/6; died in infancy and was buried at Hackney, 27 November 1716;
(4) Francis John Tyssen (1717-81) (q.v.).
He inherited the three manors of Hackney from his father in 1710.
He was buried at St John, Hackney, 11 November 1717, after lying in state for two days at Goldsmiths Hall; the funeral was criticised in the Post Boy by the Deputy Earl Marshal as being improperly splendid for a mere gentleman, being conducted with heraldic pomp proper only to a person of much higher degree. His will was proved 1 November 1717. His widow was buried at Hackney, 22 February 1755.

Tyssen, Francis John (1717-81). Posthumous son of Francis Tyssen and his wife Rachel Beauvoir, baptised at Hackney, 14 or 16 November 1717. JP for Middlesex; DL of Tower Hamlets, 1744. He was unmarried but had several illegitimate children by different mistresses. By Mary (d. 1756), daughter of Joseph Dickenson of Jamaica, he had issue:
(X1.1) Mary Tyssen (c.1743-1800) (q.v.);
(X1.2) Francis Tyssen (c.1745-1813); died unmarried, 5 June, and was buried at Hackney, 15 June 1813.
By Elizabeth Preston (d. 1796) he had issue:
(X2.1) Francis John Tyssen (1754-1814) of Westbrook House, Upwey (Dorset), baptised 10 February 1754 at St George-the-Martyr, London; died unmarried 12 January 1814, but had issue by Eleanor Moorhouse, one son; buried at Upwey (Dorset), 18 January 1814;
(X2.2) Samuel Tyssen (c.1756-1800) of Felix Hall (Essex) and later Narborough Hall (Norfolk); married 1st, Sarah Bodycoat (1756-90) and had issue one son and three daughters; married 2nd, Martha Watts (c.1774-1838); buried at Narborough (Norfolk), 12 September 1800. 
By Martha Faulstone (d. 1771) he had issue:
(X3.1) Amelia Tyssen (fl. 1813); married Richard Harris Lovelace (fl. 1813), and had issue;
(X3.2) Harriet Tyssen (fl. 1813); married Martin Whish (fl. 1813).
By Eleanor Deane (c.1769-1810) he had issue:
(X4.1) Josiah Deane (later Tyssen) (b. 1767), baptised at St. Marylebone (Middx), 16 July 1767; assumed the name and arms of Tyssen, 1788; died unmarried before 1840;
(X4.2) Frances Deane alias Tyssen (1769-1843), born 11 April 1769; married 2 November 1787 at Gretna Green, 24 December 1787 at Teddington (Middx) and 4 March 1788* at St Mary, Marylebone (Middx), Otho Hamilton Amiel (1763-1840)** and had issue two sons and four daughters; died 13 January 1843.
He inherited the three manors of Hackney from his father and bought other property including Foulden Hall (Norfolk) and Westbrook House, Upwey (Dorset). At his death his property was divided among some of his surviving illegitimate children. His eldest child, Mary Tyssen, received Foulden Hall (Norfolk). The manor of Hackney passed in turn to two of his sons and then in 1814 also to Mary.
He died 9 September, and was buried at Hackney on 15 September 1781; his will was proved 15 September 1781. Elizabeth Preston was buried 14 October 1796. Eleanor Deane was buried 13 March 1810.
* The couple married three times as her trustees refused to accept the validity of the first two marriages: see the explanatory comment below.
** For more on Otho Hamilton Amiel's life and family, see the public comments on this blog post below.

Tyssen (later Amherst), Mary (c.1743-1800). Illegitimate daughter of Francis John Tyssen JP (c.1717-81) of Hackney (Middx), born about 1743. She married 25 September 1766 at St Olave, Old Jewry, London, as his second wife, Capt. John Amherst (1724-88), and had issue:
(1) Mary Amherst (1767-74), baptised 3 November 1767; died young and was buried 30 September 1774;
(2) Amelia Amherst (1775-1851) (q.v.).
She inherited Foulden Hall from her father in 1781 and the manor of Hackney on the death of her half-brother in 1814.
She died 25 March and was buried at East Farleigh (Kent), 29 March 1800. Her husband died 22 January 1788 and was buried at East Farleigh.

Amherst (later Daniel, then Daniel-Tyssen), Amelia (1775-1851). Only surviving daughter of Capt. John Amherst (1724-88) and his second wife, Mary, illegitimate daughter of Francis John Tyssen of Hackney (Middx), baptised 1 May 1775 at St Nicholas, Rochester (Kent). She married, 21 June 1794 at St Nicholas, Rochester, William George Daniel (later Daniel-Tyssen): see above.
She inherited Foulden Hall from her mother in 1800 and the family property at Hackney (Middx) from her uncle Francis Tyssen in 1813.
She died 6 August and was buried at East Farleigh (Kent), 13 August 1851. Her will was proved 2 September 1851.

Daniel-Tyssen (later Tyssen-Amherst), William George Tyssen (1801-55). Eldest son of William George Daniel-Tyssen (1773-1838) and his wife Amelia, daughter of Capt. John Amherst of Rochester (Kent), born 18 December 1801 and was baptised at Maidstone, 16 January 1802. High Sheriff of Norfolk, 1843. He changed his name by royal licence from Daniel-Tyssen to Tyssen-Amherst, 6 August 1852. He married, 13 April 1834 at St Mary, Bryanston Square, London, Mary (1806-54), eldest daughter of Andrew Fountaine of Narford Hall (Norfolk), and had issue:
(1) William Amherst Tyssen-Amherst (1835-1909), 1st Baron Amherst of Hackney (q.v.);
(2) Amelia Tyssen-Amherst (1837-90), born 27 January 1837 and was baptised at Foulden; died unmarried, 9 August 1890 and was buried at Didlington, 15 August 1890; will proved 16 September 1890 (estate £25,399);
(3) Florence Mary Tyssen-Amherst (1839-1927), born 13 February 1839; married, 19 October 1860 at Didlington, Rev. Charles Villiers (d. 1893) of Lee (Kent) and had issue six sons and three daughters; died 7 October 1927; will proved 29 November 1927 (estate £505);
(4) Francis Tyssen-Amherst (1842-81), born 27 September 1842; educated at Christ Church, Oxford (admitted 1861; BA 1865) and Inner Temple (called to bar, 1867); farmer at Foulden Plantation, Mackay, Queensland, Australia; member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland; died on board ship returning to England, 3 January 1881 and was buried at sea; will proved 16 April 1881 (estate in England under £200).
He inherited the property of his mother's family at Hackney (Middx) and Foulden (Norfolk). In 1853 he purchased Didlington Hall and began a major remodelling and extension of the house.
He died 30 December 1855 and was buried at Didlington; his will was proved 9 May 1856. His wife died 9 February 1854 and was buried at Didlington.

Tyssen-Amherst, William Amherst (1835-1909), 1st Baron Amherst of Hackney. Elder son of William George Tyssen Tyssen-Amherst (1801-55) and his wife Mary, daughter of Andrew Fountaine of Narford Hall (Norfolk), born 25 April 1835 and was baptised the following day. Educated at Eton, Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1853) and Inner Temple (admitted 1857); High Sheriff of Norfolk, 1866; JP for Westminster. Changed his name from Tyssen-Amherst to Tyssen-Amherst by royal licence, 16 August 1877. Conservative MP for West Norfolk, 1880-85 and South-West Norfolk, 1885-92; created Baron Amherst of Hackney, 26 August 1892, with special remainder to his eldest daughter; Knight of St John of Jerusalem. He was a passionate collector of books, manuscripts and Egyptian antiquities, and bought steadily from the 1860s onwards; he was translator of The discovery of the Solomon Islands, 1901. Lord Amherst's fortunes took a serious turn in 1906, when it was discovered that the family's late solicitor and estate agent, Henry Cheston, had embezzled £250,000 of his money, and £70,000 of which he was a trustee. The Buckenham Tofts estate, Lord Amherst's collection of antiquities and his library all had to be sold to meet his liabilities and he died shortly afterwards. He married, 4 June 1856 at Hunmanby (Yorks), Margaret Susan (1835-1919), only child of Adm. Robert Mitford of Hunmanby Hall (Yorks) and Mitford Castle (Northbld), and had issue:
(1) Mary Rothes Margaret Tyssen-Amherst (1857-1919), 2nd Baroness Amherst of Hackney (q.v.);
(2) Hon. Sybil Margaret Tyssen-Amherst (1858-1926), born 21 September 1858; Lady of Justice of St John of Jerusalem; died unmarried, 21 June 1926; will proved 2 February 1927 (estate £12,417);
(3) Hon. Florence Margaret Tyssen-Amherst (1860-1946), born 26 January 1860; Lady of Justice of St John of Jerusalem; died unmarried, 9 August 1946;
(4) Hon. Margaret Mitford Tyssen-Amherst (1863-1923), born 12 August 1863; Lady of Justice of St John of Jerusalem; died unmarried, 19 December 1923; will proved 14 April 1924 (estate £6,518);
(5) Hon. Dame Alicia Margaret Tyssen-Amherst DBE (1865-1941), born 30 July and baptised 3 September 1865; Vice-Chairman of the Society for Oversea Settlement of British Women; Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem; author of A History of Gardening in England, 1895; London Parks and Gardens, 1907 and Wild Flowers of the Great Dominions of the British empire, 1935; married, 16 February 1898 at St George's, Hanover Square, London, Lord Evelyn Cecil (1865-1941), 1st Baron Rockley and had issue one son and two daughters; died 14 September 1941; her will was proved 18 November 1941 (estate £9,630);
(6) Hon. Geraldine Margaret Tyssen-Amherst (1867-1956), born 2 May and baptised 9 June 1867; married, 30 April 1890 at St Margaret's, Westminster, London, Capt. Malcolm Drummond (1856-1924) of Megginch Castle (Perths) and had issue; died 24 August 1956;
(7) Beatrice Margaret Tyssen-Amherst (1869-81), born 27 September and baptised 7 November 1869; died young at Cannes (France), 20 November 1881 and was buried at Didlington, 30 November 1881.
He inherited Didlington Hall and Foulden Hall in Norfolk and the manors of Hackney (Middx) from his father in 1855; he transferred his Hackney property to his daughter in 1906. In the 1870s he also bought Buckenham Tofts Hall (Norfolk) from Lady Ashburton, but this was sold in 1906.
He died 16 January 1909 and was succeeded in his title and estates by his eldest daughter; he was buried at Didlington, 20 January 1909 and his will was proved 10 February 1909 (estate £67,457). His widow died 2 November 1919; her will was proved 14 January 1920 (estate £6,215).

2nd Baroness Amherst of Hackney
Tyssen-Amherst (later Cecil), Mary Rothes Margaret OBE (1857-1919), 2nd Baroness Amherst of Hackney. Eldest daughter of William Amherst Tyssen-Amherst (1835-1909), 1st Baorn Amherst of Hackney, and his wife Margaret Susan, daughter of Adm. Robert Mitford of Hunmanby Hall (Yorks) and Mitford Castle (Northbld), born 25 April and baptised 2 June 1857. Lady of Justice of St John of Jerusalem; succeeded her father as 2nd Baroness Amherst, 16 January 1909. She married, 2 September 1885 at St Thomas's, St. Marylebone, London, Col. Lord William Cecil CVO (1854-1943) and had issue:
(1) Hon. William Amherst Cecil MC (1886-1914) (q.v.);
(2) Hon. Thomas James Amherst Cecil (1887-1955), born 9 November 1887; educated at Eton; Captain in 10th Battn., Kings Royal Rifle Corps in WW1 (wounded); married, 29 July 1912, Vera Agnes, younger daughter of Hedworth Trelawny Barclay and had issue one son; died 4 October 1955; will proved 9 December 1955 (estate £12,357);
(3) Hon. John Francis Amherst Cecil (1890-1954) of Biltmore House, North Carolina (USA), born 30 June 1890; educated at Eton and New College, Oxford; First Secretary in Diplomatic Service; married, 29 April 1924 (div. 1934), Cornelia Stuyvesant (d. 1976), only daughter of George Washington Vanderbilt and had issue two sons; died 22 October 1954; will proved 23 September 1955 (estate in England, £6,566);
(4) Hon. Henry Mitford Amherst Cecil (1893-1962), born 9 March and baptised 22 March 1893; Commander in Royal Navy; temporary Squadron Leader in RAF, 1934-36; served WW1 and WW2; member of House of Laity of Church Assembly, 1953-55 and 1960-62; Chevalier of the Order of the Redeemer in Greece; Officer of the Order of St John of Jerusalem; married, 27 January 1923, Hon. Yvonne Cornwallis (d. 1983), third daughter of 1st Baron Cornwallis and had issue one son and two daughters; died 6 January 1962; will proved 5 March 1962 (estate £5,087).
She received the Hackney estate from her father in 1906 and inherited Didlington Hall and Foulden Hall in Norfolk in 1909, but sold Didlington Hall in 1910.
She died 21 December 1919, when her title and estates passed to her grandson, William Alexander Evering Cecil (1912-80); her will was proved 1 May 1920 (estate £36,239). Her husband died 16 April 1943; his will was proved 9 August 1943 (estate £2,411).

Cecil, Hon. William Amherst (1886-1914).  Eldest son of Col. Lord William Cecil (1854-1943) and his wife Mary Rothes Margaret, daughter of William Amherst Tyssen-Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst of Hackney, born 30 June 1886. Joined the Grenadier Guards, 1904 (Lt., 1908; Capt., 1914; MC 1914); married, 14 April 1910, Evelyn Gladys (c.1885-1947), only child of Henry Charles Baggallay of Heatherhurst Grange, Frimley (Surrey) and had issue:
(1) William Alexander Evering Cecil (1912-80), 3rd Baron Amherst of Hackney (q.v.);
(2) Hon. Henry Kerr Auchmuty Cecil (1914-42); educated at Eton; served in WW2 as Lieutenant in Parachute Regiment; married, 15 December 1938, Elizabeth Rohays Mary (d. 1993) (who m2, 24 July 1944, Capt. Sir Cecil Charles Boyd-Rochfort of Middleton Park (Westmeath)), only daughter of Maj-Gen. Sir James Lauderdale Gilbert Burnett of Leys, 13th bt., and had issue four sons (including the racehorse trainer Sir Henry Cecil, 1943-2013); killed in action in North Africa between 30 November and 2 December 1942.
He was killed in action at the Battle of the Aisne, 16 September 1914, during the lifetime of his mother. His widow died 30 May 1947.

Cecil, William Alexander Evering (1912-80), 3rd Baron Amherst of Hackney. Elder son of William Amherst Cecil (1886-1914) and his wife Gladys, daughter of Henry Charles Baggallay of Heatherhurst Grange, Frimley (Surrey), born 31 May 1912. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1933).  Served in WW2 as Major in Royal Horse Guards, Middle East Force, 1940-45; Officer of the Order of St John of Jerusalem; CBE 1963. He married, 14 September 1939, Margaret Eirene Clifton (1921-2009), youngest daughter of Brig-Gen. Howard Clifton Brown MP of Holmbush, Faygate, Sussex and had issue:
(1) William Hugh Amherst Cecil (1940-2009), 4th Baron Amherst of Hackney (q.v.);
(2) Hon. Anthony Henry Amherst Cecil (b. 1947) of Compton Abbas (Dorset), educated at Eton; married 1st, 23 October 1969 (div. 1974), Fenella Jane, only daughter of David George Crichton MVO (who m2, 1978, John Ernest) and 2nd, 20 November 1974, Jane Elizabeth, daughter of Maj. Philip Norman Elston Holbrook of Chelsea, and by his second wife had issue two sons and one daughter;
(3) Hon. Angela Margaret Amherst Cecil (b. 1955), born 16 May 1955; married, 7 June 1980, (Gavin) Ian Reid, younger son of Col. (Percy Fergus) Ivo Reid OBE DL and had issue one son and two daughters.
He inherited Foulden Hall and property at Hackney (Middx) from his grandmother in 1919, but sold Foulden c.1971.
He died 22 July 1980. His widow died 22 September 2009.

Cecil, William Hugh Amherst (1940-2009), 4th Baron Amherst of Hackney. Elder son of William Alexander Evering Cecil (1912-80) and his wife Margaret Eirene Clifton, daughter of Brig-Gen. Henry Clifton Brown, born 28 December 1940. Educated at Eton. Succeeded his father as 4th Baron, 22 July 1980. Director of E.A. Gibson, shipbrokers, 1975-90 and Short Sea Europe plc, 1996-2009. He married, 30 March 1965, Elizabeth, daughter of Hugh Humphrey Merriman DSO MC TD DL of Hazel Hall, Peaslake (Surrey), and had issue:
(1) Hon. Aurelia Margaret Amherst Cecil (b. 1966), born 19 July 1966; educated at Heathfield; managing director and later chairman of London PR; married 1st, 20 December 1990 (div. 1993), Giles Wilson Mervyn Crewdson and 2nd, 2 September 2000, Rupert Nicholas Stephenson and had issue one son and two daughters;
(2) (Hugh) William Amherst Cecil (b. 1968), 5th and present Baron Amherst of Hackney; born 17 July 1968; educated at Eton; married, 1996, Nichola Jane, daughter of Maj. Timothy Michels, and had issue one son and two daughters.
He lived at Hillside House, Hyde (Hants). He inherited the Hackney estate from his father in 1980 but by 1990 most of the property had been sold; he remained lord of the manors of Lordshold, Kingshold and Grumbolds.
He died 2 April 2009.


Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 2003, pp. 87-89; W. Robinson, The history and antiquities of Hackney, 1842, vol. 1, pp. 322-33; A. Saint, Richard Norman Shaw, 1976, pp. 241-42; Sir N. Pevsner & B. Wilson, The buildings of England: Norfolk 2 - North-West and South Norfolk, 2nd edn., 1999, pp. 299, 343; D. Clarke, The country houses of Norfolk: part 2 - The Lost Houses, 2008, pp. 34-37; P. Dallas, R. Last & T. Williamson, Norfolk gardens and designed landscapes, 2013, pp. 123-25;; information provided by the Hon. Mrs. Angela Reid.

Location of archives

Tyssen family of Hackney: deeds, estate and manorial records, 1548-1940 [London Metropolitan Archives, M/79, E/BVR]; estate and legal papers, 1611-1907 [Hackney Archives, D/F/AMH]
Tyssen-Amherst family of Didlington: deeds, estate and family papers, 1603-20th cent. [Norfolk Record Office MC84; MC39]

Coat of arms

Quarterly: 1st and 4th, barry of ten argent and azure, six escutcheons three two and one sable each charged with a lion rampant argent, a mullet for difference (for Cecil); 2nd and 3rd, gules three tilting spears two and one or headed argent (for Amherst).

Revision and acknowledgements

This account was first published 11 May 2014, and was revised 6 April 2015, 11 August and 30 December 2017, 17 June and 8 July 2018, and 9 June 2019. I am most grateful to Alan Merryweather for additional information and to Jennifer Lee for a correction, and to Gordon Balderston for drawing my attention additional sources.


  1. I have received the following message from the Hon. Mrs. Angela Reid: Angela Reid21 May 2014 13:46
    Firstly I would like to say how impressed I am with your entry on the Tyssen-Amhersts and their occupation and alterations of Didlington and Foulden. I am currently researching the T-A's as part of a biography I am putting together of my grandfather - William (one of many in this particular story) Amherst Cecil killed in 1914 - this story is quite complicated - so your blog puts together quite a few pieces of the jigsaw in a very clear way and was a delight to read! I would just say that we sold Foulden before my father's death which was in 1980. I think it was about 1971 when we sold - since then Foulden has been on the market several times! I just wondered during your researches - did you come across any record of another house or building at Foulden which might have been pulled down and the bricks used to make some of the early alterations at Didlington? I have replied: Thank you for the correction of the date when Foulden was sold: I will amend my account accordingly. I did not come across the tradition you refer to, but is it possible that Foulden Hall itself was partly taken down to provide materials for Didlington? Probably not, as Foulden was originally mostly semi-timbered, but it would explain why an extensive rebuilding was needed later in the Victorian period.

  2. I am descended from Otho Hamilton Amiel who md. the illegitimate Eleanor Deane three times. It took many years to untangle and I surmise that following the first mge at Gretna, the Trustees of her £5k inheritance looked for ways to keep it from Otho. A Chancery case established that she was over 18 but the money was probably withheld because the Gretna union was not considered to be a proper mge. At the second mge. at Teddington, Frances used Tyssen as her surname but again the money was refused, probably because she was illegitimate and so a final attempt took place at Marylebone where she used her mother's name, Deane.

    But still the Trustees refused to hand over the money so Otho and Frances went to law again - and won. The Trustees, probably having Otho correctly weighed up then pulled their master stroke. They conceded that the money was Otho's but it had been lent out on mortgage so all that Otho could have was the interest - and even though he lived on till 1840 he was still only the nominal owner of the money which is probably still in Chancery.
    Otho was a rascal, (thank goodness; people who behaved themselves are not usually very interesting), twice in the Fleet for debt, his only asset being the £5K. While there, two baptisms took place on the same day, one of a legitimate child of his, the other an illegitimate one. The latter about whom little was known has recently been found appointed as Supt. of the Treadmill at Launceston Tasmania.

    The Amiels, a fascinating family, now extinct, descend from French stock via Guadeloupe and Boston, were effectively ejected at the time of the Revolution, mother Christian, Otho and all of her five other sons and a daughter eventually arriving in London. Son Peter, a Royal Marine officer was a traitor and has been found in France consorting with John Adams (future 2nd President of the USA) and was appointed secretary to another villain, John Paul Jones ... .

    Alan Merryweather, Cirencester.

    1. Thank you for throwing light on this puzzling situation!

    2. Alan Merryweather11 August 2017 at 09:50

      I'd like to correct, and as more information keeps arriving, expand the following:-

      Otho Amiel md. Frances three times (Gretna, Teddington, Marylebone); he did not have a former wife. Later when in the Fleet prison he had a dau by Mary Palmer of Shute, DEV baptised at St Bride's Fleet St. - on the same day as legitimate Helena Woodley Losack Amiel was baptised. (I wonder if both mothers were there!).
      The £5k is almost certainly still in Chancery.

      Elsewhere on yr site there is mention of brother Peter - who I had described as a traitor. Information has only recently come to light that after his service as a U.S. naval Lt under John Paul Jones he got to Holland. met Quincy Adams, and was later on board the U.S. vessel 'South Carolina' when he was discovered having secret correspondence with Sir Joseph Yorke, British ambassador at Amsterdam, a man who had an extensive network of spies and informants. This resulted in Peter being cashiered at Corunna and seems to explain something never understood before; he next became a Royal Marne Lt.
      An American whose sole task is to study the South Carolina and all who served in her has written a brilliant analysis as to why after examining all of numerous Peter Amiel / J P Jones / John Adams, and others' letters, he believes that Peter was deliberately obstructing the U.S navy by various means preventing ships from putting to sea. So, far from traitor he seems to have been a very brave Loyalist. Please amend the item. Thanks.

      (X4.2) Frances Deane alias Tyssen (1769-1843), born 11 April 1769; married 4 March 1788* as his second wife, Otho Hamilton Amiel (1763-1840) and had issue two sons and four daughters; died 13 January 1843.

      * Curiously, this couple appear to have been married three times: at Gretna Green on 2 November 1787; at Teddington (Middx), 24 December 1787; and at St Mary, Marylebone, London, 4 March 1788.

    3. Alan,

      Many thanks for the further information. Unfortunately I cannot edit your previous comment (although I could delete it), but I will incorporate the points here that are relevant to the blog format in the main text above.

      Nick Kingsley

  3. Hello,
    I'm working on an exhibition which references the three early Francis Tyssens (1625-1717). I would like to display an original item connected with the family and their merchant trading. The exhibition opens in a few weeks. I am trying to get in touch with decendents who may be able to help me. Many thanks.

  4. I have found mention that the 1st Baron Tyssen-Amherst owned St Thomas House, East Cowes on the Isle of Wight and was sold by the Cecil family in 1923 to Sam Saunders of Saunders Roe. Can this be confirmed? If so, when did he buy it and from whom?

    Lin Kemp IOW

    1. I have not been able to confirm or disprove this. I note that the 4th Baron Amherst of Hackney was Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron 2001-05 and that another William Amherst (scion of the Earls Amherst) had a house at Ryde in the C18, but I have not linked William Tyssen-Amherst to the island yet. What is your source?

  5. Thank you for your reply. My source is a book written by a local lady, Rosetta Brading, from a prominent Island family. East Cowes and Whippingham, Isle of Wight 1915-1939. In it she has written,
    '1923 ........The Unemployment Relief (Works) Act 1920, Urban District pf East Cowes, compulsory acquisition of land, was brought into effect. Plot containing 1025 square yards situate at St Thomas's. Owners - Cecils, trustees of a settlement of the Tyssen Amherst settled estate under which Baron Amherst of Hackney, an infant, is entitled as tenant in tail made. Occupiers - exors. of late Miss F M Brook Firman.
    I note that the 4th Baron was married in Trinity Church, adjacent to the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes.
    I now doubt that St Thomas's was actually bought by Sam Saunders as it states on a plaque on the Esplanade that he donated the land. Rosetta Brading's research puts that in question as he owned Padmore House in Whippingham. Fascinating.
    Lin Kemp

  6. St Thomas House was, in fact, bought by Hubert Saunders, son of Samuel Saunders of SARO flying boats fame. This must have been sold to him under the settlement of the Tyssen Amherst Estate. Rosetta Brading wrote an earlier local history book dated from 1303 - 1938. It shows many landed gentry and royalty owning properties here because of the influence of Victoria and Albert rebuilding Osborne as their summer home. The book provides much anecdotal evidence of the many 'comings and goings' of foreign nobility at that time as well as an insight into how the ordinary life carried on amongst it all.

    Lin Kemp

  7. Then there's this, gives the relationships between the five families mentioned. A web search should find it.
    "A Forgotten Past; Being Notes of the Families of Tyssen, Baker, Hougham and Milles of 5 Centuries". by Florence Horatia Suckling, London 1898.
    It also has the relationships with the Bodicott family.

  8. I have come across two Lease Documents on vellum with wax seals from 1869 and 1870. Both refer to William Amhurst T Amhurst and are in relation to two properties in Middlesex. Are these of any interest to anyone?

  9. Hello, we re trying to find the history of my wife's family whom we have a plaque dating 1687 of Francis Tyssen of London. We are trying to trace her Grandmother Kathline's side as she was a Tyssen born 1900 died 1969 in York. She was from Hackney and marred a Ackers and she had three girls and a boy. Any help as we are unable to find her name anywhere.

    1. The 1911 census shows a Kathleen Blanche Tindall (b. 1900-1901) in York living in the household of John Tyssen, a labourer on the railway. She was the daughter of Tyssen's wife, Mary Emma Tyssen, apparently born out of wedlock and baptised at St Thomas, York, on 12 September 1900. Could this be her?

    2. Hi, Kathleen Hackers was my Grandma also, I'm sure it must be the same one as she came from the Tyssens, She had George deceased, Dorothy deceased, Olive, deceased only a couple of months ago and margaret, my mum, still here.

  10. What a fantastic usefull site for info, I have not long been looking at family history and as a desendent of Francis Tyssen, 1653-1710, I am really enjoying this huge information input. Thanks

  11. Hi..I live in cross cottages tallon end. Foulden I believe these cottages were part of the estate as I have deeds from the 1980.s when baroness of hackney sold them..I believe my cottage. No 11 was a gamekeepers.. I'd love some info any one knows the history of my property. I believe the cottages could have been converted from one large l shaped building, possibly a Inn as there is a courtyard at back of properties..maria

    1. Maria - you may find it helpful to look at old Ordnance Survey maps going back to the 1880s, which can be seen here:,0.60679&i=120852527


Please leave a comment if you have any additional information or corrections to offer, or if you are able to help with additional images of the people or buildings in this post.