Friday 27 February 2015

(159) Arbuthnot of Elderslie

Arbuthnot of Elderslie
George Arbuthnot (1772-1843) came from an established trading and landowning family in north-east Scotland. His grandfather, Robert Arbuthnot (1695-1756), bought the Haddo-Rattray estate in Aberdeenshire, where the Queen Anne style house is still in existence. His father, Robert Arbuthnot (1728-1803) was a banker in Edinburgh, but was obliged to sell all his inherited property including Haddo when his firm, Arbuthnot & Guthrie, failed in 1772 - the year of his son George's birth. 

Haddo-Rattray as it is today. Image: Eleanor M. Harris

Thereafter the family lived in relative poverty, and they remained dependent upon the support and assistance of friends to provide career opportunities for their sons. Robert himself became Secretary of the Board of Trustees for the Encouragement of the Manufactures and Fisheries of Scotland. The painful experience of growing up in a family used to comfort that had been reduced to poverty marked George's whole life, and he put boundless energy into making a career in business and building a stable financial basis for his family, and even after he retired he seems never to have taken affluence for granted or to have ceased counting his blessings.

George was sent in 1801 to work with his elder brother Robert as part of the colonial administration in Ceylon, but his post was under threat as part of an economy drive in the government service there, and in the autumn of 1802 he moved to Madras to join Francis Latour & Co., a trading and banking company founded in 1777. He was very soon a partner in the business (Latour lending him the money to buy in) and it was known as Arbuthnot, de Monte & Co. from 1810 and Arbuthnot & Co. from 1821.  Arbuthnot's became one of the most important banks in southern India and financed much other mercantile and industrial activity before going bust spectacularly in 1906, by which time it was no longer in direct family control.  Although he did not make a fortune on the scale of the great Indian nabobs like Hastings or Cockerell, George Arbuthnot accumulated substantial funds and in 1823 he retired from the business and returned to England. On a previous visit in 1816 he had bought a London town house and he now bought the small Elderslie estate and moved his family there.  It is perhaps typical of the man that the property he bought was relatively modest in relation to his wealth, so that it did not represent a drain on his income. As a result, it was able to pass successfully through many generations of his family.

When George died in 1843 his heir was his eldest son, George Arbuthnot (1815-95), who had also worked in the family business in Madras. His eldest son, George Arbuthnot-Leslie (1846-96) married the heiress of the Leslies of Warthill in Aberdeenshire and they succeeded to that estate in 1880. When he inherited Elderslie, therefore, he had no need of the house, and sold it to his younger brother, James Woodgate Arbuthnot (1848-1927) who had worked in the family firm in Madras until his retirement in 1884. James in turn left the estate to his grandson, Sir John Francis Prideaux (1911-93) who became Chairman of the family's London bank, Arbuthnot Latham & Co., and later of the National Westminster Bank. Elderslie was sold by his widow after his death.

Elderslie Lodge, Ockley, Surrey

In origin a farmhouse called Newhouse, which was built in the 17th century on an outlying part of the Addiscombe Place estate. The original form of the building is still quite apparent on the west side facing the main road, which retains five regular gables and a projecting gabled porch in the centre. At the south end the house runs down into an 18th century stable block. Newhouse remained just a farmhouse until the beginning of the 19th century when it was sold with about 60 acres and redeveloped as a gentleman's villa, probably for Joseph Foskett but possibly for his successor, Captain Sykes of the Royal Artillery.  

Elderslie Lodge, from a watercolour of 1823 by John Hassell. Image: Surrey History Centre

The east side, facing away from the road, was made picturesque with crenellations and the addition of a two-storey central bow surrounded by a veranda, and the grounds were landscaped and planted. The completed effect is apparent in a watercolour made by John Hassell in 1823. 

The house as it now stands is built of red and blue brick under a coat of white painted render, no doubt put on to conceal the building materials of different periods and give a unified effect. Later changes to the house included raising the Georgian wing to the right of the bow to a second full-height storey and extending the verandah along in front of it.  If sashes were ever inserted in the west front, casement cross-windows were reintroduced in the late 19th or early 20th century.

Descent: Sir Thomas Wallace Dunlop sold 1802 to Joseph Foskett; sold 1811 to Capt. Sykes; sold 1824 to George Arbuthnot (1772-1843); to son, George Arbuthnot (1815-95); to son, George Arbuthnot-Leslie (1847-96) who sold 1896 to his younger brother, James Woodgate Arbuthnot (1848-1927); to widow, Annie Susan Charlotte Arbuthnot (1857-1944); to grandson, Sir John Francis Prideaux (1911-93), whose widow sold 1993 to Jamie & Sarah Bryant.

Arbuthnot family of Elderslie

George Arbuthnot (1772-1843)
George Arbuthnot (1772-1843) of Elderslie. Sixth son of Robert Arbuthnot (1728-1803) of Haddo-Rattray, Crimond (Aberdeens) and his wife Mary (d. 1818), daughter of Capt. John Urquhart of Craigstone and Cromarty, born in Edinburgh, 4 December 1772. Sent to Ceylon in 1801 with his elder brother Robert, who secured him a place as a junior secretary in the British administration there, 1801-02; after which, on the advice of Coutts Trotter, he joined the firm of Henry Latour & Co. (Arbuthnot, de Monte & Co. from 1810 and Arbuthnot & Co. from 1821) in Madras, a trading company which later became one of southern India's largest banks; he became the senior partner and retired in 1823. He later became a Director of the Palladium Life & Fire Insurance Co. and a JP for Surrey. He married, 26 April 1810 at St Mary's church, Fort St George, Madras (India), Eliza (1792-1834), daughter of Donald Fraser, and had issue:
(1) Mary Arbuthnot (1812-59), born 29 April 1812 in Madras. She married, 2 June 1832 at St Marylebone (Middx), John Alves Arbuthnot of Coworth Park (Berks) and had issue; died 30 March 1859;
(2) Robert Arbuthnot (1813-14), born in Madras, 11 July 1813; died in infancy, 24 October 1814; buried at St Mary's burial ground, Madras;
(3) George Arbuthnot (1815-95) (q.v.);
(4) twin, Jane Arbuthnot (1816-92), born in Edinburgh, 22 October 1816; married, 3 June 1846, George Stephens Gough (1815-95), 2nd Viscount Gough and had issue three sons and two daughters; died 3 February 1892;
(5) twin, Anne Arbuthnot (1816-40), born in Edinbugh, 22 October 1816; died unmarried in Lisbon (Portugal), 22 February 1840;
(6) Coutts Trotter Arbuthnot (1818-99), born in London, 24 April 1818; in the Madras Civil Service; a member of the Ootacamund Club; died unmarried in London, 24 July 1899 aged 81; buried at Kensal Green Cemetery;
(7) Elizabeth Georgiana Arbuthnot (b. & d. 1820), born 19 May and died on board the East Indiaman, "Duke of York", 27 September 1820; buried in St Mary's burial ground, Madras;
(8) John De Monte Arbuthnot (1822-86), born in Madras, 27 April 1822; partner in Arbuthnot Lathom & Co., 1844-46 but by 1851 was living on income from investments; married 29 January 1853, Elizabeth Esther Jane (b. 1827), daughter of Sir William Murray, 9th bt. and had issue two sons and one daughter; died at Boulogne, 4 August 1886;
(9) Catherine Gregor Arbuthnot (1824-37), born in London, 18 April 1824; died at Elderslie, 22 August 1837;
(10) William Reierson Arbuthnot (1826-1913) of Plawhatch, East Grinstead (Sussex), born in London, 28 January 1826; employed by Arbuthnot & Co., Madras, rising to become Chairman of Bank of Madras and of Madras Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Legislative Council; retired 1875 and returned to England, settling at Plaw Hatch, East Grinstead, a new house planned by his wife and sold in 1916 after his death; Director of Commercial Union Insurance Co., and Midland Bank Ltd.; married, 9 December 1858 at St James, Paddington (Middx), Mary Helen (1839-1912), daughter of Philip Anstruther, Colonial Secretary of Ceylon, and had issue eight sons and five daughters; his descendants include the Arbuthnot baronets of Kittybrewster; died 31 May 1913 and was buried at West Hoathly (Sussex);
(11) Elizabeth (k/a Leila) Agnew Arbuthnot (1828-95), born in London, 10 April 1828; married, 6 November 1850 at Urquhart (Inverness), as his third wife, Field-Marshal Sir John Bloomfield Gough GCB (1804-91) and had issue four sons and two daughters; died 25 October 1895;
(12) Laura Calvert Arbuthnot (1830-1917), born 22 January 1830; married, 5 August 1856, Sir William Fitzwilliam Lenox-Conyngham KCB (1824-1906) of Springhill (Derry) and had issue eight sons and five daughters; died 1 July 1917;
(13) Eleanor Louisa Arbuthnot (1833-94), born 28 January 1833; in 1854, while she was living in Ireland, a middle-aged landowner, John Carden, became infatuated with her, and when she declined his advances he attempted to abduct her by force; the attempt failed and he was prosecuted and imprisoned for two years; she died unmarried, 1894.
He lived in India, c.1801-23 except for a short period c.1816-20 when he returned to England and bought a house in Upper Wimpole St., London; he purchased the Elderslie estate in 1824 for his retirement.
He died 3 November 1843; his will was proved 21 December 1843 (wealth at death £78,746). His wife died in London, 29 September 1834, and was buried at Ockley, 9 October 1834.

George Arbuthnot (1815-95) of Elderslie. Eldest surviving son of George Arbuthnot (1772-1843) of Elderslie and his wife Eliza, daughter of Donald Fraser, born in Madras, 24 April 1815. He worked with Arbuthnot & Co. in Madras for some years. JP for Surrey. He married, 28 August 1844 in St George, Madras, Maria (1825-89), daughter of John Fryer Thomas, and had issue:
(1) Emma Marion Arbuthnot (1845-59), born 4 November 1845; died young, 12 September 1859;
(2) George Arbuthnot (later Arbuthnot-Leslie) (1847-96) (q.v.);
(3) James Woodgate Arbuthnot (1848-1927) (q.v.);
(4) Herbert Robinson Arbuthnot (1851-1937), born in Madras, 8 January 1851; educated at Eton; partner in Arbuthnot Lathom & Co., 1875-1936; married, 10 November 1880, Evelyn Mary (1853-1945), daughter of Hon. Henry Lewis Noel and granddaughter of 1st Earl of Gainsborough, and had issue two sons and three daughters; died 18 October 1937 aged 86; will proved 13 December 1937 (estate £137,305);
(5) Ernest William Arbuthnot (1856-59), born 30 April 1856 in Madras; died young, 29 August 1859;
(6) Lt-Col. Lenox Conyngham Arbuthnot (1860-1936), born in London, 21 October and baptised 20 December 1860; served in the Army (2nd Lt., 1879; Lt., 1883; Lt-Col. by 1921); farmer in Ireland and later Superintendent of Dublin Zoological Gardens, Pheonix Park; married, 1894 or Apr-Jun 1898, Mrs Mabel Stanley McLeod Watling (d. 1932) and had issue one son and one daughter, both apparently born prior to the marriage of the parents; died 12 September 1936; will proved 13 November 1936 (estate £5,869).
He inherited the Elderslie estate from his father in 1843 and had a town house in Hyde Park Gardens, London.
He died 19 March 1895 and was buried at Ockley; his will was proved 17 May 1895 (estate £37,033). His wife died in London, 5 May 1889.

George Arbuthnot (later Arbuthnot-Leslie) (1847-96) of Elderslie. Eldest son of George Arbuthnot (1815-95) and his wife Maria, daughter of John Fryer Thomas, born 12 March 1847. Educated at Brighton College. Served in the Army as an Ensign in 53rd Shropshire Foot and Lieutenant in the Royal Scots Greys. After his marriage he took the additional surname Leslie. DL for Aberdeenshire. He married, 4 August 1875 at Fyvie (Aberdeens), Mary Rose (d. 1900), daughter of William Leslie of Warthill (Aberdeens), and had issue:
(1) William Douglas Arbuthnot-Leslie (1878-1956) of Warthill, born 7 August 1878; educated at Eton; Lieutenant in Gordon Highlanders and Scots Guards; Capt. in Reserve of Officers; ADC to Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of Hong Kong; member of Royal Company of Archers; married 1st, 23 April 1921, Maria de la Luz (d. 1969), daughter of Don Guillermo de Landa y Escandon (Governor of Mexico City) and previously the wife of Don Bernardo de Mier and had issue one daughter; married 2nd, Georgiana Nutter Connal (c.1889-1970), daughter of Robert Nutter Campbell Connor and previously wife of Capt. Augustus Brabazon Urmston; died 27 October 1956;
(2) Capt. George Rupert Arbuthnot-Leslie (1883-1951), born 23 August 1883; educated at Haileybury and Trinity College, Oxford (MA 1913); served in Suffolk Yeomanry in WW1 (Lt., 1914; Capt., 1917); ADC to Brig-Gen. McNeill in Palestine, 1917; emigrated to Jamaica where he bought a banana plantation already named the Arbuthnot Estate; died unmarried, 4 January 1951;
(3) Aline Rose Arbuthnot-Leslie (1888-1948), born 24 June 1888; served as a nurse in WW1 with the French and Italian Red Cross; married 1st, 14 November 1919, Hon. Charles Fox Maule Ramsay MC (1885-1926), son of 13th Earl of Dalhousie; and 2nd, 14 May 1929, Maj. the Hon. Arthur Michael Bertie DSO MC (1886-1957), second son of 7th Earl of Abingdon and had issue one son (later the 9th Earl of Abingdon); died 5 July 1948; will proved 9 March 1949 (estate £2,434);
(4) Violet Seton Arbuthnot-Leslie (1893-1950), born 28 June 1893; died unmarried, 19 August 1950.
He inherited the Elderslie estate from his father in 1895, but sold it to his brother, James Woodgate Arbuthnot. His wife inherited the Warthill estate from her father in 1880; on her death in 1900 it passed to their eldest son.
He died 1 November 1896; will proved in Aberdeen Sheriff Court, 19 March 1897. His widow died 6 January 1900.

James Woodgate Arbuthnot (1848-1927) of Elderslie. Second son of George Arbuthnot (1815-95) and his wife Maria, daughter of John Fryer Thomas, born at Brighton, 5 July 1848. Educated at Eton; worked with Arbuthnot & Co in Madras (retired 1884). He married, 26 September 1877, Anne Susan Charlotte (1857-1944), daughter of Sir Charles Jackson, judge of the High Court of Calcutta and had issue: 
(1) Marion Fenn Arbuthnot (1878-1958) (q.v.);
(2) Francis Sidney (k/a Frank) Arbuthnot (1882-1952), born in Madras, 26 November 1882 and baptised 24 December 1882;  served in Suffolk Yeomanry in WW1 (mentioned in despatches twice); married, 3 September 1912, Lillemor (d. 1955), daughter of Nicholas Halvorson of Oslo (Norway) and previously wife of Christian Mohr; died without issue, 6 November 1952; will proved 16 January 1953 (estate £3,568);
(3) Capt. Maurice Armitage Arbuthnot MC (1889-1918), born in London, 4 March 1889; Capt. in the 16th Lancers (Staff-Captain, 1918); ADC to General Sir Hubert Gough, 1915-18; awarded the MC and Croix de Guerre, 1917; involved in suppression of the Curragh mutiny; married, 7 August 1915, Edith Madeline (1888-1974), daughter of Sir Frederick Albert Bosanquet KC and had issue one daughter; died of Spanish flu, 14 October 1918 and was buried at Ockley; will proved 28 February 1919 (estate £1,052); his widow married 2nd, 4 April 1925, Alfred Weston McKenny (k/a Bubbles) Hughes (1895-1970), zoologist.
He bought the Elderslie estate from his elder brother in 1896. At his death it passed to his grandson, Sir John Francis Prideaux subject to his widow's life interest.
He died 21 October 1927; his will was proved 13 December 1927 (estate £41, 028). His widow died 13 March 1944; her will was proved 22 May 1944 (estate £29,840).

Margaret Fenn Arbuthnot (later Prideaux) (1878-1958). Eldest child of James Woodgate Arbuthnot (1848-1927) and his wife Anne Susan Charlotte, daughter of Sir Charles Jackson, judge of the High Court of Calcutta, born in Madras, 15 October 1878. She married, 20 April 1901, Walter Treverbian Prideaux LLD (d. 1958), solicitor and Clerk of the Goldsmiths Company, 1919-39, and had issue:
(1) Walter Arbuthnot Prideaux CBE MC TD (1910-95), born 4 January 1910; educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge; qualified as a solicitor; served in WW2 with Kent Yeomanry; Clerk of the Goldsmiths Company, 1958-xxxx; married, 4 February 1937, Anne, daughter of Francis Cokayne and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 5 November 1995; will proved 18 March 1996;
(2) Sir John Francis Prideaux OBE TD (1911-93) (q.v.);
(3) Anne Rachel Prideaux (1913-75), born 22 January 1913; married, 19 June 1937, Maj. John Waldo Edward Hay Drummond-Hay (b. 1906) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 6 May 1975; will proved 17 July 1975 (estate £31,074);
(4) Lt-Col. Sir Humphrey Povah Treverbian Prideaux (1915-2014), born 13 December 1915; educated at Eton and Trinity College, Oxford; Lt-Col, 3rd Carabiniers; on Joint Planning Staff, War Office, 1945; Chairman, NAAFI, 1963-73; Chairman, Brooke Bond Liebig Ltd, 1972; Vice-Chairman, W.H. Smith & Son (Holdings) Ltd., 1977; President, London Life Assurance Society, 1973; married, 30 August 1939, Cynthia Violet, daughter of Lt-Col. H. Birch Reynardson and had issue four sons; died 7 May 2014; will proved 29 October 2014;
(5) Andrew George Prideaux (b. 1918), born 10 March 1918; educated at Eton; served in Royal Navy in WW2; a solicitor; married, 1 April 1944, Eleanor Abigail Broome and had issue one son and one daughter; now living;
She died 5 April 1958; her will was proved 18 July 1958 (estate £4,163). Her husband died 24 January 1958, aged 83; his will was proved 21 April 1958 (estate £22,115).

Sir John Prideaux 1911-93
Sir John Francis Prideaux OBE TD (1911-93). Second son of Walter Treverbian Prideaux (d. 1958) and his wife Margaret Fenn, daughter of James Woodgate Arbuthnot of Elderslie, born 30 December 1911. Educated at Eton. He served in WW2 with the Middlesex Yeomanry in the Middle East and Italy. He joined Arbuthnot Latham & Co. in 1930 and specialised in the bank's foreign business; he was a Director, 1939-69 and Chairman 1964-69. He joined the board of the Westminster Bank in 1955 and became Chairman of the International Westminster Bank in 1969. On the merger of the Westminster, National Provincial and District Banks in 1970 he joined the main board and became Chairman of National Westminster Bank Ltd. 1971-77; Vice-President of British Bankers Association, 1972-77; Chairman of the Committee of London Clearing Banks, 1972-74; President of the Institute of Bankers; Deputy Chairman of the Commonwealth Development Association, 1960-70; Chairman of the Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship, 1977-81. Deputy Lieutenant for Sussex. Treasurer and Chairman of Governors of St Thomas' Hospital, London, 1964-74. Knighted, 1974. He married, 24 November 1934, Joan Hargreaves Terrell Pigott-Brown (d. 2008), daughter of Capt. Gordon Hargreaves Brown and Editha Pigott, and had issue:
(1) Christopher John Prideaux (b. 1936) of Doddershall Park (Bucks), born 12 November 1936; educated at Eton; Director, Arbuthnot Latham Holdings Ltd. Deputy Lieutenant for Oxfordshire; married, 16 April 1959, Celia, daughter of Sir Peter Averell Daniell and had issue two sons and one daughter;
(2) Editha Anne Prideaux (b. 1940), born 4 September 1940; married, 10 February 1968, Alaster Scott Templeton, son of Kenneth Templeton, and had issue two daughters;
(3) Michael Charles Terrell Prideaux (b. 1950), born 23 October 1950; educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge; married, 1975, Susan H. Bennett, formerly wife of Max Monsarrat, and had issue one son and one daughter.
He inherited Elderslie from his grandfather in 1927; it was sold after his death.
He died 7 January 1993; his will was proved 29 April 1993 (estate £456,153). His widow died 10 January 2008; her will was proved 3 October 2008.


P.S.M. Arbuthnot, Memories of the Arbuthnots of Kincardineshire and Aberdeenshire, 1920;"George Arbuthnot" in Eleanor Harris, The Episcopal Congregation of Charlotte Chapel Website.

Location of archives

No significant archive is known to survive, although in 1920 substantial quantities of papers were in private possession and are quoted in Memories of the Arbuthnots.

Coat of arms

Azure, a crescent between three mullets, two and one, argent; the whole within a bordure or, charged with three boars' heads couped gules.

This post was last updated 2nd April 2015.

Wednesday 18 February 2015

(158) Arblaster of Lysways Hall

Arblaster of Longdon
Arblaster is an occupational name, signifying an archer, and several early records refer to members of the family having that occupation. The connection with Staffordshire seems to have been established by Adam le Arblaster (fl. 1337-58), who was an official of the Bishop of Coventry & Lichfield in the mid 14th century and bought property at Longdon.  His son James (fl. 1361-1409), who was appointed one of the rangers of Cannock Chase in 1385, married the heiress of Lysways Hall at Longdon, which remained in the Arblaster family for nearly 400 years.  James's son, Thomas (fl. 1415-33) also married well, and through his wife acquired an estate at Mancetter (Warks) which his descendants retained until c.1547. All three of these men seem to have gradually raised the family up the social scale, and in the next generation Thomas Arblaster (fl. c.1400-60) was repeatedly the MP for the county between 1426 and 1459 and a JP for over twenty years, and had clearly made it into the county elite.  His son, Richard Arblaster (c.1440-1505), married into one of the leading local families, the Bagots. During the 16th century, however, the family seem to have been less prominent, perhaps because a series of owners who held the estates for short periods did not have a chance to establish themselves in the county.  Thomas Arblaster (1561-c.1618) also accumulated significant debts, for which he was imprisoned in 1611-12.  The family was perhaps rescued by his wife's inheritance of her brother's estates in the north of Staffordshire, around Cheddleton.  The family were moderate Royalists in the Civil War, when Edward Arblaster (1589-1657) was briefly imprisoned by the Parliamentarians, but the will of his son, Edward Arblaster (c.1630-91) shows unusually clearly that his sympathies were of the godly or Puritan persuasion.

Over a long period, remarkably few younger sons and daughters of the Arblaster family got married or produced families, and this was particularly the case in the period of the late 17th and early 18th century demographic decline, when mortality was high and fertility low. Edward (c.1630-91) had two sons and four daughters but only the son and heir, Edmund Arblaster (c.1673-1732) married and produced children. He in turn produced three sons and three daughters, of whom, apart from his heir, only one daughter married - and then not until her late 30s.  It was probably Edmund who rebuilt Lysways Hall in the early 18th century. In the next generation, Edward Arblaster (1700-35) produced only one son who survived to adulthood: Edward Arblaster (1733-83), who died without issue.  He sold the family seat of Lysways Hall in 1769, when he was still unmarried, and although he did marry in 1782 he died the following year, leaving his remaining estates around Cheddleton to his widow and her family, the Powyses.  

A cadet branch of the Arblaster family was established at Rugeley by c.1580 and carried the name into the 20th century, but its connection with the family discussed here has not been ascertained. There was also a minor gentry family of Arblasters or Alabasters in Norfolk and Suffolk who appear to trace a common ancestor in the early 14th century or earlier.

Lysways Hall, Longdon, Staffordshire

Although the Arblaster family are fairly well recorded, much less is known about the development of their house at Longdon.  Horovitz speculates that the property, first named in the records in 1167, may once have been owned by Tutbury Priory and have been named after their mother house of Lisieux in northern France. However, by the early 14th century it belonged to the eponymous Liswis family, from whom it passed by marriage to the Legydds and, following the marriage of Margaret Legydd to James Arblaster shortly before 1400, to the Arblasters.  In the 16th and 17th centuries the house was called Arblaster Hall and it is not clear why the old name was reintroduced (it was back in use by 1686). The house seems to have been the main home of the Arblasters down to the mid 18th century, although Thomas Arblaster's second wife, Ann, daughter of Sir Ralph Egerton of Wrinehill, brought an estate at Cheddleton and Rownall into the family, and when Edward Arblaster sold Lysways in 1769 he moved to Rownall Hall.

Lysways Hall in a late 18th century watercolour. © William Salt Library

The earliest architectural record of Lysways is a late 18th century watercolour in the William Salt Library, which is clearly related to the engraving published in Stebbing Shaw's History and Antiquities of Staffordshire in 1801.  This shows a nine by four bay two-storey house with a three bay centre surmounted by a steep pediment containing a round-arched window flanked by two circular windows. Either side of the pediment is a panelled parapet. Stylistically, this house seems likely to date from the early 18th century, but it may well have incorporated elements of its predecessor.  The Staffordshire architect, Richard Trubshaw (c.1689-1745) is recorded to have carried out works at Lysways in 1742 but the nature of this work is not clear: it is not a date when it is likely that major works were undertaken.

Lysways Hall in about 1930
In the early 19th century the house was extended by the addition of a five bay two-storey service wing to the right of the main front; and probably a little later still the main front was altered and given a more Italianate feel with a stucco coating incised with prominent quoins. Little of all this is apparent today, however, for in 1936 the right hand five bays of the nine-bay main block were demolished, leaving two surviving fragments which became separate dwellings: the western end of the main house, and the early 19th century service wing, which has become Lysways House.

The remaining fragments of Lysways Hall in 1961.

Lysways Hall as depicted on the OS 6" map of 1882. Note the surviving lake on the far side of Lysways Lane.
By the time of the watercolour the house stood in a landscaped setting and in 1817 William Pitt described how the house stood "a convenient distance from the turnpike road, with a lawn and meadow in front, through which a serpentine river glides within its banks". The artist has removed from the view all trace of Lysways Lane which separated the house from its pleasure grounds.  Part of the lake survives within the golf course that now occupies most of the grounds of Lysways Hall.  The Hall was home to the South Staffordshire Hunt kennels in the early 20th century.

Descent: James Arblaster (fl. 1400); to son, Thomas Arblaster (fl. c.1415); to son, Thomas Arblaster (fl. c.1400-60); to son, Richard Arblaster (d. 1506); to son, Richard Arblaster (d. c.1510); to brother, Humphrey Arblaster (d. by 1524); to son, Thomas Arblaster; to son, Roland Arblaster (d. 1579); to brother, George Arblaster (d. 1586); to son, Thomas Arblaster (b. 1561); to son, Edward Arblaster (d. 1657); to son, Edward Arblaster (1631-90); to son, Edward Arblaster (d. 1732); to son, Edward Arblaster (d. 1735); to son, Edward Arblaster (fl. 1769) who sold 1769 to Francis Cobb of Lichfield..Austin family; sold 1836 to Charles Smith Forster (1784-1850); to son, Sir Charles Foster (1815-91), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Charles Forster (1841-1914), 2nd bt.; to brother, Sir Francis Villiers Forster (1850-1930), 3rd bt...

Arblaster family of Longdon

Arblaster, Adam (fl. 1337-58). Son of Thomas Arblaster of Cropston (Leics). Attorney for the Bishop of Coventry & Lichfield in a suit in 1337; Bailiff of the Bishop, 1345-57, but quarrelled with him in 1358; MP for Staffordshire, 1352. In 1339 he was accused (with others) of the death of John de Wickwar, but seems to have been unpunished after producing sureties from among the county elite. He married Elizabeth, widow of John Davy, and had issue:
(1) James Arblaster (fl. 1361-1409) (q.v.);
(2) Thomas Arblaster; canon of Lichfield Cathedral;
(3) John Arblaster (fl. 1412).
He purchased the manor of Hawkeswellsich and Arblaster Haye at Longdon (Staffs).
He died before 1379/80, when his widow was still living.

Arblaster, James (fl. 1361-1409).  Son of Adam Arblaster (fl. 1351) of Cropston (Leics) and Longdon (Staffs) and his wife Elizabeth.  In the service of the Earl of Stafford as an archer in 1361, and later Bailiff of the Bishop of Coventry & Lichfield in succession to his father; appointed Rider (i.e. Ranger) of Cannock Chase, 1385. He is said to have married, c.1370, Margaret, daughter of John Legydd of Liseways, but the dates suggest he may have married John's widow rather than his daughter; they had issue:
(1) James Arblaster (d. c.1415); died without issue;
(2) Thomas Arblaster (fl. c.1415) (q.v.).
He inherited property at Longdon from his father and inherited Liswis (later Lysways) Hall in right of his wife.
He died after 1409.

Arblaster, Thomas (fl. c.1415-33).  Son of James Arblaster (fl. 1385-1400) and his wife Margaret Legydd of Liswis.  He married Alice, daughter of Leonard Worthyn, and had issue:
(1) Thomas Arblaster (c.1400-c.1460) (q.v.).
He inherited the Lysways Hall estate from his father, and property at Mancetter (Warks) in right of his wife.
He died after 1433.

Arblaster, Thomas (c.1400-c.1460).  Son of Thomas Arblaster (fl. c.1415-33) and his wife Alice, daughter of Leonard Worthin, born about 1400. MP for Staffordshire, 1426, 1432-35, 1439-40, 1445 and 1459.  JP for Staffordshire, 1439-60. He married Alice (fl. 1456), daughter of Thomas Butler of Picklethorn (Bucks) and had issue:
(1) Richard Arblaster (d. 1505) (q.v.);
(2) William Arblaster;
(3) Thomas Arblaster (fl. 1481-83);
(4) Edmund Arblaster.
He inherited the Lysways Hall and Mancetter estates from his father.
He died soon after 1460.

Arblaster, Richard (c.1440-1505). Eldest son of Thomas Arblaster (c.1400-60) and his wife Alice, daughter of Thomas Butler of Picklethorn [Pitstone?] (Bucks).  He married, 1489 (settlement 11 June 1489), Maud, daughter of John Bagot of Blithfield (Staffs) and had issue:
(1) Richard Arblaster (c.1494-c.1510); inherited the Lysways Hall estate from his father but died unmarried soon afterwards;
(2) Humphrey Arblaster (d. by 1524) (q.v.).
He inherited the Lysways Hall and Mancetter estates from his father in about 1460. At his death they passed in turn to his two recorded sons.
He died 5 October 1505. 

Arblaster, Humphrey (d. by 1524).  Second son of Richard Arblaster (d. 1505) and his wife Maud, daughter of John Bagot of Blithfield.  He married Catherine, daughter of Thomas Laynham and had issue:
(1) Thomas Arblaster (fl. mid 16th cent.) (q.v.).
He inherited the Lysways Hall and Mancetter estates from his brother in c.1510.
He died before 1524.

Arblaster, Thomas (d. by 1568).  Only recorded son of Humphrey Arblaster (d. by 1524) and his wife Catherine, daughter of Thomas Laynham.  He married 1st, Alice Bagot, and 2nd, Margaret Martyn and had issue:
(1.1) Roland Arblaster (d. 1579); died unmarried and without issue, 1579
(1.2) George Arblaster (d. 1586) (q.v.);
(1.3) Jane Arblaster; married William Holland of Caldwell (Derbys);
(1.4) Frances Arblaster; married Richard Callingwood of Caldwell (Derbys);
(1.5) John Arblaster;
(1.6) Michael Arblaster;
(1.7) Alice Arblaster; married, 1585, William Hill of Longdon.
He inherited the Lysways Hall and Mancetter estates from his father before 1524 but sold the Mancetter (Warks) property c.1547.
He died before 1568.

Arblaster, George (d. 1586). Second son of Thomas Arblaster (d. by 1568) and his first wife, Alice Bagot. He married Maud Bursey (d. 1587) and had issue:
(1) Mary Arblaster (b. 1558).
(2) Richard Arblaster (b. 1559);
(3) Thomas Arblaster (b. 1561) (q.v.);
He inherited the Lysways Hall estate from his father.
He died in 1586.  His widow died in 1586/7.

Arblaster, Thomas (1561-c.1618). Second son of George Arblaster (d. 1586) and his wife Maud Bursey, born 1561.  Escheator for Staffordshire, 1607. He had financial difficulties, probably occasioned by lending money to his second father-in-law and later to his brother-in-law, and sold land to pay his debts. He was imprisoned for debt in 1611-12. He married 1st, Maud Wolferstan (d. 1587) of Statfold (Staffs) and 2nd, 1588, Ann, daughter of Sir Ralph Egerton of Wrinehill and had issue:
(1.1) Bridget Arblaster (d. 1584);
(1.2) Richard Arblaster;
(1.3) George Arblaster (1586/7-88); died in infancy;
(2.1) Edward Arblaster (1589-1657) (q.v.);
(2.2) Francis Arblaster; died unmarried;
(2.3) Walter Arblaster (b. 1590);
(2.6) Ann Arblaster (b. 1592); married 1st, Edward Westcote; 2nd, David Edwards; and 3rd, Philip Markey;
(2.7) Mary Arblaster (b. 1593); married 1st, Aubrey Bevon and 2nd [forename unknown] Smith;
(2.8) Joyce Arblaster (b. 1598); married 1st, Thomas Barlow; 2nd, John Owens; and 3rd John Lewis;
(2.4) George Arblaster (b. 1599); died without issue;
(2.5) Thomas Arblaster.
He inherited the Lysways Hall estate from his father in 1586, but reduced it by a series of land sales 1592-1601. His second wife eventually inherited her father's estates at Chedderton, Rownall, Butterton, Ford and Oncot. 
He died about 1617 or 1618. His first wife died in 1587.

Arblaster, Edward (1589-1657). Eldest son of Thomas Arblaster (1561-c.1618) and his second wife, Ann, daughter of Sir Ralph Egerton of Wrinehill, baptised 16 November 1589.  A Royalist in the Civil War, he was imprisoned briefly on the orders of Parliament in January 1643/4. He married Anne, daughter of [forename unknown] Markey of Alton (Herefs) and perhaps widow of [forename unknown] Franklin, and had issue:
(1) Francis Arblaster; died unmarried;
(2) Walter Arblaster; a Royalist in the Civil War, he compounded for his delinquency during the Commonwealth;
(3) George Arblaster (d. 1666); died unmarried and was buried at Longdon, 26 March 1666;
(4) Charles Arblaster; died young;
(5) Edward Arblaster (c.1631-90) (q.v.);
(6) Anne Arblaster; died unmarried;
(7) Mary Arblaster; married, 21 January 1655 at Newcastle-under-Lyme, Robert Cooper of Ravenshall.
He inherited the Lysways Hall estate from his father in c.1617-18.
He died in February 1657.

Arblaster, Edward (c.1631-90).  Fifth but only surviving son of Edward Arblaster (d. 1657) and his wife Anne, daughter of Anne Markey of Alton (Herefs), born 1630/31. He married, 1662 at St Mary, Lichfield, Anne (d. 1694), daughter of Francis Wolferstan of Stotfold (Staffs) and had issue:
(1) Frances Arblaster (1663-1722) of Handsacre (Staffs), born 6 September and baptised 31 October 1663; died unmarried and was buried 31 December 1722;
(2) Edward Arblaster (1666-70), baptised 5 June 1666; died young and was buried at Longdon, 8 May 1670;
(3) Ann Arblaster (d. 1734); died unmarried and was buried 3 August 1734;
(4) Edmund Arblaster (c.1673-1732) (q.v.);
(5) Mary Arblaster (1674-1713), baptised 19 August 1674; died unmarried, September 1713;
(6) Grace Arblaster (d. 1732), of Hanch Hall; died unmarried and was buried 3 March 1731/2; her will proved 21 August 1732.
He inherited the Lysways Hall estate from his father in 1657.
He died 28 March 1690; his will was proved in the PCC, 2 October 1691. His widow died 22 February and was buried at Longdon, 24 February 1693/4; her will was proved at Lichfield, 14 February 1695/6.

Arblaster, Edmund (c.1673-1732). Only surviving son of Edward Arblaster (1631-90) and his wife Anne, daughter of Francis Wolferstan of Stotfold (Staffs), born about 1673. Educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1691) and Inner Temple (admitted 1693). High Sheriff of Staffordshire, 1709-10. He married, 3 March 1697 at Penkridge (Staffs), Mary Littleton (d. 1739) of Pillaton Hall (Staffs), and had issue:
(1) Susannah Arblaster (1698-1741), baptised 22 December 1698; died unmarried and was buried 7 March 1740/1; will proved at Lichfield, 1740/1;
(2) Edward Arblaster (1700-35) (q.v.);
(3) Edmund Arblaster (1701-43); baptised 29 January 1701; there are some indications that he may have been mentally deficient; died unmarried and was buried at Caverswall (Staffs), 25 June 1743;
(4) Theophilus Arblaster (1704-21), baptised 20 March 1703/4; died young and was buried 24 October 1721;
(5) Ann Arblaster (1705-72), baptised 15 July 1705; married, 12 August 1742 at St Benet's, Pauls Wharf, London, Francis Eld (1691-1760), a Master in Chancery; buried at Longdon, 3 February 1772, where she and her relations are commemorated by a monument;
(6) Mary Arblaster (1709-41), born 20 September and baptised 17 October 1709; died unmarried and was buried at Longdon, 1 November 1741; will proved at Lichfield, 2 February 1741/2.
He inherited the Lysways Hall estate from his father in 1690 and was probably responsible for rebuilding the house in the early 18th century.
He was buried at Longdon, 19 December 1732; his will was proved in the PCC, 3 September 1734. His widow was buried 21 February 1738/9.

Arblaster, Edward (1700-35).  Eldest son of Edward Arblaster (d. 1732) and his wife Mary Littleton of Pillaton Hall, born 4 and baptised 16 January 1699/1700. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1717) and had antiquarian interests. He married, 9 June 1729 at Holy Cross, Shrewsbury, Bridget, daughter of Thomas Powis of Berwick, Shrewsbury and had issue:
(1) Penelope Arblaster (1730-34), born 20 June and baptised 16 July 1730; died young and was buried at St Julian, Shrewsbury8 September 1734;
(2) Frances Arblaster (b. & d. 1732), baptised 24 March 1732; died in infancy and was buried at St Julian, Shrewsbury, 2 April 1732;
(3) Edward Arblaster (1733-83) (q.v.);
(4) Frances Arblaster (b. & d. 1735); born 12 February and baptised 10 March 1734/5; died in infancy and was buried at St Julian, Shrewsbury, 11 April 1735;
(5) Henry Arblaster (b. & d. 1736), baptised 15 March 1735/6; died in infancy and was buried at St Julian, Shrewsbury, 12 April 1736.
He inherited the Lysways Hall estate from his father in 1732 but in 1735 was living at the Abbey House, Shrewsbury.
He was buried at Longdon, 27 December 1735; his will was proved in the PCC 29 January 1736. His widow married 2nd, c.1738, John Whitfield of Shrewsbury, surgeon, and had further issue; she was buried at St Julian's, Shrewsbury, 4 June 1769.

Arblaster, Edward (1733-83) of Rownall Hall. Only surviving child of Edward Arblaster (1700-35) and his wife Bridget Powis of Shrewsbury, born 12 and baptised at Holy Cross, Shrewsbury, 29 October 1733.  Educated at Fulham, Middle Temple (admitted 1747) and Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1750/1). Cornet in the Inniskilling Dragoons, 1754. He married, 1 August 1782 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, his first cousin, Martha, daughter of Edward Powys of Morton Hall (Cheshire) and widow of [forename unknown] Turner, but had no issue.
He inherited the Lysways Hall estate from his father in 1735 but sold it in 1769. He lived latterly at Rownall Hall, Cheddleton.
He died 8 February and was buried at Cheddleton, 19 February 1783, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 7 March 1783.


D. Horovitz, "A survey and analysis of the place-names of Staffordshire", Nottingham Univ. Ph.D thesis, 2003, vol. 2, p. 434; W. Fowler Carter, "Notes on Staffordshire families - Arblaster", Staffordshire Historical Collections, 3rd series, 1925, pp. 1-24;

Location of archives

No substantial archive is known to survive. However, a small group of Arblaster deeds and settlements survives among the papers of the Littleton family of Teddesley and Hatherton, Barons Hatherton [Staffordshire Record Office, D260]

Coat of arms

Ermine, a crossbow bent palewise gules, stringed or.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

(157) Apreece of Washingley Hall, Honington Hall and Effingham House, baronets

Apreece of Washingley
The Apreece family claimed descent from Gruffydd ap Rhys (d. 1202), Prince of South Wales, whose descendants lived in Breconshire and were set out in William Betham's Baronetage of England in 1804. According to Betham, it was Isaac ap Rhese who in the reign of King Henry VII first went to live at Washingley in Huntingdonshire, but if so it must have been as a tenant. His son, Robert ap Rhese (c.1472-1555), married the daughter of William (or by some accounts John) Otter of Walthamstow (Essex), and Washingley was her dowry, so the Ap Rheses were established at Washingley by about 1500, if not a little before.  The family name of Ap Rhys had become fixed by the early 15th century, but the spelling and Anglicization was very inconsistent until the mid 17th century and different members of the family apparently favoured different versions. Ap Rhys and Ap Rhese were most common in the 16th century, when Apreece also makes its appearance, but Rhys, Reece and Price are also found, which makes the family uncommonly hard to identify securely in the records. Only with Robert Apreece in the late 17th century does this form of the name seem to have become standard. 

The Washingley estate passed in turn to William Apreece (c.1505-74) and his son Robert Apreece (1535-1622), who held to the Catholic religion despite increasing persecution. Those harbouring Catholic priests ran the risk of severe penalties, but nonetheless Robert put up Fr. Edmund Campion during the winter of 1580-81, when he is recorded as preaching and conducting mass in Northamptonshire. Campion was captured by the authorities in July 1581, and hung, drawn and quartered later in the year; he was canonised by the Pope in 1886. Apreece himself was fined for recusancy and in 1594 was briefly imprisoned at Ely. Two of his sons were later involved in assisting the escape of three Catholic priests from custody at Wisbech.  Robert produced a large family of nine sons and six daughters according to his monument in Lutton church, but only twelve of these children have been identified; the rest may have died young. Although most of his sons grew to adulthood, it was his seventh son, Jerome, who inherited Washingley. He is the most obscure of the owners of Washingley, but was perhaps responsible for building a new Jacobean E-plan house there, the fabric (although not the appearance) of which largely survived until the final demolition of the house.

Jerome's only recorded son was Col. Robert Apreece alias Price (d. 1644), an active Royalist who participated in the defence of Lincoln against the forces of Parliament.  The day after the city was captured by the Earl of Manchester's Parliamentary forces, some of the Earl's soldiers - perhaps men from his Huntingdonshire estates - accosted Apreece in the street and demanded whether he was "Price the Papist". When he admitted that he was "Price, the Roman Catholic", one of them pulled out a pistol and shot him dead. This avowal of his faith and its fatal consequence caused Apreece to be beatified in 1887.

The heir to Washingley was the Colonel's young son, Robert Apreece (1638-1723), who was brought up as a Protestant in the household of his stepfather, Humphrey Orme. Although contemporaries were sometimes suspicious of his loyalty to the Protestant faith, his outward conformity allowed him to hold many public offices and to be MP for Huntingdonshire several times. His supposed Catholic sympathies made him particularly acceptable to King James II, who brought him back into the commission of the peace in 1687, but he was not removed from it again when James fled abroad and was replaced by King William III in 1689 and he remained a JP until his death at a very advanced age in 1723.

His son, Robert Apreece (c.1677-1744), married Sarah (1672-1749), the eldest daughter and eventual heiress of Sir Thomas Hussey of Honington (Lincs). Through his marriage, the couple acquired first Honington Hall and later Doddington Hall (Lincs). Honington descended with Washingley to Robert and Sarah's only surviving son, Thomas Hussey Apreece (c.1702-77), but Doddington passed on Sarah's death to her daughter Rhoda (1701-59), the wife of Francis Blake Delaval of Seaton Delaval (Northumberland), who had commissioned the rebuilding of that house by Vanbrugh. It seems likely that it was the income from Robert and Sarah's three estates which made possible a major remodelling of the Jacobean house at Washingley in the mid 18th century.  The style of the alterations - and the tendency of building to be the occupation of younger owners - might incline one to suppose that these changes were made by Thomas Hussey Apreece after 1744, but he seems to have spent most of his time in London and to have preferred Honington to Washingley when in the country, so on balance they were probably made for Robert and Sarah in the 1730s or early 1740s; their architect is unknown.

Thomas Hussey Apreece (c.1702-77) was perhaps in the Grenadier Guards in his early 20s and comes across as impatient of the slow routines and respectability of county gentry life. He lived mainly in London and went through a clandestine marriage in the Fleet in 1725, and this seems to have been a case of marrying in haste and repenting at leisure, for he and his wife were divorced four years later. In 1739 he tried again, only for his second wife to die in childbirth two years later. Early the next year he married for a third time, to the daughter of an Essex baronet, who brought him a dowry of £12,000, and with her he at last produced a family of three sons and one daughter. His fortune was further augmented in 1749 when he inherited the bulk of the fortune of Thomas Ball of Mamhead (Devon), who is said to have been a distant relation, although I have not traced the connection.

Thomas' eldest son and namesake, Sir Thomas Hussey Apreece (1744-1833), 1st bt., seems to have been rather like his father in many ways. He served as a young man with the Huntingdonshire militia and while his unit was serving in Northumberland during the American War of Independence, he is said to have distinguished himself by protecting Alnwick from an attack by John Paul Jones, an American naval officer and ex-pirate who sailed around the British coast causing panic by some fairly random attacks, including one on Alnmouth in 1779. In the 1790s he devised a plan for raising volunteer yeomanry units for local defence during the Napoleonic crisis which was adopted and implemented by William Pitt the younger.  The yeomanry were designed - like the Home Guard in World War II - as the last line of defence in the event of an invasion which never came, but they provided countless gentlemen and farmer's sons with a splendid excuse for dressing up and playing soldiers in the 1790s and 1800s. Sir Thomas was a keen sportsman and a member of the Prince of Wales' Carlton House set, despite being a generation older than the Prince himself, and this perhaps explains why he was advanced to a baronetcy in 1782.  Like his father, Sir Thomas was unlucky in love. In 1771 he married an entirely suitable woman, the daughter of a Leicestershire gentleman and quickly produced a daughter and a son and heir, but about 1774 the couple separated.  The children remained with their mother and were estranged from Sir Thomas, who took a number of mistresses, by at least one of whom he produced illegitimate children. In 1790, however, he met his wife by chance at an inn in Rutland and for one night they achieved a sufficient reconciliation to conceive a third child. Later, Sir Thomas settled down with another mistress, Louisa Venmore, by whom he produced a daughter in 1796, and with whom he was still living at his death. Louisa and her daughter Lucy inherited everything that he had power to dispose of, including a substantial estate at Effingham (Surrey) which he built up in the early 19th century. His legitimate daughter was cut out of his will entirely and his surviving son received only what was entailed, including the Washingley and Honington estates.

Sir Thomas' elder son, named after his maternal grandfather, was Shuckburgh Ashby Apreece (1773-1807). He married in 1798 or 1799 and moved into Washingley Hall, which he is said to have renovated extensively. Unfortunately, however, he died without issue in 1807, and so it was his much younger brother, Sir Thomas George Apreece (1791-1842), 2nd bt., who succeeded his father in 1833. Shuckburgh's widow, incidentally, retired after his death to her native Edinburgh, where five years later she married the scientist and inventor, Sir Humphry Davy.  Sir Thomas George Apreece, like several of his grandfather's descendants, was mentally unstable. An uncle and two cousins were confined as lunatics and although Sir Thomas escaped this, contemporaries were aware of his marked eccentricities of behaviour. He was unmarried and in the late 1830s moved to Margate, where he lived with a housekeeper, in whose presence he shot himself on New Years Eve 1842. This event marked the end of the Apreeces as a gentry family: the baronetcy died with him, and by his will he left his estates to St George's Hospital, London. His sister contested the will but was unsuccessful, and Honington was sold in 1851 and Washingley in 1859. Both houses were then in poor repair. Honington was rebuilt in 1861-63 and Washingley remodelled in 1861; both houses were demolished after the Second World War.

Washingley Hall, Huntingdonshire
There was a manor house on the moated site of Washingley Hall from at least the 13th century, and the park includes the earthworks of a motte-and-bailey castle which was no doubt its predecessor, as well as a deserted medieval village and a series of stewponds and some garden features.  The house was rebuilt in the 17th century as a two-storey brick E-plan block, perhaps by Jeremy Apreece who inherited the estate in 1621.

Washingley Hall and park from the Ordnance Survey 6" map of 1895.

Washingley Hall: garden front, altered in the 18th century
The house was evidently extensively remodelled in the mid 18th century when it was given sash windows, which were pedimented on the first floor of the nine bay rear elevation, and a panelled parapet punctuated by square plinths carrying ball finials.  The interiors of this date, with enriched plasterwork ceilings and cornices and elaborate pedimented chimneypieces, survived until the house was demolished. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the house was little used by successive generations of the family, who lived mainly in London and at Honington, and it continually fell into disrepair. After his marriage in 1798 or 1799, Shuckburgh Ashby Apreece came to live at Washingley and "completely beautified and repaired" the house and made a new lake in the grounds. After he died in 1807, it again reverted to a state of decay and Sir Thomas George Apreece sold the contents of the library in the 1830s.  

Washingley Hall in 1934, at the time of its acquisition by Lord Cobham. Image: English Heritage
Washingley Hall: interior of the hall in 1934. Image: English Heritage

Washingley Hall: interior of the drawing room in 1934. Image: English Heritage
Having fallen so far into decay as to be "almost a ruin", the house was restored once more in 1861, but this does not seem to have involved altering the Georgian exterior or interiors much if at all. After the Second World War no use could be found for the house and it was pulled down.  The house was approached through a fine pair of wrought iron gates hung on stone pillars surmounted by eagles, which survive today.  The layout of the drive and garden walls can still be seen in the grass and the walls of the kitchen garden to the east are still upstanding. The stable block to the west is now a farm.  When Lord Cobham acquired the house a paved terrace led onto the south lawn, and the south gardens bounded by the old moat contained clipped yews around flower beds, a summer house and lily pond.

Descent: William Otter of Walthamstow; to daughter Joan, wife of Robert Apreece (d. 1555); to son, William Apreece (c.1505-74); to son, Robert Apreece (1535-1621); to son, Jeremy Apreece; to son, Col. Robert Apreece (d. 1644); to son, Robert Apreece (1638-1723); to son, Robert Apreece (d. 1744); to son, Thomas Hussey Apreece (c.1702-77); to son, Sir Thomas Hussey Apreece (1744-1833), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Thomas George Apreece (1791-1842), 2nd bt.; bequeathed to St. George's Hospital, London, which sold 1859 to Leicester Fitzgerald Charles Stanhope, 5th Earl of Harrington (1784-1862); to Seymour Sydney Hyde Stanhope, 6th Earl of Harrington (1845-66); to Charles Wyndham Stanhope, 7th Earl of Harrington (1809-81), who sold 1870 to J.C. Dymoke Robertson (d. 1895); to brother, William Henry Robertson (d. 1918); to Maj. George Robertson who sold 1928 to T. Shaw, who sold 1934 to Robert Disney Leith Alexander, 16th Baron Cobham (1885-1951); probably demolished after his death.

Honington Hall, Lincolnshire
The house of the Hussey family at Honington which descended to the Apreeces in the early 18th century must have been of some size, but no picture of it seems to survive. 

Honington Hall as rebuilt in 1861-63. Image: Matthew Beckett

Honington Hall from the Ordnance Survey 6" map of 1888.
It was rebuilt in 1861-63 for the Trafford family who acquired it in 1851 and this house was a large stone building with mullioned windows, many informally grouped gables and a tall fanciful tower rising behind. In 1938 the accommodation consisted of five reception rooms, ten principal bedrooms and ample servants' accommodation, so it is perhaps not surprising that it was demolished in 1946 amidst the austerities of post-War Britain.

Descent: John Hussey (d. 1587); to cousin, Charles Hussey; to half-brother, Sir Charles Hussey, kt. (1546-1609); to son, Sir Edward Hussey (1585-1648), 1st bt.; to grandson, Sir Thomas Hussey (1639-1706), 2nd bt.; to daughter Sarah (1672-1749), wife of Robert Apreece (c.1677-1744); to son, Thomas Hussey Apreece (c.1702-77); to son, Sir Thomas Hussey Apreece (1744-1833), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Thomas George Apreece (1791-1842), 2nd bt.; bequeathed to St. George's Hospital, London, which sold 1851 to Miss Margaret Elizabeth Trafford-Southwell (d. 1879); to nephew, Col. Edward Southwell Trafford (1838-1912) who let it; to son, Capt. Sigismund William Joseph Trafford (1883-1953) who let the house and demolished it in 1946-48.

Effingham House, Surrey
Effingham House: south front in 1894. Image: Effingham Parish Council

The four bay two-storey central block represents a villa created around the beginning of the 19th century, probably for Lt-Gen. Oliver de Lancey, an American loyalist who moved to Britain after the War of Independence, but whose assets were seized in 1806 for a large-scale fraud on the British government. The slightly uneven spacing of the windows and the survival of gable-ends behind the parapet suggests that the facade conceals earlier work, and a house called Hansards in the 18th century is thought to have stood on the same site. The house gains some distinction from the flat roofed Ionic portico across the ground floor. To the early 19th century house lower pebbledashed wings were added on either side about 1880, perhaps for Charles Edward Lambert (d. 1910), who was the tenant here for some thirty years. The house was leased as the club house of Effingham Golf Club in 1927 and continues to fulfil this purpose today. It has been surprisingly little changed in the last hundred years.

Descent: William Bryant (d. 1795) sold c.1793 to Lt-Gen. Oliver de Lancey (fl. 1796-1806), who sold 1806 to George Bogle (d. 1813); sold 1814 to Sir Thomas Hussey Apreece (1744-1833), 1st bt., who bequeathed it to his mistress, Louisa Venmore and their daughter, Lucy (1796-1868), wife of Hildebrand Meredith Parratt (c.1790-1868); to son, Col. Evelyn Latimer Parratt (1819-1909) who let to Charles Edward Lambert (1843-1910) and his widow, Emma Anne Lambert (1840-1917); ...sold 1921 to R.R. Calburn, who sold a lease to Effingham Golf Club in 1927.

Apreece family of Washingley Hall and Effingham House

Ap Rhys alias Apreece, Robert (c.1472-1555). Son of Isaac ap Rhys and his wife Joan, sister of Sir Reginald Bray. High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire & Huntingdonshire, 1528-29. He married 1st, Joan, daughter and heir of William Otter of Walthamstow; and 2nd, 1544, Christian, Lady Sapcote, and had issue:
(1) William Ap Rhese alias Apreece (c.1505-74) (q.v.);
(2) Edward ap Rhese; married and had issue two sons;
(3) James or Thomas ap Rhese; married and had issue one son.
He acquired the manor of Washingley (Hunts) through his marriage with Joan Otter.
He died in 1555. He was survived by his second wife.

Apreece, William (c.1505-74). Son of Robert Apreece (d. 1555) and his first wife Joan, daughter of William Otter of Walthamstow, born about 1505. MP for Huntingdonshire. He married Joanna/Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Latymer of North Crawley (Bucks) and Duntish (Dorset), and had issue:
(1) Cassandra Apreece (c.1530-1592); married 1st, John Roberts of Wollaston and had issue; 2nd, Peter Ashton of Chatterton; 3rd, Adlard Welby (d. 1570) of Gedney and had issue four sons and one daughter; and 4th, 10 May 1574, Robert Carre (d. 1606) of Sleaford (Lincs); died 22 February 1590/1 aged 60 and was buried at Gedney (Lincs), 7 March 1590/1 where she and her third husband are commemorated by a monument erected in 1605;
(2) Robert Apreece (1535-1622) (q.v.);
(3) Edmond Ap Rhese; married Mary Tiringham and had issue;
(4) Lewis Ap Rhese;
(5) John Price;
(6) Elena Ap Rhese.
He inherited the Washingley estate from his father in 1555.
He died 11 February 1574.

Ap Rhys alias Apreece, Robert (1535-1622). Son of William Apreece (c.1505-74) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Latymer of North Crawley, born 1535. He adhered to the old religion, and the Catholic priest and martyr, Fr. Edmund Campion, stayed with him during part of his mission to England in 1581. Apreece was fined £120 for recusancy in 1593 and imprisoned at Ely in 1594. He married Johanna, daughter of Robert Wilford of London and had issue nine sons and six daughters including:
(1) Robert Ap Rhese or Price (d. c.1595); married Mary, daughter and co-heir of Humphrey Dixwell of Churchover (Warks) and had issue four sons and two daughters; died about 1595 and is commemorated by a monument which he erected at Churchover;
(2) Joan or Johanna Ap Rhese or Rice; married Stephen Alleyn (fl. c.1600) of Gresley Hall (Derbys) and had issue;
(3) Elizabeth Ap Rhese or Rice; married 1st, Richard Randell and 2nd, Thomas Hales;
(4) Mary Ap Rhese or Rice; married William Hewet of Millbrook (Beds) and had issue two sons;
(5) John Ap Rhese; educated at Douai; died without issue;
(6) Isaac Ap Rhese; educated at Douai; died without issue;
(7) Sir Adelard Ap Rhese alias Apreece (c.1564-1608); soldier and courtier; educated at Douai; fought in Hungary, Ferrara, Austria and Bavaria; knighted in Ferrara; died unmarried and without issue; buried at Lutton, 1608, where he is commemorated by a monument attributed to Maximilian Colt;
(8) Francis Ap Rhese alias Apreece, of Chichester (Sussex); married Mary, daughter of George Lewknor of Chichester and had issue four sons and two daughters; 
(9) Richard Apreece (fl. 1634); married [forename unknown] Ashley of Stafford;
(10) Jerome alias Jeremy Ap Rhese or Apreece (q.v.);
(11) Simon Ap Rhese alias Apreece; married [forename unknown] Wafery of Bedfordshire;
(12) Cassandra Ap Rhese alias Apreece.
He inherited the Washingley estate from his father in 1574.
He died 9 April 1622 and was buried at Lutton (Northants), where a monument commemorating him, his father and grandfather was erected in 1633, on which he is described as a nonagenarian although he appears to have been only 86 or 87 at death.

Ap Rhys alias Apreece, Jerome alias Jeremy (fl. 1634). Seventh son of Robert Apreece (1535-1622) and his wife Johanna, daughter of Robert Wilford of London. A recusant. He married Anne, daughter of William Yaxley of Yaxley (Suffolk) and had issue:
(1) Col. Robert Apreece (d. 1644).
He inherited the Washingley estate from his father in 1621 and may have been responsible for building a new house there.
His date of death is unknown.

Apreece, Col. Robert (d. 1644). Son of Jerome alias Jeremy Apreece and his wife Anne, daughter of William Yaxley of Yaxley (Suffolk). It seems to have been he who settled on the spelling of the family name used by later generations. He was an active Royalist and Roman Catholic and took part in the defence of Lincoln against the forces of Parliament in 1644.  The day after the Earl of Manchester's forces captured the town he was identified by some the earl's soldiers (who may have been neighbours in Huntingdonshire and Northamptonshire, where the Earl had estates), who asked if he was "Price, the Papist" and when he admitted to being a Roman Catholic, one of them shot him dead. As a martyr for the Catholic cause he was beatified by the Pope in 1886. He married Mary (1621-79), daughter of Sir Henry Bedingfield of Oxburgh Hall (Norfolk) and had issue:
(1) Robert Apreece (1638-1723) (q.v.).
He inherited the Washingley estate from his father.
He was killed at Lincoln, 7 May 1644. His widow married 2nd, 1 March 1646/7 at St James, Clerkenwell (Middx), Humphrey Orme MP (1620-71) and had further issue two sons and two daughters; she died 1 August 1679.

Apreece, Robert (1638-1723). Son of Col. Robert Apreece (d. 1644) and his wife Mary, daughter of Sir Henry Bedingfield of Oxburgh Hall (Norfolk), born 1638. He was brought up as a Protestant by his stepfather and was thus able to become MP for Huntingdonshire, 1673-79, 1698; DL for Hunts, 1660-81, 1686-88, 1694-1702, for Cambridgeshire 1698-1702 and for the Isle of Ely c.1696-1702; JP for Hunts, 1660-81, 1687-1723 and for Ely c.1696-1702. An officer in the Huntingdonshire militia (Major in 1680-81; Col. by 1697). He married, 18 April 1660, Frances (d. 1699), daughter and heir of Henry Bexwell of Bexwell (Norfolk) and had issue including:

(1) Ann Apreece (b. & d. 1660); died aged two days;
(2) Susanna Apreece (1673-1752), baptised 20 December 1673; married, 1697, Admiral Sir John Balchin (1669-1744) and had issue five sons and two daughters; buried at Fulham, 28 June 1752;
(3) Robert Apreece (c. 1677-1744) (q.v.);
(4) Henry Apreece (c.1681-1746) of March (Cambs), educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge (admitted 1700); died unmarried and left his entire estate to trustees for Jane, wife of John Symons of March; will proved 2 July 1746;
(5) Frances Apreece; married, c.1696, William Lee of Cold Ashby (Northants);

(6) Mary Apreece (d. 1711); buried at Lutton (Northants).
He inherited the Washingley estate from his father in 1644.
He died 25 February 1723 and was buried at Fulham (Middx). His wife was buried at Washingley, 4 February 1699/1700.

Apreece, Robert (c.1677-1744). Son of Robert Apreece (1638-1723) and his wife Frances, daughter and heir of Henry Bexwell of Bexwell (Norfolk), born about 1677. Educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge (admitted 1695). He married, c.1700 (licence 21 December 1700), Sarah (1672-1749), daughter and co-heiress of Sir Thomas Hussey (d. 1706), 2nd bt. of Honington (Lincs). In 1729 he prosecuted Sir Robert Henly bt. for adultery and was awarded £1500 damages, but this does not seem to have terminated the marriage. They had issue, perhaps with others who died young:
(1) Rhoda Apreece (1701-59), baptised 27 November 1701 at St Andrew, Holborn (London); she and her husband built Seaton Delaval Hall (Northumbld) and she inherited Doddington Hall (Lincs) from her mother in 1749; married, 6 August 1724, Capt. Francis Blake Delaval RN (1692-1752) of Seaton Delaval (Northumbld) and had issue eight sons and five daughters; died 9 August and was buried at Kensington, 17 August 1759;
(2) Thomas Hussey Apreece (c.1702-77) (q.v.);
(3) Robert Apreece (b. 1709), baptised 28 March 1709; died young.
He inherited the Washingley estate from his father in 1723. His wife was the longest surviving co-heiress of her father and inherited Doddington Hall (Lincs) and Honington Hall (Lincs). At her death in 1749 it passed to their daughter Rhoda and her husband.  They were probably responsible for remodelling Washingley Hall in the 1730s or 1740s.
He died 26 October 1744 and was buried at Honington (Lincs), 3 November 1744; his will was proved in the PCC, 17 January 1744/5. His widow died 23 April 1749 and she was buried at Honington where she is commemorated by a monument; her will was proved 5 May 1749.

Apreece, Thomas Hussey (c.1702-77).  Son of Robert Apreece (c.1677-1744) and his wife Sarah, daughter and co-heir of Sir Thomas Hussey, 2nd bt. of Honington (Lincs), born about 1700. Possibly the Thomas Apreece who became an ensign in the Grenadier Guards, 1723. Steward of Stilton (Hunts) races, 1736, 1738. He married, 1st, 1 December 1725 (div.), Amy, daughter of Stephen Scott; 2nd, 9 May 1739, Elizabeth Dover Enfield (d. 1740) of Whatley (Middx) and 3rd, 8 March 1741/2 at St James Piccadilly, Westminster (Middx), Dorothy (c.1719-84), daughter and co-heir of Sir Nathan Wright, 3rd bt. of Cranham Hall (Essex), and had issue:
(3.1) Sir Thomas Hussey Apreece (1744-1833), 1st bt. (q.v.);
(3.2) John Hussey Apreece (1747-1821) of Stilton (Hunts), baptised 27 April 1747; confined as a lunatic; died unmarried and without issue and was buried at Stilton, 11 July 1821; will proved 16 July 1821;
(3.3) Susanna Dorothy Apreece (1750-1828), born 15 December 1750 and baptised 13 January 1751; married, 28 June 1780 at St Anne Soho, London, John Coles of Wardour St., Soho, and had issue one son and four daughters;
(3.4) Charles Shaw Apreece (1753-1808) of Pentonville (Middx), baptised at Lutton, 4 September 1753; married 28 February 1808 at St George the Martyr, Southwark, Mary Hunt, by whom he had previously had four sons (two of whom were confined as lunatics) and one daughter; will proved 16 August 1808.
He lived at Whitley (Wilts) until he inherited the Washingley and Honington estates from his father in 1744 but seems thereafter to have lived mainly in London, where he had a house in Brook Street, Mayfair. His third wife brought him a dowry of £12,000 and in 1749 he inherited the bulk of the estate of Thomas Ball of Mamhead (Devon), who was a distant relation.
He died in September 1777. His second wife died in childbirth, 26 December 1740. His widow was buried 14 June 1784 at Norwood Green (Middx); her will was proved 19 June 1784.

Apreece, Sir Thomas Hussey (1744-1833), 1st bt. Son of Thomas Hussey Apreece (c.1702-77) and his wife Dorothy, daughter and co-heir of Sir Nathan Wright, bt, born 4 November and baptised 15 November 1744. In 1761 he attended Sir John Hussey Delaval as an esquire during his installation as a Knight of the Bath. As a young Capt. in the Huntingdonshire militia, he defended Alnwick (Northumberland) against the pirate Paul Jones during the American War of Independence. He later devised the plan for establishing county yeomanry forces during the Napoleonic War which was implemented by Pitt. He seems to have had a number of sporting interests, and in 1790 was one of the umpires (with the Duke of Hamilton) at a famous boxing match in Doncaster. After his death he was said to have been one of the Prince of Wales' Carlton House set. He was created a baronet, 4 June 1782, and in the 1820s unsuccessfully claimed the barony of Havering, which probably never existed. He married, 15 April 1771, Dorothea (1750-1822), youngest daughter and co-heir of Shuckburgh Ashby of Quenby Hall (Leics); they were separated from about 1774 but meeting accidentally at an inn at Oakham (Rutland) were reconciled for one night and parted forever the following morning; this accounts for the great difference in the ages of their children. They had issue:
(1) Amelia Apreece (1772-1858?), born 15 November and baptised 18 December 1772; married 1st, 1 September 1801 at St Luke, Chelsea (Middx), Sandford Peacock, younger son of Marmaduke Peacock; married 2nd, 15 August 1850 at Kennington (Surrey), William Henry Freeman (b. c.1786); probably the Amelia Freeman who died Oct-Dec 1858; left a legacy of £10,000 to Leicester Infirmary to build a new wing for pauper patients in memory of her mother;
(2) Shuckburgh Ashby Apreece (1773-1807), born 17 December 1773; educated at Harrow and Trinity Hall, Cambridge (admitted 1791); ensign of the Yeomen of the Guard, 1796-c.1804; after his marriage he restored and occupied Washingley Hall; married, September 1798/3 October 1799, Jane, daughter and heiress of Charles Kerr (who married 2nd, 11 April 1812, Sir Humphry Davy, 1st bt. (1780-1855)) but had no issue; died at Malvern (Worcs), 6 October 1807; will proved in PCC, 13 February 1808;
(3) Sir Thomas George Apreece (1791-1842), 2nd bt. (q.v.).
He also had issue by Sophia [surname unknown]:
(X1.1) Thomas William Adelard Hussey Apreece (b. 1785), baptised 14 February 1785; married and had issue; living at Calais in 1830;
(X1.2) Charles Apreece; married but died without issue.
He also had issue by Louisa Venmore:
(X2.1) Lucy Apreece (1796-1868), born 31 January 1796 and baptised 9 February 1803; married, 24 February 1817 at St George's Hanover Square, London, Lt-Col. Hildebrand Meredith Parratt (c.1790-1868) of Royal Horse Artillery and had issue; died 28 August and was buried at Effingham, 2 September 1868.
He inherited the Washingley and Honington estates from his father in 1777 and Cranham Hall (Essex) in 1787 from his mother's aunt, but seems to have lived mostly in London. In 1813 he bought Effingham House (Surrrey) with 16 acres for £2,700, and in 1832 he purchased the manor of Effingham. At his death he left his Effingham property to his mistress, Louisa Venmore and their daughter, Lucy Parratt.
He died at Effingham House, 27 May 1833; his will was proved in PCC, 24 June 1833. His wife died 26 December 1822; her will was proved 19 February 1823.

Apreece, Sir Thomas George (1791-1842), 2nd bt. Younger but only surviving son of Sir Thomas Hussey Apreece (1744-1833), 1st bt., and his wife Dorothea, daughter of Shuckburgh Ashby of Quenby (Leics), born 17 August and baptised 29 August 1791 at St Marylebone (Middx). High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, 1818-19. He succeeded his father as 2nd bt., 27 May 1833 and sold the library at Washingley Hall.  He was apparently known popularly as "the mad baronet" but was described after his death as a man "of great eccentricity although by no means deficient in understanding", whose "eccentricities... excited so much attention and regret". He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Washingley and Honington estates from his father in 1833. At his death they were left to St. George's Hospital, London. His will was contested by relations on the grounds that he was of unsound mind but was eventually upheld; Honington was sold in 1851 and Washingley in 1859.
He committed suicide at Margate (Kent), 30 December 1842 and on his death the baronetcy became extinct; his will was proved in PCC, 29 November 1849.

Rev. W. Betham, The Baronetage of England, 1804, iv, pp. 115-117; G.E. Cokayne, Complete Baronetage, vol. 5, 1906, pp. 223-24; Fr. B. Camm, Forgotten Shrines, 1910, pp. 327-32; H. Thorold, Lincolnshire houses, 1999, p. 152; B. Bailey, Sir N. Pevsner & B. Cherry, The buildings of England: Northamptonshire, 2013, p. 403; C. O'Brien & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire and Peterborough,2014, p. 484;;

Location of archives
Apreece family of Washingley: deeds, family, trust and legal papers, 13th-19th cents [Northamptonshire Record Office WY; Acc. 1930/5); deeds, household and legal papers, 1796-1933 [Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland DE2687]

Coat of arms
Sable, three spears' heads argent, guttée de sang.

This account was first published 11 February 2015 and was updated 14 February 2015 and 19 November 2022.