Monday 19 December 2016

(244) Atthill of Brandiston Hall

Atthill of Brandiston
Burke's Landed Gentry traces the descent of this family from one Richard Atthill, who is claimed to have been a captain in the Royalist army during the Civil War, and whose marriage to a Miss Petersen of Aylsham (Norfk) is said to have brought the Brandiston Hall estate to his descendants around 1700. This seems to be a fictitious history, designed to extend the gentility of the family back to the Civil War, and historical records tell a rather different story, beginning with the birth of Anthony Atthill at Cawston in 1652, to Anthony and Margaret Atthill. At this time, the family seem to have been yeomen farmers at Cawston. Anthony Atthill (1652-1711) married and produced a son, Anthony Atthill (1686-1760). The younger Anthony married Mary Rodham of Whitwell (Norfk), and their ten children were all baptised at Cawston, but Anthony did later move to Brandiston. The parish registers suggest, but do not prove, that the Landed Gentry is right to assert that Anthony had a brother, John, who inherited some of the family's property at Cawston, but one of Anthony's sons was a farmer there too, so the Cawston property was probably divided between the brothers. Anthony Atthill (1686-1760) had five sons, of whom four survived to adulthood. The eldest, Anthony Atthill (1714-58), was a merchant in Norwich; Lombe Atthill (1717-73) was the farmer at Cawston; John Atthill (b. 1722) joined the Navy and died at sea; and the youngest, Rev. William Atthill (1725-90) went to Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge and became a clergyman. 

Anthony Atthill (1686-1760) having outlived his eldest son, his property passed at his death to his grandson, Anthony John Atthill (1750-78), who was apprenticed to a mercer and draper - probably his father's trade - but on coming of age settled down to farm at Brandiston. He died young, leaving an only son who was just four years of age, but who grew up to become the Rev. William Atthill (1774-1847). William was obviously a bright lad. He was sent to Cambridge, where he won a scholarship and emerged second wrangler in the final examinations, and was then ordained. He was briefly a Fellow of Caius, but in 1798 went to Ireland as chaplain to Dr. John Porter, the Bishop of Clogher, whose wife was a first cousin once removed of young William. Bishop Porter appointed him to a comfortable living in his diocese as vicar and prebendary of Donacavey in co. Tyrone, and William settled there for the rest of his life, living at Ardess House, Kesh.
Ardess House, Kesh: the home of Rev. William Atthill (1774-1847)
Although William owed his living to family patronage he seems to have been an industrious and effective clergyman and in the 1840s he produced two works on the catechism which were frequently reprinted. In 1805 William married a daughter of the Dean of Leighlin, and they went on to have eight sons and three daughters, all but one of whom lived to maturity, and in whom the industry and intellectual ability of the father can be clearly discerned. Two of the sons became clergymen; two were surgeons; two were lawyers and one became a land agent; the highest achievers were John Grey Porter Atthill (1812-87), who spent much of his life in St. Lucia, where he was Chief Justice until his retirement in about 1869, and Dr. Lombe Atthill, who as Master of the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin pioneered a variety of gynaecological techniques that saved many lives. William's heir, however, was his eldest son, the Rev. William Atthill (1807-84), who was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and ordained in Ireland, but around 1835 moved back to Norfolk as a curate. From 1839-51 he was attached to the collegiate church at Middleham (Yorks NR), but after inheriting the family's Brandiston estate in 1847 he looked for a parish in Norfolk, and in 1851 was appointed to Horsham St Faith and Horsford, which he served until 1863. He seems then to have retired from the ministry, although he took on local curacies at times in the 1870s and 1880s. The house at Brandiston was remodelled in 1875, presumably for the use of William's daughter, Jane Catherine, and her husband, John Osborn Daintree, who were resident there in 1879, although William himself seems to have been occupying the house in his last years.

The Rev. William Atthill (1807-84) had two sons, both soldiers, who died young; he was therefore succeeded by his grandson, William Atthill (1860-1938), who as a young man went to Ireland to assist his great-uncle with the management of estates in co. Fermanagh. He inherited Brandiston at the age of 24 and seems quickly to have decided that in late 19th century conditions the modest family estate would not support him.  After his grandmother died in 1886, he let the estate as a 'health resort for young ladies' for a few years, but in about 1890 he sold it to Arthur Pedder, and was admitted to Downing College, Cambridge. After taking his degree in 1896 he became a schoolmaster in suburban London, where he raised a family of two sons and four daughters. His elder son followed him into teaching, but his career was blighted by a conviction for embezzlement in the 1920s; the younger became a Roman Catholic priest, no doubt causing his staunchly Protestant Anglo-Irish forbears to spin in their graves. His eldest daughter was an early example of an independent professional woman, becoming a midwife and district nurse; she never married, perhaps being one of the 'surplus women' whose potential husbands were slaughtered in Flanders.

Brandiston Hall, Norfolk

A gabled, red brick, double-pile house consisting of two parallel ranges running east-west, with a wing projecting at the north-west angle. The house is dated 1647 by tie-irons on the east gable of the rear range but is probably largely of about 1600. What may date from the mid 17th century are the shaped gables of the south front, although in their present form they were rebuilt in the 19th century. 

Brandiston Hall: entrance front in 1969. Image: N.A. Hallett.

The house was indeed extensively remodelled and enlarged in 1875 for the Rev. William Atthill, and it is likely that most of the details of the south front - the crenellated parapets on the projecting bays and porch, the pinnacles between the gables, and the Gothic window glazing, date from this period, as do the shaped gables and rusticated quoins of the rear wing. Before 1860 a series of eight late 15th century Norwich school stained glass roundels of the Labours of the Months were imported into the house, but these were sold in the 1980s when the house was sold and have since been split up: four of them are in the Castle Museum in Norwich, two at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and two in a private collection.

Descent: Anthony Atthill (1686-1760); to grandson, Anthony John Atthill (1750-78); to son, Rev. William Atthill (1774-1847); to son, Rev. William Atthill (1807-84); to grandson, William Atthill (1860-1938), who sold c.1889-90 to Arthur Edward Pedder (b. 1841); leased after 1905 to Rev. Charles Kent and Capt. Champion; sold c.1910 to Rev. John Riley Mee (1848-1921); to son, Capt. John Theodore Martin Mee (d. 1950); sold to Ben and Lynette Rust; sold c.1958...

Atthill family of Brandiston Hall

Atthill, Anthony (1652-1711). Son of Anthony Atthill of Cawston (Norfk) and his wife Margaret, baptised at Cawston, 1652. Yeoman farmer at Cawston. He married Mary [surname unknown] and had issue including:
(1) Ann Atthill (1684-1710), baptised at Cawston, 12 June 1684; died unmarried and was buried at Cawston, 5 October 1710;
(2) Anthony Lombe Atthill (1686-1760) (q.v.);
(3) John Atthill; married 22 April 1707 at Cawston, Elizabeth Westmore, ancestor of the Atthills of Cawston;
(4) Margaret Atthill (b. 1689), baptised at Cawston, 13 June 1689.
He lived at Cawston.
He was buried at Cawston, 2 September 1711. 

Atthill, Anthony (1686-1760). Elder son of Anthony Atthill (1652-1711) and his wife Mary, baptised at Cawston, 12 December 1686. He married, 7 October 1712 at Salle (Norfolk), Mary (1689-1767), daughter of John Rodham of Whitwell (Norfk), and had issue:
(1) Edward Atthill (1713-14), baptised at Cawston, 24 August 1713; died in infancy, 1714;
(2) Anthony Atthill (1714-58) (q.v.);
(3) Jane Atthill (b. & d. 1716), baptised at Cawston, 19 November 1716; died in infancy and was buried at Cawston, 23 November 1716;
(4) Lombe Atthill (1717-73), baptised at Cawston, 19 November 1717; farmer at Cawston; married Elizabeth Johnson and had issue four sons and three daughters; buried at Cawston, 3 May 1773; administration of goods granted, 1773;
(5) Mary Atthill (b. 1720), baptised at Cawston, 30 March 1720; married, 27 September 1741 at Brandiston, James Petersen of Great Witchingham (Norfk); 
(6) John Atthill (b. 1722), baptised at Cawston, 24 June 1722; served in Royal Navy; died unmarried at sea;
(7) Rev. Edward Atthill (1725-90), baptised at Cawston, 25 April 1725; educated at Norwich and Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (admitted 1743; BA 1746/7; MA 1750); ordained deacon, 1747 and priest, 1749; Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, 1750-66; vicar of Corpusty (Norfk), 1760-90 and rector of Sparham & Foxley (Norfk), 1763-90; died unmarried, 5 October 1790 and was buried at Sparham, where he is commemorated by a monument; will proved at Norwich, 1790;
(8) Anna Atthill (1727-34), baptised at Cawston, 7 March 1726/7; died young and was buried at Cawston, 20 April 1734;
(9) Elizabeth Atthill (1730-42?), baptised at Cawston, 8 November 1730; perhaps died young and was buried at St Stephen, Norwich, 8 January 1741/2;
(10) Margaret Atthill (1733-1804), baptised at Cawston, 10 May 1733; married, 25 April 1756 at Lamas with Little Hautbois (Norfk), Joseph Smith (d. 1761) of Coltishall (Norfk) and had issue one son (Joseph (d. 1822), who became confidential secretary to William Pitt and the owner of Shortgrove Hall (Essex)) and three daughters (including Mary (1760-1830) who married Rt. Rev. John Porter (1750-1819), bishop of Clogher); after her husband died she is said to have moved to Cambridge to keep house for her brother-in-law, Professor John Smith (1711-95), who was Master of Gonville & Caius College; died 8 January and was buried at St Michael, Cambridge, 13 January 1804, where she is commemorated on a ledger stone.
He lived at Cawston and later at Brandiston, which he may have inherited through his or his father's marriage.
He died 1 February 1760 and was buried at Brandiston, where he is commemorated by a ledger stone; his will was proved at Norwich, 1760. His widow was buried at Brandiston, 17 March 1767.

Atthill, Anthony (1714-58). Second son of Anthony Atthill (1685-1760) and his wife Mary Rodham, baptised at Cawston, 5 September 1714. He married, 3 December 1739 at St Mary in the Marsh, Norwich, Mary (c.1719-67), daughter of Charles Wetherall, and had issue:
(1) Anthony Atthill (b. & d. 1741), baptised at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich, 11 February 1740/1; died in infancy and was buried at St Saviour, Norwich, 28 February 1740/1;
(2) Mary Atthill (b. 1743), born 25 October and baptised at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich, 30 October 1743; married [forename unknown] Bond of Middlesex.
(3) Anthony William Atthill (b. & d. 1745), baptised at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich, 23 April 1745; died in infancy and was buried at St Saviour, Norwich, 21 May 1745;
(4) Anthony John Atthill (1750-78) (q.v.);
(5) Dr. William Atthill (b. 1752), born 18 November and baptised at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich, 20 November 1752; perhaps educated on the continent; doctor of medicine; lived at 'Spottisham Hall' [unidentified] (Norfk); died unmarried;
(6) Jermy Atthill (b. 1754), baptised at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich, 13 September 1754; perhaps the person of this name who was apprenticed to William Cockerham of Hingham (Norfk), mercer, 1771; moved to London after completing his articles and was a prisoner in Kings Bench prison, 1778; said to have later been an officer in the East India Company's service; died unmarried, abroad.
He died in the lifetime of his father, 3 November 1758. and was buried at Brandiston, 6 November 1758, where he and his wife are commemorated by a ledger stone. His widow died 13 March 1767.

Atthill, Anthony John (1750-78). Eldest surviving son of Anthony Atthill (1714-58) and his wife Mary, daughter of Charles Wetherall, born 24 October and baptised at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich, 25 October 1750. Apprenticed to John Smith of Yarmouth, mercer and draper, 1765. Farmer at Brandiston. He married, 14 November 1771 at Brandiston, Sarah Howlett, and had issue:
(1) Martha Atthill (1772-1867), baptised at Brandiston, 4 February 1772; died unmarried aged 95 and was buried at Brandiston, 15 October 1867.
(2) Rev. William Atthill (1774-1847) (q.v.).
He inherited Brandiston Hall from his grandfather in 1760.
He died in 1778; his will was proved at Norwich, 14 February 1778. His widow married 2nd, 25 October 1779 at Brandiston, William Riches of Cawston (Norfk) and had further issue; her date of death has not been traced.

Atthill, Rev. William (1774-1847). Only son of Anthony John Atthill (1750-80) and his wife Sarah Howlett of Marcham, baptised at Brandiston, 17 April 1774. Educated at Kirkheaton (Yorks) and Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (admitted, 1790; scholar, 1791-97; BA 1795 (second wrangler); MA 1798). Ordained deacon, 1797 and priest, 1798. Fellow of Gonville & Caius College, 1797-1800. Curate of Fen Ditton (Cambs), 1797-98; chaplain to Dr. Porter, Bishop of Clogher, 1798-1804; Rector and Prebendary of Donacavey alias Fintona (Tyrone) in the diocese of Clogher, 1798-1847; vicar of Magheraculmony (Fermanagh), 1818-47. Author of The way of catechising, 1840 and The Church Catechism with scriptural references, 1841. He married, 1 April 1805, Henrietta Margaret Eyre (c.1786-1864), eldest daughter of Very Rev. George Maunsell DD, Dean of Leighlin, and had issue:
(1) Rev. William (Lombe) Atthill (1807-84) (q.v.);
(2) Robert Atthill (1810-39)*, born 9 February 1810; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1826; BA 1831); Licentiate of Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, 1831; JP for Tyrone, 1832; staff asst surgeon to the forces, 1837-39; died, probably unmarried, in Jamaica, 16 May 1839; 
(3) Rev. Richard Atthill (1811-70), born 11 August 1811; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1827; BA 1832); ordained deacon by 1838; curate of Newmarket, Upper Canada, 1838 and Cloonclare alias Manorhamilton (Leitrim), c.1840-41; ordained priest, 1841; chaplain to Earl of Bantry, 1841; curate of Oldham (Lancs), 1842-44, reader and curate of Holy Trinity, Hull (Yorks ER), 1844-51; canon of Middleham collegiate church, 1851-57; vicar of Somerton (Somerset), 1857-66 and rector of Clenchwarton (Norfk), 1866-70; bankrupted, 1868, owing £6,632 (discharged, 1868); married, 3 December 1844 at Eccles (Lancs), Martha (c.1821-1910), eldest daughter and co-heir of Robert Cookson of Ellery (Westmld), and had issue six children; was accused, but found innocent, of fathering an illegitimate child, 1848, and was the victim of attempted murder by a lunatic, 1850; died at Wichenford (Worcs), 21 October 1870;
(4) John Grey Porter Atthill (1812-87), born 31 December 1812; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1829; BA 1835) and Kings Inn, Dublin (admitted 1832; called to Irish bar 1836); barrister-at-law on the Munster circuit, 1836-44; Attorney General of St Lucia, 1844-50 (suspended for five months on accusations of libel, 1847); Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of St. Lucia, 1850-59; Chief Justice of St. Lucia, 1859-c.1869; married, 15 September 1840 at Dingle, Veronica Montgomery, daughter of John H. Blennerhassett of Ballyseedy (Limerick), and had issue one son and four daughters (the eldest of whom, Veronica, married Capt. William Russworm); died at Lancing (Sussex), 3 September and was buried at Brandiston, 6 September 1887; administration of goods granted to his daughter, 28 April 1891 (effects £85);
(5) Henrietta Elizabeth Atthill (c.1816-84); married, 19 December 1838 at Magheraculmony (Fermanagh), Rev. Richard Stainforth MA (1804-85), vicar of Pontefract (Yorks WR), 1833-65 and rector of Wheldrake (Yorks), 1865-73, and had issue one son and five daughters; died at Torquay, Oct-Dec 1884;
(6) Edward Eyre Atthill (1818-93) of Ardvarney House (Fermanagh); agent to Clonelly estate (Fermanagh); JP for Fermanagh and Tyrone; member of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 1878-93; married, 1847, Jane (1822-1903), eldest daughter of Lowther Brien of Ardvarney (Fermanagh), and had issue two sons and six daughters; died at Ardvarney, 24 November 1893; administration of his goods granted 30 March 1894 (effects £100);
(7) Emily Atthill (c.1821-89), born about 1821; married, 8 February 1843 at Middleham, Joseph Jones JP DL (d. 1880) of Oldham (Lancs) and later of Abberley Hall (Worcs), and had issue one son (who died young); died Jan-Mar 1889;
(8) Jemima Grace Atthill (1823-94), born 11 January 1823; married, 13 June 1842 at Templemahera, Rev. Howard Boyle St. George (1812-96), eldest son of Rev. Richard Q. St. George, and had issue; emigrated to America with her husband c.1876; died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA), 26 January 1894 and was buried in Forest Home Cemetery, Milwaukee;
(9) Henry Maunsell Atthill (1825-79), born 16 February 1825; educated at Maidstone Grammar School (Kent), Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1841) and Kings Inns, Dublin (admitted 1842); assistant to Crown Solicitor on North-West Circuit in Ireland, c.1847-53; Superintendent and Deputy Chief Constable of Norfolk Police, 1853-c.1875; married, 2 August 1860 at Coltishall (Norfk), Elizabeth (c.1837-72), daughter of John Fuller of Coltishall, baker, and had issue one son and one daughter; died on Guernsey, 15 March 1879;
(10) Dr. Lombe Atthill (1827-1910), born 3 December 1827; educated at Enniskillen and Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1844; BA 1849; MB 1849; MD 1865); apprenticed to Maurice Colles, surgeon, 1844; licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, 1847; obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, 1851-96 (Master, 1875-96); retired from practice, 1898; Fellow of Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, 1860-1910 (President, 1888); President of the Dublin Obstetrical Society, 1874-76; President of Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, 1900-03; married 1st, 2 April 1850 at St Peter, Dublin, Elizabeth (d. 1870), fourth daughter of James Dudgeon of Dublin and had issue one son and nine daughters; married 2nd, 1872, Mary, daughter of Robert Christie of Manchester, and widow of John Duffey of Dublin, but had no further issue; died suddenly 'while counting his change on the platform of Strood railway station in Kent', 14 September 1910, and was buried at Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin, 17 September 1910; his Recollections of an Irish doctor were published posthumously, 1911; will proved in Ireland, 29 December 1910 and sealed in England and Scotland (estate £61,458);
(11) Frederick Emmanuel Atthill (b. 1830), baptised at Ardess (Fermanagh), 20 April 1830; probably died young.
He inherited Brandiston Hall from his father in 1780 and came of age in 1794, but moved to Ireland in 1798 to become chaplain to the Bishop of Clogher and made his home at Ardess (Fermanagh).
He died at the house of his son Richard in Hull, 7 March and was buried at Brandiston, 11 March 1847; his will was proved in the PCC, 8 June 1847. His widow died in Dublin, 18 October, and was buried at Brandiston, 24 October 1864.
* He needs to be carefully distinguished from Robert Atthill (1793-1870) of Ipswich, surgeon, who married Susan Chapman in 1834.

Atthill, Rev. William (Lombe) (1807-84). Eldest son of Rev. William Atthill (1774-1847) and his wife Henrietta Eyre, daughter of Very Rev. George Maunsell DD, Dean of Leighlin, born at Fintona (Tyrone), 11 July 1807. Educated at Wakefield, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (admitted 1825 as 'William Thomas') and Trinity College, Dublin (migrated 1826; BA 1830; MA 1856). Ordained deacon, 1830 and priest, 1832. He held curacies at Magheraculmoney (Fermanagh), 1834-35, and at various parishes in Norfolk, 1835-39; Sub-Dean and Canon of the Collegiate Church of Middleham (Yorks), 1839-51; Rector of Horsham St Faith and Horsford (Norfk), 1851-63; curate of Saxthorpe and Corpusty (Norfk), 1872-77; curate of Wicklewood (Norfk), 1877-78; curate of Knapton (Norfk), 1881-84. Author of History and Antiquities of the Collegiate Church of Middleham, 1847, and of articles in Burke's Historic Lands of England, 1849He married 1st, 14 December 1835 at Hackford (Norfk), Sarah Bircham (1796-1837), daughter of Guy Lloyd of Croghan House (Roscommon) and Hackford Vale; 2nd, 12 March 1840 at Middleham, Catherine Elizabeth (1809-44), daughter of Christopher Topham of Middleham Hall; 3rd, 8 June 1847 at Walmer (Kent), Caroline Amelia (1799-1848), only daughter of Capt. John Halsted RN; and 4th, 5 July 1849 at Elsing Grove (Hants), Dorothea (c.1798-1886), daughter of Robert Radclyffe of Foxdenton Hall (Lancs), and had issue:
(1.1) William Atthill (1836-73) (q.v.);
(2.1) Capt. Robert Christopher Topham Atthill (1841-67), born 13 September and baptised at Thornton Watlass (Yorks), 10 October 1841; an officer in the army (Ensign, 1858; Lt., 1861; Capt., 1866; retired, 1867); drowned in his yacht when he collided with the SS Princess Royal while sailing up the River Clyde without lights, 10 September 1867; his body was never recovered; administration of his goods granted to his father, 17 February 1868 (effects under £100);
(2.2) Jane Catherine Atthill (1844-1919), born 1844; married, 7 August 1872 at Polstead (Suffk), John Osborn Daintree of Lolworth Grange (Cambs) and occupied Brandiston Hall for a time after it was remodelled in 1875; died 3 July 1919; will proved 1 November 1919 (estate £47).
He inherited Brandiston Hall from his father in 1847 and remodelled it in 1875.
He died 11 December and was buried at Brandiston, 15 December 1884; his will was proved 5 March 1885 (effects £4,588). His first wife was buried 27 February 1837; administration of her goods was granted to her husband, 1839. His second wife died at Middleham, 19 October 1844. His third wife died 2 July 1848 and was buried at Middleham. His widow died at Brandiston Hall, 13 May and was buried at Brandiston, 18 May 1886.

Atthill, Capt. William (1836-73). Only son of Rev. William Atthill (1806-84) and his first wife Sarah Bircham, daughter of Guy Lloyd of Croghan House (Roscommon), baptised at Brandiston, 2 December 1836. Educated at Bromsgrove Grammar School. He was an officer in the 89th Foot (Ensign, 1857; Lt., 1860; retired 1864) and adjutant of 31st Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers (Capt., 1865). He married, October 1858 at Queenstown (Dublin), Sarah Anne (c.1840-1922), daughter of Joseph Wheeler of Rushbrooke (Co. Cork) and had issue:
(1) William Atthill (1860-1938) (q.v.);
(2) Lillian Kate Atthill (1864-1950), born 26 October 1864; as a young woman she was a performer in amateur dramatics and keen tennis player; married, 13 October 1891 at Rushbrooke (Cork), Edward Henry Meaden MD (1864-1943), surgeon in Royal Navy, son of Martin Meaden, gent., and had issue one daughter; died 29 July 1950; will proved 9 October 1950 (estate £5,690);
(3) Florence Atthill (1866-1959), born at Blythswood (Lanarks), 26 April 1866; married, 24 March 1890 at St Marylebone (Middx), Lt-Col. Henry Waring (1863-1940), of Lisnacree House (Down), only son of Capt. Thomas Holt Waring of Nenagh (Tipperary), and had issue one daughter; died aged 93 at Lisnacree, 24 June 1959; will proved 14 January 1960 (estate in Northern Ireland, £3,200);
(4) Dora Atthill (1867-69), born at Anderston (Lanarks), 16 July 1867; died in infancy, 20 May 1869;
(5) Howard Atthill (b. & d. 1868), born at Govan, Glasgow (Lanarks), 2 November 1868; died in infancy, 5 December 1868;
(6) Amy Frances St. George Atthill (1870-1956), born at Govan, Glasgow (Lanarks), 27 July 1870; lived with her younger sister and her husband; died unmarried, 28 February 1956; will proved 18 April 1956 (estate £3,699);
(7) Kathleen Lloyd Atthill (1872-1962), born at Queenstown (Dublin), 3/4 March 1872; married, 18 April 1901 in Dublin and again, 14 October 1901 at Rushbrooke (Cork), Arthur Hugh Colquhoun (1877-1944), son of David Colquhoun QC, judge, and had issue; died aged 90 at The Firs, Munstead (Surrey), 26 March 1962; will proved 25 June 1962 (estate £30,131).
He died at Glasgow in the lifetime of his father, 30 March 1873, and was buried at Brandiston, 3 April 1873. His widow was buried at Greenwich, 2 October 1922.

Atthill, William (1860-1938). Only son of William Atthill (1837-73) and his wife Sarah, daughter of Joseph Wheeler of Rushbrook (Co. Cork), born in the East Indies, 3 October 1860. In the 1880s he assisted his great-uncle Edward in the management of the Clonelly estate (Fermanagh). Educated at Downing College, Cambridge (admitted 1890; BA 1896). Schoolmaster and proprietor of St. Peter's School, Glenton Rd., Lee, Kent in 1911. He married, 14 December 1884 at Brandiston, his second cousin, Veronica (1862-1955), elder daughter of Capt. W.J. Russworm of 3rd West India Regiment, and had issue:
(1) Guy Du Sautoy (aka George) Atthill (1885-1947), born prematurely, 8 September and was baptised at Brandeston, 11 October 1885; assistant schoolmaster at Dorchester Secondary School (Dorset) by 1911; served in First World War as an officer in 9th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment (Lt., 1911; Capt., 1913; Maj.; wounded; retired on ill-health grounds); Superintendent of the Purbrook Industrial School, 1923-24, when he was convicted of embezzlement from school funds and sent to prison for nine months; bankrupted, 1925; married, Jul-Sept 1907, Mary Turner, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 28 October 1947; will proved 28 November 1947 (estate £824);
(2) Very Rev. Canon John Alexander Atthill (1887-1963), born 1 January 1887; educated at Emmanuel School, London; schoolmaster at St Michael's School, Hitchin (Herts); ordained as a RC priest, 1911; taught at Winooski, Vermont (USA) until 1917, when he returned to England to serve as a Chaplain to the Forces in East Africa; Headmaster of St Michael's School, 1918-25; attached to RC cathedral at Nottingham, 1925; curate at Derby, 1926; rector of Melbourne (Derbys) and later of Oldcotes near Worksop (Notts), 1927-63; dean of Worksop; died 5 June 1963; will proved 4 September 1963 (estate £1,145);
(3) Rosamond Eyre Atthill (b. 1888), born 16 April and baptised at Brandiston, 5 May 1888; district nurse and midwife at Bramcote and later Chilwell (Notts), 1911-after 1935; may have retired to Scilly Isles;
(4) Vera Herbert Atthill (b. & d. 1891), born January 1891; died in infancy and was buried at Brandiston, 25 May 1891;
(5) Cicely Lloyd Atthill (1895-1968), born Apr-June 1895; educated at Ballymakeely, Celbridge (Kildare); married [forename unknown] Pearson; died 14 January 1968; will proved 12 February 1968 (estate £897);
(6) Phyllis Blennerhassett Atthill (1898-1985), born 23 December 1898 and baptised at Tooting Graveney (London), 26 February 1899; married [forename unknown] Manning; died 22 April 1985 and was buried at Ipswich Cemetery; will proved 16 May 1985 (estate under £40,000).
He inherited Brandiston Hall from his grandfather in 1884, but sold it c.1890.
He died suddenly, 27 March 1938. His widow died aged 93 in 1955 and was buried in Ipswich Cemetery.


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1850, i, p. 37; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1925, p. 48; Sir N. Pevsner & B. Wilson, The buildings of England: Norfolk - Norwich and North-East, 2nd edn., 1997, p. 412; J.B. Leslie et al., Clergy of Clogher, 2006, pp. 76, 281.

Location of archives

No significant accumulation is known to survive.

Coat of arms

Argent, on a chevron gules, three crescents or.

Can you help?

Here are a few notes about information and images which would help to improve the account above. If you can help with any of these or with other additions or corrections, please use the contact form in the sidebar to get in touch.

  • Can anyone provide more information about the 17th century origins of this family, and in particular about how they acquired the Brandiston estate, if not (as implied by Burke's Landed Gentry) through intermarriage with the Petersen family? For whom was the 17th century Brandiston Hall built?
  • Can anyone provide information about the ownership of Brandiston Hall since the mid 20th century?
  • Does anyone have portraits or photographs of members of this family whose names appear in bold in the account above?

Sunday 11 December 2016

(243) Attenborough of Catesby

George Attenborough (1755-1826) was a successful yeoman farmer and grazier at Braybrooke (Northants), who by the time of his death was a large enough landowner to style himself 'gentleman' in his will. He left three sons: George Attenborough (1791-1829), who established himself as a farmer and grazier at Blakesley (Northants); James Attenborough (1795-1869), who did the same at Brampton Ash (Northants); and Robert Attenborough (1796-1853), who inherited his father's lands at Braybrooke. Robert was unmarried and lived with his spinster sister Ann, who acted as his housekeeper. When he died, he made provision for his sister and divided the rest of his property between his two brothers and their descendants. James Attenborough (1795-1869) married and produced three sons and three daughters, but in the space of two years between 1848 and 1850 he lost his wife and five of his six children, and his last surviving daughter died in 1858. James had purchased the Catesby Priory estate close to the Warwickshire border in 1847, almost certainly to provide additional land for his sons to inherit. At first he may have had no thought of replacing the rambling old manor house which had been converted from the claustral buildings of a medieval nunnery, but despite the elimination of his family, this had become his intention by 1859. In that year he sought the advice of the Northamptonshire Archaeological Society about whether any part of the old building was worth preserving for its historical or architectural interest, and it is interesting that following a visit to the site the only features which the Secretary of the society recommended should be saved were a medieval piscina and some other carved details from the priory church which had been reused in the 17th century chapel of the house. A new church was built on the site of the old chapel incorporating these elements, but the rest of the house was destroyed and replaced by a new neo-Tudor mansion constructed on a terrace overlooking the shallow valley containing the site of the old house, in which some woodwork from the old house was reused.

The third brother, George Attenborough (1791-1829), who farmed at Blakesley, had died young and left his wife Betsey with seven children and another on the way. Betsey quickly married again, and produced a further family with her second husband Charles Mountfort. They remained at Blakesley until about 1840, when the Attenborough property there was sold to the Duke of Grafton, but there is some evidence that her second husband did not make a welcoming home for his stepchildren. The daughters as well as the sons were sent to boarding schools, and the two eldest sons sought better prospects in London at the earliest possible time, being made free of the spectacle-makers company in 1844. By 1850 the third son was regarded as a ne'er-do-well, whose 'habits and character' were in need of reform, and the youngest son was apprenticed to a grocer in Oxford and then in 1853 emigrated to Australia with his eldest sister. The two eldest sons, George Attenborough (1820-92) and Richard Attenborough (1822-91) set up in business together as pawnbrokers, silversmiths and jewellers. They were no doubt encouraged by the example of their distant cousins, from a branch of the family based at Titchmarsh (Northants), who had established a successful pawnbroking business in the East End of London in the early 19th century.

The brothers' partnership did not last long, and while George developed the original business at 204 Fleet Street (moved to 193 Fleet St in the 1880s), which was as much a pawnbrokers as a silversmiths, Richard moved to fashionable Piccadilly and concentrated more on the jewellery end of the business. He exhibited successfully at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and again at the International Exhibition in 1862, and in 1870 rebuilt 33-35 Piccadilly as a new showroom. But in 1874 he retired from the business and put his capital to work in business sectors which he did not understand so well, in particular in a South Wales coal mine which proved an unwise speculation, and in iron ore mining in his home county. By 1885 he was in financial difficulties, and although he does not appear to have been bankrupted, most of his assets were lost and he left only a small estate at his death.

George Attenborough (1820-92) fared much better. In about 1873 he handed over control of the Fleet Street firm to his son, Henry Arthur Attenborough (1848-1930), who had been trained up in the business, and retired to the estate at Catesby, which his uncle James had bequeathed to him in 1869. At his death, he left an estate worth over £320,000 (the equivalent of some £415m in 2016). The Catesby estate was left to his son, Henry, who extended the house shortly after gaining possession. After 1897 he in turn handed over the Fleet Street business to his son, George Attenborough (1876-1949), who had been educated at Rugby and Oxford, and who developed the jewellery side of the business at the expense of the pawnbroking. George served in the First World War with the Royal Army Service Corps, but returned to the firm afterwards and continued to work until his son, Henry George Attenborough (1904-90) took on the business in about 1930. That was also the year when George inherited Catesby House from his father, and he lived there until shortly before his death in 1949 when it was put on the market. In the post-war climate, a large and remote Victorian house, even one in good condition, was hard to sell, and by 1951 the house had several times failed to find a buyer at auction and was under threat of demolition. Daventry Rural District Council was asked for a demolition licence but dragged its feet, neither wanting to see the wanton destruction of a sound building when housing was at a premium, nor to lose the income from the rates. At the last minute, one of the members of the Council who was also a property developer, came forward to purchase it, and the house was saved from the fate of so many others.  The family jewellery business, now George Attenborough & Sons, continues to trade at 193 Fleet Street.

Catesby House, Northamptonshire
Lower Catesby was the site of a small Cistercian nunnery founded in about 1175 and dissolved in 1536. After the dissolution, the site was bought by John Onley (d. 1537), who was the first solicitor to the Court of Augmentations, which was responsible for managing and disposing of ex-monastic property. He paid £400 for it and also gave in part-exchange an estate at Bishops Castle (Shropshire) which he had acquired in 1535. His son, Edward Onley (d. 1582) demolished the church, except for a fragment at the east end, and converted the east, west and south ranges of the cloister to domestic use, adding a small extension (containing the Great Chamber) which was called 'the new building' in 1585; it is thought this stood at the angle of the south and west ranges. 

Catesby Priory: an engraving of the house from the south, published in 1864.

There is limited evidence for how the house was arranged in the 16th century, but the plan suggests that, as at Delapre Abbey, there was no great hall. A long gallery, some sixty feet long, was created in the attic of the south range. In the early 17th century, a chapel was built out on the east side of the house, reputedly on the site of the monastic chapter house, some of the fittings of which are now in the present parish church. The monastic kitchen may have remained in use since an account of 1849 describes it as 'notable'. By the time of the hearth tax returns in 1664, the house contained 20 hearths.

Catesby Priory: drawing of the west front and north service range by Henry Dryden, 1844.
[Image: Dryden Collection, by permission of Northamptonshire Libraries & Information Services]

Towards the end of the 17th century, the west range of the house was remodelled for John Parkhurst, and given a new two-storey front with hipped roofs, cross windows, and a pedimented doorcase which is similar to contemporary work at Bulwick Hall and Dingley Hall. Projecting pavilions were added at either end of the front, creating an eleven bay facade with a recessed seven-bay centre. The doorway in the centre of the west front led into a large paved entrance hall, from which a staircase with twisted balusters led up to a first-floor dining room. Beyond that was a principal suite with a bedchamber, the Cedar Room, a dressing room and a back stair. By 1849 the ground floor had another dining room, a library and a breakfast parlour which adjoined the stair and inner hall. The south range had service rooms on the ground floor and seven bedrooms upstairs. The old house was refurbished in 1844 when James Parkhurst Baxter came of age, but pulled down about fifteen years later except for a service range to the north of the house, which was converted into cottages and still survives.

Catesby House: entrance front of the new house built in 1863

Catesby House: garden front, showing the new landscaping of c.2004.

James Attenborough built a new house in 1859-63 on a fine but previously unoccupied site about halfway between the hamlets of Upper and Lower Catesby. It is set on a terrace overlooking the valley, and is a Tudor-style building with shaped gables; the architect is not recorded, but it seems probable that it was William Gillett of Leicester, who is known to have designed the new church which was built on the foundations of the the chapel of the house in 1861-62. Some fittings from the old house were incorporated in its successor, including a fine staircase with twisted balusters and a set of linenfold panelling in the staircase hall which may even have originated in the priory. The new house was enlarged in 1894 for Henry Arthur Attenborough. 

In July 1949, Maj. George Attenborough moved to London and put the estate on the market. He died soon afterwards, but his son sold most of the land in 1950. The house, however, failed to find a buyer. By 1951, it was proposed to demolish the house, but Daventry Rural District Council deferred granting a demolition licence and at the last minute one of the Council members, the property developer Commander Cyril Colbourne, bought it, ensuring its survival to the present day. In the 2000s, a new landscape setting was created, with works including the formalising the hillside terracing below the house, the creation of new lakes in the valley bottom, and the layout of an avenue to the west towards the site of the old house.

Descent: John Onley (d. 1537); to son, Edward Onley (d. 1582); ...sold 1664 to John Parkhurst (c.1643-1731)...Rev. John Parkhurst (d. 1797)... James Parkhurst Baxter (b. 1823); sold 1847 to James Attenborough; to nephew, George Attenborough (1820-92); to son, Henry Arthur Attenborough (1848-1930); to son, Maj. George Attenborough (1876-1949); to son, Henry George Attenborough (1904-90); sold 1951 to Cyril Colbourne... Mr & Mrs. Darby (fl. 1979)... Peter Ellwood (fl. 2010); sold 2016.

Attenborough family of Catesby

Attenborough, James (1795-1869). Second son of George Attenborough (1755-1826), gent. of Braybrooke (Northants) and his wife Mary Whitworth (1761-1844), baptised at Braybrooke, 9 April 1795. Farmer and grazier of 795 acres at Brampton Ash (Northants). He married, 15 June 1826 at Clipston (Northants), Mary Ann Sawyer (d. 1850), and had issue:
(1) Mary Ann Attenborough (1828-48), baptised at Braybrooke, 17 August 1828; died unmarried, 2 May, and was buried at Brampton, 11 May 1848;
(2) George William Attenborough (1829-48), baptised at Braybrooke, 2 December 1829; died young, 7 May, and was buried at Brampton, 11 May 1848;
(3) Elizabeth Attenborough (1831-49), baptised at Braybrooke, 13 September 1831; died unmarried, 29 August, and was buried at Brampton, 3 September 1849;
(4) Robert Attenborough (1834-48), baptised at Braybrooke, 23 May 1834; died young, 22 July, and was buried at Brampton, 25 July 1848;
(5) James Attenborough (1835-49), baptised at Clipston, 20 September 1835; died young, 27 February, and was buried at Brampton, 5 March 1849;
(6) Sarah Jane Attenborough (1837-58); died unmarried aged 20, 22 January and was buried at Brampton Ash, 28 January 1858; administration of her goods granted to her father, 29 April 1858 (effects under £600).
He purchased the Catesby estate in 1847. In 1859 the Northampton Mercury reported that "the estate has passed by purchase into the hands of J. Attenborough esq. who is anxious to remove the present house to a higher situation, but is at the same time most desirous that every relic of historic or architectural interest should be preserved. The old house was pulled down about 1861 and a new chapel was built on part of the site. The new Catesby House was built on a different site by 1863. At his death the estate passed to his nephew, George Attenborough (1820-92).
He died at Brampton Ash, 28 January, and was buried there, 5 February 1869; his will was proved 17 February 1869 (effects under £40,000). His wife died 31 March 1850.

Attenborough, George (1791-1829). Eldest son of George Attenborough (1755-1826), gent. of Braybrooke (Northants) and his wife Mary Whitworth (1761-1844), baptised at Braybrooke, 15 September 1791. Grazier and farmer at Blakesley (Northants). He married, 1 January 1818 at Broughton (Northants), Betsey (1793-1870), daughter of Thomas Smith of Hillmorton (Warks), and had issue:
(1) Mary Attenborough (1818-76), baptised at Blakesley, 22 October 1818; emigrated to Australia with her brother Thomas, 1853; died unmarried in Cheltenham, Victoria (Australia), 22 June 1876 and was buried in the Old Cemetery there, where she is commemorated by a tombstone;
(2) George Attenborough (1820-92) (q.v.);
(3) Richard Attenborough (1822-1901), baptised at Blakesley, 9 June 1822; silversmith in London, at first in partnership with his brother George but by 1849 in Piccadilly and Portman Street; member of the Worshipful Company of Spectaclemakers; freeman of city of London, 1844; exhibited successfully at the Great Exhibition, 1851; rebuilt 33-35 Piccadilly as shop premises, 1870; he moved before 1861 to Whitley Grove, Reading (Berks) and retired from the jewellery business in 1874, becoming an officer in the 1st volunteer battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment (Capt.; retired 1885); an unwise investment in Lower Resolven Colliery in south Wales, coupled with extravagant living, led him into financial difficulties by 1885; lived latterly at Horton Manor (Northants), where he apparently owned or leased ironstone quarries; married, 17 July 1849 at Titchmarsh (Northants), Elizabeth Coales (1829-1914) and had issue three daughters; died 19 May 1901; will proved 6 December 1901 (effects £5,827);
(4) Betsey Attenborough (1823-56), baptised at Blakesley, 27 September 1823; married, 9 August 1849 at St Mary, Bryanston Square, London, William Thomas Portal (1815-89) of Springfield (Northants) and had issue one son and two daughters; died 10 January 1856;
(5) Anne Attenborough (1824-66), baptised at Blakesley, 28 May 1824; married, 27 December 1849 at Marylebone (Middx), William Attenborough (1821-89) of Braybrooke, farmer, and had issue one son; buried at Braunston (Northants), 11 January 1866; 
(6) James Attenborough (b. 1825), baptised at Blakesley, 9 July 1825; evidently regarded as a ne'er-do-well, as provision was made for him in his uncle Robert's will conditional upon his 'having become reformed in his habits and character'; apparently living in 1850;
(7) Jane Attenborough (1827-90), baptised at Blakesley, 28 September 1827; married, 1855, John Branson (1833-1901) of Rockingham (Northants), farmer and later examiner for Civil Service Commissioners, and had issue two sons and four daughters; died 29 December 1890; will proved 21 January 1891 (effects £177);
(8) Thomas Attenborough (1829-99), born posthumously and baptised at Blakesley, 1 May 1829; educated at Wellingborough Grammar School and apprenticed to William Way of Oxford, grocer; emigrated to Australia with his sister Mary, 1853; farmer at Dingley Grange, Cheltenham, Victoria (Australia); JP in Victoria; returned more than once on visits to England and married, 28 February 1883 at Hinton Martell (Dorset), Jane Mary (b. 1847) (who m2, by 1901, as his second wife, Hugh G. McKenzie (b. 1847)), daughter of Harry Stokes, accountant, but had no issue; died 10 August 1899 and was buried at Cheltenham Old Cemetery, Victoria; 
His farm at Blakesley (Northants) was sold in 1840 by the trustees of his will to the Duke of Grafton.
He was buried at Blakesley, 16 January 1829; his will was proved 4 July 1829. His widow married 2nd, 13 March 1832 at Blakesley, Charles Mountfort (1797-1850) and had further issue one son and three daughters; she was buried at Blakesley, 21 May 1870.

Attenborough, George (1820-92). Son of George Attenborough (1791-1829), yeoman, of Blakesley, and his wife Betsey Smith, born 4 January and was baptised at Blakesley (Northants), 19 January 1820. Pawnbroker and silversmith at 204 Fleet St., London and later at 193 Fleet St.; member of the Worshipful Company of Spectaclemakers; freeman of the city of London, 1844. He married, 6 November 1844 at Brighton (Sussex), Sarah Emma (1824-97), daughter of Thomas Annis Parsons, and had issue:
(1) George Frederick Attenborough (1845-47), born 4 September and baptised at St Dunstan in the West, London, 12 December 1845; died 1 September 1847;
(2) Henry Arthur Attenborough (1848-1930) (q.v.);
(3) Emma Attenborough (1850-1914), baptised at St John, Hampstead (Middx), 6 November 1850; married, 14 October 1874 at Hornsey Rise, Gilbert Richard Redgrave (1844-1941), architect, bibliographer and Assistant Secretary of the Board of Education; died 14 January and was buried at Sanderstead (Surrey), 17 January 1914; administration of goods granted to her husband, 30 March 1914 (effects £423).
He lived at Grove Lodge, Muswell Hill, Hornsey (Middx) and inherited the Catesby estate from his uncle in 1869. 
He died 22 January 1892; his will was proved 20 February 1892 (estate £321,002). His widow died 5 August 1897; her will was proved 30 August 1897 (estate £9,440).

Attenborough, Henry Arthur (1848-1930). Son of George Attenborough (1820-92) and his wife Sarah Emma Parsons, born 18 October and baptised at St Dunstan-in-the-West, Fleet St., London, 21 December 1848. Educated at Highgate School and Cologne. Pawnbroker, jeweller and silversmith at 193 Fleet St., London; member of the Worshipful Company of Spectaclemakers; freeman of the City of London, 1873. Chairman of the National Pawnbrokers' Association and a trustee of the Metropolitan Society of Pawnbrokers. He married, 14 January 1875, Amy Eleanor (1851-1918), daughter of Robert Borras and had issue:
(1) George Attenborough (1876-1949) (q.v.);
(2) Maud Attenborough (1877-1957), born 27 May 1877; married, 27 November 1901 at Trinity Church, Paddington (Middx), Edmund Gerald Burton (1872-1947) of Hampstead (Middx) and The Lodge, Daventry (Northants), gent., and had issue; died 4 January 1957; will proved 11 June 1957 (estate £1,328).
He inherited Catesby House from his father in 1892 and extended it in 1894.
He died 9 October and was buried at Highgate Cemetery, London, 17 October 1930; his will was proved 28 February 1931 (estate £277,443). His wife died 18 September 1918; her will was proved 25 November 1918 (estate £12,891).

Attenborough, Maj. George (1876-1949). Only son of Henry Arthur Attenborough (1848-1930) and his wife Amy Eleanor, daughter of Robert Borras, born 20 April 1876. Educated at Rugby and University College, Oxford (MA). Jeweller and silversmith at 193 Fleet St., London; member of the Worshipful Company of Spectaclemakers; freeman of City of London, 1897. Served in First World War with Royal Army Service Corps (Major). He married, 4 June 1902, Bessie (1873-1965), daughter of John Swayne Pearce of Hinton (Glos), and had issue:
(1) Constance Maude Attenborough (1903-76); married 1st, 18 July 1933 at Catesby, Ernest Howard Proctor Dawbarn (1903-38), son of Edward Proctor Dawbarn of Harrow (Middx), and 2nd, Jan-Mar 1949, William Wilson Blackstone (1907-85), son of Arthur William Blackstone of Purley (Surrey), merchant; died 4 February 1976; will proved 22 March 1976 (estate £64,603);
(2) Henry George Attenborough (1904-90) (q.v.).
He inherited the Catesby estate from his father in 1930 but put it on the market in 1949.
He died 7 December 1949; will proved 23 February 1950 (estate £167,325). His wife died 12 April 1965; her will was proved 9 July 1965 (estate £31,852).

Attenborough, Henry George (1904-90). Only son of Maj. George Attenborough (1876-1949) and his wife Bessie, daughter of J. Swayne Pearce of Hinton (Glos), born 10 August 1904. Educated at Tonbridge and University College, Oxford. Jeweller in London. Served in the Second World War with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. He married, 21 October 1930 (div. by 1948) at St. Matthias, Richmond (Surrey), Kathleen (1909-97), younger daughter of Alfred Stephen John Stocken of Lancaster House, Richmond, solicitor, and had issue:
(1) Richard George Stephen Attenborough (1933-99) of The Old Vicarage, Stadhampton (Oxon), born 17 February 1933; director of R.G.S. Attenborough (Tools) Ltd.; married 1st, 1958, Valerie S. Mitchell (b. 1935), and had issue one son (who died in infancy) and one daughter; married 2nd, 1974, Diana Rosemary Dobell (b. c.1944), and had issue two sons; died 29 April 1999; will proved 14 September 1999.
He inherited the Catesby estate from his father in 1949; much of the land was sold in 1950 but the house and grounds remained unsold until 1951, when they were sold to a property developer, Commander Cyril Colbourne. 
He died 8 May 1990; his will was proved 4 December 1990 (estate £114,236). His ex-wife married 2nd, Jul-Sep. 1948, Ian Archibald Hamilton (1918-87) and died 11 January 1997; her will was proved 25 June 1997.

Burke's Landed Gentry, 1952, p. 75; Rev. T. James, 'On Catesby Priory', Reports and papers of the Associated Architectural Societies, 1863; J. Heward & R. Taylor, The country houses of Northamptonshire, 1996, pp. 139-41; B. Bailey, Sir N. Pevsner & B. Cherry, The buildings of England: Northamptonshire, 3rd edn., 2013, pp. 166-67;

Location of archives
Attenborough of Catesby: deeds and estate papers, 1608-1904 [Northamptonshire Record Office, uncatalogued]
George Attenborough & Sons, pawnbrokers, jewellers and silversmiths: sales book and pawnbroking receipt books, 1846-97 [London Metropolitan Archives, CLC/B/094]

Coat of arms
None recorded.

Revision and acknowledgements
This post was first published 11 December 2016.

Tuesday 6 December 2016

(242) Atkyns of Sapperton, Swell Bowl, Pinbury Park and Ketteringham Hall

Atkyns of Sapperton
When Sir Robert Atkyns (1647-1711), kt., wrote his great county history, The Ancient and Present State of Glostershire, he said in his account of Sapperton, where he treated of his own family, "It is remarkable of this Family, that there has been always one of this Name and Family presiding in some of the Courts of Judicature in this Kingdom above 300 Years". He traced his ancestry back to a Monmouthshire ancestor, Thomas Atkyns, who was buried in the church of St Peter Cheap, London, in 1401, and whose son was the first of the family to be recorded as a lawyer. Those who were not lawyers were merchants, and the genealogy below begins with David Atkins (d. 1552), a leading merchant in Chepstow, who leased the manor of Tuffley near Gloucester as a place of retirement towards the end of his life. David's son, Thomas Atkyns (d. 1551) was a lawyer who became one of the under-sheriffs of London and might have gone on to greater things had he not died relatively young, a few months before his father. Thomas, who lived in London and had a country place at North Ockendon in Essex, was of the generation to profit from the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and in 1545 he bought the former Llanthony Priory manor of Hempsted and in 1548 the manor of Brickhampton in Churchdown. Taken together with his father's lease of the manor of Tuffley, this begins to look like a deliberate policy of building an estate around Gloucester that was interrupted by Thomas' early death. In 1548 he was granted a coat of arms, recognition that he ranked as a gentleman.

Thomas' widow, Margaret, married the royal physician, Dr. Thomas Wendy (d. 1560), who died shortly before Richard Atkyns (c.1540-1610), the son and heir, came of age. In the tradition of his family, Richard was educated at Lincoln's Inn and became one of the senior judges in Wales. He was also a member of the Council of the Marches of Wales, a court appointment that marked a further social advance. Richard inherited both his father and grandfather's properties in Gloucestershire, which in addition to Tuffley, Hempsted and Brickhampton included more scattered estates in Minsterworth, Sodbury and Tidenham or Todenham (probably the former, as it adjoined Chepstow). His contribution to building the family estate was to renew the lease of Tuffley and to buy further land at Minsterworth. In the next generation, Richard Atkyns (1584-1637), the eldest son, was educated at Lincoln's Inn but did not pursue a legal career. He married well, and settled on his estates. Nothing is known of any public career he may have had, but his widow celebrated his personal qualities on his monument when he died. Their only son was another Richard Atkyns (1615-77), who may not have lacked ability but catastrophically lacked application and moderation; faults which he candidly recognised when he penned a self-justificatory Vindication of Richard Atkins in 1669. His spendthrift habits were compounded by the dangers of the times: as a Royalist soldier he had to compound for his estates, which had been ravaged by both sides during the fighting around Gloucester. He inherited in right of his wife a Crown monopoly on printing law books and statutes granted in 1629 which was unenforceable during the Commonwealth and was contested vigorously after the Restoration. In the end, such of his estates as he had not sold during the 1640s and 1650s were wasted in legal fees defending his patent, and in 1667 he was committed to the Marshalsea Prison for debt. He had no children, his marriage broke down, and the generosity of his friends and relatives was exhausted: he never left prison and died there, still in debt. His cousins, the eminent lawyers Sir Edward and Sir Robert Atkyns, paid for his funeral.

With Richard the family story might have ended, but his uncle, Sir Edward Atkyns (1587-1669), kt. was able to pick up some of the pieces. Educated at Lincoln's Inn, Sir Edward became legal adviser to the Earl of Salisbury in the 1620s, and in the 1630s made something of a name for himself as a barrister defending prominent Puritans in the courts. Perhaps at Lord Salisbury's instigation, he became a Serjeant-at-Law in 1640, but his chances of further promotion appear to have waned with Lord Salisbury's fall from the King's favour, and it was Parliament which made him a Baron of the Exchequer in 1645. During the Commonwealth he was a Justice of the Common Pleas, and his judicial experience ensured that at the Restoration he was again appointed as a Baron of the Exchequer, despite his age and Puritan sympathies.
Atkyns Manor, South Cerney: the house of 1660 perhaps built for Sir Edward Atkyns.
The left hand gable is a later addition. Image: Peter Watkins. Some rights reserved
The profits of his career enabled him to buy several Gloucestershire manors from his nephew in the 1640s and 1650s, keeping them in the family, and after 1660 he also bought a manor at South Cerney (Glos) (where he may have built the house now known as Atkyns Manor), and the Albury Hall estate in Hertfordshire, where he died at the age of eighty-two.

Sir Edward had two surviving sons: Sir Robert Atkyns (1621-1710), kt. and Sir Edward Atkyns (1630-98), kt. Both men became eminent lawyers, although their political outlook was very different. Sir Robert was the elder, and widely regarded as one of the ablest lawyers of his generation. He was an MP almost continuously from the mid-1650s to 1673, and was knighted at the Restoration. In 1672 he became one of the justices of common pleas, and he held this post until 1680, when he resigned in protest at the increasingly Absolutist trend of Stuart government. His brother, meanwhile, was a supporter of the King's party, and was knighted and made a judge as one of the Barons of the Exchequer in 1679. He continued to serve under King James II and became Chief Baron in 1686. When James fled the country and William III accepted the Crown, Sir Edward refused to swear allegiance to the new regime and was removed from office; he then retired to an estate he had bought at South Pickenham (Norfk), where he finished building a house that the previous owner had commenced. In what may have been a nicely-judged insult, his post as Chief Baron was given to his elder brother, who held it until he finally retired in 1695. Sir Robert, indeed, was loaded with responsibilities, being also given a commission to act as Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal and Lord Chancellor, in which capacity he acted as Speaker of the House of Lords from 1690-93. It seems remarkable that he was not rewarded with a peerage, and possible that he was offered one but rejected it.

Sir Robert Atkyns had been given the family's remaining Gloucestershire estates during his father's lifetime, and rapidly expanded them. He bought Hempsted from his cousin in 1655 and Lower Swell in 1659, where he built a new house in 1671 which he made his home when he was not at his chambers in Holborn. He also bought Sapperton, Oakley and Pinbury in 1661, and the adjoining estates of Coates, Trewsbury and Daglingworth in 1667. South Cerney and Hempsted were settled on his son, Sir Robert Atkyns (1647-1711), on his marriage in 1669. Later on, however, father and son disagreed about politics (where the younger Sir Robert shared his uncle's Tory and Jacobite stance), and also about the family estates, which Sir Robert junior thought should descend to him intact and which his father wanted to distribute more broadly as his son was childless. From the 1690s onwards the elder Sir Robert executed several settlements of his estates favouring different groups of his descendants at his son's expense. From these settlements and the further complexities of the wills of both Sir Roberts, there arose legal disputes which kept the lawyers employed at intervals for much of the next century, and contributed to the dispersal of the substantial property which the family had amassed by 1700.

After his father died, Sir Robert Atkyns junior (1647-1711) simply took possession of most of his father's property. He was living at Pinbury Park, and although much of the Sapperton estate should have passed under his father's will to the children of his half-sister and brother-in-law, John Tracy, they never claimed this inheritance nor took any steps to prevent Sir Robert assuming ownership, perhaps indicating that they were in sympathy with his position. Lower Swell had been left to Sir Robert's widow for life, but the younger Sir Robert obtained a legal judgement overturning this provision, and evicted her. When he died the following year, his stepmother recovered possession, but on her death it passed as Sir Robert junior intended to his nephew, Robert Atkyns (d. 1753). Robert had already received lands at Trewsbury, Brickhampton, Coates and Minsterworth from his grandfather Sir Robert senior, at the time of his marriage in 1701, but the elder Sir Robert was concerned that he exhibited signs of lunacy, and excluded him from succession to any further property. Predictably, Sir Robert junior therefore favoured him as an heir, although Lower Swell seems to have been the only additional property he received.

Alfred's Hall, Cirencester Park: an engraving showing the sham ruins (right)
constructed from stonework from Sapperton Manor.
The second son of Sir Robert Atkyns senior was Edward Atkyns (1654-82), who died long before his father but who left a surviving daughter, Annabella, the wife of the Rev. & Hon. Henry Brydges. She ultimately inherited the Sapperton estate, but sold it c.1730 to Lord Bathurst, who pulled down the manor house at Sapperton and incorporated much of the land in his now famous landscape park at Cirencester. Some of the stonework from Sapperton was used in creating artificial ruins around Alfred's Hall, the Gothick folly built in the park in the 1720s.

Sir Edward Atkyns (1630-98) had three sons: Richard Atkyns (1666-1717), Edward Atkyns (1672-1751) and another Robert Atkyns (1679-1752). Richard was trained as a lawyer but became a linen draper in London, and Edward was a Hamburg merchant. Both men were prosperous, although Edward appears to have been the more successful. In 1717 he purchased the manor of Ketteringham in Norfolk, and he later added to this further property in and around Norwich. Richard inherited his father's manor of South Pickenham (Norfk), but sold it in 1700 and lived all his life in London. His grandson, Edward Atkyns (1718-65), later inherited the Pinbury Park estate from Robert Atkyns (d. 1753) and also inherited Ketteringham Hall in Norfolk from his great-uncle Edward in 1750. He died leaving a young family, and while Ketteringham passed to his elder son, Edward Atkyns (1757-94), he left his Gloucestershire property to trustees for the benefit of his younger children, of whom the survivors were John Atkyns (later Wright) (1758-1822) and Mary Atkyns (c.1760-1829). They did better than expected from this provision, because in 1770 Edward's trustees unexpectedly came into the Lower Swell estate, and the way Edward's will was drawn meant it passed to the younger children and not to his elder son (who went to law over it and lost). Pinbury was sold to Lord Bathurst's growing Cirencester estate in 1786 or 1788, and Lower Swell passed to John Atkyns Wright, who pulled down the Atkyns house and replaced it with a farmhouse.

The elder son, Edward Atkyns (1757-94), while disappointed of Lower Swell, did inherit Ketteringham Hall. In 1779 he married the actress, Charlotte Walpole (1758-1836), but finding she was not accepted by Norfolk society, and being pressed by creditors, he moved to France, where they seem to have gained an entrée to court circles. When the French Revolution began they left Paris and moved to Lille, and then in 1791 returned to England. Charlotte in particular was much exercised by the plight of the French royal family and aristocracy, and after her husband's death she raised mortgages on the Ketteringham estate to enable her to maintain efforts to assist aristocratic French émigrés. When the French monarchy was re-established in 1814, she petitioned King Louis XVIII for reimbursement of more than £30,000 she claimed to have spent on this cause, but whatever his sympathy for her appeal may have been, he was unable to afford it at a time of financial austerity. She turned instead to her sister-in-law, Mary Atkyns (c.1760-1829), who paid off the mortgages, and settled an annuity on her in return for title to the Ketteringham estate. Mary then settled Ketteringham on her own daughter, Harriet Atkyns, when she married Nathaniel William Peach MP (1785-1835) in 1824. Sadly, Harriet died the following year, but Peach retained the Ketteringham estate until his death, after which it passed to his son by an earlier marriage, who sold it in 1836 for £80,000.

John Atkyns Wright (1758-1822) left the Lower Swell estate to his niece, Ann Dorothy Atkyns (1785-1867), another daughter of his sister Mary. She retained it until 1844, when most of the estate was sold, and she disposed of the remainder in 1865, shortly before she died. It was the last landed property in Atkyns hands.

[Note: I have spelled the surname of this family Atkyns consistently in this account, and this was the usual spelling in the 16th and 17th centuries. The variant form Atkins became more common in the 18th century].

Sapperton Manor, Gloucestershire

A manor house was recorded at Sapperton in 1262-3 and 1332.  From 1463 to 1487 it belonged to the Nottingham family, and thereafter to the Pooles.  At some time in the early 17th century, the house was rebuilt on an L-shaped plan, either by Sir Henry Poole, who was twice High Sheriff of the county and who died in 1616, or by his son, another Sir Henry Poole, who was M.P. for Cirencester three times, and High Sheriff in 1632.  The younger Sir Henry died in 1645, and the fines imposed on his son, Sir William Poole, who was an ardent Royalist, led to the mortgaging and eventual sale of the family estate.

Sapperton Manor: detail of the engraving by John Kip in Sir Robert Atkyns' history of Gloucestershire, 1712

The Pooles' early 17th-century house consisted of a three-storeyed main block facing north-west, with a smaller and possibly older kitchen wing behind. The main block had a façade of six bays, of which the first, third and fifth projected and were surmounted, according to Kip, by an extraordinary series of near-Moorish shaped finials. This front looked down over a garden with a summerhouse on a high raised terrace, and the earthworks of the garden are still visible today.  On the other side of the house, five narrow gables faced a courtyard bounded by the service wing, a wall with an embattled gateway aligned axially on the house and a long avenue, and a further raised terrace walk.  Of the interior of the house nothing is known, but the Hearth Tax return of 1672 records 30 hearths, making it clear that the accommodation was both generous and luxurious.

Sapperton church: panelling probably from Sapperton Manor reused in the church in the 18th century. Image: Nick Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

Following the financial difficulties of the Pooles, Sapperton Manor was sold to Sir Robert Atkyns (1621-1710), kt. in 1661. When he died in 1710, the property was left to his niece Annabella, wife of the Rev. Dr. Henry Brydges, who sold it in 1730 to Lord Bathurst. Bathurst was already engaged in making the enormous landscaped park between Sapperton and Cirencester, and promptly demolished Sapperton Manor to provide suitably Gothick carved stonework for the construction of ruins around Alfred's Hall, a maison de plaisance in the park. Panelling from the house was apparently re-used in Sapperton church, where the bench ends and the Bathurst pew are decorated with Jacobean carvings of Atlantes that are clearly of secular origin.

Descent: Sir William Nottingham (d. c.1484); to widow, Elizabeth, Lady Nottingham, later wife of Richard Poole; to son, Sir Leonard Poole, kt. (d. c.1539); to Sir Giles Poole (d. 1588); to son, Sir Henry Poole (d. 1616), kt.; to son, Sir Henry Poole (d. 1645); to son, Sir William Poole; to son, Sir Henry Poole, who sold 1660/1667 to Sir Robert Atkyns (1621-1710), kt.; to son, Sir Robert Atkyns (1647-1711), kt.; to first cousin once removed, Annabella, wife of Rev. Dr. Henry Brydges, who sold 1730 to Allen Bathurst, 1st Baron (and later 1st Earl Bathurst), who demolished the house.

Swell Bowl, Lower Swell, Gloucestershire

Swell Bowl: engraving of the house by John Kip from Sir Robert Atkyns' history of Gloucestershire, 1712

Sir Robert Atkyns bought the Lower Swell estate from the executors of Sir William Courteen in 1659, and it was reputedly in 1671 that he built a new house on a site away from the old manor, although a description of the estate in 1674 does not mention it explicitly. The new house was a square, two‑storey, five‑by-­five bay block with a hipped roof and four chimneystacks rising symmetrically through a roof flat. Swell Bowl, as the new house was called, was one of the Cotswold houses most clearly influenced by Coleshill. Kip's illustration suggests the house was symmetrical on every front. It had no basement, and raised stone quoins and a simple central doorcase provided the only decoration. It was a modest house for someone of Atkyns' eventual eminence, but firmly in the post‑Restoration tradition of polite architecture. The Swell estate was the subject of litigation between Sir Robert Atkyns' descendants throughout the 18th century, and this led eventually to it passing from one branch of the family to another in 1777. Perhaps shortly after this, it was wholly or partly demolished and rebuilt on a smaller scale as a farmhouse. 

Swell Bowl: the farmhouse in 1865.

The farmhouse was described in 1865 as 'an excellent farm residence, adapted for a hunting box'. It was bought in that year by Alfred Urbain Sartoris, who built a new house, Abbotswood, on the other side of the River Dikler.

Descent: Crown sold c.1594 to John Carter (d. 1627); to son, Giles Carter; sold to Sir William Courteen (d. 1659), kt., sold 1659 to Sir Robert Atkyns (1621-1710), kt; to widow, Anne, Lady Atkyns (d. 1716), from whom it was obtained through a legal judgement by her stepson, Sir Robert Atkyns (1649-1711), kt.; to nephew, Robert Atkyns (d. 1753); to daughters, wives of Thomas Chamberlayne and Thomas Horde, who was resident in 1774; legal action in 1777 led to the transfer to John Atkyns Wright (1758-1822), who rebuilt it as a farmhouse; to niece, Ann Dorothy Atkyns (1785-1867), who sold most of the estate 1844 to John Hudson; sold 1865 to Alfred Urbain Sartoris.

Pinbury Park, Gloucestershire

Pinbury stands in a splendid position above the beech woods of the Frome valley, here known by the appropriate name of The Gulph. It was part of the Poole family's Sapperton Manor estate in the 16th and 17th centuries, and as such was sold to Sir Robert Atkyns in the 1660s. Pinbury became the home of his son of the same name, the county historian. The house itself is said to incorporate some 15th century features, and certainly possesses an unusually thick chimneybreast between the kitchen and dining room. Substantially, however, it is a small T-plan manor house of the late 16th century. 

Pinbury Park. Image: Nick Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

The original, somewhat irregularly placed, windows possessed hoodmoulds, but most of these have been hacked off; perhaps in the late 17th century when Sir Robert Atkyns introduced a new staircase and panelled the entrance hall. In the 18th century, Pinbury became a farmhouse on the Cirencester Park estate, and in the 1770s it was noted that while there had been a large manor house, "the park is converted to a coney-warren, the house gone to decay, and some of it taken down". A central porch was added in the early 19th century, but a more general restoration had to wait until Ernest Barnsley took a repairing lease from Lord Bathurst with his brother Sidney and Ernest Gimson in 1894. Ernest lived in the main house with his family, while the other two converted outbuildings into cottages. Another outbuilding became their joint workshop.

Pinbury Park: dining room, in the early 20th century

When they all moved to Sapperton in 1902-3, Ernest Barnsley extended the house into a summer residence for the Bathurst family, replacing an early 19th century north-west wing with an inner hallway and library, and adding extra service accommodation. The dining room chimney-piece was copied from one in the Victoria & Albert Museum, but the most elaborate decoration was reserved for the library in the west wing, which has fielded sequoia wood panelling.
Pinbury Park: library fireplace and plasterwork
 by Ernest Gimson
Ernest Gimson designed the plaster ceiling with honeysuckle frieze and rose decoration on the beams, and a wonderful stone chimney-piece with a bas-relief carved panel depicting squirrels eating acorns from a stylised oak tree. The squirrel motif was picked up in a set of contemporary firedogs and in the topiary of the garden. Terraced gardens were laid out to the south west, but the most notable feature is an avenue of yew trees known as the Nun’s Walk. From 1932 to 1940 the house was let to the poet laureate, John Masefield, and it remains part of the Bathurst estate, whose present tenant is Mr. Henry Pitman.

Descent: sold 1661 to Sir Robert Atkyns (1621-1710), kt.; to son, Sir Robert Atkyns (1647-1711), kt.; to nephew, Robert Atkyns (d. 1753); to second cousin once removed, Edward Atkyns (1718-65); to trustees for his younger children, who sold c.1786 to Henry Bathurst (1714-94), 2nd Earl Bathurst; to son, Henry Bathurst (1762-1834), 3rd Earl Bathurst; to son, Henry George Bathurst (1790-1866), 4th Earl Bathurst; to brother, William Lennox Bathurst (1791-1878), 5th Earl Bathurst; to nephew, Allen Alexander Bathurst (1832-92), 6th Earl Bathurst; to son, Seymour Henry Bathurst (1864-1943), 7th Earl Bathurst; to grandson, Henry Allen John Bathurst (1927-2011), 8th Earl Bathurst; to son, Allen Christopher Bertram Bathurst (b. 1961), 9th Earl Bathurst.

Ketteringham Hall, Norfolk

The red brick house is now largely a Gothic mansion created by Thomas Allason in 1839-40 and Thomas Jekyll in 1852, for Sir John Peter Boileau, 1st bt. However, the early Victorian works were a remodelling not a rebuilding, and the house would appear to preserve some of the form and fabric of its predecessor, the home of the Heveninghams and later the Atkyns family, which was probably a half-H shaped Tudor house of red brick, with wings projecting on the west. A little surprisingly, there seems to be no illustration of the pre-Victorian house.

Ketteringham Hall: the entrance front c.1870, showing the crocketed pinnacles that originally framed the centre.

Allason created a symmetrical east entrance front of nine bays with angle-shafts and battlements, mullioned and transomed windows, and a central porch with a steep gable. The pilasters that frame the three-bay centre rise into square plinths that project through the battlements; these were once crowned with crocketed pinnacles which gave the house a good deal more coherence. To the north of this elevation is the gable-end of a semi-detached hall, with a big six-light Perpendicular Gothic window giving it the appearance of a chapel, an impression reinforced by the crocketed pinnacles to either side. The gable has a datestone for 1840. 

Ketteringham Hall: watercolour attributed to Thomas Allason, showing a design for the house
Ketteringham Hall: south front

Round the corner to the south is an asymmetrical five-bay front, articulated by buttresses rising into further crenellated turrets as on the corners of the entrance front. The fenestration on this side is irregular, and mixes further mullioned and transomed windows with smaller two-light windows. Parts of the brickwork here may predate the remodelling of the 1830s. A single-storey five-bay Gothic conservatory of stone, with chunky pinnacles, continues the line of the south front; this again dates from 1839-40.

Ketteringham Hall: staircase

Thomas Jekyll's contribution to the house, in 1852, was to fill in the courtyard between the wings that project to the west. His new block contains a library with a Gothic chimneypiece. There is a spacious imperial staircase with plain cast iron balusters supporting a ramped mahogany handrail, which rises in one flight to an oriel bay window, which was an addition of 1844. This window is filled with stained glass, chiefly 16th century work imported from the Low Countries.

Ketteringham Hall: turrets guarding the entrance to the stable court, 1899.

North of the house is the stable court, entered under an arch between an attractive pair of crenellated turrets put up in 1899 for Sir Francis Boileau, which incorporate reliefs and inscriptions from Greece and Asia Minor of the 2nd century BC.

Descent: Sir Henry Gray (d. 1492); to step-daughter Anne, wife of Thomas Heveningham (d. 1499); to son, John Heveningham (d. 1530); to son, Sir Anthony Heveningham (d. 1558); to widow, later wife of Philip Appleyard; to son, Sir Arthur Heveningham (d. 1630), kt.; to son, Sir John Heveningham (d. 1633), kt.; to son, William Heveningham (the regicide) (d. 1678); to son, Sir William Heveningham (fl. 1674); to daughter, Abigail, wife of Henry Heron, who sold 1717 to Edward Atkyns (1672-1750); to great-nephew, Edward Atkyns (1718-65); to son, Edward Atkyns (1757-94); to widow, Charlotte Walpole Atkyns; given to sister-in-law, Harriet, wife of Nathaniel Peach (1785-1835); sold 1836 to Sir John Peter Boileau (1794-1869), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Francis George Manningham Boileau (1830-1900); to son, Sir Maurice Colborne Boileau (1865-1937), 3rd bt.; to brother, Sir Raymond Frederic Boileau (1868-1942), 4th bt.; to brother, Sir Francis James Boileau (1871-1945), 5th bt.; sold 1948 to Duke of Westminster, who leased it as a preparatory school; sold 1965 to Badingham College; sold 1970 to Colin Chapman, who established Group Lotus here; after 1994 divided into leased business units.

Atkyns family of Sapperton and Swell Bowl

Atkyns, David (d. 1552). Son of Thomas Atkyns (d. 1512) of Chepstow (Monmouths). A leading merchant in Chepstow, who retired to his property in Gloucestershire. He married Alice [surname unknown], daughter of a Chepstow merchant, and had issue including:
(1) Thomas Atkyns (d. 1551) (q.v.);
(2) Richard Atkyns (fl. 1551);
(3) William Atkyns (fl. 1551);
(4) Alice Atkyns; married Edmond Madock of Tidenham (Glos).
He is said to have leased the Tuffley Court estate near Gloucester from Gloucester Abbey.
He died at Tuffley in 1552.

Atkyns, Thomas (d. 1551). Eldest son of David Atkyns (d. 1552) and his wife Alice [surname unknown]. Educated at Lincolns Inn (admitted 1523/4; called to bar, 1529; treasurer, 1544-45; reader, 1542, 1551; governor, 1550-52). Barrister-at-law; one of the four Counsel to the Guildhall by 1545; common serjeant or under-sheriff of London, 1545-47. He argued the first case in Plowden's Commentaries. He was granted a coat of arms by Garter King of Arms in 1548. He married Margaret (d. 1570), daughter of John Cook of London, and had issue including:
(1) Richard Atkyns (c.1540-1610) (q.v.);
(2) Margaret Atkyns (d. 1619); married 1st, Thomas Hughes (d. 1558), Royal physician, 2nd, Stephen Hadnell; and 3rd, Sir Richard Lewknor (1542-1616), kt., lawyer; buried at Ludlow (Shrops), 2 December 1619;
(3) Elizabeth Atkyns; married Dr. Smith, physician to Queen Mary;
(4) Mary Atkyns;
(5) Catherine Atkyns; married Sir William Worthington, kt. (fl. 1603) of Essex.
He lived in London and at North Ockendon (Essex), but acquired the manors of Hempsted (Glos) in 1545 and Brickhampton in Churchdown (Glos) in 1548.
He died in the lifetime of his father, 1551, and was buried at St Mary Aldermanbury, London; his will was proved 1 February 1551/2. His widow married 2nd, Dr. Thomas Wendy MP (d. 1560), physician to King Edward VI and Queen Mary I and died in 1570.

Atkyns, Richard (c.1540-1610). Only recorded son of Thomas Atkyns (d. 1551) and his wife Margaret, daughter of John Cook of London, born about 1540. His wardship was granted to his stepfather, Dr. Thomas Wendy MP, physician to King Edward VI and Queen Mary I. Educated at Lincolns Inn (bencher by 1601; reader); he became Chief Justice in Pembrokeshire by 1595, one of Justices of the Sessions of North Wales, and a member of the Council of the Marches of Wales. He married, 29 April 1576 at St Olave, Silver St., London, Eleanor (d. 1594), daughter of Thomas Marsh of Waresley (Hunts), and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Atkyns (1577-1641), baptised 4 October 1577 at Christ Church, Newgate, London; married, 1610 (settlement 25 June), William Hanmer of Fenns (Flints); buried at Hanmer (Flints), 3 July 1641;
(2) Richard Atkyns (1584-1637) (q.v.);
(3) Thomas Atkyns; died without issue;
(4) Francis Atkyns (fl. 1637); died without issue;
(5) Sir Edward Atkyns (1587-1669), kt. (q.v.);
(6) Mary Atkyns; married Thomas Powell of Shropshire.
He inherited Hempsted and Brickhampton in Churchdown from his father in 1551 and property in Minsterworth, Sodbury, Betesly [not identified] and Tudenham [either Todenham or more probably Tidenham] (all Glos) from his grandfather in 1552. He purchased further property in Minsterworth and leased the manor of Tuffley from the Dean and Chapter of Gloucester Cathedral before 1583.
He died 3 November 1610, and was buried at Hempsted, where he is commemorated by a monument with an effigy; his will was proved 7 December 1610. His wife died 3 April 1594 and was buried at Hempsted, where she is commemorated by a tablet.

Atkyns, Richard (1584-1637). Eldest son of Richard Atkyns (c.1540-1610) and his wife Eleanor, daughter of Thomas Marsh of Waresley (Hunts), born 1584. Educated at Lincolns Inn (admitted 1601). He married Mary (d. 1643), said to be second daughter of Sir Edwin Sandys of Latimer (Bucks) and his wife Elizabeth, Baroness Sandys of The Vyne (Hants), and had issue:
(1) Richard Atkyns (1615-77) (q.v.).
He inherited his father's Gloucestershire manors of Tuffley, Hempsted, Brickhampton, Morcot and Boyfield in 1610 and lived at Tuffley Court (Glos), which was leased from the Dean and Chapter of Gloucester Cathedral.
He died 12 February 1636/7 and was buried at Sherborne St. John (Hants), where he is commemorated by a monument erected by his widow that inexplicably gives his date of death as 1635; an inquisition post mortem was held 23 March 1636/7. His widow died in 1643.

Atkyns, Richard (1615-77). Son of Richard Atkyns (1584-1637) and his wife Mary, daughter of Sir Edwin Sandys of Latimer (Bucks) and his wife Elizabeth, Baroness Sandys of The Vyne (Hants), born 1615. Educated at home 'by two cruel and incompetent tutors' and later at the Crypt Grammar School in Gloucester, Balliol College, Oxford (admitted 1629) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1631), but did not pursue his studies. In about 1635 he accompanied the Catholic younger son of Thomas Arundell, 2nd Baron Arundell of Wardour, on a Continental tour, but his companion died in Paris and he returned to England to manage his father's estate, which he inherited soon after coming of age in 1636. He then travelled to London, where he joined the court, taking part in a royal masque and following the extravagant lifestyle of a minor courtier. Considering himself ‘guilty of three imperfections, that would hinder my preferment there: a blushing modesty, a flexible disposition, and no great diligence’, he returned to Gloucestershire, but found ‘my house was burn'd down, and the place as a seat spoil'd by the long inhabiting of tenants’. He was an active Royalist during the Civil War, raising a troop of 60 men at considerable personal expense; he served under George Brydges and later Prince Maurice with gallantry and distinction, seeing action at the battles of Lansdown and Roundway Down, but following the Royalist capture of Bristol in 1645 he retired from the army. He was then imprisoned by Parliament and his creditors, and had to compound for his estates and settle debts incurred before the war. He was obliged to sell some of his estates and retired to Tuffley, ‘where we found the common fate of a sequestered estate; not only a ruin'd house, but gardens and orchards plough'd to the very doors’.  At the Restoration, he was appointed JP and DL for Gloucestershire, and sought to restore his finances by exploiting a patent for printing law books and abridgements of statutes which had been granted to his father-in-law in 1629 and which King Charles II agreed to extend for a further forty years. His rights under this patent were however contested vigorously by the Stationers Company, and although he was ultimately successful in securing his patent, it was a Pyrrhic victory as the legal costs ruined him and in 1667 he was imprisoned for debt in the Marshalsea, where he remained for the rest of his life. From prison, he published the curious self-justificatory Vindication of Richard Atkyns … with certain sighs or ejaculations at the end of every chapter, 1669He married, March 1640, Martha (d. by 1696), daughter of William Moore and widow of Sir Patrick Acheson (1611-38), 2nd bt., but by 1667 the marriage had irretrievably broken down and they had no issue.
He inherited his father's Gloucestershire estates, but sold three manors to his uncle, Sir Edward Atkyns (1587-1669), kt. in 1645-46 and the manor of Hempsted to Sir Robert Atkyns in 1655. His will (apparently written before he was imprisoned for debt) left his leasehold manor of Tuffley to his widow for life, but his interest in the property was sold in 1670 to Henry Norwood.
He died in the Marshalsea Prison, 14 September 1677, and was buried at St. George the Martyr, Southwark, 16 September 1677; his will was proved 22 January 1678. His widow died before 1696.

Atkyns, Sir Edward (1587-1669), kt. Third son of Richard Atkyns (c.1540-1610) and his wife Eleanor, daughter of Thomas Marsh of Waresley (Hunts), born at Hensington, Woodstock (Oxon), 1587. Educated at Lincolns Inn (admitted, 1601; called to bar 1614, Governor, 1630; Reader, 1632). Barrister at law; legal adviser to the Earl of Salisbury from the 1620s; his career attracted little attention until 1633, when he was defence counsel for the Puritan (and fellow Lincolns Inn lawyer) William Prynne, after which he attracted a number of high profile Puritan briefs; he was appointed Serjeant-at-Law, 1640, perhaps at Lord Salisbury's request. During the Civil War he sided with the Parliamentarians and served on various Parliamentary committees in Hertfordshire before being appointed a Baron of the Exchequer, 1645-49. After the execution of the king he initially declined reappointment but was soon persuaded (perhaps by Lord Salisbury, who had become an enthusiastic convert to the Cromwellian regime) to accept an appointment as a Justice of the Common Pleas, which he held 1649-59; he quickly gained Cromwell's confidence and was called upon to advise the Lord Protector on a variety of issues and cases. His portrait was painted by J.M. Wright in the 1650s and now hangs in Lincoln's Inn. At the Restoration, the King's commitment to appointing qualified justices overrode the political qualms he must have felt, and Atkyns was reappointed a Baron of the Exchequer 1660-69, and knighted, 23 October 1660; he was on the bench for the trial of regicides in 1660 but took no active part in the proceedings. He married 1st, about 1618, Ursula (1600-44), daughter of Sir Thomas Dacres of Cheshunt (Herts), and 2nd, 16 September 1645, Frances (1604?-1704), daughter of John Berry of Lydd (Kent), and had issue:
(1.1) Anne Atkyns (1619-71), baptised at Cheshunt, 17 July 1619; married 1st, John Fitzherbert (d. 1658) of Begbroke (Oxon) and had issue including two sons and one daughter; married 2nd, 14 April 1664 at St Bride, Fleet St., London, Sir Charles Stepkin (b. 1620), kt.; will proved 1671;
(1.2) Thomas Atkyns (b. 1620), baptised at Cheshunt, 15 February 1619/20; died young;
(1.3) Sir Robert Atkyns (1621-1710), kt. (q.v.);
(1.4) Elizabeth Atkyns (b. 1622), baptised at Cheshunt, 20 August 1622; married Francis Swift of Essex;
(1.5) Frances Atkyns (1626-84), baptised at Cheshunt, 22 September 1626; married, by 1656, Sir Richard Browne (c.1628-84), 2nd bt., of Debden (Essex), and had issue two sons and one daughter; buried at Debden on the same day as her husband, 23 September 1684;
(1.6) Sir Edward Atkyns (1630-98), kt. (q.v.).
He lived in London and later at Albury Hall (Herts) which he purchased in 1661, but purchased most of the ancestral estates in Gloucestershire from his nephew during the Commonwealth, and after 1660 also the manor of South Cerney. He gave most of his Gloucestershire property to his eldest son during his lifetime.
He died at Albury Hall, 9 October 1669 and was commemorated on his son's monument in Westminster Abbey. His first wife died 26 June 1644 and was buried at Cheshunt (Herts), 27 June 1644. His widow died 2 March 1704, reputedly at the age of 100.

Atkyns, Sir Robert (1621-1710), kt. Elder son of Sir Edward Atkyns (1587-1669), kt. and his first wife Ursula, daughter of Sir Thomas Dacres of Cheshunt (Herts), baptised at Cheshunt, 29 April 1621. Educated at Lincolns Inn (admitted 1638; called to bar, 1645; treasurer, 1664). Barrister-at-law; Recorder of Evesham, 1659 and of Bristol, 1661-82; in 1664 he sponsored the admission of the Duke of Monmouth to Lincolns Inn; widely regarded as one of the most learned lawyers of his generation, he was made a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of King Charles II, 23 April 1661, and a serjeant-at-law, 1672; a Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, 1672-80. MP for Carmarthen, 1656-58, Evesham, 1659 and East Looe, 1661-73. He resigned from his public appointments in c.1680 in protest against the policies of the government, aligning himself with the proto-Whigs; after the Revolution of 1688, he became Chief Baron of the Exchequer in succession to his brother; he also had a warrant to perform the offices of Lord Chancellor and Lord Keeper, and was thus Speaker of the House of Lords, 1690-93. He was on poor terms with his eldest son, with whom he differed in politics and personal matters. He married 1st, c.1646, Mary (d. 1681), daughter of Sir George Clerke of Watford (Northants) and 2nd, 28 April 1681, his cousin, Anne (c.1660-1712), daughter of Sir Thomas Dacres, and had issue:
(1.1) Sir Robert Atkyns (1647-1711), kt. (q.v.);
(1.2) Edward Atkyns (1654-82) (q.v.); 
(1.3) Thomas Atkyns (1658-91?), baptised 9 July 1658 at St Andrew, Holborn (Middx); married Elizabeth Roberts; presumably died in the lifetime of his father and was perhaps the man of this name buried at St Magnus the Martyr, London, 26 May 1691;
(2.1) Ann Atkyns (1683-1761), baptised at Lower Swell, 8 November 1683; married, 7 August 1699, John Tracy (c.1682-1735) of Stanway Manor (Glos), son of the Hon. Ferdinando Tracy, and had issue six sons and four daughters (John Tracy, the eldest son, took the additional name of Atkyns in 1753); she was buried at Stanway, 28 October 1761; her will was proved 29 March 1762;
(2.2) Elizabeth Atkyns (b. & d. 1685), baptised at Lower Swell (Glos), 2 July 1685; died in infancy and was buried at Sapperton, 24 November 1685;
(2.3) Robert Atkyns (1686-87?), baptised at Lower Swell (Glos), 19 May 1686; died young and was buried at Lower Swell, 18 March 168? [damage to the register means the year is missing];
(2.4) Frances Atkyns (d. 1687); buried at Sapperton, 3 November 1687;
(2.5) William Atkyns (d. 1693); buried at Sapperton, 6 November 1693.
He was given the family's Gloucestershire estates in his father's lifetime, and purchased Swell Bowl in 1659, Sapperton Manor and Pinbury Park in 1661 and Coates, Trewsbury and Daglingworth (all Glos) in 1667, together with the lordships of Bisley Hundred and the Seven Hundreds of Cirencester. He built a new house at Swell Bowl in 1671. He settled Hempsted and South Cerney on his son Robert in 1669 and Trewsbury and Brickhampton, together with property at Coates and Minsterworth on his great nephew Robert in 1701. His property at Coates, Daglingworth, Oakley in Cirencester, Sapperton, Lower Swell, Pinbury and his hundredal rights and lands in Holborn were supposed to pass to his Tracy grandchildren, but they seem never to have claimed this inheritance and his surviving son, Sir Robert, entered into possession of these places except for Lower Swell, which was left for life to Sir Robert's widow, although he recovered Lower Swell from her through a law suit in 1710.
He died 9 February 1709/10 and was buried at Sapperton; he is commemorated on a monument in Westminster Abbey erected by his great nephew; his will was proved 6 March 1709/10. His first wife died 2 March 1680/81. His widow died 9 October 1712.

Sir Robert Atkyns, kt. (1647-1711)
Atkyns, Sir Robert (1647-1711), kt. Elder son of Sir Robert Atkyns (1621-1710) and his first wife, Mary, daughter of Sir George Clerk of Watford (Northants), baptised at Monken Hadley (Herts), 26 August 1647.  Educated at St Edmund Hall, Oxford (matriculated 1662/3) and Lincolns Inn (admitted, 1660/1; called to the bar, 1668). Knighted at Bristol, 5 September 1663. Barrister-at-law, but did not practice. Deputy Receiver-General of Law Duties, 1671-72; Receiver General of Law Duties, 1672-73 and Comptroller of the Law Duties, 1673-79. MP for Cirencester, 1679-81 and for Gloucestershire, 1685-87; JP for Gloucestershire, 1673-1710 (except for a short break in 1688) and DL 1683-88. Freeman of the City of Gloucester, 1681. Unlike his father, with whom he was on poor terms, he was a Tory and a Jacobite, and he declined to take an oath of allegiance to William III, although he was soon reinstated as a justice of the peace. In the new found leisure after his withdrawal from most public office, he wrote the first county history of Gloucestershire, published shortly after his death as The ancient and present state of Glostershire, 1712. He married, 6 July 1669 at St. Andrew, Holborn (Middx), Louise (c.1652-1716), daughter of Sir George Carteret of Hawnes (Beds), but had no issue.
He lived at Pinbury Park in his father's lifetime; his father settled the manors of Hempsted and South Cerney on him, but he sold the latter. He purchased the manor of Bisley in 1678 but sold this soon afterwards too. Through his marriage he acquired an interest in the island of Sark. He inherited the manors of Coates, Daglingworth, and Oakley in Cirencester from his father in 1710, and also took possession of Sapperton, Pinbury and other property which should have passed to his Tracy cousins. At his death, he left his property to his widow and then to his niece Annabella Brydges and her brother Robert Atkyns (d. 1753). Hempsted was sold by his widow and trustees in 1716 to Lord Bathurst.
He died of dysentry at his house in Westminster, 29 November 1711, and was buried at Sapperton, 12 December 1711, where there is a very large monument to his memory erected by his widow. He is also commemorated on the Atkyns monument in Westminster Abbey. His will was proved 26 February 1711/12. His widow died 2 December 1716 and was also buried at Sapperton.

Atkyns, Edward (1654-82). Second son of Sir Robert Atkyns (1621-1710) and his first wife, Mary, daughter of Sir George Clerk of Watford (Northants), baptised at St Andrew, Holborn, 6 June 1654. Educated at Lincolns Inn (admitted 1669). He married, 1677 (licence 8 February 1676/7), Agnes (b. 1657), daughter of Sir Richard Atkins, 1st bt. of Clapham (Surrey) and had issue:
(1) Robert Atkyns (1679-1753) (q.v.); 
(2) Annabella Atkyns (c.1680-1763), who inherited Sapperton Manor from her uncle and sold it in 1730 to Lord Bathurst; married, 7 June 1705, Hon. & Ven. Dr. Henry Brydges DD (c.1671-1725), rector of Adlestrop and Broadwell (Glos) and archdeacon of Rochester (Kent), second son of James Brydges, 8th Baron Chandos, and had issue three sons and six daughters; buried at Whitchurch, 24 August 1763.
He died in the lifetime of his father and was buried at Sapperton, 28 December 1682. His widow's date of death is unknown.

Atkyns, Robert (1679-1753). Only son of Edward Atkyns (1654-82) and his wife Agnes, daughter of Sir Richard Atkins, 1st bt., of Clapham (Surrey), born 22 January and baptised at Totteridge (Middx), 25 January 1678/9. He married, 1701 (settlement 8 November), Elizabeth Edgecumbe (d. 1739) of Mount Edgecumbe (Cornw.) and had issue:
(1) A son; died young;
(2) Anne Atkyns; married Thomas Horde (d. 1785) of Bourton-on-the-Water (Glos), and had issue one son;
(3) Elizabeth Atkyns (d. by 1778); married, 3 September 1728 at Lower Guiting (Glos), Thomas Chamberlayne, son of Edmund Chamberlayne of Maugersbury (1706-74).
He received the manors of Trewsbury and Brickhampton, together with property at Coates and Minsterworth from his grandfather, Sir Robert Atkyns (1621-1710) on his marriage, but in 1698 and 1708 his grandfather considered that he 'had shown signs of lunacy' and made settlements that excluded him from the succession to the family estates. Sir Robert Atkyns (1647-1711) seems not to have concurred in this judgement and succeeded in overriding his father's settlements, so that he inherited the Swell Bowl estate in 1711. Anne, Lady Atkyns recovered possession of Swell Bowl in 1712, but he finally secured it after her death in 1716. After his death his property passed to his daughters as co-heirs until a lawsuit in 1777 saw ownership of Lower Swell transferred to John Atkins Wright (1758-1822).
He died 16 March and was buried at Lower Swell, 18 March 1753. His wife was buried at Lower Swell, 10 October 1739.

Sir Edward Atkyns, kt. (1630-98)
Atkyns, Sir Edward (1630-98), kt. Younger son of Sir Edward Atkyns (1587-1669), kt. and his first wife Ursula, daughter of Sir Thomas Dacres of Cheshunt (Herts), baptised at Cheshunt (Herts), 14 October 1630. Educated at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (admitted 1646) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1647; called to bar, 1653; bencher, 1671; reader, 1675; treasurer, 1676). Barrister-at-law; serjeant-at-law, 1679; knighted on becoming a judge, 26 June 1679; Baron of the Exchequer, 1679-86; Chief Baron of the Exchequer, 1686-89; he was a Tory and a Jacobite and resigned his office after the Revolution of 1688 rather than swear allegiance to King William III, being succeeded as Chief Baron by his elder brother. JP for Woodstock (Oxon), 1656-62 and Hertfordshire, 1656-79. Recorder of Woodstock, 1661-62. MP for New Woodstock, 1660. He was was renowned for his legal learning and hospitality. He married, 9 December 1656 at St Andrew, Holborn (Middx), Elizabeth (d. by 1686), daughter and co-heir of Francis Lucy of The Strand, London, and had issue, with two other daughters:
(1) Lucy Atkyns (d. 1697), born about 1660; married, 20 January 1678/9 at St Lawrence Jewry, London, Hon. Thomas Newport (1654/5-1719), (later 1st Baron Torrington, who m.2, 22 July 1700, Penelope Mary (d. 1705), daughter of Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 1st bt. and m.3, 8 July 1709, Anne, daughter of Robert Pierrepont), fifth son of Francis Newport, 1st Earl of Bradford, but had no issue; buried at Albury, 29 January 1696/7;
(2) Frances Atkyns (b. c.1663); married, 28 August 1683 at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich (Norfk), John Buttler (b. c.1643) of Watton Woodhall (Herts);
(3) Edward Atkyns (b. 1664), born 28 February and baptised at St Andrew, Holborn, 8 March 1663/4; died young;
(4) Kingswell Atkyns (b. 1665), baptised at Albury, 26 July 1655; probably died young;
(5) Richard Atkyns (1666-1717) (q.v.);
(6) Edward Atkyns (1672-1750) (q.v.);
(9) Rebecca Atkyns (c.1673-1711), born about 1673; married, 1708, Baynbrigg Buckeridge (c.1668-1733) (who m2, 4 March 1711/2 at Little Bookham (Surrey), Anne Mary Geering), son of Nicholas Buckeridge, and had issue one son (died young) and one daughter; died 2 May 1711;
(7) Robert Atkyns (c.1679-1752); merchant in Austin Friars, London, who retired to Blackheath (Kent); married and had issue one surviving daughter; will proved 17 October 1752;
(8) Martha Atkyns (fl. 1699); married, 19 November 1699 at Withersdale (Suffk), Thomas Gibson (fl. 1717) of London, gent.;
(10) Mary Atkyns (d. 1710); died unmarried and was buried at South Pickenham, 1710.
He inherited Albury Hall (Herts) from his father in 1669, but sold it about five years later to Thomas Bowyer. He bought the Pickenham Hall estate at South Pickenham (Norfk), where he lived in retirement after 1689 and completed the rebuilding of the hall. He died of the stone, aged 68 and was buried at Albury, 26 October 1698; he was commemorated on his brother's monument in Westminster Abbey. His wife was 'lately deceased' in 1686.

Atkyns, Edward (1672-1751). Second surviving son of Sir Edward Atkyns (1630-98), kt. and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Lucy of The Strand, London, baptised at Albury, 26 July 1672. Hamburg merchant in London. High Sheriff of Norfolk, 1743. He was unmarried and without issue.
He purchased the manor of Ketteringham (Norfk) in 1717. He later purchased the manors of Hethersett, Hacons, Cromwells and Woodhall (all Norfk)
He died aged 79 on 20 January and was buried 29 January 1750/1 at Ketteringham; his will provided for the erection of monuments to himself and his illustrious forbears in both Ketteringham church and Westminster Abbey, which were designed by his friend, Sir Henry Cheere; his will was proved 13 March 1750/1 (effects under £80,000).

Atkyns, Richard (1666-1717). Eldest surviving son of Sir Edward Atkyns (1630-98), kt and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Lucy of The Strand, London, born 20 June 1666. Educated at Brentwood School, Christ's College, Cambridge (admitted 1681) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1682). Linen draper in Cornhill, London. He married (licence 1689/90) Mary (b. c.1674), only child of Sir Thomas Kinsey (c.1636-96), kt., vintner, of Fulham (Middx), alderman of London, and had issue:
(1) Edward Kinsey Atkyns (1692-1743) (q.v.);
(2) Thomas Atkyns (b. c.1694?; fl. 1717), probably born about 1694; mariner, who at the time his father's will was drawn up was on a voyage to China; died without issue;
(3) Robert Atkyns; died in infancy and was buried at Fulham with his grandfather, Sir Thomas Kinsey;
(4) Elizabeth Atkyns (b. 1696), baptised at Fulham, 31 December 1696; died young; buried at Fulham with her grandfather, Sir Thomas Kinsey;
(5) Rev. Richard Atkyns (c.1697-1745); educated at Christs College and Peterhouse, Cambridge (admitted 1714; BA 1717/8; MA 1721; DD 1733); Fellow of Peterhouse, 1718-31; rector of Lee (Kent), 1731-45; died unmarried and without issue, 24 April 1745, and was buried at Lee;
(6) Robert Atkyns (c.1700-52), born about 1700; educated at Lincolns Inn (admitted 1715/16); linen draper of Austin Friars, London; retired to Blackheath (Kent); he may have been unmarried but left issue a daughter (Mrs. Margaretta White); buried at Albury (Herts), 16 October 1752; will proved 17 October 1752;
(6) Kingmil (recte Kingsmill?) Atkyns (b. 1703), baptised at St Clement Danes, London, 11 May 1703; probably died young;
(7) Mary Atkyns (fl. 1717); married before 1717.
He lived in London. He inherited his father's estate at South Pickenham, but sold it in 1700 to Thomas Chute.
He was buried at Albury, 12 December 1717; his will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 23 December 1717. His wife was buried at Albury (Herts), 1 June 1706.

Atkyns, Edward Kinsey (1692-1743). Son of Richard Atkins (d. 1717) and his wife Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Kinsey, kt., baptised at Fulham (Middx), 26 July 1692. Merchant in London; Governor of St. Thomas' Hospital, London, c.1727-43. He married, 1717 at St Ann Blackfriars, London, Ann Sanderson (d. 1746), and had issue:
(1) Edward Atkyns (1718-65) (q.v.);
(2) Robert Atkyns (b. 1719), baptised at St Peter le Poer, London, 11 August 1719; died young and certainly before 1730;
(3) Kinsey Atkyns (b. 1720), baptised at St. Peter le Poer, London, 5 October 1720; probably died young and certainly before 1746;
(4) Ann Atkyns (b. 1721), baptised at St Peter le Poer, London, 2 February 1720/1; living in 1770, when she was unmarried; her date of death has not been established;
(5) Richard Atkyns (b. 1723), baptised at St Peter le Poer, London, 19 May 1723; probably died young and certainly before 1746;
(6) Lucy Atkyns (1724-25), baptised at St Peter le Poer, London, 20 August 1724; died in infancy and was buried at St Michael, Paternoster Royal, London, 15 March 1724/5;
(7) Thomas Kinsey Atkyns (1728-71), baptised at St Peter le Poer, London, 22 January 1728/9; marine commander in service of East India Co.; married, 4 July 1754 at St Benet Gracechurch, London, Martha Morris (1723-1803), and had issue one son; his will was proved 21 October 1771;
(8) Robert Atkyns (b. 1730), baptised at St Peter le Poer, London, 14 August 1730; died young, before 1746.
He lived in the parish of St Peter-le-Poer, London.
He died 4 July and was buried at Albury, 7 July 1743; his will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 6 July 1743. His widow was buried at Albury, 19 January 1745/6.

Atkyns, Edward (1718-65). Eldest son of Edward Kinsey Atkyns (1692-1743) and his wife Ann Sanderson, baptised at St Peter-le-Poer, London, 28 March 1718, and nephew and heir of Edward Atkyns (d. 1750). Hamburg Merchant in London. He married, 31 December 1755 at St Michael, Oxford, Dorothy (d. 1767), daughter of John Wright of Oxford, and had issue:
(1) Edward Atkyns (1757-94) (q.v.);
(2) John Atkyns (later Atkyns Wright) (1758-1822) of Crowsley Park (Oxon), baptised at St Peter-le-Poer, London, 2 October 1758; educated at Eton, 1773-76, Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1777; BA 1780) and Inner Temple (admitted 1778; called to the bar, 1785); succeeded to the estate of his uncle, John Wright, at Crowsley Park in 1797 and took the additional name Wright; JP for Oxfordshire (Chairman of Quarter Sessions, 1819-22); High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, 1798-99; Recorder of Henley-on-Thames, 1799-1822; Major commanding Henley & Binfield Volunteers, 1803-06; MP for Oxford, 1802-07, 1812-20; Vice-President of the Board of Agriculture; through a lawsuit in 1777 he and his sister Mary recovered possession of the Swell Bowl estate in Gloucestershire, where he rebuilt the house as a farmhouse; married, 1786 at St Peter-le-Poer, London, Mary, daughter of Joseph Rigail, Russia merchant, but had no issue; died 5 March 1822;
(3) Robert Atkyns (1759-74), born 10 September and baptised at St Peter-le-Poer, London, 2 October 1759; died 16 June and was buried at Albury, 22 June 1774;
(4) Mary Atkyns (c.1760-1829) (q.v.);
(5) Ann Atkyns (b. 1761), born 22 November and baptised at St Peter-le-Poer, London, 9 December 1761; died before 1765.
He inherited the Ketteringham Hall estate from his uncle, Edward Atkyns (1672-1751) in 1751. He inherited Pinbury Park and the manor of Coates (Glos) from his kinsman, Robert Atkyns (d. 1753). He left his Gloucestershire property to trustees to sell for the benefit of his younger children. The younger children did better than expected out of this as in 1770 the Swell Bowl estate, to which Edward had had a reversionary right, fell into possession, and a legal case held that his will directed it should be sold for the benefit of his younger children, and not pass to his eldest son and heir-at-law. Pinbury was sold to Lord Bathurst in 1786 or 1788.
He died 23 February and was buried at Albury (Herts), 3 March 1765; he was commemorated by a monument in Ketteringham church; his will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 12 March 1765. His widow was buried at Albury (Herts), 2 June 1767; her will was proved in the PCC, 17 June 1767.

Atkyns, Edward (1757-94). Son of Edward Atkyns (1719-65) and his wife Dorothy, daughter of John Wright of Oxford, baptised at St Peter-le-Poer, London, 21 July 1757. Educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1776). He married, 18 June 1779 at St James, Piccadilly, London, Charlotte (1758-1836), actress, singer and dancer, daughter of William or Robert Walpole of Athlone (Co. Westmeath & Roscommon), and had issue:
(1) Wright Edward Atkyns (1780-1804) (q.v.).
By November 1784 he and his wife (who was not accepted by county society in Norfolk) had moved to France, probably to avoid their creditors; they entered court circles at Versailles and, after moving to Lille at the end of 1789, Charlotte Atkyns described herself as a pensioner of France, suggesting favour at court; she became a noted equestrienne, thinking little of riding the 74 miles to Calais one day and returning home the next. They returned to England in 1791, but remained in close touch with events in France through émigrés, and about August 1793 she went back to France in the hope of rescuing the surviving members of the French royal family; she succeeded in getting a brief meeting with Queen Marie-Antoinette in the Concièrgerie and the queen is said to have asked her to concentrate on saving her son, regarded by royalists as Louis XVII following the execution of his father. After her husband died in 1794 she may again have gone to France to attempt his rescue, but if there was an attempt it was unsuccessful. She continued to promote the émigré cause and mortgaged Ketteringham in 1799 to raise funds for this purpose. After the restoration of the French monarchy in 1814 she petitioned unsuccessfully for reimbursement of more than £30,000 which she claimed to have expended in the Bourbon cause, and about 1830 she moved permanently to Paris, where she died in reduced circumstances
He inherited the manor of Ketteringham from his father. At his death it was left to his widow, who in 1824 gave it to her sister-in-law, Mary Atkyns, in return for an annuity.
He died 27 March and was buried at Ketteringham, 5 April 1794. His widow died in Paris (France), 2 February 1836 but was buried at Ketteringham; her will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 26 July 1838.

Atkyns, Wright Edward (1780-1804). Son of Edward Atkyns (1757-94) and his wife Charlotte, daughter of Elizabeth Walpole, born 28 June and baptised 22 July 1780. An officer in the 1st regiment of dragoons (Cornet, 1797; Lt., 1799; Capt., retired because of ill-health, 1804). He was unmarried and without issue.
He died unmarried, 16 November, and was buried at Ketteringham, 27 November 1804; his will was proved in the PCC, 8 December 1804.

Atkyns, Mary (c.1760-1829). Daughter of Edward Atkyns (1718-65) and his wife Dorothy, daughter of John Wright of Oxford, born about 1760. She married, 13 December 1783 at St Mary, Lambeth (Surrey), John Thomas Atkyns (1757-1819) of Battersea (Surrey) and later of Huntercombe House (Bucks), son of Thomas Atkyns of London, and had issue:
(1) Mary Elizabeth Atkyns (1784-1849), born 24 September and baptised at St George, Hanover Square, London, 23 October 1784; married, 14 February 1823, Maj-Gen. Charles Palmer MP (1777-1851), aide-de-camp to Prince Regent, 1811-20, son of John Palmer of Bath (Somerset), but had no issue; administration of goods (with will annexed) granted to her sister Frances, 26 March 1849;
(2) Ann Dorothy Atkyns (1785-1867), baptised at St George, Hanover Square, London, 13 September 1785; she inherited the Swell Bowl estate from her uncle, John Atkyns Wright, in 1822 but sold most of it in 1844 and the rest after 1865; died unmarried, 20 March 1867; will proved 4 April 1867 (effects under £8,000);
(3) Frances Atkyns (1786-1866), baptised at Fulham (Middx), 20 November 1786; lived at Cadogan Place, Chelsea; died unmarried and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, 26 February 1866; will proved 19 March 1866 (effects under £45,000);
(4) Harriet Atkyns (1790-1825) (q.v.);
(5) John Thomas Atkyns (1792-93), baptised at Battersea (Surrey), 31 December 1792; died in infancy and was buried at Battersea, 19 March 1793;
(6) Robert John Atkyns (1797-1818), born 18 July and baptised at Battersea (Surrey), 25 August 1797; educated at Eton and Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1816); died in the lifetime of his father, 23 May, and was buried at Burnham (Bucks), 1 June 1818.
She lived at Tom Taylor's House, Lavender Sweep, Battersea (Surrey) c.1794-1804 and later at Huntercombe Manor, which her husband leased. In 1824 she acquired Ketteringham from her sister-in-law, Charlotte Atkyns, in return for an annuity, and settled it on her daughter Harriet.
She was buried at Burnham (Bucks), 30 November 1829 but commemorated by a monument at Ketteringham; her will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1 September 1830. Her husband was buried at Burnham, 7 July 1819; his will was proved in the PCC, 15 July 1819.

Atkyns, Harriet (1790-1825). Daughter of John Thomas Atkyns (1757-1819) of Battersea (Surrey) and later of Huntercombe House (Bucks) and his wife Mary (c.1761-1829) (q.v.), daughter of Edward Atkyns, born 19 December 1790 and baptised at St Mary, Battersea, 15 January 1791. She married, 14 July 1824 at Walcot, Bath (Somerset), Nathaniel William Peach MP (1785-1835), son of Nathaniel Peach of Bownham House (Glos) and widower of Elizabeth, daughter of John Goodman of Oare (Wilts), by whom he had one son and two daughters, but had no issue.
Ketteringham Hall  was settled on her by her mother at her marriage; her stepson sold it for £80,000 in 1836 after her husband's death. Her husband also owned The Hyde, Bere Regis (Dorset).
She died 3 July 1825 and was buried at Ketteringham, where she is commemorated by a monument erected by her husband.  Her husband died 29 August 1835; his will was proved 14 September 1835 (effects under £35,000); his will led to a Chancery suit.


Sir. R. Atkyns, The ancient and present state of Glostershire, 1712, pp. 636, 704 and facing plates; Country Life, 30 April 1910, pp. 630-6; J.D. Thorp, 'History of the manor of Coates', Transactions of the Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, vol. 50, 1928, pp. 135-274; A Carver, The story of Duntisbourne Rouse, 1968; VCH Gloucestershire, vol. 4, p. 394; vol. 6, pp. 166-68; vol. 11, p. 91; B.S. Smith, 'Sir Robert Atkyns', in J. Simmons (ed), English County Historians, 1978, pp. 56-80; J. Johnson, The Gloucestershire Gentry, 1989, pp. 41, 110; P.H. Highfill, K.A. Burnim & E.A. Langhans, A biographical dictionary of actors, actresses, musicians, dancers, managers and other stage personnel in London, 1660-1800, 1993, vol. 15, pp. 243-45; D. Verey & A. Brooks, The buildings of England: Gloucestershire - The Cotswolds, 3rd edn., 1999, pp. 590-91; N.W. Kingsley, The country houses of Gloucestershire, vol. 1, 1500-1660, 2001, pp. 169-70, 246; vol. 2, 1660-1830, 1992, pp. 244-45; N.W. Kingsley & M.J. Hill, The country houses of Gloucestershire: vol. 3, 1830-2000, 2001, pp. 289-90; Sir J. Baker, The men of court, 1440 to 1550, 2012, vol. 1, pp. 239-40; ODNB articles on Richard Atkins (1615-77), Sir Edward Atkyns (1587-1669), Sir Robert Atkyns (1621-1710), Sir Edward Atkyns (1630-98), and Charlotte Atkyns (1758-1836).

Location of archives

No substantial archive is known to survive, although there are a few papers relating to the Norfolk branch of the family among the later archives of the Boileau family of Ketteringham Hall in Norfolk Record Office and scattered deeds and papers relating to the Gloucestershire branch in the Gloucestershire Archives.

Coat of arms

Argent, a cross sable, a tressure of a half fleur de lis between four mullets pierced of the second.

Can you help?

Here are a few notes about information and images which would help to improve the account above. If you can help with any of these or with other additions or corrections, please use the contact form in the sidebar to get in touch.

  • Can anyone supply an illustration of Ketteringham Hall before it was remodelled in the 1830s?
  • The genealogical details for the 16th and 17th century generations of this family are sadly incomplete. If anyone can provide additional information from authoritative sources I should be very pleased to receive it.
  • Can anyone supply further portraits of members of this family whose names appear in bold in the account?

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 6 December 2016 and was updated 20 January and 7 September 2021 and 1 May 2022. I am grateful to Alex Craven for drawing my attention to a significant error.