Monday 18 April 2016

(214) Aspinall of Standen Hall

Aspinall of Standen Hall
This family is said to have held Standen since the time of King Henry VII if not earlier, but their rise to gentry status was gradual. They were armigerous by the early 16th century, but as late as the early 18th century Alexander Aspinall (1693-1746) was still described as 'yeoman' in some documents. It seems to have been his eldest son, John Aspinall (1716-84), who was educated for the law and became one of the serjeants-at-law and Recorder of Clitheroe, who made the decisive shift into gentility, marked by the rebuilding of Standen Hall in 1757. Since neither of John's two marriages produced any children, he left the house at his death to his infant great-nephew, John Aspinall (1779-1851). It is not clear why the estate was left to this child rather than to his father, also John Aspinall (1749-97), who was a fustian manufacturer in Manchester. The estate was let during John's minority to Thomas Southwell (1742-96), 2nd Viscount Southwell.

John Aspinall (1779-1851) left only one son, John Thomas Walshman Aspinall (1812-65), who was the only member of the family to be elected to Parliament, although he was unseated on petition as a result of 'treating' by his agents in a previous election, which had led to his disqualification from office. Before his marriage in 1841, J.T.W. Aspinall had bought Little Mitton Hall, which he substantially rebuilt in the 1840s (probably to the designs of George Webster of Kendal) while retaining its magnificent medieval hall, and he seems to have made Little Mitton his main home even after he inherited Standen in 1851, although he did rebuild the service wing at Standen c.1858 to the design of G.E. Paley. He died unexpectedly at a relatively young age and his widow continued to live at Little Mitton until her death in 1873. His only surviving son, Ralph John Aspinall (1847-1913) moved into Standen, and from 1874 let Little Mitton to the prominent Bolton industrialist and MP, John Hick (1815-94), who made further changes to the house. In 1880 he and Hick jointly took legal action against factories which were polluting the River Ribble (and affecting their fishing rights) and won a landmark judgement which became an important legal precedent in controlling environmental pollution.

From the late 18th to the early 20th century, the Aspinalls played their part in public life. J.T.W. Aspinall, as we have seen, was very briefly an MP, and several members of the family were justices of the peace, deputy lieutenants, and militia officers. Ralph John Aspinall was more assiduous in his militia career than most, rising to become Hon. Colonel of the Duke of Lancaster's Own Militia, 1895-98, and three of his four sons were also in either the regular army or the territorials in the early 20th century. At his death in 1913 the Standen and Little Mitton estates passed to his eldest son, Maj. John Ralph Aspinall (1878-1946), who continued to use Standen as the family seat and to let Little Mitton. John Aspinall (1927-2017) inherited in 1946 and appears to have sold Little Mitton Hall in the 1960s, while retaining the estate and the lordship of the manor. Little Mitton was converted into a restaurant and hotel in 1966-68 and has since been enlarged and altered several times. Standen, by contrast, has remained very much a private house, and the Standen estate continues to play an important part in the life of Clitheroe town; something made very concrete by the approval of plans for a development of over a thousand new houses on land belonging to the estate between the town and the Hall, which attracted a good deal of opposition. After the death of John Aspinall, the estate passed to his first cousin once removed, Martin Aspinall (b. 1951), who has since overseen a splendid restoration and redecoration of the house.

Standen Hall, Clitheroe, Lancashire

Standen Hall: the grand east front of 1757, possibly designed by Timothy Lightoler. Image: Tim Boon

A house may have been built on the site of the present Standen Hall in the 15th century, but a plan of 1740 shows a south-facing H-shaped house, suggesting that any medieval building was probably replaced in the 17th century. This is likely to remain obscure because the H-shaped house was largely rebuilt again in 1757 by John Aspinall (d. 1784), more or less on the old plan, and possibly to a design by Timothy Lightoler. The rebuilt house has a fine Palladian seven-bay two-and-a-half storey east front, with the central three bays enriched by giant Doric columns, a triglyph frieze and a pediment, and by triangular and segmental pediments over the principal windows. The house is said to contain good mid 18th century interiors with nice joinery and chimneypieces, and a pretty staircase.
Standen Hall: engraving by Edward Twycross, 1846, showing the west range before rebuilding.

Some earlier fabric is said to have been retained when the house was rebuilt, and this may be apparent in an 1846 engraving showing the south front, where a lower, two-storey block links the Palladian east range to a taller two-bay two-storey wing. The lower link has a handsome Adamish porch with corner urns, which is now again the main entrance. 

Standen Hall from an early 20th century postcard, showing the west wing as rebuilt.
This west wing was itself rebuilt for John Aspinall around 1858, to the design of Edward Graham Paley of Lancaster. Although superficially very similar to its predecessor, it was now of three bays rather than two, and somewhat taller. This part of the house was largely given over to service accommodation, but also includes a Victorian drawing room. In 1876, a single-storey billiard room was added at the north-east end of the east wing, and by 1882 a new stable block had been built south-west of the house. A new straight drive was made to the east front between 1882 and 1886, which is now a well-grown avenue. The 6" map of 1886 shows landscaped grounds around the hall and formal gardens to the south of the new stable block. 

After the death of John Aspinall in 2017, the estate passed to the present owner, who has conducted a restoration and remodelling of the house, converting the largely redundant service accommodation to equip the house for a contemporary way of living, with a living kitchen, family rooms, a new octagonal atrium, and a separate kitchen and boot room for use during shoots.

Descent: James Aspinall (fl. 1513-53); to son, John Aspinall (d. 1582); to son, James Aspinall (d. 1632); to son, John Aspinall (1579-1641); to nephew, John Aspinall (d. 1702); to son, James Aspinall (d. 1726); to first cousin once removed, Alexander Aspinall (1693-1746); to son, John Aspinall (1716-84); to great nephew, John Aspinall (1779-1851) who let it to Viscount Southwell (d. 1796) during his minority; to son, John Thomas Walshman Aspinall (1812-65); to son, Ralph John Aspinall (1847-1913); to son, John Ralph Aspinall (1878-1946); to son, John Edward Ralph Aspinall (1927-2017); to first cousin once removed, Martin Mark Charles Aspinall (b. 1951).

Little Mitton Hall, Lancashire

Little Mitton Hall: drawing by John Ward, 1834, showing the house before Victorian reconstruction.

This was originally a timber-framed house of c.1490, built for Ralph Catterell, with the entrance on the east side. Of this the main survival is the timber-framed great hall in the centre of the east front, although even here the external features have been altered and moved around. The house seems to have been reconstructed in stone around 1600, incorporating the older great hall, perhaps because the quality of the woodwork was so high, or because of the associations of antiquity which it offered. The house as rebuilt at that time was not greatly altered again before it was first recorded in 1834 in a drawing made by John Weld which shows an H-plan house with mullioned and transomed windows. We are fortunate also to have a plan published in 1818, which corresponds well with Weld's drawing, and gives additional information about the parts of the building Weld does not depict, especially the north side of the north cross-wing, where there were service rooms and a further porch. 

Little Mitton Hall: ground plan before 1818, from Whitaker's History of Whalley

The house was remodelled in 1841-44 for John Aspinall, almost certainly by George Webster. While keeping to the overall form of the existing building, he made it slightly or considerably larger in almost every direction, especially to the north, where the service rooms were replaced by larger wings in 1844 which were further altered and extended later. As part of the 1840s changes, the house was encased in rubble stone covered in a render, although in some parts the render has later been stripped off. The result of all these changes is an east front with mullioned and transomed windows and straight gables with rather improbably corbelled-out ball-finials, and at the north end a big flat-roofed bay window which is a later addition to the Victorian dining room. 

Little Mitton Hall: early 19th century watercolour by W. Turner of the hall, facing the screens passage

Little Mitton Hall: watercolour by J.C. Buckler of the interior
of the hall, facing the 'upper end' of the room
Inside, there are a few Jacobean-style fireplaces and fragments of plasterwork, but the only coherent early survival is the magnificent hall, which has an open roof of six bays. At the screens passage end there is a 19th century lobby and the main entrance, out of line with the end bay. The end wall of the hall is timber-framed, with four round-arched openings in a line instead of the usual three, and above that a row of quatrefoils. The body of the hall is spanned by three great spere-trusses supporting cambered and moulded tie-beams, with blank tracery and grotesques in the spandrels, and above the tie-beam a pattern of diagonal struts forming a lattice. Until the 1980s there was a sumptuously carved early 16th century screen with early Renaissance motifs under the first spere-truss. It is astonishing and scandalous that it could have been taken out at such a late date. Behind the screen there rose, in the early 19th century, a steep and vertiginous staircase, ramping up in a series of dog-legs to a doorway in the gable end of the hall. The east side of the hall now has a 19th century gallery which may incorporate some older work, but which is not shown in early 19th century drawings and engravings, and must be a new creation of the 1840s or 1870s.
Little Mitton Hall: the screen recorded by John Ward in 1834 and apparently only removed in the 1980s.

From 1874 the house was leased to John Hick, a partner in the engineering firm of Hick, Hargreaves & Co. of Bolton, who made some additions to the house in c.1875-80, apparently to the designs of Paley & Austin of Lancaster, including the addition of a 'recreation block', with half-hipped roofs and bargeboards, to the south of the house and linked to it by a large conservatory; he also added a second storey to the north-west wing. The conservatory was remodelled in the 20th century and then replaced in 1984-86 by a new two-storey bedroom block when the house became an hotel. The further large addition of a function room was also made south of the old house in the 1980s. The present owner of the hotel has made some further changes which have mercifully removed the crasser and least tasteful decoration of the 1980s. The house now operates as Mitton Hall Hotel.

Little Mitton Hall: the interior of the hall in recent years.

Little Mitton Hall: the exterior from the north-east in 2014.
Descent: built c.1485-95 for Ralph Catterall; to son, John Catterall (b. c.1478); to son, Thomas Catterall (d. 1579) who settled estate 1560 on his daughter Dorothy, wife of Robert Sherburn (d. 1570); to son, Thomas Sherburn (d. 1636); to son, Robert Sherburn (fl. 1651); to son, Thomas Sherburn (d. 1664); to brother Richard Sherburn (d. 1665) who sold 1665 to Alexander Holt (c.1624-87); to grandson, Alexander Holt (c.1675-1713); to son, William Holt (d. 1737); to daughter, Elizabeth (d. 1791), wife of Richard Beaumont (1719-64) of Whitley Beaumont (Yorks); to son, Richard Henry Beaumont FSA (d. 1810); to brother, John Beaumont (d. 1831); to natural grandson, Richard Henry Beaumont (1805-57); who sold c.1833 to John Thomas Walshman Aspinall (1812-65); to son, Ralph John Aspinall (1847-1913), who leased to John Hick MP (1815-94) from c.1874; to son, John Ralph Aspinall (1878-1946); to son, John Edward Ralph Aspinall (b. 1927), who sold c.1966 for conversion into an hotel and restaurant. 

Aspinall family of Standen Hall

Aspinall, John (d. 1582) of Standen Hall.  Son of James Aspinall (fl. 1513-53) of Standen Hall and his wife Agnes. He married Alice [surname unknown] and had issue including*:
(1) James Aspinall (d. 1632);
(2) William Aspinall (d. 1570); buried 31 July 1570;
(3) Maud Aspinall; married, c.1569, Alexander Hoghton (d. 1583?) of Pendleton Hall, Whalley.
He inherited Standen Hall from his father.
He was buried 30 August 1582. His widow was buried 31 May 1592.
* Another son may have been Alexander Aspinall (c.1546-1624) MA (Oxon), who was Master of Stratford-upon-Avon Grammar School, 1582-1624 and the subject of a poem attributed to Shakespeare, who was described as 'of Lancashire' when admitted to Oxford.

Aspinall, James (d. 1632) of Standen Hall. Eldest son of John Aspinall (d. 1582) and his wife Alice. He married, c.1578, Margaret Greenwood, and had issue:
(1) John Aspinall (1579-1641) (q.v.);
(2) Alexander Aspinall (fl. 1641), born c.1581-91; married and had issue a daughter;
(3) William Aspinall (d. by 1641) (q.v.);
(4) Mary Aspinall (b. 1585), baptised 24 December 1585.
He inherited Standen Hall from his father.
He died in 1632.

Aspinall, John (1579-1641) of Standen Hall. Son of James Aspinall (d. 1632) of Standen Hall and his wife Margaret Greenwood, baptised at Clitheroe, 18 October 1579. He married, 21 August 1596 at Garstang (Lancs), Ellen (fl. 1641), widow of Thomas ?Rishworth, but had no issue.
He inherited Standen Hall from his father in 1632.
Will proved at York, 27 July 1641; an inquisition post mortem was taken 31 August 1641. His widow was buried 8 February 1668.

Aspinall, William (d. before 1641). Younger son of James Aspinall (d. 1632). He married and had issue:
(1) John Aspinall (d. 1702) (q.v.);
(2) James Aspinall (d. 1693) (q.v.);
(3) William Aspinall (d. 1716); mentioned in his uncle's will, May 1641; buried at Clitheroe, 29 April 1716.
He died before 1641.

Aspinall, John (fl. 1641; d. 1702) of Standen Hall. Elder son of William Aspinall. Yeoman. He married and had issue:
(1) Thomas Aspinall (1658-73), born 5 January 1658/9; died young and was buried 11 January 1673;
(2) James Aspinall (d. 1726) (q.v.);
(3) Rev. Nicholas Aspinall (1657-1727), of Bedford, born 9 October 1657; educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (BA 1681; MA 1696); secretary to Edward Castell, editor of the Polyglot Bible; Master of Bedford Grammar School, 1683-1718; curate, 1706-12 and vicar, 1712-22? of St Peter de Merton, Bedford; died unmarried, 7 October 1727 and was buried at St Peter de Merton, Bedford, where he is commemorated by a monument with a long Latin inscription;
(4) John Aspinall (d. 1678); died unmarried; will proved at Chester, 1678;
(6) William Aspinall (d. 1664); buried 6 April 1664;
(7) Alexander Aspinall (b. & d. 1662), baptised 6 April 1662; died in infancy and was buried 20 September 1662;
(7) Grace Aspinall (b. 1664), baptised 6 February 1664; married, by 1702, [forename unknown] Clegg;
(5) Jonathan Aspinall (b. 1666; fl. 1678), baptised 7 September 1666;
(8) Priscilla Aspinall (fl. 1697-1702); married 1st, 6 May 1696/7 at Clitheroe, John Bayns of Wood Plumpton, and 2nd, by 1702, [forename unknown] Whalley.
He inherited Standen Hall from his uncle in 1641.
He was buried at Clitheroe, 28 December 1702; his will was proved 18 January 1702/3.

Aspinall, James (d. 1726). Eldest surviving son of John Aspinall (d. 1702), born before 1657. He married Mary, daughter of Joseph Auty and had issue:
(1) Thomas Aspinall (fl. 1725) of London; perhaps died shortly before or after his father;
(2) A daughter.
He inherited Standen Hall from his father in 1702. At his death it passed to his first cousin once removed, Alexander Aspinall (1693-1746).
He was buried 20 March 1725/6. His widow married 2nd, 28 November 1727 at Downham (Lancs), Matthew Carr, and may be the Mary Carr who was buried at Clitheroe, 14 April 1774.

Aspinall, James (d. 1693), 'of the Fields', Clitheroe. Second son of William Aspinall. Mentioned in his uncle's will in 1641. He married, 5 November 1663, Margaret Haworth (d. 1713) of Clitheroe, and had issue:
(1) A daughter (name illegible in parish register), baptised at Clitheroe, 24 September 1664;
(2) Margery Aspinall (1666-1731), baptised 30 November 1666; died unmarried and was buried at Clitheroe, 28 January 1730/1; will proved 16 May 1732;
(3) A son (name illegible in parish register), baptised 6 January 1668; probably died young;
(4) John Aspinall (1671-1715) (q.v.);
(5) Thomas Aspinall (b. 1674), baptised at Clitheroe, 2 February 1673/4; married, 13 April 1697 at Downham (Lancs), Anne Hartley;
(6) James Aspinall (b. 1677; fl. 1715), baptised at Clitheroe, 29 April 1677; living in 1715;
(7) Nicholas Aspinall (b. 1680), baptised at Clitheroe, 8 December 1680.
He was buried 20 October 1693. His widow was buried 22 September 1713.

Aspinall, John (1671-1715) 'of the Fields', Clitheroe. Son of James Aspinall (d. 1693) and his wife Margaret Haworth of Clitheroe, baptised at Clitheroe, 21 December 1671. Churchwarden of Clitheroe in 1704. He married Margaret [surname unknown] (fl. 1715) and had issue including:
(1) Alexander Aspinall (1693-1746) (q.v.);
(2) Nicholas Aspinall of the Fields; married Elizabeth [surname unknown] (d. 1770) and had issue.
He was buried at Clitheroe, 6 May 1715; his will was proved 1 January 1716.

Aspinall, Alexander (1693-1746). Son of John Aspinall of the Fields, Clitheroe and his wife Margaret, born in 1693. Yeoman. He married, 13 January 1714/5, Jane (1691-1771), daughter of John Haythornthwaite of Tarnbrook (Lancs), and had issue:
(1) John Aspinall (1716-84) (q.v.).
(2) Catherine Aspinall (b. 1720), baptised at Clitheroe, 21 May 1720; married, 26 January 1737, William Parr (d. 1755) of Clitheroe, butcher and had issue two sons; her date of death has not been traced;
(3) James Aspinall (1723-64) (q.v.);
(4) Nicholas Aspinall (1726-1807) of the Fields, Clitheroe; baptised at Clitheroe, 7 August 1726; married, 23 May 1751 at Whalley, Elizabeth (d. 1770) Bulcock of Pendleton, and had issue four sons and two daughters; buried at Clitheroe, 17 June 1807;
(5) William Aspinall (b. & d. 1732), baptised at Clitheroe, 22 January 1731/2; died in infancy and was buried 26 April 1732;
(6) William Aspinall (b. 1733; fl. 1749), baptised at Clitheroe, 13 September 1733; apprenticed to his elder brother James as an attorney, 1749;
(7) Marjorie Aspinall (1738-40), baptised at Clitheroe, 10 December 1738; died in infancy and was buried 18 August 1740.
He lived at Clitheroe. He inherited Standen Hall from James Aspinall (d. 1726).
He was buried 25 December 1746. His widow was buried 23 June 1771.

Aspinall, John (1716-84). Eldest son of Alexander Aspinall (1693-1745) and his wife Jane Haythornthwaite, baptised at Clitheroe, 24 January 1716/7. Educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (admitted 1736) and Middle Temple (admitted 1735/6; called to bar 1740). Barrister on the northern circuit; Serjeant-at-law, 1763-84; Recorder of Clitheroe; JP and DL for Lancashire and JP for West Riding of Yorkshire; a governor of Clitheroe School. He was remembered in the 19th century as "a great luminary at the Bar, his reputation as spotless as his talents were brilliant", and he was commended for his hospitality by Thomas Pennant, with whom he corresponded on antiquarian subjects, c.1775-80. However a different view is provided by Elizabeth Strickland (of whom he was at one time an admirer and who may therefore not be an impartial witness), who referred to "scrubby, mean, underbred, low-lived, ungrateful, covetous, designing, undermining, stupid, proud Aspinall" and to "his large wife" when they found themselves of opposite sides of an electoral contest at Clitheroe in 1781. He married 1st, 6 August 1747 at Bradford-on-Avon (Wilts), Caroline Elton (d. 1762) and 2nd, 20 August 1764, Mary Assheton (d. 1794), daughter of Maghull Yates of Maghull (Lancs), but had no issue.
He inherited Standen Hall from his father in 1746 and rebuilt it in 1757. He purchased Penwortham Priory in 1749 but sold it in 1752.
He died 1 March and was buried at Clitheroe, 9 March 1784, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 20 September 1785. His first wife died 25 January 1762. His widow married 2nd, 15 March 1785 at Whalley, Henry Aspinwall of Lincolns Inn and died in 1794.

Aspinall, James (1723-64). Second son of Alexander Aspinall (1693-1745) and his wife Jane Hawthornthwaite, baptised at Clitheroe, 5 October 1723. Solicitor. Churchwarden of Clitheroe, 1742-43. He married, 9 July 1747 at Downham (Lancs), Anne (d. 1771), widow of Henry Lonsdale, and had issue:
(1) John Aspinall (1749-97) (q.v.);
(2) James Aspinall (b. 1750; fl. 1825), baptised 26 December 1750 at Burnley; solicitor at 5 Quality Court, Chancery Lane, London;
(3) Alexander Aspinall (1753-85?), baptised 3 July 1753; possibly to be identified with the surgeon of this name who married Mary Snow and was buried 6 February 1785 at St Peter Cornhill, London; his will was proved 12 February 1785.
He lived at Burnley (Lancs).
He was buried at Clitheroe, 26 July 1764; his will was proved at York, July 1764. His widow died 2 November and was buried at Burnley, 5 November 1771.

Aspinall, John (1749-97). Elder son of James Aspinall and his wife Anne, widow of Henry Lonsdale, baptised at Burnley, May 1749. Educated at Manchester Grammar School. Fustian manufacturer at Manchester. An officer in the Lancashire militia (Lt., 1778); DL for Lancashire. He married, 1 August 1775 at Manchester Cathedral, Hannah Cooper, and had issue*:
(1) Mary Ann Aspinall (1775-78), baptised 16 December 1775 at St Botolph Aldgate, London; died young and was buried at Manchester Cathedral, 11 September 1778;
(2) Hannah Aspinall (b. 1777), baptised 27 July 1777 at Manchester Cathedral; probably died young;
(3) John Aspinall (1779-1851) (q.v.);
(4) James Aspinall (b. 1781), baptised 27 April 1781 at St Ann, Manchester; probably died young;
(5) Nicholas Aspinall (1783-1841), of Everton, Liverpool, baptised 11 December 1783 at St Bride, Fleet St., London; soap boiler (bankrupt, 1826); married, 16 August 1810 at Kendal (Westmld), Elizabeth Sowden, and had issue one son and three daughters (of whom Elinor married her cousin, J.T.W. Aspinall of Standen Hall in 1841); buried 14 September 1841 at St George, Everton, Liverpool (Lancs).
He lived at Manchester.
He was buried at Clitheroe, 24 August 1797. His wife's date of death has not be traced.
* Baptisms of Ann Aspinall (on 26 July 1785) and Miles Aspinall (on 13 March 1789) at St Margaret, Lothbury, London may also be for children of this couple.

Aspinall, John (1779-1851) of Standen Hall. Elder son of John Aspinall and his wife Hannah Cooper, born 7 August and baptised 10 September 1779 at St Ann, Manchester (Lancs). Educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1798). JP and DL for Lancashire. Governor of Clitheroe Grammar School. He married 1st, 23 April 1804, Jane (1787-1821), daughter of Edmund Robinson of Sabden (Lancs), yeoman, and 2nd, 29 April 1828 at St. Marylebone, Harriet (1785-1856), daughter of William Brazier of Rye (Sussex) and widow of John Treacher and Ralph Blegborough MD, and had issue:
(1.1) Mary Aspinall (c.1805-39), baptised 7 August 1806; married, 19 April 1838 at Clitheroe, John L. Hammond Esq. of Catterick (Yorks NR) and later of Ferriby Hall, Bedale (Yorks NR) and had issue a daughter; died 14 February 1839;
(1.2) Helen Robinson Aspinall (1806-77), born 24 December 1806 and baptised 31 August 1808; married, 29 November 1836, John Lomax (1801-49) of Clayton Hall, Clayton-le-Moors (Lancs), son of Richard Grimshaw Lomax, but had no issue; as a widow lived at Dorset Sq., London; died at Ramsgate (Kent), 27 April 1877; administration of her goods with will annexed was granted 28 May 1877 (effects under £16,000);
(1.3) Elizabeth Walshman Aspinall (1808-86), born 13 June 1808 and baptised 9 October 1809; married, 22 October 1845 at Clitheroe, Rev. Samuel Brazier Arnott (1815-76), rector of Hollington (Sussex) and had issue one son (d. young) and one daughter; died 23 June and was buried at Egham (Surrey), 28 June 1886; will proved 23 October 1886 (effects £18,927);
(1.4) Walshman Aspinall (1813-18), born 2 May 1813 and baptised 24 August 1814 at St Mary, Lambeth (Surrey); died young, 23 December 1818;
(1.5) Jane Aspinall (1809-75), born 23 September and baptised 9 October 1809; married, 8 June 1847, Ralph Blegborough (1814-69) of Streatham (Surrey) but had no issue; died 11 April 1875; will proved 30 April 1875 (effects under £90,000);
(1.6) John Thomas Walshman Aspinall (1812-65) (q.v.).
He inherited Standen Hall from his great-uncle in 1784 and came of age in 1800; during his minority it was let to Viscount Southwell. He was obliged to sell some of the estates (property at Preston and Elswick (Lancs)) under an order in Chancery in 1813.
He died 7 February and was buried at Clitheroe, 14 February 1851; his will was proved 7 April 1851. His first wife died 20 November 1821. His widow died at Brighton (Sussex), 27 January 1856.

Aspinall, John Thomas Walshman (1812-65) of Standen Hall. Only son of John Aspinall (1779-1851) and his first wife, Jane Robinson of Sabden, baptised 3 March 1812. Educated at Richmond (Yorks), Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1829) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1833). JP and DL for Lancashire. Governor of Clitheroe Grammar School, 1851. Elected Tory MP for Clitheroe, 1853, but unseated on petition. He married, 20 May 1841, his cousin Elinor (1816-73), youngest daughter of Nicholas Aspinall of Everton, Liverpool, and had issue:
(1) John Nicholas Aspinall (1842-47), born 29 January 1842 and baptised at Whalley, 12 December 1843; died young at Blackpool, 22 October 1847, aged 5;
(2) Katherine Aspinall (1843-1909) of The Mount, Great Glen (Leics), born 15 January and baptised at Whalley, 6 February 1843; died unmarried, 22 July 1909 and was buried at Great Glen where she is commemorated by a monument; administration of goods granted 6 November 1909 (estate £116,570);
(3) Henry Walshman Aspinall (1845-55), born 27 January and baptised 24 March 1845; died young, 29 January 1855, aged 10;
(4) Jane Robinson Aspinall (1846-84), born 19 March and baptised 12 June 1846; married, 13 May 1870 at Whalley, Maj. Walter Overbeck Wade (1836-92) (who married 2nd, 5 March 1885 at Poulton-le-Sands (Lancs), Eleanor Wright (1855-1940) and had further issue one daughter) of How End, Sawrey (Lancs) and had issue a daughter; died 7 August 1884; administration of goods granted 1 October 1884 (effects £24,871);
(5) Ralph John Aspinall (1847-1913) (q.v.);
(6) Elinor Maud Aspinall (1853-1931), born 11 June and baptised 11 November 1853; suffered from acute learning difficulties and was a patient at Normansfield Licenced House for Imbeciles, Hampton Wick (Middx) in 1911; died 9 September 1931; administration of goods granted 12 December 1931 (estate £75,225).
He purchased Little Mitton Hall before 1834 and remodelled it in 1841-44. He inherited Standen Hall from his father in 1851 and rebuilt the service wing c.1858.
He died 12 November and was buried at Clitheroe, 18 November 1865; his will was proved 7 June 1866 (effects under £80,000). His widow died 2 October and was buried at Clitheroe, 6 October 1873; her will proved 15 December 1873 (effects under £14,000).

Aspinall, Col. Ralph John (1847-1913) of Standen Hall. Only son of John Thomas Walshman Aspinall (d. 1865) and his wife Ellinor, daughter of Nicholas Aspinall of Liverpool, born at Little Mitton, 26 September 1847. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1866; BA 1870; MA 1875). JP and DL for Lancashire and JP for West Riding of Yorkshire; High Sheriff of Lancashire, 1880. In 1880, with his tenant John Hick, he won a landmark legal case against the local cotton mills about pollution of the River Ribble. An officer in the Duke of Lancaster's Own Militia (Lt., 1865; Capt., 1870; Major, 1886; Lt-Col., 1887; Col. 1895-98). He married, 11 May 1876 at St Mary Abbots, Kensington (Middx), Mabel Frederica Frances Baynes (c.1853-1941), daughter of Robert Lloyd Jones-Parry of Aberdunant (Caernarvons.) and Plas Tregayon (Anglesey) and had issue:
(1) John Ralph Aspinall (1878-1946) (q.v.);
(2) Miles Edward Aspinall (1879-1900), born 18 December 1879; educated at Eton and Royal Military College, Sandhurst; an officer in Scots Guards (2nd Lt., 1899); died unmarried, 16 January and was buried at Pendleton, 20 January 1900;
(3) Capt. Charles Lewis Robert Aspinall (1883-1951) (q.v.); 
(4) Geoffrey Aspinall (1884-1944) of Cove House, Tiverton (Devon), born 25 June 1884; educated at Trinity College, Cambridge and the Inner Temple (admitted 1905; called to bar, 1909); barrister-at-law; married, 15 January 1914 at Holy Trinity, Sloane Street, London, Clara (1889-1940), only child of Sir John Ormerod Scarlett Thursby, 2nd bt. and had issue two daughters; died 24 September 1944; will proved 31 January 1945 (estate £22,153).
He inherited Standen Hall and Little Mitton Hall from his father in 1865; his inheritance was disputed by a false claimant who said he was the rightful heir, having been put out to nurse as an infant and switched for the nurse's own child. Little Mitton was leased from 1874.
He died 31 May 1913 and was buried at Pendleton with his second son. His widow died 11 April 1941.

Aspinall, Maj. John Ralph (1878-1946) of Standen Hall. Eldest son of Ralph John Aspinall (1847-1913) and his wife Mabel Frederica Frances Baynes, daughter of Robert Lloyd Jones-Parry of Aberdunant (Caernarvons.) and Plas Tregayon (Anglesey), born 11 April 1878. Educated at Eton and Trinity Hall, Cambridge (admitted 1896). JP for Lancashire. Major in Lancashire Hussars Yeomanry and Territorial Forces Reserve, 1914-19. He married, 1st, 16 February 1901, Florence Augusta (1875-1923), third daughter of Col. George Bluchner Heneage Marton of Capernwray and 2nd, 30 June 1926, Muriel Lena St. Clair (1891-1967), daughter of John Lawson Johnston of London, and had issue:
(1.1) Augusta Evelyn Rosemary Aspinall (1904-26), born Jan-Mar 1904; married, 12 June 1925 at Pendleton, Lt-Col. (Elliott) Nial Eveleigh DSO MC (1890-1964), but had no issue; buried 15 November 1926 at Pendleton;
(2.1) John Edward Ralph Aspinall (b. 1927) (q.v.).
He lived at Barraclough House, Clitheroe until he inherited Standen Hall from his father in 1913.
He died 16 March 1946; his will was proved 7 June and 17 October 1947 and a new grant was made following the coming of age of his heir, 22 June 1948 (estate £189,638). His first wife died 21 May 1923. His widow died 20 June 1967; her will was proved 19 September 1967 (estate £25,910).

John E.R. Aspinall
Aspinall, John Edward Ralph (1927-2017) of Standen Hall. Only son of John Ralph Aspinall (1878-1946) and his second wife Muriel Lawson, daughter of John Lawson Johnston of London, born 10 May 1927. Educated at Eton and Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester. President of Blackburn Symphony Orchestra, 1982-2014. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Standen Hall from his father in 1946. On his death the estate passed to his first cousin once removed, Martin Aspinall (b. 1951).
He died 21 August 2017; his will was proved 13 August 2018.

Aspinall, Capt. Charles Lewis Robert (1883-1951). Third son of Ralph John Aspinall (1847-1913) and his wife Mabel Frederica Frances Baynes, daughter of Robert Lloyd Jones-Parry of Aberdunant (Caernarvons.) and Plas Tregayon (Anglesey), born 14 April 1883. An officer in the 21st Lancers, 1902-04 (2nd Lt.), and in the Royal Naval Air Service and Royal Air Force, 1914-19. Captain of Exmouth Golf Club in 1930s. He married, 21 April 1914 (div. 1933), Margaret Alice Mary (b. 1893), second daughter of William W. Middleton of Stuart Lodge, Malvern Wells (Worcs) and had issue:
(1) Charles Nicholas Bernard Aspinall (1915-89) (q.v.);
(2) Colum Lewis Mark Aspinall (1921-45).
He lived at Axmouth (Devon) and later Exmouth (Devon) after the First World War.
He died at Exmouth (Devon), 27 August 1951; his will was proved by his ex-wife, 11 February 1952 (estate £7,407).

Aspinall, Capt. Charles Nicholas Bernard (1915-89). Elder son of Capt. Charles Lewis Robert Aspinall (1883-1951) of Exmouth and his wife Margaret Alice Mary, second daughter of William W. Middleton of Stuart Lodge, Malvern Wells (Worcs), born in Northern Rhodesia, 3 March 1915. He served in the Second World War as an officer in the Royal Marines (2nd Lt., 1940; Lt. 1941; Capt.). He married Margaret Mary [surname unknown] (1922-2007?) and had issue:
(1) Martin Mark Charles Aspinall (b. 1951) (q.v.); 
(2) Richard Nicholas Charles Aspinall (b. 1952), born 17 December 1952; married, Jul-Sep. 1990, [forename unknown] Huggins;
(3) R.F.B. Aspinall (b. 1957), born 1 November 1957.
He lived in Durban (South Africa) in the 1950s and latterly at Midhurst (Sussex).
He died 29 June 1989; his will was proved 4 August 1989 (estate £47,302).

Aspinall, Martin Mark Charles (b. 1951). Eldest son of Capt. Charles Nicholas Bernard Aspinall (1915-89) of Midhurst (Sussex) and his wife Margaret Mary [surname unknown], born 28 April 1951 at Durban (South Africa). Educated at Redrice School. He married, 1990, Annette Katerine Taylor (d. 2011) and had issue
(1) Thomas Nicholas J. Aspinall (b. 1991);
(2) A daughter.
He lived at Holly Mount, Stanton (Glos) until he inherited the Standen Hall estate in 2017. He has since restored Standen Hall.
Now living.


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1952, p. 69; VCH Lancashire, vol. 6, 1911, pp. 388-96; The Genealogist, vol. 33, 1917, pp. 243-60; J.M. Robinson, The country houses of the north-west, 1991, p. 241; A. Taylor, The Websters of Kendal, 2004, pp. 36, 101, 118; C. Hartwell & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Lancashire - North, 2009. pp. 247, 428-29;;

Location of archives

No substantial accumulation of records is known to survive, but there may still be papers in the custody of the family.

Coat of arms

Or, a chevron, between three griffins' heads erased, sable.

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.
  • The attribution of the 1757 rebuilding to Timothy Lightoler (then only just beginning an architectural career) is found in a number of places, but I have been unable to trace its source. Does anyone know on what grounds this suggestion has been made?
  • Can anyone provide information about the descent of Little Mitton Hall in the late 19th and 20th centuries?
  • Does anyone know the present whereabouts of the early 16th century screen from Little Mitton Hall, or how it came to be removed in the 1980s? Can anyone provide a good quality photograph of the screen when it was in situ?
  • If anyone is able to contribute additional career information, genealogical details or portraits for this family, especially for the earlier generations, I should be very pleased to hear from them.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 18 April 2016, and was updated 22 April and 11 November 2016, 31 August 2018, 1 January 2023 and 14 January 2024. I am most grateful to Colin Stansfield for providing information about both houses from his records.


  1. I am Judith Podmore, nee Aspinall, (b. 1945), daughter of Joseph Albert Aspinall and Peggy Hawthorn. My father died when I was almost nine years old. He never talked about his father or his Aspinall grandparents.
    I discovered recently (from New Zealand) that my father's mother met her husband "Bertie" at Standen Hall where her sister Meg was a maid from the Isle of Man. My paternal grandmother Jesse Cowley went to visit her sister and fell in love with the second son, Albert. They were banished from the family and married in Blackburn. It was here that Joyce and Joe were born. Bertie died from Spanish flu while in the army in 1919. (Here we have a case of history repeating itself!) My father (b.1911 and d.1954) was educated at William Hulme in Manchester. He served as an officer during WW2 - The Royal Artillary (Lancs) and continued in the Territorial Army as Major for a Regiment in Sale, Cheshire. His career was in textiles. His funeral was at Manchester Cathedral.
    My two youger sisters, Janet and Eileen and I were educated at the Royal Masonic School in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. All three of us attended University and two of us have MA degrees.
    I found some of this information through a contact in New Zealand: Shelley Vette whose grandmother was Helena, a sister of Albert Aspinall.
    I would like to find the connection to the family. Was Ralph John (b.1847, d.1913) the third son, my Great Grandfather?
    I do have some early history of the Aspinalls in North Lancashire.
    It is possible the original name was from Aspen-baugh: trees on a hill, the word "baugh" being Scottish/Gaelic for hill.The lands were given to one Hugh by King Henry Second? The name change would happen over time as few people could read or write during early times. If you can answer my question and give more information in making the various connections, I would be most grateful. It is most interesting as Martin Aspinall seems to have succeeded Standen as John Edward Ralph died August 21, 2017. He had no children so I am curious how Martin fits the line, Your reseach is thorough and useful. Thank you so much.

    1. Dear Judith,
      Thanks for getting in touch. As far as can see, your father Joseph Albert Aspinall was the son of William Albert Aspinall (1876-1919), who in 1911 was a labourer in the Blackburn Corporation Tramway Shed and lived at 109 London Rd, Blackburn. His father appears to have been William Aspinall (1841-1913), a grocer in Preston, and his mother was Agnes Jane Rostron (1841-1916). William's father in turn seems to have been Richard Aspinall (b. 1815), who in 1851 was a 'grinder'. The information that your grandmother came from the Isle of Man does seem to be correct, but none of the servants at Standen Hall in 1901 or 1911 was called Meg or came from the Isle of Man. So I am afraid I can see nothing to connect your family to the Aspinalls of Standen Hall, at least in the last few generations. Thank you for the information about the death of J.E.R. Aspinall, which I seem to have missed.
      With best wishes,
      Nick Kingsley

  2. Martin Mark Charles Aspinall and
    Richard Nicholas Charles Aspinall attended Redrice School (now Fairleigh School on the Redrice Estate) from approximately late 1965 to 1971 after returning to GB from Rhodesia, (presumably because of the Declaration of Independence).
    I attended the school with them from 1968 to 1971. We lost contact when they left.

    1. I believe he now lives near Goodrich castle in herefordshire

  3. I would love to know how Katherine Annette Taylor passed away as I was a very good friend of her when we worked together

  4. This is a wonderful piece of historical research. You mention that these Aspinalls including by inference cousins (in the C19th) were public servants to the area including JPs. Don’t suppose that this Aspinall family had cousins in Burnley by the turn of the century? William Aspinall JP who went onto become one of the directors of Burnley FC. I’d be tickled pink to be distantly related to John Aspinall the gentleman barrister as I am lawyer myself.

    1. It seems very possible, as James Aspinall (1723-64) lived at Burnley. The thing to do would be to trace back the genealogy of William Aspinall JP and see if it connects up with the line discussed here. As you may know there is a book on the Lancashire Aspinalls (chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/ but it does not pursue a Burnley line as far as I can see.

  5. Mr Robert Aspinall JP was Chairman of the Burnley Borough Land & Buiding Society having being a member of the board since 1912. President of the Local Rotary, Chairman of the local Pensions Commitee and director of the Mechanics Institution and became JP in 1914.
    His sibling was Joseph (Joss) Aspinall Captained the Burnley Cricket first eleven when they won the Manchester League Championship in 1906 and team player when they won the championship during the following two years. Topped the Lancashire league batting in one season.
    He was educated at St Mary's School Burnley and St Bede's College Manchester.
    The Burnley generation of my wife's Aspinall family tree were great achievers!


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