Thursday 24 November 2016

(241) Atkinson of Temple Sowerby House and Morland Hall

Atkinson of Morland
According to family tradition, one Jane Atkinson and her son William were granted a lease of property at Temple Sowerby in 1577, but the family emerge into the archival record only at the beginning of the 18th century, with George Atkinson (1675-1723), tanner, of Temple Sowerby, who may have been a great-grandson of the putative 16th century William Atkinson. His son, Matthew Atkinson (1703-56), who was probably also a tanner, seems to have had the status of a prosperous yeoman. He was responsible for building much of the present Temple Sowerby House in the 1720s, but at his death his estate there seems to have been divided, with part, apparently including Temple Sowerby House, passing to his second son Matthew Atkinson (1736-89) and from him to Matthew Atkinson (1778-1852). The youngest Matthew, who was a banker and brewer, became bankrupt in 1840, and his moiety of the Temple Sowerby estate was sold for the benefit of his creditors.

It was the first Matthew's sons who clearly crossed the line into the landed gentry. His eldest son, George Atkinson (1730-81) began his working life as a tanner but turned to bill-broking and was later appointed the Crown's Receiver General for Cumberland and Westmorland. Matthew's third son, Richard Atkinson (1739-85) went to London, where his financial acumen rapidly secured him a partnership in a firm of West India merchants with lucrative Government contracts. The profits from this were invested in shares in the East India Company, of which he eventually became a Director. Through his friendship with John Robinson, Lord North's secretary to the Treasury and political manager, he became involved in Government efforts to reform the administration of the East India Company, and his appointment as a Director was due to his support of the moderate reform proposals of Pitt, and the defeat of the more radical changes sought by Charles James Fox. He also found his way into mainstream British politics, being elected as an MP in 1784, the year before his early death from consumption. At the time of his death, unmarried and without children, the Gentleman's Magazine estimated his wealth at £300,000, and while this was almost certainly a considerable over-estimate, his relatives undoubtedly benefited greatly from the distribution of his wealth around the family.

It was presumably through Richard Atkinson that George Atkinson (1764-1814) and Matthew Atkinson (1769-1830), sons of George Atkinson (1730-81), came to be sent to Jamaica, where George held the post of Island Secretary and Notary Public in the 1790s and Richard was a partner in the firm of Atkinson, Mure & Bogle, merchants.  Both men became plantation owners, and indeed they may have inherited at least some of these interests from Richard. George married the daughter of another plantation owner, but in about 1799 he returned to England, where he had purchased the Morland estate in Westmorland a couple of years earlier. He settled at Newcastle-on-Tyne but at the end of his life moved to a property near Canterbury (Kent), where he died in 1814. Matthew stayed in Jamaica until at least 1802 and became Agent-General to successive Governors of the island. When he returned to England he settled at Carr Hill House near Gateshead, which he bought in 1806, and established an ironworks at Lemington-on-Tyne. Carr Hill was evidently sold after his death in 1830, or possibly after the death of his second son, Isaac, in 1842.

George's son and heir was another George Atkinson (1795-1849), who inherited the Morland estate and one moiety of the Temple Sowerby estate from his father and came of age in 1816. He also inherited his father's Jamaican interests, and he spent much of his life in the island until he retired in 1846. George was unmarried and without issue, and at his death he left his Temple Sowerby property to his nephew, Matthew's son, Richard Atkinson (1812-76), who also spent some twenty years in Jamaica, managing the family's interests there. Morland he left to his younger brother, Francis Baring Atkinson (1805-64), who, after serving briefly in the army, married and settled down to lead the life of a country gentleman at first at Newbiggin (Northbld), and then at Rampsbeck Lodge on the shores of Ullswater, which he bought in 1840 and is said to have altered.
Rampsbeck Lodge
When he inherited the Morland estate he built a new and significantly grander house there, but he died soon after moving in. Morland Hall passed to his eldest son, George Atkinson (1838-74), and when he died unmarried, to his second son, the Rev. Francis Home Atkinson (1840-1901), who let the house and lived chiefly on Jersey in the Channel Islands. At his death in 1901, the property passed to his son, Henry Ernest Atkinson (1871-1926), who sold the estate in 1923; he lived subsequently at his wife's property, Avening House (Glos).

Richard Atkinson (1812-76) had four sons, who pursued careers in business and administration, but for reasons which are obscure he left his Temple Sowerby property to his widow for life, and then to his unmarried daughter, Catherine Annie Atkinson (1860-1932), who lived at Temple Sowerby House with a companion who was the sister of her brother, Sir John Nathaniel Atkinson (1857-1931), kt. When she died, the estate was put up for sale, but presumably in order to keep it in the family it was bought by Sir John's second son, John Littledale Atkinson (1888-1973). His son having predeceased him by a few months, Temple Sowerby House was sold in the mid-1970s and converted into an hotel.

Temple Sowerby House, Westmorland

Temple Sowerby House: the rear elevation hints at a complex building history with elements from the 17th-20th centuries.

The core of the house is a 17th century farmhouse, perhaps built for the Atkinsons, who were reputedly yeomen farmers at Temple Sowerby by 1577. The house was remodelled in the 1720s (a door lintel has the date 1727) for Matthew Atkinson, tanner, and then re-fronted in the early 19th century for another Matthew Atkinson, banker and brewer. The present five bay, two-storey elevation with a hipped roof and dormers was created at that time. By the 1970s the house was in very poor condition and likely to be demolished, but it was rescued and restored as an hotel, which it remains.

Temple Sowerby House: entrance front
Descent: George Atkinson (1675-1723); to son, Matthew Atkinson (1703-56); to son Matthew Atkinson (1736-89); to son, Matthew Atkinson (1778-1852); sold 1841 to John Thompson; sold 1845 to George Gibson...perhaps sold to Richard Atkinson (1812-76); to widow, Elizabeth Catherine Atkinson (1828-98); to daughter, Catherine Annie Atkinson (1860-1932); sold after her death to John Littledale Atkinson (1888-1973); sold as an hotel after his death.

Morland Hall, Westmorland

Hall Farm, Morland: the staircase
The original Morland Hall (now called Hall Farm) is a large H-shaped roughcast farmhouse of the late 17th or early 18th centuries, with a mixture of mullioned and square sash windows, and a rustic porch on the north side. Inside, it preserves an 18th century staircase with turned balusters, moulded strings, and a handrail ramped up at the ends. This house was subdivided into a number of dwellings in 2005.
Morland Hall: the house after restoration in 1999-2001

In 1849 Francis Baring Atkinson (1805-64) inherited the Morland estate from his childless elder brother, and proceeded to built a new house in 1855-61 on a greenfield site rather more than half a mile to the east of the old Hall Farm. Atkinson, who was already living in some style at Rampsbeck Lodge on the shores of Ullswater, built here on a scale and with a grandeur that reflected the increase in his fortune marked by the acquisition of the Morland estate. His architect for the new house is unknown, but it is an irregular L-shaped gabled building, with a distinctive conical-roofed turret in the angle between the two wings. The house was abandoned after hospital use in the Second World War, and fell into complete dereliction after being unroofed in 1948. 
Morland Hall: the house in a derelict condition in the 1990s. Image: Paul Crosby
Remarkably, considering how far gone it had become, it was restored for use as an hotel and wedding venue in 1999-2001, with a completely new interior in keeping with its external appearance.

Descent: Isaac Eeles sold 1797 to George Atkinson (1764-1814); to son, George Atkinson (1795-1849); to brother, Francis Baring Atkinson (1805-64), who built a new Hall; to son, George Atkinson (1838-74); to brother, Rev. Francis Home Atkinson (1840-1901); to son, Henry Ernest Atkinson (1871-1926), who sold it 1923 to George Morland Beck; sold 1927 to W.G. Shorrock; sold 1936 to Commander R.H. Torbock (d. 1992); used as Red Cross Hospital, 1939-45 and abandoned thereafter; sold 1999 to current owner; for sale 2016.

Atkinson family of Temple Sowerby House

Atkinson, Matthew (1703-56). Son of George Atkinson (1675-1723), tanner, of Temple Sowerby, and his wife Jane, daughter of G. Hodgson of Threlkeld (Westmld), born 2 January and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 9 January 1703. Probably a tanner in succession to his father. He married, 10 April 1727 at Temple Sowerby, Margaret (1707-73), daughter of Richard Sutton of Firbank, Kirkby Lonsdale, and had issue:
(1) George Atkinson (1730-81) (q.v.);
(2) Margaret Atkinson (1733-1827), born 13 May and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 7 June 1733; married, 28 September 1758 at Temple Sowerby, George Alderson Taylor (1736-1812) of Mellwaters, Bowes (Co. Durham) and later of Richmond (Yorks NR), and had issue; died 29 September 1827, aged 94;
(3) Matthew Atkinson (1736-89) (q.v.);
(4) Richard Atkinson (1739-85) (q.v.); 
(5) William Atkinson (b. 1741), baptised at Temple Sowerby, 14 November 1741; married, 2 March 1775 at Patterdale (Westmld), Jane (1740-1803), daughter of John Winder of Glenridding (Westmld), and had issue two sons (both died young) and four daughters; his date of death has not been traced.
He inherited an estate at Temple Sowerby from his father in 1723 and remodelled what is now Temple Sowerby House c.1727. He appears to have divided his property between his sons at his death.
He died 15 April 1756. His widow died at Temple Sowerby, 23 February 1773.

Atkinson, Matthew (1736-89). Second son of Matthew Atkinson (1703-56) and his wife Margaret. daughter of Richard Sutton of Firbank, Kirkby Lonsdale, born 22 August and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 29 August 1736. He married, 30 May 1774 at Wetheral (Cumbld), Mary (1749-1800), daughter of Rev. George Gilbanks of Wetheral, and had issue: 
(1) Margaret Atkinson (1775-1844), baptised at Temple Sowerby, 29 June 1775; lived at Temple Sowerby; died unmarried, Oct-Dec 1844; will proved at Carlisle, 1844;
(2) Mary Atkinson (1776-1866), baptised at Temple Sowerby, 15 September 1776; married, 10 May 1802 at Temple Sowerby, Edward Heelis (1761-1829) and had issue five daughters; died Jul-Sep 1866;
(3) Matthew Atkinson (1778-1852) (q.v.);
(4) Jane Atkinson (1779-1817), baptised at Temple Sowerby, 30 December 1779; married, 19 October 1811 at Temple Sowerby, Abraham Levy (b. 1768), and had issue one son and one daughter; died 12 March 1817;
(5) George Atkinson (b. 1781), baptised at Temple Sowerby, 3 June 1781; probably died young;
(6) Julia Atkinson (b. & d. 1783), baptised at Temple Sowerby, 7 August 1783; died in infancy;
(7) Julia Atkinson (1784-1869), baptised at Temple Sowerby, 5 September 1784; married, c.1810, Capt. Thomas Airey (1775-1826) of 39th and 9th Regiments, and had issue six sons and two daughters; died 15 January 1869; will proved 5 March 1869 (effects under £1,500);
(8) twin, Richard Atkinson (1786-1830), born and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 26 March 1786; Capt. in the Royal Westmorland militia; died unmarried at Battlebarrow, Appleby (Westmld), 29 August 1830;
(9) twin, Edmund Atkinson (b. & d. 1786), born and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 26 March 1786; died in infancy;
(10) Edmund Atkinson (b. 1787), born 24 July and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 27 July 1787; perhaps died young;
(11) Bridget Atkinson (1789-1880), born and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 27 March 1789; married, 19 September 1810 at Temple Sowerby, John Ridley (b. 1781) of High Parkend, Simonburn (Northbld) and had issue one son and three daughters; died Oct-Dec 1880, aged 91.
He inherited part of the Temple Sowerby estate, including the house, from his father in 1756.
He died 4 November 1789; his will was proved in the Prerogative Court of York, July 1790. His widow died 1 August 1800.

Atkinson, Matthew (1778-1852). Eldest son of Matthew Atkinson (1736-89) and his wife Mary, daughter of Rev. George Gillbanks of Wetheral (Cumbld), baptised at Temple Sowerby, 21 June 1778. Brewer at Appleby and senior partner in the Penrith Bank, which failed in 1840 after ill-advised dealings by the partners in fields as diverse as stock-fattening and shipping; on the failure of the bank he was bankrupted (discharged 1845). Mayor of Appleby, 1817-18, 1836-37. JP for Cumberland and Westmorland. He married, 8 July 1819 at Melling (Lancs), Mary (1785-1847), daughter of James Parkinson of Lancaster, solicitor, but had no issue.
He inherited part of the Temple Sowerby estate including the house from his father in 1789 and came of age in 1799. It was sold in 1841 following his bankruptcy the previous year, for £26,200 to John Thompson of Crossfield, near Poulton (Lancs) and he moved to Malines near Bruges (Belgium). After his discharge from bankruptcy he lived at Braganza Cottage on Jersey.
He died at Beaumont (Jersey), 2 November 1852. His wife died 6 December 1847.

Richard Atkinson (1739-85)
Atkinson, Richard (1739-85). Third son of Matthew Atkinson (1703-56) and his wife Margaret, daughter of Richard Sutton of Firbank, Kirkby Lonsdale, born 6/10 March 1738/9 and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 5 April 1739. As a young man, he moved to London as ‘a mere adventurer, unsustained by any inheritance, by few family friends of any power, and by no acquisitions which education imparts but common penmanship and arithmetic’; he rose through his own merits to become, by the 1770s, a partner in the firm of Mure, son, and Atkinson, West India merchants, which held contracts for the supply of British forces at Gibraltar and in North America that were so lucrative that he was described as "the most scandalous army contractor of the American War of Independence". He invested the profits in East India Co. stock, becoming a director of the company in 1783 after the failure of Fox's India bill, which he had opposed. In 1784 he stood unsuccessfully for London as a Pittite Tory at the general election, but was elected MP for Romney and the Cinque Ports soon afterwards and held the seat, 1784-85; he spoke frequently but with brevity and gravitas in the house, confining himself to Indian and other affairs of which he had personal knowledge. Alderman of London, 1784-85. H was unmarried and without issue.
He lived in London, but may have acquired property in India and the West Indies which was passed to his heirs.
He died of consumption, 26/28 May 1785; at his death, his wealth was estimated in the Gentleman's Magazine at £300,000;

Atkinson, George (1730-81). Eldest son of Matthew Atkinson (1703-56) and his wife Margaret. daughter of Richard Sutton of Firbank, Kirkby Lonsdale, born 16 August and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 16 September 1730. Tanner turned bill-broker. Receiver-General for Cumberland & Westmorland. He married, 7 January 1758, Bridget (1732-1814), daughter and heiress of Michael Maughan of Wolsingham, and had issue:
(1) Matthew Atkinson (1759-63), born 11 June and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 12 July 1759; died young, 5 September 1763;
(2) Dorothy Atkinson (1761-1827), born 24 February and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 26 March 1761; married, 23 November 1786 at Temple Sowerby, Nathaniel Clayton (1756-1832) of Chesters (Northbld), and had issue six sons and four daughters; died 1 August 1827;
(3) Michael Atkinson (1763-1821) of Mount Mascal (Kent), born 16/18 February and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 17 March 1763; an officer in East India Co. service who is said to have made 'a substantial fortune' in India, from whence he returned to England in May 1804; in 1806 he was fined £1,000 for libel after alleging in a letter he sent to his brother Matthew (who gave evidence against him), that his brother-in-law, Nathaniel Clayton (who was also the family solicitor), had siphoned off money from the estate of Richard Atkinson (1738-85); in a further action in 1821 he tried to have his uncle's will set aside, but he lost this case too; married, 1787, Sophia, daughter and heiress of George Mackereth of London and widow of James Millbourne of Bengal (India), and had issue one daughter; died at his house in Portland Place, London, 13 September and was buried at North Cray (Kent), 21 September 1821; will proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 24 October 1821;
(4) George Atkinson (1764-1814) (q.v.);
(5) Margaret Atkinson (1766-68), born 24 January and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 7 February 1766; died in infancy;
(6) Richard Atkinson (1767-93), born 29 August and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 22 October 1767; died unmarried;
(7) Matthew Atkinson (1769-1830) (q.v.);
(8) John Atkinson (b. 1771), born 6 July and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 7 July 1771; probably died young;
(8) Bridget Atkinson (1773-1850), born and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 13 May 1773; married, 5 May 1804 at Temple Sowerby, Henry Tulip (1758-1831) of Brunton Hall, Walwick Hall and Fallowfield (Northbld) and had issue three daughters; died at Heatherton Park, 21 March and was buried at Bradford-on-Tone (Somerset), 26 March 1850;
(9) Jane Atkinson (1775-1855), born 24 February 1775; died unmarried, 2 March 1855; her will was proved in the Prerogative Court of York, February 1856 (effects under £5,000).
He appears to have inherited part of the Temple Sowerby estate from his father in 1756.
He died 12 October 1781. His widow died 27 March 1814, aged 82; her will was proved in the Prerogative Court of York, October 1814 (effects under £12,500).

Atkinson, George (1764-1814). Second son of George Atkinson (1730-81) and his wife Bridget, daughter and heiress of Michael Maughan of Wolsingham, born 17 September and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 18 October 1764. Island Secretary and Notary Public of Jamaica; aide-de-camp (with the rank of Lt-Col.) to 5th Earl of Balcarres as Capt-General of Jamaica, July-August 1795; Agent-General for British land forces in Jamaica and St. Domingo, 1791-1813. His portrait was painted by Lemuel Abbott. He married, 30 July 1794 in Jamaica, Susanna Mackenzie (1777-1830), daughter of Abraham Dunkley of Clarendon (Jamaica) and had issue:
(1) George Atkinson (1795-1849) (q.v.);
(2) Bridget Atkinson (1799-1884), born 16 July and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 11 August 1799; married, 12 February 1816 at Hampstead (Middx), Robert Robertson (1777-1859) of Auchleeks (Perths.) and formerly of Jamaica, who purchased Membland (Devon) in 1827, and had issue five sons and six daughters; died 6 October 1884; will proved 21 November 1884 (effects £7,810);
(3) Capt. Thomas Atkinson (1800-38), born 14 September and baptised at St John, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 24 November 1800; an officer in the 7th and later 13th Light Dragoons (Cornet, 1826; Lt., 1827; Capt., 1830); died unmarried at Badegherry near Tellicherry (now Thalassery) (India), 4 October 1838;
(4) Mary Atkinson (1802-33), born 1 August and baptised at St John, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 16 September 1802; married, 20 May 1824 in Florence (Italy), Alexander Turnbull (1792-1876), British consul at Marseilles (France) 1815-58, and had issue; died in childbirth at Marseilles, 9 February 1833;
(5) John Atkinson (1803-05), born 14 November 1803 and baptised at St John, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 17 August 1804; died in infancy, 10 March 1805;
(6) Francis Baring Atkinson (1805-64) [see below, Atkinson family of Morland Hall]
(7) Jane Atkinson (1807-75), born 25 October 1807 and baptised at St John, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 5 January 1808; married, 29 October 1828 at Warden (Northbld.), Lt-Col. Edward Johnson DL (1798-1885) of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and The Deanery, Chester-le-Street (Durham), but had no issue; died February 1875;
(8) Rev. William Atkinson (later Atkinson-Clark) (1809-80), born 13 June and baptised at St John, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 17 July 1809; educated at University College, Oxford (BA 1831); ordained deacon, 1834 and priest, 1835; rector of Gateshead Fell (Durham), 1838-70; Hon. Canon of Durham Cathedral, 1854-80; assumed the additional surname of Clark in 1870 when he inherited the Belford estate from his brother-in-law; married, 2 July 1833 at Belford (Northbld), Jane Margaret (1806-78), daughter of William Clark of Belford Hall, and had issue three sons and one daughter, from whom descend the Atkinson-Clark family of Belford Hall (who will be the subject of a future post); died 30 December 1880; will proved 22 February 1881 (effects under £70,000);
(9) Harriet Eliza Atkinson (1811-78), born at Lee (Kent), 16 February 1811; married, 17 June 1828, Alexander Adair (1791-1863) of Heatherton Park (Somerset) and had issue five sons and two daughters; died 18 August 1878; will proved 26 September 1878 (effects under £1,500);
(10) Richard Atkinson (1813-62), born 5 August and baptised at Lee (Kent), 1 September 1813; married, 7 October 1834 at Aberford (Yorks WR), Caroline (c.1812-83), daughter of Rev. J. Landon, rector of Aberford, but had no issue, and was apparently separated from his wife by 1851; died 1862.
He inherited part of the Temple Sowerby estate from his father in 1781 and acquired plantations in Jamaica while working there in the 1790s. He purchased Morland Hall (Westmld) in 1797. He had returned to England by 1799, and lived chiefly at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, although he also owned property at Lee (Kent).
He died 11 May 1814; his will was proved 31 January 1815 (effects under £140,000). His widow died in 1830.

Atkinson, George (1795-1849). Eldest son of George Atkinson (1764-1814) and his wife Susanna Mackenzie, daughter of Abraham Dunkley of Clarendon (Jamaica), born 6 June 1795 and baptised at St Catherine (Jamaica). A partner in the Jamaica firm of Atkinson, Hozier & Co. (from 1844 Atkinson, McGregor) until his retirement in 1846; in 1824 he held the contract for victualling the Royal Navy West Indies squadron with beef and in 1831 he was appointed to act as local representative of his cousins George Clayton Atkinson and Isaac Atkinson in winding up the affairs of their father, Matthew Atkinson (1769-1830). JP for Westmorland, 1845. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Morland and Temple Sowerby estates from his father in 1814. At his death he left Temple Sowerby to his nephew, Richard Atkinson (1812-76) and Morland to his brother, Francis Baring Atkinson (1805-64). At his death he was described as 'formerly of Kingston in the Island of Jamaica and late of Morland'.
He died 29 March 1849; his will was proved in the Prerogative Court of York, August 1849 (effects under £35,000).

Atkinson, Matthew (1769-1830). Third son of George Atkinson (1730-81) and his wife Bridget, daughter and heiress of Michael Maughan of Wolsingham, born 1 September and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 8 October 1769. Sugar planter in Jamaica, and a partner in the firm of Atkinson, Mure & Bogle, which purchased a lease of the post of Commissary General and Island Secretary in Jamaica from the patentee, the Hon. Charles Wyndham; Collector of the Port of Kingston (Jamaica); Agent-General to successive Governors of Jamaica (Lord Balcarres and Lt-Gen. Nugent), 1799-1802. After his return to England he established an ironworks at Lemington-on-Tyne. DL for Co. Durham, 1816. He married, 1 December 1806 at Whitehaven (Cumbld.), Anne (d. 1828), daughter of Isaac Littledale of Whitehaven, and had issue: 
(1) George Clayton Atkinson (c.1808-77) of West Denton and later of Wylam Hall (Northbld), born 1808; an amateur artist, keen naturalist and one of the founder members of the Northumberland & Durham Natural History Society; he undertook a series of journeys to the Outer Hebrides, the Shetlands, St. Kilda, the Faroe Islands and Iceland in 1831-33, which he recorded in journals published in 2001; published A sketch of the life and works of the late Thomas Bewick, 1831; an officer in the Northumberland Yeomanry Cavalry (cornet, 1831); High Sheriff of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1835; married 1st, 10 November 1840 at Knaith (Lincs), Sophia (1803-50), daughter of William Hutton of Gate Burton (Lincs) and had issue one son (Matthew Hutton Atkinson (1843-1917), engineer); married 2nd, 21 April 1852 at St Cuthbert, Edinburgh, Elizabeth (c.1806-77), daughter of George Carr; lived at Wylam Hall, 1853-73; died in Newcastle-on-Tyne, 14 April 1877; will proved 26 April 1877 (estate under £14,000);
(2) Isaac Atkinson (1809-42), born 25 October and baptised at Heworth (Durham), 25 November 1809; married, 12 September 1824 at Houghton-le-Spring (Durham), Mary Dixon (c.1806-66) and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 27 December 1842;
(3) Mary Anne Atkinson (1811-37), born 7 March and baptised at Heworth (Durham), 4 April 1811; married, 24 August 1829, John Dobson, esq., of Hobart, Tasmania (Australia), and had issue; died in childbirth and was buried at Hobart, 2 April 1837;
(4) Richard Atkinson (1812-76) (q.v.);
(5) Anne Atkinson (b. 1815), baptised at Heworth (Durham), 16 March 1815.
After he returned to England from Jamaica he purchased Carr Hill House, Co. Durham in 1806, which had been built between 1766 and 1770 as a private lunatic asylum. The house was sold either after his death or that of his son Isaac.
He died 24 December 1830. His wife died 10 October 1828.

Atkinson, Richard (1812-76). Youngest son of Matthew Atkinson (1769-1827) of Carr Hill (Co. Durham) and his wife Anne Littledale, born 7 July and baptised at Heworth near Jarrow (Durham), 5 August 1812. He was a plantation owner in Jamaica, and succeeded his uncle George as a partner in the firm of Atkinson, McGregor & Co there. He married, c.1849 and presumably in Jamaica, Elizabeth Catherine (1828-98), daughter of Rev. John Rhodes Pitter of Black River (Jamaica), and had issue including:
(1) Elizabeth Atkinson (b. 1850), baptised in Jamaica, 1850; married, 28 July 1869 at Temple Sowerby, Maj. Christopher Wilson Braithwaite-Wilson (1843-98), JP and barrister-at-law, of Plumtree Hall (Westmld), son of Garnett Braithwaite of Plumtree Hall, but had no issue; she survived her husband but her date of death has not been traced;
(2) Jane Ann Atkinson (c.1853-69), born in Jamaica, c.1853; died unmarried, Jan-Mar 1869;
(3) Richard Atkinson (c.1854-1923), baptised in Kingston (Jamaica), 1854; corn merchant in Liverpool; married, 6 February 1884 at Seaforth (Lancs), Margaret, daughter of William Hunter of Liverpool, gent., and had issue; died 1923;
(4) Sir John Nathaniel Atkinson (1857-1931) (q.v.);
(5) Catherine Annie Atkinson (1860-1932) (q.v.);
(6) Marian Harriet Atkinson (1861-1931), born 23 December 1861 and baptised at Temple Sowerby, 22 February 1862; married, 3 November 1886 at St Margaret, Westminster, Thomas Alfred Royds Littledale (1850-1938), Olympic sailor, and had issue one daughter; died 12 July 1931; will proved 10 October 1931 (estate £17,043);
(7) William Henry Atkinson (b. 1864), baptised at Temple Sowerby, 27 July 1864; clerk in his brother Richard's office in 1881; perhaps died young or emigrated;
(8) George Alfred Atkinson (1867-98), baptised at Temple Sowerby, 22 April 1867; printer; married, 19 September 1891 at St Thomas, Hammersmith (Middx), Jane, daughter of Thomas Martin, gent.; died in London, 2 March, and was cremated at Woking (Surrey), 5 March 1898; will proved 24 March 1898 (effects £2,258).
He inherited his father's interests in Jamaica in 1830, came of age in 1833, and lived at Kingston (Jamaica) until the mid 1850s, when his Jamaican interests appear to have been sold. He inherited property at Temple Sowerby from his uncle George Atkinson in 1849 and moved there about 1855, living at Winderwath House until he bought back Temple Sowerby House. At his death he left his Temple Sowerby estate to his widow and it then passed to his daughter Catherine Annie Atkinson (1860-1932).
He died at Temple Sowerby, 18 January 1876; his will was proved 25 March 1876 (effects under £30,000). His widow died 17 August 1898; her will was proved 14 October 1898 (effects £5,128).

Atkinson, Catherine Annie (1860-1932). Daughter of Richard Atkinson (d. 1876) and his wife Elizabeth Catherine, daughter of Rev. John Rhodes Pitter, baptised 5 May 1860. She lived at home until her mother's death and later with a companion (Mary Caroline Banks (c.1850-1929), elder sister of Sir J.N. Atkinson's wife), and was unmarried and without issue. 
She inherited the Temple Sowerby estate from her mother in 1898; it was sold after her death to her nephew, John Littledale Atkinson (1888-1973) (q.v.). 
She died 9 January 1932; administration of her goods was granted 5 July 1932 to her nephew, Michael Hunter Atkinson (1888-1966), teacher, son of Richard Atkinson (c.1854-1923).

Sir J.N. Atkinson, kt.
Atkinson, Sir John Nathaniel (1857-1931), kt. Son of Richard Atkinson (d. 1876) and his wife Elizabeth Catherine, daughter of Rev. John Rhodes Pitter, born at Temple Sowerby, 16 May and baptised there 4 July 1857. Educated at Marlborough. Joined Indian Civil Service, 1876; Collector and Magistrate, 1894; an additional member of the Legislative Council of Madras, 1901, 1903, 1905; a member of the Board of Revenue of Madras, 1903; member of Council of Government of Madras, 1909-14. Appointed CSI, 1908 and KCSI, 1912. He married, 8 July 1885 at Cocanada, Madras (India), Constance (1860-1947), daughter of Rev. Robert J. Banks of Doncaster (Yorks WR), and had issue:
(1) George Richard Atkinson (1886-1932) of Pennington Lodge, Lymington (Hants), born 5 March 1886; married, 4 April 1923 in Madras (India), Mary Eleanor Finnie (b. 1900) (who married 2nd, 24 May 1934 in Bombay (India), Alan Linley Bishop (b. 1901)), but had no issue; died 18 September 1932 at Hubli (India) and was buried there the following day; will proved 8 December 1932 (estate £3,092);
(2) John Littledale Atkinson (1888-1973) (q.v.);
(3) Mary Bridget (k/a Biddy) Atkinson (b. 1891), born 13 June and baptised in Madras (India), 18 October 1891; served in Women's Royal Air Force, 1918; married, 21 October 1914 at Llandrindod Wells (Radnors.), Lt-Col. Edward Leyborne-Popham (b. 1876), son of Rev. E. Leyborne-Popham, and had issue.
He lived after retirement at Holybourne Lodge, Alton (Hants).
He died 2 March 1931; his will was proved 5 May 1931 (estate £20,684). His widow died 20 June 1947 and was buried at Pennington (Hants), 24 June 1947; her will was proved 8 September 1947 (estate £2,201).

Atkinson, John Littledale (1888-1973). Younger son of Sir John Nathaniel Atkinson (1857-1931) and his wife Constance, daughter of Rev. Robert J. Banks of Doncaster (Yorks WR), born at Madras (India), 7 February 1888. Educated at Marlborough College and Downing College, Cambridge (matriculated 1907; BA 1912; MA 1919). He served for three years as a trooper in King Edward's Horse. He qualified as a barrister, but in 1914 he emigrated to Canada where he worked as a journalist in Halifax, Nova Scotia and later Montreal, and served as an officer in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force (Lt., 1915). He married, 30 April 1930 at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Quebec (Canada), Evelyn Hay (1892-1976), daughter of Archibald Hay Cook and widow of [forename unknown] De Castaneda, and had issue:
(1) John Richard Evelyn Atkinson (1934-73) (q.v.)
He purchased Temple Sowerby House, probably in 1932. It was sold after his death.
He died 26 May 1973; his will was proved 22 November 1973 (estate £37,982). His widow died in Petersfield (Hants), 8 November 1976; her will was proved 4 February 1977 (estate £7,493).

Atkinson, John Richard Evelyn (1934-73). Son of John Atkinson (fl. 1934-73) and his wife, born 8 March 1934. An officer in the Kings Own Scottish Borderers (2nd Lt., 1953). Author of Community or Chaos, 1965. He married, 22 October 1966, Jane (b. 1935), daughter of Alfred Drewett Chaytor of London, barrister, and had issue:
(1) Richard Matthew Clervaux Atkinson (b. 1968), born 30 June 1968; married, Apr-Jun 2000, Susan Dorothy Gilkes;
(2) Dr. Harriet R. Atkinson (b. 1972), born 1972; married, 2002, Valerian Bernard Freyberg (b. 1970), 3rd Baron Freyberg, of Munstead House (Surrey), sculptor and elected member of the House of Lords, and had issue one son and two daughters.
He died in the lifetime of his father, 24 February 1973 and was buried at Temple Sowerby; his will was proved 28 August 1973 (estate £15,058). 

Atkinson family of Morland Hall

Atkinson, Francis Baring (1805-64). Third son of George Atkinson (1764-1814) and his wife Susanna Mackenzie, daughter of Abraham. Dunkley of Clarendon (Jamaica), born 30 December 1805 and baptised at St John, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1 May 1806. Educated at Harrow. An officer in 73rd Foot (Lt.). He went on a honeymoon tour of Italy and Malta after his first marriage, 1832. JP for Cumberland, 1845 and Westmorland; DL for Cumberland; Chairman of the Finance Committee of Cumberland Quarter Sessions, 1851-59; High Sheriff of Cumberland, 1853. He married 1st, 26 December 1831, probably in Malta, Mary Ann (d. 1832), daughter of Sir John Stoddart, Chief Justice of Malta, and 2nd, 3 August 1837 at Stoke Damerel (Devon), Ellen Frances (d. 1870), daughter of John Home RN of Edgbaston, Birmingham (Warks), and had issue:
(2.1) George Atkinson (1838-74) (q.v.);
(2.2) Rev. Francis Home Atkinson (1840-1901) (q.v.);
(2.3) Capt. Thomas Atkinson (1841-1906), born 2 August 1841; an officer in 1st Royal Regiment of Infantry, 1858-71 (Ensign, 1858; Lt., 1863; Capt., 1868); lived latterly at Naval & Military Club, London; died unmarried at Moffat (Dumfriess.), 13 October 1906 and was buried at Lockerbie (Dumfriess.), 16 October 1906; will proved 30 November 1906 (estate £11,164);
(2.4) Ellen Frances Atkinson (1843-1920), born 11 August and baptised at Watermillock (Cumbld), 14 October 1843; married, 1 January 1873 at Morland, Joseph George Miles Parker Ranalow (1844-1920) of Kingstown (Dublin), and had issue one son and three daughters; died in Wandsworth Common, London, 6 November 1920; will proved 23 December 1920 (estate £980);
(2.5) twin, William Atkinson (1844-1919), born 18 October 1844; educated at University of London; unmarried; probably the person of this name who died 23 September 1919 at The Priory Mental Hospital, Roehampton (Surrey); administration of goods granted 16 December 1919 (estate £3,821);
(2.6) twin, Richard Clayton Atkinson (1844-95), born 18 October and baptised 20 November 1844; educated at Rossall School and University of London (admitted 1870); died unmarried in London, 17 September 1895; administration (with will annexed) of goods granted, 4 December 1895 (effects £2,246) and new grant made 30 October 1901;
(2.7) Capt. Alexander Henry Atkinson (1846-1920), born 16 August and baptised at Watermillock, 18 October 1846; an officer in the 55th and later 29th Regiment, 1866-85 (Ensign, 1866; Lt., 1871; Capt., 1881); imprisoned for four months (with hard labour) for indecent assault, 1893; married, 17 November 1875 at Mussowrie, Bengal (India), Amy Harriett (1855-1922), only daughter of Capt. Frederick James Alexander of 8th Bengal Cavalry, and had issue three sons; died at St. Margaret's (Middx), 27 November 1920; administration of goods granted to his widow, 25 January 1921 (estate £127);
(2.8) Robert Septimus Atkinson (1848-1920), born 15 February 1848; probably the person of this name who was an ensign in the Liverpool Press Guard Rifle Volunteers, 1867; tea planter and 'student of music'; lived after retirement at Morland, College Road, Epsom (Surrey); died unmarried, 19 May 1920; his will was proved 19 July 1920 (estate £3,878);
(2.9) Mary Jane Atkinson (1849-72), born 10 May 1849; died unmarried, 6 September 1872;
(2.10) Edward Atkinson (1850-1900), born 19 July 1950; married, 21 May 1878, Margaret Isabel (b. 1855; fl. 1911), daughter of Benjamin Longridge Barnett of Leytonstone (Essex), and had issue two sons; lived at West Dulwich, London; died 15 January 1900; administration of his goods granted to his widow, 12 March 1900 (estate £233);
(2.11) Bridget Harriet Atkinson (1854-1930); married, 17 January 1883, Thomas Swynfen Parker Jervis (1853-1936), son of Rev. Edward Swynfen Parker Jervis of Little Aston Hall (Staffs), and had issue three sons and three daughters; died 27 January 1930; administration of her goods granted to her husband, 20 March 1930 (estate £198).
He was living at Newbiggin House, Newburn (Northbld.) in 1840 but had moved to Rampsbeck Lodge, Ullswater (which he purchased in 1840) by 1841; when the sale of the house was advertised in 1861 it was said he had 'much enlarged and improved' it. He inherited the Morland estate from his brother George in 1849 and built a new house on the estate between 1855 and 1861, to which he moved c.1863.
He died 25 November 1864; his will was proved 22 December 1864 (effects under £40,000). His first wife died in childbirth, November 1832, probably in Italy or Malta. His widow died at St. Leonards-on-Sea, 10 May 1870, and was buried there; her will was proved 19 August 1870 (effects under £1,000).

Atkinson, George (1838-74). Eldest son of Francis Baring Atkinson (1805-64) and his second wife, Ellen Frances, daughter of John Home RN, born 24 November 1838. Educated at Harrow, University College, Oxford (BA 1859) and the Inner Temple (admitted 1858). Captain in Royal Westmorland Militia; JP (from 1868) and DL for Westmorland. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Morland Hall estate from his father in 1864.
He died at San Remo (Italy), 3 March 1874, and was buried there; his will was proved 28 March 1874 (effects under £6,000).

Atkinson, Rev. Francis Home Atkinson (1840-1901). Second son of Francis Baring Atkinson (1805-64) and his second wife, Ellen Frances, daughter of John Home RN, born at Newbiggin House, 2 March 1840. Educated at Rossall School and Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (admitted, 1858; BA 1862; MA 1865). He was a close friend of Lewis Carroll and stayed with him at Oxford. Ordained deacon, 1864 and priest, 1865; curate of East Dereham (Norfk), 1864-65, Freshwater (IoW), 1867-68 (when he acted as private tutor to the family of Alfred, Lord Tennyson) and Withycombe Raleigh (Devon), 1869-72; Vicar of Frocester (Glos), 1872-73, Minley (Hants), 1874-80 and St Paul, Jersey, 1880-83; curate of All Saints, Jersey, 1887-92. He married, 17 April 1869, Edith Mary (d. 1933), daughter of Henry Vatcher of Rosemount, St. Helier (Jersey), and had issue:
(1) Henry Ernest Atkinson (1871-1926) (q.v.);
(2) Edith Gertrude Dickson Atkinson (1873-1924), born 2 November 1873; married, 25 April 1894, Col. Reginald Hawkins Hall-Dempster DSO (1854-1922) of Dunnichen (Angus) and had issue one daughter; died 23 May 1924;
(3) Francis George Atkinson (1875-1902), born 15 September 1875; died unmarried, 6 December 1902;
(4) Lt-Col. John Clayton Atkinson (1877-1957), born 10 July 1877; an officer in the Norfolk Regt., 1897-1919, 1921-22 (2nd Lt, 1897; Lt., 1899; Capt., 1905; Maj., 1915; Lt-Col., 1922); he fought in the South African War, 1900-02 and First World War, 1914-18 (mentioned in despatches); on half pay due to ill health, 1919-21; Norfolk County Army Welfare Officer, 1940-45; married, 9 January 1912 at St Stephen, East Twickenham (Middx), Elizabeth Gwendolen OBE (d. 1939), elder daughter of Cuthbert A. Brereton of Meadowbank, Twickenham (Middx) and Brinton Hall (Norfk) and had issue one son and two daughters; died in Cheltenham (Glos), 22 February 1957 and was buried with his wife at Sheringham (Norfk); will proved 1 May 1957 (estate £15,649);
(5) Dorothy Home Atkinson (1887-1962), born 12 June 1887; married, 26 July 1909, Lt-Col. Sefton Dulany Brancker CB (1875-1960) and had issue one son and one daughter; died 25 February 1962; her will was proved 31 July 1962 (estate £71,834).
He inherited the Morland Hall estate from his brother in 1874 but mostly let it. His widow lived at The Croft, Crowborough (Sussex).
He died at St Helier (Jersey), 23 March 1901; his will was proved 23 May 1901 (estate £24,314). His widow died at Crowborough (Sussex), 24 June 1933; her will was proved 8 September 1933 (estate £35,049).

Atkinson, Henry Ernest (1871-1926). Eldest son of Rev. Francis Home Atkinson (1840-1901) and his wife Edith Mary, daughter of Henry Vatcher of Rosemount, St. Helier (Jersey), born at Exmouth (Devon), 21 July 1871. Educated at Victoria College, Jersey and Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1890; BA 1894). He married, 11 October 1922, Lady Eleanor Mabel (1873-1945), daughter of Henry Charles Howard, 18th Earl of Suffolk and Berkshire, and widow of Maj. the Hon. Lionel Francis George Byng (1858-1915), of Avening House (Glos), but had no issue.
He inherited the Morland Hall estate from his father in 1901 but seems to have lived in Jersey with his mother and let the house. After he married he sold the 725-acre estate in 1923. He lived later at Avening House (Glos), which his wife had inherited on the death of her first husband.
He died 3 October and was buried at Minchinhampton (Glos), 5 October 1926; his will was proved 4 January 1927 (estate £85,693). His widow died 9 March 1945; her will was proved (under the name Lady Eleanor Mabel Byng), 4 September 1945 (estate £18,372).


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1969, pp. 24-25; The Times, 7 March 1806, p. 3; Carlisle Journal, 3 May 1845, p. 3; C.R. Hudleston & R.S. Boumphrey, Cumberland families and heraldry, 1978, pp. 8-10; J.M. Robinson, The country houses of the north-west, 1991, p. 282; M. Hyde & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Cumbria, 2010, pp. 533, 633; ODNB article on Richard Atkinson MP (1739-85);

Location of archives

Atkinson of Morland & Temple Sowerby: deeds and wills, 1693-1894 [Cumbria Archives Service, Kendal, WDX 82]; deeds, 1748-1947 [Cumbria Archives Service, Kendal, WDX 1208]

Coat of arms

Gules, an eagle displayed with two heads argent, on a chief of the second three mullets of the first.

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.

  • Any information about children mentioned above whose careers and families have not been traced would be gratefully received.
  • Can anyone supply portraits or photographs of members of the family whose names appear in bold above and who are not already illustrated?
  • My account above of the descent of the family's chief Temple Sowerby properties is reconstructed from information in newspapers and parish records and is likely to be incomplete and possibly not wholly accurate. It is apparent from some sources that the Atkinsons of Temple Sowerby were part of a much wider clan of that name with properties elsewhere, and that there were other, probably distantly-related Atkinsons, who owned property in Temple Sowerby. I should be very pleased to hear from anyone who can improve on my account.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 24 November 2016 and updated 4 December 2016. Some information was removed at the request of a data subject, 2 September 2018.


  1. I am related to George Dixon Atkinson-Clark of Belford Hall, I am trying to find where he fits in to all this!

    1. George Dixon Atkinson-Clark (1836-1921) was the eldest son of the Rev. William Atkinson (later Atkinson-Clark) (1809-80) (see above) and his wife Jane Margaret Clark. A full genealogy of this family is given in Burke's Landed Gentry, 1952, pp. 449-50.

  2. Hello Nick, I'm hugely impressed by the extraordinary level of detail with which you've related my family history - many congratulations. I've been working on a book about my ancestors for five years, and you've told me things I didn't know. I can't help but wonder, did you happen to have access to any private family documents beyond those public ones listed above? If so, I'd be fascinated to know! Many thanks, Richard (Matthew Clervaux) Atkinson

    1. Dear Richard,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I gathered from references online that you were interested in the family and considered getting in touch before publication in case you could help me! No, I have no family papers, but I have made thorough use of the subscription services online such as the British Newspaper Archive, Ancestry, FindMyPast etc. If you want to know the source of particular items of information, let me know.

      I found the transfer of property in your family (especially at Temple Sowerby) very hard to follow, and I am not sure I have got it quite right. If anything strikes you as inaccurate or not the whole story, do please let me know. If you use the Contact Form in the right hand side bar rather than this comments facility, we can continue the discussion privately.

      With best wishes,

      Nick Kingsley

    2. Dear Richard,

      Further to my earlier response I have now been contacted by Benji Tyler, who says he has "very extensive archives of the Atkinson/Morland Hall association including photographs, portraits, paintings, newspaper cuttings, estate agents plans and other family memorabilia". I have his email address, which he is happy for me to pass on to you. If you contact me using the contact form in the side bar I will pass it on to you.

      Nick Kingsley

  3. Hello. I wonder if anyone could help me please? Has anyone got any information about Fredrick Atkinson of Temple sowerby all I know is he died in the First World War in 1916-1917?
    Fredrick Was my dad grandfather and we cannot find out any information about him.
    Please contact me direct on Thank you.

  4. I am trying to trace the ancestry of Charles Atkinson Mais ,born in Jamaica abt 1815. The Mais family were also attorneys and plantation owners in Jamaica yet there is no known information on the ancestry.It was the custom to name children with a second name of the mothers family. It seems likely that it was this Atkinson family and if so there is a large Mais familiy descending from them.

  5. My wife is a great granddaughter of Bridget Harriet Atkinson, 1853-1930, and I have extensive family trees of the Atkinson and Parker-Jervis families. I have compared your excellent summary of the Atkinsons to mine and have corrected several of my dates. My principal interest is to establish the antecedents of Ellen Frances (or Frances Ellen) Home, who married Francis Baring Atkinson in 1837. Her father was John Home (described on our family trees as Captain John Home RN of Wedderburne - which I am confident is incorrect) but his will describes him as 'gentleman' (and not as Captain) Her mother was Frances Bozon, who I now find on Ancestry was the daughter of Mark Antonio Bozon, an Italian immigrant from Naples. I would love to learn more on the Home and Bozon antecedents.

    1. The marriage of FBA and EFH at Stoke Damerel (Devon) confirms her father's name as John and describes him as 'gentleman' not 'Captain'. It seems possible that she is to be identified with the 'Frances Ellen, daughter of John and Frances Home' baptised at St Philip, Birmingham on 21 June 1808 and said to have been born 8 May 1808. Birmingham trade directories might tell you more.

  6. Hello, George Atkinson of Temple Sowerbey (1764-1814), Westmorland, England married by 2nd cousin 3x removed, Susanna McKenzie Dunkley (1777-1830). The Atkinsons from Westmorland are my ancestors.

    There are a lot of Atkinson from Pontefract, Yorkshire, England. I can't find a family connection between the Atkinsons from Westmorland, which are my ancestors, and the Yorshire Atkinson,

    Does anyone know if the Atkinson from Yorkshire are related to the Atkinson from Westmorland?

  7. Looking at William Atkinson a miner in County Durham (Quarrington Hill, Coxhoe) who cites on his 1841-1881 census returns that he was born in Kirby Thore / Temple Sowerby and appears to be in Temple Sowerby in 1841 independent then... Is he connected and if so, how?

    1. It is not impossible, but Atkinson was an extremely common name in Cumbria. The fact that William was a miner - a fairly low-status occupation - makes it unlikely that he was closely connected to the gentry family.


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.