|Attwood of Halesowen|
James Attwood (1744-1821) was arguably the first of the family to establish himself as a gentleman, when he built Corngreaves Hall on the border between Rowley Regis and Halesowen, in the midst of his ironworking interests. His son, John Attwood (1781-1865) developed an expanded ironworks at Corngreaves from 1818, but in 1825 he sold the whole family business and the Hall to three of the partners in the British Iron Co., Messrs. Taylor, Small and Shears, for the astonishing sum of £550,000. It was, however, a deal which went sour. After only a few months, the new partners found that the profits were far short of what they had expected, and they brought a lawsuit against John Attwood, claiming that he had knowingly misled them about his costs, and seeking to have the purchase contract set aside. In 1831, after what was then one of the most complex trials in English legal history, the judge brought in a verdict in their favour, but Attwood immediately appealed and in 1838 the House of Lords reversed the decision. Reading the evidence as submitted at the original trial, it is fairly clear that Attwood did suppress material information, although the purchasers were also at fault for not undertaking what we would call 'due diligence' today.
|Hylands Park, as altered by John Attwood.|
James Attwood's two younger brothers, Matthias (1746-1836) and Aaron (1750-1822) went into banking in 1791. In the 19th century, provincial banking was a high risk business. The limited capitalisation of the banks and the localised clientele made them vulnerable during periods of economic depression, whether national - as in 1826 - or local. Attwood & Spooner, however, seem to have avoided or weathered these pitfalls; and the troubles which eventually brought the bank down in 1865 were essentially of their own making. When Matthew Attwood died in 1836 at the age of ninety, the last of the founding partners, he owed a substantial amount to the bank, having drawn out more than his salary as a director for some time. To adjust matters, he instructed his executors to sell his estates, Hawne and The Leasowes (bought in 1807) and repay the bank from the sums realised. If this had happened, all might have been well. But his principal heir, his son, George Attwood (1777-1854) did not do this. He kept the estates, and continued to draw out capital from the business on a far larger scale than his father to provide funds for speculation in other industries. In 1853 his partners belatedly realised what was happening, and although they insisted on his transferring his estates to the bank, by that time the debt exceeded George's assets by something like £235,000. When George died in 1854 the bank was technically insolvent, but the other partners decided to continue trading, hoping that over time, future trading profits would fix the problem, but this did not happen because the bank also had an accumulation of bad debts which it could not collect. The crunch came in 1865 when, after the death of a number of partners, the bank sought a takeover by a joint stock bank and its financial position came to light. The bank was forced to stop payments, with a devastating effect on the small investors whose deposits it held, and on the local economy of Birmingham. In the end, a takeover by Barclays was arranged, and investors got just 55% of their money back.
Matthias Attwood had a large family, and his second son, Matthias Attwood (1779-1851), also went into banking, but set up an independent partnership in London in 1801: Spooner, Attwood & Holden, which was not affected by the troubles of the Birmingham firm. Matthias junior was particularly interested in trade and the money supply, and spent more than twenty-five years in politics as an MP trying to persuade successive Governments of his arguments on these topics. He was arguably more successful as a financier than as a politician, and acquired Hill House at Dulwich (Surrey) as a villa on the edge of London. At his death, his house and his financial interests passed to his only son, (Matthias) Wolverley Attwood (1808-65), who died worth some £900,000 shortly after the crash of the Birmingham bank. Since he died without children, this fortune passed to his uncle, Benjamin Attwood (1794-1874), who was already a wealthy man, and who determined to give away much of this unexpected inheritance. For the rest of his life he was the original 'secret millionaire', anonymously sending Treasury notes for £1,000 to charities - principally London hospitals and children's homes - of his choice, and requiring only that they publish in the newspapers an acknowledgement of the gift incorporating a code that he enclosed with the gift.
The fifth and sixth sons of Matthias Attwood (1746-1836), Edward Attwood (1789-1866) and Charles Attwood (1791-1875) both made careers and fortunes in the north-east of England. Edward became a glass manufacturer, and was responsible for several technical improvements in the process of glass-making which helped to establish Sunderland as the leading centre of glass technology in Victorian England.
|Holywood House, Wolsingham, built by Charles Attwood in c.1862.|
The third son of Matthias Attwood (1746-1836), Thomas Attwood (1783-1856) was, like his brother George, was a partner in the Birmingham bank. A precocious interest in public affairs saw him appointed as High Bailiff of Birmingham in 1811 and being employed by the townspeople as their representative in discussions with Government. At this time, Birmingham had no seat in Parliament despite its size, and from the late 1820s he became one of the leading extra-parliamentary advocates for electoral reform. In 1830 he founded the Birmingham Political Union, which bound together the middle and working classes in support of a common programme of moderate reform. It was a model widely copied - not least by his brother Charles Attwood (1791-1875) in the north-east of England - and the sheer numbers it mobilized helped to demonstrate to the Duke of Wellington and other leading Tories that the demand for parliamentary reform was unstoppable, short of triggering a civil war. When the Great Reform Act was finally passed in 1832 and Birmingham secured two Parliamentary seats, Thomas Attwood was elected to one of them, and he served until 1839. In that time, he secured incorporation of Birmingham as a borough and thus created the platform on which Victorian and later local politicians could erect the transformative infrastructure of municipal socialism. Thomas found, however, that he could not sustain the common purpose of employers and employees once the initial prize of parliamentary reform had been won, and the working class activists from the Birmingham Political Union went on to become major figures in the Chartist movement.
Thomas's son, Thomas Aurelius Attwood (1810-64) was another partner in the Birmingham bank of Attwood & Spooner, and indeed it was his death and the diminishing number of partners in the firm which triggered the sequence of events leading to the firm's collapse. He left an infant son, Thomas Arthur Carless Attwood (1863-1937), whose interests were antiquarian rather than financial, and who was a significant donor of books and manuscripts to Birmingham Reference Library. In 1906, after the collapse of his marriage, he bought Sion Hill House at Wolverley, an 18th and 19th century house in the village where his remote ancestors had lived; as an antiquarian he no doubt took pleasure in thus closing the circle. When he died, his heir was a remote kinsman, Maj-Gen. Harold Augustus Freeman, who took the additional name Attwood on coming into his inheritance. At the outbreak of the Second World War, however, Sion Hill was requisitioned for use as a school for blind children, and it was later sold. The current head of the family is the explorer, Julian Freeman-Attwood (b. 1953), who has a small estate in Wales.
Hawne House, Halesowen, Worcestershire
|Hawne House, Halesowen|
Descent: George Attwood (1722-1807); to son, Matthias Attwood (1746-1836); to son, George Attwood (1777-1854); to sister, Mary Anne Attwood (1782-1872); sold after her death to Hawne Collieries Co.
Prescot Hall, Old Swinford, Worcestershire
|Prescot Hall, Oldswinford: the house in 1828, from a watercolour by Francis Rufford.|
|Prescot House, Oldswinford: the garden front, c.1960. The late 19th century additions can be seen on the right.|
|Prescot House, Oldswinford: entrance front during demolition, c.1966. Image: Stourbridge Library|
Descent: Hungerford Oliver (fl. 1782); sold to Aaron Attwood (1750-1822); to son, Joseph Attwood (b. 1789); sold before 1828 to Francis Rufford (d. 1854); to son, Francis Tongue Rufford (1822-99); sold to John E. Barton (d. 1885), carpet manufacturer; sold to William Holcroft (c.1827-1903); to son, Sir George Harry Holcroft (1856-1951), 1st bt.; sold 1912 to Ernest Stevens (1867-1957), holloware manufacturer; sold 1958 to Johnson Ball, proprietor of Queen's College; demolished 1966.
Corngreaves Hall, Rowley Regis, Staffordshire
|Corngreaves Hall, after recent restoration.|
Descent: James Attwood (1744-1821); to son, John Attwood (1781-1865); sold 1825 to Messrs. Taylor, Small & Shears, of London; who leased to their manager, Benjamin Best (fl. 1830-35)...G. Thomson (fl. 1855)...J.P. Hunt (fl. 1861-64)...Samuel Perrins (fl. 1872-81)... George Allan (fl. 1884-92); sold 1897; sold to Worcester Diocesan Temperance Society and opened 1900 as a Home for Female Inebriates; sold to Robert Fellows (fl. 1911)...Tom and John R. Fellows (fl. 1932-44)...Golf Club; sold c.2012 to GR8 Space.
The Leasowes, Halesowen, Worcestershire
|The Leasowes, c.1740.|
|The Leasowes, c.1750, with The Priory in the foreground and the house itself in the distance.|
|The Leasowes: a plan of the landscape published in a later edition of Shenstone's Works in Verse and Prose.|
After Shenstone's death in 1763, his estate passed to a distant relative, John Hodgetts, the first of six owners in the ten years before it was bought in 1773 by Edward Horne, who pulled down Shenstone's house in 1776 and built the present grey, stuccoed, two-storey, three-bay house, linked by single-storeyed wings to two-storey side pavilions.
|The Leasowes: the new house in its landscape setting.|
|The Leasowes in c.1795. Image: British Library|
|The Leasowes: a vista in the restored gardens, 2011. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.|
Descent: Thomas Shenstone (d. 1724); to son, William Shenstone (1714-63); to kinsman, John Hodgetts... sold 1773 to Edward Horne; sold 1789 to Maj. John Delap Holliday (1749-94); sold 1795 to Edward Butler Hartopp; sold 1800 to Charles Hamilton; sold 1807 to Matthias Attwood (1746-1836); to son, George Attwood (1777-1854); transferred to Attwood, Spooner & Co., 1854 and sold c.1856...sold 1897 to Anstey College of Physical Education; part of grounds sold to Halesowen Golf Club, 1906; remainder sold 1934 to Halesowen Borough Council; transferred 1974 to Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.
Dulwich Hill House, Dulwich, Surrey
|Hill House, Dulwich: a late 19th century photograph.|
Descent: Matthias Attwood (1779-1850); to son, Matthew Wolverley Attwood (1808-65); to uncle, Benjamin Attwood (1794-1874); sold after his death to Thomas Lynn Bristowe MP (1833-92); demolished after his death.
Pengelly House, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire
|Pengelly House: entrance front in the 19th century|
|Pengelly House, Cheshunt: garden front|
Descent: Mrs. Pengelly (fl. 1696-1712); to son, Sir Thomas Pengelly (1675-1730), kt.... Hon. Charles Lennox Buller (fl. 1836-40); sold by 1842 to Maj-Gen. Hugh Stacey Osborne (d. 1855); sold to Alexander Morrison (fl. 1865); sold to Benjamin Attwood (1794-1874)...burnt 1888 and demolished.
Sion Hill House, Wolverley, Worcestershire
|Sion Hill House: entrance front in 2014.|
|Sion Hill House: interior with reset 17th century panelling|
Descent: John Baskerville (1706-75)...J. Smith (fl. 1826)... Thomas Arthur Carless Attwood (1863-1937); to kinsman, Maj-Gen. Harold Augustus Freeman (later Freeman-Attwood) (1897-1963); sold during 1940s to a school for the blind; then as a home for the elderly; restored and subdivided c.2000.
Attwood (later Freeman-Attwood) family of Halesowen
Attwood, George (1722-1807). Eldest son of George Attwood (1686-1732) of Stafford and Haden Cross, and his wife Sarah Bowater (d. 1732) of Rowley Regis (Staffs), baptised 16 April 1722. He married, 8 August 1742, Rachel Maria (c.1716-98), daughter of Samuel Gaunt of Foxoak Green House, Rowley Regis, and had issue:
(1) Matthias Gaunt Attwood (1743-45), baptised at Rowley Regis, 22 May 1743; died in infancy and was buried 16 April 1745;
(2) James Attwood (1744-1821) (q.v.);
(3) Matthias Attwood (1746-1836) (q.v.);
(4) Isaac Attwood (1748-c.1800), baptised at Rowley Regis, 6 November 1748; apprenticed, 1765, to Tycho Gaunt of Walsall (Staffs), surgeon; worked as an apothecary and surgeon at Wednesbury (Staffs) but became bankrupt, 1772; emigrated to America and is probably the man of this name who settled in Shrewsbury parish, Kent County, Maryland (USA); married 1st, 31 December 1768 at Wednesbury (Staffs), Mary Wood, and had issue including one son and one daughter; married 2nd, before 1790, Mary (b. 1758), daughter of Cornelius Hurtt, and had further issue one son; died in America about 1800;
(5) Aaron Attwood (1750-1822) (q.v.);
(6) Mary Attwood (1754-c.1780), baptised at Rowley Regis, 19 May 1754; died unmarried, c.1780;
(7) Nancy Attwood (1757-58), baptised at Rowley Regis, 22 January 1757; died in infancy and was buried 19 March 1758.
He purchased Hawne House, Halesowen.
He died 19 April 1807, aged 85. His wife died 3 March and was buried 11 March 1798.
Attwood, James (1744-1821). Second but eldest surviving son of George Attwood (1722-1807) and his wife Rachel Maria, daughter of Samuel Gaunt of Foxoak Green House, Rowley Regis (Staffs), baptised at Rowley Regis, 16 September 1744. Ironmaster and coal owner at Rowley Regis and Halesowen. He married, 23 August 1779 at Halesowen, Phoebe Cox (c.1755-1835) and had issue:
(1) Frances Attwood (1780-1858), baptised 25 July 1780; was apparently caught up in her brother's speculations and ruined with him; died unmarried at Boulogne, 16 March 1858; will proved 26 July 1858 (effects under £200);
(2) John Attwood (1781-1865) (q.v.);
(3) Maria Attwood (1783-1871), baptised 17 August 1783; was apparently caught up in her brother's speculations and ruined with him, and lived for some years in Boulogne, but died unmarried aged 88 at Ore (Sussex), 19 February 1871; will proved 19 May 1871 (effects under £2,000);
(4) Catherine Attwood (1786-1866), baptised at Halesowen, 28 September 1786; married, 30 April 1829 at Cheltenham (Glos), Capt. Thomas Troward (d. 1859) of 51st regiment, who fought at Waterloo; died without issue and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, London, 24 March 1866;
(5) James Alexander Attwood (1793-1845), of Erdington (Warks), baptised 10 February 1793; married, 16 February 1819, Mary (d. 1847), daughter and co-heiress of Robert Edden of Lower Wick (Worcs) and co-heiress of John Hawkins of Handsworth (Staffs), and had issue two sons and two daughters; buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, London, 24 June 1845.
He built Corngreaves Hall near Halesowen before 1796 and reputedly c.1780.
He died at Corngreaves Hall, 20 April and was buried at Halesowen, 1 May 1821; his will was proved 2 November 1821. His widow died in London, 2 August and was buried 13 August 1835.
Attwood, John (1781-1865). Elder son of James Attwood (1744-1821) and his wife Phoebe Cox, baptised at Halesowen, 1 July 1781. Ironmaster and coal owner; he developed an ironworks at Corngreaves from 1818, but sold his interests at Rowley Regis to the Messrs Taylor, Small & Shears for £550,000 in 1825; the purchasers claimed he had deceived them as to the profits of the business and brought a suit against him in the Court of Exchequer, which he lost; he then appealed to the House of Lords, where the matter was finally decided in his favour in 1838; the case was widely regarded as one of the longest and most technical heard by the British courts to that time. DL for Essex. MP for Harwich, 1841-48; until he was unseated for election bribery. He was later a company director, railway promoter and investor; in 1853, unwise speculation in iron futures led to his becoming insolvent with debts of more than half a million pounds, which were eventually largely covered by the sale of his Essex estates; he then retired to the continent where he died in poverty. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Corngreaves Hall and works from his father, but sold it in 1825. He had a house at 25 Park Lane, Mayfair. In 1839 he bought Hylands Park near Chelmsford (Essex) from 1839-58, which he enlarged and redecorated, and where he increased the estate by 3,500 acres; but financial problems forced him to sell in 1858.
He died at Boulogne, 13 November 1865, and was buried there.
Attwood, Aaron (1750-1822). Fifth son of George Attwood (1722-1807) and his wife Rachel Maria, daughter of Samuel Gaunt of Foxoak Green House, Rowley Regis (Staffs), baptised at Rowley Regis, 21 October 1750. Ironmaster and coal owner. A founding partner in the Attwood & Spooner bank at Birmingham. He married, 2 December 1782 at Halesowen, Harriet (1761-1830), daughter of Daniel Winwood of Birmingham, and had issue, perhaps with others:
(1) Elizabeth Attwood (1783-96), baptised at Halesowen, 5 October 1783; died 12 June 1796;
(2) Edwin Attwood (b. 1786), baptised at Halesowen, 17 August 1786; died in infancy;
(3) Joseph Attwood (b. 1789) (q.v.);
(4) Harriett Attwood (b. 1794), baptised at Halesowen, 6 February 1794; probably died young.
He lived at Prescott House, Oldswinford, which he bought sometime after 1782.
He was buried at Halesowen, 19 June 1822. His wife died 11 January and was buried at Halesowen, 23 January 1830.
Attwood, Joseph (b. 1789). Only surviving son of Aaron Attwood (1750-1822), and his wife Harriet Winwood, baptised at Halesowen, 25 October 1789. He married, 19 February 1810 at St Mary, Lambeth (Surrey), Eleanor (1787-1879), third daughter of Francis Homfray of The Hyde, Kinver (Staffs), and had issue:
(1) George Attwood (1811-1904), baptised at Oldswinford (Worcs), 16 January 1812; mining engineer; married, 2 April 1839 at Braddan (Isle of Man), Ellen Pennington (1816-42), but had no issue; died aged 93 at Ulverston (Lancs), 1904;
(2) Melville Francis Attwood (1814-98), born 31 July 1812 and baptised at Oldswinford, 5 September 1814; educated at Tranmere and Liverpool; consulting mining engineer; as a young man, went out to the gold and diamond mines in Brazil, where he remained some years; on his return to England he leased and worked Old Ecton Copper Mine in Derbyshire, and was engaged in mining and metallurgical works in the North of England and Staffordshire; in 1843 he gave zinc a commercial value by successfully rolling the first English spelter; Fellow of the Geological Society; emigrated to California in the interest of his wife's health, 1852 and managed gold mining interests there; he first identified the potential of the Comstock gold and silver vein, which led to the California gold rush; married, 15 October 1839 at Braddan (Isle of Man), Jane Alice (1819-66), daughter of David Forbes of the Isle of Man and sister of Prof. Edward Forbes, and had issue; died at Berkeley, California (USA), 23 April 1898.
He inherited Prescott Hall, Oldswinford, from his father, but sold it before 1828 and lived later at Liverpool.
He died between 1841 and 1851. His widow died aged 92 at Grange-over-Sands (Lancs), 8 February 1879.
Attwood, Matthias (1746-1836) Third son of George Attwood (1722-1807) and his wife Rachel Maria, daughter of Samuel Gaunt of Foxoak Green House, Rowley Regis (Staffs), baptised at Rowley Regis (Staffs), 7 September 1746. DL and JP for Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Shropshire. Ironmaster, and founding partner in Spooner & Attwood, bankers, of Birmingham from 1791; he died leaving large debts to the bank, and directed in his will that his estates should be sold to pay these debts off, but this was not done. He married, 18 December 1775, Ann (1752-1834), daughter of Thomas Adams of Cakemore House, Quinton, and had issue:
(1) George Attwood (1777-1854) (q.v.);
(2) Matthias Attwood (1779-1851) (q.v.);
(3) Mary Anne Attwood (1782-1872) of Hawne House, Halesowen, baptised 15 March 1782; died unmarried, aged 90, 30 July 1872; will proved 16 August 1872 (effects under £10,000);
(4) Thomas Attwood (1783-1856) (q.v.);
(5) James Henry Attwood (1785-1865) of London and Moss Hill, Farlam (Cumbld), baptised at Halesowen, 9 October 1785; merchant at Odessa (Russia) and in Newfoundland (Canada); partner and later sole owner of the Tindale Fell Spelter Co. in Cumberland from c.1845; married, 1820 in Vienna (Austria), Margaret Williams, and had issue; died at The Leasowes, Halesowen, 14 July 1865; will proved 21 August 1865 (effects under £30,000);
(6) Susannah Attwood (1788-1819), baptised 30 January 1788; died unmarried, 27 October, and was buried at Halesowen, 4 October 1819;
(7) Edward Attwood (1789-1866), of Bishopwearmouth [now Sunderland] (Co. Durham), born 22 February and was baptised at Halesowen, 22 March 1789; glass manufacturer at Southwick, responsible for technical improvements in the manufacture of glass; married, 16 October 1830 at Holy Trinity, Whitehaven (Cumbld), Elizabeth (c.1793-1869), daughter and heiress of John Elliot of Whitehaven, and had issue one daughter; died 19 October 1866; administration of goods granted to his widow, 16 May 1867 (effects under £25,000);
(8) Charles Attwood (1791-1875), of Holyrood House, Wolsingham (Co. Durham), born 25 January and baptised at Halesowen, 20 February 1791; glass manufacturer at Gateshead, c.1810-34; soap and alkali manufacturer, 1834-45, when he sold this company to Christian Allhusen; managing partner in Weardale Iron & Coal Co. from 1845 (retired 1865) which built steelworks at Tow Law and Tudhoe and Tow Law town for his workers; a leading promoter of the reform movement in Birmingham and the north of England, c.1830-32; married, 15 August 1822 at Broadwater by Worthing (Sussex), Sarah Lee (1796-1886), daughter of Richard Downs, but had no issue; died 24 February and was buried at Wolsingham, 3 March 1875; will proved 31 March 1875 (effects under £180,000);
(9) Rachel Maria Attwood (1792-1881), baptised at Halesowen, 3 June 1792; married, 5 May 1825 at Halesowen, William Matthews (1797-1871) of Kingswinford (Staffs) and later of Parkfield, Malvern (Worcs) and had issue one son (Benjamin St. John Attwood Matthews, founder of the Alpine Club); died 9 August 1881; will proved 19 September 1881 (effects £57,273);
(10) Benjamin Attwood (1794-1874) of Dulwich Hill House (Surrey) and Pengelly House, Cheshunt (Herts), born 31 January and baptised at Halesowen, 16 March 1794; merchant in London; director of the London Necropolis and National Cemetery Co. and the Imperial Continental Gas Association; member of the Council of the Royal Botanic Society of London; inherited the fortune of his nephew, Matthew Wolverley Attwood, in 1865, and distributed much of it through anonymous charitable gifts, chiefly to London hospitals, which came to light only after his death and amounted to some £400,000 in total; died without issue, 22 November, and was buried at Waltham Abbey, 5 December 1874; died intestate and administration of his goods was granted to his surviving brother and sister (effects under £600,000).
He inherited Hawne House, Halesowen from his father in 1807, and purchased The Leasowes in 1807.
He died 24 November 1836, aged 90; his will was proved in the PCC, 14 June 1838. His wife died 28 October* and was buried at Halesowen, 7 November 1834.
* Not 8 October as recorded on the 19th century family memorial in Halesowen church.
|George Attwood (1777-1854)|
(1) Georgiana Mary Attwood (1821-85) of Edgbaston Priory, born 1 July and baptised at Church Lawton (Cheshire), 3 July 1821; colliery owner and ironmaster (trading as Kinnersley & Co. of Kidsgrove (Staffs), in partnership with Mary Kinnersley until 1868, and thereafter as a sole trader); the firm was the subject of a bankruptcy petition shortly before her death and was wound up the following year; died unmarried at Dresden (Germany), 28 December 1885.
He inherited Hawne House and The Leasowes from his father in 1836, and purchased Edgbaston Priory. He gave Hawne to his sister, Mary Ann, although she lived at The Leasowes until his estates were transferred to Attwood & Spooner and only thereafter at Hawne. He lived at Edgbaston Priory until his death.
He died at Edgbaston Priory, 24 May 1854. His wife died 13 April 1823.
|Matthias Attwood (1779-1851)|
(1) Matthias Wolverley Attwood (1808-65) (q.v.).
He lived in London and at Dulwich Hill House (Surrey).
He died 11 November and was buried at Norwood Cemetery, 18 November 1851; he died intestate and administration of his goods was granted to his son, July 1852. His wife was buried at Norwood Cemetery, 5 November 1842.
|Matthias Wolverley Attwood (1808-65)|
|Thomas Attwood (1783-1856)|
(1.1) George de Bosco Attwood (1808-55) (q.v.);
(1.2) Thomas Aurelius Attwood (1810-64) (q.v.);
(1.3) Angela Attwood (1812-74) (q.v.);
(1.4) Edward Marcus Attwood (1816-68) of Moss Hill near Carlisle (Cumbld), born 13 June and baptised at St John Deritend, Birmingham, 11 July 1816; educated at Lincolns Inn (admitted, 1836; called to bar, 1843); barrister-at-law; became a freemason in 1847; lived latterly in France, where he had presumably gone as manager of his uncle George's roller-making plant; died unmarried at Val de la Haye, Normandy (France), 6 November 1868 and was buried at Rouen (France); will proved 27 November 1868 (effects under £7,000);
(1.5) Algernon Attwood (1819-61) (q.v.);
(1.6) Rosabel Attwood (1821-67), baptised at St John Deritend, 5 August 1821; married, 28 August 1855 at Barming (Kent), Henry Wilson Demain Saunders (1822-88) of London and Fanshaws (Herts), merchant (who m2, 1 February 1871, Minnie, only child of Samuel Bolton Edenborough of Thrift Hall (Essex)), but had no issue; died 16 August 1867 and was buried at Wiston (Suffk).
He acquired a dowry of some £20,000 with his first wife. He lived in Birmingham and later at Harborne (Staffs). In 1848 he moved to Allesley (Warks).
He died, after a long and progressive illness (probably Parkinson's disease) at Dr. Johnson's clinic at Ellerslie, Great Malvern (Worcs), 6 March 1856 and was buried at Hanley Castle (Worcs); administration of his goods was granted to his widow, 27 June 1856. His first wife died at Sausmarez Manor (Jersey), 26 April 1840. His widow died 26 June 1888 and was buried at Hanley Castle; her will was proved 8 September 1888 (effects £3,419).
Attwood, George de Bosco (1808-55). Eldest son of Thomas Attwood (1783-1856) and his first wife Elizabeth, daughter of William Carless of Birmingham and Harborne (Staffs), born 15 March and baptised at St John Deritend, Birmingham, 16 March 1808. As a young man he was a political radical and assisted his father with the organisation of the Birmingham Political Union, for which he wrote the song, 'The call of the Unions' which was widely used in the campaign leading to the Great Reform Act of 1832, and which was adopted later by the trade union movement. He stood as a candidate for Walsall in the parliamentary election of 1832, but withdrew after soldiers were sent in to control rioting during the poll, claiming that they were there to intimidate his supporters. Secretary to the Bank of British North America, 1836-55. He married, 31 December 1835, Mary (1804-82), daughter of William Medley of Mansfield, Iver (Bucks) and London, and had issue including:
(1) Violet Mary Elizabeth Attwood (1836-69), born 15 November 1836 and baptised at Harborne (Staffs), 7 October 1837; died unmarried when she was accidentally killed by a train on a level crossing at Twickenham (Middx) while trying to rescue her dog, 6 December 1869; buried at Kensal Green Cemetery (Middx), 11 December 1869; administration of her goods was granted to her mother, 24 February 1870 (effects under £3,000), and later to her brother George, 12 January 1883;
(2) Evelyn Thomas Attwood (1838-80), born 13 January and baptised at St Mary, Bryanston Square, London, 12 April 1838; died unmarried and without issue, 13 August 1880; administration of his goods granted to his brother, 4 September 1880 (effects under £6,000);
(3) Arthur de Bosco Attwood (1838-44), born 29 December 1838 and baptised at St Mary, Bryanston Square, London, 13 April 1839; died young and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, 4 May 1844;
(4) Agnes Mansfield Attwood (1842-77), born 28 October 1842 and baptised at St Mary, Paddington (Middx), 4 March 1843; married, 11 August 1870 at Isleworth (Middx), Alfred Homfray (c.1833-1920) of Tanat House, Llanyblodwel (Shrops), colliery manager, and had issue two sons and four daughters; died 2 November 1877; administration of her goods granted to her husband, 19 January 1883 (estate £660);
(5) Rowena Fanny Mary Attwood (1844-78), born 13 May and baptised at St Helen Bishopgate, London, 25 June 1844; married, 10 April 1877 at St Mary, Paddington (Middx), Charles Augustus Barnes (1830-1912) of Hindlip Court Farm (Worcs), son of John Barnes, gent., and had issue one daughter; died 13 March 1878; administration of goods granted to her husband, 7 February 1883 (effects £705);
(6) Rosamond Attwood (1845-1928), born 29 October 1845 and baptised at St Helen Bishopgate, London, 2 May 1846; married, 27 August 1874 at Isleworth (Middx), Charles William Shackle (1841-1928) of Harlington (Middx), son of Charles William Shackle, and had issue four sons and one daughter; died 12 November 1928; will proved 13 April 1929 (estate £2,721);
(7) George Reginald Attwood (1847-1901) (q.v.).
He lived at St. Helen's Place in London and latterly at Glenthorne, Twickenham (Middx).
He died suddenly during a Directors' meeting of his bank, 24 April and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery (Middx), 28 April 1855. His widow died 3 September 1882; her will was proved 7 November 1882 (effects £2,198).
Attwood, George Reginald (1847-1901). Son of George de Bosco Attwood (1808-55) and his wife Mary, daughter of William Medley of Mansfield, Iver (Bucks) and London, born 28 June and baptised at St Helen Bishopgate, London, 25 September 1847. Banker. He married, 5 October 1887, Constance Marion (1864-1952), daughter of Canon William Harper Brandreth, rector of Standish (Lancs) and had issue:
(1) Rosamund Carless Attwood (1888-1945) of Glaslyn Court, born 8 August and baptised 22 September 1888 at St Stephen, East Twickenham (Middx); died unmarried, 26 December 1945; will proved 29 March 1946 (estate £13,433).
In 1892 succeeded his cousin James Harrington Attwood as heir male of the Attwoods of Hawne House, and shortly afterwards he purchased Glaslyn Court, Gilwern (Breconshire).
He died 1 February 1901; his will was proved 12 April 1901 (estate £12,190). His widow married 2nd, July 1907, Maj-Gen. Sir Alexander Bruce Tulloch (d. 1920), KCB CMG and died 15 March 1952; her will was proved 11 August 1953 and 10 October 1956 (estate £21,610).
|Thomas Aurelius Attwood (1810-64)|
(1) Thomas Arthur Carless Attwood (1863-1937) (q.v.).
He lived at Hawne House, Halesowen and later at Wood End House (Pipe Manor), Erdington (Warks).
He died of an apoplectic fit, 8 April 1864; administration of his goods was granted, 11 July 1864 (effects under £4,000). His widow died 23 November 1917, aged 97; her will was proved 16 January 1918 (estate £9,759).
Attwood, Thomas Arthur Carless (1863-1937). Only child of Thomas Aurelius Attwood (1810-64) and his wife Mary, eldest daughter of Joseph Smallwood of Castle Bromwich (Warks), born 27 May and baptised at Erdington (Warks), 22 June 1863. Educated at Uppingham, Pembroke College, Oxford (matriculated, 1883; BA 1886; MA, 1889) and Inner Temple (admitted 1884). Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a Fellow of the Zoological Society. He married, 5 October 1892 at St Jude, Kensington (Middx) (annulled on grounds of non-consummation, 1902), the Hon. Hilda Evelyn (1866-1948), daughter of James Spencer Pomeroy, 6th Viscount Harberton, but had no issue.
During his marriage, he lived at Holly Mount, Malvern (Worcs). In 1906 he bought Sion Hill House, Wolverley (Worcs) and he later also acquired St George's Hill House, Bathampton (Somerset), which was sold after his death to the artist, Walter Sickert. In 1901 he succeeded his cousin, George Reginald Attwood, as heir male of the Attwoods of Hawne House.
He died 21 April 1937; his will was proved 16 July 1937 (estate £58,228). His ex-wife died in Minehead (Somerset), 28 October 1948; her will was proved 2 December 1948 (estate £63,195).
Attwood, Algernon (1819-61). Fourth son of Thomas Attwood (1783-1856) and his first wife Elizabeth, daughter of William Carless of Birmingham and Harborne (Staffs), baptised at St John Deritend, Birmingham, 7 February 1819. Educated at Grays Inn. Barrister-at-law. He married, 30 August 1853 at Shenley (Herts), Emma (c.1822-78), daughter of John Foulkes of Elwy House, Wrexham (Denbighs), and had issue:
(1) Llewellyn Carless Foulkes Attwood (1854-1935), born 15 December 1854 and baptised at Jesus Chapel, Enfield (Middx), 18 January 1855; educated at Uppingham School; solicitor; married, 24 July 1879 at Wandsworth (Surrey), Rachel Edith (c.1856-1917), daughter of Arthur Alexander Corsellis of Wandsworth, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 11 March 1935; will proved 30 July 1935 (estate £63,403);
(2) Alice Edith Attwood (1856-1881), born 10 October and baptised 25 November 1856; married, 28 December 1878, Marshall Robinson Fowler (later Stapylton) (1850-94), eldest son of Robinson Fowler, stipendiary magistrate at Manchester, and had issue; died at Veytaux (Switzerland), 16 December 1881;
(3) twin, Gertrude Dorothea Attwood (1858-81), born 14 July and baptised at Jesus Chapel, Enfield (Middx), 23 August 1858; died unmarried at Menton (France), 23 September 1881 and was buried in the Cimitière du Vieux Chateau there;
(4) twin, Florence Emma Attwood (1858-1943); born 14 July and baptised at Jesus Chapel, Enfield (Middx), 23 August 1858; married Giuseppe (d. 1944), Marchese Alli-Maccarani, consul of Spain at Florence, and had issue one daughter (Gertrude, Contessa di Barberino); died 15 December 1943; administration of goods granted 27 June 1953 (estate in England, £326);
(5) Mary Attwood (1860-after 1911), born at Dartford (Kent), 14 March 1860; married, 28 December 1878 at the British embassy in Paris, William Barber (b. c.1848), architect, youngest son of the Rev. William Barber, and had issue one son and one daughter; living in 1911 but death not traced.
He died 11 August 1861; his will was proved 7 September 1861 (effects under £600). His widow died at Hastings, 4 July 1878; her will was proved, 17 August 1878 (effects under £7,000).
Attwood, Angela (1812-74). Elder daughter of Thomas Attwood (1783-1856) and his first wife Elizabeth, daughter of William Carless of Birmingham and Harborne (Staffs), born 13 November and baptised at St John Deritend, Birmingham, 9 December 1812. She married, 1 September 1835, as his second wife, Daniel Bell Wakefield (1798-1858), barrister-at-law, son of Edward Wakefield, the statistician, from whom she was separated in 1843 after he had infected her with a sexually transmitted disease. He then emigrated to New Zealand where he was appointed Crown Solicitor in 1847, Attorney General the following year, and a judge in 1850. She followed him out to New Zealand in 1848 and they were reunited; they had issue including:
(1) Selina Elizabeth Wakefield (1837-48), born 1 January 1837 and baptised at St Mary, Paddington (Middx), 6 October 1838 and again at St Peter, Harborne (Staffs), 7 July 1848; emigrated to New Zealand with her mother in 1848 but died young, 20 August 1848 and was buried at Bolton St. Cemetery, Wellington (NZ);
(2) Charles Marcus Wakefield (1838-1902), born 1 May and baptised at St Mary, Paddington (Middx), 6 October 1838 and again at St Peter, Harborne (Staffs), 7 July 1848; emigrated to New Zealand with his mother in 1848 but returned after his father's death; for a honeymoon he took his wife to Australia; Commissioner of Taxes; married, 1 November 1871, Annette Sophia (1847-1928), daughter of W.B. Collis of Wollaston Hall (Worcs), and had issue two sons and two daughters; lived latterly at Belmont, Uxbridge (Middx); died 11 May 1902; will proved 3 July 1902 (estate £66,891);
(3) Alice Mary Wakefield (1849-1931) (q.v.).
After returning to England, she lived next door to her uncle Benjamin at Cheshunt (Herts), and died there, 30 November 1874; her will was proved 15 December 1874 (effects under £10,000). Her husband died in Wellington (New Zealand), 8 January 1858. and was buried in Sydney St. Cemetery.
Wakefield, Alice Mary (1849-1931). Daughter of Daniel Bell Wakefield (1798-1858) of Wellington (New Zealand) and his second wife Angela, daughter of Thomas Attwood, born in New Zealand, 9 October 1849. Returned to England with her mother after her father's death. She married, 19 December 1874 at Bournemouth (Hants), Harold Freeman (1850-1916) of Thorn Bank, Malvern Wells (Worcs), son of Edward Augustus Freeman of Oaklands, Dursley (Glos), Professor of Modern History at Oxford, and had issue:
(1) Edward Freeman (1875-1916) (q.v.);
(2) Mary Freeman (1877-1966), born 6 April and baptised at Teddington (Middx), 10 April 1877; died unmarried, 26 September 1966;
(3) Eleanor Constance Freeman (1878-84), born 12 September 1878; died young, 6 August 1884;
(4) Edith Freeman (1882-1957), born 10 July 1882; married, 29 July 1908, as his second wife, Lt-Col. Swynfen John Jervis (1868-1945), eldest son of Col. William Swynfen Jervis of Woodside, Southsea (Hants), but had no issue; died 1 October 1957; will proved 23 December 1957 (estate £14,206).
She died 19 November 1931; her will was proved 12 February 1932 (estate £7,088). Her husband died 15 July 1916; his will was proved 5 January 1917 (estate £14,858).
Freeman, Edward (1875-1916). Only son of Harold Freeman (d. 1916) and his wife Alice Mary, daughter of Daniel Bell Wakefield of Wellington (New Zealand), born at Isleworth (Middx), 20 November 1875. Educated at Uppingham and Oriel College, Oxford. An officer in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, 1899-1916 (Capt., 1900; Maj., 1915; killed in action). He married, 12 May 1897 at St. Pancras (Middx), Katherine Margaret (1871-1955), daughter of Maj-Gen. William Augustus Gillespie of Brynderwyn, Usk (Monmouths), and had issue:
(1) Maj-Gen. Harold Augustus Freeman-Attwood (1897-1963) (q.v.);
(2) Edward Rollo Freeman (1899-1969), born at Llanfihangel Bachellaeth (Caernarvons), 19 August 1899; educated at Uppingham; an officer in the Royal Welch Fusiliers (2nd Lt., 1919; Capt., 1931; Maj.; retired, 1949); served in Waziristan campaign, 1923; Lieutenant in Herefordshire Yeomanry, 1958; married, 22 July 1947, (Beatrice Blanche) Ethel Le Marchant (1904-92), daughter of Williamson G. Bankes of Birch House, Much Birch (Herefs), but had no issue; died 2 May 1969; will proved 27 August 1969 (estate £12,497);
(3) Arthur Reginald Freeman (1901-55), born at Llanfihangel Bachellaeth, 15 January 1901; educated at Royal Naval College, Osborne (IoW); officer in the Royal Navy (Midshipman, 1917; Sub-Lt., 1920; Lt., 1923; Lt-Cmdr, 1930; retired, 1948); physical training instructor for Royal Navy, 1930-48; Commander of Dr. Barnardo's Sea Training School at Parkstone, Poole (Dorset), 1948-55; married, 12 April 1928, Ruth (fl. 1972), daughter of Lt-Col. Wilfred Ellershaw and had issue two sons; died from complications following a hip operation, 13 November 1955; will proved 14 March 1956 (estate £7,559).
He lived at Bryn Celyn, Llanfihangel Bachellaeth , near Pwllheli (Caernarvons).
He was killed in action at Ypres (Belgium), 6 March 1916. His widow married 2nd, 1 July 1918, Robert Thomas ffoulkes of Pwllheli, and died 19 March 1955.
Freeman (later Freeman-Attwood), Maj-Gen. Harold Augustus (1897-1963). Eldest son of Edward Freeman (1875-1916) and his wife Katherine Margaret, daughter of Maj-Gen. William Augustus Gillespie, born 30 December 1897. Educated at Marlborough and Royal Military College, Sandhurst. An officer in the army (2nd Lt., 1915; Capt., 1923; Maj., 1933; Lt-Col., 1938; Brig., 1940; Col., 1941; Maj-Gen., 1942); served in First and Second World Wars (MC 1917; OBE 1932; DSO 1943; Legion of Merit (USA); Legion d'honneur (France) and Croix de Guerre (France)); manager with ICI India, 1949-51. He took the additional name Attwood on succeeding to Sion Hill House in 1937. He married 1st, 10 September 1921 (div. 1945), Jessie (d. 1958), daughter of William Carson Job of Newfoundland and Liverpool, and 2nd, 3 July 1951, Marion Louise (1911-2001), only daughter of George Harry Attewell of Fairham House, Ruddington (Notts), and had issue:
(1.1) Maj. Harold Warren Freeman-Attwood (1923-2015) (q.v.);
(1.2) Edward Augustus Carson Freeman-Attwood (b. 1930), born 20 August 1930; educated at Marlborough; emigrated to Toronto (Canada), 1948; married, 12 December 1957, Marietta (fl. 1972), daughter of Baron Wilhelm Cavallar of Vienna (Austria);
(1.3) Alice Avalon (k/a Neeta) Freeman-Attwood (1932-82), born 9 May 1932; married, 9 July 1953, Keith Montagu Hamilton (1929-2005), elder son of Leslie Montagu (k/a Jack) Hamilton of London, and had issue three sons; lived at Churchill Farm, Malborough (Devon); died 4 May 1982; will proved 22 October 1982 (estate £2,095).
He inherited Sion Hill House, Wolverley (Worcs) from his kinsman, T.A.C. Attwood, in 1937 but it was requisitioned for use as a school for the blind in 1939 and subsequently sold. His second wife inherited Fairham House, Ruddington (Notts) from her parents and they lived there after his retirement.
He died 22 September 1963; administration of his goods with will annexed was granted to his elder son, 16 January 1964 (estate £3,068). His first wife died 23 November 1958. His widow died aged 89 in 2001.
Freeman-Attwood, Maj. Harold Warren (1923-2015). Elder son of Maj-Gen. Harold Augustus Freeman-Attwood (1897-1963) and his first wife, Jessie, daughter of Hon. William Carson Job of Newfoundland & Liverpool, born 20 September 1923. Educated at Marlborough and Royal Military College, Sandhurst. An officer in the Grenadier Guards (2nd Lt., 1942; Maj.; retired, 1960). Member of the London Stock Exchange. He married 1st, 9 July 1947 (div. 1960), Elizabeth (1926-2003), only daughter of Lt-Col. Roger Arthur Mostyn-Owen DSO of Woodhouse (Shrops), and 2nd, 15 October 1960, Marigold Diana Sneyd (b. 1923), younger daughter of Edward Mark Philips OBE of Alsop-en-le-Dale (Derbys) and widow of Maj. David Michael Alexander Wedderburn, and had issue:
(1.1) Rosamond Margaret Freeman-Attwood (b. 1951), born 20 September 1951; company director of spa resorts in south Asia; married, 1984, Neil McCaul, and has issue a daughter;
(1.2) Julian David Warren Freeman-Attwood (b. 1953), born 2 October 1953; educated at Eton; forestry owner and timber contractor at Llangynog (Montgomerys); explorer and mountaineer; married, 24 June 1998, the Hon. Emily Magda Rothschild (b. 1967), daughter of Nathaniel Charles Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild, and has issue two daughters;
(2.1) Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood (b. 1961), born 4 November 1961; educated at University of Toronto (BMus) and Christ Church, Oxford (MPhil); musician (trumpet soloist), music producer, writer and broadcaster; on staff of the Royal Academy of Music since 1991 (Vice-Principal & Director of Studies, 1995-2008; Principal, 2008-date); professor of University of London since 2001; Fellow of Kings College, London, since 2009.
He lived at West Flexford, Wanborough (Surrey) and latterly at Haddenham (Bucks).
He died suddenly, 20 April 2015, aged 91; his will was proved 9 October 2015. His first wife died 10 February 2003. His widow is now living.
SourcesBurke's Landed Gentry, 1972, p. 30; J. Robinson, The Attwood family, with historic notes and pedigrees, 1903; M. Batey and D. Lambert, The English Garden Tour, 1990, pp.181-5; D. Moss, Thomas Attwood: the biography of a radical, 1990; Debois Landscape Survey Group, The Leasowes: A Survey of the Landscape, 1991; D.D.C. Chambers, The Planters of the English Landscape Garden, 1993; C. Gallagher, 'The Leasowes: A History of the Landscape', Garden History, 24, 1996, pp. 201-20; Country Life, 4 March 1999, pp. 56-59; M. Symes & S. Haynes, Enville, Hagley, The Leasowes: three great eighteenth century gardens, 2010, pp. 137-89; ODNB entry on Thomas Attwood; http://www.parkstone-sts.co.uk/commander-ar-freeman-rn.
Location of archivesSpooner & Attwood, bankers: ledgers and family papers, 1615-1876 [Lloyds Bank Group Archives, A/15/1]
Thomas Attwood MP, political reformer: correspondence and papers, 18th-19th cents. [Birmingham Archives & Heritage, MS 2685]
Coat of armsAttwood: Gules, a cross indented between, in the 1st and 4th quarters, a lion rampant, and in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, a swan, all argent.
Freeman: Azure, on a chevron or, three cinquefoils of the first, and in chief a lion passant of the second, all with two flaunches argent, each charged with a wooden cross fitchee, proper.
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