|Aubrey of Llantrithyd etc.|
The founder of the family was Dr. William Aubrey (c.1529-95), an academic and civil lawyer who was in high favour with Queen Elizabeth. He came from a minor gentry family in Breconshire, and as he grew in prosperity he purchased much of his family's ancestral property as well as further estates in the same area. He also acquired property in Wiltshire, at Burleton and Burghill in Herefordshire, Harnhill in Gloucestershire, and Sydenham in Kent. He had a town house in London; houses at Bath and Harnhill, which were perhaps used for breaking the journey between Wales and London; and a country retreat at Sydenham, for use during extended stays in London and during times of plague. When he died in 1595, Dr. Aubrey left an elaborate will in which he attempted to provide equitably for his large family and other dependents from an estate which was said to be worth £2,500 a year in rents alone, and which also included a four-figure sum in cash. He vested much of this in his three executors and trustees, one of whom was his 'loving and trusty servant, Hugh George'. George was obviously a confidential servant, and was himself a legatee under the will, but he proved a false friend. Perhaps because the will disappointed his expectations, or perhaps just because he saw the opportunity to get rich quickly, he absconded to Ireland with as much of his late employer's assets as he could. The money was never recovered, and William's hopes of an equitable distribution of his assets were frustrated. The greatest loser was William's youngest son, John Aubrey (1578-1616), for whom the executors had been instructed to purchase Pembridge Castle (Herefs), but as the capital to complete the purchase had been lost, the primary part of his intended legacy was not forthcoming; John moved to Wiltshire where his wife's family had property. William Aubrey framed his will in the hope 'that no contention may hereafter arise' between his kinsfolk, but the disruption of his plans meant that it did: John and his son Richard Aubrey (1603-52) and grandson John Aubrey (1626-97), the antiquary, all felt aggrieved. In the 1650s Richard and the younger John fought a doomed legal battle to obtain a share of the Breconshire estate which had been entailed on William's eldest son, Sir Edward Aubrey, and which Sir Edward's son, Sir William Aubrey, had substantially diminished by his profligacy. The suit cost them in legal fees the little that they possessed and left the antiquary dependent on the charity and hospitality of his friends and relations in his later years.
The descendants of Dr. William Aubrey's second son, Sir Thomas Aubrey (c.1565-1641), kt., were more successful. Thomas does not appear in his father's will, as he was already well provided for through his marriage in 1586 to Mary, the elder daughter and co-heiress of Anthony Mansel of Llantrithyd. Thomas seems to have moved to Llantrithyd after his marriage and lived there with his parents-in-law. Anthony Mansel, with whom Thomas had a close relationship, had died by 1597, but his widow - whose family seat Llantrithyd had originally been - lived on until c.1614 and apparently made life difficult for her daughter and son-in-law. Only in the 1620s was Sir Thomas able to improve the house, adding a new staircase and creating an elaborate 'long gallery', which seems to have been more like a Great Chamber. When Sir Thomas died in 1641 he left Llantrithyd to his eldest son, John (1605-79), who was an active Royalist during the Civil War. In 1644 a warrant was issued for him to be made a baronet in recognition of his services to the royal cause, but in the confusion of the Civil War the patent was never sealed, and John had to wait until 1660 for King Charles II to make good his father's promise. The Llantrithyd estate was sequestered by Parliament, but Sir John (as he styled himself after 1644) recovered it in 1650 and made it a refuge for Royalist academics and clergymen who had been ejected from their posts. One of these, Leoline Jenkins, who came from Llantrithyd where his father was an estate tenant, acted as tutor to Sir John's sons.
Sir John's eldest son, Lewis Aubrey (1633-59), died in his father's lifetime, so his heir when he died in 1679 was his younger son, Sir John Aubrey (c.1650-1700), 2nd bt. The younger Sir John contrived to remain in favour and hold public office under Charles II, James II and William III, which was no mean achievement, although a certain 'vicar of Bray' quality must have been apparent in his rapid shifts of allegiance. Like his cousin, John Aubrey (1626-97) and friend Edward Lhuyd (1660-1709) he had antiquarian interests, but these were not pursued to point of publication. His chief importance to the family lay in his second marriage to Mary Jephson (1653-1717), who was the daughter and heiress of William Lewis of The Van (Glamorgan) and owner of a substantial estate on the borders of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire at Brill, Boarstall and Piddington. Although Mary survived Sir John by many years and married twice more, she had no children by any of her four marriages, and she bequeathed the Buckinghamshire estate to her stepson, Sir John Aubrey (1680-1743), 3rd bt. Both the 2nd and 3rd baronets appreciated the advantages of an estate so much closer to London than Llantrithyd, and already in the 1690s the 2nd baronet was planning to divide his time between the two; the 3rd baronet moved his main home to Boarstall after his stepmother died in 1717.
The 3rd baronet had a severe upbringing in the conservative traditions of the 17th century, from which he was released by the unexpected death of his father following a riding accident in 1700. He seems to have celebrated his new freedom by having an affair with his stepmother's maid, Mary Stealey, and it is frequently claimed that he got her pregnant and was forced to marry her. However, she produced no child until eleven months after the marriage and this, taken together with the fact that the marriage took place just a few weeks after Sir John achieved his majority, inclines me to believe that family tradition has got the story the wrong way round, and that Sir John took his bride to the altar just as soon as he no longer required the consent of his stepmother or guardian. Mary produced two sons and five daughters before she died in 1714, and Sir John married twice more and fathered three more daughters before his death in 1743. In the light of his own experience, he determined to be a more loving and enlightened father than his own had been, believing that filial obedience would be achieved more readily through affection than dread. However, when his eldest son (later Sir John Aubrey (1707-67), 4th bt.) made a servant pregnant - or perhaps when, having done so, he refused to marry the girl - he disinherited him as far as he could. This seems to have happened in about 1737, when he made a new settlement of the Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire estates on his younger son (later Sir Thomas Aubrey (1708-86), 5th bt.). At his death, therefore, the entailed Llantrithyd estate passed to Sir John and the smaller but more desirable Boarstall estate to Thomas. Neither brother took a very active part in public affairs, and Sir John seems to have lived a reclusive life in a cottage or small house at St. Fagans (Glamorgan).
In 1767 the baronetcy and estates were reunited in the possession of Sir Thomas Aubrey, 5th bt. By then, his eldest son (Sir John Aubrey (1739-1826), 6th bt.) was already of age, and indeed the father of an illegitimate daughter, conceived while he was on his Grand Tour. Sir Thomas lost no time in settling the Buckinghamshire estates on him. Sir John became an MP in 1768 and was to sit in Parliament continuously until his death fifty-eight years later, ending as Father of the House. He also began expanding the Buckinghamshire estate, buying the Dorton estate in sections between 1774 and 1784 and leasing Chilton House from c.1771 (he later acquired the freehold through his second marriage). Later in life he added another estate at Oakley to form a compact block of property that would have been the envy of many peers. And a peer was precisely what he wanted to be. In the 1780s his letters to the Prime Minister, William Pitt, were about little else, but either his support was not important enough or he pressed his claim too much, for that final prize eluded him. Nor was the loss of a title his only disappointment; in 1777 he lost his only son and heir in tragic circumstances. There are several different accounts of what actually happened, but they all agree that the boy was poisoned at Boarstall House by a bowl of porridge, either because it was prepared in an untinned copper cooking vessel or because it was made with oats laced with arsenic used to bait rat-traps. Sir John may or may not have prepared the fatal brew himself (why should he have done?) or have ignored his son's warnings that 'that was the wrong pot', but evidently did blame himself for his son's death. The scene of the tragedy was unbearable to him, and he pulled most of Boarstall House down and moved lock, stock and barrel to Dorton House, where one room was preserved until his death as a shrine to his son.
With Sir John lacking a son, the heir to the entailed Llantrithyd and Boarstall estates was his nephew, Sir Thomas Digby Aubrey (1782-1856), 7th and last baronet, who was a barrister. However, Sir John seems to have taken a dislike to his nephew, and chose to leave the Dorton, Chilton and Oakley estates which were not entailed and which he was free to dispose of at will, to his niece, Elizabeth Sophia Ricketts (1792-1873) and his nephew, the Hon. Grey Bennet. They thus got the two country houses on the estate, whereas Sir T.D. Aubrey had only the remote and dilapidated Llantrithyd and the surviving medieval tower at Boarstall. Not surprisingly, he opted to live in neither, and instead rented the charming Oving House, which adjoined his Buckinghamshire estates. He was installed there soon after his uncle's death in 1826 and lived there until he died thirty years later; had he survived a little longer he might have been able to buy the freehold, which was sold in 1859. Sir T.D. Aubrey was married in 1813 but had no children before his wife died in 1817, and when he died there was no male Aubrey in remainder to the baronetcy, which thus became extinct. He left the Llantrithyd and Boarstall estates to his cousin, Elizabeth Sophia Ricketts, who thus reunited in her possession all the family property, having previously inherited Chilton from Grey Bennet when he died childless in 1836.
In the period before the second Married Women's Property Act of 1882, married women in Elizabeth's position were essentially the channel through which the ownership of property was transferred from one man to another, unless very elaborate (and expensive) trustee arrangements were put in place to prevent it falling into their husband's hands. On this basis, Elizabeth's husband, Capt. Charles William Spencer Ricketts RN (1788-1867) was widely seen as 'the squire' of the estate, although in the course of a long-running and very public political spat with the local newspaper editor he was reminded that he was "a nobody... the mere lodger at Dorton House... whose position in society is wholly dependent on the life of his very amiable and excellent lady". And it was not only with the Bucks Herald that he was unpopular. For one thing, he was not resident: he and his wife lived in Kensington; their agent occupied Dorton House and the local rector leased Chilton House. As non-residents they lacked the connection to and respect of their tenants and cottagers, and the newspapers report frequent thefts and attacks on their property during their tenure. When Elizabeth died in 1873 and was replaced by her deeply reclusive son, Charles Aubrey Ricketts (1814-1901), things only got worse. He took the name Aubrey in lieu of Ricketts under the terms of the 6th baronet's will, but he must have been the despair of his agents. He would not even attend his own mother's funeral, rarely visited the Buckinghamshire estates and never, in the twenty-eight years of his ownership, visited Llantrithyd at all. Not only did he not use his country seats, he would not allow them to be let, and if Dorton and Chilton were at least maintained Llantrithyd was allowed to slide from decay to dereliction to ruin.
When he died in 1901 the estate consisted of 6,500 acres in Bucks and 8,000 acres in south Wales. It had long been assumed that the estate would pass to his younger brother, Aubrey Ricketts (d. 1899), Aubrey's son, Charles Thomas Aubrey Ricketts (1849-76), or Aubrey's sister, Julia Anne Bonnor (1827-1901). But Charles outlived them all, and when he died the whole Aubrey empire passed quite unexpectedly to his third cousin once removed, Brig-Gen. Sir Henry Fletcher MP (1835-1910), 4th bt., whom he had never met. Fletcher (soon to take the name Aubrey-Fletcher) was descended from Elizabeth Aubrey (1712-35), a younger daughter of the third Aubrey baronet, and the operation of Sir John Aubrey's will of 1826 identified him as the next heir to the entailed estates. Sir Henry, who had a Sussex constituency, lived at Ham Manor, Angmering (Sussex) and had no intention of moving. But he was cut from very different cloth to Charles Aubrey Aubrey, and within days he was on the ground inspecting his Welsh and Buckinghamshire property, and showing himself at Aubrey's funeral.
When Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher died childless in 1910 the baronetcy and the estates, including Ham Manor, passed to his younger brother, Sir Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher (1846-1937), 5th bt., a solicitor. At the time of his inheritance he was 64, and he clearly decided that he did not want to begin a new career as a major landowner at that time of life. Accordingly, in 1913 he presented the whole estate to his son, Sir Henry Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher (1887-1969), 6th bt., except for Ham Manor, which was sold in 1915. Sir Henry took on his responsibilities at a time of crisis for the landed estate. A combination of pressures, among which taxation and lack of staff were key, caused the break-up of many estates, and a quarter of England changed hands in the five years after 1918. Sir Henry held on until 1928, when Dorton House was sold, and in 1941 he also sold Boarstall Tower, but much of the land was kept. Chilton was requisitioned for use by a school in the Second World War, and later leased as a nursing home. In south Wales, where there was no habitable house, there was some tidying up of the estate, but it essentially remained intact. By the time Sir Henry died in 1969, the worst of the mid 20th century storm had been weathered. Sir John Henry Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher (1912-92), 7th bt., who was a barrister and a later a judge, was able to pass on the estate intact to his son, the present owner, Sir Henry Egerton Aubrey-Fletcher (b. 1945), 8th bt., who has combined a career in local radio with the ownership of the estate. In 1987 he bought back the lease of Chilton House and restored the house, and Lady Aubrey-Fletcher has since run it as one of the country's most luxurious care homes. Sir Henry's entrepreneurial approach to conservation and estate management saw him selected as Chairman of the Country Land & Business Association, 2008-10, and he has also had a long association with the National Trust. At the time of writing he is also the Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire.
Llantrithyd Place, Glamorganshire
|Llantrithyd Place: lithograph showing the house in a derelict condition, 1846. Image: National Library of Wales|
This was one of the great 16th century mansions of Glamorganshire, first built from 1546 onwards for John Basset (d. 1551), but apparently unfinished at his death. It seems to have been completed by Anthony Mansel after he married Basset's daughter and heiress, and then altered and enlarged in the early 17th century for Sir Thomas Aubrey. It consisted of three two-storey ranges, each some 70 ft long, forming a courtyard open to the south-west. The best preserved part is the north range, with windows of three and four arched lights under hoodmoulds. A straight joint in the middle of the north wall demonstrates that the house's regular plan was not achieved in one campaign, though it may always have been intended. The central range was entered through a porch on the courtyard side, and was occupied by the hall and parlour. A long gallery was created above them in the early 17th century, when huge six-light windows with transoms were inserted at the north end of the hall and gallery. The gabled north-east elevation of the central block, facing the parish church, is wholly of the early 17th century, when the hall range was doubled in depth, allowing the provision of a spacious open-well staircase and two further large reception rooms, no doubt for Sir Thomas Aubrey, kt. (d. 1641).
|Llantrithyd Place: engraving of the long gallery, after a drawing of 1846. Image: National Library of Wales|
Sir John Aubrey, 3rd bt., inherited Boarstall Tower in Buckinghamshire in 1690, and the lure of a seat nearer London proved irresistible. The family spent less and less time in Glamorganshire, and by the early 19th century Llantrithyd Place was derelict; the roof is said to have partially collapsed in 1832. It continues to deteriorate today, with further collapses having taken place since the 1970s. South of the churchyard are two walled terraces, probably of the late 16th century, which remain largely intact though much overgrown. Below them are rectangular fishponds linked by a stone-lined stream. A raised walk led from the south-east corner of the house down past the ponds and up to a viewing platform on the other side of the valley.
|Llantrithyd Place: the ruins of the house from the north in 2010.|
Descent: Thomas Basset; to son, John Thomas Basset (d. 1551); to daughter, Elizabeth, wife of Anthony Mansel (d. by 1597); to daughter Mary (d. 1635), wife of Sir Thomas Aubrey (c.1565-1641); to son, Sir John Aubrey (1605-79), 1st bt.; to son, Sir John Aubrey (c.1650-1700), 2nd bt.; to son, Sir John Aubrey (1680-1743), 3rd bt.; to son, Sir John Aubrey (1707-67), 4th bt.; to brother, Sir Thomas Aubrey (1708-86), 5th bt.; to son, Sir John Aubrey (1739-1826), 6th bt.; to cousin, Sir Thomas Digby Aubrey (1782-1856), 7th bt.; to first cousin once removed, Charles Aubrey Ricketts (later Aubrey) (1814-1901); to kinsman Sir Henry Fletcher (later Aubrey-Fletcher) of Ashley Park (1835- 1910), 4th bt.; to brother, Sir Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher (1846-1937), 5th bt., who gave the estate in 1913 to his son, Sir Henry Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher (1887-1969), 6th bt.; to son, Sir John Henry Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher (1912-92), 7th bt.; to son, Sir Henry Egerton Aubrey-Fletcher (b. 1945), 8th bt.
Boarstall Tower, Buckinghamshire
|Boarstall House in 1695, from an engraving published in Lipscomb's History of Buckinghamshire (1831-47).|
A moated medieval manor house was built here by John de Handlo (d. 1346), who had licence to crenellate in 1312. His house seems to have survived with only minor alterations (including a remodelling of the gatehouse in c.1600) when the estate was depicted in a bird's eye view of 1695, a view which was no doubt painted to celebrate the acquisition of the property by Sir John Aubrey, 2nd bt. The Aubreys used Boarstall House a good deal in the early 18th century, but after the accidental death of Sir John Aubrey's son at the house, it was pulled down except for the surviving detached early 14th century gatehouse. The stone from Boarstall is said to have been reused for alterations and additions to Dorton House.
|Boarstall Tower: the surviving gatehouse of the 14th century house. Image: National Trust.|
The tower, which is built of rubble stone with ashlar banding and dressings, is still approached across a fragment of the moat by a bridge built in 1736. On the external face are two big hexagonal towers with arrow-slits, gargoyles and battlements flanking the entrance arch. Above the entrance is a tall rectangular 17th century bay window carried by a round arch which forms a kind of porch for the entrance below. Also of the 17th century are the balustrading and the handsome canted bay windows to the sides. The courtyard side of the gateway has slimmer staircase turrets and mullioned and transomed windows. Inside, there is a fine room above the gate arch with a late 16th century stone fireplace and some heraldic glass of 1692. It was converted into a house by A.S.G. Butler c.1926, when the central passage was made into a room. The estate was purchased by Ernest Cook from the Aubrey-Fletchers of Chilton in 1941 and he subsequently presented the Tower to the National Trust, which owns it today; in 2017 it was undergoing a major restoration.
Descent: John, son of Richard Handlo (d.1346); to grandson Edmund Handlo (d.1355) but held by Crown in wardship; to sister, Elizabeth Handlo, wife of Edmund de la Pole (d.1419); to daughter, Katherine de la Pole, wife of Robert James (d.1432); to daughter, Christine James (d.1435), widow of Edmund Rede; to son, Edmund Rede (d. 1489); to grandson, William Rede (d. c.1527); to son, Leonard Rede (d. c.1550); to daughter Katherine Rede, wife of Thomas Dynham (d.1563); to son, John Dynham (d. 1602); to son, Sir John Dynham (d.1634); to widow, Penelope, Lady Dynham (d. c.1650); to granddaughter, Margaret Banastre (fl. 1661), wife of William Lewis; to son, Edward Lewis (d. 1672); to sister, Mary Lewis (1653-1717), wife of William Jephson and later of Sir John Aubrey (c.1650-1700), 2nd bt.; to step-son, Sir John Aubrey (1680-1743), 3rd bt.; to younger son, Sir Thomas Aubrey (1708-86), 5th bt., who settled the estate c.1768 on his son, Sir John Aubrey (1739-1826), 6th bt.; to nephew, Sir Thomas Digby Aubrey (1782-1856), 7th bt.; to cousin Elizabeth Sophia Aubrey (1792-1873), wife of Charles Spencer Ricketts (1788-1867) and later of Rev. George Chetwode (1791-1870); to son, Charles Aubrey Ricketts (later Aubrey) (1814-1901); to kinsman Sir Henry Fletcher (later Aubrey-Fletcher) of Ashley Park (1835-1910), 4th bt.; to brother, Sir Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher (1846-1937), 5th bt.; who gave the estate in 1913 to his son, Sir Henry Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher (1887-1969), 6th bt.; who sold 1941 to Ernest Cook, who gave it to The National Trust.
Chilton House, Buckinghamshire
The first house here of which anything is known was an H-plan house with its wings projecting to the west, which was probably built for John Croke (d. c.1553), a lawyer who bought the estate in 1529, or his son, Sir John Croke, kt. (d. 1609). The park was enclosed in about 1544 and contains a T-plan timber-framed farmhouse built before 1607 as a lodge for the park-keeper. Some evidence of the 16th century house remains in the cellars and end walls of the present building, but it was effectively rebuilt in about 1740 for another lawyer, Richard Carter (d. 1771), who was Chief Justice of the Grand Sessions for south Wales.
|Chilton House in the early 20th century.|
Carter's new house was reputedly designed ‘after a reduced model’ of Buckingham House in London, but Chilton does not in fact have much in common with that much emulated house, designed by William Winde in 1705, except for the giant pilasters and the general setting of the house facing onto a cour d'honneur enclosed by iron railings and the blank arcaded walls of the flanking pavilions. The tall nine bay main front faces east and has three full storeys above a high rusticated basement as well as an attic above the cornice. There is a five bay slightly projecting centre with two bays either side, defined by giant Tuscan pilasters. All the ground floor windows and the first floor windows of the centre have Gibbs surrounds and this insistent rustication makes Chilton look rather provincial. The other windows have stone surrounds and keystones. On the rear elevation, there are symmetrical windows with bays three and seven having Venetian windows between the ground and first floors and arched ones above that.
Inside, the centre is filled by the entrance hall and saloon, with the main staircase being to the right at the rear. The entrance hall is panelled with fluted Corinthian pilasters and has an overmantel with a broken pediment and a good plasterwork ceiling. The staircase is original and has three twisted balusters per tread and carved tread ends. The north-east and south-east rooms have good bolection-moulded panelling and pedimented doorcases, and the south-east room has a Rococo ceiling. The second floor of the south side of the house is occupied by a long room which may be the long gallery of the old house, with a high pointed barrel-vaulted ceiling and 16th century linenfold panelling. The house was requisitioned for use as a school during the Second World War and then rented to the County Council for use as care home until 1965. After a period of uncertainty it reopened as a private nursing home with a utilitarian extension to one side in the 1960s, but in 1987 the family bought back the lease and restored the house with the aim of making it one of the most luxurious of care homes.
Descent: sold in 1529 to John Croke, master in Chancery (d. c.1553); to son, Sir John Croke (d. 1609); to son, Sir John Croke (d. 1620); to son, Sir John Croke (d. c.1640); to son, Sir John Croke, 1st bt. (d. 1679); to daughter, Margaret Hyde (fl. 1682)...[descent unclear to] Jane Matthew, widow; sold 1695 to John Limbrey; to Richard Limbrey; sold? 1701 to Edward Hervey; to Edward Hervey (fl. 1739); sold 1739 to Richard Carter, Chief Justice of South Wales (d. 1755); to son, George Richard Carter (d. 1771); to daughter, Martha Catherine Carter (1765-1815), wife of Sir John Aubrey (1739-1826), 6th bt; to sister-in-law’s son, Hon. Grey Bennet (1777-1836), who let it to Rev. George Chetwode (1791-1870); to kinswoman, Elizabeth Sophia Aubrey (1792-1873), wife of Charles Spencer Ricketts and later of Rev. George Chetwode; to son, Charles Aubrey Ricketts (later Aubrey) (1814-1901); to kinsman Sir Henry Fletcher, 4th bt. (later Aubrey-Fletcher) of Ashley Park (1835-1910); to brother, Sir Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher, 5th bt. (1846-1937); who gave the estate in 1913 to his son, Sir Henry Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher, 6th bt. (1887-1969); to son, Sir John Henry Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher, 7th bt. (1912-92); to son, Sir Henry Egerton Aubrey-Fletcher, 8th bt. (b. 1945), chairman of Chilton Park Nursing Home.
Dorton House, Buckinghamshire
|Dorton House: east (entrance) front in recent years.|
The house is essentially the large U-plan mansion of red brick with stone dressings which was probably built for Robert Dormer in c.1618-26. The house faces east with a five-bay entrance front flanked by two lower gabled wings, and with one-bay projections in the inner angles. The present mix of tripartite and sash windows was installed after Sir John Aubrey acquired the house in 1783, and the wide but rather low Doric porch is also 18th century, and shields the original four-centered doorway. On the upper floor are four Venetian windows and a central arched one, all of timber. The ends of the wings have Venetian and tripartite windows too, with oval stone windows above them in the gables. The north front is symmetrical, with two canted bay windows in the slightly-projecting first and last bays, and a two-storey projection (originally a porch) in the centre. This side has much renewed mullioned and transomed windows, and was formerly more thoroughly Georgianised.
|Dorton House: north front.|
|Dorton House: the south and west fronts. Image: Historic England|
The west front is irregular, with the massive chimneystack of the hall and great chamber and the square bay window of the hall. The south side is irregular too, but has a small stone porch with two decorated round arches and a four-centred one; this has been made up of pieces, but the inner doorway looks in situ and matches the four-centred arch. To its left and right are pairs of big three-light windows with two transoms. At the eastern end are two projections with chimneystacks carrying groups of moulded polygonal shafts.
|Dorton House: the great hall, before 1912.|
|Dorton House: the hall screen. Image: Historic England.|
|Dorton House: staircase dated 1626. Image: Historic England|
|Dorton Hall: the great chamber on the first floor. Image: Historic England.|
|Dorton Hall: ceiling of the great chamber. Image: Historic England.|
The chief early 17th century rooms are in the main range and north wing, and they have elaborate plasterwork. The south-west room on the first floor has a rich ceiling like that of the main staircase, and panelling with carved arcading and a chimneypiece with upstanding strapwork like the hall screen. In the former great chamber over the hall there is a coved ceiling with less compartmentalization but more sinuous straps and the Dormer emblem (a rayed eye). In the ground-floor room at the north-east corner the strapwork ceiling is 19th century but the rest of the plasterwork is late 18th century. There is a plain barrel-vaulted long gallery all along the first floor of the north wing. The stables are 17th century within but were remodelled externally in the late 18th century with a pedimented ashlar centrepiece and ogee-capped turret. The house remained in private occupation until 1939, when it was sold to the Royal London School for the Blind; they occupied it until 1955, when it became a preparatory school called Ashfold School that continues today.
Descent: Sir Michael Dormer bought both moieties of the manor in 1541 and 1544 and settled them in 1545 on his second son, William Dormer (d. 1563) who leased the estate to Henry Grey and others; to son John Dormer (1556-1627), who was in possession by 1594; settled 1617 on son, Sir Robert Dormer (d. 1649); to son, Robert Dormer (d. 1689); to son, Robert Dormer (d. 1695); under whose will the estate was divided into several moieties, all sold c.1774-84 to Sir John Aubrey, 6th bt. (1739-1826); to niece, Elizabeth Sophia Aubrey (1792-1873), wife of Charles Spencer Ricketts (1788-1867) and later of Rev. George Chetwode (1791-1870); to son, Charles Aubrey Ricketts (later Aubrey) (1814-1901); to kinsman Sir Henry Fletcher (later Aubrey-Fletcher) (1835- 1910), 4th bt.; to brother, Sir Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher (1846-1937), 5th bt.; who gave it in 1913 to his son, Sir Henry Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher (1887-1969), 6th bt.; sold 1928 to Maj. Michael Beaumont; sold 1939 to Royal London School for the Blind; sold 1955 to James Harrison who founded Ashfold School.
Ham Manor, Angmering, Sussex
Ownership of the manor of Ham became fragmented among heiresses in the 16th century but was progressively reunited by various members of the Gratwicke family between about 1560 and 1626. It is thought that a new manor house may have been built by George or Henry Gratwicke in about 1570, but nothing is known of this.
|Ham Manor: the north front from an estate plan of 1724.|
Image: N.A. Rogers-Davis & R.W. Standing, Angmering Village website.
|Ham Manor: the new house built by Henry Harrison for W.G. Kinleside Gratwicke c.1835.|
|Ham Manor: south front, as altered in 1929 and later.|
Aubrey family of Llantrithyd, baronets
|Dr. William Aubrey|
(1) Sir Edward Aubrey (b. c.1558; fl. 1610), kt., born about 1558; High Sheriff of Breconshire, 1583, 1589, 1599; inherited the majority of his father's estates in Breconshire, based on Abercynrig, which were largely dispersed by his eldest son; knighted on the same day as his father, 1603; married, c.1580, Jane (b. 1559), daughter of William Havard of Tredomen (Brecon) and had issue six sons and five daughters; died after 1610;
(2) Elizabeth Aubrey; married Thomas Norton of Northwood Chasteners alias Norwood, Milton (Kent) and had issue five sons and one daughter;
(3) Mary Aubrey; married, before 1595, William Herbert of Crickhowell (Brecon) and had issue ten sons and four daughters;
(4) Joan Aubrey (d. 1640); married, before 1587, Sir Daniel Donne (c.1546-1617), kt. and had issue five sons and eleven daughters;
(5) Wilgefort Aubrey; married, before 1595, Rees Kemeys (d. by 1609) of Llanvair (Monmouth), younger son of David Kemeys of Cefn Mably (Glamorgan) and had issue six sons and four daughters;
(6) Sir Thomas Aubrey (c.1565-1641), kt. (q.v.);
(7) Lucy Aubrey; married 1st, after 1595, Hugh Powell and had issue one daughter, and 2nd, John Gibbon of Glamorganshire;
(8) Ann Aubrey (d. 1613?); married, before 1595, John Partridge (1567-c.1606), son and heir of Robert Partridge of Wishanger House, Miserden (Glos) and had issue a daughter; perhaps the person of this name who was buried at Milton (Kent), 10 August 1613;
(9) John Aubrey (1578-1616) of Burleton (Herefs), born 1578; still a minor at his father's death and became a ward of Rt. Rev. John Whitgift (1530-1604), Archbishop of Canterbury; it was intended his father's executors should complete the purchase of Pembridge Castle for him, but this was frustrated by the fraud of one of them; married Rachel (who m2, Alderman John Whitson (1557-1629) of Bristol and d. 1656), daughter of Richard or William Danvers of Tockenham (Wilts), and had issue including Richard Aubrey (1603-52), who was father of the antiquary John Aubrey (1626-97); died 1616.
He lived mostly in London and at Sydenham (Kent), but acquired large estates in his native Breconshire (including Abercynrig) and south Wales by purchase and royal grant, including much of the land owned by the senior branch of his own family. He also owned land in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Kent and Wiltshire. Much of his real property was settled on his widow and sons before his death.
He died 23 July 1595, and was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral, London the following day, where he was commemorated by a bas-relief monument. His will was proved 29 July 1595, but much of his personal estate was lost to his legatees through a fraudulent executor, his ‘loving and trusty servant’ Hugh George. His wife died after 1595.
* This name, which recurs in the family as a forename, is given in widely different forms, including Williford, Willsford, Wilgiford, Wilgefort and Wilsophet.
Aubrey, Sir Thomas (c.1565-1641), kt. Second son of Dr. William Aubrey (c.1529-95) and his wife Wilgefort, daughter of John Williams of Taynton (Oxon), born about 1565. Educated at Christ's College, Brecon and Jesus College, Oxford (matriculated 1581). High Sheriff of Glamorganshire, 1602-03. He was knighted at Whitehall, 7 March 1609. JP and (from 1617) DL for Glamorganshire. He married, 12 February 1585/6 at Llantrithyd, Mary, daughter and co-heir of Anthony Mansel of Llantrithyd (Glamorgans), and had issue:
(1) Katherine Aubrey, born about 1587; married, 24 January 1598/9 as a child, Anthony Gwyn (b. c.1585) of Llansannor, and had issue six sons and one daughter, the eldest of whom was born in 1607;
(2) Blanche Aubrey (d. 1588); died in infancy; buried at Llantrithyd, 2 December 1588;
(3) Cissell Aubrey (d. 1591); died in infancy; buried at Llantrithyd, 23 August 1591;
(4) Wilgefort Aubrey (d. 1594); died in infancy; buried at Llantrithyd, 2 July 1594;
(5) Wilgefort Aubrey (d. 1596); died in infancy and was buried at Llantrithyd, 26 April 1596;
(6) Elizabeth Aubrey (fl. 1635); married, 24 July 1635, as his second wife, Sir Rice Rudd (d. 1664), 1st bt., of Aberglasney (Carmarthen), but had no issue;
(7) Jane Aubrey; married, 6 May 1613, Robert Button of Dyffryn and had issue two daughters;
(8) Cissil Aubrey (fl. 1630); married, 1 September 1614, David Jenkins (1582-1663) of Hensol, barrister and later judge, 'a man of great force of character and some eccentricity', and had issue four sons and one daughter;
(9) Mansell Aubrey (b. & d. 1600), baptised 18 May 1600; died in infancy and was buried 28 July 1600;
(10) Mary Aubrey (b. 1602), baptised 2 April 1602; unmarried in 1636;
(12) Sir John Aubrey (1605-79), 1st bt. (q.v.);
(13) Thomas Aubrey (1608-73) of Bolston (Pembs), baptised 21 April 1608; educated at Wadham College, Oxford (matriculated 1627; BCL 1632); Chancellor of the Diocese of St. David's; married Eleanor (d. 1642), daughter of Sir Rice Rudd, 1st bt., of Aberglasney (Carmarthen), and had issue one son and one daughter; buried 20 November 1673;
He moved to Llantrithyd Place estate on his marriage and inherited it in right of his wife before 1597 on the death of Anthony Mansel.
He was buried at Llantrithyd, 22 November 1641; his will was proved at Llandaff, 20 July 1642. His wife was buried at Llantrithyd, 10 November 1635.
Aubrey, Sir John (1605-79), 1st bt. Elder son of Sir Thomas Aubrey (c.1565-1641), kt., and his wife Mary, daughter and co-heir of Anthony Mansel of Llantrithyd (Glamorgans), baptised at Llantrithyd, 24 February 1604/5. Educated at Wadham College, Oxford (admitted 1623 but matriculated 1626) and Grays Inn (admitted 1626). High Sheriff of Glamorganshire, 1633-34. He was an active Royalist in the Civil War, raising troops for the Crown in Wales, and had a warrant of baronetcy dated April 1644 which however never passed the Great Seal because of the turbulent times; he was, however, referred to as Sir John Aubrey before he was eventually created a baronet, 23 July 1660. His estate was sequestered by Parliament after the Civil War, but he compounded for it in 1650. During the interregnum, he made his house at Llantrithyd a haven for displaced persons of a Royalist persuasion, including Dr. Francis Mansel, the Principal of Jesus College, Oxford, and Sir Leoline Jenkins, who was the son of one of the estate tenants. DL and JP for Glamorganshire from 1663, in which capacity he was active in the pursuit of religious nonconformists. He married, 25 August 1630 at Binfield (Berks), Mary, daughter and heir of Sir Richard South, kt., of London, goldsmith, and had issue including:
(3) Cessill Aubrey (d. 1635); died young and was buried at Llantrithyd, 19 September 1635;
(4) Elizabeth Aubrey (d. 1635/6); died young and was buried at Llantrithyd, 31 August 1635 or 1636*;
(5) Elizabeth Aubrey (b. 1637), baptised at Llantrithyd, 2 July 1637; died young;
(6) Cessill Aubrey (b. 1638), baptised at Llantrithyd, 22 July 1638;
He inherited the Llantrithyd Place estate from his father in 1641.
He was buried at Llantrithyd, 9 January 1678/9; his will was proved 9 April 1679. His widow was buried at Llantrithyd, 25 March 1680.
* The register entry is imperfect.
|Sir John Aubrey, 2nd bt.|
(1.1) Sir John Aubrey (1680-1743), 3rd bt. (q.v.).
He inherited the Llantrithyd Place estate from his father in 1679 and acquired the use of the Boarstall estate after his second marriage.
He died following a fall from his horse, 15 September 1700, and was buried at Llantrithyd, where is commemorated by a monument. His first wife's date of death is unknown. His widow married 3rd, 30 December 1701, Sir Charles Kemeys (d. 1702), 3rd bt. of Cefn Mably (Glamorgan), and 4th, 10 August 1703, Dr. William Aubrey of New College, Oxford, who was second son of Richard Aubrey of Broad Chalk (Wilts) and thus the younger brother of the antiquary, John Aubrey, and second cousin of Sir John; she died without issue from any of her four marriages in 1717 and was buried at Boarstall; her will (as Mary, Lady Kemeys) was proved 24 January 1717/8.
|Sir John Aubrey, 3rd bt.|
(1.1) Margaret Aubrey (1702-12), baptised at Llantrithyd, 5 May 1702; died young and was buried at Llantrithyd, 3 November 1712;
(1.2) Mary Aubrey (1703-68), baptised at Llantrithyd, 26 August 1703; died unmarried, December 1768 and was buried at Boarstall;
(1.3) Jenet Aubrey (b. 1704), baptised at Llantrithyd, 21 October 1704; perhaps died unmarried;
(1.4) Cecilia Aubrey (1705-21), baptised at Llantrithyd, 29 November 1705; died young and was buried at Boarstall, 1721;
(1.5) Sir John Aubrey (1707-67), 4th bt. (q.v.);
(1.6) Sir Thomas Aubrey (1708-86), 5th bt. (q.v.);
(1.7) Elizabeth Aubrey (1712-35), baptised at Llantrithyd, 13 September 1712; married, 10 October 1730 at St Marylebone (Middx), Henry Lintot (1703-58) of Southwater (Sussex) and had issue one son (died young) and one daughter (Catherine (d. 1816), who married, 1768, Sir Henry Fletcher (c.1727-1807), 1st bt., as a result of which marriage their great-grandson inherited the Aubrey estates in 1901); died 20 January and was buried at St. Dunstan in the West, London, 25 January 1734/5;
(2.1) Frances Aubrey (1716-75), baptised at Llantrithyd, 1 June 1716; married Col. John Denham Jephson (d. 1781) of Mallow (Cork) and had issue three sons; buried at Llantrithyd, 22 August 1775;
(2.2) Margaret Aubrey (1717-93), baptised at Llantrithyd, 25 October 1717; lived at Llanmaes (Glamorgan); died unmarried, and was buried at Llantrithyd, 22 February 1793; will proved 6 April 1793, but further grants of administration were given in 1816 and 1830 as parts of her estate remained to be dealt with;
(2.3) Penelope Aubrey (b. & d. 1718), baptised at Llantrithyd, 8 November 1718; died in infancy and was buried at Llantrithyd, 20 November 1718.
He inherited the Llantrithyd estates from his father in 1700 and the Boarstall House estate in Boarstall, Brill (Bucks) and Piddington (Oxon) from his stepmother at her death in 1717.
He died 15 April and was buried 23 April 1743; his will was proved 11 May 1743. His first wife was buried at Llantrithyd, 7 July 1714. His second wife was buried at Boarstall, 26 January 1723/4. His third wife was buried 15 November 1725.
* Most sources give his date of birth as 20 June 1680, which must be wrong.
Aubrey, Sir John (1707-67), 4th bt. Elder son of Sir John Aubrey (1680-1743), 3rd bt., and his first wife, Mary, daughter of Robert Stealey of Oxford, born 2 January and baptised at Llantrithyd, 23 January 1706/7. Educated at Jesus College, Oxford (matriculated 1722). He succeeded his father as 4th baronet, 15 April 1743, but was as far as possible cut out of his father's will (reputedly for making a servant girl pregnant, but perhaps more for refusing to marry her). He cut no public figure at all and was perhaps one of several members of the family to have been reclusive. He was unmarried and is said to have lived a retired existence at St. Fagans (Glamorgan) with two spinster ladies who went on living there after his death and maintained lighted candles at his tomb.
He inherited the settled estates at Llantrithyd from his father in 1743 but none of the Buckinghamshire estate which belonged to his father absolutely.
He died at St Fagans (Glamorgan), 14 October and was buried at Llantrithyd, 20 October 1767.
|Sir Thomas Aubrey, 5th bt.|
(1) Sir John Aubrey (1739-1826), 6th bt. (q.v.);
(2) Col. Thomas Aubrey (1740-1814) (q.v.);
(3) Richard Aubrey (1744-1808) (q.v.);
(4) Patricia (k/a Patty) Mary Aubrey (1751-74), born 28 March 1751; died unmarried, 13 September 1774, and was buried at Boarstall, where she is commemorated by a monument.
He lived at Stoke Lyne (Oxon). The Boarstall estates were settled on him by his father in 1738. He further inherited the settled estates at Llantrithyd from his elder brother in 1767. He also had a house in Bath, which made a convenient stopping place on his journeys between the two estates.
He died 4 September and was buried at Llantrithyd, 13 September 1786; his will was proved 3 February 1787. His widow died at Bath, 5 December and was buried at Llantrithyd, 14 December 1788; administration of her goods was granted in February 1789.
|Sir John Aubrey, 6th bt.|
(1.1) John Aubrey (1771-77), born 6 December and baptised at St James, Piccadilly, London, 31 December 1771; died young from accidental poisoning, 2 January 1777.
He also had an illegitimate daughter by a discreditable affair with a young French aristocrat, said to be a daughter of the 'Duc de Guiche' but perhaps of Jean Roger de La Guiche (1719-1770), Comte de Sévignon:
(X1) Mary Aubrey alias Villars (c.1765-1843), born at Paris, c.1765; apparently brought to England after 1771 and lived at Boarstall with her father and his first wife; married, 7 May 1792 at Dorton, Sir Samuel Whitcombe (1751-1816), kt., of Hempsted Court (Glos) and had issue seven sons and three daughters; died 1843; will proved 13 December 1843.
His father settled the Boarstall estate on him, probably in the 1760s. He leased the Chilton House estate from at least 1773 and perhaps earlier, and acquired the freehold in 1783 through his second marriage. He purchased the different moieties of the Dorton House estate in Buckinghamshire between 1774 and 1784, and inherited the Llantrithyd estate from his father in 1786. In later life, he had a town house at 4 Upper Brook St., London and expanded the Buckinghamshire estate through the purchase of Oakley. He seems to have lived in London until 1771; then at Chilton until 1776, when he removed to Boarstall. Following the death of his son, he moved to Dorton and pulled down most of the house at Boarstall. At his death, the entailed estates of Llantrithyd and Boarstall passed to his nephew, Sir Thomas Digby Aubrey (q.v.) with the baronetcy, while Dorton was left to Elizabeth Sophia Aubrey (q.v.) and Chilton to the Hon. Grey Bennet (1777-1836), his nephew by his first marriage, who had already been granted a lease of it, but who lived in exile from 1826 onwards having been publicly exposed as a homosexual.
He died 1 March 1826 and was buried at Boarstall, where he and his two wives are commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 15 April 1826 (effects under £50,000). His first wife died 14 June and was buried at Boarstall, 20 June 1781. His second wife died at Bath, after an illness of only a few hours, 3 September 1815, and was buried at Boarstall.
Aubrey, Richard (1744-1808). Third and youngest son of Sir Thomas Aubrey (d. 1786), 5th bt., and his wife Martha Catherine, daughter of Richard Carter of Chilton (Bucks), Chief Justice of South Wales, born 21 or 26 May and baptised at Stoke Lyne (Oxon), 18 November 1744. Educated at Exeter and All Souls Colleges, Oxford (matriculated 1765; BA 1771; MA 1775). An officer in the Royal Artillery; Col. of Royal Glamorganshire Militia, 1794-1808; JP and DL for Glamorganshire and was one of three deputy lieutenants who held the Lord Lieutenancy of Glamorganshire in commission, July-December 1794. Steward of Cowbridge Races, 1782. He was noted for 'a happy vein of wit and humour'. He married, 20 February 1780, Frances (1751-82), daughter of the Hon. Wriothesley Digby and granddaughter of 5th Baron Digby, and had issue:
(1) Julia Frances Aubrey (1780-1856), baptised 31 December 1780; married, 29 May 1810 at St George, Hanover Square, London, William Ralph Cartwright MP of Aynho (Northants) and had issue; died at Edgcote (Northants), 19 November, and was buried at Aynho, 27 November 1856; will proved 20 December 1856;
(2) Martha Maria Aubrey (b. & d. 1781); born September 1781 and buried October 1781;
(2) Sir Thomas Digby Aubrey (1782-1856), 7th bt. (q.v.).
He lived at Ash Hall (Glamorgan), which he acquired probably in the 1780s; he undertook some landscaping improvements around the house.
He died at Taunton, where his regiment was quartered, of an inflammation of the lungs, 31 March 1808, and was buried at Llantrithyd, 9 April 1808, where he is commemorated by a monument. His wife died 12 December and was buried at Llantrithyd, 20 December 1782, where she too is commemorated by a monument.
|Sir Thomas Digby Aubrey, 7th bt.|
(1782-1856). Image: ArtUK
He inherited the Llantrithyd and Boarstall estates from his uncle in 1826, and leased Oving House (Bucks) from Maj. Hopkins-Northey until his death. At his death his estates passed to his niece, Elizabeth Sophia Ricketts (née Aubrey). His wife inherited the Middle Claydon estate from her half-sister, Mary, Baroness Fermanagh, in her own right.
He died 5 September 1856, when the baronetcy became extinct; his will was proved 23 September 1856. His wife died 27 November 1817.
|Col. Thomas Aubrey (1740-1814)|
(1) Thomas Aubrey (c.1781-1806), born in America about 1781; an officer in the infantry (Ensign, 1797; Lt. & Capt., 1799; Adjutant, 1801); died at his father's house 'after a very severe illness lasting three years', 19 November 1806;
(1) Elizabeth Sophia Aubrey (1792-1873) (q.v.).
He died 15 January and was buried at St Mary, Paddington (Middx), 27 January 1814, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 8 March 1814. His widow died 12 October 1822; her will was proved 8 November 1822.
* His will refers to his wife as 'Elizabeth Aubrey otherwise Irving, who has been living with me as my wife for many years past',and this caused a great deal of doubt as to the legal status of the marriage. It would appear that there were no clergy in Detroit at the time, and it was the established practice for marriage ceremonies to be performed by a lay magistrate. The 'Dr Williams' who conducted the marriage was, however, apparently a shipwright and there was much legal wrangling before the validity of the marriage was eventually accepted by the lawyers.
Aubrey, Elizabeth Sophia (1792-1873). Only surviving child of Col. Thomas Aubrey (c.1742-1814) and his wife Elizabeth Twing, born 31 January and baptised at St Pancras (Middx), 28 February 1792. She (or rather her husband) appears to have been an unpopular landlord, and the newspapers reported a number of thefts, burglaries and arson attacks on the estate in the 1830s and 1840s. She married 1st, 3 February 1814 at St Marylebone (Middx), Capt. Charles William Spencer Ricketts RN (1788-1867) of London (who served as High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, 1832-33), and 2nd, 30 April 1868, Rev. George Chetwode (1791-1870) of Chilton (Bucks), and had issue including:
(1.1) Charles Aubrey Ricketts (later Aubrey) (1814-1901) (q.v.);
(1.2) Thomas Gamble Ricketts (1816-63), born 12 July 1816; married, 15 August 1852 at St Mary, Newington (Surrey), Julia Elizabeth (c.1820-66), daughter of Frederick Collier Hatton, attorney, and widow of Robert Thomas Mansel Lott, but had no issue; died 7 July and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, 13 July 1863; administration of goods granted to his sister, 19 January 1876 (effects under £800);
(1.3) Aubrey Ricketts (1817-99), of North Lodge, London Rd., Brighton, born 3 November 1817; married, 18 January 1849 at Christ Church, Camberwell (Surrey), Elizabeth, daughter of James Dale, hairdresser, and had issue one son (d. 1876) and one daughter; died 29 June 1899; will proved 27 July 1899 (estate £12,922);
(1.4) Julia Anne Ricketts (1827-1901), born 22 July 1827; married, 1 September 1853 at St James, Notting Hill (Middx), George Bonnor (1822-93) of Queen's Gate, London and Walton-on-Thames (Surrey), solicitor, son of Benjamin Bonnor of Gloucester, solicitor, but had no issue; died in Brighton, 15 February 1901 and was buried at Wotton (Surrey); her will proved 10 April 1901 (estate £44,909).
She inherited the Dorton estate from Sir John Aubrey in 1826, the Chilton estate from the Hon. Grey Bennet in 1836, and the Llantrithyd and Boarstall estates from her cousin, Sir Thomas Digby Aubrey, 7th bt., in 1856, but lived chiefly in Kensington (Middx). Dorton House seems to have been occupied by the resident agent in the 1830s. Chilton was occupied by Rev. George Chetwode until his death in 1870.
She died 27 November 1873 and was buried at Boarstall, 4 December 1873; her will was proved 5 February 1874 (effects under £10,000). Her first husband died 17 February and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, 23 April 1867; his will was proved 9 April 1867 (effects under £30,000). Her second husband died at Chilton House, 4 August 1870.
Ricketts (later Aubrey), Charles Aubrey (1814-1901). Eldest son of Charles Spencer Ricketts (d. 1867) and his wife Elizabeth Sophia, daughter of Col. Thomas Aubrey of Dorton House (Bucks), born 1 November and baptised at St Marylebone, 4 December 1814. He assumed the name Aubrey in lieu of Ricketts by royal licence, 7 March 1874. He had no occupation, lived on an allowance, and was something of a recluse, failing, for example, to attend his mother's funeral. He seldom visited his Buckinghamshire estates and never went to Llantrithyd, and his property was administered entirely through his agents, although he maintained the traditional charities to estate residents. He was unmarried and without issue.
He lived in lodgings in Clerkenwell (Middx) until he inherited the Llantrithyd, Boarstall, Chilton and Dorton estates from his mother in 1873, after which he moved to a grander flat at Tavistock Chambers, Hart St., Bloomsbury. He refused to allow Chilton or Dorton to be leased, with the result that they deteriorated during his ownership. At his death the estates passed (under the 1826 will of Sir John Aubrey, 6th bt.) to his third cousin once removed, Maj-Gen. Sir Henry Fletcher (1835-1910), 4th bt., whom he had never met.
He died in London, 28 December 1901 and was buried at Boarstall, 2 January 1902; his will was proved 17 March 1902 (estate £96,505).
Aubrey-Fletcher family of Chilton and Dorton, baronets
|Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, 4th bt., |
by 'Spy', 1898
He inherited Ashley Park, Walton-on-Thames from his father in 1851, but sold it to Samuel Sassoon in 1863 and purchased Ham Manor, Angmering (Sussex) in 1869. In 1901 he inherited the extensive estates of his third cousin once removed, Charles Aubrey Ricketts (later Aubrey) (1814-1901), whom he had never met.
He died 19 May and was buried at Angmering, 24 May 1910; his will was proved 27 July 1910 (estate £77,283). His widow died 5 February 1916; her will was proved 7 April 1916 (estate £22,467).
Fletcher (later Aubrey-Fletcher), Sir Lancelot (1846-1937), 5th bt. Third son of Sir Henry Fletcher (1807-51), 3rd bt., and his wife Emily Maria (1816-88), second daughter of George Browne of Bombay (India), born at Bonchurch (Isle of Wight), 13 March 1846. Admitted as a solicitor, 1869. He worked in India in the 1870s and later in private practice in England. He succeeded his brother as 5th bt., 19 May 1910, and assumed the additional name of Aubrey by royal licence, 23 June 1910 for himself and his children. Board member of Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital (Chairman, 1916-18; President, 1921-34). He married 1st, 9 October 1875 at Byculla, Bombay (India), Gertrude Isabella (1847-78), daughter of John Howell of South Hampstead (Middx), 2nd, 18 April 1882 at St Anne Soho, London, Emily Harriet (1845-1911), daughter of Rev. Nugent Wade, canon of Bristol Cathedral, and 3rd, 3 June 1913, Aileen Mary (1882-1968), younger daughter of John Macpherson, barrister, and had issue:
(1.1) Lancelot Henry Fletcher (b. & d. 1876), born 15 August and baptised 17 August 1876 at Sewrie, Bombay (India); died in infancy, 20 August 1876 and was buried at Sewrie the same day;
(2.1) Kathleen Margaret Fletcher (later Aubrey-Fletcher) (1884-1959), born 15 January and baptised at St Anne Soho, London, 18 February 1884; took the additional surname Aubrey from 1910; married, 20 November 1916 at St Peter, Eaton Square, Westminster (Middx), Capt. Hugh Carleton Charsley Tufnell (1884-1945), elder son of Carleton Fowell Tufnell of Watendone Manor, Kenley (Surrey), and had issue one son; died 27 February 1959; will proved 14 May 1959 (estate £73,737);
(2.2) Sir Henry Lancelot Fletcher (later Aubrey-Fletcher) (1887-1969), 6th bt. (q.v.).
He lived at Hookwood House, Limpsfield (Surrey) and at Winkfield (Berks) before he inherited Ham Manor, Angmering (Sussex) and the Aubrey estates at Llantrithyd, Boarstall, Chilton and Dorton estates from his brother in 1910. He sold Ham Manor in 1915, and gave the remaining estates to his son in 1913. He lived latterly at Ellesborough House (Bucks) and then Brill House (Bucks).
He died from a heart attack, 5 January 1937 and was buried at Dorton; his will was proved 24 May 1937 and 20 May 1938 (estate £154,415). His first wife died at Sewree, Bombay (India), 5 August 1878 and was buried the same day. His second wife died 19 April 1911. His widow died 28 June 1968.
|Sir Henry Lancelot |
Aubrey-Fletcher, 6th bt.
(1.1) Sir John Henry Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher (1912-92), 7th bt. (q.v.);
(1.2) Nigel Chilton Aubrey-Fletcher (1914-80), born 10 April 1914; educated at Eton; obtained a pilot's licence, 1937; served in Second World War in RAF Volunteer Reserve, 1941-45 (Pilot Officer, 1941; Flying Officer, 1942; F/Lt); married, 7 November 1942, Areta Mae (1915-2000), daughter of Frederick Lees of Hamilton, Ontario (Canada), and had issue two sons; found dead 13 July 1980; will proved 24 September 1980 (estate £71,278);
(1.3) Lancelot Philip Aubrey-Fletcher (1919-2000), born 30 October 1919; educated at Eton; an officer in the Grenadier Guards (2nd Lt., 1938; Lt., 1942; Capt., 1946); served in Second World War, 1939-40 (wounded, prisoner of war); insurance broker; married, 2 December 1952, Audrey Muriel (1925-93), only daughter of (Frederick) Ronald Oliver of Kensington (Middx), and had issue one son and one daughter; died 2 January 2000; will proved 20 June 2000;
(1.4) Mary Elizabeth Aubrey-Fletcher (1923-94), born 14 April 1923; married, 10 September 1951, Algernon Putland Devaynes Smyth (1919-80), only son of Capt. Charles Devaynes Smyth of Stoney Lodge, Brockenhurst (Hants) and had issue one son and one daughter; died 29 June 1994; will proved 15 September 1994 (estate £902,569);
(1.5) Lt-Col. Edward Henry Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher (b. 1930), born 6 May 1930; educated at Eton and New College, Oxford (BA 1952); an officer in the Grenadier Guards (2nd Lt., 1949; Lt., 1950; Maj., 1963; Lt-Col.); DL for Northamptonshire; married 1st, 11 March 1953, Bridget Mary (d. 1977), elder daughter of Brig. Sir Henry Robert Kincaid Floyd, 5th bt. and had issue two sons and one daughter; married 2nd, 1981, Mary Penelope Verney-Cave (b. 1941), 8th Baroness Braye and lived at Stanford Hall (Leics) until this was made over to her heir, Nicholas Henry Fothergill, in c.2005.
He was given the Llantrithyd, Boarstall, Dorton and Chilton estates by his father in 1913 and sold Dorton House in 1928 to Major Michael Beaumont and the Boarstall estate in 1941 to Ernest Cook.
He died 30 May 1969; his will was proved 28 July 1969 (estate £108,537). His first wife died 29 June 1963; her will was proved 3 October 1963 (estate £4,716). His widow died 27 December 2004; her will was proved 17 June 2005.
Aubrey-Fletcher, Sir John Henry Lancelot (1912-92), 7th bt. Eldest son of Sir Henry Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher (1887-1969), 6th bt., and his first wife, Mary Augusta OStJ, daughter of Rev. Robert William Chilton, rector of Great Horkesley (Essex), born 22 August 1912. Educated at Eton and New College, Oxford (BA 1936; cricket blue, 1933) and Inner Temple (called to bar, 1937). Barrister at law. As a young man he was a keen cricketer and played occasionally for Buckinghamshire. An officer in the Bucks & Berks Yeomanry (2nd Lt., 1933; Lt., 1936) and the Grenadier Guards (Lt., 1937; Capt. & Hon. Major, 1947). JP for Buckinghamshire and Deputy Chairman of Quarter Sessions, 1959-71; a Metropolitan Magistrate, 1959-71 and Recorder of the Crown Court, 1972-74. High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, 1961-62; succeeded his father as 7th baronet, 30 May 1969. He married, 25 April 1939, Diana Mary Fynvola (1910-96), only child of Lt-Col. Arthur George Edward Egerton, and had issue:
(1) Susan Mary Fynvola Aubrey-Fletcher (1940-76), born 21 February 1940; married, 5 January 1965, Hon. Richard Oliver Stanley MP (1920-83) (who m2, 1979, Mary (fl. 2003), daughter of Maj. Vyvyan Alfred Tylor, widow of William Herbert Harrison and former wife (div. 1961) of W/Cdr Paul Henry Mills Richey (d. 1989)), second son of Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Montagu Cavendish Stanley, Lord Stanley, and brother of 18th Earl of Derby, but had no issue; found dead in her bath, 29 February 1976 and was buried at Chilton; will proved 13 May 1976 (estate £25,064);
(2) Sir Henry Egerton Aubrey-Fletcher (b. 1945), 8th bt. (q.v.).
He inherited the Llantrithyd and Chilton estates from his father in 1969.
He died 19 June 1992 and was buried at Chilton; his will was proved 9 March 1993 (estate £713,016). His widow died 24 February 1996; her will was proved 30 May 1997.
|Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, 8th bt.|
(1) (John) Robert Aubrey-Fletcher (b. 1977), born 20 June 1977; tree surgeon and forestry consultant; director of the Chilton Estates Co. since 2007 and of RHL (Chipping Norton) Ltd., house builders, since 2012;
(2) Thomas Egerton Aubrey-Fletcher (b. 1980), born 17 November 1980; science teacher at Bruern Abbey School; director of the Chilton Estates Co. since 2007; married, 2010, Alice Cecily, elder daughter of David Martin-Sperry of Kirtlington (Oxon);
(3) Harry Buchanan Aubrey-Fletcher (b. 1982), born 29 March 1982; educated at Eton; banker with JP Morgan; a director of the Chilton Estates Co. since 2007; a close friend of HRH the Duke of Cambridge, who was usher at his wedding; married, 2011, at Aldborough (Yorks NR), Hon. (Sarah) Louise (b. 1982), eldest daughter of Edward Stourton, 27th Baron Mowbray, 28th Baron Stourton and 24th Baron Segrave.
He bought back the lease of Chilton House in 1987 and restored it as an upmarket care home run by his wife; he inherited the Llantrithyd and Chilton estates from his father in 1992.
Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments in Wales, An inventory of the ancient monuments in Glamorgan: vol. 4 part 1 - The Greater Houses, 1981, pp. 175-81; P. Jenkins, The making of a ruling class: the Glamorgan gentry 1640-1790, 1983, pp. 260-63; Sir J. Aubrey-Fletcher, Sir John Aubrey, 6th bt. of Llantrithyd, 1739-1826, 1988; Sir N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, The buildings of England: Buckinghamshire, 2nd edn., 1994, pp. 183-85, 249-50, 285-7; J. Ingamells, A dictionary of British and Irish travellers in Italy, 1701-1800, 1997, p. 34; J. McKinstry, ‘Chilton House, Buckinghamshire’, Country Life, 14 June 2001, pp. 134-39; L. Bowen (ed.), Family and Society in Early Stuart Glamorgan: the household accounts of Sir Thomas Aubrey of Llantrithyd, c.1565-1641, South Wales Record Society, 2006; ODNB entries on William Aubrey and Sir John Aubrey, 6th bt.; http://www.angmeringvillage.co.uk/history/ham.htm.
Location of archives
Aubrey, later Aubrey-Fletcher, of Llantrithyd, baronets: deeds, manorial records and estate papers of Llantrithyd estate, 1672-20th cent. [Glamorgan Archives, DAU]; miscellaneous estate papers, 18th-19th cents. [Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies, D/AF]
Aubrey, later Aubrey-Fletcher, of Boarstall, Chilton and Dorton, baronets: deeds, estate, legal and family papers, household inventories and accounts, 1305-1938 [Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies, D/AF, D219]; Sussex estate rentals and papers, 1792-1825 [Horsham Museum, 276-85]
Coat of arms
Aubrey: Azure a chevron between three eagle's heads erased or.
Fletcher: Sable a cross engrailed argent between four plates each charged with an arrow of the first.
Aubrey-Fletcher: Quarterly, 1st and 4th, as for Fletcher; 2nd and 3rd, as for Aubrey.
Can you help?
Here are a few notes about information and images which would help to improve the account above. If you can help with any of these or with other additions or corrections, please use the contact form in the sidebar to get in touch.
- Can anyone provide interior photographs of Chilton House?
- There are many unknowns about the genealogy of this family, especially in the 16th and early 17th century. If you have any further information about the family, please do get in touch.
- Can anyone supply additional portraits of members of the family whose names appear in bold above?
Revision and acknowledgements
This post was first published 3 February 2017 and was updated 12 June and 9 November 2019 and 30 August 2020.