Wednesday 18 October 2017

(308) Badd of Cams Hall, baronet

Badd of Cams Hall
Emmanuel Badd (1560-1632) was born to a humble station in life at Newport in the Isle of Wight, although in 1640 his son, Sir Thomas Badd (1612-83), 1st bt., asserted in the Court of Chivalry that his family had been accounted gentlemen for 200 years. The Badds indeed attracted the attention of contemporaries as an example of the social mobility that was possible in Elizabethan and Stuart England. John Aubrey remarked "'The happiness a shoemaker has in drawing on a fair lady's shoe; I know a man the height of whose ambition was to be apprenticed to his mistress's shoemaker on condition he could do so. Sir Thomas Badd's father, a shoemaker, married the brewer's widow of Portsmouth, worth £20,000", while Sir John Oglander recorded of Emmanuel that "by God's blessing, and the loss of five wives, he grew very rich". Sadly, it has proved impossible to find evidence in the records of Emmanuel's career of matrimonial advancement. Only one of his marriages has been traced: that to Katherine Ludlow in 1609, through which he acquired the manor of Cams Oysells at Fareham. Katherine is said to have been the widow of John Ludlow (d. 1583), but even if that marriage was very short and she was very young when first married, the fact that she and Emmanuel had a son in 1612 is stretching the bounds of credibility, and I wonder whether Katherine was in fact Ludlow's daughter rather than his widow. Emmanuel's surviving children from his earlier marriages were four daughters, and if he was as keen to sire a son as men then generally were, he would surely have been more likely to choose as a new wife a young woman whose capacity for child-bearing was not in doubt than a widow approaching the change of life.

At all events, Emmanuel's acquisition of the Cams estate and his subsequent acquisition of the the St Helen's Priory estate on the Isle of Wight and of Linkenholt manor marked his arrival among the landed gentry. He was sufficiently accepted by his peers in the county and by the king to be pricked as High Sheriff in 1626, and he was also a captain in the militia; something we know because two of his muster books for the Portsdown, Fareham and Havant Troop survive among the Jervoise papers in Hampshire Archives. His son and successor, Sir Thomas Badd, succeeded him as the captain of the Portsdown trained bands, and at the outbreak of the Civil War was in the first wave of Royalists to take up arms. He seems to have been the nearest the 17th century came to a professional soldier, for after the Restoration he became a captain in the Duke of York's Company, and was later its Lt-Colonel. He was made a baronet in February 1642/3 and knighted a few days later, probably because of his connection with the 4th Earl of Dorset, who was one of the king's chief advisers. That connection was no doubt a result of his marriage in 1637 to one 'Joane Sackville', who may have been a cousin or illegitimate daughter of the Earl. Certainly the link between the two men was established by 1640, when it was alluded to in a series of legal actions in the Court of Chivalry between Badd and Robert Riggs of Fareham. The immediate cause of the dispute was a drunken disagreement  between the two men in a pub in Fareham in which each had impugned the gentility of the other, but the root cause would seem to have been political differences between the two leading to allegations of biased tax assessments.

We know almost nothing about Cams Hall as it was in the days of Emmanuel and Sir Thomas Badd. Both men are said to have rebuilt the house, but there seems to be no solid evidence for that, and it is perhaps unlikely that there were two comprehensive rebuilds in little more than half a century. It does seem likely that there was some 17th century work, however, as both men were resident at Cams, and the house was assessed on fifteen hearths in 1665. When Sir Thomas died in 1683 without a male heir, his baronetcy became extinct and the estate was left to his widow for life and then to trustees who were instructed to sell it for the benefit of his five surviving daughters, unless any of them should choose to buy out her sisters. In the event, one of them, Frances Dennis, did declare her intention to buy the others, but she died before she could complete the purchase. Her executor, Joshua Woodman, then attempted to gain control of the property, leading to a series of court cases that was only finally concluded by a House of Lords judgement in 1699, as a result of which the estate was at length sold.

Cams Hall, Fareham, Hampshire

The Cams estate was mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086 and there was almost certainly a manor house here in the late medieval period, but almost nothing is known about the predecessors of the present building. Emmanuel Badd, who came into possession when he married John Ludlow's widow (or possibly daughter) in 1609, is said to have built a new house, which was assessed for fifteen hearths in 1665. By then, the house was owned by his son, Sir Thomas Badd, 1st bt., who is also said to have rebuilt it, and who may have created the park north of the house. Badd left instructions in his will for the estate to be sold for the benefit of his five daughters, but this did not happen until c.1701 as a result of a series of legal disputes.

Cams Hall: the estate as shown on the 1st ed. 6" map published in 1870.
It was probably still the 17th century house which was acquired by Brig-Gen. John Carnac, a close associate of Clive of India, who returned to England in 1767 having made a fortune. He was elected MP for Leominster in Herefordshire in 1768 on Clive's interest, and bought Cams Hall at about the same time. The date given is usually 1770, but his involvement in the Polygon scheme at Southampton probably implies that it was a year or two earlier. The Polygon was an ambitious and ultimately unsuccessful speculative development by Jacob Leroux, a London architect and builder, whom Carnac promptly commissioned to replace Cams Hall as well. Leroux exhibited his design for Cams Hall in 1771, and although his scheme is always referred to as a remodelling, there is little in the plan or elevations of the house to suggest that it was not a straightforward new build - any old work which was retained did little to constrain the new design. By the beginning of 1773 Carnac was seriously embarrassed financially, owing largely to his failure to get his Indian fortune remitted to England. In 1776 he returned to India, to a new post in Bombay, and Cams Hall was sold (probably in 1776, though accounts vary) to Peter Delmé of Place House, Titchfield (Hants). Delmé, who is said to have inherited £140,000 from an uncle as well as his father's estate, had married in 1769 a noted beauty, Lady Betty Howard, one of the daughters of the 4th Earl of Carlisle, and it is said that she urged the purchase of the fashionably smart new Cams Hall as a replacement for the old-fashioned house at Titchfield. Within a few years of his marriage, Delmé "considerably diminished the superabundance of [his] original affluence...having indulged himself too freely in several of the fashionable vices", and by 1781 he was in financial difficulties. It was reported, as an example of enforced parsimony, that building materials from the demolition of Place House found their way to Cams Hall and were reused in fitting up the house and more particularly the stables, though this sort of recycling was probably fairly commonplace.

Cams Hall: entrance front, with the central block by Jacob Leroux and flanking screen walls perhaps added later.
The puzzle of the house lies in determining what was done when. The north-facing entrance front has an ashlar centre of seven bays, flanked by five-bay stuccoed brick blind screen walls that are given a symmetrical neo-classical decorative treatment. The central block has a three-bay pedimented centrepiece supported by giant Ionic columns standing on a rusticated basement. The ground floor windows and doorcase of the centrepiece are nicely framed by super-arches, but the top storey windows are inelegantly constricted by the entablature. 

Cams Hall: screen wall to the left of the entrance front, possibly added c.1776-81 to the designs of James Wyatt, photographed in 1956.
Image: Historic England.

Cams Hall: screen wall forming the east front, photographed in 1956. Image; Historic England.

The screen walls to either side of the central block are one-and-a-half storeys high, and conceal irregular service courts and the back of the wings on the garden front; on the east side, the screen wall is continued to form a side elevation with a remarkable pedimented central aedicule. 

Cams Hall: engraving of the garden front in 1820. Image: British Library.

On the south-facing garden front, the house is now of exposed brick, astylar and more closely-fenestrated. The rhythm of the windows implies a nine bay elevation, but the facade is interrupted by a broad three-storey semicircular bow that rises higher than the rest of the facade. To either side of the central block, there are wings which step forward twice in units of three bays and then another two bays, which are crowned by pedimental gables.

It has always been stated that the house as a whole was designed by Jacob Leroux for General Carnac in 1771, but we know (from the recycling of materials from Titchfield) that work must have continued after the Delmés bought the house in 1776. John Delmé, who inherited in 1789 and came of age in 1793, is said to have made changes to the house, which thereafter remained remarkably unchanged until the late 20th century. But is the house one build? The screen walls on either side of the central block look to me like additions: they are of a different material and style, and nothing lines up. On the garden front, the big central bow appears to be bonded into the rest of the facade but the first floor windows are on a bigger scale to those either side and the top storey of the bow looks like an addition. 

Cams Hall: the first-floor saloon, photographed in 1956. Image: Historic England

Cams Hall: the ceiling of the first-floor saloon, photographed in 1956. Image: Historic England.

Inside, by contrast, everything seems more or less of one date. The rich neo-classical plasterwork and chimneypieces are far from restrained, and the big oval saloon behind the bow on the garden front had a rather undisciplined ceiling, in which the coffered coving is interrupted at the sides by panels of foliage decoration that are on the rococo/neo-classical cusp. The feeling is much more consistent with the 1770s than the 1790s. My tentative reading of the house is therefore that Leroux built a seven-bay villa with a central bow on the garden front, and designed the interior decoration; and that Peter Delmé was responsible for adding the flanking screen walls on the entrance side and the wings on the garden front. The top storey of the central bow on the garden front appears to be an addition, and rather different in style again, and this was perhaps what John Delmé added in the 1790s.

One final point is that the stylistic difference between the centre and the screen walls to either side strongly suggests that Delmé employed a different architect. In this context, it is interesting that Peter Delmé is known to have employed James Wyatt as architect for the remodelling of his London town house, 41 Grosvenor Square. Could the inventive screen walls and wings be a hitherto unrecognised work by Wyatt?

The house was little altered by later generations of Delmés. In the early 20th century, the house was let by successive owners to Capt. & Mrs Ramsey, who remained at Cams until Mrs. Ramsey died in 1936. They developed the gardens, which were amongst the first in the country to be opened to the public under the National Gardens Scheme in 1931. By the time Mrs. Ramsey died, the house was owned by a Portsmouth speculative builder, Jonathan May, who appears to have had plans to build a housing estate in the grounds. His plans were frustrated, first by the requisitioning of the house by the Admiralty in 1939 and after the war by the zoning of the land as public open space. He sold in 1948 to Mrs Pearlman, who also owned the adjacent Cams Hall Farm. She wanted to turn the house into flats, but her plan was rejected by Fareham Borough Council, and in 1950, while the house was unoccupied, it was badly damaged 
by the explosion of ammunition barges at Bedenham pier in Portsmouth Harbour. The blast, which may have been caused by sabotage, is said to have blown out all the windows and severely damaged the roof. It is not known how far the house was repaired afterwards (some compensation was offered and the windows were certainly replaced), but the house was still intact, though obviously in poor condition, when it was photographed for the National Buildings Record in 1956. Thereafter, the theft of roof lead and chimneypieces caused accelerated deterioration, and by 1965 it was largely a roofless shell.

Cams Hall: the house in a derelict condition in 1965. Image: Historic England.

Cams Hall: the interior in a derelict condition in 1965. Image: Historic England.
The house remained derelict until the 1980s, when there were proposals for restoration by the house-builder, Charles Church. After he was killed flying his restored vintage Spitfire in 1989, the house was acquired by Strand Harbour Securities, who undertook a £4m restoration in 1991-96. Inside there was nothing left to restore, but the big first-floor oval room has been recreated and given a rather sad simplified pastiche of its original plasterwork. After being offices for a computer company for some years, the house is now a business centre and wedding venue. The parkland to the south of the house has become a golf course, and a business centre has been developed in the former stables and farm buildings, and in well-sited new buildings in the same area of the grounds.

Descent: John Ludlow (d. 1583); to widow, Katherine, later wife of Emmanuel Badd (1560-1632); to son, Sir Thomas Badd (c.1607-83), 1st bt.; to five daughters as co-heirs; sold by 1701/2 to Richard Chandler (fl. 1725); to daughter Elizabeth (1676-1733), wife of John Champneys (d. 1700/1705); to son, John Champneys (d. 1742)... Sir Thomas Champneys (fl. 1767); sold 1768 to Jacob Wolff; sold 1768? to Brig-Gen. John Carnac MP (c.1720-1800), who rebuilt the house; sold 1776 to Peter Delmé (1748-89) of Titchfield Place, who enlarged the house; to son, John Delmé (1772-1813); to son, John Delmé (c.1793-1815); to brother, Henry Peter Delmé (1794-1883); to brother, Seymour Robert Delmé (1807-94); sold after his death to Montague Foster, who first let the house to Capt. & Mrs. Ramsey, who remained as tenants to 1936; sold c.1919 to Lt. Col. John Wyatt Peters (d. 1938) of Southsea; sold 1931 to Jonathan May of Portsmouth, speculative builder; requisitioned by Admiralty, 1939-48; sold 1948 to Mrs. B. Pearlman; sold 1951...sold c.1982 to Charles Church (d. 1989); sold 1991 to Strand Harbour Securities Ltd, which sold the house to the Wilky Group in 2000, but retains the estate.

Badd family of Cams Hall, baronet

Badd, Emmanuel (1560-1632). Son of Thomas Badd, baptised at St Thomas, Newport (IoW), 30 June 1560. High Sheriff of Hampshire, 1626-27; Captain in the Hampshire militia, c.1627-32. John Aubrey said he was apprenticed to a shoemaker, but later married a Portsmouth brewer's widow who brought him £20,000, while Oglander says that "by God's blessing and the loss of five wives, he grew very rich". His four daughters must have been born to an earlier union, before his recorded marriages, which were, c.1599, to Joan (d. 1601), the widow of John Alyn the younger of Dorchester (Dorset) and on 25 October 1609 at Fareham, to Katherine, widow (or daughter?) of John Ludlow (d. 1583). He had issue:
(0.1) Margaret Badd (b. c.1590); married, 1611 (licence 27 June), as his second wife, Owen Jennens MP (1566-c.1644) of Portsmouth (Hants), five times mayor of Portsmouth and deputy vice-admiral for Hampshire, and had issue at least one daughter;
(0.2) Jane Badd (d. by 1632); married Thomas Leigh, mayor of Newport (IoW), second son of Sir John Leigh, deputy governor of the Isle of Wight, and had issue two sons;
(0.3) Joane Badd; married, 7 August 1625 at Fareham, John Barton of Fareham, serjeant-at-arms to King Charles I and King Charles II;
(0.4) Elizabeth Badd; married, 17 December 1626 at Fareham, John Tichborne and had issue;
(2.1) Sir Thomas Badd (c.1612-83), 1st bt. (q.v.).
He came into Cams Hall through his marriage to Katherine Ludlow in 1609, and is said to have rebuilt the house in about 1620. He is said to have leased the site of St. Helen's Priory (IoW) from Eton College before 1625, and to have purchased the manor of Linkenholt (Hants) for £2,000 in 1629.
He died 18 August, and was buried at Fareham, 21 August 1632 under a monument with an epitaph ending with the couplet "So good a Bad doth this same grave contain/ Would all like Bad were that with us remain!". His will was proved 23 November 1632.

Badd, Lt-Col. Sir Thomas (c.1612-83), 1st bt. Son of Emmanuel Badd and his wife Katherine, widow of John Ludlow, born about 1612. An officer in the Hampshire trained bands before the Civil War; a captain in the Royalist army until 1647; and after the Restoration an officer in the Duke of York's Company (Capt. by 1661; Lt-Col. by 1679). In 1640 he was involved in a suit and counter-suit in the Court of Chivalry with William Rigges, both men having reputedly cast doubt on the gentility of the other. He was created a baronet, 28 February 1642/3 and knighted at Oxford, 5 March 1642/3. He compounded for his estates in 1647 and was fined £470. JP for Hampshire by 1664; a burgess of Portsmouth, 1671-83. He married 1st, before 1632, Elizabeth [surname unknown] (d. 1634), and 2nd, 26 February 1637/8 at St Olave, Hart St., London, Joane Sackville (d. 1688), and had issue:
(2.1) Thomas Badd (b. 1638; fl. 1670), born 13 November and was baptised at Fareham, 27 December 1638; living in 1670 but predeceased his father;
(2.2) Elizabeth Badd (b. 1640; fl. 1692), baptised at Fareham, 22 February 1639/40; married, 18 February 1674/5 at St Marylebone (Middx), Robert Blake;
(2.3) Amy Badd (b. 1641; fl. 1692), baptised at Fareham, 8 May 1641; married Roger Barton (d. by 1691) of Fareham (Hants);
(2.4) Jane Badd (b. 1642), baptised at Fareham, 17 May 1642; probably died young;
(2.5) Anne Badd (b. 1643), baptised at Fareham, 21 August 1643; married, 16 May 1667 at St Mary Abbots, Kensington (Middx), Emmanuel Barton; died before 1683;
(2.6) Frances Badd (d. 1690); married, 18 August 1664 at Chidham (Sussex), her father's ward, Edward Dennis (d. 1667) of Shanklin (IoW), son of Edward Dennis, but had no issue; died March 1689/90;
(2.7) Joanna Badd (fl. 1705); married George Willoughby (fl. 1705);
(2.8) Margaret Badd (fl. 1692); married William Taylor (d. by 1691);
(2.9) Marie Badd (b. 1654), baptised at Fareham, 18 July 1654; probably died young.
He inherited Cams Hall and the manor of Linkenholt from his father in 1632. At his death he left instructions for Cams Hall to be sold for the benefit of his daughters, but it was not sold until c.1701. He contracted to sell Linkenholt in 1680, but the sale was not completed until 1689.
He died 10 June 1683, when his baronetcy became extinct. His first wife was buried at Fareham, 11 December 1634. His widow died 30 May and was buried at Fareham, 2 June 1688.


Burke's Extinct & Dormant Baronetcies, 2nd edn., 1841, p. 32; Sir N. Pevsner & D. Lloyd, The buildings of England: Hampshire and Isle of Wight, 1967, p. 227; S. Robertson, 'The Polygon, Southampton - recent fieldwork', Hampshire Studies, 2001, pp. 192-201; J.M. Robinson, James Wyatt: architect to George III, 2011, pp. 150, 337;;;

Location of archives

No significant archive is known to survive.

Coat of arms

Argent, five fleurs-de-lis in saltire azure.

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 further documentary evidence relating to the rebuilding of Cams Hall between c.1770-81, or suggest any stylistic comparisons that might help to identify those responsible for the interior decoration or the addition of the screen walls?
  • Provide further information about the early life and marriages of Emmanuel Badd, or portraits of either Emmanuel or Sir Thomas Badd?

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 18 October 2017 and updated 24 May 2023.


  1. Emmanuel married Joane the widow of John Adyn the Younger of Dorchester. He died 1597/8 leaving young children. His widow was executrix. PROB 11/91/33 Description: Will of John Adyn, Merchant of Dorchester, Dorset Date: 20 January 1598
    She appears to have died in 1601 in Newport IOW.
    The Adyn family Luke elder son or possibly brother of John Adyn the younger and Robert , brother of John the younger later accused Emmanuel of embezzlement forgery, of marriage if Elizabeth to John Merywether who deserted her. and

    1. Thank you for these details, which I will insert above.


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