Wednesday, 10 January 2018

(267) Allcard of Burton Closes and Wimblehurst

Allcard of Burton Closes
John Allcard (1779-1856), who was the eldest child of a middle class Quaker couple from Leek in Staffordshire, James and Sarah Allcard, made his way to London around the beginning of the 19th century, and became involved in the burgeoning financial industry of the City of London. He was probably trained as a book-keeper and accountant, and first appears in the public record as an auditor and a banker (in partnership with Samuel Gurney and David Barclay Chapman), but he went on to participate in different fields, being a director of several Life Assurance societies and also a stockbroker with Cannon, Pelly and Allcard. His wife died in 1843, and soon afterwards he decided to semi-retire from business. He had lived for many years at Stratford Green on the eastern edge of London, but for a retirement home he looked back to his roots and bought a small estate at Bakewell (Derbys), which was the parish from which his grandfather, William Allcard, had come. This property, which was known as Burton Closes, did not include a substantial house, but he commissioned one from the great engineer and architect, Sir Joseph Paxton (1803-65), and then invited Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-52) to decorate the interior.

Although John Allcard had had a large family, only his unmarried daughter Sarah Allcard (1817-99) and her cousin, Eliza Shipman, were living with John Allcard by the late 1840s. Although grand, therefore, Burton Closes Hall did not need to be very large. John's eldest son, William Allcard (1809-61), who was in line to inherit the property, and who had a large young family of his own, actually paid his father £2,000 towards the additional cost of making the building bigger than he had originally intended. Nonetheless, when William inherited in 1856, he at once commissioned the enlargement of the house. For this, he did not go back to Joseph Paxton, but instead turned to a Liverpool architect who was probably a personal friend, who did a remarkably tactful job of expanding the original house to the west in 1856-58. It is thought, however, that Pugin's collaborator, J.G. Crace, was once again put in charge of the internal decoration.

William Allcard was a railway engineer, trained by George Stephenson in the 1820s, and involved in several of the pioneering railway projects of the 1830s. He built up both a railway maintenance empire and a firm (Allcard, Buddicom & Co.) which manufactured steam engines and rolling stock for the French railway network, and by 1847 he was able to take a step back from the day-to-day management of these business and to lead the life of a gentleman at Burton Closes. He became an active justice of the peace and was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Derbyshire, but at the early age of fifty-two he died of a stroke. Burton Closes passed to his eldest son, William Henry Allcard (1838-1903), who trained first as a solicitor and then went to Lincoln's Inn and retrained as a barrister. He seems not to have had much success in his chosen career, and to have been substantially dependent on the income from his investments to maintain his position in the world. However, in 1866, he sustained serious losses in the stock market crash, and it quickly became clear he would have to sell Burton Closes Hall. It was offered for sale at auction unsuccessfully in 1870, but sold the following year. William Henry, who remained unmarried, moved in with his mother, whose investments seem not to have suffered so much, at her town house in London. But after she died in 1898, his circumstances seem to have been greatly reduced, and at his death he was living alone, with no servant, in a mews cottage in Mayfair, next door to Lord Avebury's stables.

John Allcard saw his many sons established in a wide variety of different areas of business and the professions, but only his fifth son, Edward Allcard (1820-1900), followed him into the stockbroking business, succeeding his father as a partner in Cannon, Pelly & Allcard, which after merging with Sheppard & Sons in 1860 became Sheppard, Pelly & Allcard. He lived originally in the south-west suburbs of London, at Surbiton and later at Petersham, which were convenient for the daily journey into the capital, but in 1883 he moved to a large Italianate villa in the Sussex countryside near Horsham called Wimblehurst, which he had bought for his retirement. When he died in 1900 he left this property to his widow and children. It was occupied after his widow died in 1905 by his three daughters, as his only son, Edward Julius Allcard (1849-1933), who had followed him into the London finance industry, had acquired a home of his own near London. Wimblehurst remained in the family until the death of the youngest of the daughters, Ethel (1863-1952), at the age of 89. She is thought to have left the house to one or more of her nephews, who made efforts in the 1950s to find a viable use for the use, but in 1963 it was demolished and the site redeveloped for housing.

Edward Julius Allcard made his home near the river Thames at Teddington (Middx), which he may have selected as offering him some opportunities for sailing. Yachting became his passion, and in 1893 he obtained a Master's certificate for his steam yacht 'St Kilda'. His interest was inherited by his grandson, Edward Allcard (1914-2017), who became a naval architect and achieved fame in 1949 for a single-handed crossing of the Atlantic.

Burton Closes Hall, Bakewell, Derbyshire

In 1845 John Allcard (1779-1856) bought a small estate on the southern edge of Bakewell from the Duke of Rutland, on which to build himself a villa for summer use in his retirement. He engaged Joseph Paxton to lay out the grounds and to build the house, which Paxton designed with the assistance of his architectural assistant, John Robertson. The house took its name from the closes of land, once owned by the yeoman Burton family, on which it was built. Rather surprisingly, given that much of Paxton's earlier work had been Italianate, Burton Closes was a quiet but effective essay in romantic Tudor Gothic.
Burton Closes Hall: a view of the house from the south-east,
 showing the extent of the original villa. Image: Historic England.
The original building forms the left-hand portion of the east front, with a gable framed by thin castellated pinnacles, a ground-floor bay and a mullioned windows with stepped lights above. A similar gable forms the end elevation of the range on the south front. Immediately beyond this there was originally the eight-bay conservatory designed by Paxton to house Allcard's collection of exotic plants. 
Construction of the shell was complete by 1848, and attention then progressed to the interior decoration. A.W.N. Pugin recorded that he 'took on the job of fitting out a large house near Haddon' in 1847-48. In fact at this time the house was not all that large: it had a Great Hall and a generous timber main staircase, but there were at first only two main bedrooms. It was, however, a very rich interior, with much Gothic detailing and rich colour schemes incorporating Minton tiles and Hardman stained glass and brasswork, much of it designed in obsessive detail by Pugin. Pugin's trusted craftsmen, George Myers and J.G. Crace carried out the construction and decoration. In 1848 Allcard recorded slightly ruefully "I do not think the word economy ever entered his [Pugin's] mind...It has been my desire to let his fine and correct tastes prevail, yet I must confess I am not a little astonished at the Beauty and Grandeur of our doing".

Burton Closes Hall: an 1860 engraving of the house showing the building as extended in 1856-58. 

When William Allcard inherited in 1856 he enlarged the house into a mansion to the designs of T.D. Barry of Liverpool, at a cost of some £7,000. Paxton's conservatory was dismantled and re-erected further west, and on its former site a new Gothic range was built, which avoids any radical disjunction with the original house, but the language of which is subtly more florid and passionate than the earlier work. The focus of the design is an octagonal stone belfry tower of three stages above a porte-cochere, with late Gothic tracery as applied decoration to the wall surface. This was originally surmounted by a spirelet, now lost. The back of the new range was much plainer, echoing the facade of the service wing of the Paxton house which it faced. Together, the two ranges enclosed a rather severe entrance court that gave away nothing of the rich decoration within. The rooms in Barry's wing continued the style of the earlier interiors, and were probably designed by Crace. In 1871, the Allcard family sold Burton Closes to Smith Taylor-Whitehead, for whom J.B. Mitchell-Withers made further changes in 1888, extending the east front to the north with a block that coheres less well with the original building, having rather French-looking dormers.

Burton Closes Hall: the entrance courtyard today.

By 1939, when the house was sold for a mere £3,550, it was sliding into decay. A stained glass window depicting the archangel Uriel by Ford Maddox Brown was sold from the house in the same year (and is now in Tansley church) and the furnishings were all dispersed by auction. The house was unsympathetically treated during wartime requisitioning by the British and Dutch armies and later by prisoners of war. Some demolition work was carried out in 1949 and by 1953 the interior was described as derelict. The whole of the service wing was pulled down in 1972 and replaced by a remarkably utilitarian and unsympathetic block of flats, and the grounds were built over with suburban housing. At the same time, the rest of the house was also converted to flats in a crude way that paid scant respect to the important Victorian interiors. A lack of maintenance led to further decay, and in 1982 an application was made to demolish the house, but refused. Efforts were made in the 1980s to secure the house for the Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust, but the cost of acquisition and repairs was beyond them, and eventually a private sector buyer was found who has restored the house and converted it as a care home. The interiors in particular are a shadow of what they once were, but at least the house has a stable use for the foreseeable future.

Burton Closes Hall: some elements of the rich Victorian decoration of the interior survive.

Descent: built for John Allcard (1779-1856); to son, William Allcard (1809-61); to son, William Henry Allcard (1838-1903), who sold after 1870 to Smith Taylor-Whitehead; sold 1902 to Alexander Campbell-Blair (1862-1936); sold 1939 to Campbell Blaire but requisitioned for military use in WW2; sold 1948... sold 1980s and converted to a care home.

Wimblehurst, Horsham, Sussex

Wimblehurst, Horsham: a postcard view of c.1908

An Italianate villa, built in 1856 for John Braby to the designs of an unknown architect, with a central belvedere tower fronted by a large single-storey porch. To either side were sections with low-pitched gables and deep bracketed eaves that are typical of the style and period. The house seems to have survived little changed until it was demolished in 1963. The site has since been developed for housing, although the lodge house survives.

Descent: built 1856 for John Braby; sold 1871 to Henry Padwick jr.; sold 1883 to Edward Allcard (1820-1900); to widow (d. 1905) and children, of whom Ethel Maud Allcard (1864-1953) was the last survivor; to nephews?, who dem. 1963.

Allcard family of Burton Closes and Wimblehurst

Allcard, John (1779-1856). Eldest son of James Allcard of Leek (Staffs) and his wife Sarah, daughter of John Firth of Bristol, born at Leek, 22 February 1779. Auditor, banker and later stockbroker in London; partner in firm of Cannon, Pelly & Allcard. A Quaker in religion. Admitted a freeman of the City of London, 1808. He was a keen botanist and plant collector, with a particular interest in orchids. In 1852 he paid for the erection of a Friends Meeting House in Bakewell. He married, 18 August 1805 at All Hallows, Lombard St., London, Mary Ann (1784-1843), daughter of John Swinborn of Bromley by Bow (Middx), and had issue:
(1) James Allcard (1805-33), born (just a month after his parents' marriage), 16 September 1805; died in Singapore, 1833;
(2) William Allcard (1809-61) (q.v.);
(3) Henry Allcard (1811-31), born 23 February 1811; died unmarried, 24 April 1831, and was buried in the Quaker burial ground at Ratcliff Highway (Middx), 1 May 1831;
(4) Maria Allcard (1813-29), born 1 March 1813; died young, 6 December 1829 and was buried in the Quaker burial ground at Ratcliff Highway, 13 December 1829;
(5) Ellen Allcard (1814-88), born 25 December 1814; married, 30 April 1840 at the Friends Meeting House, Plaistow (Essex), William Maw Shillitoe (1815-47) of Birmingham, chemist and druggist, and had issue one son and two daughters; died 7 March 1888; administration of goods granted to her daughter, 9 February 1889 (effects £1,606);
(6) Sarah Allcard (1817-99), born 7 February 1817; acted as housekeeper to her father, and was evidently an assiduous member of the Society of Friends, as her father bequeathed her his books relating to the Society of Friends; subsequently lived at Hamilton Terrace, Marylebone, with her cousin Eliza S. Shipman, who had been brought up in the Allcard household; died unmarried, 5 January 1899; will proved 13 February 1899 (effects £2,289);
(7) Thomas Allcard (1818-1901), born 14 December 1818;  civil engineer; manager of Allcard & Buddicom's railway interests in France; lived at Sotteville-les-Rouen (France) but later retired to England; married, 9 August 1856 at Brighton (Sussex), Marie Anne Desirée Courtin (1823-84), but had no issue; died in Sicily (Italy), 28 January 1901;
(8) Edward Allcard (1820-1900) (q.v.);
(9) Robert Allcard (1823-81), born 9 September 1823; in partnership with Thomas Phillips and John Carr as timber merchants at Imperial Saw Mills, London (diss. 1850), a business by which his father sustained 'a great pecuniary loss', as a result of which he was largely cut out of his father's will; died at Bordeaux (France), 8 December 1881;
(10) Mary Ann Allcard (1825-84), born 5 July 1825; married, without her father's consent, 25 March 1854 at Bakewell, Henry Hornbuckle Hine (1814-93)* of Bramcote (Notts), and had issue three sons and two daughters; died at Worthing (Sussex), 22 February 1884;
(11) George Allcard (1827-78), born 25 March 1827; surgeon; MRCS; married, 22 January 1857 at Edensor (Derbys), Victoria (1833-94), daughter of the engineer and architect, Sir Joseph Paxton, kt., and had issue two daughters; died at Chislehurst (Kent), 13 May 1878; will proved 11 July 1878 (effects under £7,000).
He lived at Stratford Green, West Ham (Essex) until he purchased the site of Burton Closes Hall in 1845 and built the house in 1845-48.
He died 9 April 1856; his will was proved in the PCC, 1 May 1856 (effects under £25,000). His wife died 4 July 1843.
* But see the public comment below.

Allcard, William (1809-61), Second, but eldest surviving son of John Allcard and his wife Mary Ann Swinborn, born 30 June 1809 and baptised in the Church of England, 6 April 1844 at Warrington (Lancs). As a young man he became a pupil of George Stephenson at the steam engine manufactory in Newcastle-on-Tyne; by 1826 he had experience of surveying railway lines and was put in charge of designing and constructing the key section of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway across Chat Moss. After the railway opened, he became Resident Engineer for the Liverpool end of the line until 1834, when he moved to a similar post building the Grand Junction Railway between Birmingham and Stafford. In 1837 he began contracting for the maintenance of railway lines. In 1841 he formed the firm of Allcard & Buddicom to manufacture railway locomotives and rolling stock for French railway companies, with a large engineering works near Rouen (which was managed by his brother). He retired from active involvement in business in 1847. JP and DL for Derbyshire. He married 9 October 1834 at Winwick (Lancs), Mary (1814-98), the daughter of Dr T.D. Malloney MD of Demerera (British Guiana), and had issue:
(1) John Allcard (1835-76), born 15 June 1835; died unmarried in China, 1876;
(2) Mary Anne Allcard (1837-1913); was a Protestant Sister of Charity at a short-lived convalescent hospital at Ridge House, Barnet (Herts) but left the order before 1887 and was subsequently involved in an unsuccessful legal action for the recovery of her dowry; lived later with a companion in London; died unmarried in Bournemouth, 11 February 1913; will proved 28 March 1913 (estate £20,811);
(3) William Henry Allcard (1838-1903) (q.v.);
(4) Frank Allcard (1841-73), baptised at Warrington, 9 May 1841; employed in merchant's office; married, 5 October 1863, Frances Emma, daughter of Andrew Read of St. Marylebone, gent., but had no issue; died at Wynaad, Malabar (India), 27 April 1873; will proved 6 August 1873 (effects under £6,000);
(5) Arthur Edward Allcard (1842-67), born 24 May and baptised at Warrington, 29 July 1842; educated at Wandsworth (Surrey) and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1860; BA 1864); died unmarried, 10 July 1867;
(6) Daniel Thomas Allcard (1844-1902), baptised at Warrington, 4 July 1844; an officer in the 84th foot (Ensign, 1865; Lt., 1867; Capt. 1871; retired by 1891); died 27 January 1902; administration of goods granted to his brother, 3 April 1902 (effects £238);
(7) James Allcard (b. 1845), baptised at Warrington, 16 June 1845; educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1863; BA 1868) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1868); in 1893 he was fined £4,500 damages for adultery with Georgina Augusta (c.1849-1924), the wife of Maj. Wargrave Kell and daughter of Count Alexander Konarski, whom he subsequently married at Christ Church, Somers Town, 18 November 1893; his date of death has not been traced;
(8) Septimus Allcard (1846-68), born Jul-Sep 1846 and baptised at Warrington, 1 June 1847; died at Menton (France), 23 March 1868; administration of goods granted to his brother, 18 June 1868 (effects under £2,000);
(9) Lt-Col. Octavius Allcard (1847-1912), born 28 November 1847 and baptised at Warrington, 6 June 1848; an officer in the 9th foot (Ensign, 1867; Lt., 1871; Capt., 1881; Maj., 1883; retired as Lt-Col., 1895); died in Brighton, 1 May 1912; administration of goods granted to his brother, 4 June 1912 (estate £209);
(10) George Frederick Allcard (1849-1922), baptised at Warrington, 4 October 1849; educated at Rugby and Magdalene College, Cambridge (matriculated 1869); an officer in the Hertfordshire militia (2nd Lt., 1871; Lt., 1871; Capt., 1878; retired 1882); member of Esher Urban District Council, 1898; married, 10 April 1872 at St James, Piccadilly, Westminster (Middx), Agnes Martha Allnutt, daughter of Paul Long of Wotton-under-Edge (Glos), and had issue three children; died at Harrow (Middx), 5 June 1922; administration of goods granted to his widow, 3 August 1922 (estate £3,054).
He inherited Burton Closes from his father in 1856 and enlarged it in 1856-58.
He died 5 August 1861; his will was proved 20 September 1861 (effects under £120,000). His widow died in Bournemouth, 7 May 1898; her will was proved 24 June 1898 (effects £1,121).

Allcard, William Henry (1838-1903). Eldest son of William Allcard (1809-61) and his wife Mary, daughter of Dr T.D. Malloney of Demerera (Guiana), born 10 January and baptised at St Catherine, Liverpool, 1 June 1838. Educated at Lincolns Inn (admitted 1863). Solicitor; barrister-at-law. He is said to have lost all his money in the stockmarket crash of 1866. Fellow of the Zoological Society of London from 1869. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Burton Closes from his father in 1861, but sold it in 1871. He subsequently lived with his mother in London until her death, and then in a mews cottage in Mayfair, where he had no servant.
He died in London, 17 January 1903; administration of his goods was granted to his sister, 23 March 1903 (effects £269).

Allcard, Edward (1820-1900). Fifth son of John Allcard of Burton Closes Hall (Derbys), and his wife Mary Ann Swinborn, born 8 December 1820. Stockbroker; partner in Cannon, Pelly & Allcard and later Sheppard, Pelly & Allcard (retired 1888). He was a generous supporter and benefactor of Horsham Cottage Hospital. He married, 4 June 1846 at Chalfont St Peter (Bucks), Frances Mary (1820-1905), daughter of Stephen Cannon of Wood Bank, Gerrards Cross (Bucks), and had issue:
(1) Edward Julius Allcard (1849-1933) (q.v.);
(2) Frances Edith Allcard (1851-1906), born 30 June and baptised at St Mark, Clerkenwell, 25 July 1851; died unmarried, 30 September 1906 and was buried at Horsham, 3 October 1906; will proved 26 October 1906 (estate £16,050);
(3) Ada Mary Allcard (1853-1931), born 10 May 1853; married, 29 December 1884, Lt. Julius August Bernard Ludwig von Hartmann (c.1851-1902), son of Gen. Julius von Hartmann of Prussian Cavalry; she lived in Germany after her marriage but returned to England on her husband's death and resumed her maiden name during the First World War; a keen archer, she was Treasurer of St Leonard's Foresters Archery Society; died 26 March 1931 and was buried at Horsham; her will was proved 15 May 1931 (estate £32,956);
(4) Ethel Maud Allcard (1863-1952) (q.v.).
He purchased Wimblehurst, Horsham, in 1883. After his death it passed to his widow and then to his daughters.
He died 12 March 1900 and was buried at Horsham; his will was proved 17 May 1900 (estate £133,606). His widow died 4 October 1905 and was buried at Horsham; her will was proved 4 December 1905 (estate £25,602).

Edward Julius Allcard (1849-1933)
Allcard, Edward Julius (1849-1933). Only son of Edward Allcard (1820-1900) of Wimblehurst and his wife Frances, daughter of Stephen Cannon of Wood Bank, Gerrards Cross (Bucks), born 9 March and baptised at St Mark, Clerkenwell, London, 4 April 1849. Admitted as a member of the London Stock Exchange, 1870; stock-jobber. A keen yachtsman, he obtained a Master's certificate in 1893. He married, 1876, probably in Germany, Helene Auguste Charlotte Harseim (1853-1939), and had issue:
(1) Herbert Allcard (1876-1970), born 9 April and baptised at Petersham (Surrey), 14 May 1876; educated at Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst; an officer in the Royal Field Artillery (2nd Lt., 1896; Lt., 1899; Capt., 1902; Maj., 1912; Lt-Col., 1917), who served in South Africa (DSO, cancelled 1922) and First World War; married, Apr-Jun 1905 (sep. c.1918), Althea Beryl Molyneux Nicholson alias Carter, and had issue one son and one daughter; married bigamously, 31 December 1921 in Paris, his secretary and interpreter, Marie (d. 1922), daughter of Maj-Gen. Kotlarevsky of the Russian Imperial Army, who committed suicide in Chelsea (Middx) after the bigamous nature of her marriage was discovered; he was convicted and sent to prison for six months for bigamy; died aged 93 at Worthing, 7 March 1970; will proved 3 August 1970 (estate £4,164);
(2) Victor Allcard (1880-1978), born 24 October and baptised at St Mark, Surbiton (Surrey), 8 December 1880; stock-jobber; a freeman of the City of London from 1905; married, 1 August 1907 at St Mark, Surbiton, Ethel Kate (1880-1980), daughter of Frederick John Whitmore, gent., and had issue two daughters; died aged 97, 25 March 1978; will proved 10 July 1978 (estate £62,747);
(3) Rupert Allcard (1884-1967), born 5 July and baptised at Horsham, 19 August 1884; married, 17 April 1912 at Holy Trinity, Chelsea (Middx), Helen Flora (1887-1968), daughter of Frederick John Whitmore and had issue a son (the naval architect and single-handed yachtsman, Edward Allcard (1914-2017)); died 3 November 1967; will proved 10 January 1968 (estate £114,965).
He lived at Holmesdale, Teddington (Middx).
He died 1 February 1933; his will was proved 12 April 1933 (estate £28,079). His widow died 18 May 1939; will proved 1 July 1939 (estate £2,422).

Allcard, Ethel Maud (1863-1952). Youngest daughter of Edward Allcard (1820-1900) of Wimblehurst and his wife Frances, daughter of Stephen Cannon of Wood Bank, Gerrards Cross (Bucks), born Oct-Dec 1863. She was unmarried and without issue.
She and her sisters inherited Wimblehurst following the death of her mother in 1905. After 1931 she was the last survivor of the sisters. Following her death the house was divided into flats and later demolished in 1963.
She died 27 December 1952; her will was proved 15 April 1953 (estate £51,215).


M. Craven & M. Stanley, The Derbyshire country house, 2001, pp. 60-61; B. Slyfield, 'Edward Allcard and his family: generous town benefactors', Newsletter of the Horsham Society, November 2006, pp. 77-78; C. Hartwell, Sir N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, The buildings of England: Derbyshire, 2016, pp. 140-42; D. Barre, Historic gardens and parks of Derbyshire, 2017, pp. 167-69;

Location of archives

No significant accumulation is known to survive.

Coat of arms

Quarterly, argent and or, on a bend nebulée azure, three swans heads erased of the first, beaked gules.

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 images of the interior of Burton Closes Hall when the Pugin-Crace decoration was intact?
  • Provide additional images of Wimblehurst, especially views of the interior?
  • Provide information about the location of family papers of the Allcard family.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 10 January 2018 and was updated 26 December 2018. I am most grateful to Martin White for additional information and images.


  1. Sir-
    I believe that the husband of Mary Ann Allcard (1825-84) was actually Benjamin Hornbuckle Hine, a hosiery manufacturer, one of whose sons was John Edward Hine, Bishop of Grantham 1920-30, formerly at Northern Rhodesia and elsewhere in Africa. Benjamin Hine's elder brother was the architect Thomas Chambers Hine, both being sons of Jonathan Hine, a Nottingham hosiery manufacturer.

  2. I've been working on the history of the Allcards and Wimblehurst House for some time as I live on the site of Wimblehurst House. The factual details in this excellent entry are entirely in line (or better!) than my own.

    I can add some detail about Victor Allcard. He was educated at Harrow followed by time studying the violin at the Berlin Conservatoire of Music. While at Berlin Conservatory of Music it seems he owned two Stradivarius violins. Like his father and brother he was a keen sailor and in 1909 commissioned a gentleman's yacht along the lines of a Bristol Pilot Cutter from the Port Leven boatyard in Cornwall. Victor joined The Honourable Artillery Company with his brothers at the outcome of WWI and then transferred to the Royal Navy during which time he took part in the Battle of Jutland (ship unknown).

    In 1905 Victor joined the Worshipful Company of Musicians. By 1924 he had become an Assistant (i.e. a member of the governing Council) and was elected Master in 1929/30 and again in 1940, the only person to hold the post twice.

    In 1972 Victor and his brothers sold Wimblehurst Farm. He gifted his share to Worshipful Company of Musicians for music scholarships at the Royal College of Music. When the land was sold the value was around £250,000, and the Allcard Bursary is now the premier bursary of the Company.

    As for Wimblehurst House, it was never converted into flats. The family made a number of planning applications for everything from a research institute to a retirement home but the layout of the house, including an interior courtyard, made any conversion too expensive to consider and the house remained empty but in good order until its demolition in 1963. Because of the location of the house in North Horsham surrounded by trees most people I speak with are unware of its existence and history and there is no description of the house in any of the books on the history of Horsham. Horsham Museum also has no documents relating to the house, just the will of John Braby.

    I only saw this entry a couple of weeks ago and have now been in contact with Nick Kingsley. I will share my research with him in due course once it is in a readable format


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.