Wednesday 28 March 2018

(326) Bainbridge of Frankfield

Thomas Bainbridge (1749-1830) appears to have been the younger son of a Yorkshire clergyman, and through him was perhaps related to other families of this name who occur widely across the north of England. As a young man, Thomas made his way to London, where he had established a mercantile house in Warwick Place by 1780. This quickly grew into a banking business and he went into partnership with John Puget (d. 1805), a banker of Huguenot descent who had a close business relationship with the La Touches, another family of Huguenot financiers based in Dublin. The firm of Puget, Bainbridges & Co. was soon established as the leading firm transacting financial business in London on behalf of Irish clients, and it was immensely profitable: when he died in 1830, Thomas Bainbridge's wealth was assessed at £300,000. 

Croydon Lodge: the house as shown on the 1st edition 6" OS map, surveyed in 1868.
No view of the house has yet been traced.

After his marriage in 1796, Bainbridge began to invest his accumulating wealth in property, buying a newly-built house called Croydon Lodge, on the northern outskirts of Croydon (Surrey) in 1802 as a country villa and the Burstow Park estate in Surrey after 1808. He may also have owned or leased property at Portnalls Farm, Coulsdon (Surrey). Against this background, Bainbridge produced a large family of five sons and three daughters. The three daughters all married well, and the eldest two sons, Edward Thomas and Henry Bainbridge became partners in the banking business, which provided them with a good living until it failed in the banking crash of 1866; both men died in reduced circumstances. The third son was commissioned into the army in 1826 but had to be invalided home from India the following year; he inherited the family home at Croydon Lodge on his father's death, but sold it in 1836 and then lived in London until in 1844 he bought Down Hall, a charming but modest villa at Epsom (Surrey), which was sold after his death. The fourth son, John Hugh Bainbridge I (1807-77) was left the Burstow estate in Surrey, and both he and his younger brother, Anthony Fothergill Bainbridge, may also have had cash legacies, since they both bought their way into brewing businesses within a few years of their father's death.

John Hugh Bainbridge I became the partner of William Lane in a brewery in the city of Cork in Ireland at some point in the 1830s. His presence in Cork no doubt explains how he came to meet and in 1839 to marry Jane Anne Westropp, whose family owned an estate in Co. Limerick. With a bride and a business in Ireland, the Surrey property he had inherited from his father no doubt seemed a distant distraction, and he sold it in 1841.
Bearforest, Mallow (Co. Cork): rented by J.H. Bainbridge from 1842-64.
At the same time, he needed to provide a home of suitable grandeur for his family, and he rented Bearforest at Mallow (Co. Cork), where he was resident in 1842 and lived for some twenty years. In 1855 his partner, William Lane, disposed of the Frankfield House estate on the edge of Cork through the incumbered estates court, and Bainbridge bought it a few months later. The circumstances of this transaction are obscure, but the purchase may have been as much to help their joint business (the partnership was terminated in 1857) as for any desire to occupy the house, which in any case had a sitting tenant in the shape of the Dean of Cork. In 1864 the Dean gave up his lease, however, and Bainbridge seems to have moved in and lived there until his death in a drowning accident in the English Channel in 1877.

Frankfield passed to his eldest and only surviving son, John Hugh Bainbridge II (1845-1901), who was a young naval officer, recently promoted to Commander and acting as the captain of the royal yacht. He kept the house on for a number of years, perhaps largely for the convenience of his unmarried sister, but he had no real use for a house in a remote part of Ireland, and in 1884 he advertised the property to let. No tenant may have been forthcoming then, but he tried again in 1892, and thereafter the property was continually let by the family. He in turn seems to have rented a house called Beechwood near Plympton in Devon and in 1899, the year he was promoted Rear-Admiral, he seems to have moved to the larger Elfordleigh in the same parish, which he may have bought rather than rented.

Elfordleigh: a recent photograph of the house in use as an hotel. Image: Hellovaview.
When the Admiral died in 1901, his property passed to his widow and their only son, John Hugh Bainbridge III (1879-1926), who like his father pursued a naval career, but retired on health grounds in 1910. He continued to let Frankfield until it was burned down during the Troubles in 1923, and to live at Elfordleigh, but he died unexpectedly in 1926 (being the third successive generation to die unexpectedly at sea) leaving a widow and teenage daughter. Both properties appear then to have been sold. Frankfield was rebuilt to an aesthetically inferior design in 1926 and Elfordleigh was converted into an hotel in 1928.

Frankfield House, Co. Cork

Frankfield House in about 1910.

Frankfield House was built in the 1830s for Samuel Lane, a partner in Cork's Southgate Brewery, and an important local philanthropist. In 1838 Lane paid for the construction of the Protestant Frankfield Chapel, which was designed by Sir Thomas Deane, and it is possible that the house is also an early work by Deane. The house was consistently let in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but was unoccupied when it was burned down by armed incendiaries on Saturday 3 February 1923. Press reports noted at the time that the house had been burned to the ground, but photographs show that although it was thoroughly gutted, the internal and external walls still stood and in different circumstances restoration might have been possible. Instead, the ruin was pulled down and a new one- and two-storey house was designed by Chillingworth & Levie of Cork to replace it. Tenders for the building work were invited in 1926. This house was later converted to become a club house for Frankfield Golf Course, and still stands today, although much altered and extended later.

Descent: built c.1835 for Samuel Lane (d. 1847); to brother, William Lane of Vernon Mount; sold 1855 through Incumbered Estates Court to William Newton and William M. Reeves; sold 1855 to John Hugh Bainbridge (1807-77); to son, Rear-Admiral John Hugh Bainbridge (1845-1901); to son, John Hugh Bainbridge (1879-1926); burned 1923 sold after his death and rebuilt 1926... sold 1955 to Colman family. The property was let for much of its existence, tenants including Rev. Horatio J. Newman, 1855-64; Albert St. John Murphy, 1892-98; Dr. Arthur Sandford, surgeon, 1898-1912; Maj. Isaac Linden-Burns, 1912-14 and Col. Gubbins (fl. 1920).

Bainbridge family of Frankfield

Bainbridge, Thomas (1749-1830). Probably the son of Rev. Edward Bainbridge (1700-80), vicar of Hampsthwaite (Yorks) and his second wife, Elizabeth Gibson, born at Brancepeth (Co. Durham), 23 August and baptised at Hampsthwaite, 22 September 1749. Merchant and banker in London; partner in Puget, Bainbridges & Co., which grew out of a mercantile business he established in Warwick Place in about 1780. He was an evangelical in religion, and a member of the Clapham sect. He married, 30 July 1796 at Christ Church, Newgate, London, Anne (1765-1834), daughter of Morgan Waters of Tyfig (Glam) and widow of J. Rowlandson of Lancaster, and had issue:
(1) Edward Thomas Bainbridge (1798-1872), born 13 December 1798 and baptised at St Andrew, Holborn (Middx), 19 January 1799; partner in the London banking house of Puget, Bainbridges & Co. which foundered in the crash of 1866; in politics he was a moderate reformer, and he was elected as such as MP for Taunton, 1830-42; JP for Somerset; married 1st, c.1835, Mary Anne [surname unknown] and 2nd, c.1838, Emily Sedley (1812-75), daughter of John Futter of Ketteringham (Norfk), and had issue four sons and two daughters; died in reduced circumstances at Brighton, 30 September 1872;
(2) Anne Bainbridge (1800-70), baptised at St Andrew, Holborn, 21 August 1800; married, 23 June 1829 at St Pancras (Middx), Henry Browning of Gloucester Place; died 7 March 1870; 
(3) Henry Bainbridge (1801-80), born 17 September and baptised at St Andrew, Holborn, 18 October 1801; partner in the London banking house of Puget, Bainbridges & Co. which foundered in the crash of 1866; married, 5 June 1827 at Croydon, Harriet Anne (1807-86), daughter of Charles Fassett Burnett of Croydon, and had issue three sons and two daughters; died 25 April 1880; administration of goods granted November 1882, 15 January 1909 and 25 August 1941 (effects £1,427);
(4) Grace Elizabeth Bainbridge (1803-63), born 1803; married, 21 March 1828 at St Pancras (Middx), Capt. Sir John Nicoll Robert Campbell KCH KSI (1799-1870), diplomat and British Ambassador to Persia, son of Sir Robert Campbell, bt., Chairman of the East India Company, and had issue one son and two daughters; buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, 26 December 1863;
(5) Thomas Drake Bainbridge (1805-70), born 8 November 1805; educated at Finchley (Middx) and St John's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1824); an officer in 82nd Regt (Ensign), but invalided home from India; inherited Croydon Lodge from his father but sold it in 1836; married, 22 April 1830, Hester Macpherson (1810-92), second daughter of Robert Rickards MP of Wimpole St., London, and had issue three sons; died at Down Hall, Epsom (Surrey), 8 February, and was buried at Epsom, 12 February 1870;
(6) John Hugh Bainbridge (1807-77) (q.v.);
(7) Anthony Fothergill Bainbridge (1809-72), born 1 September 1810 and baptised at St. Andrew, Holborn, 17 February 1810; partner in Young & Bainbridge brewery at Wandsworth (Surrey), from 1831; married, 17 May 1831 at St Marylebone (Middx), Lily Matilda Richards (1810-81) and had issue four sons and six daughters; died 1 March and was buried at Balham (Surrey), 6 March 1872;
(8) Martha Bainbridge (1811-93), born 12 February 1811 and was baptised at St Andrew, Holborn, 2 June 1830; married, 22 August 1833 at St Marylebone (Middx), Maj-Gen. Henry Darby-Griffiths (1809-87), who commanded the Scots Greys throughout the Crimean War, second son of Maj-Gen. Matthew Chitty Darby-Griffith of Padworth House (Berks); died 27 May 1893.
He bought Croydon Lodge (Surrey) from the executors of Charlotte Matthews, banker, in 1802; at his death this passed to his third son, who sold it in 1836. He also owned Burstow Park (Surrey) and had a house in Bedford Row and later in Queen's Square, London.
He died aged 80 on 8 January, and was buried at Croydon, 16 January 1830; he died intestate and administration was granted to his widow (effects under £300,000). His widow died at the Casino, Dulwich (Surrey), 21 December 1834; her will was proved 10 February 1835.

J.H. Bainbridge (1807-77)
Bainbridge, John Hugh (1807-77). Son of Thomas Bainbridge (1749-1830) of Croydon Lodge and his wife Anne, daughter of Morgan Waters of Tyfig (Glam) and widow of J. Rowlandson of Lancaster, baptised at St Andrew, Holborn, 24 May 1807. Brewer in partnership with William Lane at Cork (partnership dissolved 1857). He married, January 1839 at Blackrock (Co. Cork), Jane Anne (1818-59), daughter of Henry Westropp, of Richmond (Co. Limerick), and had issue:
(1) Eleanor Jane Bainbridge (c.1840-93), born about 1840; married, 3 June 1863 at St Finn Barr, Cork, Most Rev. Robert Samuel Gregg DD (1834-96), Bishop of Ossory, 1875-78, of Cork, Cloyne and Ross from 1878-93 and Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, 1893-96, son of Rt. Rev. John Gregg, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne & Ross, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 26 June 1893 and was buried at Frankfield;
(2) Rebecca Bainbridge (b. c.1841), baptised at Mallow (Co. Cork), 13 January 1842; probably died young;
(3) Jane Anne Bainbridge (1842-1914), born 16 January and baptised at Mallow (Co. Cork), 16 March 1842; married, 1 July 1886 at Frankfield, Rev. Arthur John Spencer, vicar of Hinckley (Leics) and later of Christ Church, Chelsea (Middx) and of Eye (Suffk), son of Rev. John Spencer; died at Tunbridge Wells (Kent), 11 July and was buried at Plympton, 15 July 1914; will proved 21 September 1914 (estate £37,866);
(4) Rear-Adm. John Hugh Bainbridge (1845-1901) (q.v.);
(5) Ernest Bainbridge (1848-49), born 27 February 1848; died in infancy, 1 December 1849;
(6) Angelo Coutts Bainbridge (1850-76), born in Paris (France), 18 April 1850; an officer in the Indian Civil Service; died at Rangoon (Burma), 11 April 1876; administration of goods granted to father, 7 March 1877 (effects £1,422).
He inherited Burstow Park (Surrey) from his father but sold it c.1841. He rented Bearforest at Mallow (Co. Cork) by 1842 and lived there until he purchased Frankfield House in 1855. He occupied Frankfield from 1864.
He disappeared from a ferry while crossing from Dover (Kent) to Ostend (Belgium), 10 June 1877, and his body was only recovered three months later on 21 September at Rockanje (The Netherlands): it had been found by fishermen and buried on a beach. His will was proved 3 August 1877 (effects under £45,000). His wife died at St Germain-en-Laye (France), 9 October 1859.

Rear-Adm. J.H. Bainbridge
Bainbridge, Rear-Adm. John Hugh (1845-1901). Eldest son of John Hugh Bainbridge (1807-77) and his wife Jane Anne, daughter of Henry Westropp of Richmond (Co. Limerick), born 31 May and baptised at Mallow (Co. Cork), 12 July 1845. Educated privately and at Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. An officer in the Royal Navy (Lt., 1866; Cdr. 1876; Capt. 1885; Rear-Adm., 1899); ADC to HM Queen Victoria, 1897; Chairman of Sanford Curtis & Co. Ltd., nurserymen. JP for Co. Cork and Devon. He enjoyed cricket, yachting, hunting and shooting. He married, 14 September 1875, Rose Catherine (1853-1945), daughter of Col. Edward Birch-Reynardson CB of Rushington Manor, Eling (Hants), and had issue:
(1) Kathleen Grace Fane Bainbridge (1876-1959), baptised at Eling (Hants), 5 November 1876; married, 12 September 1906, Lt-Col. Hugh Fortescue Coleridge CBE DSO (1859-1928), son of Canon Frederic J. Coleridge, and had issue five sons; died 1 June 1959; will proved 8 October 1959 (estate £34,739);
(2) Gwendolen Eleanor Bainbridge (1878-1929), born 5 April 1878 and baptised at Great Yarmouth (Norfk), 26 May 1878; married, 4 June 1901, Maj. Arthur Barton Fox (1864-1949), son of Rev. Thomas Fox of Templecombe (Somerset), and had issue one daughter; died 28 January and was buried at Haslemere (Surrey), 31 January 1929; will proved 8 March 1929 (estate £1,252);
(3) John Hugh Bainbridge (1879-1926) (q.v.);
(4) Dorothy Emily Bainbridge (1881-1964?), baptised at Eling, 29 July 1881; married, 14 September 1911 at Plympton, Lt. James Arthur Bowles (c.1882-1914), RA and had issue one daughter; living at Shipton Moyne (Glos) in 1939; possibly the woman of this name who died in Llanelli (Carmarthens), Jan-Mar 1964.
He also had an illegitimate child by a German lady's maid, Maria Anne Keller (1875-1934):
(X1) Violette Antoinette Keller (1900-73), born at Home of Hope, 4 Regent Sq., London, 2 November 1900; guest house owner; married, 8 March 1926, Henry Samuel Burgess (1901-58) and had issue two daughters; died in Brighton, 17 February 1973; will proved 4 February 1974 (estate £23,809).
He inherited Frankfield House from his father in 1877, but let it after 1892 and possibly from 1884. He rented Beechwood, Plympton (Devon) about 1892 and later bought or rented Elfordleigh, Plympton (Devon) by 1899.
He died on board his yacht, Vanadis, 10 August 1901; his will was proved 18 November 1901 (estate £701). His widow died 28 December 1945, aged 92; her will was proved 29 April 1945 (estate £30,531).

Bainbridge, John Hugh (1879-1926). Only son of Rear-Adm. John Hugh Bainbridge (1845-1901) and his wife Rose Catherine, daughter of Col. Edward Birch-Reynardson CB of Rushington Manor, Eling (Hants), born 31 May 1879. An officer in the Royal Navy (entered Navy, 1893; Sub-Lt, 1899; Lt. 1901; Lt-Cdr, 1910; Cdr., 1919; retired 1910). He married, 23 July 1907, Kathleen Irene (1881-1965), only daughter of Lewis George Sparrow of Strode, Ivybridge (Devon), and had issue:
(1) Rose Marie Irene Bainbridge (1909-98), born 20 February 1909; married, 1936, Maj. David Everard Crossley Price (1907-94); died 25 March 1998; will proved 2 June 1998;
(2) George Hugh Bainbridge (1916-2001), born 1 February 1916; educated at Eton; company director; lived at Whippingham (IoW); married, Jul-Sept. 1949, Evelyn Willey (1921-2006), and had issue two sons; died 1 April 2001; will proved 24 January 2003.
He inherited Frankfield House and Elfordleigh from his father in 1901. Frankfield continued to be let and was burnt in 1923. Elfordleigh was sold in 1928 and converted to an hotel.
He died of a cerebral haemorrhage while at sea, 8 October 1926, and was buried at Kuala Lumpur (Malaya). His widow died 9 May 1965 and was buried at Halford (Warks); her will was proved 16 May 1967 (estate £2,810).


Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1912, p. 23; F. O'Dwyer, The architecture of Deane & Woodward, 1997, p. 23; H. Mellor, The country houses of Devon, 2015, pp. 380-81;

Location of archives

No significant accumulation is known to survive.

Coat of arms

None seems to be recorded in association with this family.

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 an illustration of Croydon Lodge, the villa occupied by Thomas Bainbridge from 1802 until his death? The house had been demolished by 1898 and the site was redeveloped for suburban housing.
  • Can anyone supply portraits or photographs of the people whose names are given in bold above?

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 28 March 2018 and was updated 21-25 June 2019, 18 June 2022. I am most grateful to Paul Frecker for images, additions and corrections, and to Edward Bainbridge for additional information.

Wednesday 21 March 2018

(325) Baillie (later Bailie) of Ringdufferin and Inishargy

Bailie of Ringdufferin
The Baillie family are said to have originated at Bailleul, close to the Belgian border in northern France, and trace their descent from Guy de Balliol who was granted lands in Northumberland after the Battle of the Standard in 1139. John Balliol, king of Scotland at the close of the 13th century, was a member of the family. John's great-uncle, Sir Alexander de Balliol, served as Great Chamberlain of Scotland, and his grandson, William, settled at Lamington (Lanarks) and took the name Baillie. In the mid 15th century, William's great-great-grandson, David Baillie, and two of his brothers, murdered the priest who was their tutor (reputedly after he molested their sister) and fled abroad, although they were later able to return. David's descendant, Alexander Baillie, who was born in about 1540 and lived at Dunragit in Wigtownshire, was an officer in the English army operating in Ulster at the end of the 16th century, and bought or was granted an estate at Inishargy (sometimes recorded as Innishargie), on which his son, also Alexander Bailie (1587-1682), later settled. Alexander, who altered the spelling of the family name from Baillie to Bailie, evidently had a close relationship with the Hamilton family, Viscounts Clandeboye and Earls of Clanbrassil, who were the major property owners in the area, and for whom several generations of his family worked as agents. In 1636 he began the process of buying the Ringdufferin estate on the other side of Strangford Lough from the Hamiltons, a process which was only completed by his grandson, Alexander Bailie, in 1674.

Alexander Bailie had an exceptionally long life, his tombstone at Inishargy recording his death in 1682 at the age of 95. In his later years he seems to have divided his property between his two sons, with the elder, John Bailie (1623-87) receiving Inishargy, and the younger, Edward Bailie (b. c.1635) getting Ringdufferin. John died shortly after his father, and was succeeded by his eldest son, James Bailie (1653-1710), who married well and served his term as High Sheriff of Co. Down in 1697-98. It seems probable that he rebuilt the house at Inishargy, which later drawings and photographs suggest was of late 17th century form. One of his younger sons, Hans Bailie, became a merchant in Dublin and rose to be Lord Mayor of that city in 1754-55. James was succeeded at Inishargy, however, by his eldest surviving son, John Bailie (1697-1759), who was High Sheriff in 1725-26. His son and heir was James Bailie (1724-87), who benefited greatly from the patronage of the Hamilton family. They secured him posts on the staff of the Irish House of Commons and in HM Customs, and later arranged his election as MP for Hillsborough, one of their pocket boroughs. He was active in improving his estate, and founded the town of Kircubbin in 1769, after being granted the right to hold a weekly market there. He was, however, the last of the Bailies of Inishargy: he had no children, and rather than leave the estate to one of his nephews he sold it in 1786.

Edward Bailie (b. c.1635) settled at Ringdufferin. We know almost nothing about his house there, which was perhaps on the 'castle' site marked on the Ordnance Survey map. It seems likely that his son, Alexander Bailie, built a new house on the present site after completing the purchase of the freehold in 1674. He was succeeded by his son, Edward Bailie (1690-1774), and he in turn by his son James Bailie (1735-1819). James left marriage very late, only finally tying the knot in 1793, and it seems likely that his marriage occasioned the major rebuilding of the house at Ringdufferin that created the present front block. The family seems generally to be unusually poorly recorded, and only in the mid 19th century when they began to feature regularly in the local press is much known about them. James Bailie (1797-1863) trained as a barrister and played a leading role in local affairs, but neither he nor his son, Maj. James Bailie (1823-96), who was a career soldier until he inherited the estate, seem to have adapted successfully to the changed political and economic circumstances of the Irish gentry in the late 19th century. By the 1890s, the 670-acre estate was struggling to pay the jointure of James Bailie's widow as well as providing a livelihood to Maj. Bailie and his family, and after his death much of the estate was sold to the tenants to release capital. Maj. Bailie had no son to succeed him, and so the property passed to his widow, who died in 1919, and her three daughters. On the death of Louisa Bailie in 1941, the line of the Bailies of Ringdufferin also came to an end, and the house and grounds were sold in 1945 to the Mackie family, whose descendants own it today.

Inishargy House, Kircubbin, Co. Down

Accordingly to legend, the first house of the Bailie family at Inishargy, on the Ards peninsula near Kircubbin, replaced a moated church, and was built from its stones, and there is certainly a sketch on a map of c.1602 showing what appears to be a moated and fortified building at Inishargy, although whether it was a church (as the cross on one tower perhaps suggests) or a castle (as its form otherwise implies) is unclear.

Inishargy House: sketch from map of c.1602.
The present Inishargy House has 17th century origins but has been repeatedly altered and is now to all outward appearances entirely modern. Previous writers have suggested that the earliest house on the site of which anything survives was an H-shaped building of about 1620, constructed for Alexander Bailie, which was damaged during the Irish rebellion of 1641 and later repaired or reconstructed in the late 17th century. The description on which this reading of the building is based is, however, a fanciful affair and describes a building far larger than the present structure. I doubt that it ever existed, and the form of the building recorded in the earliest modern illustration suggests a late 17th or even early 18th century house that could have been built for James Bailie (1653-1710). 

Inishargy House: the derelict and partly roofless structure at the time of its sale in the early 20th century.

This house was given sash windows in the 18th century, and the first sashes, of six over six panes, were replaced by less elegant four-over-four pane sashes in the 19th century. By the time the house was recorded in the early 19th century, part of the south wing had been abandoned and had partially collapsed, and the house was abandoned and continued to deteriorate throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was rescued from dereliction by new owners in the early 20th century, who pulled down the south wing, built two small extensions elsewhere, and renewed most of the features of the building. Finally, in 2013 a new south wing was built, occupying the site of the demolished range of the house.

Descent: Alexander Baillie (b. c.1540); to son, Alexander Bailie (1587-1682); to son, John Bailie (1623-87); to son, James Bailie (1653-1710); to son, John Bailie (1697-1759); to son, James Bailie (1724-87), who sold 1786 to Rev. C. Ward... sold c.1910 to Coulter family.... Andrew Coulter (fl. 2012).

Ringdufferin House, Toy, Killyleagh, Co. Down

Ringdufferin House: entrance front.

A substantial house built in a fine position at the end of a long and winding driveway overlooking the sea on the western shore of Strangford Lough. Alexander Bailie (1587-1682) of Inishargy House took a mortgage on the estate in 1636 and his grandson, Alexander Bailie, bought the freehold in 1674. He may have built the first house on this site, although there was an earlier house, presumably on the site marked as a 'castle' site on the Ordnance Survey map. The present house has a T-shaped plan with a late 18th century rendered five bay entrance front, of two storeys above a basement, and a long return wing at the back which may conceal earlier work.
The front block was almost certainly built for James Bailie (1735-1810) who married only in 1793, a date which would fit the house quite well. The central entrance is recessed within a segmental-arched opening, and the doorway has columns to either side and a delicate fanlight above. The roof is concealed behind a plain parapet decorated with carved eagles at the angles and a male figure in the centre. Inside, the ground floor of the house consists of a single room either side of the entrance hall, and the rooms are decorated with simple cornices and one good white marble chimneypiece. The house was sold in 1945, after the death of Louisa Bailie, to John Pringle Mackie (1897-1988), who created a fine garden around the house. His widow (d. 1996) left it to her granddaughter, Tracy, and her husband Martin Hamilton, who have continued to develop the gardens with the help of her father, Paddy Mackie. The house was acquired by the Mackie family in 1945 with all its contents, and they have created and maintain a private museum in the basement.

Descent: Alexander Bailie (1587-1682); to son, Edward Bailie (b. c.1635); to son, Alexander Bailie (fl. 1674); to son, Edward Bailie (1690-1774); to son, James Bailie (1735-1819); to son, James Bailie (1797-1863); to son, Maj. James Bailie (1823-96); to daughters, Harriet Louisa (1851-1928), Kathleen (1855-1936) and Loiuisa Bailie (1860-1941); sold 1945 to John Pringle (k/a Jack) Mackie (1897-1988); to widow, Kathleen Mackie (d. 1996); to granddaughter, Tracy (b. 1960), wife of Martin Hamilton (b. 1955).

Baillie family of Inishargy

Baillie, Alexander (b. c.1540). Son of a David Baillie of Lamington (Lanarks), born about 1540. An officer in the English army operating in Ulster in the late 16th century. He married and had issue:
(1) Alexander Bailie (1587-1682) (q.v.).
He lived at Dunragit (Wigtowns), and purchased the lands of Inishargy.
His date of death is unknown.

Bailie, Alexander (1587-1682). Son of Alexander Baillie (b. c.1540) of Dunragit (Wigtowns), born 1587. He altered the spelling of his name on settling in Ireland. He was involved in managing the Hamilton estates in Ulster. He married Margaret Merthene, and had issue:
(1) John Bailie (1623-87) (q.v.);
(2) Edward Bailie (b. c.1635) [for whom see below, Bailie family of Ringdufferin];
(3) Margaret Bailie;
(4) Jane Bailie.
He settled at Inishargy and took a mortgage of Ringdufferin on the other side of Strangford Lough from the Earl of Clanbrassil in 1636.
He died aged 95 on 20 August 1682, and was buried at Inishargy. 

Bailie, John (1623-87). Elder son of Alexander Bailie (1587-1682) of Inishargy, born 1623. He was involved in managing the Hamilton estates in Ulster alongside his father. He married 1st, Catherine Cary, a descendant of the Raplock branch of the Hamilton family, and  probably 2nd*, 1671, Sarah, the widow of Alexander Sloane (d. 1666) of Killyleagh (the father of Sir Hans Sloane) and had issue:
(1.1) James Bailie (1653-1710) (q.v.);
(1.2) Alexander Bailie;
(1.3) John Bailie (d. 1685?); 
(1.4) Edward Bailie;
(1.5) Thomas Bailie;
(1.6) Henry Bailie;
(1.7) Fernando Bailie;
(1.8) Janetto Bailie (m.);
(1.9) Anna Bailie;
(1.10) Jane Bailie;
(2.1) Alice Bailie (fl. 1739); married [forename unknown] Elsmere and had issue; she was a beneficiary of the will of Sir Hans Sloane and was living in 1739.
He inherited Inishargy from his father in 1682.
He died 4 May 1687. His first wife died 12 December 1661. His second wife's date of death is unknown.
* It is possible but unlikely - in view of their respective ages - that Sarah Sloane married John's son and namesake.

Bailie, James (1653-1710). Eldest son of John Bailie (1623-87) of Inishargy and his wife Catherine Cary, born 1653. High Sheriff of Co. Down, 1697-98. He married Jane (c.1664-1748), daughter of the Hon. Francis Annesley of Castlewellan (Co. Down) and had issue:
(1) Francis Bailie; probably died young;
(2) John Bailie (1697-1759) (q.v.);
(3) James Bailie (c.1698-1770) of Clough; married, 1726 (licence 1 January) at St Mary, Dublin, Elizabeth Mallack (d. 1778); will proved in PCD, 1770;
(4) Hans Bailie (c.1700-73); merchant; High Sheriff of Dublin, 1748; Lord Mayor of Dublin, 1754-55; Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ireland, 1747-49 and Senior Grand Warden, 1759; married, 21 July 1734, Anne Ashe, and had issue five sons and six daughters; died 1773 and will proved the same year;
(5) Rev. Annesley Bailie (c.1705-58); educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1722; BA 1726; MA 1732); vicar of Comber (Down), 1733-58; married 1st, by 1743, Anne (d. 1753), daughter of John Todd of Dublin, esq., and 2nd, 14 February 1754 at St Luke, Chelsea (Middx), Elizabeth Elsmere (d. 1763); died 25 April 1758 and was buried at Inishargy;
(6) Jane Bailie;
(7) Brilliana Bailie;
(8) Cary Sophia Bailie (d. 1772), of New Ross (Co. Wexford); died unmarried; will proved, 1772;
(9) Anne Bailie; married Robert Isaac of Holywood (Co. Down) and Mount Panther, and had issue;
(10) Alice Bailie (d. 1791); married, 1729, Rev. Arthur Forde (d. 1767), rector of Lurgan, and had issue at least two sons and one daughter; will proved 20 December 1791;
(11) Elizabeth Bailie;
(12) Mordant Bailie.
He inherited Inishargy from his father in 1687, and may have built a new house there.
He died 9 July 1710; his will was proved in the PCD in that year. His wife died at Inishargy, 25 January 1748.

Bailie, John (1697-1759). Eldest surviving son of James Bailie (1653-1710) and his wife Jane, daughter of Sir Francis Annesley of Castlewellan (Co. Down), born 1697. High Sheriff of Co. Down, 1725-26. He married Jane (d. 1781), daughter of Matthew Forde of Seaforde (Co. Down) and had issue, with four other children who probably died in infancy:
(1) James Bailie (1724-87) (q.v.);
(2) Mathew Bailie (1728-70), born 28 August 1728; merchant in Dublin and one of the group of merchants who formed the Dublin Insurance Co., 1750; alderman of the city of Dublin; an officer in the 2nd Dublin Militia (Capt.); married, 9 March 1757 at St Anne, Dublin, Julia, daughter of Sir Thomas Prendergast, and had issue at least three sons; disappeared when the frigate Aurora bound for the East Indies was lost with all hands, 1770, and was presumed dead, 1775;
(3) Christian Bailie (c.1736-1817); married, c.1760, Rev. Nicholas Hamilton (c.1727-87) and had issue six sons and two daughters; died 9 May 1817;
(4) Lt-Col. William Annesley Bailie (1740-1821); an officer in East India Co. Army (fireworker, 1760; 2nd Lt., 1763; Lt., 1764; Capt. Lt., 1765; Capt. 1767; Maj., 1772; Lt. Col., 1779; resigned, 1782); married, 1787, Hon. Elizabeth (d. 1831), second daughter of St. Leger Aldworth, 1st Viscount Doneraile, and had issue three sons and one daughter; retired to Bath and died there aged 80, 16 May 1821; buried at St Swithin, Walcot, Bath, 21 May 1821; his will was proved 4 June 1821;
(5) Jane Bailie; married, 1762 (licence 18 February), Robert Rollo Gillespie of Comber (Co. Down) and had issue one son;
(6) Ann Sarah Bailie; married William Mercer of Fair Hill (Louth) and had issue.
He inherited Inishargy from his father in 1710.
He died 6 August 1759. His widow died in 1781; her will was proved in the PCD in that year.

Bailie, James (1724-87). Elder son of John Bailie (1697-1759) and his wife Jane, daughter of Matthew Forde of Seaforde (Co. Down), born 1724. An officer in the 14th Dragoons (Maj.), 1751-56; Chief Serjeant-at-Arms in the Irish House of Commons, 1759-68. HM Customs Land waiter for Newry (Co. Down), 1766-69 and for Galway, 1772-73. High Sheriff of Co. Down, 1767-68. MP for Hillsborough in the Irish Parliament, 1777-87. Member of the Down Society for promoting agriculture, 1759-60, and was active in improving his estate; he was granted a patent for a weekly market at Kilcubbin and established the town there in 1769. He was a member of the Royal Dublin Society from 1766. He married, 13 December 1760 at St Mary, Dublin, Ann (d. 1810?), daughter of Francis Hall of Strangford (Co. Down), but had no issue.
He inherited the Inishargy estate from his father in 1769. He sold Kilcubbin to Robert Edward Ward of Bangor Castle in 1786 for £36,000 and Inishargy to Rev. Charles Ward.
He died 22 September 1787 and was buried at Inishargy; his will was proved in PCD, 1787. His wife was perhaps the Ann Bailie who died in Dublin in 1810 and whose will was proved in the PCD in that year.

Bailie family of Ringdufferin

Bailie, Edward (b. c.1635). Younger son of Alexander Bailie (1587-1682) of Inishargy, said to have been born in 1635. He married Elizabeth, only daughter of James Dunbar, and had issue including:
(1) Alexander Bailie (fl. 1674) (q.v.).
He took over the mortgage of Ringdufferin from his father in 1668.
His date of death is unknown.  His wife's date of death is unknown.

Bailie, Alexander (fl. 1674-90). Eldest son of Edward Bailie (b. c.1625) of Ringdufferin, and his wife Elizabeth, only daughter of James Dunbar. He married and had issue including:
(1) Edward Bailie (1690-1774) (q.v.).
He completed the purchase of Ringdufferin in 1674.
His date of death is unknown.

Bailie, Edward (1690-1774). Son of Alexander Bailie (fl. 1674) of Ringdufferin, born 1690. High Sheriff of Co. Down in 1730-31. He married and had issue:
(1) A son [for a possible identification see the comment by 'Anonymous' at the foot of this page];
(2) James Bailie (1735-1819) (q.v.).
He inherited Ringdufferin from his father.
He died in 1774, aged 84.

Bailie, James (1735-1819). Second son of Edward Bailie (1690-1774), born 1735. JP and DL for Co. Down. He married, 1793, Sophia Loudon alias Lewdon (d. 1816), and had issue including:
(1) James Bailie (1797-1863) (q.v.);
(2) Louisa Bailie (c.1800-88); died in Dublin, 17 February 1888, and was buried at Killaresy graveyard, Killyleagh (Co. Down).
He inherited Ringdufferin from his father in 1774 and built a new front range, perhaps around the time of his marriage in 1793.
He died in 1819 and was buried at Killaresy graveyard, Killyleagh (Co. Down). His wife died in 1816 and was buried in the same place.

Bailie, James (1797-1863). Eldest son of James Bailie (1735-1810/19) and his wife Sophia Loudon, born 31 March 1797. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1814; BA 1818), Kings Inn, Dublin (admitted 1826; called to bar 1831) and Grays Inn, London (admitted 1828). Barrister-at-law. JP and DL for Co. Down by 1835. Chairman of the Killyleagh etc. Farming Society. On 5 March 1834 he fought a duel against Arthur H. Read near Ballynahinch. He married 1st, 25 February 1820 at Killyleagh, Charlotte (c.1793-1826), daughter of Very Rev. Peter Carleton, Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, and 2nd, 22 April 1829 at Ferbane (Offaly), Harriet Alice (1811-95), daughter of Rev. Henry Mahon of Killygally (Offaly), and had issue:
(1.1) Maj. James Bailie (1823-96) (q.v.);
(2.1) Louisa Anne Bailie (1844-98), born 15 October and baptised at St Peter, Dublin, 28 November 1844; died unmarried, 23 December 1898 and was buried at Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin;
(2.2) Sophia Emily Bailie (1846-70), baptised 17 April 1846; died unmarried, 5 February 1870 and was buried at Killaresy graveyard, Killyleagh (Co. Down);
(2.3) Harriet Alice Gertrude Bailie (1851-1927), baptised at Killinchy (Co. Down), 6 July 1851*; died unmarried, 22 February 1927 and was buried at Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin; will proved in London, 4 June 1927 (estate £10,147).
He inherited Ringdufferin from his father in 1810 or 1819.
He died 11 June 1863 and was buried at Killaresy, Killyleagh (Co. Down); his will was proved 4 July 1863 (effects under £1,500). His first wife died 28 July 1826. His widow died in Dublin, 4 February 1895, and was buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin; her will was proved in Dublin, 5 March 1895 (effects in Ireland, £3,279) and sealed in London, 16 March 1895 (effects in England £163).
* However, her tombstone in Dublin gives her date of birth as 7 April 1853.

Bailie, Maj. James (1823-96). Only child of James Bailie (1797-1863) and his first wife, Charlotte, daughter of Very Rev. Peter Carleton, Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, born 31 January 1823. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1840; BA 1845; MA 1848; Italian medal, 1842). An officer in the 60th Rifles and later 87th Royal Irish Fusiliers (Ensign, 1842; Lt., 1845; Capt., 1850; Maj., 1860; retired 1861). JP for Co. Down, 1864-96. He married, 15 May 1850 at Moradabad, Bengal (India), his cousin, (Charlotte) Jemima (k/a Mima) (c.1832-1919), eldest daughter of Capt. William Cossart Carleton, and had issue:
(1) Harriet Louisa Bailie (1851-1928), born 12 April and baptised at Agra, Bengal (India), 4 August 1851; died unmarried, 29 October 1928; will proved in Belfast, 7 May 1929 (effects in Northern Ireland, £57) and sealed in London, 14 February 1930 (effects in England, £38);
(2) Edward Robert Bailie (1853-55), born at Ferozepore (India), 17 November 1853 and baptised at Rawalpindi (India), 22 March 1854; died in infancy, 1855;
(3) Kathleen Bailie (1855-1936), born 16 December 1855 and baptised at Rawalpindi, 9 January 1856; died unmarried, 2 January 1936; will proved 30 November 1936 (effects £28);
(4) Louisa Bailie (1860-1941), born 5 June 1860; died unmarried of shock following burns received in an accidental fire at Ringdufferin, 5 November 1941; will proved 30 July 1943 (estate £4,496).
He inherited Ringdufferin from his father in 1863, and in 1876 owned 670 acres. At his death the estate passed to his widow and daughters. Much of the land was sold to tenants soon afterwards, and the house was sold in 1945 after the death of Louisa Bailie.
He died 28 February 1896 and was buried at Killyleagh; his will was proved 8 July 1896 (effects £185). His widow died at Ringdufferin, 31 May 1919.


Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1912, pp. 22-23; G.A. Bailie, A history and genealogy of the family of Bailie of [the] north of Ireland, 1902; P. Robinson & D. Oram, 'Inishargy: some notes and ideas concerning this historical site', Journal of the Upper Ards Historical Society, no. 7, pp. 26-8; K. Rankin, The linen houses of County Antrim and North County Down, 2012, pp. 30-32; S. Mussen, Inishargy House, Kircubbin, Co. Down, Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork, Queen's University, Belfast, 2013.

Location of archives

No significant accumulation is known to survive, although some papers are believed to remain at Ringdufferin.

Coat of arms

Azure, nine stars argent, three three two and one.

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 add to the rather inadequate genealogical information for the earlier generations of this family?

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 21 March 2018 and updated 4 November 2018, 8 October 2020, 13 June 2021, 14 October 2022 and 6 March 2023. I am grateful to Stephanie Brann and Ann Hope-Bailie for corrections and to Terence Reeves-Smyth for comments.

Saturday 17 March 2018

(324) Baillie of Polkemmet and Leeds Castle, baronets

Baillie of Polkemmet, baronets
The Baillie family of Polkemmet are said to trace their descent through the Baillies of Jervistown and of Carphin from the Baillies of Lamington, but they emerge into history only with the purchase of the Polkemmet estate in West Lothian at the beginning of the 17th century. For the best part of two centuries they remained an obscure and minor gentry family, but Thomas Baillie (1708-85), who was a Writer to the Signet (solicitor) and his son William Baillie (c.1737-1816), who was trained as an advocate and who was made a judge of the Court of Session in 1795 as Lord Polkemmet, raised the status of the family somewhat. It is said that it was intended to make William Baillie a baronet, but that he died before effect could be given to this intention, and that the honour was therefore conferred on his son, Sir William Baillie (1782-1854), 1st bt., instead. There are several similar recorded cases, and it would not be particularly remarkable except that the dates are puzzling. Lord Polkemmet stood down from judicial office in 1811 and that would be the logical time for him to have been honoured. He lived until 1816, so there was plenty of time to confer a baronetcy on him. But if at the time of his death there was an unrealised intention, why was the baronetcy not actually conferred on his son until 1823? The son had spent twenty years as a junior army officer in India, and there seems to be nothing in his career to justify such an honour, so it probably was belated recognition of his father - but the timing remains puzzling.

Either the accumulated proceeds of his father's long career in the law or else the opportunities that India provided for personal enrichment allowed Sir William Baillie to greatly enlarge and remodel Polkemmet House in the 1820s or 1830s. He had a very large family of thirteen children and some physical expansion of the house was probably necessary to accommodate them. The heir to Polkemmet was the eldest son, Sir William Baillie (1816-90), 2nd bt., who married but had no issue. He left Polkemmet to his widow, but the baronetcy passed to his nephew, Sir George Baillie (1856-96), 3rd bt., who was a farmer in Australia. When he died unmarried of typhoid, the title passed to his brother, Sir Robert Alexander Baillie (1858-1907), who had been brought up in Australia but came back to England to study at Oxford and later joined the Imperial Yeomanry. When the 2nd baronet's widow died in 1910, Polkemmet passed to Sir Gawaine George Stuart Baillie (1893-1914), who had inherited the baronetcy from his father as a teenager in 1907. Sadly, Sir Gawaine was one of the many gallant young subalterns who met an early death in the first weeks of the First World War, and the title and estate passed to his younger brother, Sir Adrian Baillie (1898-1947), 6th bt. Coal mining had begun on the Polkemmet estate in 1913, and the mine became productive from 1921, significantly increasing the wealth of the family. After service in the First World War, Sir Adrian joined the diplomatic corps in 1921, but he resigned in 1928 in order to stand as a Unionist candidate for West Lothian in the 1929 General Election. He was not successful on that occasion, but fared better in 1931, in which year he married. His bride was Olive Cecilia (1899-1974), the daughter of Almeric Hugh Paget (from 1918, Lord Queenborough) and through her mother, Pauline Payne Paget (née Whitney), one of the heirs of William Collins Whitney (1841-1904), an American politician and financier, and of Col. Oliver Hazard Payne, one of the founders of Standard Oil. Shortly before her death in 1916, Pauline Paget had settled £4,000,000 on her two daughters. Olive Cecilia, the elder daughter, had already been divorced twice when she married Sir Adrian Baillie, and with her second husband she had in 1926 bought Leeds Castle in Kent and invested a substantial part of her settlement in its restoration and modernisation. Leeds Castle became the Baillies' home, and the process of restoration and redecoration continued throughout the 1930s. Lady Baillie made Leeds Castle a place of lavish hospitality, where politicians, the aristocracy of Europe, wealthy Americans and film stars were frequently entertained. During the Second World War, Lady Baillie did her best to continue entertaining, although the main building of the castle was used as a war hospital. When she died in 1974, Lady Baillie left Leeds Castle to a charitable foundation charged with its preservation for public benefit. The castle has been open to the public since 1976, but much of its atmosphere of luxury and influence survives.

Sir Adrian and Lady Baillie had one child, but their marriage also ended in divorce in 1944. When Sir Adrian died of pneumonia in the harsh winter of 1947, the baronetcy and the Polkemmet estate passed to their son, Sir Gawaine George Hope Baillie (1934-2003). The Polkemmet Colliery was nationalised in 1948, and Polkemmet House was leased to the Trefoil Trust and later to the Scottish National Police College. During the 1950s, the Polkemmet estate was sold to the National Coal Board, and after the Police College gave up its lease on the house in 1960, the Coal Board pulled down the mansion. In 1959, Sir Gawaine set up an engineering business in Burgess Hill (Sussex), which he continued to run until his death. He had many other interests, however, and during the 1960s he was a successful amateur racing driver. Once his mother had decided to leave Leeds Castle to a charitable trust and it was clear that he would not inherit it (though he did inherit the wider Leeds estate), he decided to buy a new property nearer to his business in Sussex. He settled on Freechase at Warninglid, a rambling late 19th century house with fine views across the Weald to the south Downs. His intention seems always to have been to rebuild the house, and after obtaining plans for a neo-Georgian house from Claud Phillimore, he settled on building a Modernist house, which was built on the old site in 1975-77, to the designs of Tom Hancock and Tony Swannell. True country houses in a pure Modernist style are remarkably rare, perhaps because their is an innate contradiction between the relaxed and rather messy opulence of country house life and the Modernist aversion to decoration and ornament. Freechase has, however, been accounted one of the more successful examples of the genre, and it is at least spatially interesting. It is now the home of Sir Gawaine's son, Sir Adrian Louis Baillie (b. 1973), the 8th baronet, and his family.

Polkemmet House, West Lothian

At the core of Polkemmet House (West Lothian) was an early 17th century house built for Thomas Baillie (d. 1645) or for his father, also Thomas Baillie, who acquired the estate in about 1600. The estate descended through seven generatons to William Baillie (d. 1816), who was admitted an advocate in 1758 and later became a Lord of Session (Law Lord) as Lord Polkemmet. He was succeeded by his son, Sir William Baillie (1782-1854), who was made a baronet in 1823. About that time, the house at Polkemmet was enlarged and remodelled in the castellated style associated with David Hamilton, although there seems to be no evidence that he was personally involved here. By 1854, the footprint of the house seems to have been very much as it remained in the 20th century, and it may well be that Sir William Baillie was responsible for a second phase of alterations before his death, as the house later had a visual complexity that seems unlikely for the 1820s. There were also some fancy decorative touches, including a pair of onion-dome capped turrets on the entrance front and a a tower with a concave-sided pyramidal roof, which feel later 19th century. 

Polkemmet House: entrance front and side elevation, early 20th century.

The house was enlarged again in 1912 by Dick Peddie and Forbes Smith for the trustees of Sir Gawaine Baillie, 5th bt, who was killed in the first year of the First World War. His mother made Polkemmet available as a hospital, but returned to the house after the war. Her second son, Sir Adrian Baillie (1898-1947), who succeeded as 6th bt., entered politics and became MP for West Lothian, 1931-35 and later for Tonbridge, 1937-45. He lived principally in London, but used Polkemmet occasionally (the Duke and Duchess of Kent were entertained here on one occasion, while staying at Holyroodhouse). After the voters of West Lothian declined to re-elect Sir Adrian as their MP in 1935, however, the family made less and less use of the house. 
Polkemmet House: the entrance front from an old postcard.
Polkemmet House: staircase hall.
At the outbreak of the Second World War Polkemmet was made available to the County Council, which established an experimental residential school for physically disabled children, run by the Trefoil Trust, in the house. This continued until 1951, when the school moved to more suitable premises elsewhere and was replaced as tenant by the Scottish Police College. In 1960 the college moved to Tullieallan Castle, and the house was left empty. The estate had by then been sold to the National Coal Board, which demolished the house in the 1960s. The grounds and outbuildings were, however, preserved, and in 1971 opened as a country park and golf course. Coal mining, which ceased in 1985, has left much of the former estate as an industrial wasteland.

Descent: sold c.1600 to Thomas Baillie (fl. 1600); to son, Thomas Baillie (d. 1645); to son, Thomas Baillie (d. 1660); to son, Thomas Baillie (c.1646-1704); to son, Thomas Baillie (1678-1758); to son, Thomas Baillie (1708-85); to son, William Baillie (c.1737-1816), Lord Polkemmet; to son, Sir William Baillie (1782-1854), 1st bt.; to son, Sir William Baillie (1816-90), 2nd bt.; to widow, Mary, Lady Baillie (d. 1910) and then to his great-nephew, Sir Gawaine George Stuart Baillie (1893-1914), 5th bt.; to brother, Sir Adrian William Maxwell Baillie (1898-1947), 6th bt.; to son, Sir Gawaine George Hope Baillie (1934-2003), 7th bt., who sold in 1950s to National Coal Board; demolished after 1960.

Leeds Castle, Kent

The romantic moated setting of the house has ensured that since it opened to the public in 1976, Leeds Castle has become one of the most popular heritage attractions in England, with around half a million visitors a year. But the same qualities have been attracting visitors and owners for centuries, and ensured that the castle has been almost continuously occupied since medieval times. The manor of Leeds was in the hands of the de Crevecoeur family by about 1120, and they had a motte and bailey castle here, corresponding to the Gloriette and the main island. The 'stagnum' or moat is first mentioned in 1272 and was created by damming a marshy bottom which is fed by the river Len. The castle came into royal possession in about 1278, and was a favourite place of King Edward I, who made it part of the estate he settled on Queen Eleanor (d. 1290), though he continued to invest in its development throughout the 1280s and 1290s. For more than two centuries, it continued to form part of the dower of successive queens, the last being Catherine of Aragon, for whom it was extensively updated in 1518-22.

Leeds Castle in the early 18th century, showing the new block built by Sir Richard Smythe in its original form.

In 1552 the castle was granted by the Crown to Sir Anthony St. Leger (d. 1559) of Ulcombe (Kent), whose grandfather had been constable of the castle in the later 15th century. His descendants sold it to Sir Richard Smythe in the early 17th century, and it was apparently he who first built a modern house within the site of the castle. This is recorded in an 18th century oil painting as a two-storey, seven-by-three bay battlemented block with typical 17th century cross-windows.  Sir Richard Smythe sold Leeds Castle in 1632 to Sir Thomas Colepeper, who settled it on his son, Sir Cheney Colepeper, whose Parliamentarian allegiance ensured that the castle was not slighted during the Civil War, although it was used as both an arsenal and a prison. 

When the 6th Baron Fairfax emigrated to America in 1745 to live on his vast American estate, he gave Leeds castle to his younger brother, Robert Fairfax (1707-93), who at the end of his life succeeded as 7th Baron.  18th century views of the castle show that he remodelled the main building in a Gothick form, with quatrefoils set in the upper parts of the wall over pointed windows. Nothing is known of the interiors of this time.

Leeds Castle in the late 18th century, showing the Gothick fenestration applied to the Smythe range by that time.
In 1821 the estate devolved upon Fiennes Wykeham-Martin, who at once began to rebuild the post-medieval house (which he linked by a two-storey stone bridge to the Gloriette) and to add turrets and battlements to the Gloriette and the Maiden's Tower. The proportions of his new Main Building were very much those of its predecessor, but it was apparently a complete rebuilding, not a remodelling. 

Leeds Castle: the new main building erected in 1822-25. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.
The work was undertaken in 1822-25 to the designs of William Baskett of Camberwell, who produced a characteristically naive piece of early 19th century medievalism: a symmetrical rectangular two-storey block with battlements, octagonal angle-turrets, generous Tudor-style windows, and a large central tower pulling the composition together. By the time the new range and associated works had been completed, the castle had outwardly assumed very much its current form.

Leeds Castle: the castle from the south-west in 1869. The outward appearance is much the same today.

Leeds Castle: ground plan in 1869.

Nothing coherent seems to survive of the original internal decoration, although the original internal layout is known from a plan of 1869.

After Lady Baillie bought the castle in 1926, she set about transforming the interior of the castle into a comfortable modern residence, with the assistance of Owen Little as architect and first Armand Albert Rateau (in 1927-29) and later Stephane Boudin (in 1936-39) as interior designers. Under Rateau, Lady Baillie seems to have stuck to an essentially medievalising style, but in the later work, undertaken after her marriage and to the designs of Boudin, she moved to a more fashionable neo-Georgian manner, executed with considerable flair and no expense spared.

Leeds Castle: staircase by A.A. Rateau, c.1927-29.
Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.
From the Rateau period there remain the heavily moulded Jacobean style ceiling of the so-called Heraldry Room at the centre of the main building. In the 19th century this was known as the Great Hall, and the ceiling may be a cast of a genuine 17th century one, although the source has not been traced. There are also three neo-medieval rooms of c.1927 on the ground floor of the Gloriette, fitted up with some genuine French late medieval work. The internal courtyard of the Gloriette has stone walls and Tudor windows, except at the south end, where timber framing in a late medieval French style was introduced c.1927, together with a winding staircase lined with linenfold panelling. Lady Baillie's private apartments on the first floor were decorated by Boudin. The Yellow drawing room is in a mid C18 Palladian style, with some French touches. The Thorpe Hall room next door is the complete panelled Artisan Mannerist interior of the Great Parlour from Thorpe Hall (Hunts), built in 1654-56 by Peter Mills. On the other side of the staircase landing are the Library of 1938-39, copied from an engraved design by Daniel Marot, and the elegant panelled dining room, which is painted a pale blue.

Leeds Castle: Yellow Drawing Room, decorated by Boudin, c.1936-39. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

Leeds Castle: the Thorpe Hall room. Image: K. Hoffmann.
On Lady Baillie's death in 1974, Leeds Castle was handed over to a Trust charged with its preservation for public benefit. It has been open to the public since 1976, and it also hosts grand weddings and conferences; it has been used several times for high profile political conferences, including some of the discussions leading to the Middle East Camp David Accords and the talks between the parties in Northern Ireland that led to the Good Friday Agreement. The estate surrounding the castle continues to belong to the Baillie family.

Descent: Crown granted 1552 to Sir Anthony St. Leger (d. 1559);to son, Sir Warham St. Leger (d. 1597); to Anthony St. Leger (d. 1602); to Sir Warham St. Leger, who sold 1618 to his kinsman Sir Richard Smythe (d. 1628); to Sir John Smythe (d. 1632), whose heirs sold 1632 to Sir Thomas Culpeper of Hollingbourne, who gave it to his son, Sir Cheney Culpeper (d. 1663), whose executors sold to his cousin, Thomas Colepeper (1635-89), 2nd Baron Culpeper; to widow, Margaret, Lady Culpeper (d. 1710); to daughter, Catherine (d. 1719), widow of Thomas Fairfax (1657-1710), 5th Baron Fairfax; to son, Thomas Fairfax (1692-1782), 6th Baron Fairfax, who gave the castle in 1745 to his brother, Robert Fairfax (1707-93), 7th Baron Fairfax, when he emigrated to America, where he owned some 5,000,000 acres in Virginia; to nephew, Rev. Dr. Denny Martin Fairfax (d. 1800); to brother, Gen. Philip Martin (d. 1821); to kinsman, Fiennes Wykeham-Martin (d. 1840); to son, Charles Wykeham-Martin MP (d. 1870); to son, Philip Wykeham-Martin MP (d. 1878); to widow, Elizabeth (d. 1893); to Cornwallis Philip Wykeham-Martin (d. 1924); to Fairfax Wykeham-Martin, who sold 1926 to Hon. Olive (1899-1974), wife of Arthur Wilson Filmer (div. 1931) and later wife of Sir Adrian Baillie (1898-1947), 6th bt. (div. 1944); she bequeathed the castle to the Leeds Castle Foundation and the estate to her son, Sir Gawaine Baillie (1934-2003), 7th bt.

Freechase, Warninglid, Sussex

Freechase, Warninglid: the house in c.1905, from an early postcard.

A rambling red brick and tile-hung house in a free Old English style, which was built c.1885-88 as the replacement for an earlier small rectangular cottage.  The architect has not been identified, but the clients were Capt. Frederick Charteris (who died in 1887 while it was under construction) and his wife, Lady Louisa Charteris, whose sister lived in the adjoining property, Lydhurst.  The gardens were developed by George Berney Allen after he bought the house in about 1898, and continued to be enhanced by Charles Nix, who came here in 1938 after downsizing from Tilgate House, and by his son, Lt-Col. Christopher Nix.

Freechase, Warninglid: the new house designed by Tom Hancock and Tony Swannell, built in 1975-77. Image: Elara Fritzenwalden.

In 1970 the estate was bought by Sir Gawaine Baillie, 7th bt., who needed a new family home to replace Leeds Castle, which his mother placed in the care of a charitable trust. He probably always intended to rebuild the house, and initially approached Claud Phillimore, who produced designs for a neo-Georgian building. 
Freechase, Warninglid: the drawing room of the new
house built in 1975. Image: Architectural Review.
Sir Gawaine then changed his mind, and decided to build a Modernist house, for which the designs were supplied by Tom Hancock in association with Tony Swannell. It was built in 1975-77 on the site of the Victorian house, overlooking the fine views to the south, and was described soon afterwards (by John Martin Robinson in 1984) as 'perhaps the finest post-war country house in the Modern style', although that was (and remains) a field offering limited competition. Despite the use of expensive materials, the exterior is hardly more prepossessing than a secondary school of the 1960s. The low and spreading design derives from pre-war Modern Movement exemplars, but there are nods to a more contemporary Brutalism in the flat roof and square piers clad in Portland stone, supporting a Portland stone fascia. The external wall surfaces are clad in aluminium panels and large windows of tinted glass. The house is essentially L-shaped, with the kitchen and offices in one wing and guest and family rooms in the other, and a triangular centre in the angle between the two, which contains a two-storey drawing room with a rather Space Age elliptical staircase at one end. This has a genuinely interesting form, and the internal finishes, including joinery and plasterwork, are of an unusually high standard, but there is nothing to make the interior opulent: nothing to replace the colour, richness, decoration and allusion rejected by Modernism. The sterility of the house was to some extent offset by historic furniture and by Sir Gawaine's extensive collection of early Meissen porcelain, but these were sold after his death. Further photographs and plans of the house can be seen here.

Descent: built c.1885-88 for Capt. Frederick Charteris (1837-87); to widow, Lady Louisa Charteris (1836-1930); sold c.1898 to George Berney Allen (1862-1917); to brother, Charles T. Allen, who let to Sir Reginald Tuck; sold 1938 to Charles George Ashburton Nix (1873-1956); to son, Lt-Col. Christopher Nix; sold 1970 to Sir Gawaine Baillie (1934-2003), 7th bt.; to son, Sir Adrian Baillie (b. 1973), 8th bt.

Baillie family of Polkemmet, baronets

Baillie, Thomas (fl. 1600). He married, c.1600, Elizabeth Polwarth of Cathlaw, and had issue:
(1) Thomas Baillie (d. 1645) (q.v.);
(2) James Baillie; married, 1642, Christian Hamilton of Airdrie;
(3) Elizabeth Baillie; married, 1637, Robert Hamilton (d. 1661), son of William Hamilton of Boghead, and had issue one son and one daughter;
(4) Katherine Baillie; married, 1653, John Sommerville.
He purchased the Polkemmet estate.
His date of death is unknown. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Baillie, Thomas (d. 1645). Elder son of Thomas Baillie (fl. 1600) of Polkemmet and his wife Elizabeth Polwarth of Cathlaw, born about 1603. He fought for the Royalist cause under the Marquis of Montrose at the Battle of Kilsyth. He married, 1625, Alison, daughter of Sir James Muirhead, and had issue:
(1) Thomas Baillie (d. 1660) (q.v.);
(2) Margaret Baillie; married, 30 April 1654 at Hamilton (Lanarks), Robert Flemyng of Ravens Craig (Lanarks) and had issue.
He inherited Polkemmet from his father.
He was killed at the Battle of Kilsyth in 1645. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Baillie, Thomas (d. 1660). Only son of Thomas Baillie (d. 1645) of Polkemmet and his wife Alison, daughter of Sir James Muirhead, born about 1626. He married, 1644, Margaret, daughter of William Baillie of Carphin, and had issue:
(1) Thomas Baillie (c.1646-1704) (q.v.);
(2) John Baillie; said to have been educated at Oxford; a cornet of cavalry;
(3) Jean Baillie (d. 1722); married, 6 November 1692 at Bothwell, as his second wife, Archibald Nisbet (c.1631-95) of Carphin, and had issue one son; buried 25 February 1722.
He inherited Polkemmet from his father in 1645.
He died in 1660. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Baillie, Thomas (c.1646-1704). Elder son of Thomas Baillie (d. 1660) of Polkemmet and his wife Margaret, daughter of William Baillie of Carphin, born about 1646. He married, 1667, Ann, daughter of Thomas Inglis of Murdiston, and had issue:
(1) Thomas Baillie (1678-1758) (q.v.);
(2) John Baillie; died without issue;
(3) William Baillie; an officer in the guards (Capt.); died unmarried;
(4) Robert Baillie; died unmarried;
(5) Gavin Baillie (d. 1759?); magistrate of Leith (Midlothian), 1722-23; married 1st, 1721, Katharine Gray; married 2nd, 18 June 1724 at Edinburgh, Margaret, daughter of Andrew Aitken of Edinburgh, merchant, and had issue one son and one daughter; possibly the person of this name buried at Bothwell (Lanarks), 16 April 1759;
(6) Bethia Baillie; married, 5 March 1703 at Livingston, Rev. John Smith of Livingstone; died without issue;
(7) Margaret Baillie; died unmarried.
He inherited Polkemmet from his father in 1660.
He died in 1704. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Baillie, Thomas (1678-1758). Eldest son of Thomas Baillie (d. 1704) and his wife Ann, daughter of Thomas Inglis of Murdiston, born 1678. He married, 1706, Ann Cockburne of Borthwick, and had issue:
(1) Thomas Baillie (1708-85) (q.v.);
(2) William Baillie (b. 1710), baptised at Livingston, 7 February 1710; died young;
(3) Ann Baillie; died unmarried;
(4) John Baillie (1713-36), born 3 March 1713; migrated to Georgia (USA), where he had a grant of 400 acres of land, 1734; died there, 1736;
(5) Patrick Baillie (b. 1714), baptised 22 June 1714; surgeon; lost at sea;
(6) Bethia Baillie (b. 1717), baptised at Livingston, 5 March 1717; died young;
(7) William Baillie (b. 1718), baptised 22 September 1718 at Livingston;
(8) Isabel Baillie; married, 22 December 1735, Robert Livingston (1706-59) of Badlornie (alias West Quarter) and had issue;
(9) Catherine Baillie (1720-1800), baptised at Livingston, 22 August 1720; married, 2 June 1751, Andrew Wardrop (1694-1774) of Forbeau Hill, and had issue one son; died 25 October 1800;
(10) Jean Baillie (b. 1721), baptised at Livingston, 2 October 1721; died unmarried;
(11) Bethia Baillie (b. 1723), baptised at Livingston, 4 February 1723; died unmarried.
He inherited Polkemmet from his father in 1704 and also property from his mother's family.
He died in 1758. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Baillie, Thomas (1708-85). Eldest son of Thomas Baillie (1678-1758) of Polkemmet and his wife Ann Cockburne of Borthwick, baptised at Livingston, 22 April 1708. Apprenticed to Robert Hepburne WS; admitted a Writer to the Signet, 1732. He married, 1731, Isabel (d. 1777), daughter of Rev. Alexander Walker, minister of Kirkurd, and had issue:
(1) Ann Baillie (d. 1733); died in infancy, 12 November 1733;
(2) Thomas Baillie (1733-41), born 2 March 1733; died young, 1741;
(3) Christine Baillie (d. 1736); died young, 23 September 1736;
(4) William Baillie (c.1737-1816), Lord Polkemmet (q.v.);
(5) Mary Baillie (d. 1769); married, 23 June 1763, as his first wife, Stair Agnew (1734-1809), Virginia merchant and later 6th bt. of Lochnaw, and had issue two sons and three daughters; died 9 April 1769;
(6) Henrietta Baillie (d. 1742); died young, 11 July 1742;
(7) Robert Baillie (1741-1826), born 21 June 1741; died unmarried, July 1826;
(8) Thomas Baillie (1743-72), born 4 August 1743; an officer in the Royal Navy (Lt., 1766); died at sea, 14 August 1772;
(9) Isabell Baillie (d. 1757); died young, 24 July 1757.
He inherited Polkemmet from his father in 1758.
He died at Polkemmet, 3 February 1785. His wife died at Polkemmet, 13 August 1777.

William Baillie, Lord Polkemmet
Baillie, William (c.1737-1816), Lord Polkemmet. Second, but eldest surviving, son of Thomas Baillie (1708-85) of Polkemmet, born about 1737. He was admitted to the College of Advocates, 1758, and practiced as an advocate. Sheriff-Depute for West Lothian for over 20 years. In 1795 he was made a judge of the Court of Session by the title of Lord Polkemmet (resigned 1811). He was much liked by his fellow Scottish lawyers for his good humour and use of Scottish dialect. Never one of the great legal minds of the age, he relied upon a fund of common sense in his judicial decisions. It was intended to make him a baronet but he died before this was done, and a baronetcy was accordingly conferred on his son some years later. Physically, he was noted for the exceptional length of his fingers. He married 1st, 3 December 1768 at Edinburgh, Margaret (b. 1751), daughter of Sir James Colquhoun, 1st bt., of Luss (Dunbartons), and 2nd, 15 April 1803, Janet (c.1756-1833), daughter of George Sinclair of Ulbster, and had issue:
(1.1) Thomas Baillie (b. 1770), born 20 February and baptised at Edinburgh, 25 February 1770; probably died young;
(1.2) Mary Baillie; married, 21 September 1800, at Polkemmet House, James Johnston (d. 1841) of Straiton (Midlothian), and had issue;
(1.3) Helen Baillie (d. 1826); died unmarried, 10 May 1826;
(1.4) Isabella Baillie (d. 1844); died unmarried, 28 November 1844 and was buried at Greyfriars Cemetery, Edinburgh;
(1.5) James Baillie (b. 1781), born 18 June 1781 and baptised at Edinburgh, 14 July 1787; an officer in the HEICS; died unmarried in the lifetime of his father;
(1.6) Sir William Baillie (1782-1854), 1st bt. (q.v.);
(1.7) Janet Baillie (c.1783-1817); married, 25 August 1804 at Polkemmet House, Dugald John Campbell (1783-1827) of Skerrington (Ayrs.), and had issue one daughter; died of 'nervous fever', 25 June 1817 and was buried at Ayr (Ayrs.);
(1.8) Eliza Hope Baillie (1784-1855), born 23 March and baptised at Edinburgh, 6 April 1784; married James Campbell of Dunmore; died 5 October 1855;
(1.9) Robert Baillie (1790-1806); a midshipman in the Royal Navy; died unmarried on HMS Atlas in the West Indies, 19 November 1806;
(1.10) Penuel Jane Baillie (c.1792-1856); married, 24 April 1817, Farquhard Campbell (1760-1829) of Ormsary House, South Knapdale (Argylls), and had issue two sons; died 29 November 1866.
He inherited Polkemmet from his father in 1784.
He died 14 March 1816. His first wife's date of death is unknown. His widow died 19 January 1833.

Baillie, Sir William (1782-1854), 1st bt. Eldest surviving son of William Baillie (d. 1816), Lord Polkemmet, and his first wife, Margaret, daughter of Sir James Colquhoun, 4th bt., of Luss (Dunbartons), born 25 July 1782 and baptised at Edinburgh, 14 July 1787. An officer in the Bengal Army (Cadet, 1798; arrived in India, 1799; Cornet, 1800; Lt, 1805; retired, 1818). He was created a baronet, 14 November 1823, an honour which it had been intended to confer on his father. He married, 25 April 1815, Mary Lyon (1793-1872), daughter of James Dennistoun of Colgrain (Dunbartons.) and co-heir of her mother, Margaret, daughter of Robert Dreghorn of Blochairn, and had issue:
(1) Sir William Baillie (1816-90), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(2) James Dennistoun Baillie (1817-76), born 21 June and baptised at Barony (Lanarks), 28 June 1817; emigrated to Australia with his younger brother in 1838 or 1840 and took up farming at Carngham, but became insolvent in the 'great crash' of 1841-42; sold Carngham in 1843 and bought a farm later known as Polkemmet near Horsham, Victoria, which he farmed until 1858, when he returned to Scotland; civil servant; lived at Manuel House, nr. Linlithgow; died 1 May 1876; will confirmed 14 May 1877 (effects £21,246);
(3) Robert Baillie (1818-83), born 6 October and baptised at Barony (Lanarks), 20 November 1818; educated at Royal Military College; an officer in the 77th regiment (Ensign, 1837; Lt. 1841; retired 1845); lived at Manuel House, nr. Linlithgow; died at Royal Edinburgh Asylum, 12 May 1883; administration of goods confirmed, 14 September 1883 and 25 April 1884 (total effects £2,113);
(4) Margaret Dreghorn Baillie (1821-70), born 7 January and baptised at Barony, 19 February 1821; died unmarried, 26 August 1870;
(5) Margaret Colquhoun Baillie (1822-68), born 3 March and baptised at Barony, 10 April 1822; died unmarried, 12 October 1868 and was buried at Whitburn;
(6) Thomas Baillie (1823-89) (q.v.);
(7) John Hope Baillie (1825-37), born 3 March 1825; died young and was buried at Boulogne (France), 18 February 1837;
(8) Janet Sinclair Baillie (1826-83), born 1 August 1826; lived at Manuel House, Linlithgow; died unmarried, 12 March 1883; will confirmed 12 June 1883 (effects £13,558);
(9) Alexander Hope Baillie (1827-83), born 14/15 October 1827; married, 30 April 1878, Edith Caroline (c.1842-1928), second daughter of Fairfax Fearnley of Sutton (Notts), but had no issue; died 19 September 1883; will confirmed in Edinburgh, 25 March 1884 (effects £15,110) and sealed in London, 23 April 1884;
(10) Mary Isabella Baillie (1829-64), born 7 March 1829; married, 29 September 1848 at Linlithgow, as his second wife, Alexander Baron Seton (1806-84) of Preston (W. Lothian) and had issue five sons and three daughters; died in childbirth, 14 January 1864;
(11) Elizabeth Penuel Jane Baillie (1830-87), born 10 July 1830; married, 31 August 1854 at Muree, Bengal (India), Dr. Samuel Reeve Tucker (1824-57) MD HEICS, and had issue one son; died at Glen Eira City, Victoria (Australia), 14 June 1887 and was buried at St Kilda Cemetery, Melbourne;
(12) Helen Jane Baillie (1831-1902), born 1 December 1831; died unmarried at Mentone (France), 7 May 1902; will confirmed in Stirling, 31 July 1902 (estate £11,974) and sealed in London, 7 August 1902;
(13) George Augustus Frederick Baillie (1833-82), born 31 July 1833; an officer in the East Lothian artillery militia (Capt.); lived latterly at Clifton, Bristol; married, 16 February 1871, Mary Gertrude (1841-1922), fourth daughter of Benjamin Peyton Sadler RN, and had issue one son and three daughters; died 7 April 1882; will confirmed in Scotland, 24 August 1882 (effects £523).
He inherited Polkemmet from his father in 1816 and radically remodelled it.
He died at Perth (Scotland), 28 January 1854. His widow died 17 December 1872.

Baillie, Sir William (1816-90), 2nd bt. Eldest son of Sir William Baillie (1782-1854), 1st bt., and his wife Mary Lyon, daughter of James Dennistoun of Colgrain, born 2 February 1816. Educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford (BA 1836). JP and DL for West Lothian; Conservative MP for West Lothian, 1844-47; Convenor of West Lothian for 27 years. An officer in the Midlothian Yeomanry Cavalry (Capt.); Hon. Col. of 1st Brigade of Scottish Division, Royal Artillery. He succeeded his father as 2nd baronet, 28 January 1854. He married, 14 April 1846, Mary (d. 1910), eldest daughter of Stair Hathorn Stewart of Physgill (Wigtowns.), but had no issue.
He inherited Polkemmet from his father in 1854. After his death it passed to trustees for his widow, and then to his great-nephew, Sir Gawaine Baillie.
He died 21 July 1890 and was buried at Whitburn; his will was proved in Scotland and sealed in London, 4 June 1891. His widow died 7 June 1910.

Thomas Baillie (1823-89)
Baillie, Thomas (1823-89). Fourth son of Sir William Baillie (1782-1854), 1st bt., and his wife Mary Lyon, daughter of James Dennistoun of Colgrain, born 21 June 1823. He emigrated to Australia with his brother James in 1838 or 1840, returned to Scotland in 1857, but went back to Australia in 1863. A trustee and member of session of the Scots Presbyterian Church in Melbourne; and a Trustee of the Presbyterian Ladies' College there. He married, 27 December 1849, Elizabeth Simpson (1826-1900), daughter of James Ballingall of Australia, and had issue:
(1) William James Baillie (b. & d. 1851), born 16 January 1851; died in infancy, 21 January 1851 and was buried in the Old Cemetery, West Melbourne;
(2) Mary Dennistoun Baillie (1853-99), born 1853; married, 5 August 1874, Lt-Col. Thomas Caradoc Rose Price CB (1841-1911) and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 22 March 1899;
(3) Sir George Baillie (1856-96), 3rd bt., born 20 October 1856; educated at Scotch College, Melbourne and Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (BA 1881); pastoralist in Victoria; JP for Victoria and New South Wales (Australia); succeeded his uncle as 3rd baronet, 21 July 1890; died unmarried of typhoid fever, 2 April 1896 and was buried at St Kilda Cemetery, Melbourne;
(4) Sir Robert Alexander Baillie (1859-1907), 4th bt. (q.v.);
(5) William Baillie (1861-1928), born 25 April 1861; married, 1892, Mary (d. 1946), daughter of Rev. Walter Fellowes, vicar of St John, Toorak, Melbourne (Australia) and had issue three daughters; died 24 April 1928;
(6) Elizabeth Janet Baillie OBE (1864-1935), born 22 August 1864; awarded OBE 1918; married, 25 March 1885, Brig-Gen. the Hon. William Edwin Cavendish MVO (1862-1931) of The Farm House, Holkham (Norfk), son of William George Cavendish, 2nd Baron Chesham, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 2 May 1935; her will proved 19 June 1935 and certified at Edinburgh, 3 July 1935 (estate £27,211).
He lived at Toorak, Melbourne, Victoria (Australia).
He died at Queenscliff, Victoria (Australia), 7 January 1889, and was buried at St Kilda Cemetery, Melbourne. His widow died 21 May 1900 and was also buried at St Kilda Cemetery.

Baillie, Sir Robert Alexander (1859-1907), 4th bt. Second surviving son of Thomas Baillie (1823-89) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of James Gallingall of Australia, born 24 August 1859. Educated at Scotch College, Melbourne (Australia) and Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1879; BA 1882). An officer in the Australian squadron of the King's Colonials Imperial Yeomanry (Capt., 1901; Maj., 1903). He succeeded his elder brother as 4th baronet, 2 April 1896. He married, 13 July 1887 at the Scots Church, Melbourne (Australia), Isabel (d. 1945), daughter of David Elliot Wilkie of Ratho Byres (Midlothian), and had issue:
(1) A daughter (b. & d. 1891); died in infancy, 18 December 1891;
(2) Sir Gawaine George Stuart Baillie (1893-1914), 5th bt.(q.v.);
(3) A son (b. & d. 1895); died in infancy, 27 November 1895; 
(4) Sir Adrian William Maxwell Baillie (1898-1947), 6th bt. (q.v.).
He spent most of his life in Australia, but was living at Colchester (Essex), where his regiment was garrisoned, at the time of his death.
He died 16 October 1907. His widow died 1 February 1945; her will was proved in Scotland and sealed in London, 15 August 1947.

Sir Gawaine Baillie, 5th bt.
Baillie, Sir Gawaine George Stuart (1893-1914), 5th bt. Elder son of Sir Robert Alexander Baillie (1859-1907), 4th bt., and his wife Isabel, daughter of David Elliot Wilkie of Ratho Byres (Midlothian), born at Melbourne (Australia), 29 May 1893. Educated at Eton. He succeeded his father as 5th bt., 16 October 1907. An officer in 2nd Dragoon Guards (Scots Greys) (2nd Lt., 1912). He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Polkemmet on the death of the 2nd baronet's widow in 1910. After his death, his mother established Polkemmet as a Red Cross Hospital in his memory.
He was killed in action at Rebais (France), 7 September 1914; his body was cremated and the ashes buried in the Baillie Mausoleum in the grounds of Polkemmet, and later reinterred in the churchyard at Whitburn.

Sir Adrian Baillie, 6th bt.
Baillie, Sir Adrian William Maxwell (1898-1947), 6th bt. Second son of Sir Robert Alexander Baillie (1859-1907), 4th bt., and his wife Isabel, daughter of David Elliot Wilkie of Ratho Byres (Midlothian), born 5 May 1898. Educated at Eton and Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He succeeded his elder brother as 6th baronet, 7 September 1914. He was an officer in the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Scots Greys) during the First World War (2nd Lt., 1917; Lt., 1919; resigned 1919). JP and DL for West Lothian. An officer in the Diplomatic Service, 1921-28 (2nd Secretary). Unionist MP for West Lothian (which he also contested in 1929 and 1935), 1931-35 and Conservative MP for Tonbridge, 1937-45. He married, 4 November 1931 at Holy Trinity, Brompton (Middx) (div. 1944), the Hon. Olive Cecilia (1899-1974), daughter of Almeric Hugh Paget, 1st Baron Queenborough and formerly wife of Hon. Charles John Frederic Winn (1896-1968) and Arthur Thomas Filmer Wilson-Filmer (1895-1968), and had issue:
(1) Sir Gawaine George Hope Baillie (1934-2003), 7th bt. (q.v.).
His wife purchased Leeds Castle (Kent) in 1926 and after his marriage he lived there until his marriage broke down. He inherited the Polkemmet estate from his brother in 1914 and came of age in 1919; he let the house from 1939 and the estate was sold after his death to the National Coal Board. He also bought Howden House, Livingstone in 1931 but sold it to the Ministry of Agriculture in 1946.
He died of pneumonia, 8 January 1947; his will was proved in Scotland and sealed in London, 9 April 1947. His ex-wife died 9 September 1974.

Sir Gawaine Baillie, 7th bt.
Baillie, Sir Gawaine George Hope (1934-2003), 7th bt. Only child of Sir Adrian William Maxwell Baillie (1898-1947), 6th bt., and his wife, the Hon. Olive, daughter of Almeric Hugh Paget, 1st Baron Queenborough and formerly wife of Arthur Wilson Filmer, born 8 March 1934. During the Second World War he was evacuated to stay with cousins on Long Island, New York (USA). Educated at Eton and Cambridge. He succeeded his father as 7th bt., 8 January 1947. In 1959 he set up HPC Engineering at Burgess Hill (Sussex), a company making parts for the automotive, aerospace, computer, defence, medical and machine tool industries, and he remained Chairman and Managing Director for the rest of his life. In the late 1950s and 1960s he was an amateur motor racing driver, and achieved considerable success in races around the world. He was a Governor of the Star & Garter Homes for Disabled Servicemen. He and his wife collected early Meissen porcelain models of birds and animals, building on a collection formed by his mother; he also secretly amassed a remarkably complete collection of mint British Empire stamps; these collections were sold after his death. He married, 28 December 1966, Lucille Margot (1934-2012), only daughter of Senator Louis Philippe Beaubien of Montreal (Canada) and formerly wife of Peter Melvill-Gardner, and had issue:
(1) Liza Katharine Baillie (b. 1969), born 8 April 1969; married, Apr-Jun 1994, Ian Curtis (b. 1968) of Abbot's Leigh Place (Sussex), accountant and company director, and had issue two sons and two daughters; now living;
(2) Sir Adrian Louis Baillie (b. 1973), 8th bt. (q.v.).
He inherited the Leeds Castle estate from his mother in 1974, but not the castle itself, which was vested in the Leeds Castle Foundation. In 1971 he built Freechase, a new, Modern Movement house, on his property at Warninglid (Sussex).
He died 21 December 2003; his will was proved 19 April 2004. His widow died 9 March 2012.

Baillie, Sir Adrian Louis (b. 1973), 8th bt. Only son of Sir Gawaine George Hope Baillie (1934-2003), 7th bt., and his wife Lucille Margot, only daughter of Senator Louis Philippe Beaubien of Montreal (Canada) and formerly wife of Peter Melvill-Gardner, born 26 March 1973. Educated at Eton, Manchester Univ. (BA), City Univ. (Dip. Law), the Inns of Court School of Law, London Business School (MBA), and Middle Temple (called to bar, 1999). Investment manager; Director of the Hepatitis C Trust. He succeeded his father as 8th baronet, 2003. He married, 6 September 2006 in Ohio (USA), Amber Rose (b. 1980), daughter of Ms. Sheri Laine of Del Mar, California (USA), and had issue:
(1) Sebastian Gawaine Baillie (b. 2011), born 18 April 2011;
(2) Eloise Laine Baillie (b. 2013).
He inherited Freechase, Warninglid and the Leeds Castle estate from his father in 2003.
Now living.


Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 1924, pp. 182-83; Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 2003, pp. 221; Debrett's Peerage & Baronetage, 2015, p. B38; J. Cornforth, 'Boudin at Leeds Castle', Country Life, 14 April 1983, pp. 925-28 and 21 April 1983, pp. 1018-21; J.M. Robinson, The latest country houses, 1984, pp. 2, 152-54, 209; M. Miers, 'Leeds Castle: the inside story', Country Life, 8 May 2003, pp. 106-11; J. Harris, Moving rooms: the trade in architectural salvage, 2007, pp. 75-76; J. Newman, The buildings of England: Kent - West Kent and the Weald, 4th edn., 2012, pp. 355-58; Leeds Castle guidebooks, 1989, 2009.

Location of archives

Baillie family of Polkemmet, baronets: estate and family papers, 1672-1773 [National Records of Scotland, GD170/3556-3712]

Coat of arms

Azure, nine mullets (three, three, two and one) or within a bordure counter-nebuly argent and sable.

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 any internal photographs of the original Freechase, or identify the architect of the house?
  • Can anyone add to the rather inadequate genealogical information for the earlier generations of this family?
  • Can anyone explain the reason for, and the timing of, the conferral of the baronetcy on Sir William Baillie in 1823?

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 17 March 2018.