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.
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. I am most grateful to Paul Frecker for images, additions and corrections.

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