Thursday 10 May 2018

(330) Maturin-Baird of Boom Hall and Langham Hall

Maturin-Baird of Langham Hall
This family rose to prominence in the early 19th century through the trading activities of Daniel Baird (c.1795-1862) of Londonderry, who was a merchant and shipowner, trading principally with the West Indies and the Baltic. He was active by the early 1820s, and grew in wealth and social status steadily during the 1830s and 1840s, acquiring a villa on the southern edge of Derry known as Cassina or Casino, which had been built as a summer residence for the Earl-Bishop of Derry in 1784. (The Casino was later adapted as a chapel for St. Columb's College, but was taken down and replaced by later school buildings in about 1890). In 1847, the year when he was Mayor of Derry, Daniel Baird bought the incumbered estates of the Earl of Blessington around Newtown Stewart in Co. Tyrone, and two years later he purchased Boom Hall from the Earl of Caledon. This house was of much the same date as the Casino, but a great deal larger, and with these two purchases Daniel joined the ranks of the landed gentry. In 1854 he cemented his position by becoming High Sheriff of Co. Tyrone.

Casino at Derry, probably photographed c.1875, before the development of St. Columb's College began.

If his social progress was smooth, his home life was more troubled. His first wife died in 1837 and several of their children also died young. He married again and had a further daughter, but she also died young. When he died in 1862, he left his estates to his widow for life, with remainder to his only surviving grandchild, Daniel Baird Maturin, the son of his eldest daughter Jane (who died in 1851) and her husband Charles Maturin, a barrister-at-law who later became the Crown Prosecutor for County Londonderrry. As his name suggests, Maturin descended from a Huguenot family who had arrived in Ireland from the Low Countries in the early 18th century. Several members of the family, including Charles' father, Henry Maturin, were Church of Ireland clergymen.

Daniel Baird Maturin (1849-1924) took the additional name of Baird in accordance with the terms of his grandfather's will in 1875. His step-grandmother's life interest in his estates ceased with her death in 1880, but Boom Hall had been let to the Cooke family since 1862 and he continued this arrangement. His father, who died in 1887, lived on part of the Newtown Stewart property, and in the later 1870s bought Mourne Lodge which stood a little west of the town. As the political situation in Ireland deteriorated in the late 19th century, many Anglo-Irish families found it prudent to establish a home in England, and Daniel had done this by 1889, when Mourne Lodge was advertised to let and he was living in London. Later in the 1890s he bought a suburban villa called Croy on the Portsmouth Road at Kingston-on-Thames and moved his family there. His property in Ireland was either let on managed by agents.

In 1924, Daniel was succeeded by his only son, Lt-Col. Charles Edgar Maturin-Baird (1899-1994), who continued to let Boom Hall, but who was obliged by the Irish land laws to sell most of his Newtown Stewart property to the sitting tenants in 1932. When he retired from the army in 1933 he bought Langham Hall near Dedham in Essex, a recently modernised late 18th century house, where he brought up his family. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Boom Hall was requisitioned by the Admiralty. It housed WRNS ratings throughout the war, and when it was returned to the family was in poor condition. Charles secured some £2,600 of war reparations money and began restoring the house for reoccupation by his pre-war tenant. Delays in obtaining building licences and materials and disputes about the restoration process led him, however, to agree in 1949 to sell the house to the tenant and to hand over the remaining reparations money so that the tenant could complete the works to his own specification. The small amount of land around Boom Hall was also mostly sold over the next few years.

Charles Edgar Maturin-Baird lived into extreme old age, and in 1993 the family decided to sell Langham Hall while retaining parts of the estate. His son, John Michael Maturin-Baird (1929-2009) retained the manorial rights, and his younger son, William Patrick Maturin-Baird still lives at one of the former estate farms.

Boom Hall, Co. Londonderry

An account of Boom Hall has already been given in relation to a previous post.

Langham Hall, Essex

Langham Hall: the house as first built, from an engraving published in 1772.
A manor house is recorded as far back as 1282, but it was presumably small as it still had only five hearths in 1671. It probably stood on the current site as the adjoining farmyard still contains a barn of possibly 13th century date and another of c.1600. The present plain, six-bay two-storey stuccoed house has a projecting two-bay centre with a pediment containing a Diocletian window, and was probably built for Jacob Hinde after his marriage in 1756. An engraving of 1772, reproduced above, shows that the centre originally had a central arched doorcase incorporating a narrow window to either side on the ground floor. This visually not very satisfactory arrangement was altered and improved in about 1900, when the present Greek Doric porch was added. At the same time, the house was remodelled and extended at the rear to provide a smoking room and gun room complex, in which 16th century panelling and beams from Valley House, a timber-framed 16th century house in the parish, were introduced

Langham Hall: the house today, showing the porch and rear extension added in about 1900. Image:
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Langham Hall had 'beautiful and extensive prospects' over the Stour valley to the north. A small enclosed park and gardens (containing some 16 acres) that existed immediately north of the Hall in 1777 were no doubt laid out by Jacob Hinde. Further improvements were probably made for Alexander Baring after he bought the house in 1830, including the building of the east lodge to the estate on Gun Hill; an early 19th century classical building with the shallow slate roof extending over a veranda of thin Tuscan columns, completed by 1838. New gardens designed in the 1930s by Percy Cane for the Maturin-Bairds included a terrace, semi circular rose garden, herbaceous walk, and glade.

Descent: Thomas Sleigh sold 1662 to Humphrey Thayer (d. 1682); to son, Samuel Thayer (d. c.1732); to son, Humphrey Thayer (d. 1737); to ?brother, Samuel Thayer (d. 1750); to daughter Anne (d. 1803), later wife of Jacob Hinde (d. 1780); to ?son, Charles Hinde, who sold 1829 to Thomas Cooke, who sold 1830 to Alexander Baring (1774-1848), 1st Baron Ashburton; to son, William Bingham Baring (1799-1864), 2nd Baron Ashburton; to brother, Francis Baring (1800-68), 3rd Baron Ashburton; to son, Alexander Hugh Baring (1835-89), 4th Baron Ashburton; to son, Francis Denzil Edward Baring (1866-1938), 5th Baron Ashburton, who sold in 1894 to William Nocton (d. 1921), who sold 1913 to Sir Robert Balfour MP; sold 1927 to Alfred Melson, who sold before 1933 to Charles Edgar Maturin-Baird (1899-1994); sold 1993 to Wilf Tolhurst (1944-2008); to widow, Elizabeth Anne Tolhurst (b. 1945).

Baird (later Maturin-Baird) family of Boom Hall and Langham Hall

Baird, Daniel (c.1795-1862). Son of John Baird (b. 1770) of Castlefinn (Donegal) and his wife, born about 1795. Merchant and ship-owner in Londonderry; Chairman of Daniel Baird & Co., merchants. Mayor of Derry City, 1847; Chairman of Derry City Harbour Board, 1856-61. JP for Tyrone and Londonderry. High Sheriff of Co. Tyrone, 1854-55. He married 1st, Mary [surname unknown] (1803-37) and 2nd, 9 September 1839 at All Souls, Langham Place, London, Barbara (1806-1880), daughter of Rev. Alex Delap of Ray (Co. Donegal), and had issue:
(1.1) Jane Baird (c.1825-51) (q.v.);
(1.2) Daniel Baird (c.1826-46); died unmarried aged 20 in Dublin, 16 December 1846; administration of his goods granted to his father, 26 April 1858 (effects under £200);
(1.3) Charlotte Baird (c.1827-71); died unmarried; will proved in Ireland in 1871;
(1.4) Anne Eliza Baird (c.1830-46); died young in Derry, 21 May 1846; administration of her goods granted to her father, 25 April 1858 (effects under £200);
(2.1) Barbara Watt Baird (1840-47), born 20 December 1840; died young, 20 September 1847, and was buried at Donaghmore; administration of goods granted to her father's executors, 26 January 1864 (effects under £20).
He lived at 'Casino', a villa in Derry built in 1784 for the Earl-Bishop of Derry, until he purchased Boom Hall in 1849 for £6,000. In 1847 he also purchased much of the Earl of Blessington's encumbered property north of Omagh (Tyrone). After his death his estates passed to his widow for life and then to his grandson, Daniel Baird Maturin (later Maturin-Baird).
He died 2 March 1862 and was buried at Donaghmore, Castlefinn (Co. Donegal); his will was proved 31 March 1862 (effects under £12,000). His first wife died 10 April 1837. His widow died 22 January 1880; her will was proved 25 February 1880 (effects under £12,000).

Baird, Jane (c.1825-51). Eldest daughter of Daniel Baird (c.1795-1862) of Boom Hall and his first wife Mary [surname unknown], born c.1825. She married, 11 April 1848 in Derry Cathedral, Charles Maturin (1806-87), barrister-at-law, son of Rev. Henry Maturin (1771-1842), rector of Clondevaddock (Co. Donegal), and had issue:
(1) Daniel Baird Maturin-Baird (1849-1924) (q.v.);
(2) Charles Maturin (1850-51), born 20 August 1850; died in infancy, 29 April 1851.
In the later 1870s her husband bought a villa called Mourne Lodge near Newtown Stewart from John Barclay.
She died at Queenstown (Co. Cork), 'after a lingering illness', 17 April 1851. Her husband died at Castlerock (Londonderry), 31 August 1887, and was buried at Baronscourt (Co. Tyrone).

Maturin (later Maturin-Baird), Daniel Baird (1849-1924). Only surviving son of Charles Maturin and his wife Jane, daughter of Daniel Baird of Boom Hall (Co. Londonderry), born in Dublin, 26 July 1849 and baptised at St Peter, Dublin, 15 February 1850. An officer in the Prince of Wales' Own Donegal Militia, 1869-75 (Capt.). He took the additional name of Baird by royal licence in 1875. He married, 23 December 1889 at St Peter, Regent Sq., London, Eleanor alias Ellen (1871-1919), daughter of John Parsons, builder, and had issue:
(1) Ella Jane Maturin-Baird (1891-1981), born 23 February 1891 and baptised at St Barnabas, Holland Park, London, 1 April 1891; married, 21 January 1917 at All Saints, Kingston-on-Thames, Lt-Col. Reginald George Maturin DSO (1877-1952), son of Surgeon-Col. John Maturin of Colchester (Essex), and had issue one daughter; died Jan-Mar 1981;
(2) Dorothy Lucy Maturin-Baird (1893-1989), born 8 November 1893 and baptised at St James, Holland Park, London, January 1894; married, 3 June 1915 at the Savoy Chapel, London, (Lancelot) James Clayton (1881-1921), solicitor, and had issue one son (who was killed in action in 1944); after the death of her son she became increasingly reclusive; died aged 95, Jan-Mar 1989;
(3) Gladys Muriel Maturin-Baird (1895-1934), born at Croy, Kingston-on-Thames, 13 September 1895 and baptised at St Mark, Surbiton (Surrey), November 1895; lived at Appledore (Kent); died unmarried, 7 February 1934; administration of goods granted 21 March 1934 (effects £1,825);
(4) Lt-Col. Charles Edgar Maturin-Baird (1899-1994) (q.v.).
He inherited Boom Hall and the Newton Stewart estate on the death of his grandmother in 1880, but leased the former to the Cooke family until about 1882, and later to James Corscaden (fl. 1892), Sir John Barr Johnson and H.J. Cooke. He inherited Mourne Lodge from his father in 1887, but let it from 1889 and later lived in London and from the mid-1890s at Croy, Portsmouth Road, Kingston-on-Thames (Surrey).
He died 6 June, and was buried at Kingston-on-Thames Cemetery (Surrey), 11 June 1924; his will was proved 8 August 1924 (estate in England, £19,939 and in Northern Ireland £1,106). His wife died 7 December, and was buried at Kingston-on-Thames Cemetery, 10 December 1919; administration of her goods was granted to her husband, 19 April 1920 (effects £276).

Maturin-Baird, Lt-Col. Charles Edgar (1899-1994). Only son of Daniel Baird Maturin-Baird (1849-1924) of Boom Hall and his wife Ellen, daughter of John Parsons, builder, born at Croy, 28 February and baptised at Surbiton, 12 April 1899. Educated at Repton School and Royal Military College, Sandhurst. An officer in the Irish Guards, 1918-33 (2nd Lt., 1918; Lt., 1920; Capt., 1930; Br. Maj. & Acting Lt-Col.) and served in Second World War with Military Police, 1939-45 (Deputy Provost Marshal, 1941). He married 1st, 27 February 1922, Angela Marie (1895-1979), daughter of Charles Beard Hatfield Harter of Cranfield Court (Beds), and 2nd, Jul-Sep. 1979, Evelyn (1904-97), daughter of Carl Neidhard Martin of Philadelphia (USA) and widow of Edward Jack Wilbraham, and had issue:
(1.1) Patricia Maturin-Baird (1923-2008); an officer in the W.R.N.S., 1941-45; married, 25 August 1944 at Colchester RC church, John Alastair Montgomerie DSC (1918-89) of Kilrishin, Newton Mearns (Renfrews.), only son of John Duncan Macnicol Montgomerie of Glasgow, and had issue one daughter; died at Old Cumnock, 2008;
(1.2) John Michael Maturin-Baird (1929-2009) (q.v.);
(1.3) Sheelagh Caroline Maturin-Baird (b. 1926); narrowly escaped drowning in a sailing accident, 1946; married, February 1955, Brig. Raoul Charles Lemprière-Robin (1914-99) of Rosel Manor (Jersey), and had issue a daughter.
He inherited Boom Hall and Mourne Lodge from his father in 1924. He continued to let Boom Hall until it was requisitioned for the use of W.R.N.S. ratings during the Second World War. In 1946 he claimed £2,600 war damages and began restoration of the house, but work was incomplete when he sold in 1949 to the pre-war tenant, Michael Henry McDevitt of Red House, Castlerock (Donegal). The Newtown Stewart estate was largely sold to the tenants in 1932. He purchased Langham Hall (Essex) in 1933, but sold it in 1993.
He died 20 March 1994; his will was proved 29 June 1994 (estate £23,357). His first wife died 20 May 1979; her will was proved 11 July 1979 (estate £7,960). His widow died 20 August 1997; her will was proved 22 December 1997.

Maturin-Baird, John Michael (1929-2009). Only son of Charles Edgar Maturin-Baird (1899-1994) of Langham Hall and his first wife, Angela Marie, daughter of Charles Beard Hatfield Harter of Cranfield Court (Beds), born 2 January 1929. Educated at Eton. He married, April 1955 at the Church of the Holy Redeemer, Chelsea (Middx), Bridget Jane (1928-2009), daughter of Alfred Hazell King, of HM consular service, and had issue:
(1) James Charles Maturin-Baird (1958-2014), born October 1958; freelance social and travel photographer at Bures (Suffk); married, June 2005, Pamela A. Martin, and had issue one son; died 21 June 2014; will proved 8 October 2014;
(2) William Patrick Maturin-Baird (b. 1960), born Oct-Dec 1960; lives at Glebe Farm, Langham; married, Oct-Dec 1988, Sarah J. Breen-Turner (b. 1958), artist, and had issue one son and one daughter; now living;
(3) Sophia M. Maturin-Baird (b. 1963); married, 1999, William E.H. Parker (b. 1958), and had issue one son; now living.
He inherited parts of the Langham Hall estate from his father in 1994. 
He died 6 December 2009; his will was proved 6 August 2010. His wife died 12 February 2009; her will was proved 6 May 2009.


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1952, p. 93; J. Bettley & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Essex, 2007, p. 520; VCH Essex, vol. 10, 2001, pp. 248-51;

Location of archives

Some records are believed to be in the possession of the family.

Coat of arms

Maturin-Baird: 1st and 4th, per fesse or and gules, a boar passant proper between two crescents in chief, of the second, and a dagger erect in base, of the first (for Baird); 2nd and 3rd, argent, a chevron between two martlets in chief, gules, and a mound in base, proper (for Maturin).

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 additional genealogical information about the people featured in this post, especially about Daniel Baird's first wife and children, or portraits of members of the family whose names are given in bold?
  • Can anyone supply an image of Mourne Lodge, Newtown Stewart, which seems to have been built by 1872 but was demolished in the later 20th century.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 10 May 2018.

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