Thursday 28 February 2019

(366) Barbour of Bolesworth Castle

Barbour of Bolesworth Castle
John Barbour (d. 1770) established a linen factory at Kilbarchan in Renfrewshire in 1739, and in 1762 bought the decayed Auchinames Castle south-west of the village from the Craufords who had owned it since medieval times. By 1782, when his third son, Humphrey Barbour (c.1743-1817), was a substantial employer in the linen bleaching industry at Kilbarchan, the six or seven storey tower had been pulled down, and Humphrey had built himself a new house nearby, known as Bankhead House. It is not clear how large this was, as no visual record of it seems to survive, the house having been taken down soon after Humphrey's death in 1817, but the Barbours were clearly already upwardly-mobile entrepreneurial merchants. Humphrey eventually found himself undercut by other linen bleachers, and had to sell Bankhead and move to Glasgow, where he worked as a wine merchant. He had a large family, and his third son, Robert Barbour (1797-1885), after deciding that study at Glasgow university was not for him, joined the firm of a Glasgow export merchant, James Macfarlane. Within a few years he was a partner and running a branch of the firm in Manchester.  When Macfarlane retired at the end of 1827 he took over the firm and he continued an active involvement in the business until 1865, when he retired to Bolesworth Castle, where he had purchased a 2,300 acre estate in 1857.

Robert Barbour had only one son and one daughter who survived to adulthood, and his son George Barbour (1841-1919) inherited Bolesworth Castle. He was educated as a gentleman, attending Cambridge University (where he took a degree) and qualifying as a barrister at the Inner Temple. He never practised in the law, but his legal knowledge was useful in his role as a magistrate, and he eventually became chairman of the local petty sessions court. His chief interest was in agriculture, and especially in dairy farming and cheese-making, and he expanded the estate from the relatively modest property his father had acquired to some 5,500 acres by his death in 1919. Although he was not actively involved in business himself, he had large and profitable commercial investments, and when he died he left an estate over £1.3m, which was perhaps thirty times as much as the average landed gentleman of the time. His son, Maj. Robert Barbour (1876-1928), exhibited the same energy and entrepreneurial spirit as his grandfather, and continued the process of building up the estate, while also modernising and updating Bolesworth Castle, where he engaged Clough Williams-Ellis to largely de-Gothicise the interior of the house and layout new gardens around it. His improvements were cut short by his untimely death in a riding accident in 1928, and the estate passed to his eldest son, (George) Richard Barbour (1911-89), who came of age in 1932. 

Richard Barbour saw service in the Middle East in the Second World War, and while in Cyprus married a local divorcee who had a son, Anthony, by her first marriage to another Englishman. His marriage did not meet with the approval of his mother and her second husband, and caused a permanent breach in relations between them. In 1945 he formally adopted his stepson, who became the heir to Bolesworth. After he came of age, Anthony Barbour (1938-2007) joined the board of the company which had been set up to run the estate, and in 1985 Richard handed over Bolesworth Castle to him. Once again a new owner sought to refresh the appearance of the house, and this time he turned to the fashionable London decorator, Nina Campbell.  Anthony Barbour may not have been a Barbour by blood, but he was very much in the family tradition of vigorous and active landowners. His obituarist described him as 'a generous gentleman entrepreneur who treated his tenants as though they were members of his extended family', and he was an early pioneer of diversifying the economic activity of the estate. This is a tradition which his daughter Nina Barbour (b. 1980) is now pursuing too, with a series of innovations which strengthen the economy of the estate while reflecting her own enthusiasm for horses.

Bolesworth Castle, Cheshire

Bolesworth Castle is set high on the western slope of the Broxton Hills in central Cheshire, backed by a rugged wooded escarpment. A house was first built here for James Tilson (d. 1764), an Irishman who bought the estate in 1747 and apparently used the money he acquired through his second marriage in 1750 to the dowager Countess of Kerry to create the house. Lysons in 1810 says it was from the first a Gothick house, and it was presumably built much as shown in the engraving of 1788 below, making it an exceptionally early example of the genre. The engraving accords fairly closely with another, rather clearer, drawing of the house in 1821 which is now at the house, and with a plan of much the same date in Cheshire Archives, and these suggest that it was from the first a picturesquely irregular battlemented house with a rather insistent use of Gothick windows. It seems likely that James Tilson himself played a significant part in its design, but it would be very interesting to know who or what inspired him to such a precocious piece of medievalism.

Bolesworth Castle: engraving of the house in 1788, from Harrison's Picturesque views of the principal seats of the nobility and gentry in England and Wales.

Bolesworth Castle: the house in 1821. Reproduced with the kind permission of Nina Barbour.

Bolesworth Castle: plan of the original house in 1821. Image: Cheshire Archives & Local Studies DBC 3109

All we know of the subsequent history of this building is that having got into financial difficulties, Tilson was appointed consul in Cadiz, where he died in 1764, and that the house was then sold the house to John Crewe, for whom the dining room was altered by Robert Mylne in 1777. Mylne may also have laid out the grounds, with a long lake designed to look like a broad river, and a Chinese bridge, but there seems to be no documentary evidence to support this tradition, and there is no reference to such works in Mylne's diary. It is perhaps more likely that one of the local landscape gardeners, such as William Emes, was responsible. Crewe sold the house in 1785 to Oswald Mosley (d. 1789), whose trustees first leased and then sold it (in 1805) to Thomas Tarleton. His executors put it on the market in 1821 but it did not sell until 1826, when it was acquired by George Walmesley of Bolton, who is said to have bought the estate because he hoped (in vain) to find copper there. He pulled the Georgian house down and replaced it with the current castle in 1828-29.

Walmesley's architect was William Cole, a pupil of the better-known Thomas Harrison of Chester, who succeeded his mentor as County Surveyor of Cheshire in 1829. Although he did little country house work, he did build a number of churches, and right up until the end of his career in the late 1850s, his Gothic work was unarchaeological and paper thin. 
The Citadel, Hawkestone: possibly a design source for Bolesworth Castle.
Image: Alastair Rowan, 1964.
The inspiration for the design of Bolesworth may have come partly from Thomas Harrison's triangular Gothick dower house to Hawkestone Hall (Shropshire), The Citadel, with the design and building of which Cole may have been involved while in Harrison's office.

The new Bolesworth Castle is of ashlar, two-storeyed, castellated and turreted. The long west front seems symmetrical but is not. It has a raised centre with a wide canted bay and wide bays at each end, but the right one is canted while the left one is a bow. The five main reception rooms were strung out along this front, with the dining room and morning room separating a library in the centre from a circular billiard room behind the bow window and an octagonal drawing room behind the canted bay.

Bolesworth Castle: an early photograph of the house before the alterations of the 1920s. Image: Historic England/R. Dennis BB89/3576.
George Walmesley succeeded in building a house to bear comparison with the grand Gothick mansions of Cheshire like Eaton Hall and Cholmondeley Castle, but he overreached himself in doing so, and in 1836 he was obliged to sell the estate. It then changed hands rapidly until it was bought in 1857 by Robert Barbour (1797-1885), a Manchester banker, who could afford not only to maintain the house but also to expand and improve the estate. He built several model farms in the Tudor style to the designs of James Harrison (who had also been a pupil of Thomas Harrison but who was no relation to him), and then brought in Alfred Waterhouse, who designed the dower house and a lodge. Robert Barbour was followed by his son George (1841-1919), who made few changes to the house, and then by his grandson, Maj. Robert Barbour (1876-1928), who embarked on a thorough modernization of the house. The reputation of 19th century Gothic was at its lowest ebb in the 1920s, and Barbour regarded the castle as an anachronism. It is fortunate, therefore, that he selected as his architect his friend, Clough Williams-Ellis, who was both experienced in country house work and sufficiently in tune with the Picturesque spirit to ensure that the house was sympathetically modified rather than wrecked.

Bolesworth Castle: the exterior from the south-west after the changes by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1920-23. Note particularly the inserted storey in the left-hand tower and the new facade of the saloon on the south front.
Image: Alastair Rowan, 1964.
Nonethless, much of the old interior was destroyed. The (often iconoclastic) Architect's Journal, in describing the renovations rejoiced in the 'gothicky glories...[which] departed with the cartloads of dingy lath-and-plaster rubbish into which they so pathetically dissolved at the touch of the house-breaker'. The one room which survived - perhaps at Williams-Ellis' insistence, was the octagonal drawing room, which has a Gothick plaster vault with moulded ribs and doors decorated with tracery, although it lost its gothic fireplace. At the other end of the house the circular billiard room became a new servants' hall, and the room above it was divided horizontally, with an unfortunate impact on the external symmetry of the fenestration, which one hopes might one day be reversed. 

Bolesworth Castle: the interior of the library before the remodelling of the 1920s.

The most tragic loss was the central library, which had spiky canopies lining the walls (perhaps inspired ultimately by Walpole's library at Strawberry Hill) and an enormous fireplace supporting tall Gothic figures on pedestals. All this went when the room was made into a classical dining room, decorated in dark green and gold by Hammonds, the London decorators. The greatest change made to the house in the 1920s, however, was to move the main entrance from the south end to the east front, where Williams-Ellis created a new outer hall paved with black-and-white marble flags and walls painted to resemble fine-jointed sandstone. This leads through a screen of yellow scagliola columns into the former entrance hall, which he reworked as a saloon that is open at one end to a tall galleried, top-lit space, all treated in a lively and informal classical style that is typical of Williams-Ellis.

The 1920s alterations came to an abrupt end in 1928 with the death of Major Barbour in a hunting accident, and during the long ownership of his son, Richard Barbour, few changes were made. In 1985, however, the house was handed on to his adopted son, Anthony Barbour (1938-2007), who commissioned the interior designer Nina Campbell to refresh the interiors of the house.

Descent: site sold 1747 by the Joynson family to James Tilson (d. 1764), who built the first house; leased c.1763 and sold 1766 to John Crewe (1740-88); sold 1785 to Oswald Mosley (d. 1789), whose executors leased it  and then sold it in 1805 with 1300 acres to Thomas Tarleton (1753-1820), whose executors sold 1826 to George Walmesley, who rebuilt the house; sold 1836 to Thomas Crallan (d. 1856); sold to Edward Mackenzie; sold 1857 with 2,300 acres to Robert Barbour (1797-1885); to son, George Barbour (1841-1919); to son, Robert Barbour (1876-1928); to son, George Richard Barbour (1911-89); to adopted son, Anthony George Weston-Sanders (later Barbour) (1938-2007); to daughter, Nina Barbour (b. 1980).

Barbour family of Bolesworth Castle

Robert Barbour (1797-1885)
Barbour, Robert (1797-1885). Third son of Humphrey Barbour of Bankhead House, Kilbarchan (Renfrews.), linen bleacher and later wine merchant, and his wife Elizabeth, only daughter of John Freeland of Glasgow, born 20 December 1797. Educated privately and at Glasgow University, but embarked on a business career without taking a degree. In about 1814 he entered the firm of James Macfarlane of Glasgow, a general exporter, and shortly afterwards moved to Manchester to establish a branch of the firm there that specialised in cotton goods. In 1818 they formed a partnership as Macfarlane & Barbour, and when Macfarlane retired at the end of 1827, Robert took over the firm, brought his younger brother, George Freeland Barbour in as a partner, and they traded as Robert Barbour & Brother. After 1846, when George retired and moved back to Scotland, the partnership was extended beyond the family, and Robert himself retired in 1865. He became a director of the Manchester & Liverpool District Bank in 1832, and was a major shareholder. He was also first Chairman of the Manchester & Birmingham Railway. High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1866. He was a presbyterian in religion, and a member of the first synod of the English Presbyterian Church, of which he became a liberal supporter. He married 1st, 30 March 1827 at Edinburgh, Elizabeth (1807-28), daughter of Thomas Allan of Linkfield (East Lothian) and 2nd, 7 June 1836 at Barony (Lanarks), Janet Andrew (1807-96), daughter of William Fleming of Glasgow, merchant, and had issue:
(1.1) Elizabeth Barbour (1828-35), baptised at Manchester Cathedral, 29 October 1828; died in infancy and was buried at Chorlton-upon-Medlock (Lancs), 4 March 1835;
(2.1) Robert Barbour (1837-38), born 23 May and baptised at St Peter's Square Presbyterian church, Manchester, 3 September 1837; died in infancy, 6 April 1838;
(2.2) Janetta Barbour (1839-91), born 25 March and baptised at St Peter's Square Presbyterian church, Manchester, 5 May 1839; married, 4 September 1872 at Harthill (Cheshire), Sir Windham Charles James Carmichael Anstruther (1824-98), 8th & 5th bt., of Carmichael House (Lanarks), and had issue one son; died 11 September 1891;
(2.3) George Barbour (1841-1919) (q.v.);
(2.4) Robert Humphrey Barbour (b. & d. 1842), born 18 June 1842; died in infancy, 15 August 1842.
He lived at Ashburne House in Victoria Park, Manchester until he retired in 1865. He purchased Bolesworth Castle in 1857.
He died 17 January 1885, and was buried in a mausoleum at Harthill; his will was proved 14 April 1885 (estate £472,267). His first wife died in childbirth, 17 October 1828. His widow died 4 May 1896 and was buried at Harthill; will proved 27 July 1896 (estate £2,619).

George Barbour (1841-1919)
Barbour, George (1841-1919). Only son of Robert Barbour (1797-1885) and his second wife, Janet Andrew, daughter of William Fleming of Sawmill Field, Glasgow, born 13 February 1841. Educated at Harrow, Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1863; MA 1867) and Inner Temple (admitted 1862; called to bar 1865). Barrister-at-law, but did not practice. An officer in Earl of Chester's Yeomanry Cavalry (Maj.). JP (from 1870) and DL (from 1890) for Cheshire; High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1890; member of the Tarvin Board of Guardians and Tarvin Rural District Council. His obituary described him as 'a model landlord' who 'exerted his influence at all times to maintain the position of agriculture as our premier industry', and he was in particular a strong supporter of the production of traditional Cheshire cheese, in which many of his tenants specialised; he was a Vice-President of the Cheshire Agricultural Society and President of the Cheshire Dairy Farmers Association for many years. He married, 19 October 1869 at Parkgate (Cheshire), Caroline Easton (1848-1935), daughter of Robert Andrew Macfie MP of Dreghorn Castle (Midlothian), and had issue:
(1) Caroline (k/a Cara) Elizabeth Barbour (1871-1959), born 5 January 1871; married, 26 July 1899, Dr. George Freeland Barbour Simpson MD (1874-1958), second son of Prof. Sir Alexander Russell Simpson MB of Edinburgh, and had issue one son and two daughters; died 24 January 1959;
(2) Janet Mary Barbour (1872-1947), born 17 May and baptised at Harthill, 30 June 1872; ran a lodging house for young female workers in Kensington (Middx); died unmarried 7 March 1947; will proved 19 July 1947 (estate £76,021);
(3) Eleanor Barbour (1873-1952), born 3 November and baptised at Harthill, 7 December 1873; married, 28 September 1910 at Harthill, Ven. Robert Henry Walker (1860-1939), Archdeacon of Uganda 1893-1912 and vicar of Broxbourne (Herts), 1913-19, son of Rev. John Walker, rector of Bradwell (Suffk), and had issue one daughter; died 3 December 1952; will proved 17 April 1953 (estate £18,927);
(4) Robert Barbour (1876-1928) (q.v.);
(5) Margaret (k/a Daisy) Gibson Fleming Barbour (1878-1963), born 5 July and baptised at Harthill, 4 August 1878; travelled extensively and was in India, 1916-19; died unmarried in Eastbourne (Sussex), 15 February 1963; will proved 14 March 1963 (estate £2,988);
(6) Alison Macfie Barbour (1881-1969), born 29 August and baptised at Harthill, 25 September 1881; married, 23 February 1909, Lt-Col. Richard Norman Harrison Verdin (1877-1956) of Garnstone House (Herefs) and Darnhall Hall (Cheshire), only son of William Henry Verdin of Darnhall Hall, and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 6 September 1969; will proved 2 February 1970 (estate £43,766);
(7) Georgina Louisa (k/a Gina) Barbour (1884-1966), born 5 December 1884 and baptised at Harthill, 11 January 1885; died unmarried, 8 November 1966; will proved 7 December 1966 (estate £29,506);
(8) Isabel Easton Barbour (1888-1980), born 7 December 1888 and baptised at Harthill, 30 January 1889; lived in Kensington (Middx) and undertook voluntary work with Church Missionary Society, Voluntary Aid Detachment and Girl Guides; died unmarried aged 92 on 30 December 1980; will proved 24 February 1981 (estate £78,563).
He inherited Bolesworth Castle from his father in 1885. After his death his widow lived at Broxton Old Hall.
He died 3 November 1919 and was buried at Harthill; will proved 27 February 1920 (estate £1,311,253). His widow died 12 October 1935; her will was proved 26 November 1935 (estate £27,503).

Barbour, Robert (1876-1928). Only son of George Barbour (1841-1919) and his wife Caroline Easton, daughter of Robert Andrew Macfie of Dreghorn Castle (Midlothian), born 8 February and baptised at Harthill, 2 April 1876. Educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1897; MA 1903). An officer in Earl of Chester's Yeomanry (Maj.). High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1925. JP and DL (from 1924) for Cheshire. He established the Bolesworth Trust Co. in 1927. He married, 28 October 1909, Ida Lavington (1889-1985), only daughter of Arthur Lavington Payne of Staffield Hall, Kirkoswald, and had issue:
(1) (George) Richard Barbour (1911-89) (q.v.);
(2) David Charles Barbour (1912-88), born 1 October 1912; educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge (MA 1934); an officer in the army from 1934 (2nd Lt., 1934; Lt., 1936; Capt., 1941; Lt-Col., 1954; Col., 1958; retired as Brig. 1960), who served in Second World War (wounded; mentioned in despatches) and commanded Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry, 1950-53 and 17th/21st Lancers, 1953-56; awarded OBE, 1957; an Officer of the Order of St John from 1972 (Commander, 1978); DL for Berkshire from 1972; married, 21 December 1940, Antoinette Mary Daphne (1913-61), younger daughter of Brig-Gen. Francis George Alston of Sandacre, Sandling (Kent), and had issue one son and two daughters; lived at Shortheath House, Sulhamstead (Berks); died 3 September 1988 and was buried at Sulhamstead Abbots (Berks);
(3) Elizabeth Langley Barbour (1915-94), born 6 January 1915; married 1st, 22 April 1938, Capt. Joseph Gurney Fowell Buxton (1913-43), third son of Henry Fowell Buxton of Easneye, Ware (Herts) and had issue two sons and one daughter; married 2nd, 9 April 1946, Alexander Ludovic Grant (1901-86), son of John Peter Grant of Rothiemurchus, and had further issue two daughters; died 27 August 1994; will proved 9 November 1994 (estate £210,402);
(4) Rosamund Lavington Barbour (1918-2015), born 17 January 1918; married, 1 December 1945 in Chester Cathedral (div. 1971), Robert Charles Michael Vaughan Wynn DSC JP (1917-98), 7th Baron Newborough (who m2, 1971, Jennifer Caroline Acland (b. 1930), youngest daughter of Capt. Cecil C.A. Allen), and had issue one son and two daughters; died 17 February 2015; will proved 14 August 2015;
(5) Robert James Barbour (1920-44), born 7 November 1920; educated at Harrow; an officer in the Welsh Guards (2nd Lt., 1941; mentioned in despatches); killed in action near Monte Cassino in Italy, 11 February 1944, and buried in Cassino War Cemetery, Lazio (Italy); will proved 19 December 1944 (estate £32,871).
He inherited Bolesworth Castle from his father in 1919. His widow and her second husband moved to Barford St John (Oxon) in 1945.
He died following a riding accident on the estate, 3 September 1928; his will was proved 22 October 1928 (estate £1,162,543). His widow married 2nd, 10 November 1932 at Bickerton (Cheshire), Capt. William Hamilton Carter MC (1896-1977), the land agent at Bolesworth; she died aged 96 on 27 April 1985; her will was proved 19 July 1985 (estate £518,359).

Barbour (George) Richard (1911-89). Eldest son of Robert Barbour (1876-1928) and his wife Ida Lavington, only daughter of Arthur Lavington Payne of Staffield Hall, Kirkoswald, born 3 February 1911. Educated at Stowe. An officer in the Cheshire Yeomanry from 1930; ADC to 5th Baron Huntingfield as Governor of Victoria, 1934-36; served in Second World War in the Middle East, 1940-45; member of Cheshire War Agricultural Executive Committee and its successor body, 1946-50. Director (and later Chairman) of the Cheshire Observer newspaper. He was joint master of the Cheshire Hunt, 1938-40. His marriage while he was away during the Second World War caused a breach in relations with his mother and other members of his family, and remarkably this pattern was repeated when his own daughters married. In 1955 he bought out the interests of other members of the family in the Bolesworth Trust Company, put the estate in a settled trust, and established the Bolesworth Estate Co. Ltd. to operate the estate. He married, 30 December 1944, Eva Elizabeth (k/a Lulu) (1913-83), elder daughter of Najem Houry of Limassol (Cyprus), a Lebanese national of Armenian extraction, and formerly wife of Henry Charles Weston-Sanders, and had issue:
(1) Adele Janet Barbour (b. 1946) of Coomb Dale Lodge, Harthill, born 13 April 1946; married, 13 August 1974 at St Paul, Knightsbridge (London), George Howard Joseph Nicholson (b. 1936), and had issue two sons;
(2) Christina Maree Barbour (b. 1947), born 3 November 1947; educated at The Queen's School, Chester and Royal Academy of Music (LRAM); married 1st, 6 January 1973 at St John, Chester, Peter Henry Shelley Barker (1940-91) of Borras House, Wrexham (Denbighs.), stockbroker, and had issue three sons; married 2nd, 30 September 1995, Tom Bartlam, travel agent.
He also adopted his stepson:
(A1) Anthony George Weston-Sanders (later Barbour) (1938-2007) (q.v.).
He succeeded his father at Bolesworth Castle in 1928 and came of age in 1932. 
He died 25 October 1989; his will was proved 27 November 1989 (estate £2,998,336). His wife died 20 November 1983; her will was proved 21 June 1984 (estate £351,872).

Weston-Sanders (later Barbour), Anthony George (1938-2007). Only son of Henry Charles Weston-Sanders and his wife Eva Elizabeth (k/a Lulu), elder daughter of Najem Houry of Limassol (Cyprus), born 19 August 1938 on Cyprus. After his mother married (George) Richard Barbour in 1944, he took the name Barbour and was formally adopted by his stepfather. Educated at Stowe, Grays Inn (called to bar 1959) and New College, Oxford (matriculated 1959 but did not take a degree). He was a Conservative in politics, and stood unsuccessfully for Parliament in the Crewe constituency in 1964 and 1966. A director of Bolesworth Estate Co. Ltd from 1960; chairman of Cheshire branch of Country Landowners Assoc., 1986-87 and president, 1999-2007; High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1987-88; Trustee of Historic Cheshire Churches Preservation Trust, the Willoughbridge Garden Trust, and the British Sporting Art Trust. He was awarded the Royal Agricultural Society Gold Medal for Landowners, 1998. He married, 12 November 1976, Diana Caroline (b. 1946), daughter of David Blackwell of Combe (Oxon), and had issue:
(1) Nina Caroline Barbour (b. 1980) (q.v.);
(2) Cleo Diana Barbour (b. 1986), born 10 January 1986; educated at Cordwainers College, London; established and ran Cleo B footwear company, 2009-16; now lives in Brighton (Sussex) working as an artist and designer of fashion accessories.
He succeeded his stepfather as chairman of the Bolesworth Estate Co. Ltd. in 1989 and made strenuous efforts to develop and diversify the estate. He repaired and redecorated the castle in 1985-87 and occupied it from 1987. After his death, his widow took over as chairman of the estate company for a few years, before handing the estate over to her elder daughter in 2013.
He died at Bolesworth Castle, 9 October 2007; his will was proved 25 January 2008. His widow is now living.

Barbour, Nina Caroline (b. 1980). Elder daughter of Anthony George Weston-Sanders (later Barbour) (1938-2007) and his wife Diana Caroline, daughter of David Blackwell of Combe (Oxon), born 14 April 1980. Educated at Wycombe Abbey School and Cambridge University (BA 2002; MA 2006). She took over full responsibility for the management of the estate in 2013 and has led the development of new estate initiatives including the Bolesworth International Horse Show, CarFest North and Harthill Stud. She is unmarried but has issue:
    (1) William Anthony Barbour (b. 2020), born 8 September 2020.
She succeeded her mother as chairman of the estate company in 2013.
Now living.


Burke's Landed Gentry: the principality of Wales and the north-west, 2005, p. 489; J. Brayley & J. Britton, The beauties of England & Wales, vol. 2, 1801, pp. 240-41; R.D. MacKenzie, Kilbarchan: a parish history, 1902; P. de Figueiredo & J. Treuherz, Cheshire country houses, 1987, pp. 35-38; T. Mowl & M. Mako, The historic gardens of England: Cheshire, 2008, pp. 117-19; C. Hartwell, M. Hyde, E. Hubbard & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Cheshire, 2nd edn., 2011, pp. 162-64; W. Bawn & D. Barbour, Bolesworth and the Barbours, 2017.

Location of archives

The family and estate papers remain in the possession of the family. Some papers relating to the Georgian house are to be found in a solicitor's collection at Cheshire Archives and Local Studies [DBC 3109].

Coat of arms

Argent, on a saltire gules, gutté d'eau between two garbs in pale and as many escallops in fesse, vert an escallop of the first.

Can you help?

  • Can anyone provide any other illustrations of Bolesworth Castle before it was rebuilt in the 1820s? I would be particularly interested in any drawings or engravings earlier than the view of 1788 above.
  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide photographs or portraits of people whose names appear in bold above, and who are not already illustrated.
  • As always, any additions or corrections to the account given above will be gratefully received and incorporated.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 28 February 2019 and updated 4 October 2020. I am most grateful to Wendy Bawn for additional information and corrections, and to Nina Barbour for permission to reproduce the drawing of 1821.

Thursday 21 February 2019

(365) Barber of Lamb Close House, baronets

Barber of Lambs Green House
In 1705, John Barber (1661-1714) from Arnold (Notts) took a lease on Castle Farm at Greasley near Eastwood (Notts) from the Earls of Essex. His interest was probably chiefly in the mineral rights, which he leased alongside the land, for in 1708 he was also leasing a coal delph from the earl at Selston (Notts) and was clearly a colliery owner. Greasley Castle Farm was, however, home to members of the family for much of the 18th century. John's early death left his young family as orphans. His eldest son, Francis Barber (1696-1782), had just turned eighteen and inherited and further developed his father's business enterprises.  He married in 1731 and in 1753 he became the first member of the family to lease Lamb Close House (then just a small farmhouse), although it is far from clear that the Barbers maintained this lease throughout the 18th century. Francis had four sons, the eldest of whom, John Barber (1734-93) became a colliery owner in Derbyshire until he went bankrupt in about 1784. He was also an inventor, with a string of innovative patents to his credit, including the first practical prototype of a gas turbine engine. The coal mining operations in Nottinghamshire seem to have passed to Francis' youngest son, Thomas Barber (1738-1818), who lived first at Bilborough (Notts) and later in Derby. In 1787 he went into partnership with Thomas Walker of Bilborough to found the firm of Barber, Walker & Co., which remained one of the most important colliery companies in the east Midlands coalfield down to the nationalisation of the industry in 1947.

Thomas Barber's wife died young in 1778, leaving him with a family of one son and three daughters. The only son, Thomas Francis Philip Hutchinson Barber (1778-1857) may have been less interested in the colliery business than his predecessors and successors, for although he was a director of the firm he did not become its chairman, a role which was taken by his brother-in-law, Richard Cheslyn (1771-1843) and later by his son, Thomas Barber (1805-74). By about 1820 T.F.P.H. Barber was the tenant of Lamb Close House, although it is not clear whether it had remained in the family continuously since his grandfather first leased it in 1753. What is clear, however, is that about the time his wife died in 1844 he gave up the lease and he seems to have moved to Germany, where he died in Wurzburg in 1857.  Lamb Close House reverted to Lord Melbourne, who is recorded as staying in the house while inspecting his Nottinghamshire estates in 1846. He evidently new furnished the house throughout after taking it in hand, but after his death in 1848 his executors sold all the new furnishings and re-let the house to Thomas Barber (1805-74). Either he or his son, Thomas Barber (1843-93), was responsible for extending the house into the rambling building that exists today, apparently in a series of campaigns. The last phase of work may not have taken place until 1904, by which time it was in the hands of Maj. Thomas Philip Barber (1876-1961), who finally bought the freehold (with some 800 acres) in 1915.

Major T.P. Barber, who took control of Barber, Walker & Co. in 1896, played an active role in modernising the firm, improving conditions for employees, and supporting the development of local facilities, so that Eastwood came increasingly to 'exhibit the hallmarks of what might be called a ‘company town'’. He combined his chairmanship with a long involvement with both the yeomanry and the County Council (of which he was a member continuously for 63 years). He saw active service in both the Boer War and the First World War, in which he was wounded three times and awarded the DSO. At the end of his life he became one of the last men to be awarded an hereditary baronetcy before the practice of awarding hereditary honours was suspended in 1964. His eldest son, Thomas Cecil Barber (1903-30), who qualified as a mining engineer and was destined to take over the company from his father, was killed in a motoring accident soon after his marriage, so the baronetcy passed in 1961 to his younger son, Sir William Francis Barber (1905-95), 2nd bt. The nationalisation of the coal industry in 1947 and its gradual closure since the 1980s have finally separated the family from their long mining heritage. When Sir William died, Lamb Close House passed to his widow, Jean Marie (b. 1920), Lady Barber, but she lives chiefly in Australia; his son and successor, Sir David Barber (b. 1937) has made his home in Berkshire. Lamb Close House seems now to be occupied by Lady Barber's son by her first marriage.

Two other things are notable about this family. The first is that the novelist, D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930) was the son and grandson of Barber Walker company employees and grew up in a company house in Eastwood. Lamb Close House appears under different names in several of his novels, and so does its owner, Major T.P. Barber, with whom the novelist appears to have had a distant and somewhat antagonist acquaintance. Ironically, the former Barber Walker company offices in Mansfield Road (now Durban House) were briefly used as a Lawrence heritage centre (closed in 2016). What strikes me most about this family, however, is how many times it has been struck by tragedy. From the suicide of Anne Cheslyn (née Barber) in 1820, to the accidental deaths of two of Thomas Barber's children in 1890 and 1892, to the deaths in motor accidents of both Major T.P. Barber's eldest son and his widow, the family has been remarkably unfortunate.

Lamb Close House, Eastwood, Nottinghamshire

Lamb Close House, Eastwood: a photograph of c.1900 showing it before later additions to both the north and south. The three bays on the left may represent the earliest part of the building.

A rambling and irregular two storey house which evidently has a very complex building history. It is said to have begun as an early 18th century farmhouse which was acquired by the Lamb family of Melbourne Hall (Derbys) as a shooting box and let from 1753 to the Barbers. They remained the tenants, albeit with one certain short break in the 1840s and possibly with a longer one around 1800, until 1915, when they bought the freehold. The earliest photograph known of the house, showing the property before the most recent additions, suggests that the core of the present building may have been a two storey three-bay house which now forms bays two to four of the eight-bay entrance front. This could well be early 19th century rather than earlier; the big hipped roof with wide oversailing eaves is likely to be rather later, and the bay windows (one square and one canted) on the entrance front are apparently later 19th century. The five-bay south front seems to be late 19th century, though it looks rather earlier, and beyond this there is an iron-framed conservatory of the same date. At the back of the house is a ten-bay west-facing service range of the mid 19th century. There are drawings for proposed alterations and additions by Royle & Elder of Nottingham in 1904 in the Nottinghamshire Archives. The building history of the house would merit further investigation. 

The house is said to feature under different names in several of the novels of D.H. Lawrence, who was born in Eastwood, and may be identifiable with 'Wragby Hall' in Lady Chatterley's Lover, which Lawrence described as "a long low old house in brown stone, begun about the middle of the 18th century, and added on to, till it was a warren of a place without much distinction".

Descent: sold to Sir Matthew Lamb (1705-68), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Peniston Lamb (1745-1828), 2nd bt. and 1st Viscount Melbourne; to son, William Lamb (1779-1848), 2nd Viscount Melbourne; to brother, Frederick James Lamb (1782-1853), 3rd Viscount Melbourne; to sister Emily (1787-1869), widow of 5th Earl Cowper and wife of Henry John Temple (1784-1865), 3rd Viscount Palmerston; to great-nephew, Francis Thomas de Grey Cowper (1834-1905), 7th Earl Cowper; to widow, whose executors sold 1915 to Sir Thomas Philip Barber (1876-1961), 1st bt.; to son, Sir William Francis Barber (1905-95), 2nd bt.; to widow, Jean, Lady Barber (fl. 2003); to son, Sir Thomas David Barber (b. 1937), 3rd bt. The house was let to the Barber family from 1753 and possibly after a break c.1820-44 and again from c.1849 onwards until they bought the freehold. 

Barber family of Lamb Close House, baronets

Francis Barber (1696-1782)
Barber, Francis (1696-1782). Eldest son of John Barber (1661-1714) of Arnold (Notts) and his wife Sarah (d. 1710), born 1696. Colliery owner in partnership with his brother-in-law, John Fletcher junior (d. 1766), and farmer. As a mine owner he gained the reputation of being an aggressive competitor, and in 1740 was accused of deliberately drowning competitors workings. He married, 13 October 1731 at Greasley, Elizabeth (c.1710-87), daughter of John Fletcher of Stainsby House, Smalley (Derbys), coalmaster, and had issue:
(1) Sarah Barber (1732-69), baptised at Greasley, 15 June 1732; married, 18 September 1760 at Greasley, William Raynor (d. 1784), and had issue three sons; died 11 April 1769 and was buried at Greasley;
(2) Elizabeth Barber (1733-45), baptised at Greasley, 4 November 1733; died young, 7 January 1744/5 and was buried at Greasley;
(3) John Barber (1734-93) Stainsby House (Derbys), baptised at Greasley, 22 October 1734; coal owner at Heanor and Langley (Derbys), where he inherited the estates and mining interests of John Fletcher junior in 1766; he was also an inventor, whose patents - chiefly driven by the need to find cheaper and more effective ways to drain his mine workings - related to smelting, improvements in steam engines, and the first model of a gas turbine (1791); he became bankrupt in 1780 and was obliged to sell most of his property and estates; he announced that he could clear his debts in 1790 but still owed £5,000 at his death; he lived latterly at Attleborough House (Warks); he married, April 1766, Martha (1735-1814), eldest daughter of George Goodwin of Monyash; died 17 June 1793 and was buried at Monyash, where he is commemorated a monument erected by his widow;
(4) Francis Barber (1735-95), baptised at Greasley, 21 December 1735; probably died unmarried; buried at Greasley, 22 January 1795;
(5) Robert Barber (1737-1820), baptised 2 February 1736/7; in partnership with his brother Thomas as a worsted spinner in Derby by 1779, and took out several textile-weaving patents, the last of which, dated 1805, was widely infringed and led to litigation which caused his bankruptcy in 1809; died 3 August 1820 and was buried at Worksop Priory (Notts);
(6) Thomas Barber (1738-1818) (q.v.);
(7) Mary Barber (1739-40), baptised at Greasley, 2 September 1739; died in infancy, 14 January 1739/40 and was buried at Greasley;
(8) Mary Barber (b. 1741), baptised at Greasley, 11 February 1740/1; married, 12 January 1764 at Greasley, John Bennett;
(9) Anne Barber (1743-86?), baptised at Greasley, 8 October 1743; married, 24 January 1769 at Greasley, William Bilbie of Mansfield (Notts), and had issue; possibly the woman of this name buried at Sutton-cum-Lound (Notts), 24 August 1786.
He leased Lamb Close from the Lamb family in 1753.
He was buried at Bilborough, 18 June 1782; his will was proved 9 July 1782. His widow died in 1787.

Thomas Barber (1738-1818)
Barber, Thomas (1738-1818). Youngest son of Francis Barber (1696-1782) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Fletcher, born at Greasley Castle Farm (Notts) and baptised at Greasley, 11 June 1738. He was in partnership with his brother Robert as a worsted spinner in Derby by 1779, but was probably a sleeping partner, since he was principally a colliery owner. He founded Barber, Walker & Co. with Thomas Walker of Bilborough (Notts) in 1787. He married, 12 September 1765 at Gt. Wilne (Derbys), Sophia (1737-78), daughter of Philip Hutchinson, and had issue:
(1) Ruth Eliza Barber (1766-1841), born 1 August and baptised at Bilborough (Notts), 2 August 1766; married, 15 September 1803 at Diseworth (Leics), John Bourne (1772-1841) of Eastwood (Notts), and had issue one son and one daughter; died 11 March 1841;
(2) Sophia Barber (1768-70), baptised at Bilborough, 29 May 1768; died in infancy and was buried at Greasley, 17 January 1770; 
(3) Anne Barber (1769-1823), baptised at Bilborough, 6 September 1769; married, 15 January 1794 at St Werburgh, Derby, Richard Cheslyn (1771-1843) of Langley Priory (Leics), later chairman of Barber Walker & Co., colliery proprietors, and had issue; committed suicide by drowning herself in a fishpond at Langley Priory, 10 August 1823;
(4) John Barber (1772-73), baptised at Bilborough, 19 November 1772; died in infancy and was buried at Bilborough, 10 January 1773;
(5) Sophia Barber (1774-1860), baptised at Bilborough, 23 October 1774; married, 18 December 1797 at St Werburgh, Derby, Hugh Campbell (1772-1824), and had issue four sons and three daughters; died at Nottingham, 20 January 1860; will proved 14 February 1860 (effects under £200);
(4) Thomas Francis Philip Hutchinson Barber (1778-1857) (q.v.).
He lived at Bilborough and later in Friar Gate, Derby.
He died in Derby, 28 June 1818. His wife was buried at Bilborough, 17 July 1778.

Barber, Thomas Francis Philip Hutchinson (1778-1857). Only son of Thomas Barber (1738-1818) and his wife Sophia, daughter of Philip Hutchinson, baptised at St Werburgh, Derby, 17 April 1778. Colliery proprietor and director of Barber, Walker & Co.; director of the Midland Counties Railway from 1834. He married, 21 June 1802 at Greasley, Hannah Jackson (c.1785-1844) and had issue:
(1) Anne Barber (1803-24), baptised at Greasley, 18 June 1803; married, 4 June 1822 at Greasley, George Robinson RN of Nottingham; buried at Mansfield, 10 March 1824;
(2) Thomas Barber (1805-74) (q.v.);
(3) Eliza Barber (1809-45), baptised at Greasley, 2 September 1809; married, 15 May 1838 at Bulwell Registry Office, Francis Read Grammar (1812-68) of Greasley Castle Farm, and had issue one daughter; died at Langton Hall, 26 January 1845, and was buried at Greasley.
He leased Lamb Close House, Eastwood from c.1820, but seems to have given up the lease about the time his wife died, and perhaps then retired and moved to Germany.
He died at Wurzburg (Germany), 3 April 1857. His wife died 2 March 1844.

Barber, Thomas (1805-74). Only son of Thomas Francis Philip Hutchinson Barber (1778-1857) and his wife Hannah Jackson, born 10 December and baptised at Greasley, 28 December 1805. Educated at Eton, Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1825; BA 1829; MA 1832) and Middle Temple (admitted 1829). Colliery proprietor; chairman of Barber Walker & Co. He married 1st, 2 March 1843 at Basford (Notts) Registry Office, Hannah Argile (1822-49), daughter of Eli Coates of Ilkeston (Derbys), and 2nd, 16 December 1852 at Trinity church, Derby, Elizabeth (1811-85), daughter of John Lewis Pasteur, and had issue:
(1.1) Thomas Barber (1843-93) (q.v.);
(1.2) George Barber (1845-1916), born Jan-Mar 1845; farmer; married, 23 July 1868 at St James Piccadilly, Westminster (Middx), Emily (1846-1922), youngest daughter of George Hickman Bond of Bagnall (Notts), but had no issue; died 21 May 1916; will proved 6 July 1916 (estate £2,914);
(1.3) Hannah Grace Argyll Barber (1846-1925), born 13 September 1846; married, Oct-Dec 1872, Duncan Macdonald Forbes MD (1837-1912), physician and surgeon to Barber Walker & Co. and medical officer of health to Eastwood Urban District Council, but had no issue; died 6 March 1925; will proved 1 September 1925 (estate £8,239);
(1.4) Robert Barber (1848-1929); educated at Uppingham School and Jesus College, Cambridge; articled clerk to Walter Browne of Nottingham, whom he succeeded in practice on being admitted a solicitor in 1874; later senior partner in Robert Barber & Sons; member of Nottinghamshire County Council; married, 18 August 1874 at Old Warden (Beds), Elizabeth Catherine (1856-1922), daughter of Rev. John Gerrard Andrews Baker, and had issue four sons and three daughters; died 11 March 1929;  will proved 17 September 1929 (estate £31,968);
(2.1) (John) Lewis Pasteur Barber (1853-1906), born 19 November 1853; JP for Derbyshire (chairman of Swadlincote petty sessions); alderman of Derbyshire County Council; chairman of Burton-on-Trent Board of Guardians; noted supporter of religious and philanthropic causes; married 1st, 22 September 1880, Helen Gertrude (1859-88), daughter of Paul Belcher of Burton-on-Trent, and had issue three sons and two daughters; married 2nd, Jul-Sep 1892, Mary Wardle and had issue four daughters; died at his home, Trent Cottage, Burton-on-Trent (Staffs), 3 December 1906; will proved 21 March 1907 (estate £18,368).
He leased Lamb Close House, Eastwood from about 1850.
He died 19 January 1874; his will was proved 21 March 1874 (effects under £160,000). His first wife died 27 September 1849. His widow died at South Bank, Stapenhill, Burton-on-Trent, 24 June 1885; her will was proved 24 August 1885 (effects £11,076).

Thomas Barber (1843-93)
Barber, Thomas (1843-93). Second son of Thomas Barber (1805-74) and his first wife, Hannah Coates, born 28 December 1843. Colliery proprietor. JP for Nottinghamshire. He was a Conservative in politics, but took no part in public affairs. He married 1st, 23 July 1868 at St James Piccadilly, Westminster (Middx), Lavinia Bertha (1844-70), third daughter of George Hickman Bond of Bagnall (Notts) and 2nd, 6 August 1873 at Ottawa (Canada), Frances Harriet Anne (c.1849-1930), daughter of William Prosperous Spragge of Sherborne Grange, Ottawa, and had issue:
(2.1) Gwendolen Barber (1874-1957), born 19 September 1874; married, 8 October 1896 at Eastwood, Rev. Ernest Clapin Wilson (1869-1951), second son of William Wilson of Bank House, Alfreton (Derbys), and had issue two sons; died 21 January 1957; will proved 8 July 1957 (estate £26,279);
(2.2) Sir (Thomas) Philip Barber (1876-1961), 1st bt. (q.v.);
(2.3) Kenneth Forbes Barber (1877-90), born 14 September 1877; accidentally shot and killed by his elder brother, 23 April 1890;
(2.4) Grace Barber (1879-1955), born 10 November 1879; educated at Cheltenham Ladies College; served in 1st British Field Hospital for Serbia in First World War; JP for Nottinghamshire (from 1934); lived at Barnby Moor House (Notts); died unmarried, 12 February 1955; will proved 2 September 1955 (estate £20,659);
(2.5) Col. William Douglas Barber (1881-1971), born 17 October 1881; educated at Eton; an officer in the army, 1901-37 (Col. 1923; retired 1937); awarded MC 1915; JP for Nottinghamshire (from 1939); married 1st, August 1914 (div. 1935), Dorothy (1888-1949), daughter of E.F. Bourke of Pretoria (South Africa), and had issue one son; married 2nd, 1937, Mary Catherine (1893-1976), daughter of William Bain of Edinburgh and widow of Charles Francis Darley of Thorne (Yorks) and Ranby Hall (Notts), but had no issue; died at Ranby Hall, 26 April 1971; will proved 22 July 1971 (estate £51,421);
(2.6) Rosamond Alice Barber (1883-1968), born 11 August 1883; married, c.1908, (James Gerald) Guy Mellor (1882-1950), manager of wallpaper factory, and had issue one son and two daughters; lived latterly at Knippoch by Oban (Argylls); died 26 January 1968; will confirmed in Scotland and sealed in London, 17 February 1969;
(2.7) Cecily Frances Barber (1886-92), born 13 April 1886; drowned (with an older boy who tried to save her) in a boating accident on Moorgreen reservoir, 12 August 1892;
(2.8) Lt-Col. Norman Elsdale Barber (1888-1951), born 22 February 1888; mining engineer and managing director of a mining supply company; served in First World War with Kings Royal Rifle Corps (Maj.) and subsequently with Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (Lt-Col.; retired 1929); lived at Bawtry (Yorks WR); died unmarried, 16 June 1951; will proved 31 October 1951 (estate £21,725).
He lived at Coker House, Eastwood and later at Lamb Close House.
He died 8 December 1893; his will was proved in 1894 (effects £157,757). His first wife died 2 February 1870. His widow died at Knippoch by Oban (Argylls), 11 May 1930 and was buried at Greasley.

Sir Philip Barber, 1st bt.
Barber, Sir (Thomas) Philip (1876-1961), 1st bt. Eldest son of Thomas Barber (1843-93) and his second wife Frances Harriet Anne, daughter of William Prosperous Spragge of Ottawa (Canada), born 6 January 1876. Accidentally shot and killed his younger brother, 1890. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1894; BA 1897). Colliery owner; chairman of Barber Walker & Co. mining company, c.1920-47; Member of the Institute of Mining Engineers by 1910. He served with the Imperial Yeomanry in Boer War, 1900-01 (mentioned in despatches) and also in First World War (thrice wounded, losing a hand; twice mentioned in despatches; DSO 1918). A member of Nottinghamshire County Council, 1898-1961 (County Alderman, 1925-61; Chairman, 1931-45); JP (from 1902) and DL (from 1918) for Nottinghamshire; High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, 1907. Hon. Col. of South Nottinghamshire Hussars Yeomanry, 1944-56. Pro-Chancellor, Nottingham University, 1949-61 (Hon. LLD, 1955). He was created a baronet, 25 July 1960. He married, 17 April 1902 at St Peter, Cranley Gardens, Kensington (Middx), Beatrice Mary (1877-1962), daughter of Lt-Col. William Ingersoll Merritt of Earl's Court, and had issue:
(1) Thomas Cecil Barber (1903-30), born 9 February 1903; educated at Eton; mining engineer; lived at Ranskill House (Notts); played rugby for Nottinghamshire; married, 28 November 1928 at St Peter, Eaton Square, London, Joyce Mary (who m2, 18 September 1933 (div. 1948), Col. John Sidney North FitzGerald (d. 1976), son of Francis FitzGerald of Wroxton (Oxon) and m3, 20 May 1948, Lt-Col. Arthur Frederick Reginald Wiggins (d. 1961)), daughter of Dr. Edward Hedley of The Cottage, Thursley (Surrey) and had issue one daughter; died following a motor accident, 10 January 1930 and was buried at Greasley; will proved 28 March 1930 (estate £4,478);
(2) Sir William Francis Barber (1905-95), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(3) Joan Barber (1907-95), born 7 May 1907; married, 25 January 1934 at Greasley, Canon Sydney John Galloway (1886-1969), vicar of Greasley, son of Rev. Edward Dale Galloway, but had no issue; died 4 January 1995; will proved 14 March 1995 (estate £2,940,281);
(4) Beatrice Naomi Barber (1911-2002), born 27 April 1911; married, 5 December 1939 at Greasley (Notts), F/Lt. Charles Robert David Stewart (1917-40), who died on active service in Norway, but had no issue; died aged 91 on 25 October 2002; will proved 21 February 2003;
(5) Honor Barber (1914-2008), born 21 May 1914; married, 8 February 1947, Cdr. Noel Hunt (1906-74); died aged 93 on 9 January 2008; will proved 3 July 2008.
He leased Lamb Close House, Eastwood until 1915, when he bought the freehold, with 800 acres from the executors of Lady Cowper.
He died 11 July and was cremated 13 July 1961; his will was proved 23 November 1961 (estate £503,040). His widow died in a car crash, 12 November 1962; her will was proved 25 February 1965 (estate £63,773).

Barber, Sir William Francis (1905-95), 2nd bt. Only surviving son of Sir (Thomas) Philip Barber (1876-1961), 1st bt., and his wife Beatrice Mary, daughter of Lt-Col. William Ingersoll Merritt of St Catherine's, Ontario (Canada), born 20 November 1905. Educated at Eton. An officer in the South Nottinghamshire Hussars Yeomanry (Maj.; Lt. Col, 1947) and was Hon. Col. of that regiment, 1961-66; he served in the Second World War and was a prisoner of war in Italy, 1942-44. High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, 1964-65. He succeeded his father as 2nd baronet, 11 July 1961. He married 1st, 28 October 1936 (div. 1978) Diana Constance (d. 1984), daughter of Lt-Col. Thomas Lloyd of Minard (Argylls.) and 2nd, Apr-Jun 1978, Jean Marie (1920-2023), widow of Dr. Harry Carew Nott of Adelaide (Australia), and had issue:
(1.1) Sir (Thomas) David Barber (b. 1937), 3rd bt. (q.v.);
(1.2) Diana Mary Barber (1939-2017), born 20 September 1939; married, 6 March 1965 (div. 1991), Nicholas Bache Barlow Davie-Thornhill (b. 1936), elder son of Humphrey Bache Christopher Davie-Thornhill of Stanton Hall, Matlock (Derbys) and had issue two sons; lived latterly at Hinderclay Hall (Norfk); died 4 December 2017; will proved 17 August 2018.
He inherited Lamb Close House, Eastwood from his father in 1961. At his death it passed to his widow.
He died 1 April 1995; his will was proved 5 July 1995 (estate £6,854,007). His first wife died 19 September 1984; her will was proved 19 November 1984 (estate £851,228). His widow is reported to have died in March 2023.

Barber, Sir (Thomas) David (b. 1937), 3rd bt. Only son of Sir William Francis Barber (1905-95), 2nd bt., and his first wife, Diana Constance, daughter of Lt-Col. Thomas Lloyd of Minard (Argylls.), born 18 November 1937. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1961; MA 1966). An officer with South Nottinghamshire Hussars Yeomanry (Lt.) and Royal Artillery (Lt., 1957-58). He succeeded his father as 3rd baronet, 1 April 1995. He married 1st, 15 May 1972 (div. 1975), Amanda Mary (who m3, Jeremy Edwards of Battersea (London)), daughter of Frank Rabone of Beacon Barn Farm, Coton, Milwich (Staffs) and widow of Maj. Michael Healing (1936-70), and 2nd, 1978, Jeannine Mary (b. 1943), daughter of Capt. Timothy John Gurney of Buntingford (Herts) and formerly wife of John Richard Boyle, and had issue:
(1.1) Thomas Edward Barber (b. 1973), born 14 March 1973; educated at Eton and St Aidan's College, Durham (BA 1994); runs a luxury travel agency; lives in Kings Lynn (Norfk); married, 25 September 2004 at West Raynham (Norfk), Davina Alice (b. 1978), daughter of Anthony Nicholas George Duckworth-Chad of Pynkney Hall (Norfk.), and has issue one son and three daughters;
(2.1) Sarah Emily Barber (b. 1981), born 19 June 1981; educated at North Foreland Lodge; Edinburgh University and Imperial College, London (MSc 2006);
(2.2) William Samuel Timothy Barber (b. 1982), born 23 September 1982; educated at Eton and Trinity College, Dublin (BA 2006).
He lived at Windrush House, Inkpen (Berks) and later near Marlborough (Wilts).
Now living. 


Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 2003, pp. 248-49;; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry on John Barber (1734-93).

Location of archives

Barber Walker & Co. Ltd., coal miners: correspondence and papers; wages book, 19th cent.-1947 [Nottinghamshire Archives, NCB5; 8218]; compensation registers, Bentley Colliery, 1907-46 [Sheffield Archives, COAL/BWC]
Records relating to Lamb Close House before c.1916 will be found among the papers of the Melbourne Hall Estate at Nottinghamshire Archives [157 DD/LM].
The main family archive is understood to remain in the possession of the family.

Coat of arms

Ermine, two chevronels between three fleurs-de-lys gules, a bordure embattled also gules.

Can you help?

  • Does anyone know more about the occupation of Lamb Close house in the late 18th and early 19th centuries? It is far from clear whether the Barbers occupied it continuously or not.
  • I would like to understand the development of the house from 18th century farmhouse to 20th century mansion more clearly. Does anyone know more about the building sequence, and has anyone examined the plans of proposed alterations to Lamb Close House in Nottinghamshire Archives (DD/LM/50/9/1-34), and if so, can they comment on the nature of the proposals and whether they were carried out?
  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide photographs or portraits of people whose names appear in bold above, and who are not already illustrated.
  • As always, any additions or corrections to the account given above will be gratefully received and incorporated.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 21 February 2019 and updated 4 October 2020, 4 April and 3 August 2023. I am grateful to Prof. Stanley Chapman and Philip Barber for additional information.

Wednesday 13 February 2019

(364) Bannerman and Campbell-Bannerman of Wyastone Leys, Hunton Court and Belmont Castle

of Belmont Castle
Bannerman of Hunton Court
The Bannermans were a farming family from Perthshire who had an eye to commercial opportunities. William Bannerman (1732-1812) diversified from farming into distilling, and his son Henry Bannerman (1753-1823) did not fail to observe the rapid growth of the cotton industry in and around Manchester.  In about 1806 he sent his son David Bannerman (1785-1829) to set up a small warehouse operation in the city on an experimental basis, and finding after a couple of years that this was profitable, he determined to move south for a radical change of career. Most of his family went with him, although his eldest son remained in Scotland to farm and his two eldest daughters, who were already married, also stayed behind. Within a month he had rented a warehouse, and established a company with the name of Henry Bannerman & Sons, although initially his only partner seems to have been David, with the younger sons, Alexander, John, Henry and Andrew joining the firm as they became old enough. The new enterprise began trading in cotton, calicoes, muslins and plain fabrics, and soon diversified into manufacturing cotton goods.

When Henry died in 1823, he was succeeded as head of the firm by David, who managed the business until he died six years later. By the late 1820s the family were sufficiently well-established in commercial circles for David to be chosen as boroughreeve (the leading municipal officer) for 1828-29. After David's death, the business was continued by his younger brothers. Bannermans was by this time prospering and in the late 1830s the company moved to a huge warehouse in York Street which was right in the centre of the Manchester cotton trade. They also had four cotton mills in the Manchester area : Brunswick Mill in Ancoats, Old Hall Mill in Dukinfield and the North End Mill and River Meadow Mill, both in Stalybridge.

Of the four remaining sons of the founder, Andrew died in 1839 and Alexander in 1846, and in 1844 David's two sons were brought into the business. Henry Bannerman junior (1798-1871) retired in 1850 and moved to Kent, where he had invested his profits in the Hunton Court estate in the hop-growing district around Maidstone and extensively remodelled the house. A few years later, the last of the brothers, John Bannerman (1795-1870) made a similar move, buying Wyastone Leys in Herefordshire and largely rebuilding it to designs of William Burn and his assistant John MacVicar Anderson.

In the middle years of the 19th century the firm was run by David's son, James Alexander Bannerman (1821-1906), with his cousin William Young (whose mother had been a Bannerman). Young's daughter Marion married one of the managers in the business, Sir Charles Wright Macara (1845-1929), 1st bt., and he became the Chairman of the firm in 1880, and redirected its production into goods such as curtains, quilts, sheets, blankets and calicoes. Macara - whose baronetcy was a reward for his remarkable charitable work with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution - remained the chairman until his death, by which time the Lancashire cotton industry was dying. The First World War had made it difficult to import the vast quantities of raw cotton that had sustained the industry, and the Government had encouraged colonial administrations to build their own mills, which subsequently competed very effectively with the Lancashire industry. In 1929 the Bank of England was sufficiently concerned about the state of the industry to set up the Lancashire Cotton Corporation to co-ordinate the rescue of the industry, and Bannermans' mills were all taken over a few years later (and subsequently acquired by Courtaulds in 1964, who closed them in 1967), although the firm continued trading, latterly as Banner Textiles, until comparatively recently.

John Bannerman (1795-1870) left Wyastone Leys to his son, James Murray Bannerman (1846-1915), who also became a director of the family firm. Although he initially seems to have lived at Wyastone, he seems not to have been fond of the house, as he rented other houses (notably Bishopswood in Gloucestershire and Llwyn Onn Hall in Denbighshire) which he occupied instead. He died during the First World War when the Lancashire cotton industry had been plunged into crisis, and his executors sold Wyastone Leys in about 1918. His eldest son, Lt-Col. John Arthur Murray Bannerman (1881-1953) became a career soldier and had no involvement with the family firm, although his elder son, Alistair John Murray Bannerman (1914-2009) worked there in the 1950s and 1960s in a more prosaic interlude between his early career as an actor and his later work as the first National Events Officer for the National Trust. Colonel Bannerman's younger brother, Ronald Bannerman (1882-1958), was however chairman of the company in succession to Sir Charles Macara.

Henry Bannerman (1798-1871), who lived at Hunton Court in Kent from 1850 onwards, left that property to his wife for life, and then to his nephew, Henry Campbell, on condition that the latter took the additional name of Bannerman, a condition with which he reluctantly complied in 1872. Henry Campbell was the son of Sir James Campbell, kt., a Glasgow merchant and Lord Provost, and his wife Janet, who was one of the daughters of the first Henry Bannerman. By the time he received his legacy he had embarked on a political career which culminated in his leadership of the Liberal Party, 1899-1908, and his appointment as Prime Minister, 1905-08.
Gennings Park: the house as painted by M.A. Rooker, 1776.
He did not gain possession of Hunton Court until his aunt died in 1894, and in the meantime he seems to have bought another house close by, Gennings Park. which he used as an occasional residence between 1872 and 1888. He had always wanted a Scottish country seat, however, and in 1885 he invested much of his capital in buying 800 acres in Perthshire and the burned-out shell of a house called Belmont Castle, which he laid out a further £20,000 in restoring. Belmont became his favoured residence, and coupled with his busy life in London and regular annual forays to Europe (he and his wife liked to spend a month or six weeks at Marienbad and then to visit Paris), this may explain why he first rented and then sold Gennings Park before he gained possession of Hunton Court.

When Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman died in April 1908, a few days after leaving office as Prime Minister and while he was still living at 10 Downing St., he left his Scottish estate to a Campbell relative who was still a minor, and his Kentish estate to his first cousin once removed, James Campbell Bannerman (1857-1934). The Scottish property was quickly sold to Sir James Caird (1837-1916), 1st bt., the Dundee jute magnate, and in 1918 was presented by the latter's widowed sister to Dundee City Council. The house became a care home in 1931 and is currently empty and rather tragically unloved. Hunton Court, by contrast, continued to be occupied by the descendants of James Campbell Bannerman until 2008, when it was sold after the death of Capt. Michael Campbell Devas (1924-2007).

Wyastone Leys, Ganarew, Herefordshire

The first house on this site on the borders of Herefordshire and Monmouthshire (and thus of England and Wales) seems to have been built c.1795 for S.O. Attley, who had a fairly small property here. It was bought before 1817 by Richard Blakemore MP, ironmaster and partner of John Partridge, who built a country house nearby (Bishopswood in Gloucestershire) to the designs of Sir Jeffrey Wyatville at the same time as Blakemore remodelled and enlarged this house in the 1820s. It is therefore tempting to suggest that Wyatville might have been Blakemore's designer too, although there is no evidence to that effect and I have not found a record of the building at this time to form the basis for a stylistic judgement.

Perhaps more important than his work on the house was Blakemore's development of the estate and the grounds. He began by diverting a highway across his land in 1817 and took advantage of the turnpiking of the Ross-Monmouth road (now A40) in 1821 which allowed him to use the old line of the public road as a new drive to the house. According to Bradney's History of Monmouthshire, the creation of the park and gardens also required the clearing away of many cottages and smallholdings. The 1st edition OS map of 1831 shows pleasure grounds with drives, and he planted a bank of woodland to screen the house from the new road; a walled garden had been constructed by 1835. In 1833 the common called Little Doward east of the house was enclosed and Blakemore was able to develop a 320-acre deer park on this land, which was enclosed by a wall after 1842, and stocked with deer from Llantrithyd in Glamorganshire, where the deer park ceased to be maintained when the house was abandoned. In 1872 it was reported that 'the wooded park of The Leys [is] a scene of varied beauty which cannot easily be surpassed' and this is broadly still true.

Wyastone Leys: entrance front. Image: Martinevans123. Some rights reserved.
 In 1861 the executors of Blakemore's son sold the house to John Bannerman (d. 1870), a Manchester cotton manufacturer. He extensively rebuilt it in 1861-62, as a rather dull rendered three-storey block. Although the house was designed under the name of William Burn, Paul Bradley has discovered that it was actually a collaboration between the ageing Burn and his nephew and successor in practice, John Macvicar Anderson, who may actually have played the leading role. Although the strapwork motifs above the first-floor windows, the pinnacled parapets, Jacobean shaped gables and ogee-topped turrets are all elements drawn from Burn's stylistic repertoire, they do not combine into an integrated design, and appear rather as restless and superficial decorations applied to an obstinately lumpen block. Previous commentators have suggested that the quoins, sash windows and Doric porch might be survivals from the earlier house, but Dr. Bradley's researches show that the porch is certainly, and the other details are probably all part of the Burn-Anderson rebuilding. The west-facing entrance front has a four-storey clock tower in the angle with a short projecting wing that separates the main block from the service range. The south side, facing the river, is livelier, and has a canted two-storey bay window. At the same time as the house was being altered two rather good lodges, a new stable block (converted into a business park in 1976), kennels, park-keeper's lodge and a 'belvedere' close to the River Wye were also built.

Wyastone Leys: the south-facing garden front, as altered by William Burn. Image: Dawnswraig. Some rights reserved.

Wyastone Leys descended to James Murray Bannerman (1846-1913), who seems to have let the house at times after 1894. His family sold it after his death and it subsequently passed through a number of hands. During the ownership of 
Brig. Robert Peel Walker (1895-1978) after the Second World War, the house fell into disrepair, and it was in a fairly poor condition when he put it up for sale. The purchaser, in 1975, was Nimbus Records Ltd, who were one of the first firms manufacturing CDs in the UK and needed a base for their operations. They and associated companies still own the house, which is now largely used for offices. A 550-seat music concert venue was built in the grounds in 1992.

Descent: built c.1795 for S.O. Attley; sold to James? Meek; sold by 1817 to Richard Blakemore MP (1774-1855); to nephew, Thomas William Booker Blakemore (d. 1858); sold 1861 to John Bannerman (1795-1870); to son, James Murray Bannerman (1846-1915); sold after his death to Walter Levett (d. 1935); to widow (d. 1938); sold to Sir Alfred Edward Hickman (1885-1947), 2nd bt.; sold 1946 to Brig. Robert Peel Walker (1895-1978); sold 1975 to Nimbus Records. The house was let in the 1890s and 1900s.

Hunton Court, Kent

Hunton Court: engraving of 1838 showing the house before its enlargement for Henry Bannerman.

The house is now an irregular classical building, apparently 18th and 19th century in date, but this conceals a far earlier core, with a medieval (perhaps 13th century) cellar and the three bay crown-post roof of an unusually large 14th or 15th century hall. An engraving of 1838 shows that the exterior had by then been clad in classical form, but preserved what was essentially the medieval plan, with a hall range and cross-wing at the left-hand end; the corresponding wing at the right-hand side, if it ever existed, had been demolished by that date. 

Hunton Court: the house in 1960. Image: Peter Reid/Historic England.

After the house was bought by Henry Bannerman in c.1847, it was enlarged and remodelled, with the area in the angle between the hall and cross-wing being filled in to give the house a rectangular plan. The features of the entrance front - the central pediment, the canted bay windows, and the balustraded parapet -  are therefore of about 1848. At the same time, Bannerman refitted the interior with delicate plasterwork and painted decorative panels depicting classical scenes, foliage and flowers. The porch is probably an even later addition, as it looks late 19th century.

Descent: Thomas Turner Alkin (d. 1846); sold after his death to Henry Bannerman (1798-1871); to widow, Mary Bannerman (d. 1894) for life and then to nephew, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1836-1908); to nephew, James Campbell Bannerman (1857-1934); to widow, Frances Louisa Campbell-Bannerman (c.1863-1938); to daughter Joan (1888-1975), wife of Geoffrey Charles Devas (1887-1971); to son, Michael Campbell Devas (1924-2007); sold 2008...

Belmont Castle (formerly Kirkhill), Meigle, Perthshire

The house incorporates some remains of a tower house called Kirkhill of Meigle built in the 15th or 16th century for the Bishops of Dunkeld, which was a plain three or four storey square tower with shotholes. This forms the north-east corner of the harled and hipped-roofed south range, but no significant early features are now visible.

Design by Robert Adam for a house for James Stuart-Mackenzie, 1766. This design was not executed, but Belmont Castle as built appears to be a reduced version of the design, perhaps adapted by a local mason. Image: Soane Museum Adam Volume 37/62.

In the mid 18th century, James Stuart-Mackenzie inherited the estate, and embarked upon an ambitious building project, erecting a “fine mansion” which he named Belmont Castle. In the process the old tower house was absorbed and probably partly demolished. The new house echoed the military origins of its predecessor by adopting the castle style developed by Robert Adam, and Adam was apparently consulted, for drawings by him dated 1766 survive in the Soane Museum for a house designed for Stuart-Mackenzie. These proposed a much larger quadrangular building than was actually built at Belmont, but there is a marked resemblance between the centre of the Adam scheme and the south front of the house as executed. It is perhaps most likely that Adam's design was given to another, more local, architect as an indication of what was wanted, rather than that Adam was personally involved any further with the project.

Belmont Castle: the new house erected by James Stewart Mackenzie, from an engraving on James Stobie's Map of Perthshire & Clackmannan, 1783. Image: National Library of Scotland.

The house as built consisted of a two storey main range with a central three-storey section flanked by circular turrets, and with less regular wings running away behind. The date of the new house is not clear: John Gifford in his account of the house refers to 'a large addition' having been made by 1752, but the date of 1766 on the Adam drawings seems more realistic for the castle-style facade. Sadly, nothing seems to be recorded of the interior or of any subsequent alterations, except that a ballroom was added by the 2nd Lord Wharncliffe in about 1850.

Belmont Castle: the house from the south-west after rebuilding in 1885.
In 1884 a fire destroyed the south and east ranges of the house, although a large part of the west range was saved from the flames. Although the house was insured, Lord Wharncliffe decided not to rebuild it, and sold the ruined shell to Henry Campbell-Bannerman in 1885. He employed James Thomson (of Baird & Thomson, Glasgow) to repair and remodel the house, and to add a sizeable embattled extension on the north, in 1885-87. These alterations removed the subtlety of the Georgian medievalising in favour of a more vigorous Baronial treatment. The centrepiece of the south front was rebuilt with a new gabled attic and candle-snuffer roofs on the circular towers; bay windows were added; the crenellated parapet was replaced with a much chunkier Victorian one, and a new Jacobean-style porch was built on the east side. The interiors are now wholly of 1885. The groin-vaulted entrance hall leads into a very large top-lit living hall, with a French-influenced fireplace. The hall in turn provides access to the principal rooms: three drawing rooms to the south, decorated in 18th century French style; a dining room to the west, with decoration in a mixture of the Jacobean and neo-classical styles; a library to the east; and a richly decorated staircase hall to the north, containing an Imperial staircase with partly-gilded cast iron balusters under a coved ceiling.

The house and estate were gifted to the city of Dundee in 1918 and were leased by the civic authorities to the Church of Scotland for use as an 'eventide home' in 1931. Significant alterations were undertaken for the church by Allan & Friskin in 1931 to adapt it for its new use. The care home closed in 2013, and since then the house has stood empty, with the City Council rumoured to be considering selling the property. 

Descent: Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh, Lord Advocate to Charles II; to daughter, Agnes, wife of James Stuart (d. 1710), later 1st earl of Bute; to son, James Stuart (d. 1722/3), 2nd Earl of Bute; to younger son, Hon. James Stuart-Mackenzie (1719-1800); to nephew, James Archibald Stuart-Wortley (later Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie) (1747–1818); to son, James Archibald Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie (later Stuart-Wortley) (1776-1845), 1st Baron Wharncliffe; to son, John Stuart-Wortley (1801-55), 2nd Baron Wharncliffe; to Edward Montagu Stuart Granville Stuart-Wortley (1827-99), 3rd Baron and later 1st Earl of Wharncliffe; sold 1885 to Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1836-1908); to niece-in-law, Alice Eliza Campbell until his great-nephew, James Hugh Campbell should attain the age of 25; sold 1913 to Sir James Caird (1837-1916), 1st bt.; to sister, Mrs Marryat, who gifted 1918 to city of Dundee. 

Bannerman family of Wyastone Leys

Bannerman, Henry (1753-1823). Only recorded son of William Bannerman (1732-1812), farmer and distiller, and his first wife, Janet Lawson, born at Tullibardine, 5 August 1753. Farmer at Tullibardine until 1808, when he followed his son David to Manchester and became a cotton goods retailer and manufacturer (Henry Bannerman & Sons) in partnership with his younger sons. He married, 21 July 1777 at St Ninian, Stirling (Stirlings), Janet Motherwell (c.1755-1830), and had issue:
(1) William Bannerman (b. 1778), born 4 May and baptised at Auchterarder (Perths.), 10 May 1778; apparently remained in Scotland as a farmer at Auchterarder;
(2) Amelia Bannerman (b. 1779), born at Auchterarder, 17 December 1779; married, 11 December 1808 at Trinity Gask (Perths), James Young, and had issue;
(3) Louisa Bannerman (1781-1844), born at Auchterarder, 28 September 1781; married, 19 August 1804 in Glasgow, Peter McLaren (1776-1817) of Glasgow, merchant, and had issue three sons and five daughters; said to have been buried at Dunblane (Perths), 19 June 1844;
(4) Marianne Bannerman (b. 1783), born at Tullibardine, 15 July 1783; married, 2 March 1811 at St Paul, Perth (Perths.), William Tindal of Perth, merchant;
(5) David Bannerman (1785-1829), born at Tullibardine, 5 June 1785; retailer and manufacturer of cotton goods at Manchester; chairman of Henry Bannerman & Sons, 1823-29; boroughreeve of Manchester, 1828-29; married, 9 June 1817 in Glasgow Mary Harrower (c.1796-1845), daughter of James Alexander, merchant, of Glasgow, and had issue three sons and three daughters (including James Alexander Bannerman, for whom see Bannerman & Campbell-Bannerman of Hunton Court below); buried at Rusholme Road Cemetery, 7 December 1829; will proved 22 January 1830;
(6) Isabella Bannerman (1787-1859), born at Tullibardine, 18 August 1787; married, 29 March 1812 at Kinnoull (Perths.), James McLaren (1775-1852), merchant in Glasgow, and had issue; died 10 December, and was buried at Pendlebury (Lancs), 16 December 1859;
(7) Elizabeth Bannerman (1789-1816), born at Tullibardine, 26 July 1789; married, 23 February 1814 at St John Deansgate, Manchester, John Fyffe (fl. 1835) (who m2, Sarah Sproule (c.1790-1818)), land agent to the Marquess of Abercorn, and had issue one son; died at Baronscourt (Tyrone), 6 April 1816 and was buried at Newtownstewart;
(8) Janet Bannerman (1791-1873), born at Tullibardine, 7 July 1791; married, 17 January 1822, Sir James Campbell (1790-1876) of Stracathro, Lord Provost of Glasgow, 1840-43, and had issue two sons and four daughters (including Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1836-1908), the future Prime Minister, for whom see Bannerman and Campbell-Bannerman of Hunton Court below); died 3 October 1873;
(9) Alexander Bannerman (1793-1846), born at Tullibardine, 18 June 1793; partner in Henry Bannerman & Sons and the Manchester Bank; lived at Didsbury (Lancs); died 15 June and was buried at Rusholme Road Cemetery, Manchester, 20 June 1846; will proved in PCY, October 1846 (effects under £50,000);
(10) John Bannerman (1795-1870) (q.v.);
(11) Henry Bannerman (1798-1871) [for whom see below, Bannerman & Campbell-Bannerman of Hunton Court and Belmont Castle]
(12) Andrew Bannerman (1800-39), born at Tullibardine, 21 July 1800; partner in Henry Bannerman & Sons; lived at Ramsdell House, Didsbury (Lancs); died 22 April 1839 and was buried with his parents at Rusholme Road Cemetery, Manchester; will proved 9 November 1839.
He lived in Tullibardine to c.1808, when he moved to Manchester.
He died of dropsy, 6 June 1823 and was buried at Rusholme Road Cemetery, Manchester. His widow died 24 March 1830 and was also buried at Rusholme Road Cemetery.

Bannerman, John (1795-1870). Only son of Henry Bannerman (c.1753-1825) and his wife Janet Motherwell, born at Tullibardine (Perths), 3 July 1795, and baptised at Blackford (Perths). Cotton manufacturer (Henry Bannerman & Sons) in Manchester; he expanded the business to the point where his obituarist described him as 'a merchant prince'. He married, 8 October 1829 at Manchester Collegiate Church (Lancs), Margaret (d. 1875), eldest daughter of James Burt of Chorlton House, Manchester, and had issue:
(1) Margaret Bannerman (1831-1901), born 15 October and baptised at Scotch Presbyterian Church, St Peter's Square, Manchester, 8 November 1831; married, 12 September 1850 at Salford Presbyteriam Church, Robert Smith of Kilcott, Godalming (Surrey) and had issue; died 28 February 1901; will proved 9 May 1901 (estate £7,236);
(2) Henry William Bannerman (1832-38), born 12 March and baptised at at Scotch Presbyterian Church, St Peter's Square, Manchester, 13 May 1832; died young, 24 January 1838;
(3) Jane Bannerman (1834-1915), born 23 December 1834 and baptised at Scotch Presbyterian Church, St Peter's Square, Manchester, 11 February 1835; died unmarried at 'Cloudlands', Torquay (Devon), 10 May 1915; will proved 21 August 1915 (estate £9,810);
(4) Marian Bannerman (1839-1931), born 3 June and baptised at Scotch Presbyterian Church, St. Peter's Square, Manchester, 3 July 1839; died unmarried aged 91 at Hove (Sussex), 16 January 1931; will proved 23 February 1931 (estate £2,280);
(5) Isabella Bannerman (c.1842-89); married, 9 June 1870 at Ganarew, Rev. Robert William Everett (1842-85), rector of Micheltroy (Monmouth); died in Florence (Italy), 22 November 1889; will proved 28 May 1890 (effects £16,614);
(6) Louisa Bannerman (1844-1925), born 28 February and baptised at Scotch Presbyterian Church, St Peter's Square, Manchester, 6 April 1844; lived at Plas Gwynant, Beddgelert (Caernarvons.); died unmarried, 20 September 1925; will proved 23 January 1926 (estate £21,589);
(7) James Murray Bannerman (1846-1915) (q.v.);
(87) Grace Marshall Bannerman (1849-1928), born Jul-Sep 1849; married, 7 September 1870 at Ganarew, John Hertslet Wainwright (1849-1927) of Belmont, Lee, Kent, barrister-at-law, and had issue three children; died 24 May 1928; will proved 28 June 1928 (estate £11,624).
He lived at Swinton Lodge (Lancs) and Wootton Lodge (Staffs) before purchasing Wyastone Leys (Herefs) in 1861 and remodelling the house in 1861-62.
He died 24 February 1870; his will was proved 22 August 1870 (effects under £120,000). His widow died 27 November 1875; her will was proved 16 February 1876 (effects under £7,000).

Bannerman, James Murray (1846-1915). Only son of John Bannerman (1795-1870) and his wife Margaret, eldest daughter of James Burt of Chorlton House, Manchester, born 30 September 1846. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1865; BA 1869) and Inner Temple (admitted 1869; called 1874). A director of Henry Bannerman & Sons of Altrincham (Lancs). An officer in the Royal Monmouthshire Engineer Militia (Capt); JP and DL for Monmouthshire and Herefordshire; High Sheriff of Monmouthshire, 1879. He married, 4 November 1880 at St Paul, Knightsbridge (Middx), Louisa Mary (1846-1935), daughter of Robert Wheeley of The Pentre, Abergavenny (Monmouths.), and had issue:
(1) John Arthur Murray Bannerman (1881-1953) (q.v.);
(2) Ronald Henry Wheeley Bannerman (1882-1958), born 13 December 1882; educated at Charterhouse School; Chairman of Henry Bannerman & Sons Ltd.; lived at Newton House, Alderley Edge and later at Archery House, Knutsford (both Cheshire); died unmarried, 14 December 1958; will proved 9 April 1959 (estate £100,692);
(3) Marion Grace (k/a May) Bannerman (1884-1972), born 3 April 1884; died unmarried at Hove (Sussex), 21 May 1972; will proved 10 August 1972 (estate £114,335);
(4) Robert Walter Malcolm Bannerman (1887-1941); fruit grower at Toddington (Glos); married, 15 July 1924 (sep. by 1935) at Ross-on-Wye (Herefs), Honor Delicia (1897-1997), youngest daughter of F. J. Constable Curtis of the Manor House, Ganarew; died at Upton-on-Severn (Worcs), 11 November 1941; will proved 27 February 1942 (estate £342);
(5) Dorothy Lilian Bannerman (1889-1978), born 5 January 1889; died unmarried at Hove, 28 October 1977; will proved 20 January 1978 (estate £119,113).
He inherited Wyastone Leys (Herefs) from his father in 1870, but seems to have preferred to live elsewhere: in 1895 he was renting Bishopswood, Ruardean (Glos) and towards the end of his life he leased Llwyn Onn Hall, Wrexham (Flints.). His executors relinquished the lease of Llwyn Onn and sold Wyastone Leys after his death.
He died 13 February 1915; administration of his goods (with will annexed) was granted 19 May 1915 (estate £61,677). His widow died at Hove (Sussex), 9 July 1935; her will was proved 21 October 1935 (estate 3,228).

Bannerman, John Arthur Murray (1881-1953). Eldest son of James Murray Bannerman (1846-1915) and his wife Louisa Mary, daughter of Robert Wheeley of The Pentre (Monmouths.), born 14 September 1881. An officer in Royal Warwickshire Regiment (2nd Lt., 1900; Lt., 1902; Capt., 1912; Maj., 1916; Lt-Col., 1926), he served in the First World War (wounded, 1916; awarded DSO, 1917); Assistant Quartermaster General, 1917. He married, 12 November 1913 at St Paul, Knightsbridge (Middx), Aline Mabel de Laune (1884-1950), daughter of David Ryrie of New South Wales (Australia), and had issue:
(1) Alastair John Murray Bannerman (1914-2009), born at Cranford Hall (Northants), 15 September 1914; educated at Wellington College and London Theatre Studio, 1935; actor in films, TV and classical theatre, 1939, 1947-49; served in Second World War with Royal Warwickshire Regiment (Capt.; prisoner of war, 1944-45); joined the family clothing business, Henry Bannerman & Sons (later Banner Textiles) in Altrincham in the 1950s (retired 1969); and then worked for the National Trust as National Events Organizer, 1973-84; married, Apr-Jun 1940, Elisabeth Mary (1915-2003), actress and dancer, only daughter of Rev. Francis William Gresley Douglas, of Salwarpe, Worcestershire, and had issue three sons; died aged 94, 6 February 2009; will proved 11 June 2009;
(2) David de Laune Bannerman (1917-2002), born 16 October 1917; designer; served in Royal Engineers in Second World War (Capt.); married, 29 April 1946 at St Paul, Knightsbridge (Middx), his first cousin, Sonia Isobel H. De Laune (1920-2002), daughter of Col. Bruce Ryrie of Nanyuki (Kenya), but had no issue; died 15 June 2002; will proved 2 December 2002.
He lived near Newbury (Berks).
He died in Newbury (Berks), 10 December 1953; will proved 12 March 1954 (estate £21,117). His wife died 12 November 1950; administration of her goods was granted 28 December 1950 (estate £1,047).

Bannerman and Campbell-Bannerman of Hunton Court and Belmont Castle

Bannerman, Henry (1798-1871). son of Henry Bannerman (1753-1823) and his wife Janet Motherwell, born at Tullibardine, 13 June 1798. Partner in Henry Bannerman & Sons until 1850, when he retired and moved to Kent to grow hops. High Sheriff of Kent, 1862-63. He married, 9 January 1834 in Glasgow, Mary (c.1807-94), daughter of John Wyld of Glasgow, banker, but had no issue.
He purchased Hunton Court (Kent) in about 1847 and remodelled it. At his death, he bequeathed it to his widow for life, with remainder to his nephew, Sir Henry Campbell MP, on condition that he took the additional name Bannerman.
He died 13 September and was buried at Hunton, 19 September 1871; will proved 14 December 1871 (effects under £120,000). His widow died 6 October 1894; her will was proved 14 August 1894 (effects £7,284).

Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1836-1908)
Campbell (later Campbell-Bannerman), Sir Henry (1836-1908). Younger son of Sir James Campbell (1796-1876), kt., and his wife Janet, daughter of Henry Bannerman (1753-1823) [for whom see above, under Bannerman of Wyastone Leys], born in Glasgow, 7 September 1836. Educated at Glasgow High School, and then after travelling in Europe for almost a year, at Glasgow University, 1851-53, and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1854; BA 1858; MA 1861; LLD). He joined his father's family drapery and warehousing business, becoming a director in 1860. He reluctantly took the additional name Bannerman in 1872 as a condition of receiving an inheritance from his uncle, Henry Bannerman, but hated his double-barrelled name and preferred to be called 'CB'. Although brought up in a Conservative family he was converted while at Cambridge to radical Liberal views, and he became Liberal MP for Stirling Boroughs, 1868-1908. His performance as a parliamentarian did not initially impress the House, but in Government he possessed a quiet authority and an efficiency in the dispatch of business which commended him to both his political masters and his civil servants. He was Financial Secretary to the War Office, 1871-79, 1880-82 and Secretary to the Admiralty, 1882-84, before being promoted to what was arguably the most challenging job in Government, as Chief Secretary for Ireland, 1884-85. Although he only held the appointment for seven months before the Liberal government fell, his handling of this sensitive and difficult role was the making of his career and transformed his reputation at Westminster. He supported Gladstone on Home Rule for Ireland, putting 'an end to agitation' above other political considerations. He was rewarded by being made a Cabinet minister as Secretary of State for War, 1886, 1892-95. In this role he oversaw a series of important military reforms, to achieve which he had to persuade the Queen's elderly cousin, the Duke of Cambridge, to resign as commander-in-chief. This he succeeded in doing in 1895, but at this precise moment the opposition censured him for providing insufficient small-arms ammunition and cordite for the Army, and he was forced to resign. Lord Rosebery chose to resign as Prime Minister rather than carry on in office without Campbell-Bannerman as a colleague. In the 1890s he tried twice to become Speaker of the House of Commons, believing this role would give him more time at home with his ailing wife than a ministerial post, but he could not be spared, and in 1899 he was elected Leader of the party. His first years as leader, against the background of the Conservative government's inept management of the Boer War and of tariff reform, were dominated by battles for Liberal party unity, and he eventually achieved a fragile consensus in 1904-05. He became Prime Minister in December 1905 when Balfour resigned, and immediately held a general election in which he secured a sweeping victory. A large Parliamentary majority gave Campbell-Bannerman the platform for a radical agenda, but although a number of important reform measures were successfully passed, some of his key initiatives - e.g. on Home Rule for Ireland, education, and temperance - were blocked by the House of Lords, laying the ground for his successor's emasculation of the upper house through the Parliament Act of 1911. Under the stresses of office and of his wife's illness and eventual death, his own health was failing. He suffered a series of minor heart attacks and then in November 1907 a more serious one. He struggled on for some months before being succeeded by Asquith on 4 April 1908. He was still resident in 10 Downing St. when he died two and a half weeks' later. He was knighted (GCB) in 1895 as part of Lord Rosebery's resignation honours list, but did not survive long enough to receive the peerage which was the traditional reward of retiring senior ministers. His death was marked not only by the respect of his opponent and the affection of his supporters, but by the intense reverence and sympathy of the general public; it is said that as his coffin was transported north for burial at Meigle, groups of railwaymen stood bare-headed at the railway side, paying silent tribute to a good man. He was a JP and DL for Kent and JP for Lanarkshire. He had an exceptionally close relationship with his wife, whom he married, 13 September 1860 at All Souls, Langham Place, London, (Sarah) Charlotte (1832-1906), daughter of General Sir Charles Bruce KCB, but they had no issue.
He lived chiefly in London, and travelled every year on the continent, staying at Marienbad for four to six weeks and visiting Paris. He inherited Hunton Court from his maternal uncle in 1871, subject to the life interest of the latter's widow. He seems to have bought Gennings Park nearby in about 1872 and in 1885 bought Belmont Castle, Meigle (Perthshire) with about 800 acres for £52,000 and restored it. He leased Gennings Park from 1888 and sold it to his tenant in 1890. He gained possession of Hunton Court on the death of his aunt in 1894.
He died in 10 Downing St., 22 April 1908 and was buried with his wife at Meigle, 28 April 1908; his will was proved 2 November 1908 (estate £54,908, excluding Scottish real estate). His wife died at Marienbad (Germany), 30 August 1906 and was buried at Meigle; administration of her goods was granted to her husband, 28 November 1906 (effects £1,365).

Bannerman, James Alexander (1821-1906). Eldest son of David Bannerman (1785-1829) of Manchester and his wife Mary Harrower, daughter of James Alexander of Glasgow, merchant, born 21 July and baptised at Lloyd St. Scotch Presbyterian Church, Manchester, 20 September 1821. Cotton spinner and wholesaler; partner in Henry Bannerman & Sons from 1844; director of the Consolidated Bank Ltd. from 1864 (Chairman); he retired from business after 1894. He was one of the founders of Manchester Golf Club and also took a keen interest in cricket and football. He married, 9 October 1855, at Blythswood (Lanarks.), his cousin Louisa (1833-73), daughter of Sir James Campbell, kt., and had issue:
(1) James Campbell Bannerman (1857-1934) (q.v.);
(2) Mary Isabella Bannerman (1859-1927), born Oct-Dec 1859; married 30 January 1884 at Prestwich (Lancs), Samuel Armitage Bennett (1856-1940) of Moat Lodge, Beckenham (Kent), son of John Marsland Bennett of Manchester, and had issue two sons and three daughters; died 17 March 1927; will proved 4 June 1927 (estate £6,695).
He lived at Bent Hill, Prestwich, Manchester until his retirement in 1898, and then moved to Alderley Edge (Cheshire).
He died at Alderley Edge, 28 December 1906; no will has been found for him. His wife died at Newton Abbot (Devon), 12 April 1873.

Bannerman, James Campbell (1857-1934). Only son of James Alexander Bannerman (1821-1906) and his wife Louisa, daughter of Sir James Campbell, kt., of Manchester, born 16 October 1857. Educated at Harrow, Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1876) and Inner Temple (admitted 1877). JP for Kent. He married, 6 November 1883 at Christ Church, Albany St., London, Frances Louisa (c.1863-1938), only daughter of Henry Joy of Dublin, esq., and had issue:
(1) Joan Bannerman (1888-1975) (q.v.).
He inherited Hunton Court from his great-uncle, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, in 1908. At his death it passed to his daughter and her husband.
He died 14 November 1934; his will was proved 22 February 1935 (estate £79,233). His widow died 24 February 1938; her will was proved 16 May 1938 (estate £16,402).

Bannerman, Joan Campbell (1888-1975). Only child of James Campbell Bannerman (1857-1934) and his wife Frances Louisa, only daughter of Henry Joy of Dublin, esq., born 17 July amd baptised at St Mary, Bryanston Sq., London, 23 August 1888. She married, Jul-Sep 1916, Capt. Geoffrey Charles Devas MC (1887-1971) of Hartfield, Hayes (Kent), and had issue:
(1) Anne Rachel Devas (1920-2012), born Jan-Mar 1920; married, 18 May 1946 at Hunton, William Herbrand Sackville (1921-88), 10th Earl de la Warre, and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 9 May 2012;
(2) Capt. Michael Campbell Devas (1924-2007), born 6 June 1924; served in Second World War with Welsh Guards (Capt.); awarded MC, 1945; merchant banker and company director; a director of the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, 1992-97; married 1st, 1952 (div., 1967), Patience Merryday, daughter of Sir Albert Gerald Stern, and had issue one son and one daughter; married 2nd, 1967, Gillian Barbara Hewitt, formerly wife of Charles Arthur Smith-Bingham (1931-2003); died 4 May 2007; will proved 7 December 2007.
She inherited Hunton Court from her father in 1934, subject to her mother's life interest, and came into possession in 1938. At her death it passed to her son, and was sold after his death.
She died 26 July 1975; her will was proved 2 October 1975 (estate £25,418). Her husband died 29 July 1971; his will was proved 2 November 1971 (estate £42,660).


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1925, p. 75; D. Whitehead, A survey of historic parks and garden in Herefordshire, 2001, pp. 418-20; J. Gifford, The buildings of Scotland: Perth and Kinross, 2007, pp. 193-95; A. Brooks & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Herefordshire, 2nd edn., 2012, pp. 242-43; J. Newman, The buildings of England: Kent - West and the Weald, 4th edn, 2012, p. 314; ODNB entry for Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman; personal communication from Dr. Paul Bradley.

Location of archives

Campbell-Bannerman, Sir Henry (1836-1908), kt.: correspondence and papers, 1855-1908 [British Library, Add MSS 41206-52, 52512-21]

Coat of arms

Campbell-Bannerman: Quarterly, 1st and 4th, per pale Gules and Sable a Banner displayed bendways Argent thereon a Canton Azure charged with a Saltire of the Third (for Bannerman); 2nd and 3rd, Gyronny of eight Or and Sable on a Chief engrailed Argent a Galley her oars in action between two Hunting Horns stringed all of the Second (for Campbell of Belmont).

Can you help?

  • I should also be most grateful if anyone can provide photographs or portraits of people whose names appear in bold above, and who are not already illustrated. 
  • As always, any additions or corrections to the account given above will be gratefully received and incorporated.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 13 February 2019.