|Barber of Lambs Green House|
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)|
(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;
(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)|
(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)|
(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.|
(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).
Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 2003, pp. 248-49; https://www.greasleypc.co.uk/lost-village-project/lost-village-greasley.pdf; https://historicengland.org.uk/content/docs/research/the-physical-landscape-legacy-phase-2-the-heritage-of-the-nottinghamshire-coalfield/; 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.