Thursday 9 May 2019

(375) Baring of Membland House and Lambay Castle, Barons Revelstoke

Baring of Membland and Lambay
Barons Revelstoke
This is one of five posts about the various branches of the Baring family. For an introduction showing how they connect, please see my previous post.

Henry Baring (1776-1848), with whom the genealogy below begins, was the third son of Sir Francis Baring (1740-1810), 1st bt., one of the three brothers who founded the great merchant bank of Baring Brothers in 1762. He began life with many advantages, being possessed of Regency good looks and an able mind, as well as being born into wealth and privilege (though the prestige and power of Barings was not yet what it would become), and these were characteristics that many of his descendants would share. His looks, charm, manners and wit made him an agreeable companion and very attractive to women. However, he also had weaknesses, which again would recur in his descendants: he was unpredictable, indolent, arrogant, a gambler, and perhaps a cad. At the start of his career he was sent out to the East India Co. trading post in China for several years, to gain experience at the sharp end of overseas trade, and on his return he joined Baring Bros., becoming a partner in 1803. He was never an active or valuable member of the firm, however, and in 1823 his addiction to gambling led his relations to ease him out of the partnership. In 1802 he married Maria Matilda Bingham, the younger sister of his brother Alexander's American wife, much against the wishes of his father, who wanted him to gain more foreign experience before settling down in England. Sir Francis may also have had misgivings about Maria, who had previously eloped with and married a French count, only for the Pennsylvania authorities to annul the marriage under pressure from her family. The couple settled at Somerley House (Hants), which Henry bought in 1814 in an unfinished state. Although Henry's union with Maria was clearly happy at first, by the early 1820s Henry appears to have encouraged the infidelity which enabled him to divorce her (while keeping most of her fortune).
Cromer Hall
He then promptly married his new amour, Cecilia Anne Windham, who brought him not only a second large family but also a second country house, in the shape of the newly rebuilt Cromer Hall, so he resold Somerley. An account of Cromer Hall is reserved to a future post on the Windham family, as Cecilia sold it in 1851 and it did not remain in the Baring family, but it is important to note that Henry's second family were brought up in a country house environment.

Henry's second son by his second marriage, Edward Charles Baring (1828-97), who was made 1st Baron Revelstoke in 1885, entered the family bank as a clerk in 1850 and became a full partner six years later. 'He is sharp at a bargain', reckoned Joshua Bates, a senior partner who had little good to say of any of his juniors, 'but slovenly in keeping his accounts, inexact in his calculations and I doubt his judgements'. From 1873 he became one of the senior partners and from 1883 he was the undisputed head of the firm, and there was no longer anyone who could keep his increasingly over-confident and risky business decisions in check. Although the firm made strong profits in the 1870s, Edward Baring withdrew his full share of them to fund his lifestyle, rather than leaving a proportion in the business to strengthen its capital reserves, as a more cautious partner might have done. As a result he was able to fund the acquisition and remodelling of a string of properties: first Coombe Cottage; then 37-38 Charles St. in Mayfair; and finally Membland Hall. 'Everything was done with generosity and style; niggardliness was not in his character' notes the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, but his business career reflected the arrogance and gambling for which his father had been noted.

In the 1880s, the firm became increasingly involved in issuing and underwriting bonds for governments and railway companies in South America, business which was high yield but high risk. When, in 1890, a collapse in confidence in Argentinean railway stock which Barings had underwritten coincided with the withdrawal of millions of pounds of deposits by the Russian government, Barings was left on the cusp of bankruptcy, and had to turn to the Banks of England and France and their rival merchant houses in London, for loans. The  partners, including Lord Revelstoke, were personally liable for the losses, but every penny was repaid within a few years, even though it meant selling assets, including the Charles St. house, and being left in straightened circumstances. But at least the partners' integrity and honour were unstained, and they had the satisfaction of seeing Baring Bros. refounded as a limited company and regaining much of its prestige.

The driving force behind the new firm was Edward's eldest son, John Baring (1863-1929), who succeeded his father in 1897 as 2nd Baron Revelstoke. He remained at the helm of the reformed company until his death in 1929, and quickly returned the bank to profitable courses. Driven by the experience of ruin, he was always insecure about his personal financial position, even though he became a multi-millionaire. He never married, but spent most of his time in London, where he entertained lavishly at 3 Carlton House Terrace. He sold Membland Hall immediately after his father's death, but kept a small house in Leicestershire for occasional hunting, and spent his summer holidays at Aix-les-Bains (France).

In 1929, the Revelstoke title passed to John's younger brother, Cecil Baring (1864-1934), who became 3rd Baron Revelstoke. He balanced a career in the finance industry with interests in classical literature, theatre and architecture, and had charm and a talent for friendship. As a young man, he worked in America for more than a decade, where he fell in love with a married woman, Maude Tailer, who eventually divorced her husband and married him in 1902. Soon afterwards, they were travelling in Ireland when they spotted an advertisement in the newspaper offering for sale Lambay Island off the coast of Co. Dublin. It came with a tumbledown 16th century castle, was almost unoccupied, remote from the modern world, and yet only a few miles from Dublin, and they bought it at once. Edwin Lutyens, then at the height of his powers, was engaged to restore and extend the old castle in 1908-11, and he became a friend of the family and godfather to Cecil's son. Maude Baring sadly died in 1922, and Lutyens designed a grand monument to her memory, and then a few years later he built another large house on the island as a holiday home for Cecil's two married daughters and their families.

When Cecil died in 1934, Lambay and the Revelstoke peerage passed to his only son, Rupert Baring (1911-94), 4th Baron Revelstoke. Educated at Eton and Cambridge, he was judged exceptionally good-looking by contemporaries, and one of his early girlfriends was an actress and former Miss England called Angela Joyce. After he was married to Flora Fermor-Hesketh in 1934, Miss Joyce brought a breach of promise action against him, which was ultimately unsuccessful, although he had to endure his love letters to her being read out in court with his new wife by his side. After this unpromising start, it is perhaps not surprising that their marriage did not last, and they separated in 1942 and were divorced two years later. Lady Revelstoke then married his old friend, Derek Lawson, apparently with his blessing: certainly the three remained friends long afterwards. Rupert's real marriage was increasingly to his home at Lambay Castle, which he left increasingly seldom as the years passed, and which was the subject of much of the verse he loved to compose. 

Rupert's short marriage produced two sons, who in the 1970s and 80s were farming in Kenya and France respectively. Rupert seems to have felt that neither of them was sufficiently committed to the future of Lambay to be entrusted with the inheritance of it, so he established a family trust to take ownership of the estate for the benefit of his more extended family. His elder son, John Baring (1934-2003), 5th Baron Revelstoke, had no issue, and so was succeeded in the title by his younger brother, James Cecil Baring (1938-2012), 6th Baron Revelstoke. It is the latter's elder son, Alexander Rupert Baring (b. 1970), 7th Baron Revelstoke, who now occupies Lambay Castle and who is seeking to put Lambay Island on a more sustainable footing with the assistance of his half-sister, Millie Baring.

Somerley House, Ellingham, Hampshire

This house has been described in a previous article.

Coombe Cottage, Kingston, Surrey

In 1861, Edward Baring bought an existing small and very plain house at Coombe near Kingston and engaged the young George Devey to design a new stable block adjoining it in his Wealden style, and a dairy with half-timbered gables, a veranda, and a balcony with a wooden balustrade. A few years later, in 1869-72, he brought Devey back to extend the house to the north with a gabled wing significantly larger than the original house, designed to give the impression of a house which had been extended at intervals over time. 

Coombe Cottage: an existing small house (on the right) was extended by George Devey in 1869-72 in a manner designed to suggest organic growth over time.

Coombe Cottage: the rear elevation of the house as extended by Devey incorporates a second tower.

According to Maurice Baring, it became 'an ivy-covered red-brick house, with a tower at one end, a cool oak hall and staircase, a drawing room full of watercolours, a room next to it full of books... and a long dining room, of which the narrow end was a sitting-room, and had a verandah looking out on to the garden'. The tower actually marks the junction between the original house and the new range, and has a porch in front topped by a wooden balustrade.

In 1885, part of the land associated with the house was needed for a projected new railway line, and Lord Revelstoke persuaded the railway company to buy the whole property. In the event the line was never built, and the house returned to private ownership until the First World War, when it became a hotel. In the 1950s it was acquired as offices by Rediffusion Engineering, the television company, and when they sold it in the early 1990s it was divided into apartments, with twelve new houses in the grounds.

Descent: sold 1861 to Edward Charles Baring (1828-97), 1st Baron Revelstoke; sold 1885 to London & South Western Railway; sold to Lord Charles Beresford (who rented it to Dame Nellie Melba in 1906); sold c.1914 for use as an hotel; sold 1954 to Rediffusion Engineering; sold c.1992 and divided into apartments.

Membland Hall, Devon

There was probably a medieval manor house here, occupied in turn by the de Mimiland, Hillersdon and Champernowne families. It seems to have been altered or rebuilt in early Tudor times, as a granite fireplace and part of a doorway of that date, found on the site in 1936, reveal. In about 1723 the manor was sold to Arthur Stert, who replaced the house soon afterwards with 'a well-built brick house, with offices on each side, connected to the main body of the house by a kind of arched way' as Polwhele's History of Devon puts it. Some of the medieval and Tudor house seems to have survived as a farmhouse until the 1780s, when Peter Perring, a sugar planter from the East Indies 'entirely destroyed' the remains.

Membland Hall: Ordnance Survey 6" map of 1863 showing the footprint of the Georgian house. 

In 1827 the house was sold with 1,950 acres for £53,400, and was described as 'a brick built edifice, erected on an elevation, with wings'. The sale particulars show that the house was a five bay block of three storeys above a basement, with two wings, one of them attached to it by an arcade, as described by Polwhele, although the other arcade had apparently been demolished. It was rather unexpectedly built of white brick. The accommodation comprised four reception rooms on the ground floor, four principal bedrooms on the first floor, and further bedrooms and a nursery on the top floor, with the services in the wings, and the house had probably changed little since it was built. In about 1875, it was sold to Edward Baring, a senior partner in the family bank, who was created 1st Baron Revelstoke in 1885. His wife's family already owned the adjoining Mothecombe and Pamflete estates and his partner, Henry Bingham Mildmay, owned nearby Flete, so his purchase of Membland created a short-lived family domain on a scale to rival that of the Rothschilds in Buckinghamshire. The four houses were soon linked by a nine mile circular drive served by three 'picnic cottages' built at strategic points.

Membland Hall: entrance front as remodelled by George Devey, 1876-79.

The 18th century century house at Membland was inadequate to the scale of the entertaining Lord Revelstoke envisaged, and he commissioned George Devey (who had already worked for him at Coombe Cottage) to extend it in 1876-79. Devey kept the Georgian central block with little alteration apart from the replacement of the windows with plate glass sashes and the addition of external shutters, but this block became the centre of a jumbled and consciously asymmetrical house with an ungainly four-storey tower at one end which mixed Jacobean and Italianate forms with regrettable freedom. The tower was connected to the main block by a new classical portico serving as a new entrance.

Membland Hall: garden front after the enlargement by George Devey, 1876-79.

Membland Hall: looking from Devey's entrance hall into the old house.
The ground floor rooms of the old house were adapted as library, dining room, smoking room and staircase, to the west of which Devey added a marble-floored outer hall, a cloakroom and two large reception rooms (drawing room and billiard room), while on the east he constructed an extensive service court that included an octagonal game larder with space for 2,000 head of game. Some of the service accommodation was placed, unusually for the time, in the cellar. The billiard room, which doubled as a saloon, also contained a staircase rising to a curious Ionic-columned baldacchino at the entrance to the first-floor gallery. At the south end of the room, a black marble balustrade and a pair of columns divided it from a sun room with a semi-circle of windows. The drawing room was the most richly decorated room in the house, with white-painted panelling in a sub-Adam manner. Much of the decoration was carried out by Morris & Co., and included William de Morgan tiles in the fireplace surrounds of the two new reception rooms. Upstairs, the house had 35 bedrooms, clearly demonstrating the scale of the entertaining envisaged.

Membland Hall: drawing room by George Devey, 1876-79.
Alongside the development of the house and the layout of the carriage drive mentioned above, Devey remodelled the 18th century stable block and added a smaller hunting stable nearby, and three lodges were built at the entrances to the estate, apparently to the designs of J.P. St. Aubyn. One, set on the boundary between the Bulteel and Baring properties, sported gate piers surmounted by carved figures of a bull and a bear, which were a playful reference to the names of the owners and also to stock market terminology. There were also many other, more functional buildings, including an electricity house, telegraph office, gasworks, ice house, sewage farm, two water reservoirs, a steam laundry with a clock tower, several cottages and a home farm, many of which carry Edward Baring's initials and a datestone. There was also a boathouse on the River Yealm for Baring's steam launch, The Wasp. These later buildings seem mostly to have been designed by G.W. Crosbie, who became Devey's clerk of works, and whose design for the steam laundry was published in the Journal of the Society of Estate Clerks of Works.

For a few years, Membland was 'a place of rare and radiant happiness', but in 1890 the Baring banking crisis eliminated the wealth that supported the family's lifestyle. Lord Revelstoke handed the property on to his son, who sold it in 1899 to a Hartlepool shipping magnate, William Gray, who used it only for shooting parties. He tried unsuccessfully to sell it in 1911 and it was used during the First World War as an officer training camp. The estate was broken up and sold off piecemeal, and when the house was sold in 1924 after Gray's death, it realised only £2,800. It changed hands several times thereafter before 'the fabric of the mansion' was advertised in a demolition auction in 1927. The house was demolished and the materials recycled shortly afterwards. In the 1960s the site was sold to Albert Bradford, a Midlands garage owner, who built a small house on the site using old foundations and materials, which remains in the possession of his family.

Descent: sold c.1723 to Arthur Stert; to grandson, Joseph May of Lisbon (Portugal), who sold 1757 to John Bulteel, later of Flete (Devon); sold 1780 to Peter Perring, sugar planter; to brother, Philip Perring; to son, Sir John Perring, 1st bt.; sold 1827 to Robert Richardson; sold 1841... sold 1860 to John Lewis MP; sold c.1875 to Edward Charles Baring (1828-97), 1st Baron Revelstoke; gifted to son, John Baring (1863-1929), later 2nd Baron Revelstoke, who sold 1898 to William Gray (d. 1924) of Hartlepool (Co. Durham), shipping magnate; sold three times after his death in quick succession and finally sold for demolition, 1927. The site was sold by a Mr Pitts in 1967 to Albert Bradford, a garage proprietor, who built a small new house on the site.

Lambay Castle, Lambay Island, Co. Dublin

A few miles off the coast of Co. Dublin lies Lambay Island, a rather exposed lump of igneous rock rising out of the Irish sea that extends to some 600 acres. Although the highest point is over 400 ft above sea level, much of the island is relatively low-lying, and in medieval and early modern times, when it was not continuously occupied, it provided a convenient base for pirates and unfriendly foreign forces. As a result, the island was intermittently fortified, and when John Chaloner (d. 1580) obtained a lease of it from the Archbishop of Dublin in 1551 he was required to make a harbour and a place of refuge fortified with a wall or a mound and ditch for the protection of the colony he proposed to establish there. We do not know whether the colony came to anything, but after Chaloner's death the island was wrested from his son by his kinsman, Sir William Ussher, and it was probably he who built the small stone blockhouse that forms the basis of the present house.

Lambay Castle: the west front of the late 16th century blockhouse. Image: The Lutyens Trust. 
We can assume that it was completed by 1626, when Archbishop James Ussher and Dr Arthur stayed on Lambay for some seven weeks. It was probably then a more pleasant peaceful place than it became later in the 17th century, when it was captured by Cromwell in December 1641, or when it was used to intern over a thousand men (most if not all of whom must have been under canvas) after the Williamite war in 1691.

Lambay Castle: ground and first floor plans, as altered by Lutyens, 1908-11.
The two-storey late 16th or early 17th century castle took the form of a central chamber with a room attached to each corner, the outer angles of which were drawn out to an acute point for defensive advantage. The rough-hewn walls were partly rendered and lime-washed. By the beginning of the 20th century some minor additions and alterations had been made to the design, especially on the north-east side, but the overall form of the design remained clear, though the house was in poor condition. Bad storms in 1903 had devastated the surrounding woodland and damaged the roof, making the building even more inhospitable.
Lambay Castle: north front. Image: The Irish Aesthete
It was bought as 'a private get-away from London society' in 1904 by the Hon. Cecil Baring (1864-1934), later 3rd Baron Revelstoke, who was a younger son of the 1st Baron, and his American wife. In 1905 they commissioned Sir Edwin Lutyens to restore and extend the building without overwhelming the original castle. His first task was to replace the failing roof with a new one of grey pantiles, supported on a cornice made with great simplicity of the same material. Having made the place minimally habitable, architect and client debated the form of the additions and alterations for two years before work began in 1908. The primitive simplicity of the castle building provided the keynote to the scheme. The walls of the interior were left as exposed stone and the ceilings as plain plaster vaults with the simplest stone arches. The timber floors were uncovered, and the rooms were barely furnished at all. To complement this austerity, a new courtyard was constructed, with service accommodation on the ground floor and bedrooms above. This new wing was larger than the original house but was set into rising ground under a huge sweeping roof so that it does not compete aggressively with the castle. The two sections are linked internally only by a ground-level passage. Work on the restoration and enlargement was completed by 1912, when the house was first published in the architectural press.
Lambay Castle: the quadrangular addition by Sir Edwin Lutyens, 1908-11. Image: The Irish Aesthete.
East of the old house Lutyens also added a series of service and farm buildings, the impact of which was again softened by clever landscaping, in which Lutyens was helped by his frequent collaborator, Gertrude Jekyll. Together they devised a series of compartmentalised spaces which control the way the buildings are viewed and prevent the scale of the whole complex becoming apparent. The planting in each space is slightly different but the entirety conforms to Lutyens' view that ‘a garden scheme should have a backbone, a central idea beautifully phrased. Every wall, path, stone and flower should have its relationship to the central idea.’ 

Lambay Castle: the White House, built in 1929-33 for Lord Revelstoke's daughters.
Closer to the quay on the western side of the island is a second large residence, built around three sides of a rectangle, and known as the White House, which was built (again by Lutyens) in 1929-33 for Lord Revelstoke's daughters, Daphne and Calypso. This has now been adapted to provide accommodation for guests. From 2018 the family has begun to lease out both the main building and the White House to carefully selected paying guests.

Descent: Lord Talbot de Malahide sold 1888 to Count James Considine; sold 1904 to Hon. Cecil Baring (1864-1934), later 3rd Baron Revelstoke; to son, Rupert Baring (1911-94), 4th Baron Revelstoke; given in the 1980s to Revelstoke Trust.

Baring family of Membland and Lambay, Barons Revelstoke

Henry Baring (1776-1848)
Baring, Henry (1776-1848). Third son of Sir Francis Baring (1740-1810), 1st bt., and his wife Harriet, daughter and co-heir of William Herring of Croydon (Surrey), born 18 January 1776. In the late 1790s he spent several years at the East India Company's trading station in China. On his return, he became a partner in Baring Bros., 1803-23, but one who 'contributed little to its management or reputation'; he was eventually excluded from the firm because of his addiction to gambling. He was, however, a successful gambler, who several times broke the bank at his favourite casino in Paris, and is said to have won his house at 11 Berkeley Square from Lord Orford at cards. He was MP for Bossiney, 1806-07 and for Colchester, 1820-26, but is not known to have spoken in the House of Commons. In 1824 he divorced his first wife on the grounds of her adultery with a Captain Webster, securing damages of £1,000 from Webster for 'crim. con.', but it seems it would be wrong to conclude that he was a justly aggreived party. He not only managed to keep most of her £200,000 fortune, but is said to have encouraged her seduction after he had fallen in love with the lady who became his second wife, by throwing her into the most dissipated company, while being glaringly unfaithful himself. Despite his divorce he continued to be a popular figure in society, and was particularly noted for his wonderful shooting. He married 1st, 19 April 1802 (div. 1824), Maria Matilda (1783-1849), second daughter of Senator William Bingham of Philadelphia (USA) and formerly wife* of Jacques Alexander, Comte de Tilly, who was also the younger sister of his brother Alexander's wife; married 2nd, 9 July 1825, Cecilia Anne (c.1802-74), eldest daughter of Vice-Adm. William Windham of Cromer Hall (Norfk), and had issue:
(1.1) Anna Maria Baring (b. 1803), born 2 March and baptised at St Marylebone (Middx), 20 April 1803; married, 30 July 1823 at St George, Hanover Sq., London, William Gordon Coesvelt (1795-1839), Dutch financier and art collector, and had issue one daughter; lived in Montpellier (France); death not traced;
(1.2) Henry Bingham Baring (1804-69), born 4 March and was baptised at St. Marylebone, 6 August 1804; educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1822); an officer in the army (Ensign, 1824; Lt., 1827; Capt., 1829; Maj., 1830; retired 1834); Conservative MP for Callington, 1831-32 and Marlborough, 1832-68; a Lord of the Treasury, 1841-46; a partner in Barings Bank, 1858-67; in later life he lived chiefly in France despite his commitments in London; married 1st, 30 June 1827, Augusta (1807-53), fifth daughter of Robert Brudenell, 6th Earl of Cardigan, and had issue three sons and two daughters; married 2nd, 15 February 1854 at the British Embassy in Paris, Marie (1828-1903), daughter of Solomon Mikhailovitch Martynov of St Petersburg (Russia); died at Nice (France), 25 April 1869;
(1.3) James Drummond Baring (1808-1901), born 3 December 1808 and baptised at St Marylebone, 30 March 1809; an officer in the army (Cornet, 1828; Lt., 1833) and later a merchant in Paris; died unmarried in Paris, 28 June 1901; administration of goods (with will annexed) granted 28 February 1902 (effects in England, £310);
(1.4) Frances Emily Baring (1811-86), baptised at South Stoneham (Hants), 9 November 1811; a skilled watercolour artist; married, 19 August 1830 at Ickburgh (Norfk), Henry Bridgeman Simpson (1795-1873) of Babworth Hall (Notts), son of John Simpson, but had no issue; died 14 March and was buried at Eaton (Notts), 19 March 1886; will proved 11 May 1886 (estate £49,953);
(1.5) William Frederick Baring (1822-1903), born 12 August 1822; married, 8 November 1845 at the British Embassy in Paris, Emily, eldest daughter of Sir Richard Jenkins GCB of Bicton Hall (Shrops.) and had issue one son and one daughter; died in Brussels (Belgium), 10 December 1903; administration of goods (with will annexed) granted 13 January 1904 (estate £1,928);
(2.1) William Windham Baring (1826-76), born 19 April 1826; educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1843; BA 1847) and Inner Temple (admitted 1850; called to bar 1853); barrister-at-law; a freemason from 1848; married, 2 January 1862 at St Paul, Knightsbridge (Middx), Selina Barbara Wilhelmina (1835-1919), youngest daughter of Maj-Gen. the Hon. Sir Frederick Cavendish Ponsonby GCMG, KCB, but had no issue; died at Evershot (Dorset), 20 November 1876; will proved 27 December 1876 (effects under £18,000);
(2.2) Edward Charles Baring (1828-97), 1st Baron Revelstoke (q.v.);
(2.3) Cecilia Annetta Baring (1832-1911), born 27 February 1832; a Lady of the Bedchamber to HM Queen Alexandra, 1873-1911; married 4 April 1854, Charles Harbord GCVO KCB PC (1830-1914), 5th Baron Suffield (who m2, 15 July 1911Frances Amelia Jessie Eliot (d. 1934), daughter of Maj Robert Poole Gabbett, of Corbally, co. Limerick, and widow of Col Charles C. Richand had issue two sons and seven daughters; died 16 February 1911 and was buried at Gunton (Norfk); will proved 30 March 1911 (effects £534);
(2.4) twin, Robert Baring (1833-1915), born 29 November 1833 and baptised at Felbrigg (Norfk), 3 August 1834; an officer in the army (Cornet, 1851; Lt., 1854; Capt., 1858; Maj., 1869; Lt-Col., 1876; retired as Col., 1876); subsequently company director and Chairman of Kalgurli Gold Mines, Australia; died unmarried, 23 November 1915; will proved 4 January 1916 (estate £155,465);
(2.5) twin, Richard Baring (1833-83), born 29 November 1833 and baptised at Felbrigg (Norfk), 3 August 1834; company director and partner in Sheen tea plantation, Ceylon; died unmarried, 15 November 1883; will proved 5 January 1884 (estate £26,172);
(2.6) Thomas Baring (1839-1923); educated at Eton (captain of boats); at first joined Baring Bros. in Liverpool and then Kidder Peabody in New York, of which he became a partner in 1883; when the firm was divided he formed a new partnership with George Magoun, which acted as Barings agents in New York; after the crisis of 1890 he became a partner in the new firm of Baring Bros & Co. Ltd., 1892-1912, but continued to manage the New York end of the business; he was 'a large red-faced shrewd irascible but lovable man' who could be active and efficient in business when stirred, but was habitually rather indolent; his Blimpish manner concealed a passion for classical literature and antiques; he was also fond of hunting in both England and America; married, May 1901 in Paris (France), Constance (1863-1948), daughter of William Barron and had issue two sons; lived at 18 Portman Square, London, and later at Grove House, Newmarket (Suffk); died 4 June 1923 and was buried at Newmarket Town Cemetery; will proved 24 August 1923 (estate £266,121);
(2.7) Evelyn Baring (1841-1917), 1st Earl of Cromer [for whom see my post on the Barings of Howick Hall];
(2.8) Walter Baring (1844-1915), born 22 October 1844; an officer in the diplomatic service, serving as Resident Minister at Montevideo and Consul-General for Uruguay, 1893-1906; married, 30 June 1875 at British Embassy in Constantinople (Turkey), Ellen Ayestia (1850-1914), daughter of Frederick Guarracino and had issue one son and one daughter; died 3 April 1915; will proved 13 July 1915 (estate £47,727).
In 1814 he purchased Somerley House (Hants) and completed the internal decoration. He sold it after his wife inherited Cromer Hall (Norfolk), where he lived there from about 1830 until his death; she sold it in about 1851.
He died 13 April 1848; his will was proved in the PCC, 8 May 1848. His first wife moved, after their divorce, to France, where in April 1826 she married Auguste de Blaisel, Marquis de Blaisel, chamberlain to the Emperor of Austria; she died in England in 1849, where her will was proved in the PCC, 10 August 1849. His widow died 21 October 1874; her will was proved 23 November 1874 (estate under £40,000).
* She had eloped with the Count and been legally married to him, but they were forcibly separated by her family, who induced the Pennsylvania authorities to annul the marriage.

Edward Baring, 1st Baron Revelstoke
Baring, Edward Charles (1828-97), 1st Baron Revelstoke. Second son of Henry Baring (1776-1848) and his second wife Cecilia Anne, eldest daughter of Vice-Adm. William Windham of Cromer Hall (Norfk), born 13 April 1828. Educated at Rugby School. Partner in Barings Bank, 1856-90, and senior partner from 1884; a director of the Bank of England, 1879-91; chairman of Lloyds of London, 1887-92; Lt. of the City of London. He was raised to the peerage as Baron Revelstoke, 30 June 1885. His biographer, Philip Ziegler, calls him 'intelligent and cultivated, self-confident to the point of arrogance', and under his leadership, Barings began to take reckless risks in some aspects of its work, underwriting increasingly large proportions of the stock it issued and as a result sometimes finding itself taking large amounts of stock for its own account. Towards the end of the 1880s Barings became increasingly active in the issuing of Argentine stock, much of which was left on its books, and by the end of 1890 the firm was in the grip of a liquidity crisis. To avoid bankruptcy, it was forced to turn to the Banks of England and France and to its commercial rivals for assistance. A new company, Baring Brothers & Co Limited, was subsequently formed to take over Barings’ business. Lord Revelstoke was seen as being primarily responsible for the firm’s problems and did not become a director of the newly-formed company. Meanwhile his houses, furniture and pictures were sold as the partners were personally liable for the firm’s debts. He married, 30 April 1861, Louisa Emily Charlotte (1839-92), daughter of John Crocker Bulteel of Flete and Lyneham (Devon), and had issue:
(1) Arthur Baring (1862-63), born 28 April 1862; died in infancy, 19 June 1863;
(2) John Baring (1863-1929), 2nd Baron Revelstoke (q.v.);
(3) Cecil Baring (1864-1934), 3rd Baron Revelstoke (q.v.);
(4) Brig-Gen. the Hon. Everard Baring (1865-1932), born 5 December 1865; educated at Eton and Royal Military College, Sandhurst; an officer in the army (Lt., 1884; Capt., 1890; Maj., 1898; Lt-Col., 1903; retired 1905; hon. Brig-Gen., 1918); military secretary to Viceroy of India, 1899-1905; appointed CVO, 1903 and CBE, 1919; Chairman of Southern Railway, 1924-32; director of National Provincial Bank Ltd.; lived at Sleightholmedale Lodge (Yorks NR), which his wife was given by her father as a wedding present; married, 15 September 1904, Lady Ulrica (1875-1935), youngest daughter of William Ernest Duncombe, 1st Earl of Feversham, and had issue three daughters; died 7 May 1932 and was buried at Tandridge (Surrey); will proved 16 June 1932 (estate £115,188);
(5) The Hon. Elizabeth Baring (1867-1944), born 16 March 1867; married, 26 April 1887, Valentine Charles Browne CVO (1840-1941), 5th Earl of Kenmare, and had issue one son; died 21 May 1944; will proved 28 August 1944 (estate £10,156);
(6) The Hon. Margaret Baring (1868-1906), born 14 December 1868; married, 25 July 1887, Charles Robert Spencer KG GCVO PC (1857-1922), 1st Viscount Althorp and later 6th Earl Spencer, and had issue three sons and three daughters; died 4 July 1906; administration of goods granted 10 December 1906 (estate £6,501);
(7) The Hon. Susan Baring (1870-1961), born 9 October 1870; Maid of Honour to HM Queen Victoria, 1898-99; married, 28 November 1899, Sir James Reid (1849-1923), 1st bt., of Ellon, and had issue one son; died aged 90, 8 February 1961; will proved 17 April 1961 (estate £13,612);
(8) W/Cdr. the Hon. Maurice Baring (1874-1945), born 27 April 1874; educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1893); writer and man of letters; in HM diplomatic service, 1897-1904; travelled widely, especially in Russia, and acted as a special correspondent for Morning Post and The Times, 1904-14; served in First World War with Intelligence Service and Royal Air Force (Lt., 1915; Capt., 1915; Maj., 1917; hon. W/Cdr., 1925); appointed OBE, 1918 and awarded Legion d'honneur, 1935; after war service he became a full-time dramatist, poet and novelist; he suffered in his later years from Parkinson's disease, and during the Second World War left his home in Rottingdean (Sussex), which was later destroyed in a German bombing raid, to be cared for by friends in Scotland; he died unmarried at Beaufort Castle (Inverness-shire), 16 December 1945;
(9) Capt. the Hon. Hugo Baring (1876-1949), born 6 October 1876; educated at Eton and Royal Military College, Sandhurst; an officer in the army (Lt., 1897; Capt., 1915) during the Boer War and First World War (wounded); participated in British Military Mission to Siberia, 1918-19; subsequently a director of the Westminster Bank; married, 1 March 1905, Lady Evelyn Harriet (1865-1931), second daughter of Anthony Ashley Cooper, 8th Earl of Shaftesbury, and widow of James McGarel-Hogg (1861-1903), 2nd Baron Magheramorne, and had issue one son; died 20 August 1949;
(10) Rupert Baring (b. & d. 1878), born about September 1878 and baptised at Revelstoke, 13 October 1878; died in infancy and was buried at Revelstoke, 24 October 1878.
He bought Coombe Cottage in 1861 and greatly enlarged it to the designs of George Devey in 1869-72. He purchased the Revelstoke and Membland estate in Devon in about 1875, and again employed Devey to enlarge it. He sold Coombe in 1885 and gave Membland to his eldest surviving son c.1895. He bought 37 Charles St. in Mayfair in about 1870 and remodelled and enlarged it c.1885, uniting it with the house next door (no. 38), but it was sold to help pay his debts following the collapse of the bank in 1890.
He died 17 July and was buried at Revelstoke, 22 July 1897; his will was proved 3 August 1897 (effects £36,878). His wife died 16 October 1892.

John Baring, 2nd Baron Revelstoke
Baring, John (1863-1929), 2nd Baron Revelstoke. Eldest surviving son of Edward Charles Baring (1828-97), 1st Baron Revelstoke, and his wife Louisa Emily Charlotte, daughter of John Crocker Bulteel of Flete and Lyneham (Devon), born 7 September 1893. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1882). He joined Baring Bros as a clerk on leaving Cambridge, and was sent around the world between 1885 and 1887. He became a partner in the firm in 1890, but although he was liable for a share of the losses he had not been responsible for the collapse of 1890, and he played the leading role in re-establishing the prestige of the firm as a director of its successor, Baring Bros & Co. Ltd., 1890-1929, of which he became the senior partner in 1901. His experience of ruin made him exceptionally cautious in business, and left him with a dread of going into debt. Despite, or perhaps because, of his aversion to risk, Barings became extremely profitable once more, and his personal share of the profits made him a multi-millionaire. He was a director of the Bank of England, 1898-1929 and a member of the expert committee on German reparations, 1929. He succeeded his father as 2nd Baron Revelstoke, 17 July 1897 and became a privy councillor in 1902. He was a childhood playmate and lifelong friend of King George V, who appointed him Receiver-General of the Duchy of Cornwall, 1908, in which capacity he reorganised the whole system of royal income and expenditure. He was appointed GCVO, 1911, was made a Commander of Legion d'honneur, 1924 and was awarded the Russian Order of the White Eagle, 1915, and the Grand Cordon of the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun. Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex, 1926. He possessed a natural hauteur and remoteness, and although he had a number of close friendships with women, he remained unmarried and without issue.
He lived at 3 Carlton House Terrace, London, but also had a house in the country at Firbank, near Market Harborough (Leics).
He died of a heart attack while in Paris for meetings of the committee on German war reparations, 19 April, and was buried at Revelstoke, 23 April 1929. His will was proved 4 July 1929 (estate £2,558,779), and made provision for a number of charitable donations, the gift of pictures to the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery, and the payment of an amount equivalent to a year's salary to every permanent member of Baring Bros staff with more than three years' service.

Cecil Baring, 3rd Baron Revelstoke
Baring, Cecil (1864-1934), 3rd Baron Revelstoke. Second surviving son of Edward Charles Baring (1828-97), 1st Baron Revelstoke, and his wife Louisa Emily Charlotte, daughter of John Crocker Bulteel of Flete and Lyneham (Devon), born 12 September 1864. Educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford (matriculated 1884; BA 1887; MA 1891), where he developed a lifelong passion for the classics; he travelled in Greece in 1883. After leaving Oxford, he worked in New York for Kidder Peabody & Co. and later Baring, Magoun & Co., 1887-1901; a director of Baring Bros, 1911-34; also a member of the London committee of HSBC, a director of Scottish Equable Life Assurance Soc., and chairman of the UK Temperance and General Provident Institution. He succeeded his elder brother as 3rd Baron Revelstoke, 19 April 1929. He was 'a man of quite exceptional charm and whimsical humour', with a wide circle of friends, and wide interests, including the theatre and real tennis, for which he had an open court built on Lambay. In 1923, after the death of his wife, he took his children to India to see Lutyens' work at New Delhi. He married, 8 November 1902 in London, Maude (1873-1922), youngest daughter of Pierre Lorillard of Rancocas, New Jersey (USA), tobacco manufacturer and racehorse owner, and divorced wife of Thomas Suffern Tailer (1867-1928), and had issue:
(1) The Hon. Daphne Baring (1904-86), born 15 February 1904; educated at Slade School of Art, where she became an accomplished mural painter; following her marriage she became a Roman Catholic; married, 11 February 1926, Arthur Joseph Lawrence Pollen (1899-1968), a fellow artist, and had issue two sons and four daughters (including the architect Francis Pollen (1926-87)); died 20 May 1986; will proved 18 September 1986 (estate £83,784);
(2) The Hon. Calypso Baring (1905-74), born 15 October 1905; became a naturalised American citizen, 1940; married, 7 April 1926 (div. 1943), Guy Maynard Liddell CB CBE MC (1892-1958), wartime head of counter espionage at MI5, and had issue one son and three daughters; died at Los Angeles, California (USA), 25 October 1974; administration of her goods (with will annexed) was granted 24 October 1975 (effects in England £8,441);
(3) Rupert Baring (1911-94), 4th Baron Revelstoke (q.v.).
He purchased Lambay Castle (Co. Dublin) in 1904 and restored and extended it to the designs of Sir Edwin Lutyens, 1908-11. He also built the White House on Lambay Island for his two daughters in 1929.
He died 26 January 1934; his will was proved 5 April 1934 (estate in England £406,773; effects in Ireland £2,953). His wife died 2 April 1922.

Rupert Baring, 4th Baron Revelstoke
Baring, Rupert (1911-94), 4th Baron Revelstoke. Only son of Cecil Baring (1864-1934), 3rd Baron Revelstoke, and his wife Maude, youngest daughter of Pierre Lorillard of Rancocas, New Jersey (USA), born 8 February 1911. Sir Edwin Lutyens was his godfather. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. He succeeded his father as 4th Baron Revelstoke, 26 January 1934. As a young man he was blessed with 'film star good looks', and soon after inheriting the title he married, but he was then unsuccessfully sued for breach of promise by a previous girlfriend, the actress and former Miss England, Angela Joyce, in the last action of its kind before the law was changed. He inherited his father's enthusiasm for the theatre and for real tennis, but not his aptitude for finance, and he spent just two years with Baring Bros, in Liverpool and New York. He served in the Territorial Army in the 1930s but was wounded in 1939, and during the Second World War organised the collection and distribution of British Red Cross food supplies to Prisoners of War. He was a lifelong versifier and composer of lyrics, and compiled a verse version of Aesop's Fables: Sir John Betjeman thought his verse 'doggerel, but good doggerel'. After the breakdown of his marriage he lived an increasingly retired but contented existence on Lambay, where visitors other than close family and friends were discouraged. In his sixty year ownership, Lambay remained an enclosed ecology, barely touched by the modern world, and became a sanctuary for seabirds, but he was responsible for the introduction of wallabies to the island, where there is now a thriving colony. He married, 1 March 1934 at Easton Neston (Northants) (sep. 1942; div. 1944), the Hon. Florence Breckinridge (k/a Flora) (1913-70), daughter of Sir Thomas Fermor-Hesketh, 8th bt. and later 1st Baron Hesketh, and had issue:
(1) John Baring (1934-2003), 5th Baron Revelstoke (q.v.);
(2) James Cecil Baring (1938-2012), 6th Baron Revelstoke (q.v.).
He inherited Lambay Castle from his father in 1934 and vested it in the Revelstoke Trust for the benefit of his extended family in the 1980s.
He died 18 July 1994. His ex-wife married 2nd, 12 April 1944, Lt-Cmdr (Arnold) Derek Arthur Lawson (1907-84) of Passenham Manor, Stony Stratford (Bucks) and had further issue two daughters, and died 15 September 1970.

Baring, John (1934-2003), 5th Baron Revelstoke. Elder son of Rupert Baring (1911-94), 4th Baron Revelstoke, and his wife, the Hon. Flora, daughter of Sir Thomas Fermor-Hesketh, 8th bt. and 1st Baron Hesketh, born 2 December 1934. Educated at Eton. Farmer in Kenya. He succeeded his father as 5th Baron Revelstoke, 18 July 1994. He married, 1979, Bridget Adrienne Rose (d. 1980), daughter of Joseph Patrick Ring of Dublin, but had no issue.
He spent much of his life in Kenya, but also spent some time at Lambay Castle after his father's death.
He died in Kenya, 5 June 2003, and was cremated at Nairobi; his will was proved 23 March 2004. His wife died in 1980.

James Cecil Baring,
6th Baron Revelstoke
Baring, James Cecil (1938-2012), 6th Baron Revelstoke. Younger son of Rupert Baring (1911-94), 4th Baron Revelstoke, and his wife, the Hon. Flora, daughter of Sir Thomas Fermor-Hesketh, 8th bt. and 1st Baron Hesketh, born 16 August 1938. Educated at Eton and did national service in RAF, 1957-59, where he was taught to fly, afterwards becoming a display pilot for Norman Jones' Tiger Club and the Air Squadron. After leaving the RAF, he moved to London, where he bought and managed the Regent Sound Studios in Soho, which became an important recording venue for leading artists and bands in the Swinging Sixties. In 1974 he moved with his family to Saint-Rémy, Provence (France), where he bought a small estate, where he sought unsuccessfully to make a living producing wine, olive oil and almonds. He later turned to investing in the infrastructure underpinning the development of the Internet, but never had the financial success that he felt his foresightedness deserved. After the failure of his second marriage he returned to England, where he acted as a consultant to the Oxford Refugee Council and worked with the Employment Programme for Recovering Alcoholics and other Addicts. He succeeded his elder brother as 6th Baron Revelstoke, 5 June 2003. He married 1st, 16 August 1968 (div. c.1978), Aneta Laline Dennis (1945-2010), younger daughter of Erskine Arthur Hamilton Fisher of Mickleham (Surrey), and 2nd, 1983 (div. 1990), Sarah, daughter of William Edward Stubbs MBE, and had issue:
(1.1) Alexander Rupert Baring (b. 1970), 7th Baron Revelstoke (q.v.);
(1.2) The Hon. Thomas James Baring (b. 1971), born 4 December 1971; educated at Lycée Français and University of North Wales, Bangor; lives at Stone Hall, Great Mongeham (Kent);
(2.1) The Hon. Flora Aksinia Baring (b. 1983), born at Avignon (France), 17 July 1983; educated at Bryanston School; picture conservator; 
(2.2) The Hon. Miranda Louise (k/a Millie) Baring (b. 1987), born at Arles (France), 1 May 1987; educated at London School of Contemporary Music; now helping her half-brother develop a sustainable future for Lambay Island.
He died 7 February 2012; his will was proved 21 June 2012. His first wife married 2nd, Apr-Jun 1985, Philip Henry Robinson, and died 28 June 2010; her will was proved 9 September 2010. His second wife is now living.

Baring, Alexander Rupert (b. 1970), 7th Baron Revelstoke. Elder son of James Cecil Baring (1938-2012), 6th Baron Revelstoke, and his first wife, Aneta Laline Dennis, younger daughter of Erskine Arthur Hamilton Fisher, born 9 April 1970. Educated at the Lycée Français, London. An officer in the army, 1992-2012 (2nd Lt., 1992; Lt., 1994; Capt., 1997; Maj., 2003; retired 2012) He succeeded his father as 7th Baron Revelstoke, 7 February 2012. He established Lambay Whiskey in 2017, and is seeking to put Lambay Island onto a more sustainable footing by opening up the family's homes there to limited holiday letting. 
He lives at Lambay Castle.
Now living.


Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 2003, pp. 3324-25; Country Life, 4 May 1912, pp. 650-58 and 26 July 1928, pp. 120-26; L. Weaver, Houses and Gardens by E.L. Lutyens, 1913, pp. 204-20; M. Baring, The puppet show of memory, 1922; P. Ziegler, The sixth great power: Barings, 1762-1929, 1988; J. Allibone, George Devey, 1991, pp. 68-72, 103-06, 172; A.L. Clamp, The rise and fall of the Barings of Membland, 2001; H. Meller, The country houses of Devon, 2015, pp. 673-75.

Location of archives

Baring Brothers & Co. Ltd., merchant bank: records, 1762-20th cent. [Barings Archive, London]
Baring of Membland and Lambay, Barons Revelstoke: The main archive of this branch of the family are believed to remain in the custody of the family at Lambay Castle.

Coat of arms

Azure, a fess or, charged with a mullet ermine upon a hurt for difference; in chief a bear's head proper, muzzled and ringed or.

Can you help?

  • If anyone can provide an image of Membland Hall before the enlargement by George Devey I should be most interested to see it. I would also welcome additional photographs of the interiors of Membland.
  • Can anyone provide a photograph or portrait of the 5th Lord Revelstoke?
  • 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 9 May and updated 14 May 2019, 14 March 2020 and 6 September 2023. I am grateful to Dart Montgomery for corrections.

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Please leave a comment if you have any additional information or corrections to offer, or if you are able to help with additional images of the people or buildings in this post.