Sunday 30 June 2019

(381) Barker (later Raymond-Barker) of Fairford Park

Barker of Fairford
The family considered here descend from a cadet branch of the Barkers of Haughmond Abbey (Shropshire), who will be the subject of a future post. In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, they were successful merchants in Bristol, and Andrew Barker (c.1618-1700) was one of three brothers  who were left fairly substantial property in and around the city when their father died in 1636. Nothing seems to be known of Andrew's early career in the troubled Civil War period, but he seems to have emerged from those years with his patrimony intact if not increased, so that he was in a position to take advantage of the distress sales of land by former Cavaliers who needed to raise capital to pay off their fines in the late 1640s and early 1650s. Andrew's core purchase was of the manor of Warwick Court at Fairford, which he purchased from Sir Robert Tracy in or about 1650 and involved in his marriage settlement, negotiated the same year. We do not know where Andrew's personal sympathies lay in the Civil War and Commonwealth period, but it may be that he was a closet Royalist, for immediately after the Restoration of the Monarchy he embarked on the building of a fashionable new house at Fairford, and on enclosing a park around it. In 1692 he became High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, but he seems to have found the duties too much for his advanced years, and his son Samuel Barker (1658-1708) was sworn in to take over the role for the second half of the year. Samuel inherited the estate in 1700, and was then still unmarried. In 1702 he became MP for Cricklade, and in 1706 he married Frances Hibbert, the daughter of a rich London skinner, who brought him a substantial dowry. Unfortunately, Samuel Barker died just two years after his marriage, leaving no son to succeed him, but two daughters, the elder of whom died in 1727. Frances may have been a nonconformist and have brought up her daughters in the Presbyterian faith, for during the rest of the century most of the family were adherents of that religion. Her surviving daughter, Esther Barker (c.1708-89), who came of age in about 1729, married in 1730 James Lambe (d. 1761), a London haberdasher and dissenter, but they had no children. In about 1740, however, they undertook an extensive remodelling of Fairford Park to bring it up to date, and a little later they improved the grounds too.

The Fairford estate might easily have been sold on Esther Lambe's death, but she determined to make her late husband's nephew, John Raymond (1742-1827) her heir. John came to live at Fairford in about 1780, at least on a part-time basis, to familiarise himself with the estate, and he undertook further improvements to the grounds at this time to the designs of William Emes. As soon as Esther Lambe had died, he also brought in John Soane to improve the interiors of the house, although what was done was modest in scope and essentially cosmetic. John was obliged by the terms of Esther's will to take the additional name of Barker, and his descendants have remained Raymond-Barkers down to the present day. John married first the daughter of a Governor of the Bank of England, by whom he had fifteen children, and after she died he married again and had a further two daughters. His second surviving son, James (1771-1832), a banker, married the widow of the Russian merchant who was executed for assassinating the Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval. A younger son, Thomas (1778-1866), was cited as co-respondent in a high profile divorce case in 1811, but survived the scandal to become a Chairman of the Thames Conservancy and a leading figure in the Royal Agricultural Society. Another son, William (1783-1801), joined the East India Company but was unfortunate enough to travel out to India on a clipper that was captured by French privateers, when he was one of many passengers and crewmen to be murdered. His youngest daughter was the wife of Canon Edward Pusey, one of the founders of the Oxford Movement.

The Fairford estate passed to John's eldest surviving son, Daniel Raymond-Barker (1770-1827), a London banker who survived his father by just a few months before dying in a riding accident. He was followed by his eldest son, John Raymond-Barker (1801-88), the highpoint of whose long tenure of the property was acting as High Sheriff in 1853. His first marriage produced two daughters, and his second marriage one son, Percy Fitzhardinge Raymond-Barker (1843-95). There is nothing about Percy's career to suggest that there was anything wayward about him, but he seems to have fallen out with his father, who left an unusual will in which his property passed to trustees for the benefit of his wife and daughters, with remainder to Percy's son, Reginald Raymond-Barker (1875-1939). The result was that Percy had no right to Fairford Park and anyway could not afford to live there. He rented a series of smaller properties but must have lived a hand-to-mouth existence, as he died almost penniless. Fairford Park was let, the trustees being fortunate in finding two long-term tenants, Col. Porter (1889-1900) and Col. A.J. Palmer (1902-38). In 1906, on the death of Miss Leonora Barker, the reversion to Reginald came into effect, but as he was unmarried he decided to continue the lease to Col. Palmer, and the family never lived at Fairford again. In his later years he lived at Redlynch Park (Somerset), which belonged to his friend, the Dowager Countess of Suffolk and Berkshire. Reginald died there in 1939 and during the Second World War his executors sold the Fairford estate to Ernest Cook. Cook wanted to pass the house to the National Trust, but the Trust was unenthusiastic and was unwilling to accept it while a Polish refugee camp occupied the grounds, which the War Office expected to continue until about 1960. In the end, Cook lost patience and set up an educational foundation which was endowed with the estate. The Trust later sold the house to Gloucestershire County Council as the site for a new secondary school, and the main block of the house was demolished in 1957.

Fairford Park, Gloucestershire

Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (d.1471) is believed to have had a manor house called Warwick Court north of Fairford church.  When he was attainted and forfeited his lands in 1478, the Crown leased the estate to the Tame family, who rebuilt the house in the early 16th century.  After passing through several hands, the manor was acquired in 1591 by the Tracys of Toddington, for whom Fairford was always a secondary and outlying estate.  When, during the Civil War, the Tracy family estates were sequestered, the compensation paid to retrieve them led the family into financial difficulties, and Sir Robert Tracy sold Fairford to Andrew Barker, one of the few men in Gloucestershire successfully to found a dynasty during the Civil War.

Fairford Park: view of the house by John Kip, c.1710, from Atkyns' Ancient & Present State of Glostershire.

Barker, who acquired Fairford in 1650 and died in 1700, made his estate one of the most fashionable in the county.  In 1661-2 a new house was built on a site to the north of the old manor by the leading Cotswold mason, Valentine Strong, who died, however, before it was finished, leaving his son Thomas to complete the house. The only illustration to show the house before later alterations is Kip's engraving of c.1710, which depicts a two-storey, seven-by-five bay double-pile house with gabled dormers.
Fairford Park: doorcase of 1661-62.
Image: Historic England
This was quite clearly influenced by Coleshill, a few miles away in Berkshire, the lessons of which Strong must have absorbed since designing the more traditional Lower Slaughter Manor in 1656. Its classical pedigree is evident in the string-course, cornice and classical central doorway with scrolled pediment supported on Corinthian pilasters. 

Having completed the house, Barker moved on to embellish the gardens.  Kip shows a quite elaborate formal garden, with two long terraces lined with conifers leading up to elaborate gates on the axis of the house, and framing a pattern of eight lawns, each focused on a figure sculpture, with a fountain pool at the centre of the composition.  Around this were kitchen and nursery beds surrounded by hedges, presumably of beech, and avenues of trees stretching all the way from the house to the town. It is often claimed that the details of the gardens in Kip's views owe as much to artistic licence or the wishful thinking of his patrons as to reality, but at Fairford it is clear from a survey plan of c.1690 (Glos Archives, D674b P53) that almost every hedge and tree in Kip's engraving actually existed.

Fairford Park in the early 20th century.

Barker's perfect late 17th-century creation was not left undisturbed for long.  At his death in 1700, the estate passed to his son Samuel (d.1708), and then to his two grand‑daughters, one of whom died in 1727, leaving the other, Esther, and her husband James Lambe of Hackney (Middx), as sole owners.  James Lambe altered both the house and the grounds before his death in 1761. The alterations to the house, perhaps made around 1740, no doubt included the Gibbs surrounds to the ground floor windows, the addition of a third floor in place of the original dormered attics, and the construction of a two‑storeyed link to a remodelled stable court.  The architect of these works seems not to be recorded, but they left the house with four main rooms on the ground floor: a large entrance hall with a screen of columns across one end; the drawing room, dining room and library. 

Fairford Park: dining room, as remodelled c.1740 and again by Soane in 1789-90. This unsigned watercolour has only recently come to light in a family scrapbook. Image: Karen Taylor Fine Art
The formal gardens had been modernised but not wholly eliminated by 1751, when Bishop Pococke visited and wrote:

Near the town ... [is] a very good house with a fine lawn before it, in which the trees indeed are planted as three avenues; behind this the gardens are laid out in the wilderness way, and there is a small park beautifully adorned with clumps of trees. But what is very fine is a terrace on an eminence over the river, which is form'd into a very fine serpentine for near a mile in length; towards the north end is a round basin, from which a cascade opens to a walk of the garden; this at some distance is encompassed as with a square form'd by canals that spoils the beauty of the thing, which, if the angles were broke, would form a beautiful island, as made by the division of the waters.

Fairford Park: the surviving monument in the park. Image: Jonathan Ballinger. Some rights reserved.

It may well be that at the time of Pococke's visit alterations were still in progress, for he does not mention the large monument that later provided a termination to one of the avenues. This is, however, shown on an estate plan of 1761 and is referred to in a description published in 1763, which complements Pococke's:

Opposite the north front of the villa stand four images, representing the four seasons of the year; beyond which is a vista through the deer park, terminated by an obelisk, nearly a mile distant, between two woods. The wilderness consists of serpentine walks, adorn'd with images, urns, grottos &c included chiefly between three vistas. From the upper end of the middle one is a most pleasant and delightful view of the canal (answering thereto) proceeding from the river Coln, which glides its silver streams along the bottom of the wilderness. The whole of the garden and the wilderness is in a modern and elegant taste, well stock'd with fruit‑trees, shrubs, flowers &c.

It is clear from this that the bones of the formal garden had been elaborately adapted in the mid‑century Rococo taste, although nothing of the new layout can be discerned on the 1761 plan.

Fairford Park: estate map of 1834 showing the gardenesque layout of the grounds at that time
(Glos Archives P141 MI 7/1)

James Lambe's widow, Esther, lived on until 1789, when she bequeathed her property to her nephew John Raymond, on the condition that he assumed the name of Barker. It would appear, however, that Barker was in control of the estate before his aunt's death, for in 1783‑7 the grounds were remodelled yet again at his command by William Emes. The park was enlarged by moving the road from Fairford to Quenington further east in 1785, and a plan made in connection with this shows informal planting at the north end of the park. Pococke’s description suggests the widening of the River Coln to form a sinuous lake known as Broad Water had already taken place, but the bridge at its northern end seems likely to date from the late 18th century. The earlier monument in the park was retained, and a Tuscan Doric temple and a neo-classical orangery were built.  These buildings may have been designed by Emes, but the orangery may owe something to John Soane, whom Raymond‑Barker brought in to remodel the interior of the house as soon as he gained possession in 1789 (though there are no plans for it in the Soane Museum, and payments only for the interior works in Soane's accounts).  The orangery bears many points of similarity to a garden building known as the Music Room at Earsham Hall in Norfolk, which Soane altered. 

Fairford Park: the drawing room, redecorated in the early 19th century, when it was opened up into the former entrance hall. Watercolour by Charlotte Bosanquet. Image: Karen Taylor Fine Art

In the house, Soane altered the interiors of the dining room and library, subdivided the entrance hall, and installed a new drawing room chimneypiece. Although there are a few photographs of the interior of the house taken around the time the house was demolished, the interiors are not well recorded, so the recent discovery of three drawings of the library, drawing room and dining room in the mid 19th century are a rather exciting discovery. Comparing the drawings with Soane’s plan of his intended alterations (now in the Soane Museum), suggests there were some further changes between 1789 and the date of these drawings, in particular the opening up of the wall between the drawing room and the entrance vestibule and the introduction of bookcases to the latter; the installation of a glazed front door with marginal lights was no doubt done at the same time. The drawing of the library shows double doors in the end wall rather than a narrow door in the corner as Soane intended. These double doors would have led into the staircase hall under the rising flight of the staircase, which itself was evidently replaced in the early 19th century, perhaps at the same time as the entrance to the library was improved.

Fairford Park: drawing of the library altered by Soane in 1789-90 and later. Watercolour by Augusta Raymond-Barker. Image: Karen Taylor Fine Art.

John Raymond‑Barker died in 1827, and the estate passed to his grandson, John (d.1888), whom Burke records as having 'considerably improved' the interior. It is possible that the gardenesque layout of the pleasure grounds adjoining the house shown on a plan of 1834 was also his work. From 1889 onwards the house was usually let, but it remained in the possession of the family until 1945, when Reginald Raymond­ Barker's executors sold it with 2,400 acres to Ernest Cook.  Cook offered the house to the National Trust in 1948, but it was rejected, and in 1952 the estate was included in the endowments of an educational charity which he established.  The charity sold the house to the County Council as the site for a new secondary school in 1955, and it was finally demolished in August 1957, when Soane's staircase was moved to Corsham Court, and a chimneypiece, for which the designs are in the Soane Museum, went to the Victoria & Albert Museum. Twenty tons of paving slabs from the house were reused in Fairford church.  

Fairford Park: the house in the course of demolition in 1957. Image: Historic England

In the grounds, the orangery was dismantled in 1955 by the National Trust and put into store for many years, before being bought by Sir Tatton Sykes for re-erection at Sledmere House in Yorkshire.  The Doric Temple was bought by David Verey and re‑erected at Barnsley House. The monument still stands in the park, which continues to be owned by the Ernest Cook Trust.  Modern school buildings now occupy the site of what is probably the most tragic of the 20th‑century country house demolitions in Gloucestershire, although the stable court survives as estate offices and labourers' cottages.

Fairford Park: a poignant photograph of the members of the Soane drawing room chimneypiece (for which the design is in the Soane Museum) after removal from the house in 1957. The chimneypiece was later acquired by the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Image: Historic England.

Descent: sold 1650 to Andrew Barker (c.1630-1700); to son, Samuel Barker (c.1659-1708); to daughter, Esther (d. 1789), wife of James Lambe (d. 1761); to her husband's nephew, John Raymond (later Raymond-Barker) (1742-1827); to son, Daniel Raymond-Barker (d. 1827); to son, John Raymond-Barker (1801-88); to son, Percy Fitzhardinge Raymond-Barker (1843-95); to son, Reginald Raymond-Barker (1875-1939), whose executors sold 1945 to Ernest Cook (1865-1955); gifted 1952 to Ernest Cook Trust; sold 1955 to Gloucestershire County Council, which demolished the house in 1957. The house was leased to Col. Porter (1889-1900) and Col. A.J. Palmer (1902-38).

Barker (later Raymond-Barker) family of Fairford Park

Barker, Andrew (c.1618-1700). Son of John Barker (1584-1636) of Bristol, merchant and his first wife Elizabeth (d. 1625), daughter of William Spicer of Exeter, merchant, born about 1618. He was brought up in Bristol by his stepmother, Mary, daughter of John Fownes of Bristol, merchant, and widow of Matthew Rogers of Alderley (Glos), and since his father and son attended Oxford University, he was perhaps the man of this name who subscribed in the University books, 1635. He may also be the Andrew Barker who was admitted to Clare College, Cambridge (mat. 1641) and to Lincolns Inn (adm. 1646). In 1668 he procured a charter for a weekly market and two annual cattle fairs at Fairford. High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, 1692, but served only part of the year before arranging for his son to complete his term. He married, c.1651 (settlement 4 February 1650/1), Elizabeth (d. 1704), daughter of William Robinson of the Inner Temple and of Cheshunt (Herts), and had issue:
(1) Jane Barker (1655-73), born 11 February and baptised at Fairford, 16 February 1654/5; married, 12 February 1671, Sir William Fermor (1648-1711), 2nd bt. and later 1st Baron Leominster (who m2, June 1682, Catherine (1664-87), daughter of John Poulett, 3rd Baron Poulett and had further issue one daughter; and married 3rd, 5 January 1691/2, Lady Sophia (1661-1746), daughter of Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds and widow of Donough O'Brien, Lord Ibracken and had five more children), and had issue one daughter; died in childbirth, 10 August and was buried at Easton Neston (Northants), 12 August 1673;
(2) John Barker (b. 1657), born 28 March and baptised at Fairford, 31 March 1657; presumably died young;
(3) Samuel Barker (1658-1708) (q.v.);
(4) Elizabeth Barker (1660-1723), born 26 August and baptised at Fairford, 2 September 1660; married, 1 May 1699, Thomas Delves (1652-1725) of Eardshaw (Cheshire), esq., and had issue one son; died 24 May 1723;
(5) Robinson Barker (1662-63), baptised at Fairford 6 March 1661/2; died in infancy and was buried at Fairford, 2 May 1663;
(6) Mary Barker (fl. 1715); probably died unmarried; living in 1715.
He purchased the Fairford estate from Sir Robert Tracy in 1650 and rebuilt the house to the designs of Valentine Strong in 1661-62.
He was buried at Fairford, 13 December 1700. His widow was buried at Fairford, 17 November 1704.

Barker, Samuel (1658-1708). Only surviving son of Andrew Barker (c.1620-1700), born 6 May and baptised at Fairford 11 May 1658. Educated at Trinity College, Oxford (matriculated 1676). High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, March-November 1692, completing his father's term. He stood unsuccessfully for Parliament in Cricklade in 1690 and declined to stand for Cirencester in 1692, but was elected Whig MP for Cricklade, 1702-08. He married, 7 July 1706, Frances, daughter of John Hibbert, of London, skinner, and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Barker (c.1707-27); died unmarried, 1727;
(2) Esther Barker (c.1708-89) (q.v.).
He inherited Fairford Park from his father in 1700.
He died 1 May and was buried at Fairford, 15 May 1708. His widow's date of death is unknown.

Barker, Esther (c.1708-89). Younger daughter of Samuel Barker (1658-1708), born about 1708. She married, July 1730, James Lambe (d. 1761) of Hackney, haberdasher, son of James Lambe (d. 1727) of Hackney, but had no issue.
She and her sister inherited Fairford Park from her father in 1708, but her sister dying in 1727 she became sole heiress; she came of age in about 1729. At her death she bequeathed the estate to her husband's nephew, John Raymond (later Raymond-Barker).
She died 27 April and was buried at Fairford, 6 May 1789; her will was proved 29 April 1789. Her husband died in 1761; his will was proved 11 April 1761.

Raymond, John (1708-82). Son of Samuel Raymond (d. 1730) of London, brewer, and his wife Anne, daughter of Nicholas Skinner of Firbeck (Yorks), baptised at Hackney (Middx), 25 November 1708. Brewer in London. Whig MP for Weymouth & Melcombe Regis, 1741-47 and brewer to the Board of Victualling (for the Navy), 1748-82. He was a nonconformist (probably a Presbyterian) in religion. He married 1st, 10 November 1735, Britannia (c.1715-43), daughter of James Lambe (d. 1727) of Hackney and sister-in-law of Esther Barker (q.v.), and 2nd, 21 June 1744, her sister Mary (c.1713-95), and had issue:
(1.1) Britannia Raymond (c.1737-1829); married Charles Tirrel Morgan (1743-1805) of Fairford, barrister and Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford University, 1772-1805; died aged 91 on 22 June 1829;
(1.2) Elizabeth Raymond (d. 1823); married Thomas Lane (d. c.1799); died in London, 4 January 1823;
(1.3) John Raymond (later Raymond-Barker) (1742-1827) (q.v.);
(2.1) Mary Raymond (1745-86), baptised at St Anne, Limehouse (Middx), 9 November 1745; married, 19 November 1771 at St Botolph without Bishopsgate, London, John Warren, and had issue; buried at Bunhill Fields burying ground, 5 September 1786;
(2.2) Anne Raymond (b. 1747), born 22 June and baptised at St. Anne, Limehouse, 10 July 1747; said to have married William Coates of Highgate but had no issue;
(2.3) Sarah Raymond (1749-1802), baptised at St. Anne, Limehouse (Middx), 29 June 1749; married, 31 March 1772 at St Stephen Walbrook, London, John Wansey (d. 1820); buried at St John, Hackney (Middx), 15 November 1802;
(2.4) Hannah Raymond (b. 1750), baptised at St. Anne, Limehouse (Middx), 2 September 1750; perhaps died young.
He purchased the Hatchlands estate in Surrey in 1739 but sold it again in 1750.
He died 20 January 1782 and was buried at Hackney. His first wife died 2 May 1743. His widow died 7 April 1795 and was buried at Hackney.

Raymond (later Raymond-Barker), John (1742-1827). Son of John Raymond MP (c.1712-82) of Hatchlands (Surrey) and his wife Britannia (d. by 1746), born 1742. A director of the South Sea Company. In 1781 he won £20,000 in a national lottery, which perhaps funded his improvements to the house and grounds at Fairford Park. He took the additional surname of Barker by royal licence, 1789, in accordance with the will of Esther Lambe, but he was resident at Fairford by 1780. JP for Gloucestershire; High Sheriff of Gloucestershire (as substitute for William Tindall of North Cerney), 1797. He was a Presbyterian in religion. He married 1st, September 1768, Martha (1745-96), daughter of Daniel Booth of Hutton Hall (Essex), Governor of the Bank of England, and 2nd, 6 May 1799 at Hackney, Margaret (1765-1851), eldest daughter of Thomas Boddington of Clapton, Hackney (Middx), West India merchant, and had issue:
(1.1) John Raymond (1769-83), baptised at Carter Lane Presbyterian Church, London, 12 June 1769; died young and was buried at Bunhill Fields burial ground, Islington, 14 August 1783;
(1.2) Daniel Raymond (later Raymond-Barker) (1770-1827) (q.v.);
(1.3) James Raymond (later Raymond-Barker) (1771-1832), baptised at Carter Lane Presbyterian Church, London, 29 May 1771; banker; lived at Highbury Grove, Islington and Everton near Liverpool (Lancs); married, 14 June 1813 at Thornton-in-Craven (Yorks WR), Mary (1781-1853), daughter of [forename unknown] Neville, a Liverpool Quaker merchant, and widow of John Bellingham, the Russia merchant executed in 1812 for the murder of the Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval; buried at Hackney, 1 June 1832; will proved 23 June 1832;
(1.4) Esther Raymond (later Raymond-Barker) (1772-97), baptised at Carter Lane Presbyterian Church, London, 8 July 1772; married, 15 April 1794 at St George, Hanover Square, London, John March junior (d. 1804) of London, and had issue two daughters; buried at Bunhill Fields burying ground, Islington, 17 November 1797;
(1.5) Elizabeth Raymond (later Raymond-Barker) (b. 1773), baptised at Carter Lane Presbyterian Church, London, 11 August 1773; perhaps died young;
(1.6) Henry Raymond (later Raymond-Barker) (1774-c.1803), baptised at Carter Lane Presbyterian Church, London, 10 August 1774; an officer in 2nd Regiment of Madras Native Infantry (Lt.); married, 10 March 1794 at St. Pancras (Middx), Harriot Louisa Stone (c.1774-1823); died intestate at Seringapatam (India); administration of his goods was granted to his principal creditors, 30 June 1803;
(1.7) Martha Raymond (later Raymond-Barker) (1776-1847), baptised at Carter Lane Presbyterian Church, London, 18 June 1776; died unmarried, 9 April and was buried at Fairford, 16 April 1847;

(1.8) Thomas Raymond (later Raymond-Barker) (1778-1866), probably born 24 January and baptised at St Thomas' Presbyterian Chapel, Southwark (Surrey), 25 February 1778; educated at Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1795; BA 1799); Fellow of Merton College, Oxford (MA 1803) until 1811; cited as co-respondent in 1809-11 in legal proceedings between Edward Loveden (c.1750-1822) of Buscot Park (Berks) and his wife Ann, and was fortunate not to be found guilty of 'criminal conversation'; after 1811 Ann and Thomas lived together openly at Baker's House, Hambleden (Bucks) until her death in 1821; JP for Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire; Chairman of the Thames Commissioners; for many years a committee member of the Royal Agricultural Society (and Chairman of its Finance Committee); married, 14 December 1824 at Great Marlow (Bucks), Eliza Jane (c.1782-1860), daughter of Thomas Somers Cocks, but had no issue; died aged 88 on 23 June 1866; will proved 18 July 1866 (effects under £20,000);
(1.9) Charles Raymond (later Raymond-Barker) (1779-1838), born 25 January and baptised at Carter Lane Presbyterian Church, London, 18 February 1779; a director of the South Sea Company and of insurance companies; married, 10 June 1811, Elizabeth (d. 1825), daughter of Nathaniel Barnardiston of The Ryes, and had issue four sons and one daughter; died 14 February 1838;
(1.10) Mary Raymond (b. 1780), baptised at Carter Lane Presbyterian Church, London, about May 1780; died young;
(1.11) Fanny Raymond (later Raymond-Barker) (c.1782-1838), born about 1782; died unmarried, 22 February and was buried at Fairford, 1 March 1838; will proved in the PCC, 11 May 1838 (effects under £20,000);
(1.12) William Raymond (later Raymond-Barker) (1783-1801), born 14 May 1783; a search for his baptism in 1800 was unsuccessful; educated at Dr Horne's School, Chiswick; a writer in the East India Co.'s Bengal service, 1800-01; killed on his passage to India when the 'Kent' East Indiaman was captured by French privateers, February 1801;
(1.13) Frederick Raymond (later Raymond-Barker) (1786-1819), born 30 January and baptised at Carter Lane Presbyterian Church, London, 9 March 1786; educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1806; BA 1810; MA 1813); ordained deacon and priest, 1810; vicar of Taynton (Oxon), 1814-19 and Little Barrington (Glos), 1815-19; married, 5 May 1819 at Somerford Keynes (Glos), Julia (c.1782-1865), daughter of George Chawner of The Elms (Derbys), but had no issue; he died just ten weeks later on 24 July and was buried at Taynton, 31 July 1819; his will, proved 23 September 1819, had not been updated since his marriage and therefore did not provide for his widow;
(1.14) George Raymond (later Raymond-Barker) (1787-88), baptised at Carter Lane Presbyterian Church, London, 23 June 1787; died in infancy and was buried at Bunhill Fields burying ground, Islington, 14 March 1788;
(1.15) Edward Raymond-Barker (b. 1791), baptised at Carter Lane Presbyterian Church, London, 9 May 1791; died young;
(2.1) Georgiana Maria Raymond-Barker (1800-78), baptised at Carter Lane Presbyterian Church, London, 6 May 1800; died unmarried, 8 January and was buried at Fairford, 16 January 1878; will proved 15 February 1878 (effects under £25,000);
(2.2) Maria Catherine Raymond-Barker (1801-39), baptised at Carter Lane Presbyterian Church, London, 5 June 1801; married, 12 June 1828, Canon Edward Bouverie Pusey DD (1800-82), Regius Professor of Hebrew at University of Oxford and one of the chief promoters of the Oxford Movement, and had issue one son and three daughters; died 26 May 1839.

He inherited the Fairford estate from his aunt by marriage, 1789, but was in occupation there by 1780. He also leased 47 Bedford Square from 1782-99 and later a house in Portman Sq., London.
He died 16 January and was buried at Fairford, 26 January 1827; his will was proved in the PCC, 1 March 1827. His first wife was buried at Fairford, 8 December 1796. His widow died in London, 30 January 1851; her will was proved 13 February 1851.

Raymond (later Raymond-Barker), Daniel* (1770-1827). Elder son of John Raymond-Barker (1742-1827) and his first wife Martha, daughter of Daniel Booth of Hutton Hall (Essex), baptised at Carter Lane Presbyterian Church, London, 20 June 1770. Banker in London. JP for Gloucestershire from 1801. He married, 24 January 1795 at St George Tombland, Norwich (Norfk), Sophia Anne (c.1774-1809), youngest daughter of John Ives of Norwich, merchant, and had issue:
(1) Raymond Raymond-Barker (1795-96), born 13 October and baptised at St Marylebone (Middx), 22 December 1795; died in infancy and was buried in Quaker Burial Ground at Bunhill Fields, London, 1 April 1796;
(2) Raymond Raymond-Barker (1798-1814), born 5 February and baptised at St Marylebone, 19 March 1798; died in London and was buried at Fairford, 17 May 1814;
(3) John Raymond-Barker (1801-88) (q.v.);
(4) George Ives Raymond-Barker (1803-87), born 10 February and baptised at St George Tombland, Norwich, 13 March 1803; an officer in the Fairford & Cirencester Troop of Yeomanry Cavalry (Lt., 1831; Capt., 1834); director of insurance companies; Hon. Sec. of the Cirencester Agricultural Society for several years after its formation in c.1830; married, 5 June 1861 at St George, Hanover Sq., London, Elizabeth Palmer (1805-92), daughter of William Moffat and widow of Col. Black; lived at The Croft, Fairford and latterly at 17 Royal Crescent, Bath (Somerset); died at Hove (Sussex), 17 July 1887; will proved 21 September 1887 (effects £9,751);
(5) Canon Henry Charles Raymond-Barker (c.1805-89); educated at Eton and Merton College, Oxford (matriculated 1823; BA 1827; MA 1832); ordained deacon, 1829 and priest, 1830; rector of Daglingworth (Glos), 1841-89; hon. canon of Bristol Cathedral, 1873-89; married, 3 January 1856 at St Mary, Bryanston Sq., London, Sophia (1805-92), daughter of [forename unknown] Broadwood and widow of Samuel Bosanquet (1797-1848); died 8 September and was buried at Daglingworth, 12 September 1889; will proved 23 October 1889 (effects £14,391);
(6) Sophia Anna Raymond-Barker (c.1805-76); married, 9 January 1827 at St Mary, Bryanston Sq., London, Bernard Brocas (d. 1861) and had issue three sons and three daughters; lived at Mannheim (Germany) and later at of Beaurepaire House (Hants); became blind by 1851;  died 13 January 1876; will proved 9 February 1876 (effects under £3,000);
(7) Harriet Ives Raymond-Barker (1806-54), baptised at Longborough, 11 July 1806; married, 3 February 1830 at Fairford, Rev. Francis William Rice (1804-78), later 5th Baron Dynevor, vicar of Fairford 1827-78 (who m2, 18 November 1856, Eliza Amelia Knox (d. 1896) and had further issue two sons and three daughters), son of the Hon. & Very Rev. Dr. Edward Rice, Dean of Gloucester, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 22 July 1854.
He rented Banks Fee House, Longborough (Glos) and also lived in London until he inherited Fairford Park from his father in January 1827.
He died after being thrown into a ditch by a startled horse, 24 July 1827, and was buried at Fairford, 2 August 1827. His wife died 2 April and was buried at Fairford, 8 April 1809.
* Press reports of his death call him John, but this appears to be an error.

Raymond-Barker, John Raymond (1801-88). Eldest son of Daniel Raymond-Barker (1770-1827) and his wife Sophia Anne, youngest daughter of John Ives of Norwich, born 30 March and baptised at Longborough (Glos), 26 May 1801. Educated at Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1819). An officer in the 3rd Foot Guards (Ensign & Lt., 1820; retired on half-pay, 1824) and later of the Fairford & Cirencester Troop of Yeomanry Cavalry (Capt., 1831; resigned, 1834); JP and DL for Gloucestershire; High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, 1853. He was a founder member of the Gloucestershire Liberal and Constitutional Reform Club, 1834. He married 1st, 6 May 1823 at St Marylebone (Middx), Harriott Ives (1798-1830), youngest daughter of William Bosanquet of London, banker, and 2nd, 14 December 1841 at Sarsden (Oxon), Lady Katherine (c.1815-92), youngest daughter of Thomas Reynolds Moreton, 4th Baron and 1st Earl of Ducie, had issue:
(1.1) Augusta Raymond-Barker (1827-95), born 16 March and baptised at St Marylebone (Middx), 26 April 1827; married, 1 January 1856 at Fairford, Col. Sir Lumley Graham (1828-90), 4th bt., of Kirkstall (Yorks WR), who had been severely wounded at Sebastopol and had lost his right arm, but had no issue; lived at Arlington Manor (Berks); died 13 July 1895; will proved 23 December 1895 (effects £15,797);
(1.2) Leonora Raymond Raymond-Barker (1829-1906), born 27 February and baptised at Fairford, 23 April 1829; died unmarried, 13 August and was buried at Fairford, 17 August 1906; her will, proved September 1906 (estate £32,718), made her nephew Reginald Raymond-Barker her principal heir;
(2.1) Percy Fitzhardinge Raymond-Barker (1843-95) (q.v.).
He inherited Fairford Park from his father in July 1827. At his death he vested his estate in trustees for the benefit of his daughters with remainder to his son's son, and the estate was thereafter let.
He died 21 May 1888; his will was proved 15 August 1888 (estate £51,449). His first wife died 8 September 1830. His widow died 2 December 1892; her will was proved in January 1893 (effects over £21,000).

Raymond-Barker, Percy Fitzhardinge (1843-95). Only son of John Raymond-Barker (1801-88) and his second wife, Lady Katherine, youngest daughter of Thomas Reynolds Moreton, 4th Baron and 1st Earl of Ducie of Tortworth Court (Glos), born 23 February and baptised at Fairford, 23 May 1843. Educated at Eton. An officer in the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars (Cornet; Lt., 1868). JP for Gloucestershire by 1866. Governor of Fairford Free School, 1876. He was a freemason from 1862 and was a noted horseman and amateur jockey, who in 1866 qualified to ride in the Grand National. He married, 25 June 1874 at St George, Hanover Square, London, Morna Georgina (1848-1919), second daughter of Sir Joseph Hawley, 3rd bt., of Leybourne Grange (Kent), and had issue:
(1) Reginald Raymond-Barker (1875-1939) (q.v.);
(2) Hugh William Henage Raymond-Barker (1876-1939) (q.v.).
Before his father's death he rented The Limes, Dyer St., Cirencester and later Pinkney Park at Sherston (Wilts). He was cut out of his father's will, but was the principal beneficiary of his mother's will. He lived latterly at The Ferns, Tetbury.
He died 25 February and was buried at Fairford, 1 March 1895; administration of his goods was granted to his widow, 29 June 1895 (effects £202). His widow died 19 September 1919; her will was proved 3 January 1920 (estate £5,939).

Reginald Raymond-Barker
Raymond-Barker, Reginald (1875-1939).
Elder son of Percy Fitzhardinge 
Raymond-Barker (1843-95) and his wife Morna Georgina, second daughter of Sir Joseph Hawley, 3rd bt., of Leybourne Grange (Kent), born 8 February 1875. He was a keen horseman and follower of the Beaufort and Berkeley Hounds. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Fairford Park on the death of his aunt in 1906, but continued to let it. After his death his executors sold the estate in 1945 to Ernest Cook. He lived latterly at Redlynch Park, Bruton (Somerset), which belonged to his friend, the Dowager Countess of Suffolk & Berkshire.
He died at Redlynch Park (Somerset), 19 June 1939; his will was proved 12 September and 26 October 1939 (estate £84,875).

Raymond-Barker, Hugh William Heneage (1876-1939). Younger son of Percy Fitzhardinge Raymond-Barker (1843-95) and his wife Morna Georgina, second daughter of Sir Joseph Hawley, 3rd bt., of Leybourne Grange (Kent), born 15 February 1876. Educated at Eton. Like his brother, he was a keen horseman and follower of the Beaufort and Berkeley Hounds. He married, 18 June 1907, Dorothy (1888-1968), second daughter of T. J. Forsyth Forrest of The Querns, Cirencester (Glos), and had issue:
(1) William Percy Raymond-Barker (1908-2000), born at Eastbourne (Sussex), 26 June and baptised at Tetbury (Glos), 29 July 1908; tea planter in Ceylon, 1929-39; served in Second World War with Royal Regiment of Artillery (2nd Lt., 1941); lived at Long Newnton and after his mother's death in Chelsea (Middx); died unmarried and without issue, 6 March 2000; will was proved 23 March 2001;
(2) Thomas Raymond-Barker (1914-2002), born at Oaksey (Wilts), 8 May and baptised at Foxley (Wilts), 2 July 1914; emigrated to Salisbury (Rhodesia) but return to England by 1963; married, 7 July 1946, Mafalda (b. 1922), second daughter of F. Marcon of Bologna (Italy) and had issue one son and one daughter; died 2002.
He lived at The Ferns, Tetbury (Glos) and later at Upper House, Crudwell (Wilts) and at The Cottage, Long Newnton (Glos).
He died in Bath, 19 May 1939; his will was proved 25 July 1939 (estate £33,666). His widow died in 1968.


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1952, p. 112; Sir R. Atkyns, The ancient and present state of Glostershire, 1712, plate facing p. 430; S. Rudder, A history of Fairford church, 1763, p.16; J.J. Burke, Visitation of Seats and Arms, Series II, vol.1 (1854), p.43; J. J. Cartwright (ed.), Travels through England of Dr. Richard Pococke, Camden Society, 1888, ii, pp. 252‑3; C.B. Andrews, The Torrington diaries, vol. 1, 1934; VCH Glos, vii, 1981, p. 75; P. de la Ruffiniere du Prey, John Soane: the making of an architect, 1982, pp. 15-16; D. Stroud, Sir John Soane, architect, 1996, pp. 124-5; Verey & Brooks, The buildings of England: Gloucestershire - The Cotswolds, 2nd edn., 1999, pp. 369-70;

Location of archives

Raymond-Barker of Fairford Park: deeds and estate papers, 1558-1924 [Gloucestershire Archives, D182, D1728, D3409]

Coat of arms

Azure, five escallops in cross, or.

Can you help?

  • 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 30 June 2019 and was updated 1-3 July and 22 August 2019. I am most grateful to Karen Taylor Fine Art for permitting the use of the drawings of interiors at Fairford Park.

Wednesday 26 June 2019

(380) Barker of Clare Priory

Barker of Clare Priory
A family called Barker was resident in Clare (Suffolk) by the 16th century, and was evidently of some status in the town, as Thomas Barker married Thomasine, the daughter of Richard Frende who acquired Clare Priory from the Crown. The 16th and 17th century history of the family is obscure, however, and they only become prominent in the early 18th century, when William Barker (c.1668-1721) seems to have been a grocer in the town. He had eleven children, of whom those who survived to adulthood seem to have done rather well. Two of his daughters married lawyers and his son John Barker (1706?-76) went into the Royal Navy, where he rose to be a Rear-Admiral. William's fourth and sxith sons, Joseph Barker (1700-50) and Sacheverell Barker (1710-41), were clerks to the then owner of Clare Priory, John Poulter (d. 1745). Poulter was to say the least, unscrupulous in business, using and abusing the legal process to gain his ends and cultivating a climate of fear that discouraged the townspeople of Clare from combining to oppose his wishes: 'whatsoever he proposed they dare not but acquiesce in, knowing if he was opposed there was no injury he would not inflict to gratify his authority'. In the early 18th century the town had an active cloth industry, but Poulter felt that the poor rates could be lower if the trade was moved elsewhere, and he 'took every method possible to eradicate the manufactory which he effectually completed by threats and persuasion; tradition says, he would not permit the manufacturers to take an apprentice, knowing that when they died, or declined business, the trade must emigrate, which in a short time it did, to the neighbouring towns of Cavendish and Glemsford, leaving a numerous poor to be maintained by the occupiers of the land, and principal inhabitants. Yet what with emigrations, deaths, marriages into the adjoining villages etc. in a few years they found the poor rates less than when the trade was flourishing, and the town much benefited by the loss of it'. He did, however, eventually get his comeuppance when he was struck off for issuing false writs: as Thomas Walford gleefully recorded in his manuscript history of Clare 'the Commissioners first made him beg pardon upon his knees, and then struck him off the rolls'. The Barkers, however, had reason to be grateful to Poulter, and not just for lowering the rates, for when he died in 1745 he bequeathed Clare Priory to Joseph Barker, and also bequeathed a house and annuity to Joseph's widowed mother and unmarried sisters. For a man with Poulter's reputation it seems a rather surprising disposition of his principal assets, but there is no suggestion of an underlying family connection (in his will, William and his brother Sacheverell are described as 'my clerks' and nothing more). Perhaps Poulter was on terms of intimacy with Joseph's widowed mother and had as a result 'adopted' her family? Or perhaps the bequest was Joseph's pay-off for years of complicity in Poulter's aggressive business methods? We shall probably never know.

Joseph Barker outlived his patron by only five years, and bequeathed Clare Priory to his two married sisters, Martha Shrive (d. 1764) and Lydia Sayer (d. 1766) and their husbands. Martha's son, William Shrive (d. 1803), another solicitor, inherited her moiety of the estate and bought the other moiety from Lydia's husband, Joseph Sayer (1715-86), who was one of the serjeants-at-law, thus reuniting the estate. He, however, had no children, and when he died he left Clare Priory to his cousin, Lt-Col. John Barker (c.1752-1804), the son of Rear-Adm. John Barker, who lived nearby at Poslingford (Suffk) before coming into his inheritance. Col. Barker put in hand some restoration of the house which was not in fact completed before his death the following year, and it was his widow Caroline and her two young children who occupied the house in the early 19th century, Caroline having been left the estate for life. Extracts from Caroline Barker's diary were published in a history of the house written between the wars and published in 1962, and reveal a life straight from the pages of Jane Austen: a simple, untroubled, if empty, round of small social occasions and occasional larger parties.

The heir to the estate was John Barker (1800-37), who in 1829 married a neighbour's daughter, Georgiana Weston, and brought her to live in Clare Priory, where separate suites of rooms were set aside for the couple and for John's mother. The couple had four sons and one daughter before John died unexpectedly in 1837. Three years later, Georgiana married a clergyman, the Rev. Stephen Jenner, and took her children by her first marriage to his homes in London and Kent, where she had four further children. When Caroline Barker died in 1848, Clare Priory passed to her grandson, John Barker (1832-96), who was still under age, and his trustees let the house to his aunt Caroline (1802-73) and her husband, Col. George Baker (1794-1859). John never, in fact, came to live at Clare at all. He continued to let the property until his death in 1896, both to private tenants and as a school. It is not, in fact, clear where he lived: perhaps in London, which is where was living when he died, though he held a commission in the West Essex militia for sixteen years, and so may have had connections with that area. He was unmarried and without issue.

In 1896 the Clare estate passed to John's brother, General Sir George Digby Barker (1833-1914), who had just been appointed Governor of Bermuda after a long army career and five years in Hong Kong. Understandably, he continued to let the house until his term in Bermuda ended and he retired in 1902. He then decided to settle at Clare Priory, but needed to modernise and restore the house before moving in. He chose the young Detmar Blow (1867-1939) as his architect, who gave the house a thorough Arts & Crafts makeover, removing a great deal of accreted partitioning, unblocking windows, restoring historic surfaces and taking measures to make the house less damp. Unfortunately, Sir George's only son had died in 1897, so when he in turn died in 1914 the house and estate passed to his elder daughter, Helena (1863-1945), the wife of Sir Francis May (1860-1922), the Governor of Hong Kong. After Sir Francis died, she came to live at Clare Priory, and throughout the 1920s and 1930s was a dominant presence in the town. By 1926 her four daughters were all married to professional men and had homes of their own. During the Second World War Lady May moved into a smaller house in the town and she decided that in post-war conditions neither she nor her daughters was likely to want to live in the Priory again. She therefore asked her daughters to try and ensure that the property was returned to the Roman Catholic Augustinian order, from whose predecessors it had been expropriated in the 16th century. This took a little time to arrange, as it could not be an outright gift, but a sale was finally agreed in 1953. The house became a seminary and later a retreat house, and the surviving medieval infirmary building was converted into a Catholic parish church.

Clare Priory, Suffolk

The Order of Friars of St. Augustine was constituted in the middle of the 13th century to bring under one rule various congregations of hermits in northern Italy who were mostly living in accordance with the Rule of St. Augustine of Hippo. The order obtained full equality with the other great orders of Friars in 1241, and the first house of the order in England was established at Clare in about 1248 by Richard de Clare, 5th Earl of Hertford and 2nd Earl of Gloucester. The original priory buildings were rebuilt in the early 14th century, with the new church being consecrated in 1338. After the dissolution of the priory in 1538, almost all of the church and many of the claustral buildings were demolished, but the former prior's lodging on the west side of the cloister was converted into a house for the new secular owners, and the infirmary building was retained and used as a barn and later as a school. In 1953-54 the infirmary was adapted as the RC parish church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, but in 2011-13 it became the narthex to a starkly Modernist new church of concrete, timber and glass built on the south side of this to the designs of Inkpen Downie of Colchester.

Clare Priory: the house represents the medieval prior's lodging as remodelled c.1600 and in 1902-08. Image: Historic England
Clare Priory: the rear of the prior's lodging where the recessed gables give it a more traditionally manorial appearance. Image: Country Life.
The former prior's lodging was built in the later 14th century and consisted of a guest hall on the ground floor with the prior's lodging above. It was remodelled in about 1500 and again in the late 16th and early 17th century. Apart from the basic structure, the chief surviving 14th century feature is the doorway on the west front. The low mullioned windows with arched lights date from about 1500, and the larger mullioned and transomed windows are Elizabethan, as is the square bay at the back. The main room on the ground floor (now called the Cellarer's Hall) has a fireplace and heavily carved beams of c.1500. A room on the upper floor has fine panelling of 1604. At right-angles to the prior's lodging the south side of the former cloister is occupied by later buildings on the site of the former refectory. Between 1848 and 1902 the house was leased to tenants, including use as a school for seventy boys between 1867 and 1881, and it evidently fell into some disrepair. It was restored by Detmar Blow in 1902-03 for Gen. Sir George Digby Barker after he retired from the army, and further works were carried out a few years later, including the addition of an ogee-roofed billiard room of 1908.

Clare Priory: the former billiard room added in 1908. Image: Historic England
During the Second World War, Lady May moved to a smaller house in the town, and she agreed with her daughters that as they could not envisage living in it after the war, it should if possible be returned to the Augustinians. This took some time to arrange, but the building was reoccupied by an Augustinian community in 1953, and remains in use as a community and retreat centre.

Descent: Crown granted 1539 to Richard Frende (d. 1553); to son, Richard Frende (d. 1576); to widow, Elizabeth (d. 1578), later wife of William Bysshop; to son, John Frende; sold 1589 to John Killingworth, who sold 1596 to Sir Thomas Barnardiston (c.1543-1619), kt., of Kedington; to son, Giles Barnardiston (d. 1679); to son, Giles Barnardiston (d. 1680); to widow, Frances Barnardiston, who sold 1685 to Edward Johnson (d. 1714); to son, Barnardiston Johnson, who sold 1715 to Samuel Barnardiston, who sold 1715 to John Poulter; sold 1718 to Francis Boteler; sold back in 1720 to John Poulter (d. 1745); to Joseph Barker (d. 1750); to sisters, Martha, wife of William Shrive and Lydia, wife of Joseph Sayer; to William Shrive (d. 1803) (who inherited one moiety and bought the other); to cousin, Lt-Col. John Barker (1750-1804); to widow, Caroline Barker (1768-1848); to grandson, John Barker (1832-96), who let it to his aunt and uncle and later to strangers; to brother, Gen. Sir George Digby Barker (1833-1914), kt.; to daughter, Helena Augusta Victoria (1863-1945), wife of Sir Francis Henry May (1860-1922), kt.; to daughters who at her request sold it to the Augustinian order in 1953.

Barker family of Clare Priory

Barker, William (c.1668-1721). Fourth son of John Barker (b. c.1630) and his wife Mary, daughter of Edmund Plume of Hawkedon Manor. He was probably the man of this name who was a grocer at Clare (Suffolk). He married, August 1694 at Brockley (Suffk), Mary, daughter of Thomas Harrington of Sudbury (Suffk), and had issue:
(1) Edmund Barker (1695-1713), baptised at Clare, 20 June 1695; died unmarried and was buried at Clare, 1 December 1713;
(2) William Barker (b. 1697), born 14 April 1697;
(3) John Barker (b. 1698), born 16 January 1698; died young;
(4) Joseph Barker (1700-50) (q.v.); 
(5) Mary Barker (b. 1702), born 2 April 1702; living and unmarried in 1736;
(6) Elizabeth Barker (b. 1704), born 27 April 1704; living and unmarried in 1736;
(7) Martha Barker (c.1705-64); inherited a moiety of Clare Priory from her brother in 1750; married, 20 November 1738 at Poslingford (Suffk), William Shrive (d. 1758) and had issue one son (William Shrive (d. 1803), who inherited one moiety of Clare Priory from his mother and bought the other) and one daughter; buried at Clare, 12 February 1764;
(8) Rear-Admiral John Barker (1706?-76) (q.v.);
(9) Sacheverel Barker (1710-41), born 3 July 1710; clerk to John Poulter of Clare, solicitor; died 1741 and was buried at Clare;
(10) Charles Barker (1713-18), born 19 July 1713; died 18 February 1718;
(11) Lydia Barker (1715-66), born 24 August 1715; inherited a moiety of Clare Priory from her brother in 1750; married, 31 July 1740 in Norwich, Joseph Sayer (1715-86), serjeant-at-law, and had issue four sons and six daughters; died 2 April and was buried at Clare, 8 April 1766. 
He lived at Clare (Suffolk).
He died 21 June 1721 and was buried at Clare. His widow was living in 1736.

Barker, Joseph (1700-50). Fourth son of William Barker (c.1668-1721) of Clare and his wife Mary Harrington, born 11 April 1700. Clerk to John Poulter of Clare, solicitor. He died unmarried and had no legitimate issue.
He had an illegitimate child by Ann Brooks of Clare in 1734:
(X1) A child (b. 1734), possibly to be identified with the Sarah Martin of Clare who was left an annuity of £20 a year in his will.
He inherited Clare Priory from John Poulter in 1745. In 1750 he bequeathed the estate to his sisters, Martha and Lydia, and their descendants. It was reunited by Martha's son, William Shrive (d. 1803), who bequeathed it to his cousin, Lt-Col. John Barker (q.v.).
He was buried at Clare, 13 April 1750; his will was proved in the PCC, 15 October 1750.

Barker, Rear-Admiral John (1706?-76). Son of William Barker (c.1668-1721) of Clare and his wife Mary Harrington, said to have been born 8 August 1706. An officer in the Royal Navy from 1725 (Lt., 1735; Cmdr., 1744; Capt., 1745; Rear-Adm. of the White, 1770; Rear-Adm. of the Red, 1775); he fought at the Battle of Lagos Bay and was third in command at the capture of Havana in 1762. He married, c.1740, Ann (1710-88), daughter of [forename unknown] Russell and widow of [forename unknown] Charlton, and had issue:
(1) twin, Elizabeth Barker (b. & d. 1743), baptised at Portchester, 23 October 1743 but died in infancy and was buried at Portchester, 3 December 1743;
(2) twin, Ann Barker (b. 1743), baptised at Portchester, 23 October 1743; married Major Edward Owen (c.1741-87), an officer in the Royal Marines, and had issue one surviving daughter; living in 1788; her death has not been traced;
(3) Lydia Barker (1748-1813), born 12 April and baptised at Portchester, 15 April 1748; married, 12 February 1767 at Holy Trinity, Gosport (Hants), Lt. William Hills RN (1739-77), son of Andrew Hills, and had issue one son; received a naval pension of £25 a year after her husband died when HMS Sprightly was shipwrecked off Guernsey, 23 December 1777; died 29 March and was buried at Clare, 5 April 1813; her will was proved 17 December 1813;
(4) Mary Barker (1749-1809), baptised at Portchester, 15 August 1749; died unmarried, 19 November and was buried at Clare, 25 November 1809;
(5) Frances Harriet Barker (1751-1811), baptised at Portchester, 1 March 1750/1; married, 6 April 1778 at St Thomas, Winchester (Hants), Col. John Robert Jenkinson (1740-1805), MP for Corfe Castle 1768-80, second son of Col. Charles Jenkinson, and had issue four sons (the eldest of whom inherited the Jenkinson family baronetcy in 1851) and one daughter; died 28 August and was buried in Winchester Cathedral, 6 September 1811; will proved 17 October 1811.
(6) Lt-Col. John Barker (c.1752?-1804) (q.v.);
He lived at Portchester (Hants) and later at Guildford (Surrey). He owned an estate 'in and about Lawrence Town in Nova Scotia' which he bequeathed to his son.
He died at Bath (Somerset), 23 January 1776; his will was proved in the PCC, 22 February 1776. His widow died in Winchester (Hants), 21 December and was buried at St Thomas, Winchester, 27 December 1788; her will was proved in the PCC, 17 January 1789.

Barker, Lt-Col. John (c.1752?-1804). Only son of Rear-Adm. John Barker (1708-76) and his wife Mrs Ann Charlton, said to have been born 1750 but probably born after 1751 and only baptised at Clare, 24 September 1758. An officer in the army (Ensign, 1767; Lt., 1771; Capt., 1776; Maj., 1795; Lt-Col., 1795; retired 1795) who served in the American War of Independence; his diary of the years 1774-76 was published in America in 1877 and 1924 and in the UK in the Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, 1928. He married, 10 April 1799 at St George, Hanover Square, London, Caroline (1768-1848), daughter of John Conyers of Copped Hall (Essex) and grand-daughter of Thomas Fermor, 1st Earl of Pomfret, and had issue:
(1) John Barker (1800-37) (q.v.);
(2) Caroline Julia Barker (1802-73), baptised at Arreton (Isle of Wight), 25 July 1802; she and her husband rented Clare Priory after the death of her mother; married, 27 February 1824 at Clare, Col. George Baker (1794-1859) of 16th Lancers, seventh son of William Baker of Bayfordbury (Herts) and had issue three sons and four daughters; died 20 October 1873; will proved 14 November 1873 (estate under £4000).
He lived at Wentford Farm, Poslingford until 1803 when he inherited Clare Priory from his cousin. He left his property to his wife for life, with remainders to his children.
He was buried at Clare, 4 December 1804; his will was proved in the PCC, 6 December 1804. His widow died 8 January and was buried at Clare, 17 January 1848; her will was proved in the PCC, 10 February 1848.

Barker, John (1800-37). Only son of Lt-Col. John Barker (1750-1804) and his wife Caroline, daughter of John Conyers of Copped Hall (Essex), born at Chatham (Kent), 24 May 1800. Educated at Charterhouse and Christ's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1819; BA 1823). He married, 5 February 1829 at Poslingford (Suffk), Georgiana (1807-73), daughter and co-heir of Col. Thomas Weston of Shadowbush Farm, Poslingford, and had issue:
(1) Mary Georgiana Barker (1831-80), baptised at Clare, 19 February 1831; married, 5 September 1854, Rev. Henry Jarvis (1821-1902), vicar of Poslingford, son of John Jarvis, gent., but had no issue; died 30 April 1880 and was buried at Poslingford, 7 May 1880; will proved 7 July 1880 (estate under £3,000);
(2) John Barker (1832-96) (q.v.);
(3) Gen. Sir George Digby Barker (1833-1914), kt. (q.v.);
(4) Thomas Weston Barker (1835-71), baptised at Clare, 11 September 1835; an officer in the merchant navy (second mate, 1859); lived latterly at Gualeguaychu, Entre Rios (Argentina); died unmarried at the mouth of the Rio Negro (Argentina), 13 April 1871; administration of his goods granted to his eldest brother, 1 August 1871 (effects under £1,500);
(5) Maj. Walter Julius Barker (1837-1912), born 13 October and baptised at Clare, 29 November 1837; an officer in the Royal Marines Light Infantry (2nd Lt., 1855; Lt., 1859; Quartermaster, 1866; Second Captain, 1867; Capt., 1873; retired as Maj., 1879); later worked as Conservative Party agent in Sudbury (Suffk) until his retirement in 1893, and was a freemason from 1889; married, 1872 Anne Mary Downing (1846-1914), and had issue one daughter; died at Sutton (Surrey), 4 or 5 February 1912; will proved 12 April 1912 (estate £548).
He lived at Clare Priory with his mother, the house being divided into two units.
He died 20 August and was buried at Clare, 29 August 1837. His widow married 2nd, 1840, Rev. Stephen Jenner (1808-80), clergyman and theological writer, and had further issue two sons and two daughters, and died 3 November 1873.

Barker, John (1832-96). Eldest son of John Barker (1800-37) and his wife Georgiana, daughter and co-heir of Col. Thomas Weston of Shadowbush, Poslingford, born 19 May and baptised at Clare, 3 July 1832. Educated at Clapham Grammar School and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1852; BA 1856; MA 1866). An officer in the West Essex Militia (Lt., 1860; Capt., 1863; retired 1876). He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Clare Priory from his father in 1837 and came of age in 1853. He never occupied the house, which was let to his aunt and her husband, from 1867-81 as a school, and later to strangers. He lived latterly in London.
He died in London, 10 April 1896, and was buried at Clare; administration of his goods was granted to his brother, 30 May 1896 (effects £3,992). 

Sir George Digby Barker GCB
Barker, General Sir George Digby (1833-1914), kt. Second son of John Barker (1800-37) and his wife Georgiana, daughter and co-heir of Col. Thomas Weston of Shadowbush, Poslingford, born 9 October and baptised at Clare, 16 November 1833. Educated at Clapham Grammar School. An officer in the army, 1853-1902 (Ensign, 1853; Lt., 1855; Capt., 1861; Br-Maj., 1861; Br-Lt. Col., 1872; Maj., 1874; Lt-Col., 1881; Maj-Gen. by 1889; Lt-Gen. by 1896; Gen., 1900), who served in the Persian campaign, 1857 and Indian Mutiny, 1857-58; Deputy Asst. Quartermaster General 1868-73; Professor of Military History at Sandhurst, 1874-77; Asst Director of Military Education, 1877-84; Asst. Quartermaster General, 1884-87; Commander of British forces in China and Hong Kong, 1890-95; Acting Governor of Hong Kong, 1891; Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Bermuda, 1896-1902. Hon. Col. of the Seaforth Highlanders, 1901-04. JP for Essex and Suffolk. He was appointed CB, 1889, KCB, 1900; and GCB, 1912. He married 1st, 11 June 1862 at St John, Edinburgh, Frances Isabella (d. 1900), daughter of George Murray of Rosemount (Ross-shire) and 2nd, 30 September 1902, Katharine Weston OBE (1875-1955), eldest daughter of Edward Golding Elwes, and had issue:
(1.1) Helena Augusta Victoria Barker (1863-1945) (q.v.);
(1.2) Mary Caroline Barker (1864-1958), born 5 July 1864; appointed Dame of Justice of the Order of St. John; married, 30 October 1899 in Bermuda, Maj-Gen. James Cecil Dalton (1848-1931) of The Hutts, Grewelthorpe (Yorks NR) and had issue two sons and two daughters; died aged 93 on 8 January 1958 and was buried at Grewelthorpe; will proved 21 May 1958 (estate £28,102);
(1.3) Digby Hildyard Barker (1865-99), born 8 October and baptised at Yorktown (Surrey), 14 December 1865; educated at Wellington College; an officer in the army (Lt., 1885; Capt., 1893; retired 1897); ADC to his father, 1890-92; commanded a detachment which fired fatal shots in suppressing a riot at Lord Masham's Colliery in Yorkshire, 1893; declared bankrupt, 1894; married, c.1897, Idalia Jessie [surname unknown] (d. 1902) but died without issue, 26 October 1899; administration of his goods was granted 11 May 1900 (estate £533).
He inherited Clare Priory from his elder brother in 1896 and continued to let it until he retired in 1902 after which he restored and occupied the house.
He died 15 April 1914; his will was proved 9 June 1914 (estate £35,095). His first wife died 14 May 1900 and was buried in Bermuda; her will was proved 25 September 1900 (estate £884). His widow married 2nd, 24 October 1916, Lt-Col. Ernald Barnardiston DSO (1871-1944), fifth son of Nathaniel Barnardiston of The Ryes (Suffolk), and had issue one further daughter; she died 25 March 1955; her will was proved 6 July 1955 (estate £33,941).

Lady May (1863-1945)
Barker, Helena Augusta Victoria (1863-1945). Elder daughter of Gen. Sir George Digby Barker (1833-1914), kt., and his first wife, Frances Isabella, daughter of George Murray of Rosemount (Ross-shire), born in Edinburgh, 27 March 1863. JP for Suffolk. She was President of the Young Women's Christian Association in Hong Kong, and founded a club in that city to provide facilities for women and girls which continues in existence and bears her name (The Helena May). She was also a great supporter of charitable causes local to Clare, and she was appointed a Dame of Grace of the Order of St. John and awarded the Queen Elizabeth Medal (Belgium), and the Order of Mercy, 1930. She married, 31 August 1891 in Hong Kong (China), Sir Francis Henry May (1860-1922), Superintendent of Police in Hong Kong, 1893-1902; Colonial Secretary, 1902-10; Governor of Fiji and High Commissioner to Western Pacific, 1910-12 and Governor of Hong Kong, 1912-19, fourth son of Rt. Hon. George Augustus Chichester May, Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, and had issue:
(1) Stella Mary Augusta May (1892-1966), born in Hong Kong, 15 October 1892; lived at The Change House, Great Yeldham (Essex); married, 27 March 1916, Maj-Gen. Philip de Fonblanque DSO (1886-1940), elder son of Lester Ramsay de Fonblanque, Vicomte de Fonblanque, of Guildford House, Farnham (Surrey), and had issue one son and two daughters; died 22 September 1966; will proved 3 February 1967 (estate £16,154);
(2) Phoebe Frances Eiric May (1895-1975), born 26 October 1895; married 28 November 1925 at St Andrew, Bethnal Green (Middx), Rev. George Elwes Allen Whitworth (1888-1969), vicar of St Andrew, Bethnal Green and later of Great St Mary, Cambridge, son of Preb. William Allen Whitworth, vicar of All Saints, Margaret St., London, and had issue two sons and two daughters; died in Cambridge, 4 January 1975; will proved 22 July 1975 (estate £27,308);
(3) Iris Olivia Helena May (1898-1989), born 17 October 1898; lived in America with her children during the Second World War; married, 9 September 1924 at Clare, Prof. Edward Hamilton Johnston DLitt (1885-1942), Boden Professor of Sanskrit and Keeper of the Indian Institute, Oxford University, son of Reginald Eden Johnston of Terlings, Harlow (Essex), and had issue three sons and three daughters; they also adopted the children of his brother, who predeceased him; died 10 April 1989; will proved 27 October 1989 (estate £223,498);
(4) Dione Jean Elizabeth May (1900-63), born 26 November 1900; married, 24 October 1919 at St Philip & St James, Oxford, Francis John Kinchin Smith (1895-1958), classicist, of London University, son of Rev. John Kinchin Smith, and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 22 November 1963; will proved 20 February 1964 (estate £9,900).
She inherited Clare Priory from her father in 1914. By her wish and with the agreement of her daughters it was sold to the Augustinian Order in 1953.
She died 3 October 1945 and her ashes were interred with her husband's on top of the castle mound at Clare; her will was proved 7 January 1947 (estate £20,121). Her husband died 6 February 1922 and his ashes were buried on top of the castle mound at Clare; his will was proved 4 May and 21 June 1922 (estate £59,676).


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1952, pp. 1745-46; G. Webb, 'Clare Priory, Suffolk', Country Life, 7 August 1926, pp. 206-14; K.W. Barnardiston, Clare Priory: seven centuries of a Suffolk house, 1962. 

Location of archives

No significant accumulation is known to survive, although it is possible that some papers survive in the possession of the family. A late 14th century cartulary of Clare Priory will be found in the British Library (Harleian MS 4835).

Coat of arms

Argent, a maunch sable between three bears' heads erased of the last, muzzled or; on a chief gules, two swords saltirewise, points upwards proper, pommels and hilts or.

Can you help?

  • If anyone knows more about why John Poulter made Joseph Barker his heir to Clare Priory I should be pleased to know the explanation.
  • Can anyone tell me more about the life of John Barker (1832-96), whose career seems to be an almost complete blank? I also wonder if there is more to the story of Sir George Barker's son, Digby Hildyard Barker (1865-99) who was made bankrupt in 1894 and died young.
  • 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 26 June 2019 and was updated 7 September, 20 and 31 October 2019.