Sunday 9 June 2019

(378) Baring of The Grange, Barons Ashburton

Baring of The Grange,
Barons Ashburton
This is the last of five posts about the various branches of the Baring family. For an introduction showing how they connect, please see the first post in the sequence.

Sir Francis Baring (1740-1810), 1st bt., the founder of Barings Bank and Chairman of the East India Company [for whom see my post on the Barings of Stratton Park], had a strong belief in primogeniture. He left his estate at Stratton Park and the bulk of his fortune - a sum estimated at £450,000 - to his eldest son, Sir Thomas Baring (1772-1848), 2nd bt. His younger sons were placed in business careers to make their own fortunes, and left legacies that were much smaller, though still generous by most standards and quite big enough to tip the scales of destiny in their favour. It was Sir Francis's second son, Alexander Baring (1773-1848) in whom his father placed the greatest confidence, and who was trained up to succeed him at the helm of the family merchant bank. By 1796 he was trusted to go to America to look after the firm's interests there, and soon after he came home in 1801 he was made a partner in the business. By the 1810s he had made the firm indispensible to the major European Governments through his ability to market their debt, and in 1818 the Duc de Richelieu is famously said to have described Barings as the sixth great European power. With this status came huge profits: over £300,000 in 1802-03; over £100,000 in 1815; and over £130,000 in 1821 and 1825, and the biggest share of the distributed profits went to Alexander. In all the years between 1804 and his retirement in 1830 there was only one year - 1826 - when the firm made a significant loss. The result was that Alexander's personal wealth ballooned. Some of it was re-invested in the business, but to find a safe haven for the remainder he began buying land, as so many merchants had done before him. Between 1815 and his death in 1848 he made some fifteen major purchases of estates, scattered across southern England from Cornwall to Norfolk. Much of his land was bought at the top of the market, and although the claim that he had invested over £1m in land by the 1820s was exaggerated, it was estimated more authoritatively that his landed property was worth £800,000 at the time of his death. In the 1870s, after some sales and dispersals, his grandson still owned over 40,000 acres. He not only acquired property, he had an itch for building. His main home at The Grange (Hants) was extended in 1817 and again in 1823-25, and he rebuilt Bath House in Piccadilly in 1821. Much later, in 1840-42, he built a seaside villa at Gosport for himself to the designs of Decimus Burton.

Alexander Baring first became an MP in 1806, sitting for Taunton as a Whig in the family tradition. But he was always 'a man who could see there were two sides to a question', and this 'painstaking fairness of mind' did not make him an ideal party politician. "He always gave his speech one way and his vote another" a critic complained in 1843. The issue on which he different most from his party was his opposition to parliamentary reform, fearing the tyranny of mob rule, and this ultimately led to his joining the Tories at the start of the 1830s. He also wanted a peerage, and after briefly serving as a minister under Sir Robert Peel in 1834-35, he got one, taking the title Baron Ashburton, which had been vacant since the death of his cousin, Robert Dunning, in 1823. His object achieved, he retired from politics, returning to the public stage just once more, in 1841-42, when he was sent to America as a special ambassador to negotiate an agreed border between the USA and Canada.

When Lord Ashburton died in 1848, within a few weeks of his brothers Henry and Sir Thomas, he followed his father's example and made his eldest son, William Bingham Baring (1799-1864), 2nd Baron Ashburton, heir to almost the whole of his estates and fortune. His plan had been for his second son, Francis Baring (1800-68), 3rd Baron Ashburton, to succeed him as head of Baring Bros, while his third son, the Hon. Frederick Baring (1806-68) went into the church and his two youngest sons into the services. But this plan misfired when Francis, already a partner in the firm, blotted his copybook in a big way in Mexico in the 1820s, and Lord Ashburton was obliged to bring in two of his nephews, Sir Thomas' sons, Thomas and John, to be the leading partners in the next generation. Not until the 20th century did Lord Ashburton's descendants again play a leading part in the bank's affairs.

William Bingham Baring, 2nd Baron Ashburton, followed his father into politics and also crossed the floor to join the Conservatives, although not until 1835. He had a ministerial career in 1841-46, but he was an innately shy man and not really suited to the rough and tumble of political life. When he inherited the title he retired to more congenial pursuits as the president of two learned societies and a Trustee of the National Gallery. Without his father's continuous need to invest new wealth, he did not greatly add to the vast estates he had inherited, but he does seem to have shared his father's enthusiasm for building. In 1852 he made changes to The Grange; in 1856 he built a villa in the Tamar valley, and in 1862 he embarked on building a completely new house at Melchet Court. He died before this was finished, and it was completed by his widow, who was also obliged to rebuilt it in 1875-79 after a disastrous fire in 1872. She lived at Melchet until her death in 1903, and the house was sold by her executors in 1911. The 2nd Baron's only surviving child was a daughter, who married the 5th Marquess of Northampton, and the important picture collection formed by the 1st Baron and augmented by his son passed through her into that family.

The title and family estates passed in 1864 to Francis Baring (1800-68), 3rd Baron Ashburton, who as a young man had disgraced himself in Mexico. Although he ceased to be a managing partner in Baring Bros. in 1828 he continued to own a share of the firm's capital and this ensured him a share of its income. He sat as a Conservative MP between 1830 and 1857, but having married the daughter of one of Napoleon's ministers he lived in France as much as in England until his brother's death. After 1848 his English home seems to have been Melchet Court until 1862 when he gave it up to the 2nd Baron and went to live at Buckenham Tofts Hall in Norfolk, which was another of his brother's properties. Buckenham was and remained an essentially Georgian house, but we know he made alterations there because in 1866, because when his youngest son died, the body had to be accommodated in the village school rather than in the house, which was in the hands of the builders. Just as his elder brother left Melchet to his widow, Francis left Buckenham to his widow, who sold it to W.A. Tyssen-Amherst before 1878. 

The remaining family estates passed to Francis's surviving son, Alexander Hugh Baring (1835-89), 4th Baron Ashburton. Like his uncle and grandfather before him, he sought to improve The Grange, bringing in a London architect to modernise and enlarge it in 1868-70 and to make it a slightly less depressing workplace for his servants. In 1872 he came into possession of the Hestercombe estate in Somerset (of which his grandfather had bought the reversion in 1823), but he sold it at once to Lord Portman. Storm clouds were gathering over British agriculture and thus over landownership, and he obviously felt that the last thing he needed was another large and remote estate. In 1873 he sold the family property on the Isle of Wight, and at about the same time he sold the Devon and Cornwall estates, but these were his only major sales, and when he died aged just fifty-four his eldest son still inherited some 42,000 acres.

Francis Denzil Edward Baring (1866-1938), 5th Baron Ashburton, seems to have entered upon his inheritance with it clear in his mind that he needed to 'get out of land'. With the Agricultural Depression at its height, land was offering almost no net return on investment, and since none of the property had been in the family for more than eighty years, there were few emotional barriers to its dispersal. Accordingly, the 5th Baron began selling his estates as fast as he could: Bath House, London and the Herefordshire estate in 1890; the Langham Hall and other Essex property and the Somerset estates in 1894; the Wiltshire estates in 1896. These sales raised a lot of capital, even in the depressed state of the market (the 1894 sales alone making £120,000, for example), and it is not clear what happened to all this money. Some of it was no doubt spent on maintaining a lavish lifestyle (the 5th Baron had a large steam yacht and laid on some of the best game-bird shooting in the country at The Grange), and he also invested in urban property, becoming a director of Trafford Park Estates in Manchester, which would have provided a better return than farmland. In 1909 he bought a 4,000 acre estate in Kent, but he sold it again in 1917. But despite the fact that this branch of the family had no money invested in Barings Bank at the time of the 1890 collapse, his overall financial position seems to have continued to deteriorate. Some sort of crisis seems to have been reached in the early 1920s, when outlying portions of The Grange estate were sold and his eldest son, Alexander, was taken out of the army and put into Barings Bank with a view to restoring the family fortunes. The sale of The Grange itself followed in 1933, and although some parts of the estate seem to have remained with the family, Lord Ashburton seems to have lived abroad for at least part of the year in the 1930s.

Alexander Baring (1898-1991) succeeded his father as 6th Baron Ashburton in 1938. By then he had been a partner in Barings for ten years. During the Second World War he served in the Auxiliary Air Force, rising to the rank of Group Captain, but afterwards he returned to the bank and resumed his career. In 1949 he reinforced his links with Hampshire by buying Itchen Stoke House, a former rectory which had been built by his great-great-grandfather in 1831 and which lay at the heart of the family's remaining land holdings. The combined property provided him with the standing in the county to become Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire in 1960, and at much the same time, he took up a significant royal appointment as Receiver-General of the Duchy of Cornwall. In 1969, presumably in acknowledgement of Barings role as the Queen's bankers and of his personal role with the Duchy, the 6th Baron became the first of his family to be made a Knight of the Garter.

John Baring (b. 1928), who succeeded his father as 7th Baron Ashburton in 1991, joined Barings Bank in 1954 and became its chairman 1974-89. He ceased to be a non-executive director in 1994, just a year or so before unauthorised trading activities by Nick Leeson left the bank insolvent and led to its sale to ING. Alongside his role with the bank he held many other directorships with leading British companies, and in 1974 he succeeded his father as Receiver-General of the Duchy of Cornwall. He was made a Knight of the Garter in 1994, a rare example in modern times of father and son being both so honoured. However, his profile and reputation in business and public life are rather at odds with his reputation in conservation circles, where he gained the soubriquet 'Basher Baring' for his inconoclastic approach to historic buildings. In 1955 he bought Stratton Park House from Barings Bank, which had used it as its headquarters during the Second World War. At that time the house had no statutory protection, and in 1960 he demolished it except for the portico and built a new house in a Modernist style on the site. At much the same time, the opportunity arose to repurchase The Grange estate, which his grandfather had sold in 1933, and the purchase was completed in 1966. The Grange had been neglected for many years, and was in poor condition, though far from unrepairable. Mr Baring (as he then was) applied for and received permission to demolish it, and after a sale of the contents in 1972 it was unroofed and some parts taken down. Unfortunately for Mr. Baring, a public whose appreciation of neo-classical art had been awoken by an exhibition in 1972, and whose conscience was deeply stirred by The destruction of the country house in 1974, raised an outcry, and a public campaign was ultimately successful in persuading the Government to take the house into guardianship and to re-roof it. Meanwhile, in 1971-76 Mr. Baring built himself the single-storey Modernist Lake House in the grounds, to the designs of his kinsman, Francis Pollen. One could argue that in building contemporary houses to replace run-down mansions at Stratton Park and The Grange, Lord Ashburton was doing no more than previous generations of landowners have done with little censure from historians. But the buildings that were lost were architectural masterpieces, if not unflawed masterpieces, and the same can not be said for their successors. For this, however, Lord Ashburton and his architects must share the blame with the Modernist ideologues who have deprived architecture in the 20th century of formality, ornament and a desire for beauty.

The Grange, Northington, Hampshire

The Grange has been one of the great houses of Hampshire since the present house was begun by William Samwell in the 1660s. It achieved national celebrity in the early 19th century, when it was transformed into an uncompromising Greek temple by William Wilkins, and it hit the headlines again in the 1970s when it became a conservation cause célèbre and was only saved from total demolition by a great public outcry. Since 1975 it has been in the guardianship of English Heritage and has been conserved as a roofed shell, while the former picture gallery has been repurposed as an opera house with a sympathetic new addition.

here was a grange of Waverley Abbey (Surrey) at Northington in the medieval period, which came into the hands of the Crown at the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The house that stood here in 1665 was already of some size as it was taxed on thirteen hearths; it may well have been built at the beginning of the 17th century for the Cobb family. Archaeological assessment of the site has shown that it had formal gardens on a slightly different alignment to those of the later house, which may indicate that the earlier house was not on quite the same site as the present building. 

In about 1662 the estate was sold to Sir Robert Henley (c.1631-92), a lawyer who was the younger brother of the owner of Bramshill House (Hants) and who was protonotary (chief clerk) of the court of Kings Bench in succession to his father. He seems to have built a completely new house, and for the design of it he turned to a fellow member of the Middle Temple, William Samwell (1628-76), a lawyer who took up architecture as a second career around the time of the Restoration. Although we have no building accounts or other records of the building process, we do have a near-contemporary source for Samwell's responsibility, which was recorded by John Aubrey when he visited in 1671 and wrote soliloquies under the beech trees. The new house, which was assessed on 30 hearths in 1673, was apparently finished or nearly finished by the time of Aubrey's visit, and was probably begun in or soon after 1665. In building a new house of pure Classical form, Henley was perhaps consciously emulating his uncle, Sir John Maynard, Oliver Cromwell's serjeant-at-law, for whom John Webb began Gunnersbury Park (Middx) in 1658. Henley probably also knew Bushy House at Teddington (Middx), which was begun by Samwell in 1663 and had some similarities to his designs for The Grange.

The Grange, Northington: cutaway reconstruction of the house built in the 1660s. Image: English Heritage.

No illustration of The Grange before it was extensively remodelled in the early 19th century is known to survive, and only the west side elevation of the house survives in anything like its original form, so its original design has had to be painstakingly reconstructed by architectural historians. This has been made possible by successive phases of works over the last fifty years, which have exposed a great deal of evidence that would be concealed in an intact house, although a few elements of the design remain conjectural. It was a nine-by-seven bay block of red brick, with a partly-exposed basement storey surmounted by two full storeys, followed by an attic storey thought to have been squeezed into the cornice, and a fifth garret level set into the high roof. The basement windows were set in rusticated surrounds, except on the north side where they were evidently concealed by a parapet around the area. On the two long sides the end bays and a three-bay centrepiece were stepped forward and defined by stone quoins; advancing the end bays in this way was a very novel idea and marks a break with the plain rectangular houses of the previous decade. The entrance was on the north side and here the house was crowned by a pediment, while the south front had pilasters supporting the matching pediment. The surviving west front, which overlooked the service court and had an exposed basement, has been restored without the attic and garret levels, which would have had to be partly conjectural. 

The Grange, Northington: composite ground plan (not as built),
copied in the early 18th century. Image: Ashmolean Museum.
An early 18th century plan of the house, now among the Gibbs drawings in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, gives a fair idea of the layout of the principal floor and of the setting of the house in the landscape. The drawing does not entirely accord with the house as built (and confusingly seems to show features from several different levels at once), and it is thought to be a copy of a rejected design from a late stage in the design process, rather than an inaccurate representation of the finished building, but the only significant deviation is that it shows the staircase hall as a 24 ft square space, whereas in the house as it built it was 27 feet square. Later plans can be cross-referenced with this drawing, and suggest that Samwell's original layout was both geometrically-based and cleverly conceived in three-dimensional spatial terms. The ground floor had three primary spaces: the entrance hall, the room opposite it on the south front, and the stairwell. The house was divided down the middle by a corridor, and each corner of the house was occupied by a large room and two closets or cabinets in the French manner. The entrance hall on the north front was a 27-ft cube rising through both the main floors of the house. Behind this lay a transverse corridor leading on the west to the principal staircase but providing a connection with all four corners of the house. In the centre of the south front was a large room, again 27 feet square, from which a double-armed staircase led out into the gardens by springing across the area. This room would probably have been called the Great Parlour when the house was built, and was later the Eating Parlour. 

The Grange: Northington: view from the central corridor into the staircase hall, 1825.
The immensely grand Imperial staircase, rising in one flight and returning in two, was one of the first in this form to be built anywhere in England, and would have created a tremendous impact on visitors. In 1833 it was described as having a 'balustrade having its piers surmounted with carved vases of fruit', and these are visible in a watercolour of 1825. The upper parts of the walls were set with framed paintings of historical subjects, and the stair was crowned by a domed open cupola carried on Ionic columns, constructed within the roofspace and apparently lit from the side by the dormer windows in the roof of the west range of the house. There was a lobby around the cupola at garret level, allowing a dramatic and vertiginous view down into the staircase, as at Ashburnham House, Westminster (which is attributed to John Webb). The staircase led up to a landing from which a corridor provided access to the double-height saloon (later library) in the centre of the south front, which projected upwards into the attic, and to the other apartments on this floor. This upper corridor, which survived in altered form until the 1970s, had arched openings on one side with metalwork safety balustrades, looking into the upper part of the entrance hall, and it had a further cupola, elaborately decorated with plasterwork, in the centre. The use of double-height spaces in the hall and saloon and the creative ways in which light was introduced to the staircase and corridors made the house much less gloomy than might be expected in what was, in practice, a triple-pile house.

The Grange, Northington: upper corridor in 1970. Image: Historic England.
The first alterations of which we have any knowledge seem to have been made for Anthony Henley MP (d. 1745), a young man 'noted chiefly for his strange eccentricities and dissipated habits'. He was perhaps responsible for the installation of sash windows, replacing the original cross-windows which were still in place in 1719. Work on the structure of the house in the 1970s shows that either he or his brother, the 1st Earl of Northington, remodelled the entrance hall in a Palladian taste, with galleries at the first-floor level and plaster panels on the walls. The changes involved blocking some of the windows in the entrance hall, and taken together with other changes to the first-floor corridor and staircase, may have reduced the amount of light in the house to the point where it was regarded as 'a heavy and gloomy structure' by the late 18th century. His architect may have been James Gibbs, since that would explain how a copy plan of the 17th century house came to be among the Gibbs drawings at the Ashmolean. 

In the mid 18th century, Robert Henley, 1st Earl of Northington, clearly took a great interest in the house. Walpole visited The Grange in his day, and praised the collection of paintings, although he mistakenly thought that the house had been designed by Inigo Jones. In 1764, Lord Northington commissioned Robert Adam to design a bridge in the grounds and a new service wing attached to the west front of Samwell's house. The wing at least may have been built, since a detailed inventory of the house in 1795 describes a service wing in just the position Adam proposed. Lord Northington also made changes to the park, where he swept away the formal gardens accompanying the 17th century house (except for an avenue of lime trees) and landscaped the park, creating a lake to the east. When the grounds were described in 1788 they were 'beautifully laid out and not deficient in wood though it seems principally of modern growth'. Two of Samwell's gatepiers were cut down and re-used to form a seat to the north-east of the house. By 1795, when the Prince of Wales leased the house with 660 acres for twelve years at £900 a year, the garden was well stocked with 390 greenhouse plants, 94 potted roses, a pinery, melons, salad vegetables and 230 wall-trained fruit trees. The Prince found the house needed some repairs, which were undertaken in 1796 by Henry Holland and included replacing the sash windows.

The Grange, Northington: the house as remodelled by William Wilkins in 1809-12.

The house was radically transformed in 1809-12 by William Wilkins for Henry Drummond, a very rich and fashionable dandy who came of age in 1807, the same year in which Wilkins came to public attention through the publication of his The Antiquities of Magna Graecia and his austerely Greek design for Downing College, Cambridge. Legend suggests that Drummond was motivated by the desire to outdo the austere Greek portico added a few years earlier to Stratton Park by his neighbour, Sir Francis Baring, but the reality may be no more than that Drummond wanted to show himself in the forefront of architectural fashion. Wilkins seems to have been given a fairly free hand to recast The Grange as an academically accurate temple, and he introduced many details observed during his travels, although the inspiration for the overall form of the design may have been a "Design to elucidate the Grecian style" published in 1801 by Robert Mitchell, which has a striking similarity to The Grange. 
"Design to elucidate the Grecian style" by Robert Mitchell, 1801

Unfortunately, the excitement of the visual opportunity caused Wilkins to neglect the need to make the house practical and liveable. At a cost of some £30,000 he effectively reduced the five storeys of Samwell's elevations to two by raising a terrace around the south and east side, removing the roof and garrets completely and immuring the attic storey behind his new frieze, so that the servants' bedrooms had no natural light. He clad the building in patent Roman cement, and at the east end of the house he attached a giant hexastyle portico, which was originally intended to have a double row of columns, although the inner row was in practice never built. This portico was built purely for visual effect, since there was no entrance on the side and Wilkins did not create one. Almost equally grand porticoes were added to the north and south fronts, greatly reducing the amount of light in the principal rooms.

The Grange, Northington: entrance hall in 1970. Image: Historic England.
The interior of the house was remodelled 'to make it in some degree correspond with the style of the exterior', but the transformation was less radical, and a good deal of earlier decoration survived. In the hall, Wilkins removed the galleries, inserted columns from floor to ceiling, raised the floor to dispense with the short flight of steps which had led from the entrance hall to the transverse corridor, and lowered the arches leading to the central corridor to the new ground level. In the south-east corner of the house he swept away a secondary staircase and several small rooms to form a spacious drawing room on the ground floor with bedrooms above. In the drawing room and the billiard room next door (the former Great Parlour) he raised the ceiling 'in compliance with modern habits, without acquiring those noble proportions of which this operation has totally deprived the upper floor', as C.R. Cockerell subsequently observed. The great staircase was trimmed of its historical canvases and perhaps of its cupola, which had apparently gone by 1833. Altogether the house became an impracticable stage set: a visitor, J.L. Mallet, commented that 'The effect... was to turn a good family house into a very bad one, and to feast the eyes of men of taste with a model of chaste Greek architecture surrounded by terraces and tufted groves'. In 1826, the Gardener's Magazine questioned 'how far these cumbrous proportions, which according to Vitruvius were reserved to honour the major deities, are applicable for the purpose of villa architecture'.

In the second decade of the 19th century Henry Drummond joined his neighbour Sir Thomas Baring and the latter's sister Harriet Wall and brother George in becoming a convert to evangelical religion, and 'satiated with the empty frivolities of the fashionable world' he sold The Grange estate in 1817 and took his wife travelling through Palestine. The Grange was bought by Alexander Baring (1773-1848), the senior partner in Barings Bank at this time, who was perhaps attracted as much by the proximity of the estate to Stratton Park as by the architecture. Baring, who was raised to the peerage as Baron Ashburton in 1835, at once engaged Robert Smirke to build a single-storey private wing to the west of the house, and then in 1823-25 employed C.R. Cockerell to add a new dining room entered from the half-pace of the great staircase (which largely blocked the natural light of the great staircase), and a very large glazed conservatory at the west end of the whole composition. 

The Grange, Northington: dining room added by C.R. Cockerell, 1823-25. Image: Historic England.
No expense was spared on the internal decoration, and in 1846 Jane Carlyle recorded that "The place is like, not one, but a conglomeration of Greek temples set down in a magnificent wooded park... The inside is magnificent to death - the ceilings all painted in fresco - some dozen public rooms on the ground floor all hung with magnificent paintings - and fitted up like rooms in an Arabian Nights' entertainment - but the finest part of it is the entrance hall and staircases which present a view of columns and frescoes and carved wood and turkey carpets".

The Grange, Northington: the house from the south in about 1870, showing the great conservatory on the left.

The family seem never to have been quite satisfied with the house, and were constantly tinkering with it. A drawing which can be dated between 1825 and 1835 and which has been tentatively attributed to Lewis Wyatt, suggests that a reconstruction and redecoration of the staircase was being considered, perhaps in the early 1830s. In 1852 F.P. Cockerell added a second storey to the private wing, and in 1868-70 an obscure London architect called John Cox was brought into modernise the house and make it more convenient. He pierced windows through Wilkins' frieze to provide some direct light in the attic rooms; gutted the ground floor and basement of the north-east corner of the house to form a new morning room, and opened a large archway into the east wall of the entrance hall; carried out major alterations to the staircase hall, including rebuilding the staircase itself, parts of which had begun to fail structurally, and perhaps re-creating the cupola over the staircase (although this may have been done earlier, by F.P. Cockerell, in 1852).

When Wilkins stopped work at The Grange he left the terracing around the house incomplete, and it was left to C.R. Cockerell to finalise the setting at the time his large conservatory was built. He laid out a very early example of a formal Italianate garden south and west of the house, and Sir Charles Barry was also consulted about garden design. In the late 19th century the gardens were extended south of the main house. The flower and kitchen gardens were established by 1833 in their present position south-east of the lake. In 1890, soon after inheriting the estate, the 5th Lord Ashburton converted the great conservatory into a picture gallery and ballroom; his architect is not known, but John Cox may have been involved again.

In the mid 20th century, Lewis Wallach housed his collection of art and antiques in the house and lived in the private wing. He partially redecorated the interior before the Second World War, but the house was then requisitioned for military use, while Wallach continued to live in the private wing. With limited maintenance during and after the war, the house began to deteriorate rapidly, and when the Hon. John Baring bought the property back in 1966 he determined to demolish it. Incredibly, listed building consent for this was granted in 1970 and a great sale of all the saleable fixtures and fittings was held by Pearsons of Andover in June 1972. Demolition began shortly afterwards with the private wing and Cockerell's dining room, and the main house was unroofed. By 1973 an unprecedented public outcry from the conservation lobby, led by John Redmill, brought work to a halt, and in 1975 the Department of the Environment (later English Heritage) agreed to take the house into guardianship. After further public criticism of the deteriorating state of the house, a scheme of stabilisation and re-roofing of the surviving parts of the house was undertaken by Donald Hankey in 1979-82, and the west front of Samwell's house, which had been exposed by the demolition of Cockerell's dining room, was repaired to a design which did not attempt to recreate lost elements of the elevation. Cox's attic windows, which were practical but aesthetically detrimental, were blocked up, and where plate-glass sashes had been inserted in the 19th century they were returned to the twelve-pane sashes which Wilkins intended. The east portico was given a new coffered ceiling made of glass-reinforced plastic. Between 1973 and 1981, when the house was roofless, the interiors of the house were all lost; the floors and plaster disintegrated, and the remains had to be stripped out to deal with galloping dry rot. 

The Grange, Northington: the west front of the Samwell house, revealed by the demolition of Cockerell's dining room, and restored by English Heritage in 1979-82.

The Grange, Northington: the house from the south-east in 2013, showing the new scene dock for the opera house linking the mansion and the conservatory building.

In 1998 the Baring family granted a lease of parts of the site to Grange Park Opera, who began using the former conservatory/picture gallery to provide a short season of opera performances each year. To accommodate a larger audience and the scene dock for the opera stage, this space was remodelled and extended in 2002 in a building which occupies part of the footprint of the demolished private wing and rather cleverly sketches in the appearance of this range from the south-east, without copying it. The new block, although more intrusive from the north-west, visually links the main house and the conservatory once more. More recently, funds raised through the opera company allowed the main staircase of the house and the Greek doorcase at its head, to be reinstalled in their original positions in 2008-09. These artefacts, which had been in store pending re-use since 1972, had been bought by English Heritage in 1997 with the intention of returning them to the house when funds permitted.  Since the re-roofing and repair of the building, public access has been provided, but only to the exterior of the building. Hopes that the house might be restored to the point where it could be opened to the public as a staffed site have not materialised, although one hopes that this remains a long-term objective. There are now occasional guided tours of the building, and certain areas are also used in conjunction with the opera performances.

As a coda to this account, mention must be made of Lake House, Northington, which was built in the old walled garden of the mansion to the designs of Francis Pollen (1926-87) in 1971-76 for the Hon. John Baring. The house was commissioned after Mr Baring decided to pull down The Grange, and when he was living at Stratton Park in the Modernist house he had built there in 1963-65, that proved so unsatisfactory. The Lake House became, in effect, the successor to both buildings. Francis Pollen, whose mother was a Baring (she was a daughter of Lord Revelstoke), was an interesting choice of designer. As a child, he spent his holidays in the White House on Lambay Island that Sir Edwin Lutyens designed for his mother and aunt, and he received his first training in the great man's office, albeit after he had died. His grounding was therefore in classical design, and it left a legacy in his later work of a feeling for materials, proportion and composition. Pollen went on to study architecture at Cambridge and contracted the Modernist infection, but he never wholeheartedly accepted its orthodoxies, even though he sometimes designed purely Modernist buildings. Much of his architectural output shows him trying to reconcile elements of Modernism and Classicism, and the Lake House is a case in point. Although essentially a Modernist single-storey stretched bungalow, the nearly blind entrance side is effectively symmetrical, and the central doorcase incorporates two Ionic Coade stone capitals from the window of Cockerell's dining room at The Grange that are set into the brick and flint front wall. As Alan Powers has noted, 'They are deliberately out of scale, suggesting a lost and more heroic order, like the fragments in Piranesi's engravings'. At the top of the wall is a recessed gap, above which the flat roof appears to float, a device that was perhaps intended to suggest the invisible presence of a frieze and cornice. The L-shaped garden side of the house is by contrast disappointing, consisting of a glazed wall, set in part on a low brick plinth, under an oversailing flat roof. If the idea was to evoke the glasshouses of the 19th century walled garden, it is uncomfortably successful.

Descent: Crown sold 1536 to Admiral Sir William Fitzwilliam (c.1490-1542), 1st Earl of Southampton; to widow, Mabel, Countess of Southampton... Crown granted 1557 to Sir Anthony Browne (1528-92), 1st Viscount Montague (half-nephew of the Earl of Southampton); sold 1568 to Thomas Cobb (b. c.1510); to son, Michael Cobb (1547-98); to son, Thomas Cobb (1575-1638); sold after his death in 1639 to Lord Henry Paulet (1602-72), who sold 1662 to Sir Robert Henley MP (c.1624-92); to son, Anthony Henley MP (1667-1711); to son, Anthony Henley (d. 1745); to brother, Sir Robert Henley (1708-72), later 1st Baron Henley and 1st Earl of Northington; to son, Robert Henley (1747-86), 2nd Earl of Northington; to sisters, who sold 1787 to Henry Drummond (1731-95), who let to Prince of Wales, 1795-1800, the Earl of Lonsdale and Lord Henry Stuart; to grandson, Henry Drummond (1786-1860), who remodelled the house but sold it in 1817 to Alexander Baring (1773-1848), 1st Baron Ashburton; to son, William Bingham Baring (1799-1864), 2nd Baron Ashburton; to brother, Francis Baring (1800-68), 3rd Baron Ashburton; to son, Alexander Hugh Baring (1835-89), 4th Baron Ashburton; to son, Francis Denzil Baring (1866-1938), 5th Baron Ashburton, who sold 1934 to Lewis Wallach (c.1872-1964); sold 1966 to Hon. John Baring (b. 1928), 7th Baron Ashburton, who demolished parts of the house in 1972-75 and placed the rest in the guardianship of English Heritage in 1975; leased by Grange Opera Company, 1998-2016 and since 2017 by The Grange Festival.

Itchen Stoke House, Hampshire

The house was built as a vicarage in 1831 by Alexander Baring (1773-1848), 1st Lord Ashburton, for his son, the Hon. & Rev. Frederick Baring (1806-68), who was rector of Abbotstone and Kings Worthy, and vicar of Itchen Stoke from 1830-45.  Itchen Stoke church was rebuilt at the same time, to the designs of a local man called Edward Hunt of Alresford, and he very probably designed the house too. (Hunt was the son of a brewer who turned to architecture and surveying, and who specialised at this time in designing workhouses; he was the father of the better known William Henry Hunt). The house itself is a rectangular four-by-three bay house of two storeys, built of rendered brick with a hipped roof. An L-shaped service wing projects on the east. Along the street frontage is a brick and flint wall of similar date to the house, which incorporates an early 18th century stone gateway of vermiculated rustication, with a round arch reaching into a pedimented gable. This seems to belong to a previous house on the site, for there are designs for alterations to 'Itchenstoke House' made by the amateur architect George Clarke (1661-1736), and the gateway is similar to the rusticated door surround of the rectory he designed at Kingston Bagpuize (Berks).

Built by Alexander Baring (1773-1848), 1st Baron Ashburton as the vicarage; sold by Church of England c.1920 to Lt-Col. Harry Otway Hirsch Smithers (1877-1941); to son, Lt-Cdr. Peter Henry Berry Smithers (1913-2006); sold 1949 to Alexander Baring (1898-1991), 6th Baron Ashburton; to grand-daughter, Lucinda (b. 1956) and her husband, the Hon. Michael Vaughan (b. 1948).

Abbotsworthy House, Kings Worthy, Hampshire

Abbotsworthy House: designed by J.C. Buckler in 1834-36 and extended in the 1850s or 1860s.

The house was built as a neo-Tudor rectory by J.C. Buckler in 1834-36 for the Rev. Charles Baring (later Bishop of Gloucester & Bristol and then Bishop of Durham), who was rector of the parish at the time. After he sold moved on to higher preferment elsewhere, the house was sold to William Cotesworth, for whom it was subsequently extended in a matching style. 

Abbotsworthy House: remodelled by Claud Phillimore in 1950.

Late 19th and early 20th century owners concentrated their attention on developing the gardens, but most of the house was remodelled in an uncompleted transformation into a neo-Georgian house with bows, stucco and trelliswork by Claud Phillimore for Esmond Baring in 1950. He created a fine staircase with a metalwork balustrade and an oval library. Since 1995, the house has been largely empty and has faced an uncertain future. The gardens have been abandoned and in part sold off for development. The house was sold most recently in 2018, but its future remains unclear.

Descent: Sir Thomas Baring, 2nd bt. (1772-1848) bought the estate in 1801; it passed to his to fourth son, Rt. Rev. Charles Baring (1807-79); who sold c.1850 to William Cotesworth (1827-1905). He sold 1896 to George John Shaw-Lefevre, 1st Baron Eversley (1831-1928) who bequeathed it to his widow, Lady Eversley (d. 1929); contents sold 1929... sold to Esmond Charles Baring (1914-63); sold 1963 to Lord Eldon; sold 1968 to Thomas Edmund Byng, Viscount Enfield (later 8th Earl of Strafford) (b. 1936), who seems to have settled it on his wife when he divorced her in 1980; in 1981 she married Sir Christopher Bland (b. 1938), who sold 1995;... sold 2018.

Melchet Court, Hampshire

At one time, the estate formed part of the Royal Forest of Clarendon, and a lodge was built here in 1357. In 1577, Richard Audley, Chief Ranger, who lived in the Lodge, obtained a royal licence to enclose 240 acres of the park, but this was disparked again in 1610. Nothing seems to be known about the rebuilding or remodelling of the medieval lodge over the next few centuries, but by 1790 there seems to have been a Georgian house here, for Hassell noted it as ‘a pleasant seat, the residence of colonel Osborne, which commands a very extensive prospect. The house, from the road, appears to be a well-built, convenient, and neat mansion, and the grounds are spacious, but with very few embellishments’.
Melchet Court: the 'Hindoo Temple'. Image: British Library.
John Osborne had purchased the estate in 1785, and it was probably during his occupancy that the grounds were landscaped and a lake was constructed. The chief 'embellishment' was not added until 1800, when he built a 'Hindoo Temple' to the north of the house, containing a bust of his friend, Warren Hastings. This rather charming structure was one of the rare examples of Indian influence on British architecture, and was fortunately recorded before being demolished in the mid 19th century.

In 1862, 
William Bingham Baring (1799-1864), 2nd Lord Ashburton, commissioned Henry Clutton to design the present neo-Jacobean brick house; it was unfinished at his death and was completed by his widow, Louisa, in 1868. It is said to have been built on the footprint of the previous house, and is not particularly large, although it is quite big-boned. In 1872, the newly-completed house was badly damaged by fire, and it was reconstructed by Clutton in 1875-79, when the opportunity was taken to move the approach drive from the south to the north, and to construct terraced gardens below the south front. 

Melchet Court: entrance front, after the removal of the clock tower in 1913-14. Image: Historic England

On what is now the entrance side there is a generous full-height semicircular bow on either side of a square central porch, with shaped gables above, all perfectly symmetrical. The south front is similar, but with canted bows set either side of a rectangular one. To the east there is a lower two-storey L-shaped bedroom and office wing, which originally had a tall clock tower that mixed Italianate and neo-Jacobean motifs, while west of the house there was a large conservatory or winter garden. 

Melchet Court: garden front as reconstructed after the fire in 1875-79

The original interior decoration by Alfred Stevens and L.W. Collmann, including a good deal of mural painting, was mostly lost in the 1872 fire. The entrance hall was least affected by the fire, and here the grey marble fireplace is thought to be by Stevens and the coffered ceiling is also original, although it has lost its original grisaille decoration. The staircase was reconstructed after the fire in the Baroque style. 

Melchet Court: garden front as remodelled by Braddell & Deane in 1913-14. Image: Historic England.
In 1911, the estate was sold to Sir Alfred Mond (d. 1935), 1st Baron Melchett, who commissioned Darcy Braddell and Humphry Deane to make alterations to the house and garden in 1913-14. Their work is so sympathetic in both style and materials to the original house that it is quite hard to distinguish what they did without the aid of photographs taken before 1911. They altered the east wing by removing the clock tower and adding a second bay window to its south side. The conservatory west of the house was rebuilt as a new single-storey range topped by a balustrade containing a card room, billiard room and squash court.

Melchet Court: view from the entrance hall through to the staircase, after 1914. Image: Historic England

Melchet Court: dining room created by Braddell & Deane, 1913-14. Image: Historic England
Changes were made inside the house too, including the introduction of a new compartmented ceiling in the saloon to complement Lord Melchett's collection of Italian paintings and furniture, and the formation of a new dining room at the junction of the main block and the east wing. This has Jacobean-style decoration and a plaster ceiling with low-relief mouldings reminiscent of the work of Ernest Gimson. Braddell & Deane continued to work on the estate throughout the period of Lord Melchett's ownership, and in 1919 they created a new study for him adjoining his dressing room, with rich Renaissance plasterwork. In 1924, the gatehouse at the present entrance replaced a former lodge, and in 1928 they designed a 'nursery house' for Lord Melchett's grandchildren to live in, which in 1930 was enlarged in an Art Deco 'Hollywood Hispanic' style for the 2nd Lord Melchett as a new country house, which he called Woodfalls, while the Victorian house was leased for use as a school. Woodfalls has white walls, a bulky tower at one end, and a large wing containing a swimming pool. 

Woodfalls, Melchet Park: the right hand part is the 'nursery house' of 1928; the left hand part the addition of 1930. Image: Country Life.

After the Second World War, the estate was sold and split up, while the house was let to a succession of tenants. In 1963, however, the house and 65 acres of the grounds were bought by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bristol for use as a residential secondary school for boys with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties and some new buildings have been added to meet the needs of the school, though the main house is remarkably unaltered.

Descent: Crown granted 1614 to Sir Laurence Hyde (d. 1641), kt.; to sons, Rt. Rev. Alexander Hyde, bishop of Salisbury, and Dr. James Hyde MD who sold 1664 to Richard Coleman... Judith Coleman (d. c.1720); to nephews, John, Francis and Nathaniel Tregagle... to their niece Jane Whichcote, wife of Christopher Whichcote; sold 1775 to James Lockhart; sold 1785 to Col. John Osborne (d. 1821); to widow, Martha Osborne (d. 1854), who let to Richard Webb (d. 1837) and then sold 1835 to Alexander Baring (1773-1848), 1st Baron Ashburton; to son, William Bingham Baring (1799-1864), 2nd Baron Ashburton; to widow, Louisa Caroline (1827-1903), Baroness Ashburton; sold 1911 to Sir Alfred Mond (1868-1930), 1st Baron Melchett; to son, Henry Ludwig Mond (1898-1949), 2nd Baron Melchett; sold 1935 for use as a school; requisitioned in Second World War; returned to use as a school for children orphaned by the war, 1946; sold 1954 to Salesian Brothers for use as a theological college; sold 1963 to RC Diocese of Bristol.

Bay House, Gosport, Hampshire

Bay House, Gosport: an early engraving of the house as built by Decimus Burton for the 1st Lord Ashburton, 1838-40.
The last of Alexander Baring's major building projects was the construction of a marine villa at Gosport, on a site (formerly used as a military brickworks) sloping down to the sea. The house was designed by Decimus Burton and built in about 1838-40. It is an asymmetrical neo-Tudor composition in pale stone, with a central gable on the entrance front fronted by a big porch, with a taller turret to one side. A lower service wing extends to the left of this front. On the garden side the house is L-shaped, with a big gable-end that has a large square bay window on the ground floor and a veranda with a tent roof lighting above it. Another veranda formerly ran around the ground-floor rooms to the left of the gable-end.

The house became a secondary school in 1949 and was expanded fairly sympathetically in 1956-58, and rather less so later. The house itself was damaged by fire in 1984 and subsequently restored. It remains in use as a school as Bay House Academy.

Descent: built c.1838-40 for Alexander Baring (1773-1848), 1st Baron Ashburton; to son, William Bingham Baring (1799-1864), 2nd Baron Ashburton, who sold c.1859 to War Office, whose plans for an Admiralty college here were abandoned; leased and then sold 1878 to Dr. Burney, who ran a naval academy; to daughter, who sold 1892 to Francis Sloane-Stanley (1841-1904); to son, Lt-Col. Ronald Francis Assheton Sloane-Stanley (1867-1948), who sold 1944 to Gosport Borough Council; transferred 1954 to Hampshire County Council.

Baring family of The Grange, Barons Ashburton

Alexander Baring (1773-1848),
1st Baron Ashburton
Baring, Rt. Hon. Alexander (1773-1848), 1st Baron Ashburton. Second son of Sir Francis Baring (1740-1810), 1st bt., and his wife Harriet, daughter and co-heir of William Herring of Croydon (Surrey), born 27 October and baptised at St. Gabriel. Fenchurch St., London, 25 November 1773. Educated at Hanau (Germany) before being apprenticed to his father. In 1794, after completing his apprenticeship, he was sent to Amsterdam to work with Hope & Co., but when the French took Amsterdam he was obliged to flee to London. He was sent next to America, to negotiate the purchase of 1.225m acres of land in Maine from Senator William Bingham as a safe investment for both Barings and Hope & Co. at a time when war in Europe made investment at home risky. He remained in America until 1801, building a reputation as a financier and managing the Maine lands. After his return, he was soon involved in raising the funds for the purchase of Louisiana by the American government from the French. He became a partner in Barings in 1804 and was undisputed senior partner by 1809. Under his leadership the firm focused chiefly on raising funds for the British and American governments; something that required delicate handling when the two countries were at war between 1812 and 1814. After 1816 he was involved in helping the French government raise money for war reparations, an activity on which Barings made remarkably large profits. His position was strengthened in 1813, when Barings took over Hope & Co. in London and Amsterdam, and began marketing Russian and Austrian government bonds too. 'He has to a certain degree the command of the money market of the world and feels his power', reckoned the Duke of Wellington in 1818, and the Duc de Richelieu agreed, reputedly listing the six great European powers as Britain, France, Russia, Austria, Prussia, and Barings. He was a Director of the Bank of England, 1805-17. The firm's increasing scale of activities and greater European profile brought them into conflict with the Rothschild empire for the first time, with Salomon Rothschild regarding him as 'quite a crook'. In the 1820s, he largely avoided becoming involved in South American securities, many of which proved to be worthless in the crash of 1825-26, and instead concentrated on building up the firm's North American business and acting as European agent for the Bank of the United States. In 1815 he brought a merchant called Swinton Holland into the firm as a partner to act as his deputy until such time as his son Francis was old and experienced enough to take over, and by 1825 he was semi-retired. Francis, however, blotted his copy-book in South America in 1825, and when Holland died at his desk in 1827, Alexander was forced to return to a leading role to see through the appointment as partners of two of his nephews, Thomas Baring (1799-1873) and John Baring (1801-88), as well as John's American former business partner, Joshua Bates, and he did not finally retire from the firm until 1830. One reason from his early withdrawal from the firm was an increasing involvement in politics. He began, in the family tradition as Whig MP for Taunton, 1806-26 and Callington, 1826-31, and was a supporter of free trade, but his views became more conservative and in particular he was implacably opposed to Parliamentary reform. This was the issue which eventually led him to join the Tories. He was returned unopposed as MP for Thetford (where he controlled one of the seats), 1831-32 and at the time probably still regarded himself as a moderate progressive, but in the election to the reformed house he stood as a Conservative for North Essex, which he represented 1832-35. Sir Robert Peel made him a Privy Councillor in 1834 and appointed him as President of the Board of Trade and Master of the Mint, 1834-35, and when Peel's administration fell he was raised to the peerage as Baron Ashburton (a recreation of the title formerly held by his cousin, Richard Dunning) in the resignation honours list, 10 April 1835. In 1841 he came out of retirement to go to America as a special ambassador, to negotiate the settlement of the disputed boundary between the United States and Canada; it was a shrewd move as he retained considerable prestige in America, though his critics reckoned the resulting Webster–Ashburton treaty of 1842 gave too much away. On his return he sought advancement to an earldom but was offered a viscountcy, which he declined. Like other members of his family, he was an enthusiastic collector of magnificent pictures and furniture, and this led to his appointment as a Trustee of the British Museum, 1829-49 and of the National Gallery, 1835-48. In addition to the wealth he inherited and made through Barings, he acquired £20,000 on his marriage and after his father-in-law died, received 30% of the income from his $3m estate. He married, 23 August 1798 at Blackpoint, Philadelphia (USA), Anne Louisa (d. 1848), eldest daughter of Senator William Bingham of Philadelphia, and had issue:
(1) William Bingham Baring (1799-1864), 2nd Baron Ashburton (q.v.);
(2) Francis Baring (1800-68), 3rd Baron Ashburton (q.v.).
(3) Hon. Anne Eugenia Baring (c.1801-39), born about May 1801; married, 27 September 1823 at Northington (Hants), Humphrey St John Mildmay MP (1794-1853) and had issue one son; died 8 March 1839 and was buried at Shoreham (Kent);
(4) Hon. Harriet Baring (1802-92), born 3 May and baptised at St George, Hanover Sq., London, 9 December 1802; married, 10 April 1830, Henry Frederick Thynne (1797-1837), 3rd Marquess of Bath, and had issue two sons and two daughters; lived latterly at Muntham Court (Sussex); died 2 January 1892; will proved 10 March 1892 (effects £153,428);
(5) Hon. Louisa Emily Baring (1804-88), born 7 March 1804 and baptised at St. Marylebone, April 1804; lived in London and at West Hill, Titchfield (Hants); died unmarried, 23 March 1888; will proved 28 April 1888 (effects £144,517);
(6) Hon. & Rev. Frederick Baring (1806-68), born 31 January and baptised at St Marylebone, 26 December 1806; educated at Christ's College, Cambridge (admitted 1824; LLB 1830); rector of Abbotstone and vicar of Itchen Stoke, 1830-45; moved to Melchet Park, 1845, to London in the 1850s, and to Ashgrove (Kent) in 1862; married, 24 April 1831, Frederica Mary Catherine (1804-84), daughter of John Ashton of The Grange, Chester (Cheshire) and had issue one son and two daughters; died 4 June 1868; will proved 27 July 1868 (effects under £80,000);
(7) Caroline Baring (b. 1808), born 26 December 1808 and baptised at St Marylebone, 18 March 1809; probably died in infancy;
(8) Alexander Baring (1810-32), born 2 May and baptised at Carshalton (Surrey), 20 July 1810; an officer in the Royal Navy (Lt.); died unmarried on HMS Alfred, 12 March 1832;
(9) Hon. Lydia Emily Baring (1814-68), born 23 March and baptised at St Marylebone, 25 April 1814; died unmarried in Brighton (Sussex), 28 December 1868; will proved 16 January 1869 (effects under £14,000);
(10) Hon. Arthur Baring (1818-38), born 8 February and baptised in Paris, 17 April 1818; died unmarried, probably of consumption, at Madeira, 16 February 1838.
From about 1805 his London home was at 25 Bruton Street and later he moved to 33 Portman Square and in 1821 to Bath House, Piccadilly. After 1815 he invested heavily in the purchase of land, the following being his principal acquisitions:
Lands at Berwick St James, Steeple Langford, Stapleford and Winterbourne Stoke, Wiltshire (purchased 1815; sold by 5th Baron, 1896)
The Grange, Northington, Hampshire (purchased 1817 and enlarged; sold by 5th Baron, 1933)
All Cannings, Wiltshire (purchased 1818; sold by 5th Baron 1896)
Bath House, Piccadilly, London (purchased 1821 and rebuilt; sold by 5th Baron 1890)
Buckenham Tofts Hall, Norfolk (purchased 1821; sold by 3rd Baron's widow before 1878)
Hestercombe, Somerset (purchased reversion 1823; sold by 4th Baron on gaining possession, 1872)
Smaller West Somerset properties (purchased 1823-41; sold by 5th Baron, 1894)
Langham Hall, Essex/Suffolk (purchased 1830; sold by 5th Baron, 1894)
Rudhall, Herefordshire and lands in Brampton Abbotts, Linton, Ross-on-Wye and Weston-under-Penyard (purchased 1830 onwards; sold by 5th Baron, 1890)
Buckland Filleigh & Calstock (Devon/Cornwall) (purchased 1834; passed by marriage to Marquess of Northampton in 1884)
Melchet Court, Hampshire (purchased 1835; sold by executors of 2nd Baron's widow, 1911)
Bay House, Gosport, Hampshire (purchased c.1838; sold about 1859)
Sheat Place, Gatcombe, Isle of Wight (purchased 1843; sold by 4th Baron, 1873)
He also owned some 4,000 acres of small farms between Colchester and Pitsea in Essex (sold by the 5th Baron, 1894).
He died at Longleat House (Wilts), 12 May 1848; his will was proved 31 August 1848 (his estates were then estimated to be worth £800,000). His widow died 5 December 1848; her will was proved 17 February 1849.

William Bingham Baring (1799-1864)
2nd Baron Ashburton
Baring, William Bingham (1799-1864), 2nd Baron Ashburton. Eldest son of Alexander Baring (1773-1848), 1st Baron Ashburton, and his wife Anne Louisa, eldest daughter of Senator William Bingham of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA), born June 1799. Educated at Geneva and Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1817; BA 1821; MA 1836; hon. DCL, 1856). A moderate Whig in politics until 1835, after which he defected to the Conservatives; he was MP for Thetford, 1826-30, Callington, 1830-31, Winchester 1832-37, Staffordshire North, 1837-41 and Thetford again, 1841-48; Secretary of the Board of Control (of Indian affairs), 1841-45; sworn of the Privy Council, 1843; Paymaster of the Forces and Treasurer of the Navy, 1845-46. He succeeded his father as 2nd Baron Ashburton, 12 May 1848. He was appointed a Commander of the Legion d'honneur for services to commerce, 1855. He was a Trustee of the National Gallery, President of the Royal Asiatic Society and a Fellow of the Geographical Society (President, 1860-64). He was an officer in the Dogmersfield Yeomanry Cavalry (Cornet, 1821) and the Hampshire Yeomanry Cavalry (Capt., 1830-54); DL for Hampshire (from 1853). As a young man he was shy and maladroit, 'giving an impression of mental weakness and even moral inferiority', but in fact possessed considerable intellectual powers and had wide interests. In 1830, he confronted a group of rioting villagers at the Grange, who knocked him down and were narrowly prevented from killing him; but he was subsequently convicted of assaulting the ringleaders and fined £50. He married 1st, 12 April 1823 at St George, Hanover Sq., London, Lady Harriet Mary (1805-57), a socialite who possessed 'just enough education to pass for a bluestocking and enough vivacity to pass for a wit' and who established one of the leading literary salons, and was the eldest daughter of George John Montagu, 6th Earl of Sandwich; and 2nd, 17 November 1858, Louisa Caroline (1827-1903), youngest daughter of Rt. Hon. James Alexander Stewart Mackenzie, Governor of Ceylon, and had issue:
(1.1) Alexander Montagu Baring (1828-30), born 10 November 1828; died in infancy, 5 February 1830;
(2.1) Hon. Mary Florence Baring (1860-1902), born 26 June 1860; married, 30 April 1884, William George Spencer Scott Compton, 5th Marquess of Northampton and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 1 June 1902; her will was proved 7 July 1903 (estate £23,486).
He inherited The Grange from his father in 1848 and made further additions to the design of F.P. Cockerell in 1852. He also inherited his father's other estates in Hampshire & the Isle of Wight, Wiltshire, Devon & Cornwall (which he settled on his daughter), Essex, Norfolk, Somerset and Herefordshire. He altered Bicton Manor, St. Ive (Cornw.) in c.1850 and built Danescombe House at Calstock (Cornw.) on a viewpoint in the Tamar Valley in 1856, but it became an hotel in 1860. He took possession of Melchet Park in 1862 and rebuilt it to the designs of Henry Clutton, 1863-66. His second wife inherited the 30,000 acre Mackenzie estate in Ross-shire from her family and also the Melchet Park estate in Hampshire from her husband; after a fire in 1872 she restored Melchet, again to Clutton's design, 1875-79, and lived there until her death, after which it was sold.
He died at The Grange, 23 March 1864; his will was proved 1 June 1864 (effects under £180,000). His first wife died in Paris, 4 May 1857. His widow died 2 February 1903; her will was proved 1 July 1903 (estate £285,588).

Baring, Francis (1800-68), 3rd Baron Ashburton. Second son of Alexander Baring (1773-1848), 1st Baron Ashburton, and his wife Anne Louisa, eldest daughter of Senator William Bingham of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA), born 24 May 1800. Educated privately and in Geneva. He was his father's favourite son, 'intelligent, quick-witted, perceptive and possessed [of] an excellent memory and iron strength of will'. He became a partner in Baring Bros & Co. in 1823, launched the Alliance British & Foreign Life & Fife Insurance Co. in 1824, and became one of its Directors, 1824-31. He was intended by his father to succeed to control of the bank, until he was sent to Mexico in 1825 on a mission which revealed his volatility and lack of judgement. He found the climate oppressive, took to drink, and was depressed by a shooting accident in which he killed an English friend, Augustus Waldegrave; he then fell among unscrupulous companions who persuaded him to make a disastrous land speculation which ended up costing the firm £40,000 and might have cost much more had they not extricated themselves by bribing members of the Mexican chamber of deputies to pass a retrospective law forbidding foreigners to buy country property. Others suffered by this measure, and it led to an action for damages in England in which the firm was fortunate to be acquitted. He was never trusted by his partners in the bank again, and was demoted to being a non-executive partner from 1828, a status which he retained until 1864, when he retired from even nominal partnership on inheriting the title and family fortune. A Peelite Conservative in politics, he was MP for Thetford, 1830-31, 1832-41, 1848-57, although after his marriage he lived mainly in Paris, where he reputedly paid 1,600,000 francs for a mansion in the Place Vendôme and became a director of Credit Moblier.  He was a member of the Canterbury Association formed in 1848 and the town of Ashburton (New Zealand) is named after him. He succeeded his elder brother as 3rd Baron Ashburton, 23 March 1864. He married, 29 December 1832 at the British Embassy in Paris, (Hortense Eugenie) Claire (c.1812-82), daughter of Hugues-Bernard Maret, Duc de Bassano, French statesman, diplomat and Secretary of State to Napoleon Bonaparte, and had issue:
(1) Hon. Marie Anne Louise Baring (1833-1928), born 18 November 1833; married, 10 February 1858 at St George, Hanover Square, London, William Henry Fitzroy (1819-82), Earl of Euston and later 6th Duke of Grafton, but had no issue; as a widow, she lived at Harlestone House (Northants), which she rented from the Earl Spencer; died 8 April 1928; will proved 5 June 1928 (estate £73,826);
(2) Alexander Hugh Baring (1835-89), 4th Baron Ashburton (q.v.);
(3) Hon. Denzil Hugh Baring (1840-66), born 14 January 1840; an officer in the Coldstream Guards (Ensign & Lt., 1859; Lt. & Capt., 1863; retired 1865); he was unmarried when he died suddenly at Nice (France) on his way home from Egypt, 26 May 1866.
He lived at Melchet Park (Hants) from 1848-62. He moved to Buckenham Tofts Hall (Norfk.) in 1862, and remodelled it in 1866. He inherited The Grange and the other family estates from his brother in 1864. His widow sold Buckenham Tofts Hall to William Amherst of Didlington Hall before 1878, and lived subsequently in Paris.
He died of an illness which affected both his mind and body (perhaps syphilis or dementia) at Hazlewood near Watford (Herts), 6 September 1868; his will was proved 22 December 1868 (effects under £250,000). His widow died 15 December 1882; her will was proved 18 April 1883 (effects in England £153,803).

Alexander Hugh Baring (1835-89)
4th Baron Ashburton
Baring, Alexander Hugh (1835-89), 4th Baron Ashburton. Elder son of Francis Baring (1800-68), 3rd Baron Ashburton, and his wife Hortense Eugenie Claire, daughter of Hugues Bernard Maret, Duke of Bassano, born 4 May and baptised at St James, Piccadilly, Westminster (Middx), 11 August 1835. Educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1852; BA 1857; MA 1861). Landowner in several counties. Conservative MP for Thetford, 1857-67; JP (from 1864) and DL for Norfolk. He succeeded his father as 4th Baron Ashburton, 6 September 1868. He married, 5 January 1864 at St James, Piccadilly, Hon. Leonora Caroline (1844-1930), second daughter of Edward St. Vincent Digby, 9th Baron Digby, and had issue:
(1) Francis Denzil Edward Baring (1866-1938), 5th Baron Ashburton (q.v.);
(2) Hon. Frederick Arthur Baring (1867-1961), born 18 September 1867; an officer in the City of London Regt. (2nd Lt., 1887; resigned 1890) and Hampshire Yeomanry (2nd Lt., 1900; Capt. by 1903); lived at Chilton Candover (Hants); married, 30 April 1890 at St Peter, Vere St., St. Marylebone (Middx), Laura Louisa (1867-1951), daughter of Frederick George Hobson of Hockley House, Alresford (Hants) and had issue one daughter; died aged 93 on 26 February 1961; will proved 17 May 1961 (estate £1,369);
(3) Hon. Alexander Henry Baring (1869-1948), born 4 September 1869; JP for Hampshire; County Councillor and County Alderman for Hampshire, 1915-48; lived at Itchen Stoke Manor; died unmarried, 21 January 1948; will proved 28 February 1948 (estate £167,174);
(4) Hon. Guy Victor Baring (1873-1916) (q.v.);
(5) Hon. Lillian Theresa Clare Baring (1874-1962), born 28 May 1874; married, 5 March 1906 at Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks, London, Lt-Col. Frederick Loch Adam MVO (1864-1907), military secretary to Viceroy of India and youngest son of William Patrick Adam of Blair Adam (Kinross-shire); as a widow, lived with her brother at Itchen Stoke Manor; died without issue, 15 November 1962; will proved 7 February 1963 (estate £66,216);
(6) Hon. Caryl Digby Baring (1880-1956), born 13 January 1880; educated at Eton and RMC Sandhurst; an officer in the Coldstream Guards (2nd Lt., 1899; Lt., 1900; retired 1907; returned to colours, 1914; Capt., 1917); ADC to General commanding the Straits Settlements, 1905; lived latterly at Farnham (Surrey); married, 28 November 1907, Ivy Blanche (1881-1971), daughter of Humphrey Brooke Firman JP of Stone Court, St. Leonards-on-Sea (Sussex) and had issue one son and one daughter; died 12 July 1956; will proved 14 September 1956 (estate £46,371);
(7) Hon. Dorothy Mary Baring (1885-93), born 28 September 1885; died young, 11 April 1893.
He inherited The Grange and other estates from his father in 1868, and altered the house in 1868-70. In 1876 he held 6,583 acres in Herefordshire, 15,520 acres in Hampshire, 10,125 acres in Wiltshire, 4,207 acres in Essex. 1,061 acres in Somerset, 2,676 acres in Devon and 1,872 acres in Cornwall. In 1872 he came into possession of the Hestercombe estate in Somerset, of which his grandfather had purchased the reversion, but he sold it later the same year to Lord Portman. His London house was Bath House, Piccadilly.
He died at Bath House, Piccadilly, Westminster, 18 July and was buried at Northington, 22 July 1889; his will was proved 28 October 1889 (effects £200,017). His widow died 19 August 1930; her will was proved 22 October 1930 (estate £74,809).

Francis Baring (1866-1938)
5th Baron Ashburton
Baring, Francis Denzil Edward (1866-1938), 5th Baron Ashburton. Eldest son of Alexander Hugh Baring (1835-89), 4th Baron Ashburton, and his wife, the Hon. Leonora Caroline, second daughter of Edward St. Vincent Digby, 9th Baron Digby, born 20 July 1866. Educated at Eton. An officer in the Hampshire Yeomanry (Maj.). DL for Hampshire. He succeeded his father as 5th Baron Ashburton, 18 July 1889 and was a landowner who inherited over 40,000 acres, although this total was progressively diminished by sales; he was a director of the Trafford Park Estates Co., 1897-1922. He was an excellent shot, who maintained The Grange as one of the finest shooting estates in the country, and a keen yachtsman. He took a master's certificate in 1896, allowing him to command his steam yacht, Venetia, which he took on journeys to various parts of the world, and was a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes (IoW). He married 1st, 25 July 1889* at St George, Hanover Sq., London, the Hon. Mabel Edith (1866-1904), eldest daughter of Francis Wheler Hood, 4th Viscount Hood of Whitley, and 2nd, 19 February 1906 at the English Church in Passy (France), apparently against the wishes of his family, who did not attend the wedding, Frances (1883-1959), 'the prettiest actress as on the American stage' as 'Miss Belmont', daughter of James Caryll Donnelly of New York (USA), and had issue:
(1.1) Hon. Venetia Marjorie Mabel Baring (1890-1937), born 30 April 1890; Maid of Honour to HM Queen Mary from 1911, in which capacity she accompanied King George V and Queen Mary to India; she suffered from increasing deafness and wrote a pamphlet, Deafness and Happiness, 1930; she died unmarried, 15 July 1937; will proved 8 October 1937 (estate £876);
(1.2) Hon. Aurea Vera Baring (1891-1975), born 11 August 1891; married, 10 January 1917 at St George, Hanover Sq., London, Maj. Charles James Balfour DL (1889-1939) of Balgonie and Newton Don, son of Charles Barrington Balfour, but had no issue; she inherited Balgonie and Newton Don but sold the former in 1971; she died 26 November 1975;
(1.3) Hon. Angela Mildred Baring (1893-1995), born 9 December 1893; lived at Stoke Manor, Itchen Stoke (Hants); died unmarried, aged 101, on 13 March 1995; administration of goods (with will annexed) granted 6 September 1995 (estate £325,833);
(1.4) Hon. Violet Alma Madeline Baring (1895-1924), born 12 September 1895; died unmarried as a result of an accidental fall while riding, 18 July 1924;
(1.5) Alexander Francis St. Vincent Baring (1898-1991), 6th Baron Ashburton (q.v.).
He inherited The Grange and other estates from his father in 1889, but decided to 'get out of land' as soon as possible. Bath House, Piccadilly was sold to Baron Hirsch in 1890, and the Herefordshire estate in the same year; the Essex and Somerset estates were sold in about 1894, reputedly for £120,000; and the Wiltshire estates in 1896. In 1909 he bought the 4,000 acre Evington estate in Kent, but he sold it again in 1917. Outlying portions of The Grange estate amounting to 2,500 acres were sold in 1924 and The Grange itself was sold in 1933. He subsequently lived abroad for part of the year.
He died at sea, 27 March 1938; his will was proved 2 June and 6 July 1938 (estate £190,611). His first wife died 18 January 1904. His widow died 31 March 1959; her will was proved 11 June 1959 (estate £118,835).
* The marriage was to have taken place on 18 July 1889, but his father dying that morning, the ceremony was postponed.

Alexander Baring (1898-1991),
6th Baron Ashburton
Baring, Sir Alexander Francis St. Vincent (1898-1991), 6th Baron Ashburton. Only son of Francis Denzil Edward Baring (1866-1938), 5th Baron Ashburton, and his first wife, the Hon. Mabel Edith, eldest daughter of Francis Wheler Hood, 4th Viscount Hood of Whitley, born 7 April 1898. Educated at Eton and RMC Sandhurst. An officer in Royal Scots Greys (Lt.), 1917-23 and the Auxiliary Air Force, 1939-44 (Gp. Capt.); member of Hampshire Territorial Army Association, 1951-67 (President, 1960-67) and then President of East Wessex Territorial Association, 1968. In 1923 he gave up his army career for a position with Baring Bros & Co. Ltd., which he held 1923-69 (director, 1928-69), with a view to restoring the family fortunes. He was also a director of Alliance Assurance, 1932-68, Pressed Steel, 1944-66; and a member of London committee of HSBC, 1935-39. JP and DL (from 1951) and County Councillor (from 1945) for Hampshire; Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, 1960-73 (Vice-Lt., 1951-60); High Steward of Winchester, 1967-78. Receiver-General of Duchy of Cornwall, 1961-73. Chairman of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Police Authority, 1961-67 and of Hampshire Police Authority, 1967; Treasurer of King Edward VII Hospital Fund for London, 1955-64; Trustee of King George's Jubilee Trust, 1949-68, St. Cross Hospital, Winchester, 1961 and Chantrey Bequest, 1963. He succeeded his father as 6th Baron Ashburton, 27 March 1938, and was appointed KCVO, 1961 and KG, 1969; he became a Knight of St. John, 1960. He married, 17 November 1924, the Hon. Doris Mary Therese (1900-81), eldest daughter of Lewis Vernon-Harcourt, 1st Viscount Harcourt, and had issue:
(1) John Francis Harcourt Baring (b. 1928), 7th Baron Ashburton (q.v.);
(2) Hon. (Robin) Alexander Baring (b. 1931), born 15 January 1931; educated at Eton; served in Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve (Sub-Lt.); lived in Paris and later at Abbotstone (Hants); married, 25 February 1960 at Grosvenor Chapel, South Audley St., London, Anne Caroline Thalia (b. 1932), elder daughter of Maj. Edward Fitzhardinge Peyton Gage, and had issue one daughter.
He purchased Itchen Stoke House (Hants) in 1949.
He died aged 93 on 12 June 1991; his will has not been traced. His wife died 9 May 1981; her will was proved 2 April 1982 (estate £935,455).

Sir John Baring,
7th Baron Ashburton
Baring, Sir John Francis Harcourt (1928-2020), 7th Baron Ashburton. Elder son of Alexander Francis St. Vincent Baring (1898-1991), 6th Baron Ashburton, and his wife the Hon. Doris Mary Therese, eldest daughter of 1st Viscount Harcourt, born 2 November 1928. Educated at Eton (Fellow, 1982) and Trinity College, Oxford (MA). Banker with Baring Bros & Co., merchant bankers, 1954-94 (Chairman, 1974-89; non-executive director, 1989-94). Director of Royal Insurance, 1964-82 (Deputy Chairman, 1975-82), Trafford Park Estates, 1964-77, Pye Holdings Ltd., 1967-79; Dunlop Holdings, 1981-84, Jaguar plc, 1989-91, Harris & Partners, Toronto (Canada); Outwich (SA), Johannesburg (South Africa), 1967-77; BP plc, 1982-95 (Chairman, 1992-95); Bank of England, 1983-91. Chairman of Outwich Investment Trust, 1965-86; Baring Stratton Investment Trust, 1986-98. Chairman of the Accepting House Committee, 1977-81; Receiver-General of the Duchy of Cornwall, 1974-90 and Lord Warden of the Stannaries & Keeper of the Privy Seal of the Duchy of Cornwall, 1990-94. He was a member of the British Transport Docks Board, 1966-71, the Council of the Confederation for British Industry, 1976-79, and was Vice-President of the General Council of the British Bankers Association, 1977-81 and President of the Overseas Bankers Club, 1977-78. He was a Trustee of the Rhodes Trust, 1970-99 (Chairman, 1987-99), the National Gallery, 1981-87, the Royal Jubilee Trusts, 1979-95, the Police Foundation, 1989-2001 (Hon. Treasurer) and Winchester Cathedral Trust (Chairman, 1993-2008). He was a member of council of the Baring Foundation, 1971-98 (Chairman, 1987-98) and a member of the Executive Committee of the National Art Collections Fund, 1989-99. DL for Hampshire from 1994. He was knighted in 1983 and further appointed KCVO, 1990 (CVO 1980) and KG, 1994. He succeeded his father as 7th Baron Ashburton, 12 June 1991. Hon. Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford, 1976 and Trinity College, Oxford from 1989. He married 1st, 25 November 1955 at St Margaret, Westminster (Middx) (div. 1984), the Hon. Susan Mary (b. 1930), eldest daughter of Robert Renwick, 1st Baron Renwick, and 2nd, 27 October 1987, Sarah Cornelia (b. 1935), daughter of John George Spencer-Churchill and formerly wife of James Colin Crewe, and had issue:
(1.1) Hon. Lucinda Mary Louise (k/a Lucy) Baring (b. 1956), born 20 October 1956; educated at North Foreland Lodge, Aiglon College (Switzerland) and University of London; lives at Itchen Stoke House (Hants);  married, 1978, Hon. Michael John Wilmot Malet Vaughan (b. 1948), second son of John David Malet Vaughan, 8th Earl of Lisburne, and has issue one son and two daughters;
(1.2) Mark Francis Robert Baring (b. 1958), 8th Baron Ashburton, born 17 August 1958; educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford; director of Thornhill Investment Management Ltd. 2002-09; trustee of Baring Foundation, 2003-15; succeeded his father as 8th Baron Ashburton, 6 October 2020; lives at Abbotstone, near Alresford (Hants); married, 29 October 1983, Miranda Caroline, second daughter of Capt. Charles St. John Graham Moncrieff of Easter Elcho (Perths.), and has issue two sons and two daughters;
(1.3) Hon. Rose Theresa Baring (b. 1961), born 7 December 1961; educated at St Mary's, Calne, Marlborough College and St. Andrews University; married, Oct-Dec 1994, Barnaby Hugh Rogerson (b. 1960), second son of Cdr. Keither Rogerson RN, and had issue two daughters;
(1.4) Hon. Alexander Nicholas John (k/a Zam) Baring (b. 1964), born 15 February 1964; educated at Eton and Oriel College, Oxford; film and television producer; married, Apr-Jun 1992, Lucy Caroline (b. 1965), younger daughter of Gen. Sir David William Fraser GCB OBE, and had issue two sons and two daughters.
He purchased Stratton Park House in 1955 and demolished it except for the portico before building a new house there to the designs of Stephen Gardiner in 1963-65; this house was sold in 1988. In 1966 he repurchased The Grange estate and in 1970 obtained permission to demolish the house there, although only part of the house was pulled down and the rest unroofed before the house was taken into guardianship by the state in 1975 and subsequently stabilised as a roofed shell. In 1971-76 he built Lake House in the former kitchen garden of The Grange to the designs of Francis Pollen.
He died 6 October 2020. His first wife married 2nd, 26 June 1997, André Newburg (1928-2018), an American lawyer, and is now living. His second wife is now living.

Lt-Col. Hon. Guy Victor Baring
Baring, Lt-Col. Hon. Guy Victor (1873-1916). Fourth son of Alexander Hugh Baring (1835-89), 4th Baron Ashburton, and his wife, the Hon. Leonora Caroline, second daughter of 9th Baron Digby, born 26 February 1873. Educated at Eton and RMC Sandhurst. An officer in the Coldstream Guards (2nd Lt., 1893; Lt., 1897; Capt., 1901; Maj., 1911; retired as Lt-Col., 1913; returned to colours, 1914), he saw action in the Boer War (mentioned in despatches) and First World War. Conservative MP for Winchester, 1906-16. He married, 16 July 1903, Olive Alethea (1877-1964), youngest daughter of Hugh Colin Smith, Governor of the Bank of England, and had issue:
(1) Oliver Hugh Baring (1904-08), born 19 May 1904; died young, 19 January 1908;
(2) Simon Alexander Vivian Baring (1905-62), born 22 November 1905; educated at Eton; an officer in Welsh Guards (Lt.); married 1st, 1 May 1935 at St James, Madison Avenue, New York (USA) (div. 1946), Jeanne, daughter of Felix Salmond of New York, cellist, and had issue one son (Julian Baring (1935-2000), the 'gold guru' of the city of London); married 2nd, 24 October 1946, Pamela Rachel (1916-85), only daughter of Sir Mark Beresford Russell Grant-Sturgis KCB, of Hillersdon House, Cullompton (Devon) and formerly wife of Allan Alexander Cameron, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 2 November 1962;
(3) Olivia Constance Leonora Baring (1908-75), born 3 July 1908; married, 11 October 1941, Maj. Cecil Henry Feilden (1907-83) of Bramdean House (Hants), younger son of Maj. Percy Henry Guy Feilden of Cokethorpe, Witney (Oxon) and had issue two daughters; died 9 March 1975; will proved 31 December 1975 (estate £137,954);
(4) (Amyas Evelyn) Giles Baring (1910-86), born 21 January 1910; educated at Gresham's School, Holt (Norfk), and Magdalene College, Cambridge (cricket blue); played first-class cricket for Hampshire, 1930-39 and the MCC, 1935-46; married 1st, 25 May 1935 at St Ethelburga, Bishopsgate, London (div. 1949), Mona Montgomerie (1909-88), only daughter of Col. Willoughby Brooking Mullins of Ambersham House, Midhurst (Sussex) and formerly wife of Maj. William Frederick Husband, and had issue one daughter; married 2nd, 23 May 1949, Peggy Michell (1912-83), only daughter of Surgeon Vice-Admiral Sir Arthur Gaskell KCB OBE FRCS of Greenwood, Fareham (Hants) and formerly wife of George Clive Reeves; died 29 August 1986;
(5) Aubrey George Adeane Baring (1912-87), born 3 May 1912; educated at Eton and Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge; an officer in the RAF Volunteer Reserve (Sq-Ldr) in Second World War; awarded DFC; after the war he became a film producer, making fifteen films between 1948 and 1963, and chairman of Twickenham Film Studios; married, 30 May 1952, Marina (1927-2008), elder daughter of Basil Bessel and formerly wife of Sir Charles Richard Andrew Oakeley (1900-59), 6th bt., and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 30 April 1987; will proved 15 September 1987 (estate £117,343);
(6) Esmond Charles Baring (1914-63) (q.v.).
He bought Biddesden House (Wilts) in 1908, but it was sold after his death. His widow lived latterly at Empshott Grange (Hants).
He was killed in action, 15 September 1916, and was buried at the Citadel New Military Cemetery, near Fricourt (France); a monument was erected to his memory in Winchester Cathedral; his will was proved 7 March 1917 (estate £49,593). His widow died 5 March 1964; her will was proved 19 June 1964 (estate £7,701).

Baring, Esmond Charles (1914-63). Youngest son of Hon. Guy Victor Baring (1873-1916) and his wife Olive Alethea, youngest daughter of Hugh Colin Smith, born 11 March 1914. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. He served in the Second World War as an officer in the Royal Armoured Corps (Lt-Col.) and was appointed OBE, 1946 and awarded the Legion d'honneur and Croix de Guerre, 1947. He married 1st, 16 April 1936 (div. 1951), Zalia (1915-86), twin youngest daughter of Sir Harold Edward Snagge KBE and 2nd, 21 January 1960, Judith (1925-91), daughter of Stanley Matthew Lawson of Cincinnati, Ohio (USA) and formerly wife of John Symonds Radway, and had issue:
(1.1) Caroline Venetia Baring (1937-2018), born 29 January 1937; married, 1 June 1957, (Henry) Giles Francis Lascelles (1931-98) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 19 August 2018;
(1.2 Patricia Baring (b. 1938), born 14 October 1938; with her second husband founded the 999 Club in Deptford, 1992, and was awarded MBE, 2005; married 1st, 19 January 1965 (div.), as his third wife, Maj. Henry Claude Lyon Garnett CBE (d. 1990) of Somerton House, Winkfield (Berks), only son of Capt. Claude Lionel Garnett, and had issue one son and one daughter; married 2nd, 1986, as his second wife, Mark Hugh Wyndham OBE MC (1921-2008) of Froxfield Green (Hants), chairman of the Children's Society, son of Hon. Edward Wyndham of Edmondthorpe (Leics), but had no further issue;
(1.3) Oliver Alexander Guy Baring (b. 1944), born 8 September 1944; educated at Eton; stockbroker and company director; head of corporate finance with UBS Warburg and Chairman, First South Africa Holdings Pty Ltd, to 2001; subsequently chairman or director of several mining and investment companies; lived at Deane House (Hants) and later in Madrid (Spain); married, 23 September 1967 (div.), Veronica (b. 1946), only daughter of Capt. Ian Alexander Henderson and had issue three sons and one daughter;
(1.4) Guy Esmond Baring (b. 1945), born 18 November 1945; educated at Milton Abbey School; lives in Armadale, Victoria (Australia); married, 17 June 1967, Raina Elizabeth (1941-79), daughter of David Campbell of Palerang, Bungendore, New South Wales (Australia) and had issue two sons and one daughter.
He inherited Garboldisham Old Hall (Norfolk) from his uncle, Lancelot Gray Hugh Smith, in 1941, but sold it in 1947 and bought Abbotsworthy House, which he remodelled to the designs of Claud Phillimore; it was sold after his death.
He died 24 November 1963; his will was proved 21 February 1964 (estate £114,867). His first wife married 2nd, 4 May 1951, Brigadier Claud Andrew Montagu Douglas Scott (1906-71) and had further issue one son; she died 10 January 1986 and her will was proved 18 March 1986 (estate £15,166). His widow married 3rd, 15 February 1965, Charles William Frederick Hope (1912-87), 3rd Marquess of Linlithgow, and died 17 January 1991.


Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 2003, pp. 156-57; W.L.W. Eyre, A brief history of the parishes of Swarraton and Northington..., 1890; E. Mercer, 'William Samwell and The Grange', in Sir H. Colvin & J. Harris, The Country Seat, 1970, pp. 48-54; J.M. Crook, 'Grange Park Transformed', in Sir H. Colvin & J. Harris, The Country Seat, 1970, pp. 220-29; D. Watkin, The life and work of C.R. Cockerell, 1974, pp. 69-71, 170-74; J. Redmill, 'The Grange, Hampshire', Country Life, 8-15 May 1975; R.W. Liscombe, William Wilkins, 1778-1839, 1980, pp. 59-61; J. Geddes, 'The Grange, Northington', Architectural History, 1983, pp. 35-48; J. Geddes, 'The Prince of Wales at The Grange, Northington: an inventory of 1795', Furniture History, xxii, 1986, pp. 176-202; A. Powers, Francis Pollen, 1999, pp. 73-76; A.M. Deveson, 'The early history of The Grange, Northington', Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club Archaeological Society, vol. 60, 2005, pp. 198-208; D. Brock, 'John Webb, William Samwell and The Grange', English Heritage Historical Review no. 4, 2009, pp. 98-121; M. Bullen, J. Crook, R. Hubbock & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Hampshire - Winchester and the North, 2010, pp. 99, 296-300; T. Williamson, I. Ringwood & S. Spooner, Lost country houses of Norfolk, 2015, pp. 110-14; C. O'Brien, B. Bailey, Sir N. Pevsner & D.W. Lloyd, The buildings of England: Hampshire - South, 2018, pp. 308, 383-85;

Location of archives

Baring family, Barons Ashburton: Hampshire and Wiltshire estate deeds, estate records etc., 1513-1924 [Hampshire Archives & Local Studies, 11M52; 10M65; 11M65; 80M70; Somerset Archives & Heritage Centre DD\AS]; Devon and Cornwall estate papers, with some records relating to Melchet Park and Surrey, 1787-1868 [National Records of Scotland, acc. 11388; Cornwall Record Office N10-13, 268-9, 438-9, Devon Archives & Heritage Service 3720ME1]; Essex estate papers, 1574-1894 [Essex Record Office D/D An]

Baring, Alexander (1773-1848), 1st Baron Ashburton: correspondence and business papers, 1818-48 [National Records of Scotland, Acc. 11489]

Baring, William Bingham (1799-1864), 2nd Baron Ashburton: correspondence, with that of his wives, c.1822-64 [National Records of Scotland, Acc. 11388]

There is also a good deal of personal and business correspondence relating to members of the family in the Baring Bros. Archive.

Coat of arms

Azure, a fess or, in chief a bear's head proper, muzzled and ringed or, differenced by a cross formée fitchée azure.

Can you help?

  • Can anyone supply images of Lake House or Itchen Stoke House which would effectively illustrate my accounts of those properties?
  • 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 9 June 2019 and updated 19 October 2020. I am grateful to Gareth Hughes for drawing my attention to the 1801 design by Robert Mitchell which may have inspired the design for Wilkins' remodelling of The Grange.


  1. I echo all the eulogies regarding your site. Thank you. With regard to The Grange the first record we have was that the 'new house' at the Grange was erected by Michael Cobbe and had been glazed by 1594.It was sold to the Paulets in 1638. I hope, in time, you will follow the Cobbes to Ireland where they had a house designed by James Gibbs.

    I am currently researching some Baring pictures from Norman Court which brought me to your site. Do you know of any interior photographs of NC during the Wall or Baring eras?

    Thanks again

    Alec Cobbe

    1. Thank you for the kind words and for the information about the predecessor of the present house. I didn't know that anything was known about it. I have written about Norman Court here:, as I expect you have seen. Unfortunately I have not found any photographs of the interior in the period before it became a school: if you turn any up, please let me know! I certainly have the Cobbes on my list of families to be covered, and have happy memories of a drinks party at Newbridge one Sunday in 1984!

      With best wishes,

      Nick Kingsley

    2. Did you perhaps buy the Repton drawings for Norman Court which were for sale recently? They looked very much as though they came from a Red Book which someone had broken up.


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.