Wednesday, 31 July 2019

(385) Barker of Albrighton Hall

Barker of Albrighton
This family was established for several generations as farmers on the borderline between yeomen and gentry at Horton Hall in the parish of Tilston (Cheshire). They may conceivably have a common ancestry with the Barkers of Haughmond Abbey, whose earliest origins were not far away in north Shropshire, although no such connection has to my knowledge been suggested. They took as their coat of arms, however, that of the Raymond-Barker family of Fairford, who were descendants of the Haughmond family, and not that of the Haughmond family itself. The reason for this is obscure, and it may lie in a simple misunderstanding, although it is an error of a kind which the College of Arms did not often miss. 

Thomas Barker (1762-1823), with whom the genealogy below begins, only took over Horton Hall farm from his father in his later years, and earlier rented Erbistock Hall in Denbighshire, a substantial early 18th century brick mansion which formed part of the Wynnstay estate. It was here that his two sons, Thomas and John, were born in the 1790s. Thomas Barker (1794-1862), as the elder son, inherited the family farm, while John Barker (1795-1852) was apprenticed to a draper in Wrexham and while there is said to have joined the Congregational church. After completing his articles he moved to work in a drapery business in Wolverhampton, where he quickly became a leading figure in the Congregational church and superintendent of the Sunday Schools. As a young man he obviously exhibited the energetic application to business which the Victorians so much admired, and one of those he impressed was George Jones of Shackerley Hall, Donington (Shrops.), a local ironmaster. In 1822 he married Jones's daughter Theodosia (1801-82), and soon afterwards he formed a partnership with his father in law and James Foster of Stourton Castle (Staffs) which traded as the Chillington Ironworks Co. of Wolverhampton. John Barker became the managing partner of the firm, which quickly grew in size and profitability thanks to his energetic direction, and by 1842 he could afford to build himself a dignified late Georgian villa in Wolverhampton called Cleveland House, which stood close to the hospital (and which was only demolished about 2014, although it had long since ceased to be a private house). Shortly before his death in 1852, and perhaps with a view to eventual retirement, he bought Albrighton Hall, which stood about seven miles away from Wolverhampton but across the county boundary in Shropshire. (This Albrighton Hall needs to be carefully distinguished from the older and better-known house of the same name north of Shrewsbury, which belonged in the 19th century to the Puleston and Sparrow families). There is some confusion about this because F.M.L. Thompson asserted that John Barker bought Albrighton Hall in 1830s, but I cannot find the name Barker associated with the property until after it was advertised for sale in 1851. 

John Barker was High Sheriff of Staffordshire in 1851 but died soon after the completion of his term of office. Management of the Chillington Ironworks passed to his eldest sons, George Jones Barker (1825-92) and Thomas Barker (1827-1908), and George also inherited Albrighton Hall. The earliest photograph of the house that I have traced shows it in 1899, when it had several robustly Italianate features which seem very likely to be additions made by George in the 1860s, and the lodge at the end of the drive is also of this date. In the 1870s, the Chillington Ironworks operated at a loss for several years in difficult trading conditions, and the directors took the bold decision to move into the production of edge tools, which quickly allowed a return to profitability. However, Thomas Barker had no sons and George Jones Barker's only son, John Raymond Barker (1869-1945) did not wish to enter the firm and instead became a barrister in London. The company therefore passed into other hands in the 1890s, and in 1891 George also tried to sell Albrighton Hall, but the house failed to find a buyer. J.R. Barker let the house until 1941, when he sold it to the sitting tenant, George Alan Thompson (1893-1971), a Wolverhampton brewer, who undertook a drastic remodelling of the building. Although J.R. Barker never occupied Albrighton, he did rent a number of country houses (including Wroughton Hall (Wilts)) for short periods, but in his later years he settled at Budleigh Salterton in Devon, to which his son, George Theodosius Barker (1903-96) also retired.

Albrighton Hall, Shropshire

The first visual record of this house seems to be a photograph of 1899, which shows an Italianate five bay three-storey block with the end bays broken forward, a hipped roof with wide eaves, and bay windows on the end bays that have rather pretty ironwork verandas with swept roofs. The ground floor of the central three bays was also brought forward to form a sort of extended porch with an off-centre entrance. A date before 1850 seems too early, however, for the rather muscular Italianate features of the house as it appeared in 1899, and the way the ground floor is brought forward (with a flat roof) looks very much like an alteration. I think, in fact, that all the Italianate features of the building, including the oversailing roof and the bay windows on the end bays, probably date from a makeover in about 1860, and that the house as first built was probably a plain five bay three storey late Classical house with projecting end bays.

There was a house here, perhaps just a farmhouse, in the late 18th century when it was owned by a Mr. Owen. It was sold in 1806 to Thomas Oatley (d. 1834) and by the time it was advertised to let after his death, there was clearly a gentleman's house here. In 1835 it had an entrance hall, dining room 23' x 17'; drawing room 21' x 17'; study 12' x 12' and eight best bedrooms. It was let to the Parry family, who were still in occupation at the time of the census in the spring of 1851, but it was sold later that year to John Barker (1795-1852). He lived at Cleveland House in Wolverhampton, a three-storey red brick villa which he had built in 1842. When he died in November 1852, his widow moved to Brewood (Staffs) and his two eldest sons, George Jones Barker (1825-92) and Thomas Barker took over the management of his ironworks. George Jones Barker inherited Albrighton Hall, and it seems that he moved in following his marriage in 1855; this may provide a likely context for the Italianate alterations to the building and for the construction of a new lodge in the same style.


Albrighton Hall: lodge, probably of c.1860 for George Jones Barker.
In 1891 George Barker tried to sell Albrighton Hall. It then contained 'a large entrance hall, four good reception rooms, ten bedrooms, three dressing rooms, a bathroom and a muniment room, in addition to the service accommodation. The house was not sold, however, and passed the following year to his only son, John Raymond Barker, a trainee barrister in London, who promptly let it. His first tenant, Col. Lyon, was a great success, staying until 1923, serving as a JP and Deputy Lieutenant, and playing his part in county society. When he eventually moved out, the house was let to a rather raffish Anglo-American couple called Jenks (he was English; she was American). In 1926 they were divorced, and the house may have stood empty for a while before being taken on by George Alan Thompson, a Wolverhampton brewer, who was resident by 1937. In 1941, J.R. Barker decided to sell the freehold, but perhaps in the hope of getting a better price than his tenant was willing to offer, he put it up for auction with a reserve of £13,000. It failed to sell, and soon afterwards was sold to Thompson by private treaty for £10,000. It was presumably Thompson who undertook a further remodelling of the house which completely removed its Victorian Italianate character. The top floor was taken off (it no doubt contained servants rooms which were no longer needed) and replaced by a higher roof, gables were erected over the projecting ends and all traces of Georgian or Italianate fenestration were swept away in favour of more closely-set casement windows. The character of this work suggests it was done after the Second World War, but exactly when is obscure: a date in the late 40s or early 50s seems unlikely in view of the difficulty of getting building licences and materials at that time. The late 1950s or early 1960s seems more plausible, but the style of work would by then have been rather old-fashioned.

Albrighton Hall, as remodelled in the mid 20th century. Image: Richard Law. Some rights reserved.



Descent: Mr Owen (d. 1789); sold 1806 to Thomas Oatley (d. 1834); to son, Joseph Oatley (d. 1867), who let the house to James Parry (d. 1839) and later to his sister Anne Parry; sold 1851 to John Barker (1797-1852); to son, George Jones Barker (1825-92); to son, John Raymond Barker (1869-1945); who leased to Alfred Charles Lyon (d. 1928) (fl. c.1893-1923); Harry M. and Martha Washington Jenks (fl. 1923-26); and George Alan Thompson (fl. 1937); sold 1941 to George Alan Thompson (1893-1971); to son, Edwin John Thompson (1922-97); to son, David George Fossett Thompson (b. 1954).


Barker family of Horton and Albrighton Hall



Barker, Thomas (1762-1823). Son of Thomas Barker (1731-1820) of Cuddington, Tilston (Ches.) and his wife Catherine Rowland, born 1762 and baptised at Malpas (Ches.), 10 January 1763. Farmer at Erbistock Hall (Denbighs.) and later at Horton Hall, Tilston. He married, 14 February 1794 at Erbistock, Elizabeth (1766-1833), daughter and heiress of Richard Barnett of Elson, Ellesmere (Shrops.), and had issue:
(1) Thomas Barker (1794-1862), born 18 April and baptised at Erbistock, 19 April 1794; farmer at Horton Hall, Tilston; died without issue, and was buried at Tilston, 16 April 1862;
(2) John Barker (1795-1852) (q.v.). 
He inherited Horton Hall Farm, Tilston from his father in 1820 and rented Erbistock Hall (Denbighs.)
He was buried at Tilston, 28 November 1823. His widow was buried at Tilston, 1 February 1833.

Barker, John (1795-1852). Younger son of Thomas Barker (1762-1823) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Barnett of Elson, Ellesmere (Shrops.), born 7 October and baptised at Erbistock (Denbighs.), 11 October 1795. Educated at Malpas (Ches.) and was apprenticed to a draper at Wrexham (Denbighs.); after completing his term he moved to work for a draper in Wolverhampton. In 1826 he went into partnership with his father-in-law and James Foster of Stourton Castle (Staffs) in the Chillington Ironworks Co, of which he became the managing partner. High Sheriff of Staffordshire in 1851; JP (from 1840) and DL (from 1852) for Staffordshire; JP and Alderman of Wolverhampton; Chairman of the Wolverhampton Board of Guardians. A Congregationalist in religion, he attended the Queen St. chapel in Wolverhampton, where he was for many years Superintendent of the Sunday Schools; in 1845 he helped to establish the Snow Hill Chapel, becoming a major contributor to the building fund. He was well-liked in Wolverhampton, and his swearing-in as High Sheriff in 1851 was attended by unusually large and enthusiastic crowds. He married, 4 December 1822 at Wolverhampton, Theodosia (1801-82), only daughter of George Jones of Shackerley Hall, Donnington (Shrops.) and had issue*:
(1) Ellen Barker (1823-61), born 9 November and baptised at Queen St. Congregational Church, Wolverhampton, 18 December 1823; married 1st, 10 April 1849, Percival Foster (1816-54) of Clent House (Worcs), second son of William Foster of Wordsley House (Staffs), and had issue three sons; married 2nd, 4 December 1860, at Clent (Worcs), John Russell Cookes JP DL (1814-92) of Woodhampton House, Shrawley (Worcs), Master of the Worcestershire Hunt, 1847-49 and 1857-64, and had issue one daughter; died 25 September 1861; administration of goods granted to her husband, 26 April 1862 (effects under £10,000);
(2) George Jones Barker (1825-92) (q.v.);
(3) Thomas Barker (1827-1908), born 24 July and baptised at Queen St. Congregational Church, 26 September 1827; lived at Womborne Woodhouse and later at Tong Lodge (Salop); partner with his brother George in Chillington Ironworks, Wolverhampton. JP and DL for Staffordshire; married, 7 July 1857, Laura Emily (c.1838-99), daughter of Thomas Moss Phillips of Earlswood, Penn (Staffs), and had issue four daughters; died 13 September 1908; will proved 30 October 1908 (estate £32,745);
(4) Barnett Barker (1831-32), born 31 August and baptised at Queen St. Congregational Church, Wolverhampton, 5 December 1831; died in infancy and was buried at Wolverhampton, 2 May 1832;
(5) Mary Barnett Barker (1833-46), born 28 July and baptised at Queen St. Congregational Church, Wolverhampton, 28 November 1833; died young and was buried at Wolverhampton, 1 June 1846;
(6) Catherine Barker (1834-1927), born 31 August and baptised at Queen St. Congregational Church, Wolverhampton, 1 March 1835; married, 20 October 1858 at Leamington Priors (Warks), Capt. Henry Thomas Hickman (1833-1917) of Leamington Spa, second son of Rev. Henry Hickman of Bell Hall, Belbroughton (Worcs) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died aged 92 at Leamington Spa (Warks), 27 March 1927; will proved 23 May 1927 (estate £24,978);
(7) Maj. John Barnett Barker (1836-1905), born 4 October and baptised at Queen St. Congregational Church, Wolverhampton, 25 December 1836; an officer in the army (Ensign, 1855; Lt., 1857; Capt., 1858 (when he became the youngest Capt. in the army); retired as Maj., 1868), who served in the Indian Mutiny and was recommended for the VC; he was later adjutant of Royal Denbigh Militia and Chief Constable of Birkenhead (Ches.); he was physically extremely fit and once swam across the Solent 'for a trifling wager'; he lived latterly at Frant (Sussex); married, 12 June 1867 at Cashel (Co. Tipperary), Mary Elizabeth (d. 1886), daughter of Capt. Jacob Hierom Sankey RN of Coolmore (Co. Tipperary), and had issue three sons and four daughters; died in Sidmouth (Devon), 19 October 1905; will proved 18 November 1905 (estate £7,800);
(8) Esther Bennett Barker (1837-1914), born Oct-Dec 1837; died unmarried in Eastbourne, 21 May 1914, and was buried at Merridale Cemetery, Wolverhampton; will proved 20 June 1914 (estate £9,763);
(9) Alfred Barker (b. 1840), born Oct-Dec 1840; unmarried and living with his mother in 1861; his death has not been traced;
(10) Henry Theodosius Barker (1841-1917) of Broad St., Ludlow (Shrops.); an officer in the Staffordshire Yeomanry Cavalry (Cornet, 1862; Lt., 1864; retired 1879); timber merchant in partnership with William Beddows (retired 1883); married, 12 April 1871 at Ludlow, Mary, only child of Henry Hodges of Ludlow, surgeon, but had no issue; died suddenly, 18 July 1917 and was buried at Wolverhampton; will proved 28 September 1917 (estate £20,083);
(11) Alice Rosa Barker (1843-87), born Jul-Sept 1843; an accomplished rider to hounds; died unmarried, apparently of exhaustion, while walking in the Swiss alps near Pronemtogno, 13 October 1887, and was buried at Wolverhampton; will proved 15 February 1888 (estate £8,084);
(12) Rev. Rowland Vectis Barker (1846-1926); born 4 August 1846; educated at Shrewsbury Sch. and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1865; BA 1869; MA 1872); ordained deacon, 1871 and priest, 1872; vicar of St Paul, Preston, 1879-85, Lakenham (Norfk), 1885-94 and Arminghall, 1890-94; vicar of Bramford, 1894-1904; rector of Henstead (Suffk), 1904-18, and honorary canon of Norwich Cathedral, 1910-14 and St Edmundsbury, 1914-26; proctor in convocation for Archdeaconry of Suffolk, 1906-19; married, 6 November 1883, Elizabeth (1860-1946), only child of Sir Robert Harry Inglis Palgrave FRS and had issue four sons and one daughter; died 8 November 1926; will proved 22 January 1927 (estate £24,639). 
He lived at Cleveland House, Wolverhampton. He purchased Albrighton Hall in 1851. After his death his widow lived at Brewood (Staffs).
He died 5 November 1852; his will was proved in the PCC, 25 April 1853. His widow died at Leamington Spa, 19 February 1882; her will was proved 27 April 1882 (estate £14,062).
* According to some sources, he had 13 children, but I can only find evidence of twelve; it might be that a thirteenth was stillborn and unrecorded.

Barker, George Jones (1825-92). Eldest son of John Barker (1797-1852) and his wife Theodosia, only daughter of George Jones of Shackerley Hall, Donnington (Shrops.), born 17 September and baptised 10 November 1825. Ironmaster; Chairman of Chillington Iron Works Co., Wolverhampton; Chairman of South Staffordshire Ironmasters Association. JP and DL (from 1857) for Staffordshire and JP for Shropshire. He was a Liberal in politics and efforts were made to get him to stand for Parliament in 1859, but he declined. He married, 11 December 1855 at St James, Paddington (Middx), Sarah (1834-77), younger daughter of James Cunliffe of London, banker, and had issue:
(1) John Raymond Barker  (1869-1945) (q.v.).
He inherited Albrighton Hall from his father in 1852 and probably remodelled it.
He died 27 April 1892; will proved 1 June 1892 (effects £23,463). His wife was buried at Albrighton, 13 April 1877.

Barker, John Raymond (1869-1945). Only son of George Jones Barker (1825-92) and his wife Sarah, younger daughter of James Cunliffe of London, banker, born 18 November and baptised at Albrighton, 6 December 1869. Educated at Shrewsbury School, Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1888; BA 1891) and Lincolns Inn (called 1894). Barrister-at-law. A freemason from 1921. He married, 29 November 1900 at St. Gabriel, Warwick Sq., London, Laura Alice (1880-1960), eldest daughter of Major Philip F. Tallents of Brynllithrig Hall, St. Asaph (Denbighs.) and had issue:
(1) Christine Laura Barker (1901-67), born 4 October 1901; married, 4 October 1922 at St Stephen, Kensington, Brig. Reginald Alfred Boxshall, son of Col. Henry Edwin Boxshall of Woking (Surrey) and had issue one daughter; died 24 February 1967; will proved 5 April 1967 (estate £3,118);
(2) George Theodosius Barker (1903-96) (q.v.).
He inherited Albrighton Hall from his father in 1892, but let the house until he sold the freehold to the sitting tenant in 1941. He lived in London and at Wroughton Hall near Swindon (Wilts), and later at Budleigh Salterton (Devon).
He died 24 or 26 November 1945; his will was proved 26 March 1946 (estate £7,268). His widow died 2 February 1960; her will was proved 29 April 1960 (estate £2,076).

Barker, George Theodosius (1903-96). Only son of John Raymond Barker (1869-1945) and his wife Laura Alice, eldest daughter of Maj. P.F. Tallents of Nythfa, St. Asaph (Denbighs.), born 23 July 1903. Educated at Eton. Brewer. He married, 7 August 1937, Sylvia Burnaby (1904-98), chartered physiotherapist, daughter of Dr. Arthur William James MD of London W2 and had issue:
(1) Penelope Anne Barker (b. 1938), born 25 August 1938; trained as a nurse at University College Hospital, London, 1960;
(2) Leslie Margot Barker (b. 1940), born 23 August 1940; trained as a nurse at Hammersmith Hospital, London, 1962; married, Jul-Sept 1963, Paul Davenport; now living.
He lived at The Beeches, Barton-under-Needwood (Staffs) and latterly at Budleigh Salterton (Devon).
He died aged 92 on 7 April 1996; his will was proved 19 June 1996. His wife died 16 January 1988; her will was proved 18 March 1988 (estate under £70,000).


Sources


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1952, pp. 112-13.


Location of archives


No significant accumulation is known to survive.


Coat of arms


Azure, five escallops in cross or


Can you help?


  • If anyone can provide firm information about the ownership and building development of Albrighton Hall, or additional photographs of the house, I should be very pleased to hear from them.
  • 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 31 July 2019

Sunday, 28 July 2019

(384) Barker of Haughmond Abbey and Colehurst Hall

Barker of Haughmond
The Barkers traced their origin back to the reign of King Edward II, but they hovered on the borderline between yeomen and the lesser gentry until the 16th century, when they became one of the many families to achieve substantially increased wealth and status following the Dissolution of the Monasteries. John Barker, who was active around 1500 (and with whom the genealogy below begins) was apparently already the tenant of the Corbet family in their Colehurst estate at Market Drayton (Shrops). He had two recorded sons, John Barker (d. 1572) and William Barker (d. 1564), the latter of whom inherited Colehurst. John Barker (d. 1572) was evidently the steward or tenant of Shrewsbury Abbey's manor of Wollerton in the parish of Hodnet, and made his home there. After the dissolution of Shrewsbury Abbey this was one of the manors acquired by John's brother-in-law, Sir Rowland Hill (c.1495-1561), kt., a rich London merchant who was Lord Mayor in 1549-50. Sir Rowland was really the founder of the Barkers' fortunes, for having invested heavily in property but lacking children himself, he scattered substantial estates among his nephews and nieces and their offspring, both through lifetime gifts and through bequests. The children of John Barker (d. 1572) seem to have been especially favoured, and were the most generously endowed. His eldest son, James Barker (d. 1570) received an extensive estate centred on Haughmond Abbey as a wedding present in 1548, and the wording of the settlement suggests strongly that the former abbot's lodging at Haughmond had already been converted into a gentleman's house, although the process may not have been complete. James was expected to occupy the house at Haughmond, although in practice he seems also to have spent some of his time at his father's estate at Wollerton. It is with James that the family first securely enters the ranks of the gentry, as he obtained a grant of arms in 1562. James' younger brother, Edward Barker (d. 1558) predeceased Sir Rowland, but his son, Rowland Barker was bequeathed three estates in north Shropshire, all of which he sold in 1593. James's sister Alice, who married Sir Rowland Hill's friend, Sir Thomas Leigh (c.1504-71), inherited the Stoneleigh estate in Warwickshire and carried it to the Leigh family, whose home it remained for four centuries.

James Barker (d. 1570) died in the lifetime of his father, leaving four sons and two daughters. The eldest son, and heir to the Haughmond estate, was Rowland Barker (c.1549-99), who was educated as a gentleman at Oxford and Grays Inn, and served as High Sheriff in 1585. It was, however, one of the younger sons, Richard Barker (c.1554-1636), who made the greater mark in the world, becoming MP for Shrewsbury and a circuit judge in north Wales. Rowland Barker (d. 1599) left three sons, the eldest of whom, John Barker (1579-1618), was also MP for Shrewsbury. He and his wife had no children, but were evidently close, for when she died unexpectedly in March 1618 he was taken ill the following day and died a fortnight later. The Haughmond estate passed to John's next brother, Walter Barker (1580-1644), who was a Puritan and an active Parliamentarian at the outbreak of the Civil War. Little is known about his early career, although since he attended Grays Inn he may have worked as a lawyer in London before he came into the family estate. On his death he was succeeded by his only son, Rowland Barker (1622-46), who died unmarried just two years later. Haughmond then passed to the third and youngest son of Rowland Barker (d. 1599), William Barker (1581-1652), who was a London merchant and evidently a Royalist supporter. At the time of the Second Civil War in 1648 his property was seized by the Shropshire County Committee and his tenants were ordered to pay their rents to the Committee rather than to Barker. The majority of the tenants, however, had other ideas, and quietly went on paying them to Barker. Somewhat surprisingly, this seems to have escaped official notice for almost four years, until Barker applied to recover his estate under the Act of Oblivion. It was then discovered that the proper procedures for sequestrating the estate had not been followed in 1648, and not only was Barker able to recover the estate without compensation, he evidently got to keep the rents. Unfortunately, both William and his son and heir apparent, Thomas Barker (c.1613-52) died before this matter had been sorted out, and it was actually William's grandson, John Barker (d. 1661), who recovered the estates. He died unmarried, and with his death the male line of the Barkers ended. The estates were divided between his sisters, Amy Kynaston (d. 1672) and Sarah, Lady Coke (d. 1686), although on the death of Lady Coke and her husband without issue the two moieties were reunited in the possession of the Kynaston family. Haughmond, which may have been damaged by fire during the Civil War, passed out of gentry occupation, and became a farmhouse on their estate.

William Barker (d. 1564), the younger brother of John Barker (d. 1572) of Wollerton, inherited his father's lease of Colehurst and also seems to have taken a long lease of Hopton Castle by 1554 at the latest. He had two recorded sons, William Barker (d. 1590?) and John Barker (1518-72), who inherited Hopton and Colehurst respectively. John's descendants George Barker (1544-1619), Andrew Barker (1578-1645) and George Barker (1601-81) inherited Colehurst in turn, but at some point in the early 17th century they appear to have moved to Longslow, a farm just outside Market Drayton. The circumstances of this are obscure, but it would seem that the present 17th century Colehurst Manor was almost certainly built after they left. The history of Hopton Castle is almost equally obscure: William Barker (d. 1590?) was succeeded by his second son John Barker (1553-1607), who became a merchant in Bristol, and Hopton may have been largely unoccupied by the end of the 16th century. In the Civil War it was the scene of one of the most barbaric acts of the conflict, when a Parliamentarian garrison was besieged there and executed after surrendering. The castle was apparently made habitable again after the siege but was finally abandoned about 1700. The Barkers seem to have had no connection with the castle by the time of the Civil War, and remained in Bristol in the 17th century. They were the immediate ancestor of the Barkers (later Raymond-Barkers) of Fairford Park.


Haughmond Abbey, Shropshire

An early 12th century monastery of unknown origin on this site was refounded in about 1135 by William FitzAlan as a community of Augustinian canons. The church and monastic buildings were mainly constructed in the 12th century, although additions and improvements continued to be made to the complex until about 1500. After the Dissolution in 1539, the site was sold to a Staffordshire landowner called Edward Littleton, who immediately began the demolition of the abbey church. In 1542 he sold the property to Sir Rowland Hill, a London merchant from a Shropshire family who was building up a large landholding east of Shrewsbury at this time. It was probably Hill who was responsible for converting the abbey buildings into a gentry mansion by a judicious mixture of remodelling and demolition, and by 1548 it was described as 'a capital messuage and manor place'. Hill then gave the house to his nephew, James Barker, as a wedding present, and it seems likely that Barker continued the process of recasting the house and laying out the grounds after he came into possession.


Haughmond Abbey: Samuel & Nathaniel Buck's view of the abbey ruins from the west in the 1730s. They have taken some liberties with the topography of the site to show the bay window of the abbot's lodgings (right) from this angle.

Haughmond Abbey: ground plan. Crown Copyright.

The medieval abbey builders were significantly constrained in the layout of the monastery by the site on a west-facing hillside, and were obliged to adapt the standard monastic plan, so that whilst the church stood in its usual position at the north end of the complex, the other buildings were built around two cloisters to its south, with the larger northern one being the usual formal arcaded square and the southern one being a more irregular shape. At the south end of the site was the abbot's lodging, which consisted of a large ashlar-faced early 14th century hall occupying the south side of the south cloister, with an earlier rubble-built range at right-angles to it on the east side and projecting further to its south, which was adapted to private parlours and chambers when it was incorporated into the abbot's lodging. The south end of the chamber range was given a two-storey five-sided bay window by Richard Pontesbury, one of the last abbots (in office 1488-c.1521). The hall, which was some 78 feet long by 35 feet wide, was a particularly impressive one for its date, and stood comparison with anything in the area except perhaps for the halls of Ludlow Castle and Stokesay Castle.

Haughmond Abbey: an early postcard showing the abbot's lodging buildings from the south-east, c.1910.
As so often in monastic conversions, it was the abbot's lodging that became the core of the new house, since this offered both the most luxurious and most domestic accommodation on the site. Both the hall and chamber ranges shows signs of alterations in the Tudor period in keeping with their use as private accommodation. Most of the other abbey buildings were demolished. The chapter house was retained but divided horizontally by the insertion of a first floor, but it is not clear whether this was for storage purposes or for family use - perhaps as a banqueting house, since it overlooked the gardens created on the south and east sides of the complex. Some walls of the former claustral buildings were also left standing to provide enclosing walls for the elaborate gardens which recent survey and interpretative work have shown were laid out all around the abbot's lodging. South of the house is a long pond, and a terrace was constructed overlooking this with a square building at one end which may well have been an early example of a summerhouse or gazebo, since it would have commanded an open view to the west.

Haughmond Abbey: the interior of the chamber range in the early 20th century.
Many former monastic sites were further remodelled or rebuilt in the late 17th or 18th centuries so that little evidence now remains of their medieval buildings. This did not happen at Haughmond, reputedly because the house was badly damaged by fire during the Civil War, although no physical evidence of fire damage has been noticed in the surviving ruins. Shortly after the Restoration, the male line of the Barkers failed and the estate passed ultimately to the Corbet family and became part of their Sundorne Castle estate. Haughmond was used subsequently as a farmhouse, and it may be that the house was abandoned at this time not because it was rendered unfit for gentry use by fire but because the new owners had other more comfortable places of residence. The site was transferred to the Ministry of Public Buildings & Works in 1931 and was tidied up for public display and long-term preservation with their usual clinical thoroughness, but early photographs preserve a record of its more romantic appearance in Edwardian times.

Descent: Crown sold 1540 to Edward Littleton of Pillaton (Staffs); sold 1542 to Sir Rowland Hill (c.1495-1561), who gave it in 1548 to his nephew James Barker (d. 1570); to son, Rowland Barker (c.1549-99); to son, John Barker (1579-1618); to brother Walter Barker (1580-1644); to son, Rowland Barker (1622-46); to uncle, William Barker (1581-1652); to son, Thomas Barker (c.1613-52); to son, John Barker (d. 1661); to cousins, Amy (1638-72), wife of Edward Kynaston (1641-93) and Sarah (1641-86), wife of Sir Robert Coke (1645-88), 2nd bt., who partitioned the estate in 1668 with the Abbey demesne passing to Sarah, but on her death without issue the whole reverted to Edward Kynaston and descended to his son John Kynaston (1664-1733); to son, Corbet Kynaston (1690-1740); to kinsman, John Corbet (d. 1759) of Sundorne Castle; to son, John Corbet (d. 1817); to son, Andrew William Corbet (1801-56); to brother, Dryden Robert Corbet (1805-59); to sister, Annabella (d. 1864), wife of Sir Theodore Brinkman; to kinsman, Rev. John Dryden Pigot (d. 1865); to son, Rev. John Dryden Pigot (later Pigot-Corbet) (1808-89); to brother, Canon George William Pigot (later Corbet) (1824-1906); to son, Hugh Dryden Corbet (1873-1936); to daughter, Mrs. I.G.C. Scott; transferred to Ministry of Public Buildings & Works, 1931 (now English Heritage).

Colehurst Manor, Market Drayton, Shropshire

A large half-timbered H-plan house, variously dated from c.1600 to the 1670s. Although the perfect symmetry of the front and the ornamental patterning of the timberwork suggests a later rather than an earlier building, a date after the Civil War seems improbable. The property was held in the 16th and early 17th centuries by the Barker family on a long lease from the Corbets, but they seem to have given up the lease around 1620, and it may be that the present house was built around that time. 


Colehurst Manor: entrance front
The house has two tall storeys, with close-set uprights on the west front and north side, but cheaper square panels at the back. The house follows a traditional plan with a central great hall with a great chamber above it, approached by a staircase built in the centre of the rear elevation, and cross-wings at either end of the hall containing the family accommodation (on the south) and the service wing (on the north). The house was rescued from dereliction by Bjorn Teksnes (d. 2013), a Norwegian former professional golfer, in 1989-92, when the porch in the centre of the west front had to be reconstructed, and was used as a wedding and events venue for some years. Unfortunately, after Mr. Teksnes' death the house again fell into disrepair, but the current owner reportedly intends to restore it for use as a single residence.

Descent: leasehold tenants William Barker (d. 1563); to son, John Barker (1518-xx); to son, George Barker (1544-99); to son Andrew Barker (1578-1617); to son, George Barker, who gave up the lease c.1620; freehold sold 1656 to Jethro Tull; sold 1673 to William? Cotton of Bellaport; to Ralph Cotton (1674-1753); to son, William Cotton (1700-76); to son William Cotton (1740-1819); sold after much legal dispute to Purney Sillitoe (1772-1855); to Martin Harcourt Griffin of Pell Wall; sold 1902 to brother, Heneage Griffin (d. 1939); to niece, Annie Sophie Cory...sold c.1950... sold 1989 to Bjorn Teksnes (d. 2013); sold 2017 to Lynton Chopping (b. 1959).

Hopton Castle, Shropshire

A medieval castle which now consists of a substantial stone keep of c.1300, probably built for Walter de Hopton, and the earthworks of other and perhaps earlier buildings; the first fortification on the site is thought to have been a motte and bailey castle of the 11th or 12th century. The interior of the tower consisted of two principal rooms, one above the other, both of which were heated, and which were connected by a newel stair in the south-west turret. The other angle-turrets housed closets, so the function of the tower seems to have been largely domestic rather than defensive.


Hopton Castle: the keep. Image: Ostrich. Some rights reserved.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, the house was garrisoned for Parliament by Robert Wallop with a force of about thirty men. In February 1644 it was besieged by the Royalists, who eventually managed to force a breach in the walls and prepared to storm it. The garrison then surrendered, but instead of being given quarter as they expected, all of them except for the commander, Samuel More, were reputedly executed in a barbarous fashion. More subsequently made a great deal of valuable propaganda out of the event. The castle remained in use as a house until about 1700 but was then abandoned. 

Barker family of Haughmond Abbey


Barker, John (fl. c.1500). Son of Thomas Barker. He married Joyce Burton and had issue including:
(1) John Barker (d. 1572) (q.v.);
(2) William Barker (d. 1564) [for whom see below, Barker family of Colehurst Manor].
He lived at Colehurst in Market Drayton (Shrops.).
His date of death is unknown. His wife was probably the person of this name buried at Hopton Castle, 13 May 1554.

Barker (alias Coverall), John (d. 1572). Elder son of John Barker and his wife Joyce Burton. Steward or tenant of Shrewsbury Abbey's manor of Wollerton, which - perhaps for that reason - was bought in 1540 by his brother-in-law. He married, Elizabeth (d. 1539?), daughter of Thomas Hill and sister of Sir Rowland Hill (c.1495-1561), Lord Mayor of London, and had issue:
(1) James Barker (d. 1570) (q.v.);
(2) Edward Barker (d. 1558); married, c.1549, Katherine (c.1535-1600), daughter of Ralph Egerton of Wrinhill (Shrops.) and had issue one son and two daughters; died 1558; his son Rowland was a beneficiary in the will of Sir Rowland Hill, receiving three estates (Wollerton, Betton and High Hatton), all of which he sold in 1593;
(3) Alice Barker (c.1524-1603); inherited Stoneleigh Abbey (Warks) from Sir Rowland Hill; she married Sir Thomas Leigh (c.1504-71) of Adlestrop (Glos), Lord Mayor of London, and had issue three sons and four daughters; died 1603;
(4) A daughter; married [forename unknown] Sutton;
(5) A daughter; married W. Bentley;
(6) Joan Barker; married [forename unknown] Bradshawe.
He lived at Wollerton in Hodnet (Shrops).
He was buried at Drayton-in-Hales, 24 May 1572. His wife is said to have died in 1539.

Barker, James (d. 1570). Eldest son of John Barker (d. 1572) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Hill and sister of Sir Rowland Hill, Lord Mayor of London. He is said to have been Sir Rowland's favourite nephew and received the largest share of his property. He obtained a grant of arms in 1562. He married, about August 1548, Dorothy, daughter of Richard Clive of Styche Hall (Shrops.), and had issue:
(1) Rowland Barker (c.1549-99) (q.v.);
(2) Richard Barker (c.1554-1636); educated at Shrewsbury School (admitted 1563), Barnard's Inn (reader 1583/4) and Grays Inn (admitted 1569; called 1576; reader, 1594; bencher, 1595; treasurer, 1595-96); he was appointed tutor to Anthony and Francis Bacon, the youngest sons of Sir Nicholas Bacon (1510-79), kt., during their time at Grays Inn; freeman of Shrewsbury, c.1580; MP for Shrewsbury, 1584, 1604-13; JP for Shropshire, 1597-1636 and also for Anglesey, Caernarvonshire and Merionethshire, 1602-15, for Denbighshire, 1613-15 and for Montgomeryshire, 1614-15; member of the Council in the Marches of Wales, 1601-15; Recorder of Shrewsbury, 1603-13 or later; Justice of Assizes (North Wales circuit), 1602-10; Chief Justice, 1610-15; married, 1583, Dorothy, daughter and co-heir of William Poyner of Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, and had issue two sons and three daughters; buried at Wroxeter, 9 December 1636;
(3) James Barker (d. 1587); married, 15 May 1575 at St Julian, Shrewsbury, Elizabeth (d. 1600), daughter of Edward/Edmund Weale and widow of Roger Baker (d. 1573), and had issue two sons and three daughters; buried at St Julian, Shrewsbury, 1587;
(4) John Barker (d. 1622?); possibly the man of this name buried at High Ercall, 25 April 1622;
(5) Mary Barker; married Nicholas Chambers and had issue two sons and two daughters;
(6) Margaret Barker (d. 1617); married Andrew Charleton (d. 1617) of Apley Castle and had issue five sons and seven daughters; buried at Lee Brockhurst (Shrops.), 3 January 1617/8.
He was granted Sir Rowland Hill's property at Haughmond, Uffington, Albrightlee, Haughton, Withington, Norton, Uckington and Walcot, together with the Upton Magna property which Hill had bought from the Earl of Arundel at the time of his marriage in 1548. Haughmond Abbey was the centre of this estate. He seems to have lived partly or mainly at his father's house at Wollerton.
He died 1 July and was buried at Upton Magna, 6 July 1570; administration of his goods was granted to his eldest son, 4 May 1571. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Barker, Rowland (c.1549-99). Eldest son of James Barker (d. 1570) and his wife Dorothy, daughter of Richard Clive of Styche Hall (Shrops.), born about 1549. Educated at Grays Inn (admitted 1569) and Balliol College, Oxford (matriculated 1575, aged 26). Burgess of Shrewsbury, 1570; High Sheriff of Shropshire, 1585. He married 1st, 7 August 1574 at Apley, Cicely, sister of Andrew Charlton of Apley Park (Shrops.), and 2nd, 13 April 1588 at Uffington, Cecily (d. 1612), daughter of John Leighton and widow of William Jenyns [Jennings?], and had issue:
(1.1) Frances Barker (c.1577-97); married, 3 January 1595/6 at Uffington, Sir Edward Fox (b. 1578; fl. 1623), of Ludlow and later of Guernego (Montgomerys.) (who m2, Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Sir Charles Somerset and had issue three sons, and m3, Catherine, daughter of Sir John Thynne of Longleat (Wilts) and widow of Sir Walter Long), but died without issue, 1597;
(1.2) John Barker (1579-1618) (q.v.);
(1.3) Walter Barker (1580-1644) (q.v.)
(1.4) William Barker (1581-1652) (q.v.).
He inherited the Haughmond Abbey estate from his father in 1570. 
He was buried at Upton Magna (Shrops.), 5 July 1599; will proved in the PCC, 2 May 1600. His first wife's date of death is unknown. His widow died in 1612; her will was proved in the PCC, 18 December 1612.

Barker, John (1579-1618). Eldest son of Rowland Barker (c.1549-99) and his wife Cicely, daughter of Andrew Charleton of Apley Castle (Shrops.), born 15 March and baptised at Uffington, 22 March 1578/9. Following his father's death he was made a ward of the Crown. Educated at Shrewsbury School (admitted 1589), University College, Oxford (matriculated 1596; BA 1597) and Grays Inn (admitted 1599). MP for Shrewsbury, 1601; JP for Shropshire by 1608. He married, by 1604, Margaret, daughter of Sir Francis Newport of High Ercall, but had no issue.
He inherited the Haughmond Abbey estate from his father in 1599.
He died, apparently of shock at his wife's death, and was buried at Wroxeter, 28 March 1618; his wife died 12 March and was buried at Wroxeter, where they are commemorated by a monument, 16 March 1618.

Barker, Walter (1580-1644). Second son of Rowland Barker (c.1549-99) and his wife Cicely, daughter of Andrew Charleton of Apley Castle (Shrops.), baptised at Uffington, 16 February 1579/80. Educated at University College, Oxford (matriculated 1599) and Grays Inn (admitted 1601). High Sheriff of Shropshire, 1621. In 1625 he was granted a general pardon by Charles I for a range of previous offences. He was apparently a Puritan and an active Parliamentarian in the Civil War, and was appointed DL by Parliament, 1642. He was briefly detained by the Royalists garrisoning Shrewsbury when he tried to send a large sum of money down the River Severn to the Parliamentarians at Bristol and it was intercepted. He married, 10 October 1619 at Condover (Shrops.), Ursula (1587-1629), daughter of William Elkin, alderman of London and widow of Sir Roger Owen (d. 1617), kt., of Condover Hall (Shrops.), and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Barker (b. 1620), baptised at Condover, 24 August 1620; married Robert Powell (c.1600-54) of Park Hall, Whittington (Shrops.) (who m2, Rachel, daughter of Sir Cecil Trafford), son of Thomas Powell of Park Hall, but had no issue;
(2) Rowland Barker (1622-46) (q.v.);
(3) Cecily Barker (1626-54), said to have been born 27 April 1626; married, c.1651, Col. Henry Mildmay MP (1619-92) of Graces, Little Baddow (Essex), a leading Parliamentarian (who m2, 1657, Mary (d. 1715), daughter of Robert Mildmay of Moulsham (Essex) and had further issue four sons and five daughters), son of Sir Henry Mildmay, kt., and had issue one son and three daughters; will proved 27 January 1654/5;
(4) Anne Barker (c.1627-54), third daughter, born about 1627; died unmarried; will proved in the PCC, 3 February 1654;
(5) Ursula Barker (1629-88), said to have been born 20 April 1629; married, 7 February 1653 at St Matthew, Friday St., London, John Cardrow of London, and had issue; lived latterly at Enfield (Middx); buried at St Ann, Blackfriars, London, 9 April 1688; will proved 10 April 1688.
He inherited the Haughmond Abbey estate from his elder brother in 1618.
He died 15 June 1644 and was buried at Upton Magna, where he is commemorated by a monument erected at a cost of £200 under the will of his daughter Anne. His wife was buried at Condover, 7 May 1629.

Barker, Rowland (1622-46). Only son of Walter Barker (1580-1644) of Haughmond Abbey and his wife, said to have been born 25 June 1622. Educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford (matriculated 1640). He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Haughmond Abbey estate from his father in 1644.
He died in 1646.

Barker, William (1581-1652). Youngest son of Rowland Barker (d. 1599) and his wife Cicely Charleton, baptised at Uffington, 23 April 1581. Merchant in London. He was evidently a Royalist supporter in the Civil War and was adjudged a delinquent in 1644. His estate was seized in 1648 but the majority of the tenants continued to pay their rents to him and refused to pay them to the County Committee instead; when this came to official notice in 1652 it was referred to the Committee for Compounding for instructions, but Barker died before it was determined in May 1653 that the estates had not been formally sequestrated and should therefore be released to his grandson John. William married Amy Lancaster (d. 1644), and had issue:
(1) Thomas Barker (c.1613-52) (q.v.);
(2) James Barker (b. 1615?), perhaps the person of that name baptised at St Andrew Undershaft, London, 2 April 1615;
(3) Hannah Barker (d. 1649); died unmarried and was buried at Uffington, 29 July 1649;
(4) Elizabeth Barker (b. 1612?), perhaps the person of that name baptised at St Andrew Undershaft, London, 30 August 1612;
(5) Margaret Barker; married [forename unknown] Owen, and had issue one son (who married twice).
He inherited the Haughmond Abbey estate from his nephew in 1646.
He was buried at St. Alkmund, Shrewsbury, 4 September 1652. His wife was presumably the Mrs Barker of Albrightlee buried at St Alkmund, Shrewsbury, 8 September 1644.

Barker, Thomas (c.1613-52). Son of William Barker (1581-1652) and his wife Amy Lancaster, perhaps the person of that name baptised at St Andrew Undershaft, London, 23 January 1613/4. He married, 16 May 1637 at St Mary, Shrewsbury, Margaret, daughter of Edward Owen of Albrightlee (Shrops.), and had issue:
(1) Amy Barker (1638-72), baptised at Astley chapel, 13 November 1638 (but entered in the register of St Alkmund, Shrewsbury); married c.1661, Edward Kynaston (1641-93) of Hordley and had issue six sons and two daughters; buried 9 June 1672;
(2) John Barker (c.1640-61) (q.v.);
(3) Sarah Barker (1641-86), baptised at St Alkmund, Shrewsbury, 15 June 1641; married, 1663 (settlement 2 September), Sir Robert Coke (1645-88), 2nd bt., of Longford (Derbys), but had no issue; buried 13 February 1686.
He lived at Albrightlee near Shrewsbury.
He died in the lifetime of his father on 10 May and was buried at St Alkmund, Shrewsbury, 19 May 1652. His widow was buried at Upton Magna (Shrops.), 24 September 1666.

Barker, John (d. 1661). Only son of Thomas Barker (d. 1652) and his wife Margaret, daughter of Edward Owen of Albrightlee, Shrewsbury (Shrops.), born about 1640. He may be identifiable with the either or both of the men of this name who were matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford in 1656/7 and Balliol College, Oxford in 1660. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Haughmond Abbey estate from his grandfather in 1652. At his death his property passed to his sisters Amy Kynaston and Sarah, Lady Coke.
He was buried at St. Alkmund, Shrewsbury, 15 June 1661.

Barker family of Colehurst Manor


Barker, William (d. 1564). Younger son of John Barker (fl. c.1500) [for whom see above] and his wife Joyce Burton. He married Joan Horne and had issue:
(1) William Barker [for whom see Barker family of Hopton Castle below]
(2) John Barker (1518-72) (q.v.).
He inherited Colehurst Manor from his father and apparently purchased a long lease of Hopton Castle before 1554.
He was buried at Hopton Castle, 9 March 1563/4. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Barker, John (1518-72). Younger son of William Barker (d. 1563) and his wife Joan Horne, born 1518. He married, c.1542, Elizabeth (1522-61), daughter of Hugh Sandford of Sandford, and had issue:
(1) George Barker (1544-1619) (q.v.);
(2) Jane Barker; married Nicholas Brograve of Wappenham (Northants), third son of William Brograve of Wappenham, and had issue five sons;
(3) Katherine Barker; married William Vessey;
(4) Dorothy Barker; married Adam Manwering of Highhouse;
(5) Mary Barker (d. 1560); buried at Drayton-in-Hales, 11 December 1560.
He inherited Colehurst Manor from his father in 1563.
He was buried at Drayton-in-Hales, 24 May 1572. His wife was buried at Drayton-in-Hales, 28 December 1561.

Barker, George (1544-1619). Only recorded son of John Barker (1518-72) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Hugh Sandford, born 1544. He married 1st, Ann Stevenson (1547-79) of Rowton, and 2nd, Katherine (d. 1623), daughter of Thomas Bulkeley of Buntingsdale (Shrops.), and had issue:
(1.1) Andrew Barker (1578-1645) (q.v.);
(1.2) Robert Barker; married Katherine, daughter of George Ackworthe of Kent, and had issue six sons and three daughters;
(1.3) Elizabeth Barker; married, 2 March 1590 at Drayton-in-Hales, Ralph Bulkeley, probably son of William Bulkeley of Woore (Shrops.) and great-nephew of Sir Rowland Hill;
(1.4) Margaret Barker; married William Griffith; living in 1623;
(2.1) Anne Barker (1582-1664), baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 1 May 1582; married, 2 November 1596 at Drayton-in-Hales, Thomas Unton MP (1581-after 1623), only son of William Unton of Market Drayton (Shrops.), and had issue at least two sons; buried 25 October 1664;
(2.2) Isabel Barker (b. 1583), baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 29 September 1583; married Arthur Ward (fl. 1623); living in 1623;
(2.3) John Barker (1585-1650), baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 11 July 1585; married Joan alias Jane (d. 1630), daughter of George Southern of Fitz (Shrops.), and had issue; buried at Drayton-in-Hales, 18 August 1650.
He inherited Colehurst Manor from his father.
He was buried at Drayton-in-Hales, 19 September 1619. His first wife was buried at Drayton-in-Hales, 23 July 1579. His widow was buried at Drayton-in-Hales, 3 January 1623 and her will was proved at Lichfield, 1623.

Barker, Andrew (1578-1645). Eldest son of George Barker (1544-1619) and his second wife, Ann Stevenson, born 1578. He married 1st, before 1601, Jane [surname unknown] (d. 1606); 2nd, c.1606, Constance, daughter of George Smith of London, and 3rd, Isabel (d. 1635), daughter of Francis Kynaston of Oteley and widow of William Hill, and had issue:
(1.1) George Barker (1601-81) (q.v.);
(1.2) John Barker (b. 1603), baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 3 April 1603; perhaps the man of this name educated at Clare College, Cambridge (mat. 1620; BA 1623/4);
(1.3) Thomas Barker (1604-39), baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 5 August 1604; died unmarried? and was buried there 31 March 1639;
(2.1) A daughter (b. & d. 1607); died unbaptised and was buried at Drayton-in-Hales, 28 October 1607;
(2.2) Isabella Barker (b. 1608), baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 4 December 1608.
He probably inherited Colehurst Manor from his father in 1619 but if so gave up the lease; he seems to have lived at Longslow near Market Drayton.
He was buried at Drayton-in-Hales, 12 December 1645. His first wife was buried at Drayton-in-Hales, 16 January 1606. His second wife's date of death is unknown. His third wife was buried at Drayton-in-Hales, 6 August 1635.

Barker, George (1601-81). Eldest son of Andrew Barker (1578-1645) and his first wife Jane [surname unknown], baptised 11 October 1601. He was appointed to the Commonwealth Government's Assessment Committee for Shropshire in 1649. He married, 15 December 1625 at Wistaston (Cheshire), Elizabeth Boote (d. 1668) and had issue:
(1) John Barker (b. 1627), baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 13 May 1627;
(2) Thomas Barker (b. 1629), baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 8 February 1628/9; married (perhaps at Shrewsbury, 15 January 1666), Jane Davis (d. 1689), and had issue;
(3) George Barker (1630-59), baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 11 April 1630; married Margaret [surname unknown] and had issue two sons (who died in infancy) and one daughter; buried at Stoke-upon-Tern, 5 November 1659;
(4) William Barker (b. 1631), baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 22 January 1632;
(5) Joseph Barker (b. &  d. 1632), baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 4 November 1632; died in infancy and was buried in the same place, 20 November 1632;
(6) Jane Barker (1633-95), baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 13 June 1633; died unmarried, 30 August 1695;
(7) Arthur Barker (b. & d. 1635),baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 8 February 1635; died in infancy and was buried in the same place, 1 April 1635;
(8) Richard Barker (b. 1636), baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 3 April 1636;
(9) Rowland Barker (b. & d. 1639), baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 23 July 1639; died in infancy and was buried in the same place, 11 August 1639;
(10) Charles Barker (b. 1641), baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 30 May 1641;
(11) Elizabeth Barker (b. 1643; fl. 1695), baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 5 February 1643; living, unmarried, in 1695;
(12) Mary Barker (1645-49); baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 20 May 1645; died young and was buried in the same place, 25 June 1649;
(13) Andrew Barker (b. 1647), baptised at Drayton-in-Hales, 8 July 1647.
He lived at Longslow near Market Drayton.
He was buried at Drayton-in-Hales, 6 January 1681/2. His wife was buried at Drayton-in-Hales, 30 April 1668. 

Barker family of Hopton Castle


Barker, William (d. 1590?). Elder son of William Barker (d. 1564) [for whom, see above] and his wife Joan Horne. He married Mary Titteley, sister and heiress of William Titteley of Titteley, and had issue:
(1) Dr. Thomas Barker (1551-1617), baptised at Hopton Castle, 5 January 1550/1; doctor of medicine; in practice in London from c.1594; physician to Charterhouse Hospital in 1604 and in the service of Queen Anne of Denmark; married Anne, daughter of Thomas Lloyd of Monmouthshire, and had issue (including Dr. William Barker MD, who was also physician to Charterhouse Hospital and to Queen Anne of Denmark); died 20 August 1617;
(2) John Barker (1553-1607) (q.v.);
(3) Dorothy Barker (b. 1555), baptised at Hopton Castle, 27 July 1555; married, 20 February 1581/2, Francis Holland of Burwarton, and had issue;
(4) Andrew Barker (d. 1577); merchant in Bristol in partnership with his brother John, and engaged in hazardous trade with the Spanish colonies; after one of his ships was seized by the Inquisition and only released on the payment of a fine equal to the whole value of the cargo, he turned privateer and fitted out two vessels which took several prizes and collected quite a lot of booty; discipline among his men then broke down and they mutinied and stranded him and a party of loyal followers on the shore of the Gulf of Honduras, where they were surprised by the Spanish and eight or nine men, including Barker, were killed; he was unmarried and without issue;
He inherited or purchased a lease of Hopton Castle.
He is said to have died 30 October 1590. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Barker, John (1553-1607). Second son of William Barker of Hopton Castle and his wife, baptised at Hopton Castle, 6 January 1553/4. Merchant in Bristol. Sheriff of Bristol, 1594 and Mayor of Bristol, 1607 (but died during his term of office). He married, 28 December 1579 at Marshfield (Glos), Edith (1564-1618), daughter of John Blanchard of Marshfield (Glos), and had issue:
(1) Joyce Barker; married 1st, 8 August 1601, William Bigges, and had issue; m2. 1607, Edward Hayles and m3, before 1623, Andrew Charleton of Apley Castle;
(2) John Barker (1584-1636) (q.v.);
(3) Elizabeth Barker;
(4) William Barker; 
(5) Andrew Barker;
(6) Mary Barker; married Richard Longe;
(7) Grace Barker;
(8) Anne Barker;
(9) Robert Barker (b. c.1589); educated at Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1604); died without issue;
(10) Thomas Barker; merchant in Bristol; married Sarah, daughter of Richard Hawkins, and had issue three children who were living in 1636; living in 1636.
He inherited the lease of Hopton Castle from his father but may have given it up.
He died 13 September 1607; his will was proved 21 November 1607. His widow was buried with her husband at St Werburgh's church, Bristol, 10 November 1618, where they were commemorated by a monument.

Barker, John (1584-1636). Eldest son of John Barker (1553-1607) and his wife Edith, daughter of John Blanchard of Marshfield, baptised at St Werburgh, Bristol, 30 November 1584. Educated at St Mary's Hall, Oxford (matriculated 1599). A merchant in Bristol, he became a member of the Spanish Company in 1605 and a Merchant Venturer (Warden, 1611-12, Treasurer, 1612-13, Warden again, 1613-14 and Master, 1617-19 and 1626-27). In 1612-13 he mounted a commercial expedition to Guyana; in 1613 he advanced £60 for the construction of vessels by the Merchant Venturers to combat piracy in the Bristol Channel; and in 1626 and 1627 he was granted Letters of Marque allowing him to capture enemy vessels. He was made a freeman of Bristol in 1607 and was a member of the Common Council, 1612-29 and thereafter an alderman, 1629-36; he served as Sheriff of the city, 1612-13; Mayor, 1625-26 and Constable of the Staple, 1626-27; and was MP for Bristol, 1624, 1628. He married 1st, 30 August 1607, Elizabeth (d. 1625), daughter of William Spicer of Exeter, merchant, and 2nd, 10 April 1626, Mary, daughter of John Fownes of Bristol, merchant and widow of Matthew Rogers of Alderley (Glos), gent., and had issue:
(1.1) Elizabeth Barker (d. 1669); married, c.1630, John Gunning (1599-1662), merchant and mayor of Bristol, later of Cold Ashton Manor, and had issue two sons and three daughters; buried at St Werburgh, Bristol, 23 December 1669;
(1.2) John Barker (b. c.1613); educated at Lincoln College, Oxford (matriculated 1631, aged 17); inherited the manor of Southmead and a house in Small St., Bristol, from his father;
(1.3) Mary Barker; married either Richard Lock of Bristol, merchant, or Matthew Rogers;
(1.4) Joyce Barker; married either Matthew Rogers of Richard Lock of Bristol, merchant;
(1.5) Grace Barker; married 14 April 1633 at St Werburgh, Bristol, Edward Yeamans of Bristol and had issue five sons and three daughters;
(1.6) Andrew Barker (c.1618-1700) [for whom see my earlier post on the Barker and Raymond-Barker family of Fairford];
(1.7) Anne Barker; unmarried in 1636;
(2.1) William Barker; living in 1636; inherited his father's lease of 1/16th of the prisage of wines in Bristol;
(2.2) Edith Barker; unmarried in 1636.
If he inherited the lease of Hopton Castle from his father in 1607 he gave it up soon afterwards. He lived chiefly in Bristol but also had a house at Alderley (Glos), where he bought the manor in 1636 (it was sold again by his son Andrew in 1656). His property included the manor of Southmead in Westbury-on-Trym (Glos), and a farm at Brislington (Somerset).
He was buried at St Werburgh, Bristol, 8 April 1636; his will was proved 13 June 1636. His first wife died in 1625. His widow's date of death is unknown.

Sources

A. Ruscoe, Landed Estates and the Gentry: vol. 1, Haughmond and Grinshill areas, 2nd edn., 1999, pp. 5-10; ibid, vol. 2, High Ercall and Hodnet areas, pp. 79-80; and ibid, vol. 3: Market Drayton Area, 1999, pp. 78-80; A. Emery, Greater medieval houses of England & Wales: vol. 2, 2000, pp. 545-47; English Heritage, Haughmond Abbey: archaeological investigation report, 2003; J. Newman & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Shropshire, 2006, pp. 285-90, 308, 618.

Location of archives

No substantial accumulation of records is known to survive. There are some deeds and other records among the Corbet of Sundorne papers in Shropshire Archives.

Coat of arms

Gules, a fesse chequy, or and azure, between six annulets of the second.

Can you help?

  • Can anyone provide fuller or firmer genealogical information about this family, and particular its earlier generations?
  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide photographs or portraits of people whose names appear in bold above, and who are not already illustrated.
  • As always, any additions or corrections to the account given above will be gratefully received and incorporated.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 28 July 2019 and updated 19 August and 2 September 2019.