Thursday, 24 September 2020

(431) Baskerville of Woolley Grange and Crowsley Park

Baskerville of Woolley Grange and Crowsley Park 
The Baskerville family who lived at Malmesbury, Bradford-on-Avon and Calne (all in Wiltshire) from the 17th to the 19th centuries claimed descent from Philip Baskerville, the third son of Sir Walter Baskerville (d. 1505), kt., of Eardisley (Herefs), who moved to Salisbury in the early 16th century. This is entirely plausible and may well be correct, but the suggestion in Burke's Landed Gentry that John Baskerville (d. 1681), with whom the genealogy below begins, was the grandson of Philip - who was born about 1490 - is not really tenable. John Baskerville may be identifiable with the child of that name baptised at Malmesbury in 1617, in which case his father's name was Richard, but it has not proved possible to push this lineage any further back with satisfactory evidence. The social status of John and his immediate descendants seems to have been that of yeomen and clothiers occupying a middle station between the landowning gentry and the peasantry, but over time the profits of the clothing trade and prudent marriages made them rather wealthier, and the family began styling themselves 'gentleman' from the early 18th century.

John Baskerville's eldest son, John Baskerville (1649-1732), settled at Burton Hill on the outskirts of Malmesbury, but not apparently at Burton Hill House, which was occupied by the Hungerford and Estcourt families at this period. By 1675, John had become a Quaker, and this remained the family's religion for the next two generations. The excellent record-keeping of the Quakers shows that John had four sons who survived to adulthood, namely John, Ezekiel, James and Thomas. John and James became clothiers in Bradford-on-Avon and Calne respectively, while Ezekiel Baskerville (1681-1736), who was the eldest son to survive his father, inherited the Burton Hill property and Thomas (1687-1756), the youngest son, became a leather merchant in London before retiring to Surrey.

John Baskerville (1678-1730) was probably already settled in Bradford-on-Avon when he married Ann Webb there in 1701. At some point he purchased a small 17th century manor house called Woolley Grange outside the town, but this may have been a little later. In 1710, John married for a second time, and produced four sons and four daughters. Only two of the sons survived to adulthood, and the elder, Joseph Baskerville (1713-56) became a woollen draper in London, leaving Thomas Baskerville (1717-79) to inherit Woolley Grange and his father's clothing interests in Bradford-on-Avon. Thomas was brought up in a Quaker household, but later left the Society of Friends, perhaps on his marriage to a non-Quaker in 1741. He had two sons and five daughters, but once again the eldest son was not the principal heir. The career of his eldest son, Thomas Baskerville (1743-c.1782) is somewhat obscure, but he was left some urban property in Bradford-on-Avon by his father. Burke's Landed Gentry suggests he was a soldier, but this seems to be based on a confusion with his near-contemporary, Lt-Col. Thomas Baskerville (1735-1817) of Poulton House near Marlborough, who appears in a previous post. Thomas Baskerville senior's younger son was John Baskerville (1745-1800), who was a clothier, and it was he who inherited Woolley Grange. He married Hester, the daughter of Nicholas Webb of Norton Court (Glos), a wealthy Gloucester merchant, and produced two sons, John Baskerville (1772-1837) and Joseph Baskerville (1773-1812), neither of whom married. He left his estate to his widow, who died in 1819, and then to his son, John. When John died without issue in 1837, he bequeathed his property to his cousin, Henry Viveash (1793-1877) of Calne, on condition that he took the name Baskerville.

Henry Viveash (the name is pronounced Vy-vash) was the eldest surviving son of Oriel Viveash of Calne, clothier, and his wife Sarah, the daughter of Thomas Baskerville (1717-79), and had pursued a career with the East India Company in Madras (India), where he was a member of the Board of Revenue. In such a position he may well have accumulated a substantial capital on his own account, but on receiving the legacy from his cousin he returned to England. He did not, however, occupy Woolley Grange, which was at first leased to his brother, Charles Baskerville Viveash (1799-1863) and then to Capt. Septimus Palairet (d. 1854) (who remodelled the house considerably in the late 1840s), before being sold in 1864. Instead, Henry Baskerville (as he became
Farleigh Castle, Farleigh Hungerford: rented by Henry Baskerville, 1842-45

in 1838) chose to rent a house in Cheltenham, and then Farleigh Castle at Farleigh Hungerford (Som.), while he looked around for a grander estate to purchase. In 1845 he found what he was looking for in Crowsley Park near Shiplake (Oxfordshire), and he moved in shortly afterwards. He was quickly assimilated into the county elite in his new home, becoming a deputy lieutenant in 1846 and serving as High Sheriff in 1847-48. 

In 1839, Henry Baskerville married Mary Anna Burton (d. 1888), whose father had been a doctor in Madras and was no doubt known to Henry from his years in India. They had two sons and four daughters, of whom the elder son, John Baskerville (1839-1927) inherited Crowsley Park, while the younger, Henry Joseph North Baskerville (1861-1941), had a very chequered career. After a traditional education at public schools and Cambridge, he married Edith Peskett, the daughter of a house painter from Chichester, in 1886. The couple separated at some point in the 1890s, with Edith returning to live with her father, while Henry found a new partner in Lilian Hayward (1883-1971), the daughter of a policeman from Mitcheldean (Glos), with whom he went on to have five children. Henry and Lilian lived as husband and wife - and appear as such on the 1901 and 1911 censuses - but there had been no marriage (and if there had been it would have been bigamous and invalid). This would have remained a very minor scandal had not Henry, at some point in the first decade of the 20th century, been ordained as a minister of the Free Church of England, and in 1910 made incumbent of Christ Church, Broadstairs (Kent). He filled this role for five years, but in 1915 something happened that caused the church authorities to deprive him of his living and pack him off to lead a mission church in Birmingham. Since he was evidently on excellent terms with his congregation (who presented him with a purse of gold sovereigns when he left the parish) it seems likely that his marital status had come to the attention of the church and caused his demotion. He continued, however, to live with Lilian, and as soon as his first wife died, in 1932, he married her, although under English law this did not legitimate their children.

John Baskerville (1839-1927), who inherited Crowsley Park, pursued a more orthodox career in the army, retiring as a major in 1868, and later commanded the Oxfordshire Hussars, with the honorary rank of Colonel. He succeeded his father in 1877 and became a JP and County Councillor, and from 1890 a deputy lieutenant. Like his father, he married a doctor's daughter, and produced two sons and two daughters. His elder son, and the heir to Crowsley Park, was the historian Geoffrey Baskerville (1870-1944), whose trenchant and revisionist book on the dissolution of the monasteries appeared in 1937. He inherited Crowsley Park in 1927 and lived there with his mother, who died in 1939. Soon afterwards, Crowsley Park was requisitioned by the Government for the use of the BBC. The Corporation was principally interested in the park, which despite the proximity of the town of Reading offered good conditions for monitoring overseas telecommunications, with limited electrical interference. After the war, the Corporation retained the park and built a new building to house its monitoring service staff, but the family returned briefly to the house in the person of Geoffrey Baskerville's younger brother, the Rev. Humphrey Baskerville (1879-1952), another childless bachelor. On his death, the estate was sold and the BBC was able to acquire the freehold.

Woolley Grange, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire

A medium-sized manor house, dated 1665, irregularly gabled and with tall square ashlar chimney stacks set diagonally in groups of two and three. The house was considerably restored and added to by Captain S.H. Palairet in about 1847-50, probably to the designs of George Phillips Manners of Bath (who is thought to have designed Christ Church Schools in Bradford, opened in 1847 and paid for by Palairet)

Woolley Grange: an engraving of 1888 by Samuel Loxton of Bristol.
The two-storey front elevation of rubble stone with ashlar dressings has gabled attics, each with a two-light casement window, and all the gables have unusual and attractive pierced spear-head finials. Beneath the two left-hand gables are a pair of 19th century two-storey bays with balustraded parapets and stone mullioned windows on each floor. The square porch is set approximately centrally in the facade and has a room over it and above that another balustraded parapet. The doorcase is in the form of a moulded segmental arch with keystone and imposts, and inside the porch is a carved oak ceiling with the date "1665" over the inner doorway. To the right of the porch is a plain bay, with three-light stone mullioned casements with drip-moulds on the ground and first floors; it seems likely that the bays to the left of the porch were originally similar in form. To the right again is a slightly taller projecting bay with a large gable and a single-storey bay window which seems to match those on the bays to the left of the porch, and therefore probably also dates from the 1840s. 

Woolley Grange: the main front today
A lower gabled wing on the extreme right of the front elevation has a restored three-light oriel window with a shallow embattled parapet. There is a late 19th century conservatory on the extreme left of the frontage and the side elevation at this end has three gables and some original mullioned windows and drip-moulds. At the rear there is a single-storey flat-roofed extension incorporating a porch made up from older sculptural fragments, which is reminiscent (in a simpler way) of the garden porch at Crowsley Park (for which, see below). In the mid 20th century the house was used as a maternity home, and it was converted to an hotel in 1989. The road from Bradford-on-Avon to Woolley Green originally ran immediately past the house but was moved further away when the house was restored in 1860.

Descent: sold to John Baskerville (1678-1730); to son, Thomas Baskerville (1717-79); to son, John Baskerville (1745-1800); to widow, Hester (d. 1819); to son, John Baskerville (1772-1837); to cousin, Henry Viveash (later Baskerville) (1793-1877), who leased 1846 to Captain Septimus Henry Palairet (d. 1854); sold 1864 to Samuel Beavan (fl. 1866); sold to Buddle Atkinson (d. 1880); to widow Clara, later wife of John Bell Simpson... sold c.1905 to Percy Kendall Stothert (fl. 1905-17); sold to Lt-Col. Harry F. Darell (fl. 1920-27); sold 1927 to Charles Goschen (d. 1939); to widow, Beatrice Goschen (fl. 1942) who let 1941 to Wiltshire County Council for use as a maternity home.

Crowsley Park, Shiplake, Oxfordshire

Crowsley Park: entrance front in 2010. Image: Shaun Ferguson. Some rights reserved.
Crowsley Park is a long, narrow house built probably by Francis Heywood in the early 1730s to replace an earlier farmhouse. It is built of red brick and presents a ten bay front on the entrance front and thirteen bays on the garden side, which is about eight feet wider. John Atkyns-Wright remodelled it in about 1800, adding a Gothic-style battlemented porch and corner turrets. Henry Baskerville made substantial changes before 1852, and more limited alterations followed in the late 19th century, probably including the extraordinary porch on the garden front, which is made up from fragments of older carving, 18th century mouldings, urns, and a pair of neo-Jacobean corbels. 

Crowsley Park: garden front in about 1870. Image: Elizabeth Clifford/Historic England.

Crowsley Park: the porch on the garden front in 1956.
Image: Historic England.
In 1844 the house included a large stone-paved entrance hall, library, drawing and dining rooms, and (on the first floor) six principal bedrooms. The house preserves a fine staircase with twisted balusters and carved treads, and much 18th century panelling, shutters and plasterwork. There is also a handsome curved back stair of c.1800. 
The house was neglected in the mid 20th century when Geoffrey Baskerville seems to have been short of money, and it was requisitioned by the Government in 1942 and given to the BBC, who occupied the house and built a signals-receiving station in the park. By 1970 the house was in very poor condition, but it was subsequently restored by Hugh and Beeban Morris, who took a twenty-year repairing lease, demolished the servants’ wing and restored the rest. Much additional work was done to the house from 1995 onwards by a later lessee, the clothing designer Jeff Banks, including the conversion of outbuildings to domestic use.

The chief ornament surviving from the 18th century park is a grotto built into the hillside south-east of the house. This has a stone front with three niches over the entrance, and inside a single rib-vaulted chamber with niches in the partly shell-lined walls. The Baskervilles planted thousands of trees, forming avenues and a fine arboretum, which included some sub-tropical exotic planting. During the period of neglect in the mid 20th century, the arboretum grew into an almost impenetrable jungle with a humid micro-climate, in which the long-forgotten sub-tropical plants not only survived but grew to a size rarely seen in the UK. When Hugh Morris began to force a way into the jungle with a small tractor in the 1970s this remarkable world was rediscovered.

Descent: Crown granted c.1570 to Thomas Crompton; sold to Bennett Winchcombe and Humphrey Purcell; sold 1595 to John Mochett (d. 1605); to widow Margery Mochett (d. 1623) and then to his nephew John Cooke; sold 1627 to Peter du Bois; to widow, who sold 1660s to Abraham Otger... Peter Otger sold 1732 to Francis Heywood (d. 1747), who built the house and enlarged the estate; to brother William Heywood (d. 1762); to nephew John Crew (d. 1788) and sisters Mary Wright (d 1780) and Elizabeth Fonnereau (d. 1777) as co-heirs; reunited by Mary’s daughter Mary Wright (d. 1793); to nephew, John Atkyns-Wright MP (d. 1822); to widow Mary Atkyns-Wright (d. 1842); sold by order of Chancery in 1845 to Henry Viveash (later Baskerville) (1793–1877); to son, John Baskerville (1839–1927); to son, Geoffrey Baskerville (1870-1944); requisitioned in 1942 for BBC, who later bought the freehold. The house was occupied by the Rev. Humphrey Baskerville until his death in 1952, and leased from 1970-90 to Mr & Mrs Hugh Morris and from 1995 to Jeff Banks (b. 1943). 

Baskerville family of Woolley Grange and Crowsley Park

Baskerville, John (1617?-81). Possibly the son of Richard Baskerville and his wife, baptised at Malmesbury, 19 August 1617. He may also be the John Baskerville of Malmesbury who was licensed by the Bishop of Salisbury as a teacher, 1662. He married, about 1646, Rebecca [surname unknown] (fl. 1682) and had issue:
(1) An unnamed child (d. 1648); probably died in infancy and was buried at Malmesbury, 20 July 1648;
(2) twin?, Mary Baskerville (1648-61), baptised at Malmesbury, 7 January 1648/9; died young and was buried at Malmesbury, 2 August 1661;
(3) twin?, Rebecca Baskerville (b. 1648), baptised at Malmesbury, 7 January 1648/9;
(4) John Baskerville (1649-1732) (q.v.);
(5) Thomas Baskerville (b. 1652; fl. 1724) of Malmesbury, baptised at Malmesbury, 23 April 1652; living in 1724;
(6) Francis Baskerville (1654-1729), born 17 December 1654 and baptised at Malmesbury, 9 January 1654/5; clothier of Malmesbury; married, 1687, Bridget Baldwyn of Yatesbury (Wilts), and had issue one daughter; buried at Malmesbury, 24 March 1728/9; will proved 12 July 1731;
(7) Joseph Baskerville (b. 1656), born 9 December 1656 and baptised at Malmesbury, 5 January 1656/7;
(8) An unnamed son (b. 1661), born 21 April 1661; probably died in infancy;
(9) An unnamed son (d. 1663), probably died in infancy and was buried 8 September 1663.
He lived at Malmesbury.
He was buried at Malmesbury, 3 November 1681; administration of his goods was granted in 1682. His widow was living in 1682 but her date of death is unknown.

Baskerville, John (1649-1732). Eldest son of John Baskerville (1617?-81) and his wife Rebecca [surname unknown], baptised at Malmesbury, 23 October 1649. He married 1st, 22 August 1675 at Slaughterford (Wilts), Elizabeth Wallis (d. 1700) of Slaughterford (Wilts), and 2nd Ann [surname unknown] (d. 1732), and had issue:
(1.1) John Baskerville (b. & d. 1676), born 4 June 1676; died in infancy and was buried 6 June 1676;
(1.2) Rebecca Baskerville (b. 1677), born 12 April 1677; married, 1698/9, Charles Robins (fl. 1731) and had issue one son and two daughters; living in 1731; 
(1.3) John Baskerville (1678-1730) (q.v.);
(1.4) Ezekiel Baskerville (1681-1756) of Burton Hill (Wilts), born 17 March 1680/1; died unmarried and without issue, 12 August and was buried at Lea and Claverton, 15 August 1756; will proved at Malmesbury, 15 December 1756;
(1.5) James Baskerville (b. 1683), of Calne (Wilts), born 2 April 1683; married, before 1714, Jane [surname unknown] and had issue three sons; living in 1717;
(1.6) Elizabeth Baskerville (b. 1685), born 19 May 1685; married, probably after 1717, Henry Franklyn, and had issue one daughter; living in 1756;
(1.7) Thomas Baskerville (1687-1756), born 31 January 1686/7; leather-seller in London, and later of Merstham (Surrey); died without issue, 8 August and was buried at Reigate Quaker Burial Ground (Surrey), 13 August 1756; will proved 23 August 1756.
He lived at Burton Hill, Malmesbury.
He died 20 August and was buried at The Lea Quaker Burial Ground, 24 August 1732; his will was proved 25 October 1732. His first wife died 14 March 1700. His second wife was buried at The Lea Quaker Burial Ground, 6 February 1731/2.

Baskerville, John (1678-1730). Second but eldest surviving son of John Baskerville (1649-1732) and his first wife, Elizabeth Wallis of Slaughterford (Wilts), born 7 July 1678. Clothier. A Quaker in religion. He married 1st, 19 June 1701 at Comerwell Quaker Meeting House, Anne Webb (d. 1701) of Bradford-on-Avon (Wilts) and 2nd, 6 July 1710, Rachel (c.1685-1744?), daughter of Joseph Sargent of Calne (Wilts), and had issue:
(2.1) Mary Baskerville (b. 1711), born at Calne, 12 June 1711; married, after 1729, Thomas Farmer (fl. 1752);
(2.2) John Baskerville (1712-34), born 5 September 1712; died unmarried and without issue, and was buried in the Quaker burial ground at Lavington (Wilts), 7 July 1734;
(2.3) Joseph Baskerville (1713-56), born 24 July 1713; woollen draper of Tinley (Wilts) and Fenchurch St., London; married, 11 September 1735 at Bristol, Mary (1715-66?), daughter of Thomas Farmer of Bromsgrove (Worcs), ironmonger, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 2 April and was buried at Bunhill Fields, 9 April 1756; will proved in the PCC, 10 April 1756;
(2.4) Rachel Baskerville (1716-20), born 30 October 1716; died young and was buried in the Quaker burial ground at Comerwell (Wilts), 18 July 1720;
(2.5) Thomas Baskerville (1717-79) (q.v.);
(2.6) James Baskerville (1721-22), born 2 July 1721 and died 9 November 1722;
(2.7) Rachel Baskerville (b. & d. 1723), born 11 October 1723; died in infancy, 6 November 1723;
(2.8) Elizabeth Baskerville (b. 1728), born 17 August 1728; married John Stafford (d. 1780) of Bradford-on-Avon and later of Winchester (Hants), clothier, and had issue three sons and four daughters; death not traced.
He lived at Woolley Grange, Bradford-on-Avon, which he bequeathed to his widow for life and then to his youngest surviving son, Thomas. He also left a bequest of £50 for wainscoting and repairing his house at Woolley.
He died in the lifetime of his father, between 29 January and 24 March 1729/30; his will was proved in the PCC, 24 March 1729/30. His first wife died 26 December 1701. His widow is said to have died 13 March 1744.

Baskerville, Thomas (1717-79). Third son of John Baskerville (1678-1730) and his second wife, Rachel, daughter of Joseph Sargent of Calne (Wilts), born 7 March 1716/7 and registered at Lavington (Wilts) Quaker Meeting. Gentleman clothier at Bradford-on-Avon. He married, 21 April 1741 at Great Chalfield (Wilts), Anne (d. c.1787), daughter of Thomas Dyke esq. of Bradford-on-Avon, and had issue:
(1) Thomas Baskerville (1743-c.1782), of Bradford-on-Avon, baptised at Bradford-on-Avon, 27 April 1743; sometimes said to be an officer in the army but this appears to be a confusion with his distant kinsman, Lt-Col. Thomas Baskerville (1735-1817) of Poulton House near Marlborough (Wilts); although the eldest son he was not his father's principal heir; he probably died between 1779 and 1786 as he is mentioned in his father's will but not in his mother's will, but his burial has not been traced;
(2) John Baskerville (1745-1800) (q.v.);
(3) Ann Baskerville (1747-98), baptised at Bradford-on-Avon, 23 June 1747; died unmarried and was buried at Bradford-on-Avon, 18 September 1798;
(4) Rachel Baskerville (1750-79), baptised at Bradford-on-Avon, 10 August 1750; died unmarried and was buried at Bradford-on-Avon, 19 October 1779; will proved in PCC, 2 November 1779;
(5) Elizabeth Baskerville (1753-1826), baptised at Bradford-on-Avon, 8 August 1753; married, 13 March 1782 at South Wraxall (Wilts), Thomas Todd (d. 1827) of Tunniside, Lanchester (Co. Durham), an official of the General Post Office, and had issue two daughters; died at the house of her son-in-law in Cheshunt (Herts) and was buried at Cheshunt, 3 June 1826;
(6) Susannah Baskerville (1759-1822), baptised at Bradford-on-Avon, 29 June 1759; married, 26 August 1779 at Bradford-on-Avon, Henry Headley MD (c.1756-1838) of Calne and later Devizes (Wilts), apothecary and physician, but had no issue; buried at Devizes, 2 January 1822;
(7) Sarah Baskerville (1761-1830) (q.v.).
He inherited Woolley Grange from his father in 1730, and came of age in 1738. He was also the residuary legatee of his uncle, Thomas Baskerville of Merstham in 1756.
He died 4 September and was buried at Bradford-on-Avon, 9 September 1779; his will was proved in the PCC, 30 September 1779. His widow was buried at Bradford-on-Avon, 22 December 1787; her will was proved 27 December 1787.

Baskerville, John (1745-1800). Second son of Thomas Baskerville (1717-79) and his wife Anne, daughter of Thomas Dyke of Bradford-on-Avon (Wilts), born 30 March and baptised at Bradford-on-Avon, 1 May 1745. Clothier at Bradford-on-Avon; JP and DL for Wiltshire. He married, 17 October 1771 at Bradford-on-Avon, Hester (1743-1819), daughter of Nicholas Webb of Norton Court (Glos) and Gloucester, merchant, and had issue:
(1) John Baskerville (1772-1837) (q.v.);
(2) Joseph Baskerville (1773-1812), of Woolley Grange, born 6 August 1773 and baptised at Bradford-on-Avon, 15 March 1774; died unmarried, 7 October, and was buried at Bradford-on-Avon, 14 October 1812.
He inherited Woolley Grange from his father in 1779. He left his estate to his widow for life, with remainder to his sons.
He died 15 March and was buried at Bradford-on-Avon, 21 March 1800; his will was proved in the PCC, 26 May 1800. His widow was buried at Bradford-on-Avon, 16 December 1819; her will was proved 11 April 1820.

Baskerville, John (1772-1837). Elder son of John Baskerville (1745-1800) and his wife Hester, daughter of Nicholas Webb of Norton Court (Glos), born 22 July and baptised at Bradford-on-Avon, 26 July 1772. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Woolley Grange on the death of his mother in 1820, but lived latterly in Bath. On his death his property passed to his cousin, Henry Viveash (later Baskerville) (1793-1877) (q.v.), on condition that he took the name Baskerville.
He died at Bath (Som.) 20 December and was buried at Bradford-on-Avon, 28 December 1837; his will was proved 5 February and 7 March 1838.

Baskerville, Sarah (1761-1830). Fifth daughter of Thomas Baskerville (1717-79) and his wife Anne, daughter of Thomas Dyke of Bradford-on-Avon (Wilts), baptised at Bradford-on-Avon, 27 November 1761. She married, 21 April 1788 at Calne (Wilts), Oriel Viveash (1763-1836) of Calne, clothier, second son of Simeon Viveash, and had issue:
(1) Catherine Anne Viveash (1789-92), born 6 March and baptised at Calne, 7 April 1789; died young, and was buried at Calne, 31 January 1792;
(2) Samuel Viveash (1791-1830), born 19 January and baptised 14 February 1791; clothier in partnership with his father at Calne; Treasurer of Calne Turnpike Roads; died unmarried in London, 25 November, and was buried at Calne, 3 December 1830;
(3) Henry Viveash (later Baskerville) (1793-1877) (q.v.);
(4) Oriel Viveash (1795-1863), of Calne (Wilts), born 6 January and baptised at Calne, 6 March 1795; articled clerk to John Merewether of Calne, attorney, 1811; East India Company's solicitor for the Madras presidency, 1835; after his retirement he lived in a hotel in London; died at Ealing (Middx), 25 January 1863; will proved 29 April 1863 (effects under £25,000);
(5) Anne Viveash (1796-1819), born 16 December 1796 and was baptised at Calne, 11 March 1799; died unmarried and was buried at Calne, 2 July 1819;
(6) Charles Baskerville Viveash (1799-1863), born 27 January and was baptised at Calne, 11 March 1799; articled clerk to John Merewether of Calne, 1815 and to John Blackstock of London, 1819; qualified as an attorney and solicitor and practised in London in partnership with Thomas Wootton until 1829; he then emigrated to Tasmania (Australia), but returned to the Bradford-on-Avon area and occupied Woolley Grange in the early 1840s; about 1846 he moved to Ealing (Middx) and was apparently again in practice in London; he married 1st, 19 April 1824 at Overton (Wilts), Ellen (d. 1842), eldest surviving daughter of Henry Tanner of Overton (Wilts), and 2nd, 22 March 1845 at St Marylebone (Middx), Susan (1812-96), daughter of Henry Gammon of Georgeham (Devon) and widow of Thomas Grimshaw, and had issue one son and one daughter by his second wife; died at Ealing, 6 February 1863; will proved 27 April 1863 (effects under £14,000);
(7) Eliza Susannah Viveash (c.1802-56), born about 1802; lived in the family house on The Green, Calne; died unmarried, 14 January, and was buried at Calne, 19 January 1856; will proved in the PCC, 13 February 1856;
(8) Hester Viveash (1804-46), born 12 February and baptised 29 February 1804; married, 15 October 1829 at Calne, William Tanner (1801-1845) of Overton (Wilts) and later of Colyton (Devon), farmer, and had issue at least three sons and two daughters; she and her husband and family emigrated to Swan Lake, Western Australia in 1830-31, returned in 1835, went out again in 1838 and returned finally in 1844; for details of their property holdings see this page; on both their outward journeys they led large parties of emigrants; she died 31 August, and was buried at Colyton Unitarian Church, 5 September 1846.
She and her husband lived in a house on the Green at Calne (Wilts).
She was buried at Calne, 20 January 1830. Her husband died 30 April and was buried at Calne, 7 May 1836; administration of his goods was granted 2 November 1836.

Henry Viveash (later Baskerville) 
Viveash (later Baskerville), Henry (1793-1877).
Second son of Oriel Viveash (1763-1836) and his wife Sarah, daughter of Thomas Baskerville of Woolley Grange, Bradford-on-Avon (Wilts), born 6 January and baptised at Calne (Wilts), 28 January 1793 'by a dissenting minister' and 7 April 1793 into the Church of England. Educated at Haileybury College, 1809-11; a civilian official of the East India Co. at Madras, 1811-38, and latterly a member of the Board of Revenue. JP for Wiltshire, Somerset (from 1842) and Oxfordshire; DL for Oxfordshire (from 1846); High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, 1847-48. He assumed the name and arms of Baskerville by royal licence, 5 March 1838. He married, 14 February 1839 at Cheltenham (Glos), Mary Anna (d. 1888), second daughter of John Standfast Burton esq. of Cheltenham (and formerly of the Madras medical establishment), and had issue:
(1) John Baskerville (1839-1927) (q.v.);
(2) Mary Anna Baskerville (1841-1900), born 6 May and baptised at Cheltenham, 23 June 1841; married, 1 December 1863, William Dalziel Mackenzie (1840-1928) of Fawley Court (Bucks), son of Edward Mackenzie of Fawley, civil engineer and contractor, and had issue two sons and four daughters; died 15 November 1900;
(3) Jessie Baskerville (1842-1920), born 30 August 1842 and baptised at Farleigh Hungerford (Som.), 15 May 1843; married, 17 June 1862, Maj-Gen. Edward Harding Steward (1835-1918), son of Samuel Steward, and had issue four sons and two daughters; died 13 December 1920; will proved 4 February 1921 (estate £383);
(4) Helen Jane Baskerville (1843-1919), born 5 December 1843 and baptised at Farleigh Hungerford, 9 November 1844; married, 14 October 1865 at Shiplake, Col. Edward Philippe Mackenzie (1842-1929) of Downham Hall, Santon Downham (Suffk) and later of 14 Sussex Sq., Brighton, son of Edward Mackenzie of Fawley Court (Bucks), and had issue one daughter; died 3 October 1919; will proved 8 November 1919 (estate £7,564);
(5) Florence Emma Baskerville (1853-1912), born 7 July 1853; married, 22 July 1874 at Kensington (Middx), James Lynam Molloy (1837-1909), Irish songwriter and composer, and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 9 December 1912; will proved 21 January 1913 (estate £3,024);
(6) Rev. Henry Joseph North Baskerville (1861-1941), born 26 January and baptised at Shiplake, 11 March 1861; educated at Rugby, Radley and Clare College, Cambridge (matriculated 1881); married 1st, 1886 (sep. before 1901), Edith (1866-1932), daughter of Charles Thomas Peskett of Chichester (Sussex), house decorator, but had no issue; after his separation he lived as husband and wife with Lilian Julia Mary (1883-1971), daughter of Henry Hayward of Mitcheldean (Glos), policeman, by whom he had issue five children; he became a minister of the Free Church of England and incumbent of Christ Church, Broadstairs (Kent), 1910-15, but was dismissed in 1915 (perhaps because his marital status had come to light) and sent to run a mission church in Birmingham; after his first wife's death in 1932 he was legally married to his common law wife; he died 13 March 1941.
He inherited Woolley Grange from his cousin, John Baskerville (d. 1837) but leased it out and sold it in 1864. He rented Farleigh Castle at Farleigh Hungerford (Som.), 1842-45 and purchased Crowsley Park (Oxon) in 1845. 
He died 6 February and was buried at Shiplake, 10 February 1877; his will was proved 11 April 1877 (effects under £25,000). His widow was buried at Shiplake, 11 February 1888; her will was proved 10 May 1888 (effects £13,114).

Baskerville, Col. John (1839-1927). Elder son of Henry Viveash (later Baskerville) (1793-1837) and his wife Mary Anna, second daughter of John Standfast Burton of Cheltenham (Glos), born 9 November and baptised at Cheltenham, 18 December 1839. Educated at Eton. An officer in the army (Cornet, 1858; Lt., 1860; Capt. 1861; Maj., 1868; retired 1868) and subsequently of the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars (Maj. by 1882; Lt-Col., 1885; Hon. Col., 1888; retired 1892). JP and DL (from 1890) for Oxfordshire; County Councillor for Oxfordshire, 1895-c.1910. A freemason from 1859. He married, 15 July 1869 at Ledbury (Herefs), Caroline (1846-1939), daughter of William Charles Henry MD FRS JP of Haffield House (Herefs), and had issue:
(1) Geoffrey Baskerville (1870-1944) (q.v.);
(2) Clara Juliet Baskerville (1871-1937), baptised at Harpsden (Oxon), 1 November 1871; a Sister of Mercy at Clewer (Berks); died in London, 27 September 1937;
(3) Maud Lucy Baskerville (1873-1959), baptised at Rotherfield Peppard (Oxon), 28 May 1873; married, 24 January 1912 at Shiplake, Rev. Walter Capel Young, rector of Fawley (Bucks), 1907-47, son of Henry Thomas Young of London; died 4 April 1959; will proved 23 June 1959 (estate £12,615);
(4) Rev. Humphrey Baskerville (1879-1952), born 22 February and baptised at Shiplake, 16 April 1879; educated at Wellington College, Oriel College, Oxford (BA 1902; MA 1905) and Cuddesdon Theological College; ordained deacon, 1905 and priest, 1908; curate of Wantage (Berks), 1905-06, St John, East Dulwich (London), 1906-09 and Chislehurst (Kent), 1909-10, but was thereafter apparently unbeneficed, although he again acted as a supernumerary curate while living in Hove (Sussex) between the wars; moved to Crowsley Park after his brother's death; died unmarried, 29 February and was buried at Shiplake, 4 March 1952; will proved 9 June 1952 (estate £34,851).
He inherited Crowsley Park from his father in 1877.
He died 11 January and was buried at Shiplake, 14 January 1927; his will was proved 3 May and 28 October 1927 (estate £99,755). His widow died aged 93 on 6 October 1939; her will was proved November 1939 (estate £31,700).

Baskerville, Geoffrey (1870-1944). Elder son of John Baskerville (1839-1927) and his wife Caroline (d. 1939), daughter of William Charles Henry MD FRS JP of Haffield House (Herefs), born 23 August 1870. A midshipman in the Royal Navy, 1886-90, then an officer in the Royal Fusiliers (2nd Lt, 1890; Capt.; ret. by 1894). Subsequently educated at Christ Church, Oxford (BA (1st class, Modern History), 1898; MA 1901). A member of the Oxford Diocesan Conference of Clergy and Laity, 1909-12. He was an historian, working as an independent scholar and as a researcher for the Historical Manuscripts Commission. Chichele Lecturer in the University of Oxford, 1914; Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Author of Medieval England (1924), English Monks and the Suppression of the Monasteries (1937) and contributions to historical journals and festschrifts. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Crowsley Park from his father in 1927. The estate was requisitioned by the Government for the use of the BBC about 1942.
He died 22 July 1944; his will was proved 10 February 1945 (estate £56,080).

Principal sources

Sir N. Pevsner & J. Sherwood, The buildings of England: Oxfordshire, 1974, pp. 737-38; Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Wiltshire, 2nd edn, 1975, p. 137; VCH Oxfordshire, draft text for Shiplake manors and estates, 2016.

Location of archives

Baskerville family of Crowsley Park: deeds and family papers, 1781-1925 [Oxfordshire History Centre, OA/E/7]
Baskerville, Geoffrey (1870-1944): historical notes relating to his work on the suppression of the monasteries, 20th cent. [Bodleian Lib., Oxford, MSS. Eng. misc. c. 634-7, d. 962-72, d. 1021, e. 902-31]

Coat of arms

Baskerville family of Woolley Grange and Crowsley Park: Argent, a chevron gules between three hurts.

Can you help?

  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide photographs or portraits of people whose names appear in bold above, and who are not already illustrated.
  • Any additions or corrections to the account given above will be gratefully received and incorporated. I am always particularly pleased to hear from members of the family who can supply recent personal information for inclusion.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 24 September 2020 and updated 5 June 2021. I am grateful to Isha Drew for a correction.

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