Thursday 28 January 2021

(444) Bateman of Shobdon Court, Viscounts Bateman

Bateman, Viscounts Bateman 
This family traced their origins to Haesbrok near St. Omer in a part of Flanders that was annexed to France in the 17th century. As a young man, Joas Bateman (c.1620-1704), with whom the genealogy below begins, came to London, where he worked first as a book-keeper for the cloth merchant, Giles Vanbrugh (father of the architect and playwright, Sir John Vanbrugh) and later became a merchant on his own account, trading with Flanders. In 1648 he married the daughter of another French Protestant émigré merchant, John de la Barre, and over the next twenty years they produced a large family, many of whom died young. Joas is said to have been naturalised as an Englishman in 1660, although I have been unable to trace any record of this. He built a solid reputation for honest dealing and in the fullness of time traded his way to modest wealth. Those of his children who survived to maturity married well, and his only surviving son, James (1660-1718) was established as a wine merchant in Alicante (Portugal), although he also seems to have built up connections in Flanders - and particularly in Antwerp - which were to be useful to him later. In 1694, when he was back in England, James became a major investor in the new Bank of England, which was established originally to raise money for King William III's war with France, and he was one of the twenty-four founding Directors appointed by the major shareholders. He spent most of 1696 and the early months of 1697 in Antwerp on behalf of the Bank, managing loans to the English government by Flemish merchants, and he remained a director until 1711, rising to serve as Deputy Governor in 1703-05 and Governor in 1705-07, and collecting a knighthood in 1698. Sir James was a Whig in politics, and he became a director of the New East India Company which was set up to rival the older Tory-dominated East India Company. The new body had a short independent life and he was later involved in the negotations for the merger of the two concerns, serving as a director of the united company in 1709-10. Sir James' financial wizardry was recognised across the political spectrum, and when Sir Robert Harley's Tory government was having difficulty in raising money in 1711, he agreed to help by throwing his weight behind the South Sea Company, of which be became Sub-Governor (effectively the Chief Executive, as Harley, who was titular Governor, was otherwise occupied as de facto Prime Minister). For this he was rewarded with the seat in Parliament which he had long coveted, but after the death of Queen Anne and arrival of George I he reverted to his natural loyalty with the Whigs. He was also increasingly prominent in the City, where he was Lord Mayor in 1716-17.

A long career at the top of the City of London's financial institutions brought great rewards, and at his death in 1718 it was estimated that Sir James was worth about £400,000. In addition to £30,000 in cash and his investments in the various public funds, much of his wealth had been translated into property:
Monmouth House, Soho Square, London,
as altered for Sir James Bateman, probably to the designs of Thomas Archer,
 in 1718-19. It was pulled down in 1770.

the Shobdon estate in Herefordshire, which he purchased in 1705 from his friend, Sir Robert Chaplin; urban property in London, some of which he had inherited from his father; the Holywell estate at Shoreditch (Middx); Harolds Park at Waltham (Essex); and the manor of Tooting (Surrey), which he bought in 1714, although he had a house there by 1699. At the end of his life he acquired the palatial Monmouth House in Soho Square, built in the 1680s for the unfortunate Duke of Monmouth, which he began remodelling, almost certainly to the designs of Thomas Archer, as his town house. He died, rather unexpectedly, before the works at Monmouth House had been completed, and the majority of his property was divided between his three sons. The eldest son, William Bateman (1696-1744), inherited Shobdon Court and Monmouth House; the second son, James Bateman (1697-1758), inherited the City of London real estate and the manor of Tooting Graveney (which he sold in 1725, having bought the Well Vale estate in Lincolnshire); while the third son, Richard Bateman (1705-73) - usually known as Dickie - inherited the Shoreditch and Waltham properties. The income from these properties and from Sir James' extensive holdings in the public funds ensured that none of his sons would need to earn a living.

William Bateman completed his father's building works at Monmouth House and was soon afterwards, in 1720, married to Lady Anne Spencer. This was a highly prestigious match, as Anne was a granddaughter of the 1st Duke of Marlborough - the great military hero of the age - and the daughter of Charles Spencer, Earl of Sunderland, who was the king's chief minister at the time. Anne clearly felt that in recognition of her rank, her rich but rather plebeian husband should receive a title. She suggested that he be made a Knight of the Bath, but this George I declined to do, instead making him Viscount Bateman in the Irish peerage in 1725. The king's catty comment on this ('I can make him a peer, but I cannot make him a gentleman') is oft-quoted, but it also had the effect of leaving Lady Anne's place in the table of precedence almost exactly as it had been (since the daughters of Earls married to commoners came next after the wives of Irish viscountesses). Soon after their wedding, William and Anne travelled to Shobdon, where they were soon planning fairly radical internal alterations, which were carried out in 1721-22. In 1723 William purchased an estate at Totteridge (Middx), where he built Totteridge Park, a large U-shaped Palladian house, whose architect is unknown. 

Totteridge Park: the Palladian house built for the 1st Viscount, probably in the late 1720s.
At the time of her marriage, Lady Anne had been a favoured grandchild of the famously difficult Duchess of Marlborough, but in 1732 they had a spectacular falling-out, and the Duchess - who turned holding a grudge into an art form - set out to isolate Lady Anne from her family and largely succeeded. As a result, when in 1738 Anne discovered with horror that William had been conducting homosexual liaisons with some of the stable boys at Shobdon, she had very few people to turn to for help. Fortunately, her brother responded to her plea to come to Shobdon, and take her away, and she spent the rest of her life living with him at Althorp, after formally separating from her husband. William, who risked prosecution and social ostracism in England, subsequently lived abroad a good deal, and rented out Monmouth House in London, although he does seem to have travelled back and forth between England and the Continent a fair bit, and was at Shobdon again for part of 1740. He died in Paris at the beginning of December 1744.

Despite William's homosexual inclinations, he and his wife produced two sons, the elder of whom, John Bateman (1721-1802), succeeded his father as 2nd Viscount Bateman and inherited the Shobdon, Totteridge and Monmouth House properties in 1744. The 2nd Viscount seems to have been as conventional as his father and uncle were unconventional: he was a long-serving MP (as an Irish peer he did not have a seat in the House of Lords) and was rewarded for his loyalty to successive governments by being made Master of the Royal Buckhounds, a piece of patronage which he held from 1757-82 and which brought both access to the King and a residence near Windsor. His life was thus very much focused on London, and he seems to have left the management of Shobdon very much to his uncle Dickie, who remodelled the house, rebuilt the church in the Gothick style, and landscaped the park in the 1740s and 1750s.

40 Park Lane (later Somerset House): the house built for the 2nd Viscount
 by John Phillips in 1769-70.  It was pulled down in 1913.
The 2nd Viscount sold Totteridge Park in 1748 and gave up Monmouth House in 1756 (when Soho Square was ceasing to be fashionable), although he retained the lease until 1770, by which time he had built a new town house on Park Lane. After leaving politics in the 1780s, he lived mainly at Shobdon, and in 1789 he sold the Park Lane house to Warren Hastings. He and his wife of more than fifty years had no children, and when he died in 1802 he left Shobdon to her for life. However, she died only a few months later, and under the terms of his will the estate then passed to his cousin, William Hanbury of Kelmarsh Hall (Northants). The subsequent history of that family, who took the surname Bateman-Hanbury and were created Barons Bateman in 1837, will be told in a future post. The second Bateman title became extinct in 1931 and Shobdon Court was sadly
 demolished soon afterwards, leaving only the service wing, which was remodelled to serve as a new centre for the estate.

In many ways the most interesting member of this family was Sir James Bateman's youngest son, Dickie Bateman (1705-73). He is well-known to literary and architectural historians as a member of Horace Walpole's homosexual circle at Strawberry Hill, and as the man responsible for creating (though not for designing) the delicious Gothick church at Shobdon, built in 1751-58. What has emerged more recently is how influential he was as a leader of decorative fashion in his own right from the 1730s onwards, particularly through the house and garden he created at Old Windsor (Berks). It is also becoming clear that despite his 'fribblish' or camp and affected manner, he was an acute and painstaking businessman: qualities that he no doubt inherited from his father. We have already seen how the management of the Shobdon estate was left largely in his hands during his lifetime, and it is notable how frequently he was made the executor and/or trustee of his siblings and cousins. It is clear that he was trusted to manage property and investments, and to prioritise the demands of business above his social obligations to his friends. When he died, he left a very simple will - written decades earlier - leaving everything to his nephew, the 2nd Viscount, who proved a poor steward of his legacy. Within months, Dickie's collections had been dispersed at auction, part of his house had been pulled down, and the rest was soon sold off. It was a very poor return for Dickie's careful and sensitive stewardship of the Shobdon estate over many decades.

Shobdon Court, Herefordshire

There is a Norman castle motte of considerable size within the gardens at Shobdon, built no doubt by the Mortimers, but in the 12th century they gave the estate to their steward, Oliver de Merlimond, who in turn founded a priory of Augustinian canons in the parish. The canons later moved to Wigmore (Herefs), and as Wigmore Abbey they retained ownership of Shobdon until the dissolution of the monasteries. However, by the early 16th century a family called Wigmore were in possession of Shobdon as lord farmers of the manor, and they retained it as tenants of the Crown after the dissolution, before eventually acquiring the freehold in the early 17th century. Nothing is known about their manor house, which was replaced by a new house on an immensely grand scale for Robert Chaplin (d. 1704), a London commission agent trading with Barbados, who bought the estate in 1690. Although his family were minor gentry in Suffolk, his wealth was entirely self-made, and by the 1690s he was rich enough to lend money to the Government on a considerable scale. He was the brother of Sir Francis Chaplin (1627-80), Lord Mayor of London in 1672, but unlike his brother he made no mark in civic affairs, probably because he spent so much time abroad or at sea. He has often been confused with his nephew and namesake, Sir Robert Chaplin (c.1670-1728), 1st bt., who was indeed his heir at Shobdon; but it was the uncle not the nephew who was responsible for building Shobdon Court.

Shobdon Court: engraving by John Harris the elder, c.1710
The new house is not very closely dated but we know Chaplin bought the manor of Shobdon in 1690, and it seems likely that the house had been completed by 1697 when the body of his wife (who had died in 1684 and been buried in London) was exhumed and reburied at Shobdon. The new house is recorded in a bird's eye view engraving of about 1710 by John Harris the elder, and in a drawing, apparently by Colen Campbell, which was later engraved for inclusion in Vitruvius Britannicus (vol. 2, 1717), although the latter omits the cupola which originally stood over the centre of the house and adds a sculptural panel in the pediment which it is doubtful ever existed. Vitruvius Britannicus also includes a plan which shows that the house was about 103 feet square, with an ambitious triple pile arrangement combined with an axial hall. The plan lacks close parallels in contemporary houses, the nearest probably being Ragley Hall (Warks), designed and built in 1679-83 by the Warwickshire mason-architect, Roger Hurlbutt (d. c.1710), with input from the polymath, Robert Hooke (1635-1703). As a London merchant, Robert Chaplin is quite likely to have encountered Hooke, who is known to have had dealings with Sir Francis Chaplin over the accounts for the Great Fire monument in London in 1677, and it is possible - to put it no more strongly - that Hooke had some input into the design of Shobdon.
Shobdon Court: plan of principal floor from Vitruvius Britannicus (1717)
As shown, the plan is correctly oriented, with north at the top.
The house was of two full storeys above a half-exposed basement, and had a 
hipped roof carried on a wooden cornice and surmounted by a tall cupola, which stood in the centre of the roof and provided top-lighting into the inner end of the full-height entrance hall. The main fronts to north and south were of thirteen bays, each having projecting two bay wings with quoins at the angles, either side of a more closely-spaced nine bay centre, the middle five bays of which were stepped slightly forward and pedimented. A plat band ran between the ground and first floor windows on the wings and the two bays at either side of the centre. The side elevations, to east and west, were of eleven evenly-spaced bays, the centre three of which were boldly recessed. A modest pedimented doorcase was set in the centre of each elevation, but curiously the principal entrance was actually that on the west side elevation, where the house faced the lane leading from Shobdon village to the mansion. The conflict between the principal axis implied by the external architecture (north-south) and the actual axis (east-west) seems clumsy, and perhaps not the sort of thing an experienced architect like Hooke would have done. South-west of the house stood a detached service block, seven bays by five, which echoed the form of the main house with a cornice, hipped roof, and plat band between the ground and first floors; it was connected with the basement of the house by an underground corridor, allowing servants to pass unseen between the two. The medieval village church stood north-west of the house and is visible in Harris' view, although as we shall see it was later rebuilt. The stable block and a large octagonal dovecote stood on the west side of the lane to Shobdon village, and were also part of the general rebuilding of the 1690s.

Shobdon Court: watercolour by James Wathen showing the east front of the house in 1791. This view probably provides the best impression of the house before the major Victorian remodelling of 1856-58, and of how it related to its parkland setting. Image: Hereford City Library.
The plan in Vitruvius Britannicus shows that the pedimented doorcase on the west front led into a very large, top-lit entrance hall, which occupied about 60% of the middle pile of the house. Behind it to the east was a further large space containing the principal staircase, which was a surprisingly modest affair for such a grand building. The southern half of the staircase hall was apparently later partitioned off to form a billiards room. An axial corridor led through the house from the north door to the south door across the inner end of the entrance hall, and further corridors flanked the entrance hall to north and south and provided access to the rooms in the north and south piles. The principal reception rooms were arranged along the south front, but their respective functions cannot now be determined with certainty. The largest room, after the entrance hall, was that in the south-east corner, and this may have been the dining room, in which the case the room at the south-west corner was probably the withdrawing room, and the rooms in between may have functioned as a library, study or second drawing room. On the north side of the house were two principal apartments, each with a closet and service rooms and one - probably designed the state apartment - also with a dressing room with a bed in it.

At his death in 1704, Robert Chaplin left the house to his nephew and namesake, later Sir Robert Chaplin (c.1670-1728), 1st bt., who very quickly sold the estate to his friend, Sir James Bateman, kt., for £30,428. We can be sure the house had been built by then as the sale included 'a large new-built seat with outhouses and barns, stables, malt kilns and other offices, pigeon's house, gardens, orchards, fishponds and plantations'. Sir James seems to have been satisfied with the house as it stood, but his son, William Bateman (later the 1st Viscount Bateman), who inherited in 1718, was making internal alterations with the assistance of a series of well-known craftsmen as early as 1721-22. Unfortunately, we have no information about the nature of these changes, but at the same time Thomas Greening, chief gardener to George II, who had a farm nearby at Aymestrey, began the process of landscaping the grounds. Greening promoted an irregular style of landscaping, with serpentine walks threading a well-wooded landscape. He did not, however, wholly sweep away the parterres shown by Harris, for some of them still existed in the mid-1740s.

The 1st Viscount Bateman died in Paris in 1744, leaving as heir his son John, who had recently come of age. He very quickly began a series of improvements to both the house and grounds under the management of his uncle, Dickie Bateman, who was part of the charmed circle around Horace Walpole, and who was building on his own account at Windsor at much the same time. Dickie's letters to the estate steward, Benjamin Fellows, give tantalising glimpses of the works in progress, which included internal alterations to the house in accordance with the plans of Henry Flitcroft; and also the rebuilding of the church and the landscaping of the park. We know nothing about the new interiors Flitcroft created in the house (which were all swept away in the 19th century), except that Bishop Pococke remarks 'the house is finished and furnished in a very grand manner', which may imply a classical rather than a Gothick or Chinoiserie scheme.

Shobdon church: interior looking east. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.
In 1745, the Norman and Early English church was in poor condition: its central tower had collapsed in 1719, and the present west tower was built to replace it in 1725-30. The idea of rebuilding the rest was under discussion by 1746, although the first scheme seems to have been for a remodelling rather than a complete demolition and new building. New plans for a complete rebuilding were sent to Shobdon in March 1751, and the work was largely complete by 1756. The result is the finest 18th century church in the county, and one of the prettiest anywhere in England. The exterior is a plain ashlar block with moulded ogee-headed windows and plate tracery, but the interior is a rich fantasy of powder blue and white woodwork and plasterwork, with motifs drawn eclectically from works or published designs by William Kent and Batty Langley. Unfortunately, we do not know who the designer was. A letter of 1749 from Dickie Bateman in London to Benjamin Fallowes, the steward at Shobdon says 'The enclosed is what the architect wants regarding the church', which implies that there was a single designer (something which the unity of the design itself proclaims) and perhaps also that he was in London, but he is never named in the surviving documentation. A great deal of ink has been expended on trying to work out who he was. The idea that it was William Kent himself seems to be ruled out by the fact that he died in 1748 and that the plan was changed from remodelling to rebuilding two years later. Others in the frame include people in Kent's circle such as Daniel Garrett, Stephen Wright or John Vardy; Thomas Farnolls Pritchard, who was local; Richard Bentley, another member of Walpole's Committee of Taste; William Robinson, who also worked at Strawberry Hill; Henry Keene; and Henry Flitcroft. Stylistically, my own view is that John Vardy is probably the most likely man, but unless new evidence comes to light we shall probably never know for certain.

Shobdon Court: the Arches in 1959, before extensive woodland planting.
Image: Miss Wight/Historic England AA65/689.
The demolition of the old church displaced extensive Norman fabric, including the chancel arch and two elaborate Norman doorways, and in 1751-52, as part of the landscaping works in the grounds, they were rebuilt as an eyecatcher called the Shobdon Arches at the top of a grass avenue in the park. The carvings, which have now weathered so far as to be largely lost, were happily recorded in a series of lithographs published in 1852, for they are of great interest for the mix of French and Scandinavian or Anglo-Saxon influences which they show. The park also contains a mid 18th century temple facade, set in a copse about a quarter of a mile east of the church, with four tall Ionic columns and a pediment with a modillion cornice; this was in place by 1752, when Bishop Pococke mentions seeing it. Pococke also records that the Norman castle mound had been 'improved into a bowling green with a summer-house'.

In 1807 the estate descended to William Bateman Hanbury (1780-1845), who was raised to the peerage as 1st Baron Bateman in 1837. Shortly before his elevation, he commissioned further work on the interior from Edward Haycock of Shrewsbury, who was active here from about 1830-35, and working with advice from Sir Jeffry Wyatville. We know very little about what was done, except that it included the fitting up of a new library. 

Shobdon Court: the north and east fronts as remodelled in 1856-58 for 2nd Lord Bateman. Image: Maj. D. Hill-Wood/Historic England BB87/10421

We know so little about the 18th and early 19th century interiors of Shobdon, because after the 2nd Baron Bateman was married in 1854 he commissioned a comprehensive remodelling of the house to the designs of Alexander Milne of Northampton. Although there was apparently a fairly serious fire in an outbuilding at Shobdon in 1854, this did not affect the main house, and the works were not, as is sometimes stated, occasioned by the need for reinstatement.  Work began in 1856, and was largely complete by 1858, when the Hereford Journal recorded that:
"The building, which dates from the closing period of the 17th century, was of red brick of the plainest description, and consisted of a block about 110 ft. square, connected by an underground passage, with the offices in a second similar block, 70ft. by 50ft. This general arrangement... has not been disturbed, but extensive additions have been made to the offices... With regard to the house itself, the process of renovation, either within or without, could hardly have been more complete. The old chimney shafts have been replaced by new brick with stone caps and bases ; a cornice, open parapets, pedestals, and finials have been added both to the main building and to the offices; the windows have new stone dressings, and the whole of the brickwork, old and new, has been coloured down, and pointed with black mortar. The old window frames and sashes of the house with their heavy sash bars and small panes, have given place to new ones of wainscot oak, each sash holding a single sheet of plate glass. The slates and timber of the roofs have been taken off, and the floor boards and timbers pulled out and replaced with new".
Shobdon Court: the saloon formed in 1856-58 out of the Georgian entrance hall. Image: Batsford & Co.

Shobdon Court: the drawing room created in 1856-58. Image: Maj. D. Hill-Wood/Historic England BB87/10390.

"This has afforded the opportunity to increase by 2ft. 6in. the height of the rooms on the principal floor. The whole of the plaster work throughout the house is fresh, the new ceilings and cornices in some of the rooms being of elegant and costly design. The greater portion of the doors, shutters, architrave mouldings, skirtings, etc., will be new; in the chief rooms will be used carved or papier maché mouldings, while the floors are to be of polished oak with parquet borders.
Shobdon Court: plan after the 1856-58 remodelling.
Great changes have been made in the principal rooms of the house, dependant in some measure upon the removal of the chief entrance from the west to the north front. The principal staircase has been removed thither from the east front where it originally stood. A new dining room has been formed out of the old staircase and billiard room; the drawing room has been converted into a billiard room, and the old dining and serving rooms have become a drawing room and a boudoir. No less considerable have been the alterations on the basement chamber and attic floors. The chamber floor consists at present of nine large and lofty bed-rooms, with a dressing room to each. Of the old entrance hall, etc., has been formed a saloon 37 ft. in height, measuring 50 ft. 30ft., in the ceiling of which is fixed a very handsome skylight... of eliptical form, with scroll work attached to the bars, it is glazed with bent ground glass, in sheets each 12 ft. long. With a view to regulate the temperature of the room an outer skylight has been fixed over this, not visible however from the exterior of the house. Between these, in order to light the apartment by night, numerous gas [lights] will be fixed".
Shobdon Court: the south and west fronts as remodelled in 1856-58. Image: Maj. D. Hill-Wood/Historic England BB87/10444.
"We have reserved to the last to mention improvements which will first attract the eye of a stranger, and which give an altogether new character and an appropriate finish to the whole edifice. At the new carriage entrance on the north front has been erected a stone porch, having an arcade on either side, consisting of four arches, with cornice and open parapet. There has also been made a covered area, intended to keep dry the offices in the basement. On the south front, the ground lying very low, a terrace has been built 20 ft. wide and 200 feet long. The floor of the terrace is of syssel asphalte, and it is supported by wrought iron girders. The front is formed of a number of stone arches, with cornice and open balustrades, and flower vases on the pedestals. A flight of seven steps leads down from the sash door of the library to the centre of the terrace, at either end of which is a flight of 20 very wide and handsome steps, conducting to the flower garden. On the two sides of the house four areas have been made, each 10 ft. wide, where formerly the earth lay to the height of 9 ft. against the walls of the basement offices. These areas are furnished with an open balustrade, pedestals and vases on the same level with the terrace, and made in every respect to correspond. They have also two flights of stone steps, each 35 ft. long, to the landings at the east and west doors. The general effect of these alterations is very striking. The entire cost of the works will be about £20,000... The whole of the works, building and engineering, have been carried out from the plans and specifications, and under the superintendence of the architect, Mr. Alexander Milne, of Northampton".
After the 3rd Lord Bateman died without an obvious heir in 1931, his executors sold the contents of the house in July 1932 and then sold the estate itself in January 1933 to Mr. G.M. Kent of Pudleston Court. He wanted the land and decided to demolish the main house, prompting a demolition sale of the fixtures and fittings in October 1933, The saloon was sold as a unit for £465; one wonders where it is now. Another room was acquired for the Art Institute of Chicago as one of its period room exhibits (but was sold in the 1950s), and more portable fixtures and fittings from Shobdon such as doors and chimneypieces were reused in other houses, including Ashford Hall, Ashford Bowdler (Shrops.) and Bodnant (Denbighs.). The service wing was retained and refashioned as a much smaller house, and the large brick stables of c.1700 were also retained and converted into residential accommodation, with a tall turret that gives the building the air of a 1930s town hall. The terrace built in front of the south front of the house in the 1850s was also kept as a garden walk.

Shobdon Court: the remodelled service wing from the south-east in 1950, also showing the retained Victorian terrace.

Shobdon Court: the present house, remodelled out of the 18th century service block after 1933. Image: Philip Pankhurst. Some rights reserved.
Descent: Queen Elizabeth granted to William Raven and others, who sold soon afterward to Thomas Handford and Kynard Delabere, who were perhaps trustees for Thomas Wigmore, whose family had been tenants since the 16th century; to son, Warncomb Wigmore; sold c.1655 to John Handford (d. 1669); to son, John Handford (d. 1676); ... sold 1690 to Robert Chaplin (d. 1704); to nephew, Robert Chaplin (c.1670-1728), later 1st bt.; sold 1705 to Sir James Bateman (1660-1718), kt.; to son, William Bateman (1696-1744), 1st Viscount Bateman; to son, John Bateman (1721-1802), 2nd Viscount Bateman; to first cousin once removed, William Hanbury (1748-1807); to son, William Hanbury (later Bateman-Hanbury) (1780-1845), 1st Baron Bateman; to son, William Bateman Bateman-Hanbury (1826-1901), 2nd Baron Bateman; to son, William Spencer Bateman-Hanbury (1856-1931), 3rd Baron Bateman; sold by his executors in 1933 to George Malcolm Kent, who demolished the main house; sold c.1945 to Commander (Ughtred) Henry Ramsden James RN (1902-89); sold 1950 to Peter Douglas Conyers Walker (1912-84); sold 1957 to Lt-Col. Uvedale Corbett (1909-2005); to son, David Uvedale Corbett (1936-2001); to son, Richard George Uvedale Corbett (b. 1965).

Totteridge Park, Middlesex

An account of this house has been given previously in an earlier post.

The Priory (formerly Grove House), Old Windsor, Berkshire

Richard 'Dickie' Bateman (1705-73) acquired the lease of a small 17th century red brick house or inn adjoining the River Thames with about fourteen acres in 1730. He turned his attention first to creating ornamental grounds around the house in the fashionable ferme ornée style, with buildings which Richard Pococke described in 1754 as being 'in the Chinese taste', although 18th century drawings show they were actually in a variety of different styles

Grove House/The Priory, Old Windsor: extract from the inclosure map of 1817 showing the key buildings around the site. A=The Priory; B=The Vicarage; C=Old Windsor Church; D= The Hermitage; E=Site of gazebo on boundary (perhaps demolished by the date of this map); F=Site of Chinese bridge; G=Site of China House (demolished by 1817); H=Manor Cottage.

Grove House/The Priory, Old Windsor: the 'China House' in the grounds, decorated by Dickie Bateman before 1735 in a mixed style.

Grove House/The Priory, Old Windsor: watercolour by Paul Sandby dated 1750 showing, on the left, the old gazebo 'improved' by Dickie Bateman 
and on the right the Chinese bridge. The house in the background must be Manor Cottage, although its later appearance was very different.
Image: Royal Collection Trust 914615.

Grove House/The Priory, Old Windsor: detail of the watercolour above showing the Chinese bridge. Image: Royal Collection Trust 914615.
Work on the house seems not to have commenced until the 1740s, but by the time time Thomas Robins made drawings of the estate from the west-north-west and east-south-east (probably between 1748 and 1758), Dickie Bateman had installed fanciful ogee arches in place of some of the original windows, dressed the main front with two canted bays and a porch in a mixed style, and built a detached wing (known as The Offices) adjoining the house, one end of which was dressed up with Gothick arcading and windows, and a crocketed gable-end. The house and this wing partly enclosed a walled courtyard entered by Gothick archway with pinnacled gatepiers

Grove House/The Priory, Old Windsor: view from the east-south-east (across the River Thames) by Thomas Robins, probably dating from the 1750s. The Priory is on the left, the old gazebo visible in Sandby's view is just right of centre, and the Hermitage is on the right.

Grove House/The Priory, Old Windsor: view from the west-north-west by Thomas Robins, probably dating from the 1750s. The China House is on the left, with the church behind it; the vicarage is just left of centre, the old gazebo on the skyline, and Priory House right of centre.

Grove House/The Priory, Old Windsor: detail of the house from the east 
from the Thomas Robins painting above.

Grove House/The Priory, Old Windsor: detail of the house from the west 
from the Thomas Robins painting above.

Less is known about the interiors of this date, but in 1750 Bateman was buying painted glass from an Italian merchant, and in 1754 Pococke saw painted and gilt ceilings, an eccentric collection of furniture, and a miniature long gallery. The result was characterised by Lord Lyttelton in 1759 as ‘half Gothick, half Attic, half Chinese and completely fribble’, and although Bateman may have had professional assistance in execution, it all sounds exactly like the sort of thing he would have designed himself.

Much later, between about 1758 and 1768, Bateman extensively remodelled and enlarged the house in the Gothick style, and this time he commissioned the improvements from more experienced architects within the Strawberry Hill circle. Walpole took the credit for his new focus on Gothick: "[I] converted Dickie Bateman from a Chinese to a Goth", he wrote; "I preached so effectively that his every pagoda took the veil". By 1768, when Mrs Delany visited, she recorded "its outward appearance is venerable - arched porticoes and windows, Gothic towers and battlements, encompassed and shaded with large trees... Were I to particularize all I saw within and without the house - the vestibules, the 'refectories', the 'monuments' etc etc, you would think I was quoting old Dugdale". As at Strawberry Hill, elements of the house such as fireplaces and bookcases were designed as recognisable paraphrases of medieval monuments copied from antiquarian engravings. 

Grove House/The Priory, Old Windsor: design by J.H. Muntz for the octagonal dining room, 1761.
Image: Lewis Walpole Library, Farmington, Connecticut.

Grove House/The Priory, Old Windsor: the octagonal dining room today.
Richard Bentley was employed in 1758 to design alterations to the 'The Offices', and in 1761 Johann Heinrich Muntz designed an octagonal Gothic dining room with a vaulted roof, which survives, although most of its Gothick external features have been removed. The dining room was connected to the house by a Gothick cloister walk, designs for which were submitted by both Bentley and Muntz. Although Muntz's design was far more elaborate and sophisticated, Bentley's design was chosen, perhaps on the grounds of expense, or perhaps because Muntz fell out with Walpole and Bentley while the decision was pending. To mark the strengthened Gothick character of the house, it became known as The Priory (confusingly, another house on the riverside, a little further south, was later called Grove House).

Genuine antiquities were mixed with modern Gothick: Dickie Bateman removed the 13th century tomb chest and effigy of Caducanus, bishop of Bangor from Abbey Dore church (Herefs) and installed it in his new cloister under a canopy designed by Muntz; and he also placed in the cloister a set of triangular chairs from Wales which were thought at the time to be medieval. Inside the house proper there was a bewildering assortment of collections reflecting Bateman's enthusiasms over many years for stained glass, painted heraldry, Chinese weaponry and other artefacts, medieval art and especially Catholic religious artefacts. These last were concentrated particularly in an octagonal 'chapel' off Bateman's bedchamber, which offended Mrs Delany and no doubt others: "if he does not make use of it in good earnest, his making a joke of it is shocking... I don't suppose he desires to be thought a papist, and perhaps he would rather be thought a heathen!".

Grove House/The Priory, Old Windsor: the house from the south today

Grove House/The Priory, Old Windsor: the house from the south-west today.
On Dickie Bateman's death the ownership of the Priory passed to his nephew, the 2nd Viscount, who pulled down the cloister and other parts of the house and sold its contents at Christies in 1774: Horace Walpole bought some pieces including the chairs from the cloister for Strawberry Hill. The house has changed hands frequently since 1775, and the only family to stay here for any length of the time were the Romaines, who acquired it before 1874 and held it until 1924. It was presumably they who further remodelled the house in the late 19th century and removed much of the Gothickry that had not already been abraded by time

Descent: lease sold 1730 to Dickie Bateman (1705-73); to nephew, John Bateman (1721-1802), 2nd Viscount Bateman; sold 1775 to Lord Cholmondeley; sold 1783 to Mary (d. 1812), widow of Richard Onslow (1713-76), 3rd Baron Onslow; sold 1812 to HRH Princess Elizabeth (1770-1840); sold 1826 to J. Sivewright (fl. 1826-34); sold to John Sturges (d. 1850); sold to H. Wrench (d. c.1866); sold 1866 to Dr. William Hurman; sold by 1874 to William Govett Romaine (1815-93); to son, William Colin Campbell Romaine (d. 1924); sold to John Richard Brinsley Norton (1855-1943), 5th Baron Grantley... sold to William George Cleghorn (fl. 1969)... Peter John Francis (b. 1953); sold 2007... sold 2018.

Bateman family of Shobdon Court

Joas Bateman (c.1620-1704) 
Bateman, Joas (c.1620-1704).
Son of Giles Bateman of Haesbrok near St. Omer (France) and his wife Jacomina de Swort, 
born about 1620. He evidently came to England as a young man, and worked as book-keeper to Sir John Vanbrugh's father, Giles Vanbrugh, a London cloth merchant of similar Flemish-Protestant background. He later became a Flanders merchant on his own account, in which capacity he was a signatory to several petitions to Parliament about tariffs on overseas trade. It was said of him that 'by his justice and fair dealing, he acquired a good fortune', but his wealth was always moderate. He is said to have been naturalised in 1660, and appears in the records as Joas, Joos, Joseph and even John Bateman. He was selected as an Alderman of the City of London, 1687, but discharged, on payment of a fine of £520. His widow founded a set of almshouses at Tooting, erected in 1709-10. He married, 24 October 1648 at St Olave, Hart Street, London, Judith (d. 1712), daughter of John de la Barre, another French Huguenot refugee merchant, of Fenchurch St., London, and had issue, with two other children, born dead:
(1) John Bateman (1649-74), baptised at St Katherine Coleman, London, 19 July 1649; died unmarried and was buried at St Martin Orgar, 29 August 1674;
(2) Mary Bateman (1650-1730), baptised at St Katherine Coleman, London, 7 November 1650; married, 21 July 1670 at St Dunstan-in-the-East, London, Abraham Tillard (1635-1704) of Norton Folgate, London, merchant, and had surviving issue three sons and one daughter; buried at St Stephen Walbrook, London, 26 February 1729/30; will proved 5 March 1729/30;
(3) Jane Bateman (1651-54), baptised at St Martin Orgar, London, 20 December 1651; died young and was buried in St Martin Orgar, 14 March 1653/4;
(4) Barbara Bateman (b. 1654), born 10 October and baptised at St Martin Orgar, London, 18 October 1654; probably died young but death not traced;
(5) Giles Bateman (b. & d. 1656), baptised at St Martin, Orgar, London, 10 December 1656; died in infancy and was buried at St Martin, Orgar, London, 30 December 1656;
(6) William Bateman (1658-78?), baptised at St Martin Orgar, London, 25 April 1658; died unmarried and was possibly the man of this name buried at St Dunstan-in-the-East, London, 29 October 1678;
(7) Sir James Bateman (1660-1718), kt. (q.v.);
(8) Judith Bateman (1661-1729), baptised at St Martin Orgar, London, 2 March 1661/2; married 1st, 13 March 1676/7 at Shoreditch (Middx), Sir Richard Shirley (c.1655-92), 2nd bt., of Preston (Sussex), and had issue two sons and four daughters; married 2nd, 26 August 1697 at Crayford (Kent), Sir Henry Hatsell, kt. (1641-1714) of The Temple, London, a Baron of the Exchequer; buried at Preston, 4 June 1729; will proved 9 June 1729;
(9) Elizabeth Bateman (b. 1665), born 27 March and baptised at St Martin Orgar, 9 April 1665; probably died young but death not traced;
(10) Seavell Bateman (male) (b. 1668), baptised at St Martin Orgar, 6 December 1668; probably died young but death not traced.
He lived at a house in St Martin's Lane near Cannon St.. London, and later at a house in Ongar (Essex) provided by his son. His widow lived with her son at Tooting (Surrey). 
He died 13 April, and was buried in the Dutch church at Austin Friars, London, 18 April 1704; his will was proved in the PCC, 3 May 1704. His widow was buried in the Dutch church at Austin Friars, 5 January 1712/3.

Sir James Bateman (1660-1718), kt. 
Bateman, Sir James (1660-1718), kt.
Only surviving son of Alderman Joas Bateman (c.1720-1704) of Tooting (Surrey), merchant, by his wife Judith, daughter of John de la Barre, merchant, of Fenchurch St., London, baptised at St Martin Orgar, London, 29 April 1660.
His Dutch Calvinist upbringing and his family’s marriage connections with several leading dissenting families in London ensured he developed a Whig outlook. Although he may have had interests in trade with the Low Countries (he seems to have had a house in Rotterdam at one point), for nearly ten years from c.1683 he was resident at Alicante (Portugal), where he quickly made a lot of money in the wine trade. He had returned to London by the early 1690s, and having already amassed a sizable fortune he continued to operate on a large scale as an Iberian wine importer. His financial acumen and growing wealth enabled him to take a prominent position in the City of London financial world, and he became a major subscriber to the Bank of England at its inception in 1694 and one of its founding directors, serving (subject to the statutory intervals) until 1711 and being Deputy Governor, 1703-05 and Governor, 1705-07. In 1695 he became a Director of the Company of Scotland and was accused of 'high crimes and misdemeanours' in a House of Commons report into its affairs, but although his impeachment was proposed it was never carried forward. He was knighted at Kensington Palace, 14 December 1698 and became a Director of the New East India Co. (set up by prominent Whigs in opposition to the old Tory-dominated East India Company), 1698-1700, 1703-04, 1707-09 and of the United East India Co., 1709-10. He made strenuous efforts to get into Parliament in 1695 (at Totnes) and 1701 (at St Mawes), but was unsuccessful until a personal acquaintance with Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford, chief minister in the Tory administration led to his agreeing to help the Government with its fundraising activities. He became Sub-Governor of the South Sea Co.*, 1711-18 and was rewarded with a seat in Parliament as Tory MP for Ilchester, 1711-15. His flirtation with the Tories did not survive the Hanoverian succession, but he remained in Parliament as Whig MP for East Looe, 1715-18. He also served as a Director of Greenwich Hospital, 1703-18 and a Commissioner for building fifty new churches, 1712-15. In London, he was a member of the Lorimer's Company to 1709 and then of the Fishmongers Co., 1709-18 (Prime Warden, 1710-12); Sheriff of London, 1702; Alderman of London, 1708-18, and finally Lord Mayor, 1716-17. He married, 1691 (licence 3 December), Esther (1672-1709), daughter and co-heiress of John Searle of Finchley (Middx), merchant, and had issue:
(1) Anne Bateman (1692-1773) (q.v.);
(2) Sir William Bateman (1695-1744), KB, 1st Viscount Bateman (q.v.);
(3) James Bateman (1697-1758), born 24 April and baptised at St Mary, Aldermanbury, London, 25 April 1697; inherited his father's property in the City of London and Tooting, 1718 but sold the latter in 1725; stepped in at the last moment for his brother William and was elected MP for Carlisle, 1722-27; purchased the Well Vale estate near Alford (Lincs), about 1719-20; married, 21 September 1721 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster (Middx), Anne (d. 1733), daughter and co-heir of Sir Robert Chaplin, 1st bt., of London, and had issue one daughter (Ann, wife of Samuel Dashwood of Well (Lincs), from whom descended the Bateman-Dashwood family); died 9 April 1758; will proved 10 April 1758;
(4) John Bateman (b. 1699), born 2 October and baptised at St Mary, Aldermanbury, London, 11 October 1699; died young before September 1709 but death not traced;
(5) Judith Bateman (1703-25), baptised at St Michael Bassishaw, London, 26 September 1703; married, 11 April 1724 at Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, Westminster, Thomas Bouchier MP (1701-72) of Heath Lane House, Twickenham (Middx) and Christian Malford (Wilts), and had issue one daughter (Judith, who married 1750, the Hon. William Fitzwilliam); died in childbirth, 11 March and was buried at Tooting (Surrey), 24 March 1724/5;
(6) Richard Bateman (1705-73) (q.v.);
(7) Elizabeth Bateman (1707-65), baptised at St Michael Bassishaw, London, 18 May 1707; died unmarried; will proved 20 April 1765;
(8) Henry Bateman (1709-10), baptised at St Botolph Bishopsgate, London, 7 May 1709; died in infancy and was buried at Tooting (Surrey), 18 August 1710.
He purchased the site of Holywell Priory, Shoreditch (Middx) in 1692, and inherited property in London, Hertfordshire and Kent from his father in 1704. He purchased the Shobdon Court estate in (Herefs) in 1705 and the manor of Tooting (Surrey) in 1714. In February 1717 he purchased the Crown lease of Monmouth House, Soho Square, London, from the Duchess of Monmouth. He altered Monmouth House in 1717-18, probably to the designs of Thomas Archer, whom he would have known through the Commission for building fifty new churches.
He died at Monmouth House in Soho Square, London, 10 November, and was buried at Tooting (Surrey), 19 November 1718; his will was proved 25 November 1718; his estate was reputed to be worth £400,000, including £30,000 in cash. His wife died 30 September, and was buried at Tooting, 10 October 1709, where she was commemorated by a monument.
* The South Sea Company was not at this time the scandalous vehicle for insider trading and fraud that it became shortly afterwards, during the infamous 'South Sea Bubble'.

William Bateman, 1st Viscount Bateman 
Bateman, Sir William (1696-1744), KB, 1st Viscount Bateman.
Eldest son of Sir James Bateman (1660-1718), kt., and his wife Esther, daughter and co-heiress of John Searle of Finchley (Middx), merchant, born 6 January and baptised at St Mary, Aldermanbury, London, 9 January 1695/6. Educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge (matriculated 1712) and the Inner Temple (admitted 1712), and travelled extensively in Europe; he also made an extended trip to France with his wife in 1723. Whig MP for Leominster, 1721-22, 1727-34; he also stood for Carlisle in 1723 but at the last moment asked his brother James to substitute for him, perhaps because he had decided to go abroad. His wife used her influence as the daughter of a former Prime Minister to campaign for him to be given an honour that would reflect her rank, such as being a Knight of the Bath, but King George I chose rather to make him an Irish peer as Viscount Bateman and Baron Culmore of Londonderry, 12 July 1725, reputedly saying '
I can make him a lord, but I cannot make him a gentleman'. George II took a different view and he was made a Knight of the Bath, 12 January 1731/2.  He was a notable art collector, making a large collection of paintings and statues during his foreign travels, where (according to Lodge's Peerage), 'he made a better figure than some of the foreign princes through whose dominions he passed'. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society, 1733-44. Despite his marriage, it would appear he was primarily homosexual and in 1738 he was shown to have been having liaisons with the stable boys at Shobdon. His wife was horrified, and went to live at Althorp (Northants) with her brother. He spent the rest of his life in London and on the Continent, only visiting Shobdon once, in 1740. Although he may have gone abroad in some haste when his activities first came to light, it does not appear to be true that he went into exile to avoid prosecution. He married, a few days before 10 July 1720, probably in the chapel at Blenheim Palace (Oxon), Anne* (d. 1769), daughter of Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland (then the Prime Minister) and granddaughter of the 1st Duke of Marlborough, and had issue:
(1) John Bateman (1721-1802), 2nd Viscount Bateman (q.v.);
(2) Capt. The Hon. William Bateman (1725-83), born 13 February and baptised at St Anne, Soho, London, 24 February 1724/5; an officer in the Royal Navy, 1737-51 (Lt., 1743/4; Capt., 1745; retired 1751); Equerry to HRH Princess Amelia, 1745-56; MP for Gatton, 1752-54; Extra Commissioner of the Navy, 1756-61; Comptroller of the Storekeeper's Accounts, March-June 1783; married, 17 February 1755 at St James, Bath (Som.), Anne Maria (1727-1802), daughter of Charles Hedges of Finchley (Middx), but had no issue; died 19 June 1783 and was buried at Shobdon (Herefs); will proved in the PCC, 25 June 1783.
He inherited Shobdon Court and Monmouth House, Soho Square, London, from his father in 1718. He completed his father's alterations at Monmouth House by March 1719. He made alterations to Shobdon Court in 1721-22, and purchased additional lands to consolidate the estate. In 1723 he purchased a property at Totteridge and built Totteridge Park. After their separation his wife lived at Althorp.
He died in Paris early in December 1744; his will was proved in the PCC, 31 January 1744/5. His widow died in London, 19 February 1769; her will was proved 27 February 1769.
* Anne was described as clever, but plain and unattractive, awkward, with a big nose and no-nonsense manner, so finding her a rich if rather plebeian husband was counted a success. After 1732, she fell out spectacularly with the Duchess of Marlborough over her own piece of matchmaking for her brother; the Duchess cut off all contact and blackened the face of her portrait, writing on the frame 'she is much blacker inside'. As others found to their cost, the Duchess was a very good hater: in 1738 she called Anne 'the vilest woman I ever knew in my life and deserves to be burnt'.

Silhouette of John Bateman,
2nd Viscount Bateman
Bateman, Rt. Hon. John (1721-1802), 2nd Viscount Bateman.
Elder son of Sir William Bateman (1696-1744), KB, 1st Viscount Bateman, and his wife Anne, daughter of Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland, born 12 April 1721, baptised privately at Blenheim Palace (Oxon), where the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough were among his godparents, and publicly at St Anne, Soho, 22 
April 1721. He came of age in 1742 and succeeded his father as 2nd Viscount, in December 1744 or June 1745. As an Irish peer, he did not have a seat in the House of Lords, and he became Whig MP for Orford, 1746-47, Woodstock, 1747-68 and Leominster, 1768-84. He was briefly in Government as a Lord of the Admiralty, 1755-56 and Treasurer of the Household, 1756-57, and was sworn of the Privy Council in 1756. He was Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire for more than half a century, 1746-1802; Chief Steward of Leominster, 1759-1802; and Master of the Buckhounds, 1757-82, only being dismissed from the latter post on a change of government. The Mastership brought him Swinley Lodge in Windsor Great Park and a salary of £2,341, although the expenses of the office always exceeded this sum. Some commentators found him pompous, but he was a great favourite of the King. For Sir Nathaniel Wraxhall, 'His understanding was good, though he loved pleasure of every description more than business and he possessed that mediocrity of talents which, never inspiring awe, forms the best recommendation to Royal favour'. Mrs. Delany found him 'excessively thin, polite, and modest in behaviour', characteristics which may explain why the traditional annual dinner for local farmers and foresters he was obliged to give as Master of the Buckhounds was regarded as parsimonious (his predecessor, Ralph Jenison, had by contrast been noted as 'a five bottle man' and was accordingly much better liked!).  His portrait was painted by Gainsborough, but its current whereabouts are not known. (A picture at Waddesdon Manor traditionally identified as being of him has now been recognised as being of the artist's nephew, Gainsborough Dupont). He married, 2 July 1748 at St Anne, Soho, Elizabeth (1726-1802), daughter and co-heir of John Sambrooke MP, but had no issue.
He inherited Shobdon Court, Totteridge Park, and Monmouth House, London from his father in 1744. He sold Totteridge Park to Sir William Lee (1688-1754) in 1748. He continued to occupy Monmouth House until 1756, after which the house was let to tenants including the French ambassador, who built a new chapel. In 1770 Lord Bateman negotiated an extension of his Crown lease to 1819 and entered into contracts for the redevelopment of the site with two large houses on the frontage and a warren of tiny ones behind; Monmouth House had been pulled down by 1773. At his death Shobdon passed to his widow for life, and then to his cousin, William Hanbury of Kelmarsh Hall (Northants). In 1769-70, he built a town house at 40 (now 140) Park Lane, London, to the designs of John Phillips. It was sold to Warren Hastings in 1789 and demolished in 1913.
He died 2 March 1802, when his titles became extinct; his will was proved in the PCC, 4 April 1802. His widow died 20 December 1802; her will was proved in the PCC, 12 January 1803.

Richard Bateman (1705-73)
Bateman, Richard (k/a Dickie) (1705-73).
Third and youngest surviving 
son of Sir James Bateman (1660-1718), kt., and his wife Esther, daughter and co-heiress of John Searle of Finchley (Middx), merchant, baptised at St Michael Bassishaw, London, 4 April 1705. In his youth he is said to have travelled extensively, both at home and on the Continent. He was Joint Receiver-General for South Wales (with his friend Henry Fox), from 1732, and one of the five Under-Searchers in the Port of London until 1765, posts which he would have discharged by deputy. He became a well-known man of taste in London, and seems to have acted as a consultant for several of his aristocratic friends, helping them to choose decoration and furnishings in the exotic styles he favoured. Among other clients, he worked extensively in this way for Lord Ilchester, and in 1748 offered his services to Princess Caroline. He also played an important part in the management of the Shobdon estate, supervising the architectural and gardening projects there, including the rebuilding of the parish church, although it is not clear how often he actually visited the house. In an age which was intolerant of homosexuality, he was overtly effeminate and he was regularly mentioned  in letters and even portrayed on the stage as a member of 'the third sex'. When Horace Walpole returned to London from his Grand Tour, Dickie Bateman became one of his role-models, and later a member of the group of gay friends who surrounded Walpole, and of the Committee of Taste which advised on Strawberry Hill. Mary Delany said rather waspishly that 'he was a typical eccentric, who resembled his friend Horace Walpole in his Gothic affectation, and Wilkes in his impious buffoonery', but she also counted Bateman as a friend. At Old Windsor, he played the role of the squire with enthusiasm, entertaining the villagers at Christmas, Twelfth Night, Easter and Whitsuntide, and ensuring the ancient May Day rites were regularly celebrated, providing every couple married on that occasion with a complete outfit and each attendant maiden with a white frock. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Harolds Park, Waltham Holy Cross (Essex) and Holywell Priory, Shoreditch (Middx) from his father in 1718 and came of age in 1726, but he never lived at either property and sold Harolds Park in 1758. From 1730 he leased Grove House/The Priory, Old Windsor, which he developed from a former inn on the banks of the Thames into a Chinese and later a Gothick fantasy. He also had a London house at 5 Argyll St., Soho, from 1739 until his death.
He died 1 March 1773; his will (a very short document signed in 1747) was proved in the PCC, 20 March 1773, and left all his property to his nephew, the 2nd Viscount.

Bateman, Anne (1692-1773). Eldest daughter of Sir James Bateman (1660-1718), kt., and his wife Esther, daughter and co-heiress of John Searle of Finchley (Middx), merchant, born and baptised at St Mary Aldermanbury, London, 21 October 1692. She married 1st, 1712 (with £10,000; agreement 6 June), William Western (1694-1729) of Rivenhall Place (Essex) and 2nd, 21 February 1735/6 at St George's Chapel, Mayfair, Westminster (Middx), James Dolliffe (1693-1747) of Bedford Row, London and Busbridge Hall, Eashing (Surrey), and had issue:
(1.1) James Western (1715-30), born 31 December 1715 and baptised at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, on the same day; died young, 19 March, and was buried at Rivenhall, 22 March 1729/30; administration of his goods was granted to his mother, May 1730;
(1.2) Sarah Western (1718-65) (q.v.);
(1.3) Wilhelmina Anne Western (c.1720-79), born about 1720; married 1st, illegally (in view of her age) and without the knowledge or permission of her mother, 21 December 1734 at the Portuguese Embassy chapel, London, John Dumenil, Lord Bateman's valet, who was subsequently tried in absentia after pursuing her to France, where she had been sent, and sentenced to seven years in gaol; she married 2nd, 5 October 1758 at St George, Hanover Sq., London, Richard Stephens (d. 1782), and had issue one son; died in August 1779 and was buried at Hampton (Middx), 17 August 1779.
She inherited a life interest in Rivenhall Place from her first husband, but lived chiefly in London. She inherited the Busbridge estate from her second husband in 1747 but sold it the following year to Philip Carteret Webb.
She died 14 June and was buried under the Tower of Rivenhall church, 24 June 1773; her will was proved 2 August 1773. Her first husband died 12 August 1729, and was buried at Rivenhall, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved in the PCC, 3 September 1729. Her second husband may be the man of this name buried at St Michael, Bristol, 19 May 1747; his will was proved in the PCC, 18 May 1747.

Western, Sarah (1718-65). Elder daughter of William Western (1694-1729) of Rivenhall Place (Essex) and his wife Anne, eldest daughter of Sir James Bateman, born 18 March 1717/8 and baptised at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster (as Sweet Western), 26 March 1718. She married, 10 February 1735/6 at St James, Piccadilly, Westminster (Middx) (with a dowry of £30,000), William Hanbury (1703-68) FRS FSA of Kelmarsh Hall (Northants), and had issue:
(1) Charlotte Hanbury (1738-39), born 28 October and baptised at St Anne, Soho, London, 7 November 1738; died in infancy and was buried at Kelmarsh, 9 June 1739;
(2) Anne Hanbury (1742-78), born 5 May and baptised at St Anne, Soho, 23 May 1742; married, 11 June 1765 at St Marylebone (Middx), John Harvey Thursby (1734-98) of Abington Abbey (Northants), and had issue three sons and two daughters; died 22 April and was buried at Abington, 29 April 1778, where she is commemorated on her husband's monument;
(3) William Hanbury (1748-1807), baptised at St George-the-Martyr, Queen Sq., London, 20 January 1747/8; inherited Shobdon Court on the death of his second cousin, the 2nd Viscount Bateman, in 1802; married, 24 October 1775 at Prestwold (Leics), Charlotte (1755-1815), daughter of Charles James Packe of Prestwold Hall (Leics), and had issue one daughter and three sons, the eldest of whom became Baron Bateman by a new creation in 1837 (an account of him and his descendants is reserved for a future post on the Hanbury and Bateman-Hanbury family); died 16 November 1807; will proved in the PCC, 28 November 1807. 
She and her husband lived at Kelmarsh Hall (Northants).
She was buried at Kelmarsh, 16 August 1765. Her husband was buried at Kelmarsh, 26 March 1768; his will was proved in the PCC, 8 April 1768.

Principal sources

Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 1924, p. 220; J.J. Cartwright, The travels through England of Dr. Richard Pococke, Camden Society, 1889, vol. ii, pp. 219-20; J. Harris, Gardens of Delight, 1978, pp. 12-14; M. McCarthy, The origins of the Gothic Revival, 1987, pp. 105-15; I. Pfuell, A history of Shobdon, 1994; S. Daniels & C. Watkins, The Picturesque Landscape: visions of Georgian Herefordshire, 1994, pp. 20-21; D. Whitehead & R. Shoesmith, James Wathen's Herefordshire, 1770-1820, 1994 (unpaginated); D. Whitehead, A survey of historic parks and gardens of Herefordshire, 2001, pp. 334-36; C.J. Robinson, A history of the mansions and manors of Herefordshire, 2009 edition, pp. 285-86; G. Tyack, S. Bradley & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Berkshire, 2nd edn., 2010, p. 417; A. Brooks & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Herefordshire, 2nd edn., 2012, pp. 596-601; T. Mowl & J. Bradney, The historic gardens of Herefordshire, 2012, pp. 81-87; M.M. Reeve, Gothic Architecture and Sexuality in the circle of Horace Walpole, 2020, pp. 119-44.

Location of archives

Bateman and Bateman-Hanbury families, Viscounts and later Barons Bateman: Shobdon estate records [Herefordshire Archives, G39]. Additional records of the Kelmarsh Hall and Suffolk estates will be found in the Northamptonshire and Suffolk Record Offices, respectively.

Coat of arms

Bateman, Viscounts Bateman: Or on a fesse sable between three Muscovy Ducks proper, a rose of the field

Can you help?

  • Can anyone provide further information about the 20th-21st century ownership of The Priory, Old Windsor?
  • 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 text above will be gratefully received and incorporated. 

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 28 January 2021.

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