Thursday 15 April 2021

(453) Bathurst of Lydney, Viscounts Bledisloe

Bathurst of Lydney
This family are a cadet branch of the Bathursts of Hothorpe and Cirencester, and descend from the youngest son of Sir Benjamin Bathurst (1638-1704), kt: Benjamin Bathurst junior (1692-1767). Sir Benjamin left large holdings of property and financial assets between his four children, and in 1717 the children and their respective spouses came to an agreement about a redistribution of these assets between them which was ratified by Act of Parliament. As a result, Benjamin junior purchased the Mixbury estate in Oxfordshire, where the manor house (located in the hamlet of Fulwell) had been created from the buildings of a medieval grange of Oseney Abbey in the 16th century. He was also for some years the occupier of the Battlesden estate (Beds), which had been bought by his eldest brother in 1706 but which was sold in 1727. In 1723 he purchased the Lydney estate in Gloucestershire which became (and remains) the family's principal seat. This property came with a relatively new mansion, which he improved in the late 1720s, as well as a fine wooded estate which was in marked contrast to the bleak upland plateau of Mixbury. (The present Mixbury Hall was built on a greenfield site in c.1900-05). 

Benjamin Bathurst was educated at Eton and Oxford and then undertook a Grand Tour through Germany and Italy. After returning to England, he was at once elected to Parliament as the member for Cirencester, a seat which was effectively controlled by his brother Allen, 1st Lord Bathurst. He represented Cirencester until 1728, but Lord Bathurst then decided that his brother's Tory views were rather too embarrassingly fervent at a time when he was seeking a rapprochement with the Government and the new king in the hope of securing at earldom. Accordingly, Lord Bathurst helped to secure his brother's election for Gloucester instead, and he later changed constituencies again, representing Monmouth  until his death in 1767. By then he had been an MP for more than fifty years, but there is no record of his having spoken in the House. In his personal life, Benjamin Bathurst was twice married and is said to have produced 36 legitimate children: twenty-two by his first wife and fourteen more by his second, although only 26 (thirteen by each marriage) can be traced in the records. Sadly, the survival rate of the children was very poor, with only 6 children from his first marriage and 7 from his second having reached adulthood. Benjamin made over the Lydney estate to his eldest surviving son, Thomas Bathurst, in 1759 and sold the Mixbury estate shortly before his death, moving his second family to nearby Brackley. 

Thomas Bathurst (1725-91) was married in 1749 and may already have improved the grounds of the house at Lydney before he gained legal possession of the estate. He and his wife produced no children, but after her death in 1775 he took a mistress, and produced two illegitimate daughters, for whom he made provision in his will. In later life he became an inveterate gambler, and financed his habit by mortgaging the Lydney estate. He became depressed by his embarrassments and in 1791 he hung himself one morning in one of the greenhouses at Lydney. It is said that shortly before committing suicide he burnt a will under which the Lydney estate would have passed to his brother, Poole Bathurst (1735-93), and then to his half-brother, the Rev. Henry Bathurst, later Bishop of Norwich, but that the destruction of this document altered the course of the descent, so that after Poole and his widow Anne (d. 1804), who had no children, the property devolved on his cousin, Charles Bragge junior of Cleve Hill (Glos), cutting out all of the children of Benjamin Bathurst's second marriage.

Charles Bragge (1754-1831) was the eldest son of Charles Bragge senior (1715-77) and his wife Anne (1718-93), the eldest surviving daughter of Benjamin Bathurst (1692-1767). His father was part of the Tory circle in south Gloucestershire around the Duke of Beaufort at Badminton and Norborne Berkeley of Stoke Park, Stoke Gifford, several of whose members made use of the gardening talents of Thomas Wright, the 'Wizard of Durham', a charming and talented polymath who was engaged as a tutor at Badminton in the 1740s. Wright came from humble origins and showed a precocious talent for mathematics, which led him to both astronomy and architecture. He achieved some reputation as a writer on astronomy and made a living as a tutor to the gentry in these subjects, who could also provide designs for any architectural and gardening works his employers might have on hand. He published Original designs of arbours (1755) and Six original designs of grottoes (1758), and is known to have been responsible for many of the ornamental buildings at Badminton and Stoke Park, and to have produced at least one design for Cleve Hill. Almost all his known building and gardening designs can be traced to recommendations among his patrons, and there can be little doubt that his activities for Charles Bragge senior at Cleve Hill would have led to his employment at Lydney, where an engraving of 1779 shows several little buildings very much in Wright's style. A further family connection is suggested by the fact that Powell Snell, Benjamin Bathurst's son-in-law, was a subscriber to Wright's Arbours in 1755, and had built a root house - a form in which Wright specialised - at Guiting Grange (Glos) before 1750, when Sanderson Miller went to see it.

Charles Bragge junior sold Cleve Hill in 1790, and lived in Reading (Berks) until he came into possession of Lydney Park on the death of Poole Bathurst's widow in 1804. He then took the additional name Bathurst, henceforth being known as Charles Bragge Bathurst. He was a barrister on the Oxford circuit and both the brother-in-law and a close friend of Henry Addington (later 1st Viscount Sidmouth), who was Prime Minister 1801-04. He followed Addington into Parliament and into Government, ending a long career as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, 1812-23. He retired from public life in 1823, with a civil list pension of £350 a year, and died at Lydney in 1831. His eldest son, also Charles Bragge Bathurst (1790-1863) succeeded to the Lydney estate. Like his father, he became a barrister and his quick intelligence and legal knowledge led to his appointment as Chairman of Gloucestershire Quarter Sessions in 1833. However, his fellow justices soon found that he tended to become obsessed with matters of detail and struggled to explain complex questions in simple terms. He also seems to have battled with depression, and according to his friend, the Rev. Francis Witts, was on several occasions unable to appear at important meetings on that account; he was eventually obliged to give up the role because of this illness in 1842. Charles had married in 1819, but he and his wife had no children, and at his death the estate passed to his brother, the Rev. William Hiley Bathurst (1796-1877), who had resigned his living at Barwick-in-Elmet (Yorks) in 1852 over a matter of conscience, and retired to Darley Dale (Derbys). William seems to have made the Lydney estate over soon afterwards to his eldest son, Charles Bathurst (1836-1907), who built a new house, on a higher site with better views, in 1874-77.

Charles and his wife had six children, but his eldest son died aged eighteen of meningitis. He was therefore succeeded at his death by his second son, Charles Bathurst (1867-1958), who pursued the path familiar to earlier generations of his family of becoming a barrister and then moving into politics, being elected as MP for Wilton in 1910. He first held junior ministerial office at the Ministry of Food in 1916, and this experience, combined with his specialist expertise in agricultural matters led him to fill a number of important roles over the next few years. He was knighted in 1917 and raised to the peerage as 1st Baron Bledisloe (taking his title from the ancient hundred in which Lydney lay) the following year. In 1930 he was sent out to New Zealand as Governor General, and in his five years there did much to improve relations between the white settlers and the indigenous Maori community. He returned to England in 1935 and was further created Viscount Bledisloe in June that year. He added a museum to the house to display some of the finds from the important excavation in the 1920s of a Roman temple in the park, and also some of the Maori artefacts he brought back from New Zealand. In 1939, with the storm clouds of the Second World War gathering, he moved out of Lydney Park into the smaller Redhill House, a late 19th century house built on the north-east side of the park, and let the main house to North Foreland School, which remained there until 1948. 

On the 1st Viscount's death in 1958, the estate descended to his elder son, Benjamin Ludlow Bathurst (1899-1979), 2nd Viscount Bledisloe, a successful London barrister, who took silk in 1952. He had moved into Lydney Park in the mid-1950s and begun modernising and restoring it. He also developed a rhododendron and azalea woodland in the park, which has been open to the public for a limited period each year during the flowering season for many years. His elder son, Christopher Hiley Ludlow Bathurst (1934-2009), 3rd Viscount Bledisloe, again a barrister, made minor changes to the house, converting the former ballroom into a drawing room and redecorating throughout in the 1980s. The house is now the home of Rupert Edward Ludlow Bathurst (b. 1964), 4th Viscount Bledisloe, who has broken with a long tradition and become an artist rather than a lawyer.

Lydney Park, Gloucestershire

William Winter, master of naval ordnance and surveyor to the navy, bought the two manors of Lydney from the Earl of Pembroke in 1560-62, and Sir William (as he became in 1573) promptly built a new manor house just to the south-west of the town.
The original manor house at Lydney, demolished in 1975.

This superseded an early 16th century gabled building in the centre of the town which was not finally demolished until 1975. The attraction of Lydney was no doubt its ready access to shipbuilding timber from the Forest of Dean, and the potential of the creeks along the banks of the Severn for shipyards. Winter already had interests in the area which he inherited from his father, and he continued to buy land in Lydney and Aylburton as opportunities arose.

Very little is known about Winter’s new manor house, which became known as White Cross House. It descended to Sir John Winter, a leading Royalist who was secretary to Queen Henrietta Maria and who in 1640 had bought the bulk of the royal demesne land in the Forest of Dean. During the Civil War, the White Cross House was garrisoned for the king. Winter was the lieutenant colonel of the Welsh force raised by his cousin, the Marquis of Worcester, in 1643, and the coastal strip between Parliamentarian Gloucester and Royalist Chepstow became a flashpoint at the height of the Civil War. In May 1644 the house withstood an attack by the Parliamentary forces of Colonel Massey, but when Sir John Winter was finally forced out of Lydney in April 1645, he burned the house down to prevent it being occupied by the opposition. Part of the building remained standing in 1673, but it seems not to have been reoccupied by the Winter family. An ironworking furnace had been built in the grounds by 1673 and the remaining fragment of the house was later demolished. Only Civil War earthworks survived into the 20th century to mark the site of the house, although some information was recovered by amateur excavation in the 1970s and 1980s.

In 1649, Sir John was one of twelve leading Royalists whose estates were confiscated and who were banished from the realm. He failed to leave England and was imprisoned in the Tower of London, but seems quickly to have regained his liberty and in 1651 or 1652 he bought the estate back from the commissioners for delinquents’ lands. To fund the re-purchase, however, many farms were sold and others were heavily mortgaged, and it is thus not surprising that neither Sir John or his son William, who took over the estate by 1674, was able to build a new house. The hearth tax returns of 1672 record him as having a house of 14 hearths, and in 1673 he was living at a house called the Court, which may have been the old manor house in the town, but 
fourteen hearths seems too many for the house demolished in 1975; could it have once been larger?

Lydney Park: the late 17th century house built for Sir Charles Winter c.1692 and extended by Benjamin Bathurst in the early 18th century.
Both Sir John and William Winter died in about 1677, and the family estates passed to William’s younger brother, Sir Charles, who built a new house at the lower end of the deer park near to Aylburton village. This is said to have been completed in 1692, and was L‑shaped, with a main block of seven‑by‑three bays, and a six‑bay wing projecting to the rear at one side. Since the main block and the wing were both of three storeys with hipped roofs of even height, and since continuous string courses ran around the main elevations to distinguish the floor levels, the appearance of the house from some angles was of a massive, four‑square block. The elevations were, however, very simply treated, the mullion and transom cross windows having the simplest flat architraves and other decoration being confined to a deep, coved, eaves cornice and ornamental lead hoppers and downpipes. This extremely restrained house was said by Atkyns in 1712 to possess large, beautiful gardens and a large park, but since no plans or views of the house earlier than the late 18th century survive, all record of the layout has been lost. The owner in Atkyns' day was Sir Charles Winter's widow, but in 1723 she sold it to Benjamin Bathurst, the younger brother of the 1st Earl Bathurst of Cirencester Park. He improved the house in the late 1720s, and his works may have included the addition of a seven-bay ‘great room’ or orangery at the north-east corner, giving the house the appearance it had when Rudder’s view was printed in 1779, and the construction of the early 18th century stables with their hipped slate roof, pediment with dentil cornice, and cupola.

Lydney Park: two details from the 1779 engraving, showing the rustic umbrello and Gothick summerhouse in the grounds,
here attributed to Thomas Wright.

By 1779 the house was complemented by a fashionably landscaped setting, and Rudder shows a rustic umbrello and a Gothick temple, much in the style of Thomas Wright. Several members of the Bathurst family subscribed to Wright's Arbours in 1755 or Grottoes in 1758, and Wright is known to have worked at Cleve Hill (see below) for Thomas Bathurst's cousin, brother-in-law, Charles Bragge, so it seems very likely he worked at Lydney too. 

The next changes to the house were made for Charles Bragge Bathurst (1790-1863), who employed Thomas Greenshields of Oxford in 1833 to carry out minor alterations to the house soon after he inherited the estate. It is difficult to reconstruct now exactly what these consisted of, but a new entrance was formed on the 17th‑century main front, and a floor of service rooms was apparently added above the great room or orangery. The house may also have finally received sash windows at this date too. Bathurst's friend, Francis Witts, who visited the house in 1836, called it 'much altered' and 'not modern’, and was not greatly impressed, although he found the park delightful.

Lydney Park: the entrance front of the house in the 1980s. Image: Philip Kingsley. Some rights reserved.
In 1874-77, Charles Bathurst (1836-1907) replaced the Georgian house at Lydney by a new building on a site further north and higher up the hillside, with excellent views south and south-west over the Severn estuary. The rebuilding cost some £13,050, and the old house was not demolished until 1883, some years after its successor had been occupied. The new house was designed by Charles Henry Howell of Guildford (1823-1905), who was County Surveyor of Surrey, Architect to the Commissioners in Lunacy and Surveyor to the Norwich Union Insurance Co. A specialist in the design of lunatic asylumns, his principal other works are the Surrey County Hall of 1892-93 and a number of modest Surrey churches. It is not clear how he came to be selected for the commission, although it is possible Charles Bathurst encountered him through his legal work. At the same time as he was building the new house at Lydney, he was remodelling St Leonard’s Hill (Berks), his only other major country house, and the client there, Sir Francis Tress Barry, could have been another conduit for a recommendation. The existence of a watercolour of the house by Maurice B. Adams, dated 1876, has caused some confusion about the identity of the architect, but as he was on the staff of the Building News at the time, it seems likely he visited Lydney Park with a view to illustrating it in that periodical, and left a version of his drawing as a gift to the Bathursts. The new house was built of rusticated stone, on an irregular plan with many bay windows. It is in a loosely Jacobean style, with gables and gabled dormers, mullioned windows, and a rather thin castellated tower at one corner. Inside, the decoration is very modest and in the same style: stencil-cut oak chimneypieces, low oak dados and simple plaster cornices. The staircase is a slightly more robust piece of neo-Jacobean work.

In 1907 the estate descended to Charles Bathurst (1867-1958), later 1st Baron and 1st Viscount Bledisloe, who divided his time between Lydney and a house at Teffont Magna (Wilts). From 1930-35 he was Governor General of New Zealand, and following his return from New Zealand he made minor changes to the house at Lydney, including the addition of a museum to house material from the Roman Villa excavations in the park, carried out by Sir Mortimer Wheeler in 1928, and the native Maori works he had collected during his sojourn in New Zealand. On the eve of the Second World War, he moved into the smaller Redhill House, built in the late 19th century on the north-east side of the park, and let Lydney Park to North Foreland School, which occupied the house until 1948. The school dug up most of the existing gardens and planted potatoes as part of the 'Dig for Victory' campaign, but their presence probably saved Lydney from accommodating more damaging tenants.

Lydney Park: the garden front, where a formal garden was created by the 3rd Viscount.
When the 2nd Viscount moved into Lydney Park in the 1950s, he made minor alterations to modernise the house and fit it for family living c.1956-58, and then turned his attention to recreating the gardens. Work began in the area immediately around the house, where the gravel terrace was halved in width and paved, and fastigiate cypress trees were planted to frame the views. A collection of magnolias was planted in the area between the house and the drive and has flourished well, but what Lord Bledisloe wanted to grow were azaleas and rhododendrons. Experiments with planting these near the house failed, but noting the success of a clump of rhododendrons planted by his father in 1920 in the woods behind and below the house, Lord Bledisloe gradually created an extensive rhododendron and azalea woodland there under the canopy of oaks and sweet chestnuts. The garden was designed and constructed by the successive head gardeners, William MacEwen Stracey, who had trained with the landscaping firm, Pulham & Co. of Chelsea, and Norman Hoole, and in the season from April to June gives a strikingly beautiful display.

The 3rd Lord Bledisloe inherited Lydney Park from his father in 1979 and made further  alterations to the house, converting a ballroom to a living room and study and redecorating the house with appropriate Morris and floral trellis wallpapers that relieve the rather dour architectural decoration. He has also maintained and added to the variety of the gardens, which are open to the public on certain days in the spring, although the house is not shown.

Descent: Francis Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury; sold c.1560-62 to Sir William Winter (d. 1589), kt.; to son, Sir Edward Winter (d. 1619), kt.; to son, Sir John Winter (d. c.1677), kt., who made the estate over c.1674 to his son William Winter (d. 1677) in return for an annuity; to brother, Sir Charles Winter (d. 1698), kt.; to widow, Frances, Lady Winter (d. 1720), later the wife of Thomas Nevill, and her trustees sold 1723 to Benjamin Bathurst (1693-1767); given by 1759 to son, Thomas Bathurst (1725-91); to brother Poole Bathurst (1735-93); to widow Anne Bathurst (d. 1804) for life and then to his nephew, Charles Bragge (later Bathurst) (1754-1831); to son, Charles Bathurst (1790-1863); to brother, Rev. William Hiley Bathurst (1796-1877), who made it over to his son, Charles Bathurst (1836-1907); to son, Charles Bathurst (1867-1958), 1st Baron Bledisloe and 1st Viscount Bledisloe; to son, Benjamin Ludlow Bathurst (1899-1979), 2nd Viscount Bledisloe; to son, Christopher Hiley Ludlow Bathurst (1934-2009), 3rd Viscount Bledisloe; to son, Rupert Edward Ludlow Bathurst (b. 1964), 4th Viscount Bledisloe.

Cleve Hill, Mangotsfield, Gloucestershire

The early history of the Cleve Hill estate is somewhat obscure, but by the 16th century it belonged to the Blount family of Bitton, who sold it in 1625 to William Player. It is possible that the house originated as a lodge in the royal forest of Kingswood, like Oldbury Court, and in 1899 the core was said to possess walls nine feet thick and a mural staircase, which would seem likely to have been survivals from a medieval building on the site. By Kip’s time, however, most of the house had an early 17th century appearance, and had perhaps been reconstructed by William Player in the 1620s or 1630s.

Cleve Hill: the Kip engraving of the house in c.1710, shortly before its remodelling for Thomas Player.
This rather small manor house was, however, clearly inadequate for a family as prominent as the Players became in south Gloucestershire, and shortly after Kip's engraving was made the estate passed to Thomas Player (d.1739), who began remodelling the house, constructing a new north front, reputedly in about 1717. This façade, which survived with alterations until the house was demolished, was of three storeys and seven bays, and had a central three‑bay pediment and rusticated pilaster strips marking the ends and the edges of the centre. The height of the house, the absence of dormers and the segmental heads to the windows on the first and second floors of the centre were all avant‑garde features for 1717, and it seems likely that the architect was John Strahan. 

Cleve Hill, Mangotsfield: Storer's engraving of the north front in 1825 before later alterations.
John Wood, in the first edition of his Essay towards a description of Bath in 1742 says Strachan first ‘offered his services as an architect to the citizens of Bristol, the beginning of December 1725’, but subsequent editions omit this date, and Tim Mowl has suggested he was actually working in the city as early as 1711. It is, however, possible that Brewer's date is a little too early, and that the new front was built in the 1720s, after Thomas Player's marriage in 1719. There are no surviving accounts for the building of the house, but John Greenway, the Mangotsfield mason, was paid in 1723 'for altering my studdy' and in 1738 for ‘stonework in ye fore Court at Cleve Hill’. In the mid‑19th century this side of the house was drastically altered by the raising of the centre three bays to increase the height of the ground and first floor rooms. A big two‑storey canted bow with Italianate details was added to the centre too.

Cleve Hill, Mangotsfield: the south and west fronts in the late 19th century, from a painting in the possession of the Cave family.
Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.
The south front of the house would also seem to have been rebuilt shortly after Kip's view was drawn, with three storeys and five widely spaced windows on each floor. These windows had eared architraves but otherwise their spacing gave the south a more Palladian appearance than the north front; a contrast also apparent at Frampton Court (Glos), which is also attributed to John Strahan, but which dates from 1731-3. The western two bays of the front were obliterated by the addition of a large segmental bay, perhaps in the early 19th century, and three further bays were added to the eastern end which copied the window details of the original block but spaced the window openings more closely. By the mid-19th century the south had become the least important of the three 'fronts' of the house, something emphasised by the addition of a large, rather windowless service block with a prominent clock tower in about 1850. Either at the same time or later a large Gothic conservatory was built out from the house on this side, with lean‑to extensions running the full length of the ground floor.

The original entrance to Cleve Hill was on the south front, and in 1899 a door, vestibule and staircase still existed behind the Victorian conservatory on this side. There was also at one time an entrance on the north, where Storer shows a later window inserted into the façade described above; Jones says a fine hall and staircase existed behind it, although his description of the layout is not sufficiently consistent to be really reliable: any 18th‑century arrangement behind the north front could hardly have survived the heightening of the centre and the addition of the big bow.

Cleve Hill, Mangotsfield: the west front, from an old postcard.
The third show front and eventual entrance to the house was on the west. This side may also have been rebuilt by Thomas Player, and Brewer indeed applies his date of 1717 to this side also. Palpably, however, the façade that existed in Brewer's time dated from the mid to later 18th century. It was of three storeys and five bays decorated in a late Palladian idiom, with a rusticated basement and the end bays stepped slightly forward and emphasised by coupled Ionic pilasters supporting shallow pediments. Rather ill‑proportioned balustrades were placed against the first‑floor windows. Again, the architect is not known, but there are echoes of James Paine's style in a number of the features, which may indicate that it was designed by someone who had seen Paine's published drawings, issued in 1767. 

The client for the west front was almost certainly Charles Bragge, who inherited the property from Thomas Player in 1739 and married Ann Bathurst in January 1753. Bragge was a friend of Norborne Berkeley of Stoke Gifford, and like Berkeley was an investor in William Champion's Warmley brass works. Despite continuous financial problems, which prevented him from accepting a political appointment in America under Berkeley that had been arranged for him by his friends, Charles Bragge was very much part of the Stoke Park circle, and as a result he had access to the garden design services of Thomas Wright. At least one of Wright's surviving drawings is labelled as relating to Cleve Hill, and untitled drawings may also do so. His plan for Cleve Hill is undated, but seems to be related to his scheme for a flower garden at Badminton. Bragge was also a subscriber to Wright's Arbours in 1755, so it seems likely that his work at Cleve Hill was roughly contemporary with his involvement at Badminton and Stoke Gifford. 

Cleve Hill, Mangotsfield: design for a garden by Thomas Wright. Image: Victoria & Albert Museum.
The plan shows a lawn with a sinuous walk through woodland around its perimeter. It seems to have been executed, since 19th century maps show a lawn in this form before the north front. A smaller lawn also existed in front of the south front. A wooden alcove or garden seat of the mid 18th century, which has been attributed to Thomas Wright, survives in the garden of 24 Cleeve Lawns. A charming rustic Gothic former lodge to the estate at 86 Downend Road, formerly thought to be by Wright, has now been proved to be of Regency date, and a pedimented Doric orangery in the garden of 26 Cleeve Lawns dates from the same time.

In 1804 Stephen Cave, a Quaker banker from Bristol, bought the house and estate, and Brewer implies that Cave had made significant alterations to the house before the 1820s when he says ‘the good taste of a recent period has added greatly to the attractions and comforts of this elegant abode’. Any such changes must have been largely to the interior, which housed 'a library of several thousand volumes' and 'a few pictures by good masters' while several rooms were 'adorned with sculpture, collected by Mr Cave, in Italy'. The Caves further enlarged Cleve Hill in the mid 19th century, as described above, but the Bristol suburbs were already starting to approach, and in 1879 Sir Stephen Cave, a member of Disraeli's cabinet, employed David Brandon to build Sidbury Manor in Devon as a new family seat. Cleve Hill was not occupied by the family after the death of Emma, Lady Cave in 1905, and in 1920 the house was sold. It was finally demolished in 1930, and by 1936 a suburban cul‑de‑sac called Cleeve Lawns had been laid out over the site of the house and grounds. Only fragments of the outbuildings and garden walls survive today.

Descent: sold 1625 to William Player... Thomas Player (d. 1739); to Charles Bragge (later Bathurst) (1715-77); to son, Charles Bragge Bathurst (1754-1831), who sold 1790 to John Gordon; sold 1804 to Stephen Cave (1763-1838); to son, Daniel Cave (1789-1872); to son, Sir Stephen Cave (1820-80), kt.; to widow, Emma, Lady Cave (d. 1905); to brother-in-law, Sir Charles Daniel Cave (1832-1922), who made it available as a military hospital in First World War and sold 1920...; demolished 1930.

Bathurst family of Lydney Park, Viscounts Bledisloe

Bathurst, Benjamin (1692-1767).
Third and youngest son of Sir Benjamin Bathurst (1638-1704), kt. and his wife Frances, daughter of Sir Allen Apsley, kt., born 16 June and baptised at St James, Piccadilly, 25 June 1692. 
He spent his childhood at the court of Princess Anne, where he and his brother Peter were companions to Prince William (1689-1700), Duke of Gloucester. After the Prince died, he was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Oxford (matriculated 1708) and then took a Grand Tour with a tutor (Dr James Hay), visiting Germany and Italy (Venice, Padua and Rome) before returning to England late in 1712. 'A determined Tory', he was MP for the family seat of Cirencester, 1713-27, Gloucester, 1728-54, and Monmouth, 1754-67, but in over fifty years in Parliament he is not known to have spoken in the House. He was Out Ranger of Windsor Forest, 1763-67 and a Fellow of the Royal Society, 1731-67. He married 1st, 17 December 1713 at Kemble (Glos), Finetta (1697-1738), daughter and co-heiress of Henry Poole of Kemble; and 2nd, 22 October 1741 at Finmere (Oxon), Catharine* (d. 1796), daughter Rev. Laurence Brodrick DD, vicar of Mixbury (Oxon) and chaplain to the House of Commons, and had issue**:
(1.1) Stuarta Bathurst (b. & d. 1716), born 18 March 1715/6 and baptised at St Ann, Soho, Westminster, 7 April 1716; died in infancy and was buried at Battlesden, 26 November 1716;
(1.2) Benjamin Bathurst (b. 1717), baptised at Battlesden (Beds), 24 March 1716/7; died young in or before 1722;
(1.3) Anne Bathurst (1718-93) (q.v.); 
(1.4) Susanna Bathurst (b. 1720), baptised in London (but recorded at Battlesden), 27 May 1720; married, 19 April 1748 at St Swithin, Walcot, Bath (Som.), as his second wife, Powell Snell (1716-68) of Guiting Grange, Guiting Power (Glos); living in 1768;
(1.5) Frances Bathurst (1721-22), baptised at Battlesden, 16 November 1721; died in infancy and was buried at Battlesden, 20 February 1721/2;
(1.6) Benjamin Bathurst (1722-23), born in London, 28 November 1722 and baptised at St James, Piccadilly, Westminster (Middx), 19 December 1722; died in infancy and was buried at Battlesden, 2 June 1723;
(1.7) Finetta Bathurst (1724-62), born 5 May and baptised at St James, Piccadilly, 21 May 1724; lived at Close Hall, Wells (Som.); a subscriber to Thomas Wright's Arbours (1755); died unmarried and was buried at Mixbury (Oxon), 10 June 1762; will proved in the PCC, 14 July 1762;
(1.8) Thomas Bathurst (1725-91) (q.v.); 
(1.9) Poole Bathurst (1728-29), baptised (as Paul) at St George the Martyr, Bloomsbury (Middx), 9 July 1728; died in infancy and was buried at Lydney, 7 April 1729;
(1.10) Catherine Bathurst (1732-c.1801), born 17 February and baptised at St George, Hanover Sq., Westminster, 10 March 1731/2; a subscriber to Thomas Wright's Arbours (1755); married, 1 July 1771, as his second wife, Rev. Dr. Charles Coote DD JP (c.1713-96) of Shaen's Castle (Co. Leix) and Leopardstown (Co. Dublin), vicar and dean of Kilfenora (Co. Clare), son of Rev. Charles Coote, also vicar and dean of Kilfenora, but had no issue; will proved in Dublin, 1801;
(1.11) Poole Bathurst (1735-93) (q.v.);
(1.12) Frances Bathurst (b. & d. 1736), baptised at Lydney, 18 September 1736; died in infancy and was buried at Lydney, 13 October 1736;
(1.13) Benjamin Bathurst (1738-39), probably born about February 1737/8; died in infancy and was buried at Lydney, 15 January 1738/9;
(2.1) Elizabeth Bathurst (1742-1825), born 23 November and baptised at Westminster Abbey, 21 December 1742; married, 29 March 1773 at St James Piccadilly, Westminster, William Prowett of Adderbury and Chipping Norton (Oxon), and had issue; died at Bath (Som.), 3 February, and was buried at St Swithin, Walcot, Bath, 19 February 1825; will proved 28 April 1825;
(2.2) Benjamin Bathurst (b. 1743), born 5 December 1743 and baptised at Westminster Abbey, 6 January 1743/4; death not traced;
(2.3) Rt. Rev. Henry Bathurst (1744-1837), baptised 15 October 1744; educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford (matriculated 1761; BCL 1768); canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, 1775 (DCL 1776); ordained deacon, 1767 and priest, 1769; rector of Dunkerton (Som.), 1769-74, Sapperton (Glos), 1773-75, 1785-1833, St John Maddermarket, Norwich and Gt. Witchingham (Norfk), 1775-86; prebendary of Durham, 1795-1805; and Bishop of Norwich, 1805-37; married, 1780 (licence 9 August) in Ireland, Grace Coote (c.1756-1823) and had issue eight sons and three daughters; died in London, 5 April, and was buried at Great Malvern Priory (Worcs), 14 April 1837; 
(2.4) Mary Bathurst (b. 1747), baptised at Mixbury, 25 April 1747; possibly the woman of this name who married, 1764 at St George, Hanover Sq., Westminster (Middx), Samuel Chapman;
(2.5) Susanna Bathurst (1748-1837), baptised at Mixbury, 2 May 1748; married, 6 December 1784 at Brackley (Northants), as his third wife, Rev. Henry Manifold (c.1735-1803), vicar of Brackley, 1766-1803, but had no issue; as a widow lived at Bath (Som.), where she died, 10 November and was buried at St Swithin, Walcot, Bath, 19 November 1837; will proved in the PCC, 3 March 1837;
(2.6) Silena Bathurst (1749-1822), baptised at Mixbury, 29 March 1749; lived at Bath (Som.); died unmarried, 14 March, and was buried at St James, Bath, 23 March 1822;
(2.7) Hester Bathurst (1750-51), baptised at Mixbury, 9 April 1750; died in infancy and was buried at Mixbury, 3 May 1751;
(2.8) Frances Bathurst (1751-69), baptised at Mixbury, 29 July 1751; died unmarried and was buried at Mixbury, 17 February 1769;
(2.9) Charles William Bathurst (b. 1753), born 12 April and baptised at Mixbury, 10 May 1753; probably died young;
(2.10) Robert Bathurst (1754-1821), born 7 October and baptised at Mixbury, 7 November 1754; an officer in the East India Company's civil service from 1771; later an indigo planter at Fatehgarh (United Provinces), in partnership with Thomas Bush, 1791-1813; died in India and was buried at South Park Cemetery, Calcutta, Bengal, 3 November 1821; possibly the man whose will was proved in the PCC, 15 December 1821***;
(2.11) Ralph Bathurst (b. & d. 1755); baptised at Brackley (Northants), 6 November 1755; died in infancy and was buried at Mixbury, 13 November 1755;
(2.12) Peter Bathurst (1756-57), baptised at Brackley, 10 December 1756; died in infancy and was buried at Mixbury, 24 August 1757;
(2.13) Jane Bathurst (b. 1758), baptised at Brackley, 27 September 1758; married, April 1780, Henry Broderick (d. 1814?) of Kilkenny.
He purchased the manors of Fulwell and Mixbury (Oxon) about 1718 but sold them shortly before his death in 1767. He occupied his elder brother's Battlesden estate (Beds) for some years in the 1720s, but purchased the manor of Lydney (Glos) in 1723. Lydney was made over to his son Thomas before 1759.
He died 5 November and was buried at Mixbury, 12 November 1767, where he is commemorated by a monument; will proved in the PCC, 27 February 1768. His first wife died in childbirth at Bath, and was buried at Lydney, 28 February 1737/8. His widow died at Brackley, October 1796.
* Some sources state that she was previously married to Dr. William Whitifield, but this appears to be a confusion with her aunt and namesake: she was Catherine Broderick at the time of her marriage to Benjamin Bathurst.
** It is commonly stated that he had 36 children (22 by his first wife and 14 by his second), but only the twenty-six listed here can be identified in the records and the others may have been stillborn or died before baptism.
*** This will makes provision for three illegitimate children and a mistress.

Bathurst, Thomas (1725-91). Fourth but eldest surviving son of Benjamin Bathurst (1692-1767) and his first wife Finetta, daughter and co-heiress of Henry Poole of Kemble, born 14 July and baptised at St James, Piccadilly, 13 August 1725. Educated at Westminster School and Balliol College, Oxford (matriculated 1742). He was a subscriber to Thomas Wright's Grottoes (1758) and was presumably responsible for the landscape garden at Lydney Park. 
He lost money through gambling and had to mortgage the Lydney estate to pay his debts; this is supposed to have affected his mental health and led to his suicide. He married (with a dowry of £30,000), 24 August 1749 at St George, Hanover Sq., Westminster (Middx), Anne (d. 1775), daughter of William Fazakerly of Totteridge (Herts), but had no legitimate issue. By his will, he made provision for a mistress, Sarah Walker (fl. 1791) of Lydney, and for two illegitimate children who were apparently hers although they did not take her name:
(X1) Sarah alias Sally Chester (fl. 1791);
(X2) Jane Plummer (b. c.1780; fl. 1791).
His father made over Lydney Park to him in 1759.
He committed suicide by hanging himself in one of the greenhouses at Lydney, 9 November 1791; his will was proved in the PCC, 8 February 1792. His wife was buried at Lydney, 25 September 1775.

Bathurst, Poole (1735-93). Seventh son of Benjamin Bathurst (1692-1767) and his first wife Finetta, daughter and co-heiress of Henry Poole of Kemble, baptised at St Augustine the Less, Bristol, 30 June 1735. An officer in the Dorset militia (Capt. by 1777). JP and DL for Dorset. He 
married, 22 December 1766 at Easton Grey (Wilts), Anne (1739-1804), daughter of Thomas Haskett of Alton Pancras (Dorset), but had no issue.
He lived at Alton Pancras (Dorset) until he inherited Lydney Park from his brother Thomas in 1791. He left it to his widow for life and then to his nephew, Charles Bragge (later Bathurst) (1754-1831). His widow seems to have lived chiefly in Bath (Som.).
He was buried at Lydney, 12 January 1793; his will was proved in the PCC, 16 February 1793. His widow died in Bath, 5 May, and was buried at Lydney, 11 May 1804; her will was proved in the PCC, 25 September 1804.

Bathurst, Anne (1718-93). Second but eldest surviving daughter 
of Benjamin Bathurst (1692-1767) and his first wife Finetta, daughter and co-heiress of Henry Poole of Kemble, born in London 30 January 1717/8 and baptised at St Ann, Soho, 15 February 1717/8. She married, 14 January 1752 at St James, Bath (Som.), as his second wife*, Charles Bragge** JP DL (1715-77) of Cleve Hill, Mangotsfield (Glos), son of William Bragge and his wife Elizabeth (née Player) of Hatfield Peverel (Essex), and had issue:
(1) Charles Bragge (later Bathurst) (1754-1831) (q.v.);
(2) Anne Bragge (1756-1842), baptised at St Swithin, Walcot, Bath, 8 February 1756; married, 1 May 1786 at Mangotsfield, Rev. Dr. Thomas Hay DD (1759-1830) of North Walsham (Norfk), canon of Christ Church, Oxford, son of the Hon. Edward Hay, diplomat and Governor of Barbados; buried at Christ Church, Oxford, 9 July 1842; will proved 22 July 1842;
(3) William Bragge (1761-1840), baptised at St Swithin, Walcot, Bath, 28 January 1761; educated at New College, Oxford (matriculated 1779; BA 1783; MA 1797); steward of New College for 36 years; lived in Beaumont St., Oxford; died 30 August 1840; will proved in the PCC, 14 September 1840.
Her husband inherited Cleve Hill through his mother** in 1739 and came of age (at 25) late in 1740.
She died in late May 1793; administration of her goods (with will annexed) was granted in the PCC, 10 February 1794. Her husband died 13 November and was buried at St Swithin, Walcot, Bath, 16 November 1777.
* His first wife, also Anne, was buried at Mangotsfield, 22 June 1745.
** Bragge was baptised at Hatfield Peverel (Essex) on 6 December 1715 and was educated at St John's College, Oxford (matriculated 1733). From 1761 he was a partner in the brassworks at Bitton Mill with William Champion and others, including his friend Norborne Berkeley of Stoke Gifford.

Bragge (later Bathurst), Charles (1754-1831). Elder son of Charles Bragge (1715-77) and his wife Anne, eldest surviving daughter of Benjamin Bathurst of Lydney (Glos), baptised at St James, Bath, 28 February 1754. Educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford (matriculated 1772; BCL 1785; hon. DCL 1814) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1772; called 1778; bencher, 1813). Barrister-at-law on the Oxford circuit; 
a Commissioner of Bankrupts, 1778-1800; secretary to commissioners of peace in Chancery, 1779-91; Recorder of Monmouth, 1790; council to the Board of Control for India, 1797. MP for Monmouth, 1790-96, Bristol, 1796-1812, Bodmin, 1812-18 and Harwich, 1818-23. Chairman of Ways & Means Committee, 1799-1801; sworn of the Privy Council, 1801; Treasurer of the Navy (with a salary of £4,000 a year), 1801-03; Secretary at War, 1803-04; Master of the Mint, 1806-10; President of the Board of Control for India, 1812; Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, 1812-23; Commissioner for the building of new churches, 1818. He was not a particularly good parliamentary speaker, but was well versed in the procedures of the House; it is therefore no surprise to find that he was several times considered as a possible Speaker, although he never obtained that office. He was JP and DL for Gloucestershire and Chairman of Gloucestershire Quarter Sessions, c.1805-09, and was made an honorary freeman of the city of Bristol, 1796. He took the name and arms of Bathurst for himself and his children by royal licence, 11 May 1804, and was known thereafter as Charles Bragge Bathurst. He retired from public life in 1823 and was granted a pension of £350 a year in 1826. He was a contemporary at Winchester, a close friend and eventually brother-in-law of Henry Addington (1757-1844), 1st Viscount Sidmouth, and his most constant ally. He married, 1 August 1788, Charlotte (1761-1839), daughter of Anthony Addington MD of Fringford (Berks), and had issue:
(1) Charles Bragge (later Bathurst) (1790-1863) (q.v.);
(2) Charlotte Bragge (later Bathurst) (1791-1866), baptised at St George-the-Martyr, London, 7 July 1791; principal legatee of her uncle, William Bragge; lived at Barton End, Nailsworth (Glos); died unmarried, 27 August and was buried at Lydney, 3 September 1866; her will was proved 13 September 1866 (effects under £30,000);
(3) Anne Bragge (later Bathurst) (1792-1862); lived at Nailsworth (Glos) with her sister; died unmarried in Brighton, 18 October 1862; will proved 7 November 1862 (effects under £18,000);
(4) Mary Bragge (later Bathurst) (c.1794-1822); died in April 1822 and was buried at St George, Hanover Sq., Westminster, 4 May 1822;
(5) Rev. William Hiley Bragge (later Bathurst) (1796-1877) (q.v.);
(6) Elizabeth Susan Bragge (later Bathurst) (1798-1849), baptised at St George-the-Martyr, London, 13 June 1798; lived with her sisters at Nailsworth; died unmarried, 7 November, and was buried at North Perrott (Som.), 14 November 1849;
(7) Eleanor Bragge (later Bathurst) (1800-36), born 13 July and privately baptised at St Mary, Cowes (IoW), 6 October 1800; publicly baptised at Mangotsfield, 21 September 1801; died unmarried, 15 July, and was buried at Mongewell (Oxon), 26 July 1836; will proved in the PCC, 16 December 1836;
(8) twin, Poole Bathurst (1804-16), privately baptised, 6 December 1804 and publicly baptised at Lydney, 10 January 1805; died young and was buried at St George, Hanover Sq., Westminster (Middx), 11 May 1816;
(9) twin, Catherine Bathurst (1804-21), privately baptised, 6 December 1804 and publicly baptised at Lydney, 10 January 1805; died unmarried and was buried at St George, Hanover Sq., Westminster, 3 June 1821.
He inherited Cleve Hill from his father in 1777 but sold it in 1790. He then lived in Reading until he inherited Lydney Park on the death of his aunt in 1804. His widow rented Mongewell Park (Oxon).
He died 13 August and was buried at Lydney, 23 August 1831; his will was proved in the PCC, 11 November 1831. His widow died at Mongewell Park, 27 May and was buried at Lydney, 7 June 1839; her will was proved in the PCC, 22 July 1839.

Bathurst, Charles (1790-1863). Elder son of Charles Bragge (later Bathurst) (1754-1831) and his wife Charlotte, daughter of Anthony Addington MD, born 15 January 1790 and baptised at St Giles, Reading (Berks), 19 February 1790. Educated at Winchester, Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1806; BA 1810; MA 1813) and Lincoln's Inn (admitted 1810; called 1813?). Barrister-at-law. He was 
a Verderer of the Forest of Dean; JP and DL for Gloucestershire, and Chairman of Quarter Sessions, 1833-42, in which capacity he was particularly involved with the development of the county lunatic asylum, the reform of the county gaols, and establishment of a police force. He 'took a painfully comprehensive view' of matters brought before him and explained them at such length that - as Goldsmith said of Burke - "Too deep for his hearers, he went on refining, and thought of convincing, when they thought of dining". According to his obituarist, he was "by nature shy and reserved, with the warmest of hearts but the coldest of manners, he was known at the last as a most studious, but not as a social man". He was a close friend of the Rev. Francis Witts of Upper Slaughter (Glos), and appears in his voluminous diary, which gives such a full picture of early 19th century Gloucestershire. The diary suggests that he was subject to periods of depression when he was unable to face county business or appearing in society, and one such attack appears to have occasioned his resignation as Chairman of Quarter Sessions in 1842. He married, 27 August 1819 at St Michael, Gloucester, Mary (c.1791-1874), daughter of William Fendall of Gloucester, Littledean (Glos) and Much Marcle (Herefs), banker and barrister, but had no issue.
He lived at Clevedale, Downend (Glos) until he inherited Lydney Park from his father in 1831. He maintained a London house in Arlington St. His widow retired to Eastbach Court, English Bicknor (Glos).
He died 30 January and was buried at Lydney, 7 February 1863; his will was proved 14 March 1863 (effects under £14,000). His widow died 20 February and was buried at Lydney, 27 February 1874; her will was proved 11 April 1874 (effects under £6,000).

Rev. William Hiley Bathurst
Bathurst, Rev. William Hiley (1796-1877).
Younger son of Charles Bragge (later Bathurst) (1754-1831) and his wife Charlotte, daughter of Anthony Addington MD, born 25 August 1796, privately baptised at Mangotsfield, 4 November 1796, and publicly 
baptised at St George-the-Martyr, London, 13 June 1798. Educated at Winchester and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1814; BA 1818; MA 1822). Ordained deacon, 1819 and priest, 1820. Rector of Barwick-in-Elmet (Yorks WR), 1820-52, when he resigned the living 'because of conscientious scruples in relation to parts of the baptismal and burial services in the Book of Common Prayer'. During his early years in the ministry he composed hymns and versified a large proportion of the psalms, which were published in Psalms and Hymns for Public and Private Use (1830). After his retirement from the church he moved to Darley Dale (Derbys) and devoted himself to literary pursuits until he inherited the Lydney estate from his elder brother in 1863. He married, 2 September 1829 at St John, Roundhay, Leeds (Yorks WR), Mary Anne (d. 1861), daughter of Matthew Rhodes of Leeds, and had issue:
(1) Charlotte Hiley Bathurst (1830-1921), born 28 June and baptised at Barwick-in-Elmet, 31 August 1830; married, 8 September 1869 at Lydney, Rev. Francis Thomas Bedford Willesford (c.1808-83), vicar of Awliscombe (Devon), and had issue one daughter; died aged 91 at Gwennap (Cornw.), 1 December 1921; will proved 3 February 1922 (estate £768);
(2) Mary Ann Bathurst (1832-58), baptised at Barwick-in-Elmet, 8 May 1832; died unmarried at Bonchurch (IoW), 24 December 1858; administration of goods granted to her father, 10 June 1859 (effects under £3,000);
(3) Eleanor Bathurst (1833-1929), born 21 July and baptised at St John, Roundhay, Leeds, 28 August 1833; married, 30 October 1872 at St Jude, South Kensington (Middx), Canon Charles Trollope (1819-1907), rector of Stibbington (Hunts), and had issue one son and one daughter; died 5 July 1929; will proved 13 August 1929 (estate £4,549);
(4) Fanny Bathurst (1834-55), born 1 October and baptised at Barwick-in-Elmet, 9 December 1834; died unmarried and was buried at Darley, 14 August 1855;
(5) Charles Bathurst (1836-1907) (q.v.);
(6) Rev. William Addington Bathurst (1839-1922), born 14 May and baptised at Barwick-in-Elmet, 26 June 1839; educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1859; BA 1863; MA 1866); ordained deacon, 1864 and priest, 1865; vicar of Gerrards Cross (Bucks), 1870-78, Holy Trinity, Eastbourne (Sussex), 1878-1906 and Mitcheldean (Glos), 1907-10; retired to St. Albans (Herts), 1910; married 1st, 23 February 1867, Anne Frances (1841-76), daughter of Ven. Richard Brindley Hone, Archdeacon of Worcester, and had issue two sons and one daughter; married 2nd, 26 July 1877 at St Mary, Cheltenham (Glos), Harriet Jesse (1851-1932), daughter of Canon Charles Dent Bell DD, rector of Cheltenham (Glos), and had further issue two sons and one daughter; died 23 January 1922; will proved 13 March 1922 (estate £1,074).
After resigning his living in 1852, he retired to Darley Dale (Derbys). He inherited Lydney Park from his elder brother in 1863, but seems to have handed it over to his elder son.
He died 25 November 1877; his will was proved 25 January 1878 (effects under £50,000). His wife died 9 December 1862; administration of her goods was granted to her husband, 16 November 1863 (effects under £2,000).

Bathurst, Charles (1836-1907). Elder son of Rev. William Hiley Bathurst (1796-1877) and his wife Mary Anne, daughter of Matthew Rhodes of Leeds, born 27 November 1836 and baptised at Barwick-in-Elmet (Yorks WR), 16 February 1837. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1855; BA 1860; MA 1865) and Inner Temple (admitted 1860; called 1863). Barrister-at-law. JP for Gloucestershire; Senior Verderer of the Forest of Dean (from 1863). In later years his poor health prevented his playing a major part in public affairs. He married, 27 January 1864 at Darley (Derbys), Mary Elizabeth (1842-85), only daughter of Col. Thomas Pasley Hay, and had issue:
(1) William Hay Bathurst (1864-83), born 17 October and baptised at St Mary, Bryanston Sq., London, 28 November 1864; died unmarried of meningitis, 26 January 1883;
(2) Mary Georgina Bathurst (1866-1950), born 29 April and baptised at St Mary, Bryanston Sq., London, 21 June 1866; the leading supporter of Lydney Cottage Hospital; married, 3 August 1905 at Lydney, Algernon Mainwaring Vaughan-Hughes (1862-1942) of Mount Severn, Newnham (Glos), son of Rev. Robert Vaughan-Hughes of Wyelands, Chepstow (Mon.), but had no issue; died 25 February 1950; will proved 8 June 1950 (estate £10,330);
(3) Charles Bathurst (1867-1958), 1st Baron and 1st Viscount Bledisloe (q.v.);
(4) Margaret Frances Bathurst (1869-86), born 11 January and baptised at St Marylebone (Middx), 18 March 1869; died unmarried, 28 July 1886;
(5) Arthur Henry Bathurst (1872-1936), born 28 August 1872; educated at Sherborne, Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1890) and RMC Sandhurst (admitted 1893); an officer in the army (2nd Lt, 1894; Lt. 1895; Capt. 1898; Maj. 1903; retired 1915); ADC to Governor of Barbados, 1899; married, 7 August 1902 at Alvington (Glos), Margaret Cicely (1883-1968), daughter of Capt. Walter Bentley Marling of Clanna Falls, Alvington, and had issue three sons; died at Broadstairs (Kent), 13 June and was buried at Newnham-on-Severn (Glos), 17 June 1936; will proved 18 August 1936 (estate £19,331);
(6) Robert Bathurst (1875-1929), born 18 May and baptised at Lydney, 28 July 1875; educated at Clifton College; lived at Rhodyate House, Congresbury (Som.); married, 1 June 1898 at Westbury-on-Severn (Glos), Geraldine Mimi Clere (1874-1948), daughter of Maynard Willoughby Colchester-Wemyss CBE of Westbury Court, and had issue one daughter; died 7 March 1929; will proved 20 April 1929 (estate £25,086).
He moved into Lydney Park soon after his father inherited it in 1863 and was responsible for rebuilding the house in 1874-77.
He died of pneumonia, 22 March 1907; administration of his goods (with will annexed) was granted 10 May 1907 (estate £5,575). His wife died in Bath (Som.) of pneumonia, 28 January 1885.

Charles Bathurst (1867-1958), 
1st Viscount Bledisloe
Bathurst, Charles (1867-1958), 1st Baron Bledisloe and 1st Viscount Bledisloe.
Second but eldest surviving son of Charles Bathurst (1836-1907) and his wife Mary Elizabeth, only daughter of Col. Thomas Pasley Hay, born 21 September 1867. Educated at Sherborne, Eton, University College, Oxford (BA 1890; MA 1892; Hon. Fellow, 1935) and Inner Temple (admitted 1888; called 1892). Barrister-at-law. Conservative MP for Wilton, 1910-18; during the First World War
he joined the Royal Engineers Special Reserves, and served as an Assistant Military Secretary at the War Office; Parliamentary Secretary at Ministry of Food, 1916-17 and Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, 1924-28. He was sworn of the Privy Council, 1926, and served as Governor-General of New Zealand, 1930-35. JP for Gloucestershire and a Verderer of the Forest of Dean from 1907. He was a member of the Council of the Duchy of Lancaster; Chairman of the Central Chamber of Agriculture, 1915 and of the Royal Commission on Sugar Supply, 1917-19. He was Chairman of the Royal Commission on Land Drainage, 1927, and of the Rhodesia-Nyasaland Royal Commission, which examined the possible closer union of the three British territories in Central Africa, 1937-39. He was a leading member of the Country Landowners Association (Hon. First Sec., 1908-10; President, 1921-22) and held many other agricultural appointments, including President of the Bath & West of England Agricultural Society, 1918-20, the British Dairy Farmers Association, 1918-20, the Federation of War Agriculture Executive Committees, 1917-20, the Imperial Agricultural Research Conference, 1927 and the Royal Agricultural Society, 1946 (gold and silver medals). He was a Vice-President of British Science Guild; a Governor of Imperial College, London, 1935-39 and a UK Trustee of the Carnegie Trust. He was a director of the P&O Steamship Co., the Australian Mutual Provident Society, and Lloyds Bank; a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and of the Chemical Society; and President of Lydney Rugby Club for the exceptional period of seventy years, 1888-1958. He was knighted in 1917 (KBE), raised to the peerage as Baron Bledisloe, 15 October 1918, appointed GCMG, 1930, and further created Viscount Bledisloe, 24 June 1935. He was also made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau in the Netherlands, a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. John, and was a recipient of the Coronation Medal, 1937. He was a freemason and while in New Zealand was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand. He was awarded honorary degrees by the universities of Bristol (DSc, 1925), Oxford (DCL, 1935) and Edinburgh (LLD, 1935), and was made a Pro-Chancellor of Bristol University, 1934. He married 1st, 17 December 1898, Hon. Bertha Susan (1870-1926), daughter of Sir Henry Charles Lopes, 1st Baron Ludlow, and 2nd, 16 April 1928, Hon. Alina Kate Elaine DGStJ (1879-1956), daughter of John Jones Jenkins, 1st Baron Glentawe and widow of Thomas Cooper Cooper-Smith (d. 1926), and had issue:
(1.1) Benjamin Ludlow Bathurst (1899-1979), 2nd Viscount Bledisloe (q.v.);
(1.2) Hon. Ursula Mary Bathurst (1900-75), born 30 December 1900; married, 14 May 1929 at St Margaret, Westminster (Middx) (div. 1942 on grounds of his adultery), Horace Field Parshall (1903-86), only son of Horace Field Parshall DSc, and had issue one son; died 8 May 1975; will proved 11 August 1975 (estate £144,546);
(1.3) Hon. (Henry Charles) Hiley Bathurst (1904-69), born 16 March 1904; educated at Oundle and Trinity College, Cambridge; an officer in the Royal Air Force (P/Off 1929; F/Off, 1931; F/Lt, 1934; retired 1936); married 1st, 30 April 1937 (div. 1951), Mary Myrtle (b. 1916), youngest daughter of Maj-Gen. Kenneth Marten Body CB CMG OBE and 2nd, 3 October 1951, Lauretta Theresa (c.1901-57), daughter of William Frederick Groves of Westchester, New York (USA), formerly wife of Cecil Mortimer Singer (1889-1952), and widow of (Reginald Evelyn) Peter (Southouse) Cheyney (1896-1951), crime writer, but had no issue; died 10 April 1969; will proved 26 June 1969 (estate £48,806).
He inherited the Lydney Park estate from his father in 1907, but let it to North Foreland School, 1939-48.
He died aged 90 on 3 July 1958; his will was proved 19 November 1958 and a new grant was made in 1962 (estate £107,624). His first wife died 6 May 1926. His second wife died 6 February 1956; her will was proved 2 June 1956 (estate £65,743).

Benjamin Ludlow Bathurst (1899-1979), 
2nd Viscount Bledisloe
Bathurst, Benjamin Ludlow (1899-1979), 2nd Viscount Bledisloe.
Elder son of Charles Bathurst (1867-1958), 1st Viscount Bledisloe, and his first wife, the Hon. Bertha Susan (1870-1926), daughter of Sir Henry Charles Lopes, 1st Baron Ludlow, born 2 October 1899. Educated at Eton, Magdalen College, Oxford (BA), the Inner Temple (admitted 1923; called 1927) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1937; bencher, 1956). Barrister-at-law (
QC 1952). He served as an officer in the Royal Artillery (2nd Lt.), 1914-18, an officer in the Royal Air Force (Sq-Ldr), 1939-40 and with the Air Transport Auxiliary (Sen. Commander), 1940-45. Chairman of Salmon & Freshwater Fisheries Committee; Vice-President of West London Flying Club; and President of the St. Moritz Toboganning Club. He succeeded his father as 2nd Viscount Bledisloe, 3 July 1958 and sat in the House of Lords as a cross-bench peer. He married, 2 June 1933, Joan Isabel (1914-99), only daughter of Otto Krishaber of London, and had issue:
(1) Christopher Hiley Ludlow Bathurst (1934-2009), 3rd Viscount Bledisloe (q.v.);
(2) Hon. David Charles Lopes Bathurst (1937-92), born 15 December 1937; educated at Eton, Magdalen College, Oxford (BA 1961) and Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh (USA); an officer in 2nd Royal Lancers, 1956-58 (2nd Lt.); auctioneer and art dealer with Christies, 1963-87 (President of Christies New York, 1978-84; Chairman of Christie, Manson & Woods, 1984-87); married, 25 August 1967, (Mary) Cornelia (Nelly) (1934-2016), youngest daughter of Andrew Kirkwood McCosh of Culter Allers, Biggar (Lanarks), and had issue three daughters; died of a heart attack, 20 September 1992.
He inherited the Lydney Park estate from his father in 1958.
He died 17 September 1979; his will was proved 28 December 1979 (estate £375,170). His widow died 20 December 1999.

Christopher Hiley Ludlow Bathurst (1934-2009), 
3rd Viscount Bledisloe
Bathurst, Christopher Hiley Ludlow (1934-2009), 3rd Viscount Bledisloe.
Elder son of Benjamin Ludlow Bathurst (1899-1979) and his wife Joan, only daughter of Otto Krishaber of London, born 24 June 1934. Educated at Eton, Trinity College, Oxford (matriculated 1955) and Grays Inn (admitted 1956; called 1959; bencher, 1986). Barrister-at-law (QC 1978), specialising in commercial law. An officer of the 11th Hussars, 1954-55 (2nd Lt.). He succeeded his father as 3rd Viscount, 17 September 1979 and sat in the House of Lords as a cross-bench peer; after the reforms of 1999 he remained in the Lords as one of 92 hereditaries elected by his peers. A verderer of the Forest of Dean. President of the St. Moritz Toboganning Club, 1991-2004. He married, 29 August 1962 (div. 1986), Elizabeth Mary (1936-2016), second daughter of Sir Edward Walter Thompson, kt., of Gatacre Park (Shrops.), and had issue:
(1) Rupert Edward Ludlow Bathurst (b. 1964), 4th Viscount Bledisloe (q.v.);
(2) Hon. Matilda Blanche Bathurst (b. 1967), born 16 February 1967; married, 1995, Charles Leslie Halton Clark (b. 1963) of Steep (Hants), management consultant, and had issue three sons;
(3) Hon. Otto Benjamin Charles Bathurst (b. 1971), born 16 June 1971; educated at Eton; television and film director; married Lucinda Garthwaite (b. 1972) and had issue three children.
He inherited the Lydney Park estate from his father in 1979.
He died 12 May 2009; his will was proved 27 November 2009. His ex-wife married 2nd, Jul-Sept 1986, Richard Alexander Strachan (b. 1934) of Whatmore Court, Nash (Shrops.) and died 7 October 2016; her will was proved 27 June 2017.

Bathurst, Rupert Edward Ludlow (b. 1964), 4th Viscount Bledisloe. Elder son of Christopher Hiley Ludlow Bathurst (1934-2009), 3rd Viscount Bledisloe, and his wife Elizabeth Mary, second daughter of Sir Edward Walter Thompson of Gatacre Park (Shrops.), born 13 March 1964. Educated at Eton. Landowner and portrait artist. He succeeded his father as 4th Viscount Bledisloe, 12 May 2009. He married, 7 September 2001, Shera (b. 1971), daughter of Rohinton Sarosh, and had issue:
(1) Hon. Iona Elizabeth Bathurst (b. 2002), born 16 June 2002; educated at Wellington College;
(2) Hon. Benjamin Rohinton L. Bathurst (b. 2004), born 28 March 2004;
(3) Hon. Agnes Irma Bathurst (b. 2008), born 8 January 2008.
He inherited the Lydney Park estate from his father in 2009.
Now living.

Principal sources

Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 2003, pp. 397-99; Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, 2015, pp. P127-128; Sir R. Atkyns, The ancient and present state of Glostershire, 1712, p. 539 and pl. facing p. 546; S. Rudder, A new history of Gloucestershire, 1779, pl. following p. 524; S. Brewer, Delineations of Gloucestershire, 1825, p. 169; A. E. Jones, Mangotsfield: Our Village, 1899, p. 114 ff.; C.E. Hart, Lord Bledisloe of Lydney: a 90th birthday tribute, 1957; E. Harris, Thomas Wright: Arbours & Grottoes... with a catalogue of Wrights works in architecture and garden design, 1979; D. Verey, Diary of a Cotswold Parson, 1980, pp.112‑14; B. Rendell & K. Childs (eds), Wyntours of the White Cross, 1986, p. 37; T. Mowl, To build the second city: architects and craftsmen of Georgian Bristol, 1991, p. 17; N.W. Kingsley, The country houses of Gloucestershire vol. 2, 1660-1830, 1992, pp. 174-75; VCH Glos, v, 1996, pp. 61-2; Verey & Brooks, The buildings of England: Gloucestershire - The Vale and the Forest of Dean, 2000, p. 586; J. Russell, ‘The gardens and grounds of Cleve Hill House’, Bristol & Avon Archaeology, xvii, 2000; A. Brodie, A. Felstead et al, Directory of British Architects, 1834-1914, 2001, i, p. 963; N.W. Kingsley & M. Hill, The country houses of Gloucestershire: vol. 3, 1830-2000, 2001, pp. 175-76; T. Mowl, Historic gardens of Glos, 2002, p. 90; A. Sutton & S. Lloyd (eds.), The complete diary of a Cotswold parsonvol. 10, 2020, pp. 323-25; Victoria & Albert Museum, Lennox-­Boyd album no. 47; Bristol Central Library, Loxton drawings.

Location of archives

Bathurst of Lydney, Viscounts Bledisloe: deeds, manorial and hundredal records, estate papers, personal and legal papers, 13th century-1890 [Gloucestershire Archives, D421]

Coat of arms

Bathurst of Lydney: Sable, two bars ermine, in chief three crosses pattée or.

Can you help?

  • Can anyone provide additional information about the 36 children of Benjamin Bathurst (1692-1767), especially the ten who I have not traced in the records?
  • 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. I am always particularly pleased to hear from descendants of the family who can supply information from their own research for inclusion.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 15 April 2021 and was updated 30 April 2021.

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