Wednesday 30 June 2021

(461) Baumgartner of Island Hall

This family traces its origins to a Swiss émigré, Jacob Julien Baumgartner (1733-1816), the son of a physician, who moved to England in 1760 and entered into business as a merchant. The business, later a partnership called Baumgartner & Hoofstetter, acted as Continental agents for a number of high profile British businessmen, including Josiah Wedgwood and the Boulton & Watt steam engine company, and had offices in London, Birmingham and Nottingham. Jacob himself seems to have lived in or near Nottingham until 1804, when he bought Island Hall at Godmanchester (Hunts), probably at the time of his retirement. He had two sons, John Thomas (1778-1874) and Robert Jacob (1779-1810), who were both sent to Geneva and then to Edinburgh University for their education. At Edinburgh, they qualified as physicians and they evidently practised in and around Godmanchester. Robert became ill in 1810 and after failing to treat himself successfully, sought the advice of Robert Waring Darwin (1766-1848), the son of Erasmus Darwin and father of Charles Darwin. He recommended a preparation of arsenic and sugar, which Robert was doubtful about taking, but perhaps he did, since he was dead within a month.

The Island Hall estate descended in 1816 to Jacob's surviving son, Dr. John Thomas Baumgartner (1778-1874), who remained exceptionally vigorous into old age: he was still taking a dip in the River Ouse at the bottom of the garden until a few weeks before his death, aged 96! In this second generation, the links with Switzerland and Austria remained strong: John Thomas had been educated in Geneva and he and his wife made frequent extended stays on the Continent, where a number of their children were born. Around 1830, they seem to have lived permanently near Salzburg (Austria) for several years, before returning to England. In 1842 their eldest son, John Percy Baumgartner (1812-1903), came into possession of his mother's family seat, Milton Hall (Cambs), a Tudor and 18th century house set in a landscaped park designed by Humphry Repton, and the family lived there until the 1850s. When they eventually moved back to Island Hall it was because John Percy had run into debt and needed to sell the estate at Milton, which he did in 1860-62. 

When he died in 1874, John Thomas divided his property equally between his ten surviving children, which had the effect of severing the house from the small associated estate that had helped to support it. The house itself was left to his second son, General Robert Julian Baumgartner (1814-95). He purchased the freehold of the island in the River Ouse from which Island Hall takes its name, which had previously only been rented by the family from the descendants of the Jacksons who built the house. He can, however, have used the house comparatively little, since he was in India with the army a good deal, and also seems to have spent some time in Ireland, where his wife's family lived in County Down. When he died he left Island Hall to his second daughter, Violet Julia Beart (1863-1947), who had recently been widowed. She later had a second brief marriage and lived at Island Hall as Mrs. Bevan until it was requisitioned in the Second World War. She never moved back to the house, for after the war, the house was taken over by the local authority for emergency housing and divided into small flats; she died in Cheshire in 1947.

That might well have been the end of the family's association with Island Hall. They retained the freehold for some years, but that too was sold in 1958. The house continued to be used as local authority housing until 1977, when a fire damaged the south wing and the whole property was sold two years later and restored as a single private residence. Once this work was completed, the house was sold to Christopher Vane Percy (b. 1945), an interior designer from London, who had seen the house from the river and coveted it as a teenager. Only after he bought the house did he realise his strong family connection to the place: he stood in a direct male line from Dr John Thomas Baumgartner, who was his great-great-great-grandfather, the difference in surname being accounted for by the decision of many branches of the family to change their name from the Germanic Baumgartner to Percy during the First World War. The name Percy was chosen because the wife of Jacob Julien Baumgartner was heir to the Percy estates in Cambridgeshire.

Island Hall, Godmanchester, Huntingdonshire

The situation of the house on one of the main streets of the little town of Godmanchester, albeit set back behind railings, arguably makes Island Hall a town house rather than a country house, but the rear has a more rural aspect, as the gardens run down to the Great Ouse river and have a Chinoiserie footbridge across to an island in the river, which was also part of the garden. The house is first recorded as 'new built' in 1749 and was built by Original Jackson (d. 1771) as a wedding present for his son John Jackson (1729-88), later Receiver-General for Huntingdonshire, whose new wife brought him 600 acres of land around the town. It is built of red brick and consists of a three-bay centre of two-and-a-half storeys, which breaks slightly forward from lower two-bay wings to either side. The front and rear elevations are identical (slight evidence, perhaps, that no professional architect was involved with the design), and have a central pediment with stone modillions, Tuscan porches, and windows with stone architraves on brackets.

Island Hall, Godmanchester: garden front, 2011. Image: sps1955. Some rights reserved.
Inside, there is an unexpectedly large entrance hall, the width of the central block, with a handsome chimneypiece and overmantel with consoles, and doorcases with enriched friezes. It has been conjectured that the hall was so large because it was originally intended that the staircase should rise within it, with the space behind it - now occupied by the staircase - being the saloon, but that this plan was changed during construction so as to create a fashionable first-floor saloon with a more imposing approach. (The other great house of Godmanchester, Farm Hall, finished in 1746, has a suite of reception rooms on its first floor, and there may have been some rivalry!). As built, the hall opens through a fine Doric screen with fluted columns and a full entablature to the staircase hall behind. In the 19th century, the hall became a library and the screen was partly infilled to create a more enclosed space, but the original layout was recreated when the house was restored in 1979. 

Island Hall: entrance hall with the partially Gothic infilling of the screen in place. Image: Historic England.

Island Hall: the screen wall and staircase from the screen today.
The staircase itself has elegantly slender twisted balusters and a string carved with acanthus foliage. It rises to emerge through a screen of Ionic columns into a transverse passage, which has arches at each end. Above the hall is the saloon, with a fine Kentian doorcase which was originally on the staircase side of the wall but now faces into the room. Without it, the saloon would have been remarkably plain, and it seems possible that an intended decorative scheme was never carried out. The best chimneypiece is in the small drawing room (originally the dining room), with console brackets and overmantel flanked by volutes inset with a lugged frame and topped by a broken pediment. The adjoining dining room (originally the drawing room) has lovely carved overdoors. To the south of the original house is a later kitchen wing, built in 1768, and beyond this stand the former stables with a pretty Gothick cupola. 

During the Second World War the house was requisitioned for use by the WAAF and later the RAF, for whom a series of Nissen huts were constructed in the garden. After the war the property was acquired by the local authority and the house and huts were converted into fifteen tiny flats. The house was seriously damaged by a fire in 1977 which largely gutted the south wing, and the house was at some risk of demolition at this time. Fortunately it was bought by a private owner who engaged Marshall Sisson to restore the house. The post-war partitioning was removed, the fire damage restored and the Nissen huts cleared away before the house was sold in 1983 to Christopher Vane Percy, a collateral descendant of the family which owned the house from 1804-1958. He has carried out further restoration work and redecorated the house beautifully, and the house is now accessible for private group visits as well as being used for weddings and other events (see

When first built the house had gardens both at the rear and on the opposite side of the road, where there is now a school. The Chinese bridge linking the rear garden to the island in the Ouse from which the house takes its name was first recorded in the 18th century, but collapsed in the 1930s. It was reconstructed on the basis of photographic evidence as part of the general restoration of the house after 1983, and has had to be rebuilt again since.

Descent: built c.1740-49 for Original Jackson (c.1697-1771); to son, John Jackson (1729-88); to son, John Jackson, junior (1750-1807), who sold 1804 to Jacob Julian Baumgartner (1733-1816); to son, Dr. John Thomas Baumgartner (1778-1874); to son, Gen. Robert Julian Baumgartner (1814-95); to daughter, Violet Julia (1863-1947), widow of Frederick W. Beart (d. 1895) and later wife of Cyril Mountain Bevan (1851-1916); requisitioned in 1941 for WAAF and later RAF; transferred to the local authority under the Emergency Housing Act and converted into flats; freehold sold 1958 to Huntingdonshire County Council; sold 1979 to Simon Herrtage; sold 1983 to Christopher Vane Percy (b. 1945).

Baumgartner family of Island Hall

Dr. J.J. Baumgartner 
Baumgartner, Jacob Julien (1733-1816).
Second son of Jean Baumgartner of Soleure (Switzerland), physician, and his wife Susanne Villemejanne of Geneva (Switzerland), born at 
Liestal, Basel-Landshaft (Switzerland), 23 January 1733. He emigrated to England in 1760 and became a naturalized British subject in 1774. Merchant, in partnership with a Mr. Hoofstetter (probably John Lewis Hoofstetter, naturalised in 1781) in London, Birmingham and Nottingham. He married, 19 January 1774 at Nottingham, Tryce Mary (1752-1815), daughter of Rev. Thomas Parratt and his wife Tryce (who was only daughter and heiress of the Rev. Joscelyn Percy), and had issue:
(1) Jacob Julien Baumgartner (b. & d. 1775), born 18 March 1775; died in infancy, 13 August 1775;
(2) Tryce Mary Baumgartner (1777-1835), born 14 March 1777; died unmarried, 19 March 1835, and was buried at Godmanchester;
(3) Dr John Thomas Baumgartner (1778-1874) (q.v.);
(4) Robert Jacob Baumgartner (1779-1810), born 11 October 1779; educated at Geneva and Edinburgh University (admitted 1797; MD 1800); physician; died unmarried, possibly as a result of taking a remedy compounded of arsenic and sugar prescribed by Dr. Robert Waring Darwin, 6 December 1810 and was buried at Godmanchester.
He lived in London and later at Nottingham after coming to England. He purchased Island Hall in 1804.
He died 2 December 1816 and was buried at Godmanchester. His wife died 26 November 1815 and was buried at Godmanchester.

Dr. J.T. Baumgartner (1778-1874): colourized
photograph. Image: C. Vane Percy. 
Baumgartner, Dr. John Thomas (1778-1874).
Elder son of Jacob Julian Baumgartner (1733-1816) and his wife Tryce Mary, daughter of Rev. Thomas Parratt, born at Wilford (Notts), 20 March 1778. Educated at Geneva and Edinburgh University (admitted, 1796; MD, 1799). Physician in Godmanchester. He was a keen swimmer and used regularly to swim around the island in the Great Ouse in the garden of Island House; he was still taking a dip in the river a few weeks before his death, aged 96! He married, 11 October 1810, Phillipa (1792-1882), third daughter of Samuel Knight of Milton Hall (Cambs), and had issue:
(1) Philippa Julia Baumgartner (1811-85), baptised at Godmanchester, 31 July 1811; married, 6 May 1834 at Godmanchester, Philip Tillard JP DL (1811-87) of Stukeley Hall, Great Stukeley (Hunts), eldest son of Rev. Richard Tillard of Street End House (Kent), and had issue five sons and four daughters; died 16 December 1885;
(2) John Percy Baumgartner (1812-1903), of Gorleston (Norfk), born 27 June and baptised at Godmanchester, 29 June 1812; educated in Geneva and at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (admitted 1831); JP for Cambridgeshire; inherited Milton Hall from his grandfather in 1835, subject to the life interest of his step-grandmother, extinguished in 1842; having heavily mortgaged his expectations from the estate, he sold it in 1860-62; later collector of customs at Great Yarmouth (Norfk); he married, 17 February 1849 at St Saviour, Southwark (Surrey), Eliza (1817-92), daughter of John Brunskill of Southwark, and had issue four sons and five daughters; died aged 90 at Gorleston (Suffk), 10 June 1903; will proved 31 July 1903 (estate £7,054);
(3) General Robert Julian Baumgartner (1814-95) (q.v.);
(4) Edward Jocelyn Baumgartner (1815-99), born 3 April 1815 and baptised at Godmanchester, 16 March 1817; articled clerk to Henry Owen of Worksop (Notts), solicitor, 1832; later retrained at Middle Temple (admitted, 1838; called, 1841); barrister-at-law; JP for Hunts; Master and Registrar of the Supreme Court at Gibraltar, 1867-91; a freemason from 1839; married 1st, 26 August 1851 at St Luke, Chelsea (Middx), Catherine (1828-54), daughter of William Taylor of Histon (Cambs), but had no issue; married 2nd, 11 January 1860 at St Mary Abbots, Kensington (Middx), Sarah Woodland (1832-86), and had issue four sons and seven daughters; died 8 February 1899;
(5) George Jasper Baumgartner (1816-17), born 7 April 1816 and baptised at Godmanchester, 16 March 1817; died in infancy, 5 May and was buried at St Luke, Chelsea (Middx), 9 May 1817;
(6) Georgiana Baumgartner (1820-1911), born 6 May and baptised at Godmanchester, 25 July 1820; married, 18 September 1839 at Godmanchester, Edward Charrington (1811-88) of Buryscourt, Leigh (Surrey), brewer, and had issue nine sons and four daughters; died aged 90 on 16 February 1911 and was buried at Leigh; will proved 28 March 1911 (estate £10,671);
(7) Rev. Henry Algernon Baumgartner (1821-1909) (q.v.);
(8) George Samuel Baumgartner (1823-66), born 26 January and baptised at Godmanchester, 10 April 1823; worked in Birmingham for Moilliet & Co., gem merchants; had a relationship with Susan Woods of Milton (Cambs) which resulted in an illegitimate daughter, but in 1853 emigrated to Australia with his brother Charles; said to have married, 15 August 1863, Christina Forbes, and had issue three sons and two daughters (some of whom were born before their parents' marriage); died 6 May 1866 and was buried at Camberwell, Victoria (Australia);
(9) Gen. Thomas Mowbray Baumgartner (1824-1915), born 21 July 1824; an officer in the Indian Army Staff Corps (Ensign, 1845; Lt., 1847; Capt., 1856; Maj., 1865; Lt-Col. 1871; Col., 1876; retired from active service, 1883; Maj-Gen., 1886; Lt-Gen., 1890; General, 1894); died unmarried aged 90 in London, 23 January 1915, and was buried at Godmanchester; will proved 23 March 1915 (estate £820);
(10) Charles Astrey Octavius Baumgartner (1825-1910), born in Geneva, 8 October and baptised at the British chaplaincy there, 1 November 1825 and again at Godmanchester, 23 January 1832; educated at Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1844; BA 1848); emigrated to Australia with his brother George in 1853 and worked with him for a time in the Australian goldfields, but return to England in 1862 at the request of his godfather, Charles Hoofstetter, with whom he lived in Thurloe Sq. until 1870; lived latterly at Hammersmith (Middx); died unmarried, 1 July 1910; administration of goods granted 25 August 1910 (£17,477);
(11) Emma Frances Baumgartner (b. & d. 1827), born 11 March 1827; baptised at British chaplaincy in Geneva (Switzerland), 11 July 1827; died at Geneva, 26 July 1827;
(12) Emma Frances Amelia Baumgartner (1828-1911), born 30 November 1828 and baptised at Godmanchester, 23 July 1832; established a night school for boys and young men at Godmanchester c.1870; author of A Medley of Birthdays (1911); died unmarried, 28 January 1911, and was buried at Godmanchester, where she is commemorated by a monument; will proved 6 March 1911 (estate £10,008);
(13) Elizabeth Charlotte Olivia Baumgartner (1831-44), born 1 September 1831; died young at Leopoldskron, Salzburg (Austria), 15 July 1844 and was buried at Anif (Austria); she is commemorated on monuments at Godmanchester.
He inherited Island Hall from his father in 1816, but lived chiefly at Milton Hall (Cambs) until the 1850s, when his son sold that estate. He then moved to Island Hall. At his death he divided his property between his ten surviving children, separating the house from its estate.
He died aged 96 on 12 August, and was buried at Godmanchester, 18 August 1874, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 8 October 1874 (effects under £3,000). His widow died aged 90 on 31 March, and was buried at Godmanchester, 5 April 1882; her will was proved 23 June 1882 (effects £592).

Gen. Robert Julian Baumgartner (1814-95) 
Baumgartner, General Robert Julian (1814-95).
Second son of Dr. John Thomas Baumgartner (1778-1874) and his wife Phillipa, third daughter of Samuel Knight of Milton (Cambs), born 17 March 1814. Educated in Geneva (Switzerland). An officer in the army (Ensign, 1833; Lt., 1837; Capt., 1841; Maj., 1851; Lt-Col., 1854; Col., 1860; Maj-Gen., 1868; Lt-Gen., 1877; Gen., 1881), who served in the Crimean War, when he made serious proposals for the raising of 10,000 troops in Switzerland for British service; wounded, and appointed CB and awarded the Turkish Order of Medjidie (4th class), 1855; Colonel of Royal Sussex Regiment, 1888-95. He was a Conservative in politics, and a freeman of Godmanchester, but took no part in local public affairs. He married, 6 July 1859 at Newry (Co. Down), Helen (1835-1911), daughter of Ross Thompson of Greenwood Park (Co. Down), and had issue:
(1) Philippa Helen Surman Baumgartner (1861-1909), born 24 September and baptised at Gwalior, Bengal (India), 19 October 1861; married, 13 September 1885, Rev. Harry Darwin Burton (1859-1943), vicar of St Saviour, St. Albans (Herts), and had issue six daughters; died 20 May 1909;
(2) Violet Julia Baumgartner (1863-1947) (q.v.);
(3) Henry Percy Julian Baumgartner (later Percy) (1865-1944), born 4 September and baptised at Calcutta (India), 7 October 1865; educated at Cheltenham College; engineer, working chiefly in India; married, Jul-Sept. 1903, Elvira Helen (c.1872-1935), daughter of Arthur Keegan of Dublin, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 1 September 1944;
(4) Charles Thomas Jocelyn Baumgartner (1868-1964), baptised at Godmanchester, 11 December 1868; emigrated to Canada, 1900; patient at Essondale Provincial Mental Hospital by 1922; died unmarried, aged 95, at Colquitlam, British Columbia (Canada), 23 September 1964; administration of goods granted 12 March 1965 (effects in England, £5,946);
(5) Ethel Nixon Baumgartner (1871-1948), born at Drumesk, Rostrevor (Co. Down), 8 February 1871, and baptised at Newry (Co. Down); married, 2 September 1896 at Godmanchester, Rev. Charles Leonard Thornton-Duesbery (1867-1928), rector of Holy Trinity, St. Marylebone (Middx) and had issue one son and one daughter; died at Ramsey (Isle of Man), 4 February 1948; will proved 27 May 1948 (estate in England, £5,824);
(6) Grace Eva Baumgartner (1873-1954), born 24 December 1873; died unmarried in Hastings (Sussex), 4 May 1954; will proved 3 July 1954 (estate £6,939).
He inherited Island Hall from his father in 1874, and purchased the freehold of the island in the River Ouse (which had only been leased by the family since 1804) in 1882.
He died 24 September and was buried at Godmanchester, 27 September 1895; his will was proved 15 November 1895 (effects £276). His widow died 6 July 1911 and was buried at Godmanchester, where she is commemorated by a monument; her will was proved 27 October 1911 (estate £227).

Baumgartner, Violet Julia (1863-1947). Second daughter of Gen. Robert Julian Baumgartner (1814-95) and his wife Helen, daughter of Ross Thompson of Greenwood Park (Co. Down), baptised at Gonda, Bengal (India), 12 June 1863. She married 1st, 8 April 1891 at Godmanchester, Maj. Frederick Robert Beart (1850-95) of The Chestnuts, Godmanchester and 2nd, 4 January 1915 at St Giles, Cambridge, as his second wife, Cyril Mountain Bevan (1851-1916) of Lilliput (Dorset), and had issue:
(1.1) Robert (otherwise Robin) Baumgartner Beart (1892-1972), born 10 April 1892; educated at Winchester; travelled to USA and South America in 1913-14 but came back for war service as an officer in the 18th Hussars (Lt., retired 1921) before returning to South America; farmer at Estancia El Espanillo, San Luis (Argentina); married, 1 July 1926 at Chester Cathedral, Agnes Pamela (1905-75), daughter of John Montagu Tharp of Denston Hall (Suffk), and had issue one son and one daughter; died 22 February 1972; administration of goods granted 17 March 1978 (estate in England, £2,898);
(1.2) Helen Tryce Beart (1893-1980), born 16 May 1893; served in First World War as Lady Superintendent with Voluntary Aid Detachment and Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps; married, 15 April 1922 at Trinity church, St Marylebone (Middx), Arthur Percival Vernon Pigot (1890-1966), of Grappenhall (Ches.), solicitor, son of Rev. Harry Vernon Pigot, vicar of Grappenhall, and had issue two sons and one daughter; died at Willington Hall (Ches), 18 February 1980; will proved 16 January 1981 (estate £65,100);
(1.3) Brig. Charles William Beart (1894-1982), born 10 May 1894; educated at Winchester College and RMC Sandhurst; an officer in the Durham Light Infantry (2nd Lt., 1914; Lt., 1914; Capt., 1920; Maj. 1933; Lt-Col., 1941; temp. Col., 1942; retired as Brig., 1947); served in First and Second World Wars and was awarded MC, 1917 and OBE, 1946; married, 1955, Ann Bowman, and had issue one daughter; died in Shrewsbury (Shrops.), 22 May 1982; will proved 23 August 1982 (estate £35,256).
She inherited Island Hall from her father in 1895 and lived there until it was requisitioned for military use in 1942. She lived latterly at Ruloe, Cuddington (Cheshire).
She died 16 November 1947; her will was proved 20 February 1948 (estate £13,228). Her first husband died 4 March 1895. Her second husband died 15 July 1916; his will was proved 30 September 1916 (estate £19,971).

Rev. H.A. Baumgartner (1821-1909) 
Baumgartner, Rev. Henry Algernon (1821-1909).
son of Dr. John Thomas Baumgartner (1778-1874) and his wife Phillipa, third daughter of Samuel Knight of Milton (Cambs), born 25 October 1821 and baptised at Godmanchester, 24 April 1822. Educated at Rugby and Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (matriculated 1840; BA 1844; MA 1847). Ordained deacon, 1845 and priest, 1846. Vicar of Coniscliffe (Co. Durham), 1849-57; perpetual curate of Emmanuel Church, Camberwell (Surrey), 1858-63; vicar of St Paul, Worcester, 1863-67, Mevagissey (Cornw.), 1867-81 and Nettlebed (Oxon), 1881-1908. He married, 30 April 1849 at Witton-le-Wear (Co. Durham), Frances Octavia (1826-1907), fourth daughter of George Hutton Wilkinson of Harperley Park (Co. Durham), Recorder of Newcastle-on-Tyne, and had issue:
(1) George Algernon Baumgartner (later Percy) (1850-1944), born 2 March 1850; an official in the Ceylon Civil Service; married, 16 November 1878 at Trincomalee (Ceylon), Florence Harper, and had issue three sons and two daughters; died aged 94 at Germoe (Cornw.) on 21 March 1944; will proved 30 June 1944 (estate £2,625);
(2) Kate Harriet Baumgartner (1851-1940), born 1 June 1851; married, 8 February 1881 at Dodbrooke (Devon), Philip Furse Marshall (1857-1942), farmer and later shopkeeper, son of John Marshall, yeoman, and had issue; died in Sussex, Oct-Dec 1940;
(3) Alice Mary Annie Baumgartner (1852-1918), born 3 June 1852; married, 6 July 1886 at St Mary Abbotts, Kensington (Middx), Lt-Col. John James Davy (1844-1925) and had issue one son and one daughter; died 14 March 1918;
(4) Harry Percy Baumgartner (1853-98) (q.v.);
(5) Amy Millicent Baumgartner (1854-1931), born 6 November 1854; amateur woodcarver, a skill which she taught in boys' clubs around Henley-on-Thames; lived with her sister Juliet in Henley; died unmarried, 24 November 1931; will proved 1 January 1932 (estate £459);
(6) Violet Sibella Baumgartner (1856-1946), born 3 January 1856; lived in Reading (Berks); died unmarried, aged 90, on 17 February 1946 and was cremated at Henley Road Crematorium, Caversham (Berks);
(7) Juliet Frances Baumgartner (1857-1937), born Jan-March 1857; lived with her sister Amy in Henley-on-Thames; died unmarried, 24 April 1937; will proved 25 May 1937 (estate £1,396);
(8) Wilfred Octavius Baumgartner (1858-1915), born 14 September and baptised at Emmanuel Church, Camberwell, 4 November 1858; mining engineer in a colliery in Co. Durham; married, Jan-Mar 1893 Charlotte Annie Reynolds (1871-1959), and had issue five children (of whom three died young); died Jul-Sept 1915;
(9) Ethel Leonora Baumgartner (1859-1943), born 14 September and baptised at Emmanuel Church, Camberwell, 16 October 1859; lived latterly at Henley-on-Thames; died unmarried, 8 December 1943; will proved 21 January 1944 (estate £2,374).
He died 18 May 1909 and was buried at Nettlebed, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 6 August 1909 (estate £1,736). His wife died 10 January 1907.

Baumgartner, Harry Percy (1853-98). Second son of Rev. Henry Algernon Baumgartner (1821-1909) and his wife Frances Octavia, daughter of George Hutton Wilkinson, born 11 November 1853. Collector of customs in the Ceylon Civil Service. He married, 1881 in Ceylon, Ethel May Vane (1860-1949), and had issue:
(1) Bertram Wilfred Vane Baumgartner (later Percy) (1882-1959) (q.v.);
(2) Harold Vane Baumgartner (later Percy) (1883-1938), born 17 November and baptised at Nettlebed, 2 December 1883; emigrated to South Africa before 1908 but returned to England in 1912, although he apparently played in one cricket test match for South Africa in December 1913; took the name Percy in lieu of Baumgartner in 1915; later a civil servant in the Gold Coast (now Ghana); married, c.1926, Dr. Nora Aileen MB BS MRCS LRCP (1892-1956), physician and surgeon, daughter of James Theodore Robinson of Mooradabad (India), but had no issue; died in Accra (Ghana), 8 April 1938;
(3) Eric Joselyn Vane Baumgartner (later Percy) (1887-1962), born in Ceylon, 20 April 1887; bank manager; married, 5 June 1915 at All Saints, Notting Hill (Middx), Kathleen (1888-1975), daughter of George Frederick Neil McKenna, wine merchant; died 6 January 1962; will proved 21 February 1962 (estate £4,706);
(4) Julian Mowbray Vane Baumgartner (later Percy) (1891-1961), born 22 July and baptised at Nettlebed (Oxon), 17 August 1891; commercial traveller and later company director; served in First World War with Suffolk Regiment (L/Cpl; commissioned as 2nd Lt., 1915); possibly also the man of this name who served in King's Royal Rifle Corps (Lt. 1940); married 1st, 1925, (div. 1927), Pearl Verner Fisher; married 2nd, Apr-Jun 1928, Erna Joyce alias Jaeger (1892-1931); married 3rd, 1941, Irene Lynn (1891-1983), daughter of Harry Martin Dennes of Sydney (Australia) and widow of George Arthur Williams (1892-1934); died in London, 29 April 1961; will proved 21 July 1961 (estate £22,640);
(5) Una Vane Baumgartner (later Percy) (1892-1985), born 12 November 1892; actress; married 1st, 1917, Malcolm Gibson Cherry (1878-1925), actor; married 2nd, Oct-Dec 1929, Gordon Brooke Willoughby Hamilton Gay (1895-1973); died 9 March 1985; will proved 24 June 1985 (estate £96,257).
He spent most of his working life in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), but retired to Bedford. His widow lived latterly in Wimbledon (Surrey).
He died in Bedford, 31 December 1898; administration of his goods was granted 28 March 1899 (effects £1,426). His widow died 12 January 1949; her will was proved 26 February 1949 (estate £1,732).

Baumgartner (later Percy), Bertram Wilfred Vane (1882-1959). Eldest son of Harry Percy Baumgartner (1853-98) and his wife Ethel May Vane, born at Colombo (Sri Lanka), 9 October 1882. Bank agent with Bank of Bengal; a freemason from 1910. He joined other members of his family in changing his surname to Percy in 1915. He married, 23 January 1915 at St Thomas' Cathedral, Bombay (India), Dorothy Marian (1885-1973), daughter of Thomas George Treadgold, and had issue:
(1) Kenneth Vane Percy (1917-98) (q.v.);
(2) David John Vane Percy (1920-2001), born 4 July 1920; an officer in the Hon. Artillery Company, 1939-40 and Royal Artillery, 1941; chartered accountant and liquidator; lived in south-east London and later in Hampshire; married, 21 December 1943, Celia Blanche (1910-88), daughter of Dr. W. Carrick Allen MD; died August 2001;
(3) Pauline Margaret Vane Percy (1922-2000), born in Bombay (India), 26 October 1922; married, 25 January 1943 at Westcliff-on-Sea (Essex), Derek Plummer (1923-2010), second son of Capt. R.M. Plummer, and had issue one son; died 3 March 2000; will proved 13 June 2000.
He lived in India for much of his working life, but retired to Bedford.
He died 14 January 1959; will proved 23 April 1959 (estate £24,419). His widow died 1 November 1973; her will was proved 8 February 1974 (estate £12,570).

Percy, Kenneth Vane (1917-98). Elder son of Bertram Wilfred Vane Baumgartner (later Percy) and his wife Dorothy Marian, daughter of Thomas George Treadgold, born in Hyderabad (India), 10 March and baptised at Secunderabat, 14 April 1917. He served in the Royal Artillery in the Second World War (2nd Lt., 1940; Lt.; retired on account of disability as Capt. 1946). Captain of the Bedfordshire County Cricket team, 1947, and later of Bedfordshire Golf Club. He married 1st, 10 March 1940 at Stow-on-the-Wold (Glos), (div.) Jean (1919-2012), daughter of Lt-Col. C.W. Farquharson OBE, and 2nd, Jul-Sept 1957, Dorothy Edith Joyce Tetley (1914-2002), and had issue:
(1.1) Alison Jane Vane Percy (1941-2012), born 5 December 1941; artist; married, Apr-Jun 1965, Shaun Martindale (b. 1944), engineer; died 17 December 2012; will proved 24 July 2013;
(1.2) Christopher David Vane Percy (b. 1945) (q.v.).
He lived at Biddenham (Beds).
He died 22 December 1998; his will was proved 19 February 1999. His first wife died at Island Hall aged 92 on 18 January 2012. His second wife died 16 November 2002; her will was proved 10 February 2003.

Percy, Christopher David Vane (b. 1945). Only son of Kenneth Vane Percy (1917-98) and his first wife, Jean Farquharson, born 15 March 1945. Interior designer who established his own business (CVP Designs) in 1971 and has secured many high profile commissions including the Connaught Hotel, London and Hagley Hall (Worcs); sometime President of the British Interior Design Association and of the International Interior Design Association; Mayor of Godmanchester, 2013; Trustee of Moggerhanger House Preservation Trust, 2013-20. He obtained a grant of arms. He married, 17 May 1973, Lady* Linda Denise Grosvenor (1948-2019), daughter of Robert Egerton Grosvenor, 5th Baron Ebury by his second wife, and had issue:
(1) Maximilian Egerton Vane Percy (b. 1979), born November 1979; educated at Oakham School; surveyor; partner in Montagu Evans with responsibility for managing the Berkeley Square Estate in London; married, 2009, Lisette Sara (b. 1978), daughter of Andrew Cooper of Rowlands Castle (Hants) and has issue three sons;
(2) Grace Dorothy Denise Vane Percy (b. 1981), born August 1981; educated at Oakham School and Central St Martins; photographer specialising in the female nude since 2008; author of Venus (2014); general manager of Island Hall since 2011; married, 2011, Panagiotis (Takis), theatre designer, younger son of Nikolaos Chatoupis, of Sikion (Greece), and has issue one daughter;
(3) Tryce Mary Susanne (b. 1991), born July 1991; educated at Oakham School; works in the fashion industry.
He repurchased Island Hall in 1983 and restored it. He handed the house over to his elder daughter in about 2020.
Now living. His wife died 19 May 2019.
* Her half-brother, Francis Egerton Grosvenor (b. 1934), 6th Baron Ebury, succeeded to the Earldom of Wilton in 1999, and she and her siblings were raised to the rank of an Earl's sons and daughters in 2001.

Principal sources

Burke's Landed Gentry, 1925, pp. 102-03; VCH Cambridgeshire, vol. 9, 1989, pp. 179-82;  Debrett's Illustrated Peerage, 2014, p. P1303;

Location of archives

Baumgartner of Godmanchester: deeds, estate and manorial papers, family correspondence, notebooks, commonplace books and photographs, 1599-1956 [Cambridgeshire Archives, 17, L.3; L.35; R.55.31, 38; Huntingdonshire Archives 5614]

Coat of arms

No coat of arms is recorded for the Baumgartner family.

Vane Percy of Island Hall
Christopher Vane Percy has, however, received a new grant of the following arms: Azure on a bend Erminois between two lions rampant each holding a branch of Swiss Stone Pine Or a spur between two pierced mullets of the field.

Can you help?

  • If anyone knows more about the Baumgartner & Hoofstetter company and its activities, I would be pleased to learn more.
  • 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.
  • If anyone can offer further information or corrections I should be most grateful. I am always particularly pleased to hear from descendants of the family who can supply information from their own research or personal knowledge for inclusion.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 30 June 2021 and updated 26 February and 15 March 2022 and 31 March-6 April 2024. I am grateful to Christopher Vane Percy and Elma Dostine for additional information and images.

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