Saturday 12 February 2022

(507) Beatty of Borodale, Brooksby Hall and Chicheley Hall, Earls Beatty

Beatty, Earls Beatty
The Beatty family first emerge in the historical record as merchants in Dublin in the 18th century. It is unclear whether they were connected in any way with families of the same name in Ulster and the Irish midlands, or whether, as family tradition is said to have averred, they migrated to Dublin from England in the 17th century. The first of the family who can be identified with confidence is Edward Beatty (1716-94), who was apprenticed to a Dublin bookbinder. He seems to have had an entrepreneurial spirit, and gradually extended his activities from bookbinding and stationery to the import of paper, wine and other commodities. He became one of the richer Dublin merchants, and his sons John (1745-1832) and David (1751-94) followed in his footsteps, with John apparently succeeding to the stationery business and David to his father's mercantile activities. By the end of his life he had a house in the country (not identified) at Blackrock (Co. Dublin) as well as a residence in the city, and he had bought estates in Co. Wexford for David's two eldest sons, Edward Beatty (1783-1858) and Thomas Beatty (c.1785-1851), who later became a barrister. David's third son, David Beatty (1787-1855), who had a brief career in the army, presumably inherited money rather than property, and around the time of his marriage he purchased the Borodale estate near Enniscorthy (Co. Wexford), which would remain the property of his descendants for more than a century, and built a new house there.

David Beatty had two sons, of whom the elder, David Vandeleur Beatty (1815-81), inherited Borodale. The younger, John Thomas Beatty (c.1819-77), married well and acquired another Wexford estate at Woodview. David Vandeleur Beatty was an energetic man, who was active in the promotion of agricultural improvement, in the militia, and most of all in the hunting field, being Master of the Wexford Hounds for 41 years. His surviving sons, David Longfield Beatty (1841-1904) and Philip Vandeleur Beatty (1853-1937) inherited his passion for horses and hunting and at different times both men were involved in horse dealing and training, although Philip was bankrupted in 1904. David Longfield Beatty, who inherited Borodale on his father's death in 1881, was an imposing man who led a colourful life, but he was clearly a bully with a taste for violence: his two eldest sons found him oppressive and overbearing, and on at least three occasions he was before the courts for conduct that ill became a gentleman.

During his first marriage, David Longfield Beatty lived in England, where his family was brought up. His eldest son, Charles Harold Longfield Beatty (1870-1917), inherited Borodale on his father's death in 1904 but continued to live in England, where he was first a jockey and later a racehorse trainer at Newmarket, but he died of wounds received in the First World War. Borodale then passed to his young son, Charles Robert Longfield Beatty (1910-80), but was so mismanaged by his mother during his minority that when he came of age the house was in disrepair and the estate 'worthless'. Charles sold both in the 1930s, and after a conventional army career was cut short by illness in 1940, turned with some success to literary pursuits.

David Longfield Beatty's second son, David Beatty (1871-1936), entered the navy in 1884 and a combination of ability and tenacity saw him make a meteoric rise through the ranks, achieving flag rank before his 40th birthday. His marriage in 1901 to Ethel Field, the daughter of a Chicago department-store owner who had previously been married to the Anglophile Arthur Tree, gave him financial security and the ability to first rent and later purchase Brooksby Hall (Leics) and Dingley Hall (Northants), as well as a shooting seat in Scotland. Just before the First World War he met Winston Churchill, who appointed him Naval Secretary to the Admiralty, and during the First World War he held a series of high commands in the Navy and successfully maintained British supremacy in the North Sea. After the armistice was signed in November 1918 his fleet escorted the German High Seas Fleet to internment in Scapa Flow, and in 1919 he was made Admiral of the Fleet, raised to the peerage as Earl Beatty, and given the thanks of Parliament and a present of £100,000 from a grateful nation. He served as First Sea Lord from 1919 to 1927 and was then considered as a possible Governor General of Canada, but was was rejected by the Colonial Secretary, Leo Amery, as he had "no manners and an impossible American wife". His death in 1936 is thought to have been hastened by his insistence on acting as a pallbearer at Admiral Lord Jellicoe's funeral in 1935 while suffering from influenza, and on attending the King's funeral in 1936.

The Admiral was succeeded in his peerage and estates by his son, David Field Beatty (1905-72), 2nd Earl Beatty, who followed his father into the navy in 1919 but retired in 1930, seeking a political career. He was MP for Peckham from 1931-36, when on his father's death he moved to the House of Lords. During the Second World War he was recalled to the Navy and retired as a Commander in 1946. The 2nd Earl was married four times and divorced three times, and had children by three of his four wives, with his eldest son, David Beatty (b. 1946), becoming the 3rd and present Earl Beatty. The 2nd Earl sold Dingley Hall before the war, and Brooksby Hall in 1945, but in 1952 he and his third wife bought and restored Chicheley Hall in Buckinghamshire. When he died in 1972 he bequeathed it to Trustees, with the proviso that his widow could live there during her lifetime. She and her second husband, Sir John Nutting QC, 4th bt., occupied it until 2009, after which it was sold to the Royal Society.

Borodale, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

Borodale House, probably in the late 19th century. This image has been digitally enhanced for clarity.
Described in 1837 as "an elegant modern villa", Borodale was a five-bay two storey house with a low-pitched roof and wide eaves, built before 1823 for David Beatty (1787-1855). The front door was apparently set in a shallow recess under a basket arch, and was surmounted by a fanlight. This distinctive feature suggests the architect could have been Richard Morrison, who used similar doorways at Bellair and Cangort Park (Co. Offaly) around 1807. Little is known about later alterations, but at some point the original glazing bars of the sash windows were replaced with plate glass. In the 1930s the estate was acquired by the Irish Land Commission, which divided it up, and the house was dismantled and later demolished. No vestige of the house remains today, although the east and west drives are apparent from the air, and the house platform can be identified.

Descent: built for David Beatty (1787-1855); to son, David Vandeleur Beatty (1815-81); to son, David Longfield Beatty (1841-1904); to son, Maj. Charles Harold Longfield Beatty (1870-1917); to son, Charles Robert Longfield Beatty (1910-80), who sold 1935; sold c.1937 to Irish Land Commission.

Brooksby Hall, Leicestershire

The house stands on what is no doubt the ancient manorial site adjoining the parish church, but the earliest visible part of the present building is the late 16th century hall range and the adjoining west wing, built for Sir George Villiers (d. 1606). Some accounts say part of the east wing is also of the same date, but a view in Nichols' History of Leicestershire shows only a single-storey building in this location. In the early 18th century, the front of the house was given sash windows in place of the original casements, and there may have been internal alterations, although this is far from certain as the house appears generally to have been let. The south room in the west range has panelling of 1804.

Brooksby Hall: engraving of the house and church from the south, from Nicholls' History of Leicestershire, 1800.
More radical alterations had to wait until 1891, after the estate was purchased by Joseph Grout Williams, a Welsh mine owner, whose brother, Capt. Stanley Williams (d. 1897), occupied the house. They commissioned R.J. & J. Goodacre of Leicester to add a large service and bedroom wing at the east end of the house, in a similar style to the existing building, and to remodel most of the interior at the same time. The three main rooms in the west wing all have bow windows, and two of them have Jacobethan style decoration of the 1890s.

Brooksby Hall: the house from the south-west. Image: Historic England.

Brooksby Hall: the house as enlarged in 1891 from the south-east.Image: Tim Heaton. Some rights reserved.
In 1906 the house was leased (and then in 1911, sold) to Admiral Beatty, who brought in Sir Edwin Lutyens (who had already worked for him at Dingley Hall (Northants)) to remodel the hall-cum-drawing room in a restrained early Georgian style with good panelling and doorcases, simple plasterwork, and a pedimented overmantel. The panelling in the room south-east of the hall is said to have come from Admiral Beatty's flagship, and was presumably installed here in the 1920s.

The house was bought by Leicestershire County Council in 1945 as a centre for the training of ex-servicemen as farmers, and later became a farm institute (in 1951) and an agricultural college (in 1967) for Leicestershire and Rutland. New teaching and residential blocks were built in 1956 and on a larger scale in 1970-72, but do not impinge too closely on the main front of the original house, which now serves as offices and a wedding venue.

Descent: built for Sir George Villiers (c.1544-1606), kt.; to son, Sir William Villiers (c.1575-1629), 1st bt.; to son, Sir George Villiers (1620-82), 2nd bt.; to son, Sir William Villiers MP (1645-1712), 3rd bt., who sold 1708 to Sir Nathan Wright (1654-1721), kt. of Caldecote (Warks); to son, George Wright (d. 1725) of Gayhurst (Bucks); to son, George Wright (d. 1766); to son, George Wright (d. 1804); to daughter, Anne Barbara Wright; to her second cousin, once removed, George Thomas Wyndham (d. 1830); to son, George Thomas Wright Wyndham (c.1828-37); to sisters, Maria Anne, wife of Godfrey, Lord Macdonald of Slate, and Cecilia, wife of Lord Alfred Paget; sold 1878 to Ernest Chaplin; sold 1890 to Joseph Grout Williams; sold 1911 to Vice-Adm. David Beatty (1871-1936), 1st Earl Beatty; to son, David Field Beatty (1905-72), 2nd Earl Beatty, who sold 1945 to Leicestershire County Council. The house seems generally to have been let in the 18th and 19th centuries, and was frequently used as a hunting box, let for the season.

Chicheley Hall, Buckinghamshire

Anthony Cave (d. 1558), who bought the estate from the Crown, built a country house on this former monastic property, which remained the seat of his descendants until the early 18th century. Little is known about it except that it was constructed around a central courtyard. Sir Anthony Chester (c.1593-1651), 2nd bt., was an ardent Royalist who fought with distinction at the battle of Naseby in 1645 and then had to flee the country, leaving his estate and family under the protection of his brother Henry. The Parliamentarians retaliated by attacking Chicheley Hall with cannon-fire, leaving it in ruins. Henry patched up the house before his death in 1666, but by the early 18th century it was once more in poor repair and Sir John Chester, who inherited in 1698 but did not gain possession of the house until 1714, first contemplated making improvements but about 1718 determined on a complete rebuilding.

Chicheley Hall: the asymmetrical west front. Image: Country Life.

Chicheley Hall: the east and north fronts in 2020.
Sir John was a friend of Burrell Massingberd of Ormsby Hall (Lincs), an amateur architect, and joined him in the 1710s in contributing to the support of the young artist, William Kent, in Rome. Kent, however, had not at this time turned his attention to architecture, and Sir John's new house was a nine bay three storey baroque house built by Francis Smith of Warwick in 1719-24, of beautifully laid and finely jointed bricks. The four fronts of the building are all different, with a subtle gradation of architectural tempo from the astylar and asymmetrical west front, to the north front which has eight bays with a central pair of long arched windows to light the staircase and brick pilasters; then the east (garden) front with Doric stone pilasters and aprons under the windows, and finally the main south (entrance) front, which has giant Corinthian stone pilasters, a full attic storey above the cornice and a plethora of Italian Baroque ornamental details. To either side of the west front of the house are eleven-bay pedimented office pavilions, built in 1723-25, which contained the stables (south side) and the kitchen, laundry and other offices (north side).

Chicheley Hall: the main south front. The design was probably altered at a late stage in construction.
Marcus Binney's convincing analysis of the house suggests that it was designed by Smith with input from Massingberd, who certainly made designs for the building and one occasion was angered by the way they had been altered in execution by Smith. Some surviving drawings for the front elevation show that a simpler design than that executed was originally intended, and imply a late alteration to the design to make it more daring and theatrical. The attic storey is curiously swept up to allow for a full entablature in the centre, creating the visual illusion that the side bays curve out to a projecting centre. The centre also has arched windows with oddly stepped and curved frames, whereas the side bays have plainer architraves with straight heads and keystones. The originality of these features, which are derived - but not copied - from Rossi’s Studio d’architettura civile di Roma (1702) or Fischer von Erlach's Historischen Architektur (1721) strongly suggests that alterations were made to the plans at a late stage in construction. But who was responsible? Francis Smith's reputation as an architect has waxed and waned over the years, and his biographer, Andor Gomme, certainly believed he was capable of assimilating and employing such forms. Others, including Marcus Binney, have suggested that perhaps Thomas Archer, the English architect most at home with advanced Italian Baroque design, may have suggested some alterations to the scheme. A little support for this idea may come from the fact that in 1722 Smith's original scheme for a single-storey hall was abandoned in favour of a two-storey hall that was probably designed by William Kent, with the young Henry Flitcroft (who was paid 5 guineas for the drawings) as his draughtsman. So we know that as the building came to completion there was input from professionals other than Smith.

Chicheley Hall: an early 18th century plan of the house and gardens (north at the top). Image: Buckinghamshire Archives D-C/6/7.
The plan of the house is a fairly traditional U-shape, but where it would be usual to place a dining parlour behind the entrance hall and have a grand staircase leading to a saloon and withdrawing rooms above, at Chicheley the centre is occupied by a two-storey entrance hall and a grand staircase which rises to a bridge joining the east and west wings. The ground floor of the east wing was occupied by three drawing rooms, while the main dining parlour was on the first floor, above the middle drawing room. The family rooms occupied the west wing, which could be shut off from the remainder of the house when the family were alone, making it cosier and more economical to run. 

Chicheley Hall: the transverse corridor between the entrance hall and staircase in 2020. 
The present two-storey entrance hall is a late alteration to the plans, and was probably designed by William Kent in about 1722; the ceiling painting is part of a larger one which Kent painted while in Italy and which was intended for use over the staircase of the old house, but which was never installed before the old house was pulled down. The handsomely panelled main rooms along the east front have subtly graded decoration suitable to their intended use; the Ladies' Drawing Room has carving in the manner of Grinling Gibbons and Corinthian columns either side of the fireplace; the main Drawing Room in the centre is more Palladian with pediments over the doors and a bold cornice; and both this room and the former Gentlemen's Drawing Room (now the Study) have Corinthian columns flanking the chimneypiece. The Library is on the top floor, above the staircase, and has the shelves behind doors which look like panelling with Corinthian pilasters. 

Chicheley Hall: the library on the top floor in 1936. Image: Country Life,
The house escaped any major alterations in the later 18th or 19th centuries, and was let to tenants from 1883 until the Second World War. It was then requisitioned for the use of the top-secret Special Operations Executive (SOE) and later the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY). It is said that a miniature version of Sir Barnes Wallis's 'bouncing bomb', later used in the Dambusters raid, was first tested on the lake at Chicheley. In 1946 the house was returned to the family and leased to a school, which it was hoped would remain for many years. However, in 1952, the Earl Beatty, who had been shown the house by Sacheverell Sitwell, expressed a wish to buy it, and an arrangement was eventually arrived at by which Lord Beatty bought a Victorian house called Whittlebury as a new home for the school, and was then able to buy Chicheley Hall with 75 acres; the Chester family retained the rest of the estate.

Sir John Chester laid out formal gardens to the designs of George London in 1699-1701, long before he came to live at Chicheley or had any thought of rebuilding the house. Charles Bridgeman was invited to remodel them in 1725 but nothing was done because Chester died before work could commence, and the formal gardens survive in a simplified form today. 

Descent: Crown granted 1545 to Anthony Cave (d. 1558); to widow Elizabeth (d. 1577) (later the wife of John Newdigate (d. 1565) and Richard Weston) for life and then to grandson, Sir  Anthony Chester (c.1565-1635), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Anthony Chester (c.1593-1651), 2nd bt., who sold parts of the estate to his brother Henry Chester (d. 1666), but these lands were bequeathed back to Sir Anthony Chester (d. 1698), 3rd bt.; to son, Sir John Chester (d. 1726), 4th bt., who rebuilt the house; to son, Sir William Chester (d. 1726), 5th bt.; to brother, Sir John Chester (d. 1748), 6th bt.; to son, Sir Charles Bagot Chester (d. 1755), 7th bt.; to cousin, Charles Bagot (later Chester) (d. 1793); to son, Charles Chester (d. 1838); to nephew, Anthony Chester (d. 1858); to cousin, Charles Montague Chester (d. 1879); to son, Charles Anthony Chester (1846-1910); to brother, Rev. John Greville Chester (1852-1923); to son, Anthony James Bagot Chester (1892-1952); to son, John Greville Bagot Chester (b. 1925), who sold 1954 to David Field Beatty (1905-72), 2nd Earl Beatty; to widow, Diana (b. 1941) (later the wife of Sir John Nutting) for life; sold 2009 to the Royal Society; sold 2020.  From 1883-1939 the house was let to tenants including Sir George Farrar (1859-1915), kt., his widow, and her daughters. 

Beatty family, Earls Beatty

Beatty, Edward (1716-94). Son of David Beatty of Dublin. Apprenticed to William Crofton of Dublin, bookbinder, and admitted to the freedom of Dublin, 1744. He developed from being a bookbinder and stationer into an overseas merchant, trading in wine and paper among other commodities, and was Stationer to the Revenue Commissioners. He was a member of the Guild of Master Painters, Cutlers and Stationers in Dublin (Warden, 1752 and Master, 1760-61), and a Member of the Common Council of the City of Dublin, 1756-62, 1770-73. He married, 1740 (licence 7 July), Mary (c.1716-69), widow of Stearne Brock of Dublin, bookseller, and of Glasnevin, and had issue:
(1) John Beatty (b. 1743), baptised at St Andrew, Dublin, 8 February 1742/3; died in infancy;
(2) John Beatty (1745-1832), baptised at St Andrew, Dublin, 2 September 1745; apprenticed to James Williams of Dublin, stationer; admitted to the freedom of Dublin, 1775; lived in Mountjoy Sq., Dublin; married and had issue; died 13 May 1832;will proved 1832;
(3) Rev. Edward Beatty (1746-1818), baptised at St Andrew, Dublin, 16 October 1746; probably the man of this name who was educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1765; BA 1769; MA 1773; BD 1780); ordained priest, 1773; curate of Monkstown (Co. Dublin), 1780-85; perpetual curate of Stillorgan (Co. Dublin), 1785-1815; married 1st, 1783 (licence 27 September), Anne Mothen or Mothe; married 2nd, 1787 (licence 3 February), Elizabeth Harris (d. 1823); died 21 March 1818 and was buried at Taney (Co. Dublin);
(4) David Beatty (1751-94) (q.v.);
(5) Mary Beatty (1754-1806), baptised at St Andrew, Dublin, 2 November 1754; "an interesting and amiable woman"; married 1st, 26 July 1783 at St Andrew, Dublin, John Frederick Furnell of Limerick, and 2nd, 26 March 1795 at St Anne, Dublin, Bartholomew Dillon MD of Dublin; died as a result of a fall from a jaunting car, 6 August 1806.
He lived in Dublin and later at Blackrock (Co. Dublin).
He died 27 September 1794; his will was proved 21 October 1794. His wife died in 1769.

Beatty, David (1751-94). Fourth son of Edward Beatty (d. 1794) and his wife Mary Brock of Glasnevin, baptised at St Andrew, Dublin, 12 February 1750/1. Admitted to the freedom of Dublin, 1773. Merchant in Dublin in partnership with his father; elected a Common Councilman of the City of Dublin, 1780. He married, 12 October 1782 at St. Anne, Dublin, Olivia Maria (c.1762-1843), daughter of Sir Thomas Bell, kt., of Dublin, physician, and had issue:
(1) Edward Beatty (1783-1858), of Glynn (Co. Wexford), born about 1783; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (matriculated 1799; BA 1804); High Sheriff of Co. Wexford, 1813; married, 1813, Elizabeth (c.1796-1871), daughter of John Southcote Mansergh of Grenane (Co. Tipperary), and had issue one son and one daughter; died 29 June 1858; administration of his goods was granted to his son, 30 September 1858 (effects under £800);
(2) Thomas Beatty (c.1785-1851) of Sion (Co. Wexford); educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1801; BA 1805; MA 1832) and Kings Inns, Dublin (admitted 1804; called 1810); barrister-at-law in Dublin; died unmarried, 1851; will proved in Dublin, 6 September 1851;
(3) David Beatty (1787-1855) (q.v.);
(4) Maria Beatty (c.1789-94), born about 1789; died young, 1794;
(5) Robert Beatty (1790-1807); "a youth in whose character the most engaging virtues and strictest rectitude of principle were eminently conspicuous"; died young, 22 March and was buried at Toxteth, Liverpool (Lancs), 28 March 1807;
(6) Olivia Beatty (c.1791-1823); married, 22 December 1807 at St Peter, Dublin, Rev. Thomas Peyton Slapp (1776-1849) of Old Buckenham Lodge (Norfk), rector of Bracon Ash (Norfk) and later of Ricklinghall Inferior (Suffk), 1827-49, son of Thomas Slapp of Botesdale (Norfk), and had issue one daughter; died in Dublin, 11 January 1823;
(7) Rev. Frederick Beatty (c.1792-1865) of Wilby (Norfk), born about 1792; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (matriculated 1809; BA 1813); an officer in 7th Hussars, who served at the Battle of Waterloo, where he was severely wounded; ordained deacon, 1818 and priest, 1819; curate of Wrentham, 1818-21 and Weybread (Norfk), 1821-22; married, 4 June 1818 at Wrentham (Suffk), Anne Charlotte (d. 1865), only daughter of Rev. William Barlee of Wrentham, and had issue three sons and six daughters; lived latterly in St. Helier (Jersey) and died there, 6 April 1865.
He lived in Dublin.
He died early in 1794, in the lifetime of his father; administration of his goods was granted to his widow, 14 June 1794. His widow died in Dublin, 9 September 1843.

Beatty, David (1787-1855). Third son of David Beatty (1751-94) and his wife Olivia Maria Bell, born 1787. An officer in the army (Ensign, 1804; Lt., 1805; retired 1810). JP for Co. Wexford. He married, 28 August 1813 at Holy Trinity, Cork (post-nuptial settlement, 9 September 1816), Elizabeth (d. 1859), elder daughter of John Martin of Blackrock (Co. Cork), and had issue:
(1) David Vandeleur Beatty (1815-81) (q.v.);
(2) John Thomas Beatty (c.1819-77) of Woodview (Co. Wexford), born about 1819; educated at Kings Inns, Dublin (admitted 1836); an officer in the Wexford Militia (Ensign, 1847; Lt., 1856; Capt., 1860; hon. Maj. by 1872); married, 27 October 1859 at Rathspeck (Co. Carlow), Isabella (c.1842-1904), third daughter of John Harvey of Park House, Wexford, treasurer of Wexford, and had issue three sons and three daughters; died 18 August 1877;
(3) Mary Beatty (c.1822-91); married, 19 February 1852 at Horetown church, New Ross (Co. Wexford), Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald (c.1814-72), incumbent of Brantry (Co. Tyrone), 1848-56, son of Rev. John Fitzgerald, and had issue at least one son and one daughter; died 28 June 1891;
(4) Olivia Maria Beatty (c.1825-87); married, 24 June 1852 at Horetown church, New Ross, Col. Thomas Walter Milward CB (1825-74), ADC to HM Queen Victoria, son of Rear Admiral Clement Milward of Tullogher (Co. Kilkenny), and had issue five sons and three daughters; died 5 November and was buried at Charlton Cemetery, Greenwich (Kent), 9 November 1887; her will was proved 6 January 1888 (effects £3,981);
(5) Elizabeth Susan Beatty (c.1829-94); married, 3 November 1858 at Wexford, Charles John Harvey (c.1839-73) of Hilburn House, Taghmon, gentleman farmer, but had no issue; died in Wexford, 21 March 1894.
He acquired the Borodale estate near Enniscorthy (Co. Wexford) and built a new house there before 1823. He later made the estate over to his elder son and retired to Barnstown House (Co. Wexford).
He died suddenly, 4 October 1855; his will was proved 30 October 1855. His widow died 24 June 1859; her will was proved 27 August 1859.

David Vandeleur Beatty (1815-81) 
Beatty, David Vandeleur (1815-81).
Elder son of David Beatty (1787-1855) and his wife Elizabeth, elder daughter of John Martin of Cork, born in Cork, 1815. An officer in the Wexford Militia (Capt. and Adjutant). Educated at Trinity College, Dublin (matriculated 1834). He was MFH of the Wexford Hounds for 41 years and a leading light of the Wexford Archers. He was also one of the founders, and for many years, joint Hon. Sec. of the Enniscorthy Farming Society and the Stock Improvement Society. He married 1st, 1838 (licence 18 April), Mary Elizabeth (1817-46), daughter of Robert Longfield of Cork; 2nd, 16 November 1847, Letitia (d. 1848), daughter of the Rev. Alexander Alcock, rector of Kilculliheen (Co. Kilkenny), and widow of Jacob William Goff (d. 1845) of Horetown House (Co. Wexford); and 3rd, 23 December 1851 at Clonmore (Co. Wexford), Margaret Charlotte (c.1827-97), fourth daughter of Harry Alcock of Wilton Castle (Co. Wexford), and had issue
(1.1) David Longfield Beatty (1841-1904) (q.v.);
(1.2) Robert Longfield Beatty (1843-69), born 1843; an officer in the 88th Foot (Lt.) and 25th Native Punjab Infantry (Lt.); married, 8 October 1868 at Murree, Bengal (India), Ellen Marie (1846-98), daughter of Theodore Dickens of Benares, Bengal, barrister-at-law, but had no issue; died at Peshawar, 2 November 1869; will proved 13 March 1871 (estate under £5,000);
(1.3) Mary Margaret Longfield Beatty (1845-1912), born 1845; married, 16 October 1872 at Kilkevan (Wexford), Dr. John C. Pigott MD of Taghmon (Co. Wexford) and Birkenhead (Ches.), fifth son of Capt. George Pemberton Pigott of Slevoy Castle (Co. Wexford); died 27 January 1912 and was buried at Flaybrick Cemetery, Birkenhead; administration of goods granted 15 April 1912 (estate £930);
(3.1) Philip Vandeleur Beatty (1853-1937), born 4 October 1853; educated at Beaumaris Grammar School; farmer and horse dealer (bankrupt, 1904); said to have emigrated to Australia, but if so he returned; married, 22 June 1877, Frances Mary (b. 1857), eldest daughter of Edward Thomas Solly-Flood of Ballynaslaney House (Co. Wexford), and had issue five sons and six daughters; died 23 October and was buried at Llansantffraid Glan Conway, 27 October 1937;
(3.2) Eleanor Charlotte Beatty (c.1854-1916), born about 1854; married, 16 November 1876 at Monkstown (Co. Dublin), William Pierce Kelly FRCS (1834-1908), an officer in the Indian Medical Service and later Inspector-General of Prisons and Surgeon-General in Burma, son of William B. Kelly, merchant; died 30 August 1916; will proved 15 September 1916 (estate £716);
(3.3) A son (b. 1855), born 24 July 1855; probably died in infancy.
He inherited the Borodale estate from his father in 1855.
He died 6 April 1881; his will was proved 16 August 1881 (effects £10,841). His first wife died in 1846 and her will was proved 6 October 1846. His second wife died on or after 29 February 1848; her will was proved in 1849. His third wife died 15 October 1897; administration of her goods was granted to her daughter, 8 January 1898 (effects £1,905).

David Longfield Beatty (1841-1904) 
Beatty, David Longfield (1841-1904).
Elder son of David Vandeleur Beatty (1815-81) and his first wife, Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Longfield of Cork, born 28 April 1841. 
Educated at Sherborne School and Heidelberg, where he distinguished himself as a swordsman. An officer in the 4th Hussars (Cornet, 1862; Lt., 1865; retired as Capt., 1868). In 1870 he was cited as co-respondent in divorce proceedings between his fellow-officer, William Chaine and his wife, and was obliged to pay damages of £800. At the time of the divorce, Mrs. Chaine was said to be living with him as his mistress, and they had two sons before her divorce came through and they were married. He seems to have been reconciled to his father, as he inherited the family estate a decade later. In 1873 he was prosecuted and convicted for cockfighting in Cheshire. After retiring from the army he devoted himself to hunting, polo and horse-racing and training, and when he was the subject of a Spy cartoon in Vanity Fair in 1898, it was said "he has probably ridden more horses than any other man in England". He married 1st, 2 June 1871 at St Michael, Liverpool (Lancs), Katherine Edith (c.1844-96), daughter of Nicholas Sadleir of Dunboyne Castle (Co. Meath) and Howbeck Lodge (Ches.) and formerly wife of Maj. William Chaine, and 2nd, 15 January 1900 at St James Piccadilly, Westminster (Middx), Anita Georgina Edith (1871-1940), younger daughter of Cdr. Henry Studdy RN of Waddeton Court (Devon), and had issue:
(1.1) Charles Harold Longfield Beatty (1870-1917) (q.v.);
(1.2) Admiral of the Fleet, the Rt. Hon. David Richard Beatty (1871-1936), 1st Earl Beatty (q.v.);
(1.3) Maj. William Vandeleur Schroeder Beatty (1878-1953), born 20 February and baptised at Malpas, 14 July 1873; an officer in the Queens Own 19th Hussars (2nd Lt., 1901; Maj.) and served in South Africa; later a horse dealer and trainer; he lived at various places in the Midlands before settling at Phantom House, Newmarket (Cambs); in 1936 an attack of influenza led to the aggravation of a pre-war leg injury and his left leg was amputated; he married 1st, 9 November 1904 at Leamington Spa (Warks), Amy Florence (c.1883-1923), daughter of Charles H. Wood of Little Woodcote, Kenilworth (Warks), and 2nd, 21 January 1925 at Croft (Yorks NR) (div. 1941 on the grounds of his infidelity with a cinema box office attendant), Hon. Victoria Alexandrina Sibell (1898-1981), third daughter of Charles Henry FitzRoy, 4th Baron Southampton, but had no issue; died 23 January 1953; will proved 19 May 1953 (estate £16,164);
(1.4) Kathleen Roma Beatty (1875-1949), baptised at Malpas (Ches.), 27 June 1875; married, 5 October 1899 at Rugby (Warks), Lt-Col. Miles Rafe Ferguson Courage DSO RA (1872-1961), third son of Edward Courage of Shenfield Place (Essex), and had issue three sons; died 18 December 1949;
(1.5) Richard George Beatty (1881-1915), baptised at Malpas, 8 February 1882; an officer in 36th (Jacobs) Horse (Capt.), who served in Boer War, 1900-02; extra ADC to Gen. Aldersen, 1901; Superintendent of Remount Dept. in Lahore and Baluchistan, 1911-14 and served in First World War on the NW Frontier, 1914-15; married, 21 October 1907, Florence Mary (d. 1938), younger daughter of John Bywater of London, and had issue three sons and one daughter; died of typhoid, 9 June 1915 and was buried the same day at Murree, Bengal (India); administration of goods granted 8 July 1915 (estate £1,803);
(2.1) Henry Longfield Beatty (1901-35), baptised at Bilton (Warks), 7 May 1901; an officer in the Royal Air Force (Fl. Lt.); died 15 February 1935 at San Filippo, Sicily in the crash of a Short Singapore flying boat; buried in Capuccini Naval Cemetery, Malta; administration of goods granted to his mother, 21 February 1936 (estate £97).
He inherited the Borodale estate from his father in 1881, but lived chiefly in England (at Cherry Hill near Malpas (Cheshire) and later at The Moat, Rugby (Warks) and Bilton Park (Warks)) until after the death of his first wife.
He died at Borodale, 4 April 1904; his will was proved 15 June 1904 (estate £25,938). His first wife died 9 October 1896. His widow married 2nd, 27 April 1909 at Clonmore (Wexford), Harold Arthur Lett of Kilgibbon, Enniscorthy (Co. Wexford), son of William Lett; she died 7 June 1940; her will was proved 19 September 1940 (estate £2,026)

Charles Harold Longfield Beatty 
Beatty, Charles Harold Longfield (1870-1917).
Illegitimate eldest son of David Longfield Beatty (1841-1904) and his first wife, Katherine Edith, daughter of Nicholas Sadleir of Dunboyne Castle (Co. Meath), born at Howbeck Lodge, Stapeley (Ches.) before his parents' marriage, 16 January 1870 and baptised at Wybunbury, 19 March 1870. Educated at Cheltenham and Trinity College, Oxford. He was an amateur jockey from 1892-98, and then became a racehorse trainer, taking over the lease of the McCalmont stables at Newmarket and training for Lord Howard de Walden. He was an officer in the 6th militia battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (2nd Lt., 1888; Lt., 1889; Capt., 1894; retired as hon. Maj., 1903; returned to service, 1914), who served in the Boer War (wounded; awarded DSO, 1901) and First World War (ADC to Gen. Sir Edwin Alderson; severely wounded 1916 and lost his left arm). He married, 31 January 1905 at Llanfyllin (Montgomerys.), Lucy Alice (c.1868-1958), daughter of Edward Beck of Gippsland, Victoria (Australia), and widow of Maj. John Shakespeare Langlands (1846-95), and had issue:
(1) Charles Robert Longfield Beatty (1910-80) (q.v.).
He inherited the Borodale estate from his father in 1904, but lived chiefly in England.
He died during an operation after aggravating his war injury by falling from a horse, 17 May 1917, and was buried at Atherstone (Warks); his will was proved 6 June 1917 (estate £21,062). His widow died aged 90 on 1 May and was buried at Castle Caereinion (Montgomerys.), 3 May 1958; her will was proved 3 July 1958 (estate £4,914).

Charles Robert Longfield Beatty (1910-80) 
Beatty, Charles Robert Longfield (1910-80).
Only child of Charles Harold Longfield Beatty (1870-1917) and his wife Lucy Aline, daughter of [name unknown] and widow of Maj. John S. Langlands, born 27 October 1910. Educated at Shrewsbury and RMA Sandhurst; an officer in the army (2nd Lt., 1931; Lt., 1935; Adjutant and temp. Capt. 1939; retired on health grounds, 1940). After his military career he turned inventor, manufacturing a three-dimensional chess set, and then to writing, producing several novels and biographical studies of General Gordon, Ferdinand de Lesseps (1956) and the 1st Earl Beatty (Our Admiral, 1980) as well as an autobiography, Gate of Dreams (1972). He was also the first manager of the Montagu Motor Museum at Beaulieu (Hants) and one of the first announcers on Radio Luxembourg. He married 1st, 14 March 1940 (div. c.1958), the psychic authoress, Joan (1907-89), daughter of John Frederick Marshall CBE of Hayling Island (Hants) and formerly wife of Arthur Leslie Grant, and 2nd, 1975, Joan Teasdale (d. 1992?), daughter of [forename unknown] Kinsey and widow of Graves Ernest Stoker (1912-73), but had no issue.
He inherited the Borodale estate from his father in 1917, but by the time he came of age the estate had been so mismanaged by his mother during his minority that it was worthless. He is reported to have sold the house for just 10 shillings in 1935; it was demolished two years later. He lived subsequently at Trelydan Hall, Guilsfield (Montgomerys.).
He died 14 October 1980. His first wife married 3rd, 1 September 1960, Dr. Denys Kelsey, the well-known psychiatrist and  hypnotherapist, and later lived partly in France and the USA; she died 3 February 1989. His widow is probably the Joan Beatty who died in Hampshire in 1992.

Admiral of the Fleet David Beatty,
1st Earl Beatty
Beatty, Admiral of the Fleet Rt. Hon. David Richard (1871-1936), 1st Earl Beatty.
Illegitimate second 
son of David Longfield Beatty (1841-1904) and his first wife, Katherine Edith, daughter of Nicholas Sadleir of Dunboyne Castle (Co. Meath), born before his parents' marriage, 17 January 1871. Educated at Kilkenny College and Burney's Naval Academy, Gosport and entered the Royal Navy, 1884 (Lt., 1892; Cdr., 1898; Capt., 1900; Rear-Adm., 1910; Vice-Adm. 1915; Adm. and Adm. of the Fleet, 1919). He saw service in Egypt, Sudan and China, 1896-1900; was ADC to HM King Edward VII, 1908-10; Naval Secretary to First Lord of the Admiralty, 1912; commanded 1st Battle Cruiser Squadron, 1913-16; Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet, 1916-18; First Sea Lord, 1919-27; British delegate to the Washington Conference, 1921. He was appointed GCB, 1916 (CB, 1911; KCB, 1914) and GCVO, 1917 (MVO 1905; KCVO, 1916), and was awarded the DSO, 1896 and the Order of Merit, 1917, as well as several foreign decorations. He was raised to the peerage as 1st Earl Beatty (also Baron Beatty and Viscount Borodale), 27 September 1919, when he received the thanks of Parliament for his war service and a grant of £100,000. He was sworn of the Privy Council, 1927. He was a keen and fearless rider to hounds. He married, 22 May 1901, Ethel (1872-1932), only daughter of Marshall Field of Chicago (USA) and formerly wife of Arthur Magie Tree (1863-1914), and had issue:
(1) David Field Beatty (1905-72), 2nd Earl Beatty (q.v.);
(2) Hon. Peter Randolph Louis Beatty (1910-49), of Reigate Priory (Surrey) and later Mereworth Castle (Kent), born 2 April 1910; educated at Eton; racehorse owner (whose horse Bois Roussel won the Derby in 1938); served in Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in Second World War; he had impaired vision from birth and after an unsuccessful eye operation caused the loss of his remaining vision, he committed suicide by jumping from the sixth floor of the Ritz Hotel, London, 26 October 1949; he was buried at Mereworth (Kent); his will was proved 4 March 1950 (estate £306,399).
He rented Brooksby Hall (Leics) from 1906, and bought the freehold in 1911. He rented Dingley Hall (Northants) in 1928 and bought the freehold in 1929. He also rented Grantully Castle in Scotland, and he leased 17 Grosvenor Sq., London as a town house.
He died 11 March 1936 and was buried in St Paul's Cathedral, London; his will was proved 26 May 1936 (estate £174,902). His wife died 17 July 1932; her will was proved 8 October 1932 (estate £167,131).

David Field Beatty, 2nd Earl Beatty
Beatty, David Field (1905-72), 2nd Earl Beatty.
Elder son of Adm. of the Fleet, the Rt. Hon. David Richard Beatty (1871-1936), 1st Earl Beatty, and his wife Ethel, only daughter of Marshall Field of Chicago (USA) 
and formerly wife of Arthur Magie Tree, born 22 February 1905. Educated at the Royal Naval Colleges, Osborne and Dartmouth. Entered the Royal Navy in 1919 (Sub-Lt., 1927; Lt., 1928; retired from active service 1930 but return to the Navy, 1939; Lt-Cdr., 1940; Cdr., 1946) and was also an officer in the Leicestershire Yeomanry (2nd Lt. 1930; Lt., 1933; retired 1939); awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, 1942. Unionist MP for Peckham (Surrey), 1931-36 and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty, 1931-36; member of London County Council for Peckham, 1937-46. He succeeded his father as 2nd Earl Beatty, 11 March 1936. Deputy Director, Combined Operations Department, Admiralty, 1943-45; joint Under-Secretary for Air, 1945. He was President of the Navy League, 1941-44 (Chairman, 1937-41); Chairman of the British Empire and Commonwealth Games Council for England, 1954; and Chairman of the Home Oil Company of Canada, 1966-72. He married 1st, 23 April 1937 (div. 1945), Dorothy Carlotta Rice (1902-66), younger daughter of Thomas Sarsfield Kent Power of Virginia (USA) and formerly wife of LaFrance Adelbert Mitchell (1901-93), Henry Ester Reynolds Hall (1897-1931) and Edward Van Volkenburgh Sands (1895-1962); married 2nd, 7 February 1946 (div. 1950), Dorothy Rita (1918-2006), a former ATA ferry pilot, daughter of Michael James Furey of New Orleans (USA) and widow of Sgt. Richard Edward Brigg RAF; married 3rd, 5 July 1951 at Brackley Register Office (Northants) (div. 1958), Adele (1920-90), daughter of Monte Dillingham of Oklahoma City (USA) and formerly wife of William O'Connor; and married 4th, 3 December 1959, Diana (b. 1941), daughter of John Blundell of Hayling Island (Hants) and adopted daughter of Capt. Duncan Kirk, and had issue:
(2.1) David Beatty (b. 1946), 3rd Earl Beatty (q.v.);
(3.1) Lady Diana Adrienne Beatty (b. 1952), of Charwelton (Northants), born 13 September 1952; married, 1974 (div. 2002), Henry Nicholas Gage (b. 1934), 8th Viscount Gage of Castle Island (who m2, 2009, Alexandra Murray (b. 1968), daughter of John Clarke Murray Templeton of Brighton, and had further issue one son), and had issue two sons; after her divorce she reverted to her maiden name;
(4.1) Hon. Nicholas Duncan Beatty (b. 1961), of Salcey Lawn House, Hartwell (Northants), born 1 April 1961; educated at Eton and Exeter University (BA); landowner and company director; married, 29 September 1990 Laura Mary Catherine (b. 1963), daughter of Christopher William Lyle Keen of Beenham (Berks), and had issue two sons and one daughter;
(4.2) Lady Miranda Katherine Beatty (b. 1963), born 18 February 1963; married 1st, 22 February 1989, Iain Alan Stewart (b. 1954), youngest son of Sir Dugald Leslie Lorn Stewart of Appin KCVO CMG and had issue two daughters; married 2nd, 30 September 2000 at Waddesdon Manor (Bucks), Michael John Hutchinson of Exminster (Devon), and had further issue two sons and one daughter.
He inherited Brooksby Hall and Dingley Hall from his father in 1936. Dingley Hall was sold in 1937 and Brooksby Hall was used as a nursing home for service personnel during the Second World War. It was sold in 1945 to Leicestershire County Council for use as a centre for training ex-servicemen as farmers. It later became an agricultural college. In 1952 he purchased Chicheley Hall (Bucks) from the Chester family. After his death the house passed to Trustees, with the proviso that his widow could live there for the rest of her life; it was sold in 2009.
He died 10 June 1972; his will was proved 15 December 1972 (estate £453,981). His first wife married 5th, c.1946 (div.), as his second wife, John Gordon Baragwanath (1886-1965) and 6th, 10 December 1954, as his second wife, Peregrine Francis Adelbert Cust (1899-1978), 6th Baron Brownlow, and died 11 May 1966; her will was proved 7 October 1966 (estate £10,033). Lord Beatty's second wife married 3rd, 1951, Abram Stevens Hewitt (d. 1987) and 4th, 1998, Kent Miller of Virginia (USA); she died 9 November 2006. His third wife married, 3rd, 1960 (div. 1971), Stanley Donen (1924-2019), film director, and died 22 April 1990. His widow, later chairwoman of the Georgian Group, married 2nd, 1973, Sir John Grenfell Nutting (b. 1942), 4th bt., had further issue one son and one daughter, and is now living.

Beatty, David (b. 1946), 3rd Earl Beatty. Only child of David Beatty (1905-72), 2nd Earl Beatty, and his second wife, Dorothy Rita, a former ATA ferry pilot, daughter of Michael James Furey of New Orleans (USA) and widow of Sgt. Richard Edward Brigg RAF, born 21 November 1946. Educated at Eton. He succeeded his father as 3rd Earl Beatty, 10 June 1972. He married 1st, 26 June 1971 in Istanbul (Turkey) (div. 1982), Ann, second daughter of A. Please of Wokingham (Berks), and 2nd, 1984 (div. 2000), Anoma Corinne, daughter of Ray Wijewardene of Colombo (Sri Lanka), and had issue:
(1.1) Sean David Beatty, Viscount Borodale (b. 1973), born 12 June 1973; educated at Bath Spa University (PhD); poet and artist; lecturer in creative writing at Royal Holloway University of London; married, February 2002, Susan Jane, daughter of Jon Hill, and had issue two sons;
(1.2) Hon. Peter Wystan Beatty (b. 1975), born Jul-Sept. 1975.
He is now living.

Principal sources

Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 2003, p. 300; A. Oswald, 'Chicheley Hall', Country Life, 9-23 March 1936; J. D. Tanner, 'The building of Chicheley Hall', Records of Buckinghamshire, 1961, pp. 41-48; M. Binney, 'Chicheley Hall', Country Life, 13-27 February 1975; C. Beatty, Our Admiral, 1980; Sir N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, The buildings of England: Leicestershire & Rutland, 2nd edn., 1984, pp. 114-15; Sir N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, The buildings of England: Buckinghamshire, 2nd edn., 1994, pp. 245-48; A. Gomme, Smith of Warwick, 2000, pp. 520-21; J. Cornforth, 'Chicheley Hall', Country Life, 15 April 2004, pp. 124-29; D. Rowe & E. Scallan, Houses of Wexford, 2016, entry no. 265; J.A.K. Dean, The gate lodges of Leinster: a gazetteer, 2016, p. 359; draft Leicestershire Victoria County History text for Brooksby, 2021.

Location of archives

Admiral of the Fleet David Beatty (1871-1936), 1st Earl Beatty: correspondence and papers [National Maritime Museum, Caird Library, BTY]

Coat of arms

Azure, a beehive beset with nine bees volant or a chief argent with the Cross of St. George gules.

Can you help?
  • Can anyone provide a better photograph of Borodale House?
  • Can anyone provide photographs or portraits of the people whose names appear in bold above, for whom no image is currently shown?
  • If anyone can offer further information or corrections to any part of this article I should be most grateful. I am always particularly pleased to hear from current owners or the descendants of families associated with a property who can supply information from their own research or personal knowledge for inclusion.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 12 February 2022 and was updated 17 February 2022.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Nick, I found all this information fascinating. What a family! What a story! I am interested because my late wife Anne Bell was descended from Major Thomas Bell of Streamstown Claremorris, a great grandfather of Sir thomas Bell MD who was father of Olivia Maria Beatty. She lived in Boradale at the end. I am compiling a family history of the Bell family, who came originally from Scotland and who have a colourful history themselves, Joe Keane


Please leave a comment if you have any additional information or corrections to offer, or if you are able to help with additional images of the people or buildings in this post.