Friday, 26 June 2015

(173) Arkwright of Mark Hall, Parndon Hall, Sanderstead Court and Knuston Hall

Arkwright of Mark Hall
The Mark Hall estate at Latton (Essex) was purchased by Richard Arkwright (1755-1843) of Willersley Castle (Derbys) as part of his policy of buying landed property as an investment, and the following year his sixth son, Rev. Joseph Arkwright (1791-1864) was appointed rector of Latton and took up occupation of the hall. When Joseph's elder brother, Richard Arkwright (1781-1832) died, Joseph also took over his father's estate at Normanton Turville in Leicestershire, and he became the owner of both properties on his father's death in 1843.  Mark Hall seems to have been regarded as the principal seat, and Joseph invested in further land to add to it, his most significant purchase being the adjoining Parndon Hall estate, which he acquired in 1860. At the time of his death he was described as 'one of the largest farmers in Essex'.

Joseph was a keen huntsman, and at the end of his life became Master of the Essex Hounds and built new kennels for the hunt at Harlow. This taste was passed on to succeeding generations. His eldest son, Robert Wigram Arkwright (1822-88), who inherited Normanton Turville, sold it shortly afterwards as he was living in Bedfordshire, where for 35 years he was Master of the Oakley Hunt: he lived first at Sharnbrook House and later at Goldington Hall, both of which he probably rented, but in 1865 he bought and remodelled Knuston Hall at Irchester, just over the county boundary in Northamptonshire. In 1878, Robert inherited Sanderstead Court (Surrey) from the Col. Wigsell, and this became the home of his eldest son, Frank Wigsell Arkwright (1848-93), but Frank died only five years after his father. His heir was his son, Esme Francis Wigsell Arkwright (1882-1934), who seems to have been brought up at Sharnbrook House (which he altered in 1911) and followed in his grandfather's footsteps as Master of the Oakley Hunt, 1904-15 and 1921-1934. He sold Sanderstead Court in 1919 and lived later at Harrold Hall (Beds) and Lavendon Grange (Bucks), dying in the hunting field shortly after announcing his intention to resign the Mastership.

On the death of Robert Wigram Arkwright, his principal seat of Knuston Hall (Northants) passed to his second son, Herbert Robert Arkwright (1860-98), who like his brother died young. His heir was his son, Robert Oakley Wigram Arkwright (1894-1973), who was barely more than an infant and did not come of age until 1915. As soon as he came out of the army at the end of the First World War he sold Knuston Hall and he lived subsequently at Angeston Grange, Uley (Glos) and at various houses in Somerset.

The combined Mark Hall and Parndon Hall estates passed on the death of Joseph Arkwright to his fourth son, Loftus Wigram Arkwright (1829-89). Loftus married in 1864 and he and his wife Elizabeth built a new house on the Parndon estate, which Elizabeth - an artist of considerable ability - took a major role in decorating.  Thereafter Parndon was the main house on the estate, and Mark Hall was left to the occupation to Loftus' five unmarried sisters.  Like his father and brother, Loftus Arkwright was a keen huntsman, and he succeeded Joseph as Master of the Essex Hounds. In 1868, he was severely injured in a fall in the hunting field when his horse fell and stamped on him, which seems to have left him partially paralysed. Despite the fact that thereafter he could only ride a horse if strapped onto its back, he continued to be Master of the hunt for a further twenty-one years: an amazing tribute to his dedication to the sport!

Loftus' heir was his son, Loftus Joseph Wigram Arkwright (1866-1950), who established the Mark Hall Estate Co.  to manage the joint Mark Hall and Parndon estates. When Mark Hall was vacated by his aunts in the 1890s, the company let it to the Gilbey family who remained in occupation until the death of Newman Gilbey in 1942. The house then became a hostel for the Women's Land Army until it burned down in 1947; a small part of the house which survived the fire was used for educational purposes until the late 1950s, but was finally demolished in 1960; the stable block was converted into a veteran cycle museum by Harlow Council in 1981. 

In 1912, Loftus J.W. Arkwright was divorced by his wife, who claimed he was violent and had affairs with their servants; she took her sons with her, and Arkwright is said to have become reclusive. He continued to live in Parndon Hall to the end of his long life, but the condition of the house deteriorated markedly, especially during the war when it was hard to arrange for repairs.  When he died in 1950 his heir was his youngest son, Commander Godfrey Wigram Arkwright (1901-54), his two elder sons having been lost in mysterious circumstances in 1933 and killed in action in 1942. The Mark Hall estate having been included in the area designated for a 'satellite' new town at Harlow in 1947, the whole estate was purchased by the Harlow Development Corporation between 1947 and 1953. Parndon Hall became an independent boarding school until 1970 when it was bought by the Princess Alexandra Hospital, of which it now forms a part, although planning permission has been given for its division into nine apartments. In September 1953, on the eve of the family's final removal from Parndon Hall, Godfrey Arkwright wrote a remarkably generous letter to the general manager of the New Town:
As I sit at my desk tonight when all is quiet, writing... from my old home where my father and grandfather have lived before me and on the land which my family have owned for over 130 years, it is a very very sad moment for me... but I admit the necessity for these satellites and accept the fact that it was 'just too bad' for us around Harlow that this area was chosen. I can only wish you every possible success with the progress of the new town."

Mark Hall, Latton, Essex

A full account of Mark Hall can be found in my post on the Altham family of Mark Hall, Oxhey Place and Timbercombe.

Parndon Hall, Essex

The original Parndon Hall was a moated building which stood opposite Little Parndon church and close to the River Stort, and it was demolished in about 1840 when a railway was built through the site. It had, however, already been replaced as the manor house in the 17th century by a new house built about half a mile to the south, which was known as the Upper House and later as Parndon House. The Upper House had been built by 1646 and by 1687 it stood in a park of 105 acres; nothing is known of its appearance at this time, but in 1720 it had about seven main rooms on each floor. 

Parndon House, as altered c.1750, from an old engraving.
When Charles Turnor died in 1726 the estate which he bequeathed to his two daughters was heavily encumbered and ownership was disputed with his creditors; eventually it was sold by order of Chancery in 1742. It seems likely that at this time the house was unoccupied and fell into disrepair, and the purchaser, Edward Parson, who was a wealthy West India merchant, altered and enlarged the house, which was described in 1771 as 'a neat and elegant modern building'.  Parson also landscaped the park, adding lakes, a temple, and probably some artificial ruins which were recorded in the early 19th century; the park was enlarged to the west in 1794 for William Smith. Parndon House was demolished for unknown reasons in about 1830, and a replacement was not built until 1867, when a new site in the park was selected.

Parndon Hall, from the Ordnance Survey 6" map surveyed in 1873-74.

The new Parndon Hall is a rather grand and loosely Italianate two storey house, built in 1867 for Loftus Wigram Arkwright (1829-89), very possibly to the designs of Joseph Clarke, who rebuilt the church at the same time. 

Parndon Hall in 2011.

It has a broad front of three bays of tripartite windows, with the centre recessed to accommodate an arcaded loggia. Inside, the house has a remarkable group of painted doors and ceilings in an eclectic variety of styles, which are attributed to Elizabeth Arkwright, the wife of the owner.  The estate was included in the land acquired for building Harlow New Town after the Second World War, and the house became a boarding school before being acquired by the Princess Alexandra Hospital in 1970. The house survives as the hospital's Medical Education Centre.

Descent: Sir Henry Colte sold 1633 to John, Robert and Edward Hellam, who sold 1633 to Sir Humphrey Forster, bt.; sold 1638 to Matthew Gilly; sold 1651 to Sir Edward Turnor (d. 1676), later Speaker of the House of Commons; to son, Sir Edward Turnor (d. 1721), who gave it to his son, Charles Turnor (d. 1726); to daughters, who sold in 1742 under a Court order to Edward Parson (d. 1780); to widow and children who sold 1785 to William Smith MP (d. 1835); sold 1822 to William K. Amherst; sold 1860 to Rev. Joseph Arkwright of Mark Hall; to son, Loftus Wigram Arkwright (1829-89) and his wife Elizabeth, who built a new house; to son, Loftus Joseph Wigram Arkwright (1866-1950); to son, Cmdr. Godfrey Wigram Arkwright (1901-54), who sold c.1953 to Harlow Development Corporation; leased to Mrs. Kitty Clare as a boarding school; sold 1970 to Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Sanderstead Court, Surrey

The Abbots of Hyde Abbey, Winchester, owned the manor in the middle ages and had a grange at Sanderstead, which was pulled down in the 16th century. A manor house called Sanderstead Place was built out of the materials, and perhaps on the site of, the grange: this house in turn was pulled down about 1800. The Atwoods had a another house nearby, known as Sanderstead Court, by 1586, which was largely remodelled by Harman Atwood (d. 1677). His arms and initials and the date 1676 were carved over the entrance, implying that the house was completed less than a year before his death. 
Sanderstead Court, from a watercolour by John Hassell, 1822. Image: Surrey History Centre

As remodelled, the house had a recessed centre, far-projecting wings and segment-headed windows. In the centre was a spectacular doorway (later moved forward when a porch was buil) with Corinthian columns, and above it a coat of arms in an aedicule with a segmental pediment. The windows to either side of the doorway were very tall and arched, and these three bays were in turn framed by giant pilasters and emphasised by a step up in the parapet. The house contained a two-storey hall - probably in origin the great hall of the 16th century house - which was redecorated in the 18th century, with fluted Corinthian columns. 

Sanderstead Court, from the Ordnance Survey 6" map of 1867.

Sanderstead Court in the 1930s, from an old postcard

A new wing, was added by J. Macvicar Anderson in 1866-67, and the same firm added further bedroom accommodation in 1895. The house was converted into an hotel in 1928 and was used by the RAF during the Second World War, but it was badly damaged by fire in 1944 and almost completely demolished in the 1950s; only one end of the north wing was patched up and used as Selsdon Park Golf Club. Although the club has now moved elsewhere, this fragment survives and contains a small polygonal room. The stables, of red and yellow brick, with a central cupola, also survive. Much of the site has been built over for housing, but part of the grounds survives, with some splendid cedars.

Descent: Harman Atwood (d. 1653); to son, Harman Atwood (d. 1677); to ?sister, Olive Atwood (d. 1682)...George Atwood (d. 1722)... John Atwood (d. 1759); to widow and then nephew, Thomas Wigsell (d. 1778) of London; to nephew, Atwood Wigsell (d. 1795); to brother, Rev. Thomas Wigsell (d. 1805); to niece, Susannah Wigsell (d. c.1807); to Rev. Atwood Wigsell Taylor (later Wigsell) (d. 1821); to son, Col. Atwood Dalton Wigsell (c.1821-78); to widow (who remarried 1886) and then to Capt. Frank Wigsell Arkwright (1848-93); to son, Esme Francis Wigsell Arkwright (b. 1882); sold 1919 and converted into an hotel; used by RAF in WW2 and burnt, 1944. In the early 19th century the house was mainly leased to tenants including Sir George Colebrooke (fl. 1822) and his son Henry Thomas Colebrooke (1765-1837).

Knuston Hall, Irchester, Northamptonshire

Knuston Hall: the west front.
The apparently Victorian house has much earlier and rather obscure origins, perhaps as a house called North Hall which belonged to the Page family in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The house contained eight hearths in 1670, and may then have recently been rebuilt, as late 17th century work seems to form the core of the present building: the south front has some courses of ironstone which suggest an early house.  The lower wing with a canted bay that extends to the east of the house is probably also 17th century, but was altered and refronted in the 18th century. Finally, the north wing, of limestone ashlar, although now apparently Georgian, has a datestone for 1666 in its pediment, which may represent the date of the 17th century house. 

Knuston Hall from the SW

Knuston Hall from the NW, from an old postcard
In 1769 the ancient hamlet of Knuston was swept away at enclosure and the area around the hall was laid out as parkland. In about 1775 the house was enlarged for Benjamin Kidney, a London merchant, who is said to have spent £10,000 on improvements. He was probably responsible for the three storey three-by-three block which forms the south, and part of the west, fronts today, and which is recorded in drawings of 1840 by George Clarke. There are survey drawings by J.B. Papworth of 1817 but it is not clear if he did any work on the building. After the house was bought by Robert Arkwright in 1865 he enlarged it further, building a new north range with Jacobethan style gables on the north and west fronts, adding bay windows to the ground floor of the existing house, and refenestrating the rest of the house.  The interior was also remodelled, and there are elaborate ceilings which incorporate some genuine 18th century work, some resited Jacobean panelling, and a new staircase. Corridors to improve access in the older parts of the building were formed in the space where the old staircase had stood. 

Knuston Hall, from the Ordnance Survey 6" map of 1884.

During the Second World War the house was used as a transport depot by the British and Canadian armies, and in 1949 it was acquired by the County Council for use as a residential college of adult education, a purpose it still fulfils.

Descent: Page family... Benjamin Kidney (fl. 1775); sold 1791 to Joseph Gulston; mainly let in early 19th century (tenants included William Dick (d. 1814) and Sir Peter Payne) but empty in 1834; to Alan James Gulston who leased 1849 to Edward John Sartoris; sold 1865 to Robert Wigram Arkwright (1822-88); to second son, Henry Robert Arkwright (1860-98); to son, Robert Oakley Wigram Arkwright (b. 1894), who sold 1920 to Charles Arthur Kersey Green; sold 1949 to Northamptonshire County Council.

Arkwright family of Mark Hall and Parndon Hall

Arkwright, Rev. Joseph (1791-1864) of Mark Hall and Normanton Turville. Sixth son of Richard Arkwright (1755-1843) of Willersley Castle (Derbys) and his wife Mary, daughter of Adam Simpson of Bonsall (Derbys), born 9 August and baptised at Bakewell (Derbys), 24 August 1791. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1812, BA 1814, MA 1817); Vicar of Latton (Essex), 1820-50; rector of Thurlaston (Leics), 1824-45; JP for Essex and Hertfordshire. He was a keen huntsman; Master of the Essex Hounds, 1861-64, in which capacity he built new kennels for the hunt at Harlow. He married, 19 October 1818 at Walthamstow (Essex), Anne (1796-1863), daughter of Sir Robert Wigram, 1st bt. and had issue:
(1) Eleanor Harriet Arkwright (1819-1907), baptised at Latton, 16 November 1819; married, 4 February 1851, Rear-Adm. Sir George Granville Randolph CB (1818-1907) and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 16 May 1907; administration of goods granted 8 May 1907 (effects £180);
(2) Anne Mary Arkwright (1820-54), baptised 20 December 1820; married, 16 September 1841 at Latton, Rev. George Edward Bruxner (1812-91), rector of Thurlaston (Leics); died 19 January 1854;
(3) Robert Wigram Arkwright (1822-88) (q.v.);
(4) Charles Arkwright (1823-92) of Ashlands (Leics), born 9 September and baptised 10 September 1823; educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1841); Lieutenant in 1st Dragoon Guards; married, 10 September 1864, Honoria (d. 1927), daughter of Edward Bourchier Hartopp of Dalby Hall (Leics) and had issue nine sons and two daughters; died in London, 1 December 1892 and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery;
(5) Rev. Julius Arkwright (1825-64), born 28 September and baptised 28 December 1825; educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1847; BA 1848); curate of Messing (Essex), 1850; succeeded his father as vicar of Latton (Essex), 1850-64; married, 5 September 1850, Laura Elisa, daughter of Alexander Greig of London and had issue four daughters; died 15 April 1864; will proved 6 May 1864 (effects under £14,000);
(6) Anna Frances Arkwright (1828-83), of Mark Hall, baptised 1 July 1828; died unmarried, 18 August 1883, apparently from heart failure after being stung by a wasp; will proved 1 November 1883 (effects £25,702);
(7) Loftus Wigram Arkwright (1829-89) (q.v.);
(8) Arthur Wigram Arkwright (1831-1903) of Broughton Astley (Leics), born 20 February and baptised (as Arthur William) 23 February 1831; JP and DL for Leicestershire; married, 3 April 1856, Emma (d. 1866), daughter of Rev. John Wolley of Beeston (Notts) and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 28 June 1903;
(9) Catherine Elizabeth Arkwright (1832-1916), baptised 11 September 1832; died unmarried, 21 January 1916; will proved 8 March 1916 (estate £19,844);
(10) Susan Ellen Arkwright (1835-73), baptised 25 January 1835; died unmarried, 5 March 1873; will proved 31 March 1873 (effects under £14,000);
(11) Gertrude Arkwright (1836-92), baptised 24 April 1836; died unmarried, 13 January 1892; will proved 19 February 1892 (estate £27,468);
(12) Agnes Isabella Arkwright (1838-1902), baptised 7 March 1838; died unmarried, 31 May 1892; will proved 11 July 1902 (estate £35,387).
His father bought the Mark Hall estate in 1819 and he moved to it in 1820. He inherited the estate in 1843. He inherited Normanton Turville on the death of his elder brother, Richard Arkwright, in 1832; it was let towards the end of his life and sold after his death to Richard Worswick.
He died 29 February and was buried at Latton, 5 March 1864; his will was proved 7 April 1864 (effects under £400,000). His wife died 21 May 1863.

Arkwright, Loftus Wigram (1829-89) of Parndon Hall. Fourth son of Rev. Joseph Arkwright (1791-1864) of Mark Hall and his wife Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Wigram, 1st bt., born 29 September 1829 and baptised 30 May 1830. Educated at Eton. Captain of the Epping Volunteer Rifle Corps, 1860-69; Master of the Essex Hounds, 1864-89, despite a spinal injury in 1868 which prevented him riding horseback in a regular way and meant he had to be strapped into his saddle; his wife was also keen on the sport and rode to hounds regularly. He married, Jan-Mar 1862, Elizabeth (1833-90), daughter of Rowland John Reynolds of London, stable keeper, and had issue:
(1) Loftus Joseph Wigram Arkwright (1866-1950) (q.v.).
He inherited the Mark Hall and Parndon Hall estates from his father in 1864 but leased Mark Hall to his five unmarried sisters.
He died 4 May 1889; his will was proved 31 May 1889 (effects £68,706). His widow died 2 May 1890; her will was proved 14 July 1890 (effects £1,917).

Arkwright, Loftus Joseph Wigram (1866-1950) of Parndon Hall. Only son of Loftus Wigram Arkwright (1829-89) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Rowland John Reynolds of London, born 14 October and baptised 18 November 1866. Educated at Eton, Charterhouse and Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1885). He was a keen huntsman and steeplechaser, and suffered a severe concussion and temporary paralysis following an accident in a steeplechase in 1893. He married, 6 June 1894 (div. 1915), Julia Smith (d. 1933), daughter of J. Caldwell and had issue:
(1) Loftus Arkwright (b. 1895), born 20 June 1895; educated at Charterhouse; owned a garage in Kensal Road, London; said to have disappeared in 1933, being last heard of driving recklessly and over the speed limit late at night in London;
(2) twin, Lt-Cmdr. John Joseph Arkwright DSO (1901-42), born 10 June 1901; educated at Royal Naval College, Dartmouth; served in Royal Navy, 1931-42 (Lt-Cmdr); killed in action on HMS Avenger, 15 November 1942;
(3) twin, Cmdr. Godfrey Wigram Arkwright DSC (1901-54) (q.v.).
He inherited the Mark Hall and Parndon Hall estates from his father in 1889. He established the Mark Hall Estate Co. which leased Mark Hall to the Gilbey family. The estates were mostly sold to Harlow Development Corporation in 1947.
He died 20 July 1950; his will was proved 24 November 1950 (estate £93,424). His ex-wife died 28 August 1933.

Arkwright, Cmdr. Godfrey Wigram (1901-54) of Parndon Hall and Youngsbury (Herts).  Youngest but only surviving son of Loftus Joseph Wigram Arkwright (1866-1950) and his wife Julia Smith, daughter of J. Caldwell, born 10 June 1901. Educated at Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.  Officer in Royal Navy (Sub-Lt., 1921; Lt., 1922; Cmdr, 1923); served in WW2 (DSC 1940; mentioned in despatches, 1943). He married, 30 March 1927, Margaret (1900-83?), only daughter of Sir Henry Hollingdrake of The Cleeve, Porlock (Somerset) and had issue:
(1) Esther Wigram Arkwright (1928-97), born 12 August 1928; married 1st, 6 May 1950 (div.), Dr. (Herbert) Keith (Norton) Lister (1922-2013) of Porlock, younger son of Herbert Victor Lister of Saxton Lodge, Seaford (Sussex) and had issue two sons and two daughters; married 2nd, 20 September 1985 at Droxford (Hants), Thomas William Moncrieffe Steele (1925-2003), son of Robert Steele; died 19 September 1997; will proved 10 September 1998;
(2) John Loftus Henry Arkwright (b. 1931), born 27 March 1931; educated at Charterhouse; farmer; married 1st, Jul-Sept 1960, Margaret Ann, eldest daughter of Cyril James Johnstone of Dairy House, Maresfield (Sussex) and had issue one son; married 2nd, Oct-Dec 1981, Juliet Niel and had issue one son and one daughter.
He inherited Parndon Hall from his father in 1950, but sold it to Harlow Development Corporation in 1953. He lived subsequently at Youngsbury, Wadesmill (Herts).
He died 29 November 1954; his will was proved 2 February 1955 (estate £242,428).

Arkwright family of Knuston Hall and Sanderstead Court

Arkwright, Robert Wigram (1822-88) of Knuston Hall and Sanderstead Court. Eldest son of Rev. Joseph Arkwright (1791-1864) and his wife Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Wigram, 1st bt., born 5 April and baptised 6 April 1822. Served as officer in 7th Dragoon Guards, 1840-46 (Cornet, 1840; Lt., 1842; Capt.); officer in the Leicestershire Yeomanry Cavalry (Cornet, 1848; Lt., 1850); officer in Duke of Manchester's Mounted Volunteer Corps (Lt., 1860). JP for Northamptonshire; Master of Oakley Hunt, 1850-85. He married, 30 December 1847 at St George's, Hanover Square, London, Sophia Julia (1826-98), eldest daughter of Alexander Greig of London, and had issue:
(1) Capt. Frank Wigsell Arkwright (1848-93) (q.v.);
(2) Herbert Robert Arkwright (1860-98) (q.v.); 
(3) Mary Sophia Clare Arkwright (1861-1945), born 14 October 1861; married, 1 July 1901, Charles Alfred Browne Lawder (1853-1925), fourth son of Gen. Edward James Lawder; died without issue, 1 July 1945; will proved 11 December 1945 (estate £18,939);
(4) Diana Laura Arkwright (1863-92), baptised at St Stephen, Paddington (Middx), 19 May 1863; received into the Roman Catholic church against the wishes of her father; died unmarried, 10 April 1892; administration of goods granted 6 May 1892 (effects £693);
(5) Julius Arkwright (1865-1926) of Stonely Grange, St. Neots (Hunts), born 9 January 1865; educated at Radley and Jesus College, Cambridge (matriculated 1884); married, 17 January 1899 at St George's, Hanover Square, London, Lillian Browning (1877-1963), but had no issue; died 17 December 1926; will proved 24 February 1927 (effects £348);
(6) Isabel Gertrude Arkwright (1867-1941), born 20 March and baptised 19 April 1867; married Apr-Jun 1898, Capt. Frederick Alexander Hedley, son of Robert Hedley of London; died 5 April 1941; will proved 23 June 1941 (estate £264).
He lived first at Normanton Turville (Leics) and then at Sharnbrook House and Goldington Hall (Beds) before purchasing Knuston Hall in 1865 and remodelling the house there. He inherited the Sanderstead Court estate from Col. Wigsell (d. 1878), but never lived there.  
He died suddenly at Aix-les-Bains (France), 1 December, and was buried at Wellingborough, 6 December 1888; his will was proved 18 January 1889 (estate £31,524; later resworn as £Nil).

Arkwright, Capt. Frank Wigsell (1848-93) of Sanderstead Court. Eldest son of Robert Wigram Arkwright (1822-88) and his wife Sophia Julia, daughter of Alexander Greig of London, born 29 September 1848. Captain in the Coldstream Guards. He married, 29 August 1878 at West Tytherley (Hants) (div. 1885), Rosa Frederica (1854-1927), youngest daughter of William Baring of Normancourt (Hants) (who m2, 25 November 1885 in Paris, Lt-Col. G.W.A. FitzGeorge, cited as co-respondent in her divorce proceedings, and had further issue one son and two daughters) and had issue:
(1) Esme Francis Wigsell Arkwright (1882-1934) (q.v.);
(2) Vera Nina Arkwright (1883-1947), born 11 August 1883; married 1st, 1 May 1916 in Paris (France) (div. 1929), Frederick Blantford Bate (1886-1970) of Chicago (USA) and had issue one daughter; married 2nd, 1929, Alberto Lombardi; died in Rome (Italy), 22 May 1947; administration of estate in England granted 21 March 1949 (estate in England £4,444).
He inherited the Sanderstead Court estate from his father in 1888.
He died 12 March 1893. His ex-wife died in Florence (Italy), 10 March 1927; administration of her goods in England was granted 27 May 1927 (estate £547).

Arkwright, Esme Francis Wigsell (1882-1934) of Sanderstead Court and later of Lavendon Grange. Only child of Capt. Frank Wigsell Arkwright (1848-93) of Sanderstead Court and his wife Rosa Frederica, daughter of William Baring of Normancourt (Hants), born 7 May 1882. Served in the Army (Lt. in 5th Lancers; Capt. in Scots Greys); Master of the Oakley Hounds, 1904-15 and 1921-34. Described as "boozy" by Adm. Sir Geoffrey Barnard in his memoirs; he was co-respondent in his second wife's divorce from her first husband. He married, 1st, 6 July 1909 (div. 1920), Audrey Violet Hatfeild, only child of James Francis Hatfeild Harter of Cranfield Court (Beds) and 2nd, August 1920, Violet Eveleen (d. 1948), daughter of Maj. Francis Richard Hugh Seymour Sutton and formerly wife of Albemarle Bertie Edward Cater (div. 1920), and had issue:
(1.1) Charles Hatfeild Arkwright (b. 1916), born 15 January 1916; solicitor with Peacock & Goddard of London; married, 2 April 1960, Gwynne Mary Venn (née Rillstone); author, with S.C. Woolmer, of Pewter in the Channel Islands, 1973.
He inherited the Sanderstead Court estate from his father in 1893, but sold it in 1919. He lived at Sharnbrook House (Beds), which he altered in 1911 and later at Harrold Hall and Lavendon Grange.
He died in the hunting field, 10 November 1934; his will proved 14 December 1934 (estate £26,390). His widow died 7 May 1948; a grant of administration of her goods was made 13 September 1948 (estate £19,674).

Arkwright, Herbert Robert (1860-98) of Knuston Hall. Second son of Robert Wigram Arkwright (1822-88) of Knuston Hall and Sanderstead Court, and his wife Sophia Julia, daughter of Alexander Greig of London, born 15 November 1860. Educated at Radley and Jesus College, Cambridge (admitted 1879). JP for Northamptonshire; High Sheriff of Northamptonshire, 1891; at one time a partner in the Leamington Brewery. He married, 3 January 1894, Evelyn Frances (1870-1946), daughter of Col. Charles Edward Foster and had issue: 
(1) Robert Oakley Wigram Arkwright (1894-1973) (q.v.);
(2) Angela Mary Millicent Arkwright (1896-1968) of Whaddon House, Spaxton (Somerset), born 20 December 1896; married 1st, 28 April 1923, Capt. William Selby-Lowndes (d. 1940), son of Maj. William Selby-Lowndes OBE of Whaddon Hall (Bucks), and had issue one child (died young); married 2nd, 9 July 1946, Air Vice-Marshal Sir Charles Laverock Lambe KCB CMG DSO (d. 1953), son of Frederick Charles Lambe of Flushing (Cornwall); died 13 March 1968; will proved 31 May 1968 (estate £98,956).
He inherited Knuston Hall from his father in 1888.
He died 5 January and was buried at Wellingborough (Northants), 10 January 1898; will proved 27 April 1898 (estate £64,228). His widow died in Battersea (London), 2 February 1946; her will was proved 22 February 1947 (estate £553).

Arkwright, Robert Oakley Wigram (1894-1973) of Knuston Hall. Only son of Henry Robert Arkwright (1860-98) of Knuston Hall and his wife Evelyn Frances, daughter of Col. Charles Edward Foster, born October 1894. Educated at Radley and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1913) and RMC Sandhurst. Served in 4th Queens Own Hussars, 1914-20 (wounded), and as Capt. in Dorsetshire Regiment in WW2. JP for Gloucestershire, 1925. He married, 7 April 1921 at St George's, Hanover Square, London, Millicent Anwyl (1895-1973), only child of Brig-Gen. Thomas Andrew Wight-Boycott DSO of Rudge Hall (Shropshire) and had issue:
(1) Priscilla Jane Boycott Arkwright (b. 1922), born 6 March 1922; said to have married 1st, 1943, Capt. James Greenwood (d. 1944) and had issue one son, but actually she changed her name to Greenwood by deed poll in 1945; married, 29 April 1955, Ian Alexander Fielden Asher of St Michaels, Farnborough (Hants), son of Col. W.A. Asher of Esher (Surrey) and had issue two daughters;
(2) Robert Andrew Boycott Arkwright (1924-2001), born 16 November 1924; educated at Radley; served in the army, 1943-47; married, 11 July 1957, Rosabelle Jenefer, younger daughter of Sir Alexander Theodore Newboult KCB CMG MC ED of Bodmin (Cornwall) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 27 December 2001; will proved 11 April 2002.
He inherited Knuston Hall from his father in 1898 and came of age in 1915. He sold the Knuston estate in 1920 and lived subsequently in Angeston Court (Glos) and in Somerset; he died at Cridlands, Fitzhead, Taunton, Somerset.
He died 21 September 1973; his will was proved 8 November 1973 (estate £176,594). His widow died 26 October 1973; her will was proved 25 January 1974 (estate £80,899).


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1965, pp. 21-22; VCH Surrey, vol. 4, 1912, pp. 237-43; VCH Northamptonshire, vol. 4, 1937, pp. 21-27; I. Nairn, Sir N. Pevsner & B. Cherry, The buildings of England: Surrey, 2nd edn., 1971, pp. 447-48; VCH Essex, vol. 8, 1983, pp. 223-27; C. Beale, Champagne and Shambles, 2006, pp. 219-20; J. Bettley & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Essex, 2007, p. 459; B. Bailey & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Northamptonshire, 2013, p. 344;

Location of archives

Arkwright family of Mark Hall: deeds, manorial records, family and estate papers, c.1583-1879 [Essex Record Office, D/DAr]; maps, 1869-78 [Essex Record Office, D/DU 2084]

Coat of arms

Argent, on a mount vert, a cotton tree, fructed proper, on a chief azure between two bezants, an escutcheon of the field, charge with a bee volant proper.

Can you help?

Here are a few notes about information and images which would help to improve the account above. If you can help with any of these or with other additions or corrections, please use the contact form in the sidebar to get in touch.

  • Can anyone supply a date of death for Charles Hatfeild Arkwright (b. 1916) or his wife, which may have taken place in the Channel Islands?
  • Can anyone supply more details about the mysterious disappearance of Loftus Arkwright (b. 1895) in 1933 (some versions of the story say 'late 1920s').

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published on 26th June 2015 and updated 30th June 2015.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

(172) Arkwright of Hampton Court and Kinsham Court

Arkwright of Hampton Court
The 6,220 acre Hampton Court estate was bought in 1810 for the princely sum of £226,535 by Richard Arkwright (1755-1843) of Willersley Castle (Derbys). Richard inherited substantial wealth from his father, Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-92), kt., who first developed and patented cotton spinning and carding machines for the textile industry and developed the factory system at his mill at Cromford (Derbys). Richard had independently made a fortune from cotton spinning before his father died, and he further grew his fortune throughout a long life by judicious investment and careful accountancy; by the time he died he was the richest commoner, and one of the richest men, in England. From 1792 he began investing capital in the acquisition of landed estates, apparently because agriculture was producing good returns during the long period of war with France up to 1815, and land was therefore a good investment; although as matters worked out these estates also ended up providing homes for his six sons, four of whom founded gentry families that endured over several generations. Hampton Court was the largest of Richard's acqusitions.

In 1814 his fourth son, John Arkwright (1785-1858), who was still unmarried but wished to settle down, asked his father if he might live at Hampton: "of all the situations I know, there is none which suits my tastes so well as Hampton Court... I should like a small farm, grazing or breeding, with liberty to preserve, Shoot and Fish". His father agreed and John settled into the medieval mansion which had been much altered in the early 18th century and more recently modernised in the 1790s. Until his father's death in 1843, however, John had to ask his father for, and justify, expenditure on the estate, and occasionally to persuade his father to soften some decisions which while financially advantageous were not consistent with what was expected of the owner of a landed estate. This no doubt provides the context for Repton's criticism of some very un-Picturesque 'improvements' at Hampton Court which he illustrated by before and after views in his Fragments on the theory and practice of landscape gardening. These show the ancient pleasure ground replaced by a closely planted mass of conifers while across the road the old deer park has been ploughed up.

In 1830, the 45 year old John married Sarah (known as Tally), the pretty daughter of Sir Hungerford Hoskyns bt. of Harewood Park (Herefs), who was half his age, and they produced seven sons and five daughters in eighteen years. Accommodating this large family in modern comfort encouraged the Arkwrights to embark on changes to the house, using first John Atkinson and from 1834 the gentleman amateur, Charles Hanbury-Tracy, as architect. Work proceeded under his direction until 1843, but the relationship was soured by disagreements between Hanbury-Tracy and Tally over the location of the nurseries and other matters. Hanbury-Tracy was also not very sympathetic to the 'domestic Gothic' of the 15th century house and as both Hampton Court and his own house, Toddington Manor (Glos) demonstrate, his interiors could be rather bleak. By the end of his life, John wished he had 'never touched a stone' at Hampton Court.

On his father's death in 1843, John inherited the Hampton estate, a personal legacy of £50,000, and a share in the residual estate of over a quarter of a million pounds. Over the next fifteen years he expanded the estate so that by 1883 it extended to 10,559 acres, worth some £15,000 a year. He was, however, always conscious of his position as an 'incomer' to county society, and was careful to avoid ostentatious displays of his wealth. He sought to earn his position among the county elite through his personal contributions in public affairs and his private subscriptions, and by the end of his life he was widely accepted by the established families of Herefordshire as 'one of us'. 

When John Arkwright died in 1858, he left the house and estate in trust for his eldest son, Johnny Arkwright (1833-1905) to whom he also bequeathed him a share of his cash wealth, which was distributed among John's twelve children. This, combined with large borrowings in the 'High Farming' years of the 1860s and early 1870s meant that, when the estate was hit by the Agricultural Depression of the 1870s and 1880s, Johnny neither had sole power to dispose of parts of his estate to realise capital nor the cash reserves to cover his losses and maintain his family in the style to which it was accustomed. It was a seriously indebted estate which he passed on to his son John (later Sir John Stanhope Arkwright (1872-1954), kt) in 1905. 

Sir John, who was MP for Hereford, took the measure of his new responsibilities and the changed times, and decided that his only course was to sell the Hampton estate and buy somewhere smaller. He was perhaps fortunate to take this course before the First World War when there were still buyers available for large estates. He bought Kinsham Court near Presteigne from the executors of his brother-in-law, Francis Lyndon Evelyn, in 1911 and sold Hampton Court the following year. Kinsham was a smaller house  with a much smaller but still notably Picturesque estate, where he was able to devote himself to poetry, fishing and gardening; and particularly the breeding of daffodils. Kinsham passed at his death to his surviving son, the publisher David Lyndon Arkwright (1911-83), who was unmarried.  It is still in the family, having passed to a great-niece of Lady Arkwright.

Hampton Court, Herefordshire

Hampton Court in 1979. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Licenced under this Creative Commons licence

Seen from a distance, Hampton Court is almost unimaginably picturesque and romantic; a perfect quadrangular medieval manor house complete with battlements, towers, turrets and Gothic windows, apparently dropped into the farming landscape of 21st century north Herefordshire through some freak temporal dislocation.  And it is indeed essentially medieval; Sir Rowland Leinthall was given licence to crenellate in 1434 and the size and layout of the house he built largely coincide with the present building. But the house has been through many vicissitudes, and what stands today owes something to a remodelling between c.1680 and 1710 and another of the early 1790s, and a great deal more to the changes made by John Atkinson and Charles Hanbury-Tracy for John Arkwright in 1832-43. The house captures perfectly the romantic spirit of the Eglinton Tournament of 1839; it was designed to be, and remains, a powerfully evocative stage set, and one that has captivated successive owners since it was completed.

Hampton Court: plan showing how much of the structure is medieval. Image: Historic England.

The four ranges around a courtyard which Sir Rowland Leinthall built in the 1430s form the core of the present building, but almost all the details have been altered. Only the central tower on the north front and the chapel at the north-east angle preserve any significant medieval work, and even on the tower the archways, vaulting and the tall window over the entrance are of 1841-42, as the Turner drawing below makes clear.  Across the courtyard from the gatehouse is the 15th century porch to the former great hall, now embraced by the 19th century corridors added to the south and east sides of the courtyard. The fine 15th century chapel projects from the east end of the north front, and has three large Gothic windows on the north side, and another in the east end. Inside, it has a fine painted ceiling only the eastern half of which is preserved.

Hampton Court by J.M.W. Turner c.1806. Comparison with the photo above shows the extent of Victorian changes. Image: Tate Gallery.

Known alterations to the medieval fabric began with a remodelling for Thomas, Lord Coningsby, in about 1680. A bird's-eye view of the house by John Stevens dated to c.1705 suggests that this work involved the almost complete classicising of the exterior, the insertion of sash windows, and the addition of a new block at the south-west corner of the house. Catherine Beale suggests the work may have been influenced, and perhaps even paid for, by Coningsby's father-in-law, Ferdinando Gorges of Eye Manor (Herefs), whose own house bears points of similarity to the new block.

Hampton Court from the south, by John Stevens, probably c.1705.

Hampton Court from the north, by Leonard Knyff, 1699 (detail)
The north front was altered again between 1706 and 1710, perhaps to the designs of William Talman, who was certainly consulted about the work in 1703. What may have been the executed design was published in the third volume of Vitruvius Britannicus in 1725. 

Hampton Court: elevation of the north front, from Vitruvius Britannicus, 1725.
The architect gave the facade greater regularity by balancing the tower at the east end of the facade with another at the west end, and a more dramatic skyline by building new turrets to flank the central tower. That to the west of the tower houses a fine early 18th century cantilevered stone staircase with a scrolling wrought iron balustrade. Little else survives of the interiors of the 18th century house, but the fireplace now in the large room between the the gatehouse and the chapel, which was formed in the 19th century and called the Coningsby Hall, gives some idea of the scale and monumentality of the scheme.

The fireplace in the Coningsby Hall is a survivor of the interior decoration of the early 18th century remodelling. Image: © Paul Larsen
Further remodelling was undertaken for the 5th Earl of Essex in the early 1790s. It has been suggested that this was the work of James Wyatt who was working at Hereford Cathedral in the 1790s and who later remodelled Cassiobury (Herts) for the Earl in 1800-05, but whether or not this is so the changes were much in Wyatt's style. Views by James Wathen suggest that a major element of his work was the remodelling of a late 17th century range with dormer windows at the south-west corner of the house, which was raised to three storeys and given battlements and a big round bow window.  No doubt changes were made elsewhere in the house too.

Hampton Court from the south-west by James Wathen, 1791. This view shows the house before the Wyatt style alterations. Image: © Hereford City Library
Hampton Court from the south by James Wathen, 1795, after the 'Wyatt' alterations. Image: © Hereford City Library

The house as it exists today, however, is largely the result of work done between 1832 and 1843 at an astonishing total cost of some £46,000. John Arkwright was married in 1830, and the desire to create a family home no doubt provided the stimulus for remodelling, although by the time he had finished he reputedly wished that ‘he had never touched a stone’. Work began in 1832-33 under the direction of John Atkinson (c.1799-1856), the architect son of a London contracting mason, who also rebuilt Bodenham church (Herefs) for Arkwright. By 1834, however, Arkwright had turned to the amateur architect, Charles Hanbury-Tracy (later 1st Lord Sudeley), who had just finished building his own Gothic house at Toddington Manor (Glos) and who in 1835 became chairman of the Parliamentary committee that chose Barry and Pugin's scheme for rebuilding the Houses of Parliament. Hanbury-Tracy was largely responsible for the work undertaken in 1835-43, although John Atkinson was kept on as a professional adviser and exerted a restraining influence, urging Arkwright to preserve original features and to avoid too eccleasiastical a character in the alterations: 'Do not make Hampton Court a cell to the Abbey of Toddington' he advised. Arkwright's friend, John Gray (County Surveyor from 1842) acted as clerk of works.

Hampton Court from the south-east, as remodelled in 1836-45. Image: © Paul Larsen.

The south and east fronts were radically altered by Hanbury-Tracy. The south front was rebuilt in 1836-37 and avoids symmetry by the placing of its square bay windows, and also by mixing windows of different types along the facade. A projecting drawing room at the south-east angle was added c.1838-39 and a conservatory, designed by Sir Joseph Paxton in 1845-46, was built onto the south-west corner.

At the centre of the house is a substantial courtyard, in which Hanbury-Tracy constructed cloister-like corridors on the south and east sides which were first suggested by John Atkinson in 1833. They improved the circulation to the main rooms of the house, and with their four-centred rib vaults, contributed to the medievalising effect of the remodelling. On the south side, they incorporate the 15th century porch of the great hall and a contemporary projection into the courtyard which housed a staircase from the hall (perhaps to the solar) in the medieval building.

Hampton Court: the dining room created by Charles Hanbury-Tracy for John Arkwright. Image: © Paul Larsen.

Inside the house, Hanbury-Tracy created a series of major new interiors, including the Coningsby Hall, noted above, which has a typical panelled ceiling of the period; the dining room and library which occupied the site of the great hall and parlour (both marked as great hall on the plan above) and a new main staircase in the south-east corner of the house, which has a pierced stone balustrade and octagonal skylight. The drawing room, which was built out from the medieval house on the east side, has an elaborate plaster ceiling with cusped diamond patterns. Altogether, as at Toddington, the interiors disappoint: Hanbury-Tracy lacked the ability to create interiors with the same intensity of medieval feeling as he evoked in his picturesquely-composed external elevations.

Hampton Court from the south by Leonard Knyff, c.1699, showing the extensive garden layout.

At the same time as Sir Rowland Leinthall was given licence to crenellate in 1434 he was given licence to empark 1,000 acres around his house. Sir Thomas Coningsby (d. 1625), who visited Italy with Sir Philip Sidney in 1573 and was a noted Italophile, made a garden at Hampton Court, and a drawing of his fountain in the courtyard - presumably the central courtyard of the house - was published in 1684: this was a fine Doric column with an obelisk finial. A portrait of the 1st Lord Coningsby painted in 1692 has a romanticised view of the landscape at Hampton in the background and gives some impression of the appearance of the estate at that time.

Coincidentally, 1692 was the year when George London, the greatest landscape gardener of the years around 1700, was paid £80 for his designs for a much grander formal garden. His layout is recorded in the paintings by Knyff, 1699 and Stevens, c.1705 reproduced above, and in the garden plan published in Vitruvius Britannicus in 1725 (below). William Talman may also have played a role in the design, since he and London frequently worked together, and are both recorded as working for Lord Coningsby at Hampton Court. The Court is shown surrounded by a series of formal enclosures of different sizes, each treated in a different way, but displaying strong French influence in the elaborate parterres of topiary and coloured gravels.

The Knyff bird's-eye views of the house reproduced above both emphasise its setting in the wider landscape, but an engraving by John Kip, published in Britannia Illustrata in 1707 concentrates more closely on the house and its gardens. This view was probably made in the mid 1690s as it does not show the extension of the canal south of the house into an angular pool which is recorded in the Knyff pictures, nor the elaborate Neptune fountain which had been constructed in it by the time of Stevens' view. A few years later, the influential garden writer Stephen Switzer was also working at Hampton Court, but his contribution seems to have been limited to drainage and irrigation works in the park rather than to any further elaboration of the gardens. He dedicated the second volume of his Iconographia Rustica to Lord Coningsby in 1718.

Plan of the house and gardens at Hampton Court, published in Vitruvius Britannicus, 1725.
The formal gardens were still intact in 1746 and the Neptune fountain was still there in 1758, but they were apparently swept away after Lord Essex inherited the estate in the 1781. By the time Lord Torrington visited in 1784 the gardens had been cleared and timber trees in the park were being felled and sold: "every tree is mark'd; I feel for the dryads of the grove and lament that I cannot suspend the axe". To accompany the remodelling of the house in 1791-95, a new landscaped layout and two walled gardens were created. Humphry Repton supplied designs before 1795, but in a letter to Uvedale Price he regretted that they were likely to be spoilt in execution by Lord Essex's gardener. An account book of 1801 refers to improvements being carried out in the park and elsewhere, but it is not known if this represents the delayed execution of Repton's designs. In the early 19th century the house rose out of a 'spacious lawn of nearly 100 acres', and there was an ornamental conservatory attached to the west side of the house.  Repton did not find Lord Essex an agreeable client: when he worked for him later at Cassiobury, Lord Essex upset his amour propre by treating him like a common tradesman and taking all the credit for the landscaping to himself. 

The present modern formal gardens were designed by Simon Dorrell and David Wheeler with Chedburn Ltd. in 1996-98 within the framework of the old walled gardens. The South Garden has canals, with bridges to a pair of octagonal pavilions of brick with gabled timber roofs. To the east is a maze with a central Gothic tower, then an atmospheric sunken garden with a thatched hermitage. A new north gateway to the estate was built by Chedburn Ltd. in 1996-98, in keeping with the style of the house. The gardens were opened to the public in 2000, and the house has also been open since 2008.

Hampton Court: the new formal gardens of 1996-98.
Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Licenced under this Creative Commons licence 
Hampton Court: the sunken garden and waterfall of 1996-98.
Image: Trevor Rickard. Licenced under this Creative Commons licence.

Descent: granted or acquired through marriage by Sir Rowland Leinthall (1372-1450); to daughter, Elizabeth (c.1424-89), wife of Thomas Cornewall (1407-c.1472); to grandson, Sir Thomas Cornewall (d. 1537), who sold c.1510 to Sir Humphrey Coningsby (d. 1535); to grandson, Humphrey Coningsby (1516-58/59); to son, Sir Thomas Coningsby (1550-1625); to son, Fitzwilliam Coningsby (c.1596-1666); to son, Humphrey Coningsby (b. 1622); to son, Thomas Coningsby (1657-1729), 1st Earl Coningsby; to younger daughter, Frances (1709-81), wife of Sir Charles Hanbury Williams; to grandson, George Capell-Coningsby (1757-1839), Lord Maldon and later 5th Earl of Essex; sold 1810 to Richard Arkwright (1755-1843); to son, John Arkwright (1785-1858); to son, John Hungerford Arkwright (1833-1905); to son, Sir John Stanhope Arkwright, kt. (1872-1954), who sold 1912 to Mrs Nancy Burrell of Carlisle; sold 1924 to Ethel Mildred (d. 1945), wife of Robert Charles Devereux (1865-1952), 17th Viscount Hereford; to grandson, Robert Milo Leicester Devereux (1932-2004), 18th Viscount Hereford; sold 1972 to Trustees of Capt. the Hon. Philip Smith of Campden House (Glos); sold 1974 to Tournament Investments; sold 1975 to George Hughes; sold 1987 to James Folkes; sold 1994 to Sola Scriptorum, a trust founded by Robert van Kampen (d. 1999); sold 2007 to Hampton Court Property Holdings; offered for sale in 2014.

Kinsham Court, Herefordshire

Kinsham Court: the 18th century main block with its late 19th century cornice and roof.
Image: Philip Pankhurst. Licenced under this Creative Commons licence.

An early 18th century T-shaped red brick house, probably built for Thomas Harley of a cadet branch of the Harleys of Eywood, Earls of Oxford. The main block is of five bays and originally had a central entrance doorway on the west front, which was moved in the 19th century to the south side of the house. In the 1760s, alterations were made by Thomas Farnolls Pritchard, probably for the Hon. & Rev. John Harley (1728-88), who died here six weeks after becoming Bishop of Hereford. He seems to have added an extra storey to the main front and built a large canted bay on the east side, overlooking the view. Inside, the main rooms are now of the Pritchard period: the drawing room has good plasterwork and a Georgian chimneypiece with a lion's head and foliage; the dining room, at the south-west angle of the house, has a simpler chimneypiece; and there is a third Pritchard chimneypiece in a first floor room which also has a complete set of contemporary panelling.

In 1858, when it was occupied by Lady Dunsany, the house was said to be 'in a most dilapidated condition', and it was still 'partly ruinous' in 1870.  At some point thereafter (perhaps after Lady Dunsany died in 1874, although the house was then let until 1880 during the minority of her nephew and heir) the west front was given a hipped roof above a half-timbered coving and the main entrance was moved to the south side.  The architect is unknown, although James Cranston of Birmingham, who designed estate buildings and cottages at Kinsham in 1858 and worked extensively in Herefordshire, is a possibility.  

Kinsham Court from the south-east in c.1910-20.

The house stands on a naturally dramatic site overlooking a deep wooded valley in which the River Lugg winds over a cascade.  The first improvements may date from the time of Bishop Harley, when the public road to Lingen was diverted to enlarge the grounds, but in 1795 Lady Oxford paid Thomas Corbut the balance of his account for forming the pleasure grounds and making a pond in the stable yard. In the early 19th century the Picturesqueness of the setting was widely appreciated, and Richard Payne Knight, who was an admirer of Lady Oxford, is said to have advised her on improvements.  Lord Byron - who rented the house in 1812-13 and was another admirer of Lady Oxford - is said to have written the first two cantos of Childe Harold under a cedar in the garden, later claiming to have composed them in Italy and Greece; but if so they must have been written on a visit to Lady Oxford, for they were published six months before his tenancy began. The family of Florence Nightingale also rented the house in the 1820s.  In the early 20th century the gardens were extensively planted by Sir John Arkwright with the daffodils of which he was a breeder, and there are still many rare varieties in the gardens.

Descent: Thomas Harley (d. 1685); to son, Thomas Harley (c.1667-1738); to Edward Harley (c.1699-1755), 3rd Earl of Oxford; to younger son, Rt. Rev. John Harley (1728-88), Bishop of Hereford; to nephew, Edward Harley (1773-1849), 5th Earl of Oxford; to creditors, who sold 1824 to Lyndon Evelyn (c.1753-1839); to his adopted son (Francis Evelyn (c.1829-69) and his daughter, Elizabeth (d. 1874), wife of Randall Edward Plunkett (1804-52), 14th/15th Baron of Dunsany; to Francis' son, Francis Lyndon Evelyn (1859-1910), whose executors sold 1911 to his brother-in-law, Sir John Stanhope Arkwright, kt. (1872-1954); to son, David Lyndon Arkwright (1911-83); to first cousin once removed, Mrs. Susan Wood (a great-niece of Lady Arkwright).

Arkwright family of Hampton Court and Kinsham Court

Arkwright, John (1785-1858) of Hampton Court. Fourth son of Richard Arkwright (1755-1843) of Willersley Castle (Derbys) [for whom see the forthcoming post on the Arkwrights of Willersley Castle] and his wife Mary, daughter of Adam Simpson of Bonsall (Derbys), born 27 August 1785. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1806; BA 1809; MA 1812). JP for Herefordshire; High Sheriff of Herefordshire, 1831. In an early example of historic building conservation, he was responsible for buying and re-erecting John Abel's Butter Cross in Leominster as a private house (Grange Court) in 1855. He married, 13 April 1830, Sarah (k/a Tally) (1808-69), eldest surviving daughter of Sir Hungerford Hoskyns, 7th bt. of Harewood (Herefs) and had issue:
(1) Caroline Sarah Arkwright (k/a Carey) (1831-1929), baptised 11 April 1831; married, 27 January 1858 at Hope-under-Dinmore (Herefs), Ven. & Hon. Berkeley Lionel Scudamore-Stanhope (1824-1919), Archdeacon of Hereford   and brother of 9th Earl of Chesterfield, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 18 December 1929 aged 98; will proved 26 February 1930 (estate £8,048);
(2) Mary Arkwright (1832-1914), baptised 3 June 1832; married, 7 August 1862, Samuel Courthope Bosanquet (1832-1925) of Dingestow Court (Monmouths) and Forest House (Essex) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 25 February 1914;
(3) John Hungerford Arkwright (1833-1905) (q.v.);
(4) Richard Arkwright (1835-1918) of Farnham (Surrey) and Herne House, Windsor (Berks), born 23 January 1835; educated at Harrow, Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1853; BA 1857; MA 1860) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1853; called to bar 1859); barrister-at-law on Oxford circuit; revising barrister for Monmouthshire, Cheltenham and Gloucester, 1865; MP for Leominster, 1866-75; DL for Herefordshire; author of Queen Anne's Gate Mystery and Driven Home; married, 22 July 1862, Lady Mary Byng (d. 1933), daughter of 2nd Earl of Strafford, but had no issue; died 14 November 1918; will proved 4 February 1919 (estate £9,884);
(5) Rev. George Arkwright (1836-77), born 29 July 1836; educated at Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1855; BA 1859; MA 1864); rector of Pencombe (Herefs), 1861-77; married, 10 January 1860 at Hanmer (Flints), Hon. Elizabeth (d. 1930), daughter of Lloyd Kenyon, 3rd Baron Kenyon and had issue six sons and two daughters; died 5 October 1877; will proved 25 January 1878 (effects under £25,000);
(6) Capt. Henry Arkwright (1837-66), born 16 December 1837; educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1857; cricket blue 1858); served in 84th Regiment (ensign 1858; lieutenant 1860; captain 1865); aide-de-camp to Duke of Abercorn as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1866; killed by an avalanche while attempting the ascent of Mont Blanc on holiday, 13 October 1866; his body was recovered 22 August 1897;
(7) Rev. Edwyn Arkwright (1839-1922) of Upton Grove, Slough (Bucks), born 2 May 1839; educated at Harrow and Merton College, Oxford (matriculated 1858; BA 1864; MA 1865); Assistant Chaplain at Hampton Court Palace, 1865-67; curate of Holy Trinity, Twickenham (Middx), 1868; suffered a degree of permanent deafness, probably as a result of childhood illness; he had a broken engagement (to Lady Muriel Campbell, daughter of 2nd Earl Cawdor) and never married; lived mainly at Telemy, Mustapha Supérieur near Algiers from the early 1870s and died there, 3 September 1922; will proved 30 January 1923 (estate £4,406);
(8) Frances Catherine Arkwright (1841-1908), baptised 25 October 1841; married, 21 July 1881 at Hope-under-Dinmore, Lt-Col. William Hill James (1837-1918), late of 38th Regiment, but had no issue; spent some years in Australia in 1880s; died 28 August 1908; will proved 3 September 1909 (estate £23,587);
(9) Lt-Col. Arthur Chandos Arkwright (1843-1916) of Thoby Priory, Mountnessing (Essex) and later Hatfield Place, Witham (Essex), born 8 March 1843; Major in the Life Guards; Major and hon. Lt-Col. of Shropshire Yeomanry, 1889-90; JP for Essex and Shropshire; married, 28 April 1870, Agnes Mary (1844-1932), only daughter of William Michael Tufnell of Hatfield Place, Witham (Essex) and had issue four sons and one daughter; suffered from acute arthritis and depression, and killed himself, 4/5 May 1916; will proved 20 September 1916 (estate £25,843);
(10) Charles Leigh Arkwright (1846-1927), born 6 June 1846; educated at Harrow and Merton College, Oxford (matriculated 1865); died unmarried in Brighton, 21 December 1927; will proved 10 February 1927 (estate £50,138);
(11) Emily Sophia Arkwright (1845-1927), baptised 28 February 1845; certified insane in 1874 and placed in Ticehurst Asylum where she died unmarried, 17 February 1927; administration of goods granted 31 March 1927 (estate £45,409);
(12) Alice Eden Arkwright (1848-1918), baptised 27 August 1848; lived with her brother at Telemy, Algiers, and died there, unmarried, 27 July 1918.
The Hampton Court estate was bought by his father in 1808-10 and he went to live there in 1814. Between 1832 and 1843 spent about £46,000 on remodelling the house. His widow lived at Llanforda Hall (Shropshire), which she rented from the Williams-Wynn family, from 1867 until her death.
He died 27 February 1858 and was buried at Hope-under-Dinmore; his will was proved 1 April 1858 (effects under £300,000); his children paid for the addition of a transept to Hope-under-Dinmore church in his memory. His widow died 19 July 1869 and was buried with her husband; administration of her goods was granted 23 October 1869 (estate under £6,000).

John Hungerford Arkwright
Arkwright, John Hungerford (1833-1905) of Hampton Court. Eldest son of John Arkwright (1785-1858) of Hampton Court and his wife Sarah, daughter of Sir Hungerford Hoskyns, 7th bt., of Harewood (Herefs), born 12 July 1833. Educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford (BA 1856; MA 1867). JP and DL for Herefordshire; High Sheriff 1862; Member of Herefordshire County Council, 1889-1905 (Alderman, 1902-05); Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire, 1902-04. Member of Council, 1862-66, 1877-98 and Vice-President, 1898-1905 of Royal Agricultural Society of England; Captain of Leominster Volunteers; Joint MFH of Herefordshire (later North Herefordshire) Hounds, 1858-74; Governor of Christ's Hospital and Foundlings, 1856; established the Herefordshire Philharmonic Society, 1863, and was President of the Three Choirs Festival at Hereford, 1903. As a result of his investment in estate improvements and the agricultural depression he got into serious debt, and was obliged to obtain an Act of Parliament for the rescheduling of his debts in 1887; he still left the estate seriously encumbered at his death. He married, 12 June 1866 at Yazor (Herefs), Charlotte Lucy (d. 1904), daughter of John Davenport of Foxley (Herefs) and Westwood Hall (Staffs) and had issue:
(1) Sir John Stanhope Arkwright (1872-1954), kt. (q.v.);
(2) Geraldine Mary Rose Arkwright (1875-1939) of Cirencester (Glos), born 23 November 1875; married, 13 August 1901 at Hope-under-Dinmore, Maj. Richard Chester-Master DSO (1870-1917), eldest son of Thomas William Chester-Master of The Abbey, Cirencester (Glos) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 29 October 1939; will proved 30 December 1929 (estate £4,552);
(3) Evelyn Lucy Alice Arkwright (1876-1953), born 16 November 1876; married, 25 April 1905 at Hope-under-Dinmore, Capt. Thomas Percy Prosser Powell MBE (1869-1940), eldest son of Rev. Thomas Powell of Dorstone (Herefs) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died at Barnwood House Hospital, Gloucester, 17 January 1953; will proved 26 March 1953 (estate £3,389);
(4) Olive Katharine Mary Arkwright (1882-1960) of Sheringham (Norfolk), born 25 November 1882; died unmarried, 27 June 1960; will proved 10 November 1960 (estate £32,758).
He inherited the Hampton Court estate from his father in 1858 and increased the size of the estate to some 10,500 acres.  
He died 25 May 1905; his will was proved 19 July 1905 (estate £17,682). His wife died 19 February 1904.

Sir John Arkwright, kt.
Arkwright, Sir John Stanhope (1872-1954), kt. of Hampton Court and Kinsham Court. Only son of John Hungerford Arkwright (1833-1905) of Hampton Court, and his wife Charlotte Lucy, daughter of John Davenport of Foxley (Herefs), born 10 July 1872. Educated at Eton, Christ Church, Oxford (Newdigate Prize, 1895; MA 1926) and Inner Temple (called to bar 1898). Barrister-at-law; MP for Hereford, 1900-12; acted as unpaid private secretary to Gerald Balfour as President of the Board of Trade, 1902-05; Private Secretary to Alfred, Lord Milner during World War I; Chief Steward and Freeman of the City of Hereford; JP and DL for Herefordshire; knighted 1934; author of the poem, The supreme sacrifice which honoured the fallen of WW1 and which is more familiar as the Remembrance Day hymn O valiant hearts!. A keen gardener from childhood, he became a noted breeder of daffodils from about 1920 and was Chairman of the Midland Daffodil Society, 1937-39; Fellow of the Linnean Society, 1925. He married, 21 December 1905, Helen Muriel Stephanie (1884-1947), youngest daughter of Stephen Robinson of Lynhales, Lyonshall (Herefs) and had issue:
(1) John Richard Stephen Arkwright (1907-43), born 13 January 1907; educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford (BA 1930; BSc 1937); served in Herefordshire Regiment, 1939-40 but was dismissed after court martial, and then joined the Royal Navy as an Able Seaman in the submarine service; killed when HMS Untamed sank during a training exercise in the Clyde, May 1943; he was unmarried and without issue;
(2) David Lyndon Arkwright (1911-83) (q.v.).
He inherited the Hampton Court estate from his father in 1905, but let the house from 1908 (to Maj. & Mrs. Evelyn Atherley) and sold the whole estate in 1912. He bought Kinsham Court in 1911.
He died 19 September 1954; his will was proved 9 February 1955 (estate £247,513). His wife died 4 January 1947; her will was proved 20 May 1947 (estate £1,809).

Arkwright, David Lyndon (1911-83) of Kinsham Court. Younger but only surviving son of Sir John Stanhope Arkwright (1872-1954), kt., and his wife Helen Muriel Stephanie, daughter of Stephen Robinson of Lynhales (Herefs), born 15 September 1911. Educated at Bruton and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Publisher in London during his father's lifetime, and had a keen interest in poetry, the theatre and antiques; author of The church plate of the archdeaconry of Ludlow, 1961. He was shy and reclusive as a result of a disfiguring skin condition, and was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Kinsham Court from his father in 1954 but subsequently sold off several farms, reducing the estate. After his death the house passed to his mother's great niece.
He died 10 October 1983; his will was proved 15 November 1983 (estate £1,176,645).


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1965, p. 20-21; C.J. Robinson, A history of the mansions and manors of Herefordshire, [1872], reprinted 2009, pp. 162-69, 198-200; J. Harris, ‘Pritchard Redivivus’, Architectural History, 1968, pp. 17-24; J. Harris, William Talman: maverick architect, 1982, pp. 39, 43; D. Whitehead & R. Shoesmith, James Wathen's Herefordshire, 1770-1820, 1994, unpag.; J. Ionides, Thomas Farnolls Pritchard of Shrewsbury, 1999, pp. 110-12; D. Whitehead, A survey of historic parks and gardens in Herefordshire, 2001, pp. 188-90, 235-6; C. Beale, Champagne & Shambles: the Arkwrights and the country house in crisis, 2009; A. Brooks & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Herefordshire, 2012, pp. 258-61, 411; T. Mowl & J. Bradney, The historic gardens of Herefordshire, 2012, pp. 57-74, 236-38; J.M. Robinson, James Wyatt: architect to George III, 2012, p. 327.

Location of archives

Arkwright family of Hampton Court: deeds, estate papers, legal and household papers and family correspondence, 15th-20th cents. [Herefordshire Archives A63, B76];
Harley, Evelyn and Arkwright families of Kinsham Court: deeds, legal and estate papers, 17th-19th cents. [Herefordshire Archives]

Coat of arms

Argent, on a mount vert, a cotton tree, fructed proper, on a chief azure between two bezants, an escutcheon of the field, charge with a bee volant proper.

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  • Can anyone supply a better and more accurate representation of the Arkwright coat of arms?

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 20th June 2015. I am most grateful to Catherine Beale for her assistance with this account.