Monday, 12 June 2017

(265) Agg (later Agg-Gardner) of The Hewletts

James Agg (1746-1827) came from a long line of Cotswold stone-masons, settled originally at Coln St. Dennis near Cirencester. His father, William Agg (1720-93), evidently had quarries near Didbrook, north of Cheltenham, and James was baptised there. It seems likely that James was apprenticed to his father, but we know nothing of the further training or experience which led to his being appointed in 1777 as an assistant to Col. Henry Watson, the Chief Engineer of Bengal, and going out to India. After four years as a civilian in India, Agg joined the engineer's department of the East India Company's Bengal army, and he remained in that service until he came back to England on health grounds in about 1796.
St John's Cathedral, Calcutta, in 1826. Designed by James Agg, 1784-87.
In 1784-87 he was responsible for designing and building St. John's Cathedral in Calcutta, but this is the only building he is known to have designed. He returned with 'a handsome fortune', presumably made largely from trading rather than architecture, which the documentation associated with proving his will suggests may have amounted to some £70,000. On returning to Gloucestershire, he promptly invested in a large house on the Cotswold scarp above Cheltenham called 'The Hewletts', and he later made additional purchases of land to extend the estate. He also married the daughter of a local brewer in Cheltenham in 1797, so it is no surprise to find that in 1799 he petitioned the Directors of the East India Company for permission to retire from their service on half-pay. The great Cheltenham physician, Edward Jenner, furnished him with a certificate to the effect that it would be injurious to his health to return to India, and the Directors agreed to his request. He had evidently given the company satisfaction, for he was offered the post of Lt-Governor of St. Helena shortly after his retirement, but he turned it down.


Over the next few years, Major Agg and his wife produced three sons and two daughters. His eldest son, William John Agg (1802-76), was educated as a gentleman and was destined to succeed him at The Hewletts. In the 1830s and 1840s William was much involved with the promotion of local railways, although his enthusiasm seems to have waned somewhat after the peak 'railway mania' of the 1840s. William had only one son, Col. William Agg (1831-1901), who was a career soldier until he retired in 1869. He took over the management of the Hewletts estate a few years later, and was very prominent in local administration in the Cheltenham area for the rest of his life. He produced a large family of four sons and six daughters (two more children were apparently stillborn), and it would seem that in order to provide for the seven who survived to adulthood, he directed that The Hewletts should be sold and the proceeds divided among them. His eldest son, Arthur William Agg (1865-1916) bought Foxcote House, Andoversford, a smaller house not far from his father's estate, which his widow sold a few years after his death.

Major James Agg's youngest son, James Agg (1804-58), inherited his maternal grandfather's brewery business in Cheltenham and took the additional name Gardner to commemorate this in 1836. He diversified into banking and extended his brewery interests through the purchase of rival companies. He was also active in local politics, twice standing for Parliament in the Conservative interest, although without much hope of election as the borough was firmly controlled by the Liberal-leaning interest of the Berkeley family. It may have been with some thought of breaking this monopoly that in 1841 he bought the lordship of the manor of Cheltenham, which gave him significant influence on the development of the rapidly expanding town. He died in 1858, leaving a young family, and the trustees he appointed to manage the estate sold the lordship of the manor of Cheltenham and also his collection of wine. His elder son, Sir James Tynte Agg-Gardner (1846-1928), kt., will have disapproved of both these decisions, since he became both a noted connoisseur of wine and seems to have determined at a young age to succeed where his father had failed, in representing Cheltenham in Parliament. He came down from Cambridge early in order to contest the election of 1868, and although he was unsuccessful then, he repurchased the lordship of Cheltenham in 1872 and was elected in 1874; he served for thirty-nine of the next fifty-four years. Although an infrequent and poor performer in Commons debates, his easy manner and conviviality made him popular with Members. He was knighted in 1916, and from 1917-28 he held the important and delicate post of Chairman of the Kitchen Committee, in which his knowledge of wine and of Members' characters were equally invaluable. Sir James never married, and although his homosexual preferences did not become public knowledge until after his death, he must have lived under the constant fear of exposure, which would have instantly ended his political career in those intolerant times.

When Sir James died in 1928, the lordship of the manor of Cheltenham passed to his brother, Lt-Col. Arthur Agg-Gardner (1854-1941), who also never married. By then, the abolition of manorial tenures under the Law of Property Act 1922, had largely robbed the lordship of any economic or political value. Col. Agg-Gardner left the residual rights to his cousin, Lt-Col. Frederick John Gardner Agg (1879-1960), the youngest son of Col. William Agg of The Hewletts, who lived in Sussex, but their subsequent ownership has not been traced.


The Hewletts, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire


The Hewletts, Cheltenham: a facade of c.1740 masks older work at the rear of the building, visible in the left side elevation.
The Hewletts (Glos) is a substantial ashlar-faced house, situated in a spectacular and prominent position near the top of the Cotswold scarp, and straddling the boundary between Cheltenham and Prestbury parishes. The estate began as a farmhouse belonging to the Southam estate of the De La Bere family. After the death of Kynard de la Bere in 1734, he bequeathed it to his nephew, William Baghot (later Baghot-de la Bere) (d. 1764), who seems to have built a new house soon after he inherited the property; part of the earlier farmhouse is incorporated at the rear of the building. The house has a five-bay three-storey centre and lower two-bay wings to either side. The entrance front is of ashlar, with rubble walling used elsewhere around the building. The central bay of the ashlar front is stepped slightly forward and emphasised with chamfered quoins and a steep little pediment. Inside, the house retains a good 18th century open-well staircase with a wreathed handrail on highly decorated turned and carved balusters.

William Baghot left the house to his nephew, Thomas Baghot (d. 1821), who sold it in 1797 to Maj. James Agg (1747-1827) of the Bengal army. Agg settled at The Hewletts, becoming one of the first of many thousands of Indian army officers and colonial administrators to settle in and around the spa town of Cheltenham in the 19th century. He altered and redecorated most of the interiors of the house, but made few changes to the exterior. The Hewletts passed in 1827 to Major Agg's eldest son, William John Agg (1802-76), and then to the latter's son, Col. William Agg (1831-1901). The house was sold with 892 acres after his death, and has changed hands several times since and been subdivided.

Descent: Kynard de la Bere (d. 1734); to nephew, William Baghot (later Baghot-de la Bere) (d. 1764); to nephew, Thomas Baghot (d. 1821); sold 1797 to Maj. James Agg (1747-1827); to son, William John Agg (1802-76); to son, Col. William Agg (1831-1901); sold after his death...


Agg (later Agg-Gardner) family of The Hewletts



Agg, Maj. James (1746-1827). Son of William Agg (1720-93) of Coln St. Dennis (Glos), Didbrook (Glos) and Cheltenham, stone mason, baptised at Didbrook, 7 March 1745/6. He was probably apprenticed to his father as a stone mason, but went to India in 1777 (sailing on the Seahorse in April and arriving in November) as an assistant to Col. Henry Watson, Chief Engineer of Bengal. After some years he joined the engineer's department of the Bengal army (Ensign, 1781; Lt., 1782; Capt-Lt., 1797; Maj. on retirement, 1799) and while employed in that capacity he designed and built St John's church, Calcutta, in 1784-87. He returned to England on health grounds 'with a handsome fortune' in about 1796. Soon after he arrived home, the East India Co. offered him an appointment as Lt-Governor of St. Helena, which he declined. JP and DL for Gloucestershire. He married, 14 May 1797 at St Mary, Cheltenham, Edith (1767-1851), daughter of James Gardiner of Cheltenham, brewer, and had issue:
(1) William John Agg (1802-76) (q.v.);
(2) Thomas Agg (1803-45), born 13 July and baptised at Prestbury, 23 July 1803; surgeon at Cheltenham, in partnership with William Wood to 1834; later surgeon to the Cheltenham General Hospital and Dispensary; married, 24 May 1827 at St Martin, Worcester, Mary (1797-1854), daughter of John Carden of Worcester, and had issue one daughter; buried at Holy Trinity, Cheltenham, 14 November 1845; will proved in the PCC, 20 March 1846;
(3) James Agg (later Agg-Gardiner) (1804-58) (q.v.);
(4) Edith Agg (c.1806-75), born about 1806; married, 9 September 1830 at Cheltenham, Thomas Carden (d. 1838) of Worcester, surgeon, and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 18 July 1875; will proved 12 August 1875 (effects under £25,000);
(5) Amelia Agg (1810-89), born 23 February 1810 and baptised at Prestbury, 30 August 1811; married 1st, 21 September 1835 at St Mary, Cheltenham, George Kennedy (1813-38), youngest son of David Kennedy of Crosby Lodge (Cumbld) and Craig (Ayrshire), and 2nd, 21 May 1840 at St Mary, Cheltenham, Christopher Arden (1798-1864) of Exeter, gent., by whom she had issue one son and one daughter; died 17 November 1889; will proved 31 December 1889 (effects £3,162).
He purchased the Hewletts estate in Cheltenham and Prestbury in 1797.
He died in Cheltenham, 14 January and was buried at Prestbury, 22 January 1827; grants of administration of his goods were made in the PCC and the Bengal Presidency, February and October 1827 (effects £70,000), and effects remaining unadministered by his widow were the subject of a further grant of administration, 7 April 1858. His widow died in Cheltenham, 19 September 1851.

Agg, William John (1802-76). Eldest son of Maj. James Agg (1746-1827) and his wife Edith, daughter of James Gardiner of Cheltenham, brewer, baptised at Prestbury, 29 September 1802. Educated at Pembroke College, Oxford (BA 1824; MA 1827). JP for Gloucestershire, 1834-76. Director of the Cheltenham & Great Western Railway Co., 1836 and Cheltenham & Oxford Railway, 1846. He married, 28 December 1829 at West Ilsley (Berks), Mary (1810-98), daughter of William Morland of West Ilsley, and had issue:
(1) Edith Mary Agg (1830-1917), baptised at Prestbury, 27 October 1830; an accomplished singer and musician; married, 24 September 1850 at Prestbury, Rev. Robert More White (1811-1906), son of Thomas White MD of Glastonbury (Somerset) and Exeter (Devon), and had issue two daughters; died 30 July 1917; will proved 7 September 1917 (estate £717);
(2) Col. William Agg (1831-1901) (q.v.);
(3) Elizabeth Harriett Susan Agg (1847-63), baptised at Prestbury, 20 April 1847; died unmarried and was buried at Prestbury, 2 December 1863.
He inherited The Hewletts from his father in 1827 and conveyed the estate to his son in 1874.
He died 9 December and was buried at Prestbury, 14 December 1876; his will was proved 4 January 1877 (effects under £600). His widow died 19 July and was buried at Cheltenham, 21 July 1898; her will was proved 10 August 1898 (effects £222).

Agg, Col. William (1831-1901). Only son of William John Agg (1802-76) and his wife Mary, daughter of William Morland of West Ilsley (Berks), baptised at Prestbury, 18 November 1831. An officer in the infantry (Ensign, 1850; Lt., 1853; Capt., 1855; Maj., 1858; Lt-Col., 1864; Col. on retirement, 1869). A Conservative in politics, he opposed the incorporation of the borough of Cheltenham in 1875 when it was promoted by his cousin, James Agg-Gardner. JP for Gloucestershire from 1879; County Alderman for Gloucestershire; Member of Cheltenham Board of Guardians and Cheltenham Rural District Council; an Income Tax Commissioner for Gloucestershire. Chairman of the County of Gloucester Bank, 1895-97, after which it was sold to the Lloyds Bank group; Director of the Cheltenham Original Brewery and Cheltenham Theatre & Opera House Co. He was blinded in one eye in a shooting accident in 1882. He married, 7 November 1861 at St Luke, Cheltenham, Beatrix Sheddon (c.1842-1914), daughter of John Buntine Barr of Treehorn (Ayrshire), Bermuda merchant, and had issue:
(1) Arthur William Agg (1865-1916) of Foxcote House, Andoversford (Glos), born 11 August and baptised at Murree, Bengal (India), 28 August 1865; an officer in the army (2nd Lt., 1900; Lt., 1901; retired 1901); returned to the army as recruiting officer for Cheltenham and North Gloucestershire, 1914-16; JP for Gloucestershire, 1901-16; married, 20 April 1899 at Charlton Kings (Glos), Eleanor Sarah (1873-1946), only child of Col. John Pryce Harrison, but had no issue; died of appendicitis, 2 April and was buried at Whittington (Glos), 5 April 1916; administration of goods granted 16 June 1916 (effects £2,787);
(2) Mary Elizabeth Goodrich Agg (1867-1936), baptised at Prestbury, 26 April 1867; amateur tennis player; married, 8 November 1906 at St Alban the Martyr, Pretoria (South Africa), Hugh Wilfred Gove (killed in action, 1916); died 21 January 1936; will proved 30 March 1936 (estate £14,991);
(3) Constance Louisa Agg (1869-1967), baptised at St Matthew, Hyde, Winchester, 8 September 1869; trained as a nurse at St Thomas' Hospital, London, 1896-97 and was on the staff there 1897-1900; joined Princess Christian's Army Nursing Service and served in South Africa, 1900-01 and later at Netley Hospital; married, 4 August 1904 at St Matthew, Westminster, Professor Arthur Edwin Boycott MD (1878-1938), pathologist, son of William Boycott of Hereford, solicitor, and had issue two sons and one daughter; returned to work as a nurse during and after the First World War; died aged 98, 29 November 1967; will proved 30 January 1968 (estate £27,944);
(4) Francis Agg (b. & d. 1870), born 20 October and baptised at All Saints, Cheltenham, 17 November 1870; died in infancy and was buried 20 December 1870;
(5) Beatrice Edith Agg (1872-1968), baptised at Prestbury, 16 January 1873; amateur tennis player; married, 7 November 1906 at All Saints, Cheltenham, Lt-Col. John Cecil Latham Bott (1872-1926), son of John Hariott Bott, gent.; emigrated to Canada, but returned to England after her husband's death; died aged 95, 15 January 1968 and was buried at Prestbury, 26 January 1968; will proved 5 March 1968 (estate £17,603);
(6) Edith Mildred Agg (b. 1874), baptised at Prestbury, 19 March 1874; trained as a nurse; married, 27 April 1904 at Charlton Kings (div. 1919), Roy Henry Rollinson-Whitaker FRCS, surgeon, son of George Whitaker, civil servant, and had issue one son;
(7) Percy Lavicount Agg (1875-76), baptised at Prestbury, 18 April 1875; died in infancy and was buried at Prestbury, 3 April 1876;
(8) Kathleen Maud Agg (1876-82), baptised at Prestbury, 4 June 1876; died young and was buried at Cheltenham, 5 May 1882;
(9) Florence Agg (1877-1953) of Bow House, Bourton-on-the-Water (Glos), baptised at Prestbury, 4 November 1877; married, 25 March 1916 at St Mary, Cheltenham, Capt. Alured Jamieson Waller (c.1879-1934); died 15 February and was buried at Bourton-on-the-Water, 25 February 1953; will proved 19 May 1953 (estate £26,198);
(10) Lt-Col. Frederick John Gardner Agg (1879-1960), born 19 March and baptised at All Saints, Cheltenham, 14 April 1879; an officer in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (Lt-Col.) who served in the First World War, was mentioned in despatches five times and awarded the DSO and Legion d'Honneur, 1916; in 1941 he succeeded his cousin Arthur as lord of the manor of Cheltenham; married, 1 July 1919 at Eastbourne (Sussex), Mabel Beatrice Cumming (d. 1964) and had issue one son and one daughter; died 29 December 1960; will proved 2 March 1961 (estate £10,404).
He received The Hewletts as a gift from his father in 1874; it was sold after his death.
He died 6 April 1901 and was buried at Prestbury, 10 April 1901; his will was proved 15 July 1901 (estate £19,216). His widow died 2 April and was buried at Prestbury, 4 April 1914; her will was proved 29 May 1914 (estate £982).

Agg (later Agg-Gardner), James (1804-58). Youngest son of Maj. James Agg (1747-1827) and his wife Edith, daughter of James Gardiner of Cheltenham, brewer, born 21 June and baptised at Prestbury, 21 September 1804. Banker and brewer at Cheltenham (Glos). A Conservative in politics, he stood unsuccessfully in Cheltenham at the parliamentary elections of 1841 and 1848. Chairman of Cheltenham Town Commissioners. He assumed the additional name of Gardner, 1836. A connoisseur of wine; his collection being sold in 1859 after his death. He married, 16 October 1844 at St Mary, Cheltenham, Eulalie Emily (c.1821-1901), fifth and youngest daughter of William Richard Hopkins Northey of Oving House (Bucks), and had issue:
(1) Mary Ann Antoinette Agg-Gardner (1845-1907), born 17 October and baptised at St Mary, Cheltenham, 17 November 1845; lived with her widowed mother in Chelsea (Middx); died unmarried 6 September and was buried at Prestbury, 10 September 1907; her will was proved 3 October 1907 (estate £21,894);
(2) Rt. Hon. Sir James Tynte Agg-Gardner (1846-1928), kt. (q.v.);
(3) Lt-Col. Arthur Agg-Gardiner (1854-1941), born 1 May and baptised at St Mary, Cheltenham, 30 May 1854; an officer in various militia regiments (Lt., 1873; Capt., 1877; retired 1880) and South Wales Borderers (Maj., 1888; Lt. Col.); in 1881 he was thrown out of the basket of a balloon when it hit the ground with unintended force, and received compound fractures of the leg and arm which left him lame for life; succeeded his elder brother as lord of the manor of Cheltenham, 1928; died unmarried, 19 October 1941 , aged 87, and was buried at Prestbury, 23 October 1941; will proved 19 January 1942 (estate £121,012).
He inherited his maternal grandfather's brewery business in Cheltenham. In 1841 he bought the lordship of the manor of Cheltenham from Lord Sherborne.
He died 12 March and was buried at Prestbury. 19 March 1858; administration of his goods was granted to his widow, 24 July 1858 (effects under £4,000). His widow died 12 February and was buried at Prestbury, 16 February 1901; her will was proved 13 March 1901 (estate £26,157).


Sir James Agg-Gardner
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James Tynte (1846-1928), kt. Elder son of James Agg-Gardner (1804-58) and his wife Eulalie Emily, daughter of William Richard Hopkins Northey, born 25 November and baptised at St Mary, Cheltenham, 29 December 1846. He was made a ward of court after the death of his father in 1858. Educated at Harrow and privately, at Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1866) and the Inner Temple (admitted 1868; called to bar, 1873 but never practised as a barrister). As a young man he was an officer in the Royal North Gloucestershire militia (Lt., 1868). He inherited his father's brewing interests, and was Chairman and Director of various brewing companies. He contested Cheltenham unsuccessfully for the Conservatives at the Parliamentary election of 1868, but was elected in 1874 and served as MP for Cheltenham, 1874-80, 1885-95, 1900-06, 1911-28; he was a poor and infrequent speaker in the House, but introduced the bill which secured Cheltenham's incorporation as a borough, 1876, and was as a result made the first Hon. Freeman of the Borough; he was a prominent supporter of the extension of the franchise to women from the 1870s onwards; his parliamentary memoirs were published in 1927. He was a connoisseur of wine, and served as a member of the House of Commons' Kitchen Committee, 1886-95, 1900-06 and 1911-28 (Chairman, 1917-28), as a result of which he was affectionately known among MPs as 'the Minister for the Interior'. JP for Glos from 1875, and County Alderman; Mayor of Cheltenham, 1908-09, 1912-13. Freeman of the City of London, 1875; he was knighted, 1916 and appointed to the Privy Council, 1924. He was a homosexual, although his preferences did not become public knowledge until after his death. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the lordship of the manor of Cheltenham from his father in 1858, but it was sold by his trustees in 1862. He came of age in 1867 and repurchased the manorial rights in 1872. He lived at Evesham House, Pittville, Cheltenham, from about 1888.
He died at the Carlton Club, London, 9 August 1928, and was buried in the family vault at Prestbury, 13 August 1928; his will was proved 14 September 1928 (estate £66,627).


Sources


V.C.P. Hodson, List of the officers of the Bengal army, 1758-1834, 1927-47, vol 1, p. 12; VCH Glos, vol. 8, 1968, pp. 73, 76; G. Hart, A History of Cheltenham, 1968, pp. 186‑7; J. Sale, ‘Hewletts and the Agg family’, Cheltenham Local History Society Journal, v, 1987, pp. 11-18; A. Brooks & D. Verey, The buildings of England: Gloucestershire - the Vale and the Forest of Dean, 2002, p. 640;
https://www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk/sites/default/files/work-in-progress/cbs_draft.pdf.


Location of archives


Agg and Agg-Gardner of Cheltenham: deeds and estate papers relating to The Hewletts and Cheltenham Manor estates, 1400-1935 [Gloucestershire Archives, D855, D1950, D2025, D3119, D3893, D5130]
Cheltenham Brewery: records, 19th cent. [Gloucestershire Archives, D2242/1]


Coat of arms


None known.


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 explain the descent of The Hewletts after it was sold in 1901 following Col. Agg's death?

Revision and acknowledgements


This post was first published 12 June 2017.

Monday, 5 June 2017

(264) Abrahall of Ingestone House

Abrahall of Ingestone
This is the first of a small number of posts on families beginning with 'A' which I have overlooked in their proper place in the main alphabetical sequence.

The first of the Abrahalls to be associated with Foy was John Abrahall (d. 1443), who appears from surviving records to have been an unscrupulous and violent man in a hurry to acquire wealth and power. By 1413 he was in the service of Lord Furnival (later Lord Talbot and Earl of Shrewsbury), and by 1419 he had twice been accused of murder. He seems also to have used violent means to acquire landed property in and around Herefordshire; something which his appointment as the king's escheator for Herefordshire and adjacent parts of Wales in 1417-18 and 1439-40 can only have assisted. In 1423 he fell out with Lord Talbot and took up arms against him, reportedly assembling a thousand armed men and causing disturbances around Talbot's seat of Goodrich Castle. Between 1423 and 1427 he was pursued through the courts for these offences, but when he eventually gave himself up at the Marshalsea prison in 1427 and the case came to trial, it was dismissed for lack of impartial evidence. After that he seems to have kept a lower profile for a bit; official displeasure ensured his exclusion from official appointments for the next decade, although he was placed in some positions of private trust. In 1437, however, he was appointed as a justice of the peace and elected as one of the knights of the shire for Herefordshire. In 1439 he was made steward and receiver-general of Bronllys Castle and associated Bohun lands which were in dispute between the King and the Countess of Stafford. He also resumed amicable relations with Lord Talbot, who may have helped secure his return to Parliament in 1439 and 1442. By the time of his death in 1443, he held a large but scattered estate in southern Herefordshire, the centre of which was the manor house or castle of Eaton Tregoze at Foy, where he had a park of 1,000 acres. He died intestate, and was found to be heavily in debt to the Crown and others, and to have left his affairs in great confusion. His son and heir was a child, William Abrahall (1437-87), who was able to come into his inheritance only after extensive legal wrangling.

Eaton Tregoze remained the seat of the Abrahalls throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, passing from William (1437-87) to his son John (c.1465-1534), and then to the latter's son, John (b. c.1494), who died sometime after 1544. He married Anne, the daughter of Watkin Vaughan of Hargest, and it is their eldest son, John Abrahall (d. 1592) with whom the genealogy below begins.
Eaton Tregoze: the site of the castle or manor house probably lay at or between Hill of Eaton or Hole-in-the-Wall, possibly where the 1st edition OS map of 1887 marks a 'camp'.
Although Eaton Tregoze remained the family's chief seat, there is no evidence of its appearance, and indeed its very site is now uncertain. The most probable is perhaps a spur of land near the later farm 'Hill of Eaton', where the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map marks a 'camp' and which offers a good situation for a fortified house, although there is no sign of one ever existing. Another possible site is lower down, closer to the river, at Hole-in-the-Wall, where 19th century antiquaries reported seeing the remains of ancient buildings and where reused dressed stones have been reported 
more recently.

John Abrahall (d. 1592), who in 1573 was the first of his family to serve as High Sheriff of Herefordshire, was succeeded by his son John Abrahall (c.1546-1621), who married twice. His first wife, Frances, the daughter of Sir Thomas Parry of Hampstead Marshall (Berks) died within a few years of their marriage, probably in childbirth, leaving one son, John Abrahall (c.1570-1640). In 1615, Sir Thomas executed a settlement which left his grandson a half-share in the Hampstead Marshall estate, and after he died the following year, this took effect (although not without legal challenges).  It seems probable that it was this legacy which encouraged John to build a new manor house at Ingeston, north-east of the village of Foy (and just off the map above) that was begun in 1616, even though his father was still living and he had not come into his paternal inheritance. By 1618 John had sold his share in the Berkshire property, which would have realised a more than sufficient sum to pay for the new house.

The second marriage of John Abrahall (c.1546-1621) produced four further sons, and with his eldest son established in his new house at Ingestone, John divided most of his property between these younger sons. Eaton Tregoze passed to Paul Abrahall (c.1574-1654), who outlived his only son, and when he died it passed to the sons of his younger brother, Richard: the Rev. George Abrahall (1616-74), who was also vicar of Foy, may have been the last member of the family to live there.

John Abrahall (c.1570-1640) of Ingestone House died without issue, and left his estate to his half-brother, Gilbert Abrahall (b. c.1576), who is curiously invisible in the records. He died between 1640 and 1654, leaving an only son, John Abrahall (d. 1679), who was a major in the Royalist army during the Civil War. He in turn was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, John Abrahall (d. 1703) and grandson Markey Abrahall (1684-1716), one or other of whom probably laid out the formal garden at Ingestone of which some traces remain. Markey, who was High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1705, died unmarried at the age of 32, and left the estate to his two sisters as co-heirs. The elder sister, Mary (1682-1718), the wife of Gilbert Abrahall (1670-1723) of Ross-on-Wye, gained possession of a moiety which included Ingestone House, but of their children only one daughter survived them, and she died in 1725. Mary had left a complex and rather confused will, under which her share of the Ingestone estate passed, after her daughter's death, to her sister Benedicta (1683-1742), whose second husband was John Abrahall (d. 1734) of Cradock (Herefs). However in 1754 the Rev. John Hoskyns, rector of Peterstow (Herefs), who had been named in Mary's will as the ultimate remainder man, was successful in a legal case against Benedicta's heirs which turned on the interpretation of the (possibly not very well drafted) will, and he obtained possession of Ingestone House and the associated lands. Hoskyns' connection to the Abrahalls was remarkably distant: his grandfather, Sir Bennet Hoskyns (d. 1680), 1st bt., had married the widow of John Abrahall (b. 1622), son of Paul Abrahall (c.1574-1654) of Eaton Tregoze, whose brother Gilbert (b. c.1576) had been Mary Abrahall's great-grandfather. Despite this distant connection, however, he was obliged by the terms of Mary's will to take the name Abrahall.

The Rev. John Hoskyns-Abrahall (1692-1765), as he became, was succeeded at Ingestone by his two elder sons in turn, and they also were obliged to take the name Abrahall. James Hoskyns-Abrahall (1728-86) may have lived at Ingestone, but his brother and successor, the Rev. John Hoskyns-Abrahall (1729-1805), who was rector of Compton Martin in Somerset, did not, and it was probably at this time that the ageing Jacobean house slipped into tenant occupation and began to deteriorate. John was succeeded by his eldest son, the Rev. John Hoskyns-Abrahall (1773-1840), who held a succession of curacies in Somerset and was also non-resident. He sold the estate in 1826 to Alexander Baring, later 1st Baron Ashburton, who took down the old house and replaced it with the present smaller and more informal house, which was perhaps better suited to the needs of his tenants.


Ingestone House, Foy, Herefordshire




Ingestone House, Foy: the house of 1616 as recorded in a 19th century engraving.
Ingestone House occupies a site almost entirely surrounded by a great meander of the River Wye. In 1616, John Abrahall (c.1570-1640) appears to have invested the proceeds of a legacy from his maternal grandfather in building a new house here to replace the family's old fortified manor house of Eaton Tregoze across the river. Ingestone House, which replaced an earlier farmstead, was assessed on nine hearths in 1664, and was later described as a 'spacious brick mansion'. As recorded in a 19th century engraving, the new house was a two-storey E-plan building with gables and dormers in the attics. The cross-wings had two-storey canted oriel windows that were corbelled out from the wall below the ground floor lights. The gabled central porch was nearly as tall as the cross-wings and the facade was given unusually complex planes by the insertion of narrower gabled bays in the angles between the hall range and cross-wings that projected less than the wings and porch. A large mullioned and transomed window to the right of the porch presumably indicates the position of the hall, so the right-hand wing will have been the parlour wing and the left hand side of the house the service end. At some point in the late 17th or early 18th century a formal garden was laid out around the house, of which some earthworks can be detected on aerial photographs.

Ingestone House, Foy: the house as rebuilt by the Baring family in 1835.

The Jacobean house was presumably in poor condition by the early 19th century, and it was taken down and replaced by the present building in 1835. It was presumably built to be the residence of a gentleman farmer, renting the estate from the Barings (later Lords Ashburton), who were much more grandly accommodated elsewhere. It is a plain stone house with a regular front overlooking the meadows down to the river but a rambling and irregularly fenestrated entrance front. Inside, the house is more prepossessing, with several well-proportioned rooms that have plaster cornices and good fireplaces (which may not be original). A simple staircase with stick balusters rises to a landing with a simple decorative plaster ceiling. The house has recently been for sale.

Descent: John Abrahall (c.1570-1640); to half-brother, Gilbert Abrahall (b. c.1576); to son, Maj. John Abrahall (d. 1679); to son, John Abrahall (d. 1703); to son, Markey Abrahall (1684-1716); to sister Mary (1682-1718), wife of Gilbert Abrahall (1670-1723) of Ross; to daughter Benedicta Abrahall (1718-25); to aunt Benedicta (1683-1742), wife of John Abrahall (d. 1734); to cousin, Percival Lloyd (later Lloyd-Abrahall); lost after a legal case in 1754 to Rev. John Hoskyns (later Hoskyns-Abrahall) (1692-1765); to son James Hoskyns (later Hoskyns-Abrahall) (1728-86); to brother, Rev. John Hoskyns (later Hoskyns-Abrahall) (1729-1805); to son, Rev. John Hoskyns-Abrahall (1773-1840); who sold 1826 to Alexander Baring (1774-1848), 1st Baron Ashburton; to son, William Bingham Baring (1799-1864), 2nd Baron Ashburton; to brother, Francis Baring (1800-68), 3rd Baron Ashburton; to son, Alexander Hugh Baring (1835-89), 4th Baron Ashburton...


Abrahall family of Ingestone House



Abrahall, John (d. 1592) of Eaton Tregoze. Eldest son of John Abrahall (fl. 1544) of Eaton Tregoze and his wife Anne, daughter of Watkin Vaughan of Hargest. High Sheriff of Herefordshire, 1573. He married Blanche, daughter of Thomas Walwyn of Hellens, Much Marcle (Herefs), and had issue:
(1) John Abrahall (c.1546-1621) (q.v.);
(2) Edmund Abrahall;
(3) Sibyl Abrahall; married Rowland Hunt (d. 1608) of Hereford;
(4) Anne Abrahall; married Philip Morgan;
(5) Elynor Abrahall; probably died unmarried;
(6) Margaret Abrahall; probably died unmarried.
He inherited Eaton Tregoze from his father.
He died 31 December 1592; an inquisition post mortem was held 35 Eliz I. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Abrahall, John (c.1546-1621). Elder son of John Abrahall (d. 1592) of Eaton Tregoze and his wife Blanche, daughter of Thomas Walwyn of Hellens, Much Marcle (Herefs), born before 1547. He married 1st, c.1568, Frances, daughter of Sir Thomas Parry of Hampstead Marshall (Berks); and 2nd, 28 September 1572 at Lillingston Dayrell (Berks), Dorothy (c.1550-1618), daughter of Paul Dayrell of Lillingston Dayrell, and had issue:
(1.1) John Abrahall (c.1570-1640) (q.v.);
(2.1) Henry Abrahall (b. 1573), born 7 November 1573; married, 26 May 1615 at Brampton Abbots (Herefs), Margaret (d. 1642), daughter of James Collins of Foy, and had issue one son and one daughter;
(2.2) Paul Abrahall (c.1574-1654) of Eaton Tregoze; married* Jane [surname unknown] (d. 1622) and had issue one son (John Abrahall, (1622-before 1654); buried 10 June 1654, aged 82; will proved in the PCC, 28 August 1654;
(2.3) Gilbert Abrahall (b. c.1576) (q.v.);
(2.4) Richard Abrahall (b. c.1582); married [forename unknown] Taci [Tracy?] (d. 1652) and had issue two sons, who were the eventual heirs to Paul Abrahall of Eaton Tregoze.
He inherited Eaton Tregoze from his father in 1592.  His eldest son having built Ingestone House, much of the estate was distributed among his younger sons, with Paul Abrahall inheriting Eaton Tregoze.
He was buried at Foy, 21 June 1621. His first wife died before 1572. His second wife was buried at Foy, March 1618.
* This may be identifiable with the marriage of Paul Abrahall and Joan Becket at Great Horwood (Bucks), 7 June 1620.

Abrahall, John (c.1570-1640). Only son of John Abrahall (c.1546-1621) of Eaton Tregoze and his first wife Frances, daughter of Sir Thomas Parry of Hampstead Marshall (Berks), born c.1570. JP for Herefordshire, 1625-40; High Sheriff of Herefordshire, 1634. He married, 1 December 1618, Elizabeth (d. 1638), daughter of Sir George Huntley, kt. of Frocester (Glos) and is usually said to have married 2nd, Dorothy, daughter of Francis Kyrle of Walford-on-Wye (Herefs), but the marriage of John Abrahall and Dorothy Kyrle* took place in 1645 and actually involved John Abrahall (b. 1622), son of Paul Abrahall (c.1574-1654). He had no issue.
He inherited a moiety of an estate at Hampstead Marshall (Berks) in 1616 under a settlement made by his maternal grandfather in 1615, but sold it in 1618; the sale probably provided the funds for the building of Ingestone House, begun in 1616. At his death Ingestone passed to his half-brother, Gilbert Abrahall (fl. 1640) (q.v.).
He was buried at Foy, 18 April 1640; his will was proved at Hereford. His wife was buried in 1638. 
* Dorothy Kyrle married 2nd, 1655, Sir Bennet Hoskyns (d. 1680), 1st bt, and it was through this tenuous connection that Sir Bennet's grandson, the Rev. John Hoskyns (1692-1765) (q.v.) succeeded to the estate after a legal dispute in 1754.

Abrahall, Gilbert (b. c.1576). Third son of John Abrahall (c.1546-1621) of Eaton Tregoze and his second wife, Dorothy, daughter of Paul Dayrell of Lillingston (Berks), born about 1576. He married and had issue:
(1) Maj. John Abrahall (d. 1679) (q.v.).
He inherited Ingestone House from his half-brother in 1640.
He died before 1654.

Abrahall, Maj. John (d. 1679). Only recorded son of Gilbert Abrahall (b. c.1576) of Ingestone House and his wife. An officer in the Royalist army (Maj.). He married, 25 January 1640/1, Mary Ash (d. 1701?), and had issue:
(1) Paul Abrahall; mentioned in the will of his uncle Paul, 1654; died in the lifetime of his father;
(2) John Abrahall (d. 1703) (q.v.);
(3) Richard Abrahall (d. 1706) of Holme Lacy, born before 1654; died March 1705/6; will proved at Hereford, 29 March 1706;
(4) Elizabeth Abrahall; mentioned in the will of her uncle Paul, 1654.
(5) Mary Abrahall (d. 1701); married James Collins (d. 1683) of Hill of Eaton, Foy (Herefs); buried 20 January 1701;
(6) George Abrahall (b. 1653), baptised 6 February 1653;
He inherited Ingestone House from his father.
He was buried 5 April 1679; administration of his goods was granted 2 May 1679. His wife may be the person of that name, wife of John Abrahall, commemorated by a floor slab at Foy, who died in 1701.

Abrahall, John (d. 1703). Eldest surviving son of Maj. John Abrahall (d. 1679) of Ingestone House and his wife Mary Ash, born before 1654. He married Winifred (d. 1684), daughter of William Markey of Alton Court, Ross-on-Wye (Herefs), and had issue:
(1) Mary Abrahall (1682-1718) (q.v.);
(2) Benedicta Abrahall (1683-1742) (q.v.)
(3) Markey Abrahall (1684-1716) (q.v.).
He inherited Ingestone House from his father in 1679. After his death it passed to his son, and then to his two daughters as co-heirs.
He died 23 March 1702/3 and was buried at Foy, where he is commemorated by a monument designed by Esau Osborne of Bristol which was erected by his younger daughter in 1736; his will was proved at Hereford, 5 April 1703. His wife was buried at Ross-on-Wye, 9 August 1684.

Abrahall, Markey (1684-1716). Only son of John Abrahall (d. 1703) of Ingestone House and his wife Winifred, daughter of William Markey of Alton Court, Ross-on-Wye (Herefs), baptised at Ross-on-Wye (Herefs), 1684. High Sheriff of Herefordshire, 1705; Freeman of Hereford, 1708. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Ingestone House from his father in 1703. At his death the estate passed to his sisters as co-heirs.
He died 16 January and was buried at Foy, 18 January 1715/6; his will was proved at Hereford, 4 June 1716.

Abrahall, Mary (1682-1718). Elder daughter of John Abrahall (d. 1703) of Ingestone House and his wife Winifred, daughter of William Markey of Alton Court, Ross-on-Wye (Herefs), baptised at Llangarren (Herefs), 18 March 1681/2. She attended the coronation of King George I in 1714, of which she left a description. She married, 5 October 1711 at Hampton Bishop (Herefs), Gilbert Abrahall (1670-1723) of Ross-on-Wye, a musician and page of the bedchamber at the court of Queen Anne, and had issue:
(1) John Abrahall (b. & d. 1713), baptised at St. Owen, Hereford, 12 January 1713; died in infancy, 19 January 1713;
(2) Anna Maria Abrahall (b. 1715), born 8 April and baptised at St Anne, Soho, London, 23 April 1715; died in infancy;
(3) Elizabeth Abrahall (b. 1716), baptised at St Anne, Soho, London, 15 January 1715/6; died in infancy;
(4) Benedicta Abrahall (1718-25), baptised at Foy, 17 October 1718; died young, 22 December 1725 and was buried at Ross-on-Wye, where she is commemorated by a monument erected in 1729 by her aunt.
She inherited a moiety of the Ingestone House estate from her brother in 1716; her share included the house. At her death she left her property to her husband and surviving daughter, with remainder to her sister Benedicta. Her will left scope for confusion over whether it should then pass to Benedicta's heirs or to the ultimate remainder man, her distant cousin, John Hoskyns (later Hoskyns-Abrahall), who obtained possession following a lawsuit in 1754.
She died in childbirth, October 1718; her will was proved at Hereford, 28 September 1721. Her husband died in 1723; his will was proved in the PCC, 20 February 1723/4.

Abrahall, Benedicta (1683-1742). Younger daughter of John Abrahall (d. 1703) of Ingestone House and his wife Winifred, daughter of William Markey of Alton Court, Ross-on-Wye (Herefs), baptised at Llangarren (Herefs), March 1682/3. She married 1st, 23 October 1704 at Hampton Bishop (Herefs), Rev. Oswald Andrews (1677-1717) of Hereford, and 2nd, 26 July 1725 at Foy, John Abrahall (d. 1734) of Cradock, but had no issue.
She inherited a moiety of the Ingestone estate on the death of her brother, and the other moiety on the death of her niece in 1725. She left her property at her death to her cousin, Percival Lloyd (later Lloyd-Abrahall), but in 1754 he lost the moiety including Ingestone House in a lawsuit brought by the Rev. John Hoskyns under the will of Mary Abrahall.
She died 25 November and was buried at Foy, 6 December 1742; her will was proved in the PCC, 19 February 1742/3. Her first husband was buried at St. Owen, Hereford, 21 March 1716/7; his will was proved 8 January 1717/8. Her second husband died in 1734.

Hoskyns (later Hoskyns-Abrahall), Rev. John (1692-1765). Younger son of Sir John Hoskyns* (1634-1705), 2nd bt. of Harewood (Herefs), and his wife Jane, daughter of Sir Gabriel Lowe of Newark Park, Ozleworth (Glos), born 1692. Educated at Jesus College, Oxford (matriculated 1709; BA 1712; MA 1715). Rector of Little Marcle (Herefs), 1722-65 and of Peterstow (Herefs), 1727-65. He took the name Hoskyns-Abrahall under the terms of the will of Mary Abrahall (d. 1718) on succeeding to her estate in 1754. He married, after June 1725, Anne (1703-37), daughter of Theophilus Leigh of Adlestrop Park (Glos), and had issue:
(1) James Hoskyns (later Hoskyns-Abrahall) (1728-86) (q.v.);
(2) Rev. John Hoskyns (later Hoskyns-Abrahall) (1729-1805) (q.v.);
(3) Jane Hoskyns (1730-1811), baptised 13 January 1729/30; died unmarried and was buried at Harewood, 29 June 1811;
(4) Anne Hoskyns (1732-75), baptised 29 March 1731/2; died unmarried; will proved in the PCC, 21 January 1775;
(5) Leigh Hoskyns (b. 1733), baptised 3 July 1733; educated at Jesus College, Oxford (matriculated 1752; BA 1756);
(6) Cassandra Hoskyns (d. 1795), died unmarried at Ross-on-Wye and was buried at Harewood (Herefs), 14 January 1795; will proved in the PCC, 6 May 1795;
(7) Tryphena Hoskyns (1735-1824), baptised 30 May 1735; lived at Bridstow (Herefs); died unmarried; administration of goods with will annexed granted 1 March 1824;
(8) Bennet Hoskyns (b. 1737), baptised at Peterstow, 21 November 1737; living in Aldersgate, London, 1777; probably dead by 1794.
He inherited a moiety of the Ingestone House estate, including the house, from his kinswoman Mary Abrahall (d. 1718), after a lawsuit in 1754.
He died 1 September 1765 and was buried at Harewood (Herefs), 4 September 1765; his will was proved in the PCC, 27 February 1766. His wife was buried at Peterstow, 10 November 1737, but her remains were removed to Harewood and reinterred with her husband, 4 September 1765.
* The Hoskyns family of Harewood Park will be the subject of a future post.

Hoskyns (later Hoskyns-Abrahall), James (1728-86). Elder son of Rev. John Hoskyns (later Hoskyns-Abrahall) of Ingestone House and his wife Anne, daughter of Theophilus Leigh of Adlestrop Park (Glos), baptised at Peterstow, 22 April 1728. Educated at Balliol College, Oxford (matriculated 1744). He took the additional name Abrahall in 1765. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Ingestone House from his father in 1765, and was probably the last member of the family to live there.
He died in 1786; his will was proved 21 March 1786 (effects under £1,000).

Hoskyns (later Hoskyns-Abrahall), Rev. John (1729-1805). Younger son of Rev. John Hoskyns (later Hoskyns-Abrahall) of Ingestone House and his wife Anne, daughter of Theophilus Leigh of Adlestrop Park (Glos), baptised at Peterstow, 25 May 1729. Educated at Jesus College, Oxford (matriculated 1746; BA 1750; MA 1753). Ordained deacon, 1752, and priest, 1753. Rector of Compton Martin, 1771-1805; prebendary of Hereford Cathedral, 1754-1805. He took the additional name Abrahall in 1786. He married, 7 February 1770 at Andover (Hants), Anne Cotton (c.1728-1800), and had issue:
(1) Augusta Rebecca Anne Hoskyns-Abrahall (c.1772-1815); married, 1 September 1797 at Compton Martin, Francis Bowcher Wright (d. 1840) of East Harptree (Somerset) (who m2, 1 May 1820 at Fordington (Dorset), Sarah Emily Bingham, widow), and had issue; buried at Compton Martin, 1 April 1815, aged 43;
(2) Rev. John Hoskyns-Abrahall (1773-1840) (q.v.).
He inherited Ingestone House from his brother in 1786.
He was buried at Compton Martin, 9 May 1805; his will was proved in the PCC, 2 November 1805. His wife was buried at Compton Martin, 19 December 1800, aged 72.

Hoskyns-Abrahall, Rev. John (1773-1840). Only recorded son of Rev. John Hoskyns-Abrahall (1729-1805) and his wife Anne Cotton, baptised 20 September 1773. Educated at Wadham College, Oxford (matriculated 1792; BA 1796). Ordained deacon, 1797 and priest, 1804. Curate of Compton Martin (Somerset), 1804-11 and Badgworth and Weare (both Somerset), 1811. He married, 22 November 1798 at Compton Martin, Maria (1777-1822), daughter of Rev. [forename unknown] Morgan and had issue:
(1) Rev. John Charles James Hoskyns-Abrahall (1800-76); educated at Wadham College, Oxford (matriculated 1817; scholar, 1819; BA 1824; MA 1826); ordained deacon, 1823 and priest, 1824; curate of Brightwell (Berks), 1823-26; Headmaster of King Edward's School, Bruton (Somerset), 1826-64; rector of Butterleigh (Devon), 1864-76; married, 1 January 1827 at Bruton, Jane (1802-34), daughter of Edward Dyne, solicitor, and had issue four sons and two daughters; died 26 February 1876; will proved 25 May 1876 (effects under £1,000);
(2) Theophilus Bennet Hoskyns-Abrahall (1802-74), born 21 March 1802; educated at Wadham College, Oxford (matriculated 1820; BA 1824; MA 1830) and Inner Temple (called to bar, 1830); barrister-at-law; Commissioner of the Court of Bankruptcy; author of The reform of the laws relating to Bankruptcy And Insolvency, 1861; married, 7 August 1849 at St Marylebone (Middx), Helena, daughter of Rev. Henry Kingsmill, and had issue two sons and four daughters; died at Exeter, 2 August 1874;
(3) Chandos Hoskyns-Abrahall (1806-74), born 31 March 1806; educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford (matriculated 1829); poet; author of Arctic Enterprise, 1856; The career of Franklin, 1860; Rinaldo, 1863, and other works; married Hester [surname unknown] (c.1824-95?) and had issue two sons; buried at Farnborough (Kent), 4 October 1874;
(4) Maria Ann Hoskyns-Abrahall (1810-39), born 28 March 1810; married, 27 December 1838 at Bruton (Somerset), Rev. John Bradley Dyne DD (1809-99), Headmaster of Highgate School and Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, son of Edward Dyne, solicitor, and had issue one son; died 16 November 1839;
(5) Charles Leigh Hoskyns-Abrahall (1812-68), born 6 September 1812; educated at the Middle Temple (admitted 1831); said to have emigrated to the West Indies; married, 20 May 1832 at St. Marylebone (Middx), Adeline Victorine Porther; died 26 February 1868.
He inherited Ingestone House from his father in 1805, but sold it in 1826.
He died in Bayswater (Middx), 10 October and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, 17 November 1840. His wife died 4 September and was buried at Badgworth, 9 September 1822.


Sources


C.J. Robinson, A history of the mansions and manors of Herefordshire, 1872, pp. 136-39; D. Whitehead, A survey of historic parks and gardens in Herefordshire, 2001, pp. 147-48, 223; http://www.bosci.net/lowv/Village%20pages%20-%20Foy.htm; http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1386-1421/member/abrahall-john-1389-1443


Location of archives


No substantial archive is known to survive.


Coat of arms


Abrahall of Eaton Tregoze and Ingestone: Azure, three hedgehogs (or porcupines) or.


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.

  • I should be interested to hear from anyone with more definite information about the location of Eaton Tregoze, or any further information from descriptions or other sources about its appearance.
  • Does anyone know of any further illustrations of the Jacobean house at Ingestone, which may well have been sketched by tourists before it was demolished in 1835?
  • Can anyone provide information about the 20th century ownership history of Ingestone house?
  • The genealogy for the earlier generations of this family is sadly deficient, and I should be most grateful to hear from anyone who can additional information from original sources, or portraits of any of the owners of Ingestone House before 1824.



Revision and acknowledgements


This post was first published 5 June 2017.