Tuesday, 30 June 2015

(174) Arkwright of Sutton Scarsdale and Normanton Turville

Arkwright of Sutton Scarsdale
The previous two posts have explored the story of branches of the Arkwright family founded by sons of Richard Arkwright (1755-1843) on estates which he purchased as investments in the late 18th and early 19th century, and this post covers another branch, and explores the legacy of his eldest and second sons, Richard Arkwright (1781-1832) and Robert Arkwright (1783-1859).

The first big landed estate purchase made by Richard Arkwright was the Normanton Turville estate in Leicestershire, which he bought in 1796 for £33,000. His eldest son, Richard Arkwright junior, went to live there in 1810. In 1824, Richard senior also bought the 5,500 acre Sutton Scarsdale estate in Derbyshire for the enormous sum of £216,000 and his son also took on the management of this property. Despite the fact that Sutton Scarsdale was a much grander house, he seems not to have moved from Normanton, where he continued to live until his death in 1832, perhaps because by 1820 Richard was a widower, whose three children had all died in infancy and he had no desire for the grander living of Sutton Scarsdale. When he died, his father passed on responsibility for Sutton Scarsdale to his second son, Robert Arkwright, while Normanton Turville was given to his sixth son, Rev. Joseph Arkwright (1791-1864). These arrangements were formalised in 1843 when Richard senior died and ownership of the estates passed to the sons who were already in control of them.

Richard Arkwright (1755-1843) was worth some £3.25m at his death, so it should be no surprise that he was able to leave legacies to all his surviving children that established them and their descendants among the landed elite. Rather, what has been noted about the Arkwrights is how modest their ambitions and lifestyle were: none of them sought a peerage although their wealth could undoubtedly have secured one if they had wished it, and they did not mix with the titled elite of the land. While most of his brothers and sisters married into other gentry families, however, Robert Arkwright (1783-1859) married a young actress, Frances Crawford Kemble (1787-1849) in 1805.
Mrs Robert Arkwright as St. Cecilia, 1900,
by Richard Reinagle, c.1810.
She was the daughter of an actor-manager who ran a string of theatres in the north of England and Scotland, and niece of the famous Fanny Kemble and Sarah Siddons. The marriage was against the advice of his father and brothers, who plainly felt the match was unsuitable and that Miss Kemble would be a liability as a wife (fears which were soon dispelled when she proved to be an excellent hostess). Despite his misgivings, Richard senior settled £30,000 on his son on their marriage and later provided him with an allowance of £500 a year as well. From 1816, the couple leased the 
Stoke Hall estate in Derbyshire to house their growing family. When his brother's death brought him responsibility for Sutton Scarsdale in 1832, Robert at once moved in, and he may well have been responsible for some internal alterations designed to bring more light into the centre of the house which were carried out in the early 19th century.  The couple produced four sons and one daughter, but all four sons died prematurely; three of them in the lifetime of their father. Only the Rev. Godfrey Arkwright (1814-66) survived his father, and although he inherited Sutton Scarsdale, his father only left it to him for life, rather than absolutely, with remainder to the infant son of Godfrey's elder brother William, who by the rules of primogeniture had a prior claim but who was clearly not going to be in a position to manage the estate for twenty years or so. Godfrey resigned his vicarage and moved into Sutton Scarsdale, where he took up the life of a country gentleman, but unfortunately he died in 1866, when his designated heir, William Arkwright (1857-1925), was still only nine years old. Godfrey, moreover, had sons of his own, and the eldest, Francis Arkwright (1846-1915), although still only a very young man himself, had little choice but to step into the breach and take over the management of the estate until his cousin came of age.

Francis seems to have thrown himself into the role of landowner thoroughly, rather than acting as a mere caretaker. He acquired Overton Hall at Ashover (Derbys) and Coton Hall (Warks) on his own account, and in 1874 he was elected MP for East Derbyshire. His role as custodian of Sutton Scarsdale came to an end in 1878 when William Arkwright entered into his inheritance, and two years later, Francis failed to be re-elected as an MP. The loss of status resulting from the two things together seems to have prompted a radical review of his prospects, and in 1882 he took his wife and daughter to start a new life in New Zealand. 
Overton, Marton, New Zealand

They bought land near Marton in Wanganui and commissioned the building of a new house, called Overton after his old home in Derbyshire, from local architects, Frederick de Jersey Clere and Alfred Atkins. The new house was semi-timbered with concrete infill panels, and survives today. Francis successfully established himself as a landowner in New Zealand and in due course became a member of the New Zealand Legislative Council, but there were things he missed about life in the 'Old Country' and in 1905 he decided to return permanently to the United Kingdom, where he bought a villa in Bournemouth. His New Zealand property was handed over to his nephew, Henry Fitzherbert Arkwright (1882-1956), and his daughter also returned to New Zealand for a time after her marriage.

During his minority, William Arkwright (1857-1925) and his uncle had built a handsome but slightly old-fashioned villa on the Sutton Scarsdale estate, which was at first called Sutton House and later Sutton Rock. It was probably built specifically for his elder sister and her husband, William Blois, who were married in 1874, and lived there until William's death in 1889. 
Sutton Rock, built for William & Fanny Blois in 1876.
It was a two storey stone house in a loosely Classical style, with four widely-spaced bays on the entrance front, arranged as a three bay block with a recessed service wing to the right. In the centre of the main part was a portico of paired Ionic columns, with above it a window flanked by Corinthian columns. There were also skinny Corinthian pilasters at the angles and the stone architraves to the plate glass windows. The south front was again of three bays, but with a narrower central bay and paired sashes lighting the drawing room, creating an element of asymmetry. Inside there was a top-lit cantilevered stone staircase and a secondary wooden stair of dog-leg form. The house was let 1889-93 and then became the home of the agent for the estate before being included in the estate sale in 1919. It was demolished in 1964.


William's coming of age celebrations in 1878 had to be put off for three months because he had suffered a serious hunting accident which left him partially paralysed and with a metal plate in his skull. Despite these disabilities, he married in 1884, although the couple produced no children, and this may have been a factor in his decision to sell the estate in 1919. It was a period when a perfect storm of taxation, loss of heirs in the Great War, poor agricultural returns and the evaporation of the domestic servant class led many owners to sell. All that William retained were the valuable mineral rights and some land associated with his mine works, and another reason for selling may have been that his own development of the estate for coal-mining - although the park itself was not affected - was making the landscape increasingly industrialised. William hoped that the estate would be largely bought up by the farming tenants who occupied the land, as happened with most sales at this time. However, legal complications arising from his grandfather's will trust made it difficult to conclude private treaty sales for individual farms, and the whole estate was put up for auction in lots. In the event, much of the estate was bought by the Duke of Devonshire, including Sutton Rock. Sutton Scarsdale House itself was sold to a consortium of house-breakers, who within a year had removed the lead roof and sold many of the principal wainscoted interiors to the notorious dealer, Charles Lockhart Roberson, who in turn sold them in altered form to American clients. In 1946 the ruins were bought by Sir Osbert Sitwell of Renishaw Hall to prevent their demolition for the value of the building stone, and in 1970 they were taken into the care of English Heritage's predecessor organisation.



Normanton Turville Hall, Thurlaston, Leicestershire*


Normanton Turville Hall, from an engraving published in Nichols' History of Leicestershire, 1811

The history of this apparently 16th or 17th century house is surprisingly obscure. It was anciently a seat of the Turville family, for whom it became of secondary importance in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the Jacobean house depicted by Nichols was probably built by John Rooe after he acquired the estate in the early 17th century, although it could be a little earlier. 
Normanton Turville: again from an engraving published by Nichols, 1811.

The house was apparently largely unaltered in the later 17th and 18th centuries, although Edward Rooe Yeo, who dissipated a large inheritance, is said to have made improvements to the stables and to have landscaped the park which was recorded on early editions of the Ordnance Survey maps.
Normanton Turville, from the 1st edition 6" Ordnance Survey map of 1886, showing the 18th century landscaping.

Nothing is known of any alterations to the house by Holled Smith (d. 1795), who was resident, or by the Arkwrights, for whom it was an occasional residence until c.1850, after which it was let. The house is next recorded in a series of Victorian and Edwardian photographs, which are not very reliably dated. The house would appear to have been given a new porch and central gable, and a rather crude semi-timbered cladding. This was perhaps done in the 1870s, after Col. Richard Worsley-Worswick inherited the estate. He was probably also responsible for the addition of a Roman Catholic chapel at the rear of the house, which survived after the house itself was pulled down.


Normanton Turville: this photograph is probably of 1859, and shows the house before the addition of a mock Tudor cladding.
Normanton Hall: the house as altered by the addition of a porch and mock Tudor cladding, perhaps in the 1870s.
The dress of the female figure in the bottom right-hand corner suggests this is an early image.

The house was unoccupied during the First World War and the estate was put up for sale in 1921. The house was finally demolished in 1928, apparently after a fire had damaged the building.


Normanton Turville Hall during demolition in 1928, showing the R.C. chapel that stood at the rear of the house. 
Descent: Siward Turville (fl. 1603); to son, Henry Turville, who probably sold to John Rooe (d. 1653); to son, Roger Rooe (d. 1707); to son, Christopher Rooe (d. 1737); to kinsman, Edward Rooe; to niece, Anne Beresford, later wife of George Yeo (d. 1750); to son, Edward Rooe Yeo MP (1742-82); sold after his death to Holled Smith (d. 1795); sold 1796 to Richard Arkwright (1755-1843); to son, Rev. Joseph Arkwright (1791-1864); sold 1860 to William Worsley Worswick of Birstall Hall (d. 1871); to son, Col. Richard Worsley-Worswick (c.1833-1905); to nephew?, Richard Joseph Worsley-Worswick (1874-1927), but unoccupied in 1916.

The house needs to be distinguished from the much grander Normanton Hall (Rutland); this Normanton lies south-west of Leicester.

Sutton Scarsdale, Derbyshire


The shell of the great 18th century house is a prominent landmark to travellers on the M1 motorway, which carves its way through the vale between the hilltop ruins of Sutton Scarsdale and Bolsover Castle. Both sites are now in the care of English Heritage and open to the public.


Sutton Scarsdale: east front in about 1900

A manor house is recorded at Sutton Scarsdale from 1489, but the site was no doubt occupied from much earlier than that. The origins of the present building go back to a new house built in 1594-95 for Sir Francis Leake and enlarged in the early 17th century. At the same time, a 16th century barn to the west of the house was converted into a lodging range; this survives as a separate house called the Old Priory. Sutton Scarsdale was taxed on 26 hearths in 1670, making it already one of the larger houses in the county. In the early 18th century it was comprehensively remodelled by Francis Smith of Warwick for Nicholas Leake, 4th Earl of Scarsdale to produce the Baroque mansion whose ruins stand today. Smith was evidently working for the Earl as early as 1719, but the main phase of work was 1724-34, with fitting up continuing slowly until at least 1748. Although it was a remodelling rather than a completely new house, Sutton Scarsdale was arguably Francis Smith's finest design, perhaps because of all his works it owes most to the influence of James Gibbs: it was designed while he was building to Gibbs' designs at both Ditchley Park (Oxon) and St. Alkmund's church, Derby.

Although the house is now a ruin, with some of the 16th/17th century internal walling exposed, the form of the 1594 house is not certain, but it is believed that it was H-shaped and perhaps of three storeys. The core was a hall running north-south, with a projecting parlour range to the north of it and a kitchen to the south. Perhaps soon after 1600, both wings were extended to the west and the courtyard on the west side was narrowed by thickening the north wing.


Sutton Scarsdale: plan with the outline of the Elizabethan house superimposed as a red line. The room names shown are taken from an inventory of 1800 and do not reflect the original 18th century room functions.  After Andor Gomme, Smith of Warwick, pl. 136.
Smith kept the resulting external walls on the north, west and south sides, but on the east front, where there was originally a recessed centre between two projecting wings, he built a new flat east front rather further forward than the ends of the original wings; he also added the projections on the south side that became the smoking room and laundry and which made a symmetrical elevation on this side. The smoking room extension also forms part of the grand east front and to accommodate it part of the churchyard had to be appropriated; the south wall of the house is only five feet from the church.

Sutton Scarsdale Hall: east front in 1979. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

Smith made Sutton Scarsdale the grandest mansion of its date in the county after Chatsworth. It is of two storeys, with giant fluted pilasters throughout. The noble nine-bay east front has a pedimented centre where the pilasters are replaced by attached columns and broader end bays where the pilasters are coupled. On this side the windows have no surrounds of any kind but are keyed into the banded rustication; additional architraves would have cluttered the facade and confused the relationship of voids to solids. The main entrance lay on the nine-bay north side, where the central three bays are stepped forward and there is a doorway with a Gibbs surround. 


Sutton Scarsdale: north front in 1979. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved




The south range, although only the same length and height as the north side, is of three storeys and eleven bays, with the central seven bays deeply recessed. This was the service part of the house, where lower ceiling heights were needed. The position of the church meant that it could never be appreciated as a complete composition (it was perhaps intended to remove and rebuild the church on a different site) but the south front was still made symmetrical and treated with a monumental grandeur reminiscent of Hawksmoor, with the decoration concentrated on the central seven bays. The west front has an equally deeply recessed centre, reflecting the arrangement of the 16th and 17th century house, but here the wings are emphasized, each being treated as a four-bay block with Corinthian pilasters at all the external angles. Between them lay the service court, with the kitchen on one side and the servants' hall on the other, and its status is reflected in its being faced with stucco rather than ashlar.


Sutton Scarsdale: entrance hall, photographed for Country Life in 1919, with plasterwork by Artari & Vassalli.
Image: Wikimedia Commons

The rooms behind the grand facades were much more constrained by the incorporation of the pre-existing house than the exterior. What Smith seems to have priovided was a parade of seven main rooms in enfillade along the north and east fronts, with a further large drawing room above the hall in the centre of the north range. The entrance hall was in the centre of the north front; the dining room very probably in the centre of the east front; the state bedroom perhaps at the south end of the east front. In the middle of the house was a top-lit great staircase, with a secondary stair next to it.  The house was fitted up only slowly, with the 'best staircase' being made by Eborall only in 1748, after Lord Scarsdale had died and the house had been sold. 


Sutton Scarsdale: great staircase by Thomas Eborall, 1748, photographed in 1919. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

A lead plate, found in the 19th century under the grass in the south court, records the craftsmen who worked on the house, including Francis Smith, architect; Edward Poynter, carver; Thomas Eborall, joiner; Francis Butcher, carpenter; Albert Artari and Francis Vassalli, stuccoists; Jonathan Reading, painter; Joshua Needham, plasterer; William Jeffery, plumber; Thomas How, upholster; and John Wilkes, locksmith - Poynter, Eborall, Reading, Needham and Wilkes worked frequently with Smith on his country house commissions.


Philadelphia Museum of Art: panelled interior from Sutton Scarsdale, with overmantel by Edward Poynton, acquired 1928 and re-erected in an altered form. This was perhaps originally from the room at the angle of the north and east fronts. Image: Philadelphia Museum of Art

The expense of building the Georgian mansion contributed to the large debts run up by the 4th Earl of Scarsdale, and when he died in 1736 without a male heir the estate was sold. It passed through several hands in the later 18th and early 19th centuries, and the contents of the house and the deer in the park were sold in 1775-76. It was acquired by Richard Arkwright in 1824, initially as an agricultural investment.  No major changes were made to the house (although some of the partition walls in the centre of the house seem to have been removed with a view to bringing more light into the centre of the building), and after Francis Arkwright emigrated to New Zealand in 1882 the house seems to have been largely unoccupied.

The house was sold to asset-strippers at the end of 1919 and the following year the roof and some of the main panelled interiors by Thomas Eborall were removed. The panelling of one room was sold to William Randolph Hearst for use in his projected Hearst Castle, and after many years in store in New York was acquired by Pall Mall Films. It was used as a stage set for Kitty in 1945 (which was nominated for an Oscar for "Best Art Direction - Interior Decoration"!) and afterwards given to the Huntington Library and Art Gallery where it is now in store. Three other rooms are now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. All these interiors have been altered in reconstruction, but they probably give a fairly reliable impression of what must have been a sequence of interiors as sumptuous as those of Stoneleigh Abbey or Ombersley Court. Despite the house having been roofless and exposed to the elements for almost a hundred years, some traces of the interior decoration remain in situ, especially in the rooms on the north front, including plaster decoration by Artari and Vassalli.  


Sutton Scarsdale Hall: surviving plasterwork.
Image: Phil Sangwell via Wikimedia Commons. Some rights reserved.
In the 18th century, the gardener John Christian gave the park radiating avenues of elm trees and large ornamental ponds, one of which still survives. There were deer in the park and a deer shelter shown on a map of 1837 still exists. Nearer the house were an ice house, a walled garden (built in 1745 but later converted to kennels) and a stable block.

After the sale of 1919, Sutton Scarsdale quietly sank into ruin, no doubt helped by the attentions of vandals. That it did not disappear altogether is due to the actions of Sir Osbert Sitwell of Renishaw, who bought it in 1946 after he heard of plans to dismantle the walls for the value of the stone. He hoped to restore the house, but this never happened, and after he died in 1969 his heirs persuaded the Government to take it into guardianship. Under English Heritage the building has been cleaned and the surviving remains of 18th century stucco have been protected and conserved.

Descent: John Leake (fl. 1489)... Sir Francis Leake (fl. 1594); to son, Sir Francis Leake (c.1581-1655), 1st bt., 1st Baron Deincourt of Sutton and 1st Earl of Scarsdale; to son, Nicholas Leake (1612-81), 2nd Earl of Scarsdale; to son, Robert Leake (1654-1707), 3rd Earl of Scarsdale; to son, Nicholas Leake (c.1682-1736), 4th Earl of Scarsdale; sold 1740 to Godfrey Bagnall Clarke MP (d. 1774); to daughter, wife of Job Hart Price (later Clarke); to son (d. 1805); to brother-in-law, Walter Butler (1770-1820), 11th Earl and 1st Marquess of Ormonde, who let it to the Kinnersley family; to brother, Hon. Charles Butler-Southwell-Wandesforde (later Butler-Southwell-Wandesforde-Clarke), who sold 1824 to Richard Arkwright (1755-1843); to son, Robert Arkwright (1783-1859); to son, Rev. Godfrey Harry Arkwright (1814-66); to nephew, William Arkwright (1857-1925), who sold 1919 to a consortium of asset strippers who removed the interiors and the roof in 1920; estate and ruins sold 1946 to Sir Osbert Sitwell (1892-1969), 5th bt.; given 1970 to English Heritage.


Arkwright family of Sutton Scarsdale



Arkwright, Richard (1781-1832) of Sutton Scarsdale. Eldest son of Richard Arkwright (1755-1843) of Willersley Castle (Derbys) and his wife Mary, daughter of Adam Simpson of Bonsall (Derbys), born 30 September and baptised 8 October 1781. Educated at Eton and was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1801 but did not matriculate and it is doubtful if he ever went up. An officer in the Leicestershire Yeomanry (Lt., 1803-04), the West Leicestershire Volunteers (Capt. 1804), the Derbyshire Militia (Major, 1809) and the North Derbyshire Yeomanry Cavalry (Cornet 1817). MP for Rye 1813-18, 1826-30. He married, 21/22 May 1803 at Ashbourne (Derbys), Martha Maria (1780-1820), daughter of Rev. William Beresford of Sonning (Berks), and had issue:
(1) Agnes Maria Arkwright (1809-13), baptised 15 April 1809; died young, 16 March 1813;
(2) Robert Arkwright (b. & d. 1810); died in infancy, 19 November 1810;
(3) Richard Arkwright (b. & d. 1813); died in infancy, 18 February 1813.
His lived on his father's Normanton Turville estate from 1810 and managed the Sutton Scarsdale estate from its acquisition in 1824. After his death, Sutton Scarsdale passed to his next brother, Robert Arkwright (1783-1859) and Normanton Turville to a younger brother, Rev. Joseph Arkwright.
He died 28 March and was buried at Cromford (Derbys), 5 April 1832. His wife died 12 March 1820 and was buried at Cromford.

Arkwright, Robert (1783-1859) of Sutton Scarsdale. Second son of Richard Arkwright (1755-1843) of Willersley Castle (Derbys) and his wife Mary, daughter of Adam Simpson of Bonsall (Derbys), born 7 March and baptised at Bakewell, 29 March 1783. Educated at Eton and was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, 1802, but he did not matriculate and it is doubtful if he ever went up. Captain in the Derbyshire Militia, c.1801-04. DL and JP for Derbyshire.  He married against the advice of his father, 27 June 1805 at St. Andrew, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Frances Crawford (1787-1849), actress, daughter of Stephen George Kemble of Newcastle, actor-manager and had issue:
(1) George Arkwright (1807-56), born 20 and baptised 26 August 1807; educated at Bakewell, Eton, Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1826; BA 1830; MA 1833) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1829; called to bar 1833); barrister-at-law; JP for Derbyshire; MP for Leominster, 1842-56; died unmarried at The Albany in London, 5 February and was buried at Sutton Scarsdale, 12 February 1856; will proved 25 February 1856;
(2) Maj. William Arkwright (1809-57) (q.v.);
(3) Rev. Godfrey Harry Arkwright (1814-66) (q.v.);
(4) Eustace Arkwright (1818-46), born 27 December 1818 and baptised 12 January 1819; educated at Eton; an officer in the army (Cornet, 1840; Lt., 1841); married, 21 October 1845 at Rackheath (Norfolk), Emma Anne (1823-1902), daughter of John Stracey and had issue one daughter born posthumously; died at Geneva (Switzerland) of typhus fever, 15 September 1846;
(5) Frances Elizabeth Arkwright (1820-94); married, 27 July 1852 at North Berwick (East Lothian), Sir Hew Dalrymple (1814-87), 6th bt. of North Berwick, but had no issue; died 28 February 1894.
He received a wedding gift of £30,000 from his father and later an allowance of £500 a year. He leased Stoke Hall (Derbys) from 1816-32, but after the death of his elder brother he occupied Sutton Scarsdale, which he inherited on his father's death in 1843.
He died 6 August and was buried at Sutton Scarsdale, 12 August 1859; his will was proved 19 October 1859 (effects under £250,000). His wife was buried at Sutton Scarsdale, 16 March 1849.

Arkwright, Rev. Godfrey Harry (1814-66) of Sutton Scarsdale. Third son of Robert Arkwright (1783-1859) and his wife Frances Crawford, daughter of Stephen George Kemble of Durham, born 10 October 1814. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1833; BA 1837; MA 1841). Curate of Mayfield, 1847-50; Vicar of Heath and Ault Hucknall (Derbys), 1850-59. He married 1st, 13 November 1844, Frances Rafela (1823-49), daughter of Sir Henry FitzHerbert, 3rd bt., of Tissington Hall (Derbys), and 2nd, 24 April 1862, Marian Hilaré Adelaide (1831-1901), youngest daughter of Very Rev. & Hon. George Pellew, Dean of Norwich, and had issue:
(1.1) Francis Arkwright (1846-1915) (q.v.);
(1.2) Rev. William Harry Arkwright (1848-1915) (q.v.);
(1.3) Frances Alice Arkwright (1849-64), baptised 1 August 1849; died young, 4 April 1864 and was buried at Sutton Scarsdale;
(2.1) Marian Ursula Arkwright (1863-1922), born Jan-Mar 1863; died unmarried, 23 March 1922; will proved 7 June 1922 (estate £18,755);
(2.2) Godfrey Edward Pellew Arkwright (1864-1944), born 10 April and baptised 31 May 1864; educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford (matriculated 1883; BA 1887); died unmarried, 16 August 1944; will proved 18 November 1944 (estate £46,772);
(2.3) Walter George Arkwright (1865-1936), born 22 July 1865; educated at Limpsfield School and Balliol College, Oxford (matriculated 1884; BA 1887); died unmarried, 20 November 1936; will proved 1 February 1837 (estate £36,609).
He inherited a life interest in Sutton Scarsdale from his father in 1859. After his death ownership passed to his nephew, William Arkwright (1857-1925) but during William's minority it was managed by his son, Francis.
He died 17 December 1866 and was buried at Sutton Scarsdale; his will was proved 11 February 1867 (estate under £300,000). His first wife died 9 July and was buried at Tissington, 14 July 1849. His widow died 22 December 1901; her will was proved 27 February 1902 (estate £2,590).

Arkwright, Francis (1846-1915). Elder son of Rev. Godfrey Harry Arkwright (1814-66) and his first wife, Frances Rafela, daughter of Sir Henry Fitzherbert, 3rd bt., of Tissington Hall (Derbys), born 17 March 1846. Educated at Eton. Ensign in 100th Regiment, 1865-68; managed the Sutton Scarsdale estate, c.1866-78; MP for East Derbyshire, 1874-80; JP for Derbyshire and Yorkshire (NR); emigrated to New Zealand, 1882 but returned to the UK in 1905; member of New Zealand Legislative Council, 1895-1905. He married 1st, 2 June 1868, Louisa Elizabeth Jane (1849-73), second daughter of Henry John Milbank of Newsham (Yorks) and 2nd, 15 September 1875, Hon. Eveline Addington (1852-1944), daughter of William Wells Addington, 3rd Viscount Sidmouth and had issue:
(1.1) Margaret Louise Arkwright (1873-1948), born 28 April 1873; married, 24 July 1907, Charles Arthur Whitmore Monckton (1873-1936), a member of the Legislative Council of British New Guinea; living in New Zealand, 1914 but later returned to England; died in Bournemouth, 20 May 1948; will proved 28 August 1948 (estate £17,205).
He managed the Sutton Scarsdale estate from the death of his father in 1866 until the heir, his nephew, William Arkwright, came of age in 1878. He owned or rented Overton Hall (Derbys), Coton House (Warks), which he purchased in 1874, and Overton, Marton, New Zealand, which he built in 1883. After his return to the UK he lived in Bournemouth.
He died of pneumonia, 1 March 1915 and was buried at Wanganui (New Zealand); will proved 2 June 1915 (estate £44,435). His first wife died following childbirth, 6 May 1873. His widow died 25 July 1944; her will was proved 22 November 1944 (estate £17,481).

Arkwright, Maj. William (1809-57). Second son of Robert Arkwright (1783-1859) and his wife Frances Crawford, daughter of Stephen George Kemble of Durham, born 12 September 1809. An officer in 6th Dragoons, 1828-c.1849 (Lt., 1830; Capt., 1838; Major, 1846). He was sole heir to his brother, George, in 1856. He married, 11 March 1852 at Stretton-by-Burton (Staffs), Fanny Susan (1833-1911), second daughter of Edward Thornewill of Dove Cliff (Staffs) and had issue:
(1) Fanny Elizabeth Arkwright (1853-1912); married, 4 June 1874, Lt-Col. William Thornhill Blois JP (1842-89), youngest son of Commander John Ralph Blois and brother of Sir John Blois, 8th bt. of Cockfield (Suffolk), and had issue four sons; died 17 July 1912; will proved 7 September 1912 (estate £7,181);
(2) Emma Arkwright (1854-77), born 15 April 1854; married, 13 July 1876, George Henry William Hervey (1843-1933) (who m2, 3 July 1879, Mary, daughter of William Wells Cole and had further issue), second son of Rt. Rev. Lord Arthur Hervey, Bishop of Bath & Wells and had issue one daughter; died 29 April 1877 and was buried at Sutton Scarsdale, 5 May 1877;
(3) Sophia Arkwright (c.1855-1941); married, 1 June 1880, Hon. Evelyn Henry Pierrepont (1856-1926), second son of 3rd Earl Manvers, and had issue one son (later 6th Earl Manvers) and three daughters; died 5 June 1941; will proved 21 August 1941 (estate £16,966);
(4) William Arkwright (1857-1925) (q.v.).
He appears to have leased Dinmore House (Herefs) and later Hotham Hall (Yorks ER).
He died in the lifetime of his father, 13/14 May 1857, and was buried at Sutton Scarsdale, 19 May 1857; his will was proved 23 February 1858 (effects under £16,000). His widow died 23 February and was buried at Sutton Scarsdale, 28 February 1911; administration of her goods was granted 29 April 1911 (estate £313).


William Arkwright
Arkwright, William Philip (1857-1925) of Sutton Scarsdale. Only son of Maj. William Arkwright (1809-57) and his wife Fanny Susan, second daughter of Edward Thornewill of Dove Cliff (Staffs), born 21 April 1857. Educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford. JP for Derbyshire; High Sheriff of Derbyshire, 1890. He became a Roman Catholic in 1881. He was a noted breeder of pointers, and wrote a history of the breed, published in 1902; he suffered a serious hunting accident in 1876 which left him largely paralysed on one side of his body and with a metal plate in his skull. He married, 8 June 1884, Agnes Mary (1859-1940), daughter of Hon. John James Thomas Somers-Cocks, but had no issue.
He inherited Sutton Scarsdale from his uncle in 1866 under the terms of his grandfather's will trust. The estate was managed for him by his cousin Francis until 1878. He and his uncle built a villa called Sutton Rock within the estate for his sister in 1876. He sold the estate of 5,176 acres by auction in 1919 and in 1920 bought Thorn (formerly South Wembury House), Knighton (Devon), where he developed the gardens. After his death his widow sold Thorn to Mrs. Sebag-Montefiore and moved to London.
He died 19 February 1925; his will was proved 17 April 1925 (estate £98,721). His widow died 26 September 1940; her will was proved 25 November 1940 (estate £13,193).

Arkwright, Rev. William Harry (1848-1915). Second son of Rev. Godfrey Harry Arkwright (1814-66) and his first wife, Frances Rafela, daughter of Sir Henry FitzHerbert, 3rd bt., of Tissington Hall (Derbys), born 23 January and baptised 27 March 1848.  Educated at Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1866; BA and MA 1873). Ordained deacon, 1874 and priest, 1877; curate of Dartford (Kent), 1874-77; vicar of St Mary, Bryanston Square, London, 1877-79; vicar of Rowsley (Derbys), 1879-85 and Cromford (Derbys), 1886-93 and Wirksworth (Derbys), 1893-1902; rural dean of Wirksworth, 1894-1902; prebendary of Southwell Minster, 1900-15 and rector of Highclere (Berks), 1905-15.  He married, 22 May 1878, Margery Bertha (1853-1934), daughter of Rev. Henry Arkwright of Bodenham (Herefs) and had issue:
(1) Bertram Harry Godfrey Arkwright (1879-1949) (q.v.); 
(2) Lt-Col. Edward Harry Arkwright (1880-1956), born 26 June 1880; Lt-Col. in Royal Horse Artillery; married, 12 August 1908, Rachel Winifred (1878-1978), daughter of Henry James Wigram of Northlands, Salisbury (Wilts) and had issue a daughter; died 6 January 1956; will proved 8 March 1956 (estate £1,825);
(3) Henry Fitzherbert Arkwright (1882-1956), born 4 January 1882; educated at Winchester; emigrated to New Zealand where he took over Overton, Marton (NZ) from his uncle Francis Arkwright in 1905; married, 22 February 1911, Alys Stone (1891-1974), daughter of Frederick Riddiford of Taranaki and had issue three sons and one daughter; died in New Zealand, 29 December 1956;
(4) Ellen Augusta Arkwright  (1884-1955); died unmarried, 3 May 1955; will proved 27 July 1955 (estate £31,476);
(5) Alice Lucy Marian Arkwright (1885-1970), baptised 17 July 1885; died unmarried, 12 July 1970; will proved 1 December 1970 (estate £3,937);
(6) Robert Home Purves Arkwright (1889-1944), born 6 March 1889; served in Warwickshire Yeomanry in WW1 (2nd Lt., 1915); married, 1935, Jane Chapman Logan (b. c.1907) (who m2, 1946, Reginald K. Winterton) but had no issue; died 28 July 1944; will proved 16 April 1945 (estate £3,646);
(7) Charles Harry Arkwright (1890-1949), born 11 July and baptised 24 August 1890; married, 23 April 1919, Doris Mabel Whitfield (b. 1900; fl. 1965) (who m2, [forename unknown] Roberts) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 21 March 1949; will proved 27 January 1950 (estate £2,796).
He died 1 February 1915; his will was proved 16 March 1915 (estate £9,421). His widow died 9 April 1934; her will was proved 21 June 1934 (estate £3,096).

Arkwright, Bertram Harry Godfrey (1879-1949). Eldest son of Rev. William Harry Arkwright (1848-1915) and his wife Margery Bertha, daughter of Rev. Henry Arkwright of Bodenham (Herefs), born 12 May and baptised 12 June 1879. Educated at Eton and Oriel College, Oxford. JP for Derbyshire. Captain in Derbyshire Yeomanry; served in Boer War, 1899-1901 and WW1, 1914-19 (mentioned in despatches). He married, 10 June 1902, Grace Emma Julia (1876-1950), daughter of Albert Hurt of Alderwasley Hall (Derbys) and had issue:
(1) Maj-Gen. Robert Harry Bertram Arkwright CB DSO (1903-71), born 30 July 1903; educated at Eton and Royal Military College, Sandhurst; an officer in the army, 1924-51 (Major, 1936; Col., 1943; Brig., 1943; Maj-Gen., 1947); married, 13 July 1927, Kathleen Gladys (b. 1907), daughter of Maj. Everard Ernest Hanbury OBE JP and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 14 November 1971; will proved 21 February and 15 November 1972 (estate £47,047);
(2) Lt-Col. Francis Godfrey Bertram Arkwright DSO MC (1905-42), born 30 January 1905; educated at Eton and Royal Military College, Sandhurst; Lt-Col. of 12th Royal Lancers; married, 27 April 1929, Joyce Nancy Evelyn (who m2, 19 February 1944, Lt-Col. William Wainman DSO MC and m3, 31 August 1955, Maj. Edward Frederic Gosling, second son of William Frederick Gosling of Hassobury (Essex)), only daughter of Col. Walter Pepys DSO of Monks Bridge, Butlers Marston (Warks) and had issue two sons; killed in action, 1 July 1942; will proved 18 January 1943 (estate £8,927);
(3) Margery Alice Grace Arkwright (1906-76), born 30 April 1906; JP for Shropshire; married, 30 June 1938, Roger Edmund Joseph Plowden (1879-1946) of Plowden Hall (Shropshire) but had no issue; died 19 December 1976; will proved 24 March 1977 (estate £12,036);
(4) Maj. Albert Seymour Bertram Arkwright MC (1907-90), born 16 November 1907; educated at Eton and Royal Military College, Sandhurst; officer in Royal Scots Fusiliers (2nd Lt., 1927; Lt., 1930; Capt.,1938; Hon. Major, 1948); served in WW2 and was a prisoner of war, 1940-42 but escaped and evaded recapture; published Return Journey - escape from Oflag VI-B, 1948; married, 12 July 1939, Jean Hargraves (1899-1988), daughter of Adam Thorburn Brown of Torquhan (Midlothian) and widow of Capt. William Hugh Muir MC, but had no issue; died in Scotland, 1990;
(5) Rafela Theodora Arkwright (1909-78), born 6 June 1909; married, 11 December 1939, Lt-Col. Robert Michael FitzHugh (1910-2006) of The Brow, Overton, Wrexham (Flints), younger son of Capt. Godfrey FitzHugh of Plas Power, Wrexham (Flints) and had issue one son; died 25 August 1978; will proved 27 September 1978 (estate £27,163);
(6) Lt-Col. William Peter Bertram Arkwright DSO (1910-62), born 10 November 1910; educated at Eton and Royal Military College, Sandhurst; Lt-Col. in Royal Scots Fusiliers; married, 18 October 1941, Isabel Constance Marion O'Neil (1906-84), elder daughter of Lt-Col. Charles Douglas Roe DSO OBE and had issue one son and one daughter; died as a result of an accident, 26 January 1962; will proved 3 July 1962 (estate £11,485).
He inherited Coton House (Warks) from his uncle Francis Arkwright in 1915. He lived at Frith, Stalbridge (Dorset) and later at Pen-y-Bryn Hall, Churchstoke (Montgomeryshire).
He died 23 August 1949; his will was proved 25 November 1949 and 8 February 1950 (estate £21,349). His widow died 5 June 1950; her will was proved 16 September 1950 (estate £703).


Sources


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1965, pp. 22-23; J.O. Hulme, The history of Thurlaston, 1904; A. Gomme, ‘The genesis of Sutton Scarsdale’, Architectural History, 1981, pp. 34-38; A. Gomme, Smith of Warwick, 2000, passim but esp. pp. 251-60, 549-50; M. Craven & M. Stanley, The Derbyshire Country House, 2001, pp. 216-18; A. Gomme, ‘Compton Scarsdale or Sutton Verney?’, English Heritage Historical Review, 2007, pp. 60-69; J. Harris, Moving Rooms, 2007, pp. 171-72, 225-27, 253; http://www.countryimagesmagazine.co.uk/lost_houses/lost-houses-sutton-scarsdale/; http://www.thurlastononline.co.uk/?e=67.


Location of archives


Arkwright family of Sutton Scarsdale: family correspondence and papers, 1769-1919 [Derbyshire Record Office, D978, D2387, D5991, D6313, D6409/1/6/3]


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 fuller information on the history of Normanton Turville Hall? A plan of the house or internal photographs would be very enlightening.
  • Does anyone know the present whereabouts of the lead plate recording the names of the craftsmen who worked on the house? The late Andor Gomme understood it to be in safe keeping in private hands in Chesterfield, but was unable to track it down, and although there are various transcripts of it, no photograph is known.


Revision and acknowledgements


This post was first published 30th June 2015 and updated 1st July 2015.

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).


Sources


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; 
http://www.knustonhall.org.uk/history.jspx


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.