Tuesday, 20 September 2016

(230) Atkins of Clapham, baronets

Atkins of Clapham
The Atkins family are one of the few gentry families which owe their rise to fame and fortune to the financial and social success of a member of the medical profession; in this case to Dr. Henry Atkins, who was three times President of the Royal College of Physicians and for more than thirty years one of the Physicians in Ordinary to the king. He seems to have come from Hertfordshire yeoman stock, but his father was sufficiently affluent to send him Oxford, where he completed the usual arts degree (perhaps with a view to entering the church) and then to study medicine on the continent. By 1586 he was back in England and licenced to practice, and over a long life he developed a lucrative and successful practice based at his home in Warwick Court near Grays Inn in London. He combined professional success with the confidence of King James I, for whom he was more than a mere medical adviser. When James came south to claim the English crown in 1603 his younger son, the infant Prince Charles, was too weak to travel and remained in Scotland. Atkins was sent north and not only effected a speedy improvement in the Prince's condition but personally brought him south to join the king. There is evidence that James subsequently consulted him on non-medical issues and also recommended his services to other courtiers. In 1611 he was offered the honour of being made the first baronet, and although he declined this, he accepted a number of financial gifts from the king which allowed him to purchase estates at Tickford near Newport Pagnell (Bucks) and Clapham (Surrey), where he acquired a large U-plan manor house. For a time he also owned the rectory estate at Cheshunt (Herts) and it seems this was his favoured country retreat, as it was where he chose to be buried.

His only son and heir was Sir Henry Atkins (c.1594-1638), kt., who before his father's death had purchased the Bedwell Park estate at Essendon (Herts) as a residence, and who also seems to have managed his father's Clapham estate. At Clapham he does not seem to have respected the long-established symbiotic relationship between the manorial lords and their tenants, and earned the reputation of being an exploitative landlord. By 1628 he had diverted the water from the spring under the church to serve the manor and water its gardens. As a result, the village community, whose water supply it had long been, had to walk half a mile to an alternative spring. Before his death in 1638 he had also felled the 70 acre Stockwood for conversion to farmland, so that the villagers lost rights of pannage and perhaps valuable rights to firewood too. It is hardly surprising that the Atkins family acquired the lasting dislike of the Clapham community.

After Sir Henry died in 1638 his widow married again, to Edward Dacres (d. 1659). Sir Henry had left Bedwell Park to her for life (and she and her second husband eventually settled it on her youngest son, Thomas Atkins, who remodelled the house in the late 17th century), but his other properties were apparently entailed and so passed to his eldest surviving son, Richard Atkins (1625-89), who was made a ward of the king until he came of age in 1646. Either as a result of the start of the Civil War or because of some disruption in his home circumstances, Richard seems to have missed out on an education at University or the Inns of Court. Nor is he known to have travelled abroad or to have taken an active part in the Civil War. Apart from serving as Sheriff of Buckinghamshire in 1650 - which indicates that he was acceptable to the Parliamentarian authorities - he is invisible in the historical record until the Restoration, when he was among the first to be honoured with a baronetcy by King Charles II in 1660. The reasons for this are quite unclear, but he must have had some claim on the king's gratitude, perhaps in recognition of past services by his relatives. One action Sir Richard may have undertaken in the 1650s was to reduce the size of the manor house at Clapham by the demolition of two of the three wings of the house, but this could have taken place later.

Alone among Dr. Atkins' successors at Clapham, Sir Richard Atkins, lived a natural lifespan. His eldest son and two eldest daughters all died fairly young, but the rest of his large family all fared better and married well. His heir, Sir Richard Atkins (1654-96), 2nd bt., was educated at the Inns of Court and in 1679 went abroad, either for a Grand Tour or just possibly as a soldier: in 1694 he was made a Colonel of Foot, and so is likely to have had military experience at some point in his career. The second Sir Richard seems initially to have been a Tory in politics, but by the time he inherited the title and estates from his father in 1689 he was a Whig and active in his support for William of Orange's invasion. He stood unsuccessfully for Parliament in 1689 and 1690, but was returned unopposed in 1695 as one of the county members for Buckinghamshire. His parliamentary career was brief because of his early death in 1696, and his most prominent appearance in the Commons journals concerns an intervention by the Speaker to defuse a row with another member. The details of the case reveal him as having the hasty temper and delicate sense of honour which made a duellist, and when allegations that his wife was unfaithful surfaced in 1695 he fought three duels in a short period with her putative lovers. Finding, however, that she was linked with many more men, he wisely recognised that discretion was the better part of valour and pursued a separation instead. According to his monument, these 'domestic troubles' 'hastened his end', and he died aged 42.

His son and heir, Sir Henry Atkins (c.1683-1712), 3rd bt., was a youth of thirteen when he came into the title, and only came of age in about 1704. He was married in that year to his cousin, Rebecca Dixie, but they produced only one son and one surviving daughter before he died in 1712. The increasingly short lifespans of many members of the family, including successive baronets, in the late 17th and early 18th century makes me wonder whether tuberculosis was endemic in the family. Sir Henry Atkins (c.1706-28), 4th bt., certainly died of it, but by dint of an exceptionally early marriage he had contrived to father two sons and a daughter before his death. His elder son, Sir Henry Atkins (1726-42), 5th bt., died at the age of sixteen, and it was the younger, Sir Richard Atkins (1728-56), 6th and last baronet, to whom the 4th baronet's trustees handed over the family estates when he came of age in 1749. He seems to have been a young man of some promise (the Oxford authorities were moved to award him an honorary degree in 1749), but he has gone down in history as one of those known to have bought the services of the leading courtesan Kitty Fisher (probably the real-life model for Fanny Hill). He is also known to have accumulated debts and it is hard not to see him as the classic young man-about-town. But if he lived fast, he also died young - and unmarried, and with his death the family finally ran out of male heirs. The baronetcy expired, the Tickford estates were sold to pay off his debts, and the Clapham property passed to his sister, Lady Rivers, and eventually to his godson. In 1814, when the aisle of Clapham church that the family had long appropriated for their funerary monuments was pulled down, their monuments were broken up and shovelled into the vaults beneath as hard core: the people of Clapham were clearly happy to forget the Atkins family. 

Clapham Manor House, Surrey (later London)

The 12th and 15th century manor houses of Clapham stood within a moated site close to the present-day junction of Turret Grove and Rectory Grove. The 15th century house was replaced in 1580 for Benjamin Clerke, Dean of the Court of Arches, who purchased the manor in 1583 but may have been leasing it earlier. His new house was on a site outside the moat but immediately to its south and recent archaeological evidence has confirmed it was a U-plan house of typical Elizabethan form. It was described in 1628 as 'a faire mansion house of brick with a faire hall, parler, dining chamber well wainscotted, a good kitchen, brewhouse, washhouse served with water in leaden pipes, a larder, a good seleridge and other convenient houses of Office'. No contemporary plans or illustrations of it are known to survive, but in the late 18th and early 19th centuries the then surviving north wing of the house became the object of antiquarian admiration and was depicted many times. 

Clapham Manor House: the surviving north wing in 1798.

These drawings, of varying degrees of accomplishment and topographical accuracy, show that the house was of two storeys with gabled attics and had a remarkably ornate octagonal prospect tower with an ogee-shaped cap at the outer end of the wing. On the ground floor, this formed a bay window illuminating a large room. By the time the earliest drawings were made, the rest of the house - comprising a hall range facing east and a south wing, no doubt with a matching prospect tower - had been demolished. It is thought possible that this reduction in the size of the house could have taken place as early as the 1650s, when the Royalist Atkins family were in financial difficulties, but a later date is also possible. By 1800 the remaining fragment of the house was in use as a girls' boarding school and between 1804 and 1813 the octagonal prospect tower was taken down above the second or third storey, presumably because it had become unsafe.  The rest of the house was demolished in 1837 and the street of villas known as Turret Grove was subsequently laid out on the site.

Descent: built for Bartholomew Clerke (d. 1590); to son, Francis Clerke, who sold 1611 to Edmund Lynde and Henry Fisher; sold 1614 to John Haulsey; sold 1616/7 to Sir Thomas Vachell and Dr. Henry Atkins (c.1555-1635), who bought out Vachell's interest; to son, Sir Henry Atkins (c.1594-1638), kt.; to son, Sir Richard Atkins (1625-89), 1st bt.; to son, Col. Sir Richard Atkins (1654-96), 2nd bt.; to widow, Elizabeth, Lady Atkins (d. 1711); to son, Sir Henry Atkins (c.1683-1712), 3rd bt.; to son, Sir Henry Atkins (c.1706-28), 4th bt.; to son, Sir Henry Atkins (1726-42), 5th bt.; to brother, Sir Richard Atkins (1728-56), 6th bt.; to sister, Penelope (1724-95), wife of George Pitt, 1st Baron Rivers, for life and then to Richard Bowyer (later Atkins) (1745-1820), who sold a life interest to his banker, John Thornton and emigrated to Australia, where he became a judge; to Henry Atkins-Bowyer (1805-71), who probably demolished the house.

Tickford Abbey, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire

The house stands on the site of Tickford Priory, an alien priory established in the early 12th century by Fulk Paynel for Benedictine monks from Marmoutier in France. It survived the suppression of alien houses by King Henry V but was finally surrendered in 1524. In about 1531-32 Anthony Cave, the Crown's tenant, renovated the prior's lodging, kitchen and outhouses before moving in c.1550 to Chicheley Hall. According to the Victoria County History, 'some fragments of the priory buildings, ranging in date from the 12th to the 15th century, have been reset in the walls of the modern mansion and its outhouses' but while archaeological investigations in the grounds have recovered the plan of the church, painted window glass and human remains, no detailed work has been done on the fabric of the house. In 1731 the antiquary Browne Willis saw remains of the gatehouse and church, but in 1767 it was reported that 'Mr Hooton has lately built a neat square house of stone upon the ruins of the older house which was built out of the remains of the convent'. 

Tickford Abbey: an early 20th century photograph
Mr. Hooton's 'neat square house' is essentially the present building; it has an entrance front of five bays and three storeys, although the castellated canted bays, central oriel and present fenestration are 19th century alterations. There is also a later 19th century single-storey wing. An Elizabethan-style bay window on the north-west side of the house could actually be 16th century, and a section of garden wall nearby has a moulded four-centered arch. The back of the house is irregular and probably at least partly of the Tudor period. Inside there are late 19th century columns which were no doubt meant to be taken for part of the priory. The grounds contain a brick gazebo and an obelisk of the 1760s, marking the site of the Hootons' burial vault. The house is now a care home.

Descent: Crown sold 1600 to Henry Atkins MD (c.1555-1635); to son, Sir Henry Atkins (c.1594-1638); to son, Sir Richard Atkins (1625-89), 1st bt.; to son, Col. Sir Richard Atkins (1654-96), 2nd bt.; to widow, Elizabeth (d. 1711); to son, Sir Henry Atkins (c.1683-1712), 3rd bt.; to son, Sir Henry Atkins (c.1706-28), 4th bt.; to son, Sir Henry Atkins (1726-42), 5th bt.; to brother, Sir Richard Atkins (1728-56), 6th bt.; sold after his death to John Hooton (d. 1761); to son, John Hooton (d. 1764); to brother, Thomas Hooton (d. 1804); to daughter, Sarah (d. 1831), wife of Philip Hoddle Ward; sold before 1847 to William Powell; sold before 1869 to Oliver Massey; to widow; sold to P. Butler (d. 1898); to son, Col. William John Chesshyre Butler (b. 1864; fl. 1927)... Greensleeves plc.

Bedwell Park, Essendon, Hertfordshire

The manor house here is first recorded in 1388, when it was granted to John Norbury, and takes its name from the deer park of 800 acres which he was licenced to create in 1406. The house was evidently altered or rebuilt in about 1470 for Sir John Say, who in that year was bringing 'the tiles called brick' from Hatfield. In the early 16th century the house was grand enough for a royal visit, and it was in the Crown's hands between 1539 and 1547. It was then one of several Hertfordshire estates granted to Sir Anthony Denny (d. 1549), a leading courtier, and his descendants held it until 1601. It was bought by Sir Henry Atkins in about 1620.

Bedwell Park, as engraved by Jan Drapentier for Chauncy's History of Hertfordshire, 1700.

The estate was settled in 1651 on Thomas Atkins (1631-1701), who may have been responsible for remodelling the old house. The doorway, cupola and diagonal chimneystacks depicted by Chauncy were all of the late 17th century and modify an earlier bay-windowed east front. Chauncy, however, says only that he 'much adorned this seat with pleasant Gardens'. To the right of the main block is what may be an older service wing, crowned by a pedimented curvilinear gable. As Atkins had no children to inherited Bedwell, it was sold after his death, but his will left certain fittings to his nephew, Sir Henry Atkins, 3rd bt., including the cast iron chimney backs and the metal rim-locks.

After the house was sold, it stood empty for a time, and an estate map of 1765 shows that its appearance had changed very little, except for some enlargement of the service accommodation at the north end of the house and possibly the addition of a north-west wing. Soon afterwards, however, Samuel Whitbread refronted the house, although he retained its tripartite division. In 1807 the house was described as 'not modern, but convenient' and 'kept in a perfect state of repair'. It contained an entrance hall, good staircase, and four principal rooms on the ground floor; a drawing room and five main bedrooms on the first floor, besides several smaller apartments and a WC; the servants' bedrooms were in the attic. Repairs were carried out in 1827-28 for Sir Culling Smith, 2nd bt.

Bedwell Park: the east side of the house after the drastic rebuilding of 1861.

Bedwell Park: the west front as rebuilt in 1861 and altered later.
The house was extensively rebuilt in 1861 for Sir Culling Eardley Smith, 3rd bt and completely reoriented, so that the west side became the entrance front. The central tower on the west front, which is squeezed in awkwardly, must be later still and was presumably added for Robert Culling-Hanbury after 1865. After the Second World War the house passed into institutional use and it has since been converted into flats.

Crown granted 1539 & 1547 to Sir Anthony Denny (d. 1549); to younger son, Charles Denny; to brother, Henry Denny (d. 1574); to son, Robert Denny (d. 1576); to brother, Sir Edward Denny, who sold 1601 to William Potter; sold c.1620 to Sir Henry Atkins (c.1594-1638), kt.; to widow, Annabella (1599-1674), later wife of Edward Dacres (d. 1659) who settled it in 1651 on her younger son, Thomas Atkins (1631-1701); sold after his death to Richard Wynne MP (d. 1719)... sold 1765 to Samuel Whitbread (1720-96); to son, Samuel Whitbread (1764-1815), who sold 1807 to Sir Culling Smith (1730-1812), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Culling Smith (1769-1829), 2nd bt.; to son, Sir Culling Eardley Smith (later Eardley) (1805-63), 3rd bt.; to daughter, Frances Selina Eardley (1833-1916), later the wife of Robert Hanbury (later Culling-Hanbury) MP; to brother-in-law, Very. Rev. William Fremantle (1831-1916)... sold 1946 to Royal Victoria Patriotic School, which closed 1972...

Atkins family of Clapham, baronets

Atkins, Dr. Henry (c.1555-1635). Son of Richard Atkins of Great Berkhamsted (Herts), born about 1555. Educated at Trinity College, Oxford (matriculated 1574 'aged 19'; BA 1575; MA 1577/8) and University of Nantes (D. Med.). Physician in London. Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians from 1586 (Fellow, 1588; President, 1606-08, 1616-17 and 1624-25). In 1597 he sailed as physician to the Earl of Essex in the Spanish expedition, but was so seasick that he had to be put on shore and replaced. Physician in Ordinary to King James I and later to King Charles I, 1604-35. He is said to have received gifts amounting to £6,000 from the King after successfully treating Prince Charles for an illness in 1604, and he was offered the honour of becoming the first baronet when the order was instituted, but declined it. He married, 15 November 1591 at St Lawrence Jewry, London, Mary (1567-1624), daughter of Thomas Pigott of Doddershall (Bucks) and had issue:
(1) Sir Henry Atkins, kt. (c.1594-1638) (q.v.).
He lived in Warwick Court, London. He purchased the manors of Tickford (Bucks) in 1600 and Clapham (Surrey) in c.1616/7, the latter jointly with Sir Thomas Vachell, whose interest he subsequently bought out. In 1620 he also bought the deer park at Tickford with a lodge known as Tickford Park which later became a farmhouse. He purchased the rectory of Cheshunt (Herts) before 1612 but sold it again in 1632 after receiving £700 from the Crown for the redemption of the tithes on Theobalds Great Park.
He died in London 'aged 77' and was buried at Cheshunt (Herts), 2 October 1634, where he and his wife were commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 7 September 1634. His wife was buried at Cheshunt, 24 March 1623/4.

Atkins, Sir Henry (c.1594-1638), kt. Only child of Dr. Henry Atkins (c.1555-1635) and his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Pigott of Doddershall (Bucks), born about 1594. Educated at Trinity College, Oxford (matriculated 1609; BA 1610/11) and Middle Temple (admitted 1608). Knighted by King Charles I, September 1630 or 1632. He married, c.1620, Annabella (1599-1674), daughter and heiress of John Hawkins esq. of Chiddingstone (Kent) and had issue, perhaps with other children who died in infancy:
(1) Mary Atkins (b. c.1621-93); married 1st, 17 February 1639/40 at Cheshunt, William Halford (c.1615-50) and had issue three sons; married 2nd, after 1650, as his second wife, Sir John Norwich (1612-61), 1st bt., and had issue one further son and two daughters; lived latterly at Lyddington (Rutland); her will was proved 25 October 1693;
(2) John Atkins (c.1623-37); died young and was buried at Clapham, 28 October 1637;
(3) Sir Richard Atkins (1625-89), 1st bt. (q.v.);
(4) Henry Atkins (1629-46), baptised at Cheshunt, 19 March 1628/9; died unmarried and was buried at Clapham, 21 October 1646;
(5) Thomas Atkins (1631-1701), of Bedwell Park (Herts); was granted the Bedwell Park estate and property in Bedfordshire by his mother and stepfather in 1651 and is said to have kept a bountiful table there; married 1st, Elizabeth (c.1641-59), third daughter of Sir John Norwich, 1st bt. of Brampton (Northants) and 2nd, c.1661, Bridget, daughter of Sir William Palmer of Old Warden (Beds), kt., but had no issue; buried at Essendon (Herts), 1 December 1701; will proved 12 March 1701/2.
He purchased the Bedwell Park estate at Essendon (Herts) from William Potter in his father's lifetime. He inherited the Tickford and Clapham estates from his father in 1635. At his death Bedwell passed to his widow and ultimately to his youngest son. Tickford and Clapham passed to his eldest surviving son.
He is entered in the parish register as buried at Clapham, 19 July 1638, but is commemorated on his father's monument at Cheshunt, where it is said that he was buried there 'by his own appointment'. His widow married 2nd, 10 September 1639 at St Olave, Hart St., London, Edward Dacres (d. 1659) of Bedwell Park (Herts) and died 6 March 1673/4; she was buried at Cheshunt; her will was proved 24 March 1673/4.

Atkins, Sir Richard (1625-89), 1st bt. Second, but eldest surviving son of Sir Henry Atkins (c.1594-1638), kt. and his wife Annabella, daughter of John Hawkins esq. of Chiddingstone (Kent), baptised at Cheshunt (Herts), 29 September 1625. High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, 1650. He was created a baronet by King Charles II, 13 June 1660. He married, 22 February 1648/9 at St Peter-le-Poer, London, Rebecca (1634-1711), daughter of Sir Edmund Wright, kt., of Swakeleys (Middx), Lord Mayor of London, and had issue:
(1) Annabella Atkins (c.1650-70); died in Paris (France), 1 January 1670, and was commemorated on her parents' monument at Clapham;
(2) Rebecca Atkins (c.1652-61); died aged nine and was buried at Clapham, 20 June 1661; commemorated on her parents' monument at Clapham;
(3) Henry Atkins (1653-78), baptised at Much Hadham (Herts), 9 June 1653; died unmarried, 15 February 1677/8, aged 24, and was buried at Clapham; commemorated on his parents' monument at Clapham;
(4) Col. Sir Richard Atkins (1654-96), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(5) Mary Atkins (b. 1656), baptised at Much Hadham (Herts), 29 January 1655/6; married, 9 July 1682 at St Bride, Fleet St., London, Rt. Rev. William Moreton DD (1641-1715), Bishop of Meath, and had issue one son and one daughter; died in Ireland before 1696;
(6) Agnes Atkins (b. 1657), baptised at Much Hadham (Herts), 14 May 1657; married, 1677 (licence 8 February 1676/7), Edward Atkyns (c.1655-89), son of Sir Robert Atkyns, kt. [see Atkyns of Sapperton and Swell Bowl, forthcoming] and had issue one son and one daughter; 
(7) Elizabeth Atkins (1659-1736), born at Much Hadham (Herts), 28 November and baptised at St John, Clerkenwell (Middx), 30 November 1659; married, c.1677 (licence 19 February 1676/7), Thomas Tooke (b. c.1661) of Wormley (Herts); lived latterly at Chelsea (Middx); buried at Clapham, 8 July 1736; will proved 6 July 1736;
(8) Rebecca Atkins (1666-1744), born at Much Hadham (Herts), 17 April 1666; married, 10 December 1685 at St Clement Danes, London, Sir Wolstan Dixie (1667-1713), 3rd bt. of Market Bosworth (Leics) and had issue two sons and five daughters; lived latterly at Bath; buried at Clapham, 22 December 1744; her will was proved 15 January 1744/5.
He inherited the the Tickford and Clapham estates from his father in 1638 and came of age in 1646.
He died 19 August 1689 and was buried at Clapham, where he and his wife were commemorated by a monument by William Stanton which was dismantled and partly broken up in 1814; the tomb chest is now in the churchyard and the surviving effigies in the church. Administration of his goods was granted 19 September 1689. His widow was buried at Clapham, 13 June 1711; her will was proved in June 1711.

Atkins, Col. Sir Richard (1654-96), 2nd bt. Younger but only surviving son of Sir Richard Atkins (1625-89), 1st bt., and his wife Rebecca, daughter of Sir Edmund Wright, kt., of London, born 22 August and baptised at Hunsdon (Herts), 27 August 1654. Educated at the Middle Temple (admitted 1671). He had a passport for overseas travel in 1679 and may have undertaken a Grand Tour. JP for Buckinghamshire by 1688. He succeeded his father as 2nd baronet, 19 August 1689. In politics he seems initially to have been a Tory, but he stood (unsuccessfully) for Parliament in Buckingham in 1689 and again in 1690 as a Whig. He raised a troop for William of Orange at the Revolution, 1689, and was elected unopposed as Whig MP for Buckinghamshire, 1695-96. He was made a Colonel of Foot in 1694. In the summer of 1695 he fought three duels occasioned by the infidelity of his wife, but finding that he had fifteen men to confront on similar grounds he took the advice of his father-in-law, who 'being sensible of the provocation' agreed that his daughter should reside at Nottingham or in Buckinghamshire, with an allowance of £120 a year; she chose to retire to the parsonage at Tickford. He married, 1682 (licence 2 June) (sep. 1695), Elizabeth (c.1662-1711), daughter of Sir Thomas Byde, kt., of Ware Park (Herts) and had issue including:
(1) Sir Henry Atkins (c.1683-1712), 3rd bt. (q.v.);
(2) Richard Atkins; died young;
(3) Thomas Atkins; died young;
(4) John Atkins (fl. 1707); born before 1686; died unmarried after 1707;
(5) Ralph Atkins (fl. 1727); born after 1686;
(6) Richard Atkins (b. 1693?; fl. 1727), perhaps the child of this name baptised at Nottingham, 7 June 1693;
(7) Annabella Atkins (fl. 1727); unmarried in 1727.
He inherited the Tickford and Clapham estates from his father in 1689. At his death they (rather surprisingly, in the circumstances) passed to his widow for life and then to his son.
He died 28 November 1696 and was buried at Newport Pagnell (Bucks) where he is commemorated by a monument erected by his mother, which notes that ‘the latter part of his life [was] clouded with some domestic troubles caused by the fault of others, not his own, which ought to be covered with a veil of silence’, although they had ‘hastened his end’. His widow was buried at St Luke, Chelsea, 22 August 1711; her will was proved 22 November 1711.

Atkins, Sir Henry (c.1683-1712), 3rd bt. Eldest surviving son of Col. Sir Richard Atkins (d. 1696), 2nd bt., and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Byde, kt., of Ware Park (Herts), born at Hanwell (Middx) c.1683. Educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (matriculated 1700). He succeeded his father as 3rd baronet, 28 November 1696. He married, 27 June 1704 at Newbold Verdon (Leics), his cousin, Rebecca Maria (d. 1731), eldest daughter of Sir Wolstan Dixie, 3rd bt. and had issue including:
(1) Sir Henry Atkins (c.1706-28), 4th bt.;
(2) Rebecca Maria Atkins (b. c.1707); died in infancy;
(3) Rebecca Maria Atkins (b. c.1708), born before 1709; married, 2 June 1730, Thomas Fawkes (1704-51) of Farnley Hall (Yorks) and had issue one son, who died in infancy.
He inherited the Tickford and Clapham estates from his father in 1696.
He was buried at Clapham, 6 August 1712; his will was proved 1 December 1714. His widow was buried at Clapham, 24 August 1731.

Atkins, Sir Henry (c.1706-28), 4th bt. Only surviving son of Sir Henry Atkins (c.1683-1712), 3rd bt., and his wife Rebecca Maria, eldest daughter of Sir Wolstan Dixie, bt., born about 1706.  Educated at Magdalen College, Oxford (matriculated 1722). He succeeded his father as 4th baronet, August 1712. He married, 29 October 1723 at St Andrew, Holborn (Middx), Penelope (1707-34), third daughter of Sir John Stonhouse, 3rd bt., of Radley (Berks), and had issue:
(1) Penelope Atkins (1724-95), baptised at St Andrew, Holborn (Middx), 19 December 1724; a noted beauty, she was described by Horace Walpole as 'all loveliness, within and without'; married, 4/5 January 1745/6 at Oxford Chapel, Marylebone (Middx), George Pitt (1721-1803) of Stratfield Saye (Hants), 1st Baron Rivers, and had issue one son and two daughters; died at Milan (Italy), 1 January 1795 and was buried in the Protestant Cemetery at Leghorn (Livorno) (Italy), where she is commemorated by a monument;
(2) Sir Henry Atkins (1726-42), 5th bt., baptised at St Andrew, Holborn (Middx), 24 March 1726; educated at Abingdon Grammar School; succeeded his father as 5th baronet, 29 March 1728 but died before coming of age, 1 September 1742, aged 16, and was buried at Clapham, 9 September 1742; his will was proved 18 September 1742;
(3) Sir Richard Atkins (1728-56), 6th bt. (q.v.);
He inherited the Tickford and Clapham estates from his father in 1712.
He died of tuberculosis in France, 29 March and was buried at Clapham, 27 April 1728; his will was proved 13 April 1728. His widow married 2nd, 31 October 1733 at St George, Queen Square, London, as his second wife, John Leveson-Gower (1694-1754), 2nd Baron Gower and later 1st Earl Gower, and had issue one further daughter, who died young; she died at Trentham (Staffs), 19 August and was buried there, 24 August 1734.

Atkins, Sir Richard (1728-56), 6th bt. Younger son of Sir Henry Atkins (c.1706-28), 4th bt., and his wife Penelope, daughter of Sir John Stonhouse, bt. of Radley (Berks), born 28 February and baptised at St Andrew, Holborn (Middx), 22 March 1728. Educated at New College, Oxford (matriculated 1745; DCL 1749). High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, 1750-51. He succeeded his brother at 6th baronet, 1 September 1742. He was unmarried and without issue, but supplies a footnote to the amorous history of the 18th century because he paid for the services of the famous courtesan, Kitty Fisher, with a Bank of England draft for £100 (or £20, accounts vary); feeling that this smacked too much of a commercial transaction or was insufficiently generous, she is said to have placed the draft on a slice of buttered bread and eaten it as a mark of her disdain.
He came of age in 1749 and his father's trustees then conveyed to him the the Tickford and Clapham estates and the manor of Overdean (Beds); he sold the latter in 1752 to Daniel Groombridge of Tonbridge (Kent). At his death his will directed the Tickford estate and his property in Oxfordshire should be sold for payment of his debts and discharge of mortgages on his estate at Clapham. The manor of Clapham passed to his sister for life and then to his godson, Richard Bowyer (later Atkins) (1745-1820), son of Sir William Bowyer of Denham (Bucks) and descended in the Bowyer family.
He died 10 June 1756, when the baronetcy became extinct, and was buried at Holy Trinity, Clapham (Surrey), 17 June 1756; his will was proved 14 June 1756.


Burke's Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies, 2nd edn., 1841, p.27; G.E. Cokayne, Complete Baronetage, vol. 3, 1903, p. 39; Sir N. Pevsner & B. Cherry, The buildings of England: Hertfordshire, 2nd edn., 1977, p. 141; Sir N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, The buildings of England: Buckinghamshire, 2nd edn., 1994, p. 580; J.T. Smith, Hertfordshire Houses: selective inventory, 1994, p. 54; M. Green, Historic Clapham, 2008, passim; ODNB article on Dr. Henry Atkins; http://www.claphamsociety.com/Articles/article9.html.

Location of archives

Atkins family of Clapham, baronets: deeds and family papers, 1545-1710 [Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies, 65122-65455]

Coat of arms

Azure, three bars argent, in chief three bezants

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.
  • Does anyone know more about the 20th century ownership of Tickford Abbey or Bedwell Park?
  • Can anyone provide more additional genealogical information for the children of Sir Richard Atkins, 2nd bt. or Sir Henry Atkins, 3rd bt. or portraits of any members of this family?

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 20th September 2016.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

(229) Athy (alias Lynch-Athy) of Renville

Athy of Renville
The Athy family were settled in Galway from at least the 15th century, and were one of the Catholic merchant families collectively known as the 'tribes of Galway', who ran the town's affairs. In 1639 Francis Athy was sheriff of Galway, and he must have been a Protestant, at least on paper, to have been selected for office. During the Irish rebellion in the 1640s, however, Galway's citizens ejected the Protestant garrison which had been quartered in the town, and it seems probable that Athy's sympathies remained Catholic. In the late 17th century several members of the family emigrated to Maryland (USA) in search of greater religious toleration. It is not quite clear how Edmund Athy, with whom the genealogy below begins, was related to the earlier Athys of Galway. His father, Andrew Athy, lived at Beleek (Mayo), and had been a soldier in the Catholic army of King James II in 1689-90, but he was almost certainly connected to the earlier Athys of Galway. In the early 18th century Edmund married Margaret Lynch, the daughter and heiress of Philip Lynch of Renville Castle at Oranmore, just outside Galway town. The Renville estate passed into the control of the Athy family, and Edmund and Margaret may have been responsible for alterations and additions to the medieval tower-house after they gained possession. The subsequent routine use by their descendants over many generations, of Lynch as a final forename, particularly for the heirs to the estate, led in the 19th century to the surname of the family being commonly given as Lynch-Athy (with or without a hyphen).

The old Renville Castle remained the seat of Edmond's son, Philip Lynch Athy (d. 1774) and his grandson, Edmond Lynch Athy (c.1752-1807). In 1807 the estate passed to Philip Edmond Lynch-Athy (c.1778-1840), who built a new three-bay two-storey house on the estate in about 1820. At this time the family seem to have been prominent among the Catholic gentry of the west of Ireland and Philip (d. 1840) joined O'Connell's Catholic Association in 1829. His eldest son having predeceased him, Renville passed in 1840 to his second son, Randal Edmond Lynch Athy (1814-75), who was educated at Downside and married an English woman, Margaret Buckle. The family had more English connections after this time, but their focus of attention remained firmly in Ireland: Edmond Joseph Philip Lynch-Athy (1859-1935) was Sheriff of Galway in 1904. The family had over several generations married late and produced only small numbers of surviving children. Edmond's only child was a daughter, Muriel Pauline Annette Lynch-Athy (1883-1943), who married a local farmer, Christopher Crofts (1878-1946) and seems to have lived at Renville. After her death, however, the house would appear to have been abandoned and the estate sold, and the ruins of Renville are today an even more extensively ivy-clad ruin than the medieval castle which it replaced.

Renville House, Oranmore, Galway

Renville Castle

Renville House in the early 20th century
The Athy family lived in the old Lynch tower at Renville until about 1820, when a new three-bay two-storey big house was built that is typical of so many early 19th century Irish gentry houses. The new Renville was a little less plain than some similar properties, with a rather low (and perhaps later) four-column Ionic porch, and the windows either side set within blind arches. The bays either side of the centre were stepped forward very slightly, creating a subtle movement in the facade. Over the porch was a central tripartite window, and round the side of the house, the ground floor room also had a big tripartite window, set under a relieving arch with a decorated tympanum. The house was occupied into the 1930s, but was abandoned after the estate was sold, and is now a ruin so completely covered in ivy as to be almost unrecognisable. You can see more pictures of the house in its present state here

Renville House: the ruins today
Renville House should not be confused with Renvyle House, also in Galway but miles away on the coast of Connemara, nor with Renville Lodge, which confusingly is now known as Renville House, and which stands just a few fields away from the original Renville House and was built at very much the same time and in a similar style. Renville was sometimes spelt Rinville.

Descent: Philip Lynch; to daughter, Margaret, wife of Edmond Athy; to son, Philip Lynch Athy (d. 1774); to son, Edmond Lynch Athy (c.1752-1807); to son, Philip Edmond Lynch Athy (c.1778-1840); to son, Randal Edmond Lynch Athy (1814-75); to son, Edmond Joseph Philip Lynch Athy (1859-1935); to daughter, Muriel Pauline Annette (1883-1943), wife of Christopher Charles Walpole Crofts (1878-1946).

Athy family of Renville

Athy, Edmond. Son of Andrew Athy of Beleek (Mayo), a captain in the army of King James II, and his wife Anastacia, daughter of Dominick Joyce of Galway. He married Margaret, daughter and heir of Philip Lynch of Renville, Oranmore (Galway) and had issue:
(1) Philip Lynch Athy (d. 1774) (q.v.);
(2) John Athy;
(3) Oliver Athy; doctor of medicine; married, 2 October 1741 at Galway, the eldest daughter of John Skerrett of Ballinduff;
(4) Christopher Athy;
(5) Edmond Athy;
(6) Sarah Athy;
(7) Jane Athy; married John Moore of Ashbrook (Mayo) and had issue three sons and two daughters.
He inherited Renville in right of his wife.
His date of death is unknown.

Athy, Philip Lynch (d. 1774). Eldest son of Edmond Athy of Renville and his wife Margaret, daughter and heir of Philip Lynch of Renville.  He married Eleanor French, a member of one of the 'Tribes of Galway', and had issue:
(1) Edmond Lynch Athy (c.1752-1807) (q.v.);
(2) Andrew Athy;
(3) Katherine Athy;
(4) Jane Athy.
He inherited Renville from his father.
He died 23 August 1774 and was buried at Oranmore (Galway).

Athy, Edmond Lynch (c.1752-1807). Elder son of Philip Lynch Athy (d. 1774) and his wife Eleanor French, born about 1752. He married, 6 February 1777, Honora (c.1755-81), daughter of Peter Nottingham of Fairfield (Galway) and had issue:
(1) Philip Edmond Lynch Athy (c.1778-1840) (q.v.);
(2) Eleanor Athy (b. c.1780); married Henry Edmond Taaffe (d. 1841) of Woodfield (Mayo), banker, and had issue.
He inherited Renville from his father in 1774.
He died 11 November 1807, aged 55, and was buried at Oranmore (Galway). His wife died 20 April 1781, aged 25, and was buried at Oranmore.

Athy, Philip Edmond Lynch (c.1778-1840). Only recorded son of Edmond Lynch Athy (d. c.1808) and his wife Honora, daughter of Peter Nottingham of Fairfield (Galway), born about 1778. Joined the Catholic Association, 1829. He married, 16 December 1809 at St Catherine, Dublin, Bridget Mary (c.1791-1864), daughter of Randal MacDonnell of Fairfield House, Dublin, and had issue including:
(1) Edmond Athy (c.1811-34); died unmarried in London, 16 August 1834;
(2) Randal Edmond Lynch Athy (1814-75) (q.v.);
(3) Honora Lynch Athy (c.1815-18); died in infancy and was buried at Oranmore, November 1818;
(3) Elizabeth Mary Athy (1818-63); died unmarried at Islington, 20 April 1863; will proved 7 May 1863 (effects under £800);
(4) Rev. Myles Athy (1819-92), baptised at St Catherine, Dublin, 9 December 1819; emigrated to Australia, 1856, where he became a Roman Catholic priest of the order of St. Benedict and curate of St  James, Forest Lodge in the diocese of Sydney (Australia); died unmarried, October 1892;
(5) Eveline Athy (c.1825-41); died unmarried at Southampton, 4 June 1841, aged 16;
(6) Catherine Athy (1828-70); died unmarried in Galway, 1870.
He inherited Renville from his father in about 1808 and built Renville House. His widow lived after his death at Buckingham House, Islington (Middx), with her unmarried daughters.
He died 18 May 1840, aged 61. His widow died in Islington (Middx), 7 February 1864; her will was proved 1 March 1864 (effects under £100).

Athy, Randal Edmond Lynch (1814-75). Eldest surviving son of Philip Edmond Lynch Athy (d. 1840) and his wife Bridget, daughter of Randal MacDonnell of Fairfield House, Dublin, born 1814. Educated at Downside. JP for Galway; member of the Galway Board of Guardians. He married, 27 April 1858, Margaret (1825-91), daughter of William Hill Buckle of Piers Court, Stinchcombe (Glos) and Chaceley (then Worcs; now Glos), an officer of 14th Regt., and had issue:
(1) Edmond Joseph Philip Lynch Athy (1859-1935) (q.v.);
(2) Mary Elizabeth Athy (c.1863-1944); married, 28 April 1889, Frederick Claude Wright Hounsell (1865-1933), surgeon, and had issue one son; died at Tenterden (Kent), 18 December 1944; will proved 20 August 1945 (estate £285);
(3) Randal William Athy (b & d. 1865); was born and died 13 October 1865; buried at Oranmore (Galway).
He inherited Renville from his father in 1840.
He died at the Imperial Hotel, Dublin, 10 April 1875; his will was proved in Dublin, 19 May 1875 and sealed in London, 15 June 1875 (total effects under £7,000). His widow died in Dublin, 31 March 1891; administration of her effects was granted 26 May 1891 in Dublin (effects £1,643) and 9 June 1891 in London (effects in England £474).

Athy, Edmond Joseph Philip Lynch (1859-1935). Only recorded son of Randal Edmond Lynch Athy (1814-75) and his wife Margaret, daughter of William Hill Buckle of Chaceley (Worcs/Glos), born 2 June and baptised at Oranmore, 4 June 1859. JP for Galway; High Sheriff of Galway, 1904. Capt. in Galway Artillery. He married 1st, 26 October 1881, Annette Frances (c.1856-1923), younger daughter of Richard Gradwell of Dowth Hall (Meath) and Carlanstown (Westmeath), and 2nd, 25 November 1924, Mary Blake, and had issue:
(1.1) Muriel Pauline Annette Lynch-Athy (1883-1943), born 28 April and baptised 16 May 1883; married, Jul-Sep 1922, Christopher Charles Walpole Crofts (1878-1946), farmer; died Oct-Dec 1943 and was buried at St Nicholas, Galway.
He inherited Renville from his father in 1875 and came of age in 1880.
He died 1 March 1935; his will was proved 30 June 1936 (effects in England £nil). His first wife died 14 January 1923; administration of her goods was granted in Dublin, and sealed in London, 26 April 1923 (effects in England £454). His widow died 29 June 1947; her will was proved 15 April 1948 (effects in England £921).


Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1912, pp. 15-16; P. Melvin, Estates and landed society in Galway, 2012, pp. 117, 434;

Location of archives

No significant accumulation is known to survive.

Coat of arms

Chequy, gules and argent, on a chevron of the first three estoiles 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.
  • Can anyone supply further images of Renville House before it fell into dereliction, and especially any views of the interior?
  • As a result of the sad incompleteness of Irish genealogical records and in the apparent absence of family papers, the genealogy of this family, particularly for the earlier generations, is unusually incomplete. If anyone can add additional information I should be very pleased to hear from them.
  • Can anyone supply images of portraits or photographs of any of the members of the family whose names are given in bold type above?

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 10th September 2016.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

(228) Athorpe of Dinnington Hall

Athorpe of Dinnington Hall
I cannot with certainty trace the ownership of Dinnington Hall in the late 17th and early 18th century, but the account that follows represents my understanding of what happened. It is known that the Rev. John Athorpe, who was rector of Weston-sub-Edge (Glos) from 1667 to 1684, bought the Dinnington estate in 1677. John, who was a graduate of Merton College, Oxford, was the son of John Athorpe (d. 1658) of Thorpe Hall, Howden (Yorks ER). He is not known to have held a benefice after he left Weston-sub-Edge, so perhaps he settled on his estate at Dinnington. He was unmarried and without issue, and he is said to have died intestate in 1706, though I have been unable to discover a record of his burial. In these circumstances, his property apparently passed to his brother, Thomas Athorpe of Belby (described in some sources as in Nottinghamshire but actually adjacent to Thorpe Hall at Howden in the East Riding of Yorkshire). Thomas himself died in the spring of 1707/8 and his will mentions his grandsons John, Thomas, Henry and Robert and granddaughters, Catherine, Rachel and Elizabeth, all apparently the children of his son Henry Athorpe (d. 1704) who had predeceased him; most of them were still minors. It is not certain which of the sons inherited the Dinnington estate, but by 1750 (when he began alterations to the house) the estate was in the hands of Henry Athorpe, who was a clerk in the Crown Office by 1724/5, held the senior legal post of Clerk of the Rules by 1734, and was promoted to be Secondary in the Crown Office in 1755. He died in 1772, and left the Dinnington estate to his sister's grandson, Robert Athorpe Blanchard (1748-1806), on condition that he took the name Athorpe in lieu of Blanchard. Robert was the son of John Blanchard and Catherine Hansley; Catherine was in turn the daughter of Henry Athorpe's sister Catherine and her husband, John Hindesley alias Hansley.

Robert Athorpe Athorpe, as he became, was a prominent JP and Colonel of the Sheffield Volunteers in the 1790s. He was presumably responsible for the John Carr style additions to Dinnington Hall soon after he inherited the estate. When he died in 1806 the estate passed to his son, Thomas (1774-1820), who like his grandfather was an unmarried lawyer. When he died he left the estate in trust for his sister, Mary Ann Middleton (1775-1820) - who actually died a month or so before him - and her son, John Carver Middleton (1803-80), on condition that the latter assumed the name of Athorpe. On his father's death in 1849, John also inherited Morthen Hall at Whiston in the West Riding and Leam Hall at Eyam in Derbyshire, which were respectively the inheritances of his Carver and Middleton forebears. John produced a very large family but only three of his sons survived him. The eldest, the Rev. George Middleton Athorpe (1835-1910), inherited Dinnington and Morthen Halls and seems to have re-acquired the ancestral Thorpe Hall estate at Howden; Col. Robert Athorpe (1841-1912) inherited Leam Hall; and the youngest, Marmaduke Athorpe (1843-72) was bred to the law. When George died without issue, however, his estates passed to Marmaduke's son and heir, Marmaduke Athorpe (1872-1921). The younger Marmaduke, like his father, died young, and he left Morthen to his widow, who settled here after she remarried in 1934, and retained it until her death in the 1950s, when it was sold. Dinnington and Thorpe Hall passed to his son, 'Toby' Middleton (1904-73), who sold Dinnington in 1935 and Thorpe after 1952.  Col. Robert Athorpe was succeeded at Leam Hall by his only surviving daughter, Lesley Clara Athorpe (later Rose-Innes) (1883-1965), and she apparently sold it after the death of her husband in 1937.

Dinnington Hall, Yorkshire (WR)

Dinnington Hall: the east front, from a postcard in the Charles Hind Postcard Collection. Some rights reserved.

The core of the house is a five-bay two storey building of uncertain date, perhaps early 18th century, which has been progressively extended and remodelled. In c.1750-57 two small wings were added flanking the east front. On stylistic grounds, these are convincingly attributed to James Paine, who was widely employed in the Doncaster area. The wings were structurally complete by 1752 (the date on the rainwater heads) and the building accounts, which survive only from 1754-57, concern the decoration of the interior by a group of craftsmen who were regular associates of Paine, including the carver Christopher Richardson, the painter Francis Fenton, and the plasterers Gervase and Thomas Ledger. A marble chimneypiece was supplied by a Mr. Bishop.

Dinnington Hall: south front. Image: English Heritage

In  the late 18th century the house was further extended when a top-lit staircase hall was built behind the original house with a large dining room to its south, projecting as a canted bay in the centre of the otherwise largely blind south front. There is no documentary evidence for the architect, but the outward form of the canted bay and the discreet stucco decoration inside suggests that this may be an unrecorded work by John Carr or one of his followers. The dining room has round-headed plaster wall panels which enclose the doorcases, a pair of semi-domed niches, the fireplace and window openings; and also a decorated plaster dado rail. The staircase hall has a screen of columns and a timber staircase rising under an oval glazed dome. The walls of the staircase were at one time decorated with a 20th century trompe-l'oeil decorative scheme, but this seems to have been removed. The drawing room was also redecorated in the late 18th century and has a marble fireplace and an oval ceiling panel with vases,ribbons and garlands.

In the early to mid 19th century, the centre of the east front was altered: the pairs of windows either side of the central bay were replaced by shallow canted bay windows. The house became an hotel in the late 20th century and is now a care home.

Descent: sold 1677 to Rev. John Athorpe (d. 1706); to brother, Thomas Athorpe (d. 1708); probably direct to grandson, Henry Athorpe (d. 1772), who altered the house; to kinsman, Robert Athorpe Blanchard (later Athorpe) (1748-1806), who extended the house; to son, Thomas Athorpe (1774-1820); to nephew, Robert Carver Middleton (later Athorpe) (1803-80); to son, Rev. George Middleton Athorpe (1835-1910); to nephew, Marmaduke Athorpe (1872-1921); to son, Marmaduke Carver Middleton (k/a Toby) Athorpe (1904-73), who sold 1935...converted to hotel and after 1997 to care home.

Morthen Hall, Whiston, Yorkshire (WR)

Morthen Hall, Whiston: the south front

A fine and well-preserved two storey mid 18th century house with later wings, said to have been built for the vicar of Whiston and thus probably built soon after 1764 for Rev. John Carver (his predecessor having been non-resident, although he did build a house on the glebe for his curate). The entrance front faces south, and is the focus of decoration, with seven bays of closely spaced sash windows and a large triangular pediment containing a big oculus over the five middle bays. There is a balustraded parapet over the end bays and a hipped roof rises behind. The central doorcase has a shouldered and eared architrave with a rectangular panel above and a segmental pediment. The rear elevation is markedly plainer and less regular, with a very large arched staircase window with Gothick lights placed off-centre; indeed, on this side there is no attempt at symmetry, windows and doorways being placed only where they are needed. The lower (one-and-a-half storey) three-bay wings are probably early 19th century.

Morthern Hall, Whiston: upstairs landing, with an original frieze and a probably 19th century staircase balustrade.

Inside, the stone-paved staircase hall has an ornate Doric frieze and archways to the ground-floor rooms which look as though they were part of the original decorative scheme, and an upstairs bedroom also has mid 18th century panelling. Most of the other rooms have been redecorated later. The dining room has a broad arched recess in one long wall, which accommodates not a sideboard but a large brown marble chimneypiece of c.1830. This may provide a clue to when the wings were added and the interior updated. The staircase balustrade is perhaps of the same time.

Descent: probably built c.1765 for Rev. John Carver (1740-1807); to son, Marmaduke Middleton Carver (later Middleton) (1771-1848), who let to Thomas Swann; to son, Robert Carver Middleton (later Athorpe) (1803-80), who let to tenants including J.S. Jubb; to son, Rev. George Middleton Athorpe (1835-1910); to nephew, Marmaduke Athorpe (1872-1921), who let it to Alfred Eadon; to widow, Mrs Anne Davidson Athorpe (later Lawson-Williams) (d. 1954), who occupied it from c.1934; to widower, David Lawson-Williams, who sold 1955...

Leam Hall, Eyam, Derbyshire

Leam Hall: the house from an old postcard of c.1911.
A four by three bay, two-and-a-half storey house in a fine position. At the core there is said to be a house of 1693, but the present elevations seem to date largely from a reconstruction for Jonathan Oxley in about 1770 (outbuildings are dated 1766 and 1777). The south front has the main entrance off-centre in the third bay, which probably reflects the plan of the earlier building. Later alterations include the addition of a single-storey bow window of c.1820 on the east front, the plain 19th century classical porch, and the service wing added to the north.

Descent: Henry Savage sold to Thomas Middleton...Nathaniel Middleton (fl. 1633)...William Middleton (d. 1677), to son, Robert Middleton (d. 1690); to son, William Middleton (1664-1720); to son, Robert Middleton (1692-1736); to nephew, Jonathan Oxley (c.1719-83); to kinsman, Marmaduke Middleton Carver (later Middleton) (1771-1848); to son, John Carver Middleton (later Athorpe) (1803-80); to younger son, Col. Robert Athorpe (1841-1912); to daughter, Lesley Clara Athorpe (later Rose-Innes) (1883-1965), wife of Geoffrey Gregory (later Rose-Innes) (1876-1937); sold or leased after his death to Alderman J.G. Graves, who let it to Youth Hostel Association until the 1960s/70s; restored as a private house by Bill Senior.

Athorpe family of Dinnington Hall

Athorpe, Rev. John (d. 1706?). Younger? son of John Athorpe of Thorpe Hall, Howden (Yorks ER) and his first wife, born about 1634. Educated at Merton College, Oxford (matriculated 1651; BA 1654/5; MA 1657). Ordained priest, 1663; vicar of Frodingham (Lincs), 1665-69; rector of Weston-sub-Edge, 1667-84. He was unmarried and without issue.
He purchased the Dinnington Hall estate in 1677.
He is said to have died intestate in 1706, but no record of his burial has been found.

Athorpe, Thomas (d. 1708). Elder? son of John Athorpe of Thorpe Hall, Howden (Yorks ER) and his first wife, born about 1630? He married 1st, Elizabeth [surname unknown] and 2nd, 11 November 1702 at Howden, Mistress Stephenson of Swinefleet, and had issue:
(1.1) Henry Athorpe (d. 1704) (q.v.).
He inherited his father's property at Thorpe Hall, Howden in 1658, and apparently also the Dinnington Hall estate of his brother in 1706.
He died in the spring of 1707/8; his will was proved 19 March 1707/8. His first wife and widow's dates of death are unknown.

Athorpe, Henry (d. 1704). Only recorded son of Thomas Athorpe (d. 1708) of Thorpe Hall, Howden (Yorks ER). He married, 1688 at Howden, Katherine Athorpe, and had issue:
(1) John Athorpe (d. by 1726) of Thorpe Hall; married and had issue including three sons; killed between 1721 and 1726;
(2) Henry Athorpe (c.1691-1772) (q.v.);
(3) Thomas Athorpe (b. 1697), baptised at Howden, 22 July 1697; his brother Henry appointed his guardian, 1712; living in 1769;
(4) Robert Athorpe (d. 1722); will proved 1721/2;
(5) Catherine Athorpe (d. 1754); married, 30 May 1721 at Howden, John Hindesley and had issue including a daughter, Catherine, who was the mother of Robert Athorpe Blanchard (q.v.); her will was proved 23 July 1754;
(6) Rachel Athorpe; minor in 1708
(7) Elizabeth Athorpe (b. 1701), baptised at Howden, 1 September 1701.
He died in the lifetime of his father and was buried at Howden, 7 February 1703/4. His widow was living in 1708.

Athorpe, Henry (c.1691-1772) of Dinnington. Second son of Henry Athorpe (d. 1704) and his wife Katherine, born about 1691. He was presumably an adult by 1712 when he was made guardian of his younger brother Thomas, and was apprenticed in 1718 to John Matthews of the Inner Temple, Secondary of the Crown Office. By 1724/5 he was one of the clerks in the Crown Office, rising by 1734 to be Clerk of the Rules there and in 1755 to be Secondary, in which capacity he played a significant role in the trial of John Wilkes for seditious libel. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Dinnington Hall, perhaps in 1708, and made additions to the house in c.1750-57. At his death it passed to his kinsman, Robert Athorpe Blanchard (1748-1806), 'late of Thorpe but now of Edensor (Derbys)'. He also left extensive property at Howden, Belby, Duncoats, Kilpin, Laxton, Brantingham and Barmby in the East Riding at his brother Thomas Athorpe of Thorpe Hall.
He died in 1772; his will was proved in the PCC, 6 May 1772.

Robert Athorpe Athorpe
Blanchard (later Athorpe), Robert Athorpe (1748-1806). Son of John Blanchard and his wife Catherine, daughter of John Hindesley alias Hansley, baptised at Holy Trinity, Hull (Yorks ER), 3 December 1748. He took the name of Athorpe in lieu of Blanchard by private Act of Parliament, 1773. JP for East and West Ridings of Yorkshire; Col. of Loyal Independent Sheffield Volunteers (Maj. commanding, 1794). He married, 8 March 1773 at Handsworth (Yorks WR), Mary Stacey (1755-1821) and had issue:
(1) Thomas Athorpe (1774-1820), baptised at Dinnington, 9 April 1774; educated at St. John's College, Cambridge (admitted 1791; BA 1796; MA 1799) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1795; called to bar, 1799); barrister-at-law; inherited the Dinnington Hall estate from his father in 1806; died unmarried and without issue at Montpellier (France), 22 November 1820, and was apparently buried abroad; will proved at York, August 1821;
(2) Mary Ann Athorpe (1775-1820) (q.v.);
(3) Henry Athorpe (1781-1815), born 8 March and baptised at Dinnington, 3 April 1781; an officer in the army (Ensign, 1798; Lt., 1799; Capt., 1801); died unmarried and without issue and was buried at Dinnington, 11 May 1815;
(4) John Athorpe (d. 1815); died at Mansfield (Notts), 5 May 1815;
(5) Elizabeth Athorpe (1786-1819), baptised 1 January 1787; died unmarried, 4 November 1819; her will was proved at York, April 1820.
He inherited the Dinnington Hall estate from his kinsman, Henry Athorpe (d.1772). At his death it passed first to his elder son and then to his grandson, John Carver Middleton (later Athorpe).
He died at Worksop (Notts) and was buried at Dinnington, 30 January 1806; his will was proved 7 February 1806. His widow was buried at Dinnington 7 March 1821.

Athorpe, Mary Ann (1775-1820). Daughter of Robert Athorpe Blanchard (later Athorpe) (d. 1806) and his wife Mary Stacey, born 1775. She married, 12 August 1801 at Throapham (Yorks), Marmaduke Middleton Carver (later Middleton) JP DL (1771-1848) of Leam (Derbys) and Morthen (Yorks WR), son of Rev. John Carver (1740-1807) of Morthen, and had issue:
(1) John Carver Middleton (later Athorpe) (1803-80) (q.v.);
(2) Marmaduke Middleton (b. 1810), baptised at Eyam (Derbys), 15 May 1810; educated at Christ's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1831); probably died in 1833;
(3) Mary Ann Carver Middleton (d. 1817); died young, 15 February 1817.
She was buried at Whiston, 5 October 1820. Her husband married 2nd, 11 June 1822 at Brampton (Derbys), Martha, daughter of Anthony Dawson of Azerley (Yorks WR) and died in 1848; his will was proved 14 June 1849.

Middleton (later Athorpe), John Carver (1803-80). Elder son of Marmaduke Middleton Carver (later Middleton) (1771-1848) of Leam (Derbys) and his wife Mary Anne, daughter of Robert Athorpe Athorpe of Dinnington (Yorks WR), born 9 August and baptised at Eyam (Derbys), 14 August 1803. Educated at Trinity and Emmanuel Colleges, Cambridge (admitted 1822; BA 1826; MA 1830). He assumed the name and arms of Athorpe by royal licence, 1821. An officer in the West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry (Maj.). He married, 5/8 February 1831 at Sheffield (Yorks WR), Mary (d. 1863), daughter of Thomas Gibbon Fitzgibbon of Ballyseeda (Limerick) and granddaughter of Sir Henry Osborne, 11th bt., and had issue:
(1) Mary Ann Eliza Athorpe (1832-1912), baptised at Dinnington, 11 March 1832; married, 5 April 1853, Sir Edward Walter KCB (1823-1904), founder of the Corps of Commissionaires and youngest son of John Walter of Bearwood (Berks) and had issue six children; died 4 May 1912; will proved 20 June 1912 (estate £1,975);
(2) Capt. John Athorpe (1833-61), born 31 March and baptised at Dinnington, 21 April 1833; an officer in the 85th Foot (Ensign, 1851; Lt., 1852; Capt., 1855); married, 8 April 1856 at Bishopwearmouth (Durham), Avice, daughter of Capt. Hayden, but had no issue; died in Natal (South Africa), 3 March 1861;
(3) Harriet Athorpe (1834-1905), baptised at Dinnington, 21 July 1834; married, 17 August 1854, Edward Claudius Walker of Chester, and had issue; died 8 July 1905; will proved 25 August 1905 (estate £17,892);
(4) Rev. George Middleton Athorpe (1835-1910) (q.v.);
(5) Henry Athorpe (1837-54), born 6 March 1837; a midshipman in the Royal Navy; died unmarried when he was killed in action at Gamla Carlaby (Finland), 8 June 1854;
(6) Emily Jane Athorpe (1840-67), baptised at Dinnington, 5 April 1840; married, 28 February 1867 at Pau (France), James Armstrong Murray of Colesberg, Cape of Good Hope (South Africa); died at Cartagena (Spain), 1 November 1867;
(7) Col. Robert Athorpe (1841-1912) (q.v.); 
(8) Marmaduke Athorpe (1843-72) (q.v.);
(9) Catherine Agnes Athorpe (1845-60), baptised at Dinnington, 31 March 1845; died young at Pau (France), 12 March 1860;
(10) Clara Isabella Athorpe (1846-72), baptised at Dinnington, 6 January 1847; married, 26 May 1870 at Sydney, New South Wales (Australia), Charles J. Manning of Sydney, barrister-at-law. and had issue one daughter; died 3 April 1872;
(11) Nanette Fanny Athorpe (1849-74), baptised at Dinnington, 19 April 1849; married, 15 August 1872, Nicholas John Charlton of Chilwell (Notts) and had issue; died 11 November 1874;
(12) Ellen Etheldred Athorpe  (1850-63), baptised at Dinnington, 17 February 1850; died young, 30 July 1863;
(13) Blanche Athorpe (1851-77), baptised at Dinnington, 9 January 1852; died unmarried, 22 June 1877;
(14) Alice Nina Athorpe (1853-1933) of Ayloy House, North Anston (Yorks WR), baptised at Dinnington, 7 August 1853; died unmarried, 8 October 1933; will proved 15 November 1933 (estate £9,322).
He inherited the Dinnington Hall estate from his uncle in 1820 and came of age in 1824. He inherited Morthen Hall and Leam Hall (Derbys) from his father in 1849. At his death Leam Hall went to his son Robert and the remaining estates to his eldest surviving son George.
He died 12 January 1880; his will was proved 13 February 1880 (estate under £20,000). His wife died 23 December 1863.

Athorpe, Rev. George Middleton (1835-1910). Second, but eldest surviving, son of John Carver Athorpe (1803-80) and his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Gibbon Fitzgibbon of Ballyseeda (Limerick) and granddaughter of Sir Henry Osborne, 11th bt., born 1 November 1835. Educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (admitted 1855; BA 1860; MA 1866). Ordained deacon, 1861 and priest, 1862. Curate of Tunstall (Staffs), 1861-62, West Retford (Notts), 1862-63 and Laughton-en-le-Morthern (Yorks WR), 1864-70; Rector of Dinnington (Yorks WR), 1870-82; unbeneficed thereafter. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Dinnington Hall, Morthen Hall estates from his father in 1880 and seems to have re-acquired the ancestral Thorpe Hall estate at Howden (Yorks ER) at some point. At his death these properties all passed to his nephew, Marmaduke Athorpe (1872-1921).
He died 16 January 1910; his will was proved 22 April 1910 (estate £170,937).

Athorpe, Col. Robert (1841-1912). Fourth son of John Carver Athorpe (1803-80) and his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Gibbon Fitzgibbon of Ballyseeda (Limerick) and granddaughter of Sir Henry Osborne, 11th bt., born 16 October 1841. An officer in the Royal Engineers (Lt., 1858; Second Capt., 1872; Maj., 1879; Col.). He married, 7 December 1880 at St Stephen, Kensington (Middx), Grace Mary Edith (d. 1909), daughter of Thomas Gilzean Rose-Innes of Netherdale (Banffs.) and had issue:
(1) Grace Edith May Athorpe (1881-1908), born 17 September and baptised at Woolwich (Kent), 17 October 1881; married, 17 July 1907 at Eyam, Ashton Ashton Shuttleworth (1878-1956) (who m2, 3 January 1912, Dorothy Ann Leslie and had issue two sons), but had no issue; died 25 March 1908; administration of goods granted, 30 September 1909 (estate £112);
(2) Lesley Clara Athorpe (later Rose-Innes) (1883-1965), born Oct-Dec 1883; changed name to Rose-Innes in 1910; married, 5 December 1911, Geoffrey Gregory (later Rose-Innes) (1876-1937); died 27 September 1965; will proved 4 May 1966 (estate £32,291).
He inherited Leam Hall (Derbys) from his father in 1880. At his death he left the estate to his younger and only surviving daughter, who sold it in 1939 after the death of her husband.
He died 1 April 1912; his will was proved 17 August 1912 (estate £18,155). His wife died at Hy√®res (France), 14 March 1909; administration of her goods was granted 28 June 1909 (estate £271).

Athorpe, Marmaduke (1843-72). Fifth son of John Carver Athorpe (1803-80) and his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Gibbon Fitzgibbon of Ballyseeda (Limerick) and granddaughter of Sir Henry Osborne, 11th bt., born 27 May 1843. Educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (matriculated 1861; BA 1865) and Lincolns Inn. He married, 6 April 1869 at Milton Ernest (Beds), Edith Louisa (d. 1872), daughter of Rev. C.C. Beaty Pownall, and had issue:
(1) Amy Winifred Athorpe (1870-1952), born at Alicante (Spain), 1870; missionary in South Africa; died unmarried at Grahamstown (South Africa), 27 February 1952; will proved 30 August 1952 (estate in England, £6,969);
(2) Marmaduke Athorpe (1871-72); died in infancy;
(3) Marmaduke Athorpe (1872-1921) (q.v.).
He died at Alicante (Spain), 9 March 1872. His widow died in November 1872.

Athorpe, Marmaduke (1872-1921). Second, but only surviving son of Marmaduke Athorpe (1843-72) and his wife Edith Louisa, daughter of Rev. C.C. Beaty Pownall, born posthumously, 19 July 1872. Educated at Eton. Coffee planter in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). He married, 1 June 1897, Anne Davidson JP (1878-1954), daughter of Gordon Pyper of Hantane (Sri Lanka), and had issue:
(1) Dorothy Phyllis Athorpe (1898-1947), born in Sri Lanka, 11 March 1898; married, 22 August 1931, Maxwell Anthony Buchanan Harrison (d. 1940) of Sudan Legal Dept., son of Henry Anthony Harrison, judge and commissioner in Indian Civil Service; died 4 October 1947; will proved 27 July 1948 (estate £79,648);
(2) Ermengard Athorpe (1901-76), born 19 February and baptised at St John, Walham Green (Middx), 10 April 1901; married, 3 August 1927, Algernon Marshall Daryl Grenfell of Mostyn House School, Parkgate (Cheshire), son of Algernon George Grenfell of Mostyn House, and had issue; died 1 March 1976; will proved 2 June 1976 (estate £20,156);
(3) Marmaduke Carver Middleton (k/a Toby) Athorpe (1904-73) (q.v.).
He inherited the Dinnington Hall, Morthen Hall and Thorpe Hall estates from his uncle in 1910.
He died 27 March 1921; his will was proved 4 April 1922 (estate £39,912). His widow married 2nd, 27 December 1934, Douglas Lawson-Williams, and lived latterly at Morthen Hall; she died 12 August 1954; her will was proved 17 May 1955 (estate £9,987).

Athorpe, Marmaduke Carver Middleton (k/a Toby) (1904-73). Only son of Marmaduke Athorpe (1872-1921) and his wife Anne Davidson, daughter of Gordon Pyper of Hantane (Sri Lanka), born 29 August 1904. Educated at Eton and New College, Oxford (MA). He married, 12 July 1932, Hilda Bridget (1908-2000), eldest daughter of William Waterfall of Streetley Corner, Worksop (Notts) and had issue:
(1) John Crispian Athorpe (1935-2010), born 25 October 1935; died 30 November 2010;
(2) Penelope Brighid (k/a Poppy) Athorpe (b. 1938), born 2 October 1938; married, 1963, Rt. Rev. Frank V. Weston (d. 2003), bishop of Knaresborough.
He inherited the Dinnington Hall and Thorpe Hall estates from his father in 1921, but sold Dinnington after 1947 and Thorpe Hall after 1952. He lived latterly at Laployd Barton, Bridford (Devon).
He died 15 November 1973; his will was proved 9 August 1974 (estate £23,197). His widow died 22 January 2000; her will was proved 10 April 2000.


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1952, p. 47; J. Clay (ed.), [Joseph Hunter's] Familiae Minorum Gentium, vol. 4, p. 1261; Sir N. Pevsner & E. Radcliffe, The buildings of England: Yorkshire - the West Riding, 2nd edn., 1974, p. 180; P. Leach, James Paine, 1988, p. 182.

Location of archives

Athorpe of Dinnington Hall: deeds, estate, manorial and family papers, c.1350-1823 [Rotherham Archives & Local Studies, 916-M]. [This collection was formerly held at Sheffield City Archives, ref. AM].

Coat of arms

Per pale nebuly argent and azure, two mullets in fesse counterchanged.

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 provide information about the recent ownership history of Dinnington Hall (since 1935), Morthen Hall (since 1955), or Leam Hall (since 1939)?
  • Can anyone provide interior photographs of Dinnington Hall?

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 31 August and updated 2 September 2016.