Friday, 25 March 2016

(211) Ashwin of Bretforton Manor

Ashwin of Bretforton
The Ashwins were lords of the manor of Bretforton for over 450 years from the early 16th century, and built a new manor house in 1605. But they really remained archetypal 'parish gentry' until the later 18th century, when the second marriage of William Ashwin (1738-1815) brought him the estate of Richard Baldwin of Bretforton, and extended the family's property into Aldington, Badsey, Wickhamford and Honeybourne. William's grandson, James Ashwin (1806-60) seems to have been the first to hold more than parochial public office, when he became a justice of the peace and deputy lieutenant for Worcestershire in the early 19th century. James' younger but only surviving son, William Henry Ashwin (1835-92) was the first to go to university, and the first to be included in Burke's Landed Gentry, and it was he who rebuilt the manor house in its present formSo the family had a slow but steady rise to consequence in their quiet corner of Worcestershire, culminating in the position of James Ashwin (1860-1941), whose brother-in-law became a peer and who was the first of his family to be High Sheriff of Worcestershire and included in Kelly's Handbook to the Landed, Titled and Official Classes. Tragically, however, two of his sons died young and the third, Harry Ashwin (1906-83), remained unmarried. In the changed political and economic circumstances of the later 20th century, and with no male heir to succeed him, Harry Ashwin gradually sold off the estate, beginning with the outlying farms in the 1950s and ending with the cottages in the village as they fell vacant in the 1970s. What was left, including the manor house itself, passed to his niece at his death, and was sold shortly afterwards. Subsequent owners have brought new resources from external sources to the restoration and maintenance of the house and the development of the garden.



Bretforton Manor, Worcestershire


Bretforton Manor: entrance front

The house has a core said to have been built for the Ashwin family in 1605, but the stone frontages now seem to belong entirely to a major rebuilding in the 1870s for William Henry Ashwin (1835-92). The entrance front has a main block of two storeys with gabled dormers and a lower two-storey two-bay wing to the left. In the centre of the main range are a single storey porch and a two-storey battlemented canted bay window. The whole house is fenestrated with plain mullion-and-transom windows that are executed in a rich orangey stone that makes a strong contrast with the pale limestone of the walls. Inside, the entrance hall is lined with a jumble of vigorous Jacobean panelling which may have come from the previous house or have been assembled for the purpose from buildings in the area. 


Bretforton Manor: the largely Jacobean panelling assembled in the entrance hall, 1943.
Image: Reproduced by permission of Historic England, AA 027179

Since the house was sold by the Ashwin family it has been restored and the present owners have developed a notable 5-acre garden (occasionally open to the public) around the house to the designs of Paul Williams.


Bretforton Manor: side elevation. Image: JEH Photography

Descent: William Ashwin (1738-1815); to son, John Ashwin (1760-1835); to son, James Ashwin (1806-60); to son, William Henry Ashwin (1835-92); to son, James Ashwin (1860-1941); to son, Harry Ashwin (1906-83); sold c.1984... Joachim Franz Xaver Hettich (b. 1951; fl. 2003); sold 2006 to Mr & Mrs. M.L. Chambers (fl. 2016).


Ashwin family of Bretforton



Ashwin, William (1738-1815). Son of James Ashwin (1710-1801) and his wife Mary Patten (d. 1763) of Bourton, baptised 27 July 1738. He married 1st, 11 August 1757, Elizabeth Sheppard (d. 1757) of Bretforton, and 2nd, 26 October 1758, Mary (c.1734-97), daughter of Richard Baldwin of Bretforton, and had issue including:
(2.1) James Ashwin (1760-1835) (q.v.);
(2.2) Richard Ashwin (1762-72), baptised at Bretforton, 6 January 1763; died young and was buried at Bretforton, 15 May 1772;
(2.3) Mary Ashwin (1766-1839?), baptised at Bretforton, 7 February 1766; married, 1 July 1788 at Bretforton, John Allen of Chipping Campden (Glos); probably the person of this name buried at Chipping Campden, 31 December 1839;
(2.4) Ann Ashwin (b. 1768), baptised at Bretforton, 29 January 1768;
(2.5) Theodosia Ashwin (b. 1771; fl. 1834); baptised at Bretforton, 16 May 1771; married, 1 June 1793 at Bretforton, John Joyner (d. 1803) of Broadway and had issue;
(2.6) William Ashwin (1773-1853), baptised at Bretforton, 6 January 1774; farmer at Broadway (Worcs); died 27 March 1853;
(2.7) Thomas Ashwin (1774-75), baptised at Bretforton, 4 December 1774; died in infancy and was buried at Bretforton, 6 January 1775;
(2.8) Sarah Ashwin (b. 1775/6; fl. 1834); baptised at Bretforton, 21 January 1776; married, 27 April 1795 at Bretforton, as his second wife, Richard Turner of Chipping Campden.
He inherited Bretforton Manor from his father in 1801. Through his second wife he 'inherited landed property of some importance' (the property which Nash in his Collections for the History of Worcestershire describes as being owned by Richard Baldwin).
He died 8 April and was buried at Bretforton, 11 April 1815. His first wife died 26 October 1757, just two and a half months after her marriage. His second wife died 23 April 1797 and was buried at Bretforton, 26 April 1797.

Ashwin, James (1760-1835). Son of William Ashwin (1738-1815) and his second wife Mary, daughter of Richard Baldwin of Bretforton, born 24 May and baptised 27 May 1760. He married 1st, 29 June 1784 at Sutton Coldfield (Warks), Kitty Anderton (d. 1796) of Sutton Coldfield, and 2nd, 3 December 1799 at Northleach (Glos), Rebecca (1782-1858), daughter of John Hall of Bretforton, and had issue including:
(1.1) Mary Ashwin (1785-88?), baptised 6 May 1785 at Bretforton; probably the person of this name buried at Bretforton, 3 February 1788;
(1.2) Ann Ashwin (1788-1822), baptised 24 January 1788 at Wickhamford; married, 8 January 1807 at Bretforton, John Hall (1783-1828) of Bretforton and had issue two sons and five daughters; buried at Bretforton, 13 May 1822;
(2.1) Kitty Ashwin (1801-66), baptised 31 December 1801 at Bretforton; married, 3 May 1823 at St Mary-de-Crypt, Gloucester, William Gough (d. 1865), farmer, of Hinton-on-the-Green (Glos, now Worcs) and had issue three sons and three daughters; died at Hinton-on-the-Green, 2 January 1866; will proved 3 July 1866 (effects under £3,000);
(2.2) Sarah Ashwin (1805-64), baptised 3 June 1805 at Bretforton; lived with her widowed mother in Bretforton until her mother's death in 1858 and then moved to Tivoli Cottage, Cheltenham, where she died unmarried, 26 March 1864; will proved 20 April 1864 (effects under £200);
(2.3) James Ashwin (1806-60) (q.v.);
(2.4) Helen Ashwin (1809-74), baptised 18 October 1809 at Bretforton; married, 25 September 1834 at Bretforton, Henry Collins of Duffryn House (Monmouths.), farmer, and had issue three sons and five daughters; died at 2 Park Place, Cheltenham, 7 January 1874; will proved 17 January 1874 (effects under £800);
(2.5) Richard Ashwin (1811-66), baptised 10 October 1811; farmed at Aldington (Worcs); married 1st, 15 December 1840 at St Lawrence, Evesham (Worcs), Ann (1821-42), daughter of Anthony New of Evesham (Worcs) and had issue one son (who died in infancy); married 2nd, 5 October 1843 at St Lawrence, Evesham, Mary Louisa Harriet (1820-61), youngest daughter of John Wesney Lavender, esq.; died 30 May 1866; will proved 20 June 1866 (effects under £4,000);
(2.6) Emma Ashwin (1812-60), baptised at Bretforton, 3 January 1813; married, 20 May 1834 at Bretforton, Oswald Cheek (d. 1868), Town Clerk of Evesham (Worcs) and had issue seven sons and five daughters; died 3 May and was buried at Evesham, 9 May 1860;
(2.7) Rebecca Ashwin (c.1814-43), born about 1814; married, 14 January 1835 at Bretforton, William Williams of Newport (Monmouths.), banker, son of William Williams esq. of Newport; died 'after a short but severe illness', 24 April 1843;
(2.8) Caroline Ashwin (1816-86), baptised at Bretforton, 10 November 1816; married, 8 January 1839 at Bretforton, Charles Randell (d. 1888) of Chadbury (Worcs); died Jan-Mar 1886;
He inherited the Bretforton Manor estate from his father in 1815.
He died 12 May 1835; his will was proved in the PCC, 18 July 1835. His first wife died 25 February and was buried at Bretforton, 28 February 1796. His widow died 27 October 1858; her will was proved 30 April 1859 (effects under £200).

Ashwin, James (1806-60). Son of James Ashwin (1760-1835) and his second wife Rebecca, daughter of John Hall of Bretforton, born 28 November 1806 and baptised 20 May 1807. JP and DL for Worcestershire; churchwarden of Bretforton, 1831-34. He married, 19 January 1831 at Bassaleg (Monmouths.), Jane (1805-79), daughter of John Donne Collins of Duffryn (Monmouths) and had issue:
(1) Clara Anne Ashwin (1832-1904), born 25 July 1832; married, 13 October 1855 at Bretforton, Adam Eyton JP (1825-1900) of Plas Llanerchymor (Flints) and had issue three sons and three daughters; died 22 May 1904; will proved 7 November 1911 (estate £1,066);
(2) Lt. James Collins Ashwin (1833-55), born 9 September 1833; Lt. in 57th Foot; killed before Sebastopol in the assault on the Great Redan, during the Crimean War, 18 June 1855;
(3) William Henry Ashwin (1835-92) (q.v.).
He inherited the Bretforton Manor estate from his father in 1835.
He died 9 May 1860 and was buried at Bretforton, where he is commemorated by a monument in the chancel; his will was proved 6 July 1860 (effects under £7,000). His widow died in Cheltenham, 1 December 1879; her will was proved 22 December 1879 (effects under £450).

Ashwin, William Henry (1835-92). Second son of James Ashwin (1806-60) and his wife Jane, daughter of John Donne Collins of Duffryn (Monmouths.), born 11 March and baptised at Bretforton, 7 April 1835. Educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1854). JP for Worcestershire and DL for Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. He married, 21 September 1858, Gwenelin (1836-1924), daughter of J. Prys Eyton of Plas Llanerchymor (Flints) and had issue:
(1) Amy Ashwin (1859-1952), born 2 June 1859; married, 28 September 1881, John Henderson (d. 1930) of Clifton (Derbys), and had issue one son and three daughters; died 30 April 1952 and was buried at Clifton, 5 May 1952; will proved 21 June 1952 (estate £771);
(2) James Ashwin (1860-1941) (q.v.);
(3) Maud Ashwin (1862-96), born 17 March 1862; married, 28 September 1881 at Bretforton, Rev. Belton Young (1856-1935), son of Richard Young MP of Walsoken (Norfk) and had issue two daughters; died at Ventnor (IoW), 31 March 1896; commemorated by a stained glass window in Bretforton church;
(4) Lt. Henry Ashwin (1863-87), born 17 June 1863; Lt. in the Royal Navy; died unmarried, 29 November 1887;
(5) Clara Ashwin (1865-1948), born 28 January 1865; married, 30 April 1889, John Faulkner JP (1865-1941) of Kempsford (Glos), eldest son of William Carey Faulkner of Charlton House (Worcs), but had no issue; died at Barnwood House Hospital, Gloucester, 2 March 1948; will proved 18 August 1948 (estate £2,044);
(6) Richard Ashwin (1866-1938), born 18 December 1866 and baptised at Bretforton, 17 March 1867; educated at Royal Medical Benevolent College; died unmarried, 21 July 1938;
(7) Keyt Ashwin (1868-1952), born 1 July 1868; officer in the merchant navy, 1885-1902 (mate, 1891; master, 1898); Lt. in Royal Navy Reserve 1898-1918; died unmarried, 20 February 1952; will proved 22 April 1952 (estate £15,436);
(8) Rev. Collins Ashwin (1870-1938), born 17 March 1870; educated at Merton College, Oxford (matriculated 1889; BA 1892; MA 1896); ordained deacon, 1897 and priest, 1898; curate of Wimborne Minster (Dorset), 1897-99; vicar of Stanway (Glos), 1899-1904; rector of Dumbleton (Glos), 1904-38 (with Wormington from 1912); rural dean of Winchcombe, 1920-23; married, 6 April 1899 at Moor Allerton, Gertrude (d. 1901), third daughter of George Watson of Donisthorpe House, Moor Allerton (Yorks) and had issue one son; died 12 November and was buried at Stanway, 15 November 1938; will proved 22 December 1938 (estate £676);
(9) Gwenelin Ashwin (1872-98), born 17 January and baptised 16 July 1872; died unmarried at Territet (Switzerland), 19 February 1898;
(10) Marion Ashwin (1874-1962), born 22 December 1874; married, 9 February 1902 in St Paul's Cathedral, Calcutta (India), Arthur William Watson CB CBE (d. 1925), senior civil servant, son of Dr. James Watson, and had issue; died 24 February 1962; will proved 30 May 1962 (estate £1,395);
(11) Clinton Ashwin (1873-1932), born 12 August 1873; joined the merchant navy, 1891; died unmarried, 27 August 1932;
(12) Hildegarde Ashwin (1879-1969), born 30 October 1879; married, 31 January 1903, Herbert Henry Ryland (1872-1958), solicitor, son of Henry Skipper Ryland, Master of the Supreme Court, and had issue; died 25 February 1969.
He inherited the Bretforton Manor estate from his father in 1860 and largely rebuilt the manor house in the 1870s.
He died 21 February 1892; his will was proved 31 May 1892 (effects £2,173). His widow died 14 November 1924; her will was proved 22 December 1924 (effects £127).

Ashwin, James (1860-1941). Eldest son of William Henry Ashwin (1835-92) and his wife Gwenelin, daughter of J. Prys Eyton of Plas Llanerchymor (Flints), born 15 July 1860. Educated at Eton. JP and DL for Worcestershire and JP for Gloucestershire; High Sheriff of Worcestershire, 1914. County Councillor and later County Alderman for Worcestershire. He married, 19 November 1890, Clara (1868-1946), eldest daughter of George Watson, soap manufacturer, of Donisthorpe House, Moor Allerton (Yorks) and sister of 1st Baron Manton, and had issue:
(1) Thetis Mary Ashwin (1891-1981), born 12 October and baptised at Moor Allerton, 5 December 1891; lived at Manor Farm, Bretforton; died unmarried, 29 July 1981; will proved 6 November 1981 (estate £128,278);
(2) Ruth Ashwin (1893-1969), born 31 October 1893; married, 16 October 1924, Alfred Eric Lawrence Craven (1894-1987) of Ditcheat (Somerset), younger son of Hiram Craven of The Briery, Sunderland (Durham) and had issue one son and two daughters (one of whom inherited the Bretforton estate in 1983 on the death of her uncle; and sold up); died 22 May 1969; will proved 29 September 1969 (estate £19,499);
(3) James Ashwin (1897-1907), born 30 April 1897; died young of appendicitis, 3 September 1907;
(4) Charles Watson (k/a Bobbie) Ashwin (1902-32), born 26 November 1902; educated at Eton; described by James Lees-Milne as "the good-looking, fragrantly pansy brother"; died unmarried in the lifetime of his father as a result of a fractured skull sustained in a motor accident in London, 21 April 1932;
(5) Henry Ashwin (1906-83) (q.v.);
(6) Clara Ashwin (1908-45), born 17 June 1908; described by James Lees-Milne as "tall and plain, with a dry sense of humour"; married, 1 August 1933, Charles Frederick Rex Bagnall CBE (1904-93) of Cerne Abbas (Dorset) and had issue two sons; died of tuberculosis 'brought on by war work', 4 October 1945; will proved 12 March 1946 (estate £9,935).
He inherited the Bretforton Manor estate from his father in 1892. In the period 1893-1910 he seems to have leased the pretty Gothick village house, Bretforton Hall, and to have lived there, presumably while his mother remained in the Manor.
He died 8 July 1941; his will was proved 9 January 1942 (estate £54,287). His widow died 17 May 1946; her will was proved 11 September 1946 (estate £7,433).

Ashwin, Henry (k/a Harry) (1906-83). Youngest but only surviving son of James Ashwin (1860-1941) and his wife Clara, eldest daughter of George Watson of Donisthorpe House, Moor Allerton (Yorks), born 9 October 1906. Educated at Eton and Magdalene College, Cambridge (BA 1928). JP and DL for Worcestershire; High Sheriff of Worcestershire, 1954; served on Worcestershire County Council (councillor, 1934; alderman, 1952; Vice-Chairman, 1961-67). Served in Second World War in Royal Artillery, 1939-40 and RAF Volunteer Reserve, 1940-45 (Sq Ldr, 1944). According to his childhood companion, James Lees-Milne "he was always deadly dull, a lump". He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Bretforton Manor estate from his father in 1941. In the 1950s he sold several of the farms and later many of the cottages in the village as they became vacant. After his death the remainder of the estate passed to one of his nieces and was sold up.
He died 8 June 1983; his will was proved 15 September 1983 (estate £1,180,137).


Sources


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1972, pp. 29-30; M. Bloch (ed.), James Lees-Milne: diaries 1971-83, passim; A. Brooks & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Worcestershire, 2007, p. 171.


Location of archives


Ashwin family of Bretforton:  deeds, wills, plans, estate and family papers, 1562-20th cent. [Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology Service, 705:273]


Coat of arms


Argent, on a chevron between three kites' heads erased or, as many fylfots of the field.


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Revision and acknowledgements


This post was first published 25th March 2016.

Monday, 21 March 2016

(210) Ashton of Woolton Hall and Hefferston Grange

Ashton of Woolton Hall
The Ashtons of Woolton Hall trace their origins to a family of yeomen long established at Ashton-in-Makerfield (Lancs). In the early 18th century, John Ashton (1711-59) moved from Ashton to Liverpool, where he became a cheesemonger and then in 1746 bought the Dungeon salt works near Hale (Lancs) which made the family's fortune. He quickly became one of the leading merchants in Liverpool and in 1754 was in a position to promote and invest in the construction of the Sankey Canal, which was built to bring coal into the Liverpool from the coal pits at Haydock and Parr at much reduced cost. As the salt works was a major consumer of coal, Ashton stood to benefit directly from the price reduction, as well as profiting from the carriage of the coal on the canal. His son, Nicholas Ashton (1742-1833), who succeeded to his father's businesses at the tender age of seventeen, later leased the coal pits to ensure a regular supply of coal to his works. The success of these business ventures rapidly made the family wealthy, and in 1772 Nicholas Ashton bought Woolton Hall, which was handily situated between the city and his saltworks near Hale, and shortly afterwards commissioned Robert Adam to enlarge and remodel the house. For a provincial merchant like Ashton to use a fashionable architect like Adam was to make a significant statement about his ambition, wealth and self-confidence, and there are other signs that Nicholas Ashton was a young man in a hurry. He served as High Sheriff of Lancashire, an expensive office that was often filled by newcomers to the gentry elite, in 1770, and in 1769 he arranged for his mother, his wife, his young son, and two of his sisters to be painted by Joseph Wright of Derby (who was based in Liverpool between 1768 and 1771).  It seems probable that there were originally also portraits of Nicholas himself and of his elder sister Margaret to complete the set, but if these still exist they have not yet been identified. Nicholas also took on the public duties of a leading citizen, and although he was never a member of the city council, he was a vestryman, a trustee of the Bluecoat hospital, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and a founder member of the Liverpool Athanaeum. Nicholas married twice, and his first wife, Mary Philpot (d. 1777) brought him another, if more modest, country house, Hefferston Grange. Since Ashton altered this in 1776, while work was proceeding at Woolton Hall, it is at least possible that Adam also designed the changes at Hefferston, but the style is not sufficiently distinctive to allow an attribution to be made. Indeed, some writers have queried how far Adam oversaw the execution of the work at Woolton Hall itself, as the new range as built is a good deal simpler and less successful than the only surviving design.

Nicholas Ashton had eleven children by his two marriages, but only the three sons by his second marriage and perhaps one of the daughters of his first marriage survived him. His eldest son was established at Hefferston Grange, but after he died in 1815 that house was let. His eldest surviving son, Joseph Ashton (1783-1836), who was educated as a gentleman at Eton, inherited most of his father's property and seems quickly to have sold the business interests. His son, Charles Ellis Ashton (1817-81), became one of the earliest members of the Liverpool stock exchange, but although he appears to have been financially successful, he sold Woolton Hall in 1865 and Hefferston Grange before 1876 and leased a number of houses, including Leeswood (Flints). His son, Charles Henry Ashton (1855-1908), followed his father into stockbroking, and the partnership he built developed into the modern firm of Ashton Tod McLaren. He seems to have leased Field House at Chester and later The Grange at Ellesmere (Cheshire) but after his early death the latter was given up and his widow and daughters moved away. The family name was continued by his younger brother, Lt-Col. Frederic Ellis Ashton (1867-1949), whose son Nicholas Charles Ellis Ashton (1904-86) was still included in Burke's Landed Gentry, although by the time of his death it was more than a century since the family had owned an estate.



Woolton Hall, Much Woolton, Liverpool, Lancashire


Woolton is now an L-shaped 18th century house comprising ranges of c.1709-14 and c.1774-80, but the wall between the two is said to contain 17th century work, which may be evidence of the earlier house of the Brettargh family. This can only have been very modest, however, as no house in Much Woolton was taxed on more than three hearths in 1662.


Woolton Hall from an engraving of 1785. The older facade is to the right.

In 1700 or 1704 the house was sold to Richard Molyneux (later 5th Viscount Molyneux), son of the builder of the west wing of Croxteth Hall (Lancs). He built the north range of the present house in c.1709-14. This has a six-bay two-storey north-facing facade, with a central pediment decorated with trophies and a cross moline (presumably a reference to the medieval ownership of the manor by the Knights Hospitallers), but there are two windows under the pediment, not three, an unexpected solecism. Furthermore, the first floor windows are squashed up into the frieze, leaving an uncomfortably deep area of blank ashlar between them and the ground floor windows. This is occasioned by the height of the very grand rooms within, but a more experienced architect would have masked the impact on the exterior. To the right is a two-bay addition, also of the early 18th century, and probably made after 1718, when Richard Molyneux succeeded to his father's viscountcy. The apsidal end of the range was added c.1865 for J.R. Jeffery, probably to the designs of Thomas Haigh & Co. of Liverpool (who in 1866-67 rebuilt the Compton House department store in Liverpool, of which Jeffery was owner, after a fire); they were perhaps responsible for the reglazing of the house with plate glass too.


Woolton Hall: design by Robert Adam for a variant scheme to the one actually executed, n.d. [c.1774]
Image: By courtesy of the Trustees of Sir John Soane’s Museum; Adam volume 30/45.


Woolton Hall: the Adam east front of c.1774-80. The mid 19th century porch masks the three-storey centre. Image: Mr Beady

The east front, built c.1774-80 for Nicholas Ashton, is a documented work by Robert Adam, but it is not one of his best designs. Actually, the only Adam design to survive for the house is for a variant scheme with considerably more elaborate decoration and a good deal more visual unity. As built, the elevation is of seven bays, grouped 2-3-2, with the right hand two bays representing the end of the early 18th century wing and taking their proportions from it. Adam added a pediment to these two bays, and placed medallions between the ground and first floors to make the proportions more satisfactory. This unit is repeated at the left-hand end of the facade. In between, is a three-bay, three-storey centre (probably representing a remodelling of a surviving part of the 17th century house with lower ceiling heights) with circular paterae in the top frieze. Originally, the facade had a semi-circular porch, but this was replaced c.1865 by a large porte-cochere which tends to mask the three-storey nature of the centre, In the late 19th century the house was extended to the south by a further four bay, three-storey block entirely fenestrated with tripartite windows.


Woolton Hall: the house as extended to the south in the late 19th century.




Woolton Hall: the Tapestry Room was opened into the adjoining Drawing Room in the early 20th century. Image: Mr Beady


Woolton Hall: detail of the panelling in the north range.
Inside, the north range houses three large and high rooms. The original six bays are occupied by the Saloon and the Tapestry Room, separated by a vestibule and a privy staircase; the two-bay extension houses a Drawing Room. The rooms have excellent bolection-moulded oak panelling, with fine fluted pilasters framing the chimneypieces. All three rooms are 17 ft high, and originally had higher coved ceilings, accounting for the skied appearance of the first floor windows on the outside. The wall between the Tapestry Room and the Drawing Room was taken down before the Second World War to make one even larger room, which is now open into the Victorian apsidal end of the Drawing Room. In the Adam part of the house there is a charming ground-floor Octagon Room and two other rooms with stuccoed ceilings. The cantilevered stone staircase is also by Adam, with a wrought-iron balustrade.


Woolton Hall: the octagon room. Image: Mr Beady
Woolton Hall: the staircase hall. Image: Mr Beady

In 1950 it was noted that "Long unoccupied, except in recent years by H.M. Forces, and severely damaged by enemy action, Woolton Hall has for several years been falling into decay. In recent months, however, it has been acquired by the Convent of Notre Dame, Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, for use as a girls' school for paying pupils, and is now (February, 1950) being extremely well restored". The restoration appears to have involved the demolition of the late 19th century additions to the house. The article went on "It appears certain, therefore, that the Hall will regain its former dignity", but sadly this hope was not fulfilled for long. In the 1970s staggeringly ugly new school and convent buildings were built ridiculously close to the old building, blighting its future, and it ceased to be used for school purposes.

The house was last used as a club house and masonic lodge until 2006, but has been empty for some years. Plans for conversion into flats came to nothing, and that is perhaps a good thing as subdivision would be a poor outcome for a building with such significant interiors. Most other conceivable alternative uses would require the removal of the 1970s school buildings which hem the house in. Since the latter are not only shockingly contemptuous of their setting, but also provide a very poor aesthetic environment for the education of children, it is good to know that there are active plans for their demolition and the relocation of the school a little further from the house, which one hopes will allow an imaginative scheme for the house to emerge.

Descent: sold 1700 to Richard Molyneux (1679-1738), 5th Viscount Molyneux; to widow, Mary (née Brudenell), Countess Molyneux (1680-1766); sold 1771 to Nicholas Ashton (1742-1833); to son, Joseph Ashton (1783-1836); to son, Charles Ellis Ashton (1817-81) sold 1865 to James Reddecliffe Jeffrey, department store proprietor; sold 1877 to Frederick Leyland (d. 1892), shipowner; sold 1898 to Peter McGuffie as a hydropathic hotel; later used as a military hospital and as St Julie's Roman Catholic High School; sold 1980 to John Hibbert (fl. 2015).


Hefferston Grange, Weaverham, Cheshire

Hefferston Grange: entrance front

A seven bay brick house of 1741, with a recessed three-bay centre, incorporating elements of an earlier building of c.1700 within the fabric. The doorway has a segmental pediment on consoles and there are quoins of even length and windows with prominent raised keystones. It is similar in detail to Daresbury Hall and probably by the same architect. Inside, there the ceiling of the staircase hall has Rococo plaster decoration, and there is a similar stucco ceiling in a first-floor room. 


Hefferston Grange: south front. Image: Dr. Duncan Pepper. Some rights reserved.

The canted bay on the south end of the entrance front is an addition of 1776 for Nicholas Ashton. The house was altered again in 1876, which may be the date of the conservatory on the west front. In the 20th century the house was used as part of the Grange Hospital and after being allowed to deteriorate and being left empty for some years, it has recently been converted to flats as part of a group of new late 20th century houses.

Descent: Philip Henry (later Warburton) (1700-61); to sister Elizabeth, wife of John Philpot; to daughter Mary (1740-77), wife of Nicholas Ashton (1742-1833); to son, Joseph Ashton (1783-1836); to son, Charles Ellis Ashton (1817-81); sold by 1876 to Robert Heath...sold c.1920 to Warrington County Borough Council for use as a TB sanatorium; transferred 1948 to NHS as The Grange Hospital; sold 1986.


Ashton family of Woolton Hall and Hefferston Grange


Ashton, John (1711-59) of Liverpool. Son of Nicholas Ashton (d. 1728), yeoman, of Ashton-under-Lyne (Lancs) and his wife Margaret, daughter of James Orrell of Ashton-under-Lyne, born 5 September 1711. An eminent merchant and cheesemonger in Liverpool, 'renowned for his probity, charity and abilities'. Bailiff of Liverpool, 1749. He acquired the Dungeon salt works near Hale (Lancs) in or soon after 1746 and was one of the promoters and first proprietors of the Sankey Canal, c.1754. He married Elizabeth (1710-78) (whose portrait was painted by Joseph Wright of Derby), daughter of John Brooks of Liverpool, and had issue:
(1) John Ashton (1737-59), born 20 March and baptised at St George, Liverpool, 14 April 1737; died unmarried and was buried at St George, Liverpool, 10 July 1759;
(2) Margaret Ashton (1739-1821), born 8 January and baptised at St George, Liverpool, 26 January 1738/9; died unmarried and was buried at Liverpool, 26 August 1821;
(3) Mary Ashton (b.1740), born 16 August and baptised at St George, Liverpool, 5 September 1740; probably died young;
(4) Nicholas Ashton (1742-1833) (q.v.);
(5) Anna Ashton (b. 1747; fl. 1824), born 11 August and baptised at St George, Liverpool, 28 August 1747; her portrait was painted by Joseph Wright of Derby; married, 5 December 1776, Thomas Case (1731-90) of Liverpool, Africa merchant (bankrupt, 1778), and had issue two sons;
(6) Elizabeth Ashton (1749-1819), born 27 August and baptised 21 September 1749; her portrait was painted by Joseph Wright of Derby; married 1st, 17 September 1771 at Liverpool, Dr. John Bostock (d. 1774) and had issue one son; married 2nd, 11 February 1779 at St Peter, Liverpool, Rev. John Yates (1755-1826) and had issue five sons and three daughters; died 9 January 1819.
He was buried at St George, Liverpool, 10 August 1759. His widow was buried at St George, Liverpool, 28 January 1778.

Nicholas Ashton, 1742-1833
Ashton, Nicholas (1742-1833). Eldest surviving son of John Ashton (1711-59) of Liverpool and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Brooks of Liverpool, born 19 October and baptised at St George, Liverpool, November 1742. He succeeded his father as owner of the Dungeon salt works in 1759 and later leased coal mines at Parr near St. Helens (Lancs) to secure his supply of coal; the salt-works was damaged by fire in 1807 but rebuilt. In the 1790s he was co-owner (with the Marquis of Granby) of a privateer with letters of marque, the Marchioness of Granby (another, the Pelican, famously sank with the loss of almost a hundred lives during a parade in the Mersey in 1793), but he seems to have had no interest in the slave trade and consistently supported liberal politicians including anti-slavery campaigners. High Sheriff of Lancashire, 1770. He was a member of the Liverpool Vestry for many years, a trustee of the Bluecoat Hospital, a member of the committee of the first Chamber of Commerce, a trustee of the Liverpool-Ashton turnpike, a president of the Liverpool Dispensary, a president of the Liverpool Academy of Arts, and an original member of the Liverpool Athenaeum. In 1803 he entertained Prince William of Gloucester at Woolton Hall during the Prince's visit to Liverpool. He married 1st, 9 December 1763 at St John the Baptist, Chester (Cheshire), Mary Warburton (1740-77), whose portrait was painted by Joseph Wright of Derby, only child of John Philpot of Hefferston Grange, Weaverham (Cheshire), and 2nd, 23 January 1781 at Childwall (Lancs), Catherine (1762-1806), daughter of Thomas Hodgson of Liverpool, and had issue:
(1.1) Elizabeth Ashton (1764-1834?), born 5 October and baptised at Paradise St. Unitarian Church, Liverpool, 31 October 1764; married 1st, 14 June 1787 at Childwall, William Evans James (c.1750-95) and had issue two sons and one daughter; married 2nd, 10 April 1801 at Liverpool, Col. George Williams of Little Woolton (Lancs) and had further issue two sons and two daughters; probably the person of this name buried at St John, Liverpool, 30 October 1834;
(1.2) John Ashton (1765-1814), born 9 August and baptised at St Peter, Liverpool, 11 September 1765; painted as a child by Joseph Wright of Derby; educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge (admitted 1782); married, 26 April 1790 at Childwall, Mary Noble (1771-1863), second daughter of John Jarrett of Wavertree (Lancs) and Freemantle (Hants) and had issue four sons and four daughters; lived at Hefferston Grange; died at Crawley House (Hants) in the lifetime of his father, 9 December 1814; will proved 31 December 1814;
(1.3) Mary Ashton (1767-71), born 29 November and baptised at St Peter, Liverpool, 28 December 1767; buried at St George, Liverpool, 5 April 1771;
(1.4) Thomas Ashton (b. & d. 1769), born 22 June and baptised at St Peter, Liverpool, 19 July 1769; buried at St George, Liverpool, 30 December 1769;
(1.5) Sarah Ashton (b.? & d. 1771); died in infancy and was buried at St. George, Liverpool, 11 April 1771;
(1.6) Mary Ashton (1772-1841?) of Woolton Hall; mentioned in brother Thomas' will, 1815; head of household at Woolton Hall, 1841; perhaps died Jul-Sep 1841;
(1.7) Lt-Col. William Ashton (1773-96), born 23 September and baptised at Kaye St. Presbyterian Chapel, 21 October 1773; educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge (admitted 1791); Lt-Col. of 79th Regt.; died unmarried and without issue on active service in the Leeward Islands, 1796;
(1.8) Thomas Ashton (1775-1816) of Woolton Hall, born 2 November and baptised at Kaye St. Presbyterian Chapel, Liverpool, 11 December 1775; educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge (admitted 1792); died unmarried and was buried at Childwall, 3 January 1816; will proved 9 May 1816;
(2.1) Joseph Ashton (1783-1836) (q.v.);
(2.2) Rev. Ellis Ashton (1789-1869), born 15 April and baptised at Kaye St. Presbyterian Chapel, Liverpool, 10 May 1789; educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1807; BA 1811; MA 1813; BD 1821); ordained deacon and priest, 1813; Fellow of Brasenose College; vicar of Huyton (Lancs), 1813-69 and rector of Begbroke (Oxon), 1823-69, which he served through curates; rural dean of Prescot, 1845-69; a close friend of Edward Lear; married, 1 May 1834 at Walton-on-the-Hill (Lancs), Frances Colquit, and had issue a daughter; died at Huyton, 11 July 1869; will proved 27 August 1869 (effects under £16,000);
(2.3) Henry Ashton (1795-1870) of Poulton Hey, Bebington (Cheshire), born 4 October and baptised at Paradise St. Unitarian Chapel, Liverpool, 11 November 1795; married, 3 January 1825 at Childwall, Elizabeth Fletcher (1799-1871), and had issue eight daughters; died 22 December 1870; will proved 16 January 1871 (effects under £80,000).
He lived in Liverpool until he purchased Woolton Hall c.1772 and employed Robert Adam to remodel it, c.1774-80. He inherited Hefferston Grange in right of his first wife c.1775 and also made alterations there. Hefferston was occupied by his eldest son but let after the latter's death in 1814.
He died at Woolton Hall in December 1833, aged 91, and was buried at Childwall, 28 December 1833; his will was proved at Chester, December 1834. His first wife died 13 March and was buried at St John, Chester, 17 March 1777. His second wife died 12 May 1806.

Ashton, Joseph (1783-1836). Son of Nicholas Ashton (1742-1833) and his second wife Catherine, daughter of Thomas Hodgson of Liverpool, born 15 May 1783. Educated at Eton. He married, 5 February 1816 at Everton (Lancs), Elizabeth (c.1798-1852), daughter of William Earle of Everton (Lancs) and had issue including:
(1) Charles Ellis Ashton (1817-81) (q.v.);
(2) Thomas Henry Ashton (b. 1819), born 21 January and baptised 18 February 1819; perhaps the man of this name who became an officer in 94th Foot (Ensign, 1839; Lt., 1841)
(3) Joseph Ashton (1820-47), born 13 June and baptised 26 July 1820; buried at Childwall, 2 September 1847;
(4) William Ashton (1824-25), born 26 June and baptised 27 July 1824; died in infancy and was buried at Childwall, 13 April 1825;
(5) John Ashton (b. 1826), born 10 July 1826 and baptised 10 January 1827; educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1845).
He inherited Woolton Hall and Hefferston Grange from his father in 1833.
He died 12 March and was buried at Childwall, 15 March 1836. His widow died 17 February 1852.

Ashton, Charles Ellis (1817-81). Son of Joseph Ashton (1783-1836) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of William Earle of Everton (Lancs), born 21 August 1817 and baptised at Childwall, 11 January 1818. Educated at Harrow (entered 1831). A member of the Liverpool Stock Exchange. He married, 27 February 1851 at Woolton (Lancs), Mary Caroline (c.1825-99), daughter of William Shand of Springwood, Woolton (Lancs) and had issue:
(1) Caroline Elizabeth Ashton (1852-1930), born Apr-Jun 1852; died unmarried, 7 January 1930; will proved 31 March 1930 (estate £2,369);
(2) Charles Henry Ashton (1855-1908) (q.v.);
(3) Ethel Mary Ashton (1860-1887), baptised at Woolton, 1 February 1860; married, 10 August 1882 at Mold (Flints), Edward Lloyd (d. 1914) of Hafod (Flints) and had issue a daughter; died 23 January 1887; administration of her goods granted to her husband, 18 March 1887 (effects £480);
(4) Joseph William Ashton (1865-1946), born 22 October 1865; educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford (matriculated 1885); Assistant Secretary to the Yorkshire Liberal Unionist Federation in 1911; he was unmarried and without issue; died 6 May 1946; will proved 15 September 1946 (estate £101);
(5) Frederick Ellis Ashton (1867-1949) (q.v.);
(6) Maud Isabella Ashton (1869-1961), born Jul-Sep 1869; died unmarried, 16 April 1961, aged 91; will proved 2 August 1961 (estate £348).
He inherited Woolton Hall and Hefferston Grange from his father in 1836 and came of age in 1838. He sold Woolton Hall in 1865 and Hefferston Grange before 1876 and lived latterly at Leeswood, Mold (Flints).
He died 29 October 1881; his will was proved 5 December 1881 (effects £83,803). His widow died 10 February 1899; her will was proved 11 May 1899 (estate £2,396).

Ashton, Charles Henry (1855-1908) of The Grange, Ellesmere (Shropshire). Eldest son of Charles Ellis Ashton (1817-81) and his wife Mary Caroline, daughter of William Shand of Springwood, Woolton (Lancs), born 15 July 1855. Educated at Eton. Stockbroker on Liverpool Stock Exchange, in partnership with his father and later with Henry Hayward Noble (retired, 1892); the modern firm of Ashton Tod McLaren traces its origin to this partnership. He married, 16 January 1883 at Holy Trinity, Brompton (Middx), Adelaide Mary (1861-1933), fourth daughter of John Scott Bankes of Soughton Hall, Northop (Flints) and had issue:
(1) Mary Jervis Ashton (1884-1976), born 22 February 1884; welfare worker with St Margaret's House, Bethnal Green in 1911; married, 3 February 1943, as his second wife, Rev. Mered John Rush (1872-1944), formerly vicar of Ellesmere and son of William Rush of Camelford (Cornw), but had no issue; died 4 April 1976, aged 92; will proved 3 August 1976 (estate £16,063);
(2) Annie Adelaide Ashton (1886-1934), born 31 May 1886; died unmarried, 3 April 1934; will proved 25 June 1934 (estate £13,510);
(3) Rose Caroline Ashton (1890-1966), born 3 November 1890; married 1st, 4 October 1915, Robin Cresswell Carver RFC (1877-1918) of Benha (Egypt) and had issue a daughter; married 2nd, 29 July 1922, Lt-Col. Sir Arnold Talbot Wilson KCIE CSI CMG DSO MP (1884-1940), son of Canon J.M. Wilson and had further issue one son and one daughter; married 3rd, 5 February 1947, as his second wife, Sir Humphrey Sumner Milford (1877-1952), kt. of The White House, Drayton St. Leonard (Oxon), publisher, son of Canon R.N. Milford; died 23 November 1966; will proved 17 March 1967 (estate £20,831);
(4) Ethel Ashton (1892-1971), born 7 September 1892; married, 24 September 1919 at Ellesmere, Maj. Eric Astell Wauton (1891-1963), son of Rev. Atherton E. Wauton of Bath, and had issue; died 29 October 1971; will proved 12 January 1972 (estate £14,596).
He lived at Field House, Chester and later at The Grange, Ellesmere (Shropshire), both apparently leased properties.
He died 20 November 1908; his will was proved 16 January 1909 (estate £30,228). His widow died 12 December 1933; her will was proved 17 February 1934 (estate £726).

Lt-Col. F.E. Ashton
Ashton, Lt-Col Frederic Ellis (1867-1949) DSO. Youngest son of Charles Ellis Ashton (1817-81) and his wife Mary Caroline, daughter of William Shand of Springwood, Woolton (Lancs), born 25 November 1867. Educated at Eton. An officer in the army, 1887-1919, who served in the Boer War and First World War (2nd Lt., 1887; Lt., 1894; Capt., 1901; Major, 1909; temp. Lt-Col, 2nd Battn, Yorkshire & Lancashire Regt., 1914); awarded DSO 1918. He married, 9 January 1896 at Cape Town (South Africa), Alexandra Sheriff (1875-1948), daughter of Alexander Abercomby MD of Cape Town, and had issue:
(1) Gladys Lillian Ashton (1896-1982), born 30 October 1896; married, 31 December 1930, Gordon Stewart Nicoll (1897-1969) of Thursley House, Mayfield (Sussex), company director, but had no issue; died 7 November 1982; her will was proved 17 December 1982 (estate £60,551);
(2) Nicholas Charles Ellis Ashton (1904-86) (q.v.).
He lived at La Haule Cottage, St. Aubyn, Jersey (Channel Islands) in the early 20th century and later at Torquay (Devon).
He died 31 May 1949 at Staines (Middx); his will was proved 1 July 1949 (estate £1,357). His wife died 12 December 1948.

Ashton, Nicholas (k/a Nico) Charles Ellis (1904-86). Only son of Lt-Col. Frederic Ellis Ashton (1867-1949) and his wife Alexandra Sheriff, daughter of Alexander Abercromby MD of Cape Town (South Africa), born 8 October 1904 at Scaftworth (Notts). Educated at Repton School and Oriel College, Oxford, where he played cricket (blue, 1924); he also played football and in 1924 toured Canada with the Corinthians FC. He served as a Pilot Officer in the RAF, 1940. He married, 6 October 1928, Carmen Leone Josephine Antoinette (1901-88), daughter of Jean Amedée Dotézac of Cambo-les-Bains, Basses Pyrenées (France) and had issue:
(1) Miren J. Concepcion A. Ashton (b. 1929), born 20 October 1929; married, Apr-Jun 1956, Dr. Michael L. Davis (1928-2013) and had issue a daughter; emigrated to Alberta (Canada), 1960; living in Calgary, 2013;
(2) Christine Anne M. Ashton (b. 1931), born 25 December 1931; married, Oct-Dec. 1959, John Noel Napier Ford (1932-2011) and had issue three sons; living in Guildford (Surrey), 2011;
(3) Yolande Georgiana Marie-Michelene Ashton (1936-83), born 20 January 1936; married, Jul-Sep 1957, William Victor Percy Crutchley (1933-2007) of Brown's Farm, Powerstock (Dorset) and had issue one son; died 27 July 1983; will proved 9 January 1984 (estate £266,200);
(4) Joseph Nicholas Charles Amedée Ashton (1937-2015), born 18 May 1937; married, Jan-Mar 1966, Jill D. Gemmell, and had issue a daughter; emigrated to New South Wales (Australia); buried 23 January 2015.
He lived at 29 Castelnau, Barnes (London) in the 1960s.
He died 17 July 1986 at Merrow (Surrey) and was buried at Compton (Surrey); his will was proved 8 October 1986 (estate £136,339). His wife died 11 April 1988 and was also buried at Compton, where she and her husband are commemorated by a gravestone; her will was proved 22 July 1988 (estate £143,948).

Sources

Burke's Landed Gentry, 1952, p. 65;  S.A. Harris, 'Robert Adam (1728-92), architect and Woolton Hall', Trans. Historic Society of Cheshire & Lancashire, 1950, pp. 161-81; R. Pollard & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Lancashire - Liverpool and the south-west, 2006, pp. 509-10; C. Hartwell, M. Hyde, E. Hubbard & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Cheshire, 2nd edn, 2011, pp. 660-61;

Location of archives

No significant archive is known to survive.

Coat of arms

Argent, a mullet sable, a canton gules in chief, an annulet for difference.

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.
  • If anyone is able to provide additional career information or genealogical details for this family, I should be very pleased to hear from them. In particular, I feel that the date of death of Anna Case (née Ashton) (b. 1747; fl. 1824) should be discoverable.


Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 21 March 2016 and was updated 1 April 2016.

Monday, 14 March 2016

(209) Ashton of Stoney Middleton Hall, Whiteley Wood Hall and Hathersage Hall

Ashton of Stoney Middleton
There were Ashtons (spelt variously Assheton, Asheton and Ashton) in various parts of Lancashire in the early modern period. One important branch of the family were yeomen at Shepley on the eastern edge of Ashton-under-Lyne parish from 1450 or earlier down to 1713, and a scion of this lineage, Robert Ashton (c.1576-c.1636), whom for convenience I will call Robert Ashton I, crossed the Pennines to marry a Derbyshire woman and settle at Stoney Middleton, probably in the first decade of the 17th century. It seems likely that Robert I was responsible for building Stoney Middleton Hall, although its present appearance is largely due to his son and heir, Robert Ashton II (c.1610-87), who remodelled it about the time that he was High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1664-65. Robert II seems to have steered a cautious course through the difficult years of the Civil War and Commonwealth. There is no record of his participating in the Civil War on either side, but he does seem to have purchased the property of dispossessed Royalists to augment his estate, so he was probably a moderate Parliamentarian. At the Restoration he was able to adapt again to changed circumstances, and was sufficiently in favour to be chosen as sheriff in 1664. He was married three times, and when he died in 1687 he left a will which distributed his property in north Derbyshire and south Yorkshire among his surviving children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. From them descended three distinct branches of the family, traced below.

He left his eldest son, Robert Ashton III (c.1631-1717) his property at Dore, Totley and Norton, then all in Derbyshire although they are now suburbs of Sheffield in Yorkshire. Robert III settled at Bradway in Norton, perhaps at Bradway House which appears on 19th century Ordnance Survey maps but which has now been replaced by the Bradway Bank housing estate. He married in 1654 Dorothy, the daughter of Robert Wood of Monk Bretton, and they lived together for sixty-three years and had twelve children. His eldest son, Robert Ashton IV (1656-1710) acquired property at Scotter (Lincs) through his marriage, but died before both his father and his father-in-law. His property at Scotter seems to have passed to his son, Charles Ashton (b. 1699), who presumably sold it. It is not clear what happened to Bradway when Robert III died in 1717, but it too seems to have left the family's hands in the early 18th century. It may have been left to his younger surviving sons, Charles Ashton (1665-1752) and Joseph Ashton (1670-1758). Charles was Master of Jesus College, Cambridge for half a century (and briefly Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University in 1702-03) and Joseph was a lawyer in London; neither of them would have had much use for a Derbyshire estate.

Alexander Ashton (c.1633-82) was the second son of Robert Ashton II (c.1610-87). He married the heiress to Whiteley Wood Hall in Eccleshall (Yorks) and built a new house there that was completed in 1663. He predeceased his father but his son Robert Ashton V (1666-c.1717) inherited the manor of Bamford in Hathersage from his grandfather in addition to the Whiteley Wood estate. Robert V left an only daughter, Sarah Ashton (1688-1722), who married Robert Alsibrook (d. 1742) of Hollins, Crich (Derbys). Robert Alsibrook made the house over to his son in about 1740 and the younger Robert sold it in about 1742. It belonged later to Thomas Boulsover, the inventor of Sheffield plate, but was unroofed in the 1930s and demolished in 1959.

Robert III (c.1631-1717) and Alexander (c.1633-82) Ashton were the children of Robert II and his first wife, Joan Sharp. His second marriage produced no sons, but by his third marriage, to Alice Kirk, he had several more, two of whom seem to have survived their father. These were Samuel Ashton (1652-88), who received Stoney Middleton Hall under his father's will but died the following year, and his brother Benjamin Ashton (1650-1717), who inherited Hathersage Hall from his father and Stoney Middleton when Samuel died. Either he or his son Benjamin Ashton (1684-1725) probably sold Stoney Middleton, which had passed into the hands of the Fynney family by the late 18th century. Hathersage Hall remained in the family, passing on the younger Benjamin's death to his sister Christiana Ashton (c.1687-1737) and her husband William Spencer (1691-1756), from whose daughter Christiana Spencer (1717-81) and her husband William Shuttleworth descend the later owners. The Shuttleworths will be the subject of a future post.


Stoney Middleton Hall, Derbyshire
Stoney Middleton Hall: the original entrance front

An H-shaped Jacobean house, probably begun around 1600 for Robert Ashton I, but owing many of its current features to a remodelling for his son, Robert Ashton II in the 1660s, perhaps at the time when he was High Sheriff, in 1664-65. The house has a pair of straight coped gables either side of a recessed centre, and in its present form is symmetrical. The regular fenestration must date from the 1660s and consists of pairs of six light mullioned and transomed windows on the ground and first floors of both wings (all renewed c.1980). The centre has a doorcase with a segmental pediment and an armorial panel above and one window to either side on each floor, but was altered in the 1820s. Tax was paid on seven hearths in 1670.


Stoney Middleton Hall: rear elevation altered in the 1820s. Image: Stoney Middleton Heritage
Stoney Middleton Hall: the present main entrance is in the side of the building.

In the early 19th century the house served for some years as the village parsonage, but when Thomas Denman (1779-1854), 1st Baron Denman, inherited it from his uncle in the late 1820s he 'altered the road and very much improved and beautified the house and grounds and considerably extended his park'. He also built a fine stable block and reordered the interior. The rear and side elevations of the house show more evidence of Denman's alterations than the entrance front, including the two single-storey bay windows at the back and the sash windows above them.  The main entrance is now in one of the side elevations and this must be a 19th or 20th century arrangement; the large grid window lighting the entrance hall looks 20th century. The house remained in the Denman family until 1953, when it was sold, and after standing empty for some 25 years, the house was in very poor condition. Large 19th century additions are said to have been demolished in 1978 and the remaining part was restored from a derelict condition from 1979. The interior therefore dates large from c.1980. 

Descent: Robert Ashton I (c.1576-1636); to son, Robert Ashton II (1610-87); to son, Samuel Ashton (1652-88); to brother, Benjamin Ashton (1650-1717)... Richard Fynney (d. c.1790); to daughter, wife of Joseph Denman; to nephew, Thomas Denman (1779-1854), 1st Baron Denman; to Thomas Aitchison-Denman (1805-94), 2nd Baron Denman; to Thomas Denman (1874-1954), 3rd Baron Denman, who sold 1953 to a steel fabrication company which left the property unoccupied; sold 1977 to George William Glossop (b. 1943) and restored; sold 2015.


Whiteley Wood Hall, Ecclesall, Yorkshire
Whiteley Wood Hall, c.1900

The house was built in 1659-63 for Alexander Ashton, who married one of the co-heiresses of Thomas Dale, who had a smaller house on the site. At this time it may have been a fairly plain three-storey double pile house with a central projecting porch and mullioned and transomed windows to either side. It would seem to have been updated in the 18th century and given a pedimented doorcase and the pedimental gable over the porch. In 1779 the house consisted of a hall, dining room, two parlours and a large kitchen on the ground floor, five bedrooms on the first floor, and five garret rooms above that.


Whiteley Wood Hall in 1885. Image: Sheffield City Council.

In the mid 19th century, perhaps in the 1840s, to judge by style, the house was considerably enlarged at the rear; the back wall of the original house was brought forward and given new Tudor fenestration; and a new L-shaped additional block, also with Tudor windows and a prominent oriel, was built onto one corner of it. These additions were perhaps made for Benjamin Blonk Silcock, who was declared a lunatic in 1852 and died in 1861.


Whiteley Wood Hall from the OS 6" map surveyed in 1850.

The house fell into disrepair when unoccupied in the 1920s and 1930s, partly as a result of vandalism, and after it was bought by the Girl Guides Association in 1935 it was unroofed because the weight of the roof was pushing the walls out of true. Demolition of the building commenced in May 1959. The old date stone and gateway were preserved to be incorporated into a memorial which took the form of a flag-staff and saluting base to be used by the Guides. Some of the stone and mullion windows were used to build a bungalow at Hathersage and the rest was disposed of down a disused mineshaft. The stable block was retained and is now used by the Girl Guides Association as an outdoor activities centre.

Descent: Thomas Dale; to daughter, Alice, wife of Alexander Ashton (c.1633-82); to son, Robert Ashton V (1666-c.1717); to daughter, Sarah (b. 1688), wife of Robert Alsebrook of Hollings (Derbys); sold 1741 to Strelley Pegge of Beauchief Hall who let it and in 1757 sold it to Thomas Boulsover (1704-88); to son-in-law, William Hutton (d. 1818); to sister, Barbara Silcock; in 1831 to Pheobe Silcock; to Benjamin Blonk Silcock (d. 1861); rented from 1864 to Samuel Plimsoll MP, from 1872 to Thomas Robert Gainsford, and from 1893 to Arnold Muir Wilson; sold 1896 to Sheffield City Council who rented to Wilson until 1909 and then to William Clark, 1911-26; sold 1935 to Sheffield Girl Guides Association, which demolished the main house in 1959.

Hathersage Hall, Derbyshire
Hathersage Hall: the entrance front of 1820, photographed in 2015.

The first impression of the house, given by the low but rather charming five bay two storey hip-roofed entrance range with an off-centre doorcase, is of an early 19th century building. This range was indeed built (or perhaps remodelled) in 1820, but it stands in front of, and perhaps partly replaced, an earlier house consisting of a much taller three-storey 17th century block or tower, apparent on the side elevation, and an adjoining lower 18th century range. 


Hathersage Hall: the taller and older house at the rear of the 1820 block is visible from the side elevation.

The tower was perhaps built for John Eyre in the 1630s, although the first house on the site is said to have been built in 1496 by John, the youngest son of Sir Robert Eyre of Padley, and there is a datestone of that year on the tower. Neither this nor most of the other details of the 17th century range can be trusted, however, although the hood moulds to the windows and the free-floating hood mould in the gable end are likely to be original. Inside, there is also a 17th century dog-leg staircase, and the first floor room in the tower has a moulded plaster ceiling with details said to be reminiscent of contemporary work at Renishaw Hall.


Hathersage Hall: the dog-leg staircase of c.1630

Hathersage Hall: 17th century ceiling on the first floor of the tower



In the 1840s, the Shuttleworth family abandoned the house for Hathersage Nether Hall, newly-built in 1838-40 to the designs of William Flockton of Sheffield, and the older Hall was let. Subsequent generations of the family lived sometimes in one and sometimes in the other.


Descent: Thomas Eyre (fl. 1616); to John Eyre (fl. 1630); sold to Robert Ashton (1610-87); to son, Benjamin Ashton (1650-1716); to son, Robert Ashton (1677-1717); to brother, Benjamin Ashton (1684-1725); to sister, Christiana, wife of William Spencer of Cannon Hall; to daughter, Christiana (d. 1781), wife of William Shuttleworth (1710-80); to son, Ashton Ashton Shuttleworth (1754-1830); to second son, John Spencer Shuttleworth (1817-94); to daughter, Isabella Ashton Shuttleworth (d. 1929), wife of her cousin, Ashton John Shuttleworth (1840-1912); to son, Ashton Ashton Shuttleworth (1878-1956); to son, John Ashton Shuttleworth (1918-83); sold after his death, 1983; sold 2015.


Ashton family of Stoney Middleton Hall etc.

Ashton, Robert I (c.1576-1636). Said to be son (but more probably grandson) of George Ashton (c.1505-85) of Shepley in Ashton-under-Lyne (Lancs) and his wife Margaret (or Mary), daughter of John Turner of Mottram (Cheshire), born about 1576. He married Elizabeth, daughter of [forename unknown] Teales of Totley (Derbys) and had issue including:
(1) Robert Ashton (c.1610-87) (q.v.);
(2) Margaret Ashton (d. 1660); married Thomas White (fl. 1684) of Stoney Middleton; buried at Bakewell, 8 November 1660.
He purchased the manor of Stoney Middleton and may have built the earliest surviving part of the Hall there.
He died in about 1636, aged 60.

Ashton, Robert II (c.1610-87). Only recorded son of Robert Ashton (c.1576-1636) of Stoney Middleton Hall, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of [forename unknown] Teales of Totley (Derbys), born about 1610. High Sheriff of Derbyshire, 1664-65. He married 1st, Joan, daughter of Francis Sharp; 2nd, 13 May 1635 at Hartington (Derbys), Frances, daughter of John Fearn of Hartington; and 3rd, 24 September 1640 at Bakewell (Derbys), Alice, daughter of Godfrey Kirk of Bradwall (Derbys), and had issue:
(1.1) Robert Ashton (c.1631-1717) (q.v.);
(1.2) Alexander Ashton (c.1633-82) (q.v.);
(2.1) Anne Ashton, born between 1635 and 1640; probably died before 1683;
(3.1) Joseph Ashton (1646-67); married Ann (d. 1667), daughter of Tobias Hopkinson of Bonsall (Derbys) and had issue a son; died in the lifetime of his father, aged 21, in 1667;
(3.2) Sarah Ashton (d. 1718); inherited Nether Padley and £800 from her father in 1687 and £1,000 from her brother Samuel in 1688; married, 18 April 1689 at Hathersage, Edward Downes (1662-1747) of Shrigley Hall, Pott Shrigley (Cheshire) and had issue one son and two daughters; buried at Prestbury (Cheshire), 27 August 1718;
(3.3) Benjamin Ashton (1650-1717) (q.v.);
(3.4) Samuel Ashton (1652-88) of Stoney Middleton, born 15 April and baptised at Hathersage, 2 May 1652; died unmarried; letters of administration granted to his brother Benjamin (the residuary legatee) for the execution of a nuncupative will, 6 July 1689;
(3.5) Cornelius Ashton (b. 1654), baptised at Hathersage, 1654; probably died young.
He inherited the Stoney Middleton Hall estate from his father in 1636. He later purchased the Hathersage Hall estate and other property. By his will he left his property at Dore, Totley and Norton to his son Robert III; Bamford in Hathersage to Robert V, son of Alexander; Hathersage Hall to his son Benjamin; Stony Middleton to his son Samuel; Over Padley to Robert son of Joseph; and Nether Padley to his daughter Sarah.
He was buried at Hathersage, 27 June 1687. His first wife died before 1635. His second wife died before 1640. His third wife's date of death is unknown, but she was presumably dead by 1683 as she is not mentioned in her husband's will.

Ashton, Robert III (c.1631-1717). Elder son of Robert Ashton (c.1610-87) of Stoney Middleton Hall and his first wife Joan, daughter of Francis Sharp, born about 1631. He married, 4 February 1653/4 at Royston (Yorks WR), Dorothy (c.1635-1722), daughter of Robert Wood of Monk Bretton (Yorks WR) and had issue:
(1) Jane I Ashton* (c.1654-1745); married, 10 July 1674 at Royston (Yorks), Robert Wainwright of Middlewood Hall, Darfield, and had issue; said to have been buried 31 March 1745;
(2) Robert Ashton (1656-1706) (q.v.);
(3) Rachel Ashton (1658-1718), baptised at Norton, 1 November 1658; married, 2 May 1689 at Norton, John Newham (c.1664-1739) of Whittington and Staveley, gent., son of William Newham of Elvaston and Inkersal, and had issue five sons and seven daughters; died 4 July 1718;
(4) George Ashton (b. 1661), born 1 February and baptised at Norton (Derbys), 21 February 1660/1; probably died young;
(5) John Ashton (b. 1663), baptised 7 May 1663; educated at Dronfield and St. John's College, Cambridge (admitted 1680; BA 1683/4); perhaps died young;
(6) Rev. Charles Ashton (1665-1752), baptised at Norton, 25 May 1665; educated at Queens College, Cambridge (admitted 1682; BA 1685/6) and Jesus College (MA 1689; BD 1697; Fellow, 1687; Master, 1701-52; DD 1702); a Classical and theological scholar; Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, 1702-03; ordained deacon and priest, 1688; rector of Quy (Cambs), 1692-99, Rattendon (Essex), 1699; chaplain to Chelsea Royal Hospital, 1699-1701; prebendary of Ely Cathedral, 1701-52; died unmarried, 26 March 1752 and was buried in Jesus College chapel;
(7) Dorothy Ashton (1667-1731), baptised at Norton, 31 October 1667; married, 1694, Henry Bright of Whirlow Hall, Sheffield, and had issue one son and five daughters; her husband's excessive fondness for hunting and drinking is said to have resulted in the sale of the estate and the destitution of the family; buried at Darfield, 17 September 1731;
(8) Joseph Ashton (1670-1758), baptised at Norton, 22 September 1670; lawyer of Surrey Street in the Strand, London; married, 6 May 1713 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, Elizabeth Eaton, and had issue a daughter; will proved 1 July 1758;
(9) Benjamin Ashton (b. 1672), baptised at Norton, 16 September 1672; perhaps died young;
(10) Cornelius Ashton (b. 1675), baptised at Norton, 11 March 1674/5; perhaps died young;
(11) Alexander Ashton (1677-95), baptised at Norton, 22 May 1677; died unmarried of smallpox and was buried at Staveley, 29 January 1694/5;
(12) Jane II Ashton* (b. 1681/2), baptised at Norton, 17 March 1681/2; probably died young.
He settled at Bradway in Norton on the Derbyshire/Yorkshire border.
He died 9 February 1716/7 and was buried at Darfield (Yorks). His widow died 21 March 1721/2 and was also buried at Darfield, where their exceptionally long and fecund marriage is commemorated by an inscription.
* It seems probable that there were two daughters of this marriage called Jane. The will of Robert Ashton (1610-87), made in 1683, leaves £50 'to every child of my grandchild Jane Wainwright', and the marriage of Robert Wainwright and Jane Ashton was in 1674, putting this Jane's birth around the mid-1650s at the latest. The baptism of Jane Ashton in 1681/2 gives the names of both her parents, so must be of a child of this marriage. The monument to Robert and Dorothy Ashton at Darfield refers to their having twelve children.

Ashton, Robert IV (1656-1706). Eldest son of Robert Ashton (c.1631-1716) and his wife Dorothy, daughter of Robert Wood of Monk Bretton (Yorks WR), baptised 18 January 1656/7. Educated at Middle Temple (called to bar, 1688). Barrister-at-law, but probably did not practice. He married, 9 September 1687 at Brampton (Derbys), Sarah (1664-1739), daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Williamson of Scotter (Lincs), and had issue:
(1) Sarah Ashton (b. 1688), baptised at Sheffield (Yorks WR), 13 December 1688; married [forename unknown] Johnson;
(2) Thomas Ashton (b. 1689), born 30 October and baptised at Darfield (Yorks), 11 November 1689; married and had issue a daughter (Ann Ashton, d. 1787);
(3) Robert Ashton (b. 1693), baptised at Snaith (Yorks), 23 January 1693; died without issue;
(4) Dorothy Ashton (1698-1719), baptised 30 January 1698/9; died unmarried and was buried with her father, 24 September 1719, aged 21.
(5) Charles Ashton (b. 1699) of Scotter, baptised 9 January 1699/1700; married, 23 August 1733 at St Peter, Leeds (Yorks WR), Elizabeth Woodhead of Headingley and Thornhill and had issue a son (Charles Ashton, b. 1735);
(6) Salmon Ashton (1703-85) of Doncaster (Yorks WR), baptised at Scotter (Lincs), 30 April 1703; apprenticed to Robert Peart of Lincoln, attorney-at-law, 1720; practised as a solicitor at Doncaster; married 1st, 29 April 1732 at Doncaster, Catherine Holliday (1700-57) and had issue two daughters; married 2nd, 22 July 1767 at Selby, Elizabeth Sneyd (1730-85) but had no further issue; died 4 October 1785 and was buried at Doncaster, where he was commemorated by a monument.
He acquired property at Scotter (Lincs) through his marriage.
He died in his father's lifetime, 2 July 1706 and was buried at Norton. His widow died 26 March 1739 and was buried at Scotter where she was commemorated by a monument.

Ashton, Alexander (c.1633-82). Second  son of Robert Ashton (1610-87) of Stoney Middleton Hall and his first wife Joan, daughter of Francis Sharp, born about 1633. He married, 18 May 1659 at Bradfield (Yorks WR), Alice, daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Dale(y) of Whiteley Wood, Ecclesall Bierlow (Yorks WR) and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Ashton (1660-1713?), baptised at Sheffield, 19 April 1660; married, 23 December 1681 at Sheffield, John (1660-1723?), son of Thomas Bright of Graystones, and had issue two sons and one daughter; possibly the person of this name buried at Sheffield, 23 January 1712/3;
(2) Rebecca Ashton (b. 1661; fl. 1688), baptised at Sheffield, 16 April 1661; unmarried in 1688;
(3) Robert Ashton (1666-c.1717) (q.v.);
(4) Thomas Ashton (1670-71), baptised 22 May 1670; died in infancy and was buried 6 July 1671;
(5) Alice Ashton (b. 1671; fl. 1688), baptised at Sheffield, 17 August 1671; unmarried in 1688.
He inherited Whiteley Wood Hall in right of his wife and built a new house there in 1659-63. 
He was buried at Sheffield (Yorks), 18 May 1682. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Ashton, Robert V (1666-c.1717). Elder son of Alexander Ashton (d. 1682) of Whiteley Wood Hall (Yorks WR) and his wife Ann, daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Dale(y) of Whiteley Wood Hall, baptised at Sheffield (Yorks), 19 April 1666. He married Mary (1667-1725), daughter of Robert Hall of Stumperlow Hall and had issue:

(1) Sarah Ashton (1688-1722) (q.v.);
(2) Elizabeth Ashton (1691-94), baptised 15 December 1691; died young and was buried in the middle aisle of Sheffield church, 26 December 1694, where she is commemorated by a monument.
He inherited Whiteley Wood Hall from his father in 1682, and was lord of the manor of Bamford in Hathersage in 1688.
He died in or before 1717. His widow was buried at Sheffield, 27 October 1725.

Ashton, Sarah (1688-1722). Only surviving child of Robert Ashton (1666-c.1717) and his wife Mary, daughter of Robert Hall of Stumperlow Hall (Yorks WR), baptised 13 December 1688 at St Peter, Sheffield. She married, 1709, Robert Alsibrook (1668-1742) of Hollins, Crich (Derbys) (who m2, Lydia Allwood of Temple Normanton but had no further issue), and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Alsibrook (1710-62), baptised at St Peter, Sheffield, 29 June 1710; married 1st, 5 September 1740 at Mackworth, Gervase Dodd (c.1711-54) and 2nd, 9 August 1757 at South Wingfield (Derbys), Peter Nightingale (c.1707063); died 16 August 1762;
(2) Anne Alsibrook (b. 1711), baptised at Crich (Derbys), 4 December 1711; married, 10 February 1749 at Kedleston (Derbys), Exuperius Turner (b. c.1699);
(3) Robert Alsibrook (b. & d. 1714), baptised 19 February 1713/4; buried 28 March 1714;
(4) Sarah Alsibrook (1715-68), baptised at Crich, 17 January 1714/5; married, 8 December 1736 at Boylestone (Derbys), James Beard (b. 1711) and was buried at Chesterfield, 17 July 1768;
(5) Lydia Alsibrook (1717-54), baptised at Crich, 22 April 1717; married, 6 November 1739 at Allestree (Derbys), Benjamin Windley (b. 1709), son of Benjamin Windley of Kedleston; buried at Kedleston, 16 August 1754;
(6) Robert Alsibrook (1719-71), baptised at Crich, 28 October 1719; married, 3 April 1742 at Crich, Susannah (1720-1809), daughter of David Woodhouse, and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 24 March 1771 and was buried at Crich, where he is commemorated by a monument
(7) Mary Alsibrook (b. 1722), baptised at Crich, 27 April 1722; married, 23 August 1758 at South Wingfield, Thomas Bland.
She inherited Whiteley Wood Hall from her father and her husband gained possession after her mother's death in 1728. He made it over to their son, who sold it c.1742.
She was buried at Crich, 9 December 1722. Her husband was buried at Crich, 19 April 1742.

Ashton, Benjamin (1650-1717). Second son of Robert Ashton (1610-87) of Stoney Middleton Hall and his third wife, Alice, daughter of Godfrey Kirk of Bradwall, born 1650. He married, about 1675, Christiana (1650-1703), daughter of Christopher Turner of York and had issue:
(1) Robert Ashton (1677-1717), baptised at Stony Middleton, 14 August 1677; educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford (matriculated 1694); died unmarried and was buried at Hathersage, 24 August 1717;
(2) Christopher Ashton (c.1679-98); educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford (matriculated 1694) and Grays Inn (admitted 1697/8); probably the man of that name buried at St Andrew Holborn (Middx), 12 August 1698;
(3) Alicia Maria Ashton (1681-1719), born 4 October and baptised at Hathersage, 20 October 1681; married, 16 January 1704/5 at Hathersage, Charles Bagshawe of the Ridge, Chapel-en-le-Frith (Derbys) and had issue; buried at Bakewell (Derbys), 6 June 1719;
(4) Benjamin Ashton (1684-1725) (q.v.);
(5) Christiana Ashton (c.1687-1737) (q.v.);
(6) Philip Ashton (b. & d. 1690), baptised at Hathersage, 13 January 1689/90; died in infancy and was buried at Hathersage, 20 December 1690;
(7) Philip Ashton (1691-96), baptised at Hathersage, 27 April 1691; died young and was buried at Hathersage, 14 July 1696;
(8) Joseph Ashton (1694-96), baptised at Hathersage, 2 July 1694; died in infancy and was buried at Hathersage, 5 August 1696.
He inherited the Hathersage Hall estate from his father in 1687 and Stoney Middleton Hall from his brother Samuel the following year. Either he or his son probably sold Stoney Middleton.
He was buried at Hathersage, 12 February 1716/7. His wife was buried at Hathersage, 25 June 1703.

Ashton, Benjamin (1684-1725). Second son of Benjamin Ashton (1650-1716) of Hathersage Hall and his wife Christiana, daughter of Christopher Turner of York, baptised at Hathersage, 9 November 1684. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Hathersage Hall estate from his father or elder brother in 1717. At his death it passed to his sister, Christiana, and her husband, William Spencer.
He died 25 December and was buried at Hathersage, 29 December 1725; his will was proved in 1726.

Ashton, Christiana (c.1687-1737). Younger daughter of Benjamin Ashton (1650-1716) of Hathersage Hall and his wife Christiana, daughter of Christopher Turner of York, born about 1687. She married, 5 January 1715/6 at Hathersage, William Spencer (1691-1756) of Cannon Hall (Yorks WR) and had issue:
(1) Susanna Spencer (b. & d. 1716); born dead and buried 5 July 1716;
(2) Christiana Spencer (1717-81), baptised at Cawthorne (Yorks WR), 15 August 1717; married, 2 December 1748 at Cawthorne (Yorks), Capt. William Shuttleworth (1710-80) of English Fusiliers and had issue four sons (from whom descend the Shuttleworths of Hathersage Hall, who will be the subject of a future post); buried at Hathersage, 1 June 1781.
(3) John Spencer (1719-75) of Cannon Hall, baptised at Cawthorne, 9 May 1719; educated at University College, Oxford (matriculated 1737) and Middle Temple (called to bar, 1743; bencher 1772); barrister-at-law; a hard-drinking and hard-riding squire, fond of hunting, who introduced deer into the park at Cannon Hall in 1762; died unmarried and without issue, 9 November, and was buried at Cawthorne, 17 November 1775;
(4) Ann Spencer (1721-95), born 6 April and baptised at Cawthorne, 27 April 1721; married, 1748/9, as his second wife, Walter Stanhope (d. 1759) and had issue including a son, Walter Spencer Stanhope (1749-1821) (from whom descended the Spencer-Stanhope family of Cannon Hall); buried at Guiseley (Yorks), 19 November 1795;
(5) Alicia Maria (k/a Almery) Spencer (1722-1812), born and privately baptised 1st April 1722; married, 21 June 1756 at Borthwick (Yorks), John Greame (1709-98) of Sewerby Hall (Yorks ER) but had no issue; died 19 January 1812, aged 89, and was buried at Bridlington Priory (Yorks ER) with her husband;
(6) Dorothy Spencer (1724-25), born 15 April and privately baptised at Cawthorne, 17 April 1724; died in infancy and was buried at Cawthorne, 26 February 1724/5;
(7) twin, Benjamin Spencer (1725-59), born and privately baptised at Cawthorne, 17 July 1725; engaged unsuccessfully in the triangular Atlantic trade from 1755 and died in debt, 11 June 1759;
(8) twin, William Spencer (1725-59),  born and privately baptised at Cawthorne, 17 July 1725; died unmarried, 1759 (he is said to have drunk himself to death).
She inherited Hathersage Hall from her brother in 1725. Her husband inherited Cannon Hall from his father. At his death, Cannon Hall passed first to his eldest son, John, and then on John's death without issue to his nephew, Walter Spencer Stanhope (1749-1821). Hathersage Hall passed to his elder daughter Christiana and thence to the Shuttleworth family.
She died 20 November and was buried at Cawthorne (Yorks WR), 23 November 1737. Her husband died 30 January 1756.


Sources


J.W. Clay (ed.), Familiae Minorum Gentium, vol. 2, Harleian Soc. vol. 38, pp. 460-64; Sir N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, The buildings of England: Derbyshire, 2nd edn, 1978, pp. 241, 330; M. Craven & M. Stanley, The Derbyshire country house, 2001, pp. 278-9, 310.


Location of archives


Ashton family of Hathersage and Stony Middleton: misc deeds and estate papers and family correspondence, 16th-18th cents among the Spencer-Stanhope of Cannon Hall family papers [Sheffield Archives, SpSt]


Coat of arms


Argent, a mullet sable, a crescent for difference. (The colour of the crescent seems not to be specified in the blazon, but it is normally rendered gules).


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 anything about Bradway House near Upper Bradway in Norton (Derbys, now Yorks), which is shown on the Ordnance Survey 6" plan surveyed in 1875-76 but which has since been replaced by the Bradway Bank housing development? A photograph would be very useful!
  • If anyone is able to provide additional career information or missing genealogical details for this family, I should be very pleased to hear from them.

Revision and acknowledgements


This post was first published 14 March 2016 and was updated 30 November 2016. I am grateful to Roger Jennens for additional information about this family.