designed & written by
Mike Matthews © 2000-2019
No material contained in these pages may be used elsewhere without prior permission.
Acknowledgements & Disclaimer
Origins Of The Family
The Tudor HIPPISLEYs
John HIPPISLEY IV
John HIPPSLEY V
Richard & Preston HIPPISLEY
The HIPPISLEY COXE Family
Sir John Coxe HIPPISLEY
The Lambourn HIPPISLEYs
The Family Of John HIPPISLEY Of Ston Easton
Richard John Bayntun HIPPISLEY
Ston Easton After The HIPPISLEYs
The HIPPISLEY Arms
(click image to enlarge)
Described by William REES-MOGG as "one of the most interesting and talented of the Somerset families", the HIPPISLEYs were lords of the manor of Ston Easton for nearly 400 years. They also owned estates in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Devon and Ireland. In the 18th century they built the impressive mansion known as Ston Easton Park, which still stands today. They were a family of lawyers, scientists and churchmen; some became MPs, others served as County Sheriffs, while the diplomat John Cox HIPPISLEY was knighted and created baronet in the late 1700s for his services to King George III.
I have HIPPISLEY blood in my veins. My great-great-great-great-grandmother was Ann HIPPISLEY, born in Chewton Mendip, Somerset on 7th January 1777. Her great-grandfather was William HIPPISLEY, born in Emborough, Somerset on 26th May 1693, and it is there that my HIPPISLEY lineage fizzles out. "Some Notes on the Hippisley Family" hypothesises about a possible connection between William and the HIPPISLEYs of Ston Easton, but it is all rather vague. Even though I have been unable to prove that I am related to the HIPPISLEYs of Ston Easton, the fact that Chewton Mendip lies less than three miles from Ston Easton makes it incomprehensible that the two families were not somehow connected.
Since I began my family tree research I have collected a considerable amount of information about the HIPPISLEYs of Ston Easton, and since there is little information about the family on the internet I decided to write this brief history of the family. This is by no means an exhaustive account of the HIPPISLEYs, but it does cover the most significant members of the family.
Acknowledgements & Disclaimer
This webpage would not have been possible without the remarkable achievement of two extraordinary men - Alfred Edward HIPPISLEY and Ivan Fitzroy Hippisley JONES.
Alfred HIPPISLEY was born in Bristol on 9th December 1848 and was the son of Robert Townsend HIPPISLEY and Harriette Gibbs WYLD. He married the granddaughter of the 22nd Governor of Maryland and served as Secretary to the Chinese Commissioner of Customs. Alfred was a descendant of the Chewton Mendip Hippisleys and in June 1926 he restored his family’s graves there, which had become badly eroded. He was also my second cousin, five times removed. During his lifetime Alfred collected a great deal of information about the HIPPISLEY family, primarily the Chewton and Binegar branches.
Alfred HIPPISLEY died on 7th September 1939 and in accordance with the provisions of his will, Ivan Fitzroy Hippisley JONES - whom several years earlier Alfred had learned was also collecting information about the family - edited, augmented and published his notes. This work was published by Wessex Press as a limited edition in 1952 under the title, "Some Notes on the Hippisley Family". Ivan Fitzroy JONES was the grandson of the Reverend Robert William HIPPISLEY of Stow-on-the-Wold.
"Some Notes on the Hippisley Family" is not commercially available, but can be viewed in several County Records Offices, and forms the basis of this brief history of the HIPPISLEY family.
This webpage also draws on "Ston Easton Perambulation" and "Emborough Perambulation" by G. A. J. LOXTON, "Somerset Families" by ROBERT DUNNING and "Burke's Landed Gentry". The brief history of the Shobrooke HIPPISLEYs is based on "Shobrooke Through the Ages" by R.A. FOSTER, "Vanished Houses of South Devon" by ROSEMARY LAUDER and "The Book of Crediton" by John HEAL. Some of the information in the biography of Sir John Coxe HIPPISLEY comes from "Sir John Coxe Hippisley: That 'Busy Man' in the Cause of Catholic Emancipation" by SUSAN MITCHELL SOMMERS, published in "Parliamentary History", February 2008. Details of the disputes between Robert William HIPPISLEY and the people of Stow were found in "The Victoria County History for Gloucestershire, Volume 6" while the events surrounding the colliers' riot in March 1817 are based on an article in "The Times" published on 4th March 1997. Henry HIPPISLEY's association with the West Berkshire United Archers is described in "The Victoria Country History for Berkshire, Volume 2" while his involvement in the dispute over Hardrett's almshouses in Lambourn comes from "The Endowed Charities: County of Berkshire". The history of the BASSET family of Tehidy Park is based in part on "Tehidy and the Bassets" by MICHAEL TANGYE. Some details about Bayntun HIPPISLEY's work with wireless telegraphy come from a blog on the Museum of the History of Science website by ELIZABETH BRUTON entitled "Hippisley Hut: Wireless interception at the outbreak of World War One".
I am also grateful to my cousins BRIAN CLAVEY and ROGER HIPPISLEY-COX, who have kindly shared their knowledge of the family with me; TONY POOLE, CAROLYN BOULTON and LIZ JACK who have carried out extensive research on my behalf in various County Records Offices; MICHAEL JOHN HIPPISLEY for providing a copy of the Hippisley coat of arms; ANTHONY RICHARD HIPPISLEY for the photograph of John HIPPISLEY; CHRISTINE SMEDLEY and DAVID BRAIN for their recollections about restoring Ston Easton Park; Harriet HALL, daughter of the late Stephen CLARK, for details about her father's role in saving Ston Easton Park; FRANK HUBAND for the illustration from William DUGDALE's "The Antiquities of Warwickshire Illustrated"; Dr. CLARE RIDER, Archivist at the Inner Temple, for details about Sir John Cox HIPPISLEY's legal training; BARBARA CLANCY for providing me with information about the Newfoundland HIPPISLEYs; HARRY BAUMER for providing details about William Henry HIPPISLEY and the photos of Henry, Elizabeth, William and Flora HIPPISLEY; ELLIOT PORTER for sharing his knowledge of Bayntun HIPPISLEY's involvement in the development of wireless telegraphy; LAURENCE SCALES at the Royal Institution of Great Britain for details about Bayntun and Richard Lionel HIPPISLEY's membership of the R.I.; STAN MAPSTONE for information from the "Return of Owners of Land"; ROD WARD for providing extracts from "West Country Houses" by ROBERT COOKE; COLIN McASLAN for the photograph of South Lawn; PETER YARDLEY for providing me with some information about the YORKE and MASKELYNE families; PHILIP MOULD FINE PAINTINGS for the portrait of Margaret HIPPISLEY; the Lambourn Info website for the photo and history of Lambourn Place; VINCENT TICKNER for telling me about the occupants of Lambourn Place after it was sold by the HIPPISLEY family; David BIGGINS, owner of the Anglo Boer War website, for the photo of Richard Lionel HIPPISLEY; David DREW-SMYTH for providing information about the family of Violet Honoria SMYTH, wife of Richard Lionel HIPPISLEY; David FLETCHER, Historian at the Tank Museum, Bovington, for sending copies of letters written by Bayntun HIPPISLEY and H.B. TATE in connection with the tank once kept at Ston Easton Park, and LESLEY BRAIN for permitting me to use the contents of the two letters written to Mrs. Bayntun HIPPISLEY by Lady Cynthia COLVILLE. I am also grateful to the staff at Ston Easton Park for their help and hospitality. Much of the information on this page has no primary source and while I believe that it is accurate, I cannot take responsibility for any errors or omissions.
Origins Of The Family
"The family tradition holds that the chief part of the Somersetshire estates were given to Richard Hippisley by John of Gaunt; and an ancient parchment pedigree is headed with the following rhyme, purporting to be the form of grant of several manors therein named:-
John a Gaunt, do give and grant unto Richard Hippisley,
All the manners herein named, as I think in number seven,
To be as firm to be thine, as ever they were mine, from Heaven above to Hell below,
And to confirm the truth, I seal it with my great tooth, the wax in doe.
Stone Easton, Camley, Wakam, Tuddlhouse, Brasket, Charde, Hinton Bluet.
"According to Collinson's Somersetshire, the manor of Ston Easton was granted at the dissolution of the monasteries to John Hippisley, the lineal descendant of the Richard Hippisley of the rhyming slang. It is thought probable that some Hippisley ancestor, had through ecclesiastical influence given the manor to the Priory of Bruton, and that at its despoliation the manor was re-granted to the representative of the original owner."
The above is the introduction to the HIPPISLEY pedigree in "Burke's Landed Gentry", though its validity is dubious in the extreme. There is no evidence to suggest that the family ever owned Ston Easton manor prior to its purchase in 1544 by John HIPPISLEY. Indeed, during the lifetime of John of Gaunt, the fourth son of King Edward III, the manor was held firstly by Walter PEYTEVYN (from 1316 to 1346) and later by Bruton Abbey (1346-1539).
It seems likely the family actually originated in the Midlands. According to "Ston Easton Perambulation" by G. A. J. LOXTON, "A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames" by CHARLES WAREING BARDSLEY and "The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland" by PATRICK HANKS, RICHARD COATES and PETER McCLURE, the name HIPPISLEY is derived from Ipsley, once a hamlet in the Worcestershire countryside but now a suburb of Redditch in Warwickshire. This conjecture is supported by some notes on the family compiled in the 17th century by Tobias HIPPISLEY of Hambleton which state that Ipsley was the family's "ancient seat... long before the Norman Conquest". These notes also refer to the HIPPISLEY coat of arms appearing on a "very ancient monument" in Ipsley church, a claim supported by WILLIAM DUGDALE in "The Antiquities of Warwickshire Illustrated", published in 1656 (see illustration below). Unfortunately the monument in question appears to have been destroyed during later restoration.
(click image to enlarge)
The suggestion that the family originally came from the Midlands is further supported by the fact that the Calendars of Close Rolls include early references to variations of the HIPPISLEY name in Warwickshire and Worcestershire. In 1256 and 1260 respectively Richard le Scot de IPPESLEG and Edith de IPPESLEG of Warwickshire are named, while in 1340 one William de IPPESLE of Worcester is recorded as having stolen goods, sheltered evil-doers and obstructed the Sheriff. The Close Rolls also reveal a link between the Midlands and Somerset. Bordesley Abbey once stood just a few miles North of Ipsley but was pulled down in 1538 during King Henry VII's Dissolution. On 4th March 1313 John de IPPESLEGA was ordained as an acolyte at the Abbey and on 24th May 1319 Henry de IPPESLEYE is named as a lay brother. Intriguingly, Bordesley Abbey once owned a sheep grange at Green Ore, which lies just a few miles West of Emborough in Somerset. The first John HIPPISLEY of Ston Easton spelt his name IPPESLEY in his accounts.
The name Ipsley itself has a number of different possible origins. While "-ley" undoubtedly derives from the Old English "leah" meaning "wood" or "clearing", "Ips-" could derive from the personal name "Ippa" or from the Old English "yppa" meaning "hill", "aeps" meaning "aspen tree" or "hiope" meaning "rose hip".
Other possible origins of the family include the tithing of Hipley in Boarhunt, Hampshire and the parish of Ibsley near Ringwood in Dorset.
The Tudor HIPPISLEYs
In the 13th century the TONER family became lords of the manor of Whitnell, near Emborough. They would have been responsible for maintaining law and order in their domain and manorial courts would have been held at their manor house, Toner's Court. Over the years that followed the name of the building seems to have become corrupted. The present Turner's Court Farm is almost certainly on the site of the TONER family's manor house in Whitnell. The TONERs held the manor until 1424. In 1441 the manor was inherited by the ApHARRY family and in 1496 William and Emelie HYPSLEY obtained a lease for life of the "Tonerlands" at Whitnell, paying rent of £5-6-8d. It is likely that William and Emelie lived at Turner's Court. William later became bailiff of Whitnell and in 1508 the name of his son John was added to the lease. William died in 1524.
Turner's Court Farm
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1525 proved be a very good year for John HIPPISLEY. It was in this year that his father William's will was proved, as a result of which John inherited the lease of William's farm and grazing lands at Whitnell, and on 9th February 1525 John and his wife Agnes (nee ALEYN) paid Bruton Abbey £10 for a lease for life of the manor of Ston Easton major. The Domesday Survey of 1086 shows that Ston Easton originally comprised four manors, but by 1300 these had been reduced to two, which became known as Ston Easton major and Ston Easton minor. The manor house of Ston Easton major adjoined the chapel of Little Stonyeston, which later became the parish church of Ston Easton, while the manor house of Ston Easton minor stood on the site now occupied by Clare Hall. John and Agnes lived at the Ston Easton major manor house, paying £18-5s annual rent with John serving as both farmer and rent collector for the Abbey.
John HIPPISLEY prospered from a rise in food prices in the early years of his time at Ston Easton. In April 1537 he obtained the consent of the Abbot to an extension of the Ston Easton lease for the term of the lives of his sons John and William. Bruton Abbey had owned the manor for nearly 200 years, but their ownership came to an abrupt halt with the Dissolution of the Monasteries. In 1539 the Abbey was called upon to surrender all its possessions - including Ston Easton - into the hands of the King's representatives. The Crown subsequently sold the manor of Ston Easton major to its sitting tenant - John HIPPISLEY - in 1544. In fact the manor - along with other properties in Compton Dando, Littleton and Horewood in Wincanton - was sold to John HIPPISLEY and William ROWSEWELL of Dunkerton who between them paid a total of £457-3s-4d, but on 28th August 1544 ROWSEWELL released all his rights to Ston Easton to John (it is presumed that in return John released his rights to the other properties to ROWSEWELL). John HIPPISLEY, the son of a husbandman, thus became lord of the manor of Ston Easton and a member of the gentry. John died on 7th June 1558, but his widow Agnes continued to live in the manor house at Ston Easton, and outlived her son - John II - who inherited the estate.
Ston Easton Parish Church
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John HIPPISLEY II was born in Ston Easton in 1530. His father used some of his new wealth to have John educated in the law. John became a senior lawyer at the "Mydle" Temple in London and was described by Dr Hubert Hall in his social study "Society in the Elizabethan Age"as "perhaps the most successful country practitioner of his time". He made a contribution towards the cost of building the Middle Temple Hall, and the expressions of gratitude from the Masters of the Bench suggest that he gave a considerable sum. As a lawyer with chambers in the Temple, John took little interest in West Country affairs until inheriting his father's estate, although he was Recorder of Bristol - the City's senior judge - from 1551 until his death, and also served as MP for Bridport in 1558. John married Mary, daughter of Thomas FLOWER of Egham, Surrey, sometime before 1554.
John succeeded his father in 1558 and immediately began to expand the family's estate. In 1559 he bought "Parkers tenement" in Ston Easton from Hugh Smythe of Ashton Court near Bristol and also bought the manor of Whitnell, where his grandfather had been tenant and bailiff, from Richard Gunter. John bought the manor of Cameley in 1561 and built Cameley Court. With his mother Agnes still living in the manor house at Ston Easton and managing the estate there, John seems to have preferred to live at Cameley, and is described as being "of Cameley" in the 1623 Visitation of Somersetshire. According to "Cameley Court: A Short History" by J. R. LAIDLAW, published in "Five Arches" in 1992, Cameley Court was used by successive generations of the HIPPISLEYs until being leased in the 18th century. The SECCOMBE family allowed the mansion to fall into disrepair, and in the 1860s John HIPPISLEY (1804-1898) had all but the service quarters pulled down and built a new house on the site, which became Court Farmhouse.
John HIPPISLEY II represented Wells as MP between 1562 and 1566 and in 1564 he obtained a Coat of Arms. In 1570 he bought the manor of Emborough from Francis ROYNON of Compton Martin. With both manors in the parish of Emborough now owned by the HIPPISLEYs, the distinction between them gradually faded and Whitnell eventually ceased to exist as a separate manor. Tragically John's brilliant career was cut short when he died on 12th August 1570 aged just 40. He was buried in Cameley nine days later. His widow Mary may have been the "Mrs. Hippesley of Cameleye" who provided money to pay for a demilancer named John COX as part of the preparations in Somerset against the Spanish Armada.
John's will provides some evidence as to the ancestry of the Chewton Mendip HIPPISLEYs. A survey of Whitnell in 1580 shows a William HIPPISLEY paying the highest rent of all the tenants, suggesting he was living at Turner's Court. In John's will his younger brother William is described as being 'of Binegar', and despite being in the parish of Emborough Turner's Court actually lies near Binegar church. This suggests that John's brother, and possibly his descendants, lived at Turner's Court.
John HIPPISLEY II was succeeded by his, also called John. John HIPPISLEY III married Dorothy HORNER, the daughter of Sir John HORNER of Cloford and Mells, in 1575. The nursery rhyme "Little Jack Horner" is said to have been inspired by the HORNER family of Mells. The story goes that Richard WHITING, the last Abbot of Glastonbury, attempted to ward off King Henry VIII by sending his steward Jack HORNER to London to present a pie to the King containing the deeds to twelve manors. The deeds may have been hidden inside the pie to prevent them from being discovered by highwaymen. On the way Jack opened the pie and removed the deeds to Mells Manor, and after the Dissolution Mells became the residence of the HORNER family. It has also been suggested that the 'plum' that Jack pulled out of his pie may have been a reference to Mells Manor's rich mineral deposits. However the HORNER family dispute this story and claim that Mells, along with the nearby manor of Cloford, was purchased legitimately by the brothers Thomas and John HORNER.
With his grandmother Agnes HIPPISLEY still in occupancy of the manor house at Ston Easton and his mother Mary living at Cameley Manor, John initially lived at Emborough where five of his children were baptised. Agnes died in 1586, whereupon John and his family appear to have moved to Ston Easton. John and Dorothy had fourteen children together - John IV, baptised 16th May 1576 in Ston Easton; Ferdinando; Thomas, baptised 13th September 1580 in Emborough; Robert, baptised 11th August 1583 in Emborough; Anthony, baptised 5th March 1583 in Emborough; Morice, baptised 23rd August 1584 in Emborough; Edward, baptised 23rd January 1586 in Emborough; Thomas; Dorothy, baptised 19th August 1589 in Ston Easton; Ann, baptised January 1590 in Ston Easton; Edward, baptised 25th April 1592 in Ston Easton; Gabriel, baptised 21st December 1595 in Ston Easton; Mary, and Gertrude.
Dorothy HIPPISLEY (nee HORNER) died in 1606 and was buried in Ston Easton on 19th November of that year. Her widowed husband John died on 17th June 1608 and was buried in Ston Easton three days later. He was succeeded by his son, John IV.
Of John and Dorothy's other children, Ferdinando HIPPISLEY is worthy of note. In 1609 he and Edward HIPPISLEY of Chewton Mendip were among the leaders of a gang who attacked the mines and lands at Wherewalls on Mendip owned by John ALLEN of Blagdon. He married Elizabeth HAMPTON on 21st October 1604 in Urchfont, Wiltshire and had ten children - John Hippisley, born 1604; Elizabeth, baptised 20th November 1607 in Cameley, Somerset; Ferdinando, baptised 12th March 1608 in Cameley; Charles; Jeremy; Ann, baptised 11th June 1613 in West Lavington, Wiltshire; Robert, baptised 25th June 1615 in West Lavington; Richard, baptised 15th September 1616 in West Lavington; Elizabeth, and Dorothy. In 1634 Ferdinando was living in Hornsey in London and in 1637 he was living in Holt in Cheshire.
Dorothy HIPPISLEY, born 1589, married Periam POLE on 1st January 1618 in Colyton, Devon. Periam was the son of Sir William POLE and Mary PERIAM and the grandson of Sir William PERIAM, whose Elizabethan house at Little Fulford was pulled down in the 19th century by Dorothy's great-great-great-great-grandnephew Richard HIPPISLEY.
Gabriel HIPPISLEY, born 1595, was made an Equerry of the Stable of Hunting to King Charles I. His loyalty to the King landed him in trouble when in 1646 a fine of £480 was levied against him by Parliament for residing in the Royalist city of Oxford. He married Amy BORLASE (nee POPHAM) on 16th January 1633 in St Mary Mountshaw, London. Amy was the daughter of Sir Francis POPHAM and granddaughter of Sir John POPHAM, Lord Chief Justice of England from 1592-1607. Her first husband was Sir William BORLASE, who in 1624 founded a grammar school in Marlow, Buckinghamshire in memory of his son, Henry. Gabriel and Amy had one son togther - Francis, baptised on 16th October 1634 in St Martin in the Fields, London.
John HIPPISLEY IV
Baptised in Ston Easton on 16th May 1576, John HIPPISLEY IV was admitted to the Middle Temple in London on 20th November 1594. He married Elizabeth ORGAN, daughter and heiress of John ORGAN of Lambourn, Berkshire, on 19th June 1603. It was through the marriage of John and Elizabeth that the HIPPISLEY family came into the possession of the ORGAN family's estates in Berkshire and Wiltshire. John and Elizabeth had eight children together, all baptised in Ston Easton - John V, baptised 20th July 1604; Dorothy, baptised 1st November 1605; Elizabeth, baptised 2nd February 1606; Richard, baptised 2nd April 1608; Robert, baptised 26th January 1609; Edward, baptised 2nd May 1610; Deborah, baptised 1612, and Thomas, baptised September 1613.
John HIPPISLEY IV apparently suffered from a weak chest and general debility. In 1610 he described his symptoms and the medicines he took in a diary, with one entry reading "I had a kind of roughness in my throat and upper part of my breast and a fullness in my stomach and troubled with much belching and somewhat watrish stomach." He died on 25th May 1613 when he was still only in his thirties. He was succeeded by his son, John V.
Richard, born 1608, settled at Place House in Lambourn, which had been made over to him by his uncle John ORGAN by an indenture dated 25th August 1638. For more information about this branch of the family, see The Lambourn HIPPISLEYs.
Robert, born 1609, inherited the manors of Stanton Fitzwarren, Stanton FitzHerbert and Stanton Hungerford in Wiltshire from his uncle John ORGAN in 1636. He was a staunch Parliamentarian in the Civil War and was described as "one of Cromwell's creatures" by one of the Lord Protector's adversaries. He was made High Sheriff of Wiltshire in 1655, but made himself unpopular with the inhabitants of Wilton by moving the County Court from there to Devizes. Robert's granddaughter Dorothy married Edward NORRIS, Rector of Stow-on-the-Wold in Gloucestershire. In her will of 1756 Dorothy bequeathed the advowson of Stow to her cousin Richard HIPPISLEY, thus originating the family connection with Stow.
John HIPPISLEY V
John HIPPISLEY V was born in 1604 and succeeded his father when he was only nine years old, immediately becoming a Ward of the King. His family had to pay for John's wardship as well as rent for his estate until he came of age. The Court of Wards did not grant John a Licence of Entry on his lands until 1st July 1626. John married Margaret PRESTON, the daughter and heiress of John PRESTON of Cricket St. Thomas, in 1627. John and Margaret had no less than thirteen children - John, baptised 22nd March 1628 at Cricket St. Thomas; Katherine, baptised 5th October 1630 in Emborough; Richard, baptised 1st November 1631 at Emborough; Edward, baptised 15th May 1633 at Emborough; Thomas, baptised 24th August 1634 at Emborough; Margaret, baptised 13th October 1635 at Emborough; Theodore, baptised 9th October 1638 at Ston Easton; William, baptised 16th August 1640; George, baptised 28th October 1641 at Ston Easton; Christopher, baptised 19th September 1643 at Ston Easton; Elizabeth, baptised 5th April 1647 at Ston Easton; Phoebe, baptised 30th August 1652, and Isaac, who died between 1664 and 1671.
John HIPPISLEY V was admitted to Lincoln's Inn on 2nd May 1623. He lived at Emborough, but in the 1630s he began building a new house at Ston Easton. It is believed that this was a tall, 'L'-shaped building of five storeys. This would later be rebuilt as the Palladian mansion known today as Ston Easton Park. The old manor house became the farmhouse of Old Farm (now known as Manor Farm). In 1631, in an attempt to bolster the Royal coffers, King Charles I set up a Special Commission of the Exchequer to investigate "Distraint of Knighthood". This related to an old law requiring any man with lands or goods valued at a certain amount to present himself at the King's coronation to join the royal army as a knight. Charles I attempted to use this law to fine individuals who had failed to attend his coronation in 1626, and the Commission demanded that John Hippisley pay composition. In his defence John pointed out that at the time of the coronation he had been a minor and that his lands had been in the hands of the King, and that he had also not been of an age to receive a knighthood anyway. John suffered considerable expense in his defence against distraint. This incident may well have made the choice of which side to support when the Civil War erupted an easier one for John.
John was appointed Sheriff of Somerset in November 1641 and during the Civil War he supported the Parliamentarian cause. In August 1642 a Parliamentarian force marched from Chewton Mendip to Wells where the Marquis of Hereford, who had been sent to the West Country by the King to raise troops, had set up his headquarters. John HIPPISLEY's name appears among the signatories of a list of "Propositions" which demanded that the Marquis withdraw from the county and disband his troops.
According to the Somerset Quarter Sessions Records, John HIPPISLEY was serving as a Justice of the Peace in October 1646, and was re-appointed to this office again on 24th July 1654 and 20th July 1660. He died on 28th October 1664. His eldest son, John, appears to have died at around the same time as his father, and so it was Richard who inherited the family's estates - the first heir for five generations not to be called John. It seems that Richard had not seen eye-to-eye with his father - in his will John says "I have hereby ... given and granted unto ... several of my younger children several estates for their respective better livelihood and maintenance, and that my desire is to provide ... for their respective quiet enjoyment thereof without any disturbance from my eldest son."
Margaret HIPPISLEY, born 1635, married Lieutenant-Colonel Henry LYTE of Lyte's Cary, a manor house near Ilchester in Somerset which is now owned by the National Trust.
George HIPPISLEY, born 1641, appears to have been something of a religious rebel. The English monarchy was restored in 1660 following the collapse of Cromwell's Commonwealth and Charles II was crowned King on 23rd April 1661. Charles' chief advisor, Edward HYDE, 1st Earl of Clarendon, sought to discourage religious non-conformity and in 1664 Parliament passed the Conventicle Act, which prohibited religious assemblies of more than five people except under the auspices of the Church of England. A second Conventicle Act was passed in 1670. George HIPPISLEY held very low church views and was perhaps suspicious of the Restoration government which appeared to lean conspicuously towards Rome. In 1674 George was fined under the Conventicle Act, along with his siblings Theodore and Phoebe, for holding "an exercise of religion in other manner than according to the liturgy and practice of the Church of England" in Emborough Church.
Charles II died in 1685 and was succeeded by his brother, who was crowned James II. James was a Roman Catholic, and in the year of his accession his nephew - James, Duke of Monmouth - led a rebellion against him. Monmouth's rebels were massacred on the 6th July 1685 at the Battle of Sedgemoor, near Bridgwater. Monmouth himself was executed on Tower Hill in London ten days later. George and Thomas HIPPISLEY were both noted by local Constables as being away from home during the rebellion and were suspected of having taken part. If so, they would have benefited from the general pardon issued by James II in 1686.
George was apparently not popular amongst his own family, with several relatives making unflattering remarks about his financial irresponsibility. In her will his own mother Margaret said, "I also hope that my children will not sell my household goods to any other, but to divide the same amongst themselves or sell the one to the other, but by no means to my son George Hippisley." In 1688 George's cousin Richard accused him of obtaining by fraud a bond for £400 from their aunt Dorothy CAREW payable after her death. Seeking to rebut the claim, Richard stated that their aunt had "no respect or regard for him [George], and that he was improvident with his own money, and he never should be with any of hers." Dorothy left £50 to George's son Carew, but specified that the boy was not to receive it until he was 21 to ensure that it would not pass into the hands of his father. It is therefore rather ironic that George's great-grandson John (1735-1822) inherited the family's Lambourn estate in 1769 and his great-great-great-grandson John (1804-1898) inherited the Ston Easton estate in 1843.
George may also have been the ancestor of two HIPPISLEY brothers who immigrated to Newfoundland in the early 1800s. George died on 9th May 1725 and in his will he referred to his children John, Katherine and Christopher. "The Hippisley Family" suggests that George's youngest son Christopher may have been the individual who is buried in Emborough alongside his wife and three sons, who all died in childhood. This Christopher died on 26th June 1732 and was buried two days later. His widow Elizabeth survived him and died on 4th November 1769. However, the story apparently does not end there. On 3rd August 1739 a George HIPPISLEY, son of Christopher HIPPISLEY 'late of Chewton', was apprenticed to Whetcombe WAY, apothecary of Bristol. "The Hippisley Family" suggests that George was another son of Christopher and Elizabeth. George HIPPISLEY practised as an apothecary in Shepton Mallet, Somerset and appears to have married Jane LANGHORNE in Shepton Mallet on 25th September 1752. George and Jane had several children, one of whom was James HIPPISLEY, baptised on 5th April 1769 in the Cowl Street Presbyterian Church in Shepton Mallet.
According to "The Hippisley Family" James became a Customs Officer in Bristol. He may have been the James HIPPISLEY who married Susannah POWELL on 15th May 1796 in St Paul, Bristol, and he appears to have had at least six children - Susannah, baptised 3rd June 1798 in St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol; James, baptised 26th August 1798 in St Mary Redcliffe; Sarah, baptised 16th May 1799 in Shepton Mallet; George, baptised 3rd May 1801 in St Philip and Jacob, Bristol; Elizabeth, baptised 13th March 1803 in St Philip and Jacob, and William, baptised 9th June 1805 in St Philip and Jacob. Susannah HIPPISLEY (nee POWELL) died in about 1807 and was buried on 26th April 1807 in St Philip and Jacob. James then appears to have married Susannah LEGG on 24th March 1808 in St Paul, Bristol with whom he had at least one more child - Charles, baptised 18th October 1812 in St Augustine The Less, Bristol. Of these children, James was apprenticed to William DANSON, a merchant, on 11th May 1812, to be educated as an accountant. DANSON had interests in Harbour Grace in Newfoundland and James travelled to and from there on his employer's behalf. His brother George also moved to Newfoundland, initially as a businessman but later becoming a school teacher. George married Louisa PARSONS, daughter of Charles PARSONS, a planter, and his wife Susannah Pike PARSONS, of Bear's Cove, Harbour Grace, on 5th December 1828, and his descendants still live in Newfoundland to this day.
Christopher HIPPISLEY, born 1643, lived at Cricket St. Thomas and in 1683 he presented a silver paten and knife to the church. He died in 1689.
Richard & Preston HIPPISLEY
Richard HIPPISLEY was baptised on 1st November 1631 in Ston Easton and inherited the manor upon his father's death in 1664. In his "Ston Easton Perambulation" G. A. J. LOXTON suggests that he was the Richard HIPPISLEY who served in the Parliamentarian army during the Civil War and who, during the defence of Bath and Bristol, "demanded that they fight on rather than surrender."
Richard married twice. His first wife was Anne YORKE, whom he married on 18th August 1668. Anne was baptised on 21st May 1649 in West Lavington, Wiltshire and was the daughter of William YORKE. Anne bore Richard his only child, Preston, who was born on 10th November 1669. Anne died ten days later and was buried in Ston Easton on 23rd November 1669. Richard then married Elizabeth CRESWICKE, the daughter of John CRESWICKE, in 1672, but Richard died in the same year.
Preston HIPPISLEY (b. 1669) was the last of the HIPPISLEYs of the original male line. Orphaned in his third year, he was raised at Basset Down near Swindon in Wiltshire by Charles YORKE, Preston's granduncle and the father of his future wife, Susannah YORKE. Preston married Susannah on 13th May 1684 at Southbroom, Wiltshire when he was only 14½ years old. Susannah was baptised on 27th June 1661 in Lydiard Tregoze, Wiltshire and was the first cousin of Preston's mother Anne. Preston and Susannah had two children together - Margaret, baptised on 12th December 1692 in Ston Easton, and Ann, who died unmarried in 1715. Margaret married John COXE of Leigh, Wiltshire in 1709 and in the same year John bought Basset Down for the sum of £4,000 from Margaret's uncle William YORKE.
John COXE had some interesting connections. His second cousin Edmund MASKELYNE was the father of Margaret MASKELYNE (1735-1817) who married Robert CLIVE on 15th March 1752 in Madras, India. On 23rd June 1757 Robert CLIVE defeated the army of the Mughal Viceroy at the Battle of Plassey and upon returning to England was created 1st Baron CLIVE of Plassey. He is better known as Lord CLIVE of India. Margaret's brother the Reverend Nevil MASKELYNE (1732-1811) was admitted to the Royal Society in 1758 and in 1761 he was sent to the island of St Helena to observe a transit of Venus. In 1764 he went on a voyage to Barbados to carry out trials of John HARRISON's marine chronometer and in 1765 he was appointed Astronomer Royal. Margaret CLIVE was played by LORETTA YOUNG in the 1935 movie "Clive of India", while Nevil MASKELYNE appeared in DAVA SOBEL's book "Longitude" and was played by SAMUEL WEST in the 2000 TV adaptation. Nevil MASKELYNE's grandson, Nevil Story MASKELYNE, was Lord of the Manor of Horfield - where I grew up - and Professor of Mineralogy at Oxford from 1856-95. Nevil Road and Maskelyne Avenue in Horfield are named after him.
Preston HIPPISLEY lived with his daughter and son-in-law at Basset Down while his grandfather's New House at Ston Easton was let and the estate managed by agents. In 1710 lawyers representing Thomas JOHNSON, the then tenant at Ston Easton who was almost certainly acting as a proxy for Preston HIPPISLEY, brought an action against three villagers who had erected cottages on waste land in the village. The aim of the case was to prove that the manor of Ston Easton minor never existed and that all the waste ground in the village therefore belonged to Ston Easton major, the manor owned by the HIPPISLEY family. The plaintiffs successfully convinced the court that Ston Easton major encompassed the entire village, and so the HIPPISLEYs became lords of the manor of the whole of Ston Easton. Preston HIPPISLEY suffered from poor health, his lawyer describing him as "being exceeding fat and unable to travel". He returned to Ston Easton in around 1716 where he died on 17th December 1723. His wife Susannah died in about 1751. Following Preston's death his daughter Margaret conveyed his estates to her husband John COXE. Their descendants later adopted the name HIPPISLEY COXE.
The HIPPISLEY COXE Family
John COXE and Margaret HIPPISLEY had five children together - Margaret; Ann, born 23rd April 1713; John, born 22nd March 1713, buried 24th November 1714; John, born 21st May 1715, and Susannah Elizabeth, born 17th September 1717, buried 27th June 1723. John COXE died in 1717 and was buried in Ston Easton on 6th June of that year. When Preston HIPPISLEY died in 1723, the Ston Easton estate passed to his daughter Margaret.
Margaret died on 10th March 1738 whereupon the estate was inherited by her son John (b. 1715). John was educated at Westminster and Christ Church College, Oxford. On 1st December 1738 he was made an Honorary Freeman of Bath. He was known locally as Mr COXE, while on legal documents he called himself John HIPPISLEY COXE. On 18th August 1739 John married Mary NORTHLEIGH, the daughter and heiress of Stephen NORTHLEIGH of Peamore, Devon and his wife Margaret DAVIE. John and Mary had eleven children together - Margaret, born 1st July 1741 in Peamore; Richard, born 22nd September 1742 in Peamore; John, born 2nd September 1743; Henry, born 8th October 1744, died February 1745; Mary, born 15th October 1745; Ann, born 15th May 1747 in Peamore; Henry, born 28th June 1748; William, born 22nd February 1749 in Peamore; Charles, born 21st May 1752; Robert Stephen, born 20th September 1756, and Frances Susanna, born 5th December 1761. John's wife Mary was a woman of substantial means and the marriage brought not only the NORTHLEIGH family's properties in Devon into John's hands, but also land at Downside near Midsomer Norton formerly belonging to the STEDMAN family, as Mary's grandfather Sir William DAVIE's second wife was Mary STEDMAN. John's new wealth enabled him to rebuild and enlarge the New House at Ston Easton, creating the Palladian mansion that can be seen today, albeit without the end pavilions. He further boosted his coffers by selling Basset Down to his third cousin Edmund MASKELYNE, the older brother of Margaret and Nevil.
Ston Easton Park Gallery
(click image to view)
In 1762 John HIPPISLEY COXE erected a monument in Cameley church claiming that the first HIPPISLEY to settle in Cameley was one Sir John HIPPISLEY, who had a grant of the manor in the reign of King Edward I. This Sir John was, according to the memorial, an ancestor of the HOWARD, NEVILLE, YORKE and DANVERS families. However there is no evidence for the existence of a Sir John HIPPISLEY in the reign of Edward I, and the manor of Cameley did not come into the possession of the family until it was purchased by John HIPPISLEY in 1561. The memorial in Cameley church no longer exists and may have been removed due to its dubious content when the Lambourn HIPPISLEYs came into possession of the estate.
John HIPPISLEY COXE died on 29th May 1769 at his lodgings in the Circus in Bath and the estate was inherited by his eldest son, Richard. John's widow Mary died on 18th June 1771 in Peamore. Of their other children, Frances Susanna is also worthy of note. On 16th May 1780 in St Marylebone, London she married Sir Francis BASSET of Tehidy Park near Camborne in Cornwall. Francis was born on 9th August 1757 in Walcot, Oxfordshire and was the son of Francis BASSET and Margaret ST. AUBYN. The BASSETs were one of the most powerful families in Cornwall and owned extensive lands in the county having made their money from the Cornish tin and copper mining industry. The family first came into possession of the manor of Tehidy in the 12th century when William BASSET married Cecilia, the heiress of the de DUNSTANVILLE Earls of Cornwall. Tehidy House was built in 1734.
Lady Frances BASSET
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On 24th November 1779 Francis BASSET was created baronet in recognition for marching his miners to Plymouth to repair the marine defences there after the combined fleets of Spain and France had unexpectedly anchored in the English Channel in August. Further titles were bestowed upon him on 17th June 1796 when he was created Baron de Dunstanville of Tehidy Park, and on 30th November 1797 when he was also created Baron BASSET of Stratton, near Bude. Sir Francis was M.P. for Penryn from 1780 to 1796 and developed the harbour at Basset's Cove, which was renamed Portreath. In 1782 he had a cottage built in the west corner of the beach, and nearby had six baths cut into the rocks for his daughter Frances, born 30th April 1781. Above the cottage he placed four twelve-pound cannon to protect the cove and harbour from pirates. Battery House how stands on the site of these guns. He also provided financial backing for the Portreath-Poldice horse-drawn tramroad which from 1812 until the 1860s ferried ore from the mines around Gwennap to the harbour at Portreath from where it was transported to South Wales for smelting.
Sir Francis BASSET
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Sir Francis also improved the house and grounds at Tehidy where he played host to innumerable guests of distinction. Frances BASSET (nee COXE) died on 14th June 1823 and her widowed husband subsequently married Harriet LEMON, daughter of Sir William LEMON of Carclew and Jane BULLER, on 13th July 1824, but he had no further children. Francis died on 14th February 1835, whereupon the title of de Dunstanville became extinct. In 1836 a 90ft high monument was erected to his memory on Carn Brea, the hill which overlooks Camborne and Redruth. His daughter Frances became Baroness BASSET of Stratton. The 1851 census shows her living at Tehidy Park with an interesting visitor, her first cousin once removed Jane HIPPISLEY, daughter of Henry HIPPISLEY and Anne ROLLINSON (see below):
Tehidy Park, Illogan, Cornwall
Frances BASSET aged 69
Baroness In Her Own Right born St Mary-le-Bone, Middlesex
Jane HIPPISLEY first cousin visitor 35 Private Lady born Lambourne, Berkshire
Edmund MARRIOTT visitor 25 Student Inner Temple born Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Charlot CALE servant 65 Housekeeper born Trowbridge, Wiltshire
Matilda ROBB servant 42 Ladies Maid born Scotland
Ann JOHNSON servant 31 Cook born Hereford
Mary GEORGE servant 46 House Maid born Monmouth, Wales
Betty TREVARTON servant 24 House Maid born Camborne, Cornwall
Jane TREVARTON servant 38 Still Room Maid born Camborne, Cornwall
Jane HAMLEY servant 33 Laundry Maid born Lostwithiel, Cornwall
Frances BASSET died unmarried on 22nd January 1855 whereupon the Barony of BASSET became extinct. John Francis BASSET, the grandnephew of Sir Francis, inherited the estate. In 1861 John BASSET commissioned the architect William BURN of Piccadilly to rebuild Tehidy to reflect the taste of the day. John died childless on 9th February 1869 and was succeeded by his brother Arthur, but he committed suicide in an asylum near London on 7th May 1870, and another brother, Gustavus, acquired the estates. Gustavus died on 25th July 1888 and was succeeded by his adopted son, Arthur Francis, who may have actually been the son of Gustavus and his French mistress. High taxation, death duties and diminished income from the declining Cornish mining industry had made it increasingly difficult to keep financing the estate, but that did not stop Arthur from leading a lavish lifestyle. Arthur appeared to care little for Tehidy and sold the house in November 1916, primarily to pay off gambling debts, thereby ending over 700 years of BASSET occupation. The house was converted into a hospital for treating sufferers of tuberculosis but much of the building was destroyed by a fire on 25th February 1919.
Richard HIPPISLEY COXE, born 1742, was educated at Westminster and Christ Church College, Oxford. He was a highly cultivated man and became M.P. for Somerset in 1768 aged 25. In the same year he was made an Honorary Freeman of the Society of Merchant Ventures in Bristol. The following year he inherited his father's estates. Richard was twice more M.P. for Somerset, in 1774 and 1780, belonging to the Whig party, and was described by an observer at the time as "a young man of very quick parts". He was made President of the Society of Somerset Gentlemen in Bristol in 1776 and the following year entered horses in the Bath races. He was three times Knight of the Shire and became a Colonel in the Somerset Militia. BRYAN LITTLE provides us with an insight into Richard's lifestyle in an article about Ston Easton printed in Country Life on 30th March 1945: "[The Saloon] is the glory of the house... one of the many good cultural results of the Grand Tour, a clear consequence of Richard HIPPISLEY COXE's 'foreign travel'. Here he could entertain his cultured political friends, like himself nurtured in the classics and apt with their Virgilian and Horatian quotations."
In 1775 Richard sold Cricket St. Thomas to Admiral Alexander HOOD, later 1st Viscount Bridport, for £14,000. The present house was built for Admiral HOOD by the distinguished architect Sir John SOANE and was the setting of the TV series "To The Manor Born". It is now a hotel owned by Warner Holidays. The estate has also been the home of a popular wildlife park since the 1960s.
Richard may have sold Cricket St. Thomas to finance further work at Ston Easton which he made his principal residence. He continued his father's work of enlarging the estate and improving Ston Easton House, adding the single bay wings and two-storey pavilions, but unlike his father he did not marry an heiress and instead borrowed heavily and mortgaged the estate. In 1784 he was found to be mentally ill and his brothers Henry and Charles were put in charge of his estates and person respectively by an order of the Court of Chancery. An Act of Parliament was passed for the sale of some of his assets to pay off his debts. Among these properties was Downside, sold in 1787 and later acquired by Benedictine monks who established an Abbey on the estate. Richard died unmarried on 26th August 1786 leavings debts of £30,000. The memorial plaque erected by his brother Henry inside Ston Easton Church reads: "His public duties were zealously acquitted with all the exertion of an honourable, intelligent and independent spirit, while the splendid endowment of his mind combined with a graceful suavity of manners constituted him at once the ornament and delight of his family and friends."
Despite the debts accumulated by his brother, Henry HIPPISLEY COXE continued the improvement of the Ston Easton estate. He commissioned the eminent garden designer Humphry REPTON to prepare plans for transforming the farmland surrounding the house into a landscaped park. REPTON visited Ston Easton in November 1792 and in March 1793 prepared a "Red Book" showing 'before' and 'after' watercolours of his plans. Henry was Sheriff of Somerset in 1789 and was elected M.P. for the county in 1792. He also served in the Somerset militia, rising to the rank of Major by 1795. He married twice, firstly on 26th May 1786 to Sarah POLE, the daughter of Reginald POLE of Stoke Damerel, Devon. Sarah was the great-great-great-granddaughter of Sir John POLE, the older brother of Periam POLE who had married Dorothy HIPPISLEY in 1618. Henry's second wife was Elizabeth Anne HORNER, whom he married on 11th May 1790 in Mells, Somerset. Elizabeth was born in about 1760 and was the daughter of Thomas HORNER of Mells, Somerset.
Henry died childless on 31st July 1795, by which time his other brothers had also died. His four sisters by contrast were all still alive and married, their dowries having further contributed to the depletion of the family's assets. His eldest sister Margaret married her cousin the Reverend John HIPPISLEY, Rector of Stow-on-the-Wold, on 24th April 1769 in St Swithin, Walcot, Bath; Mary married James BULLER of Downes near Crediton, Devon on 20th January 1770 in St Michael, Bath; Ann married the Reverend William JAMES of Ash, Kent on 26th March 1774 in St Marylebone, London, and as we have seen Frances Susanna married Sir Francis BASSET of Tehidy, Cornwall on 16th May 1780 in St Marylebone. In his will Henry decreed that his estates would pass to his wife Elizabeth, and upon her death they were to be inherited by his nephew Henry HIPPISLEY of Lambourn.
HIPPISLEY COXE Memorial
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Sir John Coxe HIPPISLEY
After Henry HIPPISLEY COXE's death in 1795 his widow Elizabeth married Sir John Coxe HIPPISLEY on 16th February 1801 in Whatley, Somerset. Sir John was described by Country Life as "an urbane and wide-minded man". He was baptised as John Cox HIPSLEY in Christ Church, Bristol on 17th February 1746 and was the son of William HIPSLEY, a haberdasher, and Ann WEBB. "Some Notes on the Hippisley Family" suggests that John may have been descended from a family of Quaker HIPPISLEYs who lived in Yatton, but what is certain is that he was not a close relative of the Ston Easton HIPPISLEYs. His middle name derived from his paternal grandmother, Dorthy COXE, the only daughter of William COXE of East Harptree, Somerset. He was educated at Bristol Grammar School and at Hertford College, Oxford, where he matriculated on 3rd February 1764 aged 16. He became a Doctor of Civil Law on 3rd July 1776 and on 1st July 1811 he received an honorary degree of M.A. from Cambridge as of Trinity College. He was admitted a student of the Inner Temple on 20th January 1766 (where he was recorded as John Cox HIPSLEY), was called to the bar on 14th June 1771, and was elected a Master of the Bench on 28th January 1803. He was Treasurer of the Inner Temple from 19th November 1813 to 17th November 1814 and his monogram can be seen above the doorways of Nos. 10 and 11 King's Bench Walk, which were rebuilt in 1814.
Sir John Coxe HIPPISLEY
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Margaret STUART, Lady HIPPISLEY
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John was next called upon to negotiate the marriage between Prince Frederick of Württemberg to Charlotte Augusta Matilda, the Princess Royal, eldest daughter of George III. Prince Frederick and Charlotte married on 18th May 1797 in the Chapel Royal in St James Palace. In gratitude the Duke granted Sir John the privilege of bearing the Württemberg arms and motto, Amicitiae Virtutisque Foedus, which translates as "an alliance of friendship and virtue". The grant was confirmed by Royal sign-manual on 7th July 1797, and Sir John was also appointed a commissioner and trustee of the Royal marriage settlement. However the following report in the Morning Post & Gazetteer dated 31st May 1798 suggests that Sir John did not remain on good terms with the Duke: "Sir John Hippisley Coxe denies that he is to call his new estate in Berkshire by the name of Stutgardt. He thinks the Duke of Wirtemberg, while in London, treated him with geat inattention."
In 1799 the plight of Henry, Cardinal York, the last representative in the male line of the Royal House of Stuart, was brought to Sir John's attention by Cardinal Stefano BORGIA. Cardinal York was living in France, ill and penniless, and Sir John persuaded the King to award him an annual pension of £4000.
Margaret HIPPISLEY Memorial
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Sir John's first wife Margaret died on 24th September 1799 in Brompton, Middlesex. In 1800 John served as High Sheriff of Berkshire, where he owned Warfield Grove, a red-brick Georgian mansion which he had bought from Admiral Sir George BOWYER. Sir John sold the house to the Earl of Mountnorris in the early 19th century, and it later became a school for gentlemen. The mansion still stands today, though it is now known as Warfield House, and a picture of it can be seen on DAVID NASH FORD's Royal Berkshire History website. Sir John again applied to become a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1800. In his election certificate he is described as "a gentleman versed in various branches of literature and science". This time his application was successful. Also in 1800 Sir John was named in the charter of the Royal Institution as one of its first managers and also served as the Institution's Treasurer.
Sir John married Elizabeth Ann COXE in 1801 and acquired enough property to consider standing as the member for Somerset, but his old Sudbury constituency became vacant and Sir John was elected unopposed in 1802. Sir John's marriage to Elizabeth brought a new era of prosperity to the Ston Easton estate and the village. It seems as though he may have changed the spelling of his name after marrying Elizabeth, perhaps in an effort to further legitimise his position at Ston Easton, as on his memorial plaque inside Ston Easton Church he is referred to as John Coxe HIPPISLEY. Sir John was a good neighbour to the monks at Downside Abbey; the abbey had been founded in 1814 by a Benedictine community from Douai in Northern France which had fled suppression during the Revolution, and to this day the monks pray for Sir John as one of their benefactors.
Sir John was a vice-president and supporter of the Literary Fund Society, one of the principal promoters of the literary institutions of Bath and Bristol, a member of the government committee of the Turkey Company, vice-president of the West of England Agricultural Society, a member of the Society of Antiquarians, and a founding member of the Royal Yacht Club which was formed on 1st June 1815. He also served as a magistrate for Somerset for many years. In March 1817 disaffected colliers in Radstock and Paulton instigated a riot and Sir John and his fellow magistrates were obliged to call in the 23rd Lancers from Bristol and the North Somerset Yeomanry to help them quell the disturbance. Sir John confronted the colliers and demanded to know what their grievances were, to which they replied that they wanted full wages and that they were starving. Sir John then read the Riot Act and gave the colliers an hour to disband, whereafter any that remained would be sentenced to death. Four ringleaders were subsequently arrested and sent to Ilchester Prison, and the remaining men dispersed.
A caricature of Sir John Coxe HIPPISLEY
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Unfortunately, John was not a popular man with all his contemporaries. According to Sommers, "his parliamentary colleagues found him tireseome, even by the standards of the day, and Hippisley was frequentily forced to publish what he would have said in parliament, had he not been cut short. [Politician and wit Joseph] Jekyll remarked in 1810, that when Hippisley rose to call for the creation of a select committee on catholic claims, 'the house coughed him down five times in vain, and the catarrh lasted two hours'". He also appears to have been somewhat pompous and the Reverend John SKINNER referred to him as "that great orator" and a "great ass" in his diary, published as "The Journal of a Somerset Rector".
Lady Elizabeth Anne HIPPISLEY was a formidable maitresse femme and drew up a set of strict rules for her household. She was described as "of masculine character, having at some time or other expressed a wish to be made a justice of the peace". She was also interested in alternative therapies and it is said that the locals used to come for her potions to cure their ailments. She was somewhat eccentric, as explained in an edition of "Country Life" printed in November 1943: "Tradition tells that she kept a tame bear, whose ring on the stable door sill exists and the site of whose grave is still marked; she maintained her own laboratory for scientific experiments, the stench from which was so appalling that Sir John insisted on the walling-up of the passage connecting the laboratory with the rest of the house. But perhaps that which struck the neighbours most with wonderment was that she had her own private bathroom on the ground floor, and that she descended to her ablutions to a bath sunk in the floor, beneath a ceiling of blue stucco, studded with golden stars, and surrounded by plaster statues of doubtful quality."
Lady Elizabeth Anne HIPPISLEY
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Sir John had no children with Elizabeth. He retired from political life in 1818 and died on 3rd May 1825 in Grosvenor Street, London. He was buried in the Inner Temple vault on 12th May 1825. According to his marble memorial inside Ston Easton church he manifested "a zealous perseverance to correct and meliorate the course of public justice and during a long series of Parliamentary labours a firm support of liberal principles and religious toleration". The "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography" said that he had pursued an "unflagging, though wholly unsuccessful, quest for office". The obituary for Sir John published in Gentleman's Magazine proclaimed that "if the moral portrait of the deceased be sketched from his conduct as a husband, a father, a friend, and a neighbour, it forms the best estimate of his worth". His widow Elizabeth died on 25th March 1843 in Grosvenor Square, London, whereupon the Ston Easton estate was inherited by her grandnephew, John HIPPISLEY.
John Stuart HIPPISLEY, Sir John's son by his first wife, succeeded as second baronet. He matriculated at Christ Church College, Oxford on 1st February 1810, becoming Bachelor of Arts in 1813. He died unmarried in Mells, Somerset on 20th March 1867, whereupon the baronetcy became extinct. Margaret Frances HIPPISLEY, Sir John's eldest daughter by his first wife, married Thomas Strangways HORNER on 6th July 1805 in St George, Hanover Square, London. Thomas was born on 13th September 1762 and was the brother of Margaret's step-mother Elizabeth Anne. Thomas had inherited the family's Mells estates on the death of his father in 1804. Thomas died on 12th March 1844 and his widow Margaret died on 18th October 1865. Their son John Stuart Hippisley HORNER, born 9th October 1810 in Mells, inherited the family estates. When his son, Sir John Francis Fortescue HORNER, died on 31st March 1927, having lost his eldest son Edward in World War One and his youngest son Mark to scarlet fever, the male line of the HORNER family came to an end. Mells is now the home of Raymond Benedict Bartholomew Michael ASQUITH, 3rd Earl of Oxford and Asquith, the grandson of Raymond ASQUITH and Sir John Francis Fortescue's daughter Katherine Frances.
The Lambourn HIPPISLEYs
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Richard HIPPISLEY, the
second son of John
HIPPISLEY IV and Elizabeth ORGAN, settled at Place House, a 15th
century Tudor mansion in Lambourn, Berkshire, which had been made over
to him by his uncle John ORGAN by an indenture dated 25th August 1638.
John's older brother, Richard ORGAN, had bought Place House from Edward
GODDARD in the early 17th century, but Richard died in 1638 and John,
his heir, subsequently settled the property on his nephew.
Richard HIPPISLEY married Anne ORLEBAR, daughter of George ORLEBAR of Hinwick House, Bedfordshire and his wife Margaret CHILD. Richard and Anne had three children - Richard, born c. 1645; Anne, born c. 1647, and John, born 7th September 1649. Richard HIPPISLEY died on 17th July 1655 and was buried in Stanton Fitzwarren, Wiltshire three days later.
Richard and Anne's eldest son, Richard (b. 1645), matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford on 14th May 1662. He died in 1666 and was buried in Lambourn on 30th August of that year. Anne HIPPISLEY (b. 1647) married her first cousin John HIPPISLEY on 10th October 1667 in Stanton Fitzwarren, Wiltshire. John was born c. 1641 and was the eldest son of Robert HIPPISLEY of Stanton Fitzwarren and his wife Jane STEVENTON. Anne and John had eight children together, all baptised in Stanton Fitzwarren - Anne, buried 14th July 1669 in Stanton Fitzwarren; Robert, baptised 16th September 1669, buried 28th January 1669 in Stanton Fitzwarren; Jane, baptised 20th October 1671; Anne, baptised 28th November 1672; Dorothy, baptised 9th October 1674; John, baptised 18th August 1676; Richard, baptised 7th January 1677, and Thomas, baptised 27th June 1679. John HIPPISLEY died on 14th May 1691 and his widow Anne died in 1718. It was their daughter Dorothy (b. 1674) who married Edward NORRIS, Rector of Stow-on-the-Wold in 1719.
John HIPPISLEY (b. 1649) inherited the family's Lambourn estates. He matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford on 1st Apr 1664 aged 14 and entered the Middle Temple in 1667 aged 18. He gave £15 towards the building of the Front Gate Tower of Exeter College and in 1672 he bought the Manor of East Manton from Lord Lovelace. He was a Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant and was made High Sheriff of Berkshire on 25th November 1679.
John's first wife was Catherine SOUTHBY, daughter of Richard SOUTHBY of Carswell, Berkshire, who he married on 15th February 1670 in Buckland, Berkshire. John and Catherine had eleven children together, all born or baptised in Lambourn - John, born 23rd November 1672; Catherine, baptised 10th September 1674, buried 6th July 1677; Anne, born 3rd March 1676; Richard, born 4th November 1678; Catherine, born 1st October 1680; Mary, born 26th May 1682; Elizabeth, born 25th November 1683; Christopher, born 15th August 1685; Gabriel, born 23rd August 1687; Charles, born 15th March 1688, and Rachel, born 11th October 1691.
Catherine HIPPISLEY (nee SOUTHBY) died in 1700 and was buried in Lambourn on 21st November. John subsequently married Mary WILD, daughter of Samuel WILD of Rochdale, Lancashire, with whom he had one daughter, Bridget, baptised 3rd December 1704 in Lambourn. John HIPPISLEY died on 27th June 1722 and his second wife Mary died in 1730.
John and Catherine's
eldest son, also
called John, married Cotton BOWLES on 28th May 1699 in Kingston Lisle,
Berkshire. Cotton was born in about 1680 and was the daughter
Thomas BOWLES. John and Cotton had three children - Elinor, born 12th
August 1700 in Lambourn; Organ, born 22nd August 1701 in Lambourn, and
John, born 21st December 1702 in Sparsholt, Berkshire. John died in
1708 aged only 36 and was buried in Lambourn on 30th October. His widow
Cotton subsequently married William POWELL, Vicar of Lambourn and later
Dean of St. Asaph and Archbishop of Chester, on 1st November 1713 in
Organ HIPPISLEY (b. 1701) inherited the family's Lambourn estate upon the death of his grandfather in 1722. He married Martha MARTYN, daughter of Francis MARTYN of Upton Hold, Worcestershire, with whom he had one son - John, born 25th June 1728 in Blockley, Worcestershire. Organ died on 1st November 1735 aged only 35. In his will he gave £3 a year to Lambourn School to be used for teaching six poor children to read. Organ's young son John became Lord of the Manor, but he died in 1736 aged 8 and was buried in Lambourn on 28th May.
Organ HIPPISLEY's younger brother, John, inherited the Lambourn estate upon the death of his nephew. John married Maria ODAMS, the only daughter of Joshua and Maria ODAMS, on 12th February 1738 in St. Antholin, London. John was a magistrate and was made High Sheriff of Berkshire on 4th February 1763. He died in 1769 and was buried in Lambourn on 23rd May 1769. His widow Maria died in 1792 and was buried in Lambourn on 1st November. With no children of his own, John bequeathed the Lambourn estates to his third cousin once removed, the Reverend John HIPPISLEY, Rector of Stow-on-the-Wold and Stanton Fitzwarren. The story of the demise of the first Lambourn branch of the HIPPISLEY family is summarised in a Latin inscription inside St Michael's church, which translates as:
"Sacred to the memory of John Hippisley Esquire, of the Hippisley family of Ston Easton in the County of Somerset. Descended from an ancient lineage. Grandson and heir of John Organ Esquire. He was a man steeped in every kind of literature. Beneficent patron of the poor. Sheriff of Berkshire, AD 1679 and irreproachable Justice of the Peace for 50 years. Twice married, first to Catherine, daughter of Richard Southby Esquire of Carswell in the County of Berkshire. Second to Mary, daughter of Samuel Ward, gent, of Rochdale in the County of Lancaster. Both are buried in this tomb. From the first he got the children John, Richard, Charles, Christopher, Gabriel, Ann, Catherine and from the other Bridget. He died on 27th June 1722 aged 72. Here also are laid the mortal remains of John Hippisley Esquire next to the venerable ashes of his father who was translated to glory in the year 1708 aged 36, whose eldest son Organ Hippisley Esquire departed this life AD 1735 aged 35. The aforementioned Organ left behind an only son John. Alas! The tender little boy exhibited only 8 brief years on the Earth and was laid under this marble with his father AD 1736. Who in hearing of the tragedy and ruin of this family could refrain from tears?"
The Reverend John HIPPISLEY was baptised in Cricket St. Thomas, Somerset in October 1735 and was the eldest son of Richard HIPPISLEY, Rector of Stow-on-the-Wold, and Jane EDWARDS. He was the great-grandson of George HIPPISLEY (b. 1641), the religious rebel who had taken part in Monmouth's rebellion. John matriculated at Balliol College, Oxford on 13th October 1752, becoming Bachelor of Arts in 1756 and Master of Arts in 1759. He was ordained as a deacon in St Paul's Cathedral, London on 21st May 1758 and became a priest in the Bishop's Palace Chapel, Wells on 23rd December 1759. He was instituted as rector at Cricket St. Thomas on 24th December 1759, but resigned this living on 9th July 1765 on being institued at Stow on the death of his father. On 6th October 1767 he was inducted to Stanton Fitzwarren, holding it with Stow by dispensation. He was also chaplain to Margaret, Lady Blantyre. In 1769 under the will of his cousin John HIPPISLEY he succeeded to the Lambourn estates.
John married Margaret COXE on 24th April 1769 in St Swithin, Walcot, Bath. Margaret was born on 1st July 1741 in Peamore, Devon and was the eldest daughter of John HIPPISLEY COXE and Mary NORTHLEIGH. John and Margaret had six children together - Mary, born 18th March 1770; John William, baptised 15th April 1771 in Stow-on-the-Wold, buried 9th October 1771 in Stow-on-the-Wold; John, baptised 21st November 1772 in Stow-on-the-Wold; Richard, born 24th September 1774; Henry, born 7th April 1776, and Frances Anne, born 20th October 1780. Margaret HIPPISLEY died on 23rd August 1817 and her widowed husband the Reverend John HIPPISLEY died on 12th June 1822.
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Richard HIPPISLEY (b. 1774) was the eldest surviving son of the Reverend John HIPPISLEY and Margaret COXE. He entered Rugby School in 1784 and matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford on 14th January 1794. He married Charlotte MORDAUNT on 15th April 1800 in Wellesbourne, Warwickshire. Charlotte was born on 23th December 1777 in Walton, Warwickshire and was the daughter of Sir John MORDAUNT, 7th Baronet of Massingham, and Elizabeth PROWSE. Richard and Charlotte had two sons - John Henry, born 1st July 1801 in Lambourn, and Richard Charles, born 3rd February 1803. Richard HIPPISLEY inherited considerable estates in Devon under the will of Henry TUCKFIELD, a cousin of his grandmother Mary NORTHLEIGH, including the manors of Shobrooke, Little Fulford, Upper Wootton, Whitley, a moiety of Poltimore, Morchard Bishop (with patronage of the Rectory), Tedburn St Mary and East Raddon. Henry TUCKFIELD lived at Little Fulford in the parish of Shobrooke, an Elizabethan house built by Sir William PERRIAM, until his death in 1797. His spinster sister Elizabeth continued to live in the house until her death in 1807 at the age of 92. The estate then passed to Richard HIPPISLEY who on 24th November 1807 assumed by Royal Licence the names and arms of TUCKFIELD. Though his issue were authorised to use the name TUCKFIELD, they called themselves HIPPISLEY.
Richard HIPPISLEY-TUCKFIELD pulled down PERRIAM's house at Little Fulford and replaced it with a new residence built of stone with a modest portico. He was made High Sheriff of Devon on 10th February 1813. His wife Charlotte had the lodge at nearby Posbury House converted into a training centre for school teachers, and adjoining this she built a chapel dedicated to St. Luke, which was consecrated by the Bishop of Exeter in 1836. In about 1838 the Reverend Frederick SHELLEY was inducted as curate and undertook to train the teachers. He remained there until 1845 when he married Charlotte Martha HIPPISLEY, Richard HIPPISLEY-TUCKFIELD's niece, and was appointed Rector of Bere Ferrers in Devon. The training school was then moved to Exeter and subsequently expanded into the present St. Luke's Training College, now part of the University of Exeter. Charlotte also educated deaf and dumb children at Shobrooke, an enterprise which led to the foundation of the Royal West of England School for the Deaf. Richard HIPPISLEY-TUCKFIELD died on 27th December 1844 in Bath and was succeeded by his son, John Henry. His widow Charlotte died on 12th May 1848.
Richard's son John Henry HIPPISLEY matriculated at Oriel College, Oxford on 17th March 1819, becoming Bachelor of Arts in 1824 and Master of Arts in 1827. He was the author of a twelve-part monthly series entitled "Chapters on Early English Literature" published in 1837. After inheriting Little Fulford he encased the house in Portland stone and added a balustraded parapet. He also transformed the surrounding farmland into a park of some 150 acres, complete with ornamental lakes. Little Fulford had been so called to distinguish it from Great Fulford at Dunsford, but the similarity between the two names still caused confusion. When a coffin bound for Great Fulford was erroneously delivered at Little Fulford, John Henry HIPPISLEY decided to change the name of his estate, and Little Fulford became Shobrooke Park. John was a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant for Somerset, and was appointed High Sheriff of Devon on 5th June 1859. John died on 26th February 1880 at Shobrooke Park and the estate was inherited by his cousin, Sir John SHELLEY.
Henry HIPPISLEY (b. 1776) was educated at Rugby School and at Oxford, where he matriculated at Christ Church College in 1794, becoming Bachelor of Arts in 1798 and Master of Arts in 1803. He was ordained as a deacon in 1799 and became a priest in 1801. Henry married Anne ROLLINSON on 21st December 1803 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Anne was born on 4th August 1783 and was the daughter of Lock ROLLINSON of Chadlington, Oxfordshire. In 1804 Henry and Anne went to live at Lambourn Place.
Henry HIPPISLEY Memorial
(click image to enlarge)
Henry and Anne had eleven children together, all born in Lambourn - John, born 29th October 1804; Margaret, born 28th November 1805; Anne, born 2nd February 1807; Henry Hippisley, born 6th March 1808; Mary, born 1st May 1809; Frances, born 20th September 1810; Charlotte Martha, born 10th August 1812; Jane, born 18th March 1814; Emma Elizabeth, born 18th May 1815; Robert William, born 17th July 1818, and Isabella Maria, born 18th November 1820.
In 1808 Henry bought the estate of Sparsholt Manor, near Wantage, from Thomas Spiers GABBIT and in 1827 he rebuilt Hardrett's almshouses at Lambourn, which had become ruinous, at the expense of £215. In 1836 Henry inherited the manor of Aston and Cote in Oxfordshire from Caroline HORDE. The manor had been owned by the HORDE family since 1553 and it isn't known why Caroline bequeathed it to Henry. The estate remained in the hands of the HIPPISLEY family until 1920, when it was sold by the trustees of the late William Henry HIPPISLEY.
Henry HIPPISLEY had been due to inherit the family's Ston Easton estates upon the death of his aunt, Lady Elizabeth Anne HIPPISLEY, but he predeceased her, dying in Lambourn on 1st June 1838. The peculiar circumstances surrounding Henry's death were reported by the Monmouthshire Merlin on 23rd June: "He had gone to bed in perfect health on Friday, and about one o'clock on Saturday morning was seized with violent pain in the chest (supposed to have been produced by partaking of cucumber); in seven hours after he was a corpse." When Elizabeth Anne HIPPISLEY died in 1843 the Ston Easton estates were inherited by Henry's eldest son, John.
In 1841 Henry's widow Anne was living in Lambourn Place with two of her daughters:
Lambourn Place, Lambourn, Berkshire
Anne HIPPISLEY aged 55
Independent Not Born in County
Margaret HIPPISLEY aged 30 Independent Born in County
Isabella HIPPISLEY aged 20 Independent Born in County
Melicent RANKIN aged 50 Female Servant Not Born in County
Caroline COOK aged 25 Female Servant Not Born in County
Anne GREEN aged 20 Female Servant Born in County
Anne NEWMAN aged 19 Female Servant Born in County
By 1851 Anne had moved to Lansdown Crescent, Bath:
Lansdown Crescent, Walcot, Bath, Somerset
Anne HIPPISLEY widow
aged 67 Landed Proprietor
born Chidlington, Oxfordshire
Margaret HIPPISLEY daughter 45 Landed Proprietor born Lambourn, Berkshire
Anne HIPPISLEY daughter 44 Landed Proprietor born Lambourn, Berkshire
Charles TOMLINSON house servant 40 Footman born Boston, Lincolnshire
Harriet POTTER servant 48 Cook & House Maid born Devon
Charlotte SPARK servant 29 Lady's Maid born Somerton, Somerset
Jemima FRANCIS servant 33 House Maid born North Bradley, Wiltshire
Eliza HARDMAN servant 22 Kitchen Maid Moreton-in-the-Marsh, Gloucestershire
In 1853 Anne donated a clock for St Edward's church in Stow-on-the-Wold, where her son Robert was rector. This wasn't replaced until 1949. Anne HIPPISLEY (nee ROLLINSON) died on 7th November 1855 in Lansdown Crescent.
Anne HIPPISLEY Memorial
(click image to enlarge)
Margaret HIPPISLEY, born 1805, never married and died on 30th April 1873. Anne HIPPISLEY, born 1807, died unmarried on 23rd November 1885.
Henry HIPPISLEY, born 1808, inherited the family's estates at Lambourn, living at Place Farm until the death of his mother whereupon he took up residence in Lambourn Place. He was educated at Rugby School and at Exeter College, Oxford and was a Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Berkshire. He married Elizabeth Agnes NELSON on 9th February 1839 in St George, Hanover Square, London. Elizabeth was born on 20th October 1815 and was the daughter of the Reverend John NELSON. Henry and Elizabeth had five children together - Henry Nelson, born 15th October 1839 in Lambourn; Catherine, born 5th January 1841; Agnes, born 10th May 1845; Eleanor Anne, born 15th July 1848, and Beatrix, born 8th September 1849 in Lambourn.
In 1841 Henry and Elizabeth were visiting Thomas RAIKES in Yorkshire. Also present were Thomas's daughter Grace and Henry's brother Robert, who married later that year. Perhaps the purpose of Henry's visit was to make some arrangements for the marriage, as by then he was the head of the family.
North Ferriby, Yorkshire
Thomas RAIKES aged 50 Independent Not Born in County
Grace RAIKES aged 20 Spinster Born in County
Henry HIPPISLEY aged 33 Independent Not Born in County
Elizabeth HIPPISLEY aged 25 Not Born in County
Robert HIPPISLEY aged 22 Independent Not Born in County
Mary GODFREY aged 30 Spinster Not Born in County
James BROOKS aged 40 Male Servant Not Born in County
Richard HOLDER aged 20 Male Servant Born in County
Thomas BRIND aged 25 Male Servant Not Born in County
Charlotte DUMONT aged 33 Female Servant Born in Foreign Parts
Ann BURKELL aged 25 Female Servant Born in County
Harriet SMITH aged 25 Female Servant Born in County
Martha CLAYTON aged 20 Female Servant Born in County
Elizabeth Agnes HIPPISLEY Memorial
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Florence Ville, Waldon Hill, Torquay, Devon
William MAYSE aged 46 M
5 Men born North Bovey, Devon
Susan MAYSE wife 51 born Totnes, Devon
Susan Mary MAYSE daughter 11 Scholar born Torquay, Devon
Henry HIPPISLEY visitor widower 43 Magistrate for Berks & Oxon born Lambourn Place, Berkshire
In the same year Henry's daughters were living at Lambourn Place:
Lambourn Place, Berkshire
Eliza ROTH widow aged
31 Governess born Baden
Catherine HIPPISLEY daughter 10 Gentleman's Daughter born Lambourn, Berkshire
Agness HIPPISLEY daughter 6 Gentleman's Daughter born London
Eleanor HIPPISLEY daughter 3 Gentleman's Daughter born Lambourn, Berkshire
Beatrix HIPPISLEY daughter 18 months Gentleman's Daughter born Lambourn, Berkshire
Maria LEACH servant 42 Cook born Chawleigh, Devon
Eliza PARROTT servant 31 Housemaid born Wotton, Buckinghamshire
Martha MERRETT servant 28 Housemaid born Bath, Somerset
Lucretia BALL servant 18 Nursery Maid born Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
Hannah COX servant 17 Kitchen Maid born Lambourn, Berkshire
Sarah DANIALS servant 30 Nurse born Whitminster, Gloucestershire
Sarah LYLE servant 23 Ladies Maid born Whitstone, Cornwall
William CURTISS widow servant 40 Butler born Aldbourne, Wiltshire
John HONEY servant 42 Labourer born Lambourn, Berkshire
Richard MILDENHALL servant 31 General Servant born Lambourn, Berkshire
Henry married his second wife, Elizabeth Mary SULIVAN, on 8th May 1851 in Fulham, Middlesex. Elizabeth was born in London in about 1818 and was the daughter of the Right Honourable Laurence SULIVAN. Elizabeth was the niece of Henry John TEMPLE, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, who was British Prime Minister from 1855 to 1858. Henry, his sons Laurence and William and his father-in-law Laurence SULIVAN all atteneded the funeral of Lord Palmerston at Westminster Abbey in November 1865.
Elizabeth Mary HIPPISLEY
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Henry and Elizabeth had four children together - Emily Sulivan, born 27th February 1853; Laurence Temple, born 28th March 1854; William Henry, born 1st December 1855, and Gertrude Charlotte Elizabeth, born 29nd October 1859. In 1871 the family were living in London, as seen here in the census for that year:
65 Grosvenor Street, St George Hanover Square, Westminster, London
Henry HIPPISLEY aged 63
J.P. & D.L. born Lamborne, Berkshire
Elizabeth HIPPISLEY wife 53 born Westminster, Middlesex
Beatrice HIPPISLEY daughter 21 born Lamborne, Berkshire
Emily HIPPISLEY daughter 18 born Westminster, Middlesex
Gertrude HIPPISLEY daughter 11 born Lamborne, Berkshire
Laurence HIPPISLEY son 17 born Westminster, Middlesex
William H. HIPPISLEY son 15 born Westminster, Middlesex
Marie BESSIER governess 28 born Switzerland
According to the "Return of Owners of Land", Henry HIPPISLEY owned 2,013 acres and 20 perches of land in 1873 with a gross estimated rental of £1,959 16 shillings. In 1881 the family was once again living in Lambourn:
Lambourn Place, Lambourn, Berkshire
Henry HIPPISLEY aged 73
Berks & Oxon J
P O Local born Lambourn Place, Berkshire
Elizabeth M. HIPPISLEY wife 63 born London, Middlesex
Gertrude C. E. HIPPISLEY daughter 21 born Lambourn Place, Berkshire
Ida E. DALZELL granddaughter 4 born London, Middlesex
Violet C. DALZELL granddaughter 2 born Fulham, Surrey
William YOUDAN servant 28 Valet born London, Middlesex
John HONEY servant 72 Agricultural Labourer born Uplambourn, Berkshire
Mary J. OSBORN servant 21 Domestic Servant born Cottesmore, Rutland
Sarah E. BIDE servant 24 Ladysmaid born Thorpe Chertsey, Surrey
Elizabeth M. OWEN servant 21 Domestic Servant born London, Middlesex
Anne POWELL servant 39 Nurse born Uley, Gloucester
Mary JOYCE servant 13 Nursemaid born Lambourn, Berkshire
Henry and Gertrude HIPPISLEY
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In 1843 Henry rebuilt Lambourn Place in the Elizabethan style. In 1852 the Charity responsible for Hardrett's almshouses, which adjoined Lambourn Place, paid for their rebuilding. Henry HIPPISLEY, whose father had previously restored the buildings in 1827, supervised this undertaking. However the total cost of the project exceeded the original budget and in order to cover the difference the weekly stipend of the almsmen was reduced to 5s and appointments to vacancies were suspended. In 1865 an inquiry was held by the Inspector of Charities after a complaint was lodged by the almsmen who accused Henry of maladministration. In February 1866 the case was referred to the Attorney General. On 10th November 1868 the Court established new rules for the administration of the almshouses and placed the buildings under the management of seven trustees, one of whom was Henry HIPPISLEY.
According to DAVID NASH FORD's Royal Berkshire History website Henry HIPPISLEY is said to have "spent an infamous life oppressing the locals". In her book "The Haunted South" JOAN FORMAN says that Henry was "unpopular in the district and was known as a hard man in his dealings with the local people... He was said to have taken some of the timber fan-vaulting from the local church, for use in building Lambourn Place. Local inhabitants shook their heads over this sacrilege, prophesying that Henry Hippisley would not prosper. He appears to have been a man of violent and imperious temper, for when a rumour spread that he had killed one of his servant girls and buried her body in the nearby woods it was believed. After his death the last of the Hippisley's was said to have been seen in the neighbourhood of the house he once owned. His appearances seem to have been few, the last just prior to World War Two."
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On 12th March 1886 Henry transferred his Lambourn, Sparsholt and Aston and Cote estates to his third son William Henry HIPPISLEY who, in the same year, sold Lambourn to his brother-in-law Charles Grove EDWARDS. And so the estate passed out of the hands of the HIPPISLEY family who had owned it for nearly 250 years. Lambourn Place itself was pulled down in 1938 after falling into disrepair. Henry HIPPISLEY died on 2nd December 1896.
Henry HIPPISLEY Memorial
(click image to enlarge)
Henry's daughter Emily Sulivan HIPPISLEY (b. 1853) married Robert Harris DALZELL, later Earl of Carnwath, on 19th August 1873 in St George, Hanover Square, London. Their daughter Violet, born 18th March 1879, married Lt.-Col. Harold Greenwood HENDERSON on 19th February 1901. Harold was the son of Sir Alexander HENDERSON who in 1916 was created 1st Baron Faringdon. When Sir Alexander died in 1934 a company was established to administer his estates - that company was Henderson Global Investors, which today is one of the world's leading investment companies. In 1889 Sir Alexander had bought Buscot Park in Oxfordshire, and Harold and Violet's grandson Charles Michael HENDERSON, 3rd Baron Faringdon, still lives there today.
Henry's son William Henry HIPPISLEY (b. 1855) continued to reside at Sparsholt Manor after he had sold Lambourne Place to his brother-in-law. He was educated at Eton and gazetted Lieutenant in the Royal Berkshire Militia on the 15th March 1873, but resigned on the 3rd April 1875 to join the regular army in which he was gazetted Sub-Lieutenant on 22nd May 1875, being subsequently posted to the 7th Hussars with the same seniority. He transferred to the 2nd Dragoons on 29th January1876 as Lieutenant, was appointed Adjutant on 24th November 1877 (resigning on 18th June 1881), promoted Captain on 1st June 1884, Major in 1893, Lieutenant-Colonel in 1900 and he retired in 1902.
William Henry HIPPISLEY
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During the Zulu War of 1879 William served with the 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards, taking part in the cavalry affair at Erzungayan, and receiving the medal with clasp. He accompanied the reinforcements sent to South Africa during 1881 and served as Staff Officer at Pine Town Camp. During the Nile Expedition of 1884-5, he commanded a detachment of the Royal Scots Greys attached to the Heavy Camel Corps, and took part in the operations of the Desert Column, including the actions of Abu Klea and Abu Kru and the reconnaissance to Mettameh. For his services he received the medal with two clasps and the Khedive Star. He served in the South African war of 1899-1902, taking part in the relief of Kimberley and commanding the 2nd Dragoons from March to December 1901; he received the Queen's Medal with three clasps and the King's Medal with two clasps.
He was a member of the mission which waited upon the Czar of Russia when that sovereign was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of his regiment, and was decorated with the Order of St Stanilov; he was presented with a gold cigarette case by the Czar when that Monarch visited Great Britain on his wedding tour. Major Hippisley (as he was then) commanded the Royal Escort of the Scots Greys sent from Hounslow to receive his Imperial Majesty when he landed at Leith on 22nd September 1896. He was also presented with a signed photograph by the Kaiser.
William married Flora HARGREAVES on 16th September 1886 in Wokingham, Berkshire. Flora was born in Arborfield, Berkshire in about 1862 and was the daughter of Thomas and Sarah HARGREAVES of Arborfield Hall. William and Flora had two children together - Henry Hargreaves Sulivan, born 23rd August 1887 in Arborfield, and Lilian Edith, born 11th January 1891 and Sparsholt. William died on 28th June 1908 and was buried at Holy Cross Church in Sparsholt, where an east end window was inserted to his memory by his widow. Flora HIPPISLEY (nee HARGREAVES) died on 27th May 1939 and was also buried at Sparsholt church. The manor of Sparsholt was sold in 1963, a few years after the death of William's son Henry.
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Mary HIPPISLEY, born 1809, married Henry MILLS, Rector of Pillerton Hersey, Warwickshire, on 9th December 1841 in Lambourn. Mary and Henry had at least three children together, all born in Pillerton - Francis, born c. 1844; Catherine, born c. 1848, and Fanny, born c. 1852. In 1881 Mary and her children were living in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight, as seen here in the census for that year:
Clyde House, Madeira Road, Ventnor, Hampshire
Mary MILLS aged 71 Wife
Of Clergyman (Without
Care Of Souls) born Lambourn, Berkshire
Catherine MILLS daughter 33 born Pillerton, Warwick
Fanny MILLS daughter 29 born Pillerton, Warwick
Francis MILLS son 37 M A Barrister Not In Actual Practice born Pillerton, Warwick
Selina Mary MILLS daughter-in-law 23 Barristers Wife born Combroke, Warwick
Harriett PITT servant 24 Cook born Ryde, Isle of Wight, Hampshire
Mary BROTHERS servant 40 Domestic Servant born Breamor, Hampshire
Emma EELS servant 19 Domestic Servant born Ashborne, Warwick
Anne LEWINGTON servant 17 Domestic Servant born Cherington, Warwick
Mary MILLS (nee HIPPISLEY) died on 3rd September 1892.
Frances HIPPISLEY, born 1810, died unmarried on 5th January 1836.
Charlotte Martha HIPPISLEY, born 1812, married the Reverend (later to become Sir) Frederick SHELLEY, Rector of Bere Ferrers in Devon on 4th February 1845 in Walcot, Bath, Somerset. Charlotte and Frederick had at least four children together, all born in Bere Ferrers - John, born c. 1848; Frederick, born c. 1849; Henry, born c. 1850, and Charlotte Frances, born c. 1855. In 1851 and 1861 the family was living in the Rectory at Bere Ferrers:
Rectory, Beer Ferrers, Tavistock, Devon (1851)
Frederick SHELLY aged
41 Rector of Beer Ferris
born London, Middlesex
Charlotte Martha SHELLY wife 38 born Lambourn, Berkshire
John SHELLY son 2 born Beer Ferrers, Devon
Frederick SHELLY son 1 born Beer Ferrers, Devon
Henry SHELLY son 5 months born Beer Ferrers, Devon
Charlotte DOGGS servant 33 Nurse born Kelson, Somerset
Sophia PEARSE servant 18 Housemaid born Duloe, Cornwall
Sarah WHITTERN servant 28 Cook born Buckland, Berkshire
Hannah SELDON servant 18 Childs Maid born Shillingford, Devon
Susan KING servant 17 Parlour Maid born Crediton, Devon
The Rectory, Beer
Ferris, Devon (1861)
Frederick SHELLEY aged 51 Rector of Beer Ferris born London, Middlesex
Charlotte Martha SHELLEY wife 46 born Lambourn Place, Berkshire
Frederick SHELLEY son 11 Scholar born Beer Ferris, Devon
Charlotte Frances SHELLEY daughter 5 Scholar born Beer Ferris, Devon
Jane NAISBIT servant 20 Governess born Cockermouth, Cumberland
Elizabeth DOIDGE servant 41 Cook born Beer Ferris, Devon
Charlette NEWBERRY servant 22 Parlour Maid born Lifton, Devon
Sarah Jane NORTHY servant 17 Housemaid born Beer Ferris
Frederick SHELLEY died on 19th March 1869. In 1881 Charlotte was a widow living with her son John, who had inherited Shobrooke Park from his cousin John Henry HIPPISLEY in 1880, as seen here in the census for that year:
Fulford Park, Shobrooke, Devon, England
Sir John Bt. SHELLEY
aged 32 Landowner born
Bere Ferrers, Devon
Charlotte M. SHELLEY mother widow 68 born Lambourn Place, Berkshire
Frederick SHELLEY brother 31 born Bere Ferrers, Devon
John FURSMAN servant 24 Butler born Crediton, Devon
Walter J. WOOD servant 19 Footman born Rackenford, Devon
Samuel FURSMAN servant 27 Groom born Crediton, Devon
Walter HOMEYARD servant 21 Groom born Crediton, Devon
Ellen HAYMAN servant 29 Cook born Kenn, Devon
Christina HAYMAN servant 21 Kitchenmaid born Kenn, Devon
Ann ERSCOTT servant 17 Housemaid born Shobrooke, Devon
Agnes RICE servant 26 Underhousemaid born Morchard Bishop, Devon
Mary LOCK servant 27 Underhousemaid born Crediton, Devon
Charlotte SHELLEY (nee HIPPISLEY) died on 20th May 1893.
Jane HIPPISLEY, born 1814, never married. In 1881 she was living in Walcot, Somerset, as seen here in the census for that year:
6 Lansdown Crescent, Walcot, Somerset
Jane HIPPISLEY aged 67
Funded Property born
Elizabeth SMITH servant 20 Cook born Uley, Gloucester
Ellen Grace KING servant 18 House & Parlour Maid born Bath, Somerset
Jane HIPPISLEY died on 19th March 1892.
Emma Elizabeth HIPPISLEY, born 1815, married the Reverend Thomas D'Oyly WALTERS, Rector of Batheaston, on 18th October 1842. Thomas was born in Batheaston, Somerset on 21st June 1819 and was the son of Henry WALTERS and Jemima LITTLEJOHN. Emma and Thomas had four children together - Frances Sophia, born 22nd October 1843 in Congresbury, Somerset; Henry Edward, born 27th April 1845 in Pillerton, Warwickshire; Annie Jemima, born 27th July 1846 in Pillerton, and Edmond, born 2nd August 1848 in Swainswick, Somerset. Thomas WALTERS died on 21st June 1849. This is how Emma appears in the 1851, 1871 and 1881 censuses:
The Street, Batheaston,
Melmoth WALTERS aged 57 Barrister in Practice born Bath, Somerset
Emma WALTERS widow of nephew 35 Land Holder born Lamborne, Berkshire
Rose MARSHALL governess 25 Governess born Calais (British Subject)
Frances S. WALTERS great-niece 7 Scholar at Home born Congresbury, Somerset
Henry E. WALTERS great-nephew 5 Scholar at Home born Pillerton, Warwickshire
Anne J. WALTERS great-niece 4 Scholar at Home born Pillerton, Warwickshire
Edmond WALTERS great-nephew 2 born Swainswick, Somerset
Mary ASHFORD servant 25 Cook born Ditcheat, Somerset
Sarah PEARCE servant 27 Waiting Maid born Bath, Somerset
Sarah BLACKMORE servant 22 House Maid born Wellington, Somerset
Jane SMITH servant 17 Nursery Maid born Batheaston, Somerset
Russel House, St Pancras, Marylebone, London (1871)
Emma E. WALTERS widow
aged 55 born Lamborne, Berkshire
Edmond WALTERS son 22 Law Student born Swainswick, Somerset
Frances S. WALTERS daughter 27 Lady born Congresbury, Somerset
Jane W. HIPPISLEY visitor 57 Lady born Lamborne, Berkshire
Isabella M. LUTHER visitor 50 Lady born Lamborne, Berkshire
Mary A. SMITH visitor 30 Lady born Bloomsbury, London
Margaret BROWN servant 30 Cook born Ireland
Catherine WILLIAMS servant 24 House & Parlour Maid born Wales
Edmund R. GAYER aged 34
Barrister M.A. In
Practice born Ireland
Frances S. GAYER wife 37 born Congresbury, Somerset
Hugh Walters GAYER son 4 Scholar born St Pancras, London
Echlin Phillip GAYER son 3 born St Pancras, London
Emma E. WALTERS mother-in-law widow 65 Widow Of Clergyman born Lambourn, Berkshire
Henrietta M. OUTLAW servant 4 Cook born Newmarket, Cambridge
Elizabeth Emma JONES servant 23 Housemaid born Tregaron, Carmarthen, Wales
Martha BURBIDGE servant 19 Nurse born Bedford
Emma WALTERS (nee HIPPISLEY) died on 9th January 1887.
Robert William HIPPISLEY, born 1818, inherited the family's property in Stow-on-the-Wold, though the advowson appears to have passed to Robert's older brother Henry as an 1856 survey of the diocese of Gloucester names Henry as patron of Stow. He was educated at Eton and Exeter College, Oxford, and, according to "The Door Marked 'Pull': J. L. Pearson & His First Clients in the East Riding of Yorkshire" by ANTHONY QUINNER, it was while at Exeter College that Robert fell under the spell of the Tractarian or Oxford Movement which sought to reintroduce Roman Catholic trappings into the Anglican Church. Robert attended Exeter College with Robert RAIKES, and on 10th June 1841 he married Robert's sister Grace Louisa in Welton with Melton, Yorkshire. Grace was born on 4th February 1814 in Hull, Yorkshire and was the daughter of Thomas RAIKES of Welton and Elizabeth ARMSTRONG. Robert was inducted as Rector of Stow on 6th January 1844. His grandfather, John HIPPISLEY, had been Rector of Stow until 1822 and during his rectorate the church had fallen into disrepair. When Robert became rector his first act was to repair the church, bearing a considerable amount of the expense himself. The restoration work was carried out between 1846-47 by the Gothic architect John Loughborough PEARSON, who in 1856-59 also built a grand Gothic mansion for Robert in Lower Swell called Quarwood. PEARSON also designed Truro Cathedral, which was begun in 1880 and completed in 1910, and restored the Lord Mayor's Chapel in Bristol in 1889.
(click image to enlarge)
Unfortunately Robert's Tractarian views and aggressive self-promotion frequently earned the wrath of his parishioners and resulted in litigation which proved costly both for him and his parish. There were bitter disputes over the local schools, town charities, the water supply, the fire brigade, church services, the function of the vestry, the appointment of churchwardens, and the custody of parish records, and before Robert resigned in 1899 the townspeople had hanged his effigy!
Robert and Grace HIPPISLEY had seven children together, all born in Stow - Grace Elizabeth Anne, born 27th February 1844; Robert Raikes, born 17th January 1846; Alice, born 10th January 1848; Gertrude, born 23rd September 1849; William, born 6th September 1851; Constance, born 24th January 1853, and Eva, born 9th December 1854. This is how Robert and his family appear in the 1851, 1861, 1871 and 1881 censuses:
Church Green, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire (1851)
Robert W. HIPPISLEY
aged 32 Rector of Stow, born Lambourn, Berkshire
Grace L. HIPPISLEY wife 31 born Hull, Yorkshire
Grace E. A. HIPPISLEY daughter 7 born Stow, Gloucestershire
Robert R. HIPPISLEY son 5 born Stow, Gloucestershire
Alice HIPPISLEY daughter 3 born Stow, Gloucestershire
Gertrude HIPPISLEY daughter 1 born Stow, Gloucestershire
William WIGGIN visitor 31 Rector of Oddington born America (British Subject)
Mary BARBER servant 31 Nurse born Nunmonkton, Yorkshire
Elizabeth WHICHELO servant 37 Cook born Baldon, Oxfordshire
Mary LINES 19 School Mistress born Hartshill, Warwick
Frances HORNSBY servant 21 Housemaid born Stow, Gloucestershire
Sarah A. HENMAN 13 Scholar born Stow, Gloucestershire
Ann EAST servant 17 Nursery Maid born Kineton, Gloucestershire
Jane BARTLETT servant 16 Kitchen Maid, born Icomb, Gloucestershire
Jacob DAY servant 18 Footman born Stow, Gloucestershire
Lower Swell, Gloucestershire (1861)
Robert W. HIPPISLEY
aged 42 Rector of Stow-on-the-Wold born Lambourn, Berkshire
Grace HIPPISLEY wife 41 born Hull, Yorkshire
Grace HIPPISLEY daughter 17 Scholar born Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
Alice HIPPISLEY daughter 13 Scholar born Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
Gertrude HIPPISLEY daughter 11 Scholar born Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
William HIPPISLEY son 9 Scholar born Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
Constance HIPPISLEY daughter 8 born Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
Eva HIPPISLEY daughter 6 Scholar born Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
Georgiana ATHILL Governess born West India
Anna E. ROBSON 24 Governess born Northumberland
Elizabeth DONTTING servant widow 48 Cook born Preston, Gloucestershire
Elizabeth A. THOMAS 25 Lady's Maid born Milford House, Pembrokeshire
Maria HARWOOD 23 Parlour Maid born Hampton Lucy, Warwickshire
Harriet TAYLOR 26 Upper House Maid born Sherborne , Gloucestershire
Jane POLLARD 15 Under House Maid born Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
Rachel ENGLISH 15 Nursery Maid born Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
Louisa C. WEBB 20 Kitchen Maid born Slaughter, Gloucestershire
Walter NESSON 23 Groom
Quarwood House, Lower Swell, Gloucestershire (1871)
Robert HIPPISLEY aged
52 Rector of Stow-on-the-Wold born Lambourne, Berkshire
Grace HIPPISLEYwife 51 Rector's Wife born Hull, Yorkshire
Grace E. A. HIPPISLEY daughter 27 born Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
Alice HIPPISLEY daughter 23 born Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
Gertrude HIPPISLEY daughter 21 born Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
William HIPPISLEY son 19 Undergraduate Magd Coll Oxford born Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
Constance HIPPISLEY daughter 18 born Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
Eva HIPPISLEY daughter 16 Scholar born Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
Martha DOWDESWELL servant widow 36 Cook born Cricklade, Wiltshire
Elizabeth WILSON servant 25 Lady's Maid born Bodicot, Oxon
Susan NEWMAN servant 24 Laundress born Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Mary MACE servant 16 House Maid born Little Compton, Oxon
Mary HODGKINS servant 17 Kitchen Maid born Pillerton Hersey, Warwickshire
Charles VENVILL servant 16 Page born Great Rissington, Gloucestershire
The Rectory, Market Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire (1881)
Robert W. HIPPISLEY
aged 62 Rector of Stow-on-the-Wold born Lambourn, Berkshire
Grace L. HIPPISLEY wife 61 born Hull, Yorkshire
Alice HIPPISLEY daughter 33 born Stow, Gloucestershire
Gertrude HIPPISLEY daughter 31 born Stow, Gloucestershire
Constance HIPPISLEY daughter 28 born Stow, Gloucestershire
Eva HIPPISLEY daughter 26 born Stow, Gloucestershire
Caroline HOLBROOK servant widow 49 Cook born Ston Easton, Somerset
Lucy BURNETT servant 23 Ladys Maid born Crick, Northampton
Mary E. TOMPKINS servant 25 Housemaid born Newton Longville, Buckingham
Charles J. PORTER servant 17 Footman born Wadenhow, Northampton
John SUTTON servant 19 Groom born Stourton, Warwick
According to the "Return of Owners of Land", Robert HIPPISLEY owned 370 acres, 1 rod and 32 perches of land in 1873 with a gross estimated rental of £764.
Grace HIPPISLEY (nee RAIKES) died on 19th January 1892. Her husband Robert died on 28th January 1901 in Stow-on-the-Wold. Their daughter Eva, born 1854, married FitzRoy Frederick Charles JONES on 16th January 1886 in Stow-on-the-Wold. Eva and FitzRoy's eldest son Ivan FitzRoy Hippisley JONES was the editor of "Some Notes on the Hippisley Family".
Isabella Maria HIPPISLEY, born 1820, married Waldemar Heinrich LUTHER in Bath in 1850. Waldemar was the son of Johann Carl Wilhelm LUTHER and pracitised as a homeopathist in Ireland. In 1871 Isabella was visiting her sister Emma in London (see above census extract). She died in London on 9nd April 1877. Her husband Waldemar died on 22nd February 1896 in Belfast.
The Family Of John HIPPISLEY Of Ston Easton
(click image to enlarge)
John HIPPISLEY was born
on 29th October 1804 in Lambourn, Berkshire and was the eldest son of
Henry HIPPISLEY and Anne ROLLINSON. He was educated at Rugby
matriculated at Oriel College, Oxford on 15th May 1822, achieving a
second class degree in classics and mathematics
in the Michaelmas term of 1825 and awarded a Bachelor of Arts on 23rd
February 1826. He married Anne Elizabeth CLARE on 19th May
1831. Anne was born on 26th July 1812 and was the daughter of the
Reverend Thomas George CLARE, Rector of St Andrew's, Holborn, and
Harriet DANIELL. John and
Anne had five children - John, born 13th March 1832 in Shrivenham,
Berkshire; Anne Catherine, born 28th January 1834 in Watchfield,
Berkshire; Charlotte Mary, born 22th November 1835 in Nice,
then part of the
6 Lansdown Crescent, Walcot, Bath, Somerset
John HIPPISLEY aged 35
Independent Not Born
Ann HIPPISLEY 25 Not Born In County
John HIPPISLEY 9 Not Born In County
Ann HIPPISLEY 7 Not Born In County
Charlotte HIPPISLEY 5 Not Born In County
Henry HIPPISLEY 2 Born In County
Ann HIPPISLEY 30 Independent Not Born In County
Charlotte HIPPISLEY 25 Not Born In County
Anne HIPPISLEY (nee CLARE) died on 15th July 1842, and John subsequently married Georgiana DOLPHIN on 1st August 1843. Georgiana was born in Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire in about 1809 and was the second daughter of the Reverend John DOLPHIN, Rector of Wakes Colne and Pedmarsh in Essex. Georgiana's mother, Martha ROLLINSON, was the sister of John's mother Anne, so John and Georgiana were in fact first cousins. John and Georgiana had four children together, all born in Ston Easton - Frederick Thomas, born 28th April 1847; Martha Sybil, born 26th November 1848; Georgiana, born 11th November 1850, and Richard Lionel, born 2nd July 1853.
In 1843, the same year in which he married Georgiana, John inherited the Ston Easton estates from his great-aunt, Lady Elizabeth Ann Coxe HIPPISLEY. In 1850 John added to his estate by purchasing Clare Hall from the NASH family. In 1851 John and his family were living at Ston Easton House, as seen here in the census for that year:
Ston Easton House, Ston Easton, Somerset
John HIPPISLEY aged 45
Magistrate & D.L. for County of Somerset born Lamborn, Berkshire
Georgiana HIPPISLEY wife 42 born Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire
John HIPPISLEY son 19 born Shrivenham, Berkshire
Ann Catherine HIPPISLEY daughter 17 born Watchfield, Berkshire
Charlotte Mary HIPPISLEY daughter 15 born Nice, Sardinia (British Subject)
Frederick Thomas HIPPISLEY son 3 born Ston Easton, Somerset
Martha Sybil HIPPISLEY daughter 2 born Ston Easton, Somerset
Georgiana HIPPISLEY daughter 5 months born Ston Easton, Somerset
Francis DUPONT servant 49 Butler born France
William WILLCOX servant 20 Footman born Ston Easton, Somerset
John WILLCOX servant 17 Errand Boy born Ston Easton, Somerset
Mary WILLIAMS servant 33 Housekeeper born Killgidding, Llanvair, Monmouthshire
Jane WEBB servant 20 Housemaid born Wells, Somerset
Ann PEARCE servant 25 Cook born Ston Easton, Somerset
Eliza Martha ANSTEE servant 21 Housemaid born Timsbury, Somerset
Hannah HIPPISLEY servant 19 Still Room Maid born Litton, Somerset
Lucy HILL servant 25 Housemaid born Ston Easton, Somerset
Eliza Dudden HIPPISLEY servant 21 Nursemaid born Hinton Blewitt, Somerset
Elizabeth STOCK servant 21 Kitchenmaid born Emborow, Somerset
Eliza Dudden HIPPISLEY may have been the daughter of Henry HIPPISLEY and Caroline CLAVEY (please see my HIPPISLEY Family of Chewton Mendip and Bristol, England page for further information).
In 1861 John and his family were still living at Ston Easton House:
Ston Easton House, Ston Easton, Somerset
John HIPPISLEY aged 56
J.P. & D.L. for the County of Somerset born Lamborne, Berkshire
Georgiana HIPPISLEY wife 52 born Slaughter, Gloucestershire
John HIPPISLEY son 29 Volunteer Captain of North Somerset Yeomanry Cavalry born Shrivenham, Berkshire
Anne C. HIPPISLEY daughter 27 born Watchfield, Berkshire
Charlotte M. HIPPISLEY daughter 25 born Nice
Henry E. HIPPISLEY son 22 Graduate Cambridge born Bath, Somerset
Clare R. HIPPISLEY son 18 Student born Bath, Somerset
Martha Sybil HIPPISLEY daughter 12 born Ston Easton, Somerset
Georgiana HIPPISLEY daughter 10 born Ston Easton, Somerset
Richard Lionel HIPPISLEY son 7 born Ston Easton, Somerset
William ROBERTS servant 25 Butler born Ston Easton, Somerset
John ROBERTS servant 21 Footman born Ston Easton, Somerset
Samuel MEARS servant 16 Page born Chilcompton, Somerset
Jane WEBB servant 38 Housekeeper born Wells, Somerset
Elizabeth SHEPPARD servant 36 Cook born Castle Cary, Somerset
Alice LUKER servant 37 Housemaid born Oxendon, Gloucestershire
Sarah VATER servant 18 Nursery Maid born Camely, Somerset
Mary HANCOCK servant 19 Housemaid born Glastonbury, Somerset
Charlotte COLES servant 19 Kitchen Maid born Oakhill, Somerset
Jane LOVELL servant 19 Still Room Maid born Camely, Somerset
John instituted a number of improvements to St Mary's, the parish church of Ston Easton. In 1852 candles were installed to heat the church, and major repairs were carried out in 1858 and 1864. In 1881 the church was insured against fire for the first time. John was a low churchman and published an anti-Catholic pamphlet entitled "Physician, heal thyself, or a suggestion of a remedy for the internal disorder which impairs the efficacy and endangers the permanence of the Church of England". When his sister-in-law gave his twelve-year-old son a book of which he disapproved, John called her a "horrid Puseyite", a reference to Edward Bouverie PUSEY, one of the founders of the Oxford or Tractarian Movement.
John HIPPISLEY was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society on 14th December 1849 and observed the comet of 1861. In his obituary in the "Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society" he was described as possessing "considerable mechanical ability, and was devoted to astronomy. He built an observatory at Ston Easton Park, and constructed an excellent reflecting telescope there, casting and grinding its 9 inch speculum with his own hands, and making the body of the telescope, and also the driving-click, himself. He also personally designed and constructed the machine by which he ground and figured his speculum, and made many other machines and models not so closely connected with astronomy. He was also an artist of much talent."
In 1852 John HIPPISLEY applied to become a Fellow of the Royal Society. His application was supported by, amongst other, the brilliant chemist Michael FARADAY and the astronomer William LASSELL. John's election certificate described how he was "the inventor or improver of a very efficient machine for polishing specula and also of a machine for writing, with perhaps unparalleled minuteness, with a diamond on glass". The certificate went on to describe how he had incorporated "contrivances of great ingenuity and simplicity" in the 9¼ inch equatorally-mounted Newtonian telescope he had built, complete with a revolving dome. John was elected a Fellow of the Society on 7th June 1852. He also invented steam locomotives for both agricultural and road use and installed gas lighting in the mansion house and stables at Ston Easton. He was also an artist of considerable talent and a keen photographer.
According to the "Return of Owners of Land", John HIPPISLEY owned 4,216 acres 3 rods and 2 perches of land in 1873 with a rental value of £7845 12 shillings.
John and Georgiana lived both at Ston Easton and their house at 57 Pulteney Street, Bath, but in their later years they lived entirely in Bath, leaving John's son Henry to act as steward in their absence. They were living in Bath in 1881, as seen here in the census for that year:
57 Pulteney Street, Bathwick, Somerset
John HIPPESLEY aged 76
Magistrate born Lambourn,
Georgiana HIPPESLEY wife 72 born Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire
Frederick Thos. HIPPESLEY son 33 born Ston Easton, Somerset
Martha S. HIPPESLEY daughter 32 born Ston Easton, Somerset
Georgiana HIPPESLEY daughter 30 born Ston Easton, Somerset
Eliza CARPENTER servant 20 Kitchenmaid born Ston Easton, Somerset
Elizth. BROWN servant 13 Housemaid born Ston Easton, Somerset
Susan WATTS servant 17 Housemaid born Pilton, Somerset
Charlotte MOORE servant 57 Cook born Whitchurch, Devon
Alice BUTLER servant 23 Ladies Maid born Bath, Somerset
Thos. FRANKS servant 27 Butler born Cameley, Somerset
Chas. NORMAN servant 20 Footman born Windsor, Berkshire
John was also a magistrate, became High Sheriff of Somerset in 1856 and served as a Deputy Lieutenant of the County. He died on 4th April 1898 in Pulteney Street, Bath, three years after his wife Georgiana who died on 28th March 1895. They were both buried in Bathwick Cemetery.
John HIPPISLEY, born 1832, was known as 'Ivan' to distinguish himself from his father. He never inherited Ston Easton as he was outlived by his father. Educated at Rugby School, he married Christine Ellen Lydia BOODÉ on 30th June 1863 in Colerne, Wiltshire. Christine was born on 6th March 1835 in Lucknam, Wiltshire and was the daughter and heiress of John Christian BOODÉ and Clementine Elizabeth Mary BAYNTUN. Christine's maternal grandfather was Admiral Sir Henry William BAYNTUN, captain of the Leviathan at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The BAYNTUN family lived in Bromham, just a few miles from Lucknam Park, which Christine's paternal grandfather Andreas BOODÉ had bought in 1827. John and Christine had two children together, both born in Ston Easton - Ivy Mary Clare, born 17th March 1864, and Richard John Bayntun, born 4th July 1865. John served as one of the two churchwardens at St Mary's. In 1881 the family was living at Oddgest House, Ston Easton, as seen here in the census for that year:
Oddgest House, Ston Easton, Somerset
John HIPPISLEY aged 49
County Magistrate born
Christine E. L. HIPPISLEY wife 46 born Lucknam, Wiltshire
Ivy M. C. HIPPISLEY daughter 17 born Ston Easton, Somerset
Mary A. BROWN servant 35 Ladies Maid born Colldenham, Suffolk
Sarah HORLER servant 26 House Maid born Ston Easton, Somerset
Alice HUNT servant 19 Cook born Yatton Kenell, Wiltshire
Annie YOUNG servant 15 Kitchen Maid born Binegar, Somerset
John died on 6th February 1885 at Oddgest. This is how his widow Christine appears in 1891:
Box House, Box,
Christine HIPPISLEY widow aged 57 Living On Her Own Means born Colerne, Wiltshire
Ivy HIPPISLEY daughter 27 Living On Her Own Means born Ston Easton, Somerset
Emily M. VINING visitor 32 Living On Her Own Means born London
Margaret M. VINING visitor 26 Living On Her Own Means born Melford, Suffolk
Mary A. BROWN visitor 56 Living On Her Own Means born Coddenham, Suffolk
Sarah MALLARD widow servant 54 Cook born Rowde, Wiltshire
Lucy VIGAR widow servant 40 Housemaid born Yatton Keynell, Wiltshire
Sarah SELL servant 21 Housemaid born Brent Pelham, Hertfordshire
Lizzie SIMMONDS servant 22 Parlour Maid born Challow, Berkshire
Jane HANCOCK servant 16 Kitchen Maid born Box, Wiltshire
Frederick AUST servant 29 Coachman born Corsham, Wiltshire
Christine HIPPISLEY was living in Clare House, Ston Easton, and is
shown there in the
Clare House, Ston Easton, Somerset
widow aged 66 Living On Own Means born Luckman, Wiltshire
Grace TERRY visitor 40 Living On Own Means born Dalston, London
Sarah PULLMAN servant 26 Parlourmaid born Thrupe Horsington, Somerset
Elizabeth BOON servant 25 Maid Housekeeper born London
Louisa KNIGHT servant 36 Cook born Tavistock, Devon
Georgina NICHOLSON servant 27 Head Housemaid born Ireland
Elizabeth PULLMAN servant 20 Under Housemaid born Temple Coombe, Somerset
Annie BOWDICH servant 17 Kitchemaid born Temple Cloud, Somerset
The 1902 edition of Kelly's Directory lists the house as "Clare Court", but by 1911 it had adopted the name "Clare Hall", by which it is still known today:
Clare Hall, Ston Easton,
Christine HIPPISLEY widow aged 76 born Colerne, Wiltshire
Ivy HIPPISLEY daughter 47 born Ston Easton, Somerset
Ann HOBBS servant widow 37 Cook born Horfield, Gloucestershire
Violet DAVIES servant 26 Parlour Maid born Caersalem, Glamorgan
Alice DERRICK servant 30 Housemaid born Ashwick, Somerset
Ethel DOWNTON servant 18 Kitchen Maid born Hazelbury Bryan, Dorset
Christine HIPPISLEY (nee BOODÉ) lived at Clare Hall until her death on 26th February 1923. Clare Hall subsequently became the home of her daughter Ivy.
(click image to enlarge)
Anne Catherine HIPPISLEY, born 1834, married the Reverend Henry Stiles SAVORY, Rector of Cameley, on 1st July 1862. Henry was born in Melksham, Wiltshire in about 1824 and had previously been married to Catherine Anne HENDERSON. Anne and Henry had at least two children together - Annie, born c. 1865 in Cameley, and Lionel Cyril, born c. 1873. In 1871 Anne and Henry were living at Cameley Rectory with two of Henry's children by his first wife:
Rectory, Cameley, Somerset
Henry Stiles SAVORY
aged 47 Clerk in Holy Orders born Melksham, Wiltshire
Anne Catherine SAVORY wife 37 born Watchfield, Berkshire
Catherine Mary SAVORY daughter 11 born Cameley, Somerset
Emily Walcott SAVORY daughter 10 born Cameley, Somerset
Annie Clare SAVORY daughter 6 born Cameley, Somerset
Sarah Ann CROUCHER servant 20 Domestic Servant born Bath, Somerset
Emma ALSOP servant 24 Domestic Servant born Temple Cloud, Somerset
Mary CHARD servant 20 Domestic Servant born Corsham, Wiltshire
Henry SAVORY died in 1877 aged only 53. This is how Anne SAVORY appears in the 1881, 1891 and 1901 censuses:
4 Devonshire Bdgs, Melcombe Regis, Dorset (1881)
Anne C. SAVORY widow
aged 47 From Consuls & Other Property born Watchfield, Berkshire
Annie C. SAVORY daughter 16 born Cameley, Somerset
Clare R. HIPPESLEY brother 38 Retired Coffee Planter born Bath, Somerset
8 Essex Grove, Upper Norwood, Croydon, Surrey (1891)
Anne SAVORY widow aged
56 born Berkshire
Lionel SAVORY son 17 Engineering Pupil born Somerset
Margaret SPIRING servant 19 General Servant born Somerset
47 High Street, St Peter & Paul, Fareham, Southampton (1901)
Anne C. SAVORY widow 67
Living On Own Means born Watchfield, Berkshire
Frances R. SAVORY daughter 44 born Cameley, Somerset
Anne SAVORY (nee HIPPISLEY) died on 7th February 1904.
HIPPISLEY, born 1836, married the Reverend William MEADE, Rector of
Binegar, Somerset, in 1863. Charlotte and William had at least four
children together - Edward, born c. 1860 in Brighton, Sussex; Charles
Hippisley, born c. 1867 in Binegar; Sibyl Frances, born c. 1869 in
Binegar, and George Hamilton, born c. 1871 in Binegar. In 1881 William
and Charlotte were living in the Rectory House at Binegar, as seen here
in the census for that year:
(click image to enlarge)
Rectory House, Binegar, Somerset
William MEADE aged 60
Rector Of Binegar born
Norton St Philip, Somerset
Charlotte M. MEADE wife 45 born France (British Subject)
Edward M. MEADE son 21 born Brighton, Sussex
Charles H. MEADE son 14 Scholar born Binegar, Somerset
Sibyl F. MEADE daughter 12 Scholar born Binegar, Somerset
George H. MEADE son 10 Scholar born Binegar, Somerset
Eliza MARTIN servant 17 Cook born Binegar, Somerset
Lydia M. FLOWER servant 16 Parlour Maid born Ashwick, Somerset
Mary J. SHEPHERD servant 14 Kitchen Maid born Binegar, Somerset
Charlotte Mary MEADE (nee HIPPISLEY) died on 22nd June 1888.
Henry Edward HIPPISLEY, born 1838, was educated at Rugby and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was a Justice of the Peace for Somerset. He married Florence LEVESON on 6th September 1871 in Stoke St. Michael, Somerset. Florence was born in London on 1st August 1842 and was the daughter of Samuel LEVESON. Henry and Florence had three children together - Muriel Florence Emily, born 27th February 1873 in Ston Easton; Eleanor Clare, born 31st October 1874 in Ston Easton, and Arthur, born 1st March 1883. Henry ran the Ston Easton estate for his father as steward and lived at South Lawn, a house that he had erected on the estate in 1871. This is how Henry and his family appear in the 1881 and 1901 censuses:
South Lawn, Ston Easton, Somerset (1881)
Henry E. HIPPISLEY aged
42 Civil Engineer
Master Of Arts born Bath, Somerset
Florence HIPPISLEY wife 39 born London, Middlesex
Muriel F. E. HIPPISLEY daughter 8 born Ston Easton, Somerset
Eleanor C. HIPPISLEY daughter 6 born Ston Easton, Somerset
Malinda HARDING servant 24 Cook born Timsbury, Somerset
Elizas M. BALEY servant 25 Parlour Maid born Litton, Somerset
Lena BALEY servant 20 Nurse Maid born Litton, Somerset
South Lawn, Ston Easton, Somerset (1901)
Henry E. HIPPISLEY aged
62 Civil Engineer, J.P. born Bath, Somerset
Florence HIPPISLEY wife 59 born London
Eleanor HIPPISLEY daughter 26 born Ston Easton, Somerset
Eliza HURLEY servant 20 Cook (Domestic) born Ston Easton, Somerset
Elizabeth NORMAN servant 24 Parlourmaid (Domestic) born Ston Easton, Somerset
Alice CARPENTER servant 18 Housemaid (Domestic) born Ston Easton, Somerset
On the early death of his brother John in 1885 Henry became one of the two churchwardens at St Mary's. After his father's death in 1898, Henry received written authorisation from his nephew Bayntun, the new proprietor, to continue acting as agent for the family's estates. He died on 24th February 1917.
Clare Robert HIPPISLEY, born 1842, was educated at Rugby School, the Royal Argicultural College in Cirencester and at Queen's College, Birmingham. He was a Member of the Royal Society of Arts, fellow of the Royal Societies Club and a member of the British Astronomical Society. He lived in Belgrave Terrace in Bath where he had his own observatory. This is how he appears in the 1901 census:
4&5 Belgrave Terrace, St Swithin, Walcot, Bath, Somerset
Clare Robert HIPPISLEY
aged 58 Retired Coffee
Planter born Bath, Somerset
Elizabeth WARD servant widow 56 Cook & Housekeeper born Wilmington, Somerset
Agnes B. SCRIVENS servant 19 General Servant born Bath, Somerset
Clare never married and died at 5 Belgrave Terrace, Bath on 20th July 1918.
(click image to enlarge)
Frederick Thomas HIPPISLEY, born 1847, married Eugenie Jane FOOTE on 6th November 1898 at Christchurch, Clifton, Bristol. Eugenie was born in about 1856 in Douglas on the Isle of Man and was the daughter of Captain Randall and Emily Florence FOOTE. Eugenie died on 11th November 1901 in Bristol and Frederick subsequently married Harriet SAINSBURY, the daughter of George Saunders SAINSBURY and Harriet WEEKS, on 11th October 1906. Frederick died on 12th March 1937 and was buried at Ston Easton.
Martha Sybil HIPPISLEY, born 1848, and Georgiana HIPPISLEY, born 1850, lived at 17 & 18 Macaulay Buildings in Bath, where they founded and endowed a children's home.
Richard Lionel HIPPISLEY, born 1853, was educated at Cheltenham College and the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich. He joined the Royal Engineers, rising to the rank of Colonel by 1904. He served in the Egyptian campaign of 1882 and was an instructor at the School of Military Engineering in Chatham, Kent. He was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 29th November 1900. He served on the staff in the South African War (1899-1902) as Director of Telegraphs and took part in the advance on Kimberley and in operations in Orange Free State and Transvaal, gaining the Queen's Medal with three clasps and the King's medal with two clasps. The Royal Corp of Signals had its origin in the organisation he created in South Africa. After the war Richard returned to England and served as Chief Engineer of the Royal Engineers' Scottish Command from June 1905 to August 1908. In the First World War he served as Deputy Director of Army Signals, Central Force. After retiring he became interested in the Boy Scout movement and was awarded the Scout Medal of Merit on 22nd January 1930. He was the author of an article on 'Linkages' in the Encyclopaedia Britannica and also wrote "History of the Telegraph Operations during the South African War, 1899-1902". He was also a mathematician of very considerable ability.
Richard Lionel HIPPISLEY
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Richard married Violet Honoria SMYTH on 4th November 1885. Violet was the daughter of Major-General John Hall SMYTH of Frimhurst, Surrrey and Nina STRUTH. She was also the younger sister of Dame Ethel Mary SMYTH (1858-1944), the composer and suffragette. In 1901, with her husband serving in South Africa, Violet was living alone in Farnborough, Hampshire:
Honoria V. HIPPISLEY aged 37 born Sidcup, Kent
Jessie MARTIN servant 33 Maid born Ross-shire, Scotland
Emily KING servant 32 Cook born Gillingham, Dorset
Louisa YOUNG servant 26 Parlourmaid born Devizes, Wiltshire
Violet HIPPISLEY died on 27th August 1923 at 15 Kensington Court Mansions, London. Later that same year, on 3rd December, her husband Richard was elected a member of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, his application being supported by his nephew Bayntun HIPPISLEY. Richard died on 7th December 1936.
Richard John Bayntun HIPPISLEY
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Richard John Bayntun HIPPISLEY was born on 4th July 1865 in Ston Easton and was the only son of John HIPPISLEY and Christine Ellen Lydia BOODÉ. Known to his friends as Bayntun, he attended Rugby School in Warwickshire from 1880 to 1882 and the Hammond Electrical Engineering College (later Faraday House) in London where he studied engineering and mathematics. When his father died on 6th February 1885, Bayntun, aged nineteen, became heir to the family's Ston Easton estates. His grandfather, known as the "Old Squire", was a member of many of Europe's leading scientific societies, and Bayntun inherited this interest in science. He was an apprentice at the Thorn Engineering Company where he learned about mechanical and electrical engineering. He was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in the North Somerset Yeomanry on 28th July 1888 and Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel in 1908. In 1898 Bayntun inherited Ston Easton on the death of his grandfather and soon afterwards installed a private telephone line on the estate. He also installed electricity and gas in the main house. This is how he appears in the 1901 census:
Ston Easton House, Ston Easton, Somerset
Bayntun HIPPISLEY aged
35 Landed Proprietor born Ston Easton, Somerset
Frederick GLANVILLE servant 24 Butler (Domestic) born Kingsdown, Somerset
Elizabeth EDWARDS servant 21 Housemaid (Domestic) born Kintbury, Berkshire
Kate CARPENTER servant 18 Housemaid (Domestic) born Ston Easton, Somerset
Frank SUMMERHAYES servant 16 Electric Light Attendant born Ston Easton, Somerset
Evan ROBBINS servant 15 Assistant To Electric Light Attendant born Downside, Somerset
On 11th April 1904 Bayntun was elected a member of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Bayntun later supported other individuals in their successful applications to become members of the Royal Institution, including in 1923 his uncle Richard Lionel HIPPISLEY and in 1943 Frederick William NICHOLLS, who served as Director of Signals for the Special Operations Executive in World War Two.
Bayntun married Constance Amy FRANCIS on 4th January 1905 in Tiverton, Devon. She was born in Tiverton in about 1876 and was the daughter of Augustus Lawrence FRANCIS and Emily Constance UNWIN. Bayntun and Constance had three children together - John Preston, born 19th October 1905; Christine Elizabeth, born 30th September 1908, and Claude Francis Bayntun, born 28th September 1910. In 1907 Bayntun was made High Sheriff of Somerset, and he was also a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant for the county. In 1911 Bayntun and Constance were staying at a hotel in Cornwall run by Louise KELLY:
Housel Bay Hotel, The
Bayntun HIPPISLEY boarder aged 45 Land Owner born Ston Easton, Somerset
Constance HIPPISLEY boarder 35 born Tiverton, Devon
Their three children also appear to have been on holiday and were staying at a lodging house in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset run by Elizabeth Sophia HAWKING:
Hill View, Berrow Road,
John Preston HIPPISLEY boarder aged 5 born Ston Easton, Somerset
Christine HIPPISLEY boarder 2 born Ston Easton, Somerset
Claude HIPPISLEY boarder 6 months born Ston Easton, Somerset
Also present at Hill View were two domestic nurses, Annie MEADUS and Ellen CARPENTER, who may have been there to look after the three children.
In 1913 he retired from the North Somerset Yeomanry, having been awarded the Territorial Decoration.
interested in wireless
telegraphy, perhaps inspired by his uncle Richard Lionel, and acquired
a license from the Post Office to operate his own wireless station
under the callsign HLX (later 2CW). In 1912 he was operating a wireless
station on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall where he picked up messages
from the sinking Titanic. In
"No Thankful Village" by
Chris HOWELL, which chronicles the impact of the Great War on a group
of villages in the Somerset Coalfield, Bayntun is mentioned in
reminiscences of Private Tommy ATKINS, formerly of the Royal
Engineers: "My first job when I left
school was working at Ston Easton for Mr. Orme, a friend of Commander
Hippisley. Mr Orme had a wireless set – a receiving set
with one aerial at Ston Easton and another at East Woodhay, in
Berkshire, and he'd take his set from one place to the other.
Commander Hippisley used to have a broadcasting set and used to
broadcast from Ston Easton and Mr. Orme would pick up his message. It
was all in code and they’d let me listen sometimes. It was
tink, tink, tink – like Morse code, that sort of
was at Ston Easton when war broke out and I was there when the Post
Office people came round and dismantled his set and put it in boxes and
sealed them – Defence of the Realm Act – so he
couldn’t get in touch with the enemy! Him! Commander
At the outbreak of the First World War the Admiralty established a team of codebreakers based in 'Room 40' under the leadership of Sir James Alfred EWING and William Reginald HALL. In September 1914 Bayntun and Edward Russell CLARKE, another prominent amateur wireless expert, called at the Admiralty and told EWING that they were receiving messages on a lower wavelength than any being received by existing Marconi stations. The German fleet was using these low wavelengths and EWING immediately obtained permission for the two amateurs to set up a new listening room at a former coastguard station at Hunstanton on the Norfolk coast. There was already a Marconi wireless station on the site, but when Bayntun and CLARKE arrived they found a wooden mast with no aerial. However they soon began intercepting signals, including those that indicated the launch of Zeppelin airships to bomb the eastern counties and London. Bayntun was subsequently made a Commander in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve for service with Naval Intelligence and given carte blanche to set up a string of listening posts across the British Isles as well as in Italy and Malta. The station at Hunstanton became known as 'Hippisley' Hut' but it appears to have been later dismantled and rebuilt inland and subsequently enlarged.
In an article entitled "Tradition and the innovate talent" published in The Times on 5th June 1995 William REES-MOGG recalled the vital role that Bayntun played in the Great War: "In Somerset we believe that Bayntun Hippisley personally won the First World War. He came from a family with an engineering and scientific talent; his grandfather had been a Fellow of the Royal Society. Bayntun was an early pioneer of radio research; in 1913 he was appointed a member of the Parliamentary Commission of Wireless for the Army [or the War Office Committee on Wireless Telegraphy, to give it its proper title]. When war broke out in 1914 he joined Naval Intelligence and was made a commander. He was the man who solved the problem of listening to U-boats when they were talking to each on the radio by devising a double-tuning device which simultaneously identified the waveband and precise wavelength. That, it is said, was essential to clearing the Western Approaches in late 1917, when American troops were coming over. Bayntun Hippisley sat in Goonhilly listening to the U-boat captains as they chatted happily to each other in clear German; he told the destroyers where to find them; the food and the Americans got through."
Roger HIPPISLEY-COX also recalls that when his father Edward was Deputy Assistant Adjutant General in London during the First World War he became friendly with a Royal Artillery Major who had the responsibility of shooting down approaching Zeppelins. The Major's job was made easier when he began to receive warnings that the Zeppelins were on their way. Some time after the war Edward met Bayntun and discovered that he had been the one responsible for the warnings as he could hear the Germans getting the Zeppelins out of their sheds in Zeebrugge!
In 1953 Bayntun wrote to the Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset explaining that during World War One, a Whippet tank was issued to him by the Army Council for what he described as "tests of a secret nature". On completion of these tests, the tank remained at Ston Easton for some years, "during which time I occasionally drove it for the purpose of keeping the engines in running condition and at the same time carrying out some heavy timber work on the estate. I received a letter from the W.O. dated March 31 1936 stating that sanction had been obtained from the Treasury for disposal of tank A381 to me as a free gift. In 1942 I was approached by the Ministry of Works and Planning with a request to cut up the tank with a view to the steel being used for munitions. That was the end of A381." Roger HIPPISLEY-COX recalls that "there was a first [world] war tank at Ston Easton which we used to play in but which had no guns left to our disappointment but which did have scars from bullets which made up for it. It was sent out for Bayntun to investigate and the story was that most of the stone walls from the station had to be taken down for it to get there. It was often used as a tractor to pull down trees and for transplanting fully grown ones to new positions in the park." In a letter written in 1953 in connection with the tank, Mr H.B. TATE explained that Ston Easton had "the most wonderul private workshops I have ever seen" and that it "was a very hush-hush place from 1914 to 1918".
For his services Bayntun was awarded the O.B.E. (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) on 3rd June 1918. He apparently never told his family what he did during the war.
In his article in The Times REES-MOGG also argued that just because English gentlemen wear bowler hats does not mean that they are behind on the times, writing that, "Bayntun Hippisley demonstrated that this highly traditional culture, in which one could almost stretch out a hand and touch the earlier centuries, can still produce very useful men, and very modern men at that." Bayntun was a founder member of the Royal Aeronautical Club and an original member of the Royal Automobile Club. He was the first man in Somerset to own a motor car, though he missed his chance to have the number 'Y1' by not registering it straight away. He was elected a County Alderman for Somerset in 1931, was appointed Traffic Commissioner for the Western Counties and was a member of the Junior Carlton Club, the headquarters of the Conservative Party. He was awarded the C.B.E. (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1937.
In his book West Country Houses, Robert COOKE described Bayntun as "an eccentric genius. His contribution to the development of Naval armaments is not generally known. Practical in these things, he could be obstinate when he chose. The telephone was never installed in the house and main electricity was slow to be accepted. Even then, he would have no more than fifty volts of it, through a transformer. The domestic appliances of the twentieth century cannot function with such a modest supply. He was happier without them. If he was to be the last of his line to live in the house that his family had created, he would do as he pleased."
There are a number of
tales relating to
Bayntun HIPPISLEY. On one occasion the Prince of Wales (later
Edward VII), a
motorist, arrived at Ston Easton in order to show Bayntun his new car.
Bayntun, however, was busy doing some work for his mother on the roof
of Clare Hall and on being informed of his important visitor responded
that the Prince would have to wait until he had finished!
Another tale relates to Queen Mary who stayed at Badminton House in Gloucestershire for much of the Second World War, much to the inconvenience of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort. On 7th April 1945 the Queen's Woman of the Bedchamber Lady Cynthia COLVILLE wrote to Bayntun HIPPISLEY's wife saying that "Queen Mary has been greatly interested in seeing in a recent issue of 'Country Life' some very charming photographs of Ston Easton Park. If agreeable to Commander and Mrs. Hippisley Her Majesty would very much like to come over and see Ston Easton Park one day soon."
In a second letter dated 10th April Lady COLVILLE wrote: "I am commanded by Queen Mary to thank you warmly for your kind and welcoming letter. It will be a great pleasure to Her Majesty to see you and Commander Hippisley as well as your lovely house. Indeed, dust sheets and war time gardens are most familiar sights these days, and the Queen will quite understand any and all war conditions. Her Majesty wonders if she might make so bold as to ask for a cup of tea, if that is not too inconvenient? Actually the smallest and simplest tea would be all that the Queen would suggest which is what we have here – a plate of bread and butter (or margarine), and a few biscuits or something like that would of course be more than enough, or anything that you found convenient. But you must let me know quite truthfully whether the idea is at all acceptable." Lady COLVILLE ended her letter by saying, "I have to go now. There is a knock at the door and I haven't finished hiding the silver."
Lady COLVILLE's closing remark was a reference to the Queen's habit of 'admiring' things, whereupon the host was obliged to allow her to take the item as a souvenir, so the best silver was hastily put away. During her visit to Ston Easton the Queen became intrigued by some long-handled marmalade spoons and was duly given a set to take with her, not realising that they had been fashioned by Bayntun himself from melted-down coins of the realm, which was a treasonable offence!
Bayntun HIPPISLEY died on 27th March 1956. In the obituary he wrote for The Times on 11th April 1956, Lt.-Col. KETTLEWELL described Bayntun as "an almost unique personality" who "inherited a remarkable mechanical and scientific gift, which put him in the forefront, if not ahead, of most of his contemporaries". KETTLEWELL recalled meeting an admiral who remarked that Bayntun "was one of the men who really won the war".
Maintaining Ston Easton Park became an increasing struggle and it was already falling into disrepair by the time Bayntun died in 1956. Shortly after Bayntun's death, his son John Preston HIPPISLEY was obliged to sell the house and 27 acres of land to SHEPPARD & SONS, timber merchants from Chilcompton, in order to pay death duties. In 1957 all tenant farmers and cottagers bought their properties freehold. SHEPPARD & SONS were only interested in the woodland surrounding the house and felled a great many trees on the estate. They neglected the house and it became dilapidated, while the contents were sold at public auction. Fortunately an antiques dealer from Wells attended the auction and noted the names of all the buyers. The house also fell victim to vandals - lead was stripped from the roof, and fireplaces, brassware and fittings were stolen.
By 1958 the house was threatened with demolition and there were plans to build the A37 road through the middle of the estate. In West Country Houses, published in 1957, Robert COOKE pessimistically remarked that "now [Bayntun] is dead, the house has died with him." But Ston Easton Park didn't die. The planning application was rejected, and the subsequent intervention of Henry BROOKE, Minister of Housing, saw the house made the subject of a Preservation Order. It is said that the house was only saved because of Lady HIPPISLEY's unusual plunge pool.
Stephen CLARK, heir to the famous shoe firm, had an arrangement with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in the South West whereby they would make him aware of any local endangered buildings, and they told him about the increasingly perilous condition of Ston Easton Park. As a result CLARK purchased the house from SHEPPARD & SONS in 1962 and began the process of restoring the house with the aid of Bath architect Ernest Frederick TEW and the builders HAYWARD & WOOSTER. Without CLARK's intervention it is almost certain that the house would have been demolished, or at least completely deteriorated away. CLARK only ever intended to protect Ston Easton Park rather than live in it and in 1964 he sold the house to William REES-MOGG - then the deputy editor of the Sunday Times. REES-MOGG was the great-grandson of the Reverend Henry Stiles SAVORY, whose second wife was Anne Catherine HIPPISLEY, and REES-MOGG's father, Fletcher, regarded Bayntun HIPPISLEY as a cousin. They also shared an interest in engineering and early motor cars. When REES-MOGG bought the house it was almost derelict - in an article in The Times dated 2nd November 1998 REES-MOGG described how the house had "a tree of dry rot stretching 70ft from the cellar to the hole in the roof".
where CLARK had left off and completed the process of making Ston
Easton habitable. Some of the roof timbers were repaired, wet
rot, dry rot and
death watch beetle infestation were treated, and the building was
re-roofed with copper. He also installed basic services and decorated
much of the interior. REES-MOGG also managed to track down many of the
original contents with the help of the antiques dealer who had attended
the auction. One of his indulgences was having new caste iron rainwater
heads made with his initials on them. In
Ston Easton Park - along with 21
acres of landscaped grounds, the entrance lodge, the five-bedroomed
steward's house, the stables and garages - on the market for
£175,000. It was bought by Peter SMEDLEY, whose father's
company had introduced production-line canning and the first frozen
foods into the country.
When SMEDLEY bought Ston Easton much of it was still more-or-less derelict. Over the years that followed Peter, his wife Christine and architect David BRAIN set about restoring the house to its former glory. They replaced a large part of the copper roof with lead, repaired walls, floors, plasterwork and panelling (including the plasterwork in the saloon which had been damaged due to the room being used for children's ball games), replaced fireplaces that had been stolen and installed modern plumbing and wiring. They provided all the furniture and completely decorated, carpeted and curtained the entire house. Peter SMEDLEY worked with Penelope HOBHOUSE to completely replan the garden. Drains and garden walls were repaired, outbuildings re-roofed and a sophisticated irrigation system for the kitchen garden and glass houses was installed.
The SMEDLEYs had bought Ston Easton intending it to be nothing more than a family home, but it soon became apparent that the cost of restoring the house would be enormous and that it would need to earn revenue. One idea was to turn the house into a luxurious home for the elderly, but in the end it was decided to convert the building into a hotel. The SMEDLEYs were keen to conserve as much as possible, as Country Life explained in 1997: "they decided to open the house as a hotel - not by subjagating it to bars and coloured bathroom suites, but by alterations that respected the integrity of the fabric". Converting the house was not an easy process, and included threading all the plumbing and drainage unseen through the interior to accommodate the new en suite bathrooms. Much work was also needed in order to comply with health and safety and fire regulations.
Ston Easton Park opened to guests in 1982. In their opening year the SMEDLEYs won the Egon Ronay Hotel of the Year Award. By the late 1990s the SMEDLEYs decided to escape from the constant pressures of running and maintaining Ston Easton Park and put it on the market. There were only two bidders - Von Essen Hotels and Countess Raine SPENCER, stepmother of the late Princess Diana. In 2000 the house was sold for £3.6m to Von Essen Hotels, who are the present owners.
In his book "Somerset Families", ROBERT DUNNING ends his history of the HIPPISLEYs with the following epilogue: "The family marches on: John Preston HIPPISLEY was still claiming in 1972 to be lord of the manors of Ston Easton, Ashwick and Cameley and patron of the living of Cameley and Temple Cloud; one son was then an insurance broker living in Scotland, with children; another was a university lecturer in the USA. There are still HIPPISLEYs in Somerset, and the personal representatives of J.P. HIPPISLEY still have a personal share in the patronage of Clutton with Cameley."