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  Hesley Hall and the families who lived there


Research Notes by Beryl Attaway - 2012


Set out below are Beryl Attaway’s research notes as she has explored information on the residents of Hesley Hall.

She cautions that they should be seen as work in progress, that it is raw information at the moment and that further verification is needed.

She is happy to share this work in progress and invites comments from anyone who may have information to add.

A fully worked up article will follow in due course.


Beryl writes:-

I have come across further information on the history of Hesley Hall that tells us about the families who followed the Willoughbys.

Page 477 - 18 Feb 1791 - John Bagshawe senior reports that Captain Murray of Banner Cross, "whose sister Mr Bagshawe afterwards married", had "bought two estates near Doncaster, Shooter's Hill and the Willoughby property".

Page 486 - "Captain Murray has a beautiful estate at Hesley, formerly in the possession of Mr Willoughby". Footnote at the bottom of that page: "Whose son the 7th Lord Middleton was born there, as was also the author of these memoirs".

The Murray family of Banner Cross is of the Duke of Athol line and appear to have acquired Banner Cross through marriages with the Bright and Dalton families -

Page 565: Another Hesley Hall family we have not met before is the Greaves family. Henry Marwood Greaves married Mary Catherine Anne Bagshawe. The Bagshawe name was later added to the family name to comply with a will.

William Henry Greaves Bagshawe, was born at Hesley Hall on 13 August 1831 and baptized there by his grandfather, William Bagshawe on 31st August; christened at Harworth on 5th April 1832. In July 1851 he entered Trinity College Cambridge. In 1855 he was placed in the Commission of the Peace for the County of Derby and qualified in July 1861.

Francis Edward Greaves, also born at Hesley Hall, on 23rd May 1840 and baptized at Harworth on 1 December 1840. Entered Trinity College, Cambridge (date not given). In 1867 he was a Magistrate for the county of Derby

Ellen-Elizabeth, the only daughter, was born at Hesley Hall on 18th November 1836 and baptised at Harworth on 23rd April 1837.

There is a Mary Catherine Murray Greaves-Bagshawe, born at Ford Hall, the main residence of the Greaves family. This linkage of surnames suggests that the various estates, including Hesley Hall, were passed down to different families through marriages. Mary's family is shown at:

Page 581 - On the death of Mrs Bagshawe, her daughter and son-in-law left Hesley Hall. On their departure Mr Charles Wright (full name Charles Swaine Wright) and his wife Mary Ellen de Cardonnel Elmsall moved to the Hall (married Doncaster 1845 Q3). Charles Wright was the son of Rev Godfrey Wright of Bilham House and his wife Mary. A footnote also says: "On their departure Mr. Charles Wright brought his bride (see page 567), Mary Ellen de Cardonnel Elmsall, to live there, but at length the estate was sold by her father Colonel Elmsall." I believe the Colonel's full name was Joseph Edward Greaves-Elmsall of Woodlands, Yorkshire (again suggesting a marriage between Greaves and Elmsall families). Would be interesting to know what was meant by the words "at length" as the Colonel died one year later - see next para but one.

Charles Swaine Wright died in 1850, Q3 and his will was proved in 1851

Page 582 - Following the death of Charles Wright, Hesley was sold by Mary Ellen's father, Colonel Elmsall and a wing of the house about 60 feet in length was pulled down, together will the stables, coach-houses etc. A large quantity of fine old timber, chiefly oak, which once formed part of Sherwood Forest was also destroyed. The Colonel died in Marylebone in 1851, Q3. Mary died in 1854.

So far, we have Captain Murray buying Hesley Hall from the Willoughby family around 1790/1791 and it remaining in the "family" with surnames changed through marriage.

There is a mortgage link to Hesley Hall dated 1 August 1864 and Richard Foljambe Hall's name is mentioned. The details are not available online. The reference is: Battersby/35

Richard and his wife were married in Hackney in 1851 Q4; FreeBMD record their names as:

Richard Folgarsh Hall and Elizabeth Breese Oridge (not quite the correct spelling!)

This seems to indicate the Hall's purchased Hesley around the time of Colonel Elmsall's death.

In 1857 Hubert Hall was born at Hesley Hall; his father was Richard Foljambe Hall (b. c1817) his mother Elizabeth Breese, née Orridge (b. c1826), and the youngest of three generations of Halls were then living at Hesley Hall; the family was headed by Hubert’s grandfather John, and his Italian-born grandmother Felice; John Hall is identified as the 'landowner'. The 1851 census lists Felice as a British subject, born in Milan; she died in 1863. By 1864 the youngest generation of Halls comprised Cicely Alice, the eldest, born in 1854, John Foljambe born around 1857 (both Hubert and John are given as aged 3 at the time of the 1861 census), Hubert and Melicent.(1)

Could John Hall and Felice have met in Palermo via the Whitakers?

Hubert's education at Shrewsbury led to high achievements - "Dr. Hubert Hall, Litt.D., F.R.Hist.S., F.S.A., formerly of the Public Record Office, lost his life in July by enemy action."

Melicent, ‘younger daughter of Richard Foljambe Hall’, married Charles Beazley in December 1889; the wedding took place in Kensington and the father was described as "late of Clydesdale Mansions" (1) in London. This indicates the Hall family could have moved from Hesley by 1889. The same source also says "Sometime in the mid to late 1870s Richard Foljambe Hall and his family moved to Poole Court, Yate, Gloucestershire" and also "Richard Hall does not appear in the Gloucestershire or Worcestershire ‘Return of Owners of Land, 1873’ [Ancestry UK]."

In Kelly's 1879 directory for Yate, Gloucestershire it says: "Also mentioned on the same page of Kelly's Directory for 1879 are Poole Court, erected in 1874, the residence of Richard Foljambe Hall Esq.
(1) The Yate Town Council website gives a building date of "the early 1850s". The Council now owns the property and it was bought for £1. Richard and his wife are buried in Stiffkey, Norfolk, Richard died in 1897; his wife, Elizabeth died in 1899.

The information on the Hall family is taken from a Liverpool University thesis
(1) and the author readily refers to Hesley Park as well as Hesley Hall. Has the author caused any confusion between the two similar names?

Since writing the above paras I have received a reply from the Heritage Officer at Yate Town Council; he writes:

"Thank you for your enquiry regarding Poole Court. Having done my own research I can confirm the original family at Poole Court are the Hall Family and are there by 1879 suggesting the house was constructed during that decade. You are right to note it is Richard Foljambe Hall. During the 1880s the Hill Family moved in and are the shipbuilding family of Charles Hill. The property is eventually commandeered by the Royal Flying Corps around 1916/7. Richard Hill of Poole Court died during WWI.

I think a Hill family following a Hall family could easily confuse."

So the question is when did the Whitakers purchase Hesley Hall? Benjamin and Caroline married 23 January 1871. The Foljambe Halls were likely living in Poole Court by 1874 and certainly no later than 1879; that may indicate the date the Whitakers moved into Hesley Hall.

So the timeline might look something like this:

1790/1791 Captain Murray buys Hesley Hall from the Willoughby family; it remains in the "family", but surnames change through marriage.

1851 The Hall family purchase Hesley Hall from the Murrays/descendants (see earlier para re mortgage)

1874-1879 The Whitakers move to Hesley Hall, i.e. when the Halls move to Yate.

As far as Colonel Gooch living at Hesley Hall in 1804, it could be the Murrays had a tenant.

National Archives has Hesley Hall as Kesley Hall and I have emailed them hoping they will make the correction.

An extra piece of info from the same book is partially interesting for Tickhill researchers:

Page 567 - Mr John Clay died, unmarried, at Hesley Hall on 24 June 1796 - descends from the Clays of Bridge House. It seems that these Clays are the Burton upon Trent brewers - see:

The Clay name is interesting to me because that family links to Bass as my grandfather, James Cawser, was a gamekeeper at Byrkley Lodge. At the wedding of Joseph Spender Clay, in 1874, the best man was Hamar Bass.

One of the families that followed the Halls' into Poole Court, Yate was the Hill family. One was named Vernon Tickell Hill! You just couldn't make it up!

Later note:-

Since my original email I have found what appears to be definitive dates for the Whitakers' time at Hesley with this statement re a monument in Hesley Hall Chapel:

"Alabaster wall monument, on north wall of nave, to B. I. Whitaker who lived at Hesley 1861-1922 and to wife Caroline (d.1941)."

So they were at Hesley much earlier than we thought, by around 13 years. There is a reference to Joseph Whitaker in Armorial Families and Joseph is described as "of Hesley"

(1)Margaret Ruth Proctor, Hubert Hall (1857-1944): Archival Endeavour and the Promotion of Historical Enterprise, February 2012
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