Saturday, 15 October 2016

(234) Atkinson of Angerton Hall

Atkinson of Angerton
The Atkinsons of Angerton and of Lorbottle (who must have been related although I have not established the connection between them), both maintained the tradition that their ancestors were anciently settled in Northumberland. Burke's Landed Gentry in 1850 noted that one William Atkynson was recorded as the owner of Buckton Tower in 1460, but noted that 'a fire having occurred at Brankston, which destroyed a number of the family registers, it would be difficult to make a connected history with precision'. 

The ancestors of the Atkinsons of Angerton were prosperous merchants in Newcastle-on-Tyne from at least the 17th century. Henry Atkinson (1670-1759), a coal factor (or hostman), was a cultivated man: he is noted as the owner of the earliest surviving violin music book from north-east England, and must therefore have been an amateur musician; he also assisted Henry Bourne with his History of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1736. His son, Henry Atkinson (1713-93), likewise a coal factor, was the father of four sons who lived to maturity and all of whom became merchants at Newcastle in various different trades. The eldest and longest-lived, Ralph Atkinson (1749-1827), who was a timber merchant, seems to have been the most successful, and at his death left a fortune of some £80,000, including the Angerton estate and property in Newcastle. It is not clear when he acquired Angerton, where there had not previously been a gentry house, but by 1825 he had 'erected a neat mansion house' and improved the land. When he died in 1827 it was noted that he was the last Atkinson of the male line, and as he had no wife or children to provide for, he left the Angerton estate to his great-nephew, James Henry Hollis Bradford (1819-71), on condition that he took the name Atkinson. His Newcastle property was left to the children of his sister, Jane Rutherford, on similar terms.

James Henry Hollis Bradford Atkinson came of age and married in 1840 and just two years later John Dobson, the Newcastle architect, was commissioned to rebuild Angerton Hall. The existing house was almost certainly less than fifty years old and perhaps much less, so it is not obvious why replacing it was necessary. If it was planned as the occasional country retreat of a bachelor gentleman merchant, it may, perhaps, have simply been too small for permanent residence by a married man. If James built in the expectation of providing a home for a large and growing family, however, he was disappointed, for he and his wife had no children. When he died in 1871 the estate passed to his brother, Lt-Col. Ralph Bradford (1823-88), who also had to take the name Atkinson. He had two sons and three daughters to continue the family line, but both his sons died unmarried and the elder, Maj. Thomas Henry Hollis Bradford Atkinson (1860-1943) sold Angerton before he retired from the army in 1899, and lived out his long retirement in the hunting country around Melton Mowbray (Leics) and in London.

Angerton Hall, Hartburn, Northumberland

There was not a gentry seat of any antiquity at Angerton, but writing in 1825, Mackenzie notes that 'Ralph Atkinson Esq. of Newcastle, has erected a neat mansion house, and greatly improved the adjoining lands by excellent drains and enclosures'. This must be the house which in 1828 John Dobson of Newcastle was employed to repair and where he built a new chapel.

Angerton Hall: a view from the south-east in 1977. Image: Historic England.
The present stone Tudor Revival house was designed by John Dobson of Newcastle in 1842 for James Henry Holles Atkinson, and has symmetrical south and east fronts. The entrance is on the north side, where a big gabled porch balances a large cross-wing. The elevations are marked by plain gables, unfussy battlements, and tall mullioned and transomed windows with plain hoodmoulds set in flat expanses of wall. There was originally a large service wing attached to the west side of the house; this was much reduced in size in 1957 and the remainder is now a separate dwelling. 

Angerton Hall: a reused Rococo panel in the drawing room.
Image: Historic England
On the north side, a big gabled porch leads into an entrance hall with a coffered ceiling and ornamental bosses. The drawing room has an 18th century Rococo plaster panel with ho-ho birds inset over the door, which looks like the work of the Francini from nearby Cambo; it may have come from the previous house on the site but cannot have started life there, as it must date from the 1740s or 1750s. Otherwise the Dobson interiors are simple, manly and dignified. The staircase has chunky twisted balusters and plaster panels on the walls with borders of low-relief fruit and flowers. The ceilings in the main rooms have grids of moulded beams; the walls of the dining room are panelled, and those of the ante room and drawing room have plaster panels.

Angerton Hall: staircase in 1977. Image: Historic England.

The gardens were laid out in 1904-07 by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll, with rock-faced terrace walls and fancy wrought-iron gates south of the house, a little summerhouse to the east, and a pergola and gateways in the Victorian walled garden to the north-east.

Descent: built for Ralph Atkinson (1749-1827); to great-nephew, James Henry Hollis Bradford (later Atkinson) (1819-71); to brother, Lt-Col. Ralph Atkinson (1824-88); to son, Maj. Thomas Henry Hollis Bradford Atkinson (1860-1943) who sold before 1899 to Frederick Straker (1862-1941); to widow, Edith Gertrude Straker (1869-1944); to son, Lt-Col. Richard Straker (1896-1949); to widow, Bettina Straker (d. 1954); sold after her death...

Atkinson family of Angerton Hall

Atkinson, Henry (1713-93). Son of Henry Atkinson* (1670-1759) of Newcastle-on-Tyne and his second wife, Margaret Lawson, baptised 7 October 1713. A coal factor (hostman) at Newcastle. He married, 2 June 1743 at Woodhorn (Northbld), Jane Watson (d. 1780), and had issue:
(1) Henry Atkinson (b. 1747), baptised at All Saints, Newcastle, 13 January 1747; died in infancy;
(2) Ralph Atkinson (1749-1827) (q.v.);
(3) John Atkinson (1750-1818), born 8 May 1750 and baptised at All Saints, Newcastle; married, 19 July 1792 at Christ Church, Tynemouth (Northbld), Barbara Coward, but had no issue; died 19 March 1818 and was buried at All Saints, Newcastle;
(4) James Atkinson (1751-1816) (q.v.);
(5) Charles Atkinson (1752-78), baptised at All Saints, Newcastle, 27 August 1752; merchant at Newcastle; died unmarried and without issue, 27 January 1778; will proved 18 April 1778
(6) Jane Atkinson (b. 1757), born 3 August 1757; married 19 November 1785 at All Saints, Newcastle, Thomas Rutherford (d. 1814), rope maker, and had issue one son (who died in infancy) and two daughters; said to be living in September 1829.
He was buried at All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, July 1793. His wife was buried at All Saints, Newcastle, 6 January 1780.
*Notable as the owner of the earliest surviving violin tune-book from north-east England, compiled in 1694-95.

Atkinson, Ralph (1749-1827). Second son of Henry Atkinson (1713-93) of Newcastle-on-Tyne and his wife Jane Watson, baptised 11 July 1749. A successful timber merchant at Newcastle. Described in his obituary as 'the last male descendant of an ancient family in Northumberland and cousin to the Earl of Eldon and Lord Stowell' (whose mother was Jane Atkinson, his father's sister). He was unmarried and without issue.
He purchased the Low Angerton estate and built a new house there before 1823. At his death he bequeathed his estates in Northumberland in trust for his great nephew, James Henry Holles Bradford (1819-71) and his property in Newcastle in trust for the children of his sister, Jane Rutherford.
He died 16 May and was buried at All Saints, Newcastle, 25 May 1827; his will was proved June 1827 (effects under £80,000).

Atkinson, James (1751-1816). Fourth son of Henry Atkinson of Newcastle-on-Tyne and his wife Jane Watson, born 29 July and baptised 29 August 1751. Rope maker at Newcastle, in partnership with his brother-in-law, Thomas Rutherford, until 1798. He married, 3 April 1777 at All Saints, Newcastle, Mary Lawton (1756-1818), and had issue:
(1) Jane Atkinson (1778-80), baptised at All Saints, Newcastle, 12 March 1778; died in infancy, 6 January 1780;
(2) Mary Anne Atkinson (1785-1830) (q.v.).
He died 11 February and was buried at All Saints, Newcastle, 22 February 1816. His widow died 17 June and was buried at All Saints, Newcastle, 11 July 1818.

Atkinson, Mary Anne (1785-1830). Daughter of James Atkinson of Newcastle-on-Tyne and his wife Mary Lawton, baptised at All Saints, Newcastle, 14 November 1785. From 1819-25 she lived in Edinburgh and from 1825-29 in India while her second husband was Commander-in-Chief of British forces in Scotland and at Bombay. She married 1st, 12 May 1807 at St Mary, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Lt-Col. Charles Philip Ainslie (1779-1811) and 2nd, 1 June 1818 at Fulham (Middx), as his second wife, Lt-Gen. Sir Thomas Bradford GCB GCH (1777-1853), son of Thomas Bradford of Woodlands, Doncaster (Yorks WR) and Ashdown Park (Sussex), and had issue:
(1.1) Maj-Gen. Charles Philip Ainslie (later de Ainslie) (1808-89), born 18 March and baptised 12 April 1808 at St Andrew, Newcastle-on-Tyne; educated at Charterhouse; served in the Army (Lieutenant, 1825; Captain, 1830; Major, 1842; Lt-Col., 1847; Colonel, 1857; Major-General 1862); Col. of 1st Dragoons, 1869; fought a duel near Canterbury with Lord Elibank (then engaged to his sister), 1832; changed his name to de Ainslie by deed poll in 1879; author of The Cavalry Manual, 1843, Sketches Here and There, 1877; Life as I have found it, 1883; Historical Record of the First, or Royal Regiment of Dragoons, 1887; married 1st, 17 April 1834 at Kinfauns (div. 1843), the Hon. Jane Anne (1806-73), daughter of Francis Gray, 14th Lord Gray; and 2nd, 13 July 1843, Lady Sarah Elisa (1813-47), daughter of the 11th Earl of Strathmore & Kinghorne and widow of G.A. Campbell; died 1889;
(1.2) Mary Anne Ainslie (1809-82), born 28 December 1809 and baptised at St. Marylebone (Middx), 27 January 1810; married, 23 April 1833, John Gray (1798-1867), 15th Lord Gray; died without issue at Pau (France), 16 February 1882;
(1.3) Philip James Robert Ainsley (b. & d. 1811), born 25 November 1811; died in infancy, 25 December 1811;
(2.1) James Henry Hollis Bradford (later Atkinson) (1819-71) (q.v.);
(2.2) Elizabeth Mary Bradford (1821-1906), born in Edinburgh, 29 August 1821; married, 13 April 1847 at St George's Hanover Square, London, as his second wife, Rev. Henry Joseph Maltby (1814-63), rector of Egglescliffe (Durham), son of Rt. Rev. Edward Maltby, Bishop of Durham, and had issue three sons and two daughters; died 2 November 1906; will proved 1 December 1906 (effects £5,840);
(2.3) Georgiana Augusta Frederica Bradford (1822-61), baptised in Edinburgh, 1822; married, 23 April 1846, Rev. Henry Richard Ridley (1815-1901), son of Sir Mathew White Ridley, 3rd bt. and had issue six daughters; died 9 January 1861;
(2.4) Ralph Bradford (later Atkinson) (1823-88) (q.v.);
(2.5) Barbara Bradford (c.1825-97), born in Edinburgh c.1825; married, 30 June 1853 at St Peter, Pimlico (Middx), Lt-Col. Hew Dalrymple Fanshawe (c.1818-99), son of Lt-Gen. Fanshawe CB, of the Royal Engineers, and had issue two sons and one daughter; buried at Henley-on-Thames (Oxon), 11 December 1897.
She died on the passage from India to England in about May 1830 and was presumably buried at sea. Her first husband died at Messina, 19 December 1811 and was buried at All Saints, Newcastle in 1812; his will was proved 10 June 1812. Her widower married 2nd, 13 July 1840, Anne Elizabeth (1809-68), widow of Benjamin Goad of Harley St., London, and died in London, 28 November 1853; his will was proved 30 March 1854.

Bradford (later Atkinson), James Henry Hollis (1819-71). Elder son of Gen. Sir Thomas Bradford GCB GCH (1777-1853) and his first wife, Mary Anne Atkinson (1785-1840), born 9 March 1819. Educated at Eton. A cornet in the Royal Horse Guards. He assumed the surname of Atkinson in lieu of Bradford in 1840 on coming of age and entering into his inheritance of the Angerton estate. JP and DL for Northumberland; High Sheriff of Northumberland, 1847. Vice-President of the Morpeth Mechanical & Scientific Institution and Chairman of Morpeth Dispensary. He married, 19 March 1840, Anne Louisa (d. 1893), daughter of William Ellice, but had no issue.
He inherited the Angerton estate from his great-uncle in 1827, and rebuilt the house to the designs of John Dobson in 1842.
He died 20 October and was buried at Hartburn, 26 October 1871; will proved 27 December 1871 (effects under £35,000). His widow died in London, 28 September 1893; her will was proved 30 October 1893 (effects £34,423).

Bradford (later Atkinson), Lt-Col. Ralph (1823-88). Younger son of Gen. Sir Thomas Bradford GCB GCH (1777-1853) and his first wife, Mary Anne Atkinson, born 6 October 1823. An officer in the Grenadier Guards (Lt., 1840; Capt., 1845; Lt-Col., 1854). JP for Oxfordshire and later Northumberland; High Sheriff of Northumberland, 1887-88. He married, 16 September 1858, Amy Emily Sarah (1833-1901), daughter of Lt-Col. Hugh Fitzroy of the Grenadier Guards, and had issue:
(1) Lucy Bradford (later Atkinson) (1859-1907), born Oct-Dec 1859; died unmarried in Valencia (Spain), 28 March 1907; administration of her goods granted to her brother, 13 May 1907 (estate £13,326);
(2) Thomas Henry Holles Bradford (later Atkinson) (1860-1943) (q.v.);
(3) Mary Grace Bradford (later Atkinson) (1867-1951), baptised at Kempsford (Glos), 23 February 1867; married, 2 July 1889, Eustace Rochester Wigram (1860-1940) of Coldstream Guards, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 14 March 1951; will proved 11 June 1951 (estate £5,043);
(4) Henry William Almeric Bradford (1869-1962), born 20 August and baptised at Broughton Poggs (Oxon), 25 September 1869; educated at Eton and Merton College, Oxford (matriculated 1888); died unmarried, 15 February 1962; will proved 16 August 1962 (estate £82,054);
(5) Anne Barbara Bradford (later Atkinson) (1880-1964); married 1st, 30 March 1905 at St. Marylebone (Middx), Lt. Ian Ludovic Andrew Carnegie RN (1881-1909) and 2nd, 8 August 1914 at Holy Trinity, Brompton (Middx), Reginald Henry Dalrymple (1882-1957), but had no issue; died 21 April 1964; will proved 20 August 1964 (estate £34,433).
He lived in west Oxfordshire until he inherited the Angerton estate from his elder brother in 1871.
He died of bronchitis at the Grosvenor Hotel, London, 12 June 1888; his will was proved in November 1888 (effects £54,224). His widow died 30 January 1901; her will was proved 23 April 1901 (estate £9,263).

Atkinson, Maj. Thomas Henry Hollis Bradford (1860-1943). Elder son of Lt-Col. Ralph Atkinson (1823-88) and his wife Amy Emily Sarah, daughter of Lt-Col. Hugh Fitzroy, born 25 September 1860. An officer in the Grenadier Guards, 1880-99 (2nd Lt., 1880; Lt., 1881; Capt., 1892; Maj., 1897; retired 1899); served in the Egyptian campaign, 1882 and fought at Tel-el-Kebir. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Angerton estate from his father in 1888, but sold it before 1899 and later lived at Melton Mowbray (Leics) and in Chelsea (Middx).
He died 24 May 1943; his will was proved 9 August 1943 (estate £179,401).


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1850, ii, supplement p. 9; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1898, i, p. 41; E. Mackenzie, An historical, topographical and descriptive view of the county of Northumberland, 1825, vol. 2, p. 161; T. Faulkner & A. Greg, John Dobson: Newcastle architect, 1987, p. 79; Sir N. Pevsner, I. Richmond et al., The buildings of England: Northumberland, 1992, p. 147; T. Faulkner & A. Greg, John Dobson: architect of the north-east, 2001, pp. 167, 172; C. Marsh, Music and society in early modern England, 2010, p. 211; ODNB entry on Lt-Gen. Sir Thomas Bradford.

Location of archives

No significant accumulation is known to survive.

Coat of arms

Ermine, on a fess, double cotised, gules, between three pheons argent, a lion passant or between two roses argent, barbed and seeded proper.

Can you help?

Here are a few notes about information and images which would help to improve the account above. If you can help with any of these or with other additions or corrections, please use the contact form in the sidebar to get in touch.
  • Does anyone know the origin of the Rococo panel in the drawing room at Angerton?
  • Can anyone extend the descent of Angerton Hall after its sale by the executors of Mrs. Straker in 1955?
  • Is anyone able to explain the connection between the Atkinsons of Angerton and the Atkinsons of Lorbottle Hall?

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 15 October 2016.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

(233) Burnaby-Atkins of Halstead Place

Burnaby of Baggrave and
Burnaby-Atkins of Halstead
The founder of this family was John Atkins (c.1760-1838), whose parentage is obscure. The fact that he had a brother named Abraham suggests some connection with the Atkins family of Kingston Lisle, but his immediate origins were probably fairly humble. As a youth he went to sea, and he later became a 'tide-waiter' in the Customs service (one of the Customs officers who boarded vessels entering British waters to ensure observance of customs regulations). He later became a West India merchant, for a time in partnership with his brother, Abraham, and later with his son and heir, John Pelly Atkins (1790-1872). By the time of his second marriage in 1803 he was sufficiently well-established to marry into the Burnaby family of Baggrave Hall (Leics), and he was Lord Mayor of London in 1818-19. At the time of his death he owned a string of coffee plantations in Jamaica and Bermuda and was worth £160,000.

In the early 1820s, John Atkins invested some of the profits of his business in the purchase of the Halstead Place estate in Kent; he was established there by 1822 when he was employing two men from Blackheath (Kent) to fell timber in the park. Atkins had fourteen children, but eleven of them died young and he left only one son (by his first marriage) and two daughters (by his second): the daughters married two Burnaby brothers who were their first cousins. John Pelly Atkins married Anna Children (1799-1871), who was a published novelist and illustrator, and a keen botanist. Their circle of friends included William Henry Fox-Talbot and Sir John Herschel, and Anna was perhaps the first woman to experiment with photography. She allied her interest in botany with Fox-Talbot's 'photogenic drawing' and Herschel's cyanotype process to produce Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions in October 1843; this is generally regarded as the first published work to be illustrated with photographs, and it was followed by similar works on ferns and flowering plants in the 1850s.

Ironically, in view of her maiden name, John and Anna had no children, and when John died in 1872 his will provided for the Halstead estate to pass to his sister's nephew by marriage, Thomas Frederick Burnaby (1836-1918), on condition that he took the additional name Atkins. His will does not mention West Indian estates, so presumably these had been sold by then. T.F. Burnaby-Atkins married Elizabeth Francklin of Gonalston (Notts), who lived to the remarkable age of 94 and died during the Second World War, and several of their daughters were also notably long-lived. They produced only one son, however, John Burnaby-Atkins (1873-1946), who seems to have leased or sold Halstead Place as a school fairly soon after inheriting it.
Tolethorpe Hall. Image: Dave Crosby. Some rights reserved.
He retained a house in Halstead village until the Second World War, but also rented Tolethorpe Hall at Little Casterton in Rutland, which became his main home. Tolethorpe was in hunting country and that may have been the attraction of the place. At Tolethorpe, he and his wife brought up a family of two sons and a daughter. The sons were of an age to move straight from school into the army during the Second World War. The elder, Frederick John Burnaby-Atkins (1920-2012) joined the Black Watch but was captured during the retreat to Dunkirk and was a prisoner of war until 1945 (he escaped once, but was recaptured close to the Swiss border). The younger, Andrew Graham Burnaby-Atkins (1922-95), gained a reputation for 'exceptional valour, bordering on recklessness' and was twice awarded the Military Cross. In the immediate aftermath of the war, both men were placed in the households of very senior figures: Frederick first as ADC to Field Marshal Lord Wavell and then as ADC and Comptroller of the Household to Lord Mountbatten of Burma while he was the last Viceroy of India, and Andrew as ADC to Field Marshall Viscount Montgomery. Maj. Andrew Burnaby-Atkins left the army in 1953 for a life of farming and hunting in Rutland; he was Director of the Burghley Horse Trials in the 1970s. Lt-Col. Frederick Burnaby-Atkins stayed in the army until 1971, and served briefly as Private Secretary to HRH Princess Margaret during the difficult period when her marriage to Lord Snowdon was breaking down; the last ten years of his career were spent with the Security Services. The lease of Tolethorpe Hall was given up in 1967 and in retirement Col. Burnaby-Atkins lived at Oaksey in Wiltshire, where his wife's family had an estate.

Halstead Place, Kent

Nothing is known about the original manor house of Halstead, which probably stood on the same site as its successor, close to the medieval parish church. It seems to have been entirely replaced in the 18th century by a house built in two phases, which was called Halstead Court until the 1760s
Halstead Place in the early 20th century. The house was of two periods: the lower, right-hand part dated from c.1710 and the taller left-hand part probably from the 1760s. Image: Matthew Beckett

The earlier part of the Georgian house, which may have dated from c.1710, was presumably built for Sir James Ashe, and consisted of a seven-bay two-and-a-half storey block of red brick. By the time this was recorded in 20th century photographs, the end bay on the right had blind windows, but the building can never have been symmetrical because the two bays of windows on the left were slightly more widely spaced than the remaining five bays.

The later part of the house was probably built for Sir Ralph Foley in the 1760s (the stables are dated 1772). It was again of red brick, and two-and-a-half storeys, but rather larger in scale than the older part of the house, so that a plat band above the first-floor windows continued the line of the roof cornice on the older part of the house. A balustraded parapet above the attic largely concealed the low pitched roof. The entrance front had six windows, but again the left-hand two were distinguished from the rest, this time by being stepped slightly forward. A Victorian porch on the right-hand bay of the later part of the house may imply some rearrangement of the layout in the 19th century.

Halstead Place: the rear and side elevations in 1952. Image: Historic England

The rear and side elevations of the later block were similar in style and simplicity. The rear had eight bays, with the right-hand three projecting to form a short wing, with another Victorian doorcase and a balustraded square bay window. To the left of the mid 18th century block stood a three-bay service wing behind the house of c.1710.

Halstead Place: the upper landing of the staircase. Image: Historic England

Inside, the decoration appears to have been of the mid 18th century and later. The panelled staircase hall had a timber staircase with two solid turned balusters per step supporting an elegantly ramped handrail. The Corinthian pillars supporting the gallery and the roof above the gallery were, however, probably a 19th century addition as they are not classically disposed and have something of the air of acroprops. The main drawing room had an elegant neo-classical ceiling and chimneypiece of the late 18th century.

After the death of T.F. Burnaby-Atkins the house was apparently let or sold as a school. During the Second World War it was requisitioned for military use and later became a Prisoner of War camp. The house seems to have been abandoned at this time and by 1952 it was semi-derelict and severely affected by dry rot. It was demolished in that year and in 1954-56 a residential secondary school was built in the grounds, preserving only the stable block of 1772. The school in turn had been demolished by 2012, when the site was redeveloped for housing of an expensive but relentlessly unappealing kind.

Descent: William Petley (d. 1528); to son, Stephen Petley... Thomas Petley, sold c.1575 to Sir Thomas Watson, kt. (d. 1621); to daughter Elizabeth, wife of Sir William Pope (1573-1631) of Wilcot (Oxon), later 1st Earl of Downe; to grandson, Thomas Pope (1622-60), 2nd Earl of Downe, who sold to Edward Ashe (1599-1656) of Heytesbury; to younger brother, Sir Joseph Ashe (c.1616-86), 1st bt.; to son, Sir James Ashe (1674-1733), 2nd bt., who sold to ?? Lansdell; to John Lansdell, who sold 1738 to Lord Vere Beauclerk (d. 1781), who sold the house and about eight acres in 1755 to Robert Bagshaw, who sold c.1756 to Sir Robert Ralph Foley (c.1727-82), 1st bt.; sold to John Sargent (d. 1791); sold after his death to Arnold Arnold esq. (fl. 1829); sold c.1822 to John Atkins (c.1760-1838); to son, John Pelly Arnold (c.1790-1872); to his sister's nephew by marriage, Thomas Frederick Burnaby (later Burnaby-Atkins) (d. 1918); to son, John Burnaby-Atkins (1873-1946), who let or sold it as a school; requisitioned for military use in WW2 and retained until 1954; demolished 1952 and the site sold to Kent CC as a site for a residential school and demolished; the site has recently been redeveloped for suburban housing.

Atkins (later Burnaby-Atkins) family of Halstead Place

Atkins, John (c.1760-1838). Parentage unknown. As a young man, Atkins went to sea, and then became a Customs tide waiter. In the late 18th century he settled down as a West India merchant and agent in the City, where about 1795 he was joined by his brother; they traded under the style of John and Abraham Atkins at Walbrook. He owned a number of plantations in Jamaica (including the Forest Estate, Hopewell, Mount Hybla and Trafalgar) and a large property in Bermuda. He became a member of the Merchant Taylors Co. in 1800, was a Director of the East India Dock Co., 1805-38 and Vice-President of the Society of Shipowners, 1817. An Alderman of the City of London, 1808-38; Sheriff of London, 1809-10 and Lord Mayor of London, 1818-19. A Tory in politics, he was MP for Arundel, 1802-06, City of London, 1812-18 and Arundel, 1826-32. He was described as "not remarkable for polished manners; but... a shrewd and worthy man, filling the seat of justice with impartiality, and dispensing the hospitality of the City with an open hand". According to his obituary he was offered a baronetcy in 1819 but declined the honour. He married 1st, 12 April 1779 at St Stephen Walbrook, London, Sarah Littell (d. 1802) and 2nd, 1 October 1803 at St Alphege, Greenwich (Kent), Anna Maria, daughter of the Ven. Dr. Andrew Burnaby DD of Baggrave Hall (Leics), archdeacon of Leicester and vicar of Greenwich, and had issue:
(1.1) Drury Hunt Atkins (1788-89), born 5 June and baptised at St Michael Cornhill, London, 2 July 1788; died in infancy and was buried at St Michael Cornhill, 20 February 1789;
(1.2) John Pelly Atkins (1790-1872) (q.v.);
(1.3) Henry Dent Atkins (1791-92), born 31 October and baptised at St Mary Colechurch, London, 14 December 1791; died in infancy and was buried at St Mary Colechurch, 1 March 1792;
(1.4) Sarah Atkins (b. 1793), baptised at St Mary Colechurch, London, 26 January 1793; died young;
(1.5) William Dent Atkins (b. 1794), baptised at St Mary Colechurch, London, 2 February 1794; died young;
(1.6) Edward Foot Atkins (b. 1796), born 12 July 1796 and baptised at St Stephen Walbrook, London, 21 April 1798; died young;
(1.7) Julia Atkins (b. 1798), born 8 March and baptised at St Stephen Walbrook, London, 21 April 1798; died young;
(1.8) Charles Atkins (b. 1801), born 18 January and baptised at St Stephen Walbrook, London, 15 February 1801; died young;
(2.1) Anna Maria Atkins (1805-78), born 3 January and baptised at St Stephen Walbrook, 15 January 1805; married, 13 May 1830 at Marylebone (Middx), her cousin, Rev. Frederick George Burnaby (1803-80) of Asfordby Hall (Leics), vicar of Lowesby , Plungar and Barkstone (all Leics), second son of Col. John Dick Burnaby of Rotherby Hall (Leics), but had no issue; died 14 March 1878; administration of goods granted 27 July 1878 (effects under £3,000);
(2.2) Andrew Burnaby John Atkins (1806-16), born 17 May and baptised at St Stephen Walbrook, 19 May 1806; died young, 3 March 1816;
(2.3) Sarah Jane Atkins (1807-43), born 29 November and baptised at St Stephen Walbrook, 1 December 1807; married, 19 April 1836 at Halstead, her cousin, John Dick Burnaby (1802-55) of Asfordby (Leics) and Evington, barrister-at-law, son of Col. John Dick Burnaby of Rotherby Hall (Leics), and had issue one son; buried at Asfordby, 18 November 1843;
(2.4) Edwyn John Ibbetson Atkins (1809-11), born 22 June and baptised at St Stephen Walbrook, 25 June 1809; died in infancy, 7 April 1811;
(2.5) Charlotte Atkins (1811-13), born 26 January and baptised at St Stephen Walbrook, 26 February 1811; died young, 28 May 1813;
(2.6) Esther Anne Atkins (1812-32), born 26 October 1812; died unmarried, 13 July 1832;
(2.7) Mary Sherrard Atkins (1813-16), born 15 October 1813; died young, 23 March 1816.
He purchased Halstead Place about 1822.
He died 26 October, and was buried at Halstead, 2 November 1838; his will proved 10 November 1838 (effects under £90,000). His first wife died in September 1802. His second wife died 10 July 1824.

Atkins, John Pelly (1790-1872). Only surviving son of John Atkins (c.1760-1838) and his first wife, Sarah Littell, born 19 March and baptised at St Michael Cornhill, London, 26 April 1790. West India merchant and coffee plantation owner, initially in partnership with his father; in the 1850s he interested himself in promoting railways in the Kent area. High Sheriff of Kent, 1847. He rebuilt the church at Halstead on a new site across the road from, and a little further north than, its predecessor of 1609. He married, 30 August 1825 at St George, Bloomsbury (Middx), Anna (1799-1871), novelist, botanist and pioneer of photography, daughter of John George Children, but had no issue.
He inherited Halstead Place and his father's Jamaican and Bermudan estates in 1838. At his death his property passed to his sister's nephew by marriage, Thomas Frederick Burnaby (later Burnaby-Atkins).
He died 29 September 1872 and was buried at Halstead; his will was proved 16 October 1872 (estate under £160,000). His wife died 9 June 1871; administration of her goods (with will annexed) was granted 2 January 1873.

Burnaby (later Burnaby-Atkins), Thomas Frederick (1836-1918). Son of Thomas Fowke Andrew Burnaby* (1808-93) of Brampton Manor House (Hunts) and his wife Emily (d. 1893), eleventh daughter of Rupert Chawner MD of Burton-on-Trent, born 13 March 1836. Educated at Eton and Trinity Hall, Cambridge (admitted 1854; BA 1859; MA 1864). He assumed the additional name of Atkins by royal licence, 3 January 1873, after inheriting the Halstead Place estate. JP (from 1875) and DL for Kent. He married, 2 January 1868 at Gonalston (Notts), Elizabeth (c.1849-1943), daughter of John Francklin of Gonalston Hall and Great Barford (Beds) and had issue:
(1) Frances Eveline Burnaby (1868-71), born 24 October 1868; died young, 31 January 1871;
(2) Emily Mary Burnaby (later Burnaby-Atkins) (1869-1951), born 19 December 1869; married, 3 February 1903, Lt-Gen. Sir Ronald Charles Maxwell, KCB KCMG (1852-1924), son of Lt-Col. C.F. Maxwell, but had no issue; died 9 October 1951; will proved 26 November 1951 (estate £21,612);
(3) Elizabeth Caroline Burnaby (later Burnaby-Atkins) (1871-1960), born 12 September 1871; married, 5 April 1894, Lancelot Francis Orde (1859-1939), second son of James Henry Orde JP of Hopton House (Suffk) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 12 September 1960, aged 91; will proved 5 January 1961 (estate £4,665);
(4) John Burnaby-Atkins (1873-1946) (q.v.);
(5) Violet Burnaby-Atkins (1875-1969) of Nurstead Court (Kent), born 16 July 1875; amateur artist; married, 27 June 1911, Col. Henry Edmeades (1875-1952), son of Maj-Gen. Henry Edmeades of Nurstead Court and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 19 June 1969, aged 93; will proved 28 October 1969 (estate £19,814);
(6) Cecily Burnaby-Atkins (1876-1967), born 6 September 1876; served as a VAD nurse in the First World War; died unmarried, 27 September 1967, aged 91; will proved 7 November 1967 (estate £20,108);
(7) Judith Lilian Burnaby-Atkins (1878-1951), born 5 November 1878; married, 30 December 1913, as his second wife, Maj. Clement Octavius Edward Nicholson (1874-1930), eighth son of William Nicholson of Basing Park (Hants); died 13 October 1951; will proved 5 December 1951 (estate £35,275);
(8) Millicent Burnaby-Atkins (1890-1956), born 31 January 1890; died unmarried, 9 October 1956; will proved 23 November 1956 (estate £25,315).
He lived at Collingham Manor House (Notts) from the time of his marriage until he inherited the Halstead Place estate from John Pelly Atkins in 1872.
He died 28 September 1918; his will was proved 11 July 1919 (estate £157,672). His widow died 27 May 1943, aged 94; her will was proved 22 July 1943 (estate £7,663).
* There will be a future post on the Burnaby family of Baggrave Hall.

Burnaby-Atkins, John (1873-1946). Only son of Thomas Frederick Burnaby-Atkins (d. 1918) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Francklin of Gonalston Hall (Notts) and Great Barford (Beds), born 15 September 1873. Educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford (admitted 1891; MA 1906). High Sheriff of Rutland, 1928. A County Councillor for Rutland, 1928-34. He served as a Lieutenant in the West Kent Yeomanry and was on the staff of the War Office, 1914-19. He married, 3 December 1919, Dorothy Dalrymple Graham (1895-1982), elder daughter of Graham Watson of Baberton House (Midlothian), and had issue:
(1) Frederick John Burnaby-Atkins (1920-2012) (q.v.);
(2) Andrew Graham Burnaby-Atkins (1922-95) of Manton Lodge (Rutland), born 29 December 1922; an officer in the King's Royal Rifle Corps, 1942-53 (Lt., 1942; Capt., 1949; Major, 1953); served in WW2, 1942-45; noted for his 'exceptional valour, bordering on recklessness' and awarded MC and bar; ADC to Field-Marshal Viscount Montgomery, 1947-49; Director of the Burghley Horse Trials, 1977-79; married, 1966, Anne Caroline (b. 1938), daughter of Christopher Thomas Dalgety of Broomy Lodge, Linwood (Hants), and had issue one son and one daughter; died 23 July 1995; will proved 1 December 1995 (estate £1,411,948);
(3) Mary Dalrymple Burnaby-Atkins (b. 1925), born 1 February 1925; married, 12 January 1954 at Chelsea (Middx), Peter Francis Hanbury (b. 1918), youngest son of Nigel Hanbury of Green End House, Ware (Herts), and had issue one son and one daughter.
He inherited the Halstead Place estate from his father in 1918, but sold or leased it for use as a school. He leased Tolethorpe Hall, Little Casterton (Rutland) from the Eaton family from the 1920s onwards. His widow lived there until 1967 and later at Tinwell Grange (Rutland).
He died 16 August 1946; his will was proved 24 January 1947 (estate £50,484). His widow died 12 August 1982; her will was proved 8 March 1983 (estate £132,014).

Burnaby-Atkins, Lt-Col. Frederick John (1920-2012). Elder son of John Burnaby-Atkins (1873-1946) and his wife Dorothy Dalrymple Graham, elder daughter of Graham Watson of Baberton House (Midlothian), born 9 November 1920. Educated at Eton and Royal Military College, Sandhurst. An officer in the Black Watch, 1939-70 (Lt., 1940; Capt., 1946; Major, 1952; Lt-Col., 1967); he served in WW2 and was a Prisoner of War, 1940-45 (escaped and was recaptured); ADC to Field Marshal Lord Wavell, 1946-47 and ADC and comptroller of the household to Lord Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, as Viceroy of India, 1947-48; military attach√© at British embassies in Portugal, 1961-63 and Morocco, 1967-68; Comptroller of Governor-General's household in New Zealand, 1964-67. After retiring from the army he was Equerry and Private Secretary to HRH Princess Margaret, 1971-74; and then an officer in the Security Services, 1974-85. He married, 13 October 1951, Hon. Anne Jennifer (1926-95), youngest daughter of Geoffrey Lawrence, 1st Baron Oaksey and later 3rd Baron Trevethin, and had issue:
(1) Charlotte Elizabeth Cecily Burnaby-Atkins (b. 1952), born 10 November 1952; married, Jul-Sep. 1980, (Jeremy) Patrick (Stewart) Crawford CB (b. 1952), Chief Executive of UK Export Finance and The Charity Bank Ltd., son of Sir (Robert) Stewart Crawford GCMG, and had issue one son and three daughters;
(2) Catherine Rose Burnaby-Atkins (b. 1954), born 14 October 1954; headmistress of the Sinclair Montessori Nursery School, London W14;
(3) Rosamond Louise Burnaby-Atkins (b. 1957); advertising executive at Ackroyd Publishing, Brussels, 1985-2012; married, 1981, Marc L. J-M. Weemels of Brussels (Belgium) and had issue three sons;
(4) John Charles Graham Burnaby-Atkins (b. 1961), born 19 November 1961; married, 1993, Emma Elisabeth, daughter of James Smith, and had issue two sons.
He continued his father's lease of Tolethorpe Hall until 1967, but lived thereafter in London and at Oaksey (Wilts).
He died 16 June 2012; his will was proved 31 January 2013. His wife died 4 February 1995; her will was proved 27 April 1995 (estate £21,772).


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1965, p. 26; E. Hasted, History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent, vol. 3, 1797, pp. 13-19;

Location of archives

Atkins, later Burnaby-Atkins, family of Halstead: deeds and papers, 16th-20th cents. [Kent History & Library Centre, U969]

Coat of arms

The family used the arms of the Burnaby family: Argent, two bars gules, in chief a lion passant guardant of the second.

Can you help?

Here are a few notes about information and images which would help to improve the account above. If you can help with any of these or with other additions or corrections, please use the contact form in the sidebar to get in touch.
  • Does anyone know exactly when John Atkins purchased Halstead Place?
  • Does anyone know whether the family retained ownership of Halstead Place in the 1920s when it became a school, and if so, when they sold the freehold?
  • The parentage of John Atkins (c.1760-1838) is obscure. Can anyone provide information about this, or his date of birth or baptism?
  • Can you provide portraits or photographs of any of the people named in bold above?

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 11th October 2016.

Friday, 7 October 2016

(232) Atkins (later Martin-Atkins) of Kingston Lisle

The founder of this family's fortunes was Abraham Atkins (d. 1742), who after being cut off with the proverbial shilling by his father, made a sufficient fortune from trading in the stock of the South Sea and East India Companies to be referred to in the press as 'the opulent Mr. Atkins'. He was born in Southwark but moved to the developing and fashionable suburb of Clapham after becoming wealthy. It seems rather a coincidence that he should choose Clapham, where another Atkins family had been lords of the manor for several generations, but I have been unable to establish any connection between Abraham and the Atkins baronets. Abraham was succeeded by his only son, Abraham Atkins (c.1716-92), who invested his father's wealth in land, buying the Kingston Lisle estate in Berkshire in 1747 or 1748 and the Puttenden estate at Lingfield (Surrey) shortly afterwards.
Puttenden Manor, Lingfield: a 15th century hall house
extended in the 17th and 19th centuries. It was bought by Abraham
Atkins in 1750 and remained the property of his successors until 1878.
Abraham junior married twice, but his two children both died young. In later life Abraham, who was a leading figure in the Baptist community, therefore established trusts to provide endowments for the ministers of no less than fourteen Baptist chapels at places with which he was associated, and also supported other nonconformist and charitable causes. These consumed only a fraction of his property, however, and at his death, his estates at Kingston Lisle and Lingfield passed to his nephew, Edwin Martin (1741-99), the only surviving son of his sister, Susannah, who took the additional name of Atkins. Contemporary sources are inconsistent on whether later generations of the family hyphenated the two names or not; the most common practice was to do so, and that form has therefore been adopted in this account.

Edwin, who was perhaps the first member of the family to live full-time at Kingston Lisle, served as High Sheriff of Berkshire in 1794, but died just five years later. His son and heir, Atkins Edwin Martin-Atkins (1778-1825), added wings to the early 18th century house at Kingston Lisle and may have rebuilt or refenestrated the garden front. He too died relatively young and his heir, Edwin Martin-Atkins (1808-59), did not come of age until 1829. He later commissioned an internal remodelling of Kingston Lisle, creating the dramatic sequence of circulation spaces for which the house is now famous; there appears to be no documentary evidence to identify his architect, but it may have been C.R. Cockerell, who worked extensively in nearby Oxford at this period. Edwin Martin-Atkins was a stereotypical Victorian landowner, interested in hunting and archaeology, and provided the model for the character 'The Squire' in Tom Brown's Schooldays, set at Rugby School, written by Thomas Hughes and published in 1857. Like Hughes, Edwin had been a pupil at Rugby, although his time there predated Thomas Arnold's headmastership, during which the story was set.

In 1859, Edwin was succeeded by his son and namesake, Edwin Martin-Atkins (1838-75), who in 1865 married Amy Hutton. She had been born and brought up in Victoria, Australia, where her father was a large-scale run-holder who returned to England in 1855. They had five children before Edwin died, aged just 37, in 1875. His trustees then let Kingston Lisle and sold Puttenden Manor, but both Edwin's sons died before coming of age, and Kingston Lisle ultimately passed to his only surviving daughter, Edith Amy Martin-Atkins (1868-1948), who sold it in 1908. After the death of her mother in 1895 she lived for more than fifty years with her companion, Marianne Ward (d. 1947) in and around Bath (Somerset).

Kingston Lisle House, Berkshire

Kingston Lisle is one of the major country houses of Berkshire, but it has a remarkably obscure architectural history because of the lack of documentary or other reliable dating evidence. The account of its development that follows differs in some respects from the view taken by other writers, and must be regarded as speculative and provisional. One must hope that in the future either documentary or structural evidence will allow a more authoritative account to be written. 

Nothing is known of the manor house that must have existed here before the late 17th century, but it is possible that the low ceiling heights of the three storey rear pile of the present house reflects its structure. Probably in the late 17th century, this house was absorbed into a new compact double-pile house of the Coleshill type with the hipped roof, balustrade and cupola which are recorded in early photographs but which were taken down in the early 20th century. A datestone of 1677 with the initials GH (for the wife of the owner, Humphrey Hyde), now in the loggia on the south front, may refer to this phase of building.

Kingston Lisle House in the early 20th century, when the original rooftop balustrade and cupola were in place.

Kingston Lisle House: the entrance front today.
The house now has an early 18th century entrance front facing north, of seven bays and two storeys, with a pediment over the centre, a heavily emphasized Gibbs surround to the original door (now a window) and massive keystones over the arched ground-floor windows. These features suggest a remodelling, perhaps by William Townesend of Oxford, for John Hyde, who inherited in 1716. The dining room - presumably the original entrance hall - has early 18th century panelling of a similar date, and a Rococo ceiling, which must be a little later and is possibly of the early 20th century. 

Kingston Bagpuize House: the dining room in 1919, Image: Country Life

The next changes were made for Atkins Edwin Martin-Atkins (1778-1825), who employed Richard Pace of Lechlade in 1812 to add lower wings to the north front, each of two storeys and three bays. These appear on Pace's trade card of 1830, where he mysteriously gives the centre four storeys rather than two-and-a-half and removes the cupola which existed at that time. Does this perhaps hint that he made unexecuted proposals for remodelling the central block? 

Richard Pace & Son: tradecard, 1830. Image: Bodleian Library MS. Eng. misc. c.298.

Kingston Lisle House: garden front as rebuilt c.1820-25.

Probably before his early death in 1825, Atkyns Atkyns carried out further work on the house, rebuilding or at least remodelling the garden front with three storeys and three bays of widely-spaced tripartite windows, a broad doorway flanked by Greek Doric columns, and an unusual arrangement of three parallel roofs. An aerial view of the house shows that the south side of the central block is actually a little taller and wider than the north side, and also deeper than the front pile. This means either that the depth of the rear pile was increased when it was altered in the 1820s, or that the original balustraded lead flat and cupola of the 1677 house were not positioned above the centre of the house as one would expect. The low rooms behind the new garden front are very modestly decorated, with some reused 17th century panelling, and neither they nor the exterior give any hint of the remarkably sophisticated circulation spaces between the front and back ranges of the house which it has always been assumed were created at the same time. The front range had very high rooms on the ground floor and much lower ones above, and the rear range less disparity in ceiling heights between the floors. To connect the very different floor levels in the two piles of the house, a new staircase was constructed with two flying flights connecting the different levels and balustrades of wrought iron. The staircase hall has an oblong groin vault of Soanian character, and the whole is very sparely decorated.

Kingston Lisle House: the staircase, perhaps created c.1820-25

Edwin Martin-Atkins (1808-59), who inherited in 1825, came of age in 1829 and married in 1835. It was probably at some point after that, and perhaps as late as the mid-1840s, that he made further changes to the house, creating the grand entrance hall and vestibule that now bring the visitor from a new front door in the east wing to the staircase. The entrance hall has a coffered tunnel vault, richly embellished in stucco and perhaps inspired by Soane's short-lived 'Scala Regia' at the House of Lords (1822-24). 

Kingston Lisle House: the entrance hall, 1919. The window at the end originally opened into the conservatory shown above. Image: Country Life

At the end of this passage a right turn gives access to the vaulted vestibule, with fans at the corners. Beyond that an archway with Roman Doric columns, each with a classical figure in stucco placed boldly on the entablature (as at Adam's ante room in Syon House, of 1761) leads into the staircase hall. 

Kingston Lisle House: the vestibule between the entrance hall and staircase

The question is: who designed these richly decorated spaces? The similarity of spirit between the design of the entrance hall and vestibule and works by C.R. Cockerell, not least the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (1841-45), has led many historians to suggest his name. Previous writers have assumed that the staircase was part of the same scheme as the approach to it (and that is still a possibility); the inclusion of Soanian elements there has also led to the alternative suggestion that one of Soane's pupils, perhaps George Basevi, could have been involved. Marcus Binney, however, writing in Country Life in 1971, noticed "certain elements that seem uncharacteristic of a professional architect like Cockerell or Basevi", and suggested an amateur designer, perhaps Edwin Martin-Atkins himself or one of his friends. To my eye, however, the solecisms Binney detected are relatively minor, and the entrance hall and vestibule have an √©lan which an amateur would find it difficult to achieve without a great deal of previous experience. And there is no evidence that Atkins was a closet Michelangelo; his recorded interests were in hunting and archaeology; indeed he was so much the stereotypical landowner as to be the avowed model for 'The Squire' in Tom Brown's Schooldays.  I therefore take the view that Martin-Atkins brought in a professional architect, most probably Cockerell, in the early to mid 1840s to smarten up the interior. He would surely have known Cockerell's work from the Ashmolean and perhaps from his work at Queen's College (he appointed a Fellow of Queen's as rector of Kingston Lisle in 1841). Incidentally, the bow-windowed Billiard Room on the east of the house was originally decorated in equally sumptuous fashion, but was marred by a false ceiling inserted in the 1960s. The demolished conservatory was probably also part of the 1840s scheme.

Kingston Lisle House: conservatory (demolished)
After the house was sold in 1908, the cupola and rooftop balustrade were removed and it is likely that some work was done to the interior at the same time. The Rococo ceiling in the dining room may date from this period. Later alterations include the construction of a Doric columned loggia in front of the west wing (after 1945) and the provision of a new porch in 1970.

The park was landscaped in the 18th century, presumably after hamlet of Kingston Lisle was enclosed in 1777, and there is a series of artificial lakes created in 1812 east of the house. The stable block to the north-west is of chalk, and was built 1812-15, with Gothic detailing and a clock turret over the gabled two-storey central portion; it is likely to be another work by Richard Pace. There is a lodge of similar date and style, with 18th century gatepiers.

Descent: sold 1538 to William Hyde of Denchworth... Sir George Hyde (d. 1623); to son, Humphrey Hyde (d. 1673); to son, Humphrey Hyde (d. 1696); to son, John Hyde (d. 1703); to brother, Frederick Hyde; to son, John Hyde (fl. 1716); to widow Jane and son John Hyde, who sold 1749 to Abraham Atkins (c.1716-92); to nephew, Edwin Martin (later Martin-Atkins) (1741-99); to son, Atkins Edwin Martin-Atkins (1778-1825); to son, Edwin Martin-Atkins (1808-59); to son, Edwin Martin-Atkins (1838-75); to son, Edwin Martin-Atkins (1870-83); to brother, Charles Edwin Martin-Atkins (1872-84); to sister, Edith Amy Martin-Atkins (1868-1948) who let to Col. V.W.B. van de Weyer (fl. 1885-89) and Charles A. Prioleau (fl. 1900) and sold 1908 to Mrs Florence A. Stevens (d. 1940), wife of Edmund Stevens; sold 1922? to Sir Hugo Fitzherbert, 6th bt. (d. 1934); sold to Mr & Mrs W. Murray (fl. 1939); sold 1943 to Capt. (Thomas) Leopold McClintock Lonsdale (1899-1985), banker; to grandson, Jamie Lonsdale (b. 1959); the house was for sale in 2016.

Atkins family of Kingston Lisle

Atkins, Abraham (c.1685-1742). Son of Abraham Atkins (d. 1706) of Southwark, a nonconformist linen draper, and his wife Margaret, born c.1685. He was probably a nonconformist in religion. He was cut off with a shilling in his father's will but became a successful speculator in the South Sea Co. and East India Co stock. He married and had issue:
(1) Jane Atkins (c.1712-43); married, 1736, Fraser Honywood MP (c.1708-64) and had issue one son, who died in the lifetime of his father; probably the person of this name who was buried at Horsham (Sussex), 19 January 1743;
(2) Abraham Atkins (c.1716-92) (q.v.);
(3) Susannah Atkins (c.1719-84) (q.v.).
He lived at Clapham (Surrey).
He died about June 1742; his will was proved 3 July 1742. His wife predeceased him.

Atkins, Abraham (c.1716-92). Son of Abraham Atkins (d. 1742) of London and Clapham, born about 1716. High Sheriff of Surrey, 1747. A Governor of the Magdalen Hospital, London, 1776. He unsuccessfully claimed the abeyant Barony of de L'Isle in 1790 on the basis of his tenure of the manor of Kingston Lisle. A Baptist in religion, from 1786 onwards he endowed fourteen chapels and other Baptist causes through a series of trust deeds. He left his body to be dissected for the benefit of medical science. He married 1st, 25 May 1749 in the Royal Chapel at Hampton Court (Middx), Alice Crawley (d. 1776), and 2nd, 1 June 1776 at St Leonard, Shoreditch (Middx), Susannah (1742-92), daughter of William Shelford of Hoxton Square, London, and had issue:
(1.1) Abraham Crawley Atkins (1750-60), baptised 28 November 1750 at St Stephen Coleman, London; buried at Lingfield, 24 March 1760;
(1.2) Alice Atkins (1753-61), born 20 October and baptised at St Anne, Soho, London, 23 November 1753; buried at Lingfield, 10 April 1761.
He purchased the Kingston Lisle estate in 1746 or 1747 and the Puttenden Manor estate at Lingfield c.1750. In 1777 he inherited the manor of Chimneys (Oxon) from John Baskerville, part of which he assigned to charitable purposes, and the remainer of which passed at his death with his other property to his nephew, Edwin Martin.
He died 'in his 77th year' at Clapham, 2 March 1792 and was buried at Lingfield, 9 March 1792; his will was proved 12 March 1792. His first wife was buried at Lingfield, 5 February 1776. His second wife was buried at Lingfield, 27 December 1791.

Atkins, Susannah (c.1719-84). Younger daughter of Abraham Atkins (c.1685-1742) of Clapham, born about 1719. She married, 16 February 1738/9, Edwin Martin (d. 1777) of London and Reading, merchant, possibly son of David Martin of Hackney and his wife Susanna (d. 1754), and had issue:
(1) Atkins Martin (1740-53), baptised at St Stephen Coleman, London, 24 January 1739/40; died young and was buried at St Mary, Reading, 24 June 1753;
(2) Edwin Martin (later Martin-Atkins) (1741-99) (q.v.).
She lived at Southcot, Reading (Berks) and later at Pangbourne (Berks).
She was buried at St Mary, Reading, 8 September 1784. Her husband was buried at St Mary, Reading, 26 May 1777.

Martin (later Martin-Atkins), Edwin (1741-99). Son of Edwin Martin (d. 1777) and his wife Susannah (c.1719-84), daughter of Abraham Atkins, baptised 25 June 1741 at St Stephen Coleman, London. He took the additional name of Atkins by royal licence, 21 March 1792. Educated at Hertford College (admitted 1759; Hon. DCL, 1793). High Sheriff of Berkshire, 1794. He married, 15 July 1773 at Holy Trinity, Clapham (Surrey), Ellen Frances (1752-1831), daughter of William Halhed esq., and had issue (perhaps among others):
(1) Frances Belinda Martin-Atkins* (1777-95), born 11 May and baptised at Holy Trinity, Clapham, 17 May 1777; said to have died in 1795;
(2) Atkins Edward Martin-Atkins* (1778-1825) (q.v.);
(3) Susanna Louisa Martin-Atkins* (1780-1863), baptised at Holy Trinity, Clapham (Surrey), 26 April 1780; married, 30 June 1803 at Kingston Lisle, William Ward Jackson of Normanby (Yorks); died 18 January 1863, aged 83;
(4) Alicia Ellen Martin-Atkins* (c.1786-1850?); married, 23 July 1807 at Kingston Lisle, Commander James Pearson (d. 1823) of HEICS, and had issue four children; possibly to be identified with the 'Alice Ellen Pearson' who died in Jan-Mar 1850.
He inherited the Priory near Reading from his father in 1777, and the Kingston Lisle and Puttenden Manor estates from his uncle in 1792. The Priory was left to his widow for life and then sold.
He died on 30 July 1799; his will was proved 20 September 1799. His widow died 6 March 1831.
* Baptised as Martin, but assumed the name Martin-Atkins from 1792.

Martin-Atkins, Atkins Edwin (1778-1825). Son of Edwin Martin (later Martin-Atkins) (d. 1799) and his wife Ellen Frances, daughter of William Halhed, born 20 June and baptised at Holy Trinity, Clapham (Surrey), 22 June 1778. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1797). An officer in the Berkshire Cavalry Volunteers (Lt., 1797). Appointed a Governor of Wantage Town Lands, 1814. He married, 19 May 1806 at St. Marylebone (Middx), Ann (1787-1818), daughter of Maj. William Cook, and had issue:
(1) Ellen Martin-Atkins (1807-84), baptised 5 April 1807 at Kingston Lisle; married, 18 August 1853 at Tilehurst (Berks), her cousin, Rev. Thomas Everett (1803-60) of Biddlesden House (Wilts), but had no issue; died 11 February 1884;
(2) Edwin Martin-Atkins (1808-59) (q.v.);
(3) twin, Belinda Martin-Atkins (1809-81), baptised 17 September 1809 at Kingston Lisle; died unmarried in Reading (Berks), 6 October 1881;
(4) twin, Louisa Martin-Atkins (1809-79), baptised 17 September 1809 at Kingston Lisle; married, 14 August 1835 at Kingston Lisle, Thomas Thornhill Morland (d. 1848) of Sheepstead House, nr. Abingdon (Berks), but had no issue; died 23 December 1879; will proved 17 February 1880 (effects under £25,000);
(5) Capt. William Hastings Martin-Atkins (1811-81), of Farley Castle, born 10 May 1811; educated at University College, Oxford (matriculated 1829; BA 1832); ordained deacon, 1834 and priest, 1835 but apparently later resigned from holy orders; an officer in the Reading Volunteers and the Berkshire militia (Capt.); JP for Berkshire; married 1st, 29 October 1844 at Kew (Surrey), Diana Mary (d. 1862), second daughter of Rev. Thomas Wyld of Blunsdon St. Andrew (Wilts) and widow of John Tyrrell esq. of Kew; married 2nd, 30 May 1865 at St Mary, Reading (Berks), Georgiana (1811-1902), daughter of George Edward Beauchamp-Proctor of Thetford (Norfk) and widow of Edward Lloyd Edwards of Cerrig Llwydion (Denbighs.), but had no issue; died 28 July 1881; will proved 21 November 1881 (effects £8,007);
(6) Ann Martin-Atkins (c.1813-48); died unmarried at Purley Hall (Berks), 5 September 1848, aged 35;
(7) George Martin-Atkins (1815-84); educated at Rugby and Downing College, Cambridge (admitted 1841); died unmarried at Fernham (Berks), 27 March 1884; will proved 26 June 1884 (effects £21,204);
(8) twin?, Henry Martin-Atkins (1818-42); educated at Merton College, Oxford (matriculated 1835); Lieutenant in 53rd Regiment; died unmarried at Edinburgh of smallpox, 5 November 1842;
(9) twin?, Frances Martin-Atkins (1818-51); married, 24 February 1838, Rev. William Thomas Wyld (1805-73), rector of Woodborough (Wilts), and had issue; died 13 March 1851.
He inherited the Kingston Lisle and Puttenden Manor estates from his father in 1799 and let Kingston Lisle house for two years from 1803. In 1812 he added wings to the house at to the design of Richard Pace; he probably also rebuilt the rear of the house in the 1820s. 
He died in 1825; his will was proved 28 June 1825. His wife died 9 March 1818, probably in childbirth.

Martin-Atkins, Edwin (1808-59). Eldest son of Atkins Edward Martin-Atkins (1778-1825) and his wife Ann, younger daughter of Maj. William Cook, born 3 July and baptised 3 August 1808 at Walcot (Somerset). Educated at Rugby and Magdalen College, Oxford (admitted 1825; Demy; BA 1829). High Sheriff of Berkshire, 1844. He was an enthusiastic member of the local Hunt and President of the Old Berkshire Hunt Club; the character of 'The Squire' in Tom Brown's Schooldays was based on him. Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries; he was 'a rather accomplished archaeological excavator by the standards of the time'. He married, 22 December 1835 at Marcham (Berks), Caroline (1814-66), eldest daughter of Thomas Duffield MP of Marcham Park, and had issue:
(1) Ann Emily Martin-Atkins (1837-55), born 21 January 1837; died unmarried, 2 December 1855;
(2) Edwin Martin-Atkins (1838-75) (q.v.);
(3) A daughter (b. & d. 1839), born 11 November 1839 but survived 'only a brief while' and died the same day;
(4) Albert George Martin-Atkins (b. & d. 1841), born 14 July 1841, who 'survived his birth only a few hours' and died the same day;
(5) George Augustus Martin-Atkins (1842-1908), born 29 July 1842; educated at Trinity College, Oxford (matriculated 1862; BA 1866; MA 1885); died unmarried in Clifton, Bristol, 23 May 1908; administration of his goods granted 1 August 1908 (estate £30,690);
(6) Caroline Louisa Martin-Atkins (1843-1923), born 20 November 1843; married, 11 July 1872 at Christ Church, Lancaster Gate, London, Charles Collins (1839-1907) of Reading (Berks), third son of Rev. J.F. Collins of Betterton (Berks) and had issue; died 25 November 1923; will proved 1 April 1924 (estate £17,644);
(7) Alice Maria Martin-Atkins (1845-1937), born 9 August 1845; lived with her brother George in Clifton; died unmarried, 9 August 1937, aged 92 and was buried at Redland, Bristol, 12 August 1937; will proved 21 January 1938 (estate £42,212);
(8) Clara Belinda Martin-Atkins (1847-76), born 19 May 1847; married, 26 July 1864 at St Paul, Clifton, Bristol, Capt. Arthur Mowbray Jones (1826-89) of Clifton, and had issue one son and three daughters; died 12 November 1876;
(9) Ernest Edwin Martin-Atkins (1848-1937), born 1 August 1848; married, 2 August 1871 at Christ Church, Lancaster Gate, London, Adele Millicent, daughter of J.S. Phillips of Culham House (Oxon), and had issue; lived at Chieveley (Berks); died 27 July 1937, aged 89; will proved 3 December 1937 (estate £2,399);
(10) Francis Hastings Martin-Atkins (1850-1931), born 26 July 1850; married, 13 October 1891, Arabella Margaret Dorothea (1854-1944), daughter of Lt-Gen. William Johnson of Wytham Hall (Lincs); died 17 August 1931; will proved 14 October 1931 (estate £11,130);
(11) Frederick William Martin-Atkins (1852-69), born 15 February 1852; died unmarried at Malvern (Worcs), 19 November 1869.
He inherited the Kingston Lisle and Puttenden Manor estates from his father in 1825, came of age in 1829, and remodelled the house at Kingston Lisle, probably in the 1840s.
He died at Weston-super-Mare (Somerset), 5 May 1859; his will was proved July 1859 and 29 June 1861 (effects under £25,000). His widow died 16 November 1866; will proved 27 December 1866 (effects under £5,000).

Martin-Atkins, Edwin (1838-75). Eldest son of Edwin Martin Atkins (1808-59) and his wife Caroline, eldest daughter of Thomas Duffield of Marcham Park (Berks), born 9 December 1838. He was a Lieutenant in the Berkshire Yeomanry Cavalry and Captain of the Wantage Rifle Corps; JP for Berkshire. He married 1st, 9 January 1862 at Wytham-on-the-Hill (Lincs), Mary Georgiana Louisa (c.1839-63), second daughter of Lt-Gen. William Augustus Johnson of Wytham-on-the-Hill (Lincs), and 2nd, 31 October 1865 at Bath Abbey, Amy (1848-95), second daughter of Charles Hutton esq. of Merri Creek, Victoria (Australia) and later of Bath (Somerset), and had issue:
(1.1) Edwin Martin-Atkins (b. & d. 1863), born 18 December and died in infancy, 19 December 1863;
(2.1) Mary Georgiana Martin-Atkins (1866-83), born 30 August 1866; died unmarried, 3 September 1883;
(2.2) Edith Amy Martin-Atkins (1868-1948) (q.v.);
(2.3) Edwin Martin-Atkins (1870-83), born 18 May 1870; died young, 30 December 1883;
(2.4) Charles Edwin Martin-Atkins (1872-84), born 9 January 1872; died young, 30 April 1884;
(2.5) Alfred Edwin Martin-Atkins (1874-76), born April 1874; died at Middle Brighton, Victoria (Australia), 19 August 1876.
He inherited the Kingston Lisle and Puttenden Manor estates from his father in 1859. After his death, Puttendon Manor was sold in 1878, and the Kingston Lisle estate passed in turn to his sons Edwin (d. 1883) and Charles (d. 1884), and to his daughter Edith, but it was leased out.
He died 6 May 1875; his will was proved 31 August 1875. His first wife died following childbirth, 21/26 December 1863. His widow died at The Priory, Bathwick Hill, Bath (Somerset), 30 October 1895; her will was proved 10 April 1896 (effects £14,797).

Martin-Atkins, Edith Amy (1868-1948). Younger daughter of Edwin Martin Atkins (1838-75) and his second wife Amy, second daughter of Charles Hutton esq. of Bath (Somerset), born 5 July 1868. She lived for 51 years with her friend, Marianne Ward (d. 1947), in Bath.
She inherited the Kingston Lisle estate from her brother in 1884 but let the estate until it was sold in 1908; her tenants included to Col. V.W.B. van de Weyer (fl. 1885-89) and Charles Prioleau (fl. 1900)
She died 4 April 1948; her will was proved 28 June 1948 (estate £163,201).


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1886, pp. 53-54; VCH Berkshire, vol. 4, pp. 311-19; Marcus Binney, 'Kingston Lisle Park, Berkshire', Country Life, 17 June 1971, pp 1524-1527; G. Tyack, S. Bradley & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Berkshire, 2nd edn., 2010, pp. 345-46.

Location of archives

Atkins family of Kingston Lisle: deeds and papers, c.1200-1851 [Berkshire Record Office, D/EFh]

Coat of arms

According to Burke's General Armory, 1884, the family bore the arms of Atkins and Martin quarterly, but the same source gives several different coats of arms for different Atkins families, and it is not clear which one they used.

Can you help?

Here are a few notes about information and images which would help to improve the account above. If you can help with any of these or with other additions or corrections, please use the contact form in the sidebar to get in touch.
  • Can anyone provide an illustration or heraldic description of the Martin-Atkins coat of arms?
  • I would welcome further information on the architectural development of Kingston Lisle House, or views on my interpretation of its development.
  • Can anyone demonstrate a link between the Atkins baronets of Clapham and Abraham Atkins (d. 1742)?
  • Further information about the character and interests of Edwin Martin-Atkins (1808-59) would be very welcome. Can anyone show that he did have architectural interests?

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 7th October 2016. I am grateful to Gareth Hughes for his observations on the development of Kingston Lisle.