One of my great-grandmother on my father's side was Sylvia Drew, who achieved a degree of fame following the publication of extracts of her remarkable early 20th century albums in 'The World of Interiors' in September 2011.
Sylvia's maiden name was Robinson, or Peart Robinson, and this is the story of her family.
Although there are no known family pedigrees or histories to prove it, the Robinsons have reputedly been established landowners and farmers in the Chatburn area, and around the Lancashire/Yorkshire border near Settle, since 1800. One of the earliest records concerns the Surrender of Admission in 1652 of a barn and land known as Blackwood in Ouldlawnd, Forest of Pendle, ‘from John Robinson of Ouldlawnd and his son Edmond to Edmond Stevenson of Bareley, to the use of his son John Stevenson’.[i] Hugo Brown, a great-grandson of John Gorges Robinson, also mentions 'a persistent belief' that the family were 'in some way' connected to the Marquess of Ripon. He mentions a large quantity of plate and silver, including signet rings, that bore the Ripon crest and it is perhaps relevant that the Ripon family name is Robinson.
The earliest known Robinson ancestor of the family was William Robinson who died in 1674. He is believed to have been a son or grandson of the Robinsons of Raydale Worton in Wensleydale Yorkshire. Family lore holds that they were ejected in 1617 by Sir Thomas Metcalfe in what some have called the last private war in England. That story, as kindly relayed to me by Tom Robinson, appears as an appendix to this family history.
His son William Robinson II married Margaret Chatburn and died in 1693. William and Margaret’s son William Robinson III was born in 1677 married Agnes Peart and died in 1736. Agnes was the daughter of Stephen Peart (1630-1709) of Linton by his wife Alice Marshall (1657-1728) of Grassington.
William and Agnes’s son William Robinson IV was born in Linton in 1708, a year before his Grandfather Peart died. He married Sarah Dawson with whom he had a son Josias. William IV died in 1774 while Sarah Robinson was buried at Downham in 1793.[ii]
William IV and Sarah’s son Josias Robinson, was born on 29th March 1749. He became bailiff of Clitheroe in 1806. On 14th October 1807, his daughter received a letter from his wife stating that "your Father must... go to Clitheroe to resign his Bailiffs gown". Josias is mentioned in deeds and wills relating to Clitheroe.
Josias’s wife Susanna Dixon (1758-1824) was the daughter of Abraham Dixon (b. 1722) and Susanna (nee Constantine, of Ketterwell) Dixon of Skipton and granddaughter of William and Grace (nee Fairbank) Dixon of Burnsall.
Evidence in the letters, and from handed-down family names, indicates family connections with the Paleys, Dawsons and Ingrams in the Giggleswick area, and farther afield in Knaresborough and Pontefract. The family were evidently involved with the cotton riots and letters refer to the "turbulent wretches" who burned down a weaving mill at Westhoughton in 1812.
Susanna died on 2nd July 1824 and Josias, plagued with blindness in latter years, died on 3rd March 1827.
The Robinson papers at the National Archives contain considerable correspondence relating to both the Robinson and Peart Robinson families.[iii] “Relative affluence or a surfeit of surviving children may have increased the Robinsons' aspirations and expanded their horizons: the male children and grandchildren of Josias and Susanna largely became middle-class Victorian professionals, as bankers and solicitors, in the army or in the church.”
Josias and Susanna’s eldest child William Robinson V was born on 21st June 1789. On 8th October 1819 the thirty year old was married at Giggleswick to his cousin Jane Peart, born 1786, daughter of Craven Bank co-founder John Peart of Grassington and his wife Ellen (nee Clapham). It was from this marriage that the 'Peart' part of the surname later originated. The marriage was noted in a letter from Zurich written by William’s brother Josias in which he described his journey from Brussels to Zurich, via Waterloo, Cologne etc. In 1837, two years after William Robinson succeeded his father-in-law as a partner in the Craven Bank, the bank moved their premises to the offices of the Wharfedale Railway Company. These were purchased in 1847 and the new branch office was built on this site in 1860. Jane Robinson died in 1843 (or 1858?) and William V died in Settle on 17 February 1872 (1879?). They left issue, of whom we treat anon.
Josias and Susanna’s only daughter Susanna Constantine Robinson was born on St Valentine’s Day, 1791. She died aged 61 on 19th December 1852.
Josias and Susanna’s second son Josias Robinson was born in 1793 and may have been the first of the family to attend university. He gained his BA from Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1814, and was a fellow there from 1816 to 1824. Four of his sons graduated from the same college. In 1824 he became curate at Linton in Craven, Yorkshire (the letters show that he was industrious in establishing himself there even before his appointment). From 1841 to 1843 he was Rector of Alresford, Essex. He died on 20th May 1843 at 38 Park Street, London. His wife Margaret (nee Atkinson) died on 21st October 1861. The Rev. Josias Robinson’s eldest son Alexander became Rector of Linton, while his second son Thomas also served the Church of England as Rector of Wapping 1853-60 and of Poplar 1860. In 1843 all his sons assumed the name Nowell in lieu of Robinson.[iv]
Josias and Susanna’s third son Dixon Robinson (1795-1878) is described on Wikipedia as 'an English lawyer, Gentleman Steward of the Honour of Clitheroe and philanthropist in the 19th Century.' He was born on 17 June 1795 at Chatburn, Lancashire, and became a partner in the firm of Carr and Robinson, solicitors, of Blackburn. This evolved into Robinson and Sons, with Dixon's children Arthur and Henry. The firm's name continued through further generations, the business being carried on through Arthur's sons Frederick Dixon Robinson and Thomas Chambers Robinson. Colonel Geoffrey Robinson, noted in trade directories in 1951, was presumably a great-grandson of Dixon. The firm continued until at least 1966 but appears no longer to be operating with Robinson connections. Deposits by the firm at Lancashire Record Office include Peart-Robinson estate records. Part of the reason why my brother William Bunbury ended up working for Ingham & Yorke in Clitheroe during the 1990s was because the company still looked after the remnants of the Peart Robinson estate around Clitheroe and in Yorkshire.
Dixon was also Gentleman Steward of the Honor of Clitheroe, a position whose residence was Clitheroe Castle, ancient seat of the Lords of Bowland. He served as a colonel in the East Lancashire Volunteers. In June 1823, and again in 1834, he was appointed Deputy Grand Master in the Orange Institution [Lodge] He married twice. His first wife Margaret White, whom he married in Blackburn, bore him a son Josias but both died within a year, Margaret succumbing on 25th November 1820. Dixon Robinson married secondly Matilda Ingram, born 1806, sister of the Rev Robert Ingram. They were wed on 1 Nov 1828 at Kegworth, the Leicestershire town then celebrated for its stocking shops. They had seven sons and five daughters, seven of whom survived to adulthood. Dixon passed away at Clitheroe on 21st July 1878 and Matilda Robinson passed died at Chatburn on 24th August 1886.[v] Their children were:
1. Arthur Ingram Robinson (1832-1912), Solicitor and Gentleman Steward of the Honor of Clitheroe.
2. Frederick Josias Robinson (1833-1892), Architect of Derby. Christ Church, Chatburn was partly paid for by Messrs William & Dixon Robinson and extensions designed by Frederick Josias Robinson. The first perpetual curacy was given to his brother-in-law Rev Robert Ingram. There are many Ingram and Robinson memorials in the church.
3. Col. George Robinson (1835-1907), Bank Manager and director of the Craven Bank. He was a militia colonel, whose Eton and Oxford educated eldest son Geoffrey Robinson changed his name to Geoffrey Dawson on receiving a legacy from a relative on his mother's side and served as editor of The Times from 1912 to 1919. 'George Robinson, with mutton-chop whiskers and heavy tweed cape and deerstalker hat, was a familiar and revered figure in the town. Although he had entered the bank as a clerk he was related to William Robinson, one of the partners. By the turn of the century the bank had 15 full offices and numerous sub branches; Welbury Kendall was Manager at Skipton and acted as A.G.M., and there was an inspector, J. H. Bramwell, whose clerk, Tom Kidd, made a loud buzzing noise when adding a column of figures. In those days the strong room was lit by a gas jet and had an outer and an inner door—each with three keys. Gold was in common use and as the cattle market was held in the High Street bovine entries were not uncommon in the banking hall. The half-yearly balance often lasted until 2 a.m. but Colonel Robinson's store cupboard was thoughtfully left unlocked on such occasions and the staff, other than juniors, refreshed themselves from the directors' stock of beer and whisky. George Robinson's successor in 1901 was J. F. Ponting, formerly Manager of the Keighley branch, whose stringent policies reduced much of the over-optimistic lending and no doubt made possible the amalgamation with the Bank of Liverpool in 1906.' [from 'Four Centuries of Banking'].
4. Susannah Catharine Robinson (1839-1911), married Dr Musson of Clitheroe.
5. Matilda Jane Robinson (1841-1916), married the brewer Norman Watney (1834-1911) who built Valence outside Westerham, Kent.
6. Margaret Elizabeth Robinson (1844-1897), of The Manor House Clitheroe.
5. Henry John Robinson (1845-1913), Solicitor.
Others: Matilda (b. 1829), William Dixon (b. 1831), Robert Acklom (b. 1837), Robert (b. 5 May 1847) & Lucy (b. 1849).
Josias and Susanna’s fourth son John Robinson was born on 13th January 1797 and died aged five on 2nd May 1802.
The archives of Martins Bank (as Craven Bank later became) contains a letter, dated 2 October 1930, written by R M Robinson of Settle, a son of Colonel George Robinson (1835-1907), son of Dixon Robinson and the first General Manager of the Skipton branch, as well as a director of the Craven Bank. The Colonel was a first cousin of William Robinson VI (see below). In the letter, RM Robinson describes the Pearts as ‘a very old Grassington family. I have their pedigree from about 1600. The eldest sons lived at town End Grassington, a pleasant old house …on the way to Coniston … They were named William and Stephen alternately. John Peart was a younger son who went to Richmond to practise as a solicitor. His elder brother Stephen had a son William who went to London. I do not think that John Peart was ever a solicitor in Grassington, but his family banked with the Alcocks, and John Peart, becoming acquainted with the Birkbecks in Settle had a good deal to do with the amalgamation”.[vi]
In 1731, William Peart of Grassington was Barmaster at Grassington to the Earl of Burlington, being answerable to Thomas Hawkswell (the Agent at Bolton Abbey) and Henry Simpson (the Steward). If this is of interest, it is worth googling a mining dispute at Grassington.
In 1791, while Jane was a baby, John Peart became one of six co-founders of the Craven Bank in Skipton, Yorkshire (along with William and John Birkbeck, William Alcock, Joseph Smith and William Lawson). John had been practicing as a solicitor in Richmond and entered banking ‘through his accommodation of the clients of his practice’. [vii] The new banking partnership ‘helped to join in one credit area the small towns in the Craven District with which their families had been traditionally associated and in which they had pioneered rudimentary banking facilities – the Birkbecks of Settle, the Alcocks of Skipton, the Pearts of Grassington and the Lawsons of Giggleswick.” John Peart remained a partner in Craven’s Bank until 1835, during which time they acquired the assets of Chippendale, Netherwood and Carr (the Skipton Bank). He was succeeded by his son in law, William Robinson V.
The ‘Peart’ surname would later be adopted as an unofficial family surname.
William V and Jane’s eldest son William Robinson VI was born at Settle, Yorkshire, and christened in Giggleswick on 8th May 1823. He later succeeded as a partner of Craven Bank and lived at Reedley Bank, Burnley, Lancashire. He married to Essex-born Elizabeth Allen (1839-1882), daughter of Reverend John Allen, who was Vicar of the Lancashire churches of St. Michael's, Clitheroe, and Salford, in succession. Elizabeth’s mother Eleanor Allen (1798-1870) was a daughter of Reverend Dr. Thomas Drake (1745-1819), Vicar of Rochdale, Lancs, from 1790 to 1819, by his wife Eleanor Dobyn Yate. William VI died on 23rd April 1881, aged 57, at Cheadle, Cheshire. That same year, the Craven banking firm was incorporated as the Craven Bank Limited. As Skipton had then become the chief town in the Craven District, the Head Office was moved there from Settle.
Elizabeth Robinson died just over a year later on 1st May 1882 at St Leonard’s on Sea in Sussex. They had at least seven children, Peart Robinson (1861-1938), Jane Constance Robinson (1863-1875), John Gorges Robinson (1866-1919), Beatrice von Polenz (1870-1946), Mary Robinson (1870-1933), Madeleine Barrett (1872-1916) and Esmond Robinson, all of whom are dealt with in more detail below.
William V and Jane’s second son the Rev. John Robinson was a clergyman and married Catherine Harrison. He may have been responsible for the building of new schools at Settle which were later to become the pride of his kinsman, John Gorges Robinson. Catherine died in Sidmouth on 22 Feb 1878. The Rev. John died at Rosebank, Sidmouth, on 11 January 1886. They left no known children.
William VI and Elizabeth’s eldest son was William Peart Robinson, known as Peart Robinson. In 1881, he succeeded his late father as a partner of the Craven Bank. On 14th July 1885, 24-year-old Peart was presented to the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) by the Lord Mayor of London at a Levee at St. James’s Palace.[viii] Just under a year later, he was conferred with a BA at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford.[ix]
On 12th January 1887, William Peart Robinson ‘of Settle and Reedley Bank, Burnley’ was married at the British Embassy in Paris to Edith Mary Radley, known to the family as Mamie, and later as Gaggy. Her late father James Radley lived at St. Helen’s and Liverpool while her grandfather was William Stewart Trench, MD, of Liverpool.[x] The Radley surname would be passed onto Peart and Edith’s grandson Anthony Radley Drew.
Above: The mariage of William Peart Robinson and Edith Radley, 1887.
The photograph and the following caption was kindly supplied by Richard Ellis in May 2014.
Back (L-R): The bridesmaids Adelaide & Beatrice Robinson (or vice v), John G Robinson (best man) or J Trench Radley (giving away), Mrs Radley (m), John GR or JTR, Mrs Trench (gm), Radley bros (unless extreme r is JGR or JTR)
Sitting (L-R): Bridesmaid Miss Drysdale, WPR, Allen G Robinson train-bearer with Cecilia Yelf Radley, EMR.
Family legend holds that Edith went to study music in East Germany and met Peart on a train on the way to or from Dresden where Peart’s sister Beatrice von Polenz (see below) lived. According to Angela Peart-Robinson, Edith and her mother Mrs. M. E. Radley were in Germany for the winter season when their train made an unscheduled stop in the middle of nowhere. When Mrs. Radley enquired what was happening, she and was told that an English Milord had telegraphed for the train to stop and pick him up. Peart duly came along to apologize for inconveniencing the ladies and Edith batter here eyelids appreciatively. Mrs. Radley evidently reckoned Peart was an extremely good bet and lo 17-year-old Edith was married in Paris.
On 10th May 1888, the new Mrs. Peart Robinson, was presented to Queen Victoria by lady Hardman in her Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace.[xi] Ten weeks later, Peart was appointed a director of the Craven Bank in the place of William Alcock.[xii] 1889 also brought civic duties as he was appointed JP for Lancashire in 1889 and for Westmoreland in 1915).
By now, the impetus of the Industrial Revolution was waning. Three of the Craven Bank directors joined the board of the Bank of Liverpool—Peart, Samuel Catlow and Arthur Slingsby— and for a time R. H. Gardner, Superintendent of Branches, lived in Skipton and organised the new Craven District. In 1906, following the amalgamation of the Bank of Liverpool with the Craven Bank, of which he was a director, Peart became a director of the Bank of Liverpool Limited, and was later on the board of directors of Martins Limited, and its successor Martins Bank Limited.[xiii] But in and around Skipton one will still hear the Bank referred to as the Craven Bank to this day. Mary Ellis has two of the original Craven Bank notes in her possession.
Peart and Edith lived at Reedley Hall, Lancashire, the house built by William Robinson VI, where their daughter Dorothy was born in 1890. [xiv] Seven children followed – Sylvia, Esmond, Dorothy, Ivo, Vivian, Aubyn and Angela. The boys were educated at Eton and Wellington, while the three girls were educated at home by governesses, although Sylvia may have gone to Paris or Germany, possibly to study art and music with the von Polenzes in Dresden.
Their family became known as the Peart Robinsons, to distinguish them from all the other Robinson families around Burnley. All of their children were baptized Peart so that they could be called, e.g. Angela Peart Robinson, without formally altering the surname. Most ceased using the Peart name after the family moved south. Their daughter Sylvia, or E.S.D., never used the Peart name after her marriage to Jack Drew which caused havoc with the lawyers when she was signing a will in the 1950’s and had to sign her full name. She automatically wrote ‘Robinson’ rather than ‘Drew once she had got to Peart!
From about 1910, or shortly after Sylvia and Jack Drew’s wedding, they took a lease of the old Wilson family home of Dallam Tower, Milnthorpe, Westmoreland. The owner was still a minor. Dallam Tower was built in 1720 by Daniel Wilson, and the Wilson family have owned the house ever since. In 1892, the Wilson family were tragically wiped out by flu, within two weeks of each other, all signing each other’s death certificates. They left Dallam Tower to their cousin Sir Maurice Bromley- Wilson who at the time was a minor. Sir Maurice travelled a lot and from time to time Dallam Tower, which was rather a big house to live in alone, was leased out between 1900 and 1940. According to the Dallam archives, the Peart-Robinsons also appear to have rented Dallam Tower between 1919 to 1923. One of their letters refers to a special tree in the garden which Peart appears to have felled without permission. When the Dallam lease ran out, the family moved to Hyning, Carnforth, but, finding it not to their liking, they then moved down to London.
In May 1937, Peart resigned his seat as a director of Martin’s Bank ‘feeling that he could no longer give that close attention to the bank which he had so long maintained’. The board recorded ‘their appreciation of his highly valued services’ in The Times of 19th January 1938. Two months later, on 15th March, the 76-year-old banker passed away at 71 Victoria Road, London.[xv]
I presume he is the same W. Peart Robinson listed as author of ‘The customs union question’ and ‘The Burning Question’?
Peart's oldest sister Jane Constance Robinson was born in 1863 but died aged 12 in the second quarter of 1875 and was buried in Burnley.
Peart’s brother John Gorges Robinson, BA, JP, was born in 1866 and educated at Rugby. He studied at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and, as his descendant Hugo Brown noted in an email to me in April 2014, 'he seems to have an abiding interest in geology.' FRS. He was married at St Luke’s, Bold Street, Liverpool, to Ellen Cochrane Drysdale, the daughter of John James Drysdale, MD Edin. (1816–1890), a Scottish homeopathic surgeon who had chosen to practice in Rodney Street, Liverpool. Known as Nella, she was born in Liverpool in 1867 or 1868. They initially lived at Cragdale (or Cragside), Settle, where John was closely allied to Settle’s Music Hall (later Victoria Hall), established in 1853. His acquaintances included Professor Percy Fry Kendall, DSc. John Gorges Robinson died in Hoo, Windermere, on 3rd June 1919.
Hugo Browne adds: 'At some point, they bought a large estate overlooking Lake Windermere called St Catherine’s from the Earl of Bradford. And then, because he suffered from severe asthma, they built a monster bungalow in Windermere called ‘The Hoo’. No stairs, and garages for the cars. It is still there, and is divided into flats for rich Mancunians. My father remembers miles of parquet floored corridors and a music room with two grand pianos. The house at St Catherine’s was demolished by my great grandmother because she was worried about an infestation of tramps. The estate was left to the National Trust by my great aunt (circa 1984).'
John and Nella had two daughters who survived childhood. Jessica Gorges Robinson, the eldest, was born in 1898 at Hanover Square, London, and had an unsuccessul marriage to Edward Ferreira, with whom she had a son, Christopher. A formidable woman, Hugo recalls her living at St Catherine’s in a replacement bungalow. Upon her death circa 1984, she left the estate to the National Trust.
Victoria Margery Robinson, the younger sister, was born in 1901 and is presumed to have been educated by governesses before studying at Somerville, Oxford. She then trained to be a doctor at Kings College, London. She was a fellow of the Royal Society of Anaesthetists, and practised as a GP in Devon. She married George Stephenson Brown of Keswick and passed away in 1993. They had two children - Michael David Meredith Brown (b.1936, went to Christ Church, became a solicitor. father of Hugo) and Elizabeth Mary Violet, called Gina (b.1940).
The reason Peart and edith met in Germany may have been connected to Peart’s sister Beatrice Robinson who was born on 5th December 1868 and educated (probably in music) at the Conservatory, Wroclaw, Poland. In 1888, she was married at St. Mary Abbots, Kensington, London, to the German novelist Wilhelm Christoph von Polenz (1861-1903). His father Julius von Polenz (1825-1890) was sometime Chamberlain to the King of Saxony, his mother was Clara von Wechmar and his brother was Benno von Polenz (1865-1928), a local government administrator. Wilhelm was educated in Dresden and then, at his father’s request, studied law at he Universities of Breslau, Berlin and Leipzig, at all times preferring the arts. By the time of his marriage to Beatrice, he had embarked on his career as a writer, and his friends included the writers Heinrich and Julius Hart , Gerhart Hauptmann , Otto Erich Hartleben and Hermann Conradi . In 1890, the year his father died [check], he published his first novel, "Atonement." Four years later, he moved to the family manor of Ober Cunewalde, near Dresden. Impressed by the naturalism and the works of Émile Zola and Tolstoy , with whom he enjoyed a friendly exchange of letters, he produced his most famous novel "The Büttner Bauer" (1893), a contemporary tale of peasant life regarded as one of the most important epic works of naturalism. In 1902 he went to the USA and penned the essay "America, The Land of the Future" (1903). He died in Bautzen on 13th November that same year, aged 42, from cancer. His death was reported in the New York Times.
Beatrice, or 'Aunt Beattie', died circa 1946, shortly after the war, at Bautzen, Saxony, Germany. Apparently she was rarely discussed by her English releatives who felt so guilty that she had effectively starved to death in post-war Germany and was not allowed out because her British passport had expired.
They had two sons, George Helmut von Polenz (b. 1891) and Wilhelm Erich von Polenz (1895-1991, graduated with a Doctor Jurisprudence, lived at Bautzen) and two daughters, Marie Helene von Polenz (b. 1890) and Clara Beatrice von Polenz (b. 1896).
Peart’s next sister Mary Adelaide was born in Burnley in 1870. She married her cousin Dixon Robinson who was born on 16th May 1869, possibly in Blackburn. They had a son, William Eric Dixon Robinson (of whom more shortly) and two daughters who died unmarried, namely Elizabeth Constance Dixon Robinson (4 Sept 1902 – 1980) and Rosamund Dixon Robinson (30 Nov 1908 – 1986). Mary Adelaide died on 11th November 1933, while her husband Dixon died in Hempsted six months later on 30th April 1934.
Their son William Eric Dixon Robinson was born on 3rd September 1900, married Nellie Watson (1906-1984) and died in July 1973. Their daughter Elizabeth Jane Dixon Robinson was born on 2nd December 1937, married John Bland and has three children in Australia (Joanna Jane Bland, b. 1962; Stuart John Elwen Bland, b. 1964; Peter John Bland, b. 1968). William and Nellie’s son Dixon Robinson married Jennifer Purvis and has two sons Andrew Dixon Robinson (b. 1969) and Timothy Dixon Robinson (b. 1973).
Peart’s third sister (Frances) Madeleine Robinson was born at Burnley on 27th May 1872. She was married on 12th January 1893 to Robert Bell Barrett, JP (1856-26 April 1938) of Gosforth, Northumberland, agent to Lord Hothfield at Skipton Castle, North Yorkshire. He was the second son and fourth child of Captain Samuel Goodin Barrett (1812-1872), Perthshire Militia, by his wife Susanna Maria (nee Bell, of Newbiggen Cumberland). Madeleine died on 24th February 1916.
Above: Dorothy Peart Robinson who married Geoffrey Sherston.
Robert and Madeleine Bell Barrett had four children. Their firstborn was a daughter, born in Skipton in 1893 and christened Monica Dulcibella Barrett. Following the death of her first cousin Dorothy Sherston (nee Peart Robinson, see below), Monica then married the widowed Captain Geoffrey Sherston. Like her cousin Sylvia Drew, Monica created a handsome day-book between 1923 and 1927 which her step-grandson Kasper de Graaf has posted online as his contributions to 'The Heirloom Project', entitled 'Book'.
She died in August 1980. Their son Captain John Geoffrey Sherston died in 2000 and left a daughter Lucinda.
Robert and Madeleine’s son Captain Robin Coventry Barrett was born on 14th Feb 1895 and educated at Cambridge. He was a chartered surveyor. On 18th June 1924, he married Dorothy Winifred Assheton, daughter of Sir Ralph Cockayne Assheton, 1st Bt, a senior figure on Lancashire County Council and Lord of the Manor of Downham. Sir Ralph’s wife Mildred Estelle Sybella Master was the daughter of an East India Company man. Dorothy’s sister Mary Monica Assheton was married to Captain Peter Fleetwood-Hesketh, architectural correspondent for the Daily Telegraph between 1964 and 1967.
Robert and Madeleine’s younger children were Harry Eden Barrett and Vera Doris Madeline Barrett (b. c. 1890) who married Captain Anthony Milburn.
Peart’s youngest brother Edmond Allen Robinson was born on 30th September 1872 and married Kate Blacker. We know no more yet.
The Times | June 26, 1923
Married Women's Tax. TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES. Sir,-The Prime Minister in his speech to the Rhodes Scholars at Oxford defined, the characteristic of the English-speaking peoples to be a love of justice. He has now as Chancellor of the Exchequer an opportunity of proving this by removing the injustice to married women of taxing them at a higher rate than the unmarried, in spite of their having heavier financial and other responsibilities. When the Married Woman's Property Act was passed no corresponding amendment was made in the Income-Tax Act recognizing the fact that a married woman's income is an individual income which it was not at the time of the passing of the Income-Tax Act. The injustice was admitted by Mr. Lloyd George when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, but defended on the ground that the removal of the injustice would involve raising the in- come-tax. A woman's income for income-tax purposes should be what she possesses in her own right, and not by gift from her husband, and the machinery since devised for taxing gifts among living persons (dona intcr vivos) should enable the Treasury to avoid any loss through the attempt of married persons to equalize their incomes, a course which could only appeal to a small minority.
Hyning, Carnforth, June 24.
Peart and Edith Robinsons’ eldest son William Esmond Peart Robinson was born in Liverpool on 5th December 1891 and educated at Eton.[xvi] He served with the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry during the war, joining up in 1909.[xvii] On Christmas Day 1913, the 22-year-old married Gladys Dora, daughter of the late William Joseph Pattinson Shewen, of Hessingham. In June 1918, The London Gazette reported: ‘Lt. (actg. Capt.) W. E. Peart-Robinson (Yeo., T.F.) relinquishes the acting rank of Capt. on ceasing to be employed with the Corps. 27 May 1918.’ It is believed Esmond passed away on 23 August 1972, as the Ellis’s have a reference in their mother's handwriting which states that this was the "date of inheritance".
Peart and Edith Robinsons’ second son Captain Ivo Peart Robinson, King’s Own Royal Regt, was born in Burnley on 30th June 1897. He was educated at Eton and the RMC Sandhurst. On 10th July 1918, he was married firstly to Kathleen Evans, daughter of Lloyd Evans, who bore him a daughter at Dallam Tower, Milnthorpe, on 9th September 1921, whom they named Dorothy. It looks like he and Kathleen were divorced and he married secondly Norah Mary Hunter. [xix] Ivo passed away on 2nd August 1950, at which time his registered address was 83 Montpelier, Cheltenham. His executors were his daughter Mrs. Dorothy Peart Freeman and a Mrs. Mamie Helen Bird. Norah Robinson died in Gloucester on 21st November 1948.
His daughter Dorothy Peart Robinson was married in 1944 to Captain Alfred Francis Freeman, MC, who became a Brigadier in the Royal Corps of Signals. [xx] Born in Woolwich on 24th March 1916, he attended the Imperial Service College (1930-1934) before joining the Royal Signals at the RMA Woolwich. He became a lieutenant in 1939 and saw action in France and Belgium with the 7th Guards Brigade in 1939-1940. His role was to manage the despatch riders and he won the Military Cross in 1940. ('Images of War: Motorcycles at War', by Gavin Birch). He was promoted to Captain in 1944, serving in North West Europe 1944-1945, and being mentioned in Despatches in 1945. He was assigned to South East Asia Command from 1945 to 1946. In 1949, he was promoted to Major, joining the 1st Commonwealth Division Signals Korea in 1953. He was promoted Lieutenant Colonel and then Colonel in 1962 and Brigadier in 1966 while HQ'd at the Singapore Base. He was Chief Signals Officer of the Northern Command. He died on 15 October 1992, leaving an estate valued at £499,267 net. (from The Independant). The Freemans lived at Upper Brailes, Warwickshire, where Dorothy passed away in July 2010. She is survived by Frank, Sue, Nigel and Judi.
Peart and Edith Robinsons’ third son Allen Vivian Peart Robinson was born on 30th July 1899 at Burnley, Lancashire. He was land agent for the Duke of Wellington’s estates (including the Wolverton and Wellington estates, but not property in London) from 1948 to 1967, succeeding Alex Lee (of Hawett & Lee) and being succeeded by C. Scott in 1967. He lived at Cottrells near Stratfield Saye House, the large stately home which has been the home of the Dukes of Wellington since 1817. Vivian died aged 80, ‘peacefully’ at Basingstoke District Hospital on 4th September 1978.[xviii]
Peart and Edith Robinsons’ fourth and youngest son Aubyn Peart Robinson was born in Burnley on 18th July 1902 and educated at Wellington and Cambridge. He was an architect, noted for his work on the restructuring of Lisnavagh House, County Carlow, Ireland, with his cousin Pamela Rathdonnell. He died on 19th August 1985, after a short illness, at Mount Alvernia Hospital, Guildford, Surrey.[xxi]
Peart and Edith Robinsons’ second daughter Dorothy Peart Robinson was born in Liverpool in 1893. On July 29th 1918, The Times announced her engagement to Captain Geoffrey W. Sherston, MC (1891-1946), a Wellington-educated Grand National jockey serving with the Rifle Brigade. Geoffrey was the second son of Lt.-Col. John Sherston. D.S.O., Rifle Brigade, who was killed in action in the Boer War, aged 42. John was a grandson of Major Hamilton Maxwell by his marriage to Isabella Bunbury, the mother of Lord Roberts. At the time of the wedding, Geoffrey’s widowed mother Alice Sherston (nee Bamfield) lived at the Red Cottage, Farnham Common.
Dorothy and Geoffrey’s wedding took place at St. James’s Church, Piccadilly, on the afternoon of Wednesday 21st August 1918. Peart Robinson gave his daughter away while the same the Rev. John Huxley who had presided over his marriage to Edith in Paris in the 1880s officiated. The Rev. Huxley was by now Vicar of St. Mark's, Norwich. The Times further noted: “The bridesmaids were Miss Monica Barrett and Miss Angela and Miss Betty Robinson. Colonel Porter, D.S.O., 60th Rifles, was best man. Among those present at the church, and afterwards at the Hotel Jules, were:-Mrs. Sherston, Mrs. Peart Robinson, Lady Roberts and Lady Edwina Lewin, Sir Ian and Lady Hamilton, Colonel Pollen, Colonel Ridgeway, VC., Colonel Cape, Sir John Hewett, Mrs. F. Robinson, Mrs. Dixon Robinson, Commander and Mrs. Spencer-Cooper, Commander Hugh Taylor, Lady Bisset, Mrs. W Garnett, General Cockburn, and many others.”[xxii]
On 1st March 1920, she had a daughter, Dorothy, better known as the extraordinary Dutch SOE operative Door de Graaf, who died on 2nd January 2011. [For more on Door, see her obituary from the Telegraph here]. In October 2011, I was delighted to be contacted for the first time by Door's son Kasper de Graaf who came upon this webpage through the power of Google - such are the joys of our small world.
However, just two days after Door's birth, Dorothea Sherston succumbed to puerperal fever. Geoffrey soon remarried Monica Barrett, his wife’s first cousin, who had been a bridesmaid at their wedding. Geoffrey was later agent for the Zetland estates.
Click here for a portrait of Dorothy Peart Robinson by Guy Lipscombe.
The Times | November 9, 1940: MR. J. L.. EBERLE. R.N.V.R., AND Miss SHERSTON The engagement is announced between Sub- Lieutenant John Leonard Eberle, R.N.V.R., younger son of Mr. and Mrs. G. F. Eberle, of Wick' House. Easton-in-Gordano, Somerset, and Dorothy, eldest daughter of Captain R. W. Sherston, M.C., late Ritlc Brigade, of Olliver, Richmond, Yorkshire, and, granddaughter of the late Mr. W. Peart Robinson, of 71, Victoria Road, Kensington, London, W.8.
Peart and Edith’s youngest daughter Angela Peart Robinson was born at Reedley Hall on 2 June 1904. In 1937, she married acclaimed orthopaedic surgeon Valentine Herbert Ellis, son of Major-General P. M. Ellis, A.M.S. He died suddenly in September 1953, leaving a son Richard and daughter Mary. He was honoured with a considerable obituary in the British Medical Journal.[xxiii]
Peart and Edith’s eldest daughter Edith Sylvia Peart Robinson was born on 13th November 1887 in Liverpool at her grandmother’s house in Abercrombie Square, it being customary in the Victorian Age for a bride to return to her mother for the birth of her first child. As well as Governesses at Reedley Hall, it is belied she studied art and music in Paris or Gerany, possibly with her von Polenz relatives in Dresden.
On 5th August 1909, the 22-year-old married 27-year-old Jack Drew (1881-1933) of Lower House, Burnley. Her father Peart Robinson was based at of Reedley Hall, Burnley, at this time. Her sister Angela, who was a bridesmaid, had many stories about the wedding, such as the grown up bridesmaids' dresses which all came from Lucille, an incredibly smart Edwardian London dressmaker. Angela, Aubyn and Vivian also developed ringworm on the eve of the wedding, supposedly from trying on the hats which had been sent on approval from London. They had to have their heads shaved as soon as the wedding was over.
Jack, or John Malcolm Drew, was born on 8th November 1881, probably at Lowerhouse. He was the second of three children born to Daniel Drew, JP, a calico printer based in Burnley, and his wife Rhoda (nee Appleby, 1851-1919). Rhoda’s father was Joseph Appelby, a wealthy textiles magnate from the Blackburn region. There is a fascinating collection of photographs from the 1890s detailing the Appelby's various (and colossal) mills at Blackburn, Enfield, Bootle and Bridgewater. There are shots of the various chimney stacks "From the North", "From the South" or "From a Meadow". There are also some clever images of the whole bleaching-drying-stacking-dyeing process. It all looks suitably industrial and Lancastrian.
Jack Drew’s elder sister Margery married John Oscar Sillem in 1912 and died without children in 1923 at the age of 43. Jack’s only brother Alan Appleby Drew was killed while fighting with the Scottish Rifles at the battle of Neuve Chappelle in March 1915, aged 31. I have visited his grave and I own his hairbrush.
Jack was educated at Charterhouse (Gownboys), leaving in 1900 to study at Yorkshire College in Leeds. He then joined the family firm of Alexander Drew & Sons (Calico-Printers & Shippers). According to the album, he and Sylvia were living in their first home at Ighten, Grange, Burnley, by the time the "Charterhouse register, 1872-1910" was compiled in 1910. They later lived at Lower House for a while, then moved into Burnley and finally settled at Eversley in Milnthorpe. He served as a JP in 1917.
Jack and Sylvia (E.S.D.) had five children – Pamela (later Lady Rathdonnell, my grandmother), Diana, John, Hermione and Anthony. Sylvia Drew has beautifully catalogued two decades of family life in the build up and aftermath of the Great War, wonderfully interwoven with her own watercolours, dinner menus, invitations, electoral posters, theatrical card sheets and other memorabilia from this romantic age. Sylvia died in January 1970. She was responsible for making the albums which used to sit on a table in the bay window in the drawing room at High Leasghyll, so that nieces, grandchildren and others could spend happy hours looking through them. An article I wrote about these wonderful albums appeared in the September 2011 edition of ‘The World of Interiors’.
With thanks to Mary Ellis, Tom Robinson, Colette Higgins-Keane (Estate Secretary, Dallam Tower Estate), Mrs. Susie Villiers-Smith (Dallam Tower Estate Office), Lord Rathdonnell, Kasper de Graaf, Hugo Brown (grandson of Victoria Marjorie Robinson) and Jonathan Snowden (Martins Bank Archive).
[i] The Surrender and Regrant took place in the Halmot Court of the Forest of Pendle, manor of Ightenhill. It is recorded in papers held by the National Archives DDX 1637/7/1
[ii] Sarah was the daughter of William Dawson of Halton Gill, Yorkshire by his wife Elizabeth Bouch, the daughter of the Rev. Thomas Bouch, Rector of Whittington.
William and Elizabeth married 3 Jan 1709/10 at Whittington. (Source: Remains, Historical and Literary, connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester, pub Chetham Society. Whittington parish register, transcript at http://www.lan-opc.org.uk).
Sarah Dawson was baptised at Halton Gill chapel 4 Jan 1714/15 (Source: family tree and IGI p007201)
"Michael Bouche 1st recorded of the line whose son Anthony 1599-1672 was sheriff of Cumberland. The Rev Thomas Bouche will dated 1714 and youngest son of Anthony Bouche and Rector of Whittington, seems to have been the last male heir, Rector of Whittington" (Armorial for Cumberland, Frederick James Field, 1937, Google books copy read at Brit Lib.). Not yet sure whether Rev Thomas Bouch is the son of the sheriff or whether there is a generation in between the wording is not clear. Her mother was Vigesima Jackson (chr 6 sept 1657 at Whittington) the daughter of the previous Rector, Rev Richard Jackson, son of William Jackson mercer of Kirkby Lonsdale. Vigesima was the dau of Richard's 2nd wife Jane Carter 26 Jan 1647 618. (“Whittington parish register,” www.parishthethought.us/whitM1.doc.)
[iii] See www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=055-ddx1637&cid=-1#-1
[iv] See J Foster, Alumni Oxoniensis vol. III (1891), and the Nowell pedigree in T D Whitaker, The History and Antiquities of the Deanery of Craven, vol. II (1878), p.556.
[v] Matilda Robinson’s will is dated 30 Aug. 1853, with codicil dated 19 Apr. 1856. Dixon Robinson died on 21 July 1878 at Clitheroe, Lancashire.
[vi] Text abridged from FOUR CENTURIES OF BANKING VOL II © MARTINS BANK LIMITED 1968.
[viii] The Times | July 14, 1885. By command of the Queen a Levee was held yesterday afternoon at St. James's Palace by his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales on behalf of Her Majesty. Mr. Peart Robinson [was presented to the Prince], by the Lord Mayor, M.P.
[ix] The Times | July 5, 1886. Oxford: A congregation was held on Thursday morning in the Sheldonian Theatre, at which the following degrees were conferred … and it refers to William Peart Robinson’s BA.
[x] The Times | January 21, 1887. On Wednesday, the 12th inst, at the British Embassy, Paris, by the Rev. John Huxley, of Southwell, WILLIAM PEART ROBINSON of Settle, and Reedley Bank, Burnley to EDITH MARY, daughter of the late JAMES RADLEY, of St. Helen’s and Liverpool, and granddaughter of the late William Stewart Trench. M.D.. of Liverpool. (We had the Trench family tree which I gifted to my housemaster John Chenevix Trench).
AN OBITUARY TO WILLIAM STEWART TRENCH, M.D., LIVERPOOL.
DR. W. S. TRENCH was born in Jamaica, and came, early in life, to this country to be educated. He subsequently entered the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated as M.D. in I831, and, in the same year, became L.R.C.S. Edin. In addition to his medical training when passing through the University, Dr. Trench exhibited considerable proficiency both in mathematics and classics, the former of which he subsequently found of great service when medical officer of health. On the completion of his academical career, he returned to Jamaica, and commenced practice in Kingston, which he continued for some time, acquiring a considerable reputation. The climate of Jamaica, however, not suiting him, he returned to England; and, soon after his arrival, establishing himself in Liverpool, he obtained a very lucrative practice.
In I862, on the death of Dr. Duncan, Dr. Trench was elected medical officer of health for the borough of Liverpool. The year of his appointment was that one known as the " cotton famine" period. The distress produced among the Liverpool dock-labourers was aggravated by the influx into the port of large numbers of men in search of work. The lower parts of the town became densely crowded, and typhus fever raged with great violence. Under Dr. Trench's direction, steps were taken which fortunately tended to the decrease of the epidemic.
In i866, the town was visited by another epidemric of typhus, followed shortly afterwards by a visitation of cholera. The steamer Helvetia arriving in Liverpool with cholera on board, Dr. Trench insisted on the vessel being removed to the quarantine portion of the river, and the transferring of the passengers to a hospital-ship.
The following are some of the improvements which occurred under Dr. Trench's directions:
1. The removal of middens and the substitution of water-closets;
2. The removal of tunnel-middens, which ran under the houses and were frequently not emptied for years;
3. The registering of sublet lodging-houses, so as to prevent overcrowding;
4. Extending house-to-house visitation by sanitary inspectors;
5. The establishment of houses for the disinfection of clothing; and the disinfecting of houses in which fever had occurred.
Besides these, may be noticed the total abolition of cesspools; the prevention of the establishment of noxious manufactures in the vicinity of inhabited houses; the almost total prevention of intramural interments; the erection of abattoirs under local control; the widening of streets, and the erection of baths, washhouses, etc.
For more on Dr. Trench, see Rita Scott’s article ‘Dr William Stewart Trench, Medical Officer of Health for Liverpool, 1863-1876: From Middens to WCS.’ Medical Historian - The Bulletin of the Liverpool Medical History Society’, Number 13 - 2002-2003, p. 12-21.
[xi] The Times | May 10, 1888. The Drawing Room. Her Majesty the Queen held a Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace yesterday afternoon, Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein and the Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, attended by the Rt Hon. Mrs. Stopford and Colonel G. G. Gordon were present. Mrs. Peart Robinson, was presented by Lady Hardman.
[xii] The Times | July 21, 1888. Mr. William Alcock, in consequence of his having ceased to reside in the district has tendered his resignation as a director of the [Craven Bank], and in his place the directors have appointed Mr. William Peart Robinson.
[xiii] Volume Two of "Four Centuries of Banking" (Martins Bank, pub Batsford Books 1968, now out of print but found regularly on Ebay) contains an entire section on the history of the Craven Bank, its directors, and the role they played when their bank was amalgamated with the Bank of Liverpool in 1906. A summary follows below:
“Like Barclays, Martins developed from a London goldsmith’s business - the first Martin partner was Thomas in 1703. Its customers were commercial rather than personal. Despite a serious ‘run’ on its reserves in 1890 during the Baring crisis Martins survived and became a limited company in 1891. It began to expand as a clearing bank with a few branches, but its main development came after 1918 when it amalgamated with the Bank of Liverpool - founded in 1831 as one of the first English joint-stock banks. Thereafter expansion was rapid. By 1926 there were 378 branches, but only 28 were in London and the south. Head Office (rebuilt 1932), remained at Water Street in Liverpool (Martins was unique in this respect), and 68 Lombard Street (rebuilt 1930), became the principal London office. Foreign exchange was an important part of the Bank's business at this time, especially in the industrial north where goods were imported and exported on a large scale.
Martins strengthened its position further in the north of England by acquiring the Lancashire & Yorkshire Bank in 1928. Steady expansion across the country followed, despite falling profits during the Depression, so that by 1939 there were 570 branches. World War II brought Martins the honour of storing Britain's gold reserves in the Liverpool strong rooms. During the 50s and 60s Martins gained a reputation as a modern innovative bank, moving into hire purchase in 1958 by acquiring Mercantile Credit, matching the ‘swinging’ mood of the 60s in its advertising. Martins was the first UK bank to look into using, and then to commission a COMPUTER for bank book keeping purposes. Martins was also the first bank to install a CASH MACHINE in the North of England. The other interesting acquisition in 1958 was the business of Lewis's department store bank, another Liverpool enterprise started in 1928 and with branches in all the Lewis's shops and at London Selfridges.
The official COAT OF ARMS of Martins Bank combined the golden grasshopper, representing the original Martins partners in Lombard Street, with the liver bird representing the Bank of Liverpool.
[xiv] The original Dallam Tower, a pele-tower, was built c.1375, and "stood just in front of the present tower, at the foot of the steps, about 20 yards beyond the public road, and looked down the river towards Whitbarrow Scar". It was enclosed c.1546 in a new house, but the whole was evidently demolished in 1720-3, when the present house was built.” The present house is set in 150 acres of beautiful parkland on the banks of the river Bela, boasting magnificent gardens and a glass panelled orangery. It is not open to the public but has been used frequently for charitable events.
See: Map of the Lake District, showing Dallam Tower, published in A Description of Scenery in the Lake District, by William Ford, published by Charles Thurnham, London, 1839.
See: New Map of the District of the Lakes, in Westmorland, Cumberland, and Lancashire, scale about 4 miles to 1 inch, by Jonathan Otley, engraved by J and G Menzies, Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland, published by J Otley, Keswick, Cumberland now Cumbria, 1818; published 1818 to 1850s.
[xv] The Times | January 19, 1938. In May last, Mr. Peart Robinson, feeling that he could no longer give that close attention to the bank which he had so long maintained, resigned. He joined the board as far back as 1906 on the amalgamation with the Craven Bank, of which he was a director. The board record their appreciation of his highly valued services.
The Times | March 15, 1938. ROBINSON.-On March It. 1938. at 71. Victoria Road. Kensington. WILLIAM PEART ROBINSON. late Director of Martins Bank. aged 76. Funeral private. No flowers.
[xvi] W.E. Peart Robinson was registered in Liverpool in 1892.
[xviii] See the Wellington Estate Collection.
The Times | September 5, 1978. ROBINSON.-On 4th September peacefully. In Basingstoke District Hospital. Vivian Peart Robinson of Cottrells, Heckfield. Hants. In his 80th yr. Funeral service private. No flowers or letters, please.
Also: In December 1920, Mrs Peart Robinson placed an advertisement in The Times seeking a second housemaid of three for Dallam Tower.
The Times | September 16, 1921. PEART ROBINSON.-On the 9th Sept., at Dallam Tower. Milnthorpe, Westmorland, the wife of CAPTAIN IVO PEART-ROBINSON, of a daughter.
[xx] See Kelly’s Handbook, Vol. 95, 1969.
[xxi] The Times | August 21, 1985. ROBINSON. - On 19th August 198S. after a short illness. Aubyn Peart Robinson. architect. Funeral private. No flowers but donations may be send to: Mount Alvernia Hospital. Guildford.
[xxii] The Times | July 29, 1918. The marriage arranged between Captain G. W. Sherston, M.10, Rifle Brigade, and Miss Dorothy Peart Robinson will take place at St. James’s Church, Piccadilly, on Wednesday, August 21, at 2.30. No invitations will be sent, but all friends will be welcome at the church and afterwards at Jules Hotel, Jermyn St.
The Times | August 22, 1918. MARRIAGES. CAPTAIN SHERSTON AND MISS ROBINSON. The marriage of Captain Geoffrey Sherston, M.C., Rifle Brigade, and Miss Dorothy Peart Robinson, younger daughter of Mr. W. Peart Robinson of Dallam Tower, Milnthorpe, who gave away the bride, took place yesterday at St. James's Church, Piccadilly. The officiating clergyman was the Rev. John Huxley. The bridesmaids were Miss Monica Barrett and Miss Angela and Miss Betty Robinson. Colonel Porter, D.S.O., 60th Rifles, was best man. Among those present at the church, and afterwards at the Hotel Jules, were:-Mrs. Sherston, Mrs. Peart Robinson, Lady Roberts and Lady Edwina Lewin, Sir Ian and Lady Hamilton, Colonel Pollen, Colonel Ridgeway, VC., Colonel Cape, Sir John Hewett, Mrs. F. Robinson, Mrs. Dixon Robinson, Commander and Mrs. Spencer-Cooper, Commander Hugh Taylor, Lady Bisset, Mrs. W Garnett, General Cockburn, and many others.
The Times | August 27, 1918. SHERSTON: PEART ROBINSON.-On the 21st Aug. at St. James's Church. Piccadilly, by the Rev. John Huxley, Vicar of St. Mark's, Norwich. Captain Geoffrey Sherston, MC, Ride Brigade, second son of the late Lt.-Col. John Sherston. D.S.O.. Rifle Brigade, and Mrs. Sherston, the Red Cottage, Farnhan Common, to Dorothy, second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Peart Robinson of Dallam Tower, Milnthorpe.
As Tom Robinson puts it, the ownership of this property, occupied by the Robinsons, was in dispute. Sir Thomas had mortgaged the property for £100, but failed to pay interest or the capital back, so Robinson for-closed and took the property. However while John Robinson was seeking legal advice about Raydale in London, Sir Thomas attempted to take the house by force. Mrs Robinson escaped to York where she recruited her nephew Nicholas Assheton. A transcript of the ensuing siege, taken from Nicholas Assherton’s journal follows:
June 4th. This evening came Sir Tho. Medcalfe wth 40 menn, or thereabouts, at sunsett, or after, to Raydll House, in Wensladale, wth gunns, abt half a score bills, picks, swords, and other warlike p'vision, and besett the house, where was my aunt Robinson and 8 of her little children, wch went forth shutting ye dore. My aunt left ye children, and went to Sir Tho. desyring to know the meaning of that force; if for possession of the house and land, and by what authoritie ; and if better than her husband's, whoe was now at London, she would avoyde wth all hers quietlie. Hee answered, that hee would not soe much satisfie her : his will was his law, or authoritie for that tyme : soe they would not suffer her to goe into the house for her stockings and head-dressing and shoes, wch shee wanted, but shee was forced to goe a long myle, wth her little children, to a towne called Buske, and thence a foote to Morton, two miles thence. — This nyght was the house shott at manie tymes and entered, but rescued. Sr Arthur Daykins ? 2 justices, shee could get no reamedie ; but went to York, duble-horsed, to ye Councell. Shee left in Raydall House 3 of her sonnes, Jo., Wm., & Rob. Robinson, and 7 servants and retaynors ; one Thorn. Yorke, of Knaresbor', a boy newly come wth a lre, and 2 Sving maydes. These, wth great currage, mayntayned ye possession, in great danger, against a lawless, rude, and unrulie companie, desprate and graceless in their actions and intents.
A mess'r came to me with letres from Morton: found me at Downham ; and my aunt desired mee to come to assist her in that accon ; soe we resolv. to goe ye next Mon.
June 6. To Gisbume, Newsham, Hellifield, Swinden, Otterbume, Kirkby Malghdale; ther we drunk. Kettle well, then dyned; so to Tarbotte (Sharbotton), (*) Buckden Rake; first house in Morton: ther light and enquired and resolved to goe to Sr Tho. to Buske, to move him forbeare further violence. Soe to Buske : my ladie ther, but not hee : gone to Markett.(2) Found him drunk ; and some half a score, or therabouts, of his followers likewise. Ther met us one George Scarr, his mann, wth divers well furnished with weepons. This fellow being in drinke, gave us manie insolent respectless speeches ; such as, if hee or his companie had been sober, or we anie whit equall in numbers and pvision, we had not with such patience.
Neither colde we be suffered to goe to ye house to spake wth them; therfore we went back to Morton, quickening, to see Sr Tho. in the morning.
This evening abt sunsett or after, was shooting at ye house, and one Jas Hodgson, one of the rash barbarians of Sir Tho. coming upon ye house, was shott and slayne.
June 7. Noe speche to be had wth Sir Tho.; but my aunt came. Shee gave very few speeches to us ; but onl. that the Sargeaunt of Mace and Pursuivant were coming from Yorke, and shee went to Raydll House ; but in ye waye shee was stayed, and unmercifully used. Presently the Serj. and Purs, and Mr. Midlome, the justice of peace, came to Raydll ; and ther thos officers took Sir Tho. wth some five or six of his companie ; the rest dispersed, evy one a sundry waye, and went to the house and sett them at libtie.
Later he mentions going to the star chamber at London on behalf of his Robinson cousin.
The outcome is not clear now, but it seems Metcalfe got the property back but had to pay damages. Mr Robinson meanwhile died and it is thought that Mrs Robinson returned to her birthplace at Downham with some of the children.
According to another account, "They were resisted by Mrs. Robinson and her retainers, and the siege lasted for several days, during which two men were killed, and several injured. The defenders at last succeeded in getting a messenger through, who went for help, and the siege was raised in 1617. This act of felony immediately brought all the King’s horses and all the King’s men thundering down upon him. He was cited before the Star Chamber, and ordered to pay heavy fines and forfeit some of his lands. All this had the effect of considerably reducing the size of the original large Nappa Estate, as well as crippling it financially. Records state that “After a life of roystering hospitality, Sir Thomas died, leaving the family fortunes impoverished”, in 1655."
Mr. V. HI. Ellis died suddenly on September 15 at the early age of 52. He had collapsed from a cardiac attack after completing his usual morning's work in the fracture clinic at St. Mary's Hospital. His death has robbed orthopaedic surgeons of one of their wisest counsellors. Not only was fie among the foremost orthopaedic surgeons of the day; he was also a scholar with an unusually broad knowledge and with interests that ranged widely from finance to horticulture. His life was devoted to helping others, among whom his, patients received first consideration.
Valentine Herbert Ellis was born in India on February 24, 1901, the son of Major-General P. M. Ellis, A.M.S. He was educated at Wellington College and Clare College, Cambridge. Thence he went to St. George's Hospital, qualifying M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P. in 1925. He became F.R.C.S. in 1928 and took the Cambridge B.Chir. three years later. After filling a number of junior appointments at his own hospital and elsewhere he decided on a career in orthopaedic surgery and went as surgical registrar to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.
There he came under the stimulating influence of some of the most prominent orthopaedic men of the time- Elmslie, Laming Evans, Bankart, Trethowan.
Appointed to the staff of St. Mary's Hospital in 1932, when he was only 30 years old, he was the first to hold the post of orthopaedic surgeon there. With tireless
energy he set out to establish what has now become a leading orthopaedic and fracture department. He was soon appointed also to the staff of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, and later he held additional appointments at Paddington Green Children's Hospital, the Lord Mayor Treloar Orthopaedic Hospital at Alton, and the Heatherwood Orthopaedic Hospital at Ascot.
During the second world war he was in charge of the orthopaedic unit at the E.M.S. Hospital at Park Prewett, where many thousands of casualties flown direct from the battle fronts in Europe passed though his hands.
Despite the number of hospitals that he served, such were his energy and capacity for work that he was able to do full justice to each of his responsibilities. Indeed, it is doubtful whether any man could have been more punctilious in his regular attendance or more conscientious. In addition to these activities he found time also to make a considerable contribution, by his writings, to the advancement of orthopaedic surgery. He was joint author, with Mr. B. H. Burns, of Recent Advances in Orthopaedic Surgery, published in 1937, and he was a contributor to other authoritative books including Platt's Modern Trends in Orthopaedics, Handfield-Jones and Porrittfs Essentials of Modern Surgery, and Fleming's Penicillin. He had a special interest in the shoulder-joint, and had undertaken research into the value and indications of arthrography in the diagnosis of shoulder lesions. Earlier he had made a study of injuries of the cervical spine, from which he concluded that internal fixation by bone grafts was advisable in unstable fracture-dislocations.
A gifted teacher with clear ideas based on his own experience, he was nevertheless tolerant of the views of others, and he was seldom happier than when he was engaged in friendly discussion with his colleagues on some difficult problem.
Valentine Ellis will be remembered for his work on injuries of the neck and on disorders of the shoulder. But he will be remembered mainly, by those who knew him, for his sound common sense, his wise judgment, his kindly humanity, and his loyalty-qualities that commanded respect from all and endeared him to his colleagues and pupils.
He married, in 1937, Angela Peart Robinson, and his family life formed a happy background to his work. He leaves a widow with a son and a daughter.-J. C. A.
R. W. J. writes : After a preliminary warning some months ago, we have lost Valentine Herbert Ellis, whom most of us knew as Gustav and some few as Val. He was not always easy to know, but the more you did know of him the more you wanted to know him. It is to my own great regret that I did not know still more of this great individualist, this deep thinker, this man who behind the scenes exerted such influence on the British editorial board of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and on the British Orthopaedic Association, of which he was quite certainly destined to be president within a few years.
He was a critic. He was always thoughtful. He had wide knowledge. His merits were best shown at quiet after dinner meetings such as those of the W. Little Club, when the few select members presented their problems. He was always the dutiful secretary and recorder; his comments were earnest and faithful; and beneath the crust he was a very great friend indeed. We offer our deep sympathies to his wife Angela, and to his young son and daughter, Richard and Mary.
British Medical Journal, SEPT. 26, 1953, p .730.