The De Teissiers Of Woodcote Park


Part 2 - Baron James De Teissier (1794-1868)


James was born on 17 March 1794 at Woodcote Park. He was created a Baron of France by King Louis XVIII on 3 December 1819 'in consideration for the kindness shown by his father during the French Revolution to French subjects, and in acknowledgement of the loyalty of the head of the family, Jean Antoine (de Teissier), 3rd Baron of Marguerittes, who was guillotined 20 May 1794'. Had Louis acted a little sooner, the barony would have gone to James's elder brother, Lewis, who died in 1817, and this story would be completely different: however, the King had had a rocky ride and doubtless had weightier things to do. He had been in exile from 1791 to 1814, during the French Revolution, and then, having regained the throne, he was exiled again for 100 days in 1815 when Napoleon returned from Elba. Louis, known as 'the Unavoidable', wandered Europe during his long exile but came to England in 1808 and established a court-in-exile at Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire, which remained in place until his restoration to the monarchy in 1814. Undoubtedly he would have had much contact with French exiles in England and probably knew Lewis de Teissier. Conferring a French barony on a British citizen was very unusual and special dispensation had to be obtained from the Crown (the Prince Regent in this instance, since King George III was by then incapacitated).

Louis XVIII
Louis XVIII.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Hartwell House
Hartwell House.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Allégorie du retour des Bourbons le 24 avril 1814
Allégorie du retour des Bourbons le 24 avril 1814 : 'Louis XVIII relevant la France de ses ruines' by Louis-Philippe Crépin.
Image source : Wikimedia Commons

Coat of arms of Baron de Teissier
Coat of arms of Baron de Teissier.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

In 1814 James had married Henrietta Lane, who was born in about 1794 in Preston Candover, Hampshire. They had five surviving sons, all born at Woodcote Park, three of whom succeeded to the barony. These were:

Name Date of birth
James Fitzherbert 4 November 1816
Philip Antoine 13 June 1819
Henry Price 16 June 1820
George Frederick 21 October 1821
Lewis Minet 8 August 1823

James was a magistrate in Epsom and was also involved in the South Sea Company.

In about 1829 there was an incident with the Epsom Grand Stand Association. Since 1675 Woodcote Park had had rights to a sheepwalk on the Downs and EGSA inadvertently built the grandstand on part of it. When this was discovered, James graciously accepted a token £1 in compensation. For a number of years he was a steward/joint administrator of Epsom Races with Sir Gilbert Heathcote. 'Racing men' had long argued that this arrangement was defective and matters came to a head after the 1844 Derby (a race for three-year-old colts), when the first horse home, 'Running Rein', was discovered to be a dyed imposter called 'Maccabeus', aged four, and was disqualified. In 1845 the Jockey Club began to take part in the administration and the reign of Henry Dorling as Clerk of the Course began.

It is extraordinary what an early 19th century land-owning magistrate had to deal with, but one has to bear in mind that in those distant days there was a fairly quaint and patchy policing system (see 'Policing-Epsom' on this website). A drama which occurred in 1831 was definitely a case of 'run to the Baron and he'll sort it out' and it also gives an insight into the lives of one working-class family at that time. The Hogsdens lived in a cottage at Ashtead Common with their two daughters, the elder of whom was 17 year old Harriet, who had recently had a baby. At 4 am on 27 July 1831, Mrs Hogsden got up to go to work at a nearby farm belonging to a Mr Hagget (both Mr and Mrs Hogsden did regular work for Mr Hagget). Mr Edward Hogsden came home at 6am and violated Harriet: this was by no means the first time and apparently he had fathered the baby. Harriet threatened to commit suicide; her father told her he would cut her head off and, if she did not get out of his house before he returned from work for his breakfast, he would kill her. He then went to his work at Hagget's farm. Mrs Hogsden took Harriet to Mr Hagget and he instantly sent them to Baron de Teissier, who had Mr Hogsden arrested.

At the trial Edward Hogsden tried to talk his way out of trouble by claiming that Harriet had been his willing sexual partner since the age of nine and that he had once come home and found a packman in bed with her when she was fifteen. He also said that the charges against him were a plot concocted by his wife and daughter, so that they could get rid of him and have the cottage to themselves. He was found guilty of rape and hanged at Horsemonger Lane Gaol, Southwark. See http://pds.lib.harvard.edu/pds/view/4788507 for a fuller account of the trial and www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/horsemon.html for more information about Horsemonger Lane Gaol and Surrey executions in general.

James sold Woodcote Park in 1855 (at some stage he also lived, or had a house, in Pomponne, Meaux, France) and moved to Hove, Sussex, where he remained. Henrietta died on 22 March 1860 in Hastings, where she had gone for the benefit of her health (I cannot imagine how Hastings was considered more beneficial than Hove and it seems I am right), and in 1861 James married Catherine Margaret Walpole (born on 2 October 1804), who was the daughter of Thomas Walpole and the Right Honourable Lady Margaret Perceval (died 1854). Margaret was the daughter of the 2nd Earl of Egmont and sister of Spencer Perceval, Prime Minister from 1809 to 1812, and the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated. Thomas Walpole (died 1840) was a diplomat and a descendant of a former Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole: he lived at Stagbury Park, Chipstead, Surrey. Catherine's brother was Spencer Horatio Walpole (1806-1898), sometime Conservative Cabinet Minister.

John Perceval, 2nd Earl of Egmont.
John Perceval, 2nd Earl of Egmont.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Spencer Perceval
Spencer Perceval.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Spencer Horatio Walpole
Spencer Horatio Walpole.
Image source: Wikipedia

The de Teissier residence in Hove was at 7 Brunswick Terrace1 on the seafront, which still stands, looking much as it did when built in the 1820s. James died there on 11 March 1868, followed by Catherine on 18 March 1876.

7 Brunswick Terrace, Hove
7 Brunswick Terrace, Hove
Image Courtesy of Linda Jackson © 2011

The barony then passed to James's eldest son, James Fitzpatrick de Teissier, who will be dealt with in Part 3.

Linda Jackson - © December 2011



Links to Part 1 and Part 3

Footnotes

1. Both Augustus Gadesden of Ewell and Richard Carr Glyn, father of Lady Henrietta Glyn of Epsom, were associated with 'Brunswick' in Hove. The original development consisted of Brunswick Square and Brunswick Terrace (named after Caroline of Brunswick, wife of the Prince Regent) and was known as the Brunswick Estate. Nearby is Adelaide Crescent, named after the wife of King William IV. Most of the buildings in this area, including their railings, are Grade I listed. Going southward from the Brunswick development were a road, Brunswick Lawns, the promenade (Hove Esplanade) and the sea. It is all still there today, externally at least, although I understand that the interiors of some of the houses are wrecked and scandalous. The once sedate road, along which horse-drawn carriages would have progressed, is now the very busy A259. The grand Regency character of the seafront extends (or did, and still should, extend) for approximately 4-5 miles: Brunswick is on the westerly end, at Hove, and at the eastern end, in East Brighton, are Lewes Crescent and Sussex Square, collectively known as the Kemp Town Estate. Unfortunately, insensitive development has been permitted at some points between the extremities and in many places behind the seafront. The Brunswick and Kemp Town Estates were planned and built by the architect Charles Augustin Busby and he even patented a steam-driven system for providing heating and hot water to these grand houses. Busby over-extended himself financially in building the Estates, which ruined his life: he went bankrupt in 1833 and died in 1834, but left a stunning legacy in architectural terms. It took until 2007 for English Heritage to recognise this fact and affix a blue plaque to one of the Hove houses in which he lived and worked. His grave, which was in St Andrew's Churchyard, Hove, has now disappeared, thanks to several redevelopments around the church. Some of the remains were re-interred in Hove Cemetery, but the removal of remains from the churchyard was incompetently handled and many gravestones were appropriated for building materials, to make doorsteps and suchlike. One of our foremost local historians thinks that Busby is probably now 'under the road' which runs beside the church.



Adam Hogg
Adam Hogg
Hilda Andrews
Hilda Andrews
The Glyns
The Glyns
Gadesdens
Gadesdens
Journey Time
Journey Time
Thomas Tresize
Thomas Tresize
Blake Charles
Blake Charles
Blake Girls
Blake Girls
Barnards of Epsom
Barnards of Epsom
EW Martin
EW Martin