The Northeys Of Woodcote House - Part 2

Part 2 - The children of Sir Edward Northey

Note: For clarity, Sir Edward's children are highlighted in yellow.
Those not highlighted are descendants of his children.

Elizabeth (c.1693-1766)

Although Elizabeth was described as 'Mrs' in both the burial register of St Martin's, Epsom and on her tomb, the probate record shows that she was unmarried; she died at her home in Greek Street, Soho, London in February 1766. She was probably the Elizabeth Northey who endowed £100 to the original elementary schools in Epsom for the purchase of textbooks.

Anne (?-1720)

Anne married Robert Raymond (1673-1733), who became 1st Baron Raymond and Lord Chief Justice. He was the son of Judge Sir Thomas Raymond (died 1683).

Robert, 1st Baron Raymond.
Robert, 1st Baron Raymond.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The Raymond Coat of Arms
The Raymond Coat of Arms

Robert was allegedly admitted to Gray's Inn to study law in 1682, at the tender age of nine, but was not actually called to the Bar until 1697. In the meantime he attended Eton College and Christ's College, Cambridge. In 1704 he appeared against Sir Edward Northey as defence counsel in the treason trial of David Lindsay.

One of his star cases as a prosecuting barrister was the trial of Robert 'Beau' Fielding, who had bigamously married Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland, former mistress of King Charles II (by whom she had five - possibly six - children; she also happened to be the owner of Nonsuch Palace). Fielding was a notorious rake and fortune hunter and was convicted, but managed to engineer a royal warrant suspending his sentence.

Barbara Villiers portrait Beau Fielding
Barbara Villiers portrait, left, and Beau Fielding, centre right.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

In 1710 Robert was appointed solicitor-general and in that same year became Member of Parliament for Bishop's Castle, Shropshire. Soon afterwards he was knighted. On the accession of George I in 1714 he was replaced as solicitor-general. He then became, successively, MP for Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, Ludlow and Helston, whilst continuing his legal career. He became a judge in 1724 and flourished when Sir Robert Walpole became Britain's first Prime Minister, being appointed Lord Chief Justice in 1725, a position he held for eight years - and, by all accounts, he was very good at the job. Anne died in 1720 and Robert was elevated to the peerage in 1731. He died at his home in Red Lion Square, London on 18 March 1733, leaving his estate of Langleybury, Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire to his and Anne's only surviving son, also Robert. Three other boys died within a few weeks of birth and were buried with their paternal grandmother.

Langleybury House
Langleybury House.
Image © Three Rivers Museum Trust and used by permission

Robert Junior was born in 1717 and became the 2nd Baron Raymond on the death of his father in 1733. In 1741 he married Mary, daughter of Irish peer Montague, Viscount Blundell. He died in 1756, leaving no children, and Mary then married Lieutenant-General Lord Robert Bertie, Governor of Cork.

The Raymonds have monuments in Abbots Langley Church, described as follows: - 'The monument of the first Lord Raymond, 1732 (sic), has a life-size figure of Lord Raymond reclining on one arm; on his right is a seated female figure holding a medallion portrait of a young man, and on the left a cherub offering a coronet in an absurdly respectful manner. The monument of the second Lord Raymond, 1756, at the west end of the north aisle, is less pretentious, and has no figures. On the north wall of the chapel is a white marble monument to Dame Anne Raymond, having a seated figure under a pediment, and below, three children in cradles in low relief.'1

St Lawrence, Abbots Langley
St Lawrence, Abbots Langley.
Photography by Nigel Cox © 2012 and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Image source:

Rebecca (dates unknown)

In 1719, at Somerset House, London Rebecca married Ellerker Bradshaw (sometimes recorded as Thomas Bradshaw) of Risby, near, Beverley, Yorkshire and MP for Beverley. He was born in 1680 and was the first son of Sir James Bradshaw of Bromborough, Cheshire. He and Rebecca had two daughters, Lucy and Rebecca (died 1731, aged 8).

Bradshaw was involved in a political scandal. In 1727/8 his election as an MP was declared void owing to bribery and corruption by his agent, who was imprisoned in Newgate. There was a long-standing feud between Bradshaw and Sir Charles Hotham over the Beverley seat, which I will not go into, but Bradshaw managed to get himself re-elected in 1734. He lost his seat in 1741 and died the following year.

William (c.1689-1738)

William was born in 1689/90 and educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge. He was called to the Bar at Middle Temple in 1712. On 19 September 1721 he married Abigail, daughter of Sir Thomas Webster of Battle Abbey, Sussex (and Copped/Copt Hall, Essex). Their children were William (1722-70) Ann (c. 1724-82), Edward (1728-49, buried in St Martin's), Abigail (c 1728-39, buried in St Martin's) and Thomas (?-1780). William Junior will be the subject of Part 3, since he is a vital link in the Woodcote inheritance.

William Senior was more associated with Wiltshire than Surrey and bought the substantial Compton Bassett Estate in 1715. He had already inherited property at Chippenham, Box and Ditteridge and also bought Hazelbury Manor near Box. He was an Examiner in Chancery from 1712-15 (an official who took witness statements and depositions for the Court - an office for which a colossal £6000 was paid to the Master of the Rolls, presumably by Sir Edward), MP for Calne from 1713-15 and then for Wootton Bassett, but he was defeated in the elections of 1722 and 1727. He died in November 1738. Abigail then married Sir Edmund Thomas (c.1712-67) of Wenvoe Castle, Glamorgan, barrister, MP, courtier and holder of several Crown appointments, by whom she had several more children; she died in 1777.

William, Abigail and four of their children
William, Abigail and four of their children
(excluding Thomas, the youngest) by Charles Phillips.
Image courtesy of Martin Northey © 2012.

Abigail with her son Edward
Abigail with her son Edward.
Image courtesy of Martin Northey © 2012.

Lieutenant-Colonel EGV Northey's account of the family reveals a scandal about Abigail (and there will be a further scandal momentarily). Something occurred in 1738, the year of William's death, which made him revoke the provisions for young Thomas that he had made in his recently executed will. By a codicil dated 24 May 1738 William said he was 'firmly persuaded' that Thomas was 'begot in adultery upon his wife by Sir Edmund Thomas'. This was hardly the fault of poor little Thomas, but William did leave him £1000 as his right by virtue of his marriage settlement with Abigail, whom he described as 'that most wicked and ungrateful of women, my wife'. On 8 August he added a further codicil saying he knew for certain that Thomas was the bastard of Sir Edmund Thomas: however, the lad still got his £1000.

Ann (daughter of William and Abigail above)

William and Abigail's reputedly very attractive daughter, Ann, was born in about 1724. In 1744 she married John Whitby, who lived at 'Whitby Wood' - subsequently renamed 'Overedge' - on the slopes of Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, and who died in 1751. She did not remain alone for long (reports say about a month) and began an affair with John Robins, MP for Stafford. Accounts vary in the detail, but the gist seems to be that she found herself pregnant and, thinking that Robins had abandoned her, married her neighbour, the relatively elderly and recently widowed Sir William Wolseley, in September 1752. However, matters were not as straightforward as they may seem. Apparently Ann had become engaged to Robins in April 1752 and later claimed that she had married him in June of that year (which she had not ... but please read on).

On 26 August Mrs Whitby or Robins went to dinner at the vicarage in Colwich, near Rugeley, and was entertained by the Reverend John Clements and his wife. Another guest was the aforementioned Wolseley, who apparently had no knowledge of her relationship with Robins. The next day Wolseley said she had signed a contract to marry him. Her story was that she could not remember this, had been given a drugged drink, passed out and was then 'merry' for the rest of the evening. Nevertheless, on 23 September she married him. Robins then re-entered the picture and in October she married him at Castle Church, Stafford, persuading the vicar there, Mr Corne, to pre-date his record to June, which would both preserve her reputation as to the pregnancy and nullify the marriage to Sir William. That she hoped to get away with this is beyond belief, especially when it all happened virtually on her own rural doorstep, but in a way she did, although I daresay that her reputation never recovered.

Whenever she had married Robins, she must have been a bigamist. The order of subsequent events is confused but, in essence, she alleged that Wolseley had forced her into marriage by drugging her and that at the time she was already married to John Robins. Robins produced a falsified marriage register in court. The previously co-operative Reverend Corne then got cold clerical feet and refused to sign an affidavit confirming it. So, the position was that Robins was a perjurer, Ann was both a perjurer and a bigamist and Wolseley wanted a divorce - or something.

Robins fled and almost immediately died; Ann also absconded. Wolseley somehow got a ruling that his marriage to Ann was invalid because she was married to Robins at the time (which she wasn't) and, as Robins was now dead, she was officially a widow. That being the case, on 17 December 1754 she gaily married Chancery solicitor Christopher Hargrave and apparently escaped scot free on the bigamy/perjury issue. She died in 1782.

A man named Benjamin Victor later wrote a slimly fictionalised account of this saga called 'The Widow of the Wood', which is said to have outraged the Wolseley family, who burned as many copies as they could (but it is still available, at a price - please use your internet search engine if interested).

Thomas (son of William and Abigail above)

I do not know when Thomas was born, but, as mentioned above, he seems to have been the illegitimate son of Sir Edmund Thomas. He inherited money from his mother's side of the family and was an army officer (quite possibly a Captain in the 71st Foot). He lost a leg at the Siege of Quebec and died in 1780. His first wife was named Elizabeth (died 1765) and his second was Margaret Hancorne from Gower, Glamorgan (married 1766, probably died 1789). There were at least three surviving sons of these marriages, who were as follows.

James Murray Northey (c.1761-1832), son of Thomas and Elizabeth

James, known as Murray, was a naval officer, commissioned in 1783, and was on the 'Salisbury' when she was wrecked on the Isle of Avache, St Domingo in 1796; he also commanded the prison ship 'Lutine'3 in the Mediterranean. He rose to the rank of Captain and died at Chester in 1832. His wife was Mabella Whitby, who was very probably a relative of the John Whitby who married the above-mentioned 'Bigamous Ann'. We have entertaining little stories about Murray and Mabella - unfortunately, I do not know the exact ending of the Murray anecdote, since some text is missing at the end of the source material.

Just four days before the confrontation with Pellew at Exeter (see below), Murray had been in another duel. A Lieutenant Gordon had said something derogatory about Murray, and was invited to 'pistols at dawn' in a field near Pancras, London. Thomas Northey was his brother's second. Gordon wisely decided to apologise, but Murray didn't like the fact that Gordon said his remarks were 'rash and inadvertent' and declined to accept the form of the apology. They retreated the regulation twelve paces, turned and ... only Gordon fired. Murray invited him to fire his second pistol, which he did, and then a third. (I am presuming here that Gordon was either an incredibly bad shot or missed deliberately, for Murray does not seem to have been injured.) Murray declined to fire at all and deigned to listen to Gordon's apology, which began "I have always had the greatest regard and esteem for you; I never in my life doubted your courage. I am ready to make any apology to you, consistent with the honour of a gentleman and to leave you at liberty to make whatever ...' Regrettably, the rest is missing.4

Mabella seems to have been a questionable employer. In 1799 a servant called Elizabeth Wakeham was tried at the Old Bailey for stealing some silver spoons and tongs, plus a muslin handkerchief, from the Northeys' house. Apparently Wakeham had gone to the police and taken out a warrant against Mabella, who was fetched to the police office, whereupon she said she had been robbed. Wakeham claimed she had warned Mabella in advance that she would take the items, in lieu of unpaid wages and a four shilling loan that had not been repaid, and had actually taken them in Mabella's presence. Wakeham added that she had been sent out for gin at 11 p.m. and kept up all night; she was acquitted.

Murray and Mabella had one daughter, Jemima. Mabella died in 1838 in the Liverpool area.

Christian Thomas Northey (c.1764-1794), son of Thomas and Elizabeth

We know very little about this son (usually known as Thomas), but he was a Captain, either in the Army or Navy (probably the Army, as in 1789 he was described in accounts as 'Esquire' and is hardly likely to have achieved the rank of naval Captain in the five years before he died). Admiral Sir Edward Pellew2, writing in August 1794, added a postscript to a letter to a friend, which said, 'by way of news Capt Northey the fellow you knew at Exeter with his brother has been Guilotin'd at Paris - sooner or later I expected the Rascall would grace a Scaffold.'

The reference to Exeter reveals a duel 'fought' there on 9 June 1789 between Pellew (then a naval Captain) and James Murray Northey (then a naval Lieutenant), at which Thomas was again his brother's second. James's shot passed through Pellew's coat and, given the very distinguished further career that Pellew went on to have, it was fortunate that the duellists then made their peace. How Thomas came to be guillotined is unknown but a newspaper report of the time confirms that this happened in July 1794. He had married Marianna Gahagan of Soho Square, London, 'a lady of great personal accomplishments and large fortune', at St Anne, Soho in 1781.

Sir Edward Pellew by Sir Thomas Lawrence.
Sir Edward Pellew by Sir Thomas Lawrence.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Lewis Augustus Northey (c.1775-1857), son of Thomas and Margaret

The sons of Thomas and Margaret seem to have attracted trouble like magnets, but perhaps they caused it. Lewis, usually known as Augustus, was born in Tenby, Pembrokeshire and rose to become an Assistant Quartermaster-General in the Army, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, notwithstanding being court-martialled, cashiered and then reinstated by the Prince Regent (later George IV - it was said that the Prince was rather more tolerant than his father in such matters).

The problem began in Lisbon in 1809 when Augustus and fellow staff officers were 'cool' towards Captain Algernon Langton of the 61st Regiment (the South Gloucestershires) and eventually ignored him if they passed him in the street. He made a complaint and, a Board of General Officers having met to consider the matter, Augustus was cleared. He then issued a challenge to Langton, which was ignored. The affair seemed to die down until, in 1810, the two men encountered each other in Cheltenham. Further altercations ensued and Langton laid further charges of scandalous and outrageous behaviour, countered by Augustus's claims that he had been slandered and libelled by Langton. One underlying issue was that Augustus believed Langton had prevented his marriage to a Miss Georgina Vyse; another was that Langton had said Augustus was a thief. The latter was court-martialled, found guilty of 'conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman' and cashiered. However, the court martial acknowledged that he was of excellent character and had suffered for some time from unsubstantiated allegations and recommended him to the Prince Regent, who reinstated him.

In 1816 Augustus married Laura, daughter of Sir William Paxton MP of Carmarthen. They had several children in various places (undoubtedly born on Army postings), among whom were William Frederick (c.1819-82, an officer in the East Middlesex Regiment and a barrister; unmarried), Laura Emmeline (c.1825-1890; married (1) Vice-Admiral Sir William Dickson, (2) Henry Buckworth Powell Montgomery), Stewart (c. 1822-1909, sometime Captain in the Essex Militia; married Jane Mitchell MacNab) and Augustus James William (c.1818-1890, Major in the 41st Regiment and farmer; married Laura Sophia St George). Lewis Augustus died in 1857 in Twickenham, his wife, Laura, having predeceased him on 14 March 1846 in Cheltenham.

I had not intended to linger on this branch of the family, but I would like to add something about one of Stewart Northey's sons, Henry Ackland Northey (c.1851-1924), who had three children. The elder son, Hugh Reginald (c. 1890) was an agent for the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank (now HSBC) in Malaya and died there at Ipoh in Perak State on 3 July 1928. The younger son, Lieutenant Mervyn Ackland Northey of the Royal West Kent Regiment (born 1891), died on active service in Mesopotamia on 28 October 1918: he was buried in Baghdad War Cemetery. The only daughter, Joan Elizabeth (c.1898) married firstly, in 1918, Stephen Edward Victor Lyne-Stephens (formerly Claremont), who had an interesting family history.

The first thing to say is that the original Lyne-Stephens family was rich beyond imagining. Their fortune emanated from an illegitimate child, William Stephens from Cornwall (1731-1803), who went to Portugal with his brother. The brothers were originally cashing in on a shortage of building materials and started making lime from anthracite waste; they then earned the highest-ranking patronage and were persuaded to reopen the disused royal glassworks factory. Not only did they make a fortune, but William was an enlightened employer and introduced a wide-ranging social welfare programme. In due course the fortune passed to Stephens Lyne-Stephens (1801-1860), who was MP for Barnstaple in Devon and reputed to be 'the richest commoner in England'. He married a French ballerina, Pauline or Yolande Duvernay (see and had estates at Lynford Hall, near Thetford in Norfolk, and Grove House, Roehampton, London. It is said that his death sparked off a frenzy of fortune hunters, to the extent that people were tampering with their family trees to prove their relationship to him (the whole saga is documented in a book called 'Glass: The Strange History of the Lyne Roberts Fortune', by Jenifer Roberts).

So, how, one may well ask, did the Claremont family end up with the name of Lyne-Stephens? It is, of course, the regulation name change connected with an inheritance. The father of Stephen Edward Victor Lyne-Stephens was Henry Alexander Stopford Claremont (died 1894 in Monte Carlo) and his father was General Edward Charles John Claremont CB. The General was born with the surname of Stopford but became Claremont owing to illegitimacy, naturalisation and an estate in Ireland, but we shall not go there. The story goes that, after Stephens Lyne-Stephens died in 1860, General Claremont (whose French mother had been an actress with the Comedie Française) became involved with his widow, Yolande (the ballerina), who had inherited the glass fortune. She took a shine to the General's son, Henry, and provided for the family. When she died she left her personal fortune (including Grove House, Roehampton) to the General and his heirs, on condition that they became Lyne-Stephens. The Stephen who married Joan Elizabeth Northey was Henry's son.

Pauline (aka Yolande) Duvernay/Lyne-Stephens
Pauline (aka Yolande) Duvernay/Lyne-Stephens.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

We have not yet finished with Joan Elizabeth because, sadly, Mr Lyne-Stephens died in 1923 and in 1929 she married John Churchill Craigie MC, a divorcé. His family history was also interesting. He was born in 1890, the son of Reginald Walpole Craigie and Pearl Mary Teresa Richards, who were subsequently divorced. Mrs Craigie was a well-known novelist and playwright, writing under the pseudonym of John Oliver Hobbes and the full fascinating story can be read at John had previously been engaged to socialite Mary Duff Stirling Smurthwaite, but they broke it off and she married ... well, several people -see John then married Marjorie Winfred Trefusis, daughter of Sir Henry John Lowndes Graham KCB and the divorced wife of the Honourable Walter Alexander Hepburn-Stewart-Forbes Trefusis (son of Baron Clinton).

There is just one more son of Stewart's who rates a mention, again because of a marital matter: this was Louis Reginald Northey, who emigrated to New Zealand and died in 1933 in Australia. In 1894, in Auckland, Louis, already divorced, married a well-known classical violinist who went by the name of Bessie Doyle (also known as Lydia Doyle or Eileen O'Moore). He had acted as her manager and travelled with her to concerts overseas. One newspaper at the time said they had parted at the Register Office door and never lived together. Anyway, according to her account, he deserted her and persuaded her to divorce him in Fargo, USA, after which she married a man called Robert Mitchell. Apparently, Louis next convinced her that the divorce had been invalid and that she must give up Mitchell as the marriage had been bigamous: she did so. Her looks, popularity and earnings faded, which is how she ended up in a court in Australia in 1935 claiming support from his estate. He had omitted her from his will, leaving £1000 of his £20000 + estate to a sister and the rest to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The court awarded Bessie an income of £7.50 per week, as his widow, although no one seemed to be ruling that the divorce really was invalid: this appears to have been a 'judgement of convenience' on the part of the court because it felt that she had been harshly treated.

Here endeth the descendants of Thomas and Margaret Northey!

Edward (c.1690-1774)

Edward Northey
Edward Northey by Charles Phillips.
Image courtesy of Martin Northey © 2012.

Edward was the man who inherited the Woodcote Estate in 'tail male', which was a legal device designed to ensure that property passed down the family to legitimate male heirs only. On the death of Sir Edward Northey a life interest in the Estate was left to his wife. He specified that Edward should then inherit Woodcote, since he had left most of his other property to the elder son, William - and, as he had spent so much money on improving the Estate, which would not be recovered on a sale, he established the 'tail male' so that it would remain in the family. The Woodcote inheritance was subject to rebuilding the garden wall to the south of the house should Lady Northey require it!

Edward was educated at King's College, Cambridge and took over his brother's post as Examiner in the Court of Chancery. He expanded the family holdings in Surrey by purchasing the manors of Cuddington and Ewell in 1755 for £22,340 (about £4 million today).

He married Susanna Pierce (or Pearse/Pearce) of Epsom at Banstead on 30 April 1734. They had two children, William and Anne. Edward died on 18 October 1774, aged 84, and was buried in St Martin's.

Northey Tomb Detail
The top (legible) portion of this inscription on the family tomb at
St Martin's refers to Sir Edward's children Elizabeth (died 1766)
and Edward (died 1774), and Edward Junior's son William (died 1808).
Photo courtesy of Linda Jackson © 2012

Susanna and Anne seem to have moved to Bath, where they died in 1789 and 1806 respectively. They were not buried in Epsom.

William (son of Edward immediately above)

William was born in about 1736. The 'tail male' was still operating successfully down its original line and William inherited when his father died in 1774. He is recorded as being unmarried (which I am not convinced about, but he left no heirs) so, when he died on 9 March 1808, aged 72 (buried in St Martin's - see photo of tomb above), Edward's male line was extinct and the Woodcote Estate passed across to the male heirs of his elder brother, William. A diagram may help.

Diagram showing how Woodcote House was inherited. The journey of the property is shown by the coloured boxes.
Sir Edward Northey (died 1723)
Lady Northey (Anne wife of above - inherited life interest 1723, died 1743)
William 1 (c.1689-1738)
Elder son of above
Edward (inherited in tail male 1743, died 1774)
Younger son of above
William 3 (1722-1770)
Son of above
William 2 (inherited 1774, died 1808)
Son of above
William 4 (inherited 1808, died 1826)
Son of above

In Part 3 we will look at William Northey 3 (1722-70), whose son inherited Woodcote on the death of his cousin, William 2.

Links to the Previous and next parts.

Linda Jackson © February 2012

1. Source: British History Online

2. The real-life officer with whom the fictional Horatio Hornblower served in 'HMS Indefatigable'

3. Not the original HMS Lutine, which sank in 1799. Northey's ship was formerly 'HMS Courageux', a frigate captured from the French in 1799.

4. Source: Walker's Hibernian Magazine, via Google Books

The Northeys Of Woodcote House
Northey Family
Adam Hogg
Adam Hogg
Hilda Andrews
Hilda Andrews
The Glyns
The Glyns
Journey Time
Journey Time
Thomas Tresize
Thomas Tresize
Blake Charles
Blake Charles
Blake Girls
Blake Girls
Barnards of Epsom
Barnards of Epsom